Event planning: 10 tips for stress-free events

Event planning is much harder than it appears from the outside.

But events can also help your business achieve its goals. In fact, about 89 percent of marketers say that events are critical to reaching business objectives. 

Event planning centers on the act of organizing and managing an event or activity, such as social gatherings, seminars, charity fundraisers and more. It can involve (but is not limited to):

  • Preparing budgets
  • Organizing and communicating with staff
  • Creating schedules
  • Selecting and reserving venues
  • Hiring vendors (including a photographer or videographer)
  • Renting equipment

Simply put, no matter what event you might be planning, it can be stressful. The following are 10 tips to plan the most stress-free event possible.

Plan early

The sooner you can start planning your event, the better. Keep in mind that the vendors and/or venue you might want to work with could need to be booked well in advance. Early event planning also can help you identify possible hurdles, as well as the solutions for those issues.

Start by determining the goal of your event because having a clear purpose will help you stay focused on the key details, such as venue selection and overall budget.

Use a time-bound checklist during your event planning

Setting deadlines can make your event planning process more effective than open to-do lists. This means that you’re aiming to make certain decisions at specific times and complete particular tasks at times that will keep you on track.

It’s all about arranging your information in a way that you can understand. Deadlines also can help you identify any additional support you might need. 

As you get closer to the day of the event, you might want to update your timeline and/or checklist with day-of details, such as when vendors are arriving, who the point of contact is and so on.

Get everything in writing

When you’re negotiating with your vendors, venue, entertainment and so on, you must get everything in writing. Make sure to account for what happens if significant changes happen one to three months out, then one to four weeks out and then the day of the event.

If there are late-fee policies in play, include them. Also, explain the scope of the work agreed upon in as much detail as possible. Then, have everyone sign the contract to protect everyone’s interest.

Regardless of any contract you might have, always have a vendor backup plan in case something does go awry. Even if there is a cost or fee tied to a vendor backing out of your event, that doesn’t prevent your event from getting ruined.

Thoughtfully select your venue

Your chosen venue can make or break your event. You’ll obviously want to find a place with an atmosphere that will make all attendees feel comfortable.

But beyond that, get an understanding of all the amenities of possible venue locations. Can attendees easily find the location? Is there enough parking? Are restrooms accessible and clean? Is seating needed and available? What other amenities would be helpful for your event?

Set and commit to your budget

With early planning, you can exude a bit more control over your set budget. Keep in mind that budgets can very quickly get out of control during event planning. 

A vendor could cancel, forcing you to have to go with a more-expensive vendor at the last minute. Your entertainment could have to change or cost more, depending on changing circumstances. There could be miscellaneous costs that you didn’t anticipate.

Regardless of the causes, event budgets require structure and discipline to avoid spinning out of control. Consider all potential costs upfront from the beginning (with a bit of wiggle room) to prevent any unpleasant surprises along the way.

Lay out your program schedule

Depending on your event, the sky is potentially the limit as far as what you can plan, such as keynote speakers, workshops, networking opportunities and so on.

Nail down these details as soon as possible since part of the marketing of your event should include highlighting what attendees can expect. Have the basics set. You can always fine-tune the details throughout your event planning.

Creating a detailed event plan is ideal because you can then share it with staff, vendors and anyone else who is part of the event planning process.

Strategize your event marketing

In addition to your program schedule, you’ll want to overlap your event marketing plan on top of your event timeline. 

Having a photographer or videographer at your event can create content that can be used across digital marketing channels. But are there any opportunities to do a live video during the event? What do your promotional campaigns leading up to the event look like? How are you planning on recapping the event after it’s over?

Check out our eight tips to make your event marketing better.

Have a post-event, cleanup plan

An easily overlooked aspect of event planning is the cleanup afterward. Your event does not end when attendees leave.

When planning setup, consider what cleanup looks like as well. This could include trash removal, among other tasks. Sometimes, cleanup could be included within the overall venue fee, but you’ll want to confirm this. Think through all the small details.

Request event feedback

No matter how many events you’ve planned, there’s always a need to collect event feedback afterward. Don’t limit your data collection to attendees only, though. You’ll want to request feedback from everyone involved in your event, including vendors and anyone else.

The feedback you gather will always help you improve future events.

Expect the unexpected

Event planning is notorious for last-minute challenges popping up that you have to solve quickly and at as low of a cost as possible.

As you’re beginning the planning process, make a list of possible issues that could arise, such as weather, low attendance, last-minute cancellations and so on. As you’re listing problematic scenarios, also think through potential solutions for each scenario and jot those solutions down.

In conclusion

While event planning can feel overwhelming, planning early and thinking through the details can help you be successful. If you’ve never planned an event before, start small. The lessons you learn from that experience will benefit you with larger events in the future.

DailyStory can help with event marketing automations (as well as in other types of digital marketing). And our platform offers even more than automation capabilities. Schedule your free demo with us today.

5 signs that your branding is broken

Your brand is your business’s identity. So, your branding is the reflection and culmination of your business’s personality, appearance, voice and overall vibe.

It takes about seven seconds for consumers to make an instant decision about whether or not they like and trust your brand. Keep in mind that consistent branding across all channels can increase your revenue between 10 percent and 20 percent. Brand consistency means that consumers get the same impression and experience when interacting with your business regardless of the marketing or communication channel.

A successful brand is clear, compelling and consistent.

Check out our nine tips if you need to build your brand from scratch.

But it’s entirely possible for a brand to not work how it’s intended, which can impact your overall consumer engagement and sales conversion rate. The following are five signs that your branding is broken.

No brand style guide

Think of a brand style guide as the rulebook for how your business presents itself to the world.

You can use your style guide as a reference to help maintain branding consistency no matter which of your team members is involved. About 59 percent of consumers prefer to buy from brands they trust, and consistency is a huge part of that.

Your style guide would include key branding elements, a collection of visual examples and more, depending on what you want and need.

Check out our five tips to create a brand style guide for your small business.

Your branding is visually inconsistent

Your visual brand identity includes your logo, company colors, chosen typography and any imagery that exudes the look and feel of your brand across all marketing channels. That includes your website, social media accounts and anything else.

As previously mentioned, a brand style guide can make a big difference on this front.

When done right, your company becomes unique and recognizable among your competitors. Visual branding consistency helps put your target audience at ease and builds trusting relationships over time.

Ask yourself:

  • Does your website reflect who your business truly is?
  • Are your typography, photo selections, colors and logos matching across all channels?
  • How do your visuals make your audience feel? Positive or negative?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” then you know where to start.

Visuals are powerful. Check out these six ways that visuals can increase your email conversions.

Big drop in the middle of your sales funnel

Acquiring leads simply feels good for any small business. But if your increase in leads doesn’t result in an increase in revenue, there’s a disconnect.

If you’re noticing a drop within your sales funnel, it could mean that what you’re saying in your marketing is different than what you’re actually offering. Your messaging could be too aspirational. Take a look at where that conflict could be happening. Something inconsistent is happening in the messaging with your leads.

That being said, if you’re struggling to even get leads into your sales funnel, that’s a signal that your branding is broken as well. It means that your brand is not resonating at all with your target audience.

Check out the seven benefits of using a sales funnel in your digital marketing.

Obsession with your competition

Understanding your competition can benefit your business and marketing strategies. But there’s a difference between understanding your competition and obsessing over your competition.

If your branding exists mostly in relation to your competitors, who they are and what they’re doing, then you’re living in their shadow and not creating your own presence and identity.

Some signs of this include citing your competition in your marketing messages or spending a majority of your marketing planning discussing your competition.

But again, there is a time and place for analyzing your competition. Find out more about what a proper competitive analysis is and how you can start yours.

Lack of repeat business

If you’re bringing in new business but can’t build customer loyalty, this is another sign that your branding is broken.

Just a 5 percent increase in customer retention can lead to at least a 25 percent increase in profit. You want to keep your customers purchasing from you once you acquire them. But as important as it is, customer retention is a big challenge for many businesses.

There could be a brand disconnect that is holding your growth potential back.

Check out our six tips to improve your customer retention rate and grow your revenue as a result.

In conclusion

If your brand is broken, you can definitely fix it. You don’t have to ride it until the wheels fall off of it and your small business. While rebranding may cost some time and money upfront, the potential to reach more clients and generate more revenue is worth it.

Just make sure that you:

  • Define your business’s purpose, vision, mission and values.
  • Identify better, compelling brand messaging.
  • Upgrade all visual elements as needed.
  • Develop (and use) a brand style guide.

As you’re evaluating the effectiveness of your branding, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, which includes automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

6 tips to improve your customer retention rate

Strong customer retention is just smart business.

The cost of losing one customer equates to seven times the resources used to convert them. Customer retention is about maintaining your current customer base and increasing loyalty by offering better products or services and other benefits. Customer retention tactics include loyalty programs, discounts, special offers and targeted marketing campaigns.

Simply put, just a 5 percent increase in customer retention can lead to at least a 25 percent increase in profit.

You want to keep your customers purchasing from you once you acquire them. But as important as it is, customer retention is a big challenge for many businesses.

The following are six tips to improve your customer retention rate and keep your business strong.

Invest in great customer service

Clearly, bad customer service can lose you customers. But what’s needed to deliver great customer service that will increase your customer retention?

Start by understanding your customers’ needs. What platform do they prefer to contact you on? What other insights about your customers could help you?

You’ll also want to set and communicate customer service standards with your team. These standards should not just promote a positive customer service experience but also a consistent one.

Check out our six ways to be more responsive to your customers.

Share your company values to build trust

How your business operates, the quality of your products or services and how you treat your customers should all be a reflection of your company’s values.

And while your values may be completely intertwined with how your business operates, the more you can share your values with your customers, the better.

Shared values between businesses and customers help build trusting relationships. The relationships you can build with your customers directly impact your customer retention.

Check out our six ways to grow consumer trust.

Over-deliver on customer expectations

Offering decent quality at a reasonable price is not enough these days. Consumers do expect more because they have more choices than ever before. If you don’t meet their needs, they’ll purchase from someone else.

How can you personalize your customer’s experience and be proactive throughout their purchasing journey? It all starts with knowing what your customer wants. Getting feedback through surveys and reviews can help you identify areas that can be improved.

Just remember that you never want to over-promise in any way to your customers. But whenever you can, you want to surprise and delight by over-delivering. Go above and beyond.

Regularly collect customer data

Data can help you understand the needs of your customers. Surveys are an effective way to encourage customer engagement and learn more about them. You’ll also be able to identify dissatisfied customers before they decide to never purchase from you again.

Besides collecting this data, it’s important to act on it. How can you improve? What do your customers need from you? 

Check out our eight tips to create a successful customer survey for your business.

Communicate with your customers in multiple ways

Regularly sharing information about product or service updates is imperative, but the more ways you can do this the better. 

Your target audience can be reached across multiple platforms. So, consider how you can best communicate through webchats, social media, text messaging, email and so on.

Of course, personalization can make your content that much more effective.

Check out our seven tips to level up your content marketing for inspiration.

Celebrate and reward loyalty

There are many ways that you can acknowledge, celebrate and reward brand loyalty among your customers.

Brand loyalty involves more than just retaining your customers, though. It’s about providing an experience that your customers won’t find anywhere else that will keep them coming back.

Check out our six tips to create brand loyalty for your business, and take your customer retention to the next level.

In conclusion

While attracting new customers will always matter, you can’t forget about your existing customers. Customer retention not only saves you money on new-customer acquisition, it also generates larger profits for your company.

As you’re developing a strategy to boost brand loyalty for your business, 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.

5 omnichannel marketing tips to help grow your business

With shopping habits rapidly evolving, it’s more important than ever for your multiple marketing channels to work together to engage consumers and ultimately lead them to purchase from you. Enter omnichannel marketing.

Even if customers are in your physical store, about 42 percent of in-store shoppers search for information online while browsing in-store. In addition, consumers reference up to 10 sources of information before making a purchasing decision.

As part of your digital marketing strategy, your brand likely already has various marketing channels. Omnichannel marketing is all about leveraging your multiple channels to deliver a seamless customer experience. This is where omnichannel goes beyond multi-channel marketing because multi-channel treats each channel as separate and independent. Omnichannel requires you to think through how each channel can complement another and work together to create a personalized experience for the consumer whether you’re connecting with them through desktop, mobile devices or brick-and-mortar stores.

For example, a customer could be direct messaging with your customer service representative on Facebook and then purchasing from your website. Or, you text a customer an offer to compel the completion of his or her purchase after abandoning the shopping cart on your website. You want to offer a seamless brand experience regardless of platform and preferred buying method.

Omnichannel shoppers spend between 50 percent and 300 percent more than traditional shoppers. In addition, omnichannel marketing campaigns generate a purchase rate that’s about 287 percent higher than single-channel campaigns. Companies that use omnichannel marketing also maintain about a 91 percent higher customer retention rate, year over year.

Clearly, your brand should not miss the opportunities that omnichannel marketing offer. The following five omnichannel marketing tips aim to help you grow your business across platforms.

Research and understand your target audience

To create a successful strategy in omnichannel marketing, you must understand who your audience is so that you can effectively build relationships with them across channels.

Who are they? Where are they from? What are their goals and challenges? Which devices are they using? What content do they love? Which platforms and/or channels do they use most?

Social media listening, customer feedback (through surveys and otherwise) and your data analytics tools (such as Google Analytics and social media metrics) can arm you with the information you need to make smart choices about how to best engage with your audience.

Then, you’ll want to use that information to segment your audience. This can include basic demographics, such as age, gender and so on. It also could be based on geographic location. There are many ways to segment your audience. Find out more.

Not sure who your target audience is exactly? Check out our seven tips.

Audit your technology

Depending on the software you’re using for your point of sale system (POS), customer relationship management system (CRM) and so on, it might be time for an upgrade.

If you’re systems do not or cannot integrate, that can be an issue that will hinder your omnichannel marketing tactics and performance.

DailyStory (which features email and SMS text marketing, segmentation, personalization, automation and much more) integrates with your favorite applications, such as Shopify, WordPress, Salesforce, etc. You also can connect to thousands of other applications using Zapier.

So, when someone joins your subscriber list, a welcome email can automatically send. Or, if a customer abandons his or cart on your website, an automated reminder can be sent to them via text or email. The sky is the limit.

Evaluate, choose your channels

If you’re new to digital marketing (perhaps your business just launched), omnichannel marketing can feel especially overwhelming.

Start simple. Start small. Then, build and grow from there.

Identify up to three channels and develop a campaign that will run for a set period of time. Consider the potential touchpoints you’ll have with your target audience on those chosen channels (hopefully the ones where your audience spends the most time). That way, you can stop hesitating, get something into action where you can then evaluate its performance and how you can improve for the next campaign.

Omnichannel marketing also involves customer service across multiple channels, so consider how you can best meet your customers where they are, whether that’s Facebook Messenger, email, live chat, Twitter DMs, etc.

Even if you have existing channels already in play, it’s never too late to evaluate what channels are working and which might actually be hurting your brand reputation (because you can spend enough resources on them to properly maintain). More isn’t always better. Quality over quantity always.

Optimize your content

Gone should be the days of copying and pasting the same social media post across platforms. Every platform (whether it’s a social media network, your blog, videos on YouTube, you name it) should be treated uniquely. This  can be based on the features available, target audience there and platform expectations. For example, going live on video and answering customer questions on the fly about a new product or service is something you could easily do on Facebook or Instagram. But you wouldn’t do the same on TikTok, Twitter, a mass SMS text message or even your blog.

Consideration for every place you publish content should be in play as part of your content marketing strategy in general, but it’s especially important for omnichannel marketing. 

Thinking through your content with the omnichannel lens, you want to offer:

  • Engaging and personalized content that supports customers through each stage of their purchasing journey with you.
  • Researched and information-filled solutions to help customers compare products or service and make decisions.
  • A range of content that supports the needs of your targeted customer.
  • Content that’s optimized for the channel and device that it’s beeing consumed on.

While you’re brainstorming, check out our seven tips to level up your overall content marketing.

Measure, measure, measure

Data is everything in omnichannel marketing. The only way you can improve and evolve your efforts is to track the performance of all omnichannel campaigns across platforms.

This isn’t just about reading an analytics reports. Consciously test tactics, request customer feedback and act on the information you’re learning as you move forward.

Typical key metrics to monitor can include email open rate, social media engagement, sales conversion rate and customer retention. But it really depends on the nature of your omnichannel marketing campaigns themselves.

Don’t forget to set goals at the beginning of each campaign. That way, you can have a better sense of whether your efforts are effectively growing your business.

In conclusion

If you’re not leveraging omnichannel marketing in some way as consumers and technology (and buying habits) continue to evolve, you’re missing out.

Think through how you can meet your target audience where they are and how those different channels can complement each other.

As you’re exploring the potential of omnichannel marketing, consider leveling up your overall digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

6 tips for marketing to Millennial consumers

Often the punchline to a joke, Millennial consumers should not be overlooked.

Born between 1981 and 1996, creative and tech-savvy Millennials are transforming our marketplace. Millennials care about saving, peer recommendations, reading and researching before they buy and environmentally rewarding experiences.

In fact, Millennials were the largest generational group in the U.S. in 2021, with an estimated population of about 72 million. And their spending power has been estimated at about $2.5 trillion as of 2020.

Is your business thoughtfully targeting and engaging with Millennial consumers?

The following are 6 tips to better market to Millenial consumers and grow your business accordingly.

Leverage social media

Millenials, like their Gen Z counterparts, are obsessed with social media, so starting with a strong strategy for your social media channels is a good place to start.

To engage with Millennials, consider:

  • Using Facebook Live and other streams to host authentic interactions between your brand and your audience.
  • Connecting and working with influencers, who can help increase your brand awareness.
  • Running a contest that encourages users to share photos of themselves using your product or service (also known as user-generated content).

Share elements of social proof

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.

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

Millennials are highly impacted by social proof. About 91 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds trust online social proof reviews as much as recommendations from someone close to them, while 63 percent of consumers indicated they are more likely to purchase from a website with product ratings and reviews. (The 18- to 34-year-old range overlaps with the Millennial age group.)

Online reviews and testimonials are key ways to showcase social proof to Millennial consumers.

Learn more about social proof and nine ways that you can use it in your digital marketing.

Create opportunities for personal connections

While Millennials embrace social media, text messaging and instant messaging apps, they also crave personal connections. And this extends to their relationships with brands.

You want to build trust with your Millennial consumers. This can include:

  • Replying to comments on social media posts.
  • Answering direct messages (quickly) to your social media accounts.
  • Hosting live videos to interact in real-time with your audience.

About 44 percent of global consumers will spend at least $500 or more each year with the brands they trust most, with nearly 29 percent saying they will spend more than $1,000 per year.

The more consumer trust you grow with Millennials, the better off your business will be.

Check out six ways to build consumer trust.

Be real

Authenticity is everything online, especially for Millennial consumers. Ditch imagery that looks so polished it feels fake. The authenticity of your images in a Photoshop world is huge.

You also should look for ways to tell real-life stories related to your brand and your products or services. Share stories about how your brand began, why your company’s mission is what it is, who your employees are and so on. 

Is there an opportunity to inspire? For example, perhaps there’s charity work that you can share or something else that generates positive feelings about your brand.

Keeping it real and being honest with your audience through your content and interactions will resonate with Millennials. It helps them relate to you.

Create and share mobile-friendly content

Everything must be mobile-friendly these days but especially when hoping to connect with Millenial consumers. This on-the-go generation wants and needs to find information quickly on their smartphones.

