The biggest digital marketing trends you need to know about

Posted by on Aug 23, 2019 in Digital Media Marketing | Comments Off on The biggest digital marketing trends you need to know about

The biggest digital marketing trends you need to know about

Digital marketing is a rapidly growing and changing organism. As fast as the technology develops, so marketing practices and trends move with it. That means you need to keep an eye on the trends and grow too if you want to keep ahead. Here are some of the developments you should be keeping an eye on in the latter half of 2019. Voice interaction has taken off in a big way Why type an entry into a search engine and read the results when you can just talk to someone? Thanks to Siri and Alexa, consumers have got used to just asking their devices whatever they want to know. This is revolutionising the way that people search for information on the web, and thus also the way in which SEO is done.  Up to this point, a search engine would return page after page of results on the basis of a typed enquiry. With voice interaction, only one or two search results are returned. That means far greater competition for the top spots in the search rankings. It also means that SEO now involves optimising body text, headlines and meta-descriptions for speech.  Video is no longer an added extra, emails get personal Video enables you to create branding content that is more easily accessible, often more engaging and has a more immediate impact on your audience. YouTube viewership grows all the time, making it an increasingly viable marketing platform. Granted, the costs of video production are greater than those of text-based communications, but there is often a tremendous payoff for that expenditure, with increased audiences and closer customer engagement. Videos used to be supplementary content. This is no longer the case – it is an essential and increasingly central part of your digital marketing strategy. Email marketing is also evolving rapidly. Generic mailers used to be the norm but since they tend to fall through the cracks, end up in spam folders or simply get deleted by irritated recipients, the tendency is now to personalise email communication. In this case, emails are sent to customers in response to specific actions, such as browsing a particular product or completing a purchase. This personalised treatment tends to be more effective and is often the final call to action before a sale is made.    Contact WSI to assist you in creating a great, on-trend digital marketing...

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How to Set – and Reach – Your Company’s Social Media Marketing Goals

Posted by on Aug 21, 2019 in Social Media Marketing | Comments Off on How to Set – and Reach – Your Company’s Social Media Marketing Goals

How to Set – and Reach – Your Company’s Social Media Marketing Goals

According to statistics, social media claims 30% of all the time people spend online. For teens, make that nine hours a day. Which is why social media ad spending is expected to top $32 billion in 2019.  In short, if you want to reach your target prospects, you have to go where they are spending most of their time – which is on social media. But this requires an intentional strategy with clear, achievable and measurable goals. Here is how to set goals for a high-yielding social media marketing strategy: Establish a Starting Point There is a chance you are already on social media? But, that you have until now just been posting randomly without a strategy. To formulate a strategy with clear goals, there is a need to carry out a thorough social media audit.  Most social media sites have analytics tools from which you can pull data to measure both your historical and current performance. The audit will expose your least and best performing social channels, holes that need plugging, wins to build on and insights on what is achievable as well as what a feasible time frame will be. Define Your Objectives The audit you have just done, and a bit of competitor analysis, should show you what marketing opportunities there are on social media. Importantly, it will help you spell out what your immediate and long term goals should be. These could be to: Increase engagement on your target social channels,  Drive traffic to your website, Increase brand awareness, Generate new leads, or  To boost SEO. Know the Right Metrics to Track Goals must have timed targets. For example, to generate 100 leads per month. But to meet your targets you need a set of metrics to track and guide you. For your search engine optimisation strategy, these will likely be backlinks, SERPs rankings growth and traffic to your site. Social media metrics you can track include mentions, likes or shares/pins/retweets per post or per given time period. Remembering, too, that some are vanity metrics that aren’t worth tracking. You can look at this as breaking your goals down to shorter-term objectives and key results (OKRs). Use these to flag parts of your strategy to tweak for better results as well as to highlight high-performing posts and assets that you may boost to maximise benefit. Establish a Measuring and Reporting Framework Tracking specific metrics to keep your social media goals in focus is important. But so is clearly spelling out how to measure each campaign’s effectiveness, when to report progress and which tools to use. Weekly is a good frequency to measure and note campaign progress, with a strategy meeting at the end of the month. Ready to streamline your social media marketing efforts with a clear strategy that brings results? Then contact our SMM experts, WSI OMS, today for expert...

