Wednesday, January 10, 2018 by Alexis KrasinskiWe just wrapped up our second inaugural scholarship and are excited to announce the winners! We had over 200 applicants from colleges and universities across the country who answered the question, "How has the internet impacted your education?" Three winners were chosen to receive a $1,500 scholarship to be used towards their education expenses. Our business relies on the internet, and we understand how impactful it can be. We wanted to provide a platform for students to share their experiences on how the internet has influenced their education. The following winning essays were chosen by HostGator staff based on the quality, originality and creativity of their answers.
Monday, November 20, 2017 by Alexis Krasinski
Think you know everything about HostGator? Time to put your skills to the test. Brush up on your HostGator history with this quiz!
Difficulty Level: HARD[qzzr quiz="451177" width="100%" height="auto" redirect="true" offset="0"]
Wednesday, December 7, 2016 by Alexis KrasinskiStarting your first Facebook ads can be a daunting task. With so many steps, and so much to account for, it can seem a little overwhelming. But don't fear! Below you’ll find a step-by-step guide to create Facebook ads.
Creating Your Facebook Ad CampaignStep 1: First, you’ll want to make sure you’re logged in under your business account. In the upper right hand corner under pages, select Ads Manager. Step 2: You’re now inside your Facebook Ads Manager account. Select Create Campaign. Step 3: You now have the option to set the goal of your campaign. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Get people to visit your website? Or boost sales in general? Choose whichever selection best fits your goals for the campaign. Step 4: Finally, set your Campaign Name. If you plan on running the same campaign throughout the year with some changes, you might consider putting the date in the name.
Creating The Audience For Your Facebook AdIf you have previously created an audience, just used the ‘Saved Audience’ tab, select your audience and proceed to our Placements Section. Step 1: Determine if you want to use a custom audience. The Custom Audiences box allows you to include or exclude audiences you have previously built. You might find this useful if you want to target only potential new customers and exclude your current customers, or include/exclude any audience lists you already have saved. Step 2: Next you’ll want to choose the locations you want your ads shown to. If you are a local business you can select to show your ads only in your city. You can also exclude certain locations if you choose. Step 3: Fill in the applicable Age, Gender and Language information for your business. Step 4: Determine your Detailed Targeting Detailed Targeting is where you’ll target people with interests similar to your business. Facebook compiles the information people put on their profiles, so you can reach the best audience for your ads. For example, if you run a computer repair service based out of Dallas, you might want to add: computers, computer repair, technology, shop local and Dallas. Now Facebook is going to target people that match ONE of those things; so if you want to be more specific you can choose to narrow your audience. Then Facebook will target people who are interested in one of the above AND whatever else you include.
Building Your Ad Set:Step 1: Choose the Placement of your ads. You can do this manually if you know specifically, or you can let Facebook choose for you with their new Automatic Placement Feature. You’re determining where on Facebook you want your ads shown and if you want them shown on Instagram as well. Step 2: Set your Budget and Schedule. Select your budget per day. You can also choose to schedule the ad’s start and end date or have it run continuously. In this area, you’re able to adjust the optimization and delivery choices. Facebook presets them for you based on what they think is the best. You can go in and change them if you’d rather. Feel free to play around with these settings as you become more comfortable in Ads Manager.
Creating the Ad (or Ads):Step 1: Add your Media. This is your ad image or creative. Make sure it’s inviting and has a clear call-to-action. Facebook also has a 20% text rule for images meaning your ad has to have less than 20% text in it. Facebook will also give you some Instagram specifications if you selected Instagram placement in the ‘Placement’ category. Step 2: Write your Headline and Description. Does your headline encourage people to click on your post? Does the description explain your business or promotion? Does it offer a call-to-action? You can utilize your headline and description to explain anything you couldn't include in the creative. Step 3: Choose your Destination. This is whatever website you want viewers to go to when they click on the ad. Now this can be your website, an event’s website, or a landing page with a special promo. Make sure to UTM tag this URL so you can monitor the traffic and sales in Google Analytics. Step 4: Add your Pixel Tracking. Ensure you’re tracking the sales and traffic you get from these ads through Facebook using your Facebook pixel. If you have not yet set up your Facebook pixel, follow these steps:
- Go to the Pixel section of your Ads Manager Account.
- Click Create Pixel.
- Choose a name for your Pixel, and hit Create Pixel.
