Blog SEO: 6 Tips to drive website traffic

Blog SEO: 6 Tips to drive website traffic

Animated if of michael scott asking Why don't you explain this to me like I'm five?

Are you trying to increase traffic on your website by improving your blog SEO? There are many important factors when it comes to capitalizing on your brand’s blog. SEO, or search engine optimization, helps websites increase the chances of one or more of the pages of their website appearing in the search engine results pages (SERPs). SEO is one of the most common and necessary tools to pair with your blogging to see success in both driving traffic to your site and generating sales or leads. Not sure where to start? Check out these tips!

Watching our blog seo rankings go up like…

Watching our rankings go up like…

1. Lots of factors affect your SEO rankings.

Google can be your best friend or your worst enemy. When it comes to preparing your blog for SEO, there are some things to be aware of in Google’s scoring rubric.

Google does a very thorough job deciphering quality content versus low quality. The new mantra for blogging and SEO in 2020 is “reputation.” If you have boring or irrelevant content or technical issues such as your website’s mobile responsiveness, you will drop. 

If you are consistently putting out high-quality and unique blogs and posting accurate information, it will do the opposite. To see a great example of Google’s scoring theory, check out this video of Moz and what he knows about Google’s ranking system → Google organic quality score theory

When your keywords are specific to your audience

When your keywords are specific to your audience

2. Focus on your keywords.

We’re looking at one to two long-tail keywords for your blog. Any more than that will end up hurting your SEO. Google can pick up on plenty of stretched efforts to gain traffic. “Keyword stuffing” is a red flag to Google, signaling you are “stuffing” keywords in to gain more organic traffic and rank highly among Google searches.

Why long-tail keywords?

One word: impact. When using long-tail keywords based on the content of your blog, results find a more specific and impactful audience will venture to your site and stay longer because of its relevance. I.e. If writing a how-to guide on SEO and blogging, you can use a long-tail keyword such as “how to use SEO for blogging” instead of “SEO blogging,” driving a more relevant audience to your page. This audience is more likely to engage with your posts and subscribe to future posts.

Gif og Michael scoot threatening

When Google catches your blog with keyword stuffing

3. Include these keywords in specific parts of your posts.

Now that you have your keywords, let’s see how we can integrate them into your blog to optimize its search engine ranking. 

The title of your blog should include the long-tail keyword in the first 50 characters of your blog. This is so the keywords do not get cut off by SERPs at the end, taking a hit against your post’s ranking. The keywords need to be in your posts and headers, as well but BE CAREFUL. You need to sound natural and you cannot oversaturate your post with these keywords. 

Google sees everything; Google is Big Brother. Okay, not really. But they will consider this to be keyword stuffing and impact your scoring. It’s also highly recommended to use the keywords in your URL and meta-description. It’s all a contribution to helping the right audience find your post when they search for answers. 

GIF of group photo going wrong

Trying to blog without a plan

4. Just like SEO, you have to make a long-term plan with blogging

Blogging is still just as much a part of your brand as any other form of marketing. When you begin blogging or if you are trying to revamp your site’s blog, it’s important to clarify how you want to convey your brand to your audience. If you try and jump into blogging without a plan, you will likely end up lacking consistency in reputation and will fizzle out on the search engine results. 

Some things to consider when starting/revamping your blog:

  • Brainstorm and list relevant content ideas. Make sure there are plenty.
  • Consider the schedule of posts and how often you are wanting to deploy. (i.e. when can your audience expect to see a new post?) Be realistic. Start out with attainable goals before deciding to increase the amount of content. Think consistency.
  • Pin down your audience. Who are you targeting? Is this audience consistent across the majority of blog posts? It’s important to know the audience ahead of time for the purpose of releasing quality and relevant content in the eyes of Google.
  • Set up a budget for ads on social media to cross-promote your blog. 

It’s great to have big goals for a blog, just remember to start small and be realistic. Your blog’s consistency is vital to its rankings and reception by your audience.

Gif of michel scott giving a hug

When someone links your blog in their post

5. Internal linking is crucial.

Everyone is terrified to link externally. (You mean, you want me to direct my audience to another company’s website?!) It’s one of the biggest misconceptions in blogging to date. Blogging etiquette aside, linking to a blogger’s post when mentioning their ideas or thoughts is a beneficial practice for your blog.

