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With influencer marketing you’ll put your products in front of fresh audiences in an organic way.
We’ll show you how to find influencers and match promotions so you’ll get more trust and better conversions.
I think we all get tired of getting hit over the head with deals day after day, don’t we?
And if you put yourself in your customers’ shoes, they probably feel the same way.
Another day, another offer in their inboxes.
Or another product promo in their social feeds.
Granted, promotional emails are essential for growing your e-commerce store, but they shouldn’t be the only tactic in your back pocket.
Rather than flood your customers with more offers, consider how you can tap into the power of authenticity to score more sales.
That’s why brands en masse are relying on their influencer marketing strategy to build buzz around their products.
Given that 94% of brands cite influencer marketing as highly-effective, there’s a reason why tapping into the power of social influencers is considered the new wave of pushing products.
In this post, we’re going to break down exactly how you can put together your very own influencer campaign from scratch.
Why Influencer Marketing Matters for E-Commerce
Before diving into the nitty-gritty, let’s quickly break down the what and why behind influencer marketing.
Simply put, influencer marketing involves reaching out to relevant social influencers and getting your products in front of their followers. Think of it as a more nuanced, subtle form of product placement.
While it was once considered unexplored territory a few years back, influencer marketing has become a staple of e-commerce itself.
Why? For starters, consider that 86% of consumers prefer authentic marketing versus traditional brand ads.
That’s exactly why so many people are taking to social media for products. Those eager social shoppers are on the hunt for recommendations, not sales pitches.
And with 74% of shoppers directly influenced by social in purchasing decisions, digital word of mouth is a must for any e-commerce marketer.
Oh, and don’t neglect the fact that influencer marketing allows you to tap into entirely new audiences. Influencers with tens of thousands of followers represent a potential goldmine of traffic and sales with a well-targeted campaign.
The Steps for an Effective Influencer Campaign for E-Commerce
At a glance, influencer marketing might seem like a lot of legwork and some brands outsource it to influencer marketing companies.
The good news? It’s not as daunting as you might think.
In fact, I’ve outlined a streamlined, step-by-step process to create your campaign without missing a beat with real influencer marketing examples.
1. Define Your Ideal Influencer
If you could get anyone in the social space to promote your products, who would it be?
Chances are you don’t have a specific person in mind, but perhaps you know what that person might look like.
Your influencer persona will most likely resemble the demographics your own customer personas and target audience. Some parameters to consider for your ideal influencer include a combination of the following:
Goals and values (think: what do they want?)
Pain points (consider: what are their struggles?)
Personality (humorous, passionate, empathetic, )
The exercise of creating a persona is anything but fluff, by the way.
Narrowing your search from the start makes your job easier in the long run. Remember: there are thousands of potential influencers out there to choose from.
Focus also keeps you from making the wrong choice, too. The streetwear brand for twenty-something males isn’t going to reach out to a mommy blogger, for example.
By having your list of must-haves and deal-breakers already outlined, you can zero in on someone your audience will respond to. If you don’t know where to begin with your persona, consider free tools such as Xtensio.
2. Pick Your Influencer Marketing Platform to Prioritize
Keep in mind that you also need to decide which marketing channel makes the most sense for your influencers.
Influencer marketing is pretty much synonymous with Instagram, with nearly 93% of influencers noting that it was their go-to platform to promote products.
In fact, you should expect even more of a shift toward the likes of YouTube this year which spells good news for merchants. YouTube provides a prime platform to show off products in action via video organically.
If you’re trying to tap into a new audience, experimenting with a platform where your followers aren’t might make more sense.
That said, most influencers are likely going to have an active Instagram presence regardless.
3. Uncovering Potential Influencers
There are two primary ways to find influencers “in the wild.”
The first is to sift through Instagram hashtags or Twitter’s advanced search function for terms relevant to your products. The more specific you can get with your tags, the better.
The second and less time-consuming option is to rely on some tested tools of the trade.
For example, tools such as BuzzSumo remove the need to dig through endless social posts and present notable influencers based on specific keywords.
Likewise, tools like Keyhole provide insights on potential influencers such as follower engagement, impressions, and exposure to ensure they’ve truly achieved “influencer” status.
While you shouldn’t neglect your own research, such tools are invaluable for honing in on a potential list of people to choose from.
4. Choosing the Right Influencer
Once you’ve narrowed down your potential influencers at a glance, how do you know to seriously start pursuing outreach?
There is no “right” answer, but this is such thing is the right fit for your brand.
Consider that you’re in pursuit of the highest ROI possible for your campaign. As such, you should strive to pursue influencers that tick the following boxes.
They post relevant content. You’ll get more mileage out of someone who not only posts on a regular basis but also shares your brand’s voice and values. Most influencers are going to “play it safe” and consistently post themselves showing off products rather than anything that could potentially turn people off (think: nothing controversial).
Their followers resemble your target audience. On a related note, there should be a correlation between your ideal influencers’ audience and your own. Spend some time sifting their followers and ask yourself: do these people mesh with my customer personas?
