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As a marketer, you want to connect with your audience.

You want customers and clients to think your brand is friendly, approachable, and easy to work with.

So when your manager comes in and suggests increases in automated efforts, you’re skeptical.

How can a human connection be automated?

How can you make customers trust you without personal emails and phone calls?

Whether you work at a small company that’s growing or a large company that’s disconnected from its customers, you can add a personal touch to your customer communications, even if you have hundreds or thousands of contacts.

Here’s how to use online automation while keeping and cultivating a personal touch:

Look for holes automation can fill

You shouldn’t use automation just because some online marketing expert told you it was a good idea.

You should use automation to fill existing gaps, and as a time saver so that you can focus on more big picture initiatives.

Take a look at your marketing process, and see which activities (particularly ones that you do over and over) could be automated.

Here are some holes that companies often fill with automation:

  • User onboarding
  • Welcome emails for newsletters, courses, and events
  • Sales cycle emails
  • Transactional-based emails such as confirmations, notifications, and shipping information
  • Scheduling of blog posts and social media updates
Use automation to personalize

It’s easy enough to automate email marketing efforts, and you can use automation to send high-performing personalized campaigns.

According to Campaign Monitor, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened, and Experian reports that personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates.

Email marketing providers like Sendlane offer integrations and APIs that allow you to pass data from Shopify and other CRM or ecommerce platforms directly to your email list.

You can setup automated emails so that every time a customer makes a purchase, or leaves something in their online shopping cart, they automatically get a personalized email:

Use automation to open communication

Automation is not a barrier between you and your customers.

Instead, it’s an open door.

Each time customers receive automated messages, you can encourage them to contact you if they have any questions.

If you send an email, tell customers to simply reply back with any concerns.

You can put links to your brand’s social media pages in your emails so that customers can connect with you.

For example, if you’re interested in buying a new home, Trulia automates daily emails for the latest listings based on your criteria.

At the end of each email, they provide a link to get more information, so you can get in contact with the agent if you see a property of interest.

This automation strategy consistently provides information, while still encouraging you to get in touch.

Write like a friend

If you want to ensure that your automated efforts still feel personal, make sure that you write like you’re talking to a friend.

When you create automated emails, speak to one person, not the crowd.

Here’s how to write like a friend:

  • Use the second person, which means using “you” rather than “our customers.”
  • Use custom “from names” to show the messages come from a human
  • Employ casual language, like you would in a friendly email

Some companies, such as Dubsat, use a custom “from name” in automated emails, so that the emails feel personal.

Dubsat goes as far as to send the emails from the individual’s account executive.

Online Automation Final thoughts

Today’s tools make it easy to automate email, social media, advertising, and content marketing efforts.

The key is to assess where your brand has gaps, and fill it in with deliberate automation that prioritizes a personal touch.

If you automate your online efforts, you can save time, increase efficiency, and provide customers with a more comprehensive and fulfilling experience.

Automatic doesn’t mean robotic.

Use these tips and tactics to create automated marketing that feels personal.

Your turn: What’s your experience been with automation for online marketing efforts?

What are your struggles, and where have you seen success?

We’d love to learn about your experiences, so we can share your insights with our readers.

The post How to Use Online Automation While Keeping a Personal Touch appeared first on Snaptactix.

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Have you felt the need to bid on an eBay item because of the red countdown timer that was staring back at you?

Ever checked out a flash sale to see what deals you could snag during a limited time offer?

If so, you understand how urgency works – especially in a conversion-oriented context.

Urgency is a powerful motivator for getting people to take action, whether that’s to make a purchase, sign up for an event, etc.

It’s all about the here and now.

In this post, we’ll look at a few easy ways you can harness the power of urgency to boost sales and grow your customer base.

Countdown Timers

A countdown timer helps you create a sense of urgency by reminding shoppers how much time is left before an offer, discount, or special pricing expires.

It works because it activates Fear Of Missing Out, or FOMO.

FOMO plays into a larger psychological experience, called Loss Aversion Theory.

Researcher Daniel Kahneman found that people hate missing out on positive rewards (like a good deal or a special offer) almost 2x more than they love actually getting the deal.

Essentially, that means missing out hurts twice as much as getting the deal feels good.

Countdown timers are proven to activate FOMO – and to drive conversions.

We tested a countdown timer on a page with and without it, and found that including the timer more than doubled conversions.

Now that’s pretty impressive.

The main takeaway here: Countdown timers create urgency and drive conversions because of FOMO and Loss Aversion.

Basically, no one likes to miss out on a good deal.

Limited Time Offers

Offers that are limited to a shortened time frame (think flash sale or early bird discount) help leverage the power of urgency by reminding customers that they’re working within a limited context.

Open-ended offers just don’t have the same anxiety-producing, must act now pull that these types of offers do.

Why?

Because limited offers feel more scarce – and scarce items are seen as more valuable.

It’s the same reason we value diamonds and Black Friday sales.

There’s not an endless supply of either, and so we are more motivated to attain them when possible.

Limited time offers also help those customers who are taking their time making a decision speed up that process.

Researchers proved limited time offers really work: When 14 shoppers were told that they were working with a limited time sale, they became more competitive and motivated to buy.

The main takeaway here: Open ended sales are okay, but making them limited in time frame creates a greater sense of urgency to act.

Low Stock Notices

Another way to communicate urgency and drive conversions is also through scarcity, but from a limited quantity perspective.

Low stock notices inform customers they need to act now to get an item that’s about to sell out – which puts them in a frenzy to take action.

Remember what we said about FOMO?

Lulus, a clothing retailer, uses this to inform shoppers of which items are about to sell out.

They even have a whole page on their site called “Going Fast” for these items that are just about out of stock.

The main takeaway here: Urgency can work beyond a time perspective.

Think about promoting limited stock to convince your shoppers or customers to take immediate action.

Urgency is Essential

With countdown timers, limited time sales, and low stock notices, you can start using urgency to drive conversions right away.

Just remember to use it sparingly – you don’t want to overdo the anxiety-producing angle for customers, or they’ll just get worn out.

Save it for times when it really makes sense.

Inspire viewers to take immediate action on your eCommerce store, website or blog and even within marketing emails & see your conversion rate skyrocket!

The post Using Urgency to Drive Conversions appeared first on Snaptactix.

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As a marketer, you know that building an email list is a vital part of most online business endeavors.

But if your only goal is to simply grow your list, then you’re missing the point of email marketing altogether.

Confused?

Let me illustrate it another way.

Let’s say you want to run in a 5K.

In your mind, the goal is to run in the race.

So you do a bit of cardio a few days a week to get your body in shape, and some days you decide to eat a little better too.

Come race day, you’re seemingly ready.

You have your game face on, your runner’s number is proudly displayed on your shirt and when the gunshot for the start of the race goes off, there you are right in the thick of the race.

But after about 15 minutes, you’re exhausted.

And then it hits you – this whole time, your goal has been to simply run in the race.

