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Six Strategies for Gaining Instagram Followers

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As Instagram continues its meteoric rise in both monthly user base and saturation metrics, it makes sense for businesses to get on board. Statistics show that engagement rate on Instagram is much higher than either Facebook or Twitter. Not making Instagram a part of your marketing campaign is a mistake your business cannot afford to make.

With that in mind, here are a few strategies on how to grow your Instagram following:

Post Daily

Get into a regular flow when posting to Instagram, but don’t inundate your followers with content. A few times a day is probably the ideal number. Quality content combined with consistency will do more to drive up your number of followers than flooding their feeds will.

Share on a regular basis so you can discover what works best for you and your business. Provide creative, engaging content, and you’ll be rewarded with not only more supporters, but followers that are interested in your content.

Promote User Content

A great way to promote user content is to take fantastic content from other creators, and put it on your Instagram account. Be sure to give credit to the original producer of the material, though. Show off the unique and uncommon stories your users have to tell, and when you do, make sure to add hashtags that point back to your business.

Photo Contest

Photo contests are a fun way to share your brand while gathering photos from followers under a theme. Be sure to get involved in the contest yourself while sharing it across multiple platforms. But don’t be in a hurry. Allow users time to hear about the contest and participate.

Make sure the rules are clear and concise, so you avoid confusion with the contest. If you’re unsure of how to proceed, find a business to partner up and double the audience.

Understand Hashtags

Hashtags are an essential part of Instagram, and using the right hashtag can make the difference between a post that falls flat and one that shoots to the top of your followers feeds.

To determine the appropriate hashtags to use, peruse the content of those similar to your own. You can search for and record hashtags that are relevant to your brand, then use them in your content to drive traffic to your business.

Filter Selection

Instagram filters are fun, but also a little confusing. Which ones should you use to drive views and engagement? Pay attention to the responses you receive depending on the filter you use. Some tend to lead to more views, while others may contribute to a higher number of comments. Play around with them and find the ones that work best for your business.

Engage

Really engage with your followers. A list of all the greatest tips and tricks will be helpful, but they’re never going to compete with rolling up your sleeves and getting dirty on the platform. Be intentional about leaving thoughtful, engaging comments, like photos that strike you as meaningful.

Find new people to follow on a regular basis, interact with them, and respond to their questions and comments. Doing so will result in natural and organic growth for your Instagram platform.

Gaining followings on other social media networks can feel like you’re beating your head against a wall, but that doesn’t have to be the case with Instagram. Create engaging, quality content and connect with your followers.

The way you engage with your followers will have a direct impact on how your account increases. If you’re willing to help others, word will spread, and growth will occur. For additional help, you can check out DFY’s lead generation system.

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Virtual Assistants-Taking Your Online Marketing to the Next Level

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In this era of the Digital Age, more and more people are turning to the Internet to increase their marketing exposure.  The problem?  Every day the ways to use online marketing seem to grow exponentially.

In one blog post at Wordstream.com, they offer a guide to the top 99 Online Marketing Tools.  You read that right, 99!  And, they are only listing the TOP 99.

From Clothing Boutiques to Real Estate Agents, Social Media Marketing has become a necessity to keep up in today’s marketplace.  So, as an entrepreneur or small business owner, how do you find the time to run your business, increase your productivity, have a personal life, and keep up with the ever-evolving online marketing field?

The short answer?  You don’t.  You hire someone to do it for you.  Enter the Virtual Assistant (VA).

Who are Virtual Assistants?

Virtual assistants are home-based, skilled professionals, offering businesses, and entrepreneurs support remotely instead of within the traditional office setting.  Communication is usually done via email, phone, or even face to face services like Skype.  This alleviates the need to provide additional work space at your office or other business location.

Don’t Virtual Assistants Just Provide Basic Admin Support?

Back when remote assistants first came on the scene, the majority of their services focused on administrative tasks that were similar to those of an executive assistant or secretary.  They were just done from home.  However, with the growing number of VAs available, their offerings now run the gamut, and thanks to the incredible increase in popularity of Social Media Marketing and other Online Marketing, specialists in that area have become easier to find, and are extremely beneficial to have working with you.

