Viral Solutions -- Your Personal Chief Marketing Officer -- Digital Marketing and Business Strategy

Viral Solutions -- Your Personal Chief Marketing Officer -- Digital Marketing and Business Strategy

By Thomas von Ahn
On this podcast, we talk about marketing strategies and tactics. Many of our podcast episodes will cover strategic marketing (segmentation, targeting, positioning, market orientation, branding, and offering development), but we will also discuss tactical marketing (Facebook advertising, email marketing, Google AdWords, SEO, and more)

Our mission is to help you double the size of your business by using time-tested, proven marketing strategies and up-to-date marketing tactics.
The Importance of Having a Meaningful Brand in the Modern Age
We all want to have a successful brand, but here’s a sobering statement for you: If your business isn’t meaningful, it’s irrelevant. We’re not making this stuff up. According to a new report by Havas Group, if 77% of brands disappeared today, nobody would care; at the same time, 76% of people expect brands to contribute to their quality of life and well-being. What is this telling us? It means the companies that are going to survive are the ones that make a strong connection with their customers. It’s the brands that stand out in people’s minds because they are unique, exceptional, or just downright cool. Make no mistake—only businesses that have a meaningful brand and make a lasting impact on their customers’ lives will thrive. You Must Have a Meaningful Brand That Makes an Impact & Here’s Why If the fear of being irrelevant isn’t enough, there are several other reasons you need to have a meaningful brand…
16:49
May 1, 2019
How to Write a Lead Generating About Us Page
Let’s cut to the chase… What makes a good About Us page great? It’s quick to consume and informative. Your About Us page doesn’t always have to tell every detail about your business. In fact, that would be detrimental. But it should tell who you are, what you do, and why. There are creative ways to do this. It possesses welcoming images, videos, and content. These are obvious, but the images, videos, and written content on the About Us page should communicate that you are about your customer, not yourself. It contains social proof. Be it testimonials, reviews, or even a story about how you came to find the answer to your customer’s problem, social proof can build authority and help the reader relate to you and your company. It offers visitors the ability to reach you offline. Include “contact us” information. Some folks are still leery of the internet. If your avatar is one of those people, you especially need to make your contact information easy to find. It’s easy to navigate and mobile friendly. Copious amounts of content on the About Us page can be difficult to navigate on any device. Ensuring that the page is mobile responsive is a must. All of these 5 must-haves have a strategy tied to them. We’ll review those so you’ll know what collateral to use and how to best optimize your About Us page. The Lead Generating About Us Page Mind-Set When building an About Us page, you’ll want to get into the mind of your potential customer—one who has possibly never visited your site but comes across it in a search (because it’s SEO friendly). The prospect wants to know how your service or product will benefit them. And because the digital age has allowed us to receive extensive information in a matter of minutes, captivating your prospect’s attention with relevant content within the first 7 secondsof them laying their eyes on the page could be the difference between a lead and a bounce. Are you stressed out about your first impressions? Okay, if you’re thinking “7 seconds?! I’ve had sneezes that lasted longer!” then you aren’t alone. Creating a killer, lead generating About Us page isn’t as daunting as you might think. You need to capture their attention, yes, but only long enough to keep them intrigued and to keep clicking.
19:13
April 25, 2019
How to Get Started With Cross-Device Measurement
Consumers are all over the place, and it’s almost impossible to truly understand a company’s complete ROI picture. They are seeing ads on social media. They are searching the web. They are reading articles and clicking on links. They are getting bombarded by emails. And they are doing all of this on multiple devices. Mobile is on the rise, yes, but they are still also using their desktop computers, tablets, OTT devices, wearables, smart speakers, and more. This results in a lot of wasted time and marketing dollars on the wrong platforms. Because how do you know what’s really working and what’s not? Luckily, cross-device measurement is now a thing, and although it is far from perfect at this point, it is helping to reduce these issues. What Is Cross-Device Measurement?
14:04
April 23, 2019
Using the RACE Framework for Your Digital Marketing – Part 1: How to Reach Potential Customers
Are you posting on Facebook daily? Engaging with your audience on Instagram? Blogging once a week? If so, you may think that your marketing is on point. But, don’t get too comfortable. Executing marketing tactics may help you earn some brownie points, but it won’t increase your real earnings—well, that is, unless you have a strategy in place. Simply going through the marketing “motions” without a strategy and clear objectives is a waste of your time and money. You NEED a framework. In this series of articles, we will introduce you to the RACE digital marketing planning framework. The RACE framework was introduced by Smart Insights to provide structure to digital marketing strategy in order to help marketers plan and execute better. RACE stands for… Reach Act (Interact) Convert Engage Each stage of this framework represents tactics that relate to a specific stage of the customer journey, or lifecycle. For more information on the customer journey (or purchase funnel), read this article. In this article series, we will break down each stage of the RACE framework and teach you how to leverage it for your marketing so you can create a well-formed marketing strategy. This way, every tactic you implement helps you achieve a revenue-driving goal. In Part 1 below we will discuss the first stage, Reach. IMPORTANT: You must create your marketing strategy and set your objectives and KPIs before you start reaching potential customers in this Reach stage. Let’s start there first… Marketing Strategy and Planning (You MUST Do This before You Get Tactical)
22:27
April 19, 2019
Customer Retention Strategies: Turning New Sales into Loyal Customers
You run a sale and generate some new customers as a result, and you’re ecstatic. And you should be—new customers are always a good thing. But what are you doing to keep those customers coming back? You worked hard to acquire them, and you are missing a huge opportunity if you leave it at that. Companies often think acquiring new customers is their most important objective because there is an assumption that those customers will keep coming back. But think about some of your own examples as a consumer. You’ve likely made purchases and can’t even remember where you bought them. Or maybe you just don’t feel any loyalty to the company you purchased it from because you don’t have any reason to. Just because a company sells a decent product or service at a decent price doesn’t mean new shoppers will turn into loyal customers. It takes some nurturing. Customer Retention Strategies Are Where It’s At! When we focus more of our marketing efforts on retaining our existing customers, we increase our profitability and the lifetime value of our customers. Let’s break down just what that means for the success of a small business. Here are 3 reasons why repeat customers are the key to success…
14:01
April 17, 2019
Sales Psychology: What You Need to Know About B2C Selling – Part 2
In Part 1 of this blog, we talked about picking people’s brains in the hopes of understanding what makes them tick. Our mission today is trying to figure out B2C buyer behavior. But first let us say this: Here at Viral Solutions, we absolutely love delving into the psychology of humans. Not much rivals the study of the true motivations of your fellow earthly passengers. However, it’s important to first accept that figuring out humans is like herding cats. We are a complicated species, simply due to the fact that we have emotions. We like what the French poet and philosopher Paul Valéry—who was nominated for the Noble Peace Prize 12 times—had to say about psychology: “The purpose of psychology is to give us a completely different idea of the things we know best.”–Paul Valéry So now that we have admitted the fact that we are all a bit bewildered by the behavior of others and that we can’t truly know the mind of another human, let us say that in this blog post we will do our level best to help you discover the secrets of B2C buyer behavior based on facts we have accumulated, our own professional experiences, and the opinions of experts. You and I are in this together, so let’s just admit how little we don’t know. By doing so, we all instantly become more empowered because we have humbled ourselves and opened our minds. With these opened minds, we can do our best to tap into B2C behavior to help your business make more sales. This series began with this Viral Solutions blog post concerning the psychology of B2B customers. That 2-part blog post received such a great response that we knew the natural next step was to extend our study to include B2C buyer behavior. One important thing we discussed in Part 1 of this series, Sales Psychology: What You Need to Know About B2C Selling, was that, when a business is selling offline, they need to be very emotional, as buyers tend to purchase based upon how products make them feel. Whereas, when you are selling online, you have to tap into desires and pain points, AS WELL as differentiate yourself from your competition.
