5 Tips for Content Marketing on Reddit

Reddit is a beast of a content curation tool, and it’s certainly not for the weak willed. It has the potential to put hundreds of thousands of eyes on your content overnight, but you must be armed with confidence and clad with knowledge to come out of the Reddit arena victoriously. You’ll also need some serious fight in you to claim ultimate exposure for your content.

Reddit users, lovingly called Redditors by the online community, are given a massive amount of power for the shockingly low price of free when they sign up for a Reddit account. Each person can vote for or against a piece of content once per piece, and they can comment with the loftiest praise or the foulest criticism as often and loudly as they see fit. Redditors determine what other Redditors see and with what they interact, and their hammer of judgment is mighty.

How do you walk amongst Internet titans and stake your claim on the pages of Reddit? You follow these 5 tips for pushing content to Reddit, and you start on them early.

 

1. Know Reddiquette

reddit logo with reddiquetteRedditors have composed an extensive list of guidelines for all users to follow that help govern an otherwise completely lawless content board. The Reddiquette document is available anytime to anyone on the Reddit website. Ideally, all users would follow the rules set forth as a token of loyalty to the community ethos, but as you spend more time on Reddit, you’ll see the rules uncannily broken on a daily basis.

But if you want to be taken seriously and would like to see others fairly criticize your content, take the high road and follow the rules. The people you want to impress are those who understand the value and power of a content curation machine on the scope of Reddit. The people who read, understand, appreciate, and share your content that follows Reddiquette are the thought leaders who will push your content to the top – provided it deserves to be there.

Read and Follow Subreddit Rules

reddit rules for worldnews subredditCommunity rules don’t begin and end with the almighty Reddiquette document, though – you’ll also need to read and adhere to the conditions set forth in each subreddit, a forum within the grand Reddit framework. Most subreddits will have an easy-to-spot link at the top of the page to their rules or will list them in the sidebar so you can easily access them.

Most forum moderators will also direct you to the subreddit guidelines just before you post a link or comment so you can make doubly sure that you’ve checked off every item on their wishlist. Take advantage of this opportunity – your content may fall off immediately if it violates a condition of the subreddit.

 

2. Develop a Reputation

As in any other community, every member has a reputation, but Reddit actually records your reputation and puts it on display in the form of karma points. The higher your karma count, the more reputable you may be considered, though the actual mileage of those Karma points is negotiable among Redditors.

Even if you’re representing a company, you’ll need to develop morally righteous Reddit skills and experiment with posting, commenting, and sharing knowledge and insight in areas that you feel comfortable speaking as an expert. Start building your reputation by:

  • Helping people with their problems
  • Providing courteous responses to simple questions
  • Politely and fairly participating in hot discussion topics
  • Genuinely critiquing the work of those in your field
  • Contributing to community content curation with upvotes and downvotes

Take a moment each day to do one or more of these and you might be shocked at how quickly your karma and reputation builds.

thank you comments on reddit

Grateful reddit users adding thank-yous to threads.

Remember also to keep things as fresh as possible. There are some Redditors who have dedicated almost all of their free time to Reddit, and they may have considerable influence over how well-received your content is. Karma is divided into link karma and comment karma, so you’ll need to take 2 separate approaches to your reputation growth.

Post a Variety of Content

a variety of content on the science subredditDon’t stick to blogs or articles exclusively – there’s so many ways to consume information on the Internet, and those who spend a lot of time in the digital world become bored quickly.

Spice up your content cocktail with fun videos, infographics, interesting products, and even animations to really grab the attention of your fellow Redditors. Though they may not realize it, they’ll be quenching their thirst for entertainment and knowledge and see your name next to their favorites.

Comment Often

Comments get buried by other comments fast. Eager Redditors will leave replies in the desert of feedback miles away from those few relentless commentators that make it to the oasis.

If you want to make an impact on readers, have a large footprint. When you have something to say, comment, and do it with confidence. Above all, never be rude, and don’t participate in digital tantrums.

