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How to Become a LinkedIn Thought Leader in 9 Easy Steps

Did you know that 40% of LinkedIn’s 500 million members visit the platform daily?

If you’re a professional who wants to branch out as a thought leader in your industry, LinkedIn is an excellent place to gain visibility, demonstrate your credibility or expertise, and create valuable discussions within your industry’s community.

Why would you want to be a LinkedIn thought leader? Because gaining a presence as an online expert could improve visibility in your industry, expand your network, and result in many more job opportunities.

For example, if you’re an entrepreneur and want to gain brand awareness or trust for your own company, sharing tips, advice, or content related to your industry will show your audience that you’re a credible expert in your field who works for a trustworthy company.

Even if you aren’t a CEO, thought leadership and developing connections on LinkedIn can make companies you work for look great. And, if you leave a company, future employers might identify you as an expert in your field because of how you’ve contributed to your online community.

It might seem daunting, but building your social presence on LinkedIn is more accessible than you think. In this blog post, I’ll show you a few effective ways to build your presence on LinkedIn as a thought leader.

How to Become a LinkedIn Thought Leader

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

1. Optimize your LinkedIn profile so people in your industry can find you.

By now, you’ve probably created a LinkedIn profile. However — if you want to be a thought leader with a large following — just making an account won’t necessarily help you get seen by people in your industry. To ensure that you’re popping up in search results related to your skillsets or feeds of individuals within your industry, you’ll need to take steps to refine and optimize your LinkedIn page.

Below is a great example of a fully optimized LinkedIn header. As you can see, Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson has included his title in the headline area; his geographic location, company, and school in his basic information are. He also includes a thoughtful, but keyword-heavy description of himself in the About area. This description, as well as a well filled-out profile, will make it much easier for those searching for thought leaders in industries like “leisure” or “financial services” to find him.

Richard Branson's LinkedIn profile

Aside from the header area, shown above, you’ll also want to get detailed in your Work and Academic Experience areas. While thought leadership is ultimately about the content and thoughts you post, this area will serve as evidence that you are in fact as credible as you say you are.

For each role, be sure to share your daily duties, big wins, and links to projects from each role if possible. Think of this as a resume mixed with an online portfolio. Here’s an example of how Larry Kim, WordStream’s Founder and an SEO thought leader, highlights his previous role on LinkedIn:

Larry Kim's job description on LinkedIn

2. Use Skills, Endorsements, and Recommendations to Validate Your Expertise

When people read your insights, facts you’ve noted, or consume your thought leadership content, they might want to ensure that you’re an actual expert in your field before taking your advice. While skills, endorsements, and recommendations aren’t directly related to creating thought leadership content, they will help you ensure that people will take your expert opinions seriously.

Listing items in the Skills & Endorsements section will allow you to highlight strengths you have expertise in while also optimizing your profile in search results related to your industry or keywords relating to certain skills. Aside from making your profile more searchable to those in your industry, endorsements from past colleagues can also validate that you actually have the skills you’ve noted.

Here’s what Kim’s Skills & Endorsements section looks like:

Larry Kim's endorsements and skills on LinkedIn

Visible endorsements or recommendations will show those who view your profile that you’re trustworthy and have a solid track record as an employee and thought leader. Although you’ll still want to create valuable LinkedIn content to establish yourself as a thought leader, skills, endorsements, and recommendations serve as solid evidence that you have — in fact — reached a certain level of industry expertise.

Interacting with Others in Your Industry

3. Connect with other experts.

Connecting with colleagues and other experts in your industry will allow you to build your network and raise your connection numbers. But, it will also allow you to follow what they’re doing and learn from their insights as well.

If you have a smaller following, don’t panic. All you need to do is dedicate a small amount of time each day to networking with others on the platform. In this blog post, you can find a mini-schedule of networking practices that can be done in under 15 minutes each day.

4. Use LinkedIn Groups or comment threads to interact with your following.

LinkedIn Groups is a feature that allows professionals to create, manage, and post on group pages about a specific topic. In these groups, you might see industry novices asking questions as well as professionals sharing tips. When someone posts something that’s engaging, people will discuss it or give advice related to it in threads.

Communicating in these threads or creating your own post within a group related to your industry can help you communicate with others who might be interested in your thoughts and ultimately build more connections or followers.

Not sure which groups to join and participate in? Check out this list of LinkedIn Groups that every marketer should join.

If you’re too busy to identify the best Groups for you, you can also make your updates and articles more interactive by including a question and call to action at the end of your content. For example, if you’re discussing technology or a new management strategy in an update or LinkedIn article, you could end your content by asking, “How do you inspire innovation at your company?”

By asking your following a question or giving them a call to action, you might enable them to start a deeper discussion that you can then continue to participate in to show off your skill and credibility on the topic.

Publishing Thought Leadership

5. Post updates about your achievements or re-share insights related to your brand or industry.

While people on Facebook might not care about professionalism or career achievements, LinkedIn audiences are there to hear about it. When you share a career achievement or insights on a project your brand has launched, your audience can keep up with you, see how credible you are, and watch you grow as an expert in your field.

In the post below, HubSpot’s CEO and Co-Founder Brian Halligan announces the launch of our CRM’s free email tool. With a post like this, he is both updating his audiences about his company’s accomplishments, and he also includes content that marketers within his industry might be interested in.

6. Publish longer-form insights or thoughts related to your career or industry.

Aside from presenting your skills, achievements, and smaller updates related to your career, you can’t forget about the most important aspect of thought leadership: Sharing your thoughts.

Your tips, insights, or big ideas can’t always fit well into a small post or update, so be sure to also publish blog posts about topics related to your industry on your profile. You can post through LinkedIn’s on Publish feature, or create and share a blog post from your own site or Medium.

TED Talker Susan Cain regularly posts articles about topics related to her business, Quiet Revolution on LinkedIn. In the example below, she publishes a post on the importance of special education during National Special Education Week:

7. Experiment with posting photos or videos on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn isn’t just a site for your resume and short text-based updates, like Facebook and Twitter, it’s also an evolving social network that’s beginning to embrace and prioritize live videos, uploaded videos, and photos in its feeds.

So, when you go to share an update about your career or company, consider sharing a photo along with a text post. Or, if you want to share long-form advice, consider posting a video. Here’s an example:

To get even more interactive with your following, you could also consider using LinkedIn’s new Live Video feature to host content where you take questions from your audience or interview another thought leader in your industry.

Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck, known in the sales community as Gary V, often shares standard updates and articles on LinkedIn with a mix of text, photo, and video content. This makes content eye-catching, but also gives his followers different ways to consume it. In the post below, Vaynerchuck shares an infographic slideshow about the impact that random acts of kindness can have on work environments:

8. Create cross-promotional content with other thought leaders.

If you work with or have developed a relationship with other LinkedIn thought leaders or brands, consider creating content together and tagging each other in your posts. Not only will this help you network and build connections, but these cross-promotional strategies will help the audience of the other person or brand to learn about you, while you inform your audience of their work.

9. Embrace your other social media platforms.

If you want to branch out and become a thought leader on more than just LinkedIn, be sure to promote your other social platforms, such as Twitter or YouTube. This will help you develop a well-rounded following on all of the platforms.

Here are a few ways you can do this:

  • Announce when you’ve joined a new platform, share your profile, and let people know what they can expect on this social network.
  • Share links to content, such as YouTube videos or blog posts, from another social platform.
  • Consider writing and sharing blog posts about your marketing strategies on other platforms, like Medium, so your following can both see your insights and know you’re on said platform.

Aside from promoting your other social media platforms and building an overall web presence, be sure to share LinkedIn articles and your profile link on your other social channels so your audiences there will join your LinkedIn follower-base.

Navigating LinkedIn Thought Leadership

When it comes to positioning yourself as a thought leader, the key is to highlight your expertise and engage with people in your industry. So, regardless of which industry you’re in, be sure to regularly post content or share insights that are valuable or helpful to your following.

To learn even more about developing a winning LinkedIn profile, check out this blog post.

How to Get Celebrity Endorsements — Even if You’re Not a Huge Brand

From a buyer’s perspective, customers tend to feel more obligated to make a purchase from someone they might trust, relate to, or idolize.

That’s why celebrity endorsements are so effective. Celebrities can often persuade a buyer to click “purchase” when they otherwise might’ve hesitated.

Additionally, celebrity endorsements can be highly profitable. A recent study found that celebrity endorsements can increase a company’s sales by an average of 4%, compared to its competition.

But, even though it’s a great way to grow your business, it can also get pricey and — in some cases — risky. These setbacks are especially tough for smaller businesses and start-ups. So how do you get your product in the hands of a celebrity when you’re not a huge brand?

Read on to find out.

How to Get Celebrity Endorsements

Celebrity endorsements look much different today than they did in the past.

Before social platforms emerged, A-list celebrities were used to endorse brands through TV commercials, print advertisements, and other traditional marketing strategies — for instance, consider Justin Timberlake’s 2003 McDonald’s marketing campaign.

Although celebrities could often attract a large audience, the relationship between the endorser and the brand was often weak at best.

Today, the way we advertise is much different, focusing on the relationship between the endorser and the consumer more than ever.

Consider the smart alignment between Jennifer Aniston and Aveeno, or Roger Federer and Nike. These celebrities weren’t “randomly chosen” for these brands based on popularity alone — instead, their lifestyle and career choices made them optimal brand endorsers.

But when finding the right endorser for your brand, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy. Who do you want endorsing your brand? How much should you spend? What kind of audience do you want to attract?

Before you begin your search, here are a few helpful things to keep in mind.

1. Figure out your budget.

Deciding how much you’re looking to spend should be determined before you go ahead with an endorsement. Once you’ve determined a number, it’s important to stick to that amount.

To give you a ballpark on how much certain celebrities might cost, check out FamePick. FamePick is a platform that provides a searchable marketplace and connects businesses of any size with celebrities for endorsement.

2. Know your target audience.

Before finding a celebrity, figure out who you want to target your marketing efforts toward. This would also be a good time to research and identify your buyer personas.

What kind of consumers do you want to target? Where is your audience engaging most? Do you want to reach a small or large audience? Consider the type of audience you want to focus on before approaching an influencer.

If you’re unsure who your buyer persona is, take a look at HubSpot’s Create a Buyer Persona tutorial.

3. Find celebrities who can show a passion for your brand.

Whether it’s a top tier athlete or a YouTube superstar, it’s all about finding the right candidate to fit your brand’s mission.

It may seem obvious that choosing a popular celebrity will gain the most attention and — in some cases — that definitely works.

However, finding an influencer who is passionate about your mission can give your brand authenticity. Also, it’s much easier to pitch them your idea if it’s something they believe in.

For instance, consider Michael Phelps’ partnership with TalkSpace, an online therapy platform. The Olympic athlete has been open about depression and anxiety in the past, so his relationship with the therapy app feels both authentic and powerful.

4. Consider micro-influencers.

Micro-influencers (social media influencers with 1,000 to 10,000 followers) are more cost effective than celebrities, and they might even be more powerful when promoting a product.

In fact, over 82% of surveyed consumers said they were likely to buy something a micro-influencer recommended.

Ultimately, micro-influencers are incredibly trustworthy sources within their niche industry. The content they post is usually relatable and direct to their target audience.

For instance, a micro-influencer might be an online fitness coach who shares helpful fitness tips on Instagram. If you analyze the influencer’s followers, most likely you’ll find people who have a similar interest in staying healthy or working out. If the influencer then decides to endorse a fitness-related product, chances are their audience will trust their recommendation over celebrities with less of a personal relationship with his or her audience.

