On a global scale, approximately 547,200 new websites are created every single day. As of the publication of this article, 24 million eCommerce sites across the world are actively selling products. According to data compiled from IBISWorld, U.S. eCommerce sales reached $211.5 billion in the second quarter of 2020, which represents a 44.5% increase compared to the second quarter of 2019.
The eCommerce sector, regardless of industry, is extremely competitive. The market is growing exponentially. But don’t worry. Your eCommerce business isn’t automatically doomed to get lost in the fray. There are plenty of marketing strategies you can implement today that will increase sales tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year.
In this article, we’ll show you how to promote your eCommerce website using 5 marketing ideas that work.
Search engine optimization is a marketing method that uses targeted keywords and longtail keyword phrases to elevate a website’s ranking on search engines such as Google. SEO typically refers to organic, non-paid keyword strategies. The desired result of any SEO effort is to increase a website’s online visibility and traffic. Check out What Is SEO? to learn specific SEO strategies, including how to generate relevant keywords.
49% of marketers report that organic search engine optimization has the best ROI of any marketing channel, according to Search Engine Journal.
Devising an SEO strategy for your eCommerce site includes three areas, each with its own steps:
● First, you’ll have to do a little research to figure out the frequently searched words, terms, and phrases that search engine users typically type into the search bar. You can identify these SEO keywords by using Ahrefs, Amazon, Google, or any SEM tool.
● Next, you’ll need to create new content with the keywords you’ve selected. You could revise your eCommerce Home Page using keywords, or spruce up your product descriptions with them. This second step of plugging fresh keywords into your site should become a periodic practice.
● Finally, you’ll need to analyze the impact of those SEO keywords, using Google Analytics or another tool that measures the success of your SEO strategy.
Multichannel marketing for an eCommerce company refers to diversifying your sales platform. Yes, your eCommerce site is obviously your primary sales platform. But in today’s competitive market, businesses succeed online when they meet their customers’ wants and needs, including their preferences for where they want to shop. Facebook has made buying online extremely convenient, and the same can be said about Amazon. By opening a Facebook Store, you can cater to consumers who want to shop there, and others that prefer to visit your website can access it through Facebook via the URL you provide.
By the year 2040, an estimated 95% of all purchases will occur online through eCommerce, according to Nasdaq.
Spread your brand across multiple channels to diversify your sales and income streams. Follow these steps to get started:
● Research where your potential customers are congregating online. Are they on Instagram the most, or do they fill up the comments sections of YouTube? Find out so you’ll know where to focus your efforts.
● Focus on the top 3 channels where your potential customers spend their online time, then develop posting strategies on those platforms. By engaging users, they will begin to view and interact with your brand, which will lead to sales through those platforms if not your eCommerce site.
● Since multichannel marketing is all about creating different paths for consumers to travel in order to get to the purchasing stage of their shopping experience, it’s okay to start small, as long as the customer journey is easy and rewarding.
If you have an advertising expense budget, the best way to allocate your funds in 2021 is into podcast advertisements. Yes, it’s true. Regardless of the overall popularity of a podcast, the fact of the matter is that podcasts garner very loyal audiences, and those audiences tend to be comprised of specific demographics. This means that the podcast itself has already corralled your ideal customers, and by buying ad space, you can speak to all of them at once.
54% of podcast listeners will lean towards buying products that were recommended on podcasts, according to Edison Research.
Narrowing down the best podcast to invest in requires a little research. Start with these initial steps:
● Contact podcasts that are relevant to your industry to find out the size of their listenership and the costs for different ad spots. The ad sales department should be able to send you a demographic report that organizes their audience by categories such as age, gender, location, and interests, among other variables.
● Choose the most affordable ad spot. This could be a shorter pre-roll or post-roll spot, which will play at the beginning or end of the podcast episode. Pricier spots typically play in the middle of the podcast when listenership is the highest.
● Lastly, you’ll need to record a high-quality audio ad that meets the technical requirements and standards of the podcast.