17:26
April 12, 2019
Viral Solutions Featured in Web Development Special Edition of CIOReview
Viral Solutions was recently featured in a special edition of CIOReview. This particular issue comprised a list of the “10 Most Promising Web Design and Development Consulting/Services Companies – 2019,” and Viral Solutions was named as one of those to watch out for. For those unfamiliar with CIOReview, this print publication strives to guide organizations through the ever-changing landscape of technology, providing them with insights into IT trends as well as enterprise solutions that aid in improving productivity. In addition to “bridging the gap between enterprise IT vendors and buyers,” CIOReview offers a wealth of information to business owners who need assistance navigating the technology sphere. Individuals may find CIOReview to be a valuable resource for advice on the following: E-commerce Web development Facility management Data analytics Networking Field service Cyber security And more… Chosen by a panel of CEOs, CIOs, and members of the magazine’s editorial team, the list of rising web development companies highlighted in the April 2, 2019, issue consisted of 10 businesses located across the country—from California to Massachusetts. A few, including Viral Solutions, are based in the Midwest yet provide their services to businesses all over the world. A couple of members of Viral Solutions’ team were given the opportunity to talk about what they offer in terms of web development and digital marketing services.
05:49
April 11, 2019
Why an Outside Perspective Is Essential to Your Company’s Growth & Success
Think back to a time when you received guidance from outside of yourself… Perhaps it was an essay you wrote in college that you asked someone to edit. Or maybe it was that time when you went to see a therapist about an issue you were having. In business, it might have been a consultant that you hired for a specific project. Whatever it is, you sought that outside perspective because you understand the value in it. Other people’s point of view can be absolutely critical to our success in almost every area of life. So why do so many small businesses handle almost all of their marketing in-house? According to Clutch’s 2018 Small Business Survey, “in-house help is the most common digital marketing resource (43%), but industry leaders say that small businesses that try to handle everything in-house may overextend themselves.” It’s not a sign of weakness to seek outside help for your marketing. On the contrary, it demonstrates your understanding of the natural limitations your internal marketing team faces. A well-rounded approach to marketing—one that utilizes your internal talent and an outside perspective—is the formula for a winning marketing strategy. How an Outside Perspective Impacts Your Company’s Success In a recent article, we explained that most companies don’t have a marketing strategy that is based on sound evidence, data, and experience. Instead, they read a lot of marketing theory and try a lot of different things. That is not the same thing as having a strategy. When we try to develop a marketing strategy from within our own company, it is completely different than looking at it from the outside. There simply isn’t any way around this. You are too close to your own perspective and no matter how much you envision yourself in your customer’s shoes, you can’t completely do it from the inside. There are several reasons for this. Let’s look at them now…
15:42
April 10, 2019
Get the Word Out: How to Leverage Word-of-Mouth Marketing in 2019
Human interaction has plummeted over the years. Face-to-face contact has been replaced by pixelated conversations behind computer monitors and 6-inch glass screens. But, this hasn’t dulled the power of good ol’ fashioned word-of-mouth marketing, which still drives 20-50% of all purchasing decisions. And though technology has replaced human face-to-face interaction, it has made word of mouth much more POWERFUL than it ever was, giving enthusiastic customers even more channels to spread the word about the brands they love and adore. So, whether via online conversations or the traditional sit-down family dinner, word of mouth is still one of the most powerful ways your customers can become marketing ambassadors for your brand. The Power of Word of Mouth – A $6 Trillion Industry Word of mouth brings in $6 trillion of annual consumer spending, which accounts for 13% of consumer sales. Join the ranks of Amazon, Samsung, Netflix, and Toyota—brands that actively work on customer loyalty and espouse word-of-mouth marketing. Okay, so word-of-mouth marketing is powerful, but, there’s a problem… Today’s consumers are more skeptical than ever. Flashy advertisements are not enough to sway consumers to favor your products and spread the love to others. Sharing your products requires trust in your brand, and this takes time (more time than viewing a quick ad). Here’s the good news though: The recommendation of a friend can slash the time it takes to build trust in your products. People trust their friends much more than they trust you. So how exactly does this play out?
19:01
April 5, 2019
5 Facebook Ads Tips That Will Yield Amazing Results
Facebook is becoming more saturated with ads, which means they are more expensive to run and they are getting less engagement. Or are they? Yes, they are, BUT no, they don’t have to be. There’s always a way to beat out your competition and put out Facebook ads that are rockin’ it. All it takes is some creative thinking and staying ahead of all the over-used ad strategies and trends. That’s what we’re here for, and we won’t disappoint! We’ve talked about retargeting, custom audiences, and Facebook pixels before. We even discussed how to design your Facebook ads and how to set up and measure your ads, but if you want to kill it with your ads, you need to have a new angle. In this article, we’ve put together 5 Facebook ads tips that you are most likely not using. We know that because these tips are under-used across the whole marketing industry. Not only that, but these Facebook ad tips produce results most of you won’t even believe! So, here they are… 5 Facebook Ads Tips That Will Kickstart Your Ads
14:59
April 4, 2019
Sales Psychology: What You Need to Know About B2C Selling – Part 1
We see you… Don’t be paranoid, but we know you are reading this blog post like a squirrel after a nut. You arrived here as a business owner searching for the secret formula for making more sales to consumers. Maybe you have an offline store and you aren’t getting enough walk-in traffic, and even when you do, they leave without making a purchase. Or maybe you have only been selling B2B (business to business) online up until now and you know it is time to step up your game and go after B2C (business to consumer) online sales. When you saw that the title of this post contained the word psychology, you thought, “Ah ha! That’s the answer! I must dig into the mind of consumers.” And you are partially right. However, what we have to say is about more than just discovering how potential B2C buyers think. It is about rearranging your whole attitude toward B2C sales. According to a book by Bryan Kramer, when it comes down to it, there is no real B2B or B2C—it’s all human to human. “As marketers, we’ve been trained to speak, ‘business to business’ (B2B) or ‘business to consumer’ (B2C.) But instead of this creating a simple framework for dialogue between humans, it set forth an unnatural language for marketers, using words like ‘synergy’ and ‘speeds and feeds’ to tell the stories of products and services to their buyers and partners. The fact is that businesses do not have emotions. Products do not have emotions. Humans do. Humans want to feel something. And humans make mistakes.” Kramer’s book is based on the premise that B2B and B2C can no longer be so easily defined. He argues that, to survive, marketers must appeal to humans’ emotional needs on top of the original need or desire for a product.
12:15
March 31, 2019
Inside-Out Strategy VS. Outside-In Strategy: Which Marketing Approach Is Best?
You know you need to bring value to your customers by giving them the latest and greatest. At the same time, you strive to keep things running efficiently internally while leveraging your strengths. The truth is, your company probably falls somewhere between the following 2 marketing approaches: inside-out strategy and outside-in strategy. So which approach is best, and is it okay to function somewhere in the middle? Let’s get you those answers… Inside-Out Strategy vs. Outside-In Strategy The premise of the inside-out strategy is that by building up a company’s strengths and abilities, it will be able to sustain itself by making smart choices. It leverages its internal competencies, such as a talented team, long-term customer relationships, and efficient systems and processes. On the other hand, the premise of the outside-in strategy is that providing customer value is the only way to success. This approach involves starting with an external market orientation and scrupulously studying customer insights before creating marketing strategies. The outside-in strategy starts at the end and works backward by looking at what the customer wants and coming up with solutions from that viewpoint. Alternatively, the inside-out strategy develops a product or service and then looks to find ways to create a desire for it.
