4 Tips Every Video Marketer Should Implement on YouTube

youtube video marketer header

As you’ve probably noticed, online video is quickly emerging as one of the most engaging forms of content online. In fact, it’s expected to make up 74% of internet traffic by the end of 2017.

No wonder marketers are flocking to YouTube in droves!

Although this represents a fantastic opportunity for you, it also means that standing out on YouTube is become increasingly more difficult.

Not to worry…

In this post, I’ve highlighted the four essential tips that you need to implement on your YouTube channel in order to grow your audience and keep them coming back for more.

1. Optimize Your Channel

The first tip is to start by optimizing your channel. Many users start by uploading videos on an empty channel and start to question why their videos aren’t performing. If you don’t brand your channel, the chances of users subscribing are slim.

Similar to Facebook, you want to choose a recognizable profile picture and a well designed banner. This is the first thing that viewers see when they visit your channel so make it unique and memorable.

You also want to come up with a channel description that gives viewers a good idea of the content they’ll be viewing.

Alex Aiono is a very popular cover artist on YouTube who has seen a ton of success. His channel is a great example of what an optimized YouTube page should look like. His YouTube banner is well designed and his description tells you exactly what type of videos you will be getting out of his page. Alex provides ways to contact his management and he provides all of his social links.

alex aiono youtube

2. Research Content Ideas

Having a well-branded channel is important, although a channel without content is also useless. Coming up with engaging content is a difficult task, but there are ways you can reverse engineer the search to find topics that are in demand. The YouTube search engine runs very similarly to a typical Google search and there are ways that you can use Google search to come up with content ideas that users are looking for.

To do this, use the Google Keywords tool within AdWords. This will allow you to check the search volume for terms going through Google each month. While this doesn’t give you what people are searching directly in YouTube, it does act as a fairly good proxy.

For example, if you’re a pet store owner looking to create a YouTube channel, some terms you might put in are “pet products” or “dog toys.” If the search volume is high for the “best dog toy in 2017” then it might be a good idea to have a video solely on that.

keyword suggestions

Additionally, the Google Keyword Tool allows you to search new keywords based on a phrase, website, or category. By typing in “pet products” as your phrase, the tool gives you a large selection of keywords based off of this phrase and the search volume of each. This gives you a better idea of what keywords you should be targeting based off of search popularity.

If you want to take keyword research to the next level, you should check out KeywordTool.io which provides keyword suggests specifically for YouTube. Just be aware that you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan in order to get the search volumes.

Another way to research content ideas is to look at what is working with your competitors or other channels. If other major YouTubers are creating pet tech review videos (continuing with the example above) that receive millions of views, then that would be a good concept to consider for content.

Finally, while the Google keyword planner and KeyworTool.io can help you find specific keywords, you may need to find broader topics. An easy way to find topics is to use a free tool like BuzzSumo. This will help you find the most shared, or most popular content based off of selected keywords or categories.

google keyword planner

3. Stay Consistent

When it comes to YouTube, staying consistent across your channel is very important.

The first way to stay consistent is to post regularly. If you’ve ever followed large YouTube stars such as Casey Neistat, you begin realize that he posts daily and typically at the same time every morning.

This isn’t to say that you have to post daily. However, having a consistent schedule makes it easier for viewers to familiarize themselves with your content. Figure out how often you can post videos and stick to it. Evidently, the more frequent the better assuming you can maintain the quality.

In terms of branding, it’s important to create consistent YouTube video thumbnails that look professional. Don’t worry though, you don’t need to be a graphic designer. With free tools like Snappa, you can create consistent youtube thumbnails for your videos without any design skills.

Having custom branded thumbnails will help your videos stand out in the “Suggested videos” feed and will ensure your videos are automatically recognized by your audience.

thumbnails example backlinko

4. Create a Sharing Environment

I often come across YouTube channels that have amazing content but lower view counts and subscriber counts than what I would expect. On the flipside, I often see YouTubers who have mediocre content with huge viewership and a large following. I realized that the individuals who have the mediocre content have built a sharing culture within their channel and they have built a small community of raving fans.

You can build this sharing environment in several ways. First, you can ask engaging questions at the end of videos and encourage users to comment and respond. What this does is create a conversation within the comment section and the more comments and likes on the video, the higher YouTube will rank the video.

Below is an example from the YouTube group WOLVES who actually got their audience to ask them questions through their other social channels and they answered these questions with a new video. This is a great example of how you should interact with your audience and create a conversation with them. Q&A’s are also great because you help the audience learn more about you by addressing things that they did not know before.

youtube questions

Another way is to hold contests, which gives your audience the incentive to like, subscribe, or comment on your video content. You would be surprised how far a “T-shirt Giveaway” would go. Leveraging your other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to direct your fan base to your YouTube channel can be very effective.

