8 Secrets To Instagram Marketing

8 Secrets To Instagram Markting

Instagram has slowly become one of the major social media platforms where businesses want to establish their presence and engage with people. One of the things that people tend to like about Instagram is how visual it is, especially marketers hoping to promote their products with carefully crafted and appealing images. Although the sheer amount of content on Instagram can make it hard to stand out you can still get some great results if you focus on a few strategies.

1. Use Hashtags Effectively
By now most people understand the importance of hashtags in getting more visibility for your posts and increasing engagement. If your post is marked with the right hashtags, users browsing through photos with these tags will most likely stumble on your photo and respond or even begin following you.

One thing to keep in mind is that while more general hashtags may get you more likes, they will not be as effective at getting new followers and engaged fans as more relevant tags that are specific to your product or location. If you can include a trending hashtag that happens to be relevant to your business then that will have the most impact.

2. Keep Drafts and Schedule Your Content
Social media marketing works best if you have a consistent stream of content that is posted periodically throughout the week. In order to make sure you have enough content it is a good idea to have a queue of photos ready to post. You can keep drafts of posts when you come up with an idea and publish them later.

Scheduling content is also a great way to have a store of posts that you’ve already created that will be posted at specific times. Scheduling and using drafts can help save you time and you won’t have to worry as much about what you should post on instagram every day.

3. Post User-Created Content
A good way to keep your content unique and also get fans engaged with your brand is to post photos from followers that include some of your products or are taken at your retail location. You can do this either by creating a contest or simply asking fans to post photos with a certain hashtag.

Remember that Instagram is a platform for original content and does not have a reposting feature so you will have to make sure that you have permission to use any photo that your fans publish. Most fans of your brand will be excited to be included in your official instagram.

4. Mix Videos and Photos
Although it was initially a photo app, Instagram added a video feature a few years ago that allows you to post short clips for your followers to watch. Make sure to have a good balance between some photo posts and some video so that your content does not seem to repetitive and you are taking advantage of both features. You can upload a pre-made video or use the Instagram app to record a few different shots and quickly edit it for posting.

5. Take Advantage of Sponsored Ads
Another more recent addition to Instagram has been the paid ads tool which allows you to promote a post to people who are not yet following your account. Sponsored ads are now becoming a regular occurrence on users’ timelines and they can help you reach your target audience and expand your fanbase. You can focus your advertising both to existing fans and potential customers on Instagram.

6. User Graphics that are Shareable
When creating your content you can mix in some different types of graphics so that you are not heavily focusing on products or promotion. A graphic with an inspiring quote or a practical tip can be more shareable than a photo in some cases. Quotes tend to be popular on Instagram and including a number of relevant hashtags in the caption can increase the chances that it will be shared.

7. Reach Out to Influencers
Just like YouTube, Instagram is a social media platform that creates its own internet celebrities. Influencers often are interested in industries like fashion, beauty, wellness, food or fitness and usually have a large following that trusts their opinion on these subjects. If you connect with these influencers they might partner with you to review your products or help promote your brand.

8. Post Discounts and Promotions
Brands often focus on the aesthetic of their Instagram or establishing their presence and forget about driving revenue on the platform. Occasionally posting discounts or promotional sales can quickly get people to become customers who are following your account or viewing your sponsored ad. If you post special promotions from time to time, customers are more likely to continue following you so they won’t miss out on any good deals.

Top Email Marketing Strategies

Business Related Email Concept ShotWhile email may seem like a more traditional type of marketing compared with the hype of social media and other tools, email marketing is still alive and well in 2016. Marketing directly to interested customers through email newsletters can prove to be a valuable resource that can keep them connected to you and allow you to share the information you want them to hear. When you have a plan in mind as well as rich and interesting content you can gain a lot from your email marketing strategy. Setting up a newsletter template with a theme and varying content on a predictable schedule can be an effective way to reach people on a regular basis.

Content and Mobile Use

One of the important things to keep in mind when working on your email marketing campaign is to personalize the messages you send out based on your customer’s demographics and buying habits so that you are communicating directly to them. Think about your target market and how to overcome any obstacles that prevent them from buying. You should collect as much information as you can through helpful tracking tools and customer surveys so that you understand all of your customers’ needs and cater to them appropriately. Another important strategy when it comes to email marketing is optimizing your newsletters for mobile use. Most customers take their shopping experience with them on the go so your emails must use a simple layout that translates well onto a smart phone. An email that is too complicated will not load well and you risk people unsubscribing due to technical issues.

