How to Use Google Analytics to Improve Conversions: A Guide for eCommerce Owners

How to Use Google Analytics to Improve Conversions: A Guide for eCommerce Owners

As eCommerce owners, you know data is vital to the success of your online store. From calculating inventory to understanding the total number of sales — data can tell you whether your store is on the right path to success.

As you know, among all the tools one can use for harnessing data, Google Analytics stands out as the most reliable for marketing analytics. It reveals to you what metrics to pay attention to and improve conversion.

In this article, we will look at how to make sense of the data provided on the Google Analytics dashboard and how you can use it to improve your eCommerce conversions.

This article is not aimed at specialists. they know all of this and a lot more. But it’s always important to know how to speak with people you might want to hire who can take things to another level. And hopefully, this article will help you to do some of the basic stuff yourself.

1. Find Your Website Traffic Sources
Google Analytics gives you information on who visited your website and the pages they visited, whether it is landing pages or product pages. The software provides reports on direct traffic, social media traffic, email traffic, organic traffic, and even referral traffic.

You can use the report to compare eCommerce traffic sources for different periods or tell which marketing campaigns drive organic traffic and affect your sales.

But why is understanding where your traffic is coming from important? Traffic sources can tell you where to target your marketing campaigns.

Let’s say you are running giveaways through social media, but most of the traffic is referrals. In that case, it should signal that your social media marketing campaigns aren’t efficient and probably change strategy to referral marketing.

2. Find Your Target Audience
One way to improve conversion is to identify who your target audience is.

An audience report is useful in developing the right customer personas. From your analytics dashboard, you can get data on your customer’s gender, age group, devices used, location, and interest.

Here is how to make use of the audience’s data. Your visitors’ interests tell you what attracts your audience to your store more often. You can use that knowledge and decide what to offer as an upsell, cross-sell, or another better product choice.

The device reveals what gadgets visitors are accessing the store. If most visitors access your online store from mobile phones, offer mobile-friendly interfaces and experiences to create a personalized purchase journey for consumers.

Age groups tell you whether you are attracting the right customers. If you sell upscale designer bags but discover that mostly seniors visit your site, it should signal your marketing campaigns attract the wrong audience and make adjustments.

3. Learn About Your Ideal Customer and Their Behavior
Improving conversion does not stop at finding your target audience and building your customer personas. You also need to see what makes your audience click. Google Analytics tells what type of products customers view, click on, add to cart, or purchase.

From your Analytics dashboard, you can see which products are hotcakes and slow-moving by category, brand, and product name. With the knowledge of your customer’s user behavior, you can tweak your website and have the best products viewed first so that users spent less time searching for their favorite product.

Knowing the best-selling products will also help you choose what to promote during seasonal sales like Black Friday. These strategies eventually improve conversion as they ease the customer’s purchase journey.

4. Track Your Marketing Campaigns
Knowing whether your marketing campaigns are a success is vital to improving a store’s conversion. Google Analytics can tell what type of marketing campaigns generate sales or high bounce rates.

You can find which landing pages people interact with more often and make it to the cart. You can also get data on funnels that are most effective.

For example, if you are using videos in your marketing campaigns, you can find the number of people who make it to checkout after watching a video. This can tell you whether to change the content on your landing page and include videos to ensure more visitors stay longer on your page.

It can also tell you where to re-target your customers, whether on social media or other websites. The most significant factor to monitor under marketing campaigns in your analytics report is paid search. PPC campaigns are quite expensive, and if you are running any such campaigns, be sure it is as efficient as possible.

5. Speed Up Slow Loading Pages
Slow loading pages increases bounce rates and ultimately harms your conversion.

Your online store should load in under three seconds. If you have trouble with the site loading speed, use Google Analytics to find slow-loading pages and fix them.

A fast loading site improves user experience, makes visitors navigate your site easily, and ultimately improves conversion by reducing cart abandonment.

6. Find Keywords and Search Terms
Keywords and search terms are essential in positioning your product and content to be found in search.

Google Analytics gives you a report on which search terms or keywords customers are searching on your website. With the insights from customers visiting your page, you can use the right keywords and optimize your website and products to rank higher in search results for what customers are looking for.

7. Keep a Note Of Your Progress
Another important component you can get from Google Analytics is your store’s progress. Have the changes made on your website and marketing campaigns to improve conversion generated results?

If yes, Google Analytics keeps this data to help you stay organized and informed on what store’s management strategies are working.

Making any positive or negative changes to your website and marketing can help you avoid future mistakes in your marketing campaigns. Tracking your progress ensures that you maintain better SEO management practices, marketing campaigns, and website designs.

The survival of an eCommerce store lies in sales. But to drive more sales, you must always look for ways to improve eCommerce conversions.

If you have ugraded your eCommerce store with more inventory and even added more content distribution platforms, but your sales have plateaued or tanked, it is a sign to identify the barriers to purchase.

Google Analytics is your number one tool for studying eCommerce data. It helps you track bounce rates, conversion, traffic, keywords, and marketing campaigns.

This report or data helps guide your marketing campaigns to move the customer along the purchasing funnel and improve conversion.

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Social Selling on LinkedIn: All You Need to Know

Social Selling on LinkedIn: All You Need to Know

Stop us if you’ve heard this before:

“In the digital age, Social Selling is exactly what your company needs to succeed!”

Pitching social selling as the next “hot new marketing trend” is itself a popular marketing trend. However, many marketers seem more concerned with making sure your company adopts it as soon as possible instead of explaining the specifics of how it works.

Today, we’re going to do our part to rectify that. This article will delve into the nitty-gritty of social selling and why businesses are so eager to adopt it. So without further ado, let’s dive into everything you need to know about social selling on LinkedIn.

The Basics: What is Social Selling?
Social selling is a primarily B2B practice, wherein you sell a product or service through a curated process of building and developing a relationship with prospective clients. While the practice dates back a bit further, today it is most closely associated with LinkedIn and their four pillars of social selling.

These four pillars are:

Create a professional brand.
Focus on the right prospects
Engage with insights.
Build trusted relationships.

Create a Professional Brand

Image Link

The first component of social selling is creating a professional brand. We’ve all been spammed by “legitimate’ businesses trying to push one product or another. But by now, people are rightfully wary of cold callers. As a result, if you want to properly use social selling you must cater your image toward alleviating such concerns.

