How to Make an Instagram Post Template for Your Business or Brand.
Instagram is an undeniably powerful marketing tool, but with over 25 million businesses on the platform today, it's critical you take the time to create well-designed and thoughtful Instagram posts to stand out.
You'll need to apply a strategic design plan to your business's Instagram to attract a loyal following and find success on the app, long-term.
However, creating a clean and cohesive Instagram feed takes design skills you might feel you lack. Plus, Instagram's algorithm favors brands that post at least once a day — that time commitment could be adding to your stress.
If that's the case, you're in luck — there are ways you can create pre-made Instagram post templates, so you've got a stash ready-to-go. Plus, by ensuring you use the same templates for different posts, you'll have an easier time creating a cohesive and aesthetically-pleasing feed.
How to Create Posts for Instagram
1. Use Instagram Post Templates
Let's face it — you don't always have the time, resources, or personnel to design noteworthy Instagram posts. That's why we recommend using Instagram Post Templates for Business which you can build from and customize.
Here are some options to create and save Instagram post templates, so you can have stunning posts on-hand whenever you're ready to publish.
2. Choose Your Post Format
While traditional Instagram posts to your permanent timeline are more long-lasting and allow for comments and likes, you shouldn't underestimate the power of Instagram Stories, which can be used for more immediate needs and occasions.
In fact, 500 million accounts use the Instagram Stories feature daily. So, when you're creating your post, ask yourself if it warrants publication as a story or as a traditional post.
3. Choose an Image
Maybe you've decided your post doesn't need a photograph and that text overlay on a solid-color background will work for you. If that's the case, hop over to the next step.
If you've decided you do want to use a photograph – particularly if you want one as the background for text overlay – you've got a few options.
4. Add Design Elements
Instagram post templates come with design placeholders for text with special fonts and other elements. Your next step is to alter, add, or remove any elements that you see fit.
This includes updating the copy so it reflects the information you want followers to know and/or the action you want them to take.
5. Save the Photo
When you've done all you can in the template builder of your choosing, save your photo to be posted on Instagram. All you'll have to do here is click "File" > "Download" > "PNG Image" or "JPEG Image." Then, just name the photo file, email or message it to yourself, and save it on your phone so you can post it.
6. Upload to Instagram
Once you have your photo saved, it's time to upload it to share with your followers. For a traditional post, open Instagram, click the "+" button in the bottom center, choose your photo, add any filter, description, or hashtags, and click "Share."
For an Instagram Story post, click on the camera icon in the top left of your screen, access your camera roll in the bottom left of the screen, choose your image, minimize the date that shows up to the point where it can't be seen, and add any further design elements – like a GIF or additional copy – to the image. From there, click "Your Story" on the bottom left.
Other Ways to Design Instagram Posts
Here are some other options to create and save Instagram post templates, so you can have stunning posts on-hand whenever you're ready to publish.
Remember, your template is automatically saved to your Canva account. You can access it in the future, on both desktop and app versions of Canva, and edit it with new text to post the same design again.
Alternatively, you might consider creating a few posts now, and then saving them to your camera roll to post them in the future.
Besides Canva, there are a few other design editors that offer free pre-made Instagram templates. In particular, here are three tools you might consider:
If you're interested in creating a template for quote posts, it's easy to do — in fact, we've already curated a list of nine apps to help you make quotes for Instagram.
For our purposes, we'll try just one — ReciteThis.
To create a quote template for Instagram, go to ReciteThis, then follow these three easy steps:
1. Enter your quote in the text box.
2. Below, click the left or right arrows to peruse templates and choose one you like. Once you've chosen a template and written your text, click the "Create" button in the text box.
3. Click "Download Image" to post to Instagram's desktop version, or email it to yourself to post on your phone.
3. Creative MarketIf you're willing to shell out the cash, you might consider buying one of Creative Market's Instagram Template bundles.
And that's it! You're all set to create and save pre-made Instagram templates, so you can focus on attracting a loyal following without tediously designing a post from scratch every day.
Contact Swift Digital Marketing Agency Today! Call (216)339-6041
The best billboards demand your attention with bold fonts, in-your-face messages, and bright, eye-catching graphics. The best Facebook ads take the exact opposite approach.
If you want to reach and engage with potential customers on Facebook, you need to create ads that blend as seamlessly as possible into the rest of the content on their newsfeeds. This means focusing on simple, high-quality images, straightforward messages, and most importantly: minimal text.
Facebook has found that the best performing ads include images with little to no text. Formerly, they had a “20% rule,” which stated that in order to run an image-based ad on Facebook, your image must contain less than 20% text. It even created a text overlay tool to help advertisers determine whether their images had too many words.
The 20% rule is no longer a requirement, and the Facebook overlay tool is inactive. However, it’s still smart to follow the 20% rule and keep text to a minimum in your image-based ads.
Facebook 20% RuleThe Facebook 20% rule was a requirement that rejected Facebook ads with more than 20% of text in its images. While the rule is no longer enforced, Facebook still recommends including a 20% text-to-image ratio. The recommendation applies to both single image and carousel ads run on Facebook and Instagram.
It's important to note that you should use the 20% rule only for the text contained within images in your ad. It does not include text on your ad outside of images, like the description copy or call-to-action button.
There are a few exceptions to the 20% rule, including images of book covers, album covers, event posters, video games, and some product images that contain text (e.g., a cereal box).
Text-based logos are not an exception to the 20% rule. You should count your logo when deciding how much text to include in your image.
So, why exactly did the Facebook 20% rule exist, and why is it still relevant today? It all comes down to what users want to see and engage with in their newsfeeds. Ads with less overlay text perform significantly better than images crowded with text, so sticking to the rule creates a better experience for both users and advertisers.
Facebook Text Overlay ToolThe Facebook text overlay tool is no longer active, but it’s still wise to carefully choose the text you’ll include in your images.
While you're creating an ad, it can be tricky to evaluate the exact percentage of text covering your image. The following examples will show you some of the ways you can add text in a way that will naturally generate engagement.
Before designing your ad, be sure to review specs and sizes for your images and Facebook’s guidelines for image-based ads.
1. Ad With Acceptable Text Overlay
Your best approach when creating a Facebook ad is to use little to no text.
In this example of an ad image, there's only a small text-based logo and no other copy. This image contains 4% text.
An ad with a simple image like this will blend more easily into users' news feeds and is much more likely to gain exposure and engagement among your target audience.
The best part is that it might strike curiosity because it doesn’t share much; instead, viewers will have to read the description to find out what the ad is about.
2. Ad With Minimal Text Overlay
In this next example, there are two lines of text, bringing the text percentage to 12%. The logo has been removed from the corner.
It still works because the text doesn’t cover 20% of the image. The text also helps the viewer understand what the ad is about.
Nevertheless, consider adding the copy into the body of your ad instead of your image. Since the image and the description are visible at the same time, you can use the body only to describe your offering.
3. Ad With Excessive Text Overlay
This final example is exactly what Facebook does not want to see. It contains a whopping 44% text-to-image ratio.
While the copy is well-written and the offering is clear, this ad contains too much text over the image. The information displayed here could easily be incorporated into the body copy of your ad, creating a much cleaner look in users' news feeds.
It might be tempting to throw important information onto your images like this, but you risk alienating users who are turned off by busy copy.
Now that you have an idea of what a good ad looks like, how can you put it into practice in your own ad? Let’s take a look.
Facebook Text Overlay Best Practices
The best way to capture users' attention on Facebook is to use an eye-catching image with no text.
The 20% rule isn't just an arbitrary recommendation — it helps advertisers reach their target audiences more effectively, and prevents users' news feeds from becoming overwhelmed with disruptive advertisements.
If you do want to add text to your image, you should use the following best practices for overlaying text over your Facebook ads.
1. Choose the right font size. Believe it or not, font size is even more important than the amount of text you overlay over your image.
Smaller font sizes naturally won’t take up as much space, reducing your text-to-image ratio. Bigger font sizes will make you exceed the 20% rule straight away, even if you’re only including two or three words. That said, you don’t want to make the text too small; otherwise, viewers will have to squint to read what it says.
The font size you choose will depend on the size of your image and whether you’re adding a heading or a whole sentence. For headings, try to stay under 42 pixels; for sentences, try to stay around 24 pixels. Play around with font sizes to find what best works for the image.
2. Include only a heading or one line of text.There’s no reason to include more than one line of text in your Facebook ad. You have the body of the ad to include enough context and information for the viewer to click your link.
If you add text, consider only adding a heading — such as an offer, a call-to-action, or a discount. That’ll maximize the impact of the text and ensure viewers see something that will compel them to click.
For instance, “Buy 1 Get 1 Free,” “Apply Now,” and “30% Off” are all eye-catching phrases that will warrant a second look and don’t take up too much space. That brings us to the next point: Choose only the best and most eye-catching text to add to your image.
3. Choose eye-catching, impactful text.When adding overlay text to your Facebook ad, be sure to choose a line of text that will 1) Catch your target audience’s attention and 2) Hint at the value they’ll extract if they click through to your offer.
In the body of the ad, you can go into greater detail about your product or offer. But in your image, include only the text that will help someone decide whether they want to read more.
4. Use an alternative text overlay tool to see your text-to-image ratio.While Facebook’s text overlay tool is no longer available, you can use an alternative that mimics Facebook’s original tool. We recommend trying these:
They’re virtually identical in functionality, so simply choose the one that’s most convenient for you and your browser.
To use them, upload your image and select the squares that have text. On the right-hand column, the tool will tell you whether you’re above or under the 20% text-to-image ratio. That way, you know for sure whether you’ve added too much text to the image.
5. Take advantage of a grid to align the text.
In a free tool such as Canva, you can typically overlay a grid over your design as you’re creating it. Simply go to Elements > Grid and scroll until you find a grid that best works for your design. (Be sure to lower the transparency of the grid so you can see your ad beyond it.)
Use the grid as a guiding tool for aligning your text and ensuring it doesn’t take up too many boxes. If your grid has nine boxes and one line of text takes three boxes horizontally, then you know that the text is too big. If it only takes up one box, it might be too small.
Without a grid, you might lean on gut feeling only — and while your gut feeling can be of great help, it’s best to approach text overlays with as much exactitude as possible.
The 20% Rule Will Help You Create Better Facebook Ads While Facebook no longer requires advertisers to adhere to the 20% rule, it’s still a valuable guideline for adding text to your Facebook ads. Keep text to a minimum and you’ll ensure your Facebook ad packs as much impact as possible, significantly boosting your ROI and encouraging viewers to engage with your brand.
How much are Instagram ads for a business like yours?
It’s something to consider because the beauty of Instagram ads is that any business owner can run a campaign. The process is fairly straightforward, and you can set the budget as low or as high as you want. But determining the final advertising on Instagram cost isn’t simple because it varies based on several factors. We can, however, provide you with some updated information on Instagram ads price that we’ve gathered from our research.
So, how much does it cost to advertise on Instagram?
The average cost of Instagram ads can vary, but it can amount anywhere from $0.60 to $2.00 per click. The cost depends on many factors but the most important one is the pricing model.
Advertisers can choose between Instagram ads cost per click (CPC) or cost per thousand impressions (CPM). Instagram ads CPC is the cost every time a user clicks on your ad while Instagram ads CPM is the cost every time 1,000 users see your ad.
Instagram ads CPC can cost up to $3.00 per click, and Instagram ads CPM can set you back up to $7.00 per thousand impressions. Opt for Instagram ads cost per click if you are willing to pay only when a user clicks on your ad. Advertising on Instagram cost will be higher if you use CPM, because you’ll be charged every time someone views or sees your ad — which is likely to be more times than someone clicking on it.
When you have the answer to the question, “How much does Instagram advertising cost?” you can then allot an amount according to your budget.
When setting up Instagram ads, you have the option to set a daily budget, which ensures you stick to your budget and avoid paying more. No matter how much Instagram ads cost, you can always set your budget with a fixed amount.
Note that the figures listed above are the average cost of Instagram ads and can be higher or lower than your actual Instagram ads cost. You can never truly know how much advertising on Instagram costs for your business until you run a campaign.
Why You Should Use Instagram AdsThere are many reasons why your business should take advantage of Instagram ads. Here are some convincing stats :
• More than a billion people use Instagram for business every month.
• Instagram reaches over 140 million users in the United States alone.
• An average Instagram user spends 30 minutes a day on the app.
• More than 80 percent of people use Instagram to look for products, brands or services.
• Ninety percent of Instagram users follow a brand or a business.
• Four million businesses use Instagram Story ads every month.
No matter what goal you have, from growing your followers to attracting new leads, Instagram ads can bring you faster, more accurate results.
Hiring an Instagram advertising expert like Swift Digital Marketing Agency can accelerate your success. An Instagram ad campaign we ran for a fitness expert generated impressive growth in just a matter of six months.
Many other businesses, big and small, have proven the impact of Instagram Story ads on their growth despite the many challenges they have faced this past year. They didn’t worry too much about how much Instagram ads cost because they understood the value and benefits it presented to their business. Whether or not they hired Instagram advertising experts, they still experienced the benefits of running Instagram ads.
Whether you’re hiring an Instagram ads company or implementing it on your own, investing in Instagram ads can be highly profitable for your business.
What Factors Affect Instagram Ads Cost?
The reason that there’s no definite answer to the question: “How much do Instagram ads cost?” is because a lot of factors affect the cost of Instagram ads. In addition to the pricing model, a number of things can have an impact on your particular business’s Instagram ads price. Let’s look at some the most common ones:
Your Ad’s Value As Assessed by Instagram
Instagram sponsored ads cost is directly influenced by Instagram itself. When you buy Instagram ads, you enter into a bidding auction, which determines the quality of your ad against your competitors. The winning bid is determined by:
• How much you bid – How your bid fares against competitors
• Estimated action rates – How likely the ad is to convert
• Ad quality and relevance – How likely users are to engage with the ad
All these factors help Instagram pick a winning ad and run it according to the advertiser’s bid. Low bids can mean less effectiveness, and higher bids can mean that your ads will create the best possible results.
Ads PlacementInstagram advertising experts claim that where your ad appears on Instagram can affect your Instagram ads cost. For instance, Instagram Story ads are known to cost less than those that appear on the user’s main Instagram feed. Instagram sponsored ads cost is also greatly affected by these factors.
When creating an Instagram ad, you will be prompted to choose a type of Instagram ad. These are:
• Instagram Shopping
These types of ads have their own placements and can determine how much Instagram ads cost. Some placements are more frequently visited than others and so would cost more.
Not sure which type of ad you should run? Consider getting expert help from an Instagram ads company that has years of experience in running successful Instagram ads for brands and businesses.
Target MarketThe average cost of Instagram ads can also vary depending on your target audience. If you’re using Instagram for business to target a specific group of people or a competitive industry, expect that these factors will have an impact on your Instagram advertising cost. An ad for a highly saturated market, like fitness, will cost more than other niche industries. The more advertisers who are targeting a specific market, the higher the cost of advertising on Instagram.
Your Advertising Goal
Advertising goals can also affect the average cost of Instagram advertising. Are you using Instagram ads to grow your followers? This goal is called Engagement. If you’re aiming to sell more products with your ads, then your advertising goal is Conversion. Generally, a goal aimed for Engagement can cost less than a Conversion goal. This is because conversions result in more actual sales than engagement. For instance, Instagram ads cost per click might be more expensive because a user takes action towards conversion.
Ultimately, your question shouldn’t be “How much does it cost to advertise on Instagram?” but “How much does Instagram advertising cost for my business goals?”
Facebook Ads vs Instagram Ads: Which Platform Is Right for You?Instagram is not the only platform that has taken social media marketing by storm. Advertisers can often consider Facebook ads vs Instagram ads. How are they different and how are they similar? How much does Instagram advertising cost compared to Facebook? There’s no clear answer.
Different case studies and research have returned conflicting results, with one study saying that Instagram advertising costs are lower than Facebook’s, while others claim that Facebook ads cost less than Instagram ads.
Whichever is the case, there are certain pros and cons for both platforms. Here are some of the main points to consider when considering these two social media advertising platforms:
Audience Variety and TargetingIf you’re targeting a niche audience, chances are you can find them on Facebook. Facebook’s Audiences feature lets you access a wide range of demographics according to gender, age, occupation, interests and even marital status.
