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Online Marketing Juice is on Twitter! Get your daily original digital and social media blog post updates…as well as added “curated digital marketing” with a Financial Advisor & #FINTECH specialization. Head over to the Twitter platform here: @Online_Juice

I cover digital marketing and social media strategy. Keep you up to date on the latest in SEO, Financial Advisor Marketing, Social Media, Digital Marketing & Tools, Website Design & Optimization, Landing Page tips, Content Strategy, Automation, #FINTECH, and much much more!

 

Website Optimization – Heatmaps in 2021

The use of “heatmaps” is a great tool when optimizing your website for maximum success. Heatmaps are just one of the many tools (Google Analytics, A/B testing, conversion funnel) in your arsenal to help identify and fix certain sections of your company’s website. Heatmaps are a way to visualize different types of data, including where people’s eyeballs first land on your site and how likely your visitors are to click on different areas of your pages.This type of information can be especially useful in showing you where to place your most important links, as well as which elements on your site should be linked. A heatmap is a snapshot look at where your website visitors are focusing their attention.

Another good tool is the “mouse” movement heat map. This type of information can be especially useful in showing you where to place your most important links, as well as which elements on your site should be linked. This type of heatmap can be extremely useful to internet marketers, as they help to determine the ideal placement for any promotional information. Most heat map tools are not free. However, the free tools are really low quality. Go with the paid tools.

Tip: I like Crazy Egg heatmap reports. Its a reasonable, paid tool with quality heat mapping options. The use of heatmaps is crucial in making content creation and website design decisions!

A heatmap is one of the most powerful and efficient diagnostic tools with which you can uncover a large amount of insights on how visitors interact (travel) with your web pages and use those insights to improve your website’s engagement funnel journey.

The Importance of Basic Content Marketing in 2021

Besides driving traffic to your company’s website, good sticky content reinforces your brand – The brand becomes a more noticeable name online as people share your content and start commenting on it, retweeting it, and helping it to build trust. These effects “gel” over time and you will see the website traffic increase, SEO benefits (rank higher on Google) and hopefully a conversion (website funnel strategy) in the end. Strong pieces of content can help you become more visible online, both on search engines and in social media. Your social media platforms are one of the best ways to connect and share content with your target audience.

Content creation success is measured many ways including:

– Spike in visitor traffic and page views on a specific content post.
– The number of Shares, Likes, Pins, ReTweets on Social Media.
– Media mentions and stories covering your business or firm.
– Website ranking (SERPs) increase.
– Conversions. Actual product sales or new clients (example: Financial Services).

If you lack the resources for generating content, outsource to an agency or freelancer for help. The basic purpose is to create content and try to post at least 2-3 times per week. Content is scalable and you can add as needed or when more resources become available. Content Marketing is important! Without it, you’re going to struggle to attract the attention you need to collect leads and convert them into sales or clients!

Financial Advisors: 6 critical metrics to measure business blog performance in 2021

  1. Measure Visitors. Traffic measures the number of people who visit your blog.
  2. Measure Leads. Measuring “leads” can be as easy as a vistor filling out a contact form. Set up a goal in Google Analytics. Goals in Google Analytics measure actions you want visitors to take after reading one of your blog posts. That might be signing up for your newsletter, or filling out a content form. Looking at how many people subscribe to your blog or newsletter provides a solid indicator of the quality of your content.
  3. Measure Social Media Shares, retweets, likes or clicks. Social media can be a key driver of short-term traffic. Keeping an eye on your social analytics can help you understand spikes in your shares and the impact of your shared blog content on your overall engagement rate.
  4. Average length of stay. The average length of stay on the blog post’s web page is a metric that gives you an indication of how compelling your blogging is to the reader.
  5. Page views per visit. Page views per visit is a metric that quantifies your success at encouraging multiple interactions.
  6. Inbound links. You need to get well respected, “authoritative” domains linking to your content. More inbound links occur when another website links back to your site. Inbound links is an indicator that your site has high-quality content, making these links one of the most important elements in search engine optimization (SEO).

Protecting Your Online IP (Intellectual Property)

Intellectual property (IP) are legal property rights over creations of the mind, both artistic, commercial, and the corresponding fields of law. Common types of intellectual property include copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights and trade secrets. (WikiPedia)

If you have an innovative, brilliant Marketing campaign(s) or Strategy and you want to tell the world about them (Twitter, Facebook, blogs, conferences) you may want to think again. It’s called “competitive advantage” and you want to keep it “close to the cuff” as much as possible. Why? So your competitors won’t jump on your coattails and follow the same tactic. Why would you want to give out your marketing strategies? Ego perhaps, or to generate traffic to your blogs, corporate website or increase your Twitter following? Forget it. Again, think about your competitors and think about your sales or services business.

