If you run a social media profile, you've probably thought of what to put on your content calendar. You want to create and publish something that truly brings value to your audience and resonates within them, right? User generated content can help you not just fill your content calendar, but truly bring something that gives a new perspective to your business.
User generated content, as the name suggests, is content that is voluntarily created by your best customers – brand advocates – and shared so that their audience can see it. It is basically the best thing your customers can do for you – refer their friends to you/ share your product(s) or speak about your service(s)!
Imagine you are an owner of a gym that is visited by dozens of customers daily. What if some of them posted a photo to their social profile, exercising in your gym and saying something nice about your place. Wouldn't that be great? Could that bring you new customers? Absolutely.
79% of users say user generated content has a high impact on their purchasing behaviour. That simply underlines what we've stated earlier.
In 2014, Starbucks came up with a White Cup Contest which, guess what, is focused on user generated content… You can read more about the contest here. The only thing we will say is that they collected over 4,000 pieces of content! That just goes to show the true power of brand advocates. Your business can do that too – probably on a smaller scale, but you can. Remember that every one of your best customers can bring you another one. Your brand advocates grow as your business grows…
If you say your product is the best, some people might believe you straightaway. But isn't that statement much stronger when made by someone who is already a loyal customer and has no other interest in regards to promoting your brand? User generated content brings true authenticity into your content and, thus, gives others another perspective of your business.
People love seeing the product they aim to buy has great reviews! It gives them proof that their purchase won't be a mistake. Social proof – proof by someone other than the business itself – is a strong weapon and we encourage you to use it in your content calendar. Look at Amazon. Their products have thousands of reviews, which makes it far more valuable and far more worth it to buy for new customers.
Let us look at some other examples of great user generated content shared mainly on Instagram:
Get your audience on board. Talk to your best customers and motivate them to create a good product review, unboxing video or simply a happy picture while using your product or being at your cosy place (café, gym, etc…). Those who love your product will happily help you get it in front of other customers, trust me.
The use of influencers is a trend that has been here for some period of time. Brands work with people who gather an audience that fits their plan. Simple as that. They often collaborate with celebrities who are followed and trusted by millions of people, experts in a given industry, or gamers that record their gaming sessions. If you can find someone who has your target audience, team up!
The fact is that you don't have to work with widely known influencers, pop stars or famous athletes. Find so-called micro influencers who help you reach a smaller audience, but with higher precision. The cooperation won't cost you a fortune and results will follow, as well!
Micro influencers, in most cases, generate higher engagement with their audience and are more passionate about increasing their audience. If you start cooperating with them at the beginning of their journey, your business relationship can grow into something that constantly helps you achieve your business goals and to build a wider (and more relevant) audience.
The best collaborations, nonetheless, are the ones that are natural and not “too obvious”. Give some micro influencers in your surroundings your product, let them play with it and tell you whether they like it or not. Those who do are your best fit. They will happily (and naturally) promote your product within their audience.
In this post we've stressed the strength of your customer base and your audience – motivate them to tell the world about your stuff and let them bring you new business. Find new alliances with micro influencers, let them fall in love with your product and enjoy the fruits of your (hard) work!
Everybody speaks about TikTok, right? So, why is this platform so famous and who really uses it? Launched in 2016 by a Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok displayed an amazing three-year growth. Today, more than 800 million users engage in this entertaining platform worldwide. Entertainment is what it's all about. TikTok is a platform that allows its users to create short stories and add a musical background. Not by any chance did TikTok (ByteDance) acquire Musical.ly. Music plays a key role in the content of all TikTokers. Let's have a look at the key TikTok demographics and stats!
Facebook is the biggest social media platform in the world with over 2.4 billion monthly active users and still increasing every year. As more and more people and companies adopt online advertising it is easy to see why social media has become a key tool to help different businesses grow and reach new potential clients. It is impossible for up and coming businesses to ignore the importance of Facebook in this day and age. With a variety of different types of ads at your disposal from pictures to videos and many more which will help you reach new people and increase your online presence. The fact is being on Facebook can make your life much easier when it comes to online advertising. You just need to setup the right marketing plan and with the help of Facebook start growing your business.
So, if you are interested in advertising your business online. Follow these 3 steps to start advertising on Facebook.
