Improving Your Facebook Ads

facebook ads

facebook ads (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Facebook ads can be a relatively cost effective way to increase awareness and even to generate sales.  Social Media Examiner has an article — 4 Ways to Improve Your Facebook Ads — that serves as a good starting point.  The article mentions 4 ways to improve your Facebook ads: 1) Meaning of Colors, 2) Language that Reflects Brand, 3) Impact with Images & 4) Effective Targeting. I think two of the most important ways to improve ads (of any kind) are missing: 1) Providing Value 2) Catchy Wording.

State Value & Benefits in Ads

I think it’s important to remember in any marketing communications or advertising that customers want to know what’s in it for them. Instead of a list of features, they want a list of benefits. While Facebook ads have a set limit of words and images, these should be used to inform the audience of the value you are offering them. It’s important that messaging reflect your brand, in terms of voice and image, but without communicating value, you are relying on what the customer knows of your brand (which may be nothing at all).

Ads Have Only an Instant to Impress

Images and color certainly have an impact on how we feel and whether something catches our eye.  Once that attention is caught, even if only for a split second, it’s vital to do your best to communicate in a way that keeps the attention.  Obviously putting your value/benefit out there front and center is key, but also to word your call to action and entire message in a way that’s both easy to read and catchy.  The example ads for #3 in 4 Ways to Improve Your Facebook ads are great examples of having catchy messaging.

What ways have you improved your Facebook ads?

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Getting Caught Up in The Wrong Numbers


Numbers (Photo credit: RichardBowen)

Numbers, Numbers everywhere! With every social network we sign up for, and every online service we subscribe to, we’re given numbers measuring everything from followers to likes to page views.  It’s so easy to get caught up in all these numbers and to start to try to make them bigger and better.  Bigger is better, right? While internet marketing does provide fairly easy measurement tactics, it’s vital to focus on the numbers that are important to your business and its goals.

Tie Measurements to Goals

Numbers that aren’t directly tied to goals are nice, but may obscure focus from what’s really important.  Look for measurements that will allow you to directly understand how you’re doing on your way to your goals.  Secondary measurements that help you understand what tactics are working, and how are also important.  These measurements, primary and secondary key performance indicators, are what you should focus on improving.

Measure with Value

Measurements need to help you understand how your business is doing.  Look for measurements tied to your goals that provide value in understanding how you’re doing — how each tactic is working and how it can be improved. Valuable measurements tend to also be easy to understand, but there are measurement tactics that do need more analysis to be valuable. The key is to do whatever number crunching or analysis needs to be done to make a measurement valuable — otherwise it’s just a number.

Measure to Drive Action

Measurement without action is useless. Measurements need to be analyzed to provide insights that can be acted upon. A good metrics will help you understand how your tactics are doing and what you should improve. It may take analysis to get to the point of actionable insights, but if a number doesn’t provide any insights, it’s not the right number.

Continuous Measurement for Improvement

Just like marketing and sales, measurement is something that has to be done constantly to be valuable to the business.  If you just look at some numbers every quarter, it’s hard to know if what you’re doing is helping you achieve your goals.  While it’s not necessary for most companies to measure daily, regularly measure and analyze to provide recommended actions for your business to take to improve performance.

How do you measure success for your internet marketing?

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Five Ways Mobile Apps Can Be Used To Market Your Business

Five Ways Mobile Apps Can Be Used To Market Your BusinessWith as much noise as there is in the world today, marketing is difficult – but many marketers overlook one simple thing that can revolutionize how marketing is performed. What is the one object that nearly everyone carries around in his or her pockets at all time? That’s right; their cell phone. Mobile applications can be useful for marketers to use, and can also be used to market to other people. Here are a few ways…

1. Get a feel for events in real time.

Apps like are analytics apps for real life. This app can be used at conferences to get a feel for where people are paying the most attention, what booths have the most visitors, and more. DoubleDutch is a mobile event app which allows visitors at a convention to communicate with the other patrons through an Instagram ‘like’ feed, and answer surveys about their experience. The app also holds sponsorship opportunities within it to help pay for the cost.

2. Keep all of your social media tools in a single place.

Apps such as LastPass help you keep track of all of your passwords, so you don’t need to waste mental energy trying to remember individual passwords for individual sites; just remember one, and you’re good to go. Other applications can combine all of your social media networks into one, allowing you to manage contacts easily and keep track of them in real time. No more switching back and forth between Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and all of the other social media apps that seem to spring up constantly.

