Beginners Guide on How to Build a Brand Online in 2019

If you run a business, then you know that you can’t survive in the market without building a unique brand. The question is, how do you go about that?

With so many options on the table for content creating, branding, and reaching new audiences, one can quickly find themselves overwhelmed with tasks and opportunities at every turn.

No matter if you are looking at social media, paid marketing, content creation, SEO or blogging… branding is all a big part of the process.

Starting an online business is easy, but turning it into a trusted brand is not.

If you want the simplest and best approach to creating a brand that people will trust and buy from, consider the following steps and case study examples to help you get there.

  1. Identify Your Audience

Here is the thing- there is no dearth of branding tools and resources online that can help you create everything i.e. from attractive logos to marketing campaigns for your business. However, none of these will work if you don’t target the right people. 

Before you start working on your brand, you need to identify your target audience. The following are some of the questions that you can ask yourself to get that information:

  • Where are my customers located?
  • What’s the age group of my customers?
  • What kind of lifestyle most of my customers have?

Once you have all of this information in place, it’s then time to build a site and platform around their needs.

CASE STUDY EXAMPLE:

When it comes to identifying your audience, few industries are more crucial than ecommerce for accomplishing this. Not only is the competition fierce, it’s also a ‘first impression’ type of business, and if those first few seconds on your site doesn’t seal the deal… you may likely lose that potential customer for life.

If you want to increase conversions and sales through your online store, you need to make sure it not only has a great site design and navigation, it also needs to have proper product search and category breakdowns as well.

A perfect example of this can be seen with WalkingOnACloud, an online retailer in Canada that focuses on a wide range of shoes and boots through their site. Take a look at the screenshot below to see the easy navigation and product listings on the site.

What you will notice is that each shoe image pops right off the page, and the title and brand is quite easy to read as well.

If the end user has any problems with searching the site and finding the right shoe or brand they are looking for, all they need to do is make a few adjustments on the left side menu to refine their search.

The site also features many other classic models and brands that allow it to rank in the search results for individual shoes and long tail keywords as well. If you visit any of the pages on the site, you will also notice it’s text and keyword heavy at the bottom of each page — thus providing more value to the end user, and improving their chances to rank in the search results by having real text on the site and not just individual products and image.

  1. Define Your Mission

A brand has to have a mission and a vision. There is no way around it. So, you need to find some free time and think of the things that define the purpose of your existence.

A good question that you can ask yourself is – what problems does my business solve? The answer to this question can be anything.

For instance, your business might be providing affordable furniture to bachelors, clothing for students taking the leap to college, or maybe you want to treat everyone with the most delicious homely meals. Whatever the answer is, shall become the foundation of your mission and vision.

At the same time, user engagement is now a much larger focus than ever before. It’s not just about having a presence on social media, it’s about how brands are actually connecting and providing value to their end users.

Once you have a general idea about your brand’s mission and vision, you can read a guide or two online on how to write proper statements. This way you won’t have to revise the same over and over again.

CASE STUDY EXAMPLE:

Social media is great for many different things, but when it comes to the actual ROI and business that is generated from it, only a few brands and ecommerce sites are doing it correctly.

You can create content, build a following, and have as many accounts and followers as you like, but if they aren’t resulting in real sales and conversions — what good is it?

This is something Zappos knew right from the start, and as a result, they have one of the largest followings on social media in terms on ecommerce and shoe retailers go.

With over 2.5 million followers on Twitter, and millions of dollars being generated in sales weekly, customer support is still their strong point.

For Zappos, social media marketing is nothing new — as it’s how they got their start and found major success online. Instead of focusing just on sales and marketing, they wanted to make their brand all about customer support and user engagement.

This ultimately lead to the success the company is having today — which results in them becoming one of the largest shoe retailers in the world today.

The quick takeaway here is to not just be active on social media, but to also give your audience a reason why they should follow you — and actually be interested in the content and services you are offering through social.

  1. Study Your Competition

Branding is all about differentiating your business from others in the market. So, it’s important that you pay close attention to your rivals and their brands.

You should study their mission and vision and USPs and pay attention to their logos as well. This is because you want all of these to be different from them. Only then you can stand out and attract customers easily.

At the same time, you also need to understand how and where to focus your efforts. For some brands, this might be on their social media marketing and branding efforts… while for others it might be in the form on content marketing and SEO.

CASE STUDY EXAMPLE:

We all know that SEO and Google search is on the decline, but the quality is still there. If someone is going to Google and typing in what they are looking for… then they are also very likely to take action.

However, for this to work, your site will need to have a nice DA and PA associated with it, while also having some nice backlinks and high-quality content of course.

This is often a problem for ecommerce sites because they are focusing too much on their individual product pages and not enough ‘service and content’. Through the use of a blog, brands should be creating top lists, reviews, and stories about the products they create.

These content pages can then rank in Google at a much higher and faster pace than regular product pages. At the same time, it would be very hard to rank for individual product names and brands, when so many other big name sites and stores are already out there.

A perfect example of this can be seen if you were to Google something like “best clothes to bring to college“.  It’s a long tail keyword and maybe not something a ton of people search, but it’s still a nice thing to rank for — and people that are searching for it are likely already in buying mode.

Check out the results from the search, then see what type of content each of these sites are creating. If you are an apparel retailer, this is a no brainer — and you should be doing this for every type of event, season, or whatever… that people might be searching for clothes ideas on.

  1. Define Brand Guidelines

Consistency is the key to successful branding and it can be easily accomplished if you are willing to make the effort. What you fundamentally need is brand guidelines.

By defining the guidelines, you can ensure that your branding is consistent across all channels- social media, website, emails, and even offline channels viz. banners at public events, customized merchandise, etc. The following are some of the things that you need to define for your brand:

  • Color palette
  • Typography
  • Writing style and tone (for blog, website content, etc.)
  • Mission statement and vision

Once you have a clear message that defines your brand, it will be that much easier for you to create an action plan and set of business goals to help you get there.

EXAMPLE CASE STUDY:

In order to create an effective and powerful vision for your brand, you need to not only understand your business, but also what it means to those whom you are serving.

FitBusiness has an excellent write up on 10 excellent vision statements to spark your imagination.

At the very least, these will serve extremely useful in providing you with some real life examples on what it means to have a powerful brand, business, and a purpose (vision) behind it.

One of the most important things to remember when creative a vision and statement for your business and brand, is to make sure it relates with your audience, how they perceive your company, and that you can actually act and deliver on the promise that you are making.

  1. Market Your Brand

Once your brand is ready, you can start to promote it wherever you can. You can find numerous examples of how to promote your brand with targeted blog content, emails, social media, etc. on the Internet. You just need to create a strategy and it’s also highly recommended you use at least a few tools to make your job easier which include a social media manager, analytics tool for SEO, advanced video editors, etc. 

Marketing and brand consistency go hand in hand. What it means that when you talk to your customers on social media or your blog, you need to make sure that you maintain the same tone and voice. 

EXAMPLE CASE STUDY:

Much like how we mentioned creating content for your site or brand to reach new audiences through search rankings with original blog content ideas, knowing how to market to your brand is key.

It’s not just about knowing who you are marketing to, but also how to create the best content that relates to them.

This is something social media, especially Facebook Ads and Instagram Marketing has become extremely effective in — as they both offer demographic, interest, and custom audience targeting.

With such options in place, it’s no longer a matter of creating content on your site and just hoping for it to be found… but instead a matter of how often and when.

Through the use of paid promotion, social media, and the power of remarketing — targeting your ideal customer and demographic audience is now easier than ever before.