If you want to build a relationship with a potential client, then they must understand that you are a respectable business. As it specifically concerns LinkedIn, there are several basic steps you can take to proactively project the image of professionalism:

A highly curated description that corresponds to your product is essential. Clients will be suspicious if your profile’s narrative does not mesh with the message of your product. LinkedIn has published a list of great bios if you’re looking for something to build off of.
It may sound basic, but internal LinkedIn studies have shown that merely having a picture associated with your page makes it 14x as likely to be viewed. The more professional looking the picture (lighting, framing, dress, etc.) the better your odds.
Tailor your information to your field. For instance, the qualities highlighted by an investment broker are going to be different than that of a realtor.

There are many little things you can do to build the image of professionalism, but ultimately the most important thing you can do is demonstrate an understanding of your industry. The best way to look professional is to be professional.

Focus on the Right Prospects

Photo by George Morina from Pexels

A shotgun approach to approaching prospective customers is antithetical to the tenets of social selling. If you intend to build and develop a relationship with your clients it is inefficient to not scout out potential matches first.

The LinkedIn search tool is particularly helpful in this regard. It allows you to search for prospects with an advanced array of filtration tools designed to highlight prospects who fit your product.

Notable advanced search features include keyword searching, Boolean operator functionality, and alternative result sorting. Proper utilization of these tools allows you to spend time on prospects who your analytics show are most likely to engage with your product.

In that regard, it is critical that you research everything about your industry before embarking on this process. The more features that are known about the ideal candidate profile, the more you can refine your search and isolate your best matches.

Engage with Insights

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

Continuous activity on your page is a must for anyone using social selling techniques on LinkedIn. This is commonly done by sharing posts in your relevant news and industry related-content on your page.

There are two key reasons why you must “engage with insights” frequently:

First, it demonstrates a level of contemporary engagement with the industry. Commenting on ongoing trends not only shows that you’re aware of them but allows you to articulate your stance and further refine your brand image.

Second, it helps position yourself as a thought leader in the industry. Not only are you engaging with new trends, but you are providing additional analysis on them. Practically, you are demonstrating that you are an authority in the industry.

Both of these principles build off of the aforementioned idea of creating a professional brand. In this regard, positioning yourself as an expert is one way you can maintain said brand.

Build Trusted Relationships

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

Building appropriate relationships with your client base is essential in selling them your product or service. This is to be done in a straightforward, honest, and organic manner. Practically speaking, this comes down to the abilities of your agents to build a rapport and answer any questions they may have.

An important aspect of this that is rarely stressed is the occasional need for brutal honesty. If the client is looking for something your product does not provide, it can be beneficial to direct them toward another service rather than push them to buy your product.

While it may hurt to do this after the lengthy recruiting process the goal of social selling is to build real relationships, not just sell your product. A sale doesn’t matter if the client leaves with a bad experience and says as much to those in their circles.

If you help them find a more appropriate venue they’re much more likely to recommend you to others and come back to you if they do need your services. This not only positions your company as knowledgeable about the industry but can also help build and maintain connections with the companies you refer clients to.

As a final note, Social Selling Coach AI is an emerging tool that has shown recent promise in helping agents in their relationship-building skills. These tools can analyze conversations between agents and customers and provide feedback to improve future discussions.

While there have been discussions as to their ability to separate hard data analytics from soft interpersonal skills, they are nonetheless an option worth exploring if you find yourself struggling to close.

Social Selling Index
LinkedIn also provides free access to your SSI, aka Social Selling Index. The index provides an analysis of how strong you are in each of the four pillars of social selling. Per LinkedIn, this score has a high correlation with various sales figures:

45% more sales opportunities
51% more likely to hit quota
78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media

While this tool is free, they do also provide additional paid services that provide more direction toward improving your SSI score.

Social selling is a broad and evolving field. This article does not talk about aspects unrelated to LinkedIn, but other forms of social media can be useful in creating a multi-platform holistic brand image.

Is social selling right for your company? That’s up to you to decide. But if your success hinges on continual client satisfaction and standing out from other companies, it’s at the very least worth inquiring into.

Laurent Gibb has spent the best part of 20 years working with European, US, and Israeli startups across a range of sectors, helping them scale and reach stable repeatable growth. He has been fortunate to see two startups IPO, one acquisition, a couple of pivots, a few get to hypergrowth… and also one or two who didn’t make it… You connect with him on LinkedIn here or tweet/follow him @LGLondon

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How to Use Hashtag Tracking to Optimize Your Social Media Content

How to Use Hashtag Tracking to Optimize Your Social Media Content

Hashtags form an important part of any social media strategy. While brands already leverage them to power up their reach and engagement, it’s also possible to use them to optimize your content.

And how can you achieve this?

That’s exactly what hashtag tracking can help you with. It helps you understand how your content, and consequently campaigns, are performing. These analytics can help you optimize your content.

Before we get into how we can use hashtags to determine your content performance, let’s look at the different hashtag types that you should track.

Types of Hashtags You Should Track
Tracking the performance of hashtags can give you a detailed idea of how you should go about optimizing your content. Here are the different hashtag types you should consider tracking:

1. Content Hashtags
Content hashtags are those that are directly related to the content of your posts. You should track these hashtags regularly as you’d be using them to grow your content reach, engagement, and social media following. Doing this can help you find out which ones need to be a part of your posts.

2. Trending Hashtags
Trending hashtags can play an important role in helping your brand grow as you can leverage them to gain traction.

But why must you track them?

While there are numerous trending hashtags every day, you only need to pick out the ones that are relevant to your brand.

3. Event Hashtags
Event hashtags should be tracked if you’re taking part in a particular event. By tracking these hashtags, you’ll get an idea of the other related hashtags. Also, you’ll be able to figure out what the attendees are saying about your content. You can also identify new topics from these hashtags as you can find out what the attendees are talking about the most.

4. Branded Hashtags
Branded hashtags or campaign hashtags form an important part of branding. These hashtags help you grow your brand awareness and that’s why it’s critical to track them. By tracking them, you can get detailed insights into how successful your marketing efforts have been at growing your reach.

So, now that you know about the hashtags that you need to track, let’s take a look at how hashtag tracking can help you optimize your content.

