Monthly Archives: September 2016
My Facebook news feed is chock full of inspirational quotes and messages from my favorite celebrities. Whether it’s a funny post from Kevin Hart or an inspirational post from Mark Cuban, I always scroll through the “feed” in the morning before getting out of bed. Then, during my lunch breaks, I scroll again to see what’s new.
Finally, while I’m home watching TV and relaxing after a long day, I find myself scrolling through my social media profiles yet again.
Those micro-moments represent a killer advertising opportunity for brands to reach me. Of course I’m a pro at scrolling past the “Promoted Posts”, but the information shared by my favorite individuals is more difficult to ignore. So, as my company grew, I started looking for ways to tap into that audience that, like me, pays attention to key individuals in their daily routine.
Engaging Influencers with Content
1. Reaching Influencers in Three Easy Steps
Getting influencers (the people that have large, organic audiences) to share information with their fans is called “Influencer Marketing”. But how do you get an influencer’s attention? It can be as simple as having content that they stumble upon and enjoy. Or, you can send them an email pitch, using the process that The Daily Egg recommends on their blog.
I’ve had personal success reaching influencers by asking them if they’d like to be profiled in my blog, or as part of an upcoming project. A profile can be as simple as a quote, or a more in-depth interview; whatever the influencer prefers.
But, before I reach out, I create multiple channels (Facebook Posts, Tweets, Blog Posts and Landing Pages) stocked with high-quality content related to the target influencer’s area of expertise. This allows the influencer to quickly research me and confirm that I’m a serious individual that produces quality content in their niche.
To recap, my process involves:
Generating a list of potential influencers that I’d like to profile or target for ongoing marketing outreach.
Creating valuable, well-researched content that speaks to their niche on every channel available to me.
Making sure my website is strong and ready for their vetting. (More on that in the next section.)
Reaching out to them via a personalized, brief email that clearly defines the easiest way for them to contribute to my project; a quote for an upcoming article is a super easy option.
2. Text Layout with Attention-Grabbing Headers is Key
The way that we find and interact with websites is changing. As we become trained to mentally block-out advertising areas (generally the tops, sides and bottom of sites), it’s more important than ever to structure the text on our site around human behavior.
According to Reboot Online, “When humans encounter a piece of text, we tend to concentrate most on headings, and the first lines of paragraphs. We also usually scan a text before reading it fully all the way through to get an idea of what it’s about and hence, decide if we want to read it all in detail.” If you want readers to spend time on your page you need strong, impactful headers.
Key components of a killer header:
Include a number; the human mind loves the inherent value in numbers.
Focus on the benefit to the reader.
Take action, don’t be passive.
So, if I have a couple paragraphs discussing how to lay out text, I’d place a header above them that reads: “3 Pro Techniques You Should Use When Laying Out Text; It’s Easier than You Think!”
Influencers visiting my site will be able to scan it and realize that I’m a genuine person creating unique, valuable content online for my audience. They’ll be more inclined to work with me because I’m already working hard to create value on my own. Their contributions can be easily dovetailed into a known commodity.
3. Get Personal, Remove Boundaries
One of the hardest things for me to come to terms with was that my brand needed a face and personality behind it. I’m a natural introvert, which is probably why I became such a passionate blogger in the first place. But, to create an impactful presence that influencers will want to help support requires unmasking yourself and stepping out from behind the computer screen.
There are a couple of great ways to accomplish this. My personal favorite is YouTube. Creating short, targeted videos allows your audience to become familiar with who you are. Script them if you have to, but your natural presence on camera is almost always best.
Trust me, viewers will realize when you’re reading from a script.
My first couple of videos bounced back and forth between myself on the screen explaining a concept, and then a video capture of my screen showing the concept in action. I provided answers to common questions via YouTube and built a following. I embedded these videos in my blog posts and social media posts.
Inc.’s post by Jayson Demers explains part of the reason that personal branding is so effective; “Personal branding is becoming increasingly important because modern audiences tend to trust people more than corporations … allowing you to establish a reputation and an identity while still maintaining a personal level of trust and interaction, usually through social media.”
For small businesses, having an effective website is no longer optional. But there’s a lot that goes into making your website really work for your small business.
Members of our small business community are keenly aware of what it takes to put together a great website. Check out some of their top tips in the list below.
Increase Engagement With Website Visitors
Consumer attention spans aren’t as long as they used to be. So business owners and marketers need to be able to quickly engage with website visitors in order to convert them into customers. This SUCCESS agency blog post by Mary Blackiston shares tips for increasing engagement with website visitors.
