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What you Need to Start a Business Blog

A lot of businesses are at risk of being obsolete. One cause of this is their lack of presence online.
 
Now, this may seem a threat at first. But if we were to view this statement in a whole different light, we may notice that it is actually a call for us to make sure our businesses stay relevant in times where the internet is widely used.
 
One thing we notice in most successful businesses is that they make sure they dominate online content. Companies like Apple, Amazon, and Alibaba have marked their footprints in the roster of successful companies. The secret behind that may lie in how they were able to develop their presence and their brand name online.
 
By doing so, they have managed to have people talk about them online, keeping their names relevantly fresh even in the simplest of conversations.
 
What we have to understand about the internet is that it is now a major game-changer in terms of regulating fora, discussions, and other means for communicating – this is where you want to be.
 
Therefore, developing a Business Blog will be one of the best decisions you will ever make to bolster your business. Eventually, it will help you to get people talking about your business more. This will also help you widen your reach even further to other potential customers.
 
But first things first. What will you need to start a business blog?

 

The Gift of WordPress

WordPress is a good starter platform for setting up your Business Blog (at least, in its beginning parts). It has two options: the free domain and the paid domain.
 
A Free WordPress domain would look like this: www.yourwebsitename.wordpress.com
 
WordPress.com is best used if you are currently at the point where you have just begun introducing your company online. It helps to have a quick start-up for your business blog to get your business descriptions online as early as possible: what your business is about, what services you provide and offer, and other details. However, using WordPress’ free domain will have limits. For one thing, you will not be able to sell directly from the website.
 
Other platforms include Weebly, Drupal, and Joomla. Just like WordPress, they also provide free services for establishing your very own website to host your business blog.
 
In order to make an upgrade and enable monetization for your blog (aka, enabling your website for online sales), you will have to invest in a paid domain via an annual subscription.
 
A paid domain will look like this: www.yourwebsitename.org
 
WordPress.org is the best upgrade you will make for your business blog because, for one thing, you are now hosting your very own website compared to when you were using WordPress.com. Self-hosting your website also enables you to engage in online sales and open up your website for affiliate marketers and advertising companies.
 
Other paid web hosting platforms include NameCheap, 1&1, and GoDaddy. Explore their paid hosting programs to suit whatever needs you may have in terms of maintaining your website 24/7.
 
Now, let’s go to designing your website.

 

Choosing a Website Theme

WordPress provides its own set of themes for free, although some of them will require paid domain subscriptions before availing. WordPress Theme Directory and Theme Forest will aid you in choosing the right design that best represents your business blog.
 
However, you will need to pay attention to the following:

  • Does it fit well with my chosen audience?
  • Does the design represent the nature of my business?
  • Is the theme accessible to various devices (e.g., mobile phones, personal computers, laptops, tablets)?
  • Does the theme come with a public forum or any form of customer support to address various issues I might encounter?
  • Does the theme provide me with a comprehensive roster of options for customization purposes?

 
Person working on laptop with pieces of paper with wireframe and smartphone with wireframe

 

Developing Your Content

Now that you have a well-designed website for your business blog, it is now time for you to plan and develop content.
 
As the saying goes, the best way to make a sale is to love your product. Building on that premise, you need to be able to translate your own interests into something that will pique the interest of your potential customers. Providing a narrative for all the applications of the product you are trying to sell is basically what a business blog is all about: talking about your products and services.
 
Therefore it is essential to find your voice: you do not necessarily have to be a good writer to make good content. What is important is how you manage to stay genuine while writing.
 
Brainstorming your topics is a good approach for planning your content as well as scheduling their releases. You can write about the benefits of your product, or have someone review them and publish it directly onto your business blog. In that way, you will be able to widen your influence online and establish new connections along the way. The more people who buy from your online store, the more people would want to write about your products. The more people who wish to write about your products,  the more people would get attracted to buying it.
 
In the long run, you would eventually develop a community of loyal customers continuously talking about your product and encouraging other people to buy from you. At that point, you are already having your customers help you promote your business online.

 

Discoverability and Networks

Now comes the technical part.
 
To ensure that your content can be seen by more people online, you will have to pay attention to optimizing your website to make it more searchable online. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) pays close attention to words you are using in your content. For example, if you are selling coffee beans, what other words can be tied up to that? And what would people most probably have to type in on their Google search bars to find you? Researching keywords is part of optimizing your website to rise in the ranks of Google search results.
 
Doing keyword research and integrating them in your title, some parts of the body, and the conclusion will prove essential (and by far the most laborious task you might do). You have the option to hire SEO experts and content writers to work on your content, or you could enroll yourself in SEO courses.
 
A good SEO strategy will increase the likeliness of your business blog to appear more often in Google searches. By doing so, you can meet people you would want to do partnerships with to grow and expand your business.

 

How to Improve Your PPC Campaign Strategy

PPC (pay-per-click) advertising today is among the best ways to generate new leads and get more sales. So, of course, you’ll want to optimize your PPC strategy to get optimal results.

Firstly, since a PPC campaign targets specific keywords, you end up getting more targeted traffic. Therefore, PPC will reduce the risk of receiving worthless leads and boost your conversion rate in the long term.

Plus, paid ads can be sent out immediately, so even if your business is brand new, you’ll still get faster results than with inbound marketing strategies such as SEO.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t focus on long-term inbound marketing strategies like SEO, but you can use PPC alongside it to increase your sales even more!

