5 Tips on How to Use Snapchat as a Marketing Tool

Nowadays, our smartphones have become an important part of our lives. This is why more and more business owners are looking for ways to reach their customers through mobile. In more recent years, Snapchat has become a widely used app for smartphone users. It has become such a successful app that it has over 10 million views each day. Because of this, marketers have decided to share their brand through Snapchat.

If you’re wondering how you can make use of Snapchat as a marketing tool for your business, here are some useful tips that can help you:

Tip #1: Offer Exclusive Content

Why do you want people to follow you on Snapchat when they could easily find the same things on your website and other social media pages? You have to give them a reason why you are someone they need to follow on Snapchat. When you decide to use this medium as the first venue where you will publish new products or give away freebies, you have to know that this is what will help you stick out.

Your audience in the app will feel like they are insider experts since they are among the first to get updates about your business. This is one big reason why you should offer exclusive content on Snapchat.

Tip #2: Share In-Store Sales and Promo Codes

As mentioned, you have to give your followers a reason why they should follow you on Snapchat. Since the main concept behind the app is that the content you publish is only around for a limited time period, you can use it as an effective tool for your followers to get exclusive content. This will be rewarding to your loyal customers who know when to visit your profile.

Tip #3: Connect with Your Customers

Another way you can use Snapchat is to use it to connect with your customers. Ask your customers to take a selfie with your product or watch a Snapchat story in return for an exclusive promo code. This is a great way you can encourage your followers to learn more about your products or showcase your customers that use your products.

Tip #4: Make Use of Snapchat Groups

Back in December, Snapchat introduced the group’s feature, which allowed a conversation to take place between 16 users and below. Through this feature, the messages in the group are automatically deleted after 24 hours. As a business, you can use this to introduce specials or promo codes. You can also reward the people who are in the group by giving them freebies or exclusive early access when you have an ongoing sale.

Tip #5: Host a Live Event

Live videos have increasingly become vital to online marketing strategies. Since Snapchat supports this feature, it is a great way you can market to your followers. To utilize a live video campaign, one good suggestion is to do a product demonstration. This will give your followers a chance to see how your product works and how it fits their needs.

There are many different things you can do on Snapchat. With its immense popularity, you’ll be sure to get your product across to your followers with little time and money spent.

Content MarketingDigital MarketingMobile MarketingSocial Media

7 Digital Marketing Secrets to Boost Website Traffic

Having a website to promote your business can be a big help. In most cases, the website serves as the very thing that leads customers to discover a new business and what it is all about. This is why there are so many business owners who feel it is very important to have a website they can use to reach their customers.

Since there are so many websites available, it is important to know how you can make yours stand out and reach the right people. This is where digital marketing comes into the picture. As an entrepreneur, you have to know what you can do to make your website powerful enough to reach your target audience.

Here are 7 digital marketing secrets to boost website traffic that you may be able to use on your own website:

Tip #1: Advertise Your Business

One of the proven ways you can improve your website’s traffic is to advertise it. Just like a typical business, you have to spend money to pay for your advertising. Despite this, you will see that your business will gain the momentum it needs to be able to reach the right people. This has been proven time and time again, which is why you have to determine how much you are willing to spend to advertise your business. You have to identify whether you want more traffic or more conversions on your website. By identifying your goals, you’ll be able to put your money on the right advertising channel and ensure your efforts aren’t put to waste.

Tip #2: Optimize Your Website

These days the number one medium that people use to visit a website is a smartphone. They no longer rely on their desktop computers to browse the internet. Because of this, information is provided to them at the speed of light. And what this means for you, the website owner, is that you can reach more people than ever before.

If you want your readers to obtain useful information from your website you have to make sure that it loads quickly and is compatible across different devices. You should also make sure that your website is responsive so that your readers won’t have a difficult time when they are trying to read your content.

Tip #3: Engage in Social Media

Social media has brought people closer than possible before. It not only limits its use to family members, it also helps customers get in touch with their favorite brands. As a business owner you can use social media to your advantage. You can create a business page and make your readers feel like they are part of a community. Use social media to answer your readers’ questions and engage with them. This is the best way you can grow your website organically.

Tip #4: Use Long-Tail Keywords in Your Content

Most searches on the internet use long-tail keywords. This is why it is recommended that you target using these types of keywords so that you can properly address the people who are looking for your business, particularly if you are not using paid search to improve your SEO.

