Softline Solutions https://www.softlinesolutions.com Wed, 11 Sep 2019 18:10:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.3 https://www.softlinesolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/ProfilePic-50x50.png Softline Solutions https://www.softlinesolutions.com 32 32 Why You Don’t Need To Be On Every Social Media Platform https://www.softlinesolutions.com/blog/why-you-dont-need-to-be-on-every-social-media-platform/ Wed, 11 Sep 2019 17:02:34 +0000 https://www.softlinesolutions.com/?p=8303 Social media is a powerful tool and one that needs to be included in the marketing strategy of every small business. Having a web presence, including a presence on social...

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Social media is a powerful tool and one that needs to be included in the marketing strategy of every small business. Having a web presence, including a presence on social media is no longer optional. It’s imperative. 

 

You may think that you need to establish your brand on every platform in order to reach the maximum number of people, which is a pretty overwhelming thought. You know you need to participate in social media, but do you need to be on every platform?

 

Why Participating in Social Media is Important

 

There are many benefits to promoting your business on social media. Just about everybody knows it’s the easiest place to connect with others. Millennials, in particular, are constantly checking their mobile phone apps for updates on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and other platforms, often several times a day.

 

This is a huge opportunity for you as a business owner to leverage this almost constant connection with prospects and customers to your advantage. Using these online gathering places, you can engage with your customers on a daily basis and build your brand. You can find out what people are looking for and how they’re reacting to what your competitors are delivering. You can get a very clear picture of what your target audience wants and what’s keeping them up at night. 

 

The Many Different Social Media Platforms 

 

The number of social media platforms is nothing short of mindboggling. There are well over a hundred different platforms, and the emphasis of each is different. Some focus primarily on videos, others photos, and others on sharing written content.

 

The truth is if you attempt to use every possible social media platform, you probably won’t have time to do much of anything else. If you try to scatter your marketing haphazardly across all of them, you’re not likely to make much of an impression on anyone.

 

The Danger of Choosing Too Many Platforms

 

If your strategy is to establish a presence on multiple platforms, you’ll find that you’re spreading yourself too thin pretty quickly. When you’re trying to go in multiple directions at the same time, your focus is diluted and your marketing is ineffective.

 

What you’ll end up doing is writing poor content just to have something to put up all over the place regularly. Poor content isn’t going to attract the people you’re trying to connect with, which defeats the purpose of marketing on social media in the first place. 

 

Besides not being able to provide quality content, you’ll find that when you’re investing time into marketing on too many platforms, you end up not having enough time or energy to interact with your audience. If you’re not engaging with them, you’re not leveraging the power of social media.

 

Keep in mind that for your business to be successful, you can’t market to everyone. It’s just not realistic because there just aren’t enough hours in the day. The most effective strategy is to market to a narrow group of people who are looking for exactly what you have to offer. Your target audience isn’t on every single platform. If you try to market to them on the wrong platform, you’re just wasting time. 

 

Knowing Your Audience and Choosing a Platform

 

One of the most important keys to marketing success is to know exactly who you’re marketing to. When you truly know your audience, with a little research you can get a pretty good idea of what platforms are most likely to capture their attention.

 

For example, if you have a B2B audience, your prospects may be primarily hanging around LinkedIn while young mothers may be spending a lot of time on Facebook. Different age groups hang out in different channels. You need to find out where your prospects already are, and your energy needs to be focused on the channel they’re most likely to use.

 

The goal is to attract the right people, not a large number of people who have no interest in your products or service. Once you find where they’re actively participating, remember that there’s a lot of competition for their attention. People struggle with constant distractions, so only the best information will get their attention. You’ll need to take the time to deliver quality content to the right people on the right platform.

 

Narrowing Your Focus

 

You can’t be everywhere on social media. It takes time to learn and master each platform because each one has its own culture and nuances. Figure out where you belong and then work on making your brand more distinctive by focusing your efforts on marketing to a specific audience in specific places. 

 

An effective social media strategy requires you to narrow your focus so that you’ll be able to get some traction. Your best bet is to double your efforts in one direction rather than diluting it by trying to do too much at the same time. This helps to carve out a reputation based on what makes you unique. Use consistency whenever possible, such as logos and color schemes on everything you post.

 

Analyze Your Social Media Strategy

 

Rather than trying to be all things to all people, plan what you’re going to post, how often and where. Posting on a handful of platforms regularly is a great strategy for building a loyal following and it’s likely to get a better return on the investment of your time than trying to be everywhere at once.

 

Plan to analyze how well your strategies are working. Figure out which platform is giving you the most ROI. How engaged are people with what you’re posting? Are certain times of day more effective than others? Pay attention to what’s working and what isn’t, and change your strategy accordingly.

 

Planning Your Social Media Marketing for Success

 

Successful social media marketing requires planning ahead. This means when you invest time or money, you know what you expect to get out of it.

 

Your goal on social media is not to merely spread noise, but to contribute value, build relationships and earn the loyalty of your target audience. The narrower your focus, the more likely you can make this happen.

 

Finding the best social media marketing strategy can sometimes be confusing. If you need professional guidance with your social media marketing, get in touch with the experts at Softline Solutions. We can help you to realize your online potential.

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12 Steps To Creating A Killer Small Business Marketing Strategy https://www.softlinesolutions.com/blog/12-steps-to-creating-a-killer-small-business-marketing-strategy/ Mon, 19 Aug 2019 14:57:34 +0000 https://www.softlinesolutions.com/?p=8265 When you are a small business owner, the success of your business depends on attracting customers who are looking for your goods and services. As a small business owner, you...

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When you are a small business owner, the success of your business depends on attracting customers who are looking for your goods and services. As a small business owner, you may not have a large marketing budget, but you need to connect your business to the right prospects.

 

There are quite a few marketing methods that can help you successfully market your business and not all of them require a lot of money. How do you create a killer business marketing strategy in spite of having a limited marketing budget?

 

Know Your Target Audience

 

The first step of any marketing plan is to know your target audience. It helps to have a mental picture of your prospect. Think about where they live, their age and their economic status.

 

What’s their pain point and what keeps them up at night? You won’t be able to be all things to all people. Your business will only appeal to a specific group of people, and it’s your job to know as much as you can about them.

 

Establish Your Brand Identity

 

Owning a business means distinguishing your business from other businesses that offer similar products or services. What makes your business unique and how can you communicate what makes you different?

