How to Reduce Fulfillment Expenses

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There’s a saying that, “The packaging sells the product the first time, but what’s inside sells the product a second time”.

So what does this mean? In the long run, businesses spend a fortune filling boxes with bubble wrap to protect goods. They also spend money on package design to build their brand and create memorable “unboxing” experiences for customers.

Food for thought: waste in your product packaging turns into waste elsewhere. Fast Company estimates that around 165 million packages are shipped each year. The world is already struggling with its waste and recycling issues.

Fortunately, business owners can reduce packaging costs while maintaining the integrity and brand identity of their products. Packaging solutions and strategies exist to reduce the amount of time and money that goes into the packaging process.

What Factors Contribute to Higher Packaging Costs?

Materials costs aren’t the only contributing factor to packaging expenses. In fact, there are several factors that increase packaging costs.

  • Poorly designed materials storage and packaging lines
  • Long packaging process times
  • Paying for box dimensions rather than product dimensions
  • Ineffective packaging materials that allow damage
  • Inefficient manufacturing models
  • Failing to optimize packaging
  • Expensive shipping costs

By taking a holistic approach to cost savings, your business will identify ways to improve the packaging process without compromising on quality.

How to Reduce Fulfillment Expenses

Packaging

Packaging is a necessary expense. It’s more than just a vehicle to deliver products to customers, it’s very much a part of the customer experience. Plus, proper packaging prevents product damage, which would harm the CX. Imagine ordering a product online only to receive it in pieces?

That’s why Earl Choate, CEO of ecommerce company Concrete Camouflage (which sells concrete staining products), recommends you understand “when to spend extra and when to go cheap.” He notes that the least expensive packaging isn’t always the best option, and it can actually cost you more in the long run.

He says to invest the most in the exterior packaging, which has the job of protecting products. The interior packaging is where he focuses on cost-cutting. “Recycled material such as old newspapers and gift wrap paper can work just fine,” he says. Reusing packaging can also help.

Other non-conventional packaging, such as coffee bags, may also help. Sevensmith, an online retailer which sells ethically made handcrafted items, uses polymailers instead of boxes for some of their packages. “They’re more versatile, meaning we could buy fewer SKUs of mailers to ship all of our different products,” says founder and CEO Liat Tzoubari. “They also reduced our shipping costs.” (We’ll dive into shipping next.)

Using carrier-provided packaging is another route that’s typically more affordable. A cost comparison is your best bet in terms of finding the most economical packaging solution(s).

Aside from the materials you use in packaging, you’ll want to maximize the space that is in the packages. Of course, reducing the number of packages per order is one surefire way to lower expenses. For this, you’ll need to optimize your warehouse management system to accommodate for batching products together for a single customer.

Here are some other tips for reducing fulfillment expenses as it relates to packaging:

Reassess regularly: Remember to audit your packaging at least annually. As your products and customer preferences change, so do your packaging needs.

Order in bulk: The more packaging your order at a time, the more leverage you have to negotiate lesser rates with your supplier. Just remember to account for storage costs related to having a lot of packaging on hand.

Monitor every package: Equip your operations team with scales so they can constantly check the weight for every order and make sure they’re being packed efficiently.

Shipping

Closely tied to packaging expenses, another major component of fulfillment to consider is shipping. And consumers are increasingly expecting retailers to cover the costs: According to the National Retail Federation, 68% of online shoppers anticipate free shipping on orders less than $50, and 38% expect free two-day shipping. Plus, nearly half would decide against making the purchase if they have to fork over the cash for shipping. So if you’re charging customers for shipping, you could be losing sales.

Neil Abbruzzese, CEO of EDI Options which helps retailers streamline fulfillment, recommends comparing your shipping services. Putting all your eggs in one basket may not be the most cost-effective way to get your products into customers’ hands. “Third-party tools that compare shipping rates across different carriers permit real-time savings with very little effort,” he says.

Shipping providers typically base your fees on the following factors:

Package size (dimensions)

Package weight

Departing location

Destination location

Tracking

Insurance

Here are a few places to check out:

United States Postal Service

UPS

FedEx

DHL

Pak Mail

Canada Post

UK Royal Mail

Australia Post

When assessing your shipping options, it’s important to understand your packages. As we mentioned earlier, determine a few most common scenarios in terms of package size and weight, plus destination, and then figure out which method is most cost-effective for each. You don’t have to ship all your packages through the same provider.

Average order weight = (catalog weight / number of products) x average order size

Flat rate shipping could be advantageous, especially for heavier packages. Just remember to compare all your options.

A third-party logistics (3PL) partner could also be the answer to cutting costs. Consider outsourcing to a 3PL (if you sell on Amazon, check out FBA). 3PL fulfillment companies already have relationships with shipping companies that they can leverage to get you the best rates, plus you have the benefit of their expertise in terms of optimizing fulfillment across all areas for cost reduction.

Shipping Internationally

International shipments pose a new list of challenges and expenses. For international customers, it’s not uncommon to charge customers for all or some of the shipping expenses. Make sure to communicate this upfront: Post it on your website, product pages, etc.

Quick tip: If you do provide free international shipping, this could be a major differentiator for your brand, so make sure that’s prominent on your site.

It’s also crucial that you understand customs processes and associated costs, as well as tariffs/taxes/duties, labeling requirements and insurance policies. You’ll want to understand these stipulations before you offer international shipping, so that you can accurately set customer expectations. In some cases, customers may also be required to pay additional fees.

To find out what regulations you need to abide by, check with both your country of origin and destination.

Inventory Management Software

We may be biased, but inventory management software is absolutely essential to making sure your fulfillment investments are generating the most ROI for your biz. But don’t take it from us. Faith Kubicki, content marketing manager at IntelliChief which helps brands automate processes to cut fulfillment costs, echoes this advice.

“When filling orders, many companies have three or four different departments involved,” she says. But with IMS that can create automations, “companies can make their workflows faster and most cost-effective. [Employees] do their job, then have the software automatically route the order to the next step of the process.”

Kubicki credits this approach to reducing order fulfillment cycle time by up to 80% for IntelliChief customers. For one client, fulfillment was streamlined and automated enough to cut a team of seven down to three, which also helps reduce labor costs associated with fulfillment.

But there are many ways IMS will help you lower fulfillment expenses:

Improved warehouse efficiency, which leads to less carrying costs

Less capital tied up in inventory with smarter forecasting and purchase orders

Fewer inaccuracies and money lost to issues such as shrinkage

A streamlined and improved customer experience

On that last note, online clothing brand INTO THE AM uses their IMS to ensure customer returns aren’t a major source of lost revenue. “Using software to manage the returns process is vital,” says digital manager Darren Schreher.

“Our recently upgraded software can now automatically send a customer a return label for them to send products directly back to us,” he says. “This cuts down lots of friction by not requiring the customer to provide their own shipping labels.” These streamlined processes have greatly reduced the amount of manual labor (and thus, labor costs) required to manage the returns process.

Rerouting is another component to fulfillment that your iMS can monitor and help you save money. There are two main reasons for rerouting:

The customer legitimately wants the package shipped to a different address, such as their workplace

Your customer is a victim of fraud, and the thief wants to receive the package at a location where they can retrieve it

So, offering rerouting benefits you in two ways:

An improved CX which provides customers with flexibility

A method of preventing fraud and protecting your customers

The first of those scenarios may reduce costs in that it indirectly drives conversions. The latter ensures you’re getting paid for the products you ship.

All in all, the best inventory management software really depends on your unique needs. Not all businesses are built the same, and thus, not all processes should be the same either.

How to Reduce Shipping Costs So You Can Increase Profits

Shipping expenses, duties, custom fees through rerouting fulfillments … those are just some of the ways retailers are losing profits to fulfillment expenses. But there’s no reason you can’t lower those expenses, even if just by a small margin.

Through reducing packaging costs, outsourcing to more efficient partners, and establishing smart (and automated) inventory management processes, you can cut fulfillment costs and increase your profit margin.

But first, it’s important to audit your current status so you can identify the areas with the greatest opportunity.

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Conduct an Audit to Establish Baselines

Before you try to reduce fulfillment expenses, or make any major change in your business for that matter, you’ll want to assess where you’re currently at. “The very first thing any company should do is strive to truly understand its costs—per pallet, per SKU, per order shipped, etc.,” Scott Stone, direct of marketing for Cisco-Eagle, tells Camcode.

Then you can understand where you’re spending the most money and how big of an impact each tactic can potentially make. Remember, every business is different. So what works for one may or may not work for you.

How to Calculate Fulfillment Cost per Order

One major component your audit should focus on is the fulfillment cost per order. This tells you how much you’re spending on fulfillment costs alone for every customer order. If you don’t understand this number, then it will be difficult to reduce it.

