Starved for Content Ideas? Here’s How Original Research Can Keep You Blogging for Months

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:

  • Would my target audience find this interesting and informative?
  • Does my research align with my business goals or my unique brand story?
  • Will this research answer a question that hasn’t been covered yet?

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:

  • Simple survey
  • In-depth survey that includes qualitative responses
  • Review of existing research that combines two or more “knowns” to explain an unknown
  • Manual data gathering from raw data sources
  • Field research with data gathering at the source of information

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:

  • How often have you visited a franchise business in the past month?
  • On average, what do you spend within the following ranges: $5-$10, $10-$15, etc.
  • Do you try to support local businesses on purpose?
  • Which of the following reasons encourage you to support local businesses? I know the owner, I want the money to go back to the community, etc.

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:

  • A summary press release
  • An in-depth report
  • Sharable inforgraphics or slide shows
  • Blogs discussing specific trends you’ve seen
  • Editorial-style blogs combining your research findings with your own thoughts and other commentary
  • Promotional materials that use your findings to make a point
  • Guest posts presenting you as a subject authority where you get to assert your findings with data to back it up
  • E-books

Sort these ideas into priorities, including your “yeses,” “nos” and “maybes.” Then, work your way down the list!

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.

Source: https://amrutservices.com/starved-for-content-ideas-heres-how-original-research-can-keep-you-blogging-for-months/

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After the Reddit Redesign, Should Your Business Give the Social Channel a Look?

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:

  1. Advertising in relevant subreddit forums, ensuring that every ad impression reaches someone who cares about that niche
  2. Participating as a user to answer questions, share links, and generally engage with the community

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:

  1. Product-focused communities are built around the fans’ needs, not the needs of a company that wants to make money.
  2. The actual companies represented in these subreddits understand they have a very delicate relationship with their community.
  3. Companies and their employees must always be transparent with their affiliations. Reddit users don’t like to be deceived even more than they don’t like being forced to participate in marketing schemes.

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.

Source: https://amrutservices.com/after-the-reddit-redesign-should-your-business-give-the-social-channel-a-look/

Everything You Need to Create a YouTube Channel That’s Ready to Grow

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.

The first step is to determine exactly who your audience segments will be, along with a few actions you want them to take in response to your content.

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:

  • Your style and approach (e.g., formal or conversational)
  • The format of your videos, such as an ongoing “show” vs. how-to videos vs. quick Q&A sessions
  • How long your typical videos will be
  • How often you will post new content
  • Who your target audiences will be, and how you intend to reach them
  • Your amplification strategy for getting maximum views on your new content, such as sharing new videos on Facebook or through your email list.

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?

These two seemingly minor things can have a gigantic impact on your ability to attract audiences. Your channel name serves as both your brand and your initial pitch to potential viewers.

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.

Smaller channels, especially business-focused ones, often come under much more scrutiny. Someone may wonder “what are these people all about?” and take a look at their channel to learn more.

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.

Source: https://amrutservices.com/everything-you-need-to-create-a-youtube-channel-thats-ready-to-grow/

4 Essential Facebook Marketing Strategies the Top Business Pages Use

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.

For instance, unless you know for a fact that your audience is up at 3:00 a.m., maybe hold off and schedule that post for the next afternoon.

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.

On the other hand, brands that offer value get rewarded. Some brands are even going above and beyond the typical Facebook offerings to help their customers 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.

Source: https://amrutservices.com/4-essential-facebook-marketing-strategies-the-top-business-pages-use/

Why Your Business Needs Social Media

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:

  • Post content to lead people back to your website.
  • Announce a new product, promotion, event, or free demo
  • Share your local cable ad, or overlay a radio ad over an image slideshow.
  • Create contests to earn email signups or email followers
  • Gather data on the performance for certain types of content before investing heavily in something like pamphlets, print ads, or search engine marketing

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

All the above benefits can make a significant difference when it comes to your business’s ability to earn new customers, clinch sales, and stay in touch with your most loyal repeat clients.

 But, more importantly, if you’re not doing these things your competition likely will be. Ignoring the potential of social media basically leaves countless opportunities on the table — opportunities others can hungrily scoop up right from underneath your nose.

 So take social media seriously, and don’t give your competition a foothold to develop more meaningful relationships with your best customers. Form a strategy, stay vigilant for chances to engage, create outstanding content, and let social media be the scaffold that makes your overall marketing apparatus stronger.

 Ready to learn more about making social media work for your unique marketing goals? Drop us a line at Amrut Services, and we’ll answer any questions you have and tell you how to get started creating some killer campaigns.

 

Source: https://amrutservices.com/why-your-business-needs-social-media/

Back to Basics: 5 Internet Marketing Essentials Your Business Needs to Succeed Online

Internet marketing strategies can get complex
fast, so it helps to take a few steps back to ensure all of the most vital
components are in order.

Otherwise, you might get too focused on the
details to see that your online marketing funnel as a whole is broken. Or, you
might miss out on a key digital marketing practice that would be essential for
earning you new leads and converting those leads to customers.

Of course, every business is different and has
different needs. Some businesses may be in an industry where finding new leads
through social media is nearly impossible, for instance.