But, you need to make it to the finish line.

And guess what?

You didn’t train to finish the race.

You only trained just to run in it, so your goal was wrong from the start and you didn’t know it until it was too late!

So, let’s end this little story and bring it back to our topic of email marketing.

What does this have to do with list building?

Well, in many cases, when people are focusing solely of building a list they are like that runner whose only goal was to run the race.

However, like that runner, they soon realize that just building a list won’t help them “cross the finish line” into successful email marketing.

Building a list is only one part of marketing with email just like entering to run a race is just one part of actually finishing it.

If you want to win at email marketing than you need to have goals in place so that you’re not lagging behind or losing out altogether.

Why Set Goals for Email Marketing?

Why set goals?

Because they matter!

Obviously, that’s an oversimplification, but it doesn’t change the fact that goals make a difference in just about every part of your life — including email.

What’s the simplest reason behind why you need them?

Without goals you will have nothing to shoot at and you also have no way of measuring any real results.

Think of it this way:

A goal is a target and your efforts are the arrows.

With no target to hit, your efforts are pointless.

The other side of the coin is goals are motivating.

And if you work with a team of people, well thought-out goals can keep everyone on a similar path.

They help cut out the frustration of everyone doing busy work without seeing the benefits.

So now that we’ve covered why you need goals, let’s dig into this a little deeper.

Email Marketing Goals Are Great, But You Need These Too…

Right now you’re at the point where you probably understand how much you need goals.

But… they aren’t the only thing you need to set.

You should also be establishing objectives.

How are goals and objectives different?

Let’s go back to the illustration of archery.

As we touched on before, a goal is like a target you plan to hit and an objective is like the bullseye.

Here’s what I mean.

Goal: I want to make more money from my email list.

Objective: I want to increase affiliate sales through my email list by 20% for the first quarter.

Did you catch the difference?

The goal was broad, but the objective makes it specific.

So to make a goal even easier to measure, adding objectives to it is a great way to make sure you (and your team, if applicable) can stay on track and know exactly how your efforts are paying off.

How To Set a Plan That Works for YOU

Since every business is a bit different, there’s no such thing as a “one-size fits all” approach to setting goals.

And if you pick a goal without considering how it fits into your overall business strategy, you could be wasting a lot of your time.

However, one rather effective goal setting method is called Backward Goal-Setting which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like:

You start with your end destination (goal) and work back from there.

I don’t want to take too much time going over it, so I’ll just give you the cliff notes of how to do break this down:

  1. Start with one of your main business goals.
  2. Break down that goal into necessary milestones/objectives.
  3. List out daily actions to help you reach those milestones.

Now, to make it easier to understand how the process works, here is an example.

Let’s say that Sam is a freelance Facebook Ad Specialist.

Sam wants to make $80K this year from her business.

In order to reach this goal, she has a few milestones she needs to accomplish:

  1. Increase conversion on her main landing page by 7%.
  2. Make 50+ sales on her course for DIY customers.
  3. Drive 5% more sales to her digital book about FB Ads for Entrepreneurs.

So, now that Sam knows the objectives she has to reach, she sits down and starts listing out ways to go about hitting her mark:

  • A/B Test her landing page.
  • Using FB ads to send warm traffic to this page.
  • Drive all cold traffic to free email course.
  • Increase email list by double.
  • Add affiliate options.
  • Promote affiliate options to email list and online friends.
  • Add book to tripwire in her funnel.
  • Send paid traffic to the landing page for her book.

This list could go on for quite a bit, but I think you get the point.

Do you see what Sam did here?

By working backwards she was able to narrow down exactly what she needed to do to reach her main business goal.

For each of the daily tasks she’s listed, there is more detailed strategizing to do, but this gives you idea of how to break it down.

Using that example, you should have a better idea of how to choose reasonable objectives and set up daily actions to reach your goals.

If you want a more strategic approach to this, then the SELF Journal is a great option to get you moving in the right direction.

Now let’s get into the nitty gritty.

Email Marketing Goals For Your Business

The interesting thing with email marketing is that you can leverage it to meet other goals in your business strategy.

For instance, you can use email to support content marketing goals like getting more readers to see your posts or help social media efforts by increasing social shares.

Below you’ll find a few goals that you can use for your email marketing campaigns.

There are more goals and objectives than the ones listed here, but they are a great place to start for just about any business.

Increase Open Rate

Focusing on improving your open rate is a great goal to start with.

While sending emails to your list is important, getting people to actually open them is the most important thing.

After all, if subscribers are not opening your emails in the first place, your efforts from here on out are essentially a waste of time.

If you’re a bit lost as to how to do about this, first consider what your main objective will be.

Open Rate Objectives

For example, you may want to increase open-rate…

  • for every email sent by X amount.
  • by X percent for the entire year.
  • of your less engaged users by X amount.

These ideas are just a few things you could focus on.

Now, how do you accomplish this?

How To Reach Your Objective

1. Write Better Subject Lines

You probably already know this, but your subject lines affect your open rate by A LOT.

On average, about 47% of people say they open an email based on the subject.

And let’s be honest, when you do that daily email purge, if you haven’t read it yet and the subject isn’t compelling it winds up in the trash, right?

Yup, I do it too, so it’s not hard to understand this.

If you really want to spruce up your subject lines, this article has 10 simple tips for writing subject lines so people actually open your emails.

2. Check Your Deliverability

What if you know your subject lines are killer?

A deliverability issue could be the reason your open rate is struggling.

For example, do your emails land in the Promotions tab of your subscribers Gmail account?

That can ding your open-rate.

Who is your email marketing provider?

Some do better than others when it comes to getting your emails front and center of an inbox.

If you can figure out where your emails wind up and why, then you’ll be in much better shape moving forward.

Start by reading up on how to reach your subscriber’s inbox with our Deliverability 101 post.

Now, let’s look at another possible goal for your email marketing efforts.

Increase Click-Through Rate

Ah, yes. CTR…

With every email you send, there is a link somewhere that you’d like subscribers to click on.

Click-throughs to your linked content is what makes up your CTR and if you’re struggling with good numbers, you’re not alone.

But mastering this metric can help in more ways than one.

Not only does it get people to where you want them to be, it also keeps up the health of your email account.

Yep, email marketing tools keep track of this stuff too and if you’re not doing well on things like open-rate or CTR, then your account could be considered spammy.

How’s that for a kick in the gut, right?

So, how can you fix this?

Again, first start with your objective.

Click Through Rate Objectives

I want to increase the CTR…

  • of my new subscribers by X.
  • of my entire list by X.
  • of X segmented list by X.

Got it? Great!

Now the real issue.

How do you do this?

How To Reach Your Objective

Depending on the objective here, the way you reach this goal could be a little different.

But basics email marketing principles still apply.

If you need to brush up on some of these basics, you could try one of these 11 surefire tricks from HubSpot to get you started.

