Loading...

Follow Digital Squad on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

Every brand has a story, and customers flock to brands who have an authentic and powerful story. So how can you create a successful brand story that will help you connect with your customers?

What is a brand story and why do you need one?

Your brand story is much more than an About Us page. It embodies who you are and what you stand for, setting the bar for what consumers expect from you in-store and online.

Today’s consumers are more discerning than ever. They’re not just after good deals anymore – instead, they crave a compelling backstory and an ethos that aligns with their values. A strong brand story will create consumer goodwill and generate loyalty among your customers, as well as drawing in new customers who connect with your message.

Simply put, your brand story should follow the typical story arc of problem, solution and finally, success.

How to develop your brand story

What’s your why?

An overarching ‘why’ needs to hold your brand story together. This could be sustainability, customer service, social benefit or any other purpose that underpins what your company does. You can identify your why by thinking of why you founded your business and what it contributes to the community. Did you notice a gap in the market? Was it a passion project of yours that developed into something greater? People love a love story, so this is your chance to elaborate on your passions, dreams and ambitions.

Remember that consumers are drawn to products and services that solve a problem for them or enrich their lives, so this should be captured in your ‘why’.

How does your product fit in?

Now that you’ve defined your key brand message, you need to work out how your product fits into it. Even the strongest brand story will only engage, not sell, and must be related to your product in order to generate sales.

To work this out, think about the quality and price point of your offering, whether it solves a problem or is intended to make the customer feel a certain way and what your USPs are compared to your competitors.

Know your audience

Your brand story is speaking directly to your audience, so you must thoroughly understand who you are talking to. What lights their fire? What keeps them up at night? Consider asking yourself who your current customer is and whether this differs from your ideal customer, and conduct some market research to understand who you are actually selling to. Remember that a general brand story targeted at everyone will fail to truly connect with anyone.

Start off by thinking of the values that your company stands for, and what sort of consumer is likely to relate to these.

Bring your story to life

Once you’ve developed your brand story, you need to start implementing it across different areas of your business.

Your brand story needs to be communicated in a consistent manner across all channels, whether that be to your employees, in your physical store, on your website, across your social media platforms and on your logo.

These channels should also be utilised to live your brand story – consumers should be able to see you abiding by your values, demonstrating the relevance of your backstory and your ongoing narrative. The content you create should centre around your value proposition as identified earlier.

Future products should also abide by your brand story as closely as possible. One way to ensure this is by creating and documenting branding guidelines, capturing everything from your storefront sign to your social media tone of voice. Specifically, the brand story guidelines can include:

  • Beginning, middle, and end to your brand story
  • Logo, typography, and visual style guidelines
  • Brand voice and tone
  • Slogan
  • Mission and vision
  • Brand values

By clearly documenting all these elements, you can also ensure consistency in the event of outsourcing to a marketing or design agency.

A success story

Want to see what a successful brand story looks like? SoulCycle is a brilliant example – with the challenge of justifying their high-end price point, the team needed to focus on some pretty powerful USPs.

SoulCycle promises a near-spiritual workout experience, one in which you can connect with like-minded people and feel like you are truly part of a community. Empowering and motivating, people are willing to pay the heftier cost due to SoulCycle’s unique messaging.

Branding and your overall marketing strategy

In order to identify your story and journey, brands must walk alongside customers. By fleshing out your story in accordance with the tips above, you can develop a strong brand that will inform all your future marketing efforts.

When it comes to going beyond branding, enlist the help of your digital marketing company Auckland – Digital Squad. Contact our team today for a candid chat on how to take your digital marketing to the next level. We also provide Google Adwords Management, Content Marketing Auckland, Remarketing Strategies and Facebook Marketing Auckland

Hania Syed is a Melbourne-based content specialist with a passion for marketing and storytelling. When she’s not writing, she can be found exploring the city’s cafes or libraries. You can visit her at www.haniasyed.com or www.linkedin.com/in/haniasyed

The post What Makes a Powerful Brand Story? appeared first on DIGITAL SQUAD.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

In today’s oversaturated digital media space, engagement is hard to come by. With everyone begging for likes and follows, it can be hard to develop a committed fan base and garner genuine engagement. Simply posting ‘Like our page!’ is no longer enough – instead, businesses have to strive to deepen and retain engagement among their fans.

Hootsuite phrase this sentiment beautifully when they suggest that business owners “should be treating social media engagement like a dinner party—welcoming people in, and encouraging conversation between the host and the guests.”

What is engagement?

It can be hard to understand the tangible benefits of high engagement as the metrics don’t have a concrete outcome like an increase in sales or mailing list subscriptions. However, this doesn’t mean you should overlook engagement in your Facebook marketing efforts, or on any of your other social media profiles. It is in fact a critical aspect of a strong brand, helping you to gain a competitive edge, increase customer loyalty and retention, and create new brand advocates.

Engagement can come in the form of likes, follows, shares/retweets, comments and click-throughs. The different stages of engagement are:

  • Consuming content
    Any piece of content that is consumed (i.e. viewed), no matter how passively
  • Show of support
    Likes or follows are small actions that point towards fan interaction and participation.
  • Speaking up
    Comments and DMs are the next level of engagement, with the fan directly reaching out to you in some way. Any dialogue demonstrates deeper engagement.
  • Brand ambassadorship
    A committed fan will begin to share your content and products with their own friends, whether that’s by sharing a post or leaving a glowing review. Even a small promotion is significant, as such an investment can be risky for the fan themselves
  • Attendance  
    Attending brand events is a big time and energy commitment for your fan, so it certainly means a lot if they do show up. Fans who view live streams or webinars can also be counted in this figure, as they have to be present at a specific time.
  • Generating content (UGC)
    Truly engaged and passionate fans can’t wait to contribute to your brand in some way. This can be through taking pictures of themselves with your product, writing blog posts, making videos and organising fan meetups. This is insanely valuable, as your fans are essentially giving you free publicity!

So how can you go about driving some of the types of engagement discussed above?

Provide valuable content

People will only engage with content that they can relate with and connect to. This could be something entertaining, informative, uplifting or educational – as long as it is a high-quality piece that truly provides value to your audience instead of trying to shove a product down their throats, they will be more inclined to engage with it.

Ask questions

There’s one thing we know for sure about the human race: we love talking about ourselves. Fans will relish the chance to respond to anything that invites them to share their opinion or answer a question. Some ways to garner this sort of interaction include:

  • Launching a quiz or ‘test your knowledge’ game
  • Posting a poll (which has the added benefit of providing you with valuable intel)  
  • Posting a question, be it in a status, story update, group or anything else.
Provide offers

Incentivising engagement is an effective strategy, and by providing offers to your fan base, you can encourage them to leave comments, share your post, tag a friend or complete any other action you desire. Some ideas of offers include:

  • Coupons and discounts they can use immediately
  • Memberships
  • Free shipping
Incentivise and reward

To get your hands on that valuable user-generated content, run competitions and showcase members of your community. Get users to submit photos for the chance to win a prize, or feature a different fan every month on your page.

Make an impression

Of course, any engagement campaign needs to have a solid strategy behind it. Digital Squad, your SEO agency Auckland, can provide our insights and expertise, helping you unite your social media efforts with your overall digital marketing strategy. Get in touch with our friendly team to discuss developing a winning Facebook marketing or digital strategy for your business. 

