8 benefits of using an Instagram business account (and how to set it up)

Instagram is a must-have social media platform for many businesses, but do you need an Instagram business account?

The visuals-first app generates about 1 billion active monthly users and is particularly popular among consumers 34 and younger. Features have diversified since its founding in 2010, with Instagram Stories, Reels and more available to engage with your target audience.

You can opt for a personal or business account on Instagram. The platform has more than 200 million business accounts that users visit daily. In fact, about 90 percent of Instagram users follow at least one business.

The following are eight benefits of using an Instagram business account.

Scheduling posts

The ability to schedule posts due to having an Instagram business account is huge. Scheduling helps you save time and be more efficient as a content creator and publisher.

Various third-party applications, such as Hootsuite, can make it easy to connect and schedule away. Finding the right tool for you can make all the difference in your social media presence.

Check out these 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools that can help you do it all on social media with a limited budget.

Access to Instagram analytics

Data matters in digital marketing, particularly in social media, such as Instagram. It’s all about understanding your followers and what content resonates with them.

An Instagram business account gives you acces to dive deep into your audience’s profile views, your total reach, your post impressions and even the demographics of your followers.

With this information, you can pivot your content strategy accordingly.

Get a better understanding of Instagram Insights with our guide.

Instagram Shop features available

If your business sells products specifically, you’ll want to be able to leverage Instagram Shop features within your strategy.

With Shops, you can upload a product catalog, tag your products and (depending) you can even process sales directly within the Instagram app. In addition, you can set up: 

  • Collections of products (such as “new arrivals” or anything else that makes sense for your business)
  • Shoppable Reels
  • Brand affiliations that can then share and sell your products for a commission (with controllable permission for who can tag your products)

Plus, you’ll have additional insights data related to Instagram Shop specifically.

Ability to add a contact button

Instagram business accounts can add a contact button on your profile so that when a user clicks it, they can either email you, call you or view a map of your location.

You also can sync your public contact information with your Facebook business page, which means that when information needs to be updated, you only have to do so in one place.

In addition, Instagram business accounts can use action buttons, including “Order Food,” “Book Now” and “Reserve,” if appropriate for your business.

Showing your industry on your profile

With an Instagram business account, the industry you selected that best represents your business when creating your linked Facebook page will show on your Instagram profile.

Of course, this is editable within Instagram.

Adding links to your Instagram Stories

If you’re using a personal profile, the only clickable link you can share is on your profile. An Instagram business account changes this.

You get the option of adding link stickers to your Instagram Stories, which allow you to multiple images and/or videos in a vertical format, where you can layer on various doodles, text and/or interactive stickers. They last 24 hours before disappearing, but they can be pinned to your Instagram profile in Highlight groupings and last longer.

Since about 75 percent of Instagram users take action after looking at a post (such as visiting a website), this feature can help users easily do what you’re compelling them to do with your content.

Age verification

If your business is in a restricted industry (such as alcohol), your Instagram business account can set a minimum age. 

This is important because you can then ensure that you aren’t showing your content to potential underage Instagram users.

Instagram advertising

If you have a marketing budget to spend on your Instagram presence in any way, an Instagram business account will enable you to run advertising campaigns and boost posts on the platform.

Facebook and Instagram and intricately linked in this way. You can build campaigns in the Facebook (now Meta) Business Manager that can serve on both platforms.

In addition, Instagram Shoppable posts allow users to tap on product tags to view a full product description with a “Buy Now” button. This makes it easier than ever to purchase from your business through the app.

How to set up your Instagram Business Profile

In the Instagram app, navigate to “Settings,” then click “Account” and “Switch to Professional Account.”

You’ll want to select the category that best describes your business, and then select “Business.”

And that’s it! You’re ready to roll.

In conclusion

While there are big benefits to switching over to an Instagram business account, keep in mind that there are two features you will lose when you convert, which is the ability to:

  • Make your posts private
  • Link multiple Facebook profiles since you’ll only connect to your business’s Facebook page

Dive deeper to better understand the differences between personal, creator and business Instagram accounts.