In terms of regularly generating fresh, targeted, relevant keywords that harness the power of SEO and directly impact your eCommerce site’s Google ranking, nothing beats a blog. Launching and maintaining a blog is a highly effective promotional strategy. Blogs expand brand reach and online presence, as well as help to validate the business as a credible authority. All of which will lead to consumer trust. For detailed tips on blogging, be sure to read Creating a Remarkable Business Blog.
63% of online consumers in the U.S. have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
Summarizing the article on blogging referenced above, here’s how you can promote your eCommerce site by adding a Blog tab and posting on a regular schedule:
● When creating the content of each blog post, aim to follow the “information, inspiration, call-to-action” format. This means that the content should inform the reader by first addressing a “pain point” they’re experiencing and then suggesting solutions to fix that particular pain point problem. The suggestions should “inspire” the reader. And finally, the article should wrap up with a call-to-action that encourages the reader to purchase the product that will “solve” their problem from your eCommerce site.
● Be sure to work your keywords into the written content. Keep the paragraphs short so that the article is easy to read. Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to list information, all of which ensures easy reading.
● Break up the text even more with images, photos, and graphics. Include a “subscribe” button at the bottom of each post, and as you collect email addresses, be sure to use them wisely when you promote your recently published blog posts.
Over the course of 2020 and into 2021, the use of “chatbots” has risen as a prefered method of customer relationship management and customer service. Meaning, your eCommerce site visitors would probably appreciate being able to ask straightforward questions and get fast answers via a chatbot box. There are two kinds of chatbots—purely robotic or a live person. Depending on the size of your eCommerce business, you may opt to use one or both types of chatbots. A live person might not be able to accommodate a great volume of inquiries. Remember, consumers expect fast responses, so if there’s any chance your employee will take longer than 5 minutes to reply, then the safer route would be to integrate a machine-learning A.I. “robotic” chatbot.
Roughly 50% of consumers have ended up making an eCommerce purchase after interacting with the site’s chatbot, according to Drift.com.
The success or failure of an A.I. chatbot completely depends on whether or not your eCommerce site visitor can tell they’re talking to a machine-learning robot. The point being, even if you use an A.I. chatbot, you want your website visitors to believe it’s a real, live person. Here are some tips to keep you—or your hired chatbot developer—on track:
● The chatbot should exhibit a discernable degree of empathy when appropriate. Firstly, the bot must be programmed to use language properly so that it can smoothly speak with the customer typing on the other end of the box.
● In order for the chatbot to function properly, i.e. provide appropriate, relevant, and accurate answers to customer questions, the chatbot first must be programmed with all the necessary information. Also, it should be “trained” to ask the customer to provide more details when required. Remember, better answers equal better service.
● Train the chatbot to answer frequently asked questions. Depending on the nature of your business and the products you sell on your eCommerce site, you’ve probably noticed that customers tend to have a range of specific questions. Chatbots can, in fact, be trained to answer those specific questions.
Additional marketing methods that can greatly enhance your efforts to promote your eCommerce website include:
Are you ready to get your eCommerce marketing strategy started? FTx 360 offers SEO marketing and optimization plans for eCommerce businesses. Contact us to speak with a professional marketing strategist today.
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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!
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The web design industry has experienced dramatic changes throughout 2020 due to massive shifts in the way customers browse, shop, and interact online. Unexpected consumer demands led to rapid innovations in the digital design sphere, and the web design and development team at FTx 360 has been at the forefront of implementing, adjusting, and improving trends as they emerge.
Want to know how distinguished designers plan to build their clients’ websites in 2021? The web design and development team at FTx 360 compiled a list of the latest trends that are sure to make a big splash across the internet this year.
Asymmetrical grids and layouts offer visitors a stimulating browsing experience. When a web page displays asymmetrically, visitors have to slow down just a bit to really take in the layout, the content, and the visuals. Want to try this trend yourself? There are a few simple techniques you can use that will make a big difference in the overall presentation of your site, such as collapsing the gutters, overlaying multiple elements, and embracing empty space.
Parallax scrolling brings a great deal of depth to a website. This technique originated from traditional cartoon animation for the purposes of making 2D drawings appear 3D in motion. When it comes to websites, parallax scrolling animations create the illusion that foreground images are moving faster than background images. Pretty cool, right? Parallax scrolling goes hand-in-hand with virtual reality technologies and can greatly enhance a visitor’s website experience.
