Make an SEO and Online Marketing Budget for 2019

As the new year arrives, it’s important to take a look back at the previous year and evaluate where you want your company to go in the future. Did your business grow or shrink? Did you see your online presence expand? These are just a couple of the factors you’ll need to consider as you sit down to make an SEO and marketing budget for the new year. Having a plan in place will help you focus and get started on the right foot to build your business over the course of the year. Below, Virtual Market Advantage lists some ways to set up a good SEO and marketing budget for 2019.

Look at Last Year’s Marketing Budget

The first thing you need to do when sitting down to work on this year’s SEO and marketing budget is to take a look back at how you spent your money last year. Are you happy with how last year’s plan worked? Note which factors benefitted your business and which did not. The easiest way to do this is by using an analytics tool such as Google Analytics. This lets you track all sorts of information concerning your website. Pay close attention to which types of advertisements drew in the most eyes and which pages tended to convert the most viewers into customers.

It’s okay if last year’s marketing didn’t do as well as you’d hoped, as long as you learn from the experience and make some adjustments this year. If you see something that worked, investigate why it worked so well, branch out with that technique, and up your spending there. If you see a marketing technique that had a poor ROI, try to use a new tactic this year. Your marketing budget can be adjusted to fit your needs, as long as you pay attention to what did and didn’t work.

Look at Last Year’s SEO

Your website can be an open door that welcomes new leads daily, but only if you keep it updated and optimized to its fullest potential. Take a look at your current SEO and work on a good plan for the coming year. Take the time to perform an SEO audit and a conversion audit to see if there are any flaws in your SEO development. You might need to update to more relevant keywords or give all of your pages a tune-up. Really dig into the site to see where it’s best to budget some of your marketing money for an SEO plan. Your campaigns should be driving traffic to your website, and you want a fast, user-friendly page to be what those incoming customers experience.

Set Online Marketing Goals

As you set your marketing budget and SEO plan for the year, have clear goals in mind. There are three major areas to think about when it comes to online marketing goals:

  • Brand Awareness
  • Lead Generation
  • Revenue Growth

Go through last year’s marketing data and place your future budget where the marketing worked best and rework where it lagged behind. If your business is still fairly new and needs more brand awareness in your targeted market, then you might want to look at spending more of the online marketing budget on some paid advertisement and developing your social media presence. If you have a more established business, you might want to spend more of the online marketing budget on targeted marketing efforts. Setting clear goals for your online marketing for the upcoming year will help you stay on budget and on track for your business to grow.

Set Up Major Marketing Campaigns

Once you have your goals in place, it’s time to start setting up those larger marketing campaigns for the year. You don’t need all of the details set in stone – just have a clear idea of how you want to target your major campaigns. Make sure that these campaigns are in line with the marketing goals you just set for the year. The initial setup should be able to answer some of the following questions:

  • What media/channels are we going to use?
  • What resources are needed to run it?
  • What’s the overall estimated cost?
  • What’s the ROI needed for the campaign to be successful?

Organize the Smaller Campaigns

Once you’ve allocated some of your budget to the largest campaigns of the year, where will the rest of the time and money go? You still need to be marketing and promoting your business on a daily basis. Here are some ways you can use your online market throughout the year to benefit your business:

  • Paid Advertising
  • Content Marketing
  • Improving your Website
  • Webinars
  • Video Marketing
  • Staffing Needs

These are just some of the things that may come up throughout the year that can help your company grow and give you the opportunity to promote your business. Plan out as many of the details as possible in your marketing budget, but also keep a cushion for the extra opportunities that might pop up throughout the year. Maybe your website will need a small facelift in the spring. Maybe you’ll need to hire an extra social media person to handle the extra summer load. Or maybe something in the news will have people flocking to your website’s niche for a few weeks, giving you the opportunity to expand your advertising. Having some wiggle room in your budget will ease the stress later on and keep you on track to build your online presence this coming year.

