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10 Tips To Drive Traffic To Your Website

 

We’re all suckers for the numbers…  Those numbers on social media: the follows, likes, and re-posts – our insights & analytics, and views – and how it all translates into website traffic.  With fast moving trends and ever-evolving platforms, it can be hard to keep up with the best ways to drive traffic to your website.  Don’t worry, we’ve got your back!  Here are 10 tips to help you reach your target audience and drive more traffic to your website.  The best part…  They’re all FREE!

1. QUALITY CONTENT:  When you provide content that customer find of value or benefit, they are more likely to come back to your site.  They will you as an expert voice in your field, and your value opinion.  If you need more time to publish quality content, that is OK.  It’s better to share quality, well thought out content once or twice a month as opposed to a blog post every day or week that lacks substance.

 

2. LANDING PAGES:  Creating a landing page to offer a free download to your customers is a great way to gain new customers also.  People LOVE free stuff!  When you offer a free download, you can gift something that is not a huge monetary investment for you, but is of value to your customers.  For example, you could offer: an e-book, industry related tips, recipes, and much more – without a huge investment of time or money, and your customers will feel appreciated.  (Mailchimp is an easy tool to create a free landing page.)

3. ONLINE COURSE:  Think about the needs of your customer.  What are some of their common challenges?  Create a course offering solutions.  You don’t have to include a product in every video.  Your customers will appreciate your helpful advice, without your video feeling too “sales-y.”  Think about your customers’ lifestyles, and get creative!  For example, if you own a juice shop, you could create a  video of someone making a smoothie and share the recipe with your customers.

4. CATCHY HEADLINES:  Taking the time to create an eye-catching headline is so important.  Customers are often searching through a see of your competitors, so make yourself stand out.  Often we find people say,”I don’t care about the little details.  Nobody is perfect.” but will often show the opposite in their actions.  Subconsciously they care about the details.  If you need ideas, you can always look online at websites similar to yours, search for synonyms, and definitions to make sure you’re standing out enough to be unique but staying on track with your message and reaching your audience.

5.  MIX IT UP:  Engagement is key in retaining and keeping your customers back to your website.  An easy way to do that is to mix up your content.  For example, Say you create two posts a month…try posting a short written article & a video one month.  The following month post a longer written article and an image post – such as a 10 Tips Graphic.

 

 

6.  COLLABORATE:  Do you have a friend or contact that also owns a business?  Are your industries similar?  Great!  Team up with this person and cross-promote your business through a giveaway, product review, or by working on a project together.  This will help drive traffic from each others audiences to your websites and create new customers for both of you in the process.

7.  WEBINARS:  Similar to online courses, webinars are a great way to offer something of value to your customers and educating them in the process.  It’s also a fun way to learn more about your current customers while gaining new customers.  Try incorporating live chat into your webinar to gain customer insights and learn more about your audience & their needs.

 

 

8.  INVITE A GUEST:  Do you need a brain break from creating content?  Try this idea…  Invite a guest writer and feature a piece on your blog.  This is another way of incorporating cross-promotion into your marketing efforts.  If you don’t need a break from creating, your guest writer could also feature you on their blog.  This will help to broaden both of your customer bases.

9. GO LIVE:  It seems customers are loving live video more and more!  Whether you use Instagram or Facebook, live video is a great way to connect with your customers.  You can have Q&A sessions, discuss a particular topic, do a quick tutorial, or share an experience with your customers.

10.  SOCIAL MEDIA:  This seems like a no-brainer to many, but you would be surprised how many people still don’t understand the importance of social media.  It is a great tool for driving traffic to your website.  If you have a blog, use social media to share you blog posts, any new products, upcoming releases, events, news, & important information.  (If you have not checked out Linktr.ee it is a great way to incorporate multiple links into to share in your Instagram profiles.  It’s FREE with the pro version costing a mere $6/month!)

5 Proven Social Media Engagement Strategies for 2018

social-media-engagement

“In the world of social media marketing, the word “engagement” gets thrown around a lot, but few brands actually know how to achieve it.

