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    Social Media Marketing: How to Use Instagram for Business

    How to Use Instagram for Business

    Instagram users use the popular visual platform to discover content and brands that appeal to them. How can your online store capture their interest? Here is how to use Instagram for business.

    Set Up an Instagram Business Account

    Creating an account on Instagram is easy. Simply download their app and sign up using your company email address or Facebook login if you are set up as an administrator. Go to your profile and click on your settings. Scroll down and change select “Switch to Business Account.” Doing so will enable you to input important business information like your store hours, business address, or phone number. A business account also provides you with access to real-time metrics and valuable insights into your followers and their interactions with your posts.

    Develop a Visual Theme for Your Account

    Since Instagram is a highly visual medium, your photos, videos, stories, and captions need to have a cohesive look and feel for maximum impact. It’s always a great idea to include the colors of your logo, for instance, so that customers can quickly and instinctively recognize your brand. Or, maybe you want your feed to have a particular hue to evoke a certain emotion when customers are browsing your images. Deciding on a theme will help you choose the most appropriate photos and filters for your feed.

    Post Visually Captivating Photos and Videos

    Even if you don’t have a professional photographer on staff, you can create visually appealing photos and videos within the app using filters and editing tools. Mix it up and get creative! While you can focus on showcasing your products, you don’t want your account to look like a collection of ads. Instead, share candid photos of your staff, snaps of your beautiful office space, inspirational quotes, or behind the scenes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with stories. You can, for example, do mini how-tos or tutorials to show your customers how they can use your products.

    Don’t Neglect Captions

    Captions serve a multitude of functions. They provide more information about your posts and are a great way to show your company’s personality. You can engage your audience by asking questions and include hashtags to categorize your content. Since people can now follow hashtags, using them also means that you increase your discoverability on the platform.

    Follow Users

    You’re probably wondering who your business should follow. One way to start is to identify influencers in your industry; follow them and people who follow them since they are also likely to have an interest in your brand. Another option is to use relevant hashtags and find out who is interacting with posts containing those. The goal is that the people you follow follow you back, so make sure you also like or participate in discussions in order to get noticed.

    Did you find our How to Use Instagram for Business post helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

    How to Increase Engagement on Facebook

    increase engagement on facebook

    Posting on your Facebook page is an excellent way to keep your customers informed of what’s going on with your business. However, if you’re merely posting text, images, and video content without engaging with your audience, you are not utilizing the platform to its full potential.

    What Is Facebook Engagement?

    Social media engagement refers to various actions that your fans or followers perform on your page or profile. For Facebook, it can be liking a post, leaving a comment, responding to someone else’s comment, sharing your post, or clicking on an image, link, or video.

    In addition to engaging with your audience, it also leads to increased organic reach, which can help you drive additional traffic to your page, and eventually, increase sales. If you’re struggling to increase engagement on Facebook, here are three easy strategies that can help you.

    Initiate a Conversation

    A popular method to start a conversation on Facebook is to use content to engage your audience. For instance, if you schedule a blog post on your Facebook account, accompany it with a question, as demonstrated by one of our customers, Zeus E-Juice. Instead of merely posting a link to that week’s blog post, we asked their customers a question and invited them to share their personal story: “Has vaping helped you quit smoking? Share your story in the comments section below.”

    increase engagement on facebook 2

    Host a Facebook Live Broadcast

    Hosting a live broadcast can help you increase engagement on Facebook, but it is essential that you promote the event in advance so that people can plan to attend. Sephora, for example, hosted a demonstration, followed by a Q&A session with makeup influencer, Samantha Ravndahl. Not only did they give their audience a heads up, but they also made it clear what the broadcast was going to be about and encouraged fans to come up with questions ahead of time.

    Sephora increase facebook engaegment

    Respond to Customer Comments and Questions Promptly

    Social media is fast becoming the most preferred channel for customers to communicate with companies, which means that you will often get comments and feedback, both positive and negative. Making sure that you respond quickly makes the potential or current customer feel like their input is valued and that their concerns have been acknowledged. Whenever possible, aim to provide your audience with a satisfactory answer, illustrated by the example below.

    article increase facebook engagement

    What strategies do you use to increase engagement on Facebook? Share your tips in the comments section below.

    Social Media: How to Use Pinterest for Business

    Social Media Marketing: How to Use Pinterest for Business

    This is How to Use Pinterest for Your Business Marketing

    While all social media platforms provide businesses with a way to promote visual content that captures their audience’s attention for a limited time, Pinterest remains the only platform where its 200 million worldwide users, or Pinners, can curate images that they can access for an indefinite period of time.

