10 free courses online to help you level up your SEO skills

Search engine optimization weighs heavily in most digital marketing strategies, so getting a leg up with your SEO skills won’t just benefit you but also your business.

On the first page of search engine results, the first five organic results account for about 68 percent of all generated clicks. The higher you can boost your search ranking, the more traffic your website will receive.

The following are 10 free courses that you can take online to level up your SEO skills. These courses cover a wide range of SEO-related topics. Think about what will benefit your marketing efforts most to help choose which courses you want to register for.

‘Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialization’ from UC Davis

The free “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialization” series of courses is offered by UC Davis through Coursera. It teaches participants to optimize website content for the best possible search engine ranking. 

You’ll learn:

  • The theory behind Google search and other search engine algorithms
  • On-page and off-page optimization
  • Optimizing for local and international audiences
  • Conducting search-focused website audits
  • Aligning SEO with overall business strategies

Each course within this series intends to build on the skills from the previous course. The Specialization culminates in a hands-on Capstone Project, in which you will apply your skills to a comprehensive SEO consulting task. 

When spending about six hours per week on it, this beginner-level series of courses takes about five months to complete.

‘SEO Fundamentals Course’ from Semrush

This free “SEO Fundamentals Course” is offered by Semrush. It focuses on search engine basics, technical SEO, link signals, on-page signals, SEO for mobile, other ranking signals, international SEO and local SEO.

The course is great for anyone who wants to learn the basics of SEO or just brush up on certain topics. Upon course completion (which takes about four hours), you’ll have a better understanding of how to do SEO and to drive more traffic and customers to your website.

‘SEO Training Course’ from Moz

The free “SEO Training Course” course is offered by Moz through Udemy. It’s all about learning and understanding the basics of SEO.

The course includes learning:

  • SEO strategy development
  • Site audits and structure
  • Keyword research basics
  • On-page SEO fundamentals
  • Link-building and off-page SEO
  • SERP features
  • Reporting on SEO

This beginner-level course takes about three and a half hours to complete.

‘SEO Certification Course’ from HubSpot Academy

This free “SEO Certification Course” is offered by HubSpot Academy and focuses on website optimization, link building, keyword research and more.

Specifically, you’ll be able to:

  • Evaluate and improve your website’s SEO
  • Build backlinks to your website at scale to increase your website’s visibility on the search engine results page
  • Use insights from keyword research and reporting to improve your search performance

This course takes about two and a half hours to complete.

‘SEO Certification Course’ from eMarketing Institute

The free “SEO Certification Course” is offered by eMarketing Institute. The 156-page ebook caters to SEO beginners.

You’ll learn what search engines are, how they index websites and how they rank them. In addition, other course topics include:

  • Search engine friendly design 
  • Understanding how keywords work and why keyword research is an important part of SEO
  • Link building
  • Different search engine protocols
  • How to track and measure success

The self-paced course (due to the nature of the ebook) has a free certification test in which participants only have 60 minutes to complete.

‘Optimizing a Website for Google Search’ from UC Davis

The free “Optimizing a Website for Google Search” course is offered by UC Davis through Coursera. You’ll learn the ins and outs of optimizing a website, which includes conducting an initial audit as well as presenting your findings and recommendations. 

Hands-on activities include: 

  • Learning how to select and apply appropriate keywords throughout a website
  • Incorporating keyword research in a content marketing strategy
  • Optimizing a site for local search

You also will learn strategies for setting goals and expectations, building effective analytics and reports, as well as communicating SEO improvements.

This intermediate-level course takes about 14 hours to complete.

‘SEO Link Building Basics’ from Udemy

The free “SEO Link Building Basics” is offered by Udemy and focuses on how to secure good links that make sense from relevant websites. It’s about the basics:

  • Why links matter
  • Link-building myths
  • Link-building mistakes
  • Keyword research
  • Anchor text diversity
  • How to analyze a link
  • How to analyze a website’s entire backlink profile

This beginner-level course will teach you how to find target sites for link prospecting, including analyzing a competitor’s backlinks, using advanced search in Google and how to analyze a website.

It’s a short course, taking less than an hour and a half to complete.

‘Advanced Search Engine Optimization Strategies’ from UC Davis

This free “Advanced Search Engine Optimization Strategies” course is offered by UC Davis through Coursera. It focuses on technical, mobile and social strategies for increasing website traffic.

You’ll learn how to build SEO for international audiences through content localization and global team alignment. The techniques discussed include: 

  • Optimizing mobile-friendly websites
  • Making mobile apps discoverable
  • Leveraging social media to drive organic SEO traffic

You also will learn how to identify key SEO metrics and collect, interpret, validate, and report success to your clients and stakeholders.

This intermediate-level course takes about 25 hours to complete.

‘Website Performance Optimization’ from Google

The free “Website Performance Optimization” course is offered by Google through Udacity. It focuses on how to optimize any website for speed by diving into the details of how mobile and desktop browsers render pages.

You’ll learn about the Critical Rendering Path, or the set of steps browsers must take to convert HTML, CSS and JavaScript into live websites. From there, you’ll start exploring and experimenting with tools to measure performance. You’ll also learn strategies to deliver the first pixels to the screen as early as possible. 

The course includes recommendations from PageSpeed Insights and the Timeline view of Google Chrome’s Developer Tools to find the data you need to achieve immediate performance boosts.

This intermediate-level course takes about one week to complete.

‘Search Engine Optimization’ from Springboard

The free “Search Engine Optimization” is offered by Springboard and helps participants build a strong framework in search engine optimization, explore how to optimize a site for organic traffic and learn how to track and measure results.

Specifically, you’ll learn:

  • An introduction to SEO
  • The history of SEO
  • Keyword research and content planning
  • On-page optimization
  • Technical SEO
  • Link building
  • Results and reporting

The course spans half a dozen sections, with 53 resources, and takes about 44 hours to complete.

SEO isn’t the only topic you can level up on through free online courses. Be sure to check out our suggested courses on email marketing and social media as well.

See if you’re making any of these 13 common SEO mistakes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social media efficiency

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

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

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

Improved social listening

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

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

Learn more about the difference between social listening and crowdsourcing.

Avoid hashtag mistakes

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

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

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

Streamlined analytics

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

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

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

Scalability

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

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

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

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

Organization and consistency

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

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

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

Never miss anything

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not defining your Facebook goals

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

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

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

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

Using a Facebook profile rather than a Facebook page

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

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

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

Failing to show a personal side of your business

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

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

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

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

Making everything about you

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

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

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

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

Using only one content type in your posts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posting without a plan

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

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

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

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

Never measuring your performance

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

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

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

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

Inconsistent posting

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

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

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

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

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

Unbalanced sales posts

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

Some businesses post too many and appear pushy.

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

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

Lacking an optimized Facebook page

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

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

See our 12 tips to optimize your Facebook business page.

Improper use of Facebook groups

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

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

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

Not investing in at least some paid advertising

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

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

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

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

The benefits of at least some advertising include:

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

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

Ignoring comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘What is Social?’ from Coursera

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

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

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

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

‘Introduction to Social Media Strategy’ from Skillshare

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

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

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

‘Social Media 101’ from Constant Contact

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

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

‘Social Media Marketing’ from Oxford Home Study Centre

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

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

The self-paced course provides a certification upon completion.

‘Social Media Analytics Course’ from Quintly

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

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

Course materials include videos, reading materials and quizzes.

‘Social Media’ from HubSpot

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

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

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

‘Social Media Marketing Certification’ from eMarketing Institute

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

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

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

‘The Business of Social’ from Coursera

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Writing for Social Media’ from edX

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

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

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

‘Social Media Ethics’ from Udemy

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

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

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

‘Content, Advertising & Social IMC’ from Coursera

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

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

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

‘Social Media Monitoring’ from Udemy

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

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

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

“Introduction to Social Media Advertising” from Skillshare

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

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

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

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

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

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

The course can take less than 48 hours to complete.

‘Facebook Blueprint’ from Facebook

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

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

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

“TikTok Marketing Masterclass” from Influencer Marketing Hub

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

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

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

Terms and Conditions: How to confirm your giveaways are legal

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

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

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

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

The differences between contests, sweepstakes and giveaways

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

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

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

Components of Terms and Conditions

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

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

Title

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

No Purchase Necessary

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

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

Promotion Description

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

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

Eligibility

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

  • Geographic location
  • Minimum age

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

Prizes

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

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

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

How to Enter

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

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

Winner Selection

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

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

Winner Notification

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

Privacy

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

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

Limitation of Liability

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

Social Network Disclaimers

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

Winner List

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

Sponsor

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

  • Company name
  • Mailing address
  • Email address

Administrator

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

Other considerations

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

Recurring daily or weekly winners

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

‘Twitter-only’ giveaway

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

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

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

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

Restricted industries

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

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

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

Where to host your Terms and Conditions

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

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

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

Entry deadlines cannot be extended

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

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

You must accept all valid entries

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

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

A prize must be awarded no matter what

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

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

Legal side note

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

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

12 expert tips to host your first webinar

Webinars are only growing in popularity.

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

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

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

Choose the right webinar platform

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

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

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

Select the right day and time

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

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

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

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

Use the right equipment

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

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

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

Opt for the right topic

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

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

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

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

Go as visual as possible

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

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

Practice makes perfect

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

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

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

Promote your webinar across channels

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

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

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

See our seven tips to level up your content marketing.

Engage with your attendees

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

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

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

Invite guests to speak or host

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

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

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

Assets can be created for attendees

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

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

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

Follow up with attendees after your webinar

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

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

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

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

Measure your success

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

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

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

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

18 low-cost marketing ideas for small businesses

For small businesses, marketing is important but also can feel out of budget.

About one in five small businesses doesn’t use digital marketing, while about one in 10 doesn’t invest in any kind of marketing.

But this doesn’t have to be your small business.

About 47 percent of businesses spend less than $10,000 on digital marketing per year.

Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to make an impact with potential customers and brand yourself online.

The following are 18 low-cost marketing ideas for small businesses that you can try without breaking the bank.

Embrace social media for low-cost marketing

Social media is an excellent way to:

  • Express your brand’s identity
  • Create trusting relationships with your audience
  • Build up your online community
  • Establish yourself as an expert in your industry and/or community

All of these benefits can ultimately help you grow your small business. 

While all the major social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and so on) are free to create business accounts on and use, it’s worthwhile to analyze where your time and focus is best spent.

In other words, consider where your target audience is and what resources you have in your favor. If you’re not ready for a full YouTube video channel yet, for example, start with occasional live videos on your Facebook page to get your feet wet.

See our guide to help you decide where to start on social media.

Remember that once you choose where to start, you can use your social media to:

  • Promote any blog posts that can drive traffic to your website
  • Engage with your audience (such as responding to any direct messages or comments)
  • Request feedback, helping your customers feel heard and cared about
  • And more!

Just be consistent and active on any profiles/pages you’re managing.

Smaller but other low-cost tactics you can embrace specifically on social media include:

  • Tagging people (such as loyal customers) and other brands, which can help grow your organic reach on any platform
  • Using hashtags, which are particularly helpful on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok

Create your Google My Business account

If you’re a business with a fixed location that needs to appeal to local customers, a Google My Business account is critical to create and optimize.

It’s essentially a free online listing that helps your business appear on Google Maps, which is the local section of Google Search. You’ll also appear in the right-side knowledge panel for any branded searches, where an internet user is searching for you specifically.

To optimize your profile, be sure to verify your ownership of it first. (This is done through your Google My Business account.) Then, confirm that all contact information is correct. You also can upload photos, post an offer and encourage customers to review your business on Google.

Explore local SEO

Speaking of Google My Business, it’s important to pay extra attention to your local search engine optimization (SEO). Focusing on ways you can rank higher in local search queries in your target area is both low-cost and high-impact if done right.

You can start by:

  • Getting listed in online directories
  • Adding location-based keywords throughout your website and content

See our 11 tips for boosting your local SEO.

Commit to email marketing

While email marketing can be dismissed by some, it’s wise to embrace it. Why? To start, the return on investment is high. See 48 statistics that show the value of email marketing.

Email is a great, inexpensive way to maintain relationships with your existing customers. It also can enable you to build trust with potential customers to the point that they will convert and purchase from your business.

Of course, it all starts with building up your email contact list whether you have a website or not. See our 12 strategies to capture more leads on your website or our six ways you can capture email leads without a website.

Then, once you have contact to send emails to, consider constructing a strong email onboarding sequence. Keep in mind that there are 10 parts in the anatomy of a marketing email that make it successful. Plus, email automation can help you engage with customers and leads at exactly the right times. If you’re considering “cold emailing,” check out our 11 tips to increase your open rate.

To dive deeper into email marketing, check out these eight recommended online courses.

(While not a traditional component of email marketing, keep in mind the opportunity to optimize all employee email signatures. Links that can be used include social media accounts, calendar meeting requests and so on.)

Focus on content marketing

Content marketing is all about attracting website traffic and social media engagement through the valuable content that you create.

While it’s always possible to hire others to create content for you, whatever you can do yourself will save you expenses on your budget.

Starting a blog is a great (and common) way to get the content wheel turning for your brand. Video content also is highly engaging. And repurposing your existing evergreen content is a great way to save on both time and money.

Remember that premium content, such as webinars or ebooks, can also directly help with lead generation.

Of course, the key to success is how you plan and promote your content. See our seven tips to level up your content marketing, and consider using a content calendar to stay organized. And if you are struggling with the creation, check out our guide on beating marketing writer’s block.

Get visual with infographics

Data lends itself to valuable content for your audience. While about 74 percent of marketing content contained a visual element in 2019, infographics specifically can increase website traffic by up to 12 percent.

Of course, hiring a designer to create infographics for you to publish and share can be costly. Fortunately, there are several low-cost and free graphic design tools that you can use to create your own for low-cost marketing.

If you don’t have any of your own data to use in an infographic, there are several open, public sources you can pull from, including:

Just make sure to credit the source of any data you use.

Claim available ad credits for low-cost marketing

Facebook, Google, Yelp and other digital advertising platforms occasionally offer free promo credits to encourage businesses to advertise with them. Whether it’s a discount or a free amount of advertising, it’s important to pay attention to these offers so that you can take advantage.

Read any fine print associated with available offers, and review our guide on the difference between cost-per-click and cost-per-impression advertising. Plus, check out our six tips to maximize your social media advertising budget so that you can maximize whatever amount of money to do decide to spend (or get the most out of the advertising credits offered).

Apply for relevant business awards

Business awards don’t just happen. Whether it’s in your community or nationwide, there traditionally is an application and/or nomination process.

Either way, it’s worthwhile to engage in the award process because winning an award is low-cost marketing at its core, but you also can include a mention or badge on your website that acts as social proof of your authority and trustworthiness.

Awards can be industry-wise or community “best of.”

See more options to build up your social proof that can help drive sales, plus social proof tools that can help.

Get creative with guerilla marketing

Guerilla marketing is all about creativity over money. There is no limit to what you can do with guerilla marketing. Whether it’s sidewalk chalk promoting your business around the block from your location or placing stickers all over town simply to catch people’s eye.

