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Online events can boost brand awareness for your business and increase your overall reach. They’re also accessible, which could make people more willing and able to come. Here are some steps to take when hosting an internet-based gathering to raise the likelihood of its success. A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Hosting an Online Event […] The post A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Hosting an Online Event appeared first on Marketing...
Online events can boost brand awareness for your business and increase your overall reach. They’re also accessible, which could make people more willing and able to come. Here are some steps to take when hosting an internet-based gathering to raise the likelihood of its success.
One of the first considerations for hosting an online event as a small business owner is the type. Will you offer a weekend-long conference or a one-hour expert panel? Consider your target audience and the content that’ll appeal to them the most. Thinking of your company’s purpose can also guide your decision because you can directly tie the event to brand awareness.
For example, if you’re a web designer offering an online course in site development for beginners, it’s probably not feasible to cover everything in an hour. However, if you provide art classes and want to provide an online taster, that event might fit nicely in an hour slot.
Consider your available resources and confidence about hosting an online event, too. Perhaps you’re the sole person running your business and want to hold the event within the next three months. In that case, it’s probably best to aim for a smaller option first to see how things go. From there, you can scale up for future events, provided you’re well-equipped to do it.
It’s also vital to iron out how you’ll measure success and what goals you have. Prioritizing profitability requires scrutinizing and potentially eliminating any aspect that could go over budget. Conversely, if your main goal is to make people more aware of your business, that’s another type of measurable success.
Next, determine which metrics could gauge the event’s success before, during and after it happens. For example, you might track the number of presale tickets purchased, the average number of guests attending each scheduled offering or how many times your event materials get liked and shared on social media.
Remember that some successes are not immediately evident. Perhaps someone sees your event advertised on social media and doesn’t attend it but becomes aware of your business for the first time that way. They might reach out to you months after the event happens and casually mention that a social media promotion caused them to do that.
When hosting an online event, determine which metrics could gauge the event’s success before, during and after it happens.
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Effective promotion for your event gets people excited about it, plus gives the impression that your business is involved in compelling things. Focus on your existing network first, such as social media followers and email list subscribers. Then, branch out and raise awareness among groups that don’t know your brand yet.
If you have a business blog, it can help you spread the word, too. Consider tweaking your content plans and publishing event-specific posts. That might mean centering on some of the event’s themes and including a call to action, encouraging people to attend and learn more. Alternatively, if you’ve invited speakers, see if they’re willing to write short posts or have you interview them as part of the content strategy. Those options preview what’s to come.
Select and stick with an event hashtag, too. You can use it to provide some marketing consistency. Plus, once people decide to attend or discuss their experiences at the event, they can use the hashtag to bring more context to any relevant social media posts. A common format is to use only the event’s name as the hashtag. Another possibility is to combine the event name and year. Regardless of what you choose, keep it as simple and memorable as possible.
When marketing your online event, focus on your existing network first. Then, branch out and raise awareness among groups that don’t know your brand yet.
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Many people unfamiliar with online events wonder if they merely involve sitting in front of a computer for hours. You can disprove that assumption by giving people plenty of ways to interact with event hosts and each other.
One possibility is to assign facilitators to guide small groups and larger meetings. Many people feel awkward about speaking to break the silence. However, if a facilitator asks open-ended questions or takes an informal poll, those interactions can become ice breakers that make people feel more comfortable participating.
Think about using a platform that allows for live audience surveys or questions during gatherings such as keynote speeches, too. If a presenter gets real-time feedback, they can adjust the topics they cover or provide further clarification on a previous point.
Maybe you’re moving a previously in-person event on the internet for the first time. Alternatively, perhaps you anticipate that many target audience members have never attended online events before. In those cases, people want concrete reasons to come, and they need specific examples of how an event on the internet differs from a face-to-face one.
One way to help your online event stand out is to offer archived content. Most people have been to conferences and wished they could be in multiple places at once due to all the interesting things happening. Archived streaming content solves that problem. You can also offer it to people who can’t attend at all due to other obligations. That option raises your event revenue and adds convenience for attendees.