 

3. Strike a Balance Between Self-Promotion and Community Interaction

In most cases (and is so written as a rule on many subreddits), Redditors don’t want to see content posted by someone who has a connection with the content’s host. At the very least, they’ll expect you to contribute articles from sources other than the ones you’re associated with much more regularly than you post your own content. Accordingly, you’ll have to balance self-promotion and community interaction.

The 9:1 Ratio

Reddiquette recommends that for every link you place on Reddit to your own content, you should also post 9 links with which you aren’t affiliated. The rule has 2 functions:

  • Prevent spam – In an openly linkable world like Reddit, it’s easy for users to post unreasonable amounts of articles and blogs in a bid to gain karma points and page views. The 9:1 ratio helps keep posts thoughtful and engaging rather than spammy.
  • Encourage interaction – The 9:1 ratio pushes users to explore content that isn’t their own. This helps open the gates of your chosen subreddit to opinions that force you to think outside your own carefully crafted box.

Corralling one’s ego is tough, but the 9:1 ratio provides users with a great excuse to learn what competitors are up to and how they’re failing and succeeding. Armed with the knowledge of your 9 community posts, your 10th post that promotes your own content will enjoy rapid evolution every time you post.

 

4. Decide Which Content is Worth Pushing

In accordance with the 9:1 ratio, provided that you follow it, you won’t be able to push out absolutely every piece of content that you create. Choose carefully the stuff you want the world to see, then run it through this checklist:

  • Is it new?
  • Is it worthy of discussion?
  • Is it well written, drawn, or edited?
  • Will Redditors care?

Keep in mind that digital age youth are now becoming adults and will soon become thought leaders in the very industries that create your salary. Young men and women in the digital age have an attention span averaging no more than 8 seconds. It doesn’t stop there – the age range for those with waning attention spans is also swelling.

top reddit frontpage content

Redditors want it fast and easy to digest.

Consequently, there’s a new need to limit the content you promote to ideas and thoughts that will challenge the 8-second attention limit. Hook your audience with powerful messages and witty writing and keep them coming. Don’t sit all of your engaging thoughts on the shoulders of your content. Let the body of your work share the burden.

Once you’re convinced that Redditors will select your content, put it out at that same quality or better regularly. You’ll gain the trust of Redditors, and they’ll start to promote your content for you. Congratulations, you’ve engineered some serious brand awareness.

 

5. Learn to Deal with Difficult Feedback

Redditors are real human beings with genuine thoughts, but the shield of anonymity provided graciously by the Internet gives them the keys to the criticism machine, and their fuel can be anything from jealousy to wonder. You’re not likely to post anything without hearing about how terrible or wrong it is, so get an approach to criticism ready before you share your content.

Spot Fake Experts

Everyone knows better than you. The legions of subject matter experts on Reddit will be sure to let you know that as often as possible.

Keep in mind that the community in which you’re posting content is opinionated and will transform their opinions into facts if they can pull it off. Fake experts are quick to criticize and cite anecdotal evidence without prejudice. Know your content back to front and be ready to back it up with real facts if you choose to reply.

Identify Trolls

rude comment from redditor

Comments like these, which are neither kind nor constructive, are commonplace on Reddit.

Some folks just relish in pushing people’s buttons, even if that person is across the world. When a Redditor tugs at your emotions, always take a step back. Set your ego aside and take personal attacks at face value, which actually amounts to nothing. If you overcome the instinctual need to bicker, comments from Internet trolls will meet the grave and fertilize real discussions with meaning.

Pick Your Battles

Don’t ignore your critics, just vet the ones that aren’t contributing to thought evolution. If someone has an interesting idea or a new take on what you’ve provided to the community, engage with that person in an enlightened discussion. You and many other fellow Redditors will enjoy the exchange and you’ll earn karma, page views, and exposure.

Never forget – Reddit is not and never was a marketing tool. It’s a place to share groundbreaking content with a captive audience, and marketers would be wise to treat it as such. Respect the community, share new ideas, and overcome the negativity, and you’ll learn to walk one of the brightest paths to success in awareness and engagement.