Their posts receive impressive engagement. This is the big one. Massive follower counts can be deceiving. There is no “magic number” of how much engagement an influencers’ posts should receive, but you should be wary of anyone with tens of thousands of followers who are only getting a few likes or comments per post.
On a related note, look out for some of the most common influencer red flags noted below.
Fake followers. There’s no denying that the trend of fake followers is a huge thorn in the side of those trying to run an influencer campaign. Be vigilant of “influencers” with fake clout by looking at their engagement rate and checking their followers manually for bots.
Little to no engagement. Again, you’re not going to get much out of someone whose posts score no likes or comments despite their massive “follower” counts.
Lack of previous brand deals. While this isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, it’s ideal to work with someone that’s worked with brands before.
5. Consider Micro-Influencers
As a side note, don’t automatically rule out a potential influencer because they have a follower count on the smaller side (think: 10,000 or less).
In fact, micro-influencer marketing has its own set of unique benefits as smaller influencers traditionally have more active, engaged audiences. If you’re selling a niche product, micro influencers might actually make more sense for your brand.
As influencer marketing continues to boom, what we think of as a traditional “influencer” is evolving, too. Whereas people can identify influencer ads and product placement, smaller influencers feel much less “salesy.”
In short, don’t overlook “the little guy” from a follower perspective if they seem like a perfect fit otherwise. That’s why engagement is such an important metric over followers alone.
6. Conducting Effective Influencer Outreach
Ever gotten a cold email pitch from a total stranger that went straight into the “Spam” folder because it was so off-base?
Yeah, that’s exactly what you don’t want to achieve during your influencer outreach.
Ideally, you can spark the conversation with DM or private message on your social platform of voice and then move the back-and-forth to email.
What do you say, though?
Your goal should be to find a balance between forming a relationship with influencers while also getting to the point. You should let them know that you’re interested in working together, but you should personalize your pitch, so you don’t come across as a spammer.
In other words, no copy-and-paste outreach.
As is the case with any outreach, it’s crucial that you make your communication about them, not you. It might be tempting to try and talk up your brand, but you’ll likely gain more traction as to why working together on a promotion would benefit them.
Maybe that means you have a product that’d be relevant to their audience. Perhaps they’ve worked with a similar brand before, and you can help them gain even more industry exposure.
And yeah, there’s also the potential financial incentive, too. Although the jury’s still out on how much to pay influencers or what you should offer, the list below provides some pros and cons to consider:
As is the case with any outreach campaign, be persistent but don’t be shocked at rejection. That’s why it’s good to compile a list of potential influencers rather than getting your heart set on the perfect “one.”
7. Picking a Promotion
After you’ve locked down the who of your influencer campaign, there’s also the question of what sort of promotion to go along with it.
There are plenty of variables to consider, too.
Do you want to give your influencer free reign of what to say in their promotional posts?
Are you able to track the direct sales of your influencer promotion?
Any of the following types of promotions are totally fair game for an influencer campaign:
Product reviews. In a world where 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals, having an influencer present your product in a positive light is always a safe bet.
Product giveaways. A prime way to build buzz, giving away products does double duty of introducing people to your brand and encouraging social follower simultaneously.
Products “in the wild.” Perhaps the most common type of campaign, having influencers show off your products organically is a subtle form of promotion that isn’t too in-your-face for followers.
But how do you make your campaigns measurable?
Unique coupon codes. Adding a discount code unique to your sales campaigns allows you to see how many people redeemed your code specific to your influencer campaign.
Here’s an example:
Branded hashtags. Associating a particular hashtag with your campaign allows you to measure the engagement of that tag during your campaign. If you see a spike in mentions that correlates with your influencer push, you know you’re on the right track.
Custom URLs. If you’re running a campaign on a platform beyond Instagram, creating a trackable, custom URL for your promotion likewise gives you a clear indication of engagement from your campaign.
8. Maximizing the Reach of Your Influencer Campaign
Influencer marketing isn’t as simple as reaching out for a post and walking away.
To squeeze the absolute most out of your campaigns, think about the following strategies to boost your products’ exposure.
Work with your influencer to optimize their posts. Optimization might mean adding industry hashtags or posting at a particular time based on their posts. While your influencer should have some creative input, don’t sacrifice performance in the process. There’s a reason why influencer posts are so tag-heavy, after all.
Big brands are diving into content marketing. They’re clunky beasts with colossal budgets. But more budget doesn’t mean more success. Some attempts are quite simply, pants. Others are incredible. So what can big brands teach us about content marketing? Here are seven lessons we can learn.
1. Use the element of surprise – GE
GE is well-known for its creative and successful content marketing, which the brand implements across different media. The century-old brand is surprisingly open-minded to new culture and trends, as it openly exhibits through its content. Consider GE’s stint with science-fiction comic books or podcast miniseries, for instance.
In 2015, GE partnered with Wattpad to envision comics for today’s generation. The titles included the likes of “Our place in space” and “Adventures in electricity.” Shortly after, GE also ran a podcast miniseries called “The message,” which topped iTunes charts. At no point does GE attempt to sell products using their content marketing tactics, but the branded content always ends up making a mark of its target audience, subtly and quietly.
