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

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

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

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

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

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

Social media efficiency

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

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

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

Improved social listening

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

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

Learn more about the difference between social listening and crowdsourcing.

Avoid hashtag mistakes

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

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

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

Streamlined analytics

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

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

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

Scalability

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

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

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

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

Organization and consistency

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

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

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

Never miss anything

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not defining your Facebook goals

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

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

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

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

Using a Facebook profile rather than a Facebook page

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

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

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

Failing to show a personal side of your business

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

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

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

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

Making everything about you

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

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

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

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

Using only one content type in your posts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posting without a plan

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

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

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

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

Never measuring your performance

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

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

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

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

Inconsistent posting

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

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

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

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

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

Unbalanced sales posts

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

Some businesses post too many and appear pushy.

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

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

Lacking an optimized Facebook page

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

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

See our 12 tips to optimize your Facebook business page.

Improper use of Facebook groups

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

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

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

Not investing in at least some paid advertising

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

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

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

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

The benefits of at least some advertising include:

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

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

Ignoring comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But what you know can hurt you, or at least hold your business back.

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

‘What is Social?’ from Coursera

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

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

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

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

‘Introduction to Social Media Strategy’ from Skillshare

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

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

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

‘Social Media 101’ from Constant Contact

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

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

‘Social Media Marketing’ from Oxford Home Study Centre

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

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

The self-paced course provides a certification upon completion.

‘Social Media Analytics Course’ from Quintly

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

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

Course materials include videos, reading materials and quizzes.

‘Social Media’ from HubSpot

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

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

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

‘Social Media Marketing Certification’ from eMarketing Institute

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

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

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

‘The Business of Social’ from Coursera

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Writing for Social Media’ from edX

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

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

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

‘Social Media Ethics’ from Udemy

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

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

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

‘Content, Advertising & Social IMC’ from Coursera

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

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

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

‘Social Media Monitoring’ from Udemy

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

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

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

“Introduction to Social Media Advertising” from Skillshare

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

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

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

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

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

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

The course can take less than 48 hours to complete.

‘Facebook Blueprint’ from Facebook

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

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

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

“TikTok Marketing Masterclass” from Influencer Marketing Hub

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

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

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

Terms and Conditions: How to confirm your giveaways are legal

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

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

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

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

The differences between contests, sweepstakes and giveaways

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

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

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

Components of Terms and Conditions

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

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

Title

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

No Purchase Necessary

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

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

Promotion Description

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

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

Eligibility

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

  • Geographic location
  • Minimum age

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

Prizes

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

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

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

How to Enter

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

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

Winner Selection

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

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

Winner Notification

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

Privacy

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

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

Limitation of Liability

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

Social Network Disclaimers

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

Winner List

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

Sponsor

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

  • Company name
  • Mailing address
  • Email address

Administrator

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

Other considerations

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

Recurring daily or weekly winners

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

‘Twitter-only’ giveaway

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

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

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

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

Restricted industries

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

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

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

Where to host your Terms and Conditions

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

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

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

Entry deadlines cannot be extended

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

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

You must accept all valid entries

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

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

A prize must be awarded no matter what

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

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

Legal side note

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

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

12 expert tips to host your first webinar

Webinars are only growing in popularity.

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

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

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

Choose the right webinar platform

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

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

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

Select the right day and time

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

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

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

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

Use the right equipment

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

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

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

Opt for the right topic

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

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

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

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

Go as visual as possible

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

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

Practice makes perfect

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

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

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

Promote your webinar across channels

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

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

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

See our seven tips to level up your content marketing.

Engage with your attendees

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

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

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

Invite guests to speak or host

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

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

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

Assets can be created for attendees

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

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

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

Follow up with attendees after your webinar

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

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

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

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

Measure your success

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

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

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

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

14 expert tips to improve your mobile marketing

Mobile has revolutionized the way we do business. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make your website as mobile-friendly as possible

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

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

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

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

Ensure that digital ads are mobile-friendly

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

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

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

Use Google Search Console

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

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

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

Test your page-loading speed

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

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

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

Ensure all emails are responsive

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

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

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

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

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

Get local with Google My Business

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

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

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

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

Optimize your social media presence across platforms

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

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

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

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

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

Seize social proof opportunities

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

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

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

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

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

Use SMS texts to help promote

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

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

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

Create more video content

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

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

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

Consider a podcast

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

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

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

Optimize for voice search

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

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

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

Embrace QR codes

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

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

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

Create an app

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

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

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

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

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

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

Need more time in a day? We all do.

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

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

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

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

Time-management productivity tools

RescueTime

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

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

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

Todoist

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

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

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

Clockify

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

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

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

Beeminder

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

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

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

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

Toggl

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

Features include:

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

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

StayFocused

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

It is only available on Chrome right now.

Project-management productivity tools

Asana

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

Features include:

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

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

Freedcamp

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

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

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

Trello

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

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

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

Save-for-later productivity tools

Google Drive

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

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

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

Evernote

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

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

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

Pocket

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

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

Social media productivity tools

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

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

Miscellaneous productivity tools

Slack

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

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

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

LastPass

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

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

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

Right Inbox

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

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

A bonus feature is built-in email tracking.

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

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

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

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

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

The most common types of content include:

  • Blog articles
  • Graphic illustrations
  • Videos
  • GIFs

What is premium content?

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

To be more specific, premium content:

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 ways to leverage premium content in your marketing

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

On your website

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

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

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

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

Email promotion

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

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

Social media

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

Google

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

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

Print advertising

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

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

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

6 things fitness professionals should know about marketing

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

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

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

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

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

Know your target audience

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

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

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

Resist this temptation. 

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

Why? A few reasons.

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

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

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

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

Embrace social media

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

That’s right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, email marketing is a thing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consider offering premium content

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

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

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

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

Feature your credentials

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

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

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

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

Have a fitness marketing strategy

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

It’s important to sit down and think through:

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

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

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

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

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

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

8 tips for a successful social media takeover

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

A social media takeover is a form of influencer marketing where you grant posting privileges to a person of interest for a predetermined period of time. This can be an influencer, expert or other professional. The length of the takeover could be a day, a week, etc. While Instagram and Snapchat host a significant percentage of takeovers, any social media platform can work.

It’s a great way to dip your toes into the world of influencer marketing. From $1.7 billion in 2016, influencer marketing is estimated to grow to have a market size of $13.8 billion in 2021.

See our seven tips to think about before diving into influencer marketing.

Of course, a social media takeover has its own nuances. And it doesn’t just happen in a vacuum on its own. There is a lot of planning and strategy required, especially for the most successful instances. But the benefits are there, including more brand awareness and potentially an increase in your brand’s following.

The following are eight tips to run a successful social media takeover on your first attempt.

Choose who’s taking over

This is a huge factor in the success of your social media takeover. Not only do you want to find someone with a significant-enough following to help grow your own, but this person should also be:

  • Noteworthy within your industry
  • Known or at least respected by your audience (meaning that not all industry experts, for example, hold celebrity status with your following, but their title and expertise do capture attention and interest)
  • Publishing content that complements your own branding

Granted, the possibilities are almost endless, but check in on your goals with this social media takeover, and let those goals help guide you in your influencer research and outreach.

Check out these 18 influencer-discovery tools to help.

Once you’ve identified a few options of individuals you’d like to work with, you should reach out directly but also start (if you haven’t already) engaging with their content. Not everyone you’d like to partner with will say yes (or say yes without requesting pay, depending), so keep looking until you find the perfect partner. Just be aware that while paying an influencer isn’t always needed, it is in your best interest to formulate your pitch to include what’s in it for them to work with you, no matter what that might be.

Sync up your goals

Obviously, your brand has goals when it comes to running a social media takeover, but it’s important that you align these goals with the goals of your influencer.

As part of your initial pitch in starting this takeover, you likely already mentioned (or officially presented) the perks for this individual to participate.

Even if the benefit to the influencer is only increased exposure to your following (or beyond), that’s fine. Just make sure that the relationship is balanced as far as benefits happening for both your brand and the influencer.

Select your social media platform

We already noted that a lot of social media takeovers happen on Instagram and Snapchat. But you can definitely choose whatever platform best suits your brand, your goals and your influencer.

(Of course, not all influencers are strong on all social media platforms, so keep that in mind while choosing who’d you like to work with.)

If there is a platform you’d like to make more of a wave on, that could be a great place to start. Facebook, for example, could feature takeover posts and Facebook Live videos on your business page. 

See our guide on the best social media platforms for influencer marketing.

Plan out your framework

First things first, do not assume that any influencer can read your mind. He or she cannot automatically (and magically) know what you would like to see happen or even what he or she should be doing in general during a social media takeover.

The best thing to do is to put it all down in writing:

  • When will it start, and when will it end?
  • How many posts are expected?
  • What post types are expected? Photos? Videos? Live-streams? Something else?
  • What’s the desired frequency of posts?
  • Any other expectations of the influencer?

You’ll also want to consider providing a list of brand do’s and don’ts, which could include profanity usage, sizing ratio of images and so on.

Just be sure to not arrange too many limitations. The idea of a social media takeover is to let the person taking over be themselves. If the content he or she is posting looks and feels exactly as it would coming from your brand itself, then what’s the point?

Set up platform permissions

This is admittedly the most complex component of a social media takeover. Not all companies want to hand over all their passwords to an influencer, no matter what agreement and/or contract might be in place.

Fortunately, you have a number of options on this front, depending on your level of comfort and the platform(s) being used.

Provide all passwords and total access

This should only be done if absolutely necessary and it’s with an individual you trust. Of course, there are some features on Snapchat and Instagram Stories (like account tags on Instagram) that must happen at the time of posting, and if the influencer needs to design those in a particular way, there might be no way around handing over the password to an account. But you’ll want to change that password as soon as the social media takeover has ended.

Limit posting permissions

The paths here can vary depending on the social media platform(s) being taken over. Facebook, for example, has different permission levels for Page Roles on its business pages, including “Live Contributor” in which the influencer can only go live on your page. To get around giving out your password in order for an influencer to go live on Instagram, you can consider hosting a joint Live session. You also can consider assigning the influencer a role with limited access from within your social media management application. This depends on what management tool you’re using, of course, but it’s easy enough to do if your tool offers customizable user permissions or even team-level access capabilities. Check out these 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools.

Have all content delivered for you to post

This is the most hands-off option possible in which the influencer is given no access or permissions to your social media accounts at all. Instead, he or she delivers to you assets, captions and so on for you to post from your brand accounts. Just be extra vigilant that what posts aren’t too scripted or too similar to what your accounts already share. The overall goal of a social media takeover is to shake up your content at least a little.

Of course, if the influencer delivers content to you and does not post organically at all, this gives you a built-in approval process. Nothing posts without your approval first. 

But even if you offer some or total access, you can still incorporate a content approval process as desired.

Promote your social media takeover in advance

The best takeovers don’t just happen out of thin air. Not from a planning standpoint. And not even from a follower’s perspective. 

As your planning out your upcoming social media takeover, you’ll want to do a separate campaign to hype up the scheduled “event.” Yes, treat your takeover like an event or product launch. Aim to generate excitement around it.

Advanced promotion increases the interest (and your results). It also will help circumvent any confusion from your following when an influencer does step in with his or her own content.

Social media takeovers are far more common these days, but it never hurts to always communicate what’s about to happen. You also could include a note or relevant hashtag on takeover posts to help communicate the nature of the posts during the takeover itself. 

Measure your results

If a tree falls in a forest without anyone around, did it make a noise? Well, if a campaign happens without analysis, did it even happen?

Yes and no.

The point is that you have goals. Otherwise, you wouldn’t bother with a social media takeover in the first place. Be sure to tie those goals to specific metrics you’d like to see boosted. You can even set individual goals for those metrics as desired.

Then, see what happens. Dig into your data during and after the takeover to understand what worked and what didn’t. Doing so will help you improve your approach the next time around. And you’ll continue to improve the overall impact of your hosted takeovers.

Test all these tips out internally

You’re definitely welcome to jump into your first social media takeover with your most desirable influencer. However, you also have the option to test out your plan (and execution) with an employee first.

Doing so allows you to: 

  • Work out any technology kinks
  • Identify any holes in your planning
  • Confirm the most desired metrics for tracking

Of course, when it comes to content, an employee can focus on behind-the-scenes opportunities. But otherwise, your strategy, plan and execution should mirror what you would want to do with an outside influencer.

Running a real test internally with an employee minimizes the risk of something going wrong. It also increases your confidence when you do move on to a non-internal social media takeover.

While you’re planning your first social media takeover, consider the strength of your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation capabilities, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

5 tips to help create successful hybrid fitness classes

Fitness studios pivoted to technological solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The online fitness market is expected to reach $59.23 billion by 2027, growing at a rate of 33.1 percent from 2020 to 2027.

And while your studio may be back to in-person workouts, you might want to continue the convenience of online workouts for your clients.

A great solution for this is hybrid fitness classes, where you’re teaching two sets of students (online and in-person) at the same time during a workout.

Sounds tricky? It definitely can be. However, if done well, you can exponentially grow your class sizes with only a fraction more effort than you’re already putting in.

The following are five tips to create successful hybrid fitness classes that leave all your clients wanting more.

Your setup is critical

Take the time to both setup and test your audio and video capabilities. Different instructors have different preferences, and even those can vary depending on the class type.

Video

For your hybrid fitness classes, you’ll want to ensure that everything in your studio is well lit and that the camera angle makes sense and can orient your online clients well. 

When it comes to camera angles, always be open to feedback because there isn’t necessarily the best way that trumps what works best for your clients. Some prefer seeing the class from the front (a very traditional camera angle), others might have an easier time following when the camera angle is in the back of the space and some instructors set up two camera angles for clients to choose from.

Your background is important as well. While every fitness studio is different, it’s important to ensure that no visual distractions are happening in the background. The cleaner, the better. Remember, the visual that you’re live-streaming is representing your studio as a whole. Anything distracting can diminish your brand and/or interrupt the overall focus of your online students.

Just make sure that no matter what the camera angle, there are no cut-off heads (or other important body parts) or awkward angles that won’t make sense for the viewer. A wide-angle camera or even a GoPro can help with this. And, of course, a tripod will keep your camera stable.

Audio

Then, it comes down to audio. We highly recommend a Bluetooth headset, but you might want to consider a mixer so that your voice is projecting into what your online clients hear as well as on the speakers in your studio for your in-person clients to hear. 

Inaudible audio is a death blow to any online fitness class. They need to hear you, but so do your in-person clients. You might have to experiment with your audio equipment to ensure that both your music and voice can be clearly heard by both sets of clients.

Either way, the best setup will require an investment of time (and possibly money if an upgrade is required) to execute correctly, but it is worth it and one of the most important areas of focus for successful hybrid fitness classes.

Engage with both your online and in-person clients

Just because you have a group of clients in front of you in your studio doesn’t mean that your group of online clients tuning in from home (or anywhere else) don’t matter or are less important.

Both groups of students matter. So, be purposeful with your time before class by welcoming both online clients as they sign on and in-person clients as they walk in. During class, this can be a practice-makes-perfect type of task. Rotate between eye contact with in-person students and your camera. Call out names from both groups. Focus on the movement, safety and motivation cues you’re giving that apply to everyone.

The more you do it, the easier this split attention will become.

Then, after class, don’t ignore either group. Thank individuals as they’re logging out or leaving, and be sure to ask for feedback in real-time. Feel free to unmute the entire online group and let them have their own conversations with each other. You also can send out follow-ups through text or email to show that you care long after class is over.

Of course, this engagement doesn’t have to just be from you. Consider encouraging your entire in-person class to say hello to the online group in the beginning, cheer on during and congratulate after the workout. The more you can unify these two groups, the better.

Consider privacy options

Privacy is actually important for both online and in-person clients. Just because a student shows up to your hybrid fitness class in person doesn’t mean that he or she wants to be seen on camera by your online students.

As you’re planning your camera angle(s), make sure you have a clear area that you can identify as a private, off-camera zone. You never want to make a big deal of anyone wanting to be off-camera or not, so approach it with a general announcement before class, identifying that area for anyone who might prefer it. 

You also can incentivize students for being on camera with you, whether that’s a free piece of swag from your fitness studio or a free class, whatever. Just gauge your group for what makes the most sense.

And, of course, attending hybrid fitness classes online doesn’t mean that you want to broadcast yourself (or your space). Zoom makes it easy to turn your camera off. Just be sure to remind your online clients of this option as well.

As far as muting, we recommend starting the class off with everyone muted. Otherwise, you (and your other online students) will be subjected to a lot of potential noise distractions. However, you can always let your online students know that they can unmute and then mute themselves again for questions.

Granted, instructors can get disoriented by the sudden unmuting. However, as long as you’re always thinking about both sets of clients, it should become more normalized.

Also, be sure to upgrade your waivers to include live-streaming as a factor in your hybrid fitness classes.

Account for different spaces and equipment options

Obviously, not all of your online clients will have the same equipment or floor space available to them.

As you’re instructing or offering cues, keep this in mind.

Online students might need stationary or no-equipment options at the same time as you’re instructing your in-person group. This requires a bit of finesse, but more preparation can help this flow as smoothly as possible.

Of course, you also always need to be aware that either group of students can have individuals with existing injuries. You can ask before class for them to let you know so that you can keep those needs in mind.

Option to add a co-instructor

Of course, if you have the budget to double up on instructors for hybrid fitness classes, you can do that. 

One instructor can focus on the in-person students, and the other instructor can focus on everything online. This includes individual modifications and corrections for both groups.

Granted, some coordination will have to come into play here. But it’s always an option if a single instructor isn’t able to keep up with the dual multi-tasking.

