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Inbound Marketing Part 1: What It Is and Why You Need It

Posted Mon, February 8, 2016 by Julie Short

“If you need customers, go out and find them!”

This piece of general business advice has been given out – at various times, and in various ways – for decades, and maybe even centuries. The whole history of sales and marketing is essentially founded on the concept that it’s a company’s job to go out there and “beat the bushes” for new business as often as is necessary to stay in the black.

A funny thing has happened over the past couple of decades, though. This idea of going out and selling to people has begun to quietly fade away. With so much information and so many resources available on the Internet at all times, people have figured out how to get the products, services, and information they need all on their own.

They’ve become wary of being sold to. Instead they want to buy, based on their own research, when they feel ready to take the first step.

The job of the marketer, then, isn’t to go out and find customers, but to be easy for customers to find. That’s the essence of inbound marketing, and why it works so well over the Internet.

Why You’ll Love Inbound Marketing

The switch from traditional (or “outbound”) marketing to inbound marketing isn’t just a slight twist in wording – it’s a complete change in philosophy.

A lot of companies have trouble embracing it at first, but then they discover there are some powerful advantages:

  • First, that marketing to new customers (and the sales process in general) is much easier because you have interested clients or customers coming to you instead of the other way around.
  • That a lot of prospects will self-select, meaning they’ll have found the right product or service, and in the right price range, on their own before they contact your company. That means less time spent educating customers or haggling over prices.
  • Inbound marketing systems are more easily scalable. You can increase or decrease your efforts without having to hire and fire lots of new employees or spend non-refundable deposits on new advice.
  • And most importantly, inbound marketing is much more effective than outbound marketing in the digital age. It’s not just about improving your bottom line, but also keeping up with your competitors and your own business goals.

Inbound marketing isn’t so much a trend as it is a new way of doing business, and one that’s probably here to stay for companies and most industries. In part two, we’ll look at the essentials of an inbound marketing campaign.

To find out more, click through to the second post in the inbound marketing series or contact WebRevelation today and let us show you how we’ve been able to help businesses like yours to attract customers using cost-effective tactics and strategies.

Posted in : Website Content , SEO/SMO/SMM , Email Marketing , Business Strategy | 
Tags : inbound marketing , marketing , blogs , social media

4 Ways to Integrate Social Media Within Your Business Website

Posted Thu, June 4, 2015 by Julie Short

A lot of businesses treat social media as if it were entirely separate from their websites. The reality, though, is that both your website and your social profiles work better when they are connected and customers can move back and forth easily between them.

Luckily, integrating your social presence into your website doesn’t have to be difficult. To help you get started, here are four easy ways you can tie your social profiles to your other web content:

#1: By Posting Links to Your Profiles

There are numerous places on your website where you can include links to your social profiles. For instance, the homepage is a good place to link to your company profiles, About pages can link to individual team members, and job openings can go alongside URLs that lead to LinkedIn.

#2: Through Real-Time Tweet and Comment Sharing

If you want people to connect with your business socially, show them that other customers are doing the same thing. With real-time tweets, posts, and other updates, visitors to your website can see that you are active on social media (and that other people are active with you in turn).

#3: With Social Sharing Buttons on Your Blog

Your blog is a great place for social links. With just a few buttons, you can make it a snap for readers to share their favorite articles, add comments to your post, or even suggest future topics. Each of these gives you valuable feedback, but even more importantly, they allow readers to share your posts and ideas with their contacts who might not be subscribers yet.

#4: By Combining Social Sharing With Email Newsletters

In the same way, great email newsletter articles can be shared through social networking by you or your customers. And there’s no faster way to grow your social network than by including email subscribers who already know and like your business and its people. Best of all, it will probably cost you no more than a couple minutes of time to include the links you want in your email messages.

Your website will probably always be your hub for Internet marketing activity, but don’t discount the power of your social profiles. By encouraging prospects and existing customers to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere, you make it easier for them to interact with your company and become bigger fans of your business and brand.

Need an online marketing team that can help you put different strategies and campaigns together in a way that makes sense? Contact WebRevelation today and schedule a free consultation.

Posted in : Website Content , SEO/SMO/SMM | 
Tags : social media , websites

Why Your Business Needs a Strong LinkedIn Page.

Posted Thu, April 2, 2015 by Julie Short

A few years ago, business owners, managers, and executives all collectively realized that social media marketing was an actual thing… and a thing that could lead to big rewards for the companies that embraced it and took the time to build a loyal following.

