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.

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.

What is social proof? And 9 ways to use it in your digital marketing

When digging deeper into the idea of “social proof,” just remember that humans are definitely pack animals.

Psychologically speaking, humans want to fit in with the rest of the crowd, and this can affect us in many ways, particularly our consumer behavior.

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

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

About 91 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds trust online social proof reviews as much as recommendations from someone close to them, while 63 percent of consumers indicated they are more likely to purchase from a website with product ratings and reviews.

Of course, social proof is even more powerful when it comes from someone the potential customer knows. About 82 percent of Americans say they seek recommendations from friends and family before making a purchase.

The following are nine ways you can use social proof across your digital marketing channels to persuade potential customers and grow your sales.

Highlighting positive reviews

Online reviews might be the first thing you think of when it comes to social proof. You’re definitely not wrong.

Consider Yelp. Are you more likely to try the restaurant with a lot of five-star reviews or the one with none? About 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and consumers often check at least two or three review sites before making a decision about a business.

Be the business they want to try, not the one they want to avoid.

You can do this by paying attention to more than just one review site. In other words, if you’re only focused on Yelp, you’re missing key opportunities. Google, FourSquare, even Facebook are all platforms where reviews can be made and viewed publicly about your business.

Then, highlight any relevant five-star reviews on your website, landing page or even some social media posts, depending. The more you share, the better! Don’t be shy.

To help boost your share of positive reviews, don’t be afraid to ask your customers for a review on their favorite site. This can be done with follow-up emails, signs posted in your business or even links shared on your social media. Keep your ask simple: “Support our small business by sharing your experience with us on Yelp” or whatever review site, for example.

Engaging with negative reviews

Granted, we can’t assume that all reviews will be positive. When encountering a negative review, read it thoroughly and respond. Yes, respond. Do not ignore. Acknowledge the issues or problem your reviewer encountered with your business (no matter how relevant or not). And offer a solution to his or her problem. This can be a gift card, discount or other incentive to come back and give you another shot. And this offer does not have to be worked out in a public back-and-forth. At the right time, you can say that you’ll message them directly to further resolve the problem. But it’s the initial engagement publicly that can help save a negative review from completely preventing a potential customer from considering your business. 

The better you engage with the negative review, the better you will look in the eyes of others. In fact, about 89 percent of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews in general.

Make sure you know about these eight types of negative SEO while you’re at it.

Sharing customer testimonials

It’s one thing for you to say that your brand is the best. It’s something entirely different when people outside of your brand say that you’re the best.

About 92 percent of consumers are more likely to trust non-paid recommendations than any other type of advertising.

Testimonials are positive experiences and/or anecdotes from customers who have used your product or service. They help establish credibility for your brand.

Be sure to regularly solicit happy customers for testimonials that you can update your website with and/or share in social media posts. Encourage them to be specific about the product or service they used, the problem it helped them solve and even how they felt before they came to you and after.

You can make the process even easier by including a Google Form (or another embedded form on your website). 

Partnering with celebrities, influencers

Influencer marketing has only been growing in recent years, and it’s easy to see why, especially when considering social proof. Consumers clearly trust public opinion more than brands themselves, so the word of people with influence falls into that category as well.

In fact, content from influencers generates more than 8 times the engagement rate of content shared directly by brands.

The key is that you identify an influencer who is relevant to your industry and jives with your brand.

Dig into these seven tips you should know before starting your first influencer marketing campaign.

Onboarding brand ambassadors

Similar to influencers, you can recruit brand ambassadors, which are essentially brand evangelists and loyalists who will promote your brand to their networks. Brand ambassadors can range between average people who love your company to micro-influencers with some clout online.

This type of program can be managed in a range of ways, where you can offer anything from commission to discounts to branded swag.

The appeal here is that brand ambassadors can humanize your brand even further. Just remember that brand ambassadors can be an easy avenue of getting more user-generated content (UGC) that features or includes your product out on various online channels. UGC can definitely play into social proof by piquing the interest of the potential customers it reaches.