In fact, just a few years ago, the University of Florida created the first Bachelor and Masters degree programs to provide accredited education in Social Media Marketing and other schools followed quickly after that.

A Few Things to Consider When Hiring a Virtual Assistant

When you choose to hire a virtual assistant the first thing you’ll want to determine is whether you want them to be an employee or a self-employed contractor.  There are pros and cons with each arrangement.

When you hire an employee, even a remote one, you’ll need to provide any benefits your other employees receive, based on their employee status, ie: Full-time, Part-time, or hourly, as well as add them to the regular payroll.  A real estate agent in the northern California area reported he has a full-time person who’s only job entails maintaining all Social Media postings for active

If you choose to work with independent contractors or a freelancer you will have none of those responsibilities.  But, you will have little control over what hours they work or be able to demand when they can be available.

To be designated as an independent contractor, an individual must be free to determine how the work will be done to completion, free from the client/company’s control.  The contractor is responsible for the final product only as far as the terms of their contract requires.

Where Can I find a Virtual Assistant?

Just as the internet provides the opportunity for the concept of a VA to work, it also provides locations, and even platforms to easily find, hire and pay your VA.  Here’s a short list of websites that provide freelancers and businesses a way to find each

  • 24/7 Virtual Assistant
  • Assistant Match
  • eaHelp
  • Fancy Hands
  • Freelancer
  • FlexJobs
  • People Per Hour
  • Red Butler
  • Time Etc.
  • Upwork
  • Virtual Assistant USA
  • Virtual Staff Finder
  • Worldwide 101
  • Ziptask
  • Zirtual

Hiring a virtual assistant will leave you with more time and energy on your hands to focus on the other aspects of your business.

For additional info on running a successful online business click here for our done-for-you system.

Increase Your Marketing Exposure with Amazon’s FBA

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Most of us know by now that Amazon is the largest online retailer.  People often go directly to Amazon when considering a purchase before searching anywhere else.  And, when they do implement a search, Amazon’s extensive marketing and SEO techniques usually bring them to the top of the search results.

So, why not take advantage of their marketing to promote your own products?  Amazon has provided a platform for you to do just that.

So, what exactly is Amazon’s “Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)?”

With FBA your products are stored at Amazon’s fulfilment centres.  They do the packing, the shipping, and the customer service. PLUS, products sold can be eligible for Amazon Prime’s Free Two-Day Shipping, Free Shipping, and other benefits provided directly by Amazon.

Additionally, many buyers choose products by FBA sellers instead of merchant fulfilled sellers, even when the price is higher, because they know it comes with Amazon’s reliability.

Additionally, you can now automatically market your products across most of North America.  When you register for an Amazon.com seller account, you can enable FBA for products you list to be seen on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.mx.  This allows you to sell on Amazon’s marketplaces in Canada and Mexico, reaching even more customers.

Referrals-How Amazon’s FBA Increases Your Marketing While They Sell Your Product

I’m sure if you’ve made a purchase on Amazon, you’ve noticed the area at the bottom of each product page headed “recommended purchases.”  What you may not have realized, is that they include FBA products in this section as well.  This means a buyer on Amazon gets exposure to your product as well as theirs, increasing your exposure.  And, Amazon affiliates will also link buyers to your items through blog and social media posts.

What It Will Cost You.

You will be charged for storage space and the orders they fulfill. The cost of shipping is included in your fees, with no extra charge for Amazon Prime’s FREE Two-Day Shipping and FREE Shipping on eligible orders. Fees for optional services may apply.

Upload your product to the FBA platform, finalize your listing and then box up your products and ship them to an Amazon distribution centre.

Once your items arrive and are scanned in at the distribution centre, they’re live on Amazon.  If items don’t sell within the pre-set time period, you can either pay storage fees or have them returned to you at your expense.

As with any new addition to your business plan, there are pros and cons to weigh before making a final decision.

Pros:

  • Enormous Customer Base-As one of the largest online retailers, Amazon’s users are looking to shop.
  • Credibility and Trust-buyers are comfortable going to Amazon.
  • Excellent Support-Everything from inventory tracking, tax collection, and credit card processing is already set up with Amazon’s platform.