If you’re not willing to give links you will never get linked back. Companies and bloggers respond well to giving them credit or visitors. They possibly will link you back in the future. When you don’t link blogs, you end up reaping the results of narrow-minded marketing. Less relevancy, less traction, less validity. It hurts your brand in the end. 

The purpose of your blog, to put it simply, is to meet the needs of your audience. When there is a point or tip made by another blogger that could benefit your audience, there is no harm in directing them to that site. It’s wholesome, beneficial content and your audience is left happy and satisfied.

Gif of Dweight wearing disguise

6. Be genuine! 

Google observes the analytics, recognizing when people are attracted to your posts. And what do people love? Authenticity. No one wants to read a dissertation or lecture. They want to feel connected to the brand, writing, or blogger. Be real and honest when it’s necessary. Be funny on occasion. Be relevant and comprehensive to your demographic. 

It’s possible to sound like a colleague or friend of the audience without taking away from your brand or your content. This is usually what separates quality content and blogs from the rest, the icing on the cake. Remember, marketing is a branch of sales, too. You want to spark interest, so remember to consider this while curating your blogs.

The Ins and Outs of Successful Trade Shows

The Ins and Outs of Successful Trade Shows

Trade show season is here and exhibitors and attendees alike are planning for their trips! It can be an important time for selling or buying products and services that will help set your company up for success. According to Excalibur Exhibits, 49% of trade show attendees plan to buy one or more of the products or services exhibited. This means both exhibitors and attendees need to be sure their time and efforts are worthwhile. Here are some trade show tips we thought would prepare you and your team for a great event:

Come prepared

If you’re an attendee, it’s important to know there will be anywhere from dozens to hundreds of booths and companies pitching their products and services at trade shows. It can be overwhelming and confusing trying to decide where to spend the most time. Before heading to the trade show, sit down with your team and brainstorm where the company wants to do better. What are some areas your company can improve in that might be relevant to the trade show? Establishing the problems, the budget to solve them, and questions to ask will give everyone a clear vision and goal from start to finish.

Once you have listed these, check out the exhibitor list so the team can research what companies might fulfill those needs. Having these pain points established and listing the booths that interest you will make the event smooth and overall more productive.

Book meetings pre-show

If you’ve found a company whose services pique your interest, reach out! More and more companies are sending people to events and only doing meetings, and hosting their own events at night. They won’t be exhibiting or walking the floor. So if you don’t get in front of them and book an appointment pre-show, there’s a good chance they won’t have time to see you.

Exhibitors and attendees know trying to have a “business meeting” during the hustle and bustle of trade shows can be distracting and unproductive. Your team is better off getting face to face time with each other. This ensures all your questions are being answered and equips you with enough information to later discuss with your team – without the noise. Exhibitors can also be afforded the opportunity to show demos or information they’d usually reserve for quieter settings.

Follow social media and hashtags surrounding the trade show

Whether you’re an exhibitor or attendee, following the trade show’s social platforms and hashtags is a great start for preparation. This gives another opportunity to discover and engage with the Who’s Who of the convention: attendees, companies, hosts. These trade shows, often, have their own apps with a built-in social platform. This makes for a great treasure trove of event-specific content.

Connect with others and get your name out there! You can also make it known you are attending by posting on your own business and professional pages while tagging the appropriate accounts.

Both exhibitors and attendees may even allude to some relevant pain points you’re looking forward to talking about. I.e. “I can’t wait to talk about lead conversion and engagement at #_____2020! Who’s going?” This attracts the right market and business and should even result in a productive one-on-one meeting booked ahead of time!

Effort is everything

Booths are a great opportunity for companies to showcase their work. A visually appealing booth with lots of resources and preparation will be noticeable right away. Even if it’s not a company you’re interested in, it’s always worth networking and checking out. Companies who put lots of planning and efforts into their booths often translate the same planning and efforts in their own services. Most of the time, what you see is what you get!

The average attendee spends 8.3 hours viewing trade show exhibits at an exhibition, according to SpinGo. Make the most of it! Exhibitors should know effort goes a long way and should aim to hear the “oohs” and “ahhs” when others walk by their booth. Think of clever and creative ways to showcase your product. Provide snacks and trinkets for those who stop by your booth. Use interactive methods to get potential clients involved in the product you’re selling.

Make it fun! Attendees are getting a chance to step away from the office and should be able to enjoy themselves, even if it’s while they’re talking business.

