Understanding how each social media platform works

One of the things that can cause paralysis when using social media for marketing is not knowing how it works. You might have lots of ideas and you may even post a few stuff but, are you really using it effectively? Do you know all the things you can do on a particular platform?

Social media platforms cover 4 areas, video, audio, text and images. However, each platform has different implementations of this and knowing these can help you in your content creation.

Newsfeed post criteria

Every platform has a newsfeed.  You can see people you follow and those who follow you can see your updates. 

On Twitter, there’s a combination of written word, images and video. However, each of these has a limit. Images must be a certain size, a video has to be a 2 minute and 20 seconds, and also the 240 character limit. 

You can use this information for your advantage in your content creation. You can craft your message to fit that limitation. It will also make your story powerful and consumable by your customers. 

Radio & TV ads are 30 seconds to a minute. Companies had to tell their stories with that limitation for that platform to work for them.  Same applies online.

Stories 

Not all social media platforms have this feature, but it’s still a useful tool. You’re able to share ongoing progress of what you are working on throughout the day. It goes away in 24 hours. You can use stories to test ideas out before committing to a post on your newsfeed. You can also create specifically for that. Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, youtube, Snapchat all have the stories feature.  You can use it to good effect. 

The interesting thing about stories is that people check it very often. Sometimes multiple times for the day. This is interesting because you can use stories to drive traffic to content in your feed. Instagram as a swipe up feature where you can post to stories and persons can swipe up to learn more. 

Direct Message

Direct messages are also a great way to interact online. If a customer asks a question on your newsfeed you can either reach out publicly or send a private message offering more help.

In the book fill your funnel by Tom Hopkins and Dan Portik says asking instead of telling is the most critical concept to grasp in selling. The person who is asking the questions controls the direction of the conversation. This further demonstrates that you can use direct messages to ask questions and further et up to speed with social media tools for good effect. 

Search function

Search is the perfect way to find conversations online. You can search hashtags, keywords and see what your potential customers are saying or talking about. This will allow you to answer questions and meet new people who might be interested in what you do.

Like, reply with a comment or reshare

All platforms allow you to interact with other content. If you see something you like, press the like button, reshare it if you find it interesting or leave a comment so that the person can see your thoughts. This is a great way to interact with the community and meet new people and potential customers.

3 reasons why your business website need a blog

3 reasons why your company website need a blog

One day I was doing some research trying to find a place I could buy a printer. Checked all major outlets websites thinking it would answer all my questions. I wasn’t searching for a regular home printer, I wanted something similar to the one I used at work. 

Few of the companies websites I checked I saw that they had a one or two printers that might work. No information was there that would convince me to pull the trigger and get it. Based on the look of the site I wasn’t even sure they had the printer in stock. Plus it was my first time buying that particular type of printer. These are the type of things situation a blog could solve.

Long before the internet companies used to rely on newspapers and magazines to write about them to reach their customers directly. They actively seek out these opportunities. Now they don’t have to do that. Its easier to reach your buyers directly and address their problems on your blog. 

Answer customers questions and queries

This is one of the easiest places to start. Answering questions customers call or come into the store and ask. Walk them through step by step, educating them to make a decision. If I had seen a buyer guide to office printers on the site. I would have read it. Would make me more likely to buy from them if I felt I knew what to look for in the type of office printer I wanted. 

It builds trust with customers

If your blog is helpful overtime customers will trust you. Why? You took the time out to educate them. You became a trusted advisor that helps them make good decisions and get value for money. 

For instance, I always hate when calling companies asking questions and the person on the phone is trying to get rid of you. Its the worse feeling in the world and a big turn off when you are genuinely going to buy something. 

Its a communication channel you control

Lastly, if you have a big announcement you can post it on your blog, once you build up subscribers and chances are you collected data from them you can send it out to them. No need to send an email to the press and hope someone sees it and publish it. You can tell your story through a vehicle you control. You can post as often as you want for free. Once you build up your customer database you can reach them directly through your blog.

Why set up a landing page for your podcast?