But here are some great tactics that have worked for others:

1. Include Video

Here’s how you do this:

In your email, include a screenshot of a video with a play-button icon on it that links to your desired content.

The play button acts as a call-to-action that leads to an almost compulsory click.

Bam!

Your click through rate just exploded!

2. A/B Test Your CTA

When in doubt, test it out.

I know that sounds like something Bill Nye might have said, but this holds as true in marketing as it does other things in life.

Not only can you A/B test your calls-to-action to see if one performs better than another, you can also add tracking to see which links are getting the most action.

This gives you more chances to improve your CTR and help you figure out what is working better for segmented lists too.

Set Email Marketing Goals

Email has a place in every business out there, but not every business has the same goals.

By hunkering down and establishing clear, attainable goals, you’ll have the ability to figure out exactly where it fits in the grand scheme of things.

Depending on your objectives and how you’ll actually reach them, you can decide just how much time you should be investing in your email efforts.

Mastering email marketing is not an easy feat, but as with just about everything else in life, practice can make all the difference.

Your turn!

What areas of email marketing do you struggle with?

Let us know in the comments below and if you liked this post, please share with a friend who could benefit from the info!

The post Goal Setting 101: How to Set Goals for Your Email Marketing appeared first on Snaptactix.

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You can create the best, most conversion-oriented email in the world, but if your readers aren’t interested in your subject line, that message will get lost in the oblivion of the overcrowded inbox.

It’ll get pushed further and further down the stream of new messages until it’s forgotten forever.

It’s true: There are more than 1billion emails sent and received each day.

So without a strong subject line, you could be setting your email marketing efforts up to fail.

Nobody likes to fail.

To help you out, we’ve put together some simple, straightforward tips for writing a killer email subject line that will help drive up your open rates and get you more readers who are excited to hear from you.

1. Keep it real

No one likes an email subject line that sounds like it was written by a robot – write like a human, for other humans.

Even better: Include personalization in your subject line by inserting the recipient’s first name.

As humans, we’re drawn to recognize our own names in writing and it just makes the message feel more tailor-made.

2. Brevity = Clarity

Most email experts recommend no more than 50 characters in a strong subject line, so try to keep things short and sweet.

You’ll do most of the talking within the message body.

3. Customize preview text

Rather than leaving the standard “Not displaying correctly?” message as preview text, be sure to modify the preview message for each unique email campaign so the reader can get a good idea of what’s on the other side of the subject line.

4. Use words that express value

People are compelled to open an email if they see it will produce something of value to them (like a great how-to lesson, a discount, or a sneak peek).

Use words like ‘grow’, ‘improve’, ‘free’, and ‘easy’ to explain why your message is worth opening.

5. Leverage urgency

When you put a limited time frame on a special offer, your readers will be more likely to open and read the message immediately rather than waiting to read it later (which means running the risk of getting lost in the inbox).

Use phrases like ‘flash sale’, ‘today only’, or ‘just XX hours left’ to communicate a strong sense of urgency to readers, like this email from Rich Dad Robert Kiyosaki:

6. Include Numbers

Quantifying information makes it more logical and easy to digest, so whenever it makes sense, tie in numbers to your subject line so readers know exactly what to expect (and how simple you’re making a topic) within your email.

7. Use location information

If you know where your subscribers live, segment them into lists based on geographic location so you can include targeted, location-based information in your subject lines, like “7 Best Chicago Restaurants You Need to Try”, for example.

8. Make them feel like VIPs

It’s a good idea to make your subscribers feel special by giving them insider tips, deals, and previews that non-subscribers don’t get.

This adds value for those on your list, and gives people one more reason to opt-in.

Remind them of their VIP status by using phrases like ‘Invitation Only’ or ‘Special Preview: Just for Subscribers’ like this message from Snaptactix founder Jimmy Kim:

9. Take it easy on the CAPS, man

No one likes to see an email subject line that looks like it’s screaming at you in ALL CAPS.

Use sentence-style or title-style capitalization, but NEVER leave on the caps lock.

10. Ask a question

Posing a question in the subject line means that the reader can find the answer on the other side (and therefore should open your message.)

Make it a question that is highly relevant to your readers by working in a pain point if possible.

Killer Subject Line Wrap Up

We can almost guarantee that if you start using these email subject line tips and right away, you’ll notice an increase in open rates.

Write smarter – and take note of which formats drive the highest open rates over time.

As you continue to send emails over time, you’ll find what your unique audience really wants within a subject line.

Your turn: What are your go-to tips for writing killer email subject lines?

We’d love for you to add to this list and/or let us know which tactic has been highly effective in your own experimentation and testing.

The post 10 Simple Tips for Writing a Killer Email Subject Line appeared first on Snaptactix.

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Welcome to Part 2 of our guide to driving traffic online!

In Traffic Academy Part 1, we covered what online traffic is, why it matters, and how you can increase it using free methods.

In this section, we will cover the paid methods you can use including Facebook ads, banner ads, solo ads, and PPC advertising.

By the end of this series, you will have the knowledge to form a strategy which integrates both paid and free traffic methods to get the results you are looking for.

Let’s get started!

Paid Traffic Methods Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are available through the Facebook platform as long as you have an active Facebook business page.

Facebook offers a user friendly ad creation process that you access right from your profile page.

The native ads they provide can appear in the newsfeed of your audience so they blend in with other posts.

Alternatively, they can appear in the right hand column of the desktop version of Facebook.

There are many objectives you can choose from depending on what your goals are.

You can drive traffic to your website, drive conversions, increase app downloads, increase video views, or even just boost a post to reach more people!

Once you select your objective, you can target your audience using very detailed options.

From demographics to interests to behaviors, Facebook really allows you to fine tune your audience.

They even allow you to create custom audiences through existing lists you have, and look-a-like audiences so you can target users who are similar to those on a list you already have.

For more on targeting and audiences, check out our Facebook Targeting 101 post here.

Once you target your audience, you will select your schedule, set your budget, design your ad, add in calls to action, and then place your order.

When you have ads running, you can track their performance and cost in the Facebook Insights section.

It is a relatively easy process and the ads have shown they can be very effective.

Facebook continues to focus on improving the experience for their users by limiting the amount of organic business posts in news feeds in favor of friends and family posts.

Facebook ads can help you to still get the exposure you need to reach your desired audience!

Best Practices

When designing an ad for Facebook, keep in mind that visually appealing ads do best.

Be sure to choose engaging media whether it’s an image or video.

You will also want to invest some time into strategizing your ad copy as you have a small amount of space to engage and interest the reader to click through.

It can also be helpful to create different messages to different audiences.

You can create an ad targeted at people who have never heard of your business before, one to retarget those who have previously visited your website, and one for those who have watched your videos, etc.

Lastly, once your ads are posted, be sure to always follow up to gauge ad performance and make adjustments accordingly.

Better yet, try out this tool to check out the ads that have worked for your competition and save yourself some of the guesswork!