Cons:

  • Fees-These start at a minimum of one dollar and can go as high as 25% of the product’s price.
  • You’re a Commodity-On Amazon you’re mostly a commodity. This means there will be other merchants under cutting your prices. Plus, you’re competing directly with Amazon for any products they sell.
  • No Control Over Branding-Unlike on your own site there are fewer options to promote your own brand.
  • Lack of Customer Loyalty-Customers are finding your products due to their loyalty to Amazon, not you.

A Note on Keeping Your Own E-Commerce Website.

At this point, you may be thinking that this could replace your own e-commerce site.  Many experts recommend keeping your existing site as well.  The primary reason being, when you sell on other platforms, you don’t actually own your shop.

They will reserve the right to manage your product listings, and not always in a way that is in your best interests.  This could even include preventing you from selling within a certain category if they can make more of a profit selling the similar items in-house.

Over all, Amazon’s FBA platform is an excellent opportunity to increase your market exposure, sales, and distribution without having to increase your own storage and shipping facilities.

For more information or, to get started, visit Fulfillment by Amazon now.

5 Elements that Are Impacting Your Organic Click-Through Rates

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Click-through rates are a key metric involved with optimizing Pay-per-click ads (PPC). Click-through rates are not interchangeable with PPC or paid search ads.

You probably think that your organic search results are simply a consequence of your current ranking position. However, you have much more control over this. Click-through rates can be optimized to return a massive number of extra clicks.

Ads that gain more click-share will generate leads that will ultimately increase sales. While there are several ways to boost your organic click-through rates, here are 6 things that can be changed right away.

Keyword Selection

When it comes to increasing your organic click-through rates, picking the right keywords is the place to start. Your keywords are directly related to the relevance of searches, and they will determine how you frame titles for blogs, articles, and descriptions.

When picking keywords, it’s important to focus on highly relevant ones that relate to the product you’re selling or the content you’re writing about. If you’re writing a blog post about a certain product, choosing words that are commonly used in the industry are ideal.

The more the keywords in your blogs and ads relate to those of your business, a user is more likely to click on it after searching your keyword phrase.

Captivating Titles

When creating a title, you must have two goals in mind: to grab the reader’s attention and to entice them to click your link.

SEO is more than just rankings. Different skills in marketing, such as copywriting, can go a long way. A title that captures your audience’s attention is one of the ways to increase your click-through rates for the SERPs.

Always keep the keyword in the title, but save everything else for intrigue. A good title possesses a self-interest and newsworthy component. Titles that convey information quickly and spark curiosity in the searcher will having people flocking to your website.

Meta Descriptions

A meta description is the snippet of words that appears under a search title that basically summarizes the content of the page.

After the title, meta descriptions are one of the first things a searcher will see when they are looking at search engine results. Here is where creative copywriting comes in once more to attract clicks.

A meta description that will increase click-throughs should contain

  • Your chosen keyword(s)
  • Related phrasing to your chosen keyword(s)
  • Clear and concise wording about your topic

A searcher should be able to get the gist of what the landing page is about based off the meta description.

Call to Action

Content that has a strong call to action can convince a reader to come back to your content or even look through more. Relating your posts with “read this” or “click here” broadens the scope of your content and their search.

With a call to action, searchers will spend more time on your website, rather than on the search engine. With more content and keywords, you have that relate to your product of service, you can increase your organic click-through rates.

Table of Contents

When a person is scouring the SERPs, articles that contain a table of contents will include a “jump to” link. Rather than search through several results, searchers will gravitate towards the “jump to” link for convenience because they know your website has something relevant to their initial search.

Sitelinks

It is true that you don’t have control over the assignment of Google’s sitelinks. However, you can control which sitelinks you don’t want to be seen when a person searches your keyword phrase.

You can easily go into the search appearance settings of your website and “demote” the links that you don’t want to appear.

When a searcher is scrolling through the SERPs, it’s very easy for them to associate the sitelink with your brand name. Websites with an easy to use interface and clear navigation will have better sitelinks.

Taking control of how your website fares in the search engines is essential to internet marketing success. To learn more about how you can increase your organic click-through rate, or to find out more internet marketing tips, click here for our done-for-you system.