 

Establish your brand identity in a recognizable way. This may include a logo, recognizable colors or a slogan. Your logo should be on your business cards and on all forms of advertising to build brand recognition and awareness.

 

Create an Online Presence

 

It today’s world, a large number of your prospects use only one method of trying to find what they’re looking for, and that’s by searching online. You must have an online presence. 

 

Your website should be designed carefully with your prospects in mind, helping them to navigate easily and find what they’re looking for. Consistently creating and developing valuable content on your website or a blog helps attract prospects and helps you to establish yourself as an authority in your industry.

 

Use SEO Optimization

 

Search engine optimization is a method of attracting prospects by using strategic placement of keywords in your online content. Keywords and keyword phrases are the terms your potential clients enter into a search engine when they’re looking for a certain service or product.

 

While your content needs to be written for people, not for search engines, quality content doesn’t do your business any good if your website or blog can’t be found. SEO is an important tool in helping you to rank highly in search engines.

 

Email Marketing

 

Those who visit your website or blog should be encouraged to keep coming back. The best way to do this is to capture their email address by offering a free gift such as a whitepaper or newsletter in exchange.

 

Your email list is a valuable tool that allows you to periodically contact people who are interested in what you have to offer. The emails you send should always provide valuable content rather than continually asking them to make a purchase.

 

Guest Blogging

 

Your content marketing efforts should also include guest blogging on other sites in your industry who have an established audience. Providing content in front of people who are already doing business in your industry is a great way to attract prospects to your website, and it’s another way of establishing a reputation as an expert in your niche.

 

Engage with Your Audience

 

The internet has provided an amazing tool that makes it surprisingly easy to connect with potential customers. You have the opportunity to engage with members of your audience on a daily basis to find out what they feel is missing in the marketplace and what they’re still trying to find.

 

This includes responding to blog comments and becoming part of the conversation on social media. Encourage prospects to let you know what their needs and wants are by taking surveys. Listen to what questions people are asking and answer them whenever you can.

 

Google My Business

 

Google My Business is a tool that can help your business gain credibility. Using this method, you can create a free business profile which helps you to communicate the benefits of doing business with you and connect with prospects in your local area.

 

Facebook Advertising

 

Facebook allows you to reach out to millions of prospects. Advertising on Facebook is a relatively inexpensive way to reach out to a specific group of people and to reach a large number of prospects in a short amount of time.

 

YouTube

 

Don’t overlook the power of attracting prospects through video. People of all ages and backgrounds love watching videos online. A short video that’s interesting and informative can help to improve brand awareness and stimulate interest in your company. How-to videos, interviews with experts in your niche and animated videos are all possible methods of marketing your business using videos on YouTube.

 

Face to Face Networking

 

While online marketing efforts can bring in a large number of prospects, a killer small business marketing strategy should also include investing time in networking with people in your area through face to face opportunities. People like to do business with those they know and trust, so it can be a very effective marketing strategy to expand your network of contacts.

 

Attend meetings of your local chamber of commerce, regional business associations and any other events you can find. At networking events, introduce yourself to others and offer genuine interest in the other participants. Be prepared to tell people the benefits of doing business with you.

 

Pay Per Click

 

One way to grow your audience that should be included in your marketing strategy is pay per click advertising. Google Adwords can be an extremely powerful marketing tool when it’s used correctly.

 

If you need help with your PPC marketing strategy or any other aspects of your small business marketing efforts, Softline Solutions is here to help. Get in touch with us for expert guidance in business marketing strategies.

 

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6 Key Elements Of Business Content  https://www.softlinesolutions.com/blog/6-key-elements-of-business-content/ Mon, 12 Aug 2019 17:54:51 +0000 https://www.softlinesolutions.com/?p=8261 Content marketing is an essential part of the online marketing strategy for businesses of all industries and sizes. Regardless of what type of business you have, prospects expect you to...

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Content marketing is an essential part of the online marketing strategy for businesses of all industries and sizes. Regardless of what type of business you have, prospects expect you to provide interesting and informative content, and to provide it on a regular basis. If you don’t, they’ll quickly click away from your website or blog to search for someone else who does.

 

Business content includes everything from blog posts to whitepapers to emails to social media posts. For the broadest appeal, it has to touch on all phases of the buying cycle. Content marketing involves much more than haphazardly stringing words together so that you have something to post each day. Building a strong business around content requires certain key elements to be effective.

 

Helpful Solutions to Problems

 

If your approach to online content is constantly about trying to make sales, your prospects will quickly begin back-pedaling. A large portion of the content you provide should consist of genuinely helpful information. Consistent, quality content can help you to establish a voice of authority and expertise and it can help you begin to build a relationship of trust and loyalty with your prospects.

 

When you plan your business content, it’s important to know your target audience, their challenges and what problems they’re trying to solve. Knowing what keeps your prospects up at night is the first step to planning content that is helpful and useful. Effective content marketing requires staying focused on being helpful rather than on making sales.

 

Strategic Planning

 

One of the most important elements of business content is strategic planning. You can’t just throw some content together when you’re in the mood. You have to know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish with each piece of content and plan ahead to deliver clear information about the benefits of doing business with you.

 

When you know your target audience and what information they’re trying to find, you can put together a plan that includes features, benefits, your unique selling proposition, and social proof. Use a variety of content strategies such as infographics, videos, Q&As, and webinars. Pay attention to what’s working and what isn’t, and tweak as needed.

 

With each piece of new content, consider how you can leverage it across multiple channels. Internal links can direct your prospects from one piece of content to another so that you keep them engaged and interested. As long as the information they’re looking for can be found somewhere on your site or in your social media marketing, you encourage them to remain loyal to your company and reduce the likelihood that they’ll look elsewhere instead.

 

Consistent Brand Voice

 

Providing content using a consistent brand voice can be an effective way to stand out among competitors. Depending on the nature of your business, your content should have a consistent tone, which could be friendly, humorous, educated, serious or inspirational.

 

The important thing to remember is that your business shouldn’t sound exactly like every other business. How do you want your company to be perceived? Your content tells the story of your brand and what you stand for. Be consistent in your pattern of expression. Think about how you can consistently communicate your brand in different aspects of your content, such as design, perspective or word choice.