You are probably on a path to choose the best marketing automation software for your business. In our latest post, we've covered all you need to know about marketing automation when you are a small business owner. Automation is a trend. And every small business can embrace this – it's not just a game for the big players. In order to choose the right tool, there are some things to keep in mind. There is not just one category of automation tools. Some help enterprises with their robust database and multi-channel campaign orchestration, others help small businesses get rid of the daily marketing routine. Let's dig into the 5 features you'd expect to find in your perfect marketing automation software solution.
Instagram, one of the most famous social media platforms based mainly on visuals, is currently used by more than one billion users and the number is only growing. That, needless to say, represents a great opportunity to reach the audience you haven't reached yet. One of your marketing goals might be to generate quality leads and Instagram may be the channel you want to use. Now the key question is how to effectively leverage this platform so that you generate valuable leads at a reasonable cost. There are ways.
First of all, you need to consider if Instagram is a channel for you and your type of business. If you can't think of a way to showcase your products or services, show your personal story or share something from “behind the scenes” in a VISUAL way, Instagram may not be a good fit for you. Similarly, if your audience is not present on Instagram, consider other channels for your communication mix. Try to look deeper into LinkedIn or Facebook which represent opportunities to generate leads too.
On the other hand, if you figure out a way to leverage its visual style, Instagram is a great fit for connecting your potential customers with your brand. 62% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories. That's just one placement. If you effectively leverage all of what Instagram offers, people will love you (and your brand).
Let's finally jump straight into ways to effectively generate more quality leads through Instagram!
Customers are already searching for your product. Every second, there are 75,000 search queries managed by Google. That's just one search engine. Now add Youtube, Bing, Amazon – the greatest marketplace – and thousands of forums…. That means you can get in front of their eyes – to offer what they need or desire.
How can you attract the attention of as many people (your potential customers) as possible? Be excellent at SEO and constantly mine as many relevant search terms (keywords) as possible. In order to do that, you need to choose the right tool(s). We've tested many tools to generate high-quality organic traffic to our website. Now we'd like to make your life easier by sharing the 9 best-in-breed tools for keyword research so that you can boost your business in 2020 + 1 hint (really low hanging fruit)!
Before we jump into that, we would like to point out that there will be a HUGE paradigm shift in 2020. Voice search is predicted to be used for 50% of all searches done online! That means that your strategy needs to be aligned with that in mind. Creating voice content will continue to be more relevant over time.
Let's jump into what you are truly interested in, shall we?!
Spyfu is a complex SEO tool that allows you to track the activity of your competitors or market leaders. When it comes to keyword research, it allows you to show the average search volume of keywords, get suggestions on what else people search, it gives ranking history that shows what domains occupy the top positions and how they do over time. Besides that, you can find domains that - if they link to your website – will help you rank high on a desired keyword. Yes, it has a plethora of great tools! Spyfu, nonetheless, is not a free tool. Their pricing plans start at 33 USD a month. Besides keyword research tools, which we mentioned, Spyfu offers a variety of other features.
Google owns all the data from searches on both Google and Youtube. Google Keyword Planner shows you precise volume of searches for a certain period of time. This data can be segmented by either country and region or device. Besides historical metrics, Google Keyword Planner shows you a forecast of how your ads may perform when using certain words. Your paid campaigns can be, thus, perfectly planned. The great news is that this tool is free. The only constraint is that you have to have a Google Ads account.
The great thing about Google Keyword Planner is that it shows you a search volume trend. Thus, you can look at how often your brand was searched at some point in the past versus today. This information shows you the awareness of your brand (or product) over time.
Similarly to Spyfu, Ahrefs offers more features that you can use to boost your SEO. The great thing about Ahrefs is that you can research keywords by platforms (like Google or Youtube). Besides main features like Keyword Research or Backlink Research, Ahrefs offers so called Content Research, that allows you to catch the buzz around certain topics. The pricing starts at 99 USD per month. You can, nonetheless, start with 7 USD for a 7 day trial and see what you can get out of it.
This browser add-on that works both with Chrome and Firefox is a great tool to see similar keywords everywhere! If you type a query on Google, this tool shows you similar keywords and its search volume. If you type a product name on Amazon, guess what… Keywords Everywhere shows you suggested keywords that may appear in your SEO or PPC plan. According to those, you might want to create content on your website, adjust the description of your product or trigger a paid campaign. This extension offers both free and paid features.
