Evergreen: What is it and how important is it?

If you’re a marketer, you know the importance of content through your marketing strategy.

Content can be used to bring new website visitors and convert them into paying customers. The better your content, the better their results.

Evergreen content is a type of website content you create for your digital marketing that remains interesting and relevant over time. People will be interested in this type of content for many years to come. This helps you take advantage of content and use it to continuously attract new website visitors.

Anyone running a content marketing campaign should plan content that will always generate interest from their target audience. In most cases, evergreen content refers to blog content. However, it can be used throughout your marketing strategy to attract more customers. 

What is evergreen content?

evergreen-content
Evergreen content discusses topics that are always interesting to the audience.

Evergreen content is any content, whether a blog, infographic, or video, that retains its relevancy over time. This type of content discusses topics that are always interesting to the audience.

For example, anyone who wants to learn how to build a website might read evergreen content in 2022 or 2025 since the same tips will still apply.

The same is true for many different topics, including pet care, child care, and other topics that allow you to create informational and valuable content for readers to digest. Evergreen content stays fresh no matter the year or season. It can help readers answer a question or learn about a topic.

Evergreen content does not discuss seasonal topics tied to a time of year or trendy events in the news. For example, an article about consumer trends in 2022 is not evergreen content because it discusses a particular year, and consumer trends are subject to change over time.

Importance of evergreen content

Evergreen content stays relevant long after it’s created, and because it’s not tied to a specific time period or trends, it continues to attract traffic to your business website. A few benefits of evergreen content include:

  • Future-proofing your website and blog: Evergreen content is always interesting to your audience, allowing your blog to stay relevant no matter what’s going on in the world. This can have a growing impact over time, continuing to attract new visitors. 
  • SEO Improvements: Evergreen topics are searched for more often than seasonal or trendy topics. With other types of content, the search volume for keywords and clicks on articles typically dies down after a few months or when the topic is no longer trendy. However, evergreen topics can help you improve your SEO efforts to rank higher on search engines and promote growing traffic to your site. 
  • Increases website traffic: We’ve already mentioned this a few times, but one of the main reasons you produce content is to increase your website traffic. Evergreen content is better at increasing traffic than other types of content because it’s always reluctant. 
  • Provides value: Evergreen content is always valuable and addresses a common question your visitors have. You can position yourself as a trusted resource and thought leader in your industry by providing customers with continuously valuable content. 
  • Generating leads: Evergreen content can improve your lead generation efforts by helping you demonstrate your expertise and build customer trust. The more you educate and provide valuable content, the more your audience will trust you, encouraging them to take action on your site and convert into leads.
  • Easier promotion: Evergreen content can be promoted over and over again on social media and through other digital channels. With minimal changes to the original content, you can continue to push content every so often to generate more interest. This can be especially beneficial after updating old content. 

What types of content can be evergreen?

Any content can be evergreen; remember, it’s not the type of content that matters. Instead, you should focus on the content topic to ensure that it’ll stay relevant over time. The best types of evergreen content include:

  • How-to guides: Guides are a great way to generate leads because it allows you to offer something in exchange for potential customers’ personal information. E-guides and how-to guides can always be relevant depending on the topic. For example, you can write a guide for feeding your pet, and new pet parents will continue to read it. However, if you write a how-to article for something that’s seasonal or trendy, you won’t get regular visitors or leads from it. For example, a guide on how to make Christmas ornaments will likely only get visits during the holiday season. 
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): The FAQ section of a website or web page is essential if you want to improve user experience (UX). However, it can also be used as evergreen content. Asking the most asked questions about your brand, business, or industry can make for good evergreen content, especially if you can help customers easily answer common questions without leaving your website. 
  • Videos: Videos can also be evergreen, depending on the topic. Of course, you should have a good mix of different types of content on your website to attract all types of visitors. Video topics can include everything from how to use your product to general topics about your industry. 

Start creating evergreen content

Evergreen content relies on your topic’s ability to stay relevant over time. So, you should always start by brainstorming different topics.

Think about your audience and niche to determine what types of topics they might be most interested in learning about. You can also consult search engines and look at the People Also Ask (PAA) section for similar topics. For example, if you’re a pet company, someone might be interested in how often they should walk their dogs. In this case, you could write an article about how often to walk a dog based on several factors. You can even use experts to help you create more valuable and trustworthy content.

Of course, remember to check the performance of your content regularly. You can use various tools to learn more about top-performing content. This will help you determine which topics your audience is most interested in.

Level up your overall content marketing with our seven tips.

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

8+ content marketing metrics you should track

Content marketing plays a key role in many digital marketing strategies, but what metrics should you be following to ensure that what you’re doing is working?

Content marketing is essentially described as the creation and publication of content in order to build an audience and generate sales leads. In other words, you’re leveraging content that you’re creating to create brand awareness and educate audiences.

While 80 percent of content marketers use metrics to measure performance, only 65 percent have KPIs (key performance indicators) to measure performance, and only 43 percent measure their content marketing ROI (return on investment).

So, while many brands may be using content marketing, plenty are still figuring out how to measure success.

Of course, your metrics matter. Content production, strategy, distribution, promotion and any related software all cost time and resources. Are you getting your money’s worth from your content? 

If you’re new to Google Analytics, check out our nine tips to get the most out of the analytics platform

The following are eight-plus content marketing metrics you should track to ensure that the content you’re sharing is working the way you want it to.

Website referral traffic

A common content marketing metric is website traffic, but go beyond just the total numbers of visitors. Take a look at how these visitors are finding your content. 

To see where your traffic is coming from in Google Analytics, use the Channel report. You’ll be able to see how users are finding your content, whether that’s organically or through social media, search engines, etc.

This will give you insight into whether your social media promotion is working, if your SEO needs a boost or if a popular email newsletter is linking to you. 

In other words, website referral traffic can help inform your content marketing strategy overall.

User behavior

User behavior is actually a collection of metrics that can give you insight into reader engagement and content performance, especially when paired with other metrics, such as website traffic. 

You can find the following user behavior metrics in Google Analytics:

  • Time On Page
  • Bounce Rate
  • Pages/Session
  • New/Returning Visitors

The power of user behavior metrics does come from the pairing up with other larger metrics, but they can help you better understand the performance of your content.

For example, you have a blog post that is receiving a lot of traffic from search engines, and visitors are spending significant time on the web page. From that you can infer that your post is matching the search intent of these users, which is a win.

Shares and backlinks

When it comes to any brand awareness goals, it’s important to understand how far your content is reaching (beyond traffic on your website). You can get an understanding of this by tracking social media shares and backlinks (which are hyperlinks that point from one website to another). 

These metrics show whether users are willing to share your content with their personal audiences and networks.

You can measure social media shares on such tools as BuzzSumo, and you can measure backlinks on such tools as SEMRush, BuzzSumo and more.

Check out our seven tips to grow quality backlinks and boost your SEO.

Google Search impressions and click-through rate

In Google Search Console, you can (and should) track impressions and click-through-rates of your content in organic searches.

These metrics can help you understand whether the keywords your content is ranking for actually lead to how many users saw your search result and how many clicks resulted from that. 

You can find these metrics in Google Search Console by filtering by a specific landing page and then looking through the queries linked to that page. Click on Performance, then Search Results and then Queries.

Check out our four tips to boost your click-through rate in Google Search.

Keyword rankings

Speaking of keyword rankings, this is another content marketing metric you should be tracking. You’ll want to monitor your core keywords and their rankings at least monthly.

Ranking improvements can reflect positively on your content marketing performance. You can use Google Search Console to find this metric. 

If you’re not sure what keywords should be on your priority list, start with keyword research. Check out these 11 free SEO keyword research tools you should consider.

Lead generation

Lead generation is all about your content bringing in new sales leads to your business. In other words, it is the process of getting people interested in your business and gradually nuturing them into becoming paying customers. 

To measure lead generation in Google Analytics, you’ll want to set up your goals in the platform. This allows you to follow such things as demo requests, Contact Us submissions and more. This can then be used to help determine how many conversions come through a blog or other piece of content.

Premium content is not only a key part of any content marketing strategy, but it can directly increase lead generation. Learn more about what it is and how you can leverage premium content in your marketing.

Customer retention

New visitors are great, but don’t forget about your loyal, returning visitors. These are the consumers whom you’re building a relationship with that can lead to purchases in the future.

These are warm leads that you can’t ignore. What content is appealing to them? To find out in Google Analytics, click on Audience, then Behavior, and then New vs Returning.

Speaking of returning visitors, check out our six tips to create brand loyalty for your business.

Email opt-in rates

Email subscriptions might not be the first content marketing metric you’d think of, but it matters because your subscriber number reflects how many consumers found enough value in your content to want more of it delivered to them directly.

DailyStory is just one email marketing tool that can help you track your subscribers, their engagement with your emails and more.

In conclusion

Remember that the power of your content marketing metrics is only as strong as the goals you’re setting around your content.

Don’t have specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goals? Check out our seven expert tips to set achievable marketing goals for your small business.

As you’re getting serious about tracking your content marketing metrics, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Holiday digital marketing: 6 ways your strategy should change

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

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

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

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

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

Evaluate (and possibly shift) your marketing budget

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

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

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

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

Determine your holiday discounts

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

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

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

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

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

Optimize your mobile marketing

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

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

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

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

Create (or level up) your loyalty rewards program

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

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

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

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

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

Use videos to your advantage

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

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

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

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

Explore niche social media channels

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

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

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

11 ideas to inspire your holiday marketing strategy

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

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

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

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

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

Host a social media contest or giveaway

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

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

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

Leverage paid ads to promote a product or event

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

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

Aim for memorable, shareable content

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

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

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

Check out our 10 tips to create engaging content.

Create product bundles

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

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

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

Offer gift suggestions

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

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

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

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

Partner with a local nonprofit

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

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

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

Remember (and reward) your loyal customers

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

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

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

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

Embrace nostalgia

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

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

Offer free shipping to convert abandoned carts

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

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

No limit on holiday spirit

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

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

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

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

Take advantage of Small Business Saturday

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

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

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

Embrace that for your own brand and promote around that.

In conclusion

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

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

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

7 holiday marketing strategy tips to optimize sales

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

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

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

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

Start early

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

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

Set your holiday marketing goals

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

Ask yourself: What do you want to achieve? 

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

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

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

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

Make your holiday marketing memorable

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

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

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

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

Create or use a content calendar

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

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

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

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

Schedule emails and social media posts in advance

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

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

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

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

Leverage cross-channel marketing

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

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

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

Use personalization and segmentation

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

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

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

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

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

Learn more about personalization and segmentation

In conclusion

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

Dive deeper with our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners.

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

5 last-minute Small Business Saturday marketing ideas

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

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

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

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

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

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

Highlight your business story

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

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

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

Offer a compelling discount or special

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

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

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

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

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

Collect email addresses in-store from customers

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

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

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

Confirm that you’re listed ahead of Small Business Saturday

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

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

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

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

Host a giveaway

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

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

26 social media metrics you should track across platforms

Are you paying attention to the right social media metrics?

Social media marketing can help you achieve your business goals, but it’s important to track your social media metrics to understand what’s working and what’s not.

About 43 percent of consumers increased their social media use to discover new products.

Of course, the best metrics to track on social media relate to your specific goals. But in general, the following are the 26 top metrics to track, based on social media platforms.

Facebook

Facebook is the largest social media network, with nearly 3 billion monthly active users as of July 2022. Of course, the sheer size of the audience makes it a favorite platform for marketers. But even though it’s popular, it’s also easy to feel overwhelmed when tracking your Facebook performance metrics. Here are five social media metrics you should track on Facebook:

  1. Reach and impressions, which are the number of unique users who saw your content and the number of total times your content was seen (regardless of whether one user saw it multiple times), respectively. Tracking these numbers gives you a sense of how large of an audience you’re reaching and can help give context to other Facebook metrics.
  2. Likes and reactions, which are a form of engagement that give users the opportunity to express their support for a page or a post. “Likes” used to refer to interactions with both Facebook pages and posts but Facebook has since expanded the options to engage with posts. These “reactions” span from “angry” to “love.” They act as social proof that your audience is connecting with your content, and Facebook uses them as a ranking signal to potentially show that content to more users in their news feeds. You also can get a sense of user sentiment about your content by monitoring your post reactions.
  3. Video views, which reflect when a video is played for at least three seconds. To count as a video view, the video needs to be 100 percent on screen in desktop browser mode and at least 50 percent on screen on mobile devices. Within the video-view metric, Facebook offers 3-second video views (when a user paused for your video but did not complete it), 1-minute video views (when a user watches for a significant period of time) and total minutes viewed. This is an important metric to monitor to understand how your video content is performing.
  4. Link clicks, which happen any time a user clicks an external link in your post to access more content. This could be to your website or another web page or site. This differs slightly with Facebook ads, where a traditional link click is called an outbound click and “link clicks” refer to clicks a user has made but still stays within the Facebook platform (such as filling out a form from a lead-generation ad but is still on Facebook). If your goal is to drive traffic to your website or someplace else, this metric reflects your success in those efforts.
  5. Comments and shares, which refer to the number of replies users have published on your content and the number of times users have sent your post to others on Facebook Messenger or shared on their own feeds. This acts as social proof that users are connecting with your content. It’s a bigger interaction than a like/reaction. You also can gauge user sentiment from comments on your posts.

Dive deeper into understanding your metrics on Facebook.

Instagram

A visual-first platform owned by Facebook, Instagram now is the fourth most-used social media platform, with 1.22 billion monthly active users. It’s also particularly popular for consumers 34 years old and younger. Here are four metrics you should track on Instagram:

  1. Impressions, which are the number of times your content is seen by users who are logged into Instagram, even if a user saw it multiple times. This metric shows how effective your content is at getting the attention of your audience and beyond. It also helps give context to other metrics on Instagram.
  2. Reach, which is the estimated number of unique users (who are logged into Instagram) that saw your content. This metric is about users, not views, but will show you how large your audience actually is and can help give context to other metrics.
  3. Video plays, which are the number of times your video or reel was played by an Instagram user. Keep in mind that because many videos are short and play in a loop automatically, this metric can be higher than expected based on that content’s reach. It’s important to gauge whether all your video efforts are paying off.
  4. Post interactions, which are the number of likes, saves, comments and shares on any particular post. This metric does not include deleted interactions. To include deleted interactions, look at “content interactions” instead. This is all about understanding how well your content is connecting with your audience and can actually help boost your impressions and reach within the Instagram algorithm.

Dive deeper into understanding your metrics on Instagram.

Twitter

A micro-blogging social network, Twitter has about 396.5 million users globally. About 92 percent of the content on Twitter is posted by 10 percent of its users. So, while Twitter might not be the most popular social media network, it has a very engaged section of its users. Here are four metrics you should track on Twitter:

  1. Impressions, which are the number of times your tweet appeared on screen, whether that’s through a user’s timeline or via a hashtag. You can view this metric for your account as a whole and for individual tweets. This metric can give you a sense of how many users viewed your content.
  2. Engagement, which is the number of times users have retweeted, quoted, replied to, liked or clicked within your tweet. This metric shows how effective your content is.
  3. Link clicks, which are any click on a URL or card within your tweet. If your goal is to drive traffic to your website or somewhere else, this metric can show how successful your efforts are.
  4. Profile visits, which reflect the number of users who visited your profile either through a tweet, search or other ways. This metric indicates the number of users who want to learn more about you, whether they ultimately follow you or not.

Dive deeper into understanding your metrics on Twitter.

YouTube

A video-only social networking and broadcasting platform owned by Google, YouTube has more than 2.5 billion active monthly users. If you’re already creating video content, you definitely want to create a YouTube presence and share it there as well. Here are three metrics you should track on YouTube:

  1. Total watch time, which equals the total amount of time that all users have spent watching your video. This metric can help indicate how well your content is connecting with users. You also can see how total watch time compares between your subscribers and non-subscribers for more understanding.
  2. Video views, which is defined by Google to be “the number of legitimate views for your channel or videos.” This can refer to views that users initiate, such as by searching or clicking on a thumbnail. This metric can reveal how compelling your video is to potential viewers.
  3. Engagement, which is any interaction with your content beyond accessing it, such as likes, dislikes, views and comments. This metric shows how well your content connects with your audience.

Check out our 20 tips to grow your YouTube subscribers.

