divahound blog

Five Email Subscription Tools to Help Build Your Contact List

by Shannon Huppin on September 20, 2017

Five Email Subscription Tools to Help Build Your Contact List - Divahound

Building your contact list is one of the best ways to get your information in front of people who want to know more about your products and services. The email list is a really important selling tool, and there are lots of ways to capture those contacts. If you want some great ideas on how to build your list, check out our blog post here.

One of the simplest ways to expand your email list is to grab attention right away when people visit your website and get them to sign up then and there. This can be done with a simple plugin for your WordPress site that integrates with your email provider. Here are five plugins that could garner powerful communicating power for your small business.

WP Subscribe

This free plugin – yes, free! – is a simple and easy way to create a homepage popup and grab emails from visitors. This plugin integrates with AWeber, Feedburner, and MailChimp, making it a seamless way of hands-off email list building. While the basic version is free, you can upgrade for only $27, and you’ll get more color options and different options for placement.

Pro Tip: Keep an eye on your opt-in rate. If you see it start to drop, it may indicate it’s time to change the look, location or copy of your popup.

Opt-In Monster

For a beautiful way to increase your email list without risking annoying your visitors with a popup. A well-placed sidebar can give site visitors a chance to look around at what you have to offer and then choose to opt-in to your email list at any time. Opt-In Monster offers both popup and sidebar options to capture as many emails as possible.

Bonus: With three different pricing tiers, you’ll get all the features you need and none that you don’t.

Popup Domination

If you want a simple popup plugin, go with the software that does ONLY that. With 24 design templates and integration with all major email marketing platforms, Popup Domination is a great tool for many small business owners for only $47.

Bonus: Use Popup Domination as a WordPress plugin OR as standalone software for other web platforms.

Pippity

Sometimes having too many options can be overwhelming. Pippity simplifies the popup process so you don’t get bogged down in choosing the perfect color or font and can get to the real reason for the popup – growing your list. Starting at $49, Pippity will show popups to visitors after they’ve visited a certain number of pages or at the end of an article or content page, keeping people engaged.

Bonus: Pippity offers detailed analytics and integrates with 23 major different email providers making this seemingly simple software pretty dynamic.

Thrive Leads

For a robust list-building tool, Thrive Leads has nearly every opt-in feature you could ever want. Choose from a large list of templates, get extensive A/B split testing options and even offer two-step opt-in content. With a decent price point of $67, you get a year of support and all the upgrades for the lifetime of the software.

Pro Tip: Thrive Leads offers the ability to send current subscribers a particular link and everyone else to another place. Customized links are a terrific way to get eyeballs where you want them on your content.

Divahound can help you craft an email strategy and help you choose the best tools for your small business success. Contact us today and let us know how we can help!

How – and WHY – to Create Evergreen Content

by Shannon Huppin on September 6, 2017

How - and WHY - to Create Evergreen Content - Divahound

One of the best ways to ramp up your content to support your marketing efforts is to create a pool of evergreen content. What is evergreen content? It’s web pages, blog posts and social posts that can be reused at any time of the year. A blog post about a flash sale is NOT an example of evergreen content. A social post with an image of your top-selling product and engaging copy encouraging likes and shares IS a great example of evergreen content.

Why should you spend time creating content that can be reused later? There are several benefits. For starters, you don’t have all the time in the world to continue creating new content every single day. By investing some time in evergreen content pieces that can be recycled later, you’re saving yourself time down the road. Over time, these pieces may need to be updated, but that will take significantly less time than creating something from scratch. Secondly, customers will gravitate toward content that answers the questions they have. So, if you consistently get the same questions about your products or services, that gives you a good idea of what kind of evergreen content will resonate with your core audience and keep turning readers into return customers.

Now that you’re ready to establish a core pool of evergreen content, here are some ideas that you can fill your website and social channels with that you can come back to again and again.

FAQ

Take the questions you get most (five to 10) and turn them into an answer-filled blog post. Make sure you make it easy for people to contact you or order so you can maximize sales opportunities

FAQ Deep Dive

While your FAQ blog post answered a lot of questions, perhaps you can go deeper on each of those questions. Give more in-depth information and tell your customers why your small business is the solution to their question.

