linkable content promotion

Linkable Content Promotion: Turning Prospects Into New Customers

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last decade or so, you’ll know that the world wide web is an absolute juggernaut.

In fact, there are more people online on any given day than there are people on the planet earth.

It’s no wonder then that businesses are racing to get their content in front of as many eyeballs as possible in order to increase their conversions.

So, how do you get your content in front of your audience online?

Well, this is where content promotion comes into play: a great way to make sure your content reaches the right audience online.

We’re exploring the fundamentals of content promotion and then dives into ten ways to promote your content online.

Let’s get down to it…

Content Promotion Essentials For You To Know Before We Go Any Further…

There are a number of ways you can promote your content online; we’ll break them down for you here…

Non-linkable (Non-efficient) Content Promotion This is promoted through things like social media, email campaigns and advertising.

This is promoted through things like social media, email campaigns and advertising.

Linkable (Efficient) Content Promotion involves things like SEO, article marketing and social media.

This chapter will examine the fundamentals of content.

Let’s get started with our topic…

What Is Linkable Content Promotion?

Conceptually speaking, it’s nothing more than promoting your content to people who already know a lot about your niche.

It’s simply that; passing along your information to people who are already hungry for what you have to say.

This is a great way to get your content in front of your target audiences.

If you are considering the use of promoting content for your business, this chapter should provide a great foundation to get you started.

In a nutshell, it’s about getting your information in front of potential leads who are already hungry for what you have to say.

They need and want wisdom from people just like you; people with the same experiences, knowledge and expertise.

For example, if you are a marketing manager in the e-commerce world, you may be looking to get your content in front of your target audience.

These would be people who are already interested in some of your products or services.

You could produce an article that consists of all the top performing keywords you’ve been using to help market your business…

This is linkable content promotion .

Or you could produce an article that provides wise advice for marketing success.

Clearly, these are different types of articles… In fact, they would do much better if they were exposed to different audiences.

Let’s explore the benefits of promotion like this.

Benefits… What Are They?

Linkable Content Promotion Benefits:

  1. Strong Link-Based SEO Linkable content promotes higher search engine rankings and better positioning in search results; this helps your page rank rise.  Your page will be more visible, more interactive and thus more valuable in the eyes of your target audience. Your page will be more visible, more interactive and thus more valuable in the eyes of your target audience.
  2. Improved Conversion Rates Helps get your links passed along to people who will be interested in what you have to say. This can help improve your conversion rate.  Once the person clicks on your link, you will have a higher chance of them buying or signing-up for whatever it is you’re selling or offering them.
  3. A Better Way To Build Your List It’s a great way to get people to opt-in to your list. This could be a targeted list filled with people who are interested in your products and services. These people would be much more likely to buy from you and sign up for things like webinars, e-mail courses and other such things.
  4. More Brand Authority It will help you build more authority around your business’s brand. You will become the go-to authority for whatever it is that you do. This will help your business grow among your target audiences and in the eyes of search engines.
  5. A Longer, More Accurate List It’s a great way to get your list of subscribers and customers. If you have a well thought out list with relevant information for them, they’ll be more willing to opt-in and buy from you.
  6. More Career Exposure Helps you appear more relevant on social media sites or in job postings… This can help you land more job opportunities or better positions on different sites that are related to what it is that you do.
  7. Easy To Set Up is easy to set up. You can even outsource it to a team for support if you have a big launch that will require some extra hands on deck.
  8. A Great Way To Network Linkable content is great networking tool for your business and your career growth. It’s a great way to connect with other professionals in your industry and make contacts that could help you move up the ladder in your field or industry .
  9. Better SEO Linkable content helps increase search engine rankings for various keywords, which can get you better SEO results and more traffic overall.
  10. A Great Way To Get Your Blog Post Seen In The SERPs Keeps your blog posts in front of the people who will want them. If you have a high-quality piece of content, this will help it get seen in the SERPs, where it can help improve your traffic and SEO.

Conclusion

Promoting your content is a great way to get more traffic and sales from your blog, website or social media posts.

It’ll increase the visibility of your brand and help people find you through social media if they do business with you.

It also helps you get better SEO results that can increase your traffic and sales in the future.

You can also use this strategy to promote your e-book or other resources on your blog or website as well.

ecommerce customer lifetime value

Increasing Your eCommerce Customers Lifetime Value With Retention Campaign

Ever seen that one person in your company constantly saying “why should we do ‘x’?” or “that’s too expensive.”

But when you explain the actions and reasoning behind it, they are finally on board?

That’s retention.

Retention campaigns can help increase your customers lifetime value to your brand by incentivizing them to return to spend with you.

In this post, we’ll walk through how many companies use these strategies and the results they’ve achieved.

Whether increasing customer lifetime value is a priority for you or not, this article will give a few valuable insights into what getting more out of your customer touchpoints looks like.

Lifetime value is a big term which I like to think of as the “calculator money” that your customers will spend over the course of their entire relationship with you.

It’s a metric that most businesses look at, but some are more dedicated than others.

The 10% Rule

Before describing retention campaigns, let’s talk about the famous “10% rule”.

This was popularized by Leslie Deutsch (founder of angel investor group Stanford Angels) in her book No B.S. Business Advice for Smart Entrepreneurs.

From her experience as an angel investor she noticed that typically businesses had one or two investors who believed in them enough to invest and bring them to market.

Then there were some that had enough faith and money to get the business started.

Then there were the fringe cases, those businesses that were startup failures or those “whales” that thought they could be a whale.

The following is her description of the behavior of each group:

The 10% rule says that companies should aim for 10% of their customers to become repeat customers.

When you reward them with a loyalty program, the thought is that these are customers who won’t need to use your product or service again but would come back to you if they had problems with your competitor’s offering.

This can boost lifetime value because it gives your business another point of retention from which they will be loyal for years to come.

The 10% rule is often used to define the minimum threshold for creating a loyalty program.

Since it’s a minimum value, it doesn’t take into account things like churn and some other metrics that may not directly increase your lifetime value.

Retention Strategies

There is an entire new branch of marketing dedicated to retention strategies.

Retention campaigns can be as simple as sending out an email campaign to your customers on their one year anniversary with your business or as complex as offering different levels of rewards for a customer who purchases from you but does not redeem any reward.

The following are examples of some retention strategies that are used by many companies in order to increase their customer lifetime value.

Advocates: Give customers a reason to return to interact with your brand outside of purchasing.

This can be done in a variety of ways such as informational email campaigns, an updated blog, social media interaction or customer success stories.

Giving customers a reason to return to interact with your brand outside of purchasing.

This can be done in a variety of ways such as informational email campaigns, an updated blog, social media interaction or customer success stories.

Loyalty programs: These are one type of retention strategy that increases the chances of customers coming back to purchase or otherwise interact with your business.

The two main types are product-based loyalty programs and point-based loyalty programs.

The main thing we want to avoid with loyalty programs is having a bunch of customers who are racking up points with you and then redeeming those points years down the road.

Content: These customers want more than just your product.

Provide additional information to help them explore the possibilities that your products and services open up for them.

This can be as simple as giving them an email newsletter or perhaps they’d like a video tutorial series on Youtube.

Discounts: Provide customers with a reason to return while also increasing their lifetime value.

Imagine someone who bought from you for $100 and then you send out an email offering 20% off their next purchase on your site.

If they buy again, the calculator money is now $80 instead of $100, thus increasing their lifetime value by 20%.

Partnerships: Send out special offers to customers if they have the partner’s app or use their service.

This can work particularly well if you have a loyalty program in place and they are willing to add on value to it.

Referral: Generate word of mouth and increase your customer lifetime value by launching and running a referral campaign.

This can be done in a variety of ways but is most popular through email campaigns which offer rewards to the customer when they refer you.

One-time offer: Send out a special offer or discount if they spend $100.

This can work particularly well if you have a loyal customer base who has consistently been spending with you for a long time.

Content & Advocates: If your content is compelling enough that people want to share it with others, then create a way for them to share it on social media and other channels.

By turning your customers into advocates for your brand, you are building up your brands trust and reputation which will eventually turn into customers.

Conclusion

These are just some examples of loyalty programs that you can create and implement within your eCommerce business.

As mentioned earlier, they can be as simple as adding in a 20% discount on a purchase for your existing customers or as complex as offering 14% to your advocate customers and 15% to partner customers if they share an exclusive offer with their friends.

Regardless of what strategy you decide to use, remember that in order to make it successful you first need a base of loyal customers.

These are the foundation from which you will build upon when implementing any type of loyalty program.

It’s worth noting that many businesses will create retention strategies by simply surveying their most loyal customers and asking them what they’d like added onto their loyalty program.

This is an easy way to gain direct insight into what exactly your most valuable customer segment desires from your business.

DTC brands

21 Strategies DTC Brands Need to Implement In 2021

In a world where DTC brands are becoming ubiquitous in the market, with customers demanding more accountability and transparency from companies, there is certainly an extra bit of pressure on the shoulders.