In Conclusion….

The internet has made the process of starting a website and going live with a business or brand extremely cost effective and easy.

With more than a billion active websites and blogs on the internet today, we are all in an extremely competitive space. This means every small and large business needs top-notch branding in order to survive and also to increase revenue month over month.

If you want to prepare for that in the most straightforward manner, then the steps and case studies provided above can help you get there.

Good luck!

5 Features to Look for in a Mobile Attribution and Analytics Platform

Attribution enables app marketers to learn how users find out about their app and how they engage with it. When you use a great attribution platform, you’re able to map out data points for all sorts of user interactions – from clicking an ad to installing the app to in-app purchase activities.

This puts you in the best possible position to optimize your marketing and media spend over time, thereby maximizing the user acquisition impact of your activity.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what mobile app attribution is and the key features you need to consider when choosing a mobile app attribution platform for your business.

Let’s get started!

What Is Mobile App Attribution?

Once you build your app and run marketing campaigns to promote it, you’ll need a way to determine which campaigns yield the most conversions and which ones should be discontinued. This is where mobile app attribution comes in.

Mobile app attribution refers to the process of understanding the user’s journey of finding your app and interacting with it. It also guides them through your conversion funnel while connecting them to key actions along the way.

Attribution allows mobile app marketers to make better budget allocation decisions by identifying the marketing channels, creative, timing, targeting approaches, and CTAs that lead to their conversion goals. This information also helps them improve their user acquisition strategy and marketing performance.

In fact, according to the State of Mobile 2019 report, ad marketers implemented complex ad strategies across both app marketplaces with games using 45% more ad platforms on average across iOS and 35% more on Google Play.

Here are some of the most common attribution challenges mobile app marketers face:

  • Setting up, managing and measuring many campaigns, on multiple channels, and experimenting with targeting and creative.
  • Making sense of questionable campaign data from ad platforms that could potentially be fraudulent. Media networks are in the business of selling more media campaigns, so they’ve been known to turn a blind eye to potentially faulty measurement. That’s why specialized attribution tools are needed to organize and understand data anomalies.
  • Lack of industry-wide standards for creating data points and ambiguity regarding which data points are most significant.
  • Many times, users will complete the conversion in multiple sessions or through multiple channels. While mobile app marketers are able to determine the media source that delivered the final click, monitoring user journeys across multiple channels and platforms will give you more accurate information.
  • An effective way to avoid attribution fraud that could otherwise drain your user acquisition marketing budget, hide your best performing channels, and affect your data accuracy.

Now that we have a better understanding of what mobile app attribution is and the challenges marketers face, let’s look at some of the key features you should look for in mobile app attribution platforms.

1. User Acquisition Attribution

In the mobile app industry, user acquisition refers to the process of acquiring new users or customers using marketing campaigns.

There are three main types of user acquisition activities:

  1. Paid media marketing. This involves using media platforms to show direct response ads whose content drives users to install the app. These include banners, targeted posts, social media ads on sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and video ads on mobile ad networks.
  2. Owned media marketing. This involves using owned marketing assets to acquire new users. These typically include websites, SMS campaigns, emails and QR codes.
  3. App store Optimization (ASO). Similar to SEO for the web, when marketers work on ASO, it means they’re optimizing keywords, descriptions, headlines and images on app store listings. This activity helps boost organic installs and therefore plays an important role in user acquisition.

A successful user acquisition strategy helps app owners grow their business and boost their bottom line. It also helps to improve the number of installs, thus bringing in engaged, paying customers.

Here’s a quick look at the user acquisition attribution features offered by different mobile app attribution platforms:

  • AppsFlyer. With AppsFlyer’s NativeTrack, you’re able to gain visibility into which ads your audience interacts with throughout your conversion funnel – regardless of the touchpoint or which device they’re using. This robust and dynamic solution can handle real-time data at scale with accuracy and speed.
  • Branch. Branch’s People-Based Attribution allows you to connect touchpoints from all marketing channels with conversions on every platform. As a result, you won’t have to worry about debugging errors resulting from legacy attribution tools.
  • Kochava. Kochava offers a powerful mobile attribution and analytics solution that helps users measure audience activity regardless of the touchpoint they’re visiting or their device. Marketers are also able to segment users based on ads, subscriptions, downloads, and revenue streams.

2. Multi-Touch Attribution

Multi-touch attribution refers to the process of finding out the touchpoints along the user’s journey that contributed to a successful conversion – whether it be in the form of an app install or a purchase.

There are two types of multi-touch attribution:

  • Single channel. Measuring the interactions that individual audience members make with your ads, as seen on one device.
  • Multi channel. The same as single channel attribution, except that here, you’re taking it to the next level, measuring individuals’ interactions across multiple devices such as mobile, TV, desktop, or even offline.

Multi-channel attribution is also called fractional attribution because it assigns weighted credits to media sources that indirectly assisted in the conversion. Any media asset that a given audience member interacts with will receive a fraction of the conversion credit.

This is especially important considering how people discover and install apps. Only in very rare cases will people install your app the first time they hear about you, which is why it’s important to understand what drives people to download your app, become loyal users and make purchases. This helps marketers better understand how (and why) a user installed or purchased an app and helps them make informed decisions regarding budget allocation.

Here’s a look at the multi-touch attribution features offered by different mobile app attribution platforms:

  • AppsFlyer. AppsFlyer attributes three assisted installs – as well as the attributed install source – by using the same attribution login. Multi-touch reporting comes into play when AppsFlyer’s OneLink universal deep links or built-in integrations are used for measuring assisting channels.
  • Branch. With Branch, you’re able to track user journeys across all channels by comparing multi-touch attribution across email, web, social, and ads.
  • Kochava. Though Kochava doesn’t offer multi-touch attribution per se, it does offer multi-touch reporting. Multi-touch reporting surfaces the clicks and impressions that occurred during the user’s interactions with your marketing campaigns and generates graphs that reveal which networks drive unique traffic. So you won’t be able to follow individuals’ journeys towards conversion, but you’ll be able to see which ad interactions involved individuals that have already engaged with your other marketing touchpoints.

3. Retargeting Attribution

Mobile retargeting attribution enables marketers to increase user engagement and boost installs, app use and in-app purchase activity. This allows mobile advertisers to optimize their app retargeting campaigns and increase conversions.

There are two main types of mobile retargeting:

  • Re-engagement. This involves ads aimed at prompting the user to open their already-installed app after viewing or clicking on a retargeting ad.
  • Re-attribution. Here, the ads are aimed at driving a user to reinstall an app after they’ve uninstalled it.

Let’s look at the retargeting attribution features offered by some of the most popular mobile app attribution platforms:

  • AppsFlyer. AppsFlyer offers built-in retargeting attribution to help you measure and optimize your ad campaigns, improve performance, and boost sales. It helps you identify which retargeting campaigns led to re-engagement compared to re-attribution, new in-app engagement, click and conversion rates.
  • Branch. Branch’s people-based attribution uses automatic cross-platform identifiers to help marketers recognize users across both web and app in order to retarget them across both platforms.
  • Kochava. With Kochava, marketers are able to run re-engagement campaigns to retarget users by creating their own audience lists.

4. Cohort and Retention Reports

For those unfamiliar, a cohort refers to a subgroup of users with a shared characteristic. Cohort reports enable marketers to apply filters, groupings, and dimensions for comparing user interaction and performance over time.

If your app has a subscription billing model or otherwise relies on ongoing use for revenue, then you’re probably already keeping a close eye on your cohorts, tracking the lifetime value of each segment with the goal of correlating time to churn with acquisition details. In other words, when keeping users engaged with your app is the key to business success, you need to know which marketing activities yield the users who stick around the longest.

