Given that around 2.35 billion people will be using social media after 2020, it no longer makes any sense for businesses to ignore the importance of social media. No matter what part of the social media journey you're on, just starting out or a veteran – there's always room for improvement. With that in mind, here's ten ways to ramp up your social media presence.

Six Ways to Ramp Up Your Social Media Presence

Blog, Social media marketing

Given that around 2.35 billion people will be using social media after 2020, it no longer makes any sense for businesses to ignore the importance of social media. No matter what part of the social media journey you’re on, just starting out or a veteran – there’s always room for improvement. With that in mind, here’s ten ways to ramp up your social media presence.

1. Choose Your Social Media Platforms Wisely

If you’re running a corporate business consultancy, there’s probably not much point being on Facebook. Likewise if you’re running a largely B2B enterprise. Your organisation would be better off on LinkedIn. However, if you are running a B2C enterprise where the end user is the consumer, then Facebook makes complete sense. This is where consumers spend a lot of time interacting with consumer brands. As a general rule, if you are a visually-oriented field such as design, photography, art, food, fashion or travel – then platforms geared for visual triggers and sharing like Instagram and Pinterest might be for you. Twitter is suitable for any business that requires fast moving interactivity and conversation about products or services. That’s why banks, news agencies and transport companies tend to have a strong presence and following on Twitter.

Six Ways to Ramp Up Your Social Media Presence
It may seem like a good idea to put yourself onto every platform out there, but be selective about choosing your social platforms, according to where your audience is likely to be.

2. Keep Content Timely, Newsworthy and Visual

We can define newsworthy content as being what the audience wants to hear about. So for example, if you were running a home décor company, then you would profile some fashionable trends in lounge furniture this year.

Also important is timeliness. Create a calendar of relevant holidays, seasons and key dates for the general population and the industry. Integrate these into your content as well. In this case, write about trends in lounge furniture that make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift! Or track down the birth date of the person who invented the chesterfield sofa, and offer a competition on that day.

Don’t be afraid to ask your fans what they enjoy hearing about. Social media is a conversation not a one way street. Finally, keep the ratio of pictures and videos high – social media is predominantly visual.

3. Tell a Compelling Story

With the time line functionality of many social media platforms such as Facebook, it’s become easier to showcase the bigger picture of your business, including milestones in the company history, employees, changes and innovations and community activities. All of this can be great publicity for your business and be a compelling story on social media.

In this talk, grand daddy of online marketing, Seth Godin talks about how social media and the future of work and communication.

Six Ways to Ramp Up Your Social Media Presence
Don’t squander people’s attention with boring stories, keep it real and interesting.

4. Be Authentic

When interacting on social media, make sure that you use a tone of voice that’s appropriate for the interaction. This isn’t a place for stiff boardroom professionalism. Think of the community you’re dealing with, as being your friend’s friend. You would be friendly, warm and yet polite and respectful. The key to being social media savvy, is truly listening to what the community says and learning from it. The key is being a real person and not a cardboard cut out.

5. Treat Social Media As An Arm of Customer Service

Social Media nowadays is becoming more and more important to the daily running of organisations and small businesses. The more that you make your presence visible on social media, the more likely that your customers will find and interact with you there. After all, it’s cheaper and quicker than a phone call and it’s also publicly visible.

There is a risky part of social media for businesses. If a complaint or gripe goes unanswered, it will reflect badly on that business in terms of customer service. So always stay vigilant on social media and have a polite, helpful and useful response ready. Don’t be tempted to be apathetic or less than helpful – as you’re responding on a public forum, this will only have a negative impact on the brand’s image.

A variety of interesting sorts are on social media platforms, engage with them but beware of trolls

6. Measure Your Impact

There’s no use in having a social media presence without measurement, to ensure that it’s effective. Use Google Analytics and third party applications to track and measure your performance across time frames and with different campaigns. Only then can you accurately gauge the success of your social media campaign.

