Trending February 2024 # 8 Essential Components Of A Marketing Business Proposal # Suggested March 2024 # Top 3 Popular

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A great proposal can make a world of difference in closing a wobbly deal, while a poorly written proposal will lose even a rock solid client

In the world marketing, proposals are one of those sales elements that most people dislike but still recognize its importance. A great proposal can make a world of difference in closing a wobbly deal, while a poorly written proposal will lose even a rock solid client – and there are a lot of businesses that acknowledge this phenomenon, too.

Writing marketing business proposals is no rocket science and getting it right takes just a little bit of knowledge and a lot of practice. Here are some of the key elements of great business proposals and how you too can use them in your proposals to win new business with ease.

1. A template is a must

Back in the day, sitting down and typing each marketing proposal for hours was an acceptable choice. Nowadays, with so many apps like Better Proposals, writing marketing business proposals manually simply makes no sense. Instead, create a marketing proposal template to make the job more efficient.

The next time you need to send a proposal for marketing services (whether it’s something as complex as rebranding or something as easy as a simple PPC project), take a good day to create it. Think all the elements through, from the copy to the headline and the overall design. Once you’re happy with the results and you have an amazing proposal, you’ve just created your template.

The next step is knowing which parts of this template need editing. In other words, you have your ideal marketing proposal that you can re-use later on for different clients. Simply edit and swap the most important details, such as the project scope, pricing, timelines, and other elements and you’ve effectively saved hours on each new proposal.

2. An attention-grabbing introduction

Looking through our data, the introduction is the most read part of every proposal (34.6% of the time speny looking at the proposal is spent on this section), next to the pricing page (which accounts for 27.1% of view time). You need to show the client that you understand their situation, what their goals are and show them that you can get the job done.

Here’s the thing – most marketing proposal introductions suck. The really good ones are based on discovery calls and meetings that happen before the writing takes place. In these meetings, you can “read” the client, feel their heartbeat and understand what pain points they really have. You can then use this knowledge and sweep them off their feet in the introduction.

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3. A detailed specification

You got them hooked with the introduction, now it’s time to get to the details. This is where having a kick-off/discovery call pays off again. This section is all about providing detailed insight into what you will do for the client.

For instance, if you’re creating a marketing plan for the upcoming quarter, explain in detail what you will do for them. If it’s launching a new social media campaign, list in detail what you will do and what kind of outcomes you hope to achieve.

What goes into the specification depends on what kind of industry you’re in. Say you’re offering website design services. You may want to include the following:

The number of pages included in the design.

The platform for the website (WordPress, Drupal, etc.).

List of features built into the website (e-commerce store, a page for scheduling appointments etc.).

The wireframe of the website.

Colour scheme suggestions.

The number of revisions.

A couple of rules for this proposal section are: make it really granular and transparent. If things go south later on, you can use it as a reference in the worst-case scenario. The second thing is KISS or ‘keep it stupid simple’. No industry jargon, no CRO, SEO, KPI, CPA or whatever the acronym you need for the situation. Keep the language simple and emulate the expressions that the client used when talking to you about their needs and pain points.

4. The timeline

You’d be surprised how many proposals we’ve seen that completely omit this element. Whether it’s something as broad a range as a couple of weeks or as precise as the time on a certain day, make sure it’s in plain sight.

When putting together a timeline, it’s useful to learn about any events the client has coming up. For example, if they have a product launch in four weeks, you can suggest a timeline where you have their work done one week before the launch. You can even use the good old scarcity principle and incentivize clients to sign before a specific date to get a special discount or an extra included in their deal.

The timeline is a great safety net for both you and the client. When deadlines are clearly stated in this part of the proposal, it’s written evidence you can use later on if things go south.

5. The proof

For a lot of clients, marketing is not an area they know a lot about. Instead of throwing around fancy jargon, show the client exactly what you’ve done before and what kind of results you were able to achieve.

For example:

What kind of reach a social media campaign was able to get?

The cost per lead for a lead generation funnel.

The traffic netted from an SEM campaign.

You may want to go the lazy route and point them to a portfolio or testimonials page on your website. Instead, put in the extra work and show proof of work related to the proposal. Preparing an ad campaign for a shoe company? Show them examples of other ad campaigns, preferably in the same industry. It won’t take nearly as much time as you think and it will add massive value to your proposal.

6. The pricing

After the introduction, this is the part of the proposal that gets the most attention from your clients, for a good reason. There are a couple of ways to reduce sticker shock and make your pricing section more reader-friendly.

First, make sure to give it a proper name. While “pricing” is nice and to the point, you can opt for “investment” or “return on investment”. Words do matter and our research shows that these two terms get better results, as clients see your services as an investment, rather than expense.

Second (and going in line with everything previously mentioned), make the pricing extremely simple. The client should immediately know what they’re paying for. Moreover, for the best results, don’t include any upsells or different offers. Even though upsells are generally proven to work – steer clear from them in proposals. The more choices you give to the clients, the lower the chances of the proposal getting signed.

7. The next steps

Somewhere right before the end of your proposal, you need a section with the next steps the client needs to take in order to sign the proposal. It may sound like common sense, but many proposals simply leave the client wondering what to do next.