It doesn’t take much, money-wise, but the important part is to be as creative as possible to get attention for your brand for this low-cost marketing tactic.

Partner up with other businesses

Just because you own a small business doesn’t mean that you’re alone. There’s strength in numbers.

Partnering with other businesses is about building mutually beneficial relationships, whether it’s for a special event, placing business cards in each other’s locations or something more. This can expose your brand to an entirely new audience and vice versa.

Make sure to research the business you’re considering partnering with, determine how you can best work together and clarify the expectations between the two of you for this form of low-cost marketing.

Encourage employees to be brand ambassadors

Another form of social proof, word-of-mouth advertising is both affordable and effective. Brand ambassadors are individuals who care about your brand and promote it personally to those they know. 

Employees, who have a natural interest in the success of your business, are great candidates for this form of low-cost marketing. An example of a brand ambassador campaign is an invite-only “friends and family” sale that your employees can promote among their social networks.

If you want to go a step further than encouraging your employees to be brand ambassadors, consider exploring influencer marketing. You’ll definitely want a plan that can keep overall expenses to a minimum, though.

Set up a referral program for low-cost marketing

Again, word of mouth is powerful. You can support this tactic by setting up a referral program for your existing customers.

About 77 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a new product if their friends or family recommend it.

Of course, you can decide the parameters of your program, whether it’s a free product, discount or something else to reward customers for referring others to your business. Make sure that your system has a way of tracking and even automating the referral rewards as much as possible.

Host classes or events

While hosting a class or event could easily break your budget, it’s also possible to keep the cost under control. Focus on your expertise and strength (as well as the needs of your target audience), consider whether there is a registration fee or not tied to the class or event and then promote, promote, promote to get the benefits of this low-cost marketing tactic.

Fortunately, you can share the event on social media in a number of different ways, including creating a Facebook event and/or building an entire “countdown” campaign to generate excitement. While low-tech, clear and eye-catching fliers can be effective when placed in areas that are well seen by your target audience.

Start small, and with each class or event, you can pivot and improve each time.

Create a contest or giveaway

Everyone appreciates winning a prize. The important part about hosting any giveaway or content is to determine what is appealing enough as a prize that will draw engagement and attention in this low-cost marketing method.

Your prize doesn’t have to be very expensive, and ideally, it should be a bit of a wash on your budget. Depending on the user, even some branded swag could be enough. Just think through it because every brand is different, and what would appeal to your target audience can vary.

The goal is typically lead generation, brand awareness or both, so think through the type of contest/giveaway that can help you achieve your goal. For example, you could host a business card drawing using a fishbowl in your business or post a social media style contest. It all depends on what works for your brand and resources.

Then, be sure to include relevant terms and conditions for your giveaway that satisfy local legal requirements tied to operating a contest or giveaway in your state or country.

Consider affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is about creating additional revenue streams for your small business, where an affiliate (you and/or your small business) earns a commission for marketing another’s products.

More than 80 percent of brands have affiliate programs, so there are a lot of opportunities out there. 

And affiliate marketing is especially low-risk (and a great method of low-cost marketing). Either you’re successful and generate a commission or you’re not. There is no upfront cost (outside of your time and effort spent marketing the affiliate offer). As long as you find the right fit for your own brand and audience, there is a real potential for achieving additional revenue.

Dive deeper with our affiliate marketing tips that can help you get started.

Tout your expertise

Whether you’re speaking at an event, appearing on a panel or guest writing for publications and/or blogs, seeking opportunities to get your name (and the name of your business) out there through appearances elsewhere both in-person and online can expose your brand to new audiences.

You also can answer questions on platforms like Quora, joining HARO or being active on online forums that are relevant to your industry.

Sharing your expertise is a form of low-cost marketing.

See our 10 tips to build your personal brand and grow your business as a result.

Offer free trials, samples or other types of coupons

It might sound counterproductive to give a service or product away, but free trials or samples are a great way to help convert potential customers in this method of low-cost marketing.

It falls into the category of “try before you buy.”

Of course, there also are platforms like Groupon that you can explore as well if it makes sense for your brand. You’re essentially being paid for leads that are then up to you to convert.

Start your own podcast

While an initial investment in equipment might be needed, starting and maintaining your own podcast is more about time than money.

Perhaps you already have an idea of the type of podcast you want to create and are ready to jump in, but beware: It’s estimated that there are at least 1.75 million shows already (and they’re definitely not all delivering on the invested time and resources). 

Learn more about how to start your first podcast.

For more tips overall, check out our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners.

As you’re exploring low-cost marketing methods, 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.

14 expert tips to improve your mobile marketing

Mobile has revolutionized the way we do business. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make your website as mobile-friendly as possible

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

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

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

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

Ensure that digital ads are mobile-friendly

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

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

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

Use Google Search Console

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

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

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

Test your page-loading speed

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

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

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

Ensure all emails are responsive

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

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

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

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

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

Get local with Google My Business

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

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

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

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

Optimize your social media presence across platforms

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

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

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

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

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

Seize social proof opportunities

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

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

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

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

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

Use SMS texts to help promote

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

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

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

Create more video content

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

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

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

Consider a podcast

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

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

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

Optimize for voice search

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

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

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

Embrace QR codes

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

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

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

Create an app

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

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

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

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

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

7 ways social media can influence your SEO

Unsure how your social media presence can improve your search engine rankings?

Content is king in the world of SEO (search engine optimization), and the content you share on your social media accounts can have an impact on your SEO. To be clear, the amount of impact has long been debated although most can agree that there is at least an indirect impact.

About 68 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine, so it’s worth striving for social media best practices since they do impact the factors that directly affect your search rankings. 

(Find out how you can check your Google search ranking for free.)

The following are seven ways that social media can (indirectly) influence your SEO.

Social media profiles rank in search engines

To start, social media profiles are not contained to the platforms they exist on. They do appear in branded search results. And often, they are prominently visible (i.e. high up in the list and usually on the first page).

You’ll want to capitalize on this search engine visibility by creating (if you haven’t already) and optimizing your social media profiles in every way possible.

Not sure where to start? Check out our expert tips to optimize your Facebook business page.

The key is to put yourself in the user’s shoes. He or she is searching for you and then clicks on your social media profile result. Be sure that the information you provide and the content you’re sharing represents your brand and gives them an idea of what you’re about.

Social media posts can drive traffic

With website traffic considered a major search engine ranking factor, you’ll want to grow that traffic every way possible.

And one obvious method is through social media posts. When a lot of people share your content (directly from your website) or your posts (directly on the social media platform itself) to their own networks of friends and followers, they’re potentially boosting your rankings. The more who see your content, the more who might click and visit your website.

Of course, remember that any random content won’t suffice. Strive for value and make the content as visual and engaging as possible.

Social media is a great way to promote your content to audiences who may never have even heard of you before. Whether it’s an organic content strategy or paid social media campaigns, social media has an undeniable power. This is because while SEO is about reaching those who need you, social media is about reaching those who didn’t even realize they needed you. 

Great quality content can generate various engagement actions, including shares, which again can lead to greater website traffic that can boost your SEO.

Of course, you can expand your reach even further through influencers. Check out our seven tips before you dive into influencer marketing.

Social media platforms are search engines themselves

The search function on various social media platforms is far more robust than we sometimes realize. It serves as a valuable search engine itself, where people can discover your profile, page, content or even events (depending on the platform).

Make sure you are optimizing your social media profiles and content with your relevant keywords to boost your visibility in these searches. 

Check out these 11 free SEO keyword research tools to help if you’re unsure what keywords to use.

Social media affects local SEO

The name, address and phone number of your business already plays an important role in local search rankings.

Google will consider your business more credible if this key information is consistent across your social media profiles. That credibility naturally boosts your local search rankings.

Whenever you can geotag your posts and/or Stories, all the better. This also will help your local visibility.

In addition, social media reviews can help you attract local potential customers. About 86 percent of consumers read reviews about local businesses.

Check out our 11 local SEO tips to help you beat your competition.

The YouTube effect on SEO

Because YouTube videos get prominent rankings in search engine results, they get a special mention. The more popular and relevant your YouTube videos are to a search query on Google, the more likely they’ll rank high.

Part of this is due to Google owning YouTube. And YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (after Google, of course).

That means that you must optimize your YouTube channel and videos for SEO.

Check out our 20 tips that can help you grow your followers (and presence) on YouTube.

Beyond YouTube, video, in general, holds a higher value in search engine rankings. If you need, here are five reasons why your business should create more videos.

What Google says now versus what can happen in the future

There has been a back and forth over the years of whether Google directly considers social signals for search rank. But just because the latest word from Google is that social media isn’t a direct influence on your SEO, that doesn’t mean that can’t change in the future.

The idea here is that your best practices should be happening always. You never know how search engine algorithms will evolve in the future. And in the meantime, your efforts are a rising tide that will benefit your business in both direct and indirect ways.

SEO does not just mean Google

While Google is saying social signals aren’t a factor in its search algorithm, other search engines (like Bing) actually do use social signals.

Just because Google carries a majority of searches, Bing still has a fair share.

Remember that great SEO impacts your ranking on various search engines, not just Google.

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

6 things fitness professionals should know about marketing

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

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

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

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

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

Know your target audience

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

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

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

Resist this temptation. 

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

Why? A few reasons.

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

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

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

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

Embrace social media

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

That’s right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, email marketing is a thing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consider offering premium content

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

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

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

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

Feature your credentials

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

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

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

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

Have a fitness marketing strategy

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

It’s important to sit down and think through:

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

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

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

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

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

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

8 tips for a successful social media takeover

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choose who’s taking over

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

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

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

Check out these 18 influencer-discovery tools to help.

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

Sync up your goals

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

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

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

Select your social media platform

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

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

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

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

Plan out your framework

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

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

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

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

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

Set up platform permissions

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

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

Provide all passwords and total access

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

Limit posting permissions

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

Have all content delivered for you to post

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

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

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

Promote your social media takeover in advance

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

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

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

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

Measure your results

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

Yes and no.

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

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

Test all these tips out internally

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

Doing so allows you to: 

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

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

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

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

16 tools to help make your competitive analysis easier

Competitive analysis is a tactic that every company should use regularly.

But without the right tool that suits your needs, it’s easy for manual competitive analysis to take up a big chunk of time.

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

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

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

The following are 16 tools that you should consider as you perform your competitive analysis, divided up by the focus of each tool. The best tool for your business likely will come down to your goals and competitive analysis needs.

Overall competitive analysis tools

Pi Datametrics

Pi Datametrics allows you to measure the impact of your brand campaigns against your competitors. This tool analyzes emerging trends and audience intent to help you match your messaging and timing to consumers’ needs.

Features include SEO tracking, daily rank tracking, market analysis capabilities, identifying market leaders and overall industry analysis.

It’s an all-around competitive analysis tool that can give your company the edge through insightful data that goes beyond digital marketing.

Kompyte

You can use Kompyte to compare traffic, referrals, visitor behavior, keywords, search rankings, paid ads and social media metrics.

In addition, you can stay updated with your competitors’ emails.

Kompyte also will auto-suggest potential competitors based on the keywords you’re tracking.

Social media focus

Phlanx

Phlanx is an Instagram engagement calculator that helps you understand how active an account’s followers are. This is a great tool if your competitive analysis is focused on Instagram. In addition, it can help you figure out whether or not an influencer has a legitimate following on the visual social media platform.

Phlanx’s engagement ratio is based on the number of followers an account has versus the rate that followers engage with content, such as with likes, comments and so on.

While this calculator doesn’t give an ultimate say on an Instagram account’s value or success, it does give some perspective that goes beyond the simple follower count.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social helps you understand competitor performance on social media from multiple angles and data points across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can use this tool to get a sneak peek at what your competitors are posting or benchmark your growth against the average of the profiles being compared.

Sprout Social also offers an advanced social media listening feature, with interactive charts and graphs that you can customize for your goals. Learn more about social media listening.

Social Blade

Looking at a wide range of social media platforms (including Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, among others), Social Blade interprets the followings and engagement actions on competitor accounts.

You can get a day-by-day follower update, as well as a live follower count through this tool. Plus, you can stack competitors’ social profiles against each other for a larger overall analysis.

SEO focus

SEMRush

One of the most popular SEO tools online right now, SEMRush also offers several competitive analysis features. And it’s ideal for understanding your competition through an SEO-specific lens.

The tool, for example, allows you to pull your competitor’s backlinks and monitor shifts in their search engine ranking. You also can get a by-the-numbers view of who’s competing for particular keywords.

MozBar

MozBar is a Chrome browser extension that offers a surface-level view of a website’s authority as perceived by Google. This tool assigns websites a domain authority score based on its likelihood to rank in search engines for a variety of factors.

Because it’s a browser extension, MozBar is very accessible, making it easy to see a competitor’s potential search performance at a glance. You’ll also see how competing sites compare in a Google search query.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is another popular competitive analysis tool as it relates to SEO. It enables you to check any URL’s top organic keywords, as well as provides you with a rough estimate of how much traffic a competitor gets from those keywords.

You also can see a competitor’s highest-performing content based on backlinks. This all helps prevent you from engaging in a guessing game when it comes to your competitors’ referral traffic.

Content focus

Similarweb

Similarweb is actually a competitive analysis tool that addresses both content and SEO. It helps you dive deeper into your competitors’ content, as well as where their web traffic is coming from.

This tool can help you see what topics visitors search for and what other relevant sites they visit.

SimilarWeb is free, but you can upgrade to gain access to more competitive analysis tools.

Buzzsumo

Looking for top-performing content on relevant topics for your brand and your competitors? Consider Buzzsumo. This tool looks at both engagement on social media platforms and total shares across the web for each piece of content, giving you an idea of who’s successful in regards to strong industry content.

Of course, on the flip side, the pieces of content identified by Buzzsumo can help you with new ideas for content of your own.

Feedly

A content aggregator, Feedly stores and organizes content as it’s published. So, you can see the topics covered by your competitors in one place.

This tool also features AI (artificial intelligence) that can be taught to prioritize the topics and trends that matter to you.

Miscellaneous

iSpionage

iSpionage helps you dig deeper into your competitors’ paid ads by analyzing multiple aspects of PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns. This includes how many keywords a competitor is targeting on Google AdWords and what their target keywords are.

You’ll also see who else is competing for PPC ads on a particular topic and how much they’re projected monthly budget is.

Mailcharts

Need to analyze competitors’ emails? Mailcharts aggregates emails from competing campaigns. This tool grabs subject lines, pulls send frequency and compares everything to your brand’s campaigns to see how your emails compare.

In addition to comparing your emails to competitors’, Mailcharts compares your campaigns to its own library of marketing emails to ensure you’re in line with such best practices as timing, frequency, subject line length and so on.

You’ll also have access to email examples to help inspire your current and future campaigns.

Owler

Owler curates various business data points for your competitors. You can access exclusive information, including annual revenue, employee count, funding and top competitors.

This tool also allows you to filter a real-time feed of the latest news to uncover events that could move your business forward, including funding, layoffs and more.

Owletter

Not to be confused with Owler, Owletter aggregates emails from competitors and organizes them into a simple dashboard. 