Brands might pursue the low-effort game of tweeting, ‘gramming, feeding Facebook, and Linkedin-ing updates about products, services, and educational content, but see little engagement.

Engagement just isn’t easy to produce. You have to be, well, engaging. In your business niche, the “like my page” approach probably isn’t going to be effective as you’d like.

Manage and plan your social media posts with the help of this free calendar template.

Let’s look at ideas that could make you a force to be reckoned with. I’ve organized them into an AEIOU list. (I want to call it an acronym, but how would you pronounce the five vowels?)

A is for Ask

The best way to engage someone is to ask a question. “How are you?” and “How’s it going?” are popular options in conversion, but too dull for social media warfare.

“What’s your name?” probably won’t work and “What’s your email?” might come off as a bit too forceful. How about …

“What do you think?” Yes! That’s a winner.

People like to think things through. They like to hear from other thinkers. Certainly, they want other people to know what they think. Try prompting your audience with one of the following “What do you think?” strategies:

  • Probe their personality. Post a question that invites people to share their opinion or weigh in on something.
  • Play the “test your knowledge” game. It’s irresistible.
  • Post a poll. It’s easy to create polls on Twitter and Facebook. In addition to engaging your followers, you stand to learn meaningful things about them too.
  • Respond to my email. Email from brands are bound to ask you to click-through to read, watch, and try or buy something, but how often do they simply ask you to write back? I find this this be an enormously engaging strategy and have seen it work for my brand and many others. Notice I wrote, “Respond to my email,” not “our email” or “this email.” A human-to-human first person approach will be the engaging way to call this play.
  • Just ask. Interactivity 101: simply post a question. Whether done so in a social stream, blog post, online group or community, or on a Q&A site such as Quora, I’ve witnessed asking followers relevant, provocative, and timely questions creates some of the most engaging and thought-provoking social media activity of all.

Let’s take a look at a few examples:

Personality quizzes have been red-hot engagement magnets for years on Buzzfeed, and it’s easy to create them to promote your brand with a template-based tool such as ShortStack.

Nice going AARP. “Test Your Beatles Trivia Knowledge” engaged me, but you could have asked a few easier questions. I went 0–for-8 (and I’m a huge Fab Four fan).

This simple Twitter poll from Airbnb does a great job of engaging followers without any fancy tools.

E is for Expression

“E” is for “expression” because of the way social and mobile have collided, making the ubiquitous smartphone a personal expression machine.

It doesn’t matter how you create content. The camera might be front or rear facing. Audio might be on or off. Filters, emojis, stickers and so forth may be applied or not. Posts may be permanent or self-destructing. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Smartphone apps enable people to express themselves every which way, and so they do.

Here are a few ways you can encourage your audience to create content featuring your brand:

  • Hash it out. The hashtag has become the click-to-connect ticket for bonding with like-minded people. When you put something of interest out there, do a little hashtag research first, or hash out a unique phrase that reflects your brand. Hit that # key, and invite your followers to jump in and hashtag content related
  • Conduct media upload contests. Many social media fans adore Instagram and Facebook contests, and are especially engaged in the types that involve shooting and sharing original photos and videos. Contests may call for other forms of self-expression as well, such as: recipes, recordings, illustrations, poems, essays, and more.
  • Rally reviewers. Thanks to pioneers like Amazon and Yelp, reviews, ratings, and testimonials have been baked into the fabric of e-commerce selling spaces and beyond.
  • Showcase customers, partners and employees. Provided you’re doing something people like, consider creating advocacy programs featuring customers, partners and employees to catalyze your community, amplify your voice, and engage newcomers by giving them a platform to express themselves.

Let’s take a look at an example:

#KajabiHero is an impressive example of customer advocacy at work. Satisfied customers happily endorse the “knowledge commerce platform,” and wear their t-shirts proudly. They’re rewarded with special features, links to their websites, and social media support.

I is for Incentive

I’ve mentioned numerous forms of interactive content, some of them competitions, but have yet to introduce the term “gamification.” People like to play games, compete, keep score, and most of all, win.

