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Category: marketing

There are 34 posts published under marketing.

5 Bootstrapped Marketing Ideas That Don't Scale

One of Paul Graham’s oft-quoted advices is to do things that don’t scale. Paul explains that as startup founders, you cannot sit and wait for users to come to you. Instead, in the early days, you have got to recruit them manually. Although this is precious advice, one reason why a lot of startup founders don’t take this idea to heart is the fact that user acquisition costs often seem to shoot through the roof with such a strategy. But that does not have to be the case. Here are five bootstrapped sales and marketing ideas that may not scale but can help you find users in the early days.

Meeting People Outdoors : What are the kind of events that your target prospect likes to attend? Go to local meetups that your target prospect is likely to attend. You may not get to spend time with each of your prospects individually and would often be there to only get introductions for a future appointment. But although this is not scalable, it is a good way to get that initial reference. It’s always easier to make the next call introducing yourself as the person who they met at the meetup.

Cold Calls/Emails : This is the most common strategy to get your first users – find the target prospect and call them up. And if your prospect is someone who is also expected to check emails several times a day, email them. A lot of people assume cold calling is not for them. But the reality is that it is a skill that can be refined over time. This Youtube video has personally helped me significantly reduce my rejection rate. Depending on your infrastructure budget, it is recommended that start-ups invest in a business phone service that can help you bootstrap while allowing you call your prospects anywhere in the world.

Befriend An Influencer : Every industry has influencers that people in the industry look up to. These are people who are actively followed on Twitter and who speak at a lot of industry conferences. Getting them to endorse your product is an amazing way to reach out to all your target prospects at once. But this is not something that can scale, for building a relationship with one such influencer takes a lot of time and energy. Start off by following them on Twitter and engaging with them. You may be one of the hundreds who do this – so it takes time for them to know you by your name or even your Twitter handle. But over time, it is easy to ask them to try your product or refer it to their followers. MarketingProfs has a different take on influencer marketing, but is well worth the read.

Latching On To Trends : Social media users often dismiss businesses that latch on to the trending topics of the day as spammy. That’s because they abuse the trending hashtags in order to get visibility. This is not only unscalable, but also ineffective. The more effective way to find new prospects is by doing something that will appeal to them. According to Matt Mickiewicz from 99designs, his company made a great use of this technique when GAP announced a logo design that was heavily criticized. Hating on GAP’s new logo was trending in the industry and 99designs took to their crowdsourced platform to build a better logo. The result – not only did 99designs get visibility off a trending topic, they also got to showcase their platform to prospects who may have not known them earlier.

Speak At Conferences : A lot of start-up entrepreneurs make the assumption that they have not reached a level where they can speak at conferences. So while they religiously attend events, they only focus on listening to other speakers. But what one may have not realized is how desperate various organizers are for good speakers. If you are a business owner, people want to listen to your experiences in an industry event. Write to conference organizers – big and small – offering to speak. Register at the various online speaker marketplaces – you may eventually only get to speak at an event attended by twenty odd people. But not only does this set the first step for another event with a larger audience, you may also potentially have one influencer among the audience who could write about you, and help you reach out to your target prospects.

All of these strategies take a lot of time. But when you do succeed, the visibility you gain this way can be immense. What are your thoughts?


Tips to Write an Amazing Press Kit/ Press Release for Startups

Startups need press coverage. There are so many examples of how one good exposure in the media has sparked a viral story across the internet. It sounds easy, but a lot of legwork goes on in the background to make this happen. And that’s if you’ve even got the time/resources to spend ‘doing’ PR for your startup. In most cases, a bootstrapping startup’s team members will be wearing every hat in the book; coding, marketing, funding - media relations and PR can easily be pushed aside. People will tell you PR doesn’t work for startups and it’s low priority. You do need to make sure you’re laser focused on building a good, solid product/service - but keep PR in mind. It is possible to be smart about Startup PR.

Here’s how to build a great press kit that will do a lot of the work for you. (Click the image below to expand)

Also check out the PPLCONNECT Media Kit to refer to as an example.