Clarifying things for potential attendees may mean offering digital perks, too. Many people who go to physical events get programs that help them decide what to do and where to go, but they receive them upon arrival. You could highlight how people will get digital programs immediately after purchasing their passes. That approach should give people more time to plan how to make the most of their attendance.
When organizing an online event, be sure to include interactive elements, and decide on extra digital perks that will help attendees make the most of their experience.
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Technical difficulties often accompany online events, but that shouldn’t make you think twice about holding them.
Start by getting attendees set for tech success. You can:
It’ll also give you peace of mind to do a trial run of some event aspects before they happen. For example, if you plan to run a game for attendees or put them into breakout sessions, try doing those things beforehand. Then, you can troubleshoot any problems and reduce the chances they happen again.
Grab a friend and do a trial run of the technical aspects for your online event, to identify weak spots and minimize tech troubles before the live event.
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Once your event is over, congratulate yourself for a job well done while capitalizing on opportunities for further engagement. Many people feel various positive emotions after attending online events — from empowerment to a renewed sense of purpose and connection. Help people continue enjoying those feelings by interacting with them about their experiences.
You might take a poll and ask for people’s favorite parts of the event. The feedback will prove especially helpful for shaping any future gatherings you hold. It’s also wise to send comment forms to every attendee and give them an incentive for filling them out. You might enter them in a drawing for a gift card or upcoming event ticket.
Encourage people to share their photos, meaningful quotes, lighthearted stories or anything else significant about the event. The idea is that you’ll help attendees remember all the good times while letting others know they should strongly consider signing up for any other gatherings you hold.
Regardless of the type or size of your online event, you’ll find that some things about it go brilliantly while others have room for improvement. Take a balanced approach as you look back on the event and plan others on the horizon.
You can learn and grow through both successes and perceived failures. Apply those experiences to other online efforts, and you’ll progressively become more educated about what works best for your goals and business.
This is a guest post from Eleanor Hecks, Editor-in-Chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.
The post A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Hosting an Online Event appeared first on Marketing Sparkler.
Keyword research is the process of picking high-volume queries that people actively look for in search engines. The goal is to understand what people are searching for and accordingly tweak the site’s content to give them exactly that. If done correctly – keyword selection can drive measurable success towards your site. That’s why keyword research […] The post How To Do Keyword Research and Keyword Analysis For SEO in 2021 appeared first on Marketing...
Keyword research is the process of picking high-volume queries that people actively look for in search engines. The goal is to understand what people are searching for and accordingly tweak the site’s content to give them exactly that.
If done correctly – keyword selection can drive measurable success towards your site. That’s why keyword research and analysis happens to be the cornerstone of SEO.
Here’s how you can do keyword research in 2021.
Think of seed keywords as the broad terms that define your business. These broad keywords give your campaign a kickstart. Once you get to know these search terms, you can further find more keywords and ideas around them.
The best way to figure out your business’s seed keywords is to write down a couple of keywords and phrases that best explain your services. Come up with general keywords, and pick a few valuable ones for every topic.
You’ll see that the market is loaded with a ton of useful tools for keyword research and analysis.
Some of them are basic while others are more advanced. Some are free while others are paid. Some are simple and others are more sophisticated.
Here are a few of the most highly recommended tools:
After you have created a list of seed keywords, you can go more in-depth by using research methods. Here are a few methods you may employ.
You can use the method of ‘keyword gap’ to check for which areas your competitors are beating you, from an SEO standpoint. Here’s a simple 3-step approach to follow:
You will also find out which keywords are performing better for your competitors. In the case of a fairly new website, you can always use the ‘Competitor Research’ module wherein you can look for myriad keywords and topics based on the domain.
Draw a comparison between your own keywords and your competitors to find the overlapping ones. From there you can pick and integrate the most promising ones.
You can try the autocomplete option that comes from search predictions from search engines like Google, YouTube, and Amazon. Use the seed keywords you identified earlier to create more suggestions to get a better idea of how people are formulating their queries.
Combining this with the ‘Related Search’ method will get you a better understanding of how other people are thinking.
