Over the years, the interests and preferences of consumers have evolved and so have their behavior towards traditional advertising. Now brands understand this and are modifying their marketing strategies accordingly. And this is where influencer marketing strategy comes in.
Influencer marketing has gained immense popularity over the past few years. From 2017 to 2018, the number of searches for the term, “influencer marketing” increased by 71.7%. Also, it is predicted that by 2020, brands will be spending $5 billion to $10 billion on influencer marketing.
The data clearly indicates that brands have shifted from traditional forms of marketing to leveraging influencers. High-quality content has always been a vital element in creating a successful influencer marketing campaign. Your influencers will create entertaining and valuable content that isn’t too promotional and which can attract and win over your target audience.
In addition to quality content, there are other important elements that you need to consider when creating an influencer marketing campaign. This post will show you five ways to create an effective influencer marketing strategy.
Let’s get started.
1. Define Goals for Your Influencer Marketing Campaign
One type of influencer marketing strategy will not fit every brand’s requirement. To run a successful influencer marketing campaign, it’s important that you know exactly why you want to run it. What are the goals that you want to achieve through influencer marketing?
It’s a prerequisite that you have answers to these questions before you start a campaign. The answers are the foundation of your entire campaign and will help you build your campaign effectively.
However, you shouldn’t have a big laundry list of goals either. This will simply create more confusion rather than guiding you. So, it’s better to take baby steps and focus on a couple of goals at a time to achieve your overall organizational goals.
2. Identify a Target Market
Now that you have identified your influencer marketing goals, you need to identify your target market. This might sound like a very obvious step, but if not done correctly, the entire campaign may not be successful. It is a huge factor in the success of your influencer marketing campaign.
Once you identify your target audience, it will help you select the most relevant influencers. It’s important that the followers of your potential influencers are also your target audience. This means they should share the same characteristics as your target audience.
Identifying your target audience will also help you pick a relevant and effective social media platform to execute your campaign. You will learn more about this in the following points.
3. Identifying and Collaborating with Relevant Influencers
Next comes the most important element in the success of an influencer marketing campaign – identifying and collaborating with relevant influencers. The main responsibility of an influencer is to reach out to your target audience and raise awareness for your brand.
However, it’s equally challenging to find a suitable influencer for your campaign. But it’ll be a little easier to find relevant influencers when you consider the goals of your campaign. Also, look for the following characteristics in your potential influencer to make your hunt easier:
- The demographics of your target audience should be similar to the followers of your potential influencer.
- Ensure that the potential influencer is an expert in your niche.
- Also, they should have a decent amount of followers on their social media accounts.
- Review their posts to measure the authenticity of your potential influencer. Authentic posts will create a genuine impact on your target audience.
- You also need to calculate the engagement rate of your potential influencers. This will help you understand just how well they can engage their followers. The higher the engagement rate, the better your campaign performance.
In addition to this, you can also use tools to find influencers suitable for your marketing campaign. There are tools like Grin, which allows you to use filters like category, reach, engagement, and many more to find suitable influencers.
It’s important that you invest your time and effort into identifying relevant influencers for your influencer marketing campaign, as this can make or break your entire campaign.
4. Select the Right Social Media Platform
Did you know that 91% of marketers use Instagram for their influencer marketing campaigns? But that doesn’t mean you should use the same social media platform unless it’s absolutely right for you. You need to find out which social platforms would be suitable for your campaign.
The selection of the social media platform for your campaign entirely depends on your target audience. You need to identify the social platform where your target audience spends most of their time. It also depends on the type of content you want to post and share with your target audience.
Every social platform is suitable for a different type of content and targets a different set of audience. So pay close attention when selecting social media platforms for your campaigns.
5. Track and Monitor Your Influencer Marketing Campaign
It’s important that you track and monitor your influencer marketing campaigns. This will help you understand whether or not your campaign is running successfully and generating expected outcomes. It also gives you an opportunity to make necessary changes to your strategy to generate the desired results.