Facebook’s targeting features are more in-depth compared to Instagram, which is ideal for highly advanced advertisers. On the other hand, Instagram has a simpler, easier-to-understand list of options, which is great for beginners.
Visual vs Written ContentIt’s not enough to have an idea about how much are Instagram ads, and then go right ahead and create your first ad. You also need to know if Instagram is the right platform for your business.
If your industry is fashion, food or travel, Instagram may be the better choice for running ads. However, if you run a consultancy firm or any industry that communicates with its audience in written content, Facebook might be the way to go.
Cost-EffectivenessDespite the various factors affecting the cost of Instagram ads and Facebook ads, one question that marketers ask is this: Which platform is more cost-effective?
There is no definitive answer to this question, but most studies have shown that the engagement rate on Instagram is higher than on Facebook. This means that, even if running ads on Instagram costs higher, the click-through rate (CTR) is also expected to be higher than Facebook’s.
This is based on the general experience, but it may not be the same for your business. The best way to find out is simply to conduct a trial run and track your ad’s performance, including your engagement rate and click-through rates. Only when you run your own campaigns can you truly learn the cost of advertising on Instagram as compared to Facebook.
Want help getting started with Facebook ads instead? Check out our Facebook advertising agency and discover how our services can help your business grow with Facebook ads.
How To Run Instagram Ads
If you’re convinced that you’re ready to face the cost of advertising on Instagram, it’s time to learn how to publish ads.
There are two ways to advertise on Instagram: from the app itself or from Facebook Ads Manager. If it’s your first time creating ads on Instagram, then it’s best to do it via Facebook.
First, create a Facebook page for your business. If you already have a Facebook page, make sure to also create a Facebook Business Manager account. This is where you can manage all your ads for both Facebook and Instagram.
Next, you need to switch your Instagram account to a Business Profile. To do this, go to your Instagram profile settings and tap the triple line on the top right corner. Go to Settings>Account>Switch to Professional Account. Select Business. Follow the next steps to connect your Facebook page to your Instagram account.
From here, you can now run Instagram ads from the app itself or from Facebook Business Manager.
From the Business Manager, go to Ads Manager. Click Create then choose any of the following objectives:
• Brand awareness
• App installs
• Video views
Next, give your campaign a name.
In the Audience section, choose your targeted audience by age, gender and interests. You can be as detailed or as general as you choose. Note that the right targeting is crucial to an ad’s relevancy score.
The next section is where you can assign a budget and schedule for your campaign. Your budget can be Per Day or Lifetime. If you choose Lifetime, you need to set a start and end date for your campaign.
The next option lets you select whether you want to be charged for Instagram ads CPC (cost-per-click) or Instagram ads CPM (cost-per-thousand-impressions).
This is also where you can opt to use manual bidding or automatic bidding. Experts recommend automatic bidding for beginners as it lets the system automatically optimize ads for the best results.
The next section is dedicated to the content and format of your ad. You can specify whether you are posting a single-image ad, a carousel (multiple images) or video. Add a headline and call-to-action (CTA) buttons that will go with your ad.
Under the section Instagram Account, select the Instagram account connected to your Facebook page. You can then select where your ads will be displayed. You have the option to display your ad on both Facebook and Instagram. If you only want to run ads on Instagram, uncheck all other options and keep Instagram checked.
If you select Instagram, this is where you select the different placements or types of Instagram ads mentioned earlier in this post. Instagram sponsored ads cost can be higher or lower for different placement types.
When you’re happy with your settings, you can go ahead and click Publish. You’ll get notified when your ad is live.
If you need help from an Instagram ad expert, considering hiring an Instagram advertising company like Swift Digital Marketing to get better results for less cost. Hiring an Instagram advertising agency can save you time and money while getting the best possible results.
How To Optimize Your Instagram Ads
Now that you’ve learned the answer to the question: “How much do Instagram ads cost?” it’s time to maximize advertising on Instagram costs while getting great results.
The cost of ads on Instagram can sometimes be daunting. Small businesses might be hesitant to invest for fear of not getting a return on investment (ROI). To help with this, Instagram ads experts recommend these steps to ensure the success of your Instagram campaigns.
Catch Your Audience’s AttentionInstagram is a visual platform. You have the advantage to use captivating images or videos to instantly hook your audience in the first two seconds of seeing your ad. Captions and other elements are not as important as the main image, so put extra time and effort to ensure your visuals pop and immediately drive your audience into clicking through your CTA.
When you invest time on a quality ad, you maximize the cost of ads on Instagram and get a better chance at a high ROI.
Use the Right HashtagsSure, you can come up with several unique hashtags that might seem like the perfect way to describe your brand. Unfortunately, hashtags that are not that common may not get a lot of engagement.
Using ubiquitous hashtags is a better strategy to get more exposure to potential customers who might be interested in your brand. Do some research into which hashtags are widely used by your market and use those.
Discover the Perfect Time To Post After running your ads for at least a week, you now have some data to analyze. Look at the time and day when your ads had the most engagement. Then, conduct an experiment to post your ads only on during these periods. This strategy helps lower the cost of Instagram advertising while getting optimal results. Getting help from an Instagram ads expert can make this process easier for you.
Optimizing Instagram ads requires time and lots of experimentation. If you want faster results, consider hiring an Instagram ads company to ensure the success of your Instagram ad campaigns.
Many business owners are wary of using Instagram for business because they think they don’t know anything about the platform. Others are worried that they can’t afford the cost of ads on Instagram. There are also others who are struggling to choose Facebook ads vs Instagram ads.
Fortunately, there are tons of free resources out there that will teach anyone how to successfully run Instagram ads.
However, learning all these things does take time. Besides, creating and executing a highly profitable Instagram advertising campaign goes beyond knowing the answer to how much are Instagram ads.
If you’d rather get help from an expert, hiring an Instagram advertising agency might be the better option. You can get guidance from an Instagram ads expert who can assess the average cost of Instagram advertising for your industry and help you achieve your advertising goals.
Call Swift Digital Marketing Agency. (216)339-6041
There’s no question that building great inbound links to your site is hard work. While many site owners resort to spamming blog comment sections to get their backlinks, that’s neither necessary nor effective for your SEO efforts.
Although there's much talk about generating inbound links, the nitty-gritty ways to actually do that are rarely discussed.
Thankfully, link building strategies aren't as tough to implement as many people say they are. Think of it like social media — if you’re a source of great content, and you get it in front of the right people, they’re going to share it.
With that in mind, we'll get you started with tested and effective tricks to help you build legitimate inbound links. Read on to see how to use these link building ideas in your SEO strategy.
What is link building?
Link building is the process of increasing the quantity and quality of inbound links to your website to gain referral traffic, boost domain authority, and increase search engine rankings.
What are backlinks?Backlinks, also called inbound links and incoming links, are a form of off-page SEO where you earn links from other websites that direct readers to your own site.
The person receiving the link is the one who refers to a link as a backlink.
Backlinks are different from outbound links (links from your website to another website) and internal links (links from one page on your website to another).
The right backlinks can do two great things for your website:
A good inbound link comes from an authoritative website, and uses natural anchor text. Anchor text is simply the text copy that's hyperlinked. For example, if I link to our blog post about backlink strategies, the anchor text is "backlink strategies.”
Natural anchor text means you're not just hyperlinking keywords left and right. Google understands the context of a link, so more generic "learn more" and "click here" anchor text can be just as valuable as keyword-optimized anchor text.
For an inside look into how Glassdoor successfully utilized backlinking to rise to the top of the search pages, check out our video case study.
Link Building Strategies
1. Maintain a steady blog with great content.Consistently creating great blog content that people naturally want to link to is one of the most tried and true ways to organically generate inbound links.
You should publish content that’s directly related to your industry and that helps your reader. That way, they feel compelled to share it. They might even link to it from their own website, if they own one.
Learn how to start a successful blog with our free guide and checklist.
2. Link to other blogs on your blog.A blog is meant to be a social tool. The more you link to others — especially when you do it in a consistent, opportunity-driven way — the greater likelihood one of those bloggers will return the favor.
Plus, you can't cover everything about everything on your blog. It makes sense to leverage the wealth of resources on the web to make your blog's experience better and more rewarding for your readers.
3. Write guest blog posts.
Write a great blog post, and shop it around to blogs it'd be a good fit for. If one accepts, they should be willing to give you an inbound link in the post. Guest blogging is a great way to both promote your expertise and earn quality white-hat links.
Don't know whom to write for? Most media outlets allow people to submit original articles on topics relevant to their readership. You should start, however, with publications directly in your niche. If you’re a branding agency, you might inquire with branding publications.
4. Curate and publish helpful resource lists.Resource lists are both great link bait and helpful content for your readers. If you create a comprehensive resource list, it'll be easy for other bloggers to link to it in their own posts instead of rehashing and curating all that content themselves. To give you an idea of what one might look like, here's an example of a list of resources we curated for beginner SEO’s.
5. Do expert roundups to build relationships.Expert roundups can be a great tool for building relationships with influencers. While these roundups may not get you a lot of inbound links or leads right away, building relationships with influencers will help you get solid backlinks from authoritative sources down the line.
After they contribute to your roundup, you can reach out to them later to ask about a guest post opportunity or something else — while thanking them again for contributing to the previous expert roundup.
In one of our expert roundups, we reached out to successful marketers and asked them to share their top content marketing tips.
6. Write newsjack posts. Newsjacking is when you capitalize on the popularity of a news story to amplify your own sales and marketing success. If you're the first blogger to comment on a news event, you'll rise to the top of the SERPs due to the "freshness" component of Google's algorithm, and others will link to your content in their own accounts of the story.
If you’re not sure what newsjacking can look like, take a look at a few newsjacking examples we found across the web.
7. Create case studies about your most impressive clients.If you make your clients look good in case studies about their business, you can bet they'll be linking to your site. But you've got to make them good. This means choosing companies that have seen the best results, are enthusiastic, and know your product or service well.
It also means asking the right questions and laying out the case study in an attractive, comprehensive way.
8. Volunteer to be the subject of a case study. Why not get on the other side of the case study link love? Companies are always looking for customers who are willing to be the subject of a case study. Volunteer your time for one of your major vendors, and get a backlink from the case study once it's published.
9. Administer surveys.If you conduct research, promise to share the data with others. If you do the data collection and crunching and give some high authority sites access to the findings afterwards, you can bet they'll do some promotion and inbound linking for you to make sure you have a great sample size.
10. Write book reviews.If you provide a comprehensive review about another author's content, there's a good chance they (and others) will link to it. Here's an example of a book review from our blog, which sums up The Challenger Sale in a five-minute read or less.
11. Conduct free webinars, and post archived copies online.If it’s informative, your attendees will absolutely share it. One easy way to do this is to turn your PowerPoint presentation slides into a SlideShare presentation, and then embed that presentation into a blog post. You can also embed it into the webinar's landing page so that anyone looking to sign up for a webinar that's already over can check out the presentation.
For an even better shot at backlinks to these archived webinar pages, partner up with another company, brand, or influencer for the webinar. Not only do two well-aligned brands make for a powerful presentation, but it'll widen the audience — even after the webinar is over. (Learn tips on creating a webinar in this blog post.)
12. Create free tools.Remember when I talked about curating and publishing resource lists for your blog? What do you think people include and link to on those resource lists? Free tools are a big one. You can get on the other side of those resource lists by creating free tools that are really helpful for your target customers.
For example, look at Website Grader, a tool that has won links from many agencies, partners, and others in our industry.
13. Create shareable templates.Like free tools, templates are another thing people will find useful enough to link to. Before you create a template, think about what kind of templates would make people's jobs easier. A designer, for example, might create a library of downloadable business card templates to which others could link to over and over. Bookmarkable content is often the kind of content that gets tons of inbound links.
14. Create compelling infographics.People absolutely love to share infographics. If you create an original infographic yourself, people will link back to you as the original source. To increase the likelihood of an inbound link, you might also share your design with the sources you cited, and make the embed code for your infographic easily accessible.
Not a designer? Anyone can create professional-looking, high-quality infographics — and quickly with templates like these free infographic templates. Before creating an infographic, you’ll want to come up with a topic that can actually be visualized and that relates to your industry.
15. Create other forms of visual content.Cartoons, content visualizations, charts and graphs, and the like are an important part of a visual content marketing strategy and a great way to win inbound links. Since they take time and money to make, others will probably skip the fuss of creating their own visual content and link to yours instead.
You can use free online design tools to create your own graphics, regardless of how tech-savvy you are.
16. Create SlideShare presentations.
Slice one of your infographics into pieces or repurpose one from your last speaking gig. You can put these up on your blog, in your website's resource center, or even on a SlideShare account for more links.
Keep in mind that the most shareable presentations are the ones that are the most compelling. That means great content and great design. Read this blog post for a start-to-finish guide on nailing your next PowerPoint presentation.
17. Do something funny.
Funny things spread like wildfire. Think about the funny inside jokes in your industry, and capitalize on it with some humorous content that's linkable. You can create a meme, a short video, or a tweet that captures the joke. Just be careful that you understand your audience and how they're likely to respond so that nothing is taken offensively.
18. Write press releases about interesting company news.By turning your PR strategy into an inbound one, you create opportunities that weren’t there before and carve out a place for your company, building meaningful mindshare in the process with your target audiences.
Once you write a great press release, post it up on your website and then push out your releases to one of the big newswires to get more coverage.
19. Send out a joint press release when your news involves another company.This can help reach thousands of other related sites that, in a press release about just your company, may not have linked to your site. This will give you a chance to reach a larger number of people — and get more backlinks as a result.
20. Do some outreach when you have big news or a great piece of content.Gaining attention from the press and getting published in industry publications can help you build your brand, increase your visible expertise, improve your credibility, and, of course, get backlinks from authoritative sources.
First, create a dedicated page about the story on your website for them to link to. Then, reach out to a handful of journalists and/or publications that you can see really valuing your story. Be sure to give context to your request, follow their rules, write a compelling subject line on your pitch email, and be helpful, not boastful.
21. Set up press request alerts and look for opportunities to send quotes.Press request alerts are requests for sources of information from journalists. These journalists are constantly looking for quotes from specific people to feature in their article, and there are several mediums they use to send requests and find those quotes.
Because of the high volume of requests you'll receive, Barby also recommends creating email filters or folders to keep yourself organized.
22. Write and pitch op-ed articles.If you have an interesting opinion to share and can express it clearly and persuasively in an op-ed article, you could have the opportunity to reach a lot of people, earn recognition for yourself and your organization, and get authoritative backlinks to your website. I find the most effective op-ed articles make a single point, embrace the author's personal voice, and then offer specific recommendations.
Once you write the article, target online versions of industry newspaper and magazine publications for an extremely valuable inbound link.
23. Partner with companies in complementary industries.It’s common practice for corporate channel partners to link to each other's great content, because they have a vested interest in one another's success.
You might consider assessing how much traffic a partner can drive to your website by taking a look at their overall web presence on Alexa and SimilarWeb. These sites can help get a rough idea of traffic, bounce rates, keywords, and sources people are using to find that site, as well as the next action they take after visiting.
24. Do some co-marketing.You can also go a step further and build co-marketing partnerships. This means partnering up with another company to promote a piece of content or product and then sharing the results of that promotion. When you leverage the relationship and reach of a partner, you'll get more links and more buzz with less work.
Effective co-marketing doesn't have to be complicated or expensive, either. You can reach out to a similarly-sized brand in another space and pitch the project to them. You can start with something as simple as a few tweets, then build your way up to creating marketing collateral.
25. Ask for reviews.
You can ask users of your product and industry experts or analysts to review new features you're rolling out, for example. Not only will you receive an inbound link, but you'll also get great feedback and strengthen your relationship with those you asked to write reviews.
Don't know where to ask for reviews? Check out our list of the best product review websites for B2B and B2C companies.
26. Make friends with other webmasters in real life.Strengthening your relationship with other webmasters will open the door for relevant inbound link requests when future opportunities arise, and make it more likely those requests don’t go ignored.
Networking is an unparalleled skill to have. The wider and more open your network, the more opportunities could be unlocked that you didn't even know existed. Here are helpful tips on networking like a pro to get you started.
27. Search for and monitor mentions of your brand.Contact webmasters about turning those mentions into inbound links, but only when it's warranted — like when they're citing data of yours, for example. This is a tactic called "link reclamation.”