Steps to Optimize Your Content Using Hashtag Tracking
Here’s how you can use hashtag tracking to optimize your content:

1. Select a Hashtag Tracking Tool
While manual tracking of your hashtags is possible to a certain extent, it’s important to have reliable tools that can help you get access to all the data about your hashtags.

Using these tools, you can find out things like:

The popularity of your hashtags
Monthly and weekly popularity trends
Related hashtags
Most popular accounts using the hashtag
Audience locations and demographics

Some of the tools that you can use for this are Hashtagify and HashTagsForLikes. To get started with them, you only have to enter the hashtag and the tool will then come up with all the analytics related to it.

Image via Hashtagify

2. Gather Insights
Based on the data that you’ve gathered from the hashtag tracking tools, you’ll be able to come up with actionable insights that can be used to optimize your content. By checking out the popularity and trends of hashtags over a long period of time, you’ll be able to figure out if it’s worth incorporating those hashtags into your content.

Selecting the right ones can help boost your reach and engagement. From related hashtags, you’ll be able to come up with new content topics for your social media posts.

Similarly, in the case of branded hashtags, you’ll be able to figure out if you’ve been able to grow the popularity of your hashtag through your content. You’ll also be able to find if there has been a jump in hashtag popularity after publishing some content. This can help you identify topics around which you can create content more often.

Let’s now take a look at some of the hashtag metrics that you should be tracking to optimize your content better.

Hashtag Metrics to Track
Some of the important KPIs that you should be tracking for your hashtags are:

1. Hashtag Popularity (Current)
This can help you find out if a particular post has helped you boost your hashtag popularity in the case of branded hashtags. For all others, you can figure out if it’s worth incorporating them in your content.

2. Hashtag Popularity
The hashtag popularity tells you about the potential engagement and reach that you can expect for your content. It helps to choose moderately popular hashtags.

3. Number of Posts
This metric helps you find out how many posts are being published using the hashtag. If too many posts are using it, then it’s likely that your post will get lost among the crowd.

4. Audience Demographics
You can figure out if the hashtag demographics match those of your target audience. Based on that, you can decide whether it’s worth using the hashtag in your content.

5. Average Likes
This can help you find out the approximate engagement that you might get on your post. While likes may not be the best engagement metric, but you can use it to gauge the traction your content might get.

Final Thoughts
Hashtag tracking can play an important role in helping you grow your brand. Using it, you can figure out which hashtags might be better suited for your content. At the same time, it’s possible to identify if your content is helping you boost the popularity of your branded hashtag.

What’s more?

Based on the insights you gather from it, you can accordingly modify your content and strategy.

For effective hashtag tracking, you’ll need to follow content, trending, event, and branded hashtags. You’d also need to have hashtag tracking tools to monitor the hashtags and get data on the various metrics related to them.

If you have any questions about the method of hashtag tracking mentioned above, do let us know in the comments.

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Does Your Customer Service Invite or Push People?

Does Your Customer Service Invite or Push People?

Whenever we ask somebody to take an action, we can adopt two different approaches. The first one to be more direct, sometimes even imperative, the second one less direct but more persuasive. When it comes to dealing with your customers, chances are that you’ll need to ask them to do something: Whether it is sending a document, filling out a form, or anything else, you are asking your customers to make some effort.

So the question is simple: if you were in customers’ shoes, would you agree to make an extra effort or would you refuse? Would you like customer service to invite or push you? To put it another way, do you like it when customer service is pushy? And turn that around. Is your customer service too pushy?

A Customer Experience Not To Be Inspired By
A few weeks ago I bought an LED lamp thru an online store that I’d never used beforehand. I have to say that the first part of the experience was absolutely great because:

I easily found the item I was looking for, so I was happy and saved time.
The checkout was easy and smooth and I felt confident in using my credit card in this new-to-me online store.
The delivery was on time. It took 2 days as promised.
The package and content were fine. This met my expectations. It is as all online purchases should be!
The lamp worked perfectly. Even the moment of truth was great!

Unfortunately, the second part of this experience has been utterly terrible because:

A paper card where I was literally prompted to leave a 5-star online review on a specific website. It was taken for granted that if I was satisfied with the purchase I should give it 5 stars.
Then the day following the delivery, I got an email replicating the same message: ‘Did you like our lamp? So why not leave us a 5-star review on [review site].com?’
Then I did not think that the worst was yet to come. Two days later I received another pushy email with a scolding tone: ‘Dear Paolo, as we have noticed that you did not leave your review. Can you please do that…’

How Would That Make You Feel?
In a nutshell – as you can imagine – this second part was so disappointing that it ruined my overall customer experience! In fact, such a pushy approach combined with the expectation that the customer should invest their time and efforts is absurd and simply out of time. Customers have long-since been digitally savvy, and know very well what they want from brands: a quick, efficient, and transparent service. Therefore using a pushy approach from them, even when we’re satisfied with what we’ve purchased, is 100% counterproductive.

Related read: go over digital customer service sliding doors.

Over To You
Should you still have any doubt as to whether you should invite or push your customers to take any action, take a moment to think about your worst customer experiences. Meanwhile, thank you for your time in reading, and have great conversations!

Editor’s Note: We couldn’t concur more strongly with the sentiment expressed in this article by Paolo. 5-star should equal excellence, not meeting expectations. And being pushy definitely makes the overall customer experience less enjoyable. This example is an extreme that I haven’t encountered but would be moved to respond negatively to.

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How to Use Video Content Marketing to Promote a Non-Profit

How to Use Video Content Marketing to Promote a Non-Profit

Video marketing has been fast evolving over a decade lately, and it’s still going ever stronger. Whether you are operating a non-profit (or volunteering to help one which is always a good idea), here are a few tips to use video marketing.

First things first:

The Power of Video Content
If we want to really see how valuable video marketing is, we should look at some statistics:

Blogspot reports that video marketing is being hailed as very important to 92% of marketers. Compare that to the 2015 figure, where only 78% said the same thing. This shows that the market for video content has really expanded.
Wordstream released some incredible figures. Among them, more than 50% of all video content is viewed on mobile devices. Of those videos viewed, Virtuets claims that 92% of those viewers share video content regularly.
MarketingCharts has predicted that by 2021, the average person will spend 100 minutes per day watching video content.
On social media, Optinmonster reports that marketers have an average of a 54% rise in brand awareness when they combine social media and video marketing.
Fast Company found that 57% of those who watched a video from a non-profit donated to the cause.

