Understanding Conversion Rates: Big Numbers Don’t Always Mean Big Profit

Understanding conversion rates can be tricky.  There are countless “internet famous” people who aren’t making a dime off their fame. On the other hand, there are a smaller number of individuals who have managed to take their smaller following and develop an income-producing business out of it. Why is that? It’s because fame is not necessarily a sure way to financial success, but planning and strategy is.

Tips for Improving Your Conversion Rate

You Do Not Need Tons of Subscribers – It’s a fact that “the money’s in the list,” but you don’t need a super large list for this to be true. You just need the right people on your list that you make the right offers to at the right time.

You Need Targeted Subscribers – Anyone who subscribes to your list should do so because they really want the information you’re going to provide them. They should also be in your target market and be part of your ideal audience profile. Subscribers who aren’t interested don’t help your conversion rate.

You Need the Right Lead Magnet – This is where you must be very careful not to offer a freebie that is so broad that you get people on your list who do not want to ever buy anything but only want the free item. Create a lead magnet that is so targeted that only your audience would even want it.

You Need to Build Relationships with Subscribers – When you build a relationship with someone, you are thinking of their needs. You find ways to connect with them, to make them smile, and to make them feel as if they know you, like you, and trust you.

You Need to Segment Your Audience – It’s important to segment your audience so that you can send them the right information. For example, you may want to send certain information to people who downloaded lead magnet A. That’s different from people who may have downloaded lead magnet B, and very different from the segment who bought product 1, and so on.

You Need to Send the Right Information to Your Audience – Once you have people on your list, or following you on social media, you must send the right information to them on a regular basis. Try not to get off track, and always think of exactly who your ideal customer is when you send the information.

You Need to Ask for the Sale – When you send information to your audience, remember that some of it should be informational and some should be promotional. Try not to make every message promotional, or else they’ll just start ignoring you. You must promote, but do so strategically.  At the bottom of this post, download my free formula for the perfect ratio of promotional/informational posts, and how to deliver that.

You Need to Follow Up – When someone does answer your calls to action, it’s imperative to remember that the follow-up is important. You want a small list of targeted consumers that want what you offer, and you want them to not only buy again,but also to recommend you to others. You can do that by continuing to build on the relationship even after the sale.

So, stop trying to be internet famous and “go viral.” Instead, continue to push out important and relevant information on a regular basis, while building relationships with your followers and subscribers.  Don’t forget to download the free formula for posting now so that you can get it just right and exponentially improve your conversion rates. But, be ready in case something you do does happen to go viral, so that when it does, it will actually pay off.

Key Components of a Sales Funnel

sales funnelNo matter what type of product or service you promote, the purpose of a sales funnel is always the same:  The purpose of the funnel is to get new leads, turn those leads into buyers, and to get those buyers to buy more.  While there are different configurations for a funnel, there are some key components that should always be included in your sales funnel.

Sales Funnel Basics:

Lead Magnet – This item goes at the widest part of your funnel because it is designed to get people to sign up for your email list. Often times business owners offer a free product or a trial version of a product in order to get people on their list in order to market to them and offer them the real products or services they want to promote and sell. To accomplish this, you’ll need a squeeze page to promote the lead magnet or freebie, an email sign-up form, as well as a download page.

Entry Product – Some people call this the “tripwire” but using this language can unintentionally (and unfairly) evoke a negative connotation. The fact is that this entry level product is an inexpensive product that your audience can buy that will be a low cost comparison to your main products. It will give them a good example of the type of products you sell. But it’s also a good place to add an up-sell opportunity for your buyer.

Email Content – Both the lead magnet and the entry level product put the prospects onto an email list so that they can now learn about everything you offer. You will want the lists segmented so that you can send them the right information. You’ll need to create email content that is designed to send your audience to the next product in line for them and their unique interests.

Product – You’ll need at least one higher-priced product, if not a series of increasingly higher-priced products. This could be an advanced product or course, a private forum and support group, one-on-one coaching services, and more. If you can create a continuity program, it’ll make a great up-sell for either type of list.

