Follow 8 Golden Rules of Social Media to Avoid the Pitfalls of Social Media in This Week’s Social Media Update

To implement your social marketing strategy seamlessly, Digital Marketing Managers need to follow the golden rules of social media to make your social marketing successful and help you reach your overall digital marketing goals.

Golden Rules of Social Media

Golden Rules of Social Media Source: http://rebekahradice.com/golden-rules-successful-social-media-marketing/

  1. Create specific social media objectives – Give your organization a clear understanding of where you are going with your social marketing.
  2. Inbound is not enough – Social Media will not fulfill your overall digital marketing objectives on their own. Digital Marketing Managers need a well-rounded mix of inbound and outbound strategies to fulfill your overall digital marketing goals.
  3. Good content – make sure you create engaging relevant content.
  4. Strong call to action – your social media content needs to clearly express what you want your followers to do after they consume your content; otherwise, you are wasting your time and your followers time.
  5. Always add value – make sure your content adds value to your brand.
  6. Never forget that social is a two-way street – Once you make a post, followers will make comments, and you should take comments seriously and respond to them timely and sincerely.
  7. Peer-to-peer sharing is the best way to get your message heard – Social media creates an open dialogue with your followers, and it gives brands and Digital Marketing Managers the capability to create engaging experiences and relationships with followers.
  8. Most important! Don’t take yourself too seriously – participating in social media gives Digital Marketing Managers the chance to give their brands a personality and be likable. However, don’t go off the deep end, you need to have some decorum.

If you follow the above golden rules of social media, you can avoid the following pitfalls of social media:

Pitfalls of Social Media Source: http://www.socialsamosa.com/2012/04/social-media-pitfalls-to-avoid/

  • Don’t brag – yes, you want your content to add value to your brand, but you don’t want to sound conceited.
  • Don’t be afraid to try social marketing – just because social marketing is different doesn’t mean you should avoid it. By creating objectives and a plan, social media can appear less daunting.
  • Don’t be afraid of social media because measurement is difficult – there are ways to measure the impact of your social media. Plus, social marketing extends your brands reach that will impact your bottom line indirectly.
  • Don’t use social media sites as advertising opportunities – Social media is a chance for you to give your brand a personality and truly connect with current, past, and future customers. Traditional advertising methods will not allow you to connect with your followers.
  • Don’t assume every social media site is good for your brand – Not ALL social media channels will work for ALL brands. For example, if you are a B2C company, Facebook may be a better fit. On the flip side, if you are a B2B company, LinkedIn might make more sense. (Remember this is just an example and not proven to be true)
  • Don’t create social pages and think you are done – If you can’t create a relationship with a new person in one day, what makes you think you can create engaging ongoing relationships with your target audience in social media if you don’t update your pages or posts regularly? However, keep in mind, this doesn’t mean you should be on social media all day every day.

General Rule of Thumb: Use social media sites as one digital marketing tactic in your digital marketing toolbox to extend your reach with your target audience, and use it where it makes sense for your brands to build relationships and create engaging experience with your current, past and future customers.

Source: Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Social Marketing

Additional Articles for Social Media Networks:

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

Google+

Next Week’s Social Media Update: Creating a Social Media Army to Help Reach your Target Audience

Learn More about Digital Marketing Manager, Cindy Plough

Email Marketing Tuesay: 9 Tips on How to Segment your Email Marketing List

As mentioned in last week’s Email Marketing Tuesday, today’s blog post
Segment target audience into smaller groups that are things in common is all about tips on how to segment your email list to create engaging email marketing and help maximize your email marketing results.

As a Digital Marketing Manager, your email marketing efforts may be one of the top revenue generators. Therefore, you want to try and maximize your email marketing results, and one way to do this is segmentation.

First, let’s define what is segmenting. It means dividing your target market into smaller groups where each group have similarities.

Segmenting is near and dear to my heart, and segmenting a target market is one of my favorite things to do. In segmenting, you learn more about your past, current, and potential customers, which I’ll refer to as your target audience. The more you know about your target audience the easier it is to develop relevant content and create engaging experiences for your target audience.

Not sold on the segmenting idea, consider the following:

  • Personally, when I have segmented my email lists, the email marketing efforts received a 25% lift in response rate.
  • According to Monetate’s 2013 Intelligent Email Marketing that Drives Conversions, “Segmented email campaigns produce 30% more opens than undifferentiated messages.”
  • According to DMA’s 2013 National Client Email Report, “Email marketer estimate 30% of email revenue derives from targeting to specific segments.”