15:39
March 27, 2019
How Your Website Can Help You Increase Sales
Whether you have a website designed only for prospective buyers to find you online and direct them to your brick-and-mortar store, or you possess a full e-commerce website where you sell products virtually, there are many ways that your website can help you increase sales. And the good news? We’re going to cover both scenarios. First, let’s tackle the issue of a website meant only to help prospective buyers find you online and direct them to your brick-and-mortar store. But before we get into how this type of website can help you increase sales, let’s discuss why you aren’t selling online as well as at your physical location. In this article from Retail Dive, a survey of more than 1,400 consumers who were asked why they preferred shopping in a brick-and-mortar store rather than online was conducted, and the results were very interesting… “…female shoppers overwhelmingly want to see, touch and feel products before buying them. Males, on the other hand, skew more toward the immediate satisfaction of taking items home with them. Shoppers at both ends of the age spectrum—younger and older generations—want to see or try products out in stores more than their middle-aged counterparts. Young shoppers clearly convey an ‘I want it now’ mentality versus older cohorts.” Another article in favor of having a brick-and-mortar store comes from Digiday. In this article, they note the following: “…regardless of how convenient online shopping is, consumers still like to visualize, try-on and feel products before purchasing them.” Let us be perfectly clear. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you should also sell online. There are just too many sales that could get away due to you not offering the ability to make an online purchase. In this post from our blog, we stated unequivocally… “To grow your business to the heights you dream of, it is imperative that you have an online presence and that your sales and marketing team understands the differences between online and offline sales—as well as the psychology of each one.” With that said, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty on how your website can help you increase sales at your brick-and-mortar store. And make no mistake, you MUST have a website whether you sell online or not.
13:59
March 22, 2019
How to Draw Attention to Your Mobile Ads and Increase Conversions
You don’t need a shiny new stat or a 10-page report to tell you that mobile usage is exploding. Just watch the pedestrians walking down a busy sidewalk, coffee in one hand and phone in the other. Or people sitting on a park bench or on a bus, gazes fixed on their mobile devices—unknowingly shutting themselves off from the rest of the world. But since we like proof and data, here are some statistics to show you the power of mobile: U.S. mobile users consume around 2.5x more minutes per month than desktop users Mobile commanded 5% of total digital ad revenues in the first 6 months of 2018 Okay, so maybe you know that mobile advertising can be powerful. But you also know that your failed mobile campaigns will tell you that working off statistics and “what could be” is not enough. Just because everyone and their mother use mobile phones doesn’t mean your mobile ads will be effective—let alone be enough to pry people away from their phone comas. Your ads need to engage and capture attention to get noticed. In this article, we will provide some tips on how to increase engagement and conversions with your mobile ads.
26:49
March 20, 2019
How Does SEO Work? OFF-Page SEO Tutorial for Small Businesses (Part 2)
You’ve optimized your web pages and posts for SEO. You’ve properly placed your keywords, improved your site structure, and ensured the readability of your content. So, why isn’t your site ranking on page 1 yet for your main keywords? If you’ve dotted your I’s and crossed your T’s when it comes to on-page SEO and you’ve seen some improvement in your rankings but still aren’t where you want to be, it is most likely because you’ve been neglecting the other side of SEO for small business: off-page SEO. On-page and off-page SEO go hand in hand, and you can’t expect to get amazing results simply by doing one or the other. In a recent article, we outlined the best practices for on-page SEO. In this article, we will focus on off-page SEO for small businesses. Let’s get to work… How Does SEO Work? The Off-Page Elements You Need to Know
17:05
March 15, 2019
How Does SEO Work? An ON-Page SEO Tutorial for Small Businesses (Part 1)
SEO can seem like an enigma these days, and it’s difficult to keep up with the $64,000 question: How does SEO work? But make no mistake, you can’t expect your website to be seen without it. Too many small business owners create a website and then expect it to automatically bring in leads. It doesn’t work like that. The good news is that small businesses absolutely can play in the SEO game. They can even outrank large corporations if they have the right SEO strategy in place! Let’s get one thing clear… Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of abiding by certain rules and requirements laid out by Google (and other search engines) for the purpose of generating organic website traffic. Now, what is organic is often perceived as being easy and natural; however, organic traffic only comes in easily and naturally after you put in a ton of hard work and planning. And there is no simple formula to follow because every business is different. A business that has more competition than another business will require more time and hard work to reach first page results than another less competitive niche. But, enough of the doom and gloom. Organic traffic is something every business should work to achieve, and once you start getting results from it, you can expect continued success as long as you continue the work. There are some cut and dry techniques you can build into your marketing strategyto get the rankings you desire, and that’s what we’re going to dig into here.
15:40
March 14, 2019
Why and How to Leverage Subscription Services to Boost Profits and Expand Growth
Marriage? Unpredictable. Health? Unpredictable. Kids? Unpredictable. Business revenue? Unfortunately, still unpredictable. Whether you like it or not, few things in life can be predicted. This is especially true with your business revenue. Though you can estimate earnings based on past data, market demand, and future sales, there is no guarantee that what you earn will come anywhere near your projections (it rarely does). Walk into the Shark Tank and tell the investors you are projecting $10 million in revenue this coming year. If earnings estimates were so predictable, every Shark would jump right on the investment, duking it out with each other in the process. Instead, they drill the contestants on every single business figure until they can find something that gives them a glimmer of hope that the investment will pay off. Go back into the Shark Tank and tell them you already have thousands of paying monthly subscribers. Now, the conversation goes a completely different way. WHY Is the Subscription Business Model so Lucrative? The subscription business model is not a new concept. Nowadays, you can subscribe to anything from healthy food and designer shoes to beauty products and beard oil. Subscription services have also been a business model used by the service industry for decades. Think cable, internet, phone, and utilities. But, subscription services have exploded in the last decade with businesses selling consumables at a faster rate. In Q1 2018 alone, 18.5 million Americans visited at least one subscription site. The subscription model is attractive mainly because it funnels in revenue monthly, which can remove some of the burden you may carry with constantly finding new customers to buy your products and services. Sure, even with a recurring revenue model, you will still need to find new subscribers. But every new subscriber has the potential to bring in long-term value—revenue that could continue month over month, year over year.
19:04
March 9, 2019
Marketing Theory without Execution: An Idea with No Follow-Through
An ongoing debate exists in the marketing industry that begs the following question: Is it more important to devise a marketing strategy or to execute actions to achieve your goal? There are good arguments all the way around this debate, but when it comes down to it, the answer is really… neither. You simply can’t be successful without either one. The problem, however, is that many companies, consultants, and marketers do a lot of “theory” and talking, without taking it beyond that. They can sit around and discuss all the latest marketing tactics and even try to put them in place, but in the end, it’s all for naught if they don’t develop a solid strategy and execution steps to make it work for their business. It’s like school—you can sit in a classroom and learn all the information and theory that is taught to you, but what good is it unless you can apply it in real life? We all know this, but as marketers, we forget that it works the same way. Understanding theory is helpful, but you need to know how to develop a strategy and execute that strategy to actually see results. From Marketing Theory to Strategy & Execution Successful marketing is really a 3-part process that involves following sound marketing theories, creating a detailed strategy, and executing that strategy. Let’s look at each of these steps in more detail. Follow Sound Marketing Theory Marketing theory is the science of marketing. It’s the “rules” and guidelines we follow. It’s the methods we use to form our strategies.
14:36
March 7, 2019
How Can You Overcome Implementation Paralysis? A Look at Traffic & Conversion Summit 2019 – Part 2
If you’ve ever attended a truly great conference, you know how easy it is to get swept up in the magic of it all. Connecting with like-minded people from all over the world… Getting to see your industry idols in person… Walking away with a notebook full of new ideas… But then you return to work the following week, and reality sets in. Your internal monologue may sound a little something like this: “There is NO way I can apply everything I learned to my business right this second—at least not effectively. Why should I even try?” You’re looking at it all wrong, Negative Nancy… At this year’s Traffic & Conversion Summit, we were treated to a number of eye-opening presentations from some of the best minds in the marketing industry. And in addition to the fact that content marketing is (and will likely always be) key, we learned an especially valuable lesson…
11:24
February 28, 2019
Why Is Content Marketing Important? A Look at Traffic & Conversion Summit 2019 – Part 1
“You know it’s all about the content, ‘bout the content, ‘bout the content.” Did you read that to the tune of “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor? If not, go back and read it (or sing it) again… because that’s the point we’re trying to make. Content marketing is everything and everywhere. After day 1 and 2 of the Traffic & Conversion  Summit 2019 in sunny San Diego, it was clear that the major player in marketing is content. But content marketing isn’t just about copywriting—it’s every piece of information on your website. So let’s look at… What is content marketing? Why is content marketing crucial? How can you keep existing customers coming back by leveraging quality content? But, take note. All of these methods will never work IF, as a business owner, you don’t put your customer first. You might have the best product or service available in your industry, but if your customers don’t feel heard, they will never listen to you. We must be willing to step outside of our thoughts and beliefs about our products in order to grow.