Cohort reports help uncover the most common indicators of conversion such as user engagement, geography, and ad campaign, helping you understand the performance of cohorts and how to improve them using re-engagement or campaign optimization.

User retention is one of the most significant KPIs used by mobile advertisers, and it’s easy to understand why: it costs far less to maintain an active user than to attract a new one. This is precisely why user retention is important to marketers who work in highly active app verticals such as gaming.

Here are some cohort and retention report features offered by popular mobile app attribution platforms:

  • AppsFlyer. AppsFlyer’s cohort reports give you access to easy-to-use filters and flexible parameters which enable you to better understand your data, how each of your marketing campaigns are performing in terms of customer lifetime value, and the areas that need improvement. You can monitor trends specific to users who interacted with your app after clicking on the same ad – or by media source, campaign or country.
  • Branch. Branch’s cohorting features let you group users who installed your app according to each ad campaign. You’re able to apply filters to app install and re-engagement cohorting events.
  • Kochava. Kochava allows marketers to sort on the basis of each available data point, build cohorts of users, and quickly export data in different formats. You can set filters – including campaign, device, events, location and agency – to organize and better visualize data.

5. Pivot Tables

Pivot tables enable marketers to understand complicated problems easily by using deep analysis tools. Most attribution platform pivot tables come with several predefined reports as well as features that allow you to create your own custom reports.

For example, if you need to dig deeper into your total media spend and KPIs, you can use pivot tables to analyze media costs and ROI across apps and various media sources. This way, you can easily identify areas that have room for improvement and optimization.

Custom charts like these offer a simple and cost-effective way to generate useful insights, share them with your team members, discover opportunities, and quickly adapt to any changes in your app’s ecosystem.

Here’s a look at the pivot table features offered by mobile app attribution platforms:

  • AppsFlyer. AppsFlyer’s Pivot module offers a powerful analytics solution that you can utilize without having to rebuild custom pivot tables or downloading data. It lets you better understand data, collaborate with your team, improve performance, and adapt to changes in a streamlined way.
  • Branch. Branch doesn’t offer this sort of functionality. However, you can export raw Branch data – either from the dashboard or by using the Data Export API – and create pivot tables yourself.
  • Kochava. With Kochava, you can simulate pivot tables within Kochava Analytics to gain insight into how different metrics impact install and in-app behavior. However, unlike a proper pivot table that you can interact with, Kochava only lets you view pivoted data.

Conclusion

Mobile app attribution allows marketers to understand the user’s journey, including how they first learned about the app, what marketing touch points prompted them to install it, and how they’ve engaged with it since. This information enables them to improve their marketing campaigns and boost conversions.

By analyzing your own specific needs, you’ll be in a better position to identify the mobile app attribution platform that’ll help you attract more users to your app and increase your bottom line.

Digital Adoption – What You Need to Know and Where We Are Headed

Digital adoption is probably a term you’ve been hearing a lot about lately, but really aren’t sure what it is.

As the business world and pretty much everything around us continues to evolve in some digital technological way, it seems like the world and everything in it is talking with each other more and more. Whether it’s home devices connecting with personal devices, or enterprise businesses getting their employees and networking teams all on the same page with new software and task, it’s part of the digital adoption process.

In short, as explained by WalkMe, “digital adoption is defined as achieving a state in which digital tools are being used as intended, and to their fullest extent.”

Image credit: https://blog.walkme.com/everything-digital-adoption/

However, as much as you might think you have a solid sequence of digital adoption in your business or everyday life, it’s likely not up to the standards of what the phrase really means. The truth is, unless people can actually use the technology they have in place (and as it was originally intended) with its full range of capabilities, it would be impossible to fully integrate it into an effective workflow.

At the same time, digital tools have a higher barrier to their productivity and innovation, which makes it tough to have a seamless digital transformation progress.

With all of this in mind, today we are going to highlight not only the importance of achieving digital adoption within your business, but also how it’s going to continue to play a major role in the coming months and years for enterprises.

Technological Advancement vs. Digital Adoption

When looking at how technological advancements have changed the way businesses and people connect in the world today, it seems to be changing daily. Not just through the means and power of the internet, but instead how it’s changing every single aspect of life and business as we know it.

Looking at some of the most popular and game changing technological trends anticipated through 2019, we’d be focusing on:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • Chatbots
  • Robotic Process Automation
  • The Internet of Things

The common theme with each of these advancements, is that they are part of a useful tool, software or system that allows for faster data processing, connectivity, and getting work done.

However, without digital adoption in place, these game changing aspects could simply be looked at as just new tools and solutions that aren’t being used to their full potential.

A perfect example of this can be seen with chatbots, which are already a huge focus for many brands and businesses in the world today. Vistage has a great resource on many of the top technological advancements that are changing the business world in 2019, and had the following stats to share on chatbot usage as well.

  • 85 percent of transactions will be possible without the use of a human being by 2020.
  • 69 percent of consumers cite speed as their criteria in assessing satisfaction in a customer service transaction.

They also had the following nugget on The Internet of Things as well:

IoT devices will be in 300 million homes worldwide by 2020. About 85 percent of companies are expected to imbed IoT in their solutions to drive efficiencies and personalize experiences. Companies are starting to unlock the value of devices and data, from grocery lists to television viewing. Moving into 2019-2020, the emphasis will shift from selling 1.0 devices toward examining data in real time.

But again, as we reflect to digital adoption, without the necessary solution in place, these are all just new features and tools to play with. Time and time again we are seeing billions of dollars being spent on flashy new tools and devices for enterprise resource planning, only to see numerous failures and lowered business projections afterwards.

Source: https://financesonline.com/erp-statistics-analysis-of-trends-data-and-market-share/

Often, an inefficient implementation process acts as the main reason why business fail to adopt new technological tools. For digital adoption to fully take place, it’s not about picking the right system or platform, it’s also about making sure everyone is on the same page and willing to make the transition.

Where the Demand and Desire for Digital Adoption is Lacking

Just like anything in life, one needs to walk through a process and learn how to do something before becoming an expert at it.

Take mobile devices for instance. You could use them to send text messages and call the contacts on your phone, but you could also use the same device to boost productivity in countless tasks you’re doing on a day-to-day basis.

The same is true for businesses of all sizes. Whether it’s a small mom and pop or a Fortune 500 company, they likely are using (and paying) for a wide range of tools and solutions to power their business, but are only using them for a mere fraction of what they can actually accomplish. The same advanced technological abilities that are neglected do not only act as an oversight, but a nuisance as well. 

This means there is a huge demand for digital adoption across both areas, but most people and business owners aren’t willing to put in the time, work, and effort to see what’s possible.

This is where automation and a digital adoption platform comes into play.

In a recent article on this exact topic, WalkMe has the following to share:

A WalkMe study of 117 customers and more than 117,240 end users of HCM and CRM systems found that the ideal length of a business process is under 70 seconds. It also found that when employees don’t need to complete more than five steps, there is a 70% success rate by users.

On the other hand, if employees need to complete more than five steps, it’s likely they will drop off before finishing the process. The implications range from diminished business performance to employee frustration and diminished morale.

Using business process automation helps to reduce the length of business processes and delivers a range of other benefits from increased productivity to transparency.

By this we can see that there is a huge demand and need for digital adoption in many forms, but the process needs to be quick and effective in order for the end user to experience the implementation process successfully.