You need to monitor the entire campaign against the goals you decided upon at the beginning of your campaign. In addition to this, you should also evaluate the performance of your influencers. Collect data like follower growth rate, increase in sales, number of views generated, engagement rate, etc. to evaluate your influencers.
The evaluation will give you a clear picture of your campaign’s impact on your target audience. And you can improve or strengthen your influencer marketing strategy accordingly.
Creating a successful influencer marketing campaign might seem easy, but it’s not. There are several aspects that you should consider for an effective influencer marketing campaign. It includes identifying relevant influencers, selecting the right social media platforms, defining goals, and identifying your target audience.
It is also important that you monitor and evaluate the performance of your influencers and the entire campaign. This will help you make adjustments as needed to improve your results.
Do you know of any other tips to create an effective influencer marketing strategy? If so, please feel free to comment.
Brandon Brown is the CEO of Grin, an influencer marketing software solution for brands. Grin’s software helps customers identify, recruit & activate the world’s most engaging influencers. Prior to Grin, he was led marketing for the #1 energy drink market in the world, Los Angeles & Orange County, at Red Bull North America.
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With so many pages of content floating around on the web it can be hard to find the best source of information to fill the queries you often make. But thanks to search engines, social media and RSS feeds we can gain much swifter access to those juicy nuggets of wisdom.
But if these pages can’t be crawled or are not linked to in any way, those items will not see the light of day. Not only is linking and getting your pages crawled important but interlinking between pages on your own site also plays a big part in making sure the right people get the chance to marvel at your content.
So, where do you start when it comes to properly linking pages on your site? Here are a few steps you can take.
1. Selecting which pages to interlink
Ideally, you want to direct traffic from popular, traffic rich pages to less than popular ones. If you are working with specific landing pages you would want to link to them in order to pass on that popularity or link juice.
So how do we locate strong, juicy pages?
We can use a few tools to do so including Google Analytics, Ahrefs or Moz.
Like any e-commerce or business site, the end game is sales so directing your audience to sales funnels is critical to ramping up you cash intake. Point people to contact pages, forms and conversion goals.
Also, link to pages which support your content. Google loves it when people stay on sites as it shows the content is compelling and useful. Dwell time as it is known is something you should try to increase and by directing people to complementary content on your site you can help them make a more informed decision on whether to stay on your site or leave with empty hands.
2. What anchor text to use
Other than giving your audience an idea of where a link is potentially going, anchor text also gives Google a good idea of what a site is about, so it is important to keep your anchor text profile healthy. You don’t have to be right on the number but below is a good indicator on what percentages to aim for:
• Branded Anchor Text (business name and variations, ie. Crystal Clear Cleaning): 70%
• Naked Links (URL link or no actual text, ie. www.crystalclear.com.au): 20%
• Generic Anchors (random words, ie. click here): 5%
• LSI, Partial Match Anchors (Cleaning services across Melbourne and surrounds): 1-5%
• Exact Match Anchors Text (Cleaning services Melbourne): Less Than 1%
A link profile is meant to help Google connect the dots and come up with a snapshot of what is important on your site without making it think you’re up to something naughty.
3. How many links per page
The first thing to remember here is to avoid adding any links within the first two paragraphs and too many links going out from a page can be bad.
Getting the balance right here is important!
Every link that goes out does drain the authority of each page. The more links that go out the less important the page. Think of each page as an orange and the bigger juicier the orange, the more you can squeeze out of it, but you don’t want to squeeze out too much.
4. Passing on yummy ‘link juice’
As mentioned above, it is important to direct link juice the right way. If you have a blog page that is swelling up with traffic, link out from it to a landing page which is aimed at funneling your audience to a conversion path.
You can get a good snapshot of a site and its architecture by using Screaming Frog’s Force-Directed Directory Tree Diagrams.
This can help you connect relevant sections which might be feeling a little dry.