Tip #5: Be Open to Guest Bloggers

Guest blogging is usually equally beneficial for two parties. You can invite people who share the same niche or topic as yours to blog on your website and in return, you can write content for their blog too. When the article gets published, they will share it with their readers and expect you to do the same. In doing so, you both get to share each other’s website and bring new people to discover the site.

Tip #6: Post Content on LinkedIn

You can also use LinkedIn as a way for you to get people to visit your website. LinkedIn is actually considered the largest professional social network so you’ll be able to hit the right people with your content. Just remember that you have to post content regularly so that you can boost the traffic on your website. And if you do well, you can improve your website’s traffic; especially with the people who are within the same industry as yours.

Tip #7: Don’t Disregard Email Marketing

Email marketing is a powerful tool you can use to attract new people to your website. You have to remember not to bombard your visitors with so many emails whenever a new update is made. They might think you are spamming them with irrelevant information and may block your website.

If you want to improve your website’s traffic follow these 7 digital marketing secrets and reach the right people. At the same time, it pays to keep being updated with the latest techniques in digital marketing. Make sure you keep reading and updating yourself so you know what the best practices are.

Mobile Marketing

How to Brand and Market Yourself

While many business owners are already familiar with the process of creating a brand strategy, few people understand that the same rules can apply while marketing and branding themselves. Whether you’re job seeking or hoping to increase your exposure in a particular field, learning how to brand and market yourself is essential if you want to make an unforgettable first impression.

What is a Personal Brand Strategy and Do I Really Need One?

A brand strategy is all about perception, in other words, how people see you. From the very first introduction your personal brand strategy defines who you are, what makes you unique, and what you offer the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re the face of a brand or the man behind a dark curtain, the goal of creating a personal brand strategy is to help differentiate yourself from others, and to develop a consistent professional image that becomes your “trademark.” The more you’re aware of your strengths, your assets, and also what makes you invaluable, you’ll have the confidence to sell yourself to potential employers and prospects. Of course you need one!

5 Tips to Brand Yourself

Before you begin the process of branding yourself you’ll need to take some time and jot down what makes you interesting and an asset in your field. You likely have many unique traits that you bring to the world, and now’s the time to focus on those while sharing your experiences. Experiences are valuable and will help build your credibility and expertise. The following tips will help you develop a concise personal brand strategy so that you can effectively represent and market yourself.

1. Be Consistent

Consistency is key when you’re developing a brand strategy whether it’s personal or business. Writers are known for having a voice that’s unique to themselves. Musicians have a certain style. Actors and actresses have a look that while adaptable, sets them apart from everyone else in the entertainment industry. The consistency of your image is essential in building your name.

2. Increase Visibilty

The first and most obvious place to increase your visibility is on social media. Branding is becoming increasingly more important, as corporations rely on professional networks to scout potential employees and to discover brand influencers. If you’re not visible on enough social networks, you’re selling yourself short from being discovered. Tighten up your LinkedIn profile, stay active on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, and share public posts that are interesting and important to you so that followers have an understanding of who you are. It’s really all about creating a consistent and marketable image that across the board, remains the same.

3. Engage Others

Besides writing or sharing content, you need to share dialogue with others so that they share a sense of familiarity with you. This means you need to ask questions and interact with other people so they don’t just see you as a face, but rather a person in which they can relate. Your reputation will drive your brand image, so stay professional and ensure that fans and followers have a positive experience when communicating with you.

4. Share Your Passions

Passion is contagious. Are you uplifting and inspiring others in your daily life? Your personal brand strategy tells the world what you stand for and what you’re all about. Identifying your goals and working towards them passionately ensures others will see you, the way you see yourself.

5. Build Your Own Website

While it shouldn’t always be all about you, building your own personal website provides you the opportunity to share your thoughts, musings, and professional portfolio, all in one place. Make sure you have an updated resume and summary of your skills on your site, as well as samples or links to your other work. Share your personal website on social networks and encourage shares. In addition, make sure you follow and link to other websites that carry your same message to reinforce your professional image.

Success Lies in Your Hands

Once you’ve identified your audience and have sharpened your personal brand image, you’ll be more successful in both your personal and professional ventures. A brand strategy is not just about a business, it’s about the person or the people behind it. These tips for building a powerful brand strategy will help you deliver your message to the right people, at the right time. And as they say, timing is everything!

Mobile Marketing

5 New Marketing Trends You Tried to Ignore

Yep! You can teach an old dog new tricks. Check out the following 5 new marketing trends you haven’t considered doing…yet.

