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Your essential guide to organic marketing on Pinterest

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What is Pinterest? 

The days of organic reach on social media might be disappearing, but that’s not the case for Pinterest. In fact, it’s exploding in popularity and offering businesses valuable opportunities to reach and engage with new, high-intent audiences using organic content.

More marketers and brands are realizing the potential of Pinterest to boost search engine rankings, drive valuable website traffic and build brand salience.

Pinterest isn’t just another social media platform.  While it’s often lumped into the social media category, Pinterest’s goal is to be a place of inspiration, rather than social networking.

A more accurate definition would be to call Pinterest a visual search and discovery engine. Here’s how the platform works: users can search, save and curate visual content (known as Pins) and add these Pins to a digital inspiration or mood Board. The entire platform is built on shareable, saveable visuals that can easily be discovered by users across the globe via their Home Feed.

One of the key features of Pinterest is the search ability of its content.

Unlike other visual-focused media platforms, Pinterest acts as a search engine where users can easily scout out new content based on specific keywords. Plus, each Pin includes clickable links that direct users to learn more (or even buy specific products) on the brand’s website.

While Pinterest has been around since 2010, it’s only just gaining significant traction now. The platform currently boasts 459 million monthly active users. That’s the biggest jump in usage that the platform has ever seen.

This offers a huge opportunity for brands and businesses to boost their search ranking and increase web traffic by sharing engaging, high-quality visual content on Pinterest.

How is Pinterest Different? 

While Pinterest and Instagram are both built on visual content – it’s a paradise for visual marketers, but that’s where the similarities of these platforms end.

In the words of Pinterest’s founders, they see the platform as a “catalog that’s handpicked for user, giving users the ability to discover, save and curate visual content with ease.

In fact, the team behind Pinterest have been making a very deliberate decision to distance themselves from other social media platforms. Instead, the focus is to give users a place to save what’s useful and inspiring to them.

So, what exactly makes Pinterest different from other platforms?

  • Focuses on finding ideas and inspiration, not documenting and sharing what users are doing with their network of friends and followers.

  • Allows users to search for visual content using handy keywords, rather than scrolling through an endless algorithm-focused news feed.

Why should my business support Pinterest? 

  • Pinterest offers significant organic opportunities

  • Pinterest offers powerful SEO Benefits

    • Pinterest acts more like a search engine than a social platform, which means there’s stacks of SEO opportunities up for grabs. In fact, Google loves Pinterest and frequently places Pinterest pages at the top of search results (including SERP features and Google Image search results).

    • 75% of Pinterest users say they’re “very interested” in discovering new products, in contrast to 55% on other digital channels. By optimizing your Pins and Boards for your target keywords, you can easily reach new, high-intent users who are hunting for the products & services you offer.

    • Pinterest offers valuable opportunities to drive traffic to your website. Every Pin you share offers multiple clickable links, allowing you to easily move users from inspiration to action.

  • Pinterest leverages visual search for marketing better than any other platform

    • Pinterest offers a unique opportunity for users to search for visual content. As a visual discovery engine, brands are able to reach valuable new audiences using keywords and skillful SEO-friendly best practices.

    • And if you’re trying to reach younger customers, Pinterest offers incredible opportunities. Pinterest Gen Z users grew 40% between 2019 to 2020 plus millennial audiences grew 35% in 2020 alone.

    • And these audiences are craving new ways to discover brands and products, with 62% of Gen Zers and millennials say they’d like to be able to search by image.

Leveraging Pinterest SEO for organic discoverability

Pinterest’s search engine capabilities are one of its strongest points of difference. This powerful visual discovery engine allows brands to organically reach new audiences and build meaningful brand awareness.

Unlike other platforms, Pinterest’s Home Feed is curated for users based on the kind of content they’ve recently searched for and saved. That offers incredible scope for brands to reach high-intent audiences who are already interested in and searching for topics related to your businesses.

So, how can you boost the discoverability of your Pins and Boards with SEO-friendly content?

  • Conduct keyword research on Pinterest: start searching for keywords related to your business in Pinterest and see what recommended terms come up. This is an easy way to understand what popular terms you can try to rank for and inject into your content.

  • Optimize your Pinterest Boards: did you know that Boards show up in Pinterest search results? That’s why it’s important to ensure your Board name and description uses SEO-friendly keywords to boost your chances of organic discovery.