This tool will spot changes in your competitors’ email frequency, as well as trends that can help you better determine when you should send your own emails.

SpyFu

SpyFu helps you research and download your competitors’ most profitable keywords in PPC ad campaigns. It reveals not only the paid keywords, but also the organic search keywords that can help you improve your own SEO performance.

In other words, this tool doesn’t just cover PPC competitive analysis, but SEO as well.

Once you find the perfect competitive analysis tool for your goals, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentations and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Color psychology: A breakdown of the influence colors have in digital marketing

Color psychology plays a larger role in branding and marketing than some might realize.

The colors you see in logos, websites and ads are all very purposeful.

And for good reason. Color influences about 85 percent of consumers’ purchase decisions. Colors also increase brand awareness by about 80 percent.

Color psychology is the science behind how color influences human attitude, behavior and decision-making. This is very important as you’re striving to influence potential customers to convert and purchase your product or service over someone else’s.

Without going into a full science lesson, let’s dig into a basic breakdown of how different colors can impact us so that you can make the best decisions in your branding, designing and anything else tied into your digital marketing.

Red

A classic color, red is strategically used in all types of marketing to stop consumers in their tracks and call for immediate attention. It’s attractive to impulsive shoppers, and as one of the most aggressive colors on the spectrum, red brings about strong emotions, such as excitement, power and love.

It’s often used for call-to-action buttons and clearance sales because of its power to draw attention.

In addition, red also encourages appetite, so you’ll see it used by many fast food restaurants because the color physically stimulates our bodies, raising our blood pressure and heart rate.

Some brands that use red in their logos:

  • Netflix
  • Coca-Cola
  • Wendy’s
  • Target
  • CNN
  • Pizza Hut

Blue

Evoking feelings of trust, security and strength, the color blue is one of the most versatile to use in digital marketing. In addition, this color curbs appetite, stimulates productivity and represents intelligence.

Its color variance also is a larger factor than with some other colors. For example, lighter blue is actually preferable to darker blue for consumers since darker blue can come off a bit too strong or convey a different message than intended. 

You’ll see the color blue used by a lot of financial institutions because of its trustworthiness association.

Some brands that use blue in their logos:

  • Samsung
  • PayPal
  • Ford
  • OnStar
  • Windows
  • Facebook

Green

The color green represents nature, health, freshness, hope, growth and relaxation. It’s also one of the easiest colors for the human eyes to process.

Color variance is also a big factor for green, where dark green reflects wealth and stability.

You’ll often see the color used by companies that have organic, natural and/or fresh products. In addition, green often is used in stores to relax customers. It stimulates harmony in your brain and encourages decisiveness, which is a bonus for companies.

Some brands that use green in their logos:

  • Whole Foods
  • Animal Planet
  • Girl Scouts
  • Android
  • Starbucks
  • Spotify

Yellow

Looking for happiness, positivity and optimism? Look no further than the color yellow, which evokes cheerfulness, youth and clarity. 

Yellow can help generate more engagement by adding that touch of positivity to many designs and is often used for exactly that reason.

Some brands that use yellow in their logos:

  • Best Buy
  • McDonald’s
  • Lipton
  • Snapchat
  • Chevrolet
  • Nikon

Orange

Similar to yellow, the color orange also promotes cheerfulness. In addition, there can be feelings of adventure, excitement, enthusiasm and warmth. Orange is often used to draw attention.

Some brands that use orange in their logos:

  • Nickelodeon
  • The Home Depot
  • Soundcloud
  • Hooters
  • Harley Davidson
  • Mastercard

Purple

Nostalgic and sentimental, purple is definitely a favorite of creative and imaginative brands looking to communicate their innovative products and services. Respect and problem-solving also are driven by this color.

Darker tones of purple evoke luxury and royalty, so again, color variance is a factor. 

Some brands that use purple in their logos:

  • Roku
  • Hallmark
  • Taco Bell
  • Syfy Channel
  • Yahoo!
  • Twitch

Black

While technically not an actual color (rather the absence of color), black symbolizes sophistication, power and control. In addition, black conveys that a company has reputable and trustworthy products and services to offer. Therefore, it’s commonly used by luxury and technology brands.

In addition, black evokes authority, power, stability, confidence and strength. But it can be overwhelming if used too frequently in your digital marketing.

Some brands that use black in their logos:

  • Nike
  • Sony
  • The New York Times
  • Chanel
  • Gucci
  • Adidas

White

The color white is all about purity, neutrality and safety. It helps with contrast and clarity in digital marketing. For example, “white space” is a powerful design feature that conveys cleanliness.

White is very versatile in its use, and it’s great for any minimalist brands as well.

Some brands that use white in their logos:

  • Cotton
  • Tesla (in addition to red)
  • White Claw
  • Mini
  • Vans
  • Apple

Gray

Potentially uninspiring if used too often, gray brings about feelings of practicality, old age and solidarity. Again, too much can bring about feelings of nothingness and depression.

But color variance can make a positive impact on gray. For example, lighter gray can be used in digital marketing to balance luxury with stability. (Think Lexus.)

Some brands that use the color gray in their logos:

  • Wikipedia
  • WordPress
  • Bassett
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Nissan

Now that you understand the power of color psychology, check out these 11 free graphic design tools for the non-designer.

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

8 tips to create an effective content calendar

Content marketing has many moving parts.

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

Organization is critical.

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

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

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

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

Determine your goals

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

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

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

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

Create your content calendar template

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

Truly, a basic spreadsheet would do the trick.

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

Some information that would be helpful to include:

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

Look ahead to the calendar year

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

This can include:

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

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

Choose your publishing frequency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consider your content workflow

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

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

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

Evergreen content is just as important as new content

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

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

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

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

Consistently update and review your content calendar

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

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

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

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

Monitor the performance of your content

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

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

What’s working, and what’s not?

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

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

9 expert tips to better market your gym online

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

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

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

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

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

Optimize your website

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Explore local SEO

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

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

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

Some tactics to consider:

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

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

Create a mix of content

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post consistently on social media

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

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

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

Leverage FOMO opportunities

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

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

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

Engage with email marketing

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

When emailing, you’ll want to:

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

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

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

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

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

Check out our 14 best practices for email drip campaigns.

Create an affiliate marketing program for your gym

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

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

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

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

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

Remarketing to your leads

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

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

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

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

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

Measure your results

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

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

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

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

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

Top 7 traits of online fitness personalities

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

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

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

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

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

#1: Motivational

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

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

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

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

#2: Being upbeat

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

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

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

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

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

#3: Relatability

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

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

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

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

#4: Confidence

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

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

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

#5: Nurturing

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

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

#6: Great listener

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

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

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

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

#7: Integrity

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

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

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

Webinar: Using popups on your website

Using popups on your website to capture visitors as they enter or leave can be surprisingly effective.

The average conversion rate for all popups is 3.09 percent.

In this webinar, we’ll talk through strategies for how to use popups to collect information from visitors.

Check out these eight tips to get more leads through your website popups.

6 ways to market your fitness blog

Whether you’ve already started a fitness blog or are considering it, there’s more to success than just writing and posting.

Blogging itself is definitely a valuable strategy for your fitness business, whether you’re a personal trainer, gym owner or influencer. In fact, about 80 percent of companies that use blogging as a part of their marketing strategy said they acquire customers through their blogging efforts. And about 82 percent of businesses say that blogging is critical to their business success.

But what can you do to ensure the success of your fitness blog (and therefore your business)?

The fitness industry, in general, is full of tons of people and companies offering their take on how to lose weight, live healthier and so on. It’s a noisy arena that you must cut through to find and grow an engaged audience.

First things first

Of course, key considerations to have a quality fitness blog to promote in the first place include:

Understanding your audience

Who are you writing for? What problems or obstacles are they facing? What do they care about?

Determining your niche

A fitness blog that tries to be everything for everyone is going to connect with and engage very few. What is your expertise? If you’re a nutrition expert, for example, what unique angle can you focus on? Meal planning for families? Paleo eating? Something else? Don’t be afraid to get specific. The more uniquely you can leverage your expertise, experience and even personality, the better.

Establishing your target keywords

Once you know the niche you’re pursuing, it’s time to start researching relevant keywords. Don’t get distracted by the most popular keywords. Big websites are already targeting those. Focus on long-tail keywords that might have a lower search volume but also are more easy to rank for. Need help? Check out our list of 11 free keyword research tools.

Committing to a consistent publishing schedule

Inconsistent fitness blogs will struggle to gain traction. Set a schedule that you can stick to. You can make this easier by planning topics ahead of time (i.e. a content calendar). A general rule of thumb is to strive for at least three posts per week, but ultimately, the commitment has to be something you can keep. Feel free to refer to your competition for how often they are posting and use that as a gauge as well.

Quality over quantity

While you should be posting consistently, you also have to be hyper aware of the quality of content you’re offering. In the fitness world specifically, you have to be extra cautious about offering health advice. We recommend that either you’re an expert (with a diploma or certifications) or you focus only on sharing your experiences as they pertain to health and fitness (like how you lost weight, for example). Of course, you can always hire or interview experts as well. With every post, ask yourself: “Am I helping my audience overcome their problem(s)?” The goal is to create content that is as good or better than what’s already available online.

It’s important to take your time on each of the above factors because even the best marketing strategies in the world are only going to take an unengaging, unfocused blog so far. 

The following are six ways that you can market your fitness blog.

Your SEO matters

Great search engine optimization (SEO) will reward your fitness blog with organic website traffic.

There are loosely three types of SEO techniques:

  • Technical SEO, which involves the indexing and crawling settings of your website. It’s about search engines being able to read and index your website properly. Check out our 13 tips to get Google to index your website faster.
  • On-page SEO, which involves making your web pages search-engine friendly. This involves page titles, page descriptions, text formatting, mobile optimization and so on.
  • Off-page SEO, which involves everything that’s happening outside of your website. For example, other sites linking to yours and even social media posts directing users to your fitness blog. Check out our nine tips and tricks to boost your off-page SEO.

Learn more about the difference between on-page and off-page SEO, and see if you’re making any of these 13 common SEO mistakes.

Just remember that great SEO takes time and consistent effort. There are no worthwhile shortcuts that will serve your fitness blog in the long run.

Promote on social media

This method is likely obvious. Most fitness bloggers share their content on social media platforms.

Where to post

The trick is to optimize your presence on the social media platforms you’re already on, prioritize those existing accounts by where your target audience is (and is engaging with you) and decide if there are any platforms you should be on that you aren’t on yet.

(On the flip side, are you wasting your resources on any given social media platform? For example, Twitter isn’t the best platform for every business.)

We can help you determine the best platform(s) for your fitness blog promotion and goals.

How to post

As far as posting, go beyond the simple sharing of links. Identify opportunities to promote your content with visuals, whether they’re eye-catching photos or designed graphics. Canva is a free tool that can help even the self-declared non-designers design compelling images.

Just as you want to be consistent with publishing your fitness blog, you also want to be consistent (and engaged) on your chosen social media platforms. Remember that social media is a space for conversations, not just broadcasting links.

These 11 social media management tools and seven social media automation opportunities can help.

Consider an app

Creating apps for iOS and Android devices is a great alternative way to get your fitness blog discovered. While there’s definitely competition, you’ll find that it’s not as intense as the intense noise you’ll find on the world wide web.

Be sure to connect with a knowledgeable app developer that can best reflect your needs and branding.

Another bonus of this method is that anyone who downloads your app can be notified when new blogs are published.

Email marketing a must

Creating and publishing consistent content naturally leads to the need for establishing an email newsletter that website visitors can subscribe to.

Email marketing is a powerful tool. Simply refer to these 48 statistics.

Treat every email you send as an opportunity to engage with your subscribers and deliver on the promise of value your newsletter offers.

Here’s a breakdown of the anatomy of an effective marketing email. And if you’re in need of building up your subscriber list, here are 12 strategies that will help you capture email addresses without annoying all your website visitors.

Once you solidify your email marketing rhythm, consider any sale opportunities that can be mixed in. Refer to our 14 best practices for email drip campaigns for inspiration.

Look into trust badges

Because of the noise in the fitness content space, any sort of verification you can obtain to reflect the quality of your content will build trust with website visitors (who will be more likely to return if they trust you).

Regarding health and fitness specifically, consider working with Health On The Net, which is an independent nonprofit organization that promotes transparent and reliable health information online.

While trust badges won’t directly grow your fitness blog traffic, they do boost the perceived value of your website and better establish your authority in the fitness industry.

Find out more about the types of trust badges you can embed on your site

Explore what the competition is doing

The best digital marketing strategies are constantly evolving, and the fitness industry changes at an equally fast rate.

Take the time to follow your competition and other thought leaders in the fitness industry. 

How are they promoting themselves and their content? What appears to be working for them? What doesn’t seem to be working? In addition, take note of:

  • Top-ranking websites on Google in your niche
  • The type of content the top sites publish
  • How often new content is published
  • The average length of blog posts
  • What they share on social media (and how they share it)
  • Any multimedia assets used (video, images, etc.) 

This type of competitive analysis will only help inform you on alternative ideas and tactics that can influence your own fitness blog marketing.

Being engaged in your niche industry is a great way to stay on top of trends and continue to be creative with your own blogging.

To more efficiently conduct your competitive analysis, tools like Buzzsumo and Semrush can help.

In conclusion

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

17 of the best social proof tools to boost your sales

Social proof can help convert your potential customers into paying customers.

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

About 92 percent of online consumers will read product reviews before purchasing.

Find out more about social proof and nine ways you can use it.

The following are 17 of the best social proof tools to build your credibility and boost your sales. Several include money-back guarantees and free trials.

TrustPulse

TrustPulse is a popular social proof tool for business websites. It can automate real-time customer activity notifications on your site with unobtrusive (but attention-grabbing) pop-ups.

Such verified website actions include (but are not limited to):

  • Purchases
  • Sign-up form submission
  • Demo registrations

TrustPulse says that you can boost your conversions by as much as 15 percent by using the tool on your website. It also integrates with WordPress, Shopify, WooCommerce, Mailchimp and more.

Pricing

Plans start at $9 per month, but this varies since TrustPulse periodically discounts its prices for new accounts. All of its plans come with a 14-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.

Proof

Proof is another popular social proof tool, with more than 25,000 businesses using it. It offers different ways to customize your social proof notifications, such as how long to show those notifications and on which pages they should appear.

You also can customize whether you feature conversions from the past day, week or even the past three months.

Pricing

Plans start at $24 per month (billed annually), but you can start a 14-day free trial to see if it’s right for your business first.

Smash Balloon

To embed social media feeds anywhere on your WordPress website, consider Smash Balloon. This means that you can highlight user-generated content (UGC), testimonials and reviews from others on social media.

Specifically, Smash Balloon offers five different plugins to help you show social proof on your website:

  • Facebook feed of Facebook reviews 
  • Instagram hashtag feed of user-generated content
  • Twitter feed of tweets that mention your account or branded hashtag
  • YouTube feed featuring a playlist of video testimonials
  • Social Wall combining feeds from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube into a single feed

Pricing

Plans start at $98 per year, but introductory offers usually are available. It also features a 30-day money-back guarantee.