Sales Page – Each product needs a sales page that will also need an up-sell (and even perhaps a down-sell) to best utilize the opportunity of connecting with your prospect. You don’t want to turn away any opportunity to connect and make an offer.

When you create each component for your sales funnel, there are several aspects to include with each element to make it complete. You’ll also need to think about how those components flow together to make a complete campaign.  Even though each unique funnel may have a different purpose, they all need to include these key components in order to be effective and grow your business.  Get to know each component and its function so that you become an expert at creating these sales funnels!

9 Key Elements of Action-Producing Visual Marketing

visual marketingWhen you make a video for your business to promote or sell something or use any type of visual marketing, it’s important to include elements that will make your viewers want to take action. There are nine essential elements that you can include to help make a viewer take action when watching your videos. These essential elements are so powerful that they can even be effective for still pictures, as these elements will make ALL your visuals more likely to get your viewer up and taking action.

Are These Key Elements in Your Visual Marketing?

1. Emotion – When you set up any shoot, whether video or not, you need to think in advance of what type of emotion you want your viewer to feel. And, knowing who the audience is will tell you which types of images you can use to evoke those particular emotions. Have a plan in place before you start shooting or searching for the image.

2. Appeal – Some types of images are just simply boring, so you have to consider how you can make the image more appealing.  As an example, think about how car commercials advance their appeal by showing people either driving though the country or city, depending on the type of buyer they want to attract.

3. Movement – Even a still image can denote some type of movement, and this will can help make an image more interesting. When you are taking shots of a process, ensure that you are showing the entire process. Still images can hint at motion by adjusting the focus or lines of the image, but video is obviously the best choice for really depicting motion.

4. Sound – Although sound doesn’t really come into play when it comes to a still shot, you can still make people imagine sounds with the composition of the image. For example, if you’re showing a picture of something that makes sound, your audience may imaging that sound. If you are making a video for your visual marketing, you need to consider what sounds you’ll add in addition to the talking. Consider how the background music makes your audience feel when you add it, and make sure not to make it so loud that they can’t hear the talking.

5. Moments – When you think of your images as moments, it makes it easier to capture the exact experience that you want your audience to feel. You’re telling a story. Even if the story is about why this stapler is a better stapler than the one at the other store, it is a story that you need to explain to the viewer using moments and events to advance it.

6. Characters – Most people want to see pictures of people. One image of someone’s face can tell more than 1000 words, because you can elicit all the emotion you need with that one facial image. But, in some cases, images of nature, animals, and other characters can also work together to tell the whole story.

7. Relevance – You’ve probably realized through your research how important it is to stay relevant to your audience, and using the right images is no exception to that. Visual marketing is completely dependent on you ensuring that you stay relevant in the eyes of your audience.  Make sure that you share targeted information with them with a particular reaction in mind.

8. Location – You can transport your audience to new locations with the right images.  This can even include taking them right out of their comfort zone! Think about what you’re trying to get them to do and feel, and how the setting of the image can advance those ideas for your audience.

9. Motivation – When you start using visual elements to attract, inform, educate, and interact with your audience, you need to be clear on where your focus lies and what your motivation is. What is the entire point of the message? If you don’t know that, it will be hard to choose the right visual elements.

If you want your viewers and readers to take action, using strong visual elements is a good way to ensure that they not only stay interested in what they’re consuming, but also feel the pull to take action on what they’re consuming.

Making YouTube Videos Make Money

making youtube videosEveryone seems to love YouTube.  But one thing that is really awesome about it is that you can actually earn money by making YouTube videos. There are several different ways to accomplish this.  You can earn money via views and advertisements, but you can also earn by subscribers buying your offerings. It’s a wonderful way to make a living, and it’s possible for almost anyone who is in the right niche and is willing to make regular videos.  In order to monetize your videos, you have to be strategic about how you choose to go about it.