Hybrid fitness classes can require a bit of juggling. However, the more you plan, prepare and test, the more engaging your workouts will be, both in-person and online.

While you’re improving the quality of your hybrid fitness classes, consider DailyStory. Our digital marketing platform integrates with MindBody and Rhinofit to better serve fitness studios and gyms and offers such features as SMS text message marketing, email marketing, automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. In fact, our platform can help you better target your contact database by segmenting your audience based on various characteristics. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Competitive analysis: What it is and how you can start yours

How often do you perform a competitive analysis for your brand?

If the answer is “not often” or “never,” your business is missing out on valuable insights. 

About 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies practice some form of competitive analysis regularly.

A competitive analysis is essentially a strategy where you identify your competitors and research their products/services, sales and marketing strategies. Of course, your analysis can be as simple or as complex as you need to satisfy your goals behind it.

For example, perhaps you’re only interested in how your competitors are approaching the overall design and usability of their websites. Or, you want to evaluate a more broad look at their overall digital marketing strategies.

It all depends on what you’re hoping to discover with each analysis.

Researching your competition can help you:

  • Discover new trends
  • Anticipate shifts in the market
  • Find successful tactics
  • Stay on the cutting edge within your industry

A true (and effective) competitive analysis is more than just surfing the social media accounts of your competition and subscribing to their email lists. The following are seven recommended steps you can take to start your first competitive analysis as it relates to marketing specifically.

Step #1: Identify your competitors

You likely are already aware of your top two or three competitors. But if you’re struggling to fill out a list of six to 12 for the most effective sampling in your competitive analysis, consider searching on Google, Amazon and/or even Alexa for products or services that are similar to yours.

Just make sure that the competitors you choose:

  • Have a similar business premise
  • Sell similar products or services
  • Target similar audience demographics
  • Range from well-established brands to newcomers in the market
  • Are within a relevant geographical location as you (if you are a hyper local business)

The more similar you can find, the more relevant your analysis will be.

Once you’ve identified your competitors, label them either “direct” or “indirect,” where direct competitors offer a product or service that could pass as a similar substitute (like Coca-Cola and Pepsi) and indirect competitors offer products that are not the same but could satisfy the same customer need or solve the same problem (like Walmart and GNC).

This will help you weigh the insights and data you gather in your analysis. While direct competitors are a higher priority, you can still learn a ton from your indirect competitors as well.

Step #2: Create a spreadsheet

Documentation is a must but can be organized in a very customized way, depending on your preferences. There are various tools and templates available online that can help get you started.

However, key pieces of information about your competitors that could include are:

  • Target customers
  • Main “claim to fame” (or market differentiator)
  • Key features or benefits of their products/services
  • Price points for their products/services
  • Website features, which include the design, layout, search tools, imagery and so on
  • Customer experience features, including how customers can check out, overall customer support, any mobile apps and so on
  • Social media approach, such as the platforms used, posting frequency, overall engagement
  • Content marketing tactics, such as blog and/or vlog topics, content types and so on
  • Overall marketing tactics, such as the types of promotions being run, types of discounts (and their frequency) and so on
  • Customer reviews

Again, every competitive analysis can be different, depending on your goal. If certain information is simply not relevant, leave it out.

Step #3: Determine exactly what your competitors offer and at what price

It’s important to understand the range of what is offered by your competitors and at what price (and discount).

During your research, be sure to ask:

  • What is their market share?
  • Are they pricing differently for online versus brick-and-mortar?
  • How are products and/or services distributed?

Because discounts can be at the heart of many marketing campaigns, do your best to nail down how often your competitor runs sales and how much is discounted. On the flip side, rather than a discount, perhaps perks are thrown in from time to time. Either way, it helps to understand the different promos being offered to your potential customers.

Step #4: Evaluate your competition’s overall marketing efforts

Auditing the websites and social media profiles of your competitors is one of the best ways to understand the scope of their marketing efforts.

Questions you should be asking:

  • Do they publish a blog?
  • Do they post videos or webinars?
  • Are they offering premium content, such as whitepapers or eBooks?
  • Do they have a podcast?
  • What sort of visuals are they using? Stock photos? Infographics? Custom content? Something else?
  • Do they have a FAQ section?
  • What about a media kit or case studies?
  • Any online or offline advertising campaigns running?
  • What social media platforms are they using?
  • How are they using social media? Are there different tactics being used on different platforms?
  • How big are their social media followings?
  • Are they responsive on social media? 
  • What coordinated campaigns can you find?

The more you can understand about the scope of their marketing practices, the better. But keep in mind that you’ll never have an “insider perspective” of the overall strategy. However, the benefit of being the outsider is that you’re likely only able to find what any other potential customer can find, and that’s incredibly relevant.

Step #5: Dig deeper into your competitors’ content strategy

Content is like the lifeblood of a marketing strategy. You competitor could be posting a new video every day, but if the quality is lacking, it’s simply not as impactful as it could be.

Take note of:

  • How accurate the content is
  • Any visible bylines (and whether those appear to be in-house or from contributors)
  • Whether spelling or grammar errors can be found
  • How in-depth the content is
  • Any internal or external links being used
  • Any images that are engaging or eye-catching
  • Whether you can identify a singular tone that’s being used. If so, what is it?
  • If content is readable and/or skimmable (easy to digest)
  • Specific keywords being used and how

Step #6: Understand the level of engagement visible on your competition’s content

By getting a sense of the average number of comments, shares and likes (or reactions) on your competition’s content, you’ll see if:

  • Users respond better to certain topics
  • The engagement actions are positive, negative or a mix
  • Certain calls-to-action work better than others
  • The images used help drive engagement

Of course, this research will largely focus on social media platforms, but be sure to check all published content for comment threads and the like.

Step #7: Round out your competitive analysis with a SWOT analysis concurrently

Yes, this basically means you’re doing two analyses at once. But don’t worry. A SWOT analysis is nothing more than a simplified look at your competitor’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

In essence, your competitive analysis will result in SWOT takeaways.

Questions to ask:

  • What is your competitor doing well? Any advantages over your brand?
  • Where is the weakest area for your competitor? What advantage does your brand have over the competitor?
  • What could your competitor do better with?
  • In what areas is your competitor a threat?

You can keep this SWOT strictly to marketing strategies or expand to your businesses at large. But the takeaways are something that you can then easily incorporate into your own digital marketing strategy moving forward.

See our Digital Marketing 101 to-do checklist that will help your business.

Once you’ve executed your first competitive analysis, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentations and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

8 tips to create an effective content calendar

Content marketing has many moving parts.

From what to write to where to post, how to post and what else can be brought back (and when), you then have to ensure that everything you’re doing is engaging and relevant.

Organization is critical.

A content calendar can help you plan and maintain your content marketing strategy across platforms. Specifically, a content calendar is a written schedule of when and where you plan to publish your upcoming content. It can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be, with the option to include:

  • Upcoming content pieces
  • Status updates
  • Planned promotions
  • Partnerships
  • Updates to your existing content

About 40 percent of marketers say content marketing is a very important part of their overall marketing strategy. And effective content marketing comes down to great planning.

The following are eight tips to create an effective content calendar that works for your business and your content marketing goals.

Determine your goals

Your goals typically revolve around what you hope to achieve with your content marketing in general.

Are you hoping to generate new leads? Grow your social media following? Increase your website traffic?

Your goals impact not only who you’re targeting but also where and how often you should publish content, which then will guide what needs you have for your content calendar.

Check out our seven tips to level up your content marketing (which includes more than just goal-setting).

Create your content calendar template

A simple search will yield many content calendar templates that you can use. Whether you’re looking to adopt a new software application, download a pre-made template or create your own, remember that again, this can be as simple or complex as you want it to be.

Truly, a basic spreadsheet would do the trick.

Just make sure that it’s easy to update and share with other team members.

Some information that would be helpful to include:

  • Topic of the content
  • Type of content
  • Date and time for publishing
  • Channels (social media and otherwise) where the content will be published and/or shared
  • Point person for the content
  • Link to the published content
  • Confirmation that the content has, in fact, published according to the schedule
  • Any relevant notes

Look ahead to the calendar year

To start the planning process, it’s helpful to lay out the year ahead and make note of all the important events that your content can reflect and/or promote.

This can include:

  • Holidays
  • Product releases
  • Anniversaries
  • Seminars
  • Seasonal promotions

Doing so will not ensure that you can seize these opportunities with your content marketing.

Choose your publishing frequency

The frequency of your new content as well as the sharing of existing content is typically a balance between what’s ideal for your audience and what you have the resources (including time) to do.

It’s important to not overcommit yourself or your team. Success is more tied to quality than quantity. If you’re stretching yourself so thin just to publish something new, it’s not going to be as engaging or relevant as it could be otherwise.

On the flip side, overstuffing your content calendar just because you can also is not recommended.

Visualizing your frequency on a content calendar can help you find the best balance for your brand and your team. It can help you anticipate traditionally busier times and how your content can expand and contract accordingly.

Of course, keep in mind that your content calendar does not have to be set in stone. The beauty of planning your content further out in advance is that you can easily adjust well before you even begin working on impacted campaigns or content pieces.

Approach your content calendar with that flexibility in mind. You want to hold yourself accountable, of course, but you also want to adapt to whatever might pop up.

As far as sharing your content on social media platforms, consider these seven opportunities for social media automation that can save you time.

Consider your content workflow

If you’re a team of one, this is simple. However, as soon as you have more than just you involved in the content planning, you must consider:

  • Who needs to approve content and/or posts
  • How approval is communicated
  • The process for brainstorming new content
  • How to assign roles and what that should look like

Streamlining a workflow that works for your team will only benefit the overall effectiveness of your content calendar.

Evergreen content is just as important as new content

When developing a content calendar, the tendency is to populate it with content ideas that are new.

But don’t shortchange your existing, evergreen content, which is the content that (while it might seem old to you) is continually relevant and fresh for users.

Whether you’re updating, bringing back “as is” or repurposing your evergreen content entirely, this is a treasure trove of content opportunities that you can’t ignore. Be sure to make a point to sprinkle this existing content throughout your content calendar.

See our 13 tips to repurpose your content like a marketing rockstar.

Consistently update and review your content calendar

A content calendar, no matter how much information is on it, is only as good as how active you are using it.

Commit to checking in on your calendar regularly. Schedule at least monthly brainstorming planning sessions where you flush out the next month’s content calendar in greater detail and sketch out ideas for months further in advance that can be revisited as needed.

Struggling with marketing writer’s block? See our seven tips to beat it.

Ideally, you’ll want the flow of your brand’s content to stay uninterrupted no matter what the frequency is.

Monitor the performance of your content

The upside of content marketing is that everything is measurable. Take advantage.

Be sure to track how your content is performing across platforms.

What’s working, and what’s not?

Take those insights and apply them to future planning in your content calendar. It is through those performance insights that you can continually improve your content strategy.

While you’re embracing a new content calendar, consider leveling up your digital marketing strategy. DailyStory specializes in automation, email marketing, audience segmentation and more. Level up your process, and schedule a free demo with us today.

9 expert tips to better market your gym online

Successful gyms consistently market themselves on multiple digital channels to bring in new members.

As a gym owner, you’re well aware of the natural churn of membership that’s a factor for every business in the fitness industry.

The majority of gyms lose about 50 percent of new members within the first six months.

Therefore, marketing your gym is one of the most important parts of running your business successfully. And digital marketing in general is one of the most diverse and affordable ways to do so.

The following are nine expert tips to better market your gym online. You might also want to check out our Digital Marketing 101 guide for beginners to get a better overall understanding of the range of channels that you can use.

Optimize your website

It takes consumers about 0.05 seconds to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site or not and whether they’ll stay (and potentially convert into a customer) or leave.

User experience is paramount on your website. You should plan regular audits of your site and consider how:

  • Simple it is to navigate
  • Clearly your overall message is being communicated
  • Easy it is to find key information, such as your location, hours, services, pricing and so on
  • It ranks on search engines

Keep in mind that your website should focus on and be about your gym members, not you. They want to know what you can do for them, but they generally will have simple questions that need straight-forward answers, such as:

  • How much does a membership cost?
  • Are there membership contracts?
  • Where are you located?
  • What amenities are offered?
  • Are group classes offered? If so, when?
  • How can I sign up?

Of course, the deeper question on most website visitors’ minds is whether your gym can help them achieve their fitness goals. So, while you’re ensuring that your key information is easy to find, you also want to convey your authority, expertise and ability to help people like them.

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

See nine ways you can use social proof to boost your customer conversions. 

Of course, you’ll also want to make sure that website visitors can easily sign up for a membership, book classes and so on. The more helpful your site is, the better.

Explore local SEO

Local search engine optimization (SEO) is when search engines rely on signals (such as local content, social profile pages, links and citations) to provide the most relevant local results to the user. It’s all about delivering the best and more relevant local search engine results.

After searching for a nearby product or service online, about 76 percent of consumers will visit that business the same day (and about 28 percent of all local searches result in a purchase).

Gyms can especially benefit from better local SEO since customers typically want their gym to be located nearby.

Some tactics to consider:

  • Creating a Google My Business listing (and in other listing directories like Yelp)
  • Using local keywords
  • Building up your inbound links
  • Increasing your internal linking
  • Creating location pages (if you have multiple locations)
  • Monitoring and engaging with online reviews

Dig deeper into local SEO with our 11 tips that will help you beat your competition.

Create a mix of content

It’s common to launch a fitness blog to help draw traffic to your website as well as build up your authority within your fitness niche.

But keep in mind that the more you can localize your content.

When it comes to SEO, ranking for fitness-related keywords is very competitive (and extremely difficult). 

For example, even if you ranked for “squat exercises,” the website traffic you would be generating would likely not be local to your business. So, unless you have online services that can appeal to a national (or even global) audience, it’s best to focus on more localized content.

Such topics as “safest places to run in (your city),” “4 must-do hikes in (your city),” “3 of the best outdoor-workout areas in (your city)” and so on will help you connect with more local website visitors who are more aligned to your target clientele.

You’ll also want to mix up the content types you’re producing as much as makes sense for your gym and fitness brand. 

Video is undeniably engaging across multiple platforms. In fact, we have five reasons why video is a must for your business.

Of course, video and fitness go hand-in-hand. Whether you’re demoing exercises or a workout, sharing fitness tips, showcasing how to cook a healthy recipe or anything else, video is ideal.

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

This could make YouTube or even Facebook Live great social media mediums to prioritize. Learn more about the best video-marketing platforms for your business.

The more diverse your content, the better. But make sure you capitalize on your strengths. You can see how in our seven tips to level up your content marketing.

Post consistently on social media

Social media should be a key component of any gym’s digital marketing strategy. Of course, social media isn’t just about reaching new potential customers, it’s also about engaging with your existing clients.

Consistent posts means more than frequency, it also refers to quality. Thinking ahead and planning out what content to share where and when can help you maintain consistency across platforms.

Not sure which social media platform is right for your gym to focus on? See our guide.

Leverage FOMO opportunities

In any of your gym’s promotions and marketing campaigns, keep your audience’s “fear of missing out” (FOMO) in mind. FOMO is about leveraging the fear we all have of losing out on amazing opportunities, experiences and so on, no matter what they might be.

You want to express scarcity and limits with your offers. In addition, any sort of social proof you can use will help as well.

Check out these nine ways you can leverage FOMO in your digital marketing.

Engage with email marketing

Emails should definitely not be overlooked. About 61 percent of consumers prefer to be contacted by brands through email.

When emailing, you’ll want to:

  • Be consistent
  • Segment your audience and your messaging
  • Share engaging content that your recipients will value

Even the simplest weekly or monthly email newsletter can be used to appeal beyond just your existing clients.

To help during the email creation process, see our guide to the anatomy of an effective marketing email.

In the big picture, you’ll want to strategize your overall email series and promotions. 

We recommend email drip campaigns that target specific segments of your contact database. Email drip campaigns are a type of time-release email marketing tactic. Think drip irrigation systems. Drip emails are intended to land with purposeful timing and targeting with minimal waste (and technically minimal effort once set up to run automatically). 

Check out our 14 best practices for email drip campaigns.

Create an affiliate marketing program for your gym

Affiliate marketing is specifically the process where an affiliate earns a commission for marketing another’s products or services.

In this instance, instead of you being the affiliate for someone else (which is definitely a great way to generate passive income), others can be your affiliate, promoting your gym in exchange for a commission or discounts for any new members who sign up.

You, of course, can set the terms and will want to promote the program (likely among any existing clients and staff, especially those who might have larger online followings). You’ll also need to have a fitness affiliate program portal set up, such as ShareASale or ClickBank (among others), to manage conversions and owed commissions. 

In addition, you can expand beyond your existing clients and staff by pitching your affiliate program to:

  • Physical therapists
  • Supplement providers
  • Doctors
  • Fitness apparel retailers

Remarketing to your leads

One powerful digital marketing method is remarketing to those who visit your website but don’t make a purchase. You can then serve those users ads elsewhere on the internet to encourage them to come back and convert into signing up for your gym (or make some other purchase).

Website visitors who are remarketed to are about 70 percent more likely to convert.

Popular platforms where you can easily launch remarketing campaigns include (but are not limited to):

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Display Network

A typical tactic is to offer a discount or other incentive to entice those visitors to return to your website.

Measure your results

Monitor and track the performance of all your digital marketing efforts. This is critical so that you can focus more on what’s working and adjust anything that’s not. It also will help you plan your advertising budget more effectively. 

No one wants to burn their hard-earned money on lackluster digital marketing campaigns.

Many websites use Google Analytics, and that’s a great place to start by checking in on the top-performing pages of your website, your best traffic-referral sources (whether that’s Google, Facebook or another referring source) and so on.