Ultimately, the lack of digital adoption that we are seeing in the industry today is as a result of these complications and the drop off from businesses, employees, and IT staff who don’t oversee the projects and tasks through to the end. However, when the time and effort is put into place to make sure digital adoption takes place, the result is magic.

The Future of Digital Adoption and Where We Are Headed

There is no doubt about it — digital adoption is here, and the individuals and businesses that take advantage of the huge opportunity in place are going to find themselves way ahead of the competition in nearly all facets. This is especially true for enterprise level businesses that would see exponential growth and scalability across their network of employees, co-workers and data driven results and operations.

However, keep in mind that it’s not just about businesses, but also how devices and technology is used in the world today. Just like how mobile device usage was mentioned earlier, digital adoption is something that should be focused on across all platforms and means in life. As a business owner or tech specialist, this is something that should always stick within your train of thought — as it’s not just about the task at hand, but how users (employees) can work with such solutions and advancements as well.

Now is the best time to start focusing on digital adoption in both life and business, and after reading through this quick resource guide and refresher you should have more focus and motivation than ever before.

Latest SEO Trends, Tips and Discussions to Improve Rankings in 2019

SEO… no matter what year it is, what your business focus, or what industry you are in, it’s always going to be a discussion.

When someone types something into Google, they actually are in buying or engagement mode. It’s not like social media where everything is scattered and your ads just happen to appear to an audience while scrolling through their feed. Throw voice search and mobile usage into the mix, and rules are changing at even faster rates.

If someone searches for something on Google, they are looking for information, to be entertained, or to purchase something. This is why Google Ads has always worked so well — as it’s hard to find a more targeted audience and monetization opportunity.

Even with all of that in mind, SEO and how to effectively rank content and websites in Google is still changing all the time.

What’s New In SEO In 2019

To help in the never ending journey to rank your site content higher, let’s take a look at some of the recent trends and discussions in relation to SEO in 2019.

Should you be linking out to other websites from your own?

With so much focus on link juice and getting the domain and page authority of your site up, there is often a concern for when sites should link out to other sites — and if they should at all.

This was actually a topic of discussion during one of the latest #AskGoogleWebmasters video series (a new series from Google) and was also featured on SERoundTable. You can see the short video and answer below.

This obviously isn’t brain surgery, and there have been many tests by site owners to see if linking out to other sites actually helps with their own SEO or not. This can also be affected y whether such links are DO or NO follow.

In summary, (as provided by John Mueller’s answer):

I would watch out for a few types of links though. In particular if you’re linking out to a site because of an arrangement, like you linked to me and I’ll link to you. Or because it’s an advertisement or if it’s being done in your site’s comments and you’re not really sure how good those links are.

So the best answer here? Leave the outbound links to high-quality sites and only those you are referencing to back up a statement or to provide further value to your audience.

How does Google Rankings actually work?

This has been one of the most commonly asked questions over the past two decades ever since Google first came out onto the scene. However, only the most important and secret people at Google really know the answer — and to be accurate, it’s actually changing all of the time.

Search Engine Journal has a recent article on this, which highlights and mentions the following:

There are hundreds/thousands of ranking factors. Google doesn’t tell us what they are in detail (which, by the by, seems to me to be reasonable).

They do tell us that they group them: Topicality, Quality, PageSpeed, RankBrain, Entities, Structured Data, Freshness… and others.

From a site owner and content marketer perspective, most of us are only looking at SEO from much smaller variables — which is often content, keywords, and building backlinks.

Val Zamulin, founder of Seologist, recommends that every site owner take advantage of every once of information Google occasionally leaks in reference to how their algorithm works. During a recent interview, Val went on to state:

One of the best ways to continually compete in the world of SEO and getting an edge ahead of your competition, is to track the performance of your main site and inner pages within a heavy data excel or Google docs sheet. Such information contained within the report should include the basics of site rankings, keywords, and in/outbound links — but to also include updated reports and data on pagespeed, rankbrain and last updated post data as well. By having all of this information documented and outlined in front of you, it will make for a much improved SEO report and strategy for tracking results and performance over time.

Such methods are also outlined within the full article from SEJ, as they have several documents and sheets ranking Google Ranking Factors, the power and influence of rich elements, bid based bidding, and how to also factor in multi-device rankings.

At what point should a website start focusing on SEO?

This is a very similar question to one we often hear in the monetization and affiliate marketing space — which is when should you try and start making money with your site? The difference between this question, and the original SEO-focused one we pose above are two completely different topics and worlds apart.

For the sake of this article, we will focus just on the SEO question, but if you would like to learn more about web you should focus on site monetization, you can read up/listen on that here.

In reference to when you should start SEO for a website or blog, the answer is FROM DAY ONE — even if your site isn’t ready to launch yet.

This can best be summarized into the following elements and factors: (source)

  • Creating an optimized Coming Soon page
  • Optimizing for mobile users
  • Increasing site speed
  • Using long-tail keywords
  • Creating an XML sitemap

If you are launching a WordPress site, this shouldn’t be hard to accomplish — as there are many free plugins that can help with this.

However, keep all of these elements in mind and try to improve the performance of your site to the MAX before officially going live with your site.

Making sure your site speed is fast as anything, that your site is already optimized for mobile and all devices, and also is already ranking in Google (even without any real content), are all ideal and a great way to give your site a mega boost when it’s first launched and ready to go.

SEO starts from day one… and never ends. This is something that every site owner needs to remember and keep working on for the life of their site.

SEO Today, Tomorrow… and Years To Come

SEO is changing all the time. It’s not just about content, keywords, and backlinks, but also adapting to the way Google ranks content and how audiences search for it.

With voice search and mobile now being used more than ever before, search phrases and keywords are no longer what they used to be. Forbes even went on to state “By 2020, 30% of all website sessions will be conducted without a screen.” — and that same article also went on to say “By January 2018, there was an average of one billion voice searches every month, proving that voice search is on the rise.

With this information now in hand, does that change or effect your SEO and content marketing strategy in anyway? It likely does.

SEO is here to stay and will greatly influence the way individuals search and find content online. And while it might be here to stay, the way it works today likely won’t be the same way it works tomorrow.

Im.Deals – The New Internet Marketing Discount Coupons and Deals Platform

Internet marketing doesn’t only take time, but it also costly! Discount coupons and deals are a great way to get internet marketing tools at a more affordable price. These discounts can, however, be hard to track on the net. 

You stand the risk of invalid coupons. There are times you get good discounts, but they are gone before you have the opportunity to make use of them. One site that has been created with the end user in mind, while also providing a much needed service in the internet marketing space, is Im.deals.

The site is a new platform designed to give you the best coupons and discounts as they come out, while also being focused on saving you lots of money of in the process. 

What’s Im.deals About?

When it comes to creating an online deals and coupon web site, there are plenty of competitors out there to choose from. With this in mind, if you are going to launch a new site with this focus in mind, it’s going to have to stack up against the competition.

As mentioned earlier, Im.deals is the new internet marketing discount coupons and deals platform suited for the need of all internet marketers. As online marketers and content creators, we are often already away what products are being sold or marketed through an affiliate program, but often don’t have the resources or direct access to get a commission on our own purchased. With Im.deals, you are assured of valid discount coupons and deals — whether they be public access or brokered deals directly from the site itself. 

The creator of the site is Oliver Kenyon, who was also the founder of the largest ever Affiliate Marketing Forum; AffiliateFix. Im.deals is his latest venture and he’s looking to replicate the success he’s had with previous community sites into an active audience and following on his new coupon and deals site. Every detail on this platform reached the high standard widely claimed to him.

