But, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It just means you need to try harder. The thing is, your customers want to talk to you. They want to know what you think, and most importantly, they want to believe that you care what they think.
It’s not as hard as you might think. Here are 7 simple conversation starters to get your audience talking to you.
#1: Express an Opinion about Industry News
You want to build authority within your industry or niche? One of the best ways to do that AND start a conversation with your followers is to express an opinion – particularly if it might be new or controversial. Of course, you should only do this if you can back up your opinion.
A good way to get started with this tactic is to follow relevant publishers and influencers in your industry. When you see them post a piece of news that’s relevant to your followers, read the article (or watch the video) and figure out what you can add to the conversation. Then share it – and make sure to include a call to action that encourages your followers to chime in with their own opinions.
#2: Ask for Stories and Experiences
Everybody has a story to tell – and when you’re speaking to an audience who all have something in common with you, then it’s easy to think of a topic that may inspire people to share their stories.
The key here is to share your own story and then ask your followers to share their best stories with you. For example, say you own a travel agency. You might tell a story of a trip you booked for yourself before you were a travel agent and how it went wrong. Then, you could ask your followers for their travel horror stories.
The benefit of this type of sharing is that it provides you with an opportunity to respond, express sympathy or amazement, and build a bond with potential customers online.
#3: Get Recommendations
People might love to tell stories, but do you know what else they like? Giving advice and making recommendations! And asking them for recommendations is a great way to get them talking.
What kind of recommendations should you ask for? Ideally, they should be relevant to your product or service. For example, I’m a marketing guy. I might ask:
#4: Promote Your Events and Your Community
Are you appearing at a local street fair or charity event? Sharing your involvement is a great way to remind people that you stand for something other than making money – and to underscore your involvement in your community and industry.
Even if you’re not appearing at an event, there’s a benefit to letting your followers know what’s going on in your community. Giving a nod to other businesses or to local charities can help you build trust and earn the admiration of your followers. You can encourage conversation by asking questions like these:
#5: Ask about DIY Projects
Whatever industry or niche you’re in, the chances are good that your followers have some DIY experiences that are relevant. Asking about them is a great way to learn about potential customers and build a warm rapport with them by responding to what they share.
Ideally, a DIY project should be something that uses (or could use) your products. However, it doesn’t have to be. The key is to find a way to make what you post relevant to your brand – and then stand back and let your followers do the rest.
#6: Ask Open Questions
Asking questions is one of the best ways to get your followers talking. It’s especially helpful to you if you can get them talking in a way that helps you to learn more about them – because that’s information you can use to create future content.
For example, if you’re targeting small business owners, you could ask questions like:
#7: Ask for Testimonials
You already know that reviews and testimonials are hugely important in the world of marketing. What better way to get some new testimonials to share on your site than to ask your customers to provide them on social media?
Not only will asking for opinions help you get some positive testimonials, it may also help you discover potential issues and nip them in the bud before they become big problems. You should be prepared for some surprises – but if you approach the request with the right mindset, this technique can help you learn a lot about your customers.
Look who’s talking…
The bottom line is that your audience wants to talk to you. They don’t read your blog or follow you on social media because they’re looking for a lecture. The key is to give them the encouragement they need to share their thoughts, experiences, and opinions with you – and then, to stand back and listen to what they say.
The verdict it in... simpler is better!!!
Some "experts" are pushing social marketing strategies that are incredibly complicated... and frankly, I'm tired of it! This is 2019!!!!!
There is ABSOLUTELY no reason to be spending more than ONE (1) hour a month marketing your business online. So let me make is simple... 5 steps that are giving my clients their LIVES back!
Here we go...
1. Know your niche.
The niche research you did when you first started your business should have revealed your people's interests, pain points, problems, and spending limits. If you’re not sure, do some research. Above all, find out where they spend their leisure time on the Internet and target those sites. There’s no point in banging away on a social network if the ideal customer in your niche isn’t hanging out there.
2. Brainstorm better content.
Good content is the kind of content that will speak loudest to those you want to reach. As you do your niche research, you will probably see the same questions coming up repeatedly. Make a list of them and create content that answers these questions. Be sure to create paid products that do as well. Free products lead to paid products.
3. Leverage the content you create.
Make every piece of content you create work hard for you. One of the best ways to do it is to put it into more than one format. For example, the same content could appear on your sites as an article, social post, top-10 list, or a PowerPoint. Your PowerPoint could become a video on YouTube which you would then embed on your site.