5. Using external links to build trust
External links show Google you know reputable authorities who can back up your content with valuable resources. People are happy to go to people who know people hence external links can also build trust. Just make sure those links open into new windows so people remember where they came from. TRUST = AUTHORITY =
6. Image links & alt tags
Images don’t just have to be splashes of colour on a page since they can be used cleverly to interlink. Instead of anchor text, however, they use alt tags which can be inserted in the back end. Images are easier to click on than a few words so using them to direct people around your site is a no brainer.
7. Use Breadcrumbs to Help Navigation
Finding your way around a large site can be tricky if there is mediocre navigation set up. Using breadcrumbs can help alleviate the problem as they give a clear path to where you are and how you got there. You can set these up in different ways, ie. path, attribute and location based.
By interlinking properly, you are not only helping Google work out where your most important pages are, you are also helping your users navigate to mutually beneficial organic conversions and that is the real endgame.
Christopher Zerafa is SEO Manager at Impressive Digital Agency. We’re a team of creatives, techies and logistically-minded individuals that assemble each day in our Melbourne office with a couple of common goals. To provide each of our clients with ridiculously good customer service and a transformative digital marketing strategy via cutting-edge SEO, social media and SEM strategies.
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You might look at other businesses in your industry and wonder how they manage to have such strong brand recognition. How do they sell so much more than you do? Do they have big marketing budgets (whereas yours is tiny)?
The fact is: building and maintaining strong brand visibility is a continual effort. While it doesn’t require a giant marketing budget, it does require persistence.
1. Start With Your Site
Even if you currently have little traffic to your business website, it’s important that you get it ship-shape so that when visitors do start to arrive, you give them compelling reasons to stay awhile and look around.
Make sure that your website is easy to navigate and not overcluttered with text. Your site should render just as well on a mobile device as a desktop computer, so make sure you have a mobile-friendly design. And making a purchase should be easy and fast for shoppers.
Once you’ve got the user experience down pat, make sure your website can be found in search engines. Use smart SEO strategies to ensure that each page has its own keyword focus (and just one!). If your business is local, use location keywords as well.
2. Step Up Your Social Media
Marketing on social media is no longer an option; it’s now part of what consumers expect from brands. Rather than having a profile on every social channel out there, focus on one or two where you know your audience spends time. A Baby Boomer audience may be less likely to be found on Instagram, so focus on Facebook if this is your audience. Do the reverse if you’re trying to connect with Gen Z.
The key to success with social media is consistent posting. Because users’ streams are so cluttered with updates from the hundreds of people and brands they follow, you have to fight to get noticed. Mix up what you share: post links to your content, create videos, share photos, and post other content. Then look at your social media analytics to see which types of posts are resonating the most with your audience.
One strategy many well-known brands use is social media advertising. Because you can target a very specific niche (women who are mothers between 26 and 40 who live in the midwest), you can craft a message to your audience and ensure that the people who see the ad are more likely than others to click on it.
3. Find Thought Leadership Opportunities
Particularly if you’re a one-person show, it can be challenging to have brand visibility when bigger players are taking up so much space online. But that doesn’t mean you can’t claim your own market share. Guest blogging is a great way to show off your thought leadership skills, educate an audience on another blog, and lead the breadcrumb trail back to your site.
Make your #1 focus providing value to your audience. You have tons of knowledge about your industry, and you probably understand what your audience wants to know more about. Use these topics to pitch blogs that cater to your audience so you can introduce your brand to people who might not otherwise have found it.
Likewise, you can speak at conferences, hold webinars, write books, and look for opportunities to be interviewed on blogs and podcasts as a way to raise your visibility.
4. Invest in Visual Branding
I’ve met so many business owners who think investing a few thousand dollars into a logo or professionally-designed website is a waste of money. Let me just say that most of them will come to regret that stance.
People are visual creatures. When they see a logo, they squirrel the information away for later. When they see it again, a ding of recognition happens. After a few times, they automatically connect the dots between the image and what your brand represents.
And when it comes to a website, you better believe that people are judging what yours looks like. If it looks like your child created it or that its last update was 10 years ago, that will impact how they think of your brand.