Satisfy your audience’s competitive spirit by featuring compelling incentives in your promotions. As incentives go, valuable prizes loom largest, but you may be surprised how even small rewards prove to deliver a sizable lure.

I swept through a post that features 37 Facebook contest ideas to inspire fans to bond with your brand in an effort to extract some ideas you can use to encourage people to get involved.

The entry form on this promotion by Michigan’s Friendship Circle explains, each person who casts a vote for their favorite pair of hand-drawn Converse All Stars will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a free pair of the winner. The winning shoe was subsequently reproduced and sold as a fundraiser.

O is for Offer

Your engagement strategy doesn’t need to be interactive or gamified 100% of the time. Your brand can engage customers and prospects the old fashioned way, with attractive offers such as:

  • Instant coupons and discounts
  • Membership clubs (example below)
  • Pick your discount promotions
  • Free shipping

The link in Pura Vida Bracelet’s Instagram bio invites you to “join the Pura Vida Club.” BTW, the brand’s Instagram feed (1 million followers) bubbles over with joyous photos, mostly from customers, engaging questions, challenges, posts about charitable causes, and conversations.

Experiment with different types of offers to discover what your customers best respond to.

Facebook makes it easy to promote offers. A flavor of the Facebook ad portfolio is the “offer ad.” Offer ads can be redeemed online and/or be saved by Facebook fans to be redeemed in-store.

A help page from Facebook offers the following best practices:

  • Make discounts substantial. Offers with free items or with discounts of at least 20% off will reach more people.
  • Use an engaging image. Photos of people using a product often perform better than photos of a product by itself, and both generally perform better than logos.
  • Set an expiration date. Give people a few days to discover and claim an offer and allow time for your offer to be shared among friends. The ideal length of an offer is 7 days.
  • Promote your offer: After creating an ad for your offer, pin it to the top of your Page to help it get noticed.

U is for Utility

Engagement and utility are close friends on the web today.

Data from a research report about interactive contact from Content Marketing Institute and ion interactive reveals the top two reasons for using interactive content are (1) educating the audience and (2) engagement.

A major majority of savvy B2B marketers put utility at the forefront of their content marketing programs. Useful content created to engage prospective customers could include tools, blog posts, video, infographics, downloadable guides, mini-courses, helpful email sequences, webinars, and much more.

Above is a LinkedIn ad from ConnectWise Automate that offers what appears to be a highly useful guide to help vendors price their IT services.

The ad is the pitcher… and here’s the catcher: a highly engaging and smartly designed landing page.

ConnectWise landing page.png

I love the question style headline, the directional cues, the 1/2/3 infographic vignette, the very cool bonus offer (a calculator), and the nicely designed form.

Utilitarian marketing ideas work offline too—and for any size company or individual.

I love the story from Jay Baer’s book Youtility about Taxi Mike. Jay calls an enterprising taxi driver he encounters a “one man Trip Advisor.” The driver created the Taxi Mike Dining Guide (above) and updates it regularly to handout to his passengers.

How will you AEIOU engagement with your brand?

A quick review:

(A) Asking Questions

(E) Invoking Expression

(I) Providing Incentives

(O) Making Offers

(U) Delivering Utility

I hope you found these ideas and examples useful — and engaging.”

Written by: Barry Feldman Source

5 Advisor Growth Strategies for 2018

5 Advisor Growth Strategies for 2018

“According to the Chinese zodiac, 2018 is the year of the dog.¹ I have no idea what that means for you or if you even care. What I do know about 2018 is that growing your practice will take a big commitment. Here are five ideas that work well when done together and in sequence.

ONE
START THE YEAR WITH THE RIGHT MARKETING MINDSET

Do it right
Stop silo-marketing initiatives that don’t create momentum and don’t last. Buy in to an integrated, long term marketing approach that will continue working for you for year. You can add or takeaway parts, but get focused on a strategy that will last.

Think long-term
Build for many years of success, not just the next 90 days or you’ll spend each 90 day segment starting something new with little momentum from last quarter. It’s no way to market and grow.