As an official Google Partner, we provide Google Adwords Marketing and Remarketing. We also provide content marketing Auckland.

Hania Syed is a Melbourne-based content specialist with a passion for marketing and storytelling. When she’s not writing, she can be found exploring the city’s cafes or libraries. You can visit her at www.haniasyed.com or www.linkedin.com/in/haniasyed

The post How to Drive Hyper Engagement Among Fans appeared first on DIGITAL SQUAD.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Customer reviews are now ubiquitous with the modern business landscape. According to Bright Local’s Local Consumer Review Survey, 86% of customers read reviews for local businesses, and they also need to see an average of 10 reviews before they trust a business.

The power of online reviews simply cannot be ignored. They have the ability to affect your local search ranking, which results get surfaced and are clicked on, and of course, consumer purchasing decisions. This means that business owners must know how to generate online reviews as well as manage their online reputation in order to draw in new customers and keep existing customers happy.

Online reviews and local SEO

In the words of the brains behind Shopify, “local search engines love online reviews for one reason: Consumers love online reviews.” In fact, the MOZ Local Search Ranking Factors Survey determined that online reviews make up around 10% of how search engines decide to rank results. The different variables are broken up by this chart:

Now that we’ve recognised the significance of online reviews, how can we go about acquiring reviews that will boost your online profile?

How to get online reviews

The first step is to figure out which review websites are relevant to your business. To work this out, try searching for your industry name + reviews on Google. For example, a search for “lawyer + reviews” comes up with reviews on OneFlare and Word of Mouth, indicating that that’s where you should try to generate reviews or engage with customers who have already left reviews.

Before you embark upon this mission, make sure to brush up on the guidelines for different review websites. Many, for example, forbid soliciting or incentivising reviews, meaning you need to act carefully when trying to generate reviews.

Regardless of your industry or niche, the site that is relevant to everyone is, of course, Google. In order to have a strong presence on Google, you will first need to claim your Google My Business page if you haven’t already. A quick rundown of the essential features of a Google My Business page are:

  • A detailed and unique business description (i.e. not copy-pasted from your website, social media or other review page)
  • Correctly identified categories
  • Clear opening times
  • Photos
  • A local phone number and address
  • Customer reviews

Once your Google My Business page is setup and you’ve established a presence on the relevant review sites, you can start drawing in customers to leave reviews. This can be done by:

  • Finding a review handout generator online to give to customers, which will act as a step-by-step guide on how to leave a glowing review for you on Google.
  • Adding links to your review profiles on your website and social media
  • Training staff to ask customers for a review when providing service, checking them out or resolving a problem for them
Managing your online reputation

Reviews can make or break your online reputation, so once they start pouring in, you’ll need to watch them carefully in order to manage your reputation and customer relations. Google Alerts can notify you every time your business is mentioned online, allowing you to proactively respond to compliments and complaints alike.

Spotting a negative review, particularly an unjust one, may get your blood boiling. However, before deleting the comment or firing back at the customer, allow yourself to simmer down. Remember that online reviews are a space for both negative and positive opinions to be shared. A respectful reply that seeks to remedy the gripe will leave a better impression on the disgruntled customer as well as any potential customers who come upon the review. Negative reviews can also provide you with valuable feedback, allowing you to improve your service or product offering.

Harnessing the power of both negative and positive online reviews will help you promote your SEO, direct sales, web traffic, reputation and business development. Taking on board the information above will allow you to build a strategy that maximises the power of reviews and benefits both your business and customers.

Fine Tune your Local SEO with Digital Squad

In addition to basking in the glory of wonderful reviews, you want to make sure every other aspect of your local SEO is functioning beautifully. For this, reach out to your SEO specialist Auckland – Digital Squad. Get in touch with our team for an open and honest chat on all things SEO to get all the insights on boosting your SEO.

As an official Google Partner, we also provide Google Adwords Marketing and Remarketing. We can also help you with Facebook Marketing Auckland and Content marketing Auckland.

Hania Syed is a Melbourne-based content specialist with a passion for marketing and storytelling. When she’s not writing, she can be found exploring the city’s cafes or libraries. You can visit her at www.haniasyed.com or www.linkedin.com/in/haniasyed

The post How to Use the Power of Customer Reviews to Boost Local SEO appeared first on DIGITAL SQUAD.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

There are a number of metrics that business owners and marketers have to wrap their head around, meaning it can be challenging to keep up with it all. One of the most important metrics to educate yourself on are your bounce rate analytics, as these figures directly affect your SEO.

Your bounce rate reveals the percentage of people that land on your site but don’t take any action on the page they reach. Because they haven’t clicked any links, a ‘read more’ tab, menu item or anything else on your page, the Google Analytics server never receives a trigger from the visitor. The user has therefore bounced off your page, never engaging with the landing page and ending their visit after glancing at just one page.

The bounce rate therefore helps you ascertain the quality and relevance of your page to the audience. A high bounce rate indicates that visitors aren’t finding what they are looking for when they reach your page, that the content is low quality or that the audience doesn’t match the purpose of the page. In some rare cases, a high bounce rate can instead mean your visitors immediately found what they were looking for.

Google calculates your bounce rate by dividing the number of single-page sessions with all sessions, or the percentage of all sessions in which users only viewed a single page.

The relationship between your bounce rate and SEO

Understanding your bounce rate will help you to optimise your site better, thereby increasing your rankings. However, remember that a high bounce rate doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. If the page in question is simply designed to be a contact or address page, it’s perfectly understandable that visitors will quickly drop by to get your details and then leave.

If, on the other hand, you are hoping for engagement, a high bounce rate is a very concerning stat. A simple solution is checking to see whether your calls-to-action are clear – a well placed ‘subscribe to our newsletter’ or ‘call us now’ button can work wonders.

Now, your bounce rate isn’t something the Google algorithm directly considers, but that doesn’t mean it has no effect on your SEO. RankBrain, which seeks to improve search results for users by understanding their search intent, listed the bounce rate as the third-most important ranking factor of Google’s algorithm. If a user leaves your page without interacting further, RankBrain may think you are not meeting the searcher intent adequately and may therefore view you as unworthy of a high rank. Furthermore, a lower bounce rate means a better user experience as well as greater chance of conversions and sales.

Understanding and reducing your bounce rate

But how can you know what sort of bounce rate you should actually be aiming for, and what you can do about improving yours? According to Brafton, the average bounce rate is 58.18%, although the figures vary depending on the type of business in question.

In order to understand your bounce rate, you need to segment your figures and assess all the possible variables, as otherwise you are simply looking at one nebulous statistic. Some options include segmenting by age, gender, affinity, location, new vs returning visitors, browser, device, acquisition and landing page.

You may find, for example, that returning visitors consume your content eagerly, while new visitors are simply clicking away from it. This can help you modify your content or your page design for different audiences.

Now that you have an understanding of the metrics, you can begin optimising your site through an A/B testing process. This means trialling different types of content and designs to determine which one visitors respond to better. You should monitor your site consistently and optimise it accordingly to ensure that your visitors’ changing preferences are addressed.

If you focus on providing value to your visitors and follow best practices, your bounce rates will decrease while your conversions increase.

Understand your Analytics with Digital Squad

While your bounce rate is an important metric to take stock of, we know you have a million other analytics and insights to delve into, all while also running your business! Entrust the task to Digital Squad instead, the leading digital marketing team in New Zealand. Simply get in touch with one of our SEO experts for a candid chat on improving your bounce rate as well as optimising your site from every angle.