Moz is an all-in-one SEO tool that not only gives you a plethora of free features, but also educates you on the complicated SEO industry. Its keyword research offers similar features like the ones from Ahrefs or Spyfu. What makes Moz great – especially for small businesses – is the “MOZ Local” feature that distributes the information about your local business across all important search platforms. Moz is a paid tool that has a few free tools available. The pricing for MOZ Local starts at 129 USD a year, while a basic version of MOZ is available for 99 USD a month or more.
Owned by Neil Patel, an SEO guru, who helps both small businesses and enterprises grow their organic traffic, Ubersuggest is a tool that shows you the search volume for a particular keyword that can be divided by country and language. Moreover, this tool shows you a trend throughout the year so that you can see when certain keywords achieve their peak (like winter jackets do in winter). Metric “SEO difficulty” helps you uncover a potential to rank high for a particular expression. Thanks to this data, you are able to optimise content on your website so that more people discover your business. You can use this SEO tool free of charge.
Are you still with us? Because here is a Google tool that is totally free! Google Trends is all about, well, trends. Shocking, isn't it? Do you want to know the 3 key topics on Youtube in 2019? Sorry, Ted Talks and Baby Yoda moments (he made the chart below ;)), but the topics at the top were Music, Songs and Fortnite…Predictable? Perhaps, if you're an avid fan of Fortnite. Google Trends helps you uncover trending topics that, again, can help you create engaging content and rank high on search engines.
Let's get back to the tools for which you'd have to pay a bit. SEMRush offers an all-in-one SEO tool that differentiates in a few ways from Moz or Ahrefs. Amongst others, this tool gives you a so called, “Keyword Magic Tool” that helps you find relevant keywords, it then groups them to separate them further by topics, picks the most valuable keywords and saves them into the Keyword Analyzer and exports those keywords so that you can play with them on other platforms like Google Ads. The pricing starts at 99 USD a month, so the cost is also similar to Ahrefs or Moz.
Another great tool for in-depth keyword research. The good thing about KWFinder is that it shows you search queries divided into groups: related keywords, autocomplete and questions. Nowadays, people are using whole questions for their online searches, not simply one or two-word phrases. In fact, the average search query has 4 words.
With KWFinder, you can find so called long tail phrases – the ones that have a low search volume, but a higher probability of a user's intention to buy or complete any action you desire. If I search for a “family car”, I probably haven't decided yet, if I truly want to buy a new vehicle or not. Whereas, if I search for a “BMW X7 2019 Black xDrive40i”, I may be much more into making my final decision…
We've presented many tools (free and paid) to mine keywords that people type in when they search on Google, Youtube or Amazon. But what we haven't covered – until now – are forums! You'd be surprised to see how many questions and topics forums, like Reddit or Quora, gather. Is this a relevant source for your keyword research? You bet it is. When you create your keyword list and want to find out what catches people's attention, use the forums. Go through the trending sections, read the questions and answers that are considered the best ones to get a complete idea of what to cover in your web content, ad copy or even product development – yes, what people search may guide you on how to create your product roadmap.
We promised you 9+1 best-in-breed tools for keyword research to boost your business in 2020. 9 tools have been mentioned. Let's finalise it with one last suggestion. The easiest and most obvious one...
Yes, you are right. This is exactly what I have in mind:
Try to type something into Google, Amazon, Bing, Youtube or any other platform that uses a similar algorithm and see what it suggests. These suggestions are not randomly generated. On the contrary, they are based on similar searches (according to relevancy and search volume). Google places these suggestions into two parts: the search field and the bottom of the page:
All in all, you have a complete tool stack to get started with your keyword research! Keep in mind that it is a crucial part of your SEO activities, so make sure to do it properly. Happy searching! :)
One of the buzzwords and a key trend in marketing is automation. Even though it may sound complicated and unaffordable for small businesses, the opposite is true – you only have to know where to begin. If you know what to focus on, choose the right software and analyze your efforts, marketing automation can truly get your business to the next level.
Marketing automation is, as the name suggests, a category of technology that streamlines your marketing activities. It gives you the power to focus on customers with the highest potential and saves your time by triggering messages (campaigns) across multiple channels without you having to start them manually. A miracle, I know.
