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“Best of .Biz” winner awarded 1 FREE year of Bravo Video

13 Nov

This is a guest blog post by Karen Rosensteel, manager, Bravo Video.

To celebrate 10 years of helping businesses thrive, .Biz is recognizing its customers with the Best of .Biz quarterly contest. And the Q3 winner is…Sidd Scindia, a creative sound designer based in Pune, India, as voted by .Biz users and visitors. As a reward, we provided Sidd with a free one-year subscription to Bravo Video, our simple, powerful service for creating online marketing videos.

A .Biz Believer

Ask Sidd what he lives for and the response is easy: “sound.” Since birth, Sidd has always tried to pick out the various instruments in a song. After attending the School of Audio Engineering in Singapore, where he also studied photography and video production, he established Sidd Productions, a global business with clients in India, Singapore, the US, UK, China and Australia.

According to Sidd, he built his web presence with my.biz for three reasons:

1) It provided a shorter URL name that was easy to remember
2) It offered higher search rankings
3) It provided a better brand value

Sidd now enjoys great exposure thanks to a short, sweet URL, www.sidd.biz. Like so many businesses today, he’s working hard to tell his story in a crowded market. With .Biz, his brand is seen and heard all around the world.

Save 10% on Bravo Video with .Biz

With Bravo Video, anyone with a webcam can easily create a video for customer testimonials, blog posts or You Tube and Vimeo exposure. Says Sidd, “Bravo is easy to set up and embed on the website. The simplicity is impressive!”

And guess what? As a .Biz customer, you can save 10% on all Bravo Video plans. Just use promo code dotbiz10. We invite you to bring video into your online marketing and join Sidd on his quest to be more social, more engaged and more effective in his marketing efforts.

3 Ways You Can Measure Online Influence in Minutes (Post 3 of 3 in series)

15 Aug

Did you miss part one & part two in this series? Start from the beginning here!

Our final post in this series will identify the Third Way to Measure Online Influence in Minutes – Sales. By tying your online influence directly to your business’ sales, you can verify the worth of your online social media and content marketing efforts and match revenue to your investments in time and dollars.

There are great subscription-based programs on the market that are dedicated to helping businesses track the impact online activities have on revenue. Examples include Marketo, SalesForce, Eloqua and Hubspot, among others. However, if your business is new to the online space or if you have a limited budget, several free and effective tips and tools are available.

Check out these simple but sound tips to get you started:

  • Compare revenue against online campaigns and web metrics.
    Go back to the business basics: identify trends and patterns around your revenue, online campaigns and web analytics. Compare data in a quick excel datasheet or graph and make assumptions for future business decisions. Data doesn’t lie, so don’t shy away from attributing positive (or negative!) online influence to business ROI. Look for any abnormal spikes, dips or outliers. You can even look back at historical data to determine seasonal comparisons and contrast for the results you uncover.
  • Embed one-step online sales plug-ins throughout your business’ web properties.

    The easier you can make it for your business’ prospects to conveniently purchase products or services from you, the more likely they will be complete your sales funnel from end-to-end. Shorten your online sales process whenever possible, and incorporate purchase widgets and plugins into all of your web resources from email and mobile to social media and your company blog. The evidence will shine in results. PCWorld reported a 40% increase in revenue for an online children’s accessories store – after just three months of incorporating ecommerce into the company’s Facebook page. Don’t miss out on the revenue one-stop shopping can bring to your small business.
  • Use discount and promotional code fields in your campaigns.
    Track your marketing efforts by incorporating auto-populated discount and promotional code fields in your online shopping cart. Assign codes to each marketing activity and measure revenue your across each. Google analytics and other ecommerce plugins such as Paypal, Intuit, WorldPay and ProfitStars.com can help.
  • Drive customers and prospects to “landing pages.”
    A “landing page” is any webpage that you send your audience to in a marketing campaign. To increase your business’ likelihood of converting prospects to sales, tailor a webpage to your target audience’s specific needs. Keep your page simple; include only the most relevant information followed by a clear call to action. Google Analytics’ Conversion Suite or Crazy Egg are both tools that will show you where your visitors are clicking and where they fall in your sales funnel process.
  • Survey your consumers. Find out how online impacted purchase decisions.
    A short poll at the end of your shopping cart checkout will cost your customers a few extra seconds, but will provide you with important information to increase your business ROI. Ask customers which online campaign(s) influenced their purchase decision, and limit the response options to five our less to keep their attention. Also consider including a free response section for customers to offer additional details and/or suggestions.
  • Test online activity, analyze trends and measure against revenue.
    Another valuable way to prove a direct correlation between your business’ online influence and sales is by testing your online campaigns. Implement controls and variables, compare with your historical data and take note of corresponding revenue patterns. Learn more on best practices in testing from Destination CRM, or read case studies on the positive impact testing has on ecommerce conversions and revenue on ConversionsWork.co.