Videos

Specialists predict that by 2017, 70% of online traffic will be videos. Gone are the days of the television. If you want to reach your target audience you need to go where they go- their phones! As mobile technology continues to rise, video technology will become even more powerful. For best results, consider creating a series of videos that engage the viewer and invite them back with anticipation for the next big reveal.

Facebook Live Streaming

Take one. There is no two or three. Live streaming is one of the hottest marketing trends to date, and shows no sign of slowing down. Whether it’s on Twitch or on Facebook, live streams allow your audience to interact with you one-on-one, in real time. The most important thing to remember about this digital marketing trend is that your stream should be exciting to encourage viewers. Save the boring, non-essential details of the day, and focus on worthy company launches, products, services, and news.

User-Generated Content

Do your customers promote you? User-generated content is a hot new trend in marketing that enables you to put your customers in the driver seat.

Whether it’s blogs or recommendations, user-generated content is a trusted and reliable way to influence future buyers. Rather than write generic, run-of-the-mill copy, consider building brand awareness by reaching out to your audience and encouraging them to review your business and share their experience. You can do this by way of encouraging online reviews on Yelp, or asking for shares and testimonials on your social networks. Better yet, ask for guest blog post submissions and stories about your product and brand, and hold a contest for the entries.

Social Influencers

While your company might not be able to afford a celebrity spokesperson, you can still find a social influencer that will help you connect with your audience. Influencers gain followers through blogs, live feeds, and their visibility on social networks. If you can capture the attention of an influencer in your industry, you might be able to get them to talk publically about your brand and endorse it. Since influencers already have their own following, a mere mention of your product or company can launch you in the spotlight. How can you do this? Simple. Reach out! Discover the leading trendsetters in your industry and connect with them personally. A tweet, a share, or a personal message can set the domino-effect in motion, so think outside the box and go where your audience is.

Storytelling

More than advertising, storytelling takes customers on a personal journey. Convey your unique brand message to your audience and entertain them by learning the art of storytelling in your marketing. Your readers don’t want to be bored with numbers and facts. Relating to them on an emotional level is a fresh and honest approach that will help build brand trust, and keep customers coming back for more.

While traditional marketing methods have long been successful in creating brand exposure, Internet technology has increased advertising options significantly. When you’re deciding which mediums to invest in, consider these 5 new marketing trends first. Digital media can help you create a loyal brand following, at the lowest cost.

Do you need campaign ideas or digital marketing inspiration? Contact gotcha! Mobile Solutions today to learn more about our award-winning suite of digital advertising services.

Digital MarketingMobile Marketing

14 Summertime Digital Marketing Ideas

Written by Catherine Marsden

With days getting longer, kids home from school, and the backyard grill calling your name, it’s easy to give digital marketing a pass during the summer months. However, this approach can backfire come Labor Day when inbound sales leads have slowed to a trickle and your largest customer let’s you know she is leaving for a competitor.

Rather than completely taking your digital marketing off the boil this summer, here are 14 free marketing strategies to give your brand a refresh, and keep your summer sales sizzling.

14 simple digital marketing tactics to do this summer:

Update your branding
De-clutter your website. Fixing broken links, revising outdated contact information or changing an old profile picture can improve your website’s performance and improve your visitors’ first impression.

Dust off your blog
When it comes to digital marketing, content and consistency are king. Summer is not the time to let your blog go cold. Stay in touch with your readers and provide useful content that answers their questions, even in summer.

Create a new sales handout
On a simple 8.5 x 11 explain who you are and what services your company provides. Keep the branding consistent with your website and have a few of these printed up for the next time you meet with a new prospect or head to a networking event.

Revisit your January business goals
Remember when you were super-charged and set those amazing 10X goals back in January? As the mid-point of the year, summer is a great time to circle back with those goals and see how your business is doing. Remember this isn’t supposed to be a blame game. Just spend some time with these goals, set new priorities and make adjustments, if necessary. The point is to re-charge, renew and reinvigorate your business.

LinkedIn
Review your LinkedIn profile. Check whether your LinkedIn profile is up to date with your most recent positions, job titles, awards and skills.

Reach out to your network
It’s a misperception that you need to be executing a large sales campaign on LinkedIn in order to use it effectively. I find the simple things done consistently can have big payoffs. Send a message to a colleague or friend and tell them what you are up to. Better yet, send them an article of interest, and expect nothing in return. Manage your recommendations. Secure one new recommendation for your profile and delete one that is from a long time ago.