 

SEO Optimization

 

Brilliant content won’t do your business any good if it’s lost in cyberspace and never found by prospects. SEO best practices are a way to help prospects find your business based on the strategic placement of keywords and keyword phrases that best describe your business. These are the terms prospects will use to find your company.

 

While your primary goal is to write for customers, not search engines, you still have to consider the best way for your company to stand out online among your competitors. SEO optimization is one of the key elements needed to make this happen. 

 

Engaging and Entertaining Writing

 

While the ins and outs of your business may be extremely fascinating to you, if you don’t write in an engaging style, few people are going to stick around to read it. Dry facts aren’t interesting. You have to find a way to make your writing sparkling and engaging, and clearly communicate how you can benefit the reader. One approach that can help your business content be more interesting is to use the human connection through storytelling.

 

Prospects who don’t find your writing interesting won’t keep reading. Attention is something that has to be earned, not something that is going to happen automatically. Provide good information in a form that’s easy to read, which means using tactics such as short paragraphs and bullet points. Communicate with your clients what’s in it for them.

 

Clear Call to Action

 

Every piece of content should be prepared with a goal in mind. What is it that you’re trying to get the prospect to do? You may want them to sign up for your newsletter or download a whitepaper. You may want them to fill out a contact form to request more information or respond to a survey to help you have a clearer picture of the needs of your target audience.

 

The action you want your prospect to take should be crystal clear on every piece of content. That doesn’t mean you need to use a hard-sell approach all the time. It just means you need to consider what your goal is with each piece of content and make sure your prospect knows exactly what you want him to do next. 

 

Planning Business Content That Works

 

In today’s market, people face a deluge of new information at a constantly increasing pace. Attention spans are getting shorter, making it imperative for businesses to plan business content that includes eye-catching images, videos, and headlines. 

 

If you need expert guidance in planning and implementing your content strategy, get in touch with Softline Solutions today. We have the expertise to help you use these key elements of business content so that you can realize your online potential.

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8 Reasons Why Every Business Should Utilize Digital Marketing https://www.softlinesolutions.com/blog/8-reasons/ Mon, 22 Jul 2019 16:50:33 +0000 https://www.softlinesolutions.com/?p=8257 Choosing the best marketing strategy to use is a decision faced by every business owner. The right marketing techniques can help your business to reach your target audience and convert...

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Choosing the best marketing strategy to use is a decision faced by every business owner. The right marketing techniques can help your business to reach your target audience and convert them into leads or clients. While traditional marketing methods such as fliers, billboards, TV ads, and print ads can still bring in business, for best results, you (and every business owner) should include digital marketing as part of your ongoing marketing strategy.

 

Digital marketing is a highly effective way to promote your business, regardless of how large or small your company is, and regardless of where you’re located or what the nature of your business is. It’s a cost-effective option, and it allows you to engage with customers in real-time, which can help you to bring your marketing strategies into focus. Here are some of the many reasons businesses should utilize digital marketing:

 

Find Prospects and Customers Wherever They Are

 

As technology continues to grow rapidly, more and more people shop for products and services online or through mobile channels, and some of them don’t shop any other way. For your business to be competitive in your industry, having a web presence and a digital marketing strategy is imperative. 

 

If your business can be found online, you’ll be able to find potential customers where they are any time day or night. If you don’t take the time to utilize digital marketing, you’re narrowing the number of customers who will be interested in doing business with you, since some don’t shop any way other than digitally.

 

Reach a Much Larger Audience

 

Before digital marketing was an option, businesses had to use traditional marketing methods in order to attract potential clients who lived locally or might have been visiting their area. Your geographical location could put limits on how much your business could expand.

 

With digital marketing, you can still attract local prospects, but you’re not limited to your immediate area. Using online methods, you can reach much larger groups of potential clients, and you can even expand to a global marketplace. Best of all, you can attract traffic that is highly targeted.

 

Affordability

 

Traditional marketing campaigns can be very costly. Your budget may include items such as direct mail, television or radio advertising as well as print expenses. Analyzing your return on investment may have to be done manually, which costs more either in time or in outsourcing expense.

 

With digital marketing, you can reach more people for less money. Running social media advertising campaigns or email marketing costs a fraction of what traditional marketing methods cost and this strategy is likely to yield better results.

 

Easier Analytics

 

As an added advantage, when you utilize digital marketing techniques, analytics and market research can be accessed much more easily and at a lower cost.  Digital marketing analytics can make it easier to determine which ad led to a better response, and this can help you make informed decisions based on being able to know the performance of an ad very quickly.

 

Using A/B testing, you can test the impact of tiny changes, such as a different headline or a different color choice. By evaluating these changes, you can ultimately reach a much more targeted audience. 

 

Real-Time Results

 

Knowing for sure how your traditional marketing efforts performed can take a long time, sometimes weeks or months. While you wait for this information, you may not have a clear picture regarding what’s working and what’s not.

 

Digital marketing allows you to get real-time results for many aspects of your marketing efforts. You can quickly determine your bounce rate, the number of visitors that you have each day and what time of day people are most responsive.

 

Audience Engagement

 

Digital techniques have opened up tremendous opportunities for you as a business owner to engage with your audience and know exactly what they are looking for. Whether you interact through blog comments, social media or live chat, your prospects can communicate to you what they might not be getting from your competitors and what you can do differently to earn their business. When they know you genuinely care about what they say and think, engagement is likely to increase even more.

 

Mobile technology has made this process even simpler. Potential customers use their mobile device regularly making it easier for you to engage with them with mobile marketing, text marketing or social media.

 

Leveling the Playing Field

 

Before digital marketing was an option, large corporations were at a huge advantage. Their marketing budgets allowed them to reach the highest number of customers making it very difficult for smaller businesses to be noticed at all.

 

Digital marketing offers multiple opportunities for business of all sizes to improve brand awareness.  This allows small and medium-sized businesses to be more competitive and it helps to level the playing field.

 

Building Relationships

 

When you market your business online, you have the opportunity to not only engage with your customers and potential customers, but to actually build relationships with them. When you provide content that is relevant and personalized, it encourages prospects and customers to keep coming back for more guidance and expertise.

 

It’s not about a hard-sell approach, but about providing valuable information in order to build trust and brand loyalty. When you take the time to get to know your customers’ pain points, you’re in a position to offer them solutions. Digital marketing allows you to interact with prospects and customers in a way that isn’t really possible by using traditional marketing methods exclusively. 

