Facebook Ad Placement Options, Ways to Repurpose Content & More: The Social Scoop 6/21/17

Greetings from Beautiful British Columbia, Canada!

Wowee, I’m so happy to be back in the country of my birth and childhood. I’ve had a long trek and had to deal with a number of delays, and one extra unplanned night in Vancouver due to missed connecting flights, Ugh! But, as the longest day of the year – Summer Solstice – it’s not too bad! (I wrote up my wee travelogue on Facebook. Hehee!)

By the way, is it just me or does Facebook not let us embed portrait videos… bah! Probably a setting I need to tweak. Here’s the proper portrait video.

I’m in BC to have a short visit with my mum in the Kootenay’s. And then I head back to Vancouver next week to keynote the annual Unbounce Call To Action conference. (There’s still time to join us! And you can get 30% off using the code SeeMeSpeak at registration.)

New Facebook Live Features on BeLive.tv

Plus, do you use the third party Facebook live tool, BeLive.tv? They’ve been in free public beta since last fall and just officially launched a suite of wonderful features and several user tiers. I’ve been working closely with the company as a strategic advisor and have had early access to many of the features, including desktop sharing, talkshow mode, add logo, and now custom colors. Custom frames & hide watermark is available now, too. See the new features and tiers and get a 14 day free trial.

This Week’s Top 3 Articles

1. Facebook Is Giving Advertisers More Control Over Where Their Ads Appear via AdWeek.com

Content adjacency: the type of content near your advertisements has an impact in how your brand is seen. In other words, proximity to content that’s considered offensive can degrade the perception of your product. Facebook is now taking into consideration the effects of content adjacency and has added ways to control where Instant Articles ads are placed before they run.

2. 12 Ways to Repurpose Your Content to Generate More Leads With Half the Work via FoundrMag.com

We can all agree that content marketing is one of the most effective and low-cost ways to generate leads for your business. But creating good, engaging content consistently can be challenging. Repurposing your content will save you time, money and energy—and who couldn’t use more of that? The infographic in this post has 12 ways to get the most out of the content you already have.

3. Facebook Brings Value Metrics to Campaigns to Help Advertisers Target the Best Customers via MarketingLand.com

Value Optimization targeting and value-based Lookalike Audiences are two new ways in which you can reach your best customers with Facebook Ads. An improvement on conversion targeting, which looks at transactions, value metrics look at revenue. Another improvement in what is already a great advertising option.

That’s a wrap for this issue of The Social Scoop. I hope you have an amazing week and I look forward to connecting again very soon.

The post Facebook Ad Placement Options, Ways to Repurpose Content & More: The Social Scoop 6/21/17 appeared first on MariSmith.com.


Mari Smith – Social Media Marketing Success

These Are the Best Ways I’ve Discovered to Get More Facebook Followers Free

Facebook marketing is somewhat of a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, Facebook had 1.94 billion monthly active users as of Q1 2017.

That’s the most users of any social network by far.

On the other hand, its organic reach is lousy.

According to a study by Social@Ogilvy,

Organic reach has declined to just six percent.

Organic Reach Chart

This means that out of 100 of your followers, only six will actually see the content you post.

Screen Shot 2014 04 14 at 1.43.59 PM

That’s not ideal.

This means one thing.

You need to grow your following.

If you apply Social@Ogilvy’s findings:

  • having 100 followers means six people would see your post
  • having 1,000 followers means 60 people would see your post
  • having 10,000 followers means 600 people would see your post

…and so on.

Although the interaction rates across social platforms naturally decline as followings grow…

Engagement rate by number of fans by channel.pngt1498054648929width433height376nameEngagement rate by number of fans by channel

…it’s obviously beneficial to have a large following.

That’s how you make real headway, generate leads and boost sales.

With years of Facebook marketing under my belt, I’ve learned a thing or two about building a following.

Here are some of the best ways I’ve discovered to get more Facebook followers free and grow your network organically.

Strive for transparency

There’s no lack of megalithic, faceless, overly corporate brands these days.

They’re a dime a dozen.

But these aren’t usually the types of brands people connect with and relate to.

If I had to use one adjective to describe what people love and admire in a brand, it’s transparency.

I don’t care how far we advance as humans and how much technology is integrated into our lives, we all have a deep, innate desire to connect with others.

And let’s be honest.

It’s hard to do that when a brand shares nothing about its philosophy, values, culture and general underpinnings of its activities.

But what does create a connection is being honest, straightforward and transparent.

This is what gets results.

Take TOMS for example.

They posted this video snippet featuring their founder Blake Mycoskie talking about the darkest period of his life, his fear of failure and how it helped motivate him in his business.

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He clearly expressed his vulnerability, which is something we all feel at some point.

Needless to say, content like this was an asset to TOMS.

Just look at their massive following.

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This isn’t to say you need to take it to this level and discuss your deepest, darkest fears or anything like that.

But it goes to show that putting yourself out there has its benefits and can help you build your following.

I’ve made it a point to incorporate this formula into my Facebook marketing, which is evident in several of the pictures I’ve posted.

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And just look at the engagement levels.

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Rock solid.

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And this is no coincidence.

I don’t care how serious or formal your brand is, a little transparency goes a long way.

Make it a point to throw in some “behind the scenes” posts every now and then.

Post videos

Don’t get me wrong, posting good old-fashioned articles is fine.

I do it all the time.

But that’s what everyone is doing.

Most people get tired of the same old format, and their interest gradually wanes.

I’ve found posting alternative types of media, and video in particular, is a great way to spice things up and get people excited about my content.

Let me give you an example.

On average, the posts on the Neil Patel Facebook page receive a reasonable amount of engagement by most brand’s standards.

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Not too shabby. I’ll take it.

But in terms of comments, it’s a little lackluster.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’ve posted multiple articles on Facebook that received numerous comments.

