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Is Your Offline and Online Marketing in Sync Here are Some Tips

Is Your Offline and Online Marketing in Sync? Here are Some Tips

Often, deciding whether to focus your marketing efforts online or offline can be a dilemma.

According to data from the US government, while a whopping $354 billion was generated through online commerce in 2016, an even mind-blowing $4.5 trillion was generated offline. Experts keep saying that the Internet is the future and that soon the bigger portion of e-commerce revenue will be coming from the Internet, but you can’t deny the fact that the bigger piece of the pie is currently offline (in fact, more than 12 times bigger according to the data we just referenced).

So do you go offline or online? Is the Internet overhyped and not as essential as the experts say it is. Not necessarily. Going back to the data from the US government on the size of revenue generated online vs offline, while it is easy to come to conclusions just by looking at the massive amount generated offline, a huge piece of the puzzle is missing: over $1.2 trillion of this was influenced by digital media. In fact, some estimates put this to be much higher.

In essence, how do you deal with a rapidly growing and unavoidable future as well as a very big “present”? You merge both. To really get the best from your marketing efforts, it is essential to ensure your offline and online marketing are in sync. Here are some tips:

Use Social Media to Actively Engage Offline Users

One of the most effective ways to sync your offline efforts with your online marketing efforts is by making use of social media. You’ve most likely watched a TV show in which viewers are asked to go online and tweet certain hashtags to show that they are following the show or to go online and answer some questions. You can do the exact same thing for your brand.

For example, you can run events in which you communicate with all your users and ask them to Tweet a certain hashtag at a certain time on certain days. Besides the fact that this creates awareness about your presence online, it can also help create some buzz. Alternatively, you can include “secret” items in packaging for your offline products that prompt people to go online and interact with your brand on social media in exchange for a special offer or a reward.

Incentivize Offline Users to Get Them Online

One of the biggest challenges for organizations with a heavy base offline is the challenge of getting their users online. How do you get users to visit your website and subscribe to your newsletter, follow you on social media, carry out their transactions with you online, or use your mobile app? By incentivizing them to do so.

According to Nick Dutko, CEO of Auto Transport Quote Services, “When someone regularly engages with your brand offline but do not have much impetus to carry on this engagement online, you can give them the needed push by offering them an incentive. This incentive could be in form of a coupon or special discount for joining your newsletter, using your app or transacting online. It could be a bonus product or service, or it could be a form of reward system in which they are awarded points for all of their activities online — on your website or in your app. By doing this, not only will you be able to get a good portion of your offline user base to go interact with your brand online but you will also be able to make them excited about doing so.”

Online Giveaways Actively Promoted to an Offline Audience

Another way to sync your online marketing with your offline marketing is by running online giveaways for your offline users. The giveaways could prompt them to install your app, subscribe to your newsletter and/or carry out a number of transactions on your website for example. The longer you can keep the giveaway running, especially to allow enough buzz to build around it, the better.

Online Contests Targeted at Offline Users

You can also use regular online contests, especially aimed at offline users, to ensure that users are well-aware of your brand online. For example, you can ask users to create videos answering certain questions about your brand or products and upload it to Youtube or to a section on your website — you then tally all of the videos and pick winners.

The contest in and of itself will generate enough attention for your brand online, but you can also announce the results through your offline marketing channels to create more awareness.

Leverage Conveniency and Speed to Make People Comfortable with You Online

One of the major drawbacks to people transacting with businesses online is the delay in getting what they want. Research shows that we are growing highly impatient, and, with decreasing attention spans, very few people will wait days to get what they could get in hours. This explains why 61 percent of people will happily pay more for same-day delivery as well as why 18 percent of people choose their favorite store based on delivery speed.

Many people will happily come and engage with your brand online if they will get products and services faster. Add free delivery to the mix, or discounted offers for people using your online brand, and you just sweetened the deal.


About the Author

John StevensJohn Stevens is the founder and CEO of Hosting Facts.

5 Local SEO Mistakes to Avoid in 2017

5 Local SEO Mistakes to Avoid in 2017

As you begin to gear up for a successful 2017 for your business, one very important thing you need to address is your local SEO. Here are a few key local SEO facts you should know:

  • The Google 2-pack (which is Google’s organic listing of two local businesses) appears at the top of 93 percent of all searches with local intent.
  • 60 percent of American adults search for local product and service information.
  • 50 percent of people who conduct a local search on their Smartphone, and 34 percent of people who conduct a search on their computer/tablet, will visit a store within a day.
  • A whopping 46 percent of all searches on Google are local.

