Your business can add credibility and complexity to its content when you regularly incorporate the positive feedback your customers leave. This practice has an added bonus of rewarding customers for their praise, strengthening your relationship with them and encouraging others to follow in their footsteps.
You may think that simply regurgitating customer acclaim can seem like a cheap or shallow tactic. When you go about using customer reviews incorrectly, that can absolutely be the case.
But when you can masterfully weave praise into your content marketing and collateral materials, it feels like a natural fit. Your content becomes richer, and your brand name becomes more credible.
According to eMarketer research, online reviews are by far the most trusted source of business information. In fact, 8 percent more people 18+ trust online reviews compared to their own friends, family and colleagues. Putting your reviews front and center in your content offers documented proof of peer approval, and no one has to go digging into third-party sites to find that proof.
So if you’re considering using customer reviews to obtain all of the above benefits and more, try putting the following strategies into action.
Pepper Website Pages, and Especially Landing Pages, With Embedded Reviews and Accolades
Businesses have a huge trust gap they must clear when a potential customer or client first arrives at their website. No matter how comforting or flashy the site is, customers are always on the lookout for signs that they could get burned. They may scrutinize your claims or look for fine print that reveals how your offers aren’t what they seem.
Oftentimes, they will look to outside resources before they can let down their guard. A study by Nielsen and the Better Business Bureau unveiled that over half (55 percent) of all U.S. adults online “always” or “often” used ratings and reviews to inform their purchase decisions. The trend deepens among those under 55, where only 7.5 percent of people say they “rarely” or “never” look at reviews.
Incorporating reviews right there on your web page immediately begins to chip away at their defenses. They can feel a tinge of relief knowing explicitly that your business has rewarded others for their trust. Evidence that people don’t regret spending their hard-earned money on your products or services can reduce the natural hesitation some people might feel.
You also potentially negate their need to go hunting for outside information on your brand. If they already see positive reviews or a live meter documenting your score aggregate for a site like Yelp, then they don’t need to go wading into all of the other reviews online. By extension, they are much less likely to encounter negative reviews that color your business in an unfavorable light.
Even if someone does do their own homework and encounters a mixture of positive and negative reviews, their first impressions are already fairly rosy. Each negative reviewer must then make their case for why this positive first impression is wrong.
When incorporating testimonials and feedback on your web pages, be sure to use the following best practices:
Share Interesting or Glowing Reviews to Social Media
Getting people to leave reviews is hard work! Unless, of course, they had a bad experience. According to one study of 2,000 U.S. consumers, over half of people say they’re likely to publicly complain about a bad experience with a business—often resulting in a bad review.
A second study found that most people only leave a positive review if they were overwhelmed with how great their experience was. “If instead you had a moderate view, you’re likely to have left no review at all, finding it not worth the time and effort,” say the researchers in the Harvard Business Review.
So how do you encourage people to leave a review if they aren’t angry with you and they weren’t absolutely blown away? Simple: reward them with a public mention!
By sharing someone’s positive review online, you reinforce the behavior. You also encourage others who want public recognition and attention to leave reviews of their own.
Again, follow the guidelines above. Certain platforms like Yelp forbid copying and pasting review text, for example. You also absolutely need to secure permission from the person before sharing, even if their praise was a public comment on one of your social media or blog posts.
Let Reviews Inspire Your Content Marketing Strategy
Content should solve audience needs and conclude with a gentle promotional nudge towards your company. Treading this narrow path between information and promotion is admittedly difficult for most businesses. Seventy-nine percent of editors say they have to turn down guest blog pitches because they’re overpromotional.
The problem is that most businesses can’t find an angle. “8 Reasons Our Food Is Amazing” is something no one would want to click on! But “10 Keys to Improving Customer Service” can work, especially if you’re able to point to specific best practices you can use.
When writing these types of articles, starting with positive features of your business or product as a jumping-off point can lead to a disconnect. In other words, your business could be proud of something that no one really notices.
Instead, take a look at your own reviews to get inspired. Take a look at this review below to see what we mean.
Here, you can see that the person cites six different positive reasons they love coming to the resort; it was clean, pet friendly, had great cabins, lots of site availability, a swimming beach and also a swimming pool.
Taking that list, you can simply write an article about the “6 Most Important Things to Look for in a Camping Resort.” Since you know people enjoy these things about your business, you can mention them honestly. You can also write while thinking about the perspective of a customer who has been to a campsite that is not clean or that regularly has overcrowded and overbooked sites.
Of course, you can also use negative criticism to inspire you. If you have had issues in the past with bad customer service, you can list “X Things We’ve Changed to Make Your Experience Better” to win people back.
Getting More Customer Reviews to Use in Your Content Marketing
All of the strategies listed above depend on a constant, fresh stream of customer feedback. If your most recent review was from 2014, you may have a problem!
To counteract this issue, make leaving a review as convenient as possible. You can use third-party software tools to automatically send an email to someone and ask them for their review on your preferred platform. You can also leave a convenient link on your home page so that everyone can easily find their way to your review pages.
