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Every company, entrepreneur or influencer who’s investing their time and money on social media marketing cannot ignore Instagram. Why? Because Instagram has 1 billion users.

In 2016, Instagram had just 500 million users. In January 2018, the number of users hit 1 billion. 80% of these users follow a business profile.

Statistics just put into perspective the growing popularity of Instagram. Like Pinterest, Instagram gives users opportunities to explore their hobbies and hence, it’s a great platform on which businesses can engage their audiences.

As of today, there are approximately 52 million business profiles on Instagram. These businesses are the ones that are benefiting from the powers of Instagram. Another statistic points out that 75% of the users take action after looking at the brand’s Instagram post.

Statistical data deduces that Instagram is an important social media platform for businesses. Equally important is it for entrepreneurs and influencers.

How To Gain More Instagram Followers

The key to being successful on Instagram is to know how to grow one’s ‘followers’. Once that hurdle is crossed, it’s then all about keeping your followers engaged.

Using statistical tools, case studies, and examples; we have found 10 proven tactics that anyone can use to grow their Instagram following and engagement. These tactics are given below:

1. Make it a practice to post content regularly

 According to a research study that was conducted in 2017, the more often you post, the more likes you get and consequently, your followers too increase.

Follow this simple rule. Make sure that you post at least one piece of content daily. By doing so, you will not just see an increase in your following, your engagement rates too will see an increase.

The study found out that those profiles who posted more than seven times a week got more likes than the other profiles that posted less often. Another interesting find of this study linked higher engagement rates with more frequent posting. Before this research study was conducted, the belief was rather contrary- the less you post, the better your engagement rates.

The reason why the findings of this study concurred with the findings of the previously conducted studies is because in this study similarly sized accounts were monitored and compared– which proved to be all the difference.

The study also proved that posting often can increase your followers’ growth rate considerably.

2. Spend some time and effort in finding and promoting quality hashtags

 Did you know that you can follow hashtags on Instagram?

To be popular on Instagram, you need to know your hashtags in and out. The reason why hashtags are so important on Instagram is that Instagram is a hobby exploratory social media platform where people search for content through topics. Hashtags align your content with these topics and thus, ensure that your content reaches a mass audience.

Instagram allows users to tag their content with 30 different hashtags. However, ideally, a post should be tagged with a maximum of nine hashtags.

Online tools such as Display Purpose can help you find the right and different kinds of hashtags for your posts. Like Display Purpose, there are many other free Instagram tools available online that can help you find the right hashtags for your content.

So this is how Display Purpose works. You type in the main subject matter of your post. You will then be given multiple options of the different kinds of hashtags with which you can tag your content.

3. Learn to use ‘Analytics’ to your benefit

Instagram has this feature that’s called ‘Instagram Insights’. However, this feature is available only to ‘Business Profiles’. Instagram Insights is like your Google Analytics for Instagram. It gives you all the information that you need in order to understand how your followers are interacting with your profile.

 To get to the Instagram Insights page, follow these three simple steps (remember Instagram Insights is only available for business profiles): 

  • Head to your business profile page.
  • On the top right-hand corner, you will see a ‘bar’ icon. Tap on that.
  • Choose what you want ‘insights’ on. You can select between specific posts, stories and promotions that you have run.

Instagram Insights allows you to track three key metrics: Impressions, Profile Visits & Reach.

 Learn to use analytics to your benefit. Go through the Insights page regularly. Read the data. Understand what kind of content gains the most impressions, reach and engagement. Try finding out which posts of your reached people who weren’t following your page. Posts such as that can help you gain your follower count. Statistical data can help you improve your efficiency. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring the numbers!

4. Implement ‘Cross-Posting’ to your advantage

 Cross-posting is the simple practice of trying to integrate the content that you share across all your social media platforms. It sounds like a very complicated task but in reality, it’s simple. You just have to take a little bit of effort.

In fact, since Instagram’s Facebook takeover, cross-posting has become extremely simple. Instagram’s interface itself allows you to easily share content on Facebook, Tumblr & Twitter. As marketers and businesses, it’s your duty now to exploit this feature to your benefit.

The objective of cross-posting is to let your customers know that you exist on different social media platforms. Why? So that your postings get more exposure. The more exposure that your postings get, the more engagement they will entice and hence, new customers will have a better image for your business.

To prove the importance of cross-posting, Buzzmo conducted a research study in 2016. The study found out that images that were posted on Facebook via Instagram generated 23% more engagement.

One tip on how you can go about cross-posting your content. Try embedding the posts that you share on social media with pictures that are linked to your Instagram account.

5. Find out the best times to post at & make it a practice of posting content in those time-intervals only

 Okay so here’s the truth. Different social media platforms have different ‘best times’ to post it. Not just that. The best time to post at even differs within a social media platform. What one’s trying to say here is that; there’s no one particular best time as to post at that can be applied by all businesses on Instagram

The best time to post at depends upon your followers.

To find out the best times to post at for your business, go back to Instagram Insights. That’s where the information that you need is awaiting you. In order to get maximum engagement for your posts, you need to find out at exactly what time your followers are most active.

Here’s you get that information:

  • Head to Instagram Insights (Business Profile- Click on ‘bar’ icon)
  • Click on ‘Followers’.
  • Click on ‘See more’.

And more, you shall see indeed. On this page, you will be able to get exactly the kind of information that you need. What time your users are most active, on what days they are the most active, where your followers are from– there’s a lot of data for you to analyze. Analyze this data and find the best time to post for your business.

Instagram Insights is only available for business profiles. So, what do you do if you don’t have a business profile? How do you use analytics to your benefit then? You use other Instagram Analytic tools that are available online. Sprout Social, Simply Measured, Iconosquare are all examples of great Instagram Analytic tools.

Note: This above paragraph applies to ‘Point 3’ as well. 

6. Plan regular ‘Profile Takeovers’

 In other words, take an effort of collaborating with other businesses or influencers that have a mass following on Instagram. Think of it as a mini ‘co-branding’ process. You are using the following that others’ have to ramp up your own following by giving them also an opportunity to do so. A successful collaboration has to be structured as a win-win deal.

So you primarily have three different collaboration strategies to look at: influencer marketing, sponsorship and partnerships. All three strategies are great. Influencer marketing is the trend nowadays. It’s growing in popularity because of the ‘credibility’ that influencers bring. However, it can be an expensive Instagram strategy.

Make a business decision. Choose the strategy that’s correct for you financially.

A great example of influencer marketing done right is- Coachella. Coachella tied up with 416 influencers. Sure, it was an expensive strategy but it resulted in generating 4.4 billion impressions– more than their events main sponsor H&M.

7. Experiment with different content formats on Instagram

 One of the reasons why Instagram has become so popular with the millennial population is because of their innovation. Every now and then, new content formats are springing up. Hence, by doing so, Instagram is able to keep the attention of their audiences and thereby, give businesses new opportunities to engage with their customers.

The popularity of video content is growing. Engagement for video content is growing fast– much faster than what’s happening with static content.

Instagram has some very interesting content formats for business to exploit. Live videos, stories & TV- these three content formats promise great ways to stimulate engagement.

Opel- well-known car manufacturers ran a sequence of carousel ads via the Instagram stories feature- the result was 2.5x greater registrations.

To see the Opel story click here.

Freshly Cosmetics- a cosmetic brand used Instagram stories to drive its consumers to their website-the result direct sales increased by 9 times.

Instagram Story run by Freshly Cosmetics that induced people to visit their website.

Yes, these case studies primarily focus on driving customer engagement. They don’t directly show how experimenting with different content formats can increase one’s followers. But what they do show is that people respond better to new content formats. And, that’s what can help you gain followers!

8. Make it a point to share user-generated content

 Here’s a fact: User-generated content has a 4.5% higher conversion rate than non-user generated content. Take a look at Buffer Social- their Instagram following grew by 400% and they account much of its success to sharing user-generated content.

Apple really uses user-generated content well and it’s proven to be successful marketing strategy for them. Business wise also, using user-generated content makes a lot of sense. Lesser effort-greater rewards.

The key here is to find a way to attract quality user-generated content. The contest route works best here. The prize of the contest need not always be monetary gratification-social gratification works equally well, if not better. What do we mean by social gratification? Give them the credit for their work. Bring them into the limelight through your business.

User-generated content has that authenticity factor to it that’s otherwise found lacking in other posts. That’s why it strikes a chord in people’s hearts and generates more engagement.

An example of GoPro using user-generated content. Look at that engagement!

9. Host Contests

 We humans are selfish beings. Until we see an advantage for something, we seldom act on it. Incentives go a long way in getting people to do what you want them to do.

On Instagram, the best way to incentivize people to follow you or engage with your content is to host contests. Yes, hosting contests is an old and cliched way of getting things done. But it still works and that’s what’s really important here.

Instead of hosting the old regular question and answer contests, identify the person contests-try putting your own spin on the contests to make it more exciting and interesting for the audience.

‘Tag a friend’ contests work really well to gain new followers! 

10. Make use of ‘Filters’ & ‘Emoticons’ in your post

 Adding ‘emoticons’ & ‘filters’ to your post serves a bigger purpose than fun. Believe it or not, they are great tools to entice engagement and promote the following.

A research study conducted found out that filtered photos are 21% more likely to get viewed than unfiltered photos. The same study found that filtered photos have 45% higher probability of getting a comment. Say goodbye to the days when ‘real was king’.