Regardless of business variables like these,
there are five internet marketing essentials all businesses should account for as part of their overall
strategy. Even if you confidently decide that you don’t need one of them, you
should at least consider the benefits it brings other businesses that you might
be giving up.

A Mobile Friendly Business Website Optimized for Conversions and Easy Information

Your business website is the absolute foundation
of your internet marketing strategy. You may think that your business model can
do without a website because of all the services offered by platforms like
Google, Facebook, and Yelp.

The fact of the matter is that your website backs
all of these other elements up. Your website is also one of the only internet
marketing environments where you have complete control. Google or Facebook
could decide to delete your business profile tomorrow with nary a warning, and
you’d have to fight with them to find out why they did it and how to get it
back.

Your business website also acts as a cornerstone
that reinforces all of your marketing channels. If you want someone to discover
your local business through a voice search, for instance, having detailed
information about your hours, services, and products increases the chances that
the searcher’s voice assistant pulls up accurate information.

Most businesses also think of their website as
the final point of conversion. You can create landing pages that people arrive at from your
email marketing or social media campaigns. Since these pages are nearly 100%
customizable, you get to control the impressions of your business the visitor
gets and influence their desire to convert.

Tips for
an Effective Website:

  • Think carefully about how to make
    navigation intuitive. Google mentions site layout and your navigation hierarchy
    above keyword use in their own SEO guide.
  • Express your brand but don’t make
    your website noisy or cluttered. Usability requires a layout that’s easy to
    interpret visually and that doesn’t cause eye strain or mental fatigue.
  • Treat your home page like a
    landing page. Think about the absolute most important information a customer
    would want to know first then fill in details and support your claims
    efficiently with a few pieces of social
    proof
    as evidence.

A Strategy for Ranking Your Website on Search Engines (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the marketing
practice of engineering your website content to increase your website’s chances
of appearing near the top of search results.

According to a recent study, the number one
search ranking position earns around twice as many clicks as the number two.
Once you reach position six, you start receiving clicks from less than 3% of
the people who see your search result listing.

Put even more bluntly: People will have a really hard time finding your business if you aren’t
ranked near the top of search results
.

To rank more highly, you need a large volume of
content and a well-made site. You can see if your current website has any red
flags by using the Fetch as Google tool and then by using Google’s
mobile friendly and page load speed tool
.

Over half (63%) of your website visitors are likely to be
mobile device users
, so a good mobile experience for users is
important to Google and therefore important for your ranking.

Once you have your overall site in order,
download Google search console, Google Analytics and Bing
Webmaster Tools
. These platforms will help you analyze your site and
track metrics for stats like website visitors, how long they spend on certain
pages, and other valuable decision-making data.

Only after these technical details have been
dealt with should you start to worry about content and keywords. Your goal for
using keywords is to signal to search engines and to audiences that your
content is relevant to what they’re looking for. So if you’re a hardware store
in Sacramento, your website should say phrases like “hardware store in
Sacramento” or “Sacramento hardware store,” and related phrases, at least a few
times on each major page.

Don’t overdo it! Spamming keywords is more likely
to lead to a search penalty, pushing you further down the ranks. Write naturally
and try to help guide people rather than trick search engines.

A Social Media Presence

People spend a lot of their online time within
social media apps. Businesses able to cultivate a community on these apps – or
at the very least have a searchable presence – stand a better chance of being
discovered by potential customers.

Just as important, many people may look on social
media platforms to research your business. They may want to read reviews, look
at other people’s comments, or see something like your hours without having to
leave their favorite social spaces.

Social media can also strengthen the backbone of
your content marketing campaigns. Every article you write can be shared on
social media, and you could also use social platforms to broadcast promotions,
contests, or announcements.

When using social media as a marketing tool, we
strongly suggest that you lead people who click on your links to a specialized
landing page. This strategy ensures they won’t get lost or forget where they
were navigating after the click.

More
Social Media Marketing Tips:

  • Post on a regular schedule a few
    times a month so that people will come to depend on your content.
  • Sign up for messenger alerts since
    a third of people now say they prefer to contact
    businesses through social media
    rather than a phone call.
  • Interact with your followers and
    engage them when possible. For instance, you can ask a related question when
    posting new blog content to encourage responses.
  • Set goals for social media marketing
    beyond likes and follows. For instance, track how many people click on your
    links to promotions or content.

An Active Blog

Business blogs are a vital component of your SEO
strategy. Search engines like to index fresh content, so if you’re home page was
last updated in 2010, they may rank your site lower than a more recent one.

On the other hand, if you have an active blog
that publishes weekly, you can send recurring signals to search engines that
your content is current and relevant.

Avoid thinking about your blog as another
advertising channel. Instead, it should be a helpful resource for visitors.
Blog about topics that introduce them to important industry concepts. Or, give
them a convenient list of tips. Always offer value, but follow your blog posts
up with a strong call to action.

Email Marketing

Email marketing offers your business a reliable
channel to stay in touch with customers and leads.

For instance, if you offer a really helpful and
informative e-book, the typical person might download it and never think about
your brand again. But if you ask them for their email to send it to them
directly, you can also have the chance to follow up with a drip campaign that
nurtures their interest in becoming a paying customer.