About 98 percent of Millennials own and use a smartphone daily. You’re missing out if your website isn’t optimized for mobile use.

Remember that:

  • The faster your website-loading speed, the better.
  • Video can help tell your brand story and more, with product how-to guides, expert interviews and behind-the-scenes viewpoints.
  • Your formatting (bullet points, short sentences, headings and more) should make your content easily skimmable for mobile users.

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

Avoid overly selling to Millennial consumers

Aggressive selling can be your enemy in digital marketing, especially with Millennial consumers. Instead, focus on creating and sharing high-quality and relatable content that helps them solve their problems (which, in turn, encourages them to purchase from you).

Think through what problems Millennial consumers face, how your solution (through products or services) is unique, how your brand can improve their lives and what the buyer should do next.

In conclusion

While digital savvy, Millennials aren’t so different from other consumers. They want to feel valued and be treated like more than a number. Remember to prioritize personal, authentic connections with Millennial consumers. It’s all about building a trusting relationship and showing how your brand’s products or services can improve their lives.

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.

Email checklist: 8 things to check before sending

Even the smallest mistakes in your marketing emails can ruin an entire campaign.

There’s nothing worse than the feeling of hitting “send” and then realizing that you sent the wrong link to your entire contact list.

It happens more often than you might think.

About 33 percent of marketers send weekly emails, and 26 percent send emails multiple times per month. That’s a lot of chances for mistakes. And those mistakes can embarrass your brand, affect the email recipient’s perception of your company and prevent your email from achieving its goal.

An email checklist can help. Email marketing mistakes are easy to avoid when you know what to look for.

The following are eight things to check before sending your marketing email. This checklist can help ensure no mistakes get past you.

Send a test email to yourself

In general, you always want to send a test email to yourself and open it on multiple devices. This way, you can go over all the email content as it appears in an email client interface before your email subscribers do.

This gives you the best opportunity to see how everything looks and test all aspects of your email.

Confirm that you’re sending to the right contact list

It’s important to confirm that your email is going to the correct inboxes. Of course, your email has to start with a clear goal in mind. That goal will direct the right messaging for the right people. 

If you’re sending to the same message to all your contacts, it’s time to segment your contact list and personalize your messaging. DailyStory can help.

Remember that your customers and leads are all at different stages of your sales funnel. You wouldn’t send the same type of message to a past customer that you would a new lead, for example. 

Check for broken and forgotten links

One of the biggest mistakes that can be made is to send out a marketing email with a broken or forgotten link. A broken link is when the link either doesn’t work or is incorrect in another way. A forgotten link is when the link is missing entirely.

Forgotten links are common on clickable images, social media buttons and call-to-action buttons.

Manually check every single link before you send your email to your target audience.

Confirm your personalized greeting

Personalization is powerful in email marketing. The ability to address a mass marketing email with a recipient’s first name can improve your open rate and potentially your conversion rate.

However, if a customer gets an email that says, “Hi {first name],” and not his or her actual first name, it looks unprofessional. And they likely won’t continue reading.

Double check all dynamic tags in your email to confirm that your personalization works. This is a must for your email checklist.

Check your grammar and spelling

This is typically the testing commonly thought about, confirming that your email has good grammar and spelling. This is because no matter what your content, if it has grammar or spelling errors, then your business will appear unprofessional and lose respect.

It’s all about proofreading. Sending a test version of your email to others on your team can help get additional eyes on your copy.

Tools also can help. A free spell checker can catch any spelling errors, but keep an eye out for homophones, words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings. For example: flower and flour, or deer and dear. These can potentially slip through spell checkers. Grammar checkers, such as Grammarly, can help identify poor grammar in your copy as well.

Deliver clear value (and CTA)

It’s important to confirm that every email you send has a point and offers clear value to the recipient. Otherwise, you risk your subscribers opting out from receiving your emails entirely.

This goes beyond the spelling and grammar checks. What are you offering? It could be a tip, a discount code, a link to a helpful article or guide or something else (as long as you don’t sound spammy).

The value should be aligned with your email marketing goal and larger goals for your business. 

Of course, this value is capped off with a strong call-to-action. What do you want your recipients to do? Keep it simple, direct and compelling.

Optimize your subject lines and preview text

No matter how good your email content is, it doesn’t matter if your recipients never open your email to begin with. Your email checklist should include subject lines and preview text.

Your open rate largely comes down to your subject line. How are you catching your recipient’s attention and compelling him or her to open your email? 

Subject lines need to be strong and sound conversational. You don’t want to sound overly sales-focused or robotic. It’s about creating excitement.

Also, keep the length of your subject line as breif as possible. Recipients should be inspired to find out more.

Check out our 12 tips to write subject lines that won’t be ignored.

In addition to subject lines, the preview text can assist in compelling recipients to open your email. Preview text is a short snippet from your email text that displays in the inbox next to your email’s subject line. 

Of course, you don’t have to let it default to the first 140 characters or so from your email copy. The preview text copy can be customized to display a message that supports your subject line in achieving a higher open rate.

Check your images and design

Blurry images or bad formatting can ruin your email. So, it’s not all about checking your written content. You also want to confirm that all visual aspects of your email work and work together.

Keep an eye out for pixelated or squashd images, and make sure that all images have associated alt text and display how you want them to. (Alt text will help if your images don’t render properly.)

In addition, you’ll want to consider:

  • Formatting, such as bulleted list appearance and whether there’s too much or not enough white space
  • Colors since background colors might not render for all recipients (so white text on a dark background might be illegible for some recipients)

Check out six ways visuals can increase your email conversions.

In conclusion

Every email matters. It’s important to confirm every aspect of your marketing email before sending to ensure success. The cost of mistakes is too great. Set up your own email checklist so that you can stay on top of your email marketing and ensure that everything you send is as professional and effective as possible.

Check out our 16 email marketing best practices than can make a positive impact for your business.

As you’re setting up your email checklist, consider optimizing your overall digital marketing process, which includes automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email and text message marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

11 steps to create an effective business website

Regardless of the type of small business you have, an effective and engaging website is critical to your brand’s success.

With almost 2 billion websites on the internet and U.S. users visiting more than 130 web pages per day, you have stiff competition to not only attract users to your website but convert them into customers as well.

Whether you’re building a new website from scratch or want to improve your existing site, the following are 11 steps to consider.

Lock in a good domain name

“Good” is subjective, but your domain name (otherwise referred to as your website address) can greatly impact the success of your site. It’s often the entry point to your site, so you want to have a domain that’s easy to use and remember, as well as benefits your search engine optimization (SEO).

In general, this means that you want it to:

  • Be easy to spell
  • Use the proper domain extension, such as .com rather than .net unless it’s more appropriate to use .gove, .edu or .org
  • Be as short as possible
  • Avoid numbers and hyphens
  • Be unique (so that you’re not too similar to another website’s domain or breaching any registered trademarks) and memorable

Dive deeper with our Domain Name 101 guide for beginners.

Purchase proper website hosting

Simply put, a website hosting provider (or website host) offers the technology and services necessary for a site to be viewed on the internet. Ultimately, your domain name gets connected to your hosting provider so that when users visit your website address, they see (and can interact with) your website, which is stored on your hosting account.

Website hosting services vary in cost from about $2 to more than $100 per month, depending on what you’re looking for.

Essentially, there are three server types to consider:

  • Shared server, which can cost the least but can be problematic because you’re sharing a server and its resources with other customers. This can impact the performance of your site. Plus, if another website that’s sharing your server gets hacked, you risk getting hacked as well.
  • Dedicated server, which can be the most expensive but offers the best possible website performance. It’s when the physical server machine is entirely dedicated to your site, so all the resources are yours, which offers more security as well.
  • Virtual private server (VPS), which is somewhat of a compromise between shared and dedicated servers. A VPS is one machine that is partitioned to act as multiple machines, which makes it more affordable (like shared hosting) but with better security and performance potential (like dedicated hosting).

In addition, you’ll likely want phone and/or chat support available from your website hosting provider in case you experience an issue, as well as an easy-to-use server interface. This allows you to more easily view and make changes to your server contents without having to hire a professional server administrator.

Some popular website hosting providers include (but are not limited to):

Clearly describe your business in a prominent place

No matter how dynamic your vision is for your website, don’t forget the basics. Who are you? What is your business about? How do you help customers?

A business description must be prominently displayed on your website so that it’s the first thing visitors see. All imagery should be visual representations of your brand and services or products. While the text needs to be as concise as possible, visuals can really help convey exactly what your business is about.

In addition, ensure that “About Us” web page links are displayed in both your main and footer navigation menus. This makes more in-depth information about your business easily accessible for visitors who want to learn more.

Select your content management system

To put it simply, your content management system (CMS) is a software program or application that you use to create and manage your digital content within your website. A popular CMS that you’ve likely heard of is WordPress. But others include Wix, Squarespace and more.

A good CMS will help you maintain your website without requiring you to have a lot of technical knowledge. Of course, different systems are used for different reasons, such as available features and your budget.

Thoroughly review available CMS platforms that you find interesting. Will you get all the features you need for a price you can afford?

Pick an e-commerce platform (if you’re selling online)

Not all small businesses sell products or services online, but if you do, you need the right technology to do so. An e-commerce platform allows users to financially transact with you online.

Some popular options include (but are not limited to):

Design your website for engagement, efficiency

Designing your website can feel overwhelming at first, but it’s helpful to do your research first. Identify sites that you like. What aspects of their design can you incorporate into your own website? How do your competitors’ sites look?

Once you have a sense of the design features and functionality you want, keep the following best practices in mind:

  • Use compelling visuals and easy-to-read, large-enough fonts
  • Avoid any clutter
  • Compress your graphics for faster website loading
  • Keep your target audience (and what they’ll use your website for) in mind throughout the designing process
  • Maintain your branding throughout the website
  • Keep your menu navigation system simple and intuitive
  • Make it easy for visitors to understand what your business is, how to contact you and where to find you

Optimize for SEO

Once you have designed your website, you’ll want to consider your website’s SEO, which is a set of practices that ensures search engines both index and rank your website appropriately so that it appears when users search for terms (i.e. keywords) related to your business.

The better your website design and content is, the higher your website will appear in search engine result pages.

SEO is an ongoing process. It’s never a one-and-done or set-it-and-forget-it approach, not if you want to be successful. 

Check out our 12 SEO marketing tips for beginners, as well as seven tips to improve your website’s domain authority.

Install key webmaster tools

Being able to monitor the performance of your website is critical to your success. You can analyze traffic data by installing Google Analytics. We also recommend Google Search Console.

These tools can help you understand:

  • How many users visit your website in any given period of time
  • The bounce rate of your website, which is the percentage of users who arrive at your website but leave after viewing only one page
  • How many views the pages of your website receive
  • How long users spend on your website
  • If there are any broken links on your website
  • How long it takes your web pages to load
  • Any keywords that are leading search engine users to your website

See our nine tips to get the most out of Google Analytics. Plus, find out how to check your Google Search rank for free.

Optimize for mobile responsiveness

More than one-third of all American consumers shop online via a mobile device. In addition, Americans spend about 3 hours and 15 minutes per day on their smartphones. These numbers will only continue to grow. 

You must optimize your website to deliver a great user experience on mobile devices. If your web pages take too long to load or if the mobile version of your site is clunky, cluttered or confusing, you will immediately lose your  visitors.

Check out our 16 tips to make your website as mobile-friendly as possible.

Create (and publish) quality content consistently

Content is king, as they say. And the days of a static website with little to no content publishing being enough are long over.

Consistently publishing content that resonates with your target audience matters to search engines. This can be done through a blog section of your website, for example.

Content can include customer testimonials, how-to articles and more.

Check out our seven tips to level up your content marketing on your website and beyond, as well as our 19 tips to drive traffic to your new blog.

Create a maintenance plan for your website

Once you create your small business website, your work isn’t over yet. Not only do you want to regularly publish new content, but you also want to ensure that everything is in working order and that all technology being used is up to date.

Proper website maintenance is important. This can include checking your webmaster tools data consistently, confirming that your software is always up to date, running security scans to confirm there is no malware or hacking and backing up your website regularly.

In conclusion

Your small business website should be a dynamic representation of your business that engages visitors and easily enables them to find key information about your business or even purchase from you.

Remember that throughout any website creation or updating process, you’ll want to collect feedback from colleagues and customers so that you can tweak anything necessary to improve the user experience. When in doubt, put yourself in your customers’ shoes and look at your website with a fresh set of eyes. What can be improved? What can be made more clear?

As you’re creating or optimizing your website, 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.

11 ways to better engage with Gen Z consumers

If your business is targeting Gen Z consumers, you likely already know that what might work for most consumers won’t necessarily work for this audience group.

Roughly speaking, Gen Z includes individuals who were born between 1997 and 2012 and make up about 20 percent of the U.S. population.

Gen Z consumers are true digital natives with their own distinct perspectives and behaviors. They especially take time to evaluate all of their options before committing to a purchase. Because of all of that, you have to consider them specifically within your digital marketing strategy. And it’s worth doing because they are a fast-growing consumer segment that you don’t want to miss engaging with.

The following are 11 ways to better engage with Gen Z consumers.

Focus on conversations

Gen Z is very focused on having authentic conversations rather than growing their friend count. Seeking personal connections through social media, they largely lean toward such platforms as TikTok, Twitter and Instagram.

Whether your brand is on any or all of these social media platforms or not, it’s important to not only fully understand how each one works (which can be very different) but how Gen Z users are using them. Think about how you can have authentic conversations as a brand on these platforms. Each platform could require its own strategy.

Check out our take on which is better to reach teens: Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok.

Focus more on helping than selling

Similar to the idea of having conversations with instead of just broadcasting and talking at your Gen Z audience, prioritize the goal of helping consumers with your content. It can’t all be about selling. Gen Z consumers will simply tune that out.

How can your brand itself (as well as your products or services) help these Gen Z consumers in their everyday lives? What challenges are they facing? What interests do they have? Leaning on whatever data you have on your current Gen Z customers can help you with this.

Content-wise, think about creating guides, tutorials and tip-based blogs and social media posts that directly relate to helping rather than selling.

Check out our seven tips to level up your content marketing

Prioritize mobile marketing to reach Gen Z consumers

Gen Z consumers account for about 40 percent of all mobile users. In fact, many even rely on mobile wallets and social payments, so they expect to have a seamless mobile experience when making purchases.

You’ll want to take a look at whether your website loading speed is fast enough, whether your mobile website view is responsive and easy to navigate and whether you offer secure payment options. As far as your strategy is concerned, consider including push notifications if you have a mobile app that your customers use.

Check out our 14 expert tips to improve your mobile marketing.

Regularly freshen up your website

Because Gen Z consumers are native digital users, they can tell when/if your website looks dated. If it does, they might not end up purchasing from you and opt for one of your competitors.

You don’t have to overhaul your website every quarter or anything drastic like that. But even the smallest aethestic tweaks or improvements for user experience can go a long way. Always seek feedback from your customers on the look and utility of your website so that you can incorporate those improvements as well.

Adjust your wording and voice as needed

We are definitely not suggesting that you start using slang that makes you look like the wannabe-cool parent type.

Instead, first consider your brand personality and voice. Is the way your brand speaks through social media and other online platforms relatable to Gen Z consumers?

Beyond that, remember that you’ll likely need to incorporate language regarding mobile payments since this is a top method of purchasing for Gen Z. Example phrases include “on-demand orders” and “tap to pay.” (Of course, you want to make sure that your systems are set up to support these methods as well. Don’t just talk about them.)

Be as visual as possible

Gen Z consumers are all about visuals, especially videos. Just consider the nature of TikTok and Instagram Reels. Even YouTube. In fact, about 81 percent of Gen Z consumers consider Instagram or YouTube as their preferred social networks of choice.

The bonus of more visuals is that they help convey your branding and message that much more powerfully. Experiment with the short-form vertical video that fits into Instagram and TikTok.

Beyond reaching Gen Z consumers, check out our five reasons why your business should be creating more videos. Also, these 10 types of videos that you can use in your marketing strategy can help inspire you to get started if you haven’t already.

Experiment with interactive content

To capture the attention of Gen Z consumers, you need a mix of creativity and interactivity. Enter interactive content.

Younger consumers want to tap, swipe, click, etc. when they see your posts. Give them something to do. Using polls, for example, not only gets attention from Gen Z but also helps you learn about your audience.

Other features that can help make your content interactive include stickers and sliders. But the key is to experiment as much as possible. See what works for you and your targeted Gen Z consumers.

Tags can help engagement

Tagging is important to Gen Z consumers. This includes:

  • Enabling customers to tag themselves at your physical location.
  • Asking customers to tag their friends and family to invite new potential followers to your social feed.
  • Encouraging followers to share user-generated content with a branded hashtag.

Gen Z consumers want to get involved with the brands they support. Tagging (and hashtagging) helps with this.

Check out our six tips you should know to master Instagram hashtags.

Leverage FOMO with time-sensitive posts

Tapping into your audience’s fear of missing out (otherwise known as FOMO) can be particularly compelling for Gen Z consumers.

It’s about leveraging the fear we all have of losing out on amazing opportunities, experiences and so on, no matter what they might be.

FOMO taps into our human nature. As a species, we are typically risk-averse, especially when it comes to our purchases. We don’t want to spend money on a product or service that doesn’t measure up to our standards and expectations.

However, on the flip side, it’s this same risk-avoidance tendency that leads to the possibility of regret in the future for not having taken an opportunity.

One way to do this is to make your content (or even promotional offers) time-sensitive. Instagram Stories is a great platform feature to use for this purpose.

Check out these nine FOMO techniques that you can use in your digital marketing.

Sharing positivity

This might sound simple, but it’s important to note: Gen Z consumers appreciate positive experiences and supporting social causes. The more your brand not only embraces that but shares it as well, the better.

What brand collaboration or charitable cause can your brand get involved with? Consider your company mission. You don’t want to do anything or chose something that doesn’t make sense for your brand.

Feel-good moments that you can share go a long way with Gen Z consumers, who can feel more connected to your brand as a result.

Show off your humor

Gen Z consumers also want to support brands that they see as fun and cool. It’s about finding humor in the era of internet memes and GIFs.

Of course, leveraging humor into your digital marketing strategy is easier said then done, and it might not be right for your brand personality and voice anyway.

But if it is, humor can be an incredible part of your campaign because:

  • It helps your audience lower their defenses against ads
  • Helps you connect with your audience
  • Encourages social sharing of your content

It’s important to think through when humor is appropriate in your marketing. Check out our tips for when humor can be the right tactic to use.

In conclusion

Don’t overthink your efforts to engage with Gen Z consumers. When you sit down to plan out your approach, remember that you want to find the connection between what Gen Z is looking for and what your brand has to offer.

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

12 digital marketing strategy tips during a recession

No business wants a recession to happen, but they are inevitable. 

Any shrinking of the economy can spur necessary changes not just in business plans but in your digital marketing strategy as well.

Since 1945, the U.S. has gone through 11 recessions officially.

While many businesses tend to cut as many expenses as possible to improve their short-term financial standing, your marketing strategy is critical to the overall success fo your business. Therefore, resist the temptation to slash your marketing budget in extreme ways. Instead, think about how you can maximize that marketing budget during an economic recession that not only saves you money but adapts to changing consumer behaviors.

