What to Look for in an Influencer

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84% of millennials  don't like advertising and it's easy to see why. No one likes to be bombarded with videos, banners ads, and promotional pop-ups solely set on selling something. It's invasive and quickly drives visitors away.

What's a solution? According to research, consumers trust each other more than a brand.

Hearing from a trusted source about a product or service is more valued than a statement from a company. Knowing firsthand what someone else's experience was like saves time, money, and effort.

That's why you need to take a closer look at influencer marketing. Working with someone who has a dedicated following will allow your business to grow the right way, without the need for intrusive advertising.

Before you collaborate with just anyone, read our tips on what to look for in an influencer below!

Are They Relevant to Your Brand?

Choosing an influencer is more than a numbers game. Sure, a massive following looks appealing but if they're not aligned with your brand's value, message, and product, your collaboration will fail.

Think of it this way: a clothing company wouldn't partner with a technology influencer for obvious reasons. They'd want someone who showcases their outfits and shopping hauls.

So you get the right influencer for your brand, look around. Create a list of potential collaborators who'll complement your business rather than collide with it.

Is There Quality Content?

Constant misspellings and grammatical errors are a turn off to anyone. Not only that but influencers who only have sponsored content aren't ones you want to work with.

Too many sponsored posts are the equivalent to advertising--no one wants to be sold to every time they check their Instagram feed. You want someone who has a mix of sponsored and original content.

The original content should reflect their own personal opinions or experiences. This will further enhance your collaboration as they'll let followers know their real feelings about your product or service.

Are Their Followers Engaged?

Don't be fooled by a massive follower amount. What counts is how well they're engaging those people. 

Influencers who barely have comments and shares aren't ones you want to partner with. If no one takes the time to look at their content, who's to say they'll pay attention to yourcollaboration?

To see if their followers are engaged, check to see how many comments they receive per post. Also, consider collaborating with an influencer who has less than 10,000 followers. More than often, these "micro influencers" have a well-engaged audience than those above said number.

Find the Perfect Influencer

Don't settle for the first influencer you see. You need to do your research and make the decision if they're a good fit or not. 

Still not sure where to go from here? Contact us  today to get more tips on influencer marketing!

 

5 Sure-Fire Digital Strategies for Elevating Your Brand to Next Level

Lets do THIS!

Lets do THIS!

Research has shown that the average individual spends at least 5 hours online every day.  Also, 85% of people begin their product and service search online. These are compelling reasons to take your digital strategy game to new heights. 

Improve Web Loading Speed

In the world of digital, time is everything. If people load your webpage and it's taking them ages, they will swiftly move on to your competitors' website. Loading speed is everything. Maintain your website visitors' interest with the rapid response time.

Use Online Advertising

Online advertising is a no brainer when it comes to digital strategy. And with the advent of social media, you can target millions of prospective customers. Not only is social media easy to use, but it is also cheap too. By forking out a few hundred dollars, you can boost your Ad and use that Ad to also link to your website. The other online advertising entails search engine because people search for what they need online. Drive traffic to your website by the use of brilliant content marketing. This includes the use of keywords and meaningful and insightful content.

Use Mobile Marketing

Research shows that most people respond to text messages no later than three minutes after receipt. This shows that people do look at text messages. You can utilize mobile marketing by sending personalized, earnest messages about your product. People will be driven to see what solutions you have to offer. Also, it's imperative to create a web design that's compatible with all devices – this includes having a platform that's friendly for mobile users.  

Create an Email List

Having an email list is strategic since you have a pool of potential clients who you can turn into customers. The trick is curating a catchy landing page with compelling content that will demonstrate the value of the list. Then send emails a week apart. This will ensure subscribers will have the business in the back of their minds while not getting annoyed by constant emails.

Include Reviews and Testimonials

There's nothing more convincing to a potential customer than the seal of approval from a client. Your digital strategy is more successful when people know they can trust your business.

These digital strategies will help you stay ahead of the game. They're budget-friendly, and they'll help you achieve sustained growth.  Still undecided the best strategy? Contact us today and we'll assist in every way possible. 

Talking about Getting Your Marketing Emails Read

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Even given a promising, qualified prospect list, sales is a numbers game. You have to reach enough people to hit a percentage who need or want your product, right now--or are ripe to persuasion that they need it. But no matter how hefty your prospect list, your communications has to 1) catch their interest, 2) persuade them to see what you have to say, and then 3) move them into action.

Not new information. But it does establish a context for talking about NEW ways to accomplish those things. To focus the conversation, let's talk today about email: how to get your emails opened, how to get them read, and how to get a better rate of converting readers to active purchasers.