Using email campaigns can encourage a past
customer to make repeat purchases. By sending them exclusive offers tailored to
their interests and their purchase history, you can develop a relationship and
inspire loyalty.

Email
Marketing Tips:

  • Receiving too many promotions and
    messages is the #1 reason people unsubscribe. Try to limit your campaign emails
    to one to two times a month, not counting contacts like order confirmations.
  • Think carefully about your subject
    lines. A good subject line can dramatically raise your open rate, while a bad
    one could get you flagged quickly as spam.
  • Make your emails brief and to the
    point. If you have something more in-depth to say, direct them to a landing
    page.
  • Try to make emails feel personal,
    as if they’re sent from a specific business employee, not a faceless company
    brand.

Nice to Have: Video Marketing

Video marketing requires a larger budget than
most small businesses care to muster, but the results truly do speak for
themselves. 81% of people say that they were convinced to purchase
something
after watching a brand’s video. Also, 95% of people say
they have watched an explainer video to learn more about a business, product,
or service.

Your video marketing strategy can start small
with live Q&A sessions, short recaps of your most popular blog posts, or a
quick explainer video of your most important products/services. You don’t need
a million dollar budget to make an impact! You just need to focus on meeting
your audience’s needs in a format that few people can resist.

Combine All of These Internet
Marketing Essentials Into a Complete Package

Focus on strengthening each of the above
components individually and then strategize for ways to tie them all together
into one strong, effective package.

These days, people flock between more media channels than ever. By having a strong website, an engaging social media presence, an SEO ranking strategy, and a method for communicating effectively through email, you can catch people on any and all of the channels they inhabit.

Source: https://amrutservices.com/back-to-basics-5-internet-marketing-essentials-your-business-needs-to-succeed-online/

Why No One Clicks on Your Social Media Content—6 Tips for Improving Engagement

For a small business, gaining steam on social media is undeniably an uphill battle. You have to contend with algorithms that make it nearly impossible to get discovered until you achieve a certain level of visibility. This situation puts you in a catch-22: you can’t get anyone to view your content until you get engagement, which requires views!
Why No One Clicks on Your Social Media Content
Nevermind the fact that social media overwhelmingly prefers silly or opinionated content—two things that really don’t gel with the average business’s branding. Sure, you can gain thousands of shares by posting ridiculous cat videos, but there’s a slim chance all that attention will aid your business goals.

Despite all these challenges, putting your business out there on social media isn’t just worth it; it’s necessary. According to research from Stone Temple, 63 percent of all web traffic in 2017 came from mobile devices. In the U.S., 87 percent of mobile internet time is spent in apps. What are the most common apps? Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, to name a few.

Following this logic, people on the internet spend the majority of their time looking at social media apps on their phone. While Google Search is another top app—meaning SEO is also critical for businesses—social media is by far the most common way people discover content. Consider that two thirds of U.S. adults say they get their news from social media.

Put simply: if you aren’t on social media, you will have an incredibly hard time gaining brand recognition for your business. You will also have a tough time getting attention for your laboriously crafted content.

So how can you climb uphill to earn engagement and, eventually, legions of fans? Start by following these six tips below.

Talk About Your Audience, Not Your Business

No one logs into social media to talk about you! Okay, that may be an unfair exaggeration, but our point is that most people enjoy social media because it’s all about me, me, me.

You should use that tendency. Instead of talking about your business, talk about your industry in a way that people can relate to. Suddenly, you’re not just promoting. You’re conversing. Or, you’re informing. Sometimes, you might even be commiserating.Talk About Your Audience, Not Your Business

Here’s an example: consider a post written by a local dry cleaner that says, “Our new powercleaning process can bust the deepest stains! Come in today and mention this post for $5 off.”

While the offer may be tempting and the service may be useful, people may tune them out. Instead, the business can say, “Got a piece of clothing hiding in your closet because you can’t remove a stubborn stain? Bring it to us! With our new powercleaning process, your favorite outfits can find new life. Get $5 off your service when you mention this post!”

The difference is all about perspective. When you write content, don’t just subtly hint at relevance to your audiences. Instead, write things for them that subtly steer them towards your business services. Flipping your thinking around can be a quick path to more consistent conversions.

Cover Interesting Industry Topics Rather Than Just Your Brand Alone

Another way to branch away from overpromotion is to be a font of news and information for your industry. A restaurant can discuss exciting new culinary movements. A healthcare provider can offer self-care tips and the latest studies on which health practices are most effective. A local gym can share stretches and exercises people can do at home to start feeling better.

When done right, this content earns your audience’s interest without your business appearing like it wants something in return. You also round out your subject matter pool to include topics that are universally interesting and helpful to people in your target market.

Participate in Discussions in Groups and Trending Hashtags

What if your brand were a really helpful person? That’s the approach many of the most successful social media marketers take when they’re trying to build an audience. They get proactive, reaching out to target audiences in the social niches they occupy.

For example, the same hypothetical dry cleaner mentioned above could join laundry and housecleaning groups. As long as they are not overtly promoting or stealing focus from other discussions, the business can become a valuable contributor to the group. After all, who better to offer expertise than the experts?