There is always a buzz around new technologies. We recommend reading our article about the difference between Hype & Trend. Marketing automation, we believe, is a trend to stay. Jump on the train as soon as you can. No matter how big your business is. If you choose an affordable solution, your business can never be too small for this.
There are more arguments to start using a marketing automation tool:
Stop. Doing. Manual. Work. Period. Let technology help you automate. It's not as hard as it looks. You will find out soon, just bear with us…
Let us guide you through the very first steps to start using marketing automation that will take your business to the next level.
Be clear about what you want to achieve and how you'll track it. This is a prerequisite to get started. If you don't clearly set your expectations, you won't know where to go and you won't recognize when you get there.
Do you want to save time? Great! Are you more interested in increasing your response rate? That's cool too. Would you like to generate more leads? That counts as well. Goals and expectations should come out of your status quo - no one will help you here, just you, so start by defining your goals.
Know the journey of your customer. You can only optimize if you know what leads your customers to purchase. We are fans of marketing funnels that help you (in a simplified way) understand the customer journey. Draw one for your business – you will get a better idea of where your customers get stuck.
Let us give an example here. Say you run your real estate business. Your primary selling point is your website with all the listings and offers. You run Google, Bing and social media ads to generate traffic. You might send some newsletters too.
Your primary goal is to generate leads and close them, right? There are multiple touchpoints throughout the customer journey (before you close the deal). Here is what a customer journey may look like:
Now that you know how your customers behave – you've identified the touchpoints, let's slowly start automating. Or better said, let's find out what can be automated. Tools like Hubspot, ActiveCampaign or Keap are mostly focused on email marketing, social media ads, search & display ads, SMS, widgets and pop ups on the website. These represent the channels that you can use to get in touch with your audience. Let us expand on our example above. The touchpoints where the communication can be fully automated are now marked in red:
There are plenty of tools to choose from. Going back to your potential question: “Are these tools affordable for small businesses?”, note that you don't have to pick Marketo or Hubspot to automate your efforts. These are tools mainly for enterprises that operate with big marketing budgets. Not in our case. We go small. But effectively…
Let's list some of the tools you can use to start automating your communication:
ActiveCampaign gives you not just marketing automation software, but CRM on top. Its pricing starts at 9 USD (if paid annually) and offers not just email marketing, but also SMS, Facebook targeting, subscription forms and personalised content on your website. It's a great tool.
You will have to go deeper into your pocket here. Plans start at 49 USD, but they offer you a sales pipeline plus invoices & payment management on top of what ActiveCampaign gives you. If you lead a sales team, this can be a great choice.
As well as other automation tools, Drip focuses on campaign orchestration – creating a single view across multiple channels. We worship the 360°customer view and so does Drip. Their focus is ecommerce and they offer great features, like personalised product recommendations.
It started solely as an email marketing tool, and is now moving into the automation platform. Mailchimp offers features like landing page creation, social media ads and soon-to-be-launched marketing CRM. Pricing starts at 9,99 USD plus they offer a freemium to play with the tool and use basic features.
We love Zapier – the glue of the internet. It allows you to connect two platforms that, by themselves, do not communicate with each other. Say you generate leads on your Wix website and need to send them to your Drip account. Zapier helps you do that – automatically of course. With more than 1,500 platforms, they are the real glue of the internet...
As much as we love Zapier, we adore our own solution – groost. The name itself says that it'll grow & boost your business. We do it by automating and simplifying your campaign management. If you need to generate more leads, increase website traffic or get more post engagement on your social media profile, you probably run paid campaigns – knowing that organic reach is constantly decreasing – which can be overwhelming. Learning how Google Ads, Facebook Business Manager, LinkedIn Campaign Manager or Bing Ads work takes ages. Not with groost – a single platform for all your marketing efforts. We do offer freemium too to show your business on both Facebook and Instagram – try it out!
Make sure to come back and analyze your efforts. As Peter Drucker said, if you can't measure it, you can't improve it. Analyzing what works and what doesn't is crucial. We recommend running continual AB testing to optimise every step of your funnel and every touchpoint with your customers. All tools that have been listed above allow you to do so easily.
These are the 5 easy steps to get started with marketing automation. Some of them might seem obvious, but believe me, there is no shortcut. Set your priorities first, define the customer journey and touchpoints, find out what can be automated, choose the right tool(s) and after some period of time, come back, analyze and improve.