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Should I Advertise on Instagram?

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In today’s technologically advanced climate, there are no limits to what you can do in marketing and advertising. You have so many options in front of you. Your success is determined by the social media platform you use and how you use it to further your business. Let’s talk about Instagram. 

Instagram first launched in late 2010. Little did the public know that this measly application would soon become a social media giant. People and businesses all over the world have joined the platform since then in hopes of connecting, sharing and reaching a new crowd of people. Around 1 billion people are using Instagram today, standing as one of the most popular social media platforms out there, right behind Facebook. 

The great thing about Instagram is that it has unlimited marketing potential. Your business has the potential to grow to new heights. As much as Instagram has become a popular social media channel, it has also become a successful marketing platform. Instagram has built its fame around the ability to post visually pleasing pictures, which can be very effective for businesses with eye-catching content. 

The answer to your question is…

If you are wondering whether or not you should advertise on Instagram, you should consider your brand and audience. There are so many positive aspects to advertising on Instagram that you should consider before you completely rule it out. 

If you ask me, “Abby, should I advertise on Instagram?” , I would say, “Well young Padawan, it depends on your business goals. It all comes down to how well you can market your product visually. Though, in my opinion, it would always be a yes.” 

Before I keep throwing random, yet surprisingly interesting, information at you, consider these reasons to advertise on Instagram. 

1. Facebook and Instagram are sister platforms

If you have a Facebook account (which you should), you will be happy to know that the two are connected. Therefore, what you post on Instagram, can be shared to Facebook, helping you reach broader audiences. If you have been using Facebook for a while, you should be able to access your Facebook analytics and data to then target your audience on Instagram. That data will help you determine what has been working and what hasn’t. The good news is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to posting ads on Instagram. You will already have an idea of what to do because you have done it on Facebook.

2. Integrate Shopify and sell products quickly and easily 

One of the many upsides to marketing on Instagram is the many different ways that you can visually market your product. Shopify is one of those channels that have allowed businesses to sell their products quickly and easily. Shopify is a one-stop-shop for businesses who want to sell their products through the app. Instagram’s shopping feature allows tagging of products on pictures so that users can purchase items directly through the Instagram app. Shopify makes the sales process super easy. This has been known as a great tool because businesses are converting sales right on the app instead of driving users to their website and then point of purchase. 

3. Engagement rate on Instagram is higher 

Yeah, you heard me right! The engagement rate on Instagram is higher than the engagement rate on any other social media platform. According to a recent study, Instagram generates 70% higher engagement rates than Facebook. It also generates 669% more engagement than Twitter! Even though Facebook stands as the leading social media platform, Instagram leads in engagement. It is considered by far the most engaged social platform for brands, with at least 2% to 7% of users engaging with each post. 

4. Easy marketing 

While investing in paid advertising will certainly do you some good, having an Instagram account can bring your brand more awareness. Generating a new following can be difficult, but you can at least have a good time trying. Simply having an Instagram account will allow you the opportunity to engage with users, post subtle ads, create more brand awareness, and grow a loyal following. It could not be easier! Even if you didn’t want to spend any money on advertising, you would still have the ability to post on your business account and gain followers organically. Posting on Instagram allows you the opportunity to tell your brand story in a way that is not too over-promotional. You can even be creative with your posting too, such as creating giveaways, shouting out loyal followers, and going live on your story to answer customer questions. 

5. Different ways to advertise

In the last segment, I talked about how simply having an account will do wonders for your brand, as long as you engage and post consistently! This is true, but if you wanted to take your marketing a step further, there are several different things that you could do. With Instagram, you are able to utilize photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and stories ads. Each type of ad is displayed on a different area of Instagram in an attempt to capture the attention of different audiences. Before you throw all of your ad spend into each type of ad, think about what would most successfully bring your brand more awareness. 

When deciding whether or not marketing on Instagram is right for you, ask yourself if these five positive aspects of advertising fits in with your brand goals. As mentioned before, Instagram has unlimited marketing potential. It all depends on what you do with that potential that can take your brand to new heights. Along the way, you may even gain a better understanding of your customer base, reach untapped customers, and build a better brand-follower relationship. 