WPForms

WPForms is a user-friendly WordPress form-builder plugin, making it easy to ask for customer reviews that you can then highlight on your ecommerce website.

This is important because consumers trust online reviews.

WPForms features several pre-built templates and integrates with your email marketing service. This means that, in addition to using the tool on your site, you can use your email service to automatically reach out to customers after their purchase from you and include your feedback form.

Pricing

Plans start at $79 per year, but WPForms runs periodic sales for new accounts. It also features a 14-day money-back guarantee.

SocialProve

SocialProve displays conversion or visitor notifications on your website in the form of small pop-ups. It also touts boosting your sales by about 15 percent.

The notifications can be customized to match your branding. Notification types include live activity, live count, visitor combo and activity combo.

It integrates with more than 120 content marketing tools, payment systems, marketing funnel apps and other apps, including (but not limited to):

  • WordPress
  • Wix
  • ClickFunnels
  • Leadpages
  • HubSpot
  • Instapage
  • Squarespace
  • PayPal
  • Stripe

Pricing

Plans start at $359 per year, but you can start with a no-risk, seven-day free trial to see if it works for you. (No credit card information required.)

Thrive Ovation

The WordPress plugin, Thrive Ovation, helps you easily add testimonials to your ecommerce website. 

You can even add social media and blog comments to your testimonials library. Its tagging system helps you find the testimonials you want to include.

There’s also an “awaiting approval” status function, where you’ll receive approval emails from your dashboard to approve any new testimonials before they go live.

Pricing

Plans start at $19 per month, billed annually. It also features a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Proven

Proven is another WordPress plugin that lets you customize the appearance of your social proof notifications to match your branding.

You can create manual entries and control how and when notifications appear. This can include showing notifications on certain pages, only to new visitors, only to logged-in users and so on.

Pricing

Plans start at $39 per year for a single site license.

LetConvert

To show off recent visitor activity, live visitor count and how many conversions have happened on your website, consider LetConvert. It’s also fully customizable, with a variety of colors, fonts and animations.

The tool also features customer cards that allow you to follow your customer’s journey. For example, once a visitor signs up, you can then track his or her details and activity on your website.

Pricing

Plans start at $4.99 per week when billed annually and include a 14-day free trial.

Fomo

Fomo is a tool that offers several templates and display rules that you can use. But you also can create your own if you like. Customizations can apply to notification messages, filters and template or page rules.

No coding necessary for your customizations, which can make it very easy to use.

Pricing

Plans start at $19 per month, but you can try Fomo out first with a 14-day free trial.

Repuso

To show off testimonials and reviews on your site, consider Repuso, which actually monitors your social media platforms for customer reviews. 

You also can collect customer reviews through Repuso’s widgets. The reviews and testimonials go into a dashboard where you can organize them and choose which to display on your website.

Repuso features a number of ways to display these, including:

  • Floating widgets
  • In-line reviews
  • Floating badges
  • Review grid
  • Photo-review sliders

Pricing

Plans start at $9 per month when billed annually, with a free 10-day trial available.

Provely

Provely features different campaign types that will show real-time activity, rotating activity from a selected period of time or past activity.

The tool touts a 250 percent boost to your conversions. You can customize your pop-up notifications, with various templates and the ability to choose the colors that reflect your branding.

Provely says it only takes “2 minutes flat” to set up.

Pricing

Plans start at $97 per year, billed annually.

Boast

Boast is a tool focused on testimonials that’s used by more than 8,000 businesses. Its features help you request, collect, manage and display testimonials from your customers.

This includes testimonials in different formats, such as video, text and audio that you can then show on your website. It integrates with Facebook and YouTube, so you can use your video testimonials across social media platforms.

Boast also offers a mobile app on both iOS and Android that makes it even easier to use by allowing customers to record their testimonials through the app. If you use Boast’s ability to email customers from within the tool to request a testimonial, you can then track where those testimonials are in the process.

Pricing

Plans start at $25 per month, billed annually, and include a 14-day free trial.

WPfomify

Another WordPress social proof plugin is WPfomify. It’s easy to set up and features powerful integrations with other WordPress plugins and email marketing services.

You can use it to show off real-time activity, subscriber activity and client reviews. You also can customize it to match your website’s branding.

Pricing

Plans start at $99 per year and come with a 14-day money-back guarantee.

Yotpo

An ecommerce marketing platform, Yotpo includes social proof features, such as reviews, ratings, visual marketing content and referral programs.

The tool helps you collect website and product reviews, create an FAQ section based on real customer questions, display user-generated content (UGC) and so on.

Yotpo uses AI (artificial intelligence) to message your customers, encouraging them to leave a review after their purchase.

Pricing

Yotpo includes a limited, free plan. Paid plans start at $19 per month.

ProveSource

ProveSource helps you display verified conversions, activities and purchases on your website. You also can customize your notification icons, title color, text, links and so on.

ProveSource makes it easy to create a new social proof notification with a tab system for user flow. Plus, you can add GIFs to your social proof notifications, making things fun and engaging.

The tool also automatically collects such metrics as impressions, clicks, hovers, leads, engaged visitors and engagement rates, among others. You also can connect ProveSource to Google Analytics for a deeper analysis.

Pricing

Plans start at $18 per month, billed annually, but ProveSource says you can start for free on a limited basis.

NotificationX

NotificationX is a WordPress plugin that will show real-time sales and engagement notifications. Its simple interface is easy to set up and use.

The plugin features different notification types, including (but not limited to):

  • Blog comments
  • WordPress reviews
  • WordPress download counts
  • Sales alerts
  • Email subscriptions

Pricing

Plans start at $39 per year, with a 14-day, money-back guarantee.

Notifia

Notifia integrates with more than 30 marketing tools, plugins and pop-ups to help you convert potential customers and more.

Its social proof notifications feature customized text, designs, images, page targeting, time delay and more. Notifia even offers personalization where you can include a visitor’s first name, company and/or location to better connect and engage with that visitor.

Pricing

Plans for Notifia start at $9 per month.

Once you’ve enhanced your social proof using one of the above tools that fits your website and business needs best, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automations, dynamic audience segmentations and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

6 expert tips for marketing on Pinterest

While Pinterest has definitely been around as long as some of the other bigger social media platforms, it’s not often thought of first as a marketing opportunity. And it’s even less common to have a thought-out strategy for it.

But if your brand’s target audience aligns with who you’ll reach on Pinterest, this is a mistake.

Think of Pinterest as a visual search engine, housing tons of photos, graphics, links and inspiration for nearly anything you might want to find. Yes, it’s popular for recipes and DIY projects, but there really is more to it than that.

Founded in 2009, Pinterest currently has about 478 million monthly active users, making it the 14th largest social network in the world and the fourth largest social network in the U.S.

Pinterest has traditionally had a majority-female user base, but that gender gap is narrowing, with 60 percent of users being women. It’s largest demographic, however, still is women aged 25 to 34 at 30.4 percent of all users.

So, if this is the target audience you’re trying to reach, don’t overlook the power of Pinterest. The following are six expert tips for marketing on the visual search engine to reach potential customers and drive website traffic.

Brand, optimize your Pinterest profile

First things first, take a look at your existing brand profile on Pinterest. If you’re just creating one, even better—you can start things off right.

Make sure you’re working with a business Pinterest account, so you have access to analytics, “rich pins” and other features. 

From there, it’s time to brand every single aspect of your Pinterest profile. The goal is that it looks like a reflection of your business. This can include:

    • Uploading a profile photo, which likely would be your logo but still should be whatever version/color of your logo that best represents your brand and intention on Pinterest. The size is a 165-pixel by 165-pixel square. Depending on your business (like if it’s all about you specifically), a professional headshot would work here, too.
    • Writing your bio, which should be aligned with the bio section of your other social media profiles. It will still need to be short and succinct. Pinterest’s character limit here is 160. Hashtags aren’t as essential, though, on a Pinterest bio (as compared to Twitter or Instagram, for example).
    • Choosing a cover board, which will show pins from that board at the very top of your profile. The pins themselves won’t be clickable, but there will be a link to that board at the corner of the cover itself. Take the time to identify what pins reflect your brand as well as your overall purpose on Pinterest (both visually and content-wise).
    • Customizing your showcase boards, which appear directly below your name and bio. You can choose up to five boards, and they’ll slide from one board to the next. Ideally, this is a great spot to feature your product(s), service(s) or blogs.
    • Branding your board covers, which will give all your boards a consistent look and match the rest of your Pinterest profile. There are two ways to do this: 1) Create and upload separate board covers to each board and link them to your website; or 2) Choose a pin from each of your boards that matches your brand color.
    • Verifying your website, which will get you the access to the analytics tied to your website on Pinterest, as well as access to the “rich pins” feature that will share more information about your link(s). Pinterest can walk you through it.

Decide on your content strategy

If you’ve had more of a sporadic, buckshot approach to your content strategy on Pinterest, you’re not alone. 

But it’s never too late to turn that around and get focused. Of course, at the center of your content strategy should be your audience. Who are you trying to reach? What are they interested in? How might you engage them here on Pinterest specifically?

In addition to that thought process, consider some of the most popular types of pins:

  • Product pins, which make sense if you’re a retailer or online store. Use a striking, beautiful product image that will catch the eye of a user. Even when Pinterest users aren’t originally shopping on the platform, about 72 percent say that they get inspired to, largely because of enticing product pins.
  • Blog post graphics, which work if you’re promoting articles from your website. Use a clean, eye-catching design (with photos or graphic designs) and bold text that again will catch users’ attention as they’re scrolling through numerous pins.
  • Infographic pins, which are a great way to promote your business by sharing valuable information and/or data. The idea is to visually convey that content in such a way as to catch the eye. So, keep it clean, simple and bold within the vertical space.
  • Lead-capture magnets, which work for promoting any downloadable content your website might be offering to generate leads. Again, strive for a clean, branded and engaging design.

Join Pinterest community boards

Pinterest allows its users to invite others to contribute to a board, and that can be a perfect way to get your content in front of brand new audiences. 

To get started, look for prominent Pinterest users in your industry and see if they have any group/community boards that make sense for your brand to join.

Often, the board’s description might include some rules, as well as a link to apply to join. Otherwise, you might have to email the owner of the board, fill out a contact form and/or follow their account for them to add you. Every community board can be a bit different, just like Facebook groups.

Also just like Facebook groups, once you’ve joined, be sure to stay active on the board with a mix of content. That content also shouldn’t be just promotional on behalf of your brand. Take the time to add to the true content mix with relevant, curated content as well.

SEO does matter on Pinterest

We’ve already referred to Pinterest as a visual search engine. Therefore, you should use all search engine optimization (SEO) tactics on both your profile and your pins.

Pinterest has its own algorithm and its own SEO rules. To maximize your own ranking on Pinterest, here are some suggestions to pay attention to, such as your:

  • Profile, where you can include keywords in your bio (but also in your name if appropriate).
  • Pins, where relevant keywords can be included in both the title and the description.
  • Boards, where you should strive for titles with keywords rather than titles that are just fun or cute. The board descriptions should focus on telling users what they’ll find on your board while including relevant keywords as well.

Just be sure not to overstuff keywords in any area of your Pinterest profile or content. You wouldn’t want to do that for regular search engines, so don’t bother on Pinterest either. It simply won’t get the results you’re seeking. User understanding and their experience with your content should always be the priority.

Schedule out your pins

Consistent, fresh content is critical to generating a successful presence on Pinterest that reaches the audience you’re seeking and driving traffic to your website.

Yes, you can visit the platform multiple times per day to post fresh pins. However, using a scheduling tool will help you stay on top of your pins and ensure proper timing (rather than dumping several all at once).

About five to 30 pins per day is best for engagement on Pinterest.

To help with this, check out these 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools if you’re not already using one that supports Pinterest publishing.

Target the right users with ads

Beyond just organic content, you also can target Pinterest ads around keywords, interests, geographic location, age and more.

Pinterest ads come in a number of formats, including (but not limited to):

    • Promoted pins, which appear in the home feed and search results on Pinterest just like a regular pin, except that they are boosted for a determined budget and targeted to deliver additional reach. If a user shares that promoted pin, the “promoted” label disappears. That remains true for subsequent repins as well.
    • Promoted carousels, which feature two to five images that users can swipe through. These can appear wherever regular pins do. Each “card” in a promoted carousel can feature a different image, title, description and landing page. This is a great option if you have multiple products or features to highlight.
    • Promoted video pins, which are just like promoted pins, except that the static image is replaced with a video. These promoted videos autoplay as soon as they’re 50 percent within view. There are two sizes available for promoted video pins: max and standard. Max spreads width-wise across the feed, minimizing distractions and competition from other pins, but this size can be more expensive. Standard size is the same as regular pins. Promoted videos are four times more memorable than non-video ads, so they’re worth considering.
    • Promoted app pins, which enable users to download your mobile app directly from Pinterest. This ad type then is obviously mobile-only, but that’s not a bad thing since about 80 percent of Pinterest traffic comes from mobile devices.
    • Buyable pins, which are also known as “Shop the Look.” This type of ad allows users to find and buy products directly from your pin. This is great if you’re featuring an image where multiple products are working together. For example, an outfit, decorated room or dinner spread.

In conclusion

If Pinterest is a platform where you can reach your target audience, you should give it the same amount of consideration and planning as you would any of your other social media brand accounts.

That attention and consistency will pay off.

If you’re not sure what social media platform your brand should be focusing on, our guide can help.

And if improving your digital marketing process is on your mind, consider DailyStory, which features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

14 best practices for email drip campaigns

If your business is not currently employing any email drip campaigns, you’re definitely missing out on some conversion opportunities.

But never fear! It’s not too late to get your first campaign up and running.

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

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

They can be daily reminders, weekly specials, monthly updates, yearly renewal notices or anything in between, depending on your intention and goals. The idea is that while each email in a drip campaign should stand alone, they also should build upon past messages and even set the stage for future messaging. You want to nurture the customer along your sales funnel while building trust along the way.

Find out more about sales funnels and how they can benefit your marketing.

The following are 14 best practices for email drip campaigns that can help you connect with your potential customers at the right time and in the right way.

Start with the basics

While it might be tempting to dive in with your first drip campaign right away, resist that urge. It’s incredibly important to take a step back and think about your goals, your audience and their natural interests. Consider:

  • What search terms are driving visitors to your website?
  • Which web pages are most visited on your site?
  • If you have downloadable items on your website, which are the most downloaded?
  • How would you describe your target audience and/or ideal customer? Detail out a persona profile as much as you can with who they are, what they are likely to respond to and so on.

Once you have a better sense of what you’re working with and who you want to engage with, you can begin to segment out your contact database by geography, interests or any other factors that make sense and you have data for.

Then, you can begin brainstorming different angles for various email drip campaigns that you can plan out.

Expand beyond just emails

Yes, we’re talking about email drip campaigns specifically, but it’s important to keep in mind that you can (and often should) incorporate additional assets into your drip campaigns when appropriate. 