Tell Your Story

Everyone loves to know how someone got their start. Tell your readers how and why you began your business and they’ll feel more connected to you and your products.

Interviews

In addition to telling your story, interview your team members or VIPs for some great evergreen content. They can give a personal perspective on your small business.

How-To Guides

Give people a step-by-step way to use your product and get the most out of it. Does your small business offer a service and not a physical product? Tell them the best way to order, plan, and execute your service.

Lists

Lists make great content pieces that you can post over and over. Create a list of ways or places to use your small business.

Have questions about evergreen content for your business? We’ve got answers. Contact us today and let’s create a great marketing plan for your small business.

 

 

Small Business Owners - Three Ways to Provide Better Customer Support - Divahound

Just because your business is small, doesn’t mean your task list is small! You have the full responsibility of running the business in your hands, and that means a lot of tasks on your plate.

If there’s one thing that can make or break your business, it’s a good relationship with your customers. But responding to customer requests can also be one of the most time-consuming tasks if you’re taking is on yourself. What’s a workable solution? Here are some ways you can improve your customer service – and customer experience – without losing precious time out of your day.

Provide Tools

Nobody likes to feel like they are left out to dry, so be sure to provide customers with tools to get their question answered.

To save time, provide an FAQ (frequently asked questions) page on your website or a downloadable document. This FAQ can keep your email inbox clear of basic questions about hours or pricing, and free up your time on the phone by not having to pick up and answer the same question 38 times a day. Your FAQ should be a living document, so make sure as your business evolves, the answers you provide evolve with you.

In case your FAQ doesn’t answer your customer’s question, give them ample opportunity to contact you so that their issue can be resolved. If you don’t want calls, don’t provide a phone number, but be sure to give an email address that you check daily. If you don’t want email inquiries, be sure that the phone number you provide is one that gets answered every time. You have some control over how people contact you, but be sure that whichever way you choose is the way that you’ll actually be able to commit to answering.

Always Respond – No Matter What

Once you’ve given customers the appropriate lines of communication, make sure you answer their calls or emails every. Single. Time. Not only will this create trust with your customers, but it will keep your customer support queue from getting backed up and becoming unmanageable.

Bonus tip: Create a routine so that you’re setting aside time each day to answer customer requests. Choose the same block of time every day, so that each request is answered within 24 hours.

Invest in Automation

For a more high-tech solution, consider adding some automation into your customer service support methods. Many businesses are offering online chat options making it simple for customers on your website to get price quotes or get questions answered quickly. However, many of these chat options need a live person in order to be effective. Another chat option is a chatbot. These chat “robots” take information that you input (often from an FAQ or another form of data) and help answer questions on your behalf. Chatbots can feel a little cold (they are robots, after all!), so be sure you’re investing in one that can offer a valuable experience for your customers.

Even if automation helps filter some requests, make sure customers always have the option to reach you or a member of your team in person. Want some help fine-tuning your customer support? Contact Divahound today!

How to Plan A Social Media Budget - Three Things To Consider - Divahound

Even (or rather, especially!) a small business should make sure that their social media efforts fit into their annual budget. And even if a small business is choosing to utilize social media as a more affordable marketing option, a budget can keep everyone on the same page and identify areas to improve. Here are three main budget “buckets” to consider when planning a social media budget.

Time

Social media management doesn’t have to take up your entire day, but it does take time to successfully plan and execute. You should be budgeting the cost of hours that you expect you or staff to spend on social media planning, creation, and posting. Also, consider adding time for responding to comments or any customer service issues handled via social media platforms.

If you’re thinking about hiring someone to help you run your social media marketing efforts, their time and costs should also be factored into a budget. Here are some tips on how to choose the right social media partner.

Tools

Whatever you use to plan, create and execute your social media efforts can be considered tools that can be budgeted for. Don’t forget to add a line in for any online subscriptions or services that can help your social media plan take off. Design tools, scheduling services or customer service chat bots should be part of a successful social media budget so that as your business grows, you can see what items are being utilized effectively and adjust your budget accordingly.

Promotion

It’s becoming harder and harder to reach audiences organically, and “paying to play” is not only common but nearly necessary for any small businesses to compete. A big bucket of your social media budget should include costs of promoting posts on the platforms that mean the most to your small business. In addition to promotional and advertising costs, factor in any contest prizes or giveaway items you may want to utilize in order to grow your online social presence.