Landing a speaking slot at a trade show is a great strategy for exhibitors to try. If you can get someone in your company on stage, it increases the chances of attendees stopping by your booth. Giving attendees something to remember is an effective way to gain traffic at your booth!

Network and Follow Up

Trade shows aren’t cheap and money was definitely invested in the trip to get there. Not to mention, SpinGo reported 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority. Make the most of it by taking the opportunity to network with other businesses and attendees.

Start by attending the social events put on by other companies or by the trade show itself. Invite new colleagues to join for dinner or drinks after. Keep the conversation going and make sure to connect with them on LinkedIn. Networking is never a bad idea and can be a great way to form solid relationships with other businesses.

Exhibitors, don’t forget to follow up with those you connected with during the event. You’re going to get 50% or more deals after the show ends, so having a strategy post-show is important. Following up with leads in a timely fashion will make or break your ROI from attending a trade show!

Lastly, don’t forget the mints!

Nobody likes bad breath. Since the nature of trade shows is already fast-paced and time-consuming, there isn’t much time to do a quick mouthwash session in the bathroom. There will be lots of conversations and no one wants to smell the tuna sandwich and onion rings you had for lunch. Exhibitors, you should do yourself a favor and offer mints on your tables to provide this need for attendees and your own team. It’s a small, but practical idea to start a conversation and your colleagues and potential business partners will be grateful, in the end.

Trade shows can be amazing opportunities, but require advance planning, a thoughtful approach, clean execution and follow-up. These tips will help your team take full advantage of trade shows and events, creating a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone. Make it worth the investment!

Why Every Marketing Team Needs AI in Their Tech Stack

Why Every Marketing Team Needs AI in Their Tech Stack

Imagine Don Draper’s brain power multiplied by two million – that’s what artificial intelligence (AI) can do for your marketing efforts. AI may seem like it’s the realm of data scientists who view the world in binary terms, but it’s actually a hugely important element of a modern marketing tech stack. When used effectively, it can be a competitive differentiator and help any company dramatically improve at finding and closing leads. 

AI helps sales and marketing teams align creativity, best practices, and data science, and it can be the force that focuses go-to-market efforts. Marketing teams can use AI to rapidly analyze and make sense of massive amounts of data which helps them invest their resources efficiently and boost lead generation performance and ROI.

AI as a marketing weapon

Skeptics are being won over when they discover that sales and marketing teams are prioritizing AI more than any other teams within companies. According to Adobe, companies who demonstrate high revenue growth are twice as likely as their competitors to use AI in their marketing efforts. What high performance teams understand is that data is only useful if you can understand it in context, and execute on it. AI enables you to do that.

While planning, team alignment, and agreement on KPIs are all critical factors to sales and marketing efforts, AI helps identify what’s working and helps eliminate wasted effort. Some have criticized AI as an effort to remove the human element from marketing, but quite the opposite is true. AI gives marketing teams insights to help them go to market with campaigns that are highly targeted to the interests of prospects. In fact, many CMOs indicate that delivering personalized experiences is driving their investment in AI. 

Optimizing the marketing tech stack with AI

Companies, no matter how big or small, are sitting on a ton of data about customers, campaigns, and their own operations. CRM, marketing automation, chats, email tools, and other solutions improve execution, but without coordination among them, it’s harder to make connections among these disparate data sources. AI also goes past the binary and presents findings in a way that can be quickly be translated into action.

AI can make that coordination possible because it identifies patterns and connects data that can be used to optimize the strategy and execution of campaigns. Marketing teams can use AI as a way to automatically deliver insights about specific aspects of their marketing activities, and then continuously improve upon them with new insights.

AI in (marketing) action

Consider an example of email campaigns. Most companies gauge success of email activity based on open rates and clicks. While informative, it’s not much to base decisions on, and it leaves a lot of guesswork in order to identify the right elements of their marketing strategy. Put AI on the task, however, and it can go far deeper. 

Timing email delivery, for instance, has always seemed like one of the dark arts. There has to be balance between sending too many or too few emails. There’s also the fact that competition for attention even within in-boxes is becoming fierce. With AI, algorithms get hyperfocused on time zones and can calibrate the optimal time to send emails. This takes into account that not everyone reads their email when you send it. You can now develop a strategy of delivering emails to different target accounts, different time zones, even to specific people, all based on their likelihood of seeing and opening the email. 

