Running any business is challenging, whether it be big or small. There are so many roles you have to take on and so much to calculate without knowing whether it will be effective or not. Running a business is already a big risk in itself, so you must be ready to go all out on promoting your business. As a company that runs their own business in Los Angeles, the hub of all things digital and social media-related, we have learned a few tricks on how to make things work. Read below to find out some of the tips on how to promote your business in the modern-day from some of the highest-rated marketing agencies in Los Angeles.
1. Know your audience to Promote your Business
In order to figure out where you should promote and how you must know your target audience. Your customers are what your business is based on, and they are essential to the success of your business. If you don’t know who your promotion is aimed at, it will basically become a giant waste of money. Before you decide anything, you must first find your target market.
How to find your target?
Start finding your target audience by asking yourself what problems your company’s product or service solve. Generally, this means understanding why your products exist and why people need it. Your product should have a purpose, which will be portrayed in your promotion. You must also research who your current customers are. It is important that you categorize your customers into segments according to needs, budget, age, location, and other factors. Your competition is also something you should be up to date on. Research their websites and the “About” sections to find out who your competition really is and what they are doing with their business. It is really easy to find your competitors; all it takes is a simple keyword search that has to do with your industry. Now that you have your current customers and competition down, you must try to understand what you must do so that these customers choose you and not the others. What will they gain by choosing you instead of anyone else on the market? Try to find your advantages and the features that put you above the rest and focus your promotion on that. A quick trick that top marketing agencies in Los Angeles would recommend doing is building marketing personas. These personas should include the people you hope to reach with your products, their age, location, budget, hobbies, and so on. Building a few marketing personas will help you in the future when building your promotion strategy. Try to also accept the feedback from your current customers in the form of comments or survey responses, to understand if you are achieving what you hoped you would.
2. Social Media Content Marketing
Chances are, you don’t know anyone who doesn’t use at least one social media platform. One in every two people in the entire world has at least one social media account, and many new accounts are opened every day. Many marketing agencies in Los Angeles would tell you that it is nearly impossible to have a successful online marketing campaign without the social media aspect of it. But, this does not mean you must be on every single platform out there. It is better to choose the social media platforms most used by your target audience and focus on keeping that account active, instead of having a bland and mediocre page on all platforms. Invest some time and money into market research, or find some research online on what the age and budget group of your customers tends to use more. Once you have your platforms ready, you must produce high-quality content. Content includes photos, memes, videos, blog posts, and more, depending on what platform you are using. Your content must be engaging, interesting, and should promote your product, but not too much. If every single post you make links to your products and presents like an ad, customers will get bored or annoyed and will unfollow. A tip from a top marketing agency in Los Angeles is to use the 80-20 rule. 80% of your content should be content that doesn’t directly promote your products, and 20% should be an ad and should directly link to your products. A great idea is to produce a “how-to” video that will show how to use your products but will not look like a blatant ad. Generally, opening a YouTube account for your company, where you can make instructional videos about your products, answer any frequently asked questions, and where you can hop on the latest trends while also being witty and showing your products is a great way to promote your business.
– Interactive content
In a whole world of constant content, it is important that you produce content that will engage your audience. Content that requires participation from the customer will surely have your customers stay on your page for a long time, and it will also be memorable and stay in their minds. Los Angeles marketing agencies highly recommend interactive content, as that is what stands out among everything else. On Instagram, a poll can be made on your story, where the user will get the opportunity to choose their option, or a live Q&A type option. Interactive content is new, fun, and different, so it should definitely be in your social media marketing strategy.
– Follow up
Another important step in social media marketing is the analysis that comes after. By reviewing the statistics gathered, you will start to understand whether you are going in the right direction or not. This analysis will show you whether you are reaching your target audience or not, how effective your posts are, and if you are making revenue from them or not. According to these results, you can start to tweak your strategy so that you reach the audience you want or embrace the audience you have gathered. There are many online analytics tools you can use to gather the information you need.