Spending money on visual branding is an investment that will pay for itself over and over, so don’t skimp. You can find an affordable freelance designer on Craigslist or Upwork, so it may cost less than you expect to get professional design work done.
Above All, Be Consistent
None of these tips is a one-and-done task you can mark off of your list. They require constant effort and monitoring to ensure that what you’re doing is helping you meet your goals.
And speaking of goals: have them. Whether you want to boost web traffic by 20% in 6 months, get 15% of those website visits from guest blogging opportunities, or grow sales by $15,000, know what you want to achieve, then look at your website and social analytics to make sure you’re on the right track. If you’re not, make one small change and then measure those results.
To grow your business, your brand must be visible to the right people. You may not need a giant budget to make that happen, but you will need to commit to the process.
Susan Guillory is the President of Egg Marketing, a content marketing firm based in San Diego. She’s written several business books, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and Cision. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.
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Over the years, social media platforms have become the force for progress in the marketing world. Initially created for completely different purposes, these platforms have become a place where businesses can easily market their products.
Social media marketing is definitely here to stay, and here’s why:
- 73% of marketers say that social media marketing was “quite effective” or “very effective” for their business;
- Social media is the most influential advertising channel, according to 50% of Gen Z and 42% of millennials;
- Over 88% of companies use social media platforms for marketing purposes.
Marketing on social media is also a quick way for your message to get viral. And, with many effective tools for business, marketing on social media has become more effortless.
Right now, social media marketing is on the rise. But what does the future hold? What skills will be crucial for a social media marketer to have? What trends will define the scope of social media marketing in the future?
Let’s take a look.
Trends that Shape the Future
The landscape of social media marketing is changing every day, and it’s not an exaggeration. With every update, businesses are introduced to new possibilities, new tools are being created to boost creativity and make social media marketing even more powerful.
On-the-Spot Content Replacing Pre-Produced Content
The perception of the perfect content for social media is changing as well. Right now, users prefer seeing a storytelling format. 92% of consumers want brands to make more ads that feel like a story. This prompted Instagram and Facebook to come up with the format of Stories.
Current data shows that stories will remain a preferred type of content both by social media users and businesses:
The reason why users love the format of Stories is that it depicts on-the-spot events rather than preliminary planned and edited content. More reasons why users like this type of content include:
- Stories don’t require too much attention;
- Millennials and Gen Z thrive on an authentic and meaningful relationship with brands who let them see behind-the-scenes activities;
- Editing stories is effortless with many filters at hand.
Users love in-the-moment, raw content. It makes the product and the brand seem more authentic. Thus, it is expected that this format will shape the content that will dominate social media in the future.
Influencer marketing was introduced to us by social media. And, over the past several years, it has exploded. Reportedly, Google searches for influencer marketing grew 1500% over the last 3 years.
Social media users adore influencers, even naming them more trustworthy than celebrities. It is reported that 30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger, and here’s why:
- Influencers a relatable. They often communicate with their followers and share honest reviews.
- Even though brands pay influencers for promoting a product, most of them are highly unlikely to recommend something they don’t like.
- Authenticity is one of the main reasons why social media users trust influencers. They also provide their followers with personalized content. Thus, they remain relevant, catering to the needs of their subscribers.
Collaborating with a social media influencer brings a ton of benefits to brands. For instance, a collaboration between Scramble Brand Official and YouTube influencers Jenna Marbles and Julien Solomita helped the company sell their limited edition rashguards within several hours. And, due to the increased demand, the company did a restock and sold out within a few days.
Many famous brands, like Daniel Wellington, also often collaborate with influencers, getting immense profits and new customers. Thus, this trend is likely here to stay and impact the purchasing decisions of social media users.
AI-Powered Personalized Experiences
AI is shaping the future of many industries in the business world, and social media marketing is no exception. With features, introduced by AI, creating personalized experiences and running a successful social media campaign has become easier.
In the future, social media marketing is expected to see the further development of the following AI-powered features:
- Using slack bots for customer support. With this feature, it has become easier for customer support service to handle communications with customers. This AI-powered solution uses machine learning to anticipate possible solutions to a problem.