TikTok

Seemingly the “new kid on the block” in terms of rising popularity, short-form-video platform TikTok has a particularly large audience among Gen Z and Millennials. Depending on whether this younger demographic is part of your target audience, you may want to consider a presence on TikTok. Here are four metrics you should track on TikTok:

  1. Total time watched, which is the cumulative amount of time users spent watching your video. You’ll only see this for individual videos. However, by regularly monitoring this metric, you’ll see how successful new video content is.
  2. Engagement, which is how users interact with your content. This gives you a sense of how effectively your content is connecting with users. The higher the engagement, the higher your reach will probably be. 
  3. Video views, which are the number of times users played your video. As soon as a video begins to play, that counts as a video view (unlike some other social media platforms). This metric also counts repeat plays, including video loops. Video views essentially act like impressions on TikTok, so you can see how large of an audience you’re reaching.
  4. Hashtag performance, which reflects how many viewers found your video through a particular hashtag. This is important because the hashtags you use on your videos can impact your view count and engagement. Using the right hashtag matters. Tracking this metric will help you make more strategic decisions along the way and potentially attract more viewers.

Check out our 15 tips to market your brand on TikTok.

LinkedIn

With more than 830 million users in more than 200 countries and territories, LinkedIn is the largest social network for professionals. The platform is definitely a must for B2B (business-to-business) marketers. Here are three metrics you should track on LinkedIn:

  1. Impressions and unique impressions, which are the number of times at least 50 percent of your post was visible on screen for a logged-in LinkedIn user for at least 300 milliseconds and the number of times your post was visible to the same standard for unique users, respectively. These metrics show the size of your audience and how visible your content is to them.
  2. Engagements, which reflects video views, clicks, reactions, comments, shares and more in a section on LinkedIn called Update Engagements. You’ll get a sense of how well your content is connecting with your audience through this metric.
  3. Engagement rate, which is based on the following formula: number of interactions plus number of clicks plus number of followers acquired divided by number of impressions. This metric shows the percentage of impressions that result in engagement actions. Of course, the higher that percentage, the more effective your post is.

See our six tips to be more effective with your marketing on LinkedIn. Plus, check out the six biggest mistakes businesses make on LinkedIn so that you can avoid them.

Pinterest

Founded in 2009, Pinterest currently has about 478 million monthly active users. Think of Pinterest as a visual search engine, housing tons of photos, graphics, links and inspiration for nearly anything you might want to find. Yes, it’s popular for recipes and DIY projects, but there really is more to it than that. Here are XX metrics you should track on Pinterest:

  1. Impressions, which show the number of times your pins have appeared on screen, regardless of whether a user clicked to open it or not. This metric is available on an account level or by individual pin, and it helps illustrate how effectively your content is reaching an audience. It also can help provide context for other metrics.
  2. Engagement, which is defined by Pinterest as the number of “saves, pin clicks, outbound clicks, carousel card swipes, secondary creative (collections) clicks and Idea Pin foward/backward swipes.” In the simplest sense, Pinterest is saying that engagement is any time a user interacts with your pin in any way instead of scrolling past it. Monitoring this metric helps you understand how well your content is connecting with your audience.
  3. Outbound clicks, which are the number of times a user clicked on an outbound link (to your website, for example) from your pin. This metric matters is one of your goals is to drive traffic to your website or another web page outside of Pinterest.

Check out our six expert tips for marketing on Pinterest.

In conclusion

Monitoring your social media performance is imperative if you want to achieve your marketing goals. The challenge can be navigating so much data across platforms. Keep your goals in mind, as well as these top social media metrics. That way, you can focus on the most important information for your campaigns.

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

5 steps to determine your brand personality

Brands have personalities just like humans do. But if you’re a little unsure how to define your particular brand personality, you’ve come to the right place.

A brand personality involves the human characteristics of a brand, which your customers can relate to and connect with. Every brand can and should have a voice, color and other attributes that evoke different emotions.

Without a defined brand personality, consumers will have a harder time figuring out whether you’re the right business for them. That’s definitely not a decision you want to complicate.

On the flip side, a strong brand personality can increase your brand loyalty and customer retention. (Check out our six tips to create brand loyalty for your business.)

Remember, your brand only has seven seconds to make a good first impression.

About 46 percent of consumers in the U.S. say that they would pay more to purchase from brands they can trust. In addition, about 64 percent of women and 68 percent of men have felt an emotional connection with a brand. This can occur when you grow interest, trust and optimism from your potential customers and customers.

Essentially, there are five types of brand personalities:

  • Sincere, generous, thoughtful, honest, wholesome, cheerful, down-to-earth, warm and value-oriented (such as Cadbury, Hallmark and Amazon)
  • Excited, easygoing, lively, trendy, imaginative, spirited, daring, intrigued and youthful (such as Mountain Dew, BuzzFeed, Red Bull, Tesla and Nike)
  • Rugged, rough, outdoorsy, adventurous, athletic, tough and sporty (such as Jeep, Harley Davidson, Woodland and Yeti)
  • Sophisticated, elegant, luxury, charming, high-class, timeless, glamourous and renowned (such as Dolce & Gabbana, Mercedes, Chanel and Rolex)
  • Competent, accomplished, reliable, successful, intelligent and authoritative (such as Google, Microsoft, Volkswagen and Intel)

Not only does a defined brand personality resonate with your target audience, but it also can set your marketing strategy path. Once you know “who” your brand is, the opportunities to share that become clearer. Your brand’s personality will help you make the best decisions for every aspect of your business.

The following are five steps to determine your brand personality and better connect with potential customers.

Understand your target audience

So much about branding drills down to the people you’re hoping to reach and serve with your products and/or services.

By digging into the demographics and behaviors of your ideal customer, you can get a better sense of how your brand could relate to that customer. The more relatable you are to him or her, the better.

Keep these questions in mind:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What journey are they on?
  • What are their core desires?
  • What are their characteristics and behaviors?

Not exactly sure who your target audience is? Our seven tips can help.

Identify your brand’s role

Once you understand your target audience, it’s time to determine what role your brand should fill for them. For example, your brand could be your audience’s guide, motivator, friend, protector, inspiration or something else. 

Before you jump to any conclusions, consider how your products and/or services affect your customers’ lives. Here are a few questions to help you identify your brand’s role:

  • Is your brand more of a leader, or does it play a supporting role in customers’ lives?
  • What special effect does your brand create in your customers’ lives?
  • If your brand had a personal relationship with your ideal customer, what type of relationship would that be? A family member? Friend? Someone else?

Brainstorm related characteristics

Once you decide on your brand’s role, list out all the characteristics that role exemplifies as it relates to your target audience.

Don’t hold back when listing characteristics. The point is that you get every thought written down. Quantity over quality.

Once you’ve exhausted all possible ideas, review your list and fine-tune it. Highlight what really speaks to you. Consider whether there are any related characteristics before you narrow down to your favorite characteristics that resonate most for you.

Visualize your brand personality

It’s time to create a mood board to visualize your brand personality, starting only with your favorite characteristics that you brainstormed earlier.

In the simplest sense, a mood board is a collage that contains a variety of images, text and any other items that ultimately will define your brand and communicate your brand personality. It also can help bring this developing personality into focus.

You can easily create a “mood board” using Pinterest, where you can easily pin visuals that represent your characteristics. The goal here is to bring your brand personality to life.

Just like when you were brainstorming characteristics earlier, now is the time to gather more than you need and then fine-tune to what feels best to you. This can include images, colors, visual metaphors (such as a tiger for being “fierce”), art, words/quotes, letters, texture, patterns and shapes.

Also, be sure to include any brand guidelines, such as your brand colors, fonts, logo and any other related brand materials that you have. If you are still developing your official brand, our nine expert tips can help.

Develop your brand voice

Now that you’ve visualized your brand personality, you need to develop a brand voice that supports and conveys that.

How do you speak to your target audience? Once you have an idea, it’s time to outline specific guidelines that highlight your tone, the type of multimedia images you would share and even jargon use, among other considerations.

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

In conclusion

Your brand personality can be pivotal in helping you stand out from your competitors. It’s worth the time and effort to understand it for yourself so that you can then communicate it through every asset in your digital marketing efforts and beyond.

Of course, we recommend setting a brand style guide to keep your brand personality, voice and more consistent across platforms and over time. This consistency empowers a stronger digital marketing strategy.

Check out our five tips to create a brand style guide.

As you begin to nail down your brand personality, 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.

17 LinkedIn content ideas that you can post

If reaching professionals is a goal of your digital marketing efforts, offering diverse content on LinkedIn is a crucial tactic to explore.

LinkedIn now has more than 830 million users in more than 200 countries and territories, calling itself “the world’s largest professional network.”

But the type of content that a LinkedIn audience of professionals would best engage with is not necessarily the same as what’s popular on other social media platforms. The most popular content types on LinkedIn are: 

  • Long-form content (such as native articles and blog posts)
  • Third-party content
  • Native video
  • Text only
  • Photos and illustrations

But these are just content types. If you’re hitting a wall while brainstorming content ideas for LinkedIn, you’re in the right place. The following are 17 LinkedIn content ideas (categorized by content type) to help you mix up your content and connect with your target audience.

Long-form content ideas for LinkedIn

One of the best ways you can hit your goals with your content on LinkedIn is to offer value. Creating native articles on LinkedIn itself and/or sharing blog posts is a great opportunity to dive deeper into topics that relate to your industry, showcase your expertise and matter to your audience. Here are four ideas that you can run with:

  1. Detailed whitepapers
  2. How-to guides
  3. Research reports
  4. Case studies

The goal isn’t the length of the content. Make sure that every word engages your audience.

Third-party content ideas for LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an excellent platform to share relevant content from other sources. In other words, you don’t have to create everything yourself. With curated content, the sky is the limit. Just make sure you’re pulling from trustworthy sources. Here are three ideas for you to seek out and share:

  1. Adjacent-industry content, where the topic isn’t directly related to your industry but is still relevant. For example, you could be in the retail industry, but news articles about supply chains and shipping logistics still make sense and matter to your audience in the realm of retail.
  2. Expert opinions, where you’re sharing the thoughts and opinions of experts in your industry.
  3. Tips, tricks and life hacks, where you’re helping your audience with everyday problems that they encounter.

Check out our four tips for finding what to share on social media, as well as 12 tools that can help.

Native video content ideas for LinkedIn

Video content must be part of your digital marketing strategy, not just on LinkedIn but in general. About 54 percent of marketers say that video is the most valuable content type for achieving social media marketing goals, and about 85 percent of social media users want more videos from brands. Fortunately, LinkedIn now has the ability for you to upload videos natively into the platform. Here are four video content ideas that you can play with:

  1. Short clips from webinars to show your expertise first-hand.
  2. Spotlight your team. The more you can share their professional journeys and expertise, the more your audience can relate to your brand and the people behind your brand.
  3. Spotlight your customers in testimonials where they share their experience with your product and/or company.
  4. Behind-the-scenes videos that showcase your company culture.

Just make sure to include subtitles on your videos whenever relevant since a majority of users watch videos on mute.

Text-only content ideas for LinkedIn

Just because long-form content gives you the opportunity to dive deeper into topics that can provide value to your followers doesn’t mean that you should ignore the opportunity of short text-only posts. Here are three ideas to help you be as engaging as possible without the “icing” of other types of content:

  1. Tips and how-to’s are great for this content type if you can keep them short and sweet.
  2. Quick company updates
  3. Product and other announcements

The key is to be as short and impactful as possible. Every word counts.

Photo and illustration content ideas for LinkedIn

Getting visual on LinkedIn is just as important as visuals on any other social media platform. A photo (or graphic illustration) is worth a thousand words. And possibly even more than that because it can help catch the eye of your target audience as they’re scrolling. Here are three ideas that you can try:

  1. Data illustrations because everyone loves data, but everyone loves a visual representation of data (so that they can understand it) even more.
  2. Celebrate achievements, such as industry awards, company growth, anniversaries and more. A simple graphic illustration of these milestones can be very eye-catching.
  3. User-generated content, where you can leverage the photos shared by customers and employees (with proper credit, of course).

You don’t have to be a graphic designer to create compelling illustrations. Check out these 11 free graphic design tools for the non-designer.

In conclusion

Don’t overthink your LinkedIn content. Keep your target audience in mind and keep experimenting. Engage wherever it makes sense on the platform. And remember, you can always repurpose your evergreen content so that it’s new again in the eyes of your followers.

Check out our six tips to be more effective on LinkedIn, as well as six mistakes businesses make on LinkedIn that you want to avoid.

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

7 ways to connect with potential customers through marketing

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

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

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

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

Personalize it

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

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

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

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

Build trust

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

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

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

Respond to concerns

Always be available to customers to answer their concerns.

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

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

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

Be active on social media

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

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

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

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

Show customer appreciation

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

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

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

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

Survey customers

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

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

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

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

Build your email list

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

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

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

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

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

Each of your emails can be personalized based on actions your customers take on your website, improving your ROI and boosting sales.

Check out our 16 email marketing best practices that make an impact.

In conclusion

Connecting with potential customers isn’t difficult as long as you prioritize it.

Customers want to shop with businesses that actively show they care about them. If you’re not offering quality customer service or trying to build relationships and foster trust with customers, you’ll quickly lose out on sales to the competition that is doing all these things.

Consumers don’t want to be sold to. They want to be educated, informed, and experience personal interactions with brands.

Stop alienating customers because you don’t know how to market to them. They are the life of your business, so it’s time to start brainstorming ways you can begin building trust and improving your reputation. 

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

About the author

Ashley-Nielsen

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

7 tips for handling negative social media comments

Negative social media comments are a reality for many businesses. But how you handle those comments can not only squash any social media fires but also improve your overall brand perception.

About 35 percent of customers in the U.S. post negative comments about companies on social media. However, answering a complaint on social media can increase customer advocacy by up to 25 percent.

Examples of negative social media comments include (but are not limited to):

  • Customer complaints, which are the most common
  • Trolling, where users are publishing outrageous comments that are oftentimes untrue and intend to get other people riled up
  • Spam, which promotes something else
  • Malicious comments, containing profanity and offensive language
  • Harassing or threatening comments, which harass or threaten your social media team, leadership, staff or even other users unrelated to your brand

While you’re considering your social media presence, check out these eight most common social media mistakes to avoid.

The following are seven tips for best handling any negative social media comments your brand might experience.

Don’t delete every negative social media comment

No one enjoys negative comments on social media, but resist the urge to automatically delete every one that you come across.

Deleting legitimate complaints especially makes your brand looks deceitful, like you’re hiding something. And no matter how quickly you might have deleted a comment, you never truly know who has seen it and then notices that it’s deleted (other than the commenter himself or herself).

Of course, if a comment contains offensive language to a degree that violates your community standards for your social media presence, then you always have the option to hide or delete the comment and then block and report the user.

Always apologize

Regardless of whether the negative comment is justified or not, it’s critical to always take the high road and start your response off by apologizing. Think of the “customer is always right” approach.

Not apologizing can lead to a public battle that will only drag your brand down. And remember, if the complaint is silly or the comment is totally unwarranted, others will see that. You’re never wrong for apologizing for someone feeling the way they do, no matter what.

Respond as quickly as possible

The more time you allow negative social media comments to go unanswered, the more time others can see not just the complaint but also that you haven’t responded.

It’s not a good look for brands.

Replying as soon as you can prevents the comment from bubbling up into something more damaging. It also shows the commenter that you’re listening and that you care. And that will be evident to other users as well.

Treat negative social media comments as feedback

No one enjoys reading negative comments related to their brand. Detach the personal feelings you might have and consider all comments as feedback, the good and the bad.

In that light, the tone of your response can and should have gratitude included. This is another way of taking the high road while also being human and relateable. 

Of course, if the comment is truly feedback that can be actionable on your end, make sure to take the next step and communicate that to your team.

Ask how you can help

It sounds simple, but when replying to a negative social media comment, apologizing for how the commenter feels and then asking how you can help is a tactful way to respond.

For example, the comment could be fairly offensive in nature, and the commenter will either be willing to tell you something that is actionable or so surprised that you responded that it ends there.

Either way, you gave it a tasteful attempt that everyone else can see.

Move the conversation into a private space

While you absolutely want to react publicly and quickly to all negative social media comments, it’s recommended to always suggest the opportunity to take the conversation private when appropriate.

This is helpful if someone is being particularly difficult or has an in-depth issue that needs to be discussed in greater detail. You’ll also be able to offer any discounts or other incentives to help make the situation right, which is something that’s better to do in private than in public.

Include in your response a statement that you’ll be following up privately with a direct message. That way, they can know to expect, but others will understand why the thread has ended.

Of course, within the private message, you can keep the conversation there or offer to speak over the phone or via email for a more personal experience.

Pick your battles

While we all want to make social media a more positive place that is beneficial for ourselves and our brands, some users are just attention-seekers looking to stir up controversy.

Keep an eye out for any patterns you might notice and what’s being said by repeated commenters. Pick your battles in general.