Banner Ads

Next up are banner ads.

These are advertisements that you can purchase that will show up in rectangular displays horizontally or vertically on host web pages.

They are typically image-based with some text and can link to the destination that you choose.

You can pay host sites for these advertisements using 3 pricing models: views, clicks, and conversions.

If you are interested in investing in banner ads, you can buy them direct from websites (i.e. Waze), by joining an ad network, or by hiring an ad agency through a catalog type environment where you buy remnant from various publishers (i.e. Google Adwords).

There are various sites available for banner ads, but here are some options you can check out:

http://web.blogads.com

https://www.buysellads.com

http://valueclick.com/

http://www.bannerspace.com/

http://www.eads.com/

http://www.doubleclick.net/

Best Practices

When using banner ads, you’ll want to identify your goal, who you are targeting, and what websites your target audience visits.

Once you know, it is time to design your banner. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Identify what you want to communicate in the small space available
  • Keep your message clear
  • Include a call to action
  • Use colors that match your branding
  • Consider interactive elements to attract more attention
  • Stick to standard sizes
  • Create a hierarchy
  • Forget flash

As far as designing the banner, you could hire a professional web designer, a freelancer off a site like 99designs, or create your own.

There are also services like envatostudio available which handle all the back end coding for you so you can just design it from the front end.

These can be a viable option for reaching a new audience and directing them to your desired destination.

Solo Ads

Above is an example of a solo ad vendor website.

Solo ads are another great opportunity for you to reach a new audience, particularly if you know your conversion rate based on past data.

With solo ads, basically you create an ad in the form of an email.

Then you find a vendor who has targeted lists of email addresses and you pay them to send your email to their list.

Now, to be clear, you are not buying an email list.

An email you create is sent out to someone else’s list as a way for you to reach their audience.

It is important to understand that there is a risk in solo ads because you are trusting that the vendor has a list of of engaged recipients and that they are actually sending your email to them.

You will want to choose a vendor who is reputable to decrease your risk.

You will also want to look for a vendor that offers performance based pricing models in comparison to fixed rates.

This will ensure you are only paying for click-throughs, opens, and conversions.

Best Practices

Once you decide you want to use solo ads, it is important to calculate your marketing budget in order to ensure your investment is profitable.

You will need to name your goal, for example: email sign ups, sales, etc.

Then calculate how much each conversion is worth to you and how often conversions to your target audience occur.

For example, if you get 100 email subscribers and 5 out of every 100 subscribers buy your product or service which costs $150 a piece, then every 100 email subscribers is worth $750 gross.

Then look at your conversion rates from the solo ad.

If you can get 100 subscribers and still end up profitable after your costs then this can be a useful tactic.

To find reputable vendors, you can go to well-known sites like Udimi.

In general, just keep in mind that if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.

Lastly, when creating a solo ad, keep in mind you have a small window to make an impression.

Your headline must be eye catching, your copy engaging, and you need to include a strong call to action that directs readers where you want them to go.

For more information about solo ads check out our Beginner’s Guide to Solo Ads article here.

PPC

In section 1 of this guide we talked about SEO and how to increase traffic organically by using certain tactics.

While highly impactful, it can take quite awhile to climb up to first page rankings.

If you need results faster, that is where pay per click (PPC) comes in.

PPC advertising allows you to display ads and only be charged when people actually click on them.

This means you can be making impressions and increasing brand awareness without paying.

Paid ads show up above organic search results on the search engine results page (SERP).

Here is an example where you can see the top results are marked as ads:

While getting to the top of search engine results can take some time with SEO, paid ads allow you to buy your spot right away.

However, it has been reported that organic search results have an 8.5x higher click through rate.

So, paid ads have their place as a part of a joint campaign with organic SEO efforts.

Best Practices

When running a paid ad campaign, keyword research is of the utmost importance.

You will need to use a tool such as the Google Keyword Planner to identify the right words to target.

You will find that short tail generic keywords like ‘sweaters’ are searched more, have more competition, and cost more to bid on.

Long tail keywords like “hoodie sweaters for women” which are more specific to your product or service, are searched less and are more affordable.

Additionally, these long tail keywords often have higher conversion rates as the people who type them are further along in their buying journey.

So, your campaign should include a balance of both.

Once you have your keywords chosen, you design an ad which will be relevant and attractive so that searchers will click on it.

Then the ad should lead to a destination which is also relevant to the ad and keywords.

In choosing which ad gets shown, Google takes into consideration what is known as the quality score.

This is basically an analysis of how relevant and effective your ad is to the page it leads to as well as the results of the click through.

So the more relevant and effective your ad, the more it will be shown.

As your campaigns run, you should be tracking and analyzing results to find out which ads and keywords are most effective.

Over time, you can improve campaigns and earn a higher ROI.

The ideal ads will result in high click through rates and conversions with a lower cost per click.

To learn more about PPC Advertising, check out our article on 8 Reasons to Try PPC.

Time for Action!

Now you have an understanding of the fundamentals of driving traffic!

It’s important to consider the benefits available from both paid and free methods and to combine them strategically.

For example, if you have implemented an active social media presence on Facebook and Instagram paid Facebook ads can expand your reach even further.

Additionally, by implementing SEO practices on your website and blog you can climb the ranks of organic search engine results, while PPC advertising campaigns can give you visibility in paid results.

By doing both, you can end up with total domination of the search results page for your terms.

A combined strategy is the best strategy.

With this in mind, take some time to review your options.

Here is a quick overview of what we covered through this 2-part guide to driving traffic:

Free Traffic Sources
  • Email marketing
  • Blogging
  • Social media
  • SEO
Paid Traffic Sources
  • Facebook ads
  • Solo ads
  • Banner ads
  • PPC

By experimenting with the different channels available and tracking your results, you can gradually find those which work best for your business.

As a result, you can invest your marketing budget and time into those channels.

Also, always remember to strike a balance between free and paid traffic.

This will benefit your wallet and help your efforts since free and paid traffic methods drive different types of results.

Finally, don’t be frustrated if your results aren’t what you hoped for right away.

It is important to think of your marketing strategy as an ongoing process of refinement rather than one you get perfect on the first try.

The only way to really know what works is to research, plan as best you can, experiment, track and adapt.

Best of luck in your traffic driving efforts and if you have thoughts to share, feel free to comment!

The post Traffic Academy: Get In the Driver’s Seat! (Part 2) appeared first on Snaptactix.

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If you have a website, you have to understand online traffic.

Entrepreneurs who know how to drive traffic to their sites (and convert it), are the ones who are making 5, 6, and 7 figure incomes.

As for those who haven’t quite figured out the traffic formula…they are more in the 2, 3, and 4 figure range.

As you can see, traffic is a crucial piece to the online business puzzle.

So, we created this guide to teach new digital marketers owners how to use it effectively.

We’ll start by introducing you to online traffic and all the basics.

Then, you’ll learn tried-and-tested traffic strategies that work, so you can hit the ground running!