Infographic messages expanded:

What is a Media Kit? A media kit contains resources that members of the media would need to run a story on your startup.
-Logos: be sure to include both web and print appropriate files
-Screenshots (if applicable): web and print appropriate files
-Press Releases: add these as you release them, be consistent
-Backgrounder: 1-3 page summary document (preferably PDF) with extra background information about company history & other useful information
-Awards & previous media recognition: this is the place to holla freely about your awards and media coverage to date
-Contact details for further information: writers need to know who to contact for interviews or product demonstrations. Make it easy for them!

1-2 Formula to Get it Done
1. Spend a week collating the pieces of the kit & getting them live on your website. We know your time is valuable in a startup, so grab a co-worker or a friend who might be in the PR field and some coffee and get cracking.
2. Dedicate an hour each day that week, and by Friday polish & publish the kit. That five hours will pay you back five-fold by acting as your new 24-hour PR pitch-deck. Once it’s done you’ll have a great base that will only need updates and tweaks when things change.
Tip: Find yourself an enthusiastic public or media relations student in 3rd year at a local university and get them to intern on this as a summer project #GiveAndTake #WinWin

Add your flavour. Tech companies may need a heavy & technical review guide as part of their Media Kit… If you’ve had a particularly good run with awards or previous media coverage, it’s easy to see how things can start to get long and (potentially) boring. Keep it fun where possible by adding your unique flavour to how you present and write the entire kit. The more engaging it is, the more likely viewers will spend more time there.

Edit, Edit, Edit! Have someone with a keen eye for design and proofreading take a look at the kit. Check that presentation is uniform where necessary, fix any typos and refine the layout.

Final Advice. The important thing is to have a bare minimum press kit available at least. Right now you can start by putting a contact email address on the website for media enquiries. After that work towards getting at the very least some press releases & useful graphics that the media can use in a story. Don’t feel like you have to have the whole kit ready before uploading. When we began working on our press kit we came up with two lists, one short and one long:
1. All the press kit elements we are happy to start with (shorter list)
2. All the press kit elements we would love to have (longer list)
Get started with the first and work slowly towards the second over time.

Click here to download PPLCONNECT + also share your advice in the comments on creating a media kit!



How Being Data Driven Helps in Your Content Marketing Efforts

Content marketing is the preferred mode of marketing for many businesses these days. Not only is it very cost-effective when compared to traditional forms of marketing, but also allows brands to use the power of the Internet to increase their market base. Moreover, content marketing, unlike many other forms of online marketing, is still considered trustworthy by consumers leading to brands making a beeline towards content marketing firms.

However, many brands are unable to use content marketing effectively, as they don’t know how their campaigns are faring or why and what they must change. This is why brands need to practice data-driven content marketing and not just content marketing.

Track the performance of your content marketing efforts

There is no point in having marketing campaigns if you have no idea how well they are performing. Yes, content marketing campaigns are much cheaper than traditional marketing campaigns but that doesn’t mean you can run them forever even when they are not giving you any results. This is a rookie mistake in content marketing and unfortunately it is committed by many brands. They create and launch content marketing campaigns without checking up on them.

Without tracking any data and without any metrics analysis, they may have no idea if their content marketing campaigns are meeting targets and goals set for them. Without using data analytics to track content marketing, there is no way to know if the content marketing efforts of a brand are actually worth the investment, time, and effort that has gone into the campaign.

Is your content reaching the intended audience?

Brands turn to content marketing to help them reach out to and attract their ideal or target audience. Once brands figure out the kind of people or the demographics that they think will benefit from their products and services, they try and create content and marketing campaigns to gain visibility among their ideal audience. Smart brands and content marketers use data analytics methods to track their content marketing campaigns to see if they are actually reaching out to the intended people or not.

With data analytics, you can actually figure out how people are interacting as well as reacting with your content and marketing campaigns. This will allow you to understand what you are doing right and the areas that you can improve upon. With proper data analytics processes, you will be able to change your content marketing campaigns to make them more effective.

Content marketing is also one of the most important ways to attract more prospects. Choosing prospects is very tricky, as they need to be in tune with your brand. They must also understand your business and marketing philosophies to be truly beneficial to your brand. If you are not using a data-driven approach to content marketing, how can you find out if your brand is attracting the right kind of prospects that will actually help your brand and not harm it? Moreover, the content marketing landscape and consumer tastes are ever changing and your campaigns need to adapt to them as quickly as possible. With no data analytics, you will never know when the changes occur and how they are affecting your campaigns.