Hania Syed is a Melbourne-based content specialist with a passion for marketing and storytelling. When she’s not writing, she can be found exploring the city’s cafes or libraries. You can visit her at www.haniasyed.com or www.linkedin.com/in/haniasyed

The post What is your Bounce Rate and Why Does it Matter for SEO? appeared first on DIGITAL SQUAD.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

We all know that providing useful, generous content is a winning approach for content marketing. But how can you find out what people are searching for in order to perfectly tailor content to their needs?

The answer lies in Answer the Public. The website is an excellent starting point for content marketers wanting to see what questions people want answered around a particular term.

Aside from having a very entertaining home page, Answer the Public can work wonders for your content marketing efforts.

So, what is Answer the Public?

This nifty website acts as a consumer insight tool, combining suggested searches from Bing and Google into a search cloud. Divided into categories such as why, where and what, the diagram generated gives an overview of what kinds of questions consumers are searching for (as seen in the example below when we searched for ‘digital marketing’).

What are the benefits for content marketers?

Answer the Public is a useful tool for content marketers for the following reasons:

  • It provides deep insight into what your audience are searching for
  • It assists with keyword research
  • It lets you optimise long tail key phrases
  • It shows you how to phrase questions to get into Google’s featured snippets

Let’s delve a little deeper into each of these perks.

Insight into your Audience

Researching your target audience is an essential step in any content marketing strategy. While tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights have their place, Answer the Public can also be used to get some valuable insights. Answer the Public can reveal questions of a more personal nature than what people may be publicly posting on Facebook, for example. This allows you to craft content that directly answers your audience’s questions, especially when it comes to embarrassing medical or relationship concerns.

Keyword Research

Putting your chosen keyword into Answer the Public instantly reveals a plethora of other searches, shedding light on some of the terminology and phrasing your audience is using. You can then use these terms to gather more data using a tool like SEMrush, providing you with more information on the best keywords to use. Remember that a mix of generic and long-tail key phrases will increase your relevance according to the Google algorithm.  

Optimise for Long-Tail Key Phrases

Because Answer the Public shows you exactly how your audience is phrasing their questions, you’ll be able to better work these key phrases into your content. A clever way of sticking exactly to the phrasing provided by Answer the Public is to format them into a FAQs section or as subheadings in a how-to guide. After some further keyword research, you can optimise your content for more long-tail key phrases that are less competitive.

Google’s Featured Snippets

What if I told you there was a way you could appear on the first page of Google twice, organically? If done right, this can be possible with Google’s featured snippets.

Featured snippets are bits of information that Google presents as answers to user questions so that they do not have to click through to a website. Having your content appear in a featured snippet not only provides you with incredible exposure, but also establishes you as a thought leader in the minds of your audience.

Structured and concise content that provides exact answers to the questions your audience are asking is a solid first step. Providing valuable content at a glance is an excellent way of drawing people in for more, with further optimisation increasing your chance of appearing as a featured snippet.

Answer the Public operates on a freemium model, and can be well worth the Pro version for some businesses. However, even with the limitations of the free version, valuable insights can be gained using this nifty tool.  

Delve deeper with Digital Squad

Want to take your keyword research to the next level? Speak to the leading SEO agency in Auckland, Digital Squad, for an in-depth content marketing strategy designed to serve you.

Hania Syed is a Melbourne-based content specialist with a passion for marketing and storytelling. When she’s not writing, she can be found exploring the city’s cafes or libraries. You can visit her at www.haniasyed.com or www.linkedin.com/in/haniasyed

The post How to Use ‘Answer the Public’ in your Content Marketing Efforts appeared first on DIGITAL SQUAD.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Once you have products to sell and content to promote, you have many options for distributing these images or text in front of your target audience. You want to reach the right people, control the message that they see, and track how successful your distribution efforts are.

As you were looking for solutions, you may have stumbled upon outreach marketing. This is different from the outdated outbound marketing strategies of yesterday. Outreach marketing blends the power of social media with influencers who reach a particular audience and know how to sell products. And those products could be yours!

What Is Outreach Marketing?

Outreach marketing is the process of building a network of brands, influencers, and content creators who share a similar interest with your company.

Think of an endorsement deal. An athlete is paid a sum of money to wear a certain brand of shoes. When the athlete’s fans see the athlete wearing the shoes, they are more likely to go out and buy those shoes. The factors behind this purchase decision could include an increased brand awareness or even the desire to be like the athlete that they admire.

Outreach marketing is like endorsement deals, but usually on a smaller scale. The influencers in your network are not household names. They rarely generate big news and before you do your research, you may scratch your head saying, “who?” But they have a loyal fan base who watch their YouTube videos, engage with their Instagram content, and buy the products that they sell on social media.

Where Does Outreach Marketing Take Place?

Outreach marketing is more valuable on some social media platforms than others. In order to influence your audience, content creators will need to build a relationship directly with their followers through visual content and storytelling. They can usually be found on the following websites:

Facebook

A survey on Collective Bias revealed a lot about the importance of influencer marketing. Facebook turned out to be the most influential social media platform; 19% of purchase decisions can be traced back to a Facebook post. If you can get your products endorsed or reviewed by influencers who are big on Facebook, you’ll start to see sales spike.

YouTube

YouTube is right behind Facebook in influencing purchase decisions; 18% of purchase decisions are influenced by a YouTube video. YouTube was essentially the birthplace of influencer marketing as we know it today. Top influencers have over 13 million subscribers on YouTube. Long-form YouTube content can include product reviews and how-to guides for using products, so it is a great place for brands to showcase their products.

Instagram

Instagram is another visual platform that is key for influencers who want to make it big. (That’s right…69.4% of influencers took on this role so that they could make revenue from brands.)  If you thought that 13 million subscribers is a huge number for an influencer, just wait until you see some of the influencers on Instagram. Single posts can earn thousands of dollars for influencers…because they’re making even more money for brands.

Why is Outreach Marketing Important?

Outreach marketing spreads your content and products throughout social media. The posters behind the content are sharing your brand with a trustworthy and loyal audience that they have built through content. The social proof and authority that influencers provide not only put your name out there…they directly influence sales. Take a look at these statistics:

Six out of ten consumers who have purchased a product in-store were tempted to buy after seeing the product on social media or in a blog review.

Three out of ten consumers are more likely to purchase a product after it has been endorsed by an influencer (not including celebrities.)

When you measure the impact of influencer marketing, you may be surprised. Studies show that influencer marketing produces an ROI that is 11x higher than traditional marketing.

Some of the top reasons that businesses start using outreach marketing include:

  • Increasing brand advocacy
  • Promoting brand awareness
  • Reaching new members of a targeted audience
  • Boosting conversion rates
  • Maintaining a positive reputation online
  • Generating leads
Outreach and SEO

Outreach marketing isn’t just asking an Instagram influencer in Bali to post a high-quality photo of your product and offer a discount code. If you have content that you would like to distribute (blog posts, eBooks, etc.) you can also use outreach marketing to generate backlinks and boost your domain authority score.

The strategy behind generating backlinks through outreach is similar to that of getting promotions through influencer marketing. Before you start sending emails and contacting influencers, look at their audience. Would your content be useful on their blog posts? Are you telling your audience something that the influencer’s audience doesn’t already know? If you are asked to add some backlinks onto your website, will that content be useful to your audience?