How to Write a Great Newsletter

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Communicating with your customers and potential customers is important. Email newsletters are a great way to do just that. But more often than not, people will open those newsletters and not actually read them.

This means that all of that content that you worked hard to create is ignored and doesn’t help further your business goals. Getting people to read the newsletter is the missing link. Newsletters help people stay connected to your brand and give your brand a platform to speak from.

There are a few tips and tricks to creating a newsletter that people will open and read. Here’s how to ensure that people not only open your newsletter but actually read it.

Curate it to the extreme

People like it when newsletters find their niche and stick to it. Too often, people are inundated with content and they get overwhelmed. This leads to them not reading anything and your newsletter falling to the wayside.

Chose the topic of your newsletter carefully. For instance, if you are a brand that sells house inspection services, choose one house inspection service to highlight in your newsletter. Then, add maybe one other relevant piece of information that dovetails that that service.

People want to read your content, they just don’t have time to read a lot of it. When you are creating your newsletter, remember that less is more.

Put your personality on display

It’s tempting to slide into the carefully curated brand voice that you have developed. When it comes to newsletters, the more personal and personality-filled, the better. Your customers want to feel the personality of your brand shine through. Don’t bury it under jargon and sterile marketing-speak.

Be a little quirky in your newsletter. Write it from unique perspectives. Don’t be afraid to let the unique parts of what makes your business special come to life in your newsletter. Your readers will thank you (and be more apt to read your newsletter in its entirety).

Make your newsletter valuable

People don’t want a lot of clutter in the newsletters they read. They also want to get something valuable out of the newsletters they choose to actually open. Make the time your readers spend on your newsletter worth it.

In your newsletter, tell people a story, tell them why it’s important, and tell them why they should care. It’s that last part that is the most important. People want to know the “so, what?” of your content. Give it to them.

Always do something new, but keep it focused

Don’t be boring or highly predictable with your newsletters. People who open your newsletters want to get something new each time they open it. Make that open worth their while.

Keep your content and perspective fresh, but make sure you are staying focused on your niche. Going back to the home inspection example: you want people to know that they are getting a newsletter about home inspection, but deliver new things each time. Some examples: a checklist for spring cleaning, a guide to cleaning your pool, how to tell if your windows are losing heat.

Keeping your content fresh will keep your current readers invested. Keeping that fresh content focused on your niche will ensure that they keep opening and see your brand as an authority.

Keep the writing pure

Web writing has gotten a little convoluted lately. What with SEO, keywords, and click-bait headlines, the actual writing can get pushed to the back burner and the point of the content can be obscured.

Your newsletter audience is a captive audience. They opened the newsletter so they want to read it. This is your chance to communicate with them open and honestly without all the keywords and click-bait.

Keep your newsletter writing straightforward and to the point. No SEO here. Just good and solid content worth reading and sharing.

If you want to learn more about how to write great newsletter content, check out our done-for-you system today!

Burying Bad Reviews with Better Reputation Management

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Your online reputation can make or break your chances of success. You need to maintain a positive image, whether you’re selling affiliate products or producing your own items.

When a customer leaves a negative review, it can cause potential prospects to reconsider their decision. You could lose sales due to these negative responses, which is why you need to bury them as quickly as possible.

Typically, you can’t make bad reviews go away. Once they’re posted online, they are there to stay.

But, with better reputation management, you can start to bury these reviews and limit their impact on future business.

Dealing with Negative Responses on Social Media

One of the biggest forums for negative feedback is social media. People love to share their experiences on Twitter and Facebook. You should have an email alert to let you know when someone mentions your brand in a post.

When you notice a negative response on social media, you should respond quickly. A fast response can diffuse the situation and this could be one of the few opportunities that you’ve got to actually remove a negative response.

Respond to the person leaving the negative response by sending them a direct message. Send them a message to find out how you can resolve their issue. If corrective action is taken, and they’re happy with the results, then you can publicly comment on their initial comment.

This public comment shows that you’ve resolved the issue, but it doesn’t include any details of the conversation that you’ve had with the customer.

