Instagram or Facebook Reels: 7 best practices for small businesses

With the increasing popularity of Reels (particularly on Instagram), small businesses should take note as part of your social media marketing strategy.

Reels is a feature where users can create and share fun, short videos using a catalog of music and other media. More specifically, they are 15-second, multi-clip videos that can have sound, music and other effects added to them. 

If you’re familiar with TikTok videos, then you’re familiar with the capabilities of Reels. 

About 61 percent of Generation Z TikTok users are leaning toward using Instagram Reels.

Find out more about Reels and three reasons why you should consider using them.

Of course, any success with Reels doesn’t just happen. The following are seven best practices for small businesses using Reels on either Instagram or Facebook.

Best practice #1: Highlight brand individuality

Reels is all about unique content with a thoughtful storyline. In other words, it’s a blank slate for out-of-the-box creativity.

However, if you’re struggling to brainstorm ideas that you can take to the next level (creatively speaking), consider:

  • Sharing company culture
  • Announcing new product launches or offers
  • Creating how-to tutorials
  • Displaying your product or service in an attention-grabbing way
  • Revealing insider tips and tricks
  • Repurposing past content that has performed well
  • Showing what happens behind the scenes
  • Highlighting before-and-after moments

Experiment with hashtags, text and captions. Research what is trending and what your competition is doing. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box, whether that with the use of camera angels, audio, etc.

Just be wary of hard-selling too much. Viewers won’t have an appetite for it, and over time, you’ll struggle to build your reach and engagement on Reels.

Best practice #2: Think vertical and consider file size

Like Stories, Reels content is vertical. This might not be a big stretch for content creation if you’re already creating content for Stories, TikTok and/or Snapchat. 

But it can be an adjustment if you haven’t stepped into those other features and/or platforms yet.

As far as file size for Reels, it’s not a huge concern if you’re creating your content within the platform (either Instagram or Facebook). However, if you plan on importing any cllips for your Reels video, keep these characteristics in mind:

  • The recommended Reels size is 1080 by 1920 pixels.
  • The recomended aspect ratio for Reels is 9:16.

If the size is not accurate, you could end up with an awkwardly cropped Reels clip. 

Best practice #3: Balance authenticity with quality

Reels allows for fun, authentic content, but on the flip side, you still want to balance that with well-produced clips.

Take the time to plan, execute and edit your Reels video clips so that you can walk that line and hit that balance every time to best engage with your target audience. Choosing the right audio is a big piece, so don’t rush the creation process.

We recommend using a visual storyboard process to plan your Reels clip frame by frame. But truly, practice makes perfect. Keep experimenting and creating.

Best practice #4: Avoid watermarks

It’s probably not a surprise that since Facebook is aiming to compete with TikTok by implementing Reels, your content will not be as successful if it has another platform’s watermark on it.

For example, if you create a TikTok video on that platform and then save it to upload it to Instagram Reels, there will be a TikTok watermark in the corner of that uploaded clip.

To avoid this, you’ll want to create original content within Instagram or Facebook Reels so that it can play nice with those platforms’ algorithms.

Best practice #5: Add a custom Reels thumbnail

By creating a custom Reels cover, you are taking the power of your content into your own hands. The cover is the first image users see when they come across your Reels video clip.

Make sure that you design an image that is not only eye-catching but also true to the content users will see by watching your clip.

You can add the cover by clicking on “Cover” after creating your Reels clip. You can then add the image from your gallery.

Best practice #6: Optimize the sharing of your Reels

Once created, Instagram specifically allows you to share the video clip to the Reels tab, where your followers can then access it easily on your profile.

Be sure to share your Reels clip to your feed as well so that it’ll show on your main profile view alongside your other feed posts. You can also save it and share it at a more optimized time for your audience. While various “best time to post” articles exist online, the key is to think about your target audience’s time zone and when they’ll likely be engaging with your content.

  • When they wake up?
  • During lunch?
  • Toward the end of the traditional workday?
  • After dinner?
  • Before bed?

From there, experiment with timing to get the best sense for your brand account since every brand is unique with a different audience.

With a public Instagram business account (rather than a private personal account), your Reels clip could be picked up and suggested to users at large in Instagram’s main discovery Reels tab.

Learn more about the difference between personal, creator and business accounts on Instagram.

Best practice #7: Monitor your Reels performance

Just like with any other feature or even platform, tracking your metrics is critical to understanding what works best for your target audience and what isn’t working at all.

You’ll be able to view reach, likes, saves, shares, comments and plays. Keep in mind that the number of plays can be higher than your reach since users can watch a Reels clip more than once.

Your Reels analytics are located within Instagram Insights on the Instagram app, which is only available for business accounts.

Reels analytics for Facebook pages appear to be in the works as of 2021.

Still embracing TikTok? See our 15 tips to better market your brand on the video platform.

As you’re looking into expanding into Reels, 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.

Reels: What it is and 3 reasons why you should use it for your business

Reels is among the new features you’ve likely noticed on either Facebook, Instagram or both.

It’s definitely how Facebook (which owns Instagram) is attempting to combat the popularity of TikTok, a newer social video app that is exploding among younger audiences.

As of 2021, Facebook has 2.9 billion monthly active users, while TikTok has reached 1 billion monthly active users.

Similar to how Facebook copied the Stories feature from Snapchat, it’s going with the same playbook for Reels from TikTok. The strategy effectively rocketed the use of Instagram Stories over Snapchat Stories. However, time will tell if this will happen against TikTok with Reels.

But what is Reels? And why should your business use them?

What is Reels?

Reels is a feature where users can create and share fun, short videos using a catalog of music and other media. More specifically, they are 15-second, multi-clip videos that can have sound, music and other effects added to them. 

If you’re familiar with TikTok videos, then you’re familiar with the capabilities of Reels.

The purpose of Reels is to entertain and inspire creativity.

Why you should try Reels

There are three reasons why you should consider incorporating Reels into your social media marketing strategy.

Improved visibility and discoverability

Because Reels is a prioritized feature on Instagram and Facebook, the platforms are giving prioritized status to all Reels-related content you post.

This expands to users’ news feeds, the “Explore” section of Instagram and a dedicated Reels section on Instagram (located in the center of the navigation bar).

In other words, prime-time visibility for your target audience.

The reason for the prioritization is because Facebook and Instagram want to encourage users to start using the feature, so now is the time to jump in and experiment.

Opportunity to make your brand more personable

Because of the nature of Reels, the feature offers your brand the opportunity to share fun and personable content that will entertain your audience and show a potentially relatable side of your brand.

Just make sure that whatever you experiment with and create on Reels is true to your brand. Being fun and using music and effects in your video clips can quickly go off track if you’re not paying attention.

Lower competition

When a social media feature is new, it can take many brands a while to adapt to it and start using it.

The sooner you can begin experimenting with Reels, the further ahead you can get on your own competition. Think of it this way: Even just experimenting now will make you the experienced brand when your competition is just starting to experiment.

In conclusion

Keep in mind that the use of Reels on Facebook or Instagram is not a substitute for your brand’s presence on TikTok. If you’re trying to reach a younger target audience, TikTok should be part of your strategy as long as it’s a relevant space for the users you’re trying to reach. 

In other words, it doesn’t matter how the battle for users between Facebook and TikTok ends up. TikTok is a relevant social media app for now and still deserves consideration.

See our 15 tips to market your brand on TikTok.

For some inspiration, check out Walmart and Sephora since they are major brands that are already using Reels.

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

14 biggest mistakes businesses make on Instagram (and how to avoid them)

With more than 1 billion active monthly users, Instagram clearly holds an appeal for brands looking to reach key target audiences.

But on the fourth-largest mobile app, it can be all too easy for brands to make very public mistakes.

The following are the 14 biggest mistakes businesses make on Instagram, as well as how you can avoid them for your own brand.

Instagram mistake #1: Purchasing likes or followers

Often, the currency of social media (and Instagram in particular) centers around authenticity. 

Buying your likes and/or Instagram followers may give you quantity, but definitely not quality. And by doing so, you risk breaking the trust of your real followers and commenters.

We also don’t recommend paying for automated outgoing comments because it definitely makes your brand look more like a robot than a personality that people want to engage with. Plus, you’re missing the opportunity to authentically engage with your target audience.

Instead, focus on a strategy where you prioritize engaging content and meaningful interactions with other users.

Instagram mistake #2: Not optimizing your Instagram bio

Too many companies don’t adequately optimize their Instagram bios. Remember that beyond your post that could reach a user who’s unfamiliar with your brand, your bio is often the first impression you can make.

Keep your bio clear, concise and relevant. You can use links, emojis and even line breaks to make your bio unique and easy to understand.

Instagram mistake #3: The use of poor-quality photos or videos

Instagram is a visual-first social media platform. While you don’t have to have the most expensive photographer shoot all your photos and videos, you do have to be thoughtful in the images that you are publishing.

Beautiful is great, but even interesting or well-composed images also work.

Think about your lighting, finding a neutral background and the composition of your images. 

Fortunately, there are many easy-to-use photo editing apps and graphic design tools to edit your images as needed.

Instagram mistake #4: Your posting frequency is off

There’s a fine line to walk on Instagram before you end up posting “too much” or “too little.” It’s such an easy mistake to make.

With too many posts, your brand can look desperate to users. With too few, your brand’s Instagram account can appear inactive and forgettable.