No short cuts
There are no short cuts. Do it right. Stop paying silo-marketers for shortcut marketing. List buying doesn’t work alone. Seminars alone won’t do it. Search engine marketing only works as part of a much larger strategy. Stop lead generations tactics that aren’t built around an overarching marketing plan.

Invest
Nothing comes without hard work and smart investing. Find out what makes sense for you, not necessarily what worked for someone else. 10% of your gross revenue should be dedicated to marketing every year. It may be more if you need to build your foundation (brand, website, social profiles).

Understand your true ROI
ROI isn’t just objective. It’s subjective. Don’t ever forget the value of looking good, being intriguing and making it easy for people to engage you. Too many advisors look for clear and simple ROI guarantees. The greatest wins are the subjective ones. Confidence to close. Attracting more ideal prospects. Inspiring referrals from COIs and Clients you haven’t heard from in a while. Attracting opportunities to network, partner or contribute.

In most cases, ROI is what you make of it, not what it does for you. Stop waiting for the leads to pile in, go get them with your brand, content, website, social network and more. Have a “go get ‘em” mentality, not a “when are they coming” mentality.

TWO
EMPLOY THE RIGHT FRAMEWORK TO BUILD TRUST

Trust Formula - Framework

Own your story
Nothing is more important in financial services than having a story that differentiates you. In the least, it should clearly articulate who you serve, what you do, and why it’s important to them. Your brand precedes you. Your prospects experience your brand before they ever meet you in person. What’s your story? Are you different? Are you better? Who should work with you? Why should they care?

Prove your expertise and commitment
It’s not enough to say you are good, different or better. It’s everything to prove it and your ideal audience expect it. Show you care. Show your personality. Share your expertise. Make a commitment to creating and sharing content that tells your story and more importantly, helps them understand theirs. Prove your brand.

It’s not “build it and they will come”. Get exposed
Once you have a story, you need to get it out there in a meaningful way. Know where your audience is, find them and address them on their terms. Engage them in your story and your content. Get them to share your content with their networks. Expand. Find ways to target build your list. Use LinkedIn search. Find verticals and COIs who work with your ideal audience. Engage them too. Be everywhere you can be and as efficiently as possible.

THREE
SAVE TIME & MONEY

Stop “trial and error” marketing
Why try and fail when you can try and succeed. Find someone who’s had success with a strategy, not just a tactic. Will it work for you? Why did it work for them? Will your audience respond the same way? What hasn’t worked for them? Why? Do some research of find a firm that’s helped many different types of advisors find their way.

No more “old school” marketing
If “old school” only meant, build trust, that would be okay. What it means more often than not is trying the same things advisors did 15 years ago and expecting the same results. Old school thinks: referrals are just about asking, “free consultation” is a valid call-to-action, social media is a black hole, direct mail is personal, and seminars are purely educational. Marketing these days is about content, conversations and being everywhere.

Stop “I Hope…” marketing
Every advisors needs a strategy, not just tactics. How does your marketing work together? How do you create momentum? What’s effective and efficient?

Avoid SUNK marketing
Sunk marketing dies after it’s been used. Irt has no long-term value. Some examples are ads (digital, print), seminars (if you don’t follow up), direct mail (if it doesn’t lead to something else), emails marketing (if it doesn’t lead to something else), date specific content, and webinars (if it doesn’t lead to something else. The key is, does it lead to something else and does it have value once it’s been used? Some examples of lasting marketing: evergreen podcasts, videos, blog posts, published articles (if evergreen), and social profiles. Ten podcasts are worth more than 2. They add credibility to your cause. Digital advertising is gone once it’s done. Unless of course it led to content engagement where you can now initiate other marketing: social, email nurture, email newsletter, RSS to your blog/podcast and so on. The key here is to use “Old school” tactics and advertising to engage people in digital marketing, then you have something to build on.

FOUR
BUILD MARKETING MOMENTUM – EVERY DAY

Get sticky
Get people coming back for more. Share content that your audience will use over and over. Make your content so compelling people want to come back for more.

