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How to Validate your Niche by Researching your Competition

How to Validate your Niche by Researching your Competition

How to Validate your Niche by Researching your Competition: Digital enterprises or online businesses are not bound by geography or stringent local regulations. This makes it easier to start a business but it doesn’t make running the business any easier. Competition is fierce in almost every niche. Whatever your niche is, you should validate it by researching your competition. Let us explain how you should go about this and also why.

Demand and Supply

The essence of most businesses can be boiled down to one reality, demand, and supply. If there is enough demand then you can cater to the supply. If there isn’t enough demand, then catering to supply doesn’t make any sense. If there is only one diner in a locality, then it is likely to do well. If there are too many diners and not many people to fill up all those places, then most of those enterprises will run out of business.

Likewise, a digital enterprise or any online niche must have enough demand for there to be space to exist. While firms or endeavors can always coexist, the pie gets smaller and there is just less in it for everyone. The hard reality is that if there are enough players in a niche already and some of them have already amassed a massive market share, then penetrating their share or usurping a chunk of it will be a herculean task.

Study your competition to find out how large a market is and if some of your competitors are already catering to the needs of the audience. If you intend to do the same thing in the same niche, then there is little or no possibility for your enterprise to find a foothold, let aside being a roaring success.

A niche within a Niche

It is unlikely that the niche you have planned to target will be completely void of competition. There may be stiff or less competition. If there are players already with humongous market shares and dedicated customers or audiences, then you need to find a niche within a niche. You cannot cater to the same exact niche that your competition is committed to.

For instance, if you are planning to target the niche of food, cuisine, or anything culinary, then you can find some subset that the existing players have not touched upon yet.  If that is not possible, then you must figure out what you are best at and use that authority to create a niche within a niche. It is all about the value you can offer to your audience and how you help, change, or enrich their lives.

Continue Reading: Top 5 mistakes online business owners make

How to rank on Google First Page

How to rank on Google First Page

So you want to get your website to rank on google first page, but you’re not sure how? Well, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve ranked dozens of websites on page 1 of Google, and I’m going to show you how you can do the same.

First, let’s start with a quick primer on how Google and other search engines work.

How Google (And Other Search Engines) Work

The first thing you should realize about Google is that Google is NOT the Internet. Just because your website does not show up on Google, does not mean it is not on the Internet. Your website can be published live on the Internet without being displayed in Google’s search results for a particular keyword.

The way Google and other search engines display websites is this: Google has automated computer systems working around the clock that randomly visit websites all over the Internet, take snapshots of each page, and file them away in a massive database.

As part of taking a snapshot of each web page, Google’s system reads every word and other content on a web page (like photos, videos, audio files, etc) in order to determine the specific subject of the page. Google uses this collected data to determine which web pages to show, and in what order, for a particular keyword search.

In other words, Google’s computer algorithms dynamically determine which web page on the Internet is the most relevant for a specific keyword or key phrase and displays it first. It then displays the second most relevant page, and so on. The resulting list of web pages is known as a Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

A SERP can be made up of several sections:

  • The top section usually consists of 3 or 4 paid text ads that relate to the keyword used to conduct the search
  • If Google thinks the user is looking for a local business nearby, it will add a section below the paid ads called the Local Map Pack
  • The main section in the middle consists of an “organic” (non-paid) listing of web pages that are relevant to the keyword used to conduct the search

 

Example Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
How to get website on google page 1
Example Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

How Do I Get My Site On Google?

First, you need to make sure your website has been indexed by Google. To find out if it is, type site:yourdomain.com into the Google search box, replacing yourdomain.com with your actual domain name. If you see a listing of your website’s pages, then Google has already indexed your site and will continue to visit it occasionally to check for updates. If your website is not listed, submit it here: http://www.google.com/addurl. It will take 1 or 2 weeks for Google to visit and index your website.

Secondly, remember, Google will only display web pages that are relevant to the keyword being searched. The first step is to make sure your web page’s text is related to the keyword in question. If it’s not, chances are Google won’t show it.

Third, just because your website does not show up on the first page, doesn’t mean it is not showing up at all. Go to the bottom of the results page and click “Next” for page 2 and so on. Your website may be on page 2, page 82 or somewhere in between.

Okay, My Website Is On Google, But It’s On Page 41! How Do I Get It To rank on Google First Page?

