Category Archives: Marketing

How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 5 Simple Steps [Tutorial]

With 2.6 billion people actively using Facebook every day, Facebook has become a go-to component of almost any inbound marketing strategy.

But as more and more Facebook features change, so does the process of setting up a Page.

Don’t waste another day aimlessly poking around on Facebook trying to figure out how to get your Page posted. We built this guide to help you avoid wasting time on a marketing asset that should work for you.

(If you’re looking for tips and resources for how to leverage your Facebook Page once it’s up and running, check out our comprehensive guide to Facebook marketing).

What is a Facebook Business Page?

Your Facebook Business Page is essentially your company or organization’s “real estate” on Facebook. It constitutes your main Facebook presence — where you’ll post updates, share content from employees and customers, and link to when referring to your business elsewhere on Facebook.

Consider your Facebook Business Page your Facebook “home.” Moreover, your Facebook Page is not a static site. Sure, there will be static elements like your About information and cover image, but to manage your Page correctly, it should be consistently updated with content.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, we’ll walk you through how to create a Facebook Business Page. We’ll discuss what to post on it later.

Follow these steps to get your Facebook Page up and running in no time.

1. Create a Page.

To begin, head to Facebook. On the left-hand menu, choose Pages > Create New Page. This should launch the Page creator within your Facebook interface.

facebook create a business page

Enter your Page name and choose up to three categories. Type in a brief description — what your business does, the services you provide, or the purpose of the Page in under 255 characters. You should see this information populate the right side of the Page creator.

Once finished, click Create Page

(Note: I recommend carefully selecting your name. Although Facebook allows you to change your name and URL
once, it’s a difficult and tedious process.

2. Add images.

Clicking Create Page shouldn’t move you off the Page creator. You’ll see two more prompts added to the left-hand menu: to add a profile photo (170 x 170 pixels) and cover photo (1640 x 856 pixels).

Add a logo or widely recognized image for your profile photo. If you have other social media accounts for your business, consider using the same profile photo from those to keep your online presence consistent.

For your cover photo, choose an image that represents the purpose or theme of your Page

You should see these images populate the right side of the Page creator. When finished, click Save.

facebook business page add images

3. Choose a username and assign a CTA.

After the previous step, Facebook should move you to the Facebook Business Page dashboard where you’ll manage all other aspects of your Page.

This interface can feel overwhelming, so bear with me. First things first, choose a username for your Page. A username helps people find your Page in search and allows them to easily tag your Page when posting about your company. Your username also makes up your Facebook Business Page URL.

For the example below, I chose @cloverconsignment. So, my Facebook Page URL would be https://fb.me/cloverconsignment.

facebook business page username

Next, click + Add Action Button to add a CTA to your Page. This should be the action you want your visitors to take when they visit your Facebook Business Page.

Facebook offers 10+ different CTA options, from Shop Now to Learn More to Contact Us, and some allow you to input your website to help drive traffic.

facebook business page cta

4. Edit your Page info.

After setting a username and choosing a CTA, click More > About in the main menu. This will navigate you to your Page info, where visitors will go to learn more about your organization.

Click Edit Page Info in the top right corner to update this information. 

facebook business page edit page info

There are many fields to update here. Here’s what to focus on:

  • Location: If you’re a local business, input your business address so visitors can find you.
  • Hours: Brick and mortar businesses should input their store hours as some shoppers may reference their Page to see when they can visit.
  • Price range: You don’t have to fill out this designation, but it may help to specify the price range of your products and services to target the right shoppers.
  • Additional contact info: Input your website, phone number, and email so visitors can contact you outside Facebook. This information will also help drive Facebook traffic to your website and products.
  • More info: The description you added in step one should be under “About.” You can add more information under “Additional information,” and you can write in a mission or vision statement under “Impressum.”

5. Understand your Page settings.

In the left-hand navigation, click Settings at the bottom. The left-hand menu will change to more detailed categories, and the right side interface will list (seemingly) countless options.

I encourage you to skim through these settings and get familiar with what each may change or update on your Page. In the meantime, however, I’m going to unpack a few core settings to know.

  • General > Others Tagging this Page: Make sure this is checked as it will allow others to post about and share your Page.
  • General > Similar Page Suggestions: Make sure this is checked so Facebook recommends your Page to new followers and fans.
  • Messaging > Show a greeting: Turn this on so your Facebook Page will automatically send your followers a greeting when open Messenger.
  • Templates and Tabs: If you need to rearrange the menu on your Page or the information offered to visitors, you can do this here.
  • Notifications: This section allows you to customize when and how you’d like to receive Page alerts. Set a frequency that fits your social media marketing schedule.
  • Page Roles: Whether or not you’ll be the main manager of the Page, there may be others at your organization who need access to your Facebook Page. Here, you can invite other colleagues to make changes to your Pages. Some common use cases here include:
    • A public relations manager who needs to respond to any delicate questions.
    • A support representative who can assist those asking technical questions.
    • A designer tasked with uploading new photo creative to the Page.

What to Post On Your Facebook Business Page

Congratulations! Your Facebook Business Page is up and running (just like I promised). Now it’s time to work … and by work, I mean post on your Page, consistently.

As I said in the introduction, your Facebook Page should not be a static site. To manage your Page correctly, it should be updated with content on a regular basis.

Moreover, you should have a good amount of content published before you invite users to be a part of your growing community. Who wants to follow a blank Page, anyway?

When posting on your Page, use a variety of content — images, video, GIFs, memes, shared customer content, or graphs.

What images would your audience like to see? What stats would they like to read? What links would they like to click? Ask these questions to jumpstart a Facebook brainstorm.

If you post a particularly impressive or exciting post, you can pin it to the top of your feed. Do this by clicking the little grey arrow in the top-right corner of the post and tapping Pin to Top to move it to the top for seven days.

You can also use this feature for product announcements, business anniversaries, and other major events pertinent to your brand.

When you have enough content on your Page, start strategically inviting users to Like it. I recommend inviting users in the following cadence:

  1. Invite colleagues to Like your page and its content to build some initial activity.
  2. Invite supporters in your network. Encourage them to engage.
  3. Invite customers. With some activity now on the Page, they’ll be more interested.

Promote your Page by sharing its content on your other social networks and including a link to your Page on your website and your email signatures.

How to Measure Your Facebook Business Page

The work you put into your Facebook Page should ease over time. How? By keeping an eye on what kind of content your audience prefers and likes to engage with.

To measure your Business Page activity and growth, click Insights on the left-hand menu. From here, you can monitor how people are engaging with your Page and content, thus showing you what content to focus on sharing in the future (and what content you can do away with).

You should also measure your efforts to ensure you’re making valuable marketing decisions on Facebook. Under Insights, you should see the following:

  • Overview: This tab shows a seven-day snapshot of your metrics such as Page Likes, post reach, and overall engagement.
  • Followers: This tab gives you information about your followers and how that number has changed over time.
  • Likes: This tab shows your overall fan growth and losses. If you’re employing paid efforts, you’ll be able to see the breakdown of paid versus organic growth.
  • Reach: This tab highlights the raw number of people your Page is reaching every day. If you notice spikes on a specific day, try cross-checking what you posted that day to see if you can replicate that reach.
  • Visits: This tab indicates where on Facebook your viewers are coming from. You can see the difference in visits on Facebook Timelines, your information tab, reviews, and others.

Other tabs like Posts, Events, and Stories show you specific activity around those types of Page content.

Over to You

Facebook is no longer a “nice to have;” it’s a necessity for any business developing a strong inbound marketing strategy. Use this guide to build a successful Facebook Business Page to engage your audience and drive traffic to your website.

Want to see how HubSpot uses Facebook? Like our Facebook Page here.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Facebook Strategy Guide

5 Best Facebook Ad Management Services for 2021

Facebook ad management services professionally build, manage, and optimize campaigns on behalf of businesses in order to more effectively generate awareness, drive sales, and increase return on ad spend. With so many, it can be difficult to find the right one for you, so we compared the top services to find the overall best service…

The post 5 Best Facebook Ad Management Services for 2021 appeared first on Fit Small Business.

The Technology Driving Innovative Loyalty Programs for Convenience Stores

The oil and gas industry, or more specifically, the convenience store industry is an exciting industry to follow. The rapid shift from being a dimly lit place you avoided until seeing the dreaded low-fuel light after starting your car to the mega convenience stores of today — think WaWa or Sheetz — where you don’t mind stopping in for a made-to-order lunch or putting air in your tires. And it’s not just the mega-stores, all of the convenience stores of today are innovating their technology in attempts to secure a customer’s loyalty. They’re staying convenient, but also becoming helpful, friendly, safe, and even one might say — attractive.

One big driver of this movement in the convenience store industry is the technology behind the scenes facilitating better customer engagement and experiences — and loyalty programs are at center mass.

Convenience stores were severely impacted during the pandemic due to fuel prices plummeting and fewer people driving on the roads. Some convenience stores even reported 60-70% decreases in fuel sales. But with the bad, comes the good, as convenience stores are responding by investing in their loyalty programs and technology with the goal to create new loyalty incentives for customers to safely and efficiently fuel up and grab a snack or drink inside the convenience store.

Loyalty Programs are at the center of this investment because it’s now more important than ever to retain customers and deliver the best customer experiences, plus as loyalty programs have become described as the “carriers of data”, one could say, they are the feed to the technology’s appetite. A proper loyalty program encompasses many things, but two in particular are at focus in this piece: mobile payments and artificial intelligence. Both of these are not only enabling efficient and contactless customer experiences, but are also combating loyalty fraud.

As Comarch describes in their eBook, mobile payments are being used in three main categories: prepayment, post payment, and preordering. These are enabling not only fuel purchase, but in the case of preordering, they are going beyond the classic gas station experience by allowing the customer for example to place a coffee order or food order for curbside delivery while they’re pumping gas — now that’s convenience — plus its builds loyalty! Additionally, artificial intelligence is being used to predict behaviors to allow personalized offers and just as importantly, it is being used to detect and prevent loyalty fraud.

There is so much to discuss that we better stop here for now. If you want to read more in-depth on these topics, we recommend checking out Comarch’s 12 page eBook which dives into these loyalty and fuel trends with real examples and solutions for the everyday convenience retailer. It’s free to download and you can find it here.

The post The Technology Driving Innovative Loyalty Programs for Convenience Stores appeared first on The Wise Marketer – Featured News on Customer Loyalty and Reward Programs.

7 Examples of Influencer Marketing on YouTube

In a 2019 MediaKix report, 71% of marketers agreed that the quality of customers or traffic from influencer marketing was better than other marketing channels. So, we know influencer marketing can be a very profitable marketing strategy.

If you have been thinking about using this tactic but are unsure where to start, consider YouTube.

Unlike other platforms that are usually restricted by time (think TikTok and Instagram), YouTube celebrates long-form content. This creates space for influencers to deep dive into topics and give detailed reviews on products and services.

Beyond that, engagement rates on YouTube are the highest when compared to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, according to a 2020 Influencer Marketing Hub report.

Now that consumers are turning more to YouTube for uplifting content, this gives brands a huge opportunity to leverage the power of influencers on a platform known for high engagement.

So, what type of videos can influencers and brands collaborate on? Let’s go through seven examples.

1. Day-in-the-Life Vlogs

One of the most natural ways influencers incorporate sponsored products into their YouTube videos is through day-in-the-life vlogs.

Usually done with a morning or daily routine video, the influencer will take viewers through their day and mention the product or service as part of their ritual.

In this video, Natalie Barbu gives her audience a peek into her daily routine, emphasizing her planning process. She covers the benefits of software like Asana and Google Calendar, and in the middle of her video, at the 9:03 mark, she introduces Skillshare.

What’s effective about this style of product integration is that it fits in organically with the influencer’s content. Some ads can be quite jarring and disrupt the user experience, which can lead to ad skips and video drop offs.

The video title sets the expectation that the focus of the video will be planning. So, when Barbu introduces Skillshare as a platform to learn new skills (including how to use Asana for planning), it’s a smooth transition.

Another approach influencers take is mentioning the sponsor toward the end of the video.

This video shows influencer, Mayuko, showing her version of a productive work day. Near the end of the video (at the 7:08 mark), she thanks the brand, Nord VPN, for sponsoring the video and presents the benefits of using the software.

With this method, there’s a risk that some viewers may not stick around to hear more about the sponsor, given that engagement rates fall toward the end of videos. However, the sponsor is mentioned at the beginning of the video and in the description box, providing additional opportunities for viewers to learn more about the brand.

2. Hauls

Shopping hauls and unboxing videos are some of the most popular videos on YouTube among fashion and lifestyle influencers. They can also be an effective way of showcasing sponsored products.

What’s great about this type of video is that it doesn’t require influencers to dedicate an entire video to a single product, but rather include that product within a broader category.