Oftentimes, less is more. For this reason, websites that present minimalist designs tend to succeed at prolonging each customer’s visit, which in turn positively impacts the site’s ranking on Google and other search engines. Abstract art compositions, when integrated into a website’s design, can lend a splash of color and texture without compromising the minimalism of an entire web page. Geometric primitives like squares and circles can be arranged in complex patterns on the page so long as the colors used don’t overwhelm the content you want your visitors to focus on.
The word “skeuomorph” refers to a derivative object with decorative embellishments that mimic the original object it was derived from. Digital Post-Its for desktop and laptop computers are an example of skeuomorphs, because the digital version imitates the original. Likewise, Amazon’s Kindle is a skeuomorphic version of printed books. If an object copies the material-look and shape and functionality of the original object it was derived from, then it is legitimately skeuomorphic. Skeuomorphic imitations are used to make a new product or technology seem familiar to consumers. When skeuomorphism is incorporated in the User Interface design of a website, the visitors experience a kind of textured realism that draws them in.
What else should you and your web designer take into consideration as you revamp your business website and ECommerce store?
● Customized Content According to User Geolocation & Browser History
● Progressive Lead Nurturing Forms with Built-In CRM Integration
● Virtual Reality Tours to Maximize Interactive Content
● Digitalized Representations of Physical Products & Services to Enhance UX
● Intuitive Chatbots for a Personalized Shopping Assistant Experience
Is your website’s current design on trend? Does the layout support the best UX possible? Have you optimized your entire site to promote visitor engagement and interaction?
If not, let the website design and development team at FTx 360 revamp your business website. Our developers design sites that strike a perfect balance between beautiful and functional. Using SEO, social media integration, excellently written content, and stunning graphics, the digital marketing strategists at our web design company can take your website to the next level and beyond. Contact us to get started.
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Your business website has the potential to be your most powerful digital marketing tool. When visitors land on your website, they peruse the home page, navigate through the site, learn about your products and services, and decide whether or not to do business with you. In other words, each visitor assesses your company, and the actual experience he or she has while checking out your website is a big part of that assessment.
Website user experience, or UX, is a critical factor that directly impacts the success of a business. These days, consumers judge books by their covers and they absolutely judge companies, retailers, and organizations by their websites. Provide excellent UX on your ECommerce site, and you’ll see a healthy increase in both sales and Google search engine ranking. Forego amplifying UX on your professional services website–or educational institution website or non-profit organization website–and the visitor bounce rate will be through the roof.
Whether consciously or subconsciously, customers expect certain criteria when it comes to the functionality and presentation of the websites they visit. Do you know what consumers look for in a website? Keep reading to find out…
Website design directly affects UX, and it
isn’t hard to understand why. Your website’s design, layout, colors, and
content create an instant impression in the minds of consumers. Most people
would agree that web design should be aesthetically pleasing. However, the
design of a website has the potential to be so much more than that.
70% of website users abandon shopping carts because of
The visual elements of your website and the way in which content is presented on each web page play an important role in retaining visitors.
How can you improve your website design to
● Place navigation horizontally across the top of each web page
● Offer website visitors amazing deals
● Prominently display your business’s contact information
● Present one consistent, branded design on all web pages
● Add Clear Calls-to-Action
Imagine, you’ve searched Google and found an interesting website title amidst a long list of options. You click on the title, the browser opens the website, but all you see is a spinning ball, or worse, nothing at all, as the website struggles to load. Chances are, you’re not going to wait around, and neither will your customers if they encounter the same issue when trying to visit your site.
Slow-loading websites cost retailers more than $2 billion
in lost sales annually.
The speed of your website–every page of your website–massively contributes to whether visitors have a positive or negative experience. It’s imperative that you do everything you possibly can to make sure your website is fast online. Google’s PageSpeed Insights is an excellent tool you can use to assess the speed of your site.