An example of an effective contest run by large YouTuber Casey Neistat was his drone giveaway. He encouraged his large audience to comment in order to be entered to his contest, where he would randomly select a comment to win.

youtube contests

Final Thoughts

Changing the format of your content can be very effective. As users begin to use video for their marketing needs, YouTube is quickly becoming the hotspot for video marketing. However, to have a strong brand presence on YouTube, there are several factors that contribute to a successful channel.

Optimizing your channel to be clear and concise will carry many benefits and will help Google categorize your channel accordingly. Doing a bit of research and analyzing the content of other channels will help you improve your content and will help you gauge what works and what doesn’t. Staying consistent will familiarize yourself with your audience and will help new viewers recognize your channel. And finally, creating a sharing environment will help you build a community of raving fans, but will also help you grow organically at a much faster rate, while keeping your audience engaged.

 


nick leNick Le is a content marketer at Snappa – the software that helps you create online graphics in a snap.

How To Harness The Power of Hashtag on Instagram

hashtag-instagram
The fan-favorite picture sharing app Instagram has always charmed its users with some excellent features and new updates throughout years, and it has now become one of the biggest social media networking platforms on Internet today. The popular app Instagram has introduced in the year 2010 and the beginning, it was not as popular as it is now. But the app always showed promise, and today it is in front of everyone.

If you see it is very obvious that Instagram is now one of the most famous social networking platforms right after Facebook and it has a huge user base of 600 million, who are active as well. Not just Instagram keeps introducing us to some great updates and features, but it is also becoming an excellent platform for social media networking.

As many delightful feature Instagram offers to its audience, it is also offering them a chance to spread their business as well now. There are several ways in which you can market your business on Instagram, and they are not very hard to use.

Some things should be kept in your mind if you want to run a successful Instagram campaign and one of those things includes hashtags. Hashtags are a great way of improving the engagement of your posts. They are small, they are interesting, and they are creative. The concept of hashtags was only popular on Twitter in the beginning but now the hashtags are becoming essential to Facebook and as well as Instagram. Hashtags can be great, and they can improve the reach of your post dramatically if you use the right ones. Using hashtags is not as simple as it seems. You cannot just take any hashtags you want and add them to your posts. That would be good for nothing. You need to make sure that you are using your hashtags in the right way.

Here are some tips using which you can harness the power of hashtag on Instagram.

1# Start the conversation using hashtag

Hashtags can be very useful for Instagram users, and there are many ways in which hashtags can be used on the picture sharing platform. One of the ways in which you can take advantage from hashtags is starting a conversation with the hashtag. By using just one hashtag, you can set up any ongoing discussion, allowing people of different backgrounds to join the conversation and give their opinion. Using hashtags allow you to stream your content so the people saw it can join the conversation if they are interested. Also, do not forget that every person you are connecting or engaging with on Instagram through hashtags discussions, there are a lot of potential customers who are watching or following your post which is looking to know about you.

#2 Figure out a good hashtag and use it across all social media platforms

Well, in this article we are talking about ways to harness the power of hashtags on social media. But here for a while, we will talk about other social networking platforms as well which includes Facebook and Twitter. Well if you want to enhance your hashtag performance on Instagram you will need to use all your networks as they are connected. Figure out one hashtag that is good enough and describes your business. Now use the hashtag on all of your social media platforms and cross-promote it. As soon as people starting observing your hashtag more there is an excellent chance that influenced by this; they will start to use it as well. So connecting can help improve the performance of our hashtag.

According to research, a hashtag used on Instagram can improve your accounts engagement up to 12%.

#3 Go for creative hashtags that will let your users upload photo

When it comes to using hashtag the most important thing you need to keep in your mind is creativity. The more creative your hashtag is, the more it will help you to engage with an audience. Be tricky and use hashtags that will encourage users on Instagram to upload photos with the hashtag to get featured on your website or Instagram account. You can also use it another way as you can ask your followers and customers to use the hashtag and to upload pictures to it to get featured. People like such things and they will want to get involve with you. Using this tactic can bring you new followers and improve your engagement, and it also will help in promoting your hashtag.

#4 Ask the users for feedback

As we know that Instagram is a famous social media networking website and if we talk about social media marketing then we all know that the feedback is high on this channel. Customers can directly give you feedback on your products, services, developments or any other concerning thing. So, when you are asking for feedback from your users add a specific hashtag to it for what kind of feedback you want. This thing can also help you up your hashtag game. While asking for feedback and using unique hashtags make sure that many big brands and business had failed with hashtags as they sometimes become a famous internet troll. So they can have a negative impact too. But you need to be careful with it and while getting feedback from your hashtags always welcome the criticism.

5# Mention location in your hashtag

This one is also an excellent trick to improve your hashtag power on Instagram especially if you are a small business and is based in specific areas. People do get attracted a lot when their city is mentioned in the hashtag. Always use the location in hashtag if you are going to target a particular audience. This will help you to reach your proper audience and will also improve your engagement through hashtags. Also, you can use multiples cities names in hashtags so that it will trend in multiple cities and people are always looking up to their city hashtags for something.