Here’s another weirdly fun statistic: in the UK, emoji is the fastest growing language. At least 50% of all the captions and comments on Instagram posts contain emojis.

Not to sound too old fashioned but if you aren’t using filters and emojis in your posts, the world will leave you behind.

To Summarize

With that, we come to the end of this article. Instagram is a fun social media platform. Sure, it’s about followers and engagement metrics but more than it’s about being exciting, fun & personal. If your posts encapsulate that, you should have no trouble with gaining a massive following on Instagram!

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Before getting started, let’s first learn what influencer marketing is.

What is Influencer Marketing?

In simpler terms, influencer marketing focuses on using key leaders to drive a brand’s message to a specific audience in a broader market. Influencers are inspired, hired or paid to get the word out for you. Influencer marketing also shares a symbiotic relationship with content and social media marketing.

The average influencer campaign has a social media component with influencers spreading your word through their social channels. Several influencer campaigns also have the content element wherein specific content is created for influencers, or they themselves create such content.

In other words, influencer marketing involves marketing those services or products to a targeted audience which has a powerful influence over things others buy. This particular market influence stems typically from a person’s popularity, expertise or reputation. Such influence may emanate from multiple sources because any brand, group or place could be a potential influencer.

Guide To Influencer Marketing

For instance, celebrities often are deployed to market certain brands or products because of their high respectability and/or visibility. When the celebrity using the product or endorsing the brand, the product manufacturer or brand owner gets not only substantial exposure but also the respect that comes from such celebrity endorsement.

Influencer marketing may also be done through bloggers, who are often respected because of their authenticity and because they command loyal followings. Blogger recommendations are often deemed more trustworthy and through the effective use of influencers, companies are can avoid the usual scepticism and cynicism usually associated with straight marketing messages.

Conventional outbound marketing is beginning to take a backseat nowadays because modern consumers no longer see billboards or view commercials. The consumer today is self-sufficient enough to research a brand on his own or hear about it from someone trustworthy. This is where influencers step into inbound marketing. They generate content about the brand, recommending it to their loyal followers and insert themselves into conversations that surround the brand niche. Thus, an effective influencer can make a marked difference in your competitive advantage.

Importance:

According to a recent study by Tomoson, influencer marketing enhances customer inflow by 51% on an average. This implies more customer spending and enhanced customer loyalty and advocacy for a brand when they receive the approval of their influencers. Moreover, influencer marketing ensures a stronger ROI: The average return is $6.50 for every single dollar the business spends.

However, influencer marketing’s only notable drawback is that you can’t control it like traditional marketing. This is primarily because even though influencers may add to the product’s positive image, those whose reputation and popularity have been tarnished due to legal hassles, for example, are most likely to impact that same product’s image negatively. Thus every marketer who resorts to influencer marketing must also be prepared to deal with any negative fallout if an influencer used by him rejects or even misrepresents his brand, product or service.

Setting Up Influencer Marketing Goals for your Business

Steps to formulate a typical and effective plan for influencer marketing:

1. Goal setting for your campaign:

Before embarking on any influencer marketing program, it is of vital importance to know first that setting up your ultimate business goals matters most. This is because it’s only when you identify such goals that you will be able to work on your influencer strategy subsequently. Moreover, it’s also mandatory to understand how you will define your marketing outcomes that are related directly to your business goals. And finally, how to use that particular information to work out your ultimate influencer strategy. Fig 1 above illustrates the basic business goal decision-making model. In a typical situation, influencer marketing goals focus less on enhancing sales and more on increasing public awareness and buzz.

2. Identification of appropriate influencers:

After your goals have been established, you need to identify the apt influencers by way of extensive demographic and target market research. Even Facebook and Google searches reveal who all influence consumers. You may even appoint a professional market research firm to do the job for you. Finally, you need to take a call on the number of influencers you wish to target and ultimately select those that meet the goals of your campaign best.

3. Analysis is the key:

This would be followed by analyzing where your influencers gather, and their audience and the messages they are currently spreading. If you carefully study your target influencer’s preferences, it will be easier to communicate with him later, preferably through social media. Remember, the final goal is to form an organic relationship with the influencer, based not entirely on endorsing and/or selling but to make them your most genuine and vocal advocates.

4. Revisit goals:

Make it a point to revisit your goals periodically to measure the success or failure rates of your influencer marketing program. If your plan doesn’t yield the desired results, start looking for new influencers. However, effective influencers need perpetual wooing for continued support to your company on their websites and blogs.

5. Determine targetable social networks:

For certain brands, a hefty marketing push on 1 or 2 specific social networks works for those campaigns targeting specific demographics. Take Snapchat users for instance. Since most Snapchat users are below 25 years of age, creating an influencer campaign for Snapchat automatically implies that it will reach out to young people only on its platform.

6. Outline measurable objectives of brand awareness:

An influencer campaign is one of the best tools for improving brand awareness. Thus, the goals for such enhanced brand awareness include: hitting a specific number of impressions on social media; brand mentions (posting a website URL or tagging the authentic brand page); and giveaway with tagging and content sharing enterable in a draw.

7. Set impressions:

Impressions are a record of the number of times your content gets delivered to a feed. This number helps a marketer work out the campaign’s effectiveness and also illustrates if such content has been viewed by the influencer’s audience. Impressions are used best for measuring brand awareness.

8. Boosting SEO:

Influencer marketing keeps working to the benefit of brands even after the campaign ends because sharing on social media helps build their off-page SEO. Key influencers, who have large social followings aid in boosting your brand to the very top of the results generated by search engines. It also needs to be borne in mind that all your influencers are aware of SEO basics which include site optimization, keywords, and top quality content as also tagging.

How To Find Effective Influencers For Your Brand

Before starting the hunt for influencers, one needs to know first why they are required. A consumer often trusts third-party recommendations more than what the brand tells about itself. It’s just like a reliable doctor being recommended by a close and trustworthy friend rather than the doctor telling you that he’s the best.  Similarly, the influencer connects your brand to your target audience.

The influencer not only brings his audience but its network, too. The audience’s loyalty to the influencer increases your exposure on social media, drives traffic to your site and finally, gets your product sold by their story or recommendation.

Find Right Influencers For Your Brand

How and where then do you go looking for influencers? The answer in all probability would be Google. Try searching on Google and you’ll end up with thousands of posts on companies promising access to influencers with the most massive following. But the moot question that arises now is: What specific type of influencer should post about a brand?

That’s why those content creators need to be tapped who will create and circulate authentic and, more importantly, convincing messages about your brand and campaign. In other words, they will be the right match for your brand. Thus, you need to carefully examine what defines your brand’s influencer first and look at the following items:

Context:

Influencers differ from brand to brand because they fit contextually. This is undoubtedly the prime characteristic when you target the appropriate influencer for your product/brand. For instance, Justin Bieber, who has a following over 101.8m million, may not work for your new software because the pre-teen crowd is usually uninterested in software. So, define the context first.

Reach:

Once the contextual fit for the brand has been established, its reach becomes important. This is because they can share some great content or some very positive recommendations that will be heard. Thus for a clothes business that focuses on “tweens,” Justin Bieber may prove successful.

Actionability:

This happens to be the ability of the influencer to get some positive action out of his audience. This characteristic shows naturally when individuals who are contextually aligned with the brand have a more extended reach.

Posting Styles:

If you choose an influencer who usually posts pictures in a consistent style, you can stretch the sophisticated advertisements for your brand. You can even provide some great content for marketing efforts in the future. It is always prudent to identify those influencers whose posts on social media reflect your brand’s look and feel, no matter if it’s in black and white or colour or airy and light. Their content is bound to blend seamlessly with your feed when shared.

Interest categories as also subcategories:

Categories like fitness gurus, beauty bloggers, and tech enthusiasts are defined clearly. However, they can be refined further with specific subcategories. For instance, if running is taken into account, it will be seen that there is a notable difference between those posting map graphics of their daily runs and sneakers users sharing photos of the latest sneakers for running.

Social Presence:

You have first to consider where your target audiences lie and choose your social media platform accordingly. Middle-aged women don’t usually prefer Snapchat while pre-teens tend to shy away from Facebook. Also, you need to think about what other uses the content may serve. Is it only your exposure that you are looking at? Or, will you be collecting the re-share on your content on the brand’s social channels?

10 Types of Influencer Marketing

The ways in which a brand can base and create its campaign for influencer marketing are limitless. However, generally speaking, a campaign usually falls within one of the following ten subcategories:

1. Product Placements:

A most popular way by which a brand partners with social media influencers. This involves incorporation of the company’s logo, services or product with the content of a digital influencer in a flattering, engaging or creative manner. As stars of the social media earn the trust and faith of their followers, product placement is an excellent opportunity for a brand to gain valuable exposure to millions of consumers who are not only engaged but most likely to buy something that is endorsed by their preferred Instagrammer, YouTuber, Snapchatter or Viner. An example would be Instagrammers skillfully including products from Chevrolet, Dunkin’ Donuts and Nike in their Instagram posts.

2. Hashtag / Theme-based Campaigns:

When your marketing campaign focuses on a hashtag or central theme, your brand creates and enhances the campaign momentum. Moreover, it becomes cohesive with other facets of the campaign that are running on multiple platforms on social media. It also encourages consumers to get involved by using the brand hashtag in content that’s user-generated. When you base, develop and implement your influencer marketing campaign on an attractive branded hashtag, you make way for your brand to initiate an original social conversation. This is more so if the hashtag goes viral.