This concludes our series on 3 Ways to Measure Online Influence in Minutes. We hope you have learned some valuable takeaways to grow your business and attribute online influence to company dollars. Through measuring the direct influence and impact your online presence has on new business, customer loyalty and reputation – you can better manage and ensure your company’s long-term sustainability in today’s competitive markets.

Questions or comments? Contact us through the comments section below.

3 Ways You Can Measure Online Influence in Minutes (Post 2 of 3 in series)

2 Aug

Did you miss Post 1 in this series? Read it here.

Social Media

Social media is the second area that business owners can easily measure their online influence and impact. When benchmarking social media success, it’s important to take into consideration that social media should be used as a means to an end, not THE END.  Social media can be a great resource to help build your business’ credibility among your target market. Use social media to drive customers to your .US website, continue through your sales funnel and eventually convert.

Often times, social media is stereotyped as the marketing tactic that “can’t be measured.” However, there are many different ways you can measure the value and business impact social media brings to your bottom line.

Below are just a few KPI’s and free tools we’ve identified to get you started in determining your overall online influence via social:

Reach/Impressions: Reach refers to the number of unique social media accounts that saw your published message(s) and Impressions is the total number of times messages were delivered to accounts. Most social media accounts offer free tracking reports for reach and impressions – including Facebook Insights and Linkedin. Third-party reporting sites are other effective alternatives, with Tweet Reach and Crowdbooster to name a few. Moreover, use this valuable data to determine the best distribution times for your messages to optimize your reach and impressions (tool: Timely.is). If your audience doesn’t see your message, you’re wasting your time and you’ll have 0% chance to getting them to your website.

Engagement: Now that your audience has seen your social media message, the next step is for them to “engage” with your message and/or your company account. Engagement can take different forms – from clicks, comments and questions to follows, shares and mentions. If a potential customer engages with your business on social media, you know your message relates to them and has provided value. You can also set lead scores for various types of engagements received on social, and use pass along qualified leads to sales. Social Mention, Bitly Hootsuite and Tweet Deck are five tools to count and quantify your business’ social media engagement.

Audience:
Are you reaching the right audience through your social media efforts? Research the top users and contributors to your outreach with Social Mention and Tweetreach. You can also set up an account on Klout to find out which users you are influencing the most (navigation: influencers>>you influence tab). View user profiles and followers/fans to learn more about who they are and if they fit into your target customer persona. If you find that your social media efforts are not, in fact, attracting the right audience for your business goals, then you might need to go back to square one and conduct some additional research to catch the attention of the audience that is valuable to your business. You can search for users by various demographics and keywords, such as company name, job title, location and more via Twitter Advanced Search, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and other networks. Directories including wefollow, twello and Technorati may also prove worthwhile tools.

Website Analytics:
Track your website visits from social through Google Analytics. It’s easy to create tracking codes for all the links you publish socially with google’s URL Builder tool. This will allow you to identify the social networks that drive the most traffic, the most popular pages your visitors visit and the messages that produce the highest sales conversions. You can also use Google Analytics to test the messages you distribute through social media. Learn what content resonates best with your audience, optimal distribution times, and tweak future messages accordingly for best results.

Competitor Benchmarking
You can also determine your business’ social media influence by following the social media activity of your competitors. Most social media outlets display public profiles for all users – so a simple company name search will often do the trick. Additionally, search for analytical information on your competitors’ social presence with free tools Social Mention, Tweetreach and Klout or dig deeper with a paid subscription of Radian6 or TwentyFeet.

Looking for more? Check out these additional resources for best practices on optimizing social:

  • chrisbrogan.com
  • Emarketer.com
  • Social2community.com
  • Hubspot.com

Next week: check out our final post in this series –how to measure online influence and impact across Sales. Get cutting-edge tools and best practices to better connect your social efforts to sales revenue and ROI.

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