But you’ll want to keep an eye on your social media profiles as well. Monitoring what’s working and what’s not on such platforms as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others will help you continue to engage and communicate better with your following.

While you’re marketing your gym, consider DailyStory. Our digital marketing platform integrates with MindBody and Rhinofit to better serve fitness studios and gyms and offers such features as SMS text message marketing, email marketing, automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. In fact, our platform can help you better target your contact database by segmenting your audience based on various characteristics. Schedule your free demo with us today.

8 tips to build your fitness brand from scratch

First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to your fitness brand.

In fact, it takes only 10 seconds for a consumer to cement his or her first impression of your fitness brand. 

Fitness is a crowded industry with many similar-sounding and similar-looking brands. It’s easy to get lost in the crowd.

Want to make an impact on potential customers? Then, you must create a fitness brand that is memorable and stands out from the rest.

The following are eight tips to help you build a successful fitness brand from scratch.

Identify your target audience

Audience is everything. Who you’re targeting, as well as what their needs and wants are, is the first step to creating your fitness brand.

However, it’s important to be as specific as possible.

This can be challenging because it’s tempting to want to target “everyone” because that will lead to more customers and greater success, right? Not so fast.

When your brand message is broad and directed to “everyone,” it usually resonates with no one and falls short of delivering the results you want.

Again, don’t be afraid to get specific:

  • Age, gender and other demographics
  • Lifestyle
  • Behaviors
  • Challenges
  • Needs
  • Interests

For example, you could target new moms between ages 25 and 35 who have limited time in their day and crave connection with a supportive community of other new moms.

Whatever it might be, nailing down your audience niche will go a long way to shaping your specific fitness brand.

Research your competition

Who else is targeting your ideal customers? What is their niche? How are they raising awareness about their fitness brand? What are they doing well? What are they lacking?

These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself in a competitive analysis. The more you can understand your competition (especially for your target audience), the better you can decide what to do with your fitness brand so that you can stand out and appeal to potential clients.

One way to find similar competition is through Google searches. Type the queries you would want people to use to find your fitness brand. 

Set your mission

Once you understand your specific target audience and know what else is out there competition-wise, it’s time to settle on your mission statement. 

A mission statement explains what your company’s passion is and the values you offer to your clients. It’s your company’s reason for existence. Remember that the more you can relate to the wants and needs of your clients, the more likely they’ll choose you over a competitor.

This is an important step in creating your fitness brand because your mission will help inform all future strategies and marketing messages.

Your mission statement also will inform your logo and tagline.

Determine your unique benefits

As part of your fitness brand, you must decide on the benefits you can offer that no one else can. Think about your audience research, your competition analysis and where the two intersect. 

Where can you fill in the gaps?

For example, this could tie into the type of exercise equipment you feature, the affordability of your rates, a unique training environment, etc.

These benefits are integral to your fitness brand and should be thought through as part of your brand development.

Then, you’ll want to make sure that you highlight these both in writing and visually (images and videos). The videos especially will play into consumers’ first impressions of your fitness brand.

Pick the best name

This could be an obvious step (and maybe you already have a great name in mind), but nonetheless, you’ll want to consider all the key factors before settling on a permanent fitness brand name.

In addition to thinking of a word (or words) that accurately speaks to the services you’re providing and the clientele you’re targeting, be aware of:

  • Simple spelling
  • Easy pronunciation
  • Uniqueness (not sounding like everyone else)
  • If a domain name is available online

Especially when it comes to domain names, check out our beginner’s guide.

Once you’ve brainstormed and settled on a few top choices, run them by friends, family, colleagues, strangers, anyone.

Are they as easy to spell and pronounce as you think? Do they convey the right idea without any other information? This feedback will help you narrow your list down.

Design your logo

Whether you’re designing your logo or you hire someone else to, the fact remains that your logo is critical to your fitness brand.

About 75 percent of people recognize a brand by its logo, with 60 percent by its visual style, 45 percent by the brand’s signature color, and 25 percent by its unique voice.

Your logo will be used on your website, social media accounts, print materials and any additional advertising. 

Start by developing a specific and distinct color palette, with consideration of color psychology and how different colors impact us. For fitness, think about what colors (and color shades) will drive motivation and/or energy.

Of course, this also is the time to decide on your branded fonts, iconography, photo styles, overall web design and any other visual elements that can come into play.

The best visual branding will be recognizable after seeing it a few times.

Again, you’ll want to run your drafts by others for feedback, which is invaluable to going with the best possible visual combination for your fitness brand.

Discover your voice

Think of your voice as how you express your fitness brand and communicate with others. You’ll want to consider the wording, expressions and tones that can be brought together to create your style.

For fitness, ask yourself if your brand should sound motivating, authoritative, friendly, informative or even something else entirely.

Check out our eight tips for finding your voice and reflecting your brand’s personality.

Once developed, you’ll want to use it consistently across all platforms and in all instances.

Build your fitness brand personality

All of the above elements should come together to inform your overall fitness brand personality.

Ideally, this personality is a reflection of you and your own personality, whether that’s high energy, exclusive, educational, fun, so on. Build on your strengths and allow all the pieces of your fitness brand to stand on their own.

No matter what direction you go in, remember that brand currency online is authenticity and trust, where authenticity leads to trust from your target audience who eventually can convert into clients.

Never lose sight of the opportunities to connect in meaningful, honest ways.

In fact, common mistakes you’ll want to avoid while building your fitness brand in general include (but are not limited to):

  • Focusing on yourself and not others
  • Inconsistency in branding, messaging and/or visuals
  • Ignoring feedback

Your brand being a reflection of you is a great thing, but your mission is about improving the lives of others. That’s what will resonate most.

In conclusion

Once you’ve developed your fitness brand, it’s time to launch your website, strategize and promote. Consistent brand presentation across all digital platforms increases revenue by up to 23 percent.

See our seven tips to level up your content marketing.

While you’re working on promoting your new fitness brand, consider DailyStory. Our digital marketing platform integrates with MindBody and Rhinofit to better serve fitness studios and gyms and offers such features as SMS text message marketing, email marketing, automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Top 7 traits of online fitness personalities

Personality is everything in the fitness industry, both online and in-person.

However, the need to convey your personality is even more important when marketing yourself and/or your fitness brand overall online.

Since the fitness industry in the U.S. is estimated at about $37 billion as of 2021 (and still growing), it’s a known crowded market. Every successful fitness professional has to find a way to stand out from the crowd. A lot of that can come down to personality.

The power of social media and the internet at large is that you can feel connected to people you don’t know in real life. How does this happen? And how can you leverage this potential to connect for your fitness marketing?

The following are seven traits that successful fitness professionals exude online. This isn’t about changing your own personality, of course. Keep these traits in mind as far as how you’re strategically expressing yourself and sharing content online.

#1: Motivational

Being motivational might be an obvious personality trait for a successful fitness professional. In person, you have to use your physical energy to push your clients to do things they otherwise wouldn’t do.

However, online, you have to be able to drive that energy through the screen at anyone coming across your social media profiles, blog and/or YouTube channel. Motivation is often conveyed by focusing on others, not yourself. Make your followers feel important.

Think about how you’re speaking in videos (the energy in your voice). Even the captions can include all caps (within reason) and energetic emojis to help convey motivation.

All that being said, self-motivation is also important for you to not only practice what you preach, but to stay the course with the online marketing of your fitness brand because it does take time, effort and consistency to see results. (Just like fitness.)

#2: Being upbeat

While somewhat similar to being motivational, being upbeat still stands alone as a great personality trait of a successful fitness professional. 

Positivity is infectious, especially online when your followers could be seeing a lot of negativity in their social media feeds (and even in their regular lives) otherwise.

Smiling is so simple but so effective in your images. Project a welcoming energy every chance you get as well. Being standoffish won’t just lose you online engagement and following, but also actual business. 

While every post is an opportunity to be upbeat and welcoming, you can regularly spotlight a client’s success story and how excited you are to be part of that transformation.

Again, it’s not about you specifically but more about what you can do for others.

#3: Relatability

Being a real human online is a must. Sharing those moments that are a little less glamorous (and not perfect) makes you relatable to your following. 

We’re all real people with real struggles after all.

These are the moments where you can dig deep and share pieces of your own story and the challenges you’ve overcome, plus the challenges you’re still working to overcome.

The more real you can get about yourself and your experiences, the more your potential (and existing) clients will relate to you. This can be in the form of live videos, blog posts, etc.

#4: Confidence

You can’t tell your clients to “go for it” without doing so yourself, right? Lead by example and embrace that you are an expert in your field.

In-person, you must be the leader in your space and garner respect. This is no different online.

Lean on your expertise in your posts, and remember that you are the expert whenever speaking in a video or responding to questions or comments on your posts.

#5: Nurturing

You’re in the fitness business to help others become the best versions of themselves. So, your ability to support them and care about their success along the way is worth its weight in gold.

A nurturing personality can be demonstrated in your engagement with commenters on your posts. Even if they’re not a paying client, you’re rooting for them. Over time, you’ll be the one they’ll want to pay for your official support.

#6: Great listener

This is another personality trait where everything is not about you. Not only do you need to understand a client’s needs, you also must be sympathetic.

Fitness journeys are just as mental and emotional for your clients as they are physical. 

Listening is critical. Sometimes, all a potential client needs is to know that you care.

Invest time in thoughtful conversations with any direct messages, and know that any back-and-forth on a comment thread can be transitioned to direct messages so that you both can have a deeper conversation in private.

#7: Integrity

As a person, a business and a fitness professional, integrity is imperative for long-term success.

Offering some free premium content, no-risk trials and money-back guarantees can all help convey this online. 

Just keep in mind that integrity can also show as simply as how you respond to any negative comments on your posts. Acknowledging the negative commenter’s thoughts or opinions but not engaging in a fruitless back-and-forth that will only look tacky and unprofessional to your other followers.

In conclusion

The most important thing about online fitness marketing is to simply be you, but don’t miss the opportunity to showcase any of the above personality traits throughout your content marketing efforts. 

Also, find out our tips to become a successful fitness influencer.

While you’re working on showcasing more of your personality in your fitness marketing, consider DailyStory. Our digital marketing platform integrates with MindBody and Rhinofit to better serve fitness studios and gyms and offers such features as SMS text message marketing, email marketing, automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

18 of the best fitness affiliate programs to boost your income

The benefits of fitness are vast, but beyond the health improvements, fitness professionals can earn additional income through fitness affiliate programs.

Affiliate marketing is the process where an affiliate (you and/or your fitness business) earns a commission for marketing another’s products or services. In other words, you promote, and when others buy it, you get paid a percentage of each sale.

The health and fitness industry is worth an estimated $3.7 trillion. It’s an evergreen industry that is always in demand because people are always looking to feel and/or look better, so the opportunities are big.

See our four tips to become a successful fitness affiliate marketer.

However, finding the best affiliate programs among the thousands that exist can be difficult. While many have the potential to make you money, most will be a waste of time.

The following are 18 of the best fitness affiliate programs for you to consider (with some brands you’ve likely already heard of). Remember that the true key to a successful program is that it matches your personal brand and what your following wants or needs.

ACE Fitness

ACE Fitness is one of the most trusted names in the health and fitness certification industry. The organization has an Impact Fitness Affiliate Program, where you can place ad banners and text links on your website, in your social media posts and elsewhere.

When your visitors click on the web banners and text links, they will be directed to ACE’s website, where they can learn more about our exercise and health certification programs, and purchase both study materials and an exam sitting. 

Upon purchase, you receive an 8 percent commission.

Bowflex

Bowflex is a well-known brand in the home fitness equipment market, with everything from Trainers to Climbers.

What makes the Bowflex Affiliate Program unique is that it runs through a top affiliate management platform, called Impact Radius. All of your performance (traffic, sales, commissions, etc.) is tracked and displayed in real-time. The program also is fully managed, which means you’ll always have a dedicated resource to help you troubleshoot any issues.

The commission starts at 3 percent but will increase as you sell.

PaleoPlan

Nutrition is a big part of getting and staying fit. PaleoPlan focuses on the paleo diet with weekly meal plans and shopping lists, hundreds of recipes and bodyweight workouts that customers can do from home.

The company’s fitness affiliate program offers quality cookbooks and wellness-products that you can share with your audience. 

You’ll make a 75 percent front-end commission on all sales when you promote their guided health challenges, and physical or digital products.

Lululemon

Popular for its yoga and other athletic apparel, Lululemon is a popular brand in many fitness circles. They produce high-quality leggings, crop tops, tees, sports bras and yoga accessories. 

By signing up for their affiliate program, you’ll earn 7% commission on sales of yoga and fitness apparel, as well as early access to our products and events.

Fitbit

Fitbit is well-known for its fitness trackers, but did you know about its affiliate program? The company offers sleek and stylish wristbands that are an ideal fit for many fitness affiliate marketers.

You’ll only earn a 3 percent commission, but Fitbit’s high-converting website may balance out that lower percentage with more sale conversions.

ProForm

Offering a unique way of selling fitness equipment, ProForm offers a three-year training subscription that includes the customer’s choice of free equipment and access to thousands of studio and destination workouts. 

After those three years, the equipment is the customer’s to keep.

As an affiliate, you can earn between 8 percent and 11 percent commission.

Titan Fitness

Titan Fitness specializes in gym and fitness equipment, and its fitness affiliate program comes with a dedicated program manager. You also frequently receive updates, promotions and banners to make it easy to create promotional content for publishing and sharing.

Titan Fitness also offers free products to its affiliates in exchange for a review, as well as exclusive coupons that you can pass along to your followers to help encourage them to convert.

You’ll get 5 percent commission on all sales and paid by the 15th of every month.

Aaptiv

The fitness app, Aaptiv, has more than a thousand trainer-led, music-driven workouts for every fitness level, which has the potential to widely appeal to everyone in your following. 

The company offers advertising tools and custom banners to help you in your content promotion. Its affiliate program features three payout tiers:

  • $15 per sale for up to 100 sales per month
  • $20 per sale for between 101 and 500 sales per month
  • $25 per sale for at least 501 sales per month

Evolve Fit Wear

What’s a workout regime without the right clothing and accessories? Evolve Fit Wear sells more than 50 brands of workout clothing, such as Teeki, Onzie, Spiritual Gangster, Ultracor, Goldsheep, Beyond Yoga, Hardtail and more. About 85 percent of their business is women’s workout clothing, 10 percent is yoga mats and accessories, and 5 percent is men’s clothing.

Evolve’s overall marketing is considered “inclusive” rather than “exclusive,” focusing on balance, body positivity and a healthy attitude toward fitness. 

The company has a large number of international customers since they can buy all brands on one website with one shipping fee. 

Partnering with Evolve as a fitness affiliate marketer gets you up to a 10 percent commission on all sales that you help generate. 

GNC

GNC is a global brand that has an extensive selection of nutrition supplements that could appeal to your audience.

The company sees its affiliate program as an opportunity for you to build your own “online nutrition store.” 

By signing up, you’ll receive a 5 percent commission on all sales.

International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)

ISSA also is a world leader in fitness education, delivering comprehensive, cognitive and practical distance education for fitness professionals, grounded in industry research, using both traditional and innovative modalities. 

ISSA now offers 24 fitness certifications and has certified over 400,000 trainers in 174 countries.

You’ll earn at least 7.5 percent commission on every sale.

TRX

Known for its popular suspension training products, TRX could be a great fit for personal trainers and fitness bloggers. For example, you can create videos that highlight various TRX exercises that people can do anywhere.

By signing up for its affiliate program, you’ll earn a 5 percent commission on orders that average $200.

Reebok

Another popular athletic brand, Reebok creates sports and lifestyle products, also partnering with both CrossFit and the NHL. 

Reebok’s affiliate program offers monthly newsletter updates on promotions, contests and sales opportunities and a dedicated affiliate management team.

You’ll receive a 7 percent commission on all sales, where the average order size is $100.

The Vitamin Shoppe

Another leading retailer of vitamins and supplements is The Vitamin Shoppe. Their mission is to inspire, nourish and help customers thrive every day.

By joining their program as an affiliate, you’ll earn up to a 10 percent commission on all sales.

Miracle Noodle

Miracle Noodle offers a line of food products consistent with the health goals of their customers, making healthy eating easy and delicious. All of Miracle Noodle’s products are non-GMO, vegan and grain free with an ever-expanding option of organic options as well. 

Its affiliate marketing program is two-tier, which means that you can earn commission on your sub-affiliate sales. You’ll receive customized banners and coupons to help your convert your following, and Miracle Noodle features a dedicated affiliate support team.

By signing up, you’ll earn between 10 percent and 20 percent commission on all sales.

LifeSpan Fitness

Selling fitness equipment not just for the home or gym but also for the workplace makes LifeSpan Fitness unique. Think treadmill desks, standing desks and bike desks.

In addition, all LifeSpan equipment comes with a dedicated app that enables customers to track their workout statistics.

Their fitness affiliate program also uses one of the best platforms, Impact Radius.

By signing up, you can earn a 6 percent tiered commission on every sale, which increases based on performance. High-ticket items range from $99 to $2,500 or more.

Keyto

Keyto is a breath sensor for ketosis as part of a larger keto weight loss plan that’s supported with its premium app. In addition to the sensor, Keyto offers keto recipes, personalized meal plans, a food guide and access to in-app groups.

Each person you refer to purchase Keyto receives 10 percent off their purchase when they use your discount code. You then receive a 10 percent payout of their basket size before shipping and taxes.