Think back to your target audience and compare it to that of the micro-influencer’s audience. When choosing micro-influencers, you’ll want to make sure their audience is similar to your own brand’s target audience.

Social Media Celebrity Endorsements

Now more than ever, celebrity endorsements have a greater impact due to the popularity of social media marketing — which is a good thing for small brands.

Why? For one, social media is typically more affordable than more traditional platforms like TV and radio. Additionally, it’s often more effective than traditional marketing campaigns. Social media can create a direct relationship between your brand and the consumer.

And, let’s be honest, who isn’t on social media? 79% of the U.S. population has at least one social media profile. Ultimately, social media is an incredibly powerful opportunity for small businesses to increase brand recognition and reach a larger audience.

Of course, celebrity endorsements can often be risky endeavors, as well — let’s explore some examples of bad celebrity endorsements, next.

Celebrity Endorsements Gone Wrong

Celebrity endorsements have proven to be an effective marketing strategy for brands.

But, despite the benefits, celebrity images can change and could harm your brand. As public figures who are constantly under the watchful eye of the public, any mistake they make could negatively impact consumer’s perception of the brands affiliated with them.

In some cases, the brand might also be at fault — such as giving the wrong message in an ad. To give you a better understanding of the implications, here are some celebrity endorsements that went terribly wrong.

1. Kendall Jenner and Pepsi

The controversial Pepsi ad featuring Kendal Jenner was pulled shortly after airing due to criticism, as many interpreted the commercial to be “tone deaf” for it’s seemingly misappropriation of the Black Lives Matter movement. Although the ad was bad for Pepsi’s image, they’ve since been able to bounce back.

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2. Oprah Winfrey and Microsoft

Oprah made a deal with Microsoft for their Surface tablet and decided to promote it through a tweet. The only problem was that her tweet — shown as the device used in the message — was made on an iPad.

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3. Kim Kardashian and QuickTrim

In 2012, Kardashian partnered with QuickTrim and claimed the diet product was responsible for helping her lose weight. However, the diet pill was found to be both unhealthy and ineffective.

Her endorsement resulted in a $5 million class action lawsuit in New York, which claimed the Kardashians falsely praised the product’s effectiveness. Since Kim Kardashian has plenty of loyal fans who trust her, this partnership was particularly bad since it ultimately put her fans at risk of purchasing an un-safe diet product. 

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Successful Celebrity Endorsements

Next, let’s explore some examples of successful celebrity endorsements.

1. Michael Jordan and Nike

One of the most iconic endorsements goes to the partnership between Michael Jordan and Nike with the release of the Air Jordan brand. Nike and Jordan show how successful a celebrity endorsement can be with effective marketing and the right celebrity.  

The endorsement all started at the beginning of Jordan’s NBA career. Jordan was considered one of the top players in the NBA, so it was an obvious decision for Nike, a footwear company, to make a deal with the star player. 

Nike initially produced the famous red and black Air Jordan I, the shoe that started it all. Shortly after the release, the NBA banned the shoe because the colors went against their “”all white” shoe policy.

Jordan wore them anyway, but was fined $5,000 every time he wore them on the court. This quickly gained the media’s attention and opened up one of the best marketing campaigns for Nike.

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Because of the controversy, the shoes became more desirable to the consumer and instantly sold out. Even today, you can’t think of Michael Jordan without thinking of Nike, and vice versa. The event redefined how sports marketing would look from then on.

2. Gigi Hadid and Messika

Gigi Hadid, one of the most famous models in the world, is also a top celebrity influencer on social media. For someone who is familiar with the runway, it’s no surprise Gigi has multiple fashion companies competing to have her promote their goods due to her success.

This includes the fashion jewelry company Massika, who claimed Gigi as their first ambassador. The partnership included a jewelry collection along with other collaborations.

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3. Ed Sheeran and Heinz

One of the more weird endorsements goes to Ed Sheeran and Heinz. Sheeran, a singer/songwriter, partnered with the food company Heinz to collaborate on a limited edition bottle called “Edchup.” Odd as it may be, Sheeran is actually a big fan of their ketchup. So much that he actually has a tattoo of it on his arm.

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4. Michael Phelps and TalkSpace

As mentioned above, TalkSpace is an online therapy platform that partnered with Michael Phelps’, an Olympic swimmer, in an attempt to de-stigmatize therapy and prove its worth even for one of the most powerful male athletes.

In various commercials for Talkspace, Phelps has shared his personal story with depression and anxiety and urges listeners to seek support for mental health. Since Phelps has spoken out about depression and anxiety in the past, his partnership with TalkSpace doesn’t feel mis-aligned with his own values, making it feel authentic. 

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5. Jennifer Aniston and Aveeno

Undoubtedly, Jennifer Aniston, an incredibly successful A-list celebrity, has her fair choice of optimal beauty and skincare products at her fingertips. This is why her partnership with Aveeno feels especially impressive and genuine.

In fact, Aniston has admitted to using Aveeno for the past three decades, since she was a teenager. Loyal fans of Aniston, or women who are interested in skincare on-a-budget, will likely turn to these ads as a reliable source for products to suit their needs.

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No matter the size of your company, celebrity endorsements can be a great addition to your marketing efforts. However, it’s important to have a clear vision of your goals and target audience before making a deal.

Ultimately, it’s critical you remain authentic to your brand, no matter what partnerships you pursue. With these foundations in mind, you’ll be sure to attract others who are just as passionate about your brand as you are.

10 Email List Management Software Tools to Grow Your Brand

When I first began my marketing career, I was envious of emails.

While this sounds like an interesting quirk, I’m pretty sure most marketers can agree: some emails are hard not to envy.

From sparkling campaigns to flawless design, sometimes I open a newsletter and I’m surprised at how brands segment me into a list that’s so accurate.

Email lists are an essential aspect of any marketing strategy, since they enable marketers to target the right subscribers and grow leads.

To personalize marketing emails and keep ROI in check, email list management is a crucial step in marketing efforts. It can help your team generate leads while simultaneously creating a more delightful, personalized customer experience.

Using email management tools is an easy way to analyze metrics that you don’t have time to collect yourself, like CTR subscriber count. Additionally, this software can provide you with robust insights and suggestions on how to improve ROI.

To save you the hassle of researching the best software tools for email list management, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. Take a look at the 10 best email list management software tools, below.

1. MailChimp

Price: Free plan, then $9-$299/mo.

I really enjoy the simplicity of MailChimp. Learning how to use its tools and feel like an expert only took about 20 minutes because of the nice user interface. MailChimp also has some impressive free options, letting you have up to 2,000 subscribers.

As part of the free component, you can also send a limited number of automated emails, use some of MailChimp’s their email templates, set up auto-responders, and analyze your campaigns. Because of the capabilities of MailChimp, it’s a great starter software for marketers with a limited budget.

2. Zapier

Price: Free plan, then $19-$599/mo.

Zapier enables you to set up workflows, which can sync to apps like Dropbox and Gmail. Additionally, Zapier lets you import a subscriber list from Facebook and Eventbrite, as well as Google Sheets.

For further syncing using Zapier, you can back up your data on Google Sheets for more analysis. If you’re looking for a tool that can help you consolidate workflows a little better, Zapier might be for you.

Zapier’s interface is similar to MailChimp’s, where you can build and create workflows or choose from a template offering. The interface also lets you know tips for how to use the app to your advantage when planning workflows, so a marketing team that’s just starting can learn how to get up to speed quickly.

3. OptinMonster

Price: $19-$49/mo.

OptinMonster is another template-based choice for you. Their interface allows for a little creation; they offer an email form template that lets you choose how you set up your email.

OptinMonster email managementImage Source

With OptinMonster, a huge function of the platform is giving customers the choice to opt-in to emails and track their progress. Additionally, the interface supports multiple campaign structures and has different toggles for the analytics you choose to track.

This platform is a great choice if you feel comfortable with email marketing to the point where you’re able to design a workflow that works best for the type of campaign you’re rolling out. If WordPress integrations are key for you, OptinMonster is great for that, as well — the software has its own plugin that creates lightboxes and subscribe forms.

4. Campaign Monitor

Price: $9-$149/mo.

Agencies and freelancers will likely enjoy Campaign Monitor, software that was made for the creative professionals who manage email campaigns. A huge asset of Campaign Monitor is that you can manage every client (different businesses or multiple social media accounts in general) from one account.

More Campaign Monitor features include brand personalization, the ability to determine prices for your services, template builders, RSS email, A/B testing, and analytics reporting.

If your core job function is running email marketing from multiple accounts, looking into Campaign Monitor is definitely a good idea. For the base plan at $9/month, you can send up to 2,500 emails to a subscriber list of up to 500.

5. HubSpot

Price: Free plan, or $800/mo.

HubSpot’s email marketing is a part of the Professional CRM. Its main functions are to delight customers using easy tools for marketers. I made my first email campaign using HubSpot and it took about 15 minutes to create a professional-looking draft that I could come back to and refine.

Screen Shot 2020-01-22 at 3.46.29 PMYou can tailor every email in a campaign to target subscribers during specific lifestyle stages, or depending upon any other contact information. HubSpot also offers A/B testing and analytics, so you can be confident in your email campaign as you send and track it.

HubSpot is an effective email marketing software choice for businesses at every stage of their journey, whether you’re looking for a solution to having too many software platforms or are just a team of one.

6. Drupal

Price: Available by contact

The scalability of Drupal is one of its major assets. It’s an open-source software system that helps you create a huge website, or a small, functional one — whichever option for which your business is best-suited.

Drupal has flexibility with its web design that will go over well with developers but is also easy enough to understand for marketers who never took a coding class (myself included). They even have a “Drupal for Marketers” option prior to signing up that gives you the best of their site as it relates to your job functions.

From industry to features, you can choose how you run your website. Do you prefer running it centered around the arts/entertainment industry, or do you want the central function to be ecommerce? Drupal gives you that choice.

7. Constant Contact

Price: $20-$45/mo.

Constant Contact is another software option that gives you templates available for customization. You can edit their templates with one click, making email creation very easy.

With Constant Contact, you can use expansive features such as open rate tracking, click rate tracking, and social media integration. For an email management tool, these are helpful features that enable you to perform multiple marketing functions on one platform.

8. ActiveCampaign

Price: $9/mo.

If you find yourself struggling with campaigns, consider ActiveCampaign’s tool, which helps you create your entire campaign start-to-finish. This creation wizard helps users create emails, segment lists, and even offers reporting capabilities so you can keep up with ROI.

ActiveCampaign email management

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The tool also lets you test emails before you send them and sets up auto-response emails. With the website’s base plan, you can send unlimited emails to 500 subscribers, which is a nice choice for small businesses or start-ups

9. Mad Mimi

Price: Starts at $10/mo.

Mad Mimi was the first email management software I used. I liked using Mad Mimi because as a beginner, it was easy enough to follow when creating emails. The software made press emails look professional and newsletters were a breeze to make.

Mad Mimi is a great choice for beginners who are interested in diving into the specifics of email creation because it gives walkthroughs of some features that might be difficult to understand, like RSS to email or drip campaigns.

10. AdRoll

Price: Starts at $300

With AdRroll, you’ll get software that blends email marketing and display advertising efforts. It also combines the two with social media planning, which enables you to see a more holistic overview of your email marketing experience.

Being such an expansive system, AdRoll comes with a slew of extra features to further customize campaigns. Subscriber lists from other platforms can be uploaded onto the platform seamlessly and work with you to attract leads. This is because AdRoll is mainly focused on using email marketing to support targeted ad experiences for customers.

If you’re a medium-sized business wanting to consolidate large portions of your marketing efforts, such as email, advertising, and social campaigns, AdRoll is a great choice when picking email software.