Designed specifically for internet marketers, im.deals is poised to take over the discount coupons and deals market as Kenyon has the tools, networking, and skills to propel it passed competitors that might be sitting stagnant, while trying to compete in such a fierce market.

With all of that being said, here are some reasons why you should definitely check out this new platform:

Massive Discounts

Im.deals has got the most generous discounts to grace the internet marketing world. You can get discounts as high as 70% on the website. Remember that marketing tool you wanted that cost way more than your budget? Search it on im.deals.

Massive discounts you can enjoy on im.deals include 60% off annual plans at Voluum, 58% off annual plans at Convertri, build your first website free at MySafeSite, 30% off all plans at Mail250 and many more.

Though new to the market, im.deals is already setting a pace with over 500 deals claimed. They have a total of 48 fantastic deals on excellent internet marketing tools. 

Evergreen Deals

You remember that discount coupon you had an eye on but was not ready to use. When you were finally ready though, the deal had expired. Well, this is not going to happen again with im.deals.

All the online discount coupons on im.deals are unlimited. You can unlock any deal or coupon that catches your attention. You can never miss the chance to redeem a deal. 

These evergreen deals are never going stale. Im.deals is constantly updated with the latest deals obtainable from the best marketing tools providers. 

Easy Searching

Time is Money. This is especially true for internet marketers. You do not want to spend the time that you should be using on a campaign scouring a webpage for elusive deals. Searching for codes and coupons has been made easy on im.deals.

On the landing page, you are presented with both the latest deals and recommended deals. Also, you do not have to keep clicking on several pages to get the tool you are looking for. Internet marketing coupons and deals are categorized according to their uses on im.deals for easy search. You can use the search box for a quicker search too. 

Efficient Service

As a platform focused on all aspects of digital marketing, im.deals gives you the best service. You can reach out to im.deals for inquiries and complaints through an easy-to-use contact us button at the bottom of the landing page. You can also sign up for their newsletter and get notifications on their latest deals. 

You can check out im.deals on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram; and connect with other users on the Facebook Group

You are a click away from saving thousands of dollars on various marketing tools. 

TOP 5 im.deals Discounts

Here are five of the most claimed deals on im.deals. You can easily slide in and make your own claims too. 

Be sure to check out the new coupon site, so you can find the latest software and tools that top marketers are already using, while also saving some extra money in the process.

8 Tools for Producing Top Quality Podcasts for Your Business

You’ve listened to podcasts and heard about their marketing potential, but you still have a lot of questions. Are podcasts free to produce or will you need to dip into your ad budget? Will you need a fancy recording studio? What happens if you end up with dead air time or a screaming baby in the background and don’t know how to fix it?

While recording a high-quality podcast does require purchasing some equipment, such as a USB microphone, you won’t need to break the bank to break into this popular genre. Here are eight free and low-cost tools that will allow you to record, edit, and promote podcasts, all from the comfort of your home.

Audacity.

With software that works equally well on Mac, Windows, and Linux, this free, open-source app has everything a beginning podcaster needs. Monitor recordings in progress, mix audio tracks, and access all your editing tools from your main dashboard. Audacity even has a few more sophisticated audio-processing features, so you can remove distracting sounds like coughs or static. 

GarageBand.

While Audacity is designed to be bare-bones, GarageBand is an option for beginners and veterans alike. This free digital workstation for Mac is a full-fledged recording studio complete with a MIDI synth and instrument plug-in support. Designed with musicians in mind, the app includes a suite of digital instruments, including keyboards, drums, and guitars, but it also provides podcasting templates. Its library of sound effects, jingles, and sound profiles with male and female voices might also prove useful to podcasters. 

Adobe Audition.

Known for its movie editing software, the Adobe suite has much to offer podcasters as well. For those who understand the basics of audio editing, this premium, subscription-based option provides more fine-tuning and flexibility than most free apps. For $20.99 per month, Adobe Audition Pro will help you produce the kind of crisp sound quality you’d expect from a professional studio, while the comprehensive toolset reduces the time required for editing. 

Rearrange any clip to fit any timeframe with the Remix tool. Set levels for each voice in your podcast and edit them separately in post-production. Use the Diagnostics panel to repair and restore audio based on the spectral frequency display. Craft layered compositions and adjust the audio amplitude. 

Hindenburg Journalist.

If you’re creating a narrative podcast in the vein of NPR’s This American Life, you need a tool designed specifically for storytelling. Hindenburg Journalist is a treasure trove of broadcasting journalist essentials. While the Pro version is pricey, a free trial is available.

The software works across multiple devices and records uncompressed sound, so you can record in multiple locations without sacrificing sound quality. The automated equalizer creates a consistent voice for your radio persona. Hindenburg also automatically sets volume levels for any audio clip you import, so you don’t have to worry about sample rates or bit rates. The clipboard allows you to get a bird’s eye view of all your material and build a story from interview sound bites, music, and ambient sounds.

Zencastr.

One of the challenges of podcasting is interviewing guests remotely. Many podcasts have gone awry due to lags or audio issues. Zencastr, however, is an easy-to-use system that records each guest on a separate audio track locally to maintain sound quality. Even if you lose your connection to your guests, their words are still recorded.

Zencastr has a soundboard for live editing, so you can insert ads and segments as you record. Connect it to your Dropbox or Google Drive to access the MP3 files. The free version includes eight hours of audio and two guest tracks, while the professional plan includes unlimited guests and episodes, post-production features, and lossless.WAV recordings.

Notion. 

Producing a successful podcast requires more than recording and editing. It takes plenty of research, brainstorming, planning, and organizing, especially if you’re working with a team. You’ll need the tools to ensure everyone is on the same page during the entire process. Notion is an online collaborative workspace where your entire team can take notes and access information.

Create a list where your team can jot down their ideas for new episode topics. Create a folder where your co-host can leave information on guests, so you can prepare for upcoming interviews. Use the Knowledge Base to upload information everyone needs to know and the Task Board to manage everyone’s assignments.

Descript.

After you’ve recorded and edited your podcast, you want to make it as accessible as possible. Creating a transcript of the audio will allow the hearing impaired to access the content, but it will also come in handy for show notes or blog posts. If a transcript exists, your podcast will be searchable on Google, which means more potential subscribers will find you. 

Descript analyzes your audio file to produce a high-quality transcript. When you cut out noises, awkward sentences, or other mistakes from the written transcript, the corresponding footage automatically gets deleted from the audio track, which makes editing your podcast a snap. 

Wavve.

One of the problems with podcasts if they’re difficult to share via social media. Wavve allows you to promote your podcasts by creating customizable audiograms. Choose from different waveform animations and select the clips to highlight your best segments and guests. Best of all, Wavve generates closed captions so your social media followers can view your content with the sound off. 

Podcasting… It’s All About You (and the Tools You Use)

Right now podcasting is a very hot niche market. However, unlike blogging or affiliate marketing, it’s not something you can really do behind the scenes and just casually create and launch.

A lot of time, work, and effort goes into launching a podcast, and it’s not just about the voice/audio you put into it, but also the tools that you use as well.

Be sure to run through the list above and see which of these tools best fit your needs to improve your podcast while also making you sound better in the process.

3 Ways to Increase Webinar Engagement and ROI with ClickMeeting

Webinars remain among the most effective ways to learn about, nurture and pitch to an audience. You can use webinars to establish your expertise, to deliver useful tips, to harvest data about your leads, to convey the value of your product to them, and to suggest next steps to your audience.

While the concept of using webinars is nothing new for online marketers and brands, the way you should be using webinars and advanced technology is changing all of the time.