In this video, UK-based Influencer Patricia Otegwu, known as Patricia Bright on her channel, covers a wide range of luxury items that are great for the autumn season.

She starts the video by framing the importance of occasional “treat yo self” behavior. She then goes through a few items, explaining the reasoning behind each purchase. At the 5:01 mark, she introduces products from Lily Silk, which fits in perfectly with the theme of the video.

In addition, mentioning the product in the first half of the video gives the brand better odds of reaching more viewers.

3. Behind-the-Scene Tutorials

Another opportunity for seamless product integration is in behind-the-scenes content.

In this video, popular YouTube illusionist, Zack King, gives viewers a full breakdown of some of his illusions. So, how exactly does Google fit into this?

Well, King first uses Google Meet and a cool hand-through-TV illusion to introduce his conference room segment at the 1:59 mark. Because Google’s platform promotes virtual conference meetings, it’s a nice, subtle touch.

Then at the 3:53 mark, he introduces Google’s Password Manager app to transition into his next trick. It’s an example of how quickly and efficiently you can highlight sponsored content without distracting from the main purpose of the video.

4. How-Tos

It’s one thing to explain to viewers how to do something. It’s another to use a tool that will help them do it. Brands and influencers often use this approach to introduce new product lines to the public.

In a very meta example, Sean Cannell, from the popular channel Video Influencers, gives viewers tips on how to get sponsors on YouTube using the sponsored product, FameBit.

FameBit, recently rebranded to YouTube BrandConnect, helps connect brands with influencers and vice versa. With that in mind, the channel – and its viewership – likely aligns very well with the sponsored product.

Cannell does a quick overview of the platform’s key features and spends the rest of the video detailing his personal experience with the product. The review is a great example of social proof, as that often carries more value than a simple product overview.

5. Comedy Sketches

People love to laugh, and some brands, like GEICO, are skilled at turning sour topics into funny ads that leave an impression.

In this video, comedian influencer Caleb Glass, of CalebCity, does a hilarious sketch in which he asks a psychic to prove their abilities by guessing what he ate that day. If the psychic gets the answer right, he agrees to commission the psychic to find a hidden inheritance and split the money with them.

This is where it gets good. The psychic guesses all the right ingredients but assumes that a dish that good had to be cooked by a chef. Glass slams the sponsored product, Devour Foods, on the table and tells the psychic they are wrong as the dish was prepared in the microwave. A screaming match ensues and the video ends with a product display.

Here’s why this video works: It plays on the idea that microwavable food can’t be delicious in the context of something completely different. Brands with playful identities can greatly benefit from using comedic influencers to promote their products.

6. Product Unboxing and Reviews

Nothing brings me as much joy as receiving a new product in the mail and opening it.

It seems a lot of us share that trait, as unboxing videos are very popular videos on YouTube. In this video style, viewers live vicariously through the influencer as they open up a product box and explore its features.

The success of this approach lies in the ability to attract viewers at or close to the decision-making stage.

When PlayStation released the new PS5, the brand collaborated with Justine Ezarik of iJustine, a tech, travel, and gaming influencer on YouTube, for this video. Often, brands will send influencers free products in exchange for unboxing videos and/or honest reviews on their platforms.

With much of Ezarik’s channel focused on gaming technology, her subscribers likely fit PlayStation’s target market and made her an ideal influencer to promote this new product. In the video, she comments on the product’s futuristic look and lightweight controllers while adding B-roll footage for close-up shots of the PS5.

There are many ways to use this type of marketing on YouTube. What brands should prioritize when considering an influencer is whether the influencer’s brand and values align with their own. Secondly, to produce influencer marketing campaigns that convert, it’s also important that the influencer’s audience fits the brand’s user persona.

Radio Advertising Costs: A Simple Guide to Ad Spend

Radio advertising costs range from $200 to $5,000 per week, on average, depending on location and the size of the listening audience. The cost of producing the commercial is $1,000 to $2,500 depending on what is included, like music, voice actors, and editing. However, some stations have their own advertising production teams to save costs….

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48 Trillion Reasons Loyalty Fraud Is on the Rise

Although the intention of loyalty programs is to provide customers with extra value and a great customer experience, within the ecosystem lurks a massive opportunity for loyalty fraud, and its alarming growth is often unnoticed and unchecked.

With over $48 trillion of unspent loyalty points globally it’s no wonder malicious actors are targeting rewards programs globally.

By: Robyn Simpson, CLMP

The statistics paint alarming trends:

  • Javelin Strategy & Research reported that loyalty program fraud doubled from 2017 to 2018.
  • According to a 2019 report by Forter Fraud Index, loyalty program fraud has seen an 89% increase year-over-year.
  • A global pandemic hasn’t slowed the steep rise of loyalty fraud, but quite the opposite. For example as frequent flyer balances are left untouched by members, they become lucrative targets for fraudsters to swoop and scoop unnoticed.
  • According to the Morder Intelligence report, “the global loyalty management market was valued at US$4,023.5 million in 2020 and expected to reach US$13,800.2 million by 2026 and grow at a CAGR of 22.7% over the forecast period (2021 – 2026).
  • The estimated cost of loyalty fraud to program operators is estimated to be over $1 billion every year.

These are just a few of the trends that Loyalty Program Managers need to be cognizant of.

WHY IS LOYALTY FRAUD ON THE RISE?

There are six main reasons why fraudsters are paying more attention to loyalty programs and their beneficiaries:

  1. Fraud is Unanticipated — Since businesses rarely anticipate a high risk of fraud in loyalty programs, bad actors can safely fly under the radar without being noticed.
  2. Easy Targets — Loyalty programs often have multiple touchpoints along the customer journey, exposing the customer to an attack. Also, the protections in place are laxer than most other financial services.
  3. Growing Point Value — Over the years, points have steadily increased in value as businesses offer competitive loyalty programs in an effort to attract customers.
  4. Increased Liquidity — There are many ways to redeem points, and this liquidity is quite attractive to hackers who can easily sell them on the darknet.
  5. Personal Information Theft — Loyalty programs contain a wealth of personal information, including credit card info and addresses, all of which can be sold or exploited for further gain.
  6. Unclaimed Rewards — With such a large untouched balance of points globally, both small and large-scale fraudsters are attracted to this honeypot.

ATTACKS COME FROM ALL ANGLES

Not only can hackers attempt to exploit your loyalty program, but loyalty abuse can come from your program members and your employees, too. The three main types of loyalty fraud can be categorised based on these origins:

  1. Loyalty Fraud By Hackers

Hackers pose the most significant risks to loyalty programs as they can create thousands of fake accounts quickly, steal customer’s personally identifiable info (PII), take over customer accounts, and accumulate enormous points balances in unauthorised ways. Akamai recently reported over 100 billion credential stuffing attacks between 2018 and 2020.

  1. Loyalty Fraud By Your Employee

Employees with access to the loyalty program’s internal systems or the ability to assign points can pose a serious threat. They may add extra points to their points balances, steal unclaimed points from others, or pass on loopholes to customers in order to encourage them to sign up for the program.

  1. Loyalty Fraud By Your Customer

Qualified customers can game the system by creating multiple accounts to earn more points, selling or transferring points illegally, or repeatedly returning items after earning points. The fraud is bound to spread as more customers become aware of a loophole. 

THE FINANCIAL IMPACT IS THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG

We often look to the hard costs associated with fraud, which are significant, including:

  • Cost of reimbursing stolen customer points, which may be in the millions of dollars.
  • Massive customer churn resulting in lost lifetime value.
  • Loss of future revenue.
  • Expensive fines and lawsuits often accompany customer data breaches.
  • Inability to expand or offer new services due to costs, vulnerabilities, and inability to transact imposed by transactional partners.

What is more challenging to quantify are the soft costs associated with such incidents.

  • Loss of trust from members and partners
  • Damaged partner relationships
  • Reputational damage
  • Negative public relations
  • Loss of a sales tool and value for customers

5 BASIC PRACTICES TO AVOID LOYALTY FRAUD

Loyalty fraud may be rampant, but it is preventable. Below are a few basic tips that can help businesses prevent loyalty fraud from hackers, members, or employees:

  1. Keep up to date with the latest methods used to attack loyalty programs so you are prepared to mitigate the behaviour quickly.
  2. Educate customers and staff about loyalty fraud schemes, phishing, and how to use strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, and the value of their rewards currency.
  3. Review KPI’s and avoid those that incentivise inappropriate internal behaviour.
  4. Design your program with protection for members in mind. Improve security with encryption and authentication based on triggered alerts.
  5. Create a dedicated fraud team within the loyalty program who randomly audit customer and employee accounts and closely monitor loyalty program metrics to identify fraudulent activities faster.

This is just the beginning. Detecting and preventing loyalty fraud is a complex task that warrants a more in-depth discussion.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Fraudsters will attempt attacks at all unguarded entry points and most loyalty program managers learn about vulnerabilities long after customers have been exploited and significant damage has been done. Hence, loyalty program designers and managers need to be more proactive by designing and testing their programs with fraudulent attacks in mind.

The trend is growing and the costs can be crippling. Taking the time to implement robust detection and prevention mechanisms is worth the investment. I highly recommend seeking professional advice from a fraud prevention specialist no matter what stage your program is at.

If you’d like to learn more about Loyalty Fraud, check out the Introduction to Loyalty Fraud Course from The Loyalty Academy. It will be offered live February 23, 2021 at 3pm EST — and available on-demand after that.

Robyn Simpson, CLMP, is founder of MarketSmartly which specializes in retaining the right customers in a rapidly changing world.

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The Ultimate Guide to Nonprofit Marketing in 2021

Every marketing team is challenged to do more with less — especially nonprofit organizations. Often times, resources are tight, and teams are small. Sound like your organization?

We want to help. That’s why we created this nonprofit marketing guide. Your organization might not operate for profit, but it can still value from the traffic, funds, and awareness marketing brings in.

Bookmark this guide for later and use the chapter links below to jump around to sections of interest.

Inbound Marketing for Nonprofits

Your nonprofit organization likely takes up all of your time, and building a marketing plan might seem like an added responsibility that’s just not worth it.

We’re here to convince you otherwise. Inbound marketing is all about creating valuable experiences that have a positive impact on people and your business.

Inbound marketing for nonprofits can help you attract new supporters for your cause, connect to valuable donors, engage your constituents, and inspire your community.

Boost your organization’s awareness and compel action. See firsthand how HubSpot can transform your nonprofit organization.

Here’s how else nonprofit marketing can help.

Nonprofit marketing raises awareness.

Your nonprofit organization is a brand, therefore you need to raise awareness just like any other business or company. Marketing raises awareness of your brand, and brand awareness spreads the word about your organization and your overall cause.

Nonprofit marketing raises funds.

Nonprofit marketing and nonprofit fundraising go hand-in-hand. The more people that know about your organization, the more potential funding you can bring in.

Nonprofit marketing drives donor memberships and recurring donations.

Many nonprofit organizations offer donation memberships and monthly giving programs, like this one from Charity: Water. These programs are valuable because your organization doesn’t have to fundraise so actively and so often, and they can actually help you raise more money — the average monthly online donation is $52 ($624 per year) compared to the average one-time gift of $128.

Marketing your nonprofit gets your cause in front of fresh eyes and informs your donors about how they can consistently contribute.

Nonprofit marketing recruits volunteers.

Nonprofit marketing isn’t just for funding — it also drives manpower (and woman-power!) to your organization. Regardless of industry or size, all nonprofits benefit from volunteers, and marketing your organization can help bring in new hands.

Moreover, volunteers are twice as likely to donate as non-volunteers.

Nonprofit marketing promotes your services.

Awareness, funding, and volunteers are integral to your nonprofit, but what about the purpose of your organization? What about the people, animals, or cause you’re helping? Marketing can help with that, too.

The more people who know about your nonprofit organization, the more people you can help.

These are just a handful of reasons you should invest in marketing (particularly inbound marketing!) for your nonprofit. Now, let’s discuss how to build a nonprofit marketing plan so you can start bringing in new funds, volunteers, and constituents.

Crafting a nonprofit marketing plan might not be too different than a for-profit marketing plan, but it’s debatably more important. Increasing awareness and constituent engagement without exhausting your hardworking team requires approaching your marketing systematically.

That’s where a nonprofit marketing plan comes into play. Putting systems in place to produce and distribute your marketing content allows you to focus on operating and scaling your nonprofit.

Here’s how to create a successful nonprofit marketing plan.

1. Define Your Marketing Goals

Your nonprofit marketing plan exists to transform your organization’s mission and big-picture objectives into strategic, actionable goals.

For example, let’s say one of your objectives was to protect the welfare of animals in your community (like one of my favorite local rescues, ALIVE Chicago). I’d ask you to brainstorm three to five marketing ideas to advance that objective.

