digital-marketing-strategy

Best Marketing Strategies to Drive Online Traffic: Boosting Your Digital Presence

Introduction

Introduction to Digital Marketing Strategies Digital marketing has become an integral part of businesses today, revolutionizing the way organizations connect with their target audiences. In this era of technological advancements, it is crucial for companies to stay relevant and competitive by adopting effective digital marketing strategies. These strategies encompass a wide range of techniques and methods utilized to promote products or services through online channels, increasing brand visibility, and driving relevant traffic to websites. One of the key aspects of digital marketing is understanding the target audience and tailoring strategies to their preferences. This involves conducting in-depth market research, analyzing consumer behavior, and identifying the ideal platforms for reaching potential customers. With the rapid growth of social media platforms, businesses can leverage these channels to engage with their target audience, build brand loyalty, and foster customer relationships. Additionally, search engine optimization (SEO) plays a crucial role in digital marketing strategies. By optimizing websites and content, businesses can improve their organic search rankings, increasing their online visibility and driving more organic traffic to their sites. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is another effective digital marketing strategy, where businesses pay for ads that appear above organic search results, promoting their products or services to relevant audiences. Furthermore, content marketing is a valuable technique that involves creating and sharing informative and engaging content to attract and retain a target audience. This can be achieved through various mediums such as blog posts, videos, infographics, and social media posts. By providing valuable content, businesses can establish themselves as industry leaders and develop trust with their audience. Overall, the field of digital marketing is constantly evolving, and businesses must adapt to the changing landscape to succeed in today’s competitive market. By implementing the right digital marketing strategies, organizations can effectively reach their target audience, increase brand visibility, and drive measurable results.

Content Marketing Strategies

Content marketing is a vital component of every successful marketing strategy. It involves creating and distributing valuable and relevant content to attract and engage a target audience. Effective content marketing strategies help businesses build brand awareness, establish thought leadership, and drive customer acquisition and retention. One key strategy is to define a clear target audience and understand their needs and pain points. By identifying the specific demographic, psychographic, and behavioral characteristics of the target audience, businesses can tailor their content to address their desires and challenges, ensuring it resonates with them. This approach enhances the likelihood of attracting and retaining the right customers. Another important aspect of content marketing is creating high-quality and engaging content. This can be achieved by conducting thorough research, staying up-to-date with industry trends, and understanding what type of content resonates with the target audience. By producing informative and valuable content, businesses can position themselves as experts in their field, earning the trust and credibility of their audience. Distribution is equally crucial in content marketing strategies. Creating valuable content is only half the battle; it must also be effectively distributed to reach the target audience. Utilizing various distribution channels such as social media, email marketing, and search engine optimization can help maximize the reach of the content and ensure it reaches the right people at the right time. Lastly, measuring and analyzing the results of content marketing efforts is essential for refining and optimizing strategies. Tracking key performance indicators such as website traffic, engagement metrics, and conversion rates can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of the content and help identify areas for improvement. In conclusion, effective content marketing strategies require a deep understanding of the target audience, high-quality content creation, strategic distribution, and continuous measurement and analysis. By employing these strategies, businesses can enhance their online presence, build brand credibility, and drive customer acquisition and retention.

Valuable and Engaging Content

Valuable and Engaging Content: Harnessing the Power of Effective Communication In today’s digital era, creating valuable and engaging content is crucial for businesses and individuals seeking to captivate their target audience. With an overwhelming amount of information available at our fingertips, it has become more challenging than ever to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Valuable content, however, serves as a differentiating factor, allowing businesses to establish themselves as thought leaders and trusted sources of information. Valuable content goes beyond simply providing information; it delves into the needs, desires, and pain points of the audience. By understanding the target market, businesses can produce content that addresses these issues, providing practical solutions and creating a connection with the readers. This connection fosters engagement and encourages further interaction with the content, thereby establishing a strong relationship between the business and its audience. Engaging content, on the other hand, captures the attention and interest of the audience, prompting them to take action. Whether it is through compelling storytelling, visual appeal, or interactive elements, engaging content entices the readers to delve deeper and actively participate in the conversation. By incorporating multimedia, such as videos, infographics, and interactive quizzes, businesses can create a multi-sensory experience that resonates with the audience and encourages them to share the content with others. Ultimately, valuable and engaging content is the bedrock of effective communication. It enables businesses to cut through the noise and leave a lasting impression on their audience. By delivering information that is relevant, useful, and presented in an engaging manner, businesses can build credibility, trust, and loyalty. In a world where attention spans are shrinking, investing time and resources into creating valuable and engaging content is not only a strategic decision but also a necessity for long-term success.

Guest Blogging

Guest Blogging Guest blogging is an effective marketing strategy that involves writing and publishing content on someone else’s blog or website. It offers a unique opportunity for individuals and businesses to expand their reach, increase brand visibility, and establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry. By providing valuable and informative content to a different audience, guest bloggers can attract new readers, gain credibility, and drive traffic back to their own website. One of the key benefits of guest blogging is the opportunity to reach a wider audience. By contributing to established blogs or websites with a large following, guest bloggers can tap into an existing readership and expose their brand to a new set of potential customers or clients. This helps to increase brand awareness and expand the reach of their message beyond their own website or social media platforms. Another advantage of guest blogging is the ability to establish oneself as an authority in their industry. By providing valuable and insightful content to a relevant audience, guest bloggers can showcase their expertise and knowledge. This helps to build credibility, trust, and confidence in their brand, ultimately positioning them as a go-to resource in their field. Furthermore, guest blogging can significantly boost website traffic and improve search engine rankings. When a guest blogger includes links to their own website within their guest posts, they can drive traffic back to their own site. This not only increases the chances of gaining new customers or clients but also improves search engine optimization (SEO) as search engines consider quality backlinks as a ranking factor. In conclusion, guest blogging is a powerful marketing tool that offers numerous advantages. By leveraging the reach and credibility of established blogs or websites, guest bloggers can expand their audience, establish themselves as thought leaders, and improve their own website’s visibility. It is a win-win strategy for both the guest blogger and the hosting website, as it brings fresh content and valuable insights to the audience while helping the guest blogger grow their brand and online presence.