Remember, if you cut too much, you stunt your potential business growth. Specifically, cutting marketing expenses in the short-term can hurt your business in the long-term. For example, you could see decreased market share and share of voice, decreased brand awareness and missed opportunities.

So, let’s focus on working smarter. The following are 12 digital marketing strategy tips that you should consider during a recession or economic downturn.

Audit campaign (and channel) performance

While the best practice is to regularly monitor the performance of your digital marketing campaigns and channels, you should take a closer look when entering a recession.

Are all channels hitting your desired KPIs (key performance indicators)? You want to get a sense of what’s working (and should be done more) and what’s not working (and should either be optimized or eliminated altogether).

If you are working with a reduced marketing budget, you should ensure that you’re investing your limited resources wisely. There’s no room for error, and you want to identify the channels and initiatives that deliver the biggest ROI (return on investment). Definitely cut any “excess fat” from your marketing expenses, and relocate portions of your budget to the channels and/or campaigns that are working.

Your digital marketing audit can include analysis via Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google Search Console, Facebook Insights, Instagram Insights, Twitter Analytics and anywhere else your brand has a presence and/or is spending money.

Check out these 26 social media metrics you should track across platforms.

Conduct a competitive analysis

During a recession, it’s more important than ever to know what your competition is doing (for better or worse).

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.

Have your competitors cut back on their marketing and advertising? How are they communicating with their customers? Of course, this can serve as inspiration for your own marketing efforts. But you’ll also get a sense of whether you can optimize an advantage if your competition has scaled back in any way.

Check out these 16 tools to make your competitive analysis easier.

Adjust your marketing goals

Your goals matter. And what you’re aiming to achieve with your marketing during a recession could be very different from what you want to accomplish in a strong economy.

Make sure to take the time to evaluate what matters most to your business and how your digital marketing can support this.

To help you better assess the appropriate marketing goals for your business during a recession, consider using analytics to understand the scope of your digital marketing efforts.

Check out our seven expert tips to set achievable marketing goals for your small business.

Optimize your recession marketing plan

Even when the economy is not experiencing a recession, you want every dollar of your marketing budget spent well, working smarter not harder.

Beyond cutting initiatives that aren’t performing, you can optimize your recession marketing strategy by focusing on targeted marketing, where you’re sending a specific message to a specific target audience group (i.e. segmentation and personalization as mentioned before).

Targeted marketing isn’t isolated to one specific marketing channel. If you’re using a platform like DailyStory, you can easily target personalized emails and text messages to very specific groups of consumers within your contact list based on the data you have on them. Targeted marketing can be executed via social media advertising as well.

In addition to targeted marketing, make sure you’re monitoring patterns around days of the week, times of day and even geographic locations (if relevant) that deliver the best engagement and conversions for your brand across channels. Remember, though, that every channel can be different.

Find out how often your brand should be posting on social media.

Adjust your messaging to reflect consumer spending changes

Successful digital marketing considers your target audience first. If the consumer behavior of your audience changes, so should your messaging.

Consider how consumer spending typically changes in your industry and how that will impact your business. For example, if your target audience is particularly price sensitive and will likely move to low-cost options within your industry, then you should highlight those not just in your campaigns but also generally on your website. On the flip side, you could promote the added value that your brand’s products or services offer if that could resonate with your audience more. Or, you could highlight flexible payment or financing options. It just depends on your business, your industry and your target audience.

Check out our three ways to tweak your marketing message during a recession.

Market to your existing, past customers

Rather than invest a lot of your marketing budget always trying to find, engage and convert new customers, consider your existing and past customers. In fact, targeting that group is one of the most cost-effective ways to grow your business during an economic recession.

This marketing could aim to drive new sales from existing and past customers or upsells.

These customers already know and trust your brand. Therefore, they’re more likely to buy from you again.

And in addition, you should already have some data on these customers that you can use to segment them and deliver more personalized messages.

Check out our six tips to grow brand loyalty for your business.

Invest in your educational content

During a recession, consumers tend to take longer researching products and services before spending to ensure their getting the best value. 

You should optimize for that shift in behavior with educational content that can help customers determine how to find the best solutions for their needs. This means focusing on your content marketing.

Examples of educational content you can offer include (but are not limited to):

  • Educational blog posts can help consumers define their problems and understand what solution they need, as well as help you rank higher in search engine results. Consider common questions your business gets asked already as topics.
  • Case studies can show potential customers how your products or services have helped others in a very specific way.
  • Comparison charts can greatly help consumers understand the value of your products or services as compared with your competition. 

Content marketing is an excellent part of any recession marketing strategy because of the relationships it can help build between your brand and potential customers.

Embrace local SEO

If your customer base is located in a specific geographic area, another cost-effective recession marketing strategy to consider is local search engine optimization (SEO).

Local 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.

Improving your local SEO can lead to increased leads and foot traffic at your physical business location. That means that you’re connecting with local customers who are actively searching for your products or services.

Some of the actions you should take to boost your local SEO include:

  • Setting up and/or optimizing your Google Business Profile with your up-to-date brand information that includes name, address and phone number.
  • Uploading photos and videos to your Google Business Profile listing. Visuals are a powerful communication tool for consumers.
  • Requesting reviews from your customers on Google, Yelp, Facebook and any other service-ranking platform that makes sense for your business.

Dive deeper with our 11 local SEO tips to help you beat your competition.

Use more videos in your recession marketing

Videos are powerful. About 85 percent of all internet users in the U.S. watched online video content monthly on any of their devices, while 54 percent of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support.

See more reasons why businesses should create more videos.

Even more important than that, videos can better communicate the value of your products or services than any amount of copy (if done well). Remember that in a recession, value is everything.

Some ideas include:

  • Video demonstrations to show potential customers how to use your products.
  • Videos about your employees as well as showing them at work for your customers, conveying the quality of service and care you offer.
  • Videos answering commonly asked questions.

Check out these 10 types of videos that you can use in your marketing strategy.

Professional videos can be powerful, but don’t underestimate the DIY power you hold with a smartphone, decent lighting and an easy-to-use video-editing app.

Leverage remarketing for more conversions

Remarketing simply refers to the practice of targeting individuals who’ve already visited your website with ads on Facebook, Google or elsewhere.

Think of the last time you viewed a product for sale on a website but didn’t buy it. Then, you kept seeing it everywhere as you browse elsewhere online. That’s remarketing, also referred to as retargeting.

It’s clear why it can be such a powerful tactic. These leads have already shown some level of interest in your business offerings, and now, you’re reinforcing your messaging to convince them to come back and complete the purchase, whether it’s a product or service. Because you’re already targeting warm leads, your overall advertising spend should be that much more effective, with a great ROI.

To get the most out of remarketing, consider using in your ads:

  • Images and copy that speak to the needs of your target audience.
  • Special discounts and offers.
  • Educational content that can help consumers research their options.

Granted, remarketing is valuable even in a good economy, but it can be especially helpful during a recession.

Consider tiered pricing

Creating tiered pricing (if you don’t already have it) during a recession can help bring in new clients and also help existing customers save money (so that you don’t lose them entirely).

Many businesses offer at least three different pricing tiers with additional perks with the higher-priced tiers. That way, customers have options when they may not need all features and are trying to save money. Depending on the product or service you’re offering, a free version could be made available with very limited scope and features. If a customer likes the free version, they are easier to upsell to at the right time.

Don’t make too many changes

While you’ll want to change your marketing strategy to accommodate shifting consumer behaviors and a possibly smaller marketing budget, try to avoid making too many drastic changes at once.

Big changes, like rebranding, could be confusing to consumers and make it appear as if your company isn’t doing well. Remember, you’re always trying to build a trusting relationship with your customers. Consistency is key.

In conclusion

A recession can feel scary and intimidating for any business owner, but remember that you want to optimize your digital marketing during this time, not slash it entirely.

Embrace what’s working and cut what doesn’t. You can be more efficient and also successful with the right choices.

As you prepare to stay successful in your marketing efforts during a recession, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, which includes automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

5 ways to handle social media negativity

Social media negativity is a fact of life for both individuals and brands. 

As a brand, however, you want to make sure that you handle any negative comments appropriately. Any misstep can become a problem for your business.

About 94 percent of consumers admit that they will avoid a business that has a negative review. And negative reviews don’t just happen on platforms like Yelp. They occur across social media as well, whether it’s a formal Facebook recommendation, an informal Instagram post tagging the business and sharing the customer experience or simply a negative comment on one of your brand posts on any social media channel.

The following are five ways to handle social media negativity related to your brand, regardless of whether it’s a negative review, negative comment or something else.

Always respond to negative comments or posts

First things first, you should always respond to any social media negativity directed toward your brand. If you avoid them, they can snowball into the perception that your brand doesn’t care.

Address the negativity quickly, be apologetic, polite and offer to move into a private communication channel in order to address the issue in more detail. (That way, your audience knows you’re handling the issue, but the related details remain private between you and the customer.)

Of course, your team shouldn’t have to guess when and how to respond to social media negativity. You can start by crafting templated responses that address common frequently asked questions so that everyone is on the same page. Identify which questions come up from your customers the most (as well as any positive and negative feedback you expect to get or have seen in the past). You can then plan out a few responses to any given negative situation so that you have different templated options available.

Just make sure that you update these templated responses from time to time. And, in addition, always personalize a templated response for the user you’re responding to. It can be as simple as using his or her first name and summarizing his or her complaint to show that you are listening before you apologize and offer a way to help.

Use facts (not emotions) when responding

As a brand, you must remove all emotion out of your response to social media negativity, which can easily be upsetting or angering. Stick with your templated responses (personalized as needed), and leverage facts to address any potentially misleading information. 

Remember, while you’re responding to a particular user, you’re also addressing your entire audience who can see your response. Keep the facts simple and straightforward to clear up any confusion that could have been caused by the user’s social media negativity.

Never delete negative comments

If you delete negative comments, you risk angering people even more and looking like you have something to hide.

Neither is good for your brand.

Respond instead of delete. Of course, if there’s a specific internet troll who is harassing your brand (and there’s no private or public remedy to be had), there are tools across platforms where you can report the post or comment, report abusive users and even ban them from engaging with your account.

Always report harassment

Speaking of wayward, abusive trolls, there is a fine line between criticism and harassment.

While Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have community guidelines regarding user behavior that you should be familiar with, you should also post your own “rules of conduct” related to your social media presence and your online community. Keep your guidelines direct and clear. 

If there is a user that is being abusive and making the rest of your audience uncomfortable, you should consider the next steps of reporting and banning, as available on the social media channel it’s happening on.

Depending on the harassment, you may need to involve your legal team on a case-by-case basis.

Learn from your mistakes

No one is perfect, including your brand. If social media negativity has brought an issue to light, consider it an opportunity to fix it. In that sense, negative comments and posts can be a true source of information regarding a problem with your product, your customer service or something else that could be happening on a larger scale.

If this is the case, then you’ll want to include in your response that a mistake was made that you want to fix and whatever steps you’re taking to resolve the issue.

Over time, this sort of responsiveness and follow-through will benefit your business moving forward.

In conclusion

Social media negativity can feel daunting, but as a brand, it’s inevitable that you’ll have to address it. View it as an opportunity to engage with upset users or customers and turn them into brand supporters due to your proper handling of their issue.

Check out our 11 tips to best respond to negative reviews specifically. 

As you make a plan to better address social media negativity, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, which includes automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

4 tips to help get you verified on Facebook

Considering Facebook is the biggest social media network, it makes sense if you want Facebook verification on your page.

Facebook has 2.91 billion monthly active users as of 2022. This is actually a 6.2 percent increase from its 2.74 billion users in 2021, which was already a year-over-year growth of 12 percent from 2019.

With the potential to reach so many users, Facebook verification can help your page build credibility and a trusting relationship with your target audience. Facebook verification is the process of getting a profile or page verified to show other users that it represents your authentic presence on the platform. A blue checkmark appears next to the name of a verified account.

In addition to building trust, Facebook verification helps public figures, brands and companies who are susceptible to being impersonated with fake pages establish that they actually are who they say they are. A common example is the real Facebook page for a celebrity versus pages run by fans or imposters.

Facebook also prioritizes verified profiles and Pages in its search results, which can improve your brand’s reach.

While anyone can technically get verified on Facebook, there are strict verification requirements you must meet in order to get approved. However, these are only the bare minimum and are no guarantee that you’ll get verified.

To officially apply for Facebook verification, you would: 

  1. Open the Facebook verification request form.
  2. Choose your verification type, whether you’re looking to verify your personal profile (if you’re a public figure) or your Facebook page.
  3. Confirm your authenticity with credible documentation, such as a driver’s license, passport, etc.
  4. Confirm your notability by selecting a category for your business page or profile so that Facebook can ensure that your profile or page is something people are interested in or searching for.
  5. Add the country where you or your business is most well-known.
  6. Add your audience and “also known as,” which is an optional step, but keep in mind that the more information you give, the easier it is for Facebook to confirm your verification. For your audience, you can enter basic information about your audience demographics. If you have no other “aka” names for your business, though, you can leave that blank.
  7. Add up to five articles that show your Facebook page or profile is in the public interest. This is optional as well, but by including popular social media accounts, articles that talk about your business, Wikipedia profiles or anything else, you’re proving that people are interested in, following or talking about your brand.
  8. And submit!

But again, Facebook verification is not guaranteed. (Fortunately, you can reapply after 30 days if you get denied.) The following are four tips to help you get verified the first time on Facebook (and stay verified).

Be professional

When it comes to being professional on Facebook as a brand, there are a few things to consider, including:

  • The overall impression of your Facebook page or profile matches the image your brand presents elsewhere.
  • You’re only sharing on-brand, related content to your page or profile. No off-brand logos, personal posts (depending on the context), low-quality images, incorrect grammar and spelling, anything that doesn’t reflect your brand voice, etc.

Put yourself in a customer’s shoes when looking at your page or profile. What do you see? Better yet, ask a colleague for an unbiased opinion with a fresh set of eyes.

Maintain up-to-date business information

Before even applying for Facebook verification, you want to make sure that your entire Facebook business profile is complete. This includes working links to your website (and working links from your website back to your Facebook page).

But on top of that, you want to keep that information as up-to-date as possible. Perhaps you created a new website, moved store locations, changed business hours, added new products or services or something else. Regardless of what might change with your business and offerings, you’ll want to reflect that on your Facebook presence. 

Post engaging content regularly

Content (and engaging content in particular) is everything on social media. Without it, your Facebook page is a shell business listing that likely will not receive Facebook verification.

Of course, when it comes to content creation and publication, you want to keep your audience in mind, as well as their needs, challenges and interests. 

Check out our 10 tips for creating engaging content.

When it comes to frequency, consistency is critical. You don’t want to publish several posts in one day and then not post again for weeks. 

A content calendar can help keep you organized, but also check out how often you should be posting on social media, especially Facebook.

But beyond providing engaging content, you’ll want to engage with your followers as well. Reply to comments and direct messages, comment on relevant posts from other users, offer Facebook Lives that are specifically an opportunity for you to answer questions from customers and potential customers, etc. An engaged audience shows Facebook that you’re a notable brand that people follow. This contributes in your favor for Facebook verification.

Follow Facebook’s community standards

Do you know what Facebook’s community standards are? In short, they’re a robust list of guidelines that you should get familiar with (if you’re not already) that outline the acceptable use of the Facebook platform.

If you’re violating these standards, you obviously risk not getting verified. If you do get verified and then violate the community standards, Facebook can revoke your verification.

Reviewing the guidelines, turning on two-factor authentication and staying true to your Facebook marketing strategy will help you get (and stay) verified.

In conclusion

If you don’t get verified the first time that you apply, you can apply again in 30 days. However, we do recommend that you use those 30 days to review what you can improve about your Facebook presence before applying again. In fact, you may receive from Facebook at least part of the reason that you weren’t verified. If this is the case, you’ll want to address those issues as soon as possible.

Check out our seven tips to get verified on Instagram.

As you begin to optimize your Facebook presence for possible verification, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. This can include automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.


5 tips for successful brand collaboration

Successful brand collaboration can help your company grow its online reputation (in a good way) and reach a wider audience.

But if your partnership is weak or not the best fit, your collaboration will fail, which could cost you your reputation or even your profit.

A brand collaboration refers to the partnership between at least two brands or a brand and an influencer to promote a specific product or service to get the attention of your target audience on a larger scale.

About 71 percent of consumers enjoy brand collaborations, so it’s worth the effort to reach your marketing goals.

The following are five tips for successful brand collaboration.

Carefully select your partner brand

Simply put, there is more to brand collaboration than discovering a potential partner brand that is fresh, exciting and has a significant following online.

The goal is to thoroughly research the brand you are considering working with. Will this partnership give you the chance to break out of your brand’s comfort zone and reach a new audience? Or, will this partnership help establish your brand as an industry leader? How can you benefit each other?

You should avoid working with anyone who’s already worked with your competition. You want your brand collaboration to feel natural for both parties, and that won’t necessarily be the case if your partner has worked with your competitors.

Ideally, both brands should bring something valuable to the table. 

Unclear of exactly what your brand has to offer? Check out our nine expert tips for branding from scratch. You also can view our five steps to determine your brand personality.

Plan your brand collaboration campaign

Planning is everything. Even before you decide on a partner brand to reach out to and propose a collaboration with, you should have some idea of what you want to accomplish.

Consider your goals and the opportunities surrounding them. Once you have at least outlined a plan, you can better select a brand to partner with and bring solid ideas to the table.

You should give your potential partner brand the opportunity to bring its own ideas to the table, too. The best collaborations are a give-and-take that can help you both develop the best possible campaign.

Create and use a clear contract (and guidelines)

Consistency is key to a successful brand collaboration campaign. In order to achieve and maintain consistency while staying committed to authenticity, you must negotiate the details of how your partnership will work and cement that in a clear contract.

Thinking through what each brand will be doing, how it will happen, how often it will happen and what that will look like should all be included in basic guidelines in your contract. Don’t forget about tone of voice, creative elements and which social media (and other) channels you’ll be using.

Any exchange of pay or coverage of expenses should also be part of your contract.

If there’s anything that’s unclear, talk through it to come to an understanding that works for both brands.

Aim to create something valuable

Successful brand collaborations create something that is valuable or at least interesting for your target audience.

Whether that’s fun or entertainment, or perhaps it’s unique and inspiring. Regardless, think through how your brand and a brand partner can come together to not only catch consumers’ attention but leave a memorable impression as well. 

The more engaging you can be together, the more likely you’ll compel your audience to take a specific, desired action.

Measure your performance

Of course, there’s no way to tell whether your brand collaboration is working or not if you’re not monitoring the performance metrics.

Especially if some metrics are only accessible by one brand and others are only accessible by your brand, it’s important to discuss in advance how you’ll gather and analyze all relevant data.

Depending on the length of your brand collaboration, you can easily pivot during the campaign based on the data to better optimize your efforts.

In conclusion

In the end, a successful brand collaboration comes down to active management before, during and after the campaign. There are a number of moving pieces when two or more brands come together to collaborate. Keep everything as simple as possible and promote communication between all partners as much as possible.

As you begin to explore brand collaboration, consider optimizing your digital marketing process. This includes such features as automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 tips for finding the right influencers for your digital marketing

Influencer marketing is easier said than done, especially when it comes to finding the right influencers for your brand and digital marketing campaigns.

Simply put, influencer marketing involves increasing brand awareness, targeting new and niche audiences and increasing impressions and reach through a partnership with an online influencer. An influencer is an online personality with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media. Of course, social media is a broad term. Truly, an influencer can exist on any online platform, including his or her blog. Ideally, this individual has at least 10,000 followers (but this amount can vary).

