How To Outshine Your Competition with Effective E-commerce Website Marketing

While not all businesses have an e-commerce page, many do. If you’re selling products or services online, you’ll want to make sure that you have an e-commerce marketing strategy in place. If you don’t, it’s going to be difficult to stand out from all the other e-commerce sites out there. Through the use of digital marketing strategies, you can build awareness of your e-commerce page as well as generate more traffic. Thereby, you can improve your chances of closing sales. The following are a number of e-commerce marketing tips that will help you do just that:

social media

 Diversify Your Social Media Presence – One of the big challenges of e-commerce marketing is figuring out what social media platforms work best for certain markets. You won’t want to pour all of your resources into one or two social media platforms, only to realize that they are ineffective for your e-commerce site. Instead, diversify. Establish a presence on a handful of social channels and use analytics to determine which platforms are successful and which aren’t. Finally, ditch those that don’t work and focus on those that do.

Create Original Content – Some companies will use existing content because they want to focus more on other business tasks. However, unique content is much more likely to have an impact on potential customers. Creating original content will help improve engagement with prospects, and bring more potential customers to your e-commerce page. Additionally, you can use the content you create to teach consumers about your products and services or about your market in general.

Personalize Your Content – Personalizing content, such as the emails you send to your leads, can contribute to an increase in revenue. This is because content will be more engaging if you address the lead by name, and tailor content to meet their needs by using the information collected from them. If it feels like you’re actually writing to your leads, and not just sending out advertisements to everyone on your email list, you’ll be more likely to capture their attention and improve your odds of conversion.

Similar Article: 5 Marketing Tactics You Should Be Using in 2019

Implement A Loyalty Program – As focused as you may be on finding new customers, don’t forget about your existing customers. The majority of your revenue will come from regular customers. Regular customers are important because they are more likely to act as brand ambassadors that can help drive more potential customers to your site. Implement a loyalty program that rewards them for their business, whether it’s by offering special promotions based on their purchase history, or offering some sort of reward point program.

Optimize For Mobile Use – Many customers shop for products and services on their mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets. It’s also how they consume content and engage on social media. If your e-commerce site isn’t optimized for mobile use, you will miss out on a significant number of potential customers.

 Automate Social Networks – To successfully leverage social media and bring in more customers, you’ll need to have much more than just a social presence. You’ll also need to engage on a regular basis by posting content regularly. Otherwise, followers will forget about you and your social presence will become irrelevant. However, this can be quite time-consuming, which is why you should automate some of your social media tasks. For example, you can create posts ahead of time and use automation tools to post them at specific dates and times based on your schedule.

Digital marketing is a must for any business that maintains an e-commerce site if they want to stand out from the competition. These are six e-commerce marketing tips you should follow to improve your ability to attract and retain customers.

Inbound marketing will help you grow your business by attracting website visitors, converting them into leads and closing leads into customers

Factors That Influence Consumer Purchasing Decisions: Rethinking the Marketing Funnel

In order to continue attracting your target audience, you need to keep up with the wants and needs of customers. This can be a real challenge if you don’t understand the factors that influence consumer purchasing decisions. Those factors are a lot different than what they used to be, which means that the customer journey has changed a lot as well. This updated journey is referred to by many as the consumer decision journey (CDJ). What makes the CDJ so different than traditional marketing funnels is that each consumer’s CDJ is unique. Keeping that in mind, the following are three of the biggest factors that influence consumer purchasing decisions in today’s digital age:

Product/Service Reviews

Very few consumers are going to blind buy a product or service based on the content they’ve come across on your website. It doesn’t matter how effective you say it is, how clear your demonstration videos are, or what kind of accolades you’ve received. Customers are going to look up reviews first. Online reviews are easy to find — and many consumers aren’t going to feel comfortable buying a product or service unless it has good reviews.

Reviews come in many forms. There are tons of different websites where customers leave reviews. For example, Angie’s List, Yelp, and Amazon all allow customers to leave feedback on products, services, and overall customer experiences. In addition to customer reviews, consumers also seek out professional reviews. For example, Consumer Reports provides not only professional reviews of certain products, but they offer comparisons between different products as well.