Then, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

5 signs that your branding is broken

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

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

A successful brand is clear, compelling and consistent.

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

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

No brand style guide

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

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

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

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

Your branding is visually inconsistent

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

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

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

Ask yourself:

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

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

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

Big drop in the middle of your sales funnel

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

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

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

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

Obsession with your competition

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

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

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

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

Lack of repeat business

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

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

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

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

In conclusion

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

Just make sure that you:

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

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

6 benefits of using CRM software for small businesses

Businesses of all sizes consider CRM software as a near-vital tool because of its ability to make communications more consistent, efficient and relevant.

CRM (which stands for “customer relationship management”) software gathers customer interactions in one central place to improve the customer experience and overall customer satisfaction. Simply put, it helps businesses manage, track and organize their relationships with customers. CRM software stores customer data, such as user behavior, how long someone has been your customer, any purchasing records and potentially notes on sales interactions. This data can then be used to optimize your digital marketing strategy and processes. 

Because this type of software tracks the behavior and actions of your current and potential customers, it can then guide that consumer through your sales funnel, depending on how you decide to set it up.

It simply makes all of your customer interactions that much more effective. So, it’s not surprising that about 91 percent of companies with more than 11 employees now use CRM software.

Not convinced? The following are six benefits your small business can have by using CRM software.

Improved customer service

At the heart of CRM software is the intention to improve business-to-customer relationships.

Your CRM manages and organizes all your contacts while gathering important data points, such as demographics, purchase records and previous messages across all channels. This information is then easily accessible to anyone on your team who might need it, which ensures that your customer service representatives can easily understand every customer they interact with and reference past interactions, which provides a better experience for the customer.

In other words, access to relevant customer data empowers your customer service representatives to earn greater customer satisfaction.

Check out our six ways to improve customer responsiveness to boost your customer service even more.

Increased sales

Because CRM software can streamline your sales process with automation of key tasks and analysis of sales data within the same place, this can clearly help increase both your sales and productivity.

Lead nurturing, for example, can be an arduous and complicated process, but your CRM software can automatically manage this process, while also sending your team alerts for when they should reach out to the potential customer. You can then ensure that you’re getting the right messages out to each contact based on his or her buyer behavior and actions.

It’s all about establishing a step-by-step sales process that can easily be tweaked along the way as needed to optimize for sales.

See our 16 tips to help increase your sales conversion rate for inspiration.

Boost your customer retention

Customer retention is incredibly important for your business. Just a 5 percent increase in customer retention can lead to at least a 25 percent increase in profit.

Customer retention is about maintaining your current customer base and increasing loyalty by offering better products or services and other benefits.

You can use your CRM software to encourage repeat business from your customers by leveraging your CRM’s automation features and behavior tracking to identify both issues and opportunities with your customers.

Check out our six tips to improve your business’s customer retention rate.

Contextualized data

It’s one thing to have analytics, it’s a whole other thing to have context with your data. That’s the power of CRM software, which typically offers built-in analytic capabilities so that you can better understand the data available with actionable steps that you can take.

Metrics include click-through rates, bounce rates and demographic information, among others. These all can help you judge the effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns and pivot as needed. And the visualizations of data that many CRM software options provide can help as well.

Better productivity and efficiency for your team

Because CRM software uses automation technology, menial tasks (such as email drip campaigns) no longer have to be handled by your and/or your team. That means that you can then focus on other tasks, such as creating content.

CRM software also helps ensure that no tasks slip through the cracks. You can rest assured that all important emails are always sent to the right people.

Organization leads to better customer segmentation

Having a list of even just a few hundred contacts can be unwieldy and overwhelming. This is especially so if you have thousands of contacts.

CRM software can automatically segment your contact lists based on the criteria you set so that you can find and message the ones you want at any given time. Sorting can include gender, age, location, buyer stage and so on.