Life Fitness

Providing fitness equipment to both health clubs and athletic facilities, Life Fitness also features home exercise equipment. The products they offer are related to:

  • Cardio, such as treadmills
  • Group training
  • Strength training
  • Accessories
  • Digital, such as the Halo fitness cloud

If you have a fitness or health-related blog, it’s easy to get approved into this fitness affiliate program. You’ll earn an 8 percent commission, where the average order totals more than $3,000.

In conclusion

Of course, these are only 18 of the best fitness affiliate programs out there. Be sure to keep looking until you find the best fit both product- and/or service-wise that meshes well with your own online brand and makes sense monetarily.

It will make a difference in the long run.

While you’re exploring passive income opportunities through fitness affiliate marketing, consider DailyStory. Our digital marketing platform integrates with MindBody and Rhinofit to better serve fitness studios and gyms and offers such features as SMS text message marketing, email marketing, automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

4 tips to become a fitness affiliate marketer

As a fitness professional, you likely are well aware that there are only so many hours in the day.

Hours to train clients, hours to plan for those sessions and so on. This finite capacity of time restricts your ability to grow your income through training sessions and classes alone.

That’s why earning passive income by becoming a fitness affiliate marketer has become increasingly popular among those in the fitness industry.

Affiliate marketing is the process where an affiliate (you and/or your fitness business) earns a commission for marketing another’s products or services. In other words, you promote, and when others buy it, you get paid a percentage of each sale. In the fitness industry, the possibilities for affiliate partnerships are vast.

Affiliate marketing spending in the U.S. is expected to reach $8.2 billion by 2022, more than triple what it was 10 years earlier.

Benefits include earning passive income with little risk. (Passive income is revenue you earn without actively working.) If a fitness affiliate marketing program doesn’t work out, you can move on and find a new one. Find out more about affiliate marketing with our guide

The following are four tips to help you become a fitness affiliate marketer (and earn extra income passively).

Determine what your following needs, wants

This is critical. You can promote a fitness affiliate partnership all you want, but if it doesn’t fit or make sense for your audience, it’s not going to go very far.

Also important to keep in mind, there are a ton of fitness affiliate marketing programs out there, so you can afford to be picky. You definitely don’t have to pick the first one you find.

Think about the characteristics and demographics of your following as a starting point: age, gender, interests, challenges, goals, etc.

As you begin to look through the programs out there, ask yourself: “Will my following really want to buy this?”

In affiliate marketing, you get paid when you generate sales, so if your audience isn’t interested from the beginning, what’s the point?

Consider your expertise and who you’re reaching online. What complements your fitness brand and could be of benefit to your following?

There are extra bonus points for going with products and/or services that you use and approve of personally. That authenticity will go that much further with your audience.

Remember that what you want to offer should be quality and something you approve of. You’ll find plenty of junk out there when researching affiliate marketing programs. Make sure you’re going with something that won’t ultimately ruin your online credibility or reputation.

Become a fitness affiliate with your chosen program

Once you’ve done the research and settled on the perfect-for-you fitness affiliate marketing program, it’s time to sign up.

Each program has different registration processes, so it wouldn’t hurt to have a top three programs that you’d consider applying for, just in case.

More likely than not, there will be an online application form. After submission, you’ll have to wait for the program to accept you as an affiliate. This typically will take up to a day or two.

If, for any reason, your application is not accepted, you’ll already have your back-up choices to try.

Time to promote

Once you’re an approved affiliate, you can begin to promote the related products and/or services. This includes the sharing of your affiliate link, which is provided by the program to track any sales you generate so that you can get compensated.

But be careful here. It’s not as simple as it sounds.

There are a few considerations you should make when it comes to strategy. The first is straight-forward: Go multi-channel. This includes (but is not limited to): 

  • Emailing your client list
  • Creating posts across your social media accounts (such as Facebook or Instagram posts, tweets, YouTube videos, Pinterest pins and so on)
  • Talking to your clients in-person
  • Publishing a blog article (or articles)

The second consideration is a bit more nuanced, but it goes back to the point where you should be authentic. You want to promote products or services that you can personally vouch for, of course. But you also should factor in this authenticity when you’re actually promoting for your fitness affiliate program.

In other words, the more salesy you are, the less successful you’ll likely be. Strategize some angles for your promotion. Some ideas include (but are not limited to):

  • An unboxing of the affiliate product
  • Daily review updates of you using the product/service for the first time
  • Hosted Q&A where you answer questions about your experience with the product/service
  • How you use the product/service in your regular daily life

Measure, analysis and pivot as needed

If you’re committed to growing a strong passive income stream, then you’ll have to do more than simply post (even if you are executing a planned strategy behind the content and promotion).

Measure the performance of your posts on whatever social media platforms you’re using, watch whatever analytics are available from your fitness affiliate marketing program and monitor your overall audience growth and demographics as well. 

To stay relevant and effective not just with your affiliate promotion but your overall content as well, you must be aware of your metrics. 

If something doesn’t perform well, dig into the possible reasons why. If something performs exceedingly well, you’ll want to dig into the reasons why there as well.

This will help you adjust and pivot as needed according to the objective data, not just whims of what you feel might perform better.

And in the long run, monitoring your performance will help you decide on a bigger level which fitness affiliate programs are worth your effort and which are not.

While you’re exploring passive income opportunities through fitness affiliate marketing, consider DailyStory. Our digital marketing platform integrates with MindBody and Rhinofit to better serve fitness studios and gyms and offers such features as SMS text message marketing, email marketing, automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 tips to become a successful fitness influencer [plus examples]

A fitness influencer promotes an active and healthy lifestyle on any given social media platform.

Sounds simple enough, right?

But there is so much more to becoming a successful fitness influencer who not only offers advice and support but also works with brands to promote products and services for compensation. This influencer is trusted by fitness consumers, which means his or her opinion carries a lot of weight.

Whether you’re a fitness professional who wants to level up your social media presence or an individual who would like to break into the fitness industry via social media, the following are seven tips to help you become a successful fitness influencer. 

(We also have included links to 11 fitness influencers you can browse and follow for inspiration.)

Choose your niche as a fitness influencer

In the fitness industry, the successful own a niche. Fitness is a crowded arena, so you need to stand out. But identifying your niche also will help you hone your expertise.

Remember, to know a little bit about everything makes you an expert of nothing. It takes expertise and some level of specialism to grow a significant following on social media.

If you’re an expert at bodybuilding, then ideally, you’ve not only coached others but participated in a few shows yourself. Maybe you have your own weight-loss journey to share. Whatever it is, own that specific angle to the health and fitness world.

Being an expert means that you can offer content that will bring value to your followers’ lives. It’s about building trust.

A few ways you can build your expertise include (but are not limited to):

  • Stay on top of the latest research. Fitness, health and nutrition studies are constantly being conducted and are frequently shifting our perception of the “best” ways to get fit. You can share snippets that are relevant and understandable for your audience.
  • Share the latest industry news. You can sign up for press releases from leading brands or even create Google alerts that are related to your niche.
  • Answer audience questions. While you might have to conduct your own research to appropriately answer a follower’s question, this is a straightforward way to establish yourself as an expert.

Of course, once you’ve established your expertise in one area, you can then expand to another niche if you choose to do so. (But this should not be done too soon.)

Find your voice

Once you’ve determined your niche, it’s time to explore your voice. What does that mean?

Your voice determines whether your message comes across as motivational, sympathetic, powerful, etc. 

Ideally, you’ll want to go with whatever fits your personality and your target audience best. Remember, your goal as a fitness influencer is to help people push through their fitness challenges. Your voice in that effort will either help or hurt that.

Voice also includes whether you use emojis and even what emojis you use. The typical length of your captions also can be reflective of your posts. Are you short and to the point? Or, will you treat each post almost like a mini-blog?

Once you’ve decided on your voice, be consistent. Consistency will help you brand yourself and build trusting relationships with your following. 

Tell your story authentically, consistently

Take a look at your existing social media profiles. What would someone’s first impression of you be by looking only at your profile? Are they getting your whole story just from your posts?

Think of your profile as a storyboard of your fitness life. This means that every post is a piece of your story as a fitness influencer.

In addition to constantly thinking through how to add a piece of your story every time you post, always be as authentically you as possible.

Authenticity is a form of currency on social media. Anything less than being truly authentic will turn off your audience. It’s about giving people an honest peek into your life, that you’re a real human being that they can relate to.

As you begin posting, keep in mind that you’ll want your face in your images as much as possible. Photos with faces on Instagram, for example, get 38 percent more likes.

Even when promoting a product, for example, you’ll want to come at it as a human who has tried it and give your honest opinion about it. As soon as you get salesy and detached from your own experience, that’s when you’ll lose interest.

Posting regularly is a must for any fitness influencer. Consistency in your presence and engagement builds trust as well. This might take some planning in advance, but that planning will be worth it. Think through your overall content, which should be a mix of inspirational, educational, networking and sponsored posts. When in doubt, lean toward a heavier mix of organic, unpaid posts. 

Planning will keep your messaging and content on point in a way that your followers will appreciate.

Again, people want to trust you. Never give them a reason not to.

Obsess over engagement, not followers

As you’re looking to establish your status as a fitness influencer, it’s hard not to focus on your number of followers.

But we’d like to challenge you to focus on your engagement rate instead. (Roughly the number of engagements on a post divided by number of followers.)

Yes, the size of your following can lead to higher pay for sponsored posts. However, brands are also becoming more and more savvy about the engagement they’d like to see (versus just the number of your followers).

It’s important to keep in mind that you don’t have to reach “Kardashian level” with millions of followers to be a successful fitness influencer. In fact, the larger the following, the lower the engagement rate can get. 

Having 1,000 engaged followers is better than having 10,000 followers who never interact with your posts. In fact, reaching 1,000 followers roughly qualifies you as a nano-influencer.

Instead, prioritize engaging with your audience above all else, building that back-and-forth conversation with them. Great content leads to high engagement, and high engagement leads to organic following growth.

Simply, treat your followers as individual friends. Have two-way conversations, where you ask questions, respond to comments, run polls and take an interest in them and their thoughts.

(Hint: This engagement should happen outside of your own posts and on your followers’ posts as well.)

Be patient, and keep focusing on the influencer you naturally are and the people you want to serve.

Connect with other influencers

While you are actively seeking to grow your influence, consider connecting with other fitness influencers.

It’s helpful to contact those who share your nice and starting a conversation with them that includes:

  • Showing them support
  • Sharing their content
  • Mentioning them in your own posts
  • Networking with them to gain visibility

Just make sure you’re connecting with influencers who complement your message. Equally important is to make sure you have something to offer them as well. It’s not all take, take, take.

Reach out to brands for sponsorship, advertising opportunities

We’d love to tell you that once you reach a certain level of fitness influencer that sponsorship and advertising opportunities will just fall out of the sky.

Unfortunately, while you might be approached here and there, the fact is that you’ll have to do a lot of the leg work.

First, create a media kit that summarizes:

  • Your brand. This is your introduction that should include your niche, expertise, a touch of your personality and the type of company/products you’re looking to partner with.
  • Your audience. Share how many followers you have, your engagement rate and even a breakdown of their demographics (depending on what you’re using, this should be easily available, whether its Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or another platform).
  • What you can offer to companies should they choose to work with you. Remember that you have to show this company why they can’t pass up a chance to work with you. Sell what you have to offer to them.

Then, you’ll want to compile a wish list of the top 10 to 20 companies you would like to work with. Before you even send on your media kit, be sure to start the relationship by following their social media accounts and interacting with their posts. 

Once you’ve been interacting with a company’s accounts for a while, then you can direct message them a link to your media kit or send a more traditional email.

Do not be afraid of following up if you don’t hear back. The worst thing they can say is no.

Remember that your media kit can constantly evolve as your online presence evolves. Take any feedback you get from possible rejections to adjust your pitch for the next company.

Track your performance

Becoming a fitness influencer takes a lot of passion, but data can be equally powerful.

Take the time to track the overall performance of your social media account(s). These metrics and growth trends can be added to your media kit to help secure additional sponsorships and advertising.

Of course, once you do land a sponsored post, you’ll want to give that post everything you’ve got. The best imagery, boosting the post if necessary, running a related ad campaign and so on. You can then report those results back to your partnering brand. 

You’ll want to include in your report:

  • Reach numbers
  • Engagement numbers
  • Click-throughs
  • Sampling of positive comments
  • Total time users spent consuming the content (which typically is connected to video posts)

The more you can show brands a return on investment (ROI) for their partnership with you, the more likely that partnership will continue and grow.

Examples of fitness influencers for inspiration

The bad news is that you’re not the first to want to become a fitness influencer. The good news is that you’re not the first to want to become a fitness influencer. 

In other words, there are others in the industry you can follow and learn from. Take note of their posting frequency, the various types of content, the overall content mix, who they’re tagging and networking with and so on. All of these observations can inform your own approach and strategy.

The following are just a few examples of successful accounts on Instagram you might be inspired by:

Not sure which social media platform is right for you as a budding fitness influencer? Check out our guide.

While you’re leveling up your status as a fitness influencer, consider DailyStory. Our digital marketing platform integrates with MindBody and Rhinofit to better serve fitness studios and gyms and offers such features as SMS text message marketing, email marketing, automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 tips to offer addictive live-stream workouts

The COVID-19 pandemic turned the fitness industry on its head, thrusting gym owners and instructors into live-stream workouts.

Teaching fitness virtually is obviously very different from teaching in person.

And live-stream workouts don’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

“Due to [the] COVID-19 outbreak, [online fitness] is expected to witness [its] highest growth rate … mainly due to the shutdown of gyms and fitness studios around the globe and leading people to stay indoors,” according to Allied Market Research.

Specifically, the global online fitness market was estimated at $6.04 billion in 2019 and is expected to hit $59.23 billion by 2027.

Successful fitness classes can make or break your bottom line moving forward. And they depend on the experience being delivered by the instructor. That experience will make your live-stream workouts engaging and successful.

The following are seven tips to offer addictive live-stream workouts that will engage your clientele and boost your bottom line.

Get comfortable with the equipment, process

Practice makes perfect. You’ve likely heard this before, but it’s especially true for live-stream workouts.

A great online fitness class doesn’t require the most expensive equipment. Truly, you could use a laptop computer and/or smartphone to host your class with great results. But anything more, such as a tripod, will only improve the overall quality.

The key is that you are familiar and comfortable with the setup and use of the equipment for your workout.

Plan to practice before your first live class. You can create a to-do checklist to reference so that you never miss a step. Also, anticipate what might go wrong and how to troubleshoot that on the fly. Such issues include (but are not limited to):

  • The audio failing (or is hard to hear)
  • WiFi connectivity problems
  • Camera failure

Easy solutions won’t always be available, but the more you can practice, the better you can prepare for such issues should they arise. 

More practice also will help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera, understand where the best shot is (and where you should always be standing within it), even test different lighting so that everyone can clearly see you and so on.

As far as the best platform to use for streaming, this might depend on your fitness studio, but great options to explore include (but are not limited to):

Set yourself up for success

Your lighting and audio are the two most important factors of successful live-stream workouts. 

It’s critical that you are well-lit and that there are no echoes or significant background noise while you’re teaching. In fact, acquiring a ring light and Bluetooth earbuds (such as Apple Air Pods) will dramatically improve both your lighting and your audio.

In addition, you’ll want to stream your music playlist for your attendees for an optimal experience. Zoom and other streaming platforms offer this capability. Keep in mind that your music is your co-instructor. It’s there to help drive energy and set the atmosphere for your live-stream workouts. Simply playing music in the background likely won’t get picked up consistently by your mic (especially when using Bluetooth earbuds), so take the extra step to ensure that both your voice and music are balanced with each other.

Be sure to pay attention to music rights and what you have the legal ability to stream online in your live-stream workouts. Check out:

You’ll even want to be mindful of the clothing that you’re wearing (basic colors that aren’t too bright and contrast with your background). Speaking of background, the cleaner the better. Avoid having any clutter behind you that can serve as more of a distraction for your clients.

Test different spaces that are available to you. What looks the most professional? Refer to these additional tips for professional-looking live-stream videos.

Consistency matters in your live-stream workouts

Once you dial in the perfect lighting, audio, camera placement and even clothing, do your best to set up the same way every time.

Doing so provides an air of continuity that your clients will appreciate. This reliability indirectly boosts the professionality of your live-stream workouts.

Be mindful of equipment, modifications, progressions

Always consider your client first. He or she could have a lot of workout equipment available to use or none at all.

When designing your workout, keep that in mind. 

For example, if you’re directing clients to use their dumbbells for bicep curls without offering any options for those who don’t have dumbbells, that can lead to some frustration for those attendees. 

Also, remember that modifications may be needed by various clients who could have any number of old (or newer) injuries. Offering modifications up-front shows your attention to detail and will be of value to attendees. On the flip side, you’ll also want to automatically offer progressions for any advanced clientele to increase the intensity of an exercise.

You’ll need to talk more throughout live-stream workouts than you would in person. Focus on those form, modification and progression cues so that what you’re saying is diverse and not too repetitive.

In addition, your clients could be working out in a small, cluttered space with a number of distractions around them. Be understanding and think ahead to deliver the best virtual experience possible.

Keep community top of mind

Just because you’re not in the same room as your clients, that doesn’t mean that your live-stream workouts have to feel disconnected.

Now more than ever, people are seeking connection.

Provide time before and after your live-stream workouts to chat with your attendees and/or answer any questions they might have in real-time. (Giving enough time before the class also offers the benefit of non-panicked troubleshooting should there be any issues.)

During the workout itself, be sure to cheer on your clients. Perhaps someone’s form in an exercise is particularly good. Maybe you spotted someone using a heavier weight or pushing extra hard. Whatever it is, be specific and use names. Also be mindful of calling out something positive about every single attendee (as best as you can, depending on class size).