You can improve your content marketing campaigns

Apart from getting the ideal prospects and consumers for your brand, content marketing also helps brands improve their visibility. Another, and probably the ultimate goal of content marketing, is to increase sales for the company. This is the ultimate and long-term goal of any marketing campaign. Data from tracking campaigns and analysis of this collected data can help you understand if casual visitors are being converted into customers and if not, then what is blocking the sales funnel.

With the right data you can improve your campaigns to convert casual readers of your content into paying customers without having to blatantly express that you want them to buy your products. Data analytics can also give you the entire and detailed view of the purchasing or conversion funnel to see how much time it takes for visitors to convert and at what phases they are spending the most time. This will help you understand what is stopping people from converting and how you can change your content marketing campaigns to nudge causal visitors in the right direction.




Why Broadcasters Embrace the Second Screen

People are sick of ads; even the most clever and engaging campaigns seem to outstay their welcome (I’m looking at you Flo.) Broadcasters need a new strategy, and as I have said before, the answer is gamification. The time has come for broadcasters to adapt or fade into obscurity as the advertising norm rapidly transforms into an interactive experience.


The Importance of the Second Screen


To today’s consumer, the term “second screen” may not mean much, but it has already begun to change the way they interact, watch TV, and even react to advertisements.


Here’s an experiment; next time you’re watching television with your friends, take notice of how many times they check their phone. It’s a lot isn’t it? Chances are they are looking up an extra tidbit about that show or tweeting their reaction to a particularly engaging moment. The emergence of the second screen has lead to a major shift in how television is viewed. Consumers eyes are no longer glued to just one screen, some overzealous consumers may even be looking at 3 screens simultaneously.


If Broadcasters are smart, and most of them are, they will know that instead of battling the Internet for the consumers attention they can capitalize on the multi-screen viewing experience by ensuring it is their products and programming that people are interacting with on their devices. This is where gamification comes into play. According to Business Insider, during the first quarter of 2013, 46 percent of U.S. smartphone owners and 40 percent of tablet owners claimed that they used their second screen devices while watching TV almost every day. This is up 7 percent from 2012, when only 39 percent of smartphone and tablet owners reported doing so. This is a golden opportunity for broadcasters to reach their audiences, even when they aren’t looking directly at their TV screens.

Why Does Gamification Work?


The beauty of gamification is that if done successfully, the consumer doesn’t feel like they are being marketed to. People are naturally inclined to avoid ads, but at the same time most of the population is driven to participate in competition-based activities.


Games are addictive, ask anyone who downloaded Flappy Bird. In a culture known for it’s impressively short attention spans, it seems that gameplay is the only thing that can keep people completely engaged (full disclosure: I have spent several hours on Flappy Bird and I have a high score 130.) When playing games, users go through a series of emotions, from excitement to frustration, and then finally elation, when they achieve victory. Broadcasters need to harness these emotions, and design a game based application that will cause the users to associate those strong feelings with their product. This would lead to a loyal and committed consumer.


The Challenges Gamification Faces


There’s no question that multi-platform marketing is now the most commonly used and successful strategy for keeping the attention of an audience, but there are still issues that need to be addressed. First and foremost, one must never forget that as a whole people are naturally resistant to change. The true challenge is getting them to adapt without making them think too much about the changes they are making to their viewing habits.


This is why gamification is essential, it creates an incentive that overrides any potential consumer apprehension. An understanding of game mechanics is imperative. It is not enough to add a point system or throw someone a badge for logging into a certain location. The broadcaster needs to understand what drives people to want to continue playing. For example, Insticator.com offers you real world prizes in exchange for points you gain on the application; the potential to win an iPad acts as fairly potent incentive.


Gamified content is the future of television, and if they haven’t already, it’s time for broadcasters to get interactive if they want to stay relevant in the 21st century.


SEO Is Not Dead, but Most SEOs Are

I am tired of hearing about how SEO is dead. When I read an article from someone telling me that SEO is dead, I immediately think, “That guy is just lazy.” 


