11 Best Ways to Boost Ecommerce Sales Fast

Whether you’re a new business or have been in business for several years, getting more ecommerce sales will benefit your company.

Unfortunately, businesses go through plateaus and declines.

These things happen, but don’t get discouraged.

If you’re having trouble coming up with new ways to get more customers and increase revenue, I can give you some pointers.

Your previous methods may have worked at one point, but eventually, the same old strategies can grow stale.

It’s essential your business is constantly keeping up with new trends.

Consumer habits have changed, especially in the ecommerce industry.

As a marketing expert, I’ve analyzed these trends and come up with a list of tips that will actually work.

Here are the top 11 ways to generate more sales on your ecommerce site.

1. Target your existing customers

When businesses have trouble growing, they immediately think it’s because they don’t have enough customers.

This is a common misconception, so don’t jump to conclusions.

Instead of focusing all your effort on customer acquisition, you should improve your customer retention strategy.

Look at the impact loyal customers have on an ecommerce site:

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Compared to new customers and customers who only made one purchase on your website, loyal customers:

add more items to their shopping carts
have a higher conversion rate
generate more revenue each time they visit your site

Don’t get me wrong.

Obviously, it’s great for your business if you can keep getting new customers.

But that’s a more expensive marketing strategy.

It’s much more cost efficient to go after your existing customer base.

Why?

These people are already familiar with your brand.

They know how to use your products, and there’s no learning curve.

So focus on ways to improve their experience.

Try to come up with a customer loyalty program that gives people an incentive to spend more money each time they shop.

Each dollar spent can translate to a rewards point.

When a customer accumulates a certain number of points, they can redeem them for discounts or other promotions.

2. Display icons that show your site is trustworthy

Nobody will want to shop on your ecommerce site if it appears sketchy or otherwise untrustworthy.

One of the first things you need to do is make sure your website is secure.

Check out this example from Foot Locker:

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Cyber security is a major concern for shoppers these days.

In the last five years, 46% of Americans have been the victims of credit card fraud.

Security of their information is a priority for online shoppers.

You need to recognize this and make the necessary adjustments.

But what can you do to prove you’re trustworthy?

Proudly display any security badges your website is using.

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These are some examples of popular choices.

I know this should go without saying, but I want to be clear. Make sure you’re not lying or misleading your customers.

Don’t just go slapping these badges all over your website unless you actually have a relationship with these companies.

Otherwise, you can find yourself in some legal trouble as well.

Which one of these security measures is the best?

I don’t want to talk about performance, but I can tell you which one speaks to customers the most.

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Norton Antivirus won by a landslide in terms of public perception.

So if you’re using Norton and don’t have the badge displayed, you need to change that as soon as possible.

For those of you shopping for new potential website security providers, it’s not a bad idea to check them out as a top consideration.

3. Use video demonstrations

Consumers love videos.

In fact, over half of marketing experts across the globe say that video has the top return on investment compared to other marketing tactics.

Websites that have videos can get the average user to spend 88% more time on their pages.

In addition, videos do as well as ads. That’s how the ecommerce brand Robo generated $4.7 million in revenue running video ads.

This creates an increase in engagement as well as interest in whatever you’re trying to sell.

Videos resonate more with people, so it’s likely that they’ll remember what they watched as opposed to just reading about it.

What’s a reasonable way to include relevant videos on your ecommerce site?

Create product demonstrations like Nato does with their smart mount:

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The video shows users how they can use this product in their daily lives.

Their website explains that the mount works for smartphones, tablets, GPS devices, and lightweight laptops.

Listing this is one thing, but showing customers how it works through video demonstrations is much more effective.

The video shows a demonstration of the product in the kitchen, car, bedroom, boat, office, and even bathroom.

So it appeals to a wider range of people.

This strategy won’t necessarily work for all products.

For example, if you’re selling a shirt, you won’t need to demonstrate how to put on a shirt.

But if there’s something special about your clothing in terms of usage and functionality, a video is a great way to convey that message.

It’s also an ideal strategy for ecommerce sites selling new products that may be unique or creative.

4. Use photos when you include customer testimonials

User reviews and testimonials are a great way to show proof of concept.

But a message from some nameless and faceless person isn’t really that convincing.

Take your testimonials one step further.

Add a photo and include the person’s full name and title (if relevant to your product).

Here’s a great example from Pangea Organics:

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Autumn Bree Fata is an integrative health coach, so her title provides some authority and tells us she knows something about this product.

Including a picture of her face shows she’s a real person and not just somebody you made up.

What do you think looks better and more professional?

The example above or:

“This product is great!” – Daniel L.

It’s obvious. The example from Pangea Organics will resonate more with the people visiting your website.

This testimonial can encourage others to make a purchase and drive more sales.

Here’s another example from Naturally Curly:

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This ecommerce store sells beauty products designed specifically for customers with curly hair.

Their website allows users to share their stories and include pictures as well.

If your product is solving a problem, customers will be happy to share their stories.

I’ve explained before how storytelling can engage and persuade people.

Combining storytelling and photographs with your testimonials will help drive more sales on your site.