Depending on your inventory management and fulfillment processes, the way to calculate fulfillment cost per order may vary. And as Stone notes, you’ll want to break it down a few other ways: cost per pallet, cost per unit, cost per hour, cost per square foot, etc.

efulfillment service breaks it down like this:

Total storage fee = number of pallets x storage fee per pallet

Total pick/pack fee = (number of orders per month x pick/pack fee per order) + (number of units per month x pick/pack fee per unit)

Total receiving fee = number of units received each month x receiving fee per unit

Total monthly fee = total storage fee + total pick/pack fee + total receiving fee

Then, to get your total fulfillment costs per order:

Total fee per order = total monthly fee / number of orders per month.
Now that you know your fulfillment cost per order, let’s dive into some ways you can lower that number.

How to Reduce Shipping Costs

There are many ways to reduce your shipping costs. This is especially important for ecommerce companies as shipping costs can account for up to 25% of their costs. Small businesses and ecommerce companies are under increasing pressure as shipping prices continue to rise. To top it all off, many companies ship overseas, and that’s not cheap. Then you must take into consideration the size of the items you need to ship and how easy they are to transport. These costs add up quickly. Not to mention that customers expect free or low-cost shipping. What is a company to do?

Negotiate; Benchmarking VS. Cost-modeling

There are two two main methods when it comes to negotiating shipping rates and discounts in order to reduce your shipping costs. Benchmarking and Cost-modeling:

Benchmarking

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Most shippers focus on two things when trying to get favorable rates and discounts 1. The dollar amount and 2. The volume being shipped. This is called “Benchmarking”. Benchmarking is a more simplistic method and is the one most often used. The goal of Benchmarking is to end up with the greatest discount possible. This method can sometimes be beneficial as it can be an easy way to create improvements in your carrier agreement by finding out what the market is doing. Many times, shippers look at places they previously have worked, or companies with a similar product or in the same industry. They use these examples to negotiate similar discounts and rates with carriers.

Sometimes these comparisons are accurate, but other times they are well off the mark creating contention between shippers and carriers. This can cause you to negotiate for less or more than what the carrier is able to offer you. It can also cause problems as its simplicity leaves out a lot of important factors. Such as less focus on the agreement details and small print and how that can affect your cost.

Cost-modeling

Cost-modeling focuses on the costs to the carrier and your specific characteristics. It is a more sophisticated way to negotiate rates and discounts. You are trying to better understand the specific characteristics of your shipments. It’s important to determine the things you do that might help the carrier and the things you do that might hurt you when talking with the carrier about rates and discounts. You also want to look at the agreement for the total package to identify the language structure and the discounts (such as the ground minimum per shipment). This is the negotiation method that we recommend as it creates good relationships between shippers and carriers and benefits both.

Cost to Carrier/Shipping Characteristics

It’s important to understand what the costs to carriers are in order to best negotiate rates and discounts with them. For example, low ‘delivery density”, or how “out of the way” a shipment is can create more costs for carriers. Whereas having a denser delivery at a shopping mall can decrease costs, as they can be spread out between multiple shippers. Normally this is true if shipments all go to the same location or locations that are not as spread out.

Another cost they consider are air feed costs. If two companies are sending their products to an international location, but one uses a domestic flight first as opposed to ground, then that shipment will cost more. Surprisingly, a lot of times it’s the domestic air feed that increases costs. Domestic flights are usually fuller, so there’s more of chance they might have to put up a second plane or use cargo space on another flight.

The point is, it can be very complicated as to what the carrier’s costs are when they are looking at your shipments. It’s not always the most intuitive thing understanding what part is going to drive your ability to get additional discounts.

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Agreement Details

One of the agreement details that is often overlooked during Benchmarking, is the “ground minimum per shipment”. Both main carriers UPS and FedEx for example, list in the small print of their agreement that the ground minimum package charge will be equal to a “zone 2- 1 lb. package”. So, if you are mostly shipping packages whose weight is in the range of 1-15 lbs., then negotiating greater discounts might not be very beneficial. If the discounts go below the minimum “Zone 2- 1 lb. package” rate, then you will be charged the minimum and will not enjoy the full amount of the discount anyways. This is another reason why knowing your shipping characteristics is important. Usually companies ship a combination of lighter and heavier weight items. So, it’s important to know what your mix is and factor in the minimum rate when negotiating discount percentages.

Packaging

You might be surprised how much money you can save regarding packaging. There are various tips and tricks you can use to cut down on your packaging costs.

Reuse Packaging

Waste not, want not. Reuse packaging from orders you receive. As a company, you most likely order inventory or supplies of your own. Why not use some of this packaging for the orders you ship instead of throwing it away? This will help you cut back on the cost of shipping supplies. And as a bonus, it is also a great way to recycle. This is especially useful if you sell fragile items and need to spend money on bubble wrap, special types of paper, or peanuts. Reusing any of these materials will cut down on your costs.

Discounts

It’s important to know where the deals are. A lot of carriers offer free or discounted shipping supplies. For a list of  free shipping supplies from USPS click here. If you ship using USPS Priority Mail Express or Priority Mail, you should purchase postage through Express 1. They give great discounts partnered with using USPS. The discount is given regardless of your shipping volume. You can also find free shipping supplies through UPS on their website. DHL Express will send you free shipping supplies if you request them here. Furthermore, some carriers offer free software so you can print your own shipping labels.

Right Size Your Packages

Trim down the weight or “right size” your packages. This means you should use the packaging that fits your items the best. Many carriers not only charge for weight, but also for “dimensional weight”, or the height, length and width of the package in relation to its weight. This means you will save money if you use smaller packaging instead of unnecessary larger bulky packaging.

Third Party Shipping Insurance

Carriers almost always charge more money when you use their insurance for the items you ship. Consider using third party insurance for your shipped items in order to save money on every shipment.  Carriers charge about $0.90 for every $100 of insurance, while third party insurance companies charge about $0.55 for every $100. (For more information click here).

Additional Fees

These fees depend on the carrier you use. It’s important to be aware of all the fees they could charge you so you can decide if the fees are worth it. Some of the fees you could be charged include delivery signatures, Saturday deliveries, and fuel surcharges to name a few. If it’s worth it to you to avoid some of these fees you could, for example, schedule your shipments so they don’t go out on Saturdays. The important thing is to find out which services are important to you, so you don’t get charged fees that really aren’t worth it for your company.

Location

Know where you are shipping your products. If you are shipping to the same location or region, then you can save money by using a Regional Carrier. If you go with a regional carrier you will often save money as opposed to going with an international carrier. Some regional carriers to consider include On-Trac for West Coast Regions, Lasership for East Coast Regions, and UDS n the North Central and Midwest Regions. For more information on regional carriers click here.

Use a Shipping Platform

Using a shipping platform will save you time and money. Using a shipping platform that is online works well for ecommerce companies whose businesses are mostly online already. Platforms like ShipStation integrate with many ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, Amazon and WooCommerce. When customers check out, their orders are automatically uploaded to ShipStation. You can also manually create orders in ShipStation. When you are ready to ship, you just must add in the shipment details and then print your labels. (For more information click here.)

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Outsourcing Your Shipping

Trying to manage in-house fulfillment can be such a hassle. Time is money and sometimes in-house fulfillment isn’t the best option for businesses. Especially for those top-selling items, outsourcing can help you create a great customer experience, even if you are having a ton of orders.  Fulfillment partners such as Amazon multi-channel FBA and Delivery can help you keep your fulfillment costs down and give you access to faster fulfillment options.

Another thing to consider is partnering with companies that consult with businesses to improve their shipping practices. They help you figure out how to reduce shipping costs in a way that best fits your business. Companies such as iDrive Logistics, Compete Consulting Group, Intelligent Audit and Reese Consulting Group can give you access to volume discounts you would never be able to access on your own.

Audit Your Shipments

It’s important to know if your shipments are delivered on time. If they aren’t, you are entitled to a refund. If you don’t have time to do this yourself, consider registering for services like “Share a Refund”. These services audit your shipments for you and then take a portion of the money they collect.

Reducing Shipping Costs

Every business can benefit by understanding how to reduce shipping costs. This creates an opportunity to use those funds to help grow and expand your company. Consider negotiating with your current carrier through Cost-modeling as opposed to Benchmarking. Keep yourself in the loop when it comes to fees. Be mindful of your packaging practices. And consider partners who can help you on your journey to make shipping fast, easy and cost effective when it comes to your company. It’s time to ship smart!

You Can Discover Significant Savings By Reducing Packaging Costs

Packaging is an unavoidable part of selling products. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be an exorbitantly expensive part. Moreover, reducing packaging costs doesn’t mean you need to jeopardize the integrity and security of your products. Rather, reducing the amount of money you spend on packaging is about taking a holistic view of your current processes.

Understand where your money currently goes. Identify things that are slowing down your current packaging process such as machine malfunctions or a poor warehouse layout design. Upgrade machinery, improve existing processes, redesign to optimize your current packaging, and keep tabs on developments in the packing materials industry.

