Do’s and Don’ts of Online Advertising on Big Markets

posted on March 1, 2022


I’ve been involved in digital marketing with StubGroup for nearly a decade, and in that time, marketing platforms have dramatically changed. I’ve also seen massive changes in how people go about their online research, how they engage with advertising, how they expect advertising to look, and how they choose which platforms to use. It’s an ever-evolving market, so let’s look at what’s working now.

Which digital marketing channel should I use and why?

The largest advertising channels available are owned and operated by Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Google offers platforms such as Google Search, YouTube, Google Shopping, and Google Display. Facebook has both Facebook and Instagram. If you are an e-commerce company selling products directly to consumers online, Amazon is the go-to place.

When deciding what channel to use, it boils down to understanding your target audience and what they’re looking for. If you offer a service or product people are already searching for online, typically, Google searches will be your best place to start. Google search allows you to reach people at the exact time they’re searching for your service or product. After that, all you need to do is show them you have the solution.

On the other hand, if you’ve created a new product people aren’t yet aware of, Google Shopping isn’t the best channel for you. Using Facebook or Instagram to proactively create product awareness will be a more successful strategy. The best choice of online marketing channel depends on what you’re selling, where your audience is, and whether they know about your product.

In online marketing, is SEO or PPC better?

SEO and PPC are both essential ingredients in the alphabet soup of online advertising. SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it involves getting content from your website to appear organically in search engines. People go to search engines like Google or Bing to enter keywords related to things they want to find. If you can get content from your website to rank high in search engine results, the people searching for those keywords will visit your website and see the product or service you provide.

The beauty of organic traffic is that it’s free. When I say “free,” I mean you’re not paying Google or Bing directly. Good SEO strategy can still be expensive, however. To rank high in searches, you need to create high-quality content and get that content posted across the internet.

PPC stands for pay per click. It’s an advertising model where you pay for each click that brings people to your website. When you search on Google, you’ll usually see paid ads at the top of the page and organic listings below.

The downside of PPC is that you pay for the traffic. Don’t let this deter you from PPC’s benefits, though.

Paid ads are the first thing most people see when they search Google. If you’re not up there, you’re going to miss a lot of traffic. Since people usually click the first one or two things they see, that exposure is a big deal.

It can be tough to rank organically on competitive or popular keywords. It can take years, and sometimes it never happens. PPC ads offer you control and predictability. You’re paying to reach the exact users you want to engage.

PPC will usually offer faster results. SEO is a longer-term play. The best strategy is to use both. Showing up in both paid ads and organic listings will maximize traffic to your website.

How can I best leverage my existing online audience in advertising?

If you have an existing audience, there are ways to leverage that asset in online marketing. First-party data, such as an email address list, can extend your online reach and engagement.

First, providing that data to Google and Facebook enables you to deliver ads to those specific people. Let’s say you have a seasonal product you want to cross-sell. Every Valentine’s Day, you can reach out to existing customers using their first-party data.

Another way you can leverage your existing audience is by identifying new customers similar to your current customers. You can accomplish this through Google’s Similar Audiences and Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences. After you provide a list of your existing customers, Google and Facebook examine their behavior patterns and demographics and target ads to people who have similar interests or behaviors.

Finally, you can leverage your existing audience through user-generated content. This strategy involves motivating your audience to create content related to your product, such as unboxing videos, reviews, and testimonials. You can leverage those assets in marketing campaigns on your website to increase the conversion rate. The content will also help you rank higher in organic searches.

What strategies are working best right now on Google?

Google is currently pushing automation in advertising campaigns. The most important thing is knowing when and how to use it.

Don’t put blind trust in Google’s automation. I’ve seen way too many cases where things go wrong. It’s crucial to have experts who know what to look for and monitor things.

You need to have parameters on the advertising campaigns you’re running, monitor things closely, and be ready to make changes if you see a problem. At the same time, if you try to keep everything manual, you’re going to be left behind by competitors who’ve figured out how to utilize automation to capture the customers you want.

Should online marketers run standard or smart shopping campaigns?

You’ll use shopping campaigns to provide data to Google about the products you sell through your e-commerce website. Shopping campaigns allow you to enter data and images related to your products into a format that generates ads. These are the ads you see at the top of Google’s search pages with pictures, prices, and links to specific products.

There are two different ways you can run campaigns to highlight your products. A standard shopping campaign involves a manual approach. You’re selecting which product you want to advertise and setting your own bid. You retain more control, but more work goes into that campaign.

A smart shopping campaign is automated. You’re still selecting which product to feature and setting some parameters, but Google does a lot of the work after that. In most cases, smart shopping campaigns work more efficiently and drive higher returns on ad spend with higher volumes in sales than standard campaigns. We use standard campaigns to prime the system and collect information such as conversion rate data and click data. Then, we let the smart shopping campaign take over.

What are common mistakes new advertisers are making?

There are definitely some common pitfalls new advertisers encounter in online marketing. We frequently see a lack of understanding of Google’s and Facebook’s advertising policies. Many people new to marketing accidentally violate these policies resulting in their suspension from Google or Facebook. That suspension can cause all kinds of delays, frustrations, and problems for new entrepreneurs.

Another common mistake I see occurs primarily in the e-commerce space. Many people new to e-commerce are drawn in by claims that online marketers can set up a website and outsource all the work. The truth is, you have to invest a lot of time and energy into any kind of successful e-commerce business. There’s no such thing as a “get rich quick” business model. We see a lot of new e-commerce entrepreneurs throwing up a quick e-commerce website and expecting the money to roll in. That very rarely works.

Another common mistake is trying to do everything yourself. A lot of expertise goes into determining where you should invest your marketing budget. There’s certainly a place for you as a business owner to explore advertising because it plays a vital role in your company’s success. At the same time, you’ll want to take advantage of the experts. People who work in agencies like StubGroup focus entirely on digital advertising and its rapidly changing strategies. Their expertise can save your business a tremendous amount of time and money.

The post Do’s and Don’ts of Online Advertising on Big Markets appeared first on SiteProNews.

Tips to Build an Online Services Marketplace in 2022

posted on February 27, 2022


The coronavirus pandemic has forced people to shop online more often; now, more and more people rely on online apps to fulfill their day-to-day tasks. No wonder businesses rely on e-commerce marketplace app to bring their business online and earn more revenue. The online marketplace is not only a great way to get more customers but also provides convenience to users as they can order whatever they want from the comfort of their homes.

A marketplace owner connects customers with service providers, which creates a win-win situation for all. To create an online marketplace, one doesn’t have to own goods; instead, creating a medium that connects businesses with customers is a great and profitable idea. The sharing economy market is anticipated to reach $355 billion by the end of 2025.

Weigh the Potential of Your Idea

It is important to know the potential of your idea. It doesn’t have to be one superb idea; in fact, it can be adapted as per the needs of the market and the target audience. Therefore, one needs to analyze the market before actually implementing the idea.

No doubt, the potential of online shopping is vast. By the end of 2022, global e-commerce sales are expected to grow to USD 5.4 trillion.

Benefits of an Online Marketplace

The online marketplace is beneficial for businesses and customers. With more people relying on online shopping, the online marketplace is greatly beneficial for businesses around the world.

Let’s dive deep into the benefits of an Online Marketplace

Increase in Sales

With the online marketplace, local businesses can get in touch with a bigger audience. There is no barrier to a geographical location, and businesses that can’t move inventory from one location to other can greatly benefit from it.

Better Profit Margins

Since the online marketplace increases reach, more customers buy products which help businesses increase profit margins.

Minimum Setup Cost

The cost involved with setting up a business through an online marketplace is marginal. In the offline mode, there is a lot of costs incurred, such as renting a store, hiring employees, etc. With the online marketplace, all these costs get vanished.

Lower Risk

As the cost involved with the online marketplace is less, therefore, the risk is also less. When we see the business model, it is far more scalable than physical shops.

Improved Marketing

Marketing is essential for every business. It’s important to make your online store stand out from the rest. There are a number of opportunities in the digital space to market your store. Clickable banners, ads, etc., can really help in enhancing the visibility of an online store.


Businesses need to analyze customer behavior, which helps them in making important business decisions. The online marketplace helps businesses know how many customers they get every day, which products are bestsellers, and so on. For instance, you are running an ad campaign and tracking the campaign’s success, you need to track customer patterns when they see your ad.

How Does it Work?

The working of an online marketplace is simple and easy to understand. When you receive an order, you can either accept it or reject it depending upon factors such as availability, delivery time, etc. If you accept the order request, then vendors are informed about the same, and they ship the product to the logistics partner.

How To Start an Online Marketplace

Starting an online marketplace requires a bit of work. Here, we are listing the steps that you need to take to build an online marketplace.


The first and foremost thing is deep research. You have to solve a real problem; for instance, Airbnb aims at solving the problem of expensive hotel rooms. The very first step is to analyze a problem worth solving. Take a look at your competitors and study market leaders.

Know About Target Audience

To make an idea successful, it’s important to know about your target audience. Do a careful analysis and research to ensure that your idea is actually what your target audience needs. It’s important to validate your idea, it takes some time, but it’s worth the effort. It’s important to get answers to the following questions:

  • Would you use this product?
  • How often would you use this product?
  • Size of the total addressable market?
  • Feedback from the interviewed group of customers


In the planning stage, one has to gather requirements, create specific documents, and design wireframes. In the planning stage, it’s also important to know what part of the project would be at what time.

Development: How to Build a Marketplace Website/App

There are a few crucial steps that one needs to understand before building a marketplace website/app:

To build an app, there are two ways:

  • Build the app from scratch
  • Use a ready-to-use solution

You can either build an app from scratch by getting in touch with an app development company or utilize a ready-to-use solution, which can be customized as per diverse business needs.

Define Key Features

Key features should be defined before building an Online Marketplace. One has to accommodate both sellers and buyers that will utilize the app. Key features of an online marketplace are:

  • Stock and order arrangement
  • Transactional control
  • Statistics and analytics tools
  • Multiple payment modes
  • Social media integration

Key App Components for the Buyer

When it comes to a buyer’s app, one needs to make it intuitive and easy to use. Make your solution such that buyers find it easy to trust and use. The security of the app should never be taken for granted, and proper measures should be taken to ensure the same.

Some of the important features of the buyer app are:

  • Easy signup and sign in
  • Advanced search options
  • Shopping cart
  • Multiple payment modes
  • Wishlist
  • Ratings and review
  • Real-time tracking

Focus on the UI/UX aspect

UI/UX of the app should be given due importance. The UI/UX of the app should be designed by keeping in mind the target audience, features, and goals you have identified. It’s always a good idea to create an MVP- Minimum Viable Product; it’s a product with just enough features required for the working. MVP helps businesses to test their product and analyze what users like and don’t. It’s like testing waters before actually launching the product.

Appropriate Tech Tools

Development problems that occur during the process of building a marketplace can be resolved by utilizing the right tools. When you are taking the help of an app development company, they have appropriate resources to provide you with a great solution.

Prepare for Proper Maintenance

After the launch of the product, the work doesn’t end. The process of maintenance involves improving your application, updating it with time, etc. The business should analyze what their customers like and what improvements need to be made. Some features become obsolete with time and need to be changed. After the app deployment, the work regarding customer support, bug fixes, the addition of new functions, etc., is an ongoing one.

Final Words

The demand for online marketplace applications is on the rise, which means more and more businesses as well customers are into these apps. Though the competition is soaring in the field, new features and new-age technology is helpful in providing businesses with what they need. The above-listed steps are helpful in building an online marketplace that can take your business to new heights.

The post Tips to Build an Online Services Marketplace in 2022 appeared first on SiteProNews.

Copywriting Trends of 2022 with OtterPR’s Sam Johnson

posted on February 25, 2022


Subjectively speaking, effective copywriting may be the most crucial aspect of a marketing plan. Copy is the voice of a business and how brands engage with consumers. Bad copywriting can stop engagement cold in its tracks. Conversely, great copywriting can elevate a brand and change the trajectory of an entire business. Between 2020 and 2021, copywriting has proven essential for brands looking to cut through the virtual noise and achieve digital recognition.

Copywriting trends can shift with changing times. Even five short years ago, methods that may have worked well are now outdated and will fail to effectively convert customers. The marketing industry’s consistent ebb and flow means copywriters need to find and creatively draft content that helps brands and businesses stand out from their competition.