Making YouTube Videos Work for You

Ads –- Joining the ad network is simple with YouTube. You just turn it on or off, and then they approve you. You will need to enter in your social security number or tax ID number to collect any money from your ads. They have a choice of display ads, overlay ads, sponsored cards, and skippable video ads. It is highly recommended to allow your audience to skip the ads if they desire.  Giving them that choice will actually work better for you because viewers prefer choice.  How interesting you make it determines whether or not they will actually skip it.

Affiliate Sales -– You can also put links to any products you talk about in the video. Place them under the video in the description box. During the video, at some point just point your audience to the description box for more information and affiliate links to the products. You do need to reveal that you’ll earn a percentage of sales and thank them for it.

Merchandise Sales – If you have a t-shirt, mug, or other types of merchandise that you want to promote, you can also link to it in the description box. Be sure to show them what the merchandise looks like and tell them any details they need to know, such as whether sizing is accurate or not.

EBooks – If you write a book, you can promote it on your YouTube channel by mentioning it at the end of each video and putting a link in the description box. You can even make a special video just for the book trailer to let people know that it’’s published and where they can buy it.

Exclusive Content – You can make some content hidden on YouTube,   You can then create a link to it from your website that is behind a pay wall. This will make some videos only viewable through the right link, thus creating a membership for exclusive content, which would create another income stream.

Donate Button – You can also add a donate button to your YouTube channel via PayPal. Be sure to mention to your audience that they can support you via the donate button and tell them how they can do it. Even though many people can use technology,  not everyone understands how technology actually works.

Sponsorships – If you have been making YouTube videos long enough to have a large subscriber base and viewership, some companies will contact you for sponsorships. The way that works is they may give you free merchandise, plus a fee to wear or use their product on your channel. You may need to say something like “sponsored by …” in your videos to live up to your end of the bargain.

Paid Product Placement – When your channel is super busy and has an audience that is niche-specific, you may be asked if you’re  interested in paid product placement. This means that you take money to use the product and mention it in your video. Again, you must reveal when you have been paid.

Earning money on YouTube and via YouTube is something that you can do rather quickly if you’ve chosen the right niche for you, and if you’re willing to put in the work it takes to build up your channel. Making YouTube videos can lead to making a lot of money if you follow the right steps.  If you’re curious about any YouTube channel and how much people may be making on their channel.

What is Video Advertising?

video advertisingNow more than ever, businesses are using video advertising in their marketing efforts.  But in order for it to be effective, you have to truly understand what it is and how to use it.  No longer is it just slick ads, like those which would appear on TV, but more and more popular are ads that appear on YouTube, Facebook, and other online real estate. Sometimes, though, video advertising isn’t as straightforward as it seems. For example, today many people create high-interest informational videos that are really advertising, but it’s hard to tell because it is so engaging to the viewer. The videos are actually meant to impart information, with the goal of selling what they have to offer within the context of educating you through video.  Regardless of the forum you choose, it is important to understand the pros and cons to video advertising.

Advantages of Video Advertising

It’’s Inexpensive. – Believe it or not, video ads aren’t very expensive. You can pay for placement, but you can also just create and post the video yourself on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter for viewing. Ask people to share it, and the only money you’re out is the money you spent in creating the video.

It Works across Platforms. – – If you place your ad on YouTube, it will work on any mobile device. If you’ve made sure your website is mobile friendly, it will work there, too. It will also work without any adjustments on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

You Can See the Results Immediately – – You’ll be able to see the analytics of the video ad almost immediately in terms of views, click through, and more. You will be able to see where viewers are located, their demographics, and more.

You Can Reach Anywhere – – Your videos can be local in nature, but they can also be international without any tweaking. If you offer a good product or service, it will translate into almost any language.

Your Audience Keeps It with Them – – Your audience carries their mobile devices with them wherever they go, which means your video ads go with them, too. You will be able to reach more people in more intimate ways than ever before with video ads.

Disadvantages of Video Advertising

Ad Skipping – – Some people don’t watch the ads and will automatically click to skip one, which means that no one will see it if you do it as a display in video advertisement.

Bad Timing – – If you release your potentially viral video on a day that something else is already going viral and you can’t compete, it may be a wasted effort.  Choosing the right time to release your video is a key factor in making it work.