3. Shoppable Posts
Social media platforms are one of the biggest forms of digital marketing, and usually the most effective if done right. One marketing agency in Los Angeles reports that 72% of Instagram users have purchased at least one product from Instagram. 70% of users on Pinterest, specifically to search for new and innovative products to purchase. This means social media is a big opportunity to gain new customers. These platforms have made social media marketing very easy, with updated marketing features every day. Instagram has the “swipe up” feature on stories and posts if you are a business account with more than 10 000 followers. This means you won’t have to convince people to exit the post and click the link in the bio but will make the process of accessing your website so much quicker and easier. You can also tag your products on your own pictures, so one click will show the product name and price, and if clicked again will go straight to your website. Another cool feature on Instagram is when announcing a new launch, customers can also click on the countdown to set a reminder on their account so they will know when they can purchase these new products. Facebook, Pinterest, and other platforms all have their own social media marketing options, and you should select the one that you think best fits your brand and target audience requirements.
Remember, people usually don’t have a lot of time on their hands. Marketing agencies in Los Angeles noted that the average person on social media only spends around 2 seconds on each post as they are scrolling. If they like something they see, they want to be led to the purchasing or related products immediately. If your links and forwarding buttons are hidden, you are going to be losing customers. No one is going to use their time to find your website or product, and the time they could be spending on your website will be taken up by a competitor. That’s why it is important that your call-to-actions are visible and easy to access. Place them in your bios, under the posts, in email signatures, and so on.
4. Make your customers feel special
2020 is the year where personalized marketing is going to make it big. People can now easily tell that an ad is generic and doesn’t have any connection to them. So, traditional advertising formats are becoming less and less effective when it comes to promotion. According to a survey conducted by a marketing agency in Los Angeles, 90% of surveyed people found personalization highly appealing. 80% admitted they would rather spend their time and money on a business that offered them a personalized experience, as opposed to a business with a generic one size fits all ads. So you must create targeted ads that will fit your target audiences’ needs and likes, and this is where your marketing personas will really come in handy. For example, if your business sends out email lists, then try to segment these lists according to customer needs and personalize the email content being sent. This way, it will catch the attention of a customer and make them feel noticed by the company. Personalization is a great opportunity to really connect with your audience, so don’t miss out.
Customer service must become one of your top priorities as a company. Even if your product is the only one in the world and works perfectly, if your customer service is iffy, then customers will not come to you. You will have to do everything in your power to make your customers feel valued and special. If they have any problems, don’t ignore or block them. This can lead to them posting about it or telling all their friends, and not only will you lose potential and existing customers, but you will also earn a bad reputation. Instead, reply as quick as possible and help them through their problems. Even if they are dissatisfied with the product, they will surely come back if they are treated well, and their issues are resolved. Their comments and feedback is also a good opportunity for you to see where your business is lacking and has space to improve. Instead of spending tons of money on market research, you can just read your comments!
Answer any and all questions that you receive, even if they seem repetitive or irrelevant. When answering messages or comments, try to reply with “Dear and the name they have on social media” to make your conversation seem more personal and less formal. Your customers may indirectly become brand ambassadors because they will recommend your business to other potential customers, increasing your exposure and revenue. A trick many Los Angeles marketing agencies recommend is sending your new or loyal customers some samples of your product or coupon for your service. This will surely make them feel highly appreciated, and if they like it, they are very likely to purchase more and recommend to their friends.
Keep in mind that these are only tips to help you promote your business.
There is really no formula for a business promotion that works for everyone. Every business, target audience, and product is different, and every promotion strategy will also be different. Never be afraid to experiment with different platforms and ads to find what works best for you. It is important that you analyze the results after trying something new, to see who you are reaching and how effective your method is. If it isn’t getting the results you want, then change it up and keep moving forward. If it works, then use it as a starting point and develop and improve your strategy. Finding the perfect promotion method for your target audience is going to take some time, but once you find it, you will only need to maintain it for the long-term, and everything will become much less stressful.
Websites are essentially your face on the internet. It is the first thing that people will find when they search your name, and it will either have them hooked or put them off. It is a marketing tool that should help you gain more business and clients, and should always be updated. Without a good website, your online marketing and advertising will be pointless. There are new features being released every day that you should take advantage of to make your site seem more professional. Here are some signs that you should update your website according to top marketing agencies in Los Angeles.