Thanks to software and technology in general, managing segmented lists has never been easier. Fit to your needs, you can easily find software that’s right for your business journey and customer flows. And, who knows —you might even send the next email to leave me envious.

5 Alternatives to Facebook, Google, and Amazon Ads

According to a recent survey from Lawless Research and Factual, marketers are spending an average of 43% of their ad budget on Google and Facebook, with Amazon not far behind.

Regardless of business size, online advertising strategies are similar. In fact, 46% of marketers working for agencies and brands with an ad budget of $50 million or higher report say they spend up to 60% of it on ad programs from the three tech giants.

These programs also include ad offerings on sites owned by the oligopoly, such as YouTube (owned by Google) and Instagram (owned by Facebook).

The chart below compares how companies with differently sized ad budgets spend their money on platforms owned by Google, Facebook, and Amazon:

Annual advertising budgets vs. percentage spent on Google Facebook and Amazon Oligopoly

Source: Lawless Research and Factual

But although Google, Facebook, and Amazon have been heavily adopted, marketers are still worried that these platforms will grow even more powerful and dictate their advertising options in the future. When asked to rate their level of concern that the oligopoly would limit their advertising options, 78% said they were somewhere between concerned and very concerned.

As we continue to see innovation and growth in online advertising, could this area be disrupted by ad alternatives?

Yes. In fact, marketers are hoping for new advertising options. Although most marketers and agencies spend huge chunks of their budgets on Google, Facebook, and Amazon, 65% of them want alternatives. The Lawless and Factual study even revealed a few platforms that participants were already using, including YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.

Interestingly, the study suggests that participants using YouTube and Instagram as alternatives did not realize that they were paying into the oligopoly. The report concludes that this shows the true power of the tech giants.

To help you keep your eye out on options other than the oligopoly, I’ll walk you through some of today’s most prominent advertising alternatives and show you a few examples of brands that use them.

5 Alternatives to Facebook, Google, and Amazon Ads

Google-Specific Alternatives

Microsoft Advertising

Yes, Google still monopolizes the search market, but you might not want to write Microsoft search engine options off as an alternative.

Microsoft Advertising, formerly known as Bing Ads, is similar to Google in that you can create, optimize, and track PPC ads that show up in searches on Microsoft Search Network platforms, including Bing, MSN, and Yahoo.

Bing Search with dog food ad matching search keywords

If you’re thinking, “But, everyone exclusively uses Google,” think again. Microsoft claims that 5.5 billion monthly searches occur on its search network.

Microsoft Ads is also less competitive because it isn’t as heavily used as Google. Because so many advertisers are bidding, optimizing copy, and competing for precious slots in search engine results, the prices of PPC ads and the cost of wasted spend, can be quite high.

According to WordStream, Microsoft Advertising clients see cost-per-clicks that are 35.5% lower than their Google ads. WordStream also notes that its clients report higher placement on search result pages due to lower levels of ad competition.

Like Google Ads, you’ll still want to familiarize yourself with PPC strategies to properly monitor your budget and wasted spend. You’ll also want to brush up on keyword research and other SEO strategies to make your ad show up higher than other sponsored search results. To learn more about this, here’s a how-to post on launching Bing-based ads.

Social Media Alternatives

LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn’s advertising and content promotion offerings are very similar to Facebook’s in that you can create native ads or promote visual or text-based posts in LinkedIn’s newsfeed. Like Facebook, you can also designate ad objectives, like web traffic or lead generation and target your content to specific demographics, such as age groups or locations.

If you haven’t already seen what promoted content looks like on LinkedIn, here’s an example:

Amazon ad based on Facebook

Like Facebook and other social media ads, paid content on LinkedIn also been seen to boost traffic and lead generation, especially in the B2B world. In fact, 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn, while 94% of B2B marketers use the platform.

While LinkedIn Ads are very similar to Facebook, the platform’s nature is slightly different from Facebook or Instagram’s because it embraces professional networking and career growth. This makes the platform especially good for brands that want to sell products or services to professionals or other companies.

Want to learn more about how to successfully generate leads on the platform? Check out this recent blog post that features tips straight from LinkedIn’s VP of Marketing.

Twitter Ads

Twitter Ads are similar to Facebook Ads in that you can pay to promote tweets or launch native ad-styled campaigns.

While promoted tweets show up higher in the feeds of target users with a “Promoted” sign on them, campaigns might show up on Twitter feeds or sidebars with images or video content linking to a website.

Here’s an example of a promoted post from Gold Peak:

Twitter ad for Gold Peak

Like Facebook, you can also choose objectives — or goals — for Twitter Ads. These include tweet engagements, video views, app installs, web sessions, and other common objectives that you might have on other online ads.

Aside from providing similar options to Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads are getting more affordable and more effective each year. Twitter says that engagement with paid ads has increased by 50% year over year. However, the cost per engagement decreased by 14% in 2018.

Reddit Ads

Reddit is a community-centric social network that encourages users to contribute to discussion-based threads called subreddits.

Although the platform is very unique, it’s still gained more than 330 million monthly active users, mostly within the millennial and Gen-Z age groups.

While brands have tested out multiple strategies that involve contributing to discussions and starting their own subreddits, many have also taken advantage of paid promotions on the platform.

When it comes to paid promotion, you can consider sponsoring your posts to ensure that they are placed higher on threads, subreddits, or feeds of targeted users. Here’s an example:

Reddit feed promoted content

If you’re less familiar with how to engage people on the platform, but sell a product that Reddit users would like, such as media, a technological gadget, or video games, you can also consider a native ad that will show up on Reddit feeds or on Reddit’s sidebar.

A Reddit native advertisement

One important thing to know is that Reddit has been seen as one of the trickiest platforms for marketers to crack. Although you can promote content, users on the platform primarily respond to content that values them or adds to conversations on the platform, rather than branded language. However, Reddit is reportedly making more efforts to become more brand-friendly — so it might be worth keeping on your radar.

If you do want to advertise on Reddit, you should still do a bit of research to learn more about the audience, what they’ll respond well to, and what topics they don’t care for. To help you learn the ins and outs of Reddit and see examples of brands that have succeeded on the platform, check out this blog post.

Pinterest Ads

If you’re selling products, like home decor, or lifestyle experiences, like travel bookings, you definitely shouldn’t forget about Pinterest.

While it’s not the most prominent social media platform, Pinterest still has over 300 million monthly active users, is photo-friendly, and encourages people to pin images and products they like to inspiration boards. This might be why big brands, like Target, have embraced the platform and its aspirational nature.

Here’s an example of a pin from JCPenney which links to a holiday line of products on its website:

Advertisement on Pinterest

While bigger businesses have leveraged Pinterest, small businesses have also leveraged the platform’s advertising tools to launch ROI-generating ads. Want to learn more? Here’s a great blog post from a PPC consultant on four tests that are proven to boost Pinterest Ad conversions.

Navigating Ad Alternatives

With the growing number of advertising options out there, it can be hard to determine which is right for you. While we gave you a quick rundown of a few major alternatives in this post, it’s important to do a bit more digging on each.

Make sure to pay into platforms that your buyer will actually be on in the first place. Then, determine what ads are most interesting to them. If you decide that you want to zone in on social media marketing and ads, check out this blog post to learn about which platforms consumers use most to discover new products.

Still interested in leveraging PPC or want to improve on your strategy? Here’s our Ultimate Guide to Google Ads.

How to Use Short Videos to Turn Prospects Into Customers

Are you struggling to move people from being familiar with you to buying from you? Wondering how to create short videos to help guide people to purchasing? In this article, you’ll learn how to create short, cost-effective videos to help convince people to purchase your product or service. Why Use Short, Fact-Based Video? According to […]

The post How to Use Short Videos to Turn Prospects Into Customers appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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10 Social Media Content Ideas to Delight Customers

If you’re a marketing team of one or a marketing manager with various responsibilities ranging from social media to blogging, you know how daunting and time-consuming some tasks can be.

Namely, planning out a social media content calendar.

That means figuring out an entire month of fresh content that needs to be engaging, stand out, and make consumers identify with your brand on social media. While that is a lot for a small team, it’s even more when you find yourself stuck in a rut.

Are you worried you’re going with the same old, same old when it comes to social? Try these content ideas to re-vamp your posting game.

1. Post your new blog on your Instagram Stories.

To build traction on your website, try migrating customers towards your blog by putting it in an Instagram Story. Making the Story function in a “Swipe up to see more” fashion makes it easier for followers, since they don’t have to close the app to visit your website.

WordPress Instagram Story

Image Source

Take this story from WordPress‘s Instagram account. The visual is a compelling lede, enticing readers to read the blog post. Followers like Stories because they go away after 24 hours, making the essence of the moment all the more thrilling.

This is how different types of content can work together — you can use one platform to promote another.

2. Conduct a poll on Instagram.

Using Instagram Stories is amazing for audience engagement. Hosting a poll on your Story is an interactive way to get your followers involved in making content choices for you.

Asking a question in a poll like, “What do you want to see us post next?” and giving them a couple of choices ensures that the content they pick will delight your followers. Alternatively, you can use polls as a chance to prove credibility.

Take this example from HubSpot:

HubSpot Instagram story

Asking a question you can answer with a statistic or content like a blog or ebook proves that your business knows its industry. As a consumer, I would trust a company that’s knowledgeable about their industry more than a brand with no educational content.

This proves that otherwise “boring” content can still be engaging in the way it’s shared. And, if followers want more information, you can always link back to your sources, boosting CTR for you.

3. Share user-generated content on Twitter.

Apparently, Taco Bell has a blog.

It’s right there, under the Delivery button (where my Taco Bell search usually ends). This post, from the official Taco Bell blog, (Taco Blog?) is a round-up celebrating user-generated content.

UGC not only fills timelines with content, but shows followers they’re being listened to, and that brands are interested in what their customers have to say. A round-up blog goes beyond a simple retweet, like, or reply, and gives other customers an incentive to submit their own content.

4. Engage with audiences on Twitter.

Instagram isn’t the only platform with polls, so if you don’t have an account or it doesn’t fit into your content strategy, you can use another platform, like Linkedin or Twitter. Here, LinkedIn is using the time of year to engage with their audience:

Not only that, but check out the account’s reply under the tweet. It responds to the winning answer of a poll with a blog that reflects that answer. This shows that LinkedIn planned their poll with the foresight to link to a post that led to more information.

This is a sneaky version of asking followers what they want to see. By framing the question this way, followers can see the dedication your brand has to engage with their opinions. LinkedIn positioned themselves to swoop in and save the day with this poll.

5. Create and share website content on Facebook.

Facebook is for more than silent videos and long-form posts. Although those are the site’s bread and butter, you can do so much more with Facebook to engage with different audiences than those you would find on, say, Instagram or Reddit.

Take this post about crazy internet tools that actually work, from BuzzFeed:

It’s an approach that’s working for BuzzFeed, considering 74% of its social traffic is from Facebook, with Twitter in second place with around 8%.

Thinking outside what content is most popular on Facebook might be a win for you, too. Blog content is also a smart idea to post long-form content you already own, leading to a boost in lead generation.

6. On LinkedIn, post articles/stats about your industry.

Stuck about how to post LinkedIn content? Or what LinkedIn audiences want to see?

Think about what makes your company reputable. While other social platforms can show off brand personality, you can leverage LinkedIn as the tool for meaning business. Statistics are fabulous content pieces, as well as a definition guide of marketing terms that might be a little less known than say, SEO.

Check out this post from HubSpot, which gives a quick, but useful vocabulary lesson on social commerce:

By putting a CTA at the end, the post invites followers to think. Not only will your brand be in their mind as a connection to this term, but it also incentivizes those early on in their buyer’s journey to check out the website for more terms or stats that might be helpful to them.

