What do Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates all have in common? Each is an amazing salesperson. They’re able to get in front of others, clearly present their vision and persuade people to buy in.
By necessity, every entrepreneur is in sales.Entrepreneurs must sell their ideas to investors, partners or potential clients. No concept is killer, no business plan is air tight, before you go out and promote it. (more…)
Whether you’re marketing for a sports team, clothing line, or a local small business, it always pays to keep your productivity and proficiency elevated in every endeavour. Marketers need to be aware of events and news taking place in their client’s target industry, while also facilitating optimal performance with a consistent approach to outreach and brand promotion.
Marketing requires a combination of focus, persistence, patience, and the ability to try out new methods when your current efforts aren’t performing optimally. First and foremost, marketers need to be mentally aware of tactics and habits that will lead to the achievement of ideal results and, subsequently, positive feedback and reviews from their existing clients. With that said, let’s look at three tricks marketers use to stay on top of their game in every niche.
1. Keeping Up With Niche-Relevant News
The best way to know what your target audience is interested in is to follow all news stories that are even remotely related to the product, company, organisation or team you’re trying to promote. Marketers really need to be jacks of all trades in a sense because they frequently have to adapt to a new industry in just a few days’ time and become a semi-expert in that field, which is why becoming a proficient online researcher and news enthusiast is often the first step in any successful project. Learning how to get the most out of Google News and RSS feeds is a great way to make sure you’re always up-to-date on the latest happenings in your target niches.
2. Staying Active on Social Media
Aside from the mainstream media, it is also important to pay attention to community-level banter, rumours, opinions, and speculation circulating on social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Simply keeping up with the latest trending hashtags will give you plenty of ideas for content development, and tagging your own posts and status updates with such hashtags could attract views from a broad range of external visitors. Nowadays, social media is half the battle when it comes to building an established and authoritative brand, regardless of the niche you operate in.
3. Never Stop Learning
One trait that all great marketers have in common is that they never stop learning about new methods and strategies to use in their daily efforts. Thus, be sure to follow leading marketing and SEO blogs, and read magazines, books, and web publications that will enrich your overall understanding of marketing.
Finally, online marketing can be a mentally exhaustive and research-intensive job, which is why many marketers are able to achieve better results while using techniques to promote alertness and facilitate maximum productivity during work hours. While coffee is a favourite morning time pick-me-up for many people, some marketers, especially those freelancing who may work late into the night often find themselves looking for a more potent or refined stimulant to enhance focus and clarity, such as Ginkgo Biloba, Ginseng, or energy drinks packed with B-vitamins. Some have even had success with a doctor-prescribed pharmaceutical such as Modvigil, but we would recommend you consulting your physician before doing so.
Following these three simple things on a regular basis will not only benefit your own career but will intrinsically benefit your clients as well.
The tough reality is, no matter how great your site is, chances are slim that a customer will randomly happen on to your site. So it’s imperative that you use a variety of strategies to get your website noticed by the nearly 2.5 billion people who now surf the web. They make up over one-third of the planet’s population.
Winning visitors becomes a matter of creative, persistent marketing. The good news is that it’s still the little things that will bring plenty of traffic your way. There are fundamental steps that too many businesses neglect. For instance? You should always put your URL and a reason to visit your website on all printed matter, including your business cards. You should also mention what people will get when they visit your site, such as a newsletter or a list of “Top 10 Tips” or some type of content that will pique their interest. That substantially increases visitors, and eventually visitors become customers and/or subscribers. (more…)
Social media is a great way to build a following, gain exposure and turn visitors into fans.
Here are five surefire methods to build and engage with a loyal following over social media to increase company awareness and drive an audience:
1. Develop a consistent posting strategy. Consistent posting is key to build up a social following and keep audience members engaged. If a Facebook, Twitter or even a LinkedIn account goes too long without updates, the target audience will forget about the company. (more…)
Technology has made staying in touch with personal and professional networks easier than ever before, whether it’s using contact-management software like Salesforce or social media channels like LinkedIn or Facebook.
Today, a strong and vibrant online network is as valuable as a Rolodex was to a salesperson in the 1950s. But unlike the clunky rotating card file, these digital networks are easily destroyed. To protect your network (and you really need to) avoid these following common mistakes: (more…)
On the Internet, messages are meant to be heard. From high-powered advertising agencies to in-house marketing departments to individuals with a few hundred Twitter followers, everyone yearns for their message to be conveyed and shared. Finding a high-powered industry influencer can help jump start a sharing craze and kick your message into viral overdrive. A single retweet, blog link or public compliment can do more than you think.