We ask you to look carefully at the influencers and content creators that you want backlinks from. “Link trading” for the sake of backlinks dabbles into the world of black hat SEO. If link trading is done because each website genuinely can benefit from the other website’s content, however, you are all good to proceed.

How to Begin Outreach Marketing

If influencers and YouTube followers sounds foreign to you, don’t worry. It’s normal to feel a bit out-of-touch with niche influencers on social media. After all, they aren’t celebrities…but that’s why they are so successful.

As outreach marketing becomes more popular, 48% of marketers are looking to increase their spending in influencer marketing. Hop on this trend now to build a network of content creators and influencers who can do the work of building a following and sharing their content with that loyal following.  

Know Your Audience

This is key to finding the right influencers and reaching the right people on social media. If you cannot describe a typical member of your targeted audience, you will not be able to align their interests with that of an influencer.

If you haven’t created buyer personas already, it’s time to get to work. Research the member of your targeted audience and how they behave online. If you have buyer personas on hand, check to make sure the following information is included:

  • The buyer’s favourite social media platforms
  • How much time is spent on social media each day
  • Why buyers use social media
  • The information buyers want to gain from social media
  • Networks and groups that the buyer may be a part of (groups for single parents, groups for sports teams, etc.)  

Once you get an understanding of what your buyers are doing online, you can find influencers that align with their interest. If a buyer is more likely to use YouTube to relax and unwind after a long day, they are more likely to follow influencers who post content about travel or comedy than one who provides information and thought-provoking content. If buyers are involved in Facebook groups for stay-at-home moms, they are more likely to follow influencers who tailor their content to that audience.

And trust us, if there is an audience, there is an influencer.

Document Your Goals and Intentions

We listed a few goals for marketers above. Giving your products to influencers can reach buyers at different steps of the buyer’s journey. Good influencers are expert content creators, and can offer ideas for how to tailor content to your goals and their audience. But in order to have productive conversations with potential influencers, you will have to have goals set and documented. If you just want to build brand awareness, for example, all you might want is for an influencer to wear or display your products in their posts. Boosting revenue may require content that prominently displays the product or even offers a discount code for users to buy that product.

Discuss your outreach marketing goals with your team before reaching out to influencers. If you have different goals, discuss which targeted audiences you want to reach in order to accomplish different goals. You could have a network of influencers dedicated to one goal and one target audience, and a separate network dedicated to another.  

Find the Right Influencers

Now it’s time to do the research! What social media influencers will help you meet your goals and reach your target audience?

There are many online softwares and services that can help you find the right influencers, but you could also discover these influencers through surveys and reaching out to your current audience.

It is so important to arm yourself with knowledge as you begin the search for influencers. You’ll need it; 67.6% of marketers believe that it can be quite difficult to find relevant influencers for brands. After all, these influencers aren’t usually household names. The right influencers for your brand may only have around 2,000 followers, and with one billion monthly users on Instagram, these accounts aren’t always the first that pop up.

Want to learn more about how you can tap into your target audience and find the right influencers for your brand? Reach out to the experts at Digital Squad. Our skills in data analytics and SEO tactics can help you build an effective, results-driven outreach marketing strategy.

Megan Okonsky is a copywriter and content marketing specialist with Digital Squad. She is originally from Philadelphia but has landed in Melbourne after traveling for eight months in Southeast Asia and New Zealand. She also teaches vinyasa yoga online.

The post Should You Consider Outreach Marketing? appeared first on DIGITAL SQUAD.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The Internet has certainly spoiled us. Fifteen years ago, we may have been satisfied with a page that was able to load in an hour. Now, if a page doesn’t load in a few seconds, we get frustrated.

In fact, over half (53%) of mobile users will leave a web page if it hasn’t loaded in three seconds. And when more people are leaving your website before they can actually interact with it, your bounce rate will go up, and the overall reputation of your page will go down – at least in Google’s eyes. The Google Speed Update is rolling out for all users, but we’ll talk more about this update throughout our blog post.

Page speed isn’t just a factor that affects SEO. Conversion rate optimisation will also look at how page speed affects clicks and purchases. Slow loading times is one of the top reasons that users abandon their carts on eCommerce websites. A slow page downplays the entire user experience. Any sort of delay or obstacle on an eCommerce website usually isn’t worth overcoming. After all, if a customer knows that they can get a product later, or faster through another website, they will take those options.

It’s more important than ever to have a fast website, and this includes on mobile and desktop devices. Let’s dive into the recent Google Speed Update, and how you can increase page speed to improve rankings and user experience.

The Google Speed Update

In January, Google announced that they will roll out a Google Speed Update to improve user experience for mobile devices. Page loading speed will become more of a player in how mobile results are ranked. If your page isn’t loading fast enough, your rankings might drop.

This won’t be a dramatic update. Google has said that only a small percentage of queries will be affected, but websites with extra slow loading times are the ones that should worry. If page speed is the only factor that brings a website down, they won’t see a huge plummet in ratings. Relevant content that provides informative answers to users on mobile will still be placed highly on SERPs.  

Keep in mind that the Google Speed Update will only apply to mobile websites. The Update will also focus primarily on AMP URLs. If pages on your website have fast AMP URLs, you won’t have to worry about losing your rankings from the Google Speed Update. Even slow canonical URLs won’t have an effect if they are connected to a page with a fast AMP URL.

What Is A Good Loading Speed?

No matter what your current loading speed is now, you should aim for faster speeds as you improve user experience and look at conversion rate optimisation. We live in a part of the world where the Internet is generally slower, so it’s even more important for Australian and New Zealand websites to take the time to increase page loading speed from our end.

Once you test your page speed, compare your numbers to page loading times across your industry and location. MachMetrics provides a quick guide to average page loading speed times throughout different industries and locations. These vary between 7-12 seconds. A website in the technology industry in the United States, for example, takes an average of 11.3 seconds to load. This decreases to 10 seconds if you are accessing a technology website in Japan.

Ten seconds is still a decent amount of time for loading a webpage. Studies show that if your webpage loads as fast as five seconds, you are only faster than 25% of the rest of the web. Aim for a loading speed in the single digits.  

How Can You Increase Page Speed?

The following steps can help you decrease the amount of time it takes for your web pages to load:

  • Test speed
  • Decrease HTTP requests and other elements
  • Compress images
  • Defer JavaScript loading
  • Switch your hosting site
  • Recruit the help of a Content Delivery Network
Test Speed

Before you undergo the steps you’ll need to increase your page speed, test out what the speed looks like now. There are a handful of websites that can test your page speed for you. Google has mentioned that they rely specifically on data from the Google Chrome User Experience Report, but they recommend that anyone who is concerned with page speed should use Lighthouse, another Chrome tool, to evaluate the speed and performance of a website.

You can also quickly evaluate loading times with the following websites:

Be sure to run a few tests depending on what devices people are using and where they are located. Someone using a mobile device in Japan may have a completely different user experience than someone using a desktop device in the United States. But if your targeted audience is widespread across the globe, it is important that all of these users can access your page in a timely manner.

Record the initial page loading speeds so you can track how your efforts are affecting your pages.  

Decrease HTTP Requests and Other Elements

Page loading speed is heavily influenced by the elements on the page. These elements include images, scripts, and HTML files. The more files and elements that you have on the page, the longer it will take to load. There are a variety of ways to decrease these requests and streamline the loading process.