Local SEO is so significant that almost half of all Google searches are local, and it will become even more significant in 2017. However, the following mistakes will completely jeopardize your local SEO efforts.

1. Unavailable, Inaccurate or Inconsistent NAP Information

NAP is an acronym for Name, Address, and Phone Number, and it is one of the core metrics Google uses to rank local businesses in its search results. Not only is it important to have your NAP information publicly and prominently displayed on your website, but it is also important that this information is consistent. Several sources agree that Google and other search engines cross check your NAP information with several other sites — this includes on your Google My Business page, Yelp, Internet Yellow Pages, and local directories. This tool from Moz can help analyze your website to see if you will have any issues.

Besides the fact that working on your NAP will improve your SEO, it is also important to note that having accurate and up to date NAP information will improve your sales and conversions. Here’s why:

  • 86 percent of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps
  • 76 percent of local searches will result in a phone call

2. Claim Your Google My Business Page

One of the most important things you can do when trying to rank well in local SEO, specifically with the Google search engine, is to claim your Google My Business page. In fact, this is so important that it accounts for about a significant 14.7 percent of local ranking signals.

5 Local SEO Mistakes to Avoid in 2017

When it comes to local SEO, the information Google uses to rank your website — and that  it displays to people in local results — mainly comes from your My Business page, not from your website. You can set up your My Business page directly with Google, but it is important to verify your listing so that nobody else is able to edit your page in the future.

Once you set up your My Business page, it is important to ensure it includes a proper and unique description of your business, that your business is properly categorized, that there are a local phone number and address accompanying your listing and that is consistent elsewhere online, and that you upload as many relevant photos for your business.

3. Get Local Reviews

One of the essential factors that impact your local SEO is reviews — the more high quality, high quantity and high diversity reviews you get, the better for your local SEO.

For a start, once your My Business page has been created, reach out to existing customers and friends, reach out to people on your email list, reach out to people through your blog, who have experience with your business and ask them to leave a genuine review — you could even give them the incentive to leave a review. Because review signals account for about 9.8 percent of local ranking factors, getting good quality reviews will give you some serious local SEO boost.

4. Ignoring Normal SEO Ranking Factors

As you’ve probably seen, local SEO is a different ballgame from normal SEO — it is very dangerous to assume that it is entirely different, though. A lot of factors that influence normal SEO also influence local SEO. For example:

  • Domain authority: All things being equal, a business with high domain authority will rank much better than a business with low domain authority. Work on improving your domain authority by working on gaining quality internal and external links.
  • Backlinks: Backlinks are also super essential to successful local SEO. Factors like the quality, the quantity and the diversity of your backlinks will go a long way to impact your local SEO. If you don’t have a link building strategy in place, it’s essential to start one.
  • Search results in CTR: Just as with normal SEO, Google, and other search engines observe the click-through rate to your website from the search results pages to see how your website and business resonate with searchers. This is a signal to work on your on-page SEO such as meta signals that are shown to people in the search results.

5. Ignoring Negative Local Ranking Factors

It is also important to realize that there are negative factors that can jeopardize the ranking of your local business in search results pages. You don’t want to ignore these factors, too:

  • Having your business listed in an incorrect category in your My Business page can have a negative impact on your local SEO.
  • Having a false business address, incorrect phone number or an address and phone number inconsistent with that found elsewhere online can seriously, negatively affect your rankings.
  • Having malware on your site can damage your local SEO.
  • It is also important to avoid using PO Boxes, UPS Mail Store addresses, and other similar addresses. Google and other search engines will only recognize real addresses.

Negative My Business reviews can also affect your local rankings. While review diversity is important, overly negative reviews will jeopardize your local SEO.


About the Author

John StevensJohn Stevens is founder and CEO of Hosting Facts. He regularly contributes to Entrepreneur, Adweek, and other major publications. When he is not busy directing affairs at the various companies he manages, he is probably digging up facts and research on how to be a more efficient human.

 

 

Like this month’s theme? We are sharing even more about how small businesses can grow with SEO over at www.SEOforGrowth.com.