It’s all about getting the right message to the right person at the right time. 

In conclusion

Clearly, CRM software can help streamline your customer interaction and sales efforts. Make sure that you thoroughly research available CRM options before committing to one. What features do you need? How much does it cost? Is it user-friendly?

As you’re exploring possible CRM software for your small business, consider leveling up with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

5 omnichannel marketing tips to help grow your business

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

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

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

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

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

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

Research and understand your target audience

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

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

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

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

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

Audit your technology

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

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

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

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

Evaluate, choose your channels

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

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

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

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

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

Optimize your content

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

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

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

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

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

Measure, measure, measure

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

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

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

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

6 tips for marketing to Millennial consumers

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

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

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

Is your business thoughtfully targeting and engaging with Millennial consumers?

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

Leverage social media

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

To engage with Millennials, consider:

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

Share elements of social proof

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

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

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

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

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

Create opportunities for personal connections

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

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

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

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

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

Check out six ways to build consumer trust.

Be real

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

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

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

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

Create and share mobile-friendly content

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

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

Remember that:

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

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

Avoid overly selling to Millennial consumers

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

11 steps to create an effective business website

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

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

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

Lock in a good domain name

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

In general, this means that you want it to:

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

Dive deeper with our Domain Name 101 guide for beginners.

Purchase proper website hosting

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

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

Essentially, there are three server types to consider:

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

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

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

Clearly describe your business in a prominent place

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

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

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

Select your content management system

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

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

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

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

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

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

Design your website for engagement, efficiency

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

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

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

Optimize for SEO

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

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

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

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

Install key webmaster tools

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

These tools can help you understand:

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

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

Optimize for mobile responsiveness

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

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

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

Create (and publish) quality content consistently

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

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

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

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

Create a maintenance plan for your website

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

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

Growth marketing: What it is and 4 ideas to inspire you

Growth marketing is all about your long-term strategy, but the term itself can lead to confusion regarding its true meaning.

Because marketing is what’s done to grow a business, shouldn’t all marketing be growth marketing? The answer is no. Growth marketing is a strategy-based, data-driven approach to achieving sustainable success and improving revenue for your business over the long term.

It’s about setting goals and continuously testing and experimenting to hit them, with the ultimate goal being to generate tangible business growth.

Keep in mind that about 45 percent of organizations don’t have a clearly defined digital marketing strategy. By considering the approach of growth marketing for your own business, you’re already lightyears ahead of nearly half of other companies.

In growth marketing, you want to focus on all possible touchpoints between your brand and the customer. To put it more simply, it’s less about the purchase itself and more about the customer’s experience after becoming your customer. This means that in growth marketing, you should be looking for opportunities that will make a lasting impact.

Key aspects of growth marketing include:

  • Being consumer-centric
  • Putting strategy first
  • Retention and upselling in addition to traditional acquisition
  • Evidence-based decisions rather than opinion-based
  • Consistent and regular performance monitoring and testing, such as with A/B testing

For example, if you have an e-commerce business that is not making enough money because your customers only buy one or two products, a growth marketing mindset would focus your marketing efforts on retaining those customers, compelling them to purchase more and more often (through cross-selling and upselling), measuring those efforts regularly and making decisions based on that performance. And these efforts can, of course, involve such tactics as email marketing, SMS text message marketing and so on. 

Growth marketing benefits include making better decisions, enhanced brand perception and achieving your business revenue goals.

The following four growth marketing opportunity ideas are intended to inspire you for your own business.

Omnichannel marketing

In growth marketing, it’s not about only optimizing an individual marketing channel. It’s about optimizing multiple channels across the customer journey.

Look at the entire user experience when it comes to your brand. Is it unified and consistent throughout each touchpoint you have with a customer?

This is considered omnichannel marketing, where your goal is a seamless customer journey, whether that’s in a physical store, online or with interactions with any sales or customer service representative in your business. 