*This blog entry is for most companies or service oriented businesses and not necessarily for Marketing + Social Media blogs (like mine) that give out basic digital marketing strategy.

Below are some important tips for making sure your ideas are preserved. I have only listed a few but there are many more safeguards that can be set up in the “process”:

  1. Create a policy. Establish a policy for all of your intellectual property – including all patents, logos, designs, trademarks, copyrights and domain names. Policy comes first. Give yourself a competitive advantage. Just because you think there’s no competition out there for your business, don’t use that as an argument not to spend the money to protect your idea.
  2. Keep all marketing strategy and reports under a “red cover” confidential. If the IP is printed on hard copy, always have a red cover sheet up front to remind everyone that this information is confidential. If you’re marketing strategy (or IP) is distributed by email or document files, make sure everyone one on your team knows and writes (sig file) “confidential”. Clearly label sensitive data as “confidential” (or put a “watermark” right on the document), and explicitly state this fact in your email. Perhaps go as far as hold a team/staff meeting and explain the fact that if ANY confidential strategy IP gets outside of the company, that person will be fired. Example of setting up a confidential watermark in MS-Word below.

  1. Copyright. Have you written an article, eBook, created a video or made a podcast? You’ll want copyright protection. Once you have created the work, you have the exclusive right to reproduce, adapt, distribute, perform and display it.
  2. Trademark/Service mark. Got a logo or tagline you want to use? Look into trademark protection. Service marks provide the same protection for intangible things such as services.
  3. Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA). A common approach is to make sure that anyone you share the IP information………..signs a “non-disclosure agreement” (NDA) prior to your disclosure. Typical NDAs contractually obligate signatories to refrain from disclosing confidential information without the disclosing party’s express consent.
  4. If you have client newsletters or email blasts, do not go into details of your marketing strategy. Leave that for your face-to-face meetings.

Company marketing strategy should be guarded. Share your strategy on a need-to-know basis, and make sure everyone with access understands the importance of keeping this information confidential.

Social Media Post Lifespan for 2021

Tweet post lifespan = 15 minutes (Avg.)

Facebook post lifespan = 6 hours

LinkedIn post lifespan = 24 hours

YouTube post lifespan = 20+ days

Make sure you optimize your posts for retweets and shares. You can also try to “boost” a Facebook post with an ad to extend lifespan. With Twitter, “pin” tweets to the top your profile page to guarantee a greater lifespan. For a LinkedIn post, add content to your profile and join groups to share that content there. Add relevant keywords in your YouTube video title, description, & tags.

Lastly, #Hashtags can help extend or “stretch” lifespan for all social media platforms posts.

Reducing Support Costs by Leveraging the YouTube Platform

In these tough Covid economic times where there are layoffs, companies are looking to cut or reduce costs anywhere they can. One of numerous ways to cut costs is in the “support” department. Many joke that Marketing departments are cut first when it comes to layoffs. Not true anymore as EVERYONE now is vulnerable. A colleague of mine who is a product manager for a Silicon Valley firm recently lost ½ his technical support staff due to layoffs. The company, and the product support group, is now overwhelmed with customer “issues.” With half the staff gone, there ways to “bridge the gap” for his small support team. He asked me for any recommendations. I told him straight up to look at a video sharing platform to alleviate the tech support crunch, specifically YouTube.

Leveraging YouTube

Create a YouTube channel specifically geared towards your company, product or service you need to support. Smartphones these days come with hi-res video built in. Leverage that smartphone feature for free without buying digital video equipment. Dig through the support “issue” database and sort out the top 10 topics or questions that customers submit to you via email, contact form or through social media. Sit down in front of a computer with the smartphone and record how to resolve each issue (or submitted question) step by step and narrate.

This can work for hardware, software, or services that needs support. Sit down and go over frequently asked questions (FAQ’s). They can be simple setup questions or advanced features questions. Get CREATIVE in your videos. Record all possible workarounds surrounding your product bugs or customer general questions.

Post the link to your YouTube channel from the technical support site section on the company’s web page. One advantage of using the YouTube platform is that you do not have to incur the cost of hosting the videos yourself. Make sure to optimize your YouTube Channel.

The YouTube Advantage

  • Zero MB/month traffic usage costs
  • Zero hosting costs associated with these videos taking up space on your servers
  • 24/7 YouTube up time for customers around the world

You get the idea. This is a major value-add if your support team is understaffed. Hopefully, in time, the technical support call volume (email) will decline.

Financial Advisors: The Basics of Pay Per Click Online Advertising

Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click (PPC) is one of the many ways of promoting your financial service or business. You only pay when a user/potential customer actually clicks on an ad to visit your website. You pick keywords or phrases such as “shopping” or “Green used car” and when the results come up your ad will be displayed. Google AdWords, and Microsoft Bing Ads are some of the largest PPC network operators. PPC is often used to refer to keyword advertising on search engines and social media website such as Facebook & Twitter. With PPC, search engines & social media platforms can give you instant traffic and allow you to test out new business models and ads in real time.