Fortunately for those of us that have taken the plunge already, it’s possible to thrive as a direct-to-consumer business in this new era.

We’ve compiled strategies that will help you survive and thrive.

1. Align content production with your customer base

Content is king when it comes to DTC businesses, but which type should you be focusing on?

Screen capture videos may be good enough for some demographics while educational blogs might work better for others.

The brand’s target demographic will help guide which content is best for producing.

2. Think open and transparent

As a direct-to-consumer business, the brand may not have to worry about maintaining stock levels of a certain product as there are plenty of customers ordering in bulk.

This means that keeping your customers updated on your progress can be challenging when you’re unable to do so on a regular basis.

For example, if the brand produces a limited edition product and labels it as something else along the way, people may be confused by the lack of updates about its release date or production status.

3. Design for your customers and not for yourself

There’s no better way to get onboard with this new marketing method than by answering the question, “What do my customers want?”

The brand’s target demographic will help identify what products are needed, which again, can then be used to direct content production efforts.

However, one subtle but effective way to create relationships with your customers is by making their problems your problems.

The brand should be able to replicate the pain points of its customers and work toward fixing them when redesigning or creating new products.

4. Give your consumers a voice in the product creation process

The DTC business model was built on innovation.

The brand should always be implementing new solutions into its products that will benefit customers.

Giving consumers the opportunity to voice which problems they’ve been experiencing with your products makes the brand an active participant in their lives, as well as providing them with a sense of accountability for these issues.

5. Consider consumer feedback when redesigning

DTC brands have a unique opportunity to test and implement new ideas across a large customer base.

However, it is vital to do so responsibly as it’s easy for customers to feel lost if there’s too much product redesign or iteration occurring at one time.

By creating new products to help solve specific problems, the customer will know that they’re receiving a product that actually solves their issue and not just a reformulation of the same product.

6. Validate your business model

DTC businesses are often focused on providing customer service in addition to content.

This marks a drastic shift from the traditional brick-and-mortar premise where the business is only concerned with providing products.

It’s important to adjust the balance of resources between customer service and content production, especially if there’s not enough human labor to answer inquiries while generating high levels of production for videos and other media channels.

7. Understand the importance of consistency

For DTC businesses, consistency is often viewed as one of the most important pillars of the business.

Customers will get bored if a new product is released and it doesn’t have similar components or print quality as its predecessor.

The brand should be able to explain why a new product is being produced in order to help alleviate any confusion about what they’re getting.

8. Create an internal team to help troubleshoot issues

DTC brands are relying on their customers more than ever before, so it only makes sense that they create and employ internal teams that can better suit their needs and expectations.

This can help the business optimize its efforts by receiving suggestions and feedback from its people.

The process of developing new products may rely on customer feedback for unlocking new ideas.

If a customer has been experiencing issues with a certain item, it might make sense to employ other customers to voice their opinion on the newly introduced product and incorporate their thoughts.

9. Partner with a third-party marketing agency

DTC businesses will find that partnering up with an outsourced marketing agency will be invaluable as they can leverage the creation of content and the fulfillment of orders to free up resources for other things.

A DTC business may benefit from hiring someone to create videos on their channel while they focus on the fulfillment.

Marketing agencies are tuned into the nuances of DTC brands and will be able to provide additional services related to strategy that might not have otherwise been possible for the brand in-house.

10. Consider selling additional products in a bundle

While it’s easy to sell one product, it’s much harder to convince customers that buying multiple items is worth their time.

However, bundling multiple products can help alleviate barriers such as shipping costs and production logistics by giving customers a discount rate for buying more than one item at once.

Also, a bundle can provide satisfaction to customers by giving them a sense that they’re making a smart investment.

11. Allow customers to contribute to campaigns

The easiest way for DTC businesses to create content is by allowing customers to directly contribute and/or offer suggestions.

For example, the brand might have an acting contest where it uses customer video submissions to create content, or they might run a Kickstarter-like campaign where they ask their followers for feedback on which products should be incorporated into their line and then implement their suggestions into production.

12. Always be thinking about the future

The future of a DTC brand is often viewed as another cash cow for the business due to an increase in sales beyond the initial novelty that attracted customers in the first place.

The needs of customers can change over time, and it’s important for brands to invest in ways that allow them to better serve their customers.

The rate of change should be factored into the decision-making process when creating new products, especially if there’s no precedent on how customers will receive them.

DTC businesses need a sustainable business model because they are relying on paid subscribers instead of free visitors to generate ad revenue.

The key to creating a sustainable DTC brand is ensuring that the customers you have are engaged and returning.

13. Create content for all of your products

The easiest way to keep customers engaged and coming back for more is to provide them with free perks, or additional information, that is exclusive to their brand.

DTC brands might include special access to behind-the-scenes videos or backstage looks at upcoming projects as a part of their email subscriptions.

This type of content can hold audiences’ attention because it’s authentic and informative as it’s relevant to the goals of the brand.

14. Create stronger brands for customers to identify with

DTC businesses create a sense of belonging and identification between their brand and the products they create.

Professional modeling agencies may include a reference in their email newsletters to showcase the new photos of clients that they have just been sent.

DTC branding is created by creating an opinion, following, or voice within the market that is tied into your brand.

15. Create exclusive products for customers

There’s nothing more engaging than having something that only your customers can have access to, so it’s important for DTC brands to think about how they can keep followers engaged by offering exclusivity to them.

The Yacht Club created a mailing list for select customers that offered them early access and exclusive information about upcoming tours and cruises.

16. Create a consistent voice across platforms

DTC brands use social media to actively engage with their customers in order to build brand awareness and create a following of users.

Social media gives DTC brands the opportunity to create a unique identity that will be remembered among the many different products that they offer.

For example, Bella Petit, an online boutique known for its feminine and fun clothing collections, uses its Instagram account (@bellapetit) as a way to communicate daily inspiration by posting pictures of their collections or featuring models wearing the clothes from their most recent collection.

17. Use social media to engage your customers

Social media platforms are an integral part of DTC brands’ marketing efforts, and they want their customers to feel a sense of community with the brands they choose to purchase from.

The more that customers feel a sense of belonging with a company, the higher likelihood that they will purchase its products in the future.

Engaging on social media is one way DTC brands are able to build this bond between their products and people that they serve.

18. Target an audience that is influential in your industry

The DTC business model depends on social media to build and maintain relationships with customers.

While social media can be a cost-effective way for brands to increase awareness, it requires them to adjust their tactics based on the type of audience that they serve.

A customer who spends more on beauty products are more likely to share the brands that they buy from via social media.

This allows DTC brands to find people that are influential in their market and target them with ads in order to create brand awareness among potential buyers.

19. Plan your post schedule carefully

When creating social media content, DTC brands will want to plan their posts well in advance of when they’re actually going to be posted.

The reason for this is because social media is often flooded with other posts that compete with the ones that DTC brands want to promote.

If a DTC brand wants to post a special offer for its customers, it will most likely need to promote it several days before the actual offer goes live.

This helps prevent potential customers from being fooled by fake offers and promotes legitimacy among those who can be affected by the promotion.

20. Make the customer feel like they are part of the process

DTC brands are constantly creating new products, so it’s important for them to make their customers feel like they were part of this process themselves.

For example, The Yacht Club only recruits its customers for feedback in order to gather opinions from people who have already shown an interest in these types of products.

This way, the business is able to validate its products and maintain a sense of transparency with customers.

21. Create a brand that is memorable and easy to recognize

It’s important for DTC brands to make sure that their social media accounts are memorable and easy to recognize so that they can generate more engagement from their target audiences.

It’s also crucial for the business to use its platforms as a way to connect with customers on a personal level.

For example, Bella Petit uses its Instagram account (@bellapetit) as a way for customers to share photos of themselves wearing the brand’s clothes or using the products in the Bella Petit collection. This helps strengthen the relationship between customers and DTC brands by establishing a sense of exclusivity that is valuable among followers.

In addition, paid social is a great way to build relationships with customers and increase loyalty to the brand.

If a customer interacts with your brand through paid ads, they will be considered as a “fans” of the brand.

This increases the likelihood that they will purchase from your product lines again in the future.

Social media also can be used to create viral campaigns that bring awareness to products that otherwise would not receive much attention in traditional marketing channels like television and radio advertisements or print ads.

Harnessing The Power Of Social Media Marketing

Over the past several decades, DTC brands have learned how to use social media in order to promote their products and companies effectively.

In terms of generating awareness for their brands, DTC businesses especially do it well. According to a report from the 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report (PDF), 92% of DTC businesses post daily on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Overall, these brands produce about 4 posts per day.

This creates a sense of affinity that is valued by their audience and is crucial to building brand awareness in the market.

gdn vs dv360

Comparing GDN vs. DV360: What’s The Right Display Media Platform

Whether you’re just starting out as a marketer, or you’re a seasoned professional looking for a better solution to take advantage of the ever-changing digital landscape, it’s important to know all your options when it comes to Google’s platforms.