You've probably seen some of the arresting statistics

 on video marketing. Four-fifths of traffic on social media now is video-viewing traffic. Facebook reports some 8 billion video views a day, day-in and day-out. Video marketing budgets are doubling each year. That sort of thing. The statistics on including a marketing video in your email are mind-blowing. For example, HubSpot reports

 that a video in an email has been found to lead to a 200-300% increase in click-through rates. You may not create a marketing video solely to drive your email sales (although many such videos are only 10 seconds long), but once you have a video that you are proud to use to promote your brand, the places to use it are protean: Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, email, your website, Instagram... By the way, statistics show that for the greatest effect, you should use the word "video" in the subject line.

Speaking of LinkedIn, you can use its Sales Navigator (for a fee) to perform a filtered search for sales prospects by type of company, marketing or position, geographical area, and a host of other variables. Then, you can add that to your email list. Or, even more easily, you can put the list right on LinkedIn's own InMail. With some 600-million members worldwide, LinkedIn is the world's largest professional-business group. By the way, a huge feature of LinkedIn is "groups." The average member of LinkedIn belongs to seven such groups. If you start your own group and manage it--say, to establish your organization as a knowledge leader in your industry--LinkedIn lets you send them an exclusive email every week with updates. That could mean new products, new services, awards won by the company or product, or information on how and why to use a product.

Your best bet is not to try to sell on email. Not directly. The "waste" or "toss out" rate is too great. People aren't on their email to read advertisements--and we all know it. People go to email for entertainment, education, and interaction. And all three can be part of your email. Selling your company and your brand can be educational and even entertaining; writing that kind of copy is a talent, of course. Interaction means posing questions and making offers. If you have a LinkedIn page for your organization (and you really should), then LinkedIn lets you create a "button" to add to every email. Readers who click on the button are taken directly to your LinkedIn page. 

Just a few of the newer ways to get recipients to open, read, and act upon your emails. 

 At Real-Time Outsource

 we talk about ways to make your traditional sales better and get new high-potential approaches online. Give us a call 

Let us know where you see sales going. And what you think could help your sales reps become more productive. 

3 Ways to Maximize Your Business’s Social Media Potential

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In this day and age of social media, the new generation of consumer craves a real connection with the companies they are potentially looking to give their business too. They do not want automated cookie cutter responses. In a world of riddled with monotony, we as businesses must make it a point to craft these genuine relationships with our customers. In this article we will be going over three ways in which we able to create this in our own company.

 

1.      Using Humor on Your Social Media Accounts

a.      Many businesses have begun to use humor in their discussions with customers, they will make jokes on their twitter about people who may be bad mouthing the company, they will make jokes about current events that may be happening, poke fun at competitors. It’s a simple way to gain popularity and increase your following on social media.

2.      Making It a Point to Provide Customer Service Above Their Expectations

a.      Give your customer that moment of magic, that moment they will tell all their friends and family about, the moment that your company went above and beyond for them. The way we can do this through our social media channels is by replying to complaints, in a timely manner, and ensuring that our customers problems are completely resolved, do something out of the ordinary for them, at companies like Zappos, they are allowed to send customers flowers at any time, on the company’s payroll. Actions like this create memorable experiences for consumers and develop long lasting relationships, that will be heard about through word of mouth.

3.      Support Causes and Movements That Your Company Believes In

a.      This new generation of consumers wants to see the brands they purchase from take a stance on issues, whether that be in politics, sports, or music. They want the companies they buy from to have a strong moral compass, they want them to be ethical, and help to fight against the things which they believe are unjust. Your company could also support a cause such as Breast Cancer Awareness, or Mental Health Awareness, celebrating months such Black History Month, or LGBTQ. This will make customers feel proud to buy from a company that does more than just sell to people, they want a company that helps to uplift communities, and create awareness on the social issues that plague our present-day society.

 

3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Working with an Influencer

Given the reach of the internet, many people who previously didn't have an audience have now found one. There are well-known bloggers, people who post on social media and those who create YouTube videos, to name just a few. In the marketing field, these people are referred to as influencers.

They're not your traditional kind of celeb; they may not be beautiful or fit. They don't have an army of makeup artists at their command. But they do have something to say, and people want to hear what they have to say. If you're looking to work with an influencer, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. Are they working in your field? If you're selling, beauty products, then look for an influencer who tests and reviews beauty products. If you're selling baby products, look for influencers working in the parenting field. Remember that this is going to take some work because there are many influencers out there. And even within each field, there are divisions and subdivisions. For example, if a blogger always recommends organic products but yours are not organic, then don't approach that blogger.

