A call to action, or CTA for short, is a digital marketing term that refers to a prompt that invites users to take a specific action, such as clicking a button or entering their email addresses into an online field.
Call to action buttons can be found in every type of digital marketing campaign, including email campaigns, PPC ads, social media marketing campaigns, and even SMS text campaigns. In indirect forms of digital marketing, like blogs, you will also find CTAs such as invitations to leave comments below a blog article and social media posts that ask followers to “like, share, and follow.”
Common examples of CTAs include:
● Sign Up
● Learn More
● Get Started
Call to action buttons help to guide potential customers through the buying journey. When you place smartly worded CTAs strategically across your online platforms, you can increase the CTR, or click through rate, of your campaign while simultaneously reducing the bounce rate. In short, CTAs improve conversions and boost revenue, results that every business owner should want.
Are you eager to incorporate effective CTAs into your digital marketing campaigns? Skip the article and contact FTx 360 right now! Or you can…
…read on to learn about the different types of CTA buttons you can use in your digital marketing campaigns to convert curious visitors into paying customers.
This type of CTA works best for businesses that sell software as a service, but can also benefit any company that offers subscription packages. According to GrooveHQ.com, offering a free trial can increase conversions by 328%. If you’re trying to sell a product or service that’s especially complex or “niche,” and your brand isn’t well known, then offering prospective buyers a free trial should set their mind at ease and generate positive word-of-mouth marketing in the interim. Once the free trial period has concluded, users will be all the more inclined to sign up for a paid subscription.
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You can use a Free Trial CTA on your website landing page, in a paid social media advertisement, or anywhere in-between. But you’ll first need to decide whether the free trial should be for 30 days or 14 days. It’s also a good idea to include a feedback survey towards the end of the free trial period.
Remember, the purpose of the free trial is to convince users to purchase the product or service, so aim to offer them just enough days to get them hooked. Then, be sure to keep an eye on the conversion rate of free trial users who end up purchasing the product or service after the trial has concluded. If users aren’t converting into customers, you’ll need to evaluate both the cost of the item and its perceived usability based on the feedback surveys.
When you state the greatest benefit of your product or service, your call to action will be all the more powerful. This type of CTA—the “Obvious Benefit” CTA—can be used to make a strong argument to consumers. For example, consumers might not automatically know that your product ordinarily costs thousands of dollars. By including the regular retail value as part of your CTA strategy, you can effectively convince people to buy the item at its current discounted price. You can use two buttons, or a blurb and a button, when designing your Obvious Benefit CTA, like we’ve done here:
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As you can see, the first line of the CTA states the obvious benefit of having a high-speed website. The second line of the CTA, which is the clickable button, clearly states what the visitor will receive once they click, namely their website speed will be analyzed. Obvious benefit CTAs are ideal for your email marketing campaigns, as opposed to paid social media campaigns, because email recipients are qualified leads, generally speaking, who will be more likely to click. Also, emails allow for a greater opportunity to make a structured argument to your readers.
The main thing to watch out for when using Obvious Benefit CTAs is the CTR. If your CTA click through rate is unusually low, it could be the result of convoluted or confusing verbiage used in the call to action itself. Are you trying to use a statistic to convince people to click? Make sure the statistic and its correlating point are crystal clear.
Social Proof CTAs are all about proving how popular your brand, products, and services already are, in order to convince consumers that they should give your business a try. In order to pull off using social proof in your CTAs, you’ll first have to gather data about your brand. What can you brag about? Do you have over ten thousand WordPress blog subscribers? Have you just surpassed fifty thousand YouTube followers? Whatever milestones you’ve reached as a business can be leveraged to develop a strong CTA. Just make sure that you aren’t embellishing your stats.
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It should come as no surprise that Social Proof CTAs work really well on social media. Try building a positive customer review into your Instagram CTA, or include the latest industry award your brand received in your next Facebook lead generation CTA. Even if your company is new and you haven’t garnered a ton of “social proof” yet, you can still leverage one of your recent achievements to create a powerful CTA, especially if you use video for your social post or ad.
Yes, video. Right now, social media video content far surpasses photo and image content when it comes to increasing engagement. When using video, you don’t need to write out your social proof in your caption. Instead, you can directly tell your audience why your brand is awesome and what you can do for them. For example, run an Instagram & Facebook ad campaign featuring a video where you tell viewers, “We’re the first organic vitamin company to obtain USP certification for ingredient purity and potency!”
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Are you looking for an affordable digital marketing agency to handle all of your marketing campaigns, including custom lead generation strategies that utilize the CTAs we covered in this article? FTx 360 offers social media marketing and email marketing services that include campaign handlings and marketing automation to simplify your life and change the way you do business. Contact us to learn more.
Effective content marketing campaigns have the power to increase SEO ranking as well as web traffic and convert visitors into customers. But what makes a content marketing campaign “effective”?
The fact of the matter is that no two businesses are completely the same, which means you aren’t going to find a one-size-fits all solution. Your content marketing strategy will need to be as unique as your brand, and speak to your unique audience.
To help you to define your audience and leverage their interests, here are 5 content marketing tactics that work:
Do you know your audience? In order for your content marketing strategy to increase website traffic and successfully convert site visitors into customers, you first need to identify the audience you aim to target. Not every consumer is going to become your customer, but by understanding who your ideal customer is, you can avoid wasting time and effort marketing to the wrong groups.
Create a buyer persona for your brand, or many buyer personas, based on your current loyal customer demographics combined with distinct criteria about your ideal customer. You can define your brand’s buyer persona by conducting market research using Google Trends and Uber Suggest. Then, compare the data you find there with your CRM data to flush out the specifics of your ideal customer.
Google Trends will provide you with critical data regarding the existing consumer demand for businesses like yours. Simply plug a relevant topic or term into the search bar. Google Trends will show you the historic interest in that topic as well as a list of relevant searches. From there, you can gain a sense of what your ideal audience is interested in, compile targeted keywords, and leverage those keywords in your content marketing.
Ideally, each of your optimized marketing campaigns should connect to its own landing page. When marketing guru Neil Patel did this, his internet search traffic nearly tripled. By plugging relevant keywords and longtail keyword phrases into both his marketing campaigns and their associated landing pages, Patel was able to funnel web traffic and seamlessly convert interested consumers into paying customers, and you can do the same.
Also referred to as a lead capture page, squeeze page, or single property page, a landing page is a destination web page that appears once a user clicks on an SEO research result or the CTA of any type of digital marketing promotion. For example, if your email marketing campaign includes a subscription CTA, whichever recipients click on that subscription CTA will be directed to the subscription landing page where they can sign up for a subscription.
By creating one landing page per content marketing campaign, you will be able to track which campaign is delivering the highest conversion rate and ROI. If your social media campaign is out-performing your Google AdWords campaign, for instance, you might decide to pull the ad and pour the reserved funds into your social media campaign. Ultimately, using multiple, targeted landing pages will help you make better business decisions, in addition to driving web traffic, generating quality leads, and turning leads into customers.
No matter which type of content marketing campaign you’re planning to launch, the more you define and target the audience, the more successful the campaign will be in terms of enticing consumers to click, learn, and buy. Segmenting your audience into multiple customer groups can be challenging, depending on the type of content marketing campaign. For example, a Facebook and Instagram ad campaign will not allow you to target your audience as tightly as the average email marketing campaign, which is why we’re going to focus on email marketing to explain this particular content marketing tactic.
When it comes to email marketing, specifying and targeting multiple recipient groups is not only possible but faster and easier than other forms of content marketing, as we mentioned. Try segmenting your email recipients by first grouping them based on product or service needs, and then grouping them based on age.
● Recipients younger than 18 years = buying behavior determined by guardians
● Recipients aged between 19 – 30 years = good long term buying potential, but lower expenditure per order
● Recipients aged between 31 – 45 years = buying behavior based on additional needs such as children, dependents, current financial burdens, and other factors
● Recipients aged between 46 – 60 = buying behavior based on increasing financial constraints associated with retirement, multiple homes, lingering dependents, and other factors
Interestingly, while consumers younger than 30 years might spend less money per order, they will actually take much larger financial risks when purchasing than consumers in their mid-40s. This isn’t a fixed rule of thumb, but rather a loose guide you can use when segmenting and targeting your email recipients.
This content marketing tactic is really a two-punch strategy, and the first punch has to do with targeting millennials and Gen Z aged consumers. The second punch is the marketing tactic itself, which is to provide adaptive content to those millennials and Gen Zers. Let’s take a look.
Millennials make up nearly 80 million citizens in the US, and Gen Zers make up a whopping 90 million. Combined, these consumer age groups exceed any other in the United States alone. What makes millennials and Gen Zers so unique is that unlike Gen X and prior generations, millennials and Gen Zers grew up using advanced computer and smartphone technology. Because they were raised with evolving technology, millennials and Gen Zers have the highest expectations in terms of how brands use technology in their marketing.
One way you can successfully attract and retain the attention of a millennial and Gen Z audience is by using adaptive content in your marketing campaigns. Adaptive content is any content that utilizes personalization so that the user experiences ongoing, seamless interactions with your brand. Yes, we realize that probably sounds abstract. Adaptive content is a somewhat abstract concept, so here’s what you can do to provide one of the most valuable forms of adaptive content: invest in a responsive web design. A responsive website design will allow users to pick up where they left off when they visit your website from multiple devices.
Our final content marketing tactic is ideal for anyone who might not be able to generate a lot of original content themselves. Remaining consistent, especially when publishing blog articles, is the key to retaining and engaging your audience. That being said, a lot of business owners might not have enough creative juice to regularly write and publish blog articles. Instead of dropping the ball and becoming inconsistent, try curating and publishing content from other platforms and blogs.
The trick here is to reach out to other blogs that do not compete with your own business. For example, if you’re a pet retailer, reach out to the local veterinarians who have successful blogs on their websites to see if you can re-publish their most popular articles on your own platform. As long as you get their permission and give them credit, the partnership will benefit both of your businesses.
Social media content curation can even benefit you when you don’t necessarily forge a formal partnership with a complementary brand. You don’t need permission, per se, to repost, retweet, or otherwise share content from another social media account. Use your best judgement and give credit where credit is due, and by incorporating content curation into your social posting calendar, you will be able to greatly enhance your overall content marketing strategy.