3. Creative Influencer Campaigns:

Creative campaigns give ample freedom to stars of the social media to create targeted content falling within a specific idea or concept. This campaign type gives a digital influencer the liberty of interpreting themes for creating unique content that’s brand-sponsored basically. Typical creative campaigns are well-integrated and organic and lead to enhanced engagement levels in the forms of comments, likes as also social sharing from the social media influencer’s subscribers and/or followers.

4. Contests, Sweepstakes, Giveaways:

By hosting events on social media like sweepstakes, giveaways, and contests, it is also possible to create an audible buzz about your brand. You also foster goodwill among your existing and prospective consumers. It is through these events that you successfully inspire social media users to take specific actions such as brand channel following or increase your company’s exposure by way of branded hashtags.

When you align with social media influencers to promote a contest, you are actually leveraging your company with a social media star’s large follower base and also ensuring that your consumers participate in your campaign. Influencers present your product to their target audience with an incentive for the best performer to win a prize which can be anything from a free sample of the product, a luxury trip or even monetary compensation. It’s also a relatively easier way of identifying potential brand ambassadors and engaging with your influencers.

5. Campaign for Building Social Followers:

To build the follower base on its own social media brand channels, a company often collaborates with social media influencers with a view to exposing a new audience to the social media accounts of a brand. For instance, in the case of Snapchat Takeovers, a Snapchatter “takes over” a Snapchat account held by a brand for a pre-defined period. This has proved to be a most effective way for businesses to reach out to millions of new followers, who grow their own Snapchat follower base organically.

6. Testing:

Your product gets reviewed and tested in details. In the best cases, there is usually a recommendation from the influencer to buy when the test proves successful.

7. Tutorials:

The influencer demonstrates how to use a specific product. This is a highly popular YouTube method and provides some precious and convincing product information to viewers and enhances sales.

8. Testimonials:

A typical and conventional type of marketing whereby the influencer becomes the official and accepted brand ambassador. This type of influencer marketing campaign is usually long-term cooperation, and even products get designed around their influencer.

9. Events:

In this type of campaign, the influencer is made to visit a company, brand event or store. He shares his viewpoint through videos, photographs or even live streams with his target community making them a part of the exercise, too. It’s a most effective way of tracking brand growth and hashtags before, during and after an event. In most cases, a unique hashtag is also created for such events.

10. Discount codes:

Discount Codes/Coupons are placed directly on an influencer’s description, image or video. This type of influencer marketing campaign works quite effectively and one can also easily track how often a specific individual code that is used breaks down to each influencer. Here is a great resource on influencer marketing using promo codes.

The crux of the matter is that influencer marketing and plain plump placement of a product is not the same thing. An influencer is usable in multiple authentic and very creative ways. The ten influencer marketing types mentioned above have so far proved to be the most effective in creating the right strategies for a product or brand.

Getting Started with your 1st Influencer Marketing Campaign

It always needs to be borne in mind that working with influencers for the first time can be nuanced and intricate and need specialized knowledge for its success. First timers, therefore, would do well to engage the services of an experienced and knowledgeable agency for influencer marketing or even a YouTube influencer agency.

Setting Up Your 1st Influencer Marketing Campaign

However, should they wish to do it on their own, they need to consider the following basic aspects when they embark on their maiden influencer marketing campaign:

  • Do they have an apparent understanding of their campaign goals or what they hope to achieve? How feasible are their goals on every social media channel?
  • They also need to identify those social media influencers who align best with their brand’s identity; have engaged an audience that will willingly respond to their services or products with high engagement levels among followers.
  • The first timer also needs to clearly understand how to measure each campaign correctly and how a campaign is measured differently on multiple social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube or Snapchat. Campaign metrics also need to be measured against established KPIs or key performance indicators and optimized accordingly.
  • Avoid controlling the creative direction, don’t make unreasonable requests or distrust the influencer when developing the campaign’s content and while implementing the campaign.
Research is the Key:

Influencer marketing is also referred to as brand representation. Influencers are the business’ faces. Thus, it is of vital importance that a first timer finds out everything about them before engaging them. Any red flags like controversial opinions and views need to be reconsidered immediately. Additionally, you also need to know on which channels your influencers will be most effective. This may require channel alignment if you wish to get the most of out of the influencer who dominates that platform. The idea is to remember that if your influencer isn’t supporting your objectives, the fault lies with you because you work with your influencer and not vice versa.

Create Great Stories:

Effective storytelling is an inextricable part of any successful marketing campaign because people understand and relate to messages better when thoughts and ideas are woven into a cohesive, comprehensive and comprehensible narrative. Target audiences trust influencers more when they tell a story that’s authentic and humane and which elicit emotions when they address the audience’s interests, wants and needs.

Encourage Creative Freedom:

You have to give your influencers the freedom to address their community in their way, especially when they know the community better than you do. Ask them first how they wish to handle specific campaigns because unnecessary restrictions imposed on them only restrict the campaign’s creative potential. Just brief him about the campaign and conduct periodic reviews to ensure that things are on track.

Involving Influencers:

Transparency always works wonders with influencers. So always keep them in the loop when you make campaign-related decisions. Keep an open mind to suggestions they make because specific influencers who’ve been associated with multiple brands know actually what works. Thus, their involvement in the planning process is important and useful because they offer unique perspectives which make the campaign more effective.

Look Beyond Followers:

It’s always important to look beyond the influencer’s follower population. Here the vital thing is the healthy relationship an influencer has with his audience and which develops through meaningful mutual engagement, debate, and support. Moreover, the engagement rates and types the..

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All text and no images make your webpage a dull one!

I am not going to waste any more words by overstating the universal fact that illustrations and graphics are essential in augmenting the visual appeal of your website or blog. But, strict copyright laws around the world does forbid us from using random photographs from the internet for our personal or commercial usage.

This is precisely where free stock image websites come into play and they turn out to be a life-saver for bloggers, website owners, and content creators.

Top 25 Websites To Find Free Pictures

Here are 25 free sites to find awesome pictures to spice up your website or blog.

1. Pixabay

Pixabay boasts of a massive collection of images thanks to the large community of photographers who keep making regular contributions to the website. Apart from the high-resolution pictures in its assortment, the site also has its fair share of illustrations and vector graphics. The photos from the website can be freely used in both print and digital format without any kind of attribution. The pictures can also be chosen based on the size and orientation that fits your requirement.

https://pixabay.com/

2. StokPic

The StokPic website might not have a collection that runs into lakhs, but the exclusivity of their images is what makes it stand apart. The pictures on the site are shot specifically for StokPic and they aren’t available for download from any other similar websites. The images can be freely used for both personal and commercial purposes, but the site forbids you from redistributing or selling them. Also, the user-friendly website has grouped its collection into 16 popular categories.

http://stokpic.com

3. Unsplash

Backed by the strength of about 40000 contributors, Unsplash is one of the largest websites when it comes to free stock images. Though the website doesn’t group its pictures into too many categories, the photos you want can be effortlessly found using the search bar on the home page. The stock pictures downloaded from Unsplash are free for both commercial and private usage.

https://unsplash.com/

4. Kaboompics

Kaboompics has a collection of more than 5000 stock images for you to choose from. The quality is striking, and the images can be used for both your private and professional projects without dishing out a single penny. The website also has a unique colour palette menu that allows you to find stock pictures that match the colour theme of your project. The free stock images are also conveniently sorted into 14 different categories.

https://kaboompics.com/

5. Pikwizard

The Pikwizard website is surely worth a visit if you are looking for free stock images for your online or offline ventures. The site has a large database with about 100000 pictures and it includes images relevant to most topics and niches. Another advantage is that Pikwizard has around 20000 stock pictures which are unique and exclusive to the website. The site does not categorise images for your convenience, but the search bar can be used to look for the picture you want.

https://pikwizard.com/

6. StockSnap

StockSnap is yet another website that can be relied on to get you free images with excellent quality and resolution. All the pictures on the site are released under the Creative Commons licence and can be used without any form of attribution. The extremely useful Categories page on the website has organized the images into 100 different sections. You can also make use of the gallery search option.

https://stocksnap.io/

7. Freerangestock

The Freerangestock website has an enormous database of stock pictures as it accepts contributions from both its in-house photographers and the public community. The images from the site can be used free of cost for both commercial and non-commercial endeavours. The pictures can be browsed by category and they can be downloaded in the resolution of your choice. But, the website does not allow you to download their pictures unless you register with them.

https://freerangestock.com/

8. Burst

Burst is a free stock images website backed by Shopify. You can find the desired picture using the search bar and the categories section of the website has 40 titles that include all the popular themes. The images on Burst are free for personal and commercial use under the Creative Commons licence and even giving an attribution to the photographer isn’t mandatory.

https://burst.shopify.com/

9. Pexels

Pexels is one website that is sure to be on any list made on free stock image sources. The database of Pexels is huge but the search option makes it comfortable to find the right picture for your usage. The images can be freely used with or without giving credit to the photographer or the website. The photos are also allowed to be used for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.

https://www.pexels.com

10. Picography

Picography has a packed library of high-resolution photos that can be used for your professional or personal needs. The images downloaded from the website are covered under the Creative Commons license and you needn’t give attribution to the creators. Picography does not have a dedicated category section but the search bar can be used to find the suitable photo for your project.