1. Your website doesn’t make a good first impression
“First impressions last.” When someone visits your website, you only have 3-4 seconds to make a good first impression. Usually, the attention span of a new customer is very short, so if they don’t stay during the first few seconds, most likely they are not going to come back. Even if your product or service is known to be the best, yet your website leaves a wrong first impression, a customer will prefer to go to the competitor. Try entering the headspace of a new website visitor and look at your website to see what it looks like. You can also try to ask friends and family what comes to mind first when they look at the homepage of your website.
2. Your website isn’t memorable
“Almost everyone will make a good first impression, but only a few will make a good lasting impression.” Once you got a good first impression, you must work towards keeping the customers interested in your website. Everyone around your area will most likely have the same type of site, so you must stand out and be memorable. A website with a fresh and new look can help you to create a good lasting impression. Nothing says “trendy, successful and professional” more than a well-made website with new features and updated content. In order to beat your competition and stay ahead of the game, you must give your clients and new visitors a reason to use your website and to talk about it later. Mix it up by using new colors, fonts, and new content.
Marketing agencies in Los Angeles always experiment with risky features and colors, so you shouldn’t be afraid to try new things. Nowadays everything is the same and people are tired of it and are always on the lookout, something that’s different. Take the time to recall some websites that have had a lasting impression on you, and try to figure out which features contributed to this good impression and incorporate something similar to your website.
3. Your website doesn’t reflect your brand
As a business owner, how you see yourself and your products and how the audience sees you is your brand. Finding and building your brand may sound complicated, but it isn’t very difficult. Firstly, you must discover how you see yourself and your company and then how others see you. Gather some information from friends and family by surveys or something similar to find out how others see you. Now, combine these two descriptions and voila you have your brand. It is essential that you portray your brand through your website as it is what people should notice and think of first. Your brand should include your objectives, morals, and goals, and those should somehow come across when someone views your website.
- You have undergone a rebranding
Of course, no one expects your brand to stay the same forever. Just as people change, so do companies, and their brands should change alongside them. A rebranding can mean new logo design, tagline, new colors, and fonts, or even a completely new brand guideline. Your website should be a big part of your online marketing strategy, so just as your brand changes, so should your website. It will seem unprofessional and highly off-putting if you have changed the whole “look” of your company, yet your website still reflects your old beliefs and designs. It will also confuse any newcomers who know of your new brand and try to look up more information about you.
4. Your website is outdated
This is the point that can really make or break the experience of a visitor on your website.
The saying “Old school is cool” shouldn’t be applicable to the functionality of your website. The internet, digital media, and online marketing are ever-evolving tools and go through many changes and shifts each year. The standards for websites customers have in their heads change alongside the development of new tools and technologies. The potential clients’ likes, dislikes, and preferences change just as fast, and what was trendy and popular, may become outdated tomorrow. If you want your website to be effective and bring in revenue, you need to become agile with your strategy and website. If your website was built 1-2 years ago or even later, then it is very likely very behind in terms of design and functionality. The code is probably outdated and is slowing down the loading speed. There may also be new browsers that have requirements that your website doesn’t meet, so it is incompatible with the newer websites clients are using. Just because the content is updated and fresh, does not necessarily mean the website is. Even if you feel sentimental and attached to your old website design, it is time to upgrade it to increase clients and revenue.
- Non-mobile-friendly websites
This is one of the gravest mistakes you can make as a company when it comes to a website. 50% of internet users use their mobile phones for access. Imagine if someone is walking down the street and notices your company name and wants to check it out while they’re on the bus. Or if a friend recommended your company in a text message, and the person doesn’t want to go get their laptop. So many potential customers will be lost if your website is not mobile-friendly. Even if you have top-notch design and content, if a website isn’t responsive on the phone, many customers will turn away from your company. Marketing agencies in Los Angeles have concluded that over 60% of all website traffic is conducted by mobile devices. Chances are most of your customers are in that 60% who want to access your website on their phone. You can be very sure that at some point, the rest of the customers will want to use your website on their phone too. It is also highly likely that the first interaction a potential customer will have with your website is on a mobile phone if they discover you through social media such as Instagram or Twitter. Mobile phone traffic isn’t going away anytime soon, and your website shouldn’t either. With may new website templates, you can choose to show or hide specific page blocks only on a mobile device, to optimize and engage the user more with your site. You will be surprised how many more customers you will attract with a fresh website with al the new features and a mobile-accessible option.