Would you like help implementing the content marketing tactics we covered in this blog post? FTx 360 offers affordable digital marketing services, including responsive website design services, email marketing services, marketing automations services, and social media marketing services. Contact us to learn more.
Across all B2C and B2B industries, the average email open rate is 21.33%, according to MailChimp.com. Once emails are opened, the average CTA click-through rate across industries is 2.62%. These are only a few statistics, but they provide valuable insights about how challenging email marketing can be.
Interestingly, 49% of consumers prefer to receive marketing offers via email, as opposed to other direct marketing methods such as snail mail, in-app mobile push notifications, and mobile SMS texts.
If approximately half of all consumers prefer emails over other methods, why then do so few recipients actually open those direct marketing emails?
There are many reasons, which include the frequency of emails sent among other factors, but the biggest reason of all has to do with the email subject line.
Intriguing, personalized, and relevant email subject lines directly impact email open rates. Generic, bland, and random email subject lines are the reason emails wind up unopened in the Trash folder.
Marketers know this, which is why 87% of them prefer email marketing to any other digital marketing method. But digital marketers are skilled experts at crafting clever-sounding email subject lines with such great hooks that recipients can’t help but click.
By the time you finish reading this blog post, you will also have enough tricks up your sleeve to know how to write click-worthy email subject lines.
Here are 8 tips for creating the best email subject lines.
People are always looking for ways to make their lives easier. If there’s a way to streamline it, DIY it, or just plain simplify it “for dummies,” consumers want to know all about it!
When you include “How To” in the subject line of your email campaigns, the open rate of that campaign will naturally increase. The reason for this is because people understand that there is no downside to checking out a new way of getting something done.
How To Stretch After An Injury
This email subject line is clearly selfless. The sender isn’t trying to sell a product. Anyone who wants to learn how to safely stretch after they’ve had an injury will definitely open this email, and even more amazingly, a lot of recipients who haven’t experienced an injury will still click and read so they’re informed in case they injure themselves in the future.
Intrigue counts for a lot when it comes to email subject lines. A good hook will get just about anyone to click. But crafting a hook that truly works can be challenging.
In order to write a great hook into your subject line that is mysterious yet relevant enough to get recipients to open the email, we recommend that you first figure out the message of your email and then reverse-engineer the subject line into a relevant hook.
Does Your Dog Love THIS More Than You?
An email subject line that contains a question is naturally thought provoking, and amazingly, when the question itself is missing a key puzzle piece, the recipient will feel compelled to open the email just to find out what that missing puzzle piece is all about. In the case of our example above, the recipient will want to know what “THIS” is referring to, and they’ll also wonder if their dog could love anything more than his human-parent. By opening and reading the email, they’ll discover the full question, “does your dog love our massager-brush more than you?” And they’ll also discover how to buy that massager-brush product.
The scarcity principle works. The scarcity principle is a sales tactic that suggests to consumers that there is a limited quantity of goods and that those goods are in such high demand that soon there won’t be any left.
Whether or not goods truly are limited is actually beside the point. Using the scarcity principle to your benefit will cause your email recipients to psychologically react with urgency. They will not want to miss out on the deal, discount, sale, or item, and will hurry to buy… or at least hurry to open your email.
Only 5 Spots Left!
Assuming that the “spots” or tickets that are remaining for purchase are relevant to the email recipient, this type of email subject line can be extremely effective in terms of motivating your recipients to open the email. Scarcity emails have actually been around for a while, and consumers have become familiar with the unadvertised benefits, which can include discounts, freebies, and front row seats, among other rewards for acting fast. Curiosity alone could be what pushes your recipients to open this type of email subject line.
Similar to how the “scarcity” email subject line has the power to create a sense of urgency in the minds of recipients, the “countdown” subject line has a way of lighting the same kind of fire under your email recipients, shall we say, rear ends.
This type of “countdown” subject line works best when it’s used in a campaign series that includes no fewer than 3 emails to your recipients.
Ending in 3…2…1… Don’t Miss Out!
Based on your recipients’ familiarity with your email address and brand, they should be fairly curious about what will be “ending” and when exactly the “end” will take place. But what we love most about this subject line is how it combines mystery and urgency into one powerful CTA.
In 2021, there is so much more to email personalization than including the recipients’ first names in the subject line.
Today’s consumers are desensitized to one-dimensional personalization. In fact, some consumers have become downright jaded about it! Instead of simply using a first name, try using as much creativity as possible, like we did in this example.
Becky Loves Fiction, So This Book Is For Becky
The personalization of this email subject line goes way deeper than using the recipient’s first name. We’re willing to bet that Becky’s first reaction when she read this subject line was something like, “my local drug store paid attention to the fact that I like to buy romance novels throughout the summer?” What will she do next? Probably open the store’s email to find out the name of the book they recommend that she buys.
Using “emojis” in your email subject lines can add a touch of fun and humor, but there is one caveat. There are certain recipient email domains that automatically “flag” and send-to-Spam any email subject line that contains an emoji, so you’ll want to do your research before you try this method.
That being said, including emojis in email subject lines has become popular in recent years. The trick to using this strategy is that you must replace a word with an emoji. Meaning, the emoji can’t be decorative. It has to be practical, like the one used in our example.
May We Have This?
Why do we love it? Who wouldn’t love finding a flamenco dancer in the subject line of their email? Assuming that the recipients have shown interest in dancing in the past, when they receive an email subject line like this, they’ll definitely click to find out who is asking them to dance and the rest of the details.
How could we blog about subject line tips without including this classic idea—the “promotional” subject line? The fact of the matter is that, as a business owner, you’re using email marketing to boost sales, which means a large majority of your campaigns are going to be purely promotional.
That’s perfectly fine! Just make sure to punch up your promotional email subject lines so that they sound fun, creative, and mysterious, instead of bland.
$50 Today, $250 Tomorrow
We love this subject line because it’s both straightforward and intriguing. We would want to know about any $250 product, service, or class that only costs $50 today, and because we would definitely open that email to find out more information, we’re confident that your email recipients will, too.
ECommerce shopping cart abandonment is a part of life, which is why it’s important for business owners to have a system in place of recouping those lost sales.
This is where the “follow up” email campaign comes in handy. The fact of the matter is that follow up emails work, but only when the subject lines are eye-catching enough to compel recipients to open and read. Let’s take a look.
Psst… Did You Forget Something?
This email subject line is intriguing without sounding creepy, which is why we love it! Most consumers appreciate being reminded of things they forgot to do, and if you also include a “buy now” special discount code, your shopping cart abandonment follow up email campaign will succeed at recovering sales before that revenue is lost for good.
There you have it! Try these email subject line tips and measure which ones deliver the highest email open rate for your marketing campaigns!
Are you new to email marketing or looking for a digital marketing agency to handle your next email campaign? Give us a call or visit the FTx 360 website to discover the wide range of digital marketing services we offer. Our marketing specialists have worked with both B2C and B2B businesses of all industries to increase customer engagement and sales, and we can do the same for your company. Contact us today to get started!
If you run a pet company, you understand that the love pet parents have for their furry friends is boundless. Pet parents delight in doting on their dogs and cats, taking photos of their pets, and connecting with other pet lovers online.
You can also connect with pet lovers online, boost your brand, and build your customer base. We’ve put together the best marketing strategies for pet companies that you can start using today.
As a pet supply store owner, your day-to-day operations revolve around assisting customers, stocking inventory, and making sure your prices are competitive. You might not be thinking about your brand’s online presence because it might not be immediately obvious how online consumer awareness about your brand could impact your business sales. Or perhaps you’ve ruled out social media marketing, having assumed you don’t have the time, money, or patience to deal with an additional hassle.
Lucky for you, getting into the swing of maintaining a Facebook business page doesn’t have to be a hassle and it doesn’t have to cost you a dime unless you use paid advertisements, which isn’t even necessary when you’re first starting out. By simply creating a Facebook business page that includes your store location and contact information, you can increase sales at your pet supply store. But how? The fact of the matter is that Facebook is a local search engine in its own right; one that’s on par with Google, in fact, and you should treat it like one.
Thanks to Facebook Graph Search and the fact that Facebook added a keyword search function as well as hashtags, having a Facebook business page is as valuable as having a Google My Business page. If you only have time to maintain one social media account, it has to be Facebook.
If you’re exceedingly busy, how can you get the most out of your Facebook business page while dedicating as little time as possible to posting? Here are three tips to focus on to get your page up and running on all cylinders.
Share your pet industry knowledge by posting expert tips that both educate and inform Facebook users about your experience-based insights, recommendations, and anecdotes. By creating educational posts about your products, you will subtly and effectively imply that your pet supply store is the best place to find the products you’re featuring on Facebook.
We really can’t stress this enough—sounding salesy will backfire. Your Facebook posts shouldn’t look or sound like advertisements. Frankly, Facebook advertisements that actually work don’t look or sound like advertisements. Instead, aim to present personal-sounding posts that focus on pet-parent lifestyles, the joys of having dogs and cats, and other pet-loving messages that only gently suggest your products belong in the overall picture.
Creating Facebook posts where you remind customers to leave reviews on your Facebook page is a good habit to get into. Depending on the privacy levels of your Facebook followers, you can actually tag their handles as you respond to their comments and thank them individually for their business. If it’s clear that a follower has recently shopped at your location, make a Facebook post just for them that asks them to post a customer review on your page.
Instagram offers its users a magnitude of personal entertainment, but personal socializing is no longer the primary reason people scroll through Instagram. Today, there are more than 25 million business profiles on Instagram. Instagram paid advertisements have the power to pull in more revenue, on average, than most traditional advertising campaigns. For pet retailers, Instagram can be an excellent tool to introduce your brand to users, engage with customers, and showcase your products, services, and pets for sale.
That being said, maintaining a personal Instagram account is not going to cut it in terms of marketing your pet retail business on social. So, make sure to switch your account to a “Professional Account,” which will make posting, commenting, DMing, and advertising far easier.
The trick to making Instagram work for you is to focus on the quality of your content first and foremost. Yes, posting regularly plays an important role, too, but Instagram values—and rewards—quality over quantity any day. And you’ll want to post a variety of content media, such as photos, videos, and graphics, on both your business profile and in your Instagram stories to increase interaction with your followers. Once you get the hang of this rudimentary, immediate form of interaction, you can try stepping up your Insta-game by using “Live,” a feature that broadcasts video content to your followers to watch and comment on in real-time.
