The 3 Basics of Influencer Marketing

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“Influencer marketing” is yet another form of marketing you should care about.

But why?

McKinsey, one of the most highly respected business research companies, found “marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising.”

And think about it…which would you believe? Your best friend’s sky high praise for the most amazing steak restaurant ever…or a TV commercial telling you a certain restaurant has the most delicious steak ever?

The internet is all about relationships and word-of-mouth. Except now, because of the ease, that word-of-mouth works far faster and spreads to more people.

So, “influencer marketing,” which basically means to build relationships with people with large online followings and get them to promote your company, is a big deal.

What makes influencer marketing work?

These things:

  1. Give Them Something First

The easiest way to get an influencer to do something for you involves you doing something for them first. What that looks like depends on what you want the influencer to do for you.

If you want a simple social share, you don’t have to do much. Just send an email making the influencer aware of the amazing content you just published.

If you want a plug in their email, that will likely cost you some money. You may also be able to negotiate promoting your business to their email list in exchange for promoting them to your own list (as long as it’s sizable enough).

  1. Make Sure You Have a Measure of Success

What is it that you really want to get out of your influencer marketing campaign? It could be:

  • Customers
  • Links
  • Social followers
  • Newsletter subscribers
  • Search rankings
  • Guest post opportunities

Whatever is most valuable to you can be your definition of success.

  1. Don’t Look Too Much at the Size of Their Following

To a certain extent, the size of the influencer’s following does make a difference. But, don’t make that your primary determining factor of whether to engage them or not.

Instead, look at how engaged their communities are. How many followers do they have? Now, divide that by likes, shares, or comments per post.

That gives you a much better idea of how engaged their audience is. A smaller, but more engaged, audience drives you far more leads than a large one that doesn’t care.

Does influencer marketing work? Absolutely. And it can do wonders for your SEO when done right.

A Simple Guide to Consumer “Micromoments”

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On the web, marketers talk about SEO, SEM, and PPC as “micro-targeting.”

What’s that mean?

It’s pretty simple.

Basically, digital advertising allows for much more precision targeting than ever before. Think of what’s traditionally been available to you as a small business owner:

  • The Yellow Pages
  • Radio
  • TV
  • Flyers
  • Brochures
  • Posting on local bulletin boards
  • Billboards

How precise are those advertising methods? They’re fairly scattershot. You have a general idea of who you’re talking to. But not a specific one. So, you get lower ROI because you have to spend more money and won’t bring in as many customers as you could.

Now, compare that to “micro-targeting.” With PPC, you can create an ad targeted specifically to people searching for “HVAC repair Dallas,” for example. You know exactly what they’re searching for. And you deliver them a relevant ad experience. You get a much better ROI because you know you’re advertising to someone who wants services just like you offer.

And So It Is with Micro Moments…

The explosion of smartphone use by consumers to meet their daily needs has created “micromoments.” During these moments, consumers want four basic things, according to Google:

  • Wanting to know something
  • Wanting to go somewhere
  • Wanting to do something
  • Wanting to buy something

And this represents a huge opportunity for you because consumers quickly fall in love with brands that meet these needs.

3 Keys to Succeeding in Micromoment Marketing

Google outlines what you have to do when consumers have a micromoment need they want you to fulfill:

  1. Be useful – You must be able to solve the problem.
  2. Be quick – You have to solve the problem quickly. Users want the solution now, or in just a few seconds. Don’t dilly-dally around with the history of air conditioners if you want to sell a new AC, for example. Give the price, the efficiency, and the reason the AC will make a good purchase.
  3. Measure and optimize for all screen types – This includes smartphones, tablet PCs, and desktop computers.

And you know they’ll move on quickly because they have the entire internet right in their own hands. If you don’t give them what they want, someone else will.

That influences your search rankings too. Because, after all, Google does measure the number of visitors to your website who visit once and leave or come back.

Even one click makes a difference. The less looking around your customers have to do, the more likely they are to buy.

Make “micromoment marketing” your focus in 2016 and beyond. It’s only going to get more competitive.

6 Reasons Organic Search is Superior to Paid Search

6 Reasons Organic Search is Superior to Paid Search

When you first start marketing your website online, you have an important decision to make.

Are you going to focus on paid or organic search at first?

The simple truth: neither strategy is “better.” Both have advantages and drawbacks.

But today, we’re going to look at the major reasons why organic might work better for you than paid search.

And here are some of those reasons:

  1. Searchers Trust Organic Results More

Since anyone can just pay to get to the top of the PPC listings, why should consumers trust those? When you hit #1 – 3 consistently across multiple organic searches, you get a whole lot more trust and credibility.

So you get more clicks and sales (over the long-term) as a result.

  1. It’s Easier and Less Costly to Keep Your High Rankings

Getting high organic rankings is the hard and costly part. Staying there isn’t as difficult. Your search listing can rank high for months, or even years, with little additional work.

  1. Organic Works Better for Products and Services with Longer Buying Cycles

If it takes months for a business owner to research your service and compare it with multiple other companies, organic is superior. Searcher’s intent with organic searches is usually to learn more. With PPC, they’re much more ready to buy.