This particular method uses the option of voice search to pull in the search phrases for related questions. Remember, that keywords thus collected happen to be long-tail keywords and also carry a conversational style.
Most of these questions are excellent for creating guides and Q&A pages. They are also useful when it comes to optimizing voice search pages.
Word Combinations is an excellent feature in that it uses a keyword randomizer. Most keyword research tools have that option. Simply throw in a bunch of keywords, and you will get a list of all the possible combinations until you have exhausted every one of them.
The goal is to come up with ideas and suggestions that don’t always seem apparent. By discovering new combinations, you can secure better rankings.
To cherry-pick the highest-yielding keywords, you will have to narrow the size of your list down to a manageable size. There are many ways to go about this. Here are a few areas to review.
Broad-term keywords tend to bring in more traffic. However, the conversions happen to be fewer. In the same way, if you pick long-tail keywords, there is a good chance that they will convert better.
According to a study, almost 80% of all queries tend to contain around 1-4 words. A good SEO strategy is supposed to contain at least 3 keywords. After that, it’s good to go well into a structured website aiming for both long and short-tail keywords.
Search volume tells you the kind of demand there is for each keyword. Keywords that carry low search volume don’t bring in any significant amount of traffic. Such keywords can easily be removed from your research.
On the other hand, keywords that carry high volume bring in way more traffic. However, the competition is also quite intense for such queries.
This particular metric will tell you how strong the highest-ranking pages are for any given keyword. You will also know how difficult it’s going to be for you to beat them. A bigger value indicates more difficulty. Therefore, you will have to put more effort into making them rank for that particular keyword.
Most keywords will come with the filter option that will weed-out irrelevant keywords. Here, you can remove all the keywords that include irrelevant brand names, irrelevant locations, and other words that it considers to be low-quality.
This an abbreviated blueprint to show how you can do keyword research and analysis in 2021. Hopefully, this post simplified things for you.
This is a guest post from Mike Khorev, an SEO expert and digital marketing consultant who helps small and mid-size businesses generate more leads, sales and grow revenue online. He offers expert advice on marketing your company the right way through performance-based SEO digital marketing, web design, social media, search engine marketing and many other online practices. Find him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
The post How To Do Keyword Research and Keyword Analysis For SEO in 2021 appeared first on Marketing Sparkler.
There is no denying that we are in the midst of defining what “normal” means in all facets of our lives. This includes running a business. It appears that we may never experience “normal” as we once knew it. We are developing new routines and new ways of thinking in a post Covid world. This […] The post The Latest Trends To Consider For Digital Marketing After Covid-19 appeared first on Marketing...
There is no denying that we are in the midst of defining what “normal” means in all facets of our lives. This includes running a business. It appears that we may never experience “normal” as we once knew it. We are developing new routines and new ways of thinking in a post Covid world. This applies to our marketing strategies as well.
One school of thought to come out of the pandemic is that we do not have to base our marketing on our current situation and wait for something big to happen. This is exactly the time to deal with what is left of the current year, and build a marketing strategy for moving forward.
As with any marketing strategy, it is important to understand that if you want to find success in 2021, we need to start working on strategy right now. Start setting goals now and planning your new campaigns, sales and content strategy on social media. By the end of the year, you will be able to see how far you have come!
Digital marketing after Covid-19 includes some for of ecommerce for many businesses. The Corona crisis has revolutionized the field of online shopping. While businesses have closed and gone bankrupt, there are quite a few others whose online stores have gained a steady stream of customers. It is very likely that even after places open regularly and the pandemic is over, digital will still be preferable to many.
A sophisticated and personalized marketing plan is going to greatly improve your chances of having future success after Covid-19. Gone are the days when the customer would see an ad by chance and simply turn to the store to buy the product. Today’s consumers have become accustomed to ads that offer them exactly what they are looking for.
Data is now harnessed in favor of analyzing the thoughts and behaviors of the consumer. To stay relevant and reach more customers in 2021, you must build a sophisticated customer journey that incorporates all digital means and is valid on all fronts. This includes landing pages and websites, Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and more.