5. Recognize your customers want to shop from their mobile devices

Just because you have an ecommerce website doesn’t mean you can assume your customers are shopping only from their computers.

The reality is that people use mobile phones and tablets to shop online.

Research shows 40% of mobile users have bought something online from their devices.

Furthermore, 63% of millennials shop on their phones.

These numbers can’t be ignored.

Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices.

If your site isn’t mobile friendly, it will turn potential sales away.

For those of you without an optimized mobile site, it could be one of the reasons you’re seeing a decline in sales.

I’d make that a top priority on your to-do list.

Something else you can consider is building a mobile app.

Look at why customers prefer apps compared to a mobile website:

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All these reasons make things easier for the customer.

Improving the customer experience will help you get more sales and increase your revenue.

Find a way to focus on what customers want.

Convenience
Speed
Saved preferences and settings
Benefits and rewards
Personalization
Entertainment

If your website, mobile site, and mobile application can provide these benefits, you won’t have an issue getting more sales.

6. Offer more discounts

It may sound simple, but not enough companies are offering discounts to their customers.

If you’re worried about your profit margins, just use a marketing strategy that’s as old as time.

Jack up the base price of each product and then put it on sale.

It’s simple.

Take a look at this example from Express:

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They are offering 40% off everything on their website.

So many times I’ll see websites offer “up to” a certain percent off “select items.”

Sure, that works too.

But that’s nothing compared to 40% off everything site wide.

Everyone loves getting a good deal, so this is a great way to drive sales.

7. Showcase your top selling items

Give your customers some direction.

Show them what people are buying the most.

I like it when websites include a “best seller” category on the homepage.

Not everyone browsing your site will know exactly what they’re looking for.

If your company sells a wide range of different products, it can be overwhelming, especially for a new customer.

When someone stumbles upon your site, they may get drawn to products that are popular.

Here’s how Black Yeti does this on their ecommerce site:

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You can also take this opportunity to promote products with the highest margins.

Even if they aren’t actually your top sellers (nobody needs to know that), you can put them on your homepage.

In a perfect world, your top selling products are also your most profitable products, so try to make that happen if you make adjustments to increase profit margins.

8. Ramp up promotions for the holidays

Special events are a time when people are looking to shop and spend more money than on a normal day of the year.

That’s why I always tell ecommerce sites to actively promote holiday sales.

You’ve got a small window of opportunity to get massive sales during these events.

Take a look at these statistics for ecommerce sites during cyber week:

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So break out your best offers during this time of year.

The shopping malls are packed, so it’s more convenient for consumers to shop from home.

Use that to your advantage.

I said this earlier, but here’s another opportunity for you to target your current customers.

Send out emails to your subscriber list to entice them to buy during the holiday season.

Keep in mind people are buying gifts for friends and family as well as themselves.

Promote your products accordingly.

Market items as “the perfect gift” or “the best ways to show someone you care.”

Phrases like that should do the trick.

9. FOMO (fear of missing out)

You’ve got to create a sense of urgency when you’re selling products on your ecommerce site.

This will get shoppers to act fast instead of waiting to complete the purchase at a later date (which they may never do).

Tell your customers you have a limited quantity of items remaining even if that’s not the case.

Airlines do this all the time.

Check out this example from Delta:

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Four out of the 6 prices on this page show a limited quantity remaining.

The lowest ticket price is for $303.20, but there’s only one ticket left at this price.

This strategy can get a price sensitive customer (most people) to make an impulse buying decision.

It creates a fear that if they don’t buy it now, they’ll end up spending more money later.

Another way to do this is by running flash sales.

Here’s an example of something you could email your customers or put directly on your website:

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Again, this creates a sense of urgency.

The sale ends at midnight, so if the customer doesn’t act now, they could miss out on a great deal.

It’s much more effective than sending a coupon that expires at the end of the month, giving people an excuse to put off their shopping.

Make sure your marketing campaigns are actionable, and you’ll get more sales.

10. Accept different payment options

You have to give people different options to pay for the products and services on your website.

If you only accept Visa and MasterCard, you’re alienating lots of potential customers.

Make sure you have the capability to accept debit cards in addition to credit cards.

Look at this checkout page from Best Buy:

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Best Buy accepts 6 different types of credit cards on their website.

They also give customers the option of paying through PayPal.

The last thing you want is a customer who wants to make a purchase but can’t complete it because you don’t take their primary payment method.

Continue to adapt to the new trends as well.

Alternative payment options such as Apple Pay are growing in popularity too.

If you have a mobile application, customers can easily pay for items via Apple Pay with just a few clicks.

Making the checkout process as simple as possible will help you get more ecommerce sales.

11. Focus on your value proposition

What does the customer see when they get to your website?

Is it your phone number?

Your company’s mission statement?

Those aren’t effective.

Instead, put more emphasis on value.

Tell your customers what separates your product from similar items on the market.

Look how effectively Square does this with their point of sale systems:

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Their value proposition tells you everything you need to know about the product.

It has a headline that captures the consumer’s attention.

Next, a brief description explains exactly what the product does.

They include a bullet list of their top features for customers to focus on.

