Business Marketing with an Instagram Photo Contest

An Instagram photo contest is a great way to promote your business while having some fun. A photo contest can lead to new followers while your company is giving back to the Instagram community.

But running an Instagram photo contest isn’t always easy, and can be a bit confusing. Here is a short guide on getting the most out of a photo contest, should you choose to do so.

Target Your Market

Define your target market before kicking off your photo contest. A contest for families who enjoy camping is going to look a lot different than couples who look for new and exciting places to visit in the city. Determine who you intend to engage with, and gear your contest toward them.

Team Up

Finding a partner for your Instagram photo contest can be a benefit for both businesses. Not only can you gain more followers through this method, but you’ll also receive additional exposure. Most of these types of partnerships require participants to be followers of both accounts before they can enter. Keep things simple though. There’s no need to team up with more than one business per contest.

Avoid Confusion

Make sure your rules for entering and participating in your photo contest are clear and concise. Include an ending date and time, and offer step-by-step instructions for participants, including limitations on number of entries.

Call to Action

Provide your followers a clear call to action, so that they are fully aware of the necessary steps required to enter the contest. The primary purpose of your photo contest is to gain followers or increase your exposure (but make sure you have fun too!). The two most common ways to go about doing this is to have contestants tag a friend or post a picture.

Tag a Friend – For this type of call to action, have participants tag a friend to enter the contest. When the friend sees your post and competition, they will join and tag more friends.

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Post a Photo – Contestants with this type of call to action post a photo and use a specific hashtag to enter. This will allow you to track the entries, and pick a winner when the time comes.

Keep an Eye on Submissions

This is your contest, so it would behoove you to be aware of how it’s progressing. Decide how you’ll monitor your contest, whether manually or by using one of the many tools available for just such an occasion. Decide beforehand how you plan on following your contest, so you’re not scrambling to decide while submissions are rolling in.

Declare a Winner

When your contest comes to a close, it’s time to pick a winner. Some contests use a poll, while others may use a group of judges. No matter what method you choose, select a winner and notify them through Instagram.

Promote the winner on your Instagram page, but don’t forget to give credit where credit is due. Cross-promote on other platforms. Announce the results on your Twitter, Facebook, and web pages as well.

Repeat as Needed

Running an Instagram photo contest doesn’t have to be a one-time occurrence. You can have a weekly or monthly contest. Explore your options, find what works best for your company and adjust as needed. Discover a way to build habits with your followers while creating momentum with your contests.

Instagram photo contests are an excellent opportunity to have fun with the platform while building up a following. Be creative and engaging with your contests to have the most success. Not only will you expand your audience, but you’ll also have fresh content that may inspire your next photo contest. For more tips, check out DFY’s lead generation system

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How to Sell more with Content Marketing

All businesses strive to increase their profit margin using various marketing strategies. Content marketing is one tactic used to improve your company’s revenue. Many advertisers overlook this form of marketing because they don’t understand its full potential. Let’s take a look at how content marketing can help your business grow and become a leader in your industry.

Advertisers use content marketing to attract new customers to a brand. You can use this form of marketing on your company’s website to transform it into a hub filled with valuable information. This content could include weekly blogs or articles featuring exciting topics, all related to what your company is selling.

When you use content marketing on your website, look forward to adding many more pages. You will be using more keywords and phrases, and you will have more interesting links to add to social media. Your updated content will also provide you with a reason to send out an email to your customers. That will help you to strike up a conversation with members of your target audience as you also build up your brand’s credibility.

Did you know that content marketing could also promote your customer lifetime value? While content marketing is helpful when it comes to attracting more customers, gaining more prospects is never an easy task. Therefore, you should think about other routes to take to increase your revenue that doesn’t require you to expand your target audience. To do this, you will need to increase the value of your current customers.

When you use content marketing, you are consistently putting out new information that will help you reach out to your customers as often as you can. You always want to bring your most popular products or services back to the front burner when it comes to your frequent customers. They are the consumers who help keep you in business, those who stay loyal to your brand for many years.

But there are also customers who may stay loyal, yet only purchase from your company once or twice per year. These are the people that require your focus and attention. Content marketing can help inspire them to eliminate the lag time between their purchases.

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There are times when a consumer may be in need of a product you sell, but it gets pushed aside to a later date. Sending out an email or adding relevant content to your website can help to reduce the amount of time between their purchases and increase your profits.