Divahound has been helping small businesses grow their social media platforms for many years and can help you determine how to execute your social media strategy effectively. Contact us today!

Looking for Some Social Media Contest Ideas?

by Shannon Huppin on July 26, 2017

Looking for Some Social Media Contest Ideas? - Divahound

There are a lot of ways to market your small business via social media. And when we say a lot, we mean A LOT. Whether you’re posting about your latest product or giving social media followers a behind-the-scenes look at your production process, there are innumerable options for posts. One way to get your customers engaged is to host an online contest. People love free stuff, and the chance to win something is exciting!

Instagram: Loop Giveaway

The larger the prize package, the better chance for high engagement. If you don’t have a huge budget to offer a big-ticket prize, partnering with like-minded organizations or local businesses that you work with can help you create a prize bundle that will inspire people to connect with your brand and your partners. Make sure to determine an order for the loop giveaway, take great photos of the prizes, and communicate instructions of the loop giveaway clearly. The first organization to post will instruct social followers to like the post, follow their Instagram account, and then link to the next partner in the giveaway by linking their account. To be entered to win, followers will need to link and follow all brands involved. This approach is mutually beneficial for all partners involved and increases your follower base for future marketing efforts.

Surprise Giveaway

One of the simplest and fastest ways to reward your social fans is to surprise one of them! Choosing a follower at random and thanking them for their loyalty by giving them a discount or a little freebie that they can claim. The better you take care of your social followers, the more likely they are to share your page with their friends and widen your potential customer circle.

Photo or Caption Contest

To encourage your fans and followers to get engaged with your contest, ask them to caption a funny photo or a new product advertisement. Or ask them to post a photo of them with your product. While this method can produce lots of engagement, sometimes it’s hard to get people to get involved. Make sure you communicate how great the prize is so that people want to submit their caption or photo. After a set amount of time, choose a winner and make a big deal of announcing it on your social pages.

Tips for Success

Running a successful contest doesn’t have to be super complicated, but there are some things to remember before jumping into the social contest pool:

  • Check Platform Rules
    • Each social platform has its own rules regarding contests and giveaways. Make sure – before you start your contest – that your giveaway is compliant with the platform’s rules, or you’ll risk getting your posts (or account) removed.
  • Under promise, over deliver
    • If you say you’re going to give a contest winner a free service, be sure to follow through. Don’t nickel and dime people or place too many restrictions on the prize, or it doesn’t feel as special.

Want expert advice on your content strategy or social media marketing ideas? Contact Divahound today!

Three Reasons To Include Good Visual Elements In Your Content - Divahound

A person’s brain processes visual information 60 thousand times faster than text. And the text that people do read is only skimmed. Blog posts are a major marketing opportunity, so why do so many small business owners create blog posts and social content without any images?

Engagement

Plain and simple, a piece of online content with an engaging image looks better. People spend a lot of time online, and they see a lot of content. If you want your pieces to stand out, you need an enticing image to encourage people to not only see your stuff but to want to click on it to read more.

Tips for choosing a great image:

Make sure it conveys your brand voice.

If your products and services are luxurious, choosing a photo of teen girls at the mall doesn’t make sense. If you’re appealing to moms, make sure the image is something they can relate to and doesn’t look too fake or stock photo-y, even if you’re using stock images.

Ensure your image is content-related.

Just like an image that doesn’t reflect your brand’s voice isn’t ideal, choosing an image that is totally unrelated to your content doesn’t make sense either. On one hand, a very literal image of your product or stock photo of someone related to your services could be boring and not be exciting enough for people to want to read more. On the other hand, an image that is enticing but has nothing to do with your content can mislead a reader and be considered clickbait.

Images with people work well.

It’s easier for your content readers to identify with your images if they can imagine themselves in the content’s scenario. Choosing an image with a single person and subject often performs better than an image with more than one person or multiple subjects in it.

Shareability

Readers of your content are not only more likely to read more of your post if you include an image, but they are more likely to share the content with their social circle.

Making sure your images are large enough for different social platforms will also increase their shareability factor. When you plug your blog link into a Facebook post, does the auto-populated image fill the entire post area or is there only a small thumbnail image? By adjusting the sizes of your content’s images, you can change the way your posts appear to fans and followers in their social feeds.