Since there’s a lot to cover, we’re breaking the training down into 2 parts:

  • Part 1 (that you’re reading now) will teach you the methods of driving free traffic
  • Part 2 will dive into paid methods of driving traffic

Let’s get started!

Online traffic basics What is online traffic?

Online traffic or web traffic is technically the data that moves between online visitors and the websites they visit.

But, from a marketing standpoint, traffic really refers to the flow of visitors to a location online – whether that is a website, a landing page, a social media profile or anything of the sort.

Why is online traffic important?

For one, online traffic equals people visiting your website.

In the digital world, this is the equivalent of people coming into a physical store.

The more people who visit, the more opportunities you have to close sales.

More sales mean more revenue and who doesn’t love that?

Plus, traffic can provide great data and insights into a website’s performance.

For example, you can see where traffic is coming from, allowing you to invest more into the channels with the highest ROI.

Or, alternatively, you could see that a sign-up page isn’t as effective as it needs to be, and enable you to make edits to your copy – improving conversions accordingly!

How is online traffic measured?

Online traffic can be measured very simply.

All web servers generate a log file where traffic statistics are kept.

This data can be easily viewed and managed for free through Google Analytics or various other heat map/analytics tools.

When looking at online traffic statistics, the key metrics which you can learn from include:

  • The number of visitors pages receive
  • Average page views generated by each unique visitor. Higher page views indicate a visitor showing an interest in a site and looking at the various pages it offers.
  • The duration that each visitors stays at a particular website. Again, the longer they stay on a website the more interested they are.
  • The duration they spend on each particular page.
  • Times when most traffic is generated.
  • The most popular pages.
  • The pages first viewed. This helps to show which pages are attracting people to your website.
  • Exit pages. Those that cause visitors to leave a website.
  • Paths. How visitors navigate through your site.
How do websites gain traffic?

Earning traffic can be done in numerous ways, some of which are free and others which are paid.

In this first part of the series, we will take a closer look at the following free methods you can (and should be) utilizing:

  • Email marketing
  • Blogging
  • Social media
  • SEO
Free Traffic Methods Email Marketing

The first free traffic method we’re going to cover in Part 1 is email marketing.

Email marketing becomes a traffic source when you drive traffic from your emails.

By adding links and enticing copy to your messages, you can direct subscribers to visit your website, an affiliate offer or another place of interest online.

Email marketing traffic should always be driven by personalized emails that are relevant to where the recipient is in the buying cycle (i.e. new visitor looking for information, has shown interest in specific products or services, has made a purchase, long time loyal customer).

This way, the messages help to engage readers and nurture them further through the buying cycle.

How effective is email marketing?

It has shown to offer the highest ROI of any online marketing tactic!

Email Marketing Best Practices

Emails are a great opportunity to entice your audience with promotions.

A key to successful conversions is segmenting your audience properly.

You want to send the right message at the right time.

For example, a 10% off coupon would be a good idea when someone has left their shopping cart before checkout.

Besides promotions, you can stay at the forefront of your audience’s mind by sending regular monthly newsletters which share what’s new, links to blogs (more on those next), recent projects, or industry related news.

This helps to build the relationship and keep your audience engaged.

By choosing your links wisely, you can drive customers back to your website on a regular basis.

You can use Sendlane to engage your audience and send out timely, personalized emails right now!

Blogging

Next up is blogging.

You probably read a few blogs regularly but may not know they are a key tactic for increasing traffic to a website.

Research shows blogging can increase traffic by 55%.

Blogs provide an opportunity to inform potential customers about your company while sharing information that is useful and interesting to them.

Blogs work to drive traffic through SEO tactics and links.

In the example below you’ll notice this blog article has internal links to a variety of helpful resources available elsewhere on the site.

The author is sharing valuable content that not only teaches the reader about the subject, but also more about what the company can offer:

Blogging Best Practices

When writing blogs you want to think along the same lines as you use on social media which means quality, engaging content.

People want to be informed, entertained, or inspired… not blatantly sold to.

So write about topics related to your industry that customer want to know about and that they will find interesting.

You want to show users how your products or services can be used in daily life, and guide them through FAQs about them.

Once they are interested in the actual messaging in your blog posts, they may find subtly included links to your products and services helpful.

As far as optimizing blogs, keywords will come into play and long tail keywords are helpful.

You will want to optimize all posts with keywords, tags URLs, and Meta descriptions which work like the directions for search engines to find them.

Also, Google looks for active sites that are providing consistent content so you will want to plan a blog schedule with regular posts and stick to it!

Social media

Practically everyone is on social media nowadays, which means these platforms are senda great source for traffic.

In fact, you’d be missing a huge opportunity if you didn’t make efforts on the different platforms (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc.).

To use social media channels effectively you will want to post content that your followers see as relevant.

This should also include links to your website, so customers can easily make the jump, like this example from the Sendlane Facebook page:

Most importantly, social media shouldn’t be used just to promote your website but should have content that will interest your followers.

For example, share relevant blogs, free eBooks, videos, online courses or webinars that will draw followers to your website – like the “Free Training” shown in the example above!

Post on a consistent basis about stories, thoughts, photos, and videos that relate to your business but are not just about your business.

Remember: People don’t go on social media to be sold, they want to be entertained, engaged, and are looking to interact socially, so humanize your brand and post content that people will find helpful. 

Social Media Best Practices

As we said, social media is a place to engage with people and it offers a broader reach than most any other marketing medium. (1/5th of the world’s population is now on Facebook!)

One of the best ways to reach an audience of people who will likely be interested in your business is to look to influencers in your industry.

Who is making big waves and generating a lot of attention?

You want to target their audience and build relationships with them.

To do this, you can begin engaging with the influencer’s page with likes, comments, and shares.

You can also create infographics, tutorials, or whitepapers that offer value to others in your industry (not just your customers), add your name and link to them, and send them to influencers.

This can be a great way to get more exposure and build your network as others share your work.

After some rapport has been established, you can ask if you would be able to guest post on their page, channel, site, or blog, or if they would like to work out another type of collaboration.

Furthermore, you want to become known in your industry yourself and can do so by joining groups and participating actively.

Remember you don’t want to go in with a mindset of sales, but of positioning yourself as a thought leader in your niche with helpful and relevant information.

Comment on issues, reply to any messages, and participate in conversations.

This will build trust and credibility.

Once your audience starts to flock, be prepared with a call to action button on your page for those who are interested.

Also, continue to nurture your relationships with consistent valuable content.

A good practice is to provide 80% engaging content and 20% promotional on social media.

SEO

Next up is SEO, which Google in particular has made very important for businesses.

Just “Google it” is such a common phrase because search engines have made information so easy to find!

All you have to do it a quick search and a world of information is at your fingertips.

From answers to the most random questions to the “best of” specific products and services.

Because of that, having your website featured on the first page of search engine results is paramount!

It takes time but the first 3 search results account for about 65% of clicks!