 

The Bottom Line: Include Digital Marketing

 

Utilizing digital marketing techniques doesn’t mean traditional marketing methods should never be used, but in today’s marketplace, it’s imperative to use some digital marketing strategies in order to remain competitive. People expect you to have a web presence, and if you can’t be found online, you’re losing business.

 

There are many different ways to market your business through digital channels. Get in touch with Softline Solutions for expert assistance with your digital marketing strategies today.

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15 Ways To Get More Clients: Marketing Tips 101 https://www.softlinesolutions.com/blog/15-ways-to-get-more-clients-marketing-tips-101/ Fri, 12 Jul 2019 17:08:21 +0000 https://www.softlinesolutions.com/?p=8253 You want your business to not only succeed but thrive online. To make this happen, you need to be continually implementing a targeted strategy focused on getting more clients. Without...

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You want your business to not only succeed but thrive online. To make this happen, you need to be continually implementing a targeted strategy focused on getting more clients. Without planning, your business won’t attract and retain loyal clients. Without clients, your business won’t be profitable.

 

Acquiring clients doesn’t happen automatically just because you put up a website, and marketing isn’t something you only have to do once and then sit back and watch your profits multiply. Marketing is an ongoing process that requires continuous effort, at least if you want to stay in business.

 

Client acquisition strategies require a commitment of either time or money, and in most cases both. If you’re looking for Marketing Tips 101, here are 15 ways to get more clients:

 

Search Engine Optimization

 

Getting more clients starts with being able to have your website found in the first place.  Consider who is looking for your product or service. What search terms are they likely to use to find it? SEO is a long-term strategy that won’t bring results overnight but will help to drive traffic to your website over time.

 

Have a Clear Call to Action 

 

Once your visitors arrive on a landing page, it should be crystal clear exactly what you want them to do next. Whether you want them to call you, request more information, sign up for your email list or download a white paper, make sure there’s no way they can miss the next action step you want them to take.

 

Make Your Website Easy to Navigate

 

When you strategically use internal links on your website, clients can easily find what they’re looking for. If you don’t take this step, a potential client who lands on your site and can’t navigate their way around will quickly hit the back arrow and search somewhere else.

 

Offer Free Information

 

Giving away something for free is a powerful tool that can help you to begin a relationship with a potential client. Start by offering free information or a free gift in exchange for their email address. Unless you collect their email address, your website visitors may click away at any moment, never to be seen again.

 

Email Marketing

 

Having an email list can be a very powerful tool for getting more clients.  Those who sign up for your email list are putting their hand up and saying they are interested in hearing from you. Don’t misuse this privilege. Emails you send to clients should be mostly informational. If you are continually trying to make a sale, your emails will come off as annoying and spammy. Instead, offer helpful information. This begins the process of building a relationship with a potential client and can turn them into a warm lead.

 

Consistent Content Marketing 

 

Putting up your website is only the first step. The next step is consistently providing content, but not just publishing for the sake of publishing. What you publish should be quality content. Search engines pay attention to how often you update your site, and they also pay attention to how long visitors stick around. Frequently updating your blog or website lets both search engines and visitors know that you care about having a quality site, and it can help you to establish yourself as an expert in your field.

 

Guest Blog 

 

Guest blogging is a powerful tool for spreading the word about your business. Do some research and find out the best blogs in your niche. Offer to guest blog on other sites your potential clients are likely to visit. Guest blogging in front of an audience that’s already been established can help you attract potential clients.

 

Write an E-book

 

Another method of positioning yourself as an expert is to write an e-book focusing on the pain points of your potential clients and offering solutions. The more you demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, the more you set yourself up to attract more clients.

 

Encourage Potential Clients to Engage with You 

 

Social media has made it very easy to engage with potential clients. You have the opportunity to listen closely to what your audience wants. Some ways they’re communicating with you is by making comments on your blog posts or by having a conversation on social media. Take surveys and ask them what’s important to them. Add live chat to your site so that people know they can reach a real person. When you find out exactly what potential clients are looking for, it’s easier for you to provide it.

 

Be Helpful Online 

 

As you engage with your audience, go out of your way to be helpful. Answer questions wherever they are asked. Platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Quora offer an opportunity for you to let people know you can deliver what they’re looking for.

 

Create a Podcast

 

The world of podcasts is a place where there is a huge audience, some of whom are looking for what you have to offer. This strategy requires a lot of time and energy, but it can help to attract many more clients.

 

Leverage YouTube

 

Don’t overlook the power of spreading your message by leveraging video platforms such as YouTube. Present yourself as an expert answering questions that your potential clients may ask.

 

In-Person Networking 

 

Get out and meet people and talk about your business. Be prepared to let people know what you have to offer on the spur of the moment.

 

Ask for Referrals

 

Ask friends, family, and clients for referrals and for online reviews. You can even send a message to your email list letting them know you’re looking for new clients and requesting that they spread the word.

 

Run a Pay Per Click Campaign

 

Google Adwords can be competitive and expensive, but those who click on your ads are actively looking for what you’re offering. Paid advertising is a strategy that has the potential to bring in targeted new clients quickly

 

These methods all have the potential to help you attract an audience who is looking for what you have to offer. Some of these strategies take time and may have a learning curve in order to use them successfully. Let Softline Solutions help you create an effective strategy for getting more clients today.

 

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2019 PPC Stats All Marketers Should Know https://www.softlinesolutions.com/blog/2019-ppc-stats-all-marketers-should-know/ Mon, 01 Jul 2019 17:29:16 +0000 https://www.softlinesolutions.com/?p=8249 In 2018, Google made some big changes with their Ads platform which added new enhancements and features to utilize for PPC strategy. Amazon, Bing, and LinkedIn also showed innovative growth...

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In 2018, Google made some big changes with their Ads platform which added new enhancements and features to utilize for PPC strategy. Amazon, Bing, and LinkedIn also showed innovative growth with their tools and their impact on your overall marketing performance. This means that 2019 has been a big year for taking a new approach to PPC marketing. Here are some PPC stats all marketers should know in 2019:

 

Understand Your Reach

These 2019 PPC stats will help you understand the searching and clicking behaviors of your potential customers so you can understand the conversion potential, and some of the roadblocks, between you and your audience. 