Takeaway tip: Surprise your audience with fresh and exciting forms of content.
Avoid talking about yourself – GE – Ecomagination
GE has launched a site called ecomagination. It’s a thought-leadership blog for green living and green technology. It has 95,000 likes on Facebook, but most content struggles to get more than 10 likes. Their content appears to revolve too much around themselves. It’s more of a press release site than anything else.
They could do so much better if changed the style of articles. They could showcase awe-inspiring news. And then mention that they created the technology behind it. Your content needs to inspire your audience. Few people care about your company. Or your products. Your customers care about how you can solve their problems. Don’t make GE’s mistake.
2. Engage your community – Expedia
The best blogs don’t create posts to stay on schedule. They create experiences to engage their target audiences. Expedia’s blog is a good embodiment of this example. In the summer of 2012, Expedia launched a campaign that they called “Find yours,” to seek out people who had travel stories to share.
The result was the collection of photos, videos, and stories from regular people as they conveyed their travel experiences. The collection included the work of amateur filmmaker Joel McCarthy, a short film named “Find Your Goodbye,” in which Joel traveled to spread the ashes of his deceased brother. It’s content like this that is created by the community for the community that truly engages the community.
Takeaway tip: Take your blogging efforts to the next level by creating an experience on your blog.
3. Rally your employees – StarBucks
Employees can change the way you market on social media. They can help you increase reach, engagement, and influence of the content that you share. Take for instance the relationship that Starbucks has with its employees, or “Partners” as they like to call them. Starbucks has entire social media pages dedicated to employee-centric content, and the thousands of likes, shares, and comments that Starbucks gets on social media could well be the impact of employee involvement in social media marketing.
While you could run employee advocacy manually, it’s easier and more effective when running on a platform. The idea of using a platform is to make content sharing for you and your employees easy, and measurable.
Takeaway tip: Get employees involved in content sharing via fun employee advocacy programs.
4. Answer customers’ questions – HubSpot
One of the smartest ways to attract the right target audience is by anticipating their pain points and questions and answering them. Hubspot has been an excellent example of content marketing right from the beginning. The company has three separate blogs – sales, marketing, and service – to target three separate target groups. Each of the blogs consistently creates content super-focused on its dedicated niche.
If each of your blog posts specifically targets one important pain point, you can eventually build a steady stream of traffic attracted to the value that you’re providing. One of the easiest ways to identify new questions to answer is by searching discussion forums such as Quora using a content research tool such as FAQFox.
Takeaway tip: Identify customers’ queries and pain-points and address them in your content.
5. Direct traffic back to your pages – Warner Music
When you work hard earning website traffic, it doesn’t make sense only to have visitors view your page and then leave. An important part of conversion optimization is learning how to redirect the traffic that lands on your pages. Warner Music implemented this tactic in one of the campaigns it ran about 2 years ago to promote an artist’s new single.
To promote the single, Warner Music built a microsite to host a contest. The contest allowed fans to vote for their favorite video of the band’s to see it displayed at the end of the voting period. Warner Music connected the microsite to the band’s YouTube video and displayed fans’ tweets on the microsite. The result was 4,000 votes on Twitter and 34,000 video views and 8,000 new YouTube subscribers.
Takeaway tip: Keep your hard-earned traffic within your loop of media properties, i.e., your blog, social media pages, and website.
Pepsi’s content marketing efforts have royally failed. Despite having an enormous budget, and millions of “likes” on the Facebook page. Their site Pepsi Pulse is devoid of content. Each post is only getting ~10 “likes.” Even their blockbuster Beyonce post only received 143 “likes” at time of writing. It looks like they’ve tried to emulate something similar to the Virgin Mobile Live site. The difference is that Virgin keeps posting great, share-worthy content. Whereas Pepsi just pushes brand messages like “Live for Now.”
Your content can’t be vacuous. There’s got to be value somewhere. If it doesn’t entertain, inform or “wow” people, your content marketing will just be another Pepsi.
7. Integrate your products into great content – General Mills – Tablespoon.com
General Mills created Tablespoon.com. It’s stuffed with tasty recipes and treats. It’s beautiful. They’ve been imaginative at integrating their products into content. Here, they combined hot chocolate with their cereal brands. It’s great example of how they can “soft sell” through content marketing. If you can promote your own products while creating content people want, then you’re onto a winner.
Don’t copy everything blindly
Big brands have embraced content marketing, but they’re as prone to mistakes as the rest of us. If we can learn lessons from them, we’re better for it. Our content marketing can be insanely good and we can avoid expensive disasters.
Do you disagree with above? Have you seen any amazing or awful examples of big brands using content marketing? Comment below!
Authors: Alex Clifford is Content Marketing Executive at Virally. Virally empowers marketers to run hosted content marketing campaigns, make their content more social, and gain deeper insights when their content goes viral. Visit Virally’s blog for more tips on content marketing.
Disha Dinesh is a Content Writer at Godot Media, a leading content agency. Her interests include social media and content marketing. When she’s not writing, she’s on the hunt for social media trends and inspiration.
