Tag Archives: inbound marketing

Five Reasons Why You Should Consider Instagram in Social Media Campaigns

 

 

We are often bombarded with articles touting the benefits of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. However, it often seems as if Instagram has faded into the annals of digital history. The truth of the matter is that this medium is still one of the best portals out there to help get your message across to your followers. Let's look at five reasons why you NEED to include Instagram as a part of your PR campaign.

 

Engagement

This is one of the “golden” words in terms of digital media marketing. One thing that the analysts do not often mention is that even branded posts on Twitter and Facebook often get overlooked by followers. The same cannot be said for Instagram. A study by Forrester found that Instagram posts are 58 times more popular than Facebook and even more so when compared to Twitter (1). Engagement equals conversions.

 

Connections and Trust

Instagram has always been a way to personally connect with your audience. However, sharing daily experiences tends to be much quicker and easier when compared to other social media circles. Clients who see the rather informal side of a business are more likely to believe whatever it is that your campaigns are promoting.

 

Getting in on the Ground Floor

What is amazing to consider is that a study conducted by American Express found that a mere 2% of all marketers are currently using Instagram as part of their ongoing marketing campaigns (2). So, why not get in on the ground floor before the masses jump on the bandwagon? As the competition on Facebook and Twitter tends to be much more established, Instagram can prove to be a valuable edge.

 

Your Market?

It has been shown that the so-called “millennial” generation represents (and will continue to represent) a powerful buying demographic. Coincidentally, more than one-third of this age group currently uses Instagram on a daily basis (3). So, it pays to be a winner with the millennials. We should still not fail to mention that other generations can just as easily be targeted. Generation X and Y have been successfully attracted by larger campaigns such as those produced by General Electric and Ford.

 

No Capital Outlay

Much like other platforms, Instagram is completely free to use. Signing up takes only a matter of moments and uploading content is just as simple. Any marketer always needs to be concerned in terms of ROI and even if only one conversion takes place (which is hardly the case), the portal would have more than paid for itself.

 

The Youthful Perception

A growing percentage of young buyers are claiming that they feel out of touch with the majority of marketing campaigns. Once a potential client is lost, it is not likely that he or she will return in the future. Using Instagram as a part of your overall strategy will enable your company to appeal young and vibrant. Perhaps more importantly, it shows your audience that you care about how you are perceived. Such views can go a long way as far as securing a sale and let's not forget that much like other portals, Instagram posts can be shared via word of mouth with other interested followers. This is another form of free advertising!

Instagram is truly one of the hidden gems within this virtual world. As it still appears to be a relatively untapped medium, there is simply no reason why it should not be included within any current or future PR campaign.

Richard Tipsword
Markethive Developer

 

Sources:

1. https://www.koozai.com/blog/social-media/6-key-benefits-using-instagram-business/

2. http://business.financialpost.com/2013/12/23/instagram-and-pinterest-are-getting-big-likes-from-business-owners/

3. http://jennstrends.com/instagram-statistics-for-2014/

How Important Are Videos To A Marketing Campaign?

 

The Emerging Importance of Videos Within Marketing Campaigns

What are some of the most memorable marketing campaigns that you have ever seen? Does static text or a clever email come to mind, or do you instead recall a snappy video? The chances are high that videos rank at the top of the list. These entertaining mediums are highly effective at capturing the attention of the audience while they are able to be much more creative in terms of the content delivered. What are some of the other reasons why videos are now set to take center stage during 2016 and beyond?

 

First-Come, First-Buy?

Landing pages now need to be more engaging than ever before. One great way to accomplish this is through the use of a video. Whether referring to testimonials, product overviews or how-to media, marketing analyst Unbounce reports that conversion rates can increase by as much as 80% when videos are some of the first interactive experiences (1).

 

Entertainment Value

Videos have the ability to capture (and hold) the attention of the viewer for longer periods of time when compared to traditional textual content. This is very important, for the addition of a video can help decrease bounce rates. The longer that an individual remains on a page, the more likely it his that he or she will take an interest in what is being offered.

 

Mobile Phones and Their Relation to Videos

It is estimated that 48% of all mobile users employ apps to watch videos (2). However, this is not the primary reason why videos are critical to address this audience. Have you ever tried to read an advertisement on a screen that is only a few inches wide? This can be nearly impossible; especially if the content or graphics are intricate. Videos can do away with this situation. They can be quickly and easily viewed. Even if the screen itself is not watched, the fact of the matter is that the audio contained within is able to convey the ultimate purpose of the business and product in question. Those who are on the go or browse the Internet coming and going from work will particularly take advantage of these qualities. Add in one click sign-up and the odds of getting the prospects info is greatly increased!

 

Getting on the Bandwagon

Video advertisements are growing in their number as well as their popularity. To back up this observation, ComScore has shown that the average Internet user now spends no less than 16 minutes every month watching these marketing campaigns (3). This number has dramatically increased when compared to only a few years ago. Businesses which are able to leverage this medium now can place themselves ahead of the competitive curve. In fact, video marketing could very well be just as impactful of a trend that social media campaigns represented five years ago.

 

Better Viewer Recall

This last observation has just as much to do with human psychology as it involves digital marketing. Videos use a number of different mediums to get their point across. Music, graphics and the spoken word are obviously the top three. Each serves to reinforce the other. Videos are therefore much more memorable than the average PR campaign within a static website. Higher retention rates equate to better chances that the consumer will recognise a brand and take action in the future. These are five of the main reasons why video advertising is without a doubt here to stay. Taking into account that such widgets are very easy to embed within a website, it makes a great deal of sense that marketers will be using them to their advantage throughout 2016.

Richard Tipsword
MarketHive Developer

 

Sources:

1. http://unbounce.com/landing-page-articles/the-benefits-of-using-video-on-landing-pages/

2. http://www.businessofapps.com/video-gone-mobile-consumption-and-marketing-statistics/

3. http://www.insivia.com/50-must-know-stats-about-video-marketing-2016/

Mobile or PC? What 2016 Has Told Us About Mobile-Friendly Pages

 

Mobile or PC? What 2016 Has Told Us About Mobile-Friendly Pages

For most of us, the smartphone has become a critical part of our daily lives. From checking our email to taking the occasional “selfie” and chatting with others on social media, the laptop may indeed soon become outdated. However, 2016 already seems to be a landmark year in terms of the rise of the humble and yet powerful smartphone. As marketers, what have we already learned about the importance of this device and what trends can we expect to continue into the foreseeable future? In order to leverage the benefits of mobile devices, it is critical to understand the answers to these questions.