Now, I’m happy to share with you 9 tips on how to segment your email marketing list to make your email marketing efforts more relevant to your email subscribers.

Two Types of Segmenting

  • Who they are – segmenting by demographics
  • What they’ve done – segmenting by behaviors or transactions

Segmenting by Who They Are aka Demographics:

  1. Gender
  2. Age
  3. Job Title
  4. Industry
  5. Interests
  6. Company Size
  7. Geography

Segmenting by What They’ve Done:

  1. Collecting Behavior Data – track browsing and searches on your website that lead to purchases
  2. Past Transaction History – past transactions can predict what they might purchase in the future

Next, you are probably wondering where do you get all the information you need to segment your lists. You can collect the information you need to segment by:

  • Asking for information when you collect an email address on your website
  • Ask for additional information during repeat web visits
  • When you have an email address, invite them to answer some questions about them
  • Data Append Services – you can hire companies to provide demographic information or information about IP addresses
  • Keep track of click paths and transactions

Conclusion

Consumers are starting to expect marketers to know about them, so you should consider segmenting and creating personalized marketing messages to engage your target audience and create superior experiences with your brand.

Source: Marketo’s The Definitive Guide to Engaging Email Marketing

Additional Resources

Social Media Wednesday: 3 Social Media Techniques to Coordinate with your Email Marketing

As a follow up to yesterday’s Email Marketing Tuesday, today we’ll explore how Digital Marketing Managers can use social media to compliment and enhance their email marketing efforts.

Social Media IconsSince people interact with your company in a multitude of channels (social media and email), messages in the different channels need to flow seamlessly.  Therefore, you can use your social media to continue the conversation that started in an email marketing effort. Another goal of coordinating social media and email is to extend your reach beyond your email list.

Social media and email marketing can work together to create engaging experiences for your target audiences by implementing the following 3 social media techniques.

  1. Social Connecting – you can use your email list to increase your social media followers by including social media icons and links in your email efforts.  You can also give your email recipients a reason to follow you on your social networks.
  2. Social Sharing – entice your email recipients to share your email content on their personal social networks for their Facebook friends and Twitter followers to see. There are 3 ways to conduct social sharing. First, you can use “share with your network” and “forward to a friend” in you emails. Second, use hashtags or “tweet this!” in your emails. Third, create a social sharing contest.

Example of Social Sharing:  In this example, it is an article that includes “Tweet the stat!” after each statistic list in the article.

  1. Social Promoting – you can use social media to entice new people to give you their email address. Just include links to your website’s email sign-up page in your posts or tweets. Then, amplify those posts with the links to your website’s sign-up page. Next, build an email opt-in app that lives on your Facebook page. Finally, use social media to reconnect with follows who are on your email list but haven’t responded to your emails.

Other social media techniques you can use to enhance other digital marketing efforts:

  • Look for potential keyword phrases that you can try using for your SEO
  • See who your followers follow and look for their interest to learn more about them

With the social media techniques mentioned today, you can see how social media and email marketing cross-over and work together.  Have fun using one or more of these techniques to increase your social media following and get you closer to achieving your digital marketing objectives.

Source: The Definitive Guide to Engaging Email Marketing by Marketo

Additional Articles for Social Media Networks:

Email Marketing Tuesday: 5 Attributes to Achieve Engaging Email Marketing

Welcome back to Email Marketing Tuesdays, I have been on a quest to discover best practices for email marketing, and I want to share my findings with you.

What is engaging email? One of the many things I have read includes Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Engaging Email Marketing, and the guide covers 5 attributes that makes email marketing engaging, and the 5 attributes include:

  1. Trusted
  2. Always Relevant
  3. Conversational
  4. Coordinated Across Channels
  5. Strategic

However, before going into details about the 5 attributes that makes email marketing engaging, let’s define engagement.  According to Brian Solis author of  What’s the Future of Business? Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences, “engagement is defined as the interactions between a brand and a consumer, but it is in how it’s measured that counts.”

Now, as you read the details about the different attributes involved in engaging email marketing, think about the actions your brands and your consumers need to take, and then, think about how these actions can be measured.

1. Trusted – To create trust with your target audience, you need to develop and maintain the quality of your list; maintain your reputation to increase deliverability with ISP’s; be consistent in the timing, frequency, marketing messages, who emails are from, and subject lines; and finally, abide by CAN-SPAM regulations.

2. Always Relevant – Say the The crossover between what you what to say in your email message and what your audience wants your email message to say is relevancy
right thing to the right people at the right time.  To accomplish this, you need to segment your target audience and determine what is the most relevant content for each segment within your target audience.  The next Email Marketing Tuesday will talk more about how you can segment your list, so stay tuned!