Monitor brand mentions by setting up alerts using tools like Mention or BuzzSumo, and adding keywords related to your brand or products. Just make sure you exclude any mentions from your own website within the alert, which you can do in these tools' settings.
Here's an email template for reaching out to ask for a link from our VP of Marketing:
28. Identify broken links through site-crawling tools.Similar to the step above, some webmasters may link to your site but use old or broken links. This is natural as you change and update your website over time. However, these inbound links are still valuable — and you can update them.
Use tools like Dead Link Checker, Link Juice Recovery Tool, and Screaming Frog to scan for broken links on other websites. Then, using the above template as inspiration, reach out to webmasters with a correct link as replacement.
29. Search for and monitor your competitors' backlinks.Find opportunities where you can get similar links. This is a great way to find high-value link opportunities fairly easily. Run competitor research weekly or monthly to find new opportunities you can take advantage of while they're still fresh.
Use a link analysis tool like Ahrefs, Majestic, or Moz's Link Explorer to get a list of the backlinks for one of your competitors. Then, check out what types of posts are earning backlinks and benefiting from that off-page SEO.
For example, if one of your competitors is writing guest posts for certain publications, there's a high likelihood those publications would be interested in guest posts from you on similar topics.
30. Incorporate "Tweet This" links into your content.Part of getting inbound links is getting your content out to the masses. Including "Tweet This" or "Click to Tweet!" links for tweetable nuggets in your content will get people sharing your content socially more often.
The result? Greater visibility in search engines, news feeds, and Twitter streams — and thus more opportunity for your data to be referenced in other people's content.
Here's what one of these links can look like:
Researchers found that colored visuals increase people's willingness to read a piece of content by 80%. [Tweet this stat!]
You can easily create tweetable links using the ClickToTweet service — without having to learn any custom code.
31. Install social sharing widgets.Just like "Tweet This" links get your content out there, so do social sharing buttons and widgets. Put them on your marketing content like case studies, whitepapers, ebooks, and blog posts. The more often your site appears on other social media sites, the more likely someone will see it, share it, and link to it from their website.
32. Sponsor or speak at an event.Events usually give their speakers and sponsors great website publicity. They’ll either list you on their sponsors page or introduce you as a speaker on a blog post. You can also negotiate inbound links into your terms to be sure your time and resources yield a beneficial inbound link.
If you're speaking at an event, make a really awesome, shareable presentation that people will want to find, share, and even link to later.
33. Help another webmaster fix an error on their site.Remember when I said you should get to know other webmasters? This is another time those connections will come in handy. When you find broken links on others' sites, let them know (politely, of course), and provide them with a piece of your own content that would be a suitable replacement for that broken link.
Be personal, friendly, and helpful, and this could be an opportunity to start building a relationship with that webmaster, too.
34. Give away free trials and sneak-peeks of your product.When people get to see your product beforehand, they will want the world to know they're part of the VIP crowd, and might write a review with a link back to your site about it.
There are a few ways to give away free trials. You could create some call-to-action buttons for your website or blog.
You could also send a new product announcement email to folks who you think might be interested, like current customers. If you’re not sure how to announce your product, check out our guide on how to create a great product launch email.
Build Inbound Links the White-Hat Way and Increase RankingsThe days of spamming comment sections and paying for link-building services are over. With the tips and methods I’ve shared, you’re well on your way to building high-quality backlinks the white-hat way. As more links point to your site, you’ll rank much higher in the SERPs, boosting organic traffic and attracting more potential leads and customers.
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#SwiftDigital #SocialMediaMarketing #Branding
Starting a new business is exciting: There’s a fresh idea, a million to-do lists, and all the passion and drive to bring an idea to life.
As the brainstorming process gives way to a concrete plan, it’s essential to take time to articulate the vision, mission, and values behind your new endeavor. These are three key elements of the foundation of your brand identity. When you take the time to fine-tune your brand basics, you’ll have greater focus, more motivation, and a better sense of how your business shows up in the world — and online. A solid brand foundation can save time later, simplifying creative decisions and providing clear context to any employees, partners, or collaborators.
Read on to learn more about how to identify your vision, write your mission statement, and craft a list of your business’s values.
Consider your mission statement vs. vision statement Unlike the vision statement — which focuses on the big picture — your mission takes the abstract ideals of a vision and translates them into action. Since your vision statement is the why, your mission statement is the how. Learn how to craft both statements below.
Identify your vision and beliefs
Though it may feel rudimentary, taking the time to clarify your vision and beliefs is the key to establishing meaning behind your mission. Moving forward, many business decisions stem from the core beliefs of a business, so it’s worth the effort to hone in on what you care about and are building into your business from the start.
In order to figure out your vision, start by considering the following questions:
Write your mission statement
Once you’ve identified the problem you’re solving with your vision statement, get to the root of your mission statement by asking yourself:
List out your business’s values
Unlike your mission, values aren’t tangible objects or plans. Instead, they’re the core ideals of your company that inform decisions moving forward. Strive to identify roughly five or six values to create a complete guide of the principles that govern the way your business shows up.
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The Complicated Relationship Between Social Media and SEO
Inbound marketing is in the middle of an interesting evolution. Historically, search has been a major source of traffic and leads for businesses leveraging online marketing.
But, with the growth of social networks, social media marketing is even more heavily embraced today.
But, you might ask, which is more important?
The answer? Both can be key to your strategy.
Social Media vs. SEO
Social media management relates to posting and optimizing your content on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. SEO strategy relates to making your website or content more searchable so that people looking up phrases or questions about products or topics related to your industry will find your site in the results.
Search is a huge source of customers, but slowly, social media is gradually increasing in importance as a marketing platform. The important distinction to make is that search and social are not competitive forces. Instead, these two facets of inbound marketing can work together to amplify the results of each other.
Social Media and SEO
While social media management and SEO optimization are two very different strategies, they can compliment each other. While social media allows people to discover new content or brands that they or their friends might be interested in, SEO allows you to gain traffic from people who are searching questions or phrases related to your business. Leveraging both can help you gain traffic from a variety of different sources.
The key to understanding that search and social media marketing need to work together is to think about the problem both search and social solve: information discovery. People use Google to find an answer to a question. People use social media to discover answers to questions they haven't yet thought of. However, the difference between search engines and social media platforms is blurring. For example, Facebook search is one of the network's core features.
As a marketer, how can you integrate your efforts across both platforms?
Social Media SEO Strategy
1. Social Sharing Buttons on Your WebsiteIt may seem simple, but search engines like Google are starting to use social media sharing data to influence search rankings. As a marketer, it is critically important to have social media sharing buttons on your blog and website to encourage visitors to share content in social media. These buttons will not only help to increase traffic from social media but will also play an important role today and in the future for ranking positions in search engines.
2. Integrated Keyword Strategy
As I mentioned earlier, the line between search engines and social media platforms is blurring. Take the keyword strategy you are using for your website and apply it to your social media engagement when appropriate. This doesn't mean cramming tweets full of keywords. Instead, be aware of how you are wording social media messages. By incorporating keywords into social media content, you can increase the reach of your messages.
3. Include Links in Social Profiles
The links in social media messages such as tweets and Facebook status updates are traditionally no-follow links. This means they don't pass any SEO authority to the site they're linking to. While this is starting to change, it is important to understand that the URL in the actual bio of a social media account is a follow link. Keep this in mind, and make sure you are taking advantage of these extra links.
4. Incorporate Links Into Video and Presentation Content
Some of the most powerful social media platforms are those that facilitate content sharing, such as YouTube for video and SlideShare for presentations. When sharing content on these types of networks, be sure to share links to related blog posts or other content on your website. Yes, this will increase traffic to your website, but it will also help build new inbound links.
When someone writes a blog post about your content, it is likely they will also include a link from the presentation, simply because it is the "easy" thing to do.
5. Optimize Social Profiles
Think of social media profile pages as extensions of your website. In the same way that you would optimize website pages for page titles and keywords, audit your social media profiles to ensure they mirror the search engine optimization strategy of your website.
6. Build Links and Social Media Reach
Search engine optimization has long been about inbound links to your website. While inbound links are still really important, a secondary metric for marketers looking to increase search traffic should be social media reach. As we talked about earlier, social media data is becoming a factor in search engine rankings. In order to get more people to share your content in social media, you need to increase the number of fans or followers of your account. By doing this through quality content creation and engagement, you will not only build social media reach but also inbound links.
7. Establish New Relationships
The web is now a social communications channel. Similar to sales, relationships are huge for driving inbound links and social media attention. Building relationships using social media can open opportunities for guest blog posts and other link-building opportunities.
How Social Media Effects SEO
As we mentioned above, leveraging both strategies will give you more chances for audiences to discover your brand. But, it might slightly help your search results page rankings indirectly.
When you get a lot of traffic to your website, search engines that crawl your the internet will notice and think your brand is credible. Then, they might place your search result higher than others. So, if you post interesting content on social media that is incredibly click-worthy, you might see a boost in traffic.
Furthermore, if people or credible brands see your posts on social and share your website's link on their own blogs or websites, that could boost your page authority. This is something that might also move you up in rankings.
While this might not make a major dent in your rankings or total page authority score, especially when you're starting out, social media marketing couldn't hurt you.
If you've just focused purely on SEO and are ready to zone in on a complimenting social media strategy, check out our guide to social media marketing.
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Discover how to create and manage a brand that helps your business become known, loved, and preferred.
Coca-Cola is more than a soda. Starbucks is more than a coffee. Ray-Ban is more than a pair of sunglasses. Glossier is more than a tube of concealer.
Interacting with these products provide experiences, and we buy them with that experience in mind. Better yet, the companies that create and market them know exactly the experience they want you to have when you make (or consider) a purchase. That’s why they create a brand.
From the language in their Instagram caption to the color palette on their latest billboard to the material used in their packaging, companies who create strong brands know that their brand needs to live everywhere. They know their names extend far beyond the label.
The result? These brands are known, loved, and chosen out of a long lineup of options.
Who doesn’t want that? I know I do. That’s why we built this guide — to equip you to create and manage a strong brand that’ll help your business be admired, remembered, and preferred.
Use the links below to jump ahead to sections of interest, and don’t forget to bookmark this guide for later.
What’s a brand? Before I dive into the importance of branding and how to build a brand, let’s go back to basics: What is a brand?
A brand is a feature or set of features that distinguish one organization from another. A brand is typically comprised of a name, tagline, logo or symbol, design, brand voice, and more. It also refers to the overall experience a customer undergoes when interacting with a business — as a shopper, customer, social media follower, or mere passerby.
What is branding?
Branding is the process of researching, developing, and applying a distinctive feature or set of features to your organization so that consumers can begin to associate your brand with your products or services.
Branding is an iterative process and requires getting in touch with the heart of your customers and your business. It’s important for a variety of reasons — I dive into these next.
The Importance of Branding
Your brand is arguably one of your organization’s most important assets. It gives your organization an identity, makes your business memorable, encourages consumers to buy from you, supports your marketing and advertising, and brings your employees pride.
Branding can be the deciding factor for consumers when they make a purchase decision. In a 2015 global Nielsen survey, almost 60% of shoppers said they actively buy from brands they know, and 21% said they bought a product because they liked the brand.
Branding gives your business an identity beyond its product or service. It gives consumers something to relate to and connect with.
Branding makes your business memorable. It’s the face of your company and helps consumers distinguish your business across every medium (which I discuss later).
Branding supports your marketing and advertising efforts. It helps your promotion pack that extra punch with added recognition and impact.
Branding brings your employees pride. When you brand your company, you’re not only giving your business identity, you’re also creating a reputable, highly-regarded workplace. Strong branding brings in strong employees.
Branding Terms to KnowHere are some other brand-related buzzwords you should know. They further demonstrate the importance and value of branding your business.
Brand awareness refers to how familiar the general public and your target audience is with your brand. High brand awareness leads to brands being referred to as “trending,” “buzzworthy, or “popular.” Brand awareness is important because consumers can’t consider purchasing from your brand if they’re not aware of it.
Strong branding makes your business known.
Brand extensions are when companies “extend” their brand to develop new products in new industries and markets. Consider Honda lawn mowers or Martha Stewart bedding. Brand extensions allow companies (or individuals) to leverage brand awareness and equity to create more revenue streams and diversify product lines.
Strong branding brings in more money.
Brand identity is the personality of your business and the promise you make to your customers. It’s what you want your customers to walk away with after they interact with your brand. Your brand identity is typically comprised of your values, how you communicate your product or service, and what you want people to feel when they interact with it.
Strong branding gives your business more than a name.
Brand management refers to the process of creating and maintaining your brand. It includes managing the tangible elements of your brand (style guide, packaging, color palette) and the intangible elements (how it's perceived by your target audience and customer base). Your brand is a living, breathing asset, and it should be managed as such.
Strong branding requires consistent upkeep.
Brand recognitionBrand recognition is how well a consumer (ideally in your target audience) can recognize and identify your brand without seeing your business name — through your logo, tagline, jingle, packaging, or advertising. This concept goes hand-in-hand with brand recall, which is the ability to think of a brand without any visual or auditory identifiers.
Strong branding keeps your business top-of-mind.
Real-life brand example: Want to test your brand knowledge? Take this Logo Quiz by Business Insider to see how well you know your corporate brands. This is brand recognition at work.
Brand trust refers to how strongly customers and consumers believe in your brand. Do you deliver on your marketing promises? Do your salespeople and customer service go above and beyond? These things can create trust among your customers, which is important in a world where a mere 25% of people feel confident in large businesses.
Strong branding builds trust with your customers.
Brand valuationBrand valuation is the commercial valuation of your brand derived from consumer perception, recognition, and trust. This concept goes hand-in-hand with brand equity. A powerful brand can make your business invaluable to investors, shareholders, and potential buyers.
Strong branding increases your business’s value.
How to Create a Brand
Here’s how you can create a brand — or begin the process of rebranding your current one.
There’s a lot that goes into a brand, and there’s a lot to consider when building a strong one. So, grab a notebook and jot down ideas as you move through this section. Recognize that branding is an iterative process, so you might be repeating some of these steps as you brainstorm and build your brand.
1. Determine your target audienceBranding leads to awareness, recognition, trust, and revenue. We’ve talked about that. But let’s take a step back and understand where those stem from: consumers. And not just any consumers — your target audience and customers.
If your brand doesn’t resonate with your audience, it won’t lead to that awareness, recognition, trust, and revenue. That’s where target market research comes in.
Before pressing pen to paper (or cursor to digital document), you must understand to whom your branding will be speaking. Who does your product serve? Who is your ideal customer? Why did you create your business in the first place?
What you learn about your target market and buyer personas will influence your branding decisions down the line, so make this step your first priority.
2. Establish your mission statementLet’s return to a question I asked in the previous step: Why did you create your business? Answering this will help you build your mission statement, which defines your purpose and passion as an organization.
Before you can craft a brand that your audience recognizes, values, and trusts, you must be able to communicate the purpose that your business provides. Then, every part of your brand (logo, tagline, imagery, voice, and personality) can reflect that mission and vision.
Your mission statement is a building block of your brand manifesto, which encompasses why your organization exists and why people should care about your brand.
Download our free guide to Defining Inspiring Mission and Vision Statements and learn the ins-and-outs of two of the most valuable strategic planning elements for businesses.
3. Define your unique values, qualities, and benefitsThere are probably lots of businesses in your industry and niche. It’s easy to focus on your competition (and there’s a time and place for competitive analysis), but, for now, let’s focus on you.
What’s one thing that your business has that no one else can mimic (er, legally)? Your brand.
Because of that, you must ensure that your brand is comprised of and inspired by elements that are solely yours: the values, benefits, and qualities that make your company unique.
Take a moment to jot down a list of what sets your business apart from others. I’m not talking about product features (like appearance, components, or capabilities); I’m referring to how your products or services improve lives and contribute to success.
Real-life brand example: Alani Nutrition
You’ve probably never heard of Alani Nu; they’re a nutrition company based in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. I order their vitamins because 1) they’re proven to work, and 2) I trust and respect the brand (and it’s gorgeous!). On their website, they’ve clearly and simply outlined their unique values and benefits as part of their overall brand. Highlighting these makes it easy for customers like me to trust their products and choose them over competitors.
