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4 Ways to Leverage Your Business Blog for Marketing Purposes

July 11th, 2017 No Comments

Most small business owners balk at the idea of keeping a blog. To be fair, that’s because many of them have tried blogging before and saw absolutely no results for all their hard work. If this sounds familiar and you’ve sworn off blogging for good, I encourage you to keep reading. I’m going to show you how contractors, builders, tradesmen, and others have leveraged blogs for marketing purposes.

You Need to Track Analytics

First and foremost, blogging is like any other form of marketing. You need to measure what’s working so you can double down on those efforts and quit investing in what falls short.

There are a number of ways you can do this with your blog. Countless platforms exist for this very purpose. You can also use Google Analytics to track user engagement, which is completely free.

Just because people aren’t sharing or commenting on your posts doesn’t mean they’re not working. If you notice an increase in “impressions” on your blogs correlates with an uptick in business, then you know you’re onto something. Track what’s finding its target and produce more of that content.

Help People Out

This is such a critical point that the vast majority of small business blogs completely miss. In short, your blog needs to actually help people who are reading it. Far too often, companies use their blogs to talk about recent changes they’ve made to their approach or simply as a form of sales copy.

These won’t get read. In the off chance they do, are you really confident it will convert anyone into being a customer?

Instead, you want to give information to potential customers that does two things:

  • Proves your expertise in your industry
  • Shows them that you’re willing to help, not just sell your services

The importance of that last piece cannot be overstated. People may not give you their business just because you helped them, but they will definitely consider you over a competitor they have no relationship with.

Use Content Upgrades

As powerful as this marketing tactic is, I’m surprised more companies don’t know about it. I’m talking about content upgrades. Start using these, and you will not only impress potential customers, you’ll have their contact information—something that is extremely valuable when used correctly.

Here’s how it works. You start with a very solid piece of content that, again, really delivers valuable information that readers will actually find helpful. This is absolutely crucial because, by the end, you want them hungry for more. You want them excited about what’s going to come next.

That’s when you tell them: you have more content. It’s even better than what they’ve read so far. All they have to do to read it is provide you with their email address. At that point, you’ll email it to them – simple as that.

Now, of course, that piece of content really needs to deliver. However, so long as it does, you have an email address. The next time you have a sale, let them know. The next time you have a killer blog post, same thing. There is so much potential here if you are using your blog correctly.

Use It for Networking

Finally, I don’t care what industry you’re in, there is networking to be done. Perhaps you’ve already done this to a large degree. It may even be a major cornerstone of your referral business.

What you should be doing is taking this network to the Internet and letting business partners and other associates post on your site and vice versa. The upshot of this is that you can increase exposure, strengthen those networking ties and exchange backlinks, which help with SEO (this just means you’re linking to each other, probably the most important SEO metric in Google’s eyes).

Get started on your blog today and use the above advice to make sure it’s actually pulling in clients. Also, be sure to subscribe to the Your Cyber Partner blog as I will be publishing more helpful content proven to work for small businesses like yours.


The Ultimate Guide to Repurposing Old Content

July 6th, 2017 No Comments

You’ve probably heard that, when it comes to marketing, content is king. Unfortunately, it also takes a lot of work to create all that content. When you’re a builder, contractor, or some other type of small business owner working on your business, there are only so many hours in the day as it is. Finding more time to create content is tough, so it’s important you make the most of every word. One way to do this is through repurposing previously published content—yours, of course.

What is Content Repurposing?

The idea is that you recycle old content in new ways. Now, this doesn’t mean to simply re-post it, but rather get creative with the material you already have. It will save you time and money, and still provide impressive results.

Make Videos

I’ve talked before about how important videos are for your business. One easy way to create a video is to simply take an old blog post and turn it into a script!

Having the visuals of a video can better help your audience understand what you’re saying, but it’s also a great way to find new audience members. For example, if you install HVAC systems and wrote a post describing how to tell if yours is broken, some will look for this information on Google and some will look on YouTube.

By the way, as Google owns YouTube, they have every reason to help your videos get to the top of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Create An Infographic

Another great way to repackage your content in a way is by using it to create an infographic, which is a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent your information or data. Though they’ve been around for a while now, infographics remain insanely popular. They are visually pleasing, easy to share, and are statistically shared far more than regular content.