Many people say that the best form of advertising is word-of-mouth. And in most cases, that’s very true. If you want your customers talking to their close friends, co-workers and family members about your brand, then you need to provide them with exciting to discuss. That means you need to come up with content that they will love and want to share with others.

To be more proactive with your word-of-mouth advertising efforts, you should try publishing something extraordinary and relatable  to your customers. Look into everyday problems that your products or services can solve. Then send out a notification to your customers and ask them to share the content with others who they feel would enjoy it.

Did you know that you can use content marketing in such a way that it will help you cut down on your expenses as a business owner? With the right strategy, you can decrease the number of hours your customer support team members work, saving you money. That proves that your company profits are not just tied to the revenue you make, but also your overall company expenses.

Once you begin using more content marketing on your website, on social media, and in newsletter emails to your customers, you will quickly see how beneficial this marketing tactic can be. Content marketing allows you and your sales team to deliver quality leads that take less time to create.

We hope you have enjoyed this video about how content marketing can help your business grow. If you would like to learn more about various marketing strategies and new techniques available to you, be sure to click the Subscribe button. By doing so, we will notify you of any new videos we upload to our channel.

Why People Share: The Psychology Behind Social Media

Social media has taken the internet by storm. There are 31.25 million Facebook messages, 347,222 tweets, 17,361 LinkedIn profile views, 48,611 Instagram pictures, and 300 hours of YouTube videos uploaded each minute. The internet is full of content that’s constantly being created or shared.

We already know what is happening, but let’s dig a little deeper and get to the “why” of it. Why do people love sharing on social media? What’s the psychology behind it?

As luck would have it, a study by the New York Times Consumer Insight Group found the answer for us. Researchers concluded that there were five major reasons why people share on social media:

Entertainment

Perhaps this is the most obvious answer, but it was also the least common reason out of the five. Everyone loves a good dog video or a funny prank that they can laugh at and share with their friends. After all, what is the internet for if not entertainment?

Less than half of shares are motivated by entertainment or passion. Nevertheless, it does explain the tendency for funny YouTube videos to go viral as people want all their friends to see it.

Supporting a cause

It’s almost impossible to go onto social media and not see someone talking about a cause they are passionate about. The study found that 84% of respondents use social media to share their support for a social cause. Whether it’s fighting against immigration bans or police brutality, social media remains a powerful tool for expression.

A perfect example of this would be the Ice Bucket Challenge. Politicians, celebrities, athletes, and hundreds of others all participated in this viral challenge which helped raise over $130 million for various ALS organizations.

Self-Fulfillment

Related to the above point, many people share on social media to feel good about themselves. A simple click of a button can let all your Facebook friends know how they can best provide relief to hurricanes or donate to their local homeless shelter.

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Sure, some might call it slacktivism, but it’s hard to overlook just how excellent social media is for raising awareness of important causes. It’s an easy way for people to make themselves feel better while fighting for a good and noble cause.

Expressing Yourself

The study found that 68% of respondents love sharing things that they feel helps them express who they are. Whether someone is showing the world their love of dogs or how excited they are for the latest blockbuster summer hit, there’s something that just feels good about expressing yourself. No places are as good at showing someone’s uniqueness as social media.

It only takes a few clicks to let the world know who you are and what you like. Many people don’t have the chance to divulge such details about themselves in the regular world, so social media provides a wonderful vehicle where they can truly be themselves without fear of judgment or restriction.

Friendship

This last point takes us to the social aspect of social media. More and more people are making new friends and connections online. It doesn’t matter if you’re finding your next hot date on Tinder or connecting with a potential new business partner on LinkedIn—social media and the internet has made meeting new people much easier than ever.

According to the study, 78% of respondents share on social media to keep in touch with old friends. It makes sense when you consider that the vast majority of Facebook friend lists are people that most users never keep in touch with. Sharing content allows them to reconnect with those who they haven’t talked to in a while and rekindle old friendships.

Conclusion

It’s impossible to deny the massive influence that social media has in our current day and age. The influence of companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram also allows brands to capitalize on new opportunities as they can reach people who are just casually scrolling through pages from the comfort of their phone.

Take a look at your content and ask how it plays in to one of these five psychological factors. You never know what sort of marketing strategies might arise after a little bit of introspection. And, if you’d like more access to invaluable online marketing strategies, check out my done-for-you system.