In conclusion

Staying on top of any negative comments on your social media accounts will help preserve your brand’s online reputation. When in doubt while writing any response, just be kind. The high road is the best road.

Digging into negative online reviews? Check out our 11 tips.

As you take a new look at how to approach negative social media comments, 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.

8 tips to write an effective marketing text message

SMS text message marketing can be the most effective method of mass communication.

Compared to emails, text messages can be more powerful. They have a 98 percent open rate compared to 20 percent in emails, and consumers are 4.5 percent more likely to respond to (and not just read) your text message than your emails.

So, how are you approaching the copy of your text messages? Remember, you can engage with or lose a lead forever in less than 160 characters. Paying attention to what you’re saying and how you’re saying it matters.

The following are eight tips to write an effective marketing text message.

Keep it short and concise

When it comes to SMS text messaging, you’re already limited to 160 characters per message. It’s important to get to the point quickly without a lot of fluff. Consider the recipient’s “What’s in it for me?” angle and focus on that to do more than just read your text message.

Writing in short sentences can help you be as concise as possible while also being more engaging for recipients. Think “5th Grader Level” when writing your copy. Consumers are most likely to skim your message, so don’t write long or complex sentences. You’ll lose their attention if you do.

MMS messages, with the use of images, can help you maximize what you can convey in a single message. Learn more about how you can leverage MMS text messages.

Use a strong call-to-action

Having a 98 percent open rate doesn’t mean much if your recipients don’t know what to do next. A strong, clear call-to-action can make the difference between a sale and being ignored.

Some examples of call-to-actions that you can use:

  • Act fast
  • Sign up now
  • Buy now
  • Last chance
  • Limited-time offer
  • Don’t miss out

Keep in mind that your goals matter. What is the point of sending this text message to your recipients? You’ll want to aim for that goal while being as persuasive as possible.

Personalize your text message

Depending on your SMS text message marketing platform, such as DailyStory, you should be able to personalize your text messages.

There’s a lot of power behind personalization. By using a person’s name when addressing them, you’re breaking down the impersonal barrier that can exist in any type of marketing method. This can help build trust with your text message recipients. It also can help you stand out from your competitors.

About 72 percent of customers will only engage with personalized messaging.

Of course, personalization goes well beyond just including a first name. You could use other data points as relevant. But personalization also ties into the type of messaging you’re sending. You would send a different type of message to a past customer who hasn’t purchased from you in a few months than you would to a brand new lead who hasn’t purchased from you yet.

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

Use power words in your text message

Using power words in your text messages can help you engage with your audience. These words help spur some type of emotion in your recipients, which can help with your sales conversions.

See our 16 tips to increase your sales conversion rate.

Some top power words in marketing include:

  • Obsession
  • Bold
  • Epic
  • Secret
  • Daring
  • Imagine
  • Inspire
  • Risky
  • Avoid
  • Authentic
  • Secure
  • Tested
  • Rare
  • Immediately
  • Hurry
  • Proven
  • Affordable
  • Guaranteed

See more power words and take note of what might work for you in future SMS campaigns.

Of course, while words like “free” or even emphasizing certain words by using all capital letters can help engage and persuade recipients to act, you have to beware of potential carrier violations, which can prevent your text message from being delivered at all. You don’t want to write anything that can be viewed as spammy by mobile carriers.

Dive deeper into carrier violations and how to avoid them.

Add urgency to your copy

It’s easy for consumers to not act until the last moment (or at all) unless they’re compelled to do so.

When an offer or message feels urgent, you’re more likely to spur your recipients to action. For example, a sale that ends in two days should inspire customers to plan how they can take advantage of the offer before it’s over. If the sale is monthlong, it’s easy to think there’s plenty of time to act, but that means it’s that much easier to forget about it entirely.

Consider how you can infuse urgency into your text message.

Avoid ‘text-speak’

“Text speak” is the use of abbreviations to save time, energy and space in your 160-character text message. For example, saying “l8r” instead of “later” or “u” instead of “you.”

As a brand, you want to maintain some professionalism and resist any appearances of spam. Using “text speak” can devalue your brand and cause a recipient to lose respect for you and opt out of your messages.

Consider your brand personality. You can still sound human and engaging without devolving into “text speak.”

Beware of special characters

Keep in mind that while special characters can feel like a great way to make your text message stand out, all characters are not supported by all carriers. Many carriers only support unicode.

This means that the use of a special character (like a special quotation mark or apostrophe) will not work for every recipient. That can cause confusion because (depending on the carrier) the unsupported character can be replaced with something random or a space. Either way, your text message will suffer as a result.

Keep your text messages legal

With various anti-spam laws in place, it’s critical that all your marketing text messages include an opt-out option in the text. 

Including the commonly used “Reply STOP to opt-out” at the end of your text makes your available message space that much shorter, but it’s better than risking thousands of dollars in fines.

In addition, you must identify who is sending the text message. This is non-negotiable. Make sure to work your brand name into your message.

In conclusion

Invest the time and effort into crafting text messages that support your goals, represent your brand and engage with and persuade your audience to take action.

Check out these six things to know before starting your first texting campaign.

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

11 fitness content ideas you can use today

If you’re responsible for marketing a fitness brand in any way, it might be challenging at times to think of creative fitness content that not only tells your brand story but also attracts and retains clients.

The goal is to produce high-quality fitness content that’s consistent.

The COVID-19 pandemic reduced the fitness industry’s market size by about 16 percent, so it’s more important than ever to invest at least more time and effort into the effectiveness of your fitness content.

Of course, you’re always going to want to keep your target audience in mind with all content that you produce and publish.

Keep in mind that about 81 percent of Millennials exercise or would like to, compared with only 61 percent of Boomers. So, if you’re not considering Millennials as a group you should target with your fitness content, think again.

The following are 11 fitness content ideas that you can start using today to engage with your audience and grow your fitness business.

Offer tips and advice

You are an expert in your field, so what bits of advice can you highlight in your fitness content? For example, three ways to get more steps in per day or explaining when to stretch (before or after a workout).

You can easily brainstorm ideas by starting with the topics that you get asked most about. 

Then, it’s all about considering where you want specific pieces of content to go. For example, you can dive into a topic with a blog article, but a vibrant infographic would do well on Instagram and so on. 

Share your story

Whether you’re representing an entire gym or acting as an individual fitness trainer, it’s important to share who you are and what drives you.

Perhaps you have a fitness journey to share, or maybe it’s more about you as a gym owner. You could create a video interview diving into your story as a whole and/or post little snippets on different platforms. 

The key is that clients and potential clients have an opportunity to relate to you and form a bond with you.

Of course, if you’re more than a team of one, you’ll want to share the stories of your gym employees as well.

Share client stories

Client testimonials are a powerful form of social proof. Essentially, you’re highlighting different people who are happy with your brand for whatever reason (their results, your customer service, etc.) so that others can see the value of your fitness brand firsthand. 

A simple way to go about this is sharing a photo of the client with a quote, either on the image or in the caption (or both). This could even include before-and-after photo collages. But you could also expand this into short video clips across platforms. 

Check out these five reasons why your business should be creating more videos.

Create workout videos

Now, we’re not referring to a full-on Jane Fonda-style workout video. But you have the built-in opportunity to create and share video clips from before, during or after a workout that be used to inspire viewers and show them a tiny piece of what your fitness brand is about. 

There can be a lot of apprehension for a newcomer when arriving at a gym for the first time. Giving them a peek at what they can expect can be helpful and reassuring. 

You also can focus on breaking down a single exercise and talking through good form and modification options. This also adds to your credibility as a brand.

Offer healthy recipes

Nutrition is a big piece of anyone’s fitness journey, and there is no shortage of healthy recipes that you can highlight and share with your target audience.

Consider making the recipe a graphic image on social media platforms. You can even take it a step further and do a cooking video on YouTube.

Share fitness articles

All content does not have to come directly and uniquely from you. Lean on curated content and share relevant fitness and industry-related articles that you think your audience would appreciate.

The fitness industry is full of evolving trends and research that can be very engaging fitness content. Leveraging it also shows you to be an industry leader.

Just make sure that whatever articles you’re sharing are from a credible source.

Check out our four tips for finding curated content to share on social media.

Show your personality

Consumers don’t just want to connect to a business. They want to connect with the human behind the business. While you want to ensure that your branding offers its own sense of personality, you shouldn’t be afraid to share your own as well.

Clients want to trust you. They’re putting very important personal goals in your hands, so your authenticity is important. 

But a “great personality” can be subjective. Focus on being you, and check out these seven traits of online fitness personalities.

Dive deeper with our five steps to determine your brand personality.

Post inspiring quotes

When thinking about creating engaging fitness content, was inspiring quotes your first thought?

It’s a popular go-to because it really can work. Just make sure that you are:

  • Picking relevant quotes for your audience.
  • Designing the quotes in a graphic illustration so that they’re shareable on social media.
  • Not over-posting quotes. Mix them in but don’t let a majority of your fitness content ride on quotes. Your engagement can trail off without a good mix of content.

Lead a Q&A

Q&As are popular with many audiences, and they give you the opportunity to be the expert in an engaging way.

There are a number of different ways to structure your Q&A based on the platform you decide to use, but just keep in mind that you want to promote your Q&A in advance, accept questions in advance (to fill any gaps or holes during the Q&A itself) and set an engaging topic that drills into what many of your target clients must deal with or face.

In case you’re interested, check out these seven tips for marketing on Quora and other Q&A websites.

Explore promotions

First things first, you should aim to have a majority of your fitness content be organic and non-promotional. But promotions are key to moving the needle toward your goals, especially when done in an engaging way.

Promotions include:

  • Discounts and coupons
  • Contests and giveaways
  • Freebies (otherwise known as premium content), such as workout guide, healthy eating plans and more

Check out our tips for keeping your giveaways legal.

Collaborate with other brands or influencers

Brand or influencer collaboration is a great way to not only reach a new audience but to develop creative content inspired by your partnership.

Of course, you don’t want to dive in with just any brand or influencer. It’s important to do your research on their:

  • Company mission (if it’s a brand)
  • Branding
  • Audience

Then, you can decide if everything that they are and have to offer meshes with your fitness brand. From there, you decide what your partnership will look like and commit to a plan.

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

In conclusion

Ideally, you’re planning regular brainstorms to generate as many fitness content ideas as possible that you can pull from along the way. To stay organized and ensure a great content mix, consider using a content calendar.

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

16 of the best marketing campaigns in 2022

An effective marketing campaign is so important to an organization’s success.

Your product or service may be better than your competition, but without an effective marketing campaign, your audience will never know.

Even the smallest adjustments to any marketing campaign your team creates can garner new eyes and loyal customers.

Here are a few tips from experts within the business and marketing world on how you can make the most of your marketing campaigns. 

Dove’s #ReverseSelfie Campaign

“Social media is full of filters that continue to perpetuate unrealistic beauty standards that destroy people’s confidence. Dove sought to combat this with its #ReverseSelfie campaign in 2022. In the video, we see a girl post a selfie in reverse, removing a heavily edited beauty filter to reveal her true face. We see the unedited shape of her chin, eyes, hair, and everything else. The message is obvious – the beauty standards of social media are unhealthy and harm the youth of today. What makes this an effective campaign however is that Dove, being a brand in the beauty realm, is tackling an issue that is prevalent in that industry now.”

– Bill Lyons, CEO of Griffin Funding

Be the Change

“One of the most successful marketing campaigns in 2022 was the ‘Be the Change’ campaign that the American Red Cross ran. This campaign’s objective is to increase the number of people who donate blood, which is a valuable resource for the many individuals who need it.

“The marketing campaign uses various promotional channels, such as advertisements displayed on bus stop posters, advertisements posted online, and television commercials. These advertisements often feature well-known actors and actresses like Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie, to name just a few.

“As a result of the campaign, people could donate blood, which was the drive’s purpose.”

– Jacob Dayan, Co-founder of Community Tax

Food for the Poor 

“A fantastic marketing campaign of 2022 that has been extremely beneficial to the community and homeless is the Food for the Poor campaign!

“One of the many reasons this marketing campaign is effective is because it utilizes targeted content to decrease abandonment and increase conversions. It also presents 3 options to the website visitors about leaving a donation. The reason this campaign is effective is that it appeals to visitors who want to give but aren’t sure how or how much to give. By reminding them of a variety of easy ways to contribute, the campaign can help nonprofit organizations convert more web visitors to donors and volunteers!

“Also, the layout and design of the site are simple and extremely easy to navigate and use.”

-Chris Hunter, Director of Customer Relations at Service Titan

Reddit

“In the modern marketing landscape, being able to grab people’s attention in a short span of time is pivotal to a campaign’s success. This is true even when a company has managed to obtain lucrative ad space for an extremely captive audience.

Super Bowl airspace is both greatly sought after and extremely expensive, so the initial instinct is to utilize as much time as you can afford. However, Reddit took a novel approach. Rather than the standard 30-second airtime, they purchased a 5-second ad slot for the Super Bowl. The ad displayed what looked like a generic car commercial before suddenly cutting out with a glitchy effect to some text that is all but impossible to read in the time it’s onscreen before it cuts to horses running in a field.

“This ad communicates very little, but it caught people’s attention as they flocked online all collectively wondering what it was they had ever seen. Their gamble paid off, as a post displaying the ad on their official Twitter account holds 465.5k views, showing the power that intrigue and mystery can possess.”

-Adrien Dissous, Global SVP of Marketing at Babo Botanicals

Apple

“A proper ad campaign both captivates the viewer and conveys why the product/service on display is so worthwhile. Additionally, audiences are more receptive to content that doesn’t feel explicitly like an ad.

“Apple demonstrated these principles admirably in their ‘Saving Simon’ ad, part of their ‘Shot on iPhone’ commercial series. Though it is an advertisement, what is on display is instead a short movie about a young girl doing her best to preserve her snowman by keeping it in the freezer until the next holiday season. It is charming, captivating, and humorous, but there’s nothing in the way of extolling Apple’s products themselves.

“Rather, the point is made by showing a professionally shot and edited short movie that was done entirely through iPhone, opening up the possibility for consumers to do the same. They are able to convey the value proposition of their phones entirely through showing what it’s capable of.”

-Jonathan Krieger, Vice President of Sales at Fabuwood Cabinetry Corp.

Duolingo

“Duolingo has had one of the most creative social media marketing campaigns I have seen this year.

“Like many influencers and entertainers, Duolingo has been using TikTok as a way to connect to millions of people through creative and entertaining posts. Their posts clearly target the younger Gen Z audience and are smart in staying up to date with the latest trends and topics in pop culture. Duolingo’s greatest success in their campaign was making their owl mascot, Duo, the star of all of their videos.

“By keeping Duo as the main focus in all of their very entertaining posts, they essentially created their very own influencer with 4.8 million followers.”

-Brandon Brown, CEO of GRIN

Ikea

“Ikea had a recently successful marketing campaign when they partnered with Pinterest. The main reason this campaign was successful is because it capitalized on its audience’s interests.

“It is common knowledge that social media is widely used by most consumers. Especially in the home and design space, visual inspiration is spread across Pinterest daily. This was a great opportunity for a brand to bridge platforms and connect with its audience by targeting where they are spending most of their time online.

“The Ikea interactive product questionnaire built into Pinterest was extremely successful and showed how powerful it can be to create a message and tool that resonates with your ideal customer.”

-Greg Dean, CEO of Layla Sleep

Use of Face Recognition Software

“I think the best marketing campaign in 2022 is to utilize face recognition software to target ads and coupons to specific people. This software is already being used to target particular people on the internet.

“I think it will be fairly easy to transition to brick-and-mortar stores. I can see this being used as effectively outside as in stores. Google, Facebook, and other sites are already using this software.

“These days, it is simple to integrate this software into a physical store so that it can recognize your face as you go through it. In any case, I believe it will be the next big thing in marketing.”

 – Matt Gehring, Head of Marketing at Dutch

Smile

“A viral marketing campaign that started very recently has taken the internet by storm. The campaign is meant to promote an upcoming horror movie called Smile and the campaign consists of people photobombing MLB games and morning talk shows with them smiling creepily into the camera.

“This marketing campaign has received a ton of attention on platforms, such as TikTok and Twitter, mostly because it is such a unique way to promote a product.

“The first instance of this campaign being caught on camera was at an Oakland A’s versus New York Mets game a few days ago in which you could see a woman in a bright green shirt, smiling behind home plate.

“Upon a little more research about the Smile campaign, one can see they have set up an entire website and phone hotline for people to interact with.

“There was another instance that occurred during a recording of the Today Show in which you could see a woman standing outside a window, wearing a bright green shirt and an umbrella, standing there with a very creepy smile on their face.