Here are some examples of copywriting trends to keep an eye out for in 2022:

1. Know the Importance of SEO

Five years ago, copywriters could get away with knowing less about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) than other marketing professionals; this is no longer the case. SEO evolves each year, and with key changes to Google’s search engine algorithm having been implemented last year, the focus is no longer on the quantity of content being produced but on its quality.

Going into 2022, copywriters should focus on creating authoritative content that seeks to solve the pain points of a brand’s customer base. Unique content disseminated via high-quality sites is a sure-fire way to improve your brand’s SEO-friendly content. Gone are the days of just slapping random keywords on a page hoping something sticks. Today’s algorithms are far more complex. In order to get ahead, copywriters need to get creative. Google maintains that they seek to reward great, quality content, making talented copywriters more necessary than ever.

2. Pay Heed to AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Machine Learning

Creatively-minded professionals, like copywriters or marketers, may not think they need to worry about their jobs being taken over by “robots.” Regardless, technology has advanced to the point where that may not be closer to the truth down the road. AI and machine learning are rapidly evolving. AI chatbots have become a familiar addition to many business websites. Content written by AI still falls short. AI-generated written content is often nonsensical and is likely still a few years away from being indistinguishable from content written by humans. There is still room for creative content-creation by flesh-and-bone human beings, but those human beings would be well-advised not to discount the rise of AI.

If a business is looking to improve the use of AI in content, copywriters should look to improve the scripts and interpersonal language used by AI, such as chatbots. This is to emulate human interaction and intelligence better when customers quickly answer their questions. Even if customers know they’re interacting with a bot, they don’t always want the interaction to feel robotic.

3. Nurture and Continue to Engage With Current Customers

Marketers know that retaining current customers is more cost-effective than reeling in new ones. Consistently producing high-quality and engaging written content can translate into upsells and new customer referrals. If marketers haven’t hopped on the email newsletter train yet, they should as soon as possible, beginning with converting social media followers to email subscribers. Copywriters can then engage with those converted customers on a more personalized level, retaining them in the process.

When considering what type of copy resonates with customers, it helps to look inward. As copywriters, we know what sounds forced or manufactured. When content isn’t authentic, it doesn’t resonate as well with readers. Current customers who have enjoyed your content in the past and continue to follow your business deserve to have consistently authentic and personalized content. Meeting their expectations will offer your business greater engagement, conversion, and longevity going forward.

4. Personal and Interactive Content That Converts

Along with highly personal content, interactive content will continue to be popular with consumers in 2022. For example, integrating items like surveys, quizzes, or gamified content on your website will set it apart from sites with less interactive components that seek merely to inform, rather than engage. As consumer markets have advanced over the past few years, gamified content has become a popular way for businesses to grow their target market. This trend won’t be going away anytime soon, and some more creative copywriters may even find a specialized niche in creating high-quality interactive content for brands moving forward into 2022.

Could your business’ copy use a tune-up? Familiarizing yourself with what’s new and emerging in copywriting will allow your business to always be on the cutting edge of engagement and brand marketing, consistently converting and building a base of loyal fans.

The post Copywriting Trends of 2022 with OtterPR’s Sam Johnson appeared first on SiteProNews.

Be Seen, Be Heard -11 Steps to Video Marketing

posted on February 17, 2022


Today’s audience is more savvy and more difficult than ever to market to and may not think your cute or funny ad is that cute or funny. On the flip side, consumers are reading less as the screens are considerably smaller and watching more. Information is prepackaged for them, and when the video is done right, it is easy to understand.

With the high cost and singular distribution of TV, until recently, video marketing had been standardized; a 30-second commercial that was either cute or funny in attempts to get the word out about your product or service. Millions are spent on commercials every year, including writers to compose brilliant scripts, actors to get the point across, and directors to mold the idea into reality, and so on. Sometimes the hard work and money spent pay off, but other times the audience is not affected (and you end up with a less than viral commercial).

You can have an effective video to reach your target audience within a surprisingly reasonable budget. The new digital age of marketing is all about storytelling – explainer videos are perfect for this.

So how do you tell your story? Because so many videos are now battling to get the most views, brands and marketers need to come up with new ideas to make their videos stand head and shoulders above the competition. It’s not easy to make an appealing explainer video, but by following these simple steps, you will be able to keep your audience interested while reaching a wider demographic at the same time.

Here are 11 proven components to effectively tell your story:

1. What are your marketing objectives and who are you trying to reach?

These questions apply to any marketing initiative, but for video, these questions will determine what kind of video you want to create:

  • Are you looking to increase sales by targeting millennials? Promote a lifestyle, a meaning, and escapism that can give them goosebumps.
  • Are you looking to educate current customers on how to use your product? Create their emotional connection to the product, helping you establish trust.

Whatever the goals are, make sure you think about those first; a video that is produced with no goal in mind makes it much harder to measure return on investment.

2. What is the story your business tells?

While you don’t need to reprise â€œThe Epic Split,” there should be some type of narrative arc to your video.

It can be as simple as a tour of your facility where you make your product or as complicated as that vampire musical you always wanted to make. What matters is the video needs a beginning, a middle, and an end.

3. Demonstrate, Don’t Explain

Ironically, one of the worst things you can do with an explainer video is the actual explaining. Many people misjudge this medium and think that all they need is one person standing in front of the camera talking. Just like if you were making a feature film, the intention is to show, not tell. Instead of having one person explaining all the way through the video, it is much more appealing to have someone demonstrating what they are talking about. If you are trying to explain how a product works, then a video demonstration is one of the most effective ways to show how good your product is.

4. If You Can, Use Genuine Reactions

Quite often, with explainer videos, actors are used to posing as general members of the public. This is something that is alarmingly easy to spot, which is why it is much better to use authentic reactions. If you are thinking of using real people for your demonstration, it is always best to use as many as possible and over a wide demographic. This way, you will be able to illustrate that your product is suitable for everyone.

5. What do you want people to do? What is your call to action?

So the viewer loved your video. Now what? You need to present them with a clear action at the end of your video, as well as in the text surrounding it (for example, the description section on YouTube). If you like them to sign up for your email newsletter, tell them. If you want them to post the video on Facebook to share with their friends, tell them.

6. Do you think we’re done? Optimize your video.

Although there are too many different ways to optimize your video to go into detail in this blog post, video is a perfect way to take advantage of search engine optimization and social media. There are techniques and strategies which include keyword research and video sitemaps. To learn more about video optimization and SEO, check out this YouTube SEO guide.

7. Use Social Media

When you have put your video online, it is always important to spread the word through social media. Instead of pointing out that it is an explainer video, it often helps to mention the nature of the demonstration. Also, make sure that you use hashtags and mentions to increase the number of people who share the link.

8. Don’t Make Advertisements

Nowadays, audiences install ad blockers on their computers and skip through all ads possible. They do not want to feel as if they are being sold to because they will just move on.

Make sure to create a compelling story. You want to keep your viewers watching by indirectly selling your brand and company. Viewers want to see stories, not ads.

9. Make Sequels

Don’t just stop at one video. In order to keep your viewers engaged, make short and continuous videos so that your viewers will want to come back to your channel to watch more. Making sequels will allow you to further introduce the viewer to your brand.

10. Connect With Comments

After you have posted a video, pay attention to viewer comments. This will help you determine the success of a video, what works and what does not.

You should be thinking and acting based on viewer debate. The Brand – Old Spice had its views skyrocket after they customized their videos based on viewer-submitted questions. Their favored viral video – “Smell Like A Man, Man” is still being viewed today.

11. Never Restrict Access

Launch your viral campaign without any barriers.

Viewers do not want to have to register in order to view a video. It takes too much time and will only discourage the viewer from watching the video. People do not want to work hard to watch a short video.

Final Thoughts

With the right video marketing strategy, you can convince visitors to buy your product or service. We are visual creatures. To hit the rock bottom and attract that engagement (ultimately leading to sales), take your time to research how you can tie your brand into a powerful story. Audiences are smarter than ever today but also more passionate about the people and products they connect with. When you make a truthful connection, you make a new customer. So think about the stories and experiences your company wants to share. Chances are there is an effective, engaging video in there just ready to be made!

The post Be Seen, Be Heard -11 Steps to Video Marketing appeared first on SiteProNews.

How (and Why) to Use Illustrations and Designs to Market Your Products & Service

posted on February 16, 2022


As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. But can a picture lead to a thousand conversions? Well, it’s hard to say. What is clear, however, is that a product or service accompanied by an illustrated design can lead to a higher conversion rate and better sales. 

The bottom line is that designs and illustration are vital marketing tools. How you use them can determine whether or not they take your sales to new heights. When done right, a small business can stand out from its competitors by properly utilizing illustrations—in fact, illustrations could be the missing piece in your business’ marketing strategy. 

Still unsure whether illustrations are needed in your marketing plan? Below, I’ve put together a case for including illustrations in your small business marketing today. 

Marketing Illustrations 101

Despite what some might believe, art and business are not natural opposites. Often, art can enhance a business and improve its relationship with its customer base and the broader market. In fact, 80% of small-to-medium sized business owners agree that graphic design is “important” for their business’ success. 

Marketing illustrations can take various forms. Rather than static JPEG images and simple banner designs, marketing illustrations can also include or consist of:

  • Original or stock photography
  • GIFs and memes
  • Videos
  • Charts and visual data
  • Original graphics

Illustrations and other design elements help brands form a coherent brand image and style that lets consumers form deep, memorable connections with companies. The operative term here is “coherent”—unless your image is consistent across your media assets, your brand can lose its ability to be recognized, thereby defeating the purpose of your design altogether. 

In short, there’s a right way and a wrong way to incorporate illustrations and designs into your marketing strategy. Below, I’ll provide some tips on how to do it correctly. 

How to Create Marketing Illustrations that Convert

The good news is that your illustration techniques don’t have to be particularly innovative or cutting edge. You also don’t have to have the talent of Charles Schultz or Claude Monet to get the job done. Rather, basic computer skills and an eye for a good design is all you need. Below, I’ve listed a few simple illustrator-inspired steps to creating marketing illustrations.

Choose Your Brand Colors

The first step is to settle on a single color or a basic color scheme that will represent your brand. Many major brands are easily recognizable by virtue of their brand colors. For instance, Coca-Cola is known for its red branding whereas Starbucks is green and Facebook is blue. 

Note that different colors elicit different emotions. Although there aren’t any hard and fast rules regarding color-emotion associations, many consumers make the following instinctive connections:

  • Yellow: Optimism, warmth, hunger
  • Orange: Friendly, cheerful, confidence
  • Red: Bold, exciting, youthful
  • Purple: Creative, wise, imaginative
  • Blue: Trust, strength, dependability
  • Green: Peaceful, healthful, growth-oriented
  • Silver: Balanced, calm, peaceful 

It’s important that you select your color(s) carefully, and to not deviate from your chosen color patterns after they’ve been selected. You can confuse your customer base if you step outside your color scheme after it’s already been established as part of your brand.

Play Around in Canva

You don’t need costly SaaS solutions like the Adobe Creative Cloud suite in order to create illustrations. Although Adobe Illustrator and InDesign are excellent resources, simpler free-to-use software such as Canva are oftentimes superior for beginners or non-experts. 

Once you’ve created a Canva account here, you can click the purple “Create a Design” button in the top-right corner to get started illustrating. You can either start from scratch and add shapes and visual elements using the left side panel, or begin from a pre-made template.

My best advice is to play around with services such as Canva to see where your ideas take you. Make a first attempt at a logo, a social media banner, or perhaps a branded infographic if you work with hard data or numerical figures. Ensure that you keep your colors and brand images consistent across all of these assets. 

Seek Inspiration From Other Illustrations

If you need a little extra illustration design inspiration, I recommend checking out top-rated submissions on art community websites such as DeviantArt or ArtStation. There you will find thriving communities of amateur and professional designers alike who have large libraries of illustrations that can inspire your own work.

Seek Feedback On Your Marketing Illustration

Sure, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, poor designs do exist and they can negatively impact your brand’s reputation regardless of how highly you might think of it. 