The “right” number is not only ever evolving but can also depend on your industry and audience. 

For example, a news outlet could post multiple times per day, and that makes sense. A retail brand, on the other hand, would be more likely to post a few times per week.

Keep an eye on your analytics, so that you can find the sweet spot for your own brand’s posting frequency.

Instagram mistake #5: Ignoring your performance analytics

A huge (but common) mistake brands can make on Instagram involves ignoring your data, or at least not using your metrics enough to inform your strategy.

But go beyond the vanity metrics. It’s not only about likes. Keep your reach, audience demographics and more in mind as you publish your content.

Seeing what works and what doesn’t will only make your Instagram strategy that much stronger.

Dive deeper with our guide on Instagram Insights.

Instagram mistake #6: Using too many hashtags

A powerful tool on Instagram, hashtags (when used correctly) can help your content organically reach more users.

However, you can use too many and shoot your brand in the foot.

While you can use up to 30 hashtags, you’ll more likely see only a handful in use on any given post. Up to 11 hashtags is generally accepted these days.

See our six tips to master hashtags on Instagram.

Instagram mistake #7: Inattention to sharing quality content

All content is not created equal.

If you allow the quality of your overall content to slide, then you risk publishing posts that are boring, spammy and/or out of touch. Big mistake.

Don’t post just to post. Always ask yourself if what you’re posting is intriguing, informative and/or fun. If it is, your target audience will more likely engage with it. What does your audience care about?

See our seven tips for leveling up your brand’s content marketing.

Instagram mistake #8: Being impersonal

Just because you’re speaking for and representing your brand, doesn’t mean that you’re not human. Many brands make the mistake of being too professional. 

Take a moment to think about your brand voice and how you should be engaging with and speaking to your target audience on Instagram.

Instagram mistake #9: Lacking an Instagram strategy

An Instagram strategy goes beyond just what you’re going to do, it drills into what your Instagram goals are and what actions should happen to help achieve those goals.

No matter what your goals are, it’s very difficult to achieve them without a plan to do so. That lack of a plan or strategy is a big Instagram mistake.

Dive deeper into what you should do with our 16 Instagram marketing tips.

Instagram mistake #10: Inconsistency with your visuals

This ties into your branding. What colors, aesthetics and tone define your brand? Inconsistencies with your overall visual presentation is a mistake.

Now, apply that to the compilation of all your Instagram images. When you look at your Instagram profile (and all your images in one place), is there a consistent look and feel?

Variations can exist, of course. But the idea is that overall, an Instagram follower should generally recognize your content when it appears in your feed.

Your consistent visual presentation can be included in your overall Instagram strategy. It could be as simple as a style guide.

Instagram mistake #11: Errors in your captions

Just like with any other piece of your digital marketing, typos put the perception of your professionalism and credibility at risk.

But even marketing writers can make mistakes. We’re all human.

So, include a proofing process into your social media publishing (not just Instagram).

Instagram mistake #12: Not embracing Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are not as new as they used to be, and about 500 million users use this feature. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring this important feature.

Instagram Stories feature fun, authentic content in a vertical orientation that disappears after a day. Stories can be used to share behind-the-scenes moments, first-person narratives and more. The sky’s the limit as far as creativity.

Instagram mistake #13: Lack of engagement with followers

Social media is not a broadcasting platform, Instagram included. It’s about conversations.

Every time a user comments on your Instagram posts, that’s an opportunity to engage with him and her that can help build a trusting relationship.

Go beyond planning and publishing your content. Consider one of the many social media management tools that can help you not only schedule your posts but monitor all engagement actions on that content. Social media management in general can help you stay on top of all social media activity.

Instagram mistake #14: Including links in your post captions

Instagram does not allow for clickable URLs in post captions. By including “links” in your captions, not only will it look messy and not work, but you’ll look like you don’t know what you’re doing on the platform.

The best practice is to include your relevant link in your bio and refer users to click that. It’s a common practice. If you need to share more than one link at the same time, websites like Linktree and Campsite can create a “landing page” of links that can be found through a single link that you can include in your bio link.

If you have at least 10,000 followers, you can include links in your Instagram Stories as well.

In conclusion

Whether you’ve made any of these Instagram mistakes or not, it’s never too late to improve and move forward.

Check out our list of challenges and opportunities that small businesses face on Instagram.

Plus, you can think about the bigger picture with our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners.

As you’re looking to avoid the biggest Instagram mistakes, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 ranking factors to know about the Facebook Algorithm

Facebook is still the largest social media network today.

As of the second quarter of 2021, Facebook had about 2.89 billion monly active users.

At the core of the platform is the news feed, which is controlled by the Facebook Algorithm. The Facebook Algorithm controls what each user sees in his or her news feed, based on perceived interests, past engagement and other user data. The posts are not chronologically ordered. The goal is to provide the best user experience, but the downside impacts organic reach for brands through Facebook pages.

The Facebook Algorithm is essentially a series of calculations, but the specifics are not publicly shared in order to prevent anyone from “gaming the system.” Of course, Facebook has shared the overall logic of the algorithm.

In a nutshell, Facebook prioritized interactions with other users over brand pages years ago, which shook up Facebook marketing entirely. But understanding best practices as they relate to the Facebook Algorithm will help your content reach more people organically.

With small businesses alone comprising about 90 million Facebook pages on the platform, you’re already in a hyper-competitive environment that still will prioritize the wedding photos, for example, of a user’s friend over your content.

The following are seven key things to know about the Facebook Algorithm news feed ranking factors as of 2021. All of these factors directly impact the organic reach of any of your organic posts.

Inventory

Inventory is another word for available content on Facebook. From a user standpoint, it includes posts from users you’re connected with, posts from groups you’re part of and posts from any pages you like or follow.

The more content there is, the more competition your post has on Facebook.

Engagement

The Facebook Algorithm prioritizes meaningful interactions. This includes:

  • Comments and comment replies
  • Likes (or reactions)
  • Interaction with page content that’s shared by friends
  • Shares on Messenger

Relationships

Essentially, this ranking factor involves the user and interactions between users.

Think of it as including:

  • Who the poster of the content is and how complete his or her profile is
  • Who users interact with
  • Interactions between people (which weighs more than interactions between people and pages)

Content type

Mixing up the type of content you post is a popular approach to Facebook marketing in general. 

As far as the Facebook Algorithm is concerned, though, it’s looking at:

  • The type of post it is (whether it’s an image, link or video)
  • How informative that content is
  • The amount of time spent on that post

Dive deeper with our six Facebook marketing tips.

Timeliness

Timing is everything, right? For the Facebook Algorithm, it’s looking to show newer posts first on your news feed, but still not in a chronological order (since there are other factors in play). 

It considers the time of posting and the current time as it weighs the recency of posts.

Predictions

In the simplest terms, the Facebook Algorithm uses your actions (such as searches, for example) to predict what you might engage with in your news feed.

It’s a calculation that aims to understand your likes and dislikes so that your news feed is something you’ll want to stay on (and return to).

Relevancy score

Ultimately, with all ranking factors in play, the Facebook Algorithm assigns every piece of content a relevancy score that indicates how relevant it is for any given user. This score differs, based on the user in question.

A higher score means that your content will more likely be shown in the user’s news feed, while a lower score is far less likely.

In conclusion

While it’s important to be aware of how the Facebook Algorithm views your content, no one knows exactly how each calculation works.

Instead, focus on your overall content marketing strategy, optimize your Facebook page while you’re thinking about it and avoid these 13 biggest mistakes that many businesses make on the world’s largest social media network.

As you better understand the Facebook Algorithm, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, such as automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

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

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

However, many small businesses don’t have one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Identify your goals for a social media policy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consider roles and responsibilities within your company

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

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

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

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

Explain security protocols

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

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

You might want to address:

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

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

Walk through a crisis management plan

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

But that preference is up to you.

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

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

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

Identify various potential legal questions and issues

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

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

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

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

Share expectations for employees’ personal social media accounts

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

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

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

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

Some key aspects you might want to at least consider:

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

Specify what employee advocacy can look like

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

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

Some questions you can address include:

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

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

Social media policy examples

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

In conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

6 biggest mistakes businesses make on LinkedIn (and how to avoid them)

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

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

LinkedIn currently has 722 million users, which does make it the largest platform when compared to Facebook and Instagram. However, on the flip side, LinkedIn is the most trusted social network in the U.S.

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

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

Mistake #1: Not publishing content

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

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

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

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

Mistake #2: Not engaging with others on LinkedIn

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

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

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

Mistake #3: Not optimizing your LinkedIn Company Page

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mistake #5: Prioritizing the sale above all else

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

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

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

Mistake #6: Disregarding the value of LinkedIn groups

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Personal Instagram accounts

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

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

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

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

Business vs. Creator Instagram accounts

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

Similarities

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

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

Differences

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to change your Instagram account type

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 tips to encourage more user-generated content

User-generated content should be part of your overall digital marketing strategy.

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

UGC is unpaid or unsponsored social media posts that consumers share about a product or service.

Of course, the amount of user-generated content out there is almost limitless. Smartphone owners take an average of 150 new photos per month (or about five photos per day).

Because social media thrives on authenticity, UGC is a great way to connect with your audience and build brand loyalty.

The following are 10 tips to help you encourage more user-generated content related to your own brand.