For example, give them a simple breakdown as follows:

-       Sign the proposal

-       Receive the invoice for the first part of the project

-       Pay the invoice

-       Schedule an initial call

8. (Optional) guarantee

This is a rather controversial element, but you can give it a try to see if it works for you. We’ve seen some businesses offer guarantees, such as “If we don’t improve your on-page SEO in 20 days, you get your money back.”

You can get more creative and offer something other than returning the client’s money, such as an additional month of social media content – there are tons of guarantee ideas out there. Whichever route you choose, including a guarantee section could be the element that nudges the client into signing.

Conclusion

As you can see, writing great marketing proposals is nothing to be scared about. Just make sure you have a proper system in place, with a great marketing proposal template. That way, you will write better quality proposals that perform well, in considerably less time than you’d spend writing them before.

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8 Uses Of Qr Codes For A Measurable Marketing Campaign

How to utilise QR codes for a better marketing strategy that reaches, engages and converts your audience

In the introduction of better and faster technology, people are now using their devices more than ever. It’s all about accessing everything in a snap and getting the information across from one person to another or from a business to a consumer. One of the trending channels in the marketing industry is the QR code.

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QR (Quick Response) Codes can be read and understood by mobile devices. Marketers have used this in billboards, magazines, web pages, and any other marketing material. QR codes can provide more information about the product or service without a sweat, and the information quickly goes to the user’s device.

Basically, QR codes promote interaction and engagement through the mobile phone. This type of marketing strategy enables businesses to transfer information to the user. Nowadays, users are done with anything that’s slow and time-consuming. It’s all about being instant and fast, especially in the world of marketing.

Below are some ways you can maximize QR codes to monitor the performance of your marketing campaign properly:

1. Direct customers to a landing page/website

Scanning a QR code can lead to a signup page or any landing page/website. This removes the hassle of going through the process of accessing the website and navigating your way around the page.

Make sure that you use a unique URL matched with your QR code to measure it accurately.

2. Dial your business number

In business conferences, you’ll surely engage and interact with a crowd. If you use QR codes for your booth or station, then interested business partners can just scan the code and receive your business details such as your business contact number. Sometimes, you can even tweak the QR code to dial the number on the receiver’s phone directly.

3. Send a message

This is exciting because the user will only receive the message once the QR code has been scanned. Sending messages through QR codes benefits SMS marketing the most. It can be used for sales, user support, on-request product upgrades, and opt-in SMS registration.

4. Send an email

Much like sending messages, QR codes for sending emails will help you read and monitor data for newsletters, email marketing, and your email’s performance rates (e.g. open and bounce rates).

Aside from that, the user can also continue reading the said the email on his mobile phone by scanning the QR code. In this manner, your email will be accessible on any platform.

5. Download apps

Once you’ve scanned the QR code, it will direct you to the download page of the app and start the download. Businesses have used their creativity to make their QR codes eye-catching. Popular apps such as Angry Birds have used QR codes for their marketing campaign.

Furthermore, apps themselves sometimes use QR code to foster engagement inside their community. Social media apps like Snapchat have created unique QR codes for their users to add people easily.

In line with that, Spotify has recently released QR codes for their songs. Users can now share or recommend their music by simply scanning the QR code, and it’ll automatically appear on the other person’s device.

6. View business location

If your website visitor wants to drop by your office, they can just pull out their phone and scan the QR code on your website. Instead of manually searching for the address on online maps, the QR code can give specific directions to your business location.

7. Direct customers to social media pages

As an example, if a user liked your product or service so much, they can follow your social media pages for more updates. Sometimes, they can even score a discount or promo if they followed your social media through that same QR code.

8. Shopping and E-commerce

Probably the most popular way to use QR codes, businesses usually use it for discounts and promos. By providing a unique QR code, the consumer can also receive the receipt or menu through his phone.

With all these in mind, you can properly set up QR codes for your marketing strategy as long as you provide a clear call-to-action (CTA). The user shouldn’t have to guess what to do with your QR code.

You can run multiple tests on different devices and applications to check if the QR code is giving the right customer data. If the testing fails, then using QR codes will be for nothing.

There are also some restrictions when using QR codes such as internet connectivity. When using QR codes, check whether such an environment allows QR codes to be usable.

At the end of the day, QR codes benefit a lot of industries. Aside from saving time and energy, it also allows you to properly measure your marketing campaign, as QR codes provide data that you need. They go through your system and can be further examined through your analytics. Naturally, you must set up the proper metrics such as location, time, and frequency to ensure the success of your promotional campaigns.

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What Is Digital Marketing: A Detailed Study With Components & Strategy

What is Digital Marketing: A Detailed Study with Components & Strategy

Well, your customer is on the Internet today and that’s the right place to connect with them at the right time. Here, digital marketing is the solution you should opt for.

So, what is digital marketing?

Well, if you are marketing products or services using one or another electronic device or on the Internet, you are leveraging the benefits of digital marketing. Here, you can make good use of different digital channels such as search engines, email, social media, websites, and more to connect with your current or prospective customers.

Digital marketing is equally beneficial for local businesses or big industries as it gives freedom to connect with the end-user effortlessly where they are (on the Internet).

What is the difference between digital marketing and online marketing?

Well, digital marketing could be divided into two parts i.e. online and offline marketing.

Offline marketing includes platforms like radio, television, phone, billboards, or similar mediums.

What is the difference between digital marketing and inbound marketing?