  • Optimize your Pins: the title of your Pins is one of the most important spots for SEO on Pinterest, so make sure to pepper in relevant keywords and keep this copy short, sharp and relevant (in under 100 characters).

    • Plus, your Pin descriptions are valuable real estate you need to optimize to boost your SEO. While you have 500 characters to play with, make sure to focus on adding keywords to the first 50-60 characters (as this is the preview text “pinners” will see in their Home Feed).

  • Use Rich Pins: as we mentioned, Rich Pins offer extra opportunity to inject keywords into your Pinterest content. These Pins sync information from your website into your Pins, and allows you to drive users to your website, too. These Pin formats are free, but you’ll need to apply through Pinterest to access them. Currently, there are three types of Rich Pins:

  • Product Pins: these Pins draw on metadata from your website and include the most current price, availability and product information directly from your site. These Pins are a great way to drive shoppers to your website to boost the likelihood of conversion.

  • Recipe Pins: these Pins allow you to add the title, serving size, cooking time, ratings and ingredients from your website, with plenty of extra spots to inject SEO keywords.

  • Article Pins: these Pins let you show the headline, description and the author of your latest blog posts on Pinterest. This enables you to re-share SEO-friendly blog content to Pinterest and allow these keywords you’ve used to boost your searchability.

Kicking off a Pinterest Strategy

Ready to put your newfound Pinterest knowledge into action? Now, it’s time to turn your attention to crafting an organic Pinterest strategy that will help you drive the best results from this platform.

Pinpoint your marketing objectives for Pinterest

Like any marketing platform, Pinterest requires a unique set of goals to ensure it’s serving a specific purpose for your business. Before you begin posting content to Pinterest, make sure to clarify your objectives and why you’re using this platform in the first place.

Some goals you might consider could be to:

  • Increase traffic to your website

  • Boost brand awareness

  • Drive sales and conversions

The key here is to be specific about what objectives are most valuable to your business, and use these to inform your content marketing strategy for Pinterest.

Optimize your website for Pinterest

Pinterest offers incredible search engine opportunities and has the potential to drive high-intent users straight to your website. However, it’s important to check your website is optimized to perform at its best for Pinterest users.

Here are three actionable steps you can take:

Ensure your website is mobile responsive: 85% of Pinners use their mobile app, so make sure your website is responsive to mobile user traffic.

Install the Pinterest Save button to your website: this allows your website visitors to save content straight from your site to Pinterest, boosting your chances of organic discovery.

Confirm your website: this ensures you receive analytics from the Pins you publish from your site.

Conduct keyword research on Pinterest

As Pinterest operates as a search engine, it’s valuable to use its search functionality to optimize your content strategy.

By completing a keyword research, you’ll be able to understand what key terms Pinners are searching for and build these into your Pinterest content.

Simply use the search function on Pinterest to search for key terms related to your business, and create a list of related terms you can leverage for your upcoming content. Keep this list on hand and update it regularly to ensure you’re capitalizing on new topics and emerging keyword trends.

Design Pinterest boards aligned to your target keywords

Speaking of keywords, these popular phrases can be used to inform the boards you create as a business on Pinterest.

By designing your content pillars and boards around popular keywords, you’ll be able to effectively curate your content and reach new audiences who will be interested in your content.

Make sure to clearly name your boards using these keywords to maximize the benefits of your keyword research (and boost your chances of appearing in the search results).

Create a Pinterest content calendar

The key to gaining traction as a business on Pinterest is to show up consistently and frequently. To keep your audience engaged and growing, a content calendar for Pinterest can help you plan your posts in advance. Plus, this document will ensure every Pin you share is tailored to a marketing objective and target keyword.

When planning out your content for Pinterest, make sure to:

  • Focus on high-quality visual content: as Pinterest is a visual-first platform, be sure to share a mix of branded imagery and custom graphics that showcase your brand’s visual identity.

  • Educate and teach your audience something new: 84% of Pinners say that Pinterest helps them learn new things, so design your content to educate your audience. Think about creating how-to tutorials, educational videos and insightful infographics that showcase and share your industry expertise.