Engage people
Use every opportunity you have to get people to engage in digital marketing then eventually face-to-face opportunities.

Influence people
Once people are engaged, stay in touch with them often enough and with appropriate content to further ingrain your expertise and commitment.

FIVE
IMPLEMENT, IMPLEMENT, IMPLEMENT

Focus on progress over perfection
If you’re waiting for the perfect website, the perfect paper, the perfect article, the perfect value proposition, you’’ll be missing out on more opportunities and the learning that comes from implementation.

Do what you can and build from there
Start small and focus on building momentum versus only using attraction tactics. Build your brand first, then your website, then your content, then start attracting.

Outsource when needed
You can’t do it all. You don’t have time and you won’t know how to maximize each strategy/tactic. Find help for what you don’t know or aren’t efficient at.

Simplify
Keep your marketing and relationships as simple as possible. Advisors often have 3-5 marketing vendors working for them at any given time. Start from square one, what’s your strategy? How can you simplify implementation? Can you find one or two vendors instead of 5?

Be accountable
Make sure someone on your team is holding you or others accountable. Too many advisors ignore what’s working or not and wait too long to address the inefficiencies and ineffectiveness.

Clear obstacles
Be aware of obstacles that steal your focus and keep you from starting or implementing better marketing. One of the most common obstacles advisors face is the “I already invested in this” mindset. If you invested and it didn’t work, don’t stick with it just because you spent the  money. Fix it now. If you spend too much time writing blog posts that drain the energy out of you, find another way. Try podcasting for instance. It’s much easier. If you don’t have the right technology to be efficient, find a way to get it. If you have a marketing assistant who doesn’t have the right digital skills to help you, find someone who does or enroll them in our Marketing Assistant Course.

Travel light
The bigger your marketing commitments are, the harder they become to manage and sustain; both financially and time-wise. It’s best to be really good at a few marketing tactics that work really well together than to be spread too thin.

2018
FORMULA FOR SUCCESS

Advsior Marketing Formula for Success in 2018

1 – The Chinese regard a dog as an auspicious animal. If a dog happens to come to a house, it symbolizes the coming of fortune.

Written by Kirk Lowe: Source

18 Mobile Stats To Consider For Your 2018 Marketing Strategy

“Have you checked your phone today?

If I had to guess, I’d bet you have, probably more than once, considering (on average) we check our phones 47 times a day! (Deloitte, Mobile Consumer Survey 2017)

Mobile users are obsessed with their phones (count me in, I can’t get enough!). We use our phones for any number of mundane tasks. We might argue that it makes those tasks a little more enjoyable or convenient. From booking appointments, creating lists, setting reminders, sending emails, messaging friends, playing games, to shopping, our smartphones have become a permanent fixture in our daily lives.

It’s time to utilize the power of mobile as was done in the past, for once new, but now traditional media channels (radio, television, direct mail). It’s time to make mobile part of our marketing strategy. Not in the exact, same way as we did with traditional channels, but in a way that aligns with the shifting consumer journey. Never before have we been able to reach consumers on such an intimate level. The best part, consumers are opting in to engage with brands!

Here are 18 mobile marketing statistics that explore why mobile is a crucial component of any marketing strategy.

1. There are 4.92 billion mobile users globally. That is equal to 66% of the total population and is a 5% increase from 2016. From 2016 to 2017 mobile has grown by more than half of the previous year’s growth. We went from 81 million new mobile users in 2016 to 222 million new users in 2017 (We Are Social). If it wasn’t already, I think it’s safe to say mobile is here to stay.

2. On average, mobile users spend 87 hours/month on their device. That’s 1,044 hours / year. That means users are spending 12% of their time browsing on mobile. (Smart Insights)

3. 9 out of 10 consumers would like to use messaging to talk to businesses. Messaging has become the consumer-preferred channel for communication. It can be an excellent tool for customer service. (Twilio) For a list of ways to engage consumers using mobile, check out 25 Ways to Use SMS.