5. Ineffective Pathway
When a customer enters your page, there should be a logical pathway they follow. For effective website design, you will need an effective menu. This menu should be attractive to click on and should include all your pages. Aside from the menu, all your pages should encourage the customer to stay on your website and should lead them to the next page on your website. If your website includes a whole variety of content, a great tool to include on your site is a search bar. If a customer has come onto your website searching for something specific, they should be able to find it using the search bar. But as I mentioned above, you should also find a way to make them stay, with a “recommended” section or something similar to help them find other things you offer.
- “Call to Action” missing
If you’re wondering what a call-to-action is, then this is your first mistake. Everyone knows a website should have a contact me page, but most customers do not have time to look for it or to fill out their contact details. A call-to-action is simply a button or an area of your website that encourages action such as “sign-up now” or “get started today.” This is not just a button, or you can add randomly here and there. It must be placed strategically in order to keep the customer’s interest and offer them the opportunity to see more content and keep up with your website. You must never your potential customers wondering what their next step to see more content is. It must be subtle and intuitive but easy-to-find.
6. You have a high bounce rate
This is a very important factor for your website. If you have been spending time and money on an SEO and a marketing strategy, chances are you are successively bringing a lot of traffic to your website. But, right as they access the homepage of your website, the bounce right off, that means you have a big problem. You are losing clients and potential customers.
Your bounce rate defines the percentage of visitors to your website who exit the website after only viewing one page. A high bounce rate means that something you are doing is wrong; it has to do with either the content, the navigation, or the overall design of your website. Generally, a 40-60% bounce rate is considered to be normal, but this can vary according to the industry. You can check the bounce rate of your website using Google Analytics. Log in and then access the Acquisition >> Overview tab. Your end goal of a website should be to make your bounce rate as low as possible. Having a low bounce rate shows that visitors find your website to be worth their time. So, the lower your bounce rate is, the more opportunities there are to increase sales. Experiment with new designs, fonts, colors, and content. After some time, use an analytics site to see if the bounce rate has changed. If it has lowered, this means customers are liking this new look and stick around longer on your website. If the bounce rate has stayed the same or has gone higher, then try out other new features and designs to see if those will change the rate. The bounce rate of your website is one of the key clues into how your website is doing with customers, so take advantage of this and use it to its fullest potential. Many marketing agencies in Los Angeles would consider the bounce rate one of the most important tools in a website designer toolbox.
7. Your website is too slow: website update is needed
The target loading time of your website should be under 5 seconds. If you aren’t sure how fast your website loads, you can use tools like GTmetrix or Pingdom to check how long it takes for your site to open, along with which files are causing it to be slow. Remember to test everything, as it may be fast on Internet Explorer, but slow on Google Chrome. You must always keep in mind that you only have 4 seconds to make a good impression on a potential client. If 3 of those 4 seconds are spent on loading your website, then this will cause a big problem, because the visitor will exit your website before they even see the design you spent so much time on. Don’t miss out on opportunities by making a fresh design but having no one around to see it.
A few more words about website update.
If you went through this list and found it relatable to your website, then take this as a sign from the universe that you need to update it! Remember that your website, not a liability, and it is there to promote your work and help new customers discover your brand, so treat it like an asset. Any marketing agency in Los Angeles will tell you that no harm can be done with a website update, so what are you waiting for, get to redesigning
At least once a week, the hashtags “canceled” and “___isoverparty” are trending on Twitter. The power social media has is very evident here, and a simple online marketing mistake can cost you your company. It is tough to bounce back once you are canceled,or once you get a bad reputation. I will share with you some of the most common online marketing mistakes to avoid, according to my experience and some of the top marketing agencies in Los Angeles.