In this post, we’ll be diving into two different types of display media – GDN and DV360. We’ll go into what they are and why they might be right for your organization.

When we talk about display, we’re not talking about the actual digital display where you put ads. We’re talking about the platform that Google uses to deliver your ads and measure their performance.

There are two primary platforms that are used by Google: GDN and DV360. The difference between them is that GDN is natively integrated into AdSense while DV360 is completely reliant on another third-party service for all of its traffic data.

Why GDN?

GDN was released in the fall of 2014 with the promise of a new and improved Google Display Network.

GDN is a better platform for performance advertisers, those who have higher eCPM goals, and those who want a more fluid relationship with Google. It offers greater customization options, advanced testing capabilities, and much more.

Here’s why it’s better:

1) GDN has access to high-quality inventory that other platforms don’t offer. With GDN you can run ads on any page on the web – there are no limits. You have access to all AdSense content as well as non-AdSense content.

2) GDN has higher eCPM potential. Take a look at the screenshot below. You’ll see that the eCPM for DV360 is only $0.28, while it’s $0.33 for GDN. And GDN reaches more than 50% of the internet, where as DV360 reaches less than half:

3) GDN has better reporting capabilities and you can get more out of it if you’re an optimization pro. You can set up multiple campaigns within the AdWords interface itself. You can also set up multiple reports across different campaigns, campaign goals, ad groups, and campaigns.

4) GDN gives you more granular reporting. You have more options to report on your performance: eCPMs and view ability, for example. DV is less flexible in this way.

5) GDN has better ad delivery flexibility. You can deliver ads through a number of different delivery mechanisms: Desktop, Mobile Web Display Network (Desktop-Mobile), Mobile App Distribution Network (Mobile-Mobile), and Traditional (display) display campaigns will always be delivered using the Desktop interface in HTML format only.

Why DV360?

DV360, on the other hand, gives advertisers a more holistic traffic view of their campaign performance, which is ideal if you want to know how well your ads are performing across multiple channels.

DV360 was released in January 2015 with a focus on enhanced performance marketing and more highly targeted campaigns. It has all the features of GDN but adds some new bells and whistles that you may find helpful when it comes to performance.

Here’s why it’s better:

1) DV has access to high quality inventory that GDN doesn’t have access too. DV360 has a proprietary algorithm that filters out the low quality traffic.

2) DV is more targeted and therefore has less wastage of impressions and clicks. It also tends to give you better performance for your campaigns.

3) DV can help you out with reporting in more ways because it’s a more highly targeted platform, meaning you can utilize reports more effectively because they’re going to be much more useful. You can also use certain reporting tools that DV360 doesn’t have, such as the cost per action metric.

4) DV is more flexible in terms of ad delivery. You can deliver ads through a number of different display tactics, including: Mobile Display Network (Mobile-Mobile), Mobile App Distribution Network (Mobile-Mobile), and TrueView in-stream video (Video).

5) DV360 has a cool feature called Cross-Device Targeting. It will track your ads across multiple devices and provide better data and performance for all cross device users on your behalf. This feature is still in beta, but it’s cool nonetheless!

Overall, DV360 is better if you’re running highly targeted campaigns or if you’re an optimization pro looking to give your campaigns an edge over competitors’. However, GDN has more potential for performance and you have better flexibility over other platforms.

What Platform is Better?

Ultimately, there is no “best” platform because which one you use depends on what you’re looking for out of your campaigns. GDN tends to be a better platform for performance advertisers, while DV360 has a more enhanced feature set.

Retaining eCommerce Customers Through Facebook Advertising

7 Core Strategies for Retaining eCommerce Customers Through Facebook Advertising

Facebook ads can be incredibly cost-effective for scaling your customer base, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon other digital marketing strategies like Paid Social or content marketing.

By focusing on customer retention through Facebook ads, you can not only boost your eCommerce sales but also improve the ROI on your ad spend, because you’re reaching customers who are more likely to make a purchase.

According to this report from Aberdeen Group, 90% of eCommerce merchants that use Facebook regularly are pleased with their results.

Customers are liking and sharing your content and coming back to purchase more products. Great! But here’s the clincher: 70% of these merchants also said they have had trouble with retention.

To get the most bang for your Facebook ad buck, keep these 7 core strategies in mind.

1) Upsell: Educate customers with a more expensive product.

If you have customers in your market who like to shop, then it’s probably not a bad idea to offer them a more expensive option or add-on.

In one of our most recent Facebook campaigns, we started seeing an uptick in the number of people completing their purchase after reading an article on one of our themes.

This was our first clue that it might have worked and, sure enough, we started showing those ads to similar customers who were interested in buying another theme or discount package. We ended up selling two extra themes and three more bundles as a result.

This strategy can be especially effective when you’re launching a new product. If you’ve got a new product that’s difficult to explain, then start by writing an explainer article and focus on the value of your product to the potential buyer.

Keep in mind that this strategy doesn’t work if you’re targeting over-the-top buyers who are interested in every single item all at once.

2) Cross-Sell: Inspire them with add-ons to make the original purchase even better.

If you’ve got a product that’s already selling like hot cakes on your site, then it might be worth adding some cross-sells to your Facebook ads.

Sometimes, the best way to get customers to buy an over-the-top product is by starting with an add-on.

Maybe it’s a complimentary item or accessory…

Or even one of the many other products that you sell.

You can even leverage this strategy to get people to buy multiple products.

Do you sell two different types of complimentary products? Try offering a discount bundle with both (all) of them.

3) Use Dynamic Ads Based on Customer Data: For example, show related products or services.

Instead of showing the same ad campaign every time, try showing ads based on customer data like previous purchases or interests.

You can also take things a step further and use dynamic ads to show related products.

For example, if they’ve bought an expensive product from you, then try and offer them a complimentary products through your dynamic ads catalog.

The same goes if you have smart bars on your site for email signups or social sharing.

Show those customers ads based on their signup actions and get them to engage further with your products.

4) Use a broad audience: Include all Facebook users within your target list.

How many people do you know who only use Facebook?

Do you really want to exclude them from your ads? You can also focus on a narrow audience to boost ROI.

If you only want to focus on high-value customers, then target a specific group of potential buyers.

This strategy works well if you have a large enough audience that includes all or most of your target viewers. It also allows for more precise targeting since you’re not relying on an unknown audience segment.

You might even consider showing different ads to these high-value customers depending on the season, time of year, etc. (see #3 above).

5) Use Email Lists: Engaging with past customers to bring them back and buy again.

If you’ve got a list of customers who have proven to be loyal customers, then it might be worth mailing them directly to encourage them to buy yet again.

This can also work well in the opposite direction – if you know that a customer has bought from you in the past and is likely to buy again, then consider sending them an email about your new products, special offers or new releases.

Do you plan on running emails on a regular basis?

Consider creating bespoke email templates for each type of customer.

If they’re interested in blogging tools, then create an email that contains useful information about those tools rather than just sending them an advertised discount code.

6) Branding: Best time to build your brand presence with your audience is right after the buy.

While contrary to traditional marketing, we fully believe it is easier to share your brand with those who just purchased from you, and turn them into evangelists, then it is too for cold prospective customers.

If you sell T-shirts and see a spike of purchases around summertime in your country, try running special promotion on Facebook that includes your most popular designs.

You could also encourage sharing of your brand once they’ve purchased from you, which will appeal to those who are interested in your products but haven’t made the decision just yet.

This could take the form of a discount code for that particular design or something similar.

7) Content Promotion: Reaching out to past buyers with more unique content.

If you have content on your site that isn’t directly related to what you do (or sell), then it might be worth using Facebook ads to promote that content to people who might find it useful.

For example, if you run a blog that explains social media marketing, then you could promote your blog posts to people who are interested in that topic.

This is particularly effective when used in conjunction with ads for similar products and discount codes.

If people like your content then they’re more likely to be interested in your products too – or at least more likely to take an interest when they see those ads.

How does it work?

The only difference between this strategy and the others is that this one isn’t directly about bringing people back after they’ve made a purchase from you .

Managing Social Media Comment

Don’t Feed The Wildlife: Managing Trolls Who Comment on Your Social Media Posts

Hate the trolls?

Ever endured the insults, the general nastiness, and just plain old rudeness of someone who left a comment on your Facebook post?

You know, the kind of person who is so envious of you that they’re forced to go out and find some way to tear you down or at least make themselves feel better by making you feel bad?

And then there are those people who comment without really reading what you wrote because they want a cheap laugh.

Yeah… those people are hurting too.

We’ve got some tips on how to deal with that particular brand of hostility – but first let’s take a look at what’s actually going on.

What is a troll?

The word “troll” has two major uses.

In the first one, it’s a creature in Scandinavian folklore that lives in caves and under bridges.