4. It is predicted that by 2020, 48.7 million consumers will opt-in to receive business SMS. At the end of 2016, that number had reached 37.2 million. “These numbers make SMS the fastest growing marketing channel.” (textlocal)

5. 32% of senior mobile experts surveyed see “creating personalized customer experiences,” as their greatest long-term growth potential for mobile products. (Incite Group) There is an incredible opportunity to build customer databases that will help segment your mobile users for more effective marketing messages.

6. SMS has a higher response rate than mobile advertising. For example, 8% of mobile users who received an SMS message has gone in-store to make a purchase compared to only 4% of mobile users who saw a mobile ad. In the image below SMS rates higher in every category compared to Mobile Advertising. (textlocal)

7. Google owns 96% of mobile search traffic. If you’re looking for a location to improve your mobile search traffic Google is where you want to be (Net Market Share). Mobile has created a search obsessed culture in Canada, allowing for “quick, useful advice across a wide range of topics.” This means as marketers it’s possible to re-imagine your role in helping consumers make decision. (Think With Google)

8. Response rates from SMS are 209% higher than from phone calls, Facebook, or email. Not every text will result in a sale, however, 29% of targeted customers will respond to text messages and 47% of those responders go on to make a purchase. Using SMS as a marketing tactic can help expand your reach and generate another touch point. (Emarsys)

9. 47% of consumers prefer using native SMS as their messaging app of choice. Facebook Messenger follows this at 21%. (Twilio)

10. Mobile users are 5X more likely to abandon a site if it is not optimized for mobile. With that, 52% of user said a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company. If you want consumers to share their experience with friends you want it to be a positive experience. Optimizing your site for mobile is an important step towards a seamless user experience. (Experience Dynamics 2015)

11. The most popular screen size for mobile devices is 5 inches to less than 5.5 inches. When creating content it’s necessary to understand how the consumer is viewing your content. (Tech Crunch)

12. The average load time for a mobile landing page is 22 seconds. However, 53% of visits are abandoned if it takes longer than 3 seconds. Meaning load times longer than 3 seconds are an issue. Mobile users want a “fast and frictionless mobile experience and basics like load time can make or break you.” (Think With Google)

13. 71% of teens say they spend an average of 3+ hours per day watching videos online. If you haven’t already, looks like it might be time to ramp up your video content. (Think With Google)

14. Mobile adblock usage grew by 108 million to reach 380 million devices. AdBlock usage has become mainstream across all generations. (PageFair) This is why #8 can be very useful; SMS is a powerful tool when it comes to reaching and engaging your consumers.

15. 24% of marketers plan to add messaging apps to their content strategy in the next year. (HubSpot, State of Inbound)

16. 57% of users say the main reason for not downloading apps is that they don’t see a need for them. This is followed by 25% saying they don’t have space on their phone. (Deloitte, Global Mobile Consumer Report) While apps can be useful in some cases, they are also expensive to create. For 2018 consider alternative engagement tactics that don’t require apps such as mobile contests, coupons, or gift-with-purchase.

17. 53% of all teens are likely to make a purchase on their mobile device. Compared to 30% of those ages 18-24 and 43% of those ages 24-34. (Think With Google)

18. The results show that 92% of US mobile phone users use their phone while out shopping. 81% use it while at a restaurant and 89% use their mobile device while watching TV. (Deloitte, Global Mobile Consumer Report)
There you have it, 18 mobile statistics to help you plan for your 2018 marketing strategy. Let’s break them down into three key insights to take with you into the new year:
SMS is an effective method for consumer engagement. With higher response rates than traditional media channels and more consumers opting in to communicate with businesses, SMS will be an important channel for marketing communication and customer service in 2018.
Optimizing your website for mobile is no longer an option, it’s an absolute necessity. Not only do consumers expect a smooth user experience, mobile commerce is growing and more consumers are shopping on mobile.
Mobile is not specific to Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X or Baby Boomers, it has managed to infiltrate all generations. And while some uses may differ, consumers from all generations can be reached on mobile.” Source: MobileXCo.

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