16:41
February 26, 2019
Characteristics of a Good Salesperson in 2019
There is no way around it: To have a highly successful business, you need very dynamic salespeople. But what exactly are the characteristics of a good salesperson—especially in 2019? In this blog post, we are not going to skirt the issue but instead get right down to it with the following statement… If you are successful in business, we’d be willing to bet money that when you look for a new salesperson to join your team, you are seeking a mirror of yourself. Admit it. You want a salesperson who possesses your particular qualities—the qualities that have made you the success you are today. We understand this urge and think it’s a good one. You don’t want to kid yourself, and you shouldn’t be swayed by fancy pedigrees or certificates when you start interviewing candidates for sales positions in your company. What Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe, says on Twitter totally resonates with us. “Before you make an offer to someone, think about whether you’d like to have 10 times as many people like them in your company.” That’s a good point of reference. You really do have to be absolutely taken with the salesperson you hire and wish you had 10 of them. However, in your heart of hearts what you really want is a mini-me who possesses the following qualities that you and all other successful business owners possess: Driven to Succeed Goal Oriented Confident Passionate Self-Reliant Focused Open-Minded Cognizant of Human Nature Capable of Leadership As a successful business owner, don’t you agree that the qualities listed above are ones you personally possess? Now let’s dive a little bit deeper into the characteristics of a good salesperson in 2019.
17:33
February 22, 2019
How to Do Market Research: A Guide for Beginners
You just launched a new product that you invested a lot of time and monetary resources into creating. A total of 5 emails, 10 ads, and 3 promos later, your marketing team is chugging down cold ones at your local pub to drown out your dud-of-a-product sorrows. We’ve got good news and bad news… The bad news is that this is all your fault. The good news is that it is fixable. In fact, it is entirely preventable. Did you know you can actually predict how well your products will do? No crystal balls. No wishing on a star. Just good ol’ get-your-hands-dirty market research. Want to skyrocket your growth? Stop leaving money on the table so your competitors can swoop in and steal the profits. Dig into market research methods and stop relying on guesses and hunches, and instead, start planning your business growth instead of hoping and praying for it to happen. You are better than that. Let’s talk about how to do market research… What Is Market Research? Why Is It Important?
26:01
February 21, 2019
360-Degree Marketing – Part 2: How to Create a 360-Degree Marketing Campaign
360-degree anything is pretty much always a good thing. It signifies a complete picture, a unified solution, an all-encompassing result. In terms of marketing, it indicates a campaign that has left nothing on the table and therefore converts every lead possible. In Part 1 of this article, we took a deep dive into 360-degree marketing and looked at what it is and the 9 key components to include in your campaigns. Now, let’s take a look at why this type of marketing is worth pursuing and how to create a 360-degree marketing campaign yourself. Why a 360-Degree Marketing Campaign Is Worth Doing A 360-degree marketing campaign overcomes numerous hurdles faced by companies in today’s marketing landscape. The consistency of a 360-degree marketing campaign sets companies apart because it creates such a cohesive and solid customer experience. It improves return on investment because companies can stop wasting time on the wrong leads as they nurture targeted customers in a way that creates raving fans. There are also a number of ways that a 360-degree marketing campaign can be used within a company:
16:26
February 15, 2019
360-Degree Marketing – Part 1: What Is It & 9 Key Components
Social media. Email. Google ads. SEO. Content marketing. PR. Direct mail. Lead nurturing. Traditional advertising. Webinars and seminars. Apps. Websites and landing pages. The list could go on and on as there are no shortage of ways to reach a customer these days. But to be effective marketers, we can’t look at each of these marketing options on their own. Integrating them into a 360-degree marketing campaign is what makes a company stand out and claim victory in today’s market. What Is a 360-Degree Marketing Campaign? Probably without even realizing it, you have experienced time and time again the effectiveness of 360-degree marketing campaigns. And the fact that you didn’t even notice it proves how well it was executed. Maybe you notice a poster or billboard for a new pair of shoes and then you hear an ad for the same shoes on the radio; you spot an ad for them in your Facebook newsfeed, and then you receive a postcard with a coupon for them in your mailbox. At that point, you’re salivating to buy them, so you go to your computer to pull up the landing page listed on the postcard, which is specifically designed for that campaign. After you make your purchase, you begin to receive emails from them for similar shoes and accessories you also want to own. This is the magic of a well-thought-out 360-degree marketing strategy. It feels like the company is everywhere, and the more times you see their ads, the more you want what they are offering. A 360-degree marketing campaign takes integrated marketing strategies to a new level, with the goal being to cohesively deliver an offer consistently across all touchpoints, platforms, and devices at the right time, in the right place, and with the right message. This holistic approach ensures that every possible interaction with a prospect or customer is meaningful. It means that when your target market sees a tagline to a campaign on social media, they will also see it when they visit your website or when they receive an email from you.
14:18
February 14, 2019
Infusionsoft by Keap: What You Need to Know
When a company takes a step back, it can sometimes be a huge step forward. That’s what happened on January 29, 2019, when Infusionsoft announced they are offering a new, much more basic product. But let’s take a step back ourselves. Infusionsoft’s announcement also explained that they have been rebranded as Keap—a change that depicts their commitment to simplifying growth for small businesses. In fact, their new name and logo is all about growth, from the arrow-like “K” of the logo, which signifies upward movement, to the color green, which indicates growth. As CEO and co-founder, Clate Mask, explains, Keap is a play on words that demonstrates their mission to help small businesses “keep going, keep serving, and keep growing.” Mask told a personal story during a recent interview for Entrepreneur Magazine about his struggles with starting Infusionsoft and how difficult it was to keep going when the money wasn’t there. Especially for his wife, there was constant worry about whether they could survive, and the rebrand speaks to the essence of grit and tenacity that small business owners must have to succeed. Now a highly successful company, Infusionsoft led the way over a decade ago with their CRM and sales and marketing software. If you are a user of Infusionsoft, and even if you are not a user because it offers way more than what you need, then you know the amount of marketing automation power it holds. Now, with the rebrand to Keap and with the introduction of the new Keap product, they have expanded to a new market, serving small service providers that haven’t had the funds or means to use their fully loaded automation software. Clate Mask stated, “We discovered small service providers waste time juggling five to seven tools just to book appointments, send communications, provide quotes or collect payments. That is 50 hours a month that could be spent servicing more clients, growing the business or at home with family.” 2 Product Options: Infusionsoft by Keap vs. Keap
08:54
February 11, 2019
Sales Psychology: What You Need to Know About B2B Selling – Part 2
Tapping Into the Psyche of B2B Consumers In Part 1 of our series on the psychology of B2B sales, we discussed the importance of understanding how B2B buyers think. In Part 2 of our series, we will be digging even deeper into the subject as we show you how to tap into the actual psyche of B2B consumers and learn about B2B buyer behavior. How should your salespeople approach prospective B2B buyers, and what psychological tactics should they use to understand said buyers’ pain points and desires? What drives them to make a purchase? What motivates them? We find delving into the psyche of the B2B buyer to be a fascinating study in human behavior. If you can truly begin to understand B2B buyer behavior and psychology, your company will be well on its way to bigger sales success. Below, we’ve highlighted a 3-step process that you can use to determine what makes a B2B buyer tick so your company can make more sales.