3. Post enticing photos of products or services.

Instagram isn’t just for posting pictures of lunch and cats. You can use it to post photographs of new shipments, new creations, or the services you offer, and get your customers excited about the prospect of shopping at your business. It’s one of the fastest growing social networks right now, and if used correctly, can skyrocket your marketing efforts. For instance, if you run a cake shop, post a photo of a cake fresh from the oven – it is guaranteed to make viewers want some of it.

4. Use social media to let fans and customers know of special events.

A great way to draw temporary and potentially lasting attention to your business is through special offers and events. Using Twitter, Facebook, and other apps, you can alert your base of fans and followers to flash sales, special giveaways, and more. Combining this with an email list is a great way to not only grow your list, but convert visitors into customers – once they’ve said yes to signing up for the email list, it isn’t hard to make the leap to buying a product.

5. Creating your own app.

This is a more in depth process than employing apps already in existence, but it can have benefits. By creating an app unique to your business, you can allow users to receive special discounts in store, create a point system where customers can work up to certain rewards, use it as an automated sale notification system, and more. Not to mention the branding benefits! While app creation can be a time consuming process, it can pay for itself by increasing your brand and bringing more customers through your doors.

Using mobile marketing is the way to go, and enables you to reach thousands of people in the blink of an eye – far more than a billboard could. Taking advantage of this opportunity is something everyone business owner should do.

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Rethink The Psychology of Your Calls to Action

Thinking RFID

Thinking RFID (Photo credit: @boetter)

A call to action (CTA) button can be the difference between securing a successful online transaction and losing your potential customer to your competitor’s webpage.  To prevent an unfortunate turn of events, you, as the marketer or business owner, must learn what it is that makes your potential customers continue through your site and what causes them to flee the scene. This understanding and research can be primarily summed up by the study of CTA button psychology, or, in simpler terms, the reason people click what they click.


Color is a huge factor in CTA button psychology. For a look at how color choices can affect your marketing, take a look at this infographic. By choosing color schemes that match your company’s objective and purpose, the site visitor will subconsciously feel as though the calls to action are simply part of the overall process. For example, people might think the bank site they are visiting is secure because the blue color scheme encourages them to, just as customers are more likely to open a savings account if the button they must click to do so is green because of the color’s association with money.

In choosing a color scheme, you also want to be aware of what complementary colors are necessary to make your CTA buttons stand out. Orange, for example, can simultaneously command attention, while remaining welcome and friendly, which is why it is so often chosen for CTA buttons and internet marketing. The most important, or primary, CTA buttons should be in a color, like orange, that will attract immediate attention. Any secondary options you wish to give your site visitor should be in a color that stands out less.


In this example, found on the website of virtual private network service Le VPN, color contrast is used very well to make the green CTA button pop. They reserve this shade of lime green for highlights on their site, like the calls to action, which makes them very powerful wherever they appear.


It is important that your CTA buttons look like they are legitimate virtual buttons. Keep the shape of the button to what would be a “normal” button shape in real life. Think of radio buttons, dials and power “on” and “off” buttons. All of these maintain a similar shape: round or rectangular. Maintaining these shapes will ensure that the visitor recognizes what it is they need to push. Paul Olyslager suggests that virtual buttons should have rounded edges because sharp angles push our eyes to where the corners are pointing, rather than to the center of our content.


This example from Empire CAT, a heavy machinery dealer, has a clear “learn more” button in the bottom right of their slider. The rounded edges draw the attention into the text at its center, and the right facing arrow suggests there is more to see on the next page.

Size and Placement

The size and placement of your rounded CTA button directly correlates with the number of clicks and conversions your site receives. The primary CTAs need to be larger than any other secondary option and will more likely to be used if the user doesn’t have to scroll down to find them.

A great example of this is with the shopping cart. Often, you’ll see the larger “Proceed to Checkout” button with a smaller “Continue Shopping” next to it. Their color and size are almost always different from one another. Our eyes naturally gravitate towards the larger of the two. Making the primary CTA more visually significant will increase the number of visitors who go forward with their purchase.


Custom Car Covers allows its customers to choose between PayPal and regular checkout. The iconic PayPal button is familiar, and customers who use PayPal will be drawn to use the service to check out. However, visitors who do not use PayPal still have an option – and the bright red ensures that it won’t be missed.