In this context, inbound marketing is a process followed by marketers to use online content to attract target audiences/customers onto their websites. Here, marketers try to provide useful content that is helpful to solve customer’s queries and fulfill their needs. You can consider inbound marketing as a methodology that is used to attract, engage, and delight customers using different digital marketing assets.

While inbound marketers try to attract customers to their websites, outbound marketers try to send marketing messages to as many people as possible no matter whether they are relevant or welcomed.

On the other hand, digital marketing could be used as an umbrella term for all online marketing tactics no matter whether they are inbound or outbound.

What is the difference between digital marketing and Internet marketing?

As discussed, digital marketing could be separated into two major parts i.e. online marketing and offline marketing. Both consists of various tactics. Internet marketing solely relies on marketing products & services using Internet. Here, your sole idea is to attract, engage, and delight your customers by reaching them through Internet on their device.

Digital Marketing Components

As we have discussed digital marketing, it’s time to know about the key components of digital marketing. Digital marketing can be broadly categorized into two categories i.e. online marketing and offline marketing, that we have already discussed.

As we move further, we will cover key elements of digital marketing vis-à-vis online marketing.

Key Elements of Online Marketing

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Content Marketing

Email Marketing

Affiliate Marketing

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

We can elaborate “SEO as a process to optimize online content for search engines. All this is done to get better visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). Here, you may target specific keywords or bunch of keywords to rank.”

Let’s take this post as an example, here, this post can rank for multiple keywords like “what is digital marketing”, broad term “digital marketing”, “digital marketing components”, “digital marketing examples” “online marketing” and similar terms.

SEO could be divided into three important parts including on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO. In addition to that, black hat and white hat SEO techniques are followed by different marketers. While white hat SEO techniques are highly recommended, black hat techniques may cause serious damage to your site reputation in the long-term.

We have discussed more about SEO in this beginner’s guide to SEO.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Social media marketing or SMM could be described as a process to connect & communicate with people in social context on different digital platforms. It is done to create brand awareness, lead generation, and attract end-user in real-time.

While the majority of people are on social media platforms, it becomes necessary for businesses to contact their users on these platforms. Social media marketing (SMM) not only helps increase brand awareness, but it also boosts website traffic and generate more sales for you. Here, you need to post right content on the right platform at the right time to attract more users.

We have discussed more about social media marketing in this beginner’s guide to SMM.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

The primary benefits of using search engine marketing are that you can use it to reach targeted audience, it delivers quick results, better for testing, accurate results tracking, and more.

We have discussed search engine marketing (SEM) in detail in this beginner’s guide to SEM.

Content Marketing

When you are generating brand awareness through content, it is content marketing.

Pretty simple, right?

Well, ahead of this quick definition, content marketing should be elaborated in two major parts.

Content Strategy

Content Marketing

Here, content strategy helps find answers to what, how, why, and when about content creation. Moreover, it also helps manage, update, and archive content when needed.

When it comes to content marketing, it simply focuses on tactics and execution of content strategy. Here, you need to create & curate content, edit it, and market it with all available means. You may find written content to educate, update, or entertain. You may also find different content types including blog posts, audio, video, podcasts, Infographics, and more. There are numerous benefits of content marketing as it helps add brand value, it is also cost-effective technique, it helps build relationship with user, it brings traffic & business, and more.

We have discussed more about content marketing in this beginner’s guide to content marketing.

Email Marketing

It is important to remember that subscribers you have chosen to send email have personally opted-in to receive an email from you. It should also have some value for them. To create an effective email marketing campaign a few things you should remember includes:

Personalize the email content

Use responsive designs

Interactive call-to-action, and more.

HubSpot has well-described email marketing in this guide.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is simply selling others products to earn quick commission. Here, you put your marketing efforts to help sell products of others on your blog, website, social media platform, or on other medium.

It includes four important parties including the merchant, the network, the publisher, and the customer. While two important parties’ seller and the affiliate marketer makes it possible to create & sell product other parties are also important to complete the process.

Neil Patel has well-discussed affiliate marketing in his blog.

How to create a digital marketing strategy?

Now that we know digital marketing plays a crucial role to help build your brand today. Let’s discuss how to create a digital marketing strategy that should deliver results.

Work on buyer persona

According to HubSpot, “A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer”.

Here, you perform market research and gather real-data to create this buyer persona for your business. To build buyer persona important elements you should consider includes:

Customer’s demographics

Goals, motivations, and behavior patterns.

Here, you should perform detailed study to get better results.

Identify your goals

Identify existing marketing assets you have

Next is to evaluate your existing digital channels and assets you own. It will help streamline your efforts and get effective results. Here, you need to identify:

Owned media that your company or brand already owns like website, social media profiles, etc.

Earned media includes your brand mentions on third-party sites through PR, guest posts, reviews, etc.

Audit

In the next step, you will need to audit all your owned, earned, and paid media campaigns to get a clear picture of where you stand and how to go ahead. Here, you need to determine which media is working fine and which ones you should include in your digital marketing campaign.

Create well-informed digital marketing plan

Now that you know everything about your buyer persona, you have set goals, identified existing marketing assets, and audited them, it’s time to draw a well-informed digital marketing plan. To do this, you can use the best marketing tools to run different campaigns successfully.

Conclusion

Now that you know what digital marketing is and how important it is today to bring business, it’s time you should create a well-informed digital marketing strategy to get more business.