When building your initial audience pool, try to be very active in Facebook groups and public discussions. Avoid coming across too opinionated, but don’t be shy about setting facts straight. With enough effort, you can gain some initial followers—and maybe even customers!

Aim for Emotional Content That Tells a Story About Your Customers

Going back to one of the main drawbacks of social media marketing for small businesses: only certain types of content seem to excel on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These popular content categories include humorous content, content that impresses/amazes, content that sums up people’s feelings succinctly, content that isn’t afraid to state a strong opinion and content that stirs emotions.

Of all these options, emotional content can be the easiest for a small business to pin down. While getting an emotion out of your audience may seem like a tall order, it’s actually fairly hard to fail completely at it. An attempt to make a joke or be “cool” might go over like a lead balloon. Being controversial is never a good idea since it, well, stirs controversy. But no one can 100 percent fail at communicating emotion as long as they’re sincere.Aim for Emotional Content That Tells a Story About Your Customers

Think from your heart, and start by telling stories either about your customers or related to their lives. Get to the emotional core of what your product or service offers. If you’re an event caterer, you’re offering strong memories and good times. If you’re an IT and cybersecurity services provider, you’re providing reliability and peace of mind. If you’re a dry cleaner, even you offer customers an emotion: a feeling of control over their lives and the ability for them to wear what they need when they need it.

When using a storytelling approach, start small. Highlight a customer whose day you made. Or, mention the emotional benefits of whatever information your content offers, such as information to help make people’s day less stressful.

From there, you can learn more about how to combine images and text in a way that stirs people’s souls.

Consider Gatorade’s mini film “The Boy Who Learned to Fly,” which earned the sports beverage company 15.3 million views and over 68,000 “likes” on YouTube. It told a powerful story that ranged from exciting to tragic to joyous in just seven minutes.

You may not have the budget for something that ambitious, but at the very least you can be inspired by businesses able to tell a story where they’re just a supporting character or an outside observer.

Engage Your Social Media Marketing Audience Directly by Asking Them Questions

There is probably no more powerful social media marketing phrase than “What do you think?”

Arguably, all of social media is just one big pile of people telling others what they think. When they share art or humorous content, they’re really saying, “This is the type of thing I like!”

“People like to think things through,” explains Barry Feldman on Hubspot. “They like to hear from other thinkers. Certainly, they want other people to know what they think.”

Soliciting opinions is a surefire way to get your audience talking. Try to avoid controversial topics, and moderate comments that include vulgar, hostile, harassing or otherwise off-brand statements. Having someone mad at your business for deleting your comment is a whole lot better than being the business that let someone attack others in their comment section.Research Your Audience’s Interests and Influencers

The beauty of asking others for their opinion is that it can be done with just about every post. If you’re a cybersecurity company talking about the dangers of weak passwords, you can ask people for some of the worst passwords they’ve ever seen. Or, if you’re a restaurant writing about the best foods from around the world, throw in a question on your post asking your audience about the best meal they’ve eaten abroad.

Soliciting opinions is easy, and it can reliably earn engagement. Just be wary of doing it too often, especially if no one’s taking the bait. You don’t want to be the brand that gets mocked for throwing a poll that absolutely no one clicks on.

Research Your Audience’s Interests and Influencers

All of the above tactics work well on their own, but you turbocharge their effectiveness by doing a little digging and documentation on your audiences. Try to identify the types of content topics they seem to be most interested in. Look at influencers they frequently interact with, and try to write content you think that influencer would share.

Above all else, write down your strategy, measure your results, and experiment to find better performance over time. The nice thing about social media marketing is that your engagement numbers are easy to track! Keep an eye on your graphs, and let your “likes” point the way to a bigger, more interactive audience.

Source: https://amrutservices.com/why-no-one-clicks-on-your-social-media-content-6-tips-for-improving-engagement/

Retargeting: What It Is, And Why Every Business Should Use It

Modern digital ads can have a huge relevancy problem, and using a retargeting strategy is one of the best ways to solve it.

Retargeting: What It Is, And Why Every Business Should Use It
With retargeting, you only show ads to people who have indicated interest in your product or website before. Usually, the interest-signaling behavior is a visit to a particular page on your website.

While the abilities of retargeting sound creepy—and they definitely can be eerie when the practice is done incorrectly—most retargeted ad campaigns are actually doing consumers a favor. Instead of showing them irrelevant ads for things they may never buy, such as an expensive luxury car, you’re showing them ads for things they’ve directly looked at before.

At its core, retargeting strategies are all about that relevancy. The idea is that someone has already entered into your sales funnel or taken the first steps of the customer journey. Retargeted ads should ideally be a nudge a little further along that path.

When done right, it works! One company reportedly achieved an average ROI for their retargeting campaigns of 488 percent to as much as 2054 percent. That’s hundreds to thousands of dollars in revenue for every dollar they spend!

If you’re ready to try a retargeting strategy for your digital ad campaigns, dig into the information below for a deeper analysis of what makes retargeting effective, along with six tips to help your campaigns find success.

What, Exactly, Is Retargeting, and How Does It Work?

