Marketing Tip of the Week: Dynamic Headlines!

Quality content. Is there any more important topic in marketing? Is there any more important aspect to your marketing strategy? I would say no, but perhaps there is something equally important. After all, what does your customer see before they see your amazing content? What item draws them into your site and convinces them to read the nuggets you’ve mined out for their viewing pleasure? Your headline, of course!

The Importance of A Good Headline

The headline is there to entice your readers to invest their time in the content you’ve created. That makes its value directly proportional to the value of the content you’ve created. After all, getting the customer to read your content only matters if you’ve provided content worth reading. But having quality content doesn’t matter one whit if no one ever decides to read it. Therefore, your headline and your content are of equal importance and should be treated with equal care.

The Power of Curiosity

A good headline will grab your reader’s attention and entice them to read more. This can be accomplished in many ways, but one of the most popular involves piquing their curiosity with vague text or giving them just enough information that they feel compelled to learn more. An example would be just about any headline you see written for Buzzfeed or UpWorthy. These companies have made their bones using vague intros that draw the reader in. There’s no debate that this method works. Human beings are curious creatures after all, but just because it’s effective for them doesn’t mean that it will work for your needs.

Bringing in the maximum number of readers may sound good on the surface, but with every reward comes risk, and this is no different. Using the curiosity angle will increase your views for sure, but it can also increase your bounce rate. Customers who are enticed to open content they don’t really want to read may be less inclined to come back, and that’s never a good thing. These large companies use this method because they are casting a very wide net. They are willing to lose large percentages of the customers they reach because those that stay more than make it worth it. Most likely, your business caters to a much more select market and may not find that the benefit outweighs the potential cost.

Generating Excitement

Another way to get your customers to click on your content is to use headlines as excitement generators for your topic. That simply means to approach the headline as an opportunity to get your customers hyped up about your content. Use the title of this article for an example. I could have titled it “A discussion of headlines and their importance for your content”, but I didn’t want to put you to sleep before you ever read the first line.

As you can see, there is an art to writing headlines, and it is best learned through practice. There’s no one method that works for everyone, so feel free to experiment, but track the traffic on your content and see how different approaches work for you and your audience.

Marketing Tip of the Week: 3 Social Media Marketing Tips

A few weeks ago I talked about a few specific social media platforms and how best to determine which is best for you and your marketing strategy. (If you missed those posts, they are part 1, part 2, and part 3.) This week I’d like to focus on some general social media tips to improve your footprint on whichever platform you’ve chosen to use.

Social Media Marketing Tips

  1. Images are Your Friend - Using images with your posts is proven to be an extremely effective way to increase clicks, reposts and general interest overall. It’s as true on social media as in any other walk of life, a picture is certainly worth a thousand words.
  2. Post More than Once – What I mean by that is to post the same content multiple times a day. Why? Because your audience may check their site at different times of the day. Posting once in the morning, at midday and again in the evening will garner you the largest audience, and if you cater to a customer base from different time-zones, you have the best opportunity to reach your entire base.
  3. Don’t be Afraid to Re-post – As you build your readership, you may find that information you’ve posted in the past can be relevant to your new audience. You’ll want to avoid posting the same thing within a short period of time, but pulling information you’ve posted 6 months or a year ago and reposting it is more than acceptable, it’s smart. It allows you to reuse material and reduce the amount of new material you have to create while also providing your new audience with information they may find helpful.

Use these tips to help increase your footprint with Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform of your choice. Join me next Friday for yet another Marketing Tip of the Week!

Marketing Tip of the Week: 3 Tips For Using Google+

If you’re looking to improve your online visibility, it might be a good idea to use the social media site hosted by the web’s most popular search engine. Not because they give more weight to their own site, but because it is so seamlessly integrated into their processes that there is no need to game the system any further. And it is that seamless integration that makes it an invaluable tool for being recognized online.

3 Google+ Marketing Tips

  1. Complete Your Google+ Page – I put this first because it is by far the most important step. Fill out your profile completely, link to your product and web pages, and find and use key words to promote your business. This completed profile is what your customers and potential customers will use to find you in other places on the web.
  2. Circle the Competition - Google+ allows you to circle (or follow) your competitors. This is valuable because it allows you to see their marketing strategies, ad concepts, etc. You can determine how successful these strategies are and use them to inspire ideas of your own!
  3. Use Large Images and Catchy Headlines - The key to having your ads and other content viewed is in not giving the reader a choice about whether or not to view it. Large images will stand out when scrolling through a news feed, and once that draws the eye, a catchy headline will pull them in the rest of the way. Remember the old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Don’t go text heavy when a nicely placed image will do your talking for you.

So if you aren’t already on Google+, now’s the time to start, and if you are, allow these tips to help you be more successful!

 

Marketing Tip of the Week: Is Your Website Streamlined?