If you’re ready to go from sluggish to thriving, it’s time to step up your digital presence! First though, it is important to look at your saas marketing stats and insights because this will provide you with data needed to make informed decisions. In the coming year, new technologies will emerge that businesses and organizations will have to adapt to. New tools will allow for better customization and accurate personalization of advertising. This is turn allows them to respond to interests or customer actions, using the right messages.
When you think about digital marketing after Covid-19, be sure to include automation. Yes, automation! Automation is a bit like magic. Its job is for the right person to get the right message, at the right time. We are not able to sit at the computer, monitor the behavior of each customer and contact them at the right point. The job of automation is to turn your entire marketing system into something that happens on autopilot.
For example, a potential customer who visits a landing page will receive a suitable message in a pop up or email. Yet another customer, who has already purchased a product, will receive a completely different message, such as a satisfaction survey or a repurchase coupon. If you have not yet adopted marketing automation in your business yet, it’s time to start. One way to implement this is to start a a series of email campaigns scheduled to go out automatically.
Once upon a time, search engines searched for exact keywords and phrases. This created a situation where the content on many sites consisted of an illogical and illegible combination of keywords. The content was written for Google, not for the people who surfed the site. But those days are gone.
Google and other search engines are sophisticated today. They pick up keywords even when they come with the addition of irrelevant keywords or biases. There are two critical data points that Google reviews.
In other words – it’s time to write for humans and not for an algorithm.
These trends aren’t necessarily new. However, they must be considered given the changing landscape of the internet and its users in a post Covid world. The web is full of content today. In order to really succeed in attracting surfers to your site, you must build an orderly, interesting, and value-added content strategy. Get professionals involved so that you can make amazing content, with impeccable photography, videography, and campaigns that make your brand look good.
The post The Latest Trends To Consider For Digital Marketing After Covid-19 appeared first on Marketing Sparkler.
The growth of e-commerce and digital shopping has been great news for online businesses over the past few years. However, it has also resulted in a rise of criminals wanting to take advantage of them. Your company faces a wide range of virtual threats, such as fraud, identity theft, and cyberattacks. How well have you […] The post What Does Protecting My Online Business in 2021 Actually Look Like? appeared first on Marketing...
The growth of e-commerce and digital shopping has been great news for online businesses over the past few years. However, it has also resulted in a rise of criminals wanting to take advantage of them. Your company faces a wide range of virtual threats, such as fraud, identity theft, and cyberattacks. How well have you prepared?
These threats can severely damage an online business. The good news is, any entrepreneur can protect their company so long as the proper precautions are in place.
Here’s how you can defend your e-commerce site against common cybersecurity threats.
Keeping your home or office Wi-Fi network secured, encrypted, and hidden will help prevent attackers from breaking into it. This will also help you keep the data you transfer over it safe from interception and other attacks.
You should also encourage your employees to defend their own systems if they work from home. They can also use a VPN (virtual private network) if they’re connecting to your office network from afar. Even if they’re not, VPNs can keep work-related online traffic safe from prying eyes.
If your business has a physical location and you want to offer Wi-Fi access to your customers, you must provide a separate network from the one your office or employees use. Opening up your company’s system to strangers exposes you to more attacks and can potentially slow down your employees’ internet connections.
Other network security best practices, like using a firewall and creating unique passwords every time, will also improve company wide safety.
Many online businesses hold on to sensitive data, like customer passwords, email addresses, and even financial information. If your network gets breached by an outsider, hackers will be able to access this information at will. This can lead to fines, lost business, and compromised trust in your brand.
Encrypting this data allows you to effectively place it under lock and key — scrambling it so only users with the proper authorization can read and use it. In practice, this means that even if hackers break into your network, they may not be able to use the information they make off with.
Encryption is a simple procedure, but one that not every business takes advantage of. Do it if you are concerned about the security of the customer data you store on your servers.
Essential files and important information can sometimes become corrupted or get deleted through network breaches and simple human error.
As a result, many large businesses maintain regular backups of their most important information. Use these backups to minimize the downtime and expenses that can come from losing data.