If you are a digital marketing company owner or even planning to run Google digital marketing campaign at a basic level, this guide could be of great use for you.

Remember, investing in digital marketing strategy today can help you grow business tomorrow.

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Dinesh Lakhwani

Instagram Marketing For Business: A Complete Guide

If you’re not utilizing Instagram marketing for your business, you’re missing out. Instagram is a great way for individuals and businesses to express themselves.

Most businesses utilize Instagram as a platform where they can connect with existing or potential customers.

For example, they accomplish this by producing content as a means of storytelling.

An integral part of social media for businesses is that it helps to increase brand awareness, drive engagement and reach bigger audiences. This has a huge upside as it can convert to sales.

In this guide, we’ll dive into Instagram marketing strategies you can use to skyrocket your business.

Table of Contents:

1. Logo, Bio, and Link

Here’s an example of an effective profile from us, Followchain.

Use a logo for your profile photo. If you don’t have a logo, make sure to pick a photo that expresses your brand.

Additionally, story highlights reinforce your brand’s identity. Treat it like a board where you can showcase your brand’s goods, services, unforgettable moments or launch dates.

Here’s another example of an effective profile by YouTube:

YouTube has consistent story highlights, one with a prominent thumbnail challenge that keeps its audience engaged.

For bio-wise, short and simple ones are the best.

Like any one-liner pitch, you want people to understand your business the first time you say it.

Keep your bios in one sentence and write them in plain English. Don’t use any jargon.

If you haven’t already noticed, YouTube’s bio has only three words.

Here’s another example by Pinterest:

Did you notice anything distinctive about these profiles?

The link provided in their bio isn’t directly linked to their sites.

If your brand has lots of content published from various platforms, a single link wouldn’t be enough. This is why many other brands are utilizing tools like LinkTree or chúng tôi to connect all their content in one link.

It’s a great idea to utilize these tools for your business if you have other content that you want to link your audience to.

2. Theme

You need a consistent, eye-catching theme if you want your brand to shine.

Stick to a theme that has similar or complementary colors to your logo.

We like to retain the same colors from our logo – white and blue.

Hence, our theme mostly comprises of graphics with these colors.

Here’s another example of a business that stuck to a consistent theme:

Starbucks nailed it using photos with objects that complement their logo.

Here’s another one:

Prada accomplished this in one of their campaigns, Prada Linea Rossa, which underscores its foundations and origins in the 1990s sportswear. It marks the precision of the lines and improvisation of aesthetics that defined the look of the era.

Lessons learned: Consistency is key. Make use of a consistent theme and stick with it.

Captions provide an opportunity for you to express your business. Everyone loves a good story, be it a pitch or a sale.

But here’s the debate – should you write longer or shorter captions?

Various sources recommend people to write longer captions because they are great for storytelling and driving engagement.

Here’s an example of a longer caption from Instagram:

However, other sources suggest that shorter captions are the way to go.

Here’s a shorter caption, from Apple:

Both of these photos are art forms can be used as an analogy. Art can speak a thousand words or a couple of words; depending on the person who views it. It’s extremely subjective.

Here’s what we believe:

Short and sweet captions are the most effective.

If your caption is too long, most people won’t even bother to read till the end so it’s redundant to write something more than 150 characters.

At the end of the day, captions don’t really matter. What’s more important is the amount of engagement you’re giving or reciprocating to others (extended on tip number 5).

However, that being said, there is still one tip that every business should utilize in their captions.

Include a call to action at the end of every caption

Example: ‘link in bio’.

This one simple tip can lead to a bigger amount of conversions (traffic to your website).

4. Instagram Stories

Instagram stories is a great way to keep your audience updated to the latest happenings of your business.

Moreover, it can drive a lot of one-on-one conversations, polls or feedback because it’s such a great ice-breaking tool.

Example: If you’re launching a product, you can utilize Instagram’s countdown feature in your stories to inform your audience about its launch date.

This feature allows your followers to be notified when the countdown hits 0 if they set a reminder.

So, this has the potential to drive a lot of sales, sign-ups and more.

You can also utilize Instagram Poll Stickers to gather user feedback.

Instagram Polls is an awesome way to prompt users to interact with your story.

You can use this if you want to gather your user’s thoughts on something. It could be a poll for a future update or an improvement to be made.

Another great use of the story feature is the ability to share your post on your story.

Example: If you were to post something, you can add it to your story as well to prompt your followers to engage in your post. This is incredibly useful because some people view stories more than posts.

A simple heart icon is enough to tell your followers to spread some love to your recent post.

You’ll be surprised how effective yet simple this is.

5. Always Engage

This shows that you actually care about your followers, (or customers in this sense).

Example: Wendy’s does this extremely well. Not only on Instagram but also on their other socials.

Be like Wendy’s.

Unfortunately, many businesses and individuals are unable to accomplish this because they get it wrong.

You can’t create a business account for the sole intention of taking and not giving. Treat the account as an individual one and your followers as friends.

That being said, following others back is a must. Don’t bother building a good following/followers ratio. Instead, try to build rapport. It’s unforgivably cringeworthy seeing business accounts with an ‘exceptional’ following/followers ratio, but terrible engagement rates.

Especially if you’re a small business, not many people are aware of your brand.

If you want to have increased engagement, you’ll have to give engagement first. It doesn’t work the other way around.