Growing your social media following

First things first, we don’t want you to fall into a rabbit hole of obsession with growing your followers on social media. It’s just not the ultimate measure of success that some brands think it is. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that the size of your following can be a type of social proof. It’s that herd mentality again. When a consumer sees a large number of people doing (or following) something, they’re more likely to try it, too.

Resist the temptation to buy a ton of fake followers. This practice will never serve you in the long run. Social media success thrives on authenticity, and creating the illusion of social proof is exactly the opposite. Focus, instead, on sharing engaging content and building a genuine social media following.

Leveraging your customer count

If you have an established customer base, it’s worth considering leveraging those numbers as social proof. Whether it’s customers, subscribers or any other type of consumer who is using your product or service, sharing that will help show that your brand is valuable and trusted.

Think about how McDonald’s says “Over 9 billion served” on its signs. But this can be done on your website and/or social media profiles as well.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to simply boast about your numbers. Make it an invitation: “Join our 500,000 satisfied customers,” for example. It gives a feeling of belonging to consumers.

A slightly different angle on this front is leveraging any of the big-name customers you might have. You can do this by highlighting their logos on your website. Just make sure that you’re highlighting the brands that your audience will recognize.

Showcasing any awards, recognition

Awards and recognition aren’t just great types of social proof, they also act as evidence that your brand is, in fact, trustworthy. There’s a validation there because they come from a third party. 

Beyond just listing awards your brand has won, you can use award logos embedded on your website and even feature the logos of websites your brand has been mentioned on.

Again, it lends to your credibility.

Creating a blog

Before you think, “Not another blog,” remember that blogs are a great way to establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry.

The idea is to offer potential customers with insightful, problem-solving and actionable content. Tying this content into your products or services is great, but keep that approach in balance.

Showcasing your value to your audience is more important than getting yet another sales plug in. In the end, you’re ultimately creating and sharing content to build up your trustworthiness in the eyes of potential customers. It’s less about the hard sale.

Check out these seven tips to level up your content marketing.

Be aware of social shares

Adding social media share buttons next to various content on your website can sound like a great type of social proof. And it can be.

But if your social shares are typically low, this can actually backfire on you.

Website visitors seeing only a handful of shares can give them the impression that your content isn’t very valuable.

So, before using this approach, do an audit on your average amount of social shares. If it’s typically a high number, then the social share buttons are worth including to boost your social proof.

While you’re boosting your social proof, consider improving your digital marketing process with DailyStory. Features include automation and dynamic audience segmentation. Schedule your free demo with us today.

9 ways your business can use QR codes in marketing

Think QR codes are dead? Think again.

In fact, QR (Quick Response) codes are so old (digitally speaking) that they’re new again—and trending. 

A 2020 survey found that 18.8 percent of consumers in both the U.S. and U.K. strongly agree that they had noticed an increase of QR code use since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic “shelter-in-place” orders began in March 2020.

While QR codes don’t mean much to the naked eye, they can be read and understood by mobile devices. You’ll see them used on billboards, magazines and various other marketing materials.

They offer the opportunity to provide more information about a product, service or company quickly on a user’s device. The key appeal here is: instant and easy information delivery.

Several factors stalled QR codes back in 2010, including (but not limited to):

  • Fewer consumers with smartphones
  • The requirement of a separate app to scan them
  • QR codes linking to web pages that were not optimized for mobile devices

More than a decade later, we’re seeing higher usage of smartphones, an overall improvement in the abilities of smartphones and mobile-optimized websites becoming the norm (rather than the exception).

Are QR codes right for your business and overall digital marketing strategy? The following are nine ways you can use them so that you can decide for yourself.

Direct to a landing page or website

This is the most commonly thought-of purpose and use of QR codes. And it makes sense. Scanning a QR code can send a user to any relevant sign-up page or other landing page or website.

