Leveraging Social Media Polls

One of the key strategies that businesses online usually focus on is getting more engagement from their audience on social media. Interacting and getting people to respond to posts can help you build a more engaged fanbase that is likely to stay loyal to your brand and spread the word about what you do. One of the most effective ways to get people to engage with your posts is to create a social media poll to get feedback from your audience.

Getting consumer feedback not only gets people to react to your post, it can also provide you with valuable information that can help you improve what you do. Voting for something can drive excitement for certain products or your brand in general and it can help you understand what your audience really wants. Polls can make user interactions more immediate and intimate in a way that a normal post can’t quite accomplish.

Social media polls can often take the form of allowing followers to decide the best options for products that a company offers. They can also simply be for fun so that the audience can share their opinion on something. Polls can incorporate humor to get people to react in a way that makes them more interested in your brand.

Lettings be involved in business decisions helps them feel more involved in what you do and persuades them to care more about the outcome. Polls can be used on almost any social media site including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Even though polls can be useful they should be only posted occasionally so fans don’t bored or lose interest in them.

Mixing in some social media polls with your regular posts can boost engagement and help you build a closer relationship with your audience.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Top 3 SEO Strategies To Do Right Now

Top 3 SEO Strategies To Do Right Now

SEO is a marketing tool that is constantly changing so marketers need to adjust their strategies fairly often to keep up. SEO is still a crucial part of building an online presence so businesses must take the time to pay attention to what the current best practices are.

Here are the most effective SEO strategies that you should implement right away to see better results:

1. Optimize for Voice Search

One of the fastest growing changes in search marketing is the use of voice search tools such as Siri and Alexa. More people than ever are using the voice option on their mobile phone or their smart home devices so that they don’t have to take the time to type. People often use different kinds of phrases and keywords when they use voice search compared to typing a query on a phone or a desktop so you will need to adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.

2. Write Longer Content

Great content is key to having more effective SEO and recently marketers have found that longer posts tend to hold reader’s interest and get more of a response. However the content still needs to be high quality, useful and interesting information that will keep readers on the page longer.

3. Create a Faster Website

If there are any loading or navigational issues with your website it can negative affect the success of your SEO strategies. A fast site will rank higher on Google and will create a better user experience which is important for retaining customers. If you optimize for speed you are going to see more positive results.

The focus of SEO strategies can incorporate many different aspects of marketing but these three options are simple and effective for businesses that want a quick boost.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Best Graphic Design Apps for Social Media Posts

Best Graphic Design Apps for Social Media Posts

Users on social media expect unique and engaging images that will draw them in and encourage them to respond to your post. This is sometimes best accomplished by a great graphic design that will make people want to share your image. Fortunately there are plenty of apps available to help you create interesting graphics for your posts.

Canva – One of the most useful tools for visual design especially for business owners and entrepreneurs is Canva. This is an app that is easy to use for people with limited design skills who want to create a custom image. You can use the app to choose a layout, search for images, purchase stock photos, add visual effects and customize the color scheme and font to match your brand.

PiktoChart – If you are looking to make your own infographics for your social media posts then Piktochart might be the best app to choose. You can also use the app to make reports, banners and presentations in addition to infographics. There are built in templates to choose from that you can easily customize and edit in order to match your brand’s color scheme and themes.

QuotesCover- Posting quotes on your social media sites can be a great way to capture people’s attention and inspire them. QuotesCover is an app that allows users to create beautiful quote graphics so that you can add a design element to personal or famous quotes that you want to share. Within the app you can choose a layout, add your quote, add a photo or choose a plain background and customize the color and font.

Whatever type of graphics you are hoping to post on your site, there are apps that specifically cater to what you are looking for and make it easy to customize and design unique images.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Instagram Cares About Users Wellbeing

Instagram Cares About Users Wellbeing

Instagram has responded to claims that the social media platform is bad for mental health by setting up their own “Wellbeing Team”. Recently a highly publicized survey revealed that Instagram ranked number one as the worst social media network for user’s mental health and wellbeing. Instagram is hoping to combat the negative impact that it has on user’s health by coming up with ways to make it a more positive community.