Video Marketing

Video Marketing: Increasing Engagement and Driving Results In today’s digital age, video marketing has emerged as a powerful tool for businesses to connect with their target audience, increase engagement, and drive results. With the rise of streaming platforms and social media, consumers are now spending more time watching videos than ever before. This presents a unique opportunity for businesses to leverage the power of video to convey their message in a captivating and dynamic way. One of the key advantages of video marketing is its ability to grab and retain viewers’ attention. Unlike other forms of marketing, videos have the power to engage multiple senses, making it easier for viewers to remember and recall the information presented. Furthermore, videos allow businesses to showcase their products or services in action, giving potential customers a more immersive and realistic experience. This can significantly influence purchasing decisions and foster brand loyalty. Video marketing also offers a higher chance of virality compared to traditional marketing methods. With the ability to share videos across various platforms, businesses can reach a wider audience and potentially go viral. This viral exposure can lead to increased brand awareness and organic growth. Moreover, videos can be easily optimized for search engines, helping businesses improve their online visibility and rankings. By incorporating relevant keywords and descriptions, businesses can increase the chances of their videos being discovered by potential customers. In addition, videos can be shared on social media platforms, allowing businesses to tap into their followers’ networks and further expand their reach. In conclusion, video marketing has become an indispensable tool for businesses looking to enhance their marketing efforts. By creating engaging and visually appealing videos, businesses can effectively connect with their target audience, increase brand awareness, drive conversions, and ultimately achieve their desired results.

Social Media Strategies

Social media strategies are crucial in today’s digital age for businesses to effectively reach and engage with their target audience. A well-developed social media strategy can help organizations connect with customers, build brand awareness, increase website traffic, and ultimately boost sales. The first step in developing an effective social media strategy is to clearly define the target audience. By understanding the demographics, interests, and preferences of the target audience, businesses can tailor their content and messaging to resonate with their followers. Another important aspect of social media strategies is choosing the right platforms. Each platform has its own unique features and audience, so businesses must carefully select which platforms align with their objectives and target audience. Once platforms are chosen, the next step is to develop engaging and consistent content. This can include a mix of promotional content, educational posts, and interactive elements such as polls or contests. Engaging with followers is also vital to building a strong social media presence. Responding to comments, messages, and reviews in a timely and professional manner helps to foster a positive relationship with customers. Additionally, regularly analyzing and measuring the results of the social media strategy is crucial for ongoing success. By monitoring key metrics such as reach, engagement, and conversions, businesses can make data-driven decisions to optimize their social media efforts. In conclusion, social media strategies are an essential tool for businesses to effectively connect and engage with their target audience. With a well-defined target audience, carefully chosen platforms, engaging content, and ongoing analysis, businesses can successfully leverage social media to drive brand awareness, website traffic, and ultimately increase sales.

Active Social Media Presence

Maintaining an active social media presence has become crucial for businesses in today’s digital age. Social media platforms have revolutionized the way companies connect with their target audience, allowing for instant communication, engagement, and brand exposure. By actively participating on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, businesses can establish an interactive online presence that not only increases brand visibility but also fosters customer loyalty and drives traffic to their websites. An active social media presence involves regularly posting high-quality content that aligns with the brand’s values and resonates with the target audience. This content can range from informative blog posts, visually appealing images, engaging videos, to thought-provoking infographics. By consistently sharing relevant and engaging content, businesses can establish themselves as credible industry leaders and gain the trust of their followers. Another key aspect of maintaining an active social media presence is engaging with the audience. This involves responding to comments, messages, and mentions in a timely and professional manner. By actively engaging with their followers, businesses can build a sense of community and create a positive brand image. Additionally, social media platforms also provide valuable insights and feedback from the audience, allowing businesses to gain a better understanding of their customers’ needs and preferences. In conclusion, an active social media presence is crucial for businesses to thrive in today’s digital landscape. It allows for effective communication, brand exposure, customer loyalty, and valuable insights. By consistently posting high-quality content and engaging with their audience, businesses can establish themselves as industry leaders and unlock the numerous benefits that social media has to offer.