Why? Well, SEO is clearly not dead. The search engines control the bulk of the world’s web traffic, and they are continuing to grow. Not only are they continuing to grow, they are getting better at what they do. So why on earth would any SEO ever say that “SEO is dead”? I will tell you why.

Most SEOs are just lazy. Think about it. The first search engine was created in 1993, which makes search engines only a 21-year-old industry. For 18 out of those 21 years, search engine optimizers have used many of the same techniques. Google started going after spammers after the “Panda” algorithm update in 2011. Before the update, many SEOs were using spammy automation to boost search results for clients, and their own sites for that matter. Many of these SEOs never moved from this practice because they are stuck in their ways. They would still prefer to try to fly under the radar and continue to push spam because it is the easier way, regardless of the fact that it will hurt their client’s rankings. They do not know anything different and they do not care to stay updated and learn. They just want “easy money”. Well, “easy money” does not exist in SEO anymore.


As a search engine optimizer, one of the most difficult tasks is to stay up to speed with the goings-on in the industry. This is an essential part of the job. When Google makes a major algorithm change, you need to start reading and studying client data so that you can adapt in order to continue to please Google for your customers. So what do SEOs need to do?


Set Phasers To “Learn.”


Now if you are an SEO and you are reading this, do not be insulted. Consider this a call to action. If you are not an SEO, you need to learn this stuff. A great way to start is by reading articles and subscribing to various SEO resources such as MOZ and Search Engine Land. Next, you want to make sure you are tracking all of your keywords and traffic data. A system for noting marketing strategies and changes you make on sites really is an essential tool as this allows you to learn from your own work by correlating your changes in traffic or keyword results. This is just as important as the reading, so stay as detailed as possible.


Tweak Your Brain.


Many often find themselves having difficulty adapting to all the updates and changes because they have been in a robotic state of mind. Let’s face it, much of our existence is based around numbers and data. After a while, it is easy to think of site visitors as just numbers. We need to expand the way we think and remember they are real people. Ask yourself questions like, “How else can I market to this demographic?” or, “How do these people think?” Once you start asking these questions, you can start to profile your markets and expand the way you think about marketing. After you do this, you are ready for the next step.


Smack A Wookie.


Did you like that tag line? This paragraph has nothing to do with smacking wookies, but it does have to do with being creative. You want to be creative when it comes to your marketing. Come up with your own strategies for marketing and avoid copying every strategy you read. A good way to tap into your creativity is to learn how to use Google trend. Google trends can tell you what the hot topics are on the web right now. If you find that your market is similar to one of these topics in any way, you will likely be able to push some good content out on the topic to drive traffic. Avoid spamming at all costs. Look for authorities in your niche and provide valuable content.


You Are Not Fake Ham.


Whatever you do, just do not spam. Make sure you are always providing value to your audience. Write excellent and original content. Once again, be creative. You are not just marketing to machines; you are marketing to real people. Push your content out to all social media platforms, especially Google Plus because that is the only one that really matters for SEO purposes. You are going to want to make sure you become a verified Google author so that you can start gaining author rank. This influences your rankings and will become a more substantial ranking factor in the near future. When you team SEO tools with hard work, you create a result that will have your clients thanking you for years to come.


7 Things To Consider When Choosing Keywords For Your App

Developing the right keywords for your app is a process that requires extensive research and diligent investigation.


Determining the right keywords is an important component of App Store Optimization (ASO), the processes and strategies employed to boost your app’s overall visibility to users. Ultimately, the right keywords can significantly boost your app’s rankings and drive downloads. So how can you most effectively research and choose the best keywords? Take a look at these top seven tips and tricks.


1. Don’t blindly guess. Never, never just assume that a keyword is good. Always do your research. It is crucial to get a clear idea of what people are looking for in relation to the purpose or topic of your app. Use tools like Google AdWords or MOZ to identify and compare the popularity of specified keywords. And throughout the research process, be sure to keep in mind the specific device you are targeting; keyword data will vary from device to device. So if your app is exclusively for iPad there is not point in looking at iPhone or Android keyword data.


2. Don’t repeat keywords. Never include your company name, your publisher’s name, or the app name in your app’s keywords- it’s redundant. Users can already search for your app using this information so there is absolutely no point in including this in the keywords. Remember, keyword character space is quite limited. Apple, for example, only allots you ninety-nine characters. Choose wisely.


