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 DoubleDutch.me 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 

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.

levpn

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.

Shape 

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.

empirecat

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.

customcarcovers

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.”

maxwellsystems

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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The Need for an Internet Marketing Strategy

Business

Business (Photo credits: www.roadtrafficsigns.com)

While many internet marketing tactics are fairly obvious — SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), content marketing, social media, etc. — they are not necessarily right for your business or organization. What tactics to use should be decided by understanding the audience you are trying to reach and where they are online. An internet marketing strategy creates a plan of action based on your business objectives and audience to make the most effective use of  your budget and resources. [Read more...]

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

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.

WordPress

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!

Evernote

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

Social Media ROI is Always a Number

Numbers

Numbers (Photo credit: RichardBowen)

Wishy-washy marketers may try to tell you that Social Media ROI doesn’t matter, or that it’s about the conversation, or some quirky statement asking how you measure a phone call.  But ROI of any marketing does matter, especially to decision makers (whether your boss or your client).  People want and need to know how well any particular marketing tactic is working, so they can make decisions about what to improve and on what to spend money. Nichole Kelly has a great article over on Social Media Explorer about how to apply ROI to social media:

So how do we fix it?  We’re going to have to accept our reality that we need to be able to tie social media to an impact on customer acquisition. Sure you can tout customer service savings and other types of cost based results, but you’re going to have to bring a huge volume of conversations for that savings to really mean something to the leadership team. But the minute you start generating leads and adding new customers with a reasonable volume at at a reasonable cost, ears start to perk up.  Social Media ROI is Nothing But A Numbers Game by Nichole Kelly

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Should Your Company Blog?

Social Media to Sales

Social Media to Sales (Photo credit: sazbean)

Blogging has been a topic for over 10 years.  Now that we have social media and other digital marketing tactics, does it still make sense for your company to blog? What should consider to make the decision?  Lee Odden has a great article with things to consider:

Blogs that are supported by a solid, customer-focused strategy and that are integrated with social media efforts still have every opportunity to help a brand become and stay “the best answer” for topics that matter most to their customers. Of course competition continues to grow and customer preferences for information discovery, consumption and action will change. But that’s why companies keep their fingers on the pulse of the industry and their customers, continually optimizing the quality and performance of their communications. Does It Still Make Sense For Companies to Blog? by Lee Odden

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Content is Core to Digital Strategy

Photos of books made by PediaPress with Wikipe...

Photos of books made by PediaPress with Wikipedia content. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Content is vital in the execution of any digital strategy — it’s how potential customers learn about what you do and come to trust that you can do what you say. Trust is the key to conversions and referrals.  Good content, that builds trust and reputation, requires a systematic and strategic approach so that you can make sure that you’re creating value for your audience. Duct Tape Marketing has a great article on how to go about creating content to meet your digital strategies:

Today, the common thread in almost every element of delivering on strategy is content. Content is how you move people from know to like to trust. Content is how you give your marketing strategy a voice and, because of that, you must take a strategic and systematic approach to how your content is developed. How to Make Content the Voice of Strategy by John Jontsch

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Data-Driven Customer Experience as a Competitive Advantage

ETMS

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 Amazon.com 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 AmazonSupply.comAlibaba.com, 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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Five Free Tools for Startups to Measure Impact of Online Videos

Video camera in action.

Video camera in action. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are a lot of fancy tools which are being used by experts to track the progress of their video marketing campaigns. Most of these tools are very costly (but worth the price!), but are an investment you don’t really need yet. If you are a startup company and would like to limit the expenses of your video marketing campaign, you can use the tools below to measure how your videos do online.

Youtube Video Analytics

Youtube has a very detailed reporting tool on measuring the performance of your videos. You can track the views of your video, the people who comment on your video (since Google+ comment integration), the engagement with your audience, playtime, audience retention,  and etc. Youtube Video Analytics can even track videos which are embedded to a website or a blog. The engagement report is also another treat for marketers. Youtube is not only a video repository, it is also a social media platform. Thus, it is a platform that any marketer wouldn’t dare ignore.

Vimeo

Vimeo offers a very simple tool for tracking the views of your videos. There is a premium tracking tool with more measurements, but if you just want number of views, the free tool is fine.  When considering choosing between Vimeo and Youtube, I suggest that you give both a try. However, Youtube and Vimeo each cater to unique set of audiences. Vimeo users focus on creating creative shorts. Youtube is a social media platform and has a very powerful mob rule. The Youtubers are interested more in the entertainment value while Vimeo video watchers are more interested in creative and aesthetic content. Study your audience and determine which platform they use the most.

Bit.ly

Most of marketers post their videos on social media platforms and forum sites. To measure the click rate of your social media headlines and post, you can use Bit.ly. Bit.ly also has a very simple yet useful analytics. You can track what time a person clicked your url, their location, and date. This will help in identifying your audience.

Sharedcount.com

Sharedcount.com is one of the most exciting free tools to measure your campaign. Why? It gives you clear figures on how your videos do on social media sites. That includes Facebook likes, Facebook shares, Facebook comments, tweets, Google+ 1s, Diggs, Pins, LinkedIn shares, Delicious bookmark, StumbleUpon counts, and Reddit bookmarks. It can also track your Youtube views, like, dislike, and even the number of Youtube comments. This tool can clearly outline the progress of your social media campaign using your video. You can track as many as 50,000 links per day.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics does more than just track the pageviews that you have.  If you’re wondering if your audience does watch your Youtube embedded videos on your website, you can use GA to track the activity of your audience. Here’s a guide on how to do Youtube tracking on your website.

 Online Video Measurement Tools

By maximizing the use of these tools, you won’t need to spend any premium account on other tracking services. Measuring the performance of your videos online is important to have a clear idea on how you can improve your campaign. As a startup business, aim for measurable, actionable, and definite measures in developing your marketing campaigns.

Author Bio:

David Jenyns is an internet-marketing expert an amazing team that can offer valuable video marketing content for your business. You can check out his website  Melbourne Video Production for more information. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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