Influencer marketing business marketing 247

 

Influencer Collaboration

Influencer Collaboration: Harnessing the Power of Digital Marketing Relationships Influencer collaboration has become an increasingly popular and effective strategy in the digital marketing landscape. As brands strive to connect with their target audience and increase brand awareness, partnering with influencers has emerged as a powerful tool. By leveraging the reach and influence of social media personalities, companies can tap into a ready-made, engaged audience, boosting their online visibility and credibility. One of the key benefits of influencer collaboration is authenticity. Influencers have built their following through curated content and genuine interactions with their audience, establishing a sense of trust. When they endorse a brand, their followers are more likely to view it as a genuine recommendation rather than a paid advertisement. This organic connection not only drives sales but also fosters long-term brand loyalty and advocacy. Additionally, influencer collaboration allows for targeted marketing. Brands can select influencers whose audience aligns with their target demographic, ensuring their message reaches the right people. By working with influencers who have already established themselves in a particular niche or industry, companies can tap into a well-defined audience, maximizing their marketing efforts. Moreover, influencer collaborations provide opportunities for creative content creation. Influencers are experts in crafting engaging and relatable content, which resonates with their followers. By collaborating with influencers, brands can tap into their unique style and creativity, creating a seamless integration of their brand message. This not only helps companies connect with their audience but also adds value to the influencer’s content, keeping their followers engaged and interested. In conclusion, influencer collaboration offers numerous advantages for companies seeking to enhance their digital marketing strategies. From authenticity and targeted marketing to creative content creation, partnering with influencers allows brands to harness the power of digital marketing relationships. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, influencer collaboration is set to remain a valuable and influential tool in the marketing arsenal for years to come.

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is an effective marketing strategy that allows businesses to reach a wider audience and increase brand visibility. By investing in paid advertising campaigns, companies can promote their products or services to their target market and drive traffic to their website or physical store. With paid advertising, businesses have the opportunity to control their messaging and ensure that their ads are being shown to the right people at the right time. This can be done through various channels such as search engine advertising, social media advertising, display advertising, or influencer marketing. One of the key advantages of paid advertising is the ability to track and measure the success of campaigns using analytics tools. This allows businesses to gain valuable insights into their audience’s preferences and behavior, helping them refine their advertising strategy and optimize their return on investment. Moreover, paid advertising offers a level of scalability and flexibility that other marketing tactics may not provide. Businesses can adjust their budget, target different demographics, or test different ad formats to find the most effective approach. However, it is important for businesses to carefully plan their paid advertising campaigns to ensure they are aligned with their overall marketing goals and target audience. This involves conducting thorough market research, setting clear objectives, and constantly monitoring and optimizing the campaigns. By leveraging the power of paid advertising, businesses can effectively promote their products or services, attract new customers, and ultimately drive revenue growth in a competitive market.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is evident that careful consideration and analysis must be given to the information discussed throughout this discussion. The various points and arguments presented highlight the importance of making informed decisions based on reliable data and well-reasoned conclusions. It is crucial for professionals in any field to critically evaluate all available information and think critically about the implications of their actions. Moreover, drawing reliable conclusions necessitates the incorporation of diverse perspectives and a thorough understanding of the underlying context. A hasty or biased conclusion can have detrimental consequences, both for the individual making the conclusion and for the organization or society at large. Furthermore, it is essential to recognize the limitations of the conclusions drawn and the need for constant reevaluation and adaptation. As new evidence emerges or circumstances change, it becomes necessary to reassess the conclusions and adjust accordingly. This process facilitates growth, innovation, and improvement, allowing professionals to stay ahead of the curve and remain effective in their respective fields. Additionally, the ability to effectively communicate conclusions with clarity and confidence is paramount. Professionals should strive to present their conclusions in a concise and persuasive manner, ensuring that their audience understands the rationale behind their decision-making process. In summary, reaching valid and reliable conclusions is a skill that professionals must continually develop and refine. The ability to critically evaluate information, consider diverse perspectives, and communicate effectively is crucial for making informed decisions and driving positive outcomes. By prioritizing these factors, professionals can enhance their credibility, mitigate risks, and contribute to the success of their organizations.

How to Increase Higher Education Student Engagement with Marketing

Planning your higher education marketing strategies is about working around two things: the rising cost of tuition and the growing number of students applying to post-secondary institutions. Not to mention, students have a lot of options to choose from.

To compete, you need to create digital marketing campaigns that:

  • appeal to peoples’ emotions
  • create a sense of urgency.

But why exactly is this the case?

Consumers attach the same personality characteristics to brands that they do to people.

Yet, this is about a lot more than creating a sense of belonging. Because your students need responsive and relevant support.

Here are some steps that you can take to improve the student experience.

Bonus resource:

Want to learn how to enroll international higher ed students? Then get our newest guide and learn about the 10 most-effective ways that’ll help you improve your enrollment campaigns in 2019.

1. Personalize your emails through making them timely

Is your newsletter not getting the results you hoped for? The issue might be a lack of personalization. It plays an important role in your students’ experience with your brand. Not to mention the fact, that it’s one of the key email marketing best practices in general, that delivers the highest results.

But what’s so important about personalization that makes it so effective?

It’s about reaching the right person with the right message at the right time.

With your students, you can do this by making them feel special…

One way you can do this is by showing your appreciation for the time and money they invested in your courses. This approach works no matter how long it has been since your students enrolled in your courses.

A great example of this is the George Brown College Continuing Education Newsletter. Since I’m one of their former students, I receive their emails on a regular basis.

A week before the holidays, they sent me a message, which showed their appreciation:

Email newsletter sent to students of the George Brown University before the holiday break.

The one thing that made it effective was its timing. The email also reminded me that now is the best time to sign up for new courses if I want to enroll in the winter semester:

Email alert about upcoming university courses from George Brown University.

George Brown’s message showed up in my inbox a week before the holiday season. So, I had a head full of ideas for the new year. As a result, I asked myself “why not take another course?”

What should you do if your former students are still on your email list?

When a new semester is around the corner, remind them of your registration deadlines. But you’re likely wondering what makes former students such an asset. Cost is a major contribution; a great example of this is the emphasis colleges and universities put on international student recruitment.

To work around factors such as decreasing birth rates and shifting demographics…

The amount colleges spend on international students is increasing. Because this is happening in so many different countries, attracting international students is becoming a competitive process.