Before going live with any logo or illustration, I would recommend checking in with the /r/Logo_Critique Reddit community (“subreddit”). Simply make a free Reddit account and post on this subreddit with an attached version of your design (it doesn’t necessarily have to be a logo). Make sure you keep an open mind and remain receptive to constructive criticism. If community members suggest you revise your illustration, take the advice on the chin and get back to work. 

Why Utilize Marketing Illustrations?

In today’s market, brands need to go the extra mile to stand out. A memorable illustration or design can help build your brand’s personality so that it relates more intimately with your audience. Without original designs or brand elements, it’s much more difficult to separate your brand from others’. 

In fact, a recent study found that most consumers actively seek out products from brands that have visually appealing content. This is because, now more than ever, customers are drawn to companies that can tell a brand story. Perhaps unsurprisingly, nearly two-thirds (65%) of marketing executives agree that visual assets are essential to brand storytelling. 

Therefore, if you aren’t creating eye-catching illustrations and visual elements as part of your brand strategy, you’re bleeding sales. 

Putting Together a Winning Strategy

To truly stand out from your peers, a simple Canva illustration won’t suffice. For a more memorable and unique brand image, you should consider hiring professional graphic illustrators. With their assistance, you can put together a unique and captivating brand identity that will not only bring in new customers, but also keep them coming back thanks to its recognizability.

The post How (and Why) to Use Illustrations and Designs to Market Your Products & Service appeared first on SiteProNews.

7 Major Things Ignored While Planning a Business

posted on February 10, 2022


Planning a business takes a great deal of care and attention to detail. It is easy to skip a few steps or ignore something significant if you rush to get your business going. Any one of these omissions could turn your business into a failure before it has even started. Here are 7 significant things ignored when planning a business that can result in failure.

1. Failing to Do a Business Plan

Unless you write a business plan, you will be unable to assess the viability of your new business, let alone whether or not it would be profitable. There are several components of a good business plan, most of which are mentioned below. A good business plan is the foundation of your business blueprint: your justification for starting the business, how it is to be developed and its ultimate objectives.

If you are constructing a piece of furniture, you need a plan to follow. A list of materials and how they are to be put together is crucial. You will likely use this plan to establish whether or not it is cheaper to buy the piece or make it yourself. The same approach applies to planning a business. You need to define a course of events from concept to completion. You need to evaluate your cost and establish whether or not you need financing. If so, you will have to present your business plan to prospective lenders such as your bank.

2. Ignoring Your Financial Planning

Financial planning is a critical aspect of a business plan. Therefore, you must consider the following:

  1. Raw materials and any employee costs
  2. Profitable selling prices or fees for goods or services
  3. Projected income over specified time periods

– and more. Check over your initial business plan and the cost of each step.

Image courtesy of Pexels

Many people who are starting a new business fail to take financial planning seriously until they circumstances force them to do so. Every new business needs a cash flow projection, particularly if you are looking for financing. You will have to assess your income and expenses. Also, you have to be able to present a projected balance sheet. You must prove that your business is worth investing in, and that you can repay any business loan offered.

3. Ignoring Market Research

Before you do anything else, you must make sure there is a market for your product or service. Many businesses fail because people have ignored market research and end up finding that they have no customers or clients to sell to. You can easily avoid this. Simply carry out some market research – this can often be done online. Market research is a critical aspect of planning a business, no matter what your business is offering.

Check out forums and social media. Ask “what if you had…†and look for responses. Check out Amazon for products similar to yours, and then look at their reviews and questions asked by users. This may give you ideas on how to adapt your products to provide solutions to the issues people are having with existing products.

You could use a Facebook Business Page to present an online questionnaire. Design the questions to find out the potential responses to your new product. Never ask for personal details – just questions that can help you analyze the potential market for your product or service. It is absolutely crucial to ensure that your business has a market and that you have people interested in your type of product.

4. Ignoring the Competition

Choosing to ignore the competition when planning a business is a fatal error. If your competitors are selling the same products or services as you, how do you intend to compete with them? If your business plan and financial analysis say you must sell at $20 and your competition is selling the same at $16, who will they end up buying from? You see why ignoring the competition should be avoided at all cost, right?

Another aspect of the competition is the market saturation of your area. Before even considering starting up a business locally, you must check out who else is offering your product or service in your projected geographical area. Find out who those businesses are, what they charge and whether or not there is any possibility of you competing with them at their price level.

Also, keep in mind customers tend to be faithful. If your competition offers a good and reliable service, why should they switch to you – unless you are undercutting them with the same or better service? You have to offer an excellent reason for them to switch to you.

That could be a price advantage, a better product or a more comprehensive service – or even all of these. You could offer better guarantees or warranties, more design or higher specification or some other reason to persuade them to buy from you. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes: “What would someone have to offer you in order to persuade you to choose another supplier?â€Â

5. Ignoring Online Marketing

Ignoring online marketing when planning a business is a cardinal sin in this electronic age. Many people – in fact, likely most – will look online for what they are seeking. Whether they’re searching for a service or a product, they will check Google Local for businesses that provide them with the desired means.

Many will go straight to Amazon for their product needs! You must get registered on Amazon and get your own Facebook business page. Advertise on Facebook and sell on Amazon. Increasing numbers of people go online to find what they want.

Many people use Amazon and get free delivery in many cases (without paying for Amazon Prime.) They can check out the reviews for their product and make a purchasing decision based on these reviews.

You don’t need to have a website, although that would be beneficial. What will help you is to:

  • Get a Facebook page for your business.
  • Get your products offered for sale on Amazon.
  • Register with other social media such as LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter: Tweet new products or updates to your Twitter followers.
  • Run a blog – there are free blogging applications available for you to use. You can keep in touch with customers and clients by blogging about fresh news, special deals, and other helpful information.

Never underestimate the power of the internet. You can be sure your competition is using it.

6. Ignoring SEO Techniques in Internet Marketing

If you decide to use a website or blog to promote your business, then you need to understand some basic SEO principles. The focus of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) lies on to the improvement of your website design and ensures that your site’s content is listed on Google as well as other search engines. Keywords are essential, but you should not overuse them. When planning or running a business, you should be able to elaborate about your passion for said business and draw your audience in this way.

SEO is necessary, and Google itself will teach you a lot about it. Check out the Google Webmasters Support site to learn more. It is not difficult to follow, but if you feel you need help with SEO, then include some expenditure on it in your business plan.

Here Are Some SEO Techniques That Should Not Be Ignored:

Use of Keywords

Google will use its LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) algorithm to establish the theme of your web content. This tool analyzes the vocabulary used on each web page to decide for itself what that page is about.

However, it would help if you never write for search engines. Write for your readers, and Google will decide itself what you are writing about. Excessive use of keywords gets punished, and in many cases, all you need is about 1% keyword density. If you keep using the same keywords repeatedly, you won’t just annoy Google but also your readers.

Social Media Connects

Never ignore the power of social media. If you don’t have a Facebook business page, then get one. Also, make sure you have a Google+ page. Not only does social media connect with an ever-increasing number of potential clients or customers, but they can also connect with themselves.

People talk about what they see and also Retweet or Share specific posts that interest them. Not only can you use social media to connect with people interested in your product or services, but they can share also that information with others and vice versa: have your content go viral and you will receive a massive amount of free advertising.

Not just that, but make sure you have your website links on your posts and tweets. You may then get links passing all around the web – that is impressive SEO!

These are just two SEO techniques that are used to ensure that your web pages are displayed when potential customers are searching for products or services that you can offer. Never ignore SEO – but use it wisely to make better use of what it can offer.

7. Ignoring Financing

Ignoring financing can end your business before it even begins. You must make sure you have enough money to start. If you need to borrow funds, then your business plan must be good enough to persuade banks that you are a reasonable risk. Only ever get financing from banks or recognized business angels or financiers. High-interest short-term loans can result in you losing everything.

That’s why your business plan should be adequately prepared – even if you have to pay to have it done. Financing is crucial, but never borrow more than you need to get started. Check whether you qualify for any “startup†government business loans. There are of course other ways to acquire financing for a new business: Check here for some more ideas.

When planning a business, it is vital to give yourself the best possible chance of success. Your plan should certainly take into account the reasons why some businesses have failed, but it should also consider why many have succeeded. Avoid failure and follow proven success.

The 7 tips discussed in this article should help you avoid the major factors ignored by those who failed, but they should also point you in the right direction for success.

The post 7 Major Things Ignored While Planning a Business appeared first on SiteProNews.

What Makes Promotional Products a Vital Part of Every Marketing Plan?

posted on February 10, 2022


It’s hard to keep up with the latest fashion trends and stay on top of promotional products. It becomes even more challenging when we’re looking at markets that change from high demand to out of fashion within a blink of an eye while already having the next released lined up. It takes some serious strategic planning in order for companies to be successful with their campaigns despite the constantly changing market requirements.

Finding the most suitable promo items to display your brand name might appear like a back-breaking endeavor. The best way of finding the right pieces for you and your target crowd, is to keep the following in mind: Consider which items customers keep on hand and use regularly because they’ll be more likely than anyone else who will benefit from these promotional products.

What Exactly Are Promotional Products?

Take a peek around, and you’re bound to find a promotional product or even a promotional product supplier within proximity. These marketing products are highly popular in modern culture, giving firms an opportunity to achieve significant exposure at a relatively low cost. Handing out these nifty items is incredibly effective because the receiver will be reminded of your business each time they use your little gift.

Modern corporations and other entities have found how to strategically utilize promotional products to achieve major advantages in branding, marketing, and employee engagement. Brands may use promotional products to engage with their core demographic on an emotional and tactile level. They can provide giveaways that make people feel valued while also providing something substantial in return. Promotions create powerful memories that can last years.

Delivering wholesale promotional products has many different forms, whether it be giveaways at concerts, limited-edition products handed out online or through social media channels, or premiums offered during meetups in exchange for content creation. Giving away promotional merchandise is an excellent method to keep your company’s brand in the forefront of existing and prospective customers’ minds. By following this guide you can determine the best course of action to publicize your company with promotional products.

Will Promotional Products Have Any Effect?


Promotional products are the best way to get your brand name and message out there. They’re cost-effective, offering an enviably low “cost per impression”, which means you can use them without breaking the bank.

Brand Association & Awareness

Promotional items are a sure-fire way to market your products and services with little effort. They provide an instant advertisement for you; if placed on an item that’s used several times a day, i.e. a nice pen, the repeated exposure to your logo will create brand recognition. Reaching out to the best merchandise suppliers is a solid way to procure the most suited range of products.

Lead Generation

Promotional products are a fabulous way to strengthen customer loyalty and create more leads. Make your brand known as an authority in your niche. This will help you compete with other businesses by strengthening bonds with clients who may be interested in working with you down the line when they are in need of another product or service from you.

Which Products Work Splendidly When Branded with Your Company’s Logo and Given Away at Events?

Custom Keychains

A custom keychain is an excellent way to make your keys more accessible and functional. They are important for everyday carry, as you wear them on a ring that can link with other items or people in order to protect yourself from harm when out in public places. Keychains have become popular over time because not only do they provide style but also great functionality which makes this accessory very sought-after.

Car Air Fresheners

Those who drive frequently can benefit from having a custom car air freshener in their vehicle. The essence of these items is designed to make drivers feel less stressed, which leads them to live longer lives! You might find yourself feeling more at ease when you enter your car if no odors are coming out or lingering around due to the pleasant scent this product produces.

Face Masks

When it comes to various types of face masks, many are currently becoming highly popular. They are fairly fitted and may be disposed after usage. Such protective covers aid in preventing big particle droplets containing viruses and germs from entering your nose and mouth. Purchasing such face masks from promotional products wholesale suppliers would undoubtedly help your marketing efforts – especially during a pandemic.


Keeping diaries is one of the best ways to stay organized and productive during the day. It will help your clients measure their productivity and prepare for future tasks by tracking what’s happening on a day to day basis. They surely will love this new time management tool while also being reminded of your business each time they use it to take notes or look something up.


Notebooks are not for casual scribbling, but rather for storing meaningful information. You may simply transform your note-taking habits into a practice of self-expression to help you discover your creative skills. They may be used as a private journal regularly to record good quotations and messages for oneself. You can effortlessly transport them in your bags wherever you go. Any notion or remark that comes to mind can be promptly jotted down in them.

