4 Simple Ways to Build Your Email Marketing List

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This may come as a surprise, but email marketing still has one of the highest ROI of any marketing channel. It takes time and patience(and good content) to grow your email list, so check out our tips below!

1. Add signup forms to your website

Include a link to your email signup form on multiple pages on your website to make sure visitors don't miss it. A good place to start is your Homepage and About page since those people have most likely already shown interest in your business. Make sure to include a call-to-action as well!

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2. Use a feature box on your homepage

Another option to an entry pop-up(which may interrupt people from scrolling through your website) is a feature box. A feature box is a full-width email opt-in box. It usually offers some kind of lead magnet to encourage people to sign up for your list.

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3. Run a contest on social media

Social media is a great platform to run a contest because of how many people it can reach. For starters, you'll want to create an eye-catching graphic and an incentive(giveaway). Incentives should align with what your followers are interested in. That can be company swag, products, or tickets to an event. Use tools like Heyo's Facebook Sweepstakes Template to create contests that link up the opt-in form with your email marketing platform to easily manage Facebook Contest opt-ins. A contest countdown is also a good idea to keep users engaged!

4. Take advantage of current email subscribers

Encouraging your current email subscribers to forward your email to friends and colleagues can help you gain access to a wider network. It isn't as easy as a quick share on social media but giving them the option to click a link to compose a message online(since all email programs are designed differently) allows for a quick and easy way to forward your email to people directly. Below is a great example of the options!

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Do you want to learn how to use email marketing to get more sales? We can help. Shoot us an email to start the conversation! 

4 Free Stock Video Websites For Social Media Content

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1. Videvo

Videvo is a highly maintained free stock footage site that uploads new free videos weekly. They have everything you need, from a timelapse of a cityscape down to the regular reflections of people in their daily life. You can also download videos of nature, visual effect backgrounds, and the like.

2. Video Pexels

Originally built as a platform to access and share stock images, today it has branched into a free stock video library as well. It has hundreds of high quality clips ranging from people, nature, timelapse, and basically everything you will need to create a beautiful video. 

3. Pixabay

Pixabay has one of the most robust collections of free stock footages. Currently, they have over 2000 free stock videos available for download, all released under public domain, meaning you can use them for whatever purpose you want without attribution.

4. Videezy

Videezy is the place to share your Free HD Stock Videos, b-roll, backgrounds, and other cool free video footage. Here you can explore and discuss the footage of other videographers from around the world, or just find that perfect little cutaway for your next big project. Videezy makes it easy to explore thousands of clips created by people from all over the globe. All the videos are free to download and, depending on the license, free to use in your projects.

What You Need to Know About Instagram's Stories Ad Changes

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Instagram Stories now boasts more than 300 million active users. So, it's no surprise that the social media platform is constantly rolling out new features (sometimes, weekly!) Instagram recently announced that Stories has received a huge update to help make advertising easier for businesses. Here's what you need to know:

Instagram Stories Ads Get Full-Screen Support Automation

Before the update, advertisers were forced to create multiple sizes of content to run ads across different formats. Now, when advertisers upload Instagram Feed creative within Ads Manager, it will be transformed into the full-screen format of stories, allowing advertisers to run ads easily across Instagram. Long story short, users can now upload square or landscape photos and video that will automatically resize to fit full screen. 

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How It Works

The new update will apply to any creative (photo or video) that is under 15 seconds and adheres to the company's aspect ratios. Any captions will be placed underneath the image if the ad creative is square or landscape (see above). If images are taller than a traditional square, the caption text will not show at this time. If you want the full-screen experience complete with text captions, make sure to format your ads so that they're no taller than a square.

Instagram will also use their pixel matching technology which automatically selects a background gradient to make ads look similar beyond all creatives. Furthermore, the swipe up functionality will be supported to allow an advertiser to add a destination link to their Stories ad.

This change should ease the burden for advertisers by eliminating the need to have multiple creatives. Your Stories will now be in full screen, allowing your message to be clearer and appear more native in users' screens.

