How to generate better results the next time you run an influencer marketing campaign online.

The web is a busy space. Online users are inundated with choices when it comes to what content to read, who to follow and which brands to interact with. You can tell a lot about someone by their browsing activity, how they engage online and the people and brands they choose to follow, giving businesses countless opportunities to reach the right target audience by appealing to them on a more personal level.

Influencer marketing is one way to reach out to your ideal audience with the help of a celebrity, personality or expert that they already know, trust and follow.

Why work with an influencer?

Below are just a few of the reasons why so many brands are choosing to work with influencers:

  • Increase your reach. When you work with an influencer you automatically increase your reach as there’s a good chance that you’ll be marketing to their fans and followers too.
  • Reach an engaged audience. An influencer’s audience is already engaged so they are paying attention to what they have to say. If an influencer mentions your brand, there’s a much better chance that the right people will pay attention to your marketing message.
  • Generate unique content. When you’re working with an influencer you’re generating fresh, unique content that will stand out.

Advice for running better online influencer campaigns

If you’re thinking about including an influencer marketing campaign in your 2017 strategy, below are a few useful tips.

  1. Set some clear objectives. Not only will your objectives help you develop and track your campaign but it will also make sure that you can brief your chosen influencer correctly so that they’re also clear on what you’re looking to achieve.

 

  1. Reach isn’t everything. When choosing an influencer it’s important to not base your decision on reach alone. Just because an influencer has a massive online following doesn’t mean that they are the right choice. A large following does help but you need to look at how they engage with their followers, if their values match your own and if their personality is the right fit for your brand.

 

  1. Choose the right social platforms. Before you begin your influencer search, decide which social platforms your ideal target audience spends the most time on. You can then start your search on those platforms instead of wasting your time searching for influencers on sites that aren’t too popular with your audience.

 

  1. Work with your influencer. When you partner with an expert or local personality it’s important to work with them when developing your campaign and your content. If you leave them out of the process you might find that the content doesn’t sound like it was written by them. Their personality and unique style needs to shine through in your campaign if you want it to be effective. You should of course lay down other specifics such as how often you need them to post and engage with your audience. You should also provide them with some content guidelines so that you aren’t deviating from your brand values and objectives.

 

  1. Make promotion a two-way street. As much as you will be promoting your influencer campaign from your side, arrange for your influencer to work in some promotion on their side too for that extended reach.

Why your business should include Instagram stories in your 2017 marketing plan.

When Instagram stories first launched, users were very quick to point out the similarities between Snapchat and Instagram’s new feature. Snapchat and Instagram are quite different though and brands shouldn’t necessarily be on both platforms.

Instagram gives brands access to a much larger audience and offers a unique mix of permanent and 24-hour based posts and stories. Instagram has also been integrated with platforms such as Facebook, giving you a much broader social reach.

Why use Instagram stories?

In terms of user numbers Instagram has overtaken Twitter. With over 400 million users accessing the photo and video-based platform every single day, it’s no wonder that so many brands are seeing the value of signing up.

The main reason why Instagram stories are so effective for brands is because they will generally appear right at the top of a user’s news feed. This prime position receives a lot more clicks and helps keep brands top of mind among their target audience.

Instagram stories offer you a creative way to reach out to and connect with your customers without having to go into a hard sales pitch.

Before you get started

Before you create your first Instagram story, make sure that your profile contains all of the right information, including a link to your website. It’s also important for all of your social media profiles to be consistent so that online users can easily recognize your brand. Use the same bio and profile picture across all of your pages and profiles to achieve this.

How to market your brand using Instagram stories

If Instagram is going to be a big part of your 2017 marketing strategy, below are just some of the ways that you can use stories to market your brand.

A day in the life

This is not a story that every brand can use. If you’re going to give your followers a peek into what you do on a day-to-day basis, it needs to be interesting. This tactic works especially well if you’re a local personality or someone who is relatively well known in your industry as people would be more interested in finding out what you get up to on a day-to-day basis.

Create a special offer

If you’re going to present your followers with a special offer, what better way to grab their attention than with a story? It makes the sales process a lot more interesting and Instagram stories gives your brand a prime selling spot at the top of your followers’ feeds too.