Don’t just encourage people to go on sites like TripAdvisor or Yelp, either. You can ask for more detailed feedback in an email or through an online form submission. Reach out to some of your most loyal or satisfied guests to see if they would take the time to write a one to three paragraph testimonial on your behalf.
You can use these longer reviews (with their permission) as quotes or embedded reviews framing your content or occupying your most critical landing pages.
Another surefire method to jog people’s memory is to use marketing collateral offered by review platforms both online and in real life. Place window decals on your entrance, or include a ready-to-print plaque right by your cash register.
Train sales associates and customer-facing reps to ask for feedback at the end of every interaction. Be aware of specific platform policies, though. For instance, Yelp demands that you only use certain brand materials in certain ways. They also have a strict policy where you can’t ask people to “review our business on Yelp!”
With just a small amount of effort, your content quality and credibility can be dramatically improved by using customer reviews in clever ways. Customers’ trust absolutely thrives on documented proof, and they like to see that their words matter when they have something to say.
Sharing their reviews is the best way to tell them “thank you” and that their opinion is important. That’s customer service and content marketing rolled into one!
The internet constantly evolves. As search engines become increasingly skilled at delivering targeted content to their customers, SEO best practices quickly become outdated and threaten to drop your site low in the rankings.
Fortunately, these outdated SEO practices are easy to avoid once you know them. Take a look at the SEO practices that once reigned supreme but now put your site at risk, and find out what you should do instead for long-lasting success.
Focusing Only on Keywords
Keywords aren’t the be-all-end-all of modern SEO as they once were. Sites used to be designed entirely around target keywords, but adapting to the new SEO tactics requires a different strategy.
Keywords listed in title tags, headers and meta descriptions aren’t readable, and worse, are now punished by Google algorithms. Instead, write enticing, interesting title tags, compelling copy for meta descriptions and intriguing headings that draw the reader further into the article. Not only is this content more readable, but it also ranks higher in Google, which searched for content quality and relevance more than anything else.
Prioritizing Rankings over Traffic
Instead, featured snippets, long-tail targeting and other SERP tactics should be the focus. These not only have a higher ROI per hour spent, but they also aren’t as competitive and often bring you around to the primary keyword anyway.
Creating Multiple Pages for Keyword Variants
In the past, it made sense for a site to create and optimize pages for each keyword variant to cast the widest possible net. This was mostly due to Google’s inability to differentiate between similar keywords and organize the search results accordingly.
Now, Google’s algorithms are capable of finding multiple pages that use similar content and keywords, and they penalize you for it. This doesn’t mean you need to simplify everything, but it does mean that you should eliminate multiple pages for every variant with the intent of keyword optimization. Instead, focus on the user experience with your site and the optimal funnel, which will get you high marks in search engine algorithms.
Link Building to Improve Rankings
Many businesses attempt to move up the search engine rankings with link building, but this outdated practice no longer works with modern SEO. Now, searcher task accomplishment, user experience and valuable content get the ranking.
As Neil Patel states, the golden rule of SEO, regardless of algorithm changes, is searcher task accomplishment. Google’s first and foremost concern is giving searchers exactly what they’re looking for, which can’t be accomplished with SEO shortcuts. Google wants to reward sites that help the searcher with what they searched for initially, uncover other possible needs and address them. Ultimately, the goal through this is to find the sites that lead to more action and engagement.
All of this can be accomplished through high-quality, relevant content and an optimized user experience. If Google’s main goal is to go above and beyond to serve the needs of searchers, your site experience should focus on that as well.
Obsessing on Keyword Placement
Spending a lot of time and energy putting keywords in the H1 and H2, the headline tags, as well as the URL or repeated multiple times throughout the content, works, but only to an extent. For example, you want to have your keyword in the title or headline, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be stuffed into every area.
Instead, focus on getting value out of the keywords and their related topics. Make sure that the content explains the subject, topics, words or phrases that Google is likely to associate with the keyword. You can scatter your keyword all over your site and links, but if you don’t have related content that Google may recognize, you won’t rank as well.
Ignoring Mobile Site Optimization
Designing for mobile sites isn’t new, but many businesses are still behind the times with sites that are far from mobile-friendly. Even if most of your audience uses a desktop to view your content, you could be missing out on loads of mobile traffic.
Fortunately, this is an easy fix. Software that isn’t supported or common on mobile devices, links that are too close together and cause accidental clicks and text that doesn’t have a readable zoom are enough to move a user away from your content, so that’s a great place to start. Google also offers a guide to mobile-friendly sites to ensure you’re on the right track.
Churning Out Low-Quality Copy
The old rule for SEO used to be quantity over quality, but now, Google will penalize you for it. Low-grade blog fillers, stuffed keywords and other tactics are a flag to Google that your writing has no relevance, so it will direct users elsewhere.