    What is Pinterest?

    Pinterest is a virtual visual board, used to discover and save multimedia content, known as pins, on online boards that Pinners can access via the site or the Pinterest app. Although primarily comprised of images, Pinterest supports gifs and video as well.

    How to Use Pinterest for Business

    While social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have more users than Pinterest, they are used mainly for social networking. Pinterest, on the other hand, is principally used as a content discovery medium, enabling Pinners to connect and engage with content that they are interested in and actively seeking. So, if you’re now wondering how to use Pinterest for business, read on.

    Use Pinterest to drive brand or product awareness

    Since Pinners use Pinterest to discover new ideas to try and products to buy, companies using the platform can share content that meets their interests, including information about their own brands and products.

    As Pinterest’s receptive audience starts to notice your engaging imagery, users are likely to save your pins or follow your account. According to Pinterest, “67% of Pinners say they’ve discovered a new brand or product from business content on Pinterest.”

    Use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog, website, or online store

    When Pinners see something they like, they usually pin it onto their boards. Doing so makes your content not only accessible to that particular user but also visible to all their followers, driving referral traffic to your blog, website, or online store.

    If you want to increase your audience, Pinterest provides you with the option to create paid ads, known as a Promoted Pins, giving you access to an even broader audience.

    Use Pinterest to increase sales

    93% of pinners say they use the platform to plan future purchases, so providing them with rich product pins that include pricing and availability information and links to your product make it easier for them to purchase your items. In fact, 87% of users report having bought a product on Pinterest. However, since pinners take time to plan their purchases on Pinterest, conversions typically take longer.

    Will you be using our “how to use Pinterest for business” ideas for your ecommerce business? Tell us in the comments section below.

     

    4 Ways Social Media Can Help Your Business

    how social media can help your business

    In the US alone, there were approximately 208 million social media users in 2017, and that number is projected to reach over 220 million in 2022, fueled in part by people’s voracious appetite for social networking and the rapid increase in mobile browsing. If you’re new to the game and wondering how social media can help your business, read on.

    Social media can help your business increase brand awareness

    Once you have launched your business, you need traffic, whether it’s foot traffic or web traffic. An excellent way to get the word out about your new business is to use social media. Not only does it provide you with word-of-mouth advertising, but due to ease of which content can be shared online, it is amplified. Businesses are now using social media to create awareness and build anticipation even before they launch.



    Social media can help you build relationships with your audience

    Unlike traditional marketing, social media marketing provides two-way interaction. It enables you to build and nurture relationships with your customers by sharing content that they value, rather than merely promoting products, and engaging with them in a conversation. Listening to what your audience is saying can help you further refine your marketing strategies.

    Social media can help you provide better customer service

    People on social media can be very vocal. We have all witnessed an angry customer lashing out at a business on Twitter or Facebook. Don’t let that intimidate you. Unhappy customers will vent on social media whether you have a presence or not. Having a social media profile gives you an opportunity to have a say in that conversation. It enables you to listen to their concerns, get in touch with them, and provide a solution and is ultimately an opportunity to win that customer over.

    Social media can increase sales

    People who follow you on social media have implicitly expressed interest in your company, whether they do so because of the humorous posts you share, the helpful tips you provide, the relevant updates you give, or the amazing products that you offer. This audience is far more likely to respond positively to sales messaging. Promoting various products or sales on your social media can result in higher conversions.

    Are you a small or medium-sized business who uses social media? Tell us what strategies worked for you in the comments section below!

    4 Blog Ideas for Your Ecommerce Business

    blog ideas for online businesses

    If you operate an ecommerce business, a blog is an invaluable tool to help you connect with your current and potential customers. Not only can regularly-scheduled posts drive traffic to your website and boost sales, but they can also help improve SEO. If you’ve been considering adding a blog section to your company website, here are four blog ideas for online businesses that you can start with.

    The History of Your Business

    Share the story of how your ecommerce business came to be. For instance, if you sell organic dog treats online, what inspired you to start your online store? Was it your passion for our furry friends, or perhaps the lack of healthy options available on the market? Sharing your story with your audience is an excellent way to build a relationship with your audience.

    Tips and Tricks or How-Tos

    The options are limitless when it comes to tips and tricks and how-tos. Let’s take the example of one of Trek Marketing’s clients, Upscale Menswear, a company that sells high-end clothing and accessories online. Their blog is regularly updated with articles focused on helping their customers look their best. In the blog post titled “What to Avoid When Wearing a Suit,” the clothing e-tailer provide style advice while incorporating links to their products in the text in a way that flows naturally. The idea is not to push a specific product but to provide helpful style tips and concrete examples to their clientele.