Encouraging customers, as well as professionals, to review your products and services can be hugely beneficial. Doing so (as long as the reviews are mostly positive) can help improve your reputation and build trust with consumers who are in the evaluation stage of their journey.

Similar Article: A Guide To The Decision Stage Of The Buyer’s Journey

Peer Recommendations

More often than not, consumers will initially become aware of brands or their products and services through peer recommendations. They may ask someone in person for a recommendation or ask online, via social media, online chat, or email. It’s one of the reasons why it’s so important to continue targeting existing customers. The journey doesn’t end when someone makes a purchase. You want to continue marketing to those customers to turn them into repeat customers. This allows you to build brand loyalty, which in turn will turn them into brand ambassadors that will recommend your products or services to their peers.

 Social Media

Having a social media presence is incredibly important because so many consumers will turn to social media as a way to do research. They’ll look up brands, ask them direct questions, ask their social groups about their thoughts on your products or services, and look at your social interactions in general. This means that they will look at how you engage with your followers, as well as with users in general, to get a sense of how you carry yourself and whether they can relate to you. A brand with no social presence, or one that doesn’t regularly engage with the community is not going to make as good of an impression on consumers.

It’s important not to become over-reliant on the traditional marketing funnel. Consumers have so much power when it comes to doing their own research about different brands and their products and services, that it’s important to understand how unique the CDJ is. These are three very important factors that influence consumer purchasing decisions in this day and age that you need to make sure you address.

Download Our White Paper Guide To Learn How To Perfect Buyer Personas For Your Business
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How Much To Advertise on Instagram And Why It ‘s Worth The Cost

As many businesses have realized, visual content engages leads much more effectively than written content. The reason is simple: humans are visual creatures and process visual information 60,000 times faster than text. It’s no wonder why social platforms that focus on visual content are growing in popularity. Take for example Instagram, which as of 2018 had almost one billion active monthly users. Studies have revealed that the engagement rates of brands on Instagram are ten times what they are on Facebook. If you’re not leveraging Instagram to advertise your brand, then you need to begin doing so. The following are a few questions you might have about getting started on Instagram.

How Much To Advertise On Instagram?

First of all, using the basic features that Instagram offers is free. This means that you can post content without having to pay for it. For example, you can just post images or short videos on a daily basis with basic captions. While you can get a lot out of the free features of Instagram, to really increase engagement you’ll want to invest in Instagram ads.

When setting up an Instagram ad, you’ll only pay for the number of clicks your ad actually gets. You bid how much you’re willing to pay per click. This determines how competitive the ad will be (a higher bid means a more competitive ad). You can also set limits on how much you spend per day, meaning that you’ll never go over budget. As to how much you can expect to pay per click, most Instagram ads run somewhere between $0.50 and $1 a click. However, in more competitive industries, that CPC (cost per click) rate can certainly be a lot higher. You can also pay on a CPM (cost per mile), which focuses on impressions. On average, it costs around $5 to $6 per thousand impressions.

Similar Article: Social Media Solutions: Understanding The Importance of Social Media Engagement vs. Following

How Can You Use Instagram Effectively?

The following are a few tips on how you can use Instagram ads effectively:

Know your audience – Instagram ads lets you define your audience (including by age, location, language, interests, behaviors, and more). Not knowing who your audience is will make it more difficult to define the right audience to advertise to. As a result, your ads will not be very cost-effective.

Choose your placement – You can choose where your ads will be placed, such as on Instagram feeds, Instagram stories, Facebook feeds, Facebook instant articles, or on the right column of Facebook. You can even choose to target certain devices (such as mobile devices) or operating systems.

Find influencers – Tagging influencers or reaching out to them to see if they want to promote your brand can help to lower your ad costs significantly due to the number of relevant followers they’re likely to have.

Track your relevance score – Facebook has a relevance score that you should track to identify how efficiently your budget is being used.

What Makes Instagram Worth the Cost?

The following are a few of the main reasons why it’s worth investing in Instagram ads:

Target specific leads – You can target specific demographics in specific locations, thereby making your ads more effective at engaging a target audience.