It’s usually depicted as a grotesquely ugly humanoid with an appetite for mischief.

According to Wikipedia, this use of the word seems to have originated in 1873 when it appeared in Geijer & Afzelius’ History of Swedish Literature:

The name troll is also applied to other things that are tall and slimy.

In old ballads trolls are often described as hideous and hairy monsters.

Figuratively, “troll” is used to describe an obnoxious, ill-mannered person who thrives on causing trouble.

Today the word “troll” is used predominantly in the Internet sense of a person who posts commentary anonymously in online forums or chat rooms with the intent to cause trouble.

In other words…

Trolls are people who post inflammatory statements with no real concern for how they affect others or if they cause any harm at all.

It’s a common misconception that trolls are just disgruntled people who don’t have a way to vent their anger about life in general.

While it’s true that there are many instances of people trying to get a reaction from you online, this type of troll isn’t interested in your reaction.

Trolls have no desire to understand or be understood.

They simply want to target their next victim and make an example out of them for everyone else to see.

Besides, they’re not really thinking at all.

The poster is mostly just typing random words after hearing those disturbing repetitive sounds when a computer keyboard is being pressed too fast.

The viewing audience doesn’t matter greatly here either…

The person who is actually typing the words might not even look at the screen while they do it. They may have been up all night, drinking something with a lot of caffeine in it, and may be on a sort of autopilot.

So what can be done?

1. Delete

Don’t get sucked into their game.

It’s easy to feel an urge to respond but that’s exactly what they want you to do!

To them, this is just some sort of sick entertainment for them and adrenaline rush for you.

If you feel tempted to respond, ask yourself, “Is it really worth the effort to take this troll down and make myself look like a fool in front of everyone else?”

Eventually the troll will get bored and go away.

And if they don’t? All you can do is ignore them until they give up.

2. Block

If you’re going to ignore them, why let them bother you at all?  Block their comment so it doesn’t show up for everyone else to see.

That way the troll isn’t getting any sort of satisfaction out of bothering anyone and no one else has to see his or her nonsense either.

3. Chat or PM

If there are more than one of them, you should ask the other people to take down their inflammatory statements so that it doesn’t continue to spread.

This is also a good way for others to see who these trolls are and to expose them for the attention-seeking jerks that they are.

4. Report the troll publicly

If the troll won’t give up after you’ve tried the above suggestions, create a Reddit or Facebook post with screen shots showing all of their comments put together, along with a copy of the first sentence of each comment they made on your page and then post this on their respective site and tell them why you’re doing it.

Honestly, if you can’t find a way to resolve the problem without starting drama, it’s probably best to just remove the comment altogether and get back to appreciating your life and those who make it so wonderful for you.

The people who are constantly “trolling” other people on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are either:

  1. People who have nothing better to do with their lives than try and make someone else feel miserable; or
  2. Two or more trolls working together to have fun at the expense of everyone else’s feelings.

Trolls thrive on a feeling of power…

The “high” they get from making other people feel bad is just as addictive as using drugs or alcohol.

It doesn’t matter if the troll has a “real” life or not, because he or she will always be unhappy.  They are forever looking to spread their misery to every corner of the internet because that’s all they have in life.

They feed off your anger and hatred and this is what gives them a sort of temporary (or eternal) satisfaction.

Anonymity is the biggest draw for trolls, specifically on sites like Reddit: You can comment and post anything you want without anyone knowing who you are…

But what we really need to do as marketers and brands is understand the underlying causes here.

First of all, we must stop letting this happen. To understand why, let’s take a closer look at how and why this phenomenon started.

Hobbies are Exploding…

A while back I wrote about Internet Scraping and why it was important for brands to know who their target demographic was.

I won’t go into all of that now, but I will say that the explosion of hobbies and the sharing of information online has allowed people to find a niche for themselves.

Hobby-based niches have led to Facebook groups being created which have in turn spawned Reddit forums and even their own websites.

The Trolling phenomena has been around since the beginning of Internet forums, but it wasn’t until people started creating forums on their own that they really began to be disruptive.

Once people were able to use the Internet as a platform for creativity and individuality, they could also use it as a bully pulpit for making others feel bad about themselves.

The Internet is a medium which gives people the power to make themselves heard or ignored by others… The Internet has created communities that existed before it existed…

For example, when I was a kid I used to play in the woods, which is like being part of a community.

When we had “adventure club” as kids, we had a place where we could go and have fun with our friends but also learn new things about ourselves. It was how we grew up.

Later on in life I found facebook and you can actually play games there, which is how people who never even met each other could interact when they are far away from one another.

When you’re in a “community” like this, it allows people to self-select.

But when someone starts talking about how they don’t have enough friends or something that has nothing to do with the community at all, it becomes toxic.

Secondly, the Internet has also introduced people to the creation of “memes”.

The message itself doesn’t have to have any actual meaning behind it because the way it is disseminated makes it much more important than it actually is.

These kinds of messages are used by people who just want to make fun of others or by extremists that are looking for attention, but they can also be used to create positive change in communities and change how we think about things we think should be changed.

Which can sometimes be hilarious, and even get your message across more easily than an entire essay.

However, it can have a negative effect on your brand as well – given, someone takes the time to go out of there way and make one of you / your brand.

Summary

Trolls exist in every field from marketing to medicine (and everywhere in between).

You should be fine as long as you steer clear of the trolls, don’t take it personally and don’t feed the troll (just ignore them).

To quote another wise woman, “don’t stop believing.” If you do stumble across them, or they you, just block or unfollow them and continue to do yourself proud.

ecommerce trends 2021

11 Emerging Omni-Channel eCommerce Trends to Implement This Year (Part 2)

*CONTINUING FROM PART 1

6. BEYOND FACEBOOK ADS – CHATBOT MARKETING

Facebook ads are an amazing tool for marketers but they are not the only tool in your toolbox.

Used correctly, chatbots can be a powerful resource for businesses, turning customers into life-long advocates… Without ever having to pick up a phone!

In fact, according to Business Insider (2018), nearly half of Americans (around 68 million people) have tried out chatbots for customer service or information on a product or service in 2017 alone.

There’s a reason why this is so huge.

It’s because consumers are moving their attention from desktop to mobile on a daily basis.

This means that by using chatbot technology to engage with consumers, you are giving them the information they need when they want it.

And when someone searches for a product on their mobile device, they are 2 times more likely to purchase than if they were searching on a computer!

But there’s more.

You can also use chatbots for lead generation and brand awareness campaigns too…

And because it’s all automated, you can scale up your lead generation and increase your brand awareness without breaking the bank… Or hiring people.

Recart (https://recart.com) is an amazing tool that can help kick your chatbot marketing into high gear.

A chatbot will hold a conversation with your consumers and will be able to provide them with the information they need in real-time.

It’s like your virtual sales rep!

With Recart you can also engage with current customers through Chatbot Messaging and Chatbot Voice Calls.

Think of Recart as a platform that will help you create all types of digital experiences.

In fact, it’s an all in one tool for success for both Facebook & Instagram Marketing and Chatbot Marketing.

So where do you start?

Check out their article HERE (https://blog.recart.com/messenger-marketing-for-shopify-a-comprehensive-guide/) .

7. THE IMPORTANCE OF 1ST PARTY DATA (DUE TO iOS-14)

Most of us know by now that Apple’s recent iOS update has changed the way consumers purchase products through ads.

They no longer get driven to “apps” (or “click-pages” or “landing pages”) in an ad but rather they are driven to iTunes.

In addition to this, if you go to your “purchased section” you will see if there are any products you have previously viewed and/or purchased.

Now Apple does say that if you want links in your ads (i.e. click-throughs) they will allow them but they also say that the links themselves are not linked to your name.

Now this is important for a few reasons.

First, it’s simple, as link tracking is fairly easy to do and most of the time it can be done for very low cost.

But more importantly, it’s because first party data can be used in a better way.

What do I mean by that?

Well, in an age of data privacy, first party data is a huge priority for consumers and brands alike.

Because Apple has your credit card information and has a record of what you have purchased in the past, it’s possible for brands to access this data.

By using tools like Jumptap (http://www.jumptap.com/google-analytics-integration/) it is possible to track this first party data with Google

Analytics and Facebook Pixel tracking.

This gives you the ability to better understand your customers so that you can create better quality content to reach consumers who are more likely to convert.

But there’s more.

Because you have the data available to you, you can now take it and do all sorts of crazy data-based marketing!

You can figure out what types of products that you are selling are popular in certain parts of the country and use that information to tailor your content and targeting.

For example, if we know that there is a particular demographic of people who are buying a product (for example, sweaters in New England) we can create content (say a video campaign) based on this data to target these consumers more specifically.

In addition to this, brands can identify their best customers and better target them with newsletters, discounts, offers and promotions.

This is the reason why it’s so important for a brand to have a first party data set that they can use to create content for these consumers.

So even if you’re going to be working with 3rd parties like Facebook & Google (Google/AdWords) you still want your own first party data set.