The health survey showed that although Instagram can be good for self-expression and self-identity, these positive aspects were overwhelmingly outweighed by its association with anxiety, depression and negative body image. The negative elements of Instagram made it rank well below competitors in terms of mental health such as Facebook and YouTube which was actually reported to have a positive effect on wellbeing. Instagram decided to confront the problem by creating an entire team that is dedicated to improving people’s mood and wellbeing through Instagram.

The Wellbeing Team is making an effort to transform Instagram into a place where people feel good and don’t experience feelings of anxiety and depression while using it. It may be a difficult task since many users especially young women experience a lot of negative feelings on Instagram. Women in their late teens and early 20s using Instagram reported that it had a negative impact on their body image and made them feel inadequate about their work and lifestyle.

Instagram is currently changing their priorities and making positive mental health their number one goal for the platform. They have created comment filters that automatically filter out inappropriate comments to prevent bullying and set up teams to review posts by individuals who may need mental health support. If Instagram continues to take measures to improve the community it may be able to minimize the negative impact it has on user’s mental wellbeing.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

3 Strategies That Never Get Old Amidst The New Digital Era

3 Strategies That Never Get Old Amidst The New Digital Era

With the continuous emerging of cutting-edge technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning, the needs and demands of people also have changed. This has brought a paradigm shift in a way marketing works.

As most things go online and mobile, new marketing techniques emerge, resulting in some old tactics to take the backseat. But just because things have changed, doesn’t mean we can just ditch old marketing strategies.

You’ll be surprised to know that there are old marketing tactics that can still do their job. Let’s take a look at some of these strategies that still work these days.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has been around for a while now. But way back not so long ago, influencer marketing is a rather hazy and vague tactic to be used by a small and startup business. It was perceived as expensive and complex that only big players with enough marketing budget could perform.

Luckily, these days, influencer marketing isn’t only limited to big players. Both big players and small business owners can potentially benefit from this marketing approach.

How?

A survey revealed that 95% of consumers trust people as a source of recommendation when they see them as someone similar to themselves. This is an indication that you, as a small business owner, do not need to hire a famous personality to perform an influencer marketing campaign.

Your satisfied customer is your greatest influencer. To get your influencer marketing campaign running, you need to tap into the everyday people whom you have built a relationship with to support your campaign. These people you have a strong engagement with can share their opinions in a credible way which can move their connection to act in favor of your business.

Influencer marketing in the modern era of digital marketing is not exactly after conversion. It is about building the trust and confidence in your business by enhancing information sharing to capture the attention of new target consumers.

Influencer Marketing

Connecting Through Content

With the rise of innovations like AI and machine learning, data gathering has never been easier. Accessing information has never been better for both businesses and consumers.

However, this also has resulted in some backlash. The ability of businesses to utilize customer’s information in a large scale resulted in information overload.  Consumers, these days, are bombarded with salesy pitches that are irrelevant and annoying. Thus, making it difficult to capture consumer’s attention.

But with the right use of data, consumer’s impression can be reversed. Modern day technology gives light to a more efficient data gathering and analysis that are based on customer engagement and interaction. This provides a leeway for business to provide relevant and more targeted content.

The right use of data brings in an opportunity for personalization. Personalization supports dynamic content and marketing automation.  Hence, it is easier to capture the attention of your audience.

When customers engage with the business, an automation tool will gather relevant data and analyze them. It will then create relevant contents, set criteria for audience targeting based on the data analysis and send out different types of contents according to what the consumers are looking for.

This is how personalization works. This allows businesses to create contents that are valuable and answers the current needs and demand of people. Personalization enables you to craft contents that resonate the most with the users by considering their needs, desires, aspirations and problems.

Modern technology gives you an opportunity to have a deeper understanding of the consumers which allows you create a relevant content but also so you can use them in targeting the right people with the right content at the right time.