We’ve all been there. The website discovered after following an interesting link that immediately caused a headache. The splash page was nonsensical and didn’t give any idea of what the site was for. It was necessary to click a series of links to get to any merchandise at all, and when something interesting was located, there was no indication as to what to do next!

If you’re like me, you clicked away from that site about 2 steps ago. But it’s true that even though they are becoming more and more rare as websites become easier to use and set up these sites still exist. Whether your page is as bad as the one described above or not, here are 3 ways to ensure your content is accessible and valuable.

3 Steps to Streamline Your Website

  1. Brief and to the point - This applies to all the copy on your page, but especially your splash page. When a customer arrives at your page, they should immediately know what you do and how to access what you do.If you sell a certain kind of merchandise, say so and include a call-to-action that tells the customer what they should do next.
  2. With links, less is more - There is only one way to navigate a website, and that’s through clicking links whether they be on the navigation bar or embedded in the text. If you have too many links on your nav bar, the customer can become confused and not know where to go next!
    You don’t want your customer to have to “drill down” through too many steps to get to your product, but your main navigation needs to be simple and uncluttered. If you have more than seven links in your primary navigation, you might want to rethink your categories.
  3. Put Your Most Important Content First - Your call-to-action needs to be front and center on every page. Your customer should never find themselves ignorant of where to go next, and they should always be heading in the direction you want them to go: to your products and services!

Don’t confuse your customers! Make your site accessible and easy to navigate and you are sure to see an uptick in traffic.

Marketing Tip of the Week: Plan Your Content

It’s not easy to create excellent marketing content on a day to day basis. It doesn’t take long before the blank screen and blinking cursor leave you wondering what you could possible write about next. Yet as difficult as consistent content can be, it is not negotiable. If you want to have a valuable online presence, you’ve got to deliver marketing content your audience will want to read. So how do you keep the words flowing? How do you roll from one good idea to the next? Have a plan!

Think Thematically

Everything is easier when you plan ahead, and the easiest way to generate compelling content is by thinking about your topic in advance. You should sit down and choose a weekly or monthly theme, and then write to match. This method not only gives you a broad topic about which to write, it can also help you to focus your writing so that you don’t find yourself wandering off topic.

If your business benefits from holidays, you have ready-made themes being handed to you on a regular basis! Just use the big holiday for the month and structure your content around it. Even if your business is not directly related to holidays, you could still use them in a secondary capacity or farm them for ideas that DO relate to your business.

Promote Yourself

Another great way to generate content is to shape it around what you are creating or highlighting on the business side. Do you sell DIY supplies? Perhaps do a blog explaining how to create something that uses a product you currently have on sale. Do you manufacture goods? Do a series of posts that detail your product and potential uses for it!

Marketing content doesn’t have to be difficult. With a little thought and planning ahead, it might even become enjoyable!

Marketing Tip of the Week: Social Media and the Art of Listening

Last week’s post focused on listening to your customers, but that doesn’t stop at the people who enter your store. You have many customers (and potential customers) in the social media realm that need your time and attention as well. It’s no secret that social media is the future of marketing, and effectively navigating its waters requires attention to your followers and those you want to be your followers.

How to Listen on Social Media

Listening through social media is less about asking direct questions (though you can do that too) and more about reading what your followers have to say.

Companies have long understood that people with similar interests in a particular product or brand often have other similar interests. If they model their marketing campaigns after one of those other interests, they can appeal to a certain demographic. You can easily do the same thing with your own marketing strategies.

By paying attention to the posts of your followers, you will quickly begin to garner a sense of where their interests lie and how best to approach them. It truly is as simple as paying attention.

Focus Your Attention

But what if you believe you’ve fully harvested your current crop of followers? Where then do you turn?

Again, listening to your current followers is the key. If a majority of your followers are also interested in another market, it would stand to reason that people in that market could be interested in your business. Rather than just going out and following a lot of random people on Twitter in the hopes they’ll follow you back, it would be better to focus your attentions and socialize within the group or #hashtag that you see popping up most often among your current followers. By doing this, you could potentially discover an entirely new pool of customers!

Listening is an important part of owning a business, and listening to your customers is always a good idea. The secret is in knowing what to do with what you hear.

Find Your Audience

February 2014
Little Merry Fellows
Find Your Audience

I’ve talked about how to make your content as accessible as possible for readers and how to make it easily sharable, but now I’d like to talk about how you find those readers in the first place. It takes a little more leg-work if the goal is to get your content into as many hands as possible.

How to Find an Audience

Yes, the people who follow you on social media are an audience, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for more. Here are two ideas you might want to consider:

1. Find a Niche Community – What is a niche community? It’s a community dedicated to your particular niche. Are you a florist? Find a flower lovers Facebook group or an online forum. Whatever your business, there are people online who love it and talk about it. Find them.

