9 Steps Towards Writing Effective Social Media Content

Effective social media content is good for your brand

Source: Pixabay

When coming up with a content marketing strategy for our brands, one of the most critical components is social media marketing. We create content to sharing it online via social media networks. There are over 3 billion social media users worldwide. With this information, it’s evident to see that creating effective social media content is crucial.

The following are nine strategies that you can employ to achieve this:

1. Concentrate On Your Reader

Your readers ought to be the primary target of your post. Even though most writers tend to focus on a wider audience, there are others that enjoy tailoring content towards a particular person or group of individuals.

Despite the fact that it’s not the only strategy to adopt, writing to one person portrays the desire connect with your readers.

2. Define Your Goals

Goal defining is one of the most important things to do

Source: Pexels

One of the first things to do is goals definition. Typical objectives include promotion of products and client engagement. Once your goals are set, you should remember that everything should point back to them.

Afterwards, think about how you’ll measure them. What will you use to gauge your efforts? Retweets, shares or comments? Everything should be defined in your social media strategy.

3. Choose The Right Social Media Sites

The more sites you pick, the more content you’ll have to create. Therefore it’s prudent for you to do one thing well than doing several things just okay. Ensure that you choose wisely so that you don’t overwork yourself.

As you’re selecting the ideal social media sites, remember that each channel needs different kinds of content.

4. Utilize The Language Your Audience Uses

The language you use should be the same as your audience’s

Source: Pixabay

Copy how they speak and the words that they use. Take a look at who reads your content or comments on your posts. Moreover, also look at their emails and social media updates. You can go ahead and request those that have bought your products to describe them back to you.

5. Repeat What Works

If an article about a particular topic is shared several times or gets a lot of hits, logic states that you create more content for the topic. Give your audience more of what they need.

6. Identify Your Clients’ Social Networks

Choose the network which your audience uses frequently

Source: Pexels

There are a significant number of social networks and channels that people use nowadays. Make sure that you publish and place your content where your clients tend to spend time in. The most common social networks include Facebook and Twitter.

7. Come Up With The Content

It doesn’t take much time and effort to create content. However, you should keep in mind that you’re creating online assets that will continuously provide value for you. For instance, a video published online that demonstrates how to do something will continuously educate your customers.

Blog articles, on the other hand, can be used for creating an online video. So if you are thinking about crowdsourcing content, for example, inviting guest authors to your blog, you may have to set some writing guidelines like the length of articles, images, and subtitles to be used.

8. Optimize Your Content

Content optimization is key

Source: Pixabay

If you imagine that simply writing and publishing is all that you have to do, then you’re mistaken. Your task has only just begun. You have to optimize your content. Some things to consider include:

  • Headline – Always come up with a compelling headline that will make people want to read your content.
  • Structure – Write subtitles that split your content into several segments that will attract your readers to your article.
  • Search – Write articles utilizing keywords that your readers would use to search for you online. Additionally, if you are publishing videos on YouTube, ensure that your content is optimized by coming up with a headline, a description, and keywords.
  • Social – ensure you have social media sharing buttons whenever you have content to share. Try not to make it hard for your audience to share and spread your awesome content.

9. Make Your Content Mobile

Nowadays, PCs and laptops are not the only gadgets that your customers or readers use. With advancements in technology, mobile phones and tablets have become must-have gadgets (there are around 2.4 billion smartphone users worldwide. This number is expected to hit 6.1 billion by 2020). Therefore, ensure that the content you create can be viewed on the various mobile platforms.

Conclusion

The tips discussed will greatly assist you to come up with compelling social media content for your brand. For queries about cause and effect essay outline or essay writing services, you can visit various online sources for assistance.


Kevin is a professional educator and a private tutor with over eight years of experience. He is also a content writer for various blogs about higher education, entertainment, social media & blogging. During his off time, Kevin enjoys traveling and cooking. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter, Linkedin & Google+.

Best Ways Your Old Blogs Can Generate New Leads

Best ways your old blogs can generate new leads cover photo

If you have been running your blog for a long time, it probably has a lot of old posts that don’t enjoy a lot of attention from the visitors. It’s a shame because they still might have some value.
Are there any ways to bring them up to the surface again?

Yes! In fact, a lot can be accomplished with old blog content if you know how to optimise it properly. For example, you can increase the number of visitors to your blog in a short period without applying too much effort.

This process is often called historical optimisation.

What is historical optimisation?

Simply put, it means that old blog content gets optimised and updated to be more relevant and up-to-date. “Old content” includes those posts you’ve written a couple of months ago and earlier.

The benefits of recycling old blog posts by applying historical optimisation:

  • Low cost (no need to create original content)
  • Small effort (only minimal work with content)
  • Incredible potential (recycled content can achieve the same popularity as fresh)

If you’re not convinced of the possibility of the resurrection of old blog content, listen to this. An ongoing internal project called “historical optimisation” by Hubspot is one of the best examples of success. It was aimed to generate value from content they’ve published in the past.

It achieved some impressive results, including:

  • The increase in the number of monthly live search views of optimised old posts by 106 percent.
  • The number of monthly leads generated by optimised old posts more than doubled.
  • How does that sound? Optimisation of old blog posts is something worth doing, so why not spend some time trying it?

Here is the list of the best way to repurpose and optimise your old blog content to generate new leads.