If this sounds complicated, don’t get discouraged. You don’t have to use the most advanced Instagram features straight out of the gate. Instead, try the following content ideas.
Carousel posts are single Instagram posts that include up to 10 photos that users can swipe through. Instagram carousel posts are one of the most versatile marketing tools you can use on Instagram, which is why we’re mentioning them first. The longer a user is engaged with a post, the higher Instagram will rank the post. When posts rank high, Instagram will recommend them to users. By virtue of the fact that swiping through ten photos takes more time than scrolling past one, Instagram carousel can help your posts rank higher so that Instagram starts recommending them.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, a “caption this” challenge is when you post a photo that depicts a curious, humorous, or downright puzzling scene and ask your followers to caption the photo to help bring clarity to what’s being depicted. Posts featuring dogs and cats interacting in funny ways are excellent “caption this” subjects. As your followers caption the post photo in the comments section, you can respond to increase social engagement.
Post presentation is everything on Instagram. When users visit your Instagram business profile, they will either click the follow button or bounce away from your profile based on the initial impression your profile delivers. Using an Instagram layout template such as Insta Grid’s “Puzzle” can help you make an excellent first impression. With this particular layout, Instagram will “chop” a single photo into six posts so that once all six posts are published, all of the posts’ “puzzle pieces” form a larger, complete picture.
Animal shelters are busy organizations. Often staffed by volunteers, animal shelters and rescue organizations are pressed for time, have limited resources, and tend to be solely focused on the important objective of placing rescued pets into loving households. If you own and operate an animal shelter, you may not believe that marketing on social media can benefit your business in terms of assisting the pet adoption process. But this isn’t the case when it comes to the social site, Twitter.
Twitter has evolved a great deal since it first came on the scene over a decade ago. Today, Twitter users can post photos, share articles, and even include calls-to-action, or CTAs, in the footers of their posts. Though Twitter will always have a character limit—which means you’ll have to be short, sweet, and to the point in every post—the fact that you can include hashtags makes Twitter the ideal platform to connect rescue animals with prospective pet parents.
Twitter can even help your business to go one step further than marketing the adoption options at your animal shelter. Using relevant hashtags and location check-ins, you can recruit volunteers, build your list of foster homes, promote fundraisers, and connect with other animal rescue groups in your area, such as non-profit veterinarians that will neuter and spay your incoming feral animals from off the street.
Experiment with the following Twitter tips as part of your outreach strategy and before long, you’ll consider Twitter an invaluable tool in your adoption toolkit.
It takes a bit of research and a lot of creativity but using hashtags in your Twitter posts to get the word out about your upcoming animal adoption events is a must. Aim to include about 5 hashtags in each post, and use a combination of trending hashtags, location-based hashtags, and one of your branded hashtags. For example, #petadoption, #adoptdontshop, #petsofinstagram, #yourcityandstate, #youranimalsheltername will be more than enough hashtags to get the word out on social and get potential pet parents to your event.
Another excellent habit to get into—from time to time, try quoting one of your previous Tweets with the caption “ReTweet if you agree!” This Twitter strategy can increase engagement, build awareness about an animal rescue issue, and encourage conversations. You can also reward followers for retweeting your Tweets by offering a discount on your pet adoption fee with proof of a retweet.
Without a doubt, the most advantageous reason to use Twitter to market your animal shelter is that Tweeting photos of your adorable, adoptable dogs and cats will help you place them in homes. Unlike featuring rescue dogs and cats on your website, which can be cumbersome for web visitors to share, a Tweet is fast and easy to share on Twitter. A single post about a recently rescued dog, for example, can get retweeted exponentially in a matter of seconds.
People love watching pet videos on the internet. On Facebook and Instagram, short videos of adorable animals result in higher engagement rates than videos featuring other content. But YouTube has changed the game for pet and animal video content. As a video streaming social site that offers a multitude of video lengths, YouTube has become the home of a wide variety of pet video categories, from short DIY videos featuring pet care tips to reality TV shows about dog trainers, cat psychics, and horse whisperers.
For any pet care company that’s considering launching a YouTube channel, the undertaking will have its challenges, and once you get into the swing of things, you will notice obvious pros and cons. Firstly, understand that this is a crowded space. There’s a lot of pet content on YouTube. But if your business objective is to establish your brand as an authority within the pet care industry for the purposes of gaining local customers, marketing your pet care business on YouTube should bring you more benefits than drawbacks.
Offering viewers quality videos is hands-down the most important aspect of using YouTube to market your pet care company. This means using a professional-grade camera and the best lighting and sound equipment you can afford. You don’t need to aim to produce Oscar-award-winning content, but you should be prepared to meet YouTube’s standards of visual and audio quality if you want to convert viewers into customers. Posting regularly is equally important, and of course, being sure to put out content that pet parents want and need will be tantamount to your channel’s success.
Let’s say you have a camera, enough natural light, a decent lavalier microphone, and a brave employee who’s willing to be on camera… What are you actually going to shoot? Here are some content ideas to get you started.
If you’re just starting out on YouTube, producing 3 to 5-minute videos rather than long-form content is a reasonable goal that you’ll be able to manage. How-to videos will never go out of style on YouTube, which is why we recommend you aim to produce a series of short videos on how to groom dogs, cats, and even exotics. The viral potential of a chinchilla grooming how-to, for example, is immeasurable.
Another excellent short-form video content idea is to use “before & after” transformations of dogs, cats, and exotics. By using the time-lapse feature of your camera, you can show a complete makeover from a muddy puppy to a cleaned-up pup in a matter of 60 seconds. Include real-time footage of basic pet care, too, and present certain grooming steps in a tutorial format so that your video is both entertaining and helpful.
People greatly appreciate getting step-by-step assistance when they’re trying to accomplish a task that they know is over their heads. If you have any expertise concerning the paperwork and protocol of registering a pet as a service dog or emotional support animal, then offering viewers a detailed how-to on the subject is a must. Nowadays, more and more people have a real need for emotional support animals, but registering an appropriate animal through the proper channels can be intimidating. You will definitely boost your brand if you post videos on this subject.
Veterinarians are as important to pet parents as pet supply stores. Though pet parents may not take their dogs and cats to the vet as frequently as they pick up pet food, pet care products, and pet toys from their preferred retailer, the relationships they have with their pets’ veterinarians are no less valuable.
As a local business that provides in-person services, veterinarians must carefully geo-target their digital marketing efforts. Creating and maintaining a Google My Business page is a must. When you create a GMB listing, your veterinarian business and its location will appear on Google Maps, which means that anyone who is using Google to find a vet for their pet will see your business’s page, along with your website and other contact information, and get in touch.
You can enhance your online visibility by launching a blog on your veterinarian website and regularly posting each blog article’s URL to your Google My Business page. For example, if you publish one blog article per week, simply use the published article’s URL to create a Google My Business post. The content will automatically populate on your GMB page, and best of all, Google will assess the article’s SEO and elevate your GMB page accordingly.
Sounds easy enough, but what if you’ve never written a blog before? Where should you start? What should you write about? How can you get the most out of launching and maintaining a blog? Here are some pointers to start you off in the right direction.
When a pet parent realizes their furry friend isn’t feeling well, the internet is the first expert they consult. In other words, people use Google to diagnose potential pet problems even before they pick up the phone to make an appointment with their vet. By covering relevant health topics and common pet health issues on your veterinarian business blog, you can drive website traffic and influence local pet parents to choose your business the next time their pet is sick or injured.
Of course, you’ll need to get permission from your customers first, but featuring the dogs and cats of your real-life customers in your blog articles can do wonders for increasing online engagement and marketing your pet company. This community-building strategy will help other customers feel connected to your clinic, especially if you include a comments section beneath your blog articles where pet parents can discuss the topics at hand.
Including CTAs at the bottom of your blog articles is a must, and one of the most important CTAs to include is a newsletter subscription sign-up button. By collecting your readers’ email addresses in this fashion, you can let them know every time a new blog article is published, which can spark immediate web traffic and online engagement.
We barely scratched the surface in terms of the marketing strategies that can build your pet company’s brand online, but hopefully, this article has given you some ideas to market your business. If you’d prefer the social media experts at FTx 360 to handle marketing your pet business, feel free to contact us anytime. We offer pet shop website design and development, social media campaign handling, and content creation that’s based on pet industry market research. Grow your social audience and provide your customers with the pet information they want most.
There has been a fair amount of controversy in the last five years regarding how marketers should write web content so that Google elevates the search engine ranking of the site in question.
One camp of marketers insists that website content, such as web pages, product descriptions, professional services, and blog articles should be written so simplistically, straightforwardly, and concisely that anyone with a 6th grade reading comprehension level will be able to understand it. This camp believes that content should be written for people, albeit people who aren’t necessarily the sharpest tools in the toolbox.
Another camp of marketers operates as though the sole purpose of publishing written content online is to elevate website search engine ranking, and therefore all content should be composed to maximize the chances that Google bots will determine the website’s content is “valuable.” This camp believes that content should be written with as many popular SEO keywords as possible so that the content pleases Google bots and Google’s ever-changing algorithms even if doing so causes the actual verbiage to sound awkward, stilted, or downright grammatically incorrect.
I don’t know about you, but when I think of my ideal customer, neither a 6th grader nor a Google bot comes to mind… But I digress.
Does content that consumers love tend to rank poorly on Google?
Will content that’s written for the specific purpose of maximizing search engine ranking automatically repulse living, breathing web visitors?
Why do Google bots exist if they’ve been programmed to value what consumers despise and penalize what consumers value?
The answers to these questions can be summed up in a single statement: Google bots have been programmed to mimic consumer behavior and value what consumers value.
In other words, the entire “content controversy” is based on a faulty assumption.
You see, professional writers tend to insist that excellent writing has the power to render the need for SEO techniques obsolete. On the other hand, professional webmasters and SEO strategists tend to presume that strategic SEO is so effective that it can elevate the search engine ranking of even the most poorly written drivel. These two diametrically opposed mentalities have caused marketers to split into those two camps I mentioned.
If you ask me, massive egos are to blame…
The fact of the matter is that content must be well-written and also utilize effective SEO techniques. You can’t favor one over the other and expect your website to positively impact your business revenue.
Let’s cut to the chase. You want to learn the characteristics of “well written” content, and you want to understand how you, as a marketer, can ensure that the content you write satisfies the quality criteria for both consumers and Google bots.