5 Data-Backed Tips for Boosting Your PR Response Rate

As a brand, your public image matters. However, it is important to note that 55 percent of people have a natural distrusts for brands. In the internet age not only do people discover information in a split second, but they can actually influence a brand’s future depending on what they share. It is up to you to take charge of your brand and control how you are perceived.

Simply ignoring your brand, or taking a lackadaisical approach to your PR and hoping things work will no longer work. You have to take a proactive approach to PR, and below are 5 data-backed tips guaranteed to boost your PR response rate.

1. Be Quick and Sharp. Embrace the KISS Principle

If you want to get results from your PR efforts, wordiness is something you should avoid — it will always lead to disaster.

Most people feel that if you have a lot to say then you should say a lot, but this might actually result in you being filtered out by your audience; in a recent Microsoft Corp. study, that studied 2,000 people and monitored brain activity of 112 other people, it was observed that the average human attention span has declined rapidly; we’ve gone from having an attention span of 12 seconds in the year 2000 to now having an attention span of 8 seconds. For comparison, a goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds. Essentially, we now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish.

The Microsoft study also ties in with research about the role speed plays in the online economy — with slow websites costing the U.S. e-commerce market a whopping $500 billion annually.

If you want to boost your PR response rate, you need to know that we’re no longer in an era of wordiness; instead, the key to success at this point in time is to embrace the KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) principle.

2. Follow up No Later than 48 Hours

A good part of your PR often involves reaching out to other people, but how do you know when to follow up and when to wait? Naturally, we don’t want to appear to be bugging people, but solid research has shown that the best time to follow up when you don’t get a response to your email is 48 hours after you

sent your email. This fact was established by the USC Viterbi School of Engineering in a recent study that they conducted. The study observed the email behavior of over 2 million people who exchanged 16 billion emails over the course of several months. The findings show that if you don’t get a response to your email within 48 hours of sending it, there’s a 90 percent likelihood you won’t be getting a response to it at all.

So when you send emails as part of your outreach effort, you don’t have to wait one or two weeks to know that you won’t be getting a response. If you don’t get a response within 48 hours, research shows that it is highly likely you won’t be getting any. Follow up immediately.

3. Be Super Responsive When People Reach Out to You

You know the data from the Microsoft study referenced earlier, that attention spans is rapidly declining? Well, it has other implications: due to increasingly shortened attention spans, if you don’t respond quickly when people reach out to you it has serious implications for your brand.

Research shows that people expect to hear back from your brand quickly when they interact with you on Twitter; in fact, 53 percent of people on Twitter expect a response within an hour of contacting any brand. Research also shows that if their experience with you is bad, or if they feel that you are unresponsive, they are highly likely to tell others about this experience.Email Isn’t

4. Going Away Anytime Soon, but Social Media is Just as Important

Email is probably the biggest part of the web; research shows that around 2.5 million emails are sent every second. This explains why we’re always overwhelmed by emails, so this must mean we should avoid email as much as we can when doing important outreach, right? Not really. According to a Muck Rack survey, email is still the preferred way for journalists to receive story pitches; if you’d like to be covered in the media, you have a higher chance if you reach out via email.

However, that doesn’t rule out the importance of social media; the Muck Rack study also revealed that 76 percent of journalists feel pressure to think about the social media potential of their story. In other words, even though email is still as important as ever, a big part of getting the media coverage you want involves ensuring that your story has social media potential. If journalists don’t feel that your story will do well in social media, there’s a high chance they won’t cover you.

5. Learn a Bit of Copywriting

For effective PR outreach, you might need to learn a bit of copywriting — literally. Research shows that you have about 3 seconds to catch the eye of a journalist, and 79 percent of journalists say that subject lines affect the emails they open; journalists receive an average of 50 to 100 press releases every week, and there’s a limit to what they can cover. If your press release or pitch isn’t attractive enough, you’re at a disadvantage.

Having knowledge of how to write attractive headlines and how to write attention-grabbing introductions will certainly give you an edge. More importantly, it was revealed that if a journalist happened to read your pitch, he or she is likely to spend less than one minute reading it. 68 percent of journalists just want the facts, and 53 percent of journalists prefer that you deliver your facts in bullet points. Be sure to highlight facts that journalists need to cover you where it is important.

John StevensJohn Stevens is a marketing professional, growth consultant and CEO at Hosting Facts. When he is not writing or reading about fascinating psychology experiments, he’s probably tending his large beards.