A podcast is an intimate medium. You take listeners on a journey with you by addressing their problems, sharing stories and solutions that help them. But if you run a business, chances are you want to convert those listeners into paying customers. To do this you’ll need a conversion system. By this I mean an offer to give to your listeners, and a place for them to get it. An automated sequence to nurture the relationship. One critical component is a landing page. 

When a listener hears your offer and decides to take action, they want to go to a webpage to get that offer. They will see the offer and find even more reasons why they should get it now. Instead of having them search for it, you can make it easy for them to decide. 

Before anyone can become a customer they all have questions relating to your offer. Some might be sceptical, but visit the page to verify the doubts. So that’s what the landing page is for. This space should answer all questions, and help convert listeners into leads that eventually buy from you. 

A distraction-free environment

While people are listening to your podcast they may miss some things you said about the offer. Why not repeat it on your landing page. Only your offer is on the page. They can focus on getting all the information they need to decide. It’s a distraction-free zone because only your offer is on the page. This is important because the listener only has one choice to take the offer or leave it. 

This makes deciding easier and increases your conversion once you have a good offer. It also makes it less of a hassle to decide what to do next as your call to action will be on the page. 

You can separate offers for customer segments

Chances are you’ll have multiple offers, free and paid for your listeners. Where would you put them? On a landing page, with each offer having its own page. You might cater to different people and have multiple products that solve various problems. This is a great way to separate your offer so that they don’t compete with each other. 

This makes selling much easier because each of the solutions is separate. you can create different pathways for different customer segments. Also, you can track every step of the way to see what’s working and what’s not.

You can track whether  your marketing is working

The last point is that you can track what’s working and then fix it. When you look at your podcast download numbers then how many persons visited the page. The real metric is how many persons took action on the page. This number can tell you how effective your offer is,  and you can see how it impacts the bottom line of your business. Knowing how each landing page affect your revenues can help your decision making and your marketing in the future. 

Those are some of the major reasons why every podcast needs to use landing pages.

The reason why you should automate your marketing

Not having enough clients is one of the reasons why most businesses fail. To solve this problem you’ll need a predictable system to find customers, tell them about your offer and get them to buy. Now, this sounds like a lot of work and it is. But all of this work can be automated giving you the freedom to focus on serving your clients. So why should you automate your marketing?

Pre-qualify customers so you don’t have to

One of the beauties about automating your marketing is that you can set up the system to qualify prospects so you are only talking to people who are ready to buy. This makes selling easier because once you meet with your customer they are already sold. 

It starts by mapping out your sales process and creating content for your marketing channels to attract your ideal customer. Systematically sending them out driving people through your sales funnel ever step of the way. They are given content that will bring them closer to buying. 

Pre-qualifying people is a good way to weed out persons who will waste your time. You can do this through the type of free lead magnet you offer. The wording of your ads and even to the types of questions on your landing page forms. Not everyone is going to buy from you and that’s ok. Just focus on serving your ideal clients and your peace of mind will thank you.

A repeatable system to sell so you don’t have to

Apart from pre-qualifying customers which is part of the sales process, you need a repeatable system that you can provide all the information about your offer. A step by step system that turns prospects into paying customers. The reason why this is so good is you can answer questions potential customers ask and more through content. ANd move them closer to making a purchase. 

Repeatable meaning you create the content once and show it to many people. This can be videos, audio, images or even blog content. There are so many ways you can package the content that you just have to choose the ideal one to reach your customers. 

You can track the results

There is a quote that says 50 per cent of advertising works you don’t just know which half. Here’s the thing in order to build a predictable system you must test your first set of ideas to see if it works and tweak it until you start to see results. Tangible numbers and results can help you visually see how well your marketing efforts are performing. 

Dan Kennedy in his book magnetic marketing advocates for business owners to track the results of their marketing. Because it can help you save money and show you what is working and what is not. You will see how many persons downloaded your lead magnet, how mich read the follow-up emails you send. Who opened your sales email and click to buy from you and in some cases where they are. This type of information is helpful so that you can strategically target more persons who respond to your offer. Giving you better results.

Market automation is a good way to get new customers and help you grow your business. 

Why buying your domain name is important

With social media companies constantly changing the rules, it becomes more and more important to invest in your own website. To start that process, you need your own domain name, but why is having a domain name important? 

