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Viral Solutions
We help overwhelmed business owners duplicate themselves -- so business can be FUN again!
We help overwhelmed business owners duplicate themselves -- so business can be FUN again!


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At Viral Solutions we are committed to seeing your business succeed. We are a full-service digital marketing agency based in Oshkosh Wisconsin that uses time-tested strategies and up-to-date tactics to help you grow your business.
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Voice search is a type of technology that allows mobile users to search the internet without having to type in their queries.

Have you ever queried Siri or your Google Home smart speaker with your voice to ask a question without typing or swiping? If so, then you were engaged in voice search.

What you may not have realized, though, is that behind the scenes of your query was a veritable gold mine of potential for businesses.
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The most successful strategy entails defining a target market and then utilizing modern tactics to target, nurture, and ultimately sell to that market. Tactics such as virtual tours, social media marketing, and paid advertising are crucial pieces in any modern real estate sales and marketing strategy.

Incorporate High-Quality Professional Photos
Staged photos

Those in the market for a luxury condo don’t want to see images of bare living rooms or empty bedrooms. Instead, they want to gaze upon a beautiful, fully furnished space they could imagine living in themselves.

That’s why it’s worth hiring a professional photographer to take staged photos of one or more units in your building. Alternatively, some companies offer virtual staging services, so you don’t need to put the effort into determining the best furniture layout and accessories for the space.

By giving prospects a visual as to how their future home could look, you can encourage them to think about how they’d apply their own unique touches to the unit.

For those who don’t feel staged photos can make that much difference, the National Association of Realtors® found that 77% of buyers’ agents said, “staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.”

Read more by clicking on the link below >>>
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Facebook groups continue to gain in popularity and in many cases it has replaced continuity and membership sites. There are as many uses as there are Facebook users. Facebook groups are an increasingly important tool. The best businesses use Facebook groups to help build trust with the brand.

As you know doubt know, engagement on Facebook for brands and publishers is down 22% YTD 2017 when compared to 2016. Unfortunately, as with many social media tactics, small business owners judge a Facebook Group only by watching metrics that measure costs and revenue.

Facebook Groups exist to enhance a sense of community. Great Facebook Groups help a brand show that it is trustworthy and to help form relationships between a brand’s customers and prospects. They do not push product sales!
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Last year was a big year for the live streaming video technology. Facebook launched its brand new Facebook Live feature, and new technologies like VR live streaming and 360-degree video streaming were created. Meanwhile, records were consistently set for amount of people viewing livestreams.

Who uses streaming live video and for what purpose? Experian now uses live video feed to help customers with credit. DigitalMarketer uses it to meet with their partners from within a private Facebook group. Nissan used it to launch a new vehicle. General Electric used drones and Periscope while Taco Bell did a mock press conference. Curt Landry Ministries, in rural northeast Oklahoma, allows believers (7,500 of them) to stream live with the ministry twice a week from around the globe!

Live streaming video has continued to be a major force in the world of digital marketing.
Here are some of the trends we have already seen this year, as well as those that we expect to continue to develop and be influential as we continue to progress with this marketing tactic:

Increased use of live streaming on the user end
As hard as it may be to believe, some experts expect bandwidth devoted specifically to video traffic will make up 74 percent of internet use this year. This focus on video means big things for live streaming.

Young people are especially drawn to video applications and streaming. Snapchat is one of the most popular apps among Millennials and younger users—its users watch more than 10 billion videos each day. Facebook accounts for about eight billion views from an average of 500 million viewers every day. There is also the increasing popularity and power of Twitch, a live streaming service often used by gamers.

Finally, studies indicate more people than ever are consuming content on two screens at once — this means watching or reading content on a phone while also watching TV or looking at a computer screen. This provides companies with more opportunity to reach users, and live streams are among the best ways to do this.

More television companies launching streaming services
We have already seen the boom in services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. What is more interesting is the amount of companies that are making their broadcast content available for live streaming, or streaming after the fact. NBC, for example, has been toying with live streaming for many of its sports broadcasts, including Sunday Night Football and the Olympics. ESPN has a streaming application that allows viewers to tune in from any device with an internet connection. CBS is launching a streaming application of its own. C-SPAN has a number of different live streams for political events.

In some cases, these companies are working with existing internet giants to get the most out of their live streaming capabilities. Twitter, for example, worked with the NFL and NBC, Fox and CBS to experiment with live streaming several NFL games this year, and reached more than 20 million viewers as a result.

The complete replacement of Flash with HTML5
Looking more at the nuts and bolts of live streaming, this is the year in which Flash essentially becomes extinct. Flash was the primary tool for online video for the internet’s first couple of decades, but has since been replaced by the faster, better, more powerful HTML5. Additionally, HTML5 has the benefit of being a much more secure technology.