Reach a massive audience – Not only can you target countless users on Instagram, but because it’s owned by Facebook, you can run your Instagram ads on Facebook as well

 Use outside links – While you can’t include clickable links, you can include any link you want in the caption (users just have to copy and paste it). This means you can drive viewers to any landing page you want.

Create longer videos – Instagram limits videos to 15 seconds in length unless you’re using Instagram ads, in which case your videos can be up to 30 seconds long. There are many social channels that you can advertise on, but Instagram is one of the most effective at generating user engagement. This is especially true if you invest in Instagram Ads. When looking into how much to advertise on Instagram ads, understand that you’re only paying for clicks or impressions, making it a very cost-effective strategy.

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Developing the Perfect Omni-Channel Marketing Strategy

The buyer’s journey has changed a lot over the years. This is a result of the consumer’s ability to explore multiple channels online and to engage in multiple ways. There is no distinct path that takes them from point A to point B in order to make a purchase. While one customer might begin doing research through a search engine like Google, another might ask their followers questions on social media to identify solutions to their problems, while yet another might stumble on an ad for one of your products in a magazine. Basically, every buyer’s journey is unique.

As such, it’s important that you have a presence on multiple channels and that you integrate all of your channels, processes, and strategies so that you can help meet the needs and nurture your leads at any stage of their buyer’s journey no matter where they are. This is known as omni-channel marketing. The following are a number of tips that you should consider implementing that will help you strengthen your omni-channel marketing strategy:

Be Consistent With Your Marketing Efforts

Consistency is incredibly important when it comes to omni-channel marketing. This is because your leads are likely jumping from one channel to another. A lead may see a commercial on TV, then visit your Facebook page, then go to your website. If your branding is different (for example, if your message is different, your tone is different, or even the overall aesthetic of your marketing is different), you’re going to confuse consumers and you’re likely going to lose leads.

 Remove Siloed Organizational Structure

Because consumers may be at different stages of the buyer’s journey while exploring different channels, it’s important that your sales, marketing, PR, and customer service departments a

ren’t siloed. You need to make sure everyone has access to customer and prospect data at every stage and on every channel. This ensures that everyone is on the same page when it comes to identifying leads, engaging with them, nurturing them, and closing them.

Create Content For Every Channel

The more content you make available on different channels, the more successfully you’ll be able to reach consumers wherever they are. For example, if you only have a website, then you’re missing out on a lot of leads who use social media to find product or service recommendations. Make sure that you create content for every stage of the buyer’s journey and that you post it on a variety of platforms, including your website as well as social channels such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and whatever other platforms your customers use.

Similar Article: How To Create Content For Each Sale Funnel Stage

Optimize Everything For Mobile Use

All of your online content needs to be optimized for mobile use. This is because many consumers may explore your website while on their smartphone or tablet. This is especially true if they are engaging on social media and follow a link back to your site, or they see one of your commercials on TV and decide to do a search for your company (more and more consumers use their mobile devices while watching TV these days). If your online content isn’t properly optimized for mobile use, then it may not load properly or be displayed properly.

 Put Together The Proper Marketing Stack

Because you’ll be collecting data on leads and customers from a variety of different platforms, you’ll want to make sure that you have the tools needed to organize the data and to put it to good use. To do this, you’ll want to build a marketing stack using tools such as CRM (customer relationship management) software, CMS (content management system, analytics and data visualization tools, and marketing automation.

Omni-channel marketing is essential if you want to attract and nurture modern day consumers through their unique buyer’s journeys. These omnichannel marketing tips will help make it easier to reach consumers at every point of their buyer’s journey no matter where they are.

  25 Website Must Haves For Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales
IHCA ICAL

Illinois Health Care Association (IHCA/ICAL) Convention and Expo

For more information, contact:

Debbie Szwast

dszwast@stevens-tate.com

IHCA/ICAL- Nicole Wagner will Speak at Convention September 11

LOMBARD, IL May 10, 2019- Stevens & Tate Marketing is proud to announce they will speak for the first time at the Illinois Health Care Association (IHCA/ICAL) Convention and Expo. Internet Director Nicole Wagner presents at the Convention that is being held September 9-12, 2019 in Springfield, IL.