Competitor Research

Competitor Research

One way or another, your business has perhaps conducted some competitor research. Going back to the basics, competitor research is all about knowing your competitors including their strength and weaknesses.

This made most business obsessed with stalking competitors and isn’t cool. In this modern digital era, competitor analysis goes beyond swot analysis and other overrated methods. More than keeping an eye out for competitors, competitor analysis is performed to get a better knowledge of how your business perform in the industry.

Competitor analysis gives you a glimpse of how and whys your competitors perform in the current situation. This helps you determine the current problems you may be facing but you are not aware of. This helps you spot your own weaknesses and unique value proposition that you can resolve and utilize respectively.

Competitor analysis is a crucial business strategy of the modern days. Modern competitor analysis should be conducted to arm yourself with new knowledge that would guide you in performing business strategies to position yourself as a leader in the industry.

Final Words

Old marketing, in general, may not be an ideal approach in this modern digital marketing world. But that does not mean you need to toss away the marketing strategies that come along with it.

In this modern era, there are marketing strategies that just needs a little makeover to be effective. A slight revamp will help you restore these marketing techniques to its former glory.

The only way to do it is to integrate new technologies and innovations to answer the needs and changing demands of consumers.

Author’s Bio:

SEO consultant Al Gomez is the man behind Dlinkers.com, a company dedicated to provide quality digital marketing services for small business owners from Australia and other parts of the globe. With more than ten years of experience, he enjoys supporting smartpreneurs like himself achieve online success.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Busting the Myth of New Business Failures

Many people from all over the world are afraid of starting up their business ventures because of the myth that most startups do not last beyond a year. This has sadly made people give up on their dream starting a new business for fear of the unexpected and likely failure.

However, this myth is completely misleading, and the opposite is actually the truth! The majority, almost 80%, of all startups thrive for one year and beyond according to the most recent statistics from the SBA Small Business Administration.

Recent research from the small business advocate office of the SBA proves that over 75% of startups succeed in their first year of operation.

 

New Business Failure Percentage Rates – SBA Statistics - An Infographic from Best 4 Businesses.com

Embedded from Best 4 Businesses.com

Small businesses and startups are the backbones of every country’s economic progress. They are a major source of employment since that often employ locally. This simultaneously helps the people’s living standards while driving up the country’s economy.

During the recession for example, when many big businesses faltered, most small businesses withstood the recession and kept going strong. In the process, they helped their many employees weather the economic storms successfully.

Facts about Small Business in America

    • There are over 29 million small businesses in the USA alone. Out of these, about 23 million had no employees while another 5 million had employees. The number of large business is much less than the small businesses.
    • Over 99% of all firms in the USA are small businesses with the same percentage of paid employees.
    • Small businesses account for 62% of new job creations in the first quarter of every year.
    • About 4000,000 small businesses start every year, but only about 50% survive the first five years.

Why Small Businesses and Startups Fail

Though not all new businesses survive after the first five years, those that do, stabilize after being in business for a few years. A third of all startups survive beyond 10 years.

It is important to note that majority of those businesses that close their doors do not do so because they failed. Some opt to sell off their businesses while other people choose to retire and pursue other channels. So let’s explore the reasons why new businesses fail so you can prosper instead.

Failure to focus on the expectations

One of the reasons for business failures is due to lack of focus on long-term results. When any company fails to define its expectations, they are bound to fail.

Somewhere along the line, priorities change, which creates confusion and this, can lead to negative consequences.

If you start a business and define what you want to achieve in terms of revenue, cash flow, and customer retention, then there is no reason to fail. Be very clear to everyone in the company what you expect as the result. In this way, everyone will work towards achieving that goal.

Failure to invest time in employees

While most people think that marketing strategies are the ones that bring in the largest returns on investment in most businesses, it is not always the case. The people that you employ in your startup are the most crucial part of your growth. They are the body of your business, and in order to get the results you need, you have to train and treat them well.

Focus on their needs and they will focus on making your business thrive by attending to your customers better and since they will care more about your business and your company.