Eighty-six percent of Americans utilize internet searching to find local businesses to tailor to their specific needs.

An impressive 46% of Americans wake up and check their smartphone notifications as soon as they wake up.

In the last year, worldwide use of ad blockers increased from 142 million devices to over 615 million.

SocialMediaToday reports that over $10 billion was spent in PPC ads in 2017, with that number likely to have risen in 2018.

PPC advertisements generate about 50% more conversions than organic web traffic.

Users who click paid ads with an intention to make a purchase out-number organic searches by 65%.

76% of people who use their smartphone to search for a business nearby will go to that business within 24 hours.

 

Optimize Google Ads Performance

A marketer is only as good as his or her tools. So understanding how to optimize your use of Google Ads can help create a bigger return. These 2019 PPC stats will help you gain that understanding:

Almost 75% of all internet searches performed on a computer are done with Google.

Almost 40% of internet searches performed on a mobile device are done with Google. They are also performed with a local search intention.

69% of internet searchers from a mobile phone call a business straight from the Google search listings.

Overall, consumers use Google to make more than 160 million searches each month.

More than 52% of searchers shopping online prefer the paid ads that top Google’s SERPs.

According to Google, search ads can boost your brand awareness — how your brand is remembered and interacted with by potential customers — by as much as 80%.

 

Learn how PPC Content is Being Interacted With

Whether your paid ad is locally targeted or not could make a difference in your strategy’s performance. These paid ad-specific PPC stats for 2019 can help you target certain behaviors in your future customers:

Video ads out-perform display banners in clicks by 73%.

Over 65% of searchers who have the intent to buy are clicking on paid ads.

More than 35% of Google searches are tied to a specific location.

More than 50% of all online searches contain more than four words.

The average viewing time on YouTube on a mobile device is 40 minutes.

A whopping 90% of consumers report trusting reviews they read online.

Coming in at an average of $60 per click, “insurance” is the most expensive keyword, followed by “loans” and “mortgage” who rate about $33 per click.

For every dollar spent on Google Ads, your company can earn an average of $2.

Almost half of reporting brands want to increase their budget for PPC advertising which indicates the effectiveness of this marketing tool.

PPC has been found to be more effective when used in addition to organic SEO.

The average click-through rate on Google Ads is 3.17.

Across all industries, the average conversion rate on Google is almost 4%. The lowest conversion rates are in the advocacy industry at less than 2%, with the highest conversion rates in the dating and personals industry which tops out at almost 10%.

These industries spent the most on PPC ads in 2018: travel, publishing, retail, and education. 

These industries spent the least on PPC ads in 2018: automotive, home improvement, and consumables.

Text ads, remarketing, and mobile are the most effective PPC channels.

The most popular PPC platforms are Google Ads, Facebook, and mobile.

According to these and other PPC stats, consumers are blind to more than 90% of all online ads. It’s called “banner blindness” and it can hurt your ROI if you’re not monitoring how your ads are performing.

 

Google Algorithm Changes

In addition to these insightful stats, some changes to Google’s algorithm unfolded in 2018 which will impact 2019 PPC strategies. Some of these algorithm updates include:

Mobile-First Index: This rolled out in March of 2018 after months of anticipation and Google’s acknowledgment of how critical it is to have a positive mobile experience. 

Video Carousels: This update happened in June 2018 and includes video carousels topping Google SERPs on desktop Google searches.

Mobile Speed Update: In July 2018, Google started to factor page speed into its ranking signals. This move is with the recognition that mobile users are working quickly to find what they’re looking for.

 

Tracking Your Ads

These 2019 PPC stats can help you get an understanding of how your marketing strategy is affecting the behavior of those potential customers you’re targeting. But the real work comes down to your individual strategy and execution up against your competitors. Tracking the progress of your ad performance is key for monitoring ROI. Always be prepared to make necessary tweaks if you begin to recognize that your targeting approach is slightly off or the behaviors of those engaging with your content show they’re not quite following through.  Remember that it’s not just about clicks, but the follow through all the way to final purchase.

So these 2019 PPC stats help paint a picture of what’s happening online and how searches are using their devices and their online tools to find what they’re looking for. This is big news for marketers who are hoping to reach these people. But if this stats breakdown doesn’t quite translate to marketing success for you, consider working with Softline Solutions. When you work with us, you’ll experience a hands-on approach using the latest software and techniques to enhance your optimization and sales.

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Top 10 Marketing Tips For Success https://www.softlinesolutions.com/blog/top-10-marketing-tips-for-success/ Mon, 24 Jun 2019 18:54:55 +0000 https://www.softlinesolutions.com/?p=8246 Online marketing has made reaching potential customers easier. But with an ever-growing landscape of content and outreach, it can feel overwhelming trying to stay afloat. You don’t just want to...

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Online marketing has made reaching potential customers easier. But with an ever-growing landscape of content and outreach, it can feel overwhelming trying to stay afloat. You don’t just want to stay afloat, you want to make a big impact and attract new, paying customers every day. Here are 10 tips to help you do just that:

  1. Monitor Your Website’s Performance

Your website is an important means of connecting with future clients by giving them a snapshot of your services, your talents, and what it might be like to work with you. But your website should also convert curious visitors to paying customers. Utilizing analytics to monitor your website’s performance can help you see where you stand in terms of ROI and outline improvements that could take it to the next level. Most website analytics software is free, so this insight won’t take any hits on your return but can provide priceless information.

  1. Develop an SEO Strategy

Using the data you’ve collected through analytics to track your website performance, you can determine what kind of SEO needs you have. Getting the most from Search Engine Optimization so that your website appears in prime locations on the search engine results page (SERP) can really take your traffic up to another level. Your analytics programming can likely help you with some keyword research that will let you know which search terms are most worth investing your time and energy into. By implementing those search terms into your website content, you’ll slowly become seen as an authority on those topics and rise to the top of the results page. Think about it — do you ever go to page 2 of your Google results page? Neither do I. So getting on page 1 for high-traffic keywords will get you seen.