Facebook Business Page
Add new services to your business page: Facebook allows you to add in new products and services to tell visitors what your company is all about. For directions on how to add products and services, click here.

Verify your business page
This only takes a few minutes, but doing so will help improve your organic reach. Head into the Settings tab on your business page and click “Verify page”. Facebook will either call a number you give them or send you a code via text message. Once entered, your business page will receive a check mark on it indicating it has been verified, and reward you with increased organic reach.

Update your FB background/cover photo

Just like a store window that needs to be changed to fit the season, you can refresh a stale Facebook business page with a summer-theme.

Build your skills
Take a class. Summer is a perfect time to up your digital marketing game by taking a class or watching a webinar.

Email Marketing
Clean up your email contact list. Gather up those business cards and enter any new contacts that you want to stay in touch with and eliminate duplicates.

Launch an end-of-summer contest or event
Use email marketing during the summer months to spread the news about a free give-away or special promotion.

Twitter
Retweet or share a customer’s tweet. Staying active on Twitter is as easy as using your cell phone during your free time. Rather than reading your email while at the doctor’s office or when waiting in line, tweet, share or comment on a Twitter post.

Newsjack a summer event. Newsjacking happens when a company adds a clever twist to a current event in the news. Keep an eye on the headlines and see if something doesn’t pop out at you this summer. Create a clever meme or snag a headline by adding your own perspective on a current event.

Distribute Summer Gift Cards

It doesn’t matter whether you own a store or a small business. A summer gift card is an easy way to get more customers flowing in through the front door! Offer decent discounts on your services to ensure people get interested.

Mobile Marketing

4 Psychology Tips for Better Marketing

Why are we only just starting with human marketing?

A freelance marketing and PR consultant spends considerable time analyzing marketing decisions made by businesses and observing how their audience is reacting to them, to come up with a strategy to improve sales. What has been startling over the past two years is how little most companies seem to think about the personality of their target audience. In that sense, how little we seem to have forgotten about the actual person behind the screen, the human who makes the decision to buy their product.

1) Use human psychology as a guide

Us marketers usually attempt to solve a problem by first identifying who the target customer is. Not all products are made for all audiences. You won’t sell wings to birds. To answer the Who, we ask ourselves what these people do, where they live, how they live, what they like and what motivates them to buy one product over another. But is it all we should ask? This seems obvious, but thinking about the psychology of your audience should not only come first but also guide all your future marketing endeavours.

One of the most crucial marketing trends ruling 2016 is human relationships, on which you can certainly base other elements of your marketing strategy. A good example is social media storytelling, which creates a personal interest and bond between brand and audience. Remembering your audience is made of humans is especially true when it comes to online marketing, an industry that sometimes forgets users have brains, feelings and needs.

2) Focus on basic emotions and feelings

But why are we so late jumping on the human marketing wagon? Thinking about others, in the most basic and human way possible, when focusing on a particular audience should be an innate principle, and a inherent action even for marketers. This doesn’t mean marketers should have a psychology degree, but infusing marketing with more psychology shall build a brighter future for businesses.

Study the mechanics of the mind to build a reaction. As a start, use the 8 basic human emotions (joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger, anticipation) and 8 basic human feelings (optimism, love, submission, awe, disappointment, remorse, contempt, and aggression) in your audience analysis. These should guide a marketing strategy, as much as natural instincts and reflexes should. What exactly do you want to achieve? Forget sales for a minute. What psychological impact do you want your campaign to have? Put simply, provoke emotions of trust and joy through your marketing and advertising (in the aesthetics and the message conveyed) to build a feeling of optimism towards your brand.

A simple way to have an insight into your audience psychology is to put yourself in their shoes. Who is your typical customer? What are they looking for? What makes sense to them, and what matters most? What emotion drives their search, and what feeling does your product procure them? Are they easily influenceable, and is their emotion contagious in their group? There are hundreds of questions to answer, but this effort leads to a prize: to become your customer’s best friend, before anything else.

3) Make primitive marketing for primal understanding

In our attempt to conduct a more ‘primitive’ marketing, planted on basic human instincts,emotions and feelings, let’s focus on the area of intent. What are the series of movements and reasons behind the physical purchase? What was the customer’s initial intention? Intent plays a powerful role when it comes to online searches and SEO strategy. It is vital for online businesses to consider the human brain behind the typed keywords, and the user’s real intention rather than trying to change their habits.