But take a look at what happened when I posted a video recently.

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There was solid engagement in terms of likes and shares.

But check out the comments.

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There’s no comparison.

The point I’m trying to make here is that people love video.

They eat it up.

Just look at how the number of Facebook daily video views grew in just one year.

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It’s ridiculous!

As engagement increases, so do your odds of gaining more followers.

I know I’ve had tremendous success with video and can say with certainty it’s been a contributing force in helping me gain over 900,000 followers.

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Video is definitely something you’ll want to incorporate—if you haven’t done so already.

It’s just starting to hit its stride and is poised to dominate social media (and the Internet in general) over the next few years.

Promote your Facebook page with a Follow button

Think of all the different ways your audience interacts with your brand.

There’s your homepage, landing page, personal email, newsletters, social networks and so on.

Each of these presents an opportunity to grow your Facebook following.

It’s simply a matter of making it as convenient as possible for people to follow your Facebook page.

I recommend creating a Follow button and installing it everywhere where it makes sense.

It looks something like this.

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Creating a button is fairly simple, and this guide from CCM will walk you through the process step by step.

Once you’re done, you’ll get a piece of code to copy.

All you have to do then is paste the code into the source code of your site or wherever you want to feature your Follow button.

That’s it.

What I love about this tactic is that it doesn’t require any additional effort once you’re set up.

Anyone who comes into contact with your content instantly becomes a potential Facebook follower.

With a single click, they’re following your brand.

If you want to increase the odds of someone following you even more, include a Follow button on a popup.

That’s what Wishpond did, and it seemed to work for them.

follow buttons popup

However, I would use caution if you go this route because over-the-top interstitials can result in penalties from Google, especially if they dramatically diminish the user experience.

You can learn more about it in this article from Search Engine Land.

But as long as you’re not obnoxious about it, you should be good to go.

Utilize Facebook groups

As of early 2016, there were one billion people using Facebook groups in some capacity.

And I can see why this number is so high.

Facebook groups are a great way to exchange thoughts and ideas with other like-minded people.

Each group focuses on a very specific niche so users can get great input from experts and enthusiasts.

Here’s the “Being Boss” group—a community for creative entrepreneurs and business owners.

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As you can see, it’s got a sizable number of members.

Groups also present an excellent marketing opportunity and are perfect for getting more followers.

There are two ways to go about leveraging Facebook groups.

Option #1

One way is to simply join groups relevant to your industry and area of expertise.

This tends to be the easier route because you can join a group that’s already well established and has plenty of followers.

What you want to do is get in the habit of consistently engaging with the group by leaving great comments.

It takes some time, but believe me, people will take notice.

After a while, you’ll be on the radar of other group members.

You should inevitably pique their curiosity enough so that they check out your Facebook page.

Many of these people will ultimately follow you.

Option #2

The other option is to create your own group from scratch.

I’ll be honest with you.

This takes a significant amount of time and energy.

Generating initial interest and getting the ball rolling can be difficult.

But the payoff is huge if you can get solid membership.

Just think about it.

If you’re the admin of a group, you’ll get an immense amount of exposure.

After all, your profile is one of the first things people will see when landing on the group page.

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You also have a high level of control.

You make the rules and can share files and tag various members to spark a discussion.

And generally speaking, you can expect a considerably higher level of engagement with a Facebook group than you would with a typical Facebook page.

The bottom line is building a thriving Facebook group is going to increase your visibility in a big way.

More people will end up landing on your brand’s page, and your following should increase.

For me, it’s worth putting in the time when you look at the long-term impact.

If you need some direction on how to grow a Facebook group effectively, check out this post from NeilPatel.com.

Conclusion

Facebook’s reach isn’t exactly stellar.

But you can jump over that hurdle by simply growing your following.

While there are a myriad of ways to go about this, the points I mentioned in this post are the ones that have worked the best for me and my clients.

This will provide you with a framework for gaining more followers organically without having to invest any money into paid promotions.

What’s your number one strategy for increasing your Facebook following? What are your favorite free methods?


Quick Sprout

3 Ways to Generate Leads Using YouTube

Want to generate more leads and conversions with YouTube? Looking for organic tactics to help boost the performance of your existing video content? In this article, you’ll discover three effective ways to turn YouTube viewers into leads. #1: Drive Website Traffic With YouTube Cards YouTube cards are a marketer’s dream come true because they let […]

This post 3 Ways to Generate Leads Using YouTube first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

11 Customer-Centric Ways to Grow Your Ecommerce Revenue

There are three general ways to grow revenue in any ecommerce business:

  1. Increase the total number of customers.
  2. Increase the average number of times each customer buys from you.
  3. Increase the average order value (AOV) from each customer.

As ecommerce marketers, knowing what to prioritize can be the difference between a standard year of growth and a phenomenal one. So, what should be your next move?

Take another look above at the overall ways to grow revenue and you may notice each has a common thread: the customer. It can be a game-changer if you start with what your buyers want (and perhaps more importantly don’t want) and let them be your guiding light for everything you do in your marketing.

In 2011, Jeff Bezos said, “If you’re truly obsessed about your customers, it will cover a lot of your other mistakes.”

Learn 11 specific ways to implement more customer-centric marketing that can lead to more revenue for your store. These are categorized in ways to grow:

  1. New Customers

  2. Product Feeds

  3. Dynamic Retargeting on Facebook

  4. Content Marketing

  5. Repeat Customers

  6. Psychographic Segmentation

  7. Automated Email

  8. Targeted Promo Emails

  9. Conversion Rate

  10. Customized Checkout

  11. Chatbot Conversion Optimization

  12. Non-Boring Product Descriptions

  13. Authentic Reviews

  14. Amazing Customer Service

New Customers

1. Product Feeds

Selling on Google Shopping is a great way to market your products in a customer-centric way. Product images, pricing, reviews and brand name are all displayed in Google so that shoppers no longer need to click through to see all of that critical information.

