19 tips to drive traffic to your new blog

Blogs can be a large part of your content marketing efforts.

Each month, about 409 million people view more than 20 billion blog pages.

If you haven’t already been maintaining blog content for your brand, you might be deciding that now is the time to get started.

Great! But once you launch your new blog, how do you begin to drive traffic to it? Clearly, a blog with no page views is like a tree falling in the forest without anyone hearing it. In other words, you’re not going to hit any of your marketing or revenue goals with a low-performing blog.

The following are 19 tips to help your new blog get attention.

Determine your target audience

This is a common requirement for any sort of successful content marketing tactic. While many small businesses would love to target everyone all the time (because who wouldn’t want your product or service?), you have to get real.

First, everyone has a budget. And yours is going to go much further when you are targeting a more specific group of people than if you’re trying to reach everyone.

Second, you’ll be that much more effective by targeting a niche of consumers who are most likely to purchase. That’s right. Aiming “small” (but targeted) will lead to a better ROI (return on investment).

Of course, your target audience is more than a handful of demographic characteristics. See our seven tips to help you determine the best target audience for your brand.

Plan engaging blog content ideas

It might sound obvious, but there’s not a huge reason to push for more blog traffic if your content is lackluster. You’ll simply lose the readers you do get and definitely won’t be able to build a relationship with them.

Content that’s clear, engaging and even solves a problem that your target audience might be dealing with will not only attract visitors but also leave your audience wanting more. Both are good things!

Consider as your brainstorming blog topics:

  • Your expertise. What relevant knowledge can you share?
  • The interests of your readers. What are they wanting or needing to know?
  • Trending topics. What can you contribute to the conversation?

Once you have a list of topic ideas, get organized. Check out our eight tips to create an effective content calendar.

Develop attention-grabbing blog headlines

Headlines can greatly impact how well your blog posts perform. They are on the frontlines representing your content and impacting whether an internet user will click through on your link or not.

In a nutshell, you want to be clear, catchy and detailed while also not being too long. 

See our 19 tips to write effective, engaging headlines.

Optimize for SEO

Keep in mind the phrases and keywords that your target audience will most likely use in search engines, like Google or Bing. You’ll want to naturally incorporate these throughout your content.

You can try any of these 11 free keyword research tools to get an idea of the proper keywords you should use.

This effort can help search engines find you and recommend your specific piece of content to the potential searching audience, which can then lead to free website traffic.

See our 12 SEO marketing tips for beginners to dive deeper.

Consistency is critical

You’ll want to publish new blog posts consistently. Of course, consistency does not mean posting daily at the same time each day. It just means that you must decide on a posting schedule and then stick to it.

This serves your visitors, so they know when to expect new content, but this also can help your ranking for search engines, which trust websites with consistent new content versus those with an erratic posting schedule.

When deciding how often to post, consider your time and resources first. You don’t want to overpromise and underdeliver as soon as you start. Remember that you can always build up your posting schedule over time as it makes sense to do so.

Go long with your content

This isn’t permission to go long just for the sake of going long. There needs to be substance behind it, of course.

Long-form content offers readers deeper, more concise information. But that’s not the only benefit.

Sharing rates typically increase along with the content length of your blog on all the major social media platforms, especially Twitter and Facebook. In addition, the top ten results for any given search tend to go to content with at least 2,000 words, and the rankings tend to decrease along with the word count.

Just make sure that you break up your longer content with subheadings, images and so on.

Never go out of style with evergreen content

Evergreen content remains relevant over a long period of time. It’s not time-sensitive in any way, but it could be seasonal, where the content can continue to come back every year and be just as relevant. This sustainability will help feed continued traffic to your blog.

To get the ball rolling on evergreen content, think about the questions you’re frequently asked by customers.

Use visuals

We as humans are more visual by nature. Our eyes are drawn to images before text.

About 80 percent of people remember what they see, compared to 10 percent of what they hear and 20 percent of what they read.

Leverage this by incorporating images, GIFs, videos and graphics into your new blog. Plus, you have the ability to properly tag your images so that search engines can understand the types of assets you’re offering to visitors within your text content.

Confirm your website loading speed

About 57 percent of online shoppers will leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds for a page to load. And search engines are paying attention to your loading speed as well, which will lower your search ranking if you’re slower than you should be.

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.

Website loading speed is critically important to mobile marketing in general. Check out our 14 tips to help you optimize for mobile consumption in additional ways.

Embrace internal linking

Internal linking is all about linking to your other content that’s relevant in the current blog that visitors are reading.

This benefits your SEO efforts, and it can help keep visitors on your website longer by visiting that related content in addition to your original content that attracted them in the first place.

Just make sure that you’re only using links that are relevant and valuable. Keep an eye out for opportunities to link to other content as you’re working on new content.

Build up quality backlinks

Backlinks are hyperlinks that point from one website to another (as opposed to internal links that are linking within your website). About 91 percent of all web pages never get any organic traffic from Google, and that’s mostly due to the fact that they don’t have backlinks. 

Don’t be one of those pages.

We all want to improve the search engine ranking of our website, but when it comes to getting others to link to you, it’s easy to feel lost. Plus, you don’t want just any backlink for your site. Quality (meaning that the backlink is coming from a trusted website) is important as well.

See our seven tips to help grow quality backlinks to your content.

Consider guest blogging

By featuring other writers on your blog, you’re not only adding to the value you have with different perspectives, you’re also potentially reaching a new audience.

When you’re working with potential guest bloggers, make sure you agree in advance on how the partnership will work.

  • Will they share the content on their own social media channels? If so, how often? What does that look like?
  • Does anything need to be linked back to for them? What links? How many?

Of course, this can also be flipped where you’re guest blogging on another website.

Partnerships can truly be a win-win for everyone involved if planned and talked through in advance.

Social media promotion is key

Maintaining an active social media presence goes a long way toward driving traffic to your new blog. You can directly share your content with the context that should encourage users to click through to your blog.

You’ll want to consider every social media platform different and unique. What works on Twitter is not the same as what can work on Instagram.

Consider your audience and the platform when posting. You might even want to consider creating a YouTube channel to work in tandem with your blog.

In addition, having social media sharing buttons that are alongside your content will make it easy for your visitors to share your content organically on their own social accounts as well.

Learn about what you should know about social media.

Leverage email marketing

Email marketing is a great way to build personal relationships with your subscribers, and you can use snippets of your blog content within your emails that can link back to your full content.

In 2022, the number of email users worldwide is estimated to be about 4.3 billion. This is expected to grow to about 4.6 billion in 2025, making up more than half of the estimated world population

See these 48 statistics that show the value of email marketing.

Even in a world of social media prevalence, more consumers use email than any social media platform, and more than half of consumers check their email before they check their social media in the morning.

Check out our 16 email marketing best practices so that you can put your best foot forward.

Host a contest or giveaway

You can create opportunities for your audience to win prizes by subscribing to, liking, commenting on or sharing your blog content, which can all further the reach of your blog.

Prizes could be a product you sell or a service you offer to keep it simple.

Make sure you plan ahead so that any giveaway works efficiently for you and for the participants. Plus, you’ll want to keep it all legal with thorough Terms and Conditions tied to your giveaway.

Encourage comments and discussions on your blog

Google naturally improves the search ranking of a blog that’s receiving a lot of comments because it indicates that the content is engaging.

Of course, what can help these discussions is your thoughtful responses to any comments left by readers. It creates a trusting relationship and encourages them to continue commenting.

You can always try to get the comments going by ending your blog post with an open-ended question that readers can answer in the comment section.

Participate in various Q&A websites

Question-and-answer websites are definitely one of the biggest online communities in the digital world.

By answering questions on such platforms as Quora, TripAdvisor and others, your answer will be live for a long time and could potentially drive traffic to your blog.

That being said, you want to avoid any link dumping on these sites. Instead, focus on giving as detailed an answer as possible and only include a link if it makes sense to do so.

Experiment with influencer marketing

In the simplest sense, an influencer is anyone with a digital following (or audience) on a social media platform or elsewhere whom you’d like to attract to your own brand.

The purpose of influencer marketing involves increasing brand awareness, targeting new and niche audiences and increasing impressions and reach.

By identifying and partnering with an influencer, you can reach that new audience and drive up traffic to your new blog.

But before you dive in headfirst with your first influencer marketing campaign, check out our seven tips.

Spread social proof across every platform possible

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

You can use social proof to promote your blog on your website and across your social media channels.

Here are a handful of ideas to get started:

  • Use a feedback form to collect user feedback about your blog that you can then share.
  • Ask users to rate your blog articles.
  • Share your social media following number, email subscribers or any other numbers.

Learn more about what social proof is and nine ways to use it, as well as 17 of the best social proof tools that you can try.

In conclusion

The biggest thing to keep in mind when launching a new blog is to have patience. Growing your website traffic organically can take time. 

Focus on offering quality content that resonates and getting creative with your promotion beyond even these tips. 

Check out our seven tips to level up your content marketing, as well as our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners.

As you gain traction with your new blog, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, such as automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

8 best practices for using GIFs in your marketing

When your goal involves being as eye-catching and engaging as possible, it’s tough not to consider using GIFs in your branded marketing.

The human brain processes images about 60,000 times faster than words. 

GIFs are a type of image file format (Graphics Interchange Format) that can store multiple image files and present them sequentially, creating an animated effect. 

GIPHY, a popular GIF website, serves more than 7 billion GIFs per day, seen by more than 500 million daily active users who watch more than 11 million hours of GIFs every day.

GIFs were created in 1987 when software developer Steve Wilhite was trying to use animated images that didn’t have an extremely large file size. GIFs use an infinite loop that autoplays upon loading and are compatible with different operating systems and browsers. High-quality GIFs look nearly identical to videos.

In other words, GIFs are far more interesting to the eye than static images and add movement to your content. If they’re right for your industry and used well, they can help you stand out from your competitors.

The following are eight GIF best practices for your digital marketing efforts.

Best practice #1: Get creative with how to use GIFs

There are endless ways you can use GIFs in your digital marketing. Here are some examples:

  • Express emotions and personality. If your brand personality leans toward the fun or wacky, GIFs are a great way to showcase that. 
  • Tell stories. GIFs can be very effective when used for storytelling. 
  • Explain processes or show products. Launching a new product? Consider showing it off in a high-energy GIF. Is there a process that could be easier to understand through the animation of a GIF? Loop the steps in an easy-to-understand presentation.
  • Animate your data. Your audience may appreciate the visual appeal of watching your charts and graphs come to life.
  • Replace video. This comes in handy especially when file size is a factor or the medium otherwise can’t directly embed video in an efficient way (such as email).
  • Highlight your call-to-action. GIFs can complement your CTAs, where the goal is to draw attention.
  • Launch your own branded GIF channel on GIPHY. The platform could expand your reach to new audiences.

Truly, most of your digital marketing content could incorporate a GIF in some way. You’re mostly just limited by your imagination.

Best practice #2: Get organized with a content calendar

Because there are so many ways you can use GIFs, it’s best to get organized. 

But in general, a content calendar will help you strategically plan not just when and where to use GIFs in your digital marketing but also what the GIF content itself should be. This can help you plan content for all occasions.

You also can include a section to bookmark any brainstorming ideas as they arise. The key is that you begin incorporating GIFs as part of your ongoing strategy.

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

Best practice #3: Aim for subtle branding in your GIFs

Of course, when creating a GIF, you’re going to want to incorporate your branding into it. That branding can include a watermark, product placement, colors, fonts and so on.

But strive to keep the branding light as a best practice. Focus on entertainment first and brand placement second.