Having backups in place can also protect you from ransomware attacks. These attacks involve an outsider holding your files hostage in exchange for cash. You won’t have to worry about losing important information forever, or paying a ransom, if you always have reliable backups available.
It’s generally good practice to make sure you can wipe company devices remotely as needed, manage network access at will, and constantly monitor for potential threats. A good cybersecurity hygiene checklist can help you here — and provide some guidance to establish the basics of your business’s online safety policy.
You and your team should also keep track of where sensitive business information — like passwords and financial information — is stored and plan how you will keep it from falling into the wrong hands.
For example, what do you do with old devices as they’re decommissioned? Do you wipe their drives and log them out of business accounts before recycling, reselling, or trashing them? Taking these steps can prevent a data breach.
Regular security updates to software and hardware ensure operating systems and tools remain as protected as possible against emerging cyber threats and security bugs. Keeping the tools you use up to date is one of the best ways to prevent a breach.
It’s also critical to update any Internet of Things (IoT) devices you have at work — like internet-connected thermostats, smart lighting, speakers, and other smart technology. These items don’t always have the best security features, and failing to update them can make them even more vulnerable to outside attacks.
Many attacks aren’t that technologically advanced. Instead, they rely on social engineering to break into company networks.
Phishing attacks are one of the most common types of cyberattacks. This is where hackers pose as a trusted source, like a big-name company or bank. They encourage a target to hand over important information, like a password, or download malicious attachments that may give a hacker access to the company network.
While the tech you use is important, ongoing training and research are essential if you want to keep your business safe. Educating employees on common and emerging cyberattacks, and dedicating time to learn more about safety practices, will help you defend your business against the online threats you’ll likely encounter in the wild.
Online businesses face a wide variety of threats — but with the right practices, you can work to protect your company from harm. Accomplishing this feat requires the right balance of a security-minded company culture, constant vigilance from frontline workers and managers, and investments in the appropriate technologies.
This is a guest post from Eleanor Hecks, Editor-in-Chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.
The post What Does Protecting My Online Business in 2021 Actually Look Like? appeared first on Marketing Sparkler.
Content creation. Social media marketing. Setting up ads. Landing pages. Webinars. Email marketing. Graphic design. Livestreaming. Funnels, funnels, and more funnels. There are so many pieces of marketing to be done. And most often the business owner is the person who does it all. This is in addition to wearing the CEO hat, coffee marker […] The post Outsource Marketing: The Pros And Cons appeared first on Marketing...
Content creation. Social media marketing. Setting up ads. Landing pages. Webinars. Email marketing. Graphic design. Livestreaming. Funnels, funnels, and more funnels. There are so many pieces of marketing to be done. And most often the business owner is the person who does it all. This is in addition to wearing the CEO hat, coffee marker hat, errand runner hat, strategist hat…. the list goes.
There will come a time when the business owner has to make a critical decision: is it time to hire a marketing employee? Or is it time to outsource?
Common sense will sometimes tell you that it is right to do so, especially when considering the benefits we mention below. However, there can be drawbacks, and we will touch on those within this article too.
Marketing specialists can promote your business in a variety of ways. An SEO expert will ensure your business ranks highly on Google. A copywriter can produce content that engages your target audience and encourages them to buy your product.
And you can enhance your social media marketing with professional help to give your business the presence it needs on Facebook, Twitter, etc. By outsourcing, you will benefit from skill-sets such as these, and benefit from the advanced technologies these specialists use to help them in their roles.
Marketing professionals won’t offer their services to you for free, but hiring an agency might be more cost-effective than hiring people onto your staff team. You will probably need to hire several people if employing in-house, as marketing consists of so many different facets.
Not only will you have employees’ salaries to cover, but there will be taxes and other employee benefits to pay for too. Outsourcing will likely be the cheaper alternative, especially for those tasks that only need to be completed on a seasonal or occasional basis.
Marketing is just one aspect of your business to-do list that will need to be crossed off each day. There are many other facets to your role, from staff management to client meetings, that will also take up much of your time.