Step one is to free yourself from the mindset of those “camps” I’ve been referencing. The rest of the steps are laid out in this article, so keep reading.
Your business is unique, which means your customers are unique individuals with unique needs. This means that the content you write should speak to your audience. You can identify your audience and understand who your ideal customer is by analyzing your Customer Relationship Management data as well as your web traffic reporting and analytics data.
Do not become seduced by the prospect of writing content for a broad audience as if doing so will result in acquiring new customers. It will backfire. Meaning, if you write your content in such a way that caters to people with a low reading comprehension level even though your ideal client holds a graduate degree, earns a seven-figure salary, and places a high premium on credentials and expertise, you will only end up turning off the people you want to do business with.
Instead, be polarizing.
There’s no real risk of excluding consumers who were never going to become your customers anyway. However, there’s a real benefit to composing your content in such a way that it exclusively addresses a niche audience. In fact, intentionally writing for a niche audience will organically boost your search engine ranking when it comes to consumers who use longtail keyword phrases to find business websites that offer very specific products, services, and solutions.
This type of consumer will be more likely to quickly convert into a customer once they land on your website, which is far more beneficial than having one hundred consumers land on your website who never buy.
Write your content as though you are speaking to your ideal customer, one-on-one. If your customer base is largely comprised of ten-year olds, then speak to them in their language with their vocabulary, remaining mindful of their limited attention span.
Use the following checklist as you write:
● Identify and use the best word choices
● Find and use high-ranking keywords
● Understand your niche audience
● Speak to your audience in their language
● Study your competition
● Write with confidence, challenge existing opinions, be polarizing
● Create a content template based on your high-ranking content for future use
If you’ve been keeping up with the FTx 360 blog, then you’ve already read several articles about SEO, including What Is SEO?, How to Spot Negative SEO, and Ways to Increase Web Traffic. For tips on how to determine which keywords and longtail keyword phrases to use, be sure to check out those articles.
Then, in order to compose effective content that Google bots will love just as much as consumers, keep the following pointers in mind as you write:
● Understand SEO copywriting
● Incorporate keywords in your headline
● Optimize for clarity
● Understand on-page SEO
● Build sentences and paragraphs that naturally utilize longtail keyword phrases
● Google boosts articles that are at least 2,400 words
● Google elevates the ranking of websites that have longer visitor engagement sessions
Ready to analyze the real technical side of your website to ensure that Google bots will love, love, love your website? It’s time to talk about Robots.txt.
The term “robots.txt” is shorthand for “robots exclusion protocol.” A robots.txt file is a website text file that’s sole purpose is to inform search engine robots, including Google bots, whether or not robots have permission to “crawl” the web page that the robots.txt file belongs to.
What this means is that Google won’t automatically crawl your website by virtue of the fact that your site exists, in the same way that your neighbor won’t automatically enter your house just because it’s right across the street. Before Google crawls a given web page, its robots will first read the robots.txt file for permission and instructions.
Do you want to permit Google to crawl every page on your website? Maybe. Or maybe not. That’s up to you. If, for instance, you have indexed your website with archived content, you wouldn’t want Google to crawl both the featured content and its archived duplicate, because Google will penalize the duplication and demote your ranking.
You can “disallow” Google bots from crawling web pages by setting the appropriate allowances and disallowances within your robots.txt files.
Where can you find your robots.txt files in order to review and modify the permissions?
Simply type your website’s URL into the search bar, followed by “/robots.txt.” Let’s use FTx 360 as an example. Type the following URL into your search bar:
You will notice:
User – agent: *
That exact information is what Google will adhere to prior to crawling our website pages.
What does yours include? Be sure to review your robots.txt files for each of your web pages and make sure that the files reflect what you want to allow and disallow.
In the rare event that there aren’t any robots.txt files associated with your website, Google will proceed as though they have full permission to crawl and index your entire site. If that’s okay with you, then there’s nothing you need to do. Robots.txt will be your friend across the board.
But if you prefer certain pages of your website not to be crawled and indexed by Google and other search engines, then you’ll need to create robots.txt files and meticulously list the permissions you want in place, blocking Google from any pages you don’t want their bots to crawl.
Cleaning up your robots.txt files is an integral aspect of ensuring that the web page content crawled and indexed by bots are elevated on Google’s search engine ranking so that visitors discover and read them.
Are you familiar with the digital marketing term, “cloaking”? If not, you aren’t alone. I’ve been writing digital content for over eight years and only recently have I been introduced to the concept of “cloaking.”
Anyone who has ever dared venture into the online dating world has likely been the victim of some degree of cloaking. You chat with what you believe to be an attractive individual on the dating platform, only to discover when you finally meet them in person that they are 20 years older and 80 lbs heavier than their profile pictures indicated…
In a nutshell, “cloaking” can be defined as falsely representing your URL content to Google’s search engine spiders for the purposes of luring online users to your website. Similar to a washed-up 45 year-old who uses his nephew’s handsome bodybuilding photos in order to score dates on OKCupid, “cloaking” involves providing Google with an inaccurate portrayal of your website in order to elevate search engine ranking and drive web traffic.
There are many reasons why “cloaking” is a big no-no in the digital marketing world, but the biggest of all is that businesses that use cloaking as an SEO tactic ultimately end up turning potential customers into infuriated website visitors.
When a potential customer uses Google to search for the best mechanic in town and your website appears in the first page of the search results, you better be a mechanic. If you’re selling used cars instead, you’re going to have one very irritated website visitor.
Now, chances are, you would have never heard of cloaking if not for reading this article. You might be thinking right now that you’re in no danger of “cloaking” your website in order to “game the Google system,” so why am I bothering to tell you about cloaking in the first place?
Because there are unethical digital marketing agencies out there who attempt to use cloaking without their clients’ knowledge in order to “deliver outstanding SEO results.” These agencies like to boast that they’ll get your website on the first page of Google’s search results, only to end up using unethical tactics to succeed. Worst of all, despite elevating their clients’ websites on Google, they provide virtually no ROI, because deceived website visitors obviously do not become online customers.
What are the “cloaking” red flags to look out for when you’re considering partnering with a digital marketing agency? Are there warning signs that can help you avoid these disreputable “cloaking” agencies? And if you’ve recently discovered that the digital marketing agency you’ve hired has “cloaked” your website, what can you do about it now?
Let’s take a look…
Cloaking is not only unethical, but unlawful in 2021. Ethical webmasters employ search engine optimization techniques as they index the websites they build. This is fine. But how can you tell whether a webmaster has used ethical SEO techniques or illegal ones? You can find out for yourself what a digital agency has been up to by investigating their clients’ websites. Here’s what to look for:
● Check for AdWords cloaking scripts, PHP URL cloaking scripts, and URL cloaking scripts
● Review the SERP directly by turning on “Preserve Log” in “Chrome DevTools,” switching your user type to “Googlebot,” and going to the website directly from Google to compare the “Googlebot” content to the “online user” content
● Use a “cloaking checker” tool, like the one offered at Dupli Checker
Needless to say, if you discover any prospective marketing agency has used cloaking for their clients’ websites, run.
When Google discovers that a website has used “cloaking” to elevate SEO ranking, then Google will blacklist the website, period. It is very hard to bounce back once you’ve been blacklisted. Protect your business so that you don’t hire an agency that resorts to these unethical SEO tactics. Here are the questions to ask potential webmasters and digital marketers before you sign a contract:
● Will you use PBNs to increase my website’s rank on Google?
● Will you republish high-ranking web content for me in order to maintain a favorable SEO ranking?
● Will you maximize SEO and backlinks by assigning a team to leave comments under all my website’s blog articles?
If a marketing agency answers “yes” to any of the above questions, run. It’s a very good idea to familiarize yourself with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines prior to interviewing your agency candidates.
What if you recently discovered that the digital marketing agency you’ve been working with has used cloaking and other “black hat SEO” techniques, which have now backfired, resulting in your website being blacklisted by Google? Can you recover? It’s possible, but recovering won’t happen overnight. That being said, here are the steps you can take today to submit a “reconsideration request” to Google:
● First navigate to Google Search Console > Crawl > Fetch, and fetch the web pages from the affected portions of your website
● Compare your web content that is fetched by Google to the web content your online users see and resolve all variations between the two so that the content is the same
● Finally, check all redirects on your site and remove the faulty ones that send users to an unexpected destination and / or ones that utilize “conditional redirects”
● Once you’ve completed the above steps, submit your reconsideration request to Google
If you do not want to attempt resolving the Google violations yourself, preferring instead to hire a reputable marketing agency, then just be sure to relay to the new digital marketing agency the specific Google penalties you’ve received. Did you receive a “partial match” penalty or a “site-wide match” penalty? Let the new agency know so that they can focus on fixing the specific violations.
Cloaking, or “black hat SEO,” is the result of plugging misleading content into Google for the specific purpose of optimizing SEO. In technical terms, this is accomplished when the marketer provides Google’s bots with a “server-side script,” i.e. a Google-friendly variation of the website. How would a website know that a “visitor” is a “search engine robot” and not a real user? Rather than digress into a detailed and highly technical explanation of how that’s done, let’s put it this way: Artificial Intelligence has come a long way.
Originally, A.I. was not developed for the purposes of helping unethical marketers to lie, cheat, and steal. But very unfortunately, mastering the best A.I. strategies in order to inform Google’s bots of URL content is what led fraudsters to invent “cloaking” in the first place.
You see, web developers, SEO strategists, and digital marketers are supposed to provide Google bots with URL information. This information must be truncated. For example, if a website sells over 500 products, the URL description that is written specifically for Google is obviously not going to include mention of all 500 products. Savvy SEO strategists will therefore choose to highlight only the most SEO-friendly products to mention within the Google-specific “scripts.” If organic coffee is the most popular product a website sells, for instance, then the “scripts” used for Google will focus on organic coffee and won’t mention the other 499 organic produce, meat, and tea products that are also for sale on the site.
Hopefully, by this point you see the distinction between acceptable SEO strategies and unethical “black hat SEO” cloaking.
The big takeaway to remember is that if real, living, breathing users love your web content, then Google bots will, too. Always write for people. Never write for the sake of pleasing algorithms if doing so comes at the expense of providing quality content to actual people. After all, Google bots are not your potential customers, people are, so be sure to keep the horse in front of the cart if you want to elevate your search engine ranking on Google.
Are you looking for a reputable digital marketing agency to develop your website, write your content, and handle your SEO? FTx 360 offers web design and development, content writing, and SEO marketing and optimization services for businesses of all industries. If you’ve been the victim of black hat SEO, we can fix it, repair your reputation, and put you on the fast track to building trust with consumers. Contact us to speak with our webmasters, content writers, and experienced marketing strategists today.
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As a business owner, you’re probably aware that social media should play a role in your digital marketing strategy. But which platforms should you invest your time in?
There are many social media platforms to choose from. In fact, new social platforms hit the internet regularly, which can be overwhelming for business owners who are trying to keep up. The good news is that you don’t have to. When it comes to using social media to promote your business, accrue followers, and increase brand awareness, there are only five major platforms to consider. Those are:
Should you create profiles and attempt to publish on all of these platforms? Absolutely not. As counterintuitive as it may seem, if you try to tackle managing accounts and publishing content on all five of these social media platforms, you will cause the adverse effect of diluting your brand and weakening your digital presence.
Ensuring that social media marketing works for your business will depend on choosing the right platforms. Each social media platform offers users a different experience. Each platform provides brands with advantages and disadvantages. And each social platform must be carefully analyzed for its business marketing potential. In this article, we will assess the major platforms listed above to help you determine which ones will best serve your marketing goals.
In order to reach your social media marketing goals, you must first get clear on what those goals are. Social media goals can range widely from one business to the next. Some companies strictly use social media platforms to sell directly to consumers. Others choose platforms that will enable them to collect thousands of followers, because building general awareness about their brands is their greatest goal. Company owners who want to promote their B2B businesses might expect their social media marketing efforts to result in gaining podcast subscribers and website visitors since those are their two biggest conversion channels.
What are your social media marketing goals? Your answer will depend on the following factors, so first ask yourself:
● What type of business do you own?
● Who are your clients or customers?
● Which social media platforms do they spend the most time on?
● What type of information do you want to impart to your targeted audience via social media and what would be the best content form to communicate that information to them?
Let’s take a look at each question, the possible answers, and how your particular answer will inform your social media marketing goals.
The first major differentiator is whether you own a B2C company—”business-2-consumer” company—or a B2B company—”business-2-business” company. The industry in which your company operates is the second major differentiator. B2B companies that operate within the manufacturing industry, for example, will have very different social media marketing goals than B2C companies that operate as pet supply stores, golf & country clubhouses, or 24-hour diners. Certain social media platforms will serve B2B companies better than B2C ones, while other social media platforms will benefit retailers more so than restaurants, all of which we will examine further in this article. For now, simply identify the nature of your business.
This question goes much deeper than what meets the eye initially. The answer we’re looking for is all about customer demographics, customer interests, customer favorites, customer “pain points,” and the list goes on. You really must know who your customers are if you want to engage them online using your social media content. Do you have a digitized Point-of-Sale system at your retail location? Are you using Customer Relationship Management software at your hospitality business? Do you have a customer loyalty rewards program in place at your quick-serve diner? Any of these software tools can tell you exactly who your clients and customers are. Simply review and analyze all of the valuable customer data that has been historically recorded. You can access this data via the reporting function of the software.
We admit, if you already knew the answer to this question, you probably wouldn’t need to read this article in the first place. Obviously, you want to focus your social media marketing efforts on whichever social platforms your customers spend most of their time. That being said, determining which platform your current customers—and also your potential customers—spend the bulk of their time on isn’t as straightforward as it should be. Answering this question will require research, but the good news is that there are several independent websites that have conducted this kind of research already by comparing user data from one platform to the next. Not to mention that any social platform that is a publicly traded company has to provide key demographic information as part of their financial reporting transparency obligations. Check out Facebook’s Investor Reporting website.
In terms of identifying and reaching your social media marketing goals, this is the most important question you will ever answer. Social media is all about interaction and engagement, which means that you must understand what kind of content your customers want to find on social media in order to provide them with content that will effectively engage them. For instance, if you own a holistic dentistry practice, your customers are probably concerned with the toxins that are known to leach out of dental fillings and implants, and the dangers that mixed metals are suspected to cause in the human body. The dental materials you use, as well as your services, are toxin-free. So, how can you communicate this information to your potential customers, quelling their fears while educating them at the same time, all while using the most accommodating social media platform to relay your message?
As you can tell, a great deal of thought goes into figuring out what kind of information your customers are seeking online and which content form will be best to communicate that information to them. In the next section, we will look at each social media platform to help you understand how using it could benefit your business and to also help you eliminate the platforms that are less likely to serve you, your customers, and your marketing goals.
Each social media platform has a fluctuating number of daily users, and depending on the specific demographics of those users, your business could have access to a very deep pool of potential customers if you choose to market your company on those platforms. But is it better to be a big fish in a small pond, a small fish in a big pond, or a fisherman who casts the widest net possible? Only you will know what is best for your business. Here is the social media platform information you can use to assess which platforms will be right for you.
A veteran social media platform that has been around longer than the others on this list, Facebook is by no means passé. Yes, there are newer, more trendy platforms out there, but in terms of ideal user demographics and the ability to connect businesses with new customers, Facebook remains an excellent choice for social media marketing.
● Over 2 billion active users visit Facebook daily
● The biggest demographic on Facebook are male users (19.3%) and female users (13.2%) between 25 and 34 years of age
● 75% of social media users with an income of $75k or more are on Facebook
By using Facebook as part of your social media marketing strategy, you will be able to attract users and gain followers organically. Simply posting content regularly, using relevant hashtags, and replying to comments as they come in will do wonders for gradually building brand awareness and converting visitors into customers over time.
But that’s not all Facebook can do for your business. What makes Facebook one of the best platforms for B2B and B2C companies who ultimately want to increase revenue is its targeted digital advertising platform.
Between running PPC advertising campaigns and selling goods to customers from the platform itself, Facebook has helped to transform a lot of companies into eCommerce powerhouses, and it can do the same for your business.
Bottom line, Facebook is an excellent platform for B2C companies that want to post micro-content to increase brand awareness, gain followers, stimulate social engagement, and convert followers into customers.
Founded in October of 2010, Instagram hit the social media scene and instantly won over a multitude of users across the world. More so than any other social media platform, Instagram is all about the visual. As the ideal platform to post photos, images, graphics, and viral memes, Instagram has taken over and dominated the social media marketing space for businesses who sell products that “give good photo.”
Instagram really isn’t a listening and learning platform. In terms of fostering conversations, it pales in comparison to Facebook, but that doesn’t mean this platform is any less valuable. In fact, Instagram can do what Facebook can’t, which is present the beauty of life in a visual format with no distractions such as written commentary, website links, random polls and surveys, and other chaotic options that tend to be presented on the average Facebook feed.
● 200 million+ Instagrammers visit at least one business profile daily
● 70% of shoppers use Instagram to discover new products
● Instagram’s potential advertising reach is 928 million users
If you’re already convinced that including Instagram in your social media marketing is a must, you aren’t alone. That being said, Instagram tends to benefit businesses in the B2C retail consumer goods space where the primary customer demographics are teenagers and young adults.
Bottom line, Instagram is best for B2C retail companies, especially when those companies primarily sell on an eCommerce platform.
The social media platform, Twitter, was launched back in 2006 and frankly, most users did not comprehend its potential for about ten years. Once upon a time, Twitter had a primitive look, Tweets were referred to as Updates, and Followers were referred to as Friends. Most Tweets were basic if not random, and because Twitter lacked the visual components of Facebook, as well as the number of characters one would need to write a paragraph, many users were initially confused about how they were going to use the platform to connect with friends.
● 77% of Americans who annually earn $75k or more use Twitter
● 80% of Twitter users are affluent millennials
● 71% of Twitter users say they use the social platform to get their news and stay informed
The last statistic sums up everything you need to know about Twitter. Twitter is an information-spreading platform that serves news outlets and organizations that either cover or contribute to current events. Twitter tends to be politically charged and entire debates can unfold within a single thread of Tweets.
That being said, certain business owners can get a lot out of using Twitter for their social media marketing. Since Twitter is a real-time social media platform, every Tweet you post is equivalent to sending a group text message to the entire world. Currently, a Tweet can be up to 280 characters, which allows you to make a complex point, and because you can also share website links, Twitter is an ideal platform to drive traffic to your business blog or YouTube channel where visitors can gain even more information from you.
Thanks to hashtags and the immediacy of the platform itself, Twitter offers businesses a way to engage with their audiences in real time, having complete conversations. Your business can also take advantage of trending topics on Twitter by retweeting and commenting on whatever is going on in the world.
Bottom line, Twitter will serve B2B and B2C businesses that want to spread information, comment on current events, and elevate their professional authority within their industry. If your company serves a specific community, has a non-profit mission, or interconnects with the world of current events, then using Twitter as part of your social media marketing strategy could greatly benefit your business.
LinkedIn has had a slow evolution in terms of joining the ranks of well-known social media sites. Considered the world’s largest professional network on the internet, only in recent years has LinkedIn been regarded as an authentic “social media” platform. It wasn’t until LinkedIn provided newsfeeds and the ability for users to post blogs and other content that it joined the ranks of social media. Initially, LinkedIn was used strictly as an employment-oriented online platform that connected professionals and aided job seekers in obtaining the best positions on the open job market.
● More than 70% of LinkedIn users are from outside the USA
● 90 million LinkedIn users are senior-level hiring managers and 63 million are in decision-making positions at their companies
● LinkedIn makes up more than 50% of all social traffic to B2B websites & blogs
LinkedIn is an interesting social media marketing option. While it doesn’t have nearly as many users as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter combined, it has far more marketing potential than you might think. If you own a B2B company that does international business, you really can’t afford not to be on LinkedIn.
One of the biggest benefits of using LinkedIn is that you can be a big fish in a small pond. Unlike Facebook and Instagram that have crowded newsfeeds, there are fewer users on LinkedIn to compete with. And the users who actively use LinkedIn have specific goals in mind, such as connecting with relevant businesses, reviewing the resumes of qualified professionals, and gaining insights about their industries by reading newsfeed articles.
If you use LinkedIn to the fullest, which includes publishing posts regularly and updating blog articles to your business profile, you can potentially build massive awareness about your brand in a relatively short amount of time. And best of all, because LinkedIn isn’t crowded with consumers, you don’t have to advertise on the platform. Simply post regularly and use relevant hashtags, and you will reap the benefits of advertising without spending a dime thanks to LinkedIn’s algorithms.
Bottom line, LinkedIn is best for B2B companies that can commit to regularly publishing informative blog articles. If one of your social media marketing goals is to elevate your brand’s expert standing within your industry, then using LinkedIn is for you.
Last, but certainly not least, is YouTube. YouTube exclusively offers video content, though some channels publish audio-only files with a static image that fills the video field. When an internet user wants to watch video content, YouTube is the social media platform they go to, hands down. In this sense, YouTube has virtually no competition, not even from Vimeo. If you’re prepared to create professional-looking video content, then using YouTube for your social media marketing could prove more effective than all other platforms combined.
● 73% of U.S. adults use YouTube and 89% of YouTube users come from outside the USA
● The number of channels earning six figures per year on YouTube grows by 40% every year
● YouTube is the second-most visited website in the world after Google
In order to publish video content on YouTube, you will have to pick an account package that’s appropriate for your business size. Owners of startups can first use YouTube’s free publishing services and then when you grow, you can upgrade to one of their paid service options. The best part about YouTube, and there are many, is that the platform itself is a search engine. When you correctly categorize your channel and videos, and add hashtags, users will be able to easily find you. YouTube also provides analytic tools to help you gauge video performance.
YouTube can provide your business with an additional stream of income if you gain enough subscribers to your channel, which is something that other social media platforms simply do not offer. Bear in mind that there’s a significant delay on payouts, but once you earn the minimum dollar amount, which triggers the automated payment process, YouTube will email you an alert.
What kind of video content should you publish on YouTube? The answer will have to do with what your specific customers want to see. But here are a few ideas to get you started:
● Webinars, Tutorials, and How-To Videos
● Candid Customer Testimonials
● Q&A Videos
● Trailer Videos
● Stats Videos
Bottom line, when it comes to which social media platform businesses should use to publish video content, no platform compares to YouTube. Whether you own a B2B or B2C business, if you want to reach a massive audience using video content, then you must publish on YouTube, period. You can also take clips of your videos to use as micro-content teasers on Facebook, Instagram, and other social platforms as part of your strategy to drum up interest and drive traffic to your YouTube channel.
Hopefully, this article has helped you refine your social media marketing goals and aided your decision as to which social platforms to invest your time, money, and efforts into. The real trick is to pick only one or two social media platforms to focus on, rather than attempting to manage every platform under the sun.
Want personalized, hands-on social media marketing assistance? FTx 360 offers social media marketing services to B2B and B2C businesses of all industries. Our team of marketers specialize in both macro and micro-content, and know how to make the most out of each social media platform so that you gain a growing audience and provide your customers with the information they want most. Contact us anytime to find out how FTx 360 can benefit your bottom line without breaking the bank.
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In terms of optimal digital marketing strategies, email marketing remains one of the core channels to directly communicate with consumers.
Email marketing can be personal, informative, and lucrative. In nearly every industry, businesses of all sizes benefit from marketing directly to their customers, clients, and subscribers via email. There is a direct correlation between a company’s email campaign performance and the overall marketing success of that company.
Put simply, the open rate, clickthrough rate, and conversion rate of a business’ email marketing campaigns will make or break their business growth.
How successful are your email marketing campaigns?
In order to understand whether your campaigns are successful or dismal, you first have to look at the average email benchmarks for your industry, including the average open rate, the average clickthrough rate, the average click-to-open rate, and the average unsubscribe rate.
Across all industries, the overall email marketing statistics for 2020 were:
● 18% average open rate
● 2.6% average clickthrough rate
● 14.1% average click-to-open rate
● 0.1% average unsubscribe rate
Take a moment to check out your email marketing metrics across all the campaigns you ran in the past six months. How do those averages compare to those 2020 statistics?
Now, compare your averages to the campaign averages held by industries that typically benefit from email marketing the most:
If your company’s email campaign averages fall short, then the tips contained in this article will help you increase conversions and grow your business.
Before we get rolling, let’s first address the most important tip of all… the “Messiah of All Tips” if
Present professionally written emails, period. This is the most important piece of advice we will ever give you regarding your email marketing campaigns. You could even stop reading this blog post right now and focus solely on generating professional-level content, and your email marketing campaigns will achieve a higher conversion rate than you’re currently seeing.
Today’s consumers are smart and unforgiving. You cannot afford to launch email campaigns that contain typos, misspellings, and funky wording for obvious reasons. But it’s especially critical to use correct grammar, syntax, spelling, and punctuation, because email copy that falls short of this standard will reflect poorly on your brand and could damage your business’ reputation. Not to mention, poorly written copy generally fails to convey a clear message.
Remember: if your recipients can’t understand you, they won’t be able to engage with you.
Now that we’ve established the importance of the quality copy, let’s get rolling. In this article, you’ll discover how to use:
● Subject Line Hooks
● Intriguing Preview Text
● Professionally Written Paragraphs
● Crystal Clear Messages
● Irresistible Call-to-Actions
Let’s take a look at each tip…
The content you use for the subject line of your email marketing campaign will be the first thing your subscribers read, and if it isn’t written well, it’ll be the last thing they look at… Yup, the email will head straight for the Trash folder if the subject line doesn’t “hook” the recipient.
What is a subject line “hook”? You can think of a hook as an offer, incentive, or teaser. The purpose is to grab the recipient’s attention and compel them to open the email so that they can gain more information. Can you tell which of the following subject lines is “generic” and which includes a “hook”?
“Modernize Your Digital Identity” vs. “Our Digital Marketing Services Are Affordable”
Would you agree that the subject line “Modernize Your Digital Identity” is a bit mysterious? Reading a subject line like that, the recipient will probably ask themself, modernize… how? which will compel them to click open the email to find out!
TIP #2 MAKE SURE YOUR PREVIEW TEXT INTRIGUES
Even before your recipients open your email, they can see the first line or so of the body of the email. This “snippet” of copy is called “preview text”, and it should be just as intriguing as the subject line hook you used.
The email marketing platform you launch your campaigns from will automatically pull text from the body of your email to use as preview text. Meaning, you might not be able to change the actual copy without editing the body of your email. This is a reason to be very mindful of Tip #3.
However, some platforms will let you edit the preview text that appears or allow you to replace it altogether. When you create the email copy itself, just be mindful that the first sentence will become the preview text and make adjustments accordingly.
The importance of presenting professional-quality copy in your emails cannot be overstated. But top-notch writing goes beyond grammatical correctness. The pros use a “beginning, middle, end” content structure that flows conversationally and never sounds too wordy.
The foundational subtext built into the “beginning, middle, and end” structure could unfold as follows:
Set up the “pain point”, otherwise known as the “problem” the recipient is experiencing.
Highlight the consequence of not solving the pain point problem, and then immediately offer your own product, service, or offer as the solution.
Highlight the additional benefits of your solution, and finish with a clickable CTA.
Each segment—beginning, middle, and end—should logically inform the next segment, presenting a clear message to the reader.
TIP #4 CONVEY A CRYSTAL-CLEAR MESSAGE
Professionally written copy will deliver a crystal-clear message, as we just touched upon above, but before you launch your campaign, ask a colleague or friend to read your copy. If they can’t articulate the “point” of the email, then you haven’t conveyed a crystal-clear message.
Ask yourself, what do you want your recipients “to do” as a result of reading your email? Probably click the Call-to-Action you’ve included at the bottom of the email, right? Then the “message” of your email has to convince the reader why acting on your CTA will benefit them.
If you used one heck of a subject line hook, made sure the preview text was intriguing, and composed professionally written copy that conveyed a crystal-clear message, then your CTA will automatically be irresistible to your recipients.
But make sure the exact wording you use for your CTA really pops. Can you tell which of the following CTA text is “generic” and which is “irresistible”?
“Register for Webinar” vs. “Join the Conversation”
We’re willing to bet you agree that “Join the Conversation” sounds far more interesting than the other, generic CTA.
It’s true. The frequency with which you contact your email recipients will directly impact the overall open rate of each campaign, but this isn’t to suggest that the more you email your subscribers, the more likely they will be to open, read, and click.
In fact, the opposite is true.
The more you contact your subscribers via email, the more likely they will delete your email before opening it. Why? Because receiving too many emails can be annoying for the recipient, or worse, they can come across as “spammy”.
If you’ve noticed the open rate of your recent campaigns going down, it could indicate you’ve been emailing too frequently.
Be very careful not to overcorrect this issue, however.
If you slow your email frequency way down, you will inadvertently increase the risk of your campaigns winding up in your recipients’ Spam folders.
This is especially true when the sending email address contains “donotreply@” or suspicious characteristics such as a lot of numbers. Even using emojis in the subject line could trigger the recipient’s malware to automatically route your email into the Spam folder.
Play around with how often you contact your subscribers. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and successful frequencies will vary from one company to the next depending on the industry and whether the company operates within the B2C or B2B market.
Interested in increasing the open rate of your email campaigns, but aren’t quite sure how to put our tips into practice? Let us handle it! FTx 360 offers email marketing services that include content writing, campaign handling & strategy, and marketing automation.
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The value of implementing content marketing campaigns as part of your overall digital marketing strategy cannot be overstated.
Traditional advertising is costly, impersonal, and frankly, going out of style.
Digital content marketing is economical, highly personal, and wonderfully conversational in a way consumers love.
But in order to quantify the real value of content marketing, business owners must first understand what it is.
As the name suggests, content marketing is a form of digital marketing that uses content—both written and visual—to attract internet users to a business’ website for the purposes of converting visitors into customers.
Generating successful content involves pairing excellently written content with stunning visuals, such as intriguing photos, engaging graphics, entertaining videos, and impactful multimedia.
Examples of content used for digital marketing include:
web pages, product & service descriptions,
blog posts & email newsletter content,
in-app notification content & SMS text message content,
podcasts & webinars,
e-books & educational articles,
and even social media promotions!
Once the finalized content is published online, the content’s built-in SEO keywords will prompt Google and other search engines to recommend the published content web pages to consumers who type those very keywords into the search bar.
There is a direct cause-and-effect relationship between publishing quality content online and gaining loyal customers, which is why content marketing has quickly become one of the most popular digital marketing strategies around.
