Tips for Setting Up An Online E-Commerce Shop

Posted Posted in Marketing Education, Women - Financial Success

As long as people do their shopping online, then e-commerce sites will continue to thrive. Anyone with a brick-and-mortar store can tap into the benefits of selling merchandise to thousands (if not millions). What determines a successful e-commerce site is the attention they put into the website’s construction.

    Just like setting up a physical shop, your e-commerce site must act as a digital manifestation of your business plan. First, determine the product you want to sell. Next, create a realistic budget to help you get that product to the masses. Above all, make sure there are enough promotional outlets to access it. Listed below are a few tips on how to begin setting-up your e-commerce business.

Understanding Your Product

    Before you get started, you need a product that will sell. In case you haven’t decided yet, consider a field you have experience in. Screen-printing, for example, is a profitable venture for anyone with experience in graphic design.

    Whatever you plan on selling, you’ll need a supplier for materials. If you make your own product, then you’ll be relying on whatever supplies you can get you hands on. Some might go the easier route of selling wholesale products, but that means abiding by the company you’re dealing from.  

Choose a Platform

    Creating an e-commerce website is easier than ever. Most sellers will operate out of established marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. The bolder route would be to build your own online store. For this, you’ll need the right hosting platform.

    Most hosting platforms come with pre-set site templates and inventory building tools. Try experimenting with Wix, Shopify, and BigCommerce during any of their free 15-day trials. Moreover, each platform provides necessary features like social media integration, abandoned cart recovery, and an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certification to give your customers a flexible, secure experience.

Pricing & Shipping

    Once you’ve settled on a product, you can move onto the hard task of price setting. This is where the finance portion of your business plan comes in. Tally up the costs of materials, taxes, payment processing fees, and other expenses. Figure out how much you want to add to pay yourself and your workforce (if any).

    Since all purchases will be mail-order, shipping is another vital expense you’ll need to plan for. E-commerce sites typically offer a flat shipping rate, but that could drive up prices. One way to alleviate your customers’ shipping anxieties is by offering free shipping. You could raise the product’s price a bit to cover the cost.


    Depending on your mindset, promotions can be the fun side of business ownership. Another way putting it is finding what your buyers want from your brand.

    The abandoned cart recovery feature can help you pinpoint customers who are on the fence. Offer them an exclusive deal to motivate them into checking out. Reward coupons for half off if customers follow your business Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts. Use a separate e-mail account to send out digital newsletters with monthly discounts.

The post Tips for Setting Up An Online E-Commerce Shop appeared first on Blogtrepreneur.

The Content Marketer’s Toolbox: 3 ‘Real-Life’ Tools for Gaining Insight, Inspiration, & Amplification

Posted Posted in Marketing Education, Women - Financial Success

The Content Marketer’s Toolbox of Non-Tech Tools

The Content Marketer’s Toolbox of Non-Tech Tools

In the modern content marketing age, leveraging a diverse set of tools is par for a successful marketing course. Tools help unlock insight. Tools help capture attention and reach. Tools help drive efficiency. Tools help you measure, analyze, and optimize for better success.

The simple truth is: Every content marketer needs a robust toolkit that’s tailored to their unique business and marketing needs—but that toolkit doesn’t begin or end with your martech stack. Uh-oh-oh.


There’s no denying the importance that marketing technology plays in today’s ever-changing and sometimes tumultuous digital landscape. But your toolbox needs more than software. It also needs more tangible, real-life tools to help you uncover the context and insights that can help you be more effective (and help you use martech tools more effectively).  

From my perspective there are three key, non-tech tools that should be content marketing toolbox staples. And with the help of a few fantastic insights and tidbits of wisdom from marketing industry leaders, I dive into them below.


The “Real-Life” Staples to Gain First-Hand Insight, Inspiration, & Amplification

#1 – Your in-house team members from across departments.

For eons it seems, sales and marketing team alignment has been a top struggle yet a key best practice for gaining marketing (and business) traction. Today, that still holds true—but now it’s increasingly crucial for marketers to widen their collaboration scope to include other key departments.