4. Create a publishing schedule and use automation tools.
Once you leverage your content, make scheduling and posting easy. Automation will make your life easier, and if done right, no one will know you aren’t slaving away behind your computer all day to hand-post your content.
5. Limit your time on social media to 30 minutes a day.
Social media can devour your time if you’re not careful, so block out 2 appointments of 15 minutes each, morning and evening, so you minimize the danger of getting distracted and wasting hours wandering around in an unfocused manner.
Your content is already scheduled and ready to go. So use these 15 minute blogs to respond to comments, questions, and messages.
If our current websites are up and running – even if they’re not perfect – we put off redesigning them because we think it’s not a priority.
Spoiler alert: it should always be a priority.
Having an out-of-date website can erode trust with your existing customers and make it difficult to attract new ones.
Does your site need a facelift in 2019? Here are 10 sure-fire signs that it does.
#1: It’s Not Mobile Responsive
I know you probably think I’m beating a dead horse with this one, but mobile responsiveness is no longer an option in 2019. It’s a necessity.
Google penalizes sites that don’t adjust to the size of the device they’re being viewed on. And the truth is, this is an easy fix. There’s no excuse not to do it – and it can actively hurt you if you don’t.
#2: Your Site Is Difficult to Update
You might use the difficulty of updating as an excuse NOT to update, but in fact, it’s a clear sign that you must update – and right away. It’s the best way to be sure you can stay on top of future Google updates and technological improvements.
Updating from whatever it is you have now to a WordPress site where you can easily change your theme and add plugins as needed will make your life easier in the long run.
#3: It Looks Outdated
There are lots of little things that can make a website look out of date. For example, which version of the Twitter and Instagram logos do you have on your blog or homepage? If your Twitter logo has the old bird with the tuft of feathers on its head, your site may look like it’s from the dark ages.
Trends in web design are constantly changing. If your site looks like it was designed in the early 2000s (or even the early 2010s) then it’s time to embrace the present and update it.
#4: Your Conversion Rate is Too Low
There are lots of factors that can contribute to a low conversion rate, including your social media presence and marketing strategy. However, there’s no question that your website – its design, loading time, usability, and other factors – plays a role.
It’s an especially good sign that your site needs updating if you’ve tweaked your marketing campaigns and you’ve still got a low conversion rate. Something’s scaring potential customers away – and if it’s your website, there’s only one way to fix it.
#5: You’ve Got Autoplay on Your Website
Autoplay is dated and annoying, but there’s a more important reason that you need to ditch it in 2019 as part of your website redesign. It is very likely contributing to a slow page load time. I get that you were probably eager to have people watch your video or listen to your audio at the time of your LAST redesign, but it’s time for a change.
Honestly, I think the irritation level of autoplay far outweighs any potential benefit. You’re much better off putting your video above the fold with a killer thumbnail and a compelling pull quote than you are autoplaying it.
#6: Your Branding Isn’t Current
Have you rebranded your business since the last time you updated your website? If so, that means that your website is out of sync with your branding – and visitors aren’t getting a true picture of you and your company when they visit it.
Even if your branding changes are minor – such as an updated logo or tagline – it’s still worth redoing your website to match it.
#7: It Takes Forever to Load
You’ve probably heard the statistic that says that human beings have a shorter attention span than a goldfish. It sounds absurd, but when it comes to how quickly a site loads, it’s true.
Not only that, but Google penalizes sites that take too long to load. You can use their Page Speed tool to check your site’s loading time.
#8: Your Web Design Isn’t Consistent
Perhaps your last web redesign was ten years ago and in the interim, you had a different designer make a few tweaks to the design. Maybe you even did a bit of programming yourself. If that’s the case, you may have a Frankensite that looks like it was assembled by committee – not a good thing.
If your fonts, colors, menus, and other design elements are a hodgepodge and not consistent throughout, a redesign can help you present a cohesive design that will attract new customers instead of frightening them.
#9: Your Google Rank is Too Low
Google prioritizes well-designed, quick-loading sites with great content. If it’s been a while since your last redesign, the chances are good that your site isn’t ranked as high as it could be on Google.
It’s an especially big red flag if your ranking has slipped despite increased social media visibility and a higher-than-usual marketing budget. Don’t ignore Google’s response to your site. It’s not going to get better if you wait to update it.