15:56
February 8, 2019
The Future of B2B Sales – Part 3: Why B2B Social Media Is Imperative to Sales Success
If your company is in the B2B sphere, you may believe that marketing on social media is not for you. You are not alone in your thinking. This article from Forbes states… “The first reaction to social media marketing by B2B companies is often doubted — until they see the increases in lead generation and even brand new sales channels that sprout from these efforts. The reality is that not being on social media is hindering your growth” The 5 reasons why B2B companies should not ignore social media are as follows: It helps in tapping into your customers’ emotions It allows you to remain present in your customers’ minds without being invasive It promotes your thought leadership It gives you the chance to gain your customers’ trust It allows your company to leverage video content As you can see, if you are not yet on social media, the time for your B2B company to begin is now. But where do you start, and what social media channels will deliver the greatest results? The following statistics show which social media channels B2B marketers are using:
09:09
February 6, 2019
The Future of B2B Sales – Part 2: The Importance of Analyzing B2B Website Data
If you are in the business of selling your product or service to other businesses—business to business sales (B2B)—understanding the behavior of your website visitors is one of the most crucial aspects of your sales success. How else can you know what your visitors’ intentions are if you are not plugged into the behavior they exhibit while they are on your website? That’s why we want to show you the best tools and tactics for monitoring website visitor behavior and how to take advantage of the data you collect to improve your B2B sales. This article from Influence and Co. is a great resource to get you started if you are not already tracking your website visitors or want to increase your understanding of how to effectively do so. Here is a quote from that article:  “If you’re not tracking your visitors, then you (and your bottom line) are in for a world of hurt. Forty-two percent of B2B marketers agree that the biggest barrier to their lead generation efforts is a lack of data. Understanding how visitors and leads interact with your site can give you incredibly rich data to help optimize your design, improve your content strategy, and generate leads.”
17:06
February 1, 2019
Company Branding—Why It’s Crucial and What Assets to Consider
We’ve said it before, but it’s a message that bears repeating: Company branding is important for all businesses, regardless of size or industry. It offers you the chance to communicate the values and characteristics that define your business. It allows you to pull customers in rather than push them toward making a purchase. It gives you the opportunity to develop loyalty among your customers.   By creating a strong brand that’s recognized and revered by those in your target audience, you can encourage raving fans that buy from you again and again—satisfied customers who trust you and are happy to recommend your business to others. However, although company branding can go a long way toward building up your reputation and increasing sales, it’s also important to remember that you won’t be able to accomplish this feat overnight. Branding is about more than just creating a logo. It’s a process that involves building awareness and encouraging loyalty. It’s about optimizing every facet of the customer experience, from your website layout to your facility’s signage to your communication with customers. And when all of these elements are in harmony—having received the time and attention they deserve—that’s when you have a strong brand that you can utilize in your marketing efforts. Think about some of the most popular and successful companies today… Apple. Coca-Cola. Google. FedEx. Amazon. What do they all have in common?
19:25
January 30, 2019
Marketing Strategy – Part 2: What Your Marketing Is Likely Missing
It’s the start of a brand new year, so by now you should have your marketing strategy planned out and ready to fire for the next 12 months. Is your strategy built on rock-solid principles that will withstand market fluctuations and industry shifts? Are you convinced you will leave the year better off than you entered it? Hopefully, the answer is “yes.” But, if not, our marketing strategy article series can help you put the pieces together. We recently gave you a crash course on some of the most important fundamentals of strategic marketing that fuel business growth. Without a firm grasp of these principles, you will fight an uphill battle—and the hill will get steeper and steeper as you climb. If you missed any of the pieces in this series, here they are again: Learn how to be market oriented, relying on data instead of hunches, which will always steer you wrong. No one knows what your customers want more than your customers. Discover how to conduct qualitative and quantitative market research effectively to understand your audiences’ goals, problems, and desires. Learn the principles of segmentation and discover how to focus on a tight segment of people who possess similar characteristics. Learn how to choose a winning segment to target. Discover the art of market positioning here and here so your message will be meaningful to customers and allow you to outperform your competition. Lastly, understand how all of these pieces fit together to form a solid, unshakeable marketing strategy. We started our discussion of marketing strategy in Part 1,where we talked about the 3 strategic questions you must ask and how the purchase funnel can lead to greater leads, conversions, and revenue. Below is our final piece of this series, wherein we will discuss how to set strategic objectives, determine budgets, and create SMART goals that will guide you to success. Let’s get to it!
27:04
January 23, 2019
The Future of B2B Sales – Part 1: How the B2B Landscape Has Changed
If there is one thing all small business owners can agree on, it is this: The internet is drastically changing the way we do business. If your small business caters to other business owners—what is known as B2B (Business to Business)—and you have been in business for a long time, then you are a direct witness to the way the B2B landscape has shifted with the introduction of the digital age. Where before your sales successes were made up of the traditional types of B2B sales strategies—such as direct mail, walk-in customers, cold calling, and meeting with prospective buyers—it has become imperative that you also have an e-commerce presence. There is no way around it: People, including your B2B clients, like shopping online. However, we must point out that just because you will be selling online, you and your salespeople need not panic. As stated in “The Future of Selling B2B Online,” an article from Inc.com, “The Internet is not making salespeople obsolete; it’s making them even more important.” The article also discusses how pundits have been saying for decades that the internet would make salespeople obsolete, but Inc.com says the pundits had it all backward.
12:33
January 18, 2019
Bridging the Gap Between Online and Offline Sales to Accelerate Your Business – Part 3
In Part 1 and Part 2 of our series Bridging the Gap Between Offline and Online Sales to Accelerate Your Business, we discussed the difference between these spheres and how to get back to the basics by embracing simplicity. In Part 3 of our series, we will tackle another crucial element of bridging the gap between offline and online sales: understanding which tools are best for you as a business owner to keep track of sales and the most important tools your sales and marketing teams need to help them do a better job of selling and reporting. Of course, there will be some crossover between online and offline sales and the tools you need if your company does both. If your mind-set up to this point has been that there is a great divide between offline and online sales, this article from Digital Commerce 360 will most certainly change your mind. In the introduction to the above-referenced article, this important fact is stated… “Online and offline experiences are no longer either-or when it comes to retail strategies, and we can tie that directly to evolving consumer preferences and innovative technologies that merge the two concepts.” Although the article from Digital Commerce 360 proves that offline and online sales are already merged, you can still never discount the tried-and-true staples of offline selling. In this article, One Click Lindsey lists and explains some of the best offline marketing ideas. A few of these offline marketing tactics include passing out your business card, attending trade shows, and good-old door knocking (or canvassing as they call it in the world of sales). If you are in the business of selling offline, we urge you to take advantage of the 35 offline marketing ideas listed in the above article. When you match that effort offline with the following tools you need for online sales, you can’t help but have a winning combination.
16:08
January 16, 2019
5 More Digital Marketing Tactics That Will Give You an Edge in 2019—Part 2
In Part 1 of this article, we outlined 7 digital marketing trends that will help you stand out in 2019. In Part 2, we are offering 5 more tactics, this time focusing on those that center around content. Let’s look at these content marketing trends now…
09:43
January 11, 2019
7 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Give You an Edge in 2019—Part 1
The ultimate key to marketing is making sure you aren’t falling into a comfort zone. As soon as you get comfortable with the digital marketing tactics you are employing, the trends shift, and if you aren’t on top of them, you’ll be left behind. At the same time, it’s impossible to implement all of the latest digital marketing trends into your business. That’s why we feel the best approach is to choose the ones that will help you stand out amongst your competition. We’ve cut down the clutter and outlined 7 digital marketing trends for 2019 that will give you that edge. Here they are…
10:45
January 9, 2019
Marketing Strategy – Part 1: What Your Marketing Is Likely Missing
We’ve been on a pretty wild (and in-depth) journey recently. We gave you a crash course on the marketing principles that have guided the world’s most successful companies for decades. Hopefully, by now, we have answered most of your strategic marketing questions. We taught you how to be market oriented and always rely on the data instead of hunches and “gut” instincts. You learned how to conduct qualitative and quantitative market research to understand your audience, their desires, their goals, and their problems. We then discussed segmentation and taught you how to cut the audience “pie” to focus on a tight segment of people who possess similar characteristics. Next, we taught you how to choose a winning segment to target and then position yourself in your market to become meaningful to customers and gain a competitive edge.   We know it was a LOT to grasp, but there is one more thing we need to discuss, and it very well may be the MOST important part of this entire series. Even if you execute all of these pieces successfully (market orientation, research, segmentation, targeting, positioning), your chance of success is still LOW if you do not understand how they fit under the umbrella of a high-level marketing strategy. If you act on tactics without being guided by a top-level strategy, you will encounter trouble in the future, regardless of how your sales look in the short term. What’s the difference between tactics and strategy?