This recommendation goes back to the way many use GIFs, which is to enhance digital conversations. If your branding is over the top, your GIF is that much less likely to have a second ongoing life with internet users. By incorporating your branding in a subtle way and prioritizing entertainment, your GIF makes more sense in common uses. And even though the branding may be subtle (like a small, gray watermark, for example), you’ll increase your reach by not overpowering the GIF’s message.

Of course, this does not apply to any product-specific GIFs you may want to create. Remember, it all comes down to the goal of your GIF. You want to feature a product in an eye-catching way? Do so. But if you want your GIF to be widely used, consider subtle branding options.

Best practice #4: Use text to make it a meme

Memes and GIFs are both informal and fun and can offer commentary on pop culture as well as express emotions. A meme is an image that portrays a particular concept or idea that then usually spreads through online social platforms. Text is often overlaid onto the image to convey that intended message.

By adding meme-like text to your GIF, you greatly enhance your content’s potential for going viral or at least reaching more users. 

Keep in mind that GIF engines also look to see if there is text within your GIF. This helps them understand what your GIF is about, which can help the discoverability of your GIF.

Best practice #5: Explore GIF stickers for social media reach

Interested in your reach via Instagram Stories and Snapchat Stories? Consider GIF stickers. They’re what Instagram and Snapchat users can place on their Stories.

By uploading your GIFs into your GIF search engine of choice, they will be available for consumers.

This approach helps leverage users into brand ambassadors.

Best practice #6: Leverage emotion with reaction GIFs

A primary purpose of GIFs is to express emotions, so many of the most popular GIFs are reaction GIFs. This refers to when GIFs are used as a response that showcases an emotion.

Sharing a GIF where a person is jumping up and down and clapping is more expressive than simply typing: “Excited!”

Of course, if your product or service ties into human emotion (such as “hungry” for a restaurant), you’ll want to create GIFs for the emotions that your product or service directly solves. If this isn’t the case, focus on content for popular reactions and emotions in general.

Best practice #7: Conduct keyword research

Keywords are an important element to any successful SEO strategy or pay-per-click campaign, but did you know that they matter for GIF strategy, too?

So, keyword research is critical to getting your GIFs seen by your target audience. A best practice. Consider the purpose and goals of your GIFs. This will help you narrow down which keywords you want to use. Then, you can make your content for specific keywords for a better chance to rank in searches.

Check out these 11 free SEO keyword research tools to help you.

Best practice #8: Timing matters

GIFs are short but not too short. Ideally, you want to get your message across in between 2 and 6 seconds as another best practice.

If you go shorter than 2 seconds, your GIF will be more like a strobe effect. If you go longer than 6 seconds, you risk losing the attention of your viewers.

Make sure that your GIFs loop cleanly as well. You’ll want a clear start and finish, but pay attention to how the last frame of your GIF transitions back to the first frame. Best practice: Aim to be as seamless as possible.

In conclusion

GIFs can be a powerful addition to your digital marketing strategy. Make sure to have a plan first before you venture into their use and creation.

To help you create your own, check out these 11 free GIF-maker tools.

As you’re exploring your potential GIF strategy, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, which includes automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

16 email marketing best practices that make an impact

Email marketing might feel “old hat” in a world of new and ever-evolving digital marketing tools. But it deserves your attention more than ever.

In 2022, the number of email users worldwide is estimated to be about 4.3 billion. This is expected to grow to about 4.6 billion in 2025, making up more than half of the estimated world population

See these 48 statistics that show the value of email marketing.

Simply put, email marketing is the use of email to promote your brand’s products or services. But in addition, you can develop relationships with your current customers and connect to potential customers. It’s about informing and engaging your recipients with a personalized message that resonates. Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective and conversion-rich tactics you can embrace within your overall digital marketing strategy. And embracing its best practices can make you even more effective in your efforts.

The following are 16 email marketing best practices that will help you make an impact.

Never purchase contact lists

There are a number of reasons why you should not purchase contact lists for your email marketing efforts.

Of course, data protection laws (such as the General Data Protection Regulation) are critical to keep in mind. You need consent.

But beyond even that is how differently email recipients act when you’ve bought them versus when you’ve earned them.

Email recipients you’ve brought are essentially cold leads. They could have no idea who you are and may even wonder how or why you are emailing them. This could lead to low open rates, low click rates and even higher unsubscribes or (even worse) spam reports.

See our 11 tips to increase your open rates when you are cold emailing.

The contacts you’ve earned have opted in somehow, so they have a better recognition of your brand and are more likely to open and click (and not unsubscribe or report you).

Regularly review (and segment) your contact list

While several of your contacts might not opt-out of your emails, they could simply never open an email of yours either. This can kill your open rate and cloud some of your campaign analytics.

It’s important to regularly audit your mailing list and segment accordingly so that you can target the right message to the right recipients at the right time. 

Removing contacts is an option some brands use to maintain a more engaged list, but we actually recommend grouping your less-active contacts so that you can target them in different ways (whether that’s frequency or contact channel). Ultimately, the least engaged of your contacts will be the most likely to unsubscribe in the future. So, keep that in mind as you decide how best to engage with them.

On the flip side, you can (and should) segment your overall contact list into groups that are relevant to your marketing goals. A segment is a grouping of your audience who shares common attributes.

Examples include contacts who have not made a purchase yet or customers whose membership is about to expire, and so on.

By targeting the right group with the right message at the right time, you’ll see better conversion metrics in every email campaign.

Dive deeper into the power of audience segmentation.

Timing is everything

Granted, there is no “silver bullet” time that all marketers can guarantee better conversion rates.

But data suggest that mid-morning, afternoon or evening Tuesdays through Thursdays is a good place to start. We also recommend trying “off” times, like 10:13 a.m. rather than 10 a.m.

That being said, you’ll still want to think about your audience and their habits. Then, you’ll want to track the performance of your emails and see if there’s particular timing that works best with your audience.

Do not use “no reply” in your sending email name or address

Considering CAN-SPAM, which is a law that sets the rules for commercial email, you want to avoid using “no reply” (or anything similar) as your sending email name or address. An example would be “noreply@example.com.”

This interferes with a recipient’s ability to respond or even opt out, which is a huge protection with CAN-SPAM.

Instead, make your sending email name and address as clear, recognizable and even as human as possible. This not only follows commercial email regulations but also builds trust with your recipients, which can encourage them to open and engage with your emails.

Invest effort into your email subject lines

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.

Of course, some subject line recommendations include:

  • Keeping it short (between 30 and 50 characters, including spaces)
  • Using action verbs (instead of passive voice)
  • Leveraging urgency
  • Giving an air of exclusivity
  • Being very clear about your offer (whether it’s an incentive, discount or something else)
  • Embracing a compelling or engaging angle

Dive deeper with our 12 tips for email subject lines that won’t get ignored.

Optimize your email’s preview text

About 24 percent of email recipients look at an email’s preview text first when deciding whether to open an email.

The majority of email clients provide a snippet of text to preview the contents of an email in your inbox. Leverage this to your advantage.

You should use the space to dive deeper into why recipients should open your email. You can build off of what you say in your subject line, tease something that’s inside the email and so on.

Keep in mind that if you don’t include any content in the email preview text field, a recipient’s email client can pull whatever content it decides to. This could be your preheader (if you have one) or simply the first 40 or so characters of your body text (which could be confusing as preview text). For example, many preheaders say, “Email not displaying correctly? Click here.” You definitely don’t want that.

While you can’t control how much text will be shown in your email preview, you can control what text is shown. And you should include at least 160 characters of text in your preheader copy.

Dig deeper into what email preview text is and how you can best use it to your advantage.

Confirm that your email template isn’t too wide

While many email marketing applications account for automatically resizing your emails to appropriately for the screen sizes your email recipients are using, it’s always a good idea to make sure that your email template is no wider than 650 pixels wide.

Going wider (unknowingly or not) can force your recipients to have to scroll horizontally. Having to do so makes your brand appear less professional.

Readability is critical not just for conversions but the overall user experience that can build relationships with your contacts, which can lead to further conversions in the future.

Limit your font types and sizes

Think clutter. The more font types and sizes you use in a single email, the more cluttered the overall email will feel. 

And that clutter can turn off your email recipients.

Strive to use web-safe fonts between 10-point and 12-point sizing. This helps ensure that your email will be legible on all email clients and possible devices.

Seek opportunities for personalization

Are you sending emails that begin with “Dear Member” or “To our customers”?

Personalization can take your emails to the next level by automatically inserting details about each email recipient that really shows you care enough to speak specifically to them.

Especially in DailyStory, the sky’s the limit with the types of information you can automatically personalize in your messaging. Some examples include:

  • First name
  • Location
  • Number of purchases or visits

First names can be especially powerful, and you can leverage that power in your email subject line and the body of your email.

Dive deeper into the one-to-one marketing that personalization offers.

Always include your logo in your emails

Logos are part of branding, which is critical to your digital marketing in general but your emails as well. 

Brand recall increases about 18 percent after a five-second exposure when including a logo in the email, and the likelihood of a purchase goes up by about 34 percent in emails with logos.

Emails are simply a great opportunity to not only include your logo but also your branded colors, fonts and voice.

Get your main message and call-to-action ‘above the fold’

“Above the fold” in email body copy refers to the information that’s visible to the recipient before he or she scrolls down. 

Consumers spend about 57 percent of their email-viewing time on above-the-fold content, and that decreases to about 17 percent on the second screen below.

Clearly, you don’t want critical call-to-actions (CTAs) getting lost in the need to scroll.

There are many tactics for this, depending on how you design your email. One example is including a CTA button at the top and bottom of the email. Another example is leveraging your banner at the top to be a clickable CTA while also being visually engaging.

You also can run A/B testing to determine what approaches work best for your audience. See our nine tips to make your A/B testing more effective.

Include an email signature

No matter how broadly you’re sending a message or newsletter, you’ll want to consider including an email signature at the bottom. Even when an email is representative of your entire company, a signature adds a touch of human personalization to your messaging. It shows that a human is behind the email, not just a marketing department.

About 41 percent of marketers say they use email signatures for branding and visibility.

Send an engaging welcome email

About 74 percent of users expect to receive a welcome email immediately after they subscribe, while only 57.7 percent of brands actually send a welcome email to new subscribers.

You want to be a brand that gives all new subscribers a warm welcome. Welcome emails give you the opportunity to re-introduce yourself and explain to new subscribers what kind of emails they’ll receive from you (and how often they should expect them).

It’s about getting started on the right foot with your new subscribers but also sharing the value of your emails and getting them excited to keep an eye out in their inboxes.

See our nine tips on how to engage new leads with a welcome email series.

Provide an opportunity to subscribe within your email

Of course, common sense suggests that your email recipients are receiving your email because they’re already subscribed to your list.

But that train of thought forgets about the possibility of your email being forwarded from a subscriber to someone else.

Being clear and giving the opportunity for a non-subscriber to subscribe to your email newsletters ensures that you’re not missing out on that opportunity. No one overtly slips through the cracks.

The CTA doesn’t have to be big, just clear. You don’t want it to compete with your primary CTA for the email.

Make unsubscribing easy

On the flip side, you also want to ensure that your subscribers have a clear and easy way to unsubscribe from your emails.

This can feel counterintuitive if your goal is to either grow your email mailing list or boost your conversion rates (or both). 

You’re required by commercial email laws to offer the clear path to opting out. By not doing so, you risk being in violation and/or getting reported as spam, which can hurt your email sending reputation.

Even if the email recipient only moves your emails to a folder he or she never opens, that’s not a win either.

Truthfully, your campaigns will perform better by allowing those no longer interested to easily unsubscribe and focusing on your more engaged recipients while building up your contact list with other interested subscribers.