The number of worldwide users is 3.196 billion in 2018. The uninitiated may think social media is simply a way for people to stay in touch. While it is that, it’s also a powerful tool to help you with your marketing, SEO included.
True, people interact with social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram differently than they do with search engines. Yet, the results of both are the same in some ways. Content is filtered, links are shared, and the most trusted sites get the most traffic. You could even say that social media is the new frontier for SEO.
Together social media and SEO will complement and enhance your efforts in both areas. Social media content, for instance, can amplify your SEO campaign with content that is optimized for keywords and by generating more backlinks.
Let’s take a look at how your social media strategy can improve your rankings in the search engines:
1. Increasing the Visibility of Your Content
Although indirectly, social media can help your SEO through content promotion. No matter how great and keyword-optimized your content is, if it isn’t reaching your target audience it’s of little use. Social media allows you to take all of your quality content and promote it on a multitude of channels.
Social media platforms give your content a new stage to encourage discussions. Take Facebook, for example, where the consumption of content has grown by 57%. The same study also reported that 76% of people use their Facebook feed to find interesting content.
Tools like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter are some of the easiest and most effective channels to push SEO content. Incoming links from your shares on social media may not be as impactful as high-quality backlinks. They can, however, improve your bounce rate and engagement rate.
The biggest advantage of social media as a marketing channel is that it allows you to disseminate content to a large audience. By promoting your content on social platforms, your content can reach a lot of new people who may share it further.
Social reach alone may not be much good for your SEO. But every reader could be a writer or editor who can provide you with natural links to your site in their content. Social sharing broadens and improves your inbound link potential.
Google has started to index content from Twitter and Facebook, with other platforms likely to follow. Timed right, if your content is relevant, it will turn up as one of the top search results. Thus, posting on social media can open the way for further visibility on these platforms.
TEDx does a brilliant job with their social media campaigns to leverage all of these aspects. Not only do they create informative content but also turn it into something sensational that gets everyone talking. They’re always pushing snippets of information through bite-sized videos across social media. Just have a look at their Twitter page, for instance.
Reinforce Backlinks and Guest Posts with Social Sharing
Social channels are a way for search engines to establish that something is being spread around the Internet. All guest posts or other syndicated content links should be shared to followers and preferably re-shared to increase the potential of backlinks.
Relevance and authority are two key factors search engines like Google consider when ranking search results. Relevance deals with how appropriately an entry meets the criteria of a search result. While authority deals with how trustworthy the source might be. Authority, for the most part, is determined by the number and quality of the inbound links your page has.
Although the science behind the effect of backlinks on search rankings has evolved in recent years, it still plays an integral role. The number of quality backlinks you have can make or break your search rankings. Consequently, link earning and building is a tactic widely used by marketers.
A wider audience is the single most important reason why your social media pages are the perfect staging ground to earn quality backlinks. That’s because social media operates as a great syndication platform.
The logic behind all of this is fairly simple. Social media tools help people to stay connected and share their stories. For brands, that equates to sharing their best content and fostering relationships with their target audience.
Engaging content leads to more shares, resulting in more opportunities for people to find and provide links to your content. In fact, in a Q&A session, Andrey Lipattsev, Google Ireland’s senior strategist, revealed Google’s top 2 ranking factors. In his own words – “It’s content, and links pointing to your site.”
Content sharing on social media can also result in authentic, high-quality backlinks from prominent and influential websites. Influencers tend to use social media tools as much as, if not more than normal users. If your content is circulating in the same circles they are in; chances are they’ll come across it and link their blog posts to it.
The thing is that this kind of high-quality link building from influencers would be virtually impossible if not for social media. That’s why it’s important to have an active social media page – to build a more diverse and authentic link profile. The better authority you gain, the more it improves your SEO.
Check out what National Geographic did for Microsoft last year on the occasion of International Women’s Day. A variety of Nat Geo channels on Instagram posted inspirational stories about Microsoft empowering women. Given the context of the posts, the authority of the posters, and the emotional connections, these definitely qualify as high-value backlinks.
Another important way that social media contributes to your SEO is by increasing your brand awareness. At first glance, it may seem like more of a branding advantage than SEO. While that’s true that social media has amazing benefits for branding, indirectly, it can do a lot for your SEO too.
Social media is another digital channel for your target audience to seek you out and engage with you. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow you to build your audience, and more importantly, your brand. The more that happens, the more people recognize you in search results and the more inclined they’ll be to click-through.
That increased brand awareness you’ve built on social media results in more organic search traffic for your pages. Considering that these things contribute to your rank in branded searches, your SEO will only have one way to go – up.
Seeing as the ultimate goal of all of this effort is to increase your sales, why not kill two birds with one stone? Generating informative brand and product content and sharing it on your social media is the way to go. Consumers want to make informed and educated purchase decisions. And what better way to help them do that than by giving them what they want?
How? Collaborate with your influencers to come up useful and informative brand content, product descriptions, and reviews. Not only will this type of content contribute to your brand awareness and outreach, but it will also help customers make that final purchase decision. These could take the form of blog posts or videos.