Image Source

It works a lot like traditional Google pay-per-click campaigns. It’s set up by connecting your store’s product feed to Google Merchant Center, which then feeds into your AdWords account. Once you successfully start displaying Product Listing Ads, it is easy to begin grouping your store’s products into ad groups in AdWords.

shoes results google shopping

Image Source

Note: Typically once you have 150 or more store reviews within the last 12 months, review star ratings will display in Google Shopping.

Saving your customers time is unlikely to go out of style any time soon. Nobody ever said, “I want a great deal, but I’d first like to blindly visit 10 different stores.” By marketing on Google Shopping, you provide your future customers with a better experience.

Additionally, it is easy to connect your store’s product catalog to Facebook’s Business Manager. Uploading your product feed to advertise in a customer-centric way on Facebook (displaying product images, descriptions, price and other information) works especially well for the next section.

2. Dynamic Retargeting on Facebook

Research from 2017 shows the global conversion rate from a visitor, to add to cart is just under 3%.

us and uk conversion rates

Not everyone who adds products to their cart will complete the purchase. So for the more than 97% of people who didn’t purchase, you’ll want to make it as easy as possible for them to return and buy.

Dynamic retargeting with Facebook works well for this because it combines an image of the exact product your visitor added to cart/viewed, with info-like descriptions, pricing of that particular product and the custom copy you add. Beautiful! Your shopper only sees exactly what they were interested in plus any sort of offer text.

Facebook shopping ads

Setup for Facebook dynamic retargeting is pretty easy. First, create a product catalog in FB by hooking up your product feed. Next you’ll need to add a few events found in the Ads Manager for your store to successfully pass the product information to Facebook that corresponds with each user, which may require some dev work depending on how savvy you are with your code. Once you’ve got the events firing properly, the last step is to set up your first dynamic retargeting campaign and ad. In no time, you’ll be remarketing in a customer-centric way to your visitors who have yet to convert.

3. Content Marketing

Now that we’ve covered a couple of buyer-focused ways to advertise, it is important to note the vast majority of shoppers looking for products on Google and other search engines will bypass paid listings altogether. According to the Similar Web Search Report, it’s not even close when you examine paid vs. organic (on desktop only). The non-paid search results get 18 times more traffic.

organic search 18 times more than paid

People trust Google and other search engines to rank the best natural results, so give search engines reasons why you deserve to outrank your competition. Several factors go into SEO for ecommerce, but content marketing is arguably the most customer-centric way to improve search engine rankings.

Helping the customer is the name of the game with content. All things being equal, whoever helps users in the most valuable way, ranks the highest.

For example, campers search the phrase “how to build a campfire,” or something similar, every month. A big reason why REI ranks #1 in Google for the term is because they answered the question in the most helpful and thorough way.

rei campfire article

This well-written article dominates the competition. It has over a thousand words describing every step of the campfire building process. It’s also supported by several great images and a video. REI has created an entire ‘Expert Advice’ section of the site dedicated to answering questions and solving problems pertaining to anything they sell.

Are there common problems and questions your potential buyers have? Listen to what your customer base says and use AnswerThePublic.com to find out other ideas to help. Search Google to find out what questions pertaining to your industry could be answered in a much better way than they currently are. To give your store a good shot at outranking the “partial helpers,” you want your content to be 10 or more times better than the best results for the topic.

Repeat Customers

4. Psychographic Segmentation

Demographic information of your buyers, like age or gender, can be useful in many cases. Knowing where they live and tracking their behavior is important as well. But these will only tell you part of what you need to know. Psychographics, however, include the goals, emotions, values, hobbies and habits that help drive purchase decisions, which helps us understand our customer’s why.

market segmentation factors

Image Source

Psychographic segmentation is crucial for marketing in a customer-centric way. If we better understand the “why” of a particular buyer segment, the likelihood of positively influencing a group’s reason to buy goes way up! Learn as much as you can in order to deliver more details and serve customers even better.

5. Automated Email

Automation is an excellent way to keep your team or business lean, but still provide a personalized experience for your customers based on their actions.

This example from the marketing automation campaign builder inside Infusionsoft shows how an Ecommerce business can treat customers differently each time they buy from the company.

marketing automation map

In this example, each sequence pushes the customer toward making another purchase. Inside the “new customer welcome, shipped” sequence (pictured below), a series of emails thanks the customer for “joining the family” and offers them a coupon code as gratitude:

drip campaign message thread

In addition to incentivizing repeat purchases, these emails can be created in plaintext, meaning it looks to the end customer like a customer service rep sat down and wrote them a personal email. This can have a huge impact on the user experience of your site, and turn people into raving fans of your brand.

6. Targeted Promo Emails

Email is an effective (and cheap!) way to market to your existing customer base. So how do you stand out in your buyer’s inbox amidst the swarm of the rest of the world’s offers?

Focus on customer experience. A big reason why Chewy.com does well with promotional emails is because they’re laser-focused. For example, cat owners only see offers for cat products.

chewy triggered email message

You won’t see any dog food offers unless you make a dog food purchase. Better yet, these cat product offers are based on prior purchase behavior. So the brands and types are all familiar.

Quickly blasting your email list with offers may generate an uptick in conversions. However, if your product set is diverse, it will likely be worthwhile to spend the extra time to deliver deals that line up with exactly what matches your customer’s interest.

Conversion Rate

7. Customized Checkout

Nobody ever said, “I just wish this checkout took a little longer.” Easy and as quick as possible, especially in the world of online shopping, will never go out of style.