Let’s not forget that video marketing opens up more channels for you, including:

Youtube (which is considered to be the second largest search engine in the world) and
TikTok (which is the fastest-growing video platform)

It also allows you to create more engaging content (like podcasting).

As you can see, video content is worth creating. You may still worry that it is too expensive or too difficult. Luckily, neither have to be the case!

You may also want to read: The Complete Start-to-Finish Guide to Marketing Your Podcast to Sponsors

Here are the most common challenges (nonprofit) brands tend to face when it comes to video marketing:

“I Am Not Sure How To Get Started With Video Marketing”
While it seems overwhelming, all it takes to start is a subject that you want to record. What would be most effective at telling the story of your cause? Every video should start out with this question, because you are going to be answering it every time you pick up your camera.

Next, you need to ask yourself what style you are looking for. Are you going to sit in front of the camera and talk? Do a live shoot with something going on right then? Do a story time style video with clips, footage, voiceover and music? You are in control and so you will be deciding what your audience most needs to see and how.

Let’s look at some examples to help give you an idea of what has been effective in other non-profit campaigns.

High Jump is a non-profit that creates educational programs meant to help seventh and eighth grade students increase their knowledge in multiple categories, such as art and science. This video campaign netted them $215,000 donations from viewers.

Lifebuoy launched a campaign that followed Sangrah, an expecting mother. The purpose was to illustrate their efforts to help with prenatal and postnatal care.

Their mission is to help children live to the age of five, which 6 million children per year never reach. Handwashing was the primary focus on this particular experiment, which can help to strengthen the health of the fetus, as well as the mother. The video is incredibly well made and tells a story that makes you really care about the subject of the film.

Do you see how each of these videos uses a different storytelling style that still gets the message across? They also appealed to the emotional response of the viewer. Each was touching in its own way, but they both target different emotions. You should be asking yourself what emotion each video you create is trying to convey.

“Creating Video Content is Too Expensive”
If you are looking for ideas on where to start, micro-videos (those 1-3 minutes long) make perfect nonprofit promotional assets. They are also easy to create and require no special skills or expensive software.

You can put inspiring videos together easily using tools like InVideo. Simply pick a video template, upload your own images and videos and put together a video using an easy visual editor:

Invideo can help you create an inspiring video which will take you just a few minutes to put together!

You may also want to read: How To Improve Your Lead Generation With Video Marketing

“Driving Views to Videos is Next to Impossible”
Well, this one isn’t far from the truth, I’ll grant you that. Video content competition is huge: It’s getting harder and harder to stand out and get noticed.

There’s one shortcut for growing video views though: Drive views from Google.

Thanks to Google’s carousels, ranking videos in Google isn’t hard. Plus this strategy is not as popular yet, so it is still pretty doable.

[Google’s video carousels are low-hanging-fruit opportunity for driving video views and brand exposure]

All you need to do is to follow basic SEO steps (those are universal for text and video content):

Identify searchable keywords (long-tail keywords would be your best bet as they have lower competition)
Use those keywords in the video title and description
Link to your videos from your site (there are also ways to automate that)

You are pretty much done.

If you have trouble identifying searchable angles (this is something many nonprofits are struggling with), use Text Optimizer to identify what Google may be associating your niche with:

“Video Marketing ROI is Impossible to Measure”
This is another hard one. It is hard to put a price tag on things like brand exposure and trust building.

Consequently, video marketing may be very hard to “sell” to the brand’s CEO or your manager.

Since executives are usually looking for “measurable” results, you will need to track metrics like clicks and conversions religiously to justify a video marketing campaign.

Tools like Finteza are great for that, as it requires no technical skill to set up. It’s also conversion-oriented allowing you to monitor your sales funnel and compare effectiveness of several traffic sources.

[Track your video marketing traffic sources using Finteza]

Video marketing can be overwhelming. But thanks to modern tools, it is quite doable. Videos work best for building empathy and spreading awareness which make them perfect for marketing non-profit projects. I hope the above ideas will inspire and motivate you to get started!

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How To Master Live Chat Support Conversations Like a Maestro

How To Master Live Chat Support Conversations Like a Maestro

There’s a good chance that you are underrating Live Chat as a Digital Customer Service channel. Live Chat is not the newest Digital Support channel – certainly compared to messaging apps, for instance. And this often leads brands to underestimate its peculiar features and challenges. The result is poor customer experiences and employee frustration (for your front line staff).

Read more to be fully aware of Live Chat opportunities. You need to grab them all while delivering superior conversations.

Getting To Know Live Chat Main Features
The first thing to do is avoiding mixing up Live Chat with messaging apps as they are different one another. This is a pretty frequent topic with some clients of mine since many of them started delivering Live Chat support, then integrated new channels such as Whatsapp, Messenger or Telegram. As a results their customer service representatives tend to apply the same engagement rules regardless, getting into misunderstandings / frictions with the final customer. To help you avoid such pitfalls I’ve prepared this table where you’ll notice main differences between Live Chat and messaging apps:

How to Optimize Live Chat Conversations
Now that you’re aware of Live Chat support channel features I guess you’re looking forward to improve your performances.

As with everything you need to learn, the best way is to leverage the experience of those who came before you. In this instance, that means you should study brands that already do a great job delivering excellent Live Chat experiences.

That’s why you’ll love this Live Chat support case study. What’s in it for you?

An overview of the main issues that the customer service team faced handling conversations via Live Chat, given the peculiarity of this channel (synchronous, with high customer’s expectations in terms of response speed and accuracy)
How these problems have generated negative repercussions. This encompasses both internal – your team members – as well as external, deteriorating the customer experience.
The customized solutions we have implemented to optimize conversations via Live Chat. The method we used, therefore the benefits that the client company was able to get in a short time.
An exclusive podcast so that you can do a deep dive into the ‘how-to’ of this case study.

Over To You
Delivering excellent and consistent digital experiences for your customers, regardless the channel, is the mantra. Being able to fine tune your conversations according to specific channel features makes the difference for your customers and keeps away your competitors.

That’s why as usual, but today more than ever, my wish for you is ‘have great conversations‘.