  2. Are they focused? How many followers do they have? Many people are looking to become influencers. They start blogs and leave them halfway. They keep changing their focus because they're not sure of what they're doing. Instead of working with people like this, make sure you find someone who has a focus and a good following.

  3. Are they impartial? You want to work with someone who has a definite point of view and not someone who will recommend you just to get free products or other perks. In the long run, these are the kinds of influencers who people tend to listen to. So if you can find someone who comes across as impartial in their blog or social media feed but also seems to love your products, then you can be sure they're a good person to work with.

Contact us

for more great tips to work with an influencer to promote your product or service.

Social Media Posts Your Business Should Avoid

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Are you struggling to give your social media marketing a boost? One big mistake businesses make is posting content that sometimes initially attracts a lot of attention, but ultimately causes a large number of people to unfollow. In order to optimize your social media marketing's performance, the goal is to attract new followers without losing old ones. So, to accomplish this goal, you will want to avoid social posts that anger or disturb your audience, prompting them to unfollow.

Social Media Posts to Avoid

1. Negative Posts Targeting Followers or Customers - It is very tempting to respond in kind to a negative or angry post or review, the better option is to use it as an opportunity to show off your customer services skills. While you may not be able to convert a dissatisfied customer into a happy one, potential customers will see and appreciate your efforts.

2. Inappropriate Viral Content - Social media posts that are funny or interesting, shared with the intent of going viral, are great so long as it is appropriate for your audience. Moreover, these types of posts can become seriously overdone. The best option is to share funny content limited to and scheduled on a designated day of the week.

3. Religious or Political Posts - Especially in today's environment, every business needs to carefully consider the benefits of weighing in on religious or political issues. In most instances, it is best to avoid these types of social media posts altogether. The backlash can seriously damage your brand, especially if you don't have a firm understanding of your audience or core customers.

4. Posts that Are Not Proofread - The core idea behind marketing on social media is being social. This does lead to more casual conversations and language. Regardless, you still want your business to come across as professional. Just a few small spelling or grammatical errors can make your company look amateurish. 

What haven't we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like more social media posts your business should avoid, or would like to discuss a related topic, please contact us.

The "Sales Funnel" Seems Almost Created for Digital Strategies

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A tried and true conceptual framework for marketing, the "sales funnel" or "purchase funnel," has enjoyed a kind of renaissance. Not surprising. Although articulated more than a century ago, the "sales funnel" feels as though it were invented to illuminate e-commerce.

The online store potentially exercises control over the "buyer's journey"—another reborn concept—that no brick-and-mortar store ever achieved. The "funnel," of course, is a metaphor for the guided steps ("journey") by which a potential buyer becomes aware of a product or service, becomes attentive to it, appreciates its value, seeks out additional information, chooses a place that sells it, and buys it.

(We pause here, but that is not the end of the funnel in "holistic" or "end-to-end" marketing, which goes on to ensure customer satisfaction, foster customer loyalty, and nurture an enduring relationship with the brand.)

The "take away" for marketers is that this entire journey through the funnel can occur online. That means: Potentially within the circumference of influence of the marketer.

A Trip through the Online Purchase Funnel

Some brief comments on the architecture of the online purchase funnel:

1.    "Inbound" marketing, which tends to characterize the Web, means drawing potential buyers into the funnel by offering information, ideas, a trustworthy source of advice. The potential buyer is not driven into the online store of a forceful sales pitch, but drawn into a relationship. Social media, skillful SEO, a well-designed "landing page" on a website: All mediate this process.

2.    The process continues by holding the visitor's attention with genuinely informative information, credibly researched and presented, with the use of visuals (today, especially, video) to make the information highly palatable.

3.    Introduction to the brand and the online shopping experience are carefully handled at every step. For example, the homepage of Netflix is not about films, per se, but how the reader faces no risk in trying the service. Clearly, Netflix is convinced that one step through the tunnel involves strong reassurance that you won't be trapped in it by renewable monthly fees.

4.    Even the online visitor to a website has a choice where to buy the product. Thus, there is an art to making the act of buying online easy, attractive, and reassuring. One sales funnel expert, for example, says: Keep the "buying" page—checkout, the "buy button"—looking like the rest of the website. Visitors become uneasy if they feel they have been sent somewhere else to make the purchase when it is the website that has gained their trust.

5.    The online art of converting a sale into customer loyalty deserves a separate article, but, again, the online store has a built-in advantage. When the buyer has traversed the tunnel—from interest to attention to trust to a decision to buy—that trust also wins the seller the buyer's email address—still by far the single most valuable item in the cyber shopping world.

