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How to Increase Your Social Proof to Attract More Customers

If you are like a lot of business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs, you may have heard the term social proof thrown around and used like any of the latest trendy business terms. But I can assure you, social proof is no synergy, paradigm-shift or growth hacking. Social proof is a more inclusive and comprehensive name for a very old marketing concept. One that has been influencing customers since there were businesses to buy from. At its core, social proof is word of mouth advertising in today’s digital market place. Why Social Proof Is So Important Social proof is one of the key influencers that people use when making a decision who to do business with. People look to what others have done when making a decision and that’s why reviews, testimonials and endorsements have been so powerful for businesses. The Social Proof Theory, which I explored in the psychology behind social media engagement, states that: “A person who does not know what the proper behavior for a certain situation is, will look to other people to imitate what they are doing and to provide guidance for their actions.” In simpler terms, social proof helps us make decisions when we are […]

3 Ways to Convert Blog Traffic in to Sales

If you are like many hard-working bloggers, you may not be sure how to convert your existing blog traffic in to sales, which is ultimately an unsustainable marketing strategy. It is a big job to consistently create and publish quality content that your community and potential leads find of value. And while it can be greatly satisfying to know that they find your content helpful, most of us can not to afford to create content for content’s sake alone. That content needs to pay off in some form – ultimately increasing your sales and income. According to the New York Times, blogs actually have a higher fail rate than restaurants. Many people assume that this is because of the absence of traffic, and while this may be the case in some instances, more often than not most blogs are doomed by their lack of effective integration into a sales funnel. If you have a sales funnel or strategy in place, your B2B blog will help you drive significant revenue with even small amounts of traffic. This money can then be used to invest in creating more content, promoting existing content and further optimizing the blog for sales. But without aligning […]

The B2B Marketer’s Guide to Social Advertising

It’s no secret that social media has become an important part of any B2B marketing strategy. In fact, 93% of B2B marketers report using social media as part of their strategy (source). However, as social media continues to grow and evolve, it’s become increasingly difficult for marketing teams to produce results with their social media efforts. The reason for this is simple; as more and more businesses jump onto the social media bandwagon, the social sphere becomes increasingly clogged and cluttered. As a result, today’s social media users face content overload and it’s harder than ever to stand out. If your message doesn’t cut through the social media noise, you’re sure to miss your prospects. So, what’s the solution? Paid social advertising. The Promise of Paid Ads Social media advertising is not a new concept to the seasoned marketer. However, many in the B2B realm don’t fully grasp the promise of this tactic. After all, when your organic social strategy doesn’t produce results, it’s hard to justify spending even more time and money on it. But, paid social can have a huge impact on your marketing efforts. Having a hard time believing? Consider these statistics: 86% of marketers now combine […]

Is Ethical Marketing Extinct?

Have you ever used a digital marketing tactic that ultimately made you feel a twinge of guilt, or at the very least made you question whether it was ethical? Guilt, of course, implies that you are aware of right and wrong, and how that translates into marketing. This falls under what we call ethical marketing — and for something as easy to explain as this, it may be quite challenging to consistently implement. The Financial Times Lexicon defines ethical marketing as such: “Ethical marketing is a process through which companies generate customer interest in products/services, build strong customer interest/relationships, and create value for all stakeholders by incorporating social and environmental considerations in products and promotions. All aspects of marketing are considered, from sales techniques to business communication and business development.” The root of the word “ethical marketing,” naturally, is ethics. The word itself comes from the Greek word ethikos, which means “habit” or “custom.” Through ethics, we are able to clearly define (and draw a line between) what is right and what is wrong. Marketing, of course, is no exception. By now, you’re probably familiar with the concept of social selling, and you are aware that relationship-building and establishing trust […]

10 Visual Marketing Statistics for 2017 [Infographic]

When you are scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, what kind of posts are most likely to catch your attention? If you are like most people, it will be the posts that include eye-catching videos, graphics or images. Visual marketing has become a crucial tool for marketers, to catch the attention of their customers and engage with them on social media. In fact, visual marketing is so powerful that several social media sites (such as Instagram and Pinterest) are entirely devoted to it. The power and presence of visual marketing will only continue to grow in 2017 and into 2018, as can be seen in the infographic below, which surveyed 300 online marketers. 10 Visual Marketing Statistics You Need To Know (Source: Venngage) As we approach the fourth and final quarter of 2017 and all of the holidays that go with it, many marketers are looking for ways to improve their engagement on social media. Visual marketing is the tool that can make this happen – when done properly. Whether you are B2B or B2C, this is an excellent time to ramp up your image and graphic production. Whether you choose to hire a professional or create the graphics in-house (using tools […]