 

Strategies for Optimizing Your PPC Campaign

Regardless of if you’re going to create your 1st or possibly even 20th PPC campaign, you’re surely reevaluating what the best tips and strategies for optimizing your ads, increasing conversions, and increasing sales are. Use these strategies below to tweak your PPC campaign. When going into this, don’t worry about experimenting – you’ll inevitably find ways to make your ads even better.

 

Improve Website Performance

A quick loading website is essential since visitors will be more likely to leave your site if it takes more than two seconds to load.

You can see how fast your site loads by using tools like “Google Pagespeed Insights.”

 

Keep Updating Your Keywords List

When you initiate your first PPC campaign, you probably had many keywords to include. Since you spend a specific amount for each keyword, you should evaluate the performance of each one, then delete the keywords that aren’t working effectively.

When you do this, you can basically cut out the waste from your budget (underperforming keywords), and instead redirect it to the keywords that actually perform well.

Be sure to also remember to add negative keywords! That way, you won’t end up ranking for the keywords that bring in the wrong type of visitors.

 

Make Your Landing Pages Localized

Your business likely operates within a certain area, so you should endeavor to use localized landing pages to their fullest potential to reach the right people at the right time and place.

However, if you operate in several different locations, make each one have a unique landing page. Try your best to ensure that the user has a personal and relevant experience with your website.

 

Make Your Website Easily Accessible and Secure

A website that’s easy to access will make it easier for your visitors to read and browse through. Accessibility mostly has to do with font choice, writing shorter paragraphs, improving readability, using a good design, and including different content formats such as videos and images (wherever fitting).

But there are some important rules to remember for excellent website accessibility. Have a look over these, and while you do, keep your website’s security in mind.

Also, remember to use https instead of http. Otherwise, Google will actually make it harder for people to find your website. They penalize unsecured websites (those without https). If you do get penalized, that would likely damage your PPC campaign and cause it to underperform.

 

Create a Re-Marketing Strategy

Re-marketing, aka retargeting, refers to tracking site visitors and then showing them relevant ads on other websites and on social media.

This is an excellent way to turn leads into customers, particularly if the lead wasn’t ready to buy your product on the first visit (or you couldn’t obtain their email address/contact information).

Salt Rank Digital Marketing Agency Kansas City person on phone digital web ppc

Ad Extensions

Ad Extensions is a free addon that people can use to boost their paid ad campaigns. A free boost is something that you should definitely take advantage of.

What are some ad extensions that can be used for a PPC campaign? A few are: review, sitelink, and callout. These extensions will inform users on what your website is about and how other people perceive you. It will also give them a snapshot of what they will find on your site if they follow the direct link.

Extensions that allow users to contact or call you directly can also be beneficial.

 

FOMO

Fear of missing out as a marketing strategy works wonders. Several different urgency tactics work phenomenally well, and frequently successful ad campaigns utilize a combination of tactics all at once.

Using the scarcity tactic right from your PPC ad is simple. Just use phrases like “24 HOUR SALE – don’t miss out” or “free X for the first Y customers,” etc. will all work to elicit the FOMO in leads.

 

A/B Testing

A/B testing should be something that you do regularly for your ad campaigns. After all, many factors can influence a lead’s decision to click or buy your product. That is why you should be testing every possible element to reveal which ones have the most influence on the purchasing decision.

For instance, you could make several versions of your current landing page and see which headlines and designs work best

 

Work on Your Copywriting

Copywriting is a vital part of your pay-per-click ad. Since these ads show up in the search engine results, you don’t have the option of displaying an album of photos or a playlist of videos.

So, your written content will be the focus of attention. If you’re new to PPC campaigns, then one of the best uses of your money is hiring professional copywriters that have experience working on similar campaigns before.

 

Focus on the Channels That Convert Best

It may take some time, but you’ll eventually see which ad channels produce the best results.

If you’ve already spread yourself out across many different channels, then try this: do a mix of search engines and social media platforms (such as Facebook and Linkedin). Sooner or later, you’ll discover which kind of channels are more worth your time. Once you do, you can continue to raise your budget to drive more traffic from these channels.

 

How to Use Hashtags on Every Platform

For brand promotion on social media, hashtag usage is fundamental for success. The hashtag is basically just the pound sign. It’s used to make your content more discoverable online (as long as you use it correctly, more on that later).
 
Hashtags first gained popularity on Twitter but are now widespread on every social media platform, the main ones being Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. Learning the art of using hashtags will give you the tools you need to engage your audience and increase your social media reach without costing you a dime. The only cost will be the time that it takes you to learn how to use hashtags on each platform, and then it’s just paying attention to what’s currently trending.
 
So, when you use hashtags correctly, they will help people that are interested in your topic discover what you’re posting about it, thus expanding your influence and following online.

 

Defining the Hashtag

A hashtag can be any word placed after the pound sign. However, it’s more effective to put a keyword phrase after the pound sign. A keyword is something that people are currently searching for, so it makes sense to do some research on the best keywords before starting a hashtag campaign. Hashtags can be misused and ruin your image, so it’s essential first to know how to use hashtags to boost your business. When done correctly, hashtags can allow you to draw more attention to your posts and to create more interaction on your pages.
 
When you use a keyword or phrase as a hashtag, you do it like this: #howtousehashtags. Notice that there are no spaces. Your hashtag can include numbers but cannot contain punctuation or symbols. As for where to put your hashtag, you can put it in the beginning, middle, or end of your post. You can also write comments that include your hashtag. By using hashtags, what you’ve written becomes indexed by the social media website, so that whenever someone there searches for that keyword, your stuff will show up for them. The main advantage of hashtags is that it allows people who aren’t currently part of your social media circle to find out who you are. They can then become potential followers.