8. MULTI-CHANNEL ATTRIBUTION TRACKING

While we’ve talked about the importance of first party data, it’s only a piece of the marketing puzzle.

What you should know is that there are other ways to gather data and use it for better targeting your campaigns.

You can take a look at attribution tracking in Google Analytics.

What this does is help you understand how your content performs in relation to other content from various mediums.

If someone views an ad on Facebook and then goes back to your website they will see that they came from Facebook and not from your website.

But what if you want them to see your website as the source? Simple – just track where they arrived from – i.e. Facebook.

Now you can use this information to determine whether or not the viewer is a match for your audience, which will result in better ad targeting…

For example, when you sell products online, if someone comes from Facebook and not from your website you can create custom landing pages for that person.

Another thing that you can do is take a look at the landing page that the viewer is sent to after coming from Facebook.

If it’s a different website than your own, then don’t convert them into future customers.

And if it is another website, then convert them right away!

It’s pretty amazing how much value you can get out of just a few pieces of technical data from Google Analytics.

You can do the same thing in Facebook.

Here’s how:

  1. WHAT TO DO: Go into your Facebook Business Manager (https://www.facebook.com/business/development) and create a new campaign (the ones that are pre-made might already have your desired audience).
  2. HOW DEFINED CONTENT IS DETECTED: In order for Facebook to detect content you need to select one of the following options: Universal Brand Tags, Dynamic Products, Product Listing Ads, or AdWords Conversion Tracking amongst many others…
  3. YOUR CUSTOM AUDIENCE: Once you have selected the option that best fits your situation you will then want to define your custom audience.  Facebook does create a custom audience for you but it’s limited. You can use it as a starting point but if you want to be more specific, then you will need to define this yourself.
  4. TOP TEN METRICS: You also have the ability to select up to ten metrics (to track) when using Facebook Ads.  You can track conversion events and export them while also tracking offline conversions, website conversions, and even sales volume (or other metrics).

Now with this data it is possible to create content that targets the same audience but in a different medium…

This will help you to build a better relationship with your customer base over time.

You can use this information too, when it comes to selecting the right location (or location-based targeting) to target by using Facebook’s location feature.

This way your ads are shown on relevant pages and websites that are related to what your customers search for, which means more conversions!

9. CONTACTLESS TRANSACTIONS

One of the biggest problems with e-commerce is that a consumer can’t check out in store.

But thanks to advances in technology, contactless payments are now possible.

In fact, customers are more likely to use contactless than store credit cards.

This means that you can collect data on your transactions (such as whether or not your customer is a repeat customer)… While they’re still in the store!

For example, say you sell coats and have a mobile company and it would be awesome if you could use that data to create targeted content for those customers.

You could send them emails about the new coats you’ve got in stock and make sure they get one.

Why does this work?

It’s quite simple, really.

When you sell a coat to someone, you ask them to pay using a mobile device, which will then give you a bunch of data that you can use as a marketer.

Now because brands have the option to run programs like these at the point of sale, they have incredible opportunities when it comes to targeted marketing.

The challenge is not having access to this data… But rather how to interpret it and use it for better marketing.

And this is where you can use a tool like Zeta Global.

Zeta Global (https://www.zetaglobal.com/) is a tech-driven marketing platform that provides brand managers access to the tools they need when it comes to data management and reporting.

This includes, but isn’t limited to, the ability to easily interpret data from multiple channels, create unlimited audiences and custom templates for lead nurturing… And even automate campaigns.

It’s basically your all in one marketing platform all built into one application.

And, when it comes to getting all this data, you can even do it from your existing e-commerce software!

For example if you use Demandware (https://www.demandware.com/) then you can get all this data without having to hire any new people or spend any money on developing new software…

And of course, all of this is powered by the Internet of Things (IoT) where most of the development is actually happening right now.

You can think of IoT as just that: Everything interconnected and moving data around like there’s no tomorrow!

10. CUSTOMER SERVICE WILL GET AN UPGRADE

There’s been a lot of talk about customer service these days.

We’ve heard from the big guys that they want to transform their customer service experience in-store with mobile checkouts and self-service checkouts.

So while these new innovations might be great for consumers, they are also great for brands themselves!

The reason why is because you can really represent yourself in a better targeted way…

Let’s say you sell suits.

You would want to know everything about your customers—like where they live, how many suits they buy, and what kind of size jacket or shirt they wear—if you’re looking to offer them a deal.

One of the ways you can get this information is by using zeta global to find out what device they are using (for example, an Android or iOS smartphone)…

But this only gets you so far.

What you really want is where they live.

This will help you to figure out if they live near a store (like maybe in a mall or on a street) because it’s possible that these people are actually your target consumers!

Now let’s take it one step further… And say that they aren’t located near a brick and mortar store.

This means that you can use your technology to reach out to them and tell them about their unique opportunity to come to your store.

You can send them an email with a good deal and then follow up with them until they come to your store.

And if they do, then you can give them an offer that is 10% better than what they would have gotten at the store.

Now these consumers have grown accustomed to these offers on the Internet so it shouldn’t be too hard for you to give them something even better!

The point is that better customer service and tracking will help brands move towards a new marketing reality where data is king.

The challenge for most brands is figuring out how to use it!

11. PERSONALIZATION IN RETAIL THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

Brands are using social media to connect with their customers and find out what they like.

But what they are doing is a bit different and can be segmented into two different types of social media for retail:

1. Social Media as Portals (HUMANIZATION IN RETAIL)

The first type of social media (portal-based) that we will talk about is the idea where a brand will use a social networking site to direct consumers to more information about themselves.

If Nike wants to pitch running shoes to someone, it might use the various social media channels to present its message.

In the same way that Nike can do this, you can also do the same thing with social media.

The difference is that you won’t be pitching a product (or service) to someone based on their demographic.

You will be doing it based on their passion for something and targeting them in a more customized way… Which is when we get into the second type of social media related to retail.

2. Social Media Advertising (BRANDING)

Another way that brands can connect with their consumers is to do so through advertising.

Now if you have a customer that likes a particular brand, then what you can do is directly target them with certain offers and promotions.

Let’s say you are a coffee company and want to sell your product to someone in the United States based on the data that you have already collected.

You might create a Facebook ad for your coffee to promote the product… And let’s say that there are several other coffee companies competing for this same consumer.

Because of this, you’ll need to find a way to make yourself stand out from the competition.

Well, you can do that by using social media advertising to highlight your brand rather than just selling your product.

What really sets you apart from the competition is not necessarily what you have but how you implement it.

If you sell shoes then maybe the biggest benefit that people receive from your product is comfort… And not price!

But then again, no one cares about comfort if they don’t like how they look in your shoes.

So while this is a different way that brands are doing advertising, they are still using social media to reach out to their consumers.

They just use it in a different way in order to serve them better.

The benefit of these two types of social media for retail is that both allow you to engage the consumer and create affinity… Which means that your message has been received by someone who cares!

There are some drawbacks however, which will be discussed later in this book.

In addition, the best bet for most brands when it comes to social media is using it as a portal rather than an advertising avenue because if you do then you will have far more control over the type of information that your consumers get.

SUMMARY

This guide talked about the various types of social media available for brands to use in order to engage their target customers.

It also touched on the three ways that brands can connect with their audience and the benefits of each.

We also concluded by addressing what social media is all about: How brands should integrate it into their marketing plans and how they should be using these different platforms to do so.

And to be more omni-present.

With Sprague Media we help brands open up their campaigns to the success of omni-channel, by using social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Our expertise in social media, analytics, customer acquisition and data allows you to find the right audience and inform them at the right time.

Emerging Omni-Channel eCommerce Trends

11 Emerging Omni-Channel eCommerce Trends to Implement This Year (Part 1)

Omni-Channel…

“This is the Way” [Mandalorian voice].

Siloing channels is a mistake, and you will lose so much in the long run.

Consumers are engaging with content across all platforms and your brand should be no different.

With the rise of TikTok garnering so much attention from consumers, other platforms (like FB & IG) are quickly trying to jump on the band wagon of quick, catchy, social media videos.

With Instagram Reels, IG TV, FB Stories, and IG Stories, these are all examples of where the future is headed.

That said, we are not seeing an abundance of people choosing one over the other.

In fact, the inverse is true.

When creating content for one platform, people are posting across their entire network.

Showing us the real importance of being omni-present as brands.

WHAT IS OMNI-CHANNEL ECOMMERCE?

Seems like a made-up term, right??

Well, it’s pretty self-explanatory…

“Stores selling both online and offline — likely also selling through multiple online channels (i.e. on Amazon, eBay, Facebook, B2B). We’ve also been referencing the importance of listing your product wherever consumers are already spending their time. This is increasingly known as contextual commerce, a more strategic take on the overarching omni-channel term.
” – Big Commerce

Be everywhere – sell your products everywhere.

Now that we’re on the same page, let’s dive into the fun stuff!

