Paid Online Advertising Can Help Your Small Business Grow in 2021

PPC

Benefits of Paid Online Ads

There are many kinds of digital marketing methods. While you may already be leveraging the power of content marketing and SEO, sometimes combining that with paid advertising can be the winning move to boost your sales.

Many businesses shy away from PPC ads either because they don’t fully understand how it works or because they think it’s too complicated or high maintenance. However, with the right digital marketing team on your side, you can win at the paid online ads game. Some of the most popular paid advertising platforms are Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, and LinkedIn Ads.

Here are some of the benefits of PPC that can help your small business grow in 2021.

Cost-Effective

Online advertising is an affordable digital marketing method. You can tailor your PPC investment to your budget and increase it as you grow.

Analytic results on screen

Allows You to Reach More People Quicker

Not all marketing techniques render results as quickly as PPC ads can. They give you more exposure and help you generate more leads quickly. Also, paid online ads will help you generate more traffic to your website, boost brand awareness, and increase sales.

Enables You to Target Specific Audiences

One of the best things about paid ads is that you can customize them to target only specific audiences you’re interested in reaching. You can collect data through your social media platform and use it to determine who you want to target. This marketing method helps you get your brand right in front of the exact type of customer you want to reach.

Gives You More Control

PPC platforms offer a variety of analytics tools that allow you to monitor progress closely. You can check on bounce rate, site traffic, conversion, impressions, and more. This way, you can customize your ads to meet your needs and goals and maximize effectiveness.

How Digital Marketing Changed in 2020

Planning

3 Ways Today’s Digital Marketing is Different

This year, things have changed from many different perspectives. The world has changed, and so have people. Customers are different today but so are businesses. Throughout this year, digital marketing didn’t remain unchanged, but it’s been positive in many ways.

Businesses have had to think of new ways to generate leads, increase sales, and stay in the game. For that to happen, digital marketing strategies approached things differently. Here are some of the ways that digital marketing has changed in 2020:

People working

Empathy is a Must

When you think of business, empathy might not be the first thing that pops to mind. It used to be nice to have, but these days, if companies want to develop strong relationships with their customers, empathy is non-negotiable. People want to deal with businesses that help them address pain points, not sell to them. The direct sales approach is no longer acceptable.  

Marketing Is an Essential Part of Your Business

Sales and marketing should go hand in hand. However, not all companies take that approach. Many still consider marketing “an extra” when, in fact, it is the thread that connects all other areas of your business. It provides consumer insights, helps monitor people’s reactions to specific types of messages, and much more. Marketing is no longer something you do if you have some dollars to spare; it’s something you should invest in to help grow your business.

Content Formats Matter

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Content is king.” Well, that hasn’t changed. However, these days we understand that not all content is the same or has the same impact. Depending on your audience, objective, and message, you will likely need a different content type. Short-form content is a good option for providing tips or quick insights, and it’s great for sharing on social media. In contrast, long-form content is an excellent way to provide information that helps you establish yourself as an industry expert. You can choose to share videos, infographics, or just images, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.

3 Digital Marketing Tips for a Prosperous 2021

two people using laptops

Prepare for a Great New Year with These Digital Marketing Tips

There is no doubt that 2020 has been an interesting year. It’s safe to say that most people are ready for a fresh start. 2021 gives us a book with blank pages and another chance to keep doing what we’ve been doing great or adjust as needed.

From a digital marketing standpoint, there are always things you can do to prepare for a new year and make the best of it for your business. Based on the potential new trends that the new year will bring, here are some digital marketing tips for leading your business towards a prosperous 2021.

Laptop with code on screen

Lean on Social Media for Purchase, Not Just Discovery

Social media platforms have been an excellent channel for consumers to discover businesses. Now, these platforms are leading people towards making purchases and simplifying the process for them. Social commerce will continue to grow in 2021, and it is a good idea for your business to get up to speed with these new features and rules for the benefit of your business.

Harness the Power of Virtual Events

Due to COVID-19, virtual events became the solution to the new social distancing regulations. Even if 2020 is coming to an end, virtual events will continue going strong into 2021. Hosting virtual events allow you to reach many more people at once, minimize your event-related expenses, and provide you with a high ROI.