Square also includes a photograph of their POS system to show customers what it looks like.

If you can create a highly effective value proposition, you’ll be able to drive more sales on your ecommerce site.

Conclusion

If sales are starting to slow down or get stagnant, it’s time for you to come up with some new and creative ways to market products and services on your ecommerce site.

Rather than trying to find new customers, focus your marketing efforts on your existing customer base.

Make sure your website is secure so customers feel comfortable entering their personal information as well as their credit card numbers.

Use video demonstrations to show customers how to use your products.

If you’re currently using customer testimonials, that’s great.

But if you want to improve those testimonials, add a photograph to them as well.

Offering lots of promotions and advertising during special times of the year, such as the holidays, can help you improve sales.

Create a sense of urgency to entice customers to make an impulse buy.

Don’t forget about mobile users. At the very least, your website needs to be optimized for mobile devices.

If you want to go the extra mile, consider developing a mobile application.

Promote your top selling items.

Come up with a unique and actionable value proposition.

These tips will help you boost sales on your website.

What methods have you used to help you grow your ecommerce site fast?


Source: 11 Best Ways to Boost Ecommerce Sales Fast

Build an audience of consumers in today’s highly competitive environment

 

Today, brands market and sell their products in an environment that is more competitive than ever.

Consumers are subjected to so much marketing content that it is hard for any one brand to stand out, leaving them trying in vain to outshout their competitors.

Products are so advanced that even the most basic models far exceed people’s needs, and innovations lead to, at best, short-term marginal share gain as they are quickly met by competitors.

Perhaps the only truly sustainable competitive advantage remaining is having a deeper, better understanding of — and relationship with — the people who do, or may, buy your product.

Achieving this is clearly challenging: All brands have access to essentially the same data — on consumers, media targeting, social networks, purchases and so on — as well as the same analytical tools and expertise.

 

Five steps to building an audience of consumers

To achieve a sustainable competitive advantage in a time of relative equivalence in marketing methods, it is imperative to combine the push with the pull. Here are five steps to start the journey:

1. Recognize your customer’s duality.

Digital technology has enabled an unprecedented level of interaction between brands and the consumer whereby the two are partners in communication. In a world of increasing parity among both products and marketing tools, the purchase can no longer be thought of as the end of a successful marketing strategy.

The relationship between consumer and brand has to transcend the realm of product to that of values and interests, taking the form of an ongoing dialogue between brand and audience.

2. See the consumer in three dimensions.

Advances in marketing technology have enabled a data-driven synchronization of advertising content with media context. It is now feasible not only to track where people consume content, but also what they are doing, and why they are doing it.

Many marketers today are like hunters, searching for the watering hole because they know their prey gathers there, without asking why they drink. Instead of plastering billboards around the watering hole, why not offer bottles of water with a message on the wrapper?

By strengthening the conceptual fluency of marketing content, it is possible not only to improve reception and retention of a brand’s message, but also to increase viewer engagement.

3. Sell the story, then the brand.

Regardless of medium or placement, all content relies on effective storytelling to achieve maximum impact. Above all, this requires a fully developed plot — consisting of a beginning, middle and end — that clearly demonstrates movement toward an improved state of being.

A successful campaign captures the audience’s imagination through this transformation from a troubled present to a brighter future, typically via the brand or product. It’s far more important that viewers be interested in the brand’s story than in the product itself; the typical viewer may not go running to their social circle to recount the latest ad, but they are much more likely to share an inspiring or amusing story.

4. Produce a story system.

One of the perks of building a loyal audience is that brands no longer need to rely on single iterations of a message to get their point across. Like a popular movie franchise, brands that cultivate user engagement can afford to tell their story serially, moving across mediums and platforms as they flesh out the different facets of their vision.

With each piece of content tailored to the conceptual space it occupies, the audience is able to interact with brand content in a manner more natural to the way they consume media content in general.

5. Measure what matters.

Use a combination of behavioral and attitudinal metrics. In the digital world, there are countless machine-generated metrics, based on observed behavior, that allow brands to evaluate with precision where and how viewers interact with marketing content. These include the dreaded click-through rate, but also time spent and likes and shares, among others.

It’s now possible to bring these together with brand-specific metrics like awareness, favorability and purchase intent. This offers a fuller picture of how the audience of consumers is engaging with the content, making it possible to create and deliver it in an ever more relevant and impactful way.

Audience + consumers = competitive advantage

In this hypercompetitive world, too many of us are sticking to the “tried and true” of push marketing and consequently failing to distinguish ourselves. Any impact will thus be negligible and short-lived, lasting only until the novelty of the newest doohickey is surpassed.

The “mad-tech” mashup creates new challenges, but also a historic opportunity to change the way brands build audiences of consumers — and create a sustainable competitive advantage.

5 Reasons Not To Use Wix For Your Website

5 Reasons Not To Use Wix For Your Website – A Brief Wix Review

Should I Use Wix For My Website

I’ve often had clients come to me after using Wix or Weebly to build a website and ask for some help making their sites more visible.  And there lies the rub so to speak.  Wix makes it very easy to build a great looking website, and very easy to build a very badly performing website.