 

The Trend Only Grows…

Many manufacturers have already performed detailed studies in regards to the importance of the smartphone in years to come. While it is already true that there are more mobile devices on the planet than people, the statistics do not end here. For example, manufacturing giant Ericsson predicts that more than 90% of all individuals over the age of six years old will possess a smartphone by the year 2020 (1). 2016 has already seen a massive rise in the use of these devices and thus, the market is huge for companies that are keen to keep ahead of the curve.

 

The Younger Generation

Did you notice that in the last paragraph, we stated that 90% of those six years and older will possess a mobile device? This is pivotal to note, for it shows a shift in the buying demographic. During 2016 and beyond, marketers will have to shift their PR strategies to meet the needs of this audience. If advertisements are outdated or considered to be stale, valuable revenue could be lost.

 

The Demise of the Personal Computer?

So far, we have only mentioned the prevalence of mobile devices. What about the humble PC? Are the predictions which state that it will go the way of the digital dinosaur true? In 2014, some analysts predicted that PC-focused manufacturers would be gone between 2016 and 2020 (2). This is obviously not the case. Still, it is only wise to assume that the number of static PCs and laptops will continue to decline. It would nonetheless be foolish to assume that these clever devices will end up in the scrap heap in only a few short years. 2016 has simply shown us that companies need to focus on marketing for the mobile community as opposed to the PC alone. The ONE truth seems to be that pages which are not optimized for personal computers will undoubtedly suffer in terms of rankings and clickthrough rates.

 

No Longer User Preferences Alone

Some marketers still believe that the only motivation to optimize a page for mobile devices is to satisfy the needs of the user. In 2015, this was arguably the case. However, the wizards at Google have once again added in their two cents. Now, pages which are not adapted to mobile devices will actually be penalized in terms of SERP rankings. This should be a concern for any digital marketing guru, for pages designed for the PC alone will not attract the much-needed traffic required to stay ahead of the competition. Adapting these portals now is a great way to prepare for the future.

To put it all together, the PC is not going anywhere anytime soon. However, the impact of the mobile device during 2016 is undeniable. Being able to tap into this younger, Tech-savvy audience is arguably one of the only ways to ensure success during the remainder of this year and into the future which is already looming around the next corner.

Richard Tipsword
Markethive Developer

Sources:

1. https://www.ericsson.com/news/141118-90percent-to-have-mobile-phones-by-2020-predicts-ericsson-mobility-report_244099435_c

2. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140526233249-1315848-pc-focused-companies-will-be-gone-in-10-years

Markethive: Multi-Million Dollar Social Marketing Platform- In Pre-Launch

Multi-Million Dollar Inbound Social Marketing Platform In Pre-Launch

Markethive has created a Multi-Million Dollar inbound social marketing platform that will rival the existing social media platforms in many ways.

Many times change comes along and we don't recognize it until its too late. Internet Marketing has changed with the advent of Millennials all searching for information specific as to what they want, no longer does SEO [Search Engine Optimization] play a major role in getting noticed on the internet. Millennials want to find information, not have it jammed down their throat.

They are seekers not persuaders!

The new trend of getting noticed on the internet is through referral basis. No longer do you have to pack your articles or website full of key words and hope the search engines notice them and give them top ranking, today you just have to make sure your message gets out to the public in a social way where people notice it, and then come to you for more information. Social Infusion Marketing is the new way to market your goods and services with people seeing what you are offering, and when the time comes that the person needs your offer they will take action.

Markethive has perfected Social Infusion Marketing with a unique social platform that allows anyone who is interested in marketing their products or company to be able to do it without paying huge sums of money to get noticed. No longer does anyone have to put up with the confusing language of the SEO guru's who charge outrageous sums of money with little results, you can do it yourself!

The Markethive platform is Free to join and use, and is funded partially by an advertising platform that enables the entrepreneur to get a huge reach with low cost. Markethive is built for the Global entrepreneur, and gives them a level playing field in a world that is cluttered with everyone trying to get into each others pocket financially.

So if you have read this far, Markethive is rolling out a Pre-Launch offer, before it goes to Crowdfunding, to anyone who want to join up and learn how to use this platform to grow their business. The Social part is being built by adding as many people as possible and assisting them in growing their business through Social Infusion Marketing.

To join just click here and you will be directed to a sign up page where you can enter the platform and poke around. Here is the secret, when the platform goes to CrowdFunding the people responsible will share in the rewards, so don't waste time this launch will be HUGE!

Thanks for reading,
Dr. Raymond Jewell

Thanks to Dr. Raymond Jewell for this informative article.  Dr. Jewell is a leading Economist specializing in the Small and Home Based Business Marketplace. He is a Alpha Founder with Markethive and manages several blogs on the hive. Dr. Jewell is a professional Network Marketer and represents several companies successfully.

The Power of the Outbound Link

Modern Marketing: The Power of the Outbound Link

Determining the correct SEO and marketing strategies can be a bit difficult in this day and age. One of the most common “gray” areas centers around the use of outbound links. There are arguments both for and against their use and unfortunately, these strategies have often been associated with negative effects (1). This is much more of a myth than a reality. The fact of the matter is that outbound links have ALWAYS been used to boost SERP rankings and enhance SEO techniques. So why should marketers always employ these handy tools within their sites and what are some of the most profound benefits that they have to offer?

 

Added (and Scalable) Value

Even if you spend years developing a powerful website which offers turnkey solutions within your niche market, the simple fact is that you cannot be everything for everyone at the same time. To put it simply, some users will still not find what it is that they may be looking for. Quality outbound links can help to bridge this informational gap. Leveraging the power and sheer breadth of the online community will help to provide a better personal experience to the visitor. In other words, sites which offer relevant links to similar websites will be perceived better by the visitor. In turn, they can be prone to associate your portal with a higher level of quality. Let's also remember that tracking clickthrough rates and similar metrics is much easier if you include outbound links within your content.