Effective social media marketing can be a lot more tricky than meets the eye. For comprehensive advice on how to improve your presence on social media, speak with me today.

Is your content working hard and producing good enough results for your business? Find out with a free content audit!

Ten Lessons To Learn About Pinterest From Top Storytellers

Blog

Pinterest is nowhere near as popular as Instagram, however its a repository of quirky, unusual or weird art and online discoveries can cavort together. If you have images that convey a story in a spectacular or unique way – these images will do well on Pinterest. Here are ten tips for getting the most out of Pinterest from the people who rule the roost.

1. Have a sense of humour

Copywriter Tiffany Beveridge created a board called ‘My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler‘. She repinned photos from fashion editorials and created an instant cult classic in Quinoa, her imaginary daughter.  The moral of the story: don’t be afraid to be amusing or satirical, it will get you followers. Click image to see more

”Though their chances were slim, Quinoa generously invited Sauté and Gouda to bring their A-game and join the lineup of potential dates for the preschool prom”

2. Use Secret Boards

Secret boards are private and are invitation-only. This can be handy for a private collaboration area. You could leverage this by creating a VIP area for customers or colleagues to contribute to their own private board. This is perfect for businesses like landscape gardening, wedding planning, interior decorating and design.

3. Aim to Thrill and Amaze

Pinterest is about adding and curating beautiful images that will thrill, inspire and amaze people. This is taken to epic proportions by Pinterest maven Karen Nyberg. She’s a A NASA astronaut, who posted images of earth onto Pinterest from space.  Now you obviously can’t pull that sort of rabbit out of the hat – but you get the point, right? Click image to view more.

4.Use Portrait Images

The way that Pinterest is structured, it gives preference to tall photos. Photos that are taller than they are wide, are going to display in a much more eye-popping way. So that means you should pin portrait photos rather than landscape and use dark borders around photos. This will make the images more conducive to repins and likes.

5. Be Prolific and Polite

Pin regularly on a variety of topics. This will increase the likelihood of people liking and following you. Also, you should repay interest by repinning, liking and following people in kind. Interior Designer Maryanne Rizzo does this very well, for her 9 million followers she curates pins and with her sharp eye for design, manages to inspire and educate her followers. Click image for more from her.

6. Target Women

Women pin the most frequently and are the most prolific users of Pinterest. Therefore targeting women on Pinterest is a no-brainer. It’s perfect for boutique and bespoke offerings in fashion, education, art, interior design, craft DIY, food, wine beauty, home décor. Case in point is Suzy Brookes who offers teacher resources and learning strategies to 15,000 followers.

Women use Pinterest far more frequently than men

7. Kill Your Darlings

Be ruthless with your products and only showcase the best ones on Pinterest

Don’t post every single product image in the inventory to Pinterest. Be ruthlessly selective in your choices. Nobody wants to see that except you! Pinterest isn’t about blatant self-promotion, it’s about adding and curating pictures that will inspire and amaze people.

8. Throw Out the Brand Rule Book

The worst thing you could do is come across as touting products or services. Instead, you should keep pins interesting and their descriptions thought-provoking. Trey Ratcliff is generous with his photo sharing and licensing rules and offers his own stunning photography to his 4.7 million followers. He does so in a warm and inclusive way that encourages people to follow him.

9. Create Image Mash-ups

Mash-up several compelling images into a vertical block. This is perfect for showing a step-by-step process or before/after shots. Sellers on Etsy do this very well.  Ren Mitchell is a crafty DIY extraordinaire who offers up step-by-step images on how to make cool jewellry and bespoke art. See more by clicking on the image.

10. Be Mysterious

A good image is like dangling a carrot in a starving person’s face. However if the description underneath provides all the information they need, nobody will click through to the website. Instead in the description, you should deliberately withhold the full story to encourage click-throughs.

Is your content working hard and producing good enough results for your business? Find out with a free content audit!