While you’ll need the help of a graphic designer, their services can be retained on freelance sites for a very affordable price.

Use Quora and Other Forums

Quora is a question-and-answer site that’s a lot like Wikipedia. People ask questions and anyone can chime in with the answers, much like Wikipedia. In Quora, a voting system decides whose answer gets the most attention.

From time to time, it’s worth checking in on Quora to see if there are any questions you could answer with content you’ve already written. Other forums can be great for this too. Just give a brief answer and then point back to the content on your site for more information.

Rewrite

There’s no law that says you can’t go back and modify content. This is a really great approach when you’re in a crunch. Start with a previously popular post and ensure that the topic is still relevant. Rewrite a few lines, expand on the information, reorganize, add subtitles, and give it a new title. Voila! A ‘new’ article.

Build on Your Popular Posts

Let’s say you had a post about how to know when your roof needs to be repaired. It got a lot of attention and was shared frequently. Leverage the popularity of that post by writing another topic that’s related. Maybe it’s about how you can safely get rid of snow and icicles during the winter so they don’t damage your roof in the first place. Make it a great post, and then go back to the original, popular article and link it to the new one. Google is going to think more of that second piece than it otherwise would for such a new submission because it’s linked to a popular post. Furthermore, all those people who are visiting your site to read the first article are likely to click through to the new one.

Ready to learn even more tips? Then download Your Cyber Partner’s “50 Ways to Market Your Business Online in 15 Minutes per Day.” It’s absolutely free and has more advice just like this.


Facebook vs LinkedIn: Which One Is Better

June 29th, 2017 No Comments

Have you been holding off on social media marketing? Maybe you just don’t know where to start. If you’re like a lot of tradesmen, it comes down to either LinkedIn or Facebook. Let’s take a look at which one would be the best choice for your business.

Considering Social Media

Before we begin pitting these two social media darlings against each other, let’s get something straight. If you don’t take these platforms seriously, if you don’t really invest in their potential, you can’t expect much in return. As powerful as they are, they are not silver bullets. No matter which ends up suiting you the best, it will take time and effort before you begin seeing the results you want.

With that being said, let’s now look at which platform is best for your business and how to get the most from it.

The B2B Winner

When it comes to B2B lead generation, LinkedIn reigns supreme. This shouldn’t be too surprising when you think about it. LinkedIn is basically Facebook for companies and their employees.

Therefore, if you’re a tradesman who focuses on companies or otherwise works in a B2B capacity, this is definitely where you want to focus your marketing efforts. Here are some quick tips to get you started:

  • Invest in a banner image for your LinkedIn company page; it looks much more professional.
  • Optimize your business’ products and services tab by using visuals and descriptions with lots of keywords.
  • Check in on your “insights” (LinkedIn’s analytics) to find out about your followers and how to better market to them.
  • Consider paid advertising; LinkedIn ads can cost as little as $10 a day, but learn the ropes before proceeding.

Lastly, LinkedIn now allows long-form posts. This makes it much easier to post content that could be shared to your prospects’ timelines. Take advantage of this opportunity to prove that you’re an authority in the industry. Be sure you use attention-getting headlines for these posts. Images also help bring in readers.

If you want some inspiration, here are 13 businesses with great LinkedIn pages. They may not be completely relevant to your situation, but they show you what’s possible.

The B2C Winner

As you have probably surmised, the better of the two for B2C businesses is going to be Facebook. That’s because interactions per post are far greater here. In other words, people are more likely to actually comment when you produce content, which can be the beginning of a conversation and/or sales funnel.

If you are a builder, contractor or some other type of tradesman who targets the consumer, you’ll most likely want to use Facebook over LinkedIn. As we mentioned above, there may be some exceptions, but the majority will find more luck on Facebook.

First and foremost, this means having a Facebook page for your company; that won’t cost you a dime. Then, you should start producing content just as we recommended with LinkedIn. Again, make it long and informative and use images.

Be sure to update regularly. This isn’t as important with LinkedIn, but on Facebook, you need to put out content often. It doesn’t all have to be long-form, though. You’re just trying to increase mindshare and stay in front of your followers.