Ballpoint Pens

Ballpoint pens are an excellent approach to show your appreciation and build a great relationship with your clientele. You may increase the value of your investment by imprinting your company’s logo on each pen. They offer a smooth flow of ink and also extend a great writing experience.

Custom Cosmetic Bags

Cosmetic bags enable you to arrange all of your makeup, toiletries, and travel-friendly supplies into one convenient location. There are several types of such products in the market to meet all of your needs. If you believe cosmetics to be your best mate, then these personalized cosmetic bags should be equally significant to you right now.

USB Flash Drives

USB flash drives are used to transfer data between systems, store data, and backup data. Using them regularly will leave a positive image and assist in reinforcing your message in the minds of potential clients. These items are compact and work with all laptops and PCs. These little gadgets are resistant to dirt, shocks, and markings. They are waterproof and do not crack when dropped even from a great height.


The biggest advantage of wireless earbuds is that there is no cable that could get tangled up. They are in considerable demand as promotional goods, and advertisers use them to highlight their products. The imprinted brand name or emblem assists in creating brand awareness.


Promotional items are extremely effective at “targeting” your unique market. You may choose from a wide range of solutions that will “resonate” with an audience that has similar interests. Sticking with tried-and-true promotional materials is always a smart option. They’re always a hit and typically extremely affordable.

The post What Makes Promotional Products a Vital Part of Every Marketing Plan? appeared first on SiteProNews.

Developing a Content Marketing Strategy – Step-By-Step Guide

posted on February 7, 2022


Grow Your Business with this Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing benefits are numerous, but only if you are strategic in your planning. Some of these benefits are improved brand awareness, engagement, lead generation, online reputation, organic traffic, and a company’s digital presence.

But most of all, content marketing is not a one-off transaction that gets you temporary customers.

It is a long-term strategy that works to attract and build lasting, meaningful connections with your audience.

So, what is content marketing?

It is the practice of creating and then distributing content in videos, blog posts, educational articles, or how-to tutorials through various marketing channels like Facebook and LinkedIn. One content marketing example is L’Oreal Paris Signature Faces Virtual Makeup content marketing that puts the needs of its customers at the forefront.

Usually, the primary goal in content marketing is to communicate your brand message with your audience. With that in mind, follow these steps to build your content marketing guide.

Step 1: Determine Your Objectives

A plan without an objective is like a blind man that scorns a guide. So start by determining what you need from your content marketing. For instance, do you think blog posts or a podcast will better reach and connect with your target audience?

When you look at your customer reviews, are most of your clients asking for tutorials or webinars? These and other questions will help you determine the primary objective of your content marketing, after which you can create lower-level objectives.

Once you know what you want, determine how your needs will fit into your overall digital marketing strategy – if you already have one. Also, formulate KPIs to help keep you on track once you have a content marketing timeframe.

Step 2: Assemble a Team of Professionals

One of the most significant content marketing principles to follow is to hire a team of professionals in the field. Whether you choose to get them in-house or through outsourcing or freelancing, ensure you have a good team of content marketers.

Content marketing is a profession of skill. This means that you cannot rely on using any Tom, Dick, and Harry. Instead, work on finding individuals that have a proven track record of getting results from their content.

They don’t have to be viral sensations. But they need to know how to get your name out there. And if your business cannot handle the cost of hiring many experts, get one to manage and supervise the rest of the team.

Step 3: Get to Know Your Audience

You have your objectives and professionals. Now it’s time to know your audience. Find out what they need, how they think, their struggles, who they are, what they like, their social and working status – you get the point. Seek to know everything about your potential customers.

Why is this important? The more you know about your customers, the easier it will be to tailor your products and services to fit their needs. You can provide solutions they actually can use and not what you think they want to use.

You will get the best results with market research banked on accurate data. Also, consider the places your target audience goes to find information. This will help you to formulate your content marketing ideas. For instance, if most of your target audience are busy individuals, you can convert your blog posts into podcasts.

Step 4: Start to Plan Your Strategy

Content marketing for small businesses should start with blog posts because they create a platform for gaining experience. Blog posts are also excellent because you can repurpose the content for other forms of content marketing like podcasts or YouTube videos.

This is also the stage where you start to build your brand message into your content. Create a purpose statement centered on ways you serve your customers and meet their needs. The purpose statement should carry meaning in a short, enticing format.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Step 5: Create a Schedule for Publishing Content

One other key to success in content marketing is consistency. Be consistent in the message you share with your target audience, the amount of content you produce, and the number of times you publish your content. Consistency shows your reliability.

Additionally, take advantage of promotional avenues to further expand your target reach. An excellent example is the use of influencer marketing. Another example that works is email marketing. If you don’t have the budget for these two methods, consider inviting a guest to blog on your site – or blog on authority sites.


Remember, nothing is set in stone. The idea is to build and rebuild until you find something that works best for your business. Keep in mind that content marketing helps with creating a long-term foundation for your business. So don’t expect immediate results.

But if you do it right, you will get the best results, eventually. In the meantime, you can conduct a competitor analysis to determine the strategies they are using and the type of content they are sharing.

You can then use this information to produce more interesting and relatable content for your audience. Fill in any gaps you identify. On that note, do you know of any gaps content marketers are yet to fill in their strategies? Let us know in the comments below.

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Demystifying Marketing Automation Myths and Illusions

posted on February 5, 2022


As per the Social Media Today’s 2019 State of Marketing Automation Survey, 75 percent of all businesses and companies have marketing automation tools in place. Marketing automation has led to a 14.5 percent increase in sales productivity. Moreover, it has led to a 77 percent boost in terms of conversions.

Because of these figures and the convenience that marketing automation offers, 91 percent of its users have claimed that marketing automation tools are crucial to the success of their online marketing efforts.

The Importance of Marketing Automation

Marketing is one of the key operations of any organization, big or small. It needs to be streamlined and coordinated with all other aspects of a business to ensure that the desired outcomes and results are achieved. Whether it’s email marketing, lead generation, or landing page creation, launching a successful marketing strategy will be difficult without the right tools in place.

For bigger companies, this proves to be more of an issue. Sometimes organizations no longer have the capacity to manage 1:1 connections with their customers because of the volume. This is where automation tools step in. They can streamline and organize operations and cater to customers’ needs.

Today, more and more businesses are integrating and adopting marketing automation tools into their strategies. It is perceived that this trend will continue to rise in the coming years. However, there are still many myths and illusions surrounding the topic, which has led to many misunderstandings about how advantageous marketing automation software really is. Here are the seven most common marketing automation myths and illusions debunked.

The 7 Most Common Marketing Automation Myths

1. Marketing Automation Tools Are Just for Sending Automated Messages and Emails

Many automation tools are designed to send automated messages and emails, but that’s not all that they’re good for. Today’s tools can now measure campaign results, streamline paid advertising efforts, promote videos, and develop other marketing materials. You can find appropriate workflow tools for all of your marketing processes.

2. Marketing Automation Tools Are Impersonal and Robotic

The tone of your marketing materials can be modified and adjusted to be warmer and more welcoming to audiences. This entirely depends on your copy and branding. To avoid sounding impersonal and robotic, personalize your marketing materials in a way that your audience would resonate with.

For example, you can send highly targeted content to your customers. Your customers would then encounter content or material that they’re genuinely interested in, which makes the experience more personalized.

3. Marketing Automation Tools Fix All the Gaps in Your Marketing Processes

While marketing automation tools have many benefits, they are not a cure-all for all of your marketing issues. You and your team need to set aside time to learn how to use your marketing automation tools and see how they can work for your marketing processes. Marketing automation tools are, essentially, meant to make existing processes more convenient and efficient. Like any other tool, you must have a clear view of what you want to accomplish with it because if you don’t, you won’t be able to reap any of its benefits.

4. Once the Marketing Automation Process Is Set, You Can Ignore It

As mentioned, marketing automation tools are not the fix-all solutions to all of your marketing issues. You and your team still need to put in the work for your workflow tools to function as they’re intended to.

This can be seen, for example, in content production. You would still need to ensure that you have a sufficient amount of content ready for publishing or distribution, which means you would need to conceptualize, design, and plan out content using a content calendar. Without anything to post, your marketing automation tool won’t be able to do its job.

5. Automated Marketing Efforts Appear Spammy to Customers

It’s understandable how automated marketing efforts may come off as spammy. However, you and your team can calibrate your automation tools in such a way that you provide your audiences with valuable content. Remember, consistency is key, and you must produce and distribute content steadily.

Spamminess is usually encountered in email marketing, and it could be detrimental to your marketing efforts. Automated marketing efforts require targeting and segmenting your audience and engaging with them meaningfully to help your company grow. Additionally, you would need to create a timeline for your emails so that you’re not peppering your audience with too many of them. This could lead to your emails getting bumped into the spam pile, rendering your marketing efforts ineffective.

6. Marketing Automation Tools Are Very Expensive and Not for Small Businesses

This myth might have been true during the earlier days of marketing automation. In the past, marketing automation tools were primarily geared toward companies with a big budget.

Nowadays, however, there are many tools and solutions available on the market for companies and budgets of all sizes. Less expensive tools offer the same functionality as their pricier counterparts, and some tools are priced at a use-case basis to provide companies with more flexibility.

3. Marketing Automation Tools Are Very Technical, So Most Marketers Can’t Handle Them

Today, vendors provide marketing automation solutions that are simple and user-friendly and can be navigated by those with basic knowledge. Marketing automation solutions can now be seamlessly integrated into your existing processes, and there are those that don’t involve a steep learning curve.

Marketing Automation for All Businesses

Marketing automation tools have a wide variety of benefits for all organizations. They help organize the way that you work, and they make your marketing processes more efficient. To get optimal results, learn as much as you can about your workflow tools, consistently monitor your efforts, and align them with the marketing goals you’re trying to achieve.

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How to Find Journalists’ Requests

posted on January 3, 2022


Whether you’re a fledgling entrepreneur, an established business owner, or simply a thought leader looking to generate more press coverage about you or your brand, knowing how and where to find journalists’ requests for media is crucial to gaining valuable PR. The good news is that you don’t even need to necessarily be ready — or have the extra capital needed — for an all-out PR blitz, as finding the right journalist at the right time can even lend you a brief mention in an article for a journalist’s media pipeline.

Journalists will routinely post calls for stories they plan to publish that require an expert opinion or credible source when these are not immediately available from within their own network. These are especially common for publications or articles that are centered around an extremely niche topic, which can quickly translate to organic PR coverage for entrepreneurs or their business’s brand by highlighting you as a relevant expert within your specific field through a short quote or backlinks to your website.

Typically, most requests made by journalists or reporters will have a set of guidelines to follow when responding to their request and tend to be time-sensitive depending on the journalist’s deadline, meaning the sooner you respond to their request with credible and relevant information, the better chances you have of landing yourself organic media coverage.

Thankfully, there are plenty of services and platforms out there to help journalists market these requests and that will help you find them.

Use Media Inquiry Services to Search for Requests Made by Journalists

As the name suggests, media inquiry services are platforms through which journalists can make inquiries or requests for a relevant source of information on a specific piece of media they intend to publish. These allow journalists to find you rather than you trying to cold pitch to them for coverage by sending their request to a larger network of potential sources, or people who can direct them towards a credible information source. Some of these services are targeted towards more specific audience demographics or geographical locations, so it’s important that you know precisely who the request is targeting, what for, and why.

Some of the more popular media inquiry services include:

Each of these services operates using its own unique platform, so be sure to familiarize yourself with each to see which ones are best suited to your media and PR goals.


Short for “Help A Reporter Out,” HARO is one of the simplest and most effective ways journalists use to seek out content to report, and it’s completely free to use. All you need to do as a potential journalistic source is to sign up for an account and select which types of requests you wish to receive from reporters. You’ll then receive emails up to three times each day with requests made by journalists through HARO’s service.

The requests typically have everything the article will be about and what the journalist needs, including deadlines, editorial/writing guidelines, and what outlet their coverage will be targeting. The requests you’ll find through HARO can vary between topics from gift bundle ideas for holidays to expert political or legal insight, self-care and beauty tips, and more, making it a great free service for entrepreneurs and business owners to utilize when looking for media coverage.