 

The Basics of Hashtags

You are placing a pound sign before your keyword to create a hashtag. While the idea might sound simple enough, there are still more basics that you need to be aware of before trying to be discovered with your hashtags.
 
Hashtags can only benefit your marketing strategy IF you do it the right way. So, here are some essential tips to remember on how to use hashtags across all social media networks:
 

  • Don’t go overboard with using another hashtag every couple of words.
  • Make your hashtags as short as possible while still being memorable instead of trying to fit in many words in one tag.
  • Don’t try to come up with something unique or clever. The whole point of using hashtags is to be more discoverable online, which isn’t going to happen if no one is searching for your hashtag!
  • However, short doesn’t mean broad. Your hashtag should be as detailed and specific as possible while still being something your target audience would search for.
  • You shouldn’t try to force hashtags into every post – that won’t come across very well. Rather, you should only use them when they can add value to your post. Value can mean having the potential to drum up conversation and interactions on your post.
  • Hashtags have another use besides attracting your target audience. They can also be used to research your competition. Simply search for your own hashtag, and you’ll find content related to your topic popping up. This content will likely belong to your competitors.

 

Hashtag Research

Before you start using random hashtags in your posts, be sure to do your research. Hashtag research is key to finding your audience and getting your posts in front of the right people. 
 
Here are some basic steps to performing your research:

  • Create a spreadsheet with these categories 
    • Hashtag, Size, Size Category, Topic, and Experience
  • Start by researching hashtags you use most often or hashtags that pertain to your business, services, or products and fill in each category.
  • Size refers to the size of the hashtag, on Instagram you will see this at the top of the search page.
  • Each size has a different category, as follows: 
    • Tiny – Less than 25K
    • Small – 25 – 50K
    • Medium – 50 – 100K
    • Large – 100 – 999K
    • Gigantic – 1M and above
  • Fill in the topic with just that, the topic in which the hashtag falls (ie. Social Media Tips, Website Stats, etc.)
  • Lastly, if any of your posts show up on the page when searching that hashtag make note of it under Experience.
  • Continue this process moving through business hashtags as well as researching what your competitors and target audience use and search for.

 
Salt Rank Digital Marketing Kansas City Hashtag

Facebook Hashtags

On this network, it’s especially important not to overdo it on hashtags. It’s generally recommended to use only one or two specific hashtags on this platform. Going higher than that will make you look unprofessional and annoy other users.

 

Twitter Hashtags

For Twitter, one or two hashtags per tweet are acceptable. Also, when you use a couple of hashtags and then ask your followers to retweet, this will bring you even more engagement. For the most significant impact on this network, research the trending hashtags. The best tool for researching Twitter trends, specifically, is Twitonomy.

 

Pinterest Hashtags

On Pinterest, you should use one or two hashtags that are relevant to your topic. Broad terms are mostly ineffective on this platform. On the other hand, unique or specific hashtags pertinent to your topic work exceptionally well here.

 

Linkedin Hashtags

Hashtags haven’t always been emphasized on LinkedIn, but that’s changing. Today it’s now acceptable to use 1-3 hashtags in your long-form content posts. On LinkedIn, where networking is one of the central, vital features, hashtags can be essential to getting your posts in front of people who don’t usually see them. Or, in other words, people who are outside of your network. Utilizing hashtags on LinkedIn is also an excellent way to increase brand awareness.

 

Instagram Hashtags

On Instagram, hashtag usage is much more acceptable. It’s usually quite useful in terms of engagement to use more hashtags. You can use as many as 30 different hashtags on one Instagram post. However, it’s better to start with 10-11 hashtags that are relevant and popular on Instagram. You don’t have to use that many hashtags, but it’s good to know that you can if you want. Don’t be too afraid to experiment with hashtags here as it’s the best place to do it! You should use hashtags everywhere here, including in comments, posts, and photos.

Help Your Business Succeed With These 10 Quick SEO Tips

Amidst this coronavirus pandemic, many businesses have now opted to go on online platforms since physical distancing is strictly implemented. 
 
Many stores have been closed since it is not cost-efficient to keep them running due to the limited number of customers, and the bills just keep coming. So, it is better to set up your website and make the necessary transactions online.
 
The first thing to know in setting up a website is advertising your page. With millions of pages up and running today, it is challenging to make your website known and visible to the public. To help improve your website’s visibility, you need to know about SEO or Search Engine Optimization. 
 
Basically, SEO increases a website’s traffic by raising the possibility of being seen by a search engine, using keywords in your website content that matches a keyword search. If your site is fully optimized, it will increase the possibility of showing up first in search engine results, thus gaining you more customers and popularity. 
 
Knowing these SEO tips for small businesses will surely help you start your path in the online market:

 

 1. Decide on the Type of Website

There are many types of websites used by businesses. Your website can be an online shopping site, a service provider website, a publishing website, etc. Also, having a website name related to what type of business you are doing helps in getting a match in keyword searches.

 

 2. Use Significant Keywords in Online Content

As you fill up your web page with different content, you may also need to add several statements or paragraphs describing your page. It helps to use keywords related to your business in these paragraphs so that the search engines will also capture these keywords and put them up in search results.
 
Also, make sure to write original content. Duplicate content from other web pages dramatically decreases your chances of showing up first in search engine results. Be sure to write original and unique content for your website with the right keywords to attract your customers.
 