Some ways you could use marketing to advance that objective include:

  1. Create and publish content that educates your community on the state of animal welfare.
  2. Post on social media about your organization and the animals you have for adoption.
  3. Send a weekly email newsletter sharing your content, adoptable animals, and volunteer needs.
  4. Host a quarterly event with educational resources, foster training, and adoption opportunities.

Next, I’d ask you to turn these ideas into SMART goals. Let’s use idea number one as an example:

Specific

Educate the community on the state of animal welfare by producing one blog post per week.

Measurable

Increase traffic by 15%.

Attainable

Our blog traffic increased by 10% last year when we upped our publishing frequency to twice a month. A 15% boost in traffic with a 100% increase in production seems attainable.

Relevant

An increase in blog traffic will boost awareness of our organization, educate the community, and alert more people of our adoption opportunities — thus, saving more animals and bringing in more funding.

Timely

We will start producing one post per week and the start of next month.

SMART Goal: By the start of next month, our blog will see a 15% boost in traffic by increasing our content production from two posts per month to one post per week. This increase will boost awareness of our organization, educate the community, and alert more people of our adoption opportunities — thus, saving more animals and bringing in more funding.

See how I turned the organizational mission into a marketing objective, and then into a SMART goal? SMART goals are especially important when it comes time to analyze and measure your marketing performance (which we talk about later), so be sure to finish this step before moving forward in your nonprofit marketing plan.

Download your free marketing goal-setting template here. 

2. Understand Your Audience(s)

Nonprofit marketing is different from other types of marketing because your organization is likely targeting multiple groups: constituents, customers, volunteers, and donors.

It’s imperative to define and understand each of these audiences (a.k.a. buyer personas) because your marketing will differ based on who you’re talking to. (We’ll get into key messaging next.)

For example, following our animal shelter example from above, an email targeting donors will have different messaging than an email calling for volunteers.

One easy way to organize your different audiences is using a CRM to segment the different groups. By separating contacts with tags and lists, you can easily send marketing messages to the appropriate groups.

3. Craft Your Key Messages

Key messages encompass the information you want your audiences to hear, remember, and share about your nonprofit organization. Crafting these before you employ your marketing is important for a few reasons:

  • Key messages keep your organization aligned. No matter who’s doing the marketing, you can be confident the same thing is being said and promoted.
  • Key messages simplify your marketing. With these created ahead of time, you already know what you’re going to say in your marketing messaging.
  • Key messages help organize your different audiences (as we talked about above). As a nonprofit organization, you’re likely talking to donors, volunteers, constituents, and your community … more personas than a typical for-profit business. Developing key messages for each of your audiences informs your team and your marketing to make sure you’re targeting the right groups.

Continuing with our animal shelter example, here’s a look at how you can craft a key message for different audiences.

Key message: We protect the welfare of animals in our community through education, adoption and fostering, and animal advocacy.

  • For adoption customers/constituents: By adopting or fostering, or by alerting us of animals in need, you can help us protect the welfare of animals in our community.
  • For volunteers: We protect the welfare of animals through round-the-clock animal care and advocacy.
  • For donors: You can help us protect the welfare of animals by donating to support animal care, advocacy, and adoption promotion.

All of these key messages have the same purpose and undertone, but they vary slightly depending on your audience. Together with your nonprofit organization’s mission, vision, and goals, these messages will help effectively communicate and market your organization’s needs and purpose.

Download Now: Free Brand Building Guide

4. Choose, Plan, and Create Your Marketing Strategies

Many marketers jump right to this step — creating and publishing various marketing tactics. Marketing encompasses much more than an advertisement, blog post, or event. In order to execute successfully, you must complete all the steps prior to this.

Now that you’ve established your goals (what you want), your key messages (what you’re going to say), and your audience (who you’re going to say it to), you can determine your marketing tactics (how you’re going to say it).

Marketing tactics refer to channels like email marketing, social media, events, and more. We’ve dedicated an entire section to these marketing strategies — read about them in detail below.

Regardless of which tactic you choose, be sure to conduct thorough planning before and as you execute on it. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you prepare:

  • What will you do with this marketing tactic?
  • When will these marketing activities take place?
  • Why is this tactic important?
  • Who will be responsible for these activities?
  • How much do we plan to spend?
  • How does this tie to our organization’s marketing goals?

Tactical planning is an integral part of your overall nonprofit marketing plan. How you approach your marketing strategies and how they impact your organization is just as important as how you execute on them.

Before you hit the ground running on any of these strategies, be sure your team has a solid game plan and a full understanding of it.

5. Analyze Your Marketing Performance

Your marketing probably won’t perform perfectly from the get-go. That’s OK. Routine reporting and analysis help you figure out what’s working and what you need to change.

As you choose and establish your marketing channels, pay attention to the measurable performance indicators for each. Here’s a list of examples from our list of marketing strategies below:

Marketing Strategy Performance Indicator
Email marketing Email opens
Event marketing Ticket sales
Video marketing Video views
Social media Shares and comments
Website Page views
Public speaking Referrals
Content marketing Subscriptions

Remember the goals you defined in step one? The point of measuring your marketing performance is to stay aligned with those goals.

You can track these performance indicators using tools like Google Analytics, HubSpot, and the analytics tools built into Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.

If you know what you want to measure before you start marketing your nonprofit, you’ll know exactly what to look for — and how to determine success and impact — when your marketing is in play.

You’ve created your nonprofit marketing plan. Now, let’s talk about how to execute that plan with actionable marketing strategies.

Many of these nonprofit marketing strategies will overlap, like sharing your blog content on social media or releasing an event invite over email. These methods can and should be used in tandem, but we recommend introducing each strategy slowly so your team doesn’t overwhelm itself.

In fact, we recognize that your nonprofit is likely operating with a small (but agile!) marketing team. For this reason, throughout these sections, we’ll recommend tips for doing more with less. Ultimately, though, don’t hesitate to outsource your nonprofit marketing where needed.

Nonprofit Email Marketing

You might be using email sporadically to call for volunteers or confirm an online donation, but that’s not enough. Email marketing is a highly effective marketing resource, especially for nonprofit organizations. Why? It’s personal and powerful.

Here are a few ways to leverage email marketing to reach all of your audiences:

  • Send a weekly newsletter with your newest content, updates about your organization, industry data, and volunteer needs.
  • Send monthly emails with donation needs and opportunities.
  • Set up an email sequence for new subscribers thanking them for joining and educating them on your organization.
  • Set up an email sequence for new donors thanking them for their contribution and sharing how else they can support your organization.

Also, don’t forget to put information on your website about how to subscribe to your email list. Nonprofit organization Acumen does a great job of this by putting subscription opportunities on their homepage and in their main menu.

Acumen's nonprofit newsletter promoted in the footer of their website

👉🏼Nonprofit marketing tip: Automate as much as possible. Email marketing automation (like HubSpot) saves precious time and energy for your team and can be the key to growing your email list, donations, and memberships. You can also automate an email sequence triggered by website visitor behavior indicating a high level of interest, such as downloading educational content.

Click here to download our free beginner's guide to email marketing.

Nonprofit Event Marketing

Event marketing is one of the most effective (and enjoyable!) ways to grow awareness of your organization, connect with your community, raise funds, and garner support for your cause.

PAWS, which stands for Pets are Worth Saving, is another local animal rescue that I’m a fan of. They hold a PAWS 5K race every summer to raise awareness and funding for the organization.

PAWS Chicago 5K nonprofit marketing event page

This type of event impactful for multiple reasons:

  1. It inspires competition and physical activity. Runners raise money for the organization and participate in the run.
  2. It brings people in the community together to celebrate the organization and bring awareness to the PAWS cause.
  3. It provides PAWS a channel to promote their services and adoptable pets.
  4. It’s fun to attend and be a part of! Many people go to the event to support runners, play with dogs, and simply be a part of the fun — all while supporting and sharing PAWS.

From fundraisers to auctions to competitions, there are many different kinds of events you can organize to market your nonprofit organization.

Nonprofit Video Marketing

Whether they’re consuming content for work, school, or fun, people prefer video content. As a nonprofit organization, video marketing is a surefire way to garner interest and support from all of your audiences.

Here are a few reasons that video can help you market your nonprofit:

  1. Video is visual. We process visual content 60,000 times faster than written content. We also remember more content, longer.
  2. Video is personal. It inspires empathy and emotions, which can’t be said about other types of marketing.
  3. Video is educational. Many organizations need to educate their communities on their causes in order to garner attention and funding. Video can help you do that.
  4. Video is shareable. 92% of consumers on mobile will share videos with others. Consumers love sharing videos, especially those that inspire and resonate with them.
  5. Video is interesting. 60% of people are report that video is a media they consume thoroughly. Keep your visitors, followers, and supporters engaged and interested with video.

→ Access Now: Video Marketing Starter Pack [Free Kit]

The Girl Effect, a nonprofit that works to empower girls worldwide, is a great example of video marketing. The organization’s homepage is a video, which captures visitors’ attention right away. Moreover, when you click “See more,” the site opens an informative video telling you all about The Girl Effect.

The Girl Effect's nonprofit web page that uses video marketing

Nonprofit Social Media Marketing

Social media is a highly popular marketing strategy among nonprofits. Not only is it free, but it provides an avenue for organizations to show their brand personalities and engage with their followers and supporters.

Here are some ways to use social media for your nonprofit marketing, as inspired by a HubSpot study of 9,000 nonprofits:

  • Share news about your organization and cause
  • Boost brand awareness and recognition
  • Fundraise
  • Recruit volunteers and employees
  • Recognize donors, employees, and volunteers

Don’t forget to use the key messaging you crafted in your nonprofit marketing plan to keep your social media posts consistent and targeted. Also, make the most of each platform to promote your organization, such as the Donate button on Facebook.

HubSpot customer FIRST, which stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, is a nonprofit organization that works to advance STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education among children.

FIRST makes use of social media in many different ways, such as using Facebook to post videos, news, fundraisers, and reviews — as well as making use of the Donate button. The organization has amassed almost 100,000 followers.

FIRST's nonprofit Facebook page with Donate button

👉🏼Nonprofit marketing tip: Curate content from volunteers, customers, supporters, event attendees, and donors. Implementing a user-generated content (UGC) campaign not only lessens your workload, but it also acts as strong social proof. To enact your UGC campaign, put out a call for constituent stories, images, and videos. Create a hashtag that people can use to alert you of new UGC.

Also, let curation tools work for you. Use Google Alerts and social monitoring tools to alert you when your organization, hashtags, or relevant topics or keywords are mentioned. This provides opportunities to source UGC, get inspiration for new topic ideas, and participate in relevant conversations.

Nonprofit Website

Every nonprofit organization should have a website. A website serves as a digital home base for your organization and includes critical information — what you stand for and how visitors can participate and help.

Your website also houses important assets like your blog, social media streams, event information, videos, and more … basically the rest of your marketing strategies. Lastly, your website serves as a way to intrigue, inspire, and engage your audiences.

Nonprofit organization (and HubSpot customer) American Nursing Association (ANA) is an example of an organization with an outstanding nonprofit website. The site clarifies the ANA mission, shares news and educational content, and informs visitors how to get involved through memberships, events, certifications, or donations.

ANA's nonprofit website

Nonprofit Public Speaking

It’s said that people buy into other people, not products. The same can be said about nonprofit organizations. If consumers believe in the people behind your organization, they’re likely to buy in your cause and donate money or time.

One of the best ways for consumers to get to know your leadership team, not to mention spread the word about your cause and organization, is public speaking. Whether you speak at a local event of 100 people or a multi-day conference with thousands, the impact is the same: telling a powerful story to real people who may not yet know about your cause.

charity:water founder Scott Harrison spoke at INBOUND18. While he shared some about the conception and organization of the nonprofit, he mostly talked about the people that his organization helps — and how the audience can support the mission. Harrison not only moved the audience of thousands but also effectively marketed the charity:water purpose and brand.

 

Nonprofit Content Marketing

Content marketing and blogging are valuable marketing assets for any nonprofit organization. Here’s why:

  • Content educates your audiences about your mission, cause, and industry news and trends.
  • Content (and SEO) bring in new visitors, subscribers, donors, and leads.
  • Content is shareable and serves as free PR among your audiences.
  • Content can be repurposed and made into different types of media, saving your marketing team precious time and energy.

Creating a nonprofit marketing blog isn’t always easy. Teams are short-staffed, budgets are low, and time is precious. Thankfully, there are lots of ways around those blogging challenges, such as sourcing story ideas from volunteers, donors, and customers as well as implementing an editorial calendar so you can plan ahead.

One of my very favorite nonprofit organizations is called Blurt Foundation, a UK-based organization that exists to increase awareness and understanding of depression and support those who struggle with it. There’s a lot of misconception and misunderstanding around depression, so Blurt Foundation uses their blog content and other content resources to educate constituents and supporters. They also incorporate these content assets into their emails, social media posts, and online store.