    Share Information About Your Product

    How do your products differ from your competitors? Prime Vapor, another client of ours, is a company that offers flavor cartridges and vape juice for e-cigarettes and vaporizers. Since all their products are propylene glycol-free, their blog post titled “Vape Juice Bases: PG vs. VG” educates their customers about their deliberate choice to only use vegetable glycerin as a base, which resonates with those who have concerns about or allergies to propylene glycol, making them more likely to purchase their vaping products from them.

    Answer Frequently Asked Questions

    Do you find that you are getting asked the same question over and over again? Address it in depth in a blog post, and each time a customer asks the same question, send them a link to the article. It will save you time, and the customer will appreciate the detailed explanation. For instance, Bonjour Mauritius, a website that specializes in transfers and excursions, wrote an article titled “5 Reasons Why You Should Pre-Book Your Mauritius Airport Pickup” in their “Travel Tips” blog category. This article doesn’t only help answer the common question of pre-booking transfers, but it also brings additional traffic to the site since the link to the blog post shows up in various search results around airport pickups in Mauritius.

    We hope you found these blog ideas for online businesses helpful. If writing isn’t your strong suit, or if you don’t have sufficient time to maintain a blog, get in touch with us to get started!

    Digital Marketing: What is Content Marketing?

    What is Content Marketing

    Content marketing is not a new phenomenon; it has been around since the 1880s “as technological advances in transportation and communications allowed companies to forge stronger connections with their customers.” Even back then, brands such as John Deer recognized an opportunity to build customer trust by providing them with information that met their interests and needs, rather than just advertising to them. In 1885, they launched a magazine with the goal of providing useful advice and information to farmers who wanted to increase their profitability.

    What is Content Marketing?

    According to the Content Marketing Institute, “content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” Some examples of content marketing are magazines, blogs, podcasts, videos, and infographics that potential customers will value and that they can share across various platforms.

    Strategic

    For content marketing to be effective, it needs to be strategic, which means that companies need to identify the goal they want to accomplish using this technique. For instance, if your goal is to increase awareness of your business, the content you produce and share will vary significantly from information aimed at helping a customer research products to help them make a decision.

    Relevant, Valuable, and Consistent

    Content needs to be valuable and relevant, but value and relevance are subjective. Haphazardly creating content without knowing the audience will not produce the results that you seek. For example, if you own a clothing company, your audience may be interested in the latest fashion trends, or they may be interested in knowing how to accessorize for various occasions.

    Since many companies use content marketing as part of their digital marketing strategy, competition is fierce. One way to stand out is by ensuring that you produce and share high-quality information consistently. Maintaining a regular schedule will increase the credibility of your business as your prospects start viewing you as an industry leader and an expert.

    Profitable Customer Action

    Content marketing enables businesses to build a relationship with their audience, and when your potential clients trust you, they are more likely to buy from you or recommend your company to their family and friends.

    Is content marketing an integral part of your marketing strategy? Tell us how content marketing has helped you achieve your business goals?

    Why E-Commerce Businesses Need a Blog

    ecommerce blog

    If you’re an ecommerce entrepreneur wondering whether your business needs a blog, the answer is a resounding yes. Posting relevant content frequently helps ecommerce businesses improve SEO (search engine optimization), drive traffic to their online stores, build an audience, engage with customers, and ultimately, drive sales.

    Ecommerce Blogs Improve SEO

    It is critical that your ecommerce business rank high on search engines so that customers can easily find your site organically. When you have a company blog, each post that you publish creates an additional page for search engines to index. In addition to valuable content, internal links and relevant keywords in your articles help search bots crawl your website more effectively. In addition, posting often signals to search engines that your site is active and updated, which also results in a more favorable ranking.

    Ecommerce Blogs Drive Traffic to Your Site

    When you have a blog and you update it often with helpful, high-quality content, not only do you give people a reason to visit your website, but you also entice them to return to your site regularly. Posting how-tos, tips and tricks, trends, etc. on your ecommerce blog can help your store attract regular traffic.

    Ecommerce Blogs Help You Build an Audience

    Having an ecommerce blog that features high-quality content can help you build a reputation as an industry expert, which in turns builds credibility and trust. As customers start trusting your blog, and company, they may come to you every time they have a question that they think you can answer.