 

 3. Add Keywords in Image Captions

For business websites that are selling products online, images are the most critical factor in selling your product. Since the customer may be wary of the actual quality of the product, it is vital to provide high-resolution images of the product.
 
One of the most essential things to do is adding captions to these products with the right keywords. If properly done, your product will be one of the first images to show up in a search engine result, if you match the search result’s keywords. This will also add more traffic and views to your website. The product description must always be clear, without any unnecessary words.
 
 

 4. Make Sure to Put Significant Keywords in Links

Your website will have a unique address, for example, https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2016/04/13/30-quick-and-easy-seo-tips-for-small-businesses/.
 
This is an example of a good website link. A search for “SEO tips for small businesses” will inevitably lead the customer to this website since the link has keywords matching the search result.
 
If you can predict what the customers will input in the search engine, you can use that to your advantage and try to match your website link’s keywords to the most common keywords used by the customers. 
 
Also, avoid using shortened links composed of random letters and numbers since it will be hard for the search engine to match it with the keywords used for the search.

 

Salt Rank SEO Keyword Research Content SEM

 

 5. Link to Related and Relevant Websites

At first, your website will start off small and will be limited in visibility. To further expand your network, you can start by adding links to your page to other more prominent websites. It may be hard at first since it will benefit the other site at first, but once you get a few clicks to your own link, you will start to get more traffic, and it will show up more in search engine results.
 
Make sure your link looks as trustworthy as possible since there are too many malicious sites trying to bait customers into clicking their links. We also advise you to post your links only on trustworthy and reliable websites.
 
 

 6. Improve the Usability of Your Homepage

Your homepage will be the first to greet your online customers. Make sure that it is user-friendly and appealing to the eyes. Make sure to include all the necessary keywords in texts so the search engine can quickly locate your website.

 

 7. Write Articles on Product Comparison

Many customers are always comparing which product is better as they browse through the internet for product reviews. Making articles on product comparison is a great way to capture the interest of customers, especially on products that are trending and are the latest on the market.
 
By using keywords such as “Which is better,” “vs.,” “product comparison,” “what to buy,” etc., you can ensure that the search engine will show your articles in the results, thus redirecting the customers to your website.
 
You can also add links to the articles for online buyers if they want to purchase your product. This is also a great way to increase your sales.

 

 8. Always Write New Blog Posts

There are websites with blog sections containing topics about their products and other related matters. Adding this section to your site will provide you more chances of hitting a match in search engine algorithms and therefore increasing the traffic to your website.

 

 9. Use Proper Header Tags When Designing Your Website

Search engines such as Google often show a small preview of the website at the top of the search results. This preview will help the customer decide if visiting the site is worthwhile or not. If you properly structure your website using header tags, it will be easier to attract the customers to your website since you can easily show that you have what they are looking for.

 

 10. Consult With an SEO Expert or Learn It Yourself

Many people who are just starting in online businesses have no idea what SEO even stands for. To be successful in the world of online businesses, one must be fully equipped with knowledge on how to conduct their business online. For new business owners, it may be better for them to consult an SEO expert if it is their first time transitioning to online platforms.
 
Many websites have increased their sales just by knowing these SEO tips for small businesses. It is important to take every advantage you have in this competitive world of commerce.

 

Why Optimizing Your Old Blogs is Important

Maintaining a blog can be taxing at times as trends on the internet change every single day. What’s in last month may be old school in the present. Consequently, what was previously generating you hefty prices might be getting stagnant now. This is why you need to know how to optimize old blog posts

 

Optimization is the key to achieving success in terms of reachability to your target customer or audience; however, coming up with brand new content for current blogs may be time-consuming to do. It may also cost more due to the manpower and research that goes with it. Then, after all the effort you’ve put in, it just gets little to no traffic.

 

Historical Optimization may help you save time, money, and effort wasted in creating new content but with the advantage of spending less on all the mentioned factors. This inbound marketing strategy involves updating or revising your old content to get more traffic and attract more clients. If you’re skeptical, here are some points to convince you about the importance of incorporating Historical Optimization into your business blogging routine: 

 

 1. It Costs NOTHING

Generating new blog posts and all your time spent formulating ideas and data costs money.

 

However, rewriting old ones costs you zero cents and can even give back tons of traffic, which means potential profit for you and your business.

 

All you have to do is update any outdated details in your blog. This includes:

 

  •       rechecking for accuracy concerning the current date when it’s going to be posted
  •       updating or adding new images
  •       optimizing keywords
  •       updating internal links
  •       adding subheadings
  •       reconstructing readability if necessary

 

You just have to revise and update the entire content piece for better timeliness and relatability. Afterward, you can keep track of how it is doing by calculating its conversion rate. If it does not perform any better, you can always improve the above steps mentioned. It will only cost you effort, and not a single penny, so it’s always worthwhile. 

 

 2. How to Get Started

In a report made by HubSpot, they concentrated on knowing what exact keywords people use in searching for posts they are looking for specifically. After figuring out the keywords that ranked highest for such topics, they used it in their past blog posts to boost their reach and searchability.

 

This resulted in them having an increased conversion rate of 240 percent per post, which encouraged them to do the same for their other 12 posts. The results produced a double number of leads compared to what they initially generated.

 

Using this technique not only allows you to increase your post’s traffic but also lets you find organic and sincere clients that may soon be paying customers, as your post comes up with what they are exactly searching for. 

 

Salt Rank Computer Blog Notes 

 

 3. It Gives You the Right Amount of Content

Readers can only read a limited amount of content per day. Some may even be content with reading only on a blog post about a certain topic. Optimizing old blog posts to be relevant again in the present may allow your content to be on top of the search engine and reach your target audience without you having to churn out as much content as possible.