4. Create your visual assets
At this point, you should understand your target audience, your mission statement, and the unique qualities that make up your business.
If you can say with confidence that you’ve mastered these steps, it’s time to move onto one of the more exciting parts of branding — the visual design. We’re talking about your logo, color palette, typography (fonts), iconography, and other visual components.
As you create these elements, build a set of brand guidelines (or a brand style guide) to govern the composition and use of your visual assets. This will ensure that whoever uses your new branding does so accurately and consistently.
Note: Design can be just as intimidating as it is exciting. Consider hiring a professional with logo and identity design experience or starting with a few helpful design templates.
5. Find your brand voice. Next, consider the auditory component of your brand. What would your brand sound like if you had a conversation with it, or if it texted you?
How you communicate with your target market is also considered part of your branding. You want to define a brand voice that connects and resonates with your audience — otherwise, they probably won’t pay attention. Because of that, don’t hesitate to return to step one to get familiar with to whom you’re speaking.
From your advertising campaigns and social media captions to your blog posts and brand story, ensure your tone is consistent throughout all of your written content. Give your audience a chance to get familiar with your brand and learn to recognize the sound of your voice. Better yet, master a fun, entertaining voice, and your customers will look forward to your social media and email updates.
Real-life brand example: MailChimp
MailChimp is a great example of a brand that speaks with a clear, consistent tone. When I used their free plan for my small business, I always chuckled when receiving their emails and working in their interface. From its web copy to its email blasts and social media captions, MailChimp has established a brand voice and personality that is personable, fun, and accessible — it can be hard to explain the technical parts of a software product (like A/B testing), but MailChimp has mastered that, too.
6. Put your branding to work
Your brand only works if you do. Once you finish designing and creating your new brand (or rebrand) integrate it throughout every inch of your business. Pay extra attention to ensure it’s displayed anywhere your business touches customers. Here are a handful of tips for applying your brand across your organization.
Splash your logo, color palette, and typography across your website. Don’t use anything but your predefined assets in your brand guidelines. Your website is a major part of your company identity — if it doesn’t reflect your brand, it will only provide a jarring customer experience. Also, be sure that all web copy, calls-to-action, and product descriptions reflect your brand voice.
All profile photos, cover art, and branded imagery should reflect your brand. Consider putting your logo as your profile photo — this will make it easier for customers to recognize your business. As with your website, be sure all profile information, posts, and captions reflect your brand voice.
If you have a physical products business, your product is probably the most tangible way that customers interact with your brand. For that reason, your packaging should reflect your new branding — in its design, colors, size, and feel.
Real-life brand example: Chobani
I love Chobani yogurt (confession: I’m eating it right now). Their new branding immediately tells me that they produce authentic, healthy Greek yogurt. That’s one of the main reasons I buy Chobani. Recently, I realized that their yogurt packages are made with a very earthy, textured material — an intentional decision that supports the overall experience they’ve paired with purchasing and eating the Chobani brand.
Because advertisements (digital and print) are often used to establish brand awareness and introduce consumers to your brand, it’s critical that they reflect your branding. In fact, your branding should make the ad creation process easier — with your brand style guide, you already know how your ads should appear and what type of copy to write.
Sales and customer serviceA brand is only as powerful as the people behind it, and if your people aren’t putting your brand to work, it won’t work for you. Moreover, your brand applies to more than your marketing. Inform your sales and customer service folks of your brand guidelines and tell them to use it, especially when they engage directly with customers. Whether they are sharing a branded product demo or answering customer support inquiries, encourage them to use your logo, tagline, imagery, and brand voice.
Branding Tips for Small Business
Treat your brand as a personTo best wrap your head around the branding process, think of your brand as a person. Your brand should have an identity (who it is), personality (how it behaves), and experience (how it’s remembered).
Ask yourself these questions about your brand:
The purpose of branding is to create relationships with your customers. The easiest way to do this is to treat your brand as a person and understand that you want your customers to do the same.
Real-life brand example: Whiskey Riff
Whiskey Riff is another brand you’re probably not familiar with. It’s a two-man media company based here in Chicago that’s dubbed themselves “the most entertaining country music site ever”. I’m a fan because I love country music, enjoy their written and podcast content, and proudly wear some of their awesome apparel.
If Whiskey Riff was a person, here’s how I’d think it would answer the questions above:
Build and follow a brand strategy
A brand strategy is more than your brand guidelines; it’s a plan with specific, long-term goals that can be achieved as your brand evolves. These goals typically revolve around your brand’s purpose, emotion, flexibility, competitive awareness, and employee involvement.
Remember how I said that branding is a continuous process? There’s a lot that goes into it. A brand strategy can help you turn that process into a well-oiled practice that keeps your brand moving toward success and recognition.
Don’t let inspiration turn into imitationCompetitive analysis is important. Not only does it educate you on where your competition stands and how they are excelling, but it can also give you ideas on how you can improve or further set apart your brand.
However, be conscious to not fall into an imitation trap. Keep your competitive research limited and focus on what your organization brings to the table. Just because a competitor (or two) has branded their company in a certain way doesn’t mean that you have to follow suit. New, unique, provocative brands are memorable brands.
Use branding to hire
Strong branding makes your employees proud. Leverage your branding to attract talented people. If hiring is a strong initiative for your organization, dedicate some of your resources to employer branding.
Employer branding is how you market your company to job seekers and current employees. If you’re publically proud of your organization, others will be, too.
Ready, Set, Brand
Branding is your organization’s name, logo, color palette, voice, and imagery. It’s also more. It’s that intangible feeling your customers have when they interact with your brand. You know … that experience we talked about in the beginning.
That’s how powerhouse brands deviate from all the others. The tangible components contribute to this — a gorgeous logo, a clever tagline, an authentic manifesto, and a clear brand voice — but truly strong brands thrive when they focus on the big picture of their brand. Get to the heart and soul of your target audience and your organization, and a successful brand will follow.
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For every piece of content we write, SEO is on our radar. We want our content to rank high so visitors come to our site.
But do certain content writing techniques impact SEO?
And in this post, we’ll cover ten SEO content writing tips for improving search ranks. We also tossed in a few bonus tips to take your content writing to the next level. Let’s get into it.
Looking to sharpen your SEO?
Write an Enticing Page Title and Description. To kick things off, let’s start with our look in search engines.
The goal of SEO content writing is to get search engine traffic. This means searchers need to click.
By writing irresistible page titles and descriptions.
Here are a few tips to use.
For page titles:
Use Headings and Subheadings
Headings and subheadings go a long way.
They break up your content. Because visitors are reading from a screen you have to keep your page light. This means avoiding walls of text.
And you can also inject SEO juice into your content by mentioning target keywords. This is good on-page SEO practice.
I try to mention the target keyword in my main heading and in a few subheadings when possible.
Pro Tip: If your target keyword doesn’t make sense in a heading or subheading, scrap it. Forcing keywords for the sake of SEO will hurt you in the long run. It turns readers off, making them jump ship.
Use Appropriate Keyword Density (and LSI Keywords)You know mentioning keywords throughout your content is a must.
But how much is too much?
Keyword density is a time-tested SEO concept. Because we’re writing content with SEO in mind, mentioning your target keywords throughout your copy is wise.
But you have to be careful. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Don’t spam your content to improve SEO. First, it creates a bad user experience. And second, search engines will pick up on your attempt. In the end, both hurt SEO efforts. Instead, mention your keyword when it makes sense.
You can see good keyword density in action on the RyTech blog. Their writers mention target keywords naturally every 1 – 2 paragraphs.
You can also use latent semantic keywords to build around your topic. These are variations of your target keyword.
Use Internal and External LinksLooking to add credibility to your content and boost SEO?
Then link to other resources.
From a credibility perspective, linking to other content (internal or external) gives users the option to explore subjects deeper. Also, if you’re sharing stats in your content, links provide a source. This goes a long way for improving user experience.
Next, SEO. Linking your content to relevant pages shows search engines you know what you’re talking about. How? Because you’ve done the homework. You know where to send your visitors for more details.
Pro Tip: Use authority websites when linking to other pages. These are sites that have built credibility in their space.
The Garfield Group blog shows good examples of how to link. They reference authoritative domains and link to their own relevant content throughout blog posts.
Answer User Search IntentThis SEO content writing tip isn’t technical. It’s about providing value.
Because searchers are asking questions and looking for solutions, you need to provide the answer.
And in doing that, make sure you answer search queries quick. Once you’ve done that, then you can elaborate.
Here’s why: New visitors coming to your site expect answers immediately.
It’s different when you have a subscriber base returning regularly. For this type of content, you can take your time to warm up.
But for new visitors, you have to be direct. So make sure you’re answering user search intent at the outset of your content.
Use a Simple URLHere’s a quick SEO content writing win. Not so much to do with content, but more for search result look-n-feel. There are also SEO points to win here.
A simple URL gives searchers instant recognition.
Also, Google prefers simple URLs. As a rule of thumb, try using your target keywords as your URL slug.
The content team at Evus shared this tip with us in the past. And you can see they practice what they preach when it comes to optimizing URLs.
Writing SEO-friendly URLs is straightforward, so don’t miss out on this quick win.
Use Bullet ListsBullet lists pack a ton of info into a few points.
And this is exactly what search engine visitors reading your content are looking for.
It also doesn’t hurt to throw your target keyword into the mix.
Pro Tip: When you have a long paragraph that’s a goldmine of information – transform it into a bullet list. You might even be able to get away with using your target keyword in unique ways.
Here’s an example from the TrustedPros content team. They use bullet lists to explain complex ideas. This takes cognitive load off readers.
Use Call-to-ActionsFor any content writing, your goal is to create action.
Whether you’re writing content for a blog, landing page, or homepage, you want visitors to take the next step.
This is where a strong call-to-action come in.
CTAs guide your readers. If your web content does its job, you should see users moving on to other pages.
But how is this good from an SEO perspective?
A combination of great content and a CTA improves site dwell time.
Pro Tip: Dwell time is the amount of time visitor spend on your site before returning to a search engine. Search engines use dwell time as an indicator for content quality.
Back to our call-to-action technique. This is one of my favorite SEO content writing tips because it funnels visitors through the lead-gen cycle and it also improves SEO.
Here’s how we use CTAs on the Swift blog. We want to provide a great experience to our readers. And to do that, we use a CTA that leads to relevant content.
Use Shorter Sentences. Shorter sentences keep visitors reading. It makes content more digestible. Similar to the headings and bullet list tips.
Make sure you’re practicing shorter sentences on your company blog.
When visitors find your blog through search, you want them to stick around and read through the entire piece. This shows Google that searchers prefer your content.
Make a Promise and Deliver. Let’s walk through a scenario.
A visitor searches for a topic and finds your landing page.
So: What made the visitor click on your result and not your competitors? It’s because you made a promise. You offered a solution to their query.
But once the visitor is on your site, they realize you’re not meeting their needs.
So what happens? They bounce.
From an SEO perspective, this is bad news. Bounce rates are a major factor in dwell time. Your goal is to keep visitors on your site.
And this starts with the promise you made in your organic result. So as a rule of thumb, don’t make a promise and not deliver. You might get more clicks, but at the expense of a bad experience.
SEO Content Writing Bonus TipsYes! You’ve reached the SEO content writing bonus tips. These are bonus tips because they’re applicable to specific types of content. Nonetheless, make sure your boosting SEO performance with them.
Long-Form Content for Blog PostsIf you’re familiar with the SEO game, you know about long-form content.
And you can use your blog to drive site traffic for unique keywords. So when you do hit publish on that blog post, make sure it’s the definitive answer on a subject.
So how long should posts be?
Try writing content that’s at least +750 words. This gives you enough time to introduce the subject, and dive into the details.
Anything less and your content is going to be thin. Meaning search engines won’t give it the quality stamp.
Use Emotion-Driving WordsI touched on this idea earlier in the post. But it’s worth mentioning as it’s own SEO content writing tip.
Emotion-driving keywords are important to use for your organic CTRs.
Spicing up your organic headline and description are going to help improve click-through rates. This, in turn, improves SEO performance in the long run.
Help Content Succeed in Search Engines with These SEO Content Writing TipsYou have to keep SEO in mind when writing content.
But there’s a fine line to walk here.
You never want to sacrifice quality content for SEO. Search engines have become smart enough to see through that.
Instead, you can use these outside the box content writing tips. They work for both copywriting and SEO.
What did you think of our SEO content writing tips? Would you include anymore? Let us know in the comments.
And make sure you’re maximizing organic visitor traffic to your site with the On-Page SEO Checklist Download for Digital Marketers.
7 Marketing Channels to Focus On
Even though Field of Dreams is one of my favorite movies, the saying “If you build it, they will come” sadly doesn’t apply to content marketing. Too often, we forget that content marketing consists of two separate words — content and marketing. Creating content is usually the most fulfilling and enjoyable part of a marketer’s job but, distributing that content is just as important.
After all, if no one sees your content, they definitely won’t come.
This is why it’s important to understand marketing channels and which ones you should use to leverage your content marketing goals. In short, marketing channels are the different tools and platforms you use to communicate with your target audience. While the decision to use specific channels should come from your audience insights, it’s essential to understand different channels’ value.
In this post, we’ll discuss different marketing channels to consider using that will amplify your reach, resonance, and revenue, all while prioritizing what matters most: your customers.
Marketing Channels To Focus On
1. Word of Mouth Marketing. 70% of consumers say that trusting a brand is more important today than ever before. Unfortunately, consumers also trust brands and the paid content they create less than ever before. So, what’s a marketer to do when the very people they need to persuade don’t trust them? They need to rely on their customers’ recommendations of their brand to inspire other customers to make purchases, also known as word-of-mouth marketing .
People trust other consumers over marketers because marketers have an agenda. They promote their products and services to generate sales, but customers will only rave about a product or service if it truly benefits them. If you’re skeptical, consider the following research findings:
You can encourage this type of marketing by creating a customer experience that meets your audience’s needs and providing top-notch customer service. In other words, you need to serve your customers’ needs before your own.
2. Podcast Marketing. 55% of the U.S. population aged 12 and above listened to podcasts, and 37% listened in the last month for an average of six hours per week. The demand for audio content has exploded, so it’s worth considering podcasts to meet your audience where they already are.
Featured Resource: How To Start a Podcast For Your Business
Not only is demand high, but podcasts and their hosts can help you develop a unique relationship with your audience as episodes feel conversational and share a more human side of your business.
Podcasts also create more opportunities for interaction, as customers aren’t restricted to listening while staring at their phone screen. For example, your ideal listener can play an episode in their car during their morning commute, while walking their dog, and while they’re cleaning their house.
According to researchers in the neuroscience field , storytelling is one of the best ways to capture attention and resonate with consumer emotions. The human brain is programmed to crave, seek out, and respond to a well-crafted narrative — that’ll never change.
3. Email Marketing. Wasn’t email supposed to die this year? And last year? And the year before that? As much as marketing gurus claim the final nail of email’s coffin is forthcoming, the data says otherwise. 91% of American internet users in 2019 used email, and Statista predicts that global email usage will grow to 4.48 billion users in 2024, a 580 million increase from 2018.
Encouraging users to subscribe to your online publications is a great way to keep them up-to-date with your latest news and stories. And, since it takes an average of six to eight touchpoints to generate a qualified sales lead , encouraging people to subscribe to your emails will generate more leads and revenue for your business.
While you may only associate email marketing with newsletters, you can use it to send personalized communications to your target audience, promote time-relevant content like product launches and sales, and nurture leads . Also, email is an owned media channel — nobody is dictating when, how, and why you can contact your prospects (but keep in mind that customers will unsubscribe from oversaturation).
Featured Resource: Email Marketing Planning Template
4. Social Media Marketing 3.6 billion people worldwide were using social media in 2020, and Statista predicts this number will grow to 4.41 billion in 2025. So, chances are, your customers are already on social media, meaning that it is an essential channel for your marketing efforts.
Consumers report using social media to escape everyday life, entertain themselves, connect with friends, and interact with the businesses they enjoy. Marketers use social media to generate brand awareness, foster relationships with their audiences and advertise their products.
A large number of social media platforms may make it a daunting channel to leverage. Still, the beneficial aspect of social media is that each platform offers different, unique audiences ready and able to interact with your content.