Choosing Topics and Tracking Results

When you are sending out marketing newsletters it is crucial to think about content and creating quality information that is useful to readers. Emails that are too “salesy” are likely to be ignored but educational topics that are full of helpful tips are something that customers are more inclined to take the time to read. Topics for email newsletters should be closely related to your products or services but also provide information that is universal. Content that addresses the concerns which most affect your customers will be more appreciated than an email simply asking them to buy something.

The final strategy that can help improve your email marketing campaign is using tracking techniques so that you know what works and what doesn’t. Determining the level of reader engagement through your email newsletters can help you gauge how to alter or tailor your emails to better suit your audience. Tracking to find out if customers are opening your emails, clicking on links, sharing, responding or even unsubscribing can give you a better idea of how effective your current campaign may be. Making adjustments and tracking their effects can be a great way to fine-tune your newsletters so that they are getting the results that you want for your company.

 

How to Get More Mileage Out of Your Social Media Posts and Website Assets

content-social-mileage With social media marketing, it’s usually a “one and done” type of deal. A post is posted, shared, or Tweeted, never to be repeated again. At least, that used to be the idea of how things were to be done. Nowadays, there are ways to extend the life of your website assets and even share them multiple times on social media. Here are a few ways you can get more mileage from your website assets through social media marketing:

Take Advantage of Trends Like #TBT and #FBF

Throwback Thursdays and Flashback Fridays are very popular social media trends and the good thing is that you can participate every week! Whether it’s re-sharing an old post, or re-posting a nostalgic Instagram post, these are all acceptable ways of keeping your old content and social media posts alive. As we near the end of 2015, sites like Facebook are keen to remind us of past events. Don’t be afraid to incorporate these trends into your social media campaigns.

Keep Adding to Evergreen Pages and Let People Know About It

The purpose of evergreen content is that they stand the test of time. This wouldn’t be possible if you weren’t constantly adding new content, information, and features. Even though the content exists on the same web page and URL, feel free to re-share it on social media once you get a new features such as: video, Q&A, infographics, reviews, and more.

Create a Multi-Part Series and Post the Old Ones to Refresh Peoples’ Memory

Do you have a particular popular blog post that you’re proud of? Feel free to follow-up on that subject to make a part 2,3 or A,B. This also creates linking opportunities for SEO.

If you have an engaging Facebook post with a lot of engagement, you can easily take a screenshot of that and re-ask or ask additional questions. Even if you want to just focus on one particular comment, you can take a screenshot or create a new image from that UGC (user-generated content) to give that topic new life.

Tie Your Existing Content to Current News and Trends

There are many ways that your products/services can relate to current events. For example, if a skateboard manufacturer can tie their posts into recent news of hoverboards catching on fire… specifically to show people that their skateboards don’t spontaneously combust. Be creative!

Repurposing content and social media posts/ideas doesn’t have to be repetitive or trite. The key is to not overdo it and reuse at appropriate times! Check us out on Twitter and Facebook for more information and ideas.

Refresh Your Social Media Campaigns

Refresh Your Social Media CampaignsRunning a social media marketing campaign without a clear plan is like sailing a ship without a captain. You don’t want to be left aimlessly floating at sea or even worse… shipwrecked. If your campaigns have been on auto pilot for awhile, it’s easy to feel burned out. But don’t give up yet!

Keep Updating

Consistency is one of the hardest parts of maintaining an active social media account. If you feel tired or burned out, it’s not a good reason to give your social accounts a break. Regular posts are needed to keep your accounts in active order. Even if it means posting about articles that aren’t your own, interesting videos, inspirational quotes or pictures. These are also things that will help break up the monotony of your usual “business” posts. Although it can seem tedious, it’s the beginning of the battle into keeping a fresh social media account.

Get Interactive

You may have seen athletes, big businesses, or even local accounts incorporate prize giveaways into their social media posts. On Instagram, EnjoyPasadena does a good job of promoting a scavenger hunt through a series of posts and getting followers to use the hashtag. The idea is that EnjoyPasadena posts a clue or riddle about a location in the area where the prize is located. The first Instagram follower to find it will get the prize! This is much like the Hidden Cash Social Media accounts that caused a frenzy last year. But when done in this matter, encourages engagement while promoting local businesses.

Align Your Business Goals with Social Media Goals

Synergy. Your business is more likely to succeed when the goals are aligned. Luckily, this is very possible through social media. For example, if your business aims to increase referrals you can attack it from all social angles: email blasts, Facebook posts (and Sponsored posts), Twitter updates, and Instagram pictures.

Revive Your Outlook on Social Media

Nowadays, it’s rare that you’ll discover a new social media tactic that hasn’t been utilized before. But the purpose is to try what’s new and effective for your industry. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Google+ and contact us for more information or ideas for your social campaigns.