 

The supply of content gets too overcrowded while at the same time, the demand is static. Constantly reaching out to the audience with new content might just be seen as inappropriately fitting into a huge crowd. Through historical Optimization, you’ll gain no wasted effort and time from trying to leverage new content. It lets you settle with just the right amount, with the maximum possible conversion.

 

 4. It Maintains Relevance

Change is constant, and with every tick of the clock, the content market is getting stricter. Statistics show that over 87.6 million affiliated blogs are published through WordPress each month. Given this strict competition, it might sound impossible or like too much hustle to constantly come up with top-performing content.  Strategies improve, tips and tricks differ, and niche trends vary. But one thing is for sure, meeting your current audiences’ taste means going with the flow of relevancy. Who would rather waste a second on content that is not timely? To retain relevance, you can do the following historical optimization techniques: 

 

  •   Refresh content from a few months, or two years ago. High-performing blogs from this time bracket might just need a little shine on them to regain their sparkle. Since they are not that old yet, they require lesser historical optimization. Just sprinkle a few up to date details.
  •   Lengthen shorter content. Short but concise might have worked well for you a year ago. Still, your previous content might have benefited from more information now. Perhaps, the list of top airbrush makeup products last year only reaches five, while a newer number is introduced now. You can provide those updates and provide more value to your audience.
  •   Update year-specific posts. Posts with a year in their title generate high traffic because, of course, of relevance. But while they might serve as effective prize pigs, they grow dusty quickly too. Fortunately, it won’t take you a single sweat to optimize them. For instance, your blog titled “Why Invest in Real Estate in 2019”, might still have the same possible details in them, and thus, it only needs a title to revamp. 
  •   Add valuable keywords. In-depth keyword research is the key to improving your SEO potential. By finding out the most valuable keywords for your content, and optimizing their density, you can regain value with your post and possibly rank up in the search engine results. 

 

Takeaway

Learning about Historical Optimization may boost your business and blog posts interactions and engagements, albeit using the simplest tricks available. At Salt Rank, we believe that every business has a chance to grow and be marketed in an impactful and meaningful way. With us, you can discover efficient marketing and SEO programs that can take your business to the next level. 

Tips for How to Market to Gen Z

Digital marketing is a business strategy that employs the creative use of the internet to market a product, build an online presence, and deliver excellent customer service. It started its journey decades ago, but it proves to be more relevant today more than ever before.
 
It is no secret that digital marketing has been the backbone of every successful enterprise in the market. As we embark on a society dominated by Millennials and Gen Z’s, businesses should adopt digitization if they want their companies to stay afloat for the next ten years.
 
A few years from now, Gen Z’s will become the next generation to dominate the market, having massive spending power by 2026. They are the net future of retail, so brands should start establishing valuable relationships with them early on.
 
Get ahead and make sure to surpass this generation’s expectations. Here are smart tips on how brands can market to the incoming generation of tech-savvy individuals.

 

 

 1. Focus on Customer Experience, Not Products

 

The days of product and service focused advertisements are long gone. If you want to survive this year’s digital world, then turn your attention to what your target consumers want —EXPERIENCE.
 
As Gen Z’s become more educated and informed, they are also becoming responsible buyers in the online market. They are not as gullible as boomers. Aesthetically pleasing online advertisements are not going to cut it for them.
 
They do not want you to tell them how great your product is; they would already know that through a single Google search. Instead, they want authentic brand messages and stories and a company that cares and stands for something relevant. More importantly, they want the experience that comes with your product.
 
Prioritize these things, and you will see your company spend zero dollars on marketing ads. Tweets and Insta stories from Gen Z’s will already do it for you, cost-free.

 

 

 2. Bring in Interactive Content

There is a reason why almost every Generation Z wears zodiac necklaces and shares online quizzes titled, “Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Take this quiz to find out!”
 
The younger generation craves interactive and immersive content, especially ones that involve their personal selves. So, stack up heavily on material that lets your brand interact with your target audiences, such as polls and quizzes.
 
Moreover, they want user-generated content, which means that they would trust peer reviews and testimonials more than your online pop ads. So, invest in video product reviews and photos to get them engaged. It is also useful to get your brand message out through trusted influencers or vloggers. 

 

 

 3. Make It Quick but Engaging

According to an article, the average attention span of a 20-something Gen Z is approximately eight seconds. That is how quickly they decide if your ad is worth their time or not. This means that you have eight seconds or less to get their attention, deliver your message, and get them clicking and buying. 
 

  • Avoid long-form texts. Use short acronyms, trending phrases, and references that will engage them.
  • Use visual aids and elements such as memes, emojis, and GIFs. You can never go wrong with a funny and trending meme.
  • Use an aesthetically pleasing color palette (pastels!) or a good photo that captures their attention and will elicit the right feelings that you want them to experience.

 

You can employ the expertise of a digital marketing services agency when it comes to these kinds of things. They can give you a professional opinion, as well as take care of the technicalities that comes with it.

 

gen-z-vlogger-video-influencer-youtuber

 

 4. Use the Right Channels

The days of email marketing and cold calls have long been gone. Gen Z’s are born in the digital world; they grew up already accessing the intricacies of the internet and use up all their time on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.
 
Because of early awareness of the power of the internet, young adults greatly rely on it when it comes to their necessities, wants, and needs. Do they want to check out a new pair of shoes? They’ll go to Instagram and visit that store’s account. Do they want to try a new line of lippies? They’ll go to YouTube and search trusted reviews from vloggers.
 