As mentioned above, these users also use social media for various purposes that likely align with your marketing goals, like researching brands and products of interest . Granted, using many of the platforms requires a significant amount of daily effort, but it will undoubtedly pay off:
Featured Resource: Social Media Marketing Course
5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) MarketingSearch engines are arguably the best marketing channel for acquiring attention. In fact, search engines are the primary source of discovery for new products and services among all internet users .
This has big implications for businesses using the channel for advertising, especially since people make 89,144 searches on Google per second.
Search engines are also one of the highest converting marketing channels . Since people actively search for answers to their questions and solutions to their problems on Google, they’re likely to download your offer or sign up for a free trial if you can provide them with what they’re looking for.
This means that optimizing all of your business’ existing channels will likely bring traffic and increase conversions. While a website may be your first thought when optimizing for SEO, this also applies to your YouTube channel , Google Maps Google My Business profile, your blog , and even your podcast episodes .
To build a thriving organic presence online, consider implementing the pillar-cluster model into your blog. Using this strategy, you’ll create a single pillar page that provides a high-level overview of a topic and hyperlinks to cluster pages that delve into the topic’s subtopics. This signals to Google that your pillar page is an authority on the topic.
Hyperlinking all of the cluster pages to the pillar page also spreads domain authority across the cluster, so your cluster pages get an organic boost if your pillar page ranks higher, and your cluster pages can even help your pillar page rank higher if they start ranking for the specific keyword they’re targeting.
6. Influencer MarketingInfluencer marketing is when a business partners with a relevant, popular creator in their industry to put out advertisements or specific pieces of content. It’s a valuable marketing channel, and 71% of marketers say that the quality of traffic generated from influencer marketing is better than other ad formats .
Leveraging influencers to meet your marketing goals can be beneficial in terms of generating brand awareness , as well as increasing social proof .
As mentioned before, consumers are trusting marketers less and less, and they shy away from sales-to-drive leads type content. They trust influencers more, as they view them as a person like themselves, especially when they share common interests. The content that influencers create is a form of user-generated content , a.k.a word-of-mouth marketing.
In addition, 93% of marketers are already using influencer marketing. Your competitors are already sharing this high-trust and high-return content with their audiences, and you should be too. An added bonus is the return on investment (ROI) for influencer marketing, with every one dollar spent totaling $5.78 ROI.
Featured Resource: The Ultimate Guide to Influencer Marketing
7. Video MarketingIf you’ve yet to consider using video marketing , now is the time to do so. Video can boost conversions, improve ROI, and help you build relationships with audience members. In addition, 69% of consumers prefer to learn about what a brand offers through video.
Video is also a non-restrictive form of content advertising. On some channels, you may only be able to incorporate text, some only allow for images, and others prioritize audio, but video can be all three. You can also create product advertisement videos, how-to demonstration videos, or even live videos to answer customer questions and troubleshoot customer questions.
The videos you create can be repurposed for various channels you may already use, like social media and email . In a sense, you’re creating video content for one channel and repurposing it to meet the needs of your other channels.
Featured Resource: The Ultimate Video Marketing Starter Pack
Consider Using a Multi-Channel ApproachDifferent marketing channels bring various benefits, but most businesses can find a way to use different channels in their marketing strategies to meet business goals.
After all, your audience is likely diverse and spread out, so using different channels creates multiple points of contact which, in turn, nurture leads and increases conversions.
Marketing Advice Don't forget to share this post!
When it comes to consumer spending, online content and social conversations have a huge impact on how and what people choose to buy.
As marketers, we create content in order to persuade and engage with customers. But modern consumers are skeptical and savvy. The moment something hints of “ad,” they lose interest and move on.
Whether you sell fitness and health products, tour packages, or home services, a single positive recommendation from a trusted source can trump even your most beautifully written copy or most engaging video demonstration. And while brand-crafted content is useful and can help build trust with customers, sometimes the most influential content comes from like-minded people that your customers know and trust.
In this new social paradigm, bloggers and others with loyal followers on social media are the new influencers.
Who Are These New Influencers? These new, socially savvy individuals often know more about social media and engaging with digital content than brands and agencies. What makes these new influencers even more powerful is the niche-based content they produce, which is often in a very specialized area. There are millions of bloggers publishing content in popular areas like parenting, food, fitness, fashion, and entertainment. These influencers can be segmented further to reach specific consumers like parents of teens, pet lovers, marathon runners, tech fanatics, and organic cooks.
The concept of partnering with bloggers and other active social media users is called “influencer marketing”. It is based on the premise of finding influencers in your niche to create and distribute relevant content and share it in an authentic and transparent way.
Finding The Right Influencers.
Despite its apparent advantages, influencer marketing is a wasted investment if you are not working with the right ones. And while it’s tempting to use single-metric definitions like unique visitors or Twitter followers as a measure of influence, it’s important to look deeper.
The answer to the question “how influential is someone online?” is “it depends.” Here are five things to look for when identifying online influencers for your brand.
Before you look at unique visitors and other static metrics, it’s important to look at how aligned a blogger’s content is with your messaging. Read through that blogger’s archived posts to get a sense for what kind of consumer they are.
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ARTICLE CONTINUES. Just because a blogger posts recipes doesn’t necessarily mean they are a match for an organic brand, and a tech-savvy sports fan doesn’t make them a guaranteed match for your gaming app.
Are you looking for budget-travelers, fashionistas, permissive moms, or coffee drinkers? Is profanity or provocativeness part of your brand personality? These are important things to look for in the content and audience of an influencer and are far more important than traffic.
Engagement is an indicator of how interactive a blogger’s audience is with the content. Do those readers respond, comment, and share? What percentage of readers are returning vs. new?
How much readers engage with a publisher and how often they return are indications of how meaningful those relationships are.
While not the most important metric, reach is certainly a valid consideration. However, marketers should resist the urge to only look at unique visitors as a measure of reach. Traffic and followers are only meaningful to the extent that the influencer is reaching your brand’s target audience.
For instance, if you are a hotel chain or car seat manufacturer, a travel blogger with a small reach is more influential than a food blogger with 100,000 unique monthly visitors.
It is also important to consider what other social platforms your customers visit. If you are a food or fashion brand, someone with a large following on Pinterest or Instagram might be more valuable than someone on Facebook with a large fan base.
For many verticals, there is a direct correlation between how often a blogger posts and their traffic and rate of return visitors. As with marketing any website, it often takes multiple exposures to get a visitor to click and check out your site, and you want to make sure they come back.
When a publisher is consistently posting high quality content on a regular basis, readers are more likely to return, bookmark, and share. Bloggers who don’t post as frequently tend to have a higher rate of turnover, fewer return visitors, and less loyalty.
This may sound counter-intuitive, but bloggers who have a smaller ratio of sponsored content tend to be more trusted and appear more authentic. Personal stories that include genuine use or mention of a product, service, or brand are more trusted than straight product reviews.
Compelling, engaging stories also tend to get more shares and comments than deals and product reviews. While it’s tempting to ask publishers to write a nice long review of your product (which readers don’t really pay much attention to), a health brand could engage influencers to write a post about things on their bucket list and how that list is motivation to stay healthy and live a long, active life. That type of content is highly engaging for readers, authentic for the blogger, and connects that health brand sponsor to a very sincere health-related conversation among a large audience.
Whatever your niche, you can engage with bloggers to create the quality, authentic content their audience expects while associating your brand with that content.
And remember that influencers are more than just bloggers—they include those with loyal audiences on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, and other social networks.
Want to learn who the influencers are for your brand or industry? Contact Us Today!
August 25th, 2021
Keywords Cultural Production, Influencers, Media Studies, Social Media, Technology Subject Categories Advertising and Promotion Management | Communication | Marketing | Sociology
A good UX writer knows that clear and concise language is the best way to guide a user through a product. By following basic UX writing principles, you help your audience navigate your product and appreciate everything else it has to offer. Your goal is to ensure your users have a delightful experience, and achieving this involves a collaborative effort from writers, web design experts and SEO specialists.
But what is UX writing, and why does it matter? When you know this, you can begin taking full advantage of UX writing services. In this blog, we break down:
• What is UX?
• What is UX writing in 2021?
• Expert UX writing tips
We also list the top UX writing guidelines followed by every leading UX writing agency today.
User experience writing is all about using words to guide users through products such as websites and computer applications or apps. However, UX writing principles can also apply to any product, system or service involving user or customer interaction.
So, that explains the writing side of it – but what is UX in itself? Let’s take a closer look to give you a more holistic view of user experience writing.
What Is UX? User experience covers the overall experience of interacting with your product. The things that contribute to your customer feeling satisfied might be factors outside of the product itself. Generally, this applies to customer touchpoints like a website, where the user experience directly impacts your sales. UX writing guidelines align with what makes a great user experience and help your customers stay engaged.
UX writing is directly related to how easy or difficult it is for users to interact with the product itself. So, basic examples of UX copy include navigation bar labels, call-to-action (CTA) button text, onboarding messages and error messages.
Why UX Writing Matters. Excellent UX writing helps customers use and understand your product and the touchpoints they engage with when interacting with your brand.
There’s no question that you need to grab and retain your customer’s attention, and you benefit when they engage. Without UX copywriting, your users could feel confused or frustrated, not knowing what to do on your site or how to interact with it. Worse still, poor navigation and a lack of direction often means they exit your site quickly due to feeling unsatisfied with the interaction.
UX designers build a product to be intuitive in terms of functionality, while a UX writer fills in every knowledge gap through written instructions and explanations. Your website can’t be 100 percent user-friendly without professional UX writing to drive action.
The Benefits of UX Writing for WebsitesUX writers and web design experts are vital resources in creating the most optimized experience for your site visitors. It’s a good idea to invest in professional content writing services for your search engine optimized (SEO) editorial content to be found online. But you also need user experience writing to encourage your audience to take steps towards becoming your customer.
Here’s what UX and website copywriting can do for your business:
• Increase Online Visibility
Page Experience, a recent Google update and a hot topic in the SEO world, strengthens the relationship between UX and SEO. The update means that websites offering a great user experience, in line with Page Experience guidelines, are prioritized in Google Search rankings. Achieving an excellent UX design is a collaborative effort – and involving a UX writing agency, content writing agency and web design agency is the most strategic option.
• Drive Users To Take ActionYou need to use a combination of words and visuals to tell your site visitors what to do. For instance, they need to know to click “Submit” when handing over their contact information, or all your optimization efforts go to waste. If you want them to read a related blog post, your UX copy and button text should reflect that.
• Improve Session DurationThe session duration refers to how long your site visitor stays on your website as a sum of the time spent on different pages. Keeping them engaged on the page positively impacts your search rankings and potential for sales. What you don’t want is for a user to bounce or immediately exit after seeing one page.
10 Basic UX Writing Principles You Need To FollowMarketing-oriented copy is essential for your business’s online visibility, while UX writing services are important for your product’s usability. You need UX copy to lead your audience in the right direction and keep them engaged.
UX rules cover tried-and-tested ways to offer the best user experience possible, but your implementation should be unique to your business and goals. The best UX writer takes these UX writing guidelines and applies them to your business’s unique context.
Here’s a roundup of UX writing rules every UX writing agency swears by:
1. Be ConciseUX copy is always clear and concise. Remove unnecessary words and phrases without compromising the readability and essence of your message. People naturally drift away from anything time-consuming or complicated, so keeping things simple is a rule that will always dominate lists of UX writing tips.
2. Use Natural LanguageWrite the way your users talk. Something unique to UX copywriting is that your copy is considered effective if your users barely notice it. Don’t over-explain, and keep a conversational tone.
3. Stay ConsistentIf you want your user to sign up for your webinar, don’t switch it out with the word register on the next page. This also applies to your business’s preferred tone of voice and personality.
4. Be PurposefulEvery aspect of your UX design needs to align with an end goal. The user should understand what they’re trying to accomplish and what is at the end of any given process through words and visual elements.
5. Help Your UserAlways empathize with your user: What would you like to see to improve your experience? Having an uplifting error message is one of the best applications of this. If a certain button on your site is not working, you want to apologize while offering an alternative option or immediate solution.
6. Write for a General AudienceYou have everything to gain from keeping your content universal. Steer clear of slang words, uncommon terminology and industry jargon. If you have to, define everything the first time you mention it.
7. Place Benefits Before FeaturesSay “Improve your sleep cycle with our sleep tracker” instead of “Use our sleep tracker to improve your sleep cycle.” Emphasize what’s in it for the user before going into more detail.
8. Write Great HeadlinesAside from capturing your audience’s attention, headlines and headings are vital for UX and SEO. They improve readability by organizing the content better and let search engines know what your content is about when web crawlers “read” it.
9. Know Your PlatformMaster the difference between writing for websites, apps and other products. You wouldn’t ask a user to click when using a mobile app or tap when browsing a desktop site. Involve UX writing services in the early stages of your website copywriting process to ensure your UX copy suits your business needs perfectly.
10. Test ContinuouslyYou can follow every rule in the book but still not get the results you want to see. Ensure your UX copy is effective by testing aggressively. Of course, this will be based on your unique goals, style and audience. Understand your audience’s pain points, apply them in your UX copywriting strategy and run A/B tests regularly.
Get the Help of Professional UX Writing ServicesRemember that refining your user experience makes your target audience more likely to engage with you. But to really produce profitable results, you need a holistic strategy and customized solutions.
Professional content writing services offer conversion-centric UX writing, sales-focused website copywriting and content optimized for search. A content writing agency will always be guided by the most up-to-date UX writing tips. And you can trust a web design agency to have the UX design and web design experts you need for a high-performing website.
Swift Digital Marketing is a full-service content writing agency and web design agency serving businesses of all sizes since 2005. We offer UX writing services, SEO content writing services, website design and 100 percent custom web design to accommodate all of your UX needs.
Our UX and SEO content writers are highly experienced in writing for websites, desktop apps, mobile apps and other platforms in need of professionally written content. We help lead your potential customers in the right direction and take the actions that benefit your business.
Contact us today to find out more about how we can help with your end-to-end UX, SEO and web design needs.
Filed Under: Search Engine Optimization, Content Creation, Online Marketing
Strengthening your business’s online presence is necessary to attract, convert and retain customers. But there isn’t a single formula that guarantees digital marketing success. Instead, you need to utilize a curated range of the best marketing channels for your specific business goals.
Digital marketing channels offer various tools to help you reach your target audience in the most effective ways possible. For instance, if your ideal customer is active on social media, then social video content is a great way to pique their interest. If your potential customer is very likely to search for your services on Google, you should improve your local search visibility.
The best marketing channels for leading brands are not necessarily the same online marketing channels that will deliver the results you need. It’s also highly unlikely that your target audience is concentrated on a single digital marketing platform. A good digital strategy leverages multi-channel marketing and omnichannel marketing – utilizing multiple online marketing platforms to best connect with your target audience.
Read on to learn 1) what is a marketing channel, 2) the importance of online marketing channels and 3) some of the best online marketing channels in 2021. Let’s look at how to leverage the best online marketing platforms and all the ways a digital marketing agency can help your business grow.
What Is a Marketing Channel?
There is no single answer to “what is a marketing channel?” but here’s a simple definition:
Online marketing channels or digital marketing channels are platforms, strategies or initiatives that businesses or marketers utilize to bring awareness to their products and services.
Whether your business uses multi-channel marketing focused on varied strategies or omnichannel marketing focused on the individual customer experience, the right marketing tools are available if you look in the right places.
The Best Online Marketing Channels in 2021
All businesses need to engage their target audience online, and there are many different digital marketing channels to choose from. It all boils down to what works best for your specific needs and your team’s capacity to manage your preferred channels.
For instance, if you are focused on performance marketing and need to measure results precisely, then highly trackable strategies such as pay per click (PPC) ads or email marketing are for you. If you have a lean team running a full-scale content marketing strategy, you need to be extra careful in choosing where to invest your resources.
The best way to reap the benefits of the marketing tools available today is to know their value and deepen your understanding of how to use them to promote your brand.
Here are six of the best online marketing channels for 2021:
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
A 2020 eCommerce study revealed about 81 percent of people search online for a product or service and 74 percent have purchased online (Smart Insights). Search engine optimization is essentially playing by search engines’ rules to rank higher in search results and become easily found by your target audience.