Ah! You’ve asked the million-dollar question. An entire industry has been built to answer this question and millions of dollars are spent each year to accomplish this! My first question for you is, “How much money do you have?” Just kidding, but seriously, the good news is there are two main ways to get your website to show up on the first page of Google:

  1. You can pay to be on the first page of Google and it doesn’t have to be a lot of money. This is called Google Ads.
  2. You can get your website to rank “organically” without having to pay for ads.

I’ll explain both below…

Google Ads (Pay to Play!)

The quickest and easiest way to get on page 1 of Google for a particular keyword is to pay for an advertisement. You sign up with Google, choose the keywords you would like to target, then “bid” (yes, like an auction) on how much you would like to pay every time your ad is clicked on. This is called “pay-per-click”. The higher you bid per click, the higher your ad will appear to the top of the page, all other things being equal.

You can also set a daily budget so that when your budget is met, Google will not show your ad any more that day so it won’t be clicked on and you won’t be charged. For most industries, this is a cheap and easy way to show up on Google’s first page.

For other industries (like lawyers, for example), it can be very expensive. Some keywords cost up to $100 per click or more!

Consider Hiring a Google Ads Pro

Be careful with Google Ads. They make it very easy to sign up and start showing ads on their platform (Bing has a very similar platform). But if you don’t know what you are doing, you can waste a lot of money with Google Ads. Considering the fact that I happen to be a professional who is certified by Google in AdWords campaign creation, management, and optimization, I suggest you leave it up to a pro to create and manage your Google Ads campaigns.

If the professional or agency you hire knows what they are doing, they will more than pay for themselves when it comes to returning on investment. For example, if your pro or agency charges you a fee of $1,500/mo to manage and optimize your AdWords campaigns, and they are doing things right, you should get much more than a $1,500/mo benefit from having hired them.

There are literally hundreds of different settings and features you can add or tweak for anyone Google Ads campaign. If you don’t get them all correct, you could waste or lose out on a lot of money each month. Hire a pro with proven results if you have the budget. If you don’t have the budget to hire a pro to manage your Google Ads campaigns, I recommend staying away from paid search advertising.

Psst! Don’t forget to contact us to get your FREE SEO Audit below.

Getting on Google Organically

The other way to get on page 1 of Google and other search engines is the organic, or natural, method. These are the main results that show up below the ads or local map section on search engine results pages (see graphic above).

These results cannot be achieved by paying money to Google – they are achieved with careful and long-term optimization of many factors that Google uses when ranking relevancy. The practice of optimizing your web presence so that it shows up organically on Google is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Some of the most important factors that influence your rank on google first page are:

  • Quality and Length of Your Page Content – Your website’s pages should be full of unique and useful information that will benefit your ideal customer or client. The longer the better, as long as it is high quality. Strive to help your target audience by creating quality content that they will want to consume (like this article!).
  • Quality and Number of Inbound Links – If other sites are linking to yours, especially big important sites that have content relating to yours, then Google will rank your site higher. Third-party links to your website provide a “thumbs up” or vote of confidence that signals to Google that your content might be worth pushing higher up the SERP.
  • Mobile-Friendly Website – The majority of people are now using mobile phones to search for information on the web. Are your website pages mobile-friendly? Your site should be optimized for mobile devices and easy to navigate so users on any device can find what they need quickly and easily.
  • Page Speed – Your web pages should load fast on all devices. Slow-loading web pages could negatively affect your ranking on Google. Nobody likes to wait several seconds for any website to load. You can conduct a free page speed test here or use a tool like Gtmetrix to test your website page speed.
  • Keywords in Page Content – Obviously, if the keywords you are targeting actually appear on your site in the text and titles of the pages, you will rank better for those keywords. Don’t “keyword stuff”. That practice is outdated and will only hurt you now. Write your content for humans, but do keep Google in mind. Don’t use too many keywords. When in doubt, keep it natural sounding.
  • Authority of Domain Name – The longer you’ve owned the domain, the better. The more pages of quality content you have on your domain name, the better. Also, include keywords in your domain name if you can (although Google says this does not directly impact your rankings, it could help influence a user to click on your website vs a competitor’s).
  • Secure Pages – Your web pages should load via https so they are secure. Google, and regular humans, like to see secure pages, even if you’re not processing credit cards or obtaining personal information. In their Chrome browser, Google is now labeling all pages that load with an SSL as Not Secure. Don’t be one of these naughty sites…get an SSL installed by your web hosting company so that all your pages load securely.
  • URL Structure – “Pretty” URL’s are better (https://redstarsa.co.za/blog is better than https://redstarsa.co.za/index.php&id=54). If your page URL’s are human-readable, that’s a good thing.