  1. Fix Keywords Issues
    Older content has some shortcomings, with keywords being one of the most important. It contains those tired keywords that don’t work anymore. Perform resurrection of this content by replacing them with the most current keywords. For that, you might need some keyword research tools. The replacement may require some rewriting, but it will improve SEO results. Read the content, think about the ways to change some parts of the text. “Be careful as Google, and other search engines frown upon weird sticking in of keywords with the purpose of getting them in the text,” says Robert Green, a content manager from A writer. “As the result, you’ll get fresh content by applying minimal effort.”
  2. Change Titles
    The title is the first thing that readers see, so it’s critical to make them as attractive as possible. A lot of good articles fall on fewer eyes because their titles were boring. For your old content, change of titles is a mandatory requirement because they already don’t enjoy the same popularity as when they were first published. One can automate the process by using topic generation tools. For example, Hubspot’s blog topic generator is one of the best out there. It requires three nouns and produces great topic almost instantly. Remember: 80 percent of your visitors will read the title of the articles, but only 20 percent will open and read them. The more attractive and compelling titles you create, the better. For example, you can use numbers, data, different rationale, calls for attention, and other tricks.
  3. Insert links to older posts in current ones
    This is the easiest thing to do because it does not require any significant changes. Your current posts can lead the viewers to older ones if they contain links to them. Find places where you can appropriately insert these links. That’s it.
  4. Change the format
    Your older posts provide helpful, evergreen content that could be popular today as well. What about changing the format of the articles? For example, if they are composed of plain text, you can turn it into an infographic, slideshow, or even a video? Research showed that visual aids like videos and infographics were effective at increasing the attention to content if compared with textual information. For example, the businesses who market their content with infographics grow their traffic 12 percent on average, according to Social Media Today. Moreover, people like to share visual aids in social media (plus, 65 percent of all people are visual learners), so chance your ‘old new’ content will be shared increases as well.
  5. Optimise images for social media
    Simple tweaks can help you to optimise your old images. For example, it is a known fact that Pinterest users tend to click less on horizontally-oriented images than vertical ones. According to Social Media Cheat Sheet 2017, the max pin for Pinterest images is 2.5 times width; others social media platforms also have their ideal sizes.
    Scale your images according to the latest recommendations, and they will be optimised to generate more leads.
  6. Provide compatibility with mobile devices
    People perform more searches on mobile devices than desktops today, according to Search Engine Land. People love to browse the Internet on the go, so this trend continues to evolve. With our contemporary lifestyle, it is the only chance to do so. Test compatibility of your old blog posts for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to make sure that more people can read them comfortably.
  7. Update information
    This one is obvious. Let’s say you have a blog post about the role of social media in a business promotion that you wrote a year ago. A lot has changed since then, so why not update that post with the new information? If you update the text of the post and add more current tips and guidelines, you have a great chance to increase its popularity. “People want useful and fresh content, so give them what they need.
Now it’s your turn to optimise!

As you can see, there are numerous ways to give the second life to an old blog content. No matter how long it has been published – it can be updated and bring as many leads like the one you uploaded yesterday!

The tips given in this article can be summarised by the following words: make content relevant, fresh, and useful. Given that the Internet made people seekers of consistent information, you should act as a provider of reliable and relevant content.

We recommend you try at least several of the techniques described above, if not all of them. By following these tips, you’ll save a lot of money that you otherwise would have spent on content creation.

That’s it. Hope we convinced you to optimise your old blog posts!

Lucy BentonLucy Benton is a marketing specialist, a business consultant who finds her passion in expressing own thoughts as a blogger, and currently, works at Assignment Helper. She is constantly looking for the ways to improve her skills and expertise. If you’re interested in working with Lucy, you can find her on FaceBook and Twitter.

Adwords Brand Hijacking by The Yellow Pages

adwords brand hijacking by the yellow pages

We regularly do brand search tests for our clients via a Google search to see what pages are showing on the first page of search results. Doing searches like this is done to see if there are any negative listings on that first page of results.

During one of our searches for Hillside Law in Penticton BC, a client of ours, we discovered that a competitor of their’s was hijacking their business name for Google Adwords pay-per-click marketing. We’ve seen this done before to other clients of ours in a different industry. As far as we are concerned, this is a less than ethical means of getting clicks to a website via a competitor’s business name.

See the video below to see how we discovered it.

We did a search for “Hillside Law Penticton” in Google. Below is a screenshot of what appeared. We’ve highlighted the search term showing in AdWords.

hillside law penticton adwords hijacking

Not only did they use the Hillside Law business name in their ad, but it also shows up above Hillside Law’s listing.

The way this is done in AdWords is as follows:

  1. In Google AdWords, you add your competitor’s name as one of your keywords. (e.g. “Hillside Law”)
  2. You set up your ad title to be a variable based on what someone is searching. So if someone is searching for “Hillside Law”, it shows up in the ad title.

When we did further research to see which business was doing this, we discovered that their competitor was using the Yellow Pages to manage their Google AdWords account. You would think that a company the size of the Yellow Pages wouldn’t lower themselves to this level to get business for their clients. What’s even worse is that they did it for a client in the legal field.

In our opinion, this is an unethical way to do pay-per-click marketing, and this is why we are letting everyone know what the Yellow Pages is doing. We have informed our client, and we will be reporting this to Google to have these ads taken down.

We encourage everyone to expose competitors who are using this practice, especially the Yellow Pages.


Article first published at http://coronationim.com/adwords-brand-hijacking/

Killer Content: How You Can Write Killer Content That Sells For Better Conversions

killer-content
Content marketing is no secret. In fact, you could call it one of the most traditional marketing philosophies out there. There’s the right reason for this, of course. Content marketing is good for a lot of things. The first being that it will catch the attention of your ideal audience. It also converts your ideal audience into leads, nurtures them through the sales funnel until the first sale, and then turns first-time buyers into lifetime customers or, better yet, brand advocates. Other channels undoubtedly play a role in the process, but compelling content is the underlying thread tying them all together.

When it comes to turning the skeptics on your marketing and leadership teams into believers, though, the above story of content as a significant driver of sales is likely to be met with eye rolls. Why? It sounds unrealistic, and, ultimately, lacks numbers. In the digital age of marketing–where everything that can be measured, will be measured–content needs to step up its game.

Luckily for you, there’s an easy way to do that: tracking and reporting on content assisted conversions. First, though, you have to write content that converts. This isn’t as scary as it sounds, but it certainly isn’t easy.

content

Keep reading for three fool-proof tips that will help you write killer content that will both convert your audience and make your marketing team look great.