An impressive arsenal of data-backed insights, useful tools, design principles, and techniques have evolved to realize the full potential of the online sales funnel.

Since 2009, Real-Time Outsource has been "showing the love" for helping brands, businesses, agencies, destinations, and non-profit associations maximize every part of their social communities.

What you Should be Posting on Your Social Media to Engage Your Audience

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Learning to Level the Social Media Playing Field

Are you an entrepreneur or small business owner diligently working social media to increase your sales but still aren't reaching the numbers you'd like? Do you find yourself growing frustrated when you run across another business your size or smaller who seem to be thriving on social media while you're elated anytime a like appears on your posts? In times like these it can be tempting to shutter your digital windows and stick to the real world for your business. However, not only can social media save you money in advertising but can bring far more customers to your door, online and off, than its physical equivalent. Recent statistics find that eighty two percent of small businesses are using social media to promote themselves.

This means that more than likely your competitors are already online and drawing your potential customers away with their advertising. The unfortunate truth is social media isn't a level playing field. However, having a basic understanding of what to post can greatly aid in driving engagement, increase the likelihood of promotion of your posts through social media algorithms, and ultimately elevate your business and profits to the next level. Getting started and growing your reach on social media is easier than it seems at first. Below, we'll take a look at a few different strategies and tactics on what to post so that you can level the social media playing field!

Educational, Entertaining, and Inspirational Posts make Social Media Algorithms Work for You

Believe it or not, not every post you make online should be an advertisement for your business. In fact, constantly promoting what you are offering customers can not only lower their interest but inhibit how many of your posts are seen. Posting entertaining, inspirational, or educational content provides people the opportunity to engage with your business online without feeling the pressures of being sold to.

Many social media outlets run algorithms that promote posts people seem to enjoy. By posting content to connect with your potential customers without pitching them your product or opportunity, you not only develop relationships that can aid your business in the future but are more likely to acquire engagement. This engagement translates to further shares of future content including advertisements.

Photos and Videos Enhance Your Posts and Drive Their Promotion on Social Media

Scrolling your social media of choice, you begin to understand how boring text only posts can be. On various platforms text only posts are hidden under those with photos or video and may be a detractor to potential customers. Posting a photo or video, alone or with further content, is not only a unique opportunity to engage clients on a sensory level, but maximizes your reach, and ultimately your profits as well.

Including Links Can Actually Decrease Your Reach and Lower Your Visibility

Understanding the way certain algorithms function within social media is the beginning of understanding what to post. Though it may seem contradictory at first, posting direct links to your business page actually lowers your visibility. This is due to those pesky algorithms. Social media sites, just like any other online business want their users to stay on their sites for as long as possible, meaning anything that may take users away will be more obscurely promoted.

So how do you get people to visit your page from social media? A more beneficial way may be asking those engaging with your posts to comment or message you for the link. This not only encourages post interaction, resulting in further promotion, but also allows for a one on one interaction between you and your potential customer.

Posts That Encourage Curiosity Are a Way of Increasing Interest and Engagement

When people go to search engines like YouTube or Google, the sense of curiosity is already there. However, when offering social media users our opportunities or products, it comes down to us to develop that curiosity. By developing this sense of curiosity we lead potential customers to our business or brand and what we are providing.

How is this curiosity developed in the first place? A good starting point comes in playing your cards close to your chest instead of giving away all the answers right away. By posting about the benefits or advantages that you are offering instead of the overall way of achieving them, people are more likely to develop interest and engage your posts.

How Your Business Can Reap the Social Media Benefits Today!

Dealing with the day to day necessities of your business, you may not have the time to incorporate a social media presence for your brand. At Real Time Outsource, we can help you plan and strategize the best approach to your social media and help you implement these tactics successfully to boost engagement and strength your bottom line. Contact us today to learn a multitude of ways to boost and drive sales from your digital presence or social profiles!

Five Profitable Social Media Strategies Revealed

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Entrepreneurs, CEO's, and site marketers all have one thing in common: the need for social media advertising. The responsibility of successfully managing and promoting your company's website can be a confusing, overwhelming task. Not only are you running a business, but, you're researching the best options to find cost-effective solutions for growth. The good news is social media advertising works. Everything you want in an advertising campaign is possible, leaving you free to organize and operate your business without distraction.

Once you've decided to develop an active social media strategy, comparing options can be a time-consuming ordeal. There are numerous choices, costs, and benefits available for every purpose and venue--all you have to do is choose. The following information comprises the top social media ad advantages and how to put them to work for you.