Offer a behind the scenes peek

Make your followers feel like VIPs by using Instagram stories to create some hype around an upcoming event. Give them a sneak peek into how the setup is coming along or what the talent is up to.

Offer some advice

Instagram stories offers brands a unique way to present their followers with valuable content. Position your business as an industry expert by offering your audience a few tips and tricks that they might find useful. This advice should of course be relevant to your products, services or sector to make it relevant to your target audience.

Answer some questions

Engage with your followers by offering to answer a few of their questions. Get your followers to send you a direct message with their questions and provide a daily answer using Instagram stories. This tactic will really boost your views.

Run a competition

Have a great prize that you can giveaway? Use Instagram stories to tell people how to enter. You could even ask them to create their own stories using a unique phrase or one that incorporates one of your products.

How to improve your email deliverability stats in 2017.

Email is anything but dead. According to Mailigen, 89% of marketers say that email is still their primary channel for lead generation.

Email marketing has definitely changed though. Personalization, segmentation and automation have become the norm for most businesses in 2016 as users have come to expect a more relevant experience from brands.

When it comes to email marketing though, you can follow all of the latest trends and create a great strategy but if you aren’t getting the basics right, your emails won’t reach your recipients and your efforts will be wasted.

11 Tips for increasing email deliverability

If you’re in the process of developing your email marketing strategy for 2017, there are a few tips that you should read through if you want to increase your deliverability rates and see better results in the New Year.

  1. Check your sender reputation

A low sender score decreases your chances of successfully delivering your email campaigns. The score is calculated using metrics such as spam complaints and unsubscribe rates. Your IP will receive a score between 1 – 100 and you can check it for free on the Sender Score website.

  1. Use a double opt-in

A double-opt in process ensures that subscribers have indeed given you permission to email them. Once a user subscribes they should receive an email with a confirmation link that they need to click on before they officially become a subscriber. A double-opt in decreases the chances of a user marking you as spam since they want to hear from you.

  1. Implement a sender policy framework

A sender policy framework or SPF increases your IP’s trustworthiness by providing ISPs with detailed information on who you are thus increasing your chances of deliverability.

  1. Avoid spam words

There is no comprehensive list of spam words available online but if it sounds too gimmicky, there’s a good chance that your email will be blocked. Examples of common spam trigger words include:

  • Free
  • $$$
  • Cash
  • Buy
  • As Seen On
  • Meet Singles
  • Income from Home
  • No Hidden Costs

For more examples, see this post.

  1. Practice email hygiene

Email hygiene is more important than ever. If you’re not scrubbing your email list on a regular basis you could end up sending to invalid or non-existent email addresses and lower your IP score. Cleaning your database will also help remove spam traps that could potentially blacklist your IP.

  1. Don’t use free domain email addresses

If you want to reach your recipients you need to be perceived as trustworthy. If you’re going to send bulk emails from a Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail account, you will be blacklisted and marked as spam so avoid this at all costs. Using an official company address will not only look more trustworthy but your recipients will immediately be able to recognize it too.

  1. Take it slow

If you want to prime your IP for success, start out slow. Segment your email list and start sending out smaller batches of emails first so that you aren’t automatically seen as a spammer. You can slowly start ramping up your email quantities once you start seeing decent engagement rates.

  1. Pay attention to your bounces

There are two types of bounces, hard and soft. Hard bounces should be removed from your email list since they’re giving a permanent error. Emails that produce a soft bounce should be resent but if they continue to give an error they should also be removed from your list.

  1. Make it easy to unsubscribe

If a recipient can’t find your unsubscribe button they won’t hesitate to mark you as spam. Make it super simple for subscribers to unsubscribe if they want to.

  1. Pick a good service provider

There are tons of email software solutions out there but it’s important to partner with one that shows good deliverability rates if you want to increase your chances of reaching your recipients and keeping a good sender reputation.

  1. Go easy on the images

Even though sender reputation matters a lot more than email content, you should still aim to have a good text to image ratio. Emails that contain too images are generally marked as spam.

Tips for getting more users to tune into your Facebook live broadcast.

Facebook Live has really grown in popularity and has become a unique way to encourage users to interact with your brand.

Social Media Today reported that Facebook Live videos were 3 times more popular than videos that were no longer live, and that videos in general have 135% more organic reach.