“This campaign is genius because it gets people talking about what they saw and once they start talking with others about it, they soon realize it is all to promote an upcoming film called Smile. This campaign has been trending on social media platforms for a few days now, so it is safe to say that the marketing campaign has been very successful.”

Amy Adlerstein, SR. Retention Marketing Manager for Canvas People

Google Search On

“One of the most successful marketing campaigns is Google’s ‘Search On’ campaign. People were encouraged to use Google to look up information and find solutions to their problems as part of the campaign.

“The campaign was a huge success, evidenced by the five percent rise in traffic to Google Search during its first year of operation.

“The most successful advertising campaigns of 2022 will inspire people to enjoy their lives to the fullest, be open to change, and use technology to give them more control over their lives. These campaigns are successful because they speak to the requirements and aspirations of the target audience.”

Hilary Kozak, Vice President of Marketing for LivSmooth

Hubspot

“Hubspot’s milestone celebration was able to act as one of the best marketing campaigns of 2022. This year, Hubspot celebrated 1,000 app integrations in their marketplace. The company used this as an opportunity to run a marketing campaign across multiple different channels that showcased its growing success.

“Not only did this campaign appeal to current customers but it showed prospective customers of the wide range of possibilities available with Hubspot’s platform.

“In this campaign, top partners were also leveraged to put a spotlight on the high-level integrations and gain additional publicity from the partners themselves. All in all, Hubspot used a company milestone to create a highly successful multi-channel campaign.”

 Todd Jensen, Head of Marketing at Nursa

Spotify

“This year, Spotify got creative with one of their marketing campaigns which turned out to be a success.

“The company leaned into memes for their advertising in an attempt to showcase Spotify’s versatility in providing music for any occasion. To do this they used the meme model ‘me, also me,’ which shows two panels, one being the mood, and the other being the correlating Spotify music.

“This campaign was great because of its ability to speak to not only Spotify listeners but all music listeners alike. The campaign was launched across a variety of channels globally. It attempts to connect listeners and promote discovery which is why the campaign resonated with so many.”

Sanem Ahearn, Head of Marketing of Colorescience 

Corona’s ‘Pay with Plastic’

“Corona had a great marketing campaign called ‘Pay With Plastic’ that focused on helping the environment, as they partnered with CI Chamber of Commerce and Parley for the Oceans to produce a plastic weigh station where clean-up volunteers could trade recyclable plastic for Corona products.

“They placed recycling machines in Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Spain, and Columbia, so that customers got a beer by simply depositing plastic bottles. The partners also cleaned beaches per the number of recycled cans made.

“With so many weather issues happening around the world, campaigns that have a positive impact on the environment will always gain attention. This particular campaign stands out because it’s more than just marketing – it allows communities to give back and come together for a greater cause that can have a positive impact on everyone around the globe.”

Clayton Howard, Director of Analytics at Net Pay Advance

Fitbit ‘Find your reason’

“Fitbit debuted its campaign as a means to help people find their reason for getting into shape, which was a great idea for an interactive campaign. Whether it be for weight loss or health concerns, many of us have different reasons for wanting to get into shape.

“This was a great campaign to make working out look and feel less intimidating and more accessible.

“Fitbit showcased five short documentaries of people that were embarking on their new health and fitness journey, which was really inspirational to watch.

“Rather than providing a generic campaign telling people to work out, Fitbit humanized the experience to make people find their own personal reasons for wanting to get into shape. Such a game-changer.”

Adrian Pereira, CEO and Founder of Eco Pea Co.

CPB London

“One of the best marketing campaigns in 2022 has been CPB London’s campaign for international women’s day. The company wants to challenge traditional gender stereotypes that are still present today.

“Their campaign featured signs posing a statement like “imagine a CEO” in bold text and in smaller text posing the question of whether the reader imagined a man or a woman. This makes readers think twice about the unconscious bias in their heads around men and women.

“This campaign was great because it really makes viewers think and begin discussions around a topic that needs to be challenged.”

Jeffery Pitrak, Marketing and Account Manager at Transient Specialists

Businesses Making Use of Viral TikTok Sounds and Trends

“TikTok at its beginning seemed an unlikely platform for marketing campaigns. However, with certain sounds and trends going viral, businesses were able to join in and harness lots of views using them. TikTok allowed businesses to get creative in how they applied trends to their own videos and connect with new audiences.

“Properly and authentically utilizing trends helps to build a positive brand perception had the ability to re-ignite the love for products and businesses while generating tons of likes and engagement on their social media campaigns.

“Moving forward, I believe more and more companies will hop onto this marketing bandwagon and strategy as social media continues to prove just how valuable of a tool it can be.”

Sacha Ferrandi, CEO and Co-founder of Source Capital

In conclusion

Your specific marketing strategy will have needs or adjustments that will be unique to you and your organization. It is important to consider exactly what type of messaging or approach will be effective in reaching your target audience and customer base.

These tips are a great starting point in successfully shaping, organizing, and ultimately implementing the best marketing strategy for your business. 

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

9 tips to run an effective brainstorming meeting

It’s likely that we’ve all been part of a brainstorming meeting that’s been unfocused, long and frustrating, with various ideas shared but no path to move forward.

This is not the kind of brainstorming meeting you want to experience with your team.

Brainstorming with others should enhance creative performance by almost 50 percent versus individuals working on their own.

Simply put, brainstorming is a go-to method for generating and developing ideas in a collaborative environment. Without the right preparation, leadership and focus, though, your brainstorming meeting can go off the rails.

The following are nine tips to run an effective brainstorming meeting that boosts team morale and generates creative ideas that serve your business, regardless of the topic.

Give enough time for individual preparation

Brainstorming participants tend to produce better ideas when they can think alone first. So, it’s important to allow for enough preparation time for everyone involved.

Doing so helps avoid groupthink in your brainstorming meeting and gives each person the opportunity to better contribute since they are prepared. Everyone also is able to collaborate more effectively and identify and develop the best ideas and solutions.

Maintain a small group

To avoid having too many cooks in the kitchen, don’t invite too many participants to your brainstorming meeting. 

Ideally, there should be no more than 10 people involved. 

Limiting the participants makes it easier for everyone to be heard and promotes more constructive conversations.

Because you do want to limit the size of your group, be sure to choose your participants wisely. You want to invite a diverse team with different backgrounds and roles to best discover new ideas in your brainstorming meeting. 

Avoid inviting anyone who’s too far removed from the topic that you’d like to discuss. You really want everyone to be an active participant with a buy-in for the process.

Keep your brainstorming meeting short

Shorter meetings will help keep your team focused. A time constraint will motivate your participants to stay on topic and share all possible ideas.

You’ll want to aim for no more than 30 minutes if possible. If you can make it even shorter than that, then all the better. 

Also, pay attention to when you’re scheduling your brainstorming meeting. Late afternoon meetings can feel sluggish, with your participants more mentally fatigued. Consider what the timing sweet spot would be for your team.

Share the goal of the brainstorming meeting

In order to be focused in your brainstorming meeting, everyone needs to be clear on the goal. What problem are you trying to solve? You can ask a prompting question to help set the tone, such as “What types of campaigns do we want to promote for Black Friday?”

You’ll also want to consider setting some boundaries on potential solutions. For example, whether there are any budgetary limits. Just be careful how many boundaries you set. Too many can stifle the sharing of creative ideas, while the right amount can keep your team focused.

Make sure to give your team all this information at least a couple of days before your brainstorming meeting so that they can prepare with as much relevant information as possible.

Set a brainstorming meeting agenda

To stay on track, create an agenda for your brainstorming meeting. It doesn’t have to be extremely detailed. Remember, you do want to keep your time spent as short as possible.

But even the most basic agenda can help maintain the focus of the team and accomplish your goal before everything is over. You’ll want to share this agenda with your team in advance of the meeting as well.

Aim to:

  • Allow time to discuss your topic, and any relevant boundaries, definitions and context.
  • Spend time generating and exploring new ideas.
  • Come together to sort, discuss and get a consensus on the best ideas.
  • Identify next steps that should happen after the meeting is over.

Identify a facilitator

First things first, the facilitator of your brainstorming meeting does not have to be you. But regardless of who it is, a great facilitator can make or break your meeting. His or her job is to guide the discussion and keep the team on track.

Ways that a facilitator can do this include:

  • Setting and enforcing the rules of the brainstorming.
  • Redirecting the conversation if it veers off-course or dies off.
  • Making sure that each person contributes.
  • Explaining the next steps when the meeting ends.

Select your brainstorming technique

Part of your planning process should include the style of brainstorming that you want to use. There are multiple different techniques that can help facilitate more and better ideas out of your brainstorming meeting.

It’s important to consider all approaches and which one best suits your team and your goal.

And depending on what technique speaks to you, you can then understand what tools or materials you’ll need, such as Post-It notes, a time-keeping system, whiteboards, etc.

Check out these nine brainstorming techniques to inspire you.

Just make sure that everyone knows that there are “no bad ideas” to ensure that everyone is comfortable and confident while sharing.

Don’t feel obligated to keep it traditional

Typically, when we think of a brainstorming meeting, we think of a conference room with whiteboards and/or Post-It notes.

But don’t feel trapped by that box. Not only can you hold your meeting in a more non-traditional way, but depending on whether you have remote employees, you might have to.

Remember that with planning, an online version of a brainstorming meeting can be just as if not more successful.

Follow-up on your ‘next steps’

Your brainstorming meeting is only as successful as the actions you take after it’s over. What this looks like definitely depends on what your designated “next steps” are.

For example, in staying true to your overall time limit, your next steps could be as simple as reconvening at a new time in the future.

Regardless, commit to honoring the time invested by your team to potentially solve the problem at hand by following up and staying true to the plan you all set.

While you’re planning your next (more effective) brainstorming meeting, consider your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

9 brainstorming techniques to inspire even better ideas

The power of your digital marketing efforts is based on multiple factors, including your brainstorming techniques.

Often an overlooked practice, the more effective your brainstorming, the more creative you’ll be with your marketing. 

Not only does your marketing benefit, but your team benefits as well. “Groups that focus on both the quantity of ideas and building on the ideas of others significantly increase their cohesiveness,” according to one Northern Illinois University researcher.

The more productive the brainstorming session, the more your team will leave feeling accomplished and energized for the next steps. Better brainstorming techniques can help.

Of course, brainstorming sessions can get off-track when there are:

  • Unbalanced conversations, where certain personalities take over.
  • Participants holding onto the first few ideas, preventing everyone from moving on.
  • Awkward silences, with unprepared participants.
  • Challenges with brainstorming with remote employees over videoconferencing.

Keep in mind that brainstorms typically have an idea capturing phase that leads to a discussion and critique phase and then finally a selection phase that gives a sense of next steps when the brainstorming has ended.

The following are nine brainstorming techniques to keep your team on track and spark the best ideas for your brand, regardless of the topic.

Brainwriting

This technique kicks off with everyone writing down three ideas that relate to the topic of your brainstorming. You’ll likely only need about five minutes to do this.

Then, all participants pass their ideas to the person next to them. That next person will then build on those ideas with bullet points or even related creative strategies. After another few minutes, everyone passes the ideas again, with more thoughts and sub-ideas added, continuing on until the ideas have made it all the way around the table.

Once all ideas have been shared in a non-verbal manner with everyone, the team can then discuss which ideas should be pursued. 

This same approach can be attempted with remote workers in Slack, using comment replies and threads to substitute the passing-in-person approach.

The brainwriting brainstorming technique helps ensure that everyone gets an equal voice up front and that all ideas get heard.

Brain netting

For “brain netting,” the key is that you have a single location for everyone to write down their ideas. This can be as simple as a whiteboard or an online editable document, depending on whether your team is brainstorming in-person or virtually.

Keeping the idea contributions anonymous can help everyone share more freely.

Once all ideas have been shared, then it’s important to follow up and decide on what to explore further. Granted, this brainstorming technique is largely focused on idea capture and is a fairly simplified method.

Figure storming

With this brainstorming technique, your team picks a well-known figure who is not in the room. This can be a boss, public figure or even a fictional character. Then, discuss how that person would approach the problem or think about the particular idea.

How would this person approach this problem? It’s all about your team putting themselves in someone else’s shoes, which can help everyone approach it in a different way.

By applying someone else’s perceived perspective to the brainstorming session, participants might feel freer to share their creative ideas. It can remove some barriers, such as perceived budget and time.

Round-robin brainstorming

In round-robin brainstorming, every participant contributes one idea to the group. It’s important that everyone contributes one idea before anyone can share a second idea or start discussing, elaborating or criticizing any ideas.

You also should ban anyone from defaulting to “My idea was already said.” You can always come back around to that person at the end to give them more time to think. Of course, giving your team time to prepare for this brainstorming technique in advance will help with this as well.

This technique enables everyone to get their ideas out before everyone moves into discussion and evaluation of the ideas.

Mind mapping

Mind mapping is all about allowing a first idea to spark a few other related (but possibly better) ideas.

In this brainstorming technique, your team starts with one idea and then draws lines connecting the resulting sub-ideas back to the first one. And then a sub-idea can spark additional ideas with more lines connecting back to that.

It’s a very visual approach to brainstorms that can be helpful for those who think visually. And while the result might look more like a spiderweb, your team can then discuss and circle the ideas that should be explored further.

Rapid ideation

With this brainstorming technique, it’s all about a time constraint that creates a sense of urgency. In rapid ideation, all participants write down as many ideas as possible in a set amount of time before any discussions or critiques happen.

The time constraint also can prevent participants from talking themselves out of an idea before they share it with the group. When you’re pushing to get out as many ideas as possible, there isn’t time to second guess any single idea.

Eidetic image method

This brainstorming technique is all about visualization and is best used when you’re looking to enhance the wheel, not reinvent it.

For example, your company might sell razors. In an eidetic image brainstorming session, you’ll start with intention setting, where you’ll ask everyone to close their eyes and clearly set an intention for what they will create. In this example, it would be a new razor design.

Once everyone has visualized what they would consider the best possible design, you’ll ask them to visualize the company’s current design. Then, you all can begin building upon that design. What would change about the color or size or some other feature? No one should focus on cost, but everyone should try to keep their thoughts within the realm of possibility.

Then, after setting the initial intention and building off of what currently exists, every participant can share their visualization, which can be recorded. These visualizations can result in many concrete ideas that can be used to enhance your product.

Granted, a razor is a very simple example, but this can be applied to whatever product or service your company offers. The eidetic image method is one of the most visualization-based brainstorming techniques.

Step-ladder brainstorming technique

If you’re concerned about the first few ideas heavily influencing your team (or even the loudest people in the room taking over), consider using the step-ladder brainstorming technique. 

To start, you would introduce the brainstorming topic and then everyone would leave the room except for two people (which can be handled with breakout rooms on a Zoom call for remote workers). The two participants still in the room will then brainstorm together for a few minutes before a third person returns to the room. That third person then shares some of the ideas he or she has before discussing the ideas that the first two came up with.

The step-ladder then continues, bringing one participant back in at a time until everyone is back in the room. Those who are outside of the room should be brainstorming but not discussing any of the ideas generated until they re-enter the room.

This technique best works with a smaller as opposed to a larger group.

Starbursting

If you’ve already selected an idea to dig into further and explore possible execution as a group, starbursting could make sense out of the other brainstorming techniques.

In starbursting, you’ll start with the idea or challenge at the center of a whiteboard or something else, and then draw a six-point star around it. 

Each point represents a question:

  • Who? (Such as “Who is this product targeting?)
  • What? (Such as “What is our motivation to create this product?)
  • When? (Such as “When should this product launch?)
  • Where? (Such as “Where can we target our audience for this product?)
  • Why? (Such as “Why would our target audience be interested in this product?)
  • How? (Such as “How should this product be launched?)

The goal is to focus on questions to encourage your team to examine the idea from every angle without anyone getting defensive. In starbursting, the team works together to find solutions together.

In conclusion

These techniques should help inspire creativity while also ensuring that everyone’s ideas are heard, which is important to balance. 

If you’re feeling like your brainstorming sessions are starting to feel repetitive, with the same people in the same space, consider moving your brainstorming to a different location. This can be as simple as getting outside or going to a restaurant and brainstorming over a meal.

Of course, any brainstorming should keep your overall goals in mind.

Struggling with a remote team? Check out our nine tips to better manage your remote employees.

While you’re planning your next (more effective) brainstorming session with any of these brainstorming techniques, consider your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

6 things to know before starting your first texting campaign

If you haven’t started your first texting campaign yet, you might be unsure of where to start.

The important piece is that you want to get started.

SMS texting campaigns have an engagement rate that’s three to seven times higher than with emails and a nearly six times conversion rate.