Prioritizing healthy relationships with current students and alumni will help bring down recruitment costs.

Although that seems like a lot of work, you can simplify the process. This involves setting up automation triggers, which add former students to your GetResponse Marketing Automation workflow.

Every time a student completes a course, send them an invitation to join an email list. This email list is a great way to notify students about the following:

• Registration deadlines
• And course/special event news and updates.

2. Provide incentives tempting enough to turn prospective students into current students

One of the best business models I’ve come across in the higher education sector is Brainstation.

Brainstation is a company that offers courses in the following disciplines:

  • tech
  • design
  • digital marketing

Their students are working adults who want to upgrade their skills.

On a regular basis, they host panel discussions and events that cost as much as a cafe lunch.

So, what makes their approach so effective?

A lot of their event attendees have such a great time at their events that they register for courses. An important side note about their programs: they’re not exactly cheap. I looked up the costs, and full-time rates are $14,000 for full-time programs. Yet, they offer a scholarship program to accommodate students who can’t afford their tuition costs.

Not to mention:

  • Their application process is as much work as applying for a job.
  • And their courses are a huge time commitment. Students spend an average of ten to twelve months in their courses and certification programs.

So, everything I mentioned are hesitations that the organization has to work around.

The folks at Brainstation work around that by rewarding events with a high number of guests. Sometimes, they add event attendees to an email list and thank them for their time. This often involves offering a time-sensitive discount:

Brainstation congratulations email.

According to a RetailMeNot survey:

Four out of five (80 percent) consumers said they feel encouraged to make a first-time purchase with a brand that is new to them if they found an offer or discount.

Discounts will help you work around the biggest flaw of using events to attract students. They’re likely not ready to buy your courses right away. This is exactly where discounts can make a big difference.

Limited-time discounts encourage your students to stop procrastinating during the enrolment process.

But creating urgency isn’t always about charging less. Sometimes all people need to hear is a subtle reminder that they only have a limited amount of time to apply.

A great example of this is LinkedIn and how they sell their courses to LinkedIn users. This involves encouraging users to sign up for a 30-day trial of LinkedIn Learning:

LinkedIn learning message.

This allows people to test drive the platform for free. It also allows them to decide if the monthly subscription fees are worth paying for.

There are also other ways to increase student enrollment. Here are some tips on how you can use PPC campaigns and email marketing for higher student enrollment.

3. Send emails that create accountability and fight against shiny object syndrome

One company that does this in an effective way is the Boss Project. Because their courses are online-based and aren’t time sensitive, they have to work around shiny object syndrome.

No idea what shiny object syndrome actually is? Here’s a quick definition from Entrepreneur contributor, Jayson DeMeyers:

It’s the entrepreneurial equivalent of a small child chasing after shiny objects. Once they get there and see what the object is, they lose interest and start chasing the next thing. This may be business objectives, marketing strategies, clients or even other business ventures.

Founders Abigail and Emily tackle this by sending emails that encourage student accountability. When students enroll, they receive an automated email that congratulates them on their enrolment. This email also provides a few bonus resources and instructions:

The Boss project email notification.

Two weeks later, students receive an email that shows them how to leave a review of the course:

Automated email updated two weeks from signup.

So, how do you make your students feel accountable enough to:

  • finish your course?
  • and not switch to another course, with enticing benefits?

You need to remind them of the benefits:

Using benefits in email communication.

An email, like the above example, will remind current students of the value of your online courses. Because it focuses on missed opportunities of not completing your courses.

The good news is that a lot of this can be automated. Once you’ve chosen the conditions and set up a workflow, your messages can be sent automatically.

Here are some examples of how you can do this with email automation.

4. Create student ambassadors who will provide honest responses to student questions

Enrolling in courses at the adult education level can be frustrating. Because answers to questions about everything from:

  • course prerequisites and registration
  • to learning what being a student is like, before paying tuition fees

can feel like a cold and uncertain process. A great example of that is this tweet in response to a student question:

York University generic tweet.

Rather than providing a personalized answer…

They responded with a link to an FAQ page and hoped for the best.

Yet, managing social media as a higher education professional can be challenging.

According to Hootsuite:

The biggest challenge facing institutions is streamlining their social efforts campus-wide.

One of the many options available are student ambassador programs. Student ambassador programs include future students in a current student’s journey.

The job of the ambassadors is to use social media to capture the student experience. Because they’re students themselves, they point of view their point of view matters. But why is that the case?

Here’s an example of how an interaction with a student ambassador often “feels”:

De Montfort Uni DMU tweet.

Campaigns like these set you apart from your competition. Because they create two simple options:

  1. Attend the university, because it aligns with your values
  2. Don’t attend the university, because it doesn’t align with your values.

The feeling of campus life is especially important for international students. Because they are likely moving far away from home to enroll in your courses.

Encourage your ambassadors to produce content on everything from:

  • Information on key factors such as housing, food, and the people you’ll meet
  • To the experience of going to classes, writing tests, etc.

And when students have questions, encourage them to interact with ambassadors:

  • in person
  • over email
  • and during social live stream Q&A events

Strategies like these are essential. Because social media is the first point of contact between students and universities. So, it’s important to create a first impression that counts.

But above all else…

Students are often investing a great deal of time and money. So, it’s important to focus on making transparent information accessible to:

  • current students
  • future students
  • and alumni

Otherwise, they’ll change their mind and dedicate their time and money to something else.