- Facial recognition. This feature has already been on Facebook for a long time. It recognizes the faces of your friends on a photo and automatically tags them to make sharing content even faster.
- Machine learning is also used for introducing a social media user with ads based on their activity on a certain platform. This is how Facebook ads work and what Instagram uses to build the Discover page.
It is expected that the influence of AI on social media marketing will become even stronger in the future. Many other features, connected to personalization and anticipation tools, are also expected to be developed in order to improve the whole experience.
Defining a Perfect SMM Employee: Key Skills
Now, let’s talk about key skills that will shape the hiring decisions of social media marketers in the future. With social media developing and changing so fast, SMM professionals are expected to adapt to the changing environment.
Here’s what different HR professionals say about the key SMM skills that will impact hiring decisions in the future.
Jeff Bullas, a marketing specialist and a famous influencer, as listed by Forbes, calls a future social media marketer a “ninja geek”, saying that he/she will have to tackle many things at once and stay updated 24/7. Thus, the key skills that will help to handle this flow of data and information are strategy planning, community management, and content optimization.
Professionals at Robert Half, a global human resource consulting firm, agree with Jeff Bullas, adding that essential skills will also include:
- Adapting the product to the fast-changing world of social media;
- Employing different analytics tools to receive regularly updated social data;
- Having excellent communication and leadership skills to delegate tasks and track the performance of the team.
Thus, being highly adaptable and always updated are key skills that companies will be looking for in a social media marketer. However, basic skills like communication and planning will play no small part in other key skills needed for social media marketing in the future.
Social media marketing is definitely here to stay as developers invest more and more effort in its development. In the future, it is expected to remain one of the key marketing strategies. The key stipulation is to always remain updated. So, keep up with these trends and key skills that will shape the future of social media marketing to make sure that your campaigns perform successfully.
Adriana is a professional writer and an editor at Studicus.com. She also has a Master’s degree in Marketing, having worked several years for major companies in the U.S. Adriana’s articles bring valuable insights to the readers, supported by credible resources and thorough research.
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Link building is the lifeblood of your ongoing SEO strategy. The benefits are straightforward – high-quality backlinks will help you build authority, widen your reach, boost brand awareness, and even drive referral traffic. Finding the most impactful tactics for link building success, however, is not as crystal-clear as the benefits – and the process itself is continuous, dedicated work.
From competitive link analysis to third-party outreach, there are many factors to continuously tweak and improve in your link building strategy. Most importantly, generating highly valuable backlinks relies on producing high-quality, valuable content. But that’s not going to be enough because your success depends heavily on strategically promoting that content.
And what’s the first platform you think of when you hear “strategically promoting content”? That’s right, social media.
That’s why aligning your content and social media strategies with your link building efforts is a vital approach to a smart SEO strategy. In this article, we’ll give you some useful tactics, tips, and insights to help you integrate all your efforts strategically and harness the power of social media for more successful link building.
Creating the right type of content
Content and link building efforts need to be aligned from the very beginning.
In other words, before you actually start producing content, you’ll structure your content strategy in regards to your SEO campaign. That’s how you’ll be able to create content around strategic topics and keyword lists, making it highly relevant to your target audience and able to satisfy searcher intent.
This type of approach sets you up for success because you will be producing content that your key targets will value and want to share with others. This includes your wider audience as well as bloggers, industry influencers, and any third-party website worthy of guest posting.
That’s why you want to do plenty of research and keep your finger on the industry pulse to come up with link-worthy topic ideas and write content that truly provides value.
Some worthy tactics include sharing:
- useful tools and resources. Determine which topics your audience needs help with and then share with them useful tactics, guides, tools they can use, and other resources. The more actionable your piece, the more compelled audiences are to share it with others.
- research. Creating research-based content is a great addition to your link-building efforts because people can reference it in the future in their posts. Stats are particularly link-worthy, just make sure you’re focusing on a relevant topic to align it perfectly with your SEO efforts.