Sharpen their skills by offering training and reward them with benefits and promotions for work well done. A happy employee is a great investment. A discontented employee may contribute to your business failure.

Failure to listen to feedback

Some employers are so overly confident that they dismiss every information given to them about their businesses by employers, customers, and experts. Failure to listen to what people say about your business is a sure way of failing.

If you are the owner of a business and take it upon yourself to run all the affairs, it will wear you down and leave you frustrated. Eventually, you may think that you are running the business all alone without any input from anyone. The truth, on the other hand, is you do not let anyone in – to your personal and professional detriment.

Occasionally, ask your employees, partners and even clients what they think you should change. They will probably ask you to delegate some duties and work as a team instead of taking everything head on alone. If you listen and follow the feedback, the positive results will surprise you. Appreciating those that you work with and listening to what they have to say will make your business prosper beyond the one-year myth of failure.

Failure to choose the right location

If you want to beat the myth of your business failure beyond the first year, then be very careful about the location you choose. Choose a location that best suits your business or service that you are offering.

If for example, you are running a café, do not choose an area with low traffic. You need a place with heavy traffic where you are sure that you will have people coming in for meals at all times. If you run a courier service, do not choose a place where it is hard for clients to reach you with their deliveries. Choosing the most convenient places will ensure a consistent flow of traffic, and this should keep you in business for longer.

Failure to advertise

While many businesses flourish because of hard work, commitment, experience and sometimes luck, it is also good to give your business a push by advertising and marketing your products. Many startups may lack traffic because not many people know what they are offering. You can change this by advertising widely either online or on social media or by using banners and other means of advertisement. This way you know that you will attract paying customers and sell products that people are willing to pay for. Make your products stand out during your marketing campaigns and show reason why you are better than the next company is.

Failure to learn management skills

Good management is the backbone of success in a business. If you do not have good managerial or entrepreneurial skills, learn in order to save your business.

It is scary to start a new business. However, if you strive to work hard on your investment and ignore the myths, then there is no reason why you should not go beyond one year successfully.

Get rid of any bad habits and follow these failure-proof guidelines. You have to remember that without small businesses, the economy would not be what it is today.

Test the waters first before you jump into opening your business. Carry out enough research and know everything you need to know about the kind of products and services you want to sell.

You alone can prove the myth wrong. Good luck entrepreneurs.

About the Author:

Marsha Kelly sold her first business for more than a million dollars. She has shared hard-won experiences as a successful serial entrepreneur on her Best4Businesses blog, where she also regularly posts business tips, ideas, and suggestions as well as product reviews for business readers. As a serial entrepreneur who has done “time” in corporate America, Marsha has learned what products and services really work well in business today. You can learn from her experiences to build your business.

https://twitter.com/best4businesses

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

5 Snapchat Geofilter Tips

5 Snapchat Geofilter Tips

Using Snapchat filters adds a unique element to your posts and geofilters can show viewers a special overlay that is accessed in certain locations. Snapchat recently made it possible for viewers to create their own geofilters which opens up new creative possibilities for posts. Whether you use Snapchat’s existing geofilters or create your own they can add a festive design element that can be useful for marketing or simply showcasing new sticker graphics.

Initially Snapchat geofilters were somewhat limited because they were only offered through the company. Now there are community submitted geofilters that are free and available to users and you can make your own custom geofilter for a special event. Businesses can create a custom geofilter using their logo or brand to promote themselves to Snapchat users.

Here are some tips for using Snapchat geofilters to your advantage-

1. Define the Geographical Area

The way that geofilters work on Snapchat is that the user must be within a certain range to use the filter. If you purchase a custom geofilter that range is about 20,000 square feet or more. You will need to provide details about the area where you want the geofilter to appear and then Snapchat will create a “geofence” for your filter. When users are in that area your filter will appear as an option for them to add to their posts.

In order to find a geofilter the user will need to have the filters box checked under their settings and have their location available on their smartphone. As long as they are within the geofence they will be able to see your geofilter appear as one they can add to their photo or video.