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The 5 best WordPress plugins

Posted by on Aug 20, 2019 in Digital Media Marketing | Comments Off on The 5 best WordPress plugins

The 5 best WordPress plugins

If you run a website (or websites) using WordPress, you may or not be aware of the additional features that are constantly being added to enhance and ease your work. There are now hundreds of plug-ins for the platform – and counting. Here are WSI’s 5 favourite WordPress plug-ins.  Yoast Where SEO is the name of the game, Yoast is your perfect companion for crafting your content with the aim of improving your rankings in the search results. It not only helps you with keywords and other SEO elements, it also helps you improve your copy for the benefit of your readers.  Everest Forms Contact forms are essential to your website and this plugin helps you make them. Forms for any purpose – from general contact to specific feedback – can be drawn up using this plugin, with both excellent functionality and sharp, professional design. Jetpack As the name suggests, this plugin helps your website take off with features to manage your security features, traffic and much more. WooCommerce If you want to take your website up a notch and start using it as a fully equipped sales platform, this is the tool for you. It sets up features for customers to make orders and make payments, and all with a single automated set-up wizard.  VaultPress We all know the risks involved in the virtual realm when it comes to information. To set your mind at ease, VaultPress creates optimised backups of your website automatically and, in the event of a crash or other attack, can restore everything in a matter of minutes.  Contact WSI to assist you in creating a great, easily-manageable social media...

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How to Build a High-Converting Email Funnel

Posted by on Aug 17, 2019 in E-mail Marketing | Comments Off on How to Build a High-Converting Email Funnel

How to Build a High-Converting Email Funnel

 Email funnels are essential to your digital marketing strategy. And, they can be among the most effective tools for converting your branding efforts into new sales and retaining clients.   What Is an Email Funnel and How Do You Build One? Put very simply, an email funnel is a chain of automated email messages designed to help you convert leads into clients, and clients into loyal supporters. There are plenty of email marketing platforms available, such as MailChimp or ConvertKit, and each will guide you through the set-up process – so we won’t discuss the technical side here. Instead, let’s focus on the content and sequencing of your mailers. As a guideline, consider the following five levels in your email funnel, through which your audience filters from the first contact to the brand advocate.  High-Level Branding The first stage is the initial communication with the client. You want to provide general brand awareness without pushing for a sale. Offer information about who you are, what you do and the value of your product. Keep it brief and general and, most importantly, do not push for a sale. Personalisation and Targeting The readers that make it through to this level want to know more about what your product can do for them, but still, aren’t quite ready to make a purchase. Accordingly, your communications at this point should provide specific information tailored to their interests. However, you still should not push for the sale. Closing If the prospect has come this far, he or she is more than likely ready to buy. Now you can take their interest and convert it into a sale. Try to pre-empt any questions they may have and insert call-to-action buttons in the mail that will take them to your site and help them complete the purchase. Retention So now you’ve made the sale but you want your clients to come back and buy more. You need content that nurtures your relationship with them, reminds them of the value of your products and fosters a sense of loyalty. Secondary Marketing You can turn your customers into secondary brand marketers by delivering consistent value, offering recommendations, specials, discounts and incentives, and inviting them to write reviews. This deepens your customers’ relationship with you and gives them the platform and the motivation to get the word out, starting the cycle anew. Need help with your email marketing? Then contact WSI OMS...

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5 must-have content scheduling tools

Posted by on Aug 16, 2019 in Social Media Marketing | Comments Off on 5 must-have content scheduling tools

5 must-have content scheduling tools

With the sheer volume of material you need to post to social media on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, it can become quite an ungainly task to manage. Thankfully there are many excellent tools and apps available that can make the task much easier. Here are our five favourites: Hootsuite It’s become the standard scheduling tool out there and it’s easy to see why. It’s user friendly, it works across platforms, it’s scalable – enabling you to add accounts and account managers as you need to, and, with its excellent training platform, it’s easy to learn. IFTTT “If this then that” is an extremely useful social media management tool that not only helps you schedule your posts, it also automates the process with its trigger-action processes, which can be set up to instantly perform an action in response to a trigger you perform. Say you post a blog, this then triggers the app to perform an action such as create a Facebook post. This means that you don’t even have to create the post or tweet, you simply upload the blog and the app does the rest. Sprout Social This is rapidly becoming a favourite among online content creators. You can schedule posts in advance, make use of the feedback tools to check the success of your campaigns and monitor your mentions on social media. SocialFlow This takes content scheduling up a notch. Social Flow analyses the behaviour of social media users and then predicts the optimum time for each of your posts to be published. This can really help you make the most of your social media platforms by ensuring that you hit exactly the right target market at the perfect time.  Iconosquare This one’s specifically for Instagram users. The apps ever-expanding and improving analytical tools help you make the most of the platform. Plus, of course, you can still schedule your posts and manage multiple accounts.  Contact WSI to assist you in creating a great, easily-manageable social media...