Search engine optimization techniques include creating high-quality and keyword-optimized content to drive traffic to your site and providing a great user experience (UX). Digital marketing trends dictate that the number of online buyers will continue to increase, so be sure your digital marketing services lay a robust SEO foundation for your search visibility on Google and other search engines.
2. Pay Per Click (PPC) Marketing
Pay per click marketing provides a way to buy some online visibility for your business. Paid campaigns give you the boost you need to stand out in the competitive online marketplace. With PPC, you place your brand in front of your ideal customer through data-driven audience targeting and strategic bid management on platforms like Google Ads.
Any business can benefit from PPC because you measure your campaign performance precisely to ensure your strategies remain profitable – no matter the size of your ad budget. What’s more, you can reach out to a digital marketing company for performance marketing and only pay for the PPC results they actually deliver.
3. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is dedicated to promoting your business to the over 70 percent of the U.S. population that has a social media account (Statista). Many people use social media regularly, which presents a daily opportunity to increase your brand awareness and win customers.
You can create multimedia content and ads on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get your target audience’s attention. Getting the help of social media professionals means you’re the first to know of digital marketing trends and you always stay ahead of the competition.
4. Video Marketing
Although largely related to social media marketing, video marketing deserves its own spot in this list of online marketing platforms. Studies show that people share videos far more than static images. Videos also keep your target audience’s attention longer than other media formats.
It’s best to have videos on your website to explain your business in an easily digestible way. It’s also a good idea to release video content and the increasingly popular “snackable” videos that are as short as 15 seconds. It’s worth noting that video marketing does require an investment in time and resources for the planning, creation and post-production of your videos, but it can be well worth the effort.
5. Email Marketing
Email is a crucial digital marketing platform for business-to-business (B2B) companies because email is the widely preferred channel for business-related communications. A Content Marketing Institute study revealed that 80 percent of B2B marketers say email newsletters are their number one form of content marketing.
Business-to-consumer (B2C) companies also stand to gain from email as 59 percent of consumers say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions (SaleCycle). Emails can be sent entirely free if done manually, but investing in the right email marketing software and leveraging performance marketing can get you better and faster results.
6. Website Design and Development
A business’s website is probably the most underrated digital marketing platform out there. Every leading business has a website, and most of your digital marketing strategies are designed to lead potential customers to your website contact form or landing pages that essentially serve as an extension of your website.
Make sure your website represents you authentically and establishes your position as an industry leader through exceptional website design and functionality. Keep your customers interested in your brand by showcasing the best of what you offer and integrating your various digital marketing channels to your website for the best results.
Choosing the Right Online Marketing Channels
The best online marketing platforms are the ones that are right for your business. And the prime opportunities for your brand may not exist in any list of best marketing channels. Your role is to know and understand your options and make your online marketing platforms work for you.
Take this Amazon Marketing example: Many only think of Amazon as solely a buy-and-sell platform, but digging deeper into Amazon as an omnichannel marketing platform, you will find built-in marketing tools that offer unique solutions that keep your brand top-of-mind.
For instance, a customer looking through Amazon Posts could like a product and be recommended the same item on other listings, search results and external websites through Amazon ads. You can also add landing pages within product listings called A+ Content to showcase your value far better than the standard product information can.
Every marketing channel offers a diverse set of marketing tools that any business can benefit from. As the digital space evolves, you need to have your basic marketing tactics in place while adapting to emerging marketing channels such as online reputation management and voice search SEO. Most importantly, you need to plan, execute and continuously optimize an overarching marketing strategy that keeps your business flourishing.
A digital marketing company has the expertise to keep up with digital marketing trends, help you stay relevant to your target audience and pivot your strategy whenever needed. Hiring a digital marketing agency means you have industry experts on your side to drive the best results from customized digital marketing services and a fully integrated multi-channel marketing strategy.
Swift Digital Marketing Agency s a full-service digital marketing agency growing businesses of all sizes since 2005. For more than 16 years, our digital marketing company has leveraged the best online marketing platforms to propel brands to achieve their unique business goals.
Contact us today to begin amplifying your brand awareness and growing your customer base with the help of our results-driven digital marketing services.
Filed Under: Web Design, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Online Marketing, Pay-Per-Click, Video Marketing, PPC
Running a franchise business puts you in a unique position when it comes to promoting your business online. In franchise marketing, for example, the franchisee must align their strategies with corporate marketing guidelines to ensure centralized messaging across the business. However, the franchisor must also recognize that most of these strategies don’t apply at the local level, which is precisely where franchise digital marketing excels.
In franchise digital marketing, an experienced franchise marketing agency or marketer devises and applies franchise marketing tactics that deliver growth to a franchise while remaining consistent with corporate marketing guidelines.
Finding the right franchise marketing strategy is one of the biggest challenges franchisees face. That’s why most franchise owners rely on the expertise of an experienced franchise marketing agency to help them build the right strategy.
In this blog, we’ll share with you franchise marketing statistics that you can use to inform your franchise marketing strategy. Peruse our franchise marketing statistics 2021 list to glean helpful information that can improve your marketing methods.
State of the Franchise Industry2020 was a challenging year for franchise businesses all over the world. Both franchisees and franchisors, in particular, are still reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Let’s take a look at a few statistics that provide greater insight into the current state of the franchise industry.
Franchise SEO StatisticsBecause franchises carry brands that are already widely known and accepted, consumers are generally more comfortable working with these businesses. But unless consumers are aware of a location near them, they still won’t be able to visit your store or acquire your service. That’s why franchise businesses need SEO to improve their local visibility. Take a look at the franchise SEO section of our franchise marketing statistics 2021 guide to help you implement a local SEO strategy.
Franchise Advertising Statistics
Franchise advertising plays a pivotal role in driving franchise growth. With its precise targeting options, utilizing these methods can prove cost-effective for your business. Whether you’re using a centralized advertising model for enterprise marketing or a decentralized model where franchisees have free rein, taking advantage of franchise advertising services can make a significant impact on your business. Take a look at this franchise advertising section of our franchise marketing stats 2021 list for insights.
Franchise Social Media StatisticsThe power and reach of social media should not be underestimated in today’s digital landscape. Both franchisors and franchisees understand the value of social media, which is why more and more multi-location businesses rely heavily on social media for their franchise marketing efforts. Below are some social media statistics for franchisees and franchisors to guide your social media efforts.
2. Poor Customer Service (49 percent)
3. Irrelevant Content (45 percent)
4. Too Many Ads (45 percent)
Social media listening is an integral part of running a successful franchise. This allows you to get a feel of what resonates with your local audience. Keep track of your social analytics and consistently engage your audience in conversation to gain more insights into their preferences so you can create content tailored to their interests.
Franchise Email Marketing StatisticsWhen it comes to enterprise marketing, the impact of email marketing isn’t just about sending emails to your contacts. Because branding is vital in corporate marketing, being able to deliver marketing emails directly to your audience’s inbox allows you to deliver a centralized message while still providing relevant, personalized content. Here are some email marketing statistics to guide your enterprise marketing campaigns.
ConclusionIn this blog, we shared some of the most insightful franchise marketing statistics to guide your marketing strategies. We hope that you were able to glean information from our franchise marketing statistics 2021 guide that can help your franchise expand its influence and generate more growth.
Franchise marketing can be tricky because it requires a clearly defined strategy that benefits both the brand and its franchise holder. For franchise digital marketing strategies to work, the corporate office must provide their franchisees a certain level of freedom with their franchise marketing strategy to tailor their methods to their local audience.
If you need assistance from a top-level franchise marketing agency to generate success for your franchise, Swift Digital Marketing is here to help. We have worked extensively with both franchisees and their parent companies in assisting them to expand their franchise’s influence. Partner with an established agency that understands what it takes to build a successful franchise marketing strategy. Give us a call at (216)339-6041 or to schedule a consultation.
Filed Under: Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Email Marketing.
August 23rd, 2021
Building your social media marketing strategy for 2021
Looking to fine-tune your social media marketing strategy for 2021?
Good! Now’s the perfect time to make it happen and leave 2020 behind for good.
Sure, doing so might seem daunting given how social media is so much more competitive and complex than it used to be.
The reality, though? A succinct strategy will help your brand tackle its goals with a sense of purpose.
That’s why we put together a comprehensive guide to creating a social media marketing plan from scratch.
Whether you’re totally new to social or just want to double-check your priorities in 2021, this guide has you covered.
“What do you want from social media, anyway?
Social media strategy planning starts with your goals.
Perhaps you want to build a community or a more dedicated following. Maybe you want your social accounts to drive more revenue this year.
Either way, your goals will define your content strategy and how much time and energy you’ll need to dedicate to your campaigns.
Sample social media goals for 2021 and beyond
What really matters is that you set realistic social media goals.
Emphasis on “realistic,” by the way. We recommend tackling smaller objectives that allow you to scale your social efforts in a way that’s both reasonable and affordable.
Below are some sample goals that businesses of all shapes and sizes can pursue.
Increase brand awareness. This means getting your name out there. To create authentic and lasting brand awareness, avoid solely publishing promotional messages. Instead, focus on content that emphasizes your personality and values first.
Generate leads and sales. Whether online or in-store, followers aren’t going to make social purchases by accident. For example, are you about alerting customers about new products and promos?
Grow your brand’s audience. Bringing new followers into the fold means finding ways to introduce your brand to folks who haven’t heard of you before.
Growing your audience also means discovering conversations around your business and industry that matter the most. Digging through your social channels is nearly impossible without monitoring or listening to specific keywords, phrases or hashtags. Having a pulse on these conversations helps you reach your core audience much faster.
Boost community engagement. Explore ways to grab the attention of your current followers. This means experimenting with messaging and content. For example, does your brand promote user-generated content and hashtags?
Even something as simple as asking a question can increase your engagement rate. Your customers can be your best cheerleaders, but only if you’re giving them something to do.
Drive traffic to your site. Simple enough. If you’re laser-focused on generating leads or traffic to your website, social media can make it happen. Whether through promotional posts or social ads, keeping an eye on conversions and URL clicks can help you better determine your ROI from social media.
Any combination of these goals is fair game and can help you better understand which networks to tackle, too. When in doubt, keep your social media marketing strategy simple rather than muddling it with too many objectives that might distract you. Pick one or two and stick with ’em.
2. Take time to research your target audienceMaking assumptions is bad news for marketers.
And thanks to the sheer wealth of demographic data and social media analytics tools out there, you really don’t have to anymore.
Much of what you need to know about your audience to influence your social media marketing strategy is already available, granted you know where to look.
In fact, in a recent survey of 250 business executives, 72% are currently using social media as a source of data and insights to inform their company’s business decisions.
Remember: different platforms attract different audiencesTake today’s social media demographics, for example. These numbers speak directly to which networks your brand should approach and what types of content to publish. Here are some key takeaways as of 2021:
Do your homework on your existing social media audienceAlthough the demographics data above gives you insight into each channel, what about your own customers? Further analysis needs to be done before you can determine what your real-world social customers actually look like.
That’s why many brands use a social media dashboard that can provide an overview of who’s following you and how they interact with you on each channel.
For example, Sprout’s analytics dashboard puts your audience demographics front and center. It also highlights which social networks are seeing the most activity, helping you ensure your spending your time on the right networks.
With Sprout’s Group Report, you can view Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest data side-by-side in a customizable format that’s exportable by date range and profile.
Consider also that there’s plenty of other sources of valuable audience data to supplement your social media insights. This includes your Google and email analytics or even your best-selling products.
All of the above will ultimately influence everything from your marketing messaging to how you’ll approach customer service or social selling.
3. Establish your most important metrics and KPIsNo matter what you’re selling, your social media strategy should be data-driven.
That means focusing on the social media metrics that matter. Rather than focus on vanity metrics, brands are tasked with digging into data that aligns directly with their goals.
What metrics are we talking about, though? Check out the breakdown below:
4. Create (and curate) engaging social contentNo surprises here. Your social media marketing strategy hinges on your content.
At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of what to publish based on your goal and brand identity. You probably feel confident in which networks to cover, too.
But what about your content strategy? Below are some ideas and inspiration that can help.
The importance of sticking to content themesChances are you’ve seen a post from a particular brand that just feels like, well, theirs.
The bold, grandiose images that give Passion Passport’s Instagram grid a recognizable, cohesive feel are a great example.
From filters to captions and beyond, many brands rely on the same content formats and creative touches time and again. These content themes can help you become more consistent and zero in on a content strategy that makes sense.
For example, you might cycle between memes, product photos and user-generated content while sticking to a rotating color scheme. If you’re struggling to keep up with all these sources of social content, consider social media management tools that help you organize your media library and schedule your posts in advance.
“Which types of content should be part of my 2021 social media marketing strategy?To help narrow down the specifics of what you should be publishing and make sure you’re developing innovative content, here are some social media trends to consider.
Stories and time-sensitive postsStories aren’t going anywhere. Tapping into your followers’ FOMO (fear of missing out), Stories-style content is both interactive and can’t-miss. Popping up first in your followers’ feeds by default, such content can help your brand’s account “skip the line” and stay fresh in your audience’s minds.
Stories are especially valuable for taking your followers behind-the-scenes and making your social feed feel a bit more personal. For example, consider how you can use Stories to cover an event or take your followers on a journey without them having to leave the comfort of the ‘gram.
Short-form videoSocial video is booming, especially with the rise of TikTok and the recent rollout of Instagram Reels. Both long-form and short-form productions continue to dominate the social space across all platforms due to their high engagement rate.
Posts that show off your human sideParticularly important as we (eventually) come out of COVID-19, both personal and personable content should be a cornerstone of your social media marketing strategy. In short, don’t be afraid to remind followers of the humans behind your posts.
Pro-tip: conduct competitive analysis to help your content stand outBefore you start creating content, you should have a good idea of what your competitors are up to.
While some brands might want to look into third-party competitor analysis tools to dig deeper into their competitors’ numbers, you can learn a lot from a simple review of competitors’ social presence.
The simplest way to find competitors is through a simple Google search. Look up your most valuable keywords, phrases and industry terms to see who shows up.
Then, see how their social channels compare to your own promotion strategy. The goal here isn’t to copycat or steal your competitors’ ideas. No two companies’ social media marketing strategies can be (or really should be) the same. Instead, determine what’s working for them and what conclusions you can draw to adapt your own campaigns accordingly.
After identifying some of your industry rivals, you can use competitive analysis tools such as those found in Sprout to quickly compare competitor performance to your own.
See what they’re posting on Facebook. Contrast your Twitter engagement with theirs. Find out how they’re tagging their content on Instagram. Optimize your own strategy. Rinse and repeat.
You get the added bonus of discovering honest conversations about your own brand you may have otherwise missed.
5. Make your social presence as timely as possibleTimeliness is arguably more important than ever for marketers.
Not only are you expected to put out fresh content on a regular basis, but also always be “on” for your followers.
But you can’t always expect customers to operate on your clock. Timeliness is a tall order when you’re strapped for resources or are part of a small team.
Let’s look at some ideas to maximize your schedule and your time spent on social.
Post at the best times to engage.
Quick question: when is your brand available to engage and interact with customers?
You might see some recommending times to post late in the evening, for example. But if your brand isn’t there to communicate, what’s the point of posting at the “preferred” time?
Instead, try to ensure your social media or community managers are available and ready to answer any product questions or concerns when you tweet or post. It’s smart to learn the best times to post on social media. However, it’s just as critical to engage after posting.
And hey, that leads us to our next point.
Respond to your customer questions and shout-outs ASAPNot only do customers expect speedier responses from brands but also meaningful conversations on a regular basis.
Your brand can’t forget these core elements of networking. It takes effort to ensure conversations or engagement opportunities aren’t left unattended.
Through social media, you gain respect as a brand by just being present and talking to your audience. That’s why social customer care is so important to brands wanting to increase audience awareness. It’s all about engagement.
Whether it’s capitalizing on a compliment or responding to a question, businesses shouldn’t leave customers hanging. According to our research, a brand’s average response time is around 10 hours. But did you know that most users believe brands should respond to social media messages within four hours?
Designating teams to specific tasks can help your staff run like a well-oiled social media team, whether you’re a group of one or 100.
As social algorithms go through continuous updates, organic content has an increasingly tough time reaching the majority of your audience. The last thing you want to do is ignore those who do engage and lose out on sending more down your marketing funnel.
6. Assess what’s working, what isn’t and how to keep improvingBy now you should have a big-picture understanding of your social media strategy.