Former Survivor Winner Reveals the Skills You Need to Win

I was just reading an article by former Survivor winner Austin McCarty, and he gave some great tips on what it takes to win.

He said: “First it takes skill. You must be smart, socially adept, and able-bodied to win. Then it takes the ability to harness those skills. Any Survivor fan knows that countless capable contestants have seen their torches snuffed due to poor thinking, massive social blunders, and/or key physical failures. It is here that some contestants—but not many—are eliminated.”

If you want to “survive” in your online business, there are three important skills you need:

Skill #1: The Ability to Sell

The most important skill you need is the ability to sell. This skill is number one. If you can’t sell, you’re going to have a hard time making any money online.

Most people don’t like to sell. But this is a universal principle—If you want to do well in business, you need to know how to sell.

To sell in business, you’re persuasively describing the benefits, and talking them into paying you for your products and/or services.

Skill #2: The Ability to Write Sales Copy

Copywriting is the ability to communicate in writing and persuade someone to take action.

Good copy raises the awareness of your product to your target market. It shows how your product stands out from all the other competition. It quickly grabs him and paints a vivid picture how your product makes his life better. And to overcome his objections, you guarantee he’ll be 100% satisfied—or his money back.

You should also try to write as if you were meeting someone for the first time. Pretend you have 30 seconds to talk your new friend into buying into your online marketing company. The write down what you would say to sell them.

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Skill #3: Hire the Right People

If you want to blow this up really big, there’s absolutely no way you’re ever going to do it on your own.

When you hire a few key people to create an effective team, it can have a dramatic effect on your organization’s growth.

Once you build up the right team, it will help you scale to doing millions of dollars per year, tens of millions, even over a hundred million dollars per year.

And if you’re a beginner, or a “rookie” in the online marketing business, there are 21 simple steps you need to take before you can become an online millionaire.

For example, 22-year-old Steven Bransfield used these 21 steps to go from zero to over a million in less than two years.

In fact, he just published a new video explaining step-by-step exactly how he did it.

Watch the free video HERE. 

Talk to you soon,

Lisa Ashman

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Online Marketing Myths You Probably Believe

Marketing online is already incredibly difficult. Sure, you have the entirety of the internet to appeal to, but it also means that you’re competing against countless other online marketers. The internet is a vast place and standing out against a sea of competitors isn’t an easy feat, but a successful online marketing campaign can easily bring you the customers you’re looking for.

Unfortunately, many marketers are far too misguided about what they think works and doesn’t work on the internet. Many marketers go barking up the wrong tree so to speak and end up wasting time and resources on fruitless endeavors. Here are just a few commonly held myths that end up hurting marketers:

Myth #1: We need to be on as many social media platforms as possible.

It’s true that you certainly want to get your message out to as many people as possible, but not all audiences equally deserve your attention. There are countless social media platforms to take advantage of–Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.—but that doesn’t mean you need to use all of them.

Each social media platform has a different audience and those audiences are all interested in different things. Do you think a company like Tastemade that markets by making cooking videos would have as much success on LinkedIn as they do on Facebook? Would a company for elderly people like Life Alert want to market on Snapchat where 71% of its members are under 34?

Rather than trying to spread yourself thin, choose the most ideal platforms and focus your efforts there. You can expand your marketing efforts when you can acquire more overhead, but it’s best to play to your strengths while still starting out.

Myth #2: My company needs to be #1 on SEO results for important keywords.

SEO can be a difficult game to play and it’s never easy to get to the top of a Google search for popular keywords. For example, if you are running a shoe store, it would be very nice to be the first result when someone types “shoes” into Google.

However, it might be more beneficial and realistic to aim for mastering long tail keywords—that is longer and more specific phrases. Long tail keywords make up 70% of Google searches and generally indicate that a consumer is more willing to convert and purchase than a short tail generic search.

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For example, “shoes” is a short tail keyword that might be used for someone who’s simply browsing the internet while someone who uses long tail keywords like “black dress shoes,” “good running shoes,” “cheap sneakers,” or “sandals for summer” are probably ready to buy.

Myth #3: This other company is doing it, so, why can’t we?

It’s tempting to look at successful companies and try and imitate what they’re doing. Sometimes it works such as when Instagram copies Snapchat’s story features and ended up beating Snapchat at their own game. However, this isn’t always the case.