Two-way communication3. Conversational – the content of your email marketing efforts should spark a two-way conversation between you and your target audience.  You can do this by listening to your audience, adapt to their changing needs, and tell engaging stories.  Segmenting your lists and using dynamic content will help you achieve this attribute.

4. Coordinated Across Channels – According to a recent study by Mckinsey & Company, “E-mail remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than Social Media — nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined.” However, social media extends your reach beyond your email marketing efforts. Therefore, Digital Marketing Managers need to include both email marketing and social media marking efforts in their digital marketing programs.  Tomorrow’s blog post, Social Media Wednesday, will talk more about social media efforts that you can coordinate with your email marketing efforts.

5. Strategic – First, make strategic marketing decisions that comply with your company’s goals.  Second, with the metrics that you are given, formulate a process to determine your Return on Investment (ROI) for your email marketing program.

Some of the above mentioned attributes are not surprising, but some the details and examples out-lined in Marketo’s guide are helpful.  In my opinion, Marketo put together an excellent guide that contains a majority of what you need to plan and deploy a top notch engaging email marketing program.

Remember: Tomorrow, check out the Digital Marketing Manager blog post, Social Media Wednesday, to find out more about the Coordinated Across Channels attribute mentioned above.

Learn More about Digital Marketing Manager, Cindy Plough

SEO Monday: How to Optimize your Content and Keyword Phrases for SEO

I recently came across this really great Infographic, from Aha Media Group, that walks you through the steps to optimize your Content for your Long-Tail Keyword Phrases to help you implement your SEO tactics and meet your digital marketing objectives.

As a side note, when reviewing this Infographic, think about how you can use Infographics in your Content Marketing.  Not only did I think this Infographic was clever, I personally thought presenting How-To information was clever and unique.

I hope you find this Infographic helpful to implement your Keyword Phrase strategies to help optimize your content. I also, hope this gets your creative juices flowing on how you can develop content for your digital marketing efforts.

Source: Infusionsoft Big Idea Blog: Recipe for SEO Success

How to Optimize your Content using your long tail keyword phrases

Learn More about Digital Marketing Manager, Cindy Plough

SEO Monday: 10 Additional Keyword Research Tools to Help you Define and Redefine your Keyword Phrases

Keyword Research Tools

Just scroll down to see the list of Keyword Research Tools.

Welcome back to SEO Monday! It has been a while since I last posted something for SEO Monday, but the Holiday Season kept me extremely busy.  I hope that you and your families had a wonderful Holiday Season.

Now that 2014 has started, it is time for Digital Marketing Managers to get back to work at driving traffic to websites and generating revenue by deploying SEO strategies.

One of the many digital marketing tactics that keeps Digital Marketing Managers busy in SEO is Keyword Analysis for organic SEO and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) campaigns.

With Google’s multiple updates to their algorithms in 2013, keyword research will continue to be important for SEO and content marketing strategies.

There are many articles saying that Keywords are dead. However, I believe it is just a different way of thinking. Instead of coming up with a list of just words, Digital Marketing Managers need to develop a list of Key Phrases that current and potential customers will enter as queries into search engines.

So ask yourself,

What key phrases (not keywords) will your target audience enter into a search engine to find you?

After you develop a list of phrases that your target audience could potentially use to find you via search engines, you can use a research tool to help you determine the popularity and competition of your key phrases. Next, refine your key phrases until you have a list of phrases with high popularity and low competition.

Utilizing one of the Keyword Research Tools mentioned in an article called “10 Great Alternatives to the Google Keyword Research Tool” by Pam Dyer, you can determine the popularity and competition of you key phrases. I thought it was important for me to forward Dyer’s article on to you and list some free and paid Keyword Research Tools mentioned in her article.

Free Keyword Research Tools

  1. WordStream Keyword Tools
  2. Wordtracker
  3. SEO Book Keyword Tool
  4. Ubersuggest
  5. Keyword Eye

Paid Keyword Research Tools

  1. Moz
  2. KeywordSpy
  3. SEMrush
  4. Keyword Discovery
  5. Advanced Web Ranking

Source: 10 Great Alternatives to the Google Keyword Research Tool

Given these Keyword Research Tools, find one that works for you in determining the Key Phrases that your target audience will type into search engines to find your organization.

As you develop your key phrase list, remember that people enter 3 to 4 words when completing a search. So, you might want to consider that your Key Phrases are 3 to 4 words long and use these phrases in your H tags and content.