Lack of Confidence – – The truth is, the biggest con of all is that people just don’t jump in and do it.  Many think that you have to be a sophisticated actor or actress in order to deliver a great video.  But the truth is that people crave authenticity.  Embrace your mistakes and make light of them.  Don’t strive for perfection because everyone loves real people being passionate more than slick actors trying to sell you something.

Video advertising is very lucrative. It is inexpensive, and, best of all, it works. You’ll get great results by adding video into your marketing mix – whether it’ is advertisements, marketing videos, or something else. Video gets results because people love videos, and as such they are more likely to watch it and share it,spreading the good news about your business everywhere.

Book Recommendation: The Visual Marketing Revolution: 26 Rules to Help Social Media Marketers Connect the Dots

visual marketingThe Visual Marketing Revolution: 26 Rules to Help Social Media Marketers Connect the Dots

Where to buy: www.amazon.com

When it comes to audiences online, content is king but it doesn’t have to be simply text. Enter the world of visual marketing. Employing visuals in your business can greatly improve your engagement, traffic, list building efforts and sales. “The Visual Marketing Revolution” shows you what you are missing when you don’t use images to tell the story.

It’’s called the “art of persuasion.” A customer must believe that they have a problem that only your product or service can solve. How do you do that? They must identify on an emotional level with you and your product. Text alone doesn’t accomplish this. Express your point in images: from photos to video to infographics. Visual marketing is the new way to relay information, and people get an idea of their interest faster than with text. They are more likely to stick around and view the nuances of an image. Learn to integrate image media into emails, landing pages, and social media. Optimize your visual tools for tablets and mobile devices. Create a sales-winning message that hits all the senses.

The Visual Marketing Revolution: 26 Rules to Help Social Media Marketers Connect the Dots

Creating a Community; The Power of Video Marketing

video marketing

It’s easy to see the power of video marketing.  When you take it a step further and create a community of followers, the sky is the limit!  Not sure?  Just look at YouTube’’s popularity and the earning power of some of their top performers to see how important building a community is. When you build a community you can quickly get results from any new product or service as soon as you launch it, because the community is already primed and ready to respond. To make that happen, though, you’re going to have to work hard to build that community – one video at a time.

Tips for Creating a Community of Followers for Your Video Marketing

Speak Directly to Your Audience – When you make a video for your audience, make sure look right into the camera and talk directly to them. You probably have a picture in your head of who your ideal audience is. If that is the case, picture that person, look into the camera and just speak from the heart.

Show Your Softer Side – Don’t be too stiff and formal in your videos. Even if you’re trying to attract lawyers and accountants, they want to see the humanity in you with your videos. Attempt to be relaxed. Practice makes perfect, so if you need to practice a few times to get it right, do so.

Mistakes Are Endearing – Don’t worry so much about tripping over one or two words; it’’s okay. Normal mistakes made in the course of a conversation are nothing to correct or be ashamed of. Being too perfect will make you seem cold and unapproachable.

Get to the Point – Don’t take too long to make a video. More than three to five minutes is simply too long. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but break up longer videos if you can. Make a loose script if it helps you stay on topic and not get sidetracked.

Set It to Music – Put some light music in the background that signifies the mood you want your audience to feel as they listen to your video. Be sure to make it quiet and not too loud; you don’t want to hide what you’re saying and distract from your message.

Show Your Sense of Humor – The beauty of video marketing is that you can add personality to nearly any topic.  Even if you talk about serious topics in your video, being a little funny can lighten things up and take the sting out. Being funny can also make videos go viral, so be ready.

Tell Them Secrets – It’s just you and your niche audience, right? It’s okay to share something deep with them during the video. You want them to feel as if they are part of your life, and one way to do it is to be honest and transparent.

Make Some Content Exclusive – You can make some content exclusive to your audience by hiding it from others and only letting people who get the link see the video. You can also hide that content behind a membership wall. This type of content can bring your audience closer to you and also help you collect email addresses.