  1. Track Your Social Media Performance

Social media is free marketing. While it takes time to curate content and engage with potential customers, your potential reach is big. So you want to make sure you’re focusing on the right audience. Pulling and translating data on your social media and online impact a critical step in improving your marketing campaign. Real-time data gives you the edge since it gives you a quick way to sort and present your findings. This will help your team quickly identify areas of improvement and switch up how they engage. While these performance analytics are the key to your marketing success, you don’t want them to take up too much of your time. Making an investment in these tools may be worthwhile. Personalizing your reports can help you follow your company’s unique conversion metrics

  1. Localize Your SEO

If you have a successful SEO strategy but still want to bring more traffic to your website, consider taking on local SEO. This is especially helpful if you provide a product or service that requires the customer to arrive in person. Nearby customers will want to know how close your business is so that they can take advantage of the convenience. For this strategy, you’ll want to localize your keywords by adding regional-specific terms to your strategy. 

  1. Take Advantage of Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click ads get your website to top the search engine results page (SERP) increasing your visibility for related keywords without the work of organic SEO. You choose which sections your website will appear in and pay accordingly. Paid search ads are also appearing on social media platforms and are typically an affordable way to make fast impressions. Your clicks won’t always convert to sales so do your keyword research to make sure you’re targeting the right groups.

  1. Audit Your Paid Campaigns

If you already have PPC campaigns running, getting an extra pair of eyes on them is one way to increase your ROI. Softline Solutions can audit your PPC efforts (https://www.softlinesolutions.com/pay-per-click-audits/) and help you or your PPC agency, identify minor or major improvements. Since Pay Per Click ads require an investment, getting a second opinion can help ensure you’re getting the most impact for your money. 

  1. Remarket to Previous Visitors

Remarketing is clever and not enough businesses do it. It’s the art of reconnecting with visitors who made it to your website or your social media profiles without making a purchase or connection. With Softline Solutions’ proprietary technology and customized landing pages, your remarketing plan can have a big impact. (https://www.softlinesolutions.com/remarketing-solutions/) 

  1. Create a Seamless Customer Experience

One way to easily re-engage former customers is to provide an exceptional customer experience. While this moves into how you execute business transactions, it starts online. That includes making sure your website runs quickly and smoothly, is easy to navigate, and provides an overall positive user experience. A well-functioning and laid-out website can also help boost your SEO. But don’t do it for the Google bots, do it for your customers.

  1. Make Changes as Needed

Whether your PPC campaign needs ongoing audits or your SEO strategy could use a face-life, adjusting your approach over time can help you find long-term success online. Don’t just use your analytics to boost morale for a job well done, use it to make necessary changes so you can reach more people and make more conversions to sales. In this ever-changing online world, change is ongoing and quick.

  1. Keep Your Website Fresh

Social media can certainly be a distraction when it comes to where to place your online marketing focus. But consider updating existing landing pages or creating new ones as your business grows to keep your content relevant and your SEO best practices on a roll.

Implementing these approaches little by little can create big changes in your online presence. More importantly, it can convert visitors into customers, and convert customers into loyal, returning clients. While some strategies may take some time to return results, such as an organic SEO roll-out, others can help put you in front of potential customers immediately. Let Softline Solutions help you get past the speed bumps, avoiding costly mistakes and time better spent on what you do best – creating a seamless customer experience and taking your business to new heights.

 

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Now Trending: 9 Social Media Moves to Make in 2019 https://www.softlinesolutions.com/blog/now-trending-9-social-media-moves-to-make-in-2019/ Mon, 03 Jun 2019 16:18:04 +0000 https://www.softlinesolutions.com/?p=8239 Social media is no longer just about sharing what you saw, read, or ate in a given day, connecting with loved ones, or writing your political thoughts for all your...

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Social media is no longer just about sharing what you saw, read, or ate in a given day, connecting with loved ones, or writing your political thoughts for all your network to see. Social media has evolved into an impactful channel of communication, a source of news, and a way for brands to take direct action with their target market.

Los Angeles Internet Marketing

With rapidly changing, ever-growing corners of the internet, sharing is easy but capturing your audience’s attention can be a challenge. With so many platforms and apps innovating the way we share and who we share it with, it’s important to strategize your approach to avoid spending time (and money) you can’t afford. Staying on top of trends is one way to support your strategy. Here are 9 for 2019 that you’ll need to follow.

1. Tell a Human Story

Traditional marketing has always been about storytelling and appealing to the hearts and minds of potential customers. But social media makes things a bit more personal. Where traditional marketing may have been about the brand’s story, social media lets those behind the brand get more human in how they share. This not only allows you, as a brand manager, to share your heart and mind with your customers, it also lets you into the hearts and minds of your customers. By learning more about your audience, you can not only develop products and services to address their needs, you can contact them directly to let them know about it. Social media engagement is key for reach, and taking the time to comment or share what your customers are saying may seem costly but it can go a long way.

2. Brand Narrative

With social media allowing more space for human storytelling, it also lends itself to the development of the overall brand narrative. Being strategic about your content allows potential customers to experience you before they start paying for products or services. A brand narrative that inspires action in your audience is going to have you standing out among your competition and create a reason for people to stop scrolling and start shopping.

3. Segment Your Market

You might offer services or products that impact different audiences. Avoid blindly tossing out a wide net of content is going to mean you lose or confuse some. This is why consumer targeting is so important. By segmenting your audience, you can begin to target content for those specific groups, maintaining their buy-in and curiosity about what comes next for your brand.

4. Share, Don’t Sell

If all your social media content is about getting people to buy your product, you won’t see much engagement or sales conversion. Instead, offer snippets of useful information, host giveaways, share funny or insightful stories. Use your platform to whet the appetite of potential customers so they start to build some trust and curiosity about what else you can do for them. If you’re not sure how to get started with this new way of branding, consider working with a Los Angeles internet marketing company who can help lead the way.

5. How to Hashtag

Building a community on social media is an effective way of getting results. Think of it as the equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing. By building a community and opening up the conversation, your brand can organically spread and find new audiences. This is especially true on platforms like Instagram. You can gain traction by adding your voice to existing conversations via popular but appropriate hashtags which you can do by:

  • Utilize obvious hashtags related to your industry. For example, if you’re a travel company, consider #justbackfrom or #welltravelled
  • Discover what hashtags your competitors are using and follow suit
  • Avoid using too many or irrelevant hashtags as that may end up working against you. Between 9 and 12 appropriate hashtags is optimal for visibility and engagement, especially for Instagram.