Bringing humanity back in marketing is a successful formula that can be proven by the viral nature of visual content like infographics and native videos. These play with our basic reactions to bold, bright coloured information, in a primal and innate way, making information easier to remember. The visual nature of human memory is key in the quest of spreading a message, wanting a slogan, a logo or key product information remembered.

4) Become a friend brand

Trust and optimism are a winning pair for advertising and marketing, with ´friend´ brands becoming house guests and household names through regular, ‘homey’ campaigns for products that will immediately respond to their audience’s needs. Mac Donald’s and Apple are now our family friends, using our human nature as the common denominator between brand and consumer, quite rightfully, and our personal experience and stories to develop their mission: anticipating what we will need next before we know it. Facebook is mastering this, with an impressive 63% penetration still in 2015 (Comscore) but its example must be taken with a pinch of salt.

A huge mistake made by not only companies but also agencies throughout the world is neglecting the human in us (social animals) through hyper connectivity. There is now such thing as social media overdose, and social media growth has been plateauing since 2013 (only the over 65s age group is still growing, according to Smart Insights). The last two years have shown us a new, clear movement of social media bashing (users’ desire to ‘leave’ and regain freedom, or in some cases, to ‘quit’, like a bad habit). The reason? Internet connections were supposed to create a valuable and meaningful connection, but they are now often irrelevant and invading. Brands must find the subtle way to be at home with their customer, discreetly snoozing on the sofa – and never becoming a nuisance.

Opting for human marketing can only lead in a deeper, truer bond between brand and customers. Newer business models using cooperation and inclusion as principles show a greater, longer and more ‘constructive’ success. The create/participate model (used by Google, YouTube, Wikipedia, Trip Advisor, Yelp…) shows us that success lies in the intersection between the ‘citizen’ customer and the ‘user’. An audience personally contributing to your success will take greater pleasure and care for the longevity of this success.

Originally posted on the Jennifer Hakim Communications blog.

Mobile Marketing

5 Facts Small Businesses Should Know About Local SEO

Without a doubt, businesses throughout the world all have one thing in common, and that is to bring in more customers to their establishments. No matter how big or small the business is, it is really important for the owner to be able to draw in more people to do business with. Otherwise, they’ll end up having to close the business since there is no way for them to sustain it. One suitable way a company can gain new business is to make sure it targets the right people in his specific geographic location; especially if the business is new. Thankfully, the internet has now given these business owners various ways they can let their prospect customers find them.

But when it comes to utilizing these tools to attract customers, it is important to use them properly. Otherwise, the tool won’t be used to its full potential and it would not lead to good results for the business owner. If you are a business owner, it is important that you know how you can properly target customers to your location. The good news is that you can optimize your online visibility to your local search engine optimization (SEO).

And with the success of this tool, there’s no surprise why search engines seem to be updating itself with new trends every now and then. Because of these changes, companies have been able to place a better local footprint on the results page of search engines. This gives them a tremendous amount of opportunity to be more visible locally and get better exposure of their business and brand to the audience they truly target. In a way, this gives them an edge as it helps make their strategy work for their benefit. Of course, the success of their local SEO search efforts is translated into sales.

The problem is, optimizing local SEO can be very tricky. It doesn’t only end with learning about customary SEO terms and practices, you will also need to continuously do your research on what works in SEO. In this time and age, your visibility online can make or break your brand. Considering the fact that SEO practices continually change, it’s important that you know how things work every time. So how are you to make sure that local SEO works to your advantage? Here are 5 things you need to know about local SEO as a small business owner:

Accurate and Consistent Online Listing

As a business, you want customers to be able to find you and your vital information: your NAP. This stands for the Name, Address and Phone Number. In some cases, it could even be NAP+W (W= Website). Every local optimizer knows how important all these information is. The problem however, is that the accuracy and consistency of these data can be a problem.

A number of users have become discouraged to discover that the business they are looking for online does not update these information whenever they change something. And in truth, there is a large number of businesses who know their NAP+W is no longer updated yet they know that many of their customers rely on the internet for such information. Despite this, many businesses believe they do not have the time to update the information anymore.

As a business owner, you have to remember that these inaccuracies can kill your local SEO. No matter how serious you are with your business, it will be questioned by those who are unable to find updated information of your NAP. This is why you really have to be vigilant and be careful of updating your NAP.