Analyze Your Facebook Ad PerformanceGo to Your Account Overview. There you will see your list of campaigns. This is also where you’ll be able to monitor the results of your ad; for explanations of each result, click on the “i” tooltip next to their names. This is also where you can turn off entire campaigns, ad sets, or individual ads. To do so, simply use the blue toggle bar shown below. How'd your ad perform? Share your experience in the comments!
Friday, November 18, 2016 by Alexis KrasinskiChances are you’ve seen or been involved in some sort of Facebook contest. They are fun for the participants, but why do businesses host them? Not only are they great for branding, but they can also be an integral part of your social media strategy.
Step 1: Determine your goalsBefore you make any other moves, you will want to figure out what you hope to get from the contest. Are you hoping to get more likes? Make sales? Improve engagement levels? Gather content for future use? Depending on the goals you set for yourself you will want to approach the setup of the contest differently:
More likes:Ensure contest participants like your page for their entry to be valid. You can also make a play on this by having participants like your page and tag their friends in hopes of them also liking your page.
Make sales:Generally speaking, just by putting out active and engaging material on Facebook you will be encouraging people to purchase your product. The idea is to drive people to your website to buy your product. A great option for this is to create your contest form using Survey Gizmo. After participants complete the form, you can set it to send these potential customers directly to your website. You’ll be surprised how many people end up purchasing! Alternatively, if they don’t purchase right then, you can use one of Facebook’s pixels in your survey to create an audience of these participants for future retargeting ads.
Improved engagement levels:Engagement levels improve the more people click and interact with your social content. A contest is the perfect medium to engage with your customers and increase your engagement. Bonus engagement points if your contest involves commenting on your post as part of their entry.
Free content:Contests are the perfect way to get user-generated content. Think photos of your customers with your product, customer testimonials, and blog posts. A contest is the perfect incentive for customers to send in their content for you to use in the future on your site and social.
Step 2: Think of a ThemeTry to be as creative as you can. Customers, followers and potential customers will be more likely to interact with your contest if it has a unique and creative theme. Tie the prize into the theme of the contest. For example, our latest HostGator contest was a video game-themed contest. Our creative and copy were video game-themed and our prize was a HostGator branded xBox One. Contests are not only more fun and engaging this way, but they are easier to keep track of.
Step 3: Choose your prizeWhen deciding on a prize determine how much work a participant must do to enter. A good rule of thumb is the larger the prize, the more work you should expect them to do. A good place to start is by giving away one of your business’ products or services. This creates a great gateway for new potential customers to fall in love with your business. [bctt tweet="Rule of thumb for contests: the larger the prize, the more work you can expect participants to do." username="hostgator"]
Step 4: AdvertiseFacebook ads are the perfect place to start the advertising for your Facebook contest. If you’re planning on advertising your contest or boosting it in any sort of monetary way, you will want to make sure it’s running for at least two weeks. This gives ample time for the ads to reach their target audience and gives your participants time to participate.
Step 5: Analyze your resultsFacebook has a lot of really great tools in their “Insights” section that can tell you information like post engagement, page clicks, and page likes. You can also see your top posts based on engagement level, date or reach. These are great ways to determine the success of your Facebook contest, but you’re not limited to just these factors. Check your survey to see how many people entered. Was the content they submitted good? Take a look at the Facebook ads you ran in Ads Manager and see how many sales were a result of the contest. Determine if the cost of the prize and the ads is worth the likes, engagement, or sales. If the contest resulted in more revenue than money spent the decision is obvious. Other times you have to put a value on likes and engagement and weigh it against the money you spent on the contest. There you have it - your five step guide to running a successful Facebook contest. To participate in future HostGator contests, be sure to follow us on Facebook! What are your tips for running a Facebook contest? Please share in the comments!
Monday, June 6, 2016 by Alexis KrasinskiWhen we think of the World Wide Web, we often think of buying and selling online. Consider retail and wholesale sites, as well as sales and marketing sites for services. However, not all websites need to have ecommerce as their primary function. In fact, websites can fulfill a number of other functions. At HostGator, we think everyone has something worth sharing on the world wide web. But starting a website can be intimidating. Maybe you’re not sure what topic you should focus on. Maybe you’re not sure it will be successful. Or maybe you’re not sure you would attract an audience. Our recent Facebook contest winner, Linda, has proven that taking a risk can have a large reward.