1. OMNI-CHANNEL: THE NEW NORMAL

As 2020 has come to a close and 2021 has begun, albeit, a bit better then where we left off last year – the transition hasn’t exactly showed itself yet.

We are really starting to see the results of working across multiple channels vs just a single channel.

Back in 2016, you could’ve scaled an eComm brand to $10MM+ just off FB alone!

Nowadays…

Not a chance!

Why is this?

Because attention has been garnered across multiple channels.

You might feel, “…damn, wish I could’ve done X”.

Of course!

We all do… Hindsight is 20/20.

That’s the past, this is the present.

And as we look at our strategies, we need to consider the past, present, and future.

So, the “New Normal” has quite the meaning here in 2021, in more ways than one.

What we’re talking about today though, is marketing & advertising.

As newer platforms, such as TikTok, have been created and promoted we haven’t seen a decrease in active users on other platforms.

In fact, we’ve seen the opposite.

Active monthly members continue to increase on every platform.

The reason for this?

In today’s attention economy, if someone posts a video on TikTok, they’ll also post it on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.

This also means that people are more likely to see your brands message if it’s also on multiple channels.

Because what we do, Social Media Advertising, is based on performance, numbers like this excite us.

By simply running ad campaigns on, at least, three or more channels, you increase your purchase rate by ~3x!

Image Link: https://www.omnisend.com/blog/ecommerce-trends/

Does this seem too difficult to do?

It shouldn’t, but if you’re already not doing this, it could feel overwhelming.

Well fear not!

It’s simple.

As simple as this (follow these simple instructions):

  1. Create a video – this could be an amazing piece of work or could simple be a slideshow video, showcasing your products. You can do this right inside the Facebook Business Manager if you don’t know how.
  2. Run that video in a campaign on Instagram.
  3. Then download that video and run a campaign on TikTok.
  4. Repeat with Snapchat.

It’s really that simple.

There are a handful of other things you are going to want to do, but in essence, it’s that easy to get 3-campaigns up and running today.

2. BUY NOW, PAY LATER

Financing eCommerce purchases is on the rise.

Brick and mortar department stores have been doing it for ages!

Getting you to sign up for a credit card and having that card cover your purchase.

Remember?

Back in the day when you would go “inside” a store (pre-pandemic).

Now you might ask…

Well, what does have to do with omni-channel?

Great question!

It’s all about conversions… And at the root of it, Omni-channel is all about conversions.

In the US, around 70% of shoppers abandoned carts.

Abandoned carts equate to around $34 Billion in sales left in carts.

With a Buy Now, Pay Later app like Klarna, we see an average of:

  • 58% increase in average order values (AOV)
  • 30% lift in checkout conversion rates

These are staggering numbers and a definitive factor in creating success for your marketing & branding campaigns.

And as I previously mentioned, buy now pay later isn’t new.

It’s just now entered the digital age.

That said, there is still risk involved with consumers falling behind in payments and, in their minds, your brand affecting their credit score.

However, what this really opens up is that Gen-Z & Millennial trillion-dollar market.

Allowing for the ease of conversion.

3. MORE CONTENT – INFLUENCER-BRAND PARTNERSHIPS

Now that the age of Omni-channel is upon us, we must also step up our content game.

I understand this is what marketers have been saying for years, but it’s really hit its zenith (so far).

Because consumers are on all these different platforms, as brands, we must also be on all these platforms.

It is as simple as that.

But how does one go about creating all this different content.

Well, there are a few ways to do this.

  • Repurpose old content.
  • Make a single piece of core content (longer form) per week and break it into chunks (short form) for distribution throughout the rest of the week.
  • Get influencers to create content for you.

You ever scroll through TikTok or Instagram and wonder how these seemingly nobody influencers are advertising products?

It’s all due to the need for more content.

While you, as a brand, can always create your own content, if you’re wanting to step up your game you add influencers into the mix and bump up your production 10x.

Even with the influencer phenomenon some major brands are still having trouble creating enough content in this noisy internet-atmosphere we’ve created.

But that’s okay, even is you’re a small business.

As there are many micro-influencers looking for work. And frankly, they’re way more appreciative about the opportunity than the big guys are.

The best part about getting influencers to make your content for you?

It’s a double-whammy.

What does that mean?

Not only are you getting content but they (the influencer) is also sharing said content with their own followers.

Even if they only have 1,000 followers, they tend to be 1,000 true fans.

That’s a big deal because it means that it is easy for them to get their content seen by those 1,000 true fans.

It’s a relatively simple process.

So what are you waiting for?

Get out there and find some influencers to help promote your content!

Think of it as a budget-friendly way to get your content out there.

4. SOCIAL SELLING THROUGH SHOPPABLE VIDEO

Shoppable video has been around a while.

Previously, making you go in-store to purchase your products.

What we’re talking about here is the rise of Shoppable Video.

But unlike old days, where one would only be able to rely on their store to get them into the store, now they can also rely on a video (with a shoppable element) to get consumers to buy on your brands website.

Now you’re no longer relying on store traffic.

In fact, you could even run your campaign on Instagram without posting it to a storefront.

Shoppable Video is the new way for shoppers to shop on-the-go and is the most common type of video that consumers are watching today.

Which means…

You can potentially get them to buy online!

This involves integrating your app into all of the major ecommerce platforms – i.e. Shopify, BigCommerce, etc…

However, there are two major challenges to this.

The first is technical in nature.

The second is budget-friendly.

Since this isn’t something you can just do through shared ads – this requires a certain level of capital to get done properly.

But it’s worth it, as Shoppable Video is the future of video marketing & eCommerce.

5. DTC ON SOCIAL WILL MEAN MORE THAN JUST PHYSICAL PRODUCTS

DTC (Direct to Consumer) continues to be an important strategy in eCommerce.

This is because of the ease of which consumers can purchase physical products.

However, as time goes on, we are seeing social selling evolve into Social Sharing & Referrals.

This is when your customers share your product with their friends, family, colleagues, etc… Which leads them back to you for more.

A new approach to this would be creating a community based platform with exclusive content from influencers who want to create DTC campaigns themselves.

Think of it like a “Product Hunt” but instead of discussing the newest tech gadget or app, it’s clothing and accessories.

The clothing industry is slowly becoming more and more social.

But it still feels like there’s a gap between the influencer community (Facebook & Instagram) and the real world.

That said, if your brand creates video campaigns that showcase influencers promoting your products this could be an opportunity to bridge this gap.

And with that, we would be able to truly say that there is a “little bit of the digital” in your physical store now too.

So don’t worry!

This isn’t some big leap.

It’s merely taking the modern-day digital approach to physical product sales.

On top of that, we’re seeing a trend that goes beyond physical products.

Whether you’re in the automotive industry, housing & real estate, or even digital products, we’re seeing a huge surge in these types of companies focusing their strategies on DTC.

This trend will continue and increase as CPMs remain low and results fly in.

Ecommerce Brands Needs to Use to Sell Products Inside Their Facebook Group

5 Steps Every eCommerce Brand Needs to Use to Sell Products Inside Their Facebook Group

Get to Work Stuffing Cushions

If you’re in the retail and/or eCommerce space you’ve probably heard of “The Nugget”.

No not Dino Nuggs or what you get your kids from McD’s.

We’re talking about the rearrangeable sofa/couch/(play thing?), which was hot-to-trot in the resale market, in 2020.

If you haven’t heard their Fanbase is large and aggressive!

It’s not necessarily that these types of couches are popular but that a single Facebook group has had so much drama surrounding The Nugget, that resale prices have doubled if not tripled due to demand.

This one group, of course, has turned into multiple different groups with crazed Nugget owners.

Pointing to this as a successful “kind” of group for a Brand is not the point.

Yes, it has increase sales for The Nugget (and their competitors), but the point IS that leveraging Facebook Groups for your eCommerce Brand is a huuuuge opportunity.

So how would one go about starting a community like this for your own business?

 

TL;DR

  1. Create a Facebook group.
  2. Setup group rules and enforce them.
  3. Grow your group with different marketing strategies.
  4. Engage with your community to build rapport.
  5. Sell inside your Facebook group with a handful of proven tactics.
  6. Bonus: Tools that will help you in all the above.

 

Step 1: Creating a Facebook Group

The first step is starting a group.

This is really easy… So, let’s gooo!

To create your own group, go to: Facebook Groups, and click “+ Create New Group”.

create a facebook group

Next…

  • Choose a Group Name – Preferably something with your Brand included.
  • Privacy – Unless this is going to be a VIP type of group, keep it public. This way anyone can join the group that finds it.
  • And of course, invite everyone… Don’t worry about being over-assertive – they can decline the invite.

Lastly, you’ll want to make sure the bio is setup, graphics are on-point, and create your first post.  Even if it’s just to say hi.

For other groups to reference, check out the Instant Pot Community.  They are one of the most often cited examples of a successful product-focused group. The group has a following of about 1.4 million folks, all interested in the company’s products.