The easiest way to think of retargeting is that it rewrites how traditional ad targeting according to demographics works. Under normal ad targeting, demographics like location, age, gender, household income and even parental status could be considered. A car dealer could target everyone within an hour’s drive of their dealership lot, for instance. Or, the dealership could choose an age range and income bracket that closely matches the most common traits of their best customers.

Retargeting takes the same approach, but instead of looking at static demographics for its targeting list, it looks at browsing behaviors. Specifically, what pages of your site users stopped on the longest or the last page they viewed before they left.What, Exactly, Is Retargeting, and How Does It Work?

Retargeting campaigns build these lists by applying what’s known as a “tracking pixel” to their page. A list gets built from everyone who viewed the page based on their browser’s cached data.

For example, if someone searches for desk lamps in their area, finds the local office supply store you own, clicks on the product page, and then later closes the tab to do something else, a “tracking pixel” can register the person’s initial visit. Then, they get added to your list of everyone else who visited that page, and they get served an ad for the exact same lamp they were just looking at.

In theory, the ad serves as a reminder for someone who may be willing to buy eventually but just hasn’t committed yet. Say, for instance, that they were browsing through your office products as a way to kill time during their lunch break and weren’t really intending to buy anything just yet. But if they have a chance to think about it again in a few days, they may decide to finally commit to a purchase.

Pixel Tracking by Page Allows Your Campaigns to Be Perfectly Segmented According to the Visitor’s Behaviors

Serving ads according to who ends up on your pixel tracking list allows for a number of different strategies.

You could potentially place a pixel on every page within your site; many companies actually do. This approach allows you to serve personal-feeling ads tailored to the exact pages someone browsed.

Someone who looks at several different versions of the same product, maybe even adding one to their cart, could see an ad for the exact same item. Or, someone who browses many products in a single category but never bothers to add any to their cart could see ads for general items in that category.

Finally, people who visit non-product pages on your website, such as the home page or your blog, could receive more general ads that give examples of your most popular products.

You could even just serve them ads that say general positive things about your brand. Customer testimonials work really well for this type of trust- or awareness-building campaign.Pixel Tracking by Page Allows Your Campaigns to Be Perfectly Segmented According to the Visitor’s Behaviors

In this way, you have content aimed at different people in the buying funnel that can be optimized towards getting to the next step.

An excellent example of this practice in action would be a retargeting campaign aimed at previous buyers. Someone who checked out of your ecommerce website for an expensive purchase, like a smartphone, isn’t likely going to purchase the exact same device again. If you put a pixel on the “Thank You for Your Purchase” or “Order Confirmed” page, then you can filter these individuals out and avoid showing them ads for a product they already bought.

Better yet, your ad can attempt to cross-sell them a related product, increasing their customer lifetime value. After all, it’s often easier to get someone to make a repeat purchase than to convert a brand-new customer lead to a sale.

6 Tips for More Effective Ad Retargeting Campaigns

Ad retargeting campaigns have a track record of extremely reliable conversions. The average retargeting ad is 76 percent more likely to earn a click compared to a non-retargeted ad. Thirty percent of consumers also have either positive or very positive sentiments towards retargeted ads.

On the other hand, 11 percent of people had negative reactions to ads that appear to “follow them around” while they browse the internet. The majority of people — 59 percent — felt “neutral.” You absolutely don’t want your retargeted ads to trigger a negative reaction. You also want to avoid having a neutral impact.

To improve the effectiveness of your retargeting campaigns, put some or all of the following strategies into action:

  1. Start Small and Branch Out—Retargeting may sound sophisticated, but platforms like Facebook and Google’s AdWords make it easy. Start off your campaigns on these networks, and then move on to more complex platforms, such as the Google Display Network (GDN).
  2. Use Frequency Capping—Frequency capping limits the number of exposures people have to a single ad or a retargeting campaign in general. Since you don’t want to annoy people, consider putting some sort of upper boundary on all of your campaigns.Tips for More Effective Ad Retargeting Campaigns
  3. Limit Your Retargeting Window According to Average Buy Cycles—Most retargeting platforms limit your campaigns to 180 days (about 6 months) after their last tracking pixel was registered. But if you have a product category with a shorter buying cycle, such as retail goods under $50, then you may want to end your retargeting campaigns after just a few days. For more expensive products with a longer buying cycle, such as cars, showing people similar ads for months makes more sense.
  4. Use Limited Offers and Urgency to Clinch Bottom-of-the-Funnel Leads—If someone appears close to making a purchase, sometimes a personalized offer is all the nudge they need to commit. Use retargeting pixels to serve special offers to people who browsed for certain products or product categories. Or, use these lists to serve up ads any time your business is doing a big sale.
  5. Be Diligent About Brand Safety—Retargeting campaigns can often find people on thousands of different sites. However, you may not want your brand associated with certain content. Someone snapping a screenshot of an ad for your family-friendly brand on an adult website is a recipe for an instant PR crisis. Review the policies of your ad partner, and use tools like Google Safe Browsing to avoid this scenario.
  6. Study Your Performance Data, Test, Experiment and Optimize—Like so much of digital marketing, your work is far from over when a retargeting campaign launches. Use the data the campaign generates to tell which practices work and which don’t. Experiment and A/B test to find even more effective conversion techniques. Gradually, you should become better and better at making effective campaigns based on past discoveries, successes and failures.