Choosing the Right Social Media Channels

The features and benefits you seek should lead to customer loyalty, more conversions, and increased profits. The dilemma lies in choosing and, choosing requires education. Working social media advertising to your benefit begins with a basic understanding of the terms used to decipher your data.

Some clients may opt for traditional customer interaction metrics such as clickthrough rates, page duration, sharing frequency, and comments. Other marketers find search-based applications and text analytics helpful in tracking positive and negative opinion mining. In any case, there are many terms to know about metrics so that you can accurately assess whether or not your ad campaign is working.

Relationships Built on Trust

Stable, long-lasting customer relationships rely on trust. When planning your social media advertising campaignremember your initial goal is to establish and nurture communication between your customer and you. Pitching a big sale may come in the future, but for now, you want to create an environment of interest, knowledge, and trust.

Customers who are in search of products or services spend only seconds on a webpage. Time and concentration in formulating your campaign are essential as this is how you are to be perceived by the public. The structuring of your ad is crucial to your success. Brand loyalty is the result of excellent products and customer satisfaction — now is your opportunity to assure them of both, creating a positive first impression.

Putting Your Ad "Out-There"

Though you know what you want to say, you may not be sure how best to say it. The way search engines operate, marketers must have some knowledge of getting traffic to their site using Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you're not able to stay apprised of the constant changes and SEO requirements, an advertising agency can help.

Blogs are useful, but today, you also need title optimization, Meta tags with descriptions, and links which point to your specific site. Search engines such as Chrome, Google, or Firefox may use your participation in social media advertising in their calculations. Your presence on social media notifies various search engines of your credibility and trustworthiness. 

Experience, Expertise, and Trust

According to Forbes, "Social media can be overwhelming if you don't have the proper knowledge or tools. Whether it's to create or repurpose content, to find the best way to engage with your online community or to create a complete posting schedule, having the right social media management tools is crucial to your success." 

Every post you place on social media is an opportunity to convert customers for a lifetime. Creating a large customer base creates more prospects for the future.

High Conversion Rates

Social media advertising has influenced the world in such a way that while it is useful, it also demands marketing expertise, savvy public relations, and hours of education.

Real-Time Outsource lives and operates in the world of social media. We know how to best serve you by orchestrating the details of your campaign for maximum results. 

We're here to help you personalize your brand, which is the secret behind the success of many social media ads. We have the experience and track-record it takes to help you benefit from interacting on a personal level with your online clientele. Please contact us to speak with one of our advertising experts today. 

Source:  https://searchcontentmanagement.techtarget.com/definition/social-media-metrics

Source:  https://www.techtarget.com/

Source:  https://www.socialmediamagazine.org/8-business-practices-from-entrepreneurs/

Source:  https://www.jeffbullas.com/17-best-social-media-management-tools/

Source:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/05/15/15-social-media-management-tools-that-can-help-your-business-thrive/#5952baf72b13

3 Common Influencer Marketing Mistakes Hindering Your Brand

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Influencer marketing has been a major trend for several years, with no signs of going away. If you visit Facebook, Twitter, or virtually any social media channel, there is a good chance you will quickly come across influencers, from different segments of society, promoting different products and services. It sounds simple, but there are many common influencer marketing pitfalls, which can hinder your efforts.

At its core, influencer marketing is simply utilizing the power of celebrities, experts, or other authoritative persons to broadcast your marketing message. Yet, this is often easier said than done. More often, a company's influencer marketing campaigns will fall short of expectations. This is not caused by inherent issues with influencer marketing, but more directly related to specific mistakes when attempting this complicated marketing strategy.

Influencer Marketing Mistakes Harming Your Campaigns

1. Choosing the Wrong Influencers - The first and usually the biggest mistake is choosing the wrong influencer. Many companies will simply select a high profile name associated with their industry or niche. This can be catastrophic. The person you select must align well with your brand, share your values, believe in your product, and have a good reputation.

2. Conflating Influencer Marketing with Celebrity Endorsements - Receiving and leveraging endorsements from celebrities is a powerful tool that goes back to the beginning of modern marketing. Still, it would be wrong to equate celebrity endorsements with influencer marketing. It more about relationship building and goes much deeper than just getting a movie star to send a tweet. 

3. Focusing Exclusively on Follower Counts - Many social media superstars are targeted by companies simply because they have a high number of followers. While the follow count matters, it should not be the only factor to take into consideration. For example, consider engagement. Many times, a lower follower count with greater engagement will produce better outcomes.

What haven't we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like more information on influencer marketing, or a related topic, please contact us.