Blurt Foundation's nonprofit Resources page as a content marketing example

👉🏼Nonprofit marketing tip: Save time and resources by repurposing your content. Content is an appreciating asset that you can reuse and re-promote over and over. Repurposing content to create new marketing assets costs far less than creating entirely new content.

Outline all the ways you could repurpose the content you produce. For example, you could create the following list for your blog content:

  • Short version for use in emails or newsletters with link back to full post
  • Group with related posts for report
  • Two to three visuals images to share on social
  • Infographic with post information
  • Reaction piece to original post

Since you’re not going to promote and distribute each piece of repurposed content immediately, your content pipeline is never empty.

Check out HubSpot’s free nonprofit content today.

Strengthen Your Marketing, Promote Your Cause

Raise your hand if your organization has to constantly do more with less. 👋🏼

If that sounds like your organization, we recommend you use this guide to build a nonprofit marketing plan ASAP. Your organization might not operate for profit, but it can still value from the traffic, funds, and awareness that systematic marketing brings in.

And not only will these activities and strategies help promote your organization, but they’ll take a valuable load off the backs of your team and volunteers — freeing them up to dedicate more time to your cause and constituents.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in June 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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A Beginner's Guide to HTML5

HTML5 was designed to do virtually anything you want to do online without having to download browser plugins or other software. Want to create animations? Embed music and movies? Build advanced applications that run in your browser? You can with HTML5.

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about HTML5, including:

What is HTML5?

HTML5 is the newest version of HTML. The term refers to two things. One is the updated HTML language itself, which has new elements and attributes. The second is the larger set of technologies that work with this new version of HTML — like a new video format — and enable you to build more complex and powerful websites and apps.

To understand how HTML has evolved over the years, let’s look at the differences between HTML and HTML5.

HTML vs HTML5

HTML is the World Wide Web’s core markup language. Originally designed to semantically describe scientific documents, it has since evolved to describe much more.

Most pages on the web today were built using HTML4. Although much improved since the first version of HTML written in 1993, HTML4 still had its limitations. It’s biggest was if web developers or designers wanted to add content or features to their site that weren’t supported in HTML. In that case, they would have to use non-standard proprietary technologies, like Adobe Flash, which required users to install browser plugins. Even then, some users wouldn’t be able to access that content or feature. Users on iPhones and iPads, for example, wouldn’t be able to since those devices don’t support Flash.

Cue, HTML5. HTML5 was designed to cut out the need for those non-standard proprietary technologies. With this new version of HTML, you can create web applications that work offline, support high-definition video and animations, and know where you are geographically located.

To understand how HTML5 can do all that, let’s look at what’s new in this latest version of HTML.

What is new in HTML5?

HTML5 was designed with major objectives, including:

  • Making code easier to read for users and screen readers
  • Reducing the overlap between HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Promoting design responsiveness and consistency across browsers
  • Supporting multimedia without the need for Flash or other plugins

Each of these objectives informed the changes in this new version of HTML. Let’s focus on seven of those changes below.

New Semantic Elements

HTML5 introduced several new semantically meaningful tags. These include <section>, <header>, <footer> <nav>, <mark>, <figure>, <aside> <figcaption>, <data>, <time>, <output>, <progress>, <meter> and <main>. These make it easier to write cleaner code that clearly delineates style from content, which is particularly important to users with assistive technologies like screen readers.

Inline SVG

Using HTML4, you’d need Flash, Silverlight, or another technology to add scalable vector graphics (SVGs) to your web pages. With HTML5, you can add vector graphics directly in HTML documents using the <svg> tag. You can also draw rectangles, circles, text, and other vector-based paths and shapes using this new element. Below is an example of a circular shape created using the SVG <circle> element.

  See the Pen   Drawing a Circular Shape with inline SVG by Andrea Fitzgerald (@afitzgerald53)   on CodePen.

Form Features

You can create smarter forms thanks to HTML5’s expanded form options. In addition to all the standard form input types, HTML5 offers more, including: datetime, datetime-local, date, month, week, time, number, range, email, and url. You can also add date pickers, sliders, validation, and placeholder text thanks to the new placeholder attribute, which we’ll discuss later.

WebM Video Format

Before HTML5, you needed browser plugins to embed audio and video content into web pages. Not only did HTML5 introduce <audio> and <video> tags which eliminated the need for browser plugins, it also introduced the WebM video format. This is a royalty-free video format developed by Google that provides a great compression to quality ratio. This can be used with the video element and is supported by most browsers.

Placeholder Attribute

HTML5 introduced the placeholder attribute. You can use this with the <input> element to provide a short hint to help users fill in passwords or other data entry fields. This can help you create better forms. However, it’s important to note that this attribute is not accessible to assistive technologies. Feel free to read more about the problems with the placeholder attribute.

Server-sent Events

A server-sent event is when a web page automatically gets updated data from a server. This was possible with HTML4, but the web page would have to ask

HTML5 supports one-way server-sent events. That means, data is continuously sent from a server to the browser. Think of how useful this would be if your website included stock prices, news feeds, Twitter feeds, and so on. Server-sent events were supported in the previous version of HTML, but the web page would have to repeatedly request it.

Local Web Storage

With the previous version of HTML, data is stored locally via cookies. With HTML5, web storage is used in place of cookies thanks to a scripting API. This allows you to store data locally, like cookies, but in much larger quantities.

Now that we understand what’s new in HTML5, let’s take a look at why you should be using it on your website.

Why HTML5?

HTML5 offers a wide range of benefits over previous versions of HTML — some of which we’ve mentioned briefly above. Let’s take a closer look at just a few reasons why HTML5 is so special.

It’s compatible across browsers.

HTML5 is supported by all the major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, as well as iOS for Chrome and Safari and Android browsers. It can even work with the older and less popular browsers like Internet Explorer. That means when building with HTML5, you know that users will have a consistent experience on your site, no matter what browser they use or whether they’re on mobile or desktop.

It enables offline browsing.

HTML5 allows you to build offline applications. Browsers that support HTML5 offline applications (which is most) will download the HTML, CSS, JavaScript, images, and other resources that make up the application and cache them locally. Then, when the user tries to access the web application without a network connection, the browser will render the local copies. That means you won’t have to worry about your site not loading if the user loses or doesn’t have an active internet connection.

It allows you to write cleaner code.

With HTML5’s new semantic elements, you can create cleaner and more descriptive code bases. Before HTML5, developers had to use a lot of general elements like divs and style them with CSS to display like headers or navigation menus. The result? A lot of divs and class names that made the code more difficult to read.

HTML5 allows you to write more semantically meaningful code, which enables you and other readers to separate style and content.

It’s more accessible.

Also thanks to HTML5’s new semantic elements, you can create websites and apps that are more accessible. Before these elements, screen readers could not determine that a div with a class or ID name “header” was actually a header. Now with the <header> and other HTML5 semantic tags, screen readers can more clearly examine an HTML file and provide a better experience to users who need them.

How to Use HTML5

To start using HTML5 on your website, it’s recommended that you create an HTML template first. You can then use this as a boilerplate for all your future projects moving forward. Here’s what a basic template looks like:

Let’s walk through the process of building this file line-by-line so you can create an HTML template for your web projects. You can follow along using a basic text editor like Notepad++.

  • First, declare the type of document as HTML5. To do so, you’d add the special code <!DOCTYPE html> on the very first line. There’s no need to add “5” in this declaration since HTML5 is just an evolution of previous HTML standards.
  • Next, define the root element. Since this element signals what language you’re going to write in, it’s always going to be <html> in an HTML5 doc.
  • Include a language attribute and define it in the opening tag of the HTML element. Without a language attribute, screen readers will default to the operating system’s language, which could result in mispronunciations of the title and other content on the page. Specifying the attribute will ensure screen readers can determine what language the document is in and make your website more accessible. Since we’re writing this post in English, we’ll set the file’s lang attribute to “en.”
  • Also include the manifest attribute in your opening HTML tag. This points to your application’s manifest file, which is a list of resources that your web application might need to access while it’s disconnected from the network. This makes it possible for a browser to load your site even when a user loses or doesn’t have an internet connection.
  • Create the head section of the doc by writing an opening <head> and closing </head> tag. In the head, you’ll put meta information about the page that will not be visible on the front end.
  • In the head section, name your HTML5 document. Wrap the name in <title></title> tags.
  • Below the title, add meta information that specifies the character set the browser should use when displaying the page. Generally, pages written in English use UTF-8 so add the line: <meta charset = “UTF-8“ />.
  • Below, add links to any external stylesheets you’re using. If you’re loading Bootstrap CSS onto your project, for example, it will look something like this: <link rel=”stylesheet” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank” href=”bootstrap/css/bootstrap.min.css”>. For the sake of this demo, I’ll include a dummy link and a comment in HTML noting that it’s optional.
  • Now create the body section of the doc by writing an opening <body> and closing </body> tag. The body section contains all the information that will be visible on the front end, like your paragraphs, images, and links.
  • In the body section, add a header and paragraph. You’ll write out the heading name and wrap it in <h1></h1> tags, and write out the paragraph and wrap it in <p></p> tags.
  • Lastly, don’t forget the closing tag of the html element.

When you’re done, you can save your file with the .html extension and load it into a browser to see how it looks.

HTML template that would enable you to use HTML5 on your site

Image Source

To understand why the specification process spanned over a decade, let’s look at the complicated history of HTML5.

In 1999, the year after HTML4 was released, the W3C decided to stop working on HTML and instead focus on developing an XML-based equivalent called XHTML. Four years later, there was a renewed interest in evolving HTML as people began to realize the deployment of XML relied entirely on new technologies like RSS.

In 2004, Mozilla and Opera proposed that HTML should continue to be evolved at a W3C workshop. When the W3C members rejected the proposal in favor of continuing to develop XML-based replacements, Mozilla and Opera — joined by Apple — launched the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) to continue evolving HTML.

In 2006, the W3C reversed course and indicated they were interested in participating in the development of the HTML5 specification. A year later, a group was formed to work with the WHATWG. These two groups worked together for a number of years until 2011, when they decided they had two separate goals. While the W3C wanted to publish a finished version of HTML5, the WHATWG wanted to publish and continuously maintain a living standard for HTML.

In 2014, the W3C published their “final” version of HTML5 and the WHATWG continued to maintain a “living” version on their site. These two documents merged in 2019, when the W3C and WHATWG signed an agreement to collaborate on the development of a single version of HTML moving forward.

Below is a table to show the varying compatibility of the major browsers. Here’s a key:

  • ✓ Fully supported
  • ≈ Partially supported
  • ✗ Not supported
  Chrome opera Firefox safari Internet explorer
New semantic elements
Inline SVG
Expanded form features
WebM video format
Placeholder attribute
Server-sent events
Local web storage

 

If you want a more detailed breakdown of the different versions of browsers that support HTML5, check out Caniuse.com.

HTML5 is the Future of the World Wide Web

With its new semantic elements, expanded form options, format-independent video tag, and more, HTML5 is revolutionizing how developers build web pages. This, in turn, is changing consumers’ experiences online. We can now watch videos without being asked to update Flash or download another software. We can use applications when we don’t have an internet connection. We can have the same great experience on a site whether using a cellphone, tablet, or Smart TV — and more.

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19 Advertising Statistics Savvy Small Business Owners Know

In advertising, one small detail can make a big difference in the success of your campaigns and your ability to leverage a marketing budget. You don’t risk damaging your brand or waste ad spend by learning through trial and error. To help, we’ve found the most vital advertising statistics to help small businesses avoid the…

The post 19 Advertising Statistics Savvy Small Business Owners Know appeared first on Fit Small Business.

How To Track Passage Ranking SEO Performance in Google Search Console (And Why You Might Want To)

UPDATE

So I may have jumped the gun on the “passage ranking” thing, but even though this may be old news, these URLs started showing up in a lot of GSC accounts over the past week so I wouldn’t be surprised if these are related to passage ranking. And I do think the idea of using the slugs for content research is a good one – Ed

*********

Google just announced that “passage ranking” is now live in the SERPs:

I think it actually launched about a week ago as that’s when I noticed that odd-looking URLs were showing up in the Search Performance Report in Google Search Console like:

It’s possible, these may not be actual “passage ranking” URLs, and are just some other flotsam Google has launched. I am seeing them popping up over the past week on several client sites. But for the sake of this post, let’s assume these are passage ranking URLs. It’s an SEO blog post so cut me some slack.

If you want to track the performance of your content with passage ranking, all you have to do is filter the GSC Search Performance Report by Page containing “/#:~:text” and you get a nice little graph like:
Google Search Console Passage Ranking Report

Looks like we need to do some work on getting some actual clicks from these though….

Why should you track passage ranking URLs in Google for SEO? (yes I am trying to rank this passage)

Based on what I am seeing so far, the URL slug displayed in GSC provides some pretty interesting clues as to what content on the page Google matched with the query. For example, according to GSC https://www.localseoguide.com/#:~:text=Obligatory%20Impressive%20Client%20Logos%20%26%20Case%20Studies appeared for searches for “local seo” and “local seo expert.” This may be a signal that “case studies” are important to searchers when they are looking for local SEO help.

