As a small business owner, you know that effective online marketing plays a significant role in the success of your company. The competition for internet users’ attention is fierce, and if you want to make your company stand out from the competition, you have to stretch your marketing budget as far as you can. You might not have the money to take out Google ads or even to pay for Facebook advertising, but that doesn’t mean that you have to accept lackluster marketing results. Content marketing is a major piece of any online marketing strategy.
“Content isn’t just words on a page, it’s everything you put out there on the web to engage your audience.”
Content marketing is the key to help your company succeed. When you make the effort to create unique and valuable content to share online, you can let what you create speak for you without having to spend a lot of money. The kind of content you create, as well as how and when you share it, are both important when it comes to spreading the word about your company. With that in mind, let’s look at 6 content marketing strategies that you can use to help increase traffic to your website and grow your business.
1. Concentrate your content creation efforts on evergreen content. Evergreen content is content that isn’t likely to feel dated anytime soon. For example, a blog post about a current event would not be considered evergreen; a post that defined some industry terms and jargon would be considered evergreen.
The key is to find topics that will interest your current and future customers for some time to come. Some examples might include how-to guides, tutorials, frequently asked questions, and posts addressing problems that are common to your customers. For example, if you own an apparel store, a post about dressing different body types could have a long life online because it will always be of concern to the people who shop at your store. You can and should re-post evergreen content periodically, and make updates as needed.
2. Concentrate your SEO efforts on getting high-quality backlinks and using local keywords. If you know anything at all about search engine optimization (SEO), you know that it’s a broad topic and one that is constantly changing. In the early days of the internet, all a webmaster had to do was stuff websites with keywords to get a high rank on Google. Today, search algorithms are very sophisticated. Keyword density is only one small piece of the puzzle.
Ranking for top keywords will be difficult, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about keywords. For local companies, the best option is to focus on long-tail keywords with a geographical component. Instead of aiming at a keyword like “video games,” you might decide to try to rank for “buy video games in Forest Grove.” It’s a longer keyword, but one that local customers are likely to use when looking for a local retailer. The same is true of backlinks. The number of backlinks you get is less important than the quality of your backlinks.
There are certainly sources where you can buy back links, but that’s considered a “black hat” SEO practice and is just as likely to earn you a penalty from Google as it is to bring traffic to your website. Instead, look for guest blogging opportunities on websites that are relevant to your business. Also try to get your site listed in industry directories.
3. Use social media wisely. A lot of small companies make the mistake of looking at Facebook (or Twitter or Instagram) as a way to advertise themselves. The problem with that it is that it completely leaves out the social aspects of social media. The people who follow you on social media are not doing so because they want to be at the receiving end of an endless stream of promotional messages. They do it because they want to be entertained, engaged, and informed. This is one of the most misunderstood content marketing methods.
” At least 80% of your social media content should be aimed at providing value to your followers.” That means that for every five things you post, four of them should be entertaining, relevant, and devoid of any overt sales pitches. The other one can be a direct marketing appeal, but even then, you should make sure to include something of value for your followers.
JVI Mobile uses the LENS method for social media posts. Listening (L) posts are designed to begin a conversation and create engagement (like, comment and share). Educating (E) posts are facts, trivia, do-you-know, or how-to posts designed to teach the reader. Networking (N) posts are written to share other people’s content while tagging them and building online relationships. Selling (S) posts are where you promote your products and/or services and should be used the least (20% of the time). Using the LENS method, you will develop a clear, 20/20 vision for your social media presence.
4. Encourage readers and followers to share your content. The whole point of content marketing is to bring new visitors to your website and ultimately, to your business. For that reason, it isn’t enough simply to create compelling content; you must also make that content interesting enough to share, and provide people with the means of sharing it.
To make it interesting, write a great headline – many people who write online say that they spend as much time on their headlines as they do on the rest of their content combined – that includes numbers or compelling words like tips, tricks, ways, ideas, lessons, or facts.