Standard checkout layouts created by the top ecommerce platforms have improved over the years, but the conversion rates you can expect from them are…. well, standard. Below is an example of a default checkout page layout with BigCommerce:

checkout example flow

Image Source

Basic stuff. The good news is this page can be modified to be a lot more customer-focused with some dev work.

After studying videos of real-life customers using the default checkout, the Ecommerce Crew put together an eight-step checkout page customization checklist, which soon yielded the following customized layout:

single page checkout

Image Source

The results were immediate. Modifying the page to make the process smoother, less time consuming and more trustworthy for users translated into a 30% lift in conversion rate.

8. Chatbot Conversion Optimization

One huge way to increase your conversion rate is to add a chat function to your store’s website. This gives users a way to interact with you and ask questions about what they need. In turn, it gives you an opportunity to drive them exactly where you want them to go.

Don’t have the time or the staff to sit around manning your website’s chat feature? Automate it with a chatbot. Here’s an example:

chatbot setup

Based on common customer inquiries, you can build different conversation paths for people to self-select their way through. Each ends at the critical stage of collecting the lead without the use of standard forms.

This will not only dramatically increase the conversion rate of the visitors to your site, but it has the added benefit of answering frequently asked questions for your customers, meaning you can outsource at least some of your customer service, while being more helpful to visitors than your competitors who don’t have this capability.

9. Non-Boring Product Descriptions

Product copy, when done well, is proven to sell. But what if your competitors also provide users with robust product descriptions featuring a comprehensive list of features and benefits in an easy-to-read format?

So Worth Living changes the game to stand out by injecting personality into their product descriptions that they know their buyers will enjoy and appreciate:

good product copy

Being helpful doesn’t mean being boring. Get to know your buyers better than your competition. Find ways to entertain them in product descriptions, while informing them about all the features and benefits.

10. Authentic Reviews

Back in the early days of Amazon, when the ecommerce mammoth was a book store only, the company’s employees were writing the majority of the reviews. Jeff Bezos had instructed his team to leave 100% genuine reviews. Naturally, their honesty translated into negative ratings on some books.

good amazon review of book

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Publishers got ticked off with what Amazon was doing and one told Bezos his job was to “sell books, not trash them.” Bezos didn’t waver.

How did he know Amazon was doing the right thing? Authentic reviews can seem counter-intuitive when they are bad. But they’re truly in the best interest of the customer, and therefore the right move. Helping your visitors make the right buying decisions with reviews (good, bad and ugly) puts your customer’s interests first and foremost.

11. Amazing Customer Service

Customer service is perhaps the lowest of the low-hanging fruit. In today’s world, treating people like they’re real human beings, and showing them empathy, has the power to make you stand out from the crowd in a big way.

A strategy we use frequently is every time someone has a bad experience, we give them a $ 5 gift card. This does more than reduce people’s angst. It turns a negative experience into an overwhelmingly positive one. Sure, this may slightly reduce the margin you make on their next purchase. But if it brings someone back a second, third, or fourth time, it’s worth the $ 5 all day long. Here’s a real response from June 20th as an example:

coupon code turns happy customer

Treat your customers well, and they will reciprocate.

Conclusion

Successful ecommerce marketing takes into account several factors to grow significantly. Use the customer as your north star and test, test, test to find out what works best for you.

What customer-centric ways are you using to grow your store’s revenue in 2017? Comment below and let me know.

About the Author: Ethan DeYoung is the co-founder of Wild West Pool Supplies, a company that aims to help people enjoy more time in their pool or spa. Connect with him on LinkedIn.


The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

4 Ways Disruptive Marketing is Winning Over Customers

Much more than just a buzzword, disruptive marketing is changing the way we react to, understand and accept companies and their advertising. From a business standpoint, disruptive marketing represents a key shift in an era where promotional strategies update as fast as the technology that carries them.

From a consumer standpoint however, all of this change can lead to uncertainty and confusion. Here’s how some of today’s top companies are changing the marketing space through disruption – and what you can learn from them.

What is Disruptive Marketing?

“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there.” – Richard Branson

Disruptive marketing is taking all the marketing rules you’ve heard and practiced faithfully – and stomping on them. It’s never settling for the way things are, but rather turning “the way it’s done” on its head. Disruptive marketing shakes things up by changing customer perceptions about not just the company – but the industry as a whole.

And here’s the important part. Because they’ve changed our perception entirely, we come to associate new, better and more positive feelings with the company and brand that started it.

Want an example?

Ask anyone around in the technological boom of the late 1990s if you should have bought an Apple computer back then.

After they finish laughing, they’ll likely explain to you that Apple products were regarded as bland, overpriced garbage.

Not only were they overpriced but most of what they came up with were rehashed clones of products that were superior in terms of processing power, features, price and available software. Apple’s stock tanked, if you can believe it, to a low of $ 4 per share.

apple-share-price-history

Today, agree with it or not, Apple is synonymous with sleek, sophisticated, forward-looking products. People wait for hours, even days, in line to score the latest iPhones. What brought about such a shift? The design of an MP3 player in an age when most people were touting Discmans as the ultimate in portable music. And the innovation just kept growing from there.

That’s the kind of effect that disruptive marketing can have on not just a brand, but an entire industry and the way we perceive it. But not everyone can pull off a disruptive marketing campaign. No matter what industry you’re in, all of these types of campaigns have a few selective traits in common.

Key Traits All Disruptive Marketing Initiatives Have in Common

So what exactly makes a disruptive campaign…disruptive? Disruptive brands don’t just push the envelope, they crumple it up and throw it in the trash. They’re not afraid to be daring and break the status quo. But for all the buzz they generate, they also need to be able to ride the peaks and valleys successfully, as not everyone will be accepting of their challenge to a traditional mindset.