What can you do to increase the speed of your
● Resize photos, images, and graphics so that they load fast
● Reduce website redirects
● Keep server response time under 200ms
Did you know that increasing visitor engagement on your website can help improve your site’s overall ranking on search engines like Google? But how do you get visitors to stick around, toggle from one web page to the next, and most importantly shop, sign-up for your email newsletter, and enroll in your customer loyalty rewards program if you have one? What can you do to increase visitor interaction on your website?
66% of millennial consumers expect real-time interactions and responses.
When visitors land on your site, they must be presented with valuable content, an opportunity to comment and discuss what they’ve read, and clear calls-to-action, or CTAs, so that they can take the next step and more deeply connect with your business and brand.
How else can you ensure visitor engagement and interaction on your website?
● Simplify your website’s navigation
● Craft well-written content that informs and inspires
● Provide a comments section at the footer of your blog posts
● Improve your internal linking structure
● Add a search box to your web pages
Is your website performing as well as it should? Does your website’s design support the best UX possible? Do the web pages load fast? Have you optimized your entire site to promote visitor engagement and interaction?
If not, let the website design and development team at FTx 360 revamp your business website, or build you a new one. Our developers design sites that strike a perfect balance between beautiful and functional, and our websites always load properly on mobile devices. Using SEO, social media integration, excellently written content, and stunning graphics, our digital marketing strategists can take your website to the next level and beyond. Contact us to get started with our web development services.
The entire marketing industry was forced to make a huge shift when the coronavirus pandemic changed how consumers shop. Companies, both B2C and B2B, needed to quickly implement innovative marketing initiatives in order to retain their customers while accommodating sudden governmental mandates.
Consumers had new habits, and businesses that didn’t develop new marketing strategies took a big financial hit throughout 2020.
The timeless adage holds true–necessity is the mother of all invention–and the digital marketing sector certainly birthed a wealth of inventions that companies could use to survive. These innovations evolved swiftly and not all of them worked. But those that did, thanks to advances in marketing technologies, were tested and thoroughly vetted during 2020.
Marketers now have a fresh arsenal of digital marketing tools to use in 2021. Here is a list of all of the tried-and-true marketing strategies that resulted from the most tumultuous year in modern history. These marketing trends are here to stay, which is why you should implement them at your company as part of your digital marketing strategy.
Considered the best location-based marketing strategy for online marketers, Google My Business, or GMB, has been around for a few years now, but it has dramatically evolved over the course of 2020. If you’re unfamiliar, GMB is an online directory that provides Google users with a map of relevant businesses whenever they search locally. Since 46% of all Google searches are for the purposes of finding local businesses there is no downside to creating a GMB profile, especially because having one is completely free. For more on GMB, check out Making The Most Out Of Google My Business.
The number one reason that consumers abandoned certain brands, retailers, and businesses throughout 2020 was because of product availability, or rather, the lack of available products at a particular store. In other words, retaining customers boiled down to keeping shelves stocked, and more importantly, keeping customers informed about product availability, online order turn-around times, and how long it would take a retailer to replenish popular items. Communication goes a long way with today’s consumers, and retailers will have a better shot maintaining customer loyalty if they inform their customers of fluctuations in product availability.
Google Ad’s automatic bidding feature has been around since 2016. However, this automated advertising method gained real traction in 2020 when businesses had to downsize and modify their operations due to COVID-19 shutdowns in certain industries, especially the retail and service industries. Google’s auto bidding allows Google, rather than the marketer, to assess your ad campaigns for you and adjust your bids accordingly in real-time. By permitting Google’s A.I. to handle these adjustments, the marketer is freed up to optimize other aspects of their PPC campaigns’ performances. The ultimate outcome is that companies will end up spending less for their targeted advertising campaigns.
Shocking as it may seem, Google’s algorithms cannot yet pick up voice search SEO. But that doesn’t mean that marketers and business owners should hold off on implementing voice search as part of their overall digital marketing strategy. There has been a steady rise in Google users opting to speak, rather than type, their searches into Google. A whopping 45% of consumers have used a voice assistant on a smart speaker, whether using Alexa at home or their smartphone while out-and-about. Simply put, if there is an increasing number of consumers using this feature, then marketers should cater to that demographic.