How can all of your channels work well together to deliver that seamless experience?

Customer loyalty

Customer retention is huge for any business. It means that the customers you acquire will continue purchasing your products or services.

To grow retention, brands must continually earn customer trust by demonstrating that they are more than just a name and a dollar sign.

When exploring a growth marketing mindset, consider a customer loyalty campaign that aims to keep your engaged customers coming back for more.

Perhaps you have a membership program that you can incentivize with exclusive access, sneak previews or tiered status rewards. It’s about making the customer feel special, and that will elevate their perception of your brand.

Customer onboarding

About 40 percent to 60 percent of software users log in once and never return again. Proper customer onboarding can help give you more opportunities to wow new customers and make every touchpoint count.

Never assume that your product or service is obvious to use. Even if it is, what advice can you give customers to make their experience even better?

Is there a way to collect data from customers upfront on how they intend to use your product or service so that you can better serve them with personalized onboarding?

Consider onboarding an opportunity to nurture customers, and it can be as simple as an email drip campaign and/or custom recommendations that include articles and webinars. 

Customer referral programs

Customers who are referred by other customers have a higher retention rate and are more likely to refer more customers to your brand.

In growth marketing, a strong referral program can be key. Of course, how yours looks depends entirely on your brand and your products and/or services. 

If you already have a customer referral program, is it everything it should be? Does it offer enough of an incentive? Are you promoting it well among your existing customers?

If you don’t yet have a referral program, think through what that should look like for your business. Be sure to make it easy enough for customers to actually do, and that the reward is compelling. 

For example, Tesla’s referral program gives customers a referral link that they can share, and that link rewards both the referring customer and the new customer. Instacart does the same thing, too.

Referral programs are essentially all about rewarding customers who believe in your mission.

In conclusion

Remember that a key component of growth marketing is constant testing and experimentation. Go into it with a scientist’s mindset. If I do this, what happens? And if I do that, what happens?

For example, if you do have an existing customer referral program, how is it performing now? If you change one thing, does that increase the referrals within a month or not? 

Just keep in mind that you still want to be consistent as a brand no matter what testing and experimenting you’re doing. Strategic planning will help with that.

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

6 differences between traditional PR and digital PR

These days, there are two different types of PR: traditional and digital.

PR, which stands for public relations, refers to a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and the public.

Choosing whether your business should focus on traditional PR or digital PR (or a mixture of both) can depend on several things, including the:

  • Channels you want to use.
  • Audiences you want to reach.
  • Metrics you want to track and more.

While both types of PR share the same goal of increasing brand awareness, they differ in their executions.

The following are six differences between traditional PR and digital PR so that you can decide what’s best.

Different channels

Obviously, as the name implies, traditional PR focuses more on “old school” channels, such as newspapers, magazines, television and radio. Although they’re considered “old school,” don’t underestimate these channels. Millions of Americans still consume traditional media. On the flip side, digital PR uses “new school” channels, such as social media, websites and blogs.

Because of the different channels, the different types of PR involve different methods:

  • Traditional PR relies on press releases, reputation management and trade shows to spread messages.
  • Digital PR relies on social media marketing, digital outreach and content marketing to reach audiences.

Knowing which channels you want to pursue can help you decide on the type of PR you want to use.

Reaching different audiences

While millions of Americans still consume traditional media, and traditional PR channels are instantly more recognizable (i.e. your local TV station), you can still reach a broader audience with the various digital PR methods available. For example, just a handful of social media post shares have the potential to snowball into so much more.

In digital PR, you also have the ability to target specific demographics with digital and social media advertising, ensuring that the money you’re investing is being spent as efficiently as possible.

Subtle versus direct messaging

Because of the nature of content marketing and social media, your brand has the opportunity to be creative and also subtle in digital PR. This is because you can publish pieces of content that build upon each other over time. In fact, it’s discouraged to be overly selling in a majority of your online content. Instead, you should focus on the value that you can give to consumers, which can develop a relationship that can eventually result in sales. This approach can also benefit your SEO.

