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?

3 Reasons you Should Never Boost Posts on Facebook

3 Reasons you Should Never Boost Posts on Facebook

There are tons of Options when it comes to Facebook Advertising. You Can Buy Fans, Drive Traffic to your Website or Landing Page, you can even Boost your own Posts. If you are great in Marketing and Copywriting, sure you can Boost your Posts. For those who are not great at copywriting, don’t Boost your Posts. Here are 3 Reasons why you shouldn’t Boost your Posts.

  1. You Boost posts you get traffic to your posts and probably engagement, but after you stop paying what happens? You don’t get any traffic to your post and no more post engagement.
  2. When you send people to your post, it’s unlikely that they will convert into paying customers. Posts are meant to be Funny, humorous, storytelling and educational. They are not build to driving people to a page and converting them into a customer, surely if your posts can do that, then you can boost them. But for most people, they are not going to see any ROI on it.
  3. When you Boost a Facebook post, It’s costing you money, why not use that money to a paid product or service. This way you will have greater chances of generating revenue.

Boosting a post is not meant for marketing a Business, its meant to engage with your audience. By Boosting Facebook Posts, you are actually paying people to like your post or even comment on it. Facebook has options where you can Advertise and actually be able to sell your product or service.

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.

How to turn online shoppers into buyers

How to turn online shoppers into buyers

Karabo Tlabakoe

Tactics That Turn Shoppers Into Buying Customers

Every online store’s main goal is to increase traffic and conversations. But even after you have placed together a basic marketing strategy it can be challenging to select which tactics you should try first.

This is the main reason I have put together effective tactics along with some ideas to help you implement each approach. The ideas run from straightforward acquisition to help you generate more repeat purchases from your existing customers.

Try implementing 1 or 2 ideas every day for the next few weeks. On your last day take a look at your stock and figure out which ones best worked to drive new sales.

Before we get into it, with your own understating what do you think ecommerce marketing is? Well with me, I think ecommerce marketing is using promotional tactics to drive traffic to your online store. Converting that traffic into buyers.

You can use ecommerce marketing to launch or promote your online store as a whole or to drive more sales for specific products. Below are a few practical ideas you should try.

Marketing ideas to increase online sales

1. Upsell your products

Most of us have visited Mcdonald to buy a hamburger but end up buying a burger, chips & soda and you would hear a cashier saying, would you like to upsize your order? Its an example of what upselling is. You went to buy 1 item but end up buying more.

For many businesses, upselling can be effective than looking for new customers. Sometimes your customers may not know that you have a premium product available or they need to understand how an upgrade is a better fit for their needs.

For example: Usually, when a client contacts me for logo design, I would offer business cards and letterheads, sometimes a complete brand manual. Sometimes a customer comes for a website, I would offer a website with standard SEO package.

When using Upselling to increase sales consider the following:

  1. Be sensitive to the price range of your customers
  2. Ensure your upsells are related to the original product.

Your product has to fit the customer’s original needs, and they may not be enthusiastic about a higher price point once they have an anchor price in mind. An anchor price is often the first number a customer sees, and it’s the number against which they compare other price points. The new product must be a discernibly better fit than the original for it to be worth the additional cost.

2. Launch a Facebook store

Although Facebook has undergone a number of changes, it remains a viable platform for social media and ecommerce marketing.

It’s fairly straightforward to start making sales through your Facebook store. Better yet, your Facebook store can integrate directly with your Shopify store so you don’t have to keep a separate inventory.

3. Capture more email subscribers

Dollar for dollar, email marketing is one of the most effective channels at your disposal for making sales and generating repeat customers. Roughly 17% of digital marketing spend happens in email, but it contributes 24% of revenue, according to a 2015 study by Forrester Research.

There are too many tweets and Facebook posts for us to keep up with, and email can offer a more intimate interaction. People are still more protective of messages sent to their personal inboxes versus their social feeds. Plus, email gives you the space to say things that can’t fit into a social media post.

4. Improve your email campaigns

It’s not enough to simply capture a bunch of email addresses. You then need to send regular, valuable emails for the channel to be an effective ecommerce marketing activity.