Maximize Directory Listings

Nowadays, there are so many websites that offer directory listings of various companies in their vicinity. So in reality, it’s very easy for your brand to be listed on such websites. The only question is how you will be able to make use of the local directory website to its full potential. It might be very tedious and time-consuming work for you to create a local listing, but in the end, it can be beneficial for your business if you want it to rank on local SEO search. As much as possible, you should fill up the required information on the directory so you can let it work for your advantage.

Researchers have discovered that when a customer looks for a listing, he will want to see the following:
• Address
• Phone number
• General proximity to location
• Hours of operation
• Company name
• Website
• Prices
• General product or service info
• Ratings or reviews
• Compare features, services, other info.
• Forms of payment accepted
As much as you can, try to complete each of these items as every added citation adds to your local SEO uptick. The more complete your online listing is, the better it will be for potential customers to trust your business and patronize it.

Optimize Social Media

Social media has played an important role in everyone’s lives. To this extent, businesses can thrive on local SEO even if they don’t have their own website. As long as they are active on social media, customers can still find them easily. Once a business does not have its own website, its traffic gets redirected to another local listing or a page. This is why it is recommended that you make your business active on websites such as Facebook, TripAdvisor, Yelp, or Urbanspoon. On websites such as these, they can see a star rating or a review left behind by other customers of the business.

With the new Google My Business platform rollout, experts in the field of local SEO insist that it’s very important for business owners to fill out all their needed information as accurately and completely as possible. Thanks to this tool, your customers will be able to find you easily.

Don’t Beg for Reviews

Online, the best way you can get people to trust your business is through the reviews you received from other people who have already used your services. Unfortunately, this is something you cannot force or beg other people to do. As a business owner, you can’t force people to leave a five-star review of you on social media. Instead, you can encourage users to leave a review about your business by giving them a freebie or a discount.

The main reason why you need reviews is because it can help with your local SEO. The more reviews you have, the more Google will deliver your establishment in local searches.

Never Stop Learning

As Google continues to expand its horizon and target more hyperlocal businesses, your brand should also do the same. It is best that you work with a professional company that knows the latest trends and tools Google uses to make sure that your information stays relevant and on the top results of a page. Only then will you be sure of how you can drive users to your business.

AllMobile Marketing

Are You Scaring Your Customer’s Inner Caveman?

Author credit: Liraz Margalit, PhD Neurosciencemarketing.com

When it comes to improving online customer experience, your visitors are all cavemen.

Why is this important? Because marketers, from tiny entrepreneurs to global enterprises, can unintentionally trigger adverse behavior from visitors if they don’t take psychology into account.

All day long, we humans are trapped in an endless tussle for control of our surroundings, from the big things to minutiae. Since our days dwelling in caves, we crave control because it offers comfort.

When things feel out of our control, our bodies immediately respond. Our deep subconscious floods us with tension until we can remedy things.

This neurological response is the same regardless of the loss-of-control trigger.

If you lose control of a relationship or the buzz of your phone makes you lose control of a pleasant weekend moment, you’re likely to react in the same way.

Case Study: News Content

For businesses with websites, understanding the human need for control offers a powerful tool for enhancing customer experience. In my role as a web psychologist for ClickTale, I recently helped one of the world’s largest and most influential news organizations analyze customer behavior on their website. The news organization was trying to increase video content viewing by having video load automatically on their homepage.

The video in question was slick and well designed, and its content was interesting.

But, there was one aspect the organization hadn’t considered… when a visitor comes to a website planning to read the news but sound and video suddenly jump out at them, the effect is jarring. That surprise makes visitors feel they are losing control.

What we found when we analyzed the page was that visitors tended to always click on the “pause” button as soon as they encountered the video.

Pausing the video put the control of their experience back into the visitors’ own hands.

Automatically starting the video created the opposite reaction. It increased the probability that visitors would not watch the video at all. Instead, it encouraged them to read the text located below the video – not the desired outcome!

The Expectation Factor

This response can be explained by a psychological effect called the expectation factor.

People come into situations expecting to receive something specific. Expectation factors apply to all aspects of life. You go to a job interview and expect the hiring manager to ask certain questions. You go to a birthday party and expect to eat certain foods and have a certain level of fun.

It’s important for businesses to understand that, when customers visit their websites, the expectation factor is also very much at play.

If you present your visitors with an experience that strays too much from what they anticipate, they will end up feeling a loss of control. In response, they will do things to regain the feeling of control. They might click “pause” on a video or even exit the page entirely.

In order to manage this tussle over control between websites and visitors, it’s important to also understand the power of perceived control.

Visitors like to think they are in charge of their actions. When a video plays without visitors initiating any interaction, they feel the opposite.