On top of the effects on SEO, low-quality copy just isn’t good for business or marketing. It’s less likely to draw visitors in, less likely to convert visitors and less likely to bring them back, actions which are much more valuable to a business than a ranking on a search engine.
Offering Non-Strategic, Shallow Content
Content strategy and content marketing have become a considerable investment for businesses in recent years, sometimes with the idea of drawing links to a site that aren’t relevant or helpful. We’ve all seen this with “clickbait” articles that include information that has nothing at all to do with the original site.
On the other hand, link bait that offers high-quality content that draws others to link to it and draws attention, as well as creates a positive brand association, is far more valuable for your site. This requires information that’s interesting and makes others naturally want to link to it, which is best accomplished through content that solves a problem effectively and enhances the value of another’s site.
Ignoring Other Search Engines
We’ve discussed these tactics at length in regard to Google, but that doesn’t mean other search engines should be left by the wayside. True, Google has the most comprehensive set of resources for SEO and is undoubtedly the most popular search engine, but if you’re forgetting about the likes of Bing, Yahoo and other search engines, you’re missing out.
These search engines are a major source of organic traffic, so don’t neglect their tools in your planning process. They can easily supplement your SEO efforts and often provide even more data to work with, giving you a thorough understanding of your total SEO picture.
The Best Way to Update Your Outdated SEO Practices
As discussed, Google is only concerned with solving the searcher’s problem. Whether that’s through related keywords, related topics or other tactics, all Google cares about is directing users to sites that are useful, valuable and relevant.
Because of this, the key to modern SEO is creating a website that people want to use by offering value and solving problems. This isn’t about shortcuts or cheating the system, which will only change tomorrow. It’s about caring for your customers and focusing on helping them, rather than artificially inflating rankings. Put a little effort into that, and you’ll start to see long-lasting results.
Wondering how you’re going to keep your content calendar full for the rest of the year? Thousands of business owners struggle when it comes to coming up with content ideas, and a simple strategy can help them: conduct a study or survey.
Original research provides tons of benefits for businesses seeking content marketing performance gains. They can accompany the release of the study with a recap series, for instance. After that, they can dive in-depth into some of the findings for unique takes or insightful real-world applications of the data. At the same time, they can introduce their study to online outlets that get mega traffic with guest posts.
The beauty of conducting original research is that you don’t even have to do all of the content writing yourself! In addition to the content topic possibilities listed above, there’s also a good chance that someone might cite your data or share your report on their own blog. Well-performed research that answers important questions in your field can receive references and citations for months. You may even get quoted as an expert as a result of your own analysis!
The possibilities are practically endless, and they all start from a single research idea. Here’s how to get your own research project off the ground—and how to spin it into content gold for months to come.
Start With a Burning Research Question
Research tells us something about the world we didn’t know yet. In other words, research answers a question through the data it gathers.
For that reason, all great studies have to start with a great research question. You can quantify something no one’s ever quantified before, such as the costs of never washing your car revealed through the corresponding damage to paint and mechanical components.
Or, you can give a more specific answer to a question that’s already been tackled. A lot of research involves bringing findings up to date, for example. You can also examine how a research question might be answered within a specific geographical location or within a specific demographic. Sure, you might know that a majority of Americans love hamburgers, but how do people in your hometown feel about grilled versus griddle-fired burgers? And would they take a bite out of a veggie burger if given the opportunity?
When devising a research question, keep in mind that it can’t just be something you find interesting. It should also satisfy a number of other criteria, such as:
With these criteria in mind, try to approach your research question from the perspective of the unique niche your business occupies. The more parallels the research has with your brand personality and how you approach your business, the better.
Learn Research Best Practices
Research can be hard, especially when it comes time to compile your results! You want your data to tell a story somehow, but you can’t get to that story if your research structure is a mess.
Start by determining what sort of research you’ll conduct. It can be a:
Those study types are listed roughly in order of complexity and effort required. But don’t underestimate how even the simplest of surveys can turn into a difficult process when you neglect to follow best practices!
First, approach your data in layers. The “layers” of your data refer to different qualities of that data.
For instance, suppose you wanted to conduct a study of the types of restaurants in your hometown. “Chain/franchise restaurants vs. independent restaurants” serves as one layer. “Quick service vs. sit down” can act as another layer. You can also organize the restaurants by location, such as “downtown vs. just off the interstate”.
All of these qualities provide details that can be used later in your analysis. You can make observations like “chain restaurants are more common along busy stretches of road except in downtown.” Or, you can be able to say that “the ratio of chain restaurants to independent businesses has shrunk 50 percent in the past year.” Findings like these tell a story, but you need your data to be organized first.
When conducting surveys, you can make this process easier by including a demographics portion in the beginning of the survey. You can then use this information to discover trends among responses, such as “twice as many business owners worry about energy prices compared to non-business owners.”
Come Up with a Hypothesis That Uses Research Layers to Answer Questions
Research isn’t just about gathering data; it’s about using that data to prove or disprove assumptions called hypotheses.