If you do roofing, you can share other people’s articles about the industry or even discuss the weather as it relates to roofs, etc. It should be relevant, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be about your company or its services. You may also find that Facebook ads are incredibly useful. One great thing about their ads is the insane specificity with which you can drill down to the most ideal client. While you still need to measure the ROI of your Facebook ads, they have proven to be very successful for many companies.

Want more help marketing your business on social media? Then read Your Cyber Partner’s “50 Ways to Market Your Business Online in 15 Minutes per Day.” It’s completely free to download and will get you in the game quickly.


Do Facebook Ads Really Work?

June 27th, 2017 No Comments

Do Facebook Ads Really WorkLike any business, yours can be profitable only when customers know about it. Whether you’re a contractor, builder or some other tradesman, you need continuous exposure to consistently drive new customers to your door. Are Facebook ads an effective medium for this? Let’s take a closer look.

How Do Facebook Ads Really Work?

If you’re familiar with Google Adwords and other PPC (Pay Per Click) options, Facebook ads are very similar. Essentially, advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. It’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically.

The big difference is that paid search (i.e., PPC) helps your prospective customers find your company’s website. Paid social (i.e., Facebook ads) helps your company find prospective customers. Facebook lets you do this by giving you the ability to zero in on your target audience – those who are most likely to need your services.

To set up an ad, you first need to pick an objective for your campaign. Let’s assume that most of you want more people visiting your site.

Next, you tell Facebook whom you’re targeting, or specifically who you want to visit your site. This is done through audience segmentation, an in-depth process where you essentially build the ideal profile for a customer. The profile can incorporate everything from demographics to behaviors. In total, there are thousands to choose from, so you really want to take your time getting as specific as possible.

And finally, you create your Facebook ad and bid at their auction. This explanation on Facebook ad bidding by the company itself will help you better understand the process.

Why Some Ads Work and Some Don’t

The truth is yes, Facebook ads really can work, even for B2B companies. Let’s focus on why some produce absolutely amazing results while others don’t do much of anything. The following are the true differentiators:

Understanding Your Perfect Customer

We already touched on this one above, so we’re just going to reiterate it here and add that you should constantly be revising this target profile until you’re sure you’re getting the maximum number of clicks from your Facebook ad.

Keep in mind, too, that it needs to be relevant. If you find that a lot of people are clicking on your ad, but this doesn’t seem to correlate with more business, then you’re most likely losing them because your ad is not relevant to them.

Include an Attractive Value Proposition

A value proposition is something that convinces your reader to click on the ad in order to learn more about your company. This could be something like:

  • How your business differs from the competition
  • Why they should click through to your website
  • A rare offer that they can only take advantage of right now

Whatever the case, you need a proposition that will be tempting enough to pull them away from Facebook, where they’re currently perfectly happy talking to friends and watching cute kitten videos.

Your value proposition must deliver. Likewise, if it’s too unrealistic – even though you’re 100% telling the truth, don’t expect much in the way of clicks.

Include a Clear CTA

A CTA (Call-to-Action) is vital for every Facebook ad. Even if you think that it’s obvious what you want the prospect to do next, you can’t chance it. Instead, make sure you tell them specifically to click, call, like, share, whatever other action you want them to do.

The Final Verdict

At the end of the day, Facebook is great for business, but like so many things, you’ll only get out of it what you put into it. If you don’t take this resource seriously, you can’t possibly expect any impressive results.

Want to learn more about how you can market your business? Your Cyber Partner has a free document, “50 Ways to Market Your Business Online in 15 Minutes per Day” that will give you plenty of ideas for how you can bring even more exposure to your company (many of which are completely free to implement).


How to Grab the Attention of Local Media for Your Business

June 22nd, 2017 No Comments

Local Media for Your Business

Local Media for Your Business

Does your company need more exposure? If so, a local media company could be the key. While most business owners think this is above their heads, here’s some simple advice for getting it done.

Know How to Pitch

The biggest mistake I see from most companies that want media attention is that they don’t take the requisite time to find out what a channel, newspaper, website, etc. wants to hear about. A business owner will simply call them up to tell them about a sale they’re running, a new service they provide or something equally—for lack of a better word—unnewsworthy.