These are some interesting and useful ways that can help you harness the power of hashtags on Instagram. Remember that hashtags are indeed powerful and can boost up your engagement if they are used in the right way. So, follow these simple instructions and make sure that you get the best out of your hashtags.



qurban
Qurban is a freelance writer who offers to blog, ghostwriting and copywriting services. He works in close collaboration with businesses providing digital marketing solution that increases brand awareness and search engine visibility. He’s currently working for Vibbi.com, which provides quality Instagram followers, likes, and views.

 

 

Secrets of Using Display Boards in Brand Marketing

display-boards-brand-marketing
The marketing realm is always on a constant journey to better brand awareness strategies. From word of mouth referrals to print media and now digital marketing, the corporate world has come a long way in reaching out to the audience. In the recent days, brands have embraced the use of display boards. Yours should be no exception. However, merely using these boards will not get you the conversations you require. You need to know how to take advantage of them. What are some of the best-kept secrets of using display boards in brand marketing?

Sell your brand at fairs and exhibitions

Pitching an exhibition at trade fairs using display boards is one captivating way of gaining traction and promoting your brand. Just book a booth in a local or international trade fair and say it loud with display board presentations. Display your logo printings, your company’s vision, and the various information regarding your brand; what makes you stand out as a brand? You must be able to capture this in the display.

One distinct advantage you will have is that such exhibitions normally have people from varied backgrounds. When impressed, they can take messages of your brand to distant places you might never have reached through your marketing strategies.

Using Display boards in details

The other available option is taking advantage of display boards in retail stores. It is an easier way of enhancing the customer experience while at your store. Quality graphics and motion pictures have always had impacts in consumer choices. That has not changed. Places like hotels, fast food centers, and shopping outlets are great arenas for staging such displays. Even in doing this, your ultimate aim should be to stand out from the rest. To do this, you need to;

Keep fresh the display boards fresh

Have something new for the customers each moment. You can promote your brand using different messages. Capture those messages in separate displays. Customers always want to know more and giving them fresh contents through the display boards satisfies that curiosity.

Capture real-time changes

The burning thirst for news is one that is hardly quenched. Customers appreciate new trend and real-time news from various sources. Through digital signage screen, you can capture information related to your niche. Customers want to be informed even as they carry out their shopping. In the long-term, you will be able to establish a strong bond through such avenues.

Capitalize on Brand offers and discounts

There is no better place to announce fabulous offers and discounts than on display boards. Is there a special discount or holiday gift hamper? Use the display boards in your store to capture this. It shouldn’t sound so promotional least it raises unnecessary suspicion. This can mainly work when introducing new products.

Conclusion

The marketing industry has consistently gone through revolutionary brand awareness strategies. Display boards are currently in the spotlight, and the best you can do is to take advantage of them. This guide gives you the right footing into that.



charlie-brown
Charlie Brown is a content developer for a leading marketing agency based in Illinois. He has written several posts on brand marketing. You can visit https://www.dopublicity.com/ to learn more on display boards.

 

4 Strategies Every Marketing Leader should be Using in 2017

marketing-leaders-2017
The very face of marketing is changing consistently, even more so in today’s world. You have to stay on top of the latest trends and topics so that you can compete – because if you aren’t, then you are falling behind. In fact, you should dedicate at least a few hours every week to reading over marketing materials and new ideas. If you put it off until the end of a quarter or a specific day of every month, you will quickly fall behind.

marketing-strategy

For 2017, try some of these marketing strategies:

1) Get Influencers Involved

Influencers are the best source of traffic in the marketing world today. To use them effectively, you have to find someone that aligns themselves with your ideas and has a following that could use your product. For example, sure a big-name basketball star might have a lot of followers, but you don’t want to use him to market a make-up brand. Or just because a comedian has a lot of followers on your targeted audience, some of their humor might turn off customers that you already have. You have to be able to weigh the pros and cons of using an influencer.
Note that it can get pricey to use these influencers as well. The best way is to strike up a deal that works for both parties.

2) Remember That People Have Short Attention Spans

People aren’t going to sit through a twenty-minute video explaining what it is your product does. Sure, those videos have a space, and you should continue to make them. However, you should also make shorter, bite-size pieces of information that people can watch or read in under a minute. You just need to give them enough to whet their appetites for more.
Much of what you push forward in your marketing campaigns needs to be about the people with short attention spans. They will.

3) Focus on Mobile Users

Most importantly, you have to think about your mobile audience. People aren’t performing searches on their desktop computer or their laptop computers anymore. Instead, they are using their phones and Siri to get all of their information. Do some research on the top movers and shakers in your field and find out how their website looks on a mobile device – then look at yours. How do they compare?