The marketing team at Leverage Marketing can handle your content marketing alongside paid search, social media management, and search engine optimization (SEO). Right-size your marketing team or sign up for our newsletter below for more tips and awesome information about marketing in Austin and beyond!

[VIDEO] Facebook’s 2016 Algorithm Change & What it Means for Businesses

This blog post was written by social media intern Ali Flowers. Ali is a Senior at the University of Texas at Austin, where she studies Public Relations. Ali enjoys good food, good friends, and spending time with her family.


Facebook’s Algorithm Update Removes Company’s Non-Sponsored Posts From Newsfeeds

At the end of June, Facebook made an update to their Newsfeed algorithm. The intent of the update was to make user newsfeeds less cluttered by removing the majority of posts made by businesses. While keeping in touch with friends and family just got less cluttered, Facebook users could be missing out on updates and posts by businesses they like, follow and want to hear from.

Why Did Facebook do This?

While Facebook does support the businesses that use its network as a marketing platform, the company recognizes that first and foremost, it is a social media tool for individuals. This new algorithm also falls in line with the evolving “pay to play” trend in social media which requires companies to sponsor content to be seen.

How Can Interested Parties See Your Non-Sponsored Posts?

Since most businesses won’t promote/sponsor every post on their page, Facebook offers a way for individuals to opt-in to receive posts from businesses they choose.

This video shows what your followers need to do to see posts from your business.

 

Why Your Site Needs More Than an Instant Audit

This blog post was written by social media intern Ali Flowers. Ali is a Senior at the University of Texas at Austin, where she studies Public Relations. Ali enjoys good food, good friends, and spending time with her family.


So you’ve decided your company needs to invest in digital marketing. Great! Every business or organization can benefit from actively promoting themselves online. You are on Google and you search for ‘digital marketing near me’. You’ll likely be served thousands of results and several top-of-the-page advertisements about digital marketers in your area. Regardless of what link or ad you click on, you will probably be offered an instant audit.

What’s an Instant Audit?

With an instant audit, a marketer (or marketing automation software) analyzes various aspects of your business or organization’s online presence so that they can then advise you on the efforts you should take to promote yourself online. Some agencies claim they can audit your site in minutes or even seconds.

This might leave you thinking: Great! I can get all of that information at the click of a button? Who knew! Well, yes, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Why are Instant Audits Risky?

Digital marketing is a huge investment in both time and money.  It ranges from things like search engine optimization to paid search and even social media, all of which can work together to increase your sales, and none of which are free. Would you really feel safe making such a big move for your company based off of such a quick assessment of your site? That would be kind of like buying a house immediately after seeing a few pictures of its exterior online.

So What Should You Do?

You do need an audit–but one that is done thoroughly. You need trained professionals to look at your previous marketing efforts and your competitors’ marketing efforts, find your strengths, identify your weaknesses, and then give you a full overview of your company’s situation. Your marketing agency should conduct interviews and create a report of your company’s digital marketing history so that you can identify specific areas for improvement. A real, fully-developed audit takes time, and you shouldn’t just settle for one that was given to you at the click of a button.

If you are ready to move your company into digital marketing, find a company that will provide you with a thorough audit. Look for a marketing partner who can accurately tell you where to invest and how to push your business forward. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your audit shouldn’t be either.


Check out our methodology page to learn about the in-depth analysis Leverage Marketing performs for prospective clients. If you’re ready to have us review your digital marketing opportunities, schedule a call.

4 Ways to Kickstart Your Ecommerce Sales

Establishing relationships with customers in ecommerce can pose several challenges, especially when your business is competing with larger retailers. Savvy shoppers are equipped with mobile devices that can compare products in a global market, and this has changed the way many businesses price inventory and offer discounts. However, there are ways to incentivize customers through rich online experience that differentiate your business from even the most powerful online retailers. Below are four customer incentives ideas that can help you establish trust and jumpstart ecommerce sales.