#10: It Just Doesn’t Look Good
This last one might seem obvious and unnecessary, but I’m including it because a whopping 48% of consumers say that a company’s website is the most important factor in determining credibility. In other words, an ugly or poorly designed site can scare potential leads away.
If that’s not enough to scare you into updating your site, I don’t know what is!
It’s time to give your website a new look…
If any of the ten things on this list sound familiar, don’t wait. 2019 is the perfect time to update your site and take advantage of increased conversions, an improvement in your Google rank and – most importantly – more profits!
So, with that in mind, here are the biggest SEO trends of 2019 as I see them – and some tips about how to use them to your advantage.
I’m starting with a big one that many small and medium-sized companies are still ignoring. Voice search isn’t going anywhere – and in fact, it’s going to become increasingly important in 2019.
Why? Because pretty much all of us are using voice search in some way. Whether you’re starting a mobile search by saying “OK Google” or calling on Alexa, Cortana, or Siri to help you find what you need, you’re using voice search. And, estimates are that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by next year.
And guess what? That means your customers are too. One of the best ways to capitalize on this trend is to optimize your site with voice search in mind. That means incorporating common questions into your content – because your customers are asking questions and your website should answer them.
Google’s mobile-first indexing is still relatively new, but only a fool would believe that it won’t increase in importance in 2019. Right now, about 60% of all searches are mobile – and that number’s only going to go up.
How do you take advantage of this trend? First, make sure your site is mobile responsive. Honestly, at this point there’s no excuse for it not to be. Next, think about how your site’s design will impact mobile users. You want a clean design that’s easy to use. That means single column next, right-sized buttons, and other mobile features like direct dialing.
You may also want to think about accepting mobile payments in your store, if you have one. The idea is to make it easy for mobile customers to patronize your business.
SEO is in an interesting place right now. We’re still heavily mobile-dependent, but the increase in voice searches and use of artificial intelligence means that we all need to be thinking about how our websites can be easy to access as AI increases in importance.
One way to do that is to use Schema and other structures to organize your data. Things like information architecture, tags, metadata, and structured mark-up can all help ensure that your site is easy to crawl and index.
I know that all sounds very technical, but an experienced SEO can help you navigate the tech requirements while still providing a site that’s user-friendly, readable, and engaging.
Brand as a Ranking Signal
SEO is no longer just about what’s on your website. It’s also about how people are talking about you on social media sites and other places online – and those brand mentions are now having a big impact on how Google perceives your company.
If you’re not already tracking your social mentions, now is the time to start doing it. Following other brands on social media will reveal that some of them are responding when people mention them – and they’re making a big impact doing it. Even a word of encouragement or a quick joke can make a huge difference in how people think of you. Awario is a great tool for tracking your mentions.
Focus on Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness
The big trio of online impact is E-A-T – Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. Technically, E-A-T isn’t part of Google’s algorithm, but it is a guideline for Google’s algorithm raters. That means that you can’t afford to ignore it.
What you can do to offer E-A-T to your site’s visitors is provide content that’s:
You can demonstrate E-A-T by creating a system of internal links to help visitors to your site navigate the information that’s available and easily find content that’s related to what they’re viewing.
Speed is another topic you may think I’ve covered too much – but when I repeat myself, it’s only because I know how important it is and I want to make sure that you’re not overlooking something that can have a huge impact on your SEO.
There’s no such thing as a website that loads too quickly. All web users are impatient and mobile users are more impatient than most. Very few are going to wait longer than five or six seconds for your site to load. Anything that might be slowing your site down needs to go. That means:
Riding the Waves and Staying on Top.
What’s going to keep you riding high in 2019 is knowing which waves matter in the world of SEO. The six things I’ve identified here are the ones that are going to make the biggest impact this year – and that means they’re the things that will help you rise above the competition and make 2019 your best year ever.
People watch a huge amount of video on Facebook:
How to Capture Your Audience with Video Advertising on Facebook
So, you know you need to be using video to appeal to your audience. What you may not know is that there are some specific qualities your video most have to work on Facebook. Here are some of the things your video should do if you want your campaign to be successful.
Grab the Viewer’s Attention Quickly
A recent Nielsen survey found that as much as 70% of an advertising video’s impact can be felt in the first 10 seconds. That means you’ve got only a limited time to grab your audience’s attention.
Video ads on Facebook play automatically in the feed – we’ll talk more about that later. That means that you have a unique opportunity to grab a viewer’s attention as they scroll past.