However, it’s important that you’re able to adapt your strategy as you progress throughout the year.
Without continuously analyzing your efforts, you’ll never know how one campaign did over another. Having a bird’s eye view of your social media activity helps put things into perspective. This means looking at your top-performing content and adjusting your campaigns when your content stalls.
There’s no denying that a lot of social media is a matter of trial-and-error. Monitoring the metrics behind your campaigns in real-time allows you to make small tweaks to your social media marketing strategy rather than sweeping, time-consuming changes.
So much of how to do social media marketing right starts by being diligent about your data. You can be reactive in the short term to get the most out of your running campaigns, and then proactively use these takeaways to inform your next major strategy.
Reporting on data is also important for the sake of sharing valuable insights from social with your coworkers and colleagues.
Our Index data notes that there’s a growing expectation for marketers to report on results and ROI with their higher-ups. Doing so not only holds you accountable for your efforts but also highlights the role and the unique data points that your social strategy is able to produce.
Based on your data, you can better assess whether your KPIs make sense based on bigger company goals or whether they need to change. With instant access to easy-to-share data, pivoting and making changes can be done sooner in a timely manner.
And with that, we wrap up your social media strategy guide for 2021 and beyond!
Is your social media marketing strategy sorted out for 2021?
This guide highlights that there are plenty of moving pieces to a modern social presence.
That said, putting together yours doesn’t have to be a drag.
If you set actionable goals and address each of the steps above, you’ll already be way ahead of the curve when it comes to your social media marketing strategy.
#SwiftDigital #SocialMedia #SocialMediaMarketing
August 23rd, 2021
The Secret to Building Large Websites: Website Architecture
When I started writing about website architecture, the idea of a skyscraper construction project came to mind.
I thought of a huge skyscraper with restaurants, retail stores, offices, gyms, and residential spaces — a large self-contained, compact community all by itself.
No one would ever start the construction process of a skyscraper like that until everything is properly planned and drawn out.
In this article, I’ll share our company’s process for architecting large websites.
The website architect. Let’s first figure out whose role it is to do this thing called website architecture.
To me, this job is carried out by a website architect.
The website architect needs to have a solid understanding of usability, in-depth knowledge of web development tools, online marketing technologies, and everything else involved in the construction and maintenance of a website.
Just like an architect of a skyscraper or a residential home, she must be well-versed with the tools, materials, and processes of construction in order to plan the product efficiently and effectively.
This person, our website architect, should possess strong logical thinking, has an analytical mind, is smart with commercial aspects of websites, and be attentive to details.
Of course, for a guaranteed quality product, the architect can/should consult other specialists: designers, developers, etc.
As you see, the ideal web architect in my mind should be a broad specialist, because, as you’ll soon see below, there’s no getting away from that.
Overview of the website architecture processI’ll give you just a general overview of my company’s website architecture process.
The process is divided into these 11 stages:
As you can see, all these stages are related to each other, and we’ve organized them in a sequential manner.
Let’s discuss each stage.
Stage 1: Project brief
Gathering the needed data from the client and your team can usually take days. Though you should be as thorough as possible, also keep in mind that there’s always room for elaboration and additional data-gathering in the other stages of the website architecture process, so don’t get too off-track if some pieces of information haven’t been transmitted to you.
Determine goals and expected outcomes. What is the client’s goals and expected outcomes of this project, and how does she envision the end result of the project?
You should be clear about the evaluation criteria of these goals and expected outcomes to make sure you’re both on the same page.
You have to be as specific as possible; goals and outcomes should be quantifiable and measurable.
Brainstorm with the client. Ask the client to tell you everything he has on his mind. Listen to what he says patiently and thoughtfully. Take notes. Focus on what they’re saying and resist the urge to chime in. Your ideas and remarks can wait.
If the client is passionate about his ideas for the project, he can spend hours talking about it, which is completely normal.
When the client is really into the project, he’s a great help and pleasure to work with.
Client idea summary. At the end of your brainstorming session, you should ask the client to sum everything up — if he succeeds in boiling his idea down to one sentence, then the idea is clear. If not, you will need better clarity and focus.
Determine the target audienceWho is the client’s target audience? Who’s going to use this site, and how might they benefit from the site?
The client should have a clear idea of who the end-user is so that we can produce a website for them. Otherwise, it’s like playing darts with your eyes closed: You know where the target is, but it’s going to be nearly impossible to hit it.
You can also start discussing what the client already knows about their target demographic: gender, age, location, etc.
Determine competitors. Who are the website’s direct and indirect competitors? The client and the website architect should be aware of the existing competitive environment.
There are always competitors. Even if the website’s idea is completely unique, there are at least indirect competitors.
Meet the decision-makersMeet with the people who make decisions. Discuss the deadlines, the budget limit, resource availabilities, and so forth.
Organizational matters, matter.
Results and deliverables. Some of your other questions will need to wait to be answered later on in the website architecture process. What you get out of the project briefing stage will be basic data and just to get a general feel of what your client already knows about his project.
It’s crucial to understand the client’s needs and expectations at this early stage, and to choose the right direction for the project right at the starting line. The price you pay for not giving enough time to this simple but critical first stage exponentially grows as the web architecture process and website production progresses.
The deliverable of the briefing stage is a written document with detailed information given to you by the client and the decision-makers. This document should be approved and verified by the client. It can be in the form of a design brief.
Stage 2: Website goal definition
A website needs goals. The client’s goals might be these: to monetize the site, to increase the offline market share through online marketing, to better engage customers online, and so forth.
The goals define the direction of the entire website design process.
Besides determining the website’s goals, you also need to define success criteria according to the client.
A good way to establish goals is by using the SMART criteria. That is, each goal should be:
This document needs sign-off by the client/decision-makers.
Stage 3: Define the target audience.
This stage involves researching the target audience. We need to identify what types of users will go to the site, and also define the needs of each group.
Gather characteristics data. We need to create a common persona for each group. The user interface design depends greatly on the results of this stage. To get started with this, we first need to define what our audiences’ common characteristics are.
Define socio-demographic characteristics: We should figure out the sex, age, education level, and occupation of our target audience. Targeting teenagers (15-18) is going to differ from a site meant for people over 60.
Define wants/needs characteristics: We should figure out why our user would want to sign up to our website, what problems they’re looking to solve with our site, etc. We define their pain points and aim to solve it with our website.
This information is vital, though it’s hard to find. If you’re working on a website redesign project, the client may already have this information if they have user feedback tools in place.
Sometimes the competitor can have it (but good luck getting them to share it with you). In this case, you need to perform user research studies and conduct surveys.
Geographic location characteristics: Country, city, region, continent — these are all helpful information. Being online does not completely eliminate the location factor.
Sometimes geotargeting is the first thing to think of when creating a national site, government website, or any location-dependent website.
Moreover, website content and website copywriting is heavily determined by the audience’s location.
To get a better image of your target audience you can interview potential users. This is about marketing research at this point.
Stage 4: Competitor analysis.
To ensure the success of the project, you need to know your competitors and have good ideas on how to get ahead of them. You should discover their strong points and weak points.
There are several methodologies involved in conducting competitor analysis research, including market participant polling, and Internet and print media research.
If you’re creating a local website, don’t limit yourself only to your country. Look through international websites that are doing similar things. Most likely, there are similar or analogous projects up and running somewhere in the world. Some of these projects can be rather inspiring.
For example, we’ve been working on a social networking site for pet lovers for a client in Russia. We didn’t find direct competitors in the local market. However, there are several foreign sites and indirect local competitors. They are:
www.dogster.cominternational, popular, quality
www.dogster.ruRussian project, quite popular, satisfying quality
www.catster.cominternational, popular, quality
Your website’s competitors can be direct competitors or indirect competitors.
SWOT analysisThere are different approaches towards competitor identification and analysis. I like SWOT analysis the best.
SWOT — which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats — helps indicate the strong points and weak points of your competitors, and more importantly, aids you in figuring out project opportunities.
SWOT matrix. Source: wikipedia.org
While analyzing competitors, you can discover useful site features and ideas worth adapting onto your own website — general, universal site features like commenting systems, web forms, etc. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel in these cases.
All good ideas you end up with during the competitor analysis stage will be needed for the mind mapping stage (which we’ll discuss later on).
Results and deliverables. You should now have:
Every person has short-term and long-term goals.
There can also be sub-goals. For example, a person might desire to improve his career, but first he needs to find a job. The sub-goal is finding a job to reach the goal of improving his career.
For our website project, we identify a person’s goals, problems, and we look towards providing solutions for them.
All goals should be designed well. Fuzzy goals won’t help, as it’s impossible to solve all problems within one site. Focus on primary goals and keep the list of goals short.
Some clients think if users listen to music online, their site should also provide such a service, even if their website isn’t looking to solve this problem. The more features we add, the more diluted our core objectives become.
User problemsWhen we have a list of concrete goals, we can determine concrete problems.
For example, a user goal on our website might be to find a contractor that can build his construction project. That goal is more complex than it seems: How do we locate the right contractor for the user’s specific construction project? Is it important that the contractor is located close to where the construction project is? How do we allow them to quickly evaluate many candidates? Due to questions like these, you’ll generate ideas easily.
When we’re done identifying goals and problems, it’s time to design and develop solutions for them through website architecture design.
This process brings great fulfillment to the website architect because she’s looking to solve pain points that her users have.
Results and deliverables.
As the result, we’ll have a goal-problem-solution matrix designed for each persona we’ve developed for our website.
Find your list of ideas and divide them into logical categories. For example, let’s say we’re working on a real estate website. The real estate website’s sections might be:
If an idea fits in more than one category, choose the best fit for it.
Brainstorming will help sift out the useless and unneeded features, web pages, etc.
Each website section should be planned logically. Don’t forget about section-dependent features (such as the user being able to rate each property, in our example). Mark this connection with an arrow to remember the dependence (in our example, it would go to the Property Catalog).
You can design your own symbols to indicate different functional sections. If the web architect, for example, is undecided in terms of which section a certain site feature belongs to, she can mark it with a question mark. These symbols are really important if the project is large.
Results and deliverables
As a result, we have a bird’s-eye view of the interconnections of site features and sections.
Stage 8: Information architectureNow that we have a detailed mind map of our website, we can start working on the website’s information structure, which will be the foundation of the website’s prototype.
The website’s IA can be created with the help of flowcharting software like Visio.
Results and deliverablesYou should end up with an information architecture (IA) design after this stage.
Stage 9: Prototyping/Wireframing
You will need prototyping software for this stage. I recommend Axure, though there are a number of other similar programs.
The home page prototype doesn’t necessary have to be prototyped first. For example, in the case of an online shop or a blog, the product page or blog post page should come first, because these are critical pages, and will typically be the landing pages of most users on the site.
The website architect is going to lean on the mind map and information architecture diagrams to develop this prototype.
When creating each web page prototype, you should focus on how the user can achieve his/her goals. Before prototyping, you should refresh your knowledge of your target audience using the previous stages in the site architecture process.
Prototype the primary navigation menu.
The primary navigation menu is the first to create. We need to figure out the number of menu items and the number of drop-down menus.
Prototype the header sectionThen we design the header section that typically contains these items:
The first web page prototype should be shown to decision-makers, and the reason for the layout should be explained to them. The client might revise and suggest some adjustments. That’s OK, because having this done on a low-fidelity prototype is much easier than if we had a higher-fidelity prototype.
After the first page is approved, we can move to the next prototypes. All the ideas represented in our mind map should be found in these prototypes. It’s crucial not to forget about the smallest detail, as it can turn to hell in the long run if you do.
Test the prototypes against scenario mapsOur scenarios will help test the mockups to ensure the logical order of every action.
This is the most time-consuming component of this stage and requires a lot of patience and attentiveness. In the case of large websites, there could be over 100 unique interface prototypes.
Results and deliverables. The deliverables after this stage are low-fidelity prototypes/wireframes of all web page types.
There are 90 some such prototypes for the example project above. As you can see, each prototype was broken down in detail. This way, no questions and uncertainty arose during the design of the functional prototypes and finished web designs.
Usability testing at this stage will help you notice gaps and flaws in the architecture.
For testing purposes, we invite some representatives of the target audience and observe how they manage to reach certain pages and results within the site.
Then, the users can be interviewed regarding the site in general.
After usability testing, we make final corrections.
Results and deliverables. As the result, we will have validated and improved the user-friendliness of our web page prototypes and we get a better picture of how users would be interacting with the site.
Stage 11: Project specification.
The final stage of the website architecture process is to create the project specification document. This should contain a detailed description of each stage of the site architecture process.
The project specification is the result of all the stages you’ve gone through. It typically will contain a detailed description of each prototype, user flows, and so forth.
The specs should be full and unequivocal. Be detailed and thorough, but also keep it as succinct and as concise as possible.
The project specification should contain all the information regarding software and web technologies required for the website.
8 Tools to Help You Create Better Blog Posts
Creating a blog is one of the best ways to attract traffic and potential customers to your website, regardless of your industry. It shows readers that your business not only provides great products and services but also serves as a helpful and interesting source of information.
But if you have experience with blogging, you know that writing and publishing new posts on a regular basis is often easier said than done. When you’re brainstorming new ideas, researching your topics, writing the copy, and finding visuals to accompany it, creating one blog post can easily take up an entire day.
Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case. These 8 tools will help you create better blog posts and manage each step along the way more effectively.
Blog structure for seo
To understand your audience: Google AnalyticsMuch like every other aspect of Internet marketing, you can improve your blog with Google Analytics. This is especially true if you already have a lot of existing content on your site.
Log in to the platform, then navigate to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. If you have a subfolder for your blog (like /blog/), you may want to narrow your results to those pages only.
Then, you can see which posts have received the most page views, which have the longest average time on page, and which have the highest bounce rate. This will help you get an idea of what kinds of posts your audience likes to read.
Of course, you won’t be successful if you simply replicate previous content. But if you determine that your readers respond particularly well to posts with lots of visuals, make it a priority to include them. And if you figure out that posts with numbers in the title (like “8 Tools to Help You Create Better Blog Posts”) get more traffic, continue to use list posts in your content strategy.
To see what’s already out there: BuzzSumoHave a certain topic in mind, but aren’t sure what angle to take on it? You’ll probably find BuzzSumo extremely useful.
Type any word or phrase into their search bar, and you’ll be able to see what’s already been written about that topic, as well as how many shares it received on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.
High share numbers indicate high levels of interest, so take a look at some top posts and see how they address a topic. Then, look for gaps in that topic’s coverage. Did anyone leave any questions unanswered? Do you have additional insight on any of the topics?
When you write about topics that readers already like, you’re much more likely to be successful than with a topic right off the top of your head.
To organize your ideas: Trello. As you come up with new topic ideas and build your blog calendar, one of the biggest challenges is often organization. Trello can be a huge help.
At Swift, we have a shared board where everyone can add new idea cards. When it’s time to make the monthly calendar, we simply pull those cards into the “Assigned” column and tag the writer. When the post is completed and drafted in WordPress, we drag it under the “Completed” tag, making it easy to keep track of what we’ve already posted.
If you work with a team, this is a great way to keep everyone on the same page. And even if you’re solely responsible for all of your blog’s content, it can still be a helpful tool for keeping track of your ideas.
To keep track of everything: EvernoteIf you’re the kind of person who tends to only come up with new ideas when you’re miles away from your computer (like me), Evernote could be your new best friend. With an online version and apps for smartphones, tablets, and virtually any other device you might want to work from, it allows you to keep track of your ideas wherever you are.
Personally, I find it useful for making quick notes and saving links to reference later, but Evernote also has built-in writing tools, a chat tool (for collaborating with other people on your team), and the ability to set reminders.
To make your posts readable: HemingwayAppNo matter who your audience is, your blog posts shouldn’t read like textbooks. Although the topics may be complex depending on your industry, the copy itself should be easy to understand.
That’s where Hemingway
App comes in handy. When you write in the app (or copy and paste your text), it will highlight difficult sentences and suggest grammatical changes.
It will also give you a “readability” score in terms of grade level. But contrary to what you may think, writing at a “higher” level shouldn’t be your goal.
Blog posts that are difficult to understand often drive readers away, and HemingwayApp recommends a level of 10th grade or below for most audiences.