Accordingly, you want to go ahead and come up with a few hypothesis ideas before you start assembling your data. Go ahead and predict your results based on your gut instincts or what you consider common knowledge. If your research aims to debunk a commonly believed fact, you can operate on the hypothesis that the fact will be wrong.
If you’re completely at a loss for hypotheses, you can predict that there will be no trends whatsoever among your data.
Use Your Hypotheses to Come Up With Pertinent Survey Questions or Data Sources
Your hypotheses guide your research in very concrete ways. If you’re conducting a survey, a hypothesis will help you determine questions to ask that can directly answer it.
For example, let’s say that your hypothesis is that “people are willing to spend more money at a local establishment compared to a franchise.” To prove or disprove that hypothesis, you can ask things like:
Assign Categories Early on Within Your Analysis
After gathering all the data you need, it’s time to process that data into something people can digest at a glance. One of the easiest ways to do so is to lump datasets into different categories.
Going back to the local vs. franchise question, maybe you think that people who have lived in the town all their lives are more likely to make a choice compared to newcomers. Or, maybe you think that people who make a certain amount in their yearly salary are more apt to make a certain decision?
Consider these assumptions as secondary hypotheses, and test them out as you compile your data. If your hypothesis is wrong, try approaching data from a new angle.
Of course, you should also leave yourself open to discovery! Sometimes just dropping data into bar graphs is enough to have findings jump out at you all on their own.
Use Your Findings to Brainstorm Different Uses for Your Study
Completing your study is just the beginning of a new phase: publishing your results and using those results for related content.
Examples of ways to use your results include:
With this method, you can keep chugging along with new content based off the same information for months. You can also always update your research later with a newer, more-current study.
In this way, original research is the gift that keeps on giving! It can help you make a name for yourself, drive engagement on your content, position you as a subject authority, and so much more. At the very least, you’ll never be lacking for new content ideas.
Many business owners overlook Reddit as a social media marketing channel, but recent changes to the platform should have them all reconsidering. A complete overhaul has modernized the look and feel of Reddit’s various niche-focused forums. As a result, community members are engaging even more frequently than ever—with both posts and ads.
According to Reddit’s Zubair Jandali, their VP of brand partnerships, the platform has been engaging users at a rate three to seven times higher compared to before the redesign. Interestingly, ad response rates have also been rising. “Advertising didn’t play a role in the redesign per se,” Jandali told Marketing Land, “but we’re seeing much stronger engagement on ads by virtue of the fact the core organic experience is more engaging.”
Businesses have opportunities to engage directly with community members in ways that build brand awareness and relationships. However, they have to use the right strategy. Reddit notoriously fights against forms of intrusive marketing, and especially accounts that fail to be transparent about their business affiliations.
If you can play your Reddit marketing cards right and treat the community with respect, you can improve your brand image, open new lead sources, and subtly promote your offerings to an audience of millions.
What Is Reddit, and How Does It Work?
Reddit is a social media platform with a dedicated community of 330 million monthly active users and over 542 million monthly visitors. That’s a bigger community than Twitter and enough traffic to make Reddit the No. 5 most-visited U.S. site as of August 2018.
The structure of Reddit combines an old-school forum format from the early 2000s with user-centric social media features of today. Posts are centered around text-based topics of conversation or links to popular content. Users have the option to “upvote” posts they like.
Upvoting increases the chances of a post making the front page for a particular niche forum, a “subreddit.” If a post gets enough traffic or upvotes within its subreddit, it can end up on Reddit’s homepage. The Reddit homepage aggregates posts across a staggering range of topics, which is why the company refers to it as the “Front Page of the Internet.”
After a post is made, anyone can reply with comments, and individual comments can be voted up or down to increase their visibility. Someone who says something clever or interesting, for example, might be upvoted to the top of a post. Someone who makes a bad joke or responds in a rude way to other users will get downvoted, burying their post and sometimes even leading to it getting hidden from view.
When users violate the rules repeatedly, they’re likely to catch the attention of moderators. Mods can ban users from specific subreddit forums or even have their DNS address blocked, preventing them from making new accounts. Each forum has its own set of moderation rules. Rules commonly discourage asking for upvotes, posting promotional comments or links too often (spamming), and posting content that’s irrelevant to the subreddit topic.
Individual users get notifications when they get replies to their comments or posts. They also get points based on how many votes they get, which are called “karma.” Users generally respect other users who have high levels of karma or who are regularly seen contributing interesting posts and responses.
In sum: Reddit is a place where people go to see interesting links and engage one another in productive conversations. Community members are not only highly enthusiastic and engaged, but they also take action when they see something they don’t like. This quality separates Reddit from social media channels like Facebook, where your experience is at the mercy of the platform and the sometimes nasty users that visit it.
Why Is Reddit a Good Social Media Marketing Channel?
Reddit has a reputation for its tight-knit, informed community. It remains distinctive by using community-led moderation to cut down on all the noise other social platforms create. People who don’t abide by etiquette (“reddiquette”) guidelines get “downvoted” into oblivion. This tendency prevents trolls and spammers from stealing attention or derailing conversations.