Getting Started with PPC Online Advertising

To get started, you will need to create a (campaign) simple text ad (or banner ad) that will catch your specific  customer or ideal client’s attention. Customer research (demographics) is crucial. The key to online advertising is to think creatively. You need to find specific keywords that are related to your service and/or business. You must word your ad in a way that it manages to attract only that reader who might be interested in your product and/or services. You are actually paying on a per click basis and hence you must only get those visitors who will buy and utilize your product or services. The best way to go about configuring the perfect wording is tweaking the ads that you have created. If your first ad is not working out, try re-wording or adding or deleting a sentence.

Once you start getting results, track your progress in Microsoft Excel or use the PPC tracking results manager that can easily export to CSV file. Most PPC Ad managers have visual front-ends and easy to track success rates. Use one column for keywords, and another for keyword clicks. Back to Excel…Create columns that will represent category phrases. Once you figure out your phrases, think about what local or geography you will sell your product or services. Once you input the data, take out any phrases that are too generic. Start using the keywords that are left in your PPC campaign and then grab the click through rates and conversion data and add the new columns and paste next to that particular keyword. This way you can get a organized visual of what keyword is working and what keyword is not working. Use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner for validating the keywords you’ve found by showing you search volume data and trends, cost per click, and competitive data.

  • Understand what makes you special and why people will want to choose your service or product.
  • Keep an eye on your competitors’ keywords, messaging, and deals/offers.
  • Cater ads to different buyer wants and needs.
  • Test price, information that reassures buyers (e.g., “official site,” “24/7 support”), and time sensitivity (e.g., “Offer ends soon”).

You can also choose where you would like to advertise (demographics) such as:

  • Geographical location
  • Age and gender
  • Income levels
  • Popular sites
  • Blogs
  • Your favorite websites
  • Day of the week
  • Time of day (morning, afternoon, or night)

Don’t have a website but still want to advertise online? No problem. Most PPC networks will allow you to create a “mini” website that your ad will point to. You can add graphics, images, color schemes, and videos to your mini website. Anyone without a website no has no excuse to advertise online. For “brick and mortar” stores, make sure your PPC campaign list the city you are advertising. When your ad is seen, you want to make sure the person surfing notices that your ad is specifically for the area you are advertising for which will increase the quality of your click throughs. Avoid sending the reader of your ad to the home page on the first click. If there’s nothing local about the landing page, the user may abandon the page and move on. Send the reader directly to the product page you are advertising.

What I like about buying keywords on a PPC search engine, Facebook, Twitter is that it provides a trackable medium. Before you start any marketing campaign, you will need to decide what the goal of your marketing medium. If you are just “branding”, then you should know up front to expect to lose money to gain mind share or reinforce your brand.

The advantages to advertising online enables site owners to receive new traffic, new client leads and more measurable ROI. Another advantage include small businesses to be able operate nationally & globally. If your plan is to target the U.S. or the world with your ads, you better have a big budget. Broad PPC campaigns can get very costly in a short amount of time. Instead, begin by targeting the local market you’re familiar with. Your geo-targeted “buyer-persona” ads will cost less, and they will be better aimed at your specific audience. Make sure you localize your keywords. Not only do you have a greater chance to appear in the top SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages), but you have an opportunity to do so much faster than if you were targeting global customers.

What is a Twitter RT?

A Retweet (RT) is a Twitter post originally made by one user that is forwarded by another user. Retweets are useful for propagating interesting posts and links within the Twitter community (although you can also say outside the Twitter community via real time social search from Google and now Bing). Retweeting provides an enormous potential for viral marketing. Numerous studies suggest the average Twitter user retweets only one in 300-400 URL’s. One can measure how much influence user (person A) has one user (person B) by counting the number of times B retweeted A. Getting retweet is important on a few different levels:

  • People are actually reading your tweets and think that some of them are actually valuable enough to retweet to their followers.
  • The act of someone retweeting your tweet generates traffic back to your profile or the URL you listed. This can be valuable traffic generator if your URL is pointing back to a webpage that sells products or services (think branding). When you get a retweet, the potential of reaching larger audiences suddenly opens up for your business.  Basically, the amplify effect of retweets, has the potential to make your business content posts go viral on Twitter.
  • People want to be retweeted! Having retweets and other interaction in your tweet stream makes you a much more attractive person/entity to follow than someone whose tweets one-way.
  • RT’s will get you more #FollowFriday recommendations. No brainer here, if you’re on a #FollowFriday recommendation, your Twitter followers will grow thus wielding more influence.
  • Retweets help build trust. Period. If you retweet valuable posts, your followers will trust you more than ever. But be careful, At the same time, ineffective retweeting can wreck your personal brand reputation.