Use a common phrase like “Unsubscribe” as your hyperlink text, so subscribers can quickly find it. And make the unsubscribe link big enough so that people using mobile devices will be able to click on it easily.

Test and monitor performance as much as possible

Before officially sending out an email, you’ll always want to send a test email. One can go to yourself so that you can confirm everything looks and acts the way it should. The other should go to at least one friend or colleague. 

Not only should that person do a basic proofing and testing of your email, but you’ll also want to ask him or her to tell you whether the CTA is apparent within the first five seconds of looking at the email. If it is, great. If not, you’ll want to adjust.

Beyond the work you’ll want to do upfront, you must follow it up by monitoring and tracking the performance of your email campaigns. Keeping an eye on what is generating higher open or click-through rates and conducting A/B testing will help you learn what works for your audience and what doesn’t.

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

6 ways visuals can increase your email conversions

WIth many marketers investing time and energy into engaging subject lines, visuals can be just as important to boosting your email conversion rates.

The right email visuals can help you stand out from your competition and encourage your recipients to click.

And email matters. Four out of five marketers said they’d rather give up social media than email marketing. For every dollar invested in email marketing, brands can earn about $36 on average in return. 

Of course, consumers spend an average of 10 seconds reading brand emails, so your visuals can make or break a conversion.

The following are six ways you can use visuals to increase your email conversions.

Leverage visuals to brand consistently

Branding is critically important for all businesses. When done well, it creates a sense of trust and familiarity among consumers. You’ll also be perceived as more professional.

A brand consists of:

  • Visuals, such as colors, logo, images, font, etc.
  • Tone of voice
  • Content
  • Online presence, such as website, social accounts, etc.
  • Influencer and other types of partnerships

Visuals are definitely at the top of that list. Use them to brand yourself in your emails like you would on any other digital medium.

Refer to your brand style guide to stay consistent throughout. Don’t have one? Check out our five tips to create a brand style guide for your business.

GIFs can add personality to your email

An animated GIF embedded in your email can grab attention, add personality and boost click-through and conversion rates (if used appropriately).

In fact, GIFs have been shown to increase email conversion rates by about 103 percent.

Creating your own customized GIF is likely easier than you might think. There are many free GIF-making tools available online, where you don’t have to know any coding to be successful.

You can:

  • Offer a how-to explainer via GIF.
  • Share an animated infographic.
  • Provide a brief product demonstration.

Just make sure your GIFs are fun but also true to your branding. You’ll also want to keep your GIF file size at about 1 MB and within 600 pixels in width.

Incorporate images into your call-to-actions

It’s likely that your call-to-action buttons within your emails are fairly simple, possibly even text-only. You’ll want to experiment with using images as part of your CTAs.

Imaged-based CTAs in emails report a higher conversion rate than simple text links. This is because they can be more compelling to email recipients and are nearly impossible to miss.

Of course, as you start to experiment, you can begin with a button approach, where the background color contrasts with your email background color and the color of your text. 

Learn more about color psychology in digital marketing.

Be sure to not go overboard. Overly aggressive CTAs won’t increase click-through rates.

Dive deeper into image-based CTAs.

Seize opportunities to use infographics

Infographics add more credibility, so they definitely have a potential place in your emails.

They’re an opportunity to educate your audience, which shows the value of your brand that can help you stand out from your competition.

Check out these 11 free graphic design tools that even the biggest non-designer can use.

Tread carefully with stock photos

Stock photos can be a great help when you’re creating visuals for your branded emails.

However, they can be a double-edged sword: They either look professional, or they look generic and inauthentic. 

About 35 percent of marketers say they use stock photos more than any other type of visual content, so if this is the case for your brand, you’re definitely not alone.

Simply take extra care to only select images that look genuine and natural. If it feels artificial to you, it’ll feel artificial to consumers.

Add videos to your emails

Did you know that videos can potentially boost your email click-through rates by about 500 percent?

It’s true. However, you want to make sure you’re using videos correctly within the structure of your email because many email clients will not allow recipients to play your videos inside of emails.

Oftentimes, linking an image with a play button on it to a YouTube video is the best practice.

See our how-to guide for embedding videos into your emails.

Videos give you the opportunity to share:

  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • Personalized video messages
  • Tutorials

If you’re still unsure, check out any of these eight email marketing courses online to level up your skills.

While you’re exploring how to use visuals to boost your email conversion rates, consider supercharging your digital marketing process. DailyStory features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

12-step website security checklist for beginners

Website security matters now more than ever.

In fact, there have been about 300 percent more cybercrimes reported to the FBI since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

It’s clearly not just about building trust with your customers. Data breaches can also result in stolen data and lost revenue due to downtime. The global cost of data breaches averaged about $3.86 million in 2020. While the data breaches for large, national companies are what make the news, about 43 percent of cyberattacks do happen to small businesses.

In other words, no small business is too small to be noticed by a hacker.

The following is a 12-step website security checklist that’s simple enough for even the biggest beginners to work through.

No. 1: Keep all your software up to date

Software updates might be annoying or inconvenient, but they’re critical to ensuring that you don’t have obvious vulnerabilities that can be taken advantage of by hackers.

Keep an eye out for software patch notifications. They’re intended to help resolve any discovered vulnerabilities. 

And in general, make sure you update your software as soon as you get those notifications. Resist the urge to “remind me later.”

No. 2: Tighten up your passwords

Passwords are an obvious aspect of your website security that you must consider. However, they’re often neglected as far as:

  • Their complexity
  • How frequently they’re updated

In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to keep all their passwords written on a Post-It located on their computer monitor. We definitely do not recommend this!

Focus on creating complex, secure passwords. As recently as 2019, the password “123456” was used 23 million times in the UK. You can do better than that. Avoid being predictable. Mix up capital letters, numbers and special characters in your passwords.

To help with your password management, you can try tools like LastPass and 1Password. Tools like these can help you not only create secure passwords but can also keep track and help you regularly update them as necessary. We recommend updating every six to 12 months at least.

No. 3: Prevent spam comments on your website

Especially when you’re maintaining blog content on your website, spam comments can be a top concern. In fact, they’re one of the most common ways that hackers and spammers will mess with your website.

Obviously, spam comments reduce the trust your real visitors would have for your site. In addition, spam comments don’t bode well for your search engine optimization (SEO) either.

There are a number of integrations and plugins that can help you identify and moderate comments on your website with a simple code embed. Refer to your hosting platform to see if they already have an option available for you to use.

No. 4: Prepare for the worst by regularly backing up your website (and all of its data)

By backing up your website regularly, you’ll be able to bounce back quickly should something go wrong.

The “wrong” could be a hacker, but it also could just be a garbled website after a problematic redesign. 

Check with your hosting provider for help with this. If you’re using WordPress, there are several plugins that can automate backups.

No. 5: Use an SSL certificate

SSL stands for Sockets Secure Layer, and it helps keep sensitive transfers of data secure.

Think login credentials, credit card information or any other personal information. An SSL certificate gives you that extra layer of protection.

In addition, SSL boosts the overall perceived security of your website since secure websites have a lock symbol on the side of the URL address bar of your browser. In fact, if you don’t have an SSL certificate, the browser will notify visitors either with a “not secure” label or by blocking the connection entirely.

If you don’t already have an SSL certificate for your website, you can get one by:

  • Verifying your website’s information through the ICANN Lookup tool.
  • Generating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) through your server, your cPanel or an online CSR generator.
  • Submitting your CSR to a certificate authority to validate your domain.
  • Installing the certificate on your website.

No. 6: Limit both user permissions and access

Spoiler alert: You should not give all your employees and colleagues unfettered access to the backend of your website.

Every user with access translates into natural vulnerabilities for your website, so make sure that you’re setting appropriate permissions that reflect each team member’s role.

Of course, you’ll want to terminate access as soon as an employee leaves your team. But you also should set the standard for secure, frequently updated passwords for all users.

No. 7: Only use a trusted payment provider

If you’re processing payments of any kind on your website, it’s important to only use a trusted payment provider. 

Two of the biggest providers are PayPal and Stripe.

Not only will a trusted provider properly and securely process payments, but their use automatically builds trust with your website visitors.

No. 8: Reduce any XSS vulnerabilities on your website

XSS stands for Cross-Site Scripting and refers to the way that hackers can insert malicious code into your website. That code then aims to capture the private data of your website visitors.

This step of reducing those vulnerabilities actually can require a web developer’s help. However, beginners should still be aware of this threat. In the meantime, use a web application firewall to scan your website. You can also clean your user HTML inputs with such tools as HTML Purifier.

No. 9: Reduce any SQL injection vulnerabilities

If your website stores a lot of sensitive user data (like credit card information), you’re doing to want to consider SQL injection vulnerabilities on top of XSS.

It’s not as common but will steal sensitive data directly from your database.

Again, this is definitely a step that you should discuss with your web developer, but solutions can include setting up a firewall, using a whitelist and so on. Learn more about what can be done to reduce SQL injection vulnerabilities.

No. 10: Use anti-malware software for advanced, extra website security

Anti-malware software aims to prevent security threats by detecting and removing them early on from your website (before they do too much damage).

Of course, anti-malware can cost money to install and use. Take the time to review your budget, and remember that the cost of a security breach (both monetarily and perception-wise) can be so much more.

Many website hosting platforms have anti-malware software that you can subscribe to, but if not, you can check out such tools as SiteGuarding or Quttera and see if either is right for you.

No. 11: Keep an eye out for any traffic surges

Another type of website security attack involves blasting your website with fake traffic to essentially overwhelm your web servers and crash your website.

This type of attack, called Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS), happened more than 10 million times in 2020 alone. 

Fortunately, your traffic analytics tools can help you identify and strange surges. Most web hosting platforms come with DDoS protection, but you can always use external tools, such as Cloudflare or Radware, for additional protection.

No. 12: Get an extra layer of protection with Web App Firewalls

Web App Firewalls, otherwise referred to as WAF, defend against multiple types of website security attacks. Hence why this isn’t our first mention of them.

A firewall essentially monitors your web traffic and guards against any traffic that’s malicious. WAFs use policies to determine which traffic is dangerous.

If you’re a small business, we recommend a cloud-based or software-based WAF due to lower cost and ease of maintenance. That being said, there is also hardware-based WAF that, while harder to maintain and more expensive, can also be more effective.

In conclusion

Website security can feel like an overwhelming topic for any website beginner, but simply go step-by-step to identify what you can do better to protect your business and your customers.

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

7 tips to improve your website’s domain authority

Many factors come together to make or break your search engine optimization (SEO), including your domain authority.

In a nutshell, the higher your domain authority, then the more likely your website will rank higher in search engine results and generate more organic traffic. Domain authority represents your ranking strength.

Domain authority is scored on a scale of 1 to 100, where 1 is the worst and 100 is the best as derived through an algorithm that you are not in control of. Scoring between 40 and 50 is average. Between 50 and 60 is good, and scoring over 60 is excellent.

With about 68 percent of online experiences beginning with a search engine, SEO matters more than ever.

To be clear, domain authority reflects your entire domain (or website), while page authority is specific to a single webpage.

The following are seven tips to help you improve your website’s domain authority.

Pick a good domain name

Having the right domain name for your website is critical. You want it to be relevant but also easy to remember.

Of course, if you already have a great domain name, make sure that your license isn’t going to expire without your knowledge.

Check out our Domain Name 101 Guide for Beginners.

Optimize your on-page content, elements

This includes so much more than just the obvious content itself, including:

  • Title tags
  • Image alt tags
  • Headings

Of course, when it comes to your content, it needs to be relevant and use critical keywords. Think about the questions search engine users are asking that should lead them to your website. Give them the value that they’re looking for. To truly improve your domain authority, you must show that you are the expert of your niche. Seize that opportunity with every piece of content you create.