Video alone is a highly effective form of content. Pair this with social media and you have a winning recipe.

Facebook Live ideas

If you’re looking to start using Facebook Live, below are a few ideas that you can use in your own business.

  1. Launch a new product. If you’re about to launch a new product, why not offer a sneak peek or create some hype around the launch by broadcasting live on Facebook?
  2. Host a Q&A session. If you’ve found that your business is currently receiving a lot of questions about certain products or services, host a Q&A session where customers can comment on your video and you answer their questions. You can also choose to go through FAQs that can be prepared ahead of time and customers can comment on those if need be.
  3. Show them what happens behind the scenes. Get your customers more involved with your brand by showing them what goes on behind the scenes on a daily basis.
  4. Show them how. If you can provide your fans and followers with a tutorial that they would find useful or that’s relevant to your products, use Facebook Live to broadcast it for extended reach.
  5. Host an interview. If you have a celeb or local personality that you can interview, use it to draw a crowd and promote your brand at the same time.
  6. Comment on a hot news topic. Use Facebook Live to get behind a trending topic. Give your thoughts on the topic and ask your fans for feedback to create some engagement.

Tips for creating effective Facebook Live videos

Facebook Live videos can be created using the main Facebook app or the Facebook Pages Manager app. You’ll be able to spot the Go Live button when you create a post on the page you want to broadcast from.

Below are a few ways that you can generate the best possible video results.

Spread the word

To ensure that enough people are tuning into your broadcast, you need to spread the word beforehand. Create a few posts that give fans the details of your Facebook Live event and tell them what they can expect. You can also choose to boost these promotional posts to generate extra reach and interest. By boosting these posts you can of course also target your ideal audience.

Ensure your connection is strong

If you want to make sure that there are no interruptions while you broadcast, ensure that you have a strong and stable internet connection. You will find that if you have a weak connection, the Go Live button won’t be clickable either.

A little prep goes a long way

Before you hit the Go Live button, prepare for your broadcast by practicing a week before the event. Know what you want to say and make sure that you’re broadcasting from the right space. There shouldn’t be a lot of background noise or anything distracting or inappropriate in the background.

Create a captivating description

Your description will help draw viewers in so make it count. Give them a short explanation of the video and what they can expect so that they can set that time aside and prepare any questions from their side too.

Get personal

This is a great opportunity for you to engage with your target audience. If you’re going read a comment, use the person’s name. When you respond to comments or questions, do the same, address them by name. This makes the whole experience a lot more personal and engaging.

Don’t make it too short

The longer your broadcast is the more likely people are to tell their friends and connections about it so that they can watch it too. Your broadcast shouldn’t be shorter than 10 to 15 minutes.

Promote your video after the event

Once you’ve completed your live broadcast, your video will be archived. Many brands have seen archived views exceed their live views so you might want to consider boosting the video after your broadcast to extend your reach and grow your fan base.

How to get your website visitors to spend more time on your website in the New Year.

The web is a competitive space. Online users really have their pick when it comes to which websites to spend time on so businesses need to work a lot harder to grab and keep their attention.

The more time a website visitor spends on your site, the more likely they are to perform a specific action such as signing up for your newsletter, making an online purchase or navigating to your physical store. Getting them to spend enough time on your website in order to take action is where the real work comes in.

How to measure website engagement

There are several stats that you can look at to find out what your current engagement rates look like. Below are some of the most prominent engagement indicators.

  • Bounce rate. Your bounce rate measures how many people visit your website and leave almost immediately. A high bounce rate means that visitors aren’t interacting with more than one page for a few seconds.
  • Pages per Visit. This shows how many website visitors are browsing your site and engaging with your content. You should aim to get this number as high as possible if you want to increase your chances of converting prospects.
  • Average Time on Site. When visitors are spending a good amount of time on your website it means they’re enjoying your content and taking the time to read it.

9 Tips for boosting website engagement in 2017

Below are just some of the ways that you can get online users to spend more time on your website.