Persons are able to find you

The modern-day buyer operates differently compared to in the former days. This is where ads use to drive consumer behaviour. These days, persons go on google to do a search for solutions to their problems. The results they find help them decide what to buy, or who to hire. You can be a part of that conversation. 

Say someone is looking to buy a new computer or cellphone. In such cases, they search for reviews of different options, read about the features and then decide what they are going to buy, then buy it. 

If you sell computers, persons can find a review that you did on your business website, and find you when they google computers. It works the same way as the yellow pages. The difference is, you have more space to talk about why you are different through the content on your website. If you don’t have a domain name eg: yourbusinessname.com then persons looking for computers won’t know you exist. 

Your name differentiates your brand from the competition

Toyota, Mercedes Benz, Dell are all names of well-known brands. If you ask anybody about their favourite cellphone, some will say Samsung, others will say iPhone. These are all brands. Like it or not, your name is a brand, and the name of your business is a brand. 

A brand represents a certain quality in the mind of the customer. When they think of something a brand relating to that comes to mind because they know what they are going to get. When you invest in building your brand through your domain name and online marketing, it will make it easier to grow your business from your website. It’s your sign online. That’s your real estate. 

It’s part of your marketing

When building a website one of the most important steps is buying a domain name. When you are promoting your business whether through social media, podcast, radio or TV  keep in, and you need a location to send them. If someone asks, how can I find more information about you what do you tell them? Your domain name of course. When they go to your website they will find all your marketing information,  and be in a position to make a buying decision.

Your domain name can be part of your call to action. Example visit mydomain.com for a free information kit. This will further help you sell your services while you are not there.

So as you can see, building a website and having your own domain , can help you automate your marketing, ] making it easier for persons to find you and build your brand.

Tools podcasters can use to create a website

Every podcast should have a website. Here’s why. This is your home base for all your marketing. Now with that said, the question is, what are the options for creating a website, and what is the cost to do so? With all the tools that are available, it’s confusing when choosing the right tools. Luckily they are cost-effective tools you can use to create your website.

Self -Hosted vs A  website Building Software

First up you have to understand the categories available to create a website for your podcast. So one is the self-hosted and the other, a dedicated website building platform. 

Self-hosted solutions allow you to download a content management system for you to install on your web hosting server. You then choose a theme that matches the look and feel of what you want for your site. you customize your site from there. This option gives you more control over your site. You manage the backend, and if something goes wrong you have to fix it. Of course, the hosting company’s support staff will be there to help you. 

The option of the Website Building platform is where companies offer you a full website hosted on their system for a monthly fee. You have access to modify the look of your site. They handle all the technicalities of the management of the website. they also give you a drag and drop solution for you to customise the site. 

How it works is that you sign up for an account, similar to what you do on social media, and you pay the fee and start customizing your site. This can be done in a few simple steps. You add a custom domain name and you’re done. What you have to do next, is add content.

Self-hosting options 

Now that you have an idea about the different website creation tool, what’s next? If you decide to go with a self-hosting option there are multiple content management systems available. Hee is a few to look to:

  1. WordPress
  2. Joomla
  3. Ghost
  4. Drupal

Out of all 4 WordPress is the most popular with over 30 per cent of the web powered by this platform. It has a large community and support system so you will find help for WordPress very quickly. You can find thousands of themes online both free and paid with lots of tools to customize the look and feel of your website. With premium themes, you will get additional design options. You will also need to find a web host for your site. 

Website Building Software options

 If you decide to go with the platform options there are multiple choices to work with:

  1. Squarespace
  2. WordPress.com
  3. Wix
  4. Weebly
  5. Tumblr

These solutions are equally popular with different price points.  Squarespace and wordpress.com are at the top of the list. They offer drog and drop solutions. THis is so in the case of Squarespace. Weebly and Wix. If you choose a theme and add the content from there. You pay a subscription and you have nothing else to worry about, other than managing the content. 

Should every podcast have a website

After all your efforts producing your show for uploading, so that your listeners can enjoy, you also need a place that you can call your own. At this central place, people can find out more about who you are This defined space is a  hub to distribute your show and information. For these reasons. having a website is so important. 

