Sometimes time just isn’t on your side. Life is moving fast, competition is rising, and you need to find something that you can do to grow your business, and you need to find it now!
But that’s not all.
No, you don’t just need long and elaborate tips, you need marketing advice that you can put into practice today and will see results from fast.
I know how it is, which is why I put together this very special list of 9 fast and easy marketing tips that you can put into action right now!
1. Spy on your Competition, Then Beat Them at Their Own Game
Running dry on new ideas for promotions, ads, conversion techniques, etc.? It happens, don’t worry. For that very reason spying was created (well, maybe not…but it works).
Let me explain, in any given industry you will have at least five legitimate competitors. Companies that are doing something similar to you (although of course you do it best).
That being the case, you know that these businesses are trying to reach the same audience as you, and who knows, maybe they thought of a different method for reaching their audience that you haven’t thought of yet.
So, the first super quick and super actionable marketing tip of the day is the following – spy on your competitors, keep tabs on what works for them, and then take what they do and do it better!
This applies to everything by the way.
Need help with your Facebook page? Check out what your competitor with the best page does. Need help with SEO? Check in on your competitors, make a list of their keywords, and see if you can come up with similar or better keywords to rank for.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to do all of this manually if you don’t want to, there are tools that can help you!
Facebook: Enter your Facebook insights and scroll to the bottom of the “Overview” page. Here you will see a list of “Pages to Watch” as suggested by Facebook.
SEMrush: This site is amazing for doing keyword research on your competitors. Simply type in the URL of your competitors and enjoy. SEMrush will give you a list of both the organic and paid keywords your competitors use to gain traffic.
Here’s an example of a keyword report:
SimilarWeb: With this tool you can see a tremendous amount of information about your competitors. I find that one of the most useful things about this service is that it breaks down the their traffic sources.
This is really important, because if, for example, you see that one of your competitors is gaining a lot of traffic from Instagram, and you don’t have a presence there, then you know that this is now something you need to invest in.
Here’s a report of the sources of social traffic coming to Amazon.com (you can also see the organic keywords, referring domains, and referral percentage breakdown):
2. Start Building an Email List (or crank it up a notch if you do already)
All of the growth hacks that you will ever read are nothing as compared to the importance of growing your email list. Email, albeit an old platform, is still one of the most profitable marketing channels available to online businesses.
So, how do you build an email address quickly?
Well, according to some of the biggest names in marketing, offering something of value in exchange for an email is the best way to incentivize your users to leave their email addresses.
You can do this by offering a free course, eBook, or even a discount.
For example, if you sell tools then your customers might be interested in “do it yourself” guides. So you can create an ad that you either pop up to your users or simply add to the side of your site that offers an “Ultimate Guide to DIY Home Projects” in exchange for email addresses.
Another cool, and super easy thing you can do is add a pop up to your site like the Coupon Pop which presents an offer of your choosing to your site visitors on condition that they leave their email address for you.
If you’re looking for a quick boost in sales, plus a huge growth for your email list then the Coupon Pop can definitely help you there.
3. Make a List of Influencers in Your Niche and Be on Them
For every niche, industry, interest, and hobby there are celebrities. People that everyone recognizes, listens to, and respects. If you’re an expert in your industry you can probably think of a few influencers in your field right away.
Why are influencers important for your business?
I’ll tell you why, because sometimes (a lot of the time) consumers will take your promotions with a grain of salt. They’ll say, “well of course this business thinks it sells the best hammers in the world. They make them!”
BUT, if Bob the Builder mentions that your hammers are the best in the world it will have a lot more weight. People who are into hammers will suddenly say, well Bob really knows what he’s talking about, so these must be good hammers!
This phenomenon right here is called influencer marketing. It is an amazing way to grow your brand awareness, and boost sales. (Check out this really cool example of influencer marketing).
Now, this isn’t the kind of thing that you can do overnight, but it is the kind of thing that you can get started on right away.
Here’s what you’ve got to do:
Step 1: Think of as many influencers in your field as you can. This should take a maximum of one hour.
Step 2: Start following them (social media, blogs, sign up for their emails, watch them on YouTube), and start leaving comments on what they post. This should take around 15 minutes a day for a few weeks.
Step 3: Send introductory emails to the influencers, with the goal of utilizing their celebrity status to promote your business. You could look for a product review blog post or YouTube video, a guest post, or even a Tweet about your business on Twitter. Learn how to create templates for outreach emails here. This is the part that might take a long time, but it shouldn’t take too long.