CTA Text

Keep your CTA copy simple and straight-forward. This is not the place to put a paragraph. Use the copy to give your visitors the confidence to know exactly where they are headed when they hit the button. “Proceed to Checkout” is a great example. Three words and you know exactly where you are going. “Continue Shopping” will put you right back where you were, looking at the last product you viewed. Joanna Wiebe, from CopyBlogger, made the suggestion that CTA copy be written in the first person. This solution will make the site visitor feel like the CTA is personal and just for them, as in “View My Cart.”


Maxwell Systems, a construction software provider, sells their products to other businesses. They know that free demos convert well for this audience, so they encourage visitors to check out the trials with big buttons that turn orange when rolled over.

By recognizing these factors in CTA psychology, you and your company will be able to understand and differentiate what works well for your visitors and what achieves the most conversions. Don’t be afraid to play around with and analyze how color, copy, size and shape affect the number of clicks you receive. By doing so, you will be able to optimize the experience for your site visitor and optimize your conversions.

About the Author

Adrienne is a freelance writer and blogger who loves analyzing what makes websites tick. To see more of her work, follow her on Twitter at @adrienneerin.

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Developing Your Marketing Strategy: There’s an App for That.

Depositphotos_25525333_xsYour brand never sleeps, especially in the digital world. For you, this translates into always being on and always engaged in your marketing strategy. This doesn’t mean you have to be handcuffed to your desk — there is a plethora of apps and smart devices that can simplify your marketing efforts. Streamline your marketing strategy with these helpful tools to make marketing on-the-go remarkably simple.

The Right Device

The right device, with fast broad-band speed and hefty data package, is crucial to working on the go. While it may be convenient to work straight from your phone, it is easier to work from a tablet with unlimited data. Larger tablet screens give you the same flexibility you get from your standard smartphone, but with the increased screen space for easier viewing and typing. Plus, unlimited data from companies like T-Mobile means you won’t be bound in what you accomplish by an impending giant bill.


Hootsuite’s social media platform can simultaneously schedule posts on all of your social channels, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. Do you manage multiple client accounts? You can manage them all from the same dashboard. As if that simplicity wasn’t enough, Hootsuite also allows you to create client reports detailing the analytics of each social platform’s performance. The app is available via both desktop and mobile apps.

Facebook App

Facebook is one of the most downloaded social media apps of all time. While posts can be managed from Hootsuite, Facebook’s integrated analytics and the ease through which potential clients interact on the site make using its direct interface a no-brainer. The Facebook app will track your page’s analytics on the go and, more importantly, will allow you to interact immediately with perspective customers.


You already use WordPress to manage your content management system, but staying up to date with blogging is a tough task. Download the WordPress mobile app to make blogging easy, anywhere. You can even update your CMS straight from this free app!


With Evernote’s incredible capabilities, it is hard not to make the app synonymous with your life. Evernote is a cross-platform app that offers countless features, from being your digital file cabinet, note-taking tool, daily journal, and task/project management system. It even has “If This Then That” support, meaning you can automatically send content from other services (like Gmail) to your Evernote account. Wherever you are, Evernote allows you to save your ideas, because you never know when your next great idea may strike.

About the Author

Richard Collins — Next-gen advocate, specializing in indie games and all things retro

Don’t Make These 5 Business Blunders

Business man with drawingIt is only a mistake if you don’t learn from it, someone once said. You probably didn’t make any huge blunders last year, such as forgetting to pay your employees on pay day or using the company budget to splurge on a shiny new car. But the missteps you made don’t have to continue to be mistakes in the new year. Instead you can learn from them and turn them into positives. Take these five common mistakes and turn them around to learn and help your business grow:

Doing the same thing

When businesses gets stuck on making an idea work, they often continue to try to make a square peg fit in a round hole. When a product fails, they may continue to make it, cut the cost and increase marketing. Doing the same thing over and over but in different packaging is not the path to success. The Huffington Post advises that small business owners recognize when it is time to let something go and try something new. Innovation and change may be scary, but will be more successful than rehashing a failure or trying to simply recreate a past success.

Never leaving your desk or computer

In today’s tech-heavy world, it is possible to never leave your office to do all of the tasks that you once had to travel for. Whether it’s going into another room or going to another country, most likely you can do it from your computer. However, you probably shouldn’t get tied to your laptop. While technology is an awesome way to get a lot done, it can’t replace the value of meeting face-to-face, shaking a hand, or sharing a lunch. Forbes suggests balancing your time online with time in the real world of business by taking your clients out to lunch, setting up meetings when you can, and picking up the phone instead of playing email tag.

