All posts by SBCA Team

Challenges of Multi-Channel Marketing

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here is no question that multi-channel marketing offers a high return on investment. It doesn’t matter what your product is – if you’re not sending your message to multiple channels in multiple ways, you’re going to miss a large portion of your audience. Reaching more of your audience translates into higher profits. But, along with these profitable opportunities comes challenges.

 

Keeping a Consistent Message

It’s tempting when moving to a new channel for marketing to change your entire personality. However, you actually want to keep your message consistent no matter what channel you’re sending the message.

Cohesive Branding

Think about brands that you know. Taco Bell, Netflix, Facebook – all of these are very recognizable to us regardless of where we see them being discussed. Even if we just see the bell we know what it’s about.

Knowing Which Channels to Use

Your audience is not everywhere, but you should be where your audience is. You’ll need to understand who your audience is and where they “hang out” to know where you should be sending your marketing messages.

Understanding Who You’re Talking to on Each Channel

While your audience doesn’t change completely based on the channel they’re using, the way you talk to them might change a little. Your message is the same, but how you say it may be different. Twitter requires you to use 140 characters, while on TV you might have 30 seconds. This requires different approaches to delivering the same message. So knowing who you’re talking to and where you’re talking to them will help.

Creating a Customer-Centric Voice

You’ve heard a lot about finding your voice, but the truth is, the voice you need to find isn’t yours. It’s your customers’ voice. Who is your audience and what do they need to hear? What do they want to know? What is it about them that makes your product work for them? It’s never about you; it’s always about them.

Making the Experience Consistent

The other challenge with multi-channel marketing is ensuring that for those of your audience who see your message on different channels, or visit you from different channels, have a consistent experience. This can be confusing and difficult if you aren’t sure who you are, or who your audience is, or understand what your product does for them.

Understanding the Metrics

Each channel has different metrics that are important and different methods for which to analyze them. Click-through rates on your website to your sales page are counted using different software than click-through rates within your newsletter. You need to understand how it all works and ties together and what it means, as well as which numbers you want to test.

Putting Together All the Parts

It can be difficult to put all these parts together into a cohesive marketing campaign. But, every channel works together as well as independently. Each should stand alone, but each should be integrated as well. This can be a big challenge for many marketers.

Finally, no matter what happens you have to continually test every aspect of your multichannel marketing effort. Nothing is ever done until you understand the results of each effort. Success or failure comes down to the numbers.

Why You Should Enter a JV

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oining together in a joint venture (JV) agreement with another person or business entity is a common way to join forces without changing the structure of either business. When you join with another business temporarily, you can share resources in terms of people, technology and finances. This can make the combination stronger than each individual business.

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    Grow Your Business - By having access to your partner's connections, you can get your business known by new people and new connections that you wouldn't have access to as quickly otherwise.
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    Expand Your Brand - When you want more people to know about your brand, having someone else mention you, and you mentioning them, can create a discussion that helps expand awareness of both of your brands.
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    Build Your Email List - By giving each other access to your individual lists, telling your lists about the other, some of the people will cross over to become members of both lists. This is a great way to build your list with targeted individuals as long as you chose a partner who sells complementary goods to yours, to the same audience.
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    Enter a New Market - There are often several markets for one service or product. Finding a JV partner who deals with a portion of your audience that you've never dealt with before is a great way to get your foot in the door to the new market. 
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    Develop a New Product - Sometimes two entities can come together using all their resources and create a brand-new product that neither business could accomplish on their own. This is a wonderful reason to form a joint venture partnership. For example, two business owners could come together to create a live event which is recorded to become a new information product.
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    Improve a Current Product - If you both already have similar products but both products are lacking, you could combine the good from each product or service to make a brand-new product or service that provides more benefits.  
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    Bring in Skills You're Lacking - If you are lacking in a skill and don't want to outsource it, find a JV partner who has the skill that you don't have. Then you can each do what you do best to contribute to the JV partnership. 
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    Improve Your Authority Level - When you hang around other smart people, you become one of those smart people just by association. Surround yourself with really smart people in a JV partnership and you'll achieve more than you thought.

There are many reasons to enter a JV agreement with the right person. But, before you get started, know why you want to do it so that you understand, based on your goals, who you should work with. Remember - join with someone who has a complementary business to yours, not your direct competition, and not when it has to do with your main source of bread and butter.