Traditional PR has to be more direct because of its format and specific goals. You have limited space and time to convey a message that is tied to your business goals.

Feedback and engagement opportunities

Traditional PR methods can feel a little bit like a one-sided transaction with few opportunities for direct feedback and engagement. Consider a radio commercial or magazine ad. That is a broadcasting-style message, with no direct opportunity for your target audience to engage directly with it. Yes, you can encourage them with a specific call-to-action, but those interested will have to take that extra step to pull out a mobile device to scan a QR code or enter a URL address.

With digital PR, it’s very easy to receive feedback and engagement directly, whether it’s through social media, a comment on your website or blog or something else. You get a better chance to encourage authentic interactions and conversations. These will help build trusting relationships with your audience over time.


Digital PR offers a variety of low- to no-cost methods to convey your messaging and reach your intended audience. Time and effort are the biggest resources needed. But of course, there are costs associated with different online tools and any budget that you’re applying toward online advertising campaigns.

Check out our six tips to maximize your social media advertising budget.

Traditional PR, on the flip side, can have a higher cost when it comes to advertisements and commercials. But don’t forget that you can release press releases for little or no cost. You also can get creative and pen a guest column for your local newspaper, for example, to establish yourself as an industry expert.

Performance monitoring and metrics

Digital PR definitely has the advantage of easy access to real-time monitoring of engagement, impressions and reach. This is regardless of the platform that you’re using.

Check out the 26 social media metrics you should track across platforms, as well as our nine tips to get the most out of Google Analytics.

Traditional PR is much harder to track and often is derived through data provided by traditional media channels. For example, newspapers can give you their circulation numbers. However, there’s nothing else available to help you understand how many people actually saw your newspaper ad specifically.

In conclusion

Of course, there are benefits to both traditional PR and digital PR. Simply understanding the differences can help your business decide where to invest and whether a mix of the two serves your goals.

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

11 ways to better engage with Gen Z consumers

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

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

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

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

Focus on conversations

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

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

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

Focus more on helping than selling

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

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

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

Check out our seven tips to level up your content marketing

Prioritize mobile marketing to reach Gen Z consumers

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

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

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

Regularly freshen up your website

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

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

Adjust your wording and voice as needed

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

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

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

Be as visual as possible

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

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

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

Experiment with interactive content

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

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

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

Tags can help engagement

Tagging is important to Gen Z consumers. This includes:

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

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

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

Leverage FOMO with time-sensitive posts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sharing positivity

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

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

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

Show off your humor

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

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

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

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

12 digital marketing strategy tips during a recession

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

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

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

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

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

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

Audit campaign (and channel) performance

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

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

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

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

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

Conduct a competitive analysis

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

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

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

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

Adjust your marketing goals

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

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

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

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

Optimize your recession marketing plan

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

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

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

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

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

Adjust your messaging to reflect consumer spending changes

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

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

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

Market to your existing, past customers

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

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

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

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

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

Invest in your educational content

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

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

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

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

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

Embrace local SEO

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

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

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

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

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

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

Use more videos in your recession marketing

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

See more reasons why businesses should create more videos.

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

Some ideas include:

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

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

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

Leverage remarketing for more conversions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consider tiered pricing

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

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

Don’t make too many changes

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

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

5 ways to handle social media negativity

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

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

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

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

Always respond to negative comments or posts

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

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

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

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

Use facts (not emotions) when responding

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

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

Never delete negative comments

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

Neither is good for your brand.

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

Always report harassment

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

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

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

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

Learn from your mistakes

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

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deliver a quality product and/or service

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

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

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

Deliver surprisingly good customer service

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

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

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

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

Highlight (positive) reviews and testimonials

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

Not surprisingly, consumers give more weight to customer reviews and testimonials than what a business says about itself. These are forms of social proof, which refers to potential customers assuming that what others are doing is correct based on how often they see those actions. In other words, social proof is about looking to others to figure out the right way to interact in any given situation.