So what can you do to improve your chances of an influencer noticing and sharing your content online? Start by following the five simple rules below.
1. Don’t expect a social media miracle. Let’s start with an unfortunate truth for those on the hunt for influencers’ attention. Trying to reach out via social media likely won’t cut it. With anywhere from a few hundred to a few hundred thousand Twitter mentions and/or Facebook comments per day, influencers simply won’t have the time or opportunity to see your message. You can go ahead and try, but the chance of an influencer hearing you might be slimmer than winning the lottery. As for an in-person encounter — forget it. You’d have to be in a situation as bizarre as that in season two of The Newsroom, when associate producer Maggie Jordan enlists the help of on-air talent Sloan Sabbith (along with her 450,000k+ twitter followers) to help take down an embarrassing viral video.
2. Instead, get creative to get an influencer’s ear. Since simple social media outreach likely won’t do the trick, you’ll need to find ways to get creative. Getting in touch with an influencer’s official PR agency or management team is a decent step, as is mining closer connections for an introduction. But for most influencers, making contact in a unique or innovative way can be key to the introduction. Consider a self-promoting website with plenty of personality similar to Matthew Epstein‘s brilliant Google Please Hire Me.
3. Show some passion! Hand in hand with showing off your creativity is finding a way to show insane amounts of passion for your work. Craft a pitch with just the right amount of passion and moxie so that the influencer you want to reach can’t say no. Venture for America, a program that pairs talented college grads with startups in burgeoning cities, asks this of their new fellows, most of whom are just weeks removed from receiving their diplomas. VFA’s “make contact” challenge saw one success story in a fellow who met with Dan Gilbert, CEO of Quicken Loans, by citing their mutual desire to rebuild Detroit. Another got in touch with Joe Kennedy, CEO of Pandora, by conveying his passion for companies at the intersection of tech and music.
4. Keep your content short and to the point. Obviously, your content needs to be razor sharp and engaging. More importantly, it needs to be easily digestible. Getting the attention of a major influencer is a difficult task by itself but convincing them to wade through a lengthy introduction or setup to get to your main point is simply asking to be ignored. The elevator pitch is a decent solution to this dilemma, but even that may be too long. Consider using various forms of micro-content to get your concept across in seconds.
5. Flattery never hurt anyone. Who doesn’t like compliments or a personalized pitch? Be sure to make any potential influencer feel good about why they should help you. Saying some nice words and having a good attitude is an incredibly low risk, high reward way to strike up a conversation with an influencer. A customizable, personal touch helped Visually make a splash when we first launched in 2011. We created theTwitterize Yourself tool, which helped us connect with an audience hungry for cool and engaging visual content. Here’s me vs. Lady Gaga. (Even though I know this isn’t a close comparison, nor do I look very cool, I still can’t help but crack a smile.) And while the real Lady Gaga most likely never saw my graphic and never will, the media and industry influencers did take note and helped us spread the word.
Original article courtesy of entrepreneur.com
In recent months Facebook released a series of changes to its algorithm, resulting in the reach of page posts dropping as low as 2 percent for large companies from a reported 16 percent two years ago. Organic reach is the number of people who see a Facebook post without any paid promotion or advertising boosting its performance.
What’s the solution? Develop the social marketing strategy you should have had from the beginning: a results-driven effort diversified across multiple social-media platforms and connected to other marketing campaigns.
A truly great company logo becomes synonymous with its identity. Think about the McDonald’s golden arches, Apple’s apple, Coca-Cola’s cursive typeface, Nike’s swoosh and all the other iconic brand images that you remember.
But what does a logo say about your company?
For Yahoo, changing its longtime logo (its asymmetrical “Y” with a leaning exclamation point) is a way to signify a new way forward.
This marks the first time in 18 years that Yahoo will overhaul its logo. It’s part of the company’s “30 days of change” marketing campaign, during which it will display one potential logo option on its various sites each day for the next 30 days before the final version is revealed Sept. 5.
“The logo is your calling card, identity, manifestation,” Chief Marketing Officer Kathy Savitt told USA Today. “The Yahoo logo is iconic; some people love it, some people hate it. We decided to change it, to reflect new products … and depict our next chapter.”