7. Highlight milestones of your coworkers on LinkedIn.

Here’s a cool way to use LinkedIn to build your brand: highlight employees or colleagues.

Drift dedicated a post to their colleague after that colleague was chosen for a professional award. This is wonderful content for LinkedIn, because the platform is centered around professional growth.

Whether colleagues get promoted, just celebrated a birthday, or spoke at an event, this shows others, like competition or job seekers, that you care about employee achievements.

8. Create graphics for Instagram and Facebook.

I love this content idea for Facebook because it goes beyond the “typical” content brands might choose for the site.

For instance, Canva is a visual company, so posting content on platforms like visual-heavy Instagram is fairly typical, but Facebook can be used for stunning visuals, as well:

Additionally, Canva syncs their social accounts so content stays the same:

There’s a lot of second guessing about syncing social content and diversifying it, but it all depends on what works for your business. Some businesses thrive with synced content across all platforms, some don’t, and some only sync a couple.

Syncing content saves time as a marketing team of one, so starting out that way is a good idea. Plus, graphics can be engaging across all platforms since they’re easier for followers to digest than text-heavy content..

9. Show the faces behind the company on Snapchat or Instagram.

Instagram, Snapchat, and even TikTok are social platforms with an emphasis on video content. Your brand can use these social platforms in creative ways that stays relevant to your company or industry. One of those ways is by showing the personality of your brand, like Buffer did, here:

Buffer gives quick tips from a human, rather than words on a screen, which provides consumers with a stronger sense of connection to the brand.

It also shows consumers that your brand knows how to be social media literate, boosting reputation. Especially if social media is a huge part of your product, finding interesting ways to use its tools appeals to leads.

Above all else, customers feel connected to personality more than a stat on a white background. However, you don’t need a big budget to create content that resonates with your audience. “A Day in the Life” of an employee, something compelling for Instagram Stories, or a Snapchat geo-filter for your next event are all opportunities to demonstrate your brand’s appeal.

10. Use the time of year to your advantage.

Look at the calendar.
Are there any holidays coming up — even funny holidays, like National Burger Day? Think about how you can use that to your advantage, like how Southwest Airlines used seasonality for this tweet:

If you’re thinking about local marketing, this is a great content idea for you. Using the seasons shows that you care about the lifestyles of customers, a key demographic in identifying your target audience.

You can use the calendar more than you think — for instance, National Dog Day can be a celebration of your colleagues’ favorite furry friends on Instagram Stories. Building brand awareness starts with what you have and how you use it!

Creating fun content for consumers doesn’t have to be a dreaded task that happens every couple of weeks. With proper planning and understanding of target audiences, it can be a cool way to interact with those you wouldn’t otherwise.

Keep these ideas in mind as you’re thinking about how to execute strategy for your next campaign.he level of engagement you’ll see might surprise you.

60 Things to Double-Check Before Launching a Website

Admit it: Launching a new website is stressful — even for the most seasoned digital marketers.

Websites are complex. There are so many things that are easily overlooked, like a broken link or a misspelled word. 

And of course, a handful of things could go very, very wrong. Like what if you forget to test an important data capture form and then lose out on generating a bunch of new leads? Or worse, what if you forget to properly set up site redirects, and those valuable search engine visitors get a page not found message?

Instead of worrying about the what ifs, wouldn’t it be much easier to have a comprehensive website checklist to run down before every site launch? One that you could use for enterprise websites, microsites, landing pages, and everything in between?

Well, you’re in luck because I’ve put together the following list of 60 things to check before launching a website. It’s the same list that our team uses at our digital agency, and it’s a list you can copy, edit, and make your own based on the software you’re using to launch and host your website.

We’ve grouped items into seven categories related to page content, design, functionality, SEO, branding, analytics, security, and compliance. Keep on reading to make sure you don’t forget a thing before your next launch.

Don’t have time to check all 60? Here’s a list of the most important highlights from each section:

Check for Consistent Page Content

First, take some time to review all of the content on your website with a fine-tooth comb. Of course, that means page content, but don’t forget about your premium content too. From data-driven content and downloadable documents to rich media such as videos and images, you want to make sure everything is in place, working properly, and looking beautiful.

So my suggestion is to check the following items once — and then check them again. You really don’t want to miss a single typo or grammatical error.

Make sure text is accurate and error free.

  1. Web copywriting has been proofread. Spelling and grammar are correct.
  2. Copyright date (perhaps in the footer) includes the current year.
  3. Company contact details are accurate throughout the website.
  4. Generic content, such as lorem ipsum, has been properly removed and replaced.
  5. All premium content, such as case studies, ebooks, and whitepapers, have been proofread. Spelling and grammar are correct.

Create clear content structure.

  1. Paragraphs, headers, lists, and other formatting are correct.
  2. Images are in the correct places, formatted and working on all devices.
  3. Videos are in the correct places, formatted and working on all devices.
  4. Audio files are in the correct places, formatted and working on all devices.
  5. All premium content, such as case studies, ebooks, and whitepapers, are stored in their proper libraries/databases and work properly.
  6. Rights to images, fonts, and other content have been properly licensed and/or cited.

Test your website design and its functionality.

Second, take the necessary steps to ensure that the site design is pixel perfect. If you have a responsive website (and you definitely should), you need to check the design across all devices. Your site should be looking good not just on an office desktop, but also on laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.

Test the site for User Experience (UX).

  1. Website pages are compatible across browsers (IE 7 8, 9 and 10, Firefox, Chrome, Safari).
  2. Website pages are compatible across devices (Android, iPhone, tablets).
  3. CSS/HTML is properly validated.

Insure your design is aesthetically pleasing.

  1. Scripts are optimized across web pages.
  2. Images are optimized across web pages.
  3. CSS is optimized across web pages.
  4. Favicon is in place and rendering properly.
  5. Paragraph styles are working properly (headers, lists, block quotes).

Test your conversion path’s functionality.

Third, take some time to test and validate all of the different features on your website. Lead generation forms, social sharing, CRM integration, and any other technology should work flawlessly across your website.

  1. Forms are submitting data properly.
  2. Thank-you message or page displays after form is submitted.
  3. Form data is being emailed to a recipient and/or stored in a company database.
  4. Auto-responders are working properly (if applicable).
  5. Internal links across web pages are working properly.
  6. External links across web pages are working properly, and open in a new tab.
  7. Social media share icons are working properly.
  8. Feeds are working properly (RSS, news, social media).
  9. Company logo is linked to the homepage.
  10. Load time for site pages is optimized.
  11. 404 Redirect pages are in place (page-not-found.aspx).
  12. Integrations with third-party tools, such as your CRM, e-commerce software, and/or marketing platform, are running smoothly.

Optimize your site for search engines.

Fourth, take some time to ensure that your website has been given a solid foundation for SEO success. From site architecture and content hierarchy to metadata and XML sitemaps, do not leave any stone unturned.

Technical SEO

  1. Pages have unique page titles (fewer than 70 characters, includes keywords).
  2. Pages have unique meta descriptions (fewer than 156 characters, includes keywords).
  3. Pages have keywords (fewer than 10, all words appear in page copy).
  4. A dynamic XML sitemap has been created.
  5. The XML sitemap has been submitted to search engines.
  6. Page URLs consistently reflect site information architecture.
  7. 301 redirects are in place for all old URLs (redirecting old to new pages).
  8. rel=”nofollow” tags are in place on applicable links and pages.

Optimize your metadata.

  1. Metadata is properly in place for any content in an RSS feed.
  2. Metadata is properly in place for any social media sharing content.
  3. Spelling and grammar are correct in all metadata.
  4. Alt tags have been added to every image.

Keep your branding consistent.

Once you’ve decided on a brand message and tone, stay consistent throughout all platforms. This will make you look more legitimate, credible, and memorable.

  1. Make sure your website’s color scheme is consistent with your previous branded content.
  2. Copy edit text for brand voice to ensure consistent brand voice and style.
  3. Make sure all company taglines and mission statements are up to date.

Prepare to monitor analytics.

Fifth, make sure your website is set up to capture web data and analytics. This valuable information will allow you to continually improve your website going forward, so you don’t want to forget this stuff.

  1. Your website analytics codes have been inserted on website.
  2. Relevant IP addresses have been excluded from analytics tracking.
  3. Funnels and goals have been properly created in your analytics software (if applicable).
  4. Google Webmaster and Google Analytics accounts have been properly synced.
  5. Google Ads accounts have been properly synced (if applicable).

Make sure your site is secure and backed up.

Sixth, you can prevent loss of data and protect against malware and other damages by properly setting up site security and regular backups.

  1. 24/7 monitoring scripts are installed.
  2. A copy of the final website has been made for backup purposes.
  3. Ongoing copies of the website are being created and stored on a regular basis.
  4. Passwords and other website credentials are stored in a secure database.

Comply with all applicable laws.

Finally, make sure your website complies with any applicable laws and regulations. Internet law can be sticky, and each industry has its own set of rules to follow. So it’s best to consult with your legal counsel to make sure you aren’t missing anything — this post is not legal guidance. Here are a few you might need to know about:

  1. Web pages offer accessibility for users with disabilities (WAI-ARIA).
  2. Web pages announce if the website uses cookies (required in some countries).
  3. Website is compliant with usage rights for purchased or borrowed code, images, and fonts.
  4. Terms and privacy policies are visible to website visitors.
  5. Website is PCI compliant (if you’re storing and processing credit cards).

Resources for Launching Your First Website

Launching a new website can be a tedious task, but you can alleviate some of the stress by using this comprehensive website launch checklist.

If you’re just getting started on your first website and are looking for tools to help you streamline your process, start your 14-day free trial of our CMS.

Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in August 2014, but was updated for comprehensiveness and freshness in January 2019.

Easypromos: 6 ideas de Concursos en Redes Sociales para San Valentín

Navidad, Día de las Madres, San Valentín… a lo largo del año hay una serie de eventos destacados que, si se tienen en cuenta a nivel comercial y de marketing, pueden reportar muchos beneficios para las empresas

La cuestión es crear campañas interactivas donde las marcas presenten sus productos y conecten con la audiencia online de una forma menos intrusiva y más amistosa que un anuncio publicitario convencional.

Hoy te hablaré sobre cómo la gamificación puede contribuir al aumento de ventas en una campaña tan importante como es San Valentín. 

Descubrirás que los juegos son la herramienta ideal para crear entornos de marca donde los usuarios interactúan y se divierten sin ser conscientes del impacto que se tiene sobre ellos a nivel comercial. 

Además, conocerás las ventajas de crear juegos y promociones online con la plataforma Easypromos.  

Además, para que interactúes de verdad con las opciones de Easypromos hemos creado una PROMOCIÓN REAL. Haz clic en el cuadro de abajo, encuentra las parejas del Juego de Memoria y sortearemos entre los 20 más rápidos un Plan Basico PRO de 3 meses.

Ten en cuenta que la vigencia de este concurso es para el 31 de enero de 2020. A partir de esa fecha ya no será válido.

¡Suerte!

¿Qué es la gamificación en tu estrategia de marketing?

La gamificación no es solo crear un juego. Se trata de valerse de los sistemas de puntuación-recompensa-objetivo para captar la atención del usuario e implicarlo con la marca. 

Debes tener en cuenta que son muchos los objetivos de marketing que se pueden conseguir a través de la gamificación. 

