The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Facebook for Business

Facebook continues to be one of the best social networks to set up camp as a business – with 1.19 billion users your potential new customer reach is enormous,  but the challenge of breaking through the noise of your followers news feeds and getting the marketing right is a whole other story. Here we look at some hints and tips to help you navigate around Facebook marketing and make the most of it for your business.

DO – Use a recognisable profile picture

Being recognisable on Facebook is key to being found and Liked. Therefore your profile picture which features at the top of your page and is used as your thumbnail is incredibly important.  Also make sure that the cover photo coordinates with this – these two things are immediately visible on the page.

DO – Populate your company’s ‘About’ section

Beneath your profile image is the ‘about’ section – it is one of the first places your potential customers will look at when they are scanning your page. It needs to contain up to date and relevant information.

DO – Tailor your organic posts

Facebook has some great tools to enable you to segment your audience and target your posts by age, gender, education etc. By using these tools you will engage the right audience with the right content.

DON’T – Post too frequently

By posting more than a few times per day, you may overwhelm your followers, which leads to fewer interactions. Instead, ensure that you spend time crafting high-quality posts that deliver your marketing message.

DON’T – Forget about multimedia

By using compelling graphic and visual elements such as videos you can generate up to 94% more views and 65% more engagement than a post with no visuals.

DO – Use Facebook insights

Insights is provided on the business pages of Facebook – they are easy to understand and provide great information for business owners such as how many page likes you have, the reach of your posts and pages, engagement of the page and post-performance.  You can dig around and find out how specific posts are performing and discover the demographics of your followers.

DO – Use strategic post times

Finding the best time to post to Facebook can massively help your business stand out and reach more of your audience — even as Facebook organic reach continues to decline. Research shows that posts published between 1-4pm have the best click-through and share rates but remember this is just a pointer. Instead of looking at a universal best time to post, try focusing on when is the best time specifically for your brand to post.

DON’T – Be slow to respond

These days’ customers reach out to companies directly if they have a problem or complaint and to get the best response people use social media more and more.  However it’s a frustrating feeling for the customer when you get zero response or results. 42% of consumers who complain on social media expect a response within 60 minutes. So whether your audience posts a negative or positive comment, ignoring them only creates more negative feelings towards your brand.  If your followers see you being active and responsive, they are more likely to do business with you than a company with no Facebook presence.

DO – Check out your competitors

There is a feature on Facebook that lets you keep tabs on your competitors – it’s a great way to see how others in your business area are doing things. Just above your cover photo there is a ‘Pages to watch’ tab where you can add 5 pages. It then tracks the progress of these pages and shows you how many Likes they get each week. This may not be a huge amount of insight, but it can be quite motivating to improve your postings.

DON’T – forget SEO

The topic of SEO and Facebook gets debated a lot but just like traditional websites, keyword optimisation is the most fundamental form of on-site SEO. The most important pieces to pay attention to are the About section, Mission, and Company Description, since these areas are actually pulled from your page as SEO elements. Remember to optimise your page for local searches by including your business address and location.

Finally, remember not to make assumptions. Test your Facebook marketing strategies, including the ones above, to see what actually works for you and makes a difference to your business.

Planning and Creating the Perfect Landing Page

Landing pages can make or break your digital marketing. Too many marketers put all their efforts into creating beautiful landing pages, and prioritise the copywriting (where the conversion happens) as an afterthought.  This is where the problem arises as it isn’t enough to simply get visitors to your site – you need to give them a compelling reason to stay on your site and engage with your business.

Statistically, the average conversion rate for a website is between 1% and 3%, which is a tiny portion of site traffic.  A landing page is a crucial must-have for any website because it provides a targeted platform for converting higher percentages of visitors into leads, on average 5-15% conversion rate. But often the landing page is overshadowed by a homepage. Let’s look at how to start creating the perfect landing page.