Price Comparisons

Woman performing price comparison in a store

Never underestimate the power of consumer price comparison tools. According to a recent ecommerce report, 52% of online shoppers check or compare prices on travel products and services, as well as consumer electronics. Price comparison tools such as search engines and mobile applications enable shoppers to seek the lowest prices across multiple ecommerce sites based on brands, product categories, and even location. These tools have made it difficult for some smaller ecommerce sites to compete with powerful online retailers. However, consider the following tips to stay competitive and increase ecommerce sales though price comparisons tools:

  • Analyze the Competition: Search for online competitors offering the same brands or similar product categories, and take note of strengths and weaknesses. Do they offer a better shopping experience? Do they offer better terms of service? Researching top competitors directly will help you tailor a competitive strategy for your ecommerce site, especially when the market is saturated and you’re not the only one offering a specific product or service.
  • Update Prices: While you may not be able to compete directly on price with larger online retailers, you must remain competitive across similar competitors. If your ecommerce site offers a wide range of price points, research popular products and trends to determine which items consumers are searching for online. Choosing a select few stock keeping units (SKUs) or services will allow you to focus on a particular brand or product category, instead of your entire inventory. By taking this approach to updating prices, you will be able to develop a competitive pricing strategy to promote and incentivize new and existing customers.
  • Bridge the Gap: If you can’t compete purely on price, offer an exceptional shopping experience and customer service. Online shoppers want to be able to access products and services without any hassle. For an ecommerce site, the checkout process is a vital component that can make the difference between a sale and an abandoned shopping cart. Streamline your checkout process by incorporating social media application program interfaces (APIs) to establish new accounts or to streamline payment processes. If your site experience is solid, focus on providing exceptional customer service by responding to customer questions and requests as soon as you receive them. Building trust and gaining positive reviews online through swift customer service actions will help differentiate your ecommerce site.

Free Shipping 

ecommercecontent

Customer incentives such as free or discounted shipping on items sold on your ecommerce site is a crucial step to increase ecommerce sales. A recent 2016 retail report highlighted that 9 out of 10 customers would shop more online if free shipping is offered by ecommerce sites. While most small businesses may find it difficult to absorb the cost of shipping, incorporating newsletter registrations, follow up customer reviews, or linking social media accounts to free shipping incentives ensures that your business receives something in return. There are also ways to reduce the cost of shipping by negotiating with multiple carriers on pricing schedules based on volume. In essence, the more packages that you ship, the more power you have to negotiate lower shipping rates for your valued customers.

Mobile Integration

Creating a seamless shopping experience between desktop and mobile is essential to increase e-commerce sales among new customers. Mobile retail ecommerce in the U.S. alone is predicted to increase to $130.92 billion in 2016, up $44.75 billion from 2015 according to a recent market report. Having a fluid and rich mobile shopping experience will ensure that your customers are able to browse products and services without annoying design issues. Incorporating a simple and uncluttered mobile user interface (UI) is a way to make it easier for customers to browse items on multiple screen sizes without lag. The checkout should also be easily accessible on the mobile UI while eliminating the use of multi-page processes that can result in abandoned carts.

Social Media 

Having your ecommerce business on social media is essential to building meaningful relationships with new and existing customers. According to a recent study, 40% of global consumers ages 16 to 24 reported using social media platforms such as Facebook to research products before making a purchase. 30% of the general population also reported similar social media product research behavior. What this means for ecommerce is that you must engage your audience with your unique brand story that ties into the products or services sold on your site.  Once you establish a relationship with your target customers, social platforms will allow you to offer ecommerce incentives such as discounts, promotions, and news about your products or services in a meaningful and engaging manner.

Offering online incentives to kickstart sales is only one step in building trust with your customers. Finding a unique brand identity and incorporating the story across desktop, mobile, and social is crucial to differentiating your ecommerce site from the competition. Ultimately, hiring a professional marketing agency to create a customized mobile responsive ecommerce site with integrated content strategies can help increase online visibility for your business.