Compress Images

Compressing images is one of the most important steps in increasing page loading speed, but is not always taken by websites. Out of the top 100 eCommerce sites, 45 do not have compressed images. It’s especially important for eCommerce websites to compress images; these images are crucial to selling products and rely heavily on page loading speed to increase user experience.

Plugins and third-party tools can compress images on your website, sometimes automatically. Check out the following tools to see what will work best for your website:

  • Compressor.io
  • Smush (WordPress plugin)
  • EWWW Image Optimiser
  • Kraken Image Optimiser
Defer JavaScript Loading

JavaScript is the language behind the code on your website. If the JavaScript is not written properly, it can severely slow down your website. Luckily, a small piece of code, or even just a click of a box, will put this loading time off until later, allowing users to see what they want to see first. As they browse, the backend programming language will fully load in the website.

The Rocket plugin on WordPress has options for deferring JavaScript. Otherwise, a piece of code placed before the <body> can put off loading JavaScript until other elements of your website have already loaded. If your website is older, your JavaScript could still be in the <head> of your website. This is an old practice that decreases loading speed. Adjust your code and move the JavaScript down to the <body> of your website.

Switch Your Hosting Site

Who is hosting your website? How many other websites are they hosting from the same server?

If you have chosen a low-quality hosting site, you might be sharing a server with another website’s data. This can decrease page loading speed. Talk to your hosting server about options for operating on your own server, or getting dedicated server space with VPS options. With a VPS hosting option, you will still have to share a server (and can probably save some money doing so,) but the dedicated space will help to decrease loading times.

Recruit the Help of a Content Delivery Network

If you are reducing your website to one server, it may become overwhelmed with requests when multiple users are visiting your website at the same time. If these users are in different parts of the world, away from the location of your server, they may experience even further delays. This is where a Content Delivery Network (CDN) becomes handy.

A CDN distributes your website to a global network of servers. When a user visits your website, they will use the server that is closest to where they are located. In some experiments, a CDN was able to decrease loading times by up to 50%.

Complete a Site Audit With Digital Squad

Page speed is just one element that influences your rankings. Other issues, like missing meta descriptions or alt attributes, can also decrease your ranking and prevent your website from appearing on the first page of search results.

Most of these issues can be caught by a full site audit. Site audits assess the health of your website and point out how you can improve user experience and show Google that your content is informative and you are an authority in your industry.

Learn more about completing a site audit and optimising your content by reaching out to the experts at Auckland’s top SEO agency. The team at Digital Squad delivers results with ethical SEO strategies, driving traffic and revenue for your business through higher keyword rankings and a better user experience.

Reach out to our experts to get started on building the best website for your business.

Megan Okonsky is a copywriter and content marketing specialist with Digital Squad. She is originally from Philadelphia but has landed in Melbourne after traveling for eight months in Southeast Asia and New Zealand. She also teaches vinyasa yoga online.

The post Everything You Need To Know About SEO and Page Speed appeared first on DIGITAL SQUAD.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Whether SEO is a new term, or your business is starting to put more of an investment in SEO, you might start to see ads or read news about recruiting an SEO agency. Adding another expense and another set of hands to your marketing team might seem excessive, and what does an SEO agency do, anyway?

In this post, we’ll break down how useful an SEO agency can be to your SEO strategy, digital strategy, and the growth of your business for your next marketing campaign. As SEO becomes an increasingly popular and effective way to meet your business goals, the help of an SEO agency is becoming more valuable than ever.

What Is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising your content to appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs.) SEO can be applied to websites and landing pages, as well as other online content and even social media platforms.

Effective SEO puts your website in front of the online users who are most likely to engage with your content and eventually become a customer of your business. Digital marketers who work with clients across all industries prioritise SEO; 82% of marketers believe that SEO is becoming a more effective digital strategy. It’s the top inbound marketing priority for 61% of marketers.

Why? It’s simple. If your content is not appearing on the first page of SERPs, it’s not going to get clicks. With over 63,000 Google searches happening each day, keeping your content off of the first page is a big waste of time and resources that go into content and website creation. Plus, if your website isn’t optimised, it’s often in pretty bad shape and turning customers away from your content (and onto the content of your competitors.)

So You Want to Build an SEO Strategy. What Does an SEO Agency Do For Your Business? Read Your Customers’ Minds

Well, not exactly. But there are many ways to conduct research about how customers behave online. Data and insights can reveal what keywords are being used by your target audience. These keywords are the cornerstone of building an effective SEO strategy.

What an SEO Agency Can Do: Discover those keywords! SEO agencies don’t just want your website to rank for any keywords. Keyword research can reveal what keywords are in the search queries of high-quality leads who are most likely to generate traffic for your website and sales for your business. Once an SEO agency has a group of keywords that they want your content to rank for, it’s time to get started with on-page optimisation, content creation, and other SEO best practices.

Perform Routine “Check-ups” On Your Website

A site audit is essentially an assessment of your website’s health. Do pages have broken links or need repairs? Is everything up to speed and properly secured? Does each page look right in search results? Site audits help content creators determine what changes are necessary to optimise a website and give it the best chance at ranking for specific keywords.

What an SEO Agency Can Do: SEO agencies can perform site audits and interpret the results to businesses. A quick look at audit results can show an SEO expert what issues are most pressing and what can be done to fix them. Before you know it, your SEO agents can fix the issues on your website and monitor how these changes affect the performance of your content. Checking these results is part of an SEO expert’s everyday task list. If there is an issue, they’ll catch it immediately and fix it or give you a ring to let you know what is going on. There is no need to check on the results yourself, and no need to train a member of your team to perform and constantly monitor your website’s health.

Do the Research, So You Don’t Have To

Google and social media platforms are constantly changing their algorithms to improve user experience and provide the best answers. Updates may cause a change in rankings or traffic that you may not have expected. In order to stay on top of SERPs, you will need someone to learn and understand these updates and direct appropriate changes to how you optimise or create your content.

What an SEO Agency Can Do: Leave this task to an SEO agency. SEO experts have already spent months or years researching how Google ranks results, and what updates mean for content creators and businesses who want to consistently rank and drive traffic. Save your team the time and the headache of diving into Google’s algorithm.

Generate Backlinks and Increase Your DA Score

Are you experts in your field? That’s what Google and Moz want to know. Moz is a software that determines the authority of your website with a domain authority (DA) score. The higher your DA, the higher you will likely rank for keywords.

The domain authority score relies heavily on the links you include in your content, and the content that links back to your website. But generating backlinks isn’t just something you have to sit around and wait for; there are many steps that you can take to generate backlinks with your content marketing strategy.

What an SEO Agency Can Do: Generating backlinks is a key element of a good SEO strategy. An SEO agency should already have a method for generating backlinks for their clients. Whether their strengths lie in solid content creation, efficient (and ethical) link trading, or distribution channels that reach relevant users, your SEO agency should already know what’s up. If you are interviewing SEO agencies, don’t forget to ask about their link building strategies. An SEO agency’s plan for generating backlinks says a lot about how they conduct business.

Interpret Data

Do you know how many visitors your website gets? Do you know where these visitors are coming from, what buyer personas they belong to, and whether or not your content is encouraging them to move along the buyer’s journey?