For marketers, Reddit provides an opportunity for authentic interaction with people interested in your industry niche. There are over a million different subreddits for every conceivable community out there. You’ll find professionals like photographers exchanging advice, dedicated hobbyists like golfers sharing links, and fans of just about every pop culture franchise under the sun conducting spirited debates on opinions and theories.
Business owners have two main opportunities when trying to reach communities related to their industry vertical:
The first strategy runs through Reddit’s advertising platform, making it a business activity like any other. The second strategy poses more complexity and much greater risk of alienating your community. But when brands or employees conduct themselves well and remain transparent about their affiliations, they can reap substantial rewards.
How to Not Get “Flamed” for Marketing Through Reddit
There is an inherent risk with using Reddit as a marketing tool: the community could revolt against you and ban you so fast it will make your head spin.
“Redditors are a particular community,” writes the Dreamgrow blog. “If they suspect you’re there because of marketing reasons, things can quickly turn bad.”
You may wonder: “If marketers get chased off the platform with torches and pitchforks, then why would anyone bother marketing on Reddit?” Well, the truth is that the community isn’t opposed to marketing outright.
In fact, you could easily argue that tons of subreddits are nothing but a grassroots marketing campaign. There’s an Olive Garden subreddit (r/unlimitedbreadsticks) with 8,600 members. The r/blackfriday subreddit has over 31,000 subscribers and is dedicated to giving people alerts about deep holiday discounts. r/gaming, one of the biggest subreddits at 18 million members, is wholly dedicated to discussing products people buy.
What separates the things these communities do from the more loathed version of marketing? A few things:
Each one of these principals reveals an important reality that businesses interested in Reddit marketing must come to grips with. Looking at No.2 above, the lesson is that moderators run the subreddits, not brand employees. The brands themselves only show up to answer questions or reveal information people wouldn’t find anywhere else.
If Patagonia has just started a huge ad push for their new jackets, r/CampingGear probably doesn’t need the company to make a new post telling them what they can already see on TV. Similarly, if people are asking opinions on the Patagonia brand, then Patagonia should be really careful about having someone go in and post “Yeah! The jackets are great!” without disclosing their relationship to the company. People will dig through your account to find proof that you are a “corporate shill” after all.
On the other hand, if a Patagonia rep sees the above thread and notices someone has a question about their repair policy, then they can declare “I work for Patagonia, and here’s how we repair things…” and receive a positive reception. Or, if someone wants to let people know that there’s a sale on specific high-demand items at a particular retailer, the community might appreciate the head’s up.
It’s all about thinking from the user’s perspective. If you are transparent and provide some valuable information or entertaining content, then people will warm up to you. If you try to trick them or post nothing but spammy promotions, they’ll quickly find ways to keep you from coming around.
Reconsidering Reddit Marketing in Light of the New Platform Improvements
Now that Reddit has improved its interface in ways that keep the community engaged, it’s definitely worth a look. You can depend on the platform to build audiences, generate traffic, create leads, and generally elevate your brand image in the eyes of users. You can also advertise under specific, relevant subreddits to earn clicks from people who are eager about your niche.
Be a good user, keep people’s feelings in mind, and always strive to provide value—that’s the key to building a community in Reddit that thinks you deserve all the karma you can get.
Despite being over a decade old, YouTube still acts as a ripe garden bed for audience growth. Brands looking to interact with audiences in current, relevant ways will find that video marketing content is one of the most effective methods they have at their disposal. They’ll also find that YouTube still remains one of the best platforms to host this content.
While big social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are shrinking, YouTube pulls in over 1.8 million unique users every month. That figure, by the way, ignores all of the views that come from people who aren’t logged into a Google or YouTube account. YouTube’s traffic volume is so large that it is the second biggest search engine after Google and likely the most common platform for embedded videos seen around the web.
Creating a YouTube channel is therefore one of the best methods for earning traffic and engagement from audiences. By making smart moves and structuring your YouTube channel properly, your video content marketing campaigns can be poised for excellent growth. You’ll also be positioned to easily share and embed video content in order to grow your viewer base. It’s the perfect recipe for branded exposure!
You can start your business’s YouTube channel off on the right foot by following these steps to create a channel and give it the most growth potential.
1. Decide on Your YouTube Channel’s Video Marketing Positioning and Strategy
Your channel’s “position” is a name for basically everything that makes it distinctive. The idea is to not only have a channel that matches your branding principles but that can also meet your goals for audience building, lead generation, engagement, awareness and more.
For example, maybe you are in an exciting industry like online retail for motorcycle apparel and accessories and you want everyone to come to your channel weekly for reviews and news on the latest products. Or, maybe you are a law office that wants to pop up first when people search for answers to their legal questions.
As another alternative, maybe you want to create highly shareable videos that generate brand awareness and drive traffic towards your site.