Ask yourself questions

Where did your site visitor come from? Social media visitors should have different landing pages than PPC visitors and it’s important to meet visitors’ expectations when they land on your pages.

Then look at the demographics of those visitors from certain traffic sources – do they have familiarity with your brand or is it their first exposure to your business? Understanding more about who your visitors are and what they know about you will help you decide what pieces of content to include.

Next, ask yourself what you want these visitors to do when they arrive on your landing page – Opt-in to your email list? Download a free report? Or buy a product? Try and structure your landing page around this one action and eliminate any distractions which may stop this.

Once you have a general idea of who your visitors are and what type of landing page environment will be best for them, you are ready to start planning your page.

Your call to action

A landing page should be composed of a single call to action – don’t muddle it up with too many other things such as trying to tell them everything about your business. Your call to action should feature the following 5 elements:

A headline – this needs to give the benefits from the objectives of your landing page, for example, “Click now to download our free report – don’t miss out!” A powerful headline is a must. Remember that you have a limited amount of time to capture your visitors’ attention, so your headline must be intriguing enough to encourage them to explore your landing page further. Try using powerful words to integrate into your too.

A brief description – this expands on the benefits of your product or service and gives readers additional information on why following through is the right thing to do. Use correct spelling and grammar. Think of your landing page as your first impression to a visitor so take the time to proofread your landing pages for errors before going live.

Supporting images – these images will visually demonstrate the benefits of your landing page’s offering and subconsciously structures the page towards conversions.

Testimonials – these provide proof and support for the claims made in your call to action such as big name clients.

An opt-in form, download button or clickable feature – these additions allows users to follow through on your call to action.

Elements that traditionally appear on your home page such as your site’s navigation structure, social networking “Share” buttons and other items that may draw visitors’ attention away from the main goal on your landing page should be left out in order to maximize conversions.

As you begin to create your landing page according to these criteria, remember how important it is to integrate compelling copywriting and sales practices into your text and graphics choices.  It is a lot of work to set up these specific landing pages for every type of visitor; however, when used correctly, landing pages can be tremendously powerful in boosting your conversions, your profits and growing your business.

Using Social Listening For Content Marketing

Social media marketing is poised for another huge year of growth. Magna part of IPG Mediabrands,  predicts investment in social media marketing will rise by 18% this year, citing the rise of news feeds, diversification of social platforms and increased mobile usage as key drivers in the growth.

Using social analytics, the process of gathering, monitoring, measuring and interpreting digital data, can prove to be a very powerful aspect of your marketing strategy. And one of the best ways to figure out what your customer wants, is to ask them.  Combine this with your social stats such as likes, click-throughs, subscriptions and you have some even more powerful data.

This ‘ask the audience’ technique really isn’t hard to plan or initiate as you don’t need to approach individuals directly such as face-to-face or via email.  Instead you can get direct customer feedback the simple way – through surveys.

Here we look at why surveys are valuable for your content marketing.

Fostering engagement

More than ever, content marketing is about conversation and engagement with your audience. It’s about starting a dialogue and keeping that dialogue open – such as answering questions and offering information. Remember it can’t be one-sided so by using surveys you are checking in with your audience to get them to respond to content, and guide your future content.

Valuable insights

Surveys give you an avenue for customer insights. Your statistics give you a picture of what your customers are doing but not why they are doing it – asking your audience can give you priceless data that stats can’t.  So with a survey you can ask about brand expectations, brand perceptions and your customer’s decision making is affected by your content.  Try questions like “how can we do better”? in regards to a poor customer service review on social media or information about why they prefer your competitors.

Now let’s look at some simple steps on how to create an effective survey.

Set a goal

Your survey is there to answer a broad question about your brand’s social media reach or its reputation such as Is your content influencing customer decision making?