25:57
January 4, 2019
Market Positioning – Part 2: How to WIN the Race and Attract More Customers
Do you want your brand (and not your competition’s) to be at the forefront of your customers’ minds? If you aren’t segmenting, targeting, and positioning yourself, you will never be able to convince your target to buy from you, especially if your competitors have already developed a solid positioning strategy and infiltrated your market… You need to position yourself correctly to outperform your competition and win over your customers. Welcome to Part 2 of our 2-part series on market positioning. In Part 1, we defined what market positioning is and how to create a strategy that clearly defines your positioning statement. We also discussed how to showcase your company to the market so you can outperform your competition. In Part 2 below, we will further define the nuances of effective positioning and discuss how you can use your brand identity as your greatest competitive advantage.
24:50
January 2, 2019
Market Positioning – Part 1: How Do Your Customers Perceive You?
It’s you vs. your biggest competitor in a fierce battle to win over your customers’ minds. Your weapon is your positioning sword, and whoever has the sharpest, most powerful sword will come out victorious in the end. Are you confident you will be the victor? Wait…do you even have a positioning sword? If you aren’t positioning your company effectively, well, there isn’t much of a battle here. You might as well turn around and go home—that is, if your competitor doesn’t slay you first. If you want to gain a competitive advantage and get your brand message into the hearts and minds of your customers, you have to get into the trenches and position yourself effectively. Let’s talk about positioning… Now we realize that positioning is not exactly a glamorous topic to learn about nor something you want to talk about at your next neighborhood BBQ.
19:20
December 28, 2018
Real Estate Marketing Tips: How to Grow Your Following- Part 2
In a recent article, we provided 10 online real estate marketing ideas that have been proven to bring in more leads and loyal followers. In this article, we are providing 10 additional tips so that you can really stand out and be the go-to real estate professional in your neighborhood and beyond. Here Are 10 More Real Estate Marketing Tips for Online Success
13:35
December 27, 2018
Real Estate Marketing Tips: How to Grow Your Following- Part 1
As a real estate professional, you want to move properties quickly, but standing out online in the real estate market isn’t easy. Plus, with digital marketing changing with the speed of light, it’s hard to know what will work best. These tried-and-true online real estate marketing tips are the best place to start… Try These Real Estate Marketing Tips for Online Success
13:35
December 21, 2018
Bridging the Gap Between Online and Offline Sales to Accelerate Your Business – Part 2
As a business owner, if someone were to ask you what your biggest challenge is when it comes to sales and marketing, what would your answer be? When approached with this question, the majority of business owners had this reply: The need for more simplicity. It is ironic that, when once we were all on fire about technology and business owners wanted to make sure they were using the most cutting-edge software and apps to help accelerate their business, now the watchword of the day has become simplicity. In Part 1 of our series, “Bridging the Gap Between Online and Offline Sales to Accelerate Your Business – Part 1,” we discussed how to more seamlessly integrate the 2 worlds of sales: online and offline. In Part 2, we are going to address the challenge of getting back to the basics and simplifying your sales and marketing process to more effectively accelerate your business. In our age of technology, with new ways of tracking sales and collecting data appearing on the horizon on a daily basis, it can become overwhelming to salespeople and often hinder their sales process. Your salesperson has one thing on their mind: making the sale. A seasoned salesperson knows intuitively when to move forward with a lead and when to back off, and ultimately when to accept defeat. If you were to ask them what they wish would happen, they would likely say they wish they could just be left alone to do their job. What throws a wrench in the works is often the great divide between online and offline sales and the conflicting mind-set of your sales team and marketing team. Your salespeople can often begin to feel like a hamster on a wheel—their sales process clogged by reporting, data collection, and other technology. Whereas, your marketing team is eager to work new leads using all of the technology and digital resources at their command. We like to call this “too many cooks in the kitchen.” Here is a great example: Your salesperson mans a booth at a convention. They gather leads—some leads the salesperson wants to protect and hold—but the leads are also required to be entered into a database for tracking and marketing follow-up. Of course, the marketing team is gung ho about reaching out to the new leads with emails and Facebook pixel retargeting. However, marketing must understand that the salespeople do not want their leads to receive redundant or irrelevant emails, SMS messages, etc., so the tool that must be used is a very robust CRM (e.g., Infusionsoft) that allows sales to track leads and indicates to the marketing team what leads they should work, without each other coming across as a pest to the prospect. The above situation is the number one “beef” with salespeople—that marketing bothers their leads. Yes, marketing thinks salespeople do not enter their leads in a database/CRM so that marketing will not pester their leads. Both are correct, yet both are wrong and are acting off ego. This is why the sales manager gets frustrated with a lack of pipeline facts.
15:33
December 19, 2018
How to Create a Compelling Brand with Character Diamonds
Have you ever met a raving fan? Maybe you are one yourself. You know—a person who is so gung ho about a sports team that they can’t stop talking about them. They go to every home game, and they buy all of the team’s paraphernalia. The same could be said about raving fans of a band and even a business brand. When business branding is done right, it creates raving fans, and then people line up to buy. Just look at Apple, for example. Talk about raving fans! But branding isn’t easy. It’s not just a logo and it’s not just a name. It’s the essence of a company—the character traits that make the company unique—and it’s what the company stands for. If your company has a personality of its own, that’s when it has successful branding. But that’s a tall order. How do you turn your bland brand into a powerful personality? For most people, that thought is pretty overwhelming. If your brand is not relatable, it will be ignored and considered irrelevant. If it doesn’t show a vulnerable quirk, your strength isn’t recognized. If it doesn’t make an impact, it doesn’t draw people to it, and it doesn’t compel anyone to buy its products or services. If you want to create a brand that compels people to become raving fans, you must turn your business into a character they can relate to and resonate with. The Character Diamond provides an easy way to bring your brand to life, and in this article, we’ll explain how it works. Why Are Character Diamonds Valuable? Ryan Deiss, cofounder and CEO of DigitalMarketer.com, discussed the importance of using Character Diamonds in branding during his presentation at HYPERGROWTH 2018. He explained that a company that has no soul hires a celebrity to become the soul of their business because they have no personality of their own, so they need to borrow it. And he went on to explain that the story of your brand is the best type of marketing, but it’s the characters that we really love and even crave. That’s why a successful brand is a fictional character. The “character” of a business brings life to it and gives it a personality that people want to be around.
14:14
December 12, 2018
Bridging the Gap Between Online and Offline Sales to Accelerate Your Business – Part 1
If someone approached you asking about the difference between online and offline sales, what kind of answer would you give? How would you explain the psychology between the 2? Or were you even aware that there was a difference in the approach? If your answer is, “I haven’t got a clue,” you aren’t alone. Most business owners don’t know because they’ve never been taught—much less provided resources about how to begin selling and building a brand online. It’s an entirely different animal than the offline world. As leaders in the world of e-commerce and experts with decades of experience in face-to-face sales, the Viral Solutions team often notices that businesses are not meeting their full potential simply because they do not understand the massive difference between offline and online sales. To grow your business to the heights you dream of, it is imperative that you have an online presence and that your sales and marketing team understands the differences between online and offline sales—as well as the psychology of each one. To help your business accomplish these tasks, let’s talk about a major problem we often face… When a business that has always sold strictly offline decides it’s time to have an online presence—which is crucial in today’s technological climate and can really accelerate your business if done right—they think they can use the same marketing and sales tactics that they have always used offline. This does not work. It is backward, in fact. When a business that has never had an online presence asks us to build their website, they often request we frame it around themselves… While this may be true, it turns prospects off. In the online world, it should never be just about you. Your potential clients want to know how your product or service can benefit THEM. Unlike selling offline, when it comes to online sales, providing facts and information is your primary goal. You can’t simply place yourself in someone’s view by showing up. You have to earn every click and every view—in one way or another.