For example, such assets include (but are not limited to):

  • SMS text messages
  • Direct mail (like letters, postcards, etc.)
  • Phone calls

This often can come down to the type of contact information you have for your customers and other leads. But exploring a mix of mediums can help you see what works and what doesn’t for your audience.

Create all drip messages at one time

It’s important to commit to creating all your email drip campaign messages in one sitting in order to promote consistency for your recipients.

This goes back to the goal of building up your messaging over time with each email you send. Think of each email like a chapter in a book. To be more effective with your “story arc,” focus on creating one campaign all at the same time.

Quality matters

Coherent sentences, grammar and spelling all matter in any brand messaging. When creating your email drip campaigns, be sure to double check for any of those issues. You can even have a colleague review before you have anything go out for real.

Poor quality breaks trust with your potential customers. Make it a priority to build (not break) trust to take the extra time for quality proofing.

The shorter the better

The beauty of a drip campaign is that you naturally don’t have to squeeze a ton of information into any one email. You have the built-in formatting to spread out information throughout the email series.

So, capitalize on that. Short paragraphs, an overall short email and a focused message all increase the likelihood of your audience engaging with your content. Long paragraphs and meandering narratives that don’t get to the point will lose the interest of your email recipients.

Nurturing over selling

You might be eager to sell your products or services, but remember that your leads may not be quite ready to buy.

Think of your drip campaign as a progressive series of messages that help warm up the lead with valuable information and insight as he or she moves through the sales funnel and becomes a bit more ready to purchase.

This is especially helpful when your business involves high-ticket products or complex services.

Guide through any free trials

Free trials are an effective way to get your products and/or services in the hands of your potential customers and show them that value first-hand.

However, you can’t assume that all users will know how to get the most out of that trial, which can alienate them and actually limit who might purchase at the end.

This is where you can step in and act as the guide, with a series of messages highlighting different features and other how-to tips that can help them along. This can include:

  • Clear, concise tips
  • General best practices
  • How-to webinars
  • Online support community invitations
  • Message board opportunities

Just be sure to notify users before their trial ends, and if they don’t convert, follow up with a discount offer soon afterward.

It’s not over after the purchase

Just because you may have made the initial conversion, where your potential customer becomes a customer, that does not mean that you no longer need to nurture him or her.

In fact, we recommend using this opportunity to continue providing helpful information on a regular basis. Think of it this way: A long-term relationship with your customer leads to even more trust, additional purchases and even the possibility of word-of-mouth referrals.

Your ongoing email drip campaigns with existing customers can include:

  • A request for a customer review
  • Upsell and/or cross-sell promotions
  • Various instructional videos to help customers get the most out of their purchase (similar to how you would approach free-trial guidance)

Keep buying cycles in mind

This can definitely depend on your business and what you sell. But the idea here is that there tends to be a natural buying cycle. Cars, appliances and many other products need to be replaced every so often, depending on the product itself.

Keeping your customers (and even the potential customers who “got away”) in the loop about your offers can generate further sales (and conversions), especially as natural buying cycles will regularly come up.

Re-engage with any inactive contacts

Be sure to segment out any leads that do not convert so that you can maintain a nurturing drip campaign to keep those leads warm.

Again, not everyone is ready to buy immediately, but this can help ensure that you’ll be top of mind as soon as they are. Including incentives along the way will help.

Personalization engages

Being able to use an email recipient’s first name in a subject line, for example, creates a personal connection with that person that makes it more likely he or she will open your email.

Personalization in general can level up your brand’s connection with your audience.

Whether it involves the contact information you already have (like a first name) or personalized messaging tailored to the specific audience segment you’re reaching, there’s power in personalization. That power can lead to higher engagement and more conversions.

DailyStory features personalization capabilities and more that can help on this front.

Get creative

The more creative you can get with your email drip campaigns, the more likely your target audience will engage with you.

We recommend looking through your own inbox for inspiration. What types of subject lines compel you to open them? Which emails drive you to click the link within? What stands out?

Additional suggestions include:

  • Jokes
  • Special deals (with a creative twist)
  • Word of the day
  • Series of relevant tips

Just be sure to stay true to your brand and the interests of your audience. If you’re not sure, test your more out-of-the-box ideas on a smaller segment of your audience.

Build up anticipation and excitement

There are plenty of opportunities to generate anticipation and excitement among your audience. Whether you’re launching a new product, relaunching your website, opening a new store location, promoting an upcoming event or something else, use email drip campaigns to hint, announce, educate and remind.

This will pull your customers and potential customers through this attention-generating email drip campaign.

Use automation

Manually managing email drip campaigns can be very time-intensive. Automating your campaigns will both save you time and promote overall consistency.

DailyStory can help with email marketing automations (as well as in other types of digital marketing). And our platform offers even more than automation capabilities.

Schedule your free demo with us today.

What is social proof? And 9 ways to use it in your digital marketing

When digging deeper into the idea of “social proof,” just remember that humans are definitely pack animals.

Psychologically speaking, humans want to fit in with the rest of the crowd, and this can affect us in many ways, particularly our consumer behavior.

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

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

About 91 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds trust online social proof reviews as much as recommendations from someone close to them, while 63 percent of consumers indicated they are more likely to purchase from a website with product ratings and reviews.

Of course, social proof is even more powerful when it comes from someone the potential customer knows. About 82 percent of Americans say they seek recommendations from friends and family before making a purchase.

The following are nine ways you can use social proof across your digital marketing channels to persuade potential customers and grow your sales.

Highlighting positive reviews

Online reviews might be the first thing you think of when it comes to social proof. You’re definitely not wrong.

Consider Yelp. Are you more likely to try the restaurant with a lot of five-star reviews or the one with none? About 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and consumers often check at least two or three review sites before making a decision about a business.

Be the business they want to try, not the one they want to avoid.

You can do this by paying attention to more than just one review site. In other words, if you’re only focused on Yelp, you’re missing key opportunities. Google, FourSquare, even Facebook are all platforms where reviews can be made and viewed publicly about your business.

Then, highlight any relevant five-star reviews on your website, landing page or even some social media posts, depending. The more you share, the better! Don’t be shy.

To help boost your share of positive reviews, don’t be afraid to ask your customers for a review on their favorite site. This can be done with follow-up emails, signs posted in your business or even links shared on your social media. Keep your ask simple: “Support our small business by sharing your experience with us on Yelp” or whatever review site, for example.

Engaging with negative reviews

Granted, we can’t assume that all reviews will be positive. When encountering a negative review, read it thoroughly and respond. Yes, respond. Do not ignore. Acknowledge the issues or problem your reviewer encountered with your business (no matter how relevant or not). And offer a solution to his or her problem. This can be a gift card, discount or other incentive to come back and give you another shot. And this offer does not have to be worked out in a public back-and-forth. At the right time, you can say that you’ll message them directly to further resolve the problem. But it’s the initial engagement publicly that can help save a negative review from completely preventing a potential customer from considering your business. 

The better you engage with the negative review, the better you will look in the eyes of others. In fact, about 89 percent of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews in general.

Make sure you know about these eight types of negative SEO while you’re at it.

Sharing customer testimonials

It’s one thing for you to say that your brand is the best. It’s something entirely different when people outside of your brand say that you’re the best.

About 92 percent of consumers are more likely to trust non-paid recommendations than any other type of advertising.

Testimonials are positive experiences and/or anecdotes from customers who have used your product or service. They help establish credibility for your brand.

Be sure to regularly solicit happy customers for testimonials that you can update your website with and/or share in social media posts. Encourage them to be specific about the product or service they used, the problem it helped them solve and even how they felt before they came to you and after.

You can make the process even easier by including a Google Form (or another embedded form on your website). 

Partnering with celebrities, influencers

Influencer marketing has only been growing in recent years, and it’s easy to see why, especially when considering social proof. Consumers clearly trust public opinion more than brands themselves, so the word of people with influence falls into that category as well.

In fact, content from influencers generates more than 8 times the engagement rate of content shared directly by brands.

The key is that you identify an influencer who is relevant to your industry and jives with your brand.

Dig into these seven tips you should know before starting your first influencer marketing campaign.

Onboarding brand ambassadors

Similar to influencers, you can recruit brand ambassadors, which are essentially brand evangelists and loyalists who will promote your brand to their networks. Brand ambassadors can range between average people who love your company to micro-influencers with some clout online.

This type of program can be managed in a range of ways, where you can offer anything from commission to discounts to branded swag.

The appeal here is that brand ambassadors can humanize your brand even further. Just remember that brand ambassadors can be an easy avenue of getting more user-generated content (UGC) that features or includes your product out on various online channels. UGC can definitely play into social proof by piquing the interest of the potential customers it reaches.

Growing your social media following

First things first, we don’t want you to fall into a rabbit hole of obsession with growing your followers on social media. It’s just not the ultimate measure of success that some brands think it is. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that the size of your following can be a type of social proof. It’s that herd mentality again. When a consumer sees a large number of people doing (or following) something, they’re more likely to try it, too.

Resist the temptation to buy a ton of fake followers. This practice will never serve you in the long run. Social media success thrives on authenticity, and creating the illusion of social proof is exactly the opposite. Focus, instead, on sharing engaging content and building a genuine social media following.

Leveraging your customer count

If you have an established customer base, it’s worth considering leveraging those numbers as social proof. Whether it’s customers, subscribers or any other type of consumer who is using your product or service, sharing that will help show that your brand is valuable and trusted.

Think about how McDonald’s says “Over 9 billion served” on its signs. But this can be done on your website and/or social media profiles as well.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to simply boast about your numbers. Make it an invitation: “Join our 500,000 satisfied customers,” for example. It gives a feeling of belonging to consumers.

A slightly different angle on this front is leveraging any of the big-name customers you might have. You can do this by highlighting their logos on your website. Just make sure that you’re highlighting the brands that your audience will recognize.

Showcasing any awards, recognition

Awards and recognition aren’t just great types of social proof, they also act as evidence that your brand is, in fact, trustworthy. There’s a validation there because they come from a third party. 

Beyond just listing awards your brand has won, you can use award logos embedded on your website and even feature the logos of websites your brand has been mentioned on.

Again, it lends to your credibility.

Creating a blog

Before you think, “Not another blog,” remember that blogs are a great way to establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry.

The idea is to offer potential customers with insightful, problem-solving and actionable content. Tying this content into your products or services is great, but keep that approach in balance.

Showcasing your value to your audience is more important than getting yet another sales plug in. In the end, you’re ultimately creating and sharing content to build up your trustworthiness in the eyes of potential customers. It’s less about the hard sale.

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

Be aware of social shares

Adding social media share buttons next to various content on your website can sound like a great type of social proof. And it can be.

But if your social shares are typically low, this can actually backfire on you.

Website visitors seeing only a handful of shares can give them the impression that your content isn’t very valuable.

So, before using this approach, do an audit on your average amount of social shares. If it’s typically a high number, then the social share buttons are worth including to boost your social proof.

While you’re boosting your social proof, consider improving your digital marketing process with DailyStory. Features include automation and dynamic audience segmentation. Schedule your free demo with us today.

22 Chrome extensions to boost your SEO

What’s more convenient than SEO tools within your Chrome browser?

SEO (search engine optimization) can help drive more organic traffic to your website by ranking your website higher during relevant queries in search engines (predominantly Google but others as well).

And SEO still very much matters. In fact, 68 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine.

While considering your own website’s SEO, consider the difference between on-page and off-page SEO.

Chrome extensions are tools built into your browser that help you work faster and smarter.

Put the two together, and you have the potential for a little SEO magic. 

Not sure where to start? We’ve compiled a list of 22 Chrome extension recommendations that can help boost the SEO of your website.

SEO rank-checking extensions

SEO Search Simulator by Nightwatch

The SEO Search Simulator by Nightwatch extension emulates Google searches to check if a particular URL ranks in the top 100 results. 

These Google searches can be done from any location so that you can see how the rankings vary in different parts of the world.

SERPTrends SEO Extension

The SERPTrends SEO Extension tracks your Google, Bing and Yahoo searches. Over time, as these queries are repeated, you’ll be shown trends and ranking movements directly in the search results.

Included in the data shown:

  • Whether the website moved up or down in the search results
  • When a website is ranking for the first time or hasn’t changed position
  • How many positions the website lost or raised compared to the search you performed previously

SEOquake

SEOquake will give you a detailed overview of your website, including your Alexa rank, indexing information for Google and Bing, as well as your SEMrush rank.

The extension enables you to then dive deeper with a keyword-density report or overall diagnosis report, which breaks down on-page SEO elements on any given web page.

Keyword-research extensions

SEOStack Keyword Tool

SEOStack Keyword Tool is a Chrome extension that can help you generate thousands of keyword ideas from a single seed keyword. It does this by scraping autocomplete suggestions from:

  • Google
  • YouTube
  • Bing
  • Yahoo
  • Amazon
  • eBay

All the data generated can be exported to a CSV file.

Ubersuggest

The Ubersuggest Chrome extension shows you keywords’ monthly search volume, CPC and competition data. In addition, you can find related keywords and their information within search result pages on Google, YouTube and Amazon. You can then export data to a CSV file.

TextOptimizer

The TextOptimizer extension is a writing assistant that can help you write concise, high-quality and targeted content that is rich for your readers and optimized for search engines.

It does this by analyzing search results for relevant terms and extracts “intent tables” to recommend other words that you can use in your copy to better suit the expectations of search engines.

Keyword Surfer

The Keyword Surfer extension is a keyword research and search-engine-results-page (SERP) analysis tool. The data it offers includes (but is not limited to):

  • Domain-level traffic estimations in Google Search results
  • Keyword volumes (locally and globally)
  • Keyword suggestions
  • Domain-level backlink counts

You also can set up a content editor and start creating right away—researching, writing and optimizing—without ever leaving Google Search.

On-page SEO extensions

SEOInfo

SEOInfo runs an audit of your website pages, reporting on any SEO issues and allowing you to dig deeper. Specifically, the extension examines:

  • Meta tags
  • Canonicals
  • Indexability
  • Open Graph tags
  • Structured data
  • Page speed
  • More

Free Backlink Checker by LRT

The Free Backlink Checker by LRT extension actually analyzes the outgoing links on a page (rather than any incoming links from other websites).

It will highlight any broken links red and any live links green. For further analysis, you also can export all links on a page to either a CSV or XLSX file in addition to their:

  • Anchor text
  • HTTP status
  • The “rel” attribute

To prevent false positives caused by server protection, you can increase the time delay between link requests, slowing the page analysis.

Hreflang Tag Checker

The Hreflang Tag Checker automates the process of checking your website’s hreflang tag deployment. It takes a readout of the URL’s hreflang tags and then crawls them to assess if they back reference your current URL.

This extension supports a site’s language targeting and hreflang architecture, allowing you to get a fast and reliable impression of the status of your site’s optimisation for international organic search.

Technical-SEO extensions

Link Redirect Trace

Link Redirect Trace reveals all the URLs in a redirect chain, including 301s, 302s and JavaScript redirects. The extension is considered an all-in-one redirect path analyzer.