Writing Blog Posts That Promote Your Videos

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fter creating your video, one of the very first things you should do to promote it is to write a blog post about your video. From there you can promote the blog post to all your social media networks, ask your friends to share it, and even use pay per click and other means to promote the post, and in turn to promote the video. There are many ways to approach promoting your video via a blog post.

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    Describe the Problem - Usually a video is created due to a problem you're trying to solve or an issue you want to discuss. You don't have to get right to the video from day one; you can instead work on educating your audience about the problem so that when you provide the answer they're ready.
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    Discuss Why You Have the Answers - Blog posts that prove your intelligence on the issue will go far in helping your audience see you as an authority on the topic. Spend some time not only addressing your audience's thirst for knowledge but also their need to understand who you are, without appearing as if you're bragging. Remember, when it's about you, it's really about them.
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    Talk about Probable Answers - Before giving the video, you can talk about potential answers to the problem in a blog post or two. You can hint about or lead up to what may be in the video in a way that helps the audience be ready for the video.
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    Introduce Your Video - A good blog post is one that also introduces your video to your audience. Write about the problem, the solutions, why you're the right one to offer the solution, and then embed the video for viewing. Ask for comments, likes, shares and suggestions.
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    Describe a Problem and Provide the Video as an Answer - You can also approach it from a problem / solution standpoint. Describe the problem, and then give the video as an answer to the problem. 
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    Transcribe the Video - Another great way to create a blog post to promote your video is to make an actual word-for-word transcription of the video. Embed the video, and then under it post the transcription. Search engines will pick it up and you will get more viewers.
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    Expand on the Video  - In addition to posting the video with a description, you can expand on the video with more information such as links to the resources you used and more. Provide some behind-the-scenes information that the people who watch the video directly won't see.
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    Add Images to the Post from the Video - Clip some images from the video to add to the blog post about the video. This will give those who view the video via your blog a little more incentive to watch the video by getting a sneak peek.  
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    Create Effective Headlines - Don't forget to create headlines for your blog, along with sub-headlines and bullet points. This will help draw the reader into the blog post and then toward the video based on their initial scan of the video.

Finally, don't forget the CTA. If you embed the video into one of the blog posts about the video, you can make more CTA's than just "watch" the video. You can ask people to comment, subscribe, and/or buy something based on your video.

What Is Passive Income?

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hen people see the term “passive” income, they often think of earning money with no work. However, nothing can be further from the truth. The fact is, it does require work to make passive income. However, the work you do is done once, and then you keep making money later on the work you did before. It’s different from service-based work where you must do the work each time to produce income. With passive income you create something today that keeps earning money later.

 Examples of Passive Income

Some examples of passive income that you may be aware of are savings accounts, investments, and real estate; all of these enable you to spend money one time, or spend some money one time, and keep earning income into infinity. But, you can also earn passive income online today. Some examples are information products, membership websites, eCourses, and eBook sales.

The Benefits of Passive Income

People who want to earn money from passive income understand how trading hours for dollars can be limiting. They want to put their time and money to use one time and keep earning from those efforts. It's the way insurance sales people have made money for years. They earn a little commission from each person that buys and keeps paying for insurance; then the more people they sell the insurance to, the bigger and bigger their monthly income becomes. It might take a lot of work to get there, but eventually through momentum it seems like everything becomes a lot easier.

The Two Types of Passive Income

If you would like to earn an income via passive income, there are several ways to do so online. However, mostly you can break it down to two different ways.

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    Promote Other People's Products - This is one of the fastest ways to get started. Figure out who you want to sell to, know the audience well, and then find products and solutions for them to promote. There are even membership websites where you can promote to them so that you can earn a monthly residual income that grows.
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    Create Your Own Products - This is another way that you can get involved with making passive income online. At first, creating the product is a lot of work, but once you get a number of affiliates promoting the product, the income will grow exponentially, month after month and year after year.

The main question now is who your audience is, and which way you'll go. Most people actually choose both methods. They sell other people's products, and they create their own. Most people start with selling other people's products, then eventually create their own after they get some experience with building a list and other marketing methods.