11:28
December 5, 2018
Sales Psychology: What You Need to Know About B2B Selling – Part 1
It’s fair to say that the majority of successful, sales-focused professionals have 2 important things in common: Their thirst for knowledge Their desire for self-improvement If you count yourself among this elite group of individuals, we know this post will provide insights as to what makes people tick and how to leverage what we know about human behavior to boost your sales numbers. The gist of the post is understanding the mind of B2B (business to business) clients and how important that ultimately is to your personal success in the B2B selling niche. As a professional in the B2B sphere, if you have been in the game for any decent length of time, then you are aware of how important it is to understand the mind-set of your B2B customer. To be successful in the job, you must make learning the psychology of B2B selling one of your main priorities. It’s also vital to understand the difference between selling in the offline world versus the online world, as well as the fact that a salesperson’s best friend is a CRM—points we’ll discuss in more detail in future blogs. It is well worth noting that B2B selling is a different animal from B2C (business to consumer) selling. If your sales niche has been B2C, and you are transitioning into B2B selling—even though you may have been a huge success in your former role—you will be doing yourself a big favor if you take on the attitude of a novice. That’s how big of a difference there is between the psychology of a B2C customer versus that of a B2B client. Think of yourself as Michael Jordan, going from basketball to baseball. You’re a skilled athlete switching from the court to the field, understanding that it’s a whole different ball game and having to adapt to a new format and set of rules… To back up our above statement, this article from Forbes titled “Differences in Selling B2B and B2C” points out key differences between B2B selling and B2C selling. B2B selling includes the following aspects that are in direct opposition to B2C selling: A longer decision-making process A greater number of involved stakeholders A lengthier relationship Smaller lead pool Different type of product knowledge
12:11
November 28, 2018
Creator Studio: The New Social Media Management Tool for Facebook
These days, it can be tough to keep up with your Facebook Pages. After all, there’s a lot going on, and it can be cumbersome to try to keep tabs on what content is performing the best. This is especially true if you have multiple Facebook Pages to manage. Heck, there are probably even features in Facebook you don’t even know about because there’s just too much to keep track of. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could somehow monitor all of your Facebook content and Pages from one place and be able to determine exactly what your audience wants and how your Pages are performing? You’re in luck! There is a new social media management tool that does just that, and it just so happens to be free! It’s the new Creator Studio, which is kind of like Facebook’s own version of Meet Edgar. Integrated Social Media Management for Facebook It may seem overwhelming at first, but when you take a little time to get to know Creator Studio, it will save you a lot of time and money. What it does is integrate all the tools you need to manage your Facebook Pages, including posting, monetizing, and measuring content across all of your pages. With Creator Studio, you’ll be able to better measure your pages’ performance, streamline and simplify your Facebook management, monetize videos, and use enhanced creative tools. How to Access this New Social Media Management Tool To access Creator Studio, log in to your Facebook Page, click on Publishing Tools, and then click on Creator Studio under the Tools section. Creator Studio Features & How They Work Now, we’ll walk you through all the different features within Creator Studio, so you can grasp what it can do for you and start using it to streamline your Facebook Page management.
10:21
November 23, 2018
Market Targeting: How to Avoid Havoc and Target a Winning Segment
It’s the holiday season and you forgot to wear your stretchy pants to dinner. The mental debate begins. Is the I’m-not-hungry-but-I-want-it piece of pumpkin pie worth the ensuing discomfort? Your pants are saying, “Don’t do it,” but your mind can’t resist the temptation. There goes your top button… and the rest is overeating history. Marketers have the same overindulgence problems when working with their segments. They want to target more segments than they should, but succumbing to this temptation can be much more detrimental than mere belly discomfort—it could cost them growth and future revenue. What Is Market Targeting and Why Is Overindulging on Segments so Dangerous? In this recent article, we introduced the STP marketing framework, which essentially represents segmenting, targeting, and positioning. We discussed segmentation in detail and introduced how targeting is related. Here is another look at the STP diagram:
15:49
November 21, 2018
Multi-system Chaos: When Marketing Technology Is Too Much of a Good Thing
It’s hard to keep up with the ever-changing stream of technological advances in business. If you added up all the marketing technology software and subscriptions you use in your business, you’d probably be surprised by the number. Let’s look at what some of them might be… You have your shopping cart, your website and all the various plugins or apps you use on it, your project management systems, your bookkeeping software, your graphic design software, your content management systems, social media posting software, conference call and webinar systems, note apps, and chat tools… and we’re probably still missing quite a few. These tools are invaluable time-savers. Or are they? Honestly, it’s debatable, and here’s an example of why: Within each of the tools we mentioned above, it’s very likely that you have marketing technology systems that…
16:21
November 20, 2018
Multi-system Chaos: How to Minimize Your Marketing Tools
Are you feeling overloaded by all the different marketing tools your company is using? Do you feel like it’s turned into too much of a good thing? Most companies are feeling the same way. It’s called multisystem chaos, and it’s a real problem. When you keep seeing articles such as 41 Must Have Digital Marketing Tools to Help You Grow and 58 Best Marketing Tools to Build Your Strategy in 2018, you start to wonder how you’ll cut through all the noise. The time it takes to weed through and choose the marketing tools you will use in your business alone is a major time-killer. You can learn more about multisystem chaos and the pros and cons of marketing technology in Part 1 of this article. In Part 2, we are going to provide some tips for reducing that chaos. Examples of Marketing Tools You Might Want (or Not Want) in Your Marketing Tool Kit The number of marketing tools we use as marketers is astounding. Here’s a quick dive into the different types of software, apps, and tech most businesses are using on a daily basis…
10:09
November 16, 2018
Market Segmentation: How to Increase Your Sales by Decreasing Your Market Size
You launched your products and you researched your target audience. This means you are ready to market, right? Not necessarily. Are you planning on sending the same ad, the same emails, and the same communication to your entire audience? If so, you may be headed down a destructive road of dismal sales and wasted money. Marketing is not easy Look, we know that full-scale marketing (done right) is a bit complex, especially for newbies, but it’s not our fault. The reason marketing is so complex is because your customers are complex. If we lived in a world of copycat robots, this marketing stuff would be a lot easier. Customer complexity is inevitable. Every single company on the face of the planet has to deal with it. If a company tells you otherwise, they likely don’t do any market research. The research is what uncovers the behavioral, attitudinal, demographic, and psychological complexity that exists even within the same target audience. How do you manage that complexity? You can take the “easy” way out and target your entire audience exactly the same way (while putting your company in jeopardy of underperforming and eventually failing). Or, you can take a little time to understand segmentation, which we will discuss in this article. We understand you…
25:42
November 9, 2018
Market Orientation & Research: Leaving the Darkness and Stepping into the Light – Part 2
Are you market oriented? If so, you are in a good position to grow. Companies that are more market oriented enjoy higher profitability, superior sales growth, customer retention, and new product success. What happens if you’re not market oriented? Well, let’s just say you could become irrelevant in a highly competitive marketplace and face an uphill battle when you try to scale and meet customer needs. If you don’t know what market orientation is, in Part 1 of this 2-part article series, we laid the groundwork for market orientation and why being market oriented is critical for long-term success and competitive prowess. In Part 2 below, we will dive into the application of market orientation, which is market research. Here’s a quick review: When you are market oriented, you realize that your assumptions about your consumers are 100% wrong and that you need to consult market research to move forward with a solid marketing strategy. Let’s get into a little more detail on what market research is and how you can use it to “level up” your company and profits.