Take the example of the Amazon Fire Phone: Amazon’s short-lived attempt at entering the smartphone market. The phone’s multiple flaws and inability to stand up to Samsung or Apple means that its obituary was written rather quickly. On the other hand, Amazon has been instrumental in killing Borders and has companies like Sears, Macy’s, and Best Buy on the ropes.

The takeaway is that what works for one company doesn’t work for everyone else. If it did, every company would be doing the same thing. You have a different audience, different brand, different mission, and a different set of values. Find your own unique voice.

Myth #4: Email is dead. Long live the new social media king.

Social media might be the new big thing, but don’t count out email just yet. Believe it or not, a study from McKinsey & Company found that companies acquire new customers via email 40 times more than they do on Facebook and Twitter combined.  The study also found that 91% of consumers check their email every day, make purchases three times more often via email than via social media, and that they order 17% more when ordering via email.

Clearly, there is a lot of misinformation in the air as to how online marketing should be done. Knowing what works and what doesn’t work can mean the difference between life and death for your company. For more handy internet marketing tips, check out my done-for-you system.

What Is People-Based Marketing?

Marketing is all about reaching people and all marketers want to find out how to reach the greatest amount of people with the smallest amount of effort. This often means sending the same generic message to hundreds, if not thousands, or people. However, everyone is unique and therefore has unique needs. What is relevant to one person might not be relevant to the next. It’s hard to be that brand that appeals to everyone since each person is so different. This is where people-based marketing comes in.

What It Is

 People-based marketing represents the original promise of digital and internet marketing; it allows you to replace your broadcast with personalized messages and experiences that the consumer wants to see. It allows brands to establish a marketing system centred around the individual consumer and utilize plenty of data to track that person’s behaviour and spending habits. People-based marketing strategies revolve around the consumer and all marketing efforts are aligned to fit their needs.

One company that utilizes people-based marketing very well is Spotify. Users stream music for several hours a day, often depending on their mood. Listening habits change when the user is relaxing, driving, or exercising and Spotify tracks all this data.

Spotify’s algorithms help create customized and personalized experiences for its users. It will recommend new releases that the listener might enjoy, create personalized playlists based on listening habits, and even remind users of music that they haven’t listened to in a while. These features make users feel like Spotify is tuned into their specific wants and needs.

The best way to utilize a people-based marketing strategy is by paying attention to the three main elements:

Identification

 This is the first and most important part of people-based marketing. Without any identification, everyone you’re trying to target might as well be a nameless and faceless person.

Cookies used to be the main method of tracking internet users, but this method is slowly becoming outdated. More people are using multiple devices, especially smartphones, to connect to the internet and much of this information cannot be tracked using cookies.

One of the main ways to identify people is with deterministic targeting which targets users based on accounts and email addresses. For example, Amazon can track what someone doing whether they’re using a desktop browser, mobile app, Kindle, or Alexa since it requires them to use the same account for all platforms.

Another strategy is called probabilistic targeting which uses data analysis to link devices based on things like location and IP addresses. For example, if a computer and a smartphone are both connected to the same home Wi-Fi address, it’s a possibility that both devices are owned by the same person.

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Data

You want to find out the most you can about your consumer by collecting data. You can use identifiers such as email addresses to dig up all sorts of information about their habits. This includes, but isn’t limited to, what devices they use, what they like and share on social media, who they follow on social media, what they’ve purchased, what product reviews they’re read or written, which products they’ve looked at, and how often they spend.

Automation

 Lastly, automation is what will make your life easier. You probably have received several automated marketing emails in your life, many of which were tailored to your personal needs. Common automated emails you might’ve received are:

  • Telling you events or products you might be interested in based on your history
  • Telling you that your shopping cart isn’t empty
  • Telling you when an item is restocked
  • Asking you if the product arrived on time
  • Asking you if the product was in satisfactory condition
  • Asking you how much you liked the product
  • Asking you to leave a review

Conclusion

 People-based marketing is the future of marketing. You should strive to aim for individuals rather than masses for a more effective marketing strategy.

One easy way to do this is to use an identity resolution service like LiveRamp IdentityLink which helps identify consumers and track their habits. You should also utilize digital marketing platforms to keep a database of consumers and track their unique habits.

It’s not a stretch to say that people-based marketing can completely transform how your company reaches out to consumers and makes sales. If you’d like more access to invaluable marketing strategies, check out my done-for-you system.

For more information and free consultation please schedule a time. You may reach my office at 585-304-0589.