How to Turn Picky Shoppers into Buyers

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ost shoppers are picky these days. People are turned off by the hard sale and by many of the tactics used by professional sellers. But, the fact is that some of the tactics work. If they did not work, people wouldn’t do them. Here are a few tried-and-true practices you can use to turn shoppers into buyers.

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    Nurture the Relationship - Get them to sign up for an email list to receive news about your products and or services. This works for bricks-and-mortar businesses and digital businesses alike. People like feeling special and getting special notice of sales and events happening surrounding the products they like.
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    Automate Your Processes - Thankfully, you can put things on autopilot with the right email marketing software like AWeber.com or MailChimp.com. These systems allow you to send people information automatically, leading them through the buying cycle with information that they long for.
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    Consider Pop-Ups - Yes, some people hate them, but the truth is they DO work. They increase sales by more than 20% in some cases. You can make beautiful pop-ups using software like Thrive Themes, which helps you create converting sales pages and pop-ups.
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    Retarget Website Visitors - A really useful feature of online marketing today is the ability to put a cookie on your web site that any visitors automatically receive on their computer. Then when they go to Facebook or Google, the things they left in their cart, or the things they looked at, are shown to them again.
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    Always Include a CTA - You'd be surprised at how many people forget the CTA. This includes actual bricks-and-mortar stores. If a sales person doesn't ask for the sale, or you don't send them a reminder of what they want, you may not make the sale. 
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    Incentivize Your Sales Process - Give your customers incentives to buy. The more they buy, the larger the discount. Let them have an opportunity with each purchase to win their purchase. Give the 1000th buyer a prize!
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    Encourage Referrals - Ask current customers to recommend and refer their friends and family and earn incentives. You can do it by points, by monetary reward or any number of ways, but make sure they want to refer you and that they're real customers. 
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    Add a Live Chat - When you sell high-priced items, it's a good idea to have a live chat open at least part of the day to help people with questions that they have. A live chat can push shoppers over the edge to purchasing.

Turning picky shoppers into buyers will work on all your customers and future customers. It's important to know your audience and then leave no stone unturned to make those sales effortless.

Yes – You Can Network Locally

 

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ven if you have an online business, you don’t need to overlook your local market. Networking locally might even be the very best way to jump-start your business. It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling a product or a service; there are people local to you who need what you’re offering. What’s more, it might be easier to market to local people than you think.

 

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    BNI -– Business Networking International is a networking group that enables local people to get together to help refer business to each other. Usually, the way it works is that only one person representing each type of business is in each networking group. There is a steep fee for being involved, but most people who stick to it report that it's worth it.                                                                                    Link - http://www.bni.com/
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    Chamber of Commerce –- Your local chamber can offer you a lot more than you might think. As a home-based business owner, there is a special need for your involvement in your chamber. You can go to business after-hours events, volunteer to help with ribbon cuttings, send out flyers to other business owners and more.
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    Niche Groups –- Even locally you'll find some niche groups such as local blogger clubs, network meetings and more that can help you find like-minded individuals or customers. You can even start your own niche groups.
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    Meetup.com –- This is an online service that helps you meet with people locally. You can find a lot of groups and events via this service that are relevant to your local networking needs.
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    Local Mastermind Groups -– Look through your local college or university to find local mastermind groups that can help you reach the next level in your business. If you're a woman, look for women-owned business networks.
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    Teach a Course –- Why not start your own networking events by teaching a course to others? You can usually rent a space relevantly inexpensively; place an advertisement in your local newspaper and via other networking groups to teach something important to local people.
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    Host a Workshop -– Once you get involved, other people will ask you to host workshops with them. Joining forces with others is always helpful and can help you get known as a local expert.
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    Sponsor an Event -– There are many local events that need sponsors. This can cost a little bit of money, but having your business name as a sponsor for a major event in your town can make a huge difference in brand awareness.
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    Volunteer for a Cause -– While you shouldn't volunteer only to get your name out there, it is still a good way to add to the knowledge others have about you. Choose a cause you like without thought to sales, but only to helping the local community get to know you while you do something helpful for a cause you care about.

Networking your home business or online business locally can help you either get jump-started or help you get out of your comfort zone to become a well-known expert in your niche.