Choose a tool

The platform you use to create your survey is important – it needs to be easily accessible and easy to navigate for your audience. SurveyMonkey or Google Surveys are great for in-depth questionnaires. However if you want something a lot more simple then try using  social media in a forum-like strategy to open up discussion. Examples of this are

Ask a question to your followers on Instagram about one of your images

Put out a question on Facebook to your followers

Do a quick Twitter poll using a multi-choice question

Put a question at the end of your blog post and ask for comments

Short and sweet

Remember that you are asking for some time from your audience – therefore keep it as short as possible by making questions easy to answer. If you overwhelm your audience with long questions or demand a long timespan they may switch off and not complete it.

Closed questions

To collect data quickly and efficiently remember to ask closed, rather than open questions. By setting limits on possible answers, it will limit the amount of data you have to process and will make it easier to analyse. So, as an example, instead of asking ‘What do you think of our brand?’ try asking ‘Which of the following best describes our brand?’ and give them some multiple choice answers.  Try also asking about past behaviours, something your audience have already done, rather than something they might do. Again you will get much clearer answers.

Timing

Timing is key in social media posts, and it is the same for survey invites. If you send them at the wrong moment, people will ignore them. Use your stats and data about when emails are opened or impressions are made and follow that through with your survey timings.

Publish the results

People love to know where they opinion or behaviour fits in with others. Twitter is a great way of showing a ‘live’ poll on a simple question – as soon as you have answered it you can see what the simple stats are from others. Or try turning your survey content into some great infographics to use as a blog post or your next post.

The bottom line is that surveys in content marketing are really worth your time.  Combining the stats from your blogs, email newsletters and website hits with answers to survey questions like why that piece of content works, why are people buying from one page and not another, what were the purchasing decisions your customer has made, and you have a great strategy for your content marketing on social media.

Why Relationships Are Key In Digital Marketing

The client relationships you build in your business should play a key role with your overall digital marketing strategy and campaign. Simply, if you didn’t have any relationships with anyone, you wouldn’t have a successful business.

But when it comes to the non-PR side of marketing, the SEO side, that doesn’t interact directly with the consumer, it suddenly becomes less personal – more about reaching targets such as how many links you have, what does the backlink portfolio look like and what is the domain authority score? All of these factors are important considerations, but where is the relationship building that marketing was built upon?

As there is so much overlap between what SEO professionals do and what PR professionals do, it seems only right to combine each other’s strengths to overcome weaknesses. While SEOs may put too much emphasis on statistics, numbers and links, PRs often don’t put enough emphasis on this. And while PRs focus on building relationships, positive coverage and brand awareness, SEOs often neglect this aspect, focusing on efficiency and targets instead. Whatever you call it – linkbuilding, authority building, media outreach, profile building, content amplification, influencer marketing or network marketing, one thing is clear – relationship building really should play the main role in activity if you want long term success. Trust and credibility are the two pillars of the clients’ relationship. So, read more to know how you can build the relationship and take it forward to enhance business growth.

Find influencers & create relationships

Finding influencers in the industry you’re targeting isn’t difficult, it’s just time consuming. But take the time and it will pay off in the long run. You’ll find that focusing on people as opposed to your website is a much better use of your time. Once you find these influencers, try and engage with them, not by spamming their inbox but by actually reading what they have written, commenting on their content with insightful opinion, checking out their LinkedIn or Twitter accounts i.e. get on their radar. Then, when the time is right, your content will be the perfect fit for them and by that time you will have built a solid relationship.

Use current industry events

Always be ready to provide content or comments on something that is happening now in your industry. It will pay off! If you take your time to write a piece around a topic using keywords, you can become a reliable source that people can turn to when they need instant expert commentary.  Remember – be quick, relevant and there.

Leapfrog the media

If your press release is news worthy enough and it is shared across the right platforms, then other sites will pick it up. If you’re issuing press releases but finding they don’t get picked up – ask yourself, ‘is this even newsworthy?’