Request feedback and send follow-ups

Just like with in-person fitness classes, you’ll always want to encourage feedback from your clients and send follow-ups afterward.

Not only will you continue to improve as you teach more and more online, but your follow-ups afterward show that you value your clients and are open to continuing your engagement with them (and support of them) outside of your live-stream workouts.

One such tool that can help with follow-ups is FitGrid.

Be you! Show off your personality

Despite all the equipment and planning required for successful live-stream workouts, you are the most important asset.

The more you can show off your personality, connect with your attendees and more, the better. It’s definitely a big transition to go from in-person to live-stream workouts but embrace the opportunity to connect with people beyond whom you might see in your fitness studio locally. Online workouts make it possible to reach and help people across the country and even the world. 

Plus, the better you get at teaching virtually, the better you’ll be in-person moving forward.

While you’re upping your live-stream workout game, consider DailyStory. Our digital marketing platform integrates with MindBody and Rhinofit to better serve fitness studios and gyms and offers such features as SMS text message marketing, email marketing, automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

6 ways to market your fitness blog

Whether you’ve already started a fitness blog or are considering it, there’s more to success than just writing and posting.

Blogging itself is definitely a valuable strategy for your fitness business, whether you’re a personal trainer, gym owner or influencer. In fact, about 80 percent of companies that use blogging as a part of their marketing strategy said they acquire customers through their blogging efforts. And about 82 percent of businesses say that blogging is critical to their business success.

But what can you do to ensure the success of your fitness blog (and therefore your business)?

The fitness industry, in general, is full of tons of people and companies offering their take on how to lose weight, live healthier and so on. It’s a noisy arena that you must cut through to find and grow an engaged audience.

First things first

Of course, key considerations to have a quality fitness blog to promote in the first place include:

Understanding your audience

Who are you writing for? What problems or obstacles are they facing? What do they care about?

Determining your niche

A fitness blog that tries to be everything for everyone is going to connect with and engage very few. What is your expertise? If you’re a nutrition expert, for example, what unique angle can you focus on? Meal planning for families? Paleo eating? Something else? Don’t be afraid to get specific. The more uniquely you can leverage your expertise, experience and even personality, the better.

Establishing your target keywords

Once you know the niche you’re pursuing, it’s time to start researching relevant keywords. Don’t get distracted by the most popular keywords. Big websites are already targeting those. Focus on long-tail keywords that might have a lower search volume but also are more easy to rank for. Need help? Check out our list of 11 free keyword research tools.

Committing to a consistent publishing schedule

Inconsistent fitness blogs will struggle to gain traction. Set a schedule that you can stick to. You can make this easier by planning topics ahead of time (i.e. a content calendar). A general rule of thumb is to strive for at least three posts per week, but ultimately, the commitment has to be something you can keep. Feel free to refer to your competition for how often they are posting and use that as a gauge as well.

Quality over quantity

While you should be posting consistently, you also have to be hyper aware of the quality of content you’re offering. In the fitness world specifically, you have to be extra cautious about offering health advice. We recommend that either you’re an expert (with a diploma or certifications) or you focus only on sharing your experiences as they pertain to health and fitness (like how you lost weight, for example). Of course, you can always hire or interview experts as well. With every post, ask yourself: “Am I helping my audience overcome their problem(s)?” The goal is to create content that is as good or better than what’s already available online.

It’s important to take your time on each of the above factors because even the best marketing strategies in the world are only going to take an unengaging, unfocused blog so far. 

The following are six ways that you can market your fitness blog.

Your SEO matters

Great search engine optimization (SEO) will reward your fitness blog with organic website traffic.

There are loosely three types of SEO techniques:

  • Technical SEO, which involves the indexing and crawling settings of your website. It’s about search engines being able to read and index your website properly. Check out our 13 tips to get Google to index your website faster.
  • On-page SEO, which involves making your web pages search-engine friendly. This involves page titles, page descriptions, text formatting, mobile optimization and so on.
  • Off-page SEO, which involves everything that’s happening outside of your website. For example, other sites linking to yours and even social media posts directing users to your fitness blog. Check out our nine tips and tricks to boost your off-page SEO.

Learn more about the difference between on-page and off-page SEO, and see if you’re making any of these 13 common SEO mistakes.

Just remember that great SEO takes time and consistent effort. There are no worthwhile shortcuts that will serve your fitness blog in the long run.

Promote on social media

This method is likely obvious. Most fitness bloggers share their content on social media platforms.

Where to post

The trick is to optimize your presence on the social media platforms you’re already on, prioritize those existing accounts by where your target audience is (and is engaging with you) and decide if there are any platforms you should be on that you aren’t on yet.

(On the flip side, are you wasting your resources on any given social media platform? For example, Twitter isn’t the best platform for every business.)

We can help you determine the best platform(s) for your fitness blog promotion and goals.

How to post

As far as posting, go beyond the simple sharing of links. Identify opportunities to promote your content with visuals, whether they’re eye-catching photos or designed graphics. Canva is a free tool that can help even the self-declared non-designers design compelling images.

Just as you want to be consistent with publishing your fitness blog, you also want to be consistent (and engaged) on your chosen social media platforms. Remember that social media is a space for conversations, not just broadcasting links.

These 11 social media management tools and seven social media automation opportunities can help.

Consider an app

Creating apps for iOS and Android devices is a great alternative way to get your fitness blog discovered. While there’s definitely competition, you’ll find that it’s not as intense as the intense noise you’ll find on the world wide web.

Be sure to connect with a knowledgeable app developer that can best reflect your needs and branding.

Another bonus of this method is that anyone who downloads your app can be notified when new blogs are published.

Email marketing a must

Creating and publishing consistent content naturally leads to the need for establishing an email newsletter that website visitors can subscribe to.

Email marketing is a powerful tool. Simply refer to these 48 statistics.

Treat every email you send as an opportunity to engage with your subscribers and deliver on the promise of value your newsletter offers.

Here’s a breakdown of the anatomy of an effective marketing email. And if you’re in need of building up your subscriber list, here are 12 strategies that will help you capture email addresses without annoying all your website visitors.

Once you solidify your email marketing rhythm, consider any sale opportunities that can be mixed in. Refer to our 14 best practices for email drip campaigns for inspiration.

Look into trust badges

Because of the noise in the fitness content space, any sort of verification you can obtain to reflect the quality of your content will build trust with website visitors (who will be more likely to return if they trust you).

Regarding health and fitness specifically, consider working with Health On The Net, which is an independent nonprofit organization that promotes transparent and reliable health information online.

While trust badges won’t directly grow your fitness blog traffic, they do boost the perceived value of your website and better establish your authority in the fitness industry.

Find out more about the types of trust badges you can embed on your site

Explore what the competition is doing

The best digital marketing strategies are constantly evolving, and the fitness industry changes at an equally fast rate.

Take the time to follow your competition and other thought leaders in the fitness industry. 

How are they promoting themselves and their content? What appears to be working for them? What doesn’t seem to be working? In addition, take note of:

  • Top-ranking websites on Google in your niche
  • The type of content the top sites publish
  • How often new content is published
  • The average length of blog posts
  • What they share on social media (and how they share it)
  • Any multimedia assets used (video, images, etc.) 

This type of competitive analysis will only help inform you on alternative ideas and tactics that can influence your own fitness blog marketing.

Being engaged in your niche industry is a great way to stay on top of trends and continue to be creative with your own blogging.

To more efficiently conduct your competitive analysis, tools like Buzzsumo and Semrush can help.

In conclusion

While you’re looking to better market your fitness blog, consider DailyStory. Our digital marketing platform integrates with MindBody and Rhinofit to better serve fitness studios and gyms and offers such features as SMS text message marketing, email marketing, automation, dynamic audience segmentations and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

17 of the best social proof tools to boost your sales

Social proof can help convert your potential customers into paying customers.

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

About 92 percent of online consumers will read product reviews before purchasing.

Find out more about social proof and nine ways you can use it.

The following are 17 of the best social proof tools to build your credibility and boost your sales. Several include money-back guarantees and free trials.

TrustPulse

TrustPulse is a popular social proof tool for business websites. It can automate real-time customer activity notifications on your site with unobtrusive (but attention-grabbing) pop-ups.

Such verified website actions include (but are not limited to):

  • Purchases
  • Sign-up form submission
  • Demo registrations

TrustPulse says that you can boost your conversions by as much as 15 percent by using the tool on your website. It also integrates with WordPress, Shopify, WooCommerce, Mailchimp and more.

Pricing

Plans start at $9 per month, but this varies since TrustPulse periodically discounts its prices for new accounts. All of its plans come with a 14-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.

Proof

Proof is another popular social proof tool, with more than 25,000 businesses using it. It offers different ways to customize your social proof notifications, such as how long to show those notifications and on which pages they should appear.

You also can customize whether you feature conversions from the past day, week or even the past three months.

Pricing

Plans start at $24 per month (billed annually), but you can start a 14-day free trial to see if it’s right for your business first.

Smash Balloon

To embed social media feeds anywhere on your WordPress website, consider Smash Balloon. This means that you can highlight user-generated content (UGC), testimonials and reviews from others on social media.

Specifically, Smash Balloon offers five different plugins to help you show social proof on your website:

  • Facebook feed of Facebook reviews 
  • Instagram hashtag feed of user-generated content
  • Twitter feed of tweets that mention your account or branded hashtag
  • YouTube feed featuring a playlist of video testimonials
  • Social Wall combining feeds from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube into a single feed

Pricing

Plans start at $98 per year, but introductory offers usually are available. It also features a 30-day money-back guarantee.

WPForms

WPForms is a user-friendly WordPress form-builder plugin, making it easy to ask for customer reviews that you can then highlight on your ecommerce website.

This is important because consumers trust online reviews.

WPForms features several pre-built templates and integrates with your email marketing service. This means that, in addition to using the tool on your site, you can use your email service to automatically reach out to customers after their purchase from you and include your feedback form.

Pricing

Plans start at $79 per year, but WPForms runs periodic sales for new accounts. It also features a 14-day money-back guarantee.

SocialProve

SocialProve displays conversion or visitor notifications on your website in the form of small pop-ups. It also touts boosting your sales by about 15 percent.

The notifications can be customized to match your branding. Notification types include live activity, live count, visitor combo and activity combo.

It integrates with more than 120 content marketing tools, payment systems, marketing funnel apps and other apps, including (but not limited to):

  • WordPress
  • Wix
  • ClickFunnels
  • Leadpages
  • HubSpot
  • Instapage
  • Squarespace
  • PayPal
  • Stripe

Pricing

Plans start at $359 per year, but you can start with a no-risk, seven-day free trial to see if it works for you. (No credit card information required.)

Thrive Ovation

The WordPress plugin, Thrive Ovation, helps you easily add testimonials to your ecommerce website. 

You can even add social media and blog comments to your testimonials library. Its tagging system helps you find the testimonials you want to include.

There’s also an “awaiting approval” status function, where you’ll receive approval emails from your dashboard to approve any new testimonials before they go live.

Pricing

Plans start at $19 per month, billed annually. It also features a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Proven

Proven is another WordPress plugin that lets you customize the appearance of your social proof notifications to match your branding.

You can create manual entries and control how and when notifications appear. This can include showing notifications on certain pages, only to new visitors, only to logged-in users and so on.

Pricing

Plans start at $39 per year for a single site license.

LetConvert

To show off recent visitor activity, live visitor count and how many conversions have happened on your website, consider LetConvert. It’s also fully customizable, with a variety of colors, fonts and animations.

The tool also features customer cards that allow you to follow your customer’s journey. For example, once a visitor signs up, you can then track his or her details and activity on your website.

Pricing

Plans start at $4.99 per week when billed annually and include a 14-day free trial.

Fomo

Fomo is a tool that offers several templates and display rules that you can use. But you also can create your own if you like. Customizations can apply to notification messages, filters and template or page rules.

No coding necessary for your customizations, which can make it very easy to use.

Pricing

Plans start at $19 per month, but you can try Fomo out first with a 14-day free trial.

Repuso

To show off testimonials and reviews on your site, consider Repuso, which actually monitors your social media platforms for customer reviews. 

You also can collect customer reviews through Repuso’s widgets. The reviews and testimonials go into a dashboard where you can organize them and choose which to display on your website.

Repuso features a number of ways to display these, including:

  • Floating widgets
  • In-line reviews
  • Floating badges
  • Review grid
  • Photo-review sliders

Pricing

Plans start at $9 per month when billed annually, with a free 10-day trial available.

Provely

Provely features different campaign types that will show real-time activity, rotating activity from a selected period of time or past activity.

The tool touts a 250 percent boost to your conversions. You can customize your pop-up notifications, with various templates and the ability to choose the colors that reflect your branding.

Provely says it only takes “2 minutes flat” to set up.

Pricing

Plans start at $97 per year, billed annually.

Boast

Boast is a tool focused on testimonials that’s used by more than 8,000 businesses. Its features help you request, collect, manage and display testimonials from your customers.

This includes testimonials in different formats, such as video, text and audio that you can then show on your website. It integrates with Facebook and YouTube, so you can use your video testimonials across social media platforms.

Boast also offers a mobile app on both iOS and Android that makes it even easier to use by allowing customers to record their testimonials through the app. If you use Boast’s ability to email customers from within the tool to request a testimonial, you can then track where those testimonials are in the process.

Pricing

Plans start at $25 per month, billed annually, and include a 14-day free trial.

WPfomify

Another WordPress social proof plugin is WPfomify. It’s easy to set up and features powerful integrations with other WordPress plugins and email marketing services.

You can use it to show off real-time activity, subscriber activity and client reviews. You also can customize it to match your website’s branding.

Pricing

Plans start at $99 per year and come with a 14-day money-back guarantee.

Yotpo

An ecommerce marketing platform, Yotpo includes social proof features, such as reviews, ratings, visual marketing content and referral programs.

The tool helps you collect website and product reviews, create an FAQ section based on real customer questions, display user-generated content (UGC) and so on.

Yotpo uses AI (artificial intelligence) to message your customers, encouraging them to leave a review after their purchase.

Pricing

Yotpo includes a limited, free plan. Paid plans start at $19 per month.

ProveSource

ProveSource helps you display verified conversions, activities and purchases on your website. You also can customize your notification icons, title color, text, links and so on.

ProveSource makes it easy to create a new social proof notification with a tab system for user flow. Plus, you can add GIFs to your social proof notifications, making things fun and engaging.

The tool also automatically collects such metrics as impressions, clicks, hovers, leads, engaged visitors and engagement rates, among others. You also can connect ProveSource to Google Analytics for a deeper analysis.

Pricing

Plans start at $18 per month, billed annually, but ProveSource says you can start for free on a limited basis.

NotificationX

NotificationX is a WordPress plugin that will show real-time sales and engagement notifications. Its simple interface is easy to set up and use.

The plugin features different notification types, including (but not limited to):

  • Blog comments
  • WordPress reviews
  • WordPress download counts
  • Sales alerts
  • Email subscriptions

Pricing

Plans start at $39 per year, with a 14-day, money-back guarantee.

Notifia

Notifia integrates with more than 30 marketing tools, plugins and pop-ups to help you convert potential customers and more.

Its social proof notifications feature customized text, designs, images, page targeting, time delay and more. Notifia even offers personalization where you can include a visitor’s first name, company and/or location to better connect and engage with that visitor.

Pricing

Plans for Notifia start at $9 per month.

Once you’ve enhanced your social proof using one of the above tools that fits your website and business needs best, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automations, dynamic audience segmentations and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

6 expert tips for marketing on Pinterest

While Pinterest has definitely been around as long as some of the other bigger social media platforms, it’s not often thought of first as a marketing opportunity. And it’s even less common to have a thought-out strategy for it.

But if your brand’s target audience aligns with who you’ll reach on Pinterest, this is a mistake.

Think of Pinterest as a visual search engine, housing tons of photos, graphics, links and inspiration for nearly anything you might want to find. Yes, it’s popular for recipes and DIY projects, but there really is more to it than that.

Founded in 2009, Pinterest currently has about 478 million monthly active users, making it the 14th largest social network in the world and the fourth largest social network in the U.S.

Pinterest has traditionally had a majority-female user base, but that gender gap is narrowing, with 60 percent of users being women. It’s largest demographic, however, still is women aged 25 to 34 at 30.4 percent of all users.

So, if this is the target audience you’re trying to reach, don’t overlook the power of Pinterest. The following are six expert tips for marketing on the visual search engine to reach potential customers and drive website traffic.

Brand, optimize your Pinterest profile

First things first, take a look at your existing brand profile on Pinterest. If you’re just creating one, even better—you can start things off right.

Make sure you’re working with a business Pinterest account, so you have access to analytics, “rich pins” and other features. 

From there, it’s time to brand every single aspect of your Pinterest profile. The goal is that it looks like a reflection of your business. This can include:

    • Uploading a profile photo, which likely would be your logo but still should be whatever version/color of your logo that best represents your brand and intention on Pinterest. The size is a 165-pixel by 165-pixel square. Depending on your business (like if it’s all about you specifically), a professional headshot would work here, too.
    • Writing your bio, which should be aligned with the bio section of your other social media profiles. It will still need to be short and succinct. Pinterest’s character limit here is 160. Hashtags aren’t as essential, though, on a Pinterest bio (as compared to Twitter or Instagram, for example).
    • Choosing a cover board, which will show pins from that board at the very top of your profile. The pins themselves won’t be clickable, but there will be a link to that board at the corner of the cover itself. Take the time to identify what pins reflect your brand as well as your overall purpose on Pinterest (both visually and content-wise).
    • Customizing your showcase boards, which appear directly below your name and bio. You can choose up to five boards, and they’ll slide from one board to the next. Ideally, this is a great spot to feature your product(s), service(s) or blogs.
    • Branding your board covers, which will give all your boards a consistent look and match the rest of your Pinterest profile. There are two ways to do this: 1) Create and upload separate board covers to each board and link them to your website; or 2) Choose a pin from each of your boards that matches your brand color.
    • Verifying your website, which will get you the access to the analytics tied to your website on Pinterest, as well as access to the “rich pins” feature that will share more information about your link(s). Pinterest can walk you through it.