 

Agreeable to Algorithms

We have all heard how Google is changing its ranking methods. Over time, these overlords have become much more discriminating in terms of how a website is perceived and as their algorithms become smarter, targeted keywords and a clean layout are no longer enough. Quality outbound links provide two major benefits (2):

 

  • They help Google to further understand the content of the page.

  • Quality links build a solid reputation and therefore, the page itself scores higher.

 

Low-quality sites tend to include spam-filled links and unsurprisingly, these portals will suffer in terms of exposure. It is likely that the algorithmic demands from Google will become even more stringent into the foreseeable future.

 

Linking Out and Linking In?

Whether or not we realize it, we are all part of a greater online community. One of the mistakes that can be made is to assume that outbound links offer a one-off effect and that this effect ends once the user navigates to the page in question. However, websites which provide reputable links to other portals also tend to enjoy a greater number of inbound links. This arises from the fact that third-party sites and content managers will appreciate that you are “spreading the word”. They are more likely to return the favor and feature your product or service on their page. This is perhaps where the term “link” came from; we are all parts of an ever-increasing virtual marketing chain.

 

Further Engagement

Finally, we need to appreciate that outbound links create opportunities for other professionals (such as bloggers, forum members, and social media experts) to visit and interact with your site. This can help to add a sense of reputability and once again, such engagement will further boost your rankings.

Of course, the term “quality” has been used in this article multiple times. It is only through transparent and trustworthy link-building techniques that you will enjoy such benefits. Much like any other marketing strategy, you get out what you initially put in!

Richard Tipsword
Markethive Developer

Sources:

 

  1. https://moz.com/blog/5-reasons-you-should-link-out-to-others-from-your-website

  2. http://www.shoutmeloud.com/seo-benefits-and-tips-for-outbound-links.html

Expected Google Algorithmic Trends for 2016

Expected Google Algorithmic Trends for 2016

 

 

SERP rankings are important for your business to enjoy the success that it deserves. Unfortunately, we can often become too caught up in standard marketing approaches and fail to realize that many of these could be outdated due to a Google algorithmic update.

Although even the experts are not certain as to what we can expect for 2016, there are a few likely trends which could very well take shape in the months ahead. Let's take a look at a handful of the most dramatic.

 

Duration-Based Video Rankings

This trend is actually quite interesting, for it signals that Google is placing more importance on the overall user experience than ever before. We are all aware that videos now play a massive role in rankings and client conversions, but this is predicted to substantially change in 2016 (1). Google will now view how long a visitor spends watching a video under the assumption that longer viewing times indicate content of a higher quality. So, this could also affect your SERP rankings. Keep your videos short, to the point and most importantly, entertaining!

 

Email Interaction

This next prediction has actually caught some users by surprise. In the past, companies would have been only mildly concerned with how their emails were categorized based upon their content. It was volume more than anything else. Some believe that Google may begin to incorporate which folder an email is sent to alongside standard rankings.

 

For example, messages which are defined as spam could have an impact upon your overall rankings. This very same concept could apply if a user automatically marks an email as spam or places it into her or her junk folder. So, quality will need to be emphasized over sheer quantity.

Rich Search Results

You may have noticed that certain searches provide more in-depth results (such as Wikipedia, Google maps or links to videos) than others. This is another “wave” within the SERP Ocean that is expected to take shape. This is actually considered to be more of an ongoing trend than a future prediction (2).

Sites that rank higher and which are able to offer high-quality content are likely to enjoy a better visual presence within the SERP in general. This professional appearance will obviously lead to higher inbound hits and increased conversion rates. Meta tags, adding PageMap data and rich snippets can all help you to develop such a presence.

Mobile-Friendly Advertisements

This should once again come as no great surprise considering the emphasis that is now placed upon mobile-responsive websites. For some time, Google has been adapting their search engine to accommodate the needs of modern mobile phones. However, we should note here that they recently filed for a patent to transform the bulk of their texts to meet the needs of the smartphone-wired consumer (3). Why is this important for your site? Assuming that your page is not able to meet the needs of the mobile user, its rankings will suffer even more than in the past. So, it is now more important than ever before to include such features as long-scrolling pages, easily downloadable graphics and an overall uncluttered page to appeal to the mobile user.

As we have mentioned previously, there is still a number of questions in relation to what we may or may not see emerge from the bowels of Google in the coming months. We have only highlighted some of the most important areas to take into account. Adapting to these trends now can save you a great deal of time and frustration in the not-so-distant future.

Richard Tipsword
MarketHive Developer

Sources:

  1. http://seopressor.com/blog/2016-google-algorithm-changes-14-predictions-from-google-patent/

  2. https://support.google.com/customsearch/answer/1626952?hl=en

  3. http://mobilemarketingmagazine.com/google-velocity-targeted-advertigins-patent/

 

Free Tools for Your Online Business

 

Free Tools for Your Online Business

inbound marketing, blog, content marketing, richard tipsword

 

As a business owner, you want the best for your business but sometimes the budget can get in the way. Never fear, because today there are countless online tools, apps and solutions that you can use to run your online business. Let's not waste any time going into the free tools for your online business. There are over 100 free tools in the list and I saved the best for last so be sure and go through the entire list or start with the last.

 

1) Get an EIN — Even if you aren't going to have employees, it's important to set yourself up so that you don't have your identity stolen. If you're in the USA you can easily get an EIN right now in just a couple of minutes, completely free. This is the number that you'll give, instead of your social security number, to affiliate programs, clients, or anytime someone wants a federal ID number.

 

2) Score.org –– This is an excellent source of information for anyone who wants to start any type of business. You can get so many guides for free such as a business plan start up, financial templates, marketing plans and even a competitive analysis planning template.

 

3) Free Legal Forms — Everyone needs legal forms from contracts to other legal documents. Here you can create many of the legal forms you need (free).

 

4) Disclosure Policy Generator — You will need a disclosure on your website or blog if you are going to sell anything. This disclosure generator is completely free.

 

5) Terms of Use Generator — You may also need a terms of service or terms of use on your website, this is a free generator to use if you're in the USA.

 

6) Quick MBA — Need to learn something real fast about a business topic in any subject from accounting to strategy then Quick MBA is a great website to seek accurate information.