Linda's StoryLinda won our Facebook contest where we asked, “How did your HostGator website change your life?” We received over 100 entries from people all over the world in industries ranging from hospitality to seasoned entrepreneurs to novice business owners. Although all of the entries offered insights to how having an online presence has changed their business, Linda’s story offered a unique perspective. [caption id="attachment_11116" align="alignleft" width="300"] Linda with her son, Colin[/caption] Two years ago, Linda’s son died from cancer. While this is hard in itself, Linda and her family found it difficult to live with the knowledge that what he wanted most to accomplish in his short life was within reach but denied by poor communication between her son and the medical professionals taking care of him. This was her inspiration for starting her website. Examining the Examiner is committed to improving communication and promoting meaningful dialogue between patients and their health care providers by providing an interactive forum that can be accessed by patients and physicians. Examining the Examiner was created as a forum for patients to share how medical professionals can best meet their needs in communication. Patients and caregivers are welcome to respond to questions and interact within the forum. Linda’s website has not only helped her find closure, but it has impacted the lives of hundreds of other patients. Linda demonstrates that not all websites need to be used for running a business. Websites can be used for blogging, promoting, generating leads or showing off your portfolio. Her advice to us? To take the plunge. She says, “This is one of the best endeavors that I have ever tried to bring to fruition, and one that I was least sure about being successful.” Her site certainly has been successful allowing Linda to help a countless number of people, inspiring all of us to bring our websites to realization. Inspired by Linda? Get your own website today! Not quite sure yet what your website should be about? Check out this list of website types that aren't ecommerce.
You might have a website whose primary purpose is to promote an event. For example, you may promote and offer details pertaining to a public event, such as a fair, a flea market, or a political rally. Or, through a limited access site, your aim might be to promote and offer details regarding a private event, such as a birthday party, an anniversary, a wedding, or a graduation. Your target audience here would be the people attending your specific event, so you may want to put relevant info behind a password wall.
You may simply want your voice to be heard, and one of the most efficient ways to allow this is to blog, which is a great use for a website. You may, of course, blog on any topic, but some of the more popular ones cover such topics as movie and live performance criticism, political opinions, and personal stories. Or you may have a blog associated with a class you teach or a group to which you belong. In the former case, your target audience could be anyone around the world, while in the latter case, your target audience would be more specific, likely members of the group being featured.
Fundraising is another great function for a website. Often, non-profit organizations establish fundraising sites. Or, you might set up your own personal fundraising page to seek money for a medical procedure, alimony, child support, student loans, car payments, or other bills. You can target various people with a fundraising site. For example, you might target a social media group, such as all your Facebook friends or all your Twitter followers. Or, you might target everyone who has volunteered for your non-profit organization.
Portfolio or Resume Showcase
Another great use for a website is to showcase your portfolio or resume in a place where potential employers and supervisors can have easy access to it by simply going online. Your portfolio might include photos or videos of work you have completed, as well as descriptive or promotional writing regarding your work. You may also include others' positive reviews of your work. Besides potential employers and supervisors, you might target other working professionals who could learn from your work.
Online Community or Forum
You might establish a website for social purposes, such as bringing people together. Such a website would offer connection for people with a common ground such as alumnae of a specific college or university or members of a club. This type of site might list member names and contact information and share any announcements that are pertinent to group members behind a password wall.
Sometimes, a website is established to feature magazine articles. Access can be public or private, depending on who the target audience is. This type of website might include information on Hollywood stars, book reviews, or other articles of interest to readers. Targeted readers could be local, or if you are ambitious about distributing your articles, you might target national or even international readers.
If you have a talent for a specific activity, you may want to establish an instruction, or "how to" website. Maybe you know how to make repairs around the house, launch a boat, build a model, or cook a meal. You can share all of your "how to" knowledge via the World Wide Web, making your website a popular forum for you and other contributors to share and exchange opinions on the best approaches to getting things done.
You might use a website to report news items. This could be an up-to-the-minute report site on world news developments, local news items, weather, traffic, and other relevant information. Your target audience might range from people all over the world to people living on a single block, depending on the type of news delivered.
You might use a website to share your photos and videos. These photos and videos can be family oriented, work related, or home related. You might even share media of your pet. Your target audience might be friends, family, peers, potential employers, or co-workers, viewing media of a family picnic, company meeting, or other events in your life.
Perhaps you are a scientist looking to share your findings. A website can be the perfect forum in which to do so. Everyday, medical general practitioners and specialists turn to the web to share their findings and related information. Physicists, chemists, and other scientists can also share their research on the web, with target audiences being their peers and sometimes, the public.
These are just a handful of the common types of websites out there. As you can see, there are numerous types of websites that are not eCommerce based. Websites are a key method of communication in today's society, and are useful for communicating many important activities and messages beyond simply commerce.Get your own domain name and build your website today with HostGator - click here for a great deal!