Having trouble with Instagram Ads? Not sure what the best practices are for Stories? Reach out to start the conversation!

7 Quick Tips To Tidy Up Your Social Feeds

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1. Audit your profiles

Find out the platforms that you and your audience do and don’t use regularly. Discard excess profiles that aren’t right for your business or its customers.

2. Check all admin settings

Review admin settings across platforms to ensure only the right staff can make updates, post content, answer messages and view statistics.

3. Check image sizes 

Double check image sizes against the requirements of each platform. Sprout Social provides specific social media image sizes per network and is updated regularly. 

4. Respond to private messages

Answer user’s private messages and set aside time to do so regularly. This can establish a better sense of trust between you and a potential customer. Some platforms even allow auto-responses. Leave a short message to let them know you’ll respond as soon as possible.

5. Post consistently 

Draw up a schedule or content calendar so you consistently post company updates, share content, and reshape other people’s content that is relevant to your business.

6. Link to other profiles

Ensure all of your social profiles link correctly to your other social profiles, and also your website. This is important for increasing engagement and positive ROI for your business.

7. Update bio and contact details

Update your “About” details on each platform, including phone numbers, office hours, and location. 

Just like you run anti-virus software to rid your computer of anything harmful to your computer, you should do the same for your social media platforms! 

 

 

Our Favorite Social Media Marketing Resources

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Social media is constantly evolving, and marketers have to learn quickly to keep up with the pace of change. So, we've compiled a list of social media marketing resources to help expand your knowledge of the landscape. 

Social Media Marketing Resources

Buffer Blog: The Buffer Blog is also an amazing resource of information when it comes to blogging and using social media. So far the Buffer blog has been a huge source of inspiration and learning both personally and professionally. It posts extremely valuable content on the latest social media tools, analytics, and strategies for Twitter, Facebook, and more—that’s easy to learn and use.

John Loomer: Jon Loomer is a Facebook marketing coach, author, speaker and strategist. His website is perfect if you are wanting to keep up to date with the latest in Facebook trends and updates and have them articulated in an easy to implement kind of way. Plus being able to ask his Facebook group for opinions and help on certain tactics is pretty cool!

Copywriting Resources

Grammarly: Save precious time and write like a pro by letting Grammarly find and correct hundreds of complex writing errors. As you type, Grammarly checks your text among 250 advanced grammar rules. The checks include common grammatical errors, such as subject-verb agreement, article use, and many others. Add it to your Chrome browser for free!

AP Stylebook: Twitter feed that posts AP Style tips for news writing. You can even tweet them your questions! 

Inspiration Resources

BuzzSumo: BuzzSumo lets content marketers analyze the best performing content in any market. It searches the web for content based on search queries and reports back to the user on its success, based on its social likes & shares. 

Discover: Unmetric, the leading brand-focused social media intelligence company, launched Discover, an innovative product that enables brand content creators and strategists to research, discover and share new ideas with other team members in real time. Content creators can explore topics around upcoming events such as holidays and celebrations, sporting events, concerts, award shows and more based on keywords or hashtags (e.g. Super Bowl, #Oscars).

If you want to receive the latest trends and tips in marketing and social media right to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter!

How to Design an Effective Facebook Ad

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You don't have to be a professional graphic artist to create the perfect Facebook ad that works. The key to success is in the detail. A great design will attract a users attention while creating the desire for your product. Here are a few tips to maximize your Facebook ads and generate results:

1. Start With a Goal

Consider these questions to help you identify your advertising goal:

  • What do you want to get out of your ad?

  • What do you want it to do for your business? 

Start by choosing an objective for your ads, then tailor their style and format around what you hope to achieve. For example, tell a story about why you started a business and highlight the values of the business, and its products. 

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2. Understand Your Target Audience

The more focused you can get with your target audience, the higher the conversion rates you will see. Who are you marketing to? What are the demographics? Communicate the role of your business in their lives, and why you should matter to them. If you have different audiences, consider creating multiple versions to ensure you are speaking to every group. 