It’s also important to keep your headline short. No more than 65 words so that the whole title can be viewed on a list of Google search results. In terms of making it shareable, you should embed social sharing buttons on your website and blog, and actively encourage your followers to share your content. You won’t want to do it on every post, but on something that you think is especially likely to attract new customers, come right out and ask people to share what you’ve created.
5. Find ways to make your content visually compelling. The average internet user is exposed to hundreds of pieces of content per day. You can make yours stand out by adding compelling images – originals are best, since many stock photos are generic and not very exciting – infographics, or videos are even better. An infographic can be an especially good way to share a large volume of information or data. It’s easier to read and absorb than an article would be, and infographics are highly shareable, and videos are naturally more engaging for visitors than reading a lot of text.
6. Submit a Press Release. Don’t underestimate a well written PR, it’s like a news nugget that online search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing love as well as it attracts local press. It’s an easy way to boost your online visibility, and marketing your business at the same time. Once you’ve submitted your PR online – contact your local news media and ask if they would publish it too – you may be surprised!
Whether you do it yourself through directories like PR Web or PR Newswire or hire marketing agency to create and submit it on your behalf, press releases are a great content marketing strategy for any local business.
If you use these six strategies, your content will always be compelling, entertaining, and valuable to your followers. The more value you provide, the more likely it is that one-time customers will become repeat customers and that new visitors to your website will end up buying from you.
Video content will soon reign as king of content by 2019. Experts agree that video marketing is no longer an option as it will become 80% of internet traffic. Even if you have a local offline business where you may not need to market on Instagram or Twitter, your business belongs on video regardless of where viewers may consume it. Imagine this – more than 3 million small businesses shared video content on Facebook within a one-month time frame. It’s no longer a matter of “if” but “when” the majority of online marketing will be driven by video.
By leaving your strategically created footprint on social media, you can effectively market to your audience 24-7 with compelling content. But with so many options, methods, and tools to create videos; are there any rules of thumb to give your videos a chance stand out?
We’ve put together a checklist of strategies to help you gain a clear understanding of what goes into creating great video content that is relative to all platforms. Our breakdown will help you share content that can capture your audiences’ attention in as little as 5 seconds and motivate viewers to take action.
The best thing is, you don’t need a degree in film-making or digital editing, so without further ado; here are our most essential tips to help your video content shine.
1. Mission Statement
Does your video content contain a strong mission statement that allows your audience to quickly understand what your business is all about? Starting with a great mission statement can inspire your audience to buy into who you are as an organization and will separate you from your competitors.
2. Focus on the Message
One of the most effective strategies to consider when creating a video is to focus on simplicity. By sticking to one message per video, and one call to action you can communicate your point more effectively and won’t clutter the message you’re trying to convey to your audience.
Pro Tip: One popular method is to utilize explainer videos, which in most cases describes a problem your customer has and how your business can help them fix it. Sometimes, a quick and easy explanation is all a prospect need to clearly understand how your product or service can solve their problem.
3. How-to Content
The appeal of “how-to content” stems from our infatuation of immediate information gratification. With the press of a button and a quick search on Google or YouTube.
How-to content dominates as over 100 million hours of practical tips and lessons were streamed on YouTube in 2016 – they are immensely popular regardless of the platform. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase the value your business can provide to your customers. Be cautious, however, of being too self-promotional can turn your viewers off.
One great strategy is to offer useful content on a topic that relates to your business – you can drive higher traffic with content marketing than traditional forms of advertising.
4. Trending Videos
Staying relevant on social media can be a bit intimidating as trending hashtags and memes change almost daily. It is an all-consuming effort to stay on top of so much user-generated content. But if you can keep an eye on what your industry influencers are doing, you can take advantage of content and post topics that are highly engaging and people want to share.
5. Story Telling
In the age of personal connection through social media, audiences love a good story that they can and find relevance in through their own lives. Part of a great marketing strategy is to create compelling stories to captivate viewers on an emotional level to develop trust with your brand.
By going behind the scenes of your company, you share a story of who you are authentically. Just like when a certain song comes on the radio and stirs up a vivid memory and the emotions that come along with it. There is something about powerful narratives that impact your audience on an emotional level. Our brains are more attuned to remembering information through emotional stories. Then when these emotions are experienced again later down the road, memories of your products and services will be triggered and that creates brand recognition.