The key is to use powerful visuals right at the beginning of your video. You’ll need something that is visually engaging, surprising, and gets your point across quickly.
One example we like comes from Purple Mattress. This video features two Sumo wrestlers on top of a Purple mattress and it’s designed to demonstrate the strength of the mattress pad.
When you watch it, you’ll notice that the Sumo wrestlers appear at about 9 seconds. I think it might have been even more effective if they’d started with the Sumo wrestlers and then cut to the announcer. But as it is, the colorful video with its surprising visuals captured viewers’ attention.
To make the most of your Facebook marketing video, think of a strong visual story that demonstrates the uniqueness of your product. Then, introduce the story at the beginning of the video, ideally within the first 5 seconds.
Allow Viewers to Watch without Sound
The next thing your video must do is work without sound. Facebook videos in the feed play automatically, but viewers must opt to use sound. You can (and should) make it clear that they can click for sound, but your video should make its point even if a viewer doesn’t do that.
There are, of course, several ways that you can get by without sound:
Here’s an example we like from the website Tastemade, which features recipes, cooking advice, travel videos, and more. They created their Tiny Kitchen series to capture attention on Facebook – and they did it without any sound.
Here’s one video they created. It shows a human chef preparing food in a tiny kitchen. The only sound is incidental. With the hands there for scale, it grabs attention immediately and kept viewers watching all 13 minutes of the demo – showing that a Facebook video doesn’t need to be short to be compelling.
This was a Facebook Live video that grabbed more than 3.8 million view and was shared more than 17,000 times. Why? Because its surprising content and visually compelling style made people stop and pay attention.
Tell a Story
There’s plenty of evidence to show that stories are an effective form of marketing. Stories engage our brains by triggering an emotional response. An effective advertising story may be moving or humorous. It can be long or short.
One of the most effective things you can do is to find ways to tell a story that supports your brand’s personality and message. You don’t necessarily need a lot of time to do that, but you do need imagination.
Here’s an example I like from the company MeUndies. They claim to sell the most comfortable underwear in the world, but their story is not just about comfort. On their website, they say, “Finding underwear that makes you feel good is an easy way to boost your mood and your confidence.”
How do they get that across in a video? Check out this short video – it’s only 21 seconds long – that features a man wearing the company’s glow-in-the-dark Star Wars briefs to act out his fantasy of being Darth Vader:
This video gets is message across quickly. It uses a pop culture reference to one of the most successful film franchises of all time with a dash of humor as the man in the video realizes that his towel looks like Darth Vader’s helmet.
MeUndie’s Facebook video campaigns ultimately reached more than 1.4 million viewers and garnered them a 97% increase in incremental purchases.
Capturing your audience on Facebook might not be easy…
But, it’s achievable if you follow these three key tips. Compelling visuals and an interesting story will ensure that people can appreciate your video even if they choose not to turn on the sound. And since most people will see your ad as they scroll down their feed, grabbing their attention in the first five seconds is a must.
And, considering that Facebook ads get a whopping 9.21% conversion rate across all industries, it’s time to stop pretending that you can afford not to create video campaigns on Facebook. Your customers are waiting for you on Facebook – and the right kind of marketing video can help you find them.
Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t some potential downsides to using AI. The most natural application of the technology for small business owners is a chatbot that can augment and improve your customer service. That means the bot would be interacting directly with your customers.
Scary? Maybe a little. But there are some serious benefits to using AI to go along with the risks. It’s important for you to understand both, so you can make an informed decision about whether AI is a worthwhile investment for your business.
The Pros of AI
Let’s start with the good news. Finding ways to have artificial intelligence interact directly with your customers can offer you some big rewards. Here’s what you need to know.
No Holidays or Time Off
The first plus of using AI for customer service is that AI isn’t human. That means it doesn’t need time off. It can be available to your customers around the clock, 365 days a year. If a customer needs help, your chatbot or virtual assistant can be there to offer it.
In the long run, you can save money on customer service because a chatbot can be programmed to handle a high volume of incoming requests and you won’t need to pay it a salary or benefits.
No Human Error
Another big benefit of incorporating AI into your customer service is that it can, if programmed properly, eliminate human error and make your customer interactions completely consistent across the board. That means no more flustered employees or inaccurate responses.