The death bell tolled for Flash as soon as Chrome began dropping support for Flash. Other browsers and CDNs are beginning to do the same.

Live streaming as a source of breaking news
Visit the Facebook or Twitter pages for The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC or any other major news provider, and you’ll almost instantly run across a live stream of some sort.

More than ever before, live video and social media have made news break almost as soon as it happens, and live video allows users to actually see it themselves and get instant commentary about what is happening.

News companies will continue to make major use of live video as a means of engaging and informing their audiences.

These are just a few of the biggest trends we are seeing with live streaming video in 2017. What is important to note is that we are still in the early stages of live video on the web — there is a whole lot more evolution to happen, which is an exciting prospect.

What are the benefits of streaming live video?
Streaming live video allows you to connect with your audience in real-time. It is not just about being live either. It is about allowing you to engage with those streams, so your audience now able to be a part of the conversation with you – live. Share your face, your voice, your expressions and answer questions live! This builds trust and creates an environment of transparency. This is no longer an option for marketers and is a vital part of any content strategy.

When you integrate streaming live video into your sales and marketing process your customer gets what they want. A transparent, frictionless, self-serving experience on their time and more importantly on their terms.
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In the digital-first era, marketing has evolved into a considerably different beast than it was even just four to six years ago. Trends change rapidly, and entrepreneurs and CMOs must be prepared to change with them.

Today we kick off a new article series about current marketing trends dominating the industry in 2017, focusing on one trend per week.

This week we focus on the importance and use of influencers in a company’s marketing strategies.

What exactly is influencer marketing?
On the most basic level, influencer marketing refers to a more non promotional approach to marketing, in which companies seek to get “thought leaders” outside of their company to become advocates for their brand, rather than directly marketing to their target audience. The hope is that by marketing through influential people, companies will not only be able to reach more people, but reach them in a more organic-feeling manner.

One could break influencer marketing down into two categories: earned and paid. Earned influencer marketing comes from either preexisting or naturally built relationships with influencers, who become advocates for your brand because you have earned it in some way. Paid influencer marketing, meanwhile, involves paying known influencers to advocate for a product. Celebrity endorsements are the most common example here.

How do I build an influencer marketing campaign?
Here are a few of the most effective steps to help you develop an influencer marketing campaign for your business:

Identify influencers you want to reach: First and foremost, you need to determine who has influence with your target audience. These don’t have to be celebrities. Scour social media (especially Facebook and Twitter) to see who often partakes in conversations related to your industry, and who gets a lot of followers, shares, retweets or likes. There will be plenty of options available to you, as long as you are not focusing on too small of a niche.
Build up your influence: It’s going to be difficult to build any sort of relationship with other influencers if you do not have a certain level of influence yourself. If you already have established some level of familiarity, it will feel far more natural when influencers advocate for your brand, whether it’s through social media, talks or other environments.
Make contact: In some situations, you might be lucky enough where the influencers you want to target begin mentioning your brand or participating in your discussions of their own accord. However, most of the time, you are going to need to be the first one to make contact. For an earned, unpaid influencer relationship, you should build the relationship as organically as possible. Start by simply being a regular participant in the discussions they begin on social media and on their blogs. This will make you a familiar face to their regular followers. From there, you can actually make direct contact with the influencer to introduce yourself.
Offer guest spots in your blog: One great way to connect with influencers is to offer them a chance to write a guest blog or article for your website. If you have already successfully built up some influence of your own, they will be much more likely to take you up on this offer. They may even offer to return the favor and give you a guest spot on their site. But by having someone who is influential in your field appear on your site, it both lends you some extra authority and also acts as a sort of tacit endorsement of your brand on the part of the influencer.
Maintain the relationship: Whenever you have made connections with influencers, you should make it a priority to maintain those relationships through regular social media and blog contact. That will help you each to continue benefitting from the relationship you have formed.

Influencer marketing in the digital age has become a crucial way for brands to get ahead of their competition. Contact Viral Solutions for more information about how to proceed.
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Today in our fifth and final installment of our series about the most common Google AdWords mistakes and how to avoid and/or resolve them, we focus on a pair of issues that surprisingly get overlooked quite often: not testing optimal ad positions, and writing low-quality #copy for your #AdWords advertisements.

Let’s take a closer look.

The mistake: failing to test the optimal position for your advertisements
It might surprise you to learn that being in the top one or two spots in ad positions (as listed on #search results pages) will not necessarily give you the best results.
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As we continue to discuss the importance of a robust social media optimization (SMO) campaign and the best practices for implementing one, we turn our attention to the actual content you are posting and sharing.

You have likely heard the phrase “content is king” regarding digital marketing and search engine optimization. This is just as true for social media profiles as it is for websites and blogs.

You simply will not be able to succeed with your social media marketing if you are not creating and/or sharing high-quality content.