Avoid These Small Biz Website Errors
When customers or potential customers visit your website, they aren’t likely to stick around very long if your site is full of errors. There are some common ones that can really hurt your business online. Here, Natasha Golinsky shares some small business website errors you should avoid on the On Purpose Projects blog.
Use a Blog to Drive Your Business
A blog can be a great addition to your website, if you use it wisely. To learn how to drive business using a blog, take a look at this Startup Professionals Musings post by Martin Zwilling. Then you can see further commentary on the post over on BizSugar.
Generate Stellar Social Media Content
If you want to get more people to actually visit your website, social media can be a great tool. But you need great content in order for your social media strategy to be effective. Stephen Moyers elaborates in this Basic Blog Tips post.
Go Above and Beyond With Your Content
Content Marketing isn’t exactly a new concept for most businesses. And with so many competitors out there using the same strategies to try to get new online customers, it’s so important for your content to stand out. This Marketing Land post by Julie Joyce discusses how to go above and beyond with your content.
Know These Facts About SEO
SEO is an essential component of any successful small business website. But if you’re not sure where to start when it comes to SEO, you might want to take a look at the points in this 3Bug Media post by Gary Shouldis. Then you can see what the BizSugar community says about the post here.
Fix These User Experience Pet Peeves
User experience is a huge part of your website. If users have a bad or confusing experience, they aren’t likely to actually do business with you. But you can fix some of the most common user experience pet peeves using the tips in this Search Engine Journal post by Josh McCoy.
Do SEO for a Tiny Website With No Visitors or Money
If you think that your website is too small for you to have to worry about SEO, think again. SEO is still important. And there are ways you can leverage it even for a small website with no existing visitors or money, according to this post by Neil Patel.
Write a Blog Post That Goes Viral
When you’re working to get website visitors, having a blog post go viral can provide a huge boost. You can’t necessarily guarantee that it will happen. But there are ways you can increase your chances of writing a viral blog post. Check out the tips in this Web Hosting Secrets Revealed post by Lori Soard. And then see what BizSugar members have to say here.
Avoid These Critical Web Design Mistakes
When building a website, it’s important to have a great design. But not all businesses get it right at first. Plenty of businesses have made critical web design mistakes that can ultimately hurt the bottom line. In this Noobpreneur post, Ivan Widjaya lists some of those common mistakes to avoid.
There’s so many ways to develop a brand, and so much advice on how to do it. It can be hard to distill the enormous amount of information available to small businesses who need help letting people know why their company is so important. Here are my four best tips for growing your business and your brand.
Get to Know the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is quite amazing and most people don’t realize how many resources they have. In addition to connecting small businesses that need funding with lenders, they offer tons of information on every aspect of running a business, including developing a marketing plan, the relationship between marketing and sales, and how to set a marketing budget.
Use Social Media — but Don’t do Too Much Too Soon
Entrepreneurs getting started with social media marketing often make the mistake of overdoing it. You don’t need to be everywhere, and your messaging doesn’t need to convey all things to all people. Begin by picking a small number of social media channels that are going to help your business. Then stick to messaging that’s closely related to the core value proposition of your business. Facebook is great because it can target customers based on local geographies and other parameters. Sure, it’s a little old fashioned, but it’s basically the yellow pages of the internet age, and it’s also a way to connect people directly to your business. Others like Twitter can be used in a similar way, but Facebook is a great starting point.
Take Advantage of the Cloud
The great thing about being a newer, smaller business is that you’re not handcuffed by the same technology investments as your older, larger competition. You’re free to invest in all kinds of cloud services that place the burden of technology management on someone else. Cloud services are easy to get up and running, and they give you near infinite room to grow. On the marketing front, cloud-based services like Canva, allow you to create graphic designs for social media and other marketing efforts. Constant Contact can help you send email newsletters to current and potential customers. And there’s certainly no shortage of cloud-based marketing automation applications to choose from.
Protect Your Most Valuable Marketing Asset — Data
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in: You’re going to be generating lots of data about orders, seasonal spikes in sales, customer preferences, contact information and much more. That information will fuel all of your marketing efforts going forward — and it needs to be protected. That’s why you should consider a cloud backup service like Carbonite. With cloud backup, your data is easily accessible from any internet-connected device — and cloud backup protects your business data from malware, computer theft, accidental deletion and natural disasters.