Another suggestion would be to, not only start a group for your brand, but also join some others (competitors included), to learn, watch, and monitor what’s working for others.

 

Step 2: Group Rules

facebook group rules

This seems like a no-brainer, but this is going to be a big part of your success.

Groups can take a life of their own and run off on you. So setting rules from the get go is mucho important!

Nothings worse than creating a group around your brand just to have it become a drama filled high school cafeteria.

The easiest way to set the group rules is right at the beginning.

You’re able to ask people questions before they join and one of those questions should be something along the lines of, “…will you maintain the rules of this group and respect other members?”.

Simple and effective.

Then create a post with your community rules and pin it to the top of the group page – adding a video gets you bonus cookies.

Some of the most common rules for group members comes from GroupApp (which we’ll be talking about a little later…

Here are some examples of rules you can/should use:

  • Be kind. Insulting or bullying other members or non-members will get you banned from the group without prior warning.
  • Be civil. We do not condone foul language. Breaking this rule once will land you a warning. Doing it repeatedly will get you banned.
  • No advertising. Don’t use the group to advertise yours or someone else’s business, page, fundraiser or website. These posts will be immediately removed and you might get banned.
  • Use the search option. To avoid cluttering the group, please search the feed before asking a question. Someone might have already asked the same thing before.
  • Use English only. To make sure all members of the group understand you, please use only the English language.
  • Stick to the topic. We only allow posts and comments related to the group’s activity. Off-topic content will be removed and you will get a warning.
  • No spamming. Asking the same question or posting the same comment repeatedly after it has been removed by admins due to rule violation will result in a ban.
  • Report rule-breaking. If you see a post/comment that violates our rules, report it to the admins — DO NOT verbally attack the author of said post/comment.
  • Think before you report. Don’t report posts or comments that aren’t breaking any rules just because you don’t like or agree with their content.
  • Talk to the admin team. If you have any questions or concerns or are experiencing issues in the group, please turn to one of the admins for help. That’s what we’re here for!

These are simple and easy rules every one of your members should follow.  Also, notifying them when they’ve broken the rules is important as well.

Simplest way to do that is by deleting whatever they’ve posted and give them a warning through Direct Message (DM).

3-Strikes may be viable for the justice system, but you should really think about enforcing a 2-strikes and you are out policy.

Facebook group guidelines

On top of those rules, from some more “VIP” type of groups, they usually use a handful of extra rules to incentivize discourse and keep away from BS.

  • No outside links of any kind (outside your own website) should be allowed.
  • Groups can be good for customer service, but it’s not the place to post a customer service-related issue – instead, give them instructions on how to properly reach out.
  • Although civility was mentioned in the above rules, if it’s on brand, cursing or foul language can be useful (letting people express themselves) but should never be used to bad mouth another person or member.
  • Self-promotion can come in many forms… The worst is through the “humble brag”, be aware of these and if it occurs more frequently address it.

As you’re growing your group and engaging with members, make adjustments where you need to by adding or removing rules.

 

Step 3: Growing Your Group

Now that you’ve got this thing up and running.  Everything is set up.  How do you grow your group?

There are a million ways to skin a cat (odd expression really) and a ton of ways to grow your group.

Before you begin growing it though, be sure you have a Moderator, who is in charge of posting, responding, and enforcing community guidelines.

This can be you or someone else on your team.

Over time, as you start to get people engaging, and begin to see one or two people who really stand out in the conversations, it’s a great practice to invite them to moderate.

This allows for two things.

  1. They’ve already proven they keep normal discourse which means they understand the members and can lead a lot of the questions.
  2. It’s CHEAPER! (Yeah, they usually love being asked to do this as they are already your biggest evangelist)

So now into the nitty-gritty.

facebook community

Growing your group can be as easy as:

  • After someone makes a purchase, invite them to the group!
  • Inviting those on your email list. Adding this into your email sequences or even just a one-off blast.  Incentives help with this (maybe a % off their next purchase or something clever).
  • Believe it or not, you can also run ads to your group. Take a tiny portion of your ad budget and use it for push your group.
  • By creating giveaways and making part of the rules for the giveaway to join the group (this also helps collect those email addresses in the initial questions when joining; you have to prove who you are).
  • Engaging with your current members and creating great content. This is the best way, really.  Through word-of-mouth your group will grow.

These are just a few simple and easy ways to help get people in your group. But also note, you can get creative with other ways of growing your Facebook group.

 

Step 4: Engaging With Members

Staying in touch with your members is critical.

Your group will become the perfect place to get in front of your audience simply and easily.  It’s really one of the most effective ways.

When someone joins the group they’re shown a group of questions, like we previously mentioned.

A great question to use is, “What is your email?”.

Why?

A few reasons…

  1. Allows your moderator to reach out to “confirm” they are a real person.
  2. Gives you another way to stay on top of your community and engage with your audience.

Now…

What engagement really comes down to is content.

We’re not talking about 2,000-word blog posts (like this one) every day, but what we mean is consistent posts & content.

Just ask a question.

Get people to respond (engage).

Memes are fun too!

Creating a weekly video podcast (vidcast) would be amazing!  But don’t think you have to do this right out of the gate.

facebook live podcast

The point I’m making here is don’t over think this…

Just make it happen.

As time goes on you can feel out your audience, understand them better, and make more of the type of content they like & engage with.

As Nike says, “Just Post It!”.

For examples of different kinds of actionable and engaging posts you can make, here are a few:

  • Welcome post – welcoming new members.
  • Ask new members to introduce themselves.
  • Run a monthly post (just one per month) where people can promote themselves or their business on a specific post (these usually get a lot of engagement.
  • Tell a story.
  • Post a poll or survey.
  • Photos and photos with quotes.
  • Industry specific memes.
  • And of course, ask questions.

These are just a few… get creative with it!

 

Step 5: Selling Inside Your Group

How can you sell in your group without sacrificing your community?

Okay, so hear me out…

Don’t be a salesman.

Now, your salespeople should be in the group as well (all employees in a perfect world – assuming your culture is solid and there isn’t any crazy drama occurring).

Selling in a Facebook group takes a more subtle approach them just posting a link to your product and saying, “Buy Now!”.

facebook group sales post

Just like your regular sales & marketing strategies, your Facebook Group is another channel to add into the mix and requires its own set of strategies.

So instead of viewing this as a negative, annoying, sales proposition you’re going to make to your fans…

Think of it more as another way to add value.

If you’ve already followed the last few steps, regularly, you should have built some rapport. If not, BUILD RAPPORT FIRST.

Now that rapport is built, we want to find clarity on our audience.

We’re going to do this with a Poll or Survey.

Come at it from a place of education.

That is, ask poll questions around what people want to learn more about and focus the question to relate more to the benefits or problems (high level) that you/your product can help with.

Now you have the data you need.

Not only for which content to start creating more of, but you now also understand more about what your audience is feeling right now.

Now to the selling…

I still remember the days where the Home Shopping Network was huge!

home shopping network

Don’t get me wrong, but they still are, just in a different way.

Hell, even Amazon runs their own style of this on their platform.

You can do the same – with a Facebook Live event.

Through a Facebook Live party.

Have fun with it.

Invite your members, interact with them, and showcase your stuff!

Treat it as your own Shopping Network of sorts.

This is just one way to sell inside your Facebook group, there are plenty other ways that you should try & test.

facebook live shopping party

Examples of great ways to sell to your community:

  • Facebook Live party / shopping network.
  • Post new product drops in the group (preferably before they are shown to the public).
  • Treat your members like VIP’s and offer them a promo that you’re not offering to anyone else.
  • Involve them in the creation of new products. This is a great way to prove market fit and get presales.
  • Show off new photoshoots of products – no links!
  • Respond to comments of folks with specific problems that you have a solution for.
  • Showcase customer testimonials (thanking them for the great review) in the group. This helps with FOMO and reinstates your appreciation to your members.
  • Use email – segment your group members in your ESP.

As always, these are just a few examples.

There are a lot of other ways to sell to your group but testing these might be a great way for you to find what works best for you and your audience.

 

Bonus: Tools To Help You Manage Your Facebook Group

Using tools to help you understand your audience, how they engage, and how to improve your group are very helpful.

A few we recommend you check out are…

Grytics

What is Grytics?

Grytics is a SaaS solution for SocialMedia Analytics on Facebook groups, for Community Managers, Marketers and PR.

It allows companies of all size :

  • Improve your customer relationship through the analysis of publications on your Facebook group(s).
  • Help your marketing intelligence.
  • Engage and deliver a better service to clients/fans communities.
  • Measure, predict, improve your groups performance.
  • Enhance your community management.
  • Increase your engagement.
  • Curate content.

GroupApp

GroupApp is more for membership, subscription style businesses.

However, if you run a VIP member community through your Facebook Group, GroupApp would be very useful.

It allows its users to add a subscription model to their Facebook Group.