Every year the IHCA brings people together to the largest convention in the state for long-term care professionals. The association leads in help and education for the long-term care of elderly, physical, or mentally challenged. This is a time where attendees can learn the latest technology and services available to them with over 100 educational sessions provided.

This year Stevens & Tate Internet Director, Nicole Wagner, conducts a session titled, “Congratulations! You’ve Launched a Website- Now What?” on September 11 1-2:30 pm. The presentation speaks about website optimization. In other words, websites are essential for everything from attracting new prospects to providing information to decision makers. Wagner explores topics such as SEO, social media marketing, and evolving brand messaging. In addition, she breaks down how each come together and create the effective website. And just because a website may have been recently launched doesn’t mean that it can’t continue to improve over time. In conclusion, each step helps strengthen those conversion points for optimal results.

To stay up-to-date with more marketing by Nicole Wagner, click here.

Steven’s and Tate Marketing

Stevens & Tate Marketing (http://www.stevens-tate.com) is a full service advertising agency offering Internet advertising; award-winning, on-strategy creative; integrated message development; and cost-effective media planning and execution. Stevens & Tate creates focused, targeted solutions for its clients within senior living, healthcare, pharmaceutical, homebuilding, CPG and food, grocery and retail, travel and tourism, and business-to-business industries.

Nicole Wagner, Internet Marketing Director at Stevens & Tate Marketing (www.stevens-tate.com), leads an enthusiastic team in strategic planning, web development, social media and search engine marketing, as well as Internet and mobile marketing. She can be reached directly by calling (630) 627-5200 or via email at nwagner@stevens-tate.com.

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SUMMARY: Nicole Wagner of Stevens & Tate Marketing speaks on September 11 1-2:30pm at the IHCA/ICAL Convention that is held in Springfield IL September 9-12, 2019
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How Having a Real Time Location System Can Benefit Campaign Performance

As you likely know, mobile marketing is an incredibly effective way to reach a significant part of your audience. Companies that aren’t leveraging mobile marketing at this point are going to be on the brink of falling behind their competition if they haven’t already. However, while most businesses understand that they should optimize their online content for mobile use, not everyone is taking full advantage of what mobile users can offer. For example, a real time location system can tell you where your audience is, which can be incredibly beneficial for a number of reasons.

Using a Real Time Location System

Smartphones have built-in GPS that pinpoints where the user is. This is data that you can access as long as you have permission from the user. You will need to offer an app that the user can download in order to access this data. Some users are going to disable the real time location system as a way to keep their privacy. However, a lot of people don’t mind. If your app provides some kind of location-based feature that’s helpful, they may be more likely to leave it on as well.

The Benefits of a Real Time Location System

Being able to track the location of your users can come in use in numerous ways. Not only can you use this information to measure the effectiveness of your inbound marketing strategies, you can use it to better target your audience. The following are a few examples of how leveraging a real time location system can help to greatly improve your cross channel marketing efforts:

  • Target users near your stores – You can automate certain push notifications to be sent out to users who are within a certain radius of your stores. This is a great way to target users who may not know that they are near one of your stores. Even with users who know about your store’s location, you can send out content that might convince them to drop in. Sending them a special discount code that they can use there is a good example. It’s an incredibly effective way to increase foot traffic to your physical locations.
  • Target users near your competition – You can even use your real time location system to steal customers from your competitors. For example, your users might be headed to a competing store or are near a competing store. You can send them an offer to match any promotions they might be offering.
  • Improve reach – You can figure out what areas the majority of your users tend to be in. This can give you a lot of helpful information that you can use to improve your reach. For example, if you’re based in Philadelphia but you might notice that a lot of users are in the NYC area (or even in a smaller area of Pennsylvania). You can then use that information to target those areas. You can do so by creating more location-based content or even by opening a store in that location.
  • Measure foot traffic – You can measure how effective your mobile marketing efforts are by measuring foot traffic in your physical stores. For example, if you send out notifications of an in-store sale to your users, you can then identify how many users ended up going through the store on the day of the sale. You can use the foot traffic you measure at your stores to judge the performance of specific marketing tactics in many other ways as well.