Other Things You Should Do to Rank on Google First Page:

Google My Business

Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing, especially if you are a business that serves only your local community (like a bakery or plumber). Then, get as many positive reviews as you can. This will greatly increase your chances of showing up in the Local Map pack section above the first organic listing. This can be huge if you do it correctly!

Start a Blog

One of the single best things you can do to rank highly on Google is to start a blog and post articles regularly. If you’re not sure what to write about, think about the top 5 questions your customers ask you. Then write a thorough answer to each question – one blog post per question. Notice the title of this blog post?

Get a Few Quality Links

Partner with a non-profit in your local community and do a contest or giveaway. Maybe the local paper will pick up on it and give you some free PR (and a link to your website). Join your local Chamber of Commerce or BNI and get a listing on their website. Offer to write a guest article for the local paper or neighborhood magazine. They will often include a link to your website in your bio at the end of the article.

Create Citations

What is a citation you ask? A citation is a listing of your business on a local directory site. Go to sites like Yelp, Foursquare, YP.com, Angie’s List, etc and make sure your business listing shows up there and that the information is accurate. This helps create a robust link profile for your domain name and will send signals to Google that the information they find on your site can be trusted because it is found on other sites around the web.

You’re Never Done

Additionally, just because you rank well for one keyword or key phrase, does not mean you will rank on google first page for a similar keyword/phrase. And remember that Google is constantly updating its ranking algorithms so today’s rankings may not equal tomorrow’s rankings.

Expect to see your site move up and down in the rankings on a daily or weekly basis – it may even drop from the rankings altogether. This is why SEO should always be ongoing.

Remember, your competitors are likely following the same protocols as you are to rank on google first page. They are likely optimizing their web presence using the same methods you are using. Keep blogging and getting links. Improve the content you already have on your website. A lot of diligence and patience will prove to be worth it when you get that coveted spot at the top of Google page 1. Depending on your business, it could literally be worth millions of dollars in revenue. Something that value will never come easy.

Internet Marketing: Expectations VS Reality

Internet Marketing: Expectations VS Reality

When it comes to Internet Marketing, we cannot overstate all the amazing opportunities it has brought to entrepreneurs. Especially those that are just starting. The internet and the popularity of social media channels have created faster and more targeted ways to build brand awareness, generate leads, and grow your bottom-line.

However, all experienced marketers know that, despite its many advantages, there are certain marketing myths that need to be refuted. These are my top 6 expectations vs. reality examples:

Everyone is a marketer

If you need surgery, do you tell the surgeon that you “can just do it yourself?” Of course not. Same with internet marketing. It is one of those things that everyone believes they can do until they’ve thrown a lot of money down the drain.

Internet marketing experts know the very specific processes that need to be performed at a very high level to see positive ROI. You can write a copy – but can you write a copy that sells? Or target the right people? Or know when to change your strategy? There’s more to it than what the eye can see.

More traffic means more sales

Traffic is king to generate leads and grow your revenue. Intuitively, it makes sense: the more visitors your site gets, the more conversions you’ll have. But is this really true?

Not really. First of all, you don’t want traffic. You want targeted traffic. What’s the difference? Well, if you sell PlayStations, you want people interested in gaming, not in movies.

And don’t forget about your conversion rate. You can bring millions of viewers to your website, but if it’s ugly and slow, you won’t see money back.

Further Reading: How to get free website traffic

Paid ads will be very profitable right away

Paid ads give you a better chance to turn a profit because it is a cheaper and more targeted way to promote your business. But everyone who guarantees positive ROI is lying.

You need to make sure you are creating ads that will convert AND showing them to the right audience. You should always be testing different ad versions and retargeting those that have interacted with them.

Have a universal message for all platforms

There are many different social media platforms, and all of them have different demographics. When you have a presence in more than one, you have to respect the platforms.

What does that mean?

Make sure you know what the audience in each platform wants. Snapchat’s 14 to 23-year-old users want a more juvenile and visual message than Twitter’s older and written-based audience. And they are all different from Facebook’s, or Instagram’s, or Pinterest’s, etc.

Further reading: How to decide which Social Media Platform to use for your Business

It is easy to come up with innovative ideas for your business.

Sometimes it can be difficult to find out the great ideas for your digital marketing campaign. One of the big facts is that you can’t get results overnight.