By taking package design and packaging costs seriously, you can discover valuable cost savings and increase your profit margin.

What to do if the order fails?

what? You also failed to place an order? Why is it also? Well, don’t panic, the reasons and solutions for the failure are below.

Note After all these operations are completed, you need to re-create an order in shopify to place an order, and other operations can’t be performed on orders that have failed.

1、AE products don’t support delivery to the customer’s address

Solution — Check the address and fill in a valid delivery method

2、The address does not meet the AE order requirements

Solution — modify the order information, the common error messages are as follows :

  • Country is not filled in or wrong
  • There are fixed requirements for phone numbers in some countries, for example, Chinese phone numbers must be 11 digits
  • The zip code is incorrect. Some countries also have format requirements for the zip code. For example, the Canadian zip code must be composed of alternate capital letters and numbers.
  • If all of the above are correct and it still shows failure, then please contact us.

3、Insufficient AE inventory

Solution —There are 5 solutions, you can choose one of them.

  • Delete original product

Delete the original product, re-import the new product, and place the order again.

  • Change supplier

If you change the supplier, you can choose to add a supplier who sells the same product. The operation process is as follows .

【My Products】—Choose a product—-Click【Manage variants】on the right
Click [Add Product]
Paste the new URL
After adding, click the position shown in the picture to select a new supplier

For ease of understanding, the two products in the picture are not the same, but please ensure that the products are consistent during actual operation

If the mapping relationship is confused during this process, then you can click to view this—-How to Use the Variant Mapping Feature

  • Use overried function

This function allows the old product to be covered by the new product. If you choose this function, please ensure that the new product and the old product are the same. The operation flow is as follows.

【My Products】—Choose a product—-Click【overried product】on the right
Paste the new URL–Choose whether to overwrite other information
  • Replace the ordered product

Let the customer choose other variant products. If the customer chooses a pink product, then you can ask the customer if the pink product can be replaced with another color after the stock is insufficient.

  • Reduce the number of purchases

If the inventory is only 2 pieces, and the customer wants 3 pieces, you can ask if you are willing to reduce the purchase quantity .

4、Product error (caused by reasons such as the product being off the shelf)

Solution —There are 3 solutions, you can choose one of them.

  • Delete original product

Delete the original product, re-import the new product, and place the order again.

  • Remove this product from shopify
  • Replace the product and overrid it

Just like the above [overried function]

5、Blacklisted buyers or buyer accounts have been disabled

This is a rare situation, if it happens, please contact AliExpress customer service department for more information

6、The order does not display pictures and product specifications

This is caused by the confusion of the mapping relationship. You can delete the product and upload it again, place an order again to solve it, or use the overried function.

Note:After all of the above operations are completed, you need to re-create an order in shopify to place an order, and other operations cannot be performed on orders that have failed.

So how to re-order

Click [order] in shopify–[create order]
Fill in the content as shown in the picture, pay attention, be sure to select paid

After saving the order, ANTDIY will synchronize the new order, and you can place the order again in ANTDIY.

If none of these can solve your problem, don’t wait any longer, click on the lower right corner or send us an email, tell us your failed order number and screenshot, we will solve it immediately !

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48 Ways to Increase Facebook Followers and Likes in 2020

Earlier in 2020, I decided to jump into Facebook in full force and increase my follower count. 

And guess what: my most successful online store grew to 54,000 Facebook followers. 

On top of the assurance that my team and I were nailing it – not to mention the huge ego boost – all those likes served another powerful purpose.They allowed us to build an engaged community of people who loved our niche and, more importantly, our products. Which fueled the beautiful cycle that led to more sales.

But enough about me. How can you make this happen for your own store?

Why Facebook Organic Reach Is Declining

There are two major reasons:

  1. More content is being published than there is news feed space for it to be shown.There are more than 30 billion pieces of content published every month on Facebook.
  2. Facebook provides only the most relevant content to each user.In order to increase engagement and optimize user experience, the content shown is tailored to each user’s individual interests.

Can businesses keep succeeding with this decline in organic reach? Absolutely.

You can still get tons of traffic from Facebook.

The network’s rapidly growing Ad platform has somewhat cushioned the damage for those who’ve capitalized on it. The advertiser count to date has surpassed 4 million.

Knowing this, should marketers really worry about organic reach?

Wouldn’t we be better suited to focus on our business objectives and leverage paid marketing options?

Yes and yes.

Here’s why.

Why You Need To Think About Declining Organic Reach

Organic reach is important for several reasons.

Reason 1:  To nurture more leads and organic conversions

Many people use social media solely for brand awareness.

That’s fine – but it leaves so much opportunity on the table to drive real results for your business.

Lead generation is one of the missed opportunities.

It also happens to be the linchpin of any successful marketing campaign.

You need to attract potential buyers and funnel them into your sales funnel. When you do this organically, it won’t cost you anything besides time and effort.

In turn, the price of converting these potential buyers into actual buyers will be less.

That’s because the results of an organic campaign tend to snowball. This means that when more people engage with your content, it adds context to your campaigns.

The more organic reach that you have, the better your lead generation and conversion funnels will work.

Reason 2: To keep the Cost Per Click of your paid campaigns low

Yes, Facebook’s ad product is one of the most intuitive and impressive that we’ve ever seen.

And yes, the sophistication of the audience targeting options is every marketer’s dream.

How to Get Facebook Followers

Here are 48 ways that I found useful:

1. Use Images 

Captivating, relevant images can be a great way to spark engagement and reach for your page and posts.

2. Keep it Interesting

Most people unlike a page because the posts are uninteresting. Keep your fans engaged by posting content that meets their needs or addresses their pain points. Industry news, product releases, and behind the scenes content can pique interest.

3. Use Facebook Social Plugins

Use Facebook’s Page Plugin (formerly the “Like” box) on your other socials sites, website and blog. A like button next to your blog post will increase shares, but the Page Plugin can help you boost likes.

4. Add A Link To All of Your Emails

Make sure to include a link to your company page in every email you send out. Your email signature is the perfect place so it’s automatically added to every email sent.

5. Invite Your Subscriber and Customer Lists

If you offer a subscription, like a newsletter, make sure to invite your subscribers. They’re already interested enough to subscribe. Ask them to “Join our Facebook Community” or “Write on our Facebook wall” instead of the usual “join our fan page.”

6. Engage With Similar Pages 

Engagement works two ways. Regularly leave insightful comments to relevant posts related to your area of expertise. Make sure your comment comes from your company page not your personal page.

7. Cross Promote on Other Social Sites 

Be creative. A simple “like us on Facebook” might not be enough. Point your Twitter followers or LinkedIn connections to relevant content or discussions happening on your page for a more powerful impact.

8. Use Contests

Contests are a great way to get people to like your page. Make sure the prize has perceived value. Promote your contest through your email list and website and make liking your page a contest requirement.

9. Tell Don’t Sell, Use the 80/20 Rule 

Keep your promotional content to a minimum. Stick to interesting content rather than selling. Use the 80/20 rule. Make 80 percent of your content informational and informative and the other 20% promotional.

10. Link From Your Personal Page

Link to your company page from your personal page. Create a link from your place of employment.

11. Run Facebook Ads

If you’re trying to figure out how to get Facebook followers, the most obvious solution is Facebook ads. 

You can run “Engagement” ads, which help you increase the visibility of your brand on Facebook. Although, to be frank, any ad you create will likely bring an increase in followers, even “Conversion” ads. 

If Facebook users like the ad content, they’ll likely engage with the post and potentially like or follow your Facebook page. 

So, if your main goal is to get store sales, you can run a conversion ad and still increase Facebook likes to your page. To learn more about Facebook advertising, check out this Facebook ads questions video.

Engagement Facebook Ads

12. Invite People to Like Your Page

The easiest way to increase Facebook followers is by inviting people to like your page. The lowest-hanging fruit here is to invite your friends and family

Once you start running ads for your store, Facebook will occasionally send you notifications asking you to invite people to like your page. 

I found that typically if I ran engagement ads, I’d get a higher number of people that I could invite to like the page. 

However, even though I manually invited people, I eventually got temporarily blocked by Facebook. So you need to pace the number of people you invite at a time. 

Also, if you do get temporarily blocked, Facebook might still send notifications telling you to invite people. But you still won’t be able to invite anyone. Wait a day or two before trying to invite more people. 

You can also invite friends and family to like your page. However, keep in mind that it’s better to have a small, targeted audience than to have a big, broad one, as it could limit the effectiveness of your future ads.

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10 Ways to Grow Your Business Fast

Let’s face it. Scaling your business is hard. It takes considerable effort. In the beginning, it means wearing different hats. It means dealing with sales and marketing. It means understanding taxes and corporate compliance. It involves having to interact with customers on a daily basis. And so much more. At the end of the day, it takes its toll on you.

