Monthly Archives: October 2016

Know More About New Instagram Features for Small Business

Since paying more attention to my visual branding, I’ve come to really love Instagram. Actually, that’s an understatement. I’m pretty much obsessed with Instagram.
If you’ve been on the image-heavy social media platform lately, then you may have noticed some new Instagram features like live video streaming and short stories a la Snapchat. You now also have the option to make your profile a business page.

I’ve been experimenting with these new Instagram features and have found a few ways to use them in your marketing plan. Here are just some of the ways I’ve been taking advantage of all the new stuff on IG.

New Instagram Features

Show Behind the Scenes Using IG Stories
I was recently traveling for a client that hired me to create, teach and film a few business classes for them. Since I was traveling and working with some awesome people, I figured it would be a good idea to show my Instagram followers some of the behind the scenes of what it’s like to be a professional blogger and social media influencer.

I used new Instagram features like Stories and Boomerang (technically not new but they added it to the IG app) to show things like camera setups, sets, a tour of my hotel room and the goofy stuff we did on breaks.

Teach Something Using IG Live Video
During our lunch break, I decided to use one of the new Instagram features to teach my audience something. More specifically, I used the live video feature to show them live footage of what was going on and introduce my followers to some of the people I was working with.
For example, I was working with a local mastermind facilitator and yoga teacher who was interviewing me for my client. I got her on live video to talk about what we were doing and she even gave my followers some yogic hand stretches for the office.

Market Your Products and Services
Another thing I use the new Instagram features for is to market my products and services. For example, I created a few stories right before going on air for a radio show. This showed them the behind the scenes I already mentioned, plus I was able to share a tip about how bloggers and business owners can get free PR.

From there, I directed them to an on-demand class I sell that teaches them how to get free PR for their businesses. I simply put the link to the sales page in my bio and let them know the class was available for them to purchase.
Granted, it’s important to note that I’m always sharing valuable content. I don’t only use the new Instagram features to try to make sales. That’s simply one piece of the overall marketing pie.

Show Them You’re Human
I’ll use Boomerang to make goofy videos and post them to my Stories. I’m somewhat goofy by nature and it shows my followers a side of me that’s different from my normal “business-y” stuff.
People relate to people, so make sure you’re using the new Instagram features to show people that you’re real.

Final Thoughts
When used in the aforementioned ways, the new Instagram features can certainly be a real game changer for your marketing plan. There’s no longer a need to go on different apps for different features which makes things a whole lot easier.

Google Tools For Online Marketing

Almost all businesses, regardless of size or industry, use Google in some form. Be it Google Calendars, Google Drive or trusty old Gmail, it seems as though everyone relies on at least one of Google’s products to support their work routine. That said, there are a few hidden treasures in Google’s toolbox that, at times, don’t seem to get enough credit.
Sure, Google has hundreds of apps, but there are some that can have a serious impact on your online marketing initiatives that seem to be flying under the radar. Additionally, Google’s products typically have “freemium” models, which offer the invaluable opportunity to experiment with a variety of different techniques and hone in on what serves your brand most.

We’re all for testing out the latest and greatest from the world’s most powerful Internet giant. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to give a few of these seemingly under-appreciated products a spin.

4 Powerful Google Tools For Online Marketing

Google Trends
If you’re looking to amp up your SEO strategy, Google Trends is a tool that shouldn’t be overlooked. It allows you to see how frequently a term is searched so you can get a gauge for its popularity.

Google Trends instantly creates a graph of the search volume by language, country, city or region, revealing how the term has evolved over specific increments of time. It also forecasts how those terms will trend over time, helping you to make more educated decisions.

Essentially, Google Trends makes it easy for you to stay current with your product’s marketing language so you can jump into conversations about topics relevant to your space.

Think With Google
We like to consider Think With Google as a creative brain-trust we can turn to when searching for inspiration for our online marketing strategies. The resource is loaded with valuable information on industry trends, research and statistics, tips on marketing techniques and unique insights to get your creative juices flowing.

When devising your online marketing strategy or quarterly and yearly plans, don’t skip Think With Google. We love visiting this tool when we’ve come down with a marketing writer’s block, too.