https://picography.co/

11. Stockvault

Stockvault stays true to its name by letting you access and use photographs, textures and graphics. The website is extremely user-friendly, and its large database is handily split into categories and even sub-categories. The search option can also be used to find the image that best suits your requirement. The photos on the website can be used for both commercial and non-commercial purposes but it shouldn’t be sold or redistributed by you.

https://www.stockvault.net/

12. Free Images

Free images is yet another reliable source for finding copyright-free photographs for your blog or website. The gallery of the site flaunts more than 350000 images with exceptional resolution and clarity. The pictures you are looking for can be zeroed in on using the keyword search option or the categories drop-down tab. The images downloaded from Free images can be utilized without any cost in both digital format and printed forms.

https://www.freeimages.com

 13. Picjumbo

The Picjumbo website has an expansive collection of high-resolution photographs. The images are all properly tagged to ensure that only relevant photos show up while you browse via category names and keyword search. Picjumbo also has a unique Test Drive feature to try and see if a picture is ideal to be a blog post header or a website background. But, the site does look a bit messy with too many advertisements on it.

https://picjumbo.com

 14. Negative Space

Negative Space doesn’t have a gallery jam-packed with thousands of stock images. But, its short library is filled with photos that have a refined finish. All the pictures downloaded from the website are free of any usage restrictions and copyright issues. Appropriate tagging of the images makes it easy to find photographs related to your specific need. Filters can be applied on the selected photos to match the colour scheme of your website or blog.

https://negativespace.co/

15. DesignersPics

The USP of DesignersPics must be the extreme simplicity in its design. The easy to use website allows you to search the photographs you want through a user-friendly search option. For the added convenience of the users, the images are also sorted into 10 different categories. The downloaded pictures can be used for both private and commercial use and it doesn’t require you to credit the website or the photograph owner.

http://www.designerspics.com/

16. Splitshire

The Splitshire website has a fair number of images in its gallery to be a great resource when it comes to free stock photos. The keyword search works like a charm as all the pictures in the site are well-tagged. The images from Splitshire can even be used for commercial purposes sans any charges. Also, the photos can be downloaded from the site without any registration or signups.

https://www.splitshire.com/

17. Realistic Shots

The Realisticshots website has a fitting name as the images in its library are natural and life-like without any artificial filters. The high-resolution photos on the site can be freely downloaded and used for both personal and professional requirements. The photos on the website are also categorised into five titles – Architecture, People, Travel, Nature and Technology. The royalty free images in the Realisticshots site can be used without any attributions.

http://realisticshots.com/

18. Find A Photo

The Findaphoto website is home to more than 10000 stock images gathered from similar websites across the globe. The photos are released under the Creative Commons licence and hence can be freely downloaded from the site and used for commercial and non-commercial purposes. The search bar gets you the right results as the images on the website are accurately tagged. Also, the site gives you a handy option to browse photos by colour.

http://finda.photo/

 19. Morguefile

The website is a fine place to be looking for images and illustrations for your online or offline projects. Morguefile has a vast collection of more than 350000 stock photos with exemplary quality. The pictures are all free to download and there are no restrictions for using it for both your personal and commercial purposes. The photos on the website are not categorised based on content, but the tags on each photo make the search option comfortable to use.

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In 2018, what’s the first thing that a consumer do if they want to buy something? The days of visiting the shops to inquire about each and every product are long gone. Nowadays, with the growth of online business and the ease offered by search engines, people search the internet and order the desired product with a few mouse clicks. Saves the effort and time!

But while searching for a product online, the primary factor that comes to play is the products which are shown to us. In other words, the immediate search results which are provided to us. Here is where the significance of Google AdWords lies.

What is Google AdWords?

Google AdWords is a term we have heard since 2004 and has brought a remarkable change in the business or marketing sector. AdWords has been and is a big game changer and will continue to grow as long as online business exists. So let’s get a bit deep into this topic.

Google AdWords is a paid online service by Google that allows you to place or prioritize your company website or links on a SERP (search engine results page) by spending some money. With the help of AdWords, you don’t have to waste time and effort to bring up your website to the top with stuff like SEO, etc. This service is not at all difficult to use and does not cost the hefty sum of money either. The search results will be organically placed at the top or at the side with a small yellow Ad box just above the respective search links.

This is not a service provided by Google alone. Yahoo and Bing also have their online advertising services. But for now, we will be exploring the service by Google alone.

Basic things to know about AdWords

Merely saying, to get an AdWord service, all you need is to select some keywords which are related to your service/product and then create an advertisement which will be appearing on the search engine results page based on the given keywords. However, yours will not be the only organization that wants people to look up to you based on those particular keywords. Rivals can bid for the same word, which often leads to mixed and prioritized results. If you are adamant about your ad appearing on the first list of searches made by the same keyword, then you must be willing to bid against other rival marketers on how much amount you are willing to pay AdWords every single time a person clicks on your ad.

The more money you are willing to pay for PPC, there is more chance of your ad topping the search results. The word ‘chance’ needs to be stressed upon as it is not only the highest bid that pushes your ad to the top. A feature called ‘quality score’ is used by Google to determine this.

 What do you mean by Quality Score?

Google monitors your add and it is based on this observance that your add is placed. It checks how useful and relevant an ad is to the users and the search terms used by them. It also takes in account how relevant the landing page is and the number of clicks the ad has previously received, known as CTR (click-through rate).

For example, if a user search for ‘Men’s Adidas Originals’ and your ad is shown saying “buy Men’s Adidas Originals here,” once the user clicks the ad it should directly lead him/her to the page which features Men’s Adidas Originals trainers. But instead, if it goes to the generic homepage, that won’t be good enough. 

The higher quality score you can get, the better it can be. Even if your best bid is less than your rival’s bid, having a higher quality score can push your ad above your rival’s ad.

About Bidding

Every time a user clicks your ad. It will cost you some money to Google AdWords. This price which you will have to pay for each click when using their service is called the CPC (cost per click). Either you can choose a maximum bid amount, or you can opt for the automatic option. In automatic option, Google will automatically select a bid amount within the budget and (theoretically speaking) will bring the most number of clicks in that budget.

There is another option called CPM (cost-per-impression), which is not very commonly used. If you opt for this option, you will have to pay AdWords for every thousand times your ad appears on the search engine results page. In this, the user need not click through. The payment method is left to the choice of every individual.

Google AdWords takes about 0.26 seconds to look all the relevant advertisements circling a specific search term, decide to auction or not, hold the auction and work out between the maximum bid and quality score. This is the time taken for the search results to appear after entering the search term. (Provided you have an internet connection with decent speed)

Some of the successful AdWords Ads till date are given below:
  • Logo Design Guarantee
  • North American Spine
  • ThermaCare
  • POC Hiring
  • BeyondDiet.com
  • Dr. Simoni – Plastic Surgeon
  • Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery
  • 1-800-Need-Help
  • Proflowers.com and From You Flowers
  • Elance.com

What makes these AdWords Ads top the list beating all the competition around them are because of the following features:

  • Use of Numbers
  • Use of ASCII characters
  • Main focus on benefits
  • Offer proof or credibility
  • Usage of quotes
  • Questions asked
  • A strong offer is made
  • Call to action is included
The Money Spent on Ads: A Case Study

Even though some people claim there are many drawbacks to Google AdWords, the money spent on Ads by different sectors states otherwise. Almost all the business sectors have spent the significant amount of money on online advertising through the Google service which tells us that there is a large impact on people due to this online marketing/ advertising.

  • Amount spent by Finance and Insurance sector on Google pay-per-click ads: $4.0 Billion
  • Amount spent by Retailers & General Merchandise sector on pay-per-click ads: about $2.8 Billion
  • Amount spent by Travel and Tourism sector on PPC advertising with the help of AdWords: $2.4 Billion
  • Amount spent by Jobs & Education sector on Google AdWords ads: $2.2 Billion
  • Amount spent by Home and Garden sector on AdWords service: $2.1 Billion
  • Amount spent by Computer and Consumer Electronics sector on AdWords PPC ads: $2.0 Billion
  • Amount spent by the Vehicles sector on Google advertising: $2.0 Billion
  • The amount spent by Internet and Telecommunications sector on Google ads: spent $1.7 Billion
  • Amount spent by Business and Industrial sector on Google PPC ads: $1.6 Billion
  • Amount spent by Occasions and Gifts sector on ads: $1.2 Billion
The use of Google AdWords | What & Why

AdWords is Measurable and Flexible

AdWords come equipped with a lot of PPC metrics so that you can check what is working and what is not. It also can be used to show your ad for specific keyword searches, view detailed information (product images, contact info, links, directions), filter the audience on different aspects and grant access to non-search websites like YouTube, Gmail, etc.

More speed than SEO

Unlike SEO, AdWords does not take a long time to see the results. Once the campaign is live, ads will start appearing, and instant results can be observed. This can also help you to build up an effective better SEO campaign.

Controllable costs for Advertising

A daily limit on cost can be set in your online advertising campaign which will help you to stay within the total budget. This limit can be increased and decrease according to your wish.

Get ahead in the competition

Use of AdWords will help you to get ahead in competition as you will be appearing in the top search results and getting a lot of clicks. Suppose, if your competitors are also using AdWords service, the only way to beat them is by staying in the game.

Increased Brand Awareness

In addition to boosting the market, the use of AdWords will create a name for you in the market. The awareness is increased, and people usually tend to buy things whose brands they are usually aware of.

Gmail – Email marketing

The use of AdWords allows you to reach customers through the email platform also. Since 2015 Gmail ads are in use and cost less compared to search ads.