For example, it wasn’t long ago that all leading webinar platforms required audience members to install apps. Not only did this add friction to the webinar attendance experience, making it less likely that people would have the ability to join webinars, but it also caused some cybersecurity vulnerabilities – even webinar platforms with the best reputations have experienced snafus with their client apps, as recently as last week.

What’s more, many of the top solutions out there still simply provide you with a screen and a way to talk or chat with your audience. Not that you need bells and whistles for the sake of getting fancy. It’s just that if you want to make the most of the opportunity that your webinars represent – where dozens if not hundreds of people have blocked in an hour to pay attention to what you’re sharing – then you’d do well to keep these people engaged. And interaction is the best way to do that.

If you are still using one of these confusing, outdated solutions, then not only are you leaving money on the table, you’ll also come off as archaic to your leads.

There must be a better way.

Introduction to ClickMeeting Online Webinars

A more advanced and better webinar solution is ClickMeeting, which not only has zero software or plugins to install, but is also loaded with in-webinar interaction features, as well as being extremely easy to use.

In short, it’s one of the best ways to engage with you audience through live webinars, without needing to hire an expensive tech team or programmer to have all the functionality and features one would want to have to run a successful lead generation and webinar campaign.

Best of all, in comparison to other webinar solutions out there, ClickMeeting is quite competitively priced, and also allows for individuals, businesses, and brands to get started with memberships as low as $25 per month, for up to 25 attendees.

ClickMeeting also has quite the history and volume behind them as well. Over 604,000 webinars were hosted on the platform last year, an average of nearly 70 webinars per hour, welcoming over 17.5 million attendees. Since launching in 2011, ClickMeeting has hosted some 95 years’ worth of video content.

With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at five unique and creative ways ClickMeeting is changing the world and business of online webinars.

Three Ways ClickMeeting is Dominating the Webinar Space

Now that you have a good understanding of what ClickMeeting is and how it can help improve your business and ROI, let’s take a look at some of the latest features added to their webinar platform to help you reach your goals.

1. Paid Webinars

For most situations, the concept of a live webinar is to get people to join for free, and then to pitch them with a paid product or service at the end of the webinar.

This model works great, but there are other winning methods out there as well — such as running that same webinar promotion, but attaching a price to it and pre-selling your audience before you even get started.

This is beneficial for many reasons, such as knowing that all of your attendees are invested, they have money to spend, and they are serious about whatever it is you have to offer.

ClickMeeting has a new system in place that makes it easy for clients to run paid webinars without needing to set up different mailing lists, payment platforms, and up-selling systems.

You can view the short video below to see how simple and fast it is to set up a paid webinar through the platform.

This can all be done in four simple benefits and features in mind:

  1. Easily charge for any of your selected paid webinars
  2. Set the fee for each event
  3. Manage all the payments from one place (integration with Paypal)
  4. Easily access your paid events’ statistics to see which webinars bring you the most profit

If you aren’t keep on the idea of selling paid webinars to your audience, no worries, the free option is always there — however, I would definitely recommend you try it sometime, as you might see a huge uptick in converts, attendance and sign ups.

2. Facebook and YouTube Live

There is no doubt about it… audiences love being on social media, and advertisers love reaching audiences through social as well.

However, with Facebook and YouTube already having live video stream offers, how can you take advantage of a webinar through their platforms as well.

This is something new that ClickMeeting has put a lot of time and effort into as well. It’s not just about hosting video on these platforms because you read somewhere that it’s a good idea – it’s also about expanding your webinar reach and social engagement in the process.

Through ClickMeeting, users can stream their content live and build your audience like never before. When profiles go live, followers who happen to be browsing on Facebook or YouTube will see prominent promotions recommending that they click through and view, so ClickMeeting’s live simulcast functionality is a great way to get the people who follow you on these channels to tune in for your presentation.

3. Call to Action within Webinars

As someone who has run plenty of webinars, one of the most important (and awkward) parts of the process is when you are ready to make a pitch and sell to your audience.

This is one area when many webinar solutions are lacking, which often leaves hosts with their PowerPoint slides on the screen and simply telling their audience to type in a specific URL, or to use a coupon code on a site. As marketers, we know that every complicated step along the way greatly reduces conversions in the long run.

ClickMeeting understands this as well, and they have a very nice call-to-action (CTA) system built right into their live webinars. You can see a preview of how this might appear in your own webinar through the screenshot below.

No more needing to tell your audience to type in some long discount offer URL you created. Instead, provide your audience with a quick and easy popup window, while giving your attendees immediate access to your offer while they are still engaged and in buying mode.

Another quick and useful tip for using such a feature, is to have your audience share your webinar on social media or enter a contest for attending the event. This can all take place during the first few minutes of your event. Having your audience engaged right from the beginning is a great way to keep them watching until the end of the webinar.

When It Comes to Webinars… ClickMeeting is the Way to Go!

If you were to head over to Google and search for “best webinar solutions,” you would likely find a bunch of paid placement ads and review articles on the first page. This in itself is enough to cause a headache and would definitely take up a lot of your time to go through.

With ClickMeeting, you already know about some of the best tools and features they have to offer. Sign up now for your free account, which gives you full access for 30 days.

Legitimate Ways on How to Get Real Followers on Instagram in 2019

Gaining more followers on Instagram can open many doors for you and your brand.

People with large Instagram followings have a better opportunity to market their products and services, raise brand awareness, and even make more money by posting sponsored ads.

But, the road to gaining more followers is not an easy one. You can’t just start requesting everyone and their mom to follow you and hope that they follow back.

Nope, in order to get real followers on Instagram, you need a plan.

What do you need to do?

Read on as we cover some of the most basic and effective ways to get real followers on Instagram.

1. Optimize Your Bio

First impressions mean everything. And in the world of influencers on Instagram, the aesthetic of your bio is definitely your first impression.

And, seeing as people only take a quick second to glance at your bio, you better make that first impression count.

How do you do this?

Headline and Keyword

It all starts with your headline and keyword. Below your Instagram handle, there’s a line for you to put your brand name. Next to this, you should also write a keyword that helps describe who you are. For example, something like “Fitness trainer”, “makeup artist to the stars”, or “skincare expert”.

It doesn’t need to be anything fancy or lengthy. Instead, it should just be a couple of quick words to let people know what you do.

Body Section

The body section makes up the majority of your Instagram bio. However, it’s much different than the body section for a blog post. You want to keep it short and sweet.

The point of the body section is to clearly describe who you are and what you’re about, all while speaking in the voice of your brand.

You can see a nice example of this in the Lewis Howes social profile below. Notice how it has a nice profile picture, a URL to his podcast page, and high-quality content and images throughout the feed.

Here’s what should be included in the body section:

About Me

Your about me section should include a condensed version of your mission statement. You only have 150 characters, so use them wisely.

That being said, don’t be afraid to add a bit of personality here with hashtags and emojis.

Call to Action With URL Link

We’ve all seen brands do Instagram posts that say “link in bio” in them. Well, this is a perfect example of a call to action.

Below your about me section, you should have a call to action that entices your audience to click on the URL link that goes back to your site. Something simple like, “Click now for 10 percent off today only”, is perfect.

Social Proof

Customers are all about social proof these days, so be sure to add a line that gives your brand some credibility.

Examples of credibility include a certification, a social cause your brand gives back to, or a feature in a publication.

2. Get Crazy with the Hashtags

As you probably already know, Instagram now allows users to follow hashtags and not just profiles.

This provides a huge opportunity for those wanting to gain more followers, as the right hashtag can really boost your profile.