Additional Resources

Learn More about Digital Marketing Manager, Cindy Plough

Email Marketing Tuesday: Easy Way to Get Email Subject Lines Plus Tips in Writing Email Subject Lines

Email subject lines are the key deciding factor people take in opening emails that a digital marketing manager should take seriously -Source:  http://digitalmarketer.com/infographic-subject-lines-that-command-reader-attention/

Image Source: Digital Marketer

The email subject line plays a large part if your email gets opened, so taking the time and effort to create intriguing subject lines is worth your time. The first thing your audience sees when you send them an email is the subject line, so discover what makes your audience open your email.

For me, writing the email subject line is the hardest part of the email marketing process, and crafting the email subject line is usually the last thing I do before deploying an email marketing effort. After writing the copy, a email subject line comes to mind. According to Mequoda, you can just steal someone else’s email subject line. As a Digital Marketing Manager, I receive many professional and promotional emails every day, and I may consider Mequoda’s suggestion one day.

Currently, when I receive a cleaver email, I file it away in my “Good Copy” folder as a reminder for something that I may want to test. Now, I will create a new folder called “Good Email Subject Lines” to file away emails with subject lines that might be worth testing. In the meantime, let’s talk about some tips to help you and me write compelling email subject lines that increase email open rates.

Tips to Help You Write Email Subject Lines:

  1. Offer a quick and easy way to do something
  2. Talk about the reader’s self-interest – something that is a benefit
  3. Give the reader some good news
  4. Arouse curiosity, preferably related to tips 1, ,2, or all of the above

Since email subject lines play a large factor in your email marketing messages getting opened, you, a Digital Marketing Manager, should take the necessary time to craft the appropriate email subject line that your audience will open. You may get inspiration for your email subject lines from your inbox, or use the tips above to craft a clever email subject line that will make your audience open your email. Whatever you decide, always test your subject lines to maximize your open rates.

SEO Mondays: Improve your Google Rank by Implementing 7 Link Building Strategies

7 Link Building StrategiesKeyword strategies get the most attention for SEO, but link building is another SEO strategy that Digital Marketing Managers can utilize to increase website rankings on search engine results pages. Today’s SEO Monday blog post talks about 7 link building strategies.

7 Link Building Strategies:

  1. Manual Link Building
  2. Competitive Link Building
  3. Links via Embedded Content
  4. Linkbait & Viral Campaigns
  5. Content, Technology & API Licensing
  6. Partnerships, Exchanges & Trades
  7. Link Reclamation

Whatever link building strategy you decide to employ, just keep in mind that you should create relevant links for your content to increase the trust with your customers and search engines. The more relevant your links, the higher the quality of your links, the more value search engines will place on your content, and ultimately, the higher you will rank on search engine result pages.

Before starting your link building strategies, create a profile of websites and social media sites where your target audience spends time. Then, think about how you can build links from those sites to you site.

7 Link Building Strategies Details

1. Manual Link Building
Create a list of relevant non-competitive sites and pages, and then, make a request for a link with the website. Try to find an actual person who manages the site to make a request for displaying your link. This form of link-building is the most time consuming, but it produces high quality links.

2. Competitive Link Building
Complete a search of places where your competitor has links and see if you can post links on those same pages. Examples of where you and your competitor might both have links include industry directories or associations. This process doesn’t produce links with the highest quality, but it isn’t time-consuming like the Manual Link Building Strategy.

3. Links via Embedded Content
By offering widgets and embeddable forms of content, you can earn links back to the page of your choice when other websites include your work in blog posts, articles, or webpages. For example, you can use scribd.com to upload one of your PowerPoint presentations and embed a mini graphic of the PowerPoint on your website. When someone clicks on the graphic, scribd.com earns a link. This link building activity is not time consuming and produces high quality links.

4. Linkbait & Viral Campaigns
Find industry bloggers or content hobbyists that offer relevant content to your website where you both have similar audiences. Contact these individuals and ask them to post your content on their site with a link back to your site. It may take time to develop relationships with industry bloggers and hobbyists, but if both of you share each others content, you can build high quality links.

5. Content, Technology & API Licensing
With this strategy, you syndicate your content or create licenses with other websites to post your content.  Then, who ever distributes your content produces a link back to your site. Producing these types of links my take time, but once the relationship is formed the opportunities for building high quality links is limitless.

6. Partnerships, Exchanges & Trades
These types of links include reciprocal links, discounts, or invitations to events.  To maintain the quality of these links, don’t sell links. Building these types of links can be simple as long as both parties are happy, but the quality isn’t as high.