33:57
November 8, 2018
Common Social Media Video Mistakes
Video is a huge part of any digital marketing strategy, and this is particularly true for social media advertising. Video has been the single strongest force in online marketing and advertising for most of this decade, and it’s only becoming more and more popular with every passing year. At Viral Solutions, our social media marketing services include helping you optimize your use of video across all your platforms. There are a number of basic mistakes that inexperienced folks in this area might make – let’s go over a few of the most common, plus how to avoid falling into any of these traps.
07:10
November 5, 2018
Developing a 360 Degree Marketing Plan
The concept of a 360 degree marketing plan refers to a marketing campaign that reaches customers at all possible points of contact. Successfully putting together such a plan is important because it enables you to maximize the chances of finding new potential customers and engaging them in a wide variety of ways. Viral Solutions focuses more specifically on a 360 degree marketing plan, in which a company uses all of the resources at its disposal to reaches prospects and customers at all possible points of contacts. Are you being consistent with your marketing strategy and tactics? Successful marketing takes both discipline (strategy – a written plan) and execution (tactics – the people and the tools).
18:36
November 5, 2018
Market Orientation & Research: Leaving the Darkness and Stepping into the Light – Part 2
Are you market oriented? If so, you are in a good position to grow. Companies that are more market orientedenjoy higher profitability, superior sales growth, customer retention, and new product success. What happens if you’re not market oriented? Well, let’s just say you could become irrelevant in a highly competitive marketplace and face an uphill battle when you try to scale and meet customer needs. If you don’t know what market orientation is, in Part 1 of this 2-part article series, we laid the groundwork for market orientation and why being market oriented is critical for long-term success and competitive prowess. In Part 2 below, we will dive into the application of market orientation, which is market research. Here’s a quick review: When you are market oriented, you realize that your assumptions about your consumers are 100% wrong and that you need to consult market research to move forward with a solid marketing strategy. Let’s get into a little more detail on what market research is and how you can use it to “level up” your company and profits. Market Research? Who’s Got Time for That?
33:57
November 2, 2018
Market Orientation & Research: Leaving the Darkness and Stepping into the Light – Part 1
If I asked you which one of the 2 CEOs below has a better chance of reaching target customers successfully and selling more product, which person would you choose? A Harvard MBA graduate, or An unschooled twenty-something: If you answered #1, you are wrong. If you answered #2, well…you are also wrong. You can’t actually arrive at an answer without asking each party more specific questions. You see, when it comes to knowing your market, paper degrees won’t tell you a thing about what your consumers want. The best marketers are those who can admit they actually know NOTHING about their customers. We call this concept market orientation. Market orientation is the first step to constructing a solid long-term marketing strategy. When you’re market oriented, you realize that you need research to learn about your customer instead of relying on assumptions and hunches (which are almost always wrong). In a recent interview, Mark Ritson—professor of marketing at Melbourne Business School, consultant, and writer for Marketing Week—weighed in on marketing strategy. By his reckoning, he estimates that “around 80% of marketers, and in some countries 90 [percent], literally have no idea what the hell they’re doing” as it relates to marketing strategy. Most companies are just not market oriented. Are you market oriented? Read on to find out…
43:33
October 20, 2018
The Ultimate Guide to Running Successful Flash Sales – Part 2
What if we told you that you had only 24 hours to get 100 product sales or else we would bankrupt your business and take you for everything you’ve got? Before you pinch yourself to wake up from your nightmare, this scenario may not be as grim as you think. What would you do in this case? We would recommend running a flash sale. Flash sales are exciting little sales events that pack a super HUGE punch. Running a flash sale could potentially generate a 35% lift in transaction rates and bring in new and return customers to your business. But, here’s the thing…
55:05
October 4, 2018
The Ultimate Guide to Running Successful Flash Sales – Part 1
Ever get run over while making a mad dash for the last deeply discounted video game your son had to have for Christmas? If so, it likely happened on Black Friday, the biggest flash sale day of the year. Flash sales cause people to do crazy things—camp out overnight outside stores, scavenge last-minute coupons, and plan their shopping trips like top-secret Navy SEAL operations. For consumers, this is a small price to pay with such deep discounts as a reward. For you, the payoff can be even greater. Successful flash sales can generate a 35% lift in transaction rates, not to mention bring in a horde of new customers to your business. But profits aren’t guaranteed. You have to execute flash sales correctly to reap the benefits. And that’s exactly what we are going to teach you how to do today.
37:15
October 1, 2018
Millennials and Brand Loyalty: What You Need to Know
Think back to when you used to go grocery shopping with your mom… Did she walk into the store with her list in hand, scanning the shelves for specific logos? (Right now you’re probably nodding your head yes.) If so, odds are she (and others in her generation) continue to shop in this manner—opting to buy from brands that are familiar and trusted. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case for every generation with spending power…of which there are currently four primary groups: Baby boomers Gen Xers Gen Yers (commonly referred to as millennials) Gen Zers On average, baby boomers and Gen Xers tend to be the most consistent of the bunch, staying true to what they know and exhibiting high rates of brand loyalty. And since Gen Zers are just barely on the cusp of adulthood (and probably don’t have a ton of extra dough to spend just yet), that leaves…millennials. So, let’s take a closer look at this much-talked-about group.
11:30
August 29, 2018
Maintaining a Strong Visual Brand on Social Media
Here’s a question you may not ask yourself every day… Do you have a strong visual brand on social media? If not, you’re wasting a perfect opportunity to inspire and engage your audience. Plus, you’re missing out on the chance to solidify your position as a business your customers can easily identify and trust. Some business owners still think that just being on social media is enough. But any marketer worth his or her salt will tell you that’s totally false. The fact is that if you don’t create a strong visual brand, you’re not doing everything you can to extend your reach on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or whatever platform your target audience is using… https://viralsolutions.net/maintaining-a-strong-visual-brand-on-social-media/
18:27
August 28, 2018
Lead Nurturing 101 - How to Boost Your Conversion Rates
Lead campaigns without nurturing are a lot like faulty pool floats. A lot of effort goes into blowing them up, yet a few small pinholes will have you huffing and puffing with absolutely nothing to show for it (except maybe a dizzy spell). Let’s compare this to your lead campaigns. You throw heaps of money, time, and resources at generating more leads, but if you aren’t nurturing them, you are simultaneously losing many of them as quickly as they came in. Even if you are generating leads regularly, most will fall right through those holes if you are not nurturing them. It’s time to close up the holes so you can reclaim those leads and make your marketing dollars work for you. Enter lead nurturing. Lead nurturing follows your leads far beyond the initial acquisition and keeps working them all the way until the sale, thereby increasing conversions. What Exactly Is Lead Nurturing? https://viralsolutions.net/lead-nurturing-101-how-to-boost-your-conversion-rates-and-your-revenue/
24:25
August 16, 2018
Why Facebook Mobile Advertising Continues to Be a Powerful Tactic
Last month, it was reported that ad spend on Instagram jumped 177% during the second quarter of 2018. This is significantly higher than the increase in ad spend for its parent company, Facebook, which only saw a 40% boost in the same time period. So, what gives? Well, advertisers have started to see the value of expanding to other, “smaller” platforms (in comparison, anyway) such as Instagram and Pinterest. As more and more people begin using these platforms, it makes sense to meet them there. Does this mean advertisers should pull back from Facebook? https://viralsolutions.net/why-facebook-mobile-advertising-continues-to-be-a-powerful-tactic/
19:59
August 16, 2018
Important SEO Questions to Ask
At Viral Solutions, we’re proud to offer a wide range of SEO and PPC services to all our clients in Wisconsin and nearby areas. These areas, as part of our overall services, help us both protect your brand and develop a great comprehensive marketing strategy to increase business in important areas. We’re extremely confident in our SEO services – so confident, in fact, that we welcome being compared to other similar digital marketing companies in this space. Any good brand manager should always be doing this kind of comparison before hiring SEO pros like ours. In part one of this two-part blog, we’ll go over some of the questions you should be asking a digital marketing agency about their SEO. https://viralsolutions.net/important-seo-questions-to-ask/
12:09
August 16, 2018