Waiting to prepare for taxes

Taxes may be painful, but they are far from unexpected. Waiting until they are due and going crazy trying to pull everything together is exhausting and needless. Stay on top of things throughout the year by utilizing payroll services to maintain employee and business records and update your profit and loss statement monthly.

Losing your customer focus

Customer satisfaction and retention can sometimes get lost in the rush of “doing business”. It is important to remember that the customer is why you are here. Without happy repeat customers, you may find yourself out of business. By remembering to keep your focus in the right place, it will also make doing business easier. Come up with a strong marketing plan to gain and keep customers.

Letting fear hold you back

While taking large risks may not always be the wisest way to run your business, letting your fears keep you from moving forward is just as bad. It is common to run out of steam when you are running your own business. Remind yourself why you are doing this, renew your belief in your success, and don’t let the fear of failure hold you back.

About the Author

Sharon Flagman is an etrepreneur, business writer, marathoner

Data-Driven Customer Experience as a Competitive Advantage


ETMS (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Companies are always looking for competitive advantages — what can make them stand out against their competitors.  Using data and analytics to drive customer experience improvements can be a long-haul competitive advantage — increasing conversions and repeat business. While some data analysis can be complex, there are a number of metrics that a business can look at to see basics like where website traffic is coming from and where people get stuck during the conversion/sales process.  Econsultancy has a great roundup of why data-driven customer experience is important and what to look for:

Great customer experience is one of the hardest things for your competitors to copy.

A strategy of continuous improvement can offer clear differentiation from competitors.

However, it’s only when we measure what customers are actually seeing and doing when they are interacting with our digital channels, that we can understand where they might have issues or unmet needs.

Rather than theorise about potential problems or rely on closely monitoring small samples of test users, we need to let the data lead us to areas of concern. — Data-driven customer experience is tough to copy by Geoff Galat

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The Untapped Opportunities for B2B eCommerce

W.W. Grainger branch 2915 Boardwalk Ann Arbor ...

W.W. Grainger branch 2915 Boardwalk Ann Arbor Michigan 48104-6765 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The viability of consumer eCommerce is a no-brainer.  What’s often forgotten is B2B (business to business) eCommerce, but sites like are starting to fill the gaps left by others. While B2B purchases tend to be much larger than consumer purchases, and the sales cycle is longer, customers still want the convenience of going to a website to make the final sale, purchase supplemental parts/pieces, or be involved in the purchase cycle. eCommerce sites don’t have to disrupt the B2B purchase cycle which is based on relationships and trust — they can be used to automate processes and increase customer satisfaction. W.W. Grainger, which is a supplier of industrial parts and equipment, is an excellent example of B2B eCommerce.

For more on the opportunities of B2B eCommerce, Practical eCommerce has this article:

Many B-to-B companies have long believed that ecommerce would create channel conflicts between sales personnel, suppliers, and other channels. But in reality, B-to-B sales channels are already disrupted by ecommerce. Manufacturers are selling directly to consumers. Manufacturers and distributors are selling products on, and other portals to other businesses. Wholesalers are consolidating rapidly because they are caught in the channel chaos. B-to-B Ecommerce: Big Opportunity, with Obstacles by Dale Traxler

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The Day We Fight Back – Why You Should Care What Data the NSA Collects

Against the US Constitution which protects against warrant-less search, the NSA is collecting records on billions of Americans — even those who have done nothing wrong and have no reason to suspect.  Today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is sponsoring an Internet protest where thousands of sites will have a black banner asking visitors to call their congresspeople in protest.  Why should you care?  Watch this video…

Supercharge your Content for Higher Quality Links

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

It’s no secret that content is vital to digital marketing efforts.  Without quality content that your audience finds valuable, you’re just advertising (which is widely ignored).  Quality content helps build awareness and reputation which create relationships that generate sales. Content is also vital for building search engine traffic — by creating content that people want to link to and share.  Search Engine Watch has a good article on what to do to supercharge your content to get these high quality links:

Make your content something that we want to link to, something that’s easily shared on Twitter or Facebook or wherever you want it to be shared. Make your site easily searchable and make sure everything works and looks good, too, and check it on mobile devices. It’s quite simple.

With the nonstop information being published online, people have to pick and choose what they read, share, and link to, so don’t think that on-page factors don’t come into play where links are concerned. They can make or break your link building in many cases. 7 Ways to Attract Higher Quality Links With Better On-Page Content by Julie Joyce

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