Performance measurement

Unlike the traditional means of advertising like newspapers, cable tv, brochures, etc. the performance of AdWords ads can be monitored. Monitoring helps to create changes and offers scope for improvement. Some of the things that can be monitored are people who clicked on the ad., leads generated, traffic from AdWords to the site, cost per lead, etc.

Explore more

Google AdWords helps you to explore more and in-depth. You can find out how many pages of our site have been visited, duration of visit, the bouncing rate of your page, new visitors, repeated visitors, etc. with the help of Google Analytics.

Is Google AdWords suitable for everyone’s use? Or who can use them?

One must not go for Google AdWords just because they have seen it to be useful to some other person. You must first find out if it is suitable for the kind of business you are involved in and if it is then the next step is figuring out what types of ads. can be of use to you.

Google AdWords can be of your use only if these criteria are met:

  • Only if you have an online audience for your product or service.
  • If the search terms or keywords which are related to your area of business are searched online often. This can be found out with the help of Google’s Keyword Planner.
  • Whether articles related to your service or industry are published online by online bloggers and magazines
  • Whether Google displays relevant search results related to your keywords
  • If your rival competitors are also investing in online marketing thru paid or unpaid means.
Top 10 PPC Management Firms of AdWords
  • Ignite Visibility 5060 Shoreham Place, #260, San Diego, CA 92122
  • Directive Consulting Orange County, California
  • Jellyfish Baltimore, Maryland
  • Galaxy Weblinks Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Powerweave Columbia, Maryland
  • Hanapin Marketing Bloomington, Indiana
  • USA Marketing Associates Mansfield, Massachusetts
  • Jumpfly Elgin, Illinois
  • Agency PPC Chicago, Illinois
  • ZeroCompany Dana Point, California
Drawbacks of AdWords

Unawareness: Even the perfect things will have one or two drawbacks so does Google AdWords. Even though it works so well, it has been observed by a study conducted that about 40 percent of the online consumers are not aware that the Google AdWords are advertisements. Most searchers usually skip the AdWords search results thinking it to be something unrelated or spam. This is a major drawback as it directly goes against its very own purpose.

Alternatives to Google AdWords: The Yahoo Bing Network: the YBN accounts for about 29 percent of online searches in the United States. Its own data shows that the searches made on the YBN spend about 23 percent more on the same sites from other search engines

Search engine optimization: SEO includes all the processes, methods and tactics to bring your website to the top and rank high in the results of search engines. If you have an awesome SEO, there won’t be any need for opting the paid ad. services. But experts suggest that both SEO and online ads. are vital in the area of online marketing and is effective differently.

In The End

Since Google AdWords is a powerful way to reach out to your audience, we can’t find a reason to not do it. In addition, we recommend that you use Google Analytics when you start your Adwords campaign. Google Analytics is a tool to review your ad strategy in more detail than the standard Adwords data.

If you have any useful information to add to it, feel free to share in the comments below.

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A key marketing goal for all kinds of companies, big or small, is to find successful ways to engage with their customers. Engagement facilitates two-way communication and two-way communication has considerable advantages, for companies, over one-way communication.

Giveaways are a great way to entice customer engagement. They are freebies that companies give to all or select consumers for different reasons. Giveaway campaigns are generally promotional tools and have many benefits attached to it. Here are some of the benefits of giveaway campaign in general:

  • They are a great networking tool.
  • They are one of the best and simplest lead generation strategies.
  • They offer surprisingly cost-effective and time-efficient promotional strategies.
  • They facilitate great product/service exposure.
  • They provide brands with great ways to entice brand loyalty.
  • They give brands an opportunity to communicate a fun and exciting image of themselves.

Two key components of a digital giveaway campaign are the giveaway slogan and the prize itself. A great combination of the two can help companies build very successful giveaway campaigns. The prize has to be something that customers will want; something useful, something fresh, something unique. At the same time, to get customers’ attention, the giveaway slogan has to overcome the cliché expectations that are set for it by the customers themselves.

Here’s where we come in. You decide the prizes and we will give you some great giveaway slogans that you could improvise or directly use for your campaigns.

50 Best Giveaway Slogans 
  1. It’s Giveaway O’Clock.
  2. It’s Giveaway Fever.
  3. I hear ‘Giveaways’.
  4. Warning! Giveaways Coming Your Way!
  5. Who Doesn’t Love A Giveaway?
  6. Giveaway Alert!
  7. Happiness Is A Great Giveaway.
  8. Everyone Loves A Good Giveaway.
  9. Ho-ho-ho! Giveaways For All!
  10. Just Keep Calm And Accept This Giveaway.
  11. Yup, It’s For Free. No T&C Attached.
  12. You Like Us. We Love You. Here’s A Giveaway, What To Do?
  13. Don’t Panic. It’s Just A Giveaway.
  14. Sign Up & Stand A Chance To Win.
  15. Are You In-It To Win-It?
  16. An Epic Person Deserves An Epic Giveaway!
  17. Sign Up, It’s Never Too Late!
  18. Here’s An Opportunity To Add Another Giveaway To Your Collection.
  19. Sign Me Up!
  20. I Spy A Giveaway.
  21. Spreading The Love With Giveaways!
  22. Pin It To Win It!
  23. It’s Your Friendly Neighbourhood, Giveaways!
  24. Giveaways Guaranteed For All.
  25. It’s Not A ‘Treat’, It’s A Giveaway.
  26. Limited Giveaways! Hurry Now!
  27. Sign Up Before It’s All Gone!
  28. Special Giveaway Offer Only For You!
  29. Pay Nothing, Just Accept.
  30. Exclusive Giveaway Offer.
  31. Buy Nothing But Get Something For Free.
  32. Award-Winning Giveaways!
  33. These Are Giveaways. Unavailable At Our Nearest Outlet.
  34. Yes, We Excel At Giving Away Free Stuff .
  35. Here’s What You Want, What You Really-Really Want. A Giveaway!
  36. Not Our Birthday, Just Giving Away Free Stuff.
  37. Guess Who’s Our Favourite?
  38. A Surprise Awaits You. Just Click.
  39. Don’t Buy, This Is Not A Lie.
  40. Hi, Nice To Meet You. My Name Is Giveaway.
  41. Knock-Knock. Who’s There? Giveaways!
  42. The Best Things In Life Are For Free.
  43. Here’s Something To Prove To You That You Are Always In Our Minds.
  44. Sign In For A Surprise That’s Better Than Gin.
  45. Hello Kin. Please Sign In?
  46. Can We Giveaway Something To You?
  47. How About A Nice Giveaway?
  48. What Do You Think About A Giveaway?
  49. Giveaways Bring Goodluck, Seriously!
  50. Fortune Cookie Says, Giveaway Time Is Approaching.
Best Brand Examples Using Giveaway Slogans

 No two giveaway campaigns can ever be the same. Copying a successful brand giveaway campaign is difficult simply because giveaways differ from brand to brand and hence, the impact of the prizes too, differs.  Instead of copying the strategy, it’s better to draw inspiration from such successful campaigns.

The campaigns illustrated below are all known for their ingenious use of giveaway slogans and overall success.

10. Qwertee (Free T-Shirts Giveaway, Facebook Campaign)

 

 Qwertee chose to operate this giveaway campaign focusing on simplicity. People just had to like their Facebook page to stand a chance to win a free giveaway, in this case, the giveaway being their t-shirts. The goal of the campaign was to get to 100,000 likes for their Facebook page. Instead, the campaign ended up getting 270,000 likes!

Giveaway Slogan: “Win 30 Free TEES from Qwertee.com and do no laundry for a month”.

Reason Behind Success: It’s smart, clear-cut and witty. It creative and indirectly incentivizes people to participate in the contest by highlight a unique benefit of winning the giveaway prize.

9. Dove (Giveaway Being Personal Recognition, Facebook)

 The ‘Real Beauty Should Be Shared’ campaign run by Dove is one of the most successful social media giveaway campaigns ever. It was unique in every sense of the word. Instead of offering a materialistic giveaway, Dove promised to giveaway ‘social and personal recognition’ to its participants. It was a simple fill-in-the-blank contest which required the entrant to answer questions about their friend’s beauty and what particularly made them beautiful in their eyes. The humanitarian edge of it set it apart from all other campaigns that had run online thus far.

Giveaway Slogan: “Tell us why your friend represents Real Beauty and you both could be the faces of Dove at Shoppers Drug Mart”.

Reasons Behind Success: It’s an extremely inviting slogan that calls people to enter the contest along with their friends. In addition to that, it’s unique, challenging and personal too.

8. Mark’s Work Warehouse (Free Movies For A Year Giveaway, Facebook)

Mark’s Work Warehouse designed this simple giveaway contest teaming up with Cineplex to help them give out a lucrative giveaway. By giving away free movies, they were able to attract numerous local people to their contest page, which was exactly what they were aiming for. The contest in itself was quite simple. It just required participants to fill up some basic information about themselves.

Giveaway Campaign: “Win Free Movies FOR A YEAR.”

Reasons Behind Success: Direct and straight to the point, it focuses participants attention directly on the prize which is very attractive in the case of this contest.

7. Macy’s (Gift Card Giveaway, Facebook)

 

The objective of this contest was to promote fitness clothes. However, the way it was designed and structured, it looked more like a fitness program promotion rather than a clothing promotion. That’s how  Macy’s successfully got the attention of their target audience. It was a straightforward contest, users just had to ‘like’ the Macy’s Facebook page. Because of all of this the campaign was quite successful.