So if Wix makes it easy to build a website why shouldn’t you use it?

1.  Wix Makes It ‘Easy’ To Build A Website

So if Wix makes it easy to build a website why is that a negative?  If you approach building a website as an ‘easy’ task then you’ve started off on the wrong foot.  I like to think I know what looks good but if I tried to design a brochure it would look shocking – I’m not a graphic designer and would never pretend to be one, so why should you pretend to be a website developer when your business depends on your website?.

If it was ‘easy’ to build a website that works then there wouldn’t be hundreds of thousands of blog articles about search engine optimization (SEO), content structures, on and off site reputation management and conversion optimization.

Personally I think most companies, particularly small to medium ones, do not spend enough time on their website brief.  Quite often it’s because they don’t know what to ask about or the web agencies don’t take the time to ask the right questions.  Business owners shouldn’t necessarily know what questions to ask – your business is your specialty, you should be able to trust your web developer to ask the right questions.

Wix makes it easy to jump right in, throw together a web page and publish it.  Before you do that you need to stop and think, and work out what your business needs for your online presence.

You need to consider how your content is going to be structured, what image sizes you upload, what page titles you will use, the header text for each page, the calls to action that appear in search engine results (SERPs) as well as conversion optimization.  As well as that you need to ensure you have implemented some online tracking so you know how it’s performing, and set up essential Google tools to get insights from your website that may drive your marketing decisions.

Yes, I’ve seen expensive websites without Google Analytics installed – a fundamental oversight you shouldn’t really get when spending thousands of dollars.  I’ve also had someone call me to make their website more visible.  They spent $100 on their website with some random overseas company.  How much business has that ‘cheap’ website cost them? It probably turns out the website has cost them thousands in lost business – there’s a worked example below.

This is why it shouldn’t be ‘easy’ to build a website.  What looks good doesn’t necessarily perform well.

2. Wix Hides Complexities

Wooooaa!  That’s another benefit I hear you shout!  Hiding complexities in website development is not necessarily a good thing.  Wix makes it easy to design websites like brochures and they’re not.  What you see isn’t what Google sees.  Although Google does take user experience into account it’s mostly around content and mobile friendliness and things like that.  One of the most basic elements Google cares about are how your page titles are structured and what they tell about the page, yet for a few Wix websites I’ve seen, there is no attention paid to this despite Wix supporting SEO settings for pages.

Google doesn’t really care if your button looks nice, or your image is stunning.  The search result below is quite typical when you don’t know what to do.  There’s no call to action in the result, and the description doesn’t say what the page is about.  If this is one of ten similar results I’d probably click on a more enticing one.

Improve Google Search Ranking - Bad Example

By hiding these complexities it makes it very easy to get really proud of your new website and go and shout about it to the world.  You better keep shouting as that may end up being the best way to get your website found as Google may not find it.

You need to be aware of all the trickier bits that make up your web presence like SEO, off site business listings, reviews and more.  A recent chart by specialist company MOZ showed your website only makes up an element of your online presence – there’s backlinks, business listings, citations and your website.  Without all of those you may not get found by your customers, so unfortunately your pretty Wix website will fall short of the mark.

I’ve seen briefs and quotes that don’t reflect the most basic functionality a company needs, and they often treat SEO as an ‘optional extra’.  It is not.  It’s essential and often implementing simple steps will make a huge difference to your visibility.

 

3.  Wix Hosts Your Website

If your website starts performing slower than normal a decent web host is a good place to start.  If a website is based on one of the open source content management systems like WordPress or Silverstripe there’s a whole bunch of hosting companies wanting your dollar to host your website.  Some are great, and some are bad.

Generally I don’t like the idea of using a proprietary content management system whether its a platform like Wix, or one developed by your agency.  If you fall out with the third party or outgrow them you’ll more than likely need to start again.  Whilst WordPress isn’t the only available platform, I’ve had business owners ask me if it’s a decent option or does it ‘only’ get used by bloggers?  Techcrunch use WordPress and Mashable used to use it – I can safely say their sites are probably bigger that yours.

When you develop your website using Wix you have no place to go – they host your website and you can’t go elsewhere, which brings me to the next point.

 

4.  You Cannot Migrate Your Wix Data Elsewhere Easily

So you get lucky and your website is performing well and you want to add features to it that aren’t supported within Wix, or want a major overhaul.  Essentially you’ve outgrown your website.

If this happens it is very difficult to move your content away from Wix.  If you had a WordPress based website you can keep all your content and apply another theme, or a customized theme (which is effectively a layout).  Your website looks completely different but you don’t have to re-enter your content.  There is still work to be done when you switch themes as they all have their own way of working, different image sizes in different slots, but you can keep all your content.

If you think you may outgrow Wix, maybe a full web development is outside of your budget right now, but remember to factor in that potential cost in the future.

 

5.  Wix Isn’t Free – It May Be More Expensive Than You Think

Wix is a very attractive initial platform as the base offering is free.  It’s a very effective sales technique that gets customers in the door.  Mailchimp use a similar technique but even Mailchimp doesn’t allow you access to automated email sequences in their base offering – this is an essential part of email marketing.