A hub to distribute your show

using social media as your traffic source is good to reach your buyers directly. However, these platforms constantly change rules, and so, becomes more difficult to reach all your followers. Once you’ve built a solid website you can control all the messaging, and have an organised space for persons to find out who you are and what you do.

You can distribute all the show notes and audio directly from your blog to, all other podcasting platforms, and have another channel where people can find your stuff.

You can host other pages with special offers

Another reason for having a website is to have a space to host your offers through landing pages. This can be valuable to your marketing system  to guide your listeners to take the next step. You can’t create landing pages on facebook without having other distractions for people to click away. 

This is a good thing because you don’t want to become too dependent on Facebook to market your business. However, you can use it as a traffic source. Meaning a way to build awareness and connect with your customers and potential customers. This also makes it a tool in your marketing system.

A place where listeners can learn more about you 

A website is important for your podcast so that you can tell your listeners about you, and how you can help them. After hearing your show, they may want to check out the products or services you offer. They may not be sure whether you are the right person .this is where them going to your website prooves useful.

What information will they find when they visit your site? This information might be testimonials or a breakdown of your different offers. Each offer would be on its own page with a full explanation as to what listeners would get if they buy and how they would benefit. They would also want to know more about your background, to further find out if they can trust you. 

That’s the reason why you have an about me page to further tell website visitors why you are the best person to solve their problem. By the time they interact with you, they are already sold. 

The Wrap

These are 3 reasons why having a website for your podcast is important. It’s your distribution hub, a place to tell listeners about you and how you can help them using landing pages.

Different types of call to actions for your podcast

If you want to see tangible results from your podcast, a call to action is important. You want to get your audience to do something to take them to the next step in your marketing funnel, but what do you say to them? Well, that’s what this article is about. 

Before we get into what to say, you first have to decide what type of offer you’re going to give to your listeners of specific episodes. there are two kinds, hard offer, and soft offer.

 Robert Bly in his book “How to create irresistible offer” explain these in detail. 

The Hard offers aim is to get a sale right now. Your goal is to create a bundle package that your listeners can’t refuse. These offers are good when people are ready to buy your product or service. 

Soft offers are a bit different and aim to get listeners to ask for more information or join your email list. This is great for persons who are not ready to buy but want to hear more from you. once they join, you can send them more marketing information later. 

So which one of these offers should you use for your show? That answer may vary. The reason is, you have the flexibility to adjust the offer to the content, and that’s important. Not everyone will be ready to buy, so you might have to put out a sales offer, or do a campaign push. Better yet, have guest talking about a book, then a hard offer can be used. 

Examples of soft offers

Many internet marketers stress the importance of growing your email list. This is the key to helping your business grow. Soft offers are great a call to action for this purpose. Here are some examples of soft offers you can use on your podcast. 

  1. Download our free meal planner to keep track of what you eat. Visit freemealplan.com 
  2. Download our free guide about 10 mistakes people make, when buying carts. Get the guide at buycars.net/guide
  3. Sign up for our free course on how to pay less in taxes
  4. If you’re having trouble finding a plumber get our free guide to finding the perfect plumber at plumberguide.com
  5. Get our free guide to personal branding now

As you see in these examples, the words you use must spur them to action. Signup for a free trial now. These are all soft offers. They help your listeners evaluate whether or not they want to buy from you. 

Examples of hard offers

Hard offers are what you’ll need, to get your listeners to” buy now.” These are statements you make to generate a sale. Here are examples of hard offers.

  1. Visit mybrand.com and use the promo code fire to get 10 per cent off your first purchase.
  2. IF you use the promo code hustle to get 50 per cent off if you sign up for an account.
  3. Buy the book now at 9.99 on amazon
  4. If you sign up now for an account using promo code podcast get 30 per cent off

If you listen to a lot of podcast you will start to recognise the use of these offers to get listeners to take action. They fit naturally based on the context of the show and your listeners won’t feel pressured. 

When crafting offers to call your listeners to action you have to give them a reason to act now. Also, remember the context in which to place your offer. ANd let it flow naturally throughout your show and you’ll be fine.