You don’t want to miss out on achieving higher marketing results for your business.

The following are six things you should know before starting your first texting campaign.

What’s a texting campaign?

First things first, an SMS texting campaign allows you to interact with your customers through text messages, which can feel more personal than emails.

You can still segment your audience (just like you would with your email marketing) so that you’re getting the right message to the right people at the right time. Automated text messages can also boost your interactions and ultimate campaign results.

There are limitations, though. You must work with a character count of 160 characters, and you have to fit the parameters of any included visuals, i.e. MMS messages.

What do you want to achieve with your texting campaign?

Thinking through your goals will help guide the direction of your first texting campaign. 

Setting goals increases the success of your marketing strategy by about 429 percent.

Consider your overall business goals and how SMS marketing can support any or all of them.

Still not sure what your goals should be? Check out our seven expert tips to set achievable marketing goals for your small business.

What texting campaign service should I use?

It’s important to identify and sign up for the technology that will enable you to create and deploy texting campaigns.

When surveying what text marketing services are out there, you’ll want to understand all the features available, whether those features make sense for what you want to achieve (or if you need something more) and the total cost associated with a subscription.

Regarding features, consider:

  • Ease of use
  • Any complementary tools (such as data-capturing forms)
  • Audience segmentation
  • Automation capabilities
  • Campaign reporting

DailyStory offers SMS text messaging features, as well as email marketing and more as well. Explore with our 21-day free trial.

Who can I text?

Before you launch your first texting campaign, it’s critical that your customers gave you permission to send them SMS messages.

It’s a best practice but also the law (as it relates to distributing promotional content via texting). But about 91 percent of consumers would opt-in for text messages from brands

Of course, there are many ways to opt-in your customers and even potential customers, including:

  • Including a contact phone number field and permissions checkbox in your contact or sign-up forms.
  • Using a “text to join” strategy, where consumers text a keyword to a specific number that you give them.

Check out our four tips to grow your SMS text message marketing subscribers

Just remember to give a clear option to opt out of your texts within each message sent. For example, a subscriber can reply “STOP” to opt out. While this feels countintuitive to your marketing goals, it is required by law, and you wouldn’t want to accumulate frustrated and uninterested subscribers anyway.

What should I text?

The sky’s the limit within 160 characters, creatively speaking. But you do have some guidelines to follow to avoid getting carrier violations and the resulting impacts from them.

A carrier violation occurs when carriers (such as Verizon, AT&T and such) receive an outbound SMS and opt to not deliver the message to the destination phone number. In other words, carriers monitor and filter SMS traffic, and if your message triggers a perceived violation from the carrier’s perspective, your text will not be delivered.

When your text messages are flagged, it becomes very likely that future messages from the same number (or those with similar content) will be filtered out as well.

Learn more about carrier violations and how to avoid them.

How should I track my texting campaign?

The metrics tied to texting campaigns aren’t as robust as what you might be used to with email marketing due to technoligical limitations. 

Within whatever texting campaign service you choose to use, you should be able to track the number of sent SMS messages as well as the click rate. You also should be able to see your deliverability rate, depending on the service.

Of course, to take this a step further, it’s a best practice to track any resulting sales from your texting campaign as well to give you a bigger picture view of how your text messages are performing.

In conclusion

Before you dive head first into texting campaigns, make sure you have a plan. Knowing your goals as well as the “rules of the road” that come along with texting can help you start strong. From there, be sure to experiment and measure so that you’re continuously optimizing your texting campaigns.

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

5 tips for automated text message marketing

SMS is a powerful tool in your digital marketing strategy, and you can level up with automated text message marketing.

About 96 percent of marketers using text messages said it helped them drive revenue.

This is especially true for eCommerce businesses, but truly, any type of business can benefit from SMS automation because it helps you increase your conversion rate through personalized texts that spur your customers to action.

Automated text message marketing involves pre-written SMS messages that send automatically based on specific criteria and/or actions, such as:

  • A trigger (like sending when a customer completes a purchase)
  • A schedule (like sending before the launch of a big sale)
  • A timeline (like sending a month after a customer’s last purchase, for example)

Automating your text messages helps you connect and build better relationships with your audiences in an efficient way.

Here are just a few examples of automated text message marketing:

  • Sending transactional messages (such as order confirmations or shipping notifications)
  • Sharing special offers, sales and promotions
  • Reminding clients about upcoming appointments
  • Requesting customer reviews and/or testimonials
  • Recovering abandoned shopping carts

Don’t miss our 10 best practices for SMS text message marketing.

But let’s get specific about automation. The following are five tips for automated text message marketing so that you can boost your sale conversion rate and grow your business.

Sign up for an automated text marketing service

The first step, before anything else, is to identify and sign up for the technology that will enable you to automate your text messages.

When surveying what automated text marketing services are out there, you’ll want to understand all the features available, whether those features make sense for what you want to achieve (or if you need something more) and the total cost associated with a subscription.

Regarding features, consider:

  • Ease of use
  • Any complementary tools (such as data-capturing forms)
  • Audience segmentation
  • Campaign reporting

DailyStory offers automation for not just SMS text messaging but email marketing and more as well. Explore with our 21-day free trial.

Start building your contact list (if you don’t already have one)

If you already have an SMS opted-in contact list, great! Go ahead and upload it into your new SMS text marketing service.

If not, you’ll want to focus on growing that list, especially since it’s a best practice (and the law) to send text messages only to those who are specifically opted into receiving those texts. (In other words, you can’t just add everyone in your customer database to your text message contact list without their explicit opt-in.) The good news is that about 91 percent of consumers would opt-in for text messages from brands.

Definitely start with advertising across all platforms and even within your business if you have a physical location for customers. 

Dive deeper with our four tips to grow your SMS text message marketing subscribers.

Plan your automated text message marketing campaigns

Successful automated text campaigns don’t just happen. Based on some of the examples you’ve already seen, list out the types of automated campaigns you want to put in place. The best campaigns come down to the structure of your business, the needs of your customers and your overall business goals.

Then, flush out each campaign idea with an outline that identifies who’s targeted, when they’re being text messaged (what triggers need to happen), the general messages you want to convey and your goals for that campaign.

For example, if you’re looking to have an automated Welcome text message series, you’ll likely decide that it will go to new text subscribers immediately and that the overall content is to educate these new subscribers on what they can expect from you, with the goal of them clicking on a special offer link later on in the series.

Create your message content

Now that you have an idea of the automated text message marketing campaigns you want to run and a service to deploy them on, it’s time to flush out exactly what each text message in your campaigns will say.

Remember that you’re working with 160 characters, but within that, you want to identify who you are, be clear and concise, include a call to action if appropriate and give them directions on how to opt out. 

That can be a lot for 160 characters, but MMS text messages can help convey more information in that limited space.

Refer to our 10 best practices for text message marketing for more.

Monitor your performance

The only danger of automated text message marketing is the tendency to “set it and forget it.” And truly, the benefit of automation is that you can focus your energy and time elsewhere, but you do want to understand what’s working and what’s not along the way.

Some metrics that you’ll want to stay on top of:

  • Bounce rate (where carrier violations can prevent some text messages from delivering to your recipients, as well as incorrect phone numbers)
  • Click rate
  • Resulting sales (which you’ll want to tie back to your specific automated campaigns)
  • Unsubscribe rate

By monitoring your automation performance over time, you can easily tweak anything that’s not driving the results you’re looking for.

In conclusion

The power of automated text message marketing can boost your business revenue over time, so if you’re not currently using this tactic, now’s the time.

As you’re diving into automating your text messages, 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 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.

16 of the best websites to find quality stock photos

The right visuals for your brand speak volumes, and stock photos can play a part in that.

But design and visual content is the biggest challenge for about 24 percent of content marketers.

Using the right website to search for and discover quality stock photos can help. Stock photos are created by photographers that are available for use by others.

Many stock photos are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under the creative commons public domain, so you can copy, modify and distribute them without asking for permission, even for commercial purposes. But some stock photos do require attribution, so make sure that you keep an eye out for any usage restrictions or requirements.

Check out our five tips to select stock photos that aren’t obvious stock photos (or cheesy, in other words).

The following are 16 of the best websites that you can use to find quality stock photos. (And most of these are free to use.)

Shutterstock

One of the more well-known stock photo websites, Shutterstock offers more than 250 million high-quality, licensed images. It also adds about 200,000 more images daily. But Shutterstock is more than just photos. It also has vector images, editorial pieces, music, videos and more.

Shutterstock is available through such applications as PowerPoint, and you can also create social media posts with built-in editing tools.

Monthly plans start at $29 per month and increase in price as the number of monthly downloads increases. Pre-paid photo packs also are available if a full subscription does make sense for your business. A free trial is available as well.

StockSnap.io

StockSnap.io has thousands of stock photos organized into different categories for easy access, as well as a search function to dig deeper. 

The website adds hundreds of images on a daily basis.

It shows each photo’s views, like and downloads so that you can get a sense of how commonly used any particular image is (so that you can ultimately use images that are not so popular and feel unique to your brand). This is a free website for you to use.

Pexels

Access hundreds of thousands of free stock photos for any need on Pexels. Images are hand-picked from user uploads, as well as other sources. The intent is to offer the best of the best.

Its stock photos are tagged, which makes them easily searchable. You also have a variety of sizing options when downloading, including custom sizing.

Unsplash

Unsplash is unique in the sense that you’ll likely find stock photos there that you won’t find elsewhere. 

All images are free for you to use however you like without attribution because contributing photographers are essentially donating them to Unsplash for open usage.

The website releases 10 new stock photos every 10 days.

Getty Images

You may have already heard of Getty Images, which is a high-profile website with more than 200 million image, video and music assets (and more) that can be used for advertising, graphic design, print and online.

Once you find a stock photo you want, you’ll see multiple sizing options that vary in price. A single image can cost as much as $499, depending on the size.

Getty Images also offers a variety of tools, content and services for you to explore. If you’re interested in more than one-off image purchases or photo packs, you can request a demo from their team.

Pixabay

Pixabay offers more than 1.6 million stock photos for you to choose from. The website is easy to use, and you can filter based on image type as well.

It also offers free video content for you to use and is entirely free.

Foodiesfeed

If your brand centers around food in any way, you’ll want to check out Foodiesfeed. It features detailed food images.

Foodiesfeed has more than 1,300 stock photos that can be filtered by food types and other tag characteristics. You’ll also see related images as you view an image to help you discover more. This is a free website to use.

New Old Stock

New Old Stock features old, vintage photos that are pulled from the public archive via Flickr Commons. This is a great website to peruse if you’re looking for throwback stock photos that can bring a sense of nostalgia to your content.

It’s also a free website to use.

Death to Stock

Death to Stock bucks against how complicated it can be to find the right stock photos by offering a photo library membership that has curated images.

The website subscription costs $12 per month for small businesses, $21 per month for agencies and $399 per year for partners. Death to Stock features more than 3,500 photos, as well as hours of video footage that can be used.

Vecteezy

You can access millions of free, high-quality stock photos through Vecteezy. You also will find vectors, illustrations and 4K stock videos.

Most of the resources are free to download, but Vecteezy also offers premium resources through a subscription that starts at $9 per month.

Reshot

Reshot gives you access to icons and vector illustrations that you can use in various projects. You can even download the format you need, including SVG, PNG and more.

Everything is free to use on Reshot.

NegativeSpace

A great feature of NegativeSpace is the ability to filter stock photos by color, which can be very helpful. Otherwise, the website offers new and free images every week for personal or commercial usage.

You also can sign up for NegativeSpace’s email list to get the latest stock photos delivered to your inbox. This is a free website to use.

Kaboompics

Kaboompics has stock photos and features that are great for lifestyle and interior design brands. It features more than 12,000 free images than can be downloaded in several different size options. 

In addition, you can download a color palette that complements your selected stock photo, and you can view images that match the photoshoot and download those related images as well. This is a free website that you can use.

StockUnlimited

Looking for a huge selection of stock photos? StockUnlimited has more than 1 million stock photos, vectors, icons and even fonts and templates with their subscription plan.

The website offers more than two dozen categories that include wildlife and beauty, among others. StockUnlimited adds thousands of new images every week.

The subscription costs $19 per month, $79 per year or $169 for three years. There also is a Download Pack plan, where you can download a particular number of assets for a fee.

Picography

Picography prides itself on well-organized free stock photos. You can browse the most popular search terms of the day, enter your own search query or explore the variety of categories available.

This website is entirely free to use.

Fancycrave

If your brand is seeking visuals that are more on the artistic, emotional side, consider Fancycrave. You can browse by category, whether its their free or paid stock photo options.

Fancycrave also offers a robust blog that typically features tips and advice on a range of topics that could assist your next project.

You can use the free section of the website, but if you want more, the $9.99 per month subscription gets you instant access to 41 premium collections and more than 2,250 stock photos, with more than 50 new photos added monthly.

In conclusion

The beauty of stock photo websites (the free ones in particular) is that you can explore without any sort of commitment until you identify the best sites for you. It’s important to bookmark what you like the best but also know that you don’t have to use just one.

As you begin to explore these stock photo websites, consider optimizing the digital marketing process that you’re using those images in. This includes email marketing, landing pages, as well as automation, audience segmentation and enhanced targeting capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

5 reasons why email marketing can be better than social media

Both email marketing and social media marketing can be powerful for any brand online.

But if you had to choose one, which is better?

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

But let’s dive a little deeper. The following are five reasons why email marketing can be better than social media marketing.

You own your contact list

Unlike any social media platform, you actually own the contact list of your email subscribers.

In other words, this means that if a platform shuts down (like Vine did), you lose all those followers that you worked so hard to get. They’re gone.

This is because social media platforms are third-party providers of connections. They are the ones who have control over your followers and even your account (whether you get banned or not for violating terms of service, for example).

With email, your subscribers are yours. You have access to them as long as they want to be on your list.

Email is more personal

In an overwhelmingly digital world, consumers are increasingly craving deeper connections with the brands they buy from.

Enter email.

Your message delivers directly into your recipient’s inbox. Personalization can heighten that engagement and connection as well by including his or her first name, for example. Audience segmentation allows you to break up your contacts into groups and adjust your message accordingly, whether it’s customers you haven’t seen in a while or contacts who have yet to make a purchase. The sky’s the limit when it comes to segmentation, especially when using DailyStory.

But with social media, you have to speak at large to your target audience with hope that your followers (and/or their friends) see your content in their news feeds and engage with it. This is in competition with everything else social media users see in their feeds.

Algorithms are not a factor

Many marketers have to spend a great deal of time considering (and strategizing against) social media algorithms. 

An algorithm is essentially a series of calculations that determine what content a user sees in his or her feed on that social media platform. Its intent is to show what the user will most engage with and have a desire to stay on that platform longer.

One of the most talked-about is the Facebook Algorithm since the social network is the largest in the world, and it has shifted in recent years to prioritizing other user content over that of business pages.

Of course, while email doesn’t have to contend with algorithms, you still want to use best practices in order to prevent ending up as spam.

Full control over your content

Instagram requires a properly sized image or video to post. Twitter limits your tweet to 280 characters.

Those are just two examples of how a marketer is naturally limited in what and how to post content on social media platforms.

On the flip side, email is entirely within your control. You can use whatever best conveys your message to your recipients. 

Check out our breakdown of a successful marketing email.

You’ll get a higher ROI with email

Your return on investment should always be a major factor in your digital marketing strategy decisions.

In fact, about one in five marketing emails get opened on average, with an average clickthrough rate of 3.57 percent. Compare that to Facebook, which has an average clickthrough rate of 1.11 percent.

We have dozens of additional statistics that show the value of email marketing on top of that.

In conclusion

Of course, even though email marketing can be better than social media marketing, the best overall strategy is to use both for your branding, promotions and consumer relationship-building. 

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.

What’s the difference between a media pitch and a press release?

When you have news to announce about your brand, you’re likely wanting to share it with the media as well.

It could be a product launch, company announcement, upcoming event or something else. But regardless of what the news is, you should consider getting your information out in a way that resonates with journalists and reaches your intended audience.

In a recent survey, about 61 percent of journalists either agree or strongly agree with the following statement: “The way most companies share information with the media is outdated.”

Consider sending a press release, a media pitch or both, but what’s the difference, and what’s the best way to not be “outdated” in the eyes of journalists? 

Press release versus media pitch

No matter what, the ultimate goal is that the media covers your story. So, knowing when to use a press release and when to use a media pitch is critical to achieving that goal.