Here’s another great example, from the Singapore Red Cross. How many times have you been told in your life that you should donate blood? Probably many times. You know it can save lives and yet very few people take the time to do it – particularly healthy, young people. The Singapore Red Cross decided to change that with an ad that capitalized on young people’s love of selfies and celebrities by doing an ad called “Blood Ties”.

blood-ties-red-cross

Music. Blogging. Comedy. All things that attract the younger generation. Forget the preachy “you need to give blood!” demands – this kind of ad speaks to them exactly in a way that resonates. It’s a win-win.

Why Customers Love Disruptive Marketing

Most customers love disruptive marketing because it changes the face of how we perceive advertising. If done well enough, it even becomes a part of our vocabulary. When was the last time you called a cab? When was the last time you called an Uber? There are even more reasons that customers respond so well to disruptive marketing. Namely:

It’s Approachable

Disruptive marketing often tells a story in a way that consumers can understand. In one example from Spain that went viral around the world, an ad against child abuse showed an image of a child with the caption “sometimes child abuse is only visible to the child suffering from it.”

Most adults got the message, but its true impact was understood only by children. Using lenticular technology, when viewed from a certain height, the ad’s message changed entirely:

From a child’s height, the message showed the boy with bruises and cuts indicative of abuse, and the ad read “if someone hurts you, call us and we’ll help you.” The ad was meant to speak to victims of abuse even – and especially –when they’re out with their abuser.

It’s Affordable

Disruptive marketing doesn’t have to break the bank in order to be effective. It just has to change how things are done – even a little. Case in point: Air fresheners. You probably don’t give much thought to buying them. You just want something that smells good, right?

But what if you could do more than that? What if you could create an entire mood just by the scent that best describes your décor? Airwick created such a quiz-style design with its Scent Decorator:

scent-decorator-exotic

By clicking just a few images, you get a better idea of the feeling you want to create in your room, along with recommended air fresheners to complement it. Not bad for a can of smelly air, is it? This kind of process takes an ordinary, inexpensive thing and transforms it into something more – and that’s the kind of disruption that customers can feel comfortable with.

It’s Often Imitated, Never Duplicated

One of the best reasons customers (and businesses) respond so favorably to disruptive marketing – especially after the initial shock wears off, is because it can’t easily be duplicated. There’s only one Airbnb. Only one Red Bull. Only one Apple. Companies who try similar tactics to position their brand in a related way will be ignored in favor of the first to have done it. And when you have that kind of a lead on the competition, it makes sense to do everything you can to stay one step ahead.

It Hits a Common Touchpoint

Disruptive marketing is that loud and sometimes obnoxious friend that says what we’re all secretly thinking. The Dollar Shave Club turned subscription-based marketing into a huge trend by offering razors for $ 1 a month. But the reason they found such success wasn’t because of their pricing – it was because their founders came together over a common complaint: They were tired of expensive razors with ironclad packaging and countless “technological features” like flashlights, ionized organic coatings and salad slicers built into the handle, and still the same painful, bumpy shave.

It remains to be seen if Dollar Shave Club can keep up the disruption that their viral videos were famous for – especially after being bought for a BILLION dollars by personal care and shaving giant Unilever.

Now It’s Your Turn…

What are your thoughts on disruptive marketing? Have you seen a particular ad campaign that really changed the way you perceived a particular brand or industry? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

About the Author: Sherice Jacob helps business owners improve website design and increase conversion rates through compelling copywriting, user-friendly design and smart analytics analysis. Learn more at iElectrify.com and download your free web copy tune-up and conversion checklist today!


The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

4 Creative (and Aboveboard) Ways to Improve Your Search Engine Rankings

help readers find your content

Promoting your content has clear short-term benefits — like attracting new readers, social shares, and comments.

But did you know it’s also a critical part of your search engine optimization strategy?

Even the best on-page SEO efforts don’t work as well if no one links to your site, so one of your biggest jobs is spreading the word out about your content.

Think of it this way:

You’ve got to attract incoming links to rank well in search engines, and no one is going to link to you if they don’t know you exist.

In this post, we’ll talk about why content promotion is important for SEO and how to create your own content promotion system.

Why is content promotion important for SEO?

After you publish a piece of content, your next goal is to get people to engage with that content.

When people like your content, they’ll share it on social media and link to it from their sites, which sends search engines a “thumbs-up” signal.

That signal says, “This is high-quality content,” and you want as many of those votes as possible.

People share content from sites they know and trust, and they often visit those sites from their favorite social media platforms and their inboxes — so that’s exactly where you want to show up.

Not sure how to get started? Try these four techniques:

1. Reach out to your network

While I wouldn’t recommend emailing bloggers and editors you don’t already have relationships with, don’t forget about touching base with your online network when you publish extra special content.

For instance, I’ve developed a relationship with writing and creativity coach Cynthia Morris over the years.

Now if I publish a piece of content that is a particularly good resource for her audience, I can show the article to Cynthia and ask her to share it via social media if she likes it.

If you already have a connection with someone, reaching out via email with a note about your content may help them find useful information to share with their audience.

2. Post compelling updates on social media

When you promote your posts to your fans and followers on the social media sites you use, complement your text with compelling images.

Need to know the optimal sizes for your social media images? Check out this frequently updated guide from Sprout Social.

It’s okay to share a link to the same piece of content multiple times on a particular social platform. Just remember to vary updates that link to the same piece of content, so they don’t look too repetitive. For example, some updates should have different text and you can experiment with adding or omitting images.

Try a scheduling tool like the one in the Rainmaker Platform to make this process easier and more efficient.

3. Write guest posts

Guest posting helps you establish connections with influencers in your field, and it can lead to new website visitors and email subscribers when it’s done correctly.

It’s also (potentially) a great content promotion tactic. But before you include a link to your own content, get approval from your host and always honor the site’s rules about links.