Don’t Forget About Video!

If you aren’t incorporating video into your blogs and social posts, now is the time to begin. Not only do posts with video incur more engagement, but video viewers are 85% more likely to buy a product after watching a product video. Whether you film a promotional how-to video and post it to your blog and social channels or you invite your customers to submit their own videos using your product, videos will help earn eyeballs – and potential customers.

If you need more reasons to include images in your content or simply aren’t sure how to choose images or where to find them, contact Divahound today. Our years of content marketing experience can help your small business social media strategy move the needle on your bottom line.

Ten Ways to Expand Your Email Marketing List

by Shannon Huppin on June 28, 2017

Ten Ways to Expand Your Email Marketing List - Divahound

Email marketing is the new direct mail. The good news? Customers respond well to a quality email that offers value. The bad news is that people get a LOT of emails every day. Your email marketing efforts must stand out. But before any of that happens, you must have people ON your list to actually send emails to. List building isn’t easy, but getting started is. Here are some easy ways to get more emails onto your contact list so you can begin growing your business with email marketing.

  1. Do you have a physical store space? The old-fashioned pen and paper method still works. Place a sign-up sheet by your cash register or a high-traffic area and encourage people to sign up to receive email updates.
  2. Create a pop-up form on your website, so whenever a new IP address visits your web page, they are encouraged to sign up.
  3. Utilize your social media channels. Create a post that links people to your site to get them to sign up.
  4. Ask your team members or staff to help build your list. Have a contest to see who can sign up the most customers.
  5. Join a local chamber of commerce or industry organization that allows you to send email to members. Include a link to sign up for your newsletter.
  6. If your business has a loyalty program or birthday club, be sure to have members sign up for your email newsletter to get all the latest updates.
  7. Are you marketing to clients via text message? Ask those customers to sign up for your email newsletter. On the other side of that coin, you could ask your newsletter customers to opt in to receive text notifications.
  8. Include a “forward to a friend” option in every email. This allows your customers to begin engaging with their social circle and potentially get their friends and family to sign up for your list.
  9. In addition to creating a pop-up newsletter opt-in for your website, make sure there is a button to sign up for updates that is always live on the site.
  10. Make sure to collect business cards or put out a sign-up sheet at any local events or trade shows to capture information from people that pass by.

Always be aware of SPAM rules and don’t email your list so often that they get burnt out. If you don’t have anything interesting to say or any news that will add value, consider sending out a coupon or discount offer; people can’t get enough of a good deal! As your email list grows, so does the potential for your small business to do the same.

Need more help? Contact Divahound today!

Four Ways to Recycle or Repurpose Your Content

by Shannon Huppin on June 14, 2017

Four Ways to Recycle or Repurpose Your Content - Divahound

Small business owners wear many hats, and sometimes one aspect of your business may take more energy than another. Things get put on the back burner; that’s life. But one thing that often gets pushed to the side – and definitely shouldn’t – is marketing.

Firstly, you should have an established editorial or publishing calendar so you always know what is coming up and what pieces need to be written, posted and promoted on your social media channels. This careful planning can help prevent writer’s block and procrastination. That said, you can build in some breaks for you and your team by recycling content you’ve already created to garner better reach and increase SEO. Here are four ways to stretch your content:

Update A Post

As time goes by, your business changes, technology advances, and your products and services improve. One simple way to create a fresh new blog post without reinventing the wheel is to update an old post. Copy the blog post, make any necessary updates and publish as new. Even if customers know all about the topic at hand, chances are they will still get value from it.

Create an FAQ Post

After some time in business, you’re probably used to getting the same kinds of questions about what you do. You may already have some of these questions answered in an FAQ page on your website. Need a quick blog post? Make sure those questions are up to date, dump them in a blog format and publish! You can also use this opportunity to link to other blog posts to increase your SEO.

Create A “Listicle” of Video How-To’s

If you’ve created videos of how to use your products, create a blog post with multiple videos or video links. This list – or “listicle” (an article made of a list) – won’t take much time to pull together since the videos are already created. Simply arrange the videos in an order that makes sense, and write a couple of sentences about each video. The reader can take the time to watch the videos that will offer them value.