Plan out as many of the details as possible in your marketing budget, but also keep a cushion for the extra opportunities that might pop up throughout the year. Click To Tweet

Prioritize and Set Budget Amounts

The final step in planning your general budget is to set your marketing priorities for the year and set planned amounts to spend on each project accordingly. Setting your priorities straight will help you develop your business more efficiently. As the year progresses, do your best to follow the pre-determined budget amounts for each marketing tactic. For example – set an amount for paid advertising and stick to it, and keep a set amount to spend on your SEO plan and stick to it. Staying on budget will improve your ROI and keep your business on track in the following year.

You know your business and your customers. Use the data you’ve gathered from last year and take the time to set up a good marketing budget and SEO plan to improve the traffic flowing through your site and the rates at which people convert into customers. You will be glad you did when you look at your data next year!

How to Perform a Website Redesign Without Ruining Your SEO

Every website can do with a facelift once and a while. If given enough time, the current styles and tastes change, content becomes stale, ownership changes hands, or other factors come into play that require a website redesign. It’s a good idea to always try to keep up with the changing landscape of online business and your customers’ needs.

However, the idea of redoing your website is intimidating if you’ve gone to a lot of effort to set up your SEO. Backlinks, social integration, and all the other SEO work you’ve done in the past can be undone with the press of a button if you don’t take the right steps to ensure that your website redesign doesn’t just erase your old work. Here, Virtual Market Advantage will take a look at what you can do to keep your SEO in place while giving your website a revamp.

Backlinks, social integration, and all the other SEO work you’ve done in the past can be undone with the press of a button if you don’t take the right steps to ensure that your website redesign doesn’t just erase your old work. Click To Tweet

Redirects

The very first thing you need to do when undertaking a website redesign is to redirect the old URLs to the new ones. This is called a “301 redirect.” If you’re copying over a lot of your old content, make sure you keep the same content on the same URLs. Create a spreadsheet and keep a log of the content pages along with their old and new URLs. This will help you stay organized and let you know where and what you need to redirect from the old pages to the new ones. If you can keep the permalink structure the same on your redesign, it will make it easier to transfer content and URLs at the same time.

Preserve your Link Inventory

Before you change over to your new website redesign, make sure you have all of your backlinks inventoried. Know where all links are coming from and where they’re going to. Have those websites update their links to point to your new site pages and reclaim your inbound links. Completing this step before you get too far into your redesign will save you time and headache once the process is complete.

Keep your Content

Your content has been crawled and indexed time and time again to build up your presence in the search engines. If you go in and change all of your content, it would be a major step back in SEO. Your website redesign can be done without changing all of that content. Try to keep your blogs, web text, and photo tags and descriptions the same. Your design is new, but the content doesn’t have to be.

On-Page Optimization

Perform a last-minute crawl of your old website to give you some insight into what has been working for your website and what has not. This step will allow you to pull all the key elements from you page and export them to the new one while discarding the elements that are holding your website back. You can then export your page titles, meta descriptions, headers, and other SEO work. As with your page content, you want to keep as much of this the same as possible, so directly exporting them from the old site to the new one will ensure that you’re doing just that.

Keep Your Old Site Live

If you’re doing a complete website redesign, do it in the background. Keep your old website live while you build the new one behind the scenes. This allows you to troubleshoot the new site, make sure everything is working, and even have beta testers peruse it before putting it out there for the masses. If you work on a new site while it’s already live, you will likely run into troubles with broken links, ugly graphics, incomplete content, and other issues. Spare yourself and your visitors the headache, and hide your developing new website until it’s good to go.

Technical Site Auditing

Use an auditing tool that will crawl your website and look for any new technical problems. There are many tools online that can help you get positive results out of a thorough technical audit. A good resource to use for this step is called DeepCrawl, which will give you all types of information about your site while monitoring your log files. Using such an auditing tool can help you spot any small issues before they become larger problems and will help you resolve any new issue with your SEO the minute they pop up.

When all is said and done, a website redesign should give you the opportunity to improve your SEO and your overall conversion rates, not destroy them. If your site has strong SEO roots and a good flow of organic traffic, then you will definitely want to take extra care to preserve that work. Follow the guidelines above to make sure your URLs are redirected, your backlinks stay connected, your quality content remains the same, and your new website goes up only after it’s been set up and debugged.

While you’re redesigning your website, check out VMA’s guide to creating a killer landing page, so your new one is the best it can be!