Respond to Others  – This works very well on YouTube. When someone makes a video that affects you in some way, make a response video and include it in a comment to their video. This can help you connect more with the entire community while bringing more people over to your community.

Building a community using your video marketing is entirely possible on any platform – not just YouTube. However, YouTube is an excellent place to start creating and hosting the videos that you make. Start with an introductory video and then keep going, sharing it on social media, then asking others to share and get the ball rolling.

Don’t Sell – Show Passion Instead with Your Video Marketing

video marketingIn today’s market, we have to be more and more creative about how we get the message out to our customers about what we have to offer.  But how to you get creative yet still remain authentic and trustworthy?  One of the best ways to do that is through video marketing.  Creating video advertisements is a great way to send a message to your audience.  However, the risk involved in creating them is that you can easily start sounding like a used car salesman instead of someone who is trying to inform, engage, and help your audience. So, let’’s focus in on what helps make a video advertisement work.

Tips for Effective Video Marketing

Tell a Story – Everyone has a story, and so does your brand and your product. When you tell the story you should be honest, transparent, and happy about the story. The story should be related to your ideal audience so that they connect with it.  Video marketing is a great way to capture the attention of your audience, especially when there is a good story behind it.

Show Your Excitement – When you’’re talking to your audience about your niche, show how excited you are about what you’’re saying. Let the audience in on your passion and love affair with the niche so that they can feel that same excitement.

Show Your Face – One of the greatest advantages to video marketing is the use of nonverbal communication.  Your eyes tell their own story, so people want to see them. Don’’t be afraid to show your face when you’’re telling the story because that will help your audience see the passion you have for the topic.

Interact with Your Viewers – Take the time to include links to facts and to other videos of yours inside the video you’’re creating. Links with clickable titles inside the video will help your audience digest more of your content and get to know more about who you are.

Use Appropriate Music – You can find royalty-free music to use for your videos that help tie everything together in an emotional way. Music can connect to your audience members’’ feelings and really tie together your message, and in a way that is faster than almost anything  else.

Drive Traffic – Use the video to drive traffic to your main products and/or services by mentioning them at the end of the video or in the description box, depending on where you host your videos and what the terms of service are.

Ask for Input – Your audience members will get excited when they see how passionate you are about your story. Moreover, when you ask for their input and give them an opportunity to share their story, they’’ll feel really enthusiastic and more relatable to you in their own telling.

Relate Your Message to Something Else – If possible, relate your products and services to something else that is good, such as a charity. You can donate a percentage of all profits to a particular charity about which you are really passionate, which can generate even more passion and energy to help get the word out about your own products and services.

When you show your feelings about your topic and really show your audience your passion about who you are and what you are there for, they’ll be very supportive of you. The reason is that they’’ll feel as if you relate to them on a whole different level than if you didn’’t show that passion. Your appetite for helping your audience will show through loud and clear in all your actions and interactions, and you will be someone who is authentic and helpful to your audience, and someone with whom they will wanto to engage. Most importantly, it will help you avoid the used car salesman stereotype they would otherwise want to tune out in your video marketing.

Our 5 Most Shared Posts of 2015!

5 most shared postsAs we look back on 2015 we counted up all the content that was published and over 100 posts hit the Strategix Blog. With a huge variety of topics covered, the ultimate goal was to help our readers understand the marketing activities they need to be doing to have a significant impact on their business growth. Below we are highlighting the top 5 posts of 2015 based on the number of shares they received – in all we had over 160 shares on social media for just these 5 posts. This definitely means they were popular and helpful, so here goes:

Most Shared Post of 2015

#1 – Eight Tiny Steps to Help End Procrastination

You can end procrastination if you set up a plan to do it. It only takes eight small steps toward success to beat it. If you keep these steps in mind before you get started on any project, you’ll be able to stop procrastination before it even gets a foothold. Read More>>

#2 – 3 Options to Add Video into Your Small Business Practices

This post was a guest post from my friend Jack Klemeyer of Grow Your Business Coaching.

Sex, lies and video.

All three of those make for compelling stories on the Internet.