  1. Spend time on that design. There is a lot of research out there that offers insights on what works best in terms of website design. Many brands have opted for a clean and simplistic design while other websites are a little busier. There is no right or wrong way to design a website but it does need to look professional. You can choose to insert a lot of information and even a few ads but if your website looks professional it can be just as effective as a simpler website.
  2. Give visitors a memorable experience. Your content needs to be unique, engaging and provide your visitors with a one of a kind experience. Create content that will add value to the lives of your visitors. Whether this is done by educating them or entertaining them, give them a reason to share your content. Get a designer to help you create eye-catching visuals that are unique to your brand or get a video expert to help you develop killer video content. There are countless ideas out there.
  3. Offer links to related content. If you want visitors to keep browsing in order to increase your engagement rate, offer them related content. This is one way to provide your visitors with a more customized experience too. Insert links to related content within your blog posts or build the feature into your website.
  4. Social media advertising works. For an instant engagement boost, put some of your marketing budget into boosting a few content related posts on social media. Not only will this help you build your following but it will increase your website traffic and engagement too.
  5. Test your website speed. A slow website is enough to drive anyone a little mad. A slow website is one of the reasons why a lot of websites tend to experience high bounce rates so be sure to test this on a regular basis. It’s also wise to optimize your website for mobile devices so that all users will have a pleasant browsing experience.
  6. Rethink your navigation. Don’t leave users guessing about where they can find specific information. It’s important to keep your navigation clean and simple if you want to increase your website engagement rates. The better your navigation is, the easier you’ll be able to move visitors through your sales funnel.
  7. Encourage comments. If you’re posting regular content on your website, add a comments section to the end of each post to encourage engagement. You will need to dedicate some time to comment moderation but once visitors know how engaging your content is and how many people are interested in it; they’ll definitely be coming back for more.
  8. Keep an eye out for content opportunities. A content calendar is an essential tool for all marketers. It helps you to plan out your posts so that you have the chance to be more creative with each of them. It also helps to make note of holidays or major events that might be coming up so that you can get involved. Don’t forget to share your content on social media to get in on the hype.
  9. Let your data speak for itself. Your website reports are invaluable as they will tell you what content your audience would like to see more of. If possible, pull a website report at least once a week or at least twice a month so that you can use it to improve your website and content on an ongoing basis.

Your marketing budget should be used wisely but some common mistakes could be sending it down the drain.

Not every business gets their marketing right the first time round, even with a solid marketing plan in place. Sometimes it takes some trial and error to discover what works for your specific target audience and this can result in some of your marketing budget going to waste.

There isn’t a business out there that wants to see their marketing dollars go to waste but it does happen, especially if your business is just starting out. The good news is that you can decrease your losses by avoiding a few common mistakes.

7 Mistakes to avoid if you want to decrease your marketing budget losses

Below are some of the mistakes to avoid if you want to see a better return on investment as we move into 2017.

Mistake 1: Not involving your sales team

While your marketing team has all of the necessary knowledge and creativity to market your brand, your sales team is in touch with your customers and the market place on a daily basis so they definitely have some valuable insights to add to the brainstorming and planning process. Include your sales team in your marketing planning sessions for additional ideas and input. You should also get your marketing and sales team together on a regular basis so that everyone can provide feedback on what’s working and what could be changed to achieve better results.

Mistake 2: Failing to keep track of your stats

Your marketing stats and reports are crucial to the success of your business. You’re putting your marketing budget at risk by crossing your fingers, running your campaigns and hoping for the best. Once your budget is gone, you’re either going to have to dig for additional budget to right your wrongs or wait for next year’s budget. Businesses really have their pick when it comes to marketing software and tools so find a solution that meets your unique brand requirements to reduce your losses. Keeping a close eye on the performance of your campaigns will help you optimize and get the best possible return on investment.

Mistake 3: Not using social media correctly

Too many brands believe that building a following should be their main social media objective. Facebook’s algorithms have changed dramatically over the last year so the chances of followers and fans seeing your content organically are very slim. Use some of your marketing budget to boost your best posts and collect email addresses as this will give you a better return on investment.

Mistake 4: Not segmenting your target audience

You cannot be everything to everyone and it’s unlikely that targeting a very broad audience will give you the results you’re looking for. Use your market research to create audience and buyer personas so that you can setup very specific targeting for optimal results. The more relevant your marketing is to specific groups of people, the higher your chances of success. It’s not enough to know the location, age and gender of your target audience. You need to understand their browsing habits, interests and preferences too.