Dealing with Negative Responses on Review Sites

If the negative response was left on a review site, you probably won’t be able to get the review removed. But, you may be able to keep the customer.

As with the previous tip, you’ll want to respond to these reviews as soon as possible. Always respond in a friendly manner and ask how you can solve their problem. You may need to offer a refund or a discount. But, that’s a small step when it comes to your online reputation.

Encourage Satisfied Customers to Leave Positive Reviews

The next step for burying bad reviews is to encourage your happy customers to leave good reviews. When you send an invoice to a customer, it should include a small thank you, along with a reminder for them to leave their feedback online.

You don’t have to directly ask your customers to leave a good review. But, you can encourage them. You can also leave these reminds on your order confirmation page or contact page.

Make a List of Negative Responses

You should also start compiling a list of negative responses to the products or services that you’re trying to sell. Make notes about the most common complaints.

If you start to see similar feedback from multiple customers, then there could be a problem with the items that you’re selling. These notes will help identify the main issues with your products or services.

If you’re responsible for the development of your products or services, you can use this feedback to improve your offerings. By delivering a better product or services, you can gain more positive reviews and comments.

In the end, the best way to overcome negative reviews to get positive reviews. At the same time, you can attempt to keep your customers happy. Respond to their negative comments in a timely manner. And, remember to encourage your satisfied customers to leave their feedback.

Along with these reputation management suggestions, you can find even more marketing tips and ideas, along with a system for generating conversion-ready internet prospects, by clicking here to learn about our done-for-you system.

 

4 Ways to Offer Proof in Your Online Marketing Claims

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No matter how honest you are with your marketing efforts, consumers aren’t so quick to accept your claims without proof. When you say that your product or service offers a specific benefit, consumers want some sort of evidence that backs your claims.

Including proof isn’t hard. It’s an extra step, but it can go a long way towards increasing conversion rates. From customer testimonials to verifiable statistics, learn how to offer proof in your marketing.

Customer Testimonials

The most used and well-known form of proof is customer testimonials. The concept is simple. You’re including actual comments from people that have actually used your products or services.

There are multiple ways to obtain these testimonials and to use them in your marketing. For obtaining comments and testimonials, consider the following options:

  • Social media comments
  • Ask for customer feedback
  • Offer free evaluations

The easiest solution is to pull social media comments. Look for positive comments and reviews about your products or services on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites.

Another option is to ask for customer feedback. Send a survey out to your customers via email and ask for their input.

Just make sure that you let them know that their comments will be used in your marketing material. You can even include a section to allow them to choose whether they want their name to be used.

Some businesses send out free products or services and ask for customer feedback. When using these evaluations, you need to mention the fact that the customers received the product for free.

Along with obtaining testimonials, there are different ways of displaying them. The methods listed above are among the easiest. But, you could also film customer testimonials.

Think of the last infomercial that you’ve seen. They always include customers on film discussing what they liked about the product or services.

You can film customer testimonials and include them on your landing pages. Though, that’ll require a little more work than the other options.

Online Reviews and Ratings

The next form of proof is similar to customer testimonials. Using online reviews and ratings from review sites, you can offer potential customers proof that people have used and enjoyed your products or services.

Adding these reviews to your landing pages or marketing material is different from customer testimonials. You would normally include a summary of these reviews and then link to the actual page containing the reviews.

Showcase Badges or Certifications

Certifications, badges, and seals can also be used to offer proof of your abilities. You’ll see these certificates at the bottom of various landing pages.

This could include BBB accreditation, awards, and other proof that builds credibility. These should always link to a page where visitors can learn more about the certificate or badge.

Link to Stats and Figures

The majority of the previous steps are aimed at showing proof of your abilities or the effectiveness of your products or services. This last step is designed to show that you know what you’re talking about.

For example, if you claim that more people now use mobile devices for browsing the web, you should link to a study or a web page that backs up this claim.

Offering proof is becoming increasingly important. It helps prospects weed out the scams. Without this simple step, you could be missing out on a portion of the marketplace.

Use these suggestions to offer proof of any claims that you make. If you’d like to have access to more powerful marketing solutions, along with a method for generating conversion-ready internet marketing prospects each month, then click here to learn about our done-for-you system.