90% of people read online reviews, and 85% trust them. Pair that with the fact that Facebook and YouTube were found to be the most influential social channels. With 19% of consumers basing purchase decisions on Facebook posts followed by 18% for YouTube. Clearly, brand content like this is effective and should be part of your social media strategy.
An increase in branded searches also increases the likelihood of you ranking well for non-branded keywords. Just look at what Blendtec did. Founder, Tom Dickson had a major marketing problem on his hands seeing as nobody wanted to buy blenders from him. Despite his claim that they were the best blenders around, capable of blending everything.
His solution? Proving that they could, indeed, blend anything. He came up a with a series of videos demonstrating the destructive prowess of his blenders. From iPhones to glow sticks, his videos went viral. As a result, Blendtec’s brand awareness and outreach went through the roof.
4. By Measuring and Optimizing
That which can be measured can be improved. To get the most out of your social media campaigns, it’s critical that you regularly monitor and adjust your strategies. There are numerous metrics you can use to measure the impact social media is having on your search visibility.
The first set of metrics you should be monitoring includes comments, shares, and brand mentions. Higher numbers mean more relevance and authority – two major driving factors for SEO. Increased credibility will have a positive impact on your search rankings.
The second set of metrics you should be looking at relate to the impact social media has on your website. They include such things as visibility levels in search engine rankings, site traffic associated with it, and conversion rates. Lastly, it’s worth conducting an overall sentiment analysis, to check the impact on traffic, ranking, and sales.
To understand which of your social media efforts are improving your SEO, you need to be able to measure these metrics. To help you do so, there are tools like Pro Rank Tracker. Such tools provide you with easy to understand reports on your SEO rankings from which you can draw actionable insights.
Image via Pro Rank Tracker
Only after you know what is working for you, and what isn’t can you tweak and optimize your social media efforts. Getting the most out of your social media campaigns is an iterative process that involves measuring and adapting it.
Like I mentioned earlier, social media works a lot like the search engines. Therefore, it’s imperative that you craft posts keeping both SEO and your target audience in mind. Additionally, optimizing your social media profiles will also benefit your rankings. While these may seem like minor details in the grand scheme of SEO, they add up to make a significant difference.
Google, for instance, is switching to a mobile-first index. The links and content to your mobile site, plus other factors like user experience and speed will be rank driving factors.
76% of people who search for something nearby, on smartphones, visit a related business that same day. 28% of these searches end in a purchase. Given these numbers, mobile searches cannot be ignored, especially by retail brands.
To create a meaningful local presence, it’s important that you optimize your local listings on directories, search engines, and review sites. In this regard, Google and Yelp are the two most important platforms you need to take care of.
Once claimed, populate your profiles on these platforms with relevant content. Then monitor and update them regularly. You can even optimize your website for local searches and utilize Google Maps to provide driving directions.
To gain some positive press, you can even work with your local media. Media outlets often post stories online which can link back to your profiles on social media. Produced professionally, and coming from such credible sources, they are a recipe for more shares and better rankings.
Integrate Your Social Media and SEO
Social media doesn’t just work to improve your organic search rankings. It has a host of other benefits that your business can leverage. Here’s an actionable step by step guide how to create your social media strategy?
Although the two are quite different, integrate your social media marketing and SEO efforts. Primarily because they can help each other. It’s a trend that’s catching on, and you should jump on the bandwagon as it’s worth a shot. If you know any other ways social media can help SEO efforts, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.
After putting in so much time and effort, you have likely already produced tons of useful and relevant content. But you still have very low traffic and reach. Why? It could be because your content promotion efforts weren’t effective enough.
If you aren’t promoting your content effectively, you could be depriving your business of possible profits. Without content promotion, your reach is limited to a certain set of audiences and that’s about it. You’re not reaching any more people, so you’re losing out on a chance to attract more website visitors.
This can be a huge problem because it’s already challenging to generate traffic. According to the 2017 State of Inbound report, the biggest challenge in marketing is to generate leads and traffic. More than 60% of companies face the challenge of generating enough leads and traffic.
Image Source – State of Inbound
This post will guide you through some of the most effective content promotion hacks to boost your website traffic. Check them out:
1. Leverage the Authority of Influencers
By getting influencers to share your content, you can reach a much wider audience with less effort. The goal is to look for an influencer who has a voice in your niche and who will be able to reach a relevant audience.
Use tools like BuzzSumo or Grin to find a suitable influencer in your industry. BuzzSumo can help you find influencers in different niches and also discover influencers who have shared content similar to yours. Grin helps you discover influencers and filter them based on their relevance to your social platform, location, or category.
Image Source – Buzzsumo
Additionally, you can also invite influencers for content collaboration. Content created by an influencer or content that implements an influencer’s creativity tends to be authentic. This improves the impact and quality of your content.
80% of marketers in a Linqia study also use influencers’ content on other social media platforms. And 51% of marketers have agreed that it is much more effective than the content created by their brands.
Image Source – Linqia
2. Repurpose Your Post into an Infographic or Video
Repurposing your posts into the form of visual content is a successful way of increasing your brand’s reach and traffic. You can select from video or infographic formats for repurposing your posts. After blogging (38%), nearly 37% of marketers agree that the most important form of content for promoting their business is visual marketing.