A typical backlink profile usually includes redirects from other websites, and this tool helps you check if your redirects are SEO-friendly or if they harm your website.

Google Lighthouse

Google Lighthouse audits your page and suggests improvements related to:

  • Performance
  • Accessibility
  • Developer best practices
  • SEO

The extension runs a barrage of tests against the page and then generates a report on how well the page did. You can then use any failing tests as indicators on what you can do to improve your page.

AMP Validator

The AMP Validator extension checks whether a page has an AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) version. The page is then run through the validator, which reports if the page passes (green) or fails (red) via the extension icon.

OpenLink Structured Data Sniffer

The OpenLink Structured Data Sniffer discovers metadata embedded within HTML documents as Structured Data Islands and presents what’s discovered using a property sheet presentation style.

It simplifies the process of understanding what a given HTML document is about, via its metadata, for both end-users and developers.

View Rendered Source

See how the browser renders a page, not just what the server sends, with the View Rendered Source extension. This must-have tool for anyone working with JavaScript-powered websites compares the raw page code and its rendered version.

With this tool, you can see if JavaScript is overwriting meta tags, for example.

Link-building extensions

LinkClump

The LinkClump extension allows you to open, copy or bookmark multiple links at the same time. You can use it to drag a selection box around links using your mouse to quickly open as new tabs, open in a new window, save as bookmarks or copy to your clipboard.

This can be a great help during link prospecting.

Buzzsumo

The Buzzsumo extension can show you how many social media shares an article on another website has, as well as their backlinks. You also can see the most popular articles from that website (based on social media shares and backlink count). 

SimilarWeb

The SimilarWeb extension enables you to see website traffic and key metrics for any website, including engagement rate, traffic ranking, keyword ranking and traffic source.

This is especially helpful for evaluating link opportunities.

Hunter

With the Hunter for Chrome extension, you can find who to contact when you visit a website. 

Along with the email addresses, you can get the names, job titles, social networks and phone numbers. All the data has public sources detailed in the search results. This can help you contact the right people as you’re link building for your own website.

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

All-in-one SEO extensions

Ahrefs SEO Toolbar

The Ahrefs SEO Toolbar features an on-page SEO report, a redirect tracer, a broken link checker and a nofollowed link highlighter.

You’ll also get page, domain and keyword metrics for visited URLs and search results.

MozBar

The MozBar extension gives you instant metrics while viewing any page or SERP, including the ability to:

  • Create custom searches by engine, country, region or city
  • Quickly assess the page authority and domain authority of any site or page
  • Access and compare link metrics across pages while viewing any SERP
  • Find and highlight keywords on a page and differentiate links by type
  • Expose page elements, general attributes, markup and HTTP status
  • Export your SERP analysis details to a CSV file

SEO Minion

SEO Minion helps you in your daily SEO tasks, such as on-page SEO analysis, broken link checking, SERP preview and more.

In conclusion

While there is no perfect tool (or Google Chrome extension) to serve your SEO needs, it’s worth auditing what your prioritized needs are for your website’s SEO. Take the time to look through, identify your top candidates and experiment with the extensions that are most promising.

In the midst of increasing your SEO efficiency, consider your overall digital marketing process. DailyStory can help. Find out more about our automation features and audience segmentation by scheduling a free demo today.

9 FOMO techniques you can use in your digital marketing

While the term “FOMO” might be new to you (or not), using “the fear of missing out” is nothing new to effective digital marketing strategies.

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

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

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

For example, you could be browsing a shoe website and spot a pair of boots that piques your interest. After some browsing of the product description and customer reviews, you move on. But you later see an ad for those same boots, except this time, it appears with a limited-time discount. This is exactly what could trigger your FOMO about this product and can potentially persuade you to finally make the purchase.

With the right FOMO techniques, such as the following nine, you can further persuade your audience to jump on the opportunities you’re offering.

Your messaging matters

Always look at your messaging and ask yourself if there is a sense of urgency.

Strong verbs and an active voice are important components of this. Think:

  • Time’s running out
  • Last chance to buy
  • Don’t miss this

It’s about persuading your potential customers to act now, not later.

Set time limits

Deadlines naturally put pressure on all of us. Setting a time limit for the availability of a product or a particular sale is critical for many consumers to finally act (even if somewhat impulsively).

Just make sure that your deadline is absolute. While the occasional extension can be effective, doing so too often will dilute the effectiveness of all of your time limits. Your audience will simply get used to your extensions.

Consider using a countdown clock on your social media, website, so on to instill that looming deadline for your offer.

Share social proof

Social proof essentially boils down to sharing what other customers think of your product or service or simply how others are purchasing from you.

Testimonials appearing not just on your social media but along the purchasing journey on your website is a common tactic for social proof.

It’s the idea that if others are trusting your brand and having a great experience, you could miss out by not making that purchase, too. This makes consumers more likely to purchase from you.

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

In addition, there are several social proof tools, such as True or TrustPulse, that can integrate with your website and show visitors stats like how many people have purchased a particular product on your site, for example, etc.

Work with influencers when possible

Nothing quite induces FOMO like a celebrity or influencer endorsement. So, even simply featuring a quote from one can help boost your sales. 

Consumers have a range of trust when it comes to celebrities, no matter how big or small. Once you have an influencer endorsement, be sure to share it across channels, including your website.

Find out what you should know before diving into influencer marketing (or even any influencer partnerships).

Use user-generated content

While celebrities and influencers can be great, regular people can be even more trustworthy to your audience.

About 55 percent of consumers trust UGC (user-generated content) more than other forms of marketing.

Why not leverage that by soliciting photos and/or videos of happy customers using your product in some way? 

You can run a UGC contest with a prize. It can be an organic hashtag campaign, where you seed the hashtag with some great content of your own to get the ball rolling for your users.

For example, jewelry company Iz&Co (@izandco on Instagram) shares images of clients’ personal stories (such as weddings and proposals) in addition to their more branded content.

Create bundle opportunities

What’s better than purchasing one product you’re excited about? Getting another one (or two) with it at a discounted price, of course.

Bundles are a great way to take a selection of your products or services and offer them at a discounted price. The complementary items are something that can create FOMO for the consumer. 

It’s also a way to upsell your potential customers.

Play your social media channels against each other

Your audience on Facebook likely differs from your followers on Twitter, and so on. 

But you can leverage FOMO here strategically by broadcasting that a special behind-the-scenes video, for example, will only be shared via your Instagram Story on your other platforms.

The FOMO from this cross-posting tactic could lead some of your followers to follow you on other platforms as well. 

Just be sure to spread the love around. You don’t always want to make big announcements on your Twitter, for example, and then leave the crumbs for your Instagram audience.

Learn what social media platform would be best for your company.

Of course, this could apply to app-only deals as well.

Leverage competition

Nothing can create FOMO more than the possibility of limited inventory. And someone else getting a product or service instead of you, of course.

You’ve likely noticed websites that say “only 1 left in stock” or that this hotel was “booked 3 times in the past hour.” 

Giving the sense that someone else could get what you might want can help drive FOMO and your ultimate decision to purchase.

Consider an exit-intent pop-up

Just as you’re about to lose that possibly interested consumer, an exit-intent pop-up could make the difference between disappearance and a purchase.

An exit-intent pop-up is a pop-up window that appears as a website visitor goes to close the tab or browser (that particular movement of the mouse).

It’s your last chance to make that conversion, so whether it’s a surprise discount offer or some other offer, it must be irresistible.

Check out our 18 exit-intent tips that can help.

In conclusion

While FOMO techniques can help boost your sales, it’s important to always be honest with your audience. Share offers that will resonate with them.

As soon as you’re deceitful about anything, your audience is going to catch on and (worst yet) tune your brand out.

Speaking of FOMO, don’t miss out on leveling up your digital marketing process. Consider DailyStory, with such features as automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

And check out our all-inclusive Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners!

4 things you should know about Twitch

If your business has anything to do with video games (or video game players), you must be familiar with Twitch.

Originally founded in 2011 as a spinoff of Justin.tv, Twitch is currently the most-used platform for video game live-streaming. Currently owned by Amazon, Twitch offers a wide range of content, but the majority definitely centers around gaming.

As of February 2021, Twitch generated about 2.9 million average concurrent Twitch viewers, with a total of 9.5 million active streamers.

The following are four things you should know about Twitch, especially if gamers are a target audience for your business.

Accessible on most platforms

Twitch has a full website that can be accessed through a web browser, and the app is available on:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows
  • Mac
  • PS4
  • Xbox One
  • Chromecast
  • Apple TV

Truly, if your device supports apps, it’s very possible you can use this application on it. Accounts also are free, whether you’re a streamer or viewer. Accounts are necessary to post comments and follow content creators.

Common purposes behind many streams

Video games can definitely be expensive. This is where Twitch streams can play a role by helping gamers decide if a video game is right for them that goes beyond a traditional review.

Essentially, when you’re watching a stream, you’re seeing the game in action as well as the streamer playing the game. In other words, you’re watching the gamer and the game he or she is playing.

Of course, as mentioned earlier, Twitch features more than video game content. Musicians, for example, have used streams as a substitution for canceled touring amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Streams also feature a live chat so that viewers can engage with the streamer and other viewers in real-time.

Streamers can make money

Similar to YouTube, content creators have the opportunity to make money through the Twitch platform. This can happen through donations, subscriptions and ads.

However, you must first become a Twitch Affiliate to earn money through the application directly. To qualify, you must have:

  • At least 500 total minutes broadcast in the last 30 days
  • At least 7 unique broadcast days in the last 30 days
  • An average of 3 concurrent viewers or more over the last 30 days
  • At least 50 followers

Once you become an Affiliate, you can earn money directly through:

  • Ads, where you get a share of the ad revenue for the ads that play during your stream. You also get to choose the frequency at which they appear.
  • Bits, which are a form of virtual currency that enables viewers to cheer for the streamer. This acts like somewhat of a tip that comes with an animated cheering message in the chat. The conversion rate is one cent per Bit.
  • Subscriptions, which come in tiers of $4.99, $9.99 or $24.99 monthly. The application reportedly keeps 50 percent of subscription revenue. Subscribers often get access to special emotes, badges, exclusive chats and ad-free streams.

Above Affiliates are Twitch Partners, who get the same benefits as Affiliates but also:

  • A verified user badge
  • Priority access to the application’s support team
  • Broadcast delay of up to 15 minutes
  • Up to 50 emote slots

And that’s just to name a few. To become a Twitch Partner, you must have:

  • Streamed for 25 hours
  • Generated an average of 75 viewers
  • Streamed on 12 different days

Once you’ve achieved these metrics for 30 days, you can then apply to become a Partner.

Learn more about affiliate marketing in general.

Twitch has a Prime Subscription

While the platform offers free accounts, users can opt to pay for a monthly subscription to Twitch Prime, which features:

  • One channel subscription
  • In-game content
  • Loot to gift to other Twitch members
  • Exclusive emotes (emojis that let you show your support for a streamer)
  • Additional chat colors
  • Exclusive chat badge
  • Access to free games
  • Ability to save broadcasts for 60 days instead of the regular 14 days

If you already have an Amazon Prime account, that automatically includes a free Twitch Prime subscription once you connect the two accounts. If you don’t, it costs $11 per month.

Twitch is a popular place for gamers to connect, share and explore. Understanding this platform will only help you find ways to share your brand within it.

See our 12 tips on live-streaming so that your business can look more professional. And if YouTube is more relevant for your brand, we have 20 tips to grow your YouTube subscribers.

While you’re exploring the live-streaming platform, consider leveling up your digital marketing process with DailyStory, which features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

9 ways your business can use QR codes in marketing

Think QR codes are dead? Think again.

In fact, QR (Quick Response) codes are so old (digitally speaking) that they’re new again—and trending. 

A 2020 survey found that 18.8 percent of consumers in both the U.S. and U.K. strongly agree that they had noticed an increase of QR code use since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic “shelter-in-place” orders began in March 2020.

While QR codes don’t mean much to the naked eye, they can be read and understood by mobile devices. You’ll see them used on billboards, magazines and various other marketing materials.

They offer the opportunity to provide more information about a product, service or company quickly on a user’s device. The key appeal here is: instant and easy information delivery.

Several factors stalled QR codes back in 2010, including (but not limited to):

  • Fewer consumers with smartphones
  • The requirement of a separate app to scan them
  • QR codes linking to web pages that were not optimized for mobile devices

More than a decade later, we’re seeing higher usage of smartphones, an overall improvement in the abilities of smartphones and mobile-optimized websites becoming the norm (rather than the exception).

Are QR codes right for your business and overall digital marketing strategy? The following are nine ways you can use them so that you can decide for yourself.

Direct to a landing page or website

This is the most commonly thought-of purpose and use of QR codes. And it makes sense. Scanning a QR code can send a user to any relevant sign-up page or other landing page or website.

This can be much easier than asking consumers to type in your URL (no matter how short or simple it might be).

Just make sure that you use a unique URL for your QR code in order to effectively track the traffic generated by it.

Find out more about tracking links.

Download apps

Another common use of QR codes is for downloading an app. You can link it to the download page of the app to make it easy for users. Of course, keep in mind that you’ll likely have to consider separate QR codes for Apple and Android devices.

Apps themselves also use them to encourage engagement within their communities. Think Snapchat, which has unique QR codes to make it easy for users to add other people as connections. Another app, Spotify, launched them to easily share songs.

Make it easy to shop and save

Businesses often use QR codes for discounts and promos to entice potential customers. These discounts and promotions can be anything that makes sense for your business.

If using this method, be sure to monitor and tweak your promotion accordingly if it doesn’t seem to be as effective as you’d like.

Call your business phone number

It can be helpful to have your QR code link to a “contact us” landing page, but even better, consider having it call your business phone number directly. 

It’s just a matter of the right HTML (“tel:” followed by the phone number) to trigger the option to call your business from the user’s phone. 

This can be helpful in business conferences or other booth event scenarios.

Send the user a message

Thanks to HTML coding, it’s possible to have a message sent to the user’s device after he or she scans your QR code. 

This can be particularly beneficial for SMS text marketing in which you can use for SMS registration opt-ins, by-request product upgrades, user support or even sales.

Send the user an email

QR codes also can be used to send emails to a user. Because emails have more flexibility than SMS text messages, you might find this option a better fit.

What’s contained in that email is up to you. It can feature your latest product release or a new service you’re offering, for example.

Share your location address

QR codes can give users not only your location address but directions as well. This can make it instant and easy for consumers to navigate to you. If you have an event coming up at your business, this can help people find it.

Promote your social media

Make it easy for consumers who like your products and/or services to follow you on social media. Doing so can help them stay connected with your brand.

This can work for any social media page you want to promote.

Encourage reviews

Looking for more positive reviews? About 90 percent of consumers read a review before visiting a business. 

You can display a QR code in your business to encourage your customers to review your on the spot. It can also be placed on a receipt or product that you’re selling.

In conclusion

When using QR codes, a clear call-to-action (CTA) is critical. Users want and need to know what to expect when they scan it. If they have to guess, they’re less likely to do it.

We also recommend testing your QR codes on multiple devices so that you can anticipate (and fix) and possible issues. And keep in mind that users will need internet connectivity is needed for your codes to work.