Once you’ve mastered your hashtag game, try creating your own branded hashtag – something short, sweet, and easy to remember – can help tie the conversation together and lead all roads back to you. Do your research and utilize available metrics to get the right data for the right platform. You can also reach out to Los Angeles internet marketing company Softline Solutions for help.

6. Put a Face to the Name

Putting a human face on the brand can go a long way. If you can make a potential customer feel the same way they feel watching a friend’s Snapchat, you’ve already gotten their attention. That means you should be sharing photos and creating videos where you communicate tips and tricks, how-tos, personal insights, and teasers for new products. Keep these videos short and focused on a singular mission so that your audience can reference them when in need and begin viewing your brand as an authority.

7. Pick your Platform

Not all social media platforms are created equal. Take the time to understand where your audience is spending their time. For instance, based on user research, use Snapchat for the younger crowd, Facebook for the older crowd, Pinterest for American females, and LinkedIn for career professionals. You can learn more about the distinguishing qualities of each platform with a little research which will ensure you’re not wasting your time sharing with the wrong crowd. It’s also important to understand the different advertising strategies, costs, and impacts of each platform. Facebook advertising and Instagram advertising won’t provide an equal return.

8. Queue Quality

Consistency is key in social media, but don’t confuse that for a focus on quantity. If you find yourself scheduling posts for the month and queuing up new ideas to save time, you might want to take a pause. With companies and brands curating thoughtful, aesthetic, and actionable posts, the quality of social media content is soaring. In order for you to be considered among the leaders, authorities, and influencers of your niche, your content should be creative, impactful, and engaging. Sharing fewer posts that have a clear purpose is better than sharing several posts that miss the mark.

9. Avoid Breaking ToS

Staying in the good graces of each platform is important to avoid violating Terms of Service agreements and possibly getting your account shut down. Each platform has similar but unique ToS guidelines to follow and knowing where your parameters are can prevent losing your audience. Facebook and Instagram can block or ban your account for the following actions:

  • Liking posts too quickly via bot
  • Following or unfollowing accounts too quickly via bot
  • Posting too frequently
  • Using banned hashtags
  • Creating duplicate accounts
  • Posting inappropriate or copyrighted content
  • Promoting or selling illegal products or services
  • Buying fake likes and followers

Too many blocks or violations of ToS can get your account banned, which means you may lose your content and following and have a hard time getting it back.

If you’re ready to take your social media advertising to the next level, Los Angeles internet marketing company Softline Solutions can help you get results.

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Competition In PPC: X Tools To Help You Out https://www.softlinesolutions.com/blog/competition-in-ppc-x-tools-to-help-you-out/ Fri, 17 May 2019 15:32:32 +0000 https://www.softlinesolutions.com/?p=8235 In the world of Google Adwords, keeping up with how your ads perform isn’t enough. While consistent analysis is essential to adjust your ad campaigns, you also need to know...

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In the world of Google Adwords, keeping up with how your ads perform isn’t enough. While consistent analysis is essential to adjust your ad campaigns, you also need to know what your closest competitors are up to. Thankfully there are a number of PPC tools that make analyzing the competition and everything else to do with your ads easy so you can make changes as you go. Review some of the most popular options to get started.

Optmyzr

Optmyzr may be one of the best tools for agencies overseeing small and medium-sized Bing and AdWords accounts. It’s one of the more expensive options; however, it provides a wealth of information. Use it to track quality scores over time and enjoy meticulous analysis for landing pages, spending projections, and hour of the week stuff. This tool also provides insights on performance issues, offers inbuilt reporting, and includes one-click optimization tools.

SEMRush

Like many analytic tools, there are free and paid versions of SEMRush, with the paid version the clear winner since it provides considerably more details. If your budget has you sticking to the free version of the software, for now, you can at least type in the names of your competitors’ websites and see who their competitors are. You’ll also see what your competitors are doing in terms of their average positions for top keywords, ad texts, and what percentage of their budget and traffic is consumed by said keywords. In addition to keyword research and ranking, brands typically use SEMRush for site audits, backlink sources, site positioning, and content creation with keywords. Tracking for competitor Facebook and Bing accounts is also possible through this software.

Spyfu

If you are looking for highly-specific information concerning the keywords your competitors are bidding on, Spyfu is for you. While there have been reports of inaccurate budget and traffic numbers in the past, Spyfu still provides helpful information, including your competitors’ monthly AdWord budget, top paid competitors, paid keywords, clicks per day, ad position and texts, and other good stuff.

Bing & Google Keyword Planners

Should free tools be your thing at the present time, there are many options to select from, including Google and Bing keyword planners. These planners help inspire creative ideas for ad groups and campaigns in addition to offering decent volume estimates. If you are using them for volume estimation purposes, use the estimates as directional data only. You’ll do better if you set your base bids on what you can currently afford, not on what these tools claim the average is.

Wordstream Advisor

Wordstream has made great strides in improving this tool, and it shows. It’s perfect for managing your time more effectively via their “20-minute work week” that features nine clearly-defined items to help you improve your accounts quickly and easily. Among the PPC tool’s best features is the integration with Facebook, Bing, and AdWords ads, hosted landing page software, inbuilt reporting software, conversion tracking with Wordstream’s tracking tag, and the performance grader tool. There is also fantastic integration among multiple tools with Wordstream Advisor. It’s ideal if you’re an entry-level marketer who wants a bunch of tools in one convenient place.

Opteo

One of the newer PPC tools, Opteo offers an easy-to-use interface and it’s pretty darn affordable. The interface focuses on three key sections: manage, performance, and improvements. The improvements section is extremely comprehensive and shows “clear winners.” Other features Opteo offers include landing page detection errors, performance and issue diagnosis, real-time alert functionality, and one-click optimizations.

Auction Insights

This is another free tool that pulls data (unsurprisingly) at the auction level. It is for Bing and Google and does best when you use exact match terms only because you’ll get the clearest insights. Also, segment this tool by time for strategy evolution insights.

Tenscores

Tenscores focuses on highly-detailed account optimization and is super-easy to use. The detailed optimization makes it different from other PPC tools that emphasize “complete” solutions to AdWords optimization. In addition to helping you increase your AdWords Quality Score and ad optimization suggestions, this tool provides a clear guide for improving your account performance. However, if you are looking for features in addition to optimization, this tool is not for you.