Mistake 5: Gambling everything on one campaign

Marketing is trial and error and if you’re going to throw your entire marketing budget into one bucket, there’s a good chance you’re going to be highly disappointed with the results. This is especially important if you’re a start-up. This is a time for you to test so it’s important to spend your budget wisely and to spread it around if you want to see the best return on investment.

Mistake 6: Forgetting to test

When it comes to marketing, A/B testing is the name of the game. There is no proven formula for success so testing should become second nature to you as a marketer or business owner. You need to test everything from copy and images to call-to-actions and subject lines. For example, you might see that 40% of your email list is reacting really well to your subject line and think that’s fantastic but a simple A/B test might show you that a second subject line appeals to 60% of your audience, which is even better.

Mistake 7: Using one person to do everything

Yes, it’s possible to find a marketing professional that can assist you with a number of different things but trying to get one person to take on the work of an entire marketing department is going to leave you both feeling frustrated. Your marketing campaigns won’t be as good as they could be and chances are you won’t be able to retain that person for very long. The marketing machine has too many parts and one person can’t work them all. If you want to see exceptional results, hire a team of marketing professionals instead.

If LinkedIn is a part of your B2B marketing strategy, here are a few lead generating tips to make the most of the platform.

LinkedIn currently has over 460 million members, a number that is growing daily. The platform is used by thousands of B2B brands as it’s one of the best ways to reach their ideal target audience.

When used correctly, LinkedIn can be a lead goldmine. Below are a few tips that you can use to start benefiting from platform as a B2B brand.

LinkedIn lead generation tips for your business

Spend some time working on your profile or group

Your profile is one of the first things that other LinkedIn members will view before they decide to connect with you. Include as many details as possible in order to make a great first impression. If possible, get creative with your profile by making it pleasant and fun to read. Some business owners even change up the text that would normally be used in the title field to give members a reason to connect with them.

The same goes for your LinkedIn group. If you want members to join your group, give them a reason to. Are you actively participating in discussions? Are you creating posts on a regular basis and providing members with useful information? Ask yourself why users would want to join your group and go from there. Your LinkedIn group is a great selling tool.

Recommended Read: Increase Your Sales Using Social Proof

Connect with people

If you want to generate more leads you need to actively connect with people on LinkedIn. This doesn’t mean that you should just connect with anyone and everyone though. Start by connecting with your current clients to start growing your LinkedIn connection numbers.

Next, start searching for people who meet your ideal customer criteria. When you do approach them to connect though, don’t send out a boring generic message that they’ll simply delete, make your message personal and relevant. Once you’ve connected with a potential lead, don’t send them a sales pitch right away either as it won’t work. Instead, start building a relationship with them by asking them questions, sending them links to content they might find interesting or invite them to join your group.

Don’t discount the advanced search feature

Make use of LinkedIn’s advanced search feature if you really want to find the right kind of leads. It will allow you to really narrow down your search as it offers options such as location, industry and company. LinkedIn’s premium members have even more search options available to them.

Take advantage of LinkedIn ads

If you have some marketing budget to spare, why not get the leads to come to you by running an ad campaign on LinkedIn? There are two advertising options for you to take advantage of, one being sponsored content ads that allow you to promote a post using specific audience targeting, and the other being text ads that appear on the left-hand side of a user’s newsfeed and include a call-to-action that will take them to a landing page on your site. You can find out more about LinkedIn advertising here.

Recommended Read: How to Build a Sales Funnel on Facebook

Position yourself as an expert

Investing some time in content creation is one decision you won’t regret. Creating content as a B2B brand is one of the best ways to position yourself as an industry expert. It also gives you something to post in your groups so that users can start engaging, asking questions and providing feedback.

Join relevant groups

Another great way to find more leads is to join groups that your ideal customer would have joined themselves. Spend some time engaging with group members so that they’ll either connect with you themselves or they won’t be surprised when you send them an invite to connect. Joining a group and taking the time to build relationships with members will help you build trust too.

Share in a client’s success

Keep an eye out for posts, articles or news about a client or prospect and share in their success. Spread the word about it to show that you care and are excited about their success. This will help your case when you offer them a relevant product or service that will add to their success later on.