2. Follow Business Guidelines

If you are choosing to create a custom geofilter in order to promote your business you will need to make sure that you follow Snapchat’s guidelines. Businesses creating a filter must have the necessary usage rights and permissions to include any brand or business names well as  logos or trademarks. It is important for anyone who creates a geofilter to know that filters must not contain any photographs of people, URLS, hashtags, phone numbers or emails.

For businesses that means that you might have to be more creative in getting people to contact you when they see your filter. Having your business name may be enough but you can also find ways to include your social media handle or website without using an @ symbol or “.com” so that Snapchat doesn’t recognize it as a URL.

4. Using Templates to Design

3. Understanding Specifications

It is important to have a good idea of the guidelines and specifications for a geofilter to avoid having your custom filter rejected by Snapchat after you submit it. If you follow all the specifications then you are more likely to have your filter approved so you can use it right away without having to make any adjustments. The files need to be 1080px by 1920px high, under 300KB in size and saved as a .PNG file with a transparent background.

4. Using Templates to Design

If you don’t have a designer to help you make a custom geofilter the good news is that Snapchat offers templates to help people create their own filters. You can edit and customize the templates if you don’t have any of your own design programs to create an overlay. These pre-made design elements can inspire you but you can also look at other people’s geofilters for ideas and inspiration.

5. Choose the Right Date for Your Filter

Custom Snapchat geofilters are only allowed to be active for 30 days and then they can no longer be run. You will also need to schedule the exact dates that it will run but not any more than 30 days ahead of the day you submit. That means you need to time your submission accordingly and have an idea of the specific time period where your filter will be most effective.

Geofilters can be effective if you are using them to help promote a special event or let people know that your business recently opened in the area. You can choose the exact start and end dates for the filter so that it falls prior and during your event or opening. If you want to create another geofilter after the 30 days are over you can simply submit a new design and choose new dates.

Snapchat geofilters are a great way for users to show their followers where they are and what they are doing. Custom filters can be a useful way to promote a business, a specific occasion or just be more creative with Snapchat. As long as you understand and follow Snapchat’s rules and guidelines about designing geofilters they can be a fun and effective addition to your online presence.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

What Can a Digital Marketing Agency Do for You?

What Can a Digital Marketing Agency Do for You?

Businesses that are looking to expand their reach online might be interested in getting some help from marketing experts. The world of marketing often changes very quickly and it can be difficult to focus on both running a business and advertising it online. A digital marketing agency can provide some support in launching bigger or more effective campaigns in order to grow your business.

Traditional marketing methods are rapidly becoming a thing of the past as most people focus on search ads and social media marketing campaigns. The tactics behind these methods can be complex because they work best when they are specifically targeted to an audience. A digital marketing agency has the experience and understanding of how to create ads that cater toward certain individuals online and can make sure that they see them.

A digital marketing agency has more skills in analyzing data so that they can target brand promotion more effectively. They can organize digital marketing campaigns and take the guesswork out of reaching audiences online so that you can immediately see positive results. Businesses that want to get the most out of their digital advertising efforts benefit from an agency that can make it easy for them.

Organized and Focused Marketing

What makes a digital marketing agency more effective than a business attempting their own marketing strategies? A digital marketing agency focuses on results-based marketing using a team of strategists, consultants and developers that work to create a campaign. They are not simply creating ads and hoping that they get results, they know how to use tactics that will develop your brand and generate leads.

A digital marketing agency has the ability to take over a businesses marketing efforts from top to bottom so that they see some real improvement. The agency can start by evaluating your unique needs as a company so that they can develop a strategy that will work to maximize your profits. They focus on the bigger picture of seeing your business improve rather than just producing individual ad campaigns.

The agency can help you set goals and define your objectives based on areas that could improve your business. Many companies find it difficult to clearly understand what their marketing objective should be or even what their best targeted buyer should be. The digital marketing agency can help determine the best target audience so that you can develop a message for them in your advertising.

