Posts Tagged “marketing tips”

5 Proven Ways to Better Engage Your Facebook Audience

With a user base higher than most countries’ populations, Facebook remains at the center stage of social media. And their acquisition of WhatsApp for an astronomical 19 billion dollars shows that they are not about to sit back and relax. Neither should you. Here are some statistically proven ways to effectively tap into the vast potential Facebook offers to engage your audience.

Use Visual Storytelling

As the term suggests, this comes in two parts. One is the use of visual content – videos, images, and even emoticons. Photos have been found to “account for 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook”, getting “53% more likes, 104% more comments, and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts.” Those emoticons that make you seem like a tween have surprisingly been found to lead to 33% more shares and comments and 57% more likes.

The second part involves telling a story and having an advocacy. The collective consciousness online is such that your audience is not easily fooled. In today’s content marketing arena, it just makes more sense and ends up being easier to be genuine, and to sincerely relate to your audience’s values and goals.

Keep Posts Short

Despite the recent huge dips and rises for Twitter as a business entity, their legacy is here to stay. Not only in tweets are short posts effective. Statistics show that posts under 250 characters get 60% more engagement, rising to 66% when under 80 characters.

Know When to Post

Studies show that there are certain times of the day and days of the week when posts are much more visible to your audience, and therefore, more likely to be engaged. These can, of course, vary between different interests such as business, sports, and entertainment, but there are general findings common to all. For example, it was found that posts published Monday through Wednesday have 3.5% less engagement than average, and a whopping 18% below average on Saturdays. On the other hand, engagement is 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays. Facebook reported a 10% spike in the “Happiness Index” of users on Fridays.

Ask Questions

Just like IRL situations, asking questions is always an effective way to engage others. Statistics show that questions are twice as likely to get comments. The type of questions also matter, with “should” and “would” questions much more likely to engage than the “5 W’s”.

Offer Discounts, Coupons, and Other Promotions

Over one-third of Facebook fans like Facebook pages in order to participate in contests. “Caption this photo” contests were even found to lead to more than five times more comments. Like with questions, the type of contest also matters. Those with “softer sell” keywords, such as “event”, “winner”, and “offer” work much better than “coupon”, “discount”, and “exclusive”.

Statistics and other information in this post are from sources including but not limited to Kissmetrics, Wishpond, AMEX OPEN Forum, Buddymedia, HubSpot,Track Social, and Wildfire Interactive, as cited in  “7 Facebook Stats You Should Know for a More Engaging Page” originally published in Buffer.

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Using Infographics to Increase User Engagement

With a new round of Google penalties for poor linking practices having damaged a great many websites who used rather overzealous and questionable linking tactics  (contributing to blog “networks”, keyword stuffing, publishing spun content were all biggies), the need for original site content that is engaging for users and attractive for search bots is possibly more important than ever before.

Most people realize that images can play a huge role in user engagement, both on their own website and out there in social media land. In fact, according to Facebook, posts with images achieve twice the engagement rather than posts without do. With the rise of social media outlets like Pinterest and Instagram, images can have an even larger useful life.

This is, of course, great if you have a business that lends itself to this easily but what if you are in the services industry rather than the retail one? Coming up with great, engaging images that are relevant every time can be tough and expensive when you look at the cost of good stock photography.

Enter the Infographic

The one kind of graphic that any business can make great use of though is an infographic. They are large storyboards that share information and statistics in a visual as well as text form.

Infographics work on a great many different levels. Internet users tend to have rather short attention spans – an all text post about something as potentially snooze worthy (but important) as average insurance rates for different car owners may not be something that a lot of people will take the time to read. Present that same information in the form of an infographic though and you have an easy to understand, eye catching way to get your point across with ease. And infographics are of course great for sharing on social media as well.

Infographics and SEO

As well as being great for user engagement, infographics can give your site a big SEO boost. Come up with a really informative one and you will find that a lot of people will link directly to it, so that they can benefit from its appeal themselves. What you quickly gain are NATURAL, RELEVANT links that you did not even have to ask for – exactly what Google is looking for in a good site.

Making an Infographic

But, you say, I am no graphic designer and I do not have anything left over in my marketing budget to hire someone to create an infographic for me. Well, you really do not have to. There are a number of good resources out there that can help you create a good looking infographic relatively easily and inexpensively. A number of the best of these are not only Internet based (no need to invest in expensive software) and are either free to use or at most cost a $1 or so per infographic. Check out canva.com, Infogr.am, Easel.ly or Piktochart as they are all great choices and easy for anyone, even design ‘dummies’ to use.

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Three Lessons about Content Marketing You Can Learn from PewDiePie

Do you know what the most popular channel on YouTube is? If you think it belongs to a big brand or a platinum selling rock star, you would be wrong. The title of most subscribed YouTube channel belongs to PewDiePie.

If you don’t know who PewDiePie is, allow us to introduce him briefly. In the real world, PewDiePie is a 24 year old Swede called Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg. Back in 2009, he began posting videos on YouTube that were essentially game reviews and it is a format he has rarely strayed from in five years. Yet he has, as February 2014, closing in on 24 million subscribers and it is estimated that his channel gains one new subscriber every 1.037 seconds.

Just how did a gamer kid with a slight case of potty mouth achieve all of this? In large part, because PewDiePie is a brilliant content marketer and for anyone trying to market content – not just on YouTube either – there are some big lessons that can be learned from him:

Prolific, Regular Content Posting

PewDiePie began his channel in 2009 and at the time of writing has 1,657 videos online. That figure will have changed by the time you read this as he posts a new video every day, often more than that. There is never a shortage of new content to keep his subscribers entertained.