Consider backlinks

Backlinking is when other websites link to the content on your website. This obviously isn’t something you can snap your fingers and make happen. 

But it all starts with creating high-quality content that others would want to link to, of course. Beyond that, see our seven tips to grow quality backlinks to your website.

Increase your internal linking

Internal links, on the other hand, are entirely within your control. They help direct your website visitors to other related content on your website that they might be interested in.

Take the time to audit the content you’ve already published. Then, begin to edit in links to your other related content. Doing so creates an internal linking structure that supports a stronger domain authority ranking.

Audit your outbound linking

Outbound linking is great for your SEO. It shows search engines that you’re a team player, but you also are showing whom you consider to be trustworthy resources on the internet. 

That being said, you’ll want to ensure that any website you’re linking out to from your content is still live and a trustworthy site.

This can ebb and flow more than you might imagine. So, it’s worthwhile to take the time to make sure every outbound link you have is still viable. Otherwise, you risk your own domain authority by linking to bad sites.

Prioritize mobile optimization

The way of the internet these days is mobile first. If your website doesn’t work well on a mobile device (whether it’s the layout, loading speed or something else), you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

And that’s not just because of what website visitors might think. Search engines are seeking mobile-friendly websites as well.

Check out our 16 tips to optimize your website for mobile traffic.

Embrace social media

Social media can impact both your domain authority specifically and your SEO at large. At the heart of it, it comes down to links directing users to your website beyond your website. 

Share your best content on your social media accounts, but also make it easy for your website visitors to share your content by providing social media sharing buttons.

See these seven ways that social media can impact your SEO.

In conclusion

Of course, the last thing you want to do is obsess over your domain authority ranking. We recommend monitoring your website analytics so that you are familiar with where your website traffic is coming from and what is working (and what isn’t).

Embracing general SEO best practices should feed into a boost for your domain authority. Then, know that it will take time. Be patient.

Check out our 12 SEO marketing tips for beginners.

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

7 tips to write an author bio that gets noticed

Author biographies are an opportunity to personally connect with your blog readers.

There are more than 500 million blogs out of 1.7 billion websites, and about 409 million people view more than 20 billion pages each month.

Your goal as a blogger is to stand out. An author bio can help.

An author bio is roughly a paragraph about you, your credentials, your hobbies and/or any other information you wish to share with readers.

A compelling author bio will not only help build a relationship with readers, but if you are guest blogging, it can actually drive traffic to your own website or social accounts (whatever you’re linking to).

The following are seven tips to write an author bio that gets noticed.

Consider your personal brand

An author bio is essentially an extension and reflection of your personal brand. How do you want to be perceived in relationship to your blog article?

Check out our 10 tips to build your personal brand if you need a little help.

Understand your audience

Especially when you’re guest blogging, you can engage with many different types of audiences.

Whom you’re speaking to can (and should) impact your author bio.

Just like you should understand your target audience when you’re creating a piece of content, whether it’s a blog or something else, you should extend that same effort for your bio.

Depending on the audience, the details you include might vary.

Keep it short and sweet

It’s tempting to outline your full resume of professional experience and accomplishments in your author bio. 

But resist the urge.

Listing every detail simply to list it (or to establish your authority on your blog) will lose your audience. 

Narrow it down to what you would include in an “elevator pitch.” What are the top three things you would say about yourself? Remember that you want to include the most attention-grabbing points about yourself (just not too many).

Speak in third-person

Regardless of what voice your blog article is written as, you want to write your author bio in third-person voice only.

It’s simply more professional.

List any achievements sparingly

Again, too much is obviously too much. And a long list of degrees or awards (or both) will make the eyes of your readers glaze over. 

In addition, it could come across as more boastful than impressive.

If you want to include something, consider your biggest or most recent achievement.

Feel empowered to get personal

Blogs are not as formal as other mediums of communication, so you have the opportunity to add a few compelling, personal details about yourself.

This is especially the case if your blog article focuses on a more personal or first-person topic.

You’ll want to be selective with these details as well. What makes the most sense to include? What might connect with readers?

Include a professional photo

There is a big difference between a selfie (no matter how flattering) and a professional photo.

Characteristics of a professional photo include a background that is not distracting and good lighting. They’re typically shot straight-on, featuring a clear image of the face. Headshots traditionally refer to professional photos that show the face and at least some of the upper body.

Of course, you can certainly show your personality in a professional photo. See some examples for inspiration.

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

4 tips to market your brand on Reddit

The idea of marketing on Reddit might make many businesses nervous, but rather than avoid the platform, why not embrace it as an opportunity?

Reddit has traditionally considered itself the “front page of the internet.” In other words, it’s a network of communities where users can dive into their hobbies, interests and passions. Registered users can share content on different discussion boards, referred to as subreddits.

Considering that Reddit sees about 430 million monthly active users in comparison to the roughly 444 million monthly active users on popular aspirational platform Pinterest, the potential of a sizable (yet largely untapped) audience is there.

To state it another way, Reddit is one of the world’s most popular websites. As of May 2020, the United States generated about 50 percent of all desktop traffic to the forum site.

On the flip side, Reddit is not a fan of marketing. In fact, it strongly discourages sales content and self-promotion.

But cracking the code to marketing on Reddit (so to speak) comes down to understanding the difference between marketing strategies of the past and those that we recommend today. Simply put, it’s about prioritizing authenticity and delivering value to other Reddit users.

The following are four tips to market your brand on Reddit without being spammy or “Reddit shamed” (or banned entirely).

Invest time in being a Reddit user first

This sounds obvious, but it’s more true on Reddit than on any other platform. Being an engaged natural user of the platform will only help you with your content marketing efforts.

We recommend engaging on subreddits that span your personal interests to your professional interests. Comment, ask questions, be an active participant. 

Not only will you get first-hand experience on the overall code of conduct and expectations of the platform, you also will see the nuances of different subreddits (and how they differ from each other). In addition, you’ll discover the subreddits (and relevant conversations) that your brand should target and engage with along the way. Just like how you want to get specific with your target audience, you also want to get as specific as possible with your selection of subreddits.

There’s no official amount of time that you should invest before posting your own content, but know that you shouldn’t be in a rush. The more you can invest as an engaged user first, the better. You’ll best understand any subreddit-specific rules of engagement, as well as any potential inside jokes among a subreddit’s audience.

Then, once you get going, a general rule of them is to balance your posts with a greater number of comments. For example, commit to 10 comments on others’ posts for every link you share. Think of it this way: You should contribute 80 percent of the time and only self-promote (in an authentic way) 20 percent of the time.

Create helpful content

Helpful and/or entertaining content naturally drives higher engagement. This is no different on Reddit, where users are just as open to content that can help them solve their problems or overcome an obstacle just like anyone else.

Focus on brainstorming an array of how-to content ideas that are relevant for your target audience. This entirely depends on the nature of your business and how you’re trying to reach, of course. Just think about the typical questions you hear from your customers. That’s a great place to start.

Once you have at least a dozen topics that you can create content around, check out our eight tips for developing a content calendar to stay organized. If writer’s block pops up, see our seven tips to overcome it.

As far as posting, you have numerous creative options you can explore on Reddit: 

  • GIFs instead of videos or video links (you can always link to a full video in the comments)
  • Images (just make sure they’re eye-catching)
  • Text (sometimes the preferred medium for in-depth conversations on certain subreddits)
  • Blogs (just make extra sure that your content is highly engaging and useful since Reddit users have a particular distaste for any blog spam)
  • AMAs (“Ask Me Anything” threads that are just that)
  • News (any industry or other type of update that is relevant and timely to that subreddit)

Treat everything as a conversation

This includes engaging with commenters on your own post long after you’ve even posted, just as you would on any other social media platform. 

Remember, social media in general is the compilation of conversations. 

Reddit is no different. In fact, you’ll get called out that much quicker for not engaging as expected. You have to always go above and beyond to prove that you’re human when representing your brand. But in the end, that engagement builds much-needed (and much-sought-after) trust.

No cheating

Reddit users are a skeptical crowd that has seen it all with various cheat-the-system tricks:

  • Face accounts
  • Employee (or colleague) upvoting
  • Undisclosed paid sponsors

The reaction of fellow users and Reddit itself will be very negative if you try to cheat in any way. You risk being banned from a specific subreddit as well as the website itself.

In conclusion

While Reddit can feel like an intimidating site to branch your marketing efforts into, it really is worth the effort if you have the resources (aka time) to invest in it. 

Of course, if you have an available budget, Reddit advertising might be an option for your brand as well.

Organically speaking, though, link dumping definitely won’t work no matter how you try to conceal it. As long as you aim to be human first as you represent your brand and give as much as (if not more than) you take, your business will reap the rewards of reaching a largely untapped audience that can appreciate you investing that effort and being part of the community.

Check out our seven tips to level up your overall content marketing while you’re at it.

Then, consider the possibility of optimizing your digital marketing process, such as automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

6 tips to create brand loyalty for your business

While attracting new customers will always matter, you can’t forget about your existing customers (and building up their loyalty to your brand).

Just a 5 percent increase in customer retention can lead to at least a 25 percent increase in profit.

Fortunately, while consumers do have limitless options when it comes to the items they want to buy, about 90 percent still report being brand loyal.

Brand loyalty is when consumers strongly favor a specific brand over other brands.

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

The following are six tips to create brand loyalty for your business.

Increase your focus on customer service

The quality of your customer service is everything. It can make or break your customers’ loyalty to your brand. 

About 33 percent of customers say they would consider switching companies immediately following just one instance of poor service.

Remember that you want to address every inquiry in a responsive and timely manner. But beyond that, you should make every customer feel valued and appreciated.

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

Understand (and share) your brand story and voice

Customers need to have a clear understanding of a brand before they become loyal to it. Your brand personality encompasses what your brand is all about, and it should be approachable to your target audience.

Clearly, you want to be as unique as possible as well so that you stand out from your competition. Take extra time when constructing your mission statement, which explains why your business exists and what makes you different.

See our nine expert tips to help you build your brand from scratch. In addition, check out our five tips for creating a brand style guide that can help you stay consistent in all aspects of your branding.

Success here makes your brand more recognizable and memorable to customers.

Consider a loyalty rewards program

Loyalty rewards programs incentivize your target audience to shop with you again. You can offer discounts, coupons or extra perks to repeat customers for any number of reasons:

  • Customer anniversaries
  • Repeat purchases
  • Early bird perks
  • Customer birthdays

Think about the products and/or services you offer and what makes the most sense for you to create as a loyalty rewards program.

Leverage your social media

You likely already have various strategic goals tied to your social media marketing, such as brand awareness, lead generation and customer service.

But think about what you’re doing on your social media accounts to promote brand loyalty. Sharing announcements and new products isn’t enough. You should dive into your brand story and find ways to share all the facets that come together to make your brand personality what it is. It should permeate every post in even the most subconscious ways.

Start with what matters most on social media: compelling content.

Find out what every startup company should know about social media, as well as what social media platform is right for your company.

In addition, you’ll want to review the difference between social listening and crowdsourcing so that you can better identify the opportunities when customers may not message you directly but will mention you on social media (for better or for worse).

Invest in a brand community

By “invest,” we don’t mean with money per se. Building a community that supports and celebrates your brand at the very least requires a major and consistent investment of time.

It all begins with understanding not only your target audience but your existing customers and what commonalities they share. Consider those engaged within your community as potential brand advocates, who are likely to share your brand with others and give honest reviews of your products and/or services. In the simplest sense, they have your back and are proud to be connected to your brand.

