Want to target your marketing efforts to the breadwinner in the family? According to The Luxury Institute’s recent survey, women are not only the CEOs of their families, but 41 percent of women included in the survey were also the family breadwinners, contributing more than 50 percent of the household income. However, despite the fact that these educated women are earning six-figure salaries, their top priority is still family. So how do you market to these highly educated, affluent women? Think about their busy schedules and high standards. Make sure your website is attractive, professional, easy to navigate and represented on social media. And finally, consider test marketing to this category to get some helpful feedback on what could be improved.Google+
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Posts Tagged ‘social media’
Tags: Marketing, sales process, small business, social media
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What are your customers doing online? The answer is most likely social media, according to a new survey from Experian Marketing Services, which also showed five minutes of every hour is spent on shopping. A great deal of this social networking and shopping is happening on consumers’ mobile devices, which brings up the question, how are your online marketing efforts doing? Is your business well-represented on local search sites? How does your website look on a smartphone? Are you using social media to announce new products, promote daily specials and communicate with your customer? The truth is there’s probably more you could be doing, so make it a point to find out what you don’t know about online marketing and get your business on the right track.Google+
Tags: Marketing, online marketing, small business, social media, Technology
Posted in Email Marketing, Marketing, sales process, Search Marketing, Small Business, small business, Social Media, social media, Technology, Web Design | No Comments »
Pew Internet released a short but incredibly useful report earlier this year called The Demographics of Social Media Users – 2012. While it’s imperative to do your own research to uncover where your customers are, use these stats as a general guideline as you plan and refine your social media marketing strategy.
Who is using social media?
By gender, race, and geography
Women tend to use social media a bit more than men – 71% vs. 62% – and Hispanics use social media slightly more than blacks and whites, clocking in at 72% (68% of blacks and 65% of whites use social media). Urbanites and suburbanites are on social media in almost equal numbers (70% vs. 67%), while 61% of those who reside in rural areas use social media.
It comes as absolutely no surprise that the younger you are, the more likely you are to use social media. A full 83% of those between 18 and 29 use social media, while only 32% of those over 65 use it.
By education and income
When you look at social media usage based on education and household income, there is very little difference in usage rates. In fact, the biggest users had some college and the lowest household incomes. I am curious: Do those two stats taken together represent college and university students? Are they the biggest social media users overall? Unfortunately, the study doesn’t say.
What social media sites do they use?
In sum, this study confirms what we already pretty much know: Facebook is king, and young adults are on social media a lot.
- Facebook: 67% use Facebook; the biggest users are young women, ages 18-29.
- Twitter: 16% use Twitter; the biggest users are also ages 18-29, live in an urban area and tend to be African-American.
- Pinterest: 15% use Pinterest; users tend to be white adult women under 50 with some college education.
- Instagram: 13% use Instagram; again, it’s popular with young adults ages 18-29, but Instagram tends to be used the most by African-Americans, Latinos, and women who live in an urban area.
- Tumblr: The smallest user base (with 6%) is used mostly by those ages 18-29.
Will these statistics change the way you use social media?
Image courtesy of 123rf.comGoogle+
There’s one piece of the content marketing puzzle that many otherwise smart marketers overlook: the power of images. With visual-based social media sites such as Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr making waves, images are more important than ever. What do you need to know about using images in your content marketing?
Images grab attention. It’s human nature to gravitate to visuals before type, so adding images to your blog posts, email newsletters, Facebook posts or tweets makes them more likely to stand out in the sea of competition.
Images provide the personal touch. These days, potential customers want to know who’s behind the business. Including photos of yourself and your employees with your content makes prospects feel like they know you, and that builds affinity and trust.
Images build brands. Be sure to regularly use images that convey your company’s brand, such as your logo, packaging, or photos of your products and your location. For example, a restaurant’s content strategy could include lots of mouthwatering photos of menu items, customers enjoying their meals or your newly redecorated dining room.
Images also provide an important way to improve your content’s rank in search engines. If you include images in a blog post, for example, be sure to tag the image with the keywords you want your business to be found for when customers do a search.
Where can you get images for your content? It’s easier than ever to capture your own photos using any good smartphone camera. However, there are times you’ll want more professional photos, or concept shots. Don’t just grab something off Google—posting a photo you don’t have the rights to could get you in legal hot water.
You can buy photos for re-use from a stock house such as Thinkstock or Shutterstock, which take care of the licensing issues for you. Just make sure that the photos they provide are licensed for the specific use you need them for. Or, search online for photos available under a “creative commons” license. These are photos whose owners allow people to post them as long as the owner is properly credited and linked to on the site. Flickr is one good site for creative commons-licensable photos.
Image by Flickr user Oyvind Solstad (Creative Commons)
The essence of any content marketing strategy is, of course, content. But for small business owners, this is often the biggest stumbling block. Chances are you’re not a writer, so how do you and your team craft content that will work to improve your website’s SEO and drive traffic and sales? Here are some tips.