Not long after, they realized that LinkedIn could be the most important of all the social media sites.

In terms of pure, raw numbers, LinkedIn can’t compare with Facebook, Twitter, or the quickly growing Google+. But the roughly 350 million people who use LinkedIn are nothing to sneeze at. And more importantly, it’s the only social platform that’s devoted strictly to business and networking. So while there might not be 1 billion people on LinkedIn yet, the ones who are using it are there to do business, not trade family vacation photos.

That makes LinkedIn an extraordinarily valuable resource for companies of all sizes. To help you further understand what’s at stake, here are a few of the best reasons your business needs a strong LinkedIn page:

LinkedIn Profiles Are Highly Visible

Because it’s so popular, LinkedIn has a very high page rank with Google. That means, among other things, that it’s entirely possible your business’s LinkedIn profile will come up in searches for your company’s name before your actual website, or immediately after. Fill yours in with the right kind of info, and you give yourself an extra search engine optimization advantage at virtually no cost.

Your Best Prospects Are Using LinkedIn

We mentioned earlier that business people and professionals like using LinkedIn. What’s also important to note is that many of the people who use LinkedIn might ignore other social profiles. For example, many C-level executives are active on LinkedIn even though they don’t have the time to participate in Facebook or Twitter. So if you want to reach some of your best prospects through social media, this might be your only chance.

LinkedIn Is a Hub for New Connections and Ideas

LinkedIn has a number of features that make it useful for networking, finding new customers, and even sharing industry ideas. We’ll go into more depth in the coming articles, but the bottom line is that if you aren’t using LinkedIn, you’re putting yourself and your company at a disadvantage.

In the next two posts, we’ll show you how to make the most of your company’s LinkedIn page to network and generate new sales opportunities. In the meantime, though, if you haven’t been making the most of LinkedIn already, now is the perfect time to talk with a member of the WebRevelation team and let us show you how we can get you up and running on this crucial social network.

Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM , Online Profile Management , Business Strategy | 
Tags : LinkedIn , networking , social media

How to Guarantee Your Social Media Marketing Won’t Work

Posted Wed, October 15, 2014 by Julie Short

Lots of online marketers like to argue about whether social media works or not. It’s an interesting discussion, but it misses the point – with hundreds of millions of people using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ every day, the question isn’t whether social media marketing works but how.

In fact, the only reason there is any debate at all on this topic is because so many organizations are handling social media so badly. If you want to follow in their example, and spend lots of time and money on social accounts that aren’t going to earn you any return, then you just need to follow a few easy steps.

Here is what you can do to guarantee your social media marketing absolutely won’t work:

  1. Invest time and money into social media without a goal. Just deciding to “try social media” without any defined goal is a perfect way to flush your time and money down the drain. Without a specific target audience, or conversion goal, you’re basically hoping you’ll get results by accident.
  2. Post material you wouldn’t read. There are tons of low-quality content being posted to social sites every day, with no one bothering to read the updates or pay any attention. Dumping more into the world is like the Internet marketing equivalent of littering, but lots of companies still do it.
  3. Go dark for long periods of time. When you stop posting to your social accounts, your fans and customers don’t assume you’ve gotten really busy, they tend to think you don’t have anything interesting to say (or possibly that you’ve gone out of business altogether). That’s a good way to lose subscribers and get people to stop paying attention.
  4. Use your soapbox for sales pitches. You’ve probably never met anyone who watches television for the commercials, but lots of marketers can’t seem to get past the idea that thousands of users are going to flock to their blatant marketing messages disguised as social posts.
  5. Only use one channel or content type. All the social channels and websites have value, but you can feel free to limit yourself to one or two favorites if you don’t care about reaching as many potential customers as possible.
  6. Keep using the same tactics again and again. Even though we all know things constantly change on the Internet, and especially in the exploding field of social media marketing, lots of businesses like to stick with what they’ve always done, get declining results, and then wonder what happened.

Although we are being a little tongue-in-cheek with this post, it underscores a few important details. Social media marketing is valuable, but only if you commit to doing things the right way and stay involved through a consistent series of campaigns. Are you ready to start getting bigger results from social?

The team at WebRevelation can help you get more from social media, Internet advertising, and business web design. Call our San Antonio office today at 817-283-3324 to request a free consultation.

Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM | 
Tags : social media , marketing

How to Stop Social Media Trends from Passing You By

Posted Wed, August 13, 2014 by Julie Short

For the past few years, business owners and marketers have known that social media is a game-changer when it comes to reaching out to new clients and establishing brand loyalty. But, the opportunities that social networking sites present come with a cost that's hard to ignore: not only does your social activity itself take a bit of time, but keeping up with the latest trends and ideas feels like a part-time job all on its own.

In other words, you can't make the most of social media marketing if you don't stay on top of the latest trends, but you can't spend all of your time figuring out what's going on with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn either.

To help you stay tuned into the social world, and especially the best practices in the industry, here are seven quick tips you can use to stop social media trends from passing you by:

1. Listen and learn. You can learn a lot just by hanging out with other business owners (or tech-savvy teenagers) and learning about what they're doing.

2. Track the most popular hashtags on Twitter. The biggest and most important trends will almost always have an accompanying storm of hashtagged tweets announcing and following them.

3. Get to know the G+ influencers in your industry. Likewise, the biggest news on social media is going to be discussed by industry experts. You can often learn more on Google +, which allows for more substantial content than Twitter, so follow a few people you can learn from.

4. Get plugged in to LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn discussion groups are a largely-untapped gold mine of information and advice. It only takes a moment to join one, and the benefits could last for years.

5. Play with your apps and toys. There is no teacher like experience, and simply experimenting with social websites (and the accompanying apps) can be a great way to get to know them.

6. Attend a conference or training event. If you can devote a few hours to social media marketing, consider attending an event or workshop. You'll learn expert tips in a condensed format.

7. Subscribe to blogs like this one. An informative blog post is also a great way to absorb a lot of information in a quick, easy-to-understand format. Subscribe to a few (like ours) and you'll have a head start on learning everything you need to know.

While it is true that social media changes quickly, it's a myth that you have to spend all of your time on social sites to use them effectively. Instead, you just have to know where to look to find the highlights. Spend a few minutes a day following these tips and you'll be up to speed in no time.

Looking for a business web design and Internet marketing partner that understands what it takes to get results? Call WebRevelation today at 817-283-3324 and find out what we can do for your bottom line.

Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM , Tips and Tricks | 
Tags : social media

Using Social Proof to Convert More Web Visitors Into Leads (or Even Buyers)

Posted Wed, June 11, 2014 by Julie Short

Social proof – a huge topic in the world of Internet marketing – is a technical-sounding term for a very simple concept: Most of us are more likely to do something if we know other people are doing it, too. That's especially true if the "other people" are ones we respect and admire.

In fact, if the perception of social proof is strong enough, we might even feel like we should be doing something that we aren't already. It's a kind of subtle peer pressure we tend to put on ourselves.

The effects of social proof are everywhere. It's the reason we're more likely to try an exotic new food or workout style if we've read about it in a magazine. It's how fads and trends pick up steam, and the reason that advertisers will pay celebrities huge amounts of money to use and endorse their products.

As you've probably guessed already, there are a few things you can do to take advantage of the power of social proof and put it to work on your business website. You don't even have to have celebrity endorsements, just a few selected numbers or statistics shared or posted in strategic places.

Here are a few good examples:

Displaying the statistics for downloads or registrations. No matter how strong your offer is, there's going to be a natural tendency for potential customers to put off taking the next step, even if it's a minor one, because it involves risk. The more they can see that hundreds or thousands of other people have already taken that step, the more comfortable they’re going to be doing it themselves.

Showing how many people have "liked" your content on social media. Most of us like to be associated with winning ideas and points of view. That's why it's easier to take a social post from 1,000 views to 10,000 views, for example, than it is to get the first 100 from nothing. If your content is popular, build on that and make it more popular.

Letting customers give feedback and reviews. This is a powerful form of social proof, so long as your reviews are positive and credible. People don't have to hear from big names or experts if they think they're getting fair and honest opinions from others who are just like them.

In practice, the uses for social proof on your website could be virtually endless. What makes it powerful, though, is the fact that you're showing that other people already know, like, and trust your company… which implies that your prospect should, too.

One word of caution, though: You only want to activate or share these figures after you've already generated some traction. Seeing that "zero people" have downloaded your report, for example, is essentially the opposite of social proof. So, don't put up anything that's going to hurt your marketing efforts.

Looking for innovative ways to get more from all of your online and offline marketing? Contact WebRevelation today and let us show you what we've been able to do for other businesses just like yours.


Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM , Websites | 
Tags : social , proof , marketing

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