  1. Organic Search Works Well for Selling Services

Products are ordered quickly and then the customer’s done. Services, however, include much more hassle. Will the contractor provide a good service? How much will it cost? What are the comparable options? Plus, you usually want to get a good long-term relationship out of the deal. So you’re going to be more careful and do more research before hiring someone to perform a service.

  1. SEO Boosts Your Rankings on All Search Engines

With PPC, you get a top position on Google or Bing, and that’s it. When you optimize for SEO, you gain visibility on all search engines.

  1. SEO Also Increases Awareness of Your Brand

While you’re getting all of these SEO benefits, it also increases your branding. So even if someone doesn’t click on your search result right now, they’ll get familiar with your name. After seeing you several times, they might realize it’s time to give you a closer look and click on your search result.

Using SEO and PPC together works best. But if you have a limited budget to spend now, these are reasons why you might go with SEO instead of PPC.

Should You Use Livecasting to Market?

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Have you heard about Periscope? It’s the latest social media craze to hit the web.

More than 1 million people signed in to use it in its first 10 days after it launched on March 26 of this year. So far, it’s only found on iPhones. So that means it still has to launch on Android, which would expose it to millions of additional users.

Not quite 6 months later, Periscope now has more than 2 million users. So even though there’s thousands of social media apps, most of which never make it to public attention, it’s fairly likely Periscope will hang around for a while.

Plus, Twitter owns it.

What is Periscope Anyway?

It’s a pretty simple social media app. Periscope lets you stream live video to an audience. They can make comments or ask questions as you broadcast. Since Twitter owns it, it’s easy to pick up followers and grow your account almost immediately.

Facebook’s actually doing something similar. But they’re only allowing select celebrities to stream video. If you’re following that celebrity, you’ll get notified of their upcoming broadcast if you recently engaged with their posts. Initially, Martha Stewart, The Rock, Serena Williams, and Michael Buble agreed to do a live stream.

How Could Your Small Business Use Livecasting to Increase Sales?

Well, much of that remains to be seen. With social media, you can be as creative as you want. So there’s plenty of opportunity to innovate and increase sales.

Some ideas that come to mind:

  1. Contractors could livecast jobs – For example, you’d pick a typical air conditioning install. You could let potential customers watch and ask their common questions. You could also do the same for common maintenance issues for air conditioners.
  2. Give a “behind the scenes look” at your office – Personal experiences sell. Your customers want to get to know your company and feel like they have a strong relationship with you. Give them a “behind the scenes” look at your workplace. Stay away from being corny, uptight, and stilted. Be your natural selves and have fun.
  3. Let customers chat with your company leaders – Again, personalization is the idea here. How often do customers get to talk with your CEO? Let them do it with Periscope.
  4. Tutorials and product demos – It’s easier to buy something if you know how it works, isn’t it? So show your customers that with Periscope. Have an employee show customers advanced functions they might not know.

Periscope is probably here to stay for some time. It’s new and unique. Businesses and customers can’t get enough of that.

Why You Shouldn’t Obsess about Quality Score

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What’s your Quality Score today? Do you spend much of your time trying to fine-tune every detail so you maximize it?

There’s something to be said for optimizing your quality score. But it’s not the end of the world if you don’t perfect it.

Let us explain why:

  1. Technically, It’s not a Score Out of 10

Quality Score really tries to predict your click-through rate. It measures criteria like ad copy, landing page experience, optimization, and your current click-through rate.

You learn how well you score overall on those criteria. But that doesn’t guarantee the true performance of your ad.

  1. Google Itself Doesn’t Understand Quality Score

On one disastrous occasion, October 27, 2010, every keyword had its quality score fall to 3 or less.

Google reported:

“The issue appears that the Quality Scores of the keywords in the actual auction are not being affected, but the way they are being reported in the interface is incorrect.”

What this means is that the actual Quality Score and the reported score are two different things. This explains why you have keywords with a good click-through rate that have poor quality scores.

  1. You Don’t Control Quality Score

If anything from this post so far has been clear, it’s that you don’t control Quality Score. You don’t always know why you have the score you do. And neither does Google.

When you get a high Quality Score, you might get a lower cost-per-click. But even that isn’t always precise.

  1. Profitability Counts More

At the end of the day, this is what any search marketing campaign is about, isn’t it? So, if you get good margins from keywords with average Quality Scores, why worry?

You can adjust and test them a little to see if you can reduce your costs. But, as long as you’re profitable, that’s what counts.

  1. You Have Many Other Factors to Worry about with PPC

Quality Score is just one of many things you should concern yourself with. You also have to know about location targeting, device modifiers, cost per conversion, conversion rate, and net margins.

With more important metrics related to your profitability, Quality Score shouldn’t be your sole or primary focus.

It takes many hours to optimize Quality Score. Hours which you could better spend fine-tuning other parts of your PPC campaign.

Pay Per Click Marketing Guide

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  • Why Should Your Company Run a PPC Campaign?
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  • PPC Innovations You Can Use to Get Better Results
  • Ad Copy 101: How to Write PPC Ads that Get Sales
  • A Brief Analysis of a Landing Page that Sells Like Crazy
  • Should You Use PPC to Drive Brand Awareness?
  • Common Profit-Killing PPC Mistakes SMBs Make on Their Own
  • What Negative Keywords are and How They Skyrocket Your Costs
  • What Does Quality Score Have to Do with PPC?
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  • Frequently Asked Questions about PPC

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