Unlinked mentions

Try using a competitor research like AHREFS, to monitor where your brand is being mentioned without being linked. This could be your opportunity to build an initial relationship with someone who is already familiar with your brand. Then try using a shout out or some unique content so instead of just having a mention with a link, you could have tailor made content on their site that portrays your brand in a positive light and showcases your authority. Plus you’ll be building a relationship with the author, who may be interested in even more content further down the line.

Keyword mentions

When you see a great piece of content that mentions your target keywords via a tool like Google alerts, most digital marketers will make contact with the author and offering up a quote in exchange for a mention or link. This tactic is one that focuses on quality over quantity. How about instead striking up a relationship with the author, offering them some unique stats or an interview with the CEO to delve further into the issues? Thus you provide a voice of authority on this topic. And not just as a one-time-thing, as maybe your brand could become a spokesperson or a regular contributor on this topic.  The other option here is to suggest working together on a joint event so both parties gain.

So, in summary try looking at digital marketing in the same way as a PR executive would and realise how important it is to build a trusting relationship with current and potential customers. As marketers, we spend hours perfecting the customer journey, analysing the data to find out more about their customers so they can target them more effectively. But relationships are key here – you may have to work at it,  but in the long run they can be it.

The Importance Growing An Email List With Engaged Subscribers

Back in the day, the key role for marketers was to grow large lists – in theory, the bigger the mailing list, the more people who saw your message and could interact with you. However we now understand a lot more about email marketing – savvy marketers know that a smaller but engaged list is far more important than a huge list of email addresses of uninterested people who never open an email. Those engaged people are interested in your business and far more likely to become loyal and engaged customers.

Email list subscribers are the biggest asset for any online business. Despite the emergence of social media and other marketing channels, email marketing is still an effective way of reaching your prospects. It’s much easier to build relationships, generate regular returning traffic and make repeat sales to your list subscribers as compared to normal visitors.

Some businesses focus so much on list building that they lose sight of their actual objective, which is to make money from the list so it is critical to balance list growth with engagement and to sign up people with the buying intention.

Inbox delivery

Globally, 20% of email are not landing in a subscriber’s inbox (2017 Deliverability Benchmark). Most ISPs and email inbox providers analyse subscribers behaviours such as if an emails is opened, if a link is clicked or if an email is moved to a folder to be saved and then use this information to determine if an future email will be delivered to the inbox or go to junk. All these behaviours are considered positive email engagements and therefore customer engagement is key, not only for getting your emails delivered to inboxes, but also for building brand engagement and long-lasting relationships.

Subscription opportunities 

Start to think about how to collect signups for your email list. Create a signup form and ask for data that you can use now and in the future such as date of birth and location that you can use to segment the data. The signup form can appear in various places across your website. Another tactic is to ask people to sign up for your emails at the checkout – these people are already engaged.  Social media is also useful to convert your followers to email subscribers.  Remember the good data end goal – people who want to hear from you and are interested in your business.

Converting subscribers into customers

Once you have the right people subscribing to your email list, more than half of your job is already completed. Your subscribers have the buying intention and, hopefully are interested in your business. Your only challenge now is to convert this buying intention into a real sale.

There are two key components to trigger this action:

An intelligent auto-responder sequence

Once you have the subscriber on board, a series of automated emails should be sent to them, aimed at nurturing the lead and triggering the sales action. The key here is to create a combination of engaging, convincing and direct sales emails such as the thanks for subscribing email (to build confidence and establish trust), the information email (telling the subscriber about your company, what other customers purchased to solve a problem they may be having), the sales email (more direct tone) and the warning/ last chance email (a simple reminder that an offer is about to finish). You can use paid auto-responder services like MailChimp to configure this sequence.

A simple and convenient buying process

Almost 68% of online shoppers abandon product purchases just because of a poor buying experience. So you need to make the buying process as simple as possible – make sure you checkout phase is optimised for mobiles, make sure it is secure, involves minimum redirections and offer as many payment options as possible. There are moany popular digital ecommerce tools that can help with this such as Selz.