Ad Retargeting Is Easy to Get Started But Difficult to Master

The above tips are just the warm-up for even more in-depth and sophisticated ad retargeting practices. If you can keep the consumer’s experience in mind and establish best practices based on your data, the sky is the limit for how complex and effective your retargeting campaigns can be.

Source: https://amrutservices.com/retargeting-what-it-is-and-why-every-business-should-use-it/

How to Find a Content Writer Who Can Spin Your Blog Into Gold

How to Find a Content Writer

Writing’s really hard. Even people who do it for a living admit that. Not only do you have to know how to string together sentences that keep people’s attention, but you have to make some sort of blasted “point” out of the whole thing. It’s maddening!

All silliness aside, content writing and blog writing are really complex acts that can appear deceptively simple on the surface. Structure and rhetorical knowledge can help make your point clear, but you also need to be engaging. Add SEO best practices to the mix, and you have even more issues to deal with.

Getting it right takes either a lot of practice or a lot of time spent revising. Even a business owner who happens to be an excellent writer will need help making it all happen on a deadline.

So that’s when you turn to outside help. It can be a freelance writer or a content marketing agency, but the goal is to find a writer (or several) who can meet your guidelines and turn things in on time.

Locating a writer like that is exactly as hard as it sounds! Luckily, there are five tips you can use to make your search easier and ensure you find just the writer you’re looking for.

Always Request Samples and a Trial Draft

You can find great writers you enjoy working with no matter where you turn as long as you follow one simple rule: check out their writing before you commit. That means requesting samples of their prior work. It also means paying them to write a first draft of what you need that you may or may not ever use. Content Samples and Drafts

That’s right: you’re likely going to have to invest in crummy writing to find your diamond in the rough. Ideally, you’re paying several writers at the same time to write the same prompt or a similar one, so you can compare the talents of each person.

While it may seem like money down the drain to receive samples you won’t ever use, it’s better than the alternative of hiring a writer for a multi-blog project only to find out they aren’t a good fit. 

Also, be very specific about the types of samples you request. You may wish to see live, published blogs, since these prove that a writer’s work actually gets used. Be warned, though: many freelancers are also ghost writers. You are either going to have to take their word for it that a sample with someone else’s byline is their work, or you will have to go through the effort of contacting the client and hoping they will reveal who wrote their blogs. 

If someone sends you samples that you like but that don’t quite hit the mark, ask for more work! Far too many bloggers get passed up not because their samples weren’t good, but simply because they couldn’t read the mind of the job offerer as to what they were looking for.

Avoid Typical Job Listing Sites Since You Get What You Pay For

In the business world, quality and convenience don’t typically mix. If you want to find a patio chair at the same place you buy your kids’ breakfast cereal, you are going to have to lower your standards on how long that chair will last. 

Similarly, if you go to the absolute first place you think of when looking to find your content writer, you’re going to end up with low quality.

The biggest problem? Labor pools from non-native English speakers. They may charge just a few cents a word, but their end product will likely be riddled with broken grammar and be all but incomprehensible. Since Google specifically recommends that you use proper spelling and grammar, having an unreadable blog likely works against your SEO and branding goals. 

So as a rule, skip Craigslist, Monster and Indeed unless you really don’t know where else to turn. Definitely don’t just Google “content writer” and hire a person or company that ranks first. You want to know that you can get a decent level of quality, and sifting through the bargain bin is not a good place to find it.

Hunt Down Content Writers in the Spaces Where the Pros Lurk

Some of you are going to be frustrated by the above tip. “If I can’t just look for a content writer on Monster or Craigslist, where should I go?”Places to Find Good Writers

Well, our vocal and hypothetical friend, there are several specialty project-related websites where you can find freelancers:

  • ProBlogger—ProBlogger is dedicated to writers and editors, and it also has an amazing community of professionals. Posting your listing costs money, but you’re highly likely to get responses from mid- to high-level talent.
  • WriterAccess—WriterAccess straddles the line between full-service referral agencies we’ll mention below and simpler job listing sites. The site does a handy job of organizing writers by experience and quality, however, and you do get a personal account manager in the upper tiers.
  • Contently—Contently acts as a broker to find you the perfect writing talent or team for your project needs. Yes, that’s as expensive as it sounds, which is why the platform is mainly aimed at enterprises with larger content budgets.
  • Freelance Writing Gigs—A simple, no-frills job listing site that happens to have a dedicated community.
  • Upwork—The world’s largest freelancer platform happens to be quite picky about letting job-takers aboard. That means you have access to a higher caliber of writers. Note that Upwork also allows agencies to apply to your project offers by default.
  • Guru—Guru is far less choosy about who it lets on its platform, so you will end up with applicants that may not have the firmest grasp of English. Nevertheless, the platform makes a name for itself by having an integrated project management and payment system.

There are dozens—if not hundreds—of other websites like these where you can post project listings and track down decent writers. These are just the top ones you might want to consider during your hunt.