Eight Ingredients for Creating Landing Pages That Work

Blog

If you’ve recently invested in an online marketing strategy, that includes some combination of affiliate marketing, Facebook advertising, PPC, social media, and SEO –  then you should be expecting an onslaught of traffic to your landing page, right? Wrong!That idea works great in theory. However, in reality a landing page needs to be handled with kid gloves. Here are eight essential principles for building a landing page, as a part of a broader web marketing strategy.


1. A concise and clear call to action (CTA)

6 ways to stimulate social media engagement for the real estate industry
1. A concise and clear call to action (CTA)

This is the end goal – the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Therefore it needs to work hard for you. It’s more than simply words, ‘Sign Up Now’, ‘Start a Free Trail’ or ‘Shop Now’.

There should be no distractions and extraneous data that obfuscates the main goal. The best landing pages are simple, and accentuate one goal, and one goal only.

Consider what should remain above the fold. This means the information that appears on the site before scrolling is required. This part of the web page should have everything in a nutshell.


2. An offer or promise

2. An offer or promise

Visitors to your landing page will be thinking, what’s in it for me? There’s no other way with web marketing. Also, that’s just the psychology of human beings. This is why it’s important to have an offer or discount in place, in exchange for getting what you want from website visitors and getting their personal information.

Effective landing pages, with incredibly high conversion rates, move the customer deep into the conversion funnel. These sites gather information from visitors, in exchange for an offer or discount. After a time, the visitors can unsubscribe without a fee. In every sense – this is a win-win.  You can foster a sense of urgency by making the trial offer for a limited time.


3. Keep it simple

This TED talk below is about the paradox of consumer choice. Research has shown than when consumers are given too many choices, they ultimately take longer to make decisions, and often are put off completely.  Therefore, the simpler you make your landing page, the more effective it will be.  Narrow down the focus, be brief and succinct, and reap the benefits.

The paradox of consumer choice

4. Give me one reason to stay here

5. A catchy and memorable headline

In the obscure and largely forgotten 90’s song by Tracey Chapman, he asks us to ”Give me one reason to stay here…you gotta make me change my mind”. This is precisely what we must provide visitors to a landing page. Think of benefits, features, and how the product or service fulfils a need or solves a problem for customers.


5. A catchy and memorable headline

Visitors to your landing page got there for a reason. It’s the job of the headline to get them to pull up a chair and stay there a while. It takes a fraction of a second to decide whether or not to stay on a landing page.  See this example from Treehouse

Start Learning at Treehouse for Free

Learn web design, coding and much more with Treehouse. You can learn at your own pace and become job ready within months. Start your free trial!

//cdn.embedly.com/widgets/platform.js


6. An Intuitive Layout for Multiple Devices

Eight Ingredients for Creating Landing Pages That Sell!
Consider how the website user will navigate through your website – UX or user experience

Bear in mind that the landing page that’s visible on your mammoth HD monitor, will be different from what other visitors see on older or smaller devices. Therefore, keep this in mind with the design. Keep the vital messages in the centre top of the screen, such as the headline, logo and call to action.


7. Appropriate and engaging visuals

Sometimes visuals can work well to express an abstract emotion

Don’t fall for crappy gifs, stock photos or poor quality videos. Visuals can be powerful when used correctly and sparingly. Sometimes visuals can be used to express an abstract emotion or theme of a blog, but only in a way that will make this obvious to the reader. Also you should avoid including videos that start automatically when the user opens the landing page – This is a cardinal sin. It’s intrusive and annoying, and guarantees that people will exit the landing page as soon as possible.


8. Badges of social authority

8. Badges of social authority
8. Badges of social authority

Always include social media links. If you have been established a while, then it’s also a good idea to include links to press clippings, testimonials, and a portfolio of work. This establishes credibility, authority and verifies that your business is a respectable player.  Don’t overdo it with self-aggrandizement though. Instead aim for simplicity and plenty of white space, with links to more information, should the visitors want to dig further.


Is your content working hard and producing good enough results for your business? Find out with a free content audit!