Most email marketing tools give you some demographic data, but AI combines users historical behavior, their interests, and how they typically respond (do they like discounts, or are they drawn to product demos?). Knowing what to deliver, and to whom you should deliver it dramatically increases conversion rates.

Flexing your marketing muscle

For the unconvinced, think about all the activities you’re doing now as part of your marketing efforts. Then consider how applying AI to those efforts will make your life easier, but also far more effective

Reduce churn: losing customers is a killer, but can be averted if you can anticipate when you might lose them. With AI, you can pull together data on the frequency of a customer signing in to your service, engagement and responsiveness to your ongoing communication, CRM data, information about their company, and other data points. This helps you predict how likely or not a customer is to remain with you, and enables you to devise a strategy to keep them.

Improve experimentation: if you’re running tests on your website, in your email marketing, and online ad campaigns, you know you can glean some useful information, but acting on it can still be a mystery. A CTA on your website, for example, may be getting a lot of clicks, but AI can tell you where in the click path you’re winning or losing conversions. It can give you data about which content converts best, and not just convert from one page to another, but converts from click to deal close.

Going multi-channel: companies invest in marketing activities across multiple channels, including digital ads, content syndication, social media, email marketing, website marketing, and a host of others. A lot of that money can be wasted if you don’t know how effectively it’s performing, so measurement is critical. But AI can connect performance data about each channel and create a more comprehensive picture of your activities. For example, you might think social media is doing great, but AI can help you discover that Instagram is a waste of money while Twitter is great at converting. You may further discover that certain Twitter ads, when repurposed on LinkedIn for specific audiences, are actually your highest performing ads. Going even deeper, AI can tell you the time of day that those ads are most likely to get engagement. Your marketing dollars go a lot further when you know where to scale back and where to double-down.

Marketing is all about optimizing the funnel from engagement to closing business. AI allows you the ability to refine efforts along the funnel so you know what’s working, how to invest, and where to realize efficiencies. The perspectives delivered by AI provide new perspectives that enable more and better interactions with prospects and customers. 

Supercharge SaaS Marketing with Social Media Insights

Supercharge SaaS Marketing with Social Media Insights

SaaS sales cycle is short, meaning that it’s essential for marketing to do it’s part at an even faster clip. Leveraging social media is your ticket to achieving this, empowering companies to build trust and relationships with prospective clients even more quickly. Therefore, utilizing insights allow you to get the most out of your SaaS social media marketing. 

SaaS is a fast moving market, requiring quick iterations and quicker buying decisions as prospective clients seek out increasingly convenient methods to solve their pain points. Neil Patel describes it best, outlining how “the process of buying SaaS is quick, transactional, and done.” Interestingly enough, the brevity of this buyer’s journey can actually lead prospects to become “skittish, especially if they’re used to the sluggishly slow pace of non-software purchases.” As a result, quickly fostering relationships and credibility becomes a central part to the sales process.

Here is where marketing comes in.

You can achieve all of the above with a solid social media presence. In a digital age where buyer’s decisions are increasingly influenced by online presence and reviews, this form of SaaS marketing can fast track how you connect with future customers.

Yet this level of engagement is not easy to achieve, nor is it earned overnight. As with most endeavors, you must be able to measure the success of your efforts if you hope to reach your goals. Just like building your own brand, building up your social media popularity/authority requires constant testing

If your marketing team is not constantly testing and tweaking your social media tactics, you will hit a wall, resulting in the stagnation of your growth and engagement. What’s worse is that you won’t even know why, since you never monitored what was or wasn’t working. All the while the next agent is finding more business because they put in the necessary work to analyze and optimize their social media strategy.     

But don’t fret, Chet, all is not lost! Actually, it’s pretty easy to start tracking your social media metrics.  Fortunately, all of the major platforms offer analytics tools that you can take advantage of. Even checking out the most basic metrics will give you the chance to see the fruits of your labor. Optimizing your strategy thereafter will give you a leg up on the competition.

With 2.3 billion users spending a good deal of their time browsing social media platforms, getting more eyes on your social accounts should be a top priority. With insights in hand, you can optimize and tailor your content to achieve better engagement from your followers. In turn, you can look forward to more brand awareness and value, all while reeling in more prospects. 

What Are Social Media Insights?

As an agent marketing on Facebook or Twitter, do you know which types of posts your followers desire? Insight tools( metrics), allow you to see exactly who your followers are and what they like.