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3. Add Social Proofs

A great social proof can reduce the fear of consumers resisting to buy your product. This information should clearly be outlined in your ad copy to raise the chances that they click on the ad. In this example, Dropbox highlights that they have more than 100,000 businesses relying on them: 

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4. Do More With Less

Too much text in your ad images can distract potential customers from even looking at it. Cluttered images can impact the message you're trying to relay to them and worst of all, lead to your ad being shown to fewer people (thanks to Facebook rules). 

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While there are a wide range of options to utilize when creating a Facebook ad, answering a few questions and establishing your ad's goals can ensure your campaign is on the right track. 

3 Tips to Help Monitor Your Social Media Channels

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Come Monday, it's always disappointing when you miss out on comments, questions, or ANY user engagement with your social media content over the weekend.

The beauty of social media is the abundance of tools that can help you stay active across all channels.

As your business grows, keeping track of everything becomes increasingly harder. But in the end, your attempts to go above and beyond just posting content can reflect how your audience perceives your business.

Utilize Management Tools

To maximize outreach and visibility on social media networks, it's important to know what each platform provides for active monitoring.

Twitter Advanced Search offers a great feature that makes it easy to find specific tweets that coincide with your brand. You can choose what to search for through terms, locations, dates and more.

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Find something that matters to your business? Don't forget to respond or retweet it!

Similarly, tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite give you options to save searches around keywords that will alert you when organic content contains it. With these monitoring tools, you can also pre-schedule content at certain times of the day and monitor mentions across multiple channels.

Areas to Monitor

With the right tools in place, you want to make sure you are covering the broad landscape of your social media channels. Knowing what terms to look for can give you an opportunity for conversation.

Many times, people talking about your brand on social media may forget to add @'s or #'s to directly mention it. News feeds are susceptible to eating up content due to high traffic, so it's important to know what type of keywords you should be looking for. For example, McDonald's found a tweet without a direct mention and took the opportunity to respond to it in a personal way.

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Respond to Everything

Sharing is caring. After all, social media is all about engagement.

Frequently, customers use social media to share their experiences with particular brands or products. This is a golden opportunity to engage with people directly correlated with your business and start meaningful relationships with them.

Your content is the first point of contact between you and your followers. When people see that you're engaging with your followers, they may find it appropriate to converse with you directly in the future. A simple like or response can go a long way and will draw them right back to your page.

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Thank the people that leave an awesome review. Respond quickly to questions or concerns about your business. Follow-up on user-generated content that deal with your brand. Be personable and genuine in your engagement and let people know that you're always there.

How do you monitor engagement across multiple social media channels? Do you have a favorite management tool? Let us know in an email!

What You Need to Know About Influencer Marketing

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Partnerships with brands are the top source of income for digital content creators today, and more brands are buying in. 2017 saw an increase in both social-only and sampling programs, with brands allowing influencers more creative freedom to integrate brand messaging into their content. So, what is influencer marketing? How can it help your business? Find out below!

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing pairs social media influencers, who have large trusted audiences on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., with businesses looking to promote their products to new and existing customers through the influencers channels. 

What does a social media influencer do?

Social media influencers collaborate with business to create campaigns that increase brand awareness and drive sales by promoting a brand or product to their social audience. Typically an influencer will:

  • Create value-added content about a product or service to share with their blog readers and/or social channels
  • Post product reviews, contests, giveaways, coupons, personal stories about products or services, videos, and more
  • Share content across multiple channels to increase awareness of the brand, product, or service

What to look for in an influencer

Finding the right influencer is a challenge, but clear goals help. Establish clear goals and KPIs to identify the right mix of influencers.

  • High Engagement - You want influencers that are not only active online but work to gain the trust of their followers
  • High-Quality Content - An influencer should produce and share top-notch content that you can't find anywhere on the Internet
  • Match Your Brand - You want an influencer that matches your brand's tone, style, and mission

How do influencers make money?

Businesses compensate influencers monetarily and/or with free samples of a product. Influencers and brands are in a position to mutually benefit from each other. There are more than one-way brands can provide value, but cash is king. 