Hell, even if these aren’t passage ranking URLs, this is still a good technique for figuring out what content on your page Google is prioritizing for certain queries.

 

 

The post How To Track Passage Ranking SEO Performance in Google Search Console (And Why You Might Want To) appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

Can I Have Rewards With That?

How MyMcdonald’s Rewards Is Serving Up Loyalty

There are lots of reasons why the new loyalty program from the lord of the Big Mac is a big deal. But perhaps the most important reason all: it finally exists. It may come as a surprise that in the US, McDonald’s has never really established an end-to-end loyalty solution for the benefit of its millions of customers. Sure, they’ve executed some foundational tactics and one-off promotions that have summoned the appetites of some serious aficionados. Who can forget the Ribwich, the fabled feast glazed to savory perfection sandwiched not only between two buns, but months – and sometimes years – of regional distribution. And perennial favorites such as Monopoly has excited legions of fans since its first introduction as a US marketing promotion in 1987.

The Bread: Valuable Rewards Structure

Keeping it simple is the recipe for success when it comes to loyalty architectures that resonate, a philosophy which McDonald’s has embraced. The base strategy: MyMcDonald’s Rewards members earn 100 points for every dollar that they spend. Straightforward enough, with a fundamental rewards valuation that implies bang for your buck. The program is split into four tiers — 1,500, 3,000, 4,500 and 6,000 points — for different redemption opportunities across 16 menu items. But rigidity is not on the menu here, and the structure remains open to personalized offers and targeted promotions: special occasions and days of the week have the opportunity to earn double the points for patrons. Right now, the rewards themselves come in the form of qualifying menu items, but one could expect a sweeping diversity of prizes and experiences as the program matures.

The Meat: Omni-Channel Experiences

McDonald’s is no stranger to creating streamlined digital interactions for its customers. It was one of the first fast food giants to trial digital screens inside brick-and-mortar stores, enabling an enhanced ordering process. The brand also bridges physical with digital spaces through its app and online ordering processes. MyMcDonald’s Rewards commits to this proactive digital position by connecting digital ecosystems, making it easier for customers to order food. And some more good news for digital mavericks: a multi-tender payment system appears to be at the program’s epicentre, with members able to leverage both cash and mobile ordering through the app, as well as credit and debit cards once the scheme launches nationwide.

The Cheese: Overarching Employee Engagement

Sometimes, even the best and brightest in the industry aren’t immune from making a fundamental miscalculation: that loyalty is all about the customer. How could it be, when there are so many other stakeholders crucial for a brand’s survival? Luckily, MyMcDonald’s Rewards successfully attends to an internal locus with an employee-centric component that rewards loyal workers. These members can rack up their own points and rewards by completing training related to the program.

This will be one of the most interesting components of the program that we will continue to watch. If McDonald’s can create real value for their employees, it will set the example that others must follow.

The Toppings: Targeted Personalization for MyMcDonald’s Rewards Members

At this point you may be wondering: what else can complete the picture? So far, many of the aforementioned features are simply tactical infrastructure to support the program’s functioning. Luckily, MyMcDonald’s Rewards realizes that a great loyalty platform is merely a vehicle for deeper communication. The program plans to undertake concerted custom messaging to facilitate two-way conversations between brand and customer. For example, McDonald’s workers will greet loyalty members by name as they move through the drive-thru lane, and customers will get a personalized email after they pick up their orders that includes upcoming deals tailored to them.

What’s For Dessert?

It will be even more interesting to see the specific reaction from loyal fans of the seemingly everlasting brand. Performance has already been unprecedented for the restaurant, as it expected to exceed $10 billion in digital sales, or nearly 20% of systemwide sales, across its top six markets as of late 2020.

Right now, this is all still in the testing phase of development. As of now, roughly 900 locations out McDonald’s 14,000 US restaurants are part of the test. Much of the platform makes use of investments made prior to the pandemic. It’s interesting to see the timing of this launch correlate with these turbulent times, but if McDonald’s can carve out customer loyalty now, then they will have the advantage of momentum as things return to normal — and Burger King is not far behind.

The post Can I Have Rewards With That? appeared first on The Wise Marketer – Featured News on Customer Loyalty and Reward Programs.

Do You Really Need to Hold That Meeting [Quiz + Tips]

“This could have been an email.”

Those six words can take the wind out of an office. They mean that time has been wasted, employees are frustrated, and leadership has been ever-so-slightly undermined.

Unjustified meetings are inefficient and grating. Haphazardly putting time on colleagues’ calendars — only to fumble with its purpose, conduct it without direction, or spend all your time talking at attendees as opposed to collaborating with them — takes a toll on everyone involved.

Here, we’ll review some criteria you should look for when deciding whether a meeting is worth everyone’s time, see a few definitive signs that an issue doesn’t warrant a meeting, and go over some of the more prominent, effective meeting alternatives.

When You Should Hold a Meeting

The issue at hand is urgent and time-sensitive.

If the information you need to convey is must-hear and timebound, don’t think twice — book a meeting. You don’t want to run the risk of sending a mass email about a pressing issue, only to have some employees gloss it over or ignore it entirely.

Some things are need-to-know and can’t wait, and your response to those instances needs to reflect that kind of urgency. Don’t be overly passive. Don’t count on your team members to get to the information on their own time. Book a meeting, and get those points across.

You need a space for thorough discussion and multiple perspectives.

Some issues call for some degree of collaboration and thinking out loud. Those kinds of brainstorm sessions and general discussions warrant actual meetings. The spur of the moment thinking and flexibility for your team to bounce ideas off one another is hard to replicate via mediums like instant message or email.

Collaborative meetings foster creativity and critical thinking. If you feel you need your team to immediately run thoughts by one another on the fly and tease ideas out of each other in person, booking a meeting is probably your best bet.

Decision-making is at play.

When the content of a potential meeting is high-stakes — as in “involving decisions that have significant implications on the company’s future” — you have to get everyone together.

You can’t take these situations lightly. In these cases, stakeholders need to know what’s going on and have a forum to air concerns and provide input. An email chain, message board, or pre-recorded video presentation won’t provide that.

When You Don’t Need a Meeting

You don’t have a definitive agenda.

One of the biggest meeting blunders you can make is going in without a plan. Never wing a meeting. Just going in and trying to figure things out as you go is frustrating and obnoxious for your team members — it’s an unproductive waste of time.

If you don’t put an agenda together, you’re also undermining your ability to determine whether the issue at hand actually warrants a meeting in the first place. When you take the time to organize your thoughts, concerns, and materials, you’re giving yourself a chance to see the situation in a more objective light.

With that kind of clarity and perspective, you can more thoughtfully determine whether the information you need to convey is better suited for a mass email, instant message chain, or any other less time-and-energy-consuming format.

You don’t have all your information together.

This point ties into the one above. If you’re not thoroughly prepared or the information you’ve gathered so far presents an incomplete picture of the situation at hand, you’re best off holding off on booking a meeting.

The most effective meetings are thorough, thoughtful, and provide actionable guidance. If you only have a piece of the bigger picture, you probably won’t be able to definitively set your team on the right track — and there’s no getting that time you with everyone booked back.

If you have some information on hand that you feel your team should know. You might be better off touching base with them over a less personal, time-consuming medium and letting them know you’ll have more insight to offer sometime soon.

The meeting is going to involve too many people.

If you’re finding your list of potential meeting attendees seems excessive, you might want to explore other options for getting the information in question out. Massive meetings are often unproductive and typically involve a fair amount of people who don’t actually need to be there.

If the meeting is going to be packed to the rafters, you probably won’t see much thoughtful, organized discussion. Plus, if that many people need to know what you need to say, it’s probably more of a one-sided announcement than an issue that lends itself to focused collaboration. In most cases, that kind of content is generally better suited for email.

1. Email

Email might be the most prominent alternative to meetings. It’s an excellent resource for announcements and less pressing, more general internal communication — information that doesn’t necessarily require an immediate response. It allows you to easily get your message out while providing an opportunity for individual questions and thoughtful collaboration.

2. Video Presentations

Pre-recorded video presentations can be an excellent way to thoroughly and thoughtfully convey information without getting the team together. Resources like Loom allow you to conduct demonstrations, record messages, and offer updates that your team members can watch on their own — making for less friction and saving some time that a full-scale meeting might waste.

3. Instant Messaging

Instant messaging is one of the better ways to replicate some of the more immediate, spur-of-the-moment aspects of a collaborative meeting. With these kinds of programs, you can receive quick responses from team members in real-time. The format is best suited for quick questions and conversations that aren’t necessarily significant enough to warrant full-scale meetings.

4. Wikis and FAQ Pages

Wikis and FAQ pages offer materials that address common questions and concerns that your team members might run into. These mediums are also effective in the long term. By committing information to a web page, you can offer your team an evergreen reference point for concerns and stave off unnecessary meetings, down the line.

Quiz: Do you really need that meeting?

 

Meetings need to be booked carefully and with intention. Your colleagues can’t get that time back, so you need to know that you’ll be productive every time you circle up with them.

If you’re thinking of booking time with your team, be sure to consider the points on this list. You don’t want to deal with the groans and eye rolls that come with a meeting that “could have been an email.”

Take me to Projects

What You Need To Know About Lead Conversion [With Expert Tips]

So, you’ve designed a lead generation strategy and it’s working. Your website visitors are coming to your website, filling out your forms, and boom, you’ve got leads. Now what?

That’s the question I ask myself after re-watching all nine seasons of The Office for the 19th time. But it’s also the question we, as marketers, have to answer when consumers have passed that first threshold.

Once your visitors have shown an interest in your brand, how do you turn them into customers? That process is called a lead conversion.

Let’s dive into how to build your brand’s lead conversion strategy and how to improve your current conversion rate.

A lead goes through several stages before becoming a customer. They start as a lead, then grow into a marketing-qualified lead (MQL), and then become a sales-qualified lead (SQL). This means brands have to nurture their leads at every stage and create opportunities for them to take action toward becoming customers.

How to Build a Lead Conversion Process

No two brands have the same process. Every brand builds its own conversion path tailored to its leads. Below, you’ll find a few strategies to help with your process.

1. Gather information on leads.

Start with the data you have on your leads: source, industry, company, employee size, pain points – any information that will help you build a strategy that aligns with your leads’ needs.

Remind me to trademark “leads’ needs” after writing this article. Now, back to the important stuff.

“You will waste a lot of time building out a conversion strategy that is not based around facts about your audience,” says Marwa Greaves, director of global messaging at HubSpot. “Ask yourself where your leads are. Are your leads most engaged in your newsletter? Your website? On messaging channels? Make sure you are meeting your audience where they are and not asking them to bend to your strategies.”

Jordan Pritikin, the head of email and growth marketing at HubSpot, also highlights another important element to consider.

“Understand why these leads are coming to your website in the first place. What is the underlying problem they are trying to solve?” says Pritikin. “If you can create email nurturing to help them solve that challenge, you’re much more likely to connect with them and convert them into a new customer.”

If you’re missing that information, work on obtaining it through forms and user research. From there, you can design a tailored conversion process.

2. Identify high-intent behaviors in each stage.

How do you know when a lead is ready to make a purchase? What behaviors will the lead exhibit? Having these answers is key to differentiating between leads who are ready to make a purchase and those who aren’t.

A lead who only reads your brand’s blog posts is likely not at the same purchase readiness as a lead who visits your pricing page. So, if you send an unqualified lead to the sales team, they will likely have a much harder time closing a sale.

How do you avoid that? Team up with your sales team to determine what signals low-intent and high-intent behaviors. Specifying those behaviors allows marketers to know what follow-up actions to take.

3. Use an SLA to align your sales and marketing teams.

A lead conversion strategy will struggle immensely without alignment between sales and marketing. One thing you’ll need to agree on is a handoff cadence that works for both teams. That’s where a service-level agreement (SLA) comes in.

It’s typically used to outline an agreement between a business and a customer. However, it’s also used internally between sales and marketing teams to better align their lead conversion strategy.

An internal SLA should include each team’s goals, initiatives, and accountability measures for a given time frame, say Q1. That said, this agreement will require regular updates as priorities change with the business.

4. Build the lead conversion path.

Think of your lead conversion path as a trail of breadcrumbs guiding your leads to purchase. The path itself will include offers and calls-to-action to offer opportunities to convert.

Lead Conversion Strategy Example

Let’s use Zion, a fictional UK SaaS company, as an example. Zion’s sales and marketing teams have collaborated on an SLA, which includes the following: Marketing commits to sending 100 qualified leads to the sales team every month and the sales team commits to following up with those leads within a week of receiving them.