Influencer marketing has expanded to a $16.4 billion industry, and about 93 percent of marketers have used influencer marketing in their campaigns. Instagram alone has an estimated 500,000 active influencers. The success behind this style of marketing is that it isn’t perceived the same way as traditional marketing.

When done correctly, influencer marketing is a natural extension of an influencer’s personal brand. This is the case even when links, keywords and other standard marketing tactics are used. With the right partnership, you can tap into the trust that a community has with a particular influencer to boost the reach of your own brand.

But there’s a real risk to feeling like you’re not getting your money’s worth from influencer marketing campaigns. And truly, your brand can look bad if or when working with an ill-fitting influencer.

Of course, marketing in general is never guaranteed, but successful influencer marketing all starts with partnering with the right influencers. The following are seven tips for finding the best influencers organically for your brand and digital marketing goals.

Start with a Google search

It might sound simple, but Google really is a great place to start when seeking the right influencers to potentially work with.

You can search for such terms as:

  • “[Your industry] experts”
  • “[Your industry] speakers”
  • “[Your industry] bloggers”
  • “[Your industry] influencers”

Of course, if you’re looking for more locally based influencers, you can include your state or city in the search as well.

The results you get could be vast, and you’ll then have to narrow down your potential list through researching the influencers you find. But you also could have to expand your search if you’re not getting enough results to work with.

Conduct a hashtag search on Instagram

Instagram is still the preferred social media channel for brands that engage in influencer marketing. So, searching hashtags on Instagram that are related to your industry, product, service or competitor will not only potentially discover viable influencers whom you could work with. You’ll also see related content from different points of view that can inspire your own influencer marketing campaign approach.

An Instagram hashtag search is important because it could lead to social media profiles that your might not have found doing a Google seach alone.

Check out our six tips to master Instagram hashtags.

Explore influencers’ followings

Influencers tend to follow each other on social media platforms. Viewing the Twitter lists of known influencers (perhaps those who might be too big for your brand to afford now) can help you discover other influencers who might be a better fit overall (not just financially).

Of course, this same logic can be applied to exploring the “following” tab of any influencer’s Instagram account as well. It’s just about seeing what connections can lead to the discovery of influencers you might not otherwise know about.

Learn more about social media platforms as they relate to influencer marketing.

Examine your competition’s followers and engagers

By paying close attention to your competitors and their followers, you ensure that you’re not missing any opportunities to reach every possible audience you can.

Who’s engaging with your competitors by liking, sharing and commenting on their content? Who’s following them? The right influencer for your brand could be found in these groups on various social media channels.

Of course, this examination could be part of a larger competitive analysis, which can inform your digital marketing strategy beyond just influencer marketing.

Don’t forget about your own followers and engagers

While those who follow and engage with your competition could include quality influencers you’d like to work with, don’t forget about your own followers who are already engaging with your brand.

Review your follower lists across your social media channels for anyone with a relatively large following of his or her own. Even if they’re not labeling themselves as an influencer, there’s still the potential that they can be compelled to share your content or work with you in a bigger way on a consistent basis.

Browse speaker lists for industry-related events and conferences

Whether in-person or virtual, events and conferences that feature speakers in your industry can be a treasure trove for discovering influencers.

In many ways, the event or conference in question has already done the initial research that these potential collaborators are relevant to your industry (and potentially your target audience) in some way. So, all you have to do is research and decide who is specifically best for your brand.

Keep in mind that there’s no guarantee that a speaker will partner with you. However, they could still connect you to someone else who might be a good fit and is willing to collaborate.

Leverage influencer-finding tools

Of course, discovering the right influencer for your brand doesn’t all have to be a manual endeavor. There are a number of tools available that can help you monitor and discover influencers, including:

There are more tools out there, of course. But evaluate each tool and decide which one best suits your goals and your budget.

In conclusion

Finding relevant influencers is an important step but still just the first step to a successful influencer marketing campaign. Remember that you should still do your homework on any influencer you’re about to collaborate with. You also should have a clear plan and agreement in place that supports your brand’s campaign goals.

Check out our seven tips to know before starting your first influencer marketing campaign.

While you’re seeking the right influencer for your brand, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. DailyStory features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

6 ways to attract customers to in-store shopping

Despite the growth of online shopping, there’s still value in the in-store shopping experience.

And if your business depends on actual foot traffic more than online sales, it’s important to attract customers to your physical store location.

After the COVID-19 pandemic (when online was the predominant way to shop), about 65 percent of consumers still prefer the in-store retail experience when shopping. In fact, impulse buying is more likely to occur in physical stores.

Because online shopping offers an easy, fast and often personalized experience, your in-store experience has to go above and beyond for consumers to see value in brick-and-mortar shopping. It’s about taking the opportunity to offer real-life, touch-and-feel experiences that build deeper relationships with your customers.

This need might feel overwhelming. The following are six ways to attract customers to in-store shopping rather than online shopping with you.

Invest (or reinvest) in-store design

Every store is different, but investing in thoughtful, memorable store design pays off. Of course, how you approach a redesign can range from hiring an interior designer to displaying visually engaging merchandise.

The key is that you’re elevating the in-store experience visually. Effective store design can lead to about a 40 percent increase in sales.

Even your lighting can make an impact on how your customers feel and the overall in-store shopping experience. One study cites a 12 percent increase in sales for one retailer in Germany that installed a new lighting scheme.

And it never hurts to think about which areas could be photo worthy for your customers, where if done right, your store easily could get posted and shared on Instagram and other social media networks. (You can then leverage this user-generated content on your own channels.)

Take a look around your physical store with fresh eyes. What do you see? You can even distribute a customer survey to find out what your customers think would improve your store design if you’re not sure where to start.

Become a community hub

Building a community out of your target audience isn’t just for social media. It can be done in your physical store as well.

If you can, create a space within your store that can host meetings, gatherings and so on, both formally scheduled and informal happenings. 

This gives you the opportunity to engage with new audiences (and bring in new customers) by hosting in-store events with various groups. And depending on how open and accessible the area is, customers may feel compelled to sit down and hang around longer as they talk with friends or work on their laptop.

Make sure that your community space is comfortable and accessible. It should be a space where people would want to spend some time. Of course, free WiFi never hurts either.

To take this idea even further, consider a dual purpose retail space. For example, this could be a cafe within your retail store. This does take considerable more work but could deliver bigger results if it’s right for your brand.

Offer customization, personalization services

About 62 percent of American consumers prefer gifts that feel more personal. By adding gift customization and personalization services in-store for customers, you may attract consumers who are looking for that something special for their loved ones.

What this looks like depends on the type of retailer you are and the products you’re selling. For example, a store with skincare products could offer the opportunity (and materials) for customers to put together their own gift baskets with whatever products they choose, walking out with a complete gift ready for giving.

Embrace all the senses

If you’re only focusing on what customers see while in-store shopping, you’re missing out on all the other senses that could compel them to not only stay longer but to return more often. And both actions can result in more in-store sales.

Creating a multi-sensory atmosphere specifically could encourage shoppers to spend an extra six minutes in your store and increase your sales by about 10 percent.

Consider the five sense:

  • Sight
  • Sound
  • Smell
  • Taste
  • Touch

Again, just like gift customization, how you embrace multiple senses depends on what makes sense for your brand, your store and your products.

What music are you playing? Does it create a positive atmosphere? Is there a comforting or invigorating scent to your store? Can customers taste samples of your products? Or, do you offer free mints at the door, for example? What is the seating like, or is there any seating at all? Can they touch your products?

Remember, you want to deliver a memorable experience that any customer entering your store would want to repeat. Start scanning your physical space for those opportunities.

Interact one-to-one with customers

Clearly, whether online or in-store shopping, the customer experience can make or break your business.

About 93 percent of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand again if they offer excellent customer service. And when it comes to in-store shopping, this is your opportunity to interact one-on-one with your customers. It’s inherently different than any online shopping experience. It’s all about that human interaction.

Customers feel special with undivided attention and personalized advice as they’re shopping. About 49 percent of consumers have made impulse purchases after getting a more personalized experience.

Think about how you can deliver a more personal one-on-one experience for your customers without being overwhelming.

Make your store pet-friendly

If it’s right for your brand, welcoming your customers’ pets into your in-store shopping experience can build a loyal and trusting connection with your customers.

Whether it’s a pet-friendly area or having some water bowls out, as well as treats available, for animals, it’s up to you.

Just keep in mind that you may have some legal limitations when it comes to allowing animals into your store. Check with your local health and safety boards to ensure that everything is on the up and up.

In conclusion

Technology will always be a factor for businesses, whether you have a physical store location or not. But with a store, you have the opportunity to level up the in-store shopping experience that your customers crave. You’ll build deeper connections and ultimately grow your sales.

While you’re evaluating how to best attract customers to in-store shopping, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

8 tips to create a successful customer survey for your business

Customer satisfaction can make or break your business, so a customer survey can help you understand how your customers are feeling and where you could potentially improve.

Customer surveys are simply a method of soliciting customer feedback so you can measure your customer satisfaction, understand their expectations and conduct market research. (The principles of a successful customer survey can also be applied to employees.)

About 81 percent of companies that deliver customer experience excellence outperform their competitors, and 86 percent of consumers are willing to pay up to 25 percent more for a better customer experience.

When it comes to customer surveys, response rates can reach past 85 percent when respondents are motivated and the survey is well-executed.

The following are eight tips to create a successful customer survey that delivers actionable insights for your business.

Brainstorm the purpose of your customer survey

Of course, the first step to executing a successful customer survey involves identifying a clear purpose. Resist the temptation to dump every possible question and objective into a single customer survey. You’ll just overwhelm your respondents.

Instead, define your overall objectives, what you expect to get out of the customer survey and what you plan to do with the information you receive.

Some common goals include:

  • Getting feedback on your product or service.
  • Benchmarking customer experience metrics.
  • Improving your sales or customer support experience.
  • Testing your branding decisions.
  • Understanding customer satisfaction as it relates to customer retention.
  • Measuring interest in new types of products or services.

If you have multiple goals or objectives, prioritize them and decide which one you’d like to start with in a specific customer survey. You can always address other, lower-priority objectives in future surveys.

Check out our nine brainstorming techniques to help you generate clear, better ideas.

Choose your customer survey type

Once you know your objective, you need to choose the type of customer survey you want to create. This will also determine who you’ll want to survey.

The following are some of the types of customer surveys you can use:

  • Customer satisfaction surveys, where you can better understand and monitor how your audience feels about your products, services and brand itself. This includes New Promoter Score (NPS) surveys, Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) surveys and Customer Effort Score (CES) surveys. Remember that each customer is at a different stage in the customer experience lifecycle, so there’s not a single type that will effectively offer the insight you’re looking for.
  • Branding surveys, where you can get a sense of how to move forward with branding decisions, especially if you’re rethinking the overall look and feel of your business brand. The insights you get can help you develop your marketing strategy and confirm whether your product or service experience is actually aligned with your brand values. 
  • Employee engagement surveys, where you can gauge the buy-in of your employees. Your employees are just as important as your customers, so their engagement is critical to your business results. This type includes Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) surveys, pulse surveys and 360-degree surveys.

Keep in mind that soliciting feedback in a customer survey (or even an employee survey) can feel unexpected or out of the blue for respondents, so regardless of the type of survey you choose, you’ll want to explain why you’re conducting the survey and offer clear instructions if necessary.

Keep your customer survey short and simple

The type of feedback you can generate through customer surveys is limitless, but this is not a one-shot deal. You don’t have to gather as much data as possible right away.

Think of customer surveys as a conversation, just like social media. Asking a ton of questions upfront will only overwhelm your audience. They’ll then lose interest and bounce. Then, you won’t get any of the feedback you’re looking for. 

Consider survey “fatigue.” You don’t want yours to take longer than five minutes to complete, with no more than about 10 targeted questions.

You can always follow up with future surveys. How often you survey can depend on your industry, but be wary of surveying too frequently as well. Fatigue can happen through surveys that are both too long and/or too frequent.

Keep everything short, simple and only as needed. No fluff.

Embrace questionnaire best practices

When it comes to the questions themselves, there are general best practices you’ll want to pay attention to so that you can solicit true responses that can be positive and negative. These include:

  • Starting any customer experience surveys with a question that asks for an overall rating of the interaction that’s being addressed. You can then follow up with an open-ended question.
  • Avoid any biased questions that can influence your respondents to answer in a certain way or make it difficult to respond honestly.
  • Vary the types of survey questions you use. Mix open-ended questions with multiple choice, scale questions and anything else so that feedback can be well-rounded and help get at the “why” behind it.
  • Only ask one question at a time. Simplify your question as much as possible so that you’re not inadvertently asking multiple questions within a single question. For example, “Was your experience fun and helpful?” You’d do better asking those two questions separately so that respondents can better express whether it was fun and then whether it was helpful.
  • Keep most of the questions optional.
  • Avoid complicated sentences or any jargon in your questions.
  • Do not ask overly personal questions. Consumers are increasingly more security- and privacy-conscious. Confirm that you’re not asking needless demographic questions or anything that could be considered offensive or embarrassing. Your questions can be perceived very differently across multiple demographics and culturally diverse backgrounds.
  • Check every question for spelling and grammar errors. You want everything to look as professional as possible.

Pick your customer survey distribution channels

How you distribute your customer survey matters. In general, you should aim for the channel or channels that your respondents use the most. This could be email or SMS text messages, but don’t be afraid to be creative.

For example, you could have a scannable QR code printed on your receipts or a sign in your physical store location that links to your customer survey.

The goal or intention of your survey could also impact your delivery method. For example, you would likely email an employee engagement survey directly to your employees. It wouldn’t be linked publicly. 

Of course, if you’re missing responses from a specific demographic, consider reaching out one-on-one in different ways, which can make a huge difference in your response rate. An incentive (like a discount or gift) can also help.

Test your customer survey with colleagues first

Before you send out your customer survey, you must test it yourself and by sending it to colleagues who can give you honest feedback. Select colleagues from various backgrounds to get the most perspectives possible. Encourage them to dig deep and challenge you on everything they experience in your survey.

You’ll want to confirm that every question reads as intentioned, that it takes no more than five minutes to complete and that the customer survey renders well across multiple devices. It also helps to read the survey questions out loud. 

You can never test too much because once you send your customer survey, it’s out there, and any issues will impact the quality (and quantity) of feedback you receive.

Prepare for feedback analysis

For a successful customer survey, you should consider how you’ll segment your feedback data and what comparisons you’ll want to make. 

Thinking about the analysis process while you’re drafting questions can help you get the most out of your survey. 

Some segmentations and comparisons you can consider include:

  • Customer segments, where there could be a difference in responses based on how much a customer has spent with you, what they’ve purchased and how long they’ve been with you.
  • Geography-based segments, where there could be a difference in responses based on the city, state or country of your respondents.
  • Interaction channels, where there could be a difference in responses based on how this customer has interacted with your business, whether that’s online or in-person.

Some existing data could be automatically imported into the survey interface depending on the platform you use, but you could also ask for it. Just keep the survey as short as possible if you do have to ask some qualifying questions that will help you better analyze your results.

Always thank respondents and inspire action

A simple “thank you” can go a long way. So, thanking your respondents after they complete your customer survey is critical.

Of course, when you’re thanking respondents, you also have the opportunity to inspire action. That action can be reviewing your business on a third-party platform with a direct link to make it easy. You also could offer direct contact information for your customer service team in case there could be an issue your respondent might want to resolve.

In conclusion

When creating your customer survey, keep your target audience and goals in mind. Then with enough testing, you can feel confident that your survey will generate the type of feedback that you’re looking for and can cleanly analyze.

While you’re crafting your customer survey or any other survey, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. DailyStory features automations, dynamic audience segmentations and more. We can help you get your survey to the right respondents. Schedule your free demo with us today.

6 ways to grow consumer trust (and your resulting sales)

Consumer trust matters. As a business, it’s in your best interest to invest resources into building trusting relationships with potential and current customers.

Consumers do hold businesses to certain standards and want to build relationships with the ones that they believe in. They don’t want to be let down.

About 44 percent of global consumers will spend at least $500 or more each year with the brands they trust most, with nearly 29 percent saying they will spend more than $1,000 per year.

The more consumer trust you grow, the better off your business will be.

The following are six ways to grow consumer trust, as well as your resulting sales.

Deliver a quality product and/or service

Truly, the first step to building consumer trust is to sell a quality product and/or service. The higher the quality, the more your customer can trust you and purchase from you again.

Consider the needs of your target customers. Your products and services should reflect those needs. 

It’s important to consistently audit the quality of what you’re selling so that you can ensure that your expected quality is maintained for the benefit of the customer.

Deliver surprisingly good customer service

Customer service is a powerful tool to grow consumer trust in your business. This is your opportunity to demonstrate value and legitimacy to your customers and potential customers.

Don’t just exude good customer service. You want to deliver great customer service that impresses consumers and makes them want to come back to you again (and again).

This includes committing to customer interests, compassion and accountability. You have to show that you care in all your communications and interactions. Make it easy to reach your customer service team. Patience is imperative, but responsiveness also matters.

Check out our six ways to become more responsive to your customers.

Highlight (positive) reviews and testimonials

Of course, you’re going to talk about your businesses positively. But what about your customers? 

Not surprisingly, consumers give more weight to customer reviews and testimonials than what a business says about itself. These are forms 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.

Real customer experiences are often seen as more objective. By acquiring and sharing those experiences, you’re leveraging the credibility of your customers to build consumer trust with your target audience.

Check out 17 of the best social proof tools to help you boost trust and resulting sales.

Embrace honesty and transparency

No company wants to be viewed as shady or dishonest. To help show your honesty and transparency, make sure that your marketing is not misleading or making promises that you can’t (or won’t) deliver on. Be very clear in both your copy and your images. 

Of course, all your business practices should be straightforward and ethical. Be upfront about your pricing and how your products and/or services can actually help potential customers.

If your business makes a mistake, own it and fix it as soon as possible. It’s all about working in the best interest of consumers. 

Check out our six tips to create brand loyalty for your business.

Ask for feedback (and act on it)

When you ask for feedback from your customers, you’re giving them a stake in your business and showing that they matter. You’re letting them know that they matter beyond the money they’re paying you.

This can involve sending out customer surveys, asking for feedback after a customer service interaction or even handing a sign with a QR code in your physical business location for customers to scan and easily submit feedback through, among other methods.

Of course, if you’re getting consistent feedback about something that needs to change or could be improved, it’s important to act on that. Being asked for feedback builds consumer trust, but making changes based on that feedback goes even further with your customers.

Share your company values

What are your company values? Do your customers know what they are? Understanding what’s important to your company can help grow consumer trust. 

Make sure that you have a clear statement of your company values that’s easy for consumers to find. It can be on your website, as well as featured on your social media accounts in various ways.

Granted, it’s one thing to talk about your company values and something else to actually act according to your values. In those moments of action, you can share that across your digital marketing.

In conclusion

There’s no magic bullet when it comes to consumer trust. Consider the customer’s purchasing journey with your business and address any missed opportunities that you can leverage to support that relationship. In addition, remember to walk your talk. If there’s something that you promise in your marketing, deliver on it. If there’s something that you say your company cares about, show it.