Depending on how your community largely uses social media, it might make the most sense to create a Facebook group or a branded hashtag or even a subreddit board. There’s no right or wrong here. All that matters is that the channel you chose to nurture your community on resonates with your brand advocates. 

Social media is all about engaging with others, but it also requires you to be present for your community to help it grow and thrive.

Check out our 12 tips to use Facebook Groups to help grow your brand. A lot of these tips can be applied to other channels when building an online community.

Deliver value through quality

This may sound obvious, but there is no amount of great social media or incentives that can create brand loyalty if your products and/or services are not high quality.

Make it a priority to deliver on every promise you make and exceed every possible expectation you can think of.

You can regularly conduct customer surveys to better understand what you’re doing well and what could be done better.

In the end, customers will feel loyal to quality in all aspects.

In conclusion

Ultimately, your commitment to creating and maintain brand loyalty among your customers can help boost your profits, so it’s worth the effort.

Consider existing customers just as important as new customers.

As you’re developing a strategy to boost brand loyalty for your business, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

5 tips to create a brand style guide for your business

Branding directly impacts the success of a business online, so you’ll want to consider creating a brand style guide if you don’t already have one.

Think of a brand style guide as the rulebook for how your business presents itself to the world. This includes your logo, fonts, colors, nature of photography and more. 

Check out our nine expert tips to help you build a brand from scratch.

You can use your brand style guide as a reference to help maintain branding consistency no matter which of your team members is involved. Consistency helps you build a trusting relationship with consumers.

About 59 percent of consumers prefer to buy from brands they trust.

The following are five tips to help you create a brand style guide for your business. 

Collect visual branding examples

One of the best ways to convey the presence of your brand is through visual examples.

Consider what reflects your branding the most. This can include ads, emails, social media posts and so on.

If there is a particular point you want to make sure gets addressed, be sure to collect the visuals to communicate that aspect of your branding to your team members.

It’s about visually communicating the look and feel of your brand. 

Define the essential elements of your brand

Traditionally, you’ll want to identify six essential elements of your brand in your brand style guide:

Brand story

This includes your company’s vision and mission statement that introduces your brand to the world and conveys your purpose in so many words. See our five tips to create an effective mission statement for your business if you don’t already have one.

Logo guidelines

Beyond what your logo consists of, think about how your logo should look in different environments. For example, a simpler icon version in addition to a full logo, overall spacing, minimum sizing, logo proportions, a black and white version in addtion to color and so on. Include all of the approved versions of your logo in your brand style guide, as well as an explanation of when to use which version where (as applicable).

Brand color palette

Even if you already have one main branding color and a secondary color, you should make sure that you identify at least one more color to give your brand flexibility.

Many brands opt for about four colors. Think of a lighter color for backgrounds, a darker color for text, a neutral color and a color that pops. They should complement each other.

Font guidelines

Font itself can become its own rabbit hole, but it is very important to put careful thought into choosing the font that best reflects your brand’s personality.

Once you have at least two fonts chosen (can certainly be more than that), you’ll want to be very clear in your brand style guide as to whether an entire typeface family can be used or which specific typefaces can be used.

In addition, you’ll want to communicate when, where and how every font should be used with your brand. Be as clear as possible, including the alignment to be used and any specific spacing.

Image and photography guidelines

This can be one of the more difficult sections of your brand style guide, so take your time. It’s likely easy enough for you to identify which images suit and reflect your brand well, but it’s just as easy for a team member to not have the same natural eye as you.

The goal is to steer your team in the right direction. You can do this by including a selection of example images and sharing the reason behind those examples as well as what your brand hopes to achieve in every image.

Brand voice

Your brand has a personality of its own, much like a person. The more you can share as it pertains to the overall writing style for your brand, the better.

In this section of your brand style guide, you can detail best practices, illustrate your brand personality description with key adjectives, include do’s and don’ts, etc.

Not sure what your brand voice is? Check out our eight tips

Think about the bigger picture

Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to dive deeper into certain areas where your branding is relevant.

For example, if you create physical products, what should your packaging look like? How should the layout of your website appear? What makes a branded appearance for a post on any given social media platform?

Brainstorm every possibility that is relevant for your business. Then, pick away at the answers so that you can include them in your brand style guide.

Get organized with a brand style guide outline

Once you’ve compiled all your essential branding elements and visual examples, it’s time to outline your entire brand style guide so that you can stay focused throughout.

In addition, your outline will make the creation process more efficient.

You’ll also need to decide the format of your brand style guide. It can be a digital PDF, printout, webpage, etc. In general, make sure that it’s easy to update and distribute to your team.

Expect brand evolution

The only guarantee in life is change. Never assume that what you decide about your brand today will be right for your brand in 20 years. Just think about Apple. It’s definitely not the same-looking brand from the 1980s (or even earlier).

Consider your brand style guide a living document that you should revisit at least annually.

To help with inspiration, check out the brand style guide for Starbucks or Zendesk.

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

5 tips to get started with AR shopping for your business

Augmented reality looks to be the next frontier of e-commerce, but are you ready for it?

AR shopping capitalizes on an enhanced version of the physical world around you that involves digital visual elements, sound and other sensory stimuli. These features offer customers deeper and more thorough information about your products.

Learn more about AR shopping and three reasons why you should consider it for your business.

Interestingly enough, about 73 percent of mobile AR users reported either high or very high satisfaction with mobile AR experiences, while about 51 percent of consumers feel that retailers are failing to take full advantage of augmented reality.

The opportunity to jump on this emerging technology (if it’s right for your business) is now. The following are five tips to help you get started with offering AR shopping.

Identify your business objectives

Before diving into AR shopping, it’s critical to decide what your goals are. How would AR shopping specifically serve your customers?

Think through your customer’s purchasing journey with your business and where the pinch points may lie that you could address with AR solutions.

Deciding on your objectives and what you want to create first will make your decisions about techniques and specific tools to use far easier and more efficient.

Determine your budget

Augmented reality includes diverse opportunities for your business. So, once you know what you want to accomplish, it’s time to decide how much your business can spend to launch and maintain such a platform.

Fortunately, even if you don’t have much of a budget to work with, you can get your feet wet by experimenting with Snapchat filters or customized Instagram stickers and “try on” items for Stories.

Choose your AR shopping tool

A number of tools exist that can help you achieve your vision of an AR shopping experience for your customers. 

However, as you begin to examine the options, keep the following factors in mind:

  • Available features: Clearly, the available features of any given tool will serve as a large factor in your decision-making process. Keep in mind what you need and what you don’t need. However, especially if you’re new to AR, you may discover a feature you’re not previously aware of that can elevate your original plan. Stay open to that possibility.
  • Cost: Depending on the license type, a tool could be free or range in pricing. While free is great, make sure to review what features are available in free versions and whether a paid version could serve your objectives better.
  • Supported devices and operating systems: Check whether a tool is compatible with relevant devices and operating systems for your customers. For example, if you’re developing an app for multiple phone types, confirm that the tool you choose supports at least the main mobile operating systems.
  • Learning curve: Ideally, you want to find an AR shopping tool that is easy for you to understand, use and update as needed. If you have questions, reach out to the developer. You’ll often be offered a free demo so that you can see first-hand whether this is the right tool for you.

Track the pros and cons of all available AR shopping tools that you review so that you can make the best and most-informed decision for your business.

Market your new AR shopping platform

Considering that the demand for AR shopping is there, you’ll want to develop a full campaign leading up to the launch of your AR shopping platform.

Ideally, you’ll plan content across social media platforms, your website and any other channels you have access to. 

Not sure where to begin? See our seven tips before planning your first marketing campaign.

Request and collect feedback

After launching, you’ll want to use surveys to follow up with your AR shopping customers. Doing so will help you find out what they thought about the experience.

Be sure to ask specific questions while also offering open-ended opportunities for respondents to share more. Never assume that you’ll think of everything you could possibly ask about.

By understanding the user experience, you’ll be able to improve your offering to serve your customers even better.

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

5 tips to create an effective mission statement for your business

Successful digital marketing incorporates sharing the story of your brand, sharing what you do, how you do it and why.

To help nail down the focus of your story and the purpose of your business, you should consider creating a mission statement.

They work externally for potential customers and internally for employees. For consumers, it can help you set your brand apart. For employees, it can help keep your team on the same page during branding.

See our nine expert tips to help you build your brand from scratch.

Your mission statement should explain why your business exists and what makes you different while balancing realism with optimism.

Ideally, it should include these four elements:

  • The value of your busines
  • What is inspiring about your business
  • Overall plausibility
  • Being specific

Examples of successful mission statements include:

  • Google’s mission statement: “Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
  • Tesla’s mission statement: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
  • LinkedIn’s mission statement: “Connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
  • Starbucks’ mission statement: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.”

The following are five tips to help you write an effective mission statement for your business.

Combine what you do with your values

To get started, write out what your business does in the most basic terms in no more than one sentence. 

Then, list the core values of your business. After that, write an explanation about why your business does what it does.

You can then take these three ideas and proceed to combine and condense as necessary until you end up at a mission statement that both engages and informs. 

Think long-term and big picture

It’s not about what’s happening right at this moment with your business. You want to keep your mission statement open enough to account for where your business will be in the future.

For example, just because you might only serve one geographic location right now doesn’t mean that your business won’t expand beyond that over time. 

The bigger the picture, the better. Remember, your mission statement is not a detailed business plan.

Keep it short

As you saw in the above examples, a mission statement should be as short and concise as possible. It’s about getting to the point quickly and thus being more memorable.

Resist creating an essay or anything that feels long or drawn out.

One sentence is best but definitely no more than a brief paragraph at most.

Gather feedback

Once you’ve settled on at least one option that you like, start gathering feedback from colleagues and others. 

Having more than one option is helpful. And if you have the resources, a focus group from outside your business (and even a second one from within your business) can be very helpful.

Just don’t make knee-jerk changes based on every individual’s opinion. Focus on gathering the data first review it all at one time.

Your mission statement can evolve

Did you know that YouTube began as a video dating site in 2005? Clearly, the world’s biggest video platform has evolved far beyond that initial intention, and you better believe its mission statement has grown with it.

Just like YouTube, you should expect your own business to naturally evolve and grow. 

So, keep your mission statement in mind along the way. You can update it as necessary.

In conclusion

Once you’ve arrived at a mission statement you’re proud of, share it everywhere: your website, social media accounts and so on.

This is a statement of what makes your business worth purchasing from and/or working with. Don’t let it get hidden or lost in the natural noise of the internet.

After you create an effective mission statement for your business, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, which includes automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

10 best practices for SMS text message marketing

Text messages should be part of your digital marketing strategy.

About 85 percent of consumers in one study say they want to receive text messages from brands. 

And when done right, businesses can see SMS response rates of about 45 percent (while email marketing shows about 8 percent). When not done right, thought, you can lose about 65 percent of your subscribers who will unsubscribe because you’re texting too much and/or your content isn’t relevant to them.

So, how can you do SMS text message marketing “right”? The following are 10 best practices to make your text messaging efforts as successful as possible.

Get permission

The biggest mistake a business can make when first getting into text message marketing is to get ahead of itself and begin texting the contacts you have before you’ve confirmed your opt-ins.

But it’s important to do so.

Without consent, you’re breaking the law and open yourself to possible litigation. It also can negatively impact your brand’s image.

Opt-ins can be fairly easy, though:

  • Texting a keyword to your number
  • Filling out a web form (or paper form if necessary)

Consider this the most important aspect of your SMS text message marketing strategy.

Include all necessary disclaimers

Beyond just being up front with text subscribers, industry regulations actually require you to share the following disclaimers up front:

  • That messaging and data rates may apply
  • How often you plan to text your subscribers
  • A link to your Terms and Conditions and your Privacy Policy
  • How to unsubscribe

We recommend reviewing the official messaging principles and best practices from the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) to ensure that you’re operating within the industry guidelines.