However, you definitely don’t want to overlook your best option: getting referrals.

Ask Fellow Professionals for Referrals

Referrals are always your best source of freelance writer leads for a few reasons. 

First, the best writers out there aren’t actively posting on or looking through job boards. They’re hard at work, hammering out content for their clients. But they may be persuaded to take on a larger workload if the details and the price are right. 

Secondly, you can get personal testimonials from people you know and trust. Someone who can appear like a perfect fit online could turn out to be awful with deadlines or bad at following instructions. 

Since not every business engages in content marketing, start by asking people whether they have a regular SEO or blogging contract. If the answer is “yes,” follow up by seeing what agency or writer they work with. 

If their answer is “no,” then you may have to do some probing. Don’t be afraid of reaching out to a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, though. Not every company works with content writers, but those who do will likely have strong opinions about who to recommend or avoid.

Track Down Popular Writers from Their Online Work

If you have the budget for working with a top-caliber freelancer, then the place you should start your search is on publication sites rather than a job board.

Start by taking a second to look back at enjoyable industry niche articles you’ve shared or read recently. Keep an eye out for pieces that get a high level of shares and don’t have controversial pushback from commenters. Then, simply find the writer’s byline. 

Make a list of several authors using this method. Research to see if they have their own personal website and whether they are accepting freelance contracts. If they are looking for work, reach out to them with a “pitch” for your project needs. Preferably, this pitch includes an offer, details on the level of depth the work will require and a rough timeline for everything to be completed. 

Since making a name for yourself as a professional writer these days is tough, expect some sticker shock if they reply! But if quality is really what you’re after, you can likely find a way to work long-term with someone whose reputation and published work you admire.

Work With a Reputable Content Marketing and SEO Agency

All of the tips above pertain to finding an individual, but you also have the option of hiring a content marketing agency to satisfy your SEO needs. Reputable Content Marketing and SEO Agency

The same rules above apply: pay for samples, avoid bargain bin job listings and look for referrals. But your search should be easier, considering marketing agencies often do a decent job at marketing themselves!

Plus, you can work with several writers at once and have the security of a guaranteed contract. That means you aren’t left hanging if your writer leaves the project; you can simply work with someone else in the agency. You also have access to scale, meaning you can get a higher volume of projects accomplished at once that would normally take a single writer weeks. 

In the end, the search for your content writer is all about finding a good fit and knowing where to look. If you fail at first, don’t get frustrated! There are tens of thousands of writers out there who can do good work but don’t have enough of it right now. 

Good luck!

Source: https://amrutservices.com/how-to-find-a-content-writer-who-can-spin-your-blog-into-gold/

Does Your SEO Speak to Voice Search Users?

Does Your SEO Speak to Voice Search Users

Hello! Is this thing on? We just wanted to make sure you heard us loud and clear when we said: “Voice search is the most significant development to hit SEO since Google debuted.” 

That may sound like a hot take, but statistics describing the growing usage of voice search resoundingly back it up. Twenty percent of all online searches in 2016 were voice searches, according to a Mary Meeker report. Comscore predicts that half of all searches will be made through voice commands by 2020. 

Searching using a voice function instead of a keyboard has huge ramifications for your organization’s SEO strategy. For starters, usually only one result is brought up, meaning you have to know exactly what it takes to earn that coveted spot. Secondly, the technical SEO best practices that make you more likely to rank in voice search are fairly different from the typical approach. 

Don’t worry, though, because we’re here to break it all down for you. You’ll learn how and why people use voice search to gain insight on how you can meet their needs, and then you’ll learn how to implement voice search SEO best practices that can help boost your rank. Let’s get talkin’!

How Do People Use Voice Search in 2018?

The first rule of SEO is to always put the search user’s need for information over your need to rank.

Sure, you can climb the ranks the cheap way using grey hat SEO tactics, but those gains won’t last. Inevitably, Google, Bing and Alexa will change how their algorithm works and knock you back down. But if you consider the user’s needs foremost, you have a better chance at staying on top even when big search engine changes come through the pipes.

So, since it pays to know how and why people use voice search so you can meet their needs, here are a few interesting facts about voice search.How Do People Use Voice Search in 2018

Firstly, the home is where the majority of consumers make their voice search queries. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 43 percent of people say they most frequently use the feature in their home, versus 36 percent who use it mostly in their car and 19 percent who say they most often use it “on the go.”

This statistic tells you two things:

  1. Those 90 million smart speakers sold annually are changing the way we interact with devices, opening new channels and opportunities that didn’t exist just a few years ago.
  2. The idea that people are mostly going to be using voice search as a hands-free option in their car is partially untrue. Voice search has a number of other benefits that compel people to use it beyond just driving without distraction.

What are the benefits hinted at in No. 2? While 61 percent of people do agree that searching using voice commands is “useful when hands/vision” are occupied, 30 percent say that it leads to “faster results.” Twenty-four percent say they have “difficulty typing on certain devices” and 12 percent say they want “to avoid confusing menus.” Twenty-two percent say they use voice search because it’s “fun/cool,” so those suspicious that it’s a novelty are fairly correct.