Tips para crear promociones de San Valentín que vendan

Si lo que quieres es centrar tu estrategia en incrementar las ventas, te aconsejo que tus promociones de San Valentín tengan los siguientes aspectos:

  • El logotipo de tu marca y los elementos corporativos que la conforman: colores corporativos y tipografías. Con ello potenciarás la notoriedad de marca, ya que se verá expuesta ante el usuario durante un periodo de tiempo prolongado mientras está jugando o participando en la promoción. Esto ayudará a potenciar el recuerdo de tu marca. 
  • Los productos más top de tu colección. Introduce los productos o servicios en la dinámica del juego para darlos a conocer y promocionarlos. Escoge los productos más conocidos o más llamativos para captar la atención de los usuarios. Una dinámica promocional muy eficaz es la de realizar un sorteo de uno de tus productos entre todos los participantes a la promoción.
  • La web o tienda online donde comercializas tus productos o servicios. A lo largo de la campaña tienes que indicar al usuario dónde encontrará información sobre tu empresa y, sobre todo, dónde puede comprar tus productos. Añade enlaces a lo largo de la promoción y, en el caso de utilizar dinámicas como el Recomendador de Productos o los Test de Personalidad, añade mensajes finales con descuentos y enlaces que vayan a la página de compra.
  • Las redes sociales de tu marca. Las promociones son acciones que generan mucha interacción por sí solas ya que crean un diálogo entre usuario y marca. Aprovecha los canales sociales de tu empresa para difundirlas y conseguir más engagement con tu audiencia online. Además, en la promoción puedes incluir enlaces a los perfiles sociales de tu marca para conseguir tráfico y nuevos seguidores.

Te comparto un enlace por si quieres saber un poco más de cómo incorporar la gamificación en tu estrategia de marketing

También te recomiendo un artículo de Socialancer sobre cómo hacer sorteos específicos para Instagram. Está orientado a Navidad pero en realidad los ejemplos se pueden aplicar en cualquier fecha conmemorativa.

gamificacion easypromos socialancer

 

Crea una campaña de San Valentín para aumentar las ventas

A lo largo de los años, San Valentín se ha posicionado como una de las campañas más importantes para las marcas.

Tiene la particularidad de que es un evento celebrado a nivel mundial y que cuenta con iconos muy conocidos por todos (cupido, postales de San Valentín…). Esto da mucho juego a nivel comercial. 

Además, a nivel personal da la oportunidad a los usuarios de expresar el amor que sienten por las personas más especiales de su vida. 

Por todos estos factores y muchos más, la mayoría de empresas y negocios se unen a esta campaña.

Las marcas suelen generar promociones exclusivas para aumentar las ventas alrededor de este día: reparten cupones y códigos promocionales, realizan sorteos y concursos, crean ediciones especiales de producto, etc.

Toda campaña de marketing necesita un tiempo de preparación, una ejecución y un análisis

Por eso, antes de empezar debes tener en cuenta los siguientes factores:

  • La duración de la campaña.
  • A qué público se dirige.
  • De qué recursos dispone.
  • Qué objetivo de marketing se quiere conseguir.

6 ejemplos de promociones de San Valentín que usan la gamificación como elemento principal

En función de los factores antes mencionados te resultará más fácil escoger un tipo de acción promocional u otra. 

A continuación te explico 6 ejemplos de juegos que puedes implementar ya:

 

#1. Memory, el juego de parejas 

El conocido juego Memory es ideal para generar notoriedad de marca y presentar los productos

Esta dinámica te puede ayudar cuando te interesa que la audiencia se acuerde del logo y nombre de marca. 

Todo para que, cuando el usuario haga sus compras de San Valentín, se decida por tus productos.

A continuación, te muestro un ejemplo demo de una agencia de viajes online que ha creado un Memory para captar la atención de todos aquellos enamorados que quieren regalar un viaje a sus parejas. Si haces clic en el texto destacado, podrás jugarlo y corroborar lo divertido que resulta.

juego memory easypromos socialancer

 

#2. Test de Personalidad para los más románticos

 El Test de Personalidad es un clásico de San Valentín pues genera diversión y expectativa. Se trata de que el usuario conteste algunas preguntas y, a cambio, se le ofrece un veredicto o solución en función de su personalidad

Es en el mensaje final cuando podemos personalizar la respuesta al participante para recomendarle el producto o regalo más acorde a los resultados del test. 

Además, es fácil ofrecer un cupón de descuento a ese participante en la pantalla final, con lo que el juego nos sirve de excusa para dar incentivos y potenciar la compra de nuestros productos.

A continuación te adjunto un ejemplo demo de Test de Personalidad que podría realizar un centro comercial.

test personalidad easypromos socialancer

#3. Relaciona Parejas en San Valentín

 Aplicaciones novedosas como la de Relacionar Parejas te permitirán crear juegos de conectar conceptos

Esta dinámica es ideal para San Valentín porque permite generar un reto a los participantes y mostrar sus habilidades de relacionar ideas, elementos parecidos, conceptos contrarios, etc. 

Al igual que en el Memory, la notoriedad de marca y de producto a lo largo de este juego puede ser muy alta. 

Aprovecha para hacer un sorteo final entre todos los que completen el juego correctamente y así incentivar la participación y fidelizar a los clientes.

Aquí tienes un ejemplo demo de una librería que pide relacionar libros famosos con sus autores. De esta forma promociona sus productos para dar ideas de regalos a los participantes. 

relaciona parejas easypromos socialancer

#4. Postal de San Valentín personalizable

Ahora ya es posible dar una vuelta al típico concurso de fotos y generar una dinámica más interactiva con la app PhotoFun.

Se trata de un concurso de fotos donde los usuarios pueden personalizar las fotos y convertirlas en postales de San Valentín.

El uso de marcos y stickers hace que la participación sea muy similar al uso de las stories o whatsapp. 

Consigue contenido generado por los usuarios de una forma fácil e inunda las redes sociales de tu marca con él.

 Aquí agrego una imagen de una promoción para crear postales de San Valentín y un link para crear tu propio concurso

postal easypromos socialancer

#5. Recomendador de Productos para potenciar las ventas

 El Recomendador de Productos de San Valentín es similar al Test de Personalidad pero está enfocado directamente a ayudar al usuario a elegir el regalo perfecto para su pareja. 

Aprovecha este tipo de promoción para conseguir más tráfico hacia tu web o eCommerce e impulsar la venta directa de tus productos.

La captura de pantalla que te muestro a continuación corresponde a una joyería. Con 2 o 3 preguntas para el participante, al final se presenta el producto que mejor encaja para su enamorado/a. 

Y allí es donde podemos insertar un enlace a la tienda online para incentivar la compra inmediata, aprovechando que en ese momento el usuario está pensando en el regalo para su pareja.

Prueba aquí el Test de Personalidad y, si te gusta, utiliza la plantilla preconfigurada para crear el tuyo propio.

recomendador easypromos socialancer

#6. Sorteo de San Valentín para conseguir nuevos leads

Todos los juegos permiten a la marca conseguir los datos de contacto de los participantes. Pero a veces la mejor opción es sencillamente sortear el producto más exitoso para San Valentín. 

Por eso los Sorteos con Registro también son una buena opción que te ayudará a conseguir nuevos leads para ampliar tu base de datos. 

Si lo que buscas es un tipo de promoción efectiva y fácil de configurar para este San Valentín, el Sorteo con Registro es lo más viable. 

Te permite conseguir los datos de contacto de los usuarios (tú decides qué datos pides a los participantes) y presentar tu producto de una forma vistosa y original. 

Al acabar el plazo de participación, se realiza el sorteo final de forma totalmente automática y aleatoria entre todos los registrados.

A continuación te muestro una captura de pantalla de cómo una pastelería diseñó el formulario de registro, y clicando aquí podrás crear tu propio sorteo.

leads easypromos socialancer

Conclusión

Como ves, todas estas dinámicas promocionales mezclan gamificación y ventas de una forma interactiva y original. 

Con Easypromos podrás configurar la acción que te guste más y complementar la campaña de San Valentín de tu marca.

¿Qué te parece? ¿Incluirás la gamificación en tu estrategia de marketing para vender más en San Valentín?

from Socialancer https://ift.tt/2G7gH8l
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How to Skyrocket Your Blog’s Organic Traffic With a Search Insights Report

Four times a year, HubSpot’s SEO team delivers a lovingly crafted report to our blogging team.

This report has made a huge impact on our organic traffic and helped us set new records for leads and user acquisition.

In fact, check out the HubSpot Blog’s organic keyword growth over time, as a result of our new-and-improved reporting strategy:

After the blogging team gets the report — which we call a “Search Insights Report” — the writers and editors work like a well-oiled machine to create the recommended content. These posts help the blog rank for tens of thousands of new keywords.

To learn more about the Search Insights Report, how we create it, and most importantly, how you can create one for your own team, read on.

First things first:

Why use a Search Insights Report?

There are tons of benefits to this system, including:

  • Ensuring every piece of content has a pre-defined goal
  • Helping you avoid content cannibalization (since each post is assigned to a specific topic)
  • Keeping your content and SEO teams on the same track
  • Baking SEO best practices into every piece of content you produce
  • Letting you easily track whether you’re ranking for the terms you set out to rank for

How big should a Search Insights Report be?

The optimal S.I.R size depends on A) how much content you can publish and B) how often you’ll release new reports.

HubSpot has a big team of writers and a quarterly S.I.R release schedule, so we shoot for 200 posts per report. If you have two writers, each producing three blog posts per week, and you plan on creating one report per month, every report should have roughly 24 pieces of content.

Target S.I.R size = yearly content output / yearly S.I.R output.

1. Select your focus topic clusters.

Candidly, this step is the toughest one. The topic clusters you pick will form the basis of your entire report — so it’s important to choose the right ones.

Start with your topic gaps, or the “holes” in your content. To identify your content gaps, ask yourself:

  • What are the topics my customers care about that I’m not addressing?
  • What are the questions they have I’m not answering?

Those are pretty broad questions, so narrow things down by looking at your product and/or service pages.

Every product or service you provide should have at least two (and usually more) topic clusters. That typically shakes out to one topic cluster per feature.

Let’s say you provide (among several other things) branding services. From talking to your customers, you know a big question many of them have before they come to you is, “How do I come up with a brand identity? What assets do I need to ‘create’ a brand?”

If you don’t have much (or any!) content on brand identity on your site or blog, that’s a topic gap. It’s important to your audience, it’s relevant to your product, but it’s not proportionally covered on your website.

2. Identify content competitors.

Once you’ve honed in on a topic gap, the next step is figuring out all the websites that publish content on that topic.

These are your competitors — not in the typical sense, as many of them won’t sell competitive products or services — but from a ranking perspective.

I call them “content competitors” (bet you never saw that one coming!). There are a few techniques you can use to track down content competitors. I cover the full list in HubSpot’s Search Insights Report course.

One strategy is simple but effective: simply search for “[insert topic cluster] blogs” and “[insert topic cluster] websites”.

Here’s what I get for “branding blogs”:

I’ll open each page in a new tab and copy every single blog or website mentioned in the listicle.

3. Run a competitive analysis.

Now that you have competitors, you can figure out the terms they’re ranking for that your site is not.

During this step, a keyword research tool is invaluable. I’ve tried tons of different tools and would recommend Ahrefs. However, if you’re already using SEMrush, Moz, or Alexa, there’s no need to switch software just for this project.

On a tight budget? The Hoth lets you run a (limited) content gap analysis for free.

After you’ve chosen a tool, plug in your content competitors:

You’ll get a huge list of topic-specific keywords.

Treat every keyword as a potential blog post.

There are a few questions to ask yourself for every keyword. If you answer “no” at any point, the keyword isn’t a right fit:

  • First, and most importantly, is this idea or subject relevant to my audience?
  • Next, is there a higher-volume synonym for this keyword I should target instead?
  • Is the monthly search volume (MSV) high enough to justify the effort of creating a post?
  • Can I feasibly rank for this keyword? (In other words, is the MSV and/or the competitive score too high?)

