So, with that in mind, here are some super-effective marketing tricks that can help you grow your sales without blowing through your (small) budget.
Use Customer Feedback to Create New Products or Services
This first technique can be free – or nearly free. Basically, what you’re doing is talking to your existing customers to find out what else you can do for them.
Let’s look at a simple example. Say your company creates and prints custom business cards. By talking to your clients about their other printing needs, you may be able to attract additional business without spending anything on advertising.
Instead of printing only business cards, you might find an opportunity to print letterhead and envelopes, too. That way, you increase the lifetime value of a single customer, and you can offer your expanded services to new customers, too.
Create a Promotion Schedule
Do your existing customers know when you’ll be running a special? It might sound a bit mundane to run promotions on a schedule but doing so gives your customers something to look forward to. And, it increases the likelihood that they’ll buy from you regularly.
This technique is perfect for building customer loyalty, but it can also help you attract new business. When your existing clients know that a promotion is coming, they may be more inclined to tell their friends and colleagues about it.
This is another sales-growth technique that can be carried out for only a few dollars. You’ll want to advertise your promotion a bit. But, once you’re on a schedule – where, say, clients know that you run a promotion every other month – they’ll start to expect it. That means you won’t have to spend as much to promote it!
Cross-Promote Your Products with a Partner
Local businesses sometimes miss out on opportunities to team up to generate sales. Simply by scanning the membership list of your local Chamber of Commerce can provide you with plenty of opportunities to cross-promote your products or services.
For example, the owner of a catering company might pair up with a florist or party rental company and offer a special to attract new business. Planning an event can be pricy, and you can attract new clients by giving them an incentive to hire both companies to help them with their event.
Another option might be partnering with another business to create a night out. The owner of a restaurant might offer a free appetizer to people who come in with a ticket stub from the local movie theater. Don’t be afraid to get creative. Doing so can make your business the destination of choice for local patrons.
Revamp Your Content to Focus on Customer Benefits
One of the biggest mistakes inexperienced marketers make is focusing too much on their product’s features and not enough on what the product can do for their customers. Fortunately, this is something you can fix with little to no money.
The first step is to audit your website’s content. If you find that you’re not talking about how your products or services can improve your target audience’s lives, revamp it so the focus is on them. You know your product is awesome, but you need to explain how buying it will benefit your customers.
After that, you can use the same technique to rethink your social media marketing strategy. Focusing on benefits makes your content more shareable than it would be if you simply touted your products. You’re likely to see a bigger return on your investment because you’ll be enticing people to buy your product.
Bundle Products and Services
Every consumer likes to feel that they’ve gotten a bargain when they buy something. That’s true both in B2C and B2B marketing – and you can use it to your advantage.
There are two ways to approach product bundling. The first is to bundle a basic product with some upgrades and add-ons and offer a price that’s slightly lower than what it would cost to buy everything separately.
The other option is to bundle products that go together in some way. A gift basket is a good example, and businesses use this technique around the holidays. For example, a Valentine’s Day bundle might include perfume, scented lotion, and a candle.
Increase Engagement on Social Media
Many companies make the mistake of not trying to engage their social media followers when they promote content. That’s a mistake – and in a way, implementing this technique can save you money by increasing your ROI on social media.
One simple technique is to ask your audience a question. Everything you post should include a call to action. When you ask a question, you encourage your followers to respond. The question might be asking their opinion about something you post, or you might ask them which question they’d most like to have you answer in a future post.
Either way, you’re not taking your audience for granted. Getting your social media to engage with you by providing valuable content triggers the cognitive bias called Reciprocity. That’s where people feel obligated to return the favor when you give them something for free.
Nurture Your Leads
You probably already have an email list – but are you using it well? A lot of businesses aren’t -- and revamping your technique can make a huge difference in your sales.
If you’re emailing subscribers rarely, you’re missing out. Most email automation services charge based on the number of subscribers you have. That means you won’t pay any more for increasing the frequency of your emails.
Try creating one or more email sequences, also known as a drip campaign. Focus on explaining the benefits of buying your product, and you’ll likely see an increase in your sales, too.
Marketing Isn’t Just for Millionaires…
… and you don’t have to double your budget to double your sales. Using the simple, inexpensive techniques outlined here can help you grow your business without busting your budget.
And here’s the thing. Growing your list doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money. Here are 7 smart ways to attract new subscribers.
#1: Add a Sign-Up Button to Your Facebook Page
Let’s start with an option that’s free and takes only minutes to do. Facebook now allows businesses to add a Call to Action button on their page. There are six choices, but the one we’re focusing on today is the “Sign Up” button.