While I never use the first two in my business or with my clients, the third, video, is a great avenue for all business owners and there are lots of ways video can be incorporated into the business. I want to share three options for every business owner to use video in their business. Read More>>

#3 – 7 Web Design Mistakes Small Businesses Should Avoid [Infographic]

Making mistakes is inevitable, but when it comes to marketing, and especially the way your website answers the questions your visitors have, it can be extremely costly. We present 7 of the biggest web design mistakes small businesses make so you can improve your website, convert more visitors and ultimately increase your bottom line. Read More>>

#4 – Book Recommendation – The Ultimate Social Media Planner

Are you a business owner who wants to make the most of social media but doesn’t know where you will find the time? Most big businesses are heavy into social media and have someone who handles that specifically. But what if you are the small business owner or an online business owner and workforce of one? How can you manage 5, 10, 15 or more social media pages each week and still leave time for other business pursuits? Read More>>

#5 – Local Search Engine Optimization: 5 Biggest SEO Mistakes on Small Business Websites

Guest Post by SEO Expert and Author Phil Singleton of Kansas City SEO

Most small businesses understand that an effective SEO strategy must be implemented in order for the company website to rank highly in Google for targeted search terms, however most fall short of what could be accomplished if a few mistakes were avoided.  If you are a small business owner, you can learn from these mistakes and make your website more attractive to both search engines (in particular Google) and people. Read More>>

As you can see for the titles above, these posts represent a variety of key topics when it comes to marketing – your mindset, video marketing, websites, social media and SEO. These were definitely important topics in 2015 and will be even more in 2016.

If we can help you with your marketing strategy or website development, please contact us.

Should I use YouTube Videos on my Website?

Youtube videos

Using YouTube videos on your website, whether yours or someone else’s, is a great idea for helping fill out your site and get more traffic. The following tips provide best practices for using YouTube videos on your website, as well as reasons why you should.

Why You Should Use YouTube Videos on Your Website

Save Bandwidth – When you use YouTube to host videos, you save an enormous amount of money on bandwidth and secure hosting services. It will be impossible to use shared hosting when you host your own videos, so using YouTube for hosting is a winner right out of the box.

Deliverability Is Higher – When using YouTube to host your videos, you will not have to worry about whether or not your audience can view your videos on multiple devices. Your audience also will not have to download anything. They’ll just be able to watch how they like watching.

Provide Commentary – Don’t just embed someone’s video without making some sort of commentary on the blog post about what’s inside the video. Add your thoughts about the video before showing it, and add some commentary after the video also. Also, only use video that belongs to someone else if embedding is allowed.

Embed Your Own Videos – When you publish a video on YouTube, automatically embed it into your blog, on a blog post scheduled for whenever you normally schedule that type of content. By embedding it in your blog, and providing commentary as instructed above for other people’s videos, you’ll increase viewership exponentially.

Include Snippets – If you see a video that had a point you want to expand on, and that allows embedding, then embed only that part of the video. The system provided by YouTube allows you to choose when to start and end the snippet. Provide your commentary and content in text surrounding the share of this video content. It can be a great catalyst for a blog post. You can even do this with your own videos, giving an added boost to videos already shared.

Choose the Right Location – On your website you probably have different categories for content. Ensure that when you start adding video that you create a category for video, and also subcategories to enable your audience to find the video they want to watch easily based on the topic or subject.

Notify Audience That Video Is Included – Putting [ video ] in the title of your blog post will enable your audience to know that when they click through they’ll see a video. This is useful for many reasons, but one is that search engines like video and apparently so do people. So, if you want that post to rank higher, let everyone know that a video is included.

One Video Per Page – One thing you need to be concerned with when it comes to using video on your website or blog is page speed. Putting too many videos on a page can not only slow page load speed, but also it will confuse your audience. Using one at a time will ensure that focus is maintained.

As you become accustomed to using YouTube to host your videos on and off your website and use the content that YouTube and its members offer to the public, you’ll be able to enhance your website in ways you never thought possible. Adding Youtube videos to your website is definitely something that you should do to increase visibility and traffic.