Below is a graph from Collectively that represents partnership prices across a group of influencers with a total digital audience size of 100-150k.

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2017 saw massive growth for the social influence industry, and major platform shifts that impact our work. Are you ready to try your first influencer campaign? Contact us to start the conversation!

4 Tools to Create Instagram Stories Like a Pro

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We all want our Instagram stories to stand out from the rest, right? Many businesses find it hard to create Instagram Stories because they don't have the time. These 4 tools can make your stories unique by adding awesome features that will allow you to go beyond just using the Instagram features already within the app.

Easil's Stories Templates

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Whether you're using Instagram Stories for behind the scenes content, fan photos, product announcements, or breaking news, Easil offers you a wide range of templates that can easily edit and personalize. The design platform is similar to Canva's desktop-based 'drag-n-drop' concept. But the biggest difference is that no premium elements or in-template purchases are tucked into their standard designs. Instead, Easil is free to use, and they'll even gift you a free 30 day upgrade to our Plus plan (no credit card required) - just click here.

Font Candy

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Font Candy puts you in the creator's chair and allows you to produce custom designs in seconds. Add quotes, artwork, filters, colors, and even layer multiple images. 

You choose from a curated collection of fonts or add your own to overlay beautiful text on your photos. Get creative and add intricate designs using shapes, symbols, or emojis. Whether you are looking to create some amazing artwork, celebrate a special occasion, make the next #trending meme, or design a custom iPhone case Font Candy is for you!

Hype Type

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Hype Type allows you to add animated text to your photos or video. Film or snap with the handy story-ready cam. The app handles multiple clips, Vine-style (R.I.P) or single photos. The app hosts different animated text styles and color schemes to use. Hype Type also provides easy-to-use editing tools for speeding up, slowing down, flipping, or reversing your videos. This means you’ll have more opportunity for your stories to stand out beyond motion typography.

Adobe Spark

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Adobe Spark Video helps you create compelling video stories in no time at all. You can add and trim video clips that will stand out on within your Instagram stories. The themes can add cinema-quality animation to your video. No design experience needed and if you’d rather upgrade to the premium version, you can add your company logo to create branded content.

Ready to take your Instagram stories to the next level? Shoot us a message to chat with us about our social media marketing services!

5 Entrepreneur Podcasts to Listen to Now

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Entrepreneurs are always looking for resources to help spark their next great idea, and increasingly, podcasts have become a great source for that. Podcast consumption is now reaching 46 million Americans weekly. Whether the focus is on tech or startups, the volume of educational podcasts has increased in the past few years as business owners search for actionable advice on the go. Here is a list of the best podcasts available to help improve yourself in many aspects of your business journey. 

1. How to Start a Startup

How to Start a Startup is a collection of free podcasts that can help you succeed in starting a company. Initially, a class taught at Stanford, these videos include ideas from 9 experts on how to do sales and marketing, how to hire, how to raise money, company culture, operations and management, business strategy, and more!

2. How I Built This

How I Built This is a podcast where the host, Guy Raz, talks to innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, about the stories behind the movements they built. These stories are told by the founders of some of the world's best-known companies and brands. Listen on NPR or iTunes.

3.  Entrepreneurs on Fire

EOFire was created for entrepreneurs like you. If you're looking for actionable advice during your daily routine, this is a great place to start. The award-winning podcast chats with today's most successful entrepreneurs who share their best and worst entrepreneurial moments and lessons learned.

4. Mixergy

Mixergy is a place where successful people teach ambitious upstarts. The speakers are business people who take time out of their schedules to help teach others what they learned from their own experiences. These interviews introduce you to doers and thinkers whose ideas and stories are so powerful that just hearing them will change you. Mixergy offers podcasts and free courses that encourage you to have a mission, not just a startup. 

5. The Tim Feriss Show

The Tim Feriss Show is the first business/interview podcast to pass 100 million downloads, and it has been selected as "Best of iTunes" for three years running. Each episode, he deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, business, pro sports, etc.), digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can use. 

Is there a go-to podcast you listen to frequently? What's the best tip you've received from it? Let us know the in comments below!