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How To Establish Your Brand as a Thought Leader

How To Establish Your Brand as a Thought Leader

There are several ways in which you can build a brand reputation of authority online amidst changes in marketing methods. The term influencer has become widely used and doesn’t convey what your brand is truly about. To be truly effective, you should look instead to becoming a thought leader in your industry. And you do this by demonstrating your knowledge through remarkable content, publishing, and personal interactions on your social networks.

When you consistently focus on these initial steps, you will begin to move closer to your goal. The keys to success is to start with a plan that will work best for your business model. And always to be authentic in your approach.

These are the typical steps that I follow when working with a new client who is initially setting up their brand image:

Create a professional website that includes a blog and updates on any books, news articles, videos, etc.
Regular content posted to places like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube
Interaction in social media groups
Focused and relevant content to help build an active and engaged audience who is truly interested in what the brand topic is about
Use the right hashtags in order to attract targeted followers on social media, including industry contacts.
Cross promote blog posts and/or videos to both email and social media
Re-purposing content into videos
Live video streaming, which can lead up to a podcast later on
Regular email updates to subscribers
A clear call-to-action on blog posts and videos
Active and involved communication with Fans and followers
Paid advertisements on social media

How To Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader In Your Niche
In order to establish yourself as a thought leader with a trusted brand image, you need to engage with specific niche communities. And you also need to share some of their content. Here’s how you can boost your online influence and move toward thought leadership if that is your goal:

1 – Articles Highlighting Your Book/Product/Service
Your blog is the main hub to share your expert knowledge on a regular basis. As you build content over time, you can attract news media outlets and guest blogging opportunities. This will help improve your subscriber rate as well and help move your website up the rank up on Google as you include helpful information that can be featured in their snippets section. As your content is shared on social media, audience reactions will have an impact on your visibility through social signals.

2 – Publish a Book or Video Series
A book and/or video channel is your calling card to brand recognition and establishing authority in your niche. And you can pull information right from your existing blog posts or from ideas you have already gathered for an upcoming publication. Becoming an author or establishing a podcast will help establish an interested audience within your niche. You can leverage live video to spark an interest and build this strategy into your overall digital marketing plan.

You may also want to read: How To Effectively Market Your Business Book

3 – Attend Online Events and Conferences
You can create the opportunity to be invited to a speaking event. This used to mean television or radio interviews. However, it is now more likely to be via a Podcast.

Whichever medium you use, speaking is a good way to boost your authority and connect with your community on a personal level. The more people you meet at these places the more doors that can be opened for you to become a key speaker or presenter.

4 – YouTube Is Still The Premier Network for Video
Clutch and Smart Insights report that YouTube is in the top three most effective social networks for brands today. You can build your visibility here by sharing the videos you already have on a branded channel. While an occasional live event is good in attracting a larger audience quickly it is equally important to put together something that is professional with the help of an outside source. This is especially important to do if you have an upcoming book, product launch or speaking event.

You may also want to read: 8 Tools for Creating Engaging YouTube Videos

5 – Join Targeted Groups on Social Media
It’s important to be making new connections daily and one way to accomplish this is through specific niche groups that have a active and engaged members. The key is to be both helpful and supportive by answering questions, feedback on discussions, and sharing valuable information that applies to the group. As you demonstrate your authority by your answers others will soon want to connect with you. The best places to start are on Facebook, LinkedIn, and in specific Twitter Chats. Remember it’s all about building relationships, and not sales.

6 – Get Busy on Mobile Platforms
Mobile marketing has become a large part of reaching an audience on social media. Places like Instagram and Snapchat allow you to show a behind the scenes look and post content that your audience can relate to. Live videos and stories are becoming increasingly popular. Through these, your followers get to track your journey and interact with you.

7 – Don’t Completely Leave Out Advertising
Organic reach has dropped significantly over the last few years. So, you should set aside a budget that allows you to fill in the gaps and reach people through targeted ads. The key to success is to target a narrow audience with specific keywords on a particular topic with eye-catching headlines and graphics that let your audience know right away what your ad is about.

You may also want to read: Facebook Advertising Has Got Better And Easier

In Closing
Becoming a thought leader begins with careful research. You must then reach out to your community in a way that shows you not only care about what they are interested in, but have the answers to their problems. Always keep the end goal in mind whether this is to become an author, speaker, full-time blogger, or successful eCommerce business. This will enable you to better focus on what you want your audience will look like and which leaders in your industry are best to connect with.

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Data Redundancy: Why You Need An External Storage Device

Data Redundancy: Why You Need An External Storage Device

Earlier this year, I wrote about the importance of Data Redundancy though extra backups – particularly if you work at home. By now, work solutions that had seemed temporary, are looking more like a new way of life. Indeed, for many, whether full-time or part-time, they actually are. So, when do you start thinking about additional data security?

First, a little recap: Why You Need Data Redundancy
Everyone is trying to sell you their cloud-based solution. But my background in IT tells me that you never keep all of your Data ONLY in one place.

If hackers can get into a cyber-security firm’s systems, why would anyone think they can’t breach a cloud bank? (If you’ve had enough of feeling scared, don’t, whatever you do, read the article I just hyperlinked to!)

I also cautioned about a new phase of sunspot activity. Yeah, yeah, yeah! Vendors will tell you this is a foolish fear. After all, what harm could a heavily magnetic field from something powerful enough to hold 8 planets and countless satellites in its orbit possibly cause magnetic storage!

So, I suggested trying to find a vendor that stores your data in multiple places. And, whatever you do, don’t make that your only backup!

You may also want to read: The Un-geeking of Data

External Hard Drives
I have a Seagate External Drive – they were the best reviewed brand almost 4 years ago when I bought mine. I went for a whole Terabyte! Who could possibly ever need that much, right?

It’s full! My Time Machine backups have now maxed it out.

By all means, if you swear by a particular brand, go for it. But always think big. How much space do you currently use? If you don’t have an external drive, you’ll need to multiply it several times over.

If I was buying one now, I’d go for at least 3 Terabytes, and probably 5. Too expensive? Believe what you’ve heard or read. Storage space is so much cheaper now than it has ever been. And it’s likely to get cheaper still.

The above image is of a 5 Tb drive. The cost is all of $119.99.

So, Why Buy An External Drive?
Arguably the best reason, as I stated back in May, is covered above. Additional Data redundancy.

Here are a couple of additional reasons to hold your ground and stick with your own storage.