Your goals and your audience will significantly affect how you decide to run your channel, including:
All of these factors come together to make your YouTube channel unique compared to others. And being unique is important considering that over 400 hours of new content are uploaded on YouTube each minute. Being unique also means that your channel is as prepared as it can possibly be to appeal to your chosen audience and accomplish your chosen goals.
2. Decide on a Channel Name and Icon
Your next step is to start filling in the blanks for your new channel. Specifically: what’s your name going to be? And what image will you use for your channel icon?
You can choose a descriptive name, such as “DUI Law Q&A,” which already promises what type of content the channel will contain.
Or, you can go for a long-haul strategy and create a unique brand name for your channel that allows it to build a presence as it builds an audience. Channels like Smosh and Dude Perfect have titles that are as recognized as any pop culture movie or show.
Plenty of people choose to use their business name or even their personal name as their channel’s title. This strategy provides the benefit of immediate association. As your channel gains strength, you can rely on more people knowing who you are or what your company is, thanks to the shared name.
Once your name is chosen, decide on an icon that reads well on a small screen. Keep in mind that over half of all YouTube views come from mobile devices. You might not be able to use your logo or cram a bunch of text into your shrunken down profile picture.
Settle on something that’s easy to comprehend, such as a few letters or your host’s face. You can also use some sort of iconographic representation of your channel’s purpose. For instance, the fictional motorcycle gear review channel mentioned earlier could have a helmet or a gloves gripping handlebars.
3. Come Up With Channel Art, a Description, and a Trailer
Some channels stand just on the strength of their content. They earn views through shares and YouTube algorithm suggestions, and eventually someone might connect the dots to realize several of the things they’ve watched come from the same channel.
This instinct to inspect actually benefits your business. When they read your channel description, they can learn how the channel connects to your brand, for instance. They might even follow a link back to your official website.
Above all else, they’ll get a first impression that helps them decide then and there whether they’ll bother to ever check out your channel again. Accordingly, your channel’s “home page” elements better make one heck of an impression!
Start with your description. It should be short, exciting, and explain exactly why they should tune in to your channel regularly. Avoid talking too much about yourself or your business unless you think those elements hold inherent interest.
For instance, a personal injury law office might not want to bore people with local peer awards they won in the precious channel description space. On the other hand, they might want to throw out a number like “we’ve earned our clients nearly a billion in injury settlements.” Wow! That’s something they can get interested in.
Consider your channel art a supplementary description of what your channel offers. Maybe you have an image of a handsome host dressed smartly next to some of the informative topics they’ll cover. Or, maybe it’s an image of an awesome project your business has completed, such as a sandwich shop showing a record-breaking hoagie.
Keep your channel art simple and readable. Think of it like a billboard you have to read while whizzing past at 60 mph; if you cram too much on there, it’s just going to be a distracting mess. Limit the amount of text you use to a dozen or so words. Balance any “busy” graphics with blank space to give them air.
Finally, you’re going to want to create your channel’s trailer. This is a video that ideally gets someone hooked on first view. Far too many channels instead approach the trailer as a show-and-tell. “Hi I’m Bob this is my channel we have many exciting things to share with you…”
Instead, think of your trailer as a highlight reel of sorts or an actual TV show trailer. Yes, you want to tell people what you’re about, but you can do that by showing rather than telling.
If you aren’t 100 percent in love with any of these elements, then let that motivate you to revisit them over time. Your channel trailer in particular will evolve as your skills, content, and familiarity with techniques improve.
Getting Ready to Launch Your YouTube Channel
After you have all the main elements of your channel in place, you will want to prepare for its launch as a sort of grand opening. Consider that this is your chance to debut with flash and gather an early audience. If they get a bad impression, you’ve sown the seeds for an uphill battle to convince them to come back.
Ideally, you will have several videos’ worth of content for them to peruse—including your channel intro. You should also have the next months’ worth of videos queued up on your backburner so that you can ensure your channel posts regularly. Channels that post sporadically tend to lose audiences. They also have a more difficult time getting visibility via suggestion algorithms compared to more-active channels.
These are just the ingredients to the recipe for YouTube success; it’s up to you to make them work! If you need help with any aspect—including content creation—do not hesitate to contact an experienced digital marketing company to ensure your YouTube marketing meets with success.
There is no official playbook for getting great social media performance. Those who succeed get there by making educated guesses, marking their results, experimenting with optimization changes, and measuring again. You should go through this process, too, but you can take a shortcut by observing what works for others. Visit https://amrutservices.com to get full understanding about digital marketing which would help you get better business.
Facebook’s algorithm is changing all the time, and even the people behind the scenes aren’t 100 percent sure of how it will affect things. That’s why they’re always tweaking it. You should always be tweaking, too. Otherwise, what gets good performance today may not be viable tomorrow.
Keeping this in mind, know that the most successful brands on Facebook are doing a lot of tweaking and experimentation for you. By observing what they do, you can get great ideas for how to improve your social media marketing strategy. What works for them may not work for you, but it’s at least a good starting point for an educated guess.