Author:

Rosemary RichingsRosemary Richings is a specialist in blog content promotion and audience outreach strategy, who offers straight up content creation for websites and blogs. Since 2014, she has worked with diverse clients in the lifestyle and ecommerce industry. The clients that she has worked with include large organizations, such as E-bay and Yellowpages Canada, and startups/ small businesses such as Lokafy and BeFunky. She has also been published on sites such as Buffer, Search Engine Journal, the Weebly Inspiration Center, and more. Check out Rosemary’s latest in her ebook, Blog on, a blogging starter kit for entrepreneurs. Feel free to connect with Rosemary on Twitter @rosiemay_r for recommended reading material, along with news about her latest projects and content.

How to Increase Higher Education Student Engagement with Marketing

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Original Article

The Sneaky Tactic Ecommerce Brands Use to Attract More Customers

The Sneaky Tactic Ecommerce Brands Use to Attract More Customers

Have you ever seen that video of the kid trying to collect water in a wire bucket?

It’s pretty hilarious:

A toddler tries to catch water in a wire bucket

Problem is, it’s also painfully reminiscent of a lot of marketers’ strategy.

Sure, they’re working hard and hustling. But the processes, funnels, and journeys they use create more leaks than that kid’s bucket. And when each leak is losing you thousands in potential revenue, it’s something that needs your attention.

Check most funnel visualizations and you’ll see something similar to the example below: a massive loss of customers at every stage.

A leaky marketing funnel
A pretty standard example of a funnel (via ConversionXL)

In the above example, a grand total of 1.66% of users completed a reservation.

This isn’t a standalone case either. Leaky funnels like this one are everywhere, and most marketers aren’t doing enough to fix them.

One of the major problems is that people are too aggressive with their funnels. They’re pushing the wrong product at the wrong time—to the right people.

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix, which comes down to attracting people with low threat sales before up-selling them to your main money-making products.

I’m going to run you through a sneaky little tactic that big brands—like Marvel and Ben and Jerry’s—use to drastically increase their conversion rates. And then we’re going to look at how you can leverage the success of those initial sales to fill your upsell funnel and double down on your success.

Social Commerce Streamlines the Buyer’s Journey

Social media has quickly become one of the best ways to engage and attract new customers. But you’ve got to ask yourself, why are people on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to begin with?

Most of the time, if we’re being honest, it’s to waste time or avoid boredom. People check out what their friends and colleagues are saying. They lose themselves watching funny videos of dogs, or maybe to get ideas for new workouts.

Very rarely do people head to social just to shop, which is why the average conversion rate is so low compared to other referral sources:

Data based on $1 billion in sales over Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017 (via Smart Insights)

Social media users have low purchase intent. They’re looking for a distraction, not a new widget. Sure, you might pique their interest with a well-optimized social media post, but that desire wanes with every step they take:

The leaky buyer's journey
This is a highly unscientific graph based on the general trends we’ve seen with users of jumper. This one is just for illustrative purposes only.

To increase conversions, you’ve got to push for the sale while purchase desire is high. And the best way to do this is to remove unnecessary steps.

How?

With a two-step checkout that takes users immediately from seeing something they want to actually buying it. This is what social commerce allows you to do.

Social commerce allows brands to sell products directly through their social media channels. It turns the posts and ads you’re already running into automated checkouts so your users can buy your products directly from their Facebook feed, your Instagram stories, or your latest tweets. A person engages with a post of a product they want, and then they’re then able to buy it through an automated chat.

Social commerce has helped brands like Marvel, who implemented the strategy when promoting Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp, achieve a 58% conversion rate.

For instance, Marvel added an automated checkout bot to posts on their social channels. The posts would include something like: “comment #Ant-Man below to buy your tickets!”. And when someone commented, an automated chatbot like the one below would kick in to help users find the cinema and showtime that best fit.

Below is the actual sequence used for Ant-Man and the Wasp in Singapore:

Marvel's social commerce campaign

Allowing users to purchase tickets directly within the social network they were actively engaged with is a sure fire way to increase your sales and conversions.

The above Marvel campaign is proof of the concept as the simple social commerce strategy helped them achieve the below:

  • It allowed Marvel to achieve a 58% conversion rate in a single campaign, rising to 68% when retargeting was taken into account.
  • It also generated 18X as many comments as the next best campaign which massively increased reach.

It’s one of the best ways for brands to increase their sales. And honestly, I think it’s going to play an increasingly important role in the coming years.

But here’s the thing. It’s far from perfect…

Social Commerce Is Not a Replacement for All Marketing

The stats above make social commerce seem almost too good to be true, right?

I’m a huge proponent of social commerce. I can count more than one client over the years who operate solely in this space. But I’m not going to say it’s the perfect solution for every brand out there.

It’s the perfect solution for low-cost impulse buys like cinema tickets or ice cream. But it’s not a great solution for high ticket items.

If you’re selling $10,000 TVs, for example, then it’s not going to be a good solution for you. How many people spend that much on an impulse? How many people are scrolling through their social feeds, see a $10k item and say “go on then, I’ll treat myself.” (Very few, if any at all.)

If you check the average order value for social commerce, in fact, they all fall below $100 (most below $50):

Average ecomm order value for social channels
Widely shared data about the average order value from social (via Big Commerce)

People don’t intend to shop on social, so they’re not going to spend vast amounts of cash.

Don’t despair if you are selling high ticket items, though. I’m going to run you through a couple of ideas that will help you turn the customers you attract through those low-cost impulse buys into repeat customers.

EDITOR’S NOTE. Interested in capitalizing on social media as a source of inbound traffic? You can read through Unbounce’s library of social media learning here.