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

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

Embrace honesty and transparency

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

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

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

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

Ask for feedback (and act on it)

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

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

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

Share your company values

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

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

5 ways to approach automation in your marketing strategy

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

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

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

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

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

Leverage your marketing automation platform

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

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

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

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

Thoughtfully approach your automation campaigns

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

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

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

Campaign-specific flows

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

Pre-sales flows

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

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

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

Sales flows

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

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

Opportunistic-campaign flows

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

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

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

Treat every email in your automation like a newsletter

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

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

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

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

Double (and triple) check your automated flows

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

For your automated email, check the:

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

For your automation flow, check whether the:

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

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

Test and monitor continuously

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

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

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

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

Holiday digital marketing: 6 ways your strategy should change

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

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

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

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

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

Evaluate (and possibly shift) your marketing budget

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

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

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

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

Determine your holiday discounts

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

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

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

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

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

Optimize your mobile marketing

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

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

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

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

Create (or level up) your loyalty rewards program

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

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

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

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

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

Use videos to your advantage

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

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

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

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

Explore niche social media channels

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

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

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

11 ideas to inspire your holiday marketing strategy

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

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

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

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

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

Host a social media contest or giveaway

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

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

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

Leverage paid ads to promote a product or event

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

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

Aim for memorable, shareable content

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

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

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

Check out our 10 tips to create engaging content.

Create product bundles

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

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

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

Offer gift suggestions

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

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

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

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

Partner with a local nonprofit

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

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

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

Remember (and reward) your loyal customers

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

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

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

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

Embrace nostalgia

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

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

Offer free shipping to convert abandoned carts

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

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

No limit on holiday spirit

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

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

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

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

Take advantage of Small Business Saturday

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

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

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

Embrace that for your own brand and promote around that.

In conclusion

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

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

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

7 holiday marketing strategy tips to optimize sales

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

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

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

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

Start early

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

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

Set your holiday marketing goals

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

Ask yourself: What do you want to achieve? 

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

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

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

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

Make your holiday marketing memorable

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

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

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

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

Create or use a content calendar

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

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

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

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

Schedule emails and social media posts in advance

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

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

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

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

Leverage cross-channel marketing

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

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

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

Use personalization and segmentation

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

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

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

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

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

Learn more about personalization and segmentation

In conclusion

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

Dive deeper with our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners.

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

8 tips to maximize your SMS marketing strategy

Every business should have an SMS marketing strategy as part of its larger digital marketing efforts.

SMS marketing is the use of text messages to convey your message to potential (and current) customers. It’s also the way many consumers prefer to communicate. About 75 percent want to receive texts with special offers.

Check out our 10 best practices for SMS text message marketing, while the following are eight tips to consider to maximize your SMS marketing strategy specifically.

Send drip campaigns via text

Drip campaigns are a type of time-release marketing tactic. Think drip irrigation systems. Drip messages (whether through text message, email or something else) are intended to land with purposeful timing and targeting, with minimal waste (and technically minimal effort once set up to run automatically).

Think about it like a conversation that you’re building upon along the way.

In that sense, a planned, automated drip campaign should have a place in your SMS marketing strategy.

Text drip campaigns can keep subscribers engaged as you regularly send relevant, valuable content. Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Welcoming and onboarding new customers
  • Educating customers about how to get the most out of your products or services
  • Sharing relevant education and tips about related topics
  • Including special offers along the way as you build up to them (and/or increasing the offer over time if it hasn’t been claimed yet)

Check out our 14 best practices for drip campaigns as they relate to email marketing.

Create exclusive text-only deals and offers

Consumers want to feel special. And why should they opt-in to your marketing texts if they don’t think they’ll get something they wouldn’t get otherwise?

From a special day-of discount to advanced notification of an upcoming sale, the sky’s the limit when it comes to getting creative with what you can offer your text subscribers.