How Do I Generate Web Traffic With a $0 Marketing Budget?

woman opening an empty wallet

Just because your website is on the Internet does not mean that people will see it, find it, or go to it. You are tossing your dollars down an empty wishing well if you believe otherwise. The truth is that you have to create strategies and implement them into your website in order to see any kind of growth or web traffic. Thinking that your website will grow on its own can cause a domino effect of mistakes. It’s an all-too-common blunder.

There are too many marketers out there that offer their own solutions to such predicament. Most of these solutions require forking over tons of money, just to be noticed by people who may or may not be interested in your product. This transforms into a fatal cycle of doubt and discouragement when you don’t see the results that you expect.

Sometimes there are tactics that just do not work, even if you pay for them. That may leave you questioning whether or not you need to spend your money, and if so, how you should spend it. Luckily, there are several ways that you can generate web traffic without spending a penny.

Take a look at your marketing budget. Does it look as dry as a dessert cactus on a hot summer day? Yes? Well, that’s okay. Whether you are tired of spending money or you just don’t have money to spend at all, this article is for you. Whatever the reason, we have come up with three ways that you can generate web traffic without spending a dime. 

1. Comment on Other Blogs/Articles 

An easy and surefire way to get noticed is to comment on other people’s blogs. This might seem odd and strangely close to spammy, but you would be surprised how many visitors will view your comment. If you comment on popular blogs and articles, you may have a better chance at being seen. Make sure that your comments are valuable and nothing close to spammy. Once you start commenting on different articles, you will notice an increase in your website referral traffic. This is because people are clicking on your name after reading your comment.

Most people do not realize the small, yet significant impact this simple tactic can have on your website. Keep in mind, when you post a comment is just as important as what you say. Try to be one of the first people to comment on a blog post. That way, your comment will stick at the top, making your profile more visible. When it comes to what you should comment, you can either keep it simple and straightforward or take the time to write out a thoughtful response. 

For example, commenting something short and sweet might look like this:

  1. Nice article. Keep up the great work! 
  2. I really enjoyed reading this article. I can’t wait to read more! 
  3. Thanks for the information. This really helped! 

You may turn more heads if you choose to write a more thoughtful response. A thoughtful response may include something you liked about the article, what you wish the author would’ve included, and why that specific topic should’ve been included. But, in all reality, you can comment anything that you think may be valuable! Use that comment box to discuss what you took from the article, what it taught you, or maybe how you are applying it to everyday life. Be creative and remember that leaving a comment will put you on the grid, generating web traffic, for FREE

2. Utilize YouTube

Did you know that YouTube drives more traffic to websites than any other social media platform? That must be because YouTube is the second most visited site on the Internet. If you are not on YouTube, you need to be! There are so many different ways to utilize YouTube. In today’s world, it would not be crazy to assume that most people would rather watch something than read about it. One of the many things that you can do on YouTube is turn a few of your best written articles into videos. Creating videos allows you to be thrice as creative and more engaging with your audience. You can also add a website or article link, a video transcript, a description, or more advice in the video description box.

Once you create videos, you will be able to send your work to family and friends to increase your SEO. If you have never created videos before, then start small! Start by creating two videos a month. Over time, work to increase the number of videos you produce. Another thing that you could do to get yourself noticed is to comment on other people’s videos. Do not just comment on any random videos! Treat it like you are commenting on somebody’s article. Find videos and topics that relate to your expertise and comment something of value, whether it’s a compliment or a positive critique. By using YouTube, you will be on your way to generating web traffic like a pro!

3. Follow, Connect, Share, Like, Tweet

Not only should you use YouTube, but you should also utilize every other social media channel to generate more website leads. An August 2020 survey shows that over 3.81 billion people are using social media. It’s obvious that social media is a dominating force when it comes to driving more visitors to websites. The most beneficial part of social media is that it is completely free (besides what you spend on advertising). Many businesses use social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to engage with users and other businesses, share business tips and articles, and attempt to drive people back to their website. Joining social media has the potential to increase your following and brand awareness in a major way.

Every business on the planet should have a social media account, plainly because it’s free! The way that you use social media will either help you gain more followers or hurt your chances at growing. Before you go crazy, it is crucial that you create some type of social media strategy calendar. Creating a plan for your social media posting will relieve the stress of having to come up with ideas last minute. Once you create a plan, do some research and find out where your audience is. Keep in mind that some platforms may be more effective than others. But, it’s nothing to stress about; all it takes is a plan. When successful on social media, you will start generating leads in no time! 