How to Create a Killer Landing Page for your Website

When building a website for your business, you need to entice your visitors to stick around after initially clicking on your front page. A first impression is so important, so you need to make sure that it’s going to stick with new visitors in a positive way. The best way to make this happen is to design the perfect landing page.

What is a landing page? This is the webpage that your visitors see when they’re first directed to your website from a search engine or other kind of link. Think of this process as an airplane (the viewer) landing on a runway (your website). You want that landing to be smooth, enjoyable, and an experience they want to share with others. You want it to be remembered for all the right reasons. Here, Virtual Market Advantage will take a look at what you can do to create the most memorable and easy-to-navigate landing page possible.

A first impression is so important, so you need to make sure that it’s going to stick with new visitors in a positive way. The best way to make this happen is to design the perfect landing page. Click To Tweet

Before You Build Your Page

There are a few factors to consider before building that killer landing page. Answering these questions will help make that landing page convert viewers into followers and customers by making it memorable and persuasive.

  • What’s the Goal? What do you want your visitors to do once they reach your landing page? Fill out a form? Subscribe for more information? Buy something? Take a survey? Interact on your social media pages? Your answer to this question should be incorporated into the landing page in some way. Establishing this goal will help you get the conversions you desire.
  • What’s the Competition Like? Know what you’re up against. Check out similar websites in your niche, observe what works for them, and see how you can replicate that success through your own landing page.
  • Who’s the Audience? It’s always important to know as much as possible about your audience when designing your website and producing content. Catering to what the audience wants once they get to your site is a huge part of building a successful landing page. Do they like giveaways? Do they like a certain type of product? What draws them to your site? Use analytics tools to research who’s visiting your site and what they respond to the most. When you have this information, you can better tailor your landing page to your audience, and your conversions will go through the roof!
  • How Did They Get Here? Pay attention to where your visitors are coming from. (This information is also available through analytics.) If you know what advertising message drew them to your site, you can rewrite the message on other platforms to draw even more visitors in. Knowing what lures in your particular audience will help you increase your conversions on your landing page.

Keep it Short

The average attention span while surfing the Internet is around 11 seconds. That means you only have 11 seconds to get and keep a viewer’s attention. How are you going to do that? The most important step is to keep your message short and uncluttered. Your landing page should provide all the information that’s needed, but not so much that it overwhelms a person who’s scanning over it. Provide the essentials clearly and then stop. If your landing page properly grabs the viewer’s attention, he or she will click on other parts of your website to gain more information.

Provide Quality Content

Just because it’s best to offer a minimal amount of information on your landing page, that doesn’t mean that information should be junk. Offer content that’s rich and relevant. Make sure that you (or your copywriters) write engaging copy. Good, quality content results in more trust from those who are reading it. That trust turns viewers into customers and helps spread brand awareness by word of mouth.

Don’t Ask Too Much

If your landing page is there to create a list of potential customers, then you will need to ask your viewers for interaction. This could be in the form of signing up for an email subscription or requesting feedback. Remember that minimalist mindset as you ask for information, however. The more hoops you require your viewers to jump through to get to the information that interests them, the less likely they are to stay on your website long enough to convert into customers. Think about what you would be willing to go through if you were the one viewing a landing page. Can you think of a time when you quickly left a website because of too many pop-ups and requests for information?

Have a Clear Call to Action

A call to action can be your eye-catching headline or it could be embedded within your content copy. Either way, you want to make sure that you catch that reader’s attention quickly and then send them to do what you want them to do on your website. One great tactic is to make a clear offer in your headline and then give a quick overview of the offer in the following copy. This lets the reader know instantly what they can expect from you and how to get it. If you have a “click here now” button, make it very visible to the reader so they know where to go to get that offer mentioned in your headline.

Make it about the Viewer

While growing your business is a great goal for you, most visitors to your landing page don’t really care. People care about themselves. They want to know what your business can do for them and how you’re going to do it. Make sure you’re clear about what your visitors will gain from choosing your business and take time to showcase what you can do for them.

While these are just a few tips for building a more memorable landing page, there are plenty of other techniques you can use, based on your specific business. Once you’ve set up a decent landing page, do some A/B testing along with your analytics research to see what works best for your audience. Improving your landing page will help spread your online reach and get you more conversions from clicks to views to purchases!