Make sure that your text is easily readable on phones, your images aren’t cut-off, and when someone scrolls down your website, they aren’t accidentally touching things with their thumbs. Other things to think about include load times, randomly playing videos, information boxes, and navigation.

4) Get Better Social Media Teams

Social media is one of the most profitable marketing tools companies have today, and they don’t use it correctly. Look at all of the tips above and then look at your social media strategy – does it fall in line? If your target audience is under the age of 35, especially if they are in the age range between 15-30, you have to have your social media skills mastered, and they can tell the difference when you don’t.

social-concept-internet

Is It Time to Hire a Social Media Manager?

Hire people who know how to talk to other people online, who know the terms and the ways those platforms operate. It’s important to have someone who understands hashtags, SnapChat, gifs, and especially Memes because they are going to be thrown at you a lot. If you don’t understand them, you can become a laughingstock pretty quickly. If you don’t have the time to understand the current language of social media, maybe it’s time to hire someone that does.

Overall, a little extra attention to your digital marketing strategy will make a huge change in your profitability. You will find that it can even change the outlook on your business. Make sure to read up and reach out to people who can help you with all of the strategies listed above. Remember that there is nothing too bad about having a boring campaign, but a lot can go wrong if you try a new marketing campaign without knowing what you are doing. If you need help building a new marketing campaign that will meet your targeted audience, consider reaching out to Media-Shark.


tomTom Blake is a digital marketing guru at Media Shark digital agency, and all round entrepreneur. Running his own businesses since the age of 20 he’s work has seen him travel the world living in various countries. Now heading up Media Shark in the sunny Gold Coast of Australia. He’s passion lies in helping people with online marketing and providing technical SEO and digital strategies with one goal ROI.

 

How to Use Instagram and Snapchat Stories to Build Your Brand

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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.

Why Blog For Business – Real Reasons to Start a Corporate Blog

reasons-corporate-blog

Learn How Your Business Can Benefit from Blogging

Blogging for business is important, no matter how big or small the business may be. Even small businesses with limited budgets can benefit from blogging.

Something which I encounter a lot is business owners who misunderstand the purpose of starting a corporate blog. People fear what they don’t understand which deters them from trying it out, and most of those who do just end up publishing company news which, let’s be honest, only reach a tiny audience. So why bother, you ask?

Well, let’s evaluate.

What does every business owner care about the most? That’s right; the bottom line. The highest priority is sales because earning money is the reasons why they started their company in the first place. In this post, I will explain how blogging effectively can increase your bottom line – if it is done the right way!

2 Common Myths About Business Blogging Goals

  1. People read your blog and immediately purchase your product
  2. People enter your home page or other landing pages, see that you have an excellent blog and that influences them to purchase

There is nothing more to add here; this is not how blogging brings you extra cash, and that’s the long and short of it.

Factors which Influence Purchase Decisions

Before we move further, it is critical to mention (at least briefly) the factors that do influence consumers during the purchase decision process. If you want to dig deeper, you can find more details here and here.

To summarize, here is my short list –

  • Product quality and pricing
  • Web site design, usability, and responsiveness
  • Content shared by people they know and trust
  • Brand familiarity and strength

Again, there is no really need to go into too much detail here. It is clear that there is no way we can influence p.1 and p.2, but what about the other two points? If you want people to know about you, trust you and to spread the word about you and your business, then blogging is the ultimate weapon at your disposal.

SEO and Traffic

Frequent and quality content updates are factors which play a role in your SEO ranking. If you regularity publishes new content, it positively influences domain-level authority. The more often you upload recent articles, the better. This may prove difficult to achieve this every day, but that is not necessary; twice a week is a good rate to start with.

If your only goal is to signal to Google’s bots that you have updated your website’s content to give you an SEO boost, then publishing articles of around 500 words would be sufficient. However, should you be seeking black-belt business blogging which results in quality traffic, valuable leads and that contributes to your brand’s authority, then you need to take a ninja approach to SEO-friendly blogging.

Here are the fundamentals which you need to take into consideration;

Do keyword research and write SEO-friendly articles to drive more traffic to your blog

Create well-researched and illustrated content; the more time people spend reading your posts, the better. Dwell time is a ranking factor too.

Write longer posts; count the number of words in the blog posts which rank top 10 for the keyphrase you want to be ranked for. You may also want to refer to this post by serpIQ for even more details about content length.

Link to other pages of your website or blog to reduce bounce rate, and do not be afraid of linking to reputable outside sources.

content-length-ranking-factor

The Buyer’s Journey and Business Blogging

What is the buyer’s journey? It is a three-step process which begins when buyers realize that they have a problem, continues as they seek ways to solve it and concludes as they choose a solution.

Here are the three steps, explained;

  1. The Awareness stage: during this stage, the buyer realizes he or she has a problem and looks for the ways to solve it.
  2. The Consideration stage: they buyer does in-depth research and analysis of the available solutions.
  3. The Decision stage: the buyer finds a suitable solution to get the problem solved.

Business blogging is a great way to catch the buyer’s attention at the point when they realize they have a pain point because it is during this stage that they look for additional information (educational content, testimonials, and customer feedback) that would help them to solve the problem. This is where you must show expertise in a well-researched and informative blog article.

Understanding your prospects’ needs is of vital importance; for this reason, you may want to create buyer personas. A buyer persona is a fake character with the traits of your ideal customer. You need to create as many of them as it is necessary for your particular business goals. The number of details you may want to include also varies; it may be sex, age, income, education, shopping preferences, goals, challenges, etc.

Small Local Business Blogging Tip

This small business blogging tip is a real life example, and it is all about driving highly targeted traffic that brings sales.
This plan formed after I analyzed the Google AdWords data of one of my clients, a home window repair company. Search queries with local intent were bringing them results from a conversions point of view (they were enjoying a conversion rate of approximately 20% in Google AdWords).

The client offers their services in 30 cities, and there are about ten groups of keywords which describe the type of problems which they solve (30 x 10 is 300 extra pages to create!).

We created local landing pages for major services in each city, however, were still too many key phrases which we wanted them to rank highly for.

Our page title looks like this:

[service name] + [city name] + [state name]
Creating 300 pages with similar, directly selling content might have been a good idea, but Google loves content which brings unique value to the world wide web. So, what did we do?

We decided to blog about their services. We created short case studies, detailing jobs which have been done in different cities. Fortunately, the client always takes before and after photos of their most exciting projects, so there was no lack of visual content.

This is where the concept of telling success stories was born; a strategy which has proven to drive precious, locally targeted traffic.

Establish Authority Through Blogging

The whole article is dedicated to one single thesis statement only – blogging, if done the right way, is one of the best tools to build authority and trust. Econsultancy’s study revealed that 61% of the customers read reviews before they purchase something online. As you can see, trust is everything in a digital world, especially if you are selling an expensive product or a product which requires accurate and in-depth knowledge (such digital marketing, law, medicine, etc.) which a regular person has only broad understand of.

Becoming an authority

In the real world, you cannot become a power by just declaring it; customers need proof. Writing quality, well-researched and illustrated articles is the great way to establish yourself as an industry expert.

People buy from people

People buy from people, but not from brands, which is why you should consider publishing blog articles under your real name. If consumers like your content, they will be more likely to interact with your brand; they will express their point of view, they will ask questions or even debate. This builds a closer emotional connection between you and your audience and helps to establish relationships, which is key to the success of your business.

Build Your Email List

Even though everybody’s inbox is stuffed to the brim with emails (many of are junk emails), email marketing is still a very powerful marketing tool! If done the right way, email marketing can help you to gain trust, credibility and become a kind of a friend or a friendly consultant – not a stranger. The best part is that email marketing is relatively cheap, easy to implement and it usually doesn’t take much time.

If you write great blog articles, then why not to share them with your subscribers? The hardest part of email marketing is building a customer list. Your success directly depends on its quality; people must be interested in the content you produce. This is where blogging can help.

However, if you just have a hard-to-notice Subscribe option somewhere under your category links, that will not work for everybody. I suspect that only the top resources can afford such a shy approach to inviting new readers to sign up for their newsletters.

What You Should Consider Is:

  • Ensuring that there is a good reason for the reader to share their email address with you
  • Ensuring that your sign up offer is easily noticeable and well-designed
  • Ensuring that the process is simple; try to avoid complex forms
    If you have huge amount of data, test as much as you can to find what works best for you

Lead magnet (a free to low price offer) is an excellent way to build your emails list. You can provide a free e-book, private blog section access, a free report, a cheat sheet or a discount in exchange for an email address. It is paramount not to disappoint subscribers, so you must make sure your lead magnet brings real value.

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Conclusion (Spoiler or, maybe, not)

Content marketing, no doubt, is a powerful tool and corporate blogging plays a significant role in it. However, to ensure that everything you have read here works for your business goals, writing alone is not enough. You will see little to no results if nobody ever reads your articles, i.e., If you have no traffic.

If you want search rankings, then you need to invest in building links. If you want extra traffic from social media channels, then you need to grow your following and perhaps use paid advertising. If you have a limited budget, then you need to find time for guest blogging, time to participate in relevant forums, social media groups, people outreach and other activities.

Is this difficult or tedious? Not at all!

I want to finish off with a positive thought; even though business blogging will not make you quick bucks, it puts one more coin into the bank of your brand’s success every time you publish a new quality blog article. Start small and find out what works best for you and once you find your groove then accelerate your efforts. Happy blogging!


Alex OmelchenkoAlex Omelchenko is an SEO and PPC expert. He is a happy dad, British Fold cat owner and a COO at ProfCopy, a content writing firm. Alex Omelchenko is the CEO and a co-founder of ProfCopy, a copywriting firm. Alex is also astute in search engine optimization and pay per click advertising. He is the happy owner and biggest fan of his Scottish Fold cat. You can follow Alex on Twitter.

Tips To Optimize The Search Results Of Your Brand Name Your Way

search-results-brand

Most of SEO experts focus on the keywords that match the industry or brand to get organic search results. This way you will have to depend on the online users who have searched for the products or services you are offering without knowing your brand.

But then, what about the people who know you and your brand? For these people, you will need to come up with search results that support your brand and can help in more conversion rates. Such branded search results should focus on certain features:

Effective headline with description – The headline and description should provide clear and precise information about the brand.

Sitelinks – There you will find sub-sections which give you a brief idea about the internal pages in the website.

Use of Google Knowledge Graph – If you search for a particular brand, you will find on the right side of the search pages a knowledge graph which offers you company information including the address, a map, opening times, reviews, etc. This has been made available by the use of the Google Knowledge Graph.

Other results – Just after the brand website, you will find some search results for the brand linked with different social media platforms.

If you look at the bigger picture, you will understand that all this information helps to offer a better idea about your brand and establish authority in the industry.

So keeping these features in mind, here I am with some amazing ways to improve your brand visibility. 

google-knowledge

Mention brand name

First of all, you have to be sure to mention the brand name on every web page of your website. This will help to link the pages with the homepage. Another important step you need to take is to optimize the title tags and meta description with your brand name and company information.

Site links that are expanded

Everyone wants the site links to be bigger but, as it is an automated process based on the user queries, it is not possible to change it. So the only thing you can do is optimize the site navigation and write a better title and meta descriptions for each and every one.  

Based on the search queries of your brand, Google will decide whether it is important to offer expanded site links to your website. The chances of getting expanded site links increases if you have more branded search traffic. So to get such traffic, it would be better to concentrate on content marketing strategies.

Social media profiles

Whenever the user makes a branded search query, chances are greater that your social media profiles may appear in the results. So it would be advisable that you provide as much information as possible on your social media accounts. Now make sure to link all the social media profiles to the homepage of your website as well as adding links to the account from your site. 

social-media-women

Knowledge graph entry

 Based on the available information, especially from your site, the Knowledge graph will complete the details. You can better indicate to Google to let it know which information is more relevant and important.

Google reviews

Google reviews appear in the search results, especially on the Google Knowledge entry. So it becomes necessary for you to focus on it. You will be able to get a boost in organic traffic with the help of reviews that you have earned. Moreover, the quality and quantity of these reviews will help to decide the worth of your company.

You can request that your customers write a review for your brand, and if you find any negative ones, you can work out ways to solve it. It is recommended to have a Google My Business profile before you work getting any reviews.

 star-reviews

Branded articles

When it comes to search result pages, the top results are composed of the website and social media profile results. Often times, the chances are greater that there will be some space left for other brands on the first search results page. This area can be taken over by irrelevant information. Therefore, try to fill it with positive results belonging to you.

You can easily achieve it through articles including interviews, press releases or other sources that can help you promote your brand.

Link to your favorite results

If you want to boost the position of individual search results, then build links to those results. With more inbound links pointing towards these results, the ones on the second pages and beyond will also get a boost. You can even come up with links for the important pages on the website.

By taking these steps, you will be able to improve the search result position of your brand and the searches related to your brand name will show up in the higher positions on the Google. Moreover, better rankings on the search pages will help you get more click-through rates as well as improved conversions.


maulikMaulik Patel is a Creative Entrepreneur and managing director at HireSEOAgency, a top SEO company of India. He has more than seven years of experience in small business growth strategies, content marketing, and technical SEO.

How to Use Instagram To Advertise for Business?

instagram-business

Through Instagram’s blog page, they have announced that they’ve gained over 300 million users. If you are a business owner, you cannot ignore this huge social network. You can definitely use this opportunity to advertise your business. Here are some of the advantages of Instagram in your business. 

instagram-live

 1. Visual Marketing

Instagram, as well as other visual content platforms like Pinterest, are capturing great popularity in the online world. You’ve heard the quote “a picture is worth a thousand words” many times before. If you are a brand, you can take advantage of visual marketing through Instagram.

 2. High Visibility of Posts

One of the main reasons why Instagram posts get such high extent of engagement is that their posts are highly visible. Every single post appears in the feeds of every single follower. That is why the strategic use of hashtags can significantly boost the exposure of the posts. Some brands also buy Instagram likes so that their posts will become more visible.

 3. Targeted Audience

With millions of Instagram users, your customers are there. It may take some time to grow your audience to significant levels, but taking advantage of a smaller community will somehow produce real brand advocates, and they will be your loyal customers. You know how active and passionate real Instagram followers are – they would want to engage with you and get to know your brand.

 4. Drive Traffic to your Site

As a brand, your goal is to drive more traffic to your website. You can do this through Instagram. Post a link to your website in your Bio as this is the only section in Instagram where you can put an active hyperlink. Another great way to generate traffic to your site is by mentioning your website in your post comments. Some companies even buy followers Instagram just to drive more traffic to their sites.

 instagram-foodie

 Here are some tips for using Instagram for your business:

 1. Create a winning profile

Instagram has launched their Paid Advertising and Instagram Business Profiles. If you have a business profile, you can now add your contact number to your Bio. You will also gain access to extensive analytics data. 

 2. Build anticipation

Keep your customers interested by rewarding your loyal followers. Create teaser photos to add curiosity and build anticipation for your new products or stores. Your real Instagram followers will look forward to more information.

 3. Get more audience interaction

As a marketer, you would want to get more audience engagement. Some marketers even buy Instagram comments just to make other followers interested. Here’s how to get enough Instagram interaction to your brand.

  • Always respond to your followers

Make sure to always respond to the comments of your followers regardless if the comment is positive or negative. Address negative comments properly and thank those who left you with kind comments. Respond when your followers ask you questions and show them that you are personally reaching out to them.

  • Post Consistently

To be visible on Instagram, you have to post consistently. Your followers are your potential customers, so letting them know you’re there will constantly remind them of your brand. To post consistently while effectively saving time, you can schedule your posts using social media tools.

  • Find Perfect Timing for Posting

Before posting on Instagram, keep in mind that your audience may have different time zones. The perfect time to post is when your followers are online. Also, decide on the frequency of your posts. Most brands post at least 2 to 3 times in a day. 

How to effectively use Instagram to promote your business and drive sales:

 1. Set-up an Optimized Business Account

Your business account must not be used for personal posts. Marketing is about your audience and not about you. Pictures of your trips and your selfies should stay on your personal account. Only post relevant topics about your brand. You should never appear on your brand’s Instagram page.

 2. Put your website link on your Bio to boost traffic to your site

You can only put a website link on the Bio. Make use of your bio to lead your followers to your website. You can also use a targeted landing page. Your Bio should also be interesting and informative. Just keep it light and avoid using a sales tone. Unlike your online shop, Instagram has a different culture. So, create a bio that appeals to the Instagram community that you want to reach.

 3. Stay recognizable by using a consistent brand name and photo

Make your brand more recognizable by using a consistent brand name and photo. Show what your brand really is by choosing an Instagram name that describes your business and uses the same name across different social media platforms.

 ipad-instagram

 4. Create interesting Instagram posts that people would want to follow

Promote your brand using creative and professional photos and come up with attention-grabbing captions (not the sales tone). Videos are also a great tool in grabbing your follower’s attention. Use quick and unique videos to increase views on Instagram videos. Customers consider detailed and professional images and videos to be more credible and valuable.

 5. Increase your followers

One way to increase your followers is by increasing the visibility of your posts. You can increase views on Instagram videos and photos by using hashtags. Hashtags can widen your discoverability, thus, increasing your followers. Just make sure not to use too many hashtags as this will give a cluttered look and may turn users off.

 Businesses should definitely use Instagram to promote their brands. You know that a picture is worth a thousand words. With Instagram’s photo and video-centric approach, visual marketing will help you build your authority in your industry.


sheenaSheena Mathieson understands the essence of making excellent content that suits the needs of every business, especially when it comes to online marketing. She can spice up your marketing campaign with the content she makes and then incorporates Buy Real Marketing services.

Do You Think You’re Ready for Public Relations?

public-relations-header-2

Do You Think You’re Ready for Public Relations? Think Again.

This is a question I’ve heard more times than I can count – when is my company ready to kick off a public relations program? First and foremost it’s crucial to understand one thing. Today’s PR industry is changing, becoming even more competitive and demanding than ever before. As the media transitions from print to digital, there are fewer journalists to pitch and more factors to consider, such as content marketing, social media and search engine optimization. So, before making the leap, you need to make sure a public relations program is right for you. Take a look at my top five questions to ask yourself before you take the plunge:

pr-microphone-gp

Do You Need PR?

Time and time again, I’m asked to present PR proposals to potential clients. But more often than not when they have it in their hands they realize, whether due to cost, resources or other marketing projects, that PR is simply not a priority. So, before all else, make sure you define your need for PR and what you hope to achieve. In my experience, you’ll find two primary drivers – the Best Kept Secret Syndrome when it’s time to let the world know what makes you so great and different, and an upcoming major news announcement you want to leverage for ink and awareness. Either way, it’s only once this need and goal are well established that your PR push can actually begin.

Are You Ready to Commit?

Determining a need for PR isn’t the only thing to do before getting started. Public relations is not a one-time play. It’s a strategic program you must commit to if you want to see the high ROI results you’re looking for.