The top results are often viewed as the most credible or highest quality, which is great for anyone who does the work to make it there.

Plus, when you get there organically, you have the added benefit of retaining your position longer than paid results.

Even if you stop SEO efforts, it takes about 3-6 months to drop off.

To improve search engine rankings for a website, you need to make sure your website includes a number of SEO techniques.

Of course, you need to start with quality content, but others include the use of keyword targeting as well as inbound link building amongst others.

In the screenshots below, you can see the landing page for Macy’s women’s dresses.

This page ranked #1 for women’s dresses so let’s take a look at what they are doing.

They display all of their dresses for sale first and then accompany the page with a keyword-packed piece of content at the bottom of the page.

These keywords shows search engine crawlers what the page is about and help it come up for a variety of searches.

This page would trigger results for cocktail dresses, little black dress, bridesmaid dresses, and more.

If you are unsure of how SEO works, take a look at our SEO 101 article to learn more.

From there, you’ll develop an understanding of how to be sure your website hits all the marks.

SEO Best Practices

While SEO is a very detailed topic that experts take years to understand and perfect, there are a few best practices that can help.

First, keywords are the bridge between seekers and results.

You need to perform an in-depth analysis of what words your audience uses when looking for your products or service.

Over time, you can track, test and optimize your keywords.

Also, functionality is very important as web consumers these days will leave after mere seconds of waiting for your web page to load.

This means anything that causes slow loading (rotating banners, clunky media, etc.) needs to be trimmed.

On the same note, mobile friendliness is a major ranking factor now so you need to be sure your website is responsive and designed with mobile customers in mind.

Build your site for speed, this not only means fast loading but easy navigation, content written for easy scanning, and have the most pertinent information prioritized.

Lastly, your website is on the world wide web, right?

The key word there is web – meaning the more connected it is, the better.

Links are the way you make connections.

Integrating them should be done to direct visitors deeper into your own website, as well as making connections from other sites to yours.

The more high authority sites that link to your site, the more valuable you will look to search engines.

Drive Traffic to Drive Sales

Traffic is what will make or break an online business.

But it doesn’t magically appear once you create a website.

Your website is just one piece of a larger puzzle which only attracts traffic when it’s all put together.

So is driving traffic to your website easy?

I wouldn’t say so.

However, it is very possible when you know what to do and have the dedication to follow through!

Plus you have these 4 methods to get started with right away!

Ready to learn how to drive even more traffic to your website?

The second and final part of this series which focuses on paid traffic sources will be available next week, so stay tuned for Traffic Academy: Part 2.

The post Traffic Academy: Get In the Driver’s Seat! (Part 1) appeared first on Snaptactix.

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No one’s reading your content.

That’s exactly what you’re thinking because it’s been a week and no one’s visiting your blog, sharing it or commenting on it.

And it’s not like you’re still trying to work out how to get your post to line up with your social media followers.

You know what they like, you know what they share, but do you know why no one’s reading your content?

It’s your headline.

And no matter how many hours you take crafting the perfect headline, you have no idea how to make it more powerful to entice readers.

Even if your headline isn’t attention-grabbing, there are hacks that’ll help you get around this.

Why all the fuss over a headline?

Because your headline is that important in your content marketing strategy.

Headlines Capture Your Readers

Most people will never read your post.

Up to 80% of people will take one look at the headline and if it doesn’t capture them, there’s no way they’ll stay to read the rest of what you have to say.

Your headlines must:

  • Cut through the social media noise
  • Pique a reader’s curiosity
  • Leave them wanting more

And what happens if the stars align and you have the perfect headline?

It can make up to a 500% difference in your traffic.

Yes, headlines can make your post go viral.

So, how can you capture your readers with a tantalizing and attention-grabbing headline?

The One Thing You Need for Headlines

Let’s not overcomplicate this.

First, your headline is only one piece of your content.

Whether it’s a landing page, blog post, opt-in incentive or your email subject line, there’s just one thing you need to know to write your headline:

People are seekers.

They come online to learn something or try to solve a problem.

Your headline must fulfill that curiosity.

If you can do that, then people will click through and see what you have to say.

But, knowing that it only takes one thing doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Here are four ways you can create powerful headlines that get read.

1. Use Negative Superlatives

How come your partner can tell you you’re great every day, but the one time they mention an imperfection you’re all over them?

For some reason, our brains hold onto and remember all the negative things instead of the positives.

Our brains just process and analyze negative experiences longer than positive ones.

And this is no different online.

If you position your headline with negative superlatives – won’t, avoid, worst – you can attract 63% more readers.

Looking on BuzzSumo, you can see that using the word avoid in headlines can bring a lot of shares.

2. Use Numbers in Your Headline

A number in a headline makes it final.

It creates a box around the idea and attracts people who want to open the box.

15 Unique Ways to Crack An Egg

Makes you want to see what those fifteen ways are, right?

What’s great about creating a listicle type post is that it will get shared more often than a non-numbered headline post.

What else does a number do to a reader?

  • It makes it specific – People like to read something specific and that has boundaries. So, if the headline promises 53 ways, they have an idea of the length and what they’re getting into with the post.
  • It allows for scanning – Believe it or not, people don’t read word for word; they scan content looking for the important things. And numbers create signposts that help them navigate and find the valuable content in your post.
  • Our brains enjoy numbers – That’s right. We are genuinely attracted to numbers. It acts as an organizational system, and we all know people love lists.

But, does any number work for your headline?

Not really.

The best numbers to use are odd numbers.

It’s been shown that odd numbers hold your reader’s attention more.

Steve Davis of Baker Marketing has a headline formula using odd numbers:

(odd number) (adjective) (mistakes/tips/insights/shortcuts) for (achieving/avoiding) (desired outcome/disaster)

As an example, 3 Ridiculous Mistakes People Make When Using Social Media.

3. Make a Promise

Remember, people are online to solve a problem or learn something new.

Your headline can help them to their goal – if it makes a promise.

You can even make an almost crazy promise to your readers.

You want your headline to shock your reader.

For example, marketer Neil Patel has an evergreen webinar and his promise is audacious and bold:

His headline is implying that you have the same tools as Neil had to create a multimillion-dollar company.

You see these promise-type headlines a lot on sales pages and landing pages.

You only have a few seconds to get your visitor’s attention and entice them to follow your call to action.

And this is no different with your blog post headline.

Jeff Goins also has a headline formula you can use:

Number or Trigger word + Adjective + Keyword + Promise

For example: 23 Unlikely Methods You Can Use to Find Clients on Instagram

4. Get Help From a Headline Generator Tool

We all know that crafting your own headlines is ultimately the best way, but if you’re struggling or have a bad case of writer’s block, there are headline generator tools and analyzers to help you out.

Let’s look at three of the most popular ones.

CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

The CoSchedule Headline Analyzer takes your headline and gives it several ratings and scores.