If you have an issue with your computer and can’t get into it, you can use it as your startup disk

You can also use it on any other compatible computer as a disk drive, and work on any file stored. No need to sign in to your Cloud account on someone else’s computer. It works great for temporary use of a computer.

Just make sure that neither your disk or the computer you’re signing into have any viruses!

Data Security Isn’t Just About Storage
No article on Data Security would be complete without reminding you of the need for strong Antivirus protection.

For Macs, the undoubted leader is (and has been) Bitdefender. From my prior PC days, I know that there are more competitors, and ‘best’ is typically at least somewhat subjective. What do you think is the best, and can you please explain why?

Over To You
If you have any suggestions for people when it comes to cloud storage, external drives, Data redundancy, or computer security, please leave your comments, below. Please don’t try to sell anything via a link, as our spam checker will not allow that. But good, helpful advice is always appreciated.

Please visit out new Curatti Store or go directly to our Amazon Store

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For the sake of transparency, some of the products we recommend are affiliate links.

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7 of The Most Effective YouTube Marketing Strategies

7 of The Most Effective YouTube Marketing Strategies

48 percent of marketers plan to use YouTube as part of their marketing strategy. And for good reason! More than a billion people are active on YouTube. This means a huge chunk of your audience is already on it.

So, what can you do with this information? Sure, you can create and present unique, fun, and emotional content on the platform. But, if you don’t market your content properly, your videos will never rank on the first page.

Instead, you must implement marketing strategies that will get you to YouTube’s first page without a hassle. Maybe even appear on the recommendation list for an improved SEO and brand presence.

So, the million-dollar question is, how do you ensure your YouTube marketing strategies have the desired effects?

Here are some tips and tricks that have proven useful for ranking videos on YouTube. The article also includes tricks on how to rank for competitive keywords.

1. Enhance Your Watch time

This is not your retention time. Your watch time is the total amount of minutes your viewers have watched your video since it was posted. This is vital because the longer you can keep your viewers watching, the more YouTube will surface your content.

You can achieve this in two ways:

Script, plan, and outline your videos. When you plan, you reduce the chances of presenting scattered and unfocused content. A precise presentation will keep your audience glued to you longer.
Make sure your video is not static by mixing things up. For instance, you can change your camera angles, images, or music, and include stunning video effects. The goal is to ensure your video is interesting and fresh.

You may also want to read: IGTV vs. YouTube: Which One Is Better For Video Marketing? [Infographic]

2. Use Brackets And Parentheses In The Title
YouTube pays great attention to the number of users that click on your channel. The higher the number, the more likely your channel is to rank on the first page. Therefore, go beyond clickbait and put some brackets and parentheses in your video title.

The text in the bracket offers the viewer a sneak preview of your video content. This makes it more likely for your audience to click on the video. For instance, if your title was “YouTube Marketing Strategies,” enhance it to “YouTube Marketing Strategies (Best Tips And Tricks).”

Besides, the industry denotes that by including some brackets and parentheses in your video title, you can get one-third more clicks.

3. Enhance Your Engagement Signals
These include comments, likes, shares, and subscriptions. Your engagement signals strongly correlate with your YouTube ranking position. YouTube admits this fact. This means that the more you increase your engagement signals, the higher you will rank.

The big question: how do you get more viewers to engage with your content? Play to human preferences. This means, learn your audience and use their preferences to approach them. For instance, people do like to give their opinion but they don’t like to think too hard.

So, instead of asking the audience to “let you know what they think”, ask questions that are simple to answer. A multiple-choice question will do that seamlessly. Example: Do you prefer to enhance your engagement signals or use brackets in your title?

These questions will get you more comments on your videos. Then give people a reason to subscribe to your channels. For instance, “Subscribe to my channel so that you don’t miss out on next week’s video.”

You may also want to read: 8 Tools for Creating Engaging YouTube Videos

4. Have A Tag Formula
Do you have a formula for your tags?

For instance, are you filling your video with a hundred tags? This makes it hard for YouTube to understand what your video content represents. Besides, if your tags represent different niches like blogging and life lessons, your video will seem confusing to YouTube’s algorithms.

Instead, have a systematic approach to using tags:

Use your target keyword as your first three tags. Example: If your target keyword is YouTube Marketing Strategies, make this and its variations your first three tags. This will be YouTube Marketing Strategies, YouTube Marketing Guide, and YouTube Marketing Tips.
Then find synonyms to the keyword and include at least three as additional tags. A good example of YouTube Marketing Strategies is Ranking On YouTube.
Also include category tags to include the high-level topic of your video. In our example, you can use Marketing.

This is known as the Target keyword, Synonym, and Category (TSC) formula.

5. Suggested Video Ranking
The following image is Brian’s Description for the above video…

Suggested video ranking has the potential to offer you more views than YouTube’s search engine. You can get your video to rank as a suggestion by learning how YouTube selects these types of videos:

Suggestions are based on the type of the current video the viewer is watching
Suggestions are based on the most common video type on the viewer history

Take advantage of this by optimizing your video with identical keywords to the keywords used by a popular video in your niche. Also include some of the tags used by the popular video as your synonym and category tags.

Chances are, you will appear next to the popular video in the suggestion section.

6. Don’t Forget The Description Optimization

Your description helps YouTube understand your video content. An optimized description will rank your video higher and give you more views. How?

Have at least one hundred words on your description to offer enough content information.
Ensure your target keyword appears in the first or second line of the description.
Add the primary and other keywords at least three times in the description.

7. Video Embedding
Did you know that YouTube ranking works in tandem with video embedding? A study found that the top-ranking videos on the platform have at least 78 percent of embeds. One of the fastest ways to do this is to use your website as an embedding platform.

If you do not have a website, use a guest post or a press release to embed the video. Just ensure that your video appears on another content publishing site that is not YouTube.

You may also want to read: 7 Marketing Strategies to Boost Online Marketing Results on YouTube

So, Which of These YouTube Marketing Strategies You Will Implement?
Hopefully, you drop whatever you are doing and start optimizing your YouTube videos.

If you follow the tips, results should come.

Just remember one thing. How you promote your videos should depend on your niche, target audience, and other factors.

Nevertheless, these tips are sure to get your YouTube video on the first page if implemented properly.

Best of luck

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Curatti Best Articles of 2020 (And Happy New Year 2021!)