When interactive content is offered on business websites and ECommerce stores, visitor engagement dramatically increases, which leads to rises in brand awareness and sales. Interactive website content includes dynamic product images, short videos, active blogs with an open comments section below each article, and the list goes on. What 2020 showed marketers was that static, text-heavy online content no longer holds web visitors’ attention. But when that same text content is broken up with graphics, GIFs, memes, info-tisements, and graphs, visitor engagement shoots through the roof. One of the heaviest hitters among all interactive content is the blog. By adding a blog to your website or ECommerce store, you will easily drive traffic to your website. For specific pointers, take a moment to read Creating A Remarkable Business Blog.
In recent years, “chatbots” have become a buzzword in the digital marketing community. Despite the fact that chatbots have technically been around longer than P.C.s, their current level of artificial intelligence far outshines what it used to be, and their modern-day capabilities put their former ones to shame. If your website or ECommerce store does not have a chatbot, you should seriously consider adding one. The A.I. that the average chatbot possesses in 2021 has been optimized for functionality, and can handle evolved levels of responsibility, from engaging in simple conversations to recommending products to completing complex transactions.
Does that conclude all of the marketing trends you can expect in 2021? Not at all! We’ve only scratched the surface, which is why we invite you to subscribe to our blog. We publish weekly articles on helpful topics such as Marketing Tricks That Can Help You Go Viral and Social Media Marketing Strategies.
All business brands, whether B2C or B2B, must implement a solid digital marketing strategy in 2021, and you can’t go wrong if your company’s strategy includes the forward-thinking trends we laid out in this article. But that doesn’t mean you should stop researching newly emerging trends.
Businesses that remain on the lookout for the next big marketing tools keep themselves ahead of the technology curve and a cut above their competition. Digital marketing is a constantly developing industry, which means that business owners should stay in the know, research new technologies, watch trends, and launch marketing initiatives that have been proven to work.
But don’t get intimidated if you aren’t tech savvy. You can always hire FTx 360 to manage your digital marketing. Our full suite of marketing solutions includes all of the creative services you will need to launch effective digital marketing campaigns that drive website traffic, increase revenue, and expand your brand’s digital footprint online.
The marketing strategists at FTx 360 have experience working with businesses of every industry. To discover all that our agency can do for you, check out our digital portfolio or contact us today.
Does your company have a Google My Business page? Google My Business, or GMB for short, offers businesses a wonderful opportunity to rank on Google’s search results. When you create a GMB listing, your business and its location will appear on Google Maps, which means that anyone who is using Google to find a company like yours will see your business’ page. And the best part about GMB is that it’s completely free!
Setting up a GMB listing for your company is fast and easy, and once your listing is live, Google’s geographically specific algorithms will start recommending your business in location-based search results. Even if Google makes regular changes to its algorithmic rules, those changes won’t affect or exclude your listing when users search for businesses like yours in a specific city, town, or region.
One of the greatest benefits about GMB is that the content of your business’ page will grow. While your primary business information will remain the same for the most part, such as the address, phone number, hours of operation, and a link to your website, your page will expand as customers leave Google reviews for your business.
What this means is that in order to truly optimize your GMB listing, you will have to manage it by soliciting customer reviews and responding to them whether the review is positive or negative. You will also have to post business updates, adjust the listed hours of operation when necessary, and keep up with other maintenance as needed.
In this blog, we’ll walk you through the basics of establishing a GMB listing, as well as offer the best tips to help you get the most out of your presence on Google.
When you begin this process, following the steps below, don’t be alarmed if you discover your business is already listed on GMB. Oftentimes, this is the case and the business owner only needs to claim the preexisting listing.
Once you’ve completed the verification process, you’ll be able to beef up your listing with even more attractive information, starting with your business’ description and including photos and videos of your location, products, services, happy customers, and anything else you’d like to show visually.
Since this description appears when Google users search for businesses like yours, make every word count. You only have 750 characters to make a strong impression.