So as marketers, we must always be mindful about how our lists are built and by starting with a few essential methods, we can create valuable email lists of very engaged subscribers.

Optimising Your Website for Audio Search

The voice-search enabled digital assistants of the world such as Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant are quickly becoming the go-to search mode for consumers everywhere.  ComScore says that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches and Gartner predicts that 30% of web-browsing sessions will be done without a screen by 2020.

Indeed, digital assistants are now going beyond voice input, and are evolving to understand user intent and behaviours through available data and information to help consumers take actions. Voice Search is also very mobile – and part of your everyday life.

With this recent rapid adoption of in voice-activated search and assistance, it is now becoming increasingly important to optimise your website pages for audio search.

It’s all about the conversation

When someone makes a voice inquiry, they are more likely to speak like they are speaking to someone else with a conversational inquiry, not just the few words they would have typed into a search bar. They are also more likely to ask questions and these common question words (namely who, what, how, when where, why) will help indicate the searcher’s intent.

For example, if someone asks, ‘What is the difference between a stand mixer and a food processor?’ they are likely just researching. However if they ask, ‘How much is a KitchenAid?’ or ‘Where can I buy a Cuisinart mixer?’ they are much closer to making a purchase.

And remember, not all queries that start with a term are created equal. “How much is” shows more intent than “What is” and is far further down the purchase path. Understanding the nuances between conversational search queries can help you discern consumer intent and ensures that your website contains the right content to adapt to voice search and match the right level of user intent.

So whilst you still need to maintain your SEO techniques you have built up through your own data and research, you also need to adapt your strategy and create content that the voice searcher wants.

Tapping into voice search

Here are 3 top tips to improve your site for voice searches

Optimise for load speed

Google uses speed as a rank for all sites, but especially for voice searches as people who use voice search often are mobile-based, not necessarily connected to a broadband networks and therefore want websites to load fast and deliver results right away. Make sure you check your site’s load times and implement suggestions on how to improve and optimise.

Focus on content

Write content in a natural, conversational voice that answers the questions your consumers are asking – website content in the era of voice search isn’t simply about keywords; it’s about semantic search and building the context related to answering a question. Since people more often ask questions in voice search, they seek content that delivers efficient, intelligible, and comprehensive answers. Also, don’t write-off using longer content either – longer articles are more likely to be visible in rankings because they contain a high concentration of diverse keywords and outbound links that may trigger responses for several searches.

You could also consider incorporating an audio version of your text-based content such as a podcast – a mobile searcher may have time on the move to listen to an audio file rather than reading an article.

FAQ pages are also a great addition when optimising for voice search. Use the most important questions related to your business or product and develop answers to include longer tail keyword phrases to reach users at each stage of intent.

Optimise for mobile

As voice assistants are primarily used on mobile devices, it’s very important to optimise your pages for mobile. Your website should be a responsive design and remember to check your site’s content to see how it displays on several types of mobile devices with different resolutions. Also, if needed, adjust your typography for better readability.

By applying these steps, keeping voice searches in mind when creating content, and remembering not to solely focus on audio SEO to the detriment of non-audio SEO, your website should be in good shape to move forward as the audio-search revolution rolls on.

Effective Use Of Abandonment Emails in eCommerce

Recent research shows that nearly 74% of retail shoppers will abandon a purchase after adding an item to their online shopping cart – the highest abandonment rates being for consumer electrical products at 78%.

There are multiple reasons why this can occur, ranging from shipping rates, to the customer simply wanting to compare prices or deciding to buy in-store. Luckily, email is a great way to win these customers back. This type of email campaign can be fiddly to set up and monitor, largely due to the ambiguous levels of purchase intent, the customer journey and the need to integrate this with your on-site data, but it’s worth pursuing.

Clear call to action

First, think about what you want to achieve with your browse abandonment campaign.