7. Link Reclamation
Find all potential broken links, out-of-date resources, and 404 pages, and then, redirect them back to your homepage. While this takes time, this strategy produces high quality links. Plus, this strategy is just good practice and can help build a relationship with customers.

Good luck utilizing one or many of the above link building strategies. Just remember to build relevant links for your content. For every link you build, ask yourself if the link feels natural or not.  If the link doesn’t feel natural rethink the link.

Additional Link Building Strategies listed from hard to easy to implement

Strategies in the above graphic are list from hardest to easiest to implement. However, think about implementing a combination of these strategies to reap all the benefits for your websites SEO. The source of the graphic is from Brands Exposed.

Learn More about Digital Marketing Manager, Cindy Plough

Email Marketing Tuesday: Taking Full Advantage of your Transactional Emails

Welcome to Email Marketing Tuesday: Taking full advantage of your transactional emails by communicating with your prospects and customers. Transactional emails are an opportunity to communicate with your audience via email messages triggered by an action they took or an action they need to take.

Since you only have a short period of time to attract and maintain your audience’s attention, inserting multiple messages in your transactional emails could be an opportunity get emails opened and call to actions taken.

What are Transactional Emails?

According to Mailchimp, transactional emails include messages with content tailored to a single recipient and only to them through a transaction that they made online. Others consider transactional emails as triggered, automated, real-time, or personalized emails.

Types of Transactional Email:

  • Welcome
  • Thank You
  • Bill
  • Renewal
  • Invoice
  • Receipt
  • Order Confirmation
  • Order Status
  • Post Purchase Review
  • Email Address Confirmations
  • Activation
  • Upsell/Cross Promotional
  • Re-activation
  • Website Behavior
  • Event Countdown
  • Shopping Cart Abandonment
  • Forget Username or Password
  • Notice for an update

According to MarketingSherpa, only 40% of  marketers use transactional emails. So, there may be an opportunity for digital marketing managers to benefit from transactional emails. However, I suggest you use transactional emails that make sense for your audience.

Thinking about the different types of transactional emails mentioned, transactional emails contain short messages to keep your audience aware of their relationship with your website. Some contain a call to action like renewal and invoice emails, and others are informational emails.

Even if you are currently using transactional email, your next step in taking full advantage of your transactional emails is including an additional call to action. Below are different examples you can do:

  • For Welcome emails, include a call to action for them to go to your website to check out some tailored content. If you manage a history website and someone registers on the website mentioning an interest in the American Civil Way, send them a welcome email with a link to an article on your website about the American Civil War.
  • For Order Confirmation and Order Update transactional emails, you can insert a “people that bought your item also bought these items” section.
  • For a Reactivation emails, the email message should contain new or updated content that is similar to the last piece of content they saw.

The key to your transactional email is to make the message about your audience and offering them something that is triggered by their action, personalized, and offering them something tailored/relevant to them  in real-time.

Keep in mind transactional emails don’t have an 100% open rate, so don’t expect transactional emails to be the only solution to increasing website traffic or engaging your audience. Transactional emails are just another tactic to keep in your digital marketing toolbox that have the potential to increasing traffic. Also, just like any other digital marketing and email marketing tactic, you should complete A/B testing to maximize the results of your transactional emails.

Resources:

Learn More about Digital Marketing Manager, Cindy Plough

SEO Monday: Google Pushs Organic Search Results Below the Fold

Welcome to SEO Monday’s. Last week, Google changed their Search Engine Results Page (SERP) pushing your organic search results below the fold in favor of images for Product Listings.

What does this mean for you?

Include images with keyword descriptions in your product listings, and you may want to test the pricing for your PPC bidding. For more information and screen shots of the new results pages, read Search Engine Journal’s “Breaking – Google Changes the SERP – Images are King and PPC Holds the Key to the Kingdom” article.

In other search engine news, Semantic Search is gaining ground. Semantic Search or entity search, uses machine intelligence to determine the intended meaning of the words you enter for your searches to deliver you more relevant search results.

Semantic Search works behind the scenes to deliver the results you need and takes content, context, and intent in to consideration when delivering results for each search. Now, when implementing your search engine optimization strategies, you need to have a deep understanding of how your current content users are finding you.  Also, you want to understand how the target market of your content conduct their searches on search engines. For more information, go to Search Engine Journal’s “The Stealthy Rise of Semantic Search” article.

Other Articles in Search to help you and your SEO:

Learn More about Digital Marketing Manager, Cindy Plough