Google Alerts

Oftentimes when a certain story in media is still unfolding, journalists will include an email at the end of an article they publish on the topic that might include a line such as:

“Have you been impacted by X? Get in touch via this email”.

Sometimes, however, the inquiry for more information or additional interviews won’t be as explicit, but many editors and outlets will welcome guest pieces or independently-written opinion pieces by guest writers not directly associated with their publication related to a specific story in current news cycles. In these cases, setting up Google Alerts for certain keywords or phrases related to your industry and/or the story in question can be a great way to find and keep track of journalists’ requests pertaining to that story or industry. Doing so will allow you to respond to inquiries made by journalists or reporters much faster as those opportunities appear in real-time.

Twitter Hashtags

Unsurprisingly, an increasing number of journalists and reporters have begun to use Twitter more effectively in recent years by following trending hashtags pertaining to certain topics in news.

When they need a credible source to help craft or write a piece on that topic, they will sometimes post a tweet along with hashtags like “#JournoRequest” or “#PRrequest” which means you can search for these hashtags and respond to them accordingly. This is a great way to not only search for recent requests made by journalists, but also to stay updated on trending media topics relevant to you or your business, as well as to introduce yourself to a greater number of journalists you can then establish credible rapport with and begin building valuable relationships with them.

Responding to Requests Made by Journalists and Reporters

Whenever you find and read a particular request made by a journalist or reporter, you might initially feel that you or your brand can be the best match for them. The caveat here is that, if you feel this way, it’s likely that tens, dozens, or even hundreds of other potential contacts are thinking the exact same thing. As such, it’s your responsibility as a credible source to show the journalist why you are not only the right person to help write or comment on their story, but the best candidate to do so.

The first thing you’ll need to do is capture the journalist’s attention in your response to their inquiry. Perhaps the best way to do this is to craft your response to each request in the form of a short-form media pitch structured as follows:

  • In the first line of your response email, include your niche “hook” to keep their attention
  • A short paragraph outlining your personal “Who/What/Why”: who you are, what your experience was or is, and why you are the best fit for their request
  • A concise conclusion thanking the journalist for their time and consideration as well as your most updated contact information

Your pitch response to them shouldn’t be longer than 200-300 words total, and the bulk of the information you provide should be done in an easily readable bullet-point format. Remember that most journalists are looking for quotes from experts, so the more well-written and customized your response pitch is to them and their needs, the better your chances of getting selected will be.

Concluding Remarks

It’s worth noting that responding to requests and inquiries made by journalists is more a long-term strategy for gaining news coverage and media attention. You’ll undoubtedly have to read through dozens of requests that are irrelevant to you before you find one that is, and you’ll likely have to respond to just as many requests with custom, personalized pitches before you’re selected for one. This is what makes knowing and understanding how to navigate the ever-changing media landscape all the more important when finding where to look for journalists’ requests.

You should also keep in mind that while these requests can provide you opportunities for essentially free press coverage, you won’t be chosen unless your specific expertise can add value to a journalist’s own story. But by proving that you can do this through showcasing examples of prior writing that show journalists your relevance, and through including request searches into a part of your daily routine, you’re already giving yourself a greater opportunity to land more media placements at virtually no cost to you.

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How to Increase Referrals for Your Small Business

posted on December 29, 2021


Referrals are a powerful marketing tool for small businesses. Compared to other marketing channels, it is low-cost and provides better quality leads. According to a survey, 92% of customers in the USA trust referrals from people they know. Hence, if one of your customers talks about your business to their friends, they are likely to become your customer, too!

Along with all the benefits referral provides, it comes with its set of challenges. In this article, Voila Media Group lists the various components your small business needs to launch a successful referral program.

Create a Referral Plan

Just like any other business project, you need a plan for your referral program. Your plan should include the program’s eligibility, duration, incentive structure, and execution. You may need to allot some marketing budget towards promoting this offer online and offline. Additionally, everyone in your team needs to be aware of the intricacies of the program.

One of the common reasons for failure among referral programs is improper management and planning. To overcome this barrier, regularly track the program’s progress, get customer feedback, and be flexible in experimenting till you find the right balance.

Aim for Exceptional Customer Service

Your work doesn’t end when you have made a sale. If you want your customers to tell others about how amazing your product and service are, you first need to make them realize that.

Constantly be in contact with the customer post-sale, through emails, SMS, app notifications, etc. providing them offers and assistance. Additionally, make responding to customer queries a priority.

It is common for queries to be asked on social platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. Respond to these queries promptly and respectfully to create goodwill with your customers and build a trustworthy brand image online.

Go over and above to cater to your customer’s needs. Whether it be taking the initiative to pay for express delivery yourself, working on the weekend to complete an urgent request, or making time to attend client events. Think of the long term and how each of these actions can reward you with a loyal customer and numerous referrals.

Providing Incentive is Key

Did you know Paypal started a dual incentive referral program to get their product off the ground? The customer and the person referred received $20 to register on Paypal. Similar strategies have been followed by other prominent brands such as Tesla, Airbnb, T-Mobile, and more.

Yes, a customer has purchased a product from you, but when you ask them to refer, a common reaction is – What’s in it for me?

Providing an incentive on referrals increases the odds that a customer will do it. You can choose to give a common incentive for all or create a tier system with increasing rewards based on the number of referrals.

Depending on your business, choose the appropriate incentive, which can include:

  • Gift cards
  • Vouchers
  • In-store Credits
  • Special Discounts

Make the Process Easy

A simple referral process will lead to more referrals. You can have a referral tab on your website, using which customers can refer their friends in one simple click. Recognize your active customers and utilize app notifications, website pop-ups, and more to remind them of the rewards they can earn through your referral program.

Similarly in-store, instruct your team to hand out promotional materials such as cards, flyers, and coupons to customers with their purchase. These can simply be passed on to their friends and secure you a new customer.

Refer to Get Referred

Make it a habit to refer fellow businesses to your customers as this will lead to others doing the same for you. Moreover, you will also create a healthy network of connections through which you can grow your customer base.

Additionally, utilize existing online business referral platforms or join networking groups in your area. Creating a Business-to-Business (B2B) referral pipeline can be a great addition to your Business-to-Customer (B2C) efforts.

To launch a successful referral program, your best bet is to focus on constantly engaging with your customers, providing incentives based on their preferences, and having a streamlined method to make referrals.

The post How to Increase Referrals for Your Small Business appeared first on SiteProNews.

9 Coupon Marketing Strategies to Improve Your Results

posted on December 17, 2021


When buying items and services online, few people expect to pay full price. With so many merchants giving new customer discounts and digital coupons, there’s a good chance you’ll find a coupon code to use on your next online purchase.

Coupons and discounts are frequently used by retailers in their marketing efforts to promote sales conversion rates and client loyalty.

Consumers can’t resist the opportunity to pay less for a product they want to acquire, no matter what client group your firm targets or how exquisite the things you sell are.

You may improve sales while creating brand loyalty using a coupon marketing plan, among other things.

We’ll examine the specific actions you need to take to start using coupons in your marketing plan in this post.

Determine the Sort of Coupon You’ll be Using

Coupons are available in a multitude of formats and sizes. Despite the fact that they all work in the same way, the slight distinctions between each coupon type might have an impact on how customers perceive cashback and act subsequently.

Set a Percentage

A percentage discount on a product’s original price is the most typical coupon. According to research, “percentage off” coupons are the most popular coupon kind, with 74 percent of internet buyers preferring them.

Various Coupon Marketing Modes

Free Shipping

This form of discount reduces a purchase’s shipping expenses, which is the most common cause for customers abandoning their online shopping carts. Although this sample may not appear to be a standard coupon, it functions just as effectively.

If you haven’t previously, we recommend starting with a percentage-based coupon because it’s the most popular and easiest to use. Any of the other coupon kinds may be tested to discover which one converts the best and generates the highest average order value.

Promo Codes

Promo codes have grown in popularity as e-commerce has grown in prominence. This type of discount is easier for the client to complete at the point of sale than downloading a coupon.

These codes are usually applied during the checkout process and consist of a combination of brand-unique digits and letters. They can be one-time-use codes that are tailored for a specific user or a generic code that can be shared.

Automatically Applied Discounts

Automatically applied discounts are becoming more popular since the customer does not have to do anything to obtain a discount. These are effective for e-commerce businesses because they entice clients with a discount offer, which reduces shopping cart abandonment and churn rate.

Coupons That Can Be Downloaded

Consumers may get these sorts of vouchers from a variety of places. Customers can get coupons straight from a company’s website, via email, or through social media. Most of the time, these coupons can also be accessed via mobile devices.

Coupons on Mobile Devices

Mobile-only coupons are offered by e-commerce platforms that have incorporated mobile applications into their operations in order to boost sales in this channel.

How to Optimize Your Coupon Marketing Strategies

Coupons, when handled effectively, may contribute a significant amount of top-line income with only a minimal marketing budget. It comes at a price, but it pays off handsomely. Here are a few of the most significant advantages of implementing coupon campaigns into your marketing strategy.

1. Customers That Are Loyal Should Be Rewarded

You may and should utilize discounts to reward loyal consumers if you have a loyalty club.

As an example, if a consumer spends a specific amount on your site, you might reward them by giving them a discount ticket for their next purchase.

According to one study, 76 percent of buyers desire customized offers based on their previous purchases.

Offering incentives based on prior purchases is a terrific way to tailor offers for your subscribers.

2. Boost the Effectiveness of Your Referral Campaign

The majority of referral schemes are based on coupons and discounts. Existing customers and new acquisitions, or “friends,” are both eligible for referrals. Each person earns a coupon for completing a task.

An existing customer brings a new prospect into the business and gives them a coupon to use. The original customer receives a discount or incentive code that may be applied to their next order after the new prospect, now a customer puts in an order.

3. Obtain Feedback From Customers

“Get 10% off by taking a 5-minute survey!”

These brief surveys may help you improve your business in a variety of ways, and they’re worth far more than the 20% discount. This data, taken together, might help you create a far better experience and reduce your need for discounts in the future.

4. Include a Time Limit

“Order before December 25 at 12 p.m. for a 30% discount!”

The fear of missing out, or FOMO, is a powerful conversion motivator. Customers will be pushed to check out as a result of the time constraint. Make your window of opportunity as realistic as possible, but not so far into the future that it loses its usefulness.

5. Holidays Should be a Priority

You may help clients rejoice by using “Santa Claus” as a promo code for Christmas or “USA” for the 4th of July. Using popular culture in your marketing techniques is also more applicable and remembered. It’s a yearly campaign that may be tweaked to match your company’s demands.

6. Shopping Coupons for the First Time

The importance of first impressions cannot be overstated. I’m sure we all looked on the internet once in search of a warm welcome offer for a brand with which we’d never done business.

You can simply find a welcome offer on your website, whether you’re a new brand or wish to extend your customer base.

7. Existing Customers’ Referrals Should Be Rewarded

If you’re like most business owners, you understand the value of word-of-mouth marketing.

The issue is that few marketers incorporate a predictable and repeatable referral mechanism into their campaigns.

The figures couldn’t be more telling. According to research, 83% of happy consumers are likely to recommend items and services to others. However, just 29% of people really do.

Discounts are thus a strong incentive for customers to recommend their friends and family.

8. Larger Purchases Get Discounts

The more items you buy, the more money you’ll save!

This offer is quite prevalent in the fashion industry, especially for more expensive businesses who wish to entice customers to convert.

This method may also be used by B2B enterprises who wish to focus on a certain item. On a hierarchical level, consider it a pricing plan.

9. Provide Subscription Discounts

Customer retention may be improved in a variety of ways.

Consumers today prioritize convenience over anything else. And the sooner and easier they can obtain what they require, the better.

You may give a discount on your subscriptions to encourage prospects to pick a subscription over a one-time purchase.

Most businesses can afford to do so because they know it will boost their customer lifetime value (LTV) and allow them to return their investment in the long run.

Advantages of Coupon Marketing

Attracts the attention of customers

Discounts may be utilized to attract more people since people desire to buy things. If your offer is only valid for a few days, please make it clear that your reduced items are promoted. People will rush in to have a look if they know they only have a few days to complete the task.