As you can see, using a real time location system can be hugely beneficial to your cross channel marketing efforts. The trick is knowing how to implement it. These are just a few examples of how you can use the location data you have access to. This can help optimize your marketing campaign and improve sales.

Learn To Use Social Media To Find New Leads

Digital Communication Tools That Can Help You Build A Human Brand

The success of your brand depends on much more than just being able to convince a potential customer to try your product or service. While in the past the customer experience has been based around the product being offered, these days, you need to look at the big picture. It’s not just about the customer experience in regards to your product, it’s about the emotional connection that they are able to form with your brand.

Customers don’t just want a product, they want a relationship with the brand that is selling them that product. It’s why, when it comes to your marketing efforts, you need to focus on fostering an emotional connection instead of just trying to build awareness for a certain product and what it does. Fortunately, building an emotional connection with your audience is easier than ever before with the number of digital communication tools that are at your disposal.

The Importance Of An Emotional Connection

Customers are human beings. They have hopes, dreams, and feelings. In a world where any product is available at their fingertips and their choices are practically limitless, they will want much more out of a brand than a product or service that works. They do not want to engage with a corporation, they want to engage with a brand that’s relatable on a personal level. Their desire for connection in such a world is not surprising, which is why a brand that is able to touch them emotionally is going to make them more engaged.

There are many ways that you can do this, such as reinforcing the beliefs or perspective of your audience, supporting the goals or perspective of your audience, or challenging your audience to do greater things.

5 Marketing Tactics You Should Be Using in 2019

How Digital Communication Tools Can Help Foster An Emotional Connection

Engaging on an emotional level with your audience is easier than it’s ever been as long as you make the effort to do so. The following are just a few ways that digital communication tools can help you to connect with your audience emotionally and to build meaningful relationships with them:

  • Video content – When it comes to content, few other forms are able to engage audiences on an emotional level like video content. There are numerous reasons for this. First of all, people consume visual content much more easily than written content. Secondly, you can use actors or even real figures that audiences can relate to on a personal level. Thirdly, you can emphasize certain emotions much more effectively through the production of video, from the look of how it was filmed to the type of music that’s used to how the video is edited.
  • SegmentationSegmenting your leads and customers based on the data you’ve collected (via opt-in forms, surveys, and more) will provide you with valuable insight into who your audience is and how you can connect with them. It also allows you to personalize your content much more effectively, which will make it easier to drive engagement.
  • Social interaction – The use of social channels makes it easy to engage with your audience directly. Direct interaction makes it easier to build meaningful relationships–and you’ll have a bigger emotional impact on those who witness the interactions on social media as well.

Building a human brand will help you build long-term relationships with your audience based on real emotional connections. Use the digital communication tools available to you to emphasize emotion in your marketing efforts. Doing so will help your audience relate to you on a more personal level, thereby driving engagement with your brand.

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What’s Trending in Marketing for May 2019

Staying current on recent marketing trends is an excellent way to reflect and verify whether your marketing efforts are harmonious with what’s going on in today’s ever-evolving marketplace. We’re aware that keeping up with these trends can often be difficult given the abundance of information thrown at us every day. The following articles come from popular marketing blogs and highlight current marketing trends that we think are worth paying attention to:

Noteworthy Marketing News

Google starts showing more images in web search results

Multiple tools that track the Google search results have been showing an increase in the percentage of time that Google shows image results in the core web search results. The image search result box that is sometimes shown in the main search results is now showing up for 1/3rd of all queries according to some reports.sweeTARTS

SEOClarity published their data this morning showing “images in the Top 10 leaped from an approximately 24% occurrence to a 34% occurrence.” The increase has started around April 13. Get more information about this at Marketing Land.

SweeTARTS® New “Be Both™” Marketing Campaign Celebrates the Multi-Dimensionality of Its Products and Gen Z Consumers

Iconic candy brand SweeTARTS® is introducing itself to a new generation of candy lovers with the launch of its largest integrated marketing effort in recent years. Kicking off this week, the “Be Both” campaign champions Gen Z, which Pew Research Center calls the most diverse generation, and their desire to reject one-dimensional definitions of identity, by celebrating the intersection of their passions, expressions and tastes, and connecting this multiplicity back to the brand’s multitude of colliding flavors, textures and forms. Read more about SweeTARTS new ad campaign at Cision. 