If you want their attention, market your brand on the right channels. Use each platform differently, based on how Gen Z’s interact. For instance, use Twitter as a way to communicate with your audience and Instagram to publish inspirational content and stories. You can also use TikTok to create fun videos, all the while advertising your brand discreetly.
 
Also, some social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have built-in analytics that tracks consumer buying behavior and their location.

 

 

 5. Be a Brand That Cares

Establish relevant brand advocacy that makes you stand out against other brand noises. Show them that making sales is not your ultimate motive; be a business with relevant advocacies that Gen Z’s can look up to. They may be young, but most of them aspire to impact the world positively through their work; it is highly likely that they will patronize brands that want to do the same.
 
Remember the top shoe brand TOMS? They are not just popular with Millennials because of the quality of their product. Consumers love them because they stand for a great cause—a free pair of shoes for those in need for every purchase you make.

 

 

 6. Be Authentic and Transparent

There is no better way to establish this than by opening channels of communication with your target audience. Stay in touch with them and make the most out of social media platforms. Since everybody spends their precious time there, use social networks to maintain connection and interaction with your customers. It is a great platform to monitor the latest trends, as well as the comments and suggestions of your clientele.
 
Demonstrate authenticity by managing and solving problems that arise. Take accountability, apologize, and do better. Transparency and honesty are great ways to back up your reputation and brand message. It shows that you stick to your word and is as good as the reputation you projected. 

Top 4 Website Design Trends to Boost Your Website Traffic

Everyone wants to make a good and lasting first impression. Your website, in most cases, is your company’s first impression on potential clients. If your website is poorly designed or loads slowly, you could lose the interest of your viewers. 

 

A well-designed website is going to keep a customer on the page, while a poorly designed site will lead to high bounce rates. In this blog, you will learn about some of the latest design trends in website design that you could then potentially include in your website redesign to help boost traffic.

 

White Space

White space on a website can be done in many different ways. It helps to give the eyes “room to breathe” if you will and helps to make a page look less cluttered. While it is good to have this white space, you also don’t want to overuse it with too much open and unused space. 

 

An area many companies use white space in on their site is at the top of the homepage, the first thing a client will see. This gives off a clean look and makes the company look professional. 

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Via Mike Barnes
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Via AIDAD

Minimalist Design

Minimalist design goes hand-in-hand with white space. Typically, minimalistic design is just that – minimal design elements on the page to create a very simple and professional look. This design style tends to not be too flashy and displays the content of the page in a very professional manner. 

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Via Mike Barnes

Mix of Graphics and Photography

Another popular design trend is mixing graphic design with photography. This is typically done to bring the viewer’s attention to a particular spot on the page. It can be as simple as a different colored box being an offset frame around an image or text, or it can be as whimsical as a stroke of paint across the lower section of an image to bridge the gap between white space and the photo.

 

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Via Mithum
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Via Anton Siribaddana

   

Overlapping Layers

This design trend is similar to the mixing of graphics and photos and can be used together in many cases. Overlapping layers is most commonly used with text over images. But it can also be used to draw attention to an area on the page or to give depth to elements that would otherwise look flat. Giving depth helps to break up the page and add dimension.

 

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Via Slaviana

Many of the design trends we mentioned could potentially be used together. Having some overlapping imagery when people arrive at your homepage while also allowing for good white space around it. Perhaps you have an image with an offset block which would also include overlapping layers. The possibilities are endless!

 

Have a website built that gets the job done, but want more? Have you thought about hiring a company to do a redesign? Your website may be “getting the job done” but what if it could bring in more traffic and possibly more leads?

 

Contact the professionals at Salt Rank today to help you with your website redesign and get back in style with the latest design trends.

 

7 Tips for Amplifying Your Social Media

Social media is needed for every business, but it’s not always easy to maneuver. We understand this and are here to help. With years of social media experience under our belts, we wanted to share some of our top tips for amplifying your social media marketing.

 

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KNOW WHEN TO POST

Knowing when to post on each social media platform your company is on is crucial. You want to make sure that you are posting content at the time your audience is likely to be online. You can see this on many platforms by looking at the Insights. For instance, on Facebook, when you navigate to the Insights page, select Posts on the left side. You will then see a timeline of a one week period and how often your posts appear when your fans are online. There have also been many studies done that show when optimal times are to post in your niche, like this one from Sprout Social or this one from HubSpot.  

USE VISUALS

Sometimes a short and sweet post with text can get a point across, but if you really want to amplify your engagement you have to use good visuals. Photos are always an easy one and get people’s attention quickly. Graphics are also great, whether it’s a simple vector of something you mention in the text or an infographic that explains steps of a process or visually tells a story. Video might be the king of all visuals, especially in today’s world for YouTube and TikTok. One study showed that “social media videos generated up to 1200% more shares than text and images combined (MartechAdvisor).”

ASK QUESTIONS

Not really sure what kind of content your audience wants to see more of? Maybe you want their opinion on a new product? All you have to do is ask for their opinion. Just about every social media platform now has a way to ask questions or create a poll, aside from just a simple text post.

LinkedIn recently added polls to their website and even Instagram has a question feature as well as a poll in their IG Stories. Asking questions is a great way to communicate with your audience as well as find out more about who they are and what they like. It also generates more engagement which means a boost in numbers for you. 