If you’re allowed, link to a piece of your cornerstone content in the text of your guest post or in your author bio.

To maximize engagement with a link to your site, clearly explain what people will find when they arrive on your site and how the content will benefit them.

For more information, read Henneke’s post, Unleash a Surge of Email Subscribers from Your Guest Posts with This Simple Landing Page Strategy.

4. Repurpose your content

To breathe new life into older content and help it reach a wider audience, repurpose it into different formats.

For example, you could take a podcast interview and turn it into:

Every time you publish a repurposed version of the original interview, you can link to the original podcast episode.

On-page and off-page SEO: a smart partnership

It’s not enough to just publish and then sit back with your feet on your desk — you’ve got to spread the word about your content and give people easy ways to access and consume it.

But don’t forget about on-page optimization. On-page and off-page SEO work together to help you rank higher in search engines.

Discover five on-page elements you need to make your content easily digestible for search engines in Copyblogger’s free ebook, How to Create Compelling Content that Ranks Well in Search Engines.

What’s your favorite way to promote your content online? Share it with us in the comments below!

The post 4 Creative (and Aboveboard) Ways to Improve Your Search Engine Rankings appeared first on Copyblogger.


Copyblogger

32 Practical Ways to Increase Your Website Traffic

You’ve probably realized driving traffic to your website requires more than just a pretty design. And once you’ve gotten people to click in, you’ll have a full-time job on your hands trying to keep them coming back for more.

Driving traffic is like directing an orchestra. Referrals from other sites, search engines, social media networks, paid advertising, forums, and direct traffic are just a few of the instruments that have to work in harmony with each other. Thankfully, you can learn how to conduct all those elements to get the results you want.

By combining traffic-boosting methods, I’ve grown my own blog to more than 100,000 unique visitors every month. I’ve vetted these 32 tips from successful designers; their valuable insight is sure to help you increase your traffic.

What, when, and how to publish

Create seductive content

Seductive content starts with a good title. Users scroll through search results and social media faster than a Maserati on a test track, so you’ve got to catch their eye before they speed away to the next thing. (Good subtitles can also give readers an extra nudge to click on your page.)

Here’s where many sites go wrong. They’ve mastered the art of titling, but their lousy content decreases their traffic. On the other hand, content that’s actually valuable and interesting will increase traffic—because that’s what makes readers want to share it.

Provide valuable information for free

To make your blog shareable, it’s important consider what you’re going to publish there. In this video blog on increasing traffic, designer Chris Spooner explains the value of regularly publishing interesting, useful content. Readers don’t care about your self-promotion, but they do care about your answer to a question they have.

That said, valuable content shouldn’t come with a price tag. People who are unfamiliar with your site won’t want to pay for your information because they don’t know if it’s good or bad. Offering free content shows a genuine interest in being helpful rather than lining your own pockets—which makes people more comfortable engaging with you.

Communicate honestly

Most web users can smell a phony blog or site a mile away, and they’ll avoid it like the plague. Honest writing draws readers in and invites them to share an idea. When they see you make the effort to create authentic content, they’ll be much more likely to share their own stories and comments with you.

When they do that, be sure to respond with a helpful answer to their question or a thank you note for their thoughts. This lets your readers know you appreciate their engagement. And the more valued they feel, the more they’ll contribute to your site.

Conduct website surveys

If you’re not sure what type of content your users want, ask them. Conducting surveys is a great way to learn about your visitors’ values, personalities, likes, and dislikes. (Of course, surveys should be relevant to collect accurate data.)

Surveys can ask serious questions that make people think, but they’re also a great way to add some entertainment to your site with humorous quizzes. Publishing the results gives users a reason to come back and lets both of you see whether they’re your typical visitor or not.

Use visual content correctly

Everybody knows visual content gets and holds visitors’ attention—which is why so many sites post images like a teenager posts Instagram selfies. But there’s a difference between just having visual content and having visual content that’s effective.

You can make your visual content more relevant by:

  • Creating original images with a specific style
  • Posting images across multiple platforms
  • Captioning them with 1 or 2 hashtags
  • Basing visual content on your branding
  • Using moving images or videos to tell a story

Give clear calls to action

Imagine driving in a new city with no GPS, just an old map. A map shows you streets and landmarks, but it doesn’t actually tell you to do anything. It’s easy to get lost without that voice saying, “Turn left on Fourth Street.”

Likewise, visitors may get lost or give up unless there’s a clear voice telling them what to do. A good call to action should appear on every page and at the end of every blog post, instructing them how to proceed.

You’ll want to ask your content team for help optimizing your calls to action; they’ll know the right words to convert visitors to clients.

Publish on high traffic days

Creating great content is half the battle—the other half is knowing when to publish it. You can learn how to track your traffic using Google Analytics’ Visits report. Once you discover the most popular days and times are for people to visit your site, start posting on those days. Publish your blogs, announce events, or begin and end contests on those days.

One more helpful tip: if you’re going to make architecture or functionality updates, do so on your low traffic days so it’s less disruptive.

Promote your blog

It’s not enough to just publish a blog post and let it ride; promoting your blog generates far more traffic. How you do this depends your target audience and budget.

You’ll want to consider your audience first. Think of where they interact online—then look for the most cost-effective way to reach them there. Social media is a popular tactic but can get expensive if you’re not careful. Other ways to promote your site include guest blogging for related sites, hosting competitions, or even letting others guest blog for you.

Titles, tags, and tools

Choose a strategic domain name

Before you title blog posts, you have to name the site itself. Choosing a domain name can be maddening. Just when you think you’ve got it perfect—something short, catchy, and memorable—you discover it’s unavailable or out of your price range.

You can avoid a lot of these headaches by answering two questions upfront. First, decide on a budget; then choose whether you want your domain name to be discoverable or brandable.