Giveaway Campaign Slogan: “Get Fit With Frank Sepe.”

Reasons Behind Success: It highlights an added giveaway to the initial shopping card giveaway, knowing fully well that the fitness class giveaway is a better way to grab the attention of their target audience.

6. Gillie’s Coffee (Gift Bag Giveaway, Facebook)

 Here’s a perfect example of a nice and simple holiday giveaway campaign. It’s simple yet different. Instead of the normal cliched holiday designs and slogans, Gillie’s have done something a bit differently. It’s a nice striking holiday visual that reinforces the giveaway campaign with a heart-warming slogan. Winners would win a Gillie’s gift bag and the contest was run exclusively for their Facebook fans.

Giveaway Campaign Slogan: “Stocking Stuffer Giveaway!”

Reasons Behind Success: Creative in the way that it strikes the holiday relation, it gives a nice feel-good factor by reminding people of the gifting spirit. It’s extremely successful in promoting the holiday festivity.

5. Poof New York (Christmas Sweater Giveaway, Facebook)

The ‘Ugly Christmas Sweater’ giveaway contest was highly successful on account of the way it was executed. It was run as a referral based promotional campaign on Facebook and thus, word about the contest reached a lot of new consumers. The winner of the contest would literally win an ‘Ugly Christmas Sweater’.

Giveaway Campaign Slogan: “Enter To Win An Ugly Christmas Sweater”

Reasons Behind Success: Brutal & straightforward honesty. That’s the main reason for the success of this campaign slogan. It clearly tells consumers what to expect without sugarcoating anything.

4. Fairmont Hotels (Holiday & Gift Card Giveaway, Facebook)

 

One of the coolest bits about this contest, apart from the prize and layout of the page, was its structure. Participants were allowed to enter the contest multiple times, daily if they wished to do so. By building a giveaway contest of this fashion, Fairmont Hotels developed a substantial brand following and brand recall in the minds of its consumers. Furthermore, the entire contest for the giveaway was something that most people found interesting and hence, it garnered great popularity amongst the masses.

Giveaway Campaign Slogan: “Reveal Your Travel Personality & Win”

Reasons Behind Success: The slogan is exceptionally intriguing and inviting. It’s participative too, unlike other slogans. It leaves people with an unsatisfied curiosity which is the main reason behind its success.

3. My Sports Club (Free Membership Giveaway, Facebook)

 

Here’s an example of high modern age digital giveaway campaigns run. Much to its success, My Sports Club ran this campaign extremely professionally. It had multiple CTA button, a great layout, gym member testimonials and great imagery to attract audiences to the page. Its giveaway slogan too, was nice and crisp. The contest was quite successful racking up more than 7000 entries.

Giveaway Campaign Slogan: “Enter For A Chance To Win One Year Of Free Personal Training”

Reasons Behind Success: Direct and attractive, it clearly states what’s in it for participants who enter the contest. There’s absolutely no room left for confusion.

2. URDogs (Cash Giveaway, Facebook)

 The contest took advantage of a popular existing Facebook trend: dog picture sharing. Owners, for some reason or the other, loved posting pictures of their dogs online and URDogs decided to entice engagement by capitalizing on this existing trend. A smart move, the photo-contest got more than 2000 individual entries. The cash prize being lucrative many people who were exposed to the contest and owned a dog participated willingly.

Giveaway Campaign Slogan: “Show off your Dog and enter to win!”

Reasons Behind Success: It was quite challenging and hit the personal pride that dog owners possess very successfully. By hitting the sweet spot, it was successful in bringing in a number of entries.

1. SuperHeroStuff.com (Gift Pack Giveaway, Facebook)

SuperHeroStuff.com ran this very successful and simple giveaway campaign just before the Thanksgiving festivities set in. Festivals are great occasions to giveaway stuff especially if the festival has a gift-giving culture tied down to it. This giveaway campaign revolved around the most basic Thanksgiving question. “What are you thankful for?” And, its simplicity proved to be one of the major reasons behind its success. The campaign gathered around 1500 responses approximately and was therefore adjudged a success.

Giveaway Campaign Slogan: “What Are You Thankful For? Contest.

Reasons Behind Success: It’s straightforward and is hugely successful in establishing the Thanksgiving festival connect. Since it’s framed as a question it gives the readers a degree of importance which initiates them to participate in the contest.

Conclusion

Giveaways can play an important role in a brand’s marketing strategy when used right. We have already enlisted all the numerous advantages that a giveaway strategy has to offer to a brand. In this article, we have covered one main aspect of a giveaway strategy, the giveaway slogan.

The giveaway slogan is a crucial piece of the overall giveaway strategy. The key to mastering giveaway strategies is to find ways to marry campaigns and content seamlessly. While devising slogans, try to be creative and informative at the same time. Fluff is fine to a certain degree but avoid too much fluff. Too much fluff can ruin a perfectly good giveaway strategy.

As marketers, don’t be afraid to get creative. Let creativity guide you through all your marketing problems. Cliched’ as it may sound, creativity is the best and most foolproof of all marketing strategies. Hopefully, you found something of value in this article and learnt something from all the successfully executed giveaway campaigns done by various brands.

If you liked an idea that you saw on this page a lot, don’t copy it. Improvise on it instead!

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WordPress websites are the hottest thing on the Internet, but few know about Silo-ing; an excellent technique which instantly ups your ranking on search engines and improves the organizational structure of your WordPress website. The need for WordPress websites to be effectively organized by linking keywords is viewed as the most sought-after SEO technique. In the simplest of terms, Silo Structuring refers to strengthening the navigability of your WordPress website manifold, so that it reads like a book to your website visitors and is effortlessly indexed by search engine crawlers. Although there are hundreds of guides on the Internet that meticulously explain WordPress Silo Structure Creation, the basic idea is lost to users new to the concept. This article provides a brief overview of all the fundamentals involved in building an effective Silo Structure for your WordPress; but before we jump into complex techniques, let’s understand what Silo-ing essentially means.

What Siloing means?

Siloing in the simplest definition is the ultimate way to organize your WordPress pages and posts by doing away with the hassles of categories and tags. Siloing is a manual process which if done to perfection will result in a highly organized WordPress website.

There are two crucial uses of implementing a Silo Structure for your WordPress website:

  • SEO Boost: With the Silo technique, you can be confident that you will have outperformed your WordPress SEO strategy. A Silo Structure creates highly interlinked content which considerably reduces the indexing time required for search engines to crawl your website. Thus, your website is SEO-ready with Siloing.
  • Backlinking: With a strong Silo Structure in place, you don’t have to worry about creating backlinks because your posts are all closely knit together resulting in over 80% backlinking done by the time you share a few posts. Since backlinks make all the difference to obtaining high search rankings, Siloing in WordPress demonstrates its high efficacy.

Breaking down the Silo Structure:

Building a Silo Structure for your WordPress website does not have a rule book that lists a step by step guide. Siloing is a strategy that combines more than one optimization and organization technique, which collectively contribute to building an effective Silo. Although WordPress has categories, tags, and plugins that help in the effective organization of Posts and Menus, Siloing is much more advanced than these simple methods. 3 essential components form a part of the Siloing theory:

  • Keyword Research: Your Website needs a strong Keyword Research strategy.
  • Content Hierarchy: Your WordPress content must be categorized in a parent-child hierarchy as shown in the representation above. To do this, you must utilize WordPress Pages to arrange your content using the keywords obtained through keyword research.
  • WordPress Tools: Use Categories, Tags, Links, Breadcrumbs, and Plugins to bring order within your WordPress Content further.
The Relationship between WordPress and Siloing:

WordPress does not have an ultimate Siloing technique, but WordPress and the Silo Structure have had a very long and strong bond. There are Silo-based WordPress themes as well as Plugins that claim to introduce the Silo Structure into a WordPress site. But there are no special tools out there that will instantly help bring your content into a Silo Structure.

Actionable Steps to create a Silo Structure in WordPress 1. Start with Keyword Research:

Perform Keyword Research by starting out with the free Google Keyword Tools including;

  • The Google AdWords Keywords Tool
  • The Google Analytics Organic Report
  • The Google Analytics SEO Queries Report
  • Competitor Keyword Ranking.

Here are a few excellent ideas to have a robust Keyword Research Strategy best suited for Siloing:

  • Obtain Longtail Keywords and Secondary Keywords
  • For each parent page, get up to 5 Keywords to serve as subtopics.
  • Ensure that your keywords are relevant to the purpose of your niche, are popular in your niche, and all have high traffic.
2. Get Organizing:

When it comes to organizing the posts and pages to form a Silo Structure, there’s no other way than to get your hands down and dirty. The organization process has the following essential stages:

  • Silo Content Creation and Organization:

Create WordPress Pages which will serve as your Silo Pages. In these pages, add epic content regarding your niche. Plan your Content around the Keywords procured from Keyword Research. Plan how you will map out all the information in your website content using the keywords into an organized architecture. While creating content, focus on writing more evergreen posts (content that you don’t have to update or rewrite more often). Research well and add relevant information pertaining to your niche in your posts. Incorporate long-tail keywords and secondary keywords to make your content SEO rich.

  • Silo Pages and Supporting Blog Posts:

Next comes Blogging. Note that Silo Pages and Blog Posts are different but will mutually support each other. When it comes to Blog Posts, you don’t need to churn a mindless one every other day. Your Blog Posts must be used for your Silo Structure and must be centered around the main silo keyword. Under each Silo Page, you will need a minimum of 3 supporting blog posts.