See what’s already out there

Whether you have an official UGC strategy or not, it’s entirely possible that user content about your brand (or showing your product) is already being posted on various social networks. 

You can search by location, hashtag and/or keyword depending on the social media platform. 

Doing so can help shed light on what’s already out there and what you can start with as you shape your UGC strategy and related campaigns.

Understand current consumer trends

This is somewhat related to seeing what UGC already exists for your brand but on a larger scale. The key is to focus on the habits and behaviors of your target audience. 

See our seven tips for determining your target audience.

Ask yourself:

  • What types of photos and videos are my target audience posting?
  • Is there a particular style or product dominating the conversation?
  • When is your target audience typically posting?
  • Are they geotagging their photos and videos?

Once you have a better understanding of how your target audience shares content on social media, you can use that to help develop your own UGC-related campaigns.

Adopt a selfless, community-driven hashtag

Even if you already have a branded hashtag that you use on your branded content (and some customers might or might not also use), it’s a good idea to create and adopt a customer-focused hashtag that’s about them, not so much about you.

One example is Urban Outfitters promoting #UOonyou that’s related to apparel and beauty posts from their customers and #UOaroundyou that’s related to their music and apartment departments. These are actionable hashtags that put the focus on your fans and customers.

Remember, user-generated content might be related to you, but it’s not about you. The more you can put the spotlight on your online community, the better.

Include call-to-actions across your online presence

Just because you create a community-driven hashtag doesn’t mean that it will go viral (or even be used) immediately.

Beyond regular promotional posts talking about your community hashtag and how to share content, be sure to include wherever you can across platforms, whether that’s in your bio, cover image, website or elsewhere.

The more it appears across channels in different ways, the more fans you’ll reach. Just be specific about what the hashtag means and what type of content you’re looking for.

Display signage in your physical locations

While an analog method, displaying signage in your physical location(s) can be very effective.

Think about where you interact with your customers. Displaying signage about how they can share on social media and be part of your online community of fans can be very effective at checkout, for example.

Be clear about the type of content that’s relevant to your community hashtag and even which social media platform you prefer (if applicable).

Host an event

By hosting an event, you can create your own buzz for your fans and customers to post about.

Of course, the type of event you host depends on your brand. But in general, your event enables you to control the environment, the lighting, the availability of your products (perhaps in a goodie bag, for example) and more that can make a splash online. 

No matter the event, promote your hashtag to attendees so that they can all see each other’s posts.

Embrace influencers

Working with influencers can help spread awareness about your brand across social media and the internet at large (depending on the influencer, course).

In a nutshell, an influencer is viewed as a leader among his or her networks, with large and engaged followings.

Obviously, working with an influencer can lead to a great kickstart to any user-generated content campaign.

But influencer marketing can take many different forms, depending on your goal and who you choose to work with.

See our seven tips before diving into influencer marketing. We also break down how to determine which social media platform is best for your brand’s influencer marketing.

Plan a giveaway tied to user-generated content

UGC is organic and authentic, but one way to spur more of it is through a giveaway where entries are tied to posting user-generated content.

Granted, no brand should just launch a giveaway without a confirmed plan of execution and legal considerations. But in general, by asking your following to submit images to be entered into your giveaway, you’re offering an incentive to share more great content.

Just be sure the theme of your giveaway aligns with what your fans already enjoy doing and that your prize encourages enough engagement to be worthwhile.

Consider alternative incentives for user-generated content

Beyond hosting an official giveaway, some brands have experimented with giving other types of incentives for UGC, such as discounts, free samples and so on.

Of course, you’ll want to plan accordingly, but anything you can incentivize for your following to share will naturally help them do so.

Feature user content elsewhere online

A popular choice here is your website. The idea that a fan’s photo could appear on your brand’s website or re-shared on other branded social accounts could be enough to keep sharing.

While this acts as a free type of incentive, it’s also just a great way to celebrate your fans and share your growing online community with others.

Many brands have a hashtag feed that populates on their website to show the latest related UGC being published.

In conclusion

Ultimately, your goals around user-generated content will naturally direct your path with this digital marketing tactic. Take the time to determine what it is that you want to accomplish, whether that’s increasing engagement, saving time on creating your own branded content or something else entirely.

Also, keep in mind that it’s always important to not only engage with the users sharing content about your brand but to ask permission if you plan on using his or her content in any way beyond an in-platform share.

Check out our seven tips to help improve your overall content marketing.

While you’re evaluating how to increase UGC around your brand, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

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

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

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

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

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

Align your marketing goals with your company-wide objectives

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

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

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

Go big with your marketing goals

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

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

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

Your marketing goals should be measurable

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

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

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

Let historical data inspire your marketing goals

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

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

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

Embrace experimentation

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

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

Think macro and micro marketing goals

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

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

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

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

Consider your time, budget and resources

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

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

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

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

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

16 Instagram marketing tips that you should know

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marketing with an Instagram business account

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

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

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

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

Determine your Instagram goals

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

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

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

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

To keep it simple and help prioritize, consider what you’d like to accomplish first above all else.

Understand your target audience

First, the following you have (or can grow) on Instagram is going to be different than any other social media platform. Second, you must determine whether this syncs up with your target audience, or if there is some work you must do to better align your Instagram content to the wants, needs and interests of your target audience.

While Instagram users tend to skew younger, that doesn’t mean the overall users of the app aren’t diverse.

Dive deeper with our seven tips to help determine your target audience

Optimize your Instagram profile

No detail is too small when it comes to your Instagram profile. Other than your posts, this is your first impression for countless users who come across your content for one reason or another. This is where users purposefully go to find out more about you. Don’t leave them disappointed or confused.

Some points to consider:

  • Be personable and as detailed as possible in your 150-character Instagram bio.
  • Be clear in your name, where you are allowed 30 characters
  • Your username (or handle) should also make sense.
  • Include your website link in the URL field (but know that you can change that out as often as you like).
  • Choose a category for your business.
  • Maintain up-to-date contact information.
  • Take advantage of available call-to-action buttons.
  • Choose the right profile photo that bests represents your business (often your logo).

Create and post visually engaging content

Because Instagram is a visual-first platform, your posts and Stories have to be eye-catching to say the least.

While professional photography equipment (and skills) may not be available to you, that’s OK. Focus on photos and videos that are in focus and well-lit. Any infographics (or other illustrations) should be easy-to-read and crisp.

Of course, it’s not enough to have well-composed photos. There needs to be a story that you’re conveying in every post to encourage engagement. Compelling posts can include:

  • Behind-the-scenes content
  • Regrams of user-generated content
  • How-to explainers

Ideally, you’re striving to publish Instagram content that’s worthy of sharing and commenting, not just liking.

Keep in mind that your content doesn’t just have to come from you. It can be sourced from your fans, customers and/or other users as well.

Consistent Instagram look and feel

More than any other social media platform, brands must consider what the look and feel of their overall Instagram presence.

We mentioned Staples earlier. You’ll notice their branded red throughout their posts in addition to the same branded fonts and other bright, bold colors. Their images are all very clean and clear.

Your look and feel should reflect your brand overall and be recognizable in your followers’ news feeds, but give yourself a little latitude to play. It’s all about being consistent.

Don’t underestimate the power of your captions

Because Instagram is a visual medium, it’s easy to overlook the opportunity you have with your captions. Your brand’s voice is just as important as your brand’s look. Again, you want to be consistent here.

There is a lot of flexibility in what you can say since you have up to 2,200 characters available to you. Just keep in mind that only the first two lines of text will automatically show in a news feed, without tapping the More button.

In other words, while you can say as much as you like, you’ll want to lead with the most important information in those first couple of lines.

As far as ideal caption length on Instagram, strive for between 138 and 150 characters on organic posts and 125 characters on ads. You can go longer. Just make sure it adds value to your content.

Be smart about your Instagram hashtags

Hashtags are a viable way to increase your discoverability on Instagram. You can use up to 30 hashtags in a single Instagram post, but to be fair, it’s not recommended to use all 30.

Instead, identify about a half dozen relevant hashtags to include with your post. 

Dive deeper with our six tips on mastering Instagram hashtags.

Don’t just broadcast, engage

Just like with any social media platform, success is not based on only publishing the best content. It’s a mix of factors, one of the biggest being your brand engaging with other users and accounts.

Definitely respond to comments on your own posts and direct messages sent to your account. But you also should invest time liking and commenting on other posts that are relevant to your brand for whatever reason. 

It’s those small actions that add up to building a true online community, not just a one-way broadcasting platform.

Embrace Instagram Stories

While only half of businesses on Instagram use the Stories feature, about a third of the most viewed Stories are posted by businesses.

In other words, you have a great opportunity to engage with your audience through Instagram Stories.

Because Stories content disappears after 24 hours, followers expect Stories to be less polished and more authentic than your Instagram feed.

When considering what to publish in Stories, remember that this is a visual storytelling opportunity, where several Stories can work together to tell a story. So, you want to:

  • Have a message you’d like to convey in mind.
  • Use multiple “scenes” (image or video) to string together.
  • Include a call-to-action that is very clear to viewers
  • Keep your brand identity (look and feel) consistent

You can also reshare others’ Stories that tag you into your own Stories. Just act fast because the opportunity to reshare disappears after 24 hours.