There is way to connect each step of the buyer’s journey (and this includes physical purchases) to data that you can track and analyse. The data that is available to you is crucial to understanding how customers make purchase decisions and what efforts you should invest in for your next marketing campaign.

What An SEO Agency Can Do: They connect the dots with data. Analytics requires a lot of preparation and coding that can help experts piece together user behaviour. For example, in order to gather the right data to start and analyse a remarketing campaign, businesses have to create and place a piece of code that records when users reach certain milestones online. Once customers reach those milestones, they are sent advertisements and content that remind them to go back to the business’s website. But without the initial knowledge of analytics and placement of code, none of this can be accomplished.

Once SEO agencies have all of the pieces of the puzzle connected, they can track and monitor what users are doing online. What is the path that users are taking online and offline? What keywords bring them to your website, and how long do they interact with your marketing materials? What pages are they most likely to leave from? And what marketing materials bring them back for a second or third look?

Ready to Take the Plunge?

SEO agencies take the work and jargon out of an SEO strategy. They are a partner in building an SEO and overall digital marketing strategy that helps your content reach its potential. If you want to see the exciting results that make companies brag about SEO, it’s time to recruit an SEO agency.

Why Digital Squad Is the Best SEO Agency For Your Business

We work with partners, not clients. The businesses that we work with aren’t just clients to us. We invest our time and resources into the long-term success of all of our partners. Digital Squad does not work with direct competitors. We deliver results and want to see our partners ranking above their competitors for keywords relevant to their industry and location. Working with two direct competitors would mean someone would have to give up that top spot. We don’t want our partners to be second-best.

Our experience and services include more than just SEO. Content marketing and conversion rate optimisation are two strategies that support search engine optimisation. Conversely, SEO best practices must be applied to these strategies in order to get the best results. We help our partners develop a content strategy that supports SEO, which includes enhancing existing content and planning what content can be created for higher and more keyword rankings.

Thinking about dabbling in SEO and PPC? We’ve got you covered. Our experience also includes Google AdWords Marketing for a handful of partners who have seen revenue spike since we placed their ads online. Knowledge of keyword rankings and on-page optimisation is crucial for a high-ranking and effective AdWords ad. Our SEO knowledge supports us once again when we take on PPC strategies.

We deliver results without cutting any corners. In the SEO world, there is “white hat” SEO and “black hat” SEO. Black hat SEO cuts corners and attempts to trick search engines into boosting content even if it doesn’t have any credibility. It’s the “get rich quick” scheme of SEO. White hat SEO is an ethical, honest approach to boosting keyword rankings. Digital Squad prides themselves on using white hat SEO tactics that deliver results.

Reach out to our experts at Digital Squad for more information on how you can create an effective strategy with the help of Auckland’s top SEO agency.

Megan Okonsky is a copywriter and content marketing specialist with Digital Squad. She is originally from Philadelphia but has landed in Melbourne after traveling for eight months in Southeast Asia and New Zealand. She also teaches vinyasa yoga online.

The post What Can An SEO Agency Do For Your Business? appeared first on DIGITAL SQUAD.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The past few months have been huge for social media marketers. Algorithm changes, the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and GDPR have shaken up the way that marketers use data and reach social media users. As social media evolves, marketers and businesses find new ways to target an audience and place appropriate content on their social media news feeds. Not all of these tactics catch on immediately, so stay ahead of the game and learn what could be the new exciting feature of tomorrow. If you haven’t checked out the following social media tactics, you may be missing out.  

Ready to build your social media marketing strategy? Make sure you have crucial elements like a plan for monitoring your reputation and a social media crisis plan.

Facebook Groups

Whenever Facebook changes its algorithms, marketers and businesses roll their eyes. Recent changes have prioritised family and friends over business accounts. This is great for users who don’t want to see advertisements, but a pain for businesses who are trying to build a community and reach out to their customers through the world’s largest social media platform.

So how are businesses and marketers reaching individuals with content that they want to see? Facebook groups. Groups allow businesses, influencers, and marketers to foster a community of potential leads or customers.

Examples of groups on Facebook are “Female Digital Nomads,” “Launch Your Marketing Career,” or “Superstar SEO.” All of these groups contain individuals throughout the industry who want to get together and learn from each other. Other successful groups, like “Dogspotting,” are less formal. Dogspotting is a Facebook group that allows users to post pictures of dogs. Through the group’s expansion (the group has over 996,000 members,) administrators have been able to develop a brand and sell products directly on the group.

As group members post and have discussions, administrators can link the discussions back to their business or brand. Team members have a spotlight as administrators, and the more engagement your group gets, the more of an opportunity you have to put that spotlight on your business.

Facebook groups are not as easy as you may think. Groups that expand to thousands of followers often have administrators and moderators that work tirelessly to make sure that the group members are following the rules. And yes, there are rules. Individual accounts often try to infiltrate groups with spam or even “troll” users. When trolls get out of control, the group is no longer enjoyable for members.

The purpose of Facebook groups range from sharing funny content to discussing marketing tactics or industry secrets. You may be a part of some Facebook groups already. If you listen to a podcast regularly or follow a television franchise, chances are you can find a Facebook group directly relating to your interests and the content you consume.

If you are having trouble getting the engagement you want from Facebook, consider starting a Facebook group or dedicating time to moderate a Facebook group run by a partner or colleague. Administrators and group founders have the most control over the groups they create, but even part-time moderators often get the chance to reach members directly.

Before you create a group, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What questions do buyer personas have about their industry?
  • How would buyer personas identify themselves?
  • What groups would buyer personas recognise as relatable and useful for their lifestyle and job position?
  • What Facebook groups currently exist that cater to similar needs? How can we separate ourselves from this group and provide a unique experience for users?

You can read more about creating an exciting and beneficial Facebook group on Inc.

Instagram Shopping

We have written a whole blog post on Instagram Shopping for small businesses, so we will keep this one brief. Businesses can do more than just display photos of their products on Instagram. Instagram Shopping allows businesses to give followers the opportunity to buy their products on Instagram, without even leaving the app.

If your business is on Pinterest, you can set your pins up in a similar fashion. Connect your Shopify or BigCommerce accounts to Pinterest and create Buyable Pins. When a Pinterest user sees a pin that they want to purchase, they can view the price within the pin’s description and put it in their shopping cart with just one click. If you are using Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, consider the ways that you can sell your products directly on social media.

Ephemeral Content

Ephemeral content is content that disappears after 24 hours. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat all provide users the opportunity to create “stories” that viewers can engage with for a short period of time. Fifty percent of businesses on Instagram are posting stories…are you? 

Instagram is currently the king of stories, even though Snapchat pioneered ephemeral content. On Instagram Stories, brands can engage with users by:

  • Tagging their location
  • Using hashtags to become part of a larger story
  • Creating a poll
  • Posting copy rather than visual content
  • Adding a link for users to visit via a swipe
  • Going “live” and live-streaming an event or announcement

Instagram users can also directly post their Instagram stories to Facebook. If you are including Facebook or Instagram in your social media strategy, you should consider combining your efforts and adding content to both platforms simultaneously.