In addition to regularly uploading photos and videos as a way to optimize your GMB listing, it’s important to collect customer reviews so that your GMB page is always growing, staying fresh, and ranking high on Google’s search results. And when you have a new review, be sure to reply. It lets other Google users know that you’re involved in the customer service and customer satisfaction areas of your business.
GMB provides the following benefits to companies that create, maintain, and manage their business listings:
Want a digital marketing and SEO strategist to handle your GMB listing? FTx 360 offers a full suite of marketing solutions at affordable prices. Whether you’re interested in our consulting services or hiring us to manage all of your marketing needs, our team of experts can help your business grow. Contact us to learn more about our content marketing, social media marketing, and SEO marketing services.
Pretty much every business dreams about going viral. If you have a website, e-commerce store, social media accounts, or any other type of online presence, then you’ve probably hoped your digital content would spread like wildfire overnight. You may have even gained some traction with a blog article that got a ton of hits or a Twitter post that was retweeted way more than you could’ve ever anticipated.
But were you able to figure out why, duplicate what you did right, and increase the virality of all future content you put out?
Chances are, probably not.
We wish there were a formula that, if used for each post you generate, would guarantee your digital content would go viral, but there isn’t. In fact, when digital content really “goes viral”, it’s on accident. That’s both the beauty and mystery of online virality.
That being said, there are definitely a number of things you can do to create content that people will want to share with their business or social circles online. Here are the FTx 360 marketing tricks that can help you go viral.
The term “going viral” hasn’t been around for very long, but you would be hard pressed to find a single consumer who’s never heard of it. Any digital content has the potential to “go viral”, i.e. spread rapidly throughout the online population via frequent “shares” across platforms. Content that quickly becomes the talk of the virtual town is said to have gone viral, and all successful viral content has at least one of the following qualities:
“Digital content” encompasses a wide range of content, from blog articles to social media posts to YouTube, Vimeo, and Rumble videos. It seems that every day a new social media platform is popping up, and those that already exist seem to be ever-expanding their multimedia capabilities so that the type of content you can upload is becoming more and more diverse. Twitter began with 140 characters only, but now includes photo and video media. Similarly, Instagram used to only allow a single photo, graphic, or image, but now you can post multiple photos and videos, and also publish “stories”.
No matter what platform you’re using, we recommend that you bear the following tips in mind:
Use SEO to go viral. Yes, you can optimize your digital content for search engines to help you gain instant audiences. Search engine optimization means that you use keywords and longtail keyword phrases to amplify your Google ranking. For more on that, be sure to check out What Is SEO? The quick trick you can implement today is to plug relevant keywords into your website, blog articles, and e-commerce product descriptions. Use trending hashtags on social media, and clever titles for all your images.
Sure, you want your digital content to reach as many people as possible, but what you really want is for your content to go viral in front of the “right” people. You really need to know who your audience is. Once you do, you’ll be able to speak to them in their language. What will you say? That’s up to you. Just be sure to use great storytelling and highlight the value of the products and services you’re featuring in your posts.
Write less, say more. Have you noticed how everyone’s attention span seems to be getting even shorter? It’s true, which means that your content messages must be short, clear, and concise. People eat up concise content so readily that it’s no surprise that infographics are the most likely digital content to go viral, even more so than video, GIFs, and memes. When creating digital content with concise messages, aim to hit the 4 Es, which are: eye-catching, easy-to-consume, emotional, and engaging.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this blog, there’s no secret formula to use that will guarantee your digital content goes viral. But you can follow the marketing tricks we’ve laid out to increase your chances. You can also reverse-engineer your content by keeping the following in mind as you create it–the main reasons people “share” online content:
Once you’ve created your digital content, focus on strategically releasing it. One of the most important tricks to eventually having one of your posts go viral is simply staying in the game. Figure out what is sustainable and manageable for you in terms of releasing your content. The last thing you want to do is set a bar that’s so high, you can’t keep it up. If posting daily isn’t realistic, then post weekly.
Back in the early 2000s, social media platforms began to emerge. The impetus of their creation was to enhance personal communication within social circles. Sites like Friendster, MySpace, and heck, even 1997’s premier social platform Six Degrees were all launched with the personal user in mind. No one was thinking “business” when these social media sites came to market. No one was even thinking “advertisement revenue”.