1. Make sure your blog is as compelling and as consumable as possible

  • Compelling and consumable. They go together like peanut butter and jelly, and they speak more to blogging best practices than own marketing strategies. You want to pair these tactics together because if you write great, consumable content, but no one is compelled to read it, you’ve wasted your time. The opposite is true as well; if you’ve compelled your audience to click through to your content, but they don’t stick around and consume it, you’ve wasted your time again.
  • Writing compelling content–namely, content that drives clicks–is tricky. Content saturation is at an all-time high, and even click bait has begun to lose its effect. Your headline must have pull, and your first few sentences must immediately engage. The best headlines create a sense of urgency, invoke strong emotion (positive emotion performs better, but negatively is better than neutral), and keep the value up front. Scroll up, and you’ll find a headline that does just this.
  • Now that you’ve got readers engaged keep their eyes moving down your page. A little-known secret here is to treat your blog like a landing page. This means eliminating distractions, making strategic use of white space, and keeping all elements flowing towards the ultimate goal of the page.
  • Do you want readers to download a white paper? Follow you on social? Subscribe to your email newsletter? If you don’t show readers the goal of the page (or, even worse, you don’t know the goal of the page), they likely won’t accomplish it. Everything from bullet points to image usage to clear CTAs–more on this later–will help you accomplish this.

2. Use audience research and segmentation to ensure you’re speaking to needs

  • Marketers and writers alike often make the mistake of trying to speak to everyone. The logic goes, it seems, that if you try to appeal to 100 people, you might appeal to one. What research and experience have shown, though, is that if you aim to appeal to one person, there’s a high likelihood you’ll appeal to many. There is no substitute for polished content focused directly on one pain point when it comes to influencing conversions.
  • To do this well, you need to know two things. One, who your audience is. Two, what they want.
  • Hopefully, your audience consists of more than one person, though. If it does, there are still ways to write precisely to one person. Audience segmentation tools can break your audience down into smaller, more homogeneous groups. With these smaller groups, you can develop a stronger idea of simple wants, needs, and background information that you can translate into hyper-specific, realistic personas.
  • Ultimately, when you’re speaking to someone’s needs, getting them to convert isn’t a hard sell. It’s the natural next step.

3. Move your audience down the funnel with compelling and relevant CTAs

  • If the other steps were the cornerstones, this one is the steeple. You’ve captured your audience’s attention with a great headline and introductory paragraph. You’ve moved them down the page with easy-to-read content that solves their problems. Now, all you have to do is give your audience more of what they want.
  • Most of the time, what they want is more great content, so this is an appropriate time to offer that great whitepaper you just launched or your email newsletter tailored to this audience member’s pain point. Other times it may be a chat with a sales representative or a sample product. Luckily, you’ve done your audience research, and you know how to serve up a well-placed, genuinely valuable offering that will be a win-win for both your audience members and your marketing team.

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Closing The Deal With Content

Once you’ve got your audience clicking through to your content and keeping their eyes on the page, getting them to convert is easy–as long as you know their needs and speak to them openly. In fact, keeping content assisted conversions high is as simple as always keeping your audience front and center, following the basic tenets of quality copywriting, and ensuring that readers always have an important next step they can take to engage further with your brand. So are you ready to write killer content delivers better conversions?


aaron-content-conversionAaron Gray is a leading digital marketing expert in Australia, specializing in Blogger Outreach services through Nobullshit.com.au. Aaron’s goal is to deliver professional blogger outreach to clients across almost all industry niches. He is dedicated to hard work, his job, and loves to travel in his downtime. 

 

5 Things To Learn About Sales, Stress, and Success From The Marketing Experts

5-things-learn-success

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer

Whether you are aware of this or not, there are two types of people in the marketing industry: those who believe they can deliver every strategy efficiently and successfully and those who believe things can just happen to them. Each marketer has their fair share of experiences in the marketing world. However, their action and approach to a precise moment determine what type of marketer they are.

Admittedly, marketers also feel overwhelmed especially when there are so many things to consider – not to mention the deadlines you need to catch up. Marketers know so well, especially when you are working in a competitive business such as the digital marketing agency in the Philippines that it is not easy to be productive every single time. Sometimes, sales aren’t just going up, and because you need to think it over and over again as to why sales are stagnant; you would apparently exert more effort which causes you to feel stressed-out. If you are one of those marketers who is struggling with their productivity at work, then here are some things you need to know and learn about sales, stress and success and how marketing experts beat them all.

  1. Most people who purport to be influential aren’t – and people with tons of social media followers probably can’t help your sales.
    Never get tricked by the number of followers they have on social media, or how they claim to be influential they are. Although they may have some advantages, that does not mean they can already convert their followers into sales. When you’re a marketer, you should know how to determine people who are potential enough to engage on your site. It does not matter if you do not have hundreds or thousands of followers on social media, for as long as you know they are your target market and potential clients, then it should be good enough to give it a try.
  2. Anxiety and worry are rooted in fear and are wasted energy; they never contribute to any positive outcomes.
    The moment you decide to be a part of the marketing industry, you should already know that it is a risk to take. Sometimes, you need to sacrifice your time and exert the second effort just to come up with an effective strategy. With this, marketers tend to develop anxiety and worry about the things; they needed to do just to beat the deadlines. However, you have to know that worrying too much is not good especially for marketers. You need to be healthy emotionally and physically to achieve the goals you have for the business.
  3. Meditation does wonder for eliminating, preventing and managing stress and anxiety.
    Let’s face it; we usually experience stress – it is inevitable especially when you are working in a competitive company. But just because we often experience it, that does not mean you do not do something to prevent it from happening. Of course, there are also ways for you to avoid such. Meditation is one thing you can do to lessen the burden you are feeling. Whether you realize it or not; meditation has a lot of benefits; be it mentally and physically. With this, it will help you loosen up and start a new and fresh mind.
  4. The more you hustle, the luckier you get.
    This is also one thing marketers should consider. The outcome of your success would depend on how you do things the right way, or how you plan out your strategy to make it as efficient as possible. The more you strive for, the better, of course, you can also expect better results. One thing is for sure; you do not want to lose to your competitors just because you are slacking off of your work.
  5. Social media does not drive sales.
    Dor some businesses, social media might be a great way to drive sales. However, this may not always be the case for the other businesses. Social media is a broad platform where anyone can just skip your website. But if you are aiming for higher sales, then make sure you create a community where your target audience and potential clients can converse properly. It is in this way where you will be able to ensure you can drive sales out of them.