If a visitor feels that a website is trying to “sell” him something, or push him into viewing certain content without his choosing to do so, he will push back by trying to take back the interaction and intentionally avoid that content. This occurs deep within our subconscious and triggers biochemical prods that are part of a primitive neurological mechanism.

Danger Cues

Why do we react so strongly to encountering a video playing automatically on a website or to a cell phone alarm going off in the middle of a quiet afternoon? The reasons, it turns out, are rooted in our deepest prehistoric history.

The first humans had to be constantly on alert for changes in their environment, because unexpected sounds or sights meant only one thing: danger.

When we click on a website hoping to read an article and instead are confronted with a loud, bright video, the automatic response is not so different from that our prehistoric ancestors, walking in the forest and stumbling upon a bear or a saber-toothed tiger.

Our body reacts first to eliminate the stressor in our midst. Then, because we have an inner need to make sure our thoughts and behaviors are consistent, we then subconsciously rationalize our decision.

“If I stopped the video, it must not be interesting,” you might think to yourself.

By forcing the video upon its visitors instead of letting them choose to click “play,” the news organization significantly decreased the chances readers would have any interest in watching it.

Other Stressors

Automatic videos are not the only online situations that promote stress responses. Visitors also start to feel control slipping from their hands when they encounter very long web pages, especially those that require endless scrolling.

I’ve witnessed visitors start scrolling along a page and suddenly realize they don’t know where they are anymore. It’s a thoroughly modern phenomenon but it evokes the same fear triggers that our ancestors felt when they were in a foreign environment and suddenly didn’t know how far they were from home.

Our prehistoric ancestors used trail markers in order to not get lost. And websites that understand human psychology can also do something similar, employing sticky navigation – website menus that move with the page as the visitor scrolls, “sticking” in place and always remaining visible – to keep visitors feeling in control.

Old reactions, new triggers

From an evolutionary standpoint, if we are in control of our environment, we have a better chance of survival. While our behavior adapts to changes all the time, our evolutionary roots continue to affect us.

Even though the threats have become less obvious and sometimes are not even real, our body will generate the same autonomic reactions in response to perceived or imagined threats. The need for control is rooted deeply within us and has a subconscious impact on our online behavior too.

To avoid these threat-driven behaviors, be sure that your website or mobile app:

1.Doesn’t startle the user.
2.Behaves in the way most users expect it to.
3.Leaves the user in control at all times.

Do you need help putting your visitors back in the driver’s seat? Contact gotcha! today.

AllMobile Marketing

Social Media Marketing : Secrets and Lies

While many businesses already understand the importance of having a social media strategy, others might argue that social media marketing is a trend without any real return on investment. There’s a little bit of truth to both. Take a look at the following social media marketing truths and secrets before you embark on building your social presence.

The Road Is Long

The social media road is long and cumbersome. There is no such thing as an overnight success, and it can take a significant amount of time before you see (if ever) any financial return from investing in it. While it might not cost much to build your social profiles, there are other things to consider that will cost both money and time in the long-run. If you’re expecting something that brings sales overnight and makes you a viral success, social media is not the answer.

You Only Get a Peek

The most difficult aspect of building a successful social media presence is actually in understanding your page guests and their behaviors. The problem is, social media only gives you a peek inside of who they are and what their interests are. There’s really no way to really track if they visited similar businesses as your own, or made a purchase outside of your website. The initial demographic reports will help you understand your audience, but it won’t tell you why they chose not to buy from you.

You Have to Maintain It

Posting on social media is a regular, if not daily, effort. In order to keep your brand afloat you will need to devote several hours per week on social media. In the beginning of launching a start-up that might seem feasible. Over time you might get burned on in writing fresh content that matters.

Managing the Workload

When it comes to managing your social media workload you might end up hiring a social media manager or a content writer who will create an editorial calendar and post blogs on a weekly basis. These blogs will help Google find your page and in turn you might rank higher in search results. Because your blog is constantly updated, your business page appears active and authoritative in the industry.

When you can no longer devote the time to writing for you web page, you’ll need to factor in the costs of hiring experts for the job. The problem is, social media marketing will never make you rich. You may never see much return from investing in hiring a social and content writing team. You will, however, have a business webpage and social presence that shows the world more about your brand, and that slowly builds a reputation. If you’re patient, social media marketing can be one of the most rewarding aspects of your brand strategy.