Visitors can stumble on a discoverable brand just by typing related words into search engines (think slideshow.com). A brandable domain name, like Google, establishes a very recognizable identity not based on common words. Once you’ve chosen to be discoverable or brandable, you can narrow down your list of domain names and find one that suits your style.

Write stunning headlines

When it comes to picking up site traffic, your headline is like your wingman. It tells potential visitors about you: If it makes them laugh, they’ll think you’re funny. If it makes them think, they’ll think you’re deep.

There are several ways to create a good post title. Numbers are popularly included, because they’re easy for our minds to process and they pair well with list posts. Of course, anybody can toss in a number. The best way to create effective titles is to know what your audience likes and dislikes—then create very specific titles based on those interests.

Tag your posts

Tagging only takes a couple of seconds yet improves your blog’s performance in search engines—making it a quick, easy way to boost traffic.

Even better, it improves your user experience. Instead of searching for content in a disorganized collection of old posts, tags let your users narrow their search to find the piece they’re looking for—and be introduced to other relevant posts along the way.

One word of caution: plan your tags in advance. Using too many tags or a bunch of random keywords won’t help anyone. It’s better to strategize with a lower number of highly relevant tags.

Get WordPress plugins

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you know how expensive it can get trying to drive traffic to your site. Even WordPress, which has a reputation as a helpful platforms for marketing, can rack up costs pretty quickly—unless you use plugins.

WordPress offers hundreds of free plugins that you can use to track your site’s stats and drive traffic. You’ll want to look into the five categories of marketing plugins to see how you can better reach your target audience.

Build traffic with blogging tools

Trying to increase your web traffic without blogging tools is like trying to build a house without power tools—it’s slow going. And just like building tools, the blogging variety are designed for specific purposes.

You can find tools to help you improve your social media game or your writing. Creating images, SEO, staying productive—even outsourcing—are all easier with the proper blogging tools. The key is to think about what your site needs most, then research to find the best solutions for you. There are dozens of blogging tools out there, so don’t be afraid to shop around.

What to remove

Get rid of published dates

Most web users are looking for fresh, fun content—not something that’s been stagnating on your site for five years. That’s why removing published dates can help increase your traffic; when people don’t notice a post is older, they can enjoy its benefits instead of writing it off.

Of course, removing dates is not a shortcut to avoid updating posts or checking factual accuracy. It’s a way to help older—but accurate—posts get a fair shake.

Disavow links

Quality matters when it comes to backlinks. While you should request removal of shoddy links, sometimes they’re out of your control and can’t be undone. That’s where Google Search Console comes in. It has a feature that lets you disavow links, or tell Google to ignore certain links to your site.

This disassociates your site from spam or other negative signals that could be harming your ranking, so Google will see a higher concentration of authoritative, respectable links to your site.

How to optimize your blog for keywords

Plan and place keywords appropriately

Sadly, some people’s SEO strategy still seems to consist of tossing random words they think are keywords—but may not actually matter—into their posts and hoping something sticks in Google.

That strategy stinks, because it doesn’t consider keyword relevancy or the amount of competition for those words. Instead, plan your keywords using Google’s aptly named Keyword Planner to make sure you’re picking relevant words that accurately represent your content and have high search volume.

Your keywords’ location can also make your blog more SEO-friendly. Meta tags, meta descriptions, post titles, and post URLs are all good places to put keywords. Don’t go overboard within the post; instead, you should strive to create real, valuable content.

Start keyword research on your site

People often look to see which keywords others are using, then adjust their content accordingly. But they’re leaving out an important step. Uncovering the right keywords for your site starts right there—on your site.

You may already be doing some things right. By learning which keywords you’re already ranking for, you can play them up instead of completely changing your content. One simple change is to modify keywords from nouns into adjectives or verbs; this helps you match natural language and rank higher.

Another piece of advice: learn which keyword tools to use. Google’s Keyword Planner is one of the most popular, but you may find other tools just as helpful.

Optimize images

When people think of optimizing their site for SEO, they typically think of adding keywords to body text and headlines. If you stop there, you’ll miss out on the benefits of image optimization.

Here are a few ways to get the most traffic out of your images:

  • Use short, detailed file names.
  • Pick specific alt text, but don’t stuff it with keywords.
  • Store files in a single directory.
  • Choose a common file format.
  • Supply an image sitemap file.

Connect with the right communities

Join blogging communities

Joining relevant blogging communities lets you connect with people who share common interests and drive them back to your site. Read, comment on others’ blogs, and make your own blog accessible via commenting systems like Disqus, Lifefyre, or Facebook.

You can also retweet popular bloggers in your community; their followers will see your account and connect with you, helping you grow. Adding social sharing and commenting capabilities on your site lets others reciprocate by sharing your content.

Follow relevant people

Ultimately, the goal in connecting with an online community is to drive traffic back to your own site. To do that, you’ll need to follow and form relationships with relevant people. These relationships help you earn the attention of other bloggers and thought leaders—without awkwardly stalking them or spamming their inbox.

The key is to invest in a real relationship with the people you follow. Engage with their content, learn from the things they’re doing well, and don’t hound them for help immediately. Only once you’ve established a real connection is it okay to ask for their help leveraging your content.

Read and comment on others’ blogs

Connecting with other bloggers is a bit like dating. You can’t sit at home on your couch waiting for the perfect person to show up on your doorstep. You have to get out there and interact with people so they know you’re interested.

The same concept applies to blogging. You’ll want to jump into the conversation on the blogs you read regularly (if you don’t read regularly, start).

That doesn’t mean spamming their comments section with links to your page—that’s like handing your number out to every weirdo at the club. Just participate in the conversation, let them know you’re there, and make friends. They’ll eventually get curious and check out your site, too.