So, to help you improve your Facebook marketing success, here are four common traits between the top pages worth putting in your personal strategy book.
They Post Multiple Times a Day to Beat the Engagement Slump
The biggest challenge business pages face on Facebook these days is earning reach and engagement from their posts. To combat this trend, many of the top brands post content daily—often multiple times a day.
Make no mistake: organic reach on Facebook has taken a nosedive over the past few years. Adjustments to the newsfeed algorithm in 2016 lead to a precipitous 20 percent drop in overall engagement for brands and publishers over the course of 2017.
Then, things got even worse. Facebook retooled their newsfeed even further to obscure page posts in favor of posts from friends. The change was devastating, leading to post engagement drops as big as 96 percent.
Data from a joint Buffer App/Buzzsumo study shows that the biggest pages are getting hit hard, too. Overall, the study found that engagement has dropped by 50 percent over the last 18 months.
The study also determined that the top Facebook pages all have a similar strategy to fight against engagement drop: posting more frequently. According to their data, the overall volume of posts from the top pages grew by nearly 20,000 posts from Q1 2017 to Q2 2018. On average, the top 20,000 highest-performing Facebook pages post 135 times a month on average, which averages out to just over four posts a day.
This data doesn’t necessarily mean you should go all out on Facebook posting. Top pages admittedly already have large audiences in the millions, so posting more often is more likely to lead to a significantly higher volume of views and clicks.
At the same time, while brands that post five times a day get the highest volume of engagement, brands that post less than once per day tend to get the most engagement per post. Additionally, pages that posted 10 or more times actually saw their engagement drop.
So, since your page likely doesn’t have millions of followers, the best takeaway is to experiment with how frequently you post and measure the results. You may find that producing steady streams of content can help you build audiences, but you may also decide to dial back if you discover that posting too frequently offers diminishing returns.
They’re Diligent About the Times They Post
Avoid Facebook posting to an empty room. Audiences follow similar engagement patterns throughout the day and week, meaning that they tend to log in around similar times. Your job as a social media marketer is to figure out when those days and times are.
You can identify when your audiences tend to engage the most within your page’s insights data. You can also look to engagement data from big brands to see if their strategies work for you.
According to Sprout Social, Wednesdays and Thursdays get the best engagement, with the weekend days getting the least by far. Their data also shows that people tend to browse Facebook most heavily during work hours, especially around lunch time. Who would have guessed?
They Pique Interest Without Being Clickbait
What are the types of Facebook headlines that get the most clicks? The answer may surprise you!
In all seriousness, viral Facebook content has evolved considerably since the days of shameless clickbait headlines from yesteryear. Make no mistake: there’s still a formula to top-performing headlines, but it’s gotten more informative rather than mysterious.
Another BuzzSumo study gathered data from millions of headlines and found that the absolute best performing phrase used was “will make you…”—as in “This Video Will Make Your Heart Melt” or some similar promise. Essentially, the headline promises some sort of emotional reaction, and people really seem to bite. The phrase earned over double the engagement of the runner up (“this is why…”). The phrase also appears in self-help type content, such as “This cooking technique will make you better at barbeque.”
Taken beyond face value, the phrase “will make you…” gets to the heart of what the best content does: it’s transformative. You’re a slightly different person after consuming it because you learned or felt something. Keep this type of concrete promise in mind when you craft content for your audiences.
And don’t skimp on quality, either! Another BuzzSumo study found that even though engagement rates are dropping across the board, recent Facebook newsfeed algorithm changes seem to favor high-quality content. The study notes that, “interestingly we have seen higher engagement with paywall content over the last year, which may again relate to perceptions of quality.”
Put in effort, and offer audiences value to ensure their clicks lead to a rewarding experience.
They Ensure Their Facebook Page Provides a Service, Not Just a Presence
The biggest reason people don’t engage with Facebook pages (beyond having them hidden from view by algorithms) is that they really don’t have much reason to. If a brand isn’t publishing funny, entertaining, informative, or highly clickable content, people don’t just visit its page to hang out.
Starbucks, for instance, has embedded a handy maps tool on their page that helps people locate a store near them. They can also click around the map to see store hours, whether the location has a drive-thru, and other tidbits. Definitely consider this feature if you have multiple locations, or consider using it to point people to areas of interest related to your services.
The Starbucks page goes even further by sharing intriguing Pinterest content posts about coffee recipes, how to’s, and historical facts about coffee. “The goal of this integration is to keep you glued to their Facebook page,” explains Neil Patel. “You could spend hours going through every content piece here.”
Patel also provides another excellent example of a seldom-used Facebook capability: providing great customer service. Online shoe retailer Zappos, for instance, told an inquiring shopper where they could buy a particular shoe brand offline. Even though pointing the customer to a brick-and-mortar competitor could cost them a potential sale, it goes a long way towards building a trusting relationship.