  • Inspire your audience with aspirational content: give Pinners a reason to follow and engage with your content by sharing visual inspiration relevant to your industry (whether that be travel, interiors, style or anything in between).

The best way to be sure that your content is consistent, and your audience is growing, is to plan & schedule your Pinterest content. You can start scheduling your Pinterest Pins with Sked Social. Start a free 7 day trial, and if you like what you see, take 50% off your first month with code SKED50.

All the organic Pinterest format specs you’ll ever need

Now we’ve got your creative juices flowing, let’s chat about the specs and guidelines you’ll need to work with across all Pinterest content formats.

  • Static Pins: single image only

    • File Type: PNG or JPEG

    • Max file size: 20 MB

    • Aspect ratio: 2:3 is recommended (1000 x 1500 pixels)

    • Title copy: up to 100 characters

    • Description copy: up to 500 characters

  • Standard Width Video Pins: same size as a Static Pin

    • File Type: mp4, mov or m4v

    • Encoding: H.264 or H.265

    • Max file size: up to 2GB

    • Video length: minimum 4 seconds up to a maximum of 15 minutes

    • Aspect ratio: square (1:1) or vertical (2:3 or 9:16) is recommended

    • Title copy: up to 100 characters

    • Description copy: up to 500 characters

  • Carousel Pins: features multiple images users can swipe through

    • File Type: PNG or JPEG

    • Max file size: up to 32 MB per image

    • Creative Quantity: 2 to 5 images per carousel

    • Aspect ratio: square (1:1) or vertical (2:3) is recommended

    • Title copy: up to 100 characters

    • Description copy: up to 500 characters

  • Collection Pins: one main image appears above three small images

    • File Type: PNG or JPEG

    • Max file size: 10 MB

    • Creative Quantity: 1 hero image and a minimum of 3 secondary images (up to 24 in total)

    • Aspect ratio: all creative must be the same aspect ratio. Square (1:1) is recommended to ensure no cropping occurs

    • Title copy: up to 100 characters

    • Description copy: up to 500 characters

  • Story Pins: multiple videos, images, lists and custom text as a single Pin

    • File Type: Images – BMP, .JPEG, .PNG, .TIFF, .WEBP. or Video – .MP4, .MOV, .M4V.

    • Max file size: Mobile – 16 MB or Web – 20 MB for images and 100 MB for videos

    • Video length: videos should be 1 to 60 seconds

    • Resolution: to ensure your creative takes up the full screen, 1080 x 1920 pixels (9:16 aspect ratio) is recommended

It all starts with a single pin

We’ve designed 10 Pinterest cover templates to get your started! They’re free and customizable. All you have to do is follow this link to start editing your Pins with Canva.

So, there you have it. When it comes to organic Pinterest marketing, it’s all about understanding how to optimize your content for reach and discoverability. By harnessing the power of visual storytelling and curating your Pinterest content for maximum discoverability, you can capitalize on the benefits of this visual search engine. High-intent users are ready and waiting to hear from your brand on Pinterest – it’s just a question of whether you’re showing up to engage and convert them.

The best way to be sure that your content is consistent and your audience is growing, is to plan & schedule your Pinterest content. You can start scheduling your Pinterest Pins with Sked Social. Start a free 7 day trial, and if you like what you see, take 50% off your first month with code SKED50.

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Social Media Marketing Trends To Watch In 2022

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Marketers aren’t clairvoyant but they can keep a finger on the pulse of trends. To help brands stay ahead of the competition, HubSpot Blog surveyed more than 1,000 global marketers from B2B and B2C brands and a handful of industry experts to create a 2022 marketing trends guide, covering privacy and AI to social media and SEO. Ahead we break down HubSpot’s findings on social media marketing trends.

As HubSpot notes, 79 percent of Americans have some type of social media account while there are 3.7 billion social media users worldwide, making it a regular part of people’s lives and a critical tool in enhancing any marketing strategy.

Live Content Will Be A Leading Social Media Format

Among the social media marketers HubSpot polled, 68 percent reported that audio chat rooms such as Clubhouse are the most effective social media content while 59 percent report the same for live video.

Ninety-six percent of those investing in live audio content intend on spending the same amount or more on it through 2022. Live video, on the other hand, is reported by 9 percent of respondents as driving the largest return on investment (ROI) of all social media formats. These formats enable brands to connect directly with audiences in a meet-them-where-they-are context while discussions range from current issues and events to the brand’s stance on those issues to the products and services themselves. 