Developing Your Online Presence

Once a digital marketing agency has created a definition of your ideal buyer they can then start to develop your images and find ways to showcase your brand. This could mean having a more effective website that appeals to your target audience and figuring out which platforms and channels will work best for you. Your ideal buyer can help determine which social media sites suit your brand and where most of your audience hangs out online.

A marketing agency can use these channels to position your company as a market leader and establish your brand authority. Target buyers can start to see you as an expert in your field and they will look to you for the best products. The agency creates content that showcases your expertise while also helping to build organic search results.

Your online presence will continue to grow with the help of a digital marketing agency in a way that establishes your brand and allows you to maintain your position as a competitor in your industry. The agency will identify your competition and help you stay in the game so that you aren’t left behind when it comes to what’s new in marketing. A refocused and more effective online presence can begin to have a big impact on your profits and increase your return on investment.

Save Time and Energy

One of the biggest advantages of using a digital marketing agency is that you can allow them to revamp your marketing from the ground up while you focus on running your business. You won’t have to use your valuable resources on advertising yourself and you can instead put more energy into making your business the best that it can be. Hiring a marketing agency frees up time and resources so that you can grow your business from the inside while they improve and develop your brand’s image.

Overall, a digital marketing agency gives businesses the chance to work with marketing experts that know how to get results and won’t waste time or money trying strategies that aren’t useful to you. They have all the experience and qualifications that make it easy for them to get the results that you might struggle with. Their efforts can help you boost profits, improve your business and  establish your brand authority and presence online.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Mark Zuckerberg Matchmaker Takes On The Dating Industry

Mark Zuckerberg, The Matchmaker

This week Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a new dating feature that would be added to Facebook’s mobile app called Facebook Dating that some have deemed “FaceDate.” Although Facebook is the largest social network in the world, in terms of fostering relationships the only feature available since its inception is the infamous Relationship Status box that allows users to share if they are single, in a relationship or “its complicated”.

In the keynote, Zuckerberg stated that 1 in 3 marriages start online, meaning this venture has been overlooked for a decade. Zuckerberg said since their focus is to help people find meaningful relationships, a life partner would be the most meaningful of all.

Adding the dating mode feature makes Facebook a huge competitor in the dating app world. This feature could then be a strategic move to attract a younger demo and regain those that made up Facebook majority but has now left for other social media platforms. Facebook Dating

Of course these features are optional and users will have to opt in to see other users dating profiles.. Facebook events can be unlocked by both users allow them to connect to people attending local events or connect with people in similar groups. “FaceDate” would provide the most relevant matches based on mutual friends and other data that other platforms simply cant provide.

Tons of people find their significant other on Facebook anyway, this feature may just make it easier. Facebook said there will be more information about the new Dating features in the next few months including a release date and testing phase.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

YouTube Ads Overview

YouTube Ads Overview

Businesses that have create video advertisements often need an easy way to get more people to view them. YouTube is the perfect place to get millions of users to see your ad and potentially click through to your website. However YouTube ads can be a little different than other types of paid advertising online so it is important to familiarize yourself with the format.

There are two different types of YouTube ads you can purchase for views to see. TrueView ads are a standard video ad on YouTube that viewers can watch and interact with. With these types of ads marketers can choose to only pay for the viewer to see 30 seconds of the video ad and the user has the option to skip the remaining time of the ad after watching 5 seconds. Non-skippable ads are required to be between 15 to 20 seconds in length.

Other YouTube ad types include Video Discovery Ads which can show up on the homepage or in related videos after a YouTube search. If the user clicks on the ad then a companion banner display ad will appear. These displayed ads do not automatically play but need to be clicked on in order for views to see them.

You can set up a YouTube ad through Google Adwords by selecting video ad under the list of campaign options. You can then select the format, the budget and the networks where you want your video to appear. There are also options to target the video for a certain audience to see on YouTube.

It can be difficult to get people to view video ads when it is simply embedded in your homepage or placed in a social media post. YouTube ads are an easy and fast way to get a much bigger audience to see your ad and learn more about your company.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.