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5 things you need to be doing to convert traffic into sales

Posted by on Aug 15, 2019 in Online Marketing | Comments Off on 5 things you need to be doing to convert traffic into sales

5 things you need to be doing to convert traffic into sales

Much of the talk in the world of online marketing is about drawing readers to your site. But that’s only the first part of the process. Your focus should really be on making sure that, once readers come to your site, they become paying customers.  The principles that drive conversions in online business are not much different to those in brick and mortar retail spaces. It’s all about your product, how you package it, your prices, your service and the environment. If a customer walks into a well laid out and designed shop, is met by competent and helpful staff, and finds good value for money, he/she is likely to make a purchase. In the online space, the same principles apply. Consider these five important actions to convert site visits to sales. Make your USP unmissable from the first click You can’t give visitors time to look around the site, not find what they need and move on – because they will in less than half a minute. From the moment they enter your site, if it is not already apparent from the social media post or email they clicked through from, your USP must be obvious and unmissable. Spell it out. Be classy and clever but never subtle. Engage your visitors Don’t just offer information passively – invite readers to interact with you and your product. Offer a tester of your product and ask for feedback. Keep them thinking about the product and engaging with it.  Avoid clutter and give your clients breathing space Cut down on the text and make good use of white space. Offer only the essential information and allow your customers the space to make their decisions. Add value Everyone loves a bargain. You don’t have a live salesperson on your website to upsell and/ or haggle with your clients, so you have to let the website itself do that work for you. In addition to your central USP, offer add-ins, complementary products and packages deals. Always put a time limit on those to encourage the purchase. Maintain a relationship after the sale From a “thank you” mail to follow-up offers, continued post-sale communication with your customers are always a good idea (unless they say otherwise, of course). Show your appreciation and they will likely return the favour. Contact WSI to assist you in creating a sale-closing website and marketing...

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Long-tail keywords – the key to boosting your SEO

Posted by on Aug 14, 2019 in SEO | Comments Off on Long-tail keywords – the key to boosting your SEO

Long-tail keywords – the key to boosting your SEO

The prevalence of keywords in SEO content creation is old news. However, chances are that you may not be using keywords to their fullest potential and that, as a result, your website or blog may be lagging behind. The problem with keywords is that they tend to be generic and broad. Hundreds, if not thousands of other websites and blog posts, will be using these short-tail keywords and this means greater competition. If you rely only on short-tail keywords, you will be among these competitors, all vying for the same readers and possibly getting lost in the process. The solution to reducing competition in this arena is to get more specific, and this involves long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords enable you to tailor search items specific to your business, as opposed to those that would be common across your industry. For example, say you’re a musical instrument dealer. If you use a keyword like “guitars,” you are unlikely to get anywhere near the top of a search result list. However, if you focus on a speciality, say “vintage collectible Gibson”, you have now created a long-tail keyword and placed yourself into a far narrower search bracket. The word “guitar” may have a search volume numbering in the millions, while “vintage collectible Gibson” may be searched less than 100 times in the same period. What this means is that you’ve reduced your search competition by a pretty respectable order of magnitude. Focusing on your unique selling point (USP) is an old idea in marketing. The concept of the long-tail keyword takes the USP into the digital realm, enabling you to differentiate yourself from your hordes of competitors. It requires you to think deeper about your business and refine your offerings, an effort that is sure to be rewarded with higher search engine rankings.    Contact WSI to assist you in creating a winning SEO...

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The Best Types of Blog Headlines

Posted by on Aug 13, 2019 in Blogging | Comments Off on The Best Types of Blog Headlines

The Best Types of Blog Headlines

While it has never been easier to create content, it has also never been more difficult to make sure that it stands out from the crowd. Even if your blog posts show up in the top ten search results, you need to be able to ensure the click through with a strong headline. While the way in which you create that attention-grabbing headline depends, to a large extent, on the specifics of your content, there are certain types of headlines that are likely to have the biggest impact on your potential readers and get them to click that link. Here are the five most likely to prompt a favourable response: The “Best” Way to Do Anything Readers want to cut to the chase. If they are searching for information, they want the best available – and they want it now! Giving them a headline that offers “the best” way to do something, promises them that immediate answer. This type of headline performs extremely well when it comes to SEO.   Make it Quick and Easy  Coming second to “the best” are blogs that offer the “quickest” or the “easiest”. Quick solutions that will make the readers’ lives easier will always be attractive. Sometimes urgency will be the motivation behind the click, at other times, ease and convenience. Either way, you can’t go wrong. An Air of Authority  For blogs that are more information-based and don’t entail a specific call to action, nothing is more enticing than an appeal to authority. Phrases like “According to science…” or “Experts say…” are always effective in this regard.  The Direct Address  It’s an old technique that dates back at least to the military recruiters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries (“The U.S. Army wants YOU!”). The direct, second-person address is almost always impossible to resist. For example, “What YOU need to do to write better blogs.”  Contact WSI to help you create an SEO-topping...