3. Avoid overly used or overly generalized keywords. Considering the goal is to choose keywords that allow a potential user to easily find your app it might seem like a good idea to choose a general, frequently used keyword. After all, these words tend to be the most highly searched. The problem is that if you choose keywords that are overly used or overly generalized an extensive list of apps will show up each time a user searches that keyword. While your app may show up in that list there is no guarantee that a user will even see it among the multitude of results, let along choose it. Keep this rule of thumb in mind: it is better to be in the top 5 results for an average-searched keyword than in the top 100 results for a highly searched keyword.


4. Avoid highly specific or extremely unique keywords. While you don’t want to choose keywords that are too broad, you certainly don’t want to choose keywords that are too specific as people are unlikely utilize them in searches. Like highly searched keywords, infrequently searched keywords just aren’t a good idea.


5. Tailor keywords to individual markets. If you’re planning to launch your app in Colombia keywords in English aren’t going to be of much use; you are also going to need to develop keywords in Spanish. Never assume that keywords are equally appropriate in all markets, especially if you are planning on launching your app in different countries.


6. Pay attention to your reviews. Believe it or not, reviews of your app can be an excellent resource for effectively choosing keywords. The first step is to sort your reviews by ranking. Comb through all of the four-star and five-star reviews in order to find the specific words and phrases people are using to talk about your app (you want to associate your app with positive language, not negative language so never use bad reviews for keyword research). There is often a substantial discrepancy between the words you might think best represent your app and the words people are actually using to talk about and search for your app. Reviews can really help to bridge this gap. Strive to analyze reviews at least once a month. It’s not only helpful for keyword research, it’s also helpful for locating, diagnosing, and fixing bug, as well as for finding inspiration for potential improvements. For more information, be sure to check this great article explaining how reviews can be used to boost your ASOS strategy.


7. Pay attention to your competition. You always, always want to try and figure out the keywords your competition is ranking for. The Keyword Spy tool will definitely come in handy here. You are also going to want to pay attention to your competition’s reviews, not just your own. Once you know what keywords competing apps are ranking for work to rank for the same ones.


Today’s Success is due to Your Web Presence

I just read Macklemore’s heart-felt open letter he wrote about the unbelievable year that him and his producer, Ryan Lewis, have had.


I encourage you to read it for yourself, because it is a true testament of how diligence and faith can lead to success. These traits are principles that any budding or established entrepreneur can relate to.


Although, I wish Macklemore all of the best in his journey, something odd stood out about this letter. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then it came to me. Macklemore writes:


“To date we’ve sold over 1 million albums in the US this year. We’ve received platinum plaques from countries I’ve never even been before. We have 3 multi-platinum singles. We’ve performed on Ellen, Conan, Letterman, Leno, Colbert Report, Saturday Night Live, Billboard Music Awards, Good Morning America and the MTV Video Music Awards. It was just announced today that we’re nominated for 6 American Music Award’s, and yesterday it was announced we’re performing at The Grammy’s nomination night.”


He and his band deserves to be rewarded for all of their hard work when considering metrics that were created and valid before the advent of the Internet. These metrics include millions of albums sold, multi-platinum singles, performances on late night television, awards shows, and Grammy’s, which are all a very singular form of validation.


The Artist to Fan model adds a more dynamic layer to an Artist’s engagement with their fans. This model surpasses traditional channels and puts the artist in direct contact with the fan and vice versa. The Artist to Fan model, pioneered through today’s social networks and digital music distributors, may provide more valuable data to measure the success for an artist today. The Internet democratizes the landscape for fans and artists to share ideas and become more personable. Macklemore’s story is, in fact, not the only one. And probably is not the most important one.


Beyonce showed why she is King B with the release of the recent LP, “Beyonce,” Her recent advertising campaign for her self-titled album was a viral sensation. She demonstrated how well timed conversations in engaged social followings can quickly spread messages on the web.


James Jackson Toth, Lorde and Schoolboy Q on the other hand, have released dozens and dozens of records, under different labels, publishers, and formats. All of them are very active on social networking sites where they are a part of various conversations with other highly visible people on those social sites.