If you’re struggling to grow your business, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Sure, it’s hard. But, what’s the alternative? A life-sucking 9-to-5 job? Surely not. Okay, maybe you’re longing for the security of a guaranteed paycheck. But, at what mental or emotional price will that come?

The truth? If you buckle down, clear your mind, and just look at things in perspective, you can easily identify ways you can grow your business and make more money quickly. While hundreds of business growth strategies likely exists, the following 15 will take your business to the next level quickly and efficiently.

Frasier, who builds and scales seven, eight and nine-figure businesses tells me that there are loads of ways to grow a business quickly. But, only 15 core strategies that will truly make a real impact on your bottom line. Some are time intensive at the outset. That much should be expected. But, the benefits and profits will ultimately make them well worthwhile.

Like anything else in life or in business, you have to put in the time if you’re looking to reap the benefits. Don’t focus on the short-term outcome of your work. Look to the long term. Build sincere value and look to help your customers. Genuinely care. That should be the foundation. After that, it’s simply a matter of taking action and putting in the work to scale.

1. Build a sales funnel.

The first way to quickly grow your business is by building a sales funnel. If you don’t have a sales funnel, you’re making a monumental mistake. Sales funnels can help to automate your business. It helps you to scale and grow quickly and easily. Sure, there’s some front-end work involved. Obviously. But, once those processes are in place, it’s smooth sailing from there.

Frasier says that every sales funnel needs to be carefully conceptualized before it’s created. Consider the different funnels first and foremost. Whether it’s a free-plus-shipping offer or a high-ticket coaching funnel, it’s important to build your automated selling machine to quickly scale and grow your business.

2. Utilize a customer management system.

Manually tracking transactions is hard. No one wants to do that. It gets too cumbersome as the business grows. If you want to scale quickly, use a customer management system. There are plenty to choose from. But, it really depends on your line of work. Of course, cloud-based software like SalesForce is always a viable option.

Quickbooks can help you with the accounting. InfusionSoft can also assist with sales and marketing. There are plenty of CMS systems, most of which integrate with other cloud-based services. Find what works for you and utilize it.

3、Use Them as Models

use your friends and family as ad models

Marketing a product almost always requires a product photo and/or video.

That means professional equipment, setting, and models, right? Wrong.

You can produce great ads simply by using available resources around you.

When dropshipping friends Mandie and Aubrey wanted to promote a hair shaver, they grabbed Aubrey’s little brother and live-streamed themselves shaving his “super hairy legs.”

The video was a hit and the shaver went on to become one of their best-selling items.

Likewise, most of the models that entrepreneur Ryan Carroll uses in his ads are people he personally knows – including mom and dad.

Not only do they not cost a thing, but they’re also more accessible and real. 

It doesn’t have to be some big Kim Kardashian you’re paying half a million dollars for a post or whatever. It’s just people that are relatable. – Ryan Carroll

And to shoot these ads? Look no farther than your pocket. 

When you’re just starting out, smartphone cameras are all you really need to take great product photos and even videos. 

Grab a family member or friend, shoot, edit it with a mobile video editing app, and you’re good to go. 

4、Validate Products

Objectivity can sometimes escape us. That’s especially true when you’re burrowed knee-deep in your ecommerce business and inadvertently develop tunnel vision for your products.

Because of all the hard work you’ve poured into researching it, launching it may seem like your only option – or at least the only option you allow yourself to take to not waste any of that invested time. 

One way around this blind spot is to get feedback, and that’s where family and friends come in.

Worried about personal bias, entrepreneur Suhail Nurmohamed formed a research focus group using his family and friends.

He’d order test products for his online men’s fashion store, make them wear them, and get their honest opinions.

Because it’s my store, I’m gonna be a little bit more biased to it. Now, what we need to do is we need to put our emotions to the side. And what we need to do is take constructive criticism. – Suhail Nurmohamed 

Their feedback provided Suhail with “a second eye, a third eye, a forth eye” and helped to either validate his product or convince him to chuck the idea.

Inspire Product Ideas

your friends can inspire ideas

In the case of general store expert, Chris Wane, it was his best friend who not only inspired the product but also provided that breakthrough success.

After multiple failed stores and products, Chris’ winning idea eventually came from a tip from his cycling-addicted best friend.

One day while browsing through AliExpress trying to look for new product ideas to have a go at, he turned to his best friend and asked him what he thought about some of the products. 

“He found this pair of cycling glasses and said, ‘I would buy them.’ So I threw them up on the store, and it just blew up straight away,” says Chris.

And blew up it did. From this one single tip from his best friend, Chris made over $13,000 in sales in less than six weeks.

…Or a Business

Beyond inspiring products, those within your closest circle can also unwittingly launch you into the world of business.

When Offcuts founder Adrien Taylor saw how much fabric was being thrown out from his dad’s curtain manufacturing business, he thought it a waste that all those perfectly good fabric was destined for a landfill.

“I had a quick look through all these fabrics and there were lots of floral prints, and I don’t know, all these really, really cool patterns,” says Adrien.

After some research, he found out this was actually a pretty common practice – up to 20 percent of fabric in the garment industry is discarded.

Back then, Adrien had just left his job as a journalist. He’d been looking to start a business but was still clueless about what form or shape that would take.

Seeing those offcuts at his father’s warehouse eventually inspired the idea for Offcut – a business that would turn discarded fabric into hats.

Since then, Offcut has gone on to produce other products like backpacks, luggage tags, and wallets.

Girl wearing offcuts cap

5. Identify new opportunities.

Analyze new opportunities in your business by understanding your demographic better. Understand everything from distribution channels to your direct competitors, and even an analysis of foreign markets and other potential industries. There are likely dozens of new opportunities you could pursue immediately with the proper amount of analysis.

6. Build an email list.

One of the most best and most effective ways to grow a business quickly is to build an email list. Clearly, that means you need to have a lead magnet. Why else would people subscribe to your list? And, with a lead magnet, comes the necessity for a sales funnel. Look into companies like  ConstantContact, ConvertKit, Drip, GetResponse and others for building and managing your list.

7. Form strategic partnerships.

Strategic partnerships with the right companies can truly make a world of difference. It could allow you to reach a wide swath of customers quickly. Identifying those partnerships might be easier said than done. But, look out for companies that are complementary to your own. Contact them and propose opportunities for working together.

8. Consider a franchise model.

If you have a successful business, and you’re really looking to grow quickly, consider franchising it. Although franchise costs are high and moving to a franchise model is complex and takes a lot of marketing know-how, it could make all the difference if you’re truly looking for quick growth.

9. Licensing deals

Doing licensing deals is a great way to grow your business without too much added effort. If you have a product that you can license to others and share a revenue of, that’s an ideal way to grow quickly. Taking a popular or successful product and bringing it to a company with a large footprint can help you achieve market saturation quicker.

10. Diversify your offer lineup.

Look into diversifying your offers. What complementary products or services or information can you offer in your business? In order to grow, you need to think about expansion. Identify new opportunities within your niche. Uncover the pain points. What else can you sell to your clients. Where else can you add value in the exchange?

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Do these, you can also find your own unique products

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Among the largest challenges aiming business owners deal with is discovering successful, trending products that will certainly market, whether it’s a single item or a complete line of product that inhabits a niche in a market.

Coming up with item concepts is admittedly a little tricky, and the relevance of selling an item people desire can leave also the most determined people stuck in evaluation paralysis. It often seems like everything you might perhaps sell is already being marketed– and also the reality that there will be lots of competitors in one of the most prominent item groups.

Fortunately, there are still golden possibilities out there, evidence of this being new products successfully release constantly. To assist you get going, we’ve assembled a shortlist of sensible means to find products to sell in your online store.

Ways to Find a Product to Sell

  1. Solve a customer pain point
  2. Appeal to enthusiastic hobbyists
  3. Consider your professional experience
  4. Capitalize on trends early
  5. Find product opportunities in keywords
  6. Browse what’s trending on online marketplaces
  7. Research products with higher profit margins
  8. Always be on the lookout Litmus test before you launch
  9. Start your search with related products
  10. Go with your personal passion
  11. Read customer reviews on existing products
  12. Litmus test before you launch

Let’s take a look at each of these strategies to find products in more detail.

1. Solve a customer pain point

Solving a customer pain point will always be an effective way to develop a product people want. Tylenol wouldn’t be in business if literal headaches didn’t hurt. Abstract customer pain points, meanwhile, are usually about addressing poor or frustrating experiences with the current selection of available products.

Active Hound's products solve a customer pain point.

Active Hound is an example of a brand that solved a pain point in the market. After talking to other dog owners at their local park, the founders, Lucy and Zak, noticed pet owners were continually frustrated that the pricey dog toys they were buying lacked the durability needed to withstand the wear and tear of a playful pet. Hearing about this frustration inspired them to create a line of ultra-durable dog toys. Now, they’ve expanded their offering to selling toys, treats, and a variety of other dog products.