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How to Create a Successful Content Plan

Posted by on Aug 12, 2019 in Content Marketing | Comments Off on How to Create a Successful Content Plan

How to Create a Successful Content Plan

Few things could be more deadly to your marketing campaign – on any platform – than a lack of planning. You can’t just throw out blogs, social media posts and ads at random, and then hope for the best. You need to take a strategic and methodical approach and execute your plan with precision. The most challenging part is developing the plan; once that is in place, the rest of the process is relatively easy. So, how do you create a good content plan? Follow these steps: Set Your Goals What do you want to achieve from your marketing campaign? Are you looking to increase your subscriber base, boost your sales? By how much? In what timeline? Use the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based) principle to create goals that you and your team can aim for. It will make the next steps that much easier. Identify Your Audience  “But I already know my audience”, you might be saying. Never assume that this is the case. You may have a good idea about your established audience, but your target market for this particular campaign might be different. Perhaps you want to focus on a specific subset of your overall market. For example, maybe this one is aimed at the women in your audience, or at its younger members. Or perhaps you want to target people outside of your established audience to bring them into the fold. Do your research and think carefully about who you are talking to, as this will determine the platforms, tools and tone you use going forward. Choose the Right Media Having decided on your goals and identified your target audience, now you need to pick the right tools for the job. Is this going to be a concentrated social media campaign? If so, on which platforms? Or maybe this is something that will require a targeted email funnel. Perhaps a bit of both, or something else. You can best answer these questions by having gone through the previous step. Once you know your target market, you can work out the best way to reach them. Craft Your Message  Okay, so now you have established to whom you are talking and on which platform. Now you need to work out what you’re going to say. You already know the basics of what you need to communicate, so now it’s a question of tailoring the message to the audience and medium. You and your team should already have the raw creative power to do this – let your chosen media guide your creativity. Schedule and Track Your Content Now it’s time to get your content out there. Carefully plan how you are going to release it. Let your posts tell a progressive story, from your campaign’s introduction to its conclusion. Use apps such as Hootsuite or Buffer to time your posts and monitor the response to them.  Measure the Results It’s vital that you take stock during and after the campaign to measure your success – or lack thereof. This will help you to see how well you’ve done on this campaign, as well as honing and improving your strategy for future ones.   Contact WSI for more guidance in devising and executing effective online marketing...

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4 Easy Steps to Being Found on Google

Posted by on Aug 12, 2019 in Content Marketing | Comments Off on 4 Easy Steps to Being Found on Google

4 Easy Steps to Being Found on Google

We rely on Google for everything from remembering who the artist of the latest pop song is to finding a pizza parlour in our neighbourhoods. It’s easy to think of Google as a website that we use to find information. But, small business owners often forget to consider how others are using a search engine to find their products and services. There are a few tools that you can use to get your website found in Google’s search results. Simply follow these four easy steps: Submit Your Site to Google Google isn’t the omnipresent being you think it is. While Google will inevitably pick up your website’s pages at some point, you can speed up the process by submitting your site on the Google Search Console. This is the digital equivalent of tapping Google on the shoulder to say that you are alive and ready for them to index your site. Link to Your Website Another nudge to Google’s crawlers is to leave a link trail online. When blue hyperlinks start appearing online, Google sees it as a command to process and index your new pages. A great way to achieve this is to share your website links on social media, do a guest blog on a popular industry website linking back to your site or ask friends in high (blogging) places to give your brand a shoutout and a link online. Do Keyword Research If you don’t have the budget to hire an SEO expert, use the Google Keyword Planner to review search rankings for keywords, phrases, plurals, singulars, misspellings and long-tail keywords related to the products and services you offer. Visit competitors’ websites to see what keywords they are using. These keywords should be included in your content, metadata and image alt tags. Optimise for Mobile Google penalises websites that are not optimised for mobile users. If your website doesn’t dynamically change to accommodate different devices, then you will have a hard time ranking well for your chosen keywords. Need help with your content marketing, link building strategy or website design? Then contact WSI OMS...

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