As you’re boosting consumer trust for your business, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. DailyStory features automation, dynamic audience segmentation, email marketing, SMS text message marketing and so much more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

TikTok: 6 tips to get verified as a business

If you’re looking to include TikTok, which is only growing in popularity, in your digital marketing strategy, you also should consider how to get your account verified.

TikTok is a video-based social media platform that encourages engagement around short, vertical video clips. The app has increasingly penetrated popular culture with its various hashtag challenges and viral stars.

As of January 2022, TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users globally. It also boasts the highest social media engagement rates per post.

If your target audience is younger, TikTok might be a “must” rather than a “maybe” in your marketing plan.

But once you create an account, how do you go about getting it verified? Verification is the process that many social media platforms have to confirm that you are you, in the simplest sense. In a world of fake accounts, verification is more important than ever. The benefit of verification is the immediate authenticity and trustworthiness that occurs with that checkmark next to your account handle, which can help grow followers. Your audience knows that the account is truly you and/or your brand.

But verification on TikTok is not a one-size-fits-all process. Unlike Instagram and Twitter, TikTok does not accept requests from users who want to get verified, which can lead to some confusion. In the case of TikTok, it’s a game of “Don’t call us … we’ll call you.” And that call only happens when TikTok perceives you to be a quality account based on consistent activity and viral engagement. In other words, to get verified on TikTok comes down to having a strong strategy on that platform. 

The following are six tips to get verified as a business on TikTok.

Think through your TikTok strategy

Success on TikTok does not just happen. It involves a robust content marketing strategy that’s based on data about your target audience and more.

Do not improvise. Plan out your content and invest the appropriate time and energy into content that will connect with users. You can follow competitors’ accounts for inspiration (what you might want to do and what you might want to avoid).

You also can get organized by creating and using a content calendar.

Follower growth matters

While TikTok won’t say whether there’s a specific number of followers an account must have, it has been seen that the rate of follower growth matters.

Ensuring that your content has value is a great start to growing your followers. But beyond that, consider cross-promoting your TikTok presence on other platforms. Many times, you have to make it extra obvious where your customers and fans can find you.

Focus on post-engagement rates

Consistent posting is key to building up your engagement rates on TikTok. At the same time, quality content matters. 

Regularly brainstorming video ideas can help keep your content fresh.

You also may want to loosely storyboard your idea for an upcoming video so that you can not only be more efficient during the creation process but also more effective.

Keep your audience in mind. Consider their interests, hobbies, challenges and problems. Never stop experimenting with:

  • Popular trends currently happening on TikTok
  • Making high-quality videos
  • Using popular music and other sounds
  • Keeping your videos as short as possible

The hope is that you won’t just grow your engagement rates over time, but you’ll also hopefully go viral from time to time. While going viral can improve your likelihood of getting verified, don’t obsess over it. Keep it simple. Stay focused on posting the best content you possibly can for your audience, and don’t forget to have fun with it.

Go with your niche

You can’t be everything to everyone. In fact, you shouldn’t be if you want to reach the best potential customers for your business.

This is true on TikTok. Your business likely already specializes in a niche within your industry. How do you express that on other social media platforms? How do you want that to be expressed on TikTok specifically?

Niche content can contribute to attracting and keeping a following, which will help get you verified on TikTok that much faster.

Collaborate with an influencer

TikTok influencers can offer a wealth of creativity and reach, depending on who you decide to work with. Plus, if you’re struggling with your content strategy and creation, an influencer could be exactly what you need.

If you’re new to the world of influencers, check out our seven tips to know before starting your first influencer marketing campaign, whether it’s on TikTok or another social media platform.

Consider your other social media accounts

It might sound counterintuitive, but having a strong presence (and even verifications) on other social media platforms can actually help you get verified on TikTok.

So, while you may want to level up your presence and strategy on TikTok, do not shortchange your other accounts. They all matter. 

Check out these eight most common social media mistakes to avoid so that you don’t get tripped up.

In conclusion

Because the path to TikTok verification is not straightforward, it’s important not to give up. This process can take time. 

TikTok is looking for authenticity, engagement and consistency in the accounts it will verify. (Verification can’t even be bought, only earned.) Stay with it and continue experimenting. The verification payoff will be worth it.

While you’re diving deeper into TikTok for your business, consider 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.

How to start a health blog

If you’re interested in health and wellness, you might consider becoming a professional health blogger.

Of course, starting a blog is difficult. You’ll need to be tech-savvy and take time to strategize how to promote your content. But if you want to share your knowledge with the world, being a blogger might be right for you.

Likewise, if you’re a health brand, starting a blog can improve your marketing efforts by helping you attract more customers. 

Health blog posts are similar to other types of blogs. For example, you can write an opinion-based blog or one that focuses on the facts. Health blogging is not the same as health writing. Blogs allow you to take a more personal approach and provide stories or anecdotes from your life, while health writing is based on facts. However, they can both make a blog with valuable content.

When starting a health blog, you’ll be the expert or authority on a topic, so if you’re not already a health expert in some way, starting a blog will be difficult. But you can interview other experts and use research to inform your audience about different topics.

Interested in becoming a health blogger? Let’s discuss everything you need to know about starting a health blog.

Get your blog up and running

Before you can start blogging, you’ll need a website. You can easily start a blog with a few platforms like WordPress or Wix. In fact, many platforms make it easy for you to design and implement a website in less than a day, depending on your skill set and how much time you want to invest.

Remember, the better the quality of your website design, the more users you can attract, so consider investing time and money into the process to ensure your blog looks its best. 

Creating a website is a process in and of itself, so we won’t get into all of the details here, but you can learn more about how to get started with a little research online.

Start a content calendar

To start a content calendar, you’ll need to have topic ideas.

Whether you want to write about supplements, exercise, diet, or a variety of health topics, you must have a content calendar to help you organize your ideas.

If you don’t start a calendar, you could get stuck not having anything valuable to write, preventing you from staying on schedule. A content calendar allows you to organize different topics and decide when you’ll write and publish them. They’re beneficial for new bloggers because they’ll keep you on a schedule so you’ll never forget when to publish your articles. 

Of course, to start a content calendar, you’ll need to have topic ideas. Since you’re starting a health-based blog, you probably already have some ideas ready. Keep a Google Sheet of all your ideas to help you see the different topics you want to write about. From there, you can start to brainstorm titles and begin research.

Check out our eight tips to create an effective content calendar.

Do keyword research

You’ll need to learn about search engine optimization (SEO) if you plan to become a full-time blogger and make money off of your blog.

Luckily, SEO is fairly easy to understand, and anyone can optimize their websites to help them rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Explore these 10 free courses online to level up your SEO skills.

One of the most important aspects of SEO is keyword research since search engines crawl your content and use Keywords in titles, subheadings, and body text to determine the topic of your article and its relevance to various search queries. Once you have a topic, you can enter a few keywords into Google and read the top results to help you get an idea of the types of content that rank highest.

If you really want to improve the odds of ranking higher on SERPs and increasing your website traffic, you should invest in SEO tools to make keyword research easier. These tools will tell you everything from search volume to top-ranking pages, and they can help you evaluate your competition. 

Check out these 11 free SEO keyword research tools that you should consider.

In addition, you’ll need to monitor updates in search engine policies and algorithm changes. Health and wellness blogs fall under the Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) category on Google, which refers to any type of content that can impact someone’s health, happiness, safety, or finances.

Since your blog may offer advice about disorders, medications, and other health topics, you’ll need to ensure your content follows Google’s EAT Parameters. EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, and there are several ways to make your content all of these things.

If you’re an expert in your field, ensure your credentials are on your website. However, if you’re not an expert in the field of health and wellness, you should interview experts and provide citations in your articles to ensure Google understands whether or not your content should be trusted by users.

Check out our 12 SEO marketing tips for beginners.

Invest in marketing

Marketing is crucial if you want people to read your blog. You can write the best health blog in the world. However, if you’re not doing any marketing, it’s unlikely anyone will read it.

Definitely market your blog in many different ways, but we recommend having a robust strategy with different campaigns to ensure you can get as many readers as possible.

You can use everything from email marketing and social media to paid ads to attract new website visitors. What you choose may depend on your budget, so try to set aside some money for advertising in case you need it to attract visitors. 

Check out our 19 tips to drive traffic to your new blog.


Blogging is time-consuming, and you deserve to be paid for your time.

Many people blog as their full-time career, but earning enough money to make a living blogging can be difficult.

Once you start getting enough visitors, you can monetize your vlog in a few ways. The easiest way is to allow for ads. However, you can also work directly with brands to offer advertising space, become an affiliate, or join their influencer program.

Check out 10 of the most profitable blog niches. Plus, see these four ways to sell advertising on your website.

Establishing your health blog

Building a successful health blog takes time. You won’t be able to establish yourself as an expert overnight.

Instead, you’ll need to continuously write valuable content and attract website visitors through the right marketing efforts. Building a credible blog can take months or even years, depending on your background and whether or not you have any marketing skills.

Monitor the performance of your blogs to help brainstorm new ways to improve them, attract new customers, and write valuable content to increase the number of visitors to your website.

While you’re starting your health blog, 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.

About the author


Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a freelance writer who loves to share knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, wellness, and financial tips. During her free time, she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music. 

Recession: 3 ways to tweak your marketing message in a poor economy

Considering that the economy moves in cycles, a recession is likely to hit your business at some point. You have to consider how to tweak your marketing message when you find yourself in a difficult economy.

Notice that we’re talking about adjusting your messaging and not cutting your ad spend from your marketing budget. Of course, you’ll likely have to evaluate your overall expenses, but businesses that want to succeed in the long run would not cut their entire advertising budget. Be smart with your spending during a recession.

Companies that continued to advertise during a two-year recession in the 1980s saw 256 percent higher sales than their counterparts post-recession.

Beyond smart spending, your marketing message is critical during uncertain times. The following are three ways you should tweak your marketing message in a difficult economy.

Be human as a brand (and funny)

In a recession, stress is higher than ever for your consumers. It’s easier than ever to alienate your target audience with an out-of-touch message.

Stay human by finding ways of conveying that purchasing your products or services will not break the bank. You can even cite current economic conditions to underscore that you understand what your customers are going through.

And, of course, whenever you can lighten the mood with a bit of humor, all the better. Just make sure that your humor is both appropriate and actually funny.

Embrace a purpose beyond just selling

A difficult economy shifts a lot of consumers’ focus to seeking meaning beyond just buying more stuff.

In fact, about 42 percent of Gen Z consumers are more loyal to brands that address social inequalities. 

Of course, purpose-driven content appeals to economically stressed consumers of any age.

During the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a rise in mission-based and cause-related marketing, 42 percent and 41 percent respectively.

As a brand, what do you stand for? Is there a cause you can start to embrace and support now? Success in mission-based messaging requires authenticity and consistency.

Leverage social listening during a recession

Tuning into the concerns of your target audience and addressing them in your recession marketing message can help you be far more engaging.

In other words, lean on your social listening tactics. Social listening is essentially audience research. You monitor your brand’s social media channels for any customer feedback, mentions of your brand and discussions surrounding specific keywords, topics, competitors or industries that are relevant to your brand.

Social listening is a two-part process. You have the monitoring on the front end, but then you dive deeper with analysis and actionable responses. There’s an engagement there, but also the goal to implement long-term strategy changes based on what you’re learning. 

When navigating a difficult economy, social listening is that much more important. The behaviors and concerns of your target audience are constantly evolving, but even more so during a recession. Your job then is to understand that and address that with your content.

How is the economic downturn affecting your customers’ families, jobs and personal lives? How can your brand help?

Check out nine of the best social listening tools for brand marketing.

In conclusion

Remember that during an economic recession, it’s easy to panic. But instead of slashing all your marketing spending, be bold with your content and spend in a smart way to reach your audience. Keep in mind that content can be much more affordable and effective than billboards and TV commercials.

Content marketing works during a strong economy, but it especially works during a struggling economy.

Check out our seven tips to level up your content marketing.

As you explore how to better connect with your audience during a recession, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, such as automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

5 ways to approach automation in your marketing strategy

Marketing automation technology has come a long way over the years. But your automation is only as powerful as the thought process behind it.

Automation in marketing refers to any email, SMS text message or other marketing messages (or tasks) that automatically happens in response to a user’s actions that were made or not made. For example, when a lead joins your email newsletter subscription list, a welcome email is automatically sent to that new subscriber.

And marketing automation is the No. 1 most effective digital marketing technique (after content marketing).

Without planning, your business can miss key opportunities with your target audience.

The following are five ways to approach automation in your marketing strategy.

Leverage your marketing automation platform

Not only do you want to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your marketing automation platform features, but you also want to make sure that you’re using the right platform for you.

DailyStory offers the ability to easily design and build sales and marketing automations (such as drip campaigns, happy birthday offers, or more complex automations that integrate with Slack and other tools), all in an easy-to-use drag-and-drop designer.

Think of your marketing automation platform as a data sponge. The more data it has, the more automations it can accurately run on your behalf. Therefore, data collection is huge. This can happen within your platform of choice in a number of ways, including native integration, manual imports of data and custom API integrations.

The key is to get as much data as you can from your main systems into your marketing automation platform.

Thoughtfully approach your marketing automation campaigns

There are so many ways and options for marketing automation within your digital marketing. It can feel overwhelming to not only think of your first automation but to also ensure that you’re automating everything that can help you serve your customers and grow your business.

First, keep it simple. Think about the life cycle of your leads. Then, as you’re considering that journey, look for opportunities where you can use data and context together to increase your conversion rate of those leads.

Then, it’s time to dive a little deeper by focusing on campaign-specific automation flows, pre-sales automation flows, sales automation flows and opportunistic-campaign automation flows.

Campaign-specific flows

This marketing automation flow contains one to three emails that relate specifically to the point of your intended conversion. For example, you’re offering a free eBook that leads can download by entering their email address. Your emails in this campaign would then reference the topic of your eBook and show how your business can help them in this regard. Once the lead completes this series (but hasn’t yet signaled that they want to purchase from you), he or she moves into the pre-sales automation flow.

Pre-sales flows

This automation flow can be a little more generic and spread out over a longer period of time. It’s because you are nurturing leads who have finished their respective campaign-specific flows without signaling that they want to make a purchase.

The goal is to continue to engage with them (and keep your business top of mind) without overwhelming them (and causing them to opt-out). Therefore, this flow could include about a dozen emails and/or text messages over several months.

Consider ways to educate and engage with these leads so that their interest in your products and/or services can grow, and they become interested in possibly purchasing from you (and enter your sales automation flow).

Sales flows

Once a lead is potentially interested in purchasing, he or she can move into this marketing automation flow. This is a key time to be as strategic as possible to encourage a sale. 

Whether this is a targeted discount offer, a personalized message or something else, you want to be appealing.

Opportunistic-campaign flows

This type of campaign flow is triggered when specific data points become available and can be used with clear context to improve the effectiveness of future communications.

For example, with that same eBook mentioned before, your lead downloads it. Then, that lead signs up for a free service you’re offering where more information about the lead is shared with you. You can then leverage that data to trigger a hyper-focused email series. This series can show exactly how your paid service can directly benefit that lead. The more personalized you can get, the more effective you can be.

Opportunistic flows are about using context to be that much more persuasive.

Treat every email in your automation like a newsletter

Once you start creating automation flows, there’s a risk of falling into a trap of creating emails just for the sake of it. But don’t fall into this trap.

You should treat every email with the same care and attention that you would an email newsletter that would send out to your entire database.

Your automated emails should have well-written copy, a clear call-to-action and a clean design for both web and mobile consumption. It always helps to run every email by another member of your team for feedback so that you know everything is up to your brand standard and optimized for your goals.

See the anatomy of an effective marketing email, with 10 parts you should consider.

Double (and triple) check your automated flows

Because you are setting up automated marketing campaigns, it’s imperative to check and test everything possible. That way, you know everything looks and acts the way you want.

For your automated email, check the:

  • Subject line
  • Copy
  • Email has a clear purpose
  • Call-to-action
  • Buttons and/or links directing to the correct web page(s)
  • Links have UTMs for tracking purposes
  • Graphics and whether they load properly
  • Email itself loads correctly on both Android and iOS mobile devices

For your automation flow, check whether the:

  • Correct segment is being targeted
  • Logic behind each step and trigger in the flow is correct
  • Leads eventually leave the flow and what prompts that
  • Relevant contact fields get updated based on the outcomes in your flows

It never hurts to double and triple-check everything tied to your marketing automation. Otherwise, you risk the wrong message going to the wrong lead at the wrong time. This can lead to confusion and (even worse) an opt-out.

Test and monitor continuously

Once you have your automated marketing flows in place, it’s easy to move on to other tasks. Truly, one benefit of automation is that you don’t have to do anything within a campaign manually. This saves a lot of time, but don’t set it and forget it.

It’s important to regularly optimize with A/B testing and then monitor the results so that you can improve any aspect of your flows as warranted. 

Most marketing automation platforms, including DailyStory, support A/B testing, which is the process of showing two variants of any particular element to different segments of your audience at the same time and comparing which variant is more successful. A/B testing is also known as split testing and can be used in many different ways. This includes websites, emails and so on. 

See our nine tips to make your A/B testing more effective.

In conclusion

The key to a successful automation strategy is not only the marketing platform you’re using but also the depth and quality of your data. 

The triggers that can send off the right message at the right time to the right person are all based on the integration of your systems and the type of data you have on each consumer.

In other words, the better you know a customer or lead, the more uniquely you can design an email automation campaign around that individual to better engage with him or her.

DailyStory can help with your digital marketing automation (as well as in other types of digital marketing). And our platform offers even more than automation capabilities. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Holiday digital marketing: 6 ways your strategy should change

The holidays are a crazy, hectic time. Not just for consumers, but for your holiday digital marketing strategy as well.

Winter holiday online sales generated about $219 billion in revenue in 2021, with in-store sales reaching a record $668 billion.

So, it’s imperative for your business to thoughtfully examine your current digital marketing strategy and plan how you’ll pivot for the holiday season.

While you’re thinking about your holiday digital marketing strategy, consider these 11 ideas to inspire your holiday content.

Once you set your goals, the following are six ways your holiday digital marketing strategy should change to best connect with your target audience and grow your sales revenue.

Evaluate (and possibly shift) your marketing budget

The holiday season traditionally leads to more digital advertising. Because digital advertising works as online auctions, the higher the demand on a limited supply of ad space, the higher the price of the ad. 

So, if you’re feeling like you’re not getting as much bang for your advertising buck during the holidays, you’re likely right.

These costs typically start increasing in early November. Not only will you want to adjust your ad spending accordingly, but you’ll also want to closely monitor your ROI (return on investment) on your digital ads.

It’s important to evaluate your marketing budget in general as you plan for the holiday season. Where have you gotten the biggest payoffs in the past during the holidays, and what has typically been a challenge? You may want to shift your dollars to what will be the most effective channels during the holiday season specifically.

Determine your holiday discounts

Now more than ever due to technology, consumers are savvy shoppers, always seeking the best discounts and sales.

You’ll want to strategize on this front as early as possible. Brainstorm with your team about how you can appeal to potential customers more than your competition.

In addition to looking at what has worked for you in the past, a competitive analysis can help so that you can best understand what your competition has done and what appeared to be successful for them. Avoid the temptation to blindly copy any tactics, though, and decide how you can make them your own instead.

Also, check out these 16 tools to help make your competitive analysis easier.

Remember that your discount plan doesn’t have to be just one thing. You could offer a one-time, larger discount to draw in the bargain hunters (perhaps around Black Friday and/or after Christmas) and then provide a series of short-term weekly promotions. Digital coupons also could come into play. Again, it just needs to work for your business and what you believe will appeal to your audience. 