It’s worth paying close attention whenever you notice common frustrations with an existing line of products. Being keenly aware of the pain points and small annoyances you come across in everyday life could be just what you need to come up with your next profitable product idea.

2. Appeal to enthusiastic hobbyists

When consumers are passionate about a particular trade or hobby, they’re usually more inclined to invest money to get the exact product they want. This willingness-to-pay can be an important qualifier when evaluating the potential opportunity of any product, or line of products. (For example, golfers are well-known for investing hundreds or even thousands of dollars to lower their score by a few strokes.)

Additional benefits can include higher levels of engagement and loyalty with your brand, as enthusiastic customers are generally more involved in the industry and get more value out of the products they purchase. Let’s look at a few examples.

Hand Band Pro

Hand Band Pro sells products to enthusiastic hobbyists.

Hand Band Pro sell to CrossFit enthusiasts who want a way to keep their exercises intense without ending up with ripped or calloused hands.

Impact Mouthguards

Impact Mouthguard's products let's customers express themselves.

Impact Mouthguards sell dentist-level quality mouthguards that come in wild designs that capture the competitive spirit of their customers.

3. Consider your professional experience

Has working in a particular industry helped you learn the ins and outs? Maybe you have a skill or a particular set of experiences that makes you more knowledgeable than the average person on a particular topic. Turning your expertise into your own online business is a smart way to enter the market with a leg up that isn’t easy for others to duplicate or copy.

Retro Supply sells digital products for designers.

Retro Supply is an online shop that sells digital assets for graphic designers and illustrators inspired by history. Founder Dustin Lee, a designer by trade, pivoted from a running a freelance web design shop to generating more passive revenue through Retro Supply’s selection of digital products.

4. Capitalize on trends early

Has operating in a specific market assisted you find out the ins and outs? Maybe you have a skill or a particular collection of experiences that makes you much more well-informed than the ordinary person on a certain topic. Turning your knowledge right into your own online company is a smart means to enter the marketplace with a leg up that isn’t simple for others to duplicate or replicate.

Knox Labs were early to a trending product category.

Knox Labs were early to market with their cardboard VR headsets. Founder Taron Lizagub tested the initial idea with a scrappy splash page, and to his surprise, he was able to quickly pre-sell around 500 headsets—the business later went on to make nearly $3 million in sales in 2015.

Here are a few ways to keep an eye on what’s trending so you can act quickly on potential opportunities:

  • Social listening: This can be as basic as looking at the trending hashtags on Twitter or topics on Facebook, or as advanced as using social listening tools to identify and monitor trends over time.
  • Google Trends: Look at the popularity of topics over time, and see what’s hitting a spike in interest.
  • Trend Hunter: The “world’s largest, most popular trend community” uses data, artificial intelligence, and real humans to identify consumer insights and new opportunities.
  • Reddit: “The front page of the internet” showcases forums about pretty much every topic under the sun. Visit the popular page to see what people are buzzing about.

5. Find product opportunities in keywords

It’s no secret that organic traffic from search engines is an important marketing channel. Searching for keyword opportunities means strategically looking for a product based on the search queries people are using, the number of searches per month, and overall competition for those searches.

This approach can be fairly technical and requires an intermediate understanding of keyword research, as well as search engine optimization. The advantage is that pairing product demand to existing keywords can be an effective way to capture consistent organic traffic from Google, but it comes with its own set of risks, namely that if you rely on search engine traffic you’ll be overly exposed to changes in Google’s algorithm.

When Andrew Youderian first got into ecommerce, he knew from the beginning that the viability of the business was more important to him than being passionate about the product he sold. So he opted for a technical approach in picking a niche he felt would have the highest chance of success, basing his selection on careful keyword research. Andrew found an opportunity to rank for searches in the fishing equipment industry as well as for CB Radios.

Remember that Google isn’t the only place where people start their search, and as such isn’t the only place to mine for keywords. Online marketplaces also have their own search functions, which means lots of keyword data as well. Here are a few tools you can use to uncover popular search terms, which may help you find the next product to sell:

6. Browse what’s trending on online marketplaces

If you prefer to sell products on your own online store, you can still gather inspiration by checking out what’s popular and trending on other marketplaces. Browse sites like AmazonEtsy, and eBay, and browse lists like ‘What’s hot,’ ‘Most wished for,’ and other categories that showcase current customer demand. Here are a few links to get you started:

On individual Amazon product pages, you can see the “Best Sellers Rank” to find out how popular an item is in its category.

Bestselling products on Amazon are a potential source of inspiration.

To dig a little deeper, consider using a tool like Jungle Scout, which helps you identify top-selling products and popular sellers by letting you filter by category, price, sales, and other attributes.

7. Research products with higher profit margins

Products with little overhead provide a low-risk way to get started because it’s easier to attain higher profit margins compared to products that are more expensive to produce. When pricing your products, you need to account for the total resources that you’ve put in to sell the product or your cost of goods sold (COGS).

You have to factor in not only how much it costs to create the product, but also how much it costs to promote, hold, and even ship. Look for low-cost items that can generate a high return on investment (ROI). Remember, lightweight items will be cheaper to ship. And just because a product is inexpensive to purchase wholesale, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can turn it over for the highest ROI.

8. Always be on the lookout

One of the most straightforward strategies you can implement today is to keep an open eye and an open mind.

New ideas can pop up at the most unexpected moments, and it’s important not to dismiss any chance thoughts you may have. Keep a list in your smartphone or with a pen and paper to refer back to later when it’s time to conduct market research for your product idea.

9. Start your search with related products

Do you have an existing interest in a particular industry or product category? Check out related items or products that customers frequently purchase together in that niche. Amazon is a useful resource for this, as there are several locations where the site displays product affinity.

A. Products customers frequently buy together

Products bought together.

B. Other products that customers frequently buy

Other products people buy.

C. Similar items that Amazon recommends

Similar products.

D. Related sponsored products

Sponsored products.

10. Go with your personal passion

While there are inherent risks in choosing a niche based on your own interests, it certainly doesn’t have to be a recipe for disaster. Using your know-how to create and position a unique product can be extremely profitable.

Founder/market fit matters, because building a business is a lot of hard work, and you’ll be better equipped to stay motivated and overcome the hurdles if you are deeply invested in what you are selling.

Eric Bandholz started Beardbrand as a blog discussing business and sales strategy. Slowly, his passion for beards crept into the blog. Over time, he turned his passion for the bearded lifestyle into a separate and successful ecommerce business selling beard-grooming products.

Beardbrand started as a side project.

Moorea Seal is another example of someone who turned their passion into a successful online business. In 2010 Moorea, a full-time artist living in Seattle, became self-employed through various creative pursuits: blogging, running her own jewelry business, freelance illustration, and graphic design.

In late 2012, she retired early from design to spend more time on her passions and narrow her focus. In 2013, Moorea opened a store on Shopify.

Moorea Seal was founded by a full-time artist.

The Moorea Seal shop is a curated selection of beautiful accessories that highlight handmade products from artists in the United States. Each of the designers has been selected by Moorea herself, and 7% of all proceeds benefit nonprofits that are close to her heart. Moorea Seal has achieved notable success and has been featured in several blogs and publications including The Huffington Post, Design Sponge, and Babble.

11. Read customer reviews on existing products

Whether you already sell products online or not, there is a wealth of insight you can glean from customer reviews.

If you already have an established online store with a bit of traction, you can see what customers are saying about your existing products. Are there are any trends or interesting bits of feedback you can use as inspiration to develop your next product? Pay special attention to shortcomings and complaints being shared.

If you don’t currently have a store, have a look at customer reviews for other brands and products in the industry you want to explore. What “wishlist” feedback is being shared about potential improvements to already successful products? What add-ons or additional products do customers consistently bring up?

If you’re not sure of the industry or product category to explore, consider a specific demographic and focus on brands and products that those individuals gravitate toward.

12. Litmus test before you launch

As we’ve shared before, real product validation only happens when money changes hands, so you can’t be sure you’re onto something until people swipe their credit cards.

However, securing some level of interest and investment from potential customers before you ship is undeniably valuable. Even great products can flop when they launch to no one. If you already have an idea, but you’re not quite ready to invest heavily in it, minimize your upfront investment and test the market by building a landing page to promote your potential product—with a way for interested customers to leave their email—and run a few paid ads to drive traffic to it.

Of course, there are a variety of factors that will determine the success of your campaign. But any level of initial traction says something. You may, at the very least, want to consider investing further in your idea.

Which item possibilities will you locate?


Choosing the appropriate item or product classification can be crucial to your success. The products you choose will certainly shape your whole service, from marketing to delivery, to rates, to more item development.