Have such an awesome community of fans?

This is a great way to monetize your group.

Buffer

Buffer is a posting scheduler application that allows you to schedule out your posts ahead of time.

You can also track and measure engagement.

As well as what times of the day are the best times to post.

Most of you should have a scheduler of some sorts.  Buffer is a solid option.

 

Conclusion

You’re looking for another channel that takes little actual effort, but consistent effort, starting a Facebook Group is the way to go.

It only costs you time… Or your Social Media Coordinator / Marketers time.

Needless to say, in this day in age, the more channels the better.

It’s an insanely great way to evangelize your audience and increase overall Customer Lifetime Value and Satisfaction.

If you’ve been holding off on committing to creating a group you’re losing out.

Get in some groups, create your own, learn as much as you can, and get to work!

tik tok

How to Use Tik Tok to Promote Your Business

Even if you go out of your way to avoid interacting with the platform, chances are that you encounter Tik Tok in some form while browsing the Internet.

The platform has exploded in popularity within a notably short period of time, and many entrepreneurs are looking into its advertising capabilities. In fact, it can be a great way to promote your business under the right circumstances.

Let’s take a look at everything you should know about it.

Create Your Own Content

Although this is the most straightforward way to promote your business, it involves notable effort to create captivating content.

Despite the fact that Tik Tok videos are often short and simple, you can expect to invest a significant amount of resources. You’ll need to consider factors like:

  • The overall concept
  • Lighting
  • Audio
  • Video quality
  • Tik Tok music

As you can tell, it’s imperative that you take this obligation seriously.

Otherwise, it will be highly difficult for your brand to stand out amongst other users. When handled appropriately, though, creating original content can be one of the most effective ways to showcase your products or services.

Work With Influencers

As with any other social media platform, working with influencers should always be an option you keep in mind. Depending on the size of their following and how many users engage with their content, a simple investment could provide an exponential return.

Depending on what industry you’re in, this will involve you paying for this individual to showcase, review, or promote the product or service your business offers.

Be sure, though, that you only work with influencers who have a positive reputation. Otherwise, this method could actually provide more harm than good.

Advertise Natively on the Platform

If you’d prefer a more direct strategy, it’s possible for you to directly advertise instead. Specifically, there are four primary ways the platform allows you to pay for advertisements:

  1. Branded lenses: These are custom filters related to your business.
  2. Sponsored hashtags: Hashtags that your company sponsors will receive a custom banner on the app’s Discover page.
  3. Brand takeovers: Before users are initially able to see other content, they will see advertisements in this category.
  4. Native ads: These ads play between content that has been created by other users.

You’ll have plenty of advertising potential through the above methods. Keep in mind that some may be more effective than others since there are many variables at play (such as what industry you operate in, what you sell, etc.).

A Solid Tik Tok Strategy Could Be Game-Changing

The above information will help ensure that you know everything that you should before you develop your Tik Tok advertising campaign. From here, you’ll be able to take full advantage of all of the utility it can provide to your business.

Want to learn more about what we have to offer? Feel free to reach out to us today and see how we can help.

creative ideas for ecommerce

4 Creative Ideas for Your eCommerce Brand to Stand Out on Facebook

Social media is a crowded market. 

Everyone is there to hang out, have conversations, and businesses use them to sell their products all the time. 

Social networks know this well, and the algorithms are more sophisticated now, making sure people spend most of their time there. 

Facebook, Instagram and company ensure that by showing users relevant content, with a high potential of engagement.

Whether it’s with videos gone viral, tutorials, informational content, Facebook groups and pages, they want to keep your attention. And, fun fact! You have about 2 seconds to convince someone to stop scrolling. If not less… 

Competing with cute cat videos and memes is hard, but eCommerce businesses can stand out on social media. With content that grabs their audience’s attention to stop their scrolling, and then, read and engage. 

Here are 3 ideas for you to start implementing now:

 

Lifestyle Images

One of the main challenges of selling products in the digital age is that people are not seeing or touching your products before purchasing. They can’t get the “feels”. Remember, it’s not only about the product itself, but about how it looks on them and how it makes them feel…

That’s why the product with a white or transparent background might look great in your online store – the design looks cleaner – but it becomes more difficult for your potential customer to envision it in their own reality. That’s when lifestyle images come into play.

In the example below, on the left you have the white background image, and the image on the right is the lifestyle image. The product is being used by a lucky cat!

Images: miacara.com

Here are great examples of lifestyle images:

 

Colors, branding, look & feel… it all comes together in these images that intend to awaken positive emotions in a potential customer.

This way, it’s a lot easier for potential customers to “see” the product in their homes, and “see” their own cat enjoying the experience.

 

Customer images/videos

You may be asking if this is a good idea, since customers’ images and videos are not the same quality as the ones in your website and social media.

Do you remember the last video that went viral, and you may have enjoyed and shared? 

There’s something interesting about most viral videos: their quality is very low.

With this we’re not saying you should start lowering the quality of the content you share on social media, but for some reason user generated content creates more engagement and brand recognition.

And why not give your customers the opportunity to shine in your social networks? That can help you to:

  • Attract more fans/followers organically
  • Generate more engagement
  • Build trust among potential customers considering to buy that product
  • Increase customer engagement and loyalty

 

Video tutorials

How many times have you searched for tutorials on YouTube?

Video tutorials showing how to use your products can go a long way in generating engagement, helping the potential customers to envision themselves using that product and, of course, get more sales.

These can be professional videos or user generated content, as long as it shows your product “in action”. And bonus tip: unless more explanation is needed, the shorter, the better.

See the example below about the self stirring cup. Short and sweet.

 

Lives

Video is here for the long run in the digital age. Just like we mentioned before, it can be harder for your customers to “see” and “feel” your products before buying. 

Buying is, and always will be, an emotional experience. So brands and smaller businesses are using Lives on social media to show interested people how their products look like, how they work and where/when they can be used.

Here are some examples you can get inspiration from:

Get Active With Kohl’s and Tone It Up! – Kohl’s

 

Our #FacebookLive with Jen Atkin of Ouai Haircare and Christophe Robin Paris – SEPHORA

Bringing you adorable puppies ALL day

These are good example of how to keep your audience engaged, educated and thinking of your brand, regardless of the current circumstances.

And to generate additional engagement and sales, businesses can make discounts and other offers available only for those that attended the live session.

This helps a lot to keep track of how effective this channel is in generating leads, sales, and revenue.

 

Bonus: Content for Facebook And Instagram Ads

This content can boost your PPC campaign results. Especially if investing in PPC is an ongoing strategy, people will eventually get bored of the same ad and creatives.

We don’t want that.

So, how about testing out these ideas? Check which ones generate more traction, and make them an ad.

You may be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Remember, we’re here for you. Sprague Media is here to help you with creatives and campaigns that significantly increase your performance. Contact us to discuss.

small business social media

4 Great Tips for Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses

72% of Americans are on social media.

As a small business, you need a social media marketing plan to succeed. If you’re not on social media, you can bet that your competition already is.

Mastering social media marketing isn’t easy and there is a lot to learn. Fortunately, with a few simple strategies, you can be on your way to growing your business using social medial.

Keep reading for our top four tips for creating a social media marketing plan.

1. Start by Setting Goals

The first step when creating a social media marketing plan is setting goals. Your goals should follow the SMART goals system. Your marketing efforts should have a measurable impact on your business.

Your goals should use metrics to help you track your success and identify where you can improve. Whether your goal is to increase your conversion rate or acquire new customers, starting with a goal and a way to measure your success is the first step.

You should also research your competition and audit your current social media.

2. Get to Know Your Audience

You want to identify your target audience so you can tailor your content to their wants and needs.

By taking the time to research and strategize, you can narrow down which platforms your target audience is most likely to be using and what sort of content they want to see. Your content should aim to engage potential customers.

3. Create Compelling Content

Creating content for social media marketing is all about connecting with social media users. Focus on visual content as opposed to plain text. Social media users respond better to photos and videos.

Your content should never come off as “salesy.” Social media users can easily spot content that doesn’t provide them with any benefit and they will keep scrolling.

Instead, your content should provide a benefit to users without asking anything of them in return. While there should be some call to action, you don’t want to come off too strong. It’s all about finding a balance.

4. Prioritize Quality Over Quantity

When it comes to putting out content, the quality of what you put out is more important than the quantity.

To help stay focused on quality over quantity, create a social media calendar. Less can be more in this context. You need to be putting out content regularly, but not so often that the quality of your efforts suffers.

We Can Help You With Social Media Marketing

Learning how to use social media marketing for your business can seem like a lot.

The truth is, there’s a ton to learn. Optimizing your marketing strategy on social media takes trial and error. If you’re like most businesses, you’d rather get it right the first time.

You can save time and money by hiring a professional social media marketing company. Eliminate the guesswork and stay focus on doing what your business does best.

Click here to contact us today and learn more about what we can do for you.