1. Ignoring or Neglecting Your Customers
One of the critical parts of building a successful business or brand is the customers. Your primary aim for online marketing should be to achieve customer satisfaction, and if your customers aren’t happy, then you are getting nowhere. Marketing agencies in Los Angeles report that 80% of all customers use social media to reach out to companies. So essentially, social media is a vital part of online marketing and brand image. A lack of response leads the customer to believe that they are not essential, and most will turn away from using what you advertise after being ignored. Social media pages of airlines are usually an excellent example of online marketing. Below, this customer may have even tweeted this as a joke, but the “JetBlue Airways” twitter response is sure to have made them feel heard and appreciated. It’s things like this that get people to stay loyal and always come back to you. This is also something that is sure to get around, as people love sharing their experiences with companies, whether it be to praise them or to warn others to stay away. One bad customer experience can be fatal to a smaller brand, so be sure to avoid this common online marketing mistake.
2. Being Too Pushy
It is essential that you are not too pushy with sales. A common online marketing mistake is that people often consider social media as an advertising medium when it should be a platform to engage customers while also promoting your brand and increasing awareness. People follow a page to stay updated, so you should provide them with engaging and intriguing content to keep them coming back. If all your posts are urging customers to make a purchase or are directly promoting your product, customers will be annoyed and turn away. Not to mention, too many sales posts portray a lack of originality and professionalism. Social media is based on building relationships, and if your page fails to do that, then your followers will surely leave.
But by following this rule, you must also make sure that you do not overwhelm followers with too much unrelated content. It is great to post memes and funny posts every few posts, but if you don’t promote your products, enough followers will unfollow, deeming your page purposeless. A small tip is to use the 80/20 rule if you’re unsure what to post. 80% of posts should be of some value to the audience, and 20% should be direct promotional activity. Once you start to be more active, you will get the hang of it and realize what your audience prefers to see.
3. Being Too Formal/Informal
Just because another business is “popping off” because of the brand’s funny or sarcastic personality, doesn’t mean you will too. What may work for another brand will not always work for you. You shouldn’t be striving to be one specific adjective, such as funny. Instead, you should focus on being open and friendly while maintaining your brand personality. Try to create and keep a steady online personality, so people will always know what to expect. In order to create a brand personality, you must thoroughly understand your target audience. A witty personality may attract millennials but will usually be off-putting to older customers. Being too casual with customers may also make you seem unprofessional.
At the same time, it is crucial to remember that social media is popular because it is friendly and casual. Everyone knows there’s a person behind a brand social media and not a robot, so that is how you should come across. Using traditional media terms such as “Sir/Madam” or “To whomever it may concern” will make you seem dated and lacking. It’s essential to keep the customer feel comfortable but still give them the impression that they are speaking to someone who is a professional who knows what they’re doing. A small tip used by marketing agencies in Los Angeles is when responding to someone online is to look at their page and see what their name is listed as, and respond with “Dear Name.” This makes it more personal yet also keeps it professional. Whichever personality approach you choose, consistency is key. It is most important that you stick to one brand mindset and develop it without drastically changing it.
4. Having too much Presence
More is not always better. Being an active presence on all social media platforms is not only going to be time-consuming and difficult but also purposeless. It is much wiser to spend your time perfecting your brand personality on two or three social media platforms than it is to provide mediocre content on many. Deciding which platform to use requires knowledge of your content and target audience. Imagine what your average customer looks like, their habits, and their daily activities. Take the time to build marketing personas, which is a sketch of a segment of your audience and should include some basic details such as age, gender, salary, location, and education. Using these personas, you should be able to find research regarding which social media platform they tend to use the most. You should also consider the type of content you are going to be putting out. For example, if your content is an image- and graphics-based, then you should consider using Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. A small tip from Los Angeles marketing agencies is always to attach images, even if your content depends on the text. Pictures always catch the reader’s eye first and attract them to the content. If your content is text-based, such as offering professional advice, then considering using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
But, keeping all this in mind, it is also important to maintain a presence on the big three of social media, which are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Even if you aren’t actively posting on these pages, you should still keep it updated, and it should have all the links to your more active social media pages. These “big three” are what usually come up when a brand is searched on Google, so try to lead a new customer to your more active pages through all your more dormant ones.