Press releases

In the simplest sense, a press release is a news story written by a public relations professional and sent to targeted members of the media. Typical elements include:

  • Headline
  • Subheadline
  • Dateline
  • Lead sentence with the most important information up front
  • Body text that expands on the news
  • Quotes from representatives of your brand or other relevant individuals
  • Company boilerplate
  • Contact information

A press release typically consists of one to two pages and includes all of the “five Ws,” which are the who, what, when, where and why of your news. It should be easy enough for a journalist to repurpose into a news story, where he or she can reach out with any follow-up questions.

Press releases can be more broadly written as they’re sent to multiple journalists directly and/or through a PR wire service.

Media pitches

On the other hand, a media pitch is the personalized outreach that you send to journalists in hopes of compelling them to cover your story. This typically is done in the form of a short, concise email. About 91 percent of journalists prefer that media pitches are 200 words or less. It can include an attachment of the press release with it, though, if it makes sense to do so. Traditional media pitch elements include:

  • Compelling subject line
  • Personalized greeting to the journalist
  • About two to four sentences explaining the story idea
  • Call to action, which is what you are hoping the journalist will do

About 94 percent of journalists prefer media pitches over press releases. This is because pitches are personalized and show that you understand what a particular journalist covers and why he or she might be interested in covering your news. You want to make sure you convey how this story idea is relevant for the journalist’s audience.

Of course, media pitches (just like press releases) are your first impression on a journalist. They can make or break your chances of getting media coverage. 

But a press release aims to communicate exactly what happened or will be happening, while a media pitch explains why a story angle or event is newsworthy and deserves coverage from a particular journalist. 

When to use a press release

There will be times when it is best to send out a press release, such as when:

  • Your news requires more explanation and detail than you can fit into 200 words.
  • You have important news to share with a large number of journalists.
  • You prefer to have a formal piece of writing that can be added to your website or elsewhere.
  • A journalist requests more information after responding positively to a media pitch.

When to use a media pitch

There also are times when it is best to send a media pitch, such as when you have a story idea intended for a specific journalist, where you can clearly explain why the pitch is for that journalist and his or her audience. 

It’s all about personalization and specificity. Journalists definitely appreciate that.

In conclusion

When deciding between sending a press release or a media pitch, remember their purpose and your ultimate media goal. Of course, as mentioned before, the two can work together, where a media pitch directs to a press release with more information.

Make sure that regardless of what you’re sending, you are:

  • Reaching out to the right journalists.
  • Using email to distribute your pitch or release
  • Always using a compelling subject line
  • Being concise (even in press releases)

While you’re evaluating your best opportunities for media pitches and press releases, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

5 tips to select stock photos that aren’t cheesy

Stock photos can be incredibly helpful in your digital marketing efforts, but are the stock images you’re using look like obvious stock photos?

Your visuals matter. When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10 percent of that information three days later, but if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65 percent of it three days later.

In addition, posts with images get 650 percent more engagement than posts with only text, and tweets with photography receive 18 percent greater clicks, 89 percent more favorites and 150 percent more retweets.

However, design and visual content is the biggest challenge for about 24 percent of content marketers.

Enter stock photos. Stock images are generic, previously created photos, illustrations and icons that are licensed for specific uses. Some are free, while others cost a fee or are part of a paid subscription plan.

Their use can save you time and effort, but it’s critical that you’re selecting the right stock photos for your digital marketing efforts. There’s a real danger of obvious stock photos appearing cheesy and inauthentic, which can turn off potential customers. 

The following are five tips to select stock photos that aren’t cheesy.

Keep the context top of mind

Before you even begin searching for a stock photo to use, fully understand exactly what you’re going to use that image for. Consider:

  • Are you using it in digital or print?
  • What surrounding colors are involved?
  • What shape or orientation would work best?

Knowing exactly what you’re looking before you get started will save you a lot of wasted effort.

Get a little abstract

Subtle images can go a long way. You don’t have to be super literal when searching for the perfect stock photo. 

So, think outside the box. Going more abstract can be a great way to find a visual that will feel more unique while complementing the surrounding content it’s being used in.

Avoid cheesy smiles

Simply put, some of the most identifiable stock photos are those of super happy businesspeople interacting in posed ways, especially when they’re photoshopped onto a somewhat blank background. 

And they’re not just identifiable because of their contrived aesthetic. They’re also extremely overused. 

Oftentimes, going with more natural poses and realistic postures will feel more authentic, especially if there are at least two people interacting with each other.

Try to avoid a severe lack of personality, the use of way-too-literal tropes and wide-angle shots that are distant from the subjects in the frame. Inauthentic-appearing stock photos often have these characteristics.

Use your judgment. If you see an image that technically works but hits you as feeling fake, keep looking.

Look to direct the viewer’s eye

It’s all about positioning. Consider a magazine article layout, where the image fills the entire page, but the text aligns to the left, while a person (or animal or object) is to the right.

Bonus points if that person in this example is looking toward or pointing to the article text.

You can apply this idea to any stock photo usage, whether it’s text on a social media image or something else. It’s all about directing your viewer’s eye.

Keep experimenting

Remember that there is no science behind selecting the perfect stock photo for your brand. Continue experimenting with different images. Be sure to measure your results so that you know what types of images are working and which are not.

Just keep your brand identity and target audience in mind.

In conclusion

Stock photos have definitely earned a bad reputation over the years, but a lot of that reputation results from marketers and others not knowing how to find stock photos that are unique and authentic-looking. Truthfully, stock photos can be just as genuine and impactful. You just need to invest the time in your search to find the right ones for your brand.

While you’re thinking about visuals, check out these six ways that visuals can increase email conversions.

As you begin to search for more authentic stock photos, consider optimizing the digital marketing process that you’re using them in, such as automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

10 tips for creating engaging content

While anyone can create content, the key is creating engaging content that helps your brand achieve your goals on social media and beyond.

Engaging content is all about getting results, such as:

  • Click-throughs to your website
  • Overall increase in website traffic
  • Social media mentions, likes, comments and/or shares
  • Opt-ins
  • Conversions
  • Sales

Ask yourself what you want your target audience to do when they consume your content. The extra effort to put out great (rather than just good) content is worth it.

About 69 percent of Twitter users have bought something because of a tweet, but about 65 percent of marketers find it difficult to produce engaging content.

The following are 10 tips for creating engaging content that will drive results for your brand.

Strive for originality

Easier said than done, right? Keep in mind that even though someone else could be talking about the same thing or using a similar image, but it’s all about your unique voice and spin.

Consider leveraging your personal experiences or even customer experiences, depending on what makes sense for your brand. Those are truly unique to you and your brand.

And lean on what makes your brand itself original. Not sure what that is? Check out our nine tips that can be considered a branding walk-through.

Think actionable

When engaging content translates into results, what action do you want your audience to take? 

Consider your goals.

For example, let’s say that you want to promote a new product you’re launching. A salesy blog about the product probably won’t do the trick. Instead, think about creating an “unboxing” video, formatted differently for each social media platform, that can generate interest with a call to action directing consumers to your website to find out more (or offering a discount code to save on purchasing) is a more engaging way to go. 

Of course, there is not a one-size-fits-all single piece of content (no matter how engaging) that will work. Think of every piece of content as simply a drop in the bucket that you can keep adding to in different ways with different angles.

But always keep the point of your content in mind. Draw their attention in and show them the next step that you want them to take. Just keep it simple.

Use (accurate) data

Numbers and statistics can be incredibly engaging in your content. An interesting fact (whether stataed or visually displayed) can catch internet users’ attention. But make sure that whatever data you’re using is accurate and up to date.

Anyone can post anything on the internet essentially. So, double check that you’re pulling your data from a trustworthy source.

Then, use relevant statistics wherever it makes sense to do so. What you use can easily inspire an infographic or a topic for a Facebook or Instagram Live conversation.

Explore storytelling opportunities

While numbers are great, stories are even more compelling.

Storytelling can help you connect with your target audience and boost your authority on a topic, depending.

Be sure to speak or write in a way that’s relatable to your audience, maintaining a conversational tone. Depending on the nature of the story, you want to spur emotions, such as joy or sadness.

Consider a fitness blog. Would you as a consumer want to know the fitness trainer’s list of certifications, or the backstory that inspired that person to get certified in the first place? The two are not exclusive. It’s just about the angle that the content creator takes to engage you. The list of certifications is not going to engage you, but that story might (and you can still see the list, too).

Think about real-time engaging content

The more you know and understand your target audience, the easier it is to identify their interests and plan your content accordingly. Consider asking:

  • What events are they interested in?
  • Which television shows or movies are they watching?
  • What holidays are significant?
  • Are there any special times of year for them (such as summer vacations, tax season or school exam periods)?

Creating content around and related to these real-time events and interests will be that much more engaging for your audience.

Provoke thought

Simply put, you want to make your audience think. Many topics that are related to your industry and brand might fall into a gray zone, where opinions reighn supreme. The idea is to ask the right open-ended questions in your engaging content to spark discussion.

For example, a baby supplies brand could ask its audience what the top tip is that every new mom should know. This can be presented a simple graphically designed image post on a social media platform with the goal of a robust comment thread.

Explore humor

Humor is an excellent way to engage with your audience. Making people laugh forms a stronger bond with your brand.

This can involve sharing a meme, celebrating an unusual holiday or just asking silly questions. Just make sure that what you think is funny is actually funny and not inappropriate, confusing or even offensive.

Humor can definitely go wrong, so tread carefully and stay true to your brand. Check out whether humor is right for your digital marketing.

Involve your followers

About 85 percent of consumers think that visual user-generated content (UGC) is more persuasive than branded photos or videos.

UGC is unpaid or unsponsored social media posts that consumers share about a product or service. Essentially, it’s content created by your audience that you then are resharing with that audience. Not only is it engaging, but it takes some of the burden off of you to create every piece of content from scratch.

Check out our 10 tips to encourage more user-generated content.

Visuals are a must

In this era of digital marketing, your visuals are everything. Images and especially videos are the most engaging types of content online.

Half of social media users prefer video over other types of content, and users share video content with others twice as much as any other type of content.

Take and use original photos as much as you can, and embrace video. Just keep in mind that a vast majority of videos (particularly on Facebook) are watched without sound.

Consider the 10 types of videos you can use in your digital marketing, and check out these 18 video-editing apps that you should know about.

And when photos or videos aren’t an option, consider infographics and other graphic images that you can use. We found these 11 free graphic design tools for the non-designer.

Plus, the right visuals can even increase your email conversions.

Mix up your content

Hold yourself accountable for keeping a fresh mix of content publishing from your brand. The same thing over and over is going to lose your audience’s interest and lose engagement.

Mix in videos with blog shares, polls with photo galleries, whatever makes sense for your brand.

A content calendar can help you stay organized with all your planning and ensure that you’re not overlooking the overall mix of your content. Check out our eight tips to create an effective content calendar.

In conclusion

Creating engaging content takes work, but that work is worth it. Remember your goals every time you plan and execute a new piece of content. Make sure that you’re not just sticking with “good” content but that you’re striving for “great” content.

See our seven tips to level up your content marketing.

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

8 most common social media mistakes to avoid

Social media is integral to any robust digital marketing strategy, but what social media mistakes could you be making and not even realize?

More than half of the world (about 58 percent) now uses social media, and the average daily time spent using social media is 2 hours and 27 minutes.

The opportunities for reaching and engaging with your target audience are obvious on social media, but with every misstep, you risk missing your goals and even alienating your audience (depending on the severity of the mistake since social media users can be quite unforgiving).

Check out what every startup company should know about social media.

The following are the eight most common social media mistakes to avoid.

No defined target audience

Understanding who you’re trying to reach and engage with is critical. Even if you could afford to target everyone, it’s not a good idea. 

Why? Because the success of your social media is based on determining your target audience and creating a strategy focused on reaching that group of consumers. (And no small business can afford to target everyone.)

In other words, you want to spend your resources on the people who would be genuinely interested in your products or services.

Check out our seven tips to help you determine your target audience.

No social media plan

Not having a plan for your social media marketing is not only a mistake in itself, but it can lead to other unintentional mistakes along the way.

Invest the same amount of thought and attention into your social media as you would any other method of digital marketing, such as paid advertising or email campaigns.

Start by listing the specific goals you want to achieve, determine your budget and then a step-by-step action plan that includes a clear outline of what you’re wanting to achieve and how your measure your results (to determine whether you’re hitting your goals).

Keep in mind that you also don’t have to be on every single social media platform if they’re not all serving your brand’s needs. You can do more with less.

When it comes to organizing your content, consider our eight tips to create a content calendar.

Lack of engagement in social media conversations

Engagement starts with posting engaging content. But once those reactions, comments and shares happen, it’s your obligation to be part of the conversation. Lack of participation is a big social media mistake.

Even if comments are negative, don’t avoid them. Consider some of our overall tips for responding to negative reviews (which can be applied to negative comments as well).

Of course, if you’re not seeing any engagement on your social media posts, then it’s time to evaluate your content. The goal is to spark a conversation with every post. What’s working and what’s not?

In addition to public threads, you also need to stay on top of direct messages. About 42 percent of people who have reached out to a brand on social media for customer support expect a response within 60 minutes.

Too much reliance on automation

Social media automation is huge for staying on top of conversations across multiple platforms. However, if you become too dependent on automation, you risk losing your brand’s human touch.

You also risk any automation blunders when a bot doesn’t understand particular context.

Strive for a balance, where you’re leaning on your social media automation tool for the heavy lifting, but you’re still involved in the social media conversations as much as makes sense.

Check out our seven opportunities for social media automation you might not have thought of, as well as 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools.

Posting too much

There’s no magic number of posts that your should strive for each day, but if you’re finding that you’re valueing quantity over quality and not seeing any improvement with your engagmeent rate, then it’s time to take a second look at how often you actually need to post on each platform.

Especially if you notice that you’re posting “good” but not “great” content simply to fill a whole, reconsider. Posting better content, even if less frequently, could lead to better engagement. 

Overly promoting yourself

Clearly, social media is a conversation, not a one-way broadcasting medium. In that sense, you want to avoid promoting yourself too much.

A common social media mistake involves businesses almost entirely publishing promotional or “salesy” content. Doing so can turn off your target audience. The key is about finding a balanced content mix that isn’t all about you. Be socialable.

At the same time, remember that you don’t have to only post your own content. Curated content and user-generated content can benefit your audience as well.

Treating all your social media platforms the same

All social media platforms are not created equal or should be treated the same. A common mistake is using a social media management tool to schedule your content but then scheduling the same content across platforms.

Even if you can tweak the sizing accordingly per platform (the optimized image size for Twitter is not the same for Instagram, for example), that’s a start. It’s all too easy to get stuck posting horizontal images and videos across platforms, even if that’s not best for one or two of your accounts.

Of course, ideally, you understand the demographics of your following on each platform and create unique content accordingly per platform. You absolutely can run a Twitter-specific campaign, for example, that doesn’t appear anywhere else.

No performance monitoring

Social media marketing is ever evolving. Even if you have a plan, that doesn’t mean that nothing can or should change a long the way. Monitoring your social media analytics is imperative. Simply knowing what’s working can help you do more of it. On the flip side, knowing what isn’t working can help you pivot and adjust as well.

Check out our guides for understanding your metrics on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

In conclusion

Every brand has made its fair share of social media mistakes over time. The key is to learn and grow from any mistakes you might happen to make.

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

6 tips to boost your customer referrals

Businesses invest a lot into marketing efforts that bring in new customers, but what are you doing to increase your customer referrals?

With more than 2.4 million brand-related conversations happening in the U.S., consumers are obviously already talking about their experiences with brands, for better or for worse.

Customer referrals are when existing customers introduce their family, friends and contacts to become new customers with your company.

After all, consumers view other consumers as about 14 percent more credible than a brand itself (or its employees).

If you’re providing great customer experiences with your products and/or services, then word-of-mouth customer referrals should be happening naturally. However, investing effort into encouraging referrals will only build on that.

The following are six tips to help you boost your customer referrals and grow your business.

Create a customer loyalty program

Your most loyal customers are the most likely to refer others to your business. You can embrace and nourish this with a customer loyalty rewards program, which is a marketing approach that recognizes and rewards customers who purchase or engage with a brand in some way on a recurring basis. 

As part of your progam, you would give out points, perks, free products and coupons, even graduating customers to higher levels of loyalty the more they buy if you want. However you structure it, the overall goal is to encourage the customer to become a more regular consumer or (even better) a brand promoter. Customers who are so loyal that they are actively promoting your brand are exactly what you want.

You also can have a very simple referral program (as opposed to a full customer loyalty rewards program), where your customer refers a friend in exchange for an incentive. And that’s it. Just think about what works best for your brand.

Check out our five tips to successfully promote your loyalty rewards program, and see our six tips to grow to create brand loyalty for your business.

