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How to Write Blog Headlines Your Customers Can’t Resist Clicking

In many ways, the blog headline is the most important part of a blog post or article. Headlines spark action. They can make people click. An eye-catching headline on social media can draw tons of comments — many from people reacting off the headline alone.

 

Headlines can also shape how people digest the message of a blog by creating context and expectations — all through a strong first impression.

 

But, most importantly, headlines tell us what we need to know in order to get invested. With so many distractions and options for reading content online, we need information that helps us choose how to spend our limited time.

 

The best headlines therefore serve as a promise to the reader about what they’ll get for their time. Never forget that a great headline acts like a bargain: “read this, and you’ll get something special or valuable or informative out of it.”

 

So how do you start to shape expectations and earn interest right from the headline? You can rely on a couple of tried-and-true formulas, as one option. You should also mull how accurately and succinctly your headline summarizes the central takeaway of your post.

 

To help you get started, here are three methods you can try in 2018 to write better blog headlines and earn more clicks, along with a few other tips.

 

Method 1: Distill Your Article Into a Headline by Gradually Dropping Your Word Count

 

This first method is time consuming and involves some hefty thinking, but after a few tries you’ll be able to do it subconsciously in seconds.

 

In fact, most of us already try to use this method when writing headlines, we just don’t think about it. Getting practice makes your approach more deliberate while teaching you how to skim your content for an accurate central takeaway.

 

The method works like this:

 

  1. Identify a central thesis, argument, idea or purpose of the article
  2. Identify two to four main sub-points or pieces of evidence for the main point
  3. Use the above two items to summarize your article in less than 200 words
  4. After writing your summary, edit it down to 100 words
  5. Edit your 100 word summary down to 50 words
  6. Edit your 50 word summary into a single sentence
  7. Take your sentence-length summary and condense it further into a headline below 90 characters
  8. See if you can condense the message into just a few words using less than 65 characters
  9. Re-read your 200 word summary to see if you left anything important out, then come up with an alternative <70 character headline
  10. Repeat steps 7-9 to come up with a few alternative options

 

This method may seem tedious, but it’s good practice for teaching your brain to recognize thought processes we take for granted. Translating a huge chunk of text into a short summary involves lots of mental processing, but we are able to do it in seconds thanks to our wonderful minds.

 

At the same time, our minds are trying to do a million other things when we write headlines. Using the above method keeps us focused on a central idea, and it can steer your headline writing back to a more logical place if you ever feel lost.

 

Method 2: Use Headline Formulas That Earn Tons of Clicks

 

Blog headlines

Publishers like Buzzfeed, Upworthy and Bored Panda don’t earn millions of clicks a week by coincidence. They have blog writing down to a science, including the practice of writing juicy headlines that generate stampedes of clicks.

 

Based on research and performance data, here are a few of the most successful three-word headline phrases these publishers use to generate huge, highly engaged audiences:

 

  • will make you
  • this is why
  • can we guess
  • only X in
  • the reason is
  • are freaking out
  • X stunning photos
  • tears of joy
  • is what happens

 

Other common traits of popular headlines include:

 

  • Using numbers to imply a list (“10 Reasons Why…”)
  • Referring to the audience in the second-person (“You Won’t Believe…”)
  • Implying emotion (“This Hilarious Piece of Advice…”)
  • Lead with a strong, commanding action verb (“Take Control of Your Day by…”)

 

There are also many other tried-and-true blog headline writing formulas worth experimenting with.

 

Now, when looking at these lists, some may refer to this data-based approach to writing blog titles as “making clickbait.” Those people would be correct.

 

Even though clickbait-ish headlines have become a punchline, they still work. A post like “Watching This Baby See Her Dad for the First Time Will Make You Smile” sets a concrete promise to the reader for what they’ll get out of the post.

 

Our cynicism towards headlines like these comes from the fact that we click on these posts only to feel deceived. E.g.: “No, #16 did not surprise us, Buzzfeed, because it’s literally the first thing we thought of.”

 

So, when writing headlines with this approach, make sure they still accurately reflect the actual content of your article. Which brings us to method #3.

 

Method 3: Compromise by Combining Headlines From Methods 1 and 2

 

Rand Fishkin of Moz offers a handy way to resolve the conflict between headline descriptiveness and viral appeal.

 

He suggests creating at least one headline using each of the above methods. Then, try to combine them.

 

Here’s an example:

 

  • Descriptive Headline: “Implied Consent Laws Demand Choice Between Incriminating Yourself and Mandatory Jail Time”
  • Sensational Headline: “This One Weird Trick Could Get You Out of a DUI, But You May Spend the Night in Jail!”
  • Combination: “Here’s What Happens When You Delay Your Breathalyzer Test in an Implied Consent State”

 

Now, an even better headline might read: “5 Reasons to Delay Your Breathalyzer Test in an Implied Consent State”. Why? Because they then know they don’t have to read the whole article to get the gist. They can just read the five subheadings in quick succession.