Why? Creating an incredible customer experience is the new challenge and opportunity for marketers. In addition, better alignment across major business functions ensures your efforts are truly contributing to the growth of the company—whether that be sales, talent retention and recruiting, product development, or customer service.

“Marketers need to work collaboratively across the various areas of marketing as well as partnering with other parts if their company such as sales,” Justin Levy, public speaker and the new Director of Paid Social Media Operations at ServiceNow, told us not long ago. “Marketers need to be integrated and focused, working off of the same strategy instead of working in silos on their own projects.”

[bctt tweet=”#Marketers need to be integrated and focused, working off of the same strategy instead of working in silos on their own projects. @justinlevy #ContentMarketing” username=”toprank”]

Beyond creating synergy, your internal team members are insight tools. Sales and customer service reps are talking with customers every day. Your product development team is creating products or services that aim to alleviate customer and prospect pain points and solve problems. Your human resources department is actively recruiting and looking for ways to engage current employees.

Your organization’s employees are insight engines who can help you craft more helpful, interesting, and inspiring content—and they’re also engagement and amplification powerhouses, ripe for a little employee advocacy and/or thought leadership.

“Leveling up content marketing means going beyond creating consistent customer-focused content. It means engaging your internal experts to share their expertise,” Michael Brenner, Founder of Marketing Insider Group, shared earlier this year. “And it means activating the entire organization to share your passions, your stories, and your expertise.”

[bctt tweet=”Leveling up #contentmarketing means going beyond creating consistent customer-focused content. It means engaging your internal experts to share their expertise. – @BrennerMichael” username=”toprank”]

Think of your collaboration with other key departments like the bond a hammer and nails share. Without one another, the work doesn’t get done.


#2 – Your “captive” audience.

Customers. Prospects. Social followers. Newsletter or blog subscribers. You have a “captive” audience that has sent signals that they’re interested in what you provide and what you have to say. But when’s the last time you leveraged your known audience to gather intel or simply connect at any stage of your content marketing process?

“If you haven’t spoken to anyone in your audience in the last month directly—about their work and their lives, not about your company or products—then you aren’t ready to plan anything,” Jay Acunzo, Founder of Unthinkable Media, said in relation to content strategy and planning.

He goes on: “It’s so breathtakingly simple: If you have a 40-hour per week job, then take literally .2% of your month (20 minutes) and have an informal conversation with a customer or prospect. You will be shocked at how much easier content marketing gets.”

[bctt tweet=”It’s so breathtakingly simple: If you have a 40-hour per week job, 20 minutes a month and have an informal conversation with a customer or prospect. – @jayacunzo #ContentMarketing” username=”toprank”]

Not only can you leverage your audience as a tool to make content marketing “easier,” but you can also create content that is more impactful and targeted.

“When it comes to content creation, far too often content is created in a meeting room with a bunch of marketers without any thought for the day-to-day reality of the person consuming it. BIG mistake,” Dave Charest, now the Director of Content Marketing for Endurance International Group, says. “Level up your approach by creating content in partnership with members of your target audience.”

[bctt tweet=”Level up your approach by creating content in partnership with members of your target audience. – @DaveCharest #ContentMarketing” username=”toprank”]

Think of audience insights as your Swiss Army knife. They’re a trusty tool that can lend insight and tactical help in nearly any marketing situation.


#3 – Your team of external partners.

Your internal marketing team as well as your key contacts across departments are flush with insight and expertise. But there are undoubtedly gaps that need to be filled—resource gaps, budget gaps, and knowledge gaps.

This means that in order to get the kind of marketing traction you need and want, you need to build out your team—with people who serve specific purposes. After all, a tool by definition is a device that is used to carry out a particular function.

Hilarious and seasoned marketer, Tim Washer, PowerPoint Comedian/Emcee at Ridiculous Media, suggests thinking outside the box when it comes to building out your team.

“Build a virtual team. Recruit talented freelance writers and videographers, including college students, to help contribute engaging content production,” he says.