3. The Art of Interlinking:

Interlinking holds the high priority in the Silo Structure. Interlinking makes for a close-knit website structure that’s bound to get maximum attention by search engines. Interlinking in the Silo Structure has basic ground rules that are simple enough and intuitive if you think about the overall effect they have on the site:

  • All Silo Pages must be linked to the Homepage and this is imperative as the first step in successful interlinking.
  • Parent Silo Pages must link to their child pages as a rule.
  • Supportive Posts must link to their parent pages in the same Silo.
Exceptions:
  • Child Pages may not link to cousin pages but may link to aunt/uncle pages, and always to the Main Silo.
  • Supportive Posts mustn’t link to Parent Pages in a different Silo.
Limit Link Count:

Each page must have minimal links and most of the links must point to the main Silo landing Pages. The links that do point to the silo pages must have anchor text with your relevant keywords. The reason you need to limit links on each page is so that the most important Silos are interlinked, and your search engine rank is not brought down.

Additional Silo Strategies: 1. Powerful Silo Landing Pages:

Your Silo Landing Pages will make all the difference to the effectiveness of your Silo Structured WordPress website. In order to make powerful landing pages that get you high search rankings on Google and attract traffic, the following tips will prove most useful:

  • Create Dynamic Content:

The Landing Pages for your Silo Structure must not only contain highly unique content but must regularly receive brand-new dynamic content to keep up the freshness of your site, thus getting it all the attention from Google.

  • Changing how the Category Page works for your WordPress:

In an un-Siloed WordPress website, a Category Page typically only lists sub-categories which is not very useful to our Silo strategy. To put the Category Page of your WordPress to good use, you will need to make a few changes to the category.php code for your WordPress theme. Here is the list of steps to follow to change category.php:

  • Add a unique Category Description for your Category Page. Although the Category Description does not allow for HTML Content, with the use of a suitable plugin you can add HTML in the form of Links and Images to further improve the Category Description’s utility.
  • Interlink Child Silo Pages for the category in the Category Page.
  • Use the Sticky Posts Feature to add in a few relevant posts in the Category Page.

Here is a visual representation of what your Category Page should look like:

Source: http://scratch99.com/wordpress/wp-seo/siloing/

2. Having an official Home Page:

Your site needs a Home Page which also needs content that will describe and navigate to the top-level Silo Pages. To do this, you can use the ‘Static Home Page’ function in WordPress where you can input content that describes and is relevant to the main silo pages. Don’t forget to interlink the main Silo Pages here.

3. Fixing the Recent Posts Sidebar Widget to be inclusive of Silo Strategy:

The ‘Recent Posts Sidebar Widget’ in WordPress generally lists the most recent posts published on your WordPress website. When this widget is added to a Silo Page, it breaks the uniform Silo structure by interlinking to posts in other Silo Pages. To make this widget list posts from the current Silo page alone, the following code will work best when inserted into your function.php:

// initialise widget

function sjc_silo_widget_init() {

if ( function_exists( ‘register_sidebar_widget’ ) && function_exists( ‘register_widget_control’ ) ) {

register_sidebar_widget( ‘Latest Silo Posts’, ‘sjc_silo_latest_widget’ );

}

}

add_action( ‘plugins_loaded’, ‘sjc_silo_widget_init’ );

// create widget

function sjc_silo_latest_widget( $args ) {

$sidebar_category = get_the_category();

// if we have a category and we’re on a normal post / page / cpt page call the function

if ( $sidebar_category[0] && ! is_front_page() && is_single() ) {

extract( $args );

sjc_silo_latest_content( $sidebar_category[0], $before_widget, $after_widget );

}

}

// echo the sidebar – called by widget, can also be called directly

function sjc_silo_latest_content( $this_sidebar_category = null, $before_widget = null, $after_widget = null ) {

global $post;

if ( ! empty( $this_sidebar_category ) ) :

$posts_in_this_category = get_posts( ‘category__in=’ . $this_sidebar_category->cat_ID . ‘&exclude=’ . $post->ID );

if ( count( $posts_in_this_category ) > 0 ) { ?>

<?php echo $before_widget; ?>

<h2 class=”widget-title”>Latest from <?php echo $this_sidebar_category->cat_name; ?></h2>

<ul style=”margin-bottom:10px;”>

<?php foreach ( $posts_in_this_category as $sidebar_value ) : ?>

<li><a href=”<?php echo get_permalink( $sidebar_value->ID ); ?>” title=”<?php echo $sidebar_value->post_title; ?>”><?php echo $sidebar_value->post_title; ?></a></li>

<?php endforeach; ?>

</ul>

<a href=”<?php echo get_category_link($this_sidebar_category->term_id ); ?>”>More from <?php echo $this_sidebar_category->cat_name; ?></a>

<?php echo $after_widget; ?>

Notes on Silo Implementation for Unstructured WordPress Site

Once you’ve realized the immense potentiality of a Silo structured WordPress website, you may want to incorporate Silo for your existing website containing existing content. In order to implement Silo for an existing site that’s receiving traffic and ranking for keywords (although poorly), the following tips will come handy:

  • Find out what Keywords your site ranks for and turn them into sub-niches.
  • Map your existing blog posts in a way that they sit under a single category rather than a few different categories. Each category must contain at least 3 blog posts so make this change for all the posts on your existing site.
  • Your Category Names must match your Silo names. Categories that do nothing to improve your Silo Structure must be removed.
  • Edit your Pages to add keyword content and interlink sub-posts and sub-silos in them.
Silo Structure Facts

Here are a few interesting facts about Siloing in WordPress which will be helpful while you’re at it:

The Right Conditions for Siloing:

So, when do you know its time to Silo your WordPress site? Is Siloing an option or are there indications that tell you it’s time to reorganize your ordinary site into a Silo Structured site? You know Siloing can save the day for you under the following circumstances:

  • Your Site targets few keywords.
  • Your Site is chaos in the flesh and everything including posts, pages, categories appear highly disorganized.
  • You have a specific page that you want to rank highly for keyword(s).
  • Your site seems averse to Organic Traffic.
  • You’re starting out on creating a brand-new WordPress website. This is an excellent opportunity to own a high ranking, beautifully SEO-optimized WordPress website by adding Silo implementation to your development strategy from scratch.
The Indispensable Benefits of Siloing:

Siloing is highly recommended for all WordPress sites. The benefits are too great to be ignored.

  • For one, Siloing is a very safe method with no deceptive strategies to outwit Google. As such, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from Sioing your WordPress site.
  • With Siloing, Organization is at its peak and all your content and information is neatly placed and waiting for Google to sniff it out. A Silo Structure has many similarities to an Information Architecture Model which renders it high appeal.
  • Silo Structure is a friend of SEO and with this structure in place, you can rest assured that your SEO game is on point.
To Sum Up

Websites need regular maintenance and updation, and this fact holds relevance to a Silo Structured WordPress Site as well. If you neglect your site, search rankings will drop before you realize. This is attributed to the fact that keyword rankings and search algorithms change every other day and your site must adapt to these changes as soon as they arrive. With a Silo Structure in place, ongoing maintenance becomes mandatory. Perform Keyword Research every time you obtain new content to add to your site. Add new content to appropriate Silos and weed out everything that attempts to spoil or bring down the strength of your overall Silo Structure.

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Blogging has evolved tremendously since 1994 when the first blog was written. Today around 53% of the marketers rely on content purely to drive traffic to an official blog. The percentage clears all the doubts about the blog being a reliable channel to drive traffic to your website.

Out of 3 billion active websites, 650 million are active blogs that range from official blogs to entertainment blogs. The question that remains unanswered is how many of them are successful and WHY?

You may start a blog for multiple reasons, but the goal remains the same as always.

We witness bloggers developing quality content, adding visual content, posting frequently and what not to drive revenue. There are hundreds of blogs proclaiming to reveal the secret behind successful bloggers. The hard fact is there is no magic potion to make a blog successful; it needs your brain and heart put together to make it work. One thing that comes easy to you in the ecosystem of blogging is learning from the leaders who made it to the top.

Over the last few years, blogging got its share of recognition as a potent marketing tool for the enterprises also. A well and strategically built blog play a pivotal role in any organizations growth today but what is important is to understand the strategy that will work for you. As the blog can be easily propagated over the social media channels, they both share a symbiotic relationship to increase the website traffic. With each company today having a dedicated blog page or using the acronym knowledge, we are seeing blogging going a long way to bring traffic to websites. As a very lost cost incurring channel as compared to the jitter SEO techniques, blogging establishes you as a subject matter expert who imparts knowledge to the visitors. This is a trust developing channel that is far more valuable than just ranking high with nothing to offer.

Learn From These Case Studies

Check out these 10 spot-on case studies, purely backed by stats of how they increased the organic reach of the blog & increase the organic traffic:

#1 – 850% increase in sales leads – Louis E. Page

Louis E. Page blogging success is a perfectly-quoted example of what a blog can do your business with just organic traffic.   Louis E. Page did enough of groundwork to understand what his target audience was looking for. This is where many of the bloggers of the year 2018 fail. Most of them run into a rat race trying to copy the competitor’s strategy and staying limited. The best part of blogging is that you are open to unleash your creativity to your audience and that is what Louis E. Page an old-school marketer did.