Using Social Commerce For High-Ticket Sales

To get your social commerce high-ticket funnel up and running you’re going to need a few things:

  1. A low price product that’s related to the high ticket item (more on this soon)
  2. A social commerce solution (like jumper)
  3. Some way to collect, store, and segment contact details (a good CRM)
  4. A reengagement channel (email with landing pages from Unbounce)

If you’ve got all of these then you’re ready to continue.

The long and short of this is you’re going to use social commerce to sell a low-cost product, something that would be a logical impulse buy but is still related to the main product you’re trying to sell.

You then collect the user’s details and add them into a relevant upsell funnel through your email service. And the emails point back to a personalized landing page which sells the high-ticket item most relevant to their initial purchase.

This is what it looks like:

Basic Social Commerce Upsell Funnel

Depending on the price disparity, you can do this in one leap—or take some time to really nurture the user to get them there.

To provide an example, here’s how Ben and Jerry’s moved 5,000 free product samples in three days before upselling paid products:

How Ben & Jerry's used social commerce to upsell

They didn’t overcomplicate things and kept the whole process super simple.

But I hear what you’re saying: Moving a user from a free product to a $5-10 purchase (for ice cream, no less) isn’t difficult, nor is it representative of your brand’s products.

You’re right. It’s not. But the process is the same.

Let’s imagine you run a store targeting audiophiles and you’re trying to shift a $5,000 sound system. Your social commerce strategy could be shifting a $75 paid or in earbuds that provide superior sound. For those that purchase, you could then upsell those people on a $150 pair of noise-canceling headphones. Then a $500 set of speakers or $1,000 turntable.

With each upsell, you’re not just making more money, but qualifying the user while leading them toward the end goal.

The great thing here is that you’re never going to leave empty-handed. At the very least everyone in this funnel has paid for the $75 earbuds. If you really wanted, you could even sell them the $5,000 system piecemeal.

That’s what social commerce is great at—sorting the wheat from the chaff. You’re not just attracting “audiophiles” or whatever, but “audiophiles who will buy things from you.”

So let’s get into the details of how to set this up for yourself.

Step 1. Product Identification

Before you start looking into how to set up this funnel, you’re going to need to find the right product pairings. For the initial offer you need something that is:

  1. not too expensive (ideally in the ~$50 range)
  2. extremely relevant to the high ticket item you’re pushing
  3. likely to sell well on social (highly visual marketing is a must)

You’ll also need to look at the high ticket item.

A lot of people will pick a low-cost item that’s an accessory to the high ticket item. For example, for an iPhone Xs people would sell something like the case. It’s a great cross-sell, but if someone is buying the case then they already have the phone. So a couple of better options for an iPhone Xs might be:

  • Cases for an iPhone 6, 7, and 8 (sell the Xs as an upgrade)
  • A printer for iPhone 7 (promote the Xs on the merit of its superior camera)

You get the idea right.

These kind of items are within the acceptable price range for impulse buys. They also give you an idea of the kind of needs the user has which makes retargeting and upselling much easier. And they’re related to the end product.

Once you’ve figured out your pairings, it’s time to move onto the next step.

Step 2. Set Up Your Social Commerce Campaign

Using a social commerce solution, you can now get your campaign set up.

For instance, if you head to jumper.ai (here comes the shameless plug…) you’ll be able to sign up for a free account.

After filling in all of those business and bank details (so you can get paid!) head to the “add product” menu item on the left. Fill out your product details, pricing, variations, and other relevant information.

jumper's social commerce product screen

Once you’ve done that click “save” and follow the link to the “manage products” page.

Find the product you want to share and click the little tag icon. You’ll be allowed to choose the network you want to share through. Click the one you want and you’ll see a page like the one below:

Sharing on social networks

You can either go with the default text or customize it. Whatever your choice, as soon as you’re ready, hit share to send it out to that social network. Just like that, your social commerce post is live. An automated chatbot will take the user through the purchase process and collect their details and payment.

Step 3. Capture User Contact and Purchase Details

If you’re running your store on something like Shopify or WooCommerce, there are native integrations to carry the user’s information across.

If not, no worries. You can simply set up a Zap to copy the user’s details over to your ESP. I’d recommend copying over their contact details and relevant product information so you can get them into the right funnel.

Then it’s on to the fun upsell stuff.

Step 4. Email Marketing to Nurture Customers

Social commerce is great for those initial contacts and to help with the transactional stuff.

But it’s not great at nurturing relationships.

Most people engage on their mobile (with its small screen) and, thanks to the chat medium, want very short correspondence.

If you’re looking to nurture your users then email is still going to be the best method. After you’ve got the thanks out of the way you’re going to want to start increasing the user’s desire for that higher priced item.

It’s gonna take some testing your part, but I’d recommend starting by helping them get the most out of their current product purchase.

For example, if we look at the iPhone 7 printer above then I’d send emails in the below order:

  • A short series on the products key features
  • A short series on how to take better pics with an iPhone 7
  • Intersperse some news pieces or features of the Xs throughout to put it on their radar
  • Start with some sales emails that promote the Xs as the ideal solution to the pain points this segment is having

Here’s the thing with this stage: you’re not gonna get it right on your first go. You’re going to have to play around with the content of the emails and the timeline to make users feel comfortable with the price jump.

You could also try things like throwing in an incentive to push the sale:

An incentive email complements social commerce

Just remember that with email marketing value and relevance are key.

Step 5. Create Personalized Landing Pages

Once you get to those sales emails though, you’re going need to send the users somewhere.