This can be much easier than asking consumers to type in your URL (no matter how short or simple it might be).

Just make sure that you use a unique URL for your QR code in order to effectively track the traffic generated by it.

Find out more about tracking links.

Download apps

Another common use of QR codes is for downloading an app. You can link it to the download page of the app to make it easy for users. Of course, keep in mind that you’ll likely have to consider separate QR codes for Apple and Android devices.

Apps themselves also use them to encourage engagement within their communities. Think Snapchat, which has unique QR codes to make it easy for users to add other people as connections. Another app, Spotify, launched them to easily share songs.

Make it easy to shop and save

Businesses often use QR codes for discounts and promos to entice potential customers. These discounts and promotions can be anything that makes sense for your business.

If using this method, be sure to monitor and tweak your promotion accordingly if it doesn’t seem to be as effective as you’d like.

Call your business phone number

It can be helpful to have your QR code link to a “contact us” landing page, but even better, consider having it call your business phone number directly. 

It’s just a matter of the right HTML (“tel:” followed by the phone number) to trigger the option to call your business from the user’s phone. 

This can be helpful in business conferences or other booth event scenarios.

Send the user a message

Thanks to HTML coding, it’s possible to have a message sent to the user’s device after he or she scans your QR code. 

This can be particularly beneficial for SMS text marketing in which you can use for SMS registration opt-ins, by-request product upgrades, user support or even sales.

Send the user an email

QR codes also can be used to send emails to a user. Because emails have more flexibility than SMS text messages, you might find this option a better fit.

What’s contained in that email is up to you. It can feature your latest product release or a new service you’re offering, for example.

Share your location address

QR codes can give users not only your location address but directions as well. This can make it instant and easy for consumers to navigate to you. If you have an event coming up at your business, this can help people find it.

Promote your social media

Make it easy for consumers who like your products and/or services to follow you on social media. Doing so can help them stay connected with your brand.

This can work for any social media page you want to promote.

Encourage reviews

Looking for more positive reviews? About 90 percent of consumers read a review before visiting a business. 

You can display a QR code in your business to encourage your customers to review your on the spot. It can also be placed on a receipt or product that you’re selling.

In conclusion

When using QR codes, a clear call-to-action (CTA) is critical. Users want and need to know what to expect when they scan it. If they have to guess, they’re less likely to do it.

We also recommend testing your QR codes on multiple devices so that you can anticipate (and fix) and possible issues. And keep in mind that users will need internet connectivity is needed for your codes to work.

As far as marketing strategies, you might want to leverage FOMO to persuade your potential customer to act sooner than later with your QR codes.

While you’re exploring QR codes, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. DailyStory features automations, dynamic audience segmentations and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 tips to level up your content marketing

You likely know by now that content is king.

But when it comes to content marketing, it’s almost too easy to find yourself spinning your wheels.

Creating content to simply create content, without a direction, plan or strategy can end up being a waste of resources. This is your opportunity to not only grow your audience reach but also show people what your brand is about and why they should both like and trust you (at least over time).

Of course, that type of traction ultimately contributes to your bottom line and boosts your ROI (return on investment).

Content marketing is essentially described as the creation and publication of content in order to build an audience and generate sales leads.

About 63 percent of businesses do not have a documented content marketing strategy.

Don’t be one of them. You’ve got to determine your strategy. The following are seven tips to help you level up your content marketing.

Define your target audience

Before you get to strategizing your content marketing, it’s imperative to identify the ideal customer you would like to target.

You may already know the demographics, interests and habits of who you most likely would sell your products or services to, but if not, a quick audit of your customer database should help.

Think about:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Profession
  • Hobbies
  • Interests
  • Challenges or needs

See our seven tips to determine your target audience.

Once you’re set on the characteristics of your ideal customer, you can approach your overall content marketing plan with that persona in mind. Truly, the “who” you’re writing for should have a huge impact on not only the content itself but the type of content you create and where/how you publish it.