Once you’ve qualified a keyword, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

4. Fill out the S.I.R with keyword research.

This is the fun part — translating your keyword research results into insights for your content creators.

It took me a few tries to develop the right format for this report. If you don’t want to shed your own blood, sweat, and tears, good news: you can download a customizable version of the S.I.R right here.

Click here to take the full Search Insights Report: HubSpot’s Strategy for Increasing Organic Blog Traffic Academy course.

In my Academy course, we walk through how to fill out every field in this report.

Here are the highlights:

Columns B and C

  • Every blog post should target 3-5 keywords: one head keyword (the broadest, most high-level term), and 2+ longer-tail keywords
  • Add the head keyword to Column B and its MSV to Column C

Column H

  • The title of your blog post should always include your head keyword (which you’ve just added to Column B)
  • If you’d rather have your writers come up with a title, leave this row blank —just make sure they know to incorporate the head keyword in whatever title they create

Column I

  • Here’s where you add long-tail keywords. I like to note their MSV as well (like so: “marketing case studies (500)”), so the writers understand the ROI of including that section in their post

Column J

  • Add longer-tail keywords here; for example, if one of your recommended H2s is “marketing case studies,” your recommended H3s would include “Nike marketing strategy case study (30)”, “Uber marketing case study (10”), and so on.

Column K

  • Here’s where you add featured snippets your writers should target in the post (if any). I include the snippet type (paragraph, list, or table), as well as the MSV

When I introduced this report to HubSpot’s blogging team, I held a training that went over every aspect of the report and how to interpret it. I also sent out the recording and slide deck so our team had something to reference (and new writers, as they joined the team, could quickly learn the process!).

I recommend doing something similar to make sure adoption goes smoothly. Also, don’t be afraid to tweak the report for your own needs. If your team doesn’t need specific columns (like writer or status), get rid of them; conversely, if they want more information (like columns for recommended length and other articles to link to), add them in.

If you create your own S.I.R., we want to hear from you! Tweet a screenshot of your report to @HubSpotAcademy and @ajavuu for a chance to be featured in an upcoming blog post.

Take the full Search Insights Report: HubSpot’s Strategy for Increasing Organic Blog Traffic Academy course.

How to Onboard Social Media Marketing Clients: A Checklist for Consultants

Do you manage social media for other businesses? Wondering how to request the assets and information you need to do your job? In this article, you’ll discover a checklist for onboarding new clients so you have what you need to manage their social media marketing effectively. Why a Social Media Marketing Onboarding Process Is Important […]

The post How to Onboard Social Media Marketing Clients: A Checklist for Consultants appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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How to Find Your Target Audience

Vans are my favorite brand of shoes. They’re comfy canvas shoes that come in an array of fun styles, types, and colors that appeal to a wide range of consumers.

The shoe brand is a global company that’s been around since 1966, using their tagline “Off the Wall” as an ode to their first core audience: skateboarders. But who else do Vans appeal to?

Looking at their Instagram, you can gather a few clues:

vans instagram

From skating to lifestyle and even surfing, Vans has a different Instagram account for each of their target audiences — and each account is just different enough to resonate with its specific consumer. This approach shows the company’s deep understanding of marketing to multiple target audiences. Take this Instagram account geared towards women:

vans girls instagram

Image Source

The account is packed with relevant campaigns and content for their female buyers.

Understanding target audiences can lead to more successful campaigns for you, as customers will feel as if they connect with your brand. Let’s get into target audiences and how to identify yours.

What is a Target Audience?

A target audience is a group of consumers characterized by behavior and specific demographics, such as female extreme athletes between the ages of 18 and 25. Target audiences are a pillar of most businesses influencing decision making for marketing strategy, such as where to spend money on ads, how to appeal to customers, and even what product to build next.

Target audiences are used to define the buyer persona of a business, as well. Buyer personas are a representative overview of a business’s ideal customer, drawn from data that makes up a target audience. Some of these demographics and behavior areas are:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Employment
  • Income

This information is helpful in understanding the customer and how they make purchase decisions. Targeting a specific audience will also help your campaigns reach the correct people who will relate most to your company’s message and products.

When talking about a target audience, it’s a useful distinction not to confuse the term with a target market. While similar, their difference is key for marketers.

Essentially, you can describe your target market by finding your target audience. If a target market was “marketers aged 25-35,” the target audience would then be something like “marketers living in Boston, Massachusetts aged 25-35.”

That was an overview of target audiences. Let’s dive into some specifics, such as the different types of audiences and how to find your own.

Types of Target Audience

We’ve briefly gone over the attributes that make up a demographic. There are plenty in the marketing world — all helpful in locating the correct audience.

When we talk about types of target audiences, we’re talking about more ways to define who you’re creating a campaign for. You can segment your audience into groups or define them further using categories such as:

  • Purchase intention — Groups of people who are looking for a specific product and want to collect more information before doing so. Some examples include consumers buying a new laptop, vehicle, clothing, or television. This data is necessary in order to see how you can better direct your messaging to your audience.
  • Interests — This is data about what people are into, like hobbies. Knowing this data helps you connect with your audience in a relatable way and unearth buyer motivation and behaviors. For example, consumers who enjoy road biking as a hobby are likely most interested in new road bikes in the spring, when the weather is warmer and road racing season begins.

For example, if you find that a large number of potential audiences are interested in traveling, you can figure out a way to work that message into your marketing campaign to appeal to more potential buyers.

  • Subculture — These are groups of people who identify with a shared experience. An example of this would be a specific music scene or genre of entertainment. People define themselves by subcultures, and companies can use those cultures to understand who they’re reaching out to.

An example of reaching a subculture is thinking of how they relate to your business, especially if you have a large potential audience. For instance, Netflix markets to their subcultures, people who watch specific types of content, using social media accounts that are directed to those subcultures.

As you’ve probably guessed, coming up with a target audience involves some research, which goes into fleshing out who you want to reach and how you can get there in a way that stands out from competitors.

If you’re ready to find yours, follow these steps below:

1. Use Google Analytics to learn more about your customers.

Google Analytics is such an expansive tool, and is great for obtaining demographic details about your audience, as well as their interests. Recall from above that this is critical information that helps locate a target audience.

With Google Analytics, you’ll be able to see website insights, and it’s broken into different sections, like age, gender and location. These sections are labelled clearly on the dashboard and provide colorful graphs for you to interpret.

google analytics

Above is an example of the age overview in the Audiences portion of Google Analytics. Notice the breakdown of the numbers and how the graphs give you an excellent visual. This tool can be a great asset into getting a really great insight into who’s visiting your website and how your content fits into their lives.

2. Create a reader persona to target blog content.

With reader personas, you’ll never forget who you’re writing for. The good thing about reader personas is that you should closely align them to your buyer persona; they should be nearly identical.

This is because your blog should contain content that’ll be useful for your readers. Marketers probably want to read blogs about digital media, for example. It builds the reputation of your company to consumers.

The difference between a reader persona and a buyer persona is that a reader persona generally focuses on the challenges your persona might face. How can you write content that solves those challenges with blog posts?

For example, if one of the challenges you’ve identified in your buyer persona is “Marketing Mario wants to find a solution to low ROI on ad spending,” you can use a reader persona to think of content that surrounds helping that challenge.

3. Look at social media analytics.

When are your followers most engaged with your social media channels?

Is it when you post a funny meme on Instagram or create a poll on Twitter? By taking a look at these questions, you can get a couple of clues into what content your audience is interested in, thus, filling in one of the parts needed to find a target audience.

Every social channel is different and has a different audience, so looking at your analytics across all platforms are important. For example, Twitter tends to have a younger audience, while Facebook tends to have an older one. On the same note, Twitter is based on short-form content, while on Facebook, you can post long-form content and videos.

Instagram is a visually-based social media platform, so content that’s graphically stunning would thrive on the channel. Knowing these things, you can begin to plan your strategy accordingly.

Analytics can tell you who is looking at your profile. What’s more, they can tell you what’s working and what’s not working, content-wise.

By posting content your audience is more interested in, you can gain followers that are in your target market.

4. Use Facebook Insights.

If you have a Facebook page, this tool is golden for you. Facebook gives every Page a huge set of insights, for free. These insights work similarly to Google Analytics — you’ll receive critical information needed to create a target audience.

By accessing the People tab on your Insights dashboard, you can see who and from where your visitors are. Below is an example of how Facebook shows location demographics. It seems that a primary location is the east coast, so it’s safe to say that part of the target audience for this page is located in east coast cities.

facebook insights

Other areas Facebook focuses on include interests and integrations with other social media platforms, like Twitter. The insights report tells you the lifestyle of your audience, such as if they purchase items online.

Insights like these can help you far into your campaign planning, past finding a target audience, so it’s a worthwhile tool to check on every now and then.

5. Check up on website performance.

Monitor your best- and worst-performing content areas on your website. Your website can be the introduction to your company for a lot of your target audience, so sprucing up what interests them is a great way to attract more audience members.

By looking at what blog posts or landing pages are captivating your audience, you can repurpose content that isn’t and promote the content that is. For instance, if your blog post about email marketing was a hit with audiences, share it on your socials to expand your reach.

6. Engage with social media audiences.

Interacting with social media followers is so important, because they’re your audience. When you create your buyer persona, they’re the users you should look to. If you don’t have social media accounts yet, remember to keep this step in mind.

Ask your followers what they want to see, use tools like Instagram Stories and replies to get their response for how/what you’re doing. Whatever engagement you get, positive or negative, can influence how you attract more audience members.

For example, try tweeting out something that invites a CTA, like “Send us a picture of your favorite outfit to wear with our new hats!” This evokes a response, responses you can analyze the language of and imitate to grow your audience.

1. Target

Target differentiates its content based on social platforms. For example, check out its Twitter account. The language is relaxed, it engages users, and is generally geared towards a younger, millennial crowd. This is because most of Twitter’s users are younger.

target twitter

Alternatively, check out this Facebook post, a partnership with Jessica Alba, an actress who is focused on her family.

This move was probably done because Target’s target audience for Facebook campaigns are directed towards families, while the focus is on younger people on Twitter. Target, as a global brand, has different target audiences.

For campaigns, they might focus on a specific audience over another, or for social media channels in general. Target found their target audiences and how they’re represented differently and used that to their marketing advantage.

2. Lightlife Foods

Similarly to the example above, let’s look at plant-based food company, Lightlife Foods. On Instagram, Lightlife posts high-quality images of recipes using their products. Occasionally, they work with Instagram influencers in the same market.

lightlife instagramOn Lightlife’s Facebook, however, they’ve invested heavily in video content. This is probably because it’s been proven that video content on Facebook performs extremely well. Lightlife is most likely targeting an audience that loves to watch videos on Facebook, whereas on Instagram, they’re most likely targeting not only foodies, but influencers in their industry.

3. Apple Music

Let’s look at how Apple Music is reaching their target audience.

On Twitter, the streaming service prides itself on being free of ads, most likely to sway potential audience members away from similar streaming services that don’t provide the same benefit. They post playlists and other content that’s only reachable by visiting the website.

apple music twitterMost of the Instagram content, however, are videos. It seems as if Apple Music is using their Instagram to post snippets of interviews and other premium content available with a subscription.

Though it’s clear that the two platforms have different content strategies, the content itself is in the same realm, just with a different focus. From this, we can infer that Apple Music likes to stick to a formula based on where their content types perform best.

If, for example, Apple Music found that their interview previews perform best on Instagram, that’s likely why their Instagram is mostly video content. This shows that diversifying content doesn’t have to be a vast change like Target and Lightlife, it can still be subtle and work.