But popularity spawns competition. As more and more companies discover the value of using dynamic content marketing strategies, the higher the “bar” rises in terms of quality. What does this mean for business owners who want to stand out from the competition and win loyal customers using content marketing specifically?
Shape up or ship out.
If that sounds severe, it should. The competition is cut-throat and consumers have short attention spans. The next website, eCommerce store, hashtag thread, YouTube channel, or podcast is only a click away, and if you do not hook your visitor the moment they land on your page, they aren’t going to stick around.
But there’s good news for all you ambitious entrepreneurs who want to roll your sleeves up, throw your hats into the ring, and fight to gain loyal customers before your opponents do!
In this article, we’ll lay out exactly what you can do to up your content marketing game so that you can take advantage of all the benefits that content marketing has to offer!
By implementing content marketing strategies, a business can differentiate their brand from their competitors and stand out within their industry marketplace. Content marketing, as a method of communication, develops customer trust and improves brand credibility within online communities, social media circles, and even major search engines like Google.
Talk about value! If you can convince Google you’re the leading expert within your industry, the sky will be the limit in terms of how much web traffic will funnel to your site!
You might be tempted to err on the side of caution and only dip your toe into the content marketing waters, but if you want to make a big splash, engage your audience, and earn big bucks, we recommend you dive headfirst and implement these four content marketing initiatives:
● Website Content
● Product & Service Descriptions
● Blog Posts
● Email Newsletters
Let’s take a look at each…
For businesses of all sizes, increasing web traffic is an integral aspect of growing a solid customer base. This is especially true for eCommerce stores and other companies that rely on web-based platforms. A company’s web content, whether intentional or blissfully accidental, contains SEO keywords, which essentially magnetize Google users to the company’s website, which is great!
But did you know that your website is in danger of aging? Websites containing stale content that have not been updated in a year or more actually slide down Google’s ranking system. Just because your website is on the first page of Google’s search results today, doesn’t mean you’ll stay there. If you don’t revamp your website and publish brand-new, SEO-rich content periodically, it will only be a matter of time before your site slides down to the 5th, or 50th, page of Google’s results!
Keep the high ranking you’ve earned and stay on the first page of Google’s results by updating your entire website with fresh content at least every six months.
A great way to publish updated website and eCommerce store content without investing in a major site design overhaul is to frequently update the descriptions of your current products and services, and also publish new products and services descriptions on your site as soon as they’re ready for purchase. Even short, well-written descriptions of only three sentences can provide enough trending SEO keywords to keep your website relevant.
The trick is to first research and select the best keywords for your products, audience, and industry. If your descriptions are going to be a strict 30 words, don’t attempt to plug too many keywords into the verbiage or you’ll run the risk of sounding awkward. Try using only three keywords, or one longtail keyword phrase plus one keyword. Once you have those, be sure to compose the content using an expressive “voice” that captures the tone of your brand.
Customers naturally connect with content that is written in a personable, expressive manner, because the conversational tone helps them relate to your brand. As opposed to customers that don’t connect with your content, you will always forge deeper, longer lasting relationships with customers that relate to your brand.
One smart way to regularly publish SEO-rich content that will drive traffic to your website or eCommerce store is to launch a blog on your site. Blogs are a cost-effective way to promote your company and build your online presence. Best of all, blogging can validate your business and establish your brand as a leading authority within your industry.
The one caveat that you must respect if you want your blog to succeed at keeping your website ranking high on Google and other search engines is that you must commit to a publishing schedule and stick to it. Be realistic. Know your capabilities and limitations. Can you commit to drafting, editing, and proofreading one blog per week? Will that leave you enough time to also create stunning visuals such as graphics, photos, and multimedia images to go along with each weekly article?
When it comes to blogging, it’s better to post once a month without fail—or once every two weeks without fail—than it is to post once a day for two weeks and then not post again for two months. Consistency is everything. If you can maintain a consistent publishing schedule, offer an e-newsletter opt-in, and begin collecting subscriber contact information, the value of your blog will soon become immeasurable.
Consumers love content marketing, as we mentioned at the beginning of this blog post. When a brand puts out content for customers to read and engage with, those customers feel a sense of personal connection with the brand. And nothing gets more personalized than email marketing. With email marketing, you can analyze CRM data—Customer Relationship Management Data—to segment your customers into highly specified groups, and customize the campaigns you send out to each group.
Create individualized content for your segmented customer groups that’s based on their unique interests, product favorites, and the informative subjects they’ve “liked” on your blog, social media, and other platforms. Email marketing can be used for many different campaign types. Retailers can use email marketing campaigns to alert customers to personalized sales they might be interested in. Law and accountant firms can use email marketing to educate and empower their recipients about important laws, rules, filing dates, and regulations, ending every email newsletter with a CTA. Educational institutions can use email marketing to promote their classes, courses, and special events. Email marketing can also be used to conduct surveys and collect valuable feedback from customers!
In short, the greatest value of email marketing is that this marketing strategy builds relationships with customers. Every email is an invitation to that recipient to engage in a one-on-one conversation with you!
Smoke shops, cigar retailers, vape stores, hookah lounges, and even hemp wellness retailers within the CBD industry have one major challenge in common—severe advertising restrictions.
The US Food & Drug Administration has controlled tobacco and nicotine product advertising for decades, but it wasn’t until June of 2009 that the FDA clamped down hard on tobacco industry advertising, including advertising that fell within the scope of digital marketing.
These new FDA rules and regulations were imposed on secondary industries that carried nicotine, tobacco-related, and tobacco-simulated products, namely the vape and CBD markets. Can vape stores run TV ads? Nope. Are cigar retailers allowed to place paid ads on Instagram? Not at all. What about CBD stores, can this type of hemp wellness retailer buy a half-page magazine ad? Not even for a million dollars.
With extreme advertising limitations, how can smoke shops, vape stores, and similar retailers actually promote their tobacco, nicotine, CBD, and smoke-simulation products?
How will these businesses reach customers, sell products, and grow?
Though challenging, marketing tobacco, vape, and alternative nicotine products is not impossible. In this article, we’ll show you how to maximize lawful strategies while staying in compliance with the FDA.
Here are the dos and don’ts of marketing your store.
There is a critical distinction to be made between “advertising” and “marketing”. Just because you, as a tobacco retailer, are prohibited from freely advertising your nicotine products does not mean you’re prohibited from marketing your nicotine products. You can think of “advertising” as directly promoting a product to a consumer audience. By contrast, “marketing” raises brand awareness using indirect methods of promotion. Understanding the difference and sticking strictly to marketing is imperative.
Do: Focus on Marketing
Don’t: Invest in Advertising
First, you must educate yourself about the specific search engine and social media platform policies, and obey those policies. Familiarize yourself with Google’s products promotion rules. Pay particular attention to their prohibited content, restricted content & features, and dangerous products & services. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook each have their own policies and restrictions on nicotine product promotion that you should take a look at.
You might be wondering, if marketing isn’t advertising, then what is it? For smoke and vape retailers, examples of effective marketing include maintaining a Google My Business account, using social media to passively and indirectly attract consumers, and launching a blog, all of which we will cover in this article, so keep reading!
Ready to get started with implementing focused marketing campaigns? Take these next steps:
● Identify your marketing audience
● Research the best marketing strategies for your industry
● Consider marketing automation solutions
FACT: In 2019, the global e-cigarette and vape market size was valued at USD $12.41 billion, and this figure is projected to rise 23.8% between now and 2027! This means that consumers want to find your smoke shop, so make it easy on them by focusing on strategic digital marketing! This according to Statista.com.
As we mentioned in the previous section, it’s essentially impossible to advertise your tobacco, nicotine, and vape products via traditional search engine and social media ads, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on the internet. Never discount the importance of your internet presence! Even if you own a brick-and-mortar retail store without a corresponding eCommerce site, you still must promote your brand online using digital marketing strategies that include SEO.
Do: Implement an SEO Strategy
Don’t: Discount the Importance of Your Internet Presence
For the purposes of expediency, we’re going to assume you know what SEO is, but if not, check out our blog What Is SEO? Go ahead, we’ll wait… it’s only a 5-minute read. Keywords are the backbone of effective search engine optimization. Choosing current, “hot” keywords as you build your digital content will cause search engines like Google to recommend your site to consumers who are looking for retailers like you.
Yes, as we touched on earlier, even physical retail stores need to invest in expanding their online presence. You don’t have to go so far as launching an eCommerce site, but if you have a website, we strongly recommend you launch an associated blog. Even if you start a simple WordPress blog, you can then create “posts” on your Google My Business account, sharing the article links. This is a great way to get your blogging feet wet while utilizing effective SEO that will communicate directly with Google.
Ready to get started integrating powerful SEO into your marketing strategies? Take these next steps:
● Launch a scalable, mobile-friendly blog
● Focus on Google My Business & building customer reviews
● Invest in professional SEO solutions
FACT: Popular SEO keywords for tobacco, vape, and CBD industry content are constantly shifting and changing as new products are introduced to the market. Regularly publishing blog articles is the best way to keep up, use current keywords, and ensure search engines recommend your store’s website to consumers. This according to Forbes.com.
Want to hear something excruciatingly unfair? Years ago, Big Tobacco tried to game the social media marketing system using paid influencers and basically ruined the concept for the rest of us. What really happened? In May of 2019, roughly 125 public health organizations issued a “cease and desist” order to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat to immediately end the promotion of cigarettes and e-cigarettes from Big Tobacco companies. The resulting ban included prohibiting promotions from social media influencers. Then, in epic Big Tobacco fashion, the biggest names in the nicotine business straight-up ignored the order.
Do: Partner with Social Media Influencers
Don’t: Rely Solely on Influencers
So, why in the world do our digital marketing strategists include “partner with social media influencers” as a “do” on this list rather than a “don’t”? Because of our tenacity! We would never advocate trying to game the system. Our clients are small businesses that don’t possess the kind of legal teams that can defend Big-Tobacco-caliber violations.
When it comes to partnering with social media influencers, you have to think waaaaay outside the box, like we do, and like one of our clients has been since they started working with us. We’re referring to CBD Source, the leading cannabidiol retail chain across Pennsylvania and New York State. In April of 2019, CBD Source launched the CBD Podcast, which expanded their customer reach so much that they had to create an eCommerce store just to keep up with the demand. Naturally, their podcast developed into a YouTube channel, and that’s where the real social media influencer strategies took off like a heat seeking missile!