To avoid stress and the other effects of burnout, you need to relieve some of your duties. You can’t easily outsource your staff performance meetings or your client communications, but you can outsource your marketing. This should relieve any stress you might otherwise feel when you’re busy, and you will also have the peace of mind that quality work is (almost) guaranteed when hiring a professional.
Many marketers are highly competent, but there is always the risk that you might hire someone that is a wrong fit for your business. It might be that they don’t understand the industry you are in, or they might (despite their promises) be incompetent at what they do.
For example, there have been instances where businesses have been forced to take SEO agencies to court, and this is because they have seen a decrease in web traffic instead of the promised increase. An expert witness in SEO can be called upon in such cases, but of course you need to reduce the need for legal action or disappointment.
Always commit to research first and ask for evidence of the marketers’ credentials before hiring them.
You will run into problems if you struggle to access the people you have hired to take on your marketing, especially when you want to make changes. So, as we mentioned above, commit to research, perhaps by looking at online reviews and checking for testimonials, before hiring somebody.
Work out a communication timeline with the company and find out from them how accessible they are. Define parameters around working hours, and “rules” for responding to requests. Set clear expectations and decide on acceptable turnaround times, so that you as the business owner can plan out your work.
Oftentimes, there is a breakdown in communication when you outsource your marketing. Part of this could stem from the methods of communication when working remote. After all, when you have employees working in the same office, you can read body language and energy. A quick stop in someone’s office can often clear up any miscommunication.
However, when a marketing specialist(s) is outsourced, they will be working with you remotely. As the most frequent method of communication is likely email, this means there is an increased chance that signals get crossed, and confusion may ensue.
When outsourcing, be sure to define a clear process for communication at the onset, and build in methods to have face-to-face interactions to facilitate efficient communication. This should help to alleviate some of the miscommunication that will inadvertently take place.
The benefits of outsourcing are many, but it pays to know the drawbacks too. You will be able to avoid any problems if you hire the right marketer for your business, so do your homework, and only sign a contract when you are happy that your needs will be met.
When you want your website to perform better, one of the major branches you will look into is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). There are many approaches to improving your website’s ranking on search engines, but one of the most important is to ensure that your site has a fast speed. If it is not quick […] The post Speed Up Your Site For Better SEO appeared first on Marketing...
When you want your website to perform better, one of the major branches you will look into is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). There are many approaches to improving your website’s ranking on search engines, but one of the most important is to ensure that your site has a fast speed. If it is not quick enough, you will find that people are much more likely to get bored of your site, and that will make its appearance on the results pages much lower down.
So here are some of the best ways to speed up your site and get better SEO results.
Chances are, you are doing this already, but it is something you might want to check, just in case. If you are hosting the website yourself, it is probably the case that it is not loading all that fast when you are trying to navigate around it. However, if you use an external hosting service, this is going to make a profound difference to how quickly everything loads. Seek out a host you can trust, which means looking around at the different reviews and testimonials, and you should be able to speed things up nicely.
You also need to keep a close eye on the content on your website, as it is often going to be the case that there is some content there that needs to be gotten rid of. It might be taking up too much space, or you might have doubled content without realizing it. The best approach here is to use a content auditing service, so you can see what needs doing and more easily clean up the content on your website. That is going to speed the site up considerably, and it is worth doing this fairly often to make sure you do it right.
It’s great to have images on your site. They help to liven things up a bit, improve your branding, and generally make the site more interesting. However, you need to be aware of the impact that images are having on the speed of your site. In truth, the more images you have, the slower each page will be. You need to optimize your images, which means getting rid of any which are simply unnecessary, as well as optimizing those remaining to load faster. Take a look here for more information on how to do just that.
Plugins can be incredibly useful in making the site easier to manage and run. They also host various gadgets that your customers and visitors might be specifically looking for. But it can be all too easy to go too far with plugins, and end up having far too many of them. You should aim to avoid that situation as best as you can. Clean up your plugins, and you will be able to have a much faster load time in no time at all, thus making your website more useful all round.
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