Four ways to turn your social media and email marketing into a well-oiled machine

Four lessons in turning your social media and email marketing into a well-oiled machine

Blog

Social media marketing and email marketing may seem a little redundant in the brave new world of AI and emerging technologies. However, they are still a powerful part of any marketing arsenal.  Think of social media and email marketing as the Neil and Tim Finn of the online marketing world. They just play really well together! 

Social media and email marketing are the Neil and Tim Finn of the online marketing world

Here are some key ways to seamlessly integrate your social media and email marketing efforts, then watch as new customers come within your reach.

Lesson 1. Email marketing Is not the daggy jumper you should throw away

Email marketing has somehow earned the reputation in online marketing circles as being akin to a  hand-knitted jumper with a dog motif.  But ask yourself, how many times have you checked email today or this week? According to email marketing research by UK based think tank Econsultancy, in 2017, 74% of client-side marketers rated email marketing as being either excellent or good for return on investment. 

Lesson 1. Email Marketing Is Not the Daggy Jumper You Should Throw Away
Lesson 1. Email Marketing Is Not the Daggy Jumper You Should Throw Away

That’s a pretty good reason to continue with email marketing. Although the landscape has shifted quickly in recent years, with AI and personalisation becoming the driving force behind email marketing campaigns.

Lesson 2: Create clickable content but not Click Bait

Lesson 2: Create clickable content but not Click Bait
Lesson 2: Create clickable content but not Click Bait

If you create a compelling and informative email newsletter, that tells people something that they didn’t already know – they may be compelled to share it. 

Always Connect

Any integrated social media and email marketing campaign should be united by genuine attempts at connecting with your audience. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a monetary incentive or discount offer. The invitation to connect could be far more personal and authentic than that. It could include:

Interesting, relevant content

Interesting and constantly refreshed content that is made to be compelling, informative and enjoyable to your audience and touches on what matters to them.

Training, support and the opportunity to build genuine connections

While monetary and discount rewards are relevant for generating quick sales. This doesn’t engender long-term customer loyalty. Instead, loyalty is built by having genuine and personalised conversations with your audience. This could be through offering support, training or knowledge-based rewards to your audience that build trust. Email and social media are perfect distribution channels for this.

Lesson 3: Optimise and test your email marketing

 Lesson 3: Optimise and test your email marketing
Lesson 3: Optimise and test your email marketing

Any primate with an opposable thumb can slap an opt-in button onto an email. However, a true email marketing artisan will test as well. It’s always a good idea to run some A/B testing on your eDM and your website for various opt-ins. Test various colour combinations and combinations of text and positioning on the page to find the most effective formula. Optimise and test your eDM itself to see what resonates best with your audience. Where it’s possible, you should personalise your email marketing through CRM personalisation tools (like those available in HubSpot and MailChimp).

Lesson 4: Offer loyalty incentives

 Lesson 4: Offer loyalty incentives
Lesson 4: Offer loyalty incentives

According to the Data and Marketing Association’s latest report, many brands are missing out on the benefits of customer loyalty initiatives. Only 49% of marketers in the survey said their company offered such a scheme.

Interestingly, it wasn’t only monetary incentives that interested the consumers in the study. Consumers also wanted rewards based on location, personalised emails, and game-like challenges.

Leverage these four lessons for integrating both social media and email marketing, and you will have mastered a valuable skill for cross-promoting your products or services. Good Luck!

Do you want to integrate your social media and email marketing into one well-oiled machine? Get in touch with me below.

Ten Great Ways to Optimise your Landing Page for Conversion

Blog

By Athena Dennis 

No matter what kind of business you’re in, your website needs to effectively sell your offerings.

Organisations that deliberately and consciously invest in conversion optimisation are twice as likely to see a boost in sales.

However the reason many businesses don’t, is that they are far too focused on BAU – the business as usual syndrome.

When more pressing tasks need to be addressed right now, then optimising the home page of your website takes a backseat. Although what could be more important than ensuring your website visitors convert into sales?

In this article we will explore research into conversion optimisation and UX and how your business can implement some fixes to increase customer conversion. 