Exceed expectations

While seemingly a general tip, delighting your customers during every step of their customer experience with your brand can play into your overall customer referrals.

Take the time to audit what your true customer experience is like for a brand new customer. Consider:

  • How easy your website is to navigate?
  • Is it easy to contact your business with questions?
  • How thorough and responsive is your customer service?
  • Is there a clear path for purchasing?
  • Are you offering a quality product or service?
  • What if there needs to be a refund or return?
  • How do you follow up after the purchase is complete?

The happier your customers are, the more they’ll tell others about your brand. And always remember that you never want any customer to be a “one and done.” Think through how you can keep bringing them back.

Make referrals easy

Your customers are busy people. The harder it is to effectively refer another to your business (especially in exchange for a perk or discount), the less likely that the customer referral will happen. (Even with an incentive offered.)

You can offer email templates for them to send, links to easy-to-fill-out web forms or fliers with QR codes that direct to an informative landing page. The sky’s the limit.

Just make sure to identify the best method that works for your customers and communicate it clearly.

Identify and target customer referral opportunities

If you’re interested in identifying key customers who are worth their weight in customer referral gold (rather than asking for referrals blindly and aimlessly), it’s helpful to start with a little research.

LinkedIn can be a great assist with this. At its most basic level, you can identify your customer, his or her company and other networked connections. 

By doing this, not only can you limit your targeting to the potential referrals that will have the biggest ROI (return on investment), but you can “do the work” within your ask by letting the customer know who and/or what you’re hoping to connect with.

Flip any negative reviews

Negative online reviews are a reality for every business and something that you already should have a plan for to monitor and address.

However, what’s important to remember is that every negative review is simply an opportunity to make that customer happy and hopefully that follow-up service not only converts them into a happy customer but a loyal customer who tells others about your brand.

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

Offer different methods of customer referrals

Word-of-mouth referrals aren’t the only way your customers can help spread the word about your brand. 

Make sure that you’re encouraging a variety of ways that your customers can “refer,” including (but not limited to):

  • Writing a review
  • Submitting a customer testimonial
  • Serving as a case study

Of course, if you’re asking your customers for referrals of any kind, be respectful if they’re saying no or not acting on it yet. Space out your requests and continue to give different methods. No one reacts well to pushiness, and you’ll never know when it happens to be the right suggestion at the right time for the right customer.

In conclusion

Customer referrals are powerful. Take the time to ensure that you’re doing everything possible throughout your brand’s customer journey to delight and encourage your customers to spread the word.

As you begin evaluating customer referral opportunities, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, which includes automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

16 tips to increase your sales conversion rate

While your digital marketing can have many different goals, you’re ultimately looking to increase your sales conversion rate over time.

To grow your business, you must identify your sales funnel as part of your digital marketing efforts.

Not sure what a sales funnel is? Check out our breakdown explanation of the four stages:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Decision
  • Action

A sales funnel is simply the journey a consumer takes from being a prospect to a paying customer. It’s critical in regard to customer conversions and driving sales because it requires you to better understand how customers find you, why they find you and why they stay or leave.

About 68 percent of companies have not identified or attempted to measure their sales funnel. You do not want to be part of that statistic.

See the seven benefits of using a sales funnel in your business.

The following are 16 tips to increase your sales conversion rate based on the traditional stages of a sales funnel.

Optimize your sales conversion rate in the Awareness stage

Awareness is all about getting your brand out there and establishing it as an industry leader. Consumers can’t purchase anything from you if they don’t know that you exist. They also won’t purchase from you if they don’t trust you.

In this sense, you should take a look at any missed opportunities with the following Awareness stage tactics:

Blogging

While many businesses have embraced blogging, not every business is successful at it. And that success comes down to creating content around the topics that your target audience is interested in.

For example, a salon might want to blog about how to protect colored hair during summer activities.

Relevant content will help attract potential customers to your website.

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

Social media

Social media is a huge part of many consumers’ lives. It’s where they’ll find advice, reviews and referrals, and they expect a business to not only be active on at least the biggest platforms but responsive as well.

Are you leaning into your social media presence? Check out what every company should know about social media. Plus, social media can definitely impact your search engine optimization (SEO). Check out the seven ways it does so.

Digital advertising

Digital advertising is definitely broad, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. When starting out, consider:

  • The best method to reach your target audience with (whether that’s social media advertising, pay-per-click advertising, etc.)
  • What your advertising budget is
  • Your specific goals

Your sales conversion rate is highly influenced by the success (or failure) of any paid advertising efforts.

Dive deeper by exploring the difference between pay-per-click and pay-per-impression advertising. In addition, check out the difference between programmatic and native advertising.

Of course, social media advertising is huge for many businesses. See our six tips to maximize your social media advertising budget.

Public relations

While considered “old-fashioned” in some ways, public relations can still play a large role in the Awareness stage of your sales funnel and influence your sales conversion rate.

Think print publications, TV commercials, live events and direct mail, to name a few mediums.

Of course, earned media coverage often begins with an effective press release. Check out our eight tips to write a press release that gets noticed.

In terms of live events, see our eight tips to boost your event marketing.

Optimize your sales conversion rate in the Interest stage

Once you’ve made potential customers aware of and familiar with your brand, it’s time to engage with them. What small commitments can they make to your business before they’re ready to purchase?

Clearly, the goal here is to acquire email addresses, but also any other contact information if possible. What can you offer that will get you this contact information in exchange?

Take a look at any missed opportunities with the following Interest stage tactics:

Premium content

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

To be more specific, premium content:

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

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

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

Of course, consumers should have to provide their name and email address at the very least to acquire this premium content from you.

Check out these five ways to leverage premium content in your digital marketing.

Landing pages

A landing page is a great way to filter the most important information (and call-to-action) for potential customers. This is often a great alternative compared with your website homepage if you have a particular message and/or goal in mind.

When the information is more relevant to the consumer, your sales conversion rate will benefit.

Forms

Contact or comment forms are often overlooked opportunities to collect consumer contact information and potentially add subscribers to your email and/or SMS text lists.

Make sure you include an option for the consumer to opt-in to receive communications from you.

Email onboarding

We’re specific about the onboarding portion of email marketing because this Interest stage is all about building trust and engagement. You’re not going in for the sale just yet.

An email onboarding sequence in general is a series of emails intended to deepen the relationship subscribers have with your brand, show them how to make the most out of your product or service and/or get them to use your product or service as much as possible.

Clearly, at this point, it’s all about education. Think about the most frequently asked questions you experience, and start from there.

With effective email onboarding, you can increase your customer lifetime value by about 500 percent.

Check out our eight expert tips to create an email onboarding sequence that converts.

CRM integration

Customer Relationship Management software, otherwise known as CRM, helps you track your interactions with both current and future customers. This is very helpful for understanding where prospects are within your sales funnel.

In addition, the right CRM (such as DailyStory) can help you target the right content (i.e. emails or texts) at the right time to the right person. This can boost your sales conversion rate.

Optimize your sales conversion rate in the Decision stage

The Decision stage of the sales funnel is when the potential customer is ready to buy. The question is: Will they buy from you or someone else?

Now is the time to make your best offer, whether that includes free shipping, a discount code or a bonus product. It just needs to be irresistible to your lead, winning them over to your company.

Be sure that you limit yourself to one offer, though. Putting multiple offers on your web page can decrease conversions by up to 266 percent.

Make sure there are no missed opportunities with the following Decision stage tactics:

Call-to-actions

You have to make the ask. If you don’t ask, how will your potential customers know what to do?

When creating your call-to-action, keep in mind that you should:

  • Use strong action verbs
  • Provoke emotion or enthusiasm
  • Share the “why” behind the ask
  • Take advantage of FOMO
  • Get a little creative when appropriate
  • Use numbers when possible

Email marketing

Now is the time to take the next step from the educational email onboarding series in the Interest stage.

Based on whether your subscribers have never purchased from you before or have purchased from you in the past, you want to tailor your messaging and offers to however many different groups you’re looking to target. 

The more specific you can get, the better your sales conversion rate will be.

Check out our 16 email marketing best practices that make an impact.

SMS text message marketing

The same can be said about SMS text message marketing. Target the right group of consumers with the right message, and you can increase your sales conversions.

See our 10 best practices for SMS text message marketing.

Social media monitoring

Social media monitoring is part of larger social listening, where you can monitor for keywords related to your brand that can help you identify customers who are ready to make a purchase.

By doing so, you can jump ahead in the sales funnel and engage with potential customers who are already in the Decision stage. This will increase your sales conversion rate.

Optimize your sales conversion rate in the Action stage

This last stage of the sales funnel is when the consumer acts and purchases your product or service.

Of course, this isn’t the end of the road for you and the new customer. It’s on you to earn that customer’s business again and again, aka customer retention.

Think loyalty.

You should take a look at any missed opportunities with the following Awareness stage tactics:

Customer referrals

Don’t hesitate to ask your existing customers (especially the happy, satisfied ones) if they know others who would benefit from your products or services.

In exchange for a referral, you can offer a discount on their next purchase or some other offer that makes sense for your business.

Resells, upsells and cross-sells

Once a customer has purchased from you, there is an opportunity to resell (sell the same product again), upsell (upgrade or choose an add-on) and cross-sell (selling a different product or service because of something else they’ve purchased).

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

One way to encourage this is to send reminders to your customers tied to important dates related to your products or services. For example, when their subscription is about to expire.

Gratitude

This is a simple tactic but can be overlooked at the same time.

Remember to say thank you for every purchase a customer makes! Gratitude goes a long way. 

You also can take this to the next level by acknowledging anniversaries and/or birthdays and using them as an opportunity to thank your customer again for their support of your brand. This is also a great opportunity to throw in a freebie or discount while you’re at it.

In conclusion

There’s not one single thing you can do to dramatically increase your sales conversion rate for the long term. Instead, it’s about consistent effort to optimize tactics across all stages of your sales funnel.

As you’re reviewing your dates in search results, 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.

5 tips to get Google to display the right date in search results

A big factor in whether an internet user will click on your search result in Google is the publication date that’s shown.

The more recent the content, the more appealing it is. Are you sure that your search results are showing the right dates?

Google determines dates for web pages based on several factors, including:

  • Any prominent date listed on the actual page
  • Dates provided by the page publisher through structured markup

Learn more about how Google determines the date on your page for search result display.

Of course, Google won’t always show a date in its search results. It will only show a date if that date is considered particularly relevant to the content itself.

But what happens if you update your content and need to refresh the date from the original publication date? The following are five tips to get Google to display the right publication date in search results.

Confirm the basics

As mentioned above, the best way to make sure that Google has the right publication date to begin with is to state it clearly on the web page (viewable to users) and include it in the structured markup for the page (using the ISO 8601 format for dates).

Keep in mind that Google News is a bit stricter, requiring the display of both the date and the time between the headline and the article text.

You want to make sure that everything is correct from the beginning.

Go beyond superficial updating

Google highly advises against “artificially freshened” content. That means that you only want to take the step of updating your date when you’ve truly updated the content.

Of course, updating content can vary on the type of content you’re working with, but a good rule of thumb is to:

  1. Read through all text and make any necessary changes or corrections.
  2. Add whatever new information likely inspired you to update your content to begin with.
  3. Update existing links and/or add new links.
  4. Change or add visuals.

Specifically, Google says: “Don’t artificially freshen a story without adding significant information or some other compelling reason for the freshening.”

Make the change to your date

Once you’ve officially (and significantly) updated your content, it’s time to update your publication date. 

Of course, this can be as simple as changing the date, but a best practice is to show both the original publication date and when it was updated. You can use “datePublished” and “dateModified” for both AMP and non-AMP web pages to help the algorithms best recognize the change in the date. Also, double-check that you’re in the right time zone if you are displaying a time as well.

Keep in mind that you’ll want to ensure that the date you use is the date for when the web page was published or updated, not a date that’s linked to the content. For example, if you’re writing about an upcoming event, you don’t want to use the date of the event itself. It’s all about the timing of the publication and revisions, not any future dates or other dates related to the content.

Be consistent in usage

Consistency rules. It’s important that you not only maintain the same formatting across all your web pages, but you especially want to confirm that you have the same date (and possibly time) that’s visible on your page as it is in your structured data.

Once you break your consistency in any way, you’ll loose standing as far as trustworthiness with Google and other search engines.

When in doubt, troubleshoot

If you’re doing everything correctly and still aren’t seeing the correct date on your search results, then it’s time to troubleshoot.

One way to start troubleshooting is by identifying if there are any other dates that might appear on your page for any reason. If so, determine whether you can remove or minimize those other dates. For example, you might have dates appearing in a list of related stories.

In conclusion

Remember that while you can set your web pages up for success, you can’t control what Google will ultimately do. If something is getting pulled incorrectly, though, you’ll definitely want to review your structured data and anything else that Google is pulling from.

As you’re reviewing your dates in search results, 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.

9 of the best Facebook groups for marketing conversations

Marketers face a lot of the same challenges along the way. Enter marketing Facebook groups.

Usually, the most common recurring question is, “Am I doing this right?” Yes, there are courses you can take, books to read and blogs (like this one) to engage with, but there is power in joining an online community of other marketing professionals, where you can lean on each other and ask questions as soon as they arise.

If nothing else, it’s simply reassuring to know that you’re not alone.

There are more than 280,000 marketing managers currently employed in the United States, and with Facebook being the biggest social media platform in the world, you have an opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals in various Facebook groups.

Overall, there are more than 200 million Facebook groups, but even when you filter it down to marketing-related groups, you can still feel overwhelmed. 

The following are nine of the best Facebook groups for marketing conversations.

The Daily Carnage

With more than 18,000 members, The Daily Carnage is about “bringing you the freshest news, tools, tips, and tactics in the marketing world.” 

It started in 2017 from an email newsletter that evolved into an engaged group of marketers asking and answering each other’s questions and sharing ideas.

Social Media Managers

Created in 2010, the Social Media Managers Facebook group boasts more than 51,000 members. Part of its About section says, “You have found Facebook’s oldest and most active free group of Social Media Managers. This group is for those who have experience working in the social media marketing industry.”

And they’re not lying. The group offers a ton of engagement and activity. By asking a question in this group, you’ll receive a variety of answers and perspectives. Because there can be so many posts, you might want to turn off the notifications and bookmark the group instead for easy reference and access.

Facebook Ad Hacks

Likely based on the topic, Facebook Ad Hacks has more than 148,000 members. According to its about section: “This is a free community for Facebook marketers, freelancers, and agency owners.”

This group is perfect for discussing marketing best practices, social media ad campaigns and the management of client relationships. You’ll find many insightful discussions to dig into.

The only drawback of this group is its size. There are many posts each day, so it’s possible for some questions to go unanswered. You’ll likely want to turn off the group’s notifications and bookmark it for easy access.

Word Workers

The Word Workers Facebook group considers itself “the only Facebook community for anyone and everyone that writes as a major part of their work.”

This group, with more than 7,000 members, is all about engagement. The value ranges from preferred tools members are using to various tips and tricks. If you write for at least some part of your marketing job, check this group out.

And if you have marketing writer’s block, check out our seven tips to beat it

Digital Marketing Questions

The Digital Marketing Questions Facebook group states that “this group is meant for all digital marketing professionals (or people who want to learn) – SEO, PPC, social, Analytics – to ask questions, network and share relevant industry content.”

This group is definitely spam-free. They also have a pinned welcome post for new members that sets the tone for the group and reminds everyone of the rules.

Google SEO Mastermind

Digging deep into search engine optimization? Google SEO Mastermind could be a great Facebook group for you.

This group boasts more than 89,000 members, and conversations range from the Google Search Console to improving your Google Search click-through rates. Specifically, it says it welcomes “questions from the holistic approach of marketing websites in Google and address[es] SEO Methods, Google Ads Techniques, Content Creation, Web Design and more.”

CXL – Conversion Optimization, Analytics & Growth

With more than 17,000 members, CXL – Conversion Optimization, Analytics & Growth is all about “conversion optimization and growth discussions.”

You can rest assured that if you ask a question in this group, it will get answered. Members are eager to help each other.

Marketing Solved

The Marketing Solved Facebook group is all about getting “exclusive access to marketing training, tips and tutorials, articles, business and marketing strategies, success stories, amazing business support, freebies and greatness.” And it’s true to that description.

The group has more than 26,000 members, sharing everything from their own content to job opportunities and more but on specified threads to reduce spam. It’s also clear that this group is judgment-free based on the types of questions asked.

Dumb SEO Questions

If you’re new to SEO marketing, Dumb SEO Questions is a great Facebook group to explore. It has more than 17,000 members and describes itself as a “forum to ask for help with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in relation to DNS, HTML, crawling & indexing, structured data, audits, redirects, local search, eCommerce, semantic search, etc.”