Stories can also be saved longer than 24 hours and categorized into Highlights on your Instagram profile. Cover images are recommended for your Story Highlights as well to maintain brand identity.

Go live on Instagram

To connect with your audience in real time, you’ll want to go live. Of course, even though the expectation on Instagram Live is raw, authentic content, you can still go in with a plan. Some options: 

  • Go behind the scenes at a product launch or an event.
  • Host a Q&A.
  • Lead a workshop or tutorial.
  • Go live with an expert, employee, customer or influencer by using the “Add A Guest” feature.

Consider Instagram Shop in your strategy

About 130 million Instagram users tap on shopping posts every month.

With a professional account on Instagram, you can create your own online store inside of Instagram. Doing so makes a “View Shop” button appear on your Instagram profile.

In addition, with a “Shop” tab on the Explore page of Instagram, having an Instagram Shop will make you more discoverable.

Instagram Reels worth experimenting with

Another content feature on the visual-first platform is Instagram Reels, which are multi-cuut videos (similar to TikTok).

Just as you would play with content on Instagram Stories, the same should happen with Reels. Not sure where to start? Watch some Reels, whether they’re from within your industry or not, to get a feel for different approaches.

Explore an influencer partnership

Influencer marketing is only growing, and Instagram is one of the best platforms for it.

Of course, a partnership doesn’t just happen. You’ll want to do your research and analyze the value of working with possible influencers. Often, a simple Instagram takeover is a common tactic to start with.

Dig deeper with our seven tips to know before starting your first influencer marketing campaign.

Go beyond organic reach with Instagram ads

Based on your target audience, you can better reach them by running Instagram ads, which can be created through Instagram but also by using the Facebook Ad Manager (since Facebook owns Instagram).

You can target by location, demographics, interests and behaviors to best reach the people who will most likely be interested in your business and what you offer.

Monitor performance with Instagram Insights

Tracking your metrics is an important aspect of any digital marketing campaign, whether it’s on Instagram or not.

Regularly checking on your performance in Instagram Insights will show you what is working and what’s not. Then, you can pivot your strategy quickly to do more of what performs and less of what doesn’t.

See our guide on Instagram metrics.

Not sure if Instagram is the right social media platform for your brand, check out our breakdown of how to determine which one is.

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

7 tips to help you determine your target audience

Even if you could afford to target everyone, it’s not a good idea. 

Why? Because the success of our digital marketing (and business) happens based on determining our target audience and creating a strategy focused on reaching that group of consumers.

And no small business can afford to target everyone.

The way small businesses can compete is by identifying and targeting a niche market that makes sense for the products and services that are offered.

Even if you’re opting to say that you target “stay-at-home moms” or “homeowners” rather than “anyone interested,” that’s still too general.

But keep in mind that specific targeting is not intended to officially exclude people who don’t fall within your target. Rather, it’s about reaching the right group (who is more likely to buy from you than other groups) with the right message for them at that moment.

About 40.5 percent of consumers say they prefer seeing online ads for products targeted to their interests rather than random ads.

Of course, the importance of a target audience goes beyond marketing and actually plays a key role in your business plan that can be used to secure financing as well, as explained by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The following are seven tips to help you determine the target audience for your business.

Examine your customer base

It’s important to start by digging deeper into your customer database. Ask yourself:

  • Who are your current customers?
  • Why do your current customers buy from you?
  • Which customers bring in the most business (i.e. are the most loyal)?

Be sure to take note of all common characteristics and interests among your best customers. It’s very likely that similar consumers would also benefit from your products and/or services as you’re looking at getting specific with your target audience.

A customer survey can help supplement some of the more detailed information about your customers. In addition, consider examining your social media following. Most platforms have various tools to better understand your audience, including:

Conduct a competitive analysis

Understanding who your competitors are targeting and who their current customers are can help give you insight into targeting opportunities. 

This is not because you should similar target the same group. You definitely should not.

Instead, understanding who’s being targeted by your competitors can help you find a niche they might be missing (and that you can hone in on).

Dive deeper into what a competitive analysis entails, as well as 16 tools to help you conduct one as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Doing so will help you gain insights into the audiences your competitors are after.

Analyze your products and/or services

Take the time to review everything you offer as a business. You can do this in a structured way by creating a list of features for each product or service you offer.

Then, break this down further by documenting the benefits each feature offers. Once you have a detailed list of benefits, you can brainstorm the people whose needs would be fulfilled by those benefits.

While this may still be too broad of a grouping to officially identify as your target audience, it can definitely get you going in the right direction.

Use social listening for deeper insights

Social listening is an excellent way to discover online conversations about your business, industry and/or products or services.

This tactic involves monitoring relevant keywords and hashtags that show what people are saying about your and even your competitors online (whether or not you’re tagged). Of course, the flip side of social listening goes beyond monitoring where you should actually be engaging with those consumers.

In the end, not only can social listening help you generate leads, it can also deepen your social media research that can feed into determining your target audience.

Find out more about social listening, as well as the difference between social listening and crowdsourcing.

Identify specific demographics

Now is the time to get into the nitty gritty of your target audience. Based on the characteristics of your best customers and those who would most benefit from your products or services, determine the following demographics:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Education level
  • Income level
  • Marital or family status
  • Ethnic background

Evaluate what demographics are the most crucial for the growth of your business.

Go beyond the demographics

Once you’ve solidified the demographics of your target audience, take it one step further. Consider their psychographics, which are the personal characteristics of people.

This includes:

  • Personality
  • Values
  • Attitudes
  • Lifestyles
  • Behavior
  • Interests or hobbies

Of course, psychographics go deeper than the surface demographics you’ve already determined.

Start by thinking through how your product or service fits into your ideal customer’s lifestyle. Ask such questions as:

  • How will your ideal customer use your product or service?
  • When will your ideal customer use it?
  • What features of your product or service are most appealing to your ideal customer?
  • How does your ideal customer consume media? Does he or she read the newspaper, attend particular events or search online?
  • What social media channels does your ideal customer use?

Your questions don’t have to end there, of course, the better you build and understand the persona of your ideal customer (i.e. target audience), the more specific you can target.

Confirm your target audience

Once you feel confident that you have identified your target audience, it doesn’t hurt to evaluate and confirm your decision-making result.

It’s key to consider whether your target is large enough, or has it swung from being too broad to being too niche? Will your target audience actually benefit from your products or services? Do you fully understand what drives your target audience to make purchase decisions?

Of course, simpler considerations include whether your target audience can actually afford your product or service and whether you can actually reach them with your message (or are they not easily accessible)?

In conclusion

It’s entirely possible that you’ve identified more than just one target audience. This is absolutely fine as long as you differentiate your messaging between niches. For example, you wouldn’t address stay-at-home mothers the same as about-to-graduate college students.

Just know that while defining your target audience can be difficult, it’s worth the effort. You can then be that much more successful in your digital marketing efforts, which can lead to more sales.

Check out our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners to get a better understanding about everything digital marketing can do. Plus, see our 18 low-cost marketing ideas for small businesses.

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

6 Facebook marketing tips you should know

It’s hard to imagine a business that doesn’t at least have a presence on Facebook. But is your brand taking advantage of all the marketing opportunities that exist on the platform?

With more than 2.8 million monthly users, Facebook still holds the title of being the biggest social media network. And while a primary use for users is to connect with friends and family, two-thirds of Facebook users visit a local business Facebook Page at least once per week.

See our 12 tips to optimize your Facebook business page.

The following are six Facebook marketing tips that you should know to better reach and engage with your target audience.

Set your Facebook goals

While obvious, determining your goals for Facebook is critical to moving forward with any marketing strategy.

For instance, you might want to generate sales leads, increase your website traffic or improve customer service.

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong goal here. Just be sure to evaluate what’s most important to your brand. Then, get specific and set a timeline to achieve it.

Define your target audience on Facebook

Understanding who you want to reach should be at the core of any digital marketing strategy. 

If you’re an existing business, auditing your customer database is a great place to start. Who are your best customers?

If you’re new, part of your overall business plan should already have identified your target audience.

Either way, you want to answer the following questions:

  • How old are they?
  • Where do they live or are they traveling? If traveling, where from?
  • What are their needs or problems that you can solve?
  • How often and when are they using Facebook?

Of course, the more demographic information you can determine, the better. Marketing too broadly is less successful than finding your niche.

On the flip side, if you have an existing Facebook page, take note of your follower demographics. You can find this in the Insights section of your page and then click on Followers.

It helps to understand both who you want to reach and who is already following you. This will help shape your messaging and even specific campaigns you might want to run.

Plan your mix of Facebook content

When it comes to the content you publish on Facebook, there are several factors to keep in mind.

First, your goals, which should already be set. Second, your target audience. Who are you talking to?

Then, variety is imperative. However, to simply advise “variety” is a disservice. There’s more to it than that. 

One general rule of thumb is to strive for the 80-20 Rule, where about 80 percent of your posts inform, educate and/or entertain. And the other 20 percent is used to promote your brand and/or services and products.

Another approach is the Rule of Thirds, where one-third of your Facebook content is intended to share ideas and stories, another third strives for personal interactions with your followers and the last third promotes your business.

The key is to not go too hard on the sales posts. Not only will you struggle to reach and engage your target audience, but Facebook’s algorithm does not like overpromoting pages.