 

7) Khanacademy.org — Want to learn almost anything from experts? You can do it at Khan Academy. This is great if you're a computer programmer and want to brush up on your skills without having to pay to do it.

 

8) Google Learn — If you want to learn how to grow your business online, you can learn how to do it the free way with Learn with Google Beta. You can learn about marketing your business online as well as managing your business online.

 

9) Free Online Marketing Courses — Several colleges actually offer free online courses in marketing. You don't get credit, but you can use this in your business to make it better. Check out the free learning tools at UC Berkeley.

 

10) Enloop.com — You can create one business plan in a PDF version completely free using this software. If you want to get more in-depth you'll need to upgrade but for most people the free version will suffice.

 

11) Google Mail — Everyone knows about Gmail.com and if you don't use it, you should. You can do a lot more with it than you think. For instance, you can check other email accounts, and send as other email accounts, using your Gmail.com account to collect them. All free, of course.

 

12) Google Documents — Found inside Google Drive, you can upload, save, alter, and collaborate on many different types of documents. This is a great way to work with an entire team and ensure everyone has the most recent version.

 

13) Google Forms — A fabulous way to collect information and have it all entered right into a handy downloadable excel file. Google Forms can be emailed, embedded into websites and more. They are automatically saved to your Google Drive upon completion. This can be found inside your Google Drive.

 

14) Google Calendar — Underrated and unappreciated the Google Calendar is amazing. You can have more than one in an account, share them, collaborate, invite others, and more with your Google Calendars. You can even set them up to sync with your mobile device, send you reminder emails and you can get a popup reminder so you never miss an appointment.

 

15) Google Drive — This is where you can save documents, backups, and files. Everyone has some free space for each Google account created. It's unlikely you'll ever use all your free space so you may as well use what you've been given. If you are currently signed into Google, the link will take you to your Google Drive.

 

16) Google Sites — Need to create a fast website to share with others? Look no further than Google Sites to help you with your endeavor. Pick from a variety of templates, or start with a blank one. Follow the steps given and you'll have your site up before you know it.

 

17) Google + Hangouts — There is a lot to learn about Google Hangouts, you can do them privately, on air, and a multitude of ways that boggle the mind. You can use them in so many ways for your business that there isn't room in this report to list them. Check it out for yourself.

 

18) Google Analytics — They say that nothing is ever done until the paperwork is done. In online business, nothing is done without reviewing the metrics. The best way to do so is still free.

 

19) Google Sketch Up — If you need 3D modeling for any reason then Google Sketch Up is for your business. There is a free version which is awesome, as well as a pro version that's way less expensive than other like 3D modeling programs.

 

20) Google Alerts — Everyone needs to monitor their online reputation and one way to do so is with Google Alerts. You can also use it to monitor any topic, name, person, place, or event being discussed across the Internet.

 

21) Dropbox.com — If you need offsite storage solutions, and you really do, then Dropbox should be one of the first ones you try, especially since it's free. What's more is that you get more space for each person you invite to use the service.

 

22) OpenOffice.org — This free productivity suite is an excellent way to get any word-processing type activities completed without having to buy an expensive program.

 

23) Apptivo.com — You can get started with this online project management system using the free version which allows for unlimited users, up to 40 standard apps, still has online support, and the ability to send invoices even with a mobile app. It also integrates with Google Apps. When you have more income you can upgrade relatively inexpensively.

 

24) Freshbooks.com — This is an online invoicing and time tracking software, it is not really an accounting tool, but you can use it in conjunction with other tools and as long as you have less than 3 clients this one is free.

 

25) Nutcache.com — Invoicing and time management is now fun and free. This free service works in many languages, is safe and secure, and is definitely free. If you are one of the first ones to sign up for this time tracking and invoicing service you will never pay.

 

26) Wave Accounting — This amazing accounting suite offers everything you need to keep track of your income 100% free. It's also super easy to use. It offers invoicing and more. All free.

 

27) Expensify.com — If you need to create expense reports in your line of work, this couldn't be more simple and useful. Keep track of expenses and receipts in an organized manner. This software integrates with other solutions.

 

28) PayPal.com — It's free to get started with PayPal and you only pay a percentage of income as you receive it. This is a great way to accept payment for services or products that you sell.

 

29) Square Up — This is a mobile payment processing app that you use on your smart phone. It's free to get started as you only pay a percentage of sales. If you want to sell online, or in a store, or anywhere Square works.

 

30) Appointlet.com — You can use this appointment manager free for an unlimited number of monthly appointments and 1 service. You won't be able to brand yet, but you can get started organizing your meetings and calendar. It works with Google Calendar.

 

31) Doodle.com — A group scheduling app that enables you to send a group invite that allows everyone to collaborate on when the meeting will take place. This helps avoid the back and forth emails that can get everyone confused.

 

32) Survey Monkey — Want to ask your customers questions and get organized answers that are easy to collect, interpret and use? Then Survey Monkey is a great solution. You can use a limited version for free with up to 10 questions and 100 responses.

 

33) Evernote — This software works with all your devices to keep track of everything you want to keep track of it, be it notes for a project, recipes for dinner, a grocery list, whatever it is, you can organize all your files and find them easily and remember everything.

 

34) Boomerang — Want to write an email now but send it later? You can do that with Boomerang for Gmail.com. It gives you a "send later" button in your Gmail and you can tell it when to send an email. The basic plan is free and there are upgrades available.

 

35) Trello.com – Trello is a great way to remember ideas, collect supplies, and get your thought process in order. Organizing anything you want to do is easy with Trello. You can track all your to-dos in one place, and they have a mobile version.

 

36) Mural.ly — Need a vision board to help you brainstorm so you can visually see what you need to do? For a basic plan costing nothing you can get this drag and drop collaboration board today. For people who work better with a visual plan this is a great way to be more productive.

 

37) Cooapp.com –– If you need help keeping your team on the same page then this app can work for you. It keeps track of the work stream, separates out "water cooler" talk, and even has built in time tracking, agenda management and more.

 

38) ProjectLibre.org — This open source project management application and software touts itself a replacement for Microsoft Project and it's completely free. You can choose to use the cloud-based version and have professionals install it for you and set it up for a price, but if you understand the technical aspects you can use this free.