While this tool doesn’t generate a headline for you, it does help you create a converting headline that will entice readers and make them invest in your content.

Let’s look at a Snaptactix headline: 10 Surprising Ways to Boost Website Traffic.

This headline gets an A+ because of its use of uncommon words, emotional words and power words.

CoSchedule also likes that this post is a list post and that the character and word count are a good length.

If you receive a low score, you can find out what metric is scoring poorly.

For example, you may lack emotional type words and may need to increase those words in your headline.

Tweak Your Biz Title Generator

Do you want hundreds of titles based on a keyword?

Well, the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator will give you over a hundred titles based on several categories.

Here’s what I get when I use the keyword work at home:

Not every result will make sense, but there are a lot of headlines that totally work and can inspire you towards a usable and engaging headline.

You can take an example – 8 Facts Everyone Should Know About Working From Home and modify it by:

  • Using an odd number
  • Using a powerful adjective
  • Having a desirable promise

Based on those criteria, your new headline can be:

9 Overlooked – But Extremely Important – Facts You Need to Know Before Working From Home

Advanced Marketing Institute’s Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer

The Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer looks at the impact your headline will have on your readers.

Paste your headline into the box, select a category and submit for analysis.

Looking at the headline we used for the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer, the results from this tool gives us some different ideas about the headline.

This headline is more suitable for health food markets than content marketing businesses for some reason.

But, that doesn’t mean your headline isn’t effective.

It will still resonate on social media, according to CoSchedule’s ratings.

Make it Easy on Yourself

While your headline is important, so is the content.

And, as you know, you should spend 80% promoting what you created and 20% creating it.

So, if you’re fretting over the state of your headline, you can use our free headline tool that will help you out in a pinch.

Just enter your name and email address to get instant access to 8,834 proven and tested headlines:

Or, use a tool like the Tweak Your Biz Blog Title Generator to see hundreds of potential headlines quickly.

You can also dive deep and analyze a headline with the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer or the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer.

Or, if a formula is something you enjoy using more, take a look at the two formulas in this post to help you craft that perfect headline.

And no matter if you use a headline formula, tool or template, understand that creating a headline is important, but it shouldn’t take up all of your time.

Over to you – tell us what is your favorite method for creating engaging and powerful headlines?

The post 4 Proven Ways to Create Powerful Headlines appeared first on Snaptactix.

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Do you have trouble getting your content shared?

Boy – are you not alone.

There have been several studies lately that paint a downright depressing picture about how much content gets shared.

The good news is this doesn’t have to be you.

And given how low the bar is for getting shares, the tips I’ve outlined below can give you a serious edge.

Why?

Because so many marketers are so bad at getting their content shared, if you can become even decent at it, you’ll have a huge advantage.

The sad state of content shares

One of the biggest studies of content shares comes from BuzzSumo and Moz.

They found that half of all the content published gets eight shares or less.

Eight!

Guys – you can beat that just with your own social media sharing.

All that would take is:

  • Facebook share
  • 1 LinkedIn share
  • 1 Google+ share
  • 5 tweets

That’s not hard to do.

But it appears a lot of people just aren’t doing it.

In another study of blogging, CoSchedule found that 77% of the bloggers they surveyed share their blog posts three times or less on social media.

Ugh!

Now you see how bad it is.

But again, this doesn’t have to be you.

Just add a few simple things to your pre-publishing checklist, and you can crush those averages.

Here’s how:

1. Re-share your own content

In my example list from earlier, the eight shares I counted mostly included sharing content just once on each platform (except for the tweets, of course).

That’s a good start, but you don’t have to stop there.

Re-share your content.

Even a month after it’s been published.

This is especially important to do if the post did well from the start.

Tools like Meet Edgar or Buffer can make re-sharing very easy.

Re-sharing also makes it easy to save time managing your social media accounts.

Don’t worry about boring your audience.

On average barely 5% of your audience sees any of your posts.

So re-sharing them – even multiple times – just means more of your audience will see them for the first time.

If you are still on the fence about this approach, read our article on How You Can Reuse Your Content in 7 Ways to learn some best practices!

2. Send emails with your content to your list

It’s wild how few people do this.

According to a survey by Scoop.It, only about 30% of marketers send their content via email frequently enough to make it matter.

Even though .

So send a newsletter with links to your latest, greatest content!

Say you wrote a lengthy blog post, created a hilarious meme, and are launching a new contest in the same week – all of that is content worth sharing.

Write up an email and send it along so your subscribers so they are in-the-know.

As long as the content is worthwhile (I’m sure it is, right?) your loyal following will be happy to hear about it.

Bonus: Add social sharing buttons and pre-formatted retweets to your emails, too. Just like you would with blog posts or other content on your site.

3. Add social sharing buttons – with counters – to every page

If you want people to share your content, you have to make it easy for them to share.

Otherwise they won’t do anything.

So if you’re one of the few blogs that doesn’t already have social sharing buttons setup, go tie that down.

There are a ton of WordPress plugins and other tools and apps that let you set up social sharing buttons.

Social Warfare is a great choice.

So are Shareaholic, AddThis, and SumoMe’s social sharing app.

Once you’ve got those buttons set up, make sure they show the share counts to your site visitors.

Setting them up to show those counts will demonstrate to your visitors that other people liked your content enough to share it.

Of course, we still don’t have our Twitter share counts back. (Grrrr…)

But there are ways around that.

4. Embed “tweet this” call to actions

A tweet this CTA is another spin on “make your content easy to share.”

This time it’s for pre-formatted tweets.

There’s a bunch of free plugins that let you do this easily.

My favorite is Click To Tweet.

Here’s what one looks like on the Convince and Convert blog:

5. Add a nice header image that will show up when people share something

You know that content with images gets like twice the shares and re-shares, right?

If there’s no nice header image, people know they’re less likely to get their post re-shared.

There’s a simple solution: Add a nice header image for everything you publish.

Ends up, this has some SEO benefits, too.

6. Set up open graph tags

These are basically like meta tags, but for social media platforms.

There are plugins that make setting them up far easier, including the widely-used SEO plugin Yoast.

Here’s a tutorial for how to do the open graph setup here.

7. Create a really basic “infographic”

A basic “infographic” type graphic is great for visual sharing sites like Pinterest or Instagram

The more you can distill a post or other content into a simple visual, the more it will get shares.

Especially if you make it as useful as possible.

Take note: I’m not saying you need a full-blown infographic.

Those can be time-consuming and expensive to create.

Just a simple graphic will do.

Like this:

Not sure how to make even a simple image?

Check out Canva.

It’s designed for nondesigners.

8. Don’t turn off the comments on your blog

A lot of sites do this because they don’t want to manage comments.

If you’ve made that decision, please reconsider.

Comments are valuable – you want people to be leaving their feedback.

When people leave a comment they also tend to share the content they commented on.

And you get some nice SEO benefits.

Worried about spam comments?

I hear you – some sites get over a hundred of them a day.