Original article courtesy of entrepreneur.com
Color wields enormous sway over our attitudes and emotions. When our eyes take in a color, they communicate with a region of the brain known as the hypothalamus, which in turn sends a cascade of signals to the pituitary gland, on to the endocrine system, and then to the thyroid glands. The thyroid glands signal the release of hormones, which cause fluctuation in mood, emotion, and resulting behavior.
Research from QuickSprout indicates that 90% of all product assessments have to do with color. “Color,” writes Neil Patel, is “85% of the reason you purchased a specific product.” It’s a no-brainer fact of any website that color affects conversions. Big time.
So, the bottom line is: use the right colors, and you win.
What is Color Psychology?
In order to really appreciate the tips below, you’ll benefit from a little information on color psychology.
Color psychology is the science of how color affects human behavior. Color psychology actually is a branch of the broader field of behavioral psychology. Suffice it to say that it’s a pretty complicated field. Some skeptics are even dismissive of the whole field of color psychology, due to the difficulty of testing theories. My own research on the topic, as this article conveys, lacks scientific evidence to back up every claim. But that alone is no reason to dismiss the profound and unarguable effect that color has on people.
There are key facts of color theory that are indisputable. In a peer reviewed journal article,Satyendra Singh determined that it takes a mere 90 seconds for a customer to form an opinion about a product. And, 62-90% of that interaction is determined by the color of the product alone.
Color psychology is a must-study field for leaders, office managers, architects, gardeners, chefs, product designers, packaging designers, store owners, and even expectant parents painting the nursery for the new arrival! Color is critical. Our success depends upon how we use color.
Where Should You Use Color?
Let’s get oriented to our context. Since color is ubiquitous, we need to understand where you should use these color tips. This article discusses the use of color in website design. Specifically, we’re talking about the color scheme of a website, which includes the tint of hero graphics, headline type, borders, backgrounds, buttons, and popups.
In the example below, NinjaJump uses a green-yellow-red color scheme in their logo, phone number, video C2A, menu bar, graphics, category menu, sub headings, and sidebar. The tips that we discuss below can be applied in similar ways — menus, sidebars, color schemes, etc.
Using the Right Color in the Right Way
Color is a tricky thing. You have to use it in the right way, at the right time, with the right audience, and for the right purpose.
Color Tips that Will Improve Your Conversions
1. Women don’t like gray, orange, and brown. They like blue, purple, and green.
The sociological differences between color preferences is a whole branch of study unto itself. Patel got it right when he cited the colors preferred, and disliked, by the two genders.
In a survey on color and gender, 35% of women said blue was their favorite color, followed by purple (23%) and green (14%). 33% of women confessed that orange was their least favorite color, followed by brown (33%) and gray (17%).
Woman’s Day uses all three of the favorite colors of women (blue, purple, and green) on their homepage, thus inviting in their target audience:
Most people think that the universally-loved female color is pink. It’s not. Just a small percentage of women choose pink as their favorite color. Thus, while pink may suggest femininity in color psychology, this doesn’t mean that pink is appealing to all women, or even most women. Use colors other than pink — like blue, purple, and green — and you may improve the appeal of your e-commerce website to female visitors. And that may, in turn, improve conversions.
2. Men don’t like purple, orange, and brown. Men like blue, green, and black.
If you’re marketing to men, these are the colors to stay away from: purple, orange, and brown. Instead, use blue, green, and black. These colors — blue, green, and black — are traditionally associated with maleness. However, it comes as a slight surprise to some that brown isn’t a favorite pick.
3. Use blue in order to cultivate user’s trust.
Blue is one of the most-used colors, with good reason. A lot of people like blue.
Read the literature on blue, and you’ll come across messages like
- The color blue is a color of trust, peace, order, and loyalty. (source)
- Blue is the color of corporate America and it says, “Chill . . . believe and trust me . . . have confidence in what I am saying!” (source)
- Blue calls to mind feelings of calmness and serenity. It often is described as peaceful, tranquil, secure, and orderly. (source)
There is wide agreement in the research community on the psychological effects of the color blue. Its subtle message of trustworthiness and serenity is true. You can use this to your advantage on your website and landing pages.
The world’s biggest social network is blue. For a company whose core values are transparency and trust, this probably is not an accident.