Infographics are a perfect combination of data and design. In comparison to other formats of content, infographics are shared and liked 3x more on social media. Infographics are famous among B2B companies. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 65% of B2B companies use infographics in their content strategy.
To increase the number of views and traffic, it is better if you share complicated information and data in the form of infographics. It’ll be easier to get your audience’s attention, and help them understand the information better. While creating an infographic, ensure that you take only the most important points from your post. You can use tools like Piktochart or Infogram to create attractive infographics.
The previously-cited CMI study also found that 72% of B2B marketers use videos in their content marketing strategy. Repurpose your text posts into videos to better engage your audience. But make sure you add a call-to-action at the end of videos. The goal is to direct them to your site through this CTA.
For example, AT&T, a globally leading company for media, communications, and entertainment, launched an AT&T Cargo View with a flight safe. This solution allows businesses to track their shipped cargo from any corner of the world.
Image Source – YouTube
They communicated the news by repurposing content and making it into a video. Animated infographics, motion, music, and storytelling helped the video to generate more than 60K views.
3. Send Your Posts in an Email Newsletter
Email is still the most popularly used channel for content distribution among B2B marketers. 93% of respondents in the CMI study chose it as the format they use for distributing content. So you could make the most of email newsletters to share news about your latest content. You could add social media share buttons to ensure that subscribers can easily share them.
Here’s an example of what a good email newsletter should look like:
4. Use Plain Text in Emails
According to HubSpot, visual-based emails have lower open and click-through rates, in comparison to plain text-based emails. So brands should be using more text-based emails rather than emails with visuals.
For example, Nathan Ellering of CoSchedule searched and analyzed his email data. To his surprise, adding graphics and images to post emails reduces the open rates by 3.5%. This means that plain text-based email wins over visual-based emails. This might come as a shock to many content marketers, since the common assumption is that visuals engage an audience.
Image Source – coschedule.com
6. Get Your Post Re-Published on Other Platforms
In addition to managing your own blog, publish the content on other platforms like Medium and authority niche websites. This will help you reach a new and relevant audience, expanding your reach. In turn, this will improve your chances of getting more traffic to your site.
Medium is a great publishing platform where you can create your account through your Facebook or Google account. Once you sign up, you can select which topics you want to follow. This will help you reach an audience that will be interested in those topics.
Image Source – Mention
Now all you have to do is post your content. There are two options for doing this. First, you can easily import the link of the content and publish it. Or you can copy and paste your content into a window that appears after you click on “write a story.”
7. Add Social Buttons to Increase Shareability
Your readers are the best channel for promoting your content. Improve their chances of sharing the content by making it easier to share with the help of social share buttons. The placing of social buttons should be very strategic, as these strategic places can boost your traffic.
Here are a few tips to give you ideas:
Add a Click to Tweet Tool – Take an interesting piece of information or fact and turn it into a small snippet that people can easily share on Twitter. This snippet can be some interesting statistic or some summarized tip that would immediately draw an audience. Here’s how a Click to Tweet button will look:
Image Source – Bufferapp
Add a Pin It Button – For quick and easy sharing of interesting infographics or images on Pinterest, add a . This is ideal for promoting content that contains plenty of visuals.
Use Image Sharer – Just like a Pin It Button, SumoMe helps you create a social share button which is superimposed on your content’s image. For this add-on, you can select social networks like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Buffer. And you can also control the position of buttons on images when a reader is going through your content.
Image Source: SumoMe
8. Share the Content Multiple Times on Social Media
You need to share your content on multiple social media platforms to improve its chances of gaining visibility. Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+ can be used to share your content. By sharing the content, you are putting your content in front of thousands of potential readers who can further share it with their followers.
Remember not to share the same type of content on all platforms. Make sure you optimize and tailor your content according to the platform on which you are about to post. For instance, you could post a link to your blog on Facebook along with a relevant image from the blog post or directly share the link with a preview image. And on Instagram, you could post the relevant image and update the link in your bio.
Additionally, have a posting schedule for your content with the help of social media management tools. This will ensure that you can regularly publish posts at hours when your audience is most active. Scheduling platforms like Buffer and MeetEdgar are among the best available tools. If you are a beginner, then HootSuite is the best scheduling platform. It’s easy for a beginner to upload text, hyperlinks, and images using this tool.
9. Get Included in Roundups
If you want to increase traffic, you need a lot of backlinks. In addition to submitting guest posts, you can also look for opportunities to have your content included in roundup posts. With the help of Google, you can search for relevant roundups that you could get included in. Use one of the keywords from your niche and one from the following – Monthly, Top 10, Weekly, Roundup, Link love, and Best of.
You can reach out to the roundup editor and ask to consider your content for the next entry.
There are three main reasons why roundups are important for content promotion:
Roundups Attract Huge Traffic – Your post can get direct traffic comprised of people who read the roundup post.
Roundups Can Boost Your Authority – By having an association with influential people, your post gets an authority. Your post will have much higher value when it is included with well-known contributions.