Optimize your mobile marketing

Mobile has revolutionized the way we do business, especially during the holidays. More than $88 billion in sales were made on mobile devices during the 2021 holiday season.

As you’re evaluating your holiday digital marketing strategy, think about how you can leverage mobile.

This goes beyond creating mobile-friendly marketing campaigns and using SMS text messages to reach your customers. You also want to optimize your online store for mobile devices. Think through the mobile user experience every step of the way.

Check out our 14 tips to level up your mobile marketing.

Create (or level up) your loyalty rewards program

Every business wants new customers, but your loyal customers are worth more to your bottom line. Repeat customers are responsible for almost two-thirds of your sales.

This could include better discounts, exclusive sales, even special gifts. Loyalty rewards programs can help grow your business year-round, but the holidays offer a special opportunity to make your program even more appealing.

In fact, consumers who engage in high-performing loyalty programs are twice as likely to increase their frequency of purchases. More than 90 percent of companies have some sort of loyalty program.

How your loyalty rewards program is structured is up to you, but consider what else you can do as part of your holiday digital marketing strategy.

While you’re at it, check out our five tips to successfully promote your loyalty rewards program.

Use videos to your advantage

Videos now more than ever can help tell your story and reach new audiences, especially during the holidays.

About 85 percent of all internet users in the U.S. watched online video content monthly on any of their mobile devices, while 54 percent of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support.

As part of your holiday digital marketing strategy, consider how you can show the human face (or faces) behind your brand. This could involve behind-the-scenes videos, employees sharing their favorite holiday members or even highlighting what’s involved in preparing your business for the holidays. Of course, an engaging holiday marketing video that your customers want to share with their friends and family because it’s funny, cute or emotional also works.

Check out 10 types of videos that you can use in your marketing strategy.

Explore niche social media channels

You’re likely already using at least one of the most popular social media channels (such as Facebook or Instagram), but what about other channels?

Such networks as Quora, Reddit and Pinterest have millions of users that could engage with your holiday content.

Use your holiday digital marketing strategy as an opportunity to include a new social media channel to the mix and evaluate how it performs.

Check out these eight most common social media mistakes that you should avoid.

In conclusion

Remember that user behavior changes drastically during the holiday season, with an emphasis on discount-seeking activity beginning in November. And this has shifted largely to online, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. And of course, your consumers will also be focused on way more than just shopping, such as celebrations, family gatherings and gift giving. You want to cut through the noise with a message that gets their attention and makes you stand out in a meaningful way. And that all comes down to how you pivot your holiday digital marketing strategy.

While you’re evaluating how your brand will be successful this holiday season, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation, email marketing, text message marketing and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

11 ideas to inspire your holiday marketing strategy

The holiday season is a great opportunity to get creative so that your brand can stand out among the countless images of seasonal fun.

But since the holidays come back around every year, you might be struggling to break out of a holiday marketing rut. 

Do you find yourself running the same sales in the same way? Then, it’s definitely time to try something new.

And the effort is worth it. Holiday spending in 2021 surpassed $1 trillion in the U.S. for the first time ever.

Boost your brand’s visibility during this hectic time with the following 11 ideas to inspire your holiday marketing strategy.

Host a social media contest or giveaway

Organizing a contest or giveaway on social media is a great way to get people talking and involved with your brand.

There is a difference between contests and giveaways. In a giveaway, participants are simply entering to potentially win a prize of some kind based on the entry rules you set. In a contest, participants are doing more than just entering, but what that action is depends on your contest. For example, you could have a holiday photo contest that incorporates your brand’s products in some way, so participants would be taking and submitting a photo according to your entry rules in hopes of winning a prize.

Contests and giveaways can also help grow your social media following as well. It often can come down to the appeal of the prize and ease of entry. Just make sure you’re keeping everything on the legal up-and-up.

Leverage paid ads to promote a product or event

The days of relying solely on organic social media posts are long gone, so you’re likely already at least dabbling in paid advertising on one or more social media channels.

During the holiday season, consider getting specific with your paid ads that directs consumers to your upcoming holiday event, discounts or seasonal products. Paid ads are particularly helpful at reaching people outside of your social media following who are the demographics of the target audience you’re looking to reach.

Aim for memorable, shareable content

Easier said than done, right? When it comes to creating and publishing memorable content that’s easy for followers to want to share, start by thinking of your target audience. 

What are their interests? What are their hopes, fears, challenges when it comes to the holiday season. By using your content to address topics that matter to them, you’ll better resonate with them. And that’s where you’re content becomes more shareable because users will want to share that with their own networks. 

You’ll also want to keep your visuals in mind. Are they eye-catching and memorable?

Check out our 10 tips to create engaging content.

Create product bundles

Consumers like saving money, especially during the holidays. If you can offer multiple products or services together into a bundled discount, you’ll likely see an overall increase in sales during the holiday season.

If you’re not sure what to bundle, think about what items are often purchased together anyway.

Once you’ve created at least one bundle, you can include its promotion as part of your holiday marketing strategy.

Offer gift suggestions

The holidays can be stressful, especially when consumers are trying to think of the perfect gift for everyone on their list.

You can help with this stress by sharing gift suggestions featuring your products or services and the type of person it would be perfect for, such as:

  • Mother
  • Father
  • Wife
  • Husband
  • Sister
  • Brother
  • Son
  • Daughter

Just think about what you can match with some of those recipients and then promote accordingly. Just make sure you include a call to action, like “Buy Now.”

Partner with a local nonprofit

Cause-related promotions are particularly effective during the holidays. Consumers are becoming increasingly thoughtful about the businesses they support and what they’re doing beyond striving to make a profit.

By showing your support for the community, you can grow your brand awareness and potentially attract new customers.

Of course, these partnerships can work in any number of ways. For example, you could announce that a percentage of every product or service sold will be donated to a particular nonprofit.

Remember (and reward) your loyal customers

In the push to acquire new customers during the holidays, don’t forget about your existing (and loyal) ones. You can easily offer unique discounts or bonus gifts (with purchase) targeted to your established customers.

In fact, you can even send them a “thank you” message or card before the holiday season even begins so that they feel appreciated and have your brand top of mind as the season begins.

Be sure to seize the opportunity to leverage your customer loyalty program over the holidays as well.

Check out our five tips to successfully promote your customer rewards loyalty program.

Embrace nostalgia

The holidays are all about memories of childhood and magic. You can tap into this with your holiday marketing strategy.

To do this, consider using black-and-white images and old-style fonts. Then, use these to convey a sense of nostalgia that complements your brand and connects with your target audience.

Offer free shipping to convert abandoned carts

Free shipping can be a great way to not only convert leads into purchases up front. But if you hesitate to offer free shipping up front, consider offering it as a follow-up to any abandoned shopping carts on your website.

You can frame it as a holiday gift as you encouraged fallen-off customers to come back and complete their purchases.

No limit on holiday spirit

Beyond the posts that will reflect holiday imagery in some way, what else can you do to convey that your brand is all about the holidays?

Think about embedding warm holiday scenes and sparkle in your physical store locations (if applicable), across the home page of your website, the cover photos of your social media accounts and any relevant landing pages.

You also can go beyond the imagery by sharing any charity work your company is doing during the holiday season and any special services or products you might be offering (free or not) during the holidays only.

There’s truly no limit to the holiday spirit you can convey to consumers through your brand.

Take advantage of Small Business Saturday

In addition to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, don’t forget about Small Business Saturday, which happens the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

If your brand is a small business, it’s an opportunity to connect with your audience in a different way. What’s the story behind your business? What drives you? Who are your employees? What are their stories?

About a third of U.S. adults who do holiday shopping say they plan to shop locally or buy from small businesses to support local communities.

Embrace that for your own brand and promote around that.

In conclusion

Of course, when it comes to your holiday marketing strategy, it’s never too early to start planning and publishing. It takes potential customers to see your messaging several times before taking action. And the sky’s the limit on creativity. Evaluate what your competition is doing or has done in the past.

Dive deeper with our seven holiday marketing tips to optimize sales.

As you begin to plan and prepare your holiday marketing, consider optimizing your digital marketing process. This includes such features as automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 holiday marketing strategy tips to optimize sales

Digital marketing has become the primary way to spread the word about your holiday offers and savings. 

And since the holidays are a hectic time for consumers, it’s critical to develop a holiday marketing strategy sooner than later that will help you stand out from your competition.

Two key days during the holiday shopping season are Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which combined have been projected to generate more than $10 billion in sales. Of course, these days “Cyber Monday” has expanded into “Cyber Week,” which generates about 17 percent of total holiday spending. About 58 percent of Cyber Week purchases are made by totally new visitors.

The following are seven tips to help your digital marketing shine this holiday season and not miss any opportunities to stand out and succeed.

Start early

If you wait until the holiday season is about to begin, then you’re already too late. Aim to start working on your holiday marketing strategy and materials in August or September.

This will enable you to prepare what will be the most effective for your business since you’ll have appropriate time to think through everything and create what is needed. That way, you can focus on the actual execution during the holiday season itself.

Set your holiday marketing goals

The success of your holiday marketing starts with the setting of specific goals that you set in advance. 

Ask yourself: What do you want to achieve? 

Think through how to make your goals S.M.A.R.T.:

  • Specific
  • Measureable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

For example, you may want to beat last year’s holiday sales by a particular percentage. Or, you want to increase your email subscribers by a desired amount. Just make sure that the goal(s) are something that serves your business.

Check out our seven expert tips to achievable marketing goals for more.

Make your holiday marketing memorable

In order to stand out from your competition, you may need to do a little bit more than post about a big sale around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

You want to connect with your audience. And in order to connect, reflect on how you can touch upon the values that your brand shares with your customers and potential customers.

After all, engagement is based on meaningful human connections. And if you’re not compelling your target audience to engage with your holiday marketing content, then it’s going to be that much harder to convert them into purchases. 

Beyond the discounts, limited-time offers and promotions, think about the broader message you want to convey in your holiday marketing that both represents your brand and brings your customers along for the ride.

Create or use a content calendar

Once you have an overall plan, a content calendar is a fantastic way to get (and stay) organized for your holiday marketing. This is where you can get more specific in the “what,” “when,” “where” and possibly even “who” behind planned assets.

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

Check out our eight tips to create an effective content calendar.

Schedule emails and social media posts in advance

When business might be slower in the months before the holiday season begins, use that time as an opportunity to create and schedule all your holiday marketing assets in advance.

Of course, the obvious assets are emails and social media posts. But maybe you’re thinking about publish a holiday-specific landing page or pop-up ad (both of which DailyStory can help with). Whatever you plan to create, do so early and get everything as ready to go as possible.

The act of scheduling itself so that everything publishes automatically at the best possible time can save you a lot of time (and prevent missed opportunities that can happen if you’re publishing assets manually).

See these five ways you can approach automation in your marketing strategy.

Leverage cross-channel marketing

The beauty of digital marketing is that it includes multiple channels that can be used to boost each other within a specific holiday marketing campaign in order to get your message out to more of your target audience.

The idea here is that you want to cover all your bases. How can your emails complement your social media? How can your SMS text messages connect with warm leads from your emails or social media posts? 

In your holiday marketing strategy, think through the customer journey and where you can better connect with them along the way to better convert for a sale. Then, measure every element of your campaign so that you can build off of how everything performed going into the next holiday season.

Use personalization and segmentation

Personalization involves using the data you have about your audience to understand how your content best fits their needs or interest. (Personalization in the simplest sense can also be the use of a customer’s first name in a marketing message.)

Segmentation, then, is the targeted delivery of messages to only those you’re looking to share a specific custom message with. 

For example, a customer who hasn’t purchased from you in the past three months could be sent a “we miss you” email with a discount offer to entice him or her back.

Personalization and segmentation can be used to level up your holiday marketing as well. 

Within your holiday marketing plan, consider where you can personalize and segment your messaging. The more specific you can get, the more effective you’ll likely be.

Learn more about personalization and segmentation

In conclusion

The holiday season is a critical time to get noticed by your target audience and convert leads into sales. Don’t be afraid to experiment and even try new platforms. Just make sure it’s all detailed in your holiday marketing plan.

Dive deeper with our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners.

As you begin to plan and prepare your holiday marketing, consider optimizing your digital marketing process. This includes such features as automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

5 last-minute Small Business Saturday marketing ideas

Small Business Saturday should be marked on every small business owner’s calendar. 

To put it simply, Small Business Saturday is a special day each year when people are encouraged to shop small during the post-Thanksgiving weekend to support their local economies. It applies to all types of small, local businesses.

The holiday was started by American Express in 2010 during the recession and became recognized by the U.S. Senate and all 50 states in 2011.

While about 39 percent of Americans celebrate Small Business Saturday, about 57 percent make it a point to shop at local businesses.

You don’t want to miss an opportunity to share your small business story with your target audience. But you might be busy and find yourself running out of time to do anything special for Small Business Saturday itself.

Don’t worry! We have you covered. The following are five last-minute Small Business Saturday marketing ideas that you can make happen with limited time and a limited budget.

Highlight your business story

Owning your identity as a small business can be as simple as posting a video or image on social media (or an email drip campaign if you have enough time or blog post) that shares the story behind your business. 

How did it get started? Why was it created? What are some of your favorite memories? Biggest challenges? What makes you different from big-box stores? How do you support the community? Who are the people behind your business? What is the relationship with your customers like?

There’s no limit to what or how you can share your business story. Even just a few thoughts can engage your audience in a meaningful way.

Offer a compelling discount or special

To stand out from the crowd of other small businesses marketing for Small Business Saturday, a compelling discount, offer or gift might be needed.

Think about your audience and what might appeal to them. Could it be a discounted packaging of a couple of your services or products? Is there a special gift you can include for any orders that cost more than a specific amount? Perhaps free refreshments in your physical business while customers shop?

You also can reflect and consider anything that’s worked well in the past. 

The key is that you want to blast your offer across your social media channels, email newsletter, in-store signage, etc. Wherever you can share it, including in relevant Facebook groups, do so.

Just make sure that whatever your offer is, it’s something that you can deliver on.

Collect email addresses in-store from customers

Regardless of how you set up your physical business location for success on Small Business Saturday, collecting email addresses from your customers should be a must.

This could be as simple as having a printed-out sign-up sheet (if you don’t have a device and online webform to use). You could even offer a special discount simply for signing up for your email contact list.

Remember that these customers are supporting you on Small Business Saturday, so you don’t want to miss out on signing them up for your email newsletter so that you can stay in touch (and encourage them to purchase from you again).

Confirm that you’re listed ahead of Small Business Saturday

Having an active, correct Google My Business listing ahead of Small Business Saturday is both critical and easy to do.

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.

Check out our 12 ways to optimize your Google My Business profile.

Of course, listings go beyond just Google. Don’t forget Facebook, Yelp and any other platforms that are relevant in your community.

Host a giveaway

The best giveaways typically require a bit of time to plan and execute, but if you keep it simple enough, your giveaway can still be successful.

You can encourage user-generated content, such as photos with your product, to be posted with a specific Small Business Saturday-related hashtag. Then, whichever photo gets the most likes, you can repost it and give the “winner” a prize or special discount.

There are a number of ways to run a quick, efficient giveaway. Just make sure that you’re keeping everything legal.

In conclusion

If you’re limited on time ahead of Small Business Saturday, don’t fret. Decide what “low-hanging fruit” you can use in your marketing to seize the opportunity to engage with your audience and increase your sales.

As you’re marketing ahead of Small Business Saturday, 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.

7 ways to connect with potential customers through marketing

As a marketer or business owner, you’re constantly looking for ways to find and connect with potential customers. Marketing is the answer.

Of course, this is easier said than done because you have so much competition, and they seem to be doing everything right. However, consumers are smart, and they no longer believe everything a company says about its brand, products, and services, so it’s up to you to find new ways to connect with customers and foster trust.

Your customers drive your business. Without them, you wouldn’t exist. Customer interactions are key, so instead of reaching out to them because you need them to buy something from you, you must continuously find ways to connect with them on a more personal level.

Here are a few ways to connect with potential customers through marketing.

Personalize it

The one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. Consumers want personal interactions with brands and to feel special. You can personalize your marketing by giving customers what they want.

Instead of sending email blasts for products customers might not be interested in, you can use your email marketing software to automate your marketing and send personalized emails to customers based on actions they’ve taken on your website.

For example, if someone purchases a toy for their dog, you can regularly send them emails about dog products instead of asking them to look at products for cats or other pets they might not have.

Dive deeper into how personalization is true one-to-one marketing.

Build trust

Your customers need to trust you before they make a purchase. Unfortunately, your first-time customers have likely never heard of your brand before, so they don’t yet trust that you’ll deliver on all the promises you made on your website.

Building trust is crucial, so consider adding testimonials to your site to act as word-of-mouth marketing and allow your customers to learn about the quality of your brand and products through other real people. 

Another way you can foster trust is by working with influencers and content creators who can be your brand advocates. Even though you pay these individuals to highlight the benefits and features of your products, your customers are more willing to listen to an actual human being than a business website or brand.

Respond to concerns

Always be available to customers to answer their concerns.

Even when customers have issues, quality customer service can improve their experience with your brand, making them more likely to come back.

For example, many businesses offer free returns for a set number of days with no questions asked. This means they’ll print the shipping label for the customer or even send them the packaging to put the products in to be shipped back out. By offering exceptional service, whether or not there’s an issue, you can improve your relationship with customers and begin fostering trust. 

Check out our 11 tips to best respond to negative reviews.

Be active on social media

Social media gives you the unique opportunity to showcase your brand in a more personal way.

While you might not want to put behind-the-scenes footage or images on your website to maintain its professional appearance, social media is the perfect place to show the people behind the brand to start building customer relationships.

Your social media platforms should be used to engage customers, not simply sell them products or services. Instead of making every post a post to sell more, consider asking customers to engage with your brand by hosting giveaways and contests or using social media as a way to highlight your expertise by offering valuable and educational content. 

Check out our 11 best practices to grow your social media followers.

Show customer appreciation

You’d be nothing without your customers, so show them a little appreciation once and a while.

You can show customer appreciation in several ways. Many customers would be happy to receive deals as a thank-you for their business. However, you can take it to another level by making the experience even more personal and rewarding for them. 

Writing personalized thank-you letters or birthday cards is one way to show customers how much you care about them. One company that excels at building customer relationships is Chewy, the pet product marketplace. Chewy sends cards to pets on their birthdays and condolence cards and flowers to grieving pet parents after learning a pet has passed away. This company excels at building relationships, so they’re never in the back of someone’s mind when they need something for their pet.

Have a customer loyalty rewards program? Check out our five tips to successfully promote it.

Survey customers

If you want to know more about your customers, send them a survey and reward them once they’ve completed it.

You can learn just about anything from a survey, including how customers feel about your products and brand as a whole.

It can also improve your marketing by helping your business understand what customers want, including when they want to hear from you and which types of deals are most likely to make them take action on your website. 

In addition, consider social listening, which essentially audience research where you monitor your brand’s social media channels for any customer feedback, mentions of your brand and discussions surrounding specific keywords, topics, competitors or industries that are relevant to your brand. 

Build your email list

If you don’t have an email list, you can’t send out surveys or keep customers informed about their orders, deals, and new products.

The best way to build relationships with customers is through email. If you don’t have an email list, you can’t send out surveys or keep customers informed about their orders, deals, and new products.