Both teams have also identified high-intent behaviors that will trigger automated emails and have implemented a lead scoring system. For instance, when a lead reaches a score of 95, this will automatically trigger an email sequence inviting the lead to schedule a product demo with a sales rep.

On the back end, that sales rep will receive a notification, with information on the lead, their activity, and a timeline in which to follow up. If the lead does not take action within a certain time frame, an automated, personalized email on behalf of the sales rep will be sent to the lead.

This is an example of the path Zion can build to convert leads, both on the customer-facing end and on the back-end between sales and marketing.

How to Calculate Lead Conversion

Calculating your lead conversion rate is simple: Take your total number of conversions, divide that by your total number of leads and then multiply by 100. That final number is your LCR.

lead conversion formula

Example time: Let’s say from January to February, you generated 105 qualified leads. From those leads, 20 became customers. The formula will look like this: 20/105 x 100. This means the lead conversion rate for that month was 19.04%.

Average Lead Conversion Rates

Because lead conversion happens at several stages across various touchpoints, there is no single average that can be used across industries.

Your brand would benefit more from looking at conversion rates at a more granular level, such as by channel (i.e., email conversion versus landing page conversion) and/or by stage (i.e., MQL-to-SQL rate).

Lead Conversion Strategies

1. Implement behavior automation.

There are two reasons to use automation: it saves time and it scales well.

Let’s say a lead is sifting through testimonials on your website. That may indicate an interest in your product. With this in mind, why not automate a follow-up email that could bring the lead one step closer to a purchase? This could be a free trial offer or a product demo.

According to Pritikin, emails based on behavior perform much better than other types of automated emails. However, Greaves encourages brands to broaden their perspective when defining those behaviors that suggest purchase readiness.

“Activity-based triggers are an easy win for marketers, but think outside the box when creating them,” Greaves says. “It’s not just views on your pricing page that may require an automated follow-up, it could also be views of other customer stories or reviews on your site.”

Here is a list of behaviors that could benefit from automation. The lead:

  • Reviews your pricing page
  • Schedules a product demo
  • Signs up for a free trial
  • Engages often in email marketing
  • Inquires about product features through chatbot, email, or other channels
  • Downloads a high-intent content offer

Working with your sales team to recognize those key behaviors will be instrumental in automating follow-ups that convert.

2. Nurture your leads through email.

Email nurturing is the process of engaging your leads through email marketing with the end goal of turning them into customers. When nurturing leads via email, offering relevant and valuable information is key.

This is when the data piece becomes important. Using the information you’ve compiled on your leads, you can deliver content that piques their interest, aligns with their goals, and solves their challenges.

There are a few tips to make your emails stand out:

  • Personalize your emails with the lead’s name.
  • Use automation software to trigger actions based on email engagement.
  • Segment your email list.

3. Leverage social proof.

When leads are considering your products or services, social proof can help nudge them toward a purchase. Examples of social proof include customer testimonials and reviews, which give leads a look into customers’ experiences with your brand.

They are best used when leads are in (or close to) the decision-making stage. So, you’ll often see them on landing pages and pricing pages.

User-generated content is another great use of social proof and can be incorporated into your social media and email marketing content.

4. Use lead scoring.

If you’re having trouble aligning your sales and marketing teams on MQLs and SQLs, lead scoring can help.

Lead scoring works by attributing points to actions taken by leads and helps marketers know where a lead falls in the funnel. It also helps sales reps prioritize leads and know which follow-up actions to take. It also ensures that both teams are qualifying leads in the same way.

A well-qualified lead means one that’s more likely to convert once they reach your sales team.

5. Retarget through PPC.

Retargeting is a great way to reach leads who have considered your brand before but weren’t quite ready to make a purchase. When you retarget them, you can re-introduce offers they may be interested in or present new ones that align better with their interests.

Retargeting is a proven method for lead generation. However, according to Greaves, it can also work well to turn leads into qualified leads. With the latest restrictions on cookies – commonly used for retargeting ads – brands will have to rely more on first-party data for their retargeting efforts.

How to Increase Lead Conversion

1. Start with the analytics.

If your lead conversion is low, your first step should be looking at your analytics. Specifically, your conversion path over a broad time frame to determine if the low rate has been consistent or is recent.

If it’s the latter, narrow down the period when the dip started and see what could have led to this change. If it’s been consistent, you may need to run various experiments with your conversion path.

Greaves recommends looking at your conversion CTA placements and the difference between them. You’ll want to look for the difference between high-performing and low-performing CTAs. If there are steep drop-offs on certain pages, that could indicate friction with your forms, like the length or the order of the fields, or even the type of information requested.

If the data shows that leads drop off shortly after the handoff to the sales team, it could be that marketing over-promised on what could be delivered.

With so many potential causes, start with the data to lead you in the right direction. Pun intended.

2. Redefine what is high-intent behavior.

Many brands may have lead qualification issues and not even know it. Marketing may be sending their sales team leads and later realize that those leads aren’t ready for sales engagement.

How do you identify the leads that are ready? It starts with gathering the right information. Reach out to your sales team to determine what information needs to be collected. Then, create a comprehensive list of high-intent behaviors and low-intent behaviors that the marketing team will use to segment leads.

This process can help pass on more qualified leads to the sales team and drive your conversion rate up.

3. Experiment with the conversion path.

Think of your lead conversion path as a house. I know you might be thinking, “Why not go with a road metaphor?” but stick with me for a second. Regardless of the condition in which you buy your house, there will always be room for improvement. Things to remove, fix, add, and revamp. And as your tastes change, so will your house’s look.

It’s the same with your path. There will always be room to improve your path. Besides, your leads’ interests, goals, and decision-making processes may change over time and require a different approach.

“Lead conversion requires a lot of experimentation. You will not succeed if you set one strategy and forget it,” Greaves says. “Creating an experimentation process that allows you to test every part of your flywheel will allow you to learn more about your leads and your own internal process than you would have before.”

Although the work is never fully done, every experiment you run will bring you that much closer to converting your leads.

3. Experiment with the conversion path.

When trying to scale your lead nurturing process, automation is the name of the game. Manually sending out personalized emails to your leads might have worked in the early days, but that will quickly get overwhelming as your business grows.

Automation allows you to maintain the same level of personalization at a quarter of the time and resources. Once you’ve set up your conversion path, automate the follow-ups that will be triggered when leads exhibit certain behaviors.

These tactics can not only save your team time but also streamline the conversion process so that no lead falls through the cracks. This practice also leaves room for your sales and marketing team to focus on big-ticket items.

The key takeaway here is that lead conversion isn’t a one-and-done process. It calls for strategy, cross-team collaboration, and a whole lot of experimentation.

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Newspaper Ad Costs, Benefits & How to Create One

Newspaper advertising is best for businesses that want to reach customers aged 35+ on a local, regional, and national scale. The average newspaper ad cost depends on the circulation of the paper, the size, day, and ink. A full-page ad can cost anywhere from $2,700 to over $163,000 depending on these factors, whereas small modular…

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E-A-T LOCAL for SEO

What is E-A-T? Why It’s Important for Local SEO.

“E-A-T” (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) has been a trendy topic in SEO for the past few years. I love this AHREFS chart showing how each month hundreds of new articles on the topic are published.

Thanks to Joshua Hardnick for the idea.

A lot of the SEO literature on E-A-T focuses on “serious” YMYL categories like Health & Finance, but a perusal through Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (yes, I read them so you don’t ever have to – here’s my GoFundMe link) implies that E-A-T is relevant for pretty much every type of search. After all, who is to say what’s more or less important to anyone else? Maybe we should change “Your Money or Your Life” to just “Your Life?” And if E-A-T applies to everything, then since we at LSG are pretty well convinced that everything, in Search at least, sooner or later is going Local, then it stands to reason that E-A-T should apply to Local SEO, and thus, we all should be applying E-A-T techniques to our Local SEO campaigns. And if so, how?

Historically, LSG’s POV on E-A-T is we don’t talk about it much. It’s far too squishy and it implies that an algorithm is borderline sentient. We prefer to discuss E-A-T-like things as technical terms. Thinking about them this way gives us ideas for how to work with them for our clients. It also helps us avoid super-helpful recommendations like “make good content.” As the master himself said nearly a year ago, E-A-T is not an algorithm, but rather E-A-T signals should align with what the algorithm is looking for:

And a year before that, Google announced that it was applying BERT to local search:

And Danny followed up with a little more nuance about how this might work:

So this got us thinking that perhaps we could use E-A-T concepts to increase relevance at the local level.

WHAT IS E-A-T FOR SEO?

Before we can figure out what E-A-T LOCAL is, let’s lay down a baseline as to what E-A-T for SEO overall is. Great SEOs like Marie Haynes and Lily Ray have gone through a lot of time and effort to pick apart how Google might define E-A-T. In reviewing some of the top posts and presentations on the subject, the consensus says E-A-T for SEO can be defined as:

  1. Up to date content
  2. Factually accurate content
  3. Positive reviews
  4. Content created by experts
  5. Content that supports that your experts are in fact experts
  6. Content on 3rd party sites that suggests your experts are experts
  7. Content on 3rd party sites that suggests your experts and/or your site are authorities (e.g having a Wikipedia page, a Knowledge Panel for the author, etc.)
  8. Links from relevant URLs on other sites

There’s nothing mind-blowing here, and you can see how you could start to bake these concepts into a tactical campaign – make sure your content is accurate and up to date, use “known” authors, get positive reviews, and of course, get some links. But Local SEO has always been a slightly different game and so it stands to reason E-A-T for Local should have its own peculiarities as well.

WHAT IS E-A-T FOR LOCAL SEO?

The TL:DR (IMO of course): E-A-T for Local SEO is a collection of attributes a search engine might use to evaluate the prominence, proximity, and relevance of a local business entity in order to rank it for a specific search query.

Now let’s take a shot at breaking E-A-T LOCAL down into “technical” terms.

HOW DO WE DEFINE LOCAL EXPERTISE, AUTHORITATIVENESS, & TRUST?

If I were a Google search engineer, I would think of how a search query might express a request for “local expertise.” In English, that might translate to “A business near me that sells cake.”

I might define “local authoritativeness” as “A businesses near me that sells great cake according to the wisdom of the crowd.”

And I might define “local trust” as “A business near me that sells great cake and is not a Q-Anon front.”

So besides the E-A-T factors listed above, what might be some Local-specific variables that could affect your site’s E-A-T. Let’s start with the obvious ones, using our cake example:

  1. Google My Business Categorization and Services
  2. Local Citations
    If Yelp says you bake cakes, who is Google to disagree?
  3. Physical Location
    Is the bakery “near me?” A business’ location supports the “local” part of “local expertise” just as much as the fact that it’s a bakery supports the “expertise” part.
  4. Hours of Operation
    For some queries you may be more of an expert if you are open now.
  5. Aged GMB Post Content
    Post content can show up as “justifications” on your Local Pack results. If you are posting about cake, there’s a good chance you sell cake.
  6. Presence of the Topic on the Bakery’s Website
    You may want to use some words on your site that imply you sell cakes. In low competition verticals, this is really one of the keys.
  7. Review Content
    According to the Guidelines, not having reviews should not necessarily be a sign of low page quality. That said, having positive reviews with words that map to your target queries definitely supports authoritativeness.
  8. GMB Images
    In some verticals, people really want to see images. They absolutely helps sell the clicks. GMB reports on them. Appropriate imagery attached to your GMB can be a good sign of expertise. User photos could be a good sign of authority.
  9. Structured Data
    Certainly marking up your business with LocalBusiness schema and your authors with Person schema makes it easier for Google to connect these with other entities in its Knowledge Graph, which helps establish authority. I particularly like the knowsAbout property in schema to underscore expertise.
  10. Links/Citations From Other Local & National E-A-T Sites
    The only one thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. Same goes with links. In our experience once you’ve got your onsite E-A-T going, getting other sites that appear in Google to be relevant for your target queries to link to you or at least just mention you is key to both establishing your site as an authority and just plain ranking better. In fact, you might be able to ignore most of the above and just focus on this for any number of verticals.

FUZZIER E-A-T LOCAL SIGNALS

Now that we have the obvious stuff out of the way, I thought I’d add a few ideas that are definitely on the “fuzzy” side of the SEO theory. What are some more abstract ways that Google could algorithmically get an E-A-T vibe from your brand?