Boosts Your Brand Reputation

A company’s image can be improved by providing discounts to specific groups, such as the elderly or the military. If a firm gives discounts to individuals in difficult circumstances or those who may face financial difficulties as a result of a lack of revenue, it is demonstrating that it is attempting to assist people. Because many people think of businesses as money-hungry, any deviation from this perception might help them improve their reputation.

Helps in Obtaining Sales Goals

Every week, month, quarter, or year, many businesses set sales goals. If a corporation is on the verge of missing such goals, discounts may be used to help the company meet or surpass its sales projections.

Increases the Amount of Space in Your Store

Discount codes allow your store to make room. Items that you don’t expect to sell may sit in your business for months. By lowering the price and making room for additional things, you increase your chances of selling them. Reduced products that you don’t intend to sell should be placed towards the front of your store to account for every customer.

Allow Customers to Select You Over the Competition by Making It Easy for Them to Do So

Discounts, according to studies, make it less likely for buyers to compare your products to those of other competitors. This will allow new customers to choose your products and offer you an advantage over your competitors.

The Bottom Line

Coupons are an appealing strategy to increase volume and sales. Including them in your marketing mix can help you swiftly grow your consumer base and temporarily boost your conversion rates. While there is no genuine substitute for delivering high-quality items at reasonable prices, coupons can help supplement such efforts when the competition heats up or consumer expectations demand it.

Because becoming hooked on couponing may be a highly pricey, unsustainable tactic that many businesses can’t afford, plan ahead and budget properly. Coupons alone will not help you establish brand equity, but combining a clever coupon strategy with a high-quality product can.

The post 9 Coupon Marketing Strategies to Improve Your Results appeared first on SiteProNews.

Want a Thriving Business? Focus on Negative Reviews!

posted on December 6, 2021


Most businesses strive to earn the best reviews possible, and it’s not hard to imagine why. The harsh reality about any business is that you can’t meet everyone’s criteria, and at some point, receiving negative criticism is inevitable. Most successful companies globally are also not immune to receiving low ratings and bad reviews from dissatisfied customers.

At first, negative reviews are considered bad for business, but since they’re inevitable, you can take advantage. Upgrade your business by improving your market strategy and working on the issues identified. In turn, this will attract consumers who value your services and products. In this article, we’ll show you how negative assessments can be used as a means to upgrade your brand.

Here are some of the tips you can follow;

1. Cultivate a Bond with Your Customers

When consumers research rankings for your business, they don’t expect to view five stars. It’s impractical to assume that a company will never come across a dissatisfied consumer or have an unpleasant comment.

Realistically, bad reviews create a bond between the company and its consumers. Additionally, a company with all five-star rankings will cause people to be skeptical because everyone knows that a company must have some dissatisfied customers.

When you experience negative criticism, consider it and recall that it will help build your company rather than negatively affect it. This supports your transparency and demonstrates your company’s positive reputation.

2. Strengthen Consumer Commitment

When a consumer posts a review, they mainly aim to share note-worthy content about what they came across. If a customer shares a negative piece of information, this gives you a chance to improve your weak areas and upgrade your advertising plans. In this way, you can bolster your consumer engagement and create a healthy relationship with your customers.

An added advantage of negative reviews is that you can respond to complaints and try to correct things. Once mistakes are made, you can’t do much about it other than acting on the information customers are relaying to you with negative reviews. They’re vigilant to see if you care about them and not just making profits.

It’s not only required but helpful in the long run to respond to negative assessments and offer solutions to your consumers. If your business made an honest mistake, show effort to understand the gravity of their frustration and calmly apologize for the hitch. In the future, you can ask your consumers to engage with customer service to have their issues explained to them in detail. This gesture will secure the likelihood of their return.

3. Recognize Issues

Negative criticism always seems disheartening at first, but what other way would you be able to spot possible issues? Whether it’s your services, products, websites, generally, you need to ensure that your plans will produce the best results.

According to American Airlines Corporate, the best strategy to upgrade your business is to keep an open mind about what works for you and what doesn’t. Negative criticism gives an honest opinion about your business and often shows you the areas that need improvement.

What can you learn from the criticism that your consumers express concerning your business? If many reviews point out the same thing, it’s worth going back to the drawing board and coming up with new, improved advertising strategies. This way, you’ll listen to your customer’s concerns and provide the simplest way to run your business.

4. Accountability

As a brand owner, it can feel unsettling to receive negative reviews of your services and products. It’s an excellent way to start an honest conversation with consumers, upgrade user engagement, identify current issues, and improve your advertising plans. It’s better to use negative criticism to upgrade customer care rather than letting it affect your business.

5. Pick Your Battles

It’s essential to have a system that deals with negative reviews. You need to send a respectful message offering to make amends to all those who left a justified negative comment. Consistently identify and resolve the problem by sharing the relevant customer care contact information. Many unsatisfied customers will value this gesture.

In light of this, ensure that your business system addresses concerns seriously. With scheduling software, you can set a time per day to address both positive and negative reviews. In doing so, you’re able to flag and report unhelpful thoughts without engaging the consumer directly.


If your business is overwhelmed by negative reviews, your reputation will suffer and turn away potential customers. Business owners should identify and solve problems before it’s too late. As we conclude, we hope you’ve had an informative experience concerning the importance of negative reviews in businesses.

The post Want a Thriving Business? Focus on Negative Reviews! appeared first on SiteProNews.

How to Get Better Responses on your Customer Feedback Forms

posted on November 22, 2021


Auditing your performance is a standard business practice. Regular performance reports let you know what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong, and what needs changing. In addition, you can tell how your business is doing by looking at data—like sales, site traffic, brand mentions, reviews, and so on.

However, there’s nothing like asking the customer directly. Getting feedback straight from your customers saves you from speculating. For example, instead of concluding that one of your landing pages isn’t effective, you get to ask customers exactly why it isn’t working.

That said, using customer feedback forms is not without its challenges. You want honest feedback, not just a positive one. In some cases, customers will write down inaccurate and nonsensical responses, which don’t really help paint a picture of their experience with you.

So, how do you get accurate and thoughtful responses in your feedback forms? Here are a few valuable tips to help you create the most effective customer feedback form:

1. Survey Your Regular Customers

Customers who stand to benefit from changes and improvements in your business model are most likely to give you honest feedback.

People don’t care about writing accurate feedback for shops and brands they don’t usually buy from or recognize. After all, if they don’t come back as often or know much about you, they won’t really care to give their actual feedback.

However, if you are a brand they know, like, or consistently buy from, they will have an incentive to air out what they think of your company, products, and services.

You can reach familiar customers through the following ways:

  • Email Drip. Send electronic feedback forms to people subscribed to your email list.
  • Loyalty programs. Ask members of your loyalty program (i.e., membership cardholders) to fill out a brief feedback form at check-out.

If you’re a small business, you might be able to recognize your regulars as soon as they step into the store. If so, you can ask them to fill out forms while they’re waiting in line or while they’re dining in.

In any case, choosing return customers who already have a connection with your company is a great way to avoid unwilling participants.

2. Use Targeted Feedback Forms

If you have a wide range of products and services, it might be wise to use targeted feedback forms for different customers.

For example, you can give feedback forms to customers based on their recent product purchases. You can ask them about the products they paid for and disregard other categories that weren’t in their transactions.

Though you have multiple versions of your feedback form, each one will be considerably shorter. This also makes it easier to hand out brief feedback forms while the customer is waiting in line or at check-out.

However, this method might require you to get more responses. After all, you want to audit data about your entire business model to know how you’re doing.

3. Make It As Easy As Possible

As mentioned, customers don’t really have a concrete incentive to write accurate and thoughtful feedback. You are asking for their time, so it’s crucial that it doesn’t cause them any more trouble.

If customers have a terrible time navigating your website, answering your feedback form, or understanding your questions, they might get frustrated and give up on it.

You’ll get more high-quality responses if your survey is easy to find, understand, and fill out. The more high-quality answers you get, the more valuable it is in assessing customer feedback.

Here are a few ways you can make feedback forms as accessible as possible:

  • Send direct links to the feedback form instead of asking customers to find it themselves.
  • Pay attention to your website’s UX (i.e., loading speeds, navigation, color scheme, etc.) so people aren’t having a hard time navigating to your forms.
  • Proofread and edit your questions.
  • Choose standard fonts that are easy to read.

4. Keep It Short

Even your most loyal customers have their own personal schedules to attend to. So avoid giving your customers 5-page feedback forms.

Feedback forms that take too long to fill out won’t hold the respondent’s attention, and they’ll end up either abandoning it or start writing rushed responses.

Here are easy ways to make feedback forms short and straightforward:

  • Use A Satisfaction Scale. Ask customers to rate each category in 1-5 (i.e., 1 being the worst and 5 being the best). This makes answering forms quicker than letting them write down paragraphs.
  • Use A Checklist. Have customers check off categories of products that they like. You can ask for more specific suggestions and feedback at the end.
  • Use Character Limits. If you’re letting customers write down their thoughts, you can add character limits on text fields. If they have more pressing concerns, ask them to send you an email instead.

Shorter feedback forms don’t just benefit the respondents. It also makes it easier for you to audit their responses. For example, a Likert scale (5-point scale) can be easily translated to data for auditing. More pressing customer issues should be discussed and resolved through other channels.


Customers willing to think about and write down their thoughts will give you more concrete and helpful feedback. However, you need to remember that customer feedback forms are often filled out at the customer’s discretion. If it takes too much of their time, they’ll be less willing to give you accurate information.

Not listening to customer feedback leaves your business stagnant.

However, without accurate information, you won’t be able to properly assess how customers truly feel about your business. Not only do you need to know about the things you’re already doing right, but you also want to know about what you need to improve on.

The post How to Get Better Responses on your Customer Feedback Forms appeared first on SiteProNews.

Hands-off Content Creation: How to Leverage UGC On & Off Social Media

posted on November 17, 2021


One strategic decision could mean the difference between increasing e-commerce sales by 50% year-over-year, or not. And for the British clothing brand Burberry, this was their exact outcome after launching a website called “the Art of the Trench” in 2009.

The concept for this site was simple: Provide a space for customers to share photos of themselves wearing Burberry clothing (i.e., user-generated content). From there, anyone could like, comment, and re-share the content on social media.

In its first year, the site received 7.5 million views and was a massive success.

The reason?

User-generated content (UGC) is an extremely valuable tool for marketing a business, demonstrating value proposition, and boosting engagement. It influences purchasing decisions for 79% of people and is also 9.8x more effective than influencer-created content.

What’s more is that brands can reap all of the benefits of UGC without spending much, or any, of their own marketing dollars. It’s hands-off content creation that delivers a great ROI with the right marketing strategy.

This guide will break down four of the best ways for you to leverage UGC on and off social media.

What counts as UGC?

User-generated content is any type of media that people who aren’t affiliated with your brand share on a digital platform. This includes reviews on forums, photos, videos, social media posts, etc.

Think of it as an evolved digital version of word-of-mouth marketing. Instead of telling multiple people about a brand’s product in-person, anyone can upload a social media post that recommends the product to hundreds (or even thousands) of people at once.

One of the main reasons why people respond so well to UGC is because of the authenticity factor. This content is made by a person, not a brand, so the review or recommendation comes across as genuine and not sales-driven.

Even though you don’t personally create UGC for and about your brand, you can (and should) use it to your advantage. Here’s how.

How to make the most out of UGC

1. Add UGC to a website or landing page

Building a new website exclusively for UGC (like Burberry did) is always an option. But, the downside is that this approach requires a lot of extra time and resources that you might not be able to spare at the moment.

A good alternative is to start integrating UGC on the website you already have.

This could mean embedding a product review video in a new blog post or landing page. Or, as you audit your website for SEO purposes, this could mean including UGC in your older content to provide more value to site visitors.

Here are a few statistics that reinforce why this is strategic on your part:

  • Featuring video content on landing pages can boost conversions by 86%.
  • Someone that visits your website after seeing a UGC video (on social media or elsewhere) is 184% more likely to convert.

It takes seconds to add UGC to your website, but you have to make this a continual practice if you want to see these types of long-term benefits.

2. Include UGC in ad campaigns

Everyone that lands on your brand’s website is in a different stage of the sales funnel. Some people are curious about your company but don’t have immediate purchase intent. Others have purchase intent but are still weighing their options.