So, while you’re striving to break up your promotions among other content that’s intended to purely reach and engage with your target audience, you also must consider mixing up the actual content types:

  • Text-only posts
  • Link-preview posts
  • Image posts
  • Videos
  • Facebook Lives
  • Facebook Stories

A content calendar can help you plan and stay organized. In addition, refer to our tips for curated content so that you’re not having to spin your wheels creating every piece of content from scratch.

And it never hurts to approach your Facebook publishing with an overall content marketing strategy.

Explore other Facebook tools

Facebook is a more robust platform than just what you can do with a business page. And, of course, because every business is different, it’s worth experimenting to see what additional options could work for your brand and audience to attain your goals.

Other Facebook tools include:

Experiment with Facebook ads and pixel

Organic reach is not what it used to be, largely due to changes in the Facebook algorithm, which controls what is shown to users in their news feeds based on a number of engagement and other factors.

While the actual formula of the Facebook algorithm is always shifting (and always a secret), posts from friends and family take priority. This puts pressure on brands to stand out in order to reach their target audience. 

And even if your brand is creating and publishing great, engaging content, you may still need to consider paying for the boost you need to reach your target audience.

The Facebook Pixel is a simple piece of code that you can embed in your website to track conversions from Facebook, retarget those who’ve already visited your website and build custom audiences for future ads.

See our seven tips to better target your Facebook ads.

Measure your Facebook performance

Facebook is a living, breathing social media platform, and your marketing not only has to rise to the occasion but be monitored and tracked as well. 

You must understand what’s working and what’s not so that you can pivot your Facebook strategy as needed.

Fortunately, Facebook Insights is a section on your business page that can help you for free. It can help you monitor:

  • Post reach
  • Post engagement
  • Which posts result in followers unliking your page
  • Overall audience and follower demographics

Check out our snapshot of Facebook Insights to help you better understand all the metrics available to you.

Of course, Facebook metrics also can be tracked through various social media management tools. So, you can choose the best approach and methodology for your business.

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

Snapshot: The challenges and opportunities of Snapchat for businesses

Businesses typically can be hesitant to use Snapchat in their digital marketing strategy.

And there is no right or wrong with that position because every business (and its goals and resources) is different.

Created in 2011, Snapchat features image and video messaging between users.

More than 280 million people use Snapchat daily, and the overall audience skews younger, with about 69 percent of teenagers saying they use the app.

In addition, more than 5 billion (image or video) snaps are created each day.

At the very least, it’s important for every brand to understand both the challenges and opportunities of Snapchat from your perspective.

Opportunity #1: You can reach a younger audience

If your brand is targeting a younger audience, then Snapchat needs to be included in some way in your overall strategy.

Snapchat is the most popular social media network among teenagers, with Instagram and TikTok following closely behind it. Considering the direct messaging capabilities, ephemeral content (that expires after 24 hours) and the fun filters and stickers available in snaps, this fact makes sense.

Challenge #1: Lack of ROI measurement

Snapchat has had notoriously lackluster analytics options available for brand marketers.

So much so that many brands have had to get creative to see if their Snapchat efforts are making an impact. Examples include:

  • Snapchat-only promo codes so that you can track usage in another system
  • Requesting direct messages in a promotion

On the micro-level, the app does not have a way to track clicks and views inside of Snapchat stories and posts.

But on the macro-level, you can get a feel of overall growth and engagement.

That being said, when analytics are such a critical part to successful digital marketing strategies, it’s hard for many businesses to invest time and resources into a platform where the ROI can be vague at best.

Opportunity #2: One-on-one engagement

While one-on-one engagement might sound like a challenge at first (sounds like limited reach, right?), it really is an opportunity for your brand to build better, more trusting relationships with your audience.

Trust is a huge contributor to converting your audience into paying (and even loyal) customers. 

And in a world where conversational marketing is becoming increasingly important, Snapchat can fill that role.

Because snaps are delivered to the individual, the app boasts a more personal experience by default. In addition, the app really embraces behind-the-scenes and day-in-the-life content, which can make the engagement you generate even more impactful.

Challenge #2: Time limitations

Time impacts two different aspects of Snapchat. 

First, video clips have a 10-second limit, so if you need to show more than that, you must string together a series of clips to convey your message.

Second, media content disappears after 24 hours, so your Snaps have a limited window to reach and engage your audience. This constraint also typically increases the need to post more content more frequently.

Of course, some would argue that this is the draw of Snapchat—bite-sized content that’s always fresh.

Either way, you must plan accordingly when expanding your brand presence to Snapchat.

Opportunity #3: Snapchat now includes discoverability

Not part of the original app, the Discover feature allows users to explore premium content from publishing partners.

Sharing content on Snapchat Discover can increase brand awareness and reach, but becoming a Snapchat publishing partner is not a straightforward process. It involves an official agreement with Snapchat to post content on Discover that will engage audiences.

Your brand might try the Snap Map feature instead. This is where nearby users using available location services can discover your geotagged content.

Previously, many brands had to share their Snapcodes on other platforms to help anyone (who also was on Snapchat) find them.

Challenge #3: Lack of typical engagement actions

If you’re looking for engagement actions (like shares and likes), you won’t find them on Snapchat.

The app just doesn’t operate that way. For example, a user can only re-share content by taking a screenshot and uploading it to other platforms.

This clearly puts a damper on the overall reach of your Snapchat content when others’ actions don’t necessarily lead to a boost.

Ultimately, Snapchat may or may not work for your brand. Examine the potential ROI and determine whether you have the resources to achieve your goals for the app.

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

LinkedIn marketing: 6 tips to be more effective

Known as the largest professional social network, marketing on LinkedIn can be effective when done right.

LinkedIn now has more than 660 million registered professionals.

LinkedIn has assisted about 45 percent of marketers with customer acquisition, while the platform accounts for about 80 percent of B2B (business to business) leads.

If you’re not already on LinkedIn or might not be using the platform to its full potential, you’re missing out on marketing opportunities for you as a professional and your brand.

The following are six tips for better marketing on LinkedIn.

Optimize your profile and page

While it’s a simple step, creating and optimizing your LinkedIn profile and/or page is a key first step when marketing yourself or your brand.

The best part of this step is that it’s completely free to do. 

It matters because you want to showcase what you’re all about for everyone who comes across your presence.

The actions you should take to optimize your LinkedIn profile include (but are not limited to):

  • Using a high-quality profile image that’s professional and is close up on your face
  • Including your current job position
  • Add at least a half dozen relevant skills
  • Fill out any past professional experience
  • Connect with relevant colleagues

The actions you should take to optimize your LinkedIn page include (but are not limited to):

  • Using a high-quality brand logo image
  • Choosing a high-quality cover image that represents your brand
  • Filling out all available fields, such as About, Life, Jobs, etc.
  • Consistent posts that include a mix of content

Strategize your content

Avoid the mistake of creating and optimizing your LinkedIn profile and/or page—and then neglecting it.

Content is like the marketing currency of the internet, especially on social media. You’ll want to create, share and publish content on LinkedIn that educates, informs, guides, inspires and/or entertains your following. A content calendar can help you stay organized.

Be sure to mix your content up to be as engaging as possible. This includes:

  • Custom images
  • Native video posted directly to the platform
  • Native articles that look like blogs but created within LinkedIn itself
  • Links to not just your own articles but those of others as well

Just remember that LinkedIn is not a text-only platform, so break out of text-only posts. Think through the goal of your LinkedIn presence. Is it brand awareness? To establish yourself or your brand as a thought leader in your industry? 

Whatever the goal, your content should support and project that. You want your content to be actionable. Then, be sure to engage with others’ content and any comments on your own content. Social media (including LinkedIn) is a two-way conversation, not just a broadcast.

Involve your colleagues, employees

More than possibly any other social media platform, LinkedIn is all about the connections you make. 

And in that sense, your colleagues and/or employees can be some of your biggest advocates.

You can encourage colleagues to engage with your content and endorse your listed skills.

Employees can add your company to their personal profiles, engage with company posts and share them with their networks. They also can share any news or articles that your company is featured in on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Groups are also a great place for you, your colleagues or your employees to get involved with. They’re designated pages that enable people from within the same industry or with shared interests to interact with each other.

Personalize your direct messages

Direct messaging on LinkedIn is a popular tactic on LinkedIn, especially for sales representatives and job recruiters. 

But these messages are often generic, templated and not very effective.

The more you can do to engage with your recipient’s content and review his or her profile for key points that you can use to connect with, the better.

You also can consider using personalized InMail, which is a feature that’s available to individual Premium accounts (not through LinkedIn Company Pages). This is a great way to reach out to influential individuals on the platform to build a relationship. LinkedIn InMail gets three times more responses than regular emails.

Consider LinkedIn ads

LinkedIn offers advertising opportunities on its platform. In fact, its Matched Audiences feature allows you to target the most relevant users by retargeting people who have visited your website as well as people who are on your existing account or your email contacts.

This is an effective tactic because these individuals you’re targeting have some familiarity with you or your company already. So, there’s an increased possibility that you’ll convert them into customers.

Monitor your performance

Whether you’re tracking how your profile is doing (though a LinkedIn Premium account) or how your page is doing, understanding your performance on LinkedIn is important so that you can make adjustments to your strategy as you go along.

It all comes down to seeing what’s working and what’s not. 

Remember, there’s no such thing as a failed post. Everything is a learning opportunity.