Perhaps, driving out more sales and beating up stress may be a challenge especially when you have so many things in mind. But with these tips mentioned above, it would guide and help you come up with better and strategic ideas for your business.


janiceJanice Jaramillo is a twenty-something who loves to write and read about technology and marketing. She is currently associated with the digital marketing agency in the Philippines. She also likes to travel around the world to meet new people.

10 Tools To Improve Your Guest Blogging Results

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From sources of inspiration to creating high-quality social images to accompany your post, there is a multitude of free and paid tools that can be used to improve your guest blogging campaign. While we certainly don’t advocate the automation of guest blogging, because this quickly crosses the line into a spammy and unethical territory, there is nothing wrong with using some of the tools available to you. By reducing the time it takes to manage multiple spreadsheets, install Outlook add-ons, and unaccepted recirculating pitches, you can concentrate more of your personal resources on creating high-quality guest posting content.

So, below we have put together a list of 10 of the most useful tools;

Tools that we use, every day, as part of our guest blogging campaigns.

AnswerThePublic

Finding inspiration for new posts can be difficult. You don’t want to send rehashed versions of the same articles to multiple sites, but after you’ve pitched a few blogs, you quickly run out of ideas.

Of all the content inspiration tools out there, AnswerThePublic is the one that we return to most often. We use it for writing our blog posts, for finding buyer keywords, and we use it to ensure that we’ve covered every single base with web page content. We also use it for guest blogging.

Only add your keyword, and hit search. AnswerThePublic will then provide you with a list of relevant questions about that topic. We don’t tend to use the visualization tab, which is selected by default. Instead, we click Data so that we are presented with a list of questions. Choose one question, create an FAQ style post, or just use the results to spark some content ideas.

BuzzSumo

Want to know what readers are sharing on social media about your niche? BuzzSumo is a great tool for exactly that purpose. Although many, many tools are part of the BuzzSumo suite, we primarily use it to determine popular topics and even to help us come up with blog post titles.

Enter your keyword, with quotation marks, and then hit search. You will be given an extensive list of posts that include the number of shares they have experienced on different social media accounts.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is probably the most widely used SEO tool that we have, and while it isn’t free, if you are conducting any ongoing SEO campaign, it is worth the investment. We use it to measure the quality of a guest blog site to determine whether it is worth pitching.

You can see whether a blog has any traffic, whether it has suffered any penalties that might be passed on to you, and you can also use it to determine the most popular posts that have appeared on a blog. This gives you great information to share with the blog owner – right; they probably know which there most favorite posts are, but by showing that you do too, you also show that you’ve put some time and effort into contacting them.

SEMRush

One of the biggest challenges in guest blogging is finding a steady stream of high-quality blogs that we want to publish content on. SEMRush may not be the first tool you think of for this, but they have a new SEO Content Tool. The tool is still in Beta, but enter a keyword, and SEMRush will display a mass of information, including a list of sites where you should try and get a link from. This will often include blogs that accept guest posts, reducing the time you have to spend mastering Google search queries.

Guest Post Site Scraper

We aren’t usually fans of scrapers and scraping tools. In the case of website scrapers, they tend to end in a list of relatively low-quality sites, but if you use it correctly, then the Guest Post Site Scraper will provide you with an extensive list of websites that use your keywords or are based on your topics, and that actively encourage guest post submissions. If you do use this tool, be sure to check the quality of the sites before you go submitting work to them.

BuzzStream

When it comes to pitching websites, you will find that some site owners answer straight away. Some take days or even weeks to respond, and many will never respond at all. You can significantly improve your acceptance rates simply by following up on the pitches that you send. A spreadsheet will do the job, but BuzzStream arguably does a better job, and it does it in less time. You can even use it to find sites. It displays the email or contact address of any site that you find, and you can set reminders so that you email the site owner again in a few days.

Moz Toolbar

Writing a guest post should take time. The more effort you put into it, the greater the results you will reap. However, because it can take hours to create a high-quality post, find a list of sites, and then pitch your idea, you should ensure that you are getting the most from every post that is published. For this reason, you should measure the quality of a site before you try pitching them an idea. Moz offers a Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) of every website and web page online, and these metrics are considered the industry standard for this kind of purpose. We are asked for sites with a minimum DA of 20.

SharesCount

It is important not to overlook the power of social shares as well, and the past social performance of a blog’s posts is a reasonable indication of how well future posts will perform. SharesCount is a straightforward and useful tool that tells you how often a post has been shared on the major networks and is a simpler alternative to BuzzSumo and other tools. Paste the URL and click Enter.

Pixabay

Some blog owners receive hundreds of pitches every week and must spend more time trawling through submissions than they would spend writing the posts. It stands to reason, then, that the more work you do for the site owner, the greater the chance that they will publish your piece. Add images to your post. Use screenshots where applicable, or use royalty free, stock photos and illustrations. Many websites offer this kind of content, including Pixabay.

Canvas

If you want to go the extra mile with your submission, then you can create better quality images. Use the photos and illustrations you gather from Pixabay and other sources, edit them, and add text and other items using Canvas. Canvas can be used to create stunning infographics and hero images, as well, but it is a quick and simple solution to creating social sharing images.