USE A CONTENT CALENDAR

Creating, curating, and scheduling posts can be very time consuming when it comes to social media. Maybe you are a one-person show and just don’t have time to work it in all the time but you know that it needs to be done. Invest in a good content calendar online tool or create your own using a spreadsheet or even just writing it down on a printable calendar sheet. Using a content calendar can help you save time operating your social media so that you can focus on other areas of your company that need attention. There are many great online platforms out there if you are interested in investing a little money into a program.

Platforms like Hootsuite, Coschedule, and Sprout Social are some of the most frequently used platforms out there and offer a variety of plans and tools to help you with your daily tasks.  We suggest taking about an hour or so each day to create and plan out your content a week in advance. You can always work ahead as well, but be sure to come back and check your calendar before things are posted to make sure they are still relevant to current events. 

(You could also hire a company, like Salt Rank, to help you manage your social media platforms. See more here!)

SHARE FROM INDUSTRY LEADERS

Though creating and sharing your own content is key to showing others you have knowledge about your business, it is also important to share what industry leaders have to say. This helps to further your understanding of your industry and shows that you are well informed. Always be sure to credit your sources and tag them when relevant. Tagging these other industry professionals can also help you to be seen by more people. 

 

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POST WITH PURPOSE

When you are creating content, always be thinking about your audience. Will what you are about to post be beneficial to your audience? Does it hold value? You never want to just “post to post,” you want to make sure that you are sharing information your audience wants to see. Information that helps to solve a problem your audience may be having. 

USE ADS TO GROW YOUR AUDIENCE

Using ads on any social media platform is a great way to grow your audience. For a new business, it’s a great way to get your business in front of your local audience and tell them about who you are. For a business that has been around for a bit, it’s still good to run page like ads to find new potential customers, but engagement ads are also great. Many platforms like Facebook and Instagram often let you know when a post is doing well or could potentially reach more people if you boost it. Boosted posts are a great way to generate more engagement and attract new customers. Each platform has many different ad options and testing them out is great for any business. Even offering up a small budget for testing each month could help you to find new potential strategies to grow your business.

There you have it, our 7 Tips for Amplifying your Social Media. Did we miss anything you think we should have mentioned on our list? Have a question or want more information? Check out our social media platforms for more tips on the industry and follow us for added value each week. Feel free to reach out and we will be happy to assist you with all of your digital marketing needs.

Top Spring Marketing Campaign Ideas

Spring is here, and with that comes the demand for creating marketing plans and strategies for the new season.

But this is no ordinary spring, especially for small businesses and web design companies. But Salt Rank is here to help.

We’re all in this together as the coronavirus ravages the global economy. Now more than ever is the time to start planning long term for your business. We have to begin working smarter to survive the challenges ahead.

 

 

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How Your Business Can Survive the Coronavirus Outbreak

Businesses are now examining their marketing budgets more carefully, trying to figure out if they’re getting the most out of every dollar that they spend, as well as looking at cost-effective strategies for delivering products and services.

Cutting the marketing budget may seem like an obvious choice at this point, but it’s just a short term solution that will have negative after-effects. After all, without having a visible presence in your target market, your long term profitability will sink.

And while everyone will be watching their money more closely, they have no choice but to spend it. While people do have the option to spend less, our job is to determine what they’re still purchasing. They don’t want to be wasteful in a time like this; people want to purchase what they need from businesses that they are able to trust.

 

1) Make Yourself Prominent and Visible During This Crisis

Remember that old saying “out of sight and out of mind?” Well, we need to remember that now more than ever before. If you can’t maintain the line of communication with your customers, then you risk losing them. Also, it’s always less expensive to keep your current customers than it is to find new ones.

And as other businesses make the wrong decision and begin to pull the plug on creating visibility, that creates a vacuum for your business to fill.

You should be putting more effort into marketing now because as the recession worsens, many people who get laid off will try and start a business. These new businesses will be competing with yours for visibility, and do you want to risk losing that battle? 

So, to build up your brand awareness, you must increase visibility. To enhance visibility, you must drive more people to your site where you can make more sales. And the easiest way to get discovered by potential customers or clients is during the buying process when they’re searching for what you sell.

There are a few essential principles to understand when it comes to visibility:

  • What others say about you has more of an impact than what you say about yourself. An inexpensive way of getting your name out is by leveraging the influence and authority of other experts in your niche.

 

  • Evergreen content needs to be updated. Just because it’s evergreen doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t water (update) it every now and again. Your main objective is for this eternally useful content to rank high in the search engines. So when you give it an update, that should be your goal.

 

  • You’ve no doubt heard of the mere exposure effect. This effect happens when a person is so frequently exposed to something (such as an advertisement) that they begin to form a preference for it merely because it’s familiar. So if you can find an inexpensive way to keep your brand in front of potential customers as much as possible, you’ll be setting yourself up for success. Setting aside a dedicated budget for this principle alone is worth it.

 

 

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2) Optimize for Conversions ASAP

One high impact low-cost digital marketing method that you should get familiar with quickly is conversion rate optimization. This means making small adjustments to the buyer’s journey to convert as many website visitors into clients or customers as possible. Here are a few examples of conversion rate optimization strategies:

  • Understand the basics of machine learning and artificial intelligence. The latest developments in these two fields will give you the competitive edge you need to find the right customers at the right times. By utilizing this, you’ll be able to lower your cost per lead and get the right message out to the right prospect at the right time.

 

  • Providing a good experience for customers is crucial. Spend the money needed to make your website fast and personalized for visitors. And when it comes to keeping costs done, keep in mind that small adjustments to your site will have a disproportionately large impact on the end results.