How to Run Successful Social Media Ads on a Budget

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make when launching a social media marketing campaign is not investing in social media ads. You may have heard success stories from companies that jumped on social media early and used creative campaigns to reach a fairly large audience for free, but unfortunately, organic reach for business pages has declined significantly in the last couple of years.

In 2014, Facebook organic reach was estimated to be as low as 2% for business pages, and social@Ogilvy has estimated that organic reach will eventually hit zero.

Click to Tweet: In 2014, Facebook organic reach was estimated to be as low as 2%.

Organic reach on other social media sites isn’t looking too great, either. In a 2015 analysis, Forrester found that large brands got interactions from 2.26% of their followers on Instagram, 0.055% on LinkedIn, and just 0.027% on Twitter.

It’s pretty clear that organic success on social media is a long shot, but what can you do when your social media budget is limited? Fortunately, even a low budget for a social media campaign can pay off, leading to high enough click-through and conversion rates to warrant a larger social media marketing budget in the future.

I talked to Leverage Marketing’s Director of Social Media, Thy Ta Hooks, to learn more about some of the ways a business can make the most of a low social media budget. Below are some tips she provided to make the most of the social media advertising budget you’ve been given—use these tips to maximize your reach and engagement so that you’ll get upper management buy-in for your next campaign.

Assess Your Social Media Options

Social Media Signs

Before you start allocating your social media advertising budget, you need to figure out who your target buyers are and what social media sites/apps they’re most likely to use.

Facebook

If you have an ecommerce business, Facebook is a good place to start building an audience and driving traffic to your site. Facebook offers advertisers a number of features to help online stores reach the right audience, including:

  • Remarketing: Businesses install a snippet of code on their website so that visitors will be targeted with ads on Facebook
  • Custom Audiences: Facebook users are targeted based off 3rd party data, such as email lists
  • Lookalike Audiences: Businesses can target a new Facebook audience similar to their website audience or can target based off of who has converted from their Facebook ads

Facebook can also be a powerful tool for brick-and-mortar businesses because these companies can run specific ads targeted to a narrow geographic area. For example, a seafood restaurant in Seattle could run a lunch special ad that only gets shown to people within a 10 mile radius of their restaurant during their lunch hours. That way, if someone in the area is scrolling through Facebook around noon and thinking about where they want to eat, they’ll see an ad with the nearby restaurant’s lunch specials.

LinkedIn

While Facebook works well for B2C, it’s not necessarily the best starting place for B2B companies with a low budget for their social media campaigns. As a professional network, LinkedIn is a logical place to test out business-based advertising, especially because advertisers can target users based on a wide range of demographic details, including industry, company, company name, company size, and job title.

Twitter

Twitter may also be worth testing for B2B advertising because its structure rewards topics that are trending in different verticals. For example, if a tea leaf wholesaler saw that the New York Times just published an articles on the health benefits of tea, they could benefit by running related Twitter ads and piggybacking off the trending article.

Document Your Social Media Strategy

Social Media Marketing Concept

Before you start using your budget for a social media campaign, you should document the following:

  • Your target audience and audience segments (for example, if college applicants are your target audience, your audience segment might be students ages 18-21)
  • Messaging based on your target audience(s)  (with 1:1 messaging being the goal)
  • Estimated existing audience size per network (this will help you determine the best platform to go after)
  • Current organic post frequency, engagement rate, and growth rate (if you already have a social media presence)
  • Biggest opportunities based off your goals
  • Content topics (for original and curated content) by type

Get Creative with a Limited Budget

Once you’ve outlined your strategy, you can start putting your social media budget to work. You may not have the money or resources to produce eye-catching infographics or videos, but you can still create visually attractive posts using free and low-cost graphic design tools like Piktochart and Canva. When planning the specific content you want to share, think about what’s going to engage and resonate with your audience. If you sell kitchen appliances, for example, a user scrolling through their Facebook News Feed might not pause to read a bulleted list of your newest blender’s features, but they may click if you offer them an exclusive discount or share a recipe for healthy smoothies that taste like dessert.