 

That particular headline requires the article to be broken down in list format, though, so consider the how you might use the structure of your article to create an appealing headline before you start writing.

 

A Few Other Tips to Help You Write Better Blog Headlines

  • Look up synonyms to replace weak words with stronger ones or multiple words with a single descriptive one
  • Use strong verbs
  • Avoid using “being” verbs like “is” and “are”
  • Use CTR to gauge how clickable your headline is; make note of high benchmarks to learn from them
  • If you have a high CTR but a high bounce rate for your content, that’s a sign your headlines need to more accurately reflect your post content
  • Beware of spam trigger words, especially when sending emails
  • You can A/B test multiple headline options when creating promoted social media posts or email campaigns; study the results to find patterns for successful headlines
  • When in doubt, come up with at least five alternatives and ask someone for their input!

 

Headline writing is a tricky dance, but when you recognize what’s important, it becomes that much easier. Keep your audience’s valuable time in mind, promise them something great, don’t misrepresent the post, and study your own data to discover what works!

 

Is Your Company Blog Not Working? Here’s 5 Reasons Why That May Be

Content marketing and blogging have proven to be effective digital marketing methods. Done right, they can generate leads and convert people to the next stage of your marketing funnel. A good company blog is key.

Yet, plenty of company blogs completely struggle to meet their content marketing goals. For one reason or another, they fail to find the right audience — or, for some, any audience at all.

Other blogs earn plenty of traffic but lackluster conversion numbers. Still others have myriad issues of their own related to various mistakes in strategy, positioning, site design and more.

To help you pinpoint where your issues may lie and how you can improve your blog performance, we have come up with five reasons why your current company blog may not be working. These observations come from common company blog mistakes in the industry and how the top blogs fix them to find success.

You Don’t Have Your Target Audience in Mind

Before you write a new blog, you should always stop to check in with your audience goals. Namely: who is this blog for?

Consider your ideal target audience based on who you think will help you succeed in your business goals. If, for instance, you are a B2B software company, you may assume that your audience has at least a small level of expertise in your line of work. But if you are a financial services provider to a typical consumer, then you are going to have to cover even the most basic concepts to ensure your audience can keep up.

company blog

By the same token, you have to think about things your audience would be interested in reading. For instance, while someone in IT may be excited about “a new way to configure proxy servers,” the average consumer will want to know less about the solution itself and more about the benefits it offers. Looking at the latter type, they may need a headline that reads something like “New Method for Connecting Online Makes Actions Happen in Nanoseconds,” or something similar.

Think about what your audience needs to see to understand the point you’re trying to make, and think about the emotional triggers that can spur them to be interested enough to click. When you can understand what these needs, expectations and emotional triggers are, you can earn a higher volume of clicks from targeted audience groups.

Your Level of Quality Is Low

Spelling, grammar, and structure are all critical when writing blog entries. We say this not just because people will split hairs online (and they will), but more because rampant issues affect readability.

If your sentence don’t make sense, no one will be able to understand your point. If you misspell words, people may be confused as to what you meant to say. Use a spell checker, and have someone with a solid sense of grammar review your posts for publication.

As for structure, try to lay out your blog in a way that makes it skimmable. Instantly start with a topic introduction that tells people what they will get out of reading. Then, break up your main point into several sub-topics that are easily read in small bite sizes.

Try to let one thought flow into the next. Make sure that almost everything you say builds off the last point, and always stay focused on the central purpose of your post. Getting feedback from others and rereading your post drafts after an hour or so of writing them can both help you think more like your audience and write more persuasive, compelling articles.

Your Blog Titles Aren’t Interesting

Certain approaches to headline writing can grab our attention, while others simply don’t work. If you find you have low conversions for your blog posts through search engines or social media, maybe your titles are to blame.

You can reference this guide to the most popular headlines on Facebook from Buzzsumo to get you started. Rand Fishkin of Moz also has a handy suggestion for writing short yet compelling headlines that don’t leave anything out.

You Don’t Have a Strong Call to Action

With limited exceptions, most business blogs will want to close out with a strong call to action (CTA). This section comes after the argument being made is completely wrapped up. It then instructs the reader on what they should do next in order to find even more information or benefits.

Example calls to action include:

● Take a look at our product page…
● Sign up for our email list…
● View further information for an upcoming course/webinar/event…
● Visit a service page for more information…
● Contact us to start the conversation…
● Read our other content…

Whatever your call to action is, make sure it is clear and written as a strong command or suggestion. While that may seem pushy, people respond better to messages written in this format and remember them more clearly.

You’ll start to notice that most marketers do this, too. A commercial would never say “consider visiting our store during our sales event.” Instead, they would lead with a commanding verb: “Come visit our store during our one-day sales event to get incredible savings!”

You Don’t Have the Right Landing Pages and Lead Capture Forms to Guide Your Audience to the Next Step
Sometimes when you can’t convert blog readers, the issue isn’t the blog itself but the website ecosystem around it.