 

39) DropTask.com — You can use it free for some of the features to help manage your daily to-do list better.

 

40) KeePass.info — Can't remember passwords? Neither can anyone else. With KeePass, you only need to remember one password. Yes, it's free too. Amazing and very useful for someone who has many different passwords they're trying to remember.

 

41) Quackit.com — Need a little help with HTML so you can tinker with the code on your website or blog? This site can help you with everything from creating linkable button images to tables.

 

42) Rapportive.com — Works with Gmail so that you can see who you are talking to at all times. It shows their latest Tweets, gives you links to their social media accounts, and allows you to remember and get to know your connections better by putting it all in one spot inside your email.

 

43) Tweepz.com — Want to see who is Tweeting on any topic, location or skill set? Try using Tweepz. You can get inspiration if you're lacking sufficient information about any topic. It’s also a great way to find movers and shakers to follow on Twitter.

 

44) Social Mention — Use this tool to find out who is mentioning you on the social media. You can follow the buzz about any topic which can also help you come up with content for your niche.

 

45) Tweet Alarm — Want to be notified when someone tweets about you, your niche, or a special interest? Well, right now you can do that for free with Tweet Alarm. This can save you a lot of time using Twitter for researching topics.

 

46) Pin Alerts — Like Tweet Alarm this is a way to be notified when someone pins something from your website. It's a great way to keep track of whether your Pinterest marketing is working.

 

47) Mention — Want to find out how many times you're mentioned throughout all social media? You can sign up as one user with one account and get up to 100 mentions per month for free.

 

48) HootSuite.com — Keep your social media better organized and measure the results of your efforts from one dashboard. Many people use HootSuite with great success and you can start out free.

 

49) SocialMention.com — Go to the website and simply type in your keywords, name, Twitter handle, a hashtag or other words into the window, then choose where you want to search. Click search and you're in the know about the trends and buzz of the day.

 

50) Tregia.com — Want to know what another website is doing to get so many visitors and be so successful. You can use this free tool to analyze any website that you want to. It's not cheating, it's smart business to check out your competition. You can also use it to get tips to make your own website better.

 

51) Nutshellmail.com — It's important to monitor the buzz about your business and your competition, now you can do it in your email. Nutshellmail, sends you an email on the schedule you check that visually shows you the activity in your social media accounts.

 

52) Populr — You can open a free account and publish unlimited pages, collaborations and more. Create one page sites, sales pages, point up to three domains to it, and more quickly and it can all be done for free.

 

53) Streak.com — This is a great app that lets you organize your emails inside your Gmail.com so you can keep track of potential deals better. It also offers email scheduling and more. If you need your inbox more organized so you don't lose out on any deals, then Streak is for you.

 

54) FreeCRM.com — You can use the free version which offers no support, and has banner advertising on it, however you can have five users and 2500 contacts, plus it has good basic features. It's a great way to get started with customer relationship management.

 

55) Zoho CRM — Use a limited account with all the features you need to get started with a great customer relationship management tool. Upgrading isn't hard or expensive and the tool really works.

 

56) Opecrx.org – In every way you can imagine, this powerful free tool can help you manage your customers. It offers a true professional CRM suit with truly limitless possibilities. If you can follow the considerable directions and understand more than the average person about the technical aspects this is a bargain.

 

57) Gravatar.com — This is a great service to sign up for, and it's free. You simply sign up and enter all your email addresses, with corresponding headshots of yourself. When you sign onto blogs that use Gravatar.com you'll always have the right picture of yourself.

 

58) HelloSign.com — Doing business online still requires documents to be signed. Stop worrying about doing it in the mail, and you don't have to pay for an expensive software or service to ensure documents are legally signed. Starting out you can get three signatures a month, and premium versions are available.

 

59) EchoSign.com — This is also free, and works with Adobe documents. You can get everything signed fast, online, on your mobile device, and never have to print out a thing. You can sign up to five contracts per month (free).

 

60) MailChimp.com — Need to send out a newsletter but don't have the funds right now to pay? With Mailchimp.com you can have up to 2000 newsletter subscribers before you have to pay a dime. Some people claim you cannot use MailChimp for affiliate links but the truth is, you can as long as they're not on their substantial blacklist. Upgrades aren't that expensive either.

 

61) HARO – Do you want to be a source, or need a source? You can sign up free with HARO which stands for Help a Reporter Out.

 

62) Skype.com — Even with all the other applications come out, Skype is still a winner when it comes to offering free clear, phone quality one-on-one talking ability over the Internet. You can't beat it.

 

63) Free Conference Call – This free service allows you to arrange group phone meetings fast and easy.

 

64) Youtube.com — You need to set up a business account on YouTube.com so that you can share your videos easily with your audience. It's not only free, but if you play your cards right, it can be an additional moneymaker.

 

65) Linkedin.com — If you don't have a Linkedin.com account yet, you must set one up. The basic version is free and there is no reason why you need the advanced version, ever. You can do anything you need to do with the free Linkedin.com business social networking application.

 

66) Facebook.com — A true marvel when it comes to what you can do with it for free, Facebook is a must have for any start up business owner who wants to get the word out about their business. Starting a page or a group for your business on Facebook is necessary today.

 

67) Twitter.com — The popular micro social media network is free, and will always be free for anyone to sign up and use for business or personal uses.

 

68) Tumblr.com — This micro blogging platform is a very popular way to post multimedia content to the web.

 

69) WordPress.com — A free blogging site run by the popular WordPress. Remember this is different from self-hosted WordPress but it's a good way to start as you can always buy a domain and move it to your own hosting later.

 

70) Blogger.com — This is another tool from Google which enables users to create a blog quickly. They even make it possible for you to earn money through Google AdSense.

 

71) Sociopal.comSign up for free to get your business on Facebook, Twitter and start a blog at the same time. In addition, you can get help with marketing. What could be more simple?

 

72) Jing — This is a great way to share your screen and create instant videos to share with others or better explain a process. You simply sign up free, and download the program, and then start sharing.

 

73) Greenshot –Try this free tool to take screenshots of particular areas on your desktop. For instance you may need to capture the full screen then edit and annotate to highlight and help teach someone a process, Greenshot works easily for this purpose.