These insights paint a broader picture of how and why people use voice search, though. Namely: they want quick answers, and they don’t feel like they need to actually touch a device to get them.

In response to these needs, the gist of all the voice search SEO tips below is this: give people easy access to the information they want, and you’re more likely to rank.

So, how do you accomplish that goal? Here are some of those voice search tips in detail.

Focus on Semantically Related Keywords Over Exact Query Matches

Take a moment to think about how you would speak an online search query out loud versus how you would type it.

When we type, we often want to be get our query as specific as possible while using the fewest possible words. So, we might write something like “best laptop backpack” to find out which bag is most worth buying, and then we’ll likely click around or search again to find the best deal on said backpack.

But when we talk, we want to be specific without using awkward words or phrasings. As a result, we naturally gravitate towards strings of simple, descriptive words that may seem like a long phrase but that are easy to say out loud. We also want to avoid pulling up results that do a different action than we intended, since we can’t click or navigate as easily.

For example, we might say, “Siri, what is the best laptop backpack according to reviews?” Or, if we already know what we want, we might say, “Ok Google, find laptop backpacks by North Face under $200 near me.”Focus on Semantically Related Keywords Over Exact Query Matches

According to Google, 70 percent of voice queries the company handles use natural language, which means actual sentences rather than jumbles of words. One self-study by a smart speaker user found that the average word count of their queries was four.

In response to these trends, your keyword strategy should be less about shoehorning an exact match keyword in and more about covering all of the bases of your topic. Try to include phrases that you might think are things people would ask about your topic or product. Think more about long tail queries in sentence form, and try to include these in a natural way.

Also, get straight to the information. Emphasize the six big question words: when, what, who, why, where and how.

If you think you’re better off adopting the old SEO strategy of making a new content page for each query type, think again. According to Backlinko, very few voice query results have exact keyword matches in their titles, meaning context is more important than verbatim matches.

Write Good, In-Depth Content, but Use Pithy, Quotable Phrases

Referring again to Backlinko’s study, the average voice search result was only 29 words in length. Yet, the average word count of a voice search result page was 2,312 words!

That may sound frustratingly paradoxical. Why go through all the trouble of writing thousands of words about something if a search engine’s just going to yank out a tiny sliver of that?

The answer is that the best content often covers several bases, as we suggested above. They go in-depth, explore lots of angles and reveal lots of information. A voice query, however, only needs a small part of that information. Accordingly, content that has voice results pulled from it tends to have pithy, quotable phrases.

So, as an example, this article will be well over 1,500 words by the time we’re done. If we wanted to offer up a voice assistant a juicy quote to sum up the answer to “what is voice search SEO?” we would say:

Voice search SEO is a strategy for ranking highly on voice searches using natural-sounding content that’s packed with information and focused on search intent.

Google may not grab that answer, but here’s hoping!

Because quotable “sound bites” are the preferred information to pull results from, FAQ (frequently asked questions) absolutely rule for improving your voice search rank. To make these pages, you can source common questions about your industry or your business from the following:

  • Google’s “Other People Searched” and “Searches Related to ___” suggestions
  • Long-tail keyword suggestions from keyword planning tools
  • com
  • Your own customers! Write down questions as you hear them, or look to resources like emails, feedback forms or HR reports.

Don’t Neglect Bing, Which Has a Bigger Share of Voice Search than Google!

Bing has always been mentioned second to Google—or not at all—when it comes to search engine optimization discussions. That makes sense in a text-based world, where Google handles an estimated 75 percent to 90 percent of all written queries.Bing Has a Bigger Share of Voice Search than Google

The voice assistant world has changed everything though! Some of the most popular devices pull their search results from Microsoft’s Bing or Yahoo platform. These include:

  • iPhones and other Siri-enabled Apple products
  • Microsoft computers and mobile devices
  • Microsoft Xbox One gaming consoles
  • Amazon Alexa devices
  • Connected cars powered by Alexa, including all BMW, Mini, Toyota, Lexus, Volvo and others.

So, pretty much any device that doesn’t run Android or doesn’t have a Google logo on it will be using Bing!

Luckily, Bing SEO isn’t that different from Google SEO. You just need to ensure that you have the tools to perform analytics on your Bing results and display your content properly in their search page.

Other Voice Search SEO Tips

The information above covers the basic essentials of voice search SEO, but here are a few more helpful tidbits before we send you on your way:

  • 70 percent of Google Home results use HTTPS instead of HTTP, so get your certificate!
  • Authoritative domains tend to earn more results, so try to earn backlinks (ethically) through guest posting and social media amplification.
  • The best-performing content tends to have high social media engagement, especially Facebook shares.
  • Aim for a 9th grade reading level so your content is easy for a voice assistant to parse and read out loud.
  • Earning a featured snippet makes you more likely to rank, but Schema markup isn’t necessarily important.

Beyond these tips, simply focus on creating great content that answers people’s questions quickly, and you could see improved voice search results!

Of course, it never hurts to create a more vigorous strategy and test whether your voice search optimization worked as intended. If you want to work with a voice SEO expert to help you get in good with the likes of Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google, then get in touch with us today!

Source: https://amrutservices.com/does-your-seo-speak-to-voice-search-users/