Google Local Guides and The Importance of Reviews

Google Local Guides and The Importance of ReviewsYelp Elite Squad, meet Google Local Guides. Though Google’s program for City Experts was first launched in 2013, Google recently renamed and re-launched the program dubbed Google Local Guides in an effort to make a stronger local push.

What are Google Local Guides?

Much like Elite Yelpers, Google Local Guides have to sign up to participate in the program and meet certain criteria. Also like Yelp, Google’s program also benefits Local Guides based on a point system that is based on reviews. Local Guides get the opportunity to preview Google apps and services, receive 1 terabyte in Google Drive storage space, and even a chance to meet other top Local Guides at Google’s main campus!

What is Google’s Goal for Launching Local Guides?

Our first inclination is to “Yelp” a new or unfamiliar business. Yelp reviews can make or break a business. It can be said that the Local Guides program is Google’s effort to invite tech-savvy thought leaders to harness that energy and put it into Google Local instead of other third party review sites, like Yelp.

In influx in reviews for local businesses not only helps the business but it also helps Google. By bringing in more user-generated content, it gives searchers a reason to search, browse and stay on Google for a longer period of time…instead of clicking away and going onto another review site such as Yelp and Zagat.

Focus on Good Relations and Gaining Customer Reviews Naturally

Gaining user reviews in a “natural” way without explicitly asking is difficult and tricky. And yet Google and Yelp are making it more difficult for businesses to be visible without a good amount of positive reviews. Check out more about Google Local Guides in the video below and let us know what you think. Will you be signing up for Google’s Local Guide program any time soon?

Reasons Why a Large Site Should be Reorganized

Reasons Why a Large Site Should be ReorganizedSEO Friendly URL Structure

Over the years, you have probably accumulated many pages, articles, and press releases – some that probably have overlapping or duplicate topics. Organizing a big, messy site is a challenge but luckily it can be done in steps. The biggest mistake you can make is not starting.

It begins with taking inventory of all the pages on your website. Don’t forget about folders, folders in folders (if applicable), and any subdomains or other strange anomalies. Use a tool like Screaming Frog, Moz, or LinkSleuth to extract header/title tag information. In a spreadsheet, you can see which topics overlap.

Once the pages are organized by main category, you can rename them with an SEO friendly URL, minimizing repeating keywords and/or dashes where necessary. Take a look at this article: https://moz.com/blog/15-seo-best-practices-for-structuring-urls for some tips.

Easy to Navigate

For Users: Why should you bother to reorganize and restructure a website you ask? The #1 reason would be for enhancing user experience. With pages put in the appropriate directory, with URLs that accurately describe the content, potential customers will be able to easily tell where they are going and where they are.

For Internal Linking: Restructuring URLs to be more organized and intuitive will enhance with your own internal linking and SEO. Having a structured system means that your website is more easily crawled by search engines and that is always a good thing.

Reevaluate What You Really Need

The content on your website should be intuitive, intentional, and serve a specific purpose. If you have a random collection of content, it might not be the best to hold onto everything hoping that it will capture some of the right traffic. Having multiple pages on the same topic isn’t all that helpful and can even be diluting your link juice and ranking ability. Instead of having pages compete against each other on your own site, it may be helpful to combine them to make a longer, informative web page.

Technical Issues When Redirecting

Remember, pages can’t just be deleted and left alone. 301 redirects and changes in the .htaccess are important and your newly renamed URLs may cause havoc if these steps aren’t taken properly. You may need the assistance of an experienced webmaster to make sure that the right measures are taken so that your site doesn’t suffer from broken links and bad user experience.

Make the Most Out of Video in Social Media Marketing

The current trend for social media sites is to make business pages less like a static, boring old newspaper and more like an robust, engaging video channel. Check out this example of video as it’s featured on the ABC News Page. The video section on Facebook is becoming more in-your-face and this format is rolling out to Pages soon. Facebook isn’t the first or only social media site to take notice.

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Major Social Media Sites Highlighting Videos

The idea of adding videos to Facebook Pages is transforming with current user behavior. As you might know, a majority of Facebook users don’t actually go to business Pages anymore. They consume posts directly from what they see updated from their Feed, without ever going to the actual page itself. And even with the individual post activity, that visibility is dwindling to single digit percentages when compared to the total number of fans.

Ideal Length

The ideal length of an effective video depends on the business and target audience. On average, effective videos on YouTube are around 3 minutes long. Some say that more informative tutorial videos typically hit the 6 minute mark. Others argue that the average consumer doesn’t have that much time to spend and will only be willing to watch videos that are anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute & 30 seconds long.

If you’re interested in more options for your business, check out our reel to see what different options are available.