 

74) Gimp.org — This free open source graphics software is almost as good as big name versions and it's totally free. People say if you can use Photoshop you can use Gimp for the same actions. It won't hurt to try it, since it's free and you are always going to need graphics for your business.

 

75) Pixlr.com — It's hard to believe this gem is free, but it is. You can edit photos in a number of ways and make them really stand out without understanding complicated graphics software.

 

76) Canva.com — Another, free application that works great to create banners, presentations, and other types of graphics for you to use across the web on your blog or social media. You'll be asking yourself the entire time you're using this, is it really free? Why, yes, yes it is free.

 

77) ChartGizmo.com — This is a free software application that enables you to create awesome charts and diagrams from your data. Plus, even though it's free there is a nice manual to teach you how to use it.

 

78) Creative Docs — You can download this software and use it free to create awesome documents with a kick. It works with Windows and is a free download. You can create polygons, Bezier curves, different styles and more to make your documents, flyers and posters pop.

 

79) Draw.io — This is a software program that allows you to create diagrams and save them to your computer, Dropbox or Google Drive automatically. If you need visual representation of any type of content you can create it easily and intuitively with Draw.io.

 

80) FlowChart.com — Currently in Beta, so it's free to use to create awesome flow charts. Everyone needs a flowchart occasionally, and this is a great way to create one for your business.

 

81) Tableau Public — Want to visualize your information in a new way? Tableau public allows you to create visual representations of your data for free. Create interactive graphs, and make it easier for your audience to interact with your data.

 

82) Fring.com — Need to have chats with customers, or your team on the go? This is a great way to do it. You get free talk, text and video calls with this mobile application.

 

83) Weebly.com— If you need a website you can get a basic site up and running, fast. Then upgrade later. The website builder is an easy to use drag and drop builder. You sign up free and then choose the focus of your site, a brochure site, a blog or a store. Then, choose a theme and get started. It's simple and fast to get online. Once you start earning money, you can easily upgrade to a site with your own domain for as little as 3 dollars a month.

 

84) WordPress.org — This is a free open source website builder. To use it, you will need to pay for a domain name, as well as hosting. You can get inexpensive hosting through Mom Webs, and they'll actually throw in a free domain name for you and load your first instance of WordPress too.

 

85) Google Publisher Plugin For WordPress — Is a custom plug in created for and by Google to support webmasters using AdSense and other Webmaster Tools. It's still in Beta Release and it's a good time to try it since it's free. Although, it's likely to remain free. It's Google.

 

86) WP-Drafts For Friends — This WordPress plugin allows you to set a time where people can see a preview of your draft posts with a special link even if they're not users of your site. This is a great way to enable people to give you some tips before you publish it to the world, or give special people a sneak peak.

 

87) AGV Antivirus — This is a free antivirus software that you can use to protect your computer from receiving infected files. It works with many web browsers and the free version works fine for most people.

 

88) Microsoft Security Essentials — If you have a Windows based computer then this is a great free antivirus tool for you to use. It works really good, is completely free, and there is no need for other antivirus software when you use it.

 

89) All In One WP Security & Fire Wall — You need to keep your WordPress site safe from intruders and this will do the job.

 

90) Audacity — A free open source, recording software that you can use for editing sound, recording, and podcasting. It works across operating system platforms and works exceptionally well. This is a good choice for any business owner who wants to add podcasting to their content mix.

 

91) Odiogo — This is a great way to put a voice to your blog posts, making every single blog post on your website just like a podcast. Works great with TypePad, Blogger, WordPress and others.

 

92) Sparkol.com Videoscribe — This is a great way to do fast explainer videos. You've seen them, with the hand writing the words. The free version can be used forever, and while it has less to offer than the upgraded paid version, you can get by just fine with the free version for a long time.

 

93) AnyMeeting.com — This is a great program as long as you don't mind a few advertisements. They're not intrusive so it's a good option when you want a full featured online web meeting / webinar application and don't have the money up front.

 

94) Managemeet.com — This is a great tool to use if you need to have business meetings, collaborate with others and want to do it face-to-face without the travel involved. It's free to use as long as you don't plan to save the meeting or charge for attendance.

 

95) MeetingBurner.com — This is a great way to host, record, and participate in a webinar or meeting for 10 people are less, with no ads.

 

96) Zoho Meeting — This is a great meeting software that you can use for 1 on 1 purposes only for up to 1 hour each time for free.

 

97) MoneyPress: Amazon Edition – Would you like to sell Amazon items right off your WordPress site and make a commission? Use this plugin to make it super fast and easy.

 

98) WP e-Commerce — This is a free shopping cart plugin for your WordPress website. It's very easy to install and figure out how to use it to make an attractive store right on your WordPress site and take payments via PayPal.

 

99) 1FreeCart.com — This is a free shopping cart, that also has a free affiliate program application with it. The free version does have ads on it, but you can always upgrade later.

 

100) PayGear.com — This is a full featured shopping cart, with affiliate marketing tools, that you can get free. You are only charged a percentage of sales. You can even upgrade later to a paid plan so that your fees never get too high if your sales should take off.

 

101) MembersGear.com — This is a free membership software package that you can download and use in conjunction with PayGear. You never pay unless you make a sale. They do offer paid upgrades including an inexpensive plugin to help the membership software work with WordPress.

 

102) Cafe Press — Want to sell premiums from your website like T-shirts, hats, mugs and so forth? You can set up your store free with CafePress.com. It even has a built-in option to offer an affiliate program.

 

103) WebStore.com — If you ever wanted to sell on eBay.com but didn't want to pay the high fees you can now sell at Webstore.com and avoid those fees. It's a little "wild-wild-west" but it does work.

 

104) VistaPrint.com — You can get free business cards from VistaPrint. You might wonder how this is helpful when you run an online business, but it is very help. You never know when you'll run into someone that you want to do business with. Having the card will help you break the ice.