Curatti Best Articles of 2020 (And Happy New Year 2021!)

2020 is finally over! How long did it last? Until now, every year of our lives went faster than any before it. Not this one! Goodbye annus horribilis! You’ll never be forgotten!

A Quick Summary of 2020
Life changed.

The end!

Our 2020 Authors
This year, we published over 130 articles, some written by old friends, and others by new friends. Plus, there were a lot of guest authors!

Every year, we want to publish a snippet of one article by every author who contributed 2 or more original articles. We’ll top it off with a thank you mention for every one of our one-time and guest authors.

Here they are, in alphabetical order:

Shane Barker

Andy Capaloff

Simki Dutta

Paolo Fabrizio

Anna Fox

Susan Gilbert

Jan Gordon

David Gutierrez

Shaurya Jain

Kayla Matthews

Qhubekhani Nyathi

Mitt Ray

Shane Barker
6 Questions to Ask Before Working with Any Influencer

Want to know what drives people to buy a product?

Brand trust is a top-ranked factor that affects the purchase decisions of consumers. 81% of customers consider low brand trust as a dealbreaker. Also, 67% of buyers might engage with a reputable brand but will eventually stop buying if their trust in the brand is not maintained.

That’s huge, isn’t it?

We don’t mean to discourage you, but the fact is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to garner trust from consumers.

Celebrity endorsements and paid advertisements are low on credibility and high on cost. Customers loathe blatant self-promotion. Plus, small business owners just can’t afford these pricey marketing tactics.

The solution?

Influencer marketing.


Before you start interviewing influencers, you need to have clarity about the goals you hope to fulfill by leveraging influencer marketing.

The top goals include improved brand awareness, website traffic, customer trust, sales conversions, customer engagement, and finding high-quality leads.

Once you’ve determined the metrics that matter to you, you can ask your shortlisted influencers the following questions:

To find out the questions, and more, click here.

Andy Capaloff
The Best Possible Answer To An Imperfect Question Is Still Wrong!

No beating around the bush here. I don’t care who you are, or how good you are at asking incisive questions, you simply cannot ask the best possible questions. At least not without help.

Why, you ask?

Easy answer!

We are all limited by our own life experiences. Sure, we might typically ask better questions than anyone around us. But does that make those questions perfect?

Want proof?

You may also want to read: Don’t Just Question Answers. Question Questions

You know those conversations when you butt heads – in the best possible way – with someone who you really respect? You run an idea by them. They zing one back at you. Then you’re off to the races. It’s exciting! Your back and forth goes to places you could never have thought of alone. Tell me you don’t get a buzz from that!

Finding the perfect question may not sound as sexy as brainstorming ideas. Not close. But look at the following two questions:

How best can we use our website data to improve our company performance?
Based on our metrics, what are our areas of concern, and where are the bright spots?

Is one better than the other? I think so. Is either as good as it could possibly be? Not even close!

What is the answer to life, the universe and everything?


Douglas Adams

To improve your questions, ask a marketer, a data person, a salesperson, a computer geek, and an angel investor. Bring in people from the supply chain and from related businesses.

They’ll all frame the question from their own experience and needs…

Click here for the full article.

Simki Dutta
5 Ways to Create a Data-Driven Content Strategy and Boost Growth?

If you talk about data-driven content marketing, it’s likely to cause most people’s eyes to glaze over.

One of the biggest mistakes content marketers make is assuming that creativity is enough to create great content. What they often overlook is a huge aspect of the equation — Data.

The content you create needs to deliver real results for your business and that can only happen if you leverage data to ideate and produce content that resonates with your audience.

From creating a survey for customers and analyzing website behavior, to keeping track of ongoing trends and doing competitive analysis — there are various ways to obtain data and use it to create awareness, attract traffic, drive conversions and build reputation and trust.

Let’s take a look at five smart ways to create a data-driven content strategy that boosts growth.

Develop User Personas
The first step towards implementing a data-driven approach begins with getting an in-depth understanding of who your ideal consumer is.

No, it’s not enough to know that your business caters to parents between the ages of 25 and 60. You need to go beyond that and create detailed representations of your target audience. This is where user personas come into the picture.

Developing user personas involves understanding your audience’s goals, motivations, needs, pain points, behavior and demographics, and segmenting this information into individual persona types.

Doing this exercise enables you to create more targeted content that caters to your audiences’ needs and suited for every stage of the sales funnel.

How do you obtain this data? By surveying your customers, conducting focus groups, uncovering website behavior patterns, and leveraging third-party networks.

You can use mind maps to map content and journeys for each of the personas, helping you organize and visualize the process better.

Click here to read the entire article.

Paolo Fabrizio
Is Your Customer Service Addicted to KPI?

‘Metrics, metrics, metrics’. That’s one of the most common refrains when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of customer service. This golden rush towards the the best one(s) has even increased with the spread of support thru digital channels. What shall we measure? How often? What can we do to improve results? That’s causing a constant state of anxiety amongst many managers because they’ve become customer service KPI addicted. Let me show you a seriously bad consequence and how to prevent it.

Don’t Lose Focus From Strategic Goals
What do you want to achieve from your customer service activities? Here are some examples broken down into two categories:

Metrics-related goals

Increasing Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

Improving Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Reducing first response time / handling time


Business-related goals

Increasing customer retention

Reducing churn

Strengthen loyalty / more customers staying longer with you

Click here to read the entire article.

Anna Fox
5 Great Social Media Management Tools for Businesses

Social media management may be quite intimidating and overwhelming for business owners.

There are so many pieces and micro-tasks that it is hard to see the bigger picture. And it is even harder to monitor and evaluate the team’s progress.

Here are the tools discussed in the article:

Text Optimizer

Click here to read the entire article.

Susan Gilbert
3 Ways To Increase Your Sales Using Instagram

Instagram remains one of the fastest growing social networks for mobile business sales. According to an article on Hootsuite, there are 1 billion active users each month. 500 million people use the Stories feature each day. The potential to reach people through advertising is especially high at 849.3 million users.

While people come to Facebook to connect with friends and discover things from people they know, people turn to Instagram for visual inspiration and to discover brands and ideas through visual content. This provides businesses the opportunity to connect with people where they’re open to learning about new things.