Let’s say you’re pushing the iPhone Xs. And let’s imagine that you’ve got three buckets of users who opt-in to your lower-priced lead gen products:

  • First Bucket: Shutterbugs
  • Second Bucket: Audiophiles
  • Third Bucket: Annoying people who boast about having the latest iPhone

You could create separate landing pages for each and every group. It wouldn’t be a bad way to go, but it’ll also take a ton of time. And the more bucket segments you have, the more difficult completing this task becomes.

This is where Unbounce’s Dynamic Text Replacement (DTR) will help out. Dynamic Text Replacement allows you to edit certain elements of a landing page to be more relevant to the prospect.

For example, switch the headline so users who come from link A see variant A and those from link B see variant B:

Dynamic Text Replacement in action
DTR allows you to change key elements without creating new pages (via KlientBoost)

It’s an easy way to increase the relevancy of your landing pages.

In the iPhone example, you could create one general landing page that details the major benefits of the phone, but then switch key elements to appeal to each demographic. It cuts down on your time so you can roll out more campaigns, but it keeps the relevancy high and the messaging in line with your sales angle.

EDITOR’S NOTE. Dynamic Text Replacement can also be used with search keywords to enhance message match in your PPC campaigns. You can read about applying DTR to your Unbounce landing pages here.

A Sneaky Bonus to Further Grow Conversions

You’ve read 2403 of my words. And that deserves praise because, well, they’re words from some guy in his home office. I like you.

So, to offer a little thanks, I’m gonna let you in on a secret. (Don’t tell anyone this I shared though. It’s only for the determined readers like you.)

The customers who work their way through this funnel were initially engaged by a social checkout. Offering the same method of checking out on the landing page should make it easier for these users to convert because:

  1. It’s a method they’re comfortable engaging with.
  2. They have experience in chat led conversions.
  3. The tool should remember their details so they can check out in a few clicks.
  4. It’s something you can easily achieve through a handy chat bubble that triggers when the user clicks the buy now button.

Overload the Top of Your Funnel with Social Commerce

Social commerce, conversational commerce, and chatbots are the three current hot topics in digital marketing. A lot of the advice out there will tell you they are the perfect solution to every problem.

But they’re not. While they will help solve a bunch of issues within your business, they’re not ideal for high ticket item sales.

The transactional, conversational solution they provide is incredible for small impulse buys. But if you want to sell something that costs a little more you’ve got to get creative. Merchants and marketers need to understand that social commerce is not a replacement for the channels you’re currently using. It’s an addition to your low-cost product sales and top of funnel strategy.

Understand that, and you’re well on the way to increasing your ecommerce store’s revenue.

Original Article

How to Increase Higher Education Student Engagement with Marketing

Planning your higher education marketing strategies is about working around two things: the rising cost of tuition and the growing number of students applying to post-secondary institutions. Not to mention, students have a lot of options to choose from.

To compete, you need to create digital marketing campaigns that:

  • appeal to peoples’ emotions
  • create a sense of urgency.

But why exactly is this the case?

Consumers attach the same personality characteristics to brands that they do to people.

Yet, this is about a lot more than creating a sense of belonging. Because your students need responsive and relevant support.

Here are some steps that you can take to improve the student experience.

Bonus resource:

Want to learn how to enroll international higher ed students? Then get our newest guide and learn about the 10 most-effective ways that’ll help you improve your enrollment campaigns in 2019.

1. Personalize your emails through making them timely

Is your newsletter not getting the results you hoped for? The issue might be a lack of personalization. It plays an important role in your students’ experience with your brand. Not to mention the fact, that it’s one of the key email marketing best practices in general, that delivers the highest results.

But what’s so important about personalization that makes it so effective?

It’s about reaching the right person with the right message at the right time.

With your students, you can do this by making them feel special…

One way you can do this is by showing your appreciation for the time and money they invested in your courses. This approach works no matter how long it has been since your students enrolled in your courses.

A great example of this is the George Brown College Continuing Education Newsletter. Since I’m one of their former students, I receive their emails on a regular basis.

A week before the holidays, they sent me a message, which showed their appreciation:

Email newsletter sent to students of the George Brown University before the holiday break.

The one thing that made it effective was its timing. The email also reminded me that now is the best time to sign up for new courses if I want to enroll in the winter semester:

Email alert about upcoming university courses from George Brown University.

George Brown’s message showed up in my inbox a week before the holiday season. So, I had a head full of ideas for the new year. As a result, I asked myself “why not take another course?”

What should you do if your former students are still on your email list?

When a new semester is around the corner, remind them of your registration deadlines. But you’re likely wondering what makes former students such an asset. Cost is a major contribution; a great example of this is the emphasis colleges and universities put on international student recruitment.

To work around factors such as decreasing birth rates and shifting demographics…

The amount colleges spend on international students is increasing. Because this is happening in so many different countries, attracting international students is becoming a competitive process.

Prioritizing healthy relationships with current students and alumni will help bring down recruitment costs.

Although that seems like a lot of work, you can simplify the process. This involves setting up automation triggers, which add former students to your GetResponse Marketing Automation workflow.

Every time a student completes a course, send them an invitation to join an email list. This email list is a great way to notify students about the following:

• Registration deadlines
• And course/special event news and updates.

2. Provide incentives tempting enough to turn prospective students into current students

One of the best business models I’ve come across in the higher education sector is Brainstation.

Brainstation is a company that offers courses in the following disciplines:

  • tech
  • design
  • digital marketing

Their students are working adults who want to upgrade their skills.