Drive a purchase – your email will serve as a reminder of the items the consumer was interested in and hopefully tempt them back

Return to the site – your email will lure the consumer back to the site, even if they are not interested in the original product

Great customer service – your email will show the consumer you care and want to know “why”.

When creating your email campaign, there are six key elements to bear in mind.

Align with the customer intent

Before you start creating any emails, it’s important to establish exactly what you’re going to consider ‘browse abandonment’ to be.  Remember to set criteria that govern whether someone qualifies for your browse abandonment campaign such as:

looking at an item more than once

browsing several items in a specific category

clicking through from an email a specific product

using the site search to search for a specific product or category

It’s also important to try and look at purchase intent a little further such as, did the customer visit one product multiple times, or visit multiple pages? By looking at this data, it is possible to ensure that the tone of the email aligns with their level of investment.

Personalise

Campaign Monitor’s recent study shows that emails with name personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. Using this method, we can reference the person’s shopping journey in the abandonment emails but remembering to be not too direct. So instead of saying “Navy Leather Shopper is still in your basket”, try using a subject line like “Did you see something you liked?”. This may be enough to create intrigue and subtly prompt the user to open, without appearing overly intrusive.

Use related products

It’s also helpful to include product recommendations or alternative products to the one they looked at. Try including products in the email that are frequently bought together to widen their purchasing consideration and increase the order value.

This is an effective form of personalisation (your brand knows and cares about their tastes and preferences) and makes the message feel more relevant and timely.

Great customer service

As we have already discussed, there are many possible reasons why a customer may have abandoned a cart that the retailer has little control over such as the just browsing for price comparison, however, these is also the possibility that it was due to a perceived fault such as negative customer reviews, or a lack of payment and delivery options.

Create abandonment emails using customer-centric copy – to convey a caring and understanding attitude from the retailer and to reinforce the positive elements of a brand’s customer service such as fantastic reviews (both product and retailer), highlighted quick pay options (such as PayPal or Apple Pay), or free returns. Try using phrases such as ‘How can we help?’ in the subject line.

Provide an incentive

23% of shoppers say they have abandoned carts due to high shipping rates – it can therefore be effective to offer an incentive to entice them to return. This could be free shipping, or a more obvious incentive like a money-off discount. Again, remember subject lines are important, where including the offer is likely to increase click-through rates.

Great timing

When is the right time to send a browse abandonment email? Waiting too long will decrease the chance of conversion – so aim for sending out your emails within 2 hours of the cart being abandoned and a maximum of 24 hours. Try different timings and see what conversion results are generated.

Conclusion

If they have dropped off the radar, using a consumer’s on-site activity (plus as everything else you know about them if they are a subscriber) to personalise browse abandonment emails is a powerful way of getting them back.

Finally, remember to ensure that your browse abandonment campaign works within the context of the other emails that you send – make sure that there are checks and balances in place to stop a prospect from being overwhelmed with your emails.

Utilising LinkedIn for Trade Shows

It wasn’t long ago when an attractive sign and graphics, some demos and some great team were all that was needed to have a successful trade show exhibit.

We now live in a different world with advanced technology and an app for everything, and so trade show attendees have a whole new set of expectations.  They want easy navigation, dynamic content and to be in charge of their own learning experience – the bar for capturing their attention just got much higher.

According to a recent study by Oxford University, trade show marketing can result in an average of 4x return on investment for exhibitors. Combine this with figures showing that 40% of trade show prospects become customers after a face-to-face interaction and it seems a no brainer but to go and exhibit. However, when your competitors are also vying for your customers’ attention, and all in the span of a few days, this can be difficult to achieve.

Staying memorable for prospects who may want to know more and weigh up their options is tough, especially as many will forget you even exist once they return home.

LinkedIn dialogue can help with this and improve your trade show marketing ROI.