Put simply: make sure that your calls to action lead to compelling landing pages or website pages. These pages should capture audience interest and further direct them to the next step.

If you don’t have anything like this available, make one! Even something as simple as a custom “Contact Us” landing page can help you convert more people compared to linking to your normal Contact Us page.

For normal website pages you want to link to, like explanations of your services, ensure that the page guides the reader through the most important information and benefits first, concluding in yet another strong CTA.

You may not even need a landing page link to accomplish certain goals. For instance, many websites have found that email address capture forms displayed adjacent to blog content work better than a custom landing page.

Just make sure that any forms present on your content are short and involve minimal work. Their placement should also not disrupt the reader’s ability to digest the content at their own pace.

Let Data Tell You About the Company Blog Mistakes You’re Making

The above suggestions work well in general, but you need to know what you’re blog has to change to get better performance.

To learn what that might be, look to your own data. You can configure Google Analytics for free to inform you about where, exactly, your blog is failing you.

A low click through rate (CTR) on organic search means that maybe your titles or meta descriptions need work, for instance. A decent readership but low conversions means you need more convincing calls to action and easier access to the next step for readers. A high bounce rate means that people were intrigued by your headline, but didn’t like what they saw when they clicked.

Study your data, pledge to work on best practices, and write for your audience. These approaches will help you get better performance from your company blog in 2018 as you make marginal improvements over time.

 

The Best Digital Marketing New Year’s Resolutions for Crushing It In 2018

After the last echoes of ringing in the New Year subside, everyone reflects on how to make 2018 better through their own actions. If you’re a digital marketer, this time marks the perfect opportunity to set ambitious goals and pledge to cut out bad habits.

 

To help inspire you to do better in the New Year and meet success head on, here are our 5 top recommended digital marketing New Year’s resolutions for 2018.

 

Make More Video

We’ve hammered this point home plenty of times, but just to reiterate: video is the direction that the internet’s going. Cisco studies predict that 69% of total internet traffic over 2017 will have come from video views. By 2021, they expect that portion to increase to 82%.

 

The reason for rising video consumption is simple: people love video! Better smartphones and cheaper data plans also give us the means to watch video anywhere at any time.

 

Appetites for video content will keep on growing throughout 2018, and marketers for businesses of all sizes should be willing to help satisfy that demand. If they do, they will reap substantial rewards.

 

51% of marketers globally list video as the type of content that earns them the best return on investment. Video uploaded to social media also generates 1200% more shares than text or image posts combined!

 

To take advantage of video in your digital marketing strategy, start by creating summary slideshow summaries of your most-popular blogs using tools like Rocketium or Adobe Spark. Or, go live with behind-the-scenes looks at your operations or Q&A sessions. Both of these low-cost options offer reliable solutions for engagement.

 

Looking longer term, investigate the budget you would need to create a few short 2-5 minute video assets. These can help raise your brand awareness, earn shares, and give your company a veneer of modern professionalism.

Digital Marketing

Tie Content Better Within Buyer Journeys

In 2018, your audience deserves better than irrelevant content. No one will click on articles that don’t offer some sort of value. And, more importantly, how your audience perceives value depends on the stage of the buyer journey they’re at.

 

Offer value by planning content topics and placement around your customers’ stage in their buyer journey.

 

For instance, if you sell RVs, don’t expect someone who doesn’t have any intention to buy an RV yet to click on your article about “6 Top Reasons You Should Buy Your RV From Us!” Instead, recognize the types of topics that would get them interested. Here are a few examples:

 

  • Not yet aware they want to buy an RV
    • 7 Top Camping Destinations on the West Coast
    • Pros and Cons of the 4 Most Common Types of Camping
  • Maybe thinking about buying an RV
    • 5 Reasons RV Camping Blows Tent Camping Out of the Water
    • Winter Camp in Comfort at These Gorgeous Destinations
  • Deciding what RV to buy
    • Must-Have Features for Every Modern RV
    • Top RV Models by Price Range
  • Ready to buy
    • Why You Should Buy Your RV From a Local Dealer
    • 6 Warning Signs for Dishonest RV Dealers That Should Make You Leave the Lot

 

Each hypothetical blog title is aimed at a particular area of interest within a particular informational scope. If you have an email list, you will want to offer each piece based on the information the buyer has looked at before and their indicated interests. For your website, include suggested blog topics logically within the section the buyer is currently within.

 

Going one step beyond this approach requires personalization engines and marketing automation. But you can get started by creating several buyer personas and customer journey maps, then devise a content strategy to help nurture each persona type towards a final sale.

 

Reshape Your Website to Be Even More Mobile Friendly

It’s 2018, and mobile phones are officially grafted into our lifestyle. Americans spend 71% of their time online using mobile devices, and visits to websites through mobile devices shot up 72% this year.

 

Using responsive design and passing Google’s mobile-friendly test are therefore just the start of your business. You should rigorously explore and test options for even more engaging and usable mobile layouts throughout 2018. Offer mobile visitors a true experience, but still make navigation and content consumption easy.

 

Improvements like these can help you stand out among competitors in an environment where mobile will only increase its share of traffic over time.

 

Engage More Authentically With Your Social Media Audiences

Social media audiences want to feel like they’re engaging with real people, not brands. According to one of the top social media management apps, posts with a personable approach, humor, inspiration or emotion drive the best engagement.

 

You can also ask questions from your audience directly. How do they handle challenges related to your line of work? What tech trends do they think have the most promise? What are their New Year’s resolutions? Questions like these drive engagement and help your audience feel listened to.

 

Person-centered conversations surrounding your brand can also occur outside of your owned (well, borrowed) social spaces. By setting up social monitoring tools for mentions of your brand or service area, you can engage people in 1:1 conversations and help them solve problems.

 

Engaging directly with your audiences in these ways can sway public opinion in your favor while making your social media pages more lively.

 

While Fulfilling These Digital Marketing New Year’s Resolutions for 2018, Base More Decisions on Data

All of the above resolutions can bring you success as long as you take a scientific approach. Start by setting goals and target metrics. Make predictions on how to meet these metrics, measure how accurate your predictions were, and experiment to see if you can find even greater success.

 

You can also A/B test two approaches simultaneously to learn even faster. For instance, maybe you aren’t sure which Facebook post for an upcoming event will get the most clicks? You can use paid social advertising to serve two different promoted posts to targeted audiences and see what happens.

 

Experimentation combined with dedication and a healthy dash of creativity will help you go a long way towards finding more success in the year ahead.

 

Keep the above resolutions in mind, and you could be well on your way towards making 2018 the best year in digital marketing ever. Good luck, and have a Happy New Year!

 

 

Meta: Pledge to make the upcoming year better than ever for your business by keeping these recommended digital marketing New Year’s resolutions for 2018.

 

KWs: digital marketing New Year’s resolutions for 2018

One Habit That Will Immediately Improve Your Online Reputation

 

 

Millions of business owners all over the world struggle when it comes to generating a positive image of their company online. Despite their best efforts, they just can’t seem to get momentum behind people expressing positive sentiment.

 

But one simple strategy can change all that: ask for a review.

 

Businesses that consistently ask people to review them after a transaction or service has been completed are far more likely to receive a higher volume of positive reviews. They also tend to get more detailed feedback from both happy and unhappy customers, which can inform strategic improvements.

 

Developing a habit within yourself and among your employees to ask for reviews is therefore the most important thing you can do. Doing so won’t just make you look better online; it will also help you genuinely become better thanks to the feedback you earn.

 

If you are a business owner or a marketer trying your best to improve your online reputation, you can use the following tactics to increase the rate of reviews you get.

Online Reputation

Recognize Why Positive Reviews Are So Important Yet So Hard to Get

 

As with most best practices, understanding why asking for reviews is important helps a ton with motivating your follow-through.

 

Firstly, people care about online peer reviews more than any other form of information on a product or service.

 

According to eMarketer, 31% of people 18+ trust the information they receive from online reviews. That’s the highest-rated source, beating out the 23% of people who indicated they trust recommendations and feedback from friends, family and colleagues the most.

 

Think about that: 8% more of the population trusts strangers online more than their own family and friends!

 

Millennials — those 18-35 years old — have an even bigger gap. 40% of them trust online reviews the most compared to 24% who prefer input from people they know personally.

 

Yet, there’s an even bigger gap between the likelihood of someone reading a review versus leaving a review.

 

Around half of people say they check reviews either “always” or “most of the time”. But 35% of people say they “rarely” leave online reviews and 20% say they “never” do it.

 

Making matters worse, people are more likely to leave a review after a negative experience compared to a positive one.

 

Getting happy customers to review your business is therefore a huge challenge, but one definitely worth meeting head on.

 

Business owners must recognize the importance of pushing through the uphill battle to earn more reviews. To help them find success, they can use any of the following tactics.

 

Make Verbal Requests Part of Every Customer Customer Interaction

 

Employees must be trained to ask for reviews at the end of their interactions with a customer. People are more likely to feel positively towards an individual requesting a review compared to a faceless request bearing a company logo.

 

“The person-to-person request is incredibly effective, particularly if the requester has spent a lot of time with the customer,” says digital marketing firm owner Brian Patterson. He reveals that in-person requests get seven to eight times more reviews compared to email.

 

Everyone in your company should therefore make it an instinct to ask for a review. Don’t be pushy or directly ask that they say something positive. Just request politely that they leave feedback “if they’ve had a good experience.”

 

Better yet, ask about their experience beforehand just as a barometer. If someone feels positively, suggest they leave a review.

 

If they react negatively, do everything you can to record their input and correct their issues. This helps them feel listened to, gives them an outlet to vent before they go online, and also gives you information for improving your services later on.

 

Make It as Easy as Possible for Someone to Review

How many times have you thought about leaving a review but didn’t?

 

This happens to people all the time, and they quickly forget that they meant to leave a review in the first place.

 

Fix this problem by sending helpful digital reminders.

 

Asking in-person is the first step since it creates intent in the mind of the customer. They promise someone something, so they have more intention to follow through compared to a generic “Review Us!” request.

 

The second step is to make leaving a review as effortless as possible.

 

Ideally, you email them a direct link to your preferred review site, such as Google or Yelp. You can also send out general reminders periodically on Facebook and other social media so past customers can remember to review you.

 

Some customers may even respond well to links sent via SMS, so take surveys and have customers indicate their preferred option so you can work with their tendencies, not against them.

 

Emphasize Strong Customer Service Basics

 

When it comes to positive reviews, consistent service that delivers on baseline expectations is far more important than “wowing” the customer.

 

According to the Harvard Business Review, many efforts to “surprise and delight” the customer fall short. They write that “89 of the 100 customer service heads we surveyed said that their main strategy is to exceed expectations. But despite these Herculean—and costly—efforts, 84% of customers told us that their expectations had not been exceeded during their most recent interaction.”

 

Instead of going above and beyond, try to get the ground level right. Hammer home basic customer service practices, such as asking if someone needed help or if they experienced any problems.

 

Listening to customers during their transaction helps improve their positive sentiment towards their overall experience. If someone has an issue, try to resolve it or offer some way to make it up to them.

 

Speaking of which, gathering data from older reviews is an important step for businesses looking to improve their online reputation. Find patterns within negative feedback, and work to improve these recurring issues.

 

Also, make note of any positive feedback so you can explain the importance of certain aspects of the customer journey to employees, such as having a friendly attitude.

 

Monitor Online Reviews and Respond to Those That Need Your Attention

Respond to a reasonable rate of glowing positive reviews — maybe around 5% to 10% — and try to address issues presented in negative reviews.

 

When responding to negative reviews, always take the customer’s feelings and experience as gospel. Work on moving the relationship forward towards resolution rather than making excuses or arguing about what happened in the past.

 

You want to appear pro-active and eager to resolve conflicts rather than interested in starting publicly visible fights online.

 

Constantly Collect Customer Review Data to Improve Your Online Reputation

 

Once you begin your efforts to earn more reviews and improve your reputation, track your results.

 

Try to look for patterns among the types of customers who are more likely to leave positive reviews. As an example, people who use a specific product or service may come away feeling more positive compared to others. Focus more on these people when requesting feedback.

 

You may also notice that certain tactics are more effective than others. Sending an email from a named employee email account compared to a generic “customer support” account can increase your positive review rate, for instance.

 

Over time, data generated from your reviews will reveal a path forward where a higher rate of your customers leave reviews, and a higher percentage of those have something nice to say.

 

Keep asking for reviews, and maintain focus on providing great experiences, and you should be able to improve your online reputation in no time flat!

 

 

Meta: Improve your online reputation using one simple tactic that earns you more reviews online and a greater rate of positive reviews once you make it a habit.

 

KWs: improve your online reputation

8 Secrets of Social Media Marketing That Everyone Misses

Social media marketing sounds simple enough to many newbie business owners, but they need to recognize the difference between personal social media use and professional use.

 

Think about it like this: if you make a good pot of coffee to serve your family, then that’s something you can manage on your own. But if you plan on serving 1,000 cups of coffee to peers over the course of a three-day business conference, then that’s an entirely more complex matter!

 

Everything gets more complicated when you move from personal to professional, and the results matter more, too.

 

Suddenly, you aren’t just posting on your Facebook when you feel like it. Nor can you just feel good about the occasional reply and like. Instead, you’re actively trying to drive business goals and represent your brand in a likeable way.

 

The dramatic difference between the two approaches catches many business owners off-guard. To help them out, here are a eight secrets the pros use when it comes to social media marketing — and that many small businesses overlook.

 

Write Down a Policy and Style Guide

 

Ask them to tell you what the business’s social media policy is, and you’re just as likely to get dozens of different answers. In fact, most employees may look you back blankly in the face.

 

A social media policy guides the brand voice as well as the decisions a business makes when posting. So, if you were trying to pick between two image types, the social media policy could help you decide on the one that aligns better with your social goals.

 

Set policies for employee social media use, too. Make sure they know they represent the company! Let them know what sorts of offenses could get them in hot water, including posting extreme political opinions or offensive takes.

 

Creating a social media style guide can similarly help make posting easier, especially if more than one employee handles the duties. Align everything in your policy and style guide so that your social media accounts can support both your brand and your marketing goals.

 

Target Your Content and Conversations Towards Personas

 

Some small businesses get HUGE social media followings …of people who would rarely buy anything from them.

 

There is a big gap between mass engagement and targeted engagement.

 

You want your posts to speak to a highly targeted audience based on the traits of your best customers. For instance, if you pitch your services to existing IT departments, don’t be shy about using jargon. Stay current on any discussion, too, so that your ideas don’t seem dated.

 

But if you want to offer managed IT services to regular businesses, they may not know a CAT cable from a cat collar. Feel free to post basic how-tos, and try to keep terminology approachable.

 

Decide upon the segments you want to speak to in order to raise your chances of success. Imagine traits of a single person in this segment, including their typical job role, the things they value most, and broad aspects of their personality. This is your “persona” for an idealized version of a target audience group.

 

You can even name them! That way, before you decide on a post to share or an image to use, you can ask something like: “Would Sarah the retired optometrist care about this post?”

social media marketing

Strategize, Set Goals, And Ditch Vanity Metrics

Always set goals for your social media usage. It should serve a concrete purpose that ultimately benefits your business.

 

Common social media marketing goals include:

 

  • Raising website visits
  • Generating leads through job quotes
  • Helping introduce new products to people
  • Getting more participants for events, contests, and things like webinars
  • Upselling existing customers
  • Reminding prior customers to return again
  • Promoting a specific brand value, especially through philanthropy

 

No matter what your goals are, ensure they actually help your business get more money or improve its brand.

 

For instance, having a certain number of “likes” or shares from a post promoting your content should not be a goal. These are vanity metrics. Instead, you should monitor the amount of actual visits to the content on your website. Ideally, you will also have targets for the percentage of people converted from social to content to signing up for your related offer.

 

Carry on Actual Conversations and Engage

 

Don’t just post into the void or post things you, personally, want to read.

 

Everything you post should be targeted towards the personas you have created and tied towards business goals.

 

With this in mind, you want your audiences to feel like your brand is carrying on a conversation rather than just talking at them.

 

Respond to certain positive comments or interesting ideas. Try to see if you can get the full perspective from people who have something negative to say. Make each response feel personal, not canned.

 

Give your audience opportunities to take center stage. Post a question for them, like “what are your favorite ways to save money?” Ask them if they would like to see more of certain content types, or less of certain post types.

 

Also, make your social media use broader than just posting on your own page. Use social listening tools to monitor brand mentions and jump in on messages when you think it’s worthy of a conversation. Find other business pages, and engage with them like you would want others to engage with you.

 

As Andrew Kucheriavy of web development company Intechnic writes, “make [sure] your interactions are meaningful! Networking is about adding value to a relationship.” https://www.intechnic.com/blog/10-common-social-media-marketing-mistakes-to-avoid/

 

Make Time for Off-Schedule Posting

Many business owners go ahead and queue up an entire month’s worth of content in advance.

 

This is great! Having a schedule makes the social experience more consistent and professional for your audience.

 

But you shouldn’t be shackled to this schedule.

 

New articles and ideas will pop up on your radar all the time. Maybe something interesting happened in your industry this week. Maybe you just snapped a great photo of your team at the office.

 

Give yourself the chance to actually share content during opportunities like these rather than hoarding it all until next month. If you set aside, say, an hour each week to make time for unscheduled postings, then you can flesh out your existing content and make your page feel more organic.

 

Just remember to stick to your policy, goals, and persona guides. Also, proofread twice!

 

Promote Content Posts to Put Them in Front of Targeted Audiences

Promoting content on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can be highly affordable. More importantly, it can grow your audience beyond people who already follow and interact with your pages.

 

Start experimenting with promoting certain posts and using custom audience building features. Platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook even offer the ability to target specific companies or hyper-local areas.

 

If you put just a small budget behind a few key posts a month, then you can quickly multiply the number of people who see your messages. You also generate valuable data based on who does and doesn’t interact when they see certain posts.

 

Don’t Assume Social Media Marketing Is Easy to Do Yourself

There’s a reason “social media manager” is a full-time job at most big companies. Even for small businesses, managing it all and doing it right can be tough.

 

On top of that, you may not have the time to dig into your data or revisit your strategies and guiding documents.

 

So seek out help. Share the burden with others who are qualified and whose judgement you trust.

 

As Social Media Week observes: “Long gone are the days when you could rely on an intern to manage your business’s social media accounts. Either hire an in-house expert, or outsource to a social media management firm.”

 

Crawl Before You Walk, Walk Before You Run

 

As with anything in business, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Stick to one or two social networks at first. Otherwise your pages could feel like soulless cookie-cutter copies or, worse, ghost towns with nary an update in months.

 

But if you stay focused on your goals and your principles, then you can start out small to find gradual success. Only once you get the hang of it should you start to scale out and do more.

 

 

Meta: Improve your rate of social media marketing success by looking to these tips and strategies that pros use effectively yet many business owners overlook.

 

KWs: social media marketing

 

Social: Want to start using social media to achieve marketing goals like the pros do? Here’s a couple of oft-overlooked ways to level up your social success.

 

How to Market to Different Generations on Social Media

Social media is becoming an ever-increasing part of running a business – but where do you start when you need to narrow down your target audience? What inspires each generation the most?

While it’s clear to see that social media platforms such as Facebook are firm favorites across the board, there are differences that could mean your marketing efforts aren’t maximized if using the wrong platform for your target audience. What might work for Generation Z won’t necessarily work for Baby Boomers and vice versa.

There are a number of different factors that relate to social media with each generation, and ech one of these factors can impact how successful a marketing campaign is so it’s important to know what these are and how you can utilize them.social media

Marketing to Different Generations on Social Media

Generation Z

Generation Z are the new wave of social media users. The truly digital generation, you’d be hard pushed to find one that hasn’t had contact with a computer.

Gen Z are far more switched on when it comes to what’s going on around them, but they’re also noted as having shorter attention span when it comes to engaging with a piece of content. As such, keeping things brief, relevant and authentic will have the biggest impact.

Visually, video content that’s designed to empower and motivate is best when it comes to inspiring Generation Z.

Millennials

Millennials on the other hand, are far more idealistic, which has led to many taking a more negative tone with this generation. But as the largest generation, and currently the most influential on social media, there’s far more to them than they’re given credit for.

Extremely vocal about what they stand for, Millennials respond well when presented with brand advocates and influencers in real-time, giving them the opportunity to interact and building a sense of loyalty at the same time. Due to this, LinkedIn is particularly valuable for those Millennials looking to develop professionally, with over 38% of users falling into this bracket.

Ratings and reviews are also highly prized – including these will help to build better relationships with Millennials.

Generation X

Generation X are often noted as the forgotten generation, or the “latch key kids”, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. They’re the smallest of all the generations covered, but that certainly doesn’t mean they should be left behind.

Reportedly, Gen X have the second largest disposable income after Baby Boomers and are at a stage in their life where luxury and comfort take precedent. Appealing to this desire using straightforward, visually engaging content is best.

The most likely generation to share content, always include a call to action as this will help increase those shares.

Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers are a generation that you’re most likely to avoid when devising your social media marketing plan.

But with 91% purporting to have a social media account, this could be detrimental.

Boomers tend to favor more content-heavy social media platforms like Facebook, avoiding the likes of Twitter (with only 5% of their users falling into this generation bracket).

A generation with a “can do” attitude, they’re vocal about what they believe in, much like Millennials, and they like to share their opinions. Including polls and quizzes in content will appeal to this desire.

A huge 95% of Boomers will opt for email over instant messenger, so encouraging newsletter signups will help increase interaction and build awareness.

Conclusion

Choosing the right demographic for your marketing campaign is imperative, and building a fan base for your business doesn’t have to feel like a fruitless task.

Source:
https://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-business/how-market-different-generations-social-media-infographic

Domain Listings Scam | Internet Marketing St Augustine FL

DOMAIN LISTINGS SCAM

 in Domain NamesInternet AdvertisingSecurityWeb Design NewsWeb Site Security

Whether you have an actual website or just a domain listings name, you have likely received something in the mail that looks like an invoice. If it looks like the image here and you pay it, congratulations. You just got scammed.

Why Is This a Scam?

Website Listing Service Scam

Website Listing Service Scam

The image here is an example of one of these invoices that was sent to one of our clients. Fortunately, she listened to the advice we give all clients when we start working with them: If you ever get any solicitation by phone, email or mail and it’s in reference to your website, internet marketing or your domain name and you’re not 100% sure that it is legitimate, contact us before you respond so that we can take a look at it to make sure you’re not being scammed.(Good job, Laura!)

To the unsuspecting recipient, the invoice could look totally legitimate. It will probably have an official looking logo. It will likely have the company’s return address. They will also show your ‘account number’ (I mean, that HAS to be real, right?). In the example sent to our client, it even indicated that the company was Accredited by the Better Business Bureau (more on that in a minute).

So how can we be sure this bill is deceptive? Well, here are a few red flags that should make you pause:

  1. Do you remember signing up with this company? If not, that’s the first red flag.
  2. No phone number shown for the company on the invoice. If you had a question for them about your bill, how are you supposed to contact them? Think about the genuine invoices that you receive. Don’t they typically show a phone number that you can call with questions? Of course they do. Strike two.
  3. BBB ListingBut wait, they’re BBB Accredited, right? Well, let’s explore that by checking their listing on the Better Business Bureau’s website. What domain-listings likely did is paid the BBB for accreditation when they started their scam. This enhanced their credibility for a while as they sent out these invoices. Then complaints to the BBB started coming in and the BBB revoked their accredited status but domain-listings still kept using the BBB image on their mailings. Very sneaky but strike three.

If going through those steps still doesn’t convince you that the invoice is fake, you can always use your favorite search engine and search for topics like “domain name listing scam” or “internet listing scam” and read through the thousands of results. You’ll even see some comments from people who blindly paid the invoice and later found out they had unknowingly relinquished ownership of their domain name!

Doing a search, I found some posts that show this company has been scamming unsuspecting website and domain name owners for years! This post from Techeffex is from 2013 and here’s an even older one from Andrew Miller with Workshop Digital. It’s from 2011! Wow.

Bottom Line

If you get one of these invoices and you pay it, that means you ran right through several red flags and fell for a scam. The company is not doing anything illegal. Unethical, yes, but not technically illegal (I’m not an attorney so there may be a law against this practice. Feel free to correct me below). So your best defense as a business owner is to use your head.