6. Instagram Direct Messages

Instagram Direct Messages is an unconventional way to market your business, drive sales, or sign-ups. It’s also one of the best ways to get your message across to your customers (or potential customers) if done right.

This is because the open rate of direct messages is incredibly high, well above 70%.

However, mastering the art of direct messages takes multiple trials and errors.

For a start, you should never direct message users at random. Here’s why:

You’re not providing any value.

Nobody will be interested in your product/service.

One does not simply break the ice by selling.

To be able to successfully send a direct-message that guarantees a reply, you’ll need to find and target a group of users that need your product/service right now.

This is incredibly challenging and you’ll have to do lots of research.

Having said that; if you manage to pull it off, the results will be outstanding.

Instagram Direct Messages can also be utilized as customer service.

If your business is small, Instagram Direct Messages is sufficient enough for customer service so you don’t have to pay for software.

It’s a quick and easy way for your customers to contact you for any questions or inquiries.

Moreover, 500 million people use Instagram daily. This makes it seamless for customers to contact you as most of them are on Instagram on a daily basis.

Instagram Direct Messages is a quick way to pitch your product/service.

Here’s a quick tip: Whenever someone follows you, you can send them a quick message thanking them for the follow, and then introducing your business or provide them with an offer/discount codes.

Example: “Hey, thanks for the follow! Just want to inform you that our entire store is 15% off currently. Just use code “x” at checkout.”

Here’s an additional tip if you have an Instagram Business Account:

You can utilize Instagram’s Quick Replies to respond instantly to the questions you receive most often.

This is super helpful if you receive the same questions multiple times and you want a quick way to respond to them.

However, this works the same as a keyboard shortcut, so it’s pretty redundant if your phone already has this feature.

Hashtags are a great way to increase the reach of your posts.

However, finding the right hashtags is really difficult.

In my other article, 7 Effective Ways To Increase Your Instagram Engagement, I listed down a quick guide for you to find and use the best hashtags for maximum engagement.

There are millions of hashtags on Instagram, but only a few of them drive a large number of likes to your post.

Here’s a recap:

The key to this strategy is to find the best combination of hashtags that gets the highest number of likes.

Then re-using it for your future posts.

Important note: Limit your hashtags to 30 or your account may be shadowbanned.

If you don’t know what a shadowban means, it’s basically the act of hiding your posts on your followers’ feed, the explore page and/or your username on the search results.

This will negatively affect the reach of your posts drastically.

8. Post during peak hours (and don’t spam)

According to ExpertVoice, the best time to post on Instagram (that has the best engagement rate at 4.9%) is Wednesday around 5:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. or 3:00 p.m.

DayEngagement rateMonday4.4Tuesday4.73Wednesday4.9Thursday4.76Friday4.72Saturday4.66Sunday4.62

That being said, it still depends on the country and demographics of your followers.

Your engagement rates might vary depending on the location and time-zone of your followers, so there isn’t a strict time to post on Instagram.

To find the best time to post, you should do a trial and error and post at different times to see when works best.

Please, don’t over-post.

This is an example of a frequently asked question: Why am I getting fewer likes for multiple posts on Instagram?

The answer is simple, your posts will be regarded as spam.

Nobody likes getting their feed flooded by the same person, it’s disruptive and prevents them from viewing other user’s posts.

It’ll be natural for someone to like one of your posts on their feed and ignore the rest because it’s ‘overkill’. Moreover, your posts are more likely to be muted if your photos appear way too many times on someone’s feed on a single day.

A better approach is to utilize Instagram’s multiple photo feature (if you’re looking to post consecutive photos).

Example: Multiple photos feature

Try to post less often, (once per day is more than sufficient). This gives time for your previous posts to catch up on likes (especially if your followers are in a different time-zone).

9. Growing your followers

Growing your followers is one of the highest priorities for Instagram marketing, second to growing your engagement rates.

If you’ve just started a business account, you may have a couple of these questions:

“How am I supposed to grow my followers from 0?”

“Nobody knows about my account, how do I increase awareness?”

Instagram Growth is hard, especially if you’ve just made a new account.

At the end of the day, ‘You have to spend money to make money’. Similarly, you have to follow others to gain more followers. This is crucial if your account is completely new, and has no reach whatsoever.

You can leverage Followchain’s community to grow your followers.

If you’re struggling to grow your Instagram followers, you can join our follow for follow community, Followchain.

Followchain acts as a single-page thread where you can share your Instagram username.

Firstly, you’ll have to sign up and create an account.

A verification link will be sent to your email, this may take a few minutes.

If you haven’t received it, please check your junk/spam mail!

After you’ve confirmed the verification, log in with your newly created username and password.

Here’s how the community works:

You simply share your Instagram link, follow users that interest you and direct-message them for a follow-back!

By joining Followchain, you can make your Instagram account discoverable by thousands of people, for free! ?

If you’re interested to know more about growing your Instagram followers, you can read this article: 7 Actionable Ways To Grow Your Instagram Followers.

10. Growing your engagement rates

Food for thought: If you post something that gets little to no engagement, what’s the point of posting it anyways?

This is why engagement conquers everything.

If you have lots of followers but low engagement rates, the quality of your account is poor from any user’s point of view.

Your number one focus on Instagram marketing should be growing your engagement rates.

These are several effective ways you can use to improve your engagement rates.