The authenticity and dynamic nature of this format can’t be matched as heart-to-heart conversations may be interspersed with expert opinions, Q&A-style discussions, how-tos and entertainment.

TikTok Will Continue To Gain Brand Interest

TikTok began to go viral roughly three years ago, sparking a new medium through which brands can connect with audiences without sounding sales-y. The social media app now boasts 1 billion global users and caters to a vast array of audiences. Having recently launched a number of advertising and marketing features for businesses and creators, TikTok has positioned itself front-and-center in the race to secure the highest quality content, the highest number of users and creators and brands that will continue engaging with it for marketing purposes.

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Sixty-seven percent of marketers intend on increasing their TikTok investment in 2022 and 10 percent of marketers who employ some sort of social media into their overall marketing strategy intend on investing the most in TikTok throughout 2022.

Most Marketers Will Concentrate On Three To Five Social Media Platforms

Of those social media marketers polled, 64 percent use three to five platforms, 11 percent use one or two, and 7 percent use seven or more. Managing three to five platforms allows brands to expand their reach to a variety of audiences while allowing for their marketers to engage with each one without exhausting their bandwidth or producing low-quality content.

In order for a brand to determine how many platforms to be on, i.e., how able a social media marketing team will be at building an effective and engaging strategy, HubSpot suggests answering the following:

  • How many social media marketers are on your team?
  • Which social media platforms have audiences that best align with your brand’s targets?
  • How much time will it take to master a strategy on each of the platforms?
  • Which platforms, if any, will not benefit the overall marketing strategy right now?
  • Which platform’s content, if any, can be easily repurposed? (such as TikTok and YouTube Shorts)

Influencer Marketing Will Evolve From Trend To Common Marketing Tactic

When HubSpot asked global marketing professionals which trends they planned to invest in for 2022, 34 percent said influencer marketing, ranking it first and above other trends like mobile web design and short-form video marketing.

While 57 percent of respondents that currently leverage influencer marketing say influencer marketing is effective, 46 percent of them plan to increase their investments in 2022. Additionally, 11 percent say influencer marketing is the top ROI-generating trend they’ve tested.

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More than 56 percent of marketers who invest in influencer marketing work with micro-influencers, according to HubSpot.

Video Marketers Will Keep Content Short

HubSpot found that short-form content is the second most effective trend marketers are currently utilizing. Short-form content requires less bandwidth and aligns well with the fast-paced attention spans of online audiences in a variety of demographics

More than 31 percent of global marketers currently invest in short-form video content, 46 percent of them consider the strategy effective when it comes to performance and engagement. In addition, next year 89 percent of global marketers plan to continue investing in it or increase their investment.

Permanent Social Media Posts Could Overtake Ephemeral Content

Brands have observed that permanent social media content—namely standard posts, videos and live events that live on a platform’s feed and can be viewed again days later—might be more effective than ephemeral content such as Instagram Stories and Snapchat.

HubSpot’s survey results show that 44 percent of global marketers plan to increase their investment in permanent social media content, while 8 percent say it generates the most ROI compared to other marketing strategies they leverage. Meanwhile, 25 percent of respondents cited ephemeral content as the “least effective” trend they invested in.

Lastly, 37 percent of marketers said they plan to decrease their investment in ephemeral content.

However, HubSpot cautions against writing off ephemeral content completely as it can still provide other brand awareness benefits and unique content experiences.

According to Kelly Hendrickson, a social media marketing manager at HubSpot, Instagram Stories’ fleeting design and fun editing options give brands a new strategy for producing content that varies from their other social media content.

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“Instagram can organically serve up a wall post across a wide span of time, so there’s less of an opportunity for brands to be timely (who wants to see New Year’s post when they’ve already given up on their resolutions?!). Since Instagram users are more active on weekdays, during the standard workday, it seems users are looking for a break,” Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson urges marketers to remember that the combination of a running clock and a lively audience presents a big opportunity for brands to lean into quick, in-the-moment content that showcases the light-hearted side of their brand, adding that succinctness and clarity are key in content.