Pre-event

Priming your audience is a key conference technique and is often underused and underrated. First, compile a list of your competitors at the show to help you weigh up your competition and their marketing messages. LinkedIn is a great tool to gather sales intelligence like this. You can use this data to create your own trade show marketing strategy such as competing on price or highlighting a unique feature. Getting to know the competition is always a great way of putting your best foot forward.

Next get a list of those attendees who have registered and use your LinkedIn contacts to connect with key people head of the show. For your very best prospective customers, try sending personalised messages to introduce yourself and let them know you’ll be exhibiting.

Follow this by contacting other businesses and people that you’re unsure about but may be useful for your next wave of contact requests. This is also a great time to get a mention or to get introduced by mutual LinkedIn connections.  Think about connecting with those influencers at a tradeshow too – the speakers, the event planners and reps, maybe industry non-profits. Non-sales related networking can open many doors, even if it’s a re-post from someone that all of your prospects know and value.

Once you’ve connected, you need to request a quick meeting at the show – it sounds daunting but many, many opportunities are lost at this stage if you don’t pencil a time in – people don’t want to be waiting around a show for you to finish talking to someone else. Make sure you both get the invite in your diaries.

Finally, pre-event, it’s really useful to find and connect with all your new prospects across your social media channels – this will come in very useful on the day.

At the event

You now need to use all your social media channels to the max – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Live Posts are great to capture onlookers – remember to always use pictures and videos, plus the event hashtag to increase your reach. Continually monitor the event hashtag on all channels so you can comment on and reply to activity from attendees to help spread your marketing messages.

Remember the content on your stall is also key to attract attendees – they don’t want static content, they want to play a new game, design something, compete in a cool way, learn about themselves, engage in a social media dialogue or put on a headset to be transported to a new place.

Try having iPads on your stand with a lead-capture app. This makes it easy for people to sign up to your list and for you to gather data and access.

Post event

The most important step in trade show marketing is post event – to follow up on all of your leads in the next 48 hours. For any new prospects you met at the show, connect up with them on LinkedIn, referencing the trade show. Remember to personalise your follow-ups based on what you discussed at the show to help build a strong rapport with your leads.

Spend time sorting and curating the content you have from the show and posting the best quality images, videos, and discussions from the conference whilst tagging those you met.  Capturing people’s attention will position you better for future opportunities. Using inbound event-triggered techniques should help you increase your response rate.

By doing all of these steps, you should now have a solid network of attendees who you can continue to connect with and use for your future trade show marketing strategies whilst hopefully seeing an improved trade show ROI.

The Best Time To Post On Social Media

As a digital marketer, at some point during your social media planning, you have most likely asked Google, ‘when is the best time to post on social media’ to find some studies so you know when is best to post for your brand. However, maybe it’s now time to reconsider these studies.

Whist the concept of ‘best time to post’ is still very relevant, some studies may give you a poor insight into the best time to post and therefore leads to bad decisions made in regards to your marketing strategy. Whilst the studies are well-intended there are a number of issues that can affect the data.

Your unique audience

Many of these studies suggest best times to post based on grouped data – it includes businesses and customers from varying locations and industries and is giving you an average of times. However your audience is unique to your business so the average time may not be relevant to you.

For example, if your brand wants to target new mums, it may make more sense to create engaging content at 2am when mums are awake and alone with their babies. Or for a brand targeting football fans, you may want to post a half-time or full-time.

Outdated studies

Many studies were conducted when Twitter became mainsteam from 2013 onwards. A lot has changed in social media since then in regards to social media usage. And even recent studies use old data as their primary source. So remember to check the date of the published data before you use the recommendations of a study.

Look at the whys

Studies about timings shouldn’t be discarded altogether – they should be seen as a base to work from. Instead of just looking at the best times, try to understand why those could be great times to post such as because teenagers are on Instagram late at night or commuters are on Twitter before and after work.

What is more important is to gain a better understanding of your brand’s unique audience such as their social media usage patterns. To provide a personalised experience to your audience, you need to post according to their social media behaviour to engage with them. So how can to find your best time to post on social media?