Here are some quick tips you can use right away to skyrocket your engagement rates:

Unfollow ghost followers

There are apps available on the app/play store that tracks this.

However, most of them require you to pay as it is part of their premium features.

Always engage on posts in your feed

You should consistently engage with other user’s posts.

Some people will start to notice and reciprocate. Thus, increasing your likes.

Add your post to your story

With an emphasis on point 4, stories are a great way to drive engagement to your posts.

Whenever you post something, immediately add it to your story.

Some people browse Instagram stories more than liking posts.

Connect with people you know on their Instagram

You should constantly be asking for people you know for their Instagram username, especially the ones who are active.

Friends are family are more likely to engage with your posts as they are closer to you.

You can also follow mutuals as they are more likely to follow you back and engage.

For a full guide on how to grow your engagement rates on Instagram, go to 7 Effective Ways To Increase Your Instagram Engagement. This article mentions why engagement rates matter and changes you can make to improve it.

Bonus: Content Ideas

Content can come in many different forms, the possibilities are endless.

Hence, here are some content ideas for your business, ripe for taking!

1. Graphics

Source: Slack

2. Tweets

Source: GaryVee

Tweets are extremely simple to post!

If you have Twitter, all you have to do is take a screenshot of your tweet, crop it, and share it on Instagram.

3. Videos

Source: YouTube

Videos are a fantastic way to get your message across.

Keep your videos short to captivate your audience.

4. Quotes

Source: success.rule

Heard or saw an inspiring quote recently?

Share it on Instagram!

5. Memes

Source: GaryVee

Memes add humor to your business.

It’s also a great form of content that caters to the younger demographic.

Are you struggling with growing your Instagram followers? Stop paying for agencies that require your Instagram password or growth services that utilize bots or fake followers. Followchain is the only solution you need. Sign up and create an account for free today.

Author: Lim How Wei. Lim How Wei is the founder of Followchain, a community that simplifies growth and networking for Instagram users. Feel free to follow him on Instagram.

How To Write A Research Proposal

A research proposal describes what you will investigate, why it’s important, and how you will conduct your research.

The format of a research proposal varies between fields, but most proposals will contain at least these elements:

Title page

Introduction

Literature review

Research design

Reference list

While the sections may vary, the overall objective is always the same. A research proposal serves as a blueprint and guide for your research plan, helping you get organized and feel confident in the path forward you choose to take.

Research proposal purpose

Academics often have to write research proposals to get funding for their projects. As a student, you might have to write a research proposal as part of a grad school application, or prior to starting your thesis or dissertation.

In addition to helping you figure out what your research can look like, a proposal can also serve to demonstrate why your project is worth pursuing to a funder, educational institution, or supervisor.

Research proposal aims

Relevance Show your reader why your project is interesting, original, and important.

Context Show that you understand the current state of research on your topic.

Approach Demonstrate that you have carefully thought about the data, tools, and procedures necessary to conduct your research.

Achievability Confirm that your project is feasible within the timeline of your program or funding deadline.

Research proposal length

The length of a research proposal can vary quite a bit. A bachelor’s or master’s thesis proposal can be just a few pages, while proposals for PhD dissertations or research funding are usually much longer and more detailed. Your supervisor can help you determine the best length for your work.

One trick to get started is to think of your proposal’s structure as a shorter version of your thesis or dissertation, only without the results, conclusion and discussion sections.

Download our research proposal template

Research proposal examples

Writing a research proposal can be quite challenging, but a good starting point could be to look at some examples. We’ve included a few for you below.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

Try for free

Title page

Like your dissertation or thesis, the proposal will usually have a title page that includes:

The proposed title of your project

Your name

Your supervisor’s name

Your institution and department

TipIf your proposal is very long, you may also want to include an abstract and a table of contents to help your reader navigate your work.

Introduction

The first part of your proposal is the initial pitch for your project. Make sure it succinctly explains what you want to do and why.

Your introduction should:

Introduce your topic

Give necessary background and context

Outline your problem statement and research questions

To guide your introduction, include information about:

Who could have an interest in the topic (e.g., scientists, policymakers)

How much is already known about the topic

What is missing from this current knowledge

What new insights your research will contribute

Why you believe this research is worth doing

Literature review

As you get started, it’s important to demonstrate that you’re familiar with the most important research on your topic. A strong literature review shows your reader that your project has a solid foundation in existing knowledge or theory. It also shows that you’re not simply repeating what other people have already done or said, but rather using existing research as a jumping-off point for your own.

In this section, share exactly how your project will contribute to ongoing conversations in the field by:

Comparing and contrasting the main theories, methods, and debates

Examining the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches

Explaining how will you build on, challenge, or synthesize prior scholarship

TipIf you’re not sure where to begin, read our guide on how to write a literature review.

Research design and methods

Following the literature review, restate your main objectives. This brings the focus back to your own project. Next, your research design or methodology section will describe your overall approach, and the practical steps you will take to answer your research questions.

Contribution to knowledge

To finish your proposal on a strong note, explore the potential implications of your research for your field. Emphasize again what you aim to contribute and why it matters.

For example, your results might have implications for:

Improving best practices

Informing policymaking decisions

Strengthening a theory or model

Challenging popular or scientific beliefs

Creating a basis for future research

Reference list

Last but not least, your research proposal must include correct citations for every source you have used, compiled in a reference list. To create citations quickly and easily, you can use our free APA citation generator.