The button shows up on the right-hand side of the page just beneath your cover photo. Clicking it will redirect visitors to a URL you provide. In this case, it should be your opt-in page. That’s where you can display information about your list and ask people to fill out the opt-in form.
On a related note, you can run a Facebook ad with a “Sign Up” button too, and it will do the same thing. If you choose the ad, you’ll have to pay for it. But, it’s a cost-effective way to attract new subscribers.
#2: Have a Paper Sign-Up Sheet at Your Business
Our next trick is an old-school method to attract subscribers. People who walk into your business may be willing to take a minute to provide you with their name and email address if you make it easy for them to do. And what’s easier than a paper sign-up sheet?
If you choose this option, make sure to include a few lines at the top to tell people why they should subscribe to your list. For example, saying “Sign up here to be the first to know about our upcoming sales and promotions,” people will understand what they’re getting. Even better, they’ll be eager to sign up.
An alternative, of course, is to have your cashiers or other staff ask people for their email addresses when they check out.
#3: Allow People to Subscribe via Text Message
One of the biggest obstacles businesses must overcome when attracting subscribers is the inconvenience factor. People don’t want to waste their time filling out a lengthy or complicated form. So, why not let them text to subscribe?
Some email marketing providers are now offering a text to subscribe option. It allows mobile users to text the word “subscribe” to them, and they’ll be added to your email list. What we love about this method is that it takes only seconds to do.
This option works by creating a custom code for new subscribers to use. To make it even easier, you can display a sign in your store with the code so people can see it and act on it immediately.
#4: Collect Email Addresses When You’re Planning an Event
Do you host events for your business? Whether you’re putting together a charity fundraiser or a gala opening, you can use the opportunity to collect email addresses and grow your list.
The great thing about this option is that you’ll probably need to ask people for their email addresses anyway. You may need it to send them tickets or updates about the event. Simply adding a checkbox to your event sign-up form makes it a snap for attendees to opt-in to your list at the same time.
The key here is to make sure you describe your list briefly, so people know what they’re signing up for. You want to make it seem like a no-brainer for people to tick that box.
#5: Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet
The idea of creating a lead magnet isn’t new – but if you aren’t doing it, it’s new to you. A lead magnet, in case you don’t know, is a freebie you give people to entice them to subscribe to your list.
The key is to create a lead magnet that appeals directly to your target audience. Then, you need to sell it hard. Outline the primary benefits that subscribers will get if they opt in. The more enticing your lead magnet is, the more likely it is that it will help you supersize your list.
Keep in mind that a lead magnet doesn’t have to be worth a lot to be worthwhile. A well-designed tip sheet or template may be just the thing to bring in a slew of new subscribers.
#6: Get Creative with Your Sign-Up Form
You don’t necessarily need a dedicated opt-in page to get people to subscribe to your list. Sometimes, it’s enough to create the perfect opt-in form – and place it perfectly on your page.
One option that I really like is the scroll-triggered form. Instead of putting your form above the fold, as many marketing experts tell you to do, show it to site visitors after they’ve had a chance to read some of your fantastic content.
A form that shows up at the right time can catch readers when they’re impressed with your expertise and grateful for what they’ve learned by reading your content. At that point, they’ll be happy to give you’re their email address in return.
#7: Use Guest Wi-Fi to Collect Addresses
Do you allow guests to access your wi-fi? If so, adding a gateway to their access can make it easy to collect email addresses.
Instead of just giving guests the password, add a field to the form and request their email address as well. Even if you make the email field optional, most guests will be happy to provide their email address to use your wi-fi.
Don’t Let Your List Stagnate…
Instead, use these seven smart and easy ways to attract new subscribers. Once they’re on your list, you can wow them with a well-designed drip campaign that will convert them into paying customers.
Referrals from friends and colleagues carry even more weight. In fact, they convert 30% more often than leads that come from other sources.
That’s why you need to set up a referral program to encourage customers to send their friends to you.
But wait… won’t happy customers just refer their friends as a matter of course?
Some might – but most won’t. You need to ask. So, let’s talk about some simple things you can do to get more customer referrals.
Step #1: Identify Potential Referral Sources
Referrals can come from many places. Before you decide on the parameters of your new referral program, you’ll need to think about who can provide you with the kind of qualified leads you want. Here’s a run-down of the most likely sources:
Ask for Referrals
The first and most obvious way to get referrals is to ask for them. A lot of businesses skip this step and they miss out on valuable referrals as a result.
Are you wondering why you need to ask? This statistic might explain it. A study at Texas Tech University found that 83% of consumers were willing to refer acquaintances to a business after a positive experience. But – and here’s the corker – only 29% of them did!
Why the gap? It might have something to do with not being asked.