If you want space on a local media company’s page or broadcast, you better give them a good reason for giving it to you. Why is your story relevant to their audience? Maybe the way you provide a certain service is the first time it’s ever been done in this city. If it’s controversial, that will definitely stand a good chance of getting published.

Always pitch via email. Although some may recommend the direct approach with a phone call, you’ll most likely get voicemail. You’ll also be competing with phone calls about emergency situations and live events, and those will likely get attention over your business.

Find the Right Person

Thanks to social media, especially sites like LinkedIn, it can be fairly easy to track down the right person you need to contact for a local media feature. Before you decide to settle for just anyone, be sure you exhaust all of your options for trying to find the contact info for that ideal person. Just getting a hold of the right editor, producer, etc. can make a huge difference where your efforts are concerned.

Just Ask

Here’s another way to figure out how you can make your company more relevant to a local media company: just ask. Even after you know the right person, you can waste a lot of time pitching over and over again if they’re not interested.

Instead, if your pitch isn’t accepted, tell the person you’re speaking to that you’re very interested in having your company featured and would like to know what you could do to make your story more appealing to their audience.

Some may tell you that there is absolutely nothing you could do. If that’s the case, move on. There are other options to pursue.

Provide Valuable Content

This advice should sound fairly familiar. It’s the cornerstone of content marketing. Yet, most people forget all about it when they want to be on the news or featured in the local newspaper.  As we mention above, they pitch their services or some other business offering. Instead, consider how you could lend your expertise to the audience. For example, if you install windows, you could explain that you’ll help their viewers/readers understand when it’s time to consider a replacement or what models on the market are offer the best value for their price.

This kind of thing isn’t incredibly urgent, so you might not get featured right away, but if the information is actually helpful, you’ll definitely get the exposure you want sooner or later.

Think About Your Unique Story

Everyone loves a good human interest story. Do you have a unique story that readers/viewers would want to know about? Maybe one of your employees does. These may not focus a lot of attention on your company, but it will get you in the news cycle.

Leverage Your Social Media Following

Here’s one more reason to build up your social media following: it can help you get media attention. If you have a story idea, tweet it to local media outlets, but make sure their handle isn’t the first word in the message. This will ensure your followers see it and can comment, retweet and favorite it. Every time they do this, the media outlet will be alerted. If this happens enough times, you can bet they’re going to be interested in leveraging your popularity.

At Your Cyber Partner, we understand the importance of getting as much exposure as possible for your business. If you want more advice like the kind above, be sure to subscribe to our blog as we’ll be covering this topic regularly.


How to Use Twitter for Business

June 20th, 2017 No Comments

How to Use Twitter for BusinessTwitter continues to grow in popularity, meaning if you’re looking for new customers, it’s a great place to start. If you’ve been avoiding this powerful platform because it felt overwhelming, don’t worry. The platform is fairly easy to use, and these tips will guide you on who to connect with (and why). So jump right in on this gigantic social media platform and begin attracting new business.

Include Your Website’s URL

When setting up your Twitter profile, be sure to include your website. This is an easy tip, but it’s one that many companies miss. In short, when you catch someone’s attention on Twitter, one of the first things they’re going to do is check your profile. If your URL is front and center, there’s a good chance they’ll click through to learn more about you and your company. This is a potential prospect. What you don’t want is to make this prospect work to find your website. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to visit your site.

Network with Market Influencers

Look for the Twitter profiles of influencers in your market. If you’re a contractor, those influencers may be people from home improvement shows or magazines or suppliers from whom you purchase material. Think about those people who have any amount of influence in your field (so long as they’re not competitors) and make a list.

These are who you want to interact with. You’ll need to put forth a little more effort than just clicking favorites and retweeting. Instead, read and comment on their posts. Work towards an actual conversation and engage with them. Will this get you customers? Maybe not, but it can lay the groundwork for an important business relationship or some other networking opportunity down the road.