Give Your Customers a Personalized Experience

One of the things that please customers the most is getting a personalized experience. They want to feel like their e-commerce experience has been carefully tailored to their preferences. Through digital marketing, you can learn more about your audience and their unique likes and needs. Businesses that go the extra mile to provide that experience are more likely to gain customers’ trust and build long-lasting relationships.

Mix Up Your Content and Reach More Customers

Blogging

Why Content Variety Matters

Content marketing is essential for your business to grow. It helps you drive traffic to your website, generate leads, and increase conversations. Most content marketing is focused mainly on blogging, and while blogs are crucial, there are other types of content you can leverage to engage more customers.

Diversifying your content portfolio can help you take your content marketing efforts to the next level. Your sales funnel is not a one-note experience. Each part of the process might require you to show customers different types of content to boost effectiveness. Understanding the customer’s journey is critical to identify what kind of content works best at every stage.

Variety Helps Engagement

Blog posts are very effective once you have turned a lead into a customer, as they help you increase brand awareness and stay top of mind, but there are different types of blog posts. Short blog posts allow you to share valuable content with your audience and provide them with solutions to specific problems related to your industry. In contrast, long posts are great to build authority and credibility.

However, at the starting stage of your sales funnel, a blog post is not necessarily the most appropriate type of content to use. In this scenario, exclusive content is more likely to attract leads and motivate them to subscribe.

Other valuable content types include:

Video

Infographics

Infographics are aesthetically pleasing, which makes people more likely to pay attention to them. They can also hold lots of information and make it easy to understand. Tip: You can reuse blog post content, turn it into an infographic, and share it on social media platforms.

Videos

Now more than ever, videos are an essential type of content. Due to their increase in popularity, videos can have a significant impact on sales. They can be informative, captivating, and entertaining and allow you to be very creative.

Understanding your content needs is the first step to excellent content marketing campaigns.

How to Keep Your Email Open Rate from Dropping

Inbox on cellphone screen

4 Ways to Prevent Low Email Open Rates

There’s no better feeling from an email marketing perspective than seeing high open rates after sending an email you worked on for days. Your open rate shows your audience’s engagement level, and you want to make those numbers increase, taking the necessary measure to ensure they don’t drop.

 If you start noticing your open rates are decreasing, you can bet something is going on. Here are four things you should keep in mind to ensure your open rates stay above the red line:

Keep Email Size Under 102KB

Having a lot of information in an email is not always a good idea. Email clients will likely clip emails that are too big. If you want to ensure your email is displayed intact, you must make sure it’s lighter than 102KB; otherwise, email users will be asked to click on “View Entire Message,” which will load the full email in their browser.

Before you send out your email, mail it to yourself at different email accounts to ensure it loads correctly. Be sure to use optimized images and use an HTML sizing tool to confirm your email’s length is what it should be.

Man checking email on smart phone

Use a Spam Checker

A spam filter could block you without ever noticing it. Luckily, there are ways to prevent that. If your email raises any spam flags, email providers will send it straight through to the user’s junk email folder —along with all your effort— where it is improbable they see it. Not only does this affect your open rate, but it takes a toll on your deliverability rates too. Words like ‘affordable,’ ‘money,’ ‘purchase,’ ‘open,’ and “free access” are some of the ones that create spam red flags. There are many email spam checker tools online, free and paid for, that can minimize your email’s chances of ending up in the junk mail folder.

Create Appealing Subject Lines

The sole purpose of a subject line is to compel your customers to open your email. Since they are very short, they need to be powerful. Testing subject lines is a great way to learn what works and what doesn’t. Some tricks to create attractive subject lines are:

  • Focusing on the offer
  • Appealing to the customer’s curiosity
  • Showing what’s in it for them
  • Providing a sense of urgency

Keep Your Audience Engaged

Sometimes your open rates are decreasing mainly because your audience is no longer interested in your content. It’s essential to keep your customers at the center of everything you do, so learning about what they like is critical. The best way to know what they want is to ask them. Create a survey and allow them to tell you what they want to see from you —updates on new products or services, promotions, special events. Managing disengaged contacts is critical to keeping your open rates where they need to be.