 

105) MarketHive — Is a FREE multi-million dollar platform which evolved from Veretekk. It's primary purpose is to empower the average Jane and Joe to lofty heights as entrepreneurs. Markethive not only invites you to become a member of the Entrepreneur Social Network, but to receive Inbound Marketing tools for your agendas and campaigns giving you the Unfair Advantage on the Internet. These tools include: Auto-responders, Blog Caster (publish your blogs to millions of Social Networks), Blog Swipping, Connect your Blogs (Press Releases) to unlimited WordPress blogs, Lead generation, Conference rooms (HEAR THAT?..your own conference room!), Capture pages, Email Capture Plugins, Daily live workshops, WP Subscribe Plugin, Tiny URL, Website Rotator, Lead Page Plugins, Lead Capture Pages

 

As you can see there is a wide variety of free software, education, code, and more that can help with setting up a website, email marketing, affiliate marketing, podcasting, blogging, selling products, hosting webinars, using social media, and anything you need to do for and with your business. When you are starting a business on a shoestring, an Internet business is the best kind to start due to all the free applications and tools that are available. What are you waiting for?

Inbound Marketing Specialists: Providing SOLUTIONS is Your Business 

Inbound Marketing Specialists: Providing SOLUTIONS is Your Business 

“Always talk about SOLVING your customer's problems and NOT your own”.

So, your business is not about Sales nor Marketing (well, that’s not totally true but, play along for now) but, actually solutions.  Impossible, without them (sales & marketing) your business will evolve, arrive and remain for all eternity in the MLM Cemetery the final resting place for dead dealers (lovely ambiance).  Okay, since 2006, Inbound Marketing evolved and has proven to be the most cost-effective method of generating leads, traffic, connecting and developing a trustworthy business relationship between proprietor and prospect.  With the advent of rapid technological growth in business due to the Internet with   related software technology and personal devices that are social media oriented, consumer buying habits have changed dramatically and old outbound marketing methods are no longer effective.  To be successful in today’s marketing game it’s about researching and knowing how your audience “thinks”.  Recognize, today’s inbound marketing specialists as consumer behavioral analysts or more commonly known as profilers who analyze significant sums of data detailing past sales patterns and contact databases (surveys, interviews, etc.,) to uncover trends about how certain leads or customers find and consume your content.  It’s all psychology; therefore, to better influence anyone then, it starts with understanding their behavior through how they think.  It seems Jim Morrison (The Doors) was right when he said, “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind”.      

It's hard to believe; however, the success of any business has multiple essential components that must work together in a symbiotic relationship to provide good service to the customers and profit for the business.  One might say business is about relationship building between the owner customers.  This is a form of partnership or marriage; however, I strongly advise against signing a legal contract, while seeking intimacy with an entity that will result in lifetime vaginamoney and/or child-support…. this is called a WIN-WIN for everyone.

Well, the title of this article is true and the reason(s) is very SIMPLE.  Want to generate consistent, predictable and long-term residual income for any business?  Then, you better get real-good at providing a product and/or service that is designed to solve a problem.  People will always pay a fortune for a solution to a problem because it ensures long-term profits with less work over the course of time.  Sounds too sweet but, that’s the reality of business in today's online and off-line world of commerce.  So, the reason is clear and solution is logical; therefore, YOU are a Problem Solver.  Yes, you get paid and critical thinking and is your new oxygen. 

If, you think about it life is about solving problems. If, you recall those challenges back in school with math and how good you felt once you arrived at the correct answer.  Well, you are doing the same thing throughout your life and business is part of that journey.  Now, arriving at the correct answer is vital but, the Real Money is in developing a proven duplicative strategy that generates results.  This is how fortunes are made and secrets to success are guarded with the utmost of vigilance.

Alright, you now have the task of marketing your skills and knowledge to your desired target market and inform them, that you are here to help them.  Yes, HELP them and not yourself because you want to build a relationship that is both long-term and profitable for all parties involved…create the proverbial WIN-WIN.

So, how do you develop the skills, abilities and knowledge to demonstrate your credibility as a problem solver? Well, that process begins “the moment you decide to START a business and until that same business ENDS”. Now, most smart people just model themselves after a successful existing entrepreneur where you learn the basics of being a successful entrepreneur.  Yes, it's on the job training and the learning in truth, NEVER stops.  This is why successful business owners maintain the White Belt attitude in Martial Arts, “anyone can learn from anyone, regardless of experience”.  Makes sense to those who believe in customer satisfaction and success as a business owner. 

Now, as a problem solver it's important that you remain receptive to listening, learning and applying information to achieve a solution irrespective of personal feelings or beliefs.  This makes sense; however, like any challenge in life we all want to find the quickest, easiest and least expensive way of getting what we want due to our own narcissism.  Hey, it's only natural to want immediate self-gratification; however, that's our downfall because in the long-term we deny ourselves the opportunity to develop the needed skills/abilities to overcome challenges encountered in future business dealings.  It's about being Independent and creating a solution to challenges.  In doubt, just ask any Mindless automaton in Corporate American and difficulty of getting ahead.   "Don't find fault; find a remedy". — Henry Ford

Government is a perfect example of the antithesis of developing SOLUTIONS to problems.  If, you think logically about it government intervention addressing issues such as Crime, Unemployment, Poverty and other societal problems, the goal isn't truly about achieving an effective solution because that would eventually, lead to the elimination of their services.  In essence, government Profits from Problems; hence, intervention to address a non-existing problem isn't good for business of Govt Bureaucracy.  No, it's more about satisfying the more influential customer base (political donors) that impacts policy through their economic and political muscle.  Needless to say, charity begins at home and government is in no hurry to put itself out of business by actually implementing solutions to problems that actually work.

Evidence-Based research is all the rage in popular media; however, the caveat to it is the following: “Opinions don't affect facts, but FACTS should affect opinions, and do, if you're RATIONAL” …Ricky Gervais.

Well, being in the entrepreneurial spirit I invite you to review our information:

Vaurn James

Consultant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are 4 Content Marketing Metrics

Here are 4 Content Marketing Metrics

You may be pleased with your email open rate or the number of Facebook “likes” your most recent post received, but these numbers won’t impress your CEO. In fact, sharing these metrics with your CEO may demonstrate that you are out of touch with the true needs of the business. Using vanity metrics does not position you as a strategic player, but rather as a tactical marketer lacking a vision for how marketing can truly drive growth. Instead, deliver content marketing metrics that truly illustrate how your work is impacting the business.  