Connect with Other Local Businesses

Another way to start expanding your reach is to network with your fellow local business owners. Again, you obviously don’t want to do this with your competitors, but almost anyone else could prove helpful. Offer to share their information with your respective followers, and most likely they will do the same. Not only will this help increase your exposure, but such engagement indicates to Twitter that your content deserves to be seen by more people.

Spy on Your Competitors

One of the great things about online marketing is that so much of it happens out in the open, and you can often see exactly what your competition is doing.  Look to see what your local competitors are doing with their Twitter accounts. You may find they’re not doing anything, but if you see a large following or that they have better engagement, peruse their past tweets to get a feel for what they might be doing differently than you, then do the same.

Use Media

Finally, as much as possible, include pictures and videos with your tweets to bring more dimension to your messages. These always receive more interest from followers, which means you have a better chance of seeing your tweets spread.

Tweet Often

It’s important that you take the time to tweet often. Ideally, you need to be tweeting between 5 and 20 times a day. That may seem like a lot, but if you download the app to your Smartphone, it will be easier to get off tweets throughout the day.

If you’d like to learn even more tips to help your business find new customers, I have 50 ready and waiting for you. Just download “50 Ways to Market Your Business Online in 15 Minutes per Day.” At Your Cyber Partner, we’ve put together our best tips for helping builders, contractors, and other tradesmen grow their business.


How to Make the Most of Each Customer

June 15th, 2017 No Comments

How to Make the Most of Each Customer

While it’s always great to earn a new customer, I urge you not to stop there. Instead, recognize that each customer represents a lot more potential for your business. Let me show you how.

Pay Attention to Your Analytics

This doesn’t necessarily pertain to customers; it pertains to visitors to your website, but it’s still very important to bring up. Website analytics have huge potential for your business. Better still, Google Analytics is free and extremely effective.

Assuming you get decent traffic, every month your prospective customers are giving you invaluable information about how they want you to market to them. If you’re not regularly reviewing your analytics, you’re throwing this information away.

Specifically, you want to look for which pages they spend the most time on. Can those be better optimized? Should the ones they’re ignoring be tossed or should you revamp them? Which blogs do they like the most? Make sure you double down on those and let your social media following know when those posts are published.

The better you get at checking your analytics regularly and then acting in accord with what they’re telling you, the more business you’re going to see. It’s as simple as that.

Give Them a Survey

Once you’ve secured a customer and finished your work, make sure you get their feedback through some kind of survey. Before you do that, though, let’s talk about what makes a good, productive survey, because the ones most businesses use are, well, useless.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s important to make sure they’re happy with your services or those of your employees. However, if that’s all you’re finding out about with a survey, that’s hardly a good use of the tactic.

Instead, find out why they chose your company over the competitors. How they found you is also important. Ask about what you could have done better; this includes your website. Find out what kind of content they’d be most interested in reading about (if they aren’t interested at all, this is important information too). The point is that you want to learn as much as possible about your customers and surveys are perfect for this. You’re getting this vital data right from the horse’s mouth. Over time, you’ll probably think of other questions specific to your company that would be helpful.

Ask Them to Like Your Facebook Page

If you don’t have one already, create a Facebook page for your company. It’s free, has tons of potential and, if nothing else gives you one more piece of digital real estate on the World Wide Web. However, a Facebook page is only as helpful as the amount of attention it gets. If no one knows about your page, it’s not going to do much of anything.

There are all kinds of ways to increase engagement, but don’t underestimate simply asking people to “like” your page. Ideally, ask your customers. When they like it, this will show up on their timeline. Facebook may even suggest the page to their friends.

Facebook provides a huge shot of social proof. Furthermore, when people need the services you provide, they can ask their friends, who were your customers and who can give you a very favorable recommendation.

Use Them as a Testimonial

Finally, every business should have some testimonials in their marketing arsenal. Testimonials are tremendously powerful when it comes to walking potential customers across the threshold and into a sale.

There a number of reasons for this, but they boil down to the fact that, at the end of the day, people just want to know the job is going to get done. You can try all kinds of other tactics, but if a competitor can show them that they know how to do the job 100% like the customer wants, you’re going to lose out.

This is why you should constantly be collecting as many testimonials as possible. The more you have, the more likely you are to meet someone’s expectations.