Focus on quality. You may read articles that give you the idea your content has to be stuffed with keywords. In reality, this leads to articles that make no sense (we’ve all read them—those blog posts that sound like they were written by someone who didn’t speak English). Think about what your audience wants to know, and write articles that answer their questions. For example, if you own a lawn care and landscaping business, your customers might want to know how to keep their lawns green, how to prevent weeds, what types of grass are best for the local climate, etc.
Include both timely and timeless content. You don’t want every article you write to become outdated in a month. However, tying your content to current trends (such as seasons, holidays or hot topics online) does help boost your SEO and make your site seem fresh. Aim for a mix of timeless topics (such as what types of grass are best for the climate, or how often to mow a lawn) and timely ones (such as popular plants this summer, or how to prepare your garden for winter).
Use keywords. I mentioned not stuffing your articles with keywords, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to use them. Figure out what keywords you want to be found for (for example: San Francisco lawn care, landscaping service, best landscaping company) and use those keywords in the headlines, subheads and first paragraphs of your articles. If you use photos or graphics, you should also use keywords in the captions, descriptions and tags of the artwork.
Enlist your staff. If you’re not a good writer, do you have someone who is on your team? Remember, content isn’t just words, so see what kind of talent exists on your staff. You might have someone who’s great at shooting videos or taking photos. Used properly on your website and social media accounts, these can be excellent traffic drivers.
Get professional help. Creating content, especially blog posts, articles and newsletters, can be time-consuming and stressful if you don’t have an experienced writer on staff. Consider outsourcing to a freelance writer or marketing copywriter. You can find tons to choose from on sites like Guru.com, Elance.com or Freelancer.com.
Image by Flickr user mrsdkrebs (Creative Commons)Google+
Tags: content marketing, Email marketing, Marketing, sales process, small business, social media
Posted in Branding, Business Development, Email marketing, Email Marketing, Marketing, Sales Process, sales process, Small Business, small business, Social Media, social media, Thought Leadership | No Comments »
Have you taken the content marketing plunge yet? Whether it’s using content to gain a social media following or posting helpful articles to your website, content marketing is the hot marketing trend everyone’s buzzing about, already accounting for 25 percent of the budget of small businesses with 10-99 employees. But the Content Marketing Survey Report from Econsultancy and Outbrain says although 90 percent of those surveyed believe content marketing will be even more important in the coming year, only 38 percent have a strategy in place. When crafting your content marketing strategy, remember to deliver the content in an informational but entertaining format. Also provide content that focuses on helping your customers instead of selling your product or service.Google+
Tags: content marketing, Marketing, small business, social media, though leadership
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Crowdfunding—a method of soliciting small donations of money from large groups of people online—is growing exponentially, according to new data from research firm massolution. According to the company’s annual 2013CF – Crowdfunding Industry Report of more than 308 crowdfunding platforms (CFPs), CFPs worldwide raised $2.7 billion in 2012–an 81 percent increase compared to 2011.
CFPs successfully financed more than 1 million crowdfunding campaigns, with 95 percent of these taking place in North America and Europe. In North America alone, crowdfunding volume more than doubled, growing by 105 percent to hit $1.6 billion. This year, massolution expects worldwide crowdfunding volume to top $5 billion, largely thanks to new laws in the U.S. that will enable crowdfunding to expand beyond simply seeking donations or rewards-based contributions, and actually seek equity investments.
The current report focused on lending-based, donation-based and reward-based crowdfunding. However, thanks to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act signed into law last April, which will allow non-accredited investors to make investments in companies in return for equity, equity-based crowdfunding is expected to grow substantially in 2013 and beyond.
The SEC still needs to revise several key sections of the act before equity-based crowdfunding can take place in the U.S. While the SEC has failed to meet deadlines for doing so, the regulations are expected to be set by the end of the year.
What types of campaigns are most likely to get funded via crowdfunding? Massolution identified the five most popular types of crowdfunding campaigns and found social causes still lead the pack; nearly 30 percent of all crowdfunding activity involves social issues.
However, business and entrepreneurship campaigns are moving up in the ranks, with 16.9 percent of crowdfunding activity last year coming from this category. In fact, massolution reports that last year’s growth in lending volumes was primarily due to crowdfunded microloans and community-driven loans to small and midsized businesses.
Films and performing arts accounted for 11.9 percent of all crowdfunding activity in 2012, and music and recording arts accounted for 7.5 percent. The emerging category last year was energy and environment, which accounted for 5.9 percent of crowdfunding activity.
A few interesting trends massolution points out that could have implications for small businesses:
- Crowdfunding is no longer just for small companies seeking to fund individual projects, but is poised to become a means by which big corporations and even institutions could raise funds. This could mean even greater competition in the crowdfunding space, making it harder for small companies to stand out.