Using the tools above you can increase your guest blogging performance. You will be able to find content ideas more easily, judge the quality of sites that you publish to, and even incorporate images. You can track your results, and you can use the information that you gather to make further improvements in the future too.


Matt1Matt Jackson is a freelance content writer and guest blogger. He manages dozens of campaigns, crafting high-quality content, and submitting to beneficial blogs to gain exposure for websites around the world. Visit brandingmedia.co.uk for more information on Matt’s services.

20 Secrets Why Infographics Go Viral

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Content marketing has many aspects to it, but the premise is very simple. You create content and then promote it. However, anyone who reads this blog knows that it’s not that easy. You have to create the right content that will get your shares and likes and then you have to outreach to people that will put your content on display to the world. Even then it can be hard.

However, infographics seem to play by a different set of rules. There is one thing I know about content marketing, and that is infographics get shared. They just work.

Then I started thinking about why infographics go viral. Why do they get more shares? Why do people like them?

So I did some research, and I complied 20 ‘secrets’ why infographics go viral, and what better way to compile these 20 hidden secrets than in an infographic.

Take a look, and hopefully, you will realize the power of infographics.

  1. A viral infographic has a defined purpose and message behind it.
    A study conducted by the Journal of Physical Activity and Health noted that the viral infographic transmitted a message and engaged the viewer using a three-step process: raising awareness, changing and challenging attitudes, finalized with a call to action’ to change behaviors.
  2. The display size of the infographic matters.
    Social Media Today conducted an analysis of 1000 infographics that were the most shared in some different business industries and found that the most popular size was an average of 3683 high and 803 pixels wide. This is an average size, so a rule of thumb you can apply is to use these pixels sizes and add or subtract 15 percent to maximize your viral potential.
  3. Viral Infographics are all in mind.
    There is clear scientific evidence, as stated in a Thomson and Reuters blog, that 30 percent of the brain is used to process visual data, contrasted with 3 percent for sensory information. An attention-grabbing infographic with the potential to go viral needs to use visuals that clearly explain the content with a minimal use of text. If the graphical information is confusing, it will lose the viewer.
  4. Being easy to understand is an essential feature of a viral infographic.
    There are many ways to communicate information, but what makes an infographic shareable is the fact it can convey its message at a glance. According to Thomson and Reuters, there are six characteristics to an attention-grabbing infographic, but when you consider the purpose of an infographic is to present the information quickly, so viewers need to see a clearly defined message.
  5. Make the connections between your infographic images and your brand message as clear and straightforward as possible.
    Neomam cites scientific data that says it only 150 milliseconds for an image to be processed in our brains, and another 100 milliseconds to attach a meaning to that image. This means that it is critical for your infographic to communicate information visually in a way where the viewer makes an almost instant connection with the symbol. The less the viewer has to think, the higher the likelihood of it going viral.
  6. Focus on color first, and then the text.
    According to NeoMam, someone who encounters an infographic is 80 percent more likely to engage the image visually. But more importantly, stopping to engage the color image makes the viewer more likely to read the text. Therefore, the color attracts, and the text informs. The danger here is that too much emphasis will be placed on the color and the underlying message in the text will be lost to the viewer.
  7. Create a special color scheme.
    Social Media Today took a close look at color schemes and found that almost 4 of 10 infographics that went viral had either a triadic color scheme or a monochromatic color scheme, while the least likely color scheme to go viral was tetradic. The color scheme needs to emphasize the critical points of the infographic.
  8. Viral Infographics take advantage of a fundamental cognitive process.
    Because our brains are wired to focus initially on visual stimuli, people can recall 80 percent of what they see, according to NeoMam’s infographic. Your infographic does not have a chance of going viral if it is not something people will be able to remember. The lesson here is to be creatively simple and make it easy for the viewer to remember.
  9. Sharing is fun.
    This may be the most obvious and also the most overlooked characteristic of a viral infographic. NeoMam puts this fact at the end of their website infographic, not because it requires a lot of explanation but for exactly the opposite reason. How much can you talk about making something fun? When it comes to a viral infographic, this can be the deal breaker.
  10. The Word Count needs to be carefully watched.
    An analysis by Social Media Today showed viral infographics had an average of 398 words, and no viral infographic has more than 502. Another rule of thumb you can apply is to keep your infographic text right around 400 words. Many marketers believe “less is more, ” but these statistics clearly show that people expect an infographic to convey a minimum amount of information to be useful – and shareable.
  11. The best viral infographics know their target audience extremely well.
    The primary characteristic of any social media marketing campaign is defining your target audience. An infographic needs to be very precise in its definition because the information in the infographic will only be relevant to a particular group of people according to Digital Marketing magazine. They, in turn, will share it with others who know the content is relevant to the other person.
  12. Choose your marketing channels carefully.
    Experienced social media marketers know that choosing the right channels is key to success. Social Media Today discovered in an analysis of 1000 infographics that on Facebook you would have a better chance of going viral if the industry is Health, while if your channel is Twitter you will have a better chance with – Social Media. It is possible you can commit an infographic to a single social media channel and watch it go viral. Only your marketing data and analysis can show you what will work for your particular situation.
  13. Infographic content needs to be both compelling and unique.
    One of the trademarks of a quality infographic, according to Digital Marketing, is that it has compelling content. This is only the first step, however. Being unique is also a critical part of viral success because there is little need to share information that can be easily found on 100 other websites or media channels.
  14. Be sure to contain backlinks in your infographic.
    While content is important, infographics that are out on social media should always have a backlink according to Digital Magazine, either to your landing page or home page There are two reasons for this. First, it increases brand awareness, and second, it opens the door for visitors to see other infographics available on your site. While backlinks can increase traffic, the goal here is to have the visitors browse your website and see your remarkable infographics.
  15. Choose your title keywords carefully.
    Many people do not associate keywords and infographic title as a sufficient attention grabbing marketing technique because they are often so focused on the content itself. Digital Marketing magazine makes the case that doing so makes your infographic better, increasing your chances for a viral hit. Organic searches have a better chance of connecting to your infographic if it is easily found through targeted keywords in your title.
  16. Use infographics to increase the number of your followers and subscribers.
    Digital Marketing sees this as a clear step towards going viral. The more people you have who you stay in regular contact with through email or mailing lists, the more people will know about your latest infographic. Remember that information in today’s world has a very short active life, which is why everything viral does not last very long in the Internet world.
  17. Color Me Blue
    In the Social Media Today report, blue was by far the number one color of choice, regardless of the industry. This included the areas of Health, Business, Entertainment, and the entire range of viral infographics. Red was second, except for the Health industry where it placed third. Blue is considered to be a stress-reducing, relaxing color while red communicates excitement. Use the color combination to your psychological advantage.
  18. Use the embed feature to allow others to embed your infographic into their blog or website.
    Allowing your infographic to be embedded in another businesses’ website or on a blog increases its exposure and increases its visibility, according to Digital Marketing magazine. The progressions are simple: the more people who see it, the more people who will share it, and the more people who share it increase the possibility of it becoming viral.
  19. Do not limit your infographic “mentality” to online media.
    Digital Marketing correctly points out that an efficient multi-channel marketing campaign extends beyond the online presence of your company. Though the concept of viral is usually associated with the Internet, there are ad campaigns that make the jump to print and other forms of media. A quality infographic looks just as good, or maybe even better, in print than in a digital environment.
  20. One secret that may still be a secret is that there are still hidden realities behind viral infographics.
    The fundamental Social Media Today analysis that has been used concluded that one of the least popular industries for infographics is Finance. That seems more than a bit odd, but it is borne out by the statistics. Likewise, it states one of the most popular is the Entertainment industry. Numbers don’t lie, but it is possible they can mislead.