Roundups Help Build Relationships with Influencers – An expert roundup is one of the best ways to get noticed by influencers. This is a great start to establishing a relationship with them.
For example, this roundup post on travel successfully brought together 16 experiences travelers from around the world. These travelers shared their best travel tips and advice to help other travel enthusiasts. Not only does this make the post more valuable to readers, but also ensures greater traffic from contributor blogs.
Image Source – travelstoriesuntold.com
10. Outreach to People You Mentioned in the Post
It is advisable that you scan through your posts and get a list of the names you have mentioned. This could be anyone from an influential expert to a brand. The idea is to reach out to them and then get them to share your content with their social media followers.
When you reach out to these people, it’s best if you start off with something like, “Thanks for developing an amazing tool.” Rather than directly asking to share the post, write a positive note about the tool or software in your email. Don’t forget to keep the outreach email short and simple.
11. Submit the Post to Communities Like Reddit and Quora
If you want to increase traffic, you should never undervalue the power of social media aggregation sites like Reddit and Quora. There are two unquestionable benefits of sharing your content on these sites. You will build links that not only increase your traffic but improve your authority.
Even when you’ve created a sensational piece of content, you may not necessarily get the results you expect. While the quality of content is obviously an important aspect of content marketing, it’s not enough that you just produce the content. Content promotion is equally, or even more important. Without proper promotion, your content will not be able to generate significant traffic.
There’s a lot involved in content promotion, so it may sound intimidating at first. These points will help you get started. And if you have any questions to ask, feel free to leave a comment below.
Author Brandon Brown is the CEO of Grin, an influencer marketing software solution for brands. Grin’s software helps customers identify, recruit & activate the world’s most engaging influencers. Prior to Grin, he was led marketing for the #1 energy drink market in the world, Los Angeles & Orange County, at Red Bull North America. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
Instagram marketing takes a great part of many modern business’ growth strategy as Instagram is the perfect place for brands to expose the products and offers by creating an attractive “digital showcase”.
Instagram marketing is not only a large number of posts and followers but the customer-centric campaigns that can bring your target audience to your Instagram account and draw your followers to truly engage it: like your photos, comment them, even make reposts and create their own posts about your brand/product. So the first questions that come to mind:
How to plan the perfect Instagram marketing campaign?
Before you start Instagram marketing campaign, there are a lot of things to do: create a unified theme for posts, make a content plan, schedule the posts for a week/a month, choose the right popular and niche hashtags, think over the captions and other useful steps. But the first step that you need to take – research all possible data about Instagram users.
Instagram marketing can’t exist without your account’s performance analytics. The statistics of the followers got, your posts liked and viewed are highly important. The blogs explaining how to measure the data of your account usually forget to mention about other Instagram users research: your current and potential customers, your competitors, Instagram influencers. This valuable knowledge for marketing lets you be aware of the audience’s interests and preferences, competitor’s growth strategies, influencers and micro influencer’s ways of engagement.
So to start planning your Instagram marketing campaign – you should first monitor and study the Instagram users activity: likes, comments and follows they make during a week/a month will help you to analyze the Instagram users and their behavior, user group interests, popular trends and much more.
Let’s consider in detail what data you can get from this research and how it can be useful. We used the data from the reports provided by the Instagram monitoring tool Snoopreport that tracks what users like, comment and follow.
Instagram user’s interests
The best way to get data about the user’s preferences is to analyze the posts he likes and the users he follows. Let’s view a report with all the likes and follows made by Katy Perry during one week.
The weekly report of katyperry account’s like and follows made
There are photo snippets of the posts liked and the usernames of the people that posted these posts. You can check the photos by clicking on them to see the content and make conclusions on the user’s interests. Plus in the interaction changes column, there is the information about the users that become more and less engaged by Katy Perry.
There are also content themes that attract the monitored user in the liked media tags:
The cloud displays the hashtags are in the captions of liked posts, and most frequently used hashtags are in the bright font. Without checking every post separately, you get a complete list of tags and can highlight those that user focuses on when liking a post. This data is required when you target certain users by your content on Instagram and draw them to take action.
Instagram user’s activity periods
The information when the user is active on Instagram can enrich your marketing campaigns and make them more pertinent. But there is no such option on Instagram to see if a user is online: you can only guess by checking his posts and your following feed. If you need to know about the specific hours or days this data is in Actions Hitmap:
This actions hitmap displays the data of the weekly activity. By analyzing it, you’re able to research the time frame and days when the user signs in on Instagram and checks his newsfeed and the frequency of the Instagram use by the following user. On the hitmap above it’s obvious that Jessica Alba is mostly active from 16.00 to 17.00 and although she uses Instagram every day, she spends more time on Saturdays and Sundays there.
A monthly report provides more accurate data as it covers the longer period and contains more activity so the tendencies of user behavior are more precise.
In the Nicki Minaj account’s report, there are no likes or follows made on Fridays, so she didn’t sign in and wasn’t active at all. The most active hours are from 2 pm till 18 pm and mostly on Thursdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays.