One final suggestion I ‘d like to share is don’t hesitate to look at smaller product classifications and also particular niches. Despite the fact that a particular niche is a smaller sized part of a broader classification with less general clients, it typically offsets this imperfection by way of less rivals as well as an extra targeted target market. Competitors is great due to the fact that it confirms existing need for a product, but the correct amount of competitors is also much better due to the fact that you’ll have the opportunity to load an unique demand as well as cost-effectively reach your clients.

Ideally, these ideas will certainly obtain the equipments transforming and aid lead you to an item individuals wish to acquire which you’re equally delighted to sell.

Benefits of using Twitter analytics

When it launched in 2014, Twitter Analytics marked a solid (if long overdue) move toward greater transparency and measurement abilities for all its users.

Since then, Twitter has continued to make upgrades to the tool, having created a standalone analytics app called Engage in 2016 and launching analytics for Twitter Moments.

Though users now have more insight into their Twitter account metrics, you might not be using this data to its full potential.

Perhaps you’ve poked around the Twitter Analytics homepage and figured out you can track impressions and metrics by promoted or organic activity … and that’s about it. The good news is there’s much more you can discover in your Tweet activity dashboard — you’ve just need to know where to look.

Benefits of using Twitter analytics

Learn about your audience

Knowing your audience is one of the most important guiding principles for every social media marketer.

After all, how can you craft a targeted message if you don’t know who’s listening?

Understanding your audience’s age, gender, household income, language, and geography, helps you craft content that will be relevant to them.

With any platform, it’s good to start by familiarizing yourself with overall audience demographics.

This can be especially helpful if you’re a new brand without much of an audience to analyze yet. But it’s just a start. Your specific audience might look very different from Twitter’s general audience.

For instance, the overall Twitter audience is 69% male and 31% female.

But, my Twitter audience is 55% female. If I crafted my Twitter strategy based on overall Twitter demographics, I’d be talking to the wrong people.

You need to understand the demographics of the people who have specifically chosen to follow you on this particular network. Twitter analytics can help you conduct this critical audience research as you grow your brand and your following.

In addition to core demographic categories, Twitter analytics gives you information about your followers’ interests, what devices they use, their behaviour, and the keywords they search. You’ll see from the screencap above that my followers’ top interest is dogs.

As a writer, it might be a bit strange for me to start loading my feed up with dogs. But if I were selling products like clothing or home accessories, or even services like travel or life insurance, these Twitter insights might suggest that I should test images that include dogs in my Tweets and Twitter ads.

Find out what content resonates

Twitter data shows that Tweets with video get 10 times more engagements than Tweets without.

But you can’t just assume this applies to your specific audience. Maybe your audience prefers Tweets with photos or infographics. Or, like the Hootsuite Twitter audience, maybe they really love GIFs.

As you build your Twitter marketing strategy, you might be held back by making assumptions about what your brand “should be.” But maybe your Twitter followers (or potential followers) are looking for something else.

Some people at the aquarium thought this was not a great idea. “A lot of people at the aquarium view being silly or funny as somehow undermining our scientific credibility,” said Patrick Webster, the aquarium’s social media content creator.

But the memes got engagement numbers well above the aquarium’s norm. You know what you like. Only Twitter analytics can show you what your audience likes.

By keeping an eye on Twitter engagement metrics, you can learn precisely what connects with your followers, so you can develop a Twitter strategy that speaks directly to them.

Post at optimal times

As we point out in our post on the best times to post on each social network, “The best time to post on social media is whenever your audience is most likely to see and engage with your content.”

This is especially true for Twitter, where it’s easy for users to choose to view tweets chronologically rather than in an algorithmic feed. That’s one reason why the lifespan of a tweet averages only about 18 minutes.

Twitter analytics tools give you loads of great data to help you figure out when your audience is most likely to be online. The most important thing is to find out where most of your followers live. You can get a breakdown by country, and by state or region.

You can also look at what devices your audience uses. This will tell you whether to try to reach people while they’re commuting, or if you should stick to business hours. If you discover, for example, that 92% of your audience accesses Twitter on a computer, you can bet they’re likely to be online while they’re at work.

Use this information as a starting point and do some simple testing to see what times get the most effective engagement.

See if your ads are working

If you’re putting your money where your tweets are, you want to know what kind of return on investment you’re getting.

Twitter analytics can show you how your paid ads compare to your organic tweets, so you can see how much your ad dollars are expanding your reach overall.

You can also use Twitter analytics tools to compare the effectiveness of different promoted tweets. For example, Twitter data shows that overall, shorter video ads are most memorable.

But do short videos resonate best with your audience? And do they lead to real business results like clicks and conversions? Twitter analytics can help you find out.

Replicate success

Twitter analytics help you understand which tweets work best, and which tweets are a bit of a flop. Analyze your best-performing tweets to look for patterns, so you can start to understand what works best for your particular audience.

You can use what you learn to help build your social media style guide.

Meanwhile, use your worst-performing tweets as examples to learn from by trying to pinpoint what went wrong.

11 of the most important Twitter metrics to track

There are three main categories of Twitter metrics:

Account metrics apply to your overall Twitter profile and your follower base

Individual tweet metrics track the engagement numbers for specific tweets

Ad metrics track how well promoted tweets perform, from vanity metrics right through to conversions and ROI.

Top account metrics

You’ll find these metrics on the Home tab of your Twitter analytics dashboard. They’re reported monthly.

1. Top tweet

What it measures: The tweet that earned the most impressions for a given month.

Why it matters: Since this tweet reached your largest audience, it’s a good example of what you’re doing right. That could be tweeting at the right time of day, using the right hashtags, including great targeted content that encouraged reshares, or all of the above. You may want to consider Quick Promoting this tweet to extend its reach even further—or at least noting its success so you can replicate it in the future.

2. New followers

What it measures: The number of new account followers in a particular month.

Why it matters: A follow is a longer-term engagement than a like or retweet, so if you see your follower count climbing, it’s a good overall sign that your Twitter strategy is working. If it’s fallen, on the other hand, take note of potential causes and try to correct them.

3. Top follower

What it measures: The top follower of the month, with the highest number of their own followers.

Why it matters: While this person has not necessarily shared your content yet, they have the largest potential audience. That means your top followers hold the greatest potential to broaden the exposure of your tweets through retweets and comments.

You’ll likely want to follow back your top follower each month, and keep them on your radar for potential influencer and brand advocacy campaigns.

4. Top mention

What it measures: The tweet with the most impressions of the month in which another Twitter user tagged you.

Why it matters: Take a close look here—is this a positive mention or a negative one? If it’s a positive mention or content share, be sure to thank the person and keep them on your radar for future collaboration. After all, they expanded your reach more than any other Twitter user this month.

If it’s a negative mention, reach out to the person to see what you can do to repair the relationship.

Top tweet metrics

After a high-level analysis of your account’s performance, these are the Twitter analytics you should focus on for your tweets.

You can view and track these metrics for individual tweets, or for all your tweets in a selected period of time.

5. Engagements

What it measures: Engagement is a count of how many times people interacted with your tweet. This includes everything from tweet expansion to retweets to likes to follows.

Why it matters: If you’re not getting engagement, you’re talking into a void. Tracking which tweets generate the most response is a good way to know what’s working for your brand.

6. Engagement rate

What it measures: The number of engagements divided by the number of impressions a tweet receives.

Why it matters: While the number of engagements is a valuable metric in itself, engagement rate gives a clearer picture of how engaging a Tweet is because it also factors in how many people saw the Tweet.

When tracking engagement rate over time, watch for spikes or lows. Then dig into the individual Tweet statistics for those dates to see what you can learn about the types of content that inspires your audience to engage.

7. Twitter reach percentage

What it measures: How many of your followers saw any given tweet. You can calculate this yourself by dividing tweet impressions by your total followers.

Why it matters: This pretty much comes down to timing. Knowing how many of your followers are seeing your tweets is a good indicator of whether or not you’re tweeting at the right times. This can also help you plan a strategy for reporting the same content in different ways to maximize exposure.

You may find that a tweet actually reaches more people than you have on your follower list, giving you a percentage higher than 100. This means non-followers found you, likely through a retweet, comment, or hashtag. Check these tweets carefully to see what worked so well.

8. Link clicks

What it measures: The number of times Twitter users clicked on a link or website card in your Tweet.

Why it matters: While link clicks are factored into engagement rate, you might also want to track clicks on their own. After all, this is engagement that moves beyond Twitter itself, with people choosing to interact with your brand content or products.

Top Twitter ads metrics

9. Results

What it measures: Results are the desired actions tied to your ad’s customizable objective. Twitter ad results can track a range of objectives, including impressions, followers, engagements, video views, website clicks and conversions, and more.

Why it matters: This is the essential metric for determining whether or not your ad is delivering on the desired outcome of your Twitter campaign. The result is directly tied to the objective you set for the ad. So, for example, if you choose website visits as your goal, the result number tracks link clicks.

10. Cost per result (CPR)

What it measures: An average of how much you pay for each relevant action users take after seeing your ad.

Why it matters: Each campaign objective is tied to a billable action that’s only charged when the action occurs. For example, if your campaign objective is video views, you’ll only be charged when someone views your video. Tracking CPR will help you manage your budget and factor into your ROI calculations.

11. Conversions

What it measures: As Twitter explains, “Conversion tracking starts where Twitter stops.” Conversions allow you to track what actions people take on your website and across devices after they see your Twitter ad.

Why it matters: These figures will give you a sense of the path users take from your Twitter ad to your site, right through to conversion.

From your conversion tracking dashboard, you’ll be able to drill down into post-engagement and post-view conversions, transaction values and total sales. It’s where you’ll mostly clearly see where your tweets deliver on ROI.

Ultimately, the best data is your own, so make time to check out Twitter Analytics and see what you can learn and do with it. Figure out which tweets resonate and why. Then, work those insights into your social media marketing strategy for a more successful way forward.

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Twitter Engagement Rate

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Twitter analytics is a powerful tool for any social media marketer. Make sure you go beyond the basics to get an edge on your competitors.

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Twitter’s 139 million daily active users interact with brands on the network in important ways, from retweeting your content to a broader audience to making purchases that directly impact your bottom line. If you’re not using Twitter analytics, you’re missing out on key Twitter insights that could help you refine your strategy and maximize ROI.

In this complete guide, you’ll find out why you should be using Twitter analytics, which Twitter metrics to track, and what tools to track them with.

You can access Twitter Analytics by tapping your profile and selecting “Analytics” from the dropdown menu

Now, find out how to use every element of your Twitter Analytics by jumping to each section listed below:

Twitter Engagement Rate

Twitter engagement refers to the retweets, follows, replies, favorites, and click-throughs your tweets get — including the hashtags and links those tweets include. Your Twitter Engagement Rate is equal to your tweets’ engagement divided by the number of impressions those tweets have made.

Understanding which types of content and topics your audience members most enjoy can help drive your social marketing and content strategy. What’s the point in sharing content no one cares about or enjoys?

On the “Tweets” tab, you can see Impressions, Engagements and Engagement Rate (Engagements divided by Impressions) for each tweet — both for paid and organic posts. As stated above, Engagement includes all activity on the tweet: retweets, follows, replies, favorites, and all clicks from within the tweet.

What are Twitter Impressions?

Twitter Impressions are the number of times a tweet appears on a user’s timeline. A tweet’s impressions are not limited to users who follow you, but this number also doesn’t filter based on who has interacted with the tweet. Impressions are not to be confused with reach.

In the previous section, I mentioned that a tweet’s engagement rate is equal to its total likes, replies, clicks, follows, and retweets divided by impressions. Your Twitter Analytics dashboard lists each tweet’s total impressions, but what are impressions, exactly?

As stated above, a new impression is counted on a tweet every time that tweet shows up on a user’s Twitter feed (also known as their “timeline”). So, if 30 of your followers logged on Twitter and saw your tweet, that tweet has made 30 impressions.

The impressions metric doesn’t consider how, or if, those users interacted with your tweet. Therefore, impressions alone should not be a key performance indicator (KPI) for your social media activity. But, because they are divided into the number of engagements your tweets have gotten, impressions are still an important number to know when examining your Twitter Analytics.

Impressions vs. Reach

“Reach” is a term you might hear when analyzing your Facebook Page’s performance. Well, you can also measure reach on Twitter, and it has an interesting relationship with impressions.

While Twitter impressions tell you how many times a tweet has actually appeared on someone’s timeline, “reach” tells you how many people, in total, have the potential to see it. This includes those users who don’t follow you but follow someone who follows you. Reach is typically a higher number than impressions. Here are two examples:

If you have 300 followers, but only 190 of them saw your tweet, your impressions will be at 190 while your reach sits at 300. Why? Although you made 190 actual impressions on your followers, your tweets have have the potential to reach as many people as follow you — in this case, 300.

Here’s a tougher one — let’s say you have 300 followers, 190 of them saw your tweet, one of those people retweeted you to 50 of their own followers, and 10 of those followers saw the retweet. Drumroll please … Your impressions will be at 200 while your reach sits at 350. Why? You got 190 impressions from the original tweet, as well as 10 more people who don’t follow you but saw your follower’s retweet (190 + 10 = 200). However, your tweet had the potential to reach your own 300 followers as well as the 50 people who follow the user who retweeted you (300 + 50 = 350).

Based on the examples above, you can probably tell that reach indicates potential, whereas impressions indicate actual performance. Does that mean a tweet’s reach is less important than impressions? Not necessarily. Sure, you might not see your reach displayed on your Twitter Analytics dashboard, but knowing how much exposure your Twitter account is capable of can help you draft accurate goals for the year and adjust your social media strategy to, well, “reach” them.

Tweet Activity

Tweet Activity is a section of your Twitter Analytics dashboard that allows you to see various metrics related to your tweets’ performance in chart form. You can see Tweet Activity for all of your tweets over a set time period, or for a specific tweet since it was published.

This is a really common question among social media marketers and brands: What made my tweet take off?

Some tools can analyze your Twitter followers and recommend the best day of the week for you to tweet. There’s also research out there showing when people are most likely to be active on Twitter. But of course, the best way to get to know your own audience is from your own account data.

You can analyze tweet activity two different ways: in groups of tweets during a set date range, or by specific tweets since their creation. Here’s more information on each method.

Tweet Activity Based on Date Range

In the Tweets tab of your Twitter Analytics, you can customize the date range you want to analyze to see when you published your highest-performing tweets:

Then, to the right of the graph shown above, you’ll see how your engagement rate, total link clicks, and total retweets progressed over the that time period. These three graphs are shown below.

Tweet Activity Based on Specific Tweet

Nonetheless, you can also visualize the activity of just a specific tweet. To access this data, click the small bar graph icon in the bottom-righthand corner of the tweet you want to analyze, as shown in the screenshot below.

Clicking this icon will open a window showing you this single tweet’s total impressions, engagements, likes, link clicks, and more since the tweet was first posted.

This data might just be for one tweet, but don’t underestimate its importance. Examining these individual results, tweet by tweet, can give you insight into which types of tweets work and which don’t. For example, if you find tweets that promote videos from your YouTube account tend to get more impressions than others, you can invest more into video content as a result.

Track Twitter Followers

Twitter’s audience data in the “Followers” tab contains a ton of valuable and useful insights. This is where you can really get to know the people who follow you.

You’ll find answers to questions like: Are your audience members more likely to be male or female? Which countries and cities are the majority from? What are their top interests? You can also see who your followers follow as well as your follower’s top five most unique interests. Answering these questions can help you better identify what content to create and share on Twitter — and when to share it.

You can also compare your Twitter followers to different segments — for example, to all Twitter users total:

Now, Twitter allows you to track your follower growth. Twitter Analytics shows you how many followers you had on any given day with the interactive timeline pictured below. Hovering over various points on the timeline will show you the exact follow count on that day. It dates back to the day your account was started.

If you’re seeing blips in your follower count over time, it’s important to revisit your activity in those periods and see if you can learn from it. How often were you posting then — and what were you posting about? Were you taking the time to reply to folks, too? Answering questions like these can help you explain these blips — and avoid the same mistakes in the future.

Ultimately, the best data is your own, so make time to check out Twitter Analytics and see what you can learn and do with it. Figure out which tweets resonate and why. Then, work those insights into your social media marketing strategy for a more successful way forward.

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It’s not terrible to be fired, but if you have been overly sad, you will not be able to return to your normal life. Hurry up and start your new journey.

Learn more

Join us

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How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy

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Imagine you’re the first hire to the customer service team in a VC-backed startup. Every week you gain customers, and some of those customers need support. Your job is to manage these requests. Hiring a team would allow you to triage the increasing number of issues. It would also mean managing extra headcount. And as your user-base grows, so would your support costs.

What about creating a list of answers to frequently asked questions? Then, your users could solve many common issues without intervention. You wouldn’t need to hire as many customer service employees, and the team you do have would get to address only the most significant problems that users report. An ROI analysis reveals that while the initial investment is substantial, the cost-per-user for support will be much less over three to five years. You choose to start with the self-serve content model, look for tools to catalog the content, and find the topics that would benefit from written answers.

In this scenario, you started by identifying a business need. Then you evaluated content as a way to fulfill that need. And ultimately, you planned to create that content. These patterns are the essence of content strategy.

Why Marketers Need to Create a Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing helps businesses prepare and plan for reliable and cost-effective sources of website traffic and new leads. If you can create just one blog post that gets a steady amount of organic traffic, an embedded link to an e-book or free tool will continue generating leads for you as time goes on — long after you click Publish.

HubSpot’s blog team found this to be key to increasing traffic to the Sales Blog over time — read about their blog strategy here.

The reliable source of traffic and leads from your evergreen content will give you the flexibility to experiment with other marketing tactics to generate revenue, such as sponsored content, social media advertising, and distributed content. Plus, your content will not only help attract leads — it will also help educate your target prospects and generate awareness for your brand.

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How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy

Now, let’s dive in to learn the specifics of how to create a content marketing plan.

1. Define your goal.

What’s your aim for developing a content marketing plan? Why do you want to produce content and create a content marketing plan? Know your goals before you begin planning, and you’ll have an easier time determining what’s best for your strategy.

Download this goal planning template for help figuring out the right content goals.

2. Conduct persona research.

To develop a successful plan, you need to clearly define your content’s target audience — also known as your buyer persona.

This is especially important for those who are starting out or are new to marketing. By knowing your target audience, you can produce more relevant and valuable content that they’ll want to read and convert on.

If you’re an experienced marketer, your target may have changed. Do you want to target a new group of people or expand your current target market? Do you want to keep the same target audience? Revisiting your audience parameters by conducting market research each year is crucial to growing your audience.

3. Run a content audit.

Most people start out with blog posts, but if you want to venture out and try producing other content pieces, consider which ones you want to make.

For instance, if you’ve been doing weekly blog posts for the past year, creating an ebook that distills all your blog posts into one ultimate guide would be one way to offer information in a different format. We’ll go over several different types of content you can use further down on the list.

If you’ve been in business for a while, review your content marketing efforts and the results from it in the last year by running a content audit. Figure out what you can do differently in the upcoming year and set new goals to reach. Now is a great time to align your team’s goals with the rest of your organization’s goals.

4. Choose a content management system.

Have a system in place where you can create, manage, and track your content, otherwise known as a content management system (CMS). A few vital parts of content management include content creation, content publication, and content analytics.

With HubSpot CMS, you can plan, produce, publish, and measure your results all in one place. Another popular CMS is WordPress, to which you can add the HubSpot WordPress plugin for free web forms, live chat, CRM access, email marketing, and analytics.

5. Brainstorm content ideas.

Now, it’s time to start coming up with ideas for your next content project. Here are some tools to get the wheels turning:

HubSpot’s Website Grader

HubSpot’s Website Grader is a great tool to use when you want to see where you’re at with your digital marketing. From your blogging efforts to your social media marketing, Website Grader grades vital areas of your marketing and sends you a detailed report to help you optimize and improve each area.

With this tool, you can figure out how to make your website more SEO-friendly and discover new content ideas.

BlogAbout

Get your mind gears going with IMPACT’s unique content idea generator, BlogAbout. This tool works a bit like Mad Libs, but instead of joke sentences, it shows you common headline formats with blanks where you can fill in the subject you have in mind.

This brainstorming technique helps you put general ideas in contexts that would be appealing to your target audience. Once you have a headline you like, BlogAbout lets you add it to your “Notebook” so you can save your best ideas.

HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator

Get blog post ideas for an entire year with HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator. All you need to do is enter general topics or terms you’d like to write about, and this content idea generator does all the work for you.

Feedly

The Feedly RSS feed is a wonderful way to keep track of trendy topics in your industry and find content ideas at the same time.

BuzzSumo

Discover popular content and content ideas at BuzzSumo. This company offers a number of market research tools, one of which uses social media shares to determine if a piece of content is popular and well-liked. In turn, this information helps you see which content ideas would do well if you were to create content about them.

Blog Post Headline Analyzer

CoSchedule’s Blog Post Headline Analyzer tool analyzes headlines and titles and provides feedback on length, word choice, grammar, and keyword search volume. If you have an idea in mind, run a few title options through the Headline Analyzer to see how you could make it stronger, and to move your idea further along in the brainstorming process.

6. Determine which types of content you want to create.

There are a variety of options out there for content you can create. In the following section, we’ll discuss some of the most popular content formats marketers are creating, including some tools and templates to get you started.

7. Publish and manage your content.

Your marketing plan should go beyond the types of content you’ll create — it should also cover you’ll organize your content. With the help of an editorial calendar, you’ll be on the right track for publishing a well-balanced and diverse content library on your website. Then, create a social media content calendar so you can promote and manage your content on other sites.

Many of the ideas you think of will be evergreen — they’re just as relevant months from now as they are today. That being said, you shouldn’t ignore timely topics either. While they may not be the bulk of your editorial calendar, they can help you generate spikes of traffic.

Most people count on incorporating popular holidays such as New Year’s and Thanksgiving in their marketing efforts, but you don’t have to limit yourself to these important marketing dates.

If there are niche holidays that might appeal to your audience, it could be worth publishing content on your blog or on social media. Check out this ultimate list of social media holidays — keep an eye on it when you’re planning your calendar.

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Types of Content Marketing

These are the eight most popular types of content marketing you can create for your readers and customers.

1. Blog Posts

If you haven’t already noticed, you’re currently reading a blog post. Blog posts live on a website and should be published regularly in order to attract new visitors.

Posts should provide valuable content for your audience that makes them inclined to share posts on social media and across other websites. We recommend that blog posts be between 1,000 and 2,000 words in length, but you should experiment to see if your audience prefers longer or shorter reads.

Check out our free blog post templates for writing great how-to, listicle, curation, SlideShare presentation, and newsjacking posts on your own blog.

2. Ebooks

Ebooks are lead-generation tools that potential customers can download after submitting a lead form with their contact information. They’re typically longer, more in-depth, and published less frequently than blog posts, which are written to attract visitors to a website.

Ebooks are the next step in the inbound marketing process: After reading a blog post (such as this one), visitors might want more information.

This is where calls-to-action (CTAs) come into play, directing people to a landing page where they can submit their contact information and download an ebook to learn more valuable information for their business. In turn, the business producing the ebook has a new lead for the sales team to contact.

3. Case Studies

Case studies are your opportunity to tell the story of a customer who succeeded in solving a problem by working with you. A case study is perhaps your most versatile type of content marketing because it can take many different forms — some of which are on this list. That’s right, case studies can take the form of a blog post, ebook, podcast … even an infographic.

Your goal in a case study is to show the people who are considering your product that the proof is in the pudding. Before choosing a customer for a case study, you should determine which form the testimonial will take and the area of your business to which you’re trying to drive value.

4. Templates

Templates are a handy content format to try because they generate leads for you while providing tremendous value to your audience. When you provide your audience with template tools to save them time and help them succeed, they’re more likely to keep engaging with your content in the future.

5. Infographics

Infographics can organize and visualize data in a more compelling way than words alone. These are great content formats to use if you’re trying to share a lot of data in a way that is clear and easy to understand.

If you’re ready to get started, get our templates for creating beautiful infographics in less than an hour.

6. Videos

Videos are a highly engaging content medium and are shareable across social media platforms and websites alike. Videos require a bigger investment of time and resources than written content, but as visual marketing increases in popularity — after all, it’s 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content — it’s a medium worth experimenting with.

HubSpot Research recently found that video is the most preferred form of content. Video also captures people’s attention more than any other content format.

7. Podcasts

Starting a podcast will help audiences find your brand if they don’t have time or interest in reading content every day. The number of podcast listeners is growing — in 2018, nearly one-third of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast in the last month.

If you have interesting people to interview or conversations to host, consider podcasting as another content format to experiment with. (Here’s our comprehensive guide to starting a podcast.)

8. Social Media

Once you’ve been regularly publishing content on your own site for a while, it might be time to start thinking about distributing your content on other sites. This could mean repurposing content into new formats and publishing them on your blog, creating original content specifically for external sites or publishing website content on various social networks.

Posting on social media, however, is pivotal to amplifying your brand’s reach and delivering your content to your customers where you know they spend their time. Social networks on which businesses often post include:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • YouTube

When launching a business account on any of the social networks above, it’s important to post the type of content your followers expect to see. On Instagram, for example, users want photos, videos, and graphics that reflect current events, show off user-generated content, or even go behind the scenes of your organization.

On Facebook, your options for what to post open up a bit: Not only can you share your blog posts and website content, but you can also post native Facebook videos, product promotions, and original memes that resonate with your customers. You can also interact with other businesses that have a similar audience as your own.

While the goal on social media sites like Instagram or Snapchat is to connect more intimately with your audience, your goal on platforms like Facebook and Twitter is to expand that audience, drive traffic toward your website, and start conversations in your industry. Do some basic market research to discover which platforms your buyers are on, and mold your content to their expectations.

When you’re ready for more ideas, there are a plethora of different content types to diversify your content marketing.

It takes time, organization, and creativity to grow a successful content marketing strategy. From building the foundation of your content marketing plan to adding tools to better manage your content, setting up your strategy for the new year won’t be a hassle if you follow the steps and explore the resources here.

For additional guidance, use HubSpot’s Marketing Plan Generator to create a 12-month strategy in just a few minutes.

Happy creating!

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