To write great headlines: Headline AnalyzerWhen you promote your post, the title is often the only thing potential readers will see before deciding whether to click. A great one could mean tons of traffic, while a bad one could mean none – for the exact same content.
Type your working title into CoSchedule’s headline analyzer, and the tool will analyze how effective it is.
It will tell you how unusual your word choices are, whether the title evokes emotion, and whether it commands action. Depending on how you want your post to come across, you can change up your word choice to match that tone.
To provide useful examples: Lightshot. If you’re writing a post that teaches readers how to do something or introduces them to new concepts, screenshot examples are almost always necessary. There are many tools that can help you create them, but I personally prefer Lightshot.
Once you install it on your computer, pressing the Print Scrn button on your keyboard will allow you to highlight and screenshot any area on your screen. Then, you can either copy the image, upload it to their server for sharing, or save it to your computer.
You can also use their built-in editing tools to highlight certain areas, draw on the image, and add text.
To create eye-catching images: Canva. One of my personal favorites, Canva is a free image creation tool. You can use it for any visual elements you want in your posts, and also to create images for social sharing.
Best of all, it’s extremely easy to use. Even without any design experience whatsoever, their tools and templates make it possible to create professional-looking images for your blog.
Ready to start writing?Whether you’re new to blogging or have been running a successful blog for years, these tools can help you streamline the creation process.
Do you use any other tools to create great posts? Are any of them particularly helpful? Let me know in the comments below!
Swift SEO Advantage
Swift's SEO team leverages your competitive advantages and unique selling proposition to optimize your website for organic rankings, traffic, and conversions.
At Knucklepuck, we understand that every business is different, just like every industry, every target market, every keyword, and every user is different.
A good SEO strategy identifies and captures user intent that already exists around your core products or services. By identifying all the different variations a user might search, we design and execute an on-page content strategy to secure top rankings and drive users directly to your target landing pages.
Keyword Research ServicesOptimizing your content for user intent satisfies the needs of both users and search engines. Our keyword strategy will balance broad, generic queries (ex. – search engine optimization) with queries related to specific specialization (ex. – on-page SEO, technical SEO audit), verticals (ex. – healthcare SEO, SEO for SaaS), and transactional (ex. – seo agency) to deliver a comprehensive user experience.
SEO On-Page Optimization ServicesStrategic content recommendations are the backbone of Knucklepuck’s SEO services. By focusing on developing high-quality content that services the keywords your target audience is using, we strengthen your credibility and increase organic rankings.
Swift Digital Marketing Agency offers technical SEO services to evaluate the technical infrastructure of your domain to assess how search engines are currently crawling and indexing your site content.
This service ensures that your site structure is stable and your on-page and off-page SEO efforts are attracting maximum visibility and making the highest possible impact.
Analytics & Reporting
You can’t manage what you don’t measure, so Swift Digital Marketing team makes sure you have reporting in place and properly configured to provide actionable insights on how people arrive at your site and what they do when they get there. This gives you a solid foundation for intelligent decision making.
Audit current Google Analytics (GA) configuration to identify inaccurate or incomplete tracking
Install and configure Google Tag Manager (GTM) to manage page-level analytics and conversion tracking, ensuring proper attribution and requiring limited dev resources
Advanced data collection and verification including iframe tracking, 3rd party platform tracking, and cross-domain tracking for informed decision making
Your success or failure depends on how much high quality traffic visits your site. The Knucklepuck SEO team will drive that high converting traffic to you by making Google to see you as relevant and important. Take advantage of our expertise today.
If you own a business, you know that one of the best ways to become an authority in your industry is to create informative, beneficial content (like our video on repurposing content below).
There are a lot of ways to deliver your content to your target audience, but one of the best ways is with social media.
Social media for content marketing is a dream come true because it helps you:
If you want to learn more about social media for content marketing, feel free to give us a call at (216)-339-6041. Otherwise, keep reading!
We Form Long term Partnerships
Over 90% of Swift Digital Marketing clients continue partnering with us into year 2 of their campaign.
Speak with Us Today! How are social media and content marketing related? Before we dive in, it’s important to note the connection between social media and content marketing.
Social mediaSocial media refers to any social media platform including, but not limited to:
Social media is home to billions of users, and the numbers continue to grow every year. For example, Facebook alone has a staggering 2.45 billion users.
There are a few things you can accomplish with social media marketing including:
Content marketing refers to the process of creating, implementing, and sharing written content, video content, and more.
When you market your content, the goal is to increase your customer base by informing your target audience about topics related to your industry.
You can accomplish a wide variety of goals with content marketing including but not limited to:
When two different marketing strategies have the same goals, it makes sense to use one to improve the other, and that’s exactly where social media for content marketing comes in to help.
Creating a social media content strategy helps you get the most out of your website content and accomplish all of your goals — two times over.
Let’s talk about how you can create a social media content plan that combines your current content marketing efforts with your current social media efforts.
Haven’t jumped into either marketing strategy yet? Don’t worry!
Swift Digital Marketing has a full team of social media marketing specialists and content marketers who know how to create specialized campaigns for your unique business. Give us a call today at (216) 339-6041 to learn more about what we can do for you!
Creating a social media content strategy that helps you get double the benefitsYou can reap benefits from a social media marketing strategy, and you can also reap benefits from a content marketing strategy, but what happens when you create a social media content strategy?
Not only will you make your content available to two different audiences, but you’ll likely see increased metrics across the board.
Let’s go step by step to create the perfect social media content plan for your business.
Step 1. Take inventory of what you already haveBefore you can get started, it’s crucial that you determine what you already have in place.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself, and what to do depending on your answer:
Step 2. Determine what your audience wants to see on socialThe name of the game when it comes to marketing is catering to your target audience — after all, they’re the ones that buy your products.
It’s important that you don’t create content because you think it’s important, but rather create content that you know appeals to your target audience.
For example, if you own a bakery, you might be tempted to post the brands of icing tips that you use to decorate, but make sure you think long and hard about whether or not that topic is important to your target audience.
If you own a bakery that is known for children’s cakes, a better content topic would likely be something like options for boys’ birthday cakes.
You don’t need to guess what your audience wants to read, though.
Here are a few ways to determine what your target audience wants to see on social media:
Make sure that you always pay attention to the competition and take note of what content performs best on each of their social platforms.
Also, keep in mind that just because something works on Facebook doesn’t mean that it will get the same reaction on Twitter.
Looking at your competition who already posts content on social platforms is like testing different types of content without creating it. You’ll learn a lot without even lifting a finger!
For example, if you see that your competition gets a lot of attention on their posts including a cake decorating video, it can tell you that your audience values videos.
However, if you see limited interaction on posts that talk about “quick baking facts,” you can draw conclusions from that as well — either your audience prefers longer content, or they don’t care to learn quick facts.
You’ll also come up with some ideas of your own by looking at your competition. For example, you might see that a page about quick baking facts isn’t fruitful, but quick baking tips might be a topic with opportunity. Test them for yourself!
If you’ve had a social presence for a while, it’s important to learn from the past and analyze how your previous content performs.
When you use analytics to determine how previous content performs, you’ll not only save yourself time, but you’ll save yourself the effort. When you know exactly what kind of content works on what social platforms, you’ll be able to create it without hesitation.
Step 3. Create informative website contentDon’t worry, we’re still talking about social media! You must create informative website content first to create a social media campaign for your content.
This content varies from article pages to blog posts, to videos and everything in between.
When you create informative website content, not only will you be able to rank in search engine results pages (SERPs) for important keywords, but kill two birds with one stone by posting your site content on social media.
But how do you create informative website content that will grab the attention of your social followers? Check out our tips for writing fantastic web content that you can share on any platform:
Not only do users see your video on their social feed, but to learn more, they’ll be encouraged to click the link to your website where they can learn more about the topic.
Step 4. Create a content calendar and get sharing!
Creating a content calendar helps you stay on track when it comes to social content. When your account goes silent for a while, users are less likely to trust you and your brand. A dry spell on your account might make your brand seem lazy, or too busy to handle your social accounts. Either way, it’s not a good sign to potential customers.
On the other hand, when you post often, they’ll trust you as an authority and look forward to when you’ll post again.
Creating a social media content calendar isn’t hard!
Whether you create fresh content specifically for your social platforms or repurpose content that you’ve already posted on your site, you can include it all in your social media content planner!
5 social media content marketing examples to inspire your campaignSee how other companies are utilizing social media for content marketing!
1. A recap
Susquehanna University posted one of their most popular pictures of 2019 on their Twitter feed — a genius move for engagement since users liked the photo in the past. They also provided users with a link that directed them to their Facebook account where they could see more popular 2019 images.
2.. A peek inside
Buzzfeed Food posted an article that not only takes users to their website, increasing site traffic, but to entice clicks, they gave users a peek inside the article that makes clicking hard to resist.
3. A special offer
CVS previews their pre-sorted Rx packs in their video content — an offer that is sure to get CVS loyals buzzing.
4. A piece of user-generated content
The modern toothbrush mogul Quip posted a piece of user-generated content to gain the trust of their followers. Not only do they show that others love their brand, but they show followers that their product is a must-try.
Ready to dive into the world of social media for content marketing?Swift Digital Marketing can help! We’re a full-service digital marketing agency that has over 200 marketing specialists who are well-versed in social media marketing and content marketing.
We can help you create campaigns that improve your brand awareness and your client base by using cross-channel marketing to seamlessly integrate your content marketing strategy with your social media channels.
To learn more, contact us online or give us a call at (216)-339-6041!
State of Social Media Marketing in 2021 (7 trends)
Are you looking to refresh your social media campaign this year? By looking at the state of social media marketing in 2020, you’ll see what’s trending and how you can integrate those trends into your social strategy.
On this page, we’ll provide you with seven social media marketing trends for 2021 that’ll push your company ahead of the pack. To stay up to date on the latest trends and tips for social media marketing and advertising.
Organic or paid social media marketing? See what the experts say.
1. Authentic content
One of the biggest social media marketing trends for 2021 is authentic content. People don’t want to see boring stock photos and scripted content. They want to hear from real people and get content that feels like it’s coming from another person rather than a company.
People want to make personal connections with your business. It’s harder for them to relate to your company if you build the persona of a stiff or uptight corporation. If people can’t connect with your business, they lose the motivation to interact and buy from your brand.
So, how do you create authentic content?
User-generated content (UGC) is the key to creating authentic content. This kind of content focuses on photos, videos, and testimonials from people who use your products or services and want to share their experiences.
When you post user-generated content, you present your audience with first-hand experiences of what it’s like to use your products or work with your company. People take more interest in this content because they can see a genuine experience.
Target utilizes user-generated content, for example, to highlight their products and make connections with their audience.
It’s a great use of user-generated content to encourage engagement and subliminally advertise their products.
With user-generated content, you’ll make your brand more relatable and build connections with your audience.
2. Video content
As you look at the state of social media marketing in 2021, you’ll notice that video is continuing to dominate. If you want to drive success with your campaign, video is the future of social media in 2021 and beyond.
With platforms like TikTok exploding in popularity and Facebook adding a “Facebook Watch” section, you can see that social media platforms are moving more towards emphasizing video content.
Videos grab your audience’s attention and get them to engage with your content.
Just look at these stats, which show the impact of video marketing:
Take advantage of video by creating videos for your social profiles. You can create videos that highlight customers using your products, explanation videos on how you use your products, whiteboard videos on how your products work, and more.
By investing in video, you’ll help create a better social media profile for your business.
3. Private and meaningful connections
One of the most important social media marketing trends for 2020 is creating private and meaningful relationships. People are looking for personal connections with companies to help build their trust and confidence in those businesses.
The best way to build these private and meaningful connections is through messaging.
Every social media platform offers messaging, but not every business pays attention to the messages they get. If you want to stay on top of social media trends, start paying attention to your inbox.
Messaging is a valuable way to connect with leads, answer their questions, and provide relevant information. In fact, 69% of people believe that the ability to message a business makes them feel more confident about that brand. This private connection helps people get to know your company better.
If you can’t keep up with your messages, you can use chatbots to help provide users with answers to simple questions and focus your time on solving more complex problems.
4. Social shopping
When you look at the state of social media marketing in 2020, you’ll find that social shopping is on the rise. Social shopping is a critical component of your social media campaign because it encourages people to purchase your products when they see them on your social posts.
Users want to have access to brands and products through social media. Social shopping allows users to focus on specific products you offer, rather than visiting your site and trying to find what they need.
Many companies will use social shopping through ads. They can deliver tailored ad content that focuses on products that fit your interests best.
Here’s an example of a social shopping post from a company that creates yoga-style dress pants.
If a user is interested, they can click the “Learn More” call to action and visit a page where they can buy the pants from the ad. It’s simple, easy, and effective for earning conversions.
Some social media platforms will allow you to create shoppable organic posts, too. Instagram, for example, allows you to add tags for products featured in your photo. You can see an example of this in Target’s Instagram post.
If you decide to hop on this social media trend for 2021, make sure you don’t take people off their social media platform when shopping with your business.
Users should be able to easily visit your website and buy the product, all while in the app. If you take them out of the social media app or direct them away from it, they’ll be more likely to leave and go back to their social app.
If you want to keep up with the future of social media in 2020, integrate social shopping into your social media plan.
When you work on your social media strategy, you may reach out to influencers to help you reach more people interested in your business. While many companies will reach out to more prominent influencers, you don’t need to partner with a big name to have an impact.
As you’ll see by the state of social media marketing in 2021, micro-influencers are the best way for you to reach interested leads.
Micro-influencers are people who have a small but steady following. These are people that cater to a specific niche. Even though it’s a small audience, it’s a dedicated one that’s interested in the niche you want to reach.
With micro-influencers, you have a greater level of personalization because you’re targeting such a specific niche.
So, how do you find micro-influencers?
You can start by searching branded hashtags and related keywords in hashtags to find who’s posting about your products or similar products. You can check out their profile and see what kind of content they post, who engages with it, and more.
By partnering with micro-influencers, you’ll help your brand reach more interested leads.
6. Short-lived contentLooking at the state of social media marketing in 2020, you’ll find that short-lived content, also known as ephemeral content, is making its way to the top of the priority list. This content only lasts for a specified period.
Snapchat is a prime example of a platform that uses short-lived content. Sent photos and videos only last as long as the user sets the message to last or until the receiver closes the message. For Snapchat Stories, the pictures and videos remain online for 24 hours before disappearing.
Other platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, have added “Stories” to allow people to post photos and videos that last for 24 hours. As more social media platforms create opportunities for short-lived content, you need to take advantage of this opportunity to reach and engage your audience.
This type of content catches an audience’s attention and gets them to interact with your business. Whether you’re adding to your own story or running ads between people’s stories, you have an opportunity to create exciting and engaging content.
By investing time in short-lived content, you’ll garner more engagement on social media.
You may be surprised to see that creativity is part of the future of social media in 2020 because it seems obvious. The reality, however, is that some companies don’t put the time and effort into making their content genuinely creative.
If you want to stand out from the competition, you need to get creative with your social media content.
It isn’t enough to toss a photo up on your Twitter profile and put a caption. You need to do more to help your business stand out in a user’s newsfeed and get them to engage with your content.
Creativity will depend on your industry and audience. For some companies, bright photos and catchy captions will get their audience to engage. For other businesses, well-edited videos and intricate infographics will work better.
Chewy is a prime example of creating unique content.
This company took a creative approach to market its playlist on Spotify.
They posted a photo of a dog with headphones, which immediately catches people’s interest. Then followed up by captioning the photo with a fun fact about dogs and music, then shared they have a playlist to help keep dogs calm when they’re left home alone.
It’s unique, eye-catching, and interesting.
This Instagram post is an excellent example of getting creative and engaging your audience.
When you create social media content, make it creative, but also professional and high-quality. It should always reflect your brand so that people get familiar with your business.
Bonus Read: How to do a social media analysis to improve social success
Stay on top of the future of social media in 2021
As you continue to develop your social media strategy in 2020, you must take note of upcoming trends. You’ll want to use these trends in your social media plan so you can stay at the top of your game.
If you’re overwhelmed with trying to keep up with your social media strategy up to speed, our team of over 200 social-savvy experts can help. With over a decade of experience, we’ll help you create the right content for your social media platforms.
Contact us online or call us today at (216)339-6041 to speak with a strategist about our social media plans.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.