[bctt tweet=”Recruit talented freelance writers and videographers, including college students, to help contribute engaging content production. – @timwasher” username=”toprank”]

Whether you’re looking for execution help or need a larger force to handle strategy, creation, and optimization, an agency partner can be an incredible tool in your toolbox. (Not that we’re biased or anything.)

“One of the primary responsibilities of any marketing agency is to lighten your workload and alleviate some of the stress that comes with it—and do it in a way that helps drive results,” Alexis Hall, TopRank Marketing’s Vice President of Client Accounts, shares. “From conversion rate optimization (CRO) to reducing cost-per-lead on PPC campaigns to expanding your search footprint, a full-service digital marketing agency can have its subject matter experts dig into the data and make actionable recommendations for optimizing your content or strengthening your tactical mix.”

[bctt tweet=”One of the primary responsibilities of any #marketingagency is to lighten your workload and alleviate some of the stress that comes with it—and do it in a way that helps drive results. – @Alexis5484″ username=”toprank”]

Think of your external partners like duct tape. They can be molded and implemented for a variety of different functions to help you achieve your ultimate goal.


Bolster Your Content Marketing Toolbox with Real-Life Tools

Your martech stack is just one piece of the content marketing toolbox pie. You also need to look internally to leverage the real-life tools that are right in front of you and ripe with opportunity.

Start by looking inside your organization to identify opportunities to collaborate and gain alignment with internal stakeholders and partners. In addition, commit to connecting with your captive audience on a regular basis to gain insight. And finally, add to your tool stack with external partners to fill gaps and add third-party insight and expertise.

Oh. And fear not. We’ll cover some martech tools you should consider for your content marketing toolbox next time.

What does the future of content marketing look like? Get the scoop on the latest content marketing trends that you need to pay attention to in the new year.

The post The Content Marketer’s Toolbox: 3 ‘Real-Life’ Tools for Gaining Insight, Inspiration, & Amplification appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Our Top 10 Social Media Marketing Posts of 2018

Posted Posted in Marketing Education, Women - Financial Success

Hot air balloon over field of yellow flowers image.

Hot air balloon over field of yellow flowers image.

Throughout 2018 social media marketing has continued to be a source of both opportunity and contention in the marketing world. We’ve done our best to keep on top of changes as they happen, while offering helpful insight and research-based strategy.

We’re very fortunate to a great group of social media marketing professionals contributing to the TopRank Marketing blog, including our CEO Lee Odden, Joshua Nite, Caitlin Burgess, Anne Leuman, and Nick Nelson, among others.

To help our blog community grow its social media marketing knowledge, we’re delighted to offer this list of our 10 most popular social media posts of 2018.

Our Most Popular Social Media Marketing Posts in 2018:

1. Social Media Marketing Benchmarks: What Works & Where to Focus — Joshua Nite

Social Media Marketing Benchmarks Report 2018
The most popular social media marketing post of 2018 is by Senior Content Marketing Manager, Joshua Nite. Through the lens of the RivalIQ 2018 social media benchmarking report, Josh delivers big with actionable insights including why influencers have the highest engagement rates on Facebook, and tells marketers how to stay on task. Check out all of Josh’s posts here.

2. 7 Examples of Brands Mastering Twitter for Social Customer Care — Caitlin Burgess

Twitter Customer Care
Our Senior Manager of Content Marketing, Caitlin Burgess, wrote the second most popular social media marketing post of the year, as she took a close look at how top brands have used Twitter to strengthen customer care programs.

With helpful examples and relevant insights, Caitlin dives into some of the best customer care programs in social, and shows how they represent a customer service opportunity that deserves every marketer’s attention and action. Check out all of Caitlin’s posts here.

3. Best Practices for Choosing Effective and Captivating Social Media Visuals — Anne Leuman

Best Practices for Selecting Social Media Visuals
Content Strategist, Anne Leuman, wrote the third most popular social media marketing post of 2018 on our blog. In this piece, Anne dives into how to select the right type of visual content to share on the right platform. Anne offers up the latest social image dimensions, and looks at carousels and driving conversions with social stories. Check out all of Anne’s posts here.