Provide High Value to Visitors

 

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hen people search for information online, they look for about the same things that a search engine does. They do the search and then evaluate whether or not the information is authentic and useful to them. If you always seek to provide high value information to your visitors, you’’ll be a lot more likely to not only attract a high quality of customers to your website, but also to keep them there. Here are some great ways you can provide that high value that people are looking for.

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    Develop White Papers - –A white paper is an authoritative paper that either persuades a consumer toward a particular product using facts, or describes problems and offers multiple solutions to the consumer. You can provide white papers on a variety of topics for your audience that will be seen as high value to your audience, whether they'’re free or not.
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    Create Videos - –A great way to provide high value to your audience is to make videos for them. You can create “how-to” videos, explainer videos, and other types of demonstration videos, or even just informational videos about topics that your audience cares about. Make them short, no more than three to five minutes. The value will be perceived as very high when it’'s information they want.
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    Write eBooks –- Another way to provide high value to visitors is to offer eBooks about the topics they care about. In this way, they can read the information on their Kindle or other reading device away from the website.  
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    Form an Inner Circle -– One really great way to provide a super high value to your audience is to create a members only area, paid or free, where people have to be approved to join. You can now do this via Facebook private and secret groups. People like feeling exclusive, and this is a good way to do it.
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    Host Monthly Webinars –- Offer periodic webinars or teleseminars for your website visitors. If you offer them monthly, based on various topics of importance to your audience, you'll up your authority quotient with your audience exponentially.
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    Conduct Case Studies -– Once you've been around long enough, you'll likely have some success stories that can be shared. Collect case studies about people who have used methods you describe. You can even collect studies about people who have succeeded using methods like yours. This will make the audience feel like they're truly getting a lot of value out of the information provided.
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    Interview Experts - –Your audience will absolutely love it if you interview movers and shakers within your niche. What's more, the more you interview experts, the more people will view you as an expert. That's how Oprah became the guru we now know today. Not only has she learned from those she’ has interviewed, but her audience sees her as an expert in a variety of fields.

Most bloggers don’'t really understand the ​​​​​power in providing value to their visitors, so they miss out. But now you know that providing high value through the various types of content you offer can increase the traffic and even improve traffic loyalty.

Quality over Quantity

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hen it comes to building traffic to your website, the thing to remember the most is that quality matters more than quantity. You’ve likely heard before that “less is more,” and that’s definitely true when it comes to building traffic to your website using methods like blogging, social media marketing and more. But, in some ways the idea of quality over quantity is not even a real choice.

The real questions you should answer are:

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    What is your purpose? - Explain the reasons behind doing what you're doing in one to three sentences. 
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    Who is your audience? - Explain who you're doing it for by creating a persona of your ideal client or customer.
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    How fast do you want to succeed? - What is the timeline of your success story?

The thing is, high quality should be a given. The next question is how much time you have to devote to producing the type of quality that you want to produce, and how quickly you want to experience success. It's all a numbers game and easy to break down if you understand your niche and industry.

A PLAN OF ACTION:

When you determine the type of traffic you want, it will dictate the type of content you create for your audience. Then, figure out how many visitors you need to get to your website to convert to a certain number of sales. Work out how each piece of content you use, and each pay per click you add, affects those goals, and from this you can create a plan of action.

That plan needs to include both quality and quantity, at least up to the point where you are generating the amount of traffic you need to generate in order to earn the amount of money you've planned to earn.

For example, suppose in your niche an average daily visitor total is 200 a day, your product costs 20 dollars and your conversion rate is 5%. This means that for every 200 visitors, you'll make 10 sales. That would be, in this case, $200 dollars per day gross earnings for your efforts. If you want to have more results, you'll need to produce above average traffic or increase the price of your product.

The best way to increase traffic is to increase the amount of activity on your website through blog posts and various other types of content that you offer your audience, but to keep the quality high. So, that's why the idea of a choice between quality and quantity is really not a real choice. Depending on your goals, you may have to do both. You're always going to need to produce high quality information or products - that's expected. But, you may bring the quantity of the content you add to your website or the development of new products up faster or slower depending on your goals.

Turning on the Customer Faucet

How to Use Lifecycle Marketing to Easily Drive More Customers and Double the Value of Your Existing Customers Today

Hosted by Small Business Expert Scott Martineau

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