The two types of content
Typically, your social media profiles will have a good mix of the two types of social media content: original content and curated content.

Original content is, as the name suggests, content you have created yourself specifically for use on social media. This content is usually part of a strategic social media marketing campaign you have already discussed with your company, using company hashtags or linking to other content that fits within that campaign.

Curated content is content you have shared from other sources across the internet. A good content curation strategy involves more than just tweeting out or sharing links. Any content you share should be relevant and interesting to your audience. You should be just as focused on the quality of the content you share as the quality of the content you create. Any content you share reflects on your brand in that you thought it interesting or informative, so you want your audience to know you have discerning, trustworthy taste.

With each type of content, you can determine what your audience finds most relevant or interesting by the amount of engagement those posts get. Pay attention to retweets, shares, favorites, likes comments and other metrics, and see if you can spot trends in terms of which types of content drive the most engagement.

Fine-tuning your post headlines
Whenever you send out a Facebook post or Tweet, you should avoid using the exact same headline that’s listed along with the link. For example, if you are posting a link to your most recent blog, the copy of the tweet or Facebook post should not simply be the headline of the blog post. You should instead come up with a different tagline, or a summary of what’s included in that blog post.

Another great strategy for blogs in particular can be to come up with two headlines for every blog post you create. One of them can be the title of the post as published on the blog, and the other can be the headline you use when sharing the blog on your social media accounts.

Use images when sharing content
Another way to get more attention with your original or curated links is to include an image along with every link you send out. Numerous studies have found that images are the form of content that draws the most engagement across platforms, which makes them an extremely important strategy for optimizing any type of content you share on social media.

You should use high-quality images along with your links whenever possible. Typically when you paste a link into your status updater, an image that shows up on the webpage you are linking to will be displayed on your Facebook or Twitter along with the link. On Facebook, you can also remove this suggested image and upload one of your own. But to make this easier, you should include a featured image on all of your blog posts, which will automatically show up whenever the post is shared.

Regardless of how you get the image to be displayed, you should always make sure that it is a high-quality, high-resolution image. Having images that are overly fuzzy or pixelated, or are simply low-quality compositions, will not do anything to get people more interested in clicking on the link you share.

Use these strategies to better optimize the links you share on social media. Next week, we discuss one of the key tools associated with social media optimization: the hashtag.
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Influencer marketing is proving to provide a hefty ROI. RythmOne reports that Earned Media Value (EMV) averaged $11.69 for every $1.00 (averaged across industries) spent on influencer marketing. The theory is to have industry centers of influence promote your brand on their sites while drawing organic or referred click traffic to yours through earned media outlets.

Influencer marketing works and this new data just reinforces it. This method allows for a brand to connect with its audience in an organic way (aka almost free).

Influencer marketing isn’t a new tactic. It’s a standard tactic for marketers. It is evolved as a tactic used in social media to drive word of mouth. Influencer marketing can greatly improve audience engagement, generate content and promote offerings. Influencer marketing can range from employee engagement to blogger outreach. However, those tools may not be the most effective.

First a couple of definitions for clarity sake. “Earned media (or free media) refers to publicity gained through promotional efforts other than paid media advertising, which refers to publicity gained through advertising, or owned media, which refers to branding. Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire / hire / pay influencers to get out the word for you.” ~ Wiki

It is important that you understand Earned Media. Here is a link to an article on our blog.

Influencer Marketing needs to be a part of your marketing strategy. Here’s a few reasons why:

Traditional online ads are being ignored by consumers, especially in the younger generations. Banner ads and sidebar ads are viewed as annoying to many. Earned Media is a critical addition to the mix and is viewed favorable over paid media.
Influencer marketing budgets are rising rapidly. Social Media Today reported that fifty-nine percent of marketers were drastically increasing their commitment.
Consumers trust other individuals. Even if you do not know someone, you tend to trust them more than the brand or organization being discussed. That is human nature. “Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising” – Nielsen
ROI eleven times greater that traditional digital campaigns. Simply put, here is the data to prove it!
Influencers get to promote themselves and advertise all without looking like advertising. “As you scroll through your Instagram feed, you are still seeing advertisements. You just can’t tell right away. Your favorite influencers, who you already follow, are repping products and promoting brands, all the while still staying true to their unique voice and story.” ~ AJ Agrawal at Forbes
Perfect fit for social media. “People expect brands to talk with them rather than at them. They no longer expect brands to sell to them, but to entertain and inform them. In this new paradigm, influencers are a force to be reckoned with. Brands can strategically partner with the right personalities to spark organic conversations and seduce their followers.” ~ AdWeek

There are programs, vendors and other tools that can help you find certain influencers and reach out to them. However, influencer marketing can be a manual labor intensive and high resource utilization undertaking. Here’s a link to an article early in 2016 where we discuss the tactic: “Influencer Marketing | 3 resources for your influencer marketing process“.