1. Number of sales-accepted leads

A sales-accepted lead (SAL) is a lead that your marketing efforts generated, and that the sales team has accepted as qualified. This metric is primarily applicable to B2B marketers using content to fuel their lead-generation strategy. “Sales accepted” usually means that a salesperson was able to set up a meeting with the prospect.

This metric speaks both to the quantity and quality of the leads you’re passing to the sales team. Simply telling your CEO that you produced 800 leads last month won’t cut it. You need to tie that number directly to its revenue potential. While you may have an average conversion rate for your leads, why rely on a calculation when you can simply provide a number that reaches further into the sales pipeline and is therefore, more reliable?

If you need to make the case for content marketing then you could go as far as tying SALs to individual pieces of content. For example, let’s say your business sells recruiting software to human-resource professionals. If your CEO questions why you spent a quarter writing a thought-leadership piece on best practices for hiring top talent, determine the number of SALs tied to the content, and then calculate the revenue potential. Better yet, provide your CEO with the actual revenue coming from SALs generated by that specific piece of content. You could do this by tracking the content piece’s downloads in your sales-enablement software, such as Salesforce, and looking at the potential or actualized deal size of each prospect who downloaded that content.

2. Share of voice

Your share of voice is the percentage of the conversation about a particular topic that your business owns versus that of your competitors. Share of voice used to be a term that primarily applied to the public relations field, but now content marketers are driving these conversations. You can look at share of voice in terms of press hits/article mentions or shares of that content on social media.

For example, let’s say you have two major competitors. One of them is older and more established than your business and has more market share. The other is a start-up company creating a lot of buzz with its blog. Using a competitive analysis tool like TrackMaven, you can easily determine which company is dominating the online conversation about your solution and the problem it solves. The start-up company may be blogging like crazy, but are readers sharing its content? The older, more established competitor might not be investing in content marketing, so is the audience talking about it online?

Show your CEO how your business stacks up to the competition when it comes to the digital conversation. If your content is being shared more frequently than your competitors’ content, and if more articles are being written about you than about your competitors, then you have a solid KPI that may suggest future growth.

3. Branded search

As a marketer, you are no stranger to SEO. But what about the people who come to your website by typing in your company’s name? You may not think that your content marketing has generated these website visits, and you disregard them when looking at your content marketing metrics. But these visitors are arguably at a later stage in the buying cycle (perhaps they are already customers), which makes them extremely valuable.

Monitor your branded search and direct traffic stats over time. This is a KPI for “word of mouth” and as these numbers grow, your business likely will too. While you cannot attribute this website traffic directly to your content marketing efforts, there is likely a correlation – particularly if your share of voice is also growing. Use this metric in combination with share of voice to paint a picture of growth for your CEO.

4. Customer sentiment

Customer sentiment is a measure of how customers (and prospects) feel about the brand, or a particular interaction with that business. Most CEOs are interested in the customer experience at all stages of the buying journey – from awareness to purchase to the ongoing relationship. If you are delivering content to customers at each stage, then the CEO will likely need to know how that content is impacting overall customer satisfaction.

Consider this B2C example. A large food company places a video on Instagram that features a group of college students on a beach enjoying this company’s snack. The video is funny and engaging, and receives over 1,000 “likes” with 200 comments. As stated, providing the CEO with the vanity metric of “likes” is meaningless without context. Instead, the marketer analyzes the comment section via text analytics software that interprets context and emotion attached to certain words to identify the sentiments about the video and the brand overall, such as joy.

These types of insights are far more actionable than vanity metrics. They can help you – the marketer – understand what type of content is resonating with buyers. And they can help your CEO make customer-centric decisions.

Conclusion

Don’t waste your CEO’s precious time with metrics that are meaningless. Provide metrics that truly demonstrate how the business’ investment in content marketing is driving growth. If you can’t demonstrate how your content marketing is driving growth, then perhaps it’s time to rethink your strategy. If you don’t have the tools to generate these metrics, then make the case to get budget for them. Otherwise you and your CEO are flying blind.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

6 Internet Marketing Oriented Must-Have Habits

6 Internet Marketing Oriented Must-Have Habits

markethive,inbound marketing,tipsword

 

1) Make a Plan

A well thought out plan can lead digital marketers to their personal definition of success. Everyone has different goals and objectives, and a well thought out strategy is just the road you need to reach them. A marketer should never underestimate the power of budgeting, planning and organizing can have on their career. You must make sure that you strategy is well aligned with the needs of your clients and audience along with your own personal goals. Planning is a tactic that many digital marketers tend to ignore yet it is so vital to making sure you achieve the best possible outcome of your work.

2) Analyze, Fix, and Reiterate

Just because you’ve made a plan does not mean that you cannot change it. Once you have made your plan, you have to analyze how well it is working for you. Any tweaks you need to make should be implemented without straying away from your goals. Diminish time-consuming and costly activities with low outputs. No plan is perfect and there is always room for improvement. Make sure you utilize that space and keep updating your plan with possible enhancement.

3) Use the Right Tools

Using the right tools will not only help you save time and money but also your sanity. You need to find the right digital marketing tools to help bring traffic to you website, improve your conversion rate and help manage personal and corporate projects. Finding the right websites to do such tasks can be a little time-consuming but improvement in productivity will be worth every second.

4) Keep Learning

In the digital world, there is no room for stagnant skill sets. With advancements in technology coming up so often, you need to keep yourself updated before the competition takes advantage. You need to be up to date with all the latest digital marketing news. Read blogs religiously, scan twitter, attend industrial events and you can even invest in a digital marketing course. Being curious is the best thing a digital marketer could be.

5) Self-Motivate

Self-motivation is necessary for all digital marketers. You need to carve your own path and be passionate and enthusiastic enough about it to not get bored of it. Digital marketers need to be creative and quick and have to stay connected to the world. Motivation is of fundamental importance to them and cannot be compromised. You can do this by looking at your past success stories which might have earned you a better ranking.

6) Seek Help

Look for mentors, seniors or even colleagues that can help you out with any problem you have. Everyone has a blind spot that can be easily overcome by teamwork. A digital marketer should never be afraid to ask for help. You can ask for advice, feedback on your marketing styles and your writing techniques. Another person’s point of view will only help build up the strength of you marketing.