Most of these artists will never sell out at Madison Square Garden. They will not get awards. For the most part, they will never grace the stages of late night TV. But they, and many others, seem to find their inspiration by going directly to their listeners, supporters, and friends. Think about it, we all have a favorite musician-friend in our social network somewhere right?


Entrepreneurship Advice From the Coolest Entrepreneurs

What’s one piece of advice you have for entrepreneurs who are building enterprise software right now? What do you wish they would consider (or what principles do you use) to make that software great?

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.


1. Remember That Less Is More


Too often when people hear enterprise software, two words come to mind: complicated and expensive. I would advise those building enterprise software to keep in mind that less is more. Stay focused on what enterprise problem or need you are trying to solve, and don’t get distracted adding extra features. Doing this will keep your costs down, allowing you to charge less.


Phil Chen ( https://twitter.com/nethacker ), Givit (https://www.givit.com )




2. Focus on User Experience 


The days of cumbersome enterprise software are ending rapidly. An easy, intuitive user experience is important to promote adoption and create long-lasting customer relationships.


Martina Welke ( https://twitter.com/MartinaWelke ), Zealyst ( http://zealyst.com )


martina wlke


3. Pay Attention to How They Really Use Your Software


When you first go to market, your vision is likely different than your end product, and your users will show you the way. They will use it in unexpected ways and highlight obscure and valuable problems and challenges. Be a perpetual student and watch them meticulously. Explore every unexpected success.


Trevor Sumner ( http://twitter.com/trevorsumner ), LocalVox ( http://localvox.com/ )


trevor sumner


4. Get It Done, Then Perfect It


Many entrepreneurs focus on making their software perfect. The problem is, as entrepreneurs, we often don’t know what perfect is. The key to success is getting your software into the “wild” quickly, so customers can give you feedback. Get it done and out the door, and then iterate as you learn.


Bhavin Parikh ( https://twitter.com/bkparikh ), Magoosh Inc ( http://magoosh.com )




5. Don’t Forget the Details


Enterprise clients care about the small details, especially if the software will be representing their brand. Logo size, customization, proper branding — everything is important to consider for an established brand that has a specific formula for its overall branding.


Russ Oja, Seattle Windows and Construction, LLC ( http://www.windowseattle.com )


russ oja


6. Pay Attention to How They Buy


Enterprises buy software in a very different way than small businesses and consumers. Understanding the buying process is key to the success you’ll have as an enterprise software company.


Wade Foster ( www.twitter.com/wadefoster ), Zapier ( http://www.zapier.com/ )




7. Have a Revenue Model From Day One


An enterprise expects to pay for products and services. If it’s free, then that’s how they’ll value it. To build a successful B2B enterprise product today, you should launch with a paid plan and make it a significant cost (more than $100/month). Make it easy to cancel, and don’t require payment upfront. Your customers will respect you more for it.


Ryan Buckley ( https://twitter.com/rbucks ), Scripted, Inc. ( http://scripted.com/ )




8. Build for Yourself


A great piece of software has to greatly solve a problem. Live the problem. Eat it, take it to bed and dream about it. That’s where great software comes from — solving the problems people didn’t even know existed.


Brendon Schenecker ( https://twitter.com/bschenecker ), Travel Vegas ( http://www.travelvegas.com )




9. Fix Pain Points Quickly


Many enterprise startups wait too long between rolling out improved versions of software. Rather than waiting until every new feature has been built into your next version, push up features that eliminate pain points enterprise clients might be experiencing. Eliminating system shortcomings and user frustration can be as important as deploying new features to keep customers.


Chuck Cohn ( http://twitter.com/chuckcohn ), Varsity Tutors ( http://www.varsitytutors.com)


Chuck Cohn


First Steps to eCommerce: Persuadability

The main obstacle for eCommerce platforms is achieving their customers’ trust so that they will buy online. This sometimes becomes a life or death struggle. Persuasion becomes crucial to get your potential customers to buy your products or services.


It is important to take into account certain aspects of human psychology in order to identify what can make a customer unconsciously trust you and your brand. Here are some ethical techniques that can help your online business to thrive.