3 Digital Marketing Goals for This Holiday Season

Holiday Gift

Marketing Goals to Focus on During the Holidays

In a year full of challenges and changes, learning to adapt has been essential for businesses to survive and succeed. Holiday shopping is expected to beat records as this year’s online shopping has increased substantially due to the pandemic. We can see that by looking at the numbers from Black Friday when sales increased by 21.6%.

From a marketing standpoint, the holiday season is a critical time for small businesses. As you go through the rest of the month, here are some digital marketing goals to keep in mind.

Woman wrapping gift
Holiday shopping – Holiday marketing goals

Reach Shoppers Before and After Christmas

It is still early enough in the month that most consumers are just starting their holiday shopping. Providing an above par customer experience is critical to ensure that you gain customers who will want to continue shopping with you long after Christmas. Be sure to manage customer expectations carefully, be communicative and responsive, be upfront about shipping and delivery process details, and come up with creative promos that your customers can’t resist.

Nurture Lasting Relationships with Your Customers

Holiday shopping is special. Everyone wants to give meaningful gifts, and when they decide to include your brand in their celebration of the season, it is certainly not something to take for granted. Take time to thank your customers for their business and start building your relationships with them. A simple but genuine “thank you” will go a long way.

Use Your 2020 Performance Data to Your Advantage

Sometimes, it is a good idea to take a moment to look back before you move forward. Since 2020 has been such an atypical year, your performance data is precious —especially as you plan your strategy for 2021. It tells the story of how you’ve adapted to the circumstances and how well your marketing efforts have performed. Analyzing this information will help you design better marketing plans for the year to come.

Fire Up Your Holiday Sales with These Last-Minute Conversion Tips

Holiday gifts

Simple Strategies to Drive Conversions During the Holidays

As 2020 comes to an end and the holiday season is in full swing, small businesses are on the lookout for strategies to help them send the year off on a good note.

By now, holiday marketing strategies are in full execution, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still add a little something extra to ensure you maximize conversions and increase holiday sales. Here are some ideas that may help.

Gifts at doorstep
Offering free shipping or in-store pickup can help increase last-minute holiday sales.

Release Attractive Promotions on the Weekend Before Christmas

Last-minute Christmas shopping is standard practice for many. Typically, the last Saturday before Christmas, also known as Super Saturday, is a day where shoppers flood stores looking for gifts for their loved ones. Running irresistible sales during that weekend can help you stand out from your competitors and attract more customers.

Use Retargeting Ads to Your Advantage

You can generate more online sales by retargeting “window shoppers” or customers who abandoned their shopping cart. Retargeting ad campaigns also help your brand gain more exposure and recognition.

Optimize Your Site to Offer the Best Shopping Experience

For last-minute shoppers, having an excellent online experience is essential. Put together a holiday-guide on your e-commerce site that offers different offers based on price range, make sure your site speed is up to par, and consider allowing shoppers to checkout as guests.

Polish Your Customer Service

Holiday shopping tends to be a hectic activity and a time where shoppers are looking for all the support they can get to finalize their purchase in the easiest way possible. Be sure to train your customer service staff to manage demanding customers in varied scenarios and alleviate the stress that last-minute online shopping can produce on your customers. Also, offer an FAQ page covering all the most frequent questions you get from customers this time of year.

Offer In-Store Pickup

If offering free shipping affects your profitability, consider implementing in-store pick up, and motivate your customers to choose that option by providing a discount. Not only are you improving their shopping experience by allowing them to pick up their pre-purchased items and saving them precious time, but you’d also help minimize shipping costs.

How to Plan Great Content for 2021 for Your Small Business

Calendar

Strategies for Creating an Effective Content Marketing Plan for 2021

As we head into a new year, small businesses should be planning how they’re going to stand out in 2021. Your content marketing strategy can help you compete in today’s challenging marketplace, even if the competition is now fiercer than ever before.

Being proactive in planning your content marketing campaigns is the best way to ensure you get great results. Here are some tips to help you create an effective content marketing plan for 2021.

Audit Your Current Content

Before you know what you will do next year, you must understand what worked this year. Take a look at your current content to help you identify what performed well and what didn’t. Also, keep an eye out for top ranking keywords.

Define Your Content Marketing Goals for the New Year

What do you want to achieve through your content marketing strategy in 2021? Whether you want to increase brand awareness or boost sales, your goals will determine your approach.