  1. SERP Clicks for Non-Brand Queries
    Click behavior affect rankings has been oft reported. We saw it have a dramatic effect in the early COVID days as online retailers ran out of hand sanitizer, searchers pogo sticked down the results to find who had it in stock, and Google re-ordered the search results on a minute-by-minute basis. Certainly these clicks are signal of Authority.
  2. Search Demand for Brand + Service/Product
    We see similar behavior when people en masse search for a brand plus a topic. It’s another signal that the brand/domain is an Authority on that topic.
  3. Foot Traffic
    There’s a reason Android is tracking the crap out of you.
  4. Local Business License
    This one is sketchy. If it were important, then how could so many spammy sites rank well in the Pack? But it should be relatively trivial for Google to know that you are in a fact a legit business in the state, and perhaps it is a minor signal of “Local” Expertise.
  5. Responses to GMB Q&A/Reviews
    This could definitely help with both Expertise and Authority. Whether it does or not is another story of course.
  6. Social Media Activity
    I have seen some people say this is absolutely critical to E-A-T. I could see Google mining Twitter data and perhaps some other social nets, but I’d limit this to something like if you’re a baker, then share stuff about cakes on social media and make sure your accounts link together.
  7. Participation in Relevant Local & Industry Communities
    Not just participation, “expert” participation. Google’s patent on Search Result Ranking Based on Trust states “Some vertical knowledge sites now provide various types of indicators or proxies for the trustworthiness of particular individuals who participate at the site.” So being active on community sites that rank well in Google for relevant terms and being acknowledged on those sites as an expert, seems like a pretty solid way to establish your Local E-A-T-tiness.

ISN’T E-A-T LOCAL JUST BASICALLY DOING GOOD LOCAL SEO?

Relevant content, clear location and categorization, good reviews, and relevant links pretty much align with E-A-T concepts. So maybe you have all been doing E-A-T LOCAL all along and didn’t even know it. Well congratulations, now you have a brand new acronym to put in your presentations like this one I just gave at SEMpdx:

The post E-A-T LOCAL for SEO appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

Loyalty Newswire – February 9th, 2021

Our goal is to make it easy and simple for busy loyalty professionals to stay up to date with essential news and trending topics. If you enjoy our content and want to show your support, subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive content, events and more!

  • Burger King is testing a digital loyalty experience in five U.S. markets
  • Alliance Data introduces new private label credit card for Famous Footwear loyalty program members
  • Coniq selected to provide a new loyalty-driven shopping experience on New York’s Madison Avenue
  • Major mall operator, Simon Property Group, has reported an increase in rent collection
  • Dollar Shave Club’s “We Got You” campaign solidifies its status as an omnichannel brand
  • Tesla announced the purchase of $1.5B in Bitcoin and reveals it will be accepting it as a payment method in the near future
  • Data privacy startup Skyflow is entering the health care space with its “privacy-first” digital passport to enable people access to public spaces amidst the pandemic
  • Norwegian Airlines has placed its loyalty program on hold until further notice
  • Many U.S. airlines are updating their frequent flier loyalty programs to accommodate younger travelers

LOYALTY PROGRAM NEWS:

Burger King tests loyalty program as part of digital push

Quotable: “The Restaurant Brands International chain is the latest restaurant chain to look to rewards programs as a way to drive sales. Loyalty programs from such names as Starbucks and Chipotle Mexican Grill help those companies grow their base of loyal customers and encourage more frequent visits. The introduction of Burger King’s Royal Perks test follows an announcement from archival McDonald’s on Wednesday that it’s entering the next phase of its own loyalty program tests.”

Alliance Data Introducing New Private Label Credit Card Program For Famous Footwear

Quotable: “Alliance Data will provide its full market-leading Enhanced Digital Suite, a collection of marketing and credit application features designed to increase customer engagement and adoption of payment options. By promoting payments earlier in the shopping experience, Enhanced Digital Suite empowers customers to make informed and confident choices when shopping and allows them to easily apply for and use the Famously You Rewards Credit Card to fund their purchase at checkout.”

Madison Avenue Taps Coniq to Design Unique Shopper Loyalty Program

Quotable: “Coniq today announced that the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) has selected its innovative real-time customer engagement solution, IQ Connect, to provide a new loyalty-driven shopping experience designed to increase store visits, reward transactions, boost sales and entice thousands of visitors to New York’s premier destination for luxury retail, Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side.”

RETAIL NEWS:

Mall giant Simon Property, despite pandemic retail hit, sees uptick in rent collection

Quotable: “Sales of some brick-and-mortar retailers have risen from the pandemic troughs plumbed last year thanks to the launch of online shopping options and government stimulus checks to support household income. That has helped retailers meet their rental obligations, with Simon saying it had collected 90% of combined the second, third and fourth-quarter net billed rents as of Feb. 5. It had garnered only 85% of third-quarter net billed rents as of Nov. 6.”

Dollar Shave Club Unveils a New Ad Campaign to Mark its Next Chapter as an Omnichannel Grooming Brand

Quotable: “Today, Dollar Shave Club (DSC), the original shave subscription brand that took the world by storm and is part of Unilever, makes a splash in classic DSC fashion with a new ad campaign for real guys with real grooming problems. The “We Got You” campaign, the biggest in years from DSC, marks its status as an omnichannel brand. ‘It’s an exciting time to be stepping into DSC,’ said Jason Goldberger, Chief Executive Officer at DSC.”

PAYMENTS NEWS:

Tesla buys $1.5B in Bitcoin, will accept as payment soon

Quotable: “Electric automaker Tesla said Monday that it has invested around $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and it plans to begin accepting the digital currency as payment for its high-end vehicles soon. The price of Bitcoin soared 15.4% to around $44,500 Monday in reaction to Tesla’s announcement, according to CoinBase. The California-based electric car maker headed by Elon Musk revealed the new strategy in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, saying its investment in digital currency and other “alternative reserve assets” may grow.”

DATA & PRIVACY NEWS:

Data privacy startup Skyflow jumps into digital health passport market to help public spaces reopen

Quotable: “The company launched Skyflow for Healthcare, which consists of digital passports for COVID-19 and vaccination. Airlines, theme parks and government agencies can use the digital diagnostics and vaccination solution to verify if a person is safe from COVID-19 and ready to enter a public space. The technology could also be helpful for employees in gathering data on which employees have the disease while also respecting privacy, according to Skyflow cofounder and CEO Anshu Sharma. The two-year-old startup says it designed a “privacy-first” digital passport.”

TRAVEL & HOSPITALITY NEWS:

Norwegian Puts Frequent Flyer Program On Hold

Quotable: “An airline statement confirmed that Norwegian Reward members can no longer earn or redeem CashPoints on “Norwegian’s products or services” including flights and baggage fees. Members can continue to earn CashPoints—the currency of the program—by spending money with the airline’s partners. There is no date given on when members may be able to earn or redeem points again, but the airline said the decision is temporary and applies ‘during the reconstruction process.’”

Airlines Upgrade Loyalty Programs and Perks to Meet Millennial Tastes

Quotable: “U.S. airlines are updating their loyalty programs to appeal to younger consumers, both despite and because of the pandemic’s effects on travel. Some carriers are adding perks such as e-book and virtual-exercise subscriptions, while others are overhauling the way frequent fliers earn and spend air miles. The shake-up comes as airlines broaden their focus from older business travelers to millennial and Generation Z customers, who are more likely to catch flights during the pandemic and after it as well.”

Catch up on last week’s news: Loyalty Newswire – February 1st, 2021

The Loyalty Newswire is compiled and edited by the staff at The Wise Marketer.

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How HubSpot's Blog Team Comes Up With High-Performing Post Ideas

When I used to work at a marketing agency, I would read expert industry blogs, such as HubSpot, Marketing Brew, and Backlinko (to name a few).

One of my main questions every day was, “How do these brands do it? How do they constantly come up with brilliant blog ideas?”

Now, obviously, I work at HubSpot and I know what a blog strategy looks like at a big company with a recognizable brand.

By taking the time to do solid research and idea brainstorming, you can come up with blog topics that drive thousands of readers, like me, in — while boosting traffic, authority, and credibility.

Today, I want to pull the curtain back for you. We’ll discuss how the HubSpot blog continuously comes up with high-performing blog ideas.

How the HubSpot Blog Comes Up With Ideas

Before we get started, it’s important to know that when the HubSpot team comes up with blog ideas, several teams are involved (SEO, blog, and lead generation). Because of this, we divide our brainstorming process into two parts: trend research and SEO topic research. We then combine these efforts in our Insights Report on a quarterly basis (which you can download a copy of below).

Featured Resource: Search Insights Report Template

Search Insights report template by HubSpot.

Let’s dive into both those processes below.

How the HubSpot Blog Generates Trend-Responsive Blog Post Ideas

Blog topics that relate to trends, research, or thought leadership yield bursts in non-organic traffic that can help you gain visitors while you’re waiting for SEO-driven posts to rank. Because they often include data, quotes, or other exclusive information, these posts can also earrn backlinks, which indirectly boost your search authority.

However, finding trendy non-organic post topics isn’t always straightforward and often requires brainstorming.

Pamela Bump, HubSpot’s Audience Growth Manager, leads the charge with our team’s brainstorming efforts while also managing the blog’s non-organic content strategy.

She says, “While our SEO team uses specialized tools to identify blog posts that will pull in organic traffic, I leverage a number of trend research tactics to identify post ideas that will pull in non-organic traffic from sources like email, social media, and referrals.”

Below is the process she asks bloggers to use during our virtual idea brainstorms.

1. Focus on your blog categories.

Before you get started, it’s important to have some sort of road map in mind. Choose the most important clusters, or blog categories, that you want to focus on for the quarter and develop ideas around them.

Immediately, just knowing the clusters you want to focus on could spark a few ideas for thought-leadership or data-driven research posts.

Each quarter, the HubSpot acquisition team chooses seven to ten clusters for each blog property — for us, that’s marketing, sales, service, and website. Usually the clusters relate to things like business goals or industry trends.

Additionally, we include other categories besides those clusters, such as Audience Growth, Lead Acquisition, and User Acquisition to help us brainstorm topics that are related to our lead generation goals.

2. Review the content you’ve already written to inspire new topics.

Now that you’ve done a quick brainstorm of some new ideas, let’s see what’s already been written in each cluster that you’re focusing on.

To do this, search your site for the cluster. We do site searches at HubSpot, but just typing in “site:blog.hubspot.com/service customer experience” in Google. With this formatting, you can change the link and change the keyword to be whatever you’re looking for. Then, Google will find posts on that keyword on that site specifically.

When you’re coming up with blog ideas, searching the site to see if the topic has been covered is very important. The reason you’ll want to do this is that you can find high-performing posts that give you inspiration for new angles or you can find posts that you want to update with more quotes, data, or new research. Additionally, this will help you avoid keyword cannibalization.

Caroline Forsey, the HubSpot Marketing Blog property manager, says. “Think of different angles for popular topics you’ve already covered. For instance, let’s say you have plenty of content regarding LinkedIn — but you have none from a thought leader in the space. Perhaps you could conduct an interview with a LinkedIn employee for a thought leadership angle, like ‘Top X Tips from a LinkedIn Marketer’.”

3. See what the competition is doing.

While you never want to copy your competitors, it’s important to see what topics they’re writing about. This will help you fill in gaps that your competitors are missing and perhaps improve on blog topics they’re discussing.

This also lets you know what’s going on in your industry. What’s the latest news and should you be writing about it?

Additionally, you can browse social media for this reason as well. Social media can let you know the pain points of your audience and check-in with what’s going on with your target audience.

Staying up on industry news is one of the best ways to brainstorm blog ideas.

Forsey adds, “When new features become available for a social media platform or tool, there’s often plenty of opportunities to explore new angles there, as well — recently, LinkedIn released its own version of Stories, so perhaps you brainstorm a topic like ‘X Best LinkedIn Stories We’ve Seen’, or ‘LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook Stories: Which is Best?'”

4. Have a checklist of blog topic idea criteria.

Once you’ve created some blog ideas, you should check and make sure each blog post topic is aligned with your overall blog criteria. If you don’t have blog criteria yet, maybe it’s time to set some standards around what each blog topic should cover.

For example, at HubSpot, all our blog posts need to provide value to your blog audience, align with a cluster or lead-gen goal, provide non-organic opportunities, be either trend-responsive or evergreen, and have some keyword opportunities.

5. Stay organized.

You should track your blog ideas in an organized fashion. At HubSpot, we use an idea generation spreadsheet where writers and editors can brainstorm ideas for quarterly clusters, or just write down ongoing ideas.

Ultimately, this process helps keep us organized when it comes to generating consistent blog post ideas.

Jay Fuchs, a blog writer at HubSpot, describes his process. He says, “I try to find topics that reconcile engaging subject matter with practicality when coming up with research or trend-based blog topics. That means finding buzzy, intriguing subject matter that lends itself to an article with a compelling title, interesting supporting materials, and — perhaps most importantly — actionable advice.”

Fuchs explains, “That could mean a piece about something like avoiding common pricing mistakes or sales strategies that will become prominent in the near future. One way or another, you need to pick topics that hook and help — ones that command your reader’s attention and let you make the most of it with insight that they’ll be able to apply, going forward.”

Now that you know the HubSpot process when it comes to generating non-organic blog ideas, let’s dive into the SEO side.