There are also plenty of useful tools out there to help you find the most relevant and popular hashtags trending at any given time.

But, you want to make sure you’re playing the hashtag game smart. First of all, make sure you’re not just using one-word hashtags. While these are valuable, it’s still smart to mix it up with multi-word hashtags that are more nice and creative.

And, don’t worry about every single hashtag being directly related to your brand. The goal of hashtags isn’t just about getting more immediate followers, it’s also about showing your personality so your current followers stick with you.

For example, let’s say you’re a personal trainer. It would be pretty boring if all of your hashtags were things like #workoutday or #staymotivated. Instead, you should try to have a little fun with it. For example, if it’s a leg day you could say #gettingaleguponthecompetition or #cantmoveafterthisworkout.

Lastly, make sure hashtags aren’t taking up the majority of your copy, as that can make your captions difficult to read. A smart thing many people do is put the hashtags at the end of the copy.

3. Get Descriptive With Your Captions

A picture certainly does say a thousand words. However, this doesn’t mean you want all of your captions to be super short.

While it’s definitely good to have some posts with short captions, you definitely want to dive into detail with other posts.

By being descriptive with your captions and telling the story behind the picture, you will generate more interest in your posts and be able to grow your following.

Also, storytelling is a great way for your customers to get to know you, so if you’re a one man or woman show, don’t be afraid to get a little personal on there too.

Someone who has the Instagram caption game down is Kayla Itsines, a personal trainer turned fitness entrepreneur who gained most of her business through Instagram. While Kayla keeps some posts short and sweet with workout demos, other posts are much longer and go into great detail about what she does to stay so fit.

She also shares with her audience stories about her family, friends, and travels.

Also make note of the URL being used in her Instagram profile page, as it leads right to her sales page — which likely adds a decent amount of new paying customers to her business and weight loss training programs daily.

4. Tap Into Influencer Marketing

If you’re looking to gain more followers so you can build your brand and grow your business, then you need to tap into influencer marketing.

But, you need to be smart about how you play the influencer game. First of all, you need to find people who not only have a strong following, but who also align with your brand values.

For example, let’s say you’re an organic food brand. It’s probably not a good idea to partner with an influencer who is constantly out partying and eating junk food. Instead, you should find influencers who focus on their health and fitness.

Once you’ve found a good number of influencers you’re interested in working with, start following them. And, be sure to turn on post notifications so you’ll get an alert every time they post something new. Whenever they post something new, be sure to interact with their profile. You can do this by liking their photos or by leaving comments.

Once you’ve started to develop a relationship with an influencer, you can finally reach out to see if they’d like to work with your brand.

But, the key is to not sound desperate. In other words, don’t say something like, “would you please post something about our product? We’ll pay you big money!” This is both unprofessional and spammy.

Instead, you should say something like, “Hey we really like your profile. Would you be interested in trying out some of our products?”

At the same time, if you are just starting out on Instagram and don’t want to try and build a brand and following from ZERO, the option is also there to use a solution like Famoid. They have plenty of services and solutions in place to help with Instagram growth, follower counts, and social sharing for your account.

5. Take Advantage of VPN Solutions

As bloggers and internet marketers, we often hear about the benefits of using a VPN to protect your information and browsing data all of the time. The concept is nothing new, but thousands of people are adding such privacy tools and solutions into their daily browsing habits daily.

However, VPNs can prove useful when doing any type of social media marketing and research online. Three of the most commons reasons for using one with Instagram are:

  1. Country-Based Restrictions
  2. Workplace and Academic Restrictions
  3. For General Security and Privacy

As noted by SurfShark’s VPN Affiliate Program, “Virtual private networks allow users throughout the world to bypass censorship. Everywhere. The internet should be an open hub of knowledge and sharing. Using the right VPN allows users to access Instagram content, from anywhere.

Besides protecting your information and online browsing information, VPNs can also help with accessing different Instagram marketing and scheduling tools you might be using. Depending on where you run your business or if you are trying to access wifi at different locations, this may limit your ability to access some sites and social platforms.

When it comes to VPN and running a business or brand online, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

 

6. Get Local and Target New Audiences

When trying to build your following on Instagram, the smartest thing to do is to start local and to build your way up from there.

You should make frequent mention of where your business is headquartered. And, you should give shoutouts to your local community and point out local attractions.

As pointed out in this Search Engine Journal localized Instagram branding article, they focus a lot of attention on the importance “To optimize the local reach of your Instagram page, you need to focus on localized hashtags.“.

For example, let’s say you’re a yoga apparel brand based in New York City. You could create a post about bringing your yoga mat to Central Park for the weekend and then ask your followers about their place in New York to do yoga.

Once you’ve tapped into the city market, that’s when you can start thinking about expanding to the whole state, then the whole country, and then the rest of the world.

7. Post Quality Photos and Videos

If you’re doing all the above and still not getting followers, then perhaps you need to look at the quality of your Instagram photos.

If you’re posting a bunch of dark and grainy photos that look like they were taken on an original iPhone, then it’s time to make a change.

Even if your business has nothing to do with photography, your photos should still look professional. Otherwise, people won’t take your brand seriously.

If you’re just starting out and you can’t afford a fancy camera or a  professional photographer, don’t be afraid to use stock photos. Many of these are high quality, and you’d be surprised at the number of photos you can find that fit into your brand’s message.

Also, make sure you follow the 60/40 rule when posting photos. That is, 60 percent of your photos should be directly related to your product or service. The other 40 percent should be lifestyle shots. in other words, shots of your community, travel adventures, employees, or family. Or, they can also be quotes.

How to Get Real Followers on Instagram: Are You Ready?

Now that you know how to get real followers on Instagram, it’s time to put these steps into motion.

And just remember, a million followers won’t come overnight, so be patient with the game and take your time with each step. Pretty soon, those numbers will keep growing and growing.

If you have any questions about gaining real Instagram followers, please let us know in the comments below. And, don’t forget that Instagram is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to building your brand.

Another major piece is your blog. Don’t know how to start a blog? Click here to learn in detail what you need to do.

5 Effective Branding and Marketing Tips for Instagram Success in 2019

Whether you’re running a brick-and-mortar business or looking to make your ecommerce a huge success, you need to work on your social media presence. These days, so many people are looking online first before making a decision about where to buy products and services. Even for something as simple as getting an iPhone fixed, potential customers are going to thoroughly study online reviews and check out your Facebook and Instagram pages to learn about what sales you might have going on. If you’re just starting a new business, then you definitely need to up your online presence: that’s where new customers are going to find you.

One of the most important ways to improve your online presence is by mastering Instagram. By using these following tips, you’ll get lots of followers, which means that you’ll eventually get sales by engaging with them.

1 – Post Great Content Consistently

Let’s say you have a great idea for what your Instagram’s going to look like. You’ve done your research; you know what your competitors are doing and what kind of content your ideal customers will enjoy and engage with. But that isn’t enough. Posting consistently is hugely important because that allows your followers to expect posts from you at certain times during the week. If you’re only posting when you’ve got a huge sale or just after you’ve started your business, you’re going to lose followers, which means losing potential sales.

According to research by Sprout Social, the best times to post on Instagram are Wednesday at 11 am and Friday at 10-11am, with the safest times to post being Tuesday through Friday, 10am-3pm. If it seems challenging to do this (especially the early mornings!) use a scheduling app to make your life a little easier.

2 – Use Geo-Targeting and Location-Based Ads

One of the easiest ways to boost engagement on Instagram is by geotagging anytime you post. If you’re someone who travels a lot–you’re a digital nomad or in a touring band–then geotag whenever you can. That will get local followers from wherever you’re currently posting, which helps cut through a lot of the work it takes to get their attention otherwise.