4 Reasons Why Your Content Marketing Campaign Might Struggle

Understand Your Audience

Creating content is not just about creating content. It’s about generating valuable information for your target audience while helping them engage with your business. What type of content is your target audience interested in? What style of communication is most comfortable with them? What channels can you find them in? Doing research will help you define a buyer persona you’ll have in mind when developing your content.

Define Your Go-To Content Types

When we talk about ‘content,’ we’re not just referring to written content. Sure, you can create a blog and social media posts that help you engage your customers, but you may benefit from other content types, from infographics to videos and podcasts.

Create a Content Calendar

Once you have enough information, you can start planning your content for next year. You may want to include details like the person responsible for content, format, topic, promotion channels, and publishing date. Creating a content calendar will help you and your content marketing team stay on the same page and on track to meet your goals.

What You Want in a Great SEO Landing Page

two people using laptops

5 Features of an Effective SEO Landing Page

Landing pages are essential elements of a successful website. If you intend to increase traffic to your site, you want to create landing pages that support your SEO strategy, provide a great user experience, and drive people into your sales funnel.

If you want an excellent SEO landing page, make sure it has these features:

Attractive and Powerful Web Copy

A good quality copy will attract users to your page and motivate them to stay there for longer. Your copywriting should be clear, direct, persuasive, and dynamic, and include relevant keywords while being in tune with your content strategy and site user experience.

Be sure to offer a narrative that feels natural and fluid, and don’t just force keywords onto a paragraph to optimize your page. Don’t be afraid to discuss your value proposition and choose headlines that can quickly catch people’s attention.

Analytic results on screen

Clear Call to Action

Be clear about the actions you want people to take while on your landing page. Your call to action should have purpose and clarity, bringing you one step closer to making a sale. Stay away from clickbait and instead, be strategic and create calls to action to help you drive conversions.

Localized Information

If you’re looking to attract local search traffic, you must create localized landing pages for each of your business locations. This is more than just changing the address on your landing pages. To have the opportunity to rank higher on search results, you want to create unique pages that capture your local audience’s attention.

Back Links

Through link-building campaigns, you can increase your site’s authority. Find opportunities to link back to your landing pages from other pages within your site, like blog posts or product pages. Add your links in places within the content where it feels natural and makes sense to those browsing around your website.

Great Design

Appealing landing pages help increase conversions. Ensure your design fits your branding strategy and your site’s overall look while still representing your business or brand. By studying and considering user behavior, you can design attractive and effective landing pages that help your business grow.

Get Your E-Commerce Site Ready for Christmas

Couple browsing online with holiday background

4 Tips to Get Your E-Commerce Site Holiday-Ready

This is the busiest time of the year for businesses. Although this holiday season will be different from others, companies should still offer their customers a great shopping experience.

If you have an e-commerce site, you want to make sure it is all set for the holiday rush. But how do you do that? Here are some ways to help you prepare.

Be Upfront About Shipping Times

Online shopping increases significantly during this time, so there are always delays in shipping times. By setting expectations ahead of time, you ensure your customers have a positive shopping experience. Put up a banner on the homepage to inform your customers of potential delays, provide realistic shipping and delivery dates when they check out, and provide updates via email so they know what to expect.

Han holding holiday gift

Create a User-Friendly Shopping Experience

An intuitive and easy website is critical for users, especially during a sensitive time like the holidays. Ensure your hosting service can manage higher traffic during this time, optimize your site for different devices, confirm your SSL certificate is up to date to protect your customers’ information, and give them various payment options. These changes can help you provide a memorable shopping experience for your customers and boost online sales.

Implement a Chatbot

Implementing a chatbot on your website is a great way to quickly provide answers to your customers’ most frequent questions without hiring additional staff for the season. Make sure your chatbot is prepared to answer questions related to holiday business hours, delivery dates, special promotions, gift wrapping, etc.

Highlight Your Return Policy

Whether you decide to update your return policy during the holiday season or not, it is a good idea to make it visible to your customers. This will help set expectations and prevent negative customer experiences that can lead to bad online reviews. Put your return policy somewhere visible near the end of the transaction to allow your customers to read it before finalizing their purchase.