How to Improve Project Management and Workflow

How to Improve Project Management and Workflow

Your business is thriving and your employees are accustomed to the daily routine. Eventually, however, you may find that your business’s inner workings hit a road block. A new project gums up the works, priorities aren’t correctly focused, and productivity slows down in general. This happens to every business at some point, and that’s okay. This is a great time to take a step back and assess how well your project management and workflow strategies are working.

Is anyone overworked/underworked or not on the same page? To help you get your workflow back into a smooth course, there are some great tools available to help you manage your projects to the fullest potential. Here, Virtual Market Advantage will go over a few of those tools as well as some additional ideas that can help you and your business flow more smoothly.

Look at the Big Picture

As you start to look at how to make your company more efficient, ask yourself the big picture questions about each of your current projects. Once you know the answers to these questions, you will be more ready to incorporate improvements to your project management and workflow:

  • What do your project tasks involve?
  • What is the overall goal you want to achieve?
  • What is the projected growth of your company, and how can this project help with that?
  • What kind of needs might your business have within the next year?

Knowing the answers to these questions will be key in setting up the tasks at hand. These big answers will help you set smaller goals for the future and understand how better project management will aid you going forward.

How to Improve Project Management

Now that you’ve asked yourself the big picture questions, set your goals, and are ready to go, there are a few different ways to go about improving your project management. If one way doesn’t seem to be working for you after giving it a good shot, it’s helpful to have another strategy ready to add to your project management agenda. Let’s take a look at three methods for improving your project management:

Don’t overcomplicate your projects. This is a factor that often happens over time and brings tasks to a standstill. Keeping your ideas and expectations easy for your employees to understand will make your project run that much smoother. Keep the tasks simple and your overall idea clear and your employees will deliver the project successfully to completion.

Communicate any changes. Whether you do it through weekly meetings, a group email, or a project template software, always keep your team updated on any changes taking place. A well-informed team will stay on task and be less likely to make time-consuming mistakes. No matter how small you may think the change is, it could be a very big deal to someone on the team who is working on a certain task. Always keep the communication lines open, and your project will run more smoothly from start to finish.

A well-informed team will stay on task and be less likely to make time-consuming mistakes. Click To Tweet

Establish a daily log. Your team also needs to keep communication open. By logging their work and tracking their current tasks, employees are kept accountable and on course. Logging activities should be a daily habit. This helps you record how the project is progressing as well as establish a general timeline of which tasks need to be completed in what order and when the project should be completed as a whole.

Choose a Project Management Tool

There are several tools online that you can use to make sure your team is on task, the lines of communication are open, and workflow is going well. Some software plans come with a free version for a limited number of people to use or with restricted extras, and the price point will go up based on usage. Four of the most popular online project management tools are:

  • Trello
  • Asana
  • Wrike
  • Invision

All of them let you create tasks for different projects, clients, and employees. Based on your business needs, some of these tools are better than others. For example, Invision has the best tools for web design. The easiest way to decide which choice will work best for you is to try out their free versions. Each business and its taskmaster will feel most comfortable with one option over the others for countless reasons. All of these options are great project management tools to help keep your employees and your business on track.

Overall, once you have set your project management tools in place, you will start to see your business’s productivity pick up speed. Once your team is in a good place using these project management tools, you’ll experience improved communication, productivity growth, and more work being completed on time. Over time, you can add new ideas and processes to the workflow while keeping the original project management foundations in place. The first step to improving your project management is to take an honest look at the current flow, get back to basics, and start working on improving it today.

If you want more information on how to improve your business, check out Virtual Market Advantage’s blog on reviving dead business leads here!

How to Get Started with Video Content

How to Get Started with Video Content

As you build your website and set up your online business and SEO, there are certain steps you need to take to ensure that you’re getting as many eyes on your website as possible. As you develop your online content strategy, seriously consider using video content. Why? Videos convey a lot of information while drawing in many viewers.

Don’t worry if you have no directing, recording, or editing experience. With the advances in modern recording technology and editing software, even a short video from a smart phone can easily be made into worthwhile content! If you’re new to video content or just want a refresher, Virtual Market Advantage will go over what you need to know to get started.