By using UGC in your ad campaigns on social media and other digital platforms, you’re able to do multiple things at once:

  • Demonstrate to prospective customers that you value your current customers (and would value them too).
  • Provide extra insight about your products and services from a customer perspective (not a brand perspective).
  • Market your products and services in the most authentic way (according to 60% of consumers).

UGC-focused campaigns feel personalized, which is a main reason why they work. A prime example of this is Coke’s “Share a Coke” campaign, which directly lifted U.S. sales by 2% after more than 10 years of declining revenue.

3. Use UGC as social proof in email marketing

UGC that sheds a positive light on your brand is one of your greatest marketing assets, whether for ads, landing pages, or — you guessed it — email campaigns.

And that’s because people trust people. In fact, most consumers (92%) are more likely to trust (and act on) the referral of someone they know than any other source.

When a current customer creates a social media post and tags your brand, it’s a form of social proof.

Your brand gets more exposure as more people share UGC on and off social media, so why not include this type of content in the emails you send to leads, current customers, and churned customers?

It’s one thing to say that your brand will offer x and y benefits, but it’s another to back your promises up with UGC from people who have benefited firsthand from your services.

4. Encourage your audience to create more UGC

If your brand has been around for a while, odds are that you could pull a lot of existing UGC from social media right now. Maybe you’ve even built up a reservoir of content from social media users that you access on a regular basis.

One of the best ways to ensure that you can continually weave UGC into your marketing strategy is to encourage your customers to create more of this content.

You can do this by running social media contests and giveaways. Or you could take a personalized approach like Coke and ignite a social buzz around your product in a way that your competitors haven’t.

For instance, by incentivizing and rewarding UGC creators through a social media shoutout, you show your customers that you value them on an individual level, not just as a means for meeting the bottom line. And that’s the sort of engagement people crave from brands.

Low-cost Content Creation That Works

Content creation is a process that brands invest in for good reason, but it doesn’t always have to come at a high cost. With UGC, you’re able to market your brand effectively without spending a dime.

So, if you haven’t done so already, take this as your sign that it’s time to invest more time and energy into collecting and using UGC in your content marketing to take advantage of all these benefits.

The post Hands-off Content Creation: How to Leverage UGC On & Off Social Media appeared first on SiteProNews.

Is Your Brand Getting Influencer Marketing Wrong?

posted on November 15, 2021


Millions of people interact with influencers on social media every day. Social media influencers can be a powerful way to reach new customers or convert skeptics. With the spectacular rise of Tik Tok, image-based brands—like cosmetics, fashion, music, and gaming—have been able to target masses of Millennials and Gen Z.

But how can you know if influencer marketing is for you? And if it is, how would you choose which influencers to work with? Between the nano, micro, mid-tier and macro levels, there are probably thousands of influencers that might work for you. That’s why it’s important to write down a list of traits you’re looking for in an influencer before you start looking. Here are some key considerations as you decide whether to embark on an influencer campaign:

1. Goals, Measurements, and Contracts

Like all advertising, you have to know your goals before starting. From there, figure out things like platform, influencer target, messaging that fits specific influencers and what your call to action is and how that’s communicated through the content.

Proper measurement is also key. You need to make sure you set the right KPIs for your team so that you’re clear about the ROI you seek from engaging influencers. Are you engaging influencers to:

  • Drive sales?
  • Build awareness?
  • Help with a specific consumer demographic for new customer acquisition?
  • Change consumer perception of your brand?
  • Answer your brand’s critique? 

Finally, the contract negotiation should be very specific, and stay true to your goals and measurements, as discussed above. For example, you should set expectations on:

  • Type and number of posts
  • Which platforms will be used
  • Messaging
  • Usage rights
  • Links to e-commerce 
  • Revenue-sharing vs. compensation on activity 

In terms of negotiating, see what the sticking points are on price. Usually this centers around exclusivity requirements, licensing rights, number of draft reviews—keep in mind video re-shoots can be particularly pricey—and ownership rights. You can negotiate lower rates by having some give on these areas.

Also note that advertising needs to be disclosed by the influencer, per the Federal Trade Commission.

By narrowing among dozens of reasons to engage influencers to a key singular goal will help with specifics around setting team expectations and specific measurement. And if you don’t set proper expectations, things will not pan out as planned and the relationship could be ruined. That leads to wasted money and bad publicity. 

2. In-House vs. Out-Source

Your company hires experts in marketing, advertising, PR, digital, etc. You should also hire someone that knows influencers. This could be in-house or agency side. Managing influencer programs in-house helps maintain more control of the brand and the campaigns if influencers are a key pillar of your marketing strategy.

On the other hand, working with digital influencers can take a large toll on internal teams—in terms of heavy lifting of time—from forming deals for content creation to pushing paid ads across your brands’ social channels, and measurement. Stacy DeBroff, CEO of Influence Central, tells me “Many companies opt to engage seasoned specialists like my team to run their influencer engagements, as it ensures deep vetting of potential influencers, carefully framed and signed influencer agreements that include extension of content rights to the brand, seamless campaign management, online draft reviews before content gets posted, and detailed and guaranteed campaign metrics drawing directly from each influencer’s behind the scenes data.”

3. Authentic Match

Companies must compare their Brand Value Proposition and Buyer Personas and find authentic matches. Otherwise, customers will discount content from an influencer who seems to be just “doing it for the money.” Additionally, marketers must gauge each influencer’s passion for the brand and their desire to work with you. The key is not to just chase influencers that you think are up and coming, but to go after influencers that will help build an authentic brand.

4. Influencer Strategy

Rather than defaulting to the bottom of the rung with micro influencers or spending your way to the top (unless you’re a large brand) with social media celebrities, the best strategy is a mix of nano, micro, and mid-tier influencers.

Such a mix will usually give the best ROI, since these groups together have a decent mix of followers and are perceived to be more authentic, generally. And of course, marketers need to aim for a mix of influencers that fit the brand/business life stage. Below are the different levels of influencers:

  1. Nano influencers (1-10k followers): It costs dramatically less to engage this group, since many of them will create content simply for product samples in return. As such, they can offer you the ability to engage certain groups at lower costs. But be sure they have some experience with such campaigns prior to engagement. Of course, some first-timers will do a great job, but consider their experience level before you go all-in.
  2. Micro influencers (10-50k followers): Typically, micro influencers do not have agents—which can often try to pull more money from your pockets—and they tend to be more personal. Though they have smaller followings, comparatively, they can be very effective.
  3. Mid-tier influencers (50-500k followers): They have a substantial number of followers, but they typically use many brand partnerships to make money. So since social media can be their primary source of income, they can be dramatically more expensive than the previous tiers. Additionally, many mid-tier influencers have started to engage agents. 
  4. Premium/Macro influencers (500k-1m+ followers): They are best used for big, themed and/or seasonal campaigns. But it is often best to avoid them. They often communicate through agents, and the relationship is much less personal. As a result, they frequently dedicate much less of their time to the project. They can also miss the message of authenticity, which is critical, and should be a deal breaker.

While follower count is okay for gauging cost and reach, you can’t make your decisions simply based on this number. KPIs like views and engagement will usually give you a much better idea, and a simple conversation with the influencer in mind can go a long way.


Influencers can be a powerful tool in a marketer’s toolbox, but they must remember that this is about relationship building. That’s why it’s key to involve influencers in your brand, get them passionate, and to not treat them as just an execution point. But at the same time, don’t let them take advantage of you, which is why it is so important to gauge up front how passionate and authentic they are about your brand and have a very clear and specific contract. 

All in all, remember to:

  1. Set specific goals, measurements, and contracts
  2. Decide if you want influencer management done in-house or out-sourced
  3. Find authentic matches and foster passionate relationships
  4. Create a strategy that will maximize ROI 

The post Is Your Brand Getting Influencer Marketing Wrong? appeared first on SiteProNews.

Top 10 Trending Designs and Styles for Business Cards

posted on November 10, 2021


Business cards are one of the trending and timeless things even in our digital era, and their role is still essential. Today business card designs are as inventive as ever. They are an excellent canvas for designers to push their creativity beyond the boundaries. They can showcase your business and its motto in an appealing way. So it is important to keep your business cards sleek, fancy, or a style that depicts your business and its services.

Ideally your business card should contain your company’s name and contact details like phone number, address, etc. You can finalize the material of cards, add some designs, experiment with fonts, play with colors, and create whatever suits your business and satisfies your creativity. To make sure your business card looks exactly the way you want, you can install business card maker software which can help you to design your business cards with different features like fonts, clip-art, colors, stickers, etc.

Business cards and their trends keep updating constantly, but some trends stay for a year or more. So, let’s look at the business cards trends for 2022 which are likely to be around for a long time.

1. QR Codes

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How many business cards have you collected in your pocket or in your drawer? I assume many. And how many have you looked at recently? Only a few, maybe. And those few cards might have some unique features like QR codes. Yes, QR codes are the latest trend in business cards. QR codes can create a seamless transfer from a physical meeting to a digital connection.

As we know, QR codes are not new, but they are new and adaptable when it comes to the business card market. A QR code makes it super easy for the holder to go right to a business’ website or an individual’s personal portfolio, just by scanning the code.

Although QR codes seem like a small feature, they are actually pretty powerful.

2. Big Text

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Another business card trend for 2022 is forming designs by placing large text front and center on the card. On such cards, the text itself is the design. It includes text stretched across the entire card, leaving little room for white space. The lasting effect is of text-heavy simplicity that communicates straight to the point.

3. Gradients

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Gradients have been trending for quite some time now. Every year transitions between colors have become smoother. Gradients add volume to your business card by revealing your creative side. You can apply gradients as a background for your business card or use them to highlight your logo, text, or even graphics. Using magenta shades can make your business card look more voluminous and visually attractive. Also, you should consider placing colored gradients against a plain dark or white background.

4. Rustic and Natural style

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What started as a whimsical theme trend used in weddings and for furniture businesses has smoothly made its way to graphics. Now, companies are looking for a more rustic and natural style to implement in their business cards. This is useful in portraying long-standing relations.

5. Plantable Business Cards

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What is better than a business card that can help the environment? Yes, a business card that one can plant! The plantable business card trend is growing. The material used is textured recycled paper with different seeds embedded below the surface. After taking all the necessary information from the card, you can tear it into small pieces and bury it. And that’s it.

Who knew business cards could also be a way to spread awareness and do your duty to protect the environment. This process forges a bond with your customer making your brand memorable for them.

6. Recycled Cardboard

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If your company believes in eco-friendliness, be sure to show that to your clients and partners as well. A business card made of recycled cardboard showcases your efforts in making our planet a better place to live in. You can avoid using bright colors in these cards. The beautiful cardboard texture will work best with natural shades.

Using soft and refined hues for text and adding effects like gloss or embossing can help you to enhance the beauty of your business card. Always remember that your card must create an instant association with nature.

7. Clever, Complex, and Cute Cutouts

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If you have been in business for a while, or even a short time, you might have stacks and stacks of business cards from partners, vendors, clients, etc., who you have met over years. And one thing that would be common in almost all of them is that they are rectangular.

But, a few will be eye-catching and trend setting, featuring abstract and iconic cutouts. You want to make your card ‘that’ card or ‘out of the box card’. In many cases, the snipped-away segment makes the card easier to grasp or to string on a keychain.

8. Unconventional Text Alignment

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Taking typography to new heights in printed design, one of my favorite business card trends for 2022 is experimental text. Forget the usual left-to-right and explore here and everywhere inside your card’s edges. Just remember to keep clear readability in mind when free-styling on your designs because you don’t want to lose accessibility by hard-to-read creations.

9. Coordinating Color Ways

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What does “coordinating color ways†exactly mean? It is alternately colored versions of the same business card. For instance, if your brand’s color palette is mint green, charcoal gray, and off-white, you might get business cards made up that have identical text where some are green with off-white text with charcoal accents, and some have charcoal with off-white text with green accents. Choose your colors, experiment, and explore all the different variations.

10. Smart Geometric Designs

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Geometric designs will be a trend in 2022, not only for business cards but also for book covers, logos, product packaging, etc. With precise and intricate repetitive patterns, this design feels futuristic. Making it in an asymmetric or symmetric manner is your choice.