Familiarize yourself with the sales funnel

Essentially, the simplest way to understand a sales funnel is to see it as the series of steps a consumer takes to become your customer.

There truly are many things that must happen between a prospect becoming aware of your business to the moment they take action and purchase from you.

However, keeping the idea of a sales funnel in mind will help keep your content marketing strategy (and even overall digital marketing strategy) on track. In addition, that focus can help prevent missed opportunities for customer conversion.

Think of it like this: Your potential customer has a problem, and you’re creating content to help them solve that problem, which brings awareness to your brand and kicks off a relationship of trust that you can nurture consistently through the conversion of a sale and beyond.

The four stages of a sales funnel are:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Decision
  • Action

Learn more about the four stages of a sales funnel.

Map out your content marketing strategy

A great strategy begins with you placing yourself in your target audience’s shoes, so to speak. (Remember that every piece of content you create should be intended to help address that person’s needs.)

As you begin to outline your content marketing strategy, ask yourself:

  • Who are you trying to reach and engage?
  • What does your target audience need?
  • What type of content does your target audience prefer (blog article, video, ebook, etc.)?
  • Can any user-generated content be incorporated?
  • What do you want to achieve with your content in the next three months, six months and 12 months? How will you measure that success?
  • What is your budget?
  • How does your content marketing strategy fit into your overall business plan?

If you or your company has already been creating content (with or without a strategy), now is a good time to perform a content audit. Evaluate what has performed well and what hasn’t. Take note of what might have contributed to those successes and failures. These takeaways will help inform your new content marketing strategy.

In your plan, you’ll want to identify and map out:

  • Your content marketing goals
  • Any branding guidelines required to maintain a consistent voice across content and content promotion
  • A content plan (what types of content you’ll be creating)
  • At least a rough editorial calendar
  • A promotion checklist (where you’ll be consistently sharing your content)

Use a content calendar

As you get further and further into your content marketing plan, using a content calendar is a great way to keep yourself organized and focus, without getting overwhelmed.

We recommend including the following information in whatever content calendar you end up using:

  • Project timelines
  • Due dates
  • Names of the team member(s) in charge of production
  • Content details, such as keywords
  • Any other information that applies to your content

Online tools, such as Asana and Trello, can help you set up an accessible calendar for your entire team.

This organization will help you publish content consistently.

See our eight tips to create an effective content calendar.

Promote your content across channels

For successful content marketing, more is needed than simply hitting the publish button on your website’s blog. You must get your content to your intended target audience.

There are three types of distribution channels:

  • Owned: Channels that your company owns, such as your website, social media platforms and email list(s).
  • Earned: Third-party channels that you don’t have to pay for but have “earned” promotion through, such as social media shares and guest blogging.
  • Paid: Paying to promote your content on other channels, such as pay-per-click ads on Google or social media ads.

Just as you would have noted in your content marketing strategy plan, you should have a checklist of everywhere you plan on promoting your content.

Be sure that you’re not missing any platforms or channels that could potentially reach your audience.

Set up a system to evaluate and repurpose existing content

Never assume that you have to constantly publish new content in order to be successful in your content marketing.

In fact, any existing content can be repurposed into different, new pieces, which will not only further engage your target audience but also save you time.

The key is that you set a regular system and/or schedule for evaluating and identifying potential past content to repurpose.

Check out our tips for effectively repurposing your content.

Measure the performance of your content

About 65 percent of B2B marketers don’t measure the ROI of their content marketing.

Don’t be one of them (whether your business is B2B or B2C).

It’s imperative that you regularly measure the performance of all content and content promotion so that you have a clear picture of what’s working and what’s not with the goal of understanding the “why” behind those metrics.

That understanding will help you continue to improve your content marketing over time as you see what your target audience engages with and what they don’t.

Keep an eye on:

  • Page views
  • Time spent on page
  • Bounce rate
  • Social media engagement actions and rates

Trends should become apparent after the first few months.

As you level up your content marketing, 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.