Establish consistency with your sending frequency

It’s obvious that you don’t want to text too much and potentially overwhelm and turn off your subscribers.

But you also don’t want to text too sporadically either.

When you don’t text consistently enough, the texts you do send can appear out of the blue (in a bad way) to your subscribers who may have forgotten why they subscribed in the first place.

This can lead to fewer conversions and more unsubscribes.

In general, most businesses strive for two to four texts per month. But every business is different. You could have a daily or weekly need to text your subscribers. The key is to be upfront about your frequency as subscribers opt in so that there are no surprises (and subsequent unsubscribes).

Consider the timing of your texts

Just like how you wouldn’t want to receive a promotional text at 9 or 10 p.m. at night, don’t plan on sending your texts at awkward times for your text subscribers.

Timing considerations include:

  • What’s right for your audience
  • Any time-zone differences
  • The availability of your team if response support is required
  • Volume pacing, which means that depending on whether you’re using short codes or long codes, this impacts how many texts can be sent per second. For example, you could send an afternoon text to thousands, but if the volume takes time to handle, plenty of recipients could receive your text far too late. Learn more about 10DLC numbers and more.

Think exclusivity

Because your subscribers have to opt in to receiving your text messages, keep that in mind when you create your content.

It’s an exclusive group who’s giving you the ability to contact them directly, yes? Treat them that way.

What can you offer that’s different from your email, social media and website promotions?

The answer depends on your business, but keep it simple. It could be a special discount for one day only, just to test the waters.

Maintaining exclusivity for your SMS text messaging gives customers a reason to sign up and a reason to stay subscribed.

Be responsive

About 34 percent of people will read a text message within five minutes of receiving it. If your plan involves two-way messaging (for customer service, for example), you have to be as responsive as you possibly can be.

Build the necessary time into your or your team’s schedule. Text message marketing platforms, such as DailyStory, also have built-in features that help notify you to replies and can even automate certain responses, depending on the scenario.

Use concise language

A regular SMS text message gives you 160 characters per text message. This space restriction might tempt you to abbreviate and/or use texting abbreviations, but keep your brand voice in mind. You want to sound clear and professional as a brand.

Of course, the use of MMS can give you more flexibility in communicating your message since you can include an image.

But either way, keep carrier violations in mind since they will prevent your texts from even reaching the phones of your subscribers.

Plus, see our eight tips to write a text that won’t get ignored.

Personalize your content as much as possible

Mass text messages offer the automatic one-to-one connection with customers simply because of the medium.

But you have to elevate your content to speak directly to that one customer rather than general language that feels like you’re talking to everyone.

First of all, know who you’re texting. Segment your contacts as much as you can to be as specific with your messaging as possible. For example, you’re not going to say the same thing to a customer who hasn’t purchased from you in 45 days that you would to your most loyal customers.

In addition, text message marketing platforms should give you the ability to use custom fields in your texts that will automatically pull in your contacts’ information, such as the first name. A text using your first name in it (despite being a mass text) is going to be that much more effective than a text that doesn’t.

Again, DailyStory offers all these features and more to boost the success of your text message marketing campaigns.

Offer an easy, clear way to opt out

While no business wants its subscribers to opt out of receiving text messages, you must make it easy and clear to do so. 

It’s an industry requirement, but it also helps your brand image. Everyone should know that they can unsubscribe anytime and how to do so. It’s about establishing trust and credibility for your brand.

Simply include “Text STOP to unsubscribe” in your texts and/or when promoting your text campaign.

When a subscriber does unsubscribe, make sure to send a confirmation and then remove that individual from your contact list.

Measure your SMS campaign performance

Just like any other tactic in digital marketing, you’ll want to monitor how your text messages perform. 

Text messages don’t necessarily offer all the same analytics that you expect to see in email marketing campaigns. But you can track deliveries, clicks and replies. It just depends on what platform you’re using to conduct your SMS text message campaigns.

As you’re exploring these best practices for your SMS text message marketing, consider using DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more that can apply to texting, emailing and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

11 best practices to help you grow your social media followers

Social media is a key part of any business’s digital marketing strategy, but are you seeing enough followers and engagement on your accounts?

About 3.6 billion people worldwide were using social media in 2020, and that’s expected to grow to about 4.4 billion by 2025.

So, your target audience is definitely out there. (And if you need help determining your ideal target audience, see our seven tips.)

Of course, don’t miss what we recommend every startup company should know about social media.

The following are 11 best practices that can help you grow your social media followers over time regardless of the platform.

Build a strong brand identity

Branding is everything for successful businesses online. Of course, this means more than just including your logo on all of your multimedia assets and so on.

It ties into your predominant color scheme, graphic designs, voice, even filters. If you haven’t yet solidified your brand’s identity, it’s never too late.

See our eight tips for finding your brand’s voice. And in the fitness industry, we walk you through building an online brand from scratch (that can be applied to other industries as well).

Even personal brands count. Check out our 10 tips for building your personal brand and growing your business.

The most important thing is consistency and cohesion. Once you have your brand identity, own it.

Follow relevant accounts

Following other accounts that are relevant to your interests, industry and business is a great way to:

  • Stay in the know about topics that matter to you and your brand
  • Be inspired by what others are doing on social media
  • Have an opportunity to engage with accounts that are relevant to you
  • Get an idea of what your competition is doing on social media

Of course, there’s also the opportunity to potentially be followed back by others, but that shouldn’t be your primary reason to do it.

Actively engage with your followers

Time is always a challenge, but resist the temptation to “set it and forget it.” Once a post publishes (whether it’s scheduled or live), that’s only the beginning.

Prioritize time to engage with your followers who are commenting on your posts and/or messaging you. 

Granted, you can’t go down the wormhole on it, and the more engagement you receive, the harder it will be to respond to every user. But there are tools out there that can help.

Check out these 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools to help you stay on top of the activity happening with your brand accounts. Plus, see additional reasons why a social media management tool can benefit your business.

And consider these seven opportunities for social media automation that you might not be aware of.

Just remember that social media is a conversation, not just a megaphone. You’ll lose your social media followers if you never engage with them. Invite those connections and conversations.

Publish content that’s worth sharing

Ask yourself honestly: 

  • Are you posting content that excites, entertains, educates? 
  • Is your content engaging? 
  • Are you thinking about your followers first?

If the answer is no, then it’s time to reevaluate your content strategy. Think about how you can add in more:

  • Opinions (just be cautious when it comes to sensitive issues)
  • Trending content (which helps you stay current on social media)
  • News developments from your industry
  • Data and statistics
  • Humorous or cute content (just make sure that it’s relevant to your brand identity)
  • Visually compelling or eye-catching (including videos)

If a majority of your content is sales-heavy, you’re definitely missing an opportunity for engagement with your social media followers (and giving others a reason to follow you).

Use a content calendar

Content calendars are great for both long-term planning and overall content organization.

It’s about striking a balance between posting enough to stay relevant and not posting too much, which looks more like spam. That balance helps you connect with social media followers.

See our eight tips to create an effective content calendar.

Promote your social media elsewhere

Don’t assume that everyone knows you have a Facebook page or an Instagram account or a viral video on TikTok.

Depending on what else you’re doing online, think through the opportunities you have to promote your social media accounts elsewhere. 

This could be on your website, blog, podcast, guest blogs (or appearances), email newsletters and so on.

Be smart with your hashtags

Hashtags are all about discoverability. But it’s better to be strategic and targeted than to treat your hashtags like buckshot.

In short, the most popular hashtags (such as #love) aren’t necessarily the ones you need to use because they are, in fact, so overused. You’ll just get lost in the noise.

You can opt for more specific hashtags and/or create branded hashtags to promote user-generated content (among other reasons).

Check out our six tips to help you master hashtags on Instagram specifically.

Explore influencer marketing

Influencer marketing continues to increase in popularity, and for good reasons. It simply makes sense to partner with another brand that (or personality who) is relevant to your target audience.

Make sure you understand who you’re going to work with (whether they’re appropriate for your brand) and what the expectations are.

The result of a successful influencer marketing campaign is increased engagement and more social media followers.

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

Keep your customer service team in the loop

Because so many more consumers are contacting brands via social media, it’s important that everyone tasked with responding to those messages are in the loop regarding your overall social media strategy and any significant campaigns.

Maintaining that communication across your team will preserve a consistency in your customer service that should back up the brand voice you’re projecting publicly on social media.

(Of course, this also extends to how you address negative commentary and reviews online. See our 11 tips.)

Consider contests and giveaways

Contests and giveaways should never be the end all be all of your entire social media strategy. But they are a great way to engage with your social media followers and grow your following as well.

First, think about what would spur interest and excitement. Make sure it’s reflective of your brand identity.

See our 10 tips to encourage more user-generated content.

But most importantly of all, make sure you’re on the up and up and keeping every giveaway and contest legal. Check out our guide on Terms and Conditions.

Pivot your strategy based on your social media performance

Similar to what we recommend for just about any digital marketing strategy is not just to monitor your social media analytics, but to refine your strategy as needed based on that performance.

If something is working, how can you build on that?

If something isn’t working, what can you do differently?

Clearly, there are so many factors to consider:

  • Timing
  • Content itself
  • Voice
  • Visuals

And so much more. But that’s what makes social media exciting. It’s always changing, and in general, it’s a grand experiment for every brand to find ways to represent itself, be heard and reach its target audience.

Consider any of these 17 online courses to level up your social media skills.

While you’re exploring how to increase your social media followers organically, think about how you can improve your digital marketing process as well. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 advantages to automating your workflow

Workflow automation allows you and your employees to save time on administrative and repetitive tasks, so they can focus on more important business goals. 

In addition, automating your workflow helps you avoid the issues associated with manual work, such as human error.

Many stages of workflows can be automated to speed up processes and cut back on costs. Developing an automated workflow for repetitive, laborious tasks, such as customer communication, can help your business grow. Automation can be applied to many different tasks while providing you with detailed record-keeping that’s error-free. Here are the benefits of workflow automation

No. 1: Speeds up task management

Whether you’re a SCRUM master or simply need help managing your task load to promote a better work/life balance, automation speeds up the management and completion of tasks. For example, without automation, a software development team might not be able to manage projects as effectively or meet deadlines. In this case, a workforce management system can automate insights to help team leaders identify bottlenecks and come up with creative solutions to advanced problems.

Not only can developers benefit from automation, but so can anyone. Does anyone in your organization perform data entry? Automation can automatically populate forms and spreadsheets from databases to ensure correct data. Not only will this save someone time, but it also prevents the risk of someone typing in the wrong number or letter.

No. 2: Reduces labor costs

Automating essential tasks can lower costs because it reduces administrative tasks and repetitive tasks, ultimately decreasing the number of hours needed to perform those tasks. Not only that but digitizing documents can help boost productivity while automatic validation ensures incorrect data can’t move through the workflow and prevent problems later on. 

For example, if someone enters a wrong number, the problem might not be discovered until it’s too late, which means hours upon hours of finding the error and fixing it. Automation prevents this by ensuring the data is correct at every stage of the process. Instead of letting the wrong letter throw your employees on a quest to find the right information and remedy the problem, you can save on labor costs by having smaller teams that can get more work done.

No. 3: Reduces errors

As we’ve already mentioned, human error is always an accident, but it can be pricey. Manual processing means just one employee can throw off the entire workflow, no matter what you’re doing. For example, suppose you’re performing equipment testing, which requires employees to write down numbers and other types of information. In that case, the person who must type up the information can easily misread a calculation. 