Research schedule

Some institutions or funders require a detailed timeline of the project, asking you to forecast what you will do at each stage and how long it may take. While not always required, be sure to check the requirements of your project.

Here’s an example schedule to help you get started. You can also download a template at the button below.

Download our research schedule template

Example research schedule

Research phase Objectives Deadline

1. Background research and literature review

Meet with supervisor for initial discussion

Read and analyze relevant literature

Use new knowledge to refine research questions

Develop theoretical framework

20th January

2. Research design planning

Design questionnaires

Identify channels for recruiting participants

Finalize sampling methods and data analysis methods

13th February

3. Data collection and preparation

Recruit participants and send out questionnaires

Conduct semi-structured interviews with selected participants

Transcribe and code interviews

Clean data

24th March

4. Data analysis

Statistically analyze survey data

Conduct thematic analysis of interview transcripts

Draft results and discussion chapters

22nd April

5. Writing

Complete a full thesis draft

Meet with supervisor to discuss feedback and revisions

17th June

6. Revision

Complete 2nd draft based on feedback

Get supervisor approval for final draft

Proofread

Print and bind final work

Submit

28th July

Budget

If you are applying for research funding, chances are you will have to include a detailed budget. This shows your estimates of how much each part of your project will cost.

Make sure to check what type of costs the funding body will agree to cover. For each item, include:

Cost: exactly how much money do you need?

Justification: why is this cost necessary to complete the research?

Source: how did you calculate the amount?

To determine your budget, think about:

Travel costs: do you need to go somewhere to collect your data? How will you get there, and how much time will you need? What will you do there (e.g., interviews, archival research)?

Materials: do you need access to any tools or technologies?

Help: do you need to hire any research assistants for the project? What will they do, and how much will you pay them?

Other interesting articles

If you want to know more about the research process, methodology, research bias, or statistics, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

Frequently asked questions about research proposals Cite this Scribbr article

McCombes, S. & George, T. Retrieved July 17, 2023,

Cite this article

The 5 Essential Steps To Effective Content Marketing

It’s probably not possible to teach you everything you need to know about content marketing in a single post, but our goal is to get as close as possible without boring you to tears. Content marketing is the strategy for stomping your competition online this year, and we’re going to do everything we can to arm you to the teeth with the skills to make it work.

There is no room for holding back if you want to win, so join us and let’s do this.

1. It All Starts With a Question

This part is so basic it can be easy to forget. Most of us learned in grade school to start any paper by asking who, what, when, where, why, and how, and most of us have also filed that crucial knowledge away, burying it somewhere in the depths of our minds.

No matter how boring your niche is, it becomes interesting when you ask the write questions. We wrote a detailed guide on the subject for CopyBlogger, and we highly suggest reading it to get a firm grasp on how to make this work.

For the quick and dirty on this:

Ask the six basic questions mentioned above

Mix and match your subject with other subjects you find interesting

If you find yourself getting tunnel vision on your topic, use a random word generator to see if you can find novel connections and analogies between subjects

You aren’t brainstorming questions correctly unless some of your ideas are absurd (and keep in mind that absurdity can be good for viral content anyway)

Find the questions your audience is asking by checking out Quora, Yahoo! Answers, and perhaps AskReddit (fewer topics but more viral).

2. Research Your Topic, Your Audience, and Your Network

These are activities you should be doing all the time, on some level, but this is probably where they should be emphasized the most. The most intense research comes in between your question and your content production. And it involves not just your topic, but your audience and your network of influence, in order to get it right.

Researching Your Audience

After digging through Q&A sites, forums, and social networks, you should already have a good understanding of what your audience cares about and what they’re likely to be interested in. But it can be helpful to take things a step further by:

–        Checking the AdWords keyword tool – This will let you know about how often a keyword is searched for, which will give you some idea of the level of interest in that subject. Use this as a relative tool, rather than trying to estimate the absolute number of visitors you can expect. We would also urge against using this tool as a source of ideas. It’s better as a way of narrowing down your existing ideas.

–        Check social networks for interest – Try searching Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Reddit, and similar sites for groups about your subject and pay attention to what seems to grab the most interest. Ask yourself if your question is the kind of thing that would be interesting to these communities. This is a bit of a “soft” research tool, but in some ways it can be more effective than keyword tools.

–        “Test ask” your questions – Use Quora, Yahoo Answers, forums, and Ask Reddit to ask your questions, and find out which questions seem to attract the most attention. This is very powerful, because it helps you research your topic as well as decide which questions are most promising. Pay more attention to the number of people who want an answer to the question than the number of people who provide an answer. Also, if the answers you get are links to comprehensive answers that already exist, your content idea is probably too redundant.

Researching Your Network of Influence

As part of your content marketing strategy, you should be reaching out to online influencers on a regular basis. Email bloggers, tweet and retweet prominent personalities, and get in touch through Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and other networks that are relevant to your niche.

When you reach out to influencers, it should typically be with an opportunity for them. Your communications should generally be fairly casual, and it can be helpful to go to real world events to meet up with bloggers and other online influencers in order to build these relationships.

–        Find out what the influencers think of the idea: if it’s the kind of question they would want to know the answer to.

–        See if you can get them involved in the project in one way or another. Whether it’s with a quick quote or an all out collaboration, if they are willing to help with the project they will also be more likely to promote it later on down the road, especially if you mention them in the content. Their contributions will also give your post an air of authority, and you will also benefit from the perspectives of others.