Influencer marketing focuses on individuals who are normal people giving honest opinions. Consumers are tending to look at other sources of information on a product rather than trust a celebrity in a fashionable TV commercial. The rise of technology coupled with social media has made this possible. If you make a great reliable product, this can be a cheap or even free advertisement campaign!

Small business owners realize that they can use the power of online media to market to their customers indirectly. By encouraging consumers to talk about and recommend their products online, these advertisers gain a unique advantage over their competition. Whether an influencer’s audience is small or large, an influencer can reach consumers that your brand may not be able to.
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The more successful your ecommerce website becomes, the more competition you create. That is a basic fact of business. Your recourse is to out think them, out market them and outwork them. You must know your competitors marketing strategy as well as your own. Your #organic search rankings can be improved by having such knowledge which in turn will enhance the performance of your ecommerce #website.

Most business owners have an SEO #strategy. The common mistake ecommerce businesses make is not understanding their competitors SEO strategy.
Search Engine Optimization most effective component is to produce great content that your viewers want to share, and other sites that are relevant to your viewer want to link to, this is SEO 101 and yields in better rankings. The problem with that practice is that better quality content is harder and harder to create as millions of websites follow the same belief.

Where many #ecommerce websites fail is with competitive research, they only consider themselves.

Here are some insider tips for you to use to give your ecommerce website an organic boost over your competition.

Researching a competitor is at the hub of #Search Engine Optimization.
All of us have keywords and keyphrases that we include in our landing pages and editorial content. What is less common is for an ecommerce business to research the keywords and keyphrases used by competition. We believe that what elevates a website in ranking is how this is structured not only within linked sites but also the structure of a page within your site.

Competitor research is important for several reasons. It helps you establish benchmark metrics by which you can measure your performance and then determine which performance metrics can be improved economically. Your competitive advantage and disadvantage will become self evident and help you define realistic #SEO targets.

One of our favorite tools for this is SEMrush. This tool will enable you to see competitor’s best keywords, discover new competitors, uncover competitors’ ad strategies and budgets and observe domain changes….to name just a few.

Staying on top of your ranking and your competitors ranking can give you a competitive advantage.

Understanding #Crawl Limitations

An SEO technical skill that is often neglected is is putting noindex/nofollow tags on pages that do not need to or should not appear in a search engine. Examples of those are thank you pages, checkout pages and those for internal use. If you have lots of pages on your site, #Google will not crawl all of them everyday. This is a very simple tactic but requires your marketing team to coordinate with your webmaster. Staying on top of the crawl budget will give you a competitive advantage.

Be smart with

Every landing page, every sales page and every blog article should have a defined purpose. Your content must appeal to your audience and you should stay on top of such items as content #social sharing and time on page as a way of measuring the engagement level of your content. Your bounce rate needs to be less than your competitors comparable content. Your time on page average needs to be better than your competitors.

Your smart content will help your rankings more than anything. Your goal should be to 10x the hits and shares your content receives. To do this you need to speak to your audience’s pain points, focus on just one of those pain points per article and narrow your discussion, research your competition with regard to similar points as noted above, deliberately differentiate your content, include opposing points of view, expand your understanding of the topic by researching how influencers handled the subject, #plan your content layout and bullet points carefully and then seek the advice of others to help you polish your smart content.

In addition, when you cover a topic, cover it in-depth. Surface fluff articles, just so that you have articles are not valuable. Go deep!

Engaging content will give you a competitive advantage and fuel your rankings.

#HTTPS your entire site, not just your ecommerce pages

Google has changed how non-https sites are viewed in Chrome. Switching your entire site to https will avoid security warnings when you audience views your pages.

Do not over optimize for #keywords

The tactic of producing content for your blog or saturating your ecommerce website with keywords you want to rank for is now an ancient tactic and is highly frowned upon. However, you do want to focus on those long-tail or mid-tail keyphrases that research has shown there to be little competition for. This is because search relevancy has become a bigger factor to search ranking than ever. The ultimate goal is for your target to find your specific landing page that appeals to their need without using your website hamburger menu. That requires understanding the keyphrases that your target uses to find someone like you.

Our point here is that it can easily be overdone and you can easily spend too much time and money optimizing for it.

We need to keep reminding ourselves how incredibly important search marketing is. We all must invest in the right resources, techniques and processes to compete. If we don’t, then there will always be more SEO-savvy competitors who are investing to take us out. Unfortunately in this game of competitive SEO research the best tactician can often win over the best product or service for the prospective search customer. To ensure you deliver the best results from the search engines, be smart with you content, research your competition and go deep!

In our next article on the most common ecommerce mistakes we will discuss retargeting to bring visitors back to your site.
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