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Getting the Most Out of Shopify

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The growth of your online business in Shopify significantly depends on how well you use the e-commerce platform. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds. There’s a lot of competition in the e-commerce industry itself, and it requires patience, intentionality and transformational skills to move to the top right in the categories where you compete. Many marketers who use Shopify for eCommerce encounter strategic and tactical issues using the platform. At TopRight, we’ve studied the most common issues facing marketing executives and we provide tips and techniques to help you get the most out of Shopify. Here are a few of the most common marketing challenges you could encounter while using Shopify:

  • Mediocre sales conversion
  • Insufficient traffic to your site
  • Difficulty interpreting Shopify analytics
  • Unrealistic predictions of sales and traffic
  • Misalignment of inventory management
  • Failure to target and identify customers

Importance of a Clear Marketing Strategy

Your marketing strategy acts as a playbook for your business and how you make investments in you Shopify store. It helps keep your business pointed in the right direction and allows you to make informed decisions. Without a strategic marketing playbook, it’s easy to get lost and encounter obstructions. A stragegic playbook can help guide you to responding to challenges and navigating barriers you may encounter with your Shopify store. Specifically, it can help you:

  • Estimate sales potential
  • Promote your goods and services better
  • Attract new customers
  • Maintain good connection with existing customers

Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Shopify

Of course, understanding the analytics on your store isn’t sufficient to assure success. You need to turn data into insight and devise strategies to drive traffic and conversions. Here are a few tips to guide you through the development of a winning marketing strategy to get the most out of Shopify.

1. Invest in Your Own Shopify App

Most successful Shopify merchants have optimized their app to tell their brand story. A Shopify app is a powerful way to give customers a reason to care about your store and the products you offer. Your brand story also helps you build connections and engage with other prospects on other ecommerce platforms and social media sites. Making this simple investment enables you to connect, reach and engage more potential customers.

If building your own app is an obstacle, you can use tools like Pocketfied – an easy app builder that lets you conveniently manage your store. You can have your own published app within a day, even if you don’t have any design and coding skills.

2. Use Shopify Resources

Shopify offers resources to help you become a more effective marketer and entrepreneur. It provides guides, podcasts, and even an eCommerce University to learn new skills. Use these resources to learn more about the Shopify platform and get ideas on how to work on the platform more effectively and efficiently.

3. Promote Your Store on Social Media

Social media networks like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter represent significant opportunities for you to boost brand awareness and drive traffic to your store. However, social media marketing is highly saturated – it take a lot to stand out from the crowd. Many Shopify merchants use social media to showcase their goods and services. You need to develop a good and structured approach to get an edge and drive results.

  • Make a business page or account on all relevant social platforms.
  • Follow accounts and market to users within your target audience.
  • Integrate your shop in your accounts so shoppers can easily buy without leaving the social platform
  • Post meaningful content regularly including: videos that showcase your products; special pricing promotions; new product launches; and private/ exclusive store events
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4. Leverage Email Marketing

Email remains one of the best ways to connect and engage with customers. When properly used (not abused), emails can serve as the backbone of your customer conversion strategy customer conversion strategy. Here are a few tips on how to use it appropriately:

  • Be creative with your emails so you can easily attract interest and give people a reason to care
  • Send out cart abandonment details to remind customers about incomplete or unfinished transactions.
  • Be professional and respectful – don’t send too many promotional emails. Thoughtless interruptions drive customers away.

5. Create a Website and Start Blogging

Write compelling content that will attract and encourage readers to go to your store and check out your products. Don’t just focus on your products and services. Make content about related topics and issues where you can smartly and smoothly promote your products. Think about topics that would be of interest and value to your audience. Content can be a gift if it is positioned properly with your customers.

Research what your customers care about, what they want or what unmet needs they may have. Again, don’t overload your blog with sales messages and stories about your business. Instead, focus on the relevance of your products to your customers’ lifestyles. What can you do to make them the hero of your brand story?

6. Invest in Paid Advertisements and Affiliations

Depending on your budget, be sure to set aside some money for paid advertisements. Online advertisements, clickable or not, will drive traffic to your store and boost your store’s visibility. These are usually posted on online platforms like social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Additionally, you can use Google Ads to get your store to appear on the top page of search results.

You can also develop affiliations with other Shopify stores and businesses so they’ll help promote your store and products. For a small percentage of a transaction, an affiliate marketer with help will drive traffic and potential customers to your store. However, remember that you’ll be sharing your revenues or paying them for their cooperation!

The Takeaway

Story, Strategy and Systems alignment can be a heavy lift when you launch a Shopify store. There are many pitfalls and issues you may encounter. But if you focus on telling a simple story, formulating a clear strategy, and leveraging Shopify best practices, you can navigate these challenges and successfully give your customers a reason to care, listen, engage and buy from your store.

See also  NBC Launches 'Ordinary Joe' Quiz Promo With Pinterest - Yahoo

The growth of your online business in Shopify significantly depends on how well you use the e-commerce platform. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds. There’s a lot of competition in the e-commerce industry itself, and it requires patience, intentionality and transformational skills to move to the top right in the categories where you compete. Many marketers who use Shopify for eCommerce encounter strategic and tactical issues using the platform. At TopRight, we’ve studied the most common issues facing marketing executives and we provide tips and techniques to help you get the most out of Shopify. Here are a few of the most common marketing challenges you could encounter while using Shopify:

  • Mediocre sales conversion
  • Insufficient traffic to your site
  • Difficulty interpreting Shopify analytics
  • Unrealistic predictions of sales and traffic
  • Misalignment of inventory management
  • Failure to target and identify customers

Importance of a Clear Marketing Strategy

Your marketing strategy acts as a playbook for your business and how you make investments in you Shopify store. It helps keep your business pointed in the right direction and allows you to make informed decisions. Without a strategic marketing playbook, it’s easy to get lost and encounter obstructions. A stragegic playbook can help guide you to responding to challenges and navigating barriers you may encounter with your Shopify store. Specifically, it can help you:

  • Estimate sales potential
  • Promote your goods and services better
  • Attract new customers
  • Maintain good connection with existing customers

Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Shopify

Of course, understanding the analytics on your store isn’t sufficient to assure success. You need to turn data into insight and devise strategies to drive traffic and conversions. Here are a few tips to guide you through the development of a winning marketing strategy to get the most out of Shopify.

1. Invest in Your Own Shopify App

Most successful Shopify merchants have optimized their app to tell their brand story. A Shopify app is a powerful way to give customers a reason to care about your store and the products you offer. Your brand story also helps you build connections and engage with other prospects on other ecommerce platforms and social media sites. Making this simple investment enables you to connect, reach and engage more potential customers.

If building your own app is an obstacle, you can use tools like Pocketfied – an easy app builder that lets you conveniently manage your store. You can have your own published app within a day, even if you don’t have any design and coding skills.

2. Use Shopify Resources

Shopify offers resources to help you become a more effective marketer and entrepreneur. It provides guides, podcasts, and even an eCommerce University to learn new skills. Use these resources to learn more about the Shopify platform and get ideas on how to work on the platform more effectively and efficiently.

3. Promote Your Store on Social Media

Social media networks like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter represent significant opportunities for you to boost brand awareness and drive traffic to your store. However, social media marketing is highly saturated – it take a lot to stand out from the crowd. Many Shopify merchants use social media to showcase their goods and services. You need to develop a good and structured approach to get an edge and drive results.

  • Make a business page or account on all relevant social platforms.
  • Follow accounts and market to users within your target audience.
  • Integrate your shop in your accounts so shoppers can easily buy without leaving the social platform
  • Post meaningful content regularly including: videos that showcase your products; special pricing promotions; new product launches; and private/ exclusive store events
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4. Leverage Email Marketing

Email remains one of the best ways to connect and engage with customers. When properly used (not abused), emails can serve as the backbone of your customer conversion strategy customer conversion strategy. Here are a few tips on how to use it appropriately:

  • Be creative with your emails so you can easily attract interest and give people a reason to care
  • Send out cart abandonment details to remind customers about incomplete or unfinished transactions.
  • Be professional and respectful – don’t send too many promotional emails. Thoughtless interruptions drive customers away.

5. Create a Website and Start Blogging

Write compelling content that will attract and encourage readers to go to your store and check out your products. Don’t just focus on your products and services. Make content about related topics and issues where you can smartly and smoothly promote your products. Think about topics that would be of interest and value to your audience. Content can be a gift if it is positioned properly with your customers.

