A strong community becomes a place where customers interact not only with the brand, but also with each other. This is a great source of positive and authentic reviews and it is also an opportunity to build a relationship with your audience. The best brands have killer community management strategies and this article explains the top 5 tips to help you better manage your community across all channels.
People plan their meetings, their gym sessions, their tasks in general, why not just plan the content, then? Planning weeks or even months in advance gives you the ability to readjust your posts if needed. Set up your content calendar and approval flows. If you are doing the content alone, make sure there are no errors. Stay consistent and relevant. Planning your content ahead will help you to see the overall impression. Try it! It’s satisfying.
2. Represent your brand identity
Are you a real estate agent, owner of a flower shop or a barber? Representing your brand or business does not mean you should be boring. Be entertaining, so your audience feels good as part of your e-company. Give them valuable information, call them to action so they engage with you. Be consistent and you will become memorable. If it is not in your brand identity to behave cheeky, as for example, Netflix does, find another way to communicate in a friendly and engaging way. :)
3. Track important metrics
As mentioned above, the realtor, the barber and the flower shop owner have something in common — they should not be boring. But they can have different social media goals. The realtor might be looking for new leads, because they don’t want to be dependent on one channel like e. g. Zillow. The barber needs more customers and the florist needs to be in the minds of all the guys who live near the shop, so once their special lady has a birthday, they know where to buy the best flowers! It can be difficult to determine how your efforts have contributed to sales and leads directly. Instead, it’s better to determine how you define your own success, depending on your goals.
Think about these points below:
Traffic: Is your community on your website? Do you see growth over time? Where is the traffic coming from?
Engagement: How many people are coming to your page versus those actually engaging? Which topics are they engaging in most often? This may determine your future questions, content and discussion starters.
Members or customers: How many new members do you get every week and how many do you lose? Is this consistent? If there was a drop or growth, find what caused it!
4. Use the data you collected
Analyse your posts, interactions and the feedback you get from your audience. Then OPTIMISE! You are the one who knows the data and your customers best. The value of data cannot be understated — you’ll end up with happier, more loyal customers, as well as more easily converted leads. Use the advantage!
People trust other users experience more than the companies themselves. Did you know that reviewed a product’s chances to be sold are 80% higher than one without any review? Positively reviewed, obviously. Social media is all about interaction, sometimes the best content will come from your audience.
This is User-Generated Content, or UGC. It is amazing because it is authentic, and reflects what your customers think about your brand and… it’s free. It will show your customers’ experiences, and it drives the conversation forward in ways that you won’t be able to do by yourself. It is the gate to engage with people and get closer to them, making your brand feel more personal and approachable. UGC can be anything e.g. posts or tweets mentioning your brand or reviews.
Two examples of UGC campaigns:
Remember: Everybody wants the response. And everybody wants the answers quickly or even instantly. Do care about your response rate and response time. It might seem that people take it for granted, but it really makes the user experience unique and enjoyable.
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! :)
How do you catch potential customers that are near you? How do you target people according to their location?
Do you have a house to sell and you want to find a buyer in your area? Or do you run a small hot dog stand and want to sell more of your delicious repast? Try to target the people that are near your business!
Is your stock full of T-shirts that say, “I ♥ Boston” and you want to sell them? Target the real Bostonians!
Facebook simply allows you to target people according to their geographic locations. You can sort your audience broadly or very specifically. That means you can target the whole country, state or region, city, zip/postal code, and if you have a store, you can use the option for your very own business address that is to be set on your Business Manager page.
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.
All small businesses need a good marketing plan to help it reach its targets and aspirations. With every marketing plan comes a marketing budget. You can say they go hand in hand. Creating the optimal marketing budget will ensure you spend the right amount of money in the right places to achieve your marketing goals. Creating a marketing budget used to involve a lot of trial and error which can lead to unnecessary expenses and ineffectiveness. But nowadays with everything becoming easier thanks to the amount of information available on the internet, so is creating the optimal marketing budget, everyone can do it.
Small business owners are finding new ways and techniques to plan out their strategies and design successful marketing budgets. It all comes down to how much are you willing to spend to acquire new customers and increase your brand awareness.
Books have been a main source of information for a long time and although we can’t exactly say that today, they’re still very important. Lots of people still read books to educate themselves. Even though the internet is now overshining our good old books, it doesn't mean that there aren't great works of literature anymore. If you keep on walking around the marketing section in your favorite bookstore and you just can't decide which one you should read, here's your new TO READ list.
Maybe one of them is exactly what you're searching for.
Is affiliate marketing effective for small businesses? Can this channel help your business get more customers and earn more money? The short answer is yes. The long answer is thoroughly described below, with all the details and explanations you need to successfully jump into leveraging affiliate marketing for your brand or product.