The Art & Science of a Successful Modern Marketer

It is no simple task for a business to be successful at marketing today. Marketers no longer have the luxury of specialization. In order to compete and thrive, they need a wide variety of skills – skills that incorporate both creativity from the right hemisphere of the brain and analytical thinking from the left hemisphere. In short, today’s successful marketer must be both artist and scientist, because what works in marketing is both an art and a science. Salesforce created a fantastic infographic that breaks down todays modern marketer. Here are eight key skills they identified, in greater detail (four artistic and four analytical) that every modern marketer must develop to ensure they adapt and flourish in today’s rapidly evolving world of marketing. The Modern Marketer Source: The Modern Marketer: Part Artist, Part Scientist [INFOGRAPHIC] Part Artist Written Content Writing as a skill has become vital for modern marketers. Content marketing, often in the form of written articles, is now a big component in many brand’s sales funnels. It plays a very important role in how brands are able to be found (through search engines or social media platforms) and then build relationships with their target market. This written content […]

7 Strategies for Effective Influencer Marketing

One of the keys to effective influencer marketing (aka getting real results) is by doing it authentically. But just what does that mean? Being authentic in your influencer marketing efforts means investing the time to learn as much as you can about each influencer you want to reach out to and then communicate with them in a personalized manner that works to establish and then build a real relationship with that person. Influencers get countless emails, all wanting something from them and most of them coming in the form of a generic, template email that can be spotted a mile away. Now consider that these influencers are people just like you and me, also with an inbox full of spam and junk mail on top of receiving a hefty amount of these (often impersonalized) influencer requests. Is it any wonder that they rarely respond to them? The odds are definitely not with you if you are contacting an influencer, regardless of how good the business opportunity is that you are offering. That is of course, unless you can find a way to ensure that your request stands out, gets their attention and makes them way to know more. I am […]

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is Transforming Digital Marketing

Every day people use artificial intelligence; most without realizing the amount of impact AI has on their lives. Chances are better than good that you’re using AI far more than you realize. Netflix, Google, credit card companies, video games, customer support, social media, and many other industries use AI to streamline their business model and improve the customer experience. This means that businesses large and small need to capitalize on what’s quickly becoming a thriving industry. For perspective, the artificial intelligence market is expected to grow from its current $600 million valuation, to over $36 billion in 2025. Adding AI to your digital marketing strategy is crucial to staying relevant. Luckily, with a basic understanding, AI implementation is easier than you’d think. What is AI, Exactly? The first step to integrating AI into your digital marketing strategy is understanding exactly what artificial intelligence is, and what it can do for your brand. Put simply, AI is an algorithmic computer system that can understand human context and carry out human tasks. Tasks range from simple bots like AIM’s infamous SmarterChild, to complex algorithms like Netflix’s recommended queue. It’s important to understand that AI translates human language into “computer language,” and vice […]

8 Steps to an Effective Influencer Marketing Strategy

There are all kinds of people that you could consider influencers. For example, your best customers can be some of the best influencers and advocates of your products/services. However there are times when you want to widen your reach and get in front of a brand new audience to promote your brand. Influencer marketing involves partnering with key individuals within your industry to promote your brand to their followers. If done correctly, influencer marketing can be a huge success and drive your brand’s growth exponentially. Here are eight specific steps that will improve success with your influencer marketing efforts. 8 Steps to Set Up Your Influencer Marketing Strategy Set goals. Before you start any new marketing campaign, it’s important to set goals so you know how to measure your campaign’s success. What are you hoping to get out of your influencer marketing campaign? For example, you may want to increase awareness of a new product or upcoming event, improve your website ranking, or increase followers on social media. Define your ideal influencer. Now that you know what you want to achieve with your campaign, it’s time to define your ideal influencer. Brands should look for people who are active on […]

The Shark Tank Formula for Entrepreneurial Success

Have you watched the show Shark Tank? This is a show where new and aspiring entrepreneurs present their ideas to the sharks – five business titans who made their own dreams a reality and turned their ideas into lucrative empires. The contestants of the show try to convince any one of the sharks to invest money in their idea. When more than one of the sharks decide they want a piece of the action, a bidding war can erupt, driving up the price of the investment. But this only happens sometimes and for a few of them. Entrepreneurs can often face a tough road. For some entrepreneurship can be filled with failure, long hours and a constant need to impress investors. There’s also the ever present temptation to fall back on crowd sourcing websites like Kickstarter. These rigors turn many entrepreneurs away from following through with their business idea. Almost 40 percent of entrepreneurs cite fear of failing as the reason they don’t pursue opportunities. The future sounds bleak for entrepreneurs, but in actuality entrepreneurship is on the rise. The growing ease of information availability exposes people to stories of entrepreneurial success. The television show Shark Tank has helped catapult […]

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