Tracking your social media performance is a crucial component to any successful marketing endeavor. This is especially true in light of recent changes to Facebook’s News Feed, for example. You need the insight tools to determine exactly what is and isn’t working as well as the best time to post content.

In essence, social media metrics are statistics and data that give you valuable insights into your social media marketing performance. They allow you to track your success in several ways, such as:

  • Page Likes – the number of unique userswho like your Page
  • Post Reach – the number of userswho have seen content associated with your page in the past week.
  • Engagement – the number of unique users who have commented, shared, liked, and clicked on your posts.

There’s also Impressionsm which is the number of times a post from your social media page is displayed, whether or not it is clicked. People might see several impressions of the same post. For instance, that one cat video that’s been shared by 10 different people on your timeline, even though you never liked it once? That would be an example of impressions. 

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Social Media Marketing?

Now that you know what insights and impressions are, you need to use those metrics to grow. 

The Pew Research Center reports that 72 percent of online adults in the US visit Facebook at least once per month. Millennials, however, are the most active social media users. 

The key to boosting engagement is to make the most of your insights. To do that, you need to know how to access these tools on the main platforms.

  • Twitter Analytics

You can access your Analytics for Twitter by clicking on your profile image in the top right-hand corner. 

On the Home tab, you’ll see performance numbers for the past 28 days along with your top tweets. Dig deeper by heading over to the Tweets tab to view the most recent tweets, number of impressions, engagement rates and overall engagements.

(Via Twitter)

With this information, you could set up goals for boosting your engagement rates.What times are best to post? What kind of posts got the most clicks? Have you experienced continual growth with your impressions? How does your engagement rate compare to that? Select the best-performing tweets and aim to match their success. Take all of these things into consideration and tweak your strategy and posting schedule accordingly.  

For more details on Twitter insights, you can click here.

  • Facebook Insights

Accessing insights for Facebook is even easier while providing an arguably more robust overview of insights! Log into your business page and head over to the Insights tab. You’ll be presented with an important dashboard of metrics including Reach, Likes, Views, and much more! By clicking on each stat, you can dig even deeper and set different sortable parameters.  

For example, you can see the number of views you generated over the last month, segmented by gender and age, or even page source. 

Equipped with this depth of information, you can augment your social media strategy by boosting your weakpoints while enhancing your strong suits. 

For more information on what each metric means and how to take advantage of it – click here.

  • LinkedIn Metrics

First of all, if you’re not generating leads using Linkedin [Link to future post about Linkedin lead generation], you need to get started yesterday. Then, upon doing so, you can track your efforts. To pull up Linkedin analytics, make sure you have a company profile with admin access. From here, you can view the Linkedin Analytics dashboard by clicking on the appropriate tab (shown above). Upon unlocking this treasure trove of analytics, you’ll obtain the ability to track data such as Updates, Visitors, and Followers.  All of this help you to determine which posts performed the best, how many impressions each has had, and the engagement with posts. Interestingly, Linkedin also allows you to break this data down into desktop vs. mobile usage, so you can see which post performs best for each. 

To learn more, click here

  • Instagram Performance

Lastly but certainly not least is Instagram, which also has it’s own built-in analytics. If you followed our advice, you’re already using Instagram to advertise yourself and your business. [Link to Marco’s future blog] So it’s definitely a great idea to monitor the results of this pursuit. While there is an endless amount of third-party analytics, Instagram comes with its own baked-in Insights that you can take advantage of for free. You can use this as long as you have a business account. If you currently have a personal account, don’t worry as you can still convert it into a business account. This can be done by accessing your Settings in the top-right hand corner.  

Following this, you can access Insights by clicking on the bar graph icon displayed near the top of your profile. 

Or you can access insights from individual posts: 

However you access the dashboard, the native insights contained within Instagram provides a wealth of information that you can utilize to optimize your strategy and boost your engagement. You can track profile visits, Website clicks (Instagram allows you to link to one URL within your profile), or even Calls! Furthermore, you can measure engagement based on the usual criteria, but break down engagement by the hour

You can even track the success of your Instagram Stories [Link to Stories article by Flanders], thereby leaving you even fewer excuses not to take advantage of this platform for all of your business building needs. 

Cultivate Your Presence and Boost Engagement

With the help of these insights, you can successfully cultivate your social media presence and the content you create. All that’s left to do is watch your business take off.