Promote Evergreen Content

Perhaps the easiest way to recycle your content is to not recycle it at all! You probably have a blog post about the history of your company, or a post detailing your best-selling product or service that can be reposted, just as it is. Unlike a blog post that needs a fresh angle, this content hasn’t changed and doesn’t need to be edited or tweaked. This kind of evergreen content is great, but don’t fall into the trap of reposting the same content too often!

Want some help to create a blog that drives traffic and sales? Contact Divahound today for expert advice and creative content ideas.

Is A Messenger Bot Right For Your Small Business?

by Shannon Huppin on May 31, 2017

Is A Messenger Bot Right For Your Small Business? - Divahound

With all the tasks you have on your plate at a small business owner, one thing you may not have much time for is answering customer questions. Even if your business prides itself on providing excellent service, there are plenty of other concerns that take up the limited space of your very busy day. With social media morphing into a top way that customers are reaching out to brands, messenger bots are becoming a popular way to connect with people without having customer service inquiries taking over your day.

What is A Messenger Bot?

When someone sends you a private message on a social media platform, there are a number of applications that can respond to those messages for you. These messenger bots (short for ‘robot’) can help answer simple questions for people needing information and provide them with answers or contact information on where to go to get more help.

How Does It Work?

Once you’ve chosen the right application for your business, you can program the software to be able to answer simple questions that you often get about your products and services. Begin with the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), and adjust your messenger bot settings as necessary. Even though you have your return or cancellation policy listed on your website, you probably get inquiries about it. A messenger bot can easily provide this information to anyone looking for it without dragging you away from other work.

But Won’t It Be Less Personal?

Yes, it can be. In a time when people are more tied to their devices than ever, personal connections are rare and really do make a difference. But as technology advances continue to put automated services in front of customers, many people prefer to get answers from a virtual source. For more complicated issues, there is no good replacement for a kind human being who will listen to a customer’s needs. But for high-level questions that don’t take a lot of time to answer, but take minutes out of your already-packed day, a messenger bot can be a good option.

Tips For Success

As with any part of marketing your business, a messenger bot should be treated as a public relations tool. Here are some things to consider if you choose to employ an automated service like this:

Be Up Front

Let customers know they aren’t talking to a real person. Most people know right away if the messenger is a bot, but being transparent is always a good idea.

Provide Menus

Helping people get the information they want quickly is key. Menus can divide content into easy-to-navigate sections.

Provide A Real-Life Contact

In the event that the messenger bot isn’t sophisticated enough to solve a customer’s issue, be sure to provide a contact number where they can talk to a real person.

Want an experienced partner in providing top-notch digital content and strategic advice? Contact Divahound today.

Small Businesses – How To Research Relevant Hashtags

by Shannon Huppin on May 17, 2017

Small Businesses - How To Research Relevant Hashtags

Using hashtags in your social media marketing efforts is one of the quickest and easiest ways to do two things. First, it helps people find your content. Second, it connects you with other users interested in similar subjects. Among those people interested in similar subjects, you’ll probably find an influencer that could be a potentially lucrative connection.

On the other side of the hashtag coin, however, if you use the wrong hashtags you won’t be doing your small business any favors. Your content will be seen, but probably not by the right people.

Related: Why Hashtags Matter To Small Businesses

What’s a small business owner to do? The answer is simply to find the right hashtags. These tips and tools will set you off on the right foot:

Niche Industry Hashtags

Start with finding what hashtags are trending in your industry. Tools like Hashtagify.me allow you to search for any topic and you’ll be able to see the top 10 hashtags related to that subject. Sites like HashAtIt.com and Hashtags.org allow you to search terms across multiple social platforms.

Influencer Hashtags

Once you’ve discovered what hashtags are being used in your industry, find some influencers that are using those hashtags relevant to your fans and followers. Take some time looking through some top posts of the people that are making waves in your industry. There are also tools like Twitonomy that can help you see what hashtags are resonating with the followers of a particular user.

Timing

We know that when you post content makes a difference. What if you could know which hashtags were trending in real time? Keyhole allows you to see that exact info. When you’ve got your post ready and you’re prepared to post it, knowing which hashtags are trending right now can help your content reach more people.

Divahound can help you craft the right content and get it in front of the right eyeballs to make a difference for your small business. Contact us today to get started.