It’s important for your business to think outside the box. Innovative ideas with your marketing campaigns can attract new customers for your business.

It can be difficult to give time to get some innovative strategies while you are trying to establish or run your business. That’s why there are people who rely on a professional digital marketing company to study the market.

The reality is, you need to try and test and experiment, it is not necessary that you will always get an innovative idea and that idea will work.

Digital Marketing is all about experimenting

Digital marketing is “set it and forget it.”

Facebook/Instagram and PPC ads require constant monitoring of its campaigns. Audiences can get exhausted and make your CPM rise. Frequency, the number of times someone has seen your ad, can also increase. Maybe the ad that was working great last week then stopped performing.

Make sure you keep an eye on all your campaigns. You should periodically change your ad’s creative design and written copy. You can also try new ad ideas or even scale up the ones that are working.

These are my six main expectations vs. reality disconnects in digital marketing. Can you think of others?

Top 7 Tools For Spying On Your Competitors

Top 7 Tools For Spying On Your Competitors

Top 7 SEO Tools For Spying On Your Competitors

SEO Tools. Running a Business can be tough, especially when you have those sneaky competitors that are always stealing customers from you. Luckily enough there are tools out there that enable you to see what your competitors are doing online so you could outperform them.

Today I will be sharing with you my top 7 competitor analysis tools that will help you spy on your competition. Some you may have heard about them and some you may haven’t considered them as spying tools.

1.Similar Web

 

Image result for similar web

If you put in a URL, even if its a competitor URL. It will show you how much traffic they are getting. You can use Similar Web to compare if your competitor is getting more traffic than you and where most of their traffic comes from. could it be referrals, social share, organic reach, etc? Knowing how much traffic your competitors are getting and where it’s coming from, will help you to better identify where they are most likely getting their customers from. You can use this data to come up with a better strategy to find more customers for your business.

2. Built With

 

Image result for built with

Built with shows you all the technology that your competitors are using. I know you may be wondering why the heck should you care what technologies your competitors are using. Here is why, if they are using tools like optimizely that means they are running AB Tests, if they are running AB tests and it helps them convert better, you too should consider running AB tests. If running AB tests is a strategy that they are using to generate sales, then you also should be doing it and optimize for better conversions than them.

3. Wayback Machine

 

Image result for wayback machine

Built with enables you to see a different variation of your competitor pages, this will give you a clear idea of whats converting better and whats not. This will give you a clear insight on what copy you should be using and what you shouldn’t be doing. Knowing what copy is selling for your competitor’s customers and what copy is not generating more sales for them will enable you to better understand which type of content your audience likes to consume and what they are not interested in, having this type of data will enable you to keep your content more relevant to your target audience.

4. Uber Suggest  SEO Tools

Image result for uber suggest

Uber Suggest shows you their search traffic, how much organic traffic and how much paid traffic they are getting per region. It will also show you their most popular pages, the keywords these pages are ranking for, how many backlinks these pages have and their social share. The reason you want to do this is when you are creating content for your website you will want to create content that’s popular and not create content that no one wants to read. What could be better than knowing where your competitors are getting more customers from? Knowing where they are getting traffics and what type of content your audience love will enable you to come up with a better marketing strategy than them.

5. Buzzsumo

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Focuses more on blog content. If you put your competitor URL. Buzzsumo will show you all their popular blog content by backlinks and social share. This will give you ideas on which blog content you should be creating vs which content you should stop creating. Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with content for your own blog. But knowing the type of content your competitor is creating to increase engagement helps you better understand the type of content. You would have to create to keep them engaged and have a clear understanding of topics that are trending in your field. How likely would people share your content? So, If you get enough social shares, more people will start to be aware of your brand and what you do.

6. Social Balde

Image result for social blade

Your Competitors have Social Media profiles, whether its Facebook, YouTube or Instagram. Likewise, social Blade will show you how popular their social profiles are. It will show you how many followers they are getting on a daily basis compared to how much content they are creating. if they are sharing 5 content per day and gain 1000 new followers per day. Sometimes your competitor may not be posting and get about 100 new followers. Sometimes they might share one content and get about 3000 new followers. Social Blade enables you to see which content they shared that increased their brand awareness and when was in creating. This enables you to better understand the content that may increase your social media presence.

7. What Runs Where

Image result for what runs where

Your Competitors are not just running Google Ads or Facebook Ads, So many people today are running banner ads. What runs where will show you what copy and which images they are using that are converting more for them. Using What runs where will enable you to see which platforms to focus on if you will be looking to increase your sales. What copy and which images are more likely to drive your target audience into buying decisions.