If you’re looking to make the management of your LinkedIn presence a little easier, consider one of these 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools.

For more on how to market well using LinkedIn, see what LinkedIn itself advises.

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

Email automation: What it is, why it matters and 14 examples to inspire you

Email marketing has consistently proven it’s value, but automation can take your efforts to another level.

In general, email marketing is a type of marketing that shares details about your business, products, services, discounts and other information with your customers and potential customers through emails.

See these 48 statistics that show every dollar spent on email marketing is well spent.

Let’s dive into what email automation actually is, why it matters and 14 examples that provide inspiration as you get started.

What is email automation?

Email automation is a series of emails you automatically send to your prospects or customers. Using a tool, such as DailyStory, you can schedule emails to send based on your audience’s interactions with your business.

Unlike email newsletters and one-off campaigns, email automation allows you to create a campaign one time and then automatically reach individuals when certain triggers are hit. That means emails will continue to send long after you set up that automated campaign without you lifting another finger.

An example would be signing up for an account (whether it’s Twitter, Netflix or anything else) and then immediately receiving a confirmation welcome email. Of course, when done right, that automated email is encouraging you to act or engage in some additional way. In this case, it could be a request to complete your profile.

Why does it matter?

Email automation enables you to both save time and be more effective in the timing and point of your messages.

Just set up a campaign initially with automated triggers included. That’s it. Then, your brand is meeting your customers and potential customers wherever they are in their purchasing journey with your business. It’s about scalability within your own business as you continue to grow. 

This leads to a greater return on investment (ROI) for you efforts.

With about 64 percent of businesses using email automation, it truly is the most popular form of marketing automation currently.

And while businesses are often focusing their marketing efforts on getting new customers, email automation can do the work on nurturing and engaging with your existing ones.

This is important because it costs five times more to acquire new customers than it does to keep your existing ones.

Dive deeper into why email automation matters to your marketing.

Examples of email automation

There are almost limitless ways to engage with your customers and potential customers through automated emails, depending on your goals and the nature of your business. These 14 examples can help inspire you to get started:

  1. Welcome new customers (or subscribers)
  2. New customer onboarding
  3. Abandoned shopping cart reminder
  4. Gather feedback on your products or services
  5. Inform customers of upcoming expirations (or renewals)
  6. Birthday messages
  7. Anniversary messages
  8. Appointment reminders
  9. Milestone messages, such as the 100th visit for example
  10. Nurture your leads (see more about email drip campaigns)
  11. Promote new content, such as blogs or videos
  12. Offer an email course
  13. Event or webinar reminders
  14. Replies to customer complaints that explain your complaint process and ensure you’re working on fixing the issue

In conclusion

The key to a successful email automation strategy is not only the marketing platform you’re using but also the depth and quality of your data. 

The triggers that can send off the right email at the right time to the right person are all based on the integration of your systems and the type of data you have on each consumer.

In other words, the better you know a customer or lead, the more uniquely you can design an email automation campaign around that individual to better engage with him or her.

DailyStory can help with email marketing automation (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.

Also, check out these seven opportunities for social media automation that you might not have thought of yet.

11 tips to best respond to negative reviews

No business wants (or wants to have to respond to) negative reviews online. 

But they do happen, and you must respond to reduce any damage to your online reputation and potential sales.

About 90 percent of consumers worldwide read reviews before buying products, and about 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from a friend or a family member.

Of course, negative reviews can happen regardless of the quality of your service and/or product, or even how many other people love it.

The following are 11 tips for you to respond effectively to any negative reviews that might come your way.

Respond quickly

Time is of the essence. An unanswered negative review will only fester and draw more attention online.

Whether it’s you or someone else on your team, ensure that you have a system in place to regularly check for new reviews. Many platforms will send a notification as well, but don’t simply rely on that. Notifications can get missed.

Aim to respond to reviews within 24 to 48 hours maximum. But truly, the sooner, the better. Reviews and responses are timestamped, so others reading the thread will see how long it took you to respond.

See our six ways to be more responsive to your customers.

Introduce yourself and your connection to the team

While it’s fantastic for the owner of a business to personally respond to customer complaints, it’s not always realistic.

But whether you’re the owner or a representative of the company, be sure to introduce yourself to help establish that personal connection with the reviewer.

Acknowledge the issue

Acknowledgment is huge. It doesn’t matter whether you think the customer is right, just having an off day or doesn’t understand your process or product at all.

Keep your emotions in check, and read the customer’s feedback objectively.

Then, start by thanking the customer for not only bringing the situation to your attention but taking the time to do so. It opens the door to finding a solution.

Apologize

Again, it just doesn’t matter whether the customer is right or wrong, it’s your responsibility as the business to take the high road and apologize for the issue he or she had.

Apologies go a long way and show that you care about delivering a high level of service. Make sure to be clear that the customer’s happiness is your No. 1 priority.

Keep in mind that there is a difference between “I apologize” and “I’m sorry.”

To apologize is to take responsibility for something on behalf of your company. To say sorry is to emphasize with the customer without acknowledging that your company is specifically to blame.

When there’s a negative review because of something your business is responsible for, then apologize.

When there’s a negative review because of something outside of your control, then you can consider the “I’m sorry this happened to you” approach.

If needed, offer an explanation

Tread lightly here. It’s easy to go so deep into an explanation that it can read as an excuse or being defensive.

Often, an apology alone will suffice. But when necessary, keep your explanation short and to the point. If there was a technology glitch, for example, say that. But don’t dive into all the headaches that glitch caused you personally or how cumbersome it was to get it fixed.

Remember that as a business, you must take responsibility for all good (and bad) experiences.

Think quick context, not an extended narrative. Less is more. 

Reinforce your company’s values

Similar to offering an explanation, it’s best to concisely state the importance of customer service to your business. Spending too much time on this point can be taken wrong.

Just briefly mention what your current standards for customer service are, that you take customer complaints very seriously and that customer service is an integral part of your company’s values.

Make it right for the reviewer

Remember that a bad experience with any business likely costs a customer time and/or money (and that’s where emotions can run high, for sure).

Be sure to not only make it right, but to compensate the customer into using your business again. A 20 percent discount on his or her next visit or product can turn a one-time, unhappy customer into a lifetime, loyal customer.

Of course, the compensation should make sense for the situation at hand. If they’re dealing with a malfunctioning product, for example, 20 percent off a second product doesn’t make sense. But a free exchange as well as 20 percent off a future product can work well together. You both fixed the issue and encouraged them to continue doing business with you.

If nothing can be done to resolve the situation, write a compelling public response to the review that shows your sincere regret and desire to avoid that type of situation from happening again. 

There’s a wide range of options here. Focus on the immediate problem at hand, and don’t be afraid to step out of the box when it comes to making it right. Every business is different.

Be human and personable

Whether you get hit with 10 online reviews per week or hundreds per day, make the effort to not sound “canned” in your responses. 

While consumers can sense if a reviewer is being overly aggressive or out of line, they can also sense if you’re templating a bit too much in your responses.

There are many helpful online review response templates available on the internet, but use them as inspiration. They’ll never substitute the type of thoughtful response you can write on your own after reading and thinking through the issue a customer had.

Remember that you always want to humanize your brand as much as you can online. Avoid templated shortcuts.

Keep it short

There obviously are several components to any successful response to a negative review, but overall, try to keep your response as short as possible.

Longer replies often get ignored. They also can (simply in their length) appear desperate or defensive, and there’s really no need to go crazy in length. 

At the end of the day, you have a customer who is unhappy. Address that directly and concisely.

Invite the reviewer to continue the conversation offline

While there can definitely be a little back and forth in review responses, a public comment thread is not the best place to hash out all the finer details of resolving an issue for a customer.

Invite that customer to continue the conversation with you directly. This can be with a direct phone number to call, an email or even a direct message on a social media platform.

Of course, don’t just leave that ball in his or her court. When you comment with that invitation, take the extra step and also let them know that you just directly messaged them, for example.

Remember that you’re writing for two audiences: the customer who had a negative experience, as well as all the potential customers who are reading your reviews. Make sure that the end of your response has a “next steps” approach. It doesn’t leave anyone hanging.

Get a second opinion

When in doubt (and obviously if possible), don’t hesitate to run your written response by a colleague for a second opinion.

As much as you might want to be objective and fair in your responses to negative reviews, they naturally trigger emotion and can even feel like a personal attack. Because of this, it never hurts to get an outside opinion on your response before you post it.

In conclusion

Remember that negative reviews can happen on almost any online platform, not just Yelp or Google. Your business could be tagged in an unhappy tweet or a check-in post on Facebook.

Have a system in place so that you can stay on top of all online reviews coming in, not just the negative ones. If a customer has a great experience, thank him or her for sharing. But now, if someone has a bad experience, you can confidently address it. How you do so can actually outweigh any negative perception that a negative review might otherwise cause.

Negative reviews are not a battlefield for you to go to war in. Take them as an opportunity to convert unhappy customers into brand loyalists and to maintain your integrity as a business.

Online reviews are a form of social proof that you can leverage to actually grow your business. Check out these nine ways you can use social proof in your digital marketing.

As you begin taking on negative reviews with a fresh perspective, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, which includes automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

12 ways to optimize your Google My Business profile

If your business has a specific location (or locations), then ranking in local search results should be a priority, especially on Google. 