This way you can monitor all the users required to update your posts scheduling to target your audience so they wouldn’t miss your post. And if you need to get activity period insights of a large group of users you should use a group report feature that we’ll describe a little bit later.
Instagram user’s growth strategy
There are two common ways for Instagram users to grow their accounts: organic and automated. When the account’s growing organically it’s the user himself who performs all the actions: he likes and comments the posts, follows other users – so he engages them in the order they would like and follow him back. The automation, on the contrary, supposes the bot’s activity: they like, comment and follow on your behalf – the only thing you should do is to target the hashtags or geotags or the specific users so the bot’s actions would be more effective.
The best way to learn what method your competitors use to get followers is to monitor them for 2-4 weeks and compare their activity data with the common user behavior.
Normal user activity on Instagram
The organic growth data usually varies from 50 to 500 likes a week, and 20-50 follows. When these numbers are greatly higher, it’s obvious that the growth is automated.
Mass liking with 2482 likes a week made by kim_larry account
Above there is a weekly report of kim_larry account’s activity: 2482 likes are the proof that the user engages other accounts with the help of Instagram bots. But if you want to be 100% sure of the mass liking used, check his Activity Hitmap so to see continuous 24/7 activity and targeted time zone which is west coast.
The actions hitmap of the automated mass liking of kim_larry account
Liked media tags cloud will complete the strategy research by revealing what hashtags were used to target the media: SEO, socialmedia, contentmarketing, socialmediatips, business and more. The brighter tags are the most frequent in the liked posts.
Liked media tags of the posts liked by kim_larry account
Another approach to the Instagram automation is called the follow-to-follow method. The bots engage the users by following them, and usually, they will follow your account back.
The follow-to-follow method used on Instagram by jeffbullas account
As we mentioned earlier the normal follow activity is about 20-50 users followed within a week and if the number is more than a thousand be aware of the follow-to-follow tactic used.
You can also check the Activity Hitmap:
The actions hitmap of the automated follow-to-follow of jeffbullas account
The data displays the peer number of follows distribution and the 24/7 activity is distributed equally likely to avoid Instagram bans.
The user engagement strategy can be truly useful when you plan your campaign. You can use all the data for settings: borrow the list of targeted users, the required time periods for posting and other useful tricks.
Instagram influencers data
The Instagram marketing can’t be separated from influencer marketing as influencers can boost your brand to hundreds or even thousands Instagram users just by publishing one post or a story with your product. Their services can affect your budget as the influencers with 1 million (and more) followers charge huge rates. When collaborating with such influencers, you should reflect if you’ll get the best result from choosing them. Their followers may not coincide with your target audience, and you won’t benefit fully from this collaboration.
The better way to distribute your budget and attract the exact client you need is to pick micro influencers that have better engagement rates and more targeted audience.
Here is the guide to research the micro influencers on Instagram.
Select the users whose actions you want to monitor to get a user group insight. The easiest way is to check likers of yours and your competitor’s last Instagram posts. The number of monitored users can vary from 100 to 500 depending on your market size. Don’t forget to eliminate the bots from the list.
Add the users chosen to the dashboard and set the time of monitoring – 2-4 weeks will be enough.
Instagram users added at the Snoopreport dashboard
When the weeks are expired, generate a group report including the users whose activity is in the report during the period you set.
Group report with the list of users monitored and the users that got better engagement rates
The last step is to study the performance of the accounts to single out the accounts engaged mostly. They are the exact influencers you need – huge and micro influencers whose posts can target your audience with their promotional posts.
When using the data of this research, you can save your budget and get perfect results from your influencer marketing campaign by the cooperation with micro influencers.
Instagram user group behavior trends
Instagram can give insights of the user group’s behavior. By including the relevant users in your customized group report, you can research your customers and competitors.
Group report with the actions of 78 Instagram users
Likes and follows made by a group of users reveal the users that are gaining popularity on Instagram and the number of their posts that can be considered successful basing on the number of likes to each post. By analyzing the content of the most liked posts, you can highlight the user group common preferences, namely content that draw them to interact on Instagram.
The tags cloud will inform you about the engaging topics in a more detailed way so you can choose the hashtags to apply them to your content strategy. The periods of activity represented in the actions map will help you to adjust the scheduling of your posts.
Instagram marketing data for in-depth user analysis
The experienced marketers and researchers have a great opportunity to get the user actions chronologically in the CSV reports that are rich in exclusive data of the users, their posts, geotags.
CSV group report of 78 Instagram users (click to zoom)
You’ll be able analyze the following data: the exact time and date of the action, usernames and full names, URLs of posts and media, posts captions geotags, metrics of likebacks and verified accounts. The user actions in CSV are available for an Individual user’s study as well as users’ group research.
The data is a valuable source for marketing. We described just one of the many tools that can help you to become a professional in the Instagram marketing field. There is plenty of Instagram analytics services as Iconosquare, for example, that will keep track of your account performance, or simply Instagram insights that are already built-in in the Instagram app. In the modern digital world that is constantly changing you should look for and use several tools to explore all possible statistics and profit the user activity data by tailoring your marketing campaigns.
The data for this article is provided by Snoopreport, the service which tracks..