The secret to being successful on LinkedIn is to dedicate a small block of time to it every day. When you’re consistent and you’re providing other users with value, you automatically increase the chances of members wanting to do business with you.

Mobile has become a huge focus for Google, and out of all their recent updates and announcements, Google Maps’ promoted pins are causing some chatter among local business owners.

Over one billion people around the world currently have the Google Maps app on their phones, making local search efforts more important than ever for brands.

What are promoted pins exactly?

Chances are you’re already quite familiar with the red pins that you’ll find on Google Maps when performing a search for a particular destination. Google’s new promoted pins will help you stand out from the competitors around you by providing you with a bright purple pin on your local map instead.

Google Maps users can now tap on purple pins to view more details about a business, such as the products they sell. Users can also be presented with a coupon or promotion that will convince them to choose your business over your competitors.

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Brands with promoted pins will also be featured in one of the two top spots in organic search results.

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Google will use the following search criteria to decide whether a brand’s promoted pin will show up on a map:

  • Search query
  • Location
  • Browser’s interest and behaviors
  • Demographics
  • Time of day

Why is Google launching promoted pins?

One of the main reasons why Google has decided to launch promoted pins is to bridge the gap between mobile search and physical locations. They have found that nearly a third of all mobile searches are related to location and that location-based searches are growing 50% faster than mobile searches in general.

They also found that three out of every four people who perform a search in their immediate area will end up visiting a store within a day, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase.

How to start using promoted pins

If local search is an important part of your online strategy, you’re probably wondering how you can get started. Follow the below steps to start taking advantage of Google Maps’ promoted pins:

  1. Update your Google My Business listing. It’s extremely important for you to make sure that all of the details on your Google My Business listing are correct before you start running promoted pins.
  2. Enable location extensions for AdWords. Once you login to your Google AdWords account, click on the Ad Extensions tab. You will find the Location Extensions option in the drop-down menu. For detailed instructions, read this post.
  3. Setup your pin’s targeting. Setup location and keyword targeting to start using promoted pins. Select your store’s location and target areas within a 3-5 mile radius around your store to draw in new customers who might not have known about you before. For advice on choosing the right keywords for your campaign, watch this video:

How your business will be charged

When you setup a pin, you will need to have a call-to-action. You will also be charged every time someone clicks on your call-to-action. Call-to-action examples include:

  • Get Directions
  • Get Location
  • Click-to-Call

In terms of how much you should spend on promoting a pin, that’s dependent on your business. This is not a strategy that will work for every business so it’s best to test it with a small portion of your budget before you decide to spend more. Get your creative team to test out different ads too to really decide whether this marketing tactic is right for you.

Track the results of your Google Maps’ promoted pins campaign by logging into AdWords and clicking on the Campaigns tab. You will find your results under Segment, Click Type.

How social proof can help boost your conversions.

Humans hate missing out and when a crowd gathers, they are immediately intrigued and want to find out what’s going on. Curiosity, fear, uncertainty and acceptance are all traits that are ingrained into us as humans and it’s these traits that go hand in hand with social proof.

Social proof explained

Social proof is when consumers conform to the actions of others because they make the assumption that it’s the correct behavior. When we see a large group of people doing something we’ll more than likely want to do it to. This applies to everything from performing a specific action to watching a video or buying a particular product.

Social proof is used by marketers to put customers’ minds at ease. It helps them feel better about their decision to engage with a brand or purchase their products or services because other people are doing it too.

According to a report by Consumerist, nearly 70% of consumers rely on online reviews before they make a purchase.

Using social proof to boost conversions

Below are just a few of the ways that you can use social proof to increase your sales and show new customers just how much your brand is loved.

Customer Testimonials

Displaying customer testimonials is a great way to show new customers just how awesome your brand is.

Nielsen has found that 92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer, and 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know. This just shows how far a few good testimonials can go.

Ask your customers to tell you why they love your brand so that you can use the best testimonials on your website. There are so many creative ways to display your testimonials but do use customer photos if you can as this adds to the trustworthiness of the statements.

Case Studies

Case studies are effective because it helps people relate to an issue or need, and shows how your brand’s products or services managed to solve a particular problem. Case studies can be a little longer than testimonials as they generally outline a customer’s experience from start to finish.