Using all these 7 tools will enable you to spy on your competitor’s marketing strategies. So, you can have ideas on how you can do better and crush them. Nothing is more powerful than knowing what your rival is doing. It will give you a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. So, you could come up with a better strategy to perform more better than they are.

How to get FREE Website Traffic

How to get FREE Website Traffic

10 Ways you can drive traffic to your website for FREE

If you can go and ask any business owner what is it they want, you will get a common answer. They will tell you they want more customers. In today’s internet-dominated world, you will find more customers online. But the only way to achieve this is to have enough traffic to your website. I am not talking about the traffic in the busy road. I am talking about your website visitors. In this post, we are going to look at how to get traffic to your website for free. Including ways to boost traffic for free.

For you to be able to drive traffic into your website, there’s one thing that you need to invest. You need to invest time. Doing everything I am going to suggest you do won’t get you traffic instantly. You will need to be persistent about all of them, after a certain period of time you will start to see traffic on your website. If you feel like you can’t invest time and you want to see traffic instantly, I would suggest you consider paid traffic and invest more in your marketing. This steps won ‘t guarantee you traffic overnight, Although I cannot really specify how long it’s going to take, for you to start seeing traffic on your website. Sometimes it can take days, weeks, months even year before you start seeing traffic on your website.

Let’s look at several ways you can get Free traffic on your website.

  • Give attention to On-page SEO 

I know you might have heard that SEO is dead, Think again. Optimizing your content for search engines is still valuable and helps your website rank higher. Are you making the most of image alt text? Also investing in videos helps. Are you creating internal links to new content? What about meta descriptions? Optimizing for on-page SEO doesn’t have to take ages, and it could help boost your organic traffic.

  • Target Long-Tail Keywords

Do you have your High intend and Popular Keywords basis covered? I strongly recommend that you target Long-Tail keywords too. They account for the majority of web searches. You are going to miss out if you are not targeting them as part of your SEO efforts.

  • Be Social

Its useless creating content and hope people will read it, you will have to be proactive in social media platforms. One of the best ways to promote your content is through social media. But you have to ensure that you are promoting your content to the relevant audience. I would strongly suggest for B2C businesses you promote your content through Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. For B2B businesses you may use Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn.

  • Start Guest Blogging

Securing a guest post on a reputable guest post will help increase your website traffic and can help you with building your brand. Proceed with caution, standards of blogging has changed for over a year now and spammy tactics can lead to some penalties.

  • Invite other people in your niche to Guest Blog on your website

Guest blogging is a two-way street. In addition to posting content to other blogs, invite people in your niche to blog on your own site. They’re likely to share and link to their guest article, which could bring new readers to your site. Just be sure that you only post high-quality, original content without spammy links, because Google is cracking way down on low-quality guest blogging. Don’t worry about driving traffic to them when they guest blog on your website, its a win-win situation. They drive traffic to your website and get some from yours.

  • Ensure your Website is mobile friendly

Today, more than ever before people are accessing the website on their mobile phones. If your website is not mobile friendly, you are simply telling mobile users to leave your website and go elsewhere. Ensure your website can be accessed and view-able in different mobile devices.

  • Make sure your website is fast

The faster your website loads the better. If your website takes a long time to load. Your bounce rate will be too high, this will result in losing too much traffic.  Make sure that your pages are as technically optimized as possible, including image file sizes, Videos, Pages structure and the functions of third-party plugins. I know sometimes having a live chat plugin makes it more convenient to chat with visitors. But from my experience, some Live chat plugins make your website to be slow. Make sure that your plugins, not only live chat plugins don’t slow down your website.

  • Make your Voice heard in comments

You probably have joined social media groups, follow certain hashtags and visits few websites relating to your business, if not I suggest that you do. Commenting doesn’t provide an immediate boost to your referral traffic immediately. But providing insightful, thought-provoking comments will help you make a name for yourself. This can result in driving more traffic to your website.

  • Be Active on Social Media

Its not enough to just share content on social media, you need to participate actively in the community too. Are you on twitter? Then join in group discussions with relevant hashtags. Are you audience leaving comments on your social media posts? Answer questions they may have and engage in conversation with them. People are turned down quicker by people who use social media as a broadcast channel.