If you don’t feel like going through all these steps, have no fear, there is another way! FameBit is a cool service that connects businesses with YouTube influencers. No need for you to spend time making the connection, FameBit will do it for you!
4. Run a Competition
Who doesn’t love a good competition (especially when there’s an awesome prize at the end)?
If you want to boost the excitement around your brand, then you should definitely consider running a competition.
What kind of competition?
There are so many different things that you can do.
- Sweepstakes are great because they are low involvement on the part of the customer, but the potential reward is high. A sweepstakes is also a great lead generation technique.
- Creativity Competitions like photo contests and caption contests are cool because they let your customers get creative, which leads to a lot of excitement and passion, and of course positive feelings towards your business.
- Competitions Related to Your Business are fantastic because they combine the excitement of a competition with free branding for your company. For example, you could run a competition to see who could take a picture with your product in the most exotic place. Now in addition to having a competition, you also have pictures of your products all over the world!
5. Start Cranking Out User Generated Content
Continuing on the point that I mentioned in the previous tip that competitions often lead to free branding – there’s actually a phrase that describes that, it’s called user generated content.
So what is user generated content (UGC)?
Quite simply, it is any content created by your customers that you use as marketing content.
This content is highly engaging because it comes off as more authentic since it comes straight from the customer, rather than from the brand.
For example, if I had a really happy customer at my barbeque store and she tweeted “Zack’s BBQ’s is the best store in the world! #LoveMyNewGrill” I could then retweet her comment, or take a screen shot of it and post it on Facebook.
In short, I could use her positivity as social proof that my store is good. That right there is what UGC is all about.
Target does this all the time:
You can use tools like Mention to monitor the web and social media for any mentions of your brand, so that you can be ready to pounce the second something good pops up.
BUT, don’t think that you have to wait around for the perfect post to come up. No no no. You should actively encourage your fans to give you this content. And they will! Happily!
Any time you run a competition it can be brand related.
For example, Eggo Waffle’s ran a competition called “The great waffle off” where fans on social media were encouraged to send in their most creative recipe using waffles along with a picture. The winner of the competition received $5000.
That excitement, and the possibility to win something led Eggo’s fans to send recipes in in droves. The beauty of the competition for Eggo was that during the competition they had amazing, branded images to post on social media that came directly from their fans.
In fact, they even made the winning recipe into their Facebook cover photo.
You can also get some great UGC by simply asking for it and mentioning that the best shots will make it onto your social media page!
6. Use Awesome Images on Social Media
Obviously your UGC campaigns and your competitions can’t be the only thing you post on social, so if you’re looking for another way to get a quick marketing boost you should consider stepping up your game in terms of the images that you post!
Pictures really work. In fact, a study showed that 87% of the most highly engaging posts by top brands on Facebook were image posts.
To kick up your image posting strategy a notch I have two suggestions for you.
You can then take those images (only if the usage rights allow) and edit them on Canva to create beautiful designs!
Suggestion 2: Use your own phone to start taking pictures!
People will love seeing the personality of your company. So start taking pictures of your work place, fun events, conferences you attend, etc. Give your fans an inside peek into your brand and they will feel more connected with you.
Another cool thing you can do with your phone is to actually start taking your own product and product related pictures!
I know it sounds intimidating, but it’s actually something you can do quickly and easily from the comfort of your office – without even opening a program on your computer!
All you need is some paper towels or a sheet, a tripod for your phone (these are super cheap), and a photo editing tool like Adobe Photoshop Express for your phone. In just seven minutes I (a totally untrained photographer) created this image below:
Get creative with your pics and you will see the engagement grow! (Check out this post for a complete guide on taking product pictures with your smartphone.)
7. Make Yourself into an Influencer in Your Industry
I know before I said you should reach out to the influencers, but why shouldn’t you become an influencer yourself?
If people look to you as a reliable and trustworthy resource in your niche then they’ll probably turn to you for your merchandise as well.
So, how do you do this?
Frankly, it is something that takes time.
If that’s the case then why are you putting it in a post about quick marketing tips Zack?
To really become an industry influencer you should start blogging on a regular basis. As you write more and more about your industry and grow your readership, people will begin to find out about you through your blog, and will already be connected to you before they even see your products. This is what takes time.
But there is something you can do quickly as well!
There are thousands of different discussion boards out there, and it is here that you can build up your reputation. I’ll lay out for you how you can become an influencer on these boards in just 15-30 minutes a day.
Day 2: Decide on two or three boards that you want to focus on, and answer one question on each one.
Day 3 – forever: Spend 15 minutes a day (or more) checking up on the boards. Try to answer at least one question a day. Consider asking questions as well.
By becoming an active member on these groups (with your company name as your user name of course) you will be able to show that you are an expert in your field, and people will start coming to your store.
For example, I follow the thread for eCommerce on Quora and answer questions when I can. Sometimes I leave a link back to a blog post if I think it is relevant too.
8. Open Excel and Dive into Your Analytics (Time to get Geeky)
Data. It can be scary, but it definitely doesn’t have to be! (And even if it still is, it’s so useful that you should conquer your fears anyway!)
Now, what is it that you can do with data super quickly that can have an immediate impact on your marketing?
I’ll tell you what – testing and comparison!
Now obviously you can get very advanced with your testing, but I won’t get into that here. All I’m going to show you is how to compare the data that you get automatically from your Facebook insights, or email stats.
Here are the very simple steps you need to follow in order to optimize your marketing strategies:
Step 1: Think of different tests you can run.
For example, does posting about your products with an image or with a link post work better on Facebook, or does sending an email with an action word in the subject line work better than one without an action word.
Step 2: Consider your parameters for the test.
On Facebook you can see link clicks, likes, shares, and comments.
With email you can see open rates, click through rates, and spam rates. Choose the parameter that best fits your test and your goal for the message.
For example, if I was testing subject lines, then the most obvious thing to check would be the open rates.
Step 3: Create two groups in your email list to send the two different messages to, or simply run a few tests on the whole population (email or Facebook).
Step 4: Take all of the results that you gather (from your email provider, Facebook, Google Analytics, or wherever else you are pulling data from), and create an organized spread sheet.
Step 5: Choose the format that performed the best, and continue testing.
By following this strategy you are essentially challenging yourself to always find new ways to improve. Keep testing and testing. If you find something that works, try and find something that works better.
Time for a personal story. Here at StoreYa we test everything.
One day we wanted to test out two different email services so we sent the same email from each service to see which email would perform better. In this case we were most concerned with the bounce rate (because we wanted to see which provider was able to successfully deliver more emails):
Based on the information we gathered from the test we were able to see that one provider clearly out-performed the other.
Testing may seem intimidating, but really isn’t, and without testing you can never know how well your marketing campaigns are actually performing.
As you start getting into it, I promise you won’t ever want to stop testing! (and then you will literally test everything…which is good)
9. Make Your Site Better One Page at a Time
I’ve heard it before. You know your site could use some improvements, but you just don’t have the time to do a full site overhaul.
But who ever said you have to give your whole site a makeover in one shot??
If you know that your site needs work, be it in terms of design, SEO, or conversion optimization, then you’ve already got the first step behind you – realizing you need a change.
Now, when it comes to actually fixing your site up, I suggest going one page at a time, obviously starting with your homepage (which will probably take more than one day, but that’s ok).
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when approaching your page optimization:
1. Does your page focus on any particular keyword, and if so is it a keyword with a good search volume?
2. Is your color scheme and design simple and attractive, or do you feel overwhelmed looking at your page?
3. Do you have a clear call to action on the page which draws your users’ attention and encourages conversions?
If you can answer those three questions positively then your page is optimized and you’re ready to move on to the next page.
Obviously you can spend more time on your pages to make them even better, but by going over your site page by page and making quick and relevant changes you can keep your site looking good and performing well until you have a chance to really take the time to do a full site audit.
For more on improving you site pages, check out these 17 Homepage Mistakes to Avoid (and how to fix them).
Take Your 9 Tips and Run with them (unless you’re holding scissors)
There you go. 9 quick and easy tips that you can literally start doing right now!
Why are you still sitting reading this post? (Leave a comment and share this with your friends) and then get up and add these into your daily routine.
Once you’ve done these things for a few days it will seem super natural, and it will definitely help you grow your business!
P.S. If you’re still reading this then you might be interested in a free eBook on social media marketing! Check it out below.
Zack is a social media enthusiast who loves all things digital. He is the inbound marketing manager at StoreYa where he spends his days searching for the newest social marketing scoop. If you’d like to chat with him, feel free to connect with him on any social platform.
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