1. Use product videos on your landing page

Recent research by HubSpot found that using a self-explanatory product video on your landing page can increase conversion of 144%. 

Ten Great Ways to Optimise your Landing Page for Conversion

2. Create multiple landing pages for your products and services

Landing pages can be tailored and customised to your Pay Per Click advertising. Put yourself in the website visitor’s shoes.

If a website visitor clicks on a Google Ad and gets forwarded to your home page, not to a page that directly relates to the ad – will this visit convert? Most likely no.

That’s because when someone clicks on an ad, they are after a specific product or service on your website. They don’t want to read all about your other offerings or your staff or blog posts – that’s irrelevant to them. Instead they want to be taken to a page that will give them pricing and everything they need to purchase, with the minimal effort, if they don’t get this information easily – they leave. 

Tailoring your landing pages to have the same content as your PPC ads is really important. 

3. Keep the headline simple and related to your USP

You only get 0-8 seconds to tell a compelling story with website visitors. If your headline isn’t good enough, people will abandon their session.  

A great way of ensuring you have the best headline is to split test your landing page’s headline for different visitors, to see which one works best.

Headlines should be short, make an impression quickly and tap into the pain points of the customer and how the product or service alleviates these pain points. 

Here are some examples

Ten Great Ways to Optimise your Landing Page for Conversion
Airbnb
Ten Great Ways to Optimise your Landing Page for Conversion
Treehouse

4. Keep your call to action above the fold

Whether you decide to use an opt-in form or a button to gain conversion, keep this prominently placed. 

‘Above the fold’ means that the content is visible to website visitors before they have to scroll down the page. This technique is obvious for the brand landing pages mentioned in the previous section. 

5. Make sure that your images and graphics mean something

Using stock photos on your home page without any context and direct relationship to your products or services isn’t good enough anymore. 

So how do you correlate stock images to your own brand? You could superimpose a customer testimonial or short quote from a customer over the top of your stock image to make it relevant. 

When I advised one of our clients how to optimise their landing page, this resulted in highly relevant and engaging landing page at very little additional expense.  

6. Use the landing page to overcome common obstacles to purchase

Ten Great Ways to Optimise your Landing Page for Conversion

Firstly, do a bit of market research into the kinds of reasons why prospective customers may be turned off from purchasing from your business. 

These reasons may be manifold, but if you can resolve some of these doubts on the home page, then you should use this opportunity to do so. 

If your product is largely unknown and also highly priced, in your headline, you should allay website visitor’s concerns by clearly mentioning the 30 day money back guarantee in your headline. 

If your product is in a controversial vertical, such as clothing made in Bangladesh, you could have a video on your home page showcasing the production process. You could use the homepage as an opportunity to allay customers’ concerns about the ethical standards of this workplace and the workers’ rights. 

7. Make opt-in forms easy and breezy to complete

As a web user yourself, you will understand the frustration of completing an opt-in form that seems to have a thousand fields. 

So make it easier for your website visitors by only asking them for the very bare minimum of information. Their name, email and telephone will do. 

8. Use a ‘chat now’ pop-up plug-in

According to the VWO blog adding a chat now plugin is estimated to increase customer signups by 31%! A simple pop-up can be answered by a chat-bot initially and then forwarded for human interaction to the website content manager. 

Ten Great Ways to Optimise your Landing Page for Conversion

9. Add testimonials to your home page

Testimonials and customer recommendations are worth their weight in gold for gaining more customers. Ensure that you use these prominently on your landing page in an interactive or automatic slider. 

​ 10. Make your CTA button the most prominent and obvious element on the page

Split test the copy for your call to action button and also the colour of the button itself. One study showed that simply changing the button colour to red increased conversion. 

There are many factors that impact the conversion rate for a website. You can get a comprehensive assessment of your brand messaging, marketing and communications needs for your landing page by getting in touch with me on +61 3 9028 7745 or hello@athenacreativeweb.com

Register now for a free content audit…