Email marketing has one of the highest ROIs of any marketing strategy, so if you’re not using it to grow your business, you’re losing out on tons of sales. 

There are many types of email marketing messages to send, including:

  • Abandoned cart emails
  • E-blasts with deals
  • Customer appreciation emails
  • New product announcements
  • Company announcements

Each of your emails can be personalized based on actions your customers take on your website, improving your ROI and boosting sales.

Check out our 16 email marketing best practices that make an impact.

In conclusion

Connecting with potential customers isn’t difficult as long as you prioritize it.

Customers want to shop with businesses that actively show they care about them. If you’re not offering quality customer service or trying to build relationships and foster trust with customers, you’ll quickly lose out on sales to the competition that is doing all these things.

Consumers don’t want to be sold to. They want to be educated, informed, and experience personal interactions with brands.

Stop alienating customers because you don’t know how to market to them. They are the life of your business, so it’s time to start brainstorming ways you can begin building trust and improving your reputation. 

As you’re looking to connect more with consumers, consider optimizing your overall digital marketing process, which includes automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email and text message marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

About the author


Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a freelance writer who loves to share knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, wellness, and financial tips. During her free time, she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music. 

8 tips to write an effective marketing text message

SMS text message marketing can be the most effective method of mass communication.

Compared to emails, text messages can be more powerful. They have a 98 percent open rate compared to 20 percent in emails, and consumers are 4.5 percent more likely to respond to (and not just read) your text message than your emails.

So, how are you approaching the copy of your text messages? Remember, you can engage with or lose a lead forever in less than 160 characters. Paying attention to what you’re saying and how you’re saying it matters.

The following are eight tips to write an effective marketing text message.

Keep it short and concise

When it comes to SMS text messaging, you’re already limited to 160 characters per message. It’s important to get to the point quickly without a lot of fluff. Consider the recipient’s “What’s in it for me?” angle and focus on that to do more than just read your text message.

Writing in short sentences can help you be as concise as possible while also being more engaging for recipients. Think “5th Grader Level” when writing your copy. Consumers are most likely to skim your message, so don’t write long or complex sentences. You’ll lose their attention if you do.

MMS messages, with the use of images, can help you maximize what you can convey in a single message. Learn more about how you can leverage MMS text messages.

Use a strong call-to-action

Having a 98 percent open rate doesn’t mean much if your recipients don’t know what to do next. A strong, clear call-to-action can make the difference between a sale and being ignored.

Some examples of call-to-actions that you can use:

  • Act fast
  • Sign up now
  • Buy now
  • Last chance
  • Limited-time offer
  • Don’t miss out

Keep in mind that your goals matter. What is the point of sending this text message to your recipients? You’ll want to aim for that goal while being as persuasive as possible.

Personalize your text message

Depending on your SMS text message marketing platform, such as DailyStory, you should be able to personalize your text messages.

There’s a lot of power behind personalization. By using a person’s name when addressing them, you’re breaking down the impersonal barrier that can exist in any type of marketing method. This can help build trust with your text message recipients. It also can help you stand out from your competitors.

About 72 percent of customers will only engage with personalized messaging.

Of course, personalization goes well beyond just including a first name. You could use other data points as relevant. But personalization also ties into the type of messaging you’re sending. You would send a different type of message to a past customer who hasn’t purchased from you in a few months than you would to a brand new lead who hasn’t purchased from you yet.

Dive deeper into how personalization is one-to-one marketing.

Use power words in your text message

Using power words in your text messages can help you engage with your audience. These words help spur some type of emotion in your recipients, which can help with your sales conversions.

See our 16 tips to increase your sales conversion rate.

Some top power words in marketing include:

  • Obsession
  • Bold
  • Epic
  • Secret
  • Daring
  • Imagine
  • Inspire
  • Risky
  • Avoid
  • Authentic
  • Secure
  • Tested
  • Rare
  • Immediately
  • Hurry
  • Proven
  • Affordable
  • Guaranteed

See more power words and take note of what might work for you in future SMS campaigns.

Of course, while words like “free” or even emphasizing certain words by using all capital letters can help engage and persuade recipients to act, you have to beware of potential carrier violations, which can prevent your text message from being delivered at all. You don’t want to write anything that can be viewed as spammy by mobile carriers.

Dive deeper into carrier violations and how to avoid them.

Add urgency to your copy

It’s easy for consumers to not act until the last moment (or at all) unless they’re compelled to do so.

When an offer or message feels urgent, you’re more likely to spur your recipients to action. For example, a sale that ends in two days should inspire customers to plan how they can take advantage of the offer before it’s over. If the sale is monthlong, it’s easy to think there’s plenty of time to act, but that means it’s that much easier to forget about it entirely.

Consider how you can infuse urgency into your text message.

Avoid ‘text-speak’

“Text speak” is the use of abbreviations to save time, energy and space in your 160-character text message. For example, saying “l8r” instead of “later” or “u” instead of “you.”

As a brand, you want to maintain some professionalism and resist any appearances of spam. Using “text speak” can devalue your brand and cause a recipient to lose respect for you and opt out of your messages.

Consider your brand personality. You can still sound human and engaging without devolving into “text speak.”

Beware of special characters

Keep in mind that while special characters can feel like a great way to make your text message stand out, all characters are not supported by all carriers. Many carriers only support unicode.

This means that the use of a special character (like a special quotation mark or apostrophe) will not work for every recipient. That can cause confusion because (depending on the carrier) the unsupported character can be replaced with something random or a space. Either way, your text message will suffer as a result.

Keep your text messages legal

With various anti-spam laws in place, it’s critical that all your marketing text messages include an opt-out option in the text. 

Including the commonly used “Reply STOP to opt-out” at the end of your text makes your available message space that much shorter, but it’s better than risking thousands of dollars in fines.

In addition, you must identify who is sending the text message. This is non-negotiable. Make sure to work your brand name into your message.

In conclusion

Invest the time and effort into crafting text messages that support your goals, represent your brand and engage with and persuade your audience to take action.

Check out these six things to know before starting your first texting campaign.

While you’re crafting effective text messages, 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.

9 tips to run an effective brainstorming meeting

It’s likely that we’ve all been part of a brainstorming meeting that’s been unfocused, long and frustrating, with various ideas shared but no path to move forward.

This is not the kind of brainstorming meeting you want to experience with your team.

Brainstorming with others should enhance creative performance by almost 50 percent versus individuals working on their own.

Simply put, brainstorming is a go-to method for generating and developing ideas in a collaborative environment. Without the right preparation, leadership and focus, though, your brainstorming meeting can go off the rails.

The following are nine tips to run an effective brainstorming meeting that boosts team morale and generates creative ideas that serve your business, regardless of the topic.

Give enough time for individual preparation

Brainstorming participants tend to produce better ideas when they can think alone first. So, it’s important to allow for enough preparation time for everyone involved.

Doing so helps avoid groupthink in your brainstorming meeting and gives each person the opportunity to better contribute since they are prepared. Everyone also is able to collaborate more effectively and identify and develop the best ideas and solutions.

Maintain a small group

To avoid having too many cooks in the kitchen, don’t invite too many participants to your brainstorming meeting. 

Ideally, there should be no more than 10 people involved. 

Limiting the participants makes it easier for everyone to be heard and promotes more constructive conversations.

Because you do want to limit the size of your group, be sure to choose your participants wisely. You want to invite a diverse team with different backgrounds and roles to best discover new ideas in your brainstorming meeting. 

Avoid inviting anyone who’s too far removed from the topic that you’d like to discuss. You really want everyone to be an active participant with a buy-in for the process.

Keep your brainstorming meeting short

Shorter meetings will help keep your team focused. A time constraint will motivate your participants to stay on topic and share all possible ideas.

You’ll want to aim for no more than 30 minutes if possible. If you can make it even shorter than that, then all the better. 

Also, pay attention to when you’re scheduling your brainstorming meeting. Late afternoon meetings can feel sluggish, with your participants more mentally fatigued. Consider what the timing sweet spot would be for your team.

Share the goal of the brainstorming meeting

In order to be focused in your brainstorming meeting, everyone needs to be clear on the goal. What problem are you trying to solve? You can ask a prompting question to help set the tone, such as “What types of campaigns do we want to promote for Black Friday?”

You’ll also want to consider setting some boundaries on potential solutions. For example, whether there are any budgetary limits. Just be careful how many boundaries you set. Too many can stifle the sharing of creative ideas, while the right amount can keep your team focused.

Make sure to give your team all this information at least a couple of days before your brainstorming meeting so that they can prepare with as much relevant information as possible.

Set a brainstorming meeting agenda

To stay on track, create an agenda for your brainstorming meeting. It doesn’t have to be extremely detailed. Remember, you do want to keep your time spent as short as possible.

But even the most basic agenda can help maintain the focus of the team and accomplish your goal before everything is over. You’ll want to share this agenda with your team in advance of the meeting as well.

Aim to:

  • Allow time to discuss your topic, and any relevant boundaries, definitions and context.
  • Spend time generating and exploring new ideas.
  • Come together to sort, discuss and get a consensus on the best ideas.
  • Identify next steps that should happen after the meeting is over.

Identify a facilitator

First things first, the facilitator of your brainstorming meeting does not have to be you. But regardless of who it is, a great facilitator can make or break your meeting. His or her job is to guide the discussion and keep the team on track.

Ways that a facilitator can do this include:

  • Setting and enforcing the rules of the brainstorming.
  • Redirecting the conversation if it veers off-course or dies off.
  • Making sure that each person contributes.
  • Explaining the next steps when the meeting ends.

Select your brainstorming technique

Part of your planning process should include the style of brainstorming that you want to use. There are multiple different techniques that can help facilitate more and better ideas out of your brainstorming meeting.

It’s important to consider all approaches and which one best suits your team and your goal.

And depending on what technique speaks to you, you can then understand what tools or materials you’ll need, such as Post-It notes, a time-keeping system, whiteboards, etc.

Check out these nine brainstorming techniques to inspire you.

Just make sure that everyone knows that there are “no bad ideas” to ensure that everyone is comfortable and confident while sharing.

Don’t feel obligated to keep it traditional

Typically, when we think of a brainstorming meeting, we think of a conference room with whiteboards and/or Post-It notes.

But don’t feel trapped by that box. Not only can you hold your meeting in a more non-traditional way, but depending on whether you have remote employees, you might have to.

Remember that with planning, an online version of a brainstorming meeting can be just as if not more successful.

Follow-up on your ‘next steps’

Your brainstorming meeting is only as successful as the actions you take after it’s over. What this looks like definitely depends on what your designated “next steps” are.

For example, in staying true to your overall time limit, your next steps could be as simple as reconvening at a new time in the future.

Regardless, commit to honoring the time invested by your team to potentially solve the problem at hand by following up and staying true to the plan you all set.

While you’re planning your next (more effective) brainstorming meeting, consider 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.

9 brainstorming techniques to inspire even better ideas

The power of your digital marketing efforts is based on multiple factors, including your brainstorming techniques.

Often an overlooked practice, the more effective your brainstorming, the more creative you’ll be with your marketing. 

Not only does your marketing benefit, but your team benefits as well. “Groups that focus on both the quantity of ideas and building on the ideas of others significantly increase their cohesiveness,” according to one Northern Illinois University researcher.

The more productive the brainstorming session, the more your team will leave feeling accomplished and energized for the next steps. Better brainstorming techniques can help.

Of course, brainstorming sessions can get off-track when there are:

  • Unbalanced conversations, where certain personalities take over.
  • Participants holding onto the first few ideas, preventing everyone from moving on.
  • Awkward silences, with unprepared participants.
  • Challenges with brainstorming with remote employees over videoconferencing.

Keep in mind that brainstorms typically have an idea capturing phase that leads to a discussion and critique phase and then finally a selection phase that gives a sense of next steps when the brainstorming has ended.

The following are nine brainstorming techniques to keep your team on track and spark the best ideas for your brand, regardless of the topic.


This technique kicks off with everyone writing down three ideas that relate to the topic of your brainstorming. You’ll likely only need about five minutes to do this.

Then, all participants pass their ideas to the person next to them. That next person will then build on those ideas with bullet points or even related creative strategies. After another few minutes, everyone passes the ideas again, with more thoughts and sub-ideas added, continuing on until the ideas have made it all the way around the table.

Once all ideas have been shared in a non-verbal manner with everyone, the team can then discuss which ideas should be pursued. 

This same approach can be attempted with remote workers in Slack, using comment replies and threads to substitute the passing-in-person approach.

The brainwriting brainstorming technique helps ensure that everyone gets an equal voice up front and that all ideas get heard.

Brain netting

For “brain netting,” the key is that you have a single location for everyone to write down their ideas. This can be as simple as a whiteboard or an online editable document, depending on whether your team is brainstorming in-person or virtually.

Keeping the idea contributions anonymous can help everyone share more freely.

Once all ideas have been shared, then it’s important to follow up and decide on what to explore further. Granted, this brainstorming technique is largely focused on idea capture and is a fairly simplified method.

Figure storming

With this brainstorming technique, your team picks a well-known figure who is not in the room. This can be a boss, public figure or even a fictional character. Then, discuss how that person would approach the problem or think about the particular idea.

How would this person approach this problem? It’s all about your team putting themselves in someone else’s shoes, which can help everyone approach it in a different way.

By applying someone else’s perceived perspective to the brainstorming session, participants might feel freer to share their creative ideas. It can remove some barriers, such as perceived budget and time.

Round-robin brainstorming

In round-robin brainstorming, every participant contributes one idea to the group. It’s important that everyone contributes one idea before anyone can share a second idea or start discussing, elaborating or criticizing any ideas.

You also should ban anyone from defaulting to “My idea was already said.” You can always come back around to that person at the end to give them more time to think. Of course, giving your team time to prepare for this brainstorming technique in advance will help with this as well.

This technique enables everyone to get their ideas out before everyone moves into discussion and evaluation of the ideas.

Mind mapping

Mind mapping is all about allowing a first idea to spark a few other related (but possibly better) ideas.

In this brainstorming technique, your team starts with one idea and then draws lines connecting the resulting sub-ideas back to the first one. And then a sub-idea can spark additional ideas with more lines connecting back to that.

It’s a very visual approach to brainstorms that can be helpful for those who think visually. And while the result might look more like a spiderweb, your team can then discuss and circle the ideas that should be explored further.

Rapid ideation

With this brainstorming technique, it’s all about a time constraint that creates a sense of urgency. In rapid ideation, all participants write down as many ideas as possible in a set amount of time before any discussions or critiques happen.

The time constraint also can prevent participants from talking themselves out of an idea before they share it with the group. When you’re pushing to get out as many ideas as possible, there isn’t time to second guess any single idea.

Eidetic image method

This brainstorming technique is all about visualization and is best used when you’re looking to enhance the wheel, not reinvent it.

For example, your company might sell razors. In an eidetic image brainstorming session, you’ll start with intention setting, where you’ll ask everyone to close their eyes and clearly set an intention for what they will create. In this example, it would be a new razor design.

Once everyone has visualized what they would consider the best possible design, you’ll ask them to visualize the company’s current design. Then, you all can begin building upon that design. What would change about the color or size or some other feature? No one should focus on cost, but everyone should try to keep their thoughts within the realm of possibility.

Then, after setting the initial intention and building off of what currently exists, every participant can share their visualization, which can be recorded. These visualizations can result in many concrete ideas that can be used to enhance your product.

Granted, a razor is a very simple example, but this can be applied to whatever product or service your company offers. The eidetic image method is one of the most visualization-based brainstorming techniques.

Step-ladder brainstorming technique

If you’re concerned about the first few ideas heavily influencing your team (or even the loudest people in the room taking over), consider using the step-ladder brainstorming technique. 

To start, you would introduce the brainstorming topic and then everyone would leave the room except for two people (which can be handled with breakout rooms on a Zoom call for remote workers). The two participants still in the room will then brainstorm together for a few minutes before a third person returns to the room. That third person then shares some of the ideas he or she has before discussing the ideas that the first two came up with.

The step-ladder then continues, bringing one participant back in at a time until everyone is back in the room. Those who are outside of the room should be brainstorming but not discussing any of the ideas generated until they re-enter the room.

This technique best works with a smaller as opposed to a larger group.


If you’ve already selected an idea to dig into further and explore possible execution as a group, starbursting could make sense out of the other brainstorming techniques.

In starbursting, you’ll start with the idea or challenge at the center of a whiteboard or something else, and then draw a six-point star around it. 

Each point represents a question:

  • Who? (Such as “Who is this product targeting?)
  • What? (Such as “What is our motivation to create this product?)
  • When? (Such as “When should this product launch?)
  • Where? (Such as “Where can we target our audience for this product?)
  • Why? (Such as “Why would our target audience be interested in this product?)
  • How? (Such as “How should this product be launched?)

The goal is to focus on questions to encourage your team to examine the idea from every angle without anyone getting defensive. In starbursting, the team works together to find solutions together.

In conclusion

These techniques should help inspire creativity while also ensuring that everyone’s ideas are heard, which is important to balance. 

If you’re feeling like your brainstorming sessions are starting to feel repetitive, with the same people in the same space, consider moving your brainstorming to a different location. This can be as simple as getting outside or going to a restaurant and brainstorming over a meal.

Of course, any brainstorming should keep your overall goals in mind.

Struggling with a remote team? Check out our nine tips to better manage your remote employees.

While you’re planning your next (more effective) brainstorming session with any of these brainstorming techniques, consider 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.

6 things to know before starting your first texting campaign

If you haven’t started your first texting campaign yet, you might be unsure of where to start.

The important piece is that you want to get started.

SMS texting campaigns have an engagement rate that’s three to seven times higher than with emails and a nearly six times conversion rate.

You don’t want to miss out on achieving higher marketing results for your business.

The following are six things you should know before starting your first texting campaign.

What’s a texting campaign?

First things first, an SMS texting campaign allows you to interact with your customers through text messages, which can feel more personal than emails.

You can still segment your audience (just like you would with your email marketing) so that you’re getting the right message to the right people at the right time. Automated text messages can also boost your interactions and ultimate campaign results.

There are limitations, though. You must work with a character count of 160 characters, and you have to fit the parameters of any included visuals, i.e. MMS messages.

What do you want to achieve with your texting campaign?

Thinking through your goals will help guide the direction of your first texting campaign. 

Setting goals increases the success of your marketing strategy by about 429 percent.

Consider your overall business goals and how SMS marketing can support any or all of them.

Still not sure what your goals should be? Check out our seven expert tips to set achievable marketing goals for your small business.

What texting campaign service should I use?

It’s important to identify and sign up for the technology that will enable you to create and deploy texting campaigns.

When surveying what text marketing services are out there, you’ll want to understand all the features available, whether those features make sense for what you want to achieve (or if you need something more) and the total cost associated with a subscription.

Regarding features, consider:

  • Ease of use
  • Any complementary tools (such as data-capturing forms)
  • Audience segmentation
  • Automation capabilities
  • Campaign reporting

DailyStory offers SMS text messaging features, as well as email marketing and more as well. Explore with our 21-day free trial.

Who can I text?

Before you launch your first texting campaign, it’s critical that your customers gave you permission to send them SMS messages.

It’s a best practice but also the law (as it relates to distributing promotional content via texting). But about 91 percent of consumers would opt-in for text messages from brands

Of course, there are many ways to opt-in your customers and even potential customers, including:

  • Including a contact phone number field and permissions checkbox in your contact or sign-up forms.
  • Using a “text to join” strategy, where consumers text a keyword to a specific number that you give them.