1. Show what others are doing.


Funnily enough, people trust strangers on the Internet more than brands – which is why sometimes Catfish effects take place. If you show them what others have done, said, or rated, people will take note and possibly do the same, particularly if they are hesitating. This interesting psychological process is known as “social proof,” and basically means that people feel supported when they take decisions on the basis of what others have done, assuming that they have more knowledge and information than themselves.


To improve your “social proof”, you can display, for example:


- Your bestselling items.

- “Customers who bought this also bought…” This is a mode of cross-selling based on your customers’ behavior (behavioral targeting).

- Testimonials.

- Unboxing.



2. Show reviews and actions generated by your users.


These reviews add great credibility to your eCommerce stores because they are highly influential on purchase decisions, thanks to the swift growth of the Web 2.0 and social media. It enables users to freely give their view about the products and services which you offer on your website. Having your customers become influencers generates engagement with your products or services. If people cannot find reviews of your products or services in your website, they will just go somewhere else to find them. You shouldn’t be afraid of bad reviews: never remove or hide them because that detracts from your website’s credibility. Manage online reputation crises with dignity and honesty.



3. Apparent product “scarcity” can be your ally


Scarcity generates demand – this is one of the principles of marketing, which drives people to buy in a more impulsive way. People like to have what they think they will be unable to have. In times of economic prosperity this mechanism speeds up, and social psychology shows that the feeling of loss is stronger than the feeling of gain. So you can encourage impulse buying by means of flash sentences or claims, such as:


- Stock Deals

- Deal until the end of this month

- 50% discount today only

- Add to my wishlist

- 2×1…



In the end, these are just good old shopkeeper’s tricks in a virtual form. Moving from offline to online channels is not so hard: you just need to be equally persuasive. 


Why Your Startup Needs Visuals in its Social Media Strategy

With users of Pinterest and Instagram increasing at a startling rate, social media is more visual than ever. Shareaholic has identified Pinterest as the fourth largest traffic driver worldwide, and Instagram boasts 150 million active users per month. Other networks must follow suit.


In the autumn of 2013, Twitter unveiled their improved integration of images in posts, and Google+ is priding itself on its visual interface - particularly when it comes to seamless integration of YouTube. Over on Facebook, the ‘highlight’ feature, alongside larger timeline photos and cover photos, helps users to maximise the impact of their photos and the visual appearance of their page.


Go visual or go home, the social media message seems to be, and startups should be trying their hardest to keep up.


Why the emphasis on visual content?


  • It’s engaging. A report by ROI Research found 44% of respondents were more likely to engage with brands who posted pictures on their social media channels rather than any other type of content.
  • Visuals go viral. Images can get round the net fast. When accompanied by a great image, content is likely to travel faster too. Believe it or not, Skyword have found that articles containing relevant images have on average 94% more total views than articles without images.
  • The rise of infographics. High-quality infographics are up to 30 times more likely to be read than text articles, so companies able to create professional infographics have much to gain.


Kickstart a visual social media strategy by asking yourself:


  • Does my startup have existing visual content that is worth sharing?
  • Are there obvious types of images that relate to my startup? (For travel startups, visual promotion by sharing photos of destinations and landmarks is easy, for other areas you may have to be more creative)
  • What sort of images would my startup’s audience enjoy and share?
  • Can I convey the promotional message of my startup visually? Can I use images to encourage users to check out my startup?


Your action plan for visual promotion:


Create easy-to-share visual content

  • Create infographics, especially if you have talented designers in your team
  • Use high-quality images in your blog posts
  • Add watermarks or a website URL to original images


Share visual content on social media

  • Post tweets with high-quality integrated images
  • Use Facebook’s ‘highlight’ feature to make images larger and add variety to your page
  • Use G+ communities (whether your own or others) to share great visuals with catchy content or links
  • Add a ‘Pin-it’ button to your website


Get to know your followers

  • Share photos of your team, workspace, projects and incentives on Pinterest and Instagram
  • Create a YouTube channel to show followers what you’re working on


Use images to engage

  • Thank followers for helping you reach social media milestones with a team photo

Visual content is now a fundamental part of social media marketing for startups. You simply can’t get away with just posting text-based content if you want success; posts need to be engaging, shareable and visual. Make it your mission to include high-quality photos, images, videos and infographics in your social media approach and you’ll be reaping the benefits.