You Need Knowledge

Identifying your social audience takes emotional intelligence. If you hire a manager, they’ll likely begin to analyze your site visitors and try to figure out which sorts of posts and updates receive the best response. The problem is this will take time, and you’ll likely have more fails than success in the beginning.

Beyond understanding the demographics of your guest, you need to identify what makes them buy, or walk away from a purchase. You’ll also need to figure out what makes them “click” to read more. This is exactly why it takes time to build a presence on social media, especially one that carries any sort of return.

What Channels Should You Choose?

It’s always best to keep things simple, especially when you might be juggling your social media management with all the other aspects of your business. When you begin building portfolios for your brand, you’ll need to determine which ones will be the most worthy of your time.

Rather than hopping all over the place, you’ll need to evaluate where most of your customers are active, and then use those platforms to connect with your audience. This might mean adapting to other social platforms such as Instagram or Twitter.

It Costs Money

The last dirty little secret about social media marketing is that it costs money. Sure, everything is free in the beginning, but overtime you will be limited in your organic reach, and it will cost your company money if you want to be shown in reader’s search results. You also might decide to pass the buck and hire a creative team to handle the social side of your business. Either way, social media marketing costs money.

But it’s worth every penny.

Because when someone visits your page and clicks on your blog they should be able to read something relevant and recent. Just like this.

Now you know why social media marketing is important, so we won’t bother you with the lies. For what it’s worth social media is just something your brand has to do. Before you hire a social manager, make sure they aren’t making too many promises.

Do you need assistance navigating the world of social media marketing? We’re butterflies. Contact gotcha! Mobile Solutions today and send us a tweet.

AllMobile Marketing

Mobile Only Checklist: What Does Your Business Need?

There’s no denying the fact that people use their smartphones so much that they rely on it for the things they need. But apart from individuals, business owners swear that mobile phones have greatly impacted how they conduct their business. As a matter of fact, studies show that over 80 percent of small business owners now use their smartphones at least once per day. Shockingly, more than one-fourth of that number use their device once an hour. This just goes to show how important our smartphones have become.

As a business owner it’s best that you take advantage of mobile so you can get the benefits it provides to other businesses. If you are interested, these are the things you need to provide to make sure that your mobile marketing becomes a success:

Responsive Web Design for Mobile

One of the things you have to realize is that your identity on your website is the first thing that new customers get to see about you. Especially if they only searched for you online, your web presence is the first thing that will either make or break their ideas of what your business is all about. Knowing this, you have to make sure that when a prospective customer sees you, he will be interested in what you have to offer. And for this, you have to make sure that your website loads quickly and is responsive to mobile devices and navigations.

This is because majority of people use their mobile phones to look for your business. If your website takes a while to load and is difficult to navigate, there is a huge chance they will leave and never come back.

Mobile App

Commonly, mobile apps are famously used for games and social media. But this does not mean that you cannot build an app for your business. When you create an app for your business, it becomes an extension of what you are offering. Through an app, you get to reach out to your customers with more information, exclusive deals and other promotions that will make it better and easier for them to get in touch with you.

Before you decide to create an app for your business, make sure that you carefully study the different behavior of your customers. This way, you’ll be able to create an app that works with what they need from your company. For example you own a bank, you can create an app that directly leads them to your online banking services. Through this, they will be pleased that it is easier for them to use your service instead of visiting your website from a browser.

User Friendly Mobile Ads

When you decide to have your company advertised, you have to remember that it is best that you follow the basic principles of your web design. It should be user-friendly and mobile responsive since most of your customers will be looking at it through a small screen. You can invest in mobile ad options such as video, native and banner. These things will help identify the preference of your audience. On your end, it will deliver a campaign that your users prefer and you will get to understand this. In the future, you can also use the same channel to market your business.

Invest in Social Media Marketing

As a business owner, you need to identify the different social media platforms that best fit into your business. Depending on what your product is, it is good to use social media to help you address the needs of your customers. Some of these websites include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or even Snapchat.

But just because these websites are free to use, does not mean you should use all of them. Instead, only go for the ones that you will be able to fully use for your business. This means that you can use the social media site to check in and engage with your followers. You can use these websites to offer exclusive deals so that you can increase the number of people that follow you.

When you decide to make your business mobile-friendly, you’ll get to see the many benefits that other businesses are enjoying. It’s still not yet too late to implement a mobile solution for your business. It doesn’t require a rocket scientist to do this but you do need to make sure that you’re using these tools right. Need help? We gotcha! covered. Contact our professional team today.

Mobile Marketing
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