The key is that you communicate this value upfront as you’re asking for their opt-in and then deliver it on a regular basis.

Learn more about how to promote a loyalty rewards program (which is often text-based but doesn’t have to be).

Use keywords for SMS opt-ins

A great way to grow your SMS subscriber list is to use SMS keywords for opt-ins.

An example of an SMS keyword opt-in is if a spa asks you to text the word “SPA” to a phone number, which then opts you into that company’s text message subscriber list.

These SMS keywords are an easy way for interested consumers to subscribe to your texts. The easier you can make that opt-in, the better.

Just make sure that when you are growing your SMS subscribers, you’re offering an incentive for joining, providing a link to your Terms and Conditions and setting the expectations for the frequency your audience will receive text messages.

Prioritize responsiveness

Regardless of the type of campaign you’re running, the ability for text recipients to respond and engage in conversation with you must be a priority in your SMS marketing strategy.

It’s one thing to send out an SMS blast or pull your subscribers along in a drip campaign, but you have to make sure to not only have the ability to chat back and forth with anyone who responds to a text but also to be able to reply back in a timely manner. 

DailyStory has the capability to alert you to text responses as they happen so that you can be as responsive as possible.

Check out these eight ways to improve your overall customer responsiveness.

Focus on education before the ‘sell’

You are an expert in your industry, so leverage that in your SMS marketing strategy before you go in for the sale.

Consider the problems your target audience (i.e. ideal customers) have. Then, develop various pieces of content that can help your audience overcome those problems. You can then take 160-character snippets of this content to engage and serve your text subscribers.

This not only shows the industry expertise that you have. It also engages subscribers, delivers promised value and builds a trusting relationship that can ultimately lead to that sale (and more sales after that) over time.

Be functional with reminders and confirmations

Your SMS marketing strategy does not have to be restricted to the balance of educational and promotional content. In fact, it can fill a very needed function: scheduling confirmations and reminders.

About 67 percent of consumers would rather text with a business about appointments and scheduling than by email or phone.

This means that appointment reminders, booking confirmations, billing reminders and more can all be incorporated into your SMS marketing strategy.

Your business more efficient, and your potential customers and customers will appreciate the method of communication.

Consider running a contest

Contests are a popular tactic in various digital marketing mediums because they do typically work.

They can be especially helpful in growing your SMS subscriber list. For example, you can set up an SMS keyword that (when texted to a particular phone number, whether it’s a short code or long code) not only enters the consumer into your giveaway but opts them into your subscriber list.

Key reminders when it comes to contests:

  • Use them sparingly (so you don’t lose impact by running an ongoing contest that loses interest and steam)
  • Create urgency
  • Make it easy as possible to enter
  • Offer a compelling prize
  • Cross-promote across platforms
  • Keep it legal

Gather feedback and monitor performance

Data will always make your SMS marketing strategy more effective. You want to optimize the data you gather about your subscribers so that you can better engage with them. You also want to monitor how each text campaign is performing to make informed decisions on that and future campaigns.

To get more data about your subscribers, try ending a welcome text message (or including in a drip sequence) a survey or poll. This can help you learn more about who your audience is and what you can offer them. This information will benefit your strategy and even how you craft the language of your text messages.

Then, in the backend, you want to track what’s working and what’s not in your SMS marketing strategy. Text messages don’t have as many metrics to follow as emails, but understanding your delivery rate, click-through rate and replies will help you make the best decisions about your strategy. If something didn’t work, you can take that and pivot for the next campaign to do better.

In conclusion

With nearly 100 percent of people reading all their text messages, SMS marketing can be powerful if done right. Take the time you need to invest in the planning stage of your SMS marketing strategy so that your texts are engaging with your audience and deliver the results you’re looking for.

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

8 signs that your marketing strategy isn’t working

Even with the best planning, your marketing strategy could fail.