Even the best employee can be forgetful or have a bad day. A chatbot won’t have a bad day because they’re not programmed to have one. You can be sure that every customer who uses your chatbot will get the same professional, accurate information, every time.
Arguably the biggest positive associated with using artificial intelligence is that it can help you collect accurate and actionable data from your customers in real time. Since traditional customer research can take a huge amount of time, this is a huge plus and one that you can definitely use to your advantage.
You can learn which issues are causing trouble for your customers, which products they like the most, and at what times they’re most likely to buy from you. You can also use the data you collect to improve the programming of your chatbots and make your customer service even better than it already is.
What’s your brand’s personality? Whether you’re formal or casual, funny or low-key, you can program your AI solutions with the language and personality that fits your brand. Since it can be difficult to screen employees and figure out how they’ll cope in a high-pressure situation, chatbots can be a good way to even things out.
The beauty of AI programming is that you can build variety and personality in with the right scriptwriters and programmers. You might not be able to imagine a chatbot with personality, but I also think you’ll be surprised by how much can be done with good programming.
These benefits are no joke. If you properly design and program your chatbots, they can help you elevate your customer service, build loyalty, and increase sales.
The Cons of AI
The pros are undeniable, but what are the downsides of having AI interact with your customers? There are several, and not surprisingly, they correlate with the pros I’ve already mentioned.
Round the Clock Monitoring
The first potential downside is related to the 24/7 nature of chatbots. A chatbot, even a well-programmed one, can’t handle ever potential customer problem. In fact, part of proper chatbot programming is making sure that the bot knows when and how to get human assistance.
Reading between the lines, then, there’s a need to have a human agent on call to back up the chatbot. That means that you’ll still need some human support and people who are willing to be on call even after hours.
Lack of Improvisation
Chatbot programming can do a lot – but it can’t do everything. In fact, one of the biggest downsides of using AI for customer service is that AI can’t improvise. It can only do what it’s been programmed to do.
In nine out of ten cases, that’s probably going to be fine. But what happens if a customer isn’t fluent in English or asks a question in a way that’s unfamiliar to the bot? You’ve got to be prepared for the likelihood that some customers, some of the time, will find dealing with a bot to be frustrating.
I already told you that AI can collect data and that can be a huge benefit. But, of course, any time you collect data you’ve also got to store data – and that can leave you vulnerable to hacking.
This isn’t really a downside so much as it is a warning. If you are going to use chatbots for your business, make sure to take appropriate security measures and use encryption to protect your valuable data.
The final potential downside is the sort of worst-case scenario that we all think of when we think of AI. It’s that a bad actor could find a way to manipulate your chatbots or virtual agents to make them work in a way that is contrary to your interests.
Some manipulations may be relatively harmless, but the danger is that, since chatbots use machine learning to improve their performance, they may pick up bad habits from some users. You’ll need to be prepared to be on the lookout for problems and correct them immediately.
You’re not hiring HAL…
Using AI to interact with customers can do a great deal to help your business grow. The key is to put yourself in a position to reap the benefits while also protecting yourself from the potential downsides associated with AI.
If you’re familiar with Google’s methods, then you know that they hardly ever comment on updates or share relevant information about them. That means that marketers and SEOs have to guess what’s going on.
That can be tricky, but it turns out that this latest update can be summed up with three letters: EAT. Let’s talk about what they mean.
What Does E.A.T. Stand For?
Google’s E.A.T. algorithm has been given that name because of the three key things it prioritizes. They are:
The trick, of course, is knowing what things Google’s looking at and what you can do to improve your results. Chasing organic traffic was already difficult. In fact, only about 9% of content gets any organic traffic from Google.
How to Demonstrate Your Expertise
The best way to demonstrate your expertise is to update and optimize your author biography and About Us pages. These pages give you the opportunity to let readers (and Google) know who you are and why you’re an expert.
You should have a biography page for every contributor to your blog. Their byline should link to their bio. The bio should include:
The same thing goes for your About Us page. On the page, you can still explain the usual things like how and why you started your business. In addition, make sure to mention:
How to Demonstrate Your Authoritativeness
The next element of E.A.T. is authority. Here are the most important things you can do to signal your authoritativeness to Google.
How to Demonstrate Your Trustworthiness
It’s a common saying that trust needs to be earned. That applies to marketing as much as it does to anything else. In other words, trust isn’t something you can wish into being. You must give people reasons to trust you.