Now, while you almost certainly won’t have the time or money to keep up with PewDiePie’s content creation schedule, it is important that you stick to a regular publishing schedule and remain consistent. It is OK to publish just two or three pieces a week as long as that is what you always do. If your reader/viewers/followers etc. know that they can expect great new stuff every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the chances are good that they will come looking for it themselves eventually without even having to be reminded.

Building a Loyal Fan Base

PewDiePie has built himself a hugely loyal fan following in large part because he interacts with his audience so well. He replies to comments on his videos and responds and acts on suggestions and he does it very well. He also has a habit of mentioning where these things came from in his video – if someone suggests he try a certain game for example, which makes his subscribers feel more connected to him even though they are just one of millions at this point.

You probably do not have millions of interactions yet so there is little excuse for not following his lead and responding and interacting with those who take the time to do so with you via your content.

Offering a Behind the Scenes Look

Another way that PewDiePie connects so well with his audience is offering a regular ‘behind the scenes’ look into his own life, not just in his videos but on his other social media accounts as well. His ‘bros’ as he calls them know who he is other than the dude who posts the game videos.

While no one is suggesting that as a business person you be quite as open as he is, you should ask yourself, “Do people really know who I am as a company?”, “What do I stand for (other than hawking my products and services)?”.  In this respect, you can also look to another well-known figure, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.

As a person, he prefers to be rather private but as the head of a company that encourages the world to share itself, he understands that they have to give a bit back too. Thus why his dog has its own Facebook page, why he often shares insights into the workings of the Facebook office and even why he announced his marriage via a Facebook post he shared with the world. If you want people to interact with you and share themselves, you do, to a certain extent at least, have to be willing to do the same. The simple fact is most people prefer doing business with people they know and trust and content marketing gives you the perfect opportunity to build that trust.

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Running a Facebook Contest People Will Actually Enter

You have probably heard that a social media based contest – especially one that revolves around Facebook – can be a great way not only to promote your business and your brand to a new audience but also to increase engagement with your current customers. That can be true but running such a contest can be harder than you think.

One of the biggest hurdles many have found that they face when running such a contest is not setting it up – there are some great apps out there that make that very easy – and it is not administering it either, because those same apps help with that too. What is often very hard though is actually getting people to enter! Here are a few tips that should help:

The Prize

Choosing the Right One: The prize on offer should be one that corresponds with your business and will interest your target audience. Ideally, it should be your product or service but failing that, it should at least tie in with your niche.

Justify the Effort: If you are only giving away a t-shirt that is fine – just don’t expect that your fans will write an essay to get it. If on the other hand, you are giving away something far more substantial then that effort would be justified and most users would actually feel accomplished if they won for something ‘big’ for something they created rather than just for entering their name and email address.

The Copy

The copy that explains your contest has to be clear and concise. If it takes you half a page of copy to explain what your contest is all about then many users may become confused and frustrated enough to simply not bother to enter at all.

Your copy should also be very honest. For example, if you were a restaurant giving away a month of free appetizers but you really only want the prize used on one of your slower evenings, make that clear upfront to avoid misunderstandings and disappointments further down the line.

To Fangate or Not to Fangate?

Many people do choose to fangate their contests, only allowing those who have liked their page to enter. This can be a good way to gain fans but doing so also comes with risks and downsides. The first is that many of the new likes will simply unlike your page once the promotion is over. The second is that you will gain fans that have no interest at all in your brand, just in winning something which means as a follower, they also have very little value to you in the long run.

It is often better to ‘give to get’. Make your contest open to anyone and those who are genuinely interested in what you have to say and to offer in general will come to ‘like’ you of their own accord, whether they win something or not.

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The Marketing Power of a Meme

You may have realized by now that actually getting noticed in the social media world – especially on the ever popular but tricky to master Facebook- is not easy. Thanks to an increase in the number of users and some interesting algorithm changes, it actually seems to get harder every day, especially if you maintain several different social media accounts and are trying to populate them all in a limited amount of time.

If you have done any amount of testing in the social media space, you will probably have found that images can be a very big draw. Getting people to look at your pretty pictures though is only a part of the puzzle. For them to be most effective, you also need those users to share them in some way too. One tactic that can be very effective that many people overlook though is the careful use of memes.

What is a Meme?

Speaking in technical terms, the word “meme” is defined by its creator, Richard Dawkins, as a “package of culture.” You will almost certainly have shared more than a few of them in your personal social media activities (who doesn’t love Grumpy Cat?) but may have never thought that making use of such a casual, light hearted thing could actually become an effective part of your overall marketing strategy.

The advantages of using memes in marketing include:

The Potential to Go Viral – Perhaps more so than any other form of content, a great meme has the potential to go viral very quickly. It takes just a few seconds for a user to be charmed, amused or interested in a meme and just a second more to share, taking up far less of their time than say a YouTube video that they actually have to stop and watch.

Easy to Create – Finding the time to create lots of content is something that many people struggle with and yet a strong social media presence demands quite a lot of it. Memes are relatively quick and easy to make and while they should never, ever be all that you share, they can fill in the gaps between more substantial postings very nicely.

They are Relevant – Remaining relevant to your audience is essential. Social media is not about hard sell advertising so if all you ever do is post and tweet about your products, or pin pictures of your products then people are really not going to be interested or find what you are posting in any way relevant to them or worth the time. Mixing it up and adding both written and visual content is a must and so making memes a part of that strategy can really pay off.

It’s Fun – Who says that content creation has to be one long monotonous process that you dread tackling every day? Memes allow you to get a bit creative and have some fun and really, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all!

Looking for more marketing tips? Please visit our Marketing Resources page.

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