There are lots of ways to ask for referrals. Here are just a few:
Pinpoint Companies Who Share Your Target Audience
One of the best ways to get referrals is to start with your audience and work from there. In other words – when was the last time you identified local businesses who target the same consumers you do?
Let’s look at a sample audience to illustrate the point: parents with young children. Here are some businesses targeting that audience that might be able to refer customers to one another:
Attract Referrals with Shareable Content
Whether you’re writing a blog post or creating an infographic to share on Pinterest, you should create content with referrals in mind.
Think about it this way. When people share your content, they’re also sharing information about your company – even if only indirectly. Any person who sees your content might be a potential customer.
Create content that provides clear value to the people in your target audience – and then encourage your existing audience to share it. Again, asking is the key. Some people might share your content, but many will only do it if you ask them to.
In a perfect world, customers, friends, and family would refer you out of the goodness of their hearts. But… we don’t live in a perfect world.
The solution is to give people a reason to give you referrals, something that goes beyond doing a good deed for you or a friend. It’s perfectly acceptable, and even desirable, to incentivize your referral program.
Here’s an example. I knew a factoring company that offered existing clients one month of free factoring if they referred a new client who signed up. That was potentially a big incentive – factoring isn’t cheap! But the owner of that company got a lot of referrals from clients as a result.
If you decide on this type of referral, make sure to specify under what circumstances you’ll pay out the incentive. A small incentive, like a free basic product or a coupon, might go to anyone who offers you contact information, whether the referral comes to fruition or not. But, if you’re offering a big prize, like a bonus or a free service, you might want to require that the referral turns into a customer before issuing the prize.
Referrals are a great way to grow your business…
And they can help you build up a lot of good will with the people around you. Instead of hoping that people will refer new customers to you, go out and make it happen. A coherent, consistent referral program will help you increase your profits.
Facebook is huge, with 2.2 billion users and counting. The chances are good that many of your customers use it daily – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doing a great job of connecting with them.
And let’s face it – social marketing has some challenges. Facebook keeps refining their algorithms, and that’s made it harder than it used to be to be sure your target audience sees the content you post.
With that in mind, here are eight things you can do starting right now to ring the new year in with a bang – and become a master of local Facebook marketing.
#1: Create a Facebook Event
Creating events on Facebook helps raise your visibility, engage existing customers, and attract new ones. Here’s how to do it:
#2: Create and Share Local Content
You’re a local business – so show some local pride to connect with potential customers! If there’s a local tradition or event coming up, or if you see an article that highlights something unique about your city, share it with your followers.
Of course, you need to do more than share. You can increase your page’s visibility by tagging other local businesses, events, or landmarks in your post.
This is an opportunity to connect with other local business owners, too. You might be able to help one another out!
#3: Let People Know What You’re Doing
Are you attending a trade show? Hosting a booth at a community event? Maybe you’ve sponsored a soccer team and you’re attending a game.
Whatever it is, it’s an opportunity to check in at your location, tag other businesses and events, and keep your audience up-to-date on what you’re doing.
It’s important here not to overdo tagging. Nobody cares if you stopped at Starbucks for a latte. Stick to events and locations that highlight your business and your audience will thank you.
#4: Get People to Write Facebook Reviews of Your Business
Reviews are hugely important. They provide social proof – and a recent Bright Local survey found that 92% of all consumers read online reviews before they make a purchase.
Facebook reviews can help increase your profile and attract new customers. You can encourage people to leave reviews by reaching out to your list or creating a post where you ask for reviews.
Keep in mind that star reviews without a written review accompanying them won’t get you as much visibility as written reviews. You may want to create a template for people who aren’t sure what to write where you ask things like:
#5: Create Groups for Your Followers
Did you know that Facebook allows you to create groups for people who follow your page? Creating a group can be an effective way of building a community and focusing conversations and content on a topic.
For example, if you offer an array of services, you might create a group for each one. That way, people can connect with others who use the service, ask questions, and even recommend your services to others.
#6: Give People a Reason to Come to Your Store
Many local businesses rely on foot traffic to drive sales. If you do, you can use your Facebook account to encourage people to come see you in person.
For example, you might create and share an in-person coupon that people can use when they come to your store. Or, you might offer a giveaway for those who visit your location.
Other things you can do to entice in-person visits include:
#7: Run a Contest
Running a contest on Facebook can help you attract new followers and build engagement. If you decide to do it, keep in mind that Facebook has strict rules about what you can and can’t do. For example, you can’t require followers to Like or Share a post to enter.
Make sure that your contest has:
#8: Market Your Facebook Page in Your Store
In local marketing, one hand washes the other. While you might put your focus on bringing customers from your Facebook page to your store, it can work in reverse, too!