6. Shareable Content
Being emotional creatures, we make decisions and do things based off how we feel. Whether content is shareable really depends on how it appeals to our emotional state versus our logical state.
In a study done in 2010 about viral content, making people excited, laugh, or be angry will draw a higher likelihood of having content be shared. It is not the specific feeling a person has, but how intense that feeling is that drives them to share content. Impact is everything.
So, ask yourself, does my content have the necessary ingredients to make someone want to share it?
7. Keep it Short and Precise
In our instantly gratified culture, the best video content can capture the attention of its viewers within the first 5 seconds. Otherwise, it’s likely your viewers will lose interest and move onto the next video.
Pro Tip: Be precise with the technical side of your video content; your video should be able to work without sound and automatically play in their news feed. Research has found that 85% of video’s in the Facebook feed is viewed without any audio. As well, viewer engagement increases tremendously if videos were to auto play versus being shared from a link.
In conclusion, we know that traditional marketing was once so effective that it had shifted into the conglomerate that is content marketing today. Video engagement will continue to increase through social media at a phenomenal pace. The million-dollar question is – what will you do to adapt to the changes in your marketing strategy?
Here’s the deal. Your business can have a huge presence on Facebook with thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of fans, but still struggle to get new clients. Why is this? Well, for the most part it is because you’re not doing a good enough job of turning those fans into actual paying customers.
You have done a great job with the first step in the process which is attracting people on Facebook and ultimately building a raving fan base. Now is the time, however, to take that next step of turning those fans into people that actually pay you money for what you have to offer.
Here are 5 strategies to consider that will help your fans turn into customers.
1. Be Consistent with Content
In the overall scheme of things, it is important that you keep your Facebook fans engaged and keep your brand in front of them at all times. To that end, it is very important that you as a business owner maintain a consistent approach to the content you are publishing for your followers. A good practice is to put something out there once a
day that is likely to be shared or liked a lot. Not only will this help your content go viral and get in front of more people, it will also establish you as an authority in your industry.
Examples of content that you can post on a daily basis are how to articles, tips related to your industry or even interesting photos that your fans may want to see. The key is to make this content as engaging as possible so that it keeps getting shared and it keeps your fans coming back for more.
Now, when one of your fans needs the service or product you offer who are they going to call? Exactly! They will call you because they know who you are and consider you an authority in your industry.
2. Reach More of Your Fan Base
In order to convert more fans into customers, first your fans actually have to SEE what you are posting and promoting so they have the opportunity to become a customer. One of the most dramatic changes Facebook has made recently is minimizing organic reach for brands. Basically, this means that only a tiny fraction of your fans will see your updates in their newsfeed. According to Edge Rank Checker as of march 2014 it was estimated that you reach about 6.5% of your fan base with every post you make on your fan page.
There’s a number of ways you can increase your posts visibility within your fans news feed, and one of the best ways is to promote your posts. A promoted post starts off just like any other post you’ve made on your fan page. You simply choose a post you want to promote, like a special sale, or a story you want to share about your business. Then you set a budget and the post is shared to a set number of Facebook members depending on your budget. Your post will be seen by your fans, and even friends of your fans depending on your budget. Promoting your posts is a very inexpensive way to ensure you get maximum visibility.
Another way to ensure your fans see your updates is to educate your fans that they can ‘Get Notifications’ from your Page.
Most of the time, users aren’t even aware that they aren’t getting seeing your updates. Simply by telling them how they can stay better informed with your businesses special promotions will boost the number of people that actually see your posts.
3. Create Offers with Urgency or Scarcity
If you want to turn more of your Facebook fans into paying customers then you are going to have to market to them – plain and simple.