Increase Engagement by Boosting Consumption

Videos give consumers something to look at and provide businesses with more content to work with on social media. This visual content serves the purpose of growing and maintaining a relationship with customers. Video can be used effectively even in the most “old-school” of social media tactics: email marketing. With the rise of HTML5, quick loading videos can be used in email blasts to establish authority, provide entertainment and increase conversions.

Embrace Video

Throughout the rest of this year, expect the use of native video marketing to increase. If you need help or interesting ideas for video marketing for your business, call us today for a free consultation. We have different options including: green screen, product, bio, product videos and more.

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Integrating Instagram Ads into Social Media Marketing

KIEV UKRAINE - APRIL 30 2015: Hand holds Instagram logoIn terms of social media networks, Instagram is one of the fastest-growing and widely used platforms around the world. It has experienced a meteoric rise since its $1 billion purchase by Facebook three years ago and the network now has 400 million active users making it a high ranking industry giant. Instagram can help maximize your impact with social media marketing and increase your search rank along with high quality content. With a new ad format that was recently introduced to advertisers, Instagram now offers us the chance to more frequently integrate the platform into a social media strategy. With a relatively young audience of 53 percent under the age of 29 it represents a premier opportunity for brands to expand their reach to millennials. Currently 32.5 percent of U.S. companies now use Instagram for marketing purposes and that number is expected to reach over 70 percent by 2017, eventually passing Twitter.

Increasing Your Presence

For companies already using Instagram as a marketing tool, they may know how to use the platform as a kind of digital photo album to increase brand awareness through images and hashtags. High quality images that look natural and less like an advertisement usually get the best response especially for more visual brands. Hashtags can also increase engagement with the photos, allowing you the chance to utilize popular and trending hashtags which can increase your search rank. While this approach is valuable, using the new ad format can add much more to a marketing strategy and help expand awareness of your company. There are now three types of Instagram ads available to marketers- image ads, video ads and carousel ads. These types of ads are closely related to their Facebook counterparts being that the platform is now owned by Facebook.

Using the Ad Format

Image ads are similar to Facebook link ads but have a heavier emphasis on the visual. These provide the ability to add a call-to-action button to an ad to help drive web visits and while still raising brand awareness. Carousel ads allow you to add multiple images within the same ad to showcase more pictures and calls to action with a single targeting option. With video ads you can add up to 30 seconds of moving images; however call-to-action buttons are not yet available for that type of ad. With the new ad format Instagram can be seamlessly integrated with Facebook so that marketers can take advantage of numerous advanced targeting methods. Integrating both platforms with the new Power editor can ensure that you can reach your target audience through a variety of channels. Utilizing Instagram and especially the new ad capabilities can be a huge boost to your social media marketing strategy. If you are looking to enhance your presence and spread awareness of your brand these new ads could be the right choice.

How to Determine Your SEO Content Needs

Website Seo And Analytics IconsIn today’s market, everyone knows that high quality content is more important than keyword density and we need to utilize content marketing on all websites to be successful. However, simply creating content without a clear strategy may not be as effective. You must first figure out the type of content that you need to reach your audience and define what works best. Identifying your target audience as well as their needs, interests and surfing habits can help begin the process of creating the right content. There are certain methods that can be helpful in defining your SEO content needs so that you are not spending too much time producing inefficient content.

Checking Out Search Results

If you have an idea for the type of content you want to produce you can first look into the popularity of that content, whether people are interested and how they are searching for that content. This can be done by simply taking a look at search results based on certain titles, keyword phrases and related topics so you know specifically what people are looking for and what type of content already exists. Searching for certain keywords can provide insight into whether people are looking for product and solution pages or more information-based content. When creating a content strategy, you must analyze search results so that you know whether your content idea is something buyers will like and can perform well in a search.

Analyzing Existing Content

To better understand what type of content you need you must also try to determine what information is necessary for customers to make a purchase. You can use analytics to evaluate what content is currently working or not working and how customers are interacting with the site. Using Google Analytics you can set up conversion paths and learn how visitors are moving through a site. Finding out what pages cause users to exit or which ones are performing well can help you evaluate what customers respond to the most. Looking into bounce rate and investigating the reasons why people navigate away from certain pages can help us understand what we need to give them in terms of content.

Understanding Customer Needs

Since creating successful content revolves around what customers are looking for, one of the most effective ways to define your SEO content needs is to find out directly from customers. Using customer surveys and emails to get immediate feedback on what is working with a website can help you improve your content. Live Chat can also be a useful tool to see what sorts of questions users are asking or what kind of content they are looking for. All these methods can contribute to a better understanding of what users want so that you can create the kind of content that people are searching for.