Research what your customers care about, what they want or what unmet needs they may have. Again, don’t overload your blog with sales messages and stories about your business. Instead, focus on the relevance of your products to your customers’ lifestyles. What can you do to make them the hero of your brand story?

6. Invest in Paid Advertisements and Affiliations

Depending on your budget, be sure to set aside some money for paid advertisements. Online advertisements, clickable or not, will drive traffic to your store and boost your store’s visibility. These are usually posted on online platforms like social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Additionally, you can use Google Ads to get your store to appear on the top page of search results.

You can also develop affiliations with other Shopify stores and businesses so they’ll help promote your store and products. For a small percentage of a transaction, an affiliate marketer with help will drive traffic and potential customers to your store. However, remember that you’ll be sharing your revenues or paying them for their cooperation!

The Takeaway

Story, Strategy and Systems alignment can be a heavy lift when you launch a Shopify store. There are many pitfalls and issues you may encounter. But if you focus on telling a simple story, formulating a clear strategy, and leveraging Shopify best practices, you can navigate these challenges and successfully give your customers a reason to care, listen, engage and buy from your store.

Continue Reading

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Ifeoma Ozoma: US tech whistleblower helping others speak out

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Being a whistleblower comes down to careful preparation but also an eye trained for dirty tricks, said Ifeoma Ozoma, an ex-employee of several Silicon Valley giants turned revealer of tech world wrongdoing.

“I planned it like a program or product launch. Obviously the experience is something very personal, but I approached it like work,” she told AFP.

While Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen has become a figurehead for the fight against social media’s faults, there are others in the tech world, like Ozoma, who have also taken big risks to stand up.

An African-American, former policymaker relations specialist for Google, Pinterest and Facebook, she continues to work for ethics in tech, but from the outside, via her consulting firm Earthseed.

She has marked a first big success via the recent adoption in California of a law she co-sponsored, called “Silenced No More.”

Starting in January, this law will prohibit employers from using confidentiality clauses to prevent victims of harassment or discrimination in the workplace from speaking out.

In mid-October, she posted online a guide for whistleblowers.

“The difference with tech companies and other industries is on the power that they wield, but also they pretend they’re better for workers, consumers, society than more traditional industries,” she told AFP. “That’s just not borne out in reality.”

– Keep the emails –

A Yale University graduate in political science, the 29-year-old was born in Alaska to Nigerian immigrants.

She left Pinterest at the end of May 2020, with six months of salary, after months of making complaints internally and also to the state of California, accusing the social network of discrimination and racist retaliation.

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She said the company paid her less than if she had been a man, but she also complained about their lack of action after a colleague posted her personal details online to expose her to anonymous harassment.

In mid-June 2020, as the Black Lives Matter anti-racism movements were in full swing in the United States, her damning account on Twitter of her experience sparked a scandal for the company that had largely avoided controversy.

“Pinterest, told a number of reporters that the CEO had no knowledge of me being doxxed… and I was essentially making up a story about him being aware,” Ozoma said.

“I knew that it was something that would probably come up later. And so I had the emails,” she added.

The accused firms try to discredit whistleblowers by many means, said Libby Liu, the director of Whistleblower Aid which is working with Haugen.

“They will throw up against the wall every discrediting thing they can think of, through like every media organization on the face of the Earth,” she added.

– Losing their health insurance –

The whistleblowers that come forward often have a lot to lose.

“Just one example here in the United States — because our health care is tied to our employment — when you decide to whistle blow, you’re also making a decision for yourself and for your family to lose access to your health insurance,” Ozoma said.

“That is not a small thing to ask of people,” she added.

Whistleblower leaks and damning media reports have tarnished Big Tech’s image, but they have had limited tangible consequences for Silicon Valley.

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In fact, Haugen’s oft-repeated accusation that Facebook puts profits over safety is not entirely new.

“There are countless nonprofit organizations and reporters, who reported on the exact same thing for years,” said Ozoma. “It remains to be seen whether anything fruitful will come of it.”

But from anti-sexism protests at Google in 2018 to warnings from former top Facebook officials, the pressure for change is steady.

After Ozoma spoke out at Pinterest, other female workers did too.

The company paid $22 million in December 2020 to Francoise Brougher, its white, former COO to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit.

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