Brainstorming SEO-Optimized Ideas

While Bump and the blog writers brainstorm non-organic ideas, our SEO team is hard at work creating blog topics that have an organic goal in mind. This is their process:

1. Look at your company’s products, goals, and customer base.

To start, HubSpot’s SEO team will review our products, goals, and customer base.

Amanda Kopen, an SEO Strategist at HubSpot, says, “When coming up with blog post ideas, first you need to look at your company’s products, goals, and customer base. At HubSpot, we brainstorm blog posts as they relate to our different products (marketing, sales, service, etc.). Then, we narrow it down to topics where we have expertise but are potential pain points for our customers (social media marketing).”

During this phase, our SEO team is reviewing our personas, prioritizing blog clusters (decided by SEO and lead-gen teams), and brainstorming what would be helpful to our audience.

Additionally, the SEO team will identify large topics, underperforming topics, and old but high-performing topics.

2. Conduct keyword research and run a content gap analysis.

After the initial brainstorm, it’s time to do your keyword research and content gap analysis.

Kopen explains, “Once we have a potential pain point in mind, we use SEO best practices — like conducting keyword research and running content gap analyses — to see exactly what people want to learn about (how often should I post on LinkedIn), and we start writing from there.”

During this part of the process, our SEO team will gather domains with similar audiences and conduct a content gap analysis (find out what these sites are ranking for that HubSpot isn’t).

We’ll also look at related searches on Google to see what people are searching for. Then, we’ll identify opportunities where we can update old blog posts or recycle the URL (so we don’t lose the SEO juice, but have updated content for that topic).

3. See if there are any linking opportunities.

Finally, the SEO team will also communicate with HubSpot’s product and academy teams to see if there are linking opportunities such as any courses or products of ours we should be linking to.

Creating Traffic-Generating Ideas

And that’s how the HubSpot blog comes up with high-performing blog post ideas consistently. To learn more about our process, you can learn how SEO works for the HubSpot Blog with our Insights Report course on HubSpot Academy.

Product-Level Loyalty in Home Fitness is a Cost/Benefit Trade-off

Focused on fitness? If so, the mere sight of your living room walls might be enough to break you into a cold sweat these days. For many, traditional gym experiences are off the table. And with so many still stuck at home, finding healthier and more productive pastimes than constant snacking, Netflix binge-watching, and general laissez-fairing has become a top priority. The new year is already a month behind us, resolutions are still fresh, and marketers are motivated to embrace the confluence of trends, behaviors, and audience passions supporting the changing fitness industry. And there is one industry aspect in particular that has both marketers and loyalty practitioners talking: product-level loyalty.

Pennies for pounds

Product-level loyalty — the marketing facet that has taken the home fitness vertical by storm. This trend seeks to enrich the products themselves with loyalty features, such as ongoing memberships perks, rewards opportunities, and collaborative networking with other members. Sometimes, these benefits are included in the original cost of purchase for the product, or come with limited-time free trials. But more often than not, the full functionality and benefits transferred by these products — including internet-facilitated shared realities with other individuals or enhanced metrics like tracking and logging — cannot be realized without enrollment into these levels.

It’s an intriguing strategy with various competing implications. On one hand, marketers must recognize that further costs or actions required on top of the initial purchase might deter purchase overall. On the other hand, these programs create feeling of exclusivity — a motivator for many in the first place. And the incremental costs are usually much smaller than the original purchase in the short term, adding to the “sunk cost” illusion while persuading buyers to make one more final decision. Finally, because these products usually run at a premium to cater to more affluent market segments, additional costs to access certain features are embraced rather than questioned.

The product-level loyalty model is cropping up all throughout the industry, with key players and household brand names eagerly stepping into the action.

Examples of Product-Level Loyalty Models

Peloton

Peloton provides additional membership levels for customers wanting make full use of the brand’s industry shaking fitness machines. The lowest available tier is the Peloton Digital Membership, enabling use of the Peloton App to access classes and training on digital devices. However, if you want to fully integrate with Peloton hardware, you’ll need the pricier All-Access Membership, which activates in-class metrics, a leaderboard to interact with other members, and post-workout goals with metrics analysis. Members are also able to access tangible rewards such as badges for milestone achievements, and a Century Club t-shirt.

Lululemon Mirror

When Lululemon acquired mirror, it was heralded as one of the finest examples of contemporary omni-channel marketing. To take the unique augmented reality fitness experience deeper into the brand’s marketing strategy, a monthly membership of $39 is necessary for customers looking to access different types of video workouts led by individual trainers overlaid on the dynamic digital screen. On top of the already $1,500 initial price tag of the hardware, there is concern that this significant added membership cost is a step too far and might actually dissuade widespread adoption therefore taxing the overall product loyalty.

NordicTrack & iFit

NordicTrack is a premium manufacturer and brand of personal fitness machines, such as treadmills and ellipticals. To propel and personalize these products, NordicTrack partners with iFit — a personalized training and coaching subscription — to power the brand’s fitness programs. The technology integrates with NordicTrack hardware to provide “SmartFitness” to home training routines. And unless customers are satisfied with keeping their machine set to “manual” mode, these subscriptions are required. In order to entice customers to stay the course and keep their membership renewed, a free 1-year subscription arrives alongside the initial product purchase with hopes to retain customer loyalty in the future.

We will be watching to see how these brands stay the course and continue to innovate as traditional gyms, spin classes, and other public fitness venues become an available and competing option once again. Product-level loyalty strategies are becoming more commonplace with big brand names which should be a hint at what marketers should be focused on next.

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8 Simple Ways to Segment Your Social Media Audience

Segmentation is not a new concept for marketers. We use segmentation to send personalized emails, create buyer-specific pricing models, and understand the behaviors of our most loyal customers.

It is also a valuable tool for generating more leads on social media. While publishing more often and posting different types of content is great for generating engagement with your audiences, segmentation can bring additional benefits, like….

New to social media? Check out this featured resource: Social Media Certification Course 

This post will show you how you can apply the principles of segmentation to social media, outline the benefits it can bring to your business, and give you tips for accurately segmenting your social media audience.

Segmentation is important because it increases your marketing success. When you know the key characteristics and desires of your target audience, you can become more focused with your brand messaging and create hyper-targeted advertisements that speak directly to your audience’s interests. Then, when your advertisements are tailored to their interests, customers are more likely to interact with them and take further action.

Let’s go over eight strategies for segmenting your social media audiences.

1. Understand your audience.

Just as with any marketing strategy, understanding your target audience is the key to accurate, relevant social media segmentation. Without knowing who your customers are, what they want, and how they like to be marketed too, it will be challenging to devise other strategies to help you succeed in your process.

To better get to know your audience, you can create buyer personas from your analytics and research data. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers that help you focus your time on qualified prospects, attract high-value customers, and create content that best speaks to their interests and desires.

You can think of it like this: if the data you’ve collected shows you that Facebook brings you the most engagement, dig deeper into who your audience is on that platform and create a buyer persona that brings a more comprehensive understanding of who they are. These representations you’ve created directly relate to our next tip, as many social media platforms come with audience targeting tools that you can use to market specifically to your different segmented audiences.

2. Use native social media targeting tools.

When most people think of social media segmentation, they think of paid targeting options. However, for low and high budget marketers alike, there are organic targeting options on different platforms that you can use to speak to your various audiences.

For example, Facebook allows businesses to target their messages to users based on demographics, interests, and geographical location (as shown below).

hubspot facebook page audience targeting demo

On LinkedIn, there are also built-in targeting tools that allow you to filter and segment by industry, company size, and much more (shown below).

linkedin-ads-audience-attributes-750@2xImage Source

3. Create audience groups.

Social media is all about community. Building communities of people who share common interests is an easy way to segment your audience and gain valuable insights. You may decide to keep the group open (anyone can join) or closed (a moderator must approve new members), and there are advantages to each.

Open groups enable you to gather information about how a more general audience feels about your brand. You can use this forum to have discussions and ask open-ended questions such as, “What are your biggest challenges?” or “What makes excellent customer service?” You can also test new ideas with your audience members or discover new content ideas that they would find interesting and relevant. The advantage here is that you will have a large group to bounce ideas off of. The disadvantage? They may not be as knowledgeable about your industry as you need.

That’s where closed groups can come in handy. You are approving each member’s admission to the group, and you can cherry-pick the most qualified candidates. Maybe they’re a group of customers whose opinions you value or a list of people who have attended an event you’ve hosted. Regardless of admission requirements, this can be a great way to get specific, helpful feedback from a group you trust — but you may not get as many responses as an open group discussion.

Various social media platforms have group functionalities, specifically Facebook and LinkedIn. On Facebook, you can create a group that is relevant to your business and your target audience’s interests that can be public or private, as mentioned above. The same can be said for LinkedIn, but you should only opt to use it if your target audiences are professional-aged, business minded individuals.

4. Create audience lists.

Most marketers are familiar with creating lists — we do that every time we send a new email campaign. But did you know you can use lists to have more productive social media conversations? Social networks like Facebook and Twitter allow users to create lists of friends, followers, people who have attended an event, and more.

On Twitter, your lists can separate followers into specific categories, like where they are in their buyer’s journey. Whenever these people in your lists Tweet, you’ll be able to view them all within a specific channel to get an idea of what kinds of things they tweet about and what they enjoy. When you have this information, you can create better-targeted ads that speak to your segmented audience’s preferences.

If you’re a HubSpot customer, the lists you use for your email can actually be one and the same as your social monitoring lists. You can set up a stream for each one of your buyer personas, such as a stream for leads who are talking about your brand, or customers in a certain industry. You’ll spend much less time trying to filter through the noise, and much more time having relevant, targeted conversations.

5. Post at different times of the day.

As marketers, we know how important timing is to marketingespecially on social media. If you’ve created accurate, relevant buyer personas, you’ll likely realize that your followers are distributed throughout different geographic regions. This means that your followers in the central United States are going to bed while your followers in Australia are getting ready to wake up.

Differentiating your publishing times allows you to generate engagement from a larger portion of your audience, as followers from all over the world have the opportunity to engage with your posts.

An additional benefit to doing this is that you’ll have multiple posts out there for your target audience to see. You can think of it like this: if you post three times throughout the day for three different audience segments, each one of those segments can also see the posts meant for the other. Three more opportunities for them to interact with your content and three more chances to drive conversions.

6. Leverage multiple networks.

As you master the various ways to segment your specific audiences, more people will be interested in connecting with you through social media. If you don’t already run multiple social media accounts, you may realize that one of the best ways to serve relevant content to specific audiences is to create several social media profiles, each with specific intent.

For example, if you’re a clothing brand, your target audience is likely widely dispersed age-wise. While you may hope to reach all of them on one platform, you’re more likely to get your younger audiences (aged 10-19) on TikTok and your older audiences on Instagram.

Additionally, within each of those different platforms, it’s also worth considering creating multiple accounts focused on various aspects of your business or the demands of your different audiences. At HubSpot, we maintain more than five different Twitter accounts to provide content relevant to each segment of our audience. For example, @HubSpotAcademy is a channel that marketers can use to learn how to be a better inbound marketer, while @HubSpotSupport is a channel that our customers can use to get help using the HubSpot platform. Both Twitter accounts are relevant to anyone interested in HubSpot, but they are most relevant to their particular segments.

Keep in mind that each social media account should still serve a larger audience, so be sure to work on building your overall audience from one account before you try building out more. If you decide to start building out more accounts, be sure that people can easily differentiate their purpose (ex: customer support, marketing materials, your yearly event, etc.) — otherwise, you’ll be creating more work for yourself.

7. Streamline your processes.

Should you choose to leverage multiple platforms or simply just want to streamline your processes, there are various social media tools that can help you create and publish advertisements built for your segmented audiences.

Falcon.io is one of those tools. It comes with an all-in-one social platform for creating paid and organic advertisements, managing customer engagement data from all your accounts, and even creating custom and lookalike audiences for further segmentation, as displayed by the image below.

falcon.io audience segmentation tool demo

Image Source

8. Test your strategies.

Although this tip is not directly related to grouping your audience, the success of your segmentation depends on how well you’ve created your groups. Using social media testing as a means of understanding how your content is performing among your target audiences is a way to know if you’ve accurately segmented your audience, and it can help you perfect your strategy.

For example, say you’ve found your millennial audience to be most active on Instagram. You know that they’re there, so you can begin creating content for them. However, what if you want to better understand their preferences? Maybe you want to know whether they prefer Instagram Stories or Instagram Reels? Conducting an A/B test with both of these content types will help you better understand how to communicate with these segmented groups.

Speak To Your Different Audience Groups

Unless you’re a very niche business, you likely have a large audience group. Within these audience groups, there are probably other distinct communities with different preferences and desires.

It may be challenging to figure out how to tailor your message to individually speak to all of your diverse customers, but the eight tips mentioned above will help you carefully segment your social media audience for more relevant conversations — and eventually, more conversions.

social media content calendar