By taking advantage of both platforms, you can increase your exposure and improve conversions. You will have the potential to be seen by a growing number of mobile users. This huge audience searches and makes purchases from their devices. Certainly, most at least begin their buying journey online.

3 Stats

62% of people made a purchase using their mobile device in the last 6 months
10% of eCommerce retail value comes from mobile
80% of people will use their mobile device to find information on a product or service rather than visiting a store

Click here to find out how to improve your Instagram sales.

Jan Gordon
Introducing The All-New Curatti Store

In celebration of our 7 year anniversary, we are sharing our top recommended products. And full disclosure here, we’re adding some items that are on the team’s wishlist. So here we go! Introducing the Curatti Store and the first few shopping categories.

The aim here is to make your life a little easier (because let’s face it, we can all do with a little less stress right now). From remote work challenges to backyard bliss all the way to gift ideas, we’ve got you covered.

Right now, we have 4 categories. They are:

Home Office

Recommended Reading

Work/Life Balance

Tools and Resources

Most of our offerings are on our Amazon Influencer page. So, if you want to go directly to that, here’s the link.

To read the rest of the article, Click here

David Gutierrez
How To Use Instagram Hashtags To Improve B2B Customer Engagement

B2B marketers often overlook Instagram, judging it to be purely consumer-oriented. With its predominantly visual nature, it is easy to see why one would think so.

It is certainly easier to persuade an individual to buy new shoes by showing how awesome they look than to convince a company representative to sign a large-scale contract via visual imagery. Nevertheless, some studies (like TrackMaven’s research) show that it is nothing more than a stereotype. In truth, B2B companies get their highest engagement ratios on Instagram compared to other social media platforms. This means that neglecting Instagram means discounting at least a billion people who consistently use it every month. An impressive 200 million of them visit at least one business profile every day.

However, what should one pay attention to when organizing an Instagram campaign? The answer is simple: hashtags. While they are not your only concern, using them correctly is of paramount importance. In this article, we will cover some of the most important things you should know about Instagram hashtags.

Click here to read 8 tips on how Instagram Hashtags can improve your B2B Customer Engagement.

Shaurya Jain
5 Elements Your Agency Website Must Have

Trying to make your agency stand out from the crowd is incredibly hard. As your website is often the first impression potential clients will have, it’s worth the investment of time and money to make sure it’s up to scratch. Competition is increasing (both from other agencies, but also from internal departments and management consultancies as well).

This article explores 5 essential elements every agency website must have, to help you stand out from the crowd and make the most of your online presence.

The 5 elements described at some length are:

Case Studies
Customer Reviews
Call To Action

Click here to see why these 5 elements are so important

Kayla Matthews
6 Trust Factors That Strengthen Brand Loyalty

Before any savvy customer decides to work with you, they’ll need some evidence that your business can be trusted.

When potential clients scan your website, they quickly form thoughts about your brand and whether it’s worth trusting. Current research shows that within 50 milliseconds, a visitor has already developed a partial opinion about your site.

As this happens, these visitors are looking for trust factors — signals that demonstrate your credibility to customers and encourage them to feel good about your brand. If your website is designed to show how your company is credible, they will likely trust it a little more.

Automated search ranking systems — like Google’s TrustRank — also use trust factors to determine how highly sites rank in searches and influence the kind of searches they will be included in.

For these reasons, you’ll want to include trust factors in all your business communications — especially your web presence.

To read about the six ways that prove your company is credible and help you strengthen brand loyalty, click here.

Qhubekani Nyathi
How To Increase Landing Page Conversions (13 Pro Tips)

If you are like most marketers, your landing page conversion rates are dismal.

Want proof?

Studies show the average landing page conversion rate across industries is a mere 2% to 5%.

Yes, at best only 5 out of 100 prospects that visit a landing page convert.

That’s disappointing because landing pages play a crucial role in a successful inbound marketing strategy. Without optimized high converting landing pages, prospects and customers are stuck on one stage of the buyer journey.

So the sooner you learn how to increase landing page conversions, the better your marketing campaigns will perform. You will turn more prospects into customers, customers into repeat buyers, repeat buyers into brand advocates who rave about your brand everywhere.

To read this near 3,000 word article, click here

Mitt Ray
5 Rules to Follow When Using Infographics in Your Content Marketing

Infographics have become a very popular component of content marketing as many businesses have realized their ability to generate more shares than other types of content.

You will find that most blogs these days publish infographics, especially since there are several tools that make it easy to design them.

They are everywhere! This is why if you want to get the most out of infographics, just creating one randomly and publishing won’t work anymore. This worked in the past, but there is too much competition now.

To gain the same benefits that businesses did in the past, you need to follow a proper plan and create infographics that will drive results.

This is why to help you get the most out of your infographics I have put together this list of rules to follow while incorporating infographics into your content marketing…

Click here to read the entire article.

Our One-Time Authors
Here’s the lengthy list of one-time contributors for the year. It includes some returning friends, who I’ve marked with an asterisk, and Moss Clement, a long-time supporter:

Joydeep Ballachaga *

Burkhard Berger

Nas Bianchi

Lidia Bondarenko

Terry Cane

Moss Clement

Abe Cohn

Larry Corbi

Aran Davies

Michael Deane *

Darren DeMatas

Stewart Dunlop *

David Freudenberg

Christopher Heer and Dominic Cerilli

Tania Ilutsa

Lyuthar Jacob

Will Jacobs

Travis Jamison

Sahil Kakkar *

Karl Kangur

Nancy Kapoor *

Eduard Klein

Daniel Martin

Bernard Meyer

Dhruv Mehta

Artur Meyster

Daniel Ndukwu *

Sujan Patel

Srushti Shah

Tom Siani

Robin Singh *

Jeff Solomon

Shivani Srivastava

Jake Stainer

Heidi Thiel

Lesley Vos

And Ann Smarty updated a couple of her old articles.

Thank You!
We truly appreciate all of our writers, and all of you are welcome to write again.

To anybody contacting us to contribute for the first time, please accept this advance apology. We have little time and simply don’t get to all of the emails. And then, with so few discretionary articles left in any given month, we must apply really high standards for the few we are able to publish.

Before you email us though, please read the guidelines you see in the top menu.

Last, but never least, if not for our readers, nobody would want to write for us! So the biggest thank you goes to you.

Happy New Year! Roll on 2021! You’ve been a long time coming!

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