With the free plans you have Wix branding on your site, and the little icon shown in the browser bar will be a Wix logo.  You also can’t add in Google Analytics tracking until you get onto a premium plan.

Premium plans start at a mere $4 or so per month so it’s not expensive by any means, and they go up to $24 per month.

When you start adding functionality Wix has an ‘app store’ so you can choose which apps to use.  There’s loads of apps to choose from and many start with a ‘freemium’ offering with more functionality provided at a price so head back to that website brief and factor in what you want into your costs.

The largest cost of using Wix for many people is a hidden one.  It’s the cost of websites built by users who may not know what makes a website really work, therefore it doesn’t get found, or it doesn’t function well.  That lack of functionality is probably costing you business.

I compare this loss of business to a garage owner who had a cheap website built several years ago.  It couldn’t be found.  When a new website and offsite business listings were put live he was inundated with work.  If you imagine he built that website in Wix (like some of his competitors have) without understanding the important elements of search engine visibility, the scenario below is an extremely conservative estimate of the amount of work lost :

  • Average workshop job is $200
  • One job a week comes through a new website = 52 x 200 = $10400 per year
  • Old website was live for 4 years = 4 x 10400 = $41600

That cheap website has cost him $41600 in lost revenue during 4 years.

In the USA, the average car repair cost in 2011 was $305.56, and I can safely assume that more than one job per week is brought in as a result of being found online.  You can then consider the ongoing total customer value with regular servicing, road fitness tests and more, it’s perfectly feasible to think that this cheap website cost him a lot more than the face value.

5 customers per week at $305.56, over 4 years is $317,782.40 in lost revenue due to a bad website, and this is without value added upsells.

Summary

It is possible to build a decent revenue generating website using the Wix platform.  The biggest problem with Wix is it makes it easy to create a website that you think is great and it has given a lot of people the perception of having a good website when that’s far from the truth.

Websites are not brochures and they shouldn’t be treated that way.

To bring revenue from a website you need to think of it as an online presence, ticking all the right boxes, and invest time and money to get it right.

Can you afford to lose $317,782.40 in your business?

If you’re contacted by a person who offers to build you a website and the website is built using the Wix CMS/Framework, RUN!  This isn’t a legitimate approach, they’re not an experienced programmer and they’re going to sell you a product that doesn’t convert! If you’re not in the business of getting ripped off, get in touch with us today.


Source: 5 Reasons Not To Use Wix For Your Website – A Brief Wix Review

10 Reasons to Hire A Digital Marketing Agency!

Determining how to handle your online marketing campaign is a hard task. If you do not have a well-equipped digital marketing team, the task can be very, very hard. You may equip a digital marketing team, but the cost would be high and you will have to upkeep them. The office space, salary and other needs that you must consider to build a team. This can drain your yearly marketing budget. To make a profitable outcome, you can hire a professional digital marketing agency, which is affordable and flexible for your business, online business or business to promote online.

We offer free consultation? Follow us on Facebook for instant replies!

Let us see ten most compelling reasons you should hire a digital marketing agency to promote your business online.

  • Your Market Can Be Unaffected by Various Staff Issues – Consistency is the key for all work and it is not an exception for online marketing. You hardly thought to establish a full time digital marketing specialist for your business websites and blogs. If you do not even hire one your business can be affect for staff issues.
  • A Team of Professional and Experts manages your Marketing – If you do not have experienced and skilled digital marketing team, including the managers of digital marketing you can hire one that help you manages your marketing for business.
  • You Get The Best Return On Investment – At the end of the year, it is all about ROI i.e. return on investment. You could possibly try of getting it more, but without having a skilled and professional digital marketing team, it was not possible.
  • You Get The Advantages of Objective Analysis – A professional digital marketing team will help you know your current business and fix the strategy to move ahead in future with adequate object analysis.
  • Your Core Business Can Upkeep Healthy Distance from Marketing – You will have enough time to invest in your core business rather than spending time in digital marketing.
  • Your Marketing Campaign Would Be Up-to-date – A professional digital marketing team or agency is doing this job for couple of years and they know how to make your campaign up-to-date. This is an advantage that a digital marketing agency can help you.
  • You Get Multiple Task Without Any Hassle – Digital marketing is a versatile job. You need to do multiple job at a time. Your core business work may be affect when you devote in digital marketing, so a professional can be your help.
  • Your Marketing Strategy Would Be Optimized Constantly and Improved by Times – Your marketing strategy would be optimized constantly and efficiently with the help of a digital marketing agency, which is hard to do by a non-digital marketing company.
  • You Get The Benefits Of Using All New Technologies – A professional digital marketing agency knows which and when the latest technologies are to be used for digital marketing purposes.
  • You Get The Benefits Of Their skills and specialization – A digital marketing company has skills and specialization handling various digital marketing projects, so you are rest assured to get up to date digital output.

Running a small or medium business is all about time-consuming and the venture can eat up lots of time. Sometimes, it can become overwhelming and easily steal your energy as well as enthusiasm. In this situation, hiring a digital marketing agency or outsourcing your online marketing job to a professional digital marketer can be an obvious solution. Here, in this article, we have describe ten most striking advantages of hiring a professional digital marketing agency for your business.