If you liked these tips, Your Cyber Partner has even more for you. Check out my free guide, “50 Ways to Market Your Business Online in 15 Minutes per Day.” You can download yours right now and get started on leveraging these helpful tips.


Social Media for Business: 4 Things You Need to Know

June 13th, 2017 No Comments

Social Media for BusinessIf you’re like a lot of business owners, you probably think the idea of using social media to attract new customers has been a bit overblown. This is almost certainly true if you’re a builder, contractor or some other type of tradesmen. Many simply can’t imagine that social media would be effective for their marketing needs. Others have given social media a try but quickly called it quits when they didn’t see results.

Whichever category you fall into, it’s important to understand what you need to know about social media in order for this potent approach to really work.

 

Each Platform Has Its Own Language

One mistake a lot of small business owners make is trying to conquer many social media networks at once. They start a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest account on the same day and get busy trying to drum up new business.

Of course, nothing happens.

To some degree, they may be spreading themselves too thin. However, it’s just as much because they’re not taking the time to learn about the language of each social media network.

For example, on Facebook, most people are looking to browse around, socialize with friends and family, post comments, like/share things, and read/see videos and pictures that are funny, interesting or even adorable.

Believe it or not, there is plenty of opportunities there for any of the aforementioned professionals to find new customers. I’ve seen it firsthand.

However, that type of user is completely different than the kind who jumps on Twitter. Even when this is the same exact person, they’re wearing different hats. You need to understand these differences and proceed accordingly.

Social Media Is Not the End of Your Sales Funnel

This is another huge mistake that often tarnishes the reputation of social media in the eyes of many business owners. Your social media presence shouldn’t be where you make the sale. Very few people are going to make a purchasing decision on a single picture, post or 140 characters of copy.

Instead, you should use your social media presence to first gain people’s interest and build your authority in the market. A successful social media campaign should result in people wanting to contact you because they’re convinced you can help and are excited about the opportunity.

Quality > Quantity

This should be common sense, but on social media, it’s nearly impossible to resist the siren call of having countless followers. If you see a competitor with hundreds more than you, it’s tough to ignore that and stay focused on your goals.

Here’s the thing, though: it’s easy to get a huge “audience” on social media. You can actually go out and pay people to beef up your profile.

Those people will never become customers, though.

Instead of worrying about how many people follow you, you should be more concerned about how much engagement you’re seeing. Pay attention to which posts get comments and clicks. Those are the ones you should be creating more of. Of course, you should also be engaging right back with your potential customers.

You Have to Provide Quality Content

Twitter is an amazing tool. There’s no doubt about it. The same goes for Instagram. What these and other social media platforms lack, though, is space to really provide quality content – not that this has hurt their success.

Facebook gives you much more space to provide meaningful content, but we’d still recommend you keep a separate blog on your company’s site. This isn’t the type of thing you need to update every single day. It is the type of thing you can use to show potential customers your expertise, though.

For example, if you’re a contractor, you could explain the various pieces that go into a big project like adding a deck. Do this right before summer hits and many of the people interested in this type of project may wind up hiring you for the job.

If you’d like to learn more about how social media can increase your reach and help you find new customers, subscribe to Your Cyber Partner’s blog. I regularly publish helpful pieces just like this one that are full of proven tips.


Email Marketing: How Often Should You Email Your List?

July 29th, 2016 No Comments

Email Marketing How Often Should You Email Your ListWhile it would be great if there was research that suggested that mailing exactly every 5 days gets you the best results every time, there is no such thing. There is no magic number, no schedule to follow. And here’s why…

Every market, every niche, every audience and every person is different. And while you’ll never make everyone on your list happy, there are ways to determine what will work for your audience. (more…)


Why Video Should Be Included in your Digital Marketing Strategy

July 19th, 2016 No Comments

While many marketing experts will tell you that Internet trends change by the minute, Internet traffic patterns are oddly predictable in many ways. For example, over half of all Internet traffic is driven by video content. Over 100 million people watch online videos every day, and all of those videos lead to follow-up visits to external sites and purchase links. With more engagement, search engine ranking quickly goes through the roof. The case why video should be included in your digital marketing strategy becomes obvious the moment we begin to realize just how powerful a play button can be. (more…)


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