Whether you are starting a new venture or re-imagining the one you have been pouring your heart into for years, business cards are meant to set the tone while introducing your brand to new people. It is time to show the world a fresh perspective about your business. You can start by creating a special eye-catching card for your business.

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4 Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid (Unless You Want to Waste Thousands of Dollars)

posted on November 7, 2021


Content marketing works. The statistics all say the same thing: content marketing has incredible ROI: 72% of marketers say it has helped them get more leads.

And why wouldn’t it be so? 42.7% of people use ad blocking software, so the only way to get to them is through content. Not using content marketing in your strategy is the first mistake.

Assuming you are using it (congratulations!), let’s see what other pitfalls you can avoid and how you can improve your content marketing ROI:

1. You Don’t Use Data to Fuel Your Content Marketing Strategy

Most content marketing strategies aren’t, in fact, strategies at all. It’s just one or more people brainstorming ideas about what seems to work for their blog.

Brainstorming ideas without a data-backed foundation is great for when you’re trying to decide where to go camping with your friends. But not when you expect real results from the effort you put in.

Instead of “cold” brainstorming, borrow some ideas my content marketing agency uses for our clients:

  • Find keyword gaps using Google Search Console
  • Constantly analyze the success of your content: what worked and what didn’t? What are the types of content that brought more leads? How can you replicate those?
  • Find opportunities by analyzing competitors’ strategy: what works for them and what doesn’t? What topics could be explored better than they do it?
  • Look for the alignment between the client’s business goals and content marketing opportunities: what topics would serve both the client’s goals and the reader’s need for information?

Data is everywhere. All you need is one decent analysis tool (and there are dozens of those, both paid and free) and a goal-oriented mindset to analyze that data and turn it into actionable insights.

2. You Ignore SEO

SEO may not be at the top of your list of priorities. You may have found another way to bring in leads through content marketing and that’s perfectly OK. But I urge you not to ignore it altogether.

SEO can have an ROI of up to 1,381% (!), depending on the industry you are in. So, even if you don’t get the full SEO treatment for your website, at least try to:

  • Find a keyword for each piece of content you publish and optimize for it.
  • Keep an eye on your rankings and statistics to see how your SEO is evolving.
  • Never ignore SEO best practices.

3. You Don’t Monitor Content Marketing Performance

You published four blog posts and one whitepaper. You got some new leads in the following weeks. Congratulations!

But where did those leads come from exactly? Which of your blog posts was the most successful in attracting them? Or was it the whitepaper? Which blog post fell flat and brought in zero leads and a mere dozen hits?

Unless you answer these questions, you’ll never find the formula that works for you. Simply publishing new content pieces without a reason why will only result in you wasting thousands of dollars.

Good content is expensive, whether you create it in-house or outsource it to an agency or a freelancer. $5 articles are irrelevant today so if you really want results, be prepared to invest at least a couple of hundred in each piece of content.

Please note: I said invest, not spend or waste. This means that you should expect results. Just because a piece of content is expensive, it doesn’t mean it will bring results. Oftentimes, the piece in itself may be great, but it just doesn’t align with your goals well enough.

This is why you have to measure everything you publish. Set goals in Google Analytics. Monitor those metrics weekly. Go back to the drawing board when you don’t get the results you wanted. Rinse and repeat.

4. You Don’t Mix it up

You may have found a formula that works. But even if a certain type of blog post has worked for a while, it doesn’t mean it will work forever. People get bored, their needs change, and their preferences evolve.

Plus, if you get stuck on a single type of content, how will you know you’re not missing out on an even better option? Most marketers (myself included!) swear by evergreen content. It is the kind of content that brings you the most traffic and the most leads over time. It’s an investment that keeps on giving.

But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also publish case studies or articles about recent developments in your industry. Sure, they may be obsolete after a while, but they will show your readers that you are connected to everything that happens in your industry and that you can stay ahead of trends.

Ready to take your content marketing to the next level? We can help! Check out our case studies to see how we helped other companies meet their goals and let’s talk!

The post 4 Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid (Unless You Want to Waste Thousands of Dollars) appeared first on SiteProNews.

5 Digital Marketing Trends in Personal Care Products

posted on November 6, 2021


The personal care industry has shown to be a leader in retail innovation. This innovation stems from a scientific standpoint in terms of product development and from a digital marketing standpoint, where businesses have successfully deployed client acquisition and retention methods.

We’ve compiled a list of the top five digital marketing trends in personal care products that currently shake retailers.

1. Selective Social Media Content

It’s no longer a question of having fantastic, engaging material on your social media accounts. According to a European study, in addition to price and promotions, consumers seek the following:

  • convenience
  • to make regular purchases on the internet
  • makeover and personal care inspiration

Social networking platforms are a great source of inspiration. Personal care brands should take advantage of their existing customer base to create curated content for their channels by allowing followers to provide photos of how they use their products. They can also produce content answering frequently asked questions like hair loss reasons, best acne treatments, and more.

Personal care companies could use these social media platforms to persuade people to visit their establishments. In the personal care market, “phygital†– the marriage of physical and digital – can be applied. You might, for example, ask customers to use their phones in-store to scan barcodes for product descriptions and show how other customers used your products via Instagram using a specific hashtag.

2. Video Provides a Unique Opportunity

Although video smashed the radio star in the early days of music videos, it can save the personal care sector. According to a recent survey, cosmetic tutorials accounted for 68.5% of all top 200 beauty videos views. This means that makeup tutorials explaining how to apply products correctly comprised over half of all beauty videos. This is only one example of a video’s ability to invoke a response from customers.

Content marketers have paid more attention to videos since learning about their impact on retail sales. Unfortunately, unlike other industries, personal care companies frequently have restricted finances when creating films as part of their digital marketing plan. Thankfully, with the rise in popularity of tutorial-style videos, as previously said, they now have an excellent opportunity to enter into the game.

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a product commercial ad as a marketer. Instead, you can simply use tutorials to showcase your items. Using video content in motion on social networking sites is another low-cost video marketing option. Olapic claims these videos are up to 70% cheaper than typical product videos. As a result, they receive twice the engagement of a static image, making videos a win-win situation for personal care brand marketers. Clinique replaced standard display commercials with product-centric six-second videos and experienced a 70% increase in ad recall and a 26% rise in product awareness.

3. Collaborations in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Technology

In late 2019, the world’s leading augmented reality (AR) business Perfect Corporation teamed with the Alibaba Group to incorporate its virtual try-on tech into its online shopping experiences. In less than half a year, Alibaba’s conversion rate quadrupled.

New technology in the personal care business has advanced quickly since then, incorporating artificial intelligence (AI), AR, and virtual reality (VR) into familiar names.

Due to the recent pandemic and the influence on the market, L’Oreal recently declared that it had formed a global mission for the beauty brand’s evolution into a “beauty tech” company.

And they’re not the only ones. Nutox teamed up with a Malaysian AR company to develop a ‘skin diagnosis tool’ that uses computer vision and deep learning to provide consumers with a highly personalized experience while buying skincare products – something that is tough to purchase without an in-store sample try-out. Through the technology, you may examine your skin and discover major skin issues using only your smartphone.

Nutox discovered that by deploying the AR tool, they could engage with their customers, add value to their brand, and drive continuous conversion and sales, with customers visibly altered  voting the firm more than simply a personal care brand.

The popularity of interactive experiences has also become more dominant among social media platforms. Leading networking sites like YouTube and Instagram also use technology in banner ads that let users click and virtually try on personal care products without leaving the app.

4. Digital Communities

Consumers’ expectations of manufacturers and how brands should represent the world they live in are reflected in today’s most popular personal care product trends. Personal care companies must modify the way they produce and advertise their products to remain relevant.

Personal care companies must build places where they may learn from customers while also providing product education. They require mutually beneficial spaces in which consumers can express themselves, be heard, learn, and feel supported. They also need avenues in which brands can express themselves, engage with consumers on a personal level, and absorb on-the-ground inspiration and insight to help them develop relevant products and campaigns.

A digital community is a means to increase brand advocacy and engagement by allowing customers to interact with one another and even contribute content or product development. Conversations between fans can be broadcast on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube for a wider audience and are also less expensive than traditional advertising approaches. A digital community will aid in the development of brand advocacy, which will result in increased sales.

5. Collaboration with Influencers

The personal care industry has experienced a remarkable expansion in recent years. This increase is partly due to a surge in social media influencers on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

Brands are expected to spend up to $15 million on influencer programs by 2022, and with good reason. In the personal care industry, influencers have leveraged the power of social media marketing to the benefit of their associated brands.

Many social media influencers in the personal care industry spend years building a following. Their fans go to them for advice on beauty products and personal care routines. Influencer marketing involves brands working with social media personalities that promote their products through a variety of content.


Simply owning a personal care brand with outstanding products isn’t enough in the highly competitive beauty and cosmetics business. You’ll have to put in a lot of effort to share your unique narrative and make sure the proper people hear it. Let the magic begin by implementing some of the tactics listed above.

The post 5 Digital Marketing Trends in Personal Care Products appeared first on SiteProNews.

How Business Leaders Can Learn Digital Marketing in 2021

posted on November 4, 2021


No longer is “digital marketing†a befuddling new buzzword; these days, businesses need an intimate understanding of digital marketing to compete in their market, almost regardless of what that market is. Fortunately, it is easier than ever to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to develop a successful digital marketing campaign. Business leaders everywhere should consider pursuing a digital marketing education in the following ways:

The Best Ways to Learn Digital Marketing

Researchers have thoroughly debunked the idea of different types of learners  visual, aural, kinesthetic, etc. Study after study on the subject has found no evidence that different people learn better in different ways; more often, the preference for a particular learning style doesn’t relate to a student’s ability to learn faster or easier. Instead, it seems that there is always a “best†way to learn, regardless of the subject material or the student: from an experienced coach.

The fastest and most effective way for business leaders to improve their digital marketing skills is to invest in a high-quality education from someone who has knowledge and skill in the industry. It is possible to find all manner of online digital marketing courses, from those designed for digital marketing beginners to those for professional digital marketers continuing their education. Some of the best business schools around the world offer such online courses taught by professors who have devoted the majority of their careers to studying and working in digital marketing.

Another excellent way to learn digital marketing in 2021 is straight from a digital marketing guru  in person. Business leaders can hire digital marketing consultants to walk them through the critical processes of developing and managing a digital marketing strategy. Though this is an expensive way to learn, it will provide an organization with high-quality digital marketing services as business leaders hone their skills.

The Good Ways

Of course, not every business leader can afford to devote time to a comprehensive digital marketing course or hire a digital marketing guru. Fortunately, there are other good ways to learn digital marketing from experts, though they are not as direct and intensive as the best ways listed above.

For example, business leaders can follow several digital marketing experts online. Leading digital marketers typically have their websites where they post blogs containing invaluable information about the digital marketing industry today. Many digital marketers are also active on social media, using Facebook and Twitter to engage and educate their audience about digital marketing trends.

Podcasts are another useful tool in learning about digital marketing. Audio programs that can vary in length from a few minutes to a few hours, podcasts are usually released on a regular schedule, be that several times per week or a few times per year. Business leaders can find digital marketing podcasts that fit their schedule, interests and skill level  a perfect way to conveniently incorporate digital marketing education.

The Bad Ways

Unfortunately, not all methods of gaining a digital marketing education are worthwhile, especially for the busy business leader who needs accurate information to boost their business. Generally, books on digital marketing are not particularly helpful in providing business leaders with the knowledge and skill they need to develop successful digital marketing campaigns in 2021.

First, most books tend to be a bit out of date. Some of the most popular digital marketing books were published in the ‘00s or ‘10s when today’s pillars of digital marketing like social media, eCommerce, and mobile browsing were quite new. Even books published in 2020 or 2021 are not likely to have cutting-edge information, as the lead time in traditional publishing is several months if not a year or two. Considering that the pandemic has radically shifted business structure in a matter of months, changing the demands of digital marketing, one can see how even the latest book might not offer all that much value to business leaders.

Effective digital marketing is crucial for business success in 2021, which means business leaders looking to build a stronger organization need to understand digital marketing strategies. Undoubtedly, it is best to learn directly from those who boast a deep understanding of the industry, but indirect access to digital marketing experts can also be beneficial. As long as business leaders prioritize gaining the most accurate, most updated digital marketing information, they will get what they need to succeed.

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