GoMo
Consider this: 67 percent of people say a mobile-friendly site makes them more likely to buy a product or use a service. In other words, you should tap into the mobile revolution or your business may soon be left behind with the fax machines and the pagers of the world—otherwise known as those that failed to innovate.

Luckily, GoMo makes the transition to the digital world a simple one. Free for the first year, GoMo instantly generates a mobile-friendly version of your website so you’re no longer deterring your on-the-go customers with a site that’s nearly impossible to navigate.

Google Analytics
This might seem like a no brainer to some, but studies show that Google Analytics is actually a terribly underutilized tool among small and medium sized businesses. Without Google Analytics, carrying out website online marketing strategies is like driving blindly in the dark. Website analytics reveal critical data about how existing and potential customers interact with you online.
When evaluated properly, the analytics insights offer up ample opportunities for customer engagement and retention.
If you take away one thing from this article, let it be this: Install Google Analytics and learn to love it.

Quick tip: If you already have Google Analytics running on your site, check out Visua.ly’s personalized analytics infographics. You can create visual infographics that include your site’s data so that you can track your site’s performance by viewing it in an infographic. (An example is pictured above.)

I make a concerted effort to explore each of Google’s online marketing apps and gather data on the impact they have. I’m always impressed with what I learn about our customers and marketing strategies. So while one of these four Google tools might leap out at you more than the others, my suggestion is to give them all a try and see what they churn up.

Use Facebook Live for Your Small Business

Should you be using Facebook Live for your business? Is it worth your time and effort? According to Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), videos (live and otherwise) are viewed more than four billion times per day. And with Facebook giving priority to live videos in the news feed, you certainly may want to consider this service for getting your business message out.
So how can you make use of Facebook Live to engage with the platform’s over 1.1 billion active daily users, or at least those users who are likely to be customers? Here are a few tips.

Ways to Use Facebook Live for Your Small Business
Give an Inside Look at Your Business
As with Instagram Live or Periscope, you can use Facebook Live to give your customers a behind-the-scenes look at your business and how it works.
You can also use the service to focus on an aspect of your business that your audience would be interested in.

Promote an Upcoming Event
Have an upcoming event that you want to promote? Start by making your audience aware that you will be hosting a live video about the event using posts for a better reach. Be sure to have an easy to remember URL to share with your viewers. Post the link on the video comments as well just in case your viewers don’t have a chance to write it down. Use a tool such as Bitly to create a URL that you can track.
Use trackable URLs to tell which social platform is getting you the most signups for your event.

Tease New Products
Use Facebook Live to give your audience a sneak peek at your products. For instance, if you have just launched a new product, you could tap into the massive daily users of the platform to get the word out.
If you opt for this option, consider providing a link during your video to take pre-orders and capitalize on your audience’s excitement. Use this session to also answer questions from your customers.

Engage with Your Facebook Group Members
Do you run a Facebook group for your business? Well, you can now use Facebook live to broadcast regular business updates that are relevant to your group. This is definitely a good opportunity to connect and to deepen relationships with your customers.
One thing that you have to remember though is that any of your group members can post live video to the group so you might want to adjust the group settings so you have to approve all new posts.

Customer Care
Any serious business knows the importance of having an efficient customer care service. Luckily, Facebook Live makes it absolutely easy to take care of your customers’ questions. Use live videos to respond to questions. This is especially useful when it comes to answering repeat questions.

Identify a common question that your customer service team receives and rather than answering the question over and over again, use a Facebook Live video session to answer it.
Things to Consider Before You Use Facebook Live
Before you start streaming live videos, you need to:

Have a Plan
Live video is great for engagement, but you don’t get a chance to fix your mistakes. Before going live, ensure you have your broadcast plan well laid out. Have points to guide your conversation.

Implement a Call-to-Action
Always end your live broadcasts with a call to action. This could be a call to sign up for your email newsletter, subscribe to your broadcasts or to check out your products.

Consider Your Video Quality
While many people enjoy live broadcasts because of authenticity, you still have to make sure you deliver quality videos. Make sure you are audible enough and in an environment that your audience would love to see.
When used correctly, Facebook Live can be a great tool to work into your overall marketing and social media strategy. Of course, more interaction and engagement with your audience is likely to increase your sales.