Doing Business with Millennials: 7 Amazing Tips to Engage the Biggest Buyers in History

Doing Business with Millennials: 7 Amazing Tips to Engage the Biggest Buyers in History

Don’t be fooled by media portrayals of Millennials: Born between 1981 – 1996, this demographic of people represent the biggest generation in U.S. history. With an impressive headcount of 92 million, they are slated to be the biggest generational economic driver of all time. They’re taking advantage of the hot job market to advance in their careers, and earning more disposable income than ever. This, combined with an increasing desire to ditch the shared apartment and enter the housing market, is certain to result in a surge in home sales. While connecting with this group requires a gentle touch, our roadmap will help you better engage and be successful in gaining not only their trust, but their business as well.

The impact of Millennials

Let’s first look at the economic realities of the Millennial generation:

This group is — finally — growing up. Their path to maturity is a bit divergent from their parents’ generation, but they still want to build wealth and security. Homeownership is clearly a key element of that, and two key factors are driving this trend:

  1. Millennials are starting to get married, and according to Richard Green of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, “…marriage is the number one predictor of whether people buy homes.”
  2. The rising cost of rent in urban areas across the country has gotten out of hand and,  according to Green, buying a home in a reasonably priced community is finally being recognized as a more attractive option than shelling out an exorbitant rent in a trendy part of a big city.

86% of Millennials would rather receive a text than a call.

The Millennial mindset

An issue for real estate professionals, is how to serve this unique group by getting them educated about real estate and into the market as buyers. Three key factors are important to understanding this group:

  • Technology: To reach this group, you’ll need to meet them where they live: online. You should know that 75% of Millennials prefer texting over in-person communication, and 86% would rather receive a text than a call. They don’t check voicemails, but they are obsessive about their Twitter feed, Instagram posts, and Snapchat stories.
  • Relatability: Millennials prize emotional intelligence, which for them is a combination of trust, understanding, and empathy. In a study by the Levo Institute, 80% of Millennials indicate that emotional intelligence is something they actively focus on in business-related relationships.
  • Finances: This age group is shouldering massive amounts of college debt, which makes them fairly debt-averse and financially conservative. They have also been shaped by a green cultural shift and value sustainable and environmentally-friendly approaches to buying and living, often resulting in a “less is more” consumer attitude.

Making the connection

To effectively engage with and represent this age group and their real estate needs, there are some things you can do to make yourself stand apart from your competitors. These are not terribly complicated, but could potentially require a shift in some of your work habits and styles:

  • Get digital: You must have a website, and it has to be simple, sleek, and user friendly; it’s just what Millennials have come to expect. It should be updated regularly — 75% of people in this group take a disliking to websites that are not dynamic nor up-to-date. One way to combat this is to change the featured listings on your homepage every few days, and to also blog about trends and topics that may not be specifically about buying a home, but are related. Tips for green landscaping or DIY home improvement projects would be good candidates.
  • Get social: A study by the McCarthy Group discovered that 84% of Millennials don’t like traditional advertising. So what do they trust? Social media. You need active Twitter and Instagram accounts – and you have to make them interesting… not just about advertising your services. Millennials like a story, and the stories you tell in social media should be about the home buying experience, not just you trying to get their business. Make your content visual, which in theory should be fairly easy for the real estate industry. Pictures of houses are great, but if you add more detail and show the finer points of homes, yards, and neighborhoods, you’re surely get a nice boost in engagement.
  • Get validated: Gartner says that 84% of Millennials are influenced by online reviews and comments. Make sure you’re getting your existing clients to write reviews for you on social media channels and recommendation websites 
  • Get connected: Text, don’t call. Send pictures of properties immediately through text; don’t wait until you can get back to the office and post them to your website. You want to demonstrate that you’re always working on their behalf as well as utilizing the technology and tools available to create a unique connection. When it’s time to deliver documents, use email rather than the U.S. Postal system.

We cannot escape the facts presented by demographics, and the reality of our world is that the Millennials and their new approach to the American Dream – which still includes home-ownership. If they can find a trusted, valued advisor who understands their unique needs, they’re going to be eager to engage and choose you to lead them in their journey.

Why SMS is best for Higher Education Marketing

Why SMS is best for Higher Education Marketing

As an educational institute, it’s imperative to incorporate SMS into your marketing strategy – so we’ll take a deep dive into the why and (more importantly) some tips on how to make the most of text message.