Ratings and Reviews

When you’re shopping online, chances are you’re going to check out a product’s reviews before you make a purchase. Ratings and reviews not only help customers feel better about their purchases but they also provide you with valuable feedback as a business. Use bad reviews or ratings to improve your products or the way you do business.

Celebrity Endorsements

If you really want to prove your brand’s value, get a celebrity to endorse it. People admire celebrities and public figures so if they’re willing to place their stamp of approval on a particular brand, it automatically gives it a lot more authority.

User Generated Content

Encouraging user generated content is a great marketing tool. It helps spread the word about your brand and gives new customers an idea of what other people think of your products or services. Being present on platforms such as Instagram or creating a unique hashtag for Twitter are just some of the ways that you can encourage users to generate unique content. Get users to take a photo with one of your products or ask them to use a specific hashtag when mentioning your brand online to get your business noticed.

Badges

If your brand has any industry certifications or accreditations, display them proudly. It positions your brand as an expert in your field and gives customers even more reason to trust you. In fact, badges and certifications have shown to increase conversion rates by up to 30%.

Subscriber or Social Counts

Showing how many people subscribe to your newsletter and how many fans you have on your various social media pages is a great way to showcase your brand’s popularity. If you have content on your website, you can also show how many times each post has been shared online. People want to share useful, interesting content with family and friends so this helps position you as an expert and convinces people to engage with your content too.

Incorporating social proof into your marketing strategy is a simple, straightforward and effective way to bring in more sales every month.

Stop wasting money by not implementing a social media sales funnel.

With over 17 billion users as of the second quarter in 2016, it’s not hard to see why Facebook is such a popular marketing platform for millions of brands.

With the major advancements in Facebook advertising and targeting options, putting budget towards this platform has become an obvious and worthwhile move for many brands. As with all other marketing efforts, seeing an increase in conversions and turnover is the end goal, and using a social media sales funnel is now just as important as implementing one on your website.

What is a sales funnel?

A sales funnel is used to gradually move consumers through the buying process and eventually get them to convert.

The funnel allows you to build a relationship with your customers and get them to buy your products or services because they want to, not because you used hard sales tactics.

Applying a sales funnel to Facebook marketing

Facebook users are bombarded with online marketing every day, which is why it’s more important than ever for brands to take the time to earn their trust, create value and build relationships with them.

The following sales funnel model will help you do just that. Below are the steps to follow to increase Facebook conversions.

  1. Build

The first step is to build and grow your Facebook audience. Use around 20% of your Facebook budget to promote to non-fans in order to start growing your audience numbers. You will need a sizeable audience for the next two steps in the funnel. Building your Facebook audience will also provide you with the social proof you need to attract and convert new customers in the future.

As you create your campaign to attract new Facebook fans, consider the following targeting:

  • Fans of pages that are similar to yours
  • Fans with interests that are relevant to your brand
  • Lookalike audiences using your core email list

You can even use a lookalike audience and add the page and interest related targeting to the mix for really specific results.

  1. Engage

Now that you’ve built up a decent following, it’s time to engage with your audience and show them what your brand is all about. You can do this by developing interesting and unique content that you can promote and share with them. Aim to use about 20% of your Facebook budget here too.

By encouraging engagement you are also increasing the chances of your posts showing up organically in a user’s newsfeed going forward. These promoted posts should drive people to your website to read an article, watch a video or take a quiz. Creating high-value content positions you as an expert in your field, helps customers relate to you as a brand and gives them a reason to keep coming back to your website.

Engaging with your audience and providing them with something of value will help you earn their trust and start building a relationship with them in order for you to move into the final phase of the funnel.

  1. Convert

Now that you have increased your fan base and your website traffic, you can start promoting your products and services to these prospective customers. Use your remaining Facebook budget on sales related posts and remarketing campaigns.

Promoting sales related posts should be done in moderation in order to avoid driving people away. These promoted posts should click through to a sales related landing page that will tell the visitor what next steps to take in order to convert. Make sure that you write this copy in the same style as your engagement related posts so that your brand’s personality is being brought across anytime you communicate with your audience.

Running a remarketing campaign using Facebook ads will help you target people who have recently visited your website and have shown an interest in your products or services. Remarketing is a great way to keep your brand top of mind, grow your Facebook audience and potentially increase your conversion rates.