If you have multiple target audiences and only one marketer, don’t feel as if you have to focus on every audience at once. You can target one audience per campaign to make sure you really get it right.

Target audiences are meant to engage consumers and give you a good idea of how to market to them. If Vans’ way of creating multiple accounts fits your business, go for it. If you have a singular audience, you can still benefit from knowing everything you can about them.

Happy campaigning!

HubSpot Marketers Give 6 Tips for Fighting Burnout

Although the beginning of a new year can be filled with excitement and positive change, it also can be challenging or mentally exhausting to work on a number of intense projects with high expectations.

Even when you’re successfully executing on hard work, a busy lifestyle can still weigh on you, even if you love your job or company. When this happens, you can run into one of the most dreaded mental conditions: burnout.

Burnout is so common that the World Health Organization now classifies it as a legitimate health condition. According to the WHO, burnout is a mental health “phenomenon” characterized by “feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.”

This condition especially impacts millennials. A 2018 Gallup study found that 30% feel like they’re in a constant state of burnout at work, while 70% say they feel burnout at least sometimes.

While burnout is common, it isn’t just isolated to people who dislike their jobs. In fact, a Journal of Personality study reports that being passionate about your job can cause you to take on too many tasks, or become obsessive about your work. In turn, this can cause eventual burnout.

To help you combat bouts of stress, low motivation, or exhaustion, I talked to six HubSpot employees to learn how they fend off feelings of burnout.

1. Acknowledge that burnout exists.

If you work in a fast-paced career or a competitive field, it can feel like you’re headed directly towards burnout at certain times. Rather than fearing it or denying that it’s happening to you, it can be helpful to admit that you’re only human, you might run into crazy amounts of stress, and it might hinder your energy and motivation.

Once you admit that burnout is a solid possibility in your own work life, you can start to take steps towards avoiding it or maintaining a work-life balance. These steps could involve planning out vacations regularly, scheduling non-work hours, or trying stress-relief activities such as meditation.

According to Maggie Butler, a senior marketing ops manager, the best way to pull yourself out of burnout is to recognize those feelings when they emerge. Then, take preventative measures.

“I think it’s impossible to avoid burning out at work, especially if you are passionate and give a lot of energy and time to your career,” says Butler. “So why not plan for it? Planning to take time off from work and do whatever recharges you is key to keeping burnout at bay.”

2. Create a “Smile File.”

When you’re tasked with a tough project or feel like work is piling up, it can be helpful to motivate yourself by reflecting on the accomplishments you’ve made in your role so far. This has proven to be beneficial to Lisa Edwards, a product marketing manager who logs many of her pleasant work moments in one folder — which she aptly calls her “Smile File.”

“I’ve been keeping a Smile File in my two years at HubSpot. Anytime someone says thank you, compliments my work, or says something funny, I take a screenshot and put it away in this folder,” says Edwards.

Here’s an example of a message that Edwards screenshotted and saved in her Smile File after a presentation:

“When I get really stressed about work or bummed about not totally nailing a project, I flip through the folder and it always makes me smile and feel better,” Edwards explains. “In moments of imposter syndrome, it’s especially great to flip back and see compliments from people and remind myself that I’m indeed good at my job.”

Aside from compliment and achievement-related screenshots, Edwards says the folder is also “full silly things that my awesome coworkers say, too.”

3. Use the Pomodoro Technique to ensure that you take breaks.

The Pomodoro Technique is a productivity strategy where you schedule spans of time into work time and break time. The idea behind the technique is that taking regular small breaks and one larger break each day will keep you more productive.

However, Matt Eonta, a senior manager of project management in our creative department, says the Pomodoro Technique can also be a useful way to avoid immediate work stress or feelings of burnout.

“I found myself being much less productive working from home than I was at the office, and so I decided to adopt the Pomodoro Technique. It’s been a huge help to my productivity, and it’s helped me avoid burning out because it’s designed to be prolonged periods of deep focus work, followed by short breaks to recharge and reset your mind,” Eonta explains.

“Setting an actual timer is super helpful here, and when I “earn” my long break, I try to go outside and throw balls to my dog or something,” Eonta adds. “Also, knowing I have a break coming will keep me out of unproductive rabbit holes like Instagram and text messaging until they’re allotted a short window.”

“Overall though, it’s nice to get up from my desk at the end of the day and realize I was able to move around a bit throughout the day, rather than seeing six to seven hours fly by without having taken a break for anything,” Eonta shares.

4. Switch out screentime for relaxing activities.

Aside from preventing mental burnout, you should also take steps to prevent physical fatigue that can make burnout more apparent. When your body is tired, sore, or drained, this may play a role in you feeling mentally drained.

While Eonta says he goes outside and plays with his dog on breaks, he also aims to prevent eye strain that can add to feelings of exhaustion.

“My eye doctor told me that every 20 minutes, I should try to focus on an object 20 feet away and focus on it for 20 seconds. It helps keep my eyes from burning out from constant fluorescent light and blue light computer screens.” Eonta explains.

Lucy Reddan, a senior manager in our growth and email marketing department, similarly shared that she rests her eyes and tries other relaxation activities instead.

“Sometimes there can be intense periods of work, and your hours working are longer than normal. To cope with burnout, because it can sometimes be hard to avoid, recently I’ve started to limit screen time in the evenings after work,” says Reddan. “Turn on some music, lie on the floor and do some nice slow stretching. The music takes my mind off thinking about all the jobs to be done, and it always feels great to get your body moving.”

5. Try yoga and meditation.

Yoga allows you to release endorphins by working out, while also priming your mind for examination. The combination of yoga and meditation can help you relax after a long day, but these activities can also make you feel more productive.

“I didn’t realize I was burnt out until I started taking up yoga,” says Krystal Wu, a social media community manager.

“Yoga along with meditation has helped me physically and mentally to just do something that betters myself,” Wu shares. “It became clear that it was the perfect balance to help me recover from burnout in my day to day life and have more peace of mind.”

6. Take time off when you need it.

If you love working or worry that you’ll fall behind, taking time off can be especially hard to do. However, it can be key to relaxation, resetting your mind, and gaining a solid work-life balance.

“I was one of those people who would rarely take any time off because ‘there are some many things to be done,'” says Irina Nica, a community and influencer relations manager. “Even when I did, I still let some work slip into my day, even if that meant only checking my emails. I’d be lying if I said this way of being constantly connected didn’t pay off at all, but overall, I was quite tired most of the time.”

Nica explains, “I was probably close to burning out on a number of occasions. Fortunately, over time, I’ve changed my views on vacationing and it’s been great for my productivity.”

“I learned to disconnect in the evenings and during weekends,” Nica adds. “Now, aside from the regular summer and winter holidays, I take a long weekend trip every now and then. That helps me relax and refreshes my perspective.”

Maintaining a Happy Work Life

While you can take the above steps to prevent burnout in your job or daily life, you can also take steps to ensure that your work life is keeping you happy and healthy. Happiness at work is not only fulfilling, but experts say it can also make you more productive and effective as an employee.

To learn more about the advantages of happiness at work, check out this blog post. If you’re a manager who wants to ensure employee happiness, you might also enjoy this great guide to keeping your employees happy.

How to Perform Keyword Research and Rank in 2020 from HubSpot’s SEO Senior Strategist

Undoubtedly, search has changed in recent years.

Consider, for instance, what happens when I search for the term “Skiing”: skiing-gif-1

I’m immediately shown images of skiers, as well as top stories related to skiing, and even a local Google Maps panel with nearby ski mountains. I’m even shown videos of skiers before I finally reach the first article regarding the topic of “skiing”.

From a user perspective, this makes sense. Most people searching for “skiing” aren’t interested in reading a blog post about it — they’re interested in seeing it visually via YouTube, or finding nearby locations so they can ski themselves.

In 2020, search is going to continue to evolve in the direction of zero-click search. But that doesn’t mean your SEO strategy is futile. It just means you’ll need to get creative to rank on page one.

I sat down with Senior SEO Strategist Braden Becker to discuss his keyword research strategy, how you can use featured snippets to your benefit, and what he’s most excited to explore in the world of SEO in 2020 and beyond.

Keyword Research is All About Telling a Story

Let’s start with the basics.

Becker advises you start your keyword research with competitive analysis, which allows you to see what similar domains are ranking for that you’re not. SEO tools like SEMrush can help you do this.

“That’s where we start — constantly refining a list of competitors we want to keep an eye on, and whose content strategies we think are worth taking inspiration from,” Becker told me. “This is a good first step in keyword research, and you can explore related SEO opportunities from there.”

We won’t explore this concept too in-depth in this post, since we’ve covered it extensively before, including in our Ultimate Guide to SEO in 2019.

Additionally, Becker advises, “When you’re starting to create content, you should think about your opportunities in groups or clusters, not just one assignment at a time.”

“Not every keyword you find is just a single blog post. Instead, it’s the potential to create a larger marketing campaign that tells a story around that keyword. Then, you can use that keyword to find related queries you think the same visitor would want answers to.”

For instance, let’s say you find there’s high monthly search volume (MSV) on the long-tail keyword, “How to improve your open-rate.”

On the surface, it might seem like that only has the potential to be one blog post regarding “How to improve your open-rate.” But this misses the bigger picture you should be exploring.

As Braden told me, “Once you see ‘how to improve your open-rate’ is one long-tail keyword, you should be thinking, ‘Okay, maybe there’s a similar keyword with even more MSV, or maybe there’s another tangential topic we can cover, as well …’ and, as you explore, you might find tons of topics related to email marketing, and your marketing team might decide ’email marketing’ as a cluster of content is an avenue you want to explore.”

You Can Still Have a Strong Content Strategy if Your Product is One-Dimensional

So — that’s all well and good. But what if your product just isn’t that interesting to write about?

What if, for instance, you sell socks. There are only so many topics, and so many stories, you can tell about socks — right?

Braden sympathizes with this, but he has a solution in mind: “This problem is equal parts a B2C issue and a reality of e-commerce, where the customer journey is different than it would be for a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company. If you sell socks or clothing, for instance, you have to be a little more creative with the questions you ask yourself — like ‘What kinds of socks are you selling? What’s the purpose of these socks? Why are people buying these socks, and what are they using them for, and what else do they care about?‘”

For instance, let’s say you sell athletic socks. As Becker points out — “Well, then, what sports do they play? What other clothing do they wear when they wear socks, and is breathability a concern for them?”

“If that’s the case, suddenly you now have an entire topic around breathable fabrics for which you can create content for your customers.”

If your product isn’t as snazzy as “email marketing” or as Google-able as “skiing,” that’s okay. When your product is a little more one-dimensional, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about your customers and focus on the purpose of your product when creating a content market strategy and researching keywords.

Ultimately, your customers have other concerns, interests, and passions beyond your product or service. If you can tap into their related interests from a business standpoint, you’ll have hundreds of potential topics to explore.

How to Win at The New Zero-Click Game

For many marketers, the introduction of featured snippets, image carousels, and other new SERP features poses a problem, because these new features typically provide the user with an answer right on the SERPs page — so the user no longer needs to click on your website.

Becker admits, “Featured snippets are kind of like the lottery. There’s no real rhyme or reason why one publisher wins them over another, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take action that aligns with helping you win those bigger answer boxes at the top of the results page.”

Ultimately, Becker says that high-quality, succinct content always has a better chance at winning a featured snippet. Additionally, he says standard writing conventions, like including a summary at the beginning of your post and a conclusion at the end, can serve you well in SEO.