–        Try to get your influencers to take a look at your work after it’s finished, or during the drafting stage, to see if they have any recommendations for you.

–        Find out if any of the influencers would be interested in posting content like this on their site, since this is a great way to gain exposure.

Remember: relationships are give and take. You will almost certainly need to offer value to them of equal value in order for them to feel like it makes sense to help with this.

Research Your Topic

There’s a good chance you’ll have done some light research on the subject even before you started brainstorming questions, and this is generally a good idea. But this is the stage where you separate yourself from the pack by finding information that’s not easily accessible. For example:

Google Scholar

Libraries and books

Original sources, as opposed to the content based on them

Your client’s proprietary data

Surveys

Original research

Interviews with experts

Topics outside your niche (good for analogies and insight)

The goal of all this should be to get your hands on information that’s hard to find. Approach this part of the process like a journalist. The first person to say something in an accessible way is typically the one that attracts the most links.

3. Answer Your Question With Lists, Guides, and Stories

These are the three kinds of content that succeed more often than any other.

–        Lists – A list is appealing because you know it’s easy to skim through. You know it’s comprehensive. You know it’s going to be easier to remember. And there’s just something psychologically satisfying about ticking ideas off of a list.

–        Guides – Guides are appealing because they’re actionable. A reader can take the information from a guide and put it into action in their own life. You can make a direct impact on your visitor’s life with a guide. That makes your content memorable and more engaging.

–        Stories – Humans are hard wired for storytelling. We love stories because they depict people facing obstacles, struggling with them, and overcoming them (or failing). Stories teach us lessons in ways that other formats can’t, because we are drawn toward them.

The Ideal List:

Covers its subject comprehensively

Is organized logically

Cites its sources if the list elements are facts

Presents list elements that are roughly the same length

Has a brief intro and conclusion

Is entertaining

Does not resemble previous lists on the subject

The Ideal Guide:

Addresses the reader as “you.”

Walks the reader through from beginning to end (if it is a step by step process).

Is organized with subheadings and, sometimes, bulleted lists or numbered steps

Uses examples or stories when emphasis is necessary (particularly for guides where some persuasion is also involved)

Is entertaining

Does not resemble previous guides on the subject

The Ideal Story:

Follows this basic 7-point structure:

A person

In a place

Has a problem

They try to solve the problem intelligently

And fail

They try to solve the problem again

And succeed (or fail tragically)

Sometimes real-world stories don’t quite fit into this structure, but the point is to emphasize the problems that your characters (whether they’re a person, an organization, or even a thing) face, how they struggle with them, and how and why they succeed or fail.

It takes some experience and tinkering to decide whether your question is best answered with a list, a guide, or a story, and often the best content will use some combination of all three.

4. Copy-Editing Tricks

There’s no real order to the editing process. The main idea is to give your content some space for a day or so, come back to it, and pump it up to create a more engaging experience. Use tricks like these:

Make sure the first sentence captures the reader’s attention

Use the active voice. This means your sentence starts with the noun that’s responsible for the verb. “The cat jumped over the moon,” is more engaging than “The moon was jumped over by the cat.” Avoid using “is,” “was,” and “are” too often.

When you speak directly to the reader, start with the verb right away most of the time. For example, in a guide: “Pick up your tools,” sounds better than “You will next pick up your tools.”

Read your sentences out loud and fix them if they sound awkward.

Change sentences that use uncommon words, run for too long, or sound too formal (depending on your niche).

Break apart large paragraphs.

Delete sentences that don’t add value.

Read the whole thing once from beginning to end without focusing on grammar or phrasing. Focus on flow, tone, atmosphere, and how things fit together instead.

Clarify complicated subjects that could be confusing to your target audience.

On a related note, you should also make the post easier to read by including some images (with credit to the artist).

5. Promote Your Content

Virality and promotion is another subject that deserves a guide of its own, and it’s closely related to the relationship building process, but these tricks can help you reach a wide audience:

Write a title posing an intriguing question that users have to fight to ignore, or a statement that’s so surprising readers just have to read it to learn more.

Post your content, or a link to your content, on a hub where your target audience hangs out. It could be an internet forum, a popular site that accepts guest posts, or a social networking group (preferably all three). Get your content visible in as many high profile places as possible.

Contact your network of influencers and let them know about the content. Ask what they think and, if they like it, could they pass it along?

As we’ve mentioned previously, involve as many influencers in the content production process as possible, and they’re more likely to pass it along. Mention influencers in the content, even if they weren’t directly involved, and they will also be more likely to share it.

Consider posting a link in Reddit, but only if you use it frequently to post material other than your own, and only if it would be relevant to a popular subreddit.

Use StumbleUpon Paid Discovery to drive traffic. The engagement level is lower than other channels, but at $50 for 1,000 visits, no other platform sends more visits at a lower price. If enough people thumb up your post, StumbleUpon’s algorithm will take over and send organic visits. Be sure to target the right topics.

In Review

To recap:

Ask interesting questions

Research your topic, your audience, and your network of influence

Answer your questions with interesting lists, guides, and stories

Edit your content to make it pop

Promote your content on your industry’s most popular platforms and through your network of influencers

Use these five elements to dominate your competitors with content marketing: the leanest way to win the web.

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