But stop fretting and just install Akismet.

It’s a free WordPress plugin that will tame the tidal wave of spam comments.

9. Create content worth sharing

This may be hard for some of you to hear, but I gotta tell it to you straight: Even if you do all of the above, but you’ve got weak content… you still may not get any shares.

So please – only publish stuff that’s actually worth sharing and reading.

Not sure your content clears that hurdle?

Ask yourself: If you came across the content on your site, and you had no affiliation with it, would you share it?

If the answer is no, then you need to be publishing better stuff.

10. Consider some paid promotion services

There’s advertising, of course.

That’s one way to get your content out there.

But also co-sharing platforms like Co-Promote, JustRetweet, and Triberr.

Often you can get your content shared on these platforms for just pennies a share.

Content sharing takeaway

Far too many bloggers and marketers are giving their content promotion short shrift.

And it’s costing them – twice.

First, all that work to create their content is lost, because so few people see it.

Then all those readers – and customers – they could have gotten by sharing their content aren’t ever reached.

So that business is lost.

The solution?

Try to spend at least as much time promoting your content as you did creating it.

Even if it means you have to publish a bit less often.

Over to you!

Did any of these content sharing strategies jump out at you?

Which one are you going to implement today?

Let us know in the comments below & be sure to share with a friend or colleague who might need some pointers for sharing!

The post How to Make Your Content Easy to Share appeared first on Snaptactix.

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Visual content has become one of the most powerful tools out there.

With 500 million daily active users, Instagram has revolutionized the way we share content, by utilizing imagery alone!

The visual trend has already grown exponentially from the days of simply posting static images.

Social media is now dominated by eye-catching graphics, breathtaking pictures and gut-busting memes.

Most recently, incorporating GIFs, 360 photos, and live video.

Businesses rarely ask whether visual content is an effective part of their strategy.

In fact 65 percent of senior marketing executives believe that visual assets like photos, video, illustrations and infographics are important when it comes to sharing their brand story.

However, not everyone knows how to effectively leverage the power of graphics, images and videos.

Here, we will share 5 tips to improve your visual strategy and promote your business using the most effective types of visual content!

1. Publish striking images

Our first tip is to simply share images!

BuzzSumo found that updates with images have 2.3x more engagement on social media in comparison to posts without.

Clearly, that means that you should be publishing content featuring images in order to properly build your following!

However, it is crucial to always use high quality, eye-catching, brand flattering images for your website, blog, or social media efforts, in order to portray a professional feel.

Whether you use royalty free images featured on photo-sharing websites, take pictures yourself or hire a designer to create custom graphics and photos – the source is entirely up to you.


Image source

Strategies with a limited budget benefit from free images – like the one above – but if you run a company that highly values brand nurturing the best idea is to contract a designer who will help create fully branded, original images.

Whatever your budget, always be sure the images are:

  • Crisp & clear – Avoid dark, pixelated or blurry images
  • High quality – Be sure the images are optimized for today’s visual technology
  • Relevant to your niche or brand (We’ll get into this more later!)

Looking for places to integrate visuals alongside usual content? How about:

  • Featuring an image for your blog posts
  • Share an image with a quote on social media
  • Promote an eBook cover when advertising a digital product
  • Show inspirational images in your email newsletter
2. Share knowledge using an infographic!

Infographics are a visual way to present data or explain an otherwise complex concept.

This makes them extremely effective when it comes to your overall content marketing strategy.

In fact, some reports state that infographics are liked and shared 3X more than any other type of content on social media.

Infographics are suitable for presenting research results, sharing a workflow, showing the passage of time or even teaching a step-by-step process.

This type of content is most appropriate for bloggers who want to enhance their writing with graphics that better help explain complicated concepts.

Readers will appreciate the clarity and love learning new things in a unique way!

The layout should be clear, with various different shapes and colors that allow you to highlight different aspects of the presented data:

An inspiring design helps even the most mundane statistics and percentages seem interesting and engaging.

Also, as they share their own view of the topic, your users will actively be promoting your infographic as well, thus helping you expand your audience.

3. Evaluate your use of memes

Memes are commonly known as images that are accompanied by humorous, unpredictable captions.

They even have their own way of being relevant in the world of online marketing!

Some of the most influential blogs in the industry use memes as a funny way to present a certain point, along with entertaining the readers at the same time.

With memes, it’s almost as if you are creating an inside joke specifically for your industry and tailoring it to the topic you’re addressing.

The best memes are targeted correctly and appropriate for your audience, so be sure you take those factors into consideration before posting.

Not only will you engage your readers by utilizing humor and using creativity, but if utilized properly, you will also get likes, shares, comments and even more engaged followers!

4. Create relevant presentations

While on one side we have memes and humorous content, on the other we have presentations, which are an equally important tool when it comes to your visual content marketing strategy.

The recommended approach for presentations is similar to that of infographics – visual elements, shapes and colors are used to create an attractive design and gain the attention of your readers.

Presentations are typically best for promoting short texts, quotes, definitions, etc. and unlike infographics, can be a bit more lengthy, which allows you to present more information and data.

Utilizing online platforms for sharing presentations, such as SlideShare, you can provide a presentation that is accessible to a significant number of online users, enabling them to easily share the presentation on their own blogs or social media.

5. Consider vlogging or filming videos

Vlogs and live videos are increasingly popular on social media, as they allow direct interaction with your social followers.

Videos are particularly useful for creating dynamic presentations especially with accompanying music or a voice over message.

Filming vlogs or doing a live video event is a perfect way to create a more intimate bond with your social followers.

You could film a part of your speech at a conference, share the atmosphere from an event or simply do an online Q and A.

Online platforms and advanced functions on smartphones allow you to create video content quite easily, without requiring any special technical skills.

Before you get started, find a great vlog to subscribe to and take notes!

Need a recommendation?

Click through to check out our vlog on YouTube!

Wrapping it Up

All types of visual content allow for the possibility of boosting engagement.

As a result, you’ll get to see a ton of benefits such as a gain in followers, an increase in traffic and even more leads.

Define your strategy in such a way that you take full advantage of visual content.

Use formats that are suitable for the topics you want to address, and make sure that visual content is relevant to your overall business strategy and intended audience.

Whether you use memes, infographics or presentations, you want the style to fully match the overall message you’re trying to convey.

You’ll see the best results when the strategy is aligned with – and reflective of – your business goals.

Think about using visual content as a way of showcasing the essence of your brand while engaging viewers at the same time!

As always, we’d love to hear from you next:

What type of visual content do you find to be the most appealing to you?

When it comes to your business, which type of visual content do you use the most and why?

Still trying to get the hang of this visual content thing and looking to learn more before posting your next image?

Click to read our tips for small businesses on Instagram!

Learn from your own experience and monitor which content helps you boost your business. Once you’ve had some practice, come back and let us know.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

The post 5 Tips to Improve Your Visual Content Strategy appeared first on Snaptactix.

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