    Ecommerce Blogs Enable You to Engage with Current and Potential Customers

    Blogging is an invaluable tool to connect with your current and potential customers. Keep your readers updated by sharing timely information about upcoming products, events you plan on hosting or attending, deals you’re offering, and tips that your audience may be interested in. Invite customers to comment after reading your blog post, and make sure to respond to them to maintain a dialogue and build rapport.

    Does your ecommerce business need help starting and maintaining a blog? Trek Marketing specializes in creating SEO friendly posts for small and medium-sized businesses. Contact us to get started!

    Email Marketing for Your Ecommerce Business

    ecommerce email marketing

    Digital marketers are always on the lookout for new, cost-effective ways to connect with customers, but one method that has stood the test of time and that continues to produce results is email marketing. It is a robust tool that enables businesses to acquire, engage, and retain customers. If you are an ecommerce entrepreneur looking to integrate ecommerce email marketing into your broader digital marketing strategy, here are three ways you can do so.

    Acquisition Emails

    Companies send acquisition emails with the specific purpose of convincing a potential client who has expressed interest in a product to convert. Your email can encourage them to try out your products or include a compelling offer that will entice them to purchase your product, thus increasing your sales.

    Here is an example of an ecommerce email marketing email that urges the subscriber to start a free, three-month trial. The email has a clear call-to-action (CTA) and as the customer scrolls down, it outlines the benefits of becoming a paid client, such as receiving personalized music recommendations, getting access to the latest songs from around the world, and more. Since the trial is at no cost to the customer but still allows them to experience the paid service, if they like it, they are likely to convert.

    Apple Acquisition ecommerce email marketing

    Email Newsletters

    Email newsletters are an excellent way for companies to keep subscribers connected to and engaged with their brands. Whether you’re sending out a timely email about a recently-launched product that your customers would be interested in or you’re emailing a helpful list of gift ideas for the holidays, email newsletters keep your customers connected to your brand, which means that you are top of mind when they are ready to purchase.

    This Indigo newsletter, for instance, does not directly focused on selling to the customer, but rather provides them with valuable information that will help them pick books as gifts. It provides suggestions based on the personality of the person the subscriber is shopping for, such as thrill seeker, hockey lover, foodie, romantic, etc.

    Indigo ecommerce email marketing

    Promotional Emails

    Promotional emails can increase conversions by enticing the email recipient to make the purchase. By including a limited-time offer they cannot resist, not only can you increase the likelihood that a potential customer will convert, but you can also encourage customers who have previously purchased your products to order again or try out a new product. In other words, promotional emails help you retain customers, in addition to getting new ones.

    Take a look at this ecommerce email marketing example from Origins. It offers the subscriber a coupon code for 20 percent off almost everything that can be used during a short time-frame and features a clear CTA. By creating a sense of urgency, they tap into the client’s fear of missing out.

    Origins Promotional ecommerce email marketing

    How does your ecommerce business use email marketing to drive sales? Tell us in the comments section below. 

    How to Get More Customer Reviews

    How to Get More Customer Reviews

    Online reviews are an essential marketing component for both brick-and-mortar and ecommerce businesses. Since they provide potential customers with unbiased information about your products and services, online reviews help answer many of their questions and eliminate uncertainty about their intended purchase. Furthermore, in addition to boosting page rankings, reviews also help build customer confidence in your product and brand. However, when it’s their turn to do so, the same customers often fail to leave feedback, and so, businesses find themselves struggling to garner reviews. In today’s blog post, we’ll answer the question of how to get more customer reviews with three easy tips.

    Send a Follow-Up Email

    Although 70% of online shoppers consult reviews or ratings prior to buying, many of them don’t end up leaving a review, so how do you get them to write you one? By asking! Don’t be afraid to be direct. If you don’t have a physical location and can’t ask customers in person, send them an email a week or two after they have received their order asking them to review the products they just purchased.

    Have a Simple Review Submission Process

    Keep the review form and process simple, and avoid asking for unnecessary information. For instance, for most businesses, the customer’s name, rating, and review suffice. Some companies also ask for a title or the customer’s location. Only include those fields if they add value to the testimonial. The more straightforward the process, the more likely the customer is to complete it.

    Provide an Incentive

    Motivate your clients to review your products by offering them an incentive. Whether it’s a coupon code, discount on a future purchase, entry to a contest, or an exclusive sneak-peek of upcoming merchandise, it will provide them with that extra encouragement. Since the client is taking the time and energy to write a testimonial, the incentive can also serve as a token of appreciation.

    How do you garner customer reviews? Tell us in the comments section below!