“High-quality content is also good SEO, and that idea gets lost sometimes,” he adds. “A lot of writers think they need to ‘SEO-optimize” their writing style, but if you’re a good writer, you’re already doing a lot of things right without realizing it.”

Along with high-quality content, it’s equally critical you lean into user experience, rather than trying to fight it.

Ultimately, zero-click search steals traffic from websites, but it’s still an opportunity to outrank your competitors.

As Becker notes, “Features like ‘How-to’ panels, ‘People Also Ask’ boxes, or ‘FAQ’ snippets below certain results … these features aren’t going away, and they can steal traffic from everyone on the SERP. So, it’s better that you optimize for them over your competitors. Even if some of them steal traffic from you, someone is going to get this real estate. You might as well be the one that gets it. You can still use these snippets to prove you’re a helpful, reliable brand through on-page SERP features, even without the click.”

Continue Growing Both Vertically and Horizontally

As a marketer whose role depends on a need to constantly publish high-quality content on a 10+-year-old blog, I often wonder, “Is there ever a point where companies have so much content that they’ve officially hit their ceiling, and all they can really do is update old posts?”

When I sat down with Becker, I thought it was as good a time as any to ask this question. Fortunately, it looks like there’s hope yet.

“You can almost always grow both vertically or horizontally,” he explained.

Vertical growth means more traffic using your current content channels and verticals. Horizontal growth would mean more traffic by expanding your audience, adding a new content campaign, and adding traffic through a new type of visitor. 

Vertical Growth

“Vertically,” Becker said, “requires to you to be more creative with the ways in which you’re doing keyword research, or figure out if there are pieces of a story you haven’t finished telling yet, based on your topic clusters. Additionally, you can look at under-performing posts and decide if you want recycle the URL, re-optimize the content, or cut your losses and remove the URL from your domain — replacing it with content that better resonates with your readers.”

“‘People Also Ask’ boxes, featured snippets, and other emerging SERP features — yes, they’re seen as traffic stealers, but they’re also sources of
data and opportunity. You can look at these SERPs, use certain tools to pile SERP data into a spreadsheet, compare the features you see to your current rankings, and look for gaps where you can try to be in places you’re not.”

To try the strategy he mentioned above, you might consider using STAT Search Analytics, a tool our SEO team uses at HubSpot, to pull reports you wouldn’t be able to with an average research tool and dive deeper into new areas of your content landscape.

Horizontal Growth

Of course, there’s also the option to grow horizontally, which means reevaluating the needs of your customers. Are there topics you haven’t talked about yet? Can you open a completely new bucket and explore new terrain to help your customers learn more about your industry as a whole?

However, while it’s critical you use data to drive most of your decisions around content, Becker surprisingly advises against leaning too heavily into your SEO strategy as an end-all-be-all approach to marketing.

First off, you never want to prop up your business on one channel. To ensure sustained growth even during natural search engine algorithm changes, it’s critical you diversify your channel portfolio.

Additionally, Becker mentions another critical reason you don’t want to rely solely on SEO — “You want to make sure your business is well-balanced and doesn’t become a copycat. Because SEO is becoming so advanced, everyone knows all the moves and all the players. This means there are redundancies in the information you get on any one SERP, so you need to have a competitive advantage.”

“That competitive advantage,” he adds, “can come in the form of thought leadership, and making big bets, like ‘Okay, there’s no search volume on this topic, but it’s something we want to take a stance on and it’s important to us, so let’s be willing to invest in something that doesn’t have an immediate attribution path to business.‘”

While the majority of HubSpot’s blog strategy revolves around SEO, and using traffic or ranking data to drive decisions, we still publish posts that can provide a unique perspective to our readers or involve topics that are at the forefront of the marketing industry but haven’t yet become high MSV players. This is still important.

This can demonstrate your brand’s ability to both supply content your readers are already searching for, as well as content they don’t yet know they need or want.

As Becker points out, “Just because SEO is a very high-intent traffic channel, doesn’t mean it’s the most important.”

A Final Word

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran in the SEO industry or brand-new to an SEO-role, it’s critical to note there’s always opportunity to explore and grow, and that ‘uncomfortable feeling’ of being in-over-your-head isn’t unusual.

In fact, despite Braden’s nearly two years fully immersed in SEO, he still admits to having a sense of discomfort around new SEO topics: “If something is not interesting to me right now in the SEO world, it’s because I don’t know enough about it. In my experience, the more I know about something, the more interesting it becomes. Not having control over a concept is an uncomfortable feeling, so it’s easy to say ‘That’s just not for me‘, but I’m at the point where I want to start charting new territory, even if it’s uncomfortable.”

For example, learning how to read, edit, and manipulate a website’s robots.txt file is a basic but often underused area of opportunity when looking for traffic growth. 

“Things like a robots.txt file, or your blog’s sitemap — these are like your liaisons to Google’s index,” he told me. “You can tell Google what pages to allow or disallow in its index, make best use of your crawl budget, and ensure you’re not blocking pages that should be driving organic traffic for you. To me, that’s where technology meets creativity.”

Ultimately, one could argue SEO as a whole is where technology meets creativity — which is why there’s still plenty of space for you to use search engine algorithm changes in 2020 as an opportunity to explore new strategies and reach new audiences, rather than a hindrance in your way.

How to Recover a Suspended Facebook Ads Account

Did Facebook suspend your Facebook ads account? Wondering how to appeal the decision and get your ads up and running again? In this article, you’ll find out how to submit an appeal to get your Facebook advertising account reactivated. Facebook Ads Account Suspension: Two Red Flags You’re going along your merry way, crushing your Facebook […]

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How to Create Squeeze Pages That Generate Tons of Leads

“You’ve got mail.”

At least, that’s what you’re hoping as a digital marketer — to show up in your audience’s inbox.

That’s because capturing emails is an important tactic marketers use to gather leads. To do so, you’ve probably created a lead magnet or content offer.

It’s a tale as old as time for those in online marketing. And that’s because it works.

By the end of 2020, the number of email users will grow to be 3 billion worldwide. Additionally, email has an average ROI of $38 for every $1 spent.

The fact is, email marketing is still an effective channel in digital marketing.

So, how do you capture emails? One tactic is a squeeze page.

Below, let’s review what a squeeze page is, some examples, and how to build one.

While squeeze pages are a type of landing page, it’s important to note that not all landing pages are a squeeze page.

Some landing pages have multiple conversion goals, such as offering a free trial. On the other hand, the only goal of a squeeze page is to get an email address.

After a user has entered their email address on your squeeze page, you should:

  • Deliver your content offer immediately.
  • Show users a thank you page that answers any questions and lets them know what the next steps are.
  • Send an automated message reminding users why they gave you their email address. Something that says thank you, gives users the content offer and lets them know what types of emails to expect from you and how often.
  • Follow up with a drip-email campaign that will move them down the funnel and closer to a purchase.

So, what should a squeeze page look like? Usually, squeeze pages are short-form landing pages with only a small amount of text to persuade users to enter their email address.

But, how can you create a squeeze page that will generate leads? Here are a few tips:

1. Include one CTA: There should only be one CTA on a squeeze page: to enter an email address. Your CTA button should clearly state the action and end result for the user. For example, “Claim My Spot” is actionable and lets the user know that they’ll be signed up for a course or webinar.

2. Write crisp, compelling copy: The supporting text should be concise and interesting. It should be easy to read and provide important information that makes users want to enter their email address.

3. Implement social proof: You might consider including one or two short testimonials below your form fields. People like to see that your content offer has helped others before.

4. Add excellent graphics: The imagery on your squeeze page should be clean and captivating.

5. Produce an enticing content offer: Your content offer should have high-value for your audience. It can be something like an email course, templates, a webinar, or an e-book.

Creating a successful squeeze page won’t always happen on the first try, though. To improve conversions, try A/B testing to see what variations your audience likes best. You can test headlines, CTA buttons, form positions, background images, or copy.

Squeeze Page Examples

One of the easiest ways to guide you in your squeeze page creation is to look at a few examples. Below are three examples that could inspire your squeeze page design:

1. Backlinko’s Home Page

Some marketers choose to have a squeeze page act as their home page. That is what Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko does. Backlinko’s entire home page is a squeeze page attempting to get subscribers to Dean’s email list.

His content offer? Exclusive traffic and SEO tips directly to your inbox.

The squeeze page includes short, crisp copy, an interesting headline, great imagery, and only one form field. It’s a clean, simple page that utilizes all our tips above. If you scroll further, below-the-fold, you’ll find social proof and another content offer, if the first one doesn’t appeal to you.

Backlinko squeeze page on its home page.

Image Source

2. Marie Forleo’s Get Started Page

Marie Forleo, an online digital entrepreneur, has a squeeze page directly on her website. Instead of being her home page like Backlinko, Forleo uses a “Get Started” page right in the navigation as one of her squeeze pages.

This squeeze page offers a free audio training in exchange for a user’s email address. It has great imagery, copy, and a clear CTA.

Uniquely, below the form fields, Forleo tells users what they’ll get by giving their email address and already lets them know they can unsubscribe. This is a great touch when users are worried about spam pages.

Marie Forleo's squeeze page is on her "Get Started" page.

Image Source

3. Ramit Sethi’s Free Insider Kit

Ramit Sethi, an author and expert in making money, has a squeeze page on his website, in the form of the “Free Tools” page.

This squeeze page uses scarcity and fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) to gather email addresses. The headline uses language including “Free Insider’s Kit” to make users feel like they’re in the inner circle.

Additionally, this squeeze page also got rid of the top navigation bar when you click on it, getting rid of any distractions. The only goal of this page is to gather email leads.

Ramit Sethi's squeeze page offers an insider's kit to his audience.

Image Source

Best Squeeze Page Builders

Now that we’ve learned what a squeeze page is and what it looks like, you might be wondering, “How do I create one?”

Luckily, there are a lot of squeeze page builders you can use for help.

However, it’s important to make sure that whichever squeeze page builder you use, integrates with your email autoresponder service — whether that’s HubSpot, MailChimp, or Constant Contact.

Below are a few of the top squeeze page builder options:

1. HubSpot

With HubSpot, you can create beautiful landing pages in the same tool you use for email marketing, your CRM, and your CMS.

There is a built-in library of mobile-optimized templates proven to convert, so you can add copy and insert images in minutes.

Additionally, you can create dynamic squeeze pages that show different content based on a user’s location, source, device, buying stage, or any other contact detail stored in your CRM.

2. Leadpages

Leadpages is an easy, DIY landing page builder. With this tool, you can drag-and-drop any elements you want, giving you the ability to quickly create professional landing pages. Plus, you can look through its top, mobile-responsive templates to get you started.

Additionally, you can easily A/B test your pages right in the tool, so you create landing pages that convert right away.

3. ClickFunnels

ClickFunnels is a quick, easy tool that can help you create an entire funnel. For example, you can create your squeeze page, thank you page, and email and Facebook marketing automation. You can even create up-sell pages as well.

However, most of ClickFunnels tools are best used for other types of landing pages where you’ll want more bells and whistles. But, if you need to create both squeeze pages and other landing pages, this is a great option.

4. WordStream

WordStream offers a conversion toolkit, that helps users capture more leads using squeeze pages and landing page templates.

It has an intuitive drag-and-drop builder to help you build professional squeeze pages in minutes. You can sync your captured emails directly with Constant Contact or Salesforce to streamline your workflow.

Whether you’re new to landing pages or you’ve created them before, it’s important to understand how squeeze pages can generate leads for your company — they aren’t the same as every other landing page you’ve created. They need to be built with a specific audience in mind.

Mark Zuckerberg Lays Out Future Vision

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore Mark Zuckerberg’s latest personal challenge and what it means for marketers with special guest, Mari Smith. We’ll […]

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