Reputation management plays a big role in trust. When people review your company on sites like Yelp or Google My Business, what do they say about you? How do you handle negative reviews? Do you have quality testimonials on your site? Each of these things plays a role in establishing your reputation online.
The same is true of social mentions. It’s essential to keep track of when and how your business is mentioned on social media.
Finally, you can build trust by having proper security on your site. That means installing a security certificate and using encryption to protect your most important data.
Other Quick Fixes for E.A.T.
In addition to the things I’ve mentioned above, there are some other important steps you can take to make the most of Google’s latest update.
You are what you E.A.T.
It’s natural to be nervous about a major update like E.A.T., but my takeaway is this. E.A.T. is a huge opportunity for local businesses to build their brands and provide their customers with the best possible content while also building trust and authority. In other words, E.A.T. updates can help you attract new customers and make your existing customers appreciate you in a whole new way.
And, if you’ve been ignoring all trends in favor of the tried and true, then guess what? 2019 is the year to shake things up.
Now, I’m not saying that you need to jump on every trend as soon as you become aware of it. I am saying that I’ve noticed that a lot of small businesses aren’t taking advantage of the big trends – the ones that, for better or worse, aren’t going anywhere. And with that in mind, here are 7 trends that you can no longer afford to ignore in 2019.
#1: Artificial Intelligence
I wrote about artificial intelligence last month, so you already know I think it’s important for small businesses to embrace this technology.
In marketing, the use of AI in the form of chatbots has taken root and many small businesses are adopting it. The bottom line is that a well-programmed chatbot can improve your customer service and increase sales.
AI is also becoming increasingly important in the field of marketing analytics. You can use it to make market predictions and get ahead of the curve as your audience’s preferences change and develop. And, let’s not forget that programmatic advertising – which uses AI to automate ad buying – is on the rise.
One-size-fits-all marketing is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. While there’s still some benefit to targeting ads to a large audience, the trend increasingly is toward the kind of one-to-one marketing that Amazon has done brilliantly for years.
If every visitor to your website is seeing the same content, it’s time to think about how to personalize it. You can do that using cookies that make recommendations based on a user’s previous activity on your site. Or, you can allow users to choose the type of content that they want to see. Either way, the goal is to make every customer feel that you’re speaking directly to them.
Incidentally, the same trend should be applied to email marketing. Sending emails that are triggered by a customer’s behavior is three times more effective than sending batch emails – something to keep in mind in the new year.
#3: Influencer Marketing
Ad blocking has been a challenge for marketers for years now, but the recent stats show that it’s now impacting mobile advertising as well as desktop. What can you do to get around it?
I’ve written about influencer marketing before, but it really has proven to be one of the best ways to engage with potential customers without needing to worry about ad blockers. It uses influential social media accounts that appeal to your audience.
It can take a bit of trial and error to find the right influencers but once you do, influencer marketing can be a cost-effective way of attracting new customers to your business.
#4: Video Marketing
If you’re not making marketing videos to share with your audience, it’s time to stop pretending that video is too expensive (or too technical) to be worth your while. Research shows that businesses who use video marketing grow 49% faster than businesses that don’t. How can you ignore that?
The good news is that video doesn’t need to be expensive and you don’t need to be Spike Lee to make a terrific marketing video that will attract new customers. Even a simple Facebook Live session where you take questions from your followers can help you grow your business.
#5: Social Messaging Apps
Did you know that every month, businesses exchange 2 billion (that’s with a B!) Facebook Messenger apps with their customers? That’s not just a trend – it’s a tsunami.
Using social messaging tools like Messenger or WhatsApp can help you connect with customers on a personal level. And – hearkening back to the first trend I mentioned – artificial intelligence can help you do it.
Creating a chatbot for Messenger or any other app is a relatively easy (and affordable) thing to do. A lot of companies use chatbots to suggest products or answer simple questions. That means that using messenger apps is an extremely effective way to connect with your existing audience and attract new potential buyers for your products and services.
#6: Voice Search – smart speaker
If you’ve said “Okay Google” or asked Siri, Alexa, or Cortana to find something for you online, then you know that voice search is here to stay. In fact, researchers estimate that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020 – and that means that it’s time to optimize your web content for voice search now.
You can start by using the language of voice search – optimizing for the terminology that your audience is most likely to use. You may also want to start thinking about audio-only ads. It’s probable that you’ll start hearing sponsored content on Alexa before long. This is an opportunity for you to beat out your competitors who may be lagging in this area.
#7: Social Media Stories
If you’ve logged onto any social media account lately, you’ve probably noticed something: stories. Facebook may prompt you to add to your story, and other platforms – including YouTube – have jumped on the trend.
A social media story is temporary content that can be used to trigger your customers’ FOMO (that’s fear of missing out.) It’s ideal for seasonal promotions and deals, and it can be a great way to engage your audience. If you’re not already using social media stories to connect with your customers, 2019 is the year to start.
Trends aren’t all fleeting…
It’s one thing to avoid jumping on a trend bandwagon at the first opportunity. But ignoring the 7 key trends I’ve outlined here in 2019 will put you in a tricky position if your competitors are using them.
Ask other people
Ask your friends, your family, or your current page followers. You can get talking to anybody about the page or group you're running and see what they have to say. Or just see what comes up in conversation when you talk about your niche topic. Even if you don't use their exact ideas, it's a good way to pick up some new thoughts and concepts.
Create a big list
Sit down and create a huge list of everything you can possibly think of that relates to your page, profile, or group. If you're running a group on furniture, you can write about decorating many different venues, such as wedding halls and churches, family homes and retirement homes, businesses and offices, shops and stores and everything in between.
You can write about furnishing a place for the first time or buying new items. Give your readers ideas about how to do things, when to do things and what they can buy to do certain things. And don’t forget to start with the very basics, too. Even things that sound simple to you might be useful for readers who are complete beginners to your niche.
Read other social media pages, groups, or profiles
You should never copy content from others, but it's a great way to get some more ideas. General ideas cannot be copyrighted, so unless you're taking something word for word or using somebody else's photographs, you don't need to give anybody credit. You might not only get ideas about what to write about, but you could pick up some tips about how to structure your posts, how to make them more friendly or how to design the post to make it easier to read.
Use books and magazines
Books and magazines are great sources of post ideas. As with the previous tip, make sure you don’t copy anything – simply use the books and magazines as inspiration. Sometimes all it takes is scanning a table of contents to get the juices flowing. Magazines are also great for figuring out what’s popular right now in your niche.
And there you have it! 4 easy ways to come up with more content for you fans, followers, and group members. Remember content is king, so don't skimp on what you are offering your viewers!
But guess what? There’s one thing that you’re probably not doing that could help you connect with customers when they’re most likely to stop by your business. And you might not even have considered it.
I’m talking about SMS messaging, more commonly known as text messaging.
More than 2.5 billion people worldwide own a smart phone that’s capable of text messaging. That’s a staggering number – and it begs the question:
Why aren’t more small businesses using text messaging for marketing?
Texting by the Numbers
Text messaging has the potential to be a marketing superstar for your business. To get an idea of just how effective it can be, check out these statistics:
People send and receive text messages. They give them priority over other communication, and they spend more time texting than they do talking on their phones.
In other words, text messaging is arguably the best way to ensure that the people in your target audience read what you send them.
Advantages of SMS Marketing
You know people are likely to read your text messages – but what are the other advantages of incorporating text messages into your marketing mix? Here are five that I think are key:
How to Get Subscribers for Your SMS List
By law, you cannot send a text message to anybody who has not signed up for your list. That means that you must find ways to attract new subscribers. Here are some helpful suggestions to get started.
The first and potentially easiest way to find new subscribers is to add a cell phone field to your existing opt-in form on your website. You can include a message letting people know that if they choose to provide you with a cell phone number, they’re agreeing to receive text messages from you.
Another option is to promote your SMS list in store with large print posters, flyers and other print media encouraging your customers to sign up for exclusive discounts & offers. Make sure to mention what some of those exclusive offers might be.
You may also want to send out an email to your current email list and give your subscribers a link to sign up to receive text messages from you. Here again, it’s a good idea to tempt them by letting them know you’ll be sending out special coupons and deals via text message.
Using these methods, it shouldn’t take you very long to build up a sizable SMS messaging list.
Tips for Successful SMS Messaging Campaigns
Text message marketing has a lot in common with other forms of marketing. To be successful, you must conceptualize a strong campaign based on your knowledge of your subscribers, create compelling content, and track your results. Here are some tips that may help you.
The bottom line is that if you’re not using SMS messaging to reach your audience, you’re missing out on a chance to build brand loyalty and increase your sales. Text messages are inexpensive to send and easy to write – and they can help you grow your business.