Automation can’t misread calculations, especially when you use software that integrates with all of your processes to ensure every number and letter is in its proper place, this is why many companies lean into test equipment and generators. Errors lead to delays, unhappy partners and customers, and even compliance issues, so the fewer, the better. 

No. 4: Streamlines approvals

If your business has a long approval process for anything, including purchasing products, then you already know how long it can take for a request to get approved. When using a manual approval process, staff members must deliver documentation to approvers and chase them down when they don’t get a response. 

Using automation can make the approval process quick and painless. It can send documentation to the right person based on logic while allowing approvers to sign documents digitally to prevent delays. 

No. 5: Improve customer relationships

Automating workflows can help you quickly respond to customers with accurate information. With fewer errors and delays associated with automation, you can enhance the customer experience with products and services that can be promptly delivered. 

Not only that, but automated workflows can help you quickly address customer concerns. As you know, customers expect a quick reply when they have a concern. To solve this problem, you can set up an alert for your customer service representatives that alerts them when a new issue needs their attention as soon as possible. 

No. 6: Happier employees

Happy employees are more productive employees, making them more likely to help your business succeed. Sitting at a desk doing the same tasks over and over can lead to burnout and fatigue. Instead of relying on your employees to do manual, repetitive tasks, you can automate their workflows and allow them to do more exciting tasks every day. 

By saving them time on the boring tasks that are just a part of the job, they’ll be more excited to come into work to focus on achieving business goals.

No. 7: Scalable

Workflow automation requires you to understand everything you can do with it to make your business more efficient. However, the time you spend learning about automation can help you save time in the future because it’s easily scalable. 

As you know, every department has different responsibilities and needs, but all of them can benefit from automation. For example, accounting can automate invoicing while HR automates paid time off requests. 

As soon as you design and implement a workflow, you can scale it and add more tasks to it. In addition, automation will become easier the longer you use it, which means finding and fixing issues within your business will, too. 

workflow-automation

Do You Need Workflow Automation?

If you’re still using manual processes, then it’s time to look into all of the different ways automation can help. Doing all of your work manually can cause bottlenecks and inefficiencies. These inefficiencies can force your employees to spend too much time on tasks that automation could be doing. 

Manual processes are slow and require more people and more time. Not only that, but you can easily lose important documentation. You also can leave yourself open to human error, which can be detrimental. 

Automating workflows allows you to do more in less time with fewer errors. With automation, your business can optimally function. Plus, your employees will be happy to spend more time on the parts of their jobs that matter.

About the author

Matt-Casadona

Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys San Diego life, traveling, and music. 

12 SEO marketing tips for beginners

Search engine optimization, also referred to as SEO, is critical for every website, but it’s also achievable, even for beginners.

SEO is all about ensuring that your website content ranks high in relevant search engine results. Of course, the higher you land in search rankings, the more website traffic you’ll see. The more traffic you drive, the more potential sales and revenue you can generate.

On the first page of Googe search results, for example, the first five organic results account for about 68 percent of all the resulting clicks.

The effort is worthwhile. About 49 percent of marketers say that organic search has the best return on investment (ROI) of any marketing channel.

But successful SEO is so much more than just using relevant keywords.

The following are 12 SEO marketing tips for beginners that you can start using today.

Claim (or create) your Google My Business profile

Google My Business is a free public profile or listing that appears in related search results on Google.

Claiming (or creating) your listing provides Google (and internet users) with key information about your company. 

See our recommended 12 ways to optimize your Google My Business profile.

Create new, fresh content

Search engines love new content, which is seen as more relevant for users but also shows that your website is active.

Focus on topics that address the needs, wants and challenges of your target audience. What problems can you help them solve? To stay organized, see our eight tips to create an effective content calendar.

However, producing new content consistently can be a challenge for any marketer.

See our 13 tips for repurposing content like a rockstar. But if you’re flat-out stuck, check out our seven tips for beating marketing writer’s block.

Write longer

Writing longer, at its core, is about giving visitors the quality, in-depth content they’re seeking.

On the practical side, longer content gives you more opportunities for including keywords and offering the most beneficial information.

Longer, engaging content also increases your time on side, otherwise known as “dwell time.” The longer a user spends on your page, the greater the signal to Google (and other search engines) that users are engaging with your content. You want as long of a dwell time as possible.

The ideal length based on recent data is between 2,100 and 2,400 words.

But the danger of this tip is lengthening your content without adding value or sacrificing quality. Don’t go long just to go long. Quality over quantity always.

Use relevant keywords

Keywords aren’t everything, but they are a big piece of a successful SEO strategy.

It’s important to use the keywords that are most relevant to your piece of content. If you cast too wide of a net on your keywords, you are overpromising and underdelivering for search engines. Remember, search engines aim to deliver the most relevant search results for every user’s query.

Think about what a consumer might type into a search engine to find your content, and do your research.

Keep long-tail keywords in mind as well, particularly with the considerations surrounding voice search. (Long-tail keywords contain at least four words that more clearly specify the user’s intent in his or her search query.)

In addition, think about LSI keywords, which stands for “latent semantic indexing.” These are keywords that are related to the topic your content is about.

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

Optimize on-page elements

You’ll want to always keep your title, meta, heading and sub-heading tags on your website top of mind. These comprise your on-page SEO elements.

  • Title tag: The headline that appears on top of a search result. Make sure it’s unique for each page of your website, contains relevant keywords and is no more than 60 characters long.
  • Meta tag or meta description: The summary paragraph that appears as a description of your search result. Make sure that you take the opportunity to persuade users to click on your result in no more than 160 characters.
  • Headings and sub-headings: Ideally, you’ll have one heading <h1> per webpage, but you can have as many sub-headings (<h2>, <h3> and so on) as makes sense for the organization of your content on the page. These don’t appear in search results, but they are indexed and checked by Google the same as title tags, so include keywords as much as it makes sense to do so.
  • Sitemap: Schematics that help search engines find and rank your webpages. Using a sitemap helps your pages get updated faster and that all your pages are getting found.
  • Robots.txt: Code that tells search engine web crawlers which pages to include in their index and which not to. This is ideal for test pages and pages not intended for the public.

Learn more about the difference between on-page and off-page SEO.

Keep your URLs as simple as possible

While most internet users won’t notice the specifics of your webpage’s URL, it still matters to your SEO.

As a best practice, keep your URLs as simple and readable as possible, with a logical structure. This means that you’ll want to use text in your URLs rather than random numbers. Just remember to keep your URLs as short as reasonably possible.

You also can use your URLs to include your most relevant keyword, but make sure you’re not overstuffing. 

There’s no need to overhaul all your past URLs unless you think they are having a negative impact on your SEO. (If you do, make sure to also do a proper 301 redirect.) Simply move forward with simple, structured URLs. 

Build up your backlinks

Backlinks are when another website links back to any of your webpages by linking to it. Ideally, you’ll want backlinks from high-quality websites that are related to your content.

Backlinks help increase your search ranking, but obviously you can’t just snap your fingers and increase your backlinks instantly. It takes work.

See our seven tips to grow quality backlinks to your website and boost your SEO.

On the flip side, you also want to link out to other quality websites, which helps you appear more trustworthy to search engines. It’s a give and take.

Increase your internal links

Internal links go from one webpage to another within your website. Not only do these links help visitors navigate your site, but they also communicate more structure to search engines. 

When you’re posting a piece of content, give your reader every opportunity to dive deeper into related topics throughout your post.

Consider your images

You might not realize it, but images play a role in boosting your SEO.

But it’s about more than simply breaking up paragraphs of text for your reader. To help search engines understand what your images are about, use the alt text feature, which is an HTML code that describes what your image shows. 

Make sure that every image on your website has an accurate, detailed description in the alt text. Again, avoid any keyword stuffing. 

These also help blind or visually impaired users who are using a special computer (or software) that reads text out loud.

Optimize your site speed

While site speed is a bit more of a technical characteristic to consider, it matters for your SEO. Obviously, slow-loading pages turn off internet visitors and therefore are downgraded in search rankings by Google and other search engines.

About 75 percent of users will not revisit websites that took longer than 4 seconds to load.

If you’re using Adobe Flash, you might want to think again. Flash is an app that enables multimedia streaming and user interaction within a webpage, but it can slow down your loading time. In addition, Flash doesn’t work on many mobile devices. For both of those reasons, search engines can downgrade your search ranking if you use a lot of Adobe Flash.

You can check your site’s speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights and get recommendations on how you can speed up your site if necessary.

Speed is especially important for mobile browsing. Dive deeper into what mobile SEO is, as well as six best practices.

Use social media to your benefit

Social media is a powerful and diverse tool for brand awareness and audience engagement.

Because it’s so diverse, you have a number of different platforms and strategies to explore and consider.

Here’s what every startup company should know about social media when they’re starting from scratch.

In the end, your use of social media does impact your SEO. See these seven ways how.

Monitor your SEO performance

One of the most important steps in all of digital marketing, SEO and otherwise, is to track your results.

You can easily see how your SEO is impacting your website by using Google Analytics, which is free. You can see where your traffic is coming from, as well as what’s working and what’s not. The tool offers historical, comparison and real-time data at your fingertips.

In conclusion

The most important thing to remember when you’re starting out with best SEO practices is simply to think about your target audience. Think about the user. Put them first.

Dive deeper into how to determine your target audience with our seven tips.

Keep in mind what those users are looking for, what they want and what they need. Your content should serve this above all else. That’s how search engines will continue to see value in your content and serve that in search queries.

For now, you can see how to check your Google search rank right now for free.

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

8 tips to make your event marketing better

Understandably, event marketing is a broad strategy that can be used within your digital marketing, based on the events you may or may not be hosting.

But for businesses that do host or attend any sort of event (in-person or online), it’s critical to think through your event marketing strategy. Doing so helps you optimize the natural content and engagement opportunities that exist with events.

About 61 percent of marketers believe that in-person events are the most critical marketing channel.

Event marketing ultimately involves the tools and techniques you use to promote an event, usually with the goal of getting individuals to attend (whether they must pay to do so or not). Of course, on the flip side, it’s important to capitalize and follow through with those leads once you capture them going into the event, during the event and after the event.

The following are eight tips to make the most of your events and boost your overall event marketing.

Set your event marketing goals

Goals always end up being at the center of any successful digital marketing strategy. Understanding not only what you want to achieve but putting that to specifics so that you can lay out the action steps that need to be taken to get there.

Learn more about how to set effective marketing goals.

Consider multiple ways to send invitations

Obviously, you’ll want to invite people to attend your event, but in what ways can and/or should you invite them?

Methods include:

  • Email
  • Social media
  • Direct mail

Choosing any or all of the above methods depends on who you’re trying to reach, but no matter what method(s) you use, make sure you can track invitations against your database and have a streamlined way of collecting reservations.

Leverage your social media for overall event promotion

A lot can be done around events on social media. For instance, a “save the date” campaign can help raise overall awareness of an event and can even include a “countdown” component to boost excitement.

You’ll want to use all the available tools at your disposal, including live videos, infographics with facts about the event and so on.

Then, monitor social media before, during and after the event. Ideally, you’ve established a specific hashtag for your event to make this easier on most platforms.

The monitoring can help you understand what’s happening in real time and respond to any complaints or requests during the event from your attendees.

Think beyond social media

Of course, as handy as social media is, there are other channels to consider for your event marketing, especially when you’re going beyond direct invitations. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Blogging (including guest blogging on other sites)
  • Partner outreach (such as potential collaborators and media partners)
  • Email marketing
  • Early-bird discounts on any channel
  • Pre-event landing page
  • Paid advertising
  • Formal press releases
  • Attendee referral incentives
  • Influencer marketing
  • SMS text marketing

The direction(s) you go in always should touch back on your goals for the event in question. 