As you can see, it’s not impossible to generate leads to your website without a marketing budget. All it takes is a little creativity. There are several different ways to initiate brand recognition and drive people to your website, but starting with these three things will guide you in the right direction.

Is WordPress Dying? The Answer is Simple

A Typewriter Printing out a ppaer that says WordPress

For quite some time, WordPress has been known as the most powerful content management system on the market. With an estimated 35% of the Internet powered by WordPress, it’s immeasurable popularity doesn’t seem to be fleeting anytime soon. It’s hard to imagine that such a powerful system could possibly be close to death. 

WordPress has made extensive strides since its release in 2003. The powerful platform has evolved from a simple blogging tool into a comprehensive content management system. Would you believe me if I told you that WordPress is still growing? Yes, that’s right! To all those negative nellies out there that believe WordPress is even remotely close to death, look at the facts! 

What do researchers say?

There are over 2 billion websites in existence. As stated before, WordPress powers 35% of those active websites. That’s a huge number! WordPress websites also make up 14.7% of the top 100 websites in the world. Giant companies utilize WordPress to operate their website, such as NBC, TED, CNN, UPS, Best Buy, and many more. WordPress is also known to handle outrageous amounts of traffic on a daily basis. In fact, the powerful platform receives nearly 20 billion page views per month. 

As easy as it may be to point fingers and assume that WordPress is on the brink of death, think about how many people use it every single day. The platform continues to dominate the market; It shows no sign of slowing down. 

Given these statistics that clearly show the steady incline of WordPress success, it would be hard to imagine that such a system could possibly take a hit. What’s even more shocking is that people think the platform is actually dying! Everywhere you look, there are videos and articles pointing to seemingly prejudiced opinions as to why WordPress is headed for the junkyard. 

Why do people suggest WordPress is dying?

While the idea that WordPress is dying simply isn’t true, the reasons for such baloney should be addressed. When you take somebody who already dislikes WordPress and combine it with negative personal experiences, you get somebody who is fully convinced that the platform is on its way to the grave.

WordPress grew into its massive size because it has provided the simplest process for getting a website up and running. As the years have progressed, other web builders like Drupal, Joomla, and Wix have jumped into the competition in an effort to make a simpler web design process. In an effort to compete, those sites created their web design process to be as simple and easy as possible. Those sites were designed for the ultimate beginner, and as a result, making sites like Wix, Drupal and Joomla more restrictive. People started flocking to other platforms because they wanted a website that was easy to use and more limited.  

This placed WordPress in a very awkward position as it became people’s second-choice. People no longer considered WordPress a “go-to” solution. Although things have certainly changed, the platform is still dominating the market.

So? What else?

On top of the tempting competition, people consider WordPress on the brink of a brutal death because of its use of older technologies. 

WordPress uses a programming and scripting language called PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor), which used to be extremely powerful and prevalent back when it was first created. It is still powerful, but not as powerful as it used to be due to the advancement of technology in other areas. PHP is a server side scripting language that is embedded in HTML. Its purpose is to manage content, session tracking, databases, and build e-commerce sites. Users do not need to know PHP in order to use or manage WordPress. Users just need to know that it operates with PHP. Although PHP has come a long way since its first release in 1994, people do not consider using it as often because of the creation of other, more efficient, scripts. 

The rise of JavaScript has taken over the minds of web creators all over the world, convincing them that WordPress is officially behind the times. JavaScript has most recently been ranked first among programming, scripting and markup languages. PHP was ranked 9th among that list. Although both programs can be used and enjoyed by developers, many people consider the popularity of the script language when deciding what to use, resulting in WordPress moving further down the list of content management systems that people most enjoy. 

No, it’s not dying…

While it’s true that WordPress has some hefty competition and uses older programming, the platform is still considered the most powerful content management system in the world. Keep in mind that technology is ever changing. It would be unfair to “pin” WordPress on the programming that has made them undeniably successful for years and years.

Despite what people may believe, WordPress is still growing and making changes. It is very alive and continues to dominate the market because of the number of people who are using it. Although WordPress might get a bad rap, there is no other content management system out there that can match its speed, efficiency, flexibility, adaptability, and support.

If I have enticed you to use WordPress for your website needs, then follow this link and my team and I will help you get started.