Understand Your Audience

When developing a marketing and content strategy, it’s best to start by learning who your audience is and what drives them to your website. What type of content pulls them in? What content makes them stick around and convert to sales? Are they looking for motivation? How-to videos? Entertainment? Do they want to know more details about your product? Using analytics tools, you can keep track of what your viewers are looking at, how long they stick around on a particular page, and all kinds of demographic information about the people you’re reaching. Based on this information, you can see what type of video content might connect best with your audience.

Videos are a great way to get almost any type of content to your users. After you understand your audience a bit more, the next step is to set goals for your video marketing campaign. What are your marketing goals? What do you want your videos to accomplish? If your goal is to increase your sales, then you will want to focus your video content around marketing your brand and product with useful information. If your goal is to spread awareness and gain followers, you might choose to focus on entertainment videos.

Research Your Competitors

Knowing what you’re up against is as important with your video content as it is for your website as a whole. Researching how businesses similar to your own are marketing though video can help you understand your audience, focus your message, and inspire you with new content ideas. Check out your competition’s YouTube channels, other social media pages, and websites to see how they market with videos and how they link everything together.

As you research and take note of your competitors’ content, make sure that you remain authentic to your brand and provide content with a unique spin. Simply copy/pasting a marketing campaign from another company won’t work as well as forming an individualized strategy (and can get you into legal trouble).

Create Your Own YouTube Channel

Once you have done some research and understand your audience, you should create a YouTube channel for your business. This is simple to do, as you just need a free Google account to get started. You probably already have one that you use for your business, but if not, go ahead and create one. It’s better in the long run to link your social media accounts and website with an official business email address rather than a personal one, and using a Google account makes a lot of steps much simpler.

Once your channel is created, there are a few basic elements to focus on first. These include your channel icon, your “about me” section, and your cover art. Connecting your YouTube account with your brand in this way will make it clear to your audience that they’re in the right place and will make it easier for people to find and reach your company.

After you create some videos, upload them to your YouTube channel. From there, you can spread them to your other social media pages and connect back to your website.

Creating Your First Videos

Making video content does not have to be expensive. There are some simple and stress-free ways to create great video content without breaking your marketing budget. Here are some quick, cheap content formats to consider:

  • Video Testimonials – These are popular, especially for e-commerce stores, because they establish trust and social connection among viewers, and they can come across as more genuine than a text review. Ask a few of your loyal customers to provide a video testimonial of your product or business. This is a great way to start up your video content while getting honest reviews at the same time. You can simply have them send in a self-made video from their phones or set up a more professional shoot.
  • Live Videos – People who view online videos are more likely to spend time watching live videos than ones that are prerecorded. Live videos can easily be done through your Facebook business page using your smartphone, and they’re a great way to connect new viewers to your website. This creates a more personal experience while saving you money by not needing fancy video recording equipment or a dedicated recording space. Give your customers a behind-the-scenes look at your building or spread the word about a company open house.
  • DIY Animation – If you think you’d enjoy dabbling in animation or you like the looks of an animated video for your business, there are some simple, free animation tools online. While the quality will not be as great as paying an animator to make the videos for you, this is an easy way to create some fun little videos for your website. Put out some quick video content while learning how to create more complex animations!
  • Start with Simple Edits – There’s plenty of different video editing software available for a range of prices and complexity. To see if you enjoy the process and are willing to learn more, pick out a simple, free editing software, and make some very simple changes to a short video. If you have a good message, your viewers won’t mind if the video is rough around the edges, and this content can even be endearing and build trust in your brand.

Watching Your Video Data

As with any other type of content, once you’ve posted a few videos, you should pay attention to the analytics data. Check out factors such as how many views the videos receive over a period of time, click through rates of how many people continued on to your website after watching the video, and conversion rates of viewers who went on to make a purchase or sign up for your newsletter. This data can help you understand your audience better as well as figure out what types of videos get you new customers and followers or bring back old ones for more purchases. It can also help you see what you need to do to make those numbers grow. Try a few different types of videos and see what gives you the best rates of viewers and visitors.