5. Not Tracking your Progress
To get the most you can out of online marketing, you should always analyze the results, and this includes the negative and the positive. This will help you in many aspects. You will understand if you’re reaching your target audience or not. You might be surprised at the customers you reach with your content, and it may be the polar opposite of your expected target audience. If you can’t choose what social media platform to use most, then try keeping a few pages on different platforms active and assess the analytics. If two of your pages are getting more attention, then it is time to leave the rest and amp up the content on these platforms. Online marketing can be a tricky area at the beginning, so it is crucial that you analyze your results and make changes to your strategy every week or so. It is also important to look at the big picture. For example, lots of likes mean nothing if you aren’t getting any comment, or your engagement blade is staying low. If, after some time, your account is growing, but your revenue isn’t, then it is time to alter your online marketing strategy.
6. Not Accepting Negative Feedback
Social media is all about interactions. It is a back-and-forth conversation between a brand and a customer. Reading and responding to negative comments and criticism will give you more insight into what the customers think of you. It will show you where you can improve, and what will bring in more customers. If you respond to a customer voicing their negative opinion about an aspect of your product, it will make the customer feel heard and appreciated, ensuring that they stay loyal even after an unpleasant experience. Before the age of social media marketing, a brand would’ve spent lots of money on conducting market research with surveys and questionnaires in order to gather customer opinions. But now brands receive free reviews in the form of comments and tweets, so you should always seize this opportunity. It can also severely harm your brand if you don’t. Jeffree Star, a famous beauty Youtuber, and owner of his own cosmetic brand has recently been under fire of accusations from fans. Apparently, Jeffree Star blocks everyone who voices an unfavorable opinion or complaint about the cosmetic products. This also includes fans who have supported him for years yet aren’t satisfied with a single product; they are also immediately blocked. Jeffree even goes as far as to harshly respond to those complaining about hair in their products, which lead to him losing many fans and gaining a horrible reputation.
7. Online Marketing: Posting Inconsistently
This is a huge online marketing mistake that includes a few aspects within itself. Here are some of those.
Posting Similar Content
Posting alike content constantly will leave people with the impression that the brand is boring, and there isn’t much creativity there. You should always maintain a consistent personality, but that doesn’t mean posting similar content all the time. Instead of posting links or random quotes all the time, take the time to analyze your target audience and stay in tune with it. Posting similar content, you are sure to lose your whole following in a very short amount of time. Your page should portray a message, should advertise your products while also being fresh and exciting, and should keep your followers engaged.
If you find yourself stuck or running out of ideas, then spend some time studying pages of competitors, and compare them to yours. Pick out what their best qualities are and use it to your advantage while also giving it a personal twist.
Posting Too Much
Everyone hates those irritating brands that keep putting out content on their social media platforms, to the point where it fills up the customers’ timelines. Posting too much at once is a terrible idea, and will lead to you losing all your followers. Customers do not want to go on social media and just see posts from one brand constantly. If you keep posting, a customer will most likely unfollow or overlook all your posts. Wherein posting similar content will make a customer simply overlook the posts, posting too much will seriously annoy the customer, and this will likely stick in their mind, and they will avoid making any purchases from you.
Not Posting Enough
Updating once in a while is NOT going to do the trick. In a constantly developing world, you need to stay on your toes and watch out. If you aren’t putting content on a customer’s timeline, then that means that the slot is taken up by your competitors. There are so many brands and pages out there that if you don’t constantly remind the customer of your brand, they will most likely forget. It will also make your page seem careless and unprofessional. According to many marketing agencies from Los Angeles, if a customer goes onto a page to see that the latest post is older than two days, then they will most likely not follow.
What to avoid in Online Marketing
To avoid all the above-mentioned problems, I would recommend creating a content calendar and sticking to it. This calendar should include the types of posts, captions, dates, and times. Once your engagement grows, and you realize you’re on the right track, then you can be less strict with yourself.
Online marketing is a tough area to master, but you must understand that it holds opportunities and growth possibilities that you will not find anywhere else. By avoiding these common mistakes and staying on track you are sure to see improvement for your brand.