Comment wisely

Before you run amok commenting on every blog in your industry, pause. Commenting does have potential to increase your traffic—if you say the right things. Be strategic and plan what to say before you do it.

Here are some ways to make your comments more effective:

  • Be relevant to the topic.
  • Express a specific, strong opinion.
  • Leave the conversation open for others to join.
  • Comment on recent blogs, especially those currently being promoted.

Participate in your site’s comment section

Imagine you’re at a party, standing in a circle of people you’ve just met. The host asks what you do for a living—but as you start to reply, they turn and talk to someone else.

Being unresponsive to your readers’ comments is the same thing—you’re ignoring a conversation you started. Those bad manners will alienate online users every bit as much as they would ruin an in-person interaction.

However, you can also accomplish the opposite. If you’re a “good listener,” your users will reward you with increased traffic. A few ways to encourage comments are to:

  • Leave an open post ending so people can comment with their own conclusion
  • Ask for opinions on controversial topics (but hold back your own thoughts)
  • Encourage commenters to interact with each other
  • Pay extra attention to active commenters

Use newsletters, mailing lists, and newsgroups

Besides interacting with current readers, you’ll want to invite others to join the conversation. The best ways to reach out to many people at once are newsletters, newsgroups, and mailing lists.

Newsletters and mailing lists let you contact people directly. But where a mailing list reaches out to new people, a newsletter reminds past connections your site still exists. On the other hand, newsgroups are forums—as when you comment on or write for other blogs, they let you join a conversation and drive traffic based on connections you make there.

Guest blogging

Contribute to popular industry sites

Reading and commenting on others’ blogs gets your foot in the door to start writing guest blogs, which are one of the most powerful ways to increase your traffic.

Guest blogging for someone else gives you exposure to their visitors and connections. The more exposure you have, the more credibility you gain because your audience sees industry leaders sharing your content. And the more credibility you have, the more sites will want you to guest blog for them, resulting in more topical backlinks.

It’s like being introduced at a party—people base their opinion of you on what they know about the person you write for. And if they like what they see, they’ll follow the link back to your site.

Of course, these associations can work the other way. If you guest blog for a low-quality site, people may think your site isn’t so hot, either. You’ll be more likely to avoid this mistake if you learn how to write an effective guest blog and seek good opportunities, because high-quality sites are looking for high-quality content.

Social Media

Perform a social media audit

Blindly posting on social media in an effort to increase traffic is not the best use of your time—but it’s what most websites do. Chances are, you’ve already joined the social stampede with underwhelming results.

The best way to recover is to do a social media audit to analyze your brand’s social media presence. Ask yourself which platforms you use and how active you are. What do you post? Do people engage with your content? What are other companies in your industry doing?

You’ll soon start to see what industry standards are, where you can improve, and hopefully where you excel. But just having that information isn’t enough. Use it to set goals for your engagement and social branding. Once you reach those goals, do another audit to see what else you can improve.

Make a social media plan

Most people make the mistake of creating numerous social profiles without doing any research. The idea is to drive traffic to your site—but you can’t drive traffic if you don’t have a map, or a plan showing how social media will work for you.

If you create accounts without a second thought, you’ll likely see poor results and stop updating those profiles—which means there’s a dead site out there with your name on it. Researching, testing, and investing in social media content are ultimately what will sustain your accounts and bring in traffic from social sites.

Create a domino effect

You’ve seen someone knock over a rows of dominoes to watch the chain reaction. But you may not know you can use social media to create a domino effect for your web traffic.

The social media chain reaction doesn’t start with big sites like Facebook or Pinterest. Instead, it begins on “second tier social media sites,” which are smaller sites specific to a particular interest.

The popularity you achieve on these smaller sites can then carry that traffic over to larger social sites—which are likely to share users with small sites while still opening up a broader audience. You’ll find your traffic increasing and gain a foothold in larger sites much faster, rather than trying to fabricate popularity from scratch on a major social network.

Learn from the best in your industry

There’s so much pressure to stand out from your competition that it’s easy to adopt a “lone wolf” mentality. The problem is, you’re far more likely to make mistakes when you try to do everything on your own.

On top of that, yours is not the only business in your industry. So until you’re running a monopoly, it’s important to see what top competitors are up to on social media. You’ll learn industry trends, gain tools to compete against bigger, higher revenue sites, and discover new ways to increase your social traffic. Be sure to:

  • Monitor which competitors’ most popular posts
  • Determine why those posts are successful
  • Search your industry on social media to see which articles get shared
  • Improve on your competitors’ content

Network on Facebook

One of the most popular social sites, Facebook, has huge potential for bringing traffic to your site through paid advertising. Its powerful targeting capabilities let you select your audience’s interests, location, career, and other factors—putting your post in front of the most receptive audience possible for maximum results.

Facebook is also a great way to build your network. You can use the social site to create a mailing list of new prospects, or you can connect with past clients (and their friends) by asking them to like your page.

Play up your Pinterest

Remember our tip about having awesome visual content? Pinterest drives traffic to your site by playing up all your cool images. Sharing on Pinterest also forces you to improve that visual content, because your images have to be fantastic to stand out on this site.

If you create the right types of images, your audience will reward you quickly. Pinterest’s sharing capabilities make it easy for images to spread like wildfire while simultaneously helping users feel connected to your site.

Conclusion

As you start trying to increase the traffic on your site, remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day—and neither is a good site. Instead of changing everything at once, choose a few tactics you think will be best for your site.

Once you’ve given them some time to work, you can start building up your traffic in other ways. You’ll see results before you know it.


Onextrapixel – Web Design and Development Online Magazine

How to Build Raving Fans in Unconventional Ways

Do you want enthusiastic fans? Looking for unique ways to engage your audience? To discover how he grew a large and thriving fan base, I interview Pat Flynn. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover […]

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