As far as marketing strategies, you might want to leverage FOMO to persuade your potential customer to act sooner than later with your QR codes.

While you’re exploring QR codes, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. DailyStory features automations, dynamic audience segmentations and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Level up with these 8 email marketing courses online

The internet isn’t just a place to grow your sales leads, it’s also a place to grow your email marketing skills.

While social media and SEO can dominate any digital marketing conversation overall, email has an undeniable value.

For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42. In fact, here are 48 statistics that show the value of email marketing.

That’s why it’s important to better understand how you can best use the power of email to your advantage. 

The following are eight online courses that you should consider taking. (And check out our breakdown of the anatomy of an effective marketing email.)

Wishpond’s ‘Email Marketing Master Class for Beginners’

There is no shame in being a beginner in anything, and Wishpond’s email marketing class breaks everything down so simply with a published outline you can look over before even signing up.

Estimated to take less than an hour, you can learn the basics in a series of videos, discussions and more. You’ll learn:

  • How to meet your goals
  • What types of emails to use
  • How to create a strategy that works for you and your business

It’s a great course for beginners to help build a solid understanding.

Cost: Free

Estimated duration: Less than 1 hour

‘MailChimp for Ecommerce Email Marketing Master Class’

Are you part of (or leading) an ecommerce business and use MailChimp? You’ll want to consider checking out Udemy’s ecommerce email marketing course that specifically focuses on mastering the MailChimp platform.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Navigate the MailChimp platform
  • Set up A/B split test campaigns
  • Create quality campaigns
  • Build segmented email lists

Of course, if you’re not using MailChimp, you’d likely be better off with a different course.

Cost: $12.99 to $19.99, depending on available sales

Estimated duration: At least 4 hours

‘Email Marketing Essentials: Designing Effective Emails’

Targeting small business owners, freelancers and startup companies, this email marketing course teaches you how to design an email that helps you reach your goals. Although, to be clear, this course does not dive into graphic design or email aesthetics. It focuses on developing an effective email.

You’ll learn:

  • The difference between web design and email design
  • The key considerations for designing and developing emails
  • The best design practices for the most common email types

This is considered to be an intermediate-level course.

Cost: Available through a free trial of Skillshare; then either $99 per year or $19 per month

Estimated duration: 36 minutes

Online Marketing Institute’s ‘Email Campaign Fundamentals’

One of five available email marketing courses from the Online Marketing Institute, this class strives to show the parallel between overall marketing concepts and email marketing specifically. In other words, as the title suggests, you’ll better understand the fundamentals that surround creating an email campaign.

In the course, you’ll learn:

  • The four Ps of marketing
  • How to measure acquisition and retention objectives
  • The steps in the customer journey

Remember, there are four other courses offered by the Online Marketing Institute: “Permission & Legal Compliance,” “Dissecting Email Copy Part 1,” “Dissecting Email Copy Part 2” and “Getting Started with Email Marketing.”

Cost: Available through a 10-day free trial; then either $245 per year or $25 per month

Estimated duration: About 30 minutes

‘Email & Affiliate Marketing Mastermind’

This is another course offered through Udemy but from a whole different angle. The class sells itself as what you need to learn to build, use and remarket to targeted email lists in no more than one day.

In other words, this course is about helping you build an email list and create campaigns, as well as how to make money with email marketing and affiliate marketing. Simply put, affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other others’ products.

You’ll specifically learn how to:

  • Build an email list from scratch in no more than a day
  • Use an email list to make money
  • Remarket back to profitable leads
  • Find profitable affiliate marketing products

Cost: $18.99 to $139.99, depending on available sales

Estimated duration: At least 4 hours

ClickMinded’s email marketing course

This class from ClickMinded touts itself as being the most detailed email marketing course you can participate in that openly targets those who “want to learn everything there is to know about email marketing as fast as possible.”

You’ll learn:

  • A comprehensive overview of how email marketing works
  • All the different types of campaigns
  • Email segmentation
  • How to organize campaigns in the most profitable way possible
  • The critical aspects of email design and copy to optimize your ROI
  • The fundamentals of email automation
  • What you should be measuring and tracking

Cost: $997 for the course; $1,997 for a seven-course bundle that covers various digital marketing topics

Estimated duration: Between 3 and 6 hours

‘Lifecycle Email Marketing for Ecommerce’

In eCommerce? While this CXL course is not free, it could still be worth your consideration (and many would say that it is worth it). 

The course is built on learning from active professionals in the field who are teaching you practical techniques that you can then use on your own.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Capture more quality leads and convert them into customers
  • Drive more sales from email while creating less content and sending fewer promotions
  • Advertise more confidently knowing your new customers are being followed up with automatically after each purchase

Cost: Available through a 7-day trial for $1; then either $249 per month, $459 per quarter or $1,299 per year

Estimated duration: About 4 hours

‘Managing Email Marketing Lists and Campaigns’

From LinkedIn Learning, this course helps you better understand how to build and manage your marketing lists to run more effective campaigns.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Select a platform from choices like MailChimp
  • Add contacts to your list, while segmenting and maintaining that list 
  • Write compelling emails and calls to action
  • Reduce bounce rates
  • Test different versions of an email via A/B testing
  • Automate your emails

Cost: Available through a 1-month free trial or $34.99 for the course

Estimated duration: Less than 1 hour and 30 minutes

‘Email Marketing Master Class’ by AWeber Academy

This is an email marketing course designed for those who already have a basic understanding of the topic. The focus is to build a more effective strategy, and there are requirements that they list before you even sign up (such as already having a website and an email platform that you can apply the concepts on).

You’ll learn how to:

  • Plan, create and implement an effective strategy
  • Grow your email audience and get more traffic to your website
  • Write effective emails and what to write in your emails
  • Design emails
  • Test and optimize your emails
  • Create an automated email series
  • Turn email subscribers into customers and create compelling offers

Cost: $139.99

Estimated duration: At least 4 hours and 30 minutes

‘Email Marketing Certification’ by HubSpot Academy

This email marketing course is all about elevating your email marketing strategy, including contact management, segmentation, email deliverability and analyzing your email sends.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Master the fundamentals
  • Apply what you learn with HubSpot’s free email marketing tool

Cost: Free

Estimated duration: More than 3 hours

In need of a digital marketing platform that specializes in automation, personalization and more? Check out our DailyStory features and schedule your free demo today.

6 reasons why mobile optimization matters to your business

These days, the mobile optimization of most websites goes without question.

According to Statista, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 51.53 percent of global website traffic as of 2020, consistently hovering around the 50 percent mark since the beginning of 2017.

And mobile internet usage is only growing. Gone are the days where we can assume that most website visitors are viewing your website on a full browser.

Mobile optimization is about making sure that visitors who access your website through mobile devices have an outstanding experience that’s customized to their device. The most successful mobile optimization should feel seamless for the mobile user.

There are a few ways to optimize your website’s user experience:

  • Responsive site: It follows the same HTML and CSS as your full website but renders the same on all devices, adjusting to the screen size.
  • Dynamic-serving site: Its server will respond with different HTML and CSS on the same URL, depending on what device is being used by the visitor.
  • Separate HTML site: It is an entirely different HTML website that is a modified version of your site and is only served to mobile and tablet users.

Fun fact: You can actually check the mobile friendliness of your website with Google Webmaster Tools. Once you submit your site, you can navigate to Search Traffic and then Mobile Usability to see any errors that affect your mobile optimization (as well as suggested fixes).

Check out our 16 tips for a mobile-friendly website that you can’t ignore.

If your website isn’t quite ready for mobile primetime, here are six reasons why you should consider an upgrade. 

Better user experience

This shouldn’t require a ton of explanation. If you’ve ever opened a link on your mobile browser where the website wasn’t optimized for mobile, you’ve seen the teeny tiny rendering (or jumbled, hot-mess rendering) that can happen.

It simply leads to a difficult user experience. The determined visitor can make it work by zooming in or rotating the screen, but you risk losing your visitors with a bad experience.

About 60 percent of mobile users in the past 12 months have encountered problems when browsing websites that have led them to abandon the page. 

You don’t want your website to be part of that statistic.

More time spent on your website

While many value pageviews, time is the true currency online. The longer a visitor stays on your website, the more likely they are to convert to a customer.

When a user can easily navigate your mobile-optimized website, the longer they’ll browse.

Faster load speed

When you haven’t optimized your website for mobile, the amount of time it takes for your site to load on a mobile device can be significantly longer. And by significant, we really do mean mere seconds many times because every second counts.

In fact, your non-optimized site might not render at all.

This is just another way to lose visitors (and potential customers).

Website visitors are impatient. They will abandon a page if they have to wait more than six to 10 seconds.

Boost your mobile SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an entire range of topics all on its own, but in this case, mobile optimization will boost your website’s rankings in Google searches.

Specifically, Google recommends a responsive approach to mobile optimization. If that’s not possible, the second-best option for mobile SEO is to create a separate HTML website to serve to mobile users.

Increased reach

With mobile usage only increasing, you really open yourself up to a section of the market who do prefer to browse the internet on their mobile devices.

Better reach is simply better for your business as you can engage these visitors and better convert them into customers.

Competitive edge (or being competitive at all)

We’ll be honest. It’s likely that your competition is already using mobile optimization for its website(s). Of course, this can vary by industry and location (local or national brands).

But whether it’s about getting ahead of your competition or simply matching their sophistication level, either reason is equally valid in this economic climate.

Pull up your competitors’ websites on your mobile device and see how they’re approaching mobile optimization. What are they prioritizing in their layouts? How clean is the design? How fast does it load? Are they even optimized at all?

This will give you a solid perspective of what you’re up against.

Keep in mind that when you are designing for mobile optimization, you want to focus on:

  • Larger buttons
  • Autofill form fields
  • Multiple screens (instead of scrolling)
  • Smaller images
  • Autodetected location settings

If you’re one of the three businesses right now that have not improved the mobile experience of your website, now is the time to upgrade and level up.

Plus, check out these 14 tips to improve your mobile marketing while you’re at it.

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

Influencer marketing: 7 tips to know before starting your first campaign

Once considered the “new kid on the block” of digital advertising, influencer marketing has risen in both popularity and effectiveness (when done right).

Brands are expected to spend up to $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022, according to Business Insider.

In the simplest sense, an influencer is anyone with a digital following (or audience) on a social media platform (but not necessarily) whom you’d like to attract.

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

What is an influencer?

How many followers should an influencer have to be considered an influencer? Well, that depends.

There are various definitions of influencer “levels,” but here is a good rule of thumb:

  • Nano-influencers: 1,000 to 10,000 followers
  • Micro-influencers: 10,000 to 50,000 followers
  • Mid-tier influencers: 50,000 to 500,000 followers
  • Macro-influencers: 500,000 to 1,000,000 followers
  • Mega-influencers: 1 million-plus followers

As odd as it sounds, bigger isn’t always better. For example, an influencer with 8,000 male followers doesn’t make sense for a national sporting brand to partner with. However, a local gym might be interested in that audience, depending on the influencer’s brand.

Either way, buyer beware. As you can already see, not all influencers and partnerships are created equal, and there’s a lot more to a successful campaign than an influencer agreeing to post about your brand or product.

Here are seven tips to know before starting your first influencer marketing campaign.

Set your goals

Goal-setting is critical for any marketing campaign, not just influencer marketing. 

It determines whether all elements are aligned for a specific strategy with a desired outcome that can be measured.

You have to ask yourself:

  • What’s the point?
  • How will it be measured?

Perhaps you’re looking for an ROI (return on investment) based on conversions. Or, perhaps you’re looking for an increase in website traffic. 

Keep in mind that developing an understanding of the type of audience you want to target is helpful at this point as well. If you’re an outdoor brand looking to promote a new product, what sort of demographic do you want to know about it?

Typically, awareness is the goal of most influencer campaigns, but don’t be afraid to take that one step further and tie that to revenue in some way. Awareness is great, but you are spending money on this campaign after all, so the ROI matters.

Whatever the metric, be sure to communicate it to everyone involved in the influencer campaign, especially the influencer him or herself.

Find your influencer

Once you know your goal or goals, you can start searching for influencer candidates. 

We’re calling them candidates because ideally, you should compile a list of influencers who appear to be a promising match for your brand and promotion and are worth taking a deeper look at.

If you are plugged in to your industry on social media and online, you can begin with a social media audit. Is there anyone with a significant following mentioning your brand? Perhaps your products and services? Are any relevant hashtags being used?

There also are several free or almost-free tools you can use, such as Upfluence, Buzzsumo and Crowdfire.

Check out these 18 influencer-discovery tools.

Do your ‘influencer homework’

Once you have your list of candidates, it’s time to do your homework, which is the most critical step before launching an influencer marketing campaign.

Skipping (or not fully doing) your research about a potential influencer risks problems down the line. For example, does an influencer truly reflect your brand? Have they posted controversial images or statements in the past that conflict with your brand? How do they handle other sponsored posts that they’ve done before? How do they engage with their following?

Key points

  • Relevancy. Think how an extreme sports athlete would work for Red Bull but not Cover Girl. However, relevancy doesn’t just tie to who the person is. It also involves the type of content a person posts. If that same extreme sports athlete only posts about his or her cat, that might not be the best fit either.
  • Influence and reach. This can be tougher to gauge without speaking to the influencer directly, but the idea is that you want to confirm that when an influencer posts about something, it can spur action by at least a portion of his or her followers. Take note of any past sponsorship posts an influencer has done, and feel free to ask how those campaigns performed. Any seasoned influencer will have that data available for at least his or her contribution.
  • Engagement rates. It’s very easy to get “razzle dazzled” by an influencer’s following size. The more followers, the more impressive. However, followings aren’t everything. In fact, many brands would opt for a smaller, more engaged following than a larger following that doesn’t engage very much with the influencer. This can help flush out who’s bought a following and who earned it organically. Learn about six different ways to calculate engagement rates. Remember that, ideally, you’ll want an influencer’s audience to engage with product posts as much as with the idea of the “celebrity” itself.

Once you do decide on an influencer, strive to build a relationship with him or her first. You can like and comment on the influencer’s posts, engaging before dropping a partnership request in their messages.

Determine your budget

Influencer marketing does not have a set cost or pricing rate. Every influencer is different, and every business has a different budget.

And spoiler alert: Many businesses do not have a huge budget for influencers (although that is shifting every year).

If you have a tight budget, consider what else you can offer. Is it a prototype of the product you’re promoting? Perhaps a day of the services you want to draw attention to?

Remember that your goal is key here, and more likely than not, an influencer would expect some sort of sampling anyway so that they can authentically post about the brand.

Typically, though, expect that the more sophisticated the influencer and the larger the following, the higher the cost. (That’s why nano-influencers can be better options for small businesses to partner with.)

Review the regulations

This surprises more than it should, but there are regulations surrounding influencer marketing and sponsored posts.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regularly updates its guidelines for online endorsements. While the FTC holds the influencer responsible for knowing and adhering to the rules, don’t assume that every influencer does or will.

It is in your best interest to understand the regulations as well and communicate with your influencer about them.