Since ephemeral content comes and goes so quickly, businesses have to be quick to recognise great times for creating ephemeral content. In addition to live streaming big announcements or events, stories can be used to:

  • Give followers a tour of your office
  • Show followers who is working behind the scenes
  • Promote local businesses and partners
  • Distribute content and draw attention to specific landing pages

Do not forget ephemeral content in your overall marketing strategy. Whenever you are planning an event or creating a new piece of content, ask yourself, “how can we integrate this into our Facebook or Snapchat stories?” Get in the habit of adding new blog posts, products, or updates to your ephemeral content. When the time comes, you won’t be hitting yourself on the head wishing you had thought about creating a live story earlier.

IGTV

If you have updated your Instagram account recently, you might have noticed a television button up in the top right corner of your feed. This is IGTV, and it’s Instagram’s new long-form video feature. Brands have yet another opportunity to record and share video content with followers. Videos can be up to an hour long. They can be shared in direct messages; users can find IGTV “channels” by searching through personalised recommendations or popular content. Build a popular channel now and benefit as more and more Instagram users take advantage of this cool feature.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

We all remember how quickly Pokemon Go took the world by storm. This type of augmented reality (AR) technology is quickly making its way into mainstream social media platforms. We already see it with Snapchat. Users can add filters onto their faces and add animations to friends and family in real time. Instagram and Facebook quickly followed. Facebook users can also view pictures posted by 360-degree cameras. Businesses and content creators are no longer limited to a 2D form of storytelling; if they want to give users the ability to experience an event, they can put them in the center of the action.

If you have the budget to invest in equipment and resources that can produce AR and VR content, it’s time to make some purchases. Learn how to use this equipment and produce content as Facebook begins to roll out more AR features. Once you get a handle of producing this type of content, you can expand to your website, other social media platforms, or even a specialized app that gives consumers and exciting and unique experience with your business.

Building a Social Media Marketing Strategy? Reach Out to Digital Squad.

Before you can create Facebook groups that boost engagement or produce an IGTV channel, you will need a basic understanding of social media marketing strategy and how your buyers interact with different platforms.

At Digital Squad, we marry our knowledge of content marketing and search engine optimisation to create a social media strategy that reaches the right users. Social media, content, and digital marketing strategies have a lot in common. They require proper planning, market and keyword research, and a strong ability to read data collected from each.

We look at each of these steps with our clients and thoroughly create a strategy that includes all of these key elements. Our in-depth knowledge of inbound marketing and the Google algorithm contribute to our ability to understand where buyers go as they make purchase decisions and how they behave online. We put your content in the right places and on the right platforms. As we gather more data, we adjust and enhance your conversion rates and overall strategy to help you surpass your marketing goals.

Reach out to the experts at Digital Squad for more information about building a strong social media strategy.

Megan Okonsky is a copywriter and content marketing specialist with Digital Squad. She is originally from Philadelphia but has landed in Melbourne after traveling for eight months in Southeast Asia and New Zealand. She also teaches vinyasa yoga online.

The post Five Up-and-Coming Social Media Marketing Tactics appeared first on DIGITAL SQUAD.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Social media isn’t just a hobby or a time-waster anymore. It’s a crucial element of digital marketing that businesses large and small cannot afford to ignore.

The world has seen a 13% increase in social media users since January 2017; that same year, 46% of businesses reported using social media to build brand awareness. But social media isn’t just for awareness. Social media platforms can drive conversions and even sales. Consumers no longer have to leave their favourite social media apps in order to buy products. And businesses can improve user experience, post engaging content, and make a sale with a single post.

In order to get to that point, you have to have an organised and consistent approach to posting and sharing content with the right followers. You have to build a community through engaging content and tactics that encourage current and potential customers to follow your business online. Social media is a large landscape to navigate. Creating and implementing a strategy for a single platform often requires new knowledge and extra resources that you not have budgeted for in previous campaigns. But it must be done to hold your team accountable for integrating social media into your overall marketing strategy.

Create a social media marketing strategy today to prepare for content creation and distribution throughout your next marketing campaign. Whether you are investing most of your time and resources into content marketing, PPC, or search engine optimisation, your social media presence can help you meet your overall marketing goals.

A Brief Look at Different Social Media Channels

Before you lay out your strategy for posting, think about where you want your business to appear on social media. There are many different social media channels that provide opportunities for marketers, but they are not always effective depending on the audience and industry that the business is trying to reach.  

Not all social media websites are created alike. Some are growing, while others are shrinking into the distance. Some social media channels encourage business and brand participation, while others require a lot of savvy and a high budget to get your posts onto consumers’ timelines (we’re looking at you, Facebook.) Social media platforms serve different purposes for different demographics. Choose wisely before you start building your social media marketing strategy:

Facebook

Facebook is the social media giant. It boasts over 2 billion monthly users, and it currently owns other social media giants like Instagram. Facebook also provides great opportunities for remarketing. However, the giant’s future with marketers and businesses isn’t all sunshine and roses. The Cambridge Analytica scandal certainly was a huge setback for users and businesses who relied on third-party data to place strategic and effective ads. Recent algorithm changes also discourage posts from brands from being at the top of user feeds.

Facebook is still the most popular and fastest-growing social media platform. Many businesses and influencers are responding to algorithm changes by moving away from Pages and starting Facebook groups to create a community and promote products. It’s so important to be on Facebook and understand how consumers are using the platform as it evolves and grows. Facebook is becoming a search engine of its own, and if your business doesn’t appear in Facebook searches, consumers may not pursue you further.

If you are just starting out, don’t expect to see an astronomical ROI from effort that you put into Facebook content, especially if you aren’t paying for Facebook ads. Be patient with Facebook, and prioritise creating a community with your content and Facebook activity. Once you develop a relationship with Facebook users and start to build a community through Facebook, you will see more engagement.

Twitter

Twitter is a “microblogging site” that allows you to connect with over 336 million monthly active users. (It has seen growth in the past year, but not always for the best reasons. It has become more relevant due to its use by politicians and reporters who want to express quick thoughts to the world in real-time.)

There are many ways that businesses can use Twitter, including:

  • Responding to customers and monitoring discussions about your business
  • Sharing content (blog posts, website links, etc.)
  • Telling and sharing a brand story in a creative way
  • Connecting to consumers, clients, and partners at events
  • Engaging in discussions during conferences

Twitter is a great way to respond to consumers who need to get a hold of you, but should not be the first priority for businesses, unless that is where your customers are spending all of their time. Ads and promoted tweets can also be used to reach more Twitter followers, event attendees, etc.

Instagram

Consumers love visual content, which gives Instagram a fun opportunity to take the throne next to Facebook. Over one billion users are on Instagram, and a majority of these users are under the age of 30. Many experts suggest that if you are trying to reach older consumers, focus on Facebook. If you are trying to reach younger consumers, switch that focus over to Instagram.

Businesses can use Instagram to:

  • Post visual content that displays their products, location, or recent offers
  • Livestream events and announcements with Instagram Live
  • Tell a story through photo and video content in real-time with Instagram Stories

It’s important to note that Instagram is one of a handful of social media platforms that allow you to make sales directly on the app or website. Instagram Stores can be set up through your Facebook Business account. If you are on Instagram, you can also post content straight to Facebook, making it a time-saving and versatile app.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is crucial for B2B businesses who want to establish themselves as an authority in their industry and reach consumers in specific job positions. It’s not the shiniest or hippest social media platform, sure. But it allows you to step out of the silliness that is allowed or encouraged on other social media sites and really talk shop.  

Businesses can use LinkedIn to:

  • Share content in the form of blog posts or case studies
  • Connect with people based on their job position or employer
  • Find potential employees

There are over 500 million users on LinkedIn.