Now, a common and effective practice to use is creating offers and posting them to Facebook that have an element of scarcity or urgency to them in order to get people to act right away. In other words, why not post a coupon limited to the first 10 people who claim it for a certain percentage off your service? Or what about a special offer on a service that expires in 24-hours? Make the offer something that your fans cannot pass up and you will see the phone begin to ring! That said, once you end driving your fans from Facebook through your doors it is your job to keep them coming back. Use these special offers as a way to get them there – it’s up to you to keep them there.
Another way to reach your audience with a special deal is through Facebook Offers. This is a form of paid advertising where you can create an ad and target specific people with a special offer that will fit their needs. Once the ad is created and displayed it will have a “get offer” button on it. When a user clicks this button, they will be directed to an area where they can claim the discount offered by your company. The thing that makes Facebook Offers unique and very powerful is that they will actually email the person that claimed the offer to remind them to use it. In other words, they will do some of the dirty work for you to ensure that the person actually becomes a paying customer!
4. Drive Fans to Your Email List
Having a robust fan base on Facebook is great and can be very profitable but there is an even better way to engage these people to turn them into customers. What is it you ask? Simple, it’s email. If you are able to drive your fans to your email list then you will be able to communicate with them on a whole other level. Email newsletters are still the best way to communicate directly to your audience.
Think about it for a moment. Not only are you engaging them within Facebook, but now you are also engaging them within their inbox. This is very powerful as the more “planes of engagement” there are between you and your potential customers the more you will see your bottom line increase.
The best part about building that email list from your Facebook fan base is that it’s easy! You simply need to drive your fans from Facebook to an email opt-in form on your website or to an opt-in form right within Facebook. There are many apps out there that make it really easy to create these lead capture forms right within Facebook so the fan never has to leave if you don’t want them to.
Please keep in mind that people will only opt-in to your email list if you give them a good reason. Don’t be afraid to offer a discount or some other valuable form of content to ensure they sign up right away!
5. Show Them Some Love Too
A final strategy to turn fans onto customers is to show them some love too! What this means is making sure you are active on Facebook and sharing content that your fans have produced. This will create a feeling of reciprocity between you and your fans. It will also show that you are just a normal person too – not a corporate machine.
People love being engaged with in social media. If you take a few minutes each day to engage with some of your fans, you will see that investment on time come back to you tenfold. Even if you post though automation and use a platform such as MySoPro, it’s a great idea to always check in daily and take a look at new likes, comments, shares and overall engagement. All of a sudden, a normal fan will become a raving fan just because you reached out to engage them. Who do you think that person will do business with when they need what you have to offer?
All in all, getting your Facebook fans to turn into paying customers is easy if you know what you are doing. Just follow the strategies that are outlined above and watch your business take off like you never thought possible!
If you want to ensure you’re getting the best results from your Facebook ads, you need to know they’re reaching the right audience. The good news is, thanks to the social media giant’s huge range of targeting options, this couldn’t be easier.
By only reaching the people who actually matter, your ads have a lot more value and in turn deliver a much higher conversion rate. So how exactly can you ensure you’re reaching the right audience?
Narrowing down the location is only the first step. The next is to target specific demographics. You need to think about the type of consumer that’s going to be most interested in your product.
For example, will Millennials be more interested in what you have to offer, or would your services best suit those over the age of 40? You can specify certain age groups when targeting your ad to ensure you’re reaching the most appropriate audience. That’s not all, you can also target things such as:
The more you narrow down your audience, the better the results you’ll have. However, one thing you should be careful of is behavioral targeting. While it may seem clever, 68% of consumers state they are not ok with targeted ads that follow them around based upon their behavior.
The benefits of running multiple ads
Of course, targeted ads largely only help if you know WHO you are targeting in the first place. However, it is possible to develop a deeper understanding of your target audience by running multiple ads.
It can be extremely beneficial to run several targeted ads at the same time, each targeting a different demographic or location. That way, you can see exactly which groups are most interested in your product.
You may just be surprised to discover that a different group of people to those you initially planned to target are more interested in what you have to offer.
It’s pretty simple to set up a targeted Facebook ad. The options are automatically presented to you once you’ve chosen your ad objective. However, it is a good idea to do your research first. That way, you’ll know exactly who you should be targeting and which options have the best chance of success.