Check out our four tips to grow your SMS text message marketing subscribers

Just remember to give a clear option to opt out of your texts within each message sent. For example, a subscriber can reply “STOP” to opt out. While this feels countintuitive to your marketing goals, it is required by law, and you wouldn’t want to accumulate frustrated and uninterested subscribers anyway.

What should I text?

The sky’s the limit within 160 characters, creatively speaking. But you do have some guidelines to follow to avoid getting carrier violations and the resulting impacts from them.

A carrier violation occurs when carriers (such as Verizon, AT&T and such) receive an outbound SMS and opt to not deliver the message to the destination phone number. In other words, carriers monitor and filter SMS traffic, and if your message triggers a perceived violation from the carrier’s perspective, your text will not be delivered.

When your text messages are flagged, it becomes very likely that future messages from the same number (or those with similar content) will be filtered out as well.

Learn more about carrier violations and how to avoid them.

How should I track my texting campaign?

The metrics tied to texting campaigns aren’t as robust as what you might be used to with email marketing due to technoligical limitations. 

Within whatever texting campaign service you choose to use, you should be able to track the number of sent SMS messages as well as the click rate. You also should be able to see your deliverability rate, depending on the service.

Of course, to take this a step further, it’s a best practice to track any resulting sales from your texting campaign as well to give you a bigger picture view of how your text messages are performing.

In conclusion

Before you dive head first into texting campaigns, make sure you have a plan. Knowing your goals as well as the “rules of the road” that come along with texting can help you start strong. From there, be sure to experiment and measure so that you’re continuously optimizing your texting campaigns.

While you’re planning your first texting campaign, 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.

8 tips to maximize your SMS marketing strategy

Every business should have an SMS marketing strategy as part of its larger digital marketing efforts.

SMS marketing is the use of text messages to convey your message to potential (and current) customers. It’s also the way many consumers prefer to communicate. About 75 percent want to receive texts with special offers.

Check out our 10 best practices for SMS text message marketing, while the following are eight tips to consider to maximize your SMS marketing strategy specifically.

Send drip campaigns via text

Drip campaigns are a type of time-release marketing tactic. Think drip irrigation systems. Drip messages (whether through text message, email or something else) are intended to land with purposeful timing and targeting, with minimal waste (and technically minimal effort once set up to run automatically).

Think about it like a conversation that you’re building upon along the way.

In that sense, a planned, automated drip campaign should have a place in your SMS marketing strategy.

Text drip campaigns can keep subscribers engaged as you regularly send relevant, valuable content. Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Welcoming and onboarding new customers
  • Educating customers about how to get the most out of your products or services
  • Sharing relevant education and tips about related topics
  • Including special offers along the way as you build up to them (and/or increasing the offer over time if it hasn’t been claimed yet)

Check out our 14 best practices for drip campaigns as they relate to email marketing.

Create exclusive text-only deals and offers

Consumers want to feel special. And why should they opt-in to your marketing texts if they don’t think they’ll get something they wouldn’t get otherwise?

From a special day-of discount to advanced notification of an upcoming sale, the sky’s the limit when it comes to getting creative with what you can offer your text subscribers.

The key is that you communicate this value upfront as you’re asking for their opt-in and then deliver it on a regular basis.

Learn more about how to promote a loyalty rewards program (which is often text-based but doesn’t have to be).

Use keywords for SMS opt-ins

A great way to grow your SMS subscriber list is to use SMS keywords for opt-ins.

An example of an SMS keyword opt-in is if a spa asks you to text the word “SPA” to a phone number, which then opts you into that company’s text message subscriber list.

These SMS keywords are an easy way for interested consumers to subscribe to your texts. The easier you can make that opt-in, the better.

Just make sure that when you are growing your SMS subscribers, you’re offering an incentive for joining, providing a link to your Terms and Conditions and setting the expectations for the frequency your audience will receive text messages.

Prioritize responsiveness

Regardless of the type of campaign you’re running, the ability for text recipients to respond and engage in conversation with you must be a priority in your SMS marketing strategy.

It’s one thing to send out an SMS blast or pull your subscribers along in a drip campaign, but you have to make sure to not only have the ability to chat back and forth with anyone who responds to a text but also to be able to reply back in a timely manner. 

DailyStory has the capability to alert you to text responses as they happen so that you can be as responsive as possible.

Check out these eight ways to improve your overall customer responsiveness.

Focus on education before the ‘sell’

You are an expert in your industry, so leverage that in your SMS marketing strategy before you go in for the sale.

Consider the problems your target audience (i.e. ideal customers) have. Then, develop various pieces of content that can help your audience overcome those problems. You can then take 160-character snippets of this content to engage and serve your text subscribers.

This not only shows the industry expertise that you have. It also engages subscribers, delivers promised value and builds a trusting relationship that can ultimately lead to that sale (and more sales after that) over time.

Be functional with reminders and confirmations

Your SMS marketing strategy does not have to be restricted to the balance of educational and promotional content. In fact, it can fill a very needed function: scheduling confirmations and reminders.

About 67 percent of consumers would rather text with a business about appointments and scheduling than by email or phone.

This means that appointment reminders, booking confirmations, billing reminders and more can all be incorporated into your SMS marketing strategy.

Your business more efficient, and your potential customers and customers will appreciate the method of communication.

Consider running a contest

Contests are a popular tactic in various digital marketing mediums because they do typically work.

They can be especially helpful in growing your SMS subscriber list. For example, you can set up an SMS keyword that (when texted to a particular phone number, whether it’s a short code or long code) not only enters the consumer into your giveaway but opts them into your subscriber list.

Key reminders when it comes to contests:

  • Use them sparingly (so you don’t lose impact by running an ongoing contest that loses interest and steam)
  • Create urgency
  • Make it easy as possible to enter
  • Offer a compelling prize
  • Cross-promote across platforms
  • Keep it legal

Gather feedback and monitor performance

Data will always make your SMS marketing strategy more effective. You want to optimize the data you gather about your subscribers so that you can better engage with them. You also want to monitor how each text campaign is performing to make informed decisions on that and future campaigns.

To get more data about your subscribers, try ending a welcome text message (or including in a drip sequence) a survey or poll. This can help you learn more about who your audience is and what you can offer them. This information will benefit your strategy and even how you craft the language of your text messages.

Then, in the backend, you want to track what’s working and what’s not in your SMS marketing strategy. Text messages don’t have as many metrics to follow as emails, but understanding your delivery rate, click-through rate and replies will help you make the best decisions about your strategy. If something didn’t work, you can take that and pivot for the next campaign to do better.

In conclusion

With nearly 100 percent of people reading all their text messages, SMS marketing can be powerful if done right. Take the time you need to invest in the planning stage of your SMS marketing strategy so that your texts are engaging with your audience and deliver the results you’re looking for.

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

Best new technology to improve your business

All businesses need new technology to thrive in a competitive marketplace.

Still, with advancements every year, it can be hard to keep up with everything you need to stay ahead of the competition and keep your employees happy and productive.

Companies willing to invest in technology can increase efficiency and improve decision-making, while those unwilling to invest will fall behind.

Wondering what new tech can improve your business? Keep reading. Here are a few of the best new technologies to improve your business.

Card reader apps

If you don’t need a full cash register, you can use a credit card reader app that prevents the need for invoicing or accepting cash only at your business.

Instead, you can swipe cards and send digital receipts to customers. It also helps you track inventory and gives you access to sales history. Card reader apps can simplify things for small businesses without investing in a full-scale POS system. 

Finance and accounting apps and software

Finance and accounting software allows you to take all your financial management processes in-house.

There’s no longer any reason to hire financial companies to manage your finances.

Finance and accounting software allows you to take all your financial management processes in-house.

While you should still work with a financial consultant and CPA, especially during tax time, you can manage your own finances and bookkeep in-house with professional financial software that allows you to track income and expenses while giving you insight into taxes, payroll, and more.

The more robust the system, the more it can do, potentially integrating with HR software to handle employee payroll and taxes. 

With this software, you can easily file your taxes online and make automatic deductions to help you save on your taxes every quarter and year.

It also makes it easy to manage all aspects of your company finances, providing you with easy-to-understand insights into your financial health. 

Communication apps

Whether or not you have remote teams, everyone within your organization should be able to communicate seamlessly with one another.

Communication software allows you to contact staff and different teams quickly without getting up from your desk.

It also allows you to search for posts to help you organize communication without asking for team updates. With communication applications, you can create different channels or groups to help organize communications across departments and various teams.

Check out these nine tips to better manage your remote team and keep communication up.

Cloud computing

The cloud allows you to centralize all important business data and documents into one easily accessible area.

With cloud computing, you can access documents from laptops, tablets, and smartphones anywhere around the world and at any time, so individuals don’t have to be at the office to complete their work.

Cloud computing also makes it easy to store important documents without printing them out and storing them in the office while helping companies improve internal communications and collaboration.

Customer relationship management systems

CRM systems allow you to effectively manage customer relationships and communication, helping you generate and convert leads to increase profits.

A CRM tool allows you to organize your leads to promote growth and enhance conversions while decreasing total costs.

With CRMs, you’ll have access to important sales and marketing analytics reporting dashboards to help you make better business decisions based on real customer data and information. 

Learn more about how DailyStory can support your sales funnel for all your leads.


Every business must protect its customer data. However, businesses also have their own information they don’t want to share with the competition. Securing your data goes beyond keeping documents locked away in the office.

Instead, most businesses have some data stored in the cloud that they must protect at all costs, especially when it comes to customer credit card information and personal data. 

Cybersecurity solutions protect your customers and your business, ensuring sensitive information is protected. Unfortunately, hackers get smarter every year and find new ways to break into your systems, so you’ll need a cybersecurity solution that’s able to detect threats before they steal data.

Working with an IT company is the best solution for most companies who don’t know how to protect their own data. Many of these companies are experts in cloud storage and can help you keep all data used in digital tools safe from threats.

Check out this 12-step website security checklist for beginners.

Project management software

If you have difficulty tracking your tasks, your staff likely does, too. Without proper processes and tools in place, you won’t be able to effectively track and complete tasks that are part of larger projects.

Keeping track of deliverables and deadlines is key to the success of your business, but sticky notes and personal notepads aren’t effective for tracking everything within your organization. 

Instead, use project management software that tracks all aspects of projects and deliverables to ensure work is getting done timely, even if staff is working outside the office.

Project management tools vary, but you can find the right one for you by making a list of priorities and talking to each project management company to determine what’s best for you and your teams.

Check out these 15-plus free productivity tools that you should know about.

Inventory management systems

Businesses with products must effectively manage their inventory to ensure they’re not losing expensive product components.

Inventory management also ensures your customers aren’t purchasing products that are out of stock. Inventory management should be every business’ main concern if they sell products because you must ensure you have enough inventory to meet customer demand. You also don’t want to overstock and keep your cash flow tied up in inventory. 

Inventory management software helps you track inventory, allowing you to set up alerts when your inventory is low so you know exactly when to make a purchase based on business needs. It can also facilitate customer service by making it easier to track products, avoiding the potential of angry customers when they purchase products that aren’t available.

Small business technologies

Small business owners must wear many hats that include tracking projects and forming beneficial partnerships that help the business grow. You could lose valuable customers and profits if you’re not effectively utilizing technology in your business.

Finding the right technology for your needs means prioritizing your needs and researching the different providers to ensure you’re only investing in the technology you need. 

About the author


Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a freelance writer who loves to share knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, wellness, and financial tips. During her free time, she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music.

5 tips to select stock photos that aren’t cheesy

Stock photos can be incredibly helpful in your digital marketing efforts, but are the stock images you’re using look like obvious stock photos?

Your visuals matter. When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10 percent of that information three days later, but if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65 percent of it three days later.

In addition, posts with images get 650 percent more engagement than posts with only text, and tweets with photography receive 18 percent greater clicks, 89 percent more favorites and 150 percent more retweets.

However, design and visual content is the biggest challenge for about 24 percent of content marketers.

Enter stock photos. Stock images are generic, previously created photos, illustrations and icons that are licensed for specific uses. Some are free, while others cost a fee or are part of a paid subscription plan.

Their use can save you time and effort, but it’s critical that you’re selecting the right stock photos for your digital marketing efforts. There’s a real danger of obvious stock photos appearing cheesy and inauthentic, which can turn off potential customers. 

The following are five tips to select stock photos that aren’t cheesy.

Keep the context top of mind

Before you even begin searching for a stock photo to use, fully understand exactly what you’re going to use that image for. Consider:

  • Are you using it in digital or print?
  • What surrounding colors are involved?
  • What shape or orientation would work best?

Knowing exactly what you’re looking before you get started will save you a lot of wasted effort.

Get a little abstract

Subtle images can go a long way. You don’t have to be super literal when searching for the perfect stock photo. 

So, think outside the box. Going more abstract can be a great way to find a visual that will feel more unique while complementing the surrounding content it’s being used in.

Avoid cheesy smiles

Simply put, some of the most identifiable stock photos are those of super happy businesspeople interacting in posed ways, especially when they’re photoshopped onto a somewhat blank background. 

And they’re not just identifiable because of their contrived aesthetic. They’re also extremely overused. 

Oftentimes, going with more natural poses and realistic postures will feel more authentic, especially if there are at least two people interacting with each other.

Try to avoid a severe lack of personality, the use of way-too-literal tropes and wide-angle shots that are distant from the subjects in the frame. Inauthentic-appearing stock photos often have these characteristics.

Use your judgment. If you see an image that technically works but hits you as feeling fake, keep looking.

Look to direct the viewer’s eye

It’s all about positioning. Consider a magazine article layout, where the image fills the entire page, but the text aligns to the left, while a person (or animal or object) is to the right.

Bonus points if that person in this example is looking toward or pointing to the article text.

You can apply this idea to any stock photo usage, whether it’s text on a social media image or something else. It’s all about directing your viewer’s eye.

Keep experimenting

Remember that there is no science behind selecting the perfect stock photo for your brand. Continue experimenting with different images. Be sure to measure your results so that you know what types of images are working and which are not.

Just keep your brand identity and target audience in mind.

In conclusion

Stock photos have definitely earned a bad reputation over the years, but a lot of that reputation results from marketers and others not knowing how to find stock photos that are unique and authentic-looking. Truthfully, stock photos can be just as genuine and impactful. You just need to invest the time in your search to find the right ones for your brand.

While you’re thinking about visuals, check out these six ways that visuals can increase email conversions.

As you begin to search for more authentic stock photos, consider optimizing the digital marketing process that you’re using them in, such as automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

5 tips to improve employee satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is more important than ever.

As your employees continue to evaluate what’s important to them in their lives, job satisfaction is key. It ensures that your top performers don’t look for work elsewhere.

So, whether you’re looking to reduce employee turnover or you need to recruit new talent as your company grows, it’s time to start prioritizing satisfaction.

Keep reading to learn more about how to improve employee satisfaction, boost productivity, and reduce expensive turnover.

Importance of employee satisfaction

Happy employees lead to more productivity and less turnover.

Employee satisfaction is key to the success of your business. If your employees aren’t happy with their bosses or the company as a whole, you can expect lower productivity and less engagement, both of which affect your bottom line.

On the other hand, if you have high levels of satisfaction, your turnover rates will reduce because employees won’t feel a need to start looking for other opportunities. 

Having happy employees makes it easier for everyone in the workplace to succeed. These individuals take pride in their work and feel loyal to their employees. Ultimately, happy people are productive people.

Tips for improving employee satisfaction

To improve employee satisfaction, you must first understand why employees are dissatisfied.

Unfortunately, employee dissatisfaction is typically never the cause of one issue or event. Instead, low employee satisfaction is brought about by multiple problems that can all affect the efficiency of their work, their happiness with their job duties, and their overall feelings about the company.

Here are a few factors that can lead to employee dissatisfaction:


Employees deserve to get paid what they’re worth. If you start giving an employee additional duties, they should be compensated for taking on more work. While many people don’t leave jobs due to underpayment, it can contribute to someone looking for another opportunity. 

Lack of recognition

Employees need to feel like they are valued. When someone does a good job on a project, they don’t expect a party. However, they might expect someone to thank them for their hard work. 

Poor leadership

Very few people leave their jobs because they dislike the work; most people leave because they have bad leadership. Bad bosses come in many forms, including the gossiper and the micromanager. 

No opportunity for growth

Most people want careers. Even if someone is hired as a low-level employee, they’re likely hoping for the chance to grow within the company and eventually make more money by learning new skills. However, if your employees are learning new skills and not getting promoted, they might choose to take their skills elsewhere. 

No flexibility

Modern employees need more flexible schedules, and more people realize the eight-day workday just doesn’t make sense anymore, especially for parents or those with responsibilities outside of work. While your company may not be able to offer people full days off, people do expect some level of flexibility in their working hours so they can take care of what’s most important in their lives, such as their loved ones. 

Understanding the contributing factors of employee dissatisfaction is important because it can help the business understand how to fix employee attitudes and improve their relationships with those who work there.

Here are five ways you can start to improve employee satisfaction.

Give promotions as appropriate

Too many small companies forget to give their top performers the promotions they deserve.

If someone is taking on additional duties without being compensated, they might take their new skills and start applying for other jobs. Your employees are smart, and they know what they’re worth. They can type in their job title on any job board and find hundreds of job listings that align with their skill sets. Many of these listings include the rate someone else is willing to pay them. 

If you can’t pay people what they’re worth and invest in your employees, you can’t expect them to be loyal to your company. 

Celebrate milestones

Celebrating employee milestones makes employees feel appreciated. It shows you care about them as people and not just cogs in a wheel.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to throw a party every time someone hits their work anniversary milestone. Instead, you can try small gestures, such as giving employees gifts like a snack box or small gift cards on their anniversaries. 


Recognizing employees for their work goes a long way in building a healthy relationship with them.

By telling someone they did a good job on a project, you can make them feel like their work really matters. Consistently recognizing hard work is key to ensuring employee engagement.

Build a growth plan

Employees may love their jobs. But eventually, they’ll want to start taking on more responsibility to prevent boredom from doing the same work every day.

Providing employees with a growth plan can help them understand what they need to accomplish to get a promotion and start taking on more responsibility.

Be flexible

Some companies give their employees unlimited paid time off because they trust that they are completing their work. However, unlimited PTO might not be a good idea, depending on your industry and the size of your company. Instead, implement a flexible work schedule, allowing people to work when they can and when they’re most productive.

A flexible schedule doesn’t mean that your employees will be working around the clock, though. When offering flexible work schedules, all employees must have the same rules.

For example, you can ensure that everyone works the same number of hours in a day, no matter what time that is. You should also find a way to track projects easily to improve communication when everyone is working on different schedules.

In conclusion

Improving employee satisfaction is easy. However, if you don’t start taking the time to evaluate your employees’ feelings about their jobs and their work, you won’t know when they’re dissatisfied.

Of course, if you have a high turnover rate, that should signal that something is wrong.

Unfortunately, far too many employers care more about sales than finding candidates who can help boost those sales. You can start improving satisfaction and reducing turnover with a few simple techniques.

Have remote employees? Check out our nine tips to better manage your virtual team.

As you’re determining how to improve employee satisfaction, consider leveling up the digital marketing of your entire business 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.

About the author


Julia Olivas graduated from San Francisco State University with her B.A. in Communication Studies. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing and content creation. Outside of writing, she loves cooking, reading, making art, and her pup Ruby.