This means consumer beware. Do your research and contact your web designer / developer and let them take a look. If you don’t have a web designer, contact us or leave a comment below and we’ll be happy to take a look for you.

If you have stories of your own, share them below. The more we can get the word out, the harder it will be for companies like them to scam the rest of us out of our hard-earned money.

 

Source: https://crystalcoasttech.com/domain-listings-scam/

Tips for SEO | Local Search Essentials Internet Marketing St Augustine FL

Achieving search engine optimization, or SEO, can be a complicated task. SEO doesn’t happen overnight. There is no single trick that will create substantial results in your search engine rankings. You will want to take multiple steps toward boosting your SEO. That is the only way to see real improvement in your site’s rank.

Below you’ll find some of the top tips for SEO that can become a part of your larger content marketing strategy:

  • Add Text Content to Visual Media – Infographics and videos are highly shareable and engaging pieces of content. But Google and other search engines can’t make sense of these images and videos. To ensure that search engines pick up these types of content, you should add transcripts. Also, descriptions to get the most benefit from your media.
  • Adapt Your Keyword StrategyKeywords are not static, nor are they priced equally. As you begin building your web presence, you might focus on a larger variety of lower-competition keywords. Therefore, this will help you begin ranking for these terms. Furthermore, as you establish authority through these keywords, you can begin to allocate your advertising budget toward more competitive terms. Because of this, it will guarantee you have a better chance of ranking highly for them. With any keywords, you will want to continue monitoring their performance on your site and adapting as necessary to keep traffic high.
  • Answer Questions Through Your ContentIn any type of content, you should have clear intentions for your audience. While SEO is the ultimate goal, you will want to focus first on what your reader is looking for. Providing answers to questions about topics related to your industry will allow you to gain a broader audience, which will in turn help you rank higher.
  • Optimize on Each PageAlong with the content side of SEO, you’ll want to consider the technical aspects of search engine rankings. Your site should be well-organized and effectively tagged. Each page should include your target keywords in each title and URL. Though it is essential to include keywords in these highly visible areas, you should refrain from overusing keywords within content, as this can have a negative effect on your rankings.
  • Network on and off Social SitesUtilizing social media is key for effectively reaching your clients and maximizing the exposure for your content. In addition to maintaining an active social presence for your business, you should set up alerts for any instance where your company is mentioned and reach out to those who are talking about you. Building connections in this way will provide more linking opportunities that can further benefit your SEO.

SEO can be a difficult field to navigate, which is why many companies choose to work with a professional team of experts.

To see what we can do for your business, contact us today. 

SEO

Five Star Reviews For Local Search Essentials From Satisfied Customers | Internet Marketing St Augustine FL

First of all, our reputation is an essential part of who we are. At Local Search Essentials, we take pride in serving our customers to the best of our ability.

Click here to see more reviews from satisfied customers like the one below and give our Facebook page a like:

Local Search Essentials

At Local Search Essentials, we are industry pioneers and leaders in helping local businesses & organizations attract customers via search engines & local business directories. Turn strangers into customers & promoters of your business! We do it all, so you can focus on what you do best… Running Your Business! Call us now (904) 823-9747

The Top Five Social Media Trends

Social media is an integral part of online marketing, and it’s always changing. What’s trending
today may be completely irrelevant to the social media trends tomorrow. It is necessary to stay up to date with social
trends and know when to adopt a new social strategy or when to let a trend simply pass by.
Here’s a look at the top five social media trends of the moment to guide your social media
marketing strategy and improve how you communicate with customers.

Integrated Video Is the New Standard
YouTube is a social media powerhouse, and the reason is simple: People would rather watch
videos than read articles. Videos are easily digestible, entertaining, and highly sharable. Because
of this, other social media sites are placing an emphasis on video. Facebook gives businesses the
ability to upload videos directly to the social media site and embed them on other sites. Other
social platforms will likely follow, making a video strategy a necessity for a strong social
marketing campaign.

Social Media Includes “Buy Now” Options
Along with integrated video, social media sites are offering the option to buy products from third
party advertisers without leaving the page. This could allow you to see increased conversions
and create more focused social ads that pay for themselves.

In-the- Moment Posts Are Increasing
Live streaming video and in-the- moment posts are a huge trend among social users. Sharing a
snapshot of one’s own life or the day-to- day business operations has become so popular that apps
like Periscope are being built simply to live stream videos. This shift may require you to adjust
your strategy to include more in-the- moment updates rather than just scheduling out your posts.

Blogging Is Happening on Social Sites
However, there is still room for scheduled content when it comes to long-form social posts.
Blogging is back, and it is taking place largely on social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.
Not only is long-form content bringing more visitors to businesses’ social pages, but it can have
an incredibly positive impact on your search engine rankings overall.

For an in-depth look at all of your digital marketing needs and goals, call us today. (904) 823-9747

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