Adalysis

AB testing is where Adalysis stands out, though it also offers Quality Score tracking and campaign navigation options. Its interface isn’t as nice as many of the others; however, it offers automated performance alerts, campaign and ad group review tools, and includes the Google Data Studio template. Entry level pricing is also reasonable. Note that you cannot implement most of the recommendations directly from the tool, and it’s going to take some time to understand. However, the ad testing is strong with this one.

AdWords Scripts

Yet another free tool, AdWords Scripts makes it easy to produce “historical” Quality Scores, automatic account checkups, and identify which keywords aren’t working for you. The Insights feature lets you improve your keywords so you rank better. The tool is ideal if you recently found yourself with a huge account littered with broken links. You will see them all in one spreadsheet so you can make changes accordingly.

AdWords Inbuilt Recommendations Review

AdWords upped their recommendation game with this helpful tool. It gets its power from machine-learning technology, won’t cost a penny to use, and enjoys updates all the time. It is split into repair, bids and budgets, ads and extensions, and keyword and targeting. The tool is also easy to use and will continue receiving great updates.

Wrapping Up

These are just some of the many convenient PPC tools at your disposal. Price varies greatly among them, so consider starting with free tools and see how you do. Remember, PPC and everything else having to do with marketing your brand is a learning process, so don’t worry if you do not absorb everything in a few days. The idea with these and other advertising tools is to experiment and see what works best for your business.

Get more online marketing help by contacting Softline Solutions today.

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2019 Social Media Marketing Trends: Paid & Organic https://www.softlinesolutions.com/blog/2019-social-media-marketing-trends-paid-organic/ Thu, 09 May 2019 20:10:11 +0000 https://www.softlinesolutions.com/?p=8231 Social media has maintained its stronghold on the buying public, influencing what people buy or at least research every day. Whether yours is a startup venture or a known brand,...

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Social media has maintained its stronghold on the buying public, influencing what people buy or at least research every day. Whether yours is a startup venture or a known brand, there are many paid and organic social media marketing trends for 2019 worth paying attention to. Let’s review some of these trends to help you formulate a new marketing campaign that grabs and holds the attention of your target audience.

Live Video

Live video streaming, such as during a product launch or community event your brand is participating in, has been a popular YouTube option for a while. Facebook and Instagram have since gotten in on the action, providing consumers insider views of their favorite brands. Some experts believe 80% of the future content people consume online will be in video form, as it increases authenticity. Anything can happen during a live video, which shows the human side of brands and encourages customer interactions.

In addition to live videos, many brands have harnessed the power of regular old videos, such as tutorials or those detailing the company’s story. Videos of any kind put faces with brand names and help customers with short attention spans learn about products and services quickly.

Social Listening

Social listening, or the act of crawling social media and web platforms to find every single mention of a brand or related keywords, offers invaluable information in terms of buyer personas and habits. This type of monitoring allows brands to serve highly-customized content, and since it is something only a few companies do right now, there is the opportunity to capitalize on it in 2019.

Micro Influencer Marketing

While brands routinely pay major social media influences to hawk their products and services online, some are going the micro influencer route. Such influencers have fewer than 10,000 followers on social media platforms but still enjoy followings that include lots of comments and interactions. They are also often viewed as experts in their niches and help viewers see brands as “down to earth” as well as trustworthy.

Personalized Everything

Serving consumers with personalized social media content based on past buying habits, clicked links, frequent searches, liked social media posts, and similar actions has dramatically changed the digital marketing landscape. The ability to learn as much about your target market as you can has a direct effect on brand loyalty because you are showing your customers you care about what they buy, and therefore want to add value to their lives. This often includes using paid content to research your market and create buyer personas. Additionally, social listening will undoubtedly have an effect on personalized marketing to provide consumers with even more customized content.

Real-Time Communication

Reaching out to consumers in real-time is yet another way digital marketers are making use of social media platforms. Let’s say a customer just posted a rave review on Twitter about one of your products. Responding right away letting the consumer know how much you appreciate their business helps the individual feel valued and more likely to shop with you again. Responding to complaints immediately also has a positive effect because it shows the consumer you care about his or her experience and want to rectify the issue. Real-time communication with messenger apps such as WhatsApp, Messenger, and Kik provide these benefits as well because they allow customers to receive immediate responses to their queries.

Augmented Reality

Geo filters, facial filters, and similar augmented reality features have made their way onto social media platforms–just look at the crazy filters SnapChat has alone. These features help engage consumers and provide them with a better-rounded, personalized experience. The Sephora Virtual Artist app from the makeup superstore is a perfect example–it allows users to upload their images and virtually try on makeup before they buy. Color matching and tutorials are among some of the other features this app includes.

User-Generated Content

Consumers leave reviews and plenty of them. They post these reviews on social media and anywhere else they can, with some even uploading videos about products and services they adore. This has provided brands with powerful marketing tools, as they can easily shine bright lights on great reviews through social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all provide avenues for user-generated content brands can capitalize on, resulting in more site traffic, conversions, and revenue. Great reviews also contribute considerably to brand trustworthiness and authenticity.

The Generation Z Factor

Don’t forget to focus your digital marketing efforts on Generation Z. This generation is currently entering the workforce and wants to spend money, so why shouldn’t some of it be on your brand? Take a cue from retailers hosting pop-up stores, as these stores are designed for social media use and appeal to a wide variety of young people. You don’t have to work in retail to create a pop-up event, as they apply to a variety of products and services. Pop-up beer gardens, for example. They have taken oven cities such as Philadelphia in the summer, appearing at locations around the City of Brotherly Love including the Japanese Garden in Fairmount Park. Adding a pop-up store to your social media repertoire is something you will not want to skimp on.

Wrapping Up

Facebook has maintained its position as the most-used social media platform with 2.2 billion users worldwide, followed by YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. Reddit, Vine, Ask.fm, and Tumbler are also relatively high on the list. And while you can certainly work with and are encouraged to use multiple social media platforms, it shouldn’t be at the expense of your content. Don’t inundate your followers–provide them with valuable information they can apply to real life. And remember, the best digital marketing strategies combine paid and organic practices and options to create campaigns that pique consumer interest.

Get the expert help your digital marketing strategy needs from Softline Solutions today. Our team of rock stars is here to help you implement campaigns that make your brand pop.

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