The average person watches around 10 seconds of a video before they either decide to keep watching or move on, so try to hook them in within those first moments. Your content should be fun, personalized, and get to the point quickly. Click To Tweet

Knowing your customers and what draws them in can help you create videos that keep people coming back for more. The average person watches around 10 seconds of a video before they either decide to keep watching or move on, so try to hook them in within those first moments. Your content should be fun, personalized, and get to the point quickly. Having fun with your video content and being honest with your viewers will help launch your business’s online presence. Your videos don’t need to be professional quality – they just need to be genuine, informative, and true to your business.

Types of Water Filtration

Types of Water Filtration 

There are many ways that the water flowing through our homes gets filtered before it arrives. These types of filtration can be done at your local water treatment plant or from a water filtration system you have installed in your house. Below, Advanced Water Solutions will discuss the different types of common water filtration and give you a brief look at how it’s filtered before flowing through your faucets.

Distillation

Distillation is one of the oldest methods of water purification. The first step to distillation is heating the water to boiling. The water vapor then rises up to a condenser, where the lower temperature cools the water. This allows the vapor to be condensed, collected, and stored in another container. When this process is complete, most of the contaminants are left behind in the original liquid phase vessel.

However, sometimes carryovers can be found in distilled water. Some organics cannot be removed efficiently and can become concentrated in the product water, leaving it acidic. The distilled water can lack oxygen and minerals as well, leaving you with a flat taste. This is why distillation is mostly used in industrial processes rather than for plain drinking water. The other disadvantage to this process is cost, as it requires larger amounts of energy and is relatively slow to produce large amounts of clean water.

Ion Exchange

With this type of water filtration, ions are exchanged for other ions. An ion is a positively or negatively charged particle. The two most common ion-exchange methods are softening and deionization.

A water softener usually replaces calcium and magnesium ions from the water with sodium ions contained in filtration beads. The softening of water is used mostly as a pretreatment to help reduce the water hardness prior to other filtration methods. It’s also used in the home to create more palatable water that’s easier to use for cleaning. Check out AWS’s blog on hard vs soft water here for more information.

In deionization, the beads exchange either hydrogen ions (consisting of single hydrogen atoms) or hydroxyl ions (negatively charged units containing an oxygen atom and a hydrogen atom). This process swaps out a hydrogen ion for any cations (positively charged particles) they encounter. The hydrogen ion from the cation exchanger unites with the hydroxyl ion to form pure water (H + OH = H2O).

Carbon Absorption

Carbon absorption is most widely used in home water filter treatment. This is because of its ability to improve the water by removing unsavory tastes and odors. It uses highly porous activated carbon to effectively remove many chemicals and gases. However, only a few carbon filter systems have been certified for the removal of lead, asbestos, and coliform, so do your research if you need to remove such harmful substances.

There are two types of carbon filter systems: granular activated carbon and solid block carbon. The use of a carbon filtration system is usually combined with other treatment processes, such as reverse osmosis. The placement of carbon in relation to any other filtration components is important when you consider the design of a water purification system, since you don’t want to be left with extra carbon in your drinking water.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is the most economical method for removing 90 to 99 percent of all contaminants. Reverse osmosis technology is used by most water bottling plants. Natural osmosis occurs when solutions with two different concentrations are separated by a semi-permeable membrane. Osmotic pressure then drives the water through the membrane so that the water dilutes the more concentrated solution.

To use this is method in water filtration systems, hydraulic pressure is applied to the solution to counteract the osmotic pressure. The pure water is driven out from the concentrated solution and collected separately. If you’re interested in learning more about how reverse osmosis works, check out AWS’s blog here.

Water Purification Systems

With each water filtration system working in a different way, you can’t always rely on just one method to remove all the contaminants to the levels required to make it safe. If you’re using a well-designed water purification system, it’s most likely using a combination of technologies to achieve the best water quality before it gets to you.

Each technology has a job to do and must be used in the correct sequence to gain the best removal capabilities. Creating the correct combination of water filtration systems and setting up proper pretreatment will help produce water that is almost completely free of ionic, organic, and microbial contamination and tastes and smells great.

Your local water treatment plant has most of this in place for you, so you can rest assured that you are getting some great water coming from your faucets. However, if you want to take that extra step to ensure the most purified water possible for your home, you can look into getting a whole home water filtration system or water softener.