Track and Report Results

cost benefit concept

If you want your low budget for social media campaigns to increase in the future, it’s essential to track and report relevant metrics so that you can see what strategies have been most successful—and show upper-management concrete evidence that social media marketing works.

It’s worth looking at metrics related to engagement and brand awareness, but keep in mind that the main goal is to increase conversions and revenue. Metrics you need to pay attention to include:

  • Click-through rate: the percentage of clicks a link to your site has gotten based on total number of post views
  • Conversion rate: the percentage of social media viewers who have completed a defined goal, such as filling out a form or making a purchase
  • Conversions by campaign: the conversion rate for specific campaigns/ads (this will help you determine what ad types are most effective)
  • Return on investment: you can learn how to calculate your ROI with this straightforward Buffer guide
  • Referral Traffic – The amount of traffic to your website from your social networks

Final Takeaways

To be truly successful with a limited social media marketing budget, you’ll need to be persistent. Running and tracking social ads is an ongoing process, and you’ll need to keep focusing on the ad types that your audience best responds to so that you can adjust your overall strategy as you go. As you collect more and more data, you’ll be able to better hone your social media ads to maximize your success.

Have questions for us that we didn’t address here? Comment below or Tweet us at @leveragemktg. You can also get more social media tips and exclusive digital marketing content by signing up for our newsletter.

Technology & Social Media – Forever 21’s Thread Screen

Combining the power of technology and social media, Forever 21 has created a cool art installation that doubles as great brand exposure. Forever 21 hired Breakfast NY to create a Thread Screen that is made up of 6,400 spools of multi-colored thread. To see your photos as part of the Thread Screen, tag your Instagram photos using the hashtag #F21ThreadScreen and the device will re-create your image using the spools of thread. You can watch live footage of the machine here.

I decided to create one of my nephew and I absolutely love the results:

Just keep in mind it’s not instantaneous; it took 5 days from when I submitted the photo to create a thread screen.

*Photo credit: https://f21threadscreen.com/

 

A Recipe for Sweetening Negative Reviews

The Real Deal with Bob Kehoe

For consumers, the Internet has proven to be a valuable tool when it comes to making sound purchases or investments. That’s why online reputation management has become so essential.

These days, you can do your homework and find reviews of pretty much any product or service and, for many perspective buyers, doing his or her homework online before picking up the phone or making a purchase is nowadays imperative.

Businesses subject to the consumer’s two cents, though, may not be so appreciative of this. And occasionally, their attempts to fan the critical or negative flames on their own can make matters worse.

Case in point: a friend of mine is a chef who, despite an impressive CV and years of work and smarts under her belt, had to take work at a small catering company a few years back at the height of the recession. To get a sense of what she was getting into, she perused a few popular sites that specialized in restaurant and food service reviews and came across a range of responses to the outfit that were, as she described it, “all over the map.” Given the economic climate, though, she took the job.

Over the next few months, my friend monitored the websites and noticed something curious: if any reviews posted that expressed even the slightest dissatisfaction with their services, a post would quickly pop up praising the company and including counterpoints to the original, critical post.

Even more curious: the complimentary posts praised the catering company for fictitious work. These hijinks were easily traced to the owner, who was also in charge of sales and whose reputation for being difficult to her clientele and employees proved to be well-founded. The occasional critical posters also weren’t spared an ounce of her wrath, as the posts between the critical client and owner turned into full-on pissing wars on a few occasions — not everyone can successfully handle review management.

 

Respond to Negative Reviews with Dignity

Whether or not consumer critiques are posted in earnest or with ulterior motives is beside the point to business owners. They’re out there for others to read and consider, and the companies on the receiving end of the critical or negative reviews stand to lose potential business regardless of if the post is sincere or unfounded.

If inclined to respond to a negative review, the best approach is to take the high road.