- influencer insights, which we’ll cover in more detail in a moment
It’s important to gain an understanding of your audience, what you can offer them that will meet their needs/expectations, and which type of content they’re most receptive to. With this understanding, you’ll be able to produce valuable content crafted for a specific audience, and that’s really what bloggers and third-party websites want from you.
Sharing influencer insights
Craft content around the unique ideas promoted by influential people within your industry. These could be certain experts or key industry influencers – the point is that you will be referencing their authority and sharing their insights.
An interview with an industry influencer is clearly a big boost to your content strategy, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that. You can feature influencer insights in roundups or by referencing their ideas and quotes in your articles. Get creative – and don’t hesitate to use social media to ask your audience what type of content they would like next from you.
How does this tactic work?
This type of content is highly valuable and interesting to readers, who are eager to learn from someone that’s well-established as a trusty person within the given industry. Basically, you’re borrowing their influence. Consequently, another thing you’re borrowing with influencer-centered content is their audience, and that’s where social media comes in.
By reaching out to these people either for collaboration or just to let them know you’ve featured them in your content (which can be done directly or through social media mentions), you’ll encourage them to share your content with their audiences – which are highly targeted and valuable for you. So this is not only valuable and highly shareable content, but it also taps into social media power.
How will you identify the most valuable industry experts?
Start with your link building targets. You can also use FollowerWonk, which will pick out for you the credible profiles that are relevant to the given topic. This handy tool will sort them by social authority and the number of followers to find great opportunities.
Statistics show that infographics are one of the most often shared types of content – which really comes as no surprise, given their rising popularity over the recent years. Visuals are more digestible than textual content, we learn faster with them, and thus they’re bound for more shares and links.
Now, creating infographics would certainly be a phenomenal boost to your link building strategy, but don’t overlook the basics either. Make sure to include compelling as well as useful visuals in your content – everything from featured infographics to charts, graphs, screenshots, and inviting or even humorous (depending on the context) images that pique the reader’s interest.
Lastly, get visual when promoting your content via social media, especially Twitter. Research has shown that tweets with images get 150% more retweets than those without.
Give before asking for shares in return
Social media marketing runs on this motto.
Now, social shares may not be a ranking factor, but they are most definitely beneficial to your link building efforts. It’s simple – the more your content is shared, the more people will see it, visit your site, and hopefully stay on it for a while and convert into subscribers.
But you can’t just churn out post after post about yourself and what you’re doing. Nobody will be listening. Social media is about establishing authority, participating in a community, and building relationships. No matter the size of your enterprise, you need to approach social media as a valuable community member. Be a part of the ecosystem by engaging your audience, sharing helpful content, staying active, facilitating conversations, sharing others’ posts (with credit, of course), etc.
Then, when you actually do post something promotional, such as your latest guest post, and tell people “hey, check it out and give it a like or a share” – you’ll have a loyal and engaged audience to take you up on your offer.
Connect with bloggers before pitching
The previous point sums up to one vital tip: build social relationships before building links. The people you especially want to focus on are the ones you hope to collaborate with. Get acquainted with them on social, follow and share their work, and make yourself known to them. Facilitate conversation by mentioning them in your posts and engage with them by replying to their tweets.
This will open the doors to collaboration and make them more trusting of you so that when you send them a pitch email, you won’t be a complete unknown. If you’re cultivating a genuine and interactive social media presence, they’ll have seen how collaborating with you is beneficial to them even before you send out your pitch.
Ultimately, by properly aligning your efforts across these fields, you’ll give momentum to your entire digital marketing strategy. And remember – it’s all a continuous effort. None of it is set-and-forget. Focus on building relationships with industry influencers and providing value to your audience, and the tactics you do employ will have a lot more gravity.
Natasha is a web designer, lady of a keyboard and one hell of a growth-hack geek. She is always happy to collaborate with awesome blogs and share her knowledge about IT, business growth strategies and digital marketing trends. To see what she is up to next, check out her Twitter Dashboard.
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