Decide on your content strategy

If you’ve had more of a sporadic, buckshot approach to your content strategy on Pinterest, you’re not alone. 

But it’s never too late to turn that around and get focused. Of course, at the center of your content strategy should be your audience. Who are you trying to reach? What are they interested in? How might you engage them here on Pinterest specifically?

In addition to that thought process, consider some of the most popular types of pins:

  • Product pins, which make sense if you’re a retailer or online store. Use a striking, beautiful product image that will catch the eye of a user. Even when Pinterest users aren’t originally shopping on the platform, about 72 percent say that they get inspired to, largely because of enticing product pins.
  • Blog post graphics, which work if you’re promoting articles from your website. Use a clean, eye-catching design (with photos or graphic designs) and bold text that again will catch users’ attention as they’re scrolling through numerous pins.
  • Infographic pins, which are a great way to promote your business by sharing valuable information and/or data. The idea is to visually convey that content in such a way as to catch the eye. So, keep it clean, simple and bold within the vertical space.
  • Lead-capture magnets, which work for promoting any downloadable content your website might be offering to generate leads. Again, strive for a clean, branded and engaging design.

Join Pinterest community boards

Pinterest allows its users to invite others to contribute to a board, and that can be a perfect way to get your content in front of brand new audiences. 

To get started, look for prominent Pinterest users in your industry and see if they have any group/community boards that make sense for your brand to join.

Often, the board’s description might include some rules, as well as a link to apply to join. Otherwise, you might have to email the owner of the board, fill out a contact form and/or follow their account for them to add you. Every community board can be a bit different, just like Facebook groups.

Also just like Facebook groups, once you’ve joined, be sure to stay active on the board with a mix of content. That content also shouldn’t be just promotional on behalf of your brand. Take the time to add to the true content mix with relevant, curated content as well.

SEO does matter on Pinterest

We’ve already referred to Pinterest as a visual search engine. Therefore, you should use all search engine optimization (SEO) tactics on both your profile and your pins.

Pinterest has its own algorithm and its own SEO rules. To maximize your own ranking on Pinterest, here are some suggestions to pay attention to, such as your:

  • Profile, where you can include keywords in your bio (but also in your name if appropriate).
  • Pins, where relevant keywords can be included in both the title and the description.
  • Boards, where you should strive for titles with keywords rather than titles that are just fun or cute. The board descriptions should focus on telling users what they’ll find on your board while including relevant keywords as well.

Just be sure not to overstuff keywords in any area of your Pinterest profile or content. You wouldn’t want to do that for regular search engines, so don’t bother on Pinterest either. It simply won’t get the results you’re seeking. User understanding and their experience with your content should always be the priority.

Schedule out your pins

Consistent, fresh content is critical to generating a successful presence on Pinterest that reaches the audience you’re seeking and driving traffic to your website.

Yes, you can visit the platform multiple times per day to post fresh pins. However, using a scheduling tool will help you stay on top of your pins and ensure proper timing (rather than dumping several all at once).

About five to 30 pins per day is best for engagement on Pinterest.

To help with this, check out these 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools if you’re not already using one that supports Pinterest publishing.

Target the right users with ads

Beyond just organic content, you also can target Pinterest ads around keywords, interests, geographic location, age and more.

Pinterest ads come in a number of formats, including (but not limited to):

    • Promoted pins, which appear in the home feed and search results on Pinterest just like a regular pin, except that they are boosted for a determined budget and targeted to deliver additional reach. If a user shares that promoted pin, the “promoted” label disappears. That remains true for subsequent repins as well.
    • Promoted carousels, which feature two to five images that users can swipe through. These can appear wherever regular pins do. Each “card” in a promoted carousel can feature a different image, title, description and landing page. This is a great option if you have multiple products or features to highlight.
    • Promoted video pins, which are just like promoted pins, except that the static image is replaced with a video. These promoted videos autoplay as soon as they’re 50 percent within view. There are two sizes available for promoted video pins: max and standard. Max spreads width-wise across the feed, minimizing distractions and competition from other pins, but this size can be more expensive. Standard size is the same as regular pins. Promoted videos are four times more memorable than non-video ads, so they’re worth considering.
    • Promoted app pins, which enable users to download your mobile app directly from Pinterest. This ad type then is obviously mobile-only, but that’s not a bad thing since about 80 percent of Pinterest traffic comes from mobile devices.
    • Buyable pins, which are also known as “Shop the Look.” This type of ad allows users to find and buy products directly from your pin. This is great if you’re featuring an image where multiple products are working together. For example, an outfit, decorated room or dinner spread.

In conclusion

If Pinterest is a platform where you can reach your target audience, you should give it the same amount of consideration and planning as you would any of your other social media brand accounts.

That attention and consistency will pay off.

If you’re not sure what social media platform your brand should be focusing on, our guide can help.

And if improving your digital marketing process is on your mind, consider DailyStory, which features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

14 best practices for email drip campaigns

If your business is not currently employing any email drip campaigns, you’re definitely missing out on some conversion opportunities.

But never fear! It’s not too late to get your first campaign up and running.

Email drip campaigns are a type of time-release email marketing tactic. Think drip irrigation systems. Drip emails are intended to land with purposeful timing and targeting with minimal waste (and technically minimal effort once set up to run automatically).

Think about it like a conversation that you’re building upon along the way.

They can be daily reminders, weekly specials, monthly updates, yearly renewal notices or anything in between, depending on your intention and goals. The idea is that while each email in a drip campaign should stand alone, they also should build upon past messages and even set the stage for future messaging. You want to nurture the customer along your sales funnel while building trust along the way.

Find out more about sales funnels and how they can benefit your marketing.

The following are 14 best practices for email drip campaigns that can help you connect with your potential customers at the right time and in the right way.

Start with the basics

While it might be tempting to dive in with your first drip campaign right away, resist that urge. It’s incredibly important to take a step back and think about your goals, your audience and their natural interests. Consider:

  • What search terms are driving visitors to your website?
  • Which web pages are most visited on your site?
  • If you have downloadable items on your website, which are the most downloaded?
  • How would you describe your target audience and/or ideal customer? Detail out a persona profile as much as you can with who they are, what they are likely to respond to and so on.

Once you have a better sense of what you’re working with and who you want to engage with, you can begin to segment out your contact database by geography, interests or any other factors that make sense and you have data for.

Then, you can begin brainstorming different angles for various email drip campaigns that you can plan out.

Expand beyond just emails

Yes, we’re talking about email drip campaigns specifically, but it’s important to keep in mind that you can (and often should) incorporate additional assets into your drip campaigns when appropriate. 

For example, such assets include (but are not limited to):

  • SMS text messages
  • Direct mail (like letters, postcards, etc.)
  • Phone calls

This often can come down to the type of contact information you have for your customers and other leads. But exploring a mix of mediums can help you see what works and what doesn’t for your audience.

Create all drip messages at one time

It’s important to commit to creating all your email drip campaign messages in one sitting in order to promote consistency for your recipients.

This goes back to the goal of building up your messaging over time with each email you send. Think of each email like a chapter in a book. To be more effective with your “story arc,” focus on creating one campaign all at the same time.

Quality matters

Coherent sentences, grammar and spelling all matter in any brand messaging. When creating your email drip campaigns, be sure to double check for any of those issues. You can even have a colleague review before you have anything go out for real.

Poor quality breaks trust with your potential customers. Make it a priority to build (not break) trust to take the extra time for quality proofing.

The shorter the better

The beauty of a drip campaign is that you naturally don’t have to squeeze a ton of information into any one email. You have the built-in formatting to spread out information throughout the email series.

So, capitalize on that. Short paragraphs, an overall short email and a focused message all increase the likelihood of your audience engaging with your content. Long paragraphs and meandering narratives that don’t get to the point will lose the interest of your email recipients.

Nurturing over selling

You might be eager to sell your products or services, but remember that your leads may not be quite ready to buy.

Think of your drip campaign as a progressive series of messages that help warm up the lead with valuable information and insight as he or she moves through the sales funnel and becomes a bit more ready to purchase.

This is especially helpful when your business involves high-ticket products or complex services.

Guide through any free trials

Free trials are an effective way to get your products and/or services in the hands of your potential customers and show them that value first-hand.

However, you can’t assume that all users will know how to get the most out of that trial, which can alienate them and actually limit who might purchase at the end.

This is where you can step in and act as the guide, with a series of messages highlighting different features and other how-to tips that can help them along. This can include:

  • Clear, concise tips
  • General best practices
  • How-to webinars
  • Online support community invitations
  • Message board opportunities

Just be sure to notify users before their trial ends, and if they don’t convert, follow up with a discount offer soon afterward.

It’s not over after the purchase

Just because you may have made the initial conversion, where your potential customer becomes a customer, that does not mean that you no longer need to nurture him or her.

In fact, we recommend using this opportunity to continue providing helpful information on a regular basis. Think of it this way: A long-term relationship with your customer leads to even more trust, additional purchases and even the possibility of word-of-mouth referrals.

Your ongoing email drip campaigns with existing customers can include:

  • A request for a customer review
  • Upsell and/or cross-sell promotions
  • Various instructional videos to help customers get the most out of their purchase (similar to how you would approach free-trial guidance)

Keep buying cycles in mind

This can definitely depend on your business and what you sell. But the idea here is that there tends to be a natural buying cycle. Cars, appliances and many other products need to be replaced every so often, depending on the product itself.

Keeping your customers (and even the potential customers who “got away”) in the loop about your offers can generate further sales (and conversions), especially as natural buying cycles will regularly come up.

Re-engage with any inactive contacts

Be sure to segment out any leads that do not convert so that you can maintain a nurturing drip campaign to keep those leads warm.

Again, not everyone is ready to buy immediately, but this can help ensure that you’ll be top of mind as soon as they are. Including incentives along the way will help.

Personalization engages

Being able to use an email recipient’s first name in a subject line, for example, creates a personal connection with that person that makes it more likely he or she will open your email.

Personalization in general can level up your brand’s connection with your audience.

Whether it involves the contact information you already have (like a first name) or personalized messaging tailored to the specific audience segment you’re reaching, there’s power in personalization. That power can lead to higher engagement and more conversions.

DailyStory features personalization capabilities and more that can help on this front.

Get creative

The more creative you can get with your email drip campaigns, the more likely your target audience will engage with you.

We recommend looking through your own inbox for inspiration. What types of subject lines compel you to open them? Which emails drive you to click the link within? What stands out?

Additional suggestions include:

  • Jokes
  • Special deals (with a creative twist)
  • Word of the day
  • Series of relevant tips

Just be sure to stay true to your brand and the interests of your audience. If you’re not sure, test your more out-of-the-box ideas on a smaller segment of your audience.

Build up anticipation and excitement

There are plenty of opportunities to generate anticipation and excitement among your audience. Whether you’re launching a new product, relaunching your website, opening a new store location, promoting an upcoming event or something else, use email drip campaigns to hint, announce, educate and remind.

This will pull your customers and potential customers through this attention-generating email drip campaign.

Use automation

Manually managing email drip campaigns can be very time-intensive. Automating your campaigns will both save you time and promote overall consistency.

DailyStory can help with email 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.

What is social proof? And 9 ways to use it in your digital marketing

When digging deeper into the idea of “social proof,” just remember that humans are definitely pack animals.

Psychologically speaking, humans want to fit in with the rest of the crowd, and this can affect us in many ways, particularly our consumer behavior.

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

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

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.

Of course, social proof is even more powerful when it comes from someone the potential customer knows. About 82 percent of Americans say they seek recommendations from friends and family before making a purchase.

The following are nine ways you can use social proof across your digital marketing channels to persuade potential customers and grow your sales.

Highlighting positive reviews

Online reviews might be the first thing you think of when it comes to social proof. You’re definitely not wrong.

Consider Yelp. Are you more likely to try the restaurant with a lot of five-star reviews or the one with none? About 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and consumers often check at least two or three review sites before making a decision about a business.

Be the business they want to try, not the one they want to avoid.

You can do this by paying attention to more than just one review site. In other words, if you’re only focused on Yelp, you’re missing key opportunities. Google, FourSquare, even Facebook are all platforms where reviews can be made and viewed publicly about your business.

Then, highlight any relevant five-star reviews on your website, landing page or even some social media posts, depending. The more you share, the better! Don’t be shy.

To help boost your share of positive reviews, don’t be afraid to ask your customers for a review on their favorite site. This can be done with follow-up emails, signs posted in your business or even links shared on your social media. Keep your ask simple: “Support our small business by sharing your experience with us on Yelp” or whatever review site, for example.

Engaging with negative reviews

Granted, we can’t assume that all reviews will be positive. When encountering a negative review, read it thoroughly and respond. Yes, respond. Do not ignore. Acknowledge the issues or problem your reviewer encountered with your business (no matter how relevant or not). And offer a solution to his or her problem. This can be a gift card, discount or other incentive to come back and give you another shot. And this offer does not have to be worked out in a public back-and-forth. At the right time, you can say that you’ll message them directly to further resolve the problem. But it’s the initial engagement publicly that can help save a negative review from completely preventing a potential customer from considering your business. 

The better you engage with the negative review, the better you will look in the eyes of others. In fact, about 89 percent of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews in general.

Make sure you know about these eight types of negative SEO while you’re at it.

Sharing customer testimonials

It’s one thing for you to say that your brand is the best. It’s something entirely different when people outside of your brand say that you’re the best.

About 92 percent of consumers are more likely to trust non-paid recommendations than any other type of advertising.

Testimonials are positive experiences and/or anecdotes from customers who have used your product or service. They help establish credibility for your brand.

Be sure to regularly solicit happy customers for testimonials that you can update your website with and/or share in social media posts. Encourage them to be specific about the product or service they used, the problem it helped them solve and even how they felt before they came to you and after.

You can make the process even easier by including a Google Form (or another embedded form on your website). 

Partnering with celebrities, influencers

Influencer marketing has only been growing in recent years, and it’s easy to see why, especially when considering social proof. Consumers clearly trust public opinion more than brands themselves, so the word of people with influence falls into that category as well.

In fact, content from influencers generates more than 8 times the engagement rate of content shared directly by brands.

The key is that you identify an influencer who is relevant to your industry and jives with your brand.

Dig into these seven tips you should know before starting your first influencer marketing campaign.

Onboarding brand ambassadors

Similar to influencers, you can recruit brand ambassadors, which are essentially brand evangelists and loyalists who will promote your brand to their networks. Brand ambassadors can range between average people who love your company to micro-influencers with some clout online.

This type of program can be managed in a range of ways, where you can offer anything from commission to discounts to branded swag.

The appeal here is that brand ambassadors can humanize your brand even further. Just remember that brand ambassadors can be an easy avenue of getting more user-generated content (UGC) that features or includes your product out on various online channels. UGC can definitely play into social proof by piquing the interest of the potential customers it reaches.

Growing your social media following

First things first, we don’t want you to fall into a rabbit hole of obsession with growing your followers on social media. It’s just not the ultimate measure of success that some brands think it is. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that the size of your following can be a type of social proof. It’s that herd mentality again. When a consumer sees a large number of people doing (or following) something, they’re more likely to try it, too.

Resist the temptation to buy a ton of fake followers. This practice will never serve you in the long run. Social media success thrives on authenticity, and creating the illusion of social proof is exactly the opposite. Focus, instead, on sharing engaging content and building a genuine social media following.

Leveraging your customer count

If you have an established customer base, it’s worth considering leveraging those numbers as social proof. Whether it’s customers, subscribers or any other type of consumer who is using your product or service, sharing that will help show that your brand is valuable and trusted.

Think about how McDonald’s says “Over 9 billion served” on its signs. But this can be done on your website and/or social media profiles as well.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to simply boast about your numbers. Make it an invitation: “Join our 500,000 satisfied customers,” for example. It gives a feeling of belonging to consumers.

A slightly different angle on this front is leveraging any of the big-name customers you might have. You can do this by highlighting their logos on your website. Just make sure that you’re highlighting the brands that your audience will recognize.

Showcasing any awards, recognition

Awards and recognition aren’t just great types of social proof, they also act as evidence that your brand is, in fact, trustworthy. There’s a validation there because they come from a third party. 

Beyond just listing awards your brand has won, you can use award logos embedded on your website and even feature the logos of websites your brand has been mentioned on.

Again, it lends to your credibility.

Creating a blog

Before you think, “Not another blog,” remember that blogs are a great way to establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry.

The idea is to offer potential customers with insightful, problem-solving and actionable content. Tying this content into your products or services is great, but keep that approach in balance.

Showcasing your value to your audience is more important than getting yet another sales plug in. In the end, you’re ultimately creating and sharing content to build up your trustworthiness in the eyes of potential customers. It’s less about the hard sale.

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

Be aware of social shares

Adding social media share buttons next to various content on your website can sound like a great type of social proof. And it can be.

But if your social shares are typically low, this can actually backfire on you.

Website visitors seeing only a handful of shares can give them the impression that your content isn’t very valuable.

