From Google AdWords to online reviews: How to choose the right business marketing channel, by John Jantsch

 

Google AdWords. Online reviews. Display ads. Social media. Content and push marketing … With so many outreach channels — online and off — to choose from, how does a business owner prioritize limited resources for marketing their business? Your tactics are going to differ based on what you offer, and how you make most of your sales.

Service providers should consider Google AdWords

If your company provides a service that people commonly search for, you’ll do best with well-placed Google AdWords or Bing Search buys. These businesses are the same ones that historically have gotten a lot of value from advertising in the Yellow Pages: lawyers, doctors, accountants, locksmiths, hair salons, plumbers, and other service providers.

The commonality between all of these companies is that the customer already wants to buy their service when they start looking, so they’re competing to be the provider that gets picked.

This tactic, called pull marketing, targets someone who is already in the buying process and attempts to reel them in.

Google AdWords, Bing Search, or Yelp Promoted advertising is useful for service providers because these online ads help you stand out from the crowd. They’re even more effective on mobile because it’s harder to distinguish between a paid placement and an organic search result on the smaller screen.

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8 Social Media Lessons You Can Learn From The Pros, by Mary Stribley

          

There are lessons to be learned from the best companies on social media 

If you’re reading this, can I assume you’re struggling on social media?

That’s fine, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. But what do you actually need to do to grow your followers, improve your engagement and increase sales on social media?

In this article, we won’t tell you what to do. We’ll show you. By featuring what companies like Nike and Spotify are doing on social, you’ll start to see what’s required to improve your presence on social.

Important — Free Templates

In the article title we allude to there being free templates in this article. And there are tons. Any image that has the “Edit this design in Canva” caption on the right-side of it can be clicked on. Like this one:

When you click on a Canva template, it’ll open up in your Canva account. From there, you can customize the design with your own words, colors and images, and then download or share it. Not a Canva user? Signup here.

Why is this important?

Because to turn the lessons in this article into gold, you need to do what they suggest. If you want to apply one of the lessons right away, click on one of the Canva templates, customize it, and use it in your next social post.

01. Keep Things Visual

If there’s one tool that should be at the top of every social media strategy it’s visual content. Social media is becoming only more and more visually-based – with the plethora of content out there, we need striking visuals to cut through the noise and grab our attention.

A brand that champions all things visual content is Buffer. Not a status update or Tweet goes by without a custom graphic accompanying it, and their engagement numbers prove it.

Check out what a typical tweet from Buffer looks like:

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A Quick Guide to Selecting the Right Voice Talent, by Christopher Patrick Johnson

Choosing the best voiceover

Did you know that the right voice can make a 35% difference in conversion rate?

We replaced a voice track in a video—and made no other changes—and the conversion rate went from 2.5% to 3.8% on cold traffic. (Cold traffic refers to people that are mostly strangers coming in via search engines and social media.)

Since the voice actor’s role is an important part of storytelling, we’ll try to share with you some of the ideas we’ve learned, and hopefully you’ll know how to find, pick, and direct the best voice actors around.

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Ways to Promote Your Business this Holiday Season, by Bilal Kaiser

As soon as Halloween is over, the holiday shopping season begins and it’s a race against time—for both retailers and customers alike—to talk about the biggest deals and the best sales.

Nationally, the three main shopping events are Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving; Small Business Saturday, which is the following day; and Cyber Monday, the start of the next week. Black Friday gets kicked off by the major chains across the country, with some opening doors on Thanksgiving Day. And Cyber Monday has been a time for e-tailers to offer their best deals via promo codes and flash sales.

LegalZoom recently compiled a list of top three small business types by state and placed them on a map. Each state’s top business types are shown, and boy do they run the gamut; from manufacturing in Wisconsin to health care in New Mexico to professional services in Virginia, all 50 states bring something special to the table.

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What Makes A Great Explainer Video? by Nick Vaka

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Explainer videos, those seemingly cookie cutter shorts you see popping up all over the place, are definitely trending in online marketing.

Unfortunately, while there are exceptions, most are an exercise in patience as their utterly transparent 3-act structure quickly causes your eyes to glaze over (the complete opposite of their intended effect). In a sea of content that grows every day, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for these videos to stand out. Heck, chances are pretty good your dog’s groomer has an explainer video on THEIR website.

So, what makes a great explainer video? After years of both watching and producing these things, I’ve come up with a few points that, I think, can make the best explainer vids.

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9 Insider Tips for Creating a Killer Explainer Video, by Andrew Follett

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Are you considering investing in an explainer video this year? You know; the videos that explain your product or service in 60-90 seconds?

Explainer videos are a great way to engage potential customers and familiarize them with your business. The hard part is to get them right.

Since an explainer video may be smack dab on your homepage, and the first thing your visitors experience, it’s essential to nail it the first time. Here are 9 insider tips for creating a killer explainer video that clearly describes your business and drives more sales.

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20 Examples of Fabulous Explainer Videos, by Lisa Isbell @googleeeyes

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Feel intimidated by the notion of creating an explainer video? There’s no need to be — they just represent another excellent way to get your content out to your target audience. Besides the really big brands that we are all familiar with, a lot of lesser-known companies and even small startups are using them.

Even if you believe your product isn’t “cool” enough to become a cute, cuddly explainer video, someone out there who has a problem that can be solved by what you have to offer would likely see it in a much different light. Sometimes a quick, easy, explanation is just what someone needs to help clearly understand how your product solves a problem.

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3 Reasons You Are Struggling to Find Paying Clients On Facebook (And What To Do About It), by Jeanine Blackwell

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Are you struggling to find your ideal paying clients on Facebook? Perhaps you’ve tried running ads and they didn’t “work” for you? Or, you have Page “likes” but no one seems interested in your offers?

You have something valuable to offer, yet – for some reason – the pieces you’ve implemented so far are simply not generating revenue fast enough.

This scenario can be very discouraging and frustrating when you see and hear of so many experts and online marketers bringing in hundreds of leads a day.

When you master marketing online, you can then scale from one-on-one dollars-for-hours to building a leveraged business that works for you (even when you are not working).

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