Gauge which posts are the most logical to address: this is as important as how you will respond. Then address the critical post politely and sympathetically. Offer a sincere apology acknowledging the issue and offer a remedy to resolve the problem and/or offer a discount or other incentive to prompt return business. If the poster responds negatively, then let it go.

This can also reflect well on those considering doing business with your company: smart consumers are aware that not every customer will walk away completely enthralled with your operations, and mature, sympathetic responses on your part can actually make a good impression to readers vetting you out.

 

Getting Help with Online Reputation Management
While it’s wise for the business owner or manager to do their part in monitoring consumer websites and social media pages and responding to negative as well as positive comments, they can’t be expected to handle it all. Responding to all online reviews can be a daunting task, especially if your company has several locations or branches with their own Yelp or Google+ pages. That’s where Leverage comes to the rescue.

Through our online reputation management platform, we regularly seek out positive reviews of our clients’ products and services and make sure those are placed front and center on a variety of sites. We also identify and manage any negative reviews our clients may receive as soon as they receive them.

By executing this program, we expect our clients’ online rankings to improve, as will the volume of organic traffic and overall ratings. This program, as well as the approach to responding to unsatisfied customers or patrons as described above, is the better path to service-driven companies, including catering and food service operations.

Our chef friend’s tenure with this catering company was short, by the way: the owner may have made a point to write “praise” for her outfit online and defend anyone whose opinion was less than celebratory, but there were other things – notably her employees’ paychecks – that she’d forget to write.

CHEERS TO RETARGETING!

It’s funny how a couple casual cold ones with a friend can turn into fuel for this here blog.

A few Fridays ago, I met up with a pal for a pit stop close to the home front. Being a Friday afternoon, the corner pub was its usual busy self, but on this particular end-of-week stop, all eyes were on a table full of 20-somethings and early 30-somethings who, judging by the rowdy celebration (not to mention quantity of booze consumed), were celebrating landing a big client or account.

Anyone whose livelihood is tied to sales should be able to identify with these guys. The crushing hangover that had to follow that Saturday morning, though, is optional.

The importance pretty much any company puts on new business is immeasurable, from the CFO making sense out of spreadsheets and percentages to the corporate salesperson whose fate lies in those numbers their bosses are looking over. New business is paramount, putting it mildly, to companies of all sizes, shapes and forms.

Leverage is hardly immune to this mindset. Like any business of any size, our annual goal isn’t solely to keep the lights on and our staff paid: we want to prosper and grow, both fiscally and in terms of innovation, at a steady clip. We are also elated when our hard work results in a new client and, on the other side of the coin, have been dealt our fair share of blows in terms of missed opportunities.

Yet to continue to thrive, we at Leverage are just as concerned about maintaining our relationships with the clients who have rewarded us with their business. That means continuous evolution of their online marketing strategies, with the end result being further success – and profit – in their online endeavors as well as continued satisfaction with our work.

For our clients, this means retaining their customers or clients. Once they have established their relationships with their base, continuing and expanding upon those relations is crucial.  While this is a long-term and continuously evolving process for all parties involved, the cost to our clients to retarget their customers is, compared to the cost of establishing the relationship in the beginning, much lower, and the practice is as, if not, more rewarding long-term than bringing them into the fold the first time. We all know how significant the lifetime value of a client is. Retargeting keeps customers in the loop and makes the rewards of customer lifetime value a reality.

Retargeting generally produces between 25%-40% more in sales revenue than targeting new clients

There are many approaches to site retargeting for an online client base, but three proven methods immediately come to mind:

  • Using marketing automation to trigger customized e-mail retargeting based on the browsing and purchasing behavior of customers.
  • Using paid search to retarget current customers with ads based on items they have viewed.
  • Using an e-mail database to trigger ads in social media news feeds based on the clients’ interests.
  • Remarketing solutions generally produces between 25%-40% more sales revenue than targeting new clients.