For example, you might put a link to your Facebook page on flyers, business cards, and coupons. You can also ask customers to take a picture in your store and post it on Facebook while tagging you. Offering an incentive, like a 10% off coupon or a gift card, can help.
Local Facebook marketing poses some challenges, but now you know how to address them. Local content, events, and contests can all help you attract new customers to your Facebook page – and your store.
There’s a bit of a learning curve here, but we’re going to break it down for you and tell you how to take advantage of each one… so 2018 can still be your best year yet.
Use Google’s New SERP Features
You’ve undoubtedly noticed that Google’s search results have changed in recent years. Where there used to be a list of ten links per page, now you’ve got all kinds of features, including:
Use Structured Markup to Enhance Your SERP Listing
Have you ever noticed that some businesses have pictures, review stars, and other relevant information alongside their link on the SERP? You can do that, too.
Structured markup allows you to use HTML to give Google instructions about what to display when one of your keywords is searched. For example, you might choose to display:
As a bonus, including structured markup can increase the chances that you’ll end up with a Featured Snippet or Knowledge Graph spot on the page.
Increase the Relevance of Your Content
Every time Google updates its algorithm, it gets more difficult to appear near the top of the SERP.
Why? Because the increasing sophistication of Google’s ability to determine the relevance of a page – its new RankBrain features is a key example – means that you can’t get away with sub-par content.
Of course, there are things you can do to increase your relevance. One of the main things is to use LSI – that’s Latent Semantic Indexing – to bolster your keywords.
LSI are terms that relate to your main keywords. You can find them by searching your keyword and scrolling to the bottom of the page. LSI terms appear beneath a headline that says, “Searches related to [your keyword]”.
Using LSI in an organic and informative way can improve your relevance and help Google index your site. It also reduces the chances that your site will be penalized for low-quality content.
Add Voice Search Keywords to Your Site
If you’ve ever said, “OK Google” to search for something on your phone, you know that voice search is here to stay. In fact, usage of voice search is very likely to increase in the coming year.
To make the most of it, try researching the questions and search terms people are most likely to use in voice search. One tool you can try is Rank Tracker (they have a free version.)
Some of the keywords you come up with may include misspellings. You’ll have to decide whether you want to try to rank for those. The addition of Google’s RankBrain has made it easier for Google to determine what searchers want, and it can hurt your credibility to include awkward phrases and misspelled words on your site.
Make Sure Your Site Loads in Three Seconds or Less
Three seconds isn’t much, but if your site takes longer than that to load, you may end up frustrating searchers and making them hit the dreaded back button.
Both mobile and desktop users are impatient. The first thing you need to do is test your page – and it’s essential to test each page of your site separately. Your home page might load quickly, but if even one of your landing pages is slow, you could be losing out.
Google has a free tool you can use to check your loading speed. If your site loads quickly, you’re good to go. If not, they’ll give you an explanation for the slowness and some tips to help you fix it.
Use Google Personalization to Your Advantage
Increasingly, Google (and other search engines) are tailoring the SERP to the searcher’s preferences and history. That means they use the searcher’s:
One of the most important thing you can do to take advantage of personalization is to use local keywords and SEO to improve your rank.
Cultivate Linkless Mentions
Link building is a cornerstone of SEO – but what if you didn’t need someone to link to your page to reap some SEO benefits? That seems to be the way things are headed.
Bing has already confirmed that they’re using linkless mentions of brands to rank pages. There’s some reason to believe that Google may be headed the same way.
That means that anything you can do to encourage people to mention your brand by name can potentially help you build authority and improve your SERP.
SEO is always changing…
But you can keep up! The seven trends mentioned here are likely to make a big impact in 2018. By getting on top of them now, you can get a leg up on the competition – and grab the lion’s share of clicks and sales.
It is so powerful that companies have huge marketing budgets and hire specialists and agencies in order to generate a steady stream of publicity for their company.
The internet has created a level playing field. Now any business, no matter how small can generate publicity easier and more efficiently than ever before.
It is now possible to generate publicity “on demand” and it’s time you capitalize on it.
If you have struggled with ideas on how to “get press” for your business, read on because we’re going to reveal 21 ways you can turn your business news and events into publicity that will attract eager new customers that are excited about what you’re doing!
Turn your story into an online press release:
At first you might be thinking that you don’t have any stories to release but when you think about it, as a business you make news regularly.
In addition to the obvious milestones such as opening your business or launching a new product or service that you can easily capitalize everyday events that you take for granted into stories that can generate publicity. For example:
1. Has your company or member of staff recently won an award or have you had a major breakthrough like landing a large contract? If so, that is a valid story to people interested in your industry.
2. People always like to read inspirational stories, so if you have been successful in your business or you have recently run a marathon for charity, tell people.
3. If you are a skilled craftsperson or your business specializes in a particular niche why not share some of your expertise and teach others how to do something similar. It helps you to build credibility and be known as a true expert in your field.
4. Are you passionate about a particular charity? You can create awareness about a cause you believe in and create some publicity for your business. Companies do this all of the time and that is why so many of them are keen to sponsor charities and be involved with them.
5. If you notice alarming trends happening in your industry you can share this news and turn your knowledge and expertise into a marketing asset for your company.
6. There are many holiday events throughout the year and almost every type of business celebrates these events in their own way. This is a great opportunity for your business to team up with a charity or local organization.
7. Put an end to a popular myth or misunderstanding in your industry. For example, if you are a dentist you might want to release a story explaining that bad breath can be caused by several factors, only one of which is poor dental hygiene. Explain some of the causes of bad breath and what people can do if they experience it. There will be a common myth in your industry too. Journalists and online bloggers love these kinds of stories and they can go viral very quickly.
8. Is your business contributing to helping the environment? In the days of global warming don’t underestimate how making even slight changes to the way that your business does things can make a difference. You can win customers over with a ‘green’ story.
9. Turn to any magazine or news story and there will be some kind of stats or survey result mentioned. Everybody loves stats and surveys and none more so than journalists. Why? Because they find ready-made stories to write about in this type of news release. Stories like this are quick to go viral too as readers love to share facts and figures and will provide links to them on their blogs, they will tweet about them add them to their Facebook or other social media page. If you can share new market studies, research, survey or poll results from your industry you will find that this will be a popular story for you and your business.
10. Provide helpful tips. Be generous and get your industry out there by publishing a few helpful tips. You will be rewarded by converting search engine users into potential customers. If you sell digital cameras, for example, you could publish a list of features that potential buyers should be looking out for when buying a camera or produce a guide on which type of camera would best suit the kind of photography that they are wanting to do.
As an expert in your niche, you have all of the knowledge and tips and there are thousands of people out there searching for them so press releases and publishing these tips is an ideal way to get connected. It is worth remembering that just one or two brilliant tips are much better than a long list of useless ones.
You can no doubt think of many other ways that your business can create PR stories and get your business noticed.
Breathe some life into your story
Now that you have received some inspiration it is time to bring your story and press release to life particularly if your story about your new product or promotion seems boring.
11. Give it a human element
If your story feels a bit flat try putting people at the forefront of the story. Your story will have much more success because people are much more likely to share stories that involve people rather than the story being focussed on the product, especially if it features people that they know or who are local to their area. For example, if you have a happy customer who had great results using your product or service you can write about that. Or perhaps you have an employee who could demonstrate how effective your product is.
12. Link your story to a current trend
If you have a story that comments on and contributes to industry trends it will get a lot of buzz on social networks because that is what people interested in your industry are interested in and want to read, not to mention journalists and bloggers who cover your industry. By linking your story to an industry trend can help give your story more legs and the potential to create a buzz so that people will share it.
13. Attract attention with an image
The Internet is very visual so it is a good idea to break up a copy in your press release with a well placed image that gives visual impact to your story. Don’t worry too much about the image itself. You might just want to include your logo or a picture of your product or service. It will add interest to your story and make people more inclined to read it.
14. Direct people to your website
If you have submitted a great story that captures people’s imagination don’t leave them hanging at the end of the story. It is the perfect opportunity to direct them to your website using a strong call to action. This could be something as simple as “Find out more at www.YourWebsite.com”. It doesn’t really matter too much how you phrase it. The aim is simply to instruct your readers to take action and to make it easier for them.
Use Social Media to create a media buzz for your story
Once you have created your press release it is time to promote it on your social media networks. This is going to give your publicity and even bigger boost and drive thousands of extra people to your website.
How to promote your press release on Facebook
15. Link to your story on your Facebook status:
This is a simple way to promote your news to your whole network in a single click. If your network happens to include bloggers and reporters your news will reach them without you having to do a single pitch and they will be able to run with the idea immediately.
16. Share an interesting fact from your story
Despite having a great headline for your press release it is a good idea to give your readers yet another reason to click through to read the press release. You can do this by adding an intriguing quote, fact or statistic out of your press release and make that the main focus of your Facebook post.
17. Ask for a Like
This is one of those occasions where you should not be afraid to ask for likes or reposts when you promote your story on Facebook. If you have already built a loyal following of fans and have been an active part of the community they will be happy to spread the word for you, especially if your story is interesting.
18. Promoting Your Press Release on Twitter
Twitter is perfect for telling people about your press release because you can easily reach a wide audience and it is easy for your followers to share and re-tweet your post.
You can literally spread the word in seconds.
19. Tweet your story more than once
Not everybody will see your Tweet depending on the time you post it and where in the world your audience is so don’t be afraid to repost your Tweet a day or two later and at various times. To avoid annoying the ones who might have seen the tweet already, change the headline and be careful not to post it too many times.
20. Be Generous and promote those who promote you
If one of your followers has been kind enough to re-tweet your post, acknowledge it by thanking them. Not only is it courteous but it is also a good way to create a second round of buzz and publicity on Twitter. It means that your story will appear twice in the feed every time it is re-tweeted.
21. Use Hashtags
Categorize your story by adding a Hashtag to a keyword or phrase relating to your story or industry. As well as getting your story seen by people outside your network of followers it will also put you on the radar for journalists and bloggers who follow that particular Hashtag.
Getting the story out there
Social media, of course, goes beyond Facebook and Twitter. You can Pin your story on Pinterest and Google+ it as well as blogging it and sharing it on LinkedIn.
The online world really is your oyster and provides you with many exciting opportunities to get your story out there and have people all around the world reading about your brand in a matter of minutes.
If you have an announcement or newsworthy story about your business, here are so many places that you could promote it.
Our job is to help businesses like yours to get the word out and drive thousands of new clients to your website and company.
Contact us and discover what we could do for your business.
Even if you don’t think of yourself as a marketing pro, there are some simple tricks you can learn to take your PPC ads to the next level. Here they are.
#1: Make Your Ads Mobile-Responsive
You probably already know that mobile searches now outstrip desktop services. That means that your PPC ads must be adapted for mobile users if you want to get great results.
Here’s what to do:
#2: Use Numbers in Headlines and Copy
People respond to specificity in ads and headlines. If there are dozens of ways to use your product, or customers get access to millions of email addresses, say that in your headline.
Using numbers adds to your credibility, too. It’s why politicians often reel off a string of statistics when they’re in a debate.
Try adding numbers, percentages, and other stats to your PPC ads. Of course, make sure they’re both accurate and relevant to your target audience. If you do, you’ll see what a difference a number can make in your click-through rate.
#3: Tailor Your Message to Customers’ Places in the Sales Funnel
The people who see your ads won’t all be at the same place in the buying cycle. Some may be looking for general information to help them solve a problem. Others may be ready to pull the trigger and make a purchase.
Often, you can tell where a customer is based on the keyword they use to search. A customer who searches for general information about pest control might say:
How to get rid of pests
Someone who’s ready to hire an exterminator, on the other hand, might search:
Best termite exterminator in Grand Rapids
See the difference? When you write an ad, you choose keywords to target. Make sure your headline and copy match the intention of the keyword. You’ll have a better chance of getting people to click if you do.
#4: Use Persuasive Language in Your Headline
If you’re running an AdWords campaign, your headline is likely to be the focus of anybody who searches your keywords. That means it’s got to be snappy, direct, and appealing.
It’s important not to be misleading in your headline. It should be clear what product or service you’re selling.
Originally, AdWords allowed only a few words per line – so there wasn’t room to get fancy. Now, with the new expanded headline format, you can add a few more words. But your goal should still be to get to the point quickly.
Of course, if you’re running a Facebook ad, you have a bit more room. The key thing is to make your headlines persuasive without resorting to clickbait.
#5: Use a Compelling Image for Your Facebook Ad
On Facebook, users are accustomed to seeking out images and looking at them first. It’s why visual content gets so much more engagement than plain, written content.
You can increase your clicks by finding a compelling, relevant image to use in your ad. This isn’t the place to use an image that’s unrelated to your offer.
Original images (meaning, not stock images) are best. Photographs, illustrations, and infographics can all get the job done if you use them properly.
#6: Match Your Landing Page to Your Ad
Nobody (and I mean nobody) likes a bait and switch. When your ad and your landing page don’t match, it tells people that you can’t be trusted. And considering how essential trust and authority are in marketing, you can’t afford to do anything to undermine the trust you’ve acquired.
In other words, if your ad promotes an offer, it should direct them to a page that promotes the same offer. When the details match, it creates trust and reassures the people who click. That means they’ll be more likely to take the next step, whether that means opting in to your list or making a purchase.
To make it easier, you can even use dynamic text replacement technology to swap out text based on the keyword used to find your ad. That way, you’ll always be sure that your page and your ad are in synch.
#7: Use Retargeting to Close the Deal
You already know that your first “touch” with a potential customer is unlikely to lead to a sale. You may need to connect with them several times before they’re ready to take the leap.
You can use PPC ads on Google and Facebook to retarget people who’ve clicked on an ad and visited your site. Specifically, you can target them based on what they did on your site.
For example, the Facebook pixel lets you track which pages people visit or even which blog posts they read. You can then retarget them with content that you choose based on what they looked at. That increases the chances that they’ll click again – and maybe this time, they’ll buy from you!
You’re going to pay for clicks one way or the other…
That’s the nature of PPC ads, after all. The best thing you can do to improve your CTR and conversions is to dedicate yourself to using these seven tricks to create ads that compel clicks – and ultimately, increase your sales.
What Is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. That might not mean much to you, but it means a lot to Google. Here’s why.
SSL is the standard encryption used to protect web users’ information when it’s transmitted online.
You may have noticed that some websites’ URLs start with:
While others start with:
That “s” makes all the difference when it comes to security. When a user gives you their personal information, whether it’s an email address, a home address, a cell phone number, or a credit card number, they want to be confident that thieves and hackers can’t access their data.
It makes sense. SSL is the protection that stands between your customers’ personal information and the dishonest online predators who want to steal it.
Why Does SSL Matter?
What if your website isn’t a place where you collect private information? Do you still need to worry about SSL?
The short answer is yes. At the beginning of 2017, Google announced that by October, it would start labeling any sites not using SSL as Insecure. This was a change from their previous policy, which highlighted secure sites with a green padlock webicon on the browser bar.
The bottom line here is that even if you’re not collecting sensitive information on your site, you don’t want Google telling your visitors that your site isn’t secure. Many of them won’t stop to consider that they have the option of not giving you personal information.
They’ll just leave.
That’s a bad thing for obvious reasons. You want both your current customers and potential leads to feel that it’s safe to do business with you.
Once you’ve properly installed your SSL certificate, Google will display your URL with a gray padlock next to it. That tells customers that your site is secure.
How to Upgrade SSL
The process of upgrading your SSL and complying with Google’s new rules isn’t a complex one, but it might seem that way to beginners. You’ll have to follow several steps to get it done. We’ll run through them here, but don’t worry if it seems like a hassle. At the end of this article, we’ll give you a link to a service that can take care of the whole thing for you.
Here are the steps you should follow.
Determine What Kind of Certificate You Need
There are three different types of SSL certificates, and you must choose the proper one to make your site secure:
You’ll have to verify ownership of your site to generate the certificate.
Obtain or Purchase Your Certificate
Next, you must obtain your SSL certificate to install on your website. Some hosting companies offer certificates at no cost, but you also have the option of buying a custom certificate. The costs may range from less than $50 to more than $200, depending on your needs or where you buy the certificate.
Keep in mind that the SSL certificate you buy will need to be updated regularly. Each certificate is good for between one and two years. Most sites that issue certificates will allow you to sign up for automatic renewals, so you won’t have to worry about your certificate expiring.
A good rule of thumb is to pay for a certificate only if you need to. If a simple DV certificate will do and you can get one at no cost, that’s what you should do.
Install Your Certificate
Now, it’s time to install your certificate. The specific installation process will vary depending on your host and server, and it’s not practical to list step-by-step instructions for every option.
That said, the process of installing a certificate is usually well-documented and you should be able to find instructions that tell you how to do it.
The tricky thing about the installation process is that it requires you to go in and do a lot of redirecting and tweaking to your site’s code after the fact. Every link that redirects users to the http:// version of your site must be updated to redirect them to the new, secure version.
It’s this part of the process that can be a roadblock for entrepreneurs. Without the specific technical knowledge to do it – and without time in their busy schedules – it can be easy to overlook links and leave your site partially or completely unprotected as a result.
Test Your Site
The final step is to test your site and make sure that the SSL is working the way it’s supposed to. There are online tools you can use to do it, and your hosting company may give you a verification after you’ve completed the installation.
Just remember that testing is crucial. If you miss any step along the way, you might end up with only a partial installation.
Here’s Help If You Need It…
Whew – that sounds like a lot to do, doesn’t it? The good news is that you don’t have to do it on your own.
If you’d like a pro to help you upgrade your SSL and prevent Google from flagging your site as insecure, we recommend SSL Sniper. Click here to find out how they can help you get through the process of installing and testing your SSL certificate.
That doesn’t mean that attracting new customers is a waste of time. But it does mean that your long-term goals might be suffering as a result of your current marketing strategy.
With that in mind, let’s talk about how to calculate the value of a lifetime customer. How much is it worth to hang on to one customer?
The Cost of Acquiring New Customers
You’ve probably heard the statistics about the cost of acquiring a new customer compared to the cost of retaining an existing one – but they bear repeating.
Research shows that it costs five times as much to get a new customer to make a purchase as it does to build loyalty with the customers you already have.
Why is new customer acquisition so expensive? It makes sense if you think about it. For example:
Loyalty Drives Sales
What happens when a customer makes a purchase from you? It turns out there are some psychological quirks that kick in that make it more likely they’ll buy from you again.
What Your Customers Are Worth
How much is a lifetime customer worth? As you might expect, the specific answers can vary. One loyal customer might spend ten times as much as another. But that said, there are some statistics that can show you the average lifetime value of a single customer.
The initial conversion rate for any potential customer is very low – usually between 3% and 5%. However, the conversion rate goes way up when we’re talking about repeat customers.
But those 3 customers who do convert are nine times as likely to make a purchase as any new customer would be. Just like that, your conversion rate skyrocketed!
As you can see above, the numbers continue to increase over time. That’s due in part to repeat customers having a comfort level with your products, as we discussed above.
Now, let’s use some hard numbers to get an idea of what a lifelong customer might be worth to you. Let’s say that you spend $1,000 a year on marketing to new customers, and a year, you attract 100 new customers. That means that your cost per customer acquisition is $10.00.
That number might seem high, but you can’t understand your acquisition cost without including the average purchase made by customers and the likelihood that they’ll buy from you repeatedly.
If your product sells for $20.00 with a 100% mark-up, and you spend 25% of your profits on overhead, you’re looking at an initial return of $7.50 per customer. In other words, you’ve earned back 75% of what you spent to acquire that customer.
Now, let’s look at what happens if that customer buys from you repeatedly, assuming all prices, mark-ups, and overhead stay the same:
Attracting new customers might feel more exciting than retaining old ones, but you’ve got to ask what’s more important to you: the thrill of attracting a new buyer, or the money that comes with retaining an existing one. Personally, we’ll take the money.
If your marketing isn’t getting the job done right now, it could be because you’re not hitting the right notes with your campaigns. Maybe you feel scattered – or maybe you’re just not sure which strategies should be in your marketing mix.
We get it. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for local marketing, but there are methods that are proven to be effective. Here are five killer ways to get your local marketing on track.
#1: Use Yelp
As you probably know, Yelp is a crowd-review website where users can post reviews of local businesses. The site has become a first stop for consumers – and it’s easy to understand why. 80% of all consumers say that they trust an online review from a stranger as much as they would a recommendation from a friend.
To use Yelp, you’ll need to start by claiming your listing. Once you do that, you can update your profile. You should make sure to:
#2: Update Your Local SEO
If it’s been a while since you updated the SEO on your website, then it’s time to revisit it. Why? Because for local businesses, SEO can spell the difference between success and failure.
Local SEO uses keywords that include local words. For example, “children’s clothing boutique” is a general keyword; “Minneapolis children’s clothing boutique” is local.
Using local keywords can help you land a spot in Google’s coveted 3-pack. This is the group of three business listings that appears at the top of each page of local search results. The companies whose listings are in the 3-pack get the lion’s share of the clicks, so you want to be there!
Other aspects of local SEO to update include:
#3: Target Your Ads to Local Customers
Marketing local companies online doesn’t stop with SEO. You can also target your ads on Facebook and Google AdWords, so they display only to local customers.
The benefit of this, of course, is that you pay for advertising based on the number of impressions your ad makes. Narrowing your audience to only local searchers means that you’ll have a better chance of getting the clicks and conversions you want.
Location targeting makes sense. The more carefully and accurately you define your audience, the more new customers you’ll be able to attract. And, you’ll also have an easier time connecting with existing customers!
Google AdWords and Facebook both offer locational targeting, and using it can make a big difference in the success of your marketing campaigns.
#4: Join a Referral Network
You expect to spend some money on marketing and advertising, but wouldn’t we all prefer to get referrals from people who know us? Referrals are free, and they’re likely to be pre-qualified, too. After all, few of us refer a friend to a business unless we know they’re interested in it!
You can look for online referral networks and local networks, as well. It’s possible that your Chamber of Commerce or a local business organization has a working referral network. Checking with online resources may be helpful, too.
Referrals can come from people in similar or related businesses. For example, the owner of a bakery might team up with a party planner to get referrals. These businesses have a lot of overlap, so referrals make sense.
If your area doesn’t have a referral network and you can’t find one online, don’t give up! Instead, start one yourself. Reach out to other businesses in your area and suggest that you might be able to help one another by making referrals.
#5: Combine Your Marketing Efforts with a Neighbor
Sometimes, marketing can be a solitary affair. You might feel that it’s a burden you have to bear on your own – but what if that weren’t the case?
One of the best ways to give your marketing efforts a boost is to pair up with one or more of your business neighbors. Here are a few suggestions:
Local Marketing Is a Must…
While the world marketplace is an increasingly global one, many consumers prefer to shop close to home. They understand that buying local products and services supports the community and creates a positive climate for residents and business owners alike.
These five marketing musts can help you shepherd your company to new levels of success in the coming year.