- At the same time, new platforms are likely to emerge dedicated to smaller companies and even specific industries, which could make it easier to find financing within these platforms.
- In fact, there’s even opportunity for entrepreneurs to start their own crowdfunding platforms to target underserved niches.
Image by Flickr user James Cridland (Creative Commons)Google+
Tags: business law, Capital Access, Raising Capital, small business, social media
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I am constantly scanning blog posts and online articles for new social media marketing tips. So many people have great ideas that I have never considered – especially the experts who live, breathe, and sleep social media.
In a recent post from Social Media Examiner, I was inspired by the following advice from 5 social media marketing experts:
1 – Try Facebook Offers
Facebook Offers are different from ads, as they appear in your news feed. According to Amy Porterfield, a social media strategist, they’re a “triple threat” – 1), they can get up to six times as much engagement as an ad; 2), when a user clicks on your offer, they get an email in their personal email account; and 3), they can be hyper-targeted.
2 – Don’t ask for a follow without explaining why
Melanie Duncan, a serial entrepreneur, made this point, and it’s something I have been pushing around content for a long time – always explain the benefit when you are asking someone to say “yes.” When it comes to social media, tell people what they will get from following you on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.
3 – Become a Q&A site
No matter what your business does, people have questions about it. Where do they go when they have a question? A search engine. Marcus Sheridan, the Sales Lion, pointed out that the more questions you can answer via social media and on your site, the better your search rankings will be. You will also turn yourself into a go-to source of information on that topic.
4 – Take a two-step approach to content sharing
Freely sharing content with your audience is something I advocate for all the time. John Jantsch of DuctTape Marketing likes a two-tiered approach in order to encourage more social followers. Share some content with no restrictions, but then share other, highly valuable content only with those who like your Facebook page or visit a landing page and submit contact info.
5 – Think of social media as a cocktail party
I really love this analogy from business coach and strategist Sarah Robinson. When you are at a cocktail party, do you just stand there with a megaphone talking about yourself nonstop? Of course not! The same holds true for social media. Talking about yourself a little is OK, but having a two-way conversation is the way to go. Tell stories, share resources, and solve problems, and you’ll be golden.
What is your favorite social media marketing tip? Do you have your own to share?
Image courtesy of ruziomedia.comGoogle+
The way women shop is changing, with brick-and-mortar stores no longer the focus, reports the second annual SheSpeaks/Lippe Taylor Women’s Buying Behavior Index. The study polled some 2,152 women in the past two months about their buying habits and future purchasing plans.
The biggest finding? Shopping no longer starts in stores, but online. Asked how they most often research products, some 71 percent of women say they use their desktop/laptop and 18 percent chose a mobile phone or tablet. Just 6 percent said they research by actually browsing in a physical store; amost as many (5 percent) say they ask friends and family.
Where do women most often make the actual purchase? Even when it comes to buying, digital still has a slight edge, with 47 percent saying they most often buy via desktop/laptop. Forty-five percent most often go to the store. Just 8 percent say they most often buy via mobile phone or tablet.
While mobile devices aren’t women’s top choice for making the purchase, they are heavily used for other types of shopping behavior:
- 53 percent use phones and other devices to find store locations and hours
- 49 percent use mobile devices in-store to look up and compare prices
- 46 percent use them to search for coupons
- 41 percent use them to get detailed product information
- 24 percent use them to make purchases
If you’re trying to target women with your marketing messages, you’ll want to know when they typically do their research. Most (43 percent) said they research at home during the day; 42 percent say they research at home at night. Just 9 percent did product research at work and only 7 percent did so at home on the weekends.
Women’s purchasing habits don’t just affect the products and services they buy for themselves. Women not only wield major influence over men, they actually buy for them. Asked in what categories they are the primary shopper for their husband or boyfriend, 71 percent say apparel; 69 percent say grooming products; 51 percent cited travel; 39 percent said technology products; 29 percent said financial products and services and 18 percent said cars.
What does it mean to your business?
Online research is a huge factor in the purchasing process for women, with nearly 90 percent of women regularly going online on computer, tablet or phone before they buy. Make sure you provide all the information women need to make their decision, including:
- Reviews and ratings of your business
- Local search information about your business so women can more easily find you
- Search-optimized website that drives women to your site when they use the keywords relevant to your business to search for information
Another huge takeaway? Even if you sell products and services for men, you need to take women into account, since women are buying just about everything for men (and, if not actually buying, most likely having input into the decision). When you picture your target customer, picture his wife or girlfriend, too, and target specific marketing messages to her.
Image by Flickr user Kevin Ryder (Creative Commons)Google+
Tags: Email marketing, Marketing, marketing to women, Search Marketing, small business, social media, Web Design
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