Clearly, this group prides itself on “dumb questions,” so there’s no potential embarrassment about asking anything that you don’t know the answer to. Open discussion is very welcome, no matter how “green” you might be.

In conclusion

While there’s no limit to how many Facebook groups you and join, identifying the best and most relevant groups for you will help prevent you from wasting your time. Remember, you also can leave any group at any time if it’s not right for you.

Of course, Facebook groups aren’t just for marketing questions and support. Check out our 12 tips to use Facebook groups to grow your business.

As you’re exploring Facebook groups that can help you connect with other marketers, 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.

Nano influencers: 5 tips to grow your brand awareness

When it comes to influencer marketing, it’s often best to think small. Think nano influencers.

Nano influencers are content creators with between about 1,000 and 10,000 followers (although this range can vary). They typically create content around a specific topic that they’re passionate about, which can be an opportunity for brands to connect with niche audiences they otherwise wouldn’t reach.

Other benefits of working with nano influencers include:

  • Higher engagement rates since nano influencers often initiate discussions and respond to comments to keep the conversation going.
  • Leveraging the strong relationship nano influencers have with their audience since followers feel connected to them to the point of trusting them.
  • Cost-effective promotion since working with a nano influencer can cost far less in fees than working with a bigger influencer with a huge following.

And influencer marketing overall only continues to grow. About 86 percent of marketers are investing the same or even a greater amount in influencer marketing in 2022, so working with nano influencers can be a great way to get started.

The following are five tips to use nano influencers in your digital marketing to help grow your brand awareness.

Identify the right nano influencers to work with

The power of influencer marketing centers on working with the right influencers for your brand.

Of course, the nature of nano influencers is that they’re not super high on the radar. But a great way to discover the potential content creators you might want to work with is to browse hashtags that are related to your product of industry. 

For example, a meal-prep company might want to browse the #fitnessaddict hashtag to discover nano influencers passionate about fitness and wellness who align with that company’s brand, as well as the audience they bring to the table.

There also are tools that can help you find the right nano influencers for you, such as Upfluence and Influence.co. It’s also possible to find them in real life at local trade shows and seminars within your industry.

When deciding whether a nano influencer is right for your brand (and worth working with), consider the following:

  • What are their followers’ demographics? Are they an audience you want to target?
  • How are their posts, behavior and tone? Do they match your brand?
  • What is the engagement level? Value this over the exact audience size.

To connect with a nano influencer, we recommend following and engaging with them on their content for a while first. Not only does this give you more information to consider about them, but you’ll also be less “out of the blue” when/if you do decide to message them and start the conversation and potentially working together.

Consider influencer partnership formats

There is no one way you must work with a nano influencer. In fact, a partnership can look however you both agree for it to. But here are some of the typical partnership formats that can inspire you:

  • Sponsored posts are very common and typically contain a review of your product or service. Nano influencers usually will create and share this content for a fee or in exchange for a free product or service.
  • Storytelling takes the sponsored post a step further. The nano influencer basically tells a story about how your product or service fits into his or her daily life. It’s intended to be inspirational and can make followers want your product or service as well.
  • Giveaways can help create buzz through a nano influencer. You’ll want to make sure that the influencer is including the need to follow your brand’s page/account, to share the giveaway post in a newsfeed or stories and to tag friends in the comments. In addition, you’ll want to review the need for terms and conditions so that you can keep your giveaway legal.
  • Affiliate marketing leveraged with discounts can be used to motivate followers to purchase your products or services at an attractive price. Learn more about affiliate marketing.
  • User-generated content (UGC) can happen with one or more nano influencers simultaneously. Essentially, it’s a post where the influencer shares a photo of your product. UGC is trusted more than branded imagery (or “ad spam”).
  • Brand ambassador programs are more of a long-term relationship where the nano influencer regularly posts about your brand at an agreed-upon frequency, tone and style. Compensation would either be monetary or free products or services.

Agree on all the details in advance

No matter what format of a nano influencer partnership you decide on, it’s critical that not only you and your influencer agree on all the details but that you get it in writing in a contract.

Outline all the guidelines and directions so that there is no gray area or misunderstandings during the partnership. This can include:

  • The duration of the partnership
  • Frequency of posts
  • Overall branding style or tone of the posts
  • Any hashtags or mentions that must be used
  • Specifics on compensation
  • Permission to repost/share the influencer’s content on your brand’s channels and website

Of course, you have to give some leeway as well. You want your content creator to be a content creator and have enough freedom to be themselves while also sharing your brand.

Monitor performance of nano influencer campaigns

Just because many companies use influencer marketing, that doesn’t mean that you can jump into a partnership, invest time, effort and money into it and then not pay attention to how it performs. You can’t assume that just because the posts were published that your campaign was successful.

Of course, how you do measure success is up to you. Consider:

  • Post engagement, such as reactions, comments and shares
  • Refferal website traffic from social media
  • Use of any affiliate links or discount codes
  • Social media mentions

Know how you want to measure before the campaign begins with your nano influencer and monitor that performance during the campaign and after the campaign ends.

Look at the potential for long-term collaborations

Of course, a successful campaign or several successful campaigns with a nano influencer should definitely open the door to a long-term partnership. 

The influencer likely will already be loyal to your brand, and hopefully, your partnership has helped them grow their following as well.

Be prepared to propose a long-term partnership (such as a brand ambassadorship) and what that looks like.

In conclusion

Collaborating with nano influencers can be an engaging and cost-effective way to reach your target audience. Just make sure you do your research to find the right influencer (or influencers) for your brand, outline what the campaign and compensation will entail in advance (and get it all into a contract) and be ready to extend a successful campaign into a long-term partnership.

Check out our seven tips to know before starting your first influencer marketing campaign, as well as which social media platform is the best to use for influencer marketing.

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

4 tips to boost your click-through rate in Google Search

A lot of efforts to boost your SEO may focus on your overall search ranking for particular keywords that matter to your business. But what are you doing to optimize your Google Search click-through rate?

Your search engine optimization should always keep your CTR in mind.

Granted, a high placement in search results can automatically boost your click-through rate. 

For example, ranking as No. 1 generates a typical CTR of 39.6 percent, which is more than double the CTR for the second position (18.4 percent) and nearly four times the CTR for the third position (10.1 percent).

But what can you do to maximize your own CTR when you appear in Google Search results? The following are four tips to boost your click-through rate in Google Search.

Manage your publication dates

Depending on the topic of the search, internet users are often looking for the most up-to-date information. If your result appears to be eight years old, while the result below yours is only a few months old, you could be sending organic search traffic away from your website.

Evergreen content (which is relevant anytime of year and for a long period of time) is great, but you might notice the search traffic referrals dwindle overtime.

The key is to not only show published and updated dates on your existing content, but to also regularly circle around on your evergreen to thoroughly review and update the actual content itself. (Google will penalize sites for changing an updated date without actually updating the content.)

Aim for intent-based meta titles and descriptions

We won’t call this the oldest tip in the book, but it’s close. Regardless, your meta title and meta description do matter. These are what search engines show to internet users who come across you in results. In other words, they act as your first impression to compel users to click on your link.

Of course, call-to-action meta titles and detailed meta descriptions (with relevant keywords) will help boost your Google Search click-through rate. However, you should always aim to consider (and include) users’ intent.

One way to better understand intent involves logging into Google Search Console. Click on “Performance” and then “Search Results.” You can use the “URLs Containing” filter to find the particular pages and posts that you are optimizing for a higher Google Search click-through rate. By applying that filter, you should then see the search queries that are driving traffic to that page.

You can then use this intent-based data to adjust your meta titles and meta descriptions.

Optimize your URLs

While the overall look of your URL is not going to majorly impact your Google Search click-through rate, it does play a part in the overall look of your search result listing, which definitely impacts your CTR.

When optimizing your URLs, remember to:

  • Be clear, concise and descriptive with your target keywords.
  • Occasionally audit your URLs. You can use a free tool, such as WebSite Auditor.

Use structured schema markup

In the simplest sense, schema markup is a form of microdata. Once added to a webpage, it creates an enhanced description (commonly known as a rich snippet), which appears in search results. The enhanced description helps your result stand out from other classic-looking search results.

Rich snippets not only boost your search ranking, they also improve your Google Search click-through rate.

The CTR for some high-volume keywords has been seen to increase by more than 114 percent when the results appeared as featured rich snippets.

Some types of schema include:

  • Organization
  • Local Business
  • Person
  • Video
  • Event
  • FAQ

In conclusion

Remember that your Google Search click-through rate is just one metric that you should be monitoring as part of your overall SEO strategy and larger digital marketing strategy. Test as much as you can and quickly pivot when something does not appear to be working.

Check out our 12 SEO marketing tips for beginners.

As you’re optimizing for your Google Search click-through rate, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

6 of the best free press release services

Press releases can help your brand generate media coverage, which can help you reach your target audience that much more.

Because there’s no guarantee that your press release will result in coverage, the more journalists you can reach, the better your chances.

About 48 percent of journalists receive up to five pitches a day, while 43 percent receive more than that

While about 78 percent of journalists say that they want press releases from brands, only a handful of the pitches journalists receive are successful.

Check out our eight tips to write a press release that won’t get ignored.

Press release distribution services are a great place to enhance your reach. However, if you’re on a limited budget, the cost of some of these services might be out of reach.

The following are six of the best free press release services you should consider trying to get your message out.

PRLog

PRLog distributes press releases to a wide range of media outlets. This free service includes instant approval, but there is a limit of two press releases per day.

1888PressRelease.com

This user-friendly platform offers a range of distribution plans and features. 1888PressRelease.com also offers writing services. Keep in mind that the free plan is very limited, so you might want to take a look at the paid options.

PR.com

PR.com is a reliable distribution service. On its free plan, press releases are submitted to search engines, news sites and RSS feeds. Your distribution will be very limited, though.

NewswireToday

NewswireToday distributes press releases to news outlets and major search engines. However, the free plan includes third-party ads and only syndicates releases to RSS feeds.

Online PR Media

Online PR Media is a reputable press release distribution platform that offers both free and paid options. While it syndicates to 5,300 websites, this is only available on the more expensive plans. The free, limited option includes ads.

MarketPressRelease.com

One of the more flexible free press release distribution platforms, MarketPressRelease.com allows for one free press release per day. Their monthly paid plans allow up to 15 press releases per day, depending on the level of subscription.

In conclusion

When evaluating which free press release distribution service is right for you, consider:

  • Who your target audience is and what kind of coverage you’re looking for.
  • Which services can ultimately connect you to your target audience.
  • Any reporting features that can help you monitor the performance of your press releases.

Of course, free press release distribution services can help any small business on a tight budget. However, remember that the free version of even the best services can be extremely limited. That limitation could prevent your story from reaching the journalists who will actually be interested in covering you. 

While you may start with a free service, keep the paid options in mind so that you can possibly budget for them in the future. The time and effort you invest into your press releases should have a return on investment.

Check out our four tips to find the right journalists to cover your brand.

As you’re evaluating the best free press release distribution service for your brand, 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.

How does ever-changing technology affect businesses?

All businesses rely on technology to run efficiently. Technology has helped small businesses find ways to compete with large corporations, improve relationships with customers, and help improve internal processes.

Small businesses use various technologies, including laptops and desktops, mobile devices, equipment, and more, to help them succeed. 

Small businesses must continuously look for ways to implement new and emerging technology in their business operations. Unfortunately, technology is always changing and evolving, making it difficult for businesses to catch up.

Here’s how technology’s ever-changing nature affects businesses.

Communication and information sharing

communication-information-sharing
Today’s digital landscape and technology allow for easier, more efficient ways to communicate.

Every business needs to communicate internally with employees and externally with customers.

Today’s digital landscape and technology allow for easier, more efficient ways to communicate.

Applications like Slack, Zoom, and chatbots simplify information sharing, and businesses can’t track conversations and get analytics based on consumer behavior. With better communication comes deeper intelligence to obtain customer data and use it to improve experiences and new marketing strategies

Communication through effective technology use helps businesses create personalized messages and automated communications to improve marketing and allow professionals to reach new customers.

But, of course, there is a point when communication becomes ineffective. Businesses mustn’t lose the personal connection they have with their customers.

Need help with your conversational marketing? Check out our eight tips, and see how conversational marketing can boost your business.

Mobile devices

Mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, can help businesses manage their employees and daily operations remotely.

Everything from sales and marketing to customer relations can be done with the use of high-speed internet and the right software. 

Of course, mobile isn’t just for business’s internal processes; it can help improve your relationships with your customers and the public.

Consumers are using mobile devices to shop around, make purchases, and find local businesses while sharing their experiences with the public. So, technology doesn’t just enable businesses to communicate internally, but it’s the main driving force behind many consumer decisions. 

Through the use of mobile devices, businesses can communicate internally with employees via instant messaging apps and video chat, or they can use it to send personalized, targeted messages to qualified customers.

However, mobile is sure to stick around, so businesses must continue to find ways to leverage it.

Check out our six reasons why mobile optimization matters to your business, as well as 16 tips to make your website mobile-friendly.

Remote working

Technology enables a remote workforce. Although remote work had already been growing for years before the pandemic, many companies were forced into a remote work environment in recent years to keep their employees safe. As a result, many companies chose to give up the office environment altogether. 

Companies have had to use technology to support remote work, including remote logins, video conferencing, and project management tools to allow for easy collaboration.

Instead of managing employees depending on the hours they worked, many employers shifted their employees to salaried positions that focused more on output instead of hours spent. 

See our nine tips to better manage your remote team.

Remote work makes it easier to attract and retain talent, but it can also increase productivity as long as employees have the right technology and tools.

However, as technology continues to support a remote workforce, many business leaders still disagree with the effectiveness of working from home, so the jury is still out on whether the future of work is remote or a more hybrid experience.

Check out our 11 tips to be more productive when working from home.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence impacts businesses of all types, making it a great way for small companies to get a competitive edge against corporations.

AI can do many things, including machine learning and customer support, and even improve daily processes by automating tasks while tracking buyers and predicting their behavior. 

There are competing views on the use of AI in businesses. Some experts believe that it will result in fewer jobs available, while others believe AI could possibly create jobs and new roles.

Collaboration

Technology has the ability to improve collaboration in many different work environments.

With the use of remote work tools, such as Google Docs and Zoom, many employees can collaborate on the same project without the need to schedule time together. Most work environments depend on some type of collaboration, including gathering information and responding to emails. 

Many collaboration tools are available to simplify team discussions, improve file sharing, and manage projects.

With more technology, you can expect better collaboration, increasing productivity and efficiency whether employees work remotely or in the office.

Check out at least 15 of the best free productivity tools you should know about.

Saved money

By improving productivity and efficiency, technology can help businesses save money. For example, allowing your employees to get more done in a day means spending the same amount of money for more output.

Additionally, technology can be used to find savings opportunities. For example, you can use technology to manage your expenses and find areas of the business that cost your money the most.

Technology also allows you to reduce your costs. For example, accepting cryptocurrency can result in lower transaction fees, allowing you to earn more on every purchase. Even if your business doesn’t accept cryptocurrency, you can reduce your spending and earn more on every sale by using technology to source materials and automate inventory.

Improved customer experiences

Technology can be used to enhance the relationship customers have with your business.

You can solve customer problems faster than ever by using chatbots and customer service tools. Not having this technology can result in lower sales and unhappy customers, which can impact word of mouth or result in fewer sales and repeat customers.

Check out our eight tips to get started with conversational marketing.

Burnout

Most of this article has been about the benefits of technology. However, technology does have its downsides.

When used ineffectively, technology in business can lead to employee burnout and higher turnover rates. In addition, whether your employees work remotely or in person, businesses that use technology to over-communicate with employees can leave them feeling drained and unable to accomplish tasks. 

While tools like Slack and Zoom can improve communication, they can also be used to micromanage or distract employees, forcing employees to have to spend more hours working to accomplish the same amount of work. 

Because many business leaders view technology as a good thing, they don’t understand how it can also inhibit productivity and affect employee mental health. Before businesses implement new technology in the workplace, make sure to understand the potential negative implications it can have on employee wellbeing and productivity.

Final thoughts

Technology will continue to evolve, and businesses are eager to understand how new technology can improve their business operations and increase employee productivity while saving them money.

First, business leaders should understand all the possible implications new technology can have on their business. Technology can have many benefits when used effectively, but it can also drain employees and productivity when overused.

About the author

Ellie-Williams

Ellie Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality with a minor in Marketing from Chico State University. She enjoys doing freelance writing on general business, wellness, and lifestyle tips. During her free time, she enjoys catching up with friends and family or attending local events.