  • Don’t leave Email Marketing behind 

Email Marketing can be a powerful tool, and a successful email blast can help drive lots of traffic to your website. Don’t overlook word of mouth, especially for people who are already enjoying the value your product/service brings to them. Sending a friendly reminder of a new product/service can help increase your website traffic.

Thats it for today. If you have your own tips on how you can increase website traffic, I would love to hear them. Please comment below I would love to hear your thoughts.

Creating a Strong Online Presence

Creating a Strong Online Presence

Online presence is a crucial component of your marketing strategy, no matter what size your business is or what industry it belongs to. According to Google, 97% of consumers use the web to search for local businesses – and if the vast majority of your potential customers are online, you should be, too.

An online presence is important for outbound marketing because it reinforces your brand and what you offer to your target market. Once you’ve communicated with your audience, you’ll need to have a web presence that helps portray why your product or service is so great – because that’s the next stop for the majority of your potential customers.

It’s also vital for inbound marketing because quality online content will help attract customers even if they haven’t heard of your brand.

So here are three of the first things you need to look at when building your online marketing efforts.

1. Your website

All businesses, no matter how small, should have a website. It can be extremely basic, but it should contain the fundamental information customers – both existing and potential – need. For example, one frustration I encounter far too often is restaurants that don’t have a website with a current menu, opening hours, location, and contact information.

I know I’m not alone in that if I can’t find these details, I’m less likely to visit the restaurant – but there’s no reason a business should lose potential customers over something that’s so easy to remedy and costs very little.

A basic website is pretty easy to set up using an application like WordPress. WordPress is a free blogging tool and content management system that gives users the option to pay a little more for the premium version. If it’s relevant to your business, you can even add an online shop – after all, in 2013, 70 percent of consumers preferred to do their retail shopping online.

If you’re not sure where to start, there’s a great guide to WordPress for small businesses on Social Media today. It’s easy to understand and runs through the factors you need to consider and the steps you need to take when setting up your small business website.

If you’re starting from scratch and not sure what your website should include, survey your existing customers. Whether you send out an email asking for their input or mention it casually while making their coffee, it’s the best way to get the insight you need – people love to be involved and share their opinions.

2. Search engine optimization

Once you have a website, it’s vital that it can actually be found by search engines. After all, 89 percent of consumers use search engines to research a product, service, or business before making a decision. To take advantage of this, you need to make sure to look at search engine optimization (SEO) for your website.

In case you’re not completely sure what SEO means, how it works, or why it’s important, here’s a quick rundown:

What: The purpose of SEO is to make it easy for search engines to find your website and list it in their ‘organic’ (as opposed to ‘paid’) results.
Why: People tend to trust search engines, so websites that appear high in results pages are more likely to receive traffic.
How: Using search-engine-friendly methods to improve your website.
Who: Everyone – anyone who has information that people want to find on the internet should be using SEO techniques.
When: All the time – SEO is an ongoing process. It’s important to monitor the information on your website and make sure it’s current and correct. Search engines also love new content, which is why starting a blog can do wonders for your SEO.
Where: Major search engines include Google, Yahoo, and Bing. They connect people all over the world to the content they desire, from products to services to information.

3. Social media

Social media is an important part of your online presence that improves your chances of generating additional revenue and building customer loyalty. It allows customers, potential customers, and other interested parties to engage easily via a channel that plays an important role in their everyday lives.

Although not every social media channel will be relevant to each business, it’s definitely worth looking into your options. For example, Facebook and Twitter will serve a purpose for almost any business – it’s a great place to post news, tips, photos, and videos and ask and answer questions.

In addition to Facebook and Twitter, you might find Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, FourSquare helpful. Make sure to research available channels and find out if they will work for you. Instagram, for example, is a photo-sharing network, so it works wonderfully for businesses selling ‘beautiful’ products such as jewelry, food, or housewares.

It’s important to consider your target demographic – Instagram has around 130–150 million users, over two-thirds of which are women between the ages of 18 and 35. With Instagram, you’ll also need to keep a smartphone handy to properly access your account and engage with your audience.

Once you’ve decided which social media channels to use, get a clear idea of the kind of content you can share. The more compelling and engaging your material is, the more likely your followers will like, comment, and share your posts.

Engagement is key to promoting your brand – not only will it make you more appealing to existing customers, the more positive social activity that goes on, the higher the chance is that their friends will be exposed to your brand and intrigued by what you have to offer.

When they do this, they’re engaging with your brand and their networks (friends, family, colleagues) are seeing that engagement and may be prompted to check you out for their own needs.

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