Let’s link up! Contact us today for a project quote or proposal.

These bodies are very popular on Instagram

The model Tess Holliday was on a plane to New York in May when a modeling agent she didn’t know doled out some unsolicited advice: cut out white sugar to further her career.

Last month, an Uber driver in Los Angeles asked about her cholesterol, to which she replied, “I am healthy.” She captured this exchange on video and posted it to Instagram for her 1.4 million Instagram followers; it has more than 380,000 views and nearly 4,000 comments.

“I wanted to let my followers know what I deal with in my life, and that if this is happening to you, it’s not O.K.,” Ms. Holliday, 31, said in an interview. “This is not acceptable behavior. I just hope it opens people’s eyes a bit.”

Ms. Holliday is not only unapologetic about her size-22 body, she is proud of it, with a confidence has catapulted her to mainstream fame. In 2015, she landed a modeling contract with Milk Management and a People magazine cover, and has become a leader in an online movement called BoPo, short for “body positive.”

The movement has become a growing force on Instagram in particular, acting as a counterweight to the millions of posts of tiny tummies and thigh gaps propagated by the thousands of traditional models who dominate social media.

Instagram allows us “to cultivate our own experiences,” Ms. Holliday said, who has a new book, “The Not So Subtle Art of Being a Fat Girl.”

“Prior to Instagram, you just saw whatever online. Now you can follow people that are into body positivity, feminism, radical body love, artists. People that inspire me,” she said.

“It’s really important to surround yourself with people that uplift you and support you, and so you really have a community of that.”

recent study ranked Instagram and Snapchat as the worst social platforms for body image, though Instagram had good marks for self-expression, self-identity and emotional support. And Instagram has made a concerted effort to foster these online communities by building programs around well-being, and by prioritizing safety and inclusion.

Hashtags like #bodypositive, #bopo, #bodyacceptance and #effyourbeautystandards — the one created by Ms. Holliday in 2011 — have been added to millions of Instagram posts, carving out a digital space where everyday people can share photos of their bodies and stories about body image.

Body positivity is more than weight acceptance, though. It is about accepting one’s body as it is, regardless of what is deemed socially acceptable or beautiful: from the external like acne, body hair, cellulite and stretch marks, to the more complex like physical disabilities or disorders.

By relying on images, Instagram opens the door to change in a way that transcends language and age, said Marne Levine, Instagram’s chief operating officer. “It is through that visual nature that people are able to be what might not have been obvious to them before.”

Organizations working to promote body positivity have seen an ally in Instagram, but at the end of the day, the onus is on users to take control of their accounts and “combat that toxic self-criticism,” said Claire Mysko, the chief executive of National Eating Disorders Association.

“When body hatred has dominated your daily thoughts and the ‘not perfect enough’ voice is on repeat in your head, curating your feed so that you see pictures of people of all sizes posting unapologetically without shame can be a powerful tool,” she said

Her association teamed up with Instagram to hold a panel in March that included Iskra Lawrence and Matt Joseph Diaz, both of whom are popular body-positive voices on the platform.

Ms. Lawrence, who has 3.5 million Instagram followers, stressed the importance of not letting your social media habits control you. “Life comes first, and you come first,” she said in an email. “If you don’t feel good on a certain page, block or unfollow it.”

Photos shared using body-positive hashtags are often accompanied by personal statements, many of which are long and intimate.

“My body isn’t fair game” the actress and director Lena Dunham wrote on Instagram to her 3.3 million followers in January as part of a lengthy message about body positivity. She was addressing February’s Glamour magazine cover, which unlike many in fashion magazines, had not been retouched.

“Let’s get something straight: I didn’t hate what I looked like — I hated the culture that was telling me to hate it,” she wrote. “Thank you to the women in Hollywood (and on Instagram!) leading the way, inspiring and normalizing the female form in EVERY form.”

Jessamyn Stanley, a yoga instructor and the author of “Every Body Yoga,” uses the platform to speak out about body-shaming and to promote fitness at any size.

She recently addressed how wearing shorts “can almost feel like a political act” for larger people.

“Fat bodies have been fetishized and demonized for so long,” she wrote to her 307,000 followers. “I’m stopping the cycle for myself. And letting my thigh meat breathe in public is a huge part of that process.”

The surge of body-positive voices joining the dialogue on social media has coincided with progress offline.

Ashley Graham became the first plus-size model to appear on the cover of American Vogue in its March issue. And in February, the fashion designer Christian Siriano sent 10 plus-size models down the runway of his New York Fashion Week show, alongside traditional models.

And a growing faction of men are now sharing their body-acceptance journeys on Instagram, drawing tens of thousands of followers. Kelvin Davis, creator of Notoriously Dapper, a body-positive men’s fashion blog, recently posted a pool-party photo. In it, he’s wearing only swim trucks and sunglasses. “When you give zero effs about the summer body standards,” he said.