Digital marketing comprises various online strategies that identify, build and target an audience with the ultimate goal of turning them into paying customers. It includes the following and more:

About 81 percent of shoppers research online before purchasing, so it’s important to know as soon as possible if your marketing strategy isn’t working.

Beyond the obvious drop in revenue or even stagnant revenue, the following eight signs can tell you that a change is needed in your marketing strategy.

Low social media engagement

If your posts on any social media platform are received with crickets, something needs to change. A healthy social media presence is typically indicative of a healthy business. 

Of course, you’ll want to consider not just the content you post but your posting frequency as well.

A social media management tool can help you get organized across platforms, and check out our list of 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools you can try.

Plus, see our 11 expert tips for growing your social media following.

Not reaching your target audience

Your various marketing channels (social media, email and more) could be seeing decent or even great engagement rates, but are you actually reaching your target audience?

It’s important to understand who your ideal customer is so that you can then ensure that your marketing strategy supports reaching and engaging with them. Engagement is great, but are they the type of consumer who will ultimately purchase from you.

Regularly perform an audit of your online targeting. You can gather this information on different platforms through their analytics interfaces or even Google Analytics for your website.

Not sure who your target audience should be? See our seven tips to help determine your target audience.

Feeling overwhelmed or without direction

Digital marketing involves a lot of planning, strategizing, execution and follow-up, so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. And even if you’re going through the motions and doing everything that you’re “supposed to do,” do you have a purposeful direction?

While you want to be open-minded to new strategies and tactics, you also want to define exactly what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. 

Refer to your data thus far for inspiration, and check out our seven expert tips to set achievable marketing goals for your small business.

Hesitation to share your website

Whether you like it or not, your website is the online calling card for your business. Are you proud of it? 

If the answer is no, then you definitely want to focus your energy here. Perhaps your website simply needs updated information or a total website redesign.

Audit your website to understand what needs improvement.

And because a majority of website traffic is mobile, check out our 16 tips for a mobile-friendly website that you can explore.

Low website traffic

Of course, every business wants to see a lot of traffic on its website. But if you’re noticing a drop in website traffic or a plateau of low traffic, you’ll want to assess your marketing strategy as it relates to driving consumers to your site.

You’ll want to start with an audit of your SEO practices, as well as how you’re faring with content marketing. Do you have a blog? If so, is it attracting your target audience?

Check out our 19 tips for driving traffic to your new blog.

Low brand penetration

Are you known in your market? Do you stand out from your competition? Do customers understand your brand?

If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, you might have an issue with your branding.

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

The consistency and connection an effective brand can offer builds trust among consumers. About 81 percent of consumers say they need to be able to trust a brand before buying from it.

If you need to reassess your branding or even start from scratch, check out our nine expert tips about branding.

Competition envy

What do you think when you see your competition’s website, ads and social media? If it’s overwhelming jealousy, then you want to take a second look at your own marketing strategy.

Remember to focus on your mission, your target audience and your own goals when your sharing the story of your business. You can leverage inspiration from your competition into your own strategy, but you’ll always be more successful putting that energy into your marketing.

Learn more about what a competitive analysis is and how you can start yours.

Over-budget campaigns

On average, businesses spend about 10 percent to 13 percent of their annual revenue on overall marketing. 

So, there’s something to be said about having a set marketing budget and that at least a portion of that is intended for brand awareness (which is difficult to measure an ROI on).

However, if you find that a specific campaign cost $1,000 (for example), but it only resulted in $200 in sales, you need to ask yourself whether the $800 was worth the potential brand awareness. If the answer is no, then you’re over budget.

You’ll want to assess how you budget for each campaign and monitor your campaign’s performance as it’s happening (not just after it ends) so that you can change anything if needed.

Check out our six tips to maximize your social media advertising budget.

In conclusion

Regardless of whether you think your marketing strategy is failing or not, you can always pivot and change directions.

The key is to be tuned in to what is happening and whether it’s working (or not).

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