Start with informed guesses

If your brand is new to social media, then think logically about when your audience may interact with social media such as commuting times and lunchtime if you are a B2B brand and weekends and evenings if you are targeting consumers as a B2C brand.

Test a posting schedule

To test your estimates try experimenting over a few weeks, posting at those particular times you have identified. A few weeks of posting should give you enough data to work with and find your best times. The easiest way to schedule posts is through software such as Hootsuite which manages your social media content in one place.

Use the analytics

Once you have a few weeks worth of data, you can start to analyse your results. Look at link clicks, impressions and conversions.  Once you have your figures,  look at your posting schedule, get rid of the poor ones, add a few more times and repeat. A good rule of thumb going forward is to use 80% times that are tested and 20% times that are experimental.

Remember that your best time to post could change as your following grows so try and relook at your timings and experiments every 3-4 months.

The key thing to bear in mind, throughout this ongoing trial and analysis, is that every brand has a unique audience and what works for other brands might not work for you.

A Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It launched in 2005 and is now the most widely used web analytics service on the internet.

If you have a website or a blog then you need Google Analytics. It helps answer many questions such about traffic (how many people visit my website? do I need a mobile-friendly website? which websites and marketing tactics send traffic to my website?), pages (which pages are the most popular? how long do they spend on each page?) and conversions (how many visitors have I converted into leads or customers?).

Tracking Code

Google Analytics is implemented with “page tags”, in this case, called the Google Analytics Tracking Code – you need to add this to every page of your website. The tracking code runs in the client browser when the client browses the page and collects visitor data and sends it to a Google data collection server.

Goals

After you install your tracking code on your website, you will want to configure a small goal setting in your website’s profile on Google Analytics.  Goals tell Google Analytics when something important has happened on your website. You can create up to 20 goals on your website so make sure that the ones you create are highly important to your business such as lead form submissions, email list sign ups, and purchase completions.

Site search

This will allow Google Analytics to track any searches made on your website so you can learn more about what your visitors are looking for on specific pages. This provides you with valuable data and can be used alongside your keyword research.

Report features

Once you start getting in Google Analytics data, you can start learning about your website traffic. Each time you log in to Google Analytics, you will be taken to your Audience Overview report. This is one of over 50 reports that are available to you in Google Analytics.

Most of the standard reports within Google Analytics will look similar to this. At the top right of the report you can click on the dates to change the date range of the data you are viewing. You can also check the compare box to compare your data from one date range (such as this month) to a previous date range (such as last month) to view your data.

Below the main metrics, you will see reports that you can switch through to see the top ten languages, countries, cities, browsers, operating systems, services providers, and screen resolutions of your visitors.

Here’s a quick overview of the main reports.

Audience reports

These reports tell you everything about your visitors. You can find detailed reports for your visitors’ demographics (age and gender), what their interests are, their location and which language they speak, their behaviours (how often they visit your website), and the technology they use to view your website.

Acquisition reports

These reports provide you with information on the traffic i.e.what drove visitors to your website and can be broken down into categories such as channels and sources. You can also find information about traffic from social networks  and PPC campaigns.

Behaviour reports

Behaviour reports tell you about your content, in particular the top landing and top exit pages on your website. You can view number of sessions, average session duration and bounce rates. If you set up Goals within your Google Analytics, you can also view conversion rates and which path the visitors took to complete the conversion.

This is just a very brief overview of the basics of Google Analytics – however if you don’t enjoy viewing your reports, then why not try a tool like Quill Engage, which is a free service that will take your Google Analytics data and summarise it into insightful and easy-to-read reports that are delivered to your inbox.

If however you’re ready to move to the next level in Google Analytics then take a look at Custom Reports, Dashboards, and Segments. This allows you to create reports using the exact metrics you want to view. The more you use them, the more you will get more familiar with the way reports work, so you can create new ones on your own.