Pinterest

Pinterest is often shrugged off as a less serious social media marketing tactic, used solely by party planners or housewives. If you are an e-commerce company, however, you can’t ignore the power of Pinterest. Pinterest users aren’t just window shopping. They have intentions to buy; 93% use the social media platform to plan purchases. Buyable pins allow users to head straight to a business’s store and put the pins they see online in an online shopping cart.

There are over 200 million monthly active users on Pinterest, and the Pinterest app has been downloaded by over 500 million users.

YouTube

Does your business have video content? Share it on YouTube! The social media giant has taken attention away from traditional forms of sharing video content; six out of ten adults prefer online video platforms, like YouTube or streaming services, to television. It is also the third most-visited website behind Google and Facebook. It’s a reason to start investing and posting video content for consumers.

Video content on YouTube can give consumers an inside look at your products and brand. YouTube content ideas can reach consumers at every point of the buyer’s journey:

  • Informational videos explaining topics in your industry can answer the questions of consumers who have not heard of your company before
  • How-to guides can provide an in-depth look at how to address problems and issues that your customers have before purchasing your product
  • Product demos show potential customers how to operate your products
  • Video testimonials provide proof that your customers enjoy your products and business

If you are using Google AdWords, you can create display ads to appear on YouTube. Even if you are not posting videos, you can put your content on this platform.  

Conduct research about your audience’s online behavior. It’s not just important to know which social media platforms your audience is using; it’s important to know why your audience is on each platform, what content they expect to see, and what will encourage them to engage with content. If you are trying to reach users at a specific point in the buyer’s journey, focus on a platform where they are spending their time at that point.

What To Include In Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Once you’ve chosen a selection of social media platforms for marketing and content distribution, it’s time to lay out a strategy for what your social media content should include.

Your Brand Story and Personality

Social media allows businesses to let their hair down and enjoy a less formal conversation with customers. Get creative with your social media strategy, and let your brand’s true personality shine through. You don’t have to be the next Taco Bell, but you can enjoy taking more of a risk.

Adjust your tone and content for the purpose of each social media account, but remember to stay consistent and true to your brand. (Twitter is a great place for sarcasm, but LinkedIn? Not so much.) Keep your language consistent throughout any team member who has access to your accounts.

Consistency should be a top priority, especially when you are dealing with a strategy that appears across multiple platforms. Your logo, for example, should stay consistent across all social media platforms. The story and core values of your brand should be apparent and consistent no matter where your consumer finds your brand.

Keyword Research

When consumers are using the search bar on different social media platforms, they’re using keywords – but these keywords may differ from ones that are being used on Google and other search engines. The keywords consumers use on Pinterest may have more purchase intention than the ones used on Facebook or LinkedIn, for example. Keywords for LinkedIn may be more specific to certain B2B needs or career-related solutions. Buyer personas will tell you how and why consumers use different social media websites. Keyword research goes deeper and tells you exactly what users are searching for on each platform.

This information gives you the opportunity to put yourself in front of consumers no matter what platform they are using. Optimise your social media content based on each platform’s place in the customer journey and how consumers prefer to interact with your business. Keywords will come in handy when you are creating your bio, pin descriptions, and other forms of social media content. Keep them in the back of your mind while you create your strategy and tactics.

Plan for Posting Regular Content

The content you put on Facebook or Twitter isn’t going to stay at the top of user feeds for more than a day. Instagram users share over 95 million posts…each day. 500 million Tweets are sent out per day. In order to stay relevant, you will need to create a plan for posting multiple times throughout the week. This number will vary based on the platform you are using…pinning 30 pins a day is considered normal for business accounts, but posting even more than two or three Instagram posts a day may turn users off. Ephemeral content (Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat stories that disappear after 24 hours) is a top trend in social media marketing. What is your plan for creating and posting stories in real time?

In addition to creating a strategy for creating content, include a plan for how your team will distribute, recycle, and share content throughout your campaign. It may be more effective to create your content all at once, but scheduling or posting that content for optimal viewing times may be another issue altogether.

Social media accounts that are neglected send an unprofessional message. If you haven’t posted content in a few months, how reliable are you if customers want to reach you?

This is why it’s important to choose your social media platforms wisely, especially if you do not have the resources to consistently create content and manage accounts. A handful of neglected social media accounts won’t do your business any good. Focus your social media strategy to one or two platforms where you can engage with your users and distribute your content.

Monitoring Your Reputation

Users are not obligated to engage with their content in order to discuss your business online. In fact, 96% of users who make a comment or create content related to a brand do not follow the brand’s social media profiles. If you are not actively seeking content related to your brand, you could miss these discussions and free insight into what people are saying about your company.

Whether customers are spreading the good, the bad, or the ugly, it’s important to set aside time and resources for social media monitoring. Simply typing your brand name into the search bar of Twitter or looking through your location on Instagram can give you a lot of content to work with.

Have guidelines in place for what team members can do if they find content related to your business. Should the business respond and thank the user for their feedback? Should they direct the inquiry or comment to a private forum where the user can go into detail about their purchase? The more engagement you can encourage on your business accounts, the more relevant your pages will become. Just make sure that this interaction reflects positively on your brand.

In some cases, content you find online could even be shared on your social media platforms. There you go. You have free user-generated content that promotes your brand and encourages further engagement.

Social Media Crisis Plan

Mistakes happen. You may schedule a piece of content that is posted during a tragedy or write content that doesn’t exactly translate in the way you intended. That is ok. All brands have experienced a social media flub or two.  

Have a plan in place just in case something goes wrong on one of your accounts. Who will be in charge of writing copy to apologise for or explain the mistake? Who will be given access during the crisis? Keep this documentation handy and accessible at a moment’s notice. You probably will not need to use it, but if you have to, you’ll be relieved that you put a plan in place.

Analytics and Measurement

Your business will put time, resources, and money into your social media marketing strategy. Will your strategy pay off? Monitor the success of your efforts by collecting data before, during, and after your social media marketing campaign.   

Measuring social media success has been a challenge for marketers since the dawn of its existence. How valuable is a tweet? How often does social media content influence purchases and generate leads? What percentage of your social media traffic is actually driving sales?

Creating a measurement plan can be as simple as measuring engagement (how many likes, views, and shares you got during this month vs. last month.) If you are hoping to look deeper at the ROI of your social media marketing plan, you will need to look deeper into how social media plays into the overall buyer’s journey. Measurement efforts may require extensive data analysis and connecting your Facebook or other social media accounts to in-store and online purchases.

Ready to Build Your Social Media Marketing Strategy? Call Digital Squad.

Social media is evolving every day. The connections between Facebook and Instagram, Google and YouTube can help your business boost its rankings and reputation on multiple platforms at a time. In order to truly make the most of your social media strategy, you have to understand how these platforms can be used to reach consumers at each stage of the buyer’s journey, and where the future of social media is taking businesses and brands who want to foster engagement and community.

Learn more about creating, implementing, and monitoring an effective social media strategy with the experts at Digital Squad.

Megan Okonsky is a copywriter and content marketing specialist with Digital Squad. She is originally from Philadelphia but has landed in Melbourne after traveling for eight months in Southeast Asia and New Zealand. She also teaches vinyasa yoga online.

The post How To Set Up a Social Media Marketing Strategy That Pays Off appeared first on DIGITAL SQUAD.

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview