Never underestimate the power of a really good story. And if you own a business, you have one.
Storytelling is a very powerful way to market your business. Interestingly, it’s often the thing we omit when we build a website, do a public speaking gig or discuss business with a prospect. Here’s the thing:
[tweetthis]Your business story is an exclusive commodity – it’s a marketing tool that can never be duplicated.[/tweetthis]
How powerful is that? It’s your own, unique marketing tool. Yours! No one else’s. Why not use it?
Storytelling is an especially great tool for spicing up your marketing. Here are seven ways your story can bring “sexy back” to your business:
Sparking Curiosity. Storytelling sparks curiosity. When it’s done right, storytelling is the suspenseful book you never want to put down. Others will do anything to learn more about you and what you have to offer.
Sharing Business Values. Your story is the perfect way to share your business values. Are you gentle on the environment? Do you volunteer your time to help worthy organizations? Sharing your story is an excellent way to tell people who you are and what you stand for.
Communicating Value. Storytelling is the perfect way to describe your product or service within a larger context. This is especially helpful if it’s difficult to describe your product or service without context or you are offering something that’s new to the marketplace. For example, you may be a life coach, but how many people really get what life coaching is all about? Leverage your business story to communicate value about your product, service or offering.
Humanizing Your Business. You’ve heard it time and time again. People like to do business with people, not businesses. Storytelling is the perfect way to humanize your business and share who’s behind the website, logo or brand.
[tweetthis] Every #smallbiz owner should carry their story in their back pocket.[/tweetthis]
Building Trust. Storytelling helps people identify with something or someone similar to themselves or their situation. This is the first the step to building long-term trust and credibility in the marketplace – hugely important if you are entering a new market or have a swarm of competitors in a certain industry.
Sharing your Passion. A passion is typically why and how many businesses got started. Sharing your passion creates a business story that is uniquely yours. And when communicated to employees, it provides a road map for making tough decisions and serves as a foundation for business growth and vitality.
Sharing your Struggles. Ugh. We’ve all had them. Be in business long enough and you’ll have your share. The beauty in struggling is that it makes your story unique and powerful. Your struggles represent the mighty and powerful part of you that people naturally want to connect with. They make you human. Your struggles, and overcoming them, can serve as a vacuum for you becoming extremely attractive to others. Share them humbly!
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Understanding your website visitors’ behavior is an important part of focusing your marketing strategy and sharpening your competitive edge. Google Analytics is a free service designed to offer digital markers a simple way to monitor their online performance and improve their rank in search engines.
While driving traffic to your website is important, it’s also crucial to have a thorough understanding of your visitors’ habits. Google Analytics collects data from your website visitors and compiles it into an easy-to-read report, giving you detailed insights about your online audience. Google Analytics can not only tell you when and how often your customers visit, it also offers a suite of 230 other metrics that website owners can use in their online marketing strategy. Best of all, these tools are completely free of charge for website owners to use.
Below, you’ll find a list of the top five Google Analytic metrics that business marketers can use to glean useful information.
1. Organic Search Traffic
The organic search traffic metric is a key measurement for search engine optimization. Organic searches are searches from visitors that found your site through something other than a direct link. This includes visitors who searched for a specific product type, question, or some other query that led them to your site. The organic search traffic metric shows you the keywords and search strings people used to find your website. This is helpful to know, because it tells you that your customers’ needs are driving targeted traffic to your site. Understanding what type of information they’re searching for can help you optimize your keywords, and drive even more traffic to your site.
2. Traffic Sources
By analyzing traffic source information, you can create a strategy to maximize the number of visitors to your website. The traffic sources metric shows how many visitors have accessed your site and how they accessed it. Different traffic sources include search traffic, referrals, organic searches, and direct traffic. Digital marketers can use this metric to make decisions about where to best market their website. Instead of wasting time and energy marketing on sites that aren’t returning traffic, you can concentrate on the ones that provide a maximum ROI on their efforts. With the right type of content on the right platforms, you can reach your target market and encourage them to visit your website.
3. Audience Location
Many business owners overlook the value of knowing your website visitors’ geographical location. Google Analytics provides this information with the audience location metric. When you know where most of your audience is located, you can start to make crucial decisions with respect to developing both new and existing markets. The audience location metric can show you whether you’re marketing in the right place, or if there’s another emerging market opportunity you can tap into.
4. Audience Engagement
With this metric, you can gauge how effective your content is in catching and keeping your audience’s attention. Google uses a few key data sets to analyze this: number of page views, visit duration, and number of pages accessed. This is where having great, well-written content comes into play. Adding useful content and placing carefully crafted calls to actions encourages visitors to stay longer.
5. Social Media Traffic
Today, social networks are an important factor in driving traffic to your website. The social media metric reveals how effective your social media marketing efforts are by offering detailed information on the source of each social network referral. Using the social media metric, you can analyze which of your social media pages or posts are garnering the most response. This will help you streamline your social media marketing strategy, freeing up your time and energy for other marketing tasks.
Google Analytics offers great free tools to help you build your online business and focus your digital marketing strategy. If you’ve been looking for an easy, cost-effective way to gather marketing data about your web audience, Google Analytics is definitely worth looking at. Checking the above metrics regularly lets you know if your current plan is working, and helps you decide what’s needed to steer your marketing in the right direction. By simply monitoring and measuring the right metrics, you’ll be able to evaluate your current business plan and implement new growth strategies.
I just got off the phone with a friend who’s getting tired of Facebook. She owns a business. We spoke about Ello. What does she need to know marketing-wise?
The Ello scoop
There are several reasons why Ello, the new and increasingly popular social network, is being hailed as the anti-Facebook. For one, its minimalist, ad-free interface stands in stark contrast to Facebook’s design. Secondly, Ello has done away with many annoying and controversial policies that are driving more and more people away from Facebook. On the surface, Ello doesn’t appear to be very different from other social networks – it doesn’t provide new or innovative ways of organizing contacts, discovering content, or enhancing your social media experience. What Ello does provide is a platform that is something of a hybrid of Twitter and Tumblr. You can mention people in posts with the “@” symbol just like on Twitter, and you can post photos along with written thoughts, just like on Tumblr.
What makes Ello different from Facebook marketing is the network’s primary focus. Ello’s atmosphere is one that promotes people and content, not advertisements.
Below, you’ll find a list of the most apparent differences between Ello and Facebook.
1. No Ads
Unlike Facebook, Ello promises to stay free of advertisements forever. Ello’s philosophy is to protect, rather than harvest user data. Ello allows users to opt out of Google Analytics tracking. Ello also provides users with specific information about the specific ways it protects users’ private information. Rather than support itself through advertisement sales, the site intends to support itself through profile feature upgrades.
2. Invite Only
For the moment, Ello is accessible by invite only. Once accepted, each new registrant is given an allotment of 25 invites to pass on to friends. With a reported 35,000 people signing up per hour, however, those who wish to join the network may not need to wait too long to receive an invitation.
3. “Love” Button
Ello’s response to Facebook’s “Like” button is the “Love” button. While the Facebook version of the feature was introduced to help streamline Facebook’s data collection process, Ello’s version is simply a way for users to bookmark and share posts they like. Users don’t need to be concerned that Ello will use the information to sell them ads.
4. Personal Settings
Ello allows you to disable the public profile option, which will hide your profile to anyone not registered on the network. It should be noted, however, that those within the network will still be able to view your profile page and posts. Ello also offers a “delete” option, which will allow you to completely remove your profile from Ello. This is a feature that is missing on the Facebook platform, which has a much more complicated procedure in place for permanently deleting accounts.
5. Friends vs. Noise
On the Ello network, posts can be categorized as either “Noise” or “Friends”. You can categorize people on you friends list under these two groups to streamline your news feed. When the “Friends” tab is selected, you’ll only see important posts from your closest friends. On the “Noise” tab, you’ll see a grid-style page of posts that you can easily scan for interesting information.
One of the biggest differences between Facebook and Ello is that Ello allows its users to completely anonymize their identity. You don’t need to provide your real name or any other personal information when signing up. You can also choose to obscure your profile picture with Ello’s Facemaker tool, which will overlay the site’s logo over your image. Personally, I’m kind of on the fence with this one. Yes, everyone should have the right to remain anonymous, but I have the right to know the identify of those who I connect with. So long as I remain in charge, all is good.
While video posting isn’t available yet, users can postimages in .JPG, .GIF, and .PNG formats. Posts can be formatted with italics, boldface, and even bulleted lists. Ello provides a detailed support page with instructions for properly formatting your posts. Another fun feature Ello has that Facebook doesn’t is the ability to add emojis to posts.
8. Future Features
Ello still needs to catch up to Facebook with respect to several features, namely a mobile app and user blocking. The network does have plans for several features not available on the Facebook platform, most notably a “NSFW” (not safe for work) tag for flagging explicit content.
While Ello is still in beta, it doesn’t seem to be taking over Facebook marketing just yet. The ability to block other users is an important one, and will surely need to be included in future updates. With a host of attractive features to come in the near future, however, it’s definitely a social network to watch.
As of today, I’m still waiting on my invite. I’ll post an update after I’m in and have checked things out.
What about you? Will you hop on Ello?