    Source: Louispage.com

Key takeaway:

Louis E. Page remained consistent with developing valuable content like a white-paper on the How to build a horse paddock using Woven-wire fencing that alone received 1500 downloads. It was pure organic traffic that downloaded the Whitepaper because it was an exceptional content that the audience was looking for. What we found unique about his blog page is that there is no skimmed knowledge, each blog is well detailed and offers a small Question and answer section at the end of the page that saves the blog visitors time of hopping to other websites or FAQs page for better understanding. The blog projected the company as a trustworthy source of information in fencing.

#2 – A single blog increased landing page traffic by 59% – Snack Traffic

It may sound unusual because it is. Not because it is not possible but no one does it so perfectly and that is why reaching 59% jump in traffic figure seems unusual. Snack traffic proved that there is no need to stay in the crowd. While the blog page was not bringing any revenues, the SEO team sat down to churn the core of their blogging technique that leads to the facts that they were using keywords where the traffic was very high but the keyword buyers were big fishes who were ranking very high on these keywords.

What they did after that is what everyone must follow. They studied the content their competitors were posting and as was expected it was found that the competitors were purely focusing on ranking high without offering any value in their content. They engaged with the bloggers who wrote for them and with the customers and came up with a blog that had listed the most concrete wellness programs from the actual buyers.

Source: backlinko.com

Key Takeaway:

It may sound like it took one blog to earn 10,000 blog page traffic every month but it took deep competitor analysis, right keyword selection, and engagement with real customers to attain those amazing stats.

#3 – A Whooping 2.7 times increase in website traffic- Kinaxis

Kinaxis had been blogging for quite some time but were not quite sure if their efforts were yielding results. When they planned to move to social media for marketing, hardly did they know that their blogs would help them garner a lot of customer attention. The key remained the same to develop highly customer focused blogs rather than mere promotional content.

This approach of blogging led to 3.2 times increase in their traffic conversion. A unique technique they used to change the landscape of blogging was instead of just Kinaxis employees were blogging on the official page, they opened up gates for leading industry experts to write blogs on their official page.

Source: Kinaxis.com

Key takeaway:

A new approach to traditional blogging where their website took credit of experts putting across their articles on the official blog page leads to a tremendous increase in traffic.

#4 – From 0 to 1.5 million footfall monthly – Buffer

Let us talk realistically. Buffer did not reach this figure overnight. It took them around six years of hard work to achieve consistency in their monthly traffic. They lost and learned over the journey of 6 years and that is how they are now the best content developers in their niche. They kept a record of how each of their posts performed. They tracked down the engagement, stay time, shares, likes and more of each blog that went online. It was derived that long-form educational blogs were bringing in a major share of monthly traffic and Buffer team kept on getting better at it as they learned and adapted quickly.

Source: Bufferapp.com

Key Takeaway

Buffer’s blog is all about keeping up with the trends in their niche and bringing across statements of influential experts in their niche. Working with a highly focused approach, the team optimizes the headline of the post and focuses on updating the old well-performing posts with valuable updates and republishing them

#5 – 15% increase in their traffic – Hinda Incentives

Hinda Incentives plugged in the opportunity of zero availability of informational and conversational blog in its business niche of corporate incentive programs.  They began with a purely conversational blog which would help customers make an informed decision in buying incentive programs. They garnered a lot of customer attention by being the first mover in this space and till today they remain the center of all the conversations that happen on the blog.

Key Takeaway

If your services are yet to be on a blogging platform, start one today and be steady with educational blogs that allow the subscribers to talk discuss various aspects so that they are able to take a right decision just like with Hinda Incentives, the monthly website visit is around 1000.

#6 – Built the right content to earn backlinks – The Renegade Pharmacy

Mere blogging the traditional way will not work wonders. A business must evolve with the changing landscape of blogging and that is what Renegade Pharmacy did and earned more than 1,000 organic backlinks. Creating an infographic that went viral 2 months after it was posted on their blog, earned The Renegade Pharmacy its share of glory. The infographic talked about how Coke effects your body.

The infographics earned lots of backlinks for them, coming from authority websites and that led to an increase in the number of keywords for which The Renegade Pharmacist website ranked for.

Source:  Ahrefs.com

Key Takeaway

Renegade Pharmacist became a domain authority with a simple infographic that put together what all the audience already knew but the Renegade Pharmacy pulled out a bigger picture out of it that was innovative and thought-provoking. This type of content intrigues the audience and benefits the blog page. One has to be innovative in every 2-3 posts.

#7 – Infographics driven blog page – KISSmetrics

Achieving the ladder rank of 2.5 million visitors and 4,000 backlinks from mere 47 infographics – Is it common?

In less than a year is no child’s play. There is some serious blogging going on KISSmetrics in a unique way. Yes, they do long-form educational and informational blog post but did you notice the difference? They focus a lot on developing infographics offering the readers a clear picture of what is going around in the article.

Their infographics talk about data that is available to them and represent it to its readers in the most simple and digestible form. With the quality of infographics, they go their links from authority websites like Forbes and Huffington Post at the cost of just building the infographic.

Source: QuickSprout.com

Key Takeaway

Visual representation of data is the best way to make your content more presentable and readable. KISSmetrics focused on creating the best infographics that are self-propagated pieces of content.

#8 – A single post received 4,865 views in a view by only organic traffic – Vero

You read it right, the single post led to 953 email signups and 256 free trial signups for Vero. The first look at the page reveals a lot about the hard work that went into the creation of the single post.

It was one of its kinds with the most appropriately priced keywords with right traffic density and an information-wise rich 5000+ word blog led to the amazing success. Easily navigable post that connected so well to the practical world made waves of a sensation among the audience. As per an email marketing organization, the post was shared more than 5,000 times on social media and earned multiple backlinks to the website.

The prime player part of the Vero content strategy is that they focus on developing highly actionable content. They do develop long-form content but they highlight the actions one needs to take very prominently so that if a reader is in a hurry he knows the key points and can act on it immediately. This way they sacrifice the stay time of the blog to earn market credibility as a blogger who intends to make things easier for his readers.

Source: Backlinko.com

Key takeaway

They spent time planning the blog content and extracted the most valuable data to back their blog. It was a beautifully woven content that required a meticulous effort of bloggers, market researches, and graphic designers. Vero’s single post success if a proof of a quality effort with an innovative approach offers 360-degree coverage to the requirements of a viral blog.

#9 – The new blog follows up competitor success – Honorable mention

While we do focus on being innovative and creative, it is important not to lose focus on what your competitor is up to and that is what Honorable mention did to achieve 800 views on a single blog post. It was quite a marketing technique rather than the blogging technique but if it worked for them, it could work for you too. The team Honorable mention piggybacked the success of a competitor blog post.

What they did was, put their thoughts about the competitor blog post in their own blog. They pointed to our few things that could have been better and offered a page to readers to get into a conversation that leads to a grand success.

Source: Socialtriggers.com

Key Takeaway

It is not a strongly recommended strategy but keeping your eyes open to what your competitor is up to and it may do no harm to follow up on their glory and win some leads for your website.

#10 – 70 times higher return on investment – Slidebean

If you ask as to exemplify targeted advertising, it would be Slidebean that is currently at 50,000+ website visitors every month. Slidebean laid a strong emphasis on keeping its blogging roots strong by selecting the right domain name. While they used advertising partly to get traffic to their blog post, they focused on segmented marketing and precise keyword selection that would bring them maximum traffic.

The team kept on improvising its blogging techniques and decided to keep the content real so that the audience would connect with what they are reading. How they achieve it? They choose the topics and competitors rather than just working randomly.

It took them 12 months to reach 70 times more Return on investment by reaching qualified traffic.

Source: Slidebean.com

Key takeaway

You do not always need to buy backlinks and heavy traffic keywords to achieve astounding success. But a well put content strategy and focused effort makes sure your money does not go down the drain. After they strategize the content, its summary and writers persona, they always give it a thorough read to pick out any gaps that could lead to the saturation of the audience.

Bonus Tip for Multiplying the Organic Reach of your Website Value your content

Cisco, the leader of networking solutions recently has always been active on social media and its blogging channel. They were yet to find its impact in real data so the team decided to launch a new router product and market it only via its content strategy that is to develop simple technical content that is of great value and unparallel. This content was shared only over social media channels and helped Cisco reach the anticipated goals shot by just $100,000 and this campaign grabbed its position in top five launches of the company’s history.

It was pure good quality content that did the job for Cisco.

To Wrap Up

A successful blog is an ideal mix of traditional blogging approach and trending strategies to achieve the success you desire. If you plan to choose content marketing overpaid SEO, the prior requires much less investment but a little more focused effort to yield fantastic results that propagate with the same level of effort.

The factors that drive content marketing is Keyword research, backlink building, developing infographics, long-form non-promotional content and upgrading the existing content. Put a good thought into the headline of your content as it is the face of what lies inside and make sure you post with consistency or your return on investment will drop. Creating a blog and mere publishing will not work; you need to share it along the powerful social media accounts that establish you as a market influencer. If you wish to gain more organic traffic for your blog, your strategy will play the pivotal role.

INFORMATION SOURCE:

  1. http://www.louispage.com/blog
  2. https://backlinko.com/white-hat-seo
  3. https://blog.kinaxis.com/page/6/
  4. http://blog.hinda.com/
  5. https://backlinko.com/content-strategy
  6. https://socialtriggers.com/new-blog-increase-traffic/
  7. https://slidebean.com/blog/marketing/content-marketing-the-real-cost
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