4. Yellow is for warnings.
Yellow is a color of warning. Hence, the color yellow is used for warning signs, traffic signals, and wet floor signs.
It seems odd, then, that some color psychologists declare yellow to be the color of happiness.Business Insider reports that “brands use yellow to show that they’re fun and friendly.” There is a chance that yellow can suggest playfulness. However, since yellow stimulates the brain’s excitement center, the playfulness feeling may be simply a state of heightened emotion and response, not exactly sheer joy.
Color psychology is closely tied to memories and experiences. So, if someone had a very pleasant experience with someone wearing a yellow shirt, eating at a fast food establishment with yellow arches, or living in a home with yellow walls, then the yellow color may cause joy by memory association.
One of the most-cited “facts” about the color yellow is that it makes babies cry and people angry. To date, I have not found any study that backs up this claim, even though everyone is fairly comfortable repeating it.
5. Green is ideal for environmental and outdoor products.
Perhaps the most intuitive color connection is green — the color of outdoors, eco-friendly, nature, and the environment. Green essentially is a chromatic symbol for nature itself.
Apart from its fairly obvious outdoorsy suggestiveness, green also is a color that can improve creativity. Labeled “the green effect,” one study indicated that participants had more bursts of creativity when presented with a flash of green color as opposed to any other color.
If the focus of your website has anything to do with nature, environment, organic, or outdoors, green should be your color of choice.
5. Orange is a fun color that can create a sense of haste or impulse.
The positive side of orange is that it can be used as the “fun” color. According to some, orange helps to “stimulate physical activity, competition, and confidence.” This may be why orange is used heavily by sports teams and children’s products.
6. Black adds a sense of luxury and value.
The darker the tone, the more lux it is, says our internal color psychology. An article from Lifescript describes black as “elegance, sophistication, power,” which is exactly what luxury designers and high-end e-commerce sites want you to feel. The article goes on to describe black as the color of “timeless, classic” which helps further explain the use of black in high-value products.
In a Business Insider piece on color and branding, the author relates the significance of black:
“Black can also be seen as a luxurious color. ‘Black, when used correctly can communicate glamour, sophistication, exclusivity.’”
7. Use bright primary colors for your call to action.
In strict testing environments, the highest-converting colors for calls to action are bright primary and secondary colors – red, green, orange, yellow.
Darker colors like black, dark gray, brown, or purple have very low conversion rates. Brighter ones have higher conversion rates.
8. Don’t neglect white.
In most of the color psychology material I read, there is a forgotten feature. Maybe that’s because color theorists can’t agree on whether white is a color or not. I don’t really care whether it is or not. What I do know is that copious use of white space is a powerful design feature. Take, for example, the most popular website in the world. It’s basically all white:
White is often forgotten, because its primary use is as a background color. Most well-designed websites today use plenty of white space in order to create a sense of freedom, spaciousness, and breathability.
The Internet is a colorful place, and there is a lot that can be accomplished by using color in the right way, at the right time, with the right audience, and for the right purpose.
Naturally, this article leads to questions about making changes in your company’s context. What about if your company has a specific color style guide? What if the logo color dictates a certain tint? What if the lead designer dictates color requirements? How do you deal with that?
You may not be in a position to rewrite your style guide and pick your own website color palette or font colors on the email template. So, how can you use color psychology in these situations? There are a few options:
- If the colors really suck, campaign for change. In some situations, you may need to make a difference. If you’re a high-heel designer selling to upscale women, but have a crappy orange logo, share your concerns with the decision-makers. People sometimes make stupid color decisions. Kindly show them why and how a killer color scheme can make a conversion difference.
- Use psychology-appropriate colors that match the existing color scheme. Sure, you need to adapt to the color scheme, but you can still use a splash of strategic color here and there. Let’s say, for sake of example, that you have a blue-themed website. Fine. You can create a popup to harvest email addresses, and use a bright yellow button. The button is psychology-appropriate, and it doesn’t do damage to the company’s color branding.
The more freedom you have in your color scheme, the better. Here are some solid takeaways as you implement color psychology into your website:
- Test several colors. Despite what some may say, there is no right color for a conversion text or button. Try a green, purple, or yellow button. Explore the advantages of a black background scheme vs. a white background. Find out which works best for your audience and with your product.