Discover Your Own Winning Facebook Marketing Strategy
The brands mentioned above may have oodles more money in their marketing budget than your business, but the strategies they use are pure and simple. By identifying an optimal posting schedule, promising transformative experiences in their content, and going above and beyond with social customer service, they make an impact and keep their engagement levels high.
You may not be able to copy them and find automatic success, but at the very least you’ll be headed in the right direction. Learn lessons from others and from your own data as you experiment to ensure your Facebook marketing meets your business’s specific goals.
Social media has profoundly changed the way we all use the internet, and that includes how businesses interact with their customers.
In the years since platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn were first introduced, they have evolved from an occasional distraction to the focal point of many people’s internet browsing. Conversations and content that used to be spread across multiple sites can all now be found in the same place: your social media news feed.
Businesses that ignore this transition face a harsh reality. Social media is often the first thing people check when they go online, and it may even be the only thing they check on any given day. Without a presence on social media, your business may very well be invisible!
That’s why many businesses, such as art installation company studio SPACE NYC, have a social-first approach to their online presence. “If we look at the analytics of the website and how many people view my Instagram account, we’ll see 200 a day on Instagram and 15 on my website,” says its owner, Jacob Fisher.
Not being on social media also means you miss out on huge opportunities for advertising, customer support, boosting performance for your marketing campaigns and much more.
To help you understand why so many companies and small businesses take their social media marketing strategy seriously, consider the following five essential benefits and capabilities it provides below.
Everyone’s on Social Media, Giving You Opportunities for Huge Reach and Impressions
The first thing to understand about making your business active on social media is that you’re hardly shouting into an empty room. Facebook alone has 2.2 billion users worldwide, and 83% of U.S. adults under 50 have a Facebook account. Even among those 65 and up, 41% are active on at least one social platform.
Suffice it to say that’s there’s huge audiences at stake! While it may take a few weeks or months to find your footing, there is no shortage of potential exposure. Companies that create the right type of content and form an engagement strategy can quickly amass a following. This can happen especially fast when you leverage your existing network of friends and customers.
Just think of it as “word of mouth” transitioning to the digital age. By being available for mentions, shares and engagement on social media, you can create thousands of chances a day for new customers to discover you and existing customers to get reminded about what makes your business great.
Social Media Creates Effective New Advertising Channels
Exposure to your brand on social media doesn’t just have to happen by accident. Each social media platform has its own set of powerful advertising tools that can be used to directly put your business in front of its most valuable audiences. Millions of businesses rely on these tools to drive their marketing goals, which is why social media spending nearly doubled to $31 billion from 2014 to 2016 and increased by an estimated 26% in 2017.
Facebook and Instagram, for instance, have incredible audience targeting capabilities for their ad campaigns. Local businesses can select demographics and geographic areas that perfectly fit the qualities of their most loyal customers. A new bakery can target people in their city or in certain neighborhoods, and it can even find people who recently announced their engagement!
These highly specific targeting tools ensure you’re not just sending out ads to people who won’t become customers. You also directly expose people to your business offerings within the same stream of content they browse every day.
Since the organic posts you create can also be “boosted” while using targeting, you can leverage paid social media to grow your reach beyond people who already like and follow your page.
The data you generate from these ads also creates valuable insights for how to make both your organic and paid marketing more effective. “Paid boosting can help the organic social team discover what works much faster and also play into paid ad creative ideas,” explains Depesh Mandalia of SMCommerce.
Opens a New Communication Channel for 1:1 Conversations and Support
Businesses on social media can deftly juggle marketing and advertising with more meaningful outreach to their audiences and loyal customers. Answering people’s questions and participating in conversations can put your business top-of-mind any time they need the services you offer.
Customers absolutely prefer that the businesses they use be available for these types of interactions, as well. 48% of people said they will be more likely to purchase from a brand that directly interacts with customers and answers questions on social. 33% of people also now prefer to get customer support through social rather than a phone call.
Being able to wow people during these interactions pays off big, too. 71% of people who have a positive interaction with a business over social media say they’re likely to recommend that business to their peers. And since nearly three times as many people trust peer recommendations over ads, demonstrating how much you care via social counts for a lot.
Your opportunities for engagement don’t even have to be direct, either. One video game publisher searched for phrases similar to “I want the new [game name] but it’s too expensive” and saved all the users who made the comment. When the game went on sale, they reached out directly to these people, helping them sell over 70,000 copies of the game.
So get creative, listen intently, and seize every chance you have to make a good impression through the highly public social platforms.
Social Ties Together Your Other Marketing Channels
The majority of businesses consider social media “essential” for marketing, beating out every other form of advertising out there. And it’s not just because of the capabilities described above, either. It’s really because social media tends to tie together all the other channels you use in a seamless way.
For example, you can:
All of these activities have the effect of increasing the return on investment for your marketing spending. You get to dramatically increase the exposure for your content while creating a pathway towards your other marketing channels and campaigns.
In this way, social media can reinforce just about everything your brand does while serving as your friendly, highly public face.
Using Social Media Marketing Ensures You Keep Pace With Your Competition
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