2. Guest Bloggers – Nothing spices up a blog more than a guest blogger. It helps if this is a recognizable name from your industry, but even if it’s just another shop owner with some good info to share, it will do wonders for your site views.

Extra effort can be difficult to find when you’ve exhausted yourself with the customers you do have, but more customers equals more success and more success will allow you to hire more help!

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Marketing Tip of the Week: The Devil is in the Details

You’ve done it all. You write excellent and engaging content on your website, and you use Twitter and Facebook like a pro, but you’re still not seeing the traffic numbers you expect. What’s wrong?

Quite possibly, nothing at all. You may be doing absolutely everything right and still not seeing the returns you want. What is there left to do? Short of revising your strategy or lowering your expectations, the easiest potential solution is to simply revisit your methods. See if there are ways you can streamline various aspects to make it easier for customers to find you. As with anything in life, the devil is in the details.

Check Your Signature

There are so many places online where you have the opportunity to customize a signature. Be it comments on a blog, forum or just your own email, you should never squander an opportunity to advertise your page. Place a link in any signature you have the chance to use, but don’t just leave it sitting there all by itself. Add a line or two that requests viewers to visit your page. Maybe a line that explains why they’d want to do so.

Successful marketing is always about enticing your potential customer. Slapping a link in a signature line just isn’t going to get it done. You have to give it context, meaning. It should not only be arresting but informative.

FAQ’s

Having an FAQ page on your site is an often overlooked but surprisingly useful tool. You are undoubtedly an expert in your field, and it is easy to write content that may be just above the average consumer’s head. That can cause them to give up on your page without ever giving it, or you, a chance.

My first suggestion would be to put more explanation in your content, but sometimes that is too difficult to accomplish in the space you are using. An FAQ page is the perfect place to break things down to a more “elementary” understanding of your subject. Do you use industry terminology? Do you have separate logins for standard and wholesale customers? Use the FAQ to explain these and any other things you feel customers may need a bit more help with.

The difference between success and failure can often be the simplest, smallest of things. Look back over your strategy, analyze your site for ease-of-use and make sure you are using every opportunity available to get your name out there! You can do it!

Marketing Tip of the Week: Find Your Audience!

I’ve talked about how to make your content as accessible as possible for readers and how to make it easily sharable, but now I’d like to talk about how you find those readers in the first place. I know what you’re thinking, “You mean I can’t just share it on Facebook or Twitter and expect it to be seen by thousands?” The answer is no, not exactly. It takes a little more leg-work if the goal is to get your content into as many hands as possible.

Why Social Media Alone Isn’t the Only Answer

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not putting down social media as a marketing tool. It’s excellent and if leveraged properly it can be amazing. But it’s not all you need when promoting your business. You may have thousands of followers, but when you post a link, how many of them click it? 10%? 5%? 1%? Of course every click matters, but if you are looking for ways to maximize that exposure, to get your business in the minds of as many people as possible, you may have to put in a little more effort.

How to Find an Audience

Yes, the people who follow you on social media are an audience, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for more. Here are two ideas you might want to consider:

1. Find a Niche Community - What is a niche community? It’s a community dedicated to your particular niche. Are you a florist? Find a flower lovers Facebook group or an online forum. Whatever your business, there are people online who love it and talk about it. Find them. When you do, talk to them. Engage them. Don’t just spam your material and walk away, become a member of the community and be what you are, an expert in the field. Then you won’t have to spam your material, they will come to you.

2. Guest Bloggers - Nothing spices up a blog more than a guest blogger. It helps if this is a recognizable name from your industry, but even if it’s just another shop owner with some good info to share, it will do wonders for your site views. If possible, work out a trade so that you guest on their blog at the same time. That way, you both get more exposure and an opportunity to get more followers.

Extra effort can be difficult to find when you’ve exhausted yourself with the customers you do have, but more customers equals more success and more success will allow you to hire more help! Marketing is worth the time you put into it. Don’t be satisfied with close enough, strive for excellence!

Refining Content and Increasing Views

 

Green Mountain Florist Supply, Inc.
Refining Content and Increasing Views
Quality online content is the easiest and cheapest way to grow your business.

Converting “Them” to “Us”

If there is one universal truth, it is that people like to be included. If there’s a club, they want to be part of it. Everyone wants to run with the “in crowd”. When you share what is happening with your business, you bring your customers into the fold.

Share and Share Alike

So now that you’ve written this creative and engaging content, how do you get it to your customer? Through social media of course! When you’ve completed that new blog post, your next step is to share the link on Facebook and Twitter. This lets all of your followers know you’ve got something new to share.

Content is important, but if you’re not making it readily available to your customers, it’s doing you little good. So go forth and write creatively, but don’t forget to share! Read More

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