Twitter’s ‘Hide Replies’ Feature is Set to Roll Out in June

A new Twitter feature which allows users to hide replies to their tweets is set to launch this June.Twitter was spotted working on this feature back in February. A representative from Twitter later confirmed it would soon be rolling out publically.

blog post published by the company this week reveals that the ‘hide tweets’ feature will be available in June:“Starting in June, we’ll be experimenting with ways to give people more control over their conversations by giving them an option to hide replies to their Tweets.” SearchEngine Journal goes in to greater detail concerning Twitter’s latest feature. 

Improving Your Marketing Program

Learn About the Six Steps to Better Use of Marketing Analytics & Dashboard

Using marketing analytics is essential to being able to judge the performance of your marketing efforts. They allow you to see what is and isn’t working in real time, thereby letting you adjust your strategy. Not only do marketing analytics help improve your marketing efforts, but they also allow you to make much more efficient use out of the resources that you have at your disposal so that you don’t end up wasting a significant amount of time and money on tactics that aren’t working.

Should You Consider a Growth Driven Design Strategy?

In this day and age, every business understands the importance of having a company website. Even local mom and pop shops have a web presence, whether it’s a basic website or a social media page. However, not everyone realizes that there are different ways to build your website. If your website is the foundation for all of your online marketing efforts, then consider implementing a growth driven design. It is true that when properly implemented, traditional website designs can still be very effective. However, growth driven designs have their own set of unique advantages worth taking a look at.

Brand Leverage Marketing: Partnering with a Positive Brand Can Bring Attention to Your Own

Brand Leveraging is quickly becoming more common as it becomes harder for messages to break through the clutter. This marketing strategy uses the power of an existing brand  to support a company’s entry into a new but related product category by communicating valuable product information to the consumer.

Utilizing recognizable visual stimuli, familiar voice endorsements, and popular songs can help you establish credibility, add emotion, and further draw in a potential customer- and more and more companies are jumping on the bandwagon.

Recent Marketing Reports, Updates, and Trends

Snapchat’s Gen Y, Millennial audience helps deliver 39% YoY lift in revenue

Snapchat has been able to stabilize users for two consecutive quarters now, increasing DAUs by 2% to 190 million in the first quarter of 2019. As of March, Snapchat claims to reach 90% of all 13 to 24-year-olds in the U.S. and 75% of 13 to 34-year-olds.

Snap Inc. reported $320 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2019, a 39% year-over-year increase. Read more about Snapchat’s success at Marketing Land. 

Amazon to introduce video ads in mobile-app search results 

Amazon.com is starting to roll out video advertising on its smartphone apps. Currently, nearly every search result yields a graphical ad unit at the top of the SERP. According to Bloomberg, video ads for relevant products will start to appear in those same positions.

The report says that “Amazon has been beta testing the ads on Apple Inc.’s iOS platform for several months,” although I was not able to find one of these units after numerous product queries. Amazon’s mobile app for Android will apparently be getting video ads later this year. Find out more about Amazon’s video ads at SearchEngine Land. 

Facebook ad revenue keeps rising, 3 million advertisers using Stories Ads

Facebook’s bet on Stories Ads looks like it is paying off. COO Sheryl Sandberg said Wednesday during the company’s first quarter earnings call that, while Facebook and Instagram feed ads make up the bulk of Facebook’s ad business, Stories Ads are “an increasingly important growth opportunity.” Facebook announced it now has three million advertisers running Stories Ads across Instagram, Facebook and Messenger, and more than 500 million daily active users engaging with Stories experiences across the three platforms.

The company reported $14.9 billion in ad revenue during the first quarter of the year, up 26% year-over-year. At $13.9 billion, mobile ad revenue accounted for 93% of the company’s total ad revenue — up 30% year-over-year. Marketing Land has more information about Facebooks ad revenue. 

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