Manage your event registration process

Speaking of collecting reservations, your event registration process should be a priority. Obviously, this should be online (whether your event is in-person or not). But beyond that, you have options as far as the method or tools you can use.

Here’s what you should keep in mind:

  • Have a way of tracking the source of each registration, which can done through custom landing pages and/or tracking codes.
  • Include sign-up deadlines that should happen automatically.
  • Capture and store all relevant contact information for individuals.
  • Have automated confirmations and reminders sent to registered attendees.

Incorporate event confirmations and reminders

As part of your event registration process, you’ll want to ensure that you’re sending confirmations whenever an individual RSVPs, as well as reminders as the event gets closer.

In fact, if you have any digital assets to share after the event is over (such as a recording or worksheet, etc.), consider including them in a follow-up email thanking all attendees and offering those assets, especially for those who might have missed the event.

Of course, the more you can automate this process, the better.

Capitalize on lead capture

Events naturally lend themselves to significant lead-capturing opportunities. This happens not just during the promotion of the event, but also during the event itself.

It’s important to capture all contact information for use in drip campaigns later. Be sure to have a data collection process in place during the event, whether that’s a business-card scanner or an online form. This is particularly important if your business is at an event (like a trade show) where you do not have attendee registration information.

You’ll also want to input that contact data into a marketing automation platform or CRM system as soon as you can after the event (ideally, the same day).

If possible, score and prioritize the contacts you made from the event. Depending on the marketing system you’re using, you can direct warmer leads to more of a sales-driven drip campaign, while cooler leads can be directed to more of an educational drip campaign.

DailyStory does offer a lead-ranking system within our platform to help target your marketing.

Measure your performance

When it comes to event marketing, there are a number of different metrics you can use to understand the success of your event. 

And the metrics you use largely depend on your goals for your event marketing. This can include:

  • Event attendance (especially out of those who registered)
  • Lead collection
  • Lead conversion
  • Revenue generated

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

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

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

However, many small businesses don’t have one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Identify your goals for a social media policy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consider roles and responsibilities within your company

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

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

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

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

Explain security protocols

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

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

You might want to address:

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

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

Walk through a crisis management plan

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

But that preference is up to you.

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

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

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

Identify various potential legal questions and issues

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

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

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

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

Share expectations for employees’ personal social media accounts

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

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

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

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

Some key aspects you might want to at least consider:

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

Specify what employee advocacy can look like

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

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

Some questions you can address include:

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

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

Social media policy examples

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

In conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

6 biggest mistakes businesses make on LinkedIn

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

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

LinkedIn currently has 722 million users, which doesn’t make it the largest platform when compared to Facebook and Instagram. However, on the flip side, LinkedIn is the most trusted social network in the U.S.

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

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

LinkedIn Mistake #1: Not publishing content

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

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

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

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

LinkedIn Mistake #2: Not engaging with others on LinkedIn

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

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

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

LinkedIn Mistake #3: Not optimizing your LinkedIn Company Page

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LinkedIn Mistake #5: Prioritizing the sale above all else

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

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

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

LinkedIn Mistake #6: Disregarding the value of LinkedIn groups

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Personal Instagram accounts

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

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

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

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

Business vs. Creator Instagram accounts

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

Similarities

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

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

Differences

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to change your Instagram account type

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Align your marketing goals with your company-wide objectives

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

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

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

Go big with your marketing goals

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

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

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

Your marketing goals should be measurable

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

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

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

Let historical data inspire your marketing goals

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

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

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

Embrace experimentation

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

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

Think macro and micro marketing goals

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

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

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

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

Consider your time, budget and resources

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

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

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

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

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

16 Instagram marketing tips that you should know

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marketing with an Instagram business account

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

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

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

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

Determine your Instagram goals

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

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

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

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

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

Dive deeper with our seven expert tips to set achievable marketing goals for your small business.

Understand your target audience

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

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

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

Optimize your Instagram profile

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

Some points to consider:

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

Create and post visually engaging content

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consistent Instagram look and feel

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

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

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

Don’t underestimate the power of your captions

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

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

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

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

Be smart about your Instagram hashtags

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

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

Dive deeper with our six tips on mastering Instagram hashtags.

Don’t just broadcast, engage

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

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

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

Check out these 10 tips to get more likes and engagement on your Instagram posts.

Embrace Instagram Stories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go live on Instagram

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

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

Consider Instagram Shop in your strategy

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

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

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

Instagram Reels worth experimenting with

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

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

Check out our seven best practices for Facebook or Instagram Reels.

Explore an influencer partnership

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

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

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

Go beyond organic reach with Instagram ads

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

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

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

Monitor performance with Instagram Insights

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

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

See our guide on Instagram metrics.

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

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

7 tips to help you determine your target audience

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

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

And no small business can afford to target everyone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Examine your customer base

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

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

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

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

Conduct a competitive analysis

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

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

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

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

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

Analyze your products and/or services

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

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

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

Use social listening for deeper insights

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

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

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

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

Identify specific demographics

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

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

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

Go beyond the demographics

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

This includes:

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

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

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

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

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

Confirm your target audience

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

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

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

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

6 Facebook marketing tips you should know

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

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

See our 12 tips to optimize your Facebook business page.

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

Set your Facebook goals

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

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

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

Define your target audience on Facebook

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

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

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

Either way, you want to answer the following questions:

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

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

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

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

Plan your mix of Facebook content

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Explore other Facebook tools

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

Other Facebook tools include:

Experiment with Facebook ads and pixel

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

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

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

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

See our seven tips to better target your Facebook ads.

Measure your Facebook performance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12 ways to optimize your Google My Business profile

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

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

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

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

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

Create your Google My Business account

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

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

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

Fill out every section of your profile

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

The key fields include:

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

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

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

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

Then, there are a few sections that are ongoing:

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

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

Be specific with your information

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

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

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

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

Choose the category of your business

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

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

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

Pick relevant attributes of your business

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

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

Select everything that is relevant to your business.

Add photos that showcase your business

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

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

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

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

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

Get additional photo guidance from Google itself.

Seek out Google reviews

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

To get more reviews on your profile:

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

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

Regularly post to your Google Business Profile

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

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

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

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

Embrace questions and answers

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

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

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

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

Add available products and services

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

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

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

Set up direct messaging

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

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

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

Pulling it all together with a Google My Business strategy

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

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

See our six best practices for mobile SEO as well.

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

8 ways to improve customer responsiveness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Audit your current customer responsiveness

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

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

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

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

Determine a customer response system

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

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

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

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

Embrace social media

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

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

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

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

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

Consider tech-based solutions

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

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

Invest in a quality customer service team

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

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

Strive for:

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

Explore CRM programs

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

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

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

Get personal in your messaging

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

To be more personal, use:

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

Strive for 24/7 customer support

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

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

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

Mobile SEO: What it is and 6 best practices

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

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

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

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

Characteristics of a mobile-friendly website:

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

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

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

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

Test your website’s mobile friendliness

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

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

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

Improve your website’s speed

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

You can check your website’s speed with:

To increase the speed of your website, look into:

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

Strive for a mobile-responsive design

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

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

Key steps to take for a responsive website design include:

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

Optimize your content for mobile SEO

Optimized content accomplishes two goals with your mobile visitors: 

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

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

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

Consider local searches

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

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

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

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

Embrace social media sharing

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

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

To achieve this, consider:

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

In conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social media efficiency

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

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

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

Improved social listening

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

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

Learn more about the difference between social listening and crowdsourcing.

Avoid hashtag mistakes

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

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

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

Streamlined analytics

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

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

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

Scalability

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

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

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

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

Organization and consistency

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

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

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

Never miss anything

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not defining your Facebook goals

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

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

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

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

Using a Facebook profile rather than a Facebook page

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

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

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

Failing to show a personal side of your business

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

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

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

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

Making everything about you

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

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

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

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

Using only one content type in your posts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posting without a plan

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

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

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

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

Never measuring your performance

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

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

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

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

Inconsistent posting

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

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

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

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

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

Unbalanced sales posts

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

Some businesses post too many and appear pushy.

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

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

Lacking an optimized Facebook page

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

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

See our 12 tips to optimize your Facebook business page.

Improper use of Facebook groups

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

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

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

Not investing in at least some paid advertising

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

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

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

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

The benefits of at least some advertising include:

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

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

Ignoring comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘What is Social?’ from Coursera

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

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

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

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

‘Introduction to Social Media Strategy’ from Skillshare

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

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

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

‘Social Media 101’ from Constant Contact

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

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

‘Social Media Marketing’ from Oxford Home Study Centre

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

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

The self-paced course provides a certification upon completion.

‘Social Media Analytics Course’ from Quintly

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

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

Course materials include videos, reading materials and quizzes.

‘Social Media’ from HubSpot

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

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

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

‘Social Media Marketing Certification’ from eMarketing Institute

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

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

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

‘The Business of Social’ from Coursera

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Writing for Social Media’ from edX

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

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

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

‘Social Media Ethics’ from Udemy

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

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

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

‘Content, Advertising & Social IMC’ from Coursera

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

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

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

‘Social Media Monitoring’ from Udemy

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

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

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

“Introduction to Social Media Advertising” from Skillshare

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

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

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

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

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

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

The course can take less than 48 hours to complete.

‘Facebook Blueprint’ from Facebook

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

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

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

“TikTok Marketing Masterclass” from Influencer Marketing Hub

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

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

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

Terms and Conditions: How to confirm your giveaways are legal

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

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

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

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

The differences between contests, sweepstakes and giveaways

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

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

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

Components of Terms and Conditions

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

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

Title

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

No Purchase Necessary

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

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

Promotion Description

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

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

Eligibility

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

  • Geographic location
  • Minimum age

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

Prizes

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

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

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

How to Enter

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

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

Winner Selection

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

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

Winner Notification

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

Privacy

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

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

Limitation of Liability

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

Social Network Disclaimers

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

Winner List

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

Sponsor

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

  • Company name
  • Mailing address
  • Email address

Administrator

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

Other considerations

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

Recurring daily or weekly winners

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

‘Twitter-only’ giveaway

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

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

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

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

Restricted industries

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

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

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

Where to host your Terms and Conditions

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

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

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

Entry deadlines cannot be extended

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

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

You must accept all valid entries

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

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

A prize must be awarded no matter what

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

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

Legal side note

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

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

12 expert tips to host your first webinar

Webinars are only growing in popularity.

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

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

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

Choose the right webinar platform

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

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

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

Select the right day and time

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

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

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

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

Use the right equipment

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

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

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

Opt for the right topic

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

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

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

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

Go as visual as possible

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

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

Practice makes perfect

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

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

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

Promote your webinar across channels

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

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

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

See our seven tips to level up your content marketing.

Engage with your attendees

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

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

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

Invite guests to speak or host

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

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

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

Assets can be created for attendees

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

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

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

Follow up with attendees after your webinar

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

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

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

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

Measure your success

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

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

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

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

14 expert tips to improve your mobile marketing

Mobile has revolutionized the way we do business. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make your website as mobile-friendly as possible

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

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

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

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

Ensure that digital ads are mobile-friendly

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

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

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

Use Google Search Console

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

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

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

Test your page-loading speed

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

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

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

Ensure all emails are responsive

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

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

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

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

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

Get local with Google My Business

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

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

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

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

Optimize your social media presence across platforms

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

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

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

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

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

Seize social proof opportunities

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

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

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

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

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

Use SMS texts to help promote

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

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

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

Create more video content

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

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

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

Consider a podcast

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

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

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

Optimize for voice search

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

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

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

Embrace QR codes

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

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

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

Create an app

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

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

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

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

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