SMS marketing is especially important if you hope to survive in a competitive landscape marked by declining enrollment rates and increased mobile usage. Students represent a demographic that is forever young and indoctrinated by the latest trends and tech. For instance, current high school graduates use their smartphone as much as 15.4 hours per week, on average.

So in short, you have no choice but to market to audiences on mobile devices. Your customers are mobile– this is the way the world is, as mobile usage is now surpassing that of at-home internet access worldwide. The impact of this was apparent when looking at millennials–the demographic of people represent the biggest generation in U.S. history who overwhelmingly prefer to communicate via text message over a phone call. At the time, millennials also pursue higher education at a much more frequent rate than previous generations, representing the prime demographic for educational institutions. Now with the aforementioned decline of enrollment and the advent of Gen Z, text message marketing becomes even more necessary for a generation that is even more “mobile-first”. 

When weighed against other communication methods, the inclusion of SMS marketing becomes even more enticing. Compared to an open success rate with emails (20%), text messages far outweigh any other means of communication with an open rate at 98%. Again, this is a fact that corroborates students desire to be texted by higher education institutes (as much as 77%)

While the relevant data can be utilized to increase the success of your business, one must tread lightly. This isn’t an invitation to start firing away “gr8 thx bai 🤙” text messages to your existing and future clients. In fact, that approach would be discouraged, for more reasons than the simple fact that it would make them seem like the awkward dad trying too hard to be hip.

So all of this considered, below are the do’s and don’ts in formulating the perfect SMS strategy for your education marketing. 

1. The gift and the curse of instant response

SMS is about immediacy. You are sending a well-crafted message to someone and within a split second, they are able to receive and read said message–even if they are on the other side of the country. Whenever a client has a question or requires any type of assistance throughout the entire process, they are able to reach you immediately. On the flip side, you must always be available for their needs.

In order to maximize your communication potential through your SMS marketing strategy, the most important facet is to be persuasive and implore your client to be responsive with your messaging. Luckily, there are lead engagement services that can manage this frenetic back-and-forth, so you don’t always have to be glued to your phone.

2. Make sure you’re given permission first

A proper SMS marketing strategy doesn’t just involve collecting a bunch of phone numbers and then firing off spam. There are permissions that are required in collecting and implementing a strategy you should be familiar with. 

Before you send anything, make sure you are GDPR compliant (for business dealing in and with EU countries). Hefty fines can be incurred if you haven’t received the permission to receive texts/marketing material from your clients.

There are a plethora of compliance contingencies you should be well versed with. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources available for you to use in order to study these legalities. 

3. SMS marketing platforms

You might be biting your nails and knocking your knees together thinking to yourself that there just isn’t enough time in the day to implement something like this into your daily grind. 

There are plenty of SMS marketing platforms that are simple to use. Most (if not all) of these marketing platforms have the required “opt-ins” as well as compliance built into their systems. Some of the best include:

All of these platforms are automated. You can build your directed strategy and they work with trigger-flow operations; when certain criteria are met (example: contact added) a specific campaign via text is sent out (example: welcome promo).

4. The human touch of messaging

PsychologyToday notes that 55% of human communication is through body language. Even with all the technology at your disposal, it is still very important to keep that “human touch” when using an SMS marketing strategy.

Always be revising your content. Always be making sure that your triggers have variables that aren’t sending robotic, repeated texts to someone over and over. No one likes to feel like they are a cog in your machine. Even worse, no one likes to have the embarrassing autocorrect message sent that completely changes the intended message.

The information within the text should be tailored to the specific individual it’s being sent to as much as possible. Similar to retargeting ads, SMS marketing should reflect the client’s wants, needs, likes and dislikes as much as possible. Recognize the style of the client in question: do they prefer short and sweet messages or do they like long diatribes (spoiler alert: they don’t)? Know when to end the conversation or when to keep it going.

The technology is here to set you free. If implemented properly, your SMS marketing strategy resembles the “set it and forget it” mantra of those cheap mini-ovens of the early 90’s. As a business owner, you probably toil with the idea of not being 100% hands-on with all of your processes. With SMS marketing, however, you are able to remain in constant and intimate contact with your clients so you can grow both your relationship depth with these people as well as the financial growth of your enterprise. 

Remember the important facets: keep your messaging direct, persuasive, and responsive. Make sure you are communicating with people who have given you the consent to do so. Always retain that human touch when engaging with these people–people want to be helped and not sold.