20 secrets why Infographics go viral

Conclusion:

So there you have it the secrets finally revealed.
Now it’s your turn to create an infographic that will go viral and make your brand the talk of the town.

Sources:

Digital Marketing

NeoMam Studios

Social Media Today

Thomson Reuters


tahirTahir Miah is an entrepreneur, digital marketer and SEO enthusiast. He is the founder of Serpjump, a Bedford SEO agency.

Elements of Good Web Design for Marketing Purposes

web-design-marketing

If you own a small business or offer services of a commercial nature, chances are you have considered taking your business online. Perhaps you have already done this and set up your website in the hopes that clients will notice it and contact you with orders. In today’s scenario, more and more marketplaces are moving online. Brick and mortar outlets and offices just cannot hope to compete with e-commerce. The reach, flexibility, and opportunities that the digital medium offers are unbeatable. Are you satisfied that your website will be able to cut through the competition and grab the attention of your customers? Does your website have those magical ingredients that can turn it into your most efficient marketing tool?

Industry observers note that e-commerce is helping smaller businesses narrow the gap between themselves and the bigger established players. Why miss out on this golden opportunity? This guide is here to tell you why your website should be the focus of your marketing campaign and what the right mix of web design elements can do to completely turn around your game.

web-design-cim

  1. Faster Is Always Better: Who doesn’t love websites that load at lightning speed? Clients have little patience and time to wait for content to load. Optimize graphics for speed and streamline your design by cutting out unnecessary clutter. Resist the temptation to indulge in fancy gimmicks; keep it clean, simple and fuss-free. A speedy site is guaranteed to translate into bigger business for you.
  2. Create A Credible And Professional Look: A purposefully goofy look works in some cases, but unintentional tackiness makes everyone cringe. It can reflect very poorly on your reliability as a service provider. One way to rectify this and create a relaxed, confident look is to add plenty of visual breathing space and make the text easy to read. Also, ensure that you banish click bait and targeted advertising altogether.
  3. Constant Updates: A well-maintained and up-to-date website bespeaks commitment and reliability. Need we say more?
    Security: Assure customers that their information will be kept confidential. If your website is going to incorporate a payment portal, then make sure that it is mediated by a trusted and internationally recognized third-party like PayPal.
  4. Analytics And Search Engine Optimization: Any website should be backed by solid analytics. This is the tool that lets you measure performance based on quantitative indices. What pages draw the most traffic and what sorts of visitors are viewing your site? What are their interests? Having this information at your fingertips helps you tailor your website to target your coveted customer base directly rather than throwing things into the void and hoping that they stick. It is worth investing in a dedicated team to care for your SEO needs.
  5. Compelling Content: Create content that should be able to draw viewers on its merit. If you run a cosmetics business, it could be a very good idea to set up a blog section on your website and invite guest bloggers and industry experts to do informative pieces on a regular basis. Invite clients to review products they love. Introduce videos, vlogs or even contests for readers to participate in.
  6. Leverage Social Media: Following on from the previous point, your website should be closely tied with social media because this is the primary portal through which you can access clients and be seen by them. Video content and customer images can be shared through platforms like YouTube and Instagram to boost visibility, get everyone talking and your website trending.
  7. Create A Mobile Version: Nowadays, most customers are looking to access websites on their mobile phones. Websites not optimized for mobile usage appear shoddy and glitchy on smartphones. This can put off potential clients. Better yet, if you feel the investment is justified, create a dedicated app.
  8. Solid Customer Support: Nothing beats immediate and sensitive customer support. Set up a clear channel through which clients can get in touch to discuss their concerns. Offer consultations through chats. Happy customers will leave you glowing recommendations that are sure to go a long way towards building trust and helping you carve a foothold in the industry. Customer satisfaction converts one-time orders into lifelong relationships.

marketing-toronto

We understand that owners of businesses often have a variety of pressing concerns. They may be understaffed and struggling to break even or garner a regular clientele. They may be facing stiff competition in their industry. Amidst these everyday struggles, shelling out real money for stellar web design isn’t on the top of everyone’s priority list. Unless they are backed by a savvy marketing team, they tend to grudgingly fork out the smallest possible portions of their budget for barely-adequate websites.

We are not here to convince you to drop a fortune on getting yourself a great website. A hefty price tag doesn’t equal quality. What you must do, though, is ensure that the task is handed over to a trusted professional with plenty of experience. Smaller web design companies like Hashtag17 are more focussed on individual projects and offer the same quality at more competitive price points. A rule of thumb is to take a look at the company’s portfolio and peruse customer testimonials to satisfy yourself that this is the right choice for you.

The next and most important step in this process is to formulate a plan as to what you want your website to do and communicate. How will it embody your company’s philosophy? If you don’t have a clear sense of how to achieve this, try looking for what you would consider as excellent examples of web design for marketing. Share these with your designer and let them bring your vision to life.


meenakshiMeenakshi is the cofounder of Hashtag17 and coordinates with customers on their projects. She is very passionate about web designing and user experience. She also loves to micro monitor each project the technology team works on and ensures that the company’s clients are ecstatic with the output. 

How to Use Instagram and Snapchat Stories to Build Your Brand

instagram-snapchat-brand

We’ve long known a single picture is worth a thousand words, but how many pictures does a whole story involve? If you have spent any amount of time on Instagram or Snapchat in the last year or two, you might already know the answer.

Companies of all sizes and statures have long recognized the value of image-rich marketing, using color to evoke emotion, infographics to simplify complex ideas, and shapes to highlight particular qualities and meanings. Brands create and utilize images to mold their persona, sharing their brand story by giving a peek at the people and purpose behind the logo.

And for some, there’s no easier way to showcase those eye-catching elements than on visual-emphatic social outlets like Instagram and Snapchat, the image-based platforms whose entire existence relies on posting optically appealing elements to engage their viewers.

instagram snapchat

But as much power as a single image can yield, a thousand words at a time ceased to suffice when Snapchat’s Stories feature – and later Instagram Stories – rolled out and installed a new era of social storytelling. Pioneering features like ephemeral content has forced marketers to craft stronger, more efficient, more engaging stories within the images they post.

With a 24-hour expiration date stamped on every Story, there’s only one place a Story can survive – in the viewer’s memory, but only if it’s worth remembering.

A Magnified Look at Social Media Storytelling

A Cultural Expectation

Storytelling has existed as long as human language, serving to share experiences and information, and eventually cementing its place as a cultural norm. Some stories we share today, such as fairy tales and urban legends, are ones that have evolved through centuries of retellings and embellishments, changing names, places, and happy endings to fit our purposes. And just as humans did centuries ago, we continue to tell stories to inform, engage, entertain, and inspire, only now those stories do not always come in the form of a book or oral recitation.

Brand storytelling isn’t about cherry-picking stock photos or copying the successes of others. To be effective, every story shared must epitomize the brand identity, rising above competing brands and images to engage, enlighten, and inspire the viewer to either take action or seek more information. These stories serve as a chance for brands to momentarily halt their advertising barrage and give their audience a transparent glimpse into the beating heart of the company.

Brands have become as big a part of our culture as the products they represent, from music to clothing to food to social media and beyond. Some of the most successful brands have integrated themselves so deeply in our society not through their products and services, but via a storytelling strategy that speaks to us on a culturally important level.

The Cash Value of a Brand Story

As transparent and genuine as brand stories need to be, there is no hard and fast rule to deter your story from becoming your Call to Action. You simply need to know how to craft a story that warrants an action.

Consider the following:

  • What do my customers need from me?
  • How can I connect with my customers on an emotional level?
  • What drives my customers to make a buying decision?
  • What honest elements can I add to my story that can help influence a decision?

Let’s look at Coca Cola’s 2014 Share a Coke campaign:

coca-cola

As one of the world’s most iconic brands, the company stayed true to its universal roots by featuring individual names on its bottles and cans, which sent millions of soda drinkers on a scavenger hunt to find the beverage that “belonged” to them. But as obvious as this was a marketing campaign, it was also less obviously a reflection of how people provide the beating heart behind the brand.

In this case, Coca-Cola shared a story about sharing a coke and earned a 2.5% increase in sales from the same 12-week period the previous year. Also, Coca-Cola benefited from an 870% increase in social media traffic, 18 million+ media impressions, and a 7% increase in consumption, among other perks.

A Purpose in Social Media

As digital marketing trends continued to shift to the social sphere, both Snapchat and Instagram rose to the call of an increased need for solid social media storytelling that doesn’t only provide an opportunity for engagement but encourages it. Thus, Stories emerged on each platform to give brands and viewers alike a different, more organized approach to interacting with each other.

Keep in mind, storytelling is not synonymous with story-selling. It’s not just an outlet to promote your good deeds and wild successes to gain positive PR. Storytelling has always been about how we relate to others and the ways we share and understand experiences. Build your social stories around what your users care about, and show them how you understand their needs, likes, and interests.

Truthfully, brands have become so adept at crafting original images and click-worthy content that it often begs the viewer to question its authenticity. But Stories can – and do – change that notion by not featuring your carefully constructed material, but your in-the-moment highlights. And those are the instances that tell the most genuine, unevolved version of your brand story.

A Bird’s Eye View of Snapchat and Instagram

Snapchat

Say good-bye to the self-destructing snap – if you want to. With Stories, users can look at photos as often as they like until the 24-hour timer dings.

Think of it as a well-honed twist on a traditional photo album: users can post photos or videos in Stories, and others can view those posts anytime while they are still live. This gives viewers a play-by-play of what the user has been up to within a day’s span, but without any content taking a deep dive in their rolling newsfeed. Once a post hits the 24-hour mark, it’s gone forever.

snapchat-stories

Posting to Stories throughout a given day creates a unique narrative for the viewer that details what a day in the life looks like for your brand. It also avoids the one-view-only stipulation that formally ruled Snapchat and lets your image’s legacy live a little longer to create a bigger impact. This gives each of your Snapchat Stories a full 24 hours to inspire and engage before time runs out and something new takes its place. If creativity is ever necessary, it’s here and now.