- Don’t just leave color choice up to your designer. I have enormous respect for most web designers. I’ve worked with many of them. However, don’t let your designer dictate what colors you should use on your website. Color is a conversion issue, not just an “Oh, it looks good” issue. Color aesthetics is not everything. Color conversion effects are important! You should be heavily involved in the color selection of your landing pages in order to improve your conversions.
- Avoid color overload. I’ve just spent over 3,000 words telling you how important and awesome color is. Now, you’re going to go out and color something. But don’t go overboard. Remember my final point. I put it last for a reason. White is a color, and it should be your BFF color, too. Reign in your color enthusiasm with a whole lot of white. Too many colors can create a sense of confusion.
Original post courtesy of entrepreneur.com
The fact is, many of us spend an egregious amount of time using social media (sharing tweets, commenting on FB posts, etc.). We lose ourselves in our ever updating feeds. The more curious among us even try to quantify the hours and minutes spent on social networking each day. But I’ve often wondered: What is our behavior post-click, when we actually interact with a link one of our friends shared socially?
To answer that question, we looked at the average visit duration, pages per visit, and bounce rate for visitors referred to our network of sites from each of the top 8 social media platforms.
Welcome to the first edition of Shareaholic’s ”Social Referrals That Matter” Report.
In this study, we looked at 6 months of data (Sept’13 – Feb’14) across our network of 200,000+ sites reaching more than 250 million unique monthly visitors to get a sense of which social network drives the most engaged visitors.
Here are six noteworthy findings:
1. YouTube is the undisputed champion. YT drives the most engaged traffic. These referrals have the lowest average bounce rate (43.19%), the highest pages per visit (2.99) and the longest visit duration (227.82 seconds). Why are visitors from YouTube so engaged? …because video itself is so engaging and viewers are likely to maintain a similar level of engagement with related content. Therefore, video watchers are especially receptive to links within video descriptions which complement the audio+visual content they just consumed. Another reason YouTube takes home the crown is because viewers are simply used to spending minutes — perhaps, hours — educating and entertaining themselves with awesome video and may have fewer qualms about taking extra time to discover more great content post-click.
2. Although Google+ and LinkedIn drive the fewest social referrals, they bring in some of the best visitors. Google+ users, on average, find themselves spending north of 3 minutes diving into things shared by connections in their circles. They also visit 2.45 pages during each visit, and bounce only 50.63% of the time. LinkedIn users generally spend 2 minutes and 13 seconds on each link they click, viewing 2.23 pages with each visit and bouncing 51.28% of the time. Although many sites see minimal traffic from both Google+ and LinkedIn, now may be the time to invest in building communities within those networks if engagement really matters to your business.
3. A referral from Twitter is as good as a referral from Facebook — at least, in terms of bounce rate, pages per visit and time on site. Tied in 4th place are Twitter and Facebook. Both types of visitors bounce the same (56.35% of the time), while Twitter wins the pages per visit category (2.15 vs 2.03) and Facebook users tend to spend more time on a site post-click than Twitter users do (127.44 seconds vs. 123.10).
4. Pinterest isn’t exactly the social media golden child we all play it up to be.Coming in 6th, Pinners bounce as often as FB users and Tweeps do, but view fewer pages per visit (1.71) and spend considerably less time on site (64.67 seconds) than almost all of its counterparts, with the exception of StumbleUpon.
5.Reddit users are the most fickle. Redditors are the most likely to abandon sites — on average, 70.16% bounce. For marketers, Reddit is a tough nut to crack. Its uber-loyal users are increasingly selective about the content that gets upvoted and are eager to downvote things they disagree with. Effectively, Reddit hates marketing. In the past, I’ve even encouraged site owners to quit Reddit. Naturally, I applaud (and envy) brands and businesses that do it right. An excellent example that comes to mind is Newegg’s involvement on /r/buildapc (h/tAGeezus).
6. StumbleUpon drives the least engaged referrals. Post-click, users view a meager 1.5 pages per visit and spend 54.09 seconds on site. It would appear that StumbleUpon’s click-heavy — to “stumble,” “like” or “dislike” — focus makes users trigger happy to a fault. Users stumble onto the next thing rather than immerse themselves in the webpage SU recommends. Of course, not every recommendation SU serves will be spot on. Yet, in the instance that a user stumbles upon something that directly resonates with her/him, (s)he may even earn the title of “most engaged visitor of the day”.
Original article courtesy of shareaholic.com