Ms. Holliday said she didn’t realize the impact her audacity would have. “I didn’t understand what I was doing when I started all of this. Sometimes I still have no idea,” she said. “All we can hope for is to try and talk about our experiences and share them with other people and hope that in some way, someone gets it and that changes someone.”

Ms. Lawrence, who dealt with disordered eating and body dysmorphia as a teenager, says she hopes sharing her experiences helps to erase the stigmas associated with eating disorders and mental health. When those in the public eye share their struggles, she said, it can potentially help someone else who may be hurting in a similar way.

“Growing up,” Ms. Lawrence said, “I wish I could have seen more public figures, like models I looked up to, discussing body-image issues they may have been struggling with.”

Ms. Holliday agrees. “I would have given anything to have been 12 in Mississippi and seen someone like me,” she said. “My whole world would have changed.

Source: These bodies are very popular on Instagram

How to Become a Highly-Rated User on Quora

 

Do you want to become a hotshot know it all on Quora? Well… the first thing you want to do is sign up for an account.  By doing this, you enable yourself to track your progress and leave a written record of the material you are mostly experienced.  Follow these guide lines:

  1. Fully design your profile with your credentials
  2. Offer insanely helpful answers
  3. Finding questions to answer
  4. Pay attention to the key metrics

If there’s a certain topic you want to be closely associated with, make it a point to focus your attention and answer questions on that topic.

An overview of the process

Now, let’s recap the steps:

Get signed up.
Thoroughly fill out your profile, and choose a list of topics you’re most knowledgeable about (I recommend choosing at least five).
Beef up your profile so that it lists your credentials, highlights, bio, and so on.
Find questions to answer by using either the “Answers” section of your dashboard or by directly searching for questions in the search box.
Provide comprehensive, in-depth answers for every question you select. Take full advantage of images, headers, etc. Also link to other helpful content whenever it makes sense.
Monitor key metrics to see how you’re rated and what your overall performance is.

Also keep in mind that being successful on Quora is often a numbers game.

In other words, you can’t expect to become a top user if you answer only a handful of questions.

You really want to shoot for a high volume and get in the habit of frequently answering questions.

This is crucial for eventually gaining a strong reputation and getting users to take you seriously.

Conclusion

Quora is a potential goldmine.

It’s one of the best sites for building trust and authority and ultimately being viewed as an expert in your industry.

What I really love about it is the overall demographic of Quora users.

From my experience, the majority of people are intelligent and have a genuine desire to learn and help others.

When compared to many other places, it’s a relatively troll-free zone—people aren’t trying to mindlessly sabotage one another.

But I will admit it does require a fair amount of effort to gain momentum.

And there’s a considerable time commitment involved.

But it’s well worth it when you consider the long-term brand equity boost you can get.

By following the process I mentioned, you can really strengthen your brand and drive a significant volume of referral traffic to your site.

How often do you use Quora for finding answers to questions?


Read More: How to Become a Highly-Rated User on Quora

7 Powerful Benefits of Using PPC Advertising

There are many compelling benefits of PPC advertising. Whether you’re trying to convince your boss or a client about the value of Google AdWords (or Bing Ads), there’s a powerful case to be made.

For starters, PPC:

  • Offers quick entry.
  • Results are easy to measurable and track.
  • Works well with other marketing channels.
  • Provides a wealth of useful data

PPC can have a major – and positive – impact on most businesses and brands. If you aren’t doing any PPC marketing, you’re likely losing out on valuable traffic and revenue.

Need to make the case for PPC advertising? Here are just seven powerful benefits of using PPC.

1. PPC Contributes to Business Goals

This is often the most compelling reason to use PPC advertising. PPC can help you achieve a vast number of business and marketing goals. These goals range from high-level brand exposure and thought leadership to a hot lead submission or e-commerce sale.

Nearly any type of conversion goal can be tracked. PPC is a powerful tool for aligning website traffic drivers to end-goals.

In the era of content marketing and thought leadership, PPC can foster the middle ground of nurturing and serving the middle of the funnel through advertising content downloads, seeking newsletter signups, contest entries, and pushing for app downloads.

PPC can support many parts of the sales funnel and the path that your prospects take from awareness to becoming a customer. Regardless of the set of identified goals, PPC campaigns can be set up effectively.

2. PPC Is Measurable & Trackable

A major benefit of PPC advertising run through AdWords is that it’s easy to measure and track. Simply use the AdWords tool in combination with Google Analytics.

You’ll see high-level performance details including impressions, clicks, and conversions (based on the defined business goals).

There’s no mystery to your PPC performance. Stats are readily available and show how your campaigns are performing and what kind of traffic and results they are driving for your budget.

In other advertising and marketing channels, the picture isn’t as clear for attribution of the budget to direct results.

When you send your PPC traffic to dedicated landing pages and track it all the way to conversion using Google Analytics, you’re able to clearly see what you spent and what it drove in terms of your end goals. No billboard or magazine ad can attribute to sales like that.

3. Quick Entry

Even if you’re a decade behind your competitors on jumping into PPC marketing, you can get up and running quickly with a little bit of optimization. This is often a big contrast to starting up SEO efforts, which often take a lot of time and attention to get the same type of positioning and traffic that AdWords offers within minutes of launch.

When compared to other channels like email and organic social, you have the advantage of targeting people outside of those who are already aware of your brand, and you aren’t limited to your existing followers or customer lists.

PPC lets you quickly cast a wide net to find new prospects and customers.

Plus, most of the work is done within the PPC advertising platform — from the research to campaign build out, to writing ads. You can get up and running quickly with minimal involvement of your development teams, aside from help setting up conversion tracking and any desired landing pages.

4. You’re in Control

While there are several nuances regarding default campaign settings, you ultimately have control over a wide range of options for how you reach potential customers. This starts with the keywords or placements you choose to target and how restrictive you want to be.

You also have a lot of budget flexibility if you want to start small. You can can set your own ad budget and bids, and choose what you’re willing to spend (though you have to pay at least close to a market rate to play in most cases).

If you’re seeing positive results, you can scale up immediately. And if you want to take a break, you can always pause and stop your ad spend right away. This is hard to do with other ongoing marketing campaigns, giving you the advantage and budget flexibility to move quickly when necessary or desired.

Google’s AdWords auction and the algorithm involved has the final say as to where your ads will be positioned and what you’ll spend when compared to competitors. The alignment of relevance between your landing pages and the keywords and ad copy can hurt or help you.

The good news is that you have the flexibility to make quick edits and to optimize while your ads are running, and to try new tests every day if you wish. There’s not a long cycle from edit to deployment that you see in other mediums, and if an ad stinks, you can pull it without having to let it finish out a contracted media cycle.

5. PPC Works Well With Other Marketing Channels

Content marketing has taken over the digital marketing world and content plans and calendars are the norm in most businesses now. With the investment in producing original and unique content to support the customer buying cycle and establish thought leadership positioning, AdWords is an engine that can drive visitors to content more quickly and improve the ROI on your content investment.

PPC and SEO work well together as the impressions and opportunities for traffic are often to the same audience — the people using Google to find information, services, or products. The performance data of impressions, clicks, and conversions from AdWords can provide great insight and direction on a keyword-by-keyword basis for where to prioritize SEO efforts.

On the flip side, organic traffic performance data and SEO strategy can also advise PPC if the data is available. All of this helps align with content marketing and ensures that efficiencies are gained and business end goals are not siloed.

AdWords remarketing is a great avenue to keep site visitors engaged, regardless of how they found your site. Remarketing ads are shown to people who visited and left your site and are based on specific rules or audiences you select.

There are other cases where PPC can help provide data or an alternative to traditional direct marketing activities. PPC can also be directly compared to traditional mail with costs per impression and conversion. If you can shift away from more expensive traditional marketing to methods that provide real-time data and have better tracking, it can be a big win.

6. Incredible Targeting Options

Many advertisers take a multi-layered approach in AdWords to test and ensure full coverage across the networks and targeting types that can gain brand exposure.

This ranges from targeting keywords through text ads, to running ads through remarketing based on their past behaviors, or focusing on specific audience demographics on the display network.

By testing and trying out a mix, you can ensure the full scope of AdWords is leveraged and that you’re getting as many impressions as possible while staying targeted to the personas in your prospective audience.

Going back to the business goals conversation, you can also see what performs best and set expectations on what the tolerance is for cost per click and cost per acquisition to compare the different targeting methods with each other.

Ultimately, the biggest benefit of the PPC targeting options available is that you are able to reach people who aren’t already in your audience as well as those that have been exposed to your brand. You have many options for how wide of a net you want to cast.

7. A Wealth of Marketing Data

While there’s a lot of data and performance information directly available in Google AdWords, the value of information gained goes beyond just PPC performance.

Impression, click, and conversion data for each keyword can be used to advise SEO strategy and content marketing efforts.

Beyond that, you can use the built-in keyword planner and display planner tools to find where your audience is.

You can also cross-reference where your competition is through third-party tools like SpyFu, KeywordSpy, and iSpionage to build a solid profile of what you’re up against and what market share you can gain.

Is Your Boss or Client Still on the Fence?

Run your own projection to show the risk of AdWords compared to other organic and paid sources of traffic you’re currently utilizing. For example:

AdWords Projection

By looking at what the cost will be for media, management of the campaign, and any content that must be created, you can put that cost up against what you’re currently spending for similar management and development activities in organic search, email, social, and offline marketing channels.

Additionally, you can take some simple inputs including your current or projected conversion rate and project with the keyword and display planner tools to see what traffic is out there. From there, you can look at what the projection is if you were to increase by certain amounts of traffic, putting the cost of that traffic against the investment required to get it.

Summary

PPC advertising has proven to be a reliable and profitable channel for tons of B2B, B2C, nonprofits, and other companies seeking quick, quality traffic and conversions.

Considering all the benefits PPC offers, there’s little risk in testing it out to see where it can move the needle and to gain a wealth of valuable data you can use to inform you other marketing and optimization efforts.

Image Credits

Featured Image: Unsplash
In-post Photo: Screenshot by Corey Morris. Taken May 2017.

Read More: 7 Powerful Benefits of Using PPC Advertising