 

  • Utilize social proofing techniques for your business. Use your case studies, reviews, and recommendations at every touchpoint of your marketing. Also, make sure that this content is included in different places on your website. And finally, remember to share it all on social media.

 

3) KPIs are Critical

If you don’t measure your results, then you won’t be able to manage your marketing effectively, and you may just be throwing your money away.

You want to hold yourself accountable for your marketing expenses. You can do this by measuring your results vs. the criteria you have for success. These criteria might be upselling, referrals, or the number of leads you generate. Now more than ever is when KPIs (key performance indicators) matter.

Here’s how you can configure your KPIs if you haven’t already:

  • Determine your ROI from social media. When budgets are tight, social media can appear to be a sensible option for cutting. After all, it can be a time-consuming activity. However, before you cut the cord, make sure that you understand how social media is producing results for your business. How much profitability, engagement, and visibility does it bring to your company?

 

  • Use Google Analytics to its full potential. Make sure that you’re using all of the available data to improve your marketing efficiency. Some questions you should ask are: Did we set up goals properly? Is the Search Console connected? Did we define what we’re measuring? And finally, are we utilizing all of the free data available from Google Analytics in our marketing strategy?

When marketing budgets are tight, you can fall back on your KPIs to help guide you through the storm. By knowing your KPIs, you’ll be able to answer the question, “what kind of spending really matters for my business?”

 

 

 

 

Using Images to Market on Social Media

Do you like to share images on social media without a second thought? If so, have you ever wondered whether that’s the right thing to do? Knowing the basics about copyright law will allow you to use images on social media legally as well as help you protect your content.

There are rules and laws to follow when it comes to image marketing, and a good online marketing services company will adhere to them.

The following guidelines can protect your business from a copyright infringement lawsuit.

 

 

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What is Copyright Protection?

Copyright can apply to many different types of creative works. Copyright protection is automatic (if you used it, then that work is assumed to be yours). But what about the copyright symbol? Well, some people still like to use it as a way of saying, “Hey, this is mine,” even though it isn’t legally required.

Copyright essentially means that nobody else can use your creation without permission.

However, the protection can only be enforced if you apply with the US Copyright Office within 90 days of when you released your content. So, for example, if a violation occurs on June 1, you’ll have until September 1 to apply. If you don’t apply by then, you won’t be able to sue for copyright infringement.

 

Using Others’ Work

When it comes to using others’ work, always remember this rule: if you didn’t create it, then you shouldn’t use it. Even giving the creator credit won’t always be enough.

The exception is if the image is “labeled for reuse” or if the owner gave their express permission for others to use their image. Also, pay attention if there are any caveats like “for non-commercial usage only.”

 

Read the Terms of Service

Each social media website has its own rules put in place to protect their company and their users. That’s why if you’re a business, then this next step really is mandatory: you must read through the website’s terms of service. It’s super important and can save you much trouble down the line.

 

Why You Should Read the Terms of Service: A Real-World Example

We need to hammer this point home, which is why we’re going to show you an example of why you should understand terms of service. On Pinterest, they have a couple of interesting rules. The first one is that you’re responsible for everything that you post on the platform. The second rule is that you’re allowed to repin other people’s images on Pinterest. 

The first rule can get you into trouble. Let’s say that Sarah has a blog about puppies, Rachel on Pinterest loves one of those puppies and copies the picture onto her Pinterest account. Jane comes along and repins the image onto her board of adorable puppies. In this case, Rachel and Jane would be violating the terms of service, even though Jane wasn’t aware of where the image originally came from. That’s because of the seemingly simple rule “you’re solely responsible for the content you post to Pinterest.”

So it’s essential to not only read all of the rules and terms but to understand them as well. This area is where an online marketing services company can be very beneficial. They will make sure that all of the rules are followed to protect you and your business/brand.

 

 

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Understand Image Licensing

Another layer of complexity comes from stock services: image licensing. You can purchase images from these stock websites, and you have the option of what kind of license you’d like them to have. Generally speaking, the more expensive licenses allow you to do more with the image. Depending on the license in question, you may only be able to post the picture a certain number of times, or for certain types of usage only. With images and licenses, it’s essential to know what you’re buying.

 

Seek Permission From the Creator

You should always try and get permission from the owner before using their image or video. Many people will be happy for you to use their image, provided that you give them credit. Also, keep in mind that there are attorneys and photographers out there looking for people who violate copyright. Most of them will be happy to settle outside of court, but that can still cost you thousands of dollars. Just remember it’s better to be safe than sorry when you’re considering whether or not to use an image or video to market on social media.

 

Fair Use Guidelines

But what about fair use? You might assume that fair use doesn’t apply to images used in marketing campaigns, and your assumption would most likely be correct. You see, fair use is one of the only exceptions to the copyright rule. The purpose of the fair use doctrine is to allow for exceptions of when images and content can be used by others, as long as that usage doesn’t impede the original author’s rights.

Giving credit to the creator isn’t the same thing as fair use. Fair use refers to how you are using that content. If you’re using it for education or nonprofit purposes, then it’s more likely to be considered fair use.

Whether or not it’s fair use depends on the nature of the work.  Also, how much did you use – for example, did you use a single page of a book or the entire book?

An example would be a TV show. Sure it’s fine to take a snapshot of the TV show and post the picture in your ebook. However, what you can’t do is take an entire episode of said TV show and publish it on your website while claiming fair use for educational purposes.

When it comes to fair use, always ask yourself the question, “why am I using this content, and how much of it am I using?”

Continue reading “Using Images to Market on Social Media”

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