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

The good news is that there is a lot you can do to boost your local SEO without spending a ton of money, including optimizing your Google My Business profile.

Google My Business is a powerful free listing that acts as a dynamic snapshot of your business that highlights key information and helps internet users learn more about (and engage with) you within Google search results.

Check out our 11 local SEO tips, then review the following 12 ways you can optimize your Google My Business profile, which is commonly underutilized by local businesses. Optimizing your profile will give you a leg up on your competition.

Create your Google My Business account

Of course, if you know you’ve already created your Google My Business account, feel free to skip this tip.

Although it is imperative to mention that your Google My Business account is different from your Google Business Profile. One is used to access and optimize the other. Therefore, confirm that you have a Google My Business account and then tell Google to connect it with your Google Business Profile. 

You’ll want to navigate to the Google.com Business page and log in with your regular Google/Gmail account that you use for your business. Do not log in with a personal account.

Fill out every section of your profile

Be sure to fill out all sections of your Google Business Profile, which will help your business both rank higher in local search results and increase the number of ways potential customers can engage with your profile.

The key fields include:

  • Business name
  • Location address
  • Phone number
  • Website URL
  • Hours of operation

There also are a few sections that you’ll want to put some thought into:

  • Products and services
  • Category and attributes
  • From the business, which is your business description that appears lower than the auto-generated description that Google provides for you
  • FAQs that you create and publish

In the “from the business” field, you can definitely repurpose a description from your “About Us” page or your mission statement. Just be sure to use all available 750 characters, with the most important details in the first 250 characters. (Avoid including any links.) While you do want to include relevant keywords, don’t repeat any information that’s already in the other sections of your Google Business Profile. Instead, focus on what sets your business apart and what customers like the most. 

Then, there are a few sections that are ongoing:

  • Posts
  • Reviews
  • Questions and answers that are generated by internet users

Take the necessary time to fill out all of these sections, and consider what will be the most useful information for someone to know who is coming across your business for the first time.

Be specific with your information

It’s very important that your business name is identical not only to the one you use on your store signage but also to your other listings across the internet.

This can come down to slight differences like “company” versus “co.” 

Pay attention to these details so that your credibility isn’t questioned by Google.

Also consider your regular hours of operation and your holiday hours of operation. These likely will be different and will help avoid any confusion (and potential negative review) from a customer who went to your business when you were actually closed. 

Choose the category of your business

About 84 percent of Google Business Profile views originate from search queries of a related product, service or categorical term, where that business’s profile appeared.

A big part of this is setting your business category on your profile. By doing so, you’ll also be able to access category-specific features that can make your profile more effective, such as restaurants including a “menu” button.

When choosing from available categories, be as specific as possible and choose any relevant secondary categories (since many businesses span multiple categories). Just make sure that you’re not confusing your categories with specific products or attributes you offer. There are separate sections for those.

Pick relevant attributes of your business

Once you choose a category through Google My Business, you get a list of attributes that allow you to further describe your business. 

Attributes are not unique to Google. You’ll find them on various listing websites. They are the features that might interest potential customers, such as “free WiFi,” “public restroom,” “pets welcome” and more.

Select everything that is relevant to your business.

Add photos that showcase your business

Because anyone can add photos to your Business Profile, you definitely want to upload your own photos to help your profile look its best to potential customers. 

Uploading photos to your profile also shows Google that you are actively on your profile, which can boost your local SEO as well. Customers are about 42 percent more likely to request driving directions to a business if its profile has photos and about 35 percent more likely to click through to its website.

And the more the better. Businesses with more than 100 photos get about 520 percent more calls, 2,717 percent more direction requests and 1,065 percent more website clicks than the average business.

But don’t take that as encouragement to spam your own profile with photos. When it comes to photos on your Google Business Profile:

  • Upload your logo for your thumbnail photo
  • Use an image that represents your brand as your cover photo
  • Only include photos that are authentic and reflect how your business is in real life, avoiding anything that could be viewed as a stock image or has special effects
  • Geo-tag your photos
  • Upload any relevant videos as well
  • Strive to upload at least one new photo every week

Get additional photo guidance from Google itself.

Seek out Google reviews

Reviews are a top influence on consumer purchases, so it’s important to seek out reviews for your Google Business Profile. Plus, local businesses with multiple positive reviews get a boost in their relevant search rankings.

To get more reviews on your profile:

  • Request reviews directly from your long-time and loyal customers
  • Create a review shortcut link to make it easy to submit a Google review for your business
  • Ask all customers to write a review because about 62 percent will do so when asked
  • Include a call-to-action on your website that links to your reviews
  • Respond to all reviews, whether they are positive or negative
  • Remind customers that reviews aren’t just for your benefit. They can serve other consumers who are seeking a solution to a need or problem they have

Just remember that you should not incentivize reviews with discounts, gifts or anything else.

Regularly post to your Google Business Profile

Consider your Google Business Profile just as you would your social media accounts. Regular posts about announcements, offers, events and more should be published consistently. 

These posts are created through the Google My Business dashboard and appear in the “Updates” section of your Google Business Profile.

Posting sends positive ranking signals to Google similar to how uploading photos would, and posts increase engagement opportunities with potential customers. 

Consumers also can follow your profile and get notified of any new posts you publish.

Embrace questions and answers

Similar to Amazon, Google Business Profile features a section for questions and answers. Because anyone can ask and answer questions about your business, it’s important to optimize this section to promote accurate information over any inaccurate information.

You can’t turn off this section, so make a commitment to make it work for you:

  • Set up alerts so that you’re notified when new questions are posted on your profile
  • Fill out your own question-and-answer section with the top FAQs about your business
  • Use relevant keywords wherever appropriate without overusing

You can definitely make the question-and-answer section work for your business by staying on top of it.

Add available products and services

When the products or services are not obvious in your business name, be sure to add them in this section of your Google Business Profile through your Google My Business account.

You should include the name, description and price of your products and/or services. The more information you can provide, the better.

Remember, filling out this section provides more content that could potentially be relevant to a local search query. 

Set up direct messaging

You can set up an available feature in your Google Business Profile where searchers can send a text message to your phone directly from your search profile.

Select the “Messaging” tab in your Google My Business dashboard. Then, you can install Google’s Allo app via Google Play or the Apple App Store, depending on your mobile device.

Remember to set up alerts for messages in your dashboard by navigating to settings and then checking “customer messages.”

Pulling it all together with a Google My Business strategy

Google My Business is not a “set it and forget it” platform. Staying on top of the features it offers is one of the best ways to improve your local SEO (and ultimately the overall success of your business).

Plan out how often you’ll publish new information, what type of information and when. You can create a separate content calendar if that will help you stay organized.

See our six best practices for mobile SEO as well.

While you’re optimizing your Google My Business, think about your digital marketing process. Consider DailyStory. Our application features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

8 ways to improve customer responsiveness

Your business can either thrive or barely survive based on your customer responsiveness in this fast-moving digital world.

How long does it take your team members to respond to a question from a customer or potential customer?

Simple answer: The longer it takes, the worse it is for your business.

Customer responsiveness is all about how quickly your business can respond to a query on any platform (social media, email and otherwise). On the flip side, it’s also about how quickly you can resolve an issue.

About 32 percent of customers expect a response from social media customer support within 30 minutes of reaching out, according to a survey, while 42 percent of consumers anticipate a response within 60 minutes.

Successful customer responsiveness leads to more sales and repeat customers who can ultimately become loyal brand ambassadors. Repeat customers are actually accountable for about 40 percent of an average business’s annual revenue. You definitely want your customers to come back.

The following are eight ways you can improve the customer responsiveness of your business.

Audit your current customer responsiveness

It’s important to assess the current state of your customer responsiveness and identify any areas in need of improvement.

You may want to test it yourself by sending an email from an anonymous account, asking an acquaintance to directly message on different social media platforms, etc.

The key is that you repeatedly test and document what is working to your expectations and what’s not.

You can’t fully improve or fix your customer responsiveness until you understand and identify the problems that need to be fixed.

Determine a customer response system

Every business is different, but it’s important to not only prioritize customer responsiveness but have a system for your team to address it.

For example, perhaps you know that most questions come through email, occasionally through your Facebook page inbox and very sparingly through your brand’s Twitter account (whether direct message or otherwise). You should then ensure that your team has time daily to respond to emails. For Facebook and Twitter, you confirm that your team receives notifications whenever there is a mention or message that needs to be addressed.

The more platforms your company is on (including Yelp and Google My Business), the more complex your customer responsiveness system may need to be. But it’s worth putting in the time and effort to think through what works best to achieve your improvement goals.

Keep in mind that the regular updating and maintenance of your knowledge base is critical to best serving your customers and keeping your team members all on the same page.

Embrace social media

Social media isn’t just a place where customers and potential customers can send your business direct messages. It’s also a place where queries can come in various types, depending on the platform.

On Facebook, for instance, a user can send you a direct message, comment on your post, tag you in another post or comment thread and even just mention you while not tagging you at all. While privacy settings may restrict what you can respond to or even see, it’s worth paying attention. Otherwise, you’re likely to miss something. 

Instagram, Twitter, YouTube—there are so many ways users could be engaging with you and asking you specific questions. For example, only 3 percent of Twitter users tag a brand to ask for help, while about 37 percent of tweets mentioning brands are customer-service related.