Websites vs. Web Funnels: Which is Better?

a computer monitor displaying images of pink things

Nowadays, there is a hype surrounding funnels that I just don’t understand. Don’t me get wrong, funnels are great. However, no matter how many different ways marketers try to convince you, funnels cannot replace your website. They just can’t. 

You may be convinced that using a web funnel will bring you more leads than you would receive on a website, but don’t be fooled. There are several indisputable differences between web funnels and websites that you should know before you make any final decisions. 

Marketers may try to convince you that funnels are all you need, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, funnels have their own specific purpose. There is a reason that they exist, and when utilized correctly, can be a very effective way to bring in leads. But, trust me when I say, they’re not all that and a bag of chips, despite what you may have been told! You absolutely need a website.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Have you ever heard of a web funnel? If not, let me explain. That’s what this article is about, right?

What is a web funnel? 

A web funnel is basically an automated sales process that controls every stage of the customer’s journey. Funnels essentially guide users to a web page that sell your products or services. The funnel process is simple. It usually starts with a user clicking a URL from an email, a social media post, or online ad. That click would take the user to a capture page that introduces them to the product or service you are trying to sell. The capture page usually includes a call-to-action (CTA) button that entices the user to purchase, download, or receive something from you. The catch? You get their information. 

The more capture pages there are in a funnel, the more chances a person gets at obtaining information and upselling their product.

This is what marketers are not telling you…

Marketers say websites are in the past, irrelevant, and dead. To be completely honest with you, that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

What those marketers aren’t telling you is that web funnels limit you in what you are able to do. Funnels do not allow you to share your brand story. They don’t allow you to add extra information regarding who you are or why your customers need your product. You have control over how the page looks and it’s content, but you do not have control over how much you are able to add. It’s essentially a sales page.

Marketers say that web funnels allow you to sell a product online, faster and easier, than you ever have before. They say that click funnels take you through the steps of what they want you to do. That part is true, but that’s their entire purpose. That’s all they can do.

Think of it like a house…

Hostirian’s Success Manager, Brian Montgomery Jr., metaphorically related web funnels to a single room in an entire house.

“Think of it like a house,” he said, “A funnel is like the bedroom. You can only do one thing in there- sleep. Just like a funnel, there’s only one function. Think of the rest of the house like a website. With a website, you have so many opportunities to show your brand to the world. Just like a house has a variety of rooms that are made for specific things.” 

I thought Brian provided an incredible visual for those who are struggling to understand the difference between a funnel and a website. When you think about it, you wouldn’t be able to just live in your bedroom, right? You would need a bathroom, a kitchen, and some space to walk elsewhere. It’s similar to a website! Your website provides all of those extra “rooms” or in this case, pages, for you to tell your brand’s story, sell products, and list virtually any information you would like. It is nonsense to assume that you don’t need a website. I am also not saying that you don’t need a funnel. In fact, funnels can be incredibly helpful. But, you need a website first; It completes your house.

Which is better?

When considering which route you should go, we suggest investing in a website. There are so many things that you cannot do when only utilizing a web funnel. Trust me, I’ve heard all the excuses! 

“Websites are too expensive.” 

“I’m not tech savvy.” 

“I don’t have the time to manage one.” 

No matter what you may come up with, my team and I have heard it all! But, did you know that nearly 81% of people research a business or service on the internet prior to purchasing an item? There are so many positives to having a website that marketers do not mention. Websites also have incredible potential to generate leads if you build your website the right way.

Having a website adds instant credibility to your brand. Over 55% of people say they will not trust a brand that doesn’t have a website. A website helps build a great first impression. Websites are designed to attract new customers to your business and make you more money. A website will save you time, as the answers to questions and inquiries will already be listed on your website. Having a website also isn’t as hard or expensive as you might think. Most web hosting companies, like Hostirian, make the process quick and simple, so you don’t have to spend days or weeks worrying about making your site look just right. Although I could go on and on about the positives of websites, the most important part of having a website is having control of your brand. Your website acts as a platform that shapes the perception of your business that funnels or social media cannot provide. 

When it comes down to it, I cannot answer the question “which is better?”, simply because there is no competition. The fact is that you need a website. A web funnel should be an extra addition that you add to your social media, emails, or online ads. A web funnel will never be able to replace what your website can do for your brand.