4. The Future of Connection on Facebook: How Stories May Change the Marketing Game — Nick Nelson

How Facebook Stories Will Change Social Media Marketing
Our Senior Content Strategist, Nick Nelson, earned the No. 4 spot on our list of the most popular social media marketing posts of the year. Here, Nick takes an in-depth look at using Facebook for powerful brand visual storytelling. He includes helpful tips to overcome what can sometimes be elusive reach on the world’s largest social media channel. Check out all of Nick’s posts here.

5. The Power of Social Media Polls: The Drill-Down on 3 Platforms + 5 General Best Practices — Nick Nelson

The Power of Social Media Polls for Marketing
Nick also wrote our fifth most popular social post of 2018, tackling the benefits and pitfalls of social media polls, with his piece higlighting three platforms and five proven tactics. Nick also shares what kind of value polls can provide and how to get the most out of them.

6. From Messenger Bots to the Growth of ‘Gram, Social Media Examiner’s Annual Report Reveals Trends to Watch — Nick Nelson

2018 Social Media Marketing Trends from Social Media Examiner Report
Nick’s social media marketing wisdom earns him another entry on our top 10 list for 2018, with an in-depth look at Social Media Examiner’s annual report. Nick shares the most relevant and helpful insight from the report, including how Facebook is in flux, the growing power of Instagram, and how to best use measurement moving forward.

7. The Question on Many Marketers’ Minds: Should My Brand Start a Facebook Group? — Nick Nelson

Should My Brand Start a Facebook Group
With his fourth consecutive spot on our top social media marketing posts of the year list, Nick examines how brands can best utilize Facebook Groups. Nick shows why Facebook groups present a good opportunity to regain diminished reach by embracing the platform’s heightened focus on user-generated content.

8. The Latest Evolution of Facebook: The Marketing Low-Down on 5 Recent Changes — Anne Leuman

Latest Facebook Updates 2018
Anne earned a second entry on our most popular social media marketing list with her helpful piece exploring the latest round of major Facebook changes. Anne gives the low-down on five Facebook changes, tells what they mean for social media marketers, and offers up the next steps to take.

9. How to Survive the Social Media Midlife Crisis — Joshua Nite

In addition to writing our most popular social media marketing piece of 2018, Josh earned another entry on the list with this fine look at how to take our social media accounts off of autopilot and apply a mindful approach. Josh also looks at how working with influencers helps put a personal, social touch back into social media marketing.

10. Social Media Marketing Spotlight: U.S. Bank Rallies Local Allies for a Friendly, Engaging #MNNice #NiceOff — Caitlin Burgess

US Bank NiceOff
Caitlin has written another of our year’s most popular social media marketing posts, with an excellent spotlight look at Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank and its social efforts. Caitlin explores examples of how campaigns can achieve success through the use of thoughtful and engaging social strategy that is subtly brand-centric and influencer-activated.

We can’t thank Josh, Caitlin, Anne, and Nick enough for writing and sharing these top ten social media marketing posts of 2018 — congratulations to you all on making the list!

Thanks TopRank Marketing Writers & Readers

Thanks to each of you who read our blog, and to all of you who comment on and share our posts on the TopRank Marketing social media channels. We hope you find continuing benefit from these excellent social media marketing posts from 2018.

We published dozens of posts this year specifically about social media marketing, and plan to bring you even more in 2019, so keep posted for a new year of the latest helpful research and insight.

Please let us know which social media marketing topics and ideas you’d like to see us focus on for 2019 — we’d love to hear your suggestions. Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments section below.

The post Our Top 10 Social Media Marketing Posts of 2018 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

[Getting Leads]Slow & Secure Way – Social Media sites

Posted Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Email Affiliate Marketing, How to Make Money Online, Marketing Education

There is a big variety of social Media sites to consider when you are after Leads. Are you after Leads on FB, Twitter and LinkedIn? Usually the average IM newbie would  think immediately about Facebook. Twitter and maybe LinkedIn,. Next 3 – Reddit, Stumbleupon, Digg are excellent platforms for your content and comments, a lot […]