So how can a local business take advantage of Instagram targeting options? Think of something like this.

Most local services have something to offer, and are commonly purchased when a home owner or person is in need of something urgent. This can be anything from home services, home care, pest control, etc…

Take Moxie Services, for example, who wants to increase visibility for pest services in Chantilly. Since they already have an active following on Instagram, they can start targeting their followers (and non-followers) through the use of the Facebook Ads (Instagram) platform. Organic reach and followings are always great, but once you start putting some paid advertising dollars behind your campaigns, then you will start to see some real results.

Just like all options with Facebook Ads, the same can be done for Instagram as well. Moxie can then start targeting audiences within their designated town, city, zip code or other local radiuses. It would also prove useful to them to create a wide range of ad copies and split test what works best.

Considering that more than 40 billion photos have been shared on Instagram, this is a great way for yours to stand out among the crowd, while also making sure your ads are only being seen by potential customers in your area.

3 – Increase Your Follower Account Daily

Getting organic Instagram followers is all well and good, especially if you’ve already got some traction on Instagram. But if you’ve just started a new business or just don’t have many followers, using a service to buy Instagram followers can be very helpful. After all, once you’ve got enough of a following, other users will be interested in you because you’re already popular. 

However, the one thing to remember when buying followers on any social platform, is that they usually aren’t as active as ‘real and organic’ followers. That is why we often recommend using a tool like this one, which automates the engagement process and allows for a more natural flow of new subscribers and followers to your Instagram account.

With more than a billion users on Instagram, it’s not that hard to built a following once you have the right content and tools in place. Over 60 percent of users log into Instagram daily, so use that opportunity to use the right tools to get their attention!

4 – Mix Up Your Content with Images and Video

Instagram’s all about posting cool pictures, right? Wrong!

This is especially true with the rising popularity of features such as Instagram Stories, you should use video as much as you can. In addition to this feature, you should post simple videos or even GIFs to engage with your audience. Using live videos is also exciting because it gives your brand a kind of authenticity that’s necessary in today’s curated online world.

There’s a reason why there were 400 million daily active users of Instagram Stories as of September 17, 2018, and that’s because it’s a great way to engage with users.

5 – Make Sure Your Bio Looks Awesome

According to Verma Farms, “Your logo, including the colors and fonts you choose, all have an impact on how your brand is viewed and how recognizable it is. It only takes 10 seconds for a customer to form a first impression of a brand’s logo, so it’s important to do all you can to make your brand visually memorable.

In the same way, your bio needs to stand out. So spruce up your profile photo (which, by the way, can be your logo, if that works for you), and create content in your bio that’s relatable and told in your voice. There are opportunities to play around with emojis and fonts, though check before doing this that it’s something your audience will be receptive to!

Take a look at any of the top accounts and influencers on Instagram and you will quickly find that many of them share the same basic traits — which are commonly a great looking bio photo, a short bio that delivers a message, content that is high-quality and looks great, and a nice mixture of video and image content. You will also find a custom url to their main website or a landing page, depending on the objections of the Instagram account user.

These are some of the best strategies you can use to have success on Instagram.

Whether you’re an aspiring Instagram influencer or working to make your business stand out online, these tips will get you the followers you need!

With mobile usage on the rise and Instagram continuing to reach more audiences and users daily, it’s no longer a question of if or when you should start using the social platform as a branding and marketing tool — but how.

Start implementing these tips and winning methods into your business today, and start seeing the ROI almost immediately.

Business Investment Strategy 101: How To Fund Your Small Business?

You don’t need to be a financial expert to realize that there’s something wrong with the economy, and traditional solutions aren’t working anymore. Things keep getting more expensive, and wages are steadier than ever. More and more people are starting to realize that the answer isn’t a 9 to 5 job, and if they want a more secure future, they’ll have to do more. Investments are becoming more popular among the middle class, and people are starting their own businesses everywhere to secure a better future for themselves and their families. Yet, it’s not that easy, and to start a business, there’s much that needs to happen. The first problem most encounter at first is how to fund their small business, because you are going to need some form of capital to do that. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely doable, and this is how you do it.

Do it yourself

Might seem like a no brainer, but your first approach to funding your project should always be doing it yourself.  This can keep you going for a while until a more extensive source of funding comes along, but it can definitely be done. You can do so by going through your assets, if you have any, and selling whatever you can of it to get that initial boost needed to get the business going. This is why saving from an early age is always a great thing to do. That can include a savings account, some gold you have stored, an apartment somewhere or a piece of real estate that can get you some money, and so on. You could also resort to zero interest credit cards; it’s definitely not the easy way out, but it’s your own project and you’ll need to invest in it one way or another at some point.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has been quite the popular approach to starting businesses over the past few years, and plenty of companies are doing it and are killing it through crowdfunding campaigns. If the project is creative enough, and has enough promise to it, you’ll find that plenty of people are willing to help you. Sites like Kickstarter.com can help you get to your end goal of a starting capital, and they’ve funded hundreds of projects since they first came to life. It isn’t exactly a long term solution though, and it’ll only get you started, but you’ll have to make your own way after that.

Loans

You knew eventually this one would come up. Nobody likes taking loans from banks, but sometimes they’re the only option you’re going to get. Fortunately enough, lending restrictions are not that tight for all banks. Some offer easier rules and procedures, but you never know what comes with that. Bank loans aren’t your only option though, you can get an inheritance advance on that money that’s taking months, maybe even years, to get processed in the courtrooms. Probate is the legal process in which assets are transferred from a deceased person to their heirs, but this happens through legal proceedings through a court which decides if all things are in order and who should get what. The option of an inheritance loan can come in handy, and after you finally get your inheritance, you can pay it back.

While some people don’t like bank loans for their high-interest rates, they might not also have any impending inheritance. But there’s another option of title loans, which is basically when you give up ownership of your car or vehicle title, temporarily, and you get an amount of money for it. Title loans have a lot of pros and cons, but one of the most important pros is the fact that the lenders don’t put too much weight on credit history. You might have to pay higher interest rates in that case if you have a bad history.

Friends and family

There’s always the option of borrowing money from friends and family, and it’s probably one of your easier outs. Unless your family consists of some seriously bad people, it’s highly doubtful that they’ll charge you for interest rates, or put you away if you’re behind on payments.

Angel investors and accelerators

This is probably how most startups get their money these days, and it’s one of the most eloquent paths you could take to raise money for your startup. You need some really good connections and a powerful, scalable model to reach out to either, though. An angel investor is a person, or a company, that will basically give you the money in exchange for owning a piece of your business. So, they need to see that your business has potential and can actually grow into something big that will make their investment worthwhile. The same goes for accelerators, as they also own shares in the company in exchange for initial funds. This is why the process of planning out your business and having a solid plan for the future will come in handy when you do need the money.

Competitions

Startup contests are also another excellent way to go about getting that initial funding your business needs. Some competitions only need an idea for an entry, but it has to be something really special. Others require a scalable and clear picture of how your business will unfold in the future. Whatever the case may be, if you do all the right things and get all the necessary details in order, you can get your initial funding without having to pay anyone back.

Plan ahead, work hard

The truth is, everybody wants to start their own business and make it as an independent entrepreneur, but very few actually make it. It’s a lot of hard work and sleepless nights of planning ahead to what might be your key to financial security. It won’t come to life overnight, and even if you somehow managed to secure the initial funding, you have to know what you’re doing. If you’re just winging it and hoping for the best, you’ll have very little chance of success.