Ready to get started with social media influencers? Take these next steps:
● Contact influencers to plug and review your products
● Launch a podcast, vlog, or YouTube channel
● Test out a professional SSM strategist and analyze the ROI
Email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses of all kinds. When implemented strategically, email marketing campaigns incentivize customers to visit a retail location or eCommerce site, which directly impacts revenue increases. Why is email marketing a definite “do” on this list? Because you can say and promote whatever you want within this private method of communication. That’s right, you can directly advertise your tobacco, nicotine, CBD, and vape products to your recipient list!
Do: Include Email Marketing
Don’t: Spam Using Generic Offers
No two of your customers are exactly alike, however. Don’t spam generic emails to every email address on your list. Effective email marketing campaigns are all about “personalization”. The trick is to only recommend the most relevant products to each of your email recipients. Succeeding at personalizing your email campaigns will depend on the CRM software you’re using. You can’t achieve personalization without having collected data about your customers personal browsing and buying histories.
Whether you collect customer data at the POS system within your retail location or have integrated CRM solutions on the backend of your eCommerce site, you can build a quality sales pipeline as a result of personalized email marketing campaigns. First, analyze your customer data and group your customers into segments according to their likes and interests. Then, tailor personalized email campaigns to each customer segment, informing them of sales, deals, and discounts on items they have a history of loving and buying.
Ready to get started launching an email marketing campaign? Take these next steps:
● Provide shoppers with opt-in subscription methods to join your email list
● Develop concise written content that takes recipient personalization into account
● Use email marketing software solutions with CRM capabilities
FTx 360 can help. Our digital marketing strategists have extensive experience working within the tobacco, vape, and CBD industries. If you have concerns about FDA restrictions, we know the law. We know how to stay in compliance. And we know how to grow businesses using marketing automation, SEO solutions, SSM strategies, and email marketing solutions to build awareness for your brand and expand your loyal customer base.
Ready to get started with our tobacco industry marketing strategies? Contact us today!
At long last, your business website is completely set up. The home page is beautifully branded. Your products and services are clearly indexed. And you’ve even included a few CTAs so that visitors can subscribe to your company’s email newsletter, join your customer loyalty rewards program, and follow your social media accounts.
But how are you actually going to drive traffic to your website?
If you’re unsure how to answer that question, don’t worry. You’re not alone. In this article, we’ll go over proven tactics that will increase web traffic.
The term “website traffic” refers to the volume of users that visit a website. Unlike rush hour traffic, however, that causes bottlenecks, gridlock, and traffic jams, when it comes to web traffic, the more users on a website, the better. The actual number of users that visit your website will depend on the purpose of the site, each visitor’s reason for checking out the site, and how your visitors discovered the site in the first place.
For businesses, organizations, and especially ECommerce retailers, increasing web traffic is crucial to the success of both the website itself and the company at large. If web traffic doesn’t increase, the company probably won’t grow. And if there is hardly any web traffic to begin with, the company will struggle to get off the ground in the first place.
Increasing traffic to your website boils down to correctly using SEO keywords and longtail keyword phrases. SEO is so integral to the vitality of a website that we’ve dedicated an entire article to the subject, What Is SEO? which covers the whys, hows, and wheres of plugging SEO keywords into your web content. Be sure to take a moment to check it out when you have a chance. For the time being, we’ll assume you’re familiar with SEO in general.
The following SEO tips will help you drive traffic to your website organically, and the latter half of this article will walk you through the steps of adding SEO to the images you use on your website, which can have a massively positive impact on the volume of your daily visitors, as well as your website’s ranking on Google and other search engines.
Let’s dive in.
By far the most organic method to drive web traffic to your site involves adding new content to your website on a daily–or even weekly–basis. Generating daily content naturally produces SEO keywords, which Google and other search engines will pick up and use to recommend your website to users who search for businesses, products, and services that are relevant to yours. The easiest way to publish new content frequently and regularly is with a blog. Blog posts don’t have to be lengthy, either. You can publish short articles and reap measurable benefits. For detailed tips to launch a successful blog, read Creating A Remarkable Business Blog. The trick when it comes to ensuring your blog will promote web traffic to other pages on your website is to use internal links. For example, if you’re managing a jewelry ECommerce site, your blog posts can offer inspirational accessory advice on the latest jewelry trends that link to specific products for sale on your website.
Typically, an SEO keyword is strictly that–a single word. Is that how people use Google? Not at all, and Google recognized this fact back in 2013. As a result, Google created a new algorithm called Google Hummingbird that recognizes natural language and questions when Google users type them into the search bar. In practical terms, because Google users will type “where can I buy a cat tree?” or “puppy flea control shampoo near me”, Hummingbird will identify the “topic” or “category” that the search implies and generate appropriate search results that are relevant to local pet supply stores. Hummingbird has rendered old school, single keywords nearly obsolete. If your website content only uses single keywords, Google might not pick up on it. This is where longtail keywords come into play. Longtail keyword phrases are precisely what a Google user might type into the search bar to find businesses like yours. There’s a trick to getting the most out of this type of SEO, however. You’ll need to use high volume, low competition phrases. An excellent tool that will help you identify longtail keyword phrases that fit that description is SEMRush.
But what if you’ve been using longtail keyword phrases in your daily website or blog content and search engines like Google still aren’t picking up your web pages? Search engines might not know your website exists yet. While it takes time for Google’s algorithm to come across your website, identify which category the site falls under, and start recommending web pages to users searching for businesses like yours, there’s something you can do right away if you start to get impatient. Submit your website to the top search engines including Google through your sitemap. If you can’t find your sitemap, you may need to create one under your URL. Once you obtain your sitemap, simply log in to each search engine’s console, hit “sitemaps”, paste in your sitemap URL, and hit “submit”. For other search engines like Yahoo and DuckDuckGo, there’s no need to submit your website, because those search engines don’t have A.I. in place to suppress less popular content.
Social media marketing is critical to the success of any business, but did you know that you can use social media specifically to drive traffic to your website? It’s easy. Whenever you publish new content on your website–and we mean any new content whether it’s a blog article, new product line, revamped landing page content, or new service descriptions–get in the habit of “sharing” the link on social media. For platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you need only copy the URL and the platform will automatically pull up the web page with its headline and primary image. For platforms like Instagram, if you type in the URL within the post’s caption, it won’t hyperlink, but do it anyway, because followers who are interested in the content teaser will still visit the web page. LinkedIn is also a terrific platform, especially for B2B businesses, where you can republish blog articles and press releases.
Similar to promoting your newly published content on social media, you can also use online communities to promote your content. Internet community platforms such as Reddit and Quora, and even niche sites like Dogster.com and Goodreads.com–for bibliophile content!–are great for getting the word out about your business. Every time you share content in an online community, following the community rules of course, you will boost awareness about your brand, drive traffic to your website, improve engagement rates on your site, increase your search engine ranking, and in the long run boost sales and grow your business.
In order to get the most mileage out of the content you share on online community platforms, only use appropriate, relevant platforms. If you’re not sure which platforms are the most relevant to your business, follow these steps:
● Define your target audience
● Research where your target audience hangs out online
● Dig around Facebook Groups and join those that fit your business’ category
● Join LinkedIn Groups that would appreciate your content, products, and services
● Answer questions on Quora and link to the most relevant pages on your website
● When you join an online conversation, be sure that you aren’t providing the same information that another poster already brought to the table
So far, we’ve gone over how to use keywords to improve your SEO ranking, which addressed the written content side of your digital marketing efforts. The flip-side of using SEO to market your website has to do with your images. Every website, ECommerce site, blog article, and products & services web page includes images.
These images have the power to drive traffic to your website, but they’re used in a very different way than content SEO. Let’s take a look…
When we say “images”, we mean photos, graphics, animations, memes, videos… you name it! Any visual element such as these can be used to attract valuable consumer traffic to your website. But how?
Unlike utilizing keywords which Google users type into the search bar in order to find your business, using SEO for images works a little differently. The goal here is to get other websites to link to your images. Yes, it would be far more convenient if Google users could search for your image directly, but in order to do that they would need your image to begin with…which very quickly turns into a catch-22. Instead, if you want your image to rank high within Google and the other search engines, you need that particular image to be so popular that other websites link to it.
Sounds complicated, right? It doesn’t have to be. This is where Pinterest comes in, and Instagram can also help…
The platform Pinterest is a great digital marketing tool. Marketers can “pin” images, collect them into categories, use hashtags and other identifiers, and ultimately help raise the search engine ranking of the images they pin. All of this is to say that you want Pinterest users to “pin” your website, e-commerce, and blog images on their Pinterest pages so that other Pinterest users find them and pin them. This is entirely within your control. Create a Pinterest account and pin your images to your page with SEO keywords as you publish online content.
As an added bonus, search engines like Google also have a “search images” tab on their sites. The search results within the specific images tab work somewhat independently from the general website search results, which means that one of your blog articles could have a below-average ranking while an image used within that same blog article could rank on the first page of Google’s image search.
In order to get this kind of popular traction, you’ll need to make sure your images are something special. Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to driving website traffic and raising your SEO ranking.
Any visual image that’s eye-catching or informative will hold a visitor’s attention, but images with a clear call-to-action tend to rank even better. Use CTAs with all of your images if possible. And remember, the most engaging images according to data analytics use facts, tips, and quotes.
This tip comes in two parts. First, you’ll need to find images, photos, and graphics that are relevant to your website content. Next, you’ll need to use a design program to overlay your own information onto the image. Let’s break this down. Do you currently have a subscription to Shutterstock, Pixabay, or Adobestock? If not, signing up for one would be a worthwhile investment. These sites allow users to license high-quality photos and graphics, which can be downloaded onto their computers for editing. Once you’ve transformed a raw image into a polished final graphic, you can use it on your website and in your social media posts. There are several free online editing sites you can try such as Canva. But we recommend FTx AdPro, which comes with industry-themed templates and pre-made designs.
Integrate your finished graphics with your written content in such a way that both breaks-up the text and supports the content’s information. Doing so will make the overall visitor experience much better when customers read your web pages. Visuals that complement the content itself greatly improve the web page’s “readability”. Visitors are more likely to retain the page’s information, and they’ll also be more likely to act on any calls-to-action they encounter on your website.