So, before using this approach, do an audit on your average amount of social shares. If it’s typically a high number, then the social share buttons are worth including to boost your social proof.

While you’re boosting your social proof, consider improving your digital marketing process with DailyStory. Features include automation and dynamic audience segmentation. Schedule your free demo with us today.

9 FOMO techniques you can use in your digital marketing

While the term “FOMO” might be new to you (or not), using “the fear of missing out” is nothing new to effective digital marketing strategies.

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.

For example, you could be browsing a shoe website and spot a pair of boots that piques your interest. After some browsing of the product description and customer reviews, you move on. But you later see an ad for those same boots, except this time, it appears with a limited-time discount. This is exactly what could trigger your FOMO about this product and can potentially persuade you to finally make the purchase.

With the right FOMO techniques, such as the following nine, you can further persuade your audience to jump on the opportunities you’re offering.

Your messaging matters

Always look at your messaging and ask yourself if there is a sense of urgency.

Strong verbs and an active voice are important components of this. Think:

  • Time’s running out
  • Last chance to buy
  • Don’t miss this

It’s about persuading your potential customers to act now, not later.

Set time limits

Deadlines naturally put pressure on all of us. Setting a time limit for the availability of a product or a particular sale is critical for many consumers to finally act (even if somewhat impulsively).

Just make sure that your deadline is absolute. While the occasional extension can be effective, doing so too often will dilute the effectiveness of all of your time limits. Your audience will simply get used to your extensions.

Consider using a countdown clock on your social media, website, so on to instill that looming deadline for your offer.

Share social proof

Social proof essentially boils down to sharing what other customers think of your product or service or simply how others are purchasing from you.

Testimonials appearing not just on your social media but along the purchasing journey on your website is a common tactic for social proof.

It’s the idea that if others are trusting your brand and having a great experience, you could miss out by not making that purchase, too. This makes consumers more likely to purchase from you.

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

In addition, there are several social proof tools, such as True or TrustPulse, that can integrate with your website and show visitors stats like how many people have purchased a particular product on your site, for example, etc.

Work with influencers when possible

Nothing quite induces FOMO like a celebrity or influencer endorsement. So, even simply featuring a quote from one can help boost your sales. 

Consumers have a range of trust when it comes to celebrities, no matter how big or small. Once you have an influencer endorsement, be sure to share it across channels, including your website.

Find out what you should know before diving into influencer marketing (or even any influencer partnerships).

Use user-generated content

While celebrities and influencers can be great, regular people can be even more trustworthy to your audience.

About 55 percent of consumers trust UGC (user-generated content) more than other forms of marketing.

Why not leverage that by soliciting photos and/or videos of happy customers using your product in some way? 

You can run a UGC contest with a prize. It can be an organic hashtag campaign, where you seed the hashtag with some great content of your own to get the ball rolling for your users.

For example, jewelry company Iz&Co (@izandco on Instagram) shares images of clients’ personal stories (such as weddings and proposals) in addition to their more branded content.

Create bundle opportunities

What’s better than purchasing one product you’re excited about? Getting another one (or two) with it at a discounted price, of course.

Bundles are a great way to take a selection of your products or services and offer them at a discounted price. The complementary items are something that can create FOMO for the consumer. 

It’s also a way to upsell your potential customers.

Play your social media channels against each other

Your audience on Facebook likely differs from your followers on Twitter, and so on. 

But you can leverage FOMO here strategically by broadcasting that a special behind-the-scenes video, for example, will only be shared via your Instagram Story on your other platforms.

The FOMO from this cross-posting tactic could lead some of your followers to follow you on other platforms as well. 

Just be sure to spread the love around. You don’t always want to make big announcements on your Twitter, for example, and then leave the crumbs for your Instagram audience.

Learn what social media platform would be best for your company.

Of course, this could apply to app-only deals as well.

Leverage competition

Nothing can create FOMO more than the possibility of limited inventory. And someone else getting a product or service instead of you, of course.

You’ve likely noticed websites that say “only 1 left in stock” or that this hotel was “booked 3 times in the past hour.” 

Giving the sense that someone else could get what you might want can help drive FOMO and your ultimate decision to purchase.

Consider an exit-intent pop-up

Just as you’re about to lose that possibly interested consumer, an exit-intent pop-up could make the difference between disappearance and a purchase.

An exit-intent pop-up is a pop-up window that appears as a website visitor goes to close the tab or browser (that particular movement of the mouse).

It’s your last chance to make that conversion, so whether it’s a surprise discount offer or some other offer, it must be irresistible.

Check out our 18 exit-intent tips that can help.

In conclusion

While FOMO techniques can help boost your sales, it’s important to always be honest with your audience. Share offers that will resonate with them.

As soon as you’re deceitful about anything, your audience is going to catch on and (worst yet) tune your brand out.

Speaking of FOMO, don’t miss out on leveling up your digital marketing process. Consider DailyStory, with such features as automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

And check out our all-inclusive Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners!

9 ways your business can use QR codes in marketing

Think QR codes are dead? Think again.

In fact, QR (Quick Response) codes are so old (digitally speaking) that they’re new again—and trending. 

A 2020 survey found that 18.8 percent of consumers in both the U.S. and U.K. strongly agree that they had noticed an increase of QR code use since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic “shelter-in-place” orders began in March 2020.

While QR codes don’t mean much to the naked eye, they can be read and understood by mobile devices. You’ll see them used on billboards, magazines and various other marketing materials.

They offer the opportunity to provide more information about a product, service or company quickly on a user’s device. The key appeal here is: instant and easy information delivery.

Several factors stalled QR codes back in 2010, including (but not limited to):

  • Fewer consumers with smartphones
  • The requirement of a separate app to scan them
  • QR codes linking to web pages that were not optimized for mobile devices

More than a decade later, we’re seeing higher usage of smartphones, an overall improvement in the abilities of smartphones and mobile-optimized websites becoming the norm (rather than the exception).

Are QR codes right for your business and overall digital marketing strategy? The following are nine ways you can use them so that you can decide for yourself.

Direct to a landing page or website

This is the most commonly thought-of purpose and use of QR codes. And it makes sense. Scanning a QR code can send a user to any relevant sign-up page or other landing page or website.

This can be much easier than asking consumers to type in your URL (no matter how short or simple it might be).

Just make sure that you use a unique URL for your QR code in order to effectively track the traffic generated by it.

Find out more about tracking links.

Download apps

Another common use of QR codes is for downloading an app. You can link it to the download page of the app to make it easy for users. Of course, keep in mind that you’ll likely have to consider separate QR codes for Apple and Android devices.

Apps themselves also use them to encourage engagement within their communities. Think Snapchat, which has unique QR codes to make it easy for users to add other people as connections. Another app, Spotify, launched them to easily share songs.

Make it easy to shop and save

Businesses often use QR codes for discounts and promos to entice potential customers. These discounts and promotions can be anything that makes sense for your business.

If using this method, be sure to monitor and tweak your promotion accordingly if it doesn’t seem to be as effective as you’d like.

Call your business phone number

It can be helpful to have your QR code link to a “contact us” landing page, but even better, consider having it call your business phone number directly. 

It’s just a matter of the right HTML (“tel:” followed by the phone number) to trigger the option to call your business from the user’s phone. 

This can be helpful in business conferences or other booth event scenarios.

Send the user a message

Thanks to HTML coding, it’s possible to have a message sent to the user’s device after he or she scans your QR code. 

This can be particularly beneficial for SMS text marketing in which you can use for SMS registration opt-ins, by-request product upgrades, user support or even sales.

Send the user an email

QR codes also can be used to send emails to a user. Because emails have more flexibility than SMS text messages, you might find this option a better fit.

What’s contained in that email is up to you. It can feature your latest product release or a new service you’re offering, for example.

Share your location address

QR codes can give users not only your location address but directions as well. This can make it instant and easy for consumers to navigate to you. If you have an event coming up at your business, this can help people find it.

Promote your social media

Make it easy for consumers who like your products and/or services to follow you on social media. Doing so can help them stay connected with your brand.

This can work for any social media page you want to promote.

Encourage reviews

Looking for more positive reviews? About 90 percent of consumers read a review before visiting a business. 

You can display a QR code in your business to encourage your customers to review your on the spot. It can also be placed on a receipt or product that you’re selling.

In conclusion

When using QR codes, a clear call-to-action (CTA) is critical. Users want and need to know what to expect when they scan it. If they have to guess, they’re less likely to do it.

We also recommend testing your QR codes on multiple devices so that you can anticipate (and fix) and possible issues. And keep in mind that users will need internet connectivity is needed for your codes to work.

As far as marketing strategies, you might want to leverage FOMO to persuade your potential customer to act sooner than later with your QR codes.

While you’re exploring QR codes, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. DailyStory features automations, dynamic audience segmentations and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Level up with these 8 email marketing courses online

The internet isn’t just a place to grow your sales leads, it’s also a place to grow your email marketing skills.

While social media and SEO can dominate any digital marketing conversation overall, email has an undeniable value.

For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42. In fact, here are 48 statistics that show the value of email marketing.

That’s why it’s important to better understand how you can best use the power of email to your advantage. 

The following are eight online courses that you should consider taking. (And check out our breakdown of the anatomy of an effective marketing email.)

Wishpond’s ‘Email Marketing Master Class for Beginners’

There is no shame in being a beginner in anything, and Wishpond’s email marketing class breaks everything down so simply with a published outline you can look over before even signing up.

Estimated to take less than an hour, you can learn the basics in a series of videos, discussions and more. You’ll learn:

  • How to meet your goals
  • What types of emails to use
  • How to create a strategy that works for you and your business

It’s a great course for beginners to help build a solid understanding.

Cost: Free

Estimated duration: Less than 1 hour

‘MailChimp for Ecommerce Email Marketing Master Class’

Are you part of (or leading) an ecommerce business and use MailChimp? You’ll want to consider checking out Udemy’s ecommerce email marketing course that specifically focuses on mastering the MailChimp platform.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Navigate the MailChimp platform
  • Set up A/B split test campaigns
  • Create quality campaigns
  • Build segmented email lists

Of course, if you’re not using MailChimp, you’d likely be better off with a different course.

Cost: $12.99 to $19.99, depending on available sales

Estimated duration: At least 4 hours

‘Email Marketing Essentials: Designing Effective Emails’

Targeting small business owners, freelancers and startup companies, this email marketing course teaches you how to design an email that helps you reach your goals. Although, to be clear, this course does not dive into graphic design or email aesthetics. It focuses on developing an effective email.

You’ll learn:

  • The difference between web design and email design
  • The key considerations for designing and developing emails
  • The best design practices for the most common email types

This is considered to be an intermediate-level course.

Cost: Available through a free trial of Skillshare; then either $99 per year or $19 per month

Estimated duration: 36 minutes

Online Marketing Institute’s ‘Email Campaign Fundamentals’

One of five available email marketing courses from the Online Marketing Institute, this class strives to show the parallel between overall marketing concepts and email marketing specifically. In other words, as the title suggests, you’ll better understand the fundamentals that surround creating an email campaign.

In the course, you’ll learn:

  • The four Ps of marketing
  • How to measure acquisition and retention objectives
  • The steps in the customer journey

Remember, there are four other courses offered by the Online Marketing Institute: “Permission & Legal Compliance,” “Dissecting Email Copy Part 1,” “Dissecting Email Copy Part 2” and “Getting Started with Email Marketing.”

Cost: Available through a 10-day free trial; then either $245 per year or $25 per month

Estimated duration: About 30 minutes

‘Email & Affiliate Marketing Mastermind’

This is another course offered through Udemy but from a whole different angle. The class sells itself as what you need to learn to build, use and remarket to targeted email lists in no more than one day.

In other words, this course is about helping you build an email list and create campaigns, as well as how to make money with email marketing and affiliate marketing. Simply put, affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other others’ products.

You’ll specifically learn how to:

  • Build an email list from scratch in no more than a day
  • Use an email list to make money
  • Remarket back to profitable leads
  • Find profitable affiliate marketing products

Cost: $18.99 to $139.99, depending on available sales

Estimated duration: At least 4 hours

ClickMinded’s email marketing course

This class from ClickMinded touts itself as being the most detailed email marketing course you can participate in that openly targets those who “want to learn everything there is to know about email marketing as fast as possible.”

You’ll learn:

  • A comprehensive overview of how email marketing works
  • All the different types of campaigns
  • Email segmentation
  • How to organize campaigns in the most profitable way possible
  • The critical aspects of email design and copy to optimize your ROI
  • The fundamentals of email automation
  • What you should be measuring and tracking

Cost: $997 for the course; $1,997 for a seven-course bundle that covers various digital marketing topics

Estimated duration: Between 3 and 6 hours

‘Lifecycle Email Marketing for Ecommerce’

In eCommerce? While this CXL course is not free, it could still be worth your consideration (and many would say that it is worth it). 

The course is built on learning from active professionals in the field who are teaching you practical techniques that you can then use on your own.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Capture more quality leads and convert them into customers
  • Drive more sales from email while creating less content and sending fewer promotions
  • Advertise more confidently knowing your new customers are being followed up with automatically after each purchase

Cost: Available through a 7-day trial for $1; then either $249 per month, $459 per quarter or $1,299 per year

Estimated duration: About 4 hours

‘Managing Email Marketing Lists and Campaigns’

From LinkedIn Learning, this course helps you better understand how to build and manage your marketing lists to run more effective campaigns.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Select a platform from choices like MailChimp
  • Add contacts to your list, while segmenting and maintaining that list 
  • Write compelling emails and calls to action
  • Reduce bounce rates
  • Test different versions of an email via A/B testing
  • Automate your emails

Cost: Available through a 1-month free trial or $34.99 for the course

Estimated duration: Less than 1 hour and 30 minutes

‘Email Marketing Master Class’ by AWeber Academy

This is an email marketing course designed for those who already have a basic understanding of the topic. The focus is to build a more effective strategy, and there are requirements that they list before you even sign up (such as already having a website and an email platform that you can apply the concepts on).

You’ll learn how to:

  • Plan, create and implement an effective strategy
  • Grow your email audience and get more traffic to your website
  • Write effective emails and what to write in your emails
  • Design emails
  • Test and optimize your emails
  • Create an automated email series
  • Turn email subscribers into customers and create compelling offers

Cost: $139.99

Estimated duration: At least 4 hours and 30 minutes

‘Email Marketing Certification’ by HubSpot Academy

This email marketing course is all about elevating your email marketing strategy, including contact management, segmentation, email deliverability and analyzing your email sends.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Master the fundamentals
  • Apply what you learn with HubSpot’s free email marketing tool

Cost: Free

Estimated duration: More than 3 hours

In need of a digital marketing platform that specializes in automation, personalization and more? Check out our DailyStory features and schedule your free demo today.

Influencer marketing: 7 tips to know before starting your first campaign

Once considered the “new kid on the block” of digital advertising, influencer marketing has risen in both popularity and effectiveness (when done right).

Brands are expected to spend up to $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022, according to Business Insider.

In the simplest sense, an influencer is anyone with a digital following (or audience) on a social media platform (but not necessarily) whom you’d like to attract.

The purpose of influencer marketing involves increasing brand awareness, targeting new and niche audiences and increasing impressions and reach.

What is an influencer?

How many followers should an influencer have to be considered an influencer? Well, that depends.

There are various definitions of influencer “levels,” but here is a good rule of thumb:

  • Nano-influencers: 1,000 to 10,000 followers
  • Micro-influencers: 10,000 to 50,000 followers
  • Mid-tier influencers: 50,000 to 500,000 followers
  • Macro-influencers: 500,000 to 1,000,000 followers
  • Mega-influencers: 1 million-plus followers

As odd as it sounds, bigger isn’t always better. For example, an influencer with 8,000 male followers doesn’t make sense for a national sporting brand to partner with. However, a local gym might be interested in that audience, depending on the influencer’s brand.

Either way, buyer beware. As you can already see, not all influencers and partnerships are created equal, and there’s a lot more to a successful campaign than an influencer agreeing to post about your brand or product.

Here are seven tips to know before starting your first influencer marketing campaign.

Set your goals

Goal-setting is critical for any marketing campaign, not just influencer marketing. 

It determines whether all elements are aligned for a specific strategy with a desired outcome that can be measured.

You have to ask yourself:

  • What’s the point?
  • How will it be measured?

Perhaps you’re looking for an ROI (return on investment) based on conversions. Or, perhaps you’re looking for an increase in website traffic. 

Keep in mind that developing an understanding of the type of audience you want to target is helpful at this point as well. If you’re an outdoor brand looking to promote a new product, what sort of demographic do you want to know about it?

Typically, awareness is the goal of most influencer campaigns, but don’t be afraid to take that one step further and tie that to revenue in some way. Awareness is great, but you are spending money on this campaign after all, so the ROI matters.

Whatever the metric, be sure to communicate it to everyone involved in the influencer campaign, especially the influencer him or herself.

Find your influencer

Once you know your goal or goals, you can start searching for influencer candidates. 

We’re calling them candidates because ideally, you should compile a list of influencers who appear to be a promising match for your brand and promotion and are worth taking a deeper look at.

If you are plugged in to your industry on social media and online, you can begin with a social media audit. Is there anyone with a significant following mentioning your brand? Perhaps your products and services? Are any relevant hashtags being used?

There also are several free or almost-free tools you can use, such as Upfluence, Buzzsumo and Crowdfire.

Check out these 18 influencer-discovery tools.

Do your ‘influencer homework’

Once you have your list of candidates, it’s time to do your homework, which is the most critical step before launching an influencer marketing campaign.

Skipping (or not fully doing) your research about a potential influencer risks problems down the line. For example, does an influencer truly reflect your brand? Have they posted controversial images or statements in the past that conflict with your brand? How do they handle other sponsored posts that they’ve done before? How do they engage with their following?

Key points

  • Relevancy. Think how an extreme sports athlete would work for Red Bull but not Cover Girl. However, relevancy doesn’t just tie to who the person is. It also involves the type of content a person posts. If that same extreme sports athlete only posts about his or her cat, that might not be the best fit either.
  • Influence and reach. This can be tougher to gauge without speaking to the influencer directly, but the idea is that you want to confirm that when an influencer posts about something, it can spur action by at least a portion of his or her followers. Take note of any past sponsorship posts an influencer has done, and feel free to ask how those campaigns performed. Any seasoned influencer will have that data available for at least his or her contribution.
  • Engagement rates. It’s very easy to get “razzle dazzled” by an influencer’s following size. The more followers, the more impressive. However, followings aren’t everything. In fact, many brands would opt for a smaller, more engaged following than a larger following that doesn’t engage very much with the influencer. This can help flush out who’s bought a following and who earned it organically. Learn about six different ways to calculate engagement rates. Remember that, ideally, you’ll want an influencer’s audience to engage with product posts as much as with the idea of the “celebrity” itself.

Once you do decide on an influencer, strive to build a relationship with him or her first. You can like and comment on the influencer’s posts, engaging before dropping a partnership request in their messages.

Determine your budget

Influencer marketing does not have a set cost or pricing rate. Every influencer is different, and every business has a different budget.

And spoiler alert: Many businesses do not have a huge budget for influencers (although that is shifting every year).

If you have a tight budget, consider what else you can offer. Is it a prototype of the product you’re promoting? Perhaps a day of the services you want to draw attention to?

Remember that your goal is key here, and more likely than not, an influencer would expect some sort of sampling anyway so that they can authentically post about the brand.

Typically, though, expect that the more sophisticated the influencer and the larger the following, the higher the cost. (That’s why nano-influencers can be better options for small businesses to partner with.)

Review the regulations

This surprises more than it should, but there are regulations surrounding influencer marketing and sponsored posts.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regularly updates its guidelines for online endorsements. While the FTC holds the influencer responsible for knowing and adhering to the rules, don’t assume that every influencer does or will.

It is in your best interest to understand the regulations as well and communicate with your influencer about them.

In the simplest sense, it really comes down to disclosure. Influencers must identify every sponsored post.

The FTC has its own 101 Guide for Social Media Influencers that you can dig into.

Think multi-channel

When possible, developing a content strategy with the right influencer can easily cross multiple social media platforms.

It’s not uncommon for a YouTube star to also have a strong Instagram following. Seize those opportunities and consider what you can do on which platform during an influencer partnership. 

The more touchpoints you can create with a new audience, the better.

Find out the best social media platform to use for influencer marketing.

Contracts are great things

Once you discuss and decide on everything with the influencer, put it in writing.

Better yet, make it an enforceable contract.

While the homework you’ve done on your influencer should serve as comfort that he or she will perform as expected, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Examine the steps for what you should include in a social influencer contract, or check out a simple template. Know that there are numerous contract templates available online, but you should always have a lawyer review any final contract you ultimately create.

In conclusion

Influencer marketing can be an effective way to drive brand awareness and sales. It enables brands to reach targeted audiences they otherwise wouldn’t reach (or at least not in the same way). However, the value and success of influencer marketing campaigns depend on your planning and research. Be willing to experiment, but keep your eye on the ROI the entire time.

Looking to go beyond influencer marketing? Take a look at our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners.

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

Push notification strategy in the works? Here’s what you should consider

Push notifications have come a long way since first being introduced by Apple in 2009. If you have an app, they should be a thought-out piece of your overall marketing strategy in this climate of online noise.

Below are eight things you should consider when developing your push notification strategy to maximize your results:

What’s the point of your push alerts?

It sounds simple, but all too often, we want to run before we can walk in any new campaign. It’s so important to take a step back and outline the targeted audience and goals. 

With push notifications specifically, there are a few different types, such as informative, time-bound or reminder. Knowing who you’re targeting and why will help you decide what mix of push notification types (and even tone) you’ll want to plan for your campaign.

See our seven tips to write an effective push notification.

How personal can your push notification get?

In a world of noise, personalization even in the smallest degree can help you stand out. According to a Delvv study, most people felt push notifications were irrelevant. So often, this is because notifications are not tailored to meet a user’s needs or interests. Understanding your audience so that your message is relevant to them is crucial.

What data do you have on your target customer base? Age range? More one gender or another? In school? Have families? The more information you have, the better you can serve your audience with your overall push notification content.

But can you take it a step further?

According to Braze Magazine, personalizing your message with such attributes as a user’s first name, recent purchases, etc. can increase conversions by 27.5 percent (compared with generic notifications). Also according to Braze, sending different campaign messages to different audience segments can lead to a 200 percent increase in conversions.

Find out if your mobile provider gives you the ability to either segment your audience (so that what you say to one group can differ from what you say to another group) or include personalization code in your message itself (such as a user’s first name). DailyStory is among the platforms that do both.

Timing is everything for push alerts

Have you ever received a push notification in the middle of the night that didn’t irritate you? Most would say no because truly, timing is everything. 

In general, if you’re looking for the best time to send your notification (and not just a non-annoying time), then focus on weekdays between 7 and 10 a.m. and/or between 6 and 10 p.m.

The logic (and the data backing it up) is based on typical user habits: people starting their day and wanting (or are willing) to be informed and people winding down their day and wanting (or are willing) to be engaged before they go to sleep.

One factor to keep in mind is timezones. If you have a global or even a national audience, you must be aware of the time differences you face and how to plan for them.

Can you geotarget your push notifications?

Rank geotargeting up there with personalization because, truly, it is a form of personalization. These days, location-based technologies are more available and commonplace than you might think, and they enable you to get the right message to the right person in the right place. In a nutshell, geotargeting works by virutually “fencing” a zone that can be anything from the size of a building to an entire zip code (or larger). When a user enters that zone, they get served your message.

But the magic of geotargeting happens when you understand the user’s experience. What message will catch their attention when they’re at a particular place? Your creativity is your only limit here.

How many is too many push alerts?

When you have the power to pop up on users’ phones, it’s oh so easy to go overboard with how often you message them. If you send too many too often, you risk user dissatisfaction and dismissal, or even worse: the uninstallation of your app.

The average U.S. smartphone user receives 46 push notifications per day on average already, according to Business of Apps.

Of course, message rate limits can help ensure that you don’t overwhelm your audience, but it’s best to plan the appropriate frequency ahead of time. 

Do you have a message inbox for push notifications?

If you’ve ever accidentally dismissed a notification and had it gone forever, you understand the value of a message inbox in your app. Of course, this feature is mostly something to look out for when developing your app with an app provider because it will give your users the ability to browse messages at their leisure (or find them if they unintentionally dismissed any that they were interested in).

Test, test, test

No matter what best practices you follow when planning and executing, it all comes down to testing. What is working, and what isn’t? 

Check in on the metrics you deem important regularly. Or, you can plan for a deeper analysis with A/B testing, which is the practice of trying one approach with one group and a different approach with a different group (that are reasonably similar groups by comparison). The differing approach can be anything from the timing, frequency, wording or angle of your notification. But analyzing the data generated during A/B testing (or just how your push notifications are performing overall) can lead to important takeaways and lessons that you can apply to future notifications.

Be aware of your opt-in, opt-out options

While push notifications are powerful, they still are a permission-based medium. A user needs to opt in to begin seeing your messages. And while it may be obvious to want to make opting in as easy as possible, you also want to make opting out easy to find as well.

Why?

Because if a user can’t find a way to opt out, they’ll simply uninstall your app. And ultimately, that’s not your goal.

Push notifications are a powerful component of any marketing strategy. With just a little extra thought, analysis and planning, it can make the difference in your company’s ROI.

Then, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

12 tips for email subject lines that won’t get ignored

A successful email subject line is part art, part science but typically a recipe for anxiety for any marketer or business owner.

But it doesn’t have to be. If you’ve noticed that your emails aren’t getting the open rate you are looking for, then it’s time to take a look at your subject lines.

Here are 12 tips to think about the next time you’re crafting your next email.

Tip #1: Know your audience

The first rule of any marketing campaign is to know who your audience is. Where do they live? What are their interests? Are they mostly men or women? What age range are they primarily?

Having a general sense of who you’re talking to will keep your subject lines (and overall email content) relevant and engaging. It’s the critical first step because it will drive the topics you highlight and even the voice you use.

Have a broad audience? Be sure to use audience segmentation, which is one of the highlighted features offered by DailyStory. The benefit is that you can tailor your message to different parts of your audience to boost relevancy and, in turn, your open rate. In fact, according to EmailMonday, segmented email campaigns drive 760 percent more revenue than those that aren’t segmented.

Tip #2: Keep it as short and sweet as possible

In essence, novel-length subject line bad, snappy good. The shorter the better.

Think of your audience as skimmers with not enough time on their side. You’ll lose them with anything lengthy, and you’ll want to be concise while also quickly highlighting the benefit to recipients for opening your email.

According to EmailMonday, about 77 percent of email opens happen on mobile devices, so strive to keep your subject lines at fewer than 50 characters. Otherwise, mobile skimmers likely won’t see the entire subject line.

Tip #3: Action verbs are key

It’s the difference between being active or passive. Think of your email subject line as a call to action, not a book report title.

Starting your subject line with a verb inspires activity. Here’s an example: “Tour our new collection” versus “Our new collection.”

Tip #4: Personalization is more powerful than you think

Personalization tags, which are available in DailyStory, give you the ability to say a recipient’s name or location, for example, in your mass email. It’s that element of personalized content that can make an impact on your audience.

You’re only limited by your creativity when it comes to personalization and ways to use it.

Tip #5: Urgency catches more attention

If something is happening for a limited time only, definitely say so. Your audience can be compelled to open simply not to miss out.

But be sure to convey that urgency without using the word “urgent,” for example. Usually, simply stating the deadline is enough.

Tip #6: You can just tell them what’s inside

While a little mystery can go a long way with open rates in the right circumstances, clear transparency should be the name of the game most of the time.

If your recipient is getting an email because they downloaded a deliverable from you, for instance, you’re going to want to tell them that they’ll find it in your email. No need to beat around the bush.

Tip #7: Timing totally matters

Being cognizant of when your email is hitting your audience’s inboxes can be a great way to boost your open rate. For instance, talking about how to start your day first thing in the morning or sharing happy hour specials just before most people get off work.

Use the timing of your email to give that extra reason to open it.

Tip #8: The air of exclusivity

Everyone wants to feel special. Maybe something is a “private invite” or for “most valued customers only.”

Tell your recipients what makes them special in the subject line to give them a reason to open your email.

Tip #9: Use numbers when possible

Just like tweeting on Twitter, numbers and data get more engagement on email subject lines as well. Stay away from vague.

If you can use a number regarding your discount offer, or how many pages there are in your e-book or anything else, that specificity catches attention and boosts interest.

Tip #10: Avoid all caps or too many exclamation points

You can’t force excitement, but you can appear desperate or spammy. “ACT NOW ON THIS LIMITED TIME OFFER!!!!” comes off more like shouting than engaging, relatable or even professional.

Focus on being creative, specific and personable rather than shout at your audience.

Tip #11: Also avoid using both a question mark and an exclamation point

Here’s an example: “Want to save some cash? Act now!”

This combo is actually very commonly filtered out by email filters and can send you to spam, which is exactly where you don’t want to be.

In fact, here are 455 words that typically trigger spam filters to step in, according to Prospect.io.

All that being said, a question alone can be an open-rate booster for email subject lines.

Tip #12: Your preview text also matters

With all this talk about subject lines, it’s important to remember that you also have preview text to use as an opportunity to entice your audience to open your email.

Preview text typically will default to what’s in the body of the email, which can appear sloppy, unless you fill it out with something else. Recipients will see it when they see a preview notification of their email on their phone or in their email, depending. It’s a place where you can add in the details that couldn’t fit into your subject line.

A great rule of thumb, especially when starting out in email marketing, is to have a colleague take a second look at your email subject line (if not your entire email). But also, simply ask yourself if you would open your own email after reading your subject line.

Also, check out the anatomy of an effective marketing email. We also help you dive deeper into your email marketing with our strategies to increase your email open rates.

Still unsure how to improve your email marketing results? We’ve found eight of the best online email marketing courses that can help you beef up your skills.

While you’re analyzing the effectiveness of your email subject lines, consider the strength of your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation capabilities, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Snapshot: Understanding your metrics on Instagram

Instagram has shown itself to be one of the fastest-growing social media platforms. Any successful account should have a sense of what’s working and what’s not for its audience.

On Instagram, you can find Insights data in three different places in the Instagram app.

To access Insights from your account page, tap the bar graph icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. For analytics on an individual post, navigate to the post and tap View Insights in the bottom-left corner. Or, to see data for a story, open the story and tap the names in the bottom-left corner.

Insights homepage

The Insights homepage shows a summary of data for the content you’ve posted in the last seven days.

In the top section, find out how many total followers you have and how many you’ve gained in the past seven days.

You can also view how many total posts you have on your account and how many you’ve added in the previous week. Scroll down to see a series of bar graphs that reveal the total impressions, reach, and profile views for the past 7 days, and then you can swipe to view website clicks and call-to-action button clicks (Call, Email, Directions).

On the Insights homepage, scroll down to the Followers section to see a summary of follower demographics including gender, age group, and location. Note that you need at least 100 followers to see demographic data. Tap “See More” to open a page with graphs that break down follower demographics in more detail.

More on followers

At the bottom of the Followers section, you’ll find two graphs that show when your followers are most active on the network.

In the first graph, find out when your followers are online each day. Scroll down to the second graph to discover which days your followers are most likely to be online. Look for patterns in the times and days your followers are online, so you can post content at times that will maximize reach and engagement. You can then create a posting schedule that best reflects when your audience is online.

More about posts

The Posts section of the Instagram Insights homepage shows your three most recent posts. Tap See More to view additional posts.

By default, the Posts section shows the total number of impressions for all of your posts in the past year. To segment this data, tap any of the blue links at the top of the page and choose from these filters:

  • Content type (all, photos, videos, and carousel posts)
  • Measurement (comments, engagement, impressions, likes, reach, and saved)
  • Time (7 days, 30 days, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years)

Individual posts

If you want to see data for an individual post, open the post and then tap View Insights in the bottom-left corner. Drag up to view a variety of metrics for that post.

At the top, you find engagement stats (likes, comments, and saves). In the Actions section, discover what actions users took on your profile after seeing this post.

Instagram Stories

You can access insights for your Instagram Stories from the Insights homepage or directly from an individual story post.

If you access stories data from the Insights homepage, you see all of your Stories posts for the past 2 weeks. This view only shows data in the aggregate; you can’t click on individual posts.

By default, Instagram shows impressions data for your stories. Tap one of the blue links at the top of the page to filter Stories data by time (24 hours, 7 days, and 14 days) and action. Analyze this data to find out what Stories content is resonating with your audience and what content is causing them to exit or swipe away. Use these insights to inform future Stories content.

To see insights for an individual Instagram Story, open the Story and tap “Seen By” in the bottom-left corner. From here, you’ll see which users saw the post, total impressions and reach, and what actions were taken on the post. The actions include replies, swipes away, and clicks on stickers and tagged accounts.

The most important thing is to simply start digging into your data. The takeaways will only fuel a better posting strategy on the visual-first social media platform.

For a deeper look, Instagram details every aspect of its data offerings.

You also can dive deeper into the opportunities and challenges of Instagram for small businesses. and our six tips to master Instagram hashtags.

Then, 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.

Snapshot: Understanding your metrics on Facebook

If you’re managing a Facebook page, it’s critical to know what’s working (or not) with what you’re posting. It’s also important to get a real sense of who your audience is.

And all that data can be found in Facebook Insights.

You’ll find Facebook Insights by navigating to your Facebook page and clicking on “Insights.”

Meet the Overview section of Facebook Insights

It defaults to the Overview section, which gives you a one-stop-shop of sorts to get a sense of what’s happening on your page.

Notice that it also defaults to looking at the past seven days and is comparing those days to the seven days before that. This can be changed in the top left corner of the screen to today, yesterday or the past 28 days.

Use the Pages To Watch section at the bottom of the Overview page. The value of this is only limited to the pages you select to compare yourself to (competitors or similar pages are best). However, it will give you an overall gauge of how your page is doing.

There are a number of sections you can explore in depth in Facebook Insights, but two of the most helpful tend to be Posts and People.

Meet the Posts section

In Posts, you can see at a glance how your posts are performing, as well as data showing when your fans are online (which may help shape your post timing).

You also can control how the reach and engagement data are displayed, but the available list graph will show you how your latest posts compare to one another.

Ultimately, your strategy will dictate whether you value reach or engagement more. Typically, you should be taking both into consideration. Take note of what worked and what didn’t. Over time, these successes and misses will help shape your posting.

Meet the People section

The People section also holds a lot of relevant data for your Facebook strategy.

In it, you can see the gender, age and geographic breakdown of your audience, who you’re reaching and who you’re engaging. Plus, you’ll see how they stack up against Facebook’s overall audience.

Take a moment to explore Facebook Insights on your page. Get comfortable with the navigation of the data there, and make it a regular habit to check it. This will build an ongoing library of takeaways that will help you make better content and posting decisions on your page.

For more, hear from the social network itself.

While you’re at it, dive deeper into the opportunities and challenges of Facebook for small businesses and check out our 12 expert tips to optimize your Facebook business page.

Then, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentations and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.