In the simplest sense, it really comes down to disclosure. Influencers must identify every sponsored post.

The FTC has its own 101 Guide for Social Media Influencers that you can dig into.

Think multi-channel

When possible, developing a content strategy with the right influencer can easily cross multiple social media platforms.

It’s not uncommon for a YouTube star to also have a strong Instagram following. Seize those opportunities and consider what you can do on which platform during an influencer partnership. 

The more touchpoints you can create with a new audience, the better.

Find out the best social media platform to use for influencer marketing.

Contracts are great things

Once you discuss and decide on everything with the influencer, put it in writing.

Better yet, make it an enforceable contract.

While the homework you’ve done on your influencer should serve as comfort that he or she will perform as expected, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Examine the steps for what you should include in a social influencer contract, or check out a simple template. Know that there are numerous contract templates available online, but you should always have a lawyer review any final contract you ultimately create.

In conclusion

Influencer marketing can be an effective way to drive brand awareness and sales. It enables brands to reach targeted audiences they otherwise wouldn’t reach (or at least not in the same way). However, the value and success of influencer marketing campaigns depend on your planning and research. Be willing to experiment, but keep your eye on the ROI the entire time.

Looking to go beyond influencer marketing? Take a look at our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners.

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

Push notification strategy in the works? Here’s what you should consider

Push notifications have come a long way since first being introduced by Apple in 2009. If you have an app, they should be a thought-out piece of your overall marketing strategy in this climate of online noise.

Below are eight things you should consider when developing your push notification strategy to maximize your results:

What’s the point of your push alerts?

It sounds simple, but all too often, we want to run before we can walk in any new campaign. It’s so important to take a step back and outline the targeted audience and goals. 

With push notifications specifically, there are a few different types, such as informative, time-bound or reminder. Knowing who you’re targeting and why will help you decide what mix of push notification types (and even tone) you’ll want to plan for your campaign.

See our seven tips to write an effective push notification.

How personal can your push notification get?

In a world of noise, personalization even in the smallest degree can help you stand out. According to a Delvv study, most people felt push notifications were irrelevant. So often, this is because notifications are not tailored to meet a user’s needs or interests. Understanding your audience so that your message is relevant to them is crucial.

What data do you have on your target customer base? Age range? More one gender or another? In school? Have families? The more information you have, the better you can serve your audience with your overall push notification content.

But can you take it a step further?

According to Braze Magazine, personalizing your message with such attributes as a user’s first name, recent purchases, etc. can increase conversions by 27.5 percent (compared with generic notifications). Also according to Braze, sending different campaign messages to different audience segments can lead to a 200 percent increase in conversions.

Find out if your mobile provider gives you the ability to either segment your audience (so that what you say to one group can differ from what you say to another group) or include personalization code in your message itself (such as a user’s first name). DailyStory is among the platforms that do both.

Timing is everything for push alerts

Have you ever received a push notification in the middle of the night that didn’t irritate you? Most would say no because truly, timing is everything. 

In general, if you’re looking for the best time to send your notification (and not just a non-annoying time), then focus on weekdays between 7 and 10 a.m. and/or between 6 and 10 p.m.

The logic (and the data backing it up) is based on typical user habits: people starting their day and wanting (or are willing) to be informed and people winding down their day and wanting (or are willing) to be engaged before they go to sleep.

One factor to keep in mind is timezones. If you have a global or even a national audience, you must be aware of the time differences you face and how to plan for them.

Can you geotarget your push notifications?

Rank geotargeting up there with personalization because, truly, it is a form of personalization. These days, location-based technologies are more available and commonplace than you might think, and they enable you to get the right message to the right person in the right place. In a nutshell, geotargeting works by virutually “fencing” a zone that can be anything from the size of a building to an entire zip code (or larger). When a user enters that zone, they get served your message.

But the magic of geotargeting happens when you understand the user’s experience. What message will catch their attention when they’re at a particular place? Your creativity is your only limit here.

How many is too many push alerts?

When you have the power to pop up on users’ phones, it’s oh so easy to go overboard with how often you message them. If you send too many too often, you risk user dissatisfaction and dismissal, or even worse: the uninstallation of your app.

The average U.S. smartphone user receives 46 push notifications per day on average already, according to Business of Apps.

Of course, message rate limits can help ensure that you don’t overwhelm your audience, but it’s best to plan the appropriate frequency ahead of time. 

Do you have a message inbox for push notifications?

If you’ve ever accidentally dismissed a notification and had it gone forever, you understand the value of a message inbox in your app. Of course, this feature is mostly something to look out for when developing your app with an app provider because it will give your users the ability to browse messages at their leisure (or find them if they unintentionally dismissed any that they were interested in).

Test, test, test

No matter what best practices you follow when planning and executing, it all comes down to testing. What is working, and what isn’t? 

Check in on the metrics you deem important regularly. Or, you can plan for a deeper analysis with A/B testing, which is the practice of trying one approach with one group and a different approach with a different group (that are reasonably similar groups by comparison). The differing approach can be anything from the timing, frequency, wording or angle of your notification. But analyzing the data generated during A/B testing (or just how your push notifications are performing overall) can lead to important takeaways and lessons that you can apply to future notifications.

Be aware of your opt-in, opt-out options

While push notifications are powerful, they still are a permission-based medium. A user needs to opt in to begin seeing your messages. And while it may be obvious to want to make opting in as easy as possible, you also want to make opting out easy to find as well.

Why?

Because if a user can’t find a way to opt out, they’ll simply uninstall your app. And ultimately, that’s not your goal.

Push notifications are a powerful component of any marketing strategy. With just a little extra thought, analysis and planning, it can make the difference in your company’s ROI.

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

Which social media platform is right for your company?

At a time when there are so many social media platforms and businesses know that they need to be relevant online, which platform is best?

The answer isn’t one size fits all. Most importantly, don’t assume that you have to spread out across all platforms. Without a planned strategy and the needed resources, you can do more harm than good by spreading yourself too thin across social media.

Here is a breakdown of each major social media platform, with a few posting tips for each:

YouTube equals billions of hours of videos

Every day, users watch a billion hours of video on YouTube, according to Hootsuite, and it is the 2nd most-visited website in existence, according to Alexa.

In 2018, 73 percent of Americans now use YouTube, according to Hootsuite.

If you’re targeting a younger audience, the top three platforms for teens are now YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, according to Hootsuite. In fact, Statista says that 96 percent of 18- to 24-year-old American internet users use YouTube.

For companies, YouTube might have a low barrier of entry, but video can be intimidating to jump into.

If you need a little inspiration, check out Lego, which has almost twice as many views as any other brand on YouTube. They put out consistent original content on multiple channels.

But remember that you’re an expert in your field. What are the micro moments that you’re always educating your customers on? Each of those can be a separate YouTube video.

Does your business create a product? Product review videos are huge. In fact, people have watched 50,000 years of product review videos.

For the best chance of being discovered on YouTube, optimize everything for search. Otherwise known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), think about keywords and phrases that users will search that your video should appear as a result. Then, use them in your caption and title.

Check out our 20 tips to grow your YouTube channel subscribers.

Facebook can’t be ignored

Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms, currently only ranking behind Google and YouTube as most visited website worldwide.

There are over 2.38 billion monthly active users globally as of March 31, 2019, according to the social network, which saw an 8 percent increase year over year.

To put it another way, 63 percent of all Americans used Facebook in 2018, according to Hootsuite.

For mobile specifically, Facebook Messenger is the most downloaded app, followed by the main Facebook app, according to Hootsuite.

Not only are your customers (and potential customers) on Facebook, your competition is likely there as well. For most businesses, Facebook is a good platform to start with.

Dive deeper into the opportunities and challenges of Facebook for small businesses.

As far as posting, the highest traffic on Facebook happens between 1 to 3 p.m., according to Bit.ly.

But a Facebook post at 7 p.m. will result in more clicks on average than posting at 8 p.m., according to Forbes. Engagement also is 18 percent higher on Thursdays and Fridays (as people start thinking about the upcoming weekend), according to Bit.ly.

Learn how to better understand your metrics on Facebook.

So, while you have the ability to reach more people during peak times, increased engagement happens in the evenings (think post-dinner).

Check out our guides to optimize your Facebook business page or Facebook group to help grow your business.

Instagram great for visuals, retail

Instagram is a visual-first sharing social media platform. The audience has grown from 90 million monthly active users in January 2013 to 1 billion monthly active users as of June 2018, according to Hubspot.

It’s a solid No. 3 most-used social media platform in the United States, but it’s important to remember that Instagram is owned by Facebook, which can lead to cross-posting and advertising opportunities.

But more than anything, Instagram is known for its younger audience. About 71 percent of young adults (ages 18 to 24) used Instagram in 2018, compared with 37 percent who did so in 2013, according to the Pew Research Center.

Dive into the opportunities and challenges of Instagram for small businesses.

Retail brands do particularly well on Instagram. Eight of the top 15 most followed brands on Instagram are retail businesses, according to Statista.

With posting, photos showing faces on Instagram get 38 percent more likes than those not showing faces. SproutSocial also reports that images with a single dominant color generate 17 percent more likes than images with multiple dominant colors.

In addition, more negative space and blue (versus red) perform better.

There’s also not a lot of evidence to suggest any particular caption length drives increased engagement. So, shorter isn’t better or worse than longer captions. Focus on the quality instead.

See our six tips to master hashtags on Instagram.

Twitter smaller and more urban

About 326 million people use Twitter every month, according to the platform. This is 9 million fewer than it had in mid-2018, and 4 million fewer than late 2017. The decline is largely being attributed to the purge of spambot accounts.

Nonetheless, Twitter is a smaller social platform, with 24 percent of American internet users on it, according to Statista. The audience also skews more urban than rural.

Dive into the opportunities and challenges of Twitter for small businesses.

The typical half life of a tweet is about 24 minutes. This means that a tweet gets half of its interactions in the first 24 minutes, with the rest slowly coming in over time at a slower rate. Brands tweeted an average of 122 times a month last year, according to Statista.

Learn how to better understand your Twitter metrics.

While Hootsuite says that the best time to tweet is 3 p.m. on weekdays, keep an eye on your analytics. Everyone’s audience can act and engage a little differently. Tweets with GIFs also perform 55 percent better, according to Twitter. Video and images enhance engagement as well, so think about mixing your tweets up and going beyond the text-only tweet.

Check out our eight expert tips to market your business better on Twitter.

Any other social media platforms?

Depending on your business niche, TikTok (a Gen Z video platform), Snapchat (a dynamic messaging platform) and Pinterest (an aspirational idea platform) could have a place in your strategy. However, do your research first, and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is my targeted audience on this platform?
  • Which brands are successful on this platform?
  • Do I have the time and resources to invest in a niche platform?

Unsure whether to use Instagram, Snapchat or Tiktok to reach a teenage audience? See our guide.

Every social media platform is different, with its own nuances and audiences. As a brand, focus on one first, find your rhythm there and then branch out to the next.

To expand beyond social media in your digital marketing, see our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners.

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

7 tips to write an effective push notification

In the noisy landscape of social media, internet browsing and text messages, writing an effective push notification that engages your audience is critical.

While DailyStory is one of several platforms that offer the ability to send push notifications, the point of using them is to engage your app audience in ways that bring them into your app more often. Depending on the goal of your app, increased usage can lead to increased revenue.

But about 78 percent of app users say that the push notifications they receive are not relevant to them, and this can lead to an increase in opt-outs. Don’t be one of those apps that get ignored.

On the flip side, sending engaging push notifications can increase your 90-day app retention by 190 percent.

Below are seven tips on how to write effective push notifications that won’t turn your customers away.

Tip #1: Keep your push notification short and to the point

You hear this a lot across many marketing channels: The shorter the better. But it’s fairly common sense when talking about push notifications. When was the last time you read (and engaged with) a long push notification?

In fact, for the highest conversion rates, you’ll want to craft a push notification that’s 24 characters or fewer.

Read through what you’ve written at least two times and tighten, tighten, tighten.

Tip #2: Don’t be scared … get creative!

Before you rush a push notification message, take a moment to jot down a few different approaches or angles to your message. Make sure the title is catchy, and that the body is crisp.

Think about active power words and clear call-to-actions that a user can grasp from possibly just a glimpse of your message popping up on his or her phone.

In fact, reviewing our 19 tips to write better headlines can help you branch out while also being concise.

Tip #3: Be clear about the value

You’re going to be tempted to share information for the sake of awareness, but resist as much as you can.

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What’s the value of your notification to them? Would they be turned off by a more generalized message?

There should be a reason, an urgency, to your notification. Think about what you would like your users to do as well. What’s your call to action for them? Should they click on the notification? Why?

Get to the point of why you’re popping up on their phones, and take the opportunity to show them that they’re special. Maybe there’s an exclusive offer you can give them or special information (like behind-the-scenes photos of a relevant event).

Tip #4: Pump it up with more than just text

If you have access to rich push notifications, you can stand out from the crowd of push notifications popping up on the phones of your audience. Consider the possibility of including photos, GIFs, videos, etc. as part of your message. You also can play off of the attachment in the text itself, letting the image tell part of the story. Including an attention-grabbing image can improve a push notification click-through rate by 56 percent.

Emojis are another option to play with, which can help you reduce your character count and also help convey mood, emotion or theme.

However, be aware of the different devices and operating systems your users could be using. There’s always a chance that an image of any kind won’t work for some.

Tip #5: Emotions matter in your push notification

You’re not a robot, and neither are your app users. So, don’t be afraid to get a little emotional … whether it’s excitement, humor (just triple check that you’re actually funny), curiosity, any positive emotion will improve your user engagement.

Timing, wording and potentially your use of emojis can help convey the emotion you desire.

Tip #6: Ask questions

Questions. They’re a longtime go-to for any engagement-seeking writing, whether it’s on Facebook, email, you name it. But they have their place in the land of push notifications as well.

It’s because questions are a great way to start a conversation. They target our natural instinct to answer and hopefully are well-crafted enough to make a user pause to consider an answer and (even better) click on the notification to open your app to find out more.

Tip #7: Be a problem solver

The more useful your message can be, the better. You want to make the lives of your audience easier in some way. Think of how a calendar app reminds users of an upcoming appointment. What problem can you solve? What function can you serve for your users?

That’s the higher level. When digging into writing a message, you may actually want to get into the weeds of what problem your alert can solve. Think along the lines of: If this (problem), then that (solution).

No matter what approach you take, make sure to have someone take a second look before your push notification goes out. This may be more challenging in a small-scale operation (where everyone is likely wearing many hats), but can save you a lot of trouble down the road, where issues of spelling, readability and even whether something is funny (or offensive) can hurt your app’s credibility and spur the opposite response from your audience than you want.

You also should consider developing an overall push notification strategy for better consistency in both messaging, frequency and timing. Check out our push notification strategy guide.

While you’re improving your push notifications, consider leveling up all of your digital marketing with DailyStory, which features the ability to automate numerous actions, integrate with your existing applications, segment your audience dynamically and more. Find out more about how we can help your business. Schedule a free demo with us today.