There are many occasions that are perfect for sending emails that your subscribers will actually appreciate:

  • Send a welcome email as soon as a customer makes a purchase.
  • Provide exclusive promo codes and free gifts.
  • Send regular newsletters to alert subscribers of new discount offers, product tips, and, when appropriate, company news.
  • Share relevant content to help customers get the most out of their recently purchased items.
  • Run a BOGO campaign in time for the holidays to promote self-gifting during the season, too.
  • Thank your highest-value customers. Send a personal note expressing your appreciation for their business.
  • Solicit feedback. If someone visits your site but doesn’t make a purchase, ask about their experience and how you can improve it.
5. Make it easy for your customers to get what they want

If your store is poorly designed, then you’re losing customers. But what exactly does a poorly designed store look like?

Besides appearing untrustworthy, the store could be suffering from some combination of the following: lacking a clear value proposition, hard-to-read font, or confusing navigation.

Even when you’ve improved the dimensions above, you could still be making a few design mistakes. Are you properly segmenting your products or are you putting too many products on a single page? Have you figured out the right balance between text and visuals? These are just a few of the many things that you should consider. If your theme isn’t converting well, consider some of the other great themes available on Shopify.

6. Engage online store visitors with Livechat
There are other high-impact ways to engage with site visitors and customers outside of email. For example, you could use live chat to engage with shoppers on your site.

Many live chat tools let you target browsers on certain pages, after they’ve been on your site for a certain length of time, or even after they’ve arrived on your site through an email newsletter. Live chat also enables you to have direct conversations with your customers so you can answer and address customer concerns right while they’re planning to buy.

7. Start a content marketing program

Every ecommerce store should consider blogging regularly to connect with customers and to rank better in search engines. If you’re already creating content, consider actively featuring your blog on your online store.

Don’t forget, there are more ways to take advantage of content marketing than simply blogging:

  • Start a podcast to feature your expertise or build a stronger community
  • Guest post on other websites and blogs to build awareness and generate backlinks, which also help with SEO
  • Create long-form content and guides to help customers use your products more effectively

One unlikely brand that has used content marketing to increase online sales is River Pools and Spas. Their company blog has earned them kudos from New York Times, but they don’t just stick to blogging. In time for the 2018 summer season, they have a downloadable guide featured on their homepage to help customers buy the right fiberglass pool as well.

8. Integrate Instagram

With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram is one of the fastest growing social apps around, connecting consumers, influencers, and brands.

If you take compelling photos, use hashtags strategically, and post at the right times then you’re well on your way to building a large Instagram following of people who are interested in your products. The key to mastering your organic Instagram presence is engagement with your followers.

What are some ways to engage with your audience on Instagram? You may try running contests or going behind the scenes to showcase your product development process. You can also pay to play on Instagram. For ecommerce marketing, adding products to your Instagram posts and stories gives your followers a direct path to purchase, which is key for increasing your online sales.

9. Embrace personalization

Personalization is another effective marketing tactic to drive online sales. Using behavioral data, personalized experiences are served to the visitor, according to their past actions and preferences.

According to BCG, personalization can lift sales as much as 10%, but the opportunity is greater than that. Only 15% of companies are using the technology to its fullest extent.

You can also account for location in personalization to create an experience catered to where your customers are in the world. Someone in southern California may be looking for bathing suits in October, while your Maine customers probably need coats, for example.

Alloy Apparel shows a “what’s popular” carousel of products for online shoppers, but personalizes it with trending items local to the visitor.

10. Reduce abandoned carts

Harsh truth: You’re losing money every time a visitor abandons their cart without purchasing.

This phenomenon is well-studied. Visitors add items to their carts, but abandon their carts during the checkout process. According to the Baymard Institute, 69.23% of shopping carts are abandoned.

Abandoned carts.

It’s worth directly addressing as many hesitations as you can because some shoppers who abandoned their carts could have been reminded to complete their purchase. Perhaps they could have been persuaded with a discount or free shipping, for example.

One simple and effective ecommerce marketing idea to reduce the frequency of abandoned carts is an email recovery campaign, which can convince your visitors to make a return visit and complete their original purchase. Another one is to take advantage of the Facebook Pixel. Having a facebook pixel on your website will help you retarget customers who left your store before completing their purchase.

Move forward with your own online store

Now you have a sizeable list of tactics and apps to help you generate more traffic and increase online sales.

For more marketing tactics, check out our “How to Sell Online”. For useful Shopify marketing apps, check out the Shopify App Store.


Ready to create your online store? Start your free 14-day trial of Shopify—no credit card required.


Creating a Strong Online Presence

Creating a Strong Online Presence

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. Having a strong online presence is a crucial component of your marketing strategy, no matter what size your business is or what industry it belongs to.

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 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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