To me, the ability to be a company that continues to dazzle our clients by retargeting their proven customers with unique and profitable solutions is as satisfying and worth celebrating – be it with a Budweiser, bourbon or Barq’s root beer in hand – as that first success. First time clients are exciting, but repeat customers are what keep you in business. Are you ready to start reaching out to your customers? Contact us today for a FREE evaluation on your digital marketing strategy and learn how retargeting can benefit your business!

Digital Marketing or Marketing in a Digital World?

The shift is coming and most of us already know it. The Don Draper dinosaur is extinct. Not only has most of advertising become digital, but the majority of marketing departments will also be digitally-focused. Let’s reflect on all the old mediums of advertising: radio, TV, and snail mail. All of these things are now functioning digitally through podcasts, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and of course e-mail. The future of TV and radio is through the internet, and so it is with all forms of communication, including the telephone. As the future of internet TV progresses, digital advertising will surely become more involved, and cable TV will slowly fade into the background. So as you can see, digital marketing IS marketing, the marketing of the future. Sure, you’ll still have the occasional hard copy of a newspaper, magazine, or brochure, but for the most part, marketing strategy will be internet-based and integrated. Any other marketing efforts will be secondary. Read more

Hub and Spoke Marketing: May the Force Be with You

Death star marketingHub and spoke marketing is quite simple in theory, but not so much in practice. Many marketers think of the company website as a hub, and the spokes are the possible channels through which leads may be attracted to your website such as social media, press releases, search engines, directories and advertising. The idea is to have as many different channels as possible leading to your site. Hub and spoke is an accurate depiction of this theory, but allow us to present a better one…

Presenting the Death Star Analogy
Rather than the hub and spoke theory, I prefer to think of the company website as the Death Star and all the other online channels make up the tractor beam that pulls the ships in. Not to say that your website is deadly, but it should be an effective conversion machine with attractive landing ports (pages) and enticing content. Here we’ll show you how to start catching those ships in your tractor beam.

Building Your Tractor Beam
You want your tractor beam to be as powerful as possible to attract the right leads and search engines. In order to make sure your pull is stronger than that of any other competing death stars, strategy-based content needs to be provided on multiple fronts.

  • Verbal Social Media & Blogs

Your blog should be SEO optimized and designed to pull traffic in through informative and engaging content about your industry. Many companies utilize sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to post brief content that can draw people into the website. Posting snippets from your blog, company or industry news, and information about events can motivate people to go to your site and check it out or share your information with hundreds of others, thereby increasing the reach of your tractor beam. Keep your keywords in mind when posting on social media as well.

  • Visual Social Media

Most marketers are aware that images and photographs can significantly boost conversion rate. Unlike verbal communication, visuals attract attention quickly and can draw people into your site with a one-second glance. Pull people into your tractor beam by sharing attractive and informative images on sites like Pinterest, Flickr or YouTube. By informative I mean that a consumer should be able to see what your product or service entails in your images. When it comes to a photo of your product or service, a picture really is worth 1,000 words.

  • Press & Directories

Getting an article about your company in the press, whether it’s traditional paper press or digital media, is a great way to get more traffic coming in. Start by finding a local industry blog or small publication that provides news from your industry and provide an informational piece. Or, find an industry site where you may be able to guest blog. There are also several online directories and consumer review sites where your company can be listed to pull in more traffic. Start with Google Places, Yelp, Yahoo Local, small business directories, and industry-specific directories.

  • Advertising

Good old advertising. PPC campaigns and Google Adwords may not be free like organic search. (Well, hopefully you do pay your content writers.) But, these ads are guaranteed to get people to your website and directly to one of your landing pages. Ads should never lead to your homepage. People who click on your ads already have a product or service in mind and should be directed to an informative landing page where they may be easily converted to a customer without much fuss. Make sure your landing page headline matches your ad campaign, or you may not end up with the droids you’re looking for.

Hub and Spoke, or the new and improved Death Star Theory, is a simple concept but it does require time and strategy. If you need help building your tractor beam, or you aren’t finding the droids you’re looking for, give us a call. We’ve got tractor beam engineers at the ready.

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