Of course, regular searches for your brand name (and common misspellings) on various platforms can help identify the posts where you’re not tagged.

We recommend using a social media management tool in order to pool the monitoring all into one place. Some businesses might also outsource social media in order to stay on top of all the dynamics.

Consider tech-based solutions

Customer responsiveness and service have long been considered a manpowered service, where you have to hire more and more employees to do it right as a business. But there are a number of technology-based solutions out there that could work for your brand.

These solutions can include chat software where automated responses handle the most common and basic customer questions. Find out more about chatbots.

Invest in a quality customer service team

Chatbots can’t do it all. It’s imperative to hire and invest in a responsive customer service team, even if that’s only one person.

No matter the size, you must have the right people with the right skills working for you and representing your brand. Regular training to continue to develop and improve those skills also is necessary.

Strive for:

  • Knowledge, where a customer-service representative understands your products and/or services well enough to address the questions that pop up.
  • Excellent communication, where a representative engages with any type of customer or potential customer in a positive, supportive way.
  • Patience, where a representative does not get flustered or short with the customer or potential customer no matter what.

Explore CRM programs

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. In the simplest terms, a CRM program uses your data to build a relationship with your customers.

The right CRM program will help give you useful insights about your customers and their needs, as well as streamline customer service between different teams within your business (such as sales and customer service) so that your customer gets a consistent experience with your brand. 

They’ll also often track pending and completed tasks by customer, so that you have an idea of what’s been done and what might still need to be done.

Get personal in your messaging

The further you can get from generic answers and messaging, the better. About 96 percent of marketers say that personalized messages and replies improve the brand-customer relationship.

To be more personal, use:

  • The customer’s name
  • A more informal, conversational and friendly tone
  • The customer’s native language

Strive for 24/7 customer support

This can be especially challenging for small businesses, especially if the only employee is you. (There is such a thing as work-life balance that every business owner should embrace to some degree.)

Options to be more responsive 24/7 include outsourcing your customer service, providing an easy-to-find and easy-to-understand FAQ section on your website and/or using live chatbot features that can then kick up more complex questions to a human. 

In fact, chatbots have come a long way. About 41 percent of customers now expect live chat on your website.

Dive deeper into conversational marketing and the value of engaging customers in real time.

In conclusion

Ultimately, customers want to feel important. Take the time to understand what your business is doing well and what can be improved to offer the best possible customer responsiveness. The more you can put yourself in your customer’s shoes, the better.

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

Mobile SEO: What it is and 6 best practices

The internet (and the world) is becoming increasingly mobile, so businesses must consider mobile search engine optimization (SEO) as part of their overall marketing strategy.

About 52 percent of all page views worldwide are mobile, while about 64 percent of all Google organic search traffic happens on mobile devices.

See our six reasons why mobile optimization matters to your business.

Mobile SEO simply refers to the practice of optimizing your website for mobile devices. Doing so helps increase your site’s visibility in mobile-device search results.

Characteristics of a mobile-friendly website:

  • Understandable for search engines
  • Quick loading
  • Loads correctly on mobile devices
  • Easy navigation for mobile users
  • Content does not require mobile users to zoom

Not only do users prefer to search on mobile, but Google also prioritizes websites that deliver a great mobile experience. In addition, smartphones are the dominant device used for voice search.

See our seven tips to optimize for voice search and get ahead of the curve.

The key to mobile SEO is offering your website visitors a flawless experience on both desktop and mobile devices. The following are six best practices to improve your mobile SEO.

Test your website’s mobile friendliness

Google offers a number of free tools, including a mobile-friendly test that you can run for any website. All you need to do is enter your site’s URL.

In addition, you can run the Google Search Console tool to check for any crawling errors that are preventing your website from being properly indexed. Indexing is part of the search engine process that makes your website visible in search engine results or not.

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

Improve your website’s speed

Speed became more of a search-ranking factor for Google in 2018. Search intent can overrule a slower speed in some cases, but it’s clear that the faster your website can load, the better it can rank overall.

You can check your website’s speed with:

To increase the speed of your website, look into:

  • Removing unnecessary plugins to reduce the amount of resources that your site must load
  • Upgrading your web hosting when your site begins to generate more content and page views
  • Minimizing HTTP requests by restricting how many on-page components your page has to render
  • Compressing all images so that they don’t take up a lot of bandwidth
  • Minifying your CSS, HTML and JavaScript files, which means removing unnecessary white space, formatting and code
  • Enabling Gzip compression, which compresses website files into a zip file
  • Using asynchronous loading for JavaScript and CSS files, which allows for some files to load simultaneously
  • Enabling browser caching for static files

Strive for a mobile-responsive design

Responsive website designs allow for dynamic changes in layout (and even content), depending on the type of device loading your page. This means that your website will appear differently on different screens, whether it’s a tablet, smartphone or desktop computer. 

The goal is to optimize the website for the best user experience, no matter the device.

Key steps to take for a responsive website design include:

  • Including an easy-to-view navigation menu for mobile users
  • Scaling your images
  • Shortening your text
  • Avoiding full-screen pop-ups
  • Making your call-to-action easy to find

Optimize your content for mobile SEO

Optimized content accomplishes two goals with your mobile visitors: 

  1. They’ll spend more time on your website.
  2. They are more likely to return.

The main issue that you don’t want is mobile visitors having to squint to read your content or using their zoom to view images. To ensure you’re optimizing your content for mobile:

  • Make all content digestible and easy to navigate
  • Keep sentences and/or paragraphs short and concise
  • Try for attention-grabbing headlines
  • Break up all content into chunks
  • Integrate visual content
  • Make your meta description short
  • Include relevant keywords everywhere appropriate

Consider local searches

Use of the search phrase “near me” and similar phrases are only increasing in search engines and particularly for searches on mobile devices.

Whether the user is hoping to find nearby restaurants, shoes or gyms, it’s important for your business to appear in relevant local search queries.

Be sure to set up and optimize your business profile on Google My Business.

Check out these 11 local SEO tips to better rank in local searches.

Embrace social media sharing

Most social media activity is happening on mobile devices, so you want to consider all the factors that make your content easy (and desirable) to share on social media platforms.

The more people share your content, the more authority you’ll appear to have in Google’s perspective.

To achieve this, consider:

  • Making your social media “sharing” button easy to use on all your content
  • Asking your visitors to share or other call-to-actions
  • Using eye-catching headlines
  • Including high-quality visuals
  • Publishing new and relevant content consistently

In conclusion

When you’re incorporating these best practices into your overall SEO strategy, be sure to measure and track your performance across different metrics to gauge how much of a difference you’re making. 

See our 14 expert tips to improve your mobile marketing while you’re at it.

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

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 don’t know can hurt you, or at least hold your business back.

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

‘What is Social?’ from Coursera

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

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

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

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

‘Introduction to Social Media Strategy’ from Skillshare

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

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

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

‘Social Media 101’ from Constant Contact

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

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

‘Social Media Marketing’ from Oxford Home Study Centre

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

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

The self-paced course provides a certification upon completion.

‘Social Media Analytics Course’ from Quintly

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

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

Course materials include videos, reading materials and quizzes.

‘Social Media’ from HubSpot

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

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

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

‘Social Media Marketing Certification’ from eMarketing Institute

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

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

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

‘The Business of Social’ from Coursera

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Writing for Social Media’ from edX

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

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

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

‘Social Media Ethics’ from Udemy

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

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

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

‘Content, Advertising & Social IMC’ from Coursera

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

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

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

‘Social Media Monitoring’ from Udemy

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

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

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

“Introduction to Social Media Advertising” from Skillshare

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

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

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

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

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

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

The course can take less than 48 hours to complete.

‘Facebook Blueprint’ from Facebook

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

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

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

“TikTok Marketing Masterclass” from Influencer Marketing Hub

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

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

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

Terms and Conditions: How to confirm your giveaways are legal

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

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

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

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

The differences between contests, sweepstakes and giveaways

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

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

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

Components of Terms and Conditions

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

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

Title

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

No Purchase Necessary

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

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

Promotion Description

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

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

Eligibility

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

  • Geographic location
  • Minimum age

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

Prizes

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

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

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

How to Enter

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

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

Winner Selection

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

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

Winner Notification

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

Privacy

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

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

Limitation of Liability

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

Social Network Disclaimers

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

Winner List

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

Sponsor

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

  • Company name
  • Mailing address
  • Email address

Administrator

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

Other considerations

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

Recurring daily or weekly winners

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

‘Twitter-only’ giveaway

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

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

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

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

Restricted industries

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

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

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

Where to host your Terms and Conditions

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

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

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

Entry deadlines cannot be extended

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

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

You must accept all valid entries

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

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

A prize must be awarded no matter what

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

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

Legal side note

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

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

12 expert tips to host your first webinar

Webinars are only growing in popularity.

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

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

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

Choose the right webinar platform

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

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

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

Select the right day and time

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

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

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

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

Use the right equipment

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

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

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

Opt for the right topic

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

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

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

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

Go as visual as possible

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

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

Practice makes perfect

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

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

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

Promote your webinar across channels

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

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

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

See our seven tips to level up your content marketing.

Engage with your attendees

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

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

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

Invite guests to speak or host

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

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

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

Assets can be created for attendees

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

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

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

Follow up with attendees after your webinar

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

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

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

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

Measure your success

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

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

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

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

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.