I like to use the analogy of weight loss. Have you ever been on a crash diet? If you do, you’ll likely lose a few pounds. But the second you stop dieting, that weight inevitably piles back on. It’s the same with PR. You can make an impressive one-time splash, with interviews in all the top-tier and trade publications of your dreams, but if you don’t put any more effort into outreach after that point you and your product will rapidly be forgotten – not just by your audience but the media too. In this crazy, hectic world we live in, people need repetition to remember.

Do You Have the Budget & Resources?

A public relations program takes time and effort. So it won’t even get off the ground unless you have the budget and resources to make it happen. Whether hiring in-house or working with an agency, you’ll need to commit a team and funds to the process of PR outreach pitching, follow up, media relations, press release development, media training for your spokespeople and so much more. Without it, your program is going nowhere fast.

budget-for-public-relations

Do You Know What Makes You Different?

If you don’t know what makes you stand out, nobody else will. Reliable, consistent, and most importantly, relevant messaging is the heart of a successful PR program. I cannot stress enough how important it is that you be ready to position yourself to stand out from the competition. Ask yourself what makes your company, service or product different. It can be a spokesperson with the experience and credibility to provide thought-provoking industry commentary or a product that does something new. But defining this differentiator is step one towards PR success.

Is Your Infrastructure In Place?

It doesn’t matter if you have the best PR program in the world, with media banging down your door to interview you. If you don’t have a great website and compelling collateral for your potential customers to find, the brand awareness your outreach creates will get you nowhere. So, before initiating any public relations push, make sure the rest of your marketing, from your website to your brochures to social media and content creation, are on point and ready to generate leads.

Once you’ve evaluated these questions carefully and honestly, you’ll be in a better position to decide if PR has a strategic place in your company. Until then, it’s best to wait on the sidelines until you have the time and resources to invest.

public-relations-planning

 


magnolia-logo-public-relationsFounded in 2006, Magnolia is one of Vancouver’s top B2B public relations & marketing communications agencies. Working with clients across North America, our full-service boutique PR firm of social media marketing, vertical marketing & public relation experts strives to earn our clients’ trust through a relentless pursuit of excellence — in our work, thinking and approach.

How Facebook Ads Can Make Your Small Business Successful

facebook advertising how to guide

Are you planning to adopt a Facebook advertising campaign for your small business?

Before you get started, there are certain things you need to consider. The first thing is setting the objectives and goals of advertising on Facebook. Are you looking to generate more traffic to your website, increase brand exposure, get more leads, or simply get more fans to like your business page?

Today, Facebook boasts more than 400 million users and this number is growing each day. Facebook ads platform is worth exploring; the tool allows you to place your ads in the right sidebar of the Facebook pages and profiles. Once you have chosen your goal, you can then begin developing a successful social media marketing strategy. Like many other things, setting up and running a successful Facebook ads campaign is not an easy task.

Here are a few steps and tips to consider as you create your Facebook advertising campaign:

destinatoin

Destination

This is the first step – choosing the destination for your ads. The destination is the landing page visited by the people after clicking on your ad. It can be a specific post, your website, your company page, event, or application. The application destination is only relevant if you have created a custom application for your business on Facebook.

Promotion

Next, you simply choose what you want to promote. You can promote your company page, a specific post, a new ad about your company, or stories about friends liking your page. If your goal is to generate new likes and traffic to your page, then choose to promote your page or a specific post on the page. If your goal is to drive traffic to your website or get new leads then choosing a landing page on your website will be the best way to achieve these results.

what people will see

What People Will See

This is the third step in your setup process – choosing what type of ad your audience will see. Following are the options for your ad creative based on what you decide to promote:

A new ad about your page, stories about friends liking your page, a post on your page, external URL, etc.

If you decide to make your own ad, you need to have the following materials: headline, text, and image. In order to create the most successful ad, I suggest creating a few variations of the ad to test out your messaging and images to develop.

Choosing An Audience

Choosing the target audience for your ad campaign is extremely important to determining the success of your campaign. If you develop an audience that is too broad, we’ve found that your ads are rarely shown. It is usually best to set up very targeted ad groups to achieve the best results, the more specific the audience, the better you can tailor your advertising message.

budget

Campaign and Budget

After your ad and audience are finalized the last steps are to name the campaign, set the budget, and schedule the campaign. We suggest choosing the Cost Per Click (CPC) option for pricing, so you only get charged when people click on the ads.

Pro Tips

To copy an existing ad simply click on the name of the ad and click on “create a similar ad” at the bottom of the ad preview.

Set up weekly performance monitoring to see which ads are doing the best. Use this information to pause weak ads, or to develop better ads.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ad variations or your target audience.

If you are running ads to promote your page or posts, then check out the Insights tab on your company page to see just how many new likes or activities are from your sponsored ads.