On a regular basis, they host panel discussions and events that cost as much as a cafe lunch.

So, what makes their approach so effective?

A lot of their event attendees have such a great time at their events that they register for courses. An important side note about their programs: they’re not exactly cheap. I looked up the costs, and full-time rates are $14,000 for full-time programs. Yet, they offer a scholarship program to accommodate students who can’t afford their tuition costs.

Not to mention:

  • Their application process is as much work as applying for a job.
  • And their courses are a huge time commitment. Students spend an average of ten to twelve months in their courses and certification programs.

So, everything I mentioned are hesitations that the organization has to work around.

The folks at Brainstation work around that by rewarding events with a high number of guests. Sometimes, they add event attendees to an email list and thank them for their time. This often involves offering a time-sensitive discount:

Brainstation congratulations email.

According to a RetailMeNot survey:

Four out of five (80 percent) consumers said they feel encouraged to make a first-time purchase with a brand that is new to them if they found an offer or discount.

Discounts will help you work around the biggest flaw of using events to attract students. They’re likely not ready to buy your courses right away. This is exactly where discounts can make a big difference.

Limited-time discounts encourage your students to stop procrastinating during the enrolment process.

But creating urgency isn’t always about charging less. Sometimes all people need to hear is a subtle reminder that they only have a limited amount of time to apply.

A great example of this is LinkedIn and how they sell their courses to LinkedIn users. This involves encouraging users to sign up for a 30-day trial of LinkedIn Learning:

LinkedIn learning message.

This allows people to test drive the platform for free. It also allows them to decide if the monthly subscription fees are worth paying for.

There are also other ways to increase student enrollment. Here are some tips on how you can use PPC campaigns and email marketing for higher student enrollment.

3. Send emails that create accountability and fight against shiny object syndrome

One company that does this in an effective way is the Boss Project. Because their courses are online-based and aren’t time sensitive, they have to work around shiny object syndrome.

No idea what shiny object syndrome actually is? Here’s a quick definition from Entrepreneur contributor, Jayson DeMeyers:

It’s the entrepreneurial equivalent of a small child chasing after shiny objects. Once they get there and see what the object is, they lose interest and start chasing the next thing. This may be business objectives, marketing strategies, clients or even other business ventures.

Founders Abigail and Emily tackle this by sending emails that encourage student accountability. When students enroll, they receive an automated email that congratulates them on their enrolment. This email also provides a few bonus resources and instructions:

The Boss project email notification.

Two weeks later, students receive an email that shows them how to leave a review of the course:

Automated email updated two weeks from signup.

So, how do you make your students feel accountable enough to:

  • finish your course?
  • and not switch to another course, with enticing benefits?

You need to remind them of the benefits:

Using benefits in email communication.

An email, like the above example, will remind current students of the value of your online courses. Because it focuses on missed opportunities of not completing your courses.

The good news is that a lot of this can be automated. Once you’ve chosen the conditions and set up a workflow, your messages can be sent automatically.

Here are some examples of how you can do this with email automation.

4. Create student ambassadors who will provide honest responses to student questions

Enrolling in courses at the adult education level can be frustrating. Because answers to questions about everything from:

  • course prerequisites and registration
  • to learning what being a student is like, before paying tuition fees

can feel like a cold and uncertain process. A great example of that is this tweet in response to a student question:

York University generic tweet.

Rather than providing a personalized answer…

They responded with a link to an FAQ page and hoped for the best.

Yet, managing social media as a higher education professional can be challenging.

According to Hootsuite:

The biggest challenge facing institutions is streamlining their social efforts campus-wide.

One of the many options available are student ambassador programs. Student ambassador programs include future students in a current student’s journey.

The job of the ambassadors is to use social media to capture the student experience. Because they’re students themselves, they point of view their point of view matters. But why is that the case?

Here’s an example of how an interaction with a student ambassador often “feels”:

De Montfort Uni DMU tweet.

Campaigns like these set you apart from your competition. Because they create two simple options:

  1. Attend the university, because it aligns with your values
  2. Don’t attend the university, because it doesn’t align with your values.

The feeling of campus life is especially important for international students. Because they are likely moving far away from home to enroll in your courses.

Encourage your ambassadors to produce content on everything from:

  • Information on key factors such as housing, food, and the people you’ll meet
  • To the experience of going to classes, writing tests, etc.

And when students have questions, encourage them to interact with ambassadors:

  • in person
  • over email
  • and during social live stream Q&A events

Strategies like these are essential. Because social media is the first point of contact between students and universities. So, it’s important to create a first impression that counts.

But above all else…

Students are often investing a great deal of time and money. So, it’s important to focus on making transparent information accessible to:

  • current students
  • future students
  • and alumni

Otherwise, they’ll change their mind and dedicate their time and money to something else.

Author:

Rosemary RichingsRosemary Richings is a specialist in blog content promotion and audience outreach strategy, who offers straight up content creation for websites and blogs. Since 2014, she has worked with diverse clients in the lifestyle and ecommerce industry. The clients that she has worked with include large organizations, such as E-bay and Yellowpages Canada, and startups/ small businesses such as Lokafy and BeFunky. She has also been published on sites such as Buffer, Search Engine Journal, the Weebly Inspiration Center, and more. Check out Rosemary’s latest in her ebook, Blog on, a blogging starter kit for entrepreneurs. Feel free to connect with Rosemary on Twitter @rosiemay_r for recommended reading material, along with news about her latest projects and content.

How to Increase Higher Education Student Engagement with Marketing

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Original Article