Become More Trustworthy as a Marketer

Become More Trustworthy as a Marketer 

With a lot of misinformation spreading around, it’s often hard to trust a salesperson. There are so many other people you would more willingly put your trust into, right? From buying cars to makeup to electronics, do you find that you trust your friends, family, and even Google searches over official salespeople and marketers?

Unfortunately, it seems like many marketers will say and do just about anything to get you to buy or sign up for their company’s products or services. This has been going on for decades. Marketers create campaigns with the goal to sell. As consumers, many of us realize that this is their only goal, and we become more skeptical of these campaigns over time. It’s especially annoying when every marketer claims to have the best product without any actual facts to back up this claim.

If you’re a marketer and reading this, you know it’s true. You may feel like you’re being honest with your campaign and what you’re selling, but there are many out there who have resorted to making up fake reviews and stories about their product just to get it to sell.

So now that consumers are wising up to these tricks and starting to distrust all marketers, what can you do to make sure that you can become more trustworthy as a marketer? Below, Virtual Market Advantage will go over a few things you can do to help your image, reach out to your audience, and spread the word about your business in a beneficial way.

Stop Talking About Yourself

Consumers will not care about you or your company until you give them something to care about. If you want to create that good initial customer connection, you need to put them at the center of everything you do, not yourself.

If you simply create a campaign that produces and promotes content that says nothing more than how amazing your product is or why your service is the best, you will lose the consumer before you even have them. Right now, the customer wants to know how your goods or services are going to help them.

So how can you do this? First, you need to create content that offers a solution to a specific problem. Create content that taps into the emotional wants and needs of your audience. Make sure your product does not become center stage by shoving aside your customers and their needs.

Use Expert and Established Content

People will buy from those they trust, and that trust comes from being open, honest, and educational. You need to show your audience that that you know your stuff and understand their wants and needs. Doing this will go along way in becoming a trustworthy marketer.

One great way to improve trust is to bring in content that’s created by an expert in the field you are marketing. You can do this by interviewing them, asking them to create a piece of content for you, or creating a video that showcases their expertise. This is especially useful if you have not yet built up enough authority yourself.

When you use this method, you will become an expert by association, because you’re offering established, trusted information to your audience. Keep in mind that you aren’t bringing in these experts to help you sell your product or service. Rather, you’re doing it to become the go-to brand in your niche. This will ultimately show your audience why they should trust you over other marketers.

Share Real Life Stories

We know that there are marketers who will create fictional stories of people using their product to help sell it. Many consumers are tired of this sales tactic. Consumers are now looking for real stories from real people that they can connect with and relate to more directly. Remember, you are creating a campaign centered on your audience’s needs and emotions, not on your product.

Social media really helps businesses reach out and find these real-life endorsements. You can get stories by reaching out to past customers and asking them to spread their experience with your product and post about it on your social media pages. They can post stories or even videos and pictures. Endorsements coming straight from the mouth of your customers show your audience that you aren’t hiding anything and that your product has already worked for someone else. When they see this, they may start thinking that the product could work for them too!

Build a Community

Building a community that supports your product is a great way to find more customers, especially through social media. This can happen when you take all the points mentioned above and combine them together. Doing this will help you start building a community around your brand. This is an important step for today’s market, as it’s becoming easier by the day to just click and buy online.

Consumers are in control of the social media they follow and who they interact with online. The days of old-fashioned marketing strategies that just push to sell are gone. The marketing ring is now welcoming a collaborative approach between businesses and their customers. This helps build a community, and trust is becoming the most important factor for you to apply when it comes to your marketing strategies.

Creating an online community can boost your brand, because it provides you with an active base of customers who are willing to talk about your product. These are people who can give your social media the validation you need to build a trustworthy brand. With the right community, your customers will be bringing in more customers for you!

Help your customers feel like they are a part of something good, and create content that’s geared towards them and their needs and emotions, all while showing your expertise. Using these points will go along way in helping you establish authority, which will create trust. If you provide good content, are honest, and directly interact with your audience, and you are well on your way to becoming a more trustworthy marketer.

If you want more information on how to use social media to help your business, check out VMA’s blog that goes over how to track whether or not your social media strategy is working!