Instagram

The first photo-sharing social platform lifted a page from the Snapchat playbook and implemented their form of Stories.

Similar in form and function to that of Snapchat, Instagram embodies one of the most important elements of telling and sharing stories – the personal aspect. By eliminating public likes and comments to posts shared in Stories, users are encouraged to reach out via private message on Instagram Direct. This gives brands a clear invitation to respond and engage by forging a direct connection with its fans.

instagram-stories

How to Choose The Right One for Your Brand

If you find yourself unable to differentiate between Snapchat and Instagram Stories, you aren’t alone. The resemblance between the two is nothing short of striking:

  • Posts disappear within 24 hours
  • Ability to add doodles, filters, and emojis
  • Similar privacy settings
  • Viewers can initiate one-on-one Conversation
  • Users can post photos and videos
  • Brands use them for similar purposes

Even so, the two can’t be described as identical. Snapchat trumps Instagram with its filters, face mapping, and reverse motion filters, while Instagram beats Snapchat on hashtag functionality within the app and easier navigation through Stories. Also, each app emphasizes Stories in different extremes, with Instagram prioritizing Stories as the top level idea, as opposed to a second rate feature on Snapchat, and are definitely tools all social media marketing companies should be using.

Given the massive similarities and scant differences, which one makes the best solution for your brand?

There is no single right answer. If there were, either Instagram or Snapchat would cease to exist. But whether you are considering a transition from one platform to the other, or are making the first leap into a social media strategy, there are a few things you should consider before clicking the Sign-Up button:

  • What platform does the majority of my target audience use? Don’t worry about which platform has the most users – find out which one can put your brand in front of the right users.
  • What kind of results do I get on my current platform? If you are already active on either Instagram or Snapchat and are thinking of jumping ship because you are not currently getting the results you expect, consider tweaking what you are already doing before you completely abandon your efforts.
  • Do I have the resources and necessity to manage a presence on both Instagram and Snapchat? Some brands can sacrifice the money and manpower to manage multiple social media accounts. But even if you do have the time, funds, and people to manage both platforms, make sure the results warrant the extra resources you’re forking out.
  • Which platform does my competition use? Copying the competition does not always give you the same results as your competitors, but it could be a good indication that they have found their target audience on their current social channel, which means you can, too.

Once you make your choice, be consistent in sharing your stories by keeping your result in focus. Remember, storytelling is about understanding and connecting with your audience, so quality – not quantity – should win every time. Now that’s a story with a happy ending.


benBen Shepardson has been creating and managing websites and web content since the early aughts. From the early wild days of SEO to today’s demand for fully-researched content that users crave, he’s dealt with it all. His latest project is NoStop Content, a provider of original, top-notch written content for business owners and media agencies.

A Detailed Guide to Advanced Search Operators for SEO

detailed-guide-seo

First things first, Google gets as much as about 78% of worldwide search volume, which makes it the biggest source of organic traffic. Perhaps so much so that you wouldn’t even want to bother with another search engine in most cases.

However, over the past few years, Google has gotten extremely stringent with SEO. If you’re aware of the recent SEO trends, you likely know that Google is penalizing sites with shady SEO practices more aggressively than ever before.

This certainly calls for some quality and well-thought-out SEO strategies, as those typical SEO tools are no longer going to cut it. So without further ado, let’s walk you through some highly advanced search operators that may turn out to be extremely useful in coming up with sophisticated SEO strategies that are both safe and efficient.

Advanced Search Operators

Allinanchor: This search operator is going to pull up all pages that are linking out to sites using a particular anchor text. For example, “all in anchor: Best SEO Company” is going to return pages that are linking out to sites using the words “best SEO company” as the anchor text.

Allintext: This is something you can use to find pages that contain particular words in their text. For instance, searching for “allintext: SEO checklist” is going to get you results that include the words “SEO” and “list.”

Allintitle: Similar to the above one, this search operator would return pages that have particular words in their title.

Allinurl: This will help you find URLs containing particular words.

Author: Google will only show you results from Google Groups that are newsgroup articles written by the author you’re searching for.

Define: This search operator is similar to the above one but would help you get definitions for what you’re searching for.

Intext: This is related to “allintext,” but has a slightly different use. For example, if you search for “Rand Fishkin intext: SEO” (without the quotes), then you would get results that mention SEO in the text, but “Rand” and “Fishkin” may not necessarily be referred to in the text.

Intitle: Similar to the above search operator, this helps you find results with specific words in the title, while the other words that you do not put after the search operator may be mentioned anywhere in the article.

Site: This search operator would allow you to restrict the search results to only the site you put after it. Example: “SEO tips site:getplusfollowers.com” (without the quotes) would only get you results that talk about social media tips from getplusfollowers.com.

Inurl: It works the same way as intext and intitle do, pulling up results that contain particular words in the URL while the other words that are not put after the search operator can be anywhere in the article.

Link: This search operator will only return all pages that link to a particular site. However, if you’re trying to find the external links to a site, you can use the “minus” search operator along with the “link” one.

For example, if you search for “link:google.com -site:google.com” (without the quotes), you would only get external pages linking to google.com, and not the ones from Google’s site.

Finding Link Building Opportunities

The beauty of these search operators is that they make it incredibly easier and efficient to find great link building opportunities, which can otherwise be very time-consuming and a downright tedious task. The infographic talks in great detail about how you can go about using these search operators to find link building opportunities.

Advanced Google Search Operators
Created by SEO Optimizers


brandon-gpBrandon Leibowitz, owner of SEO Optimizers, has been involved with digital marketing since 2007 with an emphasis on search engine optimization. He runs a sports blog as well called shralpin.com. His knowledge and advice has helped countless people improve their online presence.