Fast-forward twenty years, and social media platforms have gone far beyond merely providing a means of online social connection. These sites have become one of the primary marketing strategies among businesses both large and small. All the while, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have managed to retain their original purpose of providing the average user the best way to personally communicate and stay intimately connected to their online social circles.
Social media marketing for businesses isn’t merely a passing trend, either. This form of marketing is so advantageous that it’s undoubtedly here to stay. Why? The potential for collecting user data that can be successfully leveraged in future advertising campaigns is exponential.
Thanks to machine-learning A.I. and other technologies that have been built into the back-end of these platforms for the purposes of collecting such user data, there are many benefits to launching social media marketing campaigns as part of your overall advertising strategy if you’re looking to connect with prospective customers.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at how you can use social media to build your brand’s online presence and ultimately grow your business. But first, we strongly recommend that you pick one social media platform to focus your marketing efforts on. Yes, just one! Too often, business owners who are new to social media marketing spread themselves thin by attempting to manage many different sites at once. Instead, pick only one of the following platforms to pour your marketing strategies into!
Social media content planning involves deciding where, when, and how often you will deliver a branded message to a targeted audience. You want to reach the highest number of ideal customers with the right message. The trick is exposing your content to your audience on social media only as often as necessary to get the desired effect of brand awareness, leads, website traffic, sales, or another business goal.
Elaborating on the previous tip, your social media content will be memorable if you share your posts at the “right” frequency. But regularly posting once a day or once every six hours will be up to your targeted audience and their threshold of what they want and what kinds of posts they’re interested in interacting with. The trick is to post consistently, so if you find that posting once a day, for example, provokes the most interaction, then be sure to consistently keep up that posting frequency. This is the first step to becoming memorable.
The second step to becoming memorable in the minds of your audience is to present a consistent brand image with all of your social media posts. This could be as simple as including your branded logo in the corner of each post. If your brand has a signature font and precise color scheme, be sure to use that in all of your content, too. Your company’s core identity and the “story” behind your brand should stay consistent.
Assuming you’re focusing your social media marketing efforts on the platform that best suits your business’s needs, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll build up a loyal following. Social media, no matter which platform you’re active on, is a great way to share other digital content, such as your website, e-commerce site, and blog. You can post links to all of your new content so that your followers, as well as other social media users, can easily find information about your company’s latest offerings.
Nowadays, the number of “likes” a post gets isn’t the only benchmark for its success. Sure, “likes”, “shares”, and “reposts” of your social media content will tell other users on the platform how popular, or viral, a post has become, but if you want to truly develop your social media presence, then you’ll need to study and measure the analytics of each post by tracking your data. A great social media marketing tool to help you analyze your data is Google Analytics. Each social media platform has its own analytics, too, which provides detailed demographic information that you can use to leverage for any future paid advertising you choose to do, i.e. PPC marketing.
The internet lends itself to the fastest available communication, but at times, that isn’t always a good thing. When interaction gets heated, or out of hand, arguments can quickly evolve into a very bad P.R. situation… Or worse, things can explode into a full-on social media crisis. It’s imperative to have a plan in place for such a disaster. To pull through, we recommend you prepare a list of key responsibilities for the personnel that will be involved in damage control, and delineate a clear chain of command. You can avoid the majority of crises by putting copyright guidelines, privacy guidelines, confidentiality guidelines, and other guidelines in place right now, and be sure all of your employees understand them. One of the built-in benefits of social media is that even if a P.R. crisis arises, you can use the platform itself, posting about the measures you’re taking and your company’s position on the matter, to inform your followers and other users about how you’re handling the snafu.
The larger and more engaged your audience is on your social media platforms, the easier it will be for you to spread awareness about your brand and boost sales. Social media marketing can also help you:
Have you hesitated to look for a marketing agency to handle all of your social media, because you assumed you wouldn’t be able to afford it? What if we told you that FTx 360 can work within any budget? For more information about the social media marketing services at FTx 360 and how our team can benefit your bottom line without breaking the bank, contact us today.