Metaphorically speaking in Internet terms, content is traffic’s next of kin. Without unique, home-made, credible content, website owners will never reach their full business potential. Therefore, this aspect of business needs your special care and attention. What’s more, due to the galloping growth in the number of Internet users, entrepreneurs should perform more comprehensive analyses of their published content. In a nutshell, competition is harsher than ever before and every cent made online costs more. Unfortunately, businesspeople often don’t have enough time to perform these actions, which leads to poor traffic, lower conversion rates and disappointing revenues.
Nevertheless, if you want your website to become the heart of your business, it’s essential to exert yourself to generate content that will increase the number of visits. In order to help you achieve that objective, we’ve put together fifteen creative tactics.
The visual aspects
According to the Internet live stats website, many exciting things happen on the Web in only one second, regarding the visual department. Namely, 783 photos are uploaded to Instagram and about 69,300 videos are viewed on YouTube per unit of time. These astonishing facts should force avid business owners to concentrate on website visuals. In line with that, it’s vital to cover the three following visual aspects:
1) Original vs. stock photos
If your website is mostly used to present your business and offer your services to potential clients, it’s recommended to rely mainly on your own photos. For instance, day-to-day office activities are invaluable assets for this kind of promotion. Moreover, your team-building activities and business conferences your employees attend should also be regular motifs of your in-house photos.
On the other hand, a certain number of photos can be recruited from free stock photo websites, as well. These images are perfect for blog sections and feel-good business stories. While posting original photos will give your website a touch of authenticity, stock photos will serve a great visual purpose when you can’t afford taking photos on your own.
2) Benefits from infographics
According to the Business Dictionary, synergy is “a state in which two or more things work together in a particularly fruitful way that produces an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects”. And this is exactly the effect that you’ll reach if you enrich your website with a variety of infographics. When statistical data and important business information are put together in visually appealing infographics, your visitors will experience the true synergy of form and content. Annual business reports, current affairs in your field of work and interesting trivia can all be packed into these forms, so that your website offers your readers an additional value.
3) The power of video clips
The most natural thing upon landing on a website is to click the About Us section. If wittily written and well composed, it will inform your visitors about your vision and your key objectives. In addition, you can make it even more capturing by inserting a video clip that will explain your main business goals and services. On the one hand, you can go for an animated promotional video. You can see some great examples of this promotional art on Inc.com.
On the other, it can be a real video shot within your own company premises and in various business contexts. Nowadays, every average smartphone can make such a video.
We’ve already mentioned how important the synergy of written and visual features is for infographics. However, this unity is vital for a website altogether. When it comes to written elements, website-running entrepreneurs should take the next three details into consideration:
4) A reliable blogging section
As reported by The Huffington Post, website owners who add a blog to their website are more successful when it comes to lead generation than their non-blogging counterparts by up to 67%. However, it’s not enough only to launch a blog and post random texts. It’s a demanding process that requires certain rules and constant supervision. These rules might help you make the most of your blog:
Bring a set of guidelines, so that every potential writer knows what you expect from them. Refer to formatting, punctuation and the style itself.
Write about the things you’re familiar with, i.e. stay in your field of expertise.
Collaborate with guest authors when you need articles about the topics you don’t know too much about.
Publish your texts on other websites and blogs, to spread the word about your own business.
5) Thorough research and niche relevance
When you’re preparing to write a piece of content for your website page or a blog post, it’s crucial to perform thorough research. Filling your texts with fluffy content won’t convert your one-time visitors into regular readers. What you can do to stay updated on the latest trends in your niche is to follow a number of influencers on social media.
Apart from that, subscribe to newsletters from appreciated sources. For instance, regular email feeds from the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal and Forbes will be beneficial for all sorts of websites.
Additionally, insist on completely unique content when you’re communicating with your regular and occasional contributors. Use online plagiarism tools, such as Copyscape, Plagiarisma or other similar checkers.
6) Long-term contributors
If you want to establish a trustworthy relationship with your audience, you need to invest some time and energy to acquire long-term contributors to your website. As a result, you’ll establish a pool of experienced writers who know how to present current information in an original way.
When you’re at the beginning of this process, don’t lose faith in your website if the first articles you receive don’t meet your demands. Moreover, you might need to lower your expectations at first, just to launch the website. On the other hand, as the website is growing and your traffic is rising, don’t hesitate to ask your contributors to edit the articles you don’t find interesting enough for your audience.
Finally, website owners also have to learn how to turn down a writing offer. In a nutshell, it’s business and you mustn’t waste your time on contributors who stop providing you with relevant content.
The social media presence
The story of content doesn’t end on your website. As a matter of fact, it’s only the main source of your content, but not the only one. In order to increase the visibility of your website and the things you publish there, it’s essential to pave your way to the social media audience. So, here’s how Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other networks can be used to popularize your unique content.
7) Integration of the website and social networks
Every new post you publish on your website should be available to your social media followers, as well. Also, a social media post that presents an article needs to contain the summary of that piece. Since social media are also important factors of search engine optimization, make sure that these summaries contain the keywords from the text.
Apart from that, the integration of your website and your social media pages should encourage your customers to add their personal value to your content. In other words, enable them to leave comments on your website posts from their Facebook accounts.
Moreover, invite them to leave their reviews of your products and services both on the website itself and on your social media posts. By doing so, you’ll generate a large amount of original content and feedback from your customers. In return, these comments will attract new potential readers to start following your work and using your services.
2) Engaging posts
Modern Internet users want their information dry and witty. Otherwise, they won’t pay attention to your points. Because of that, website owners should hold on to short, but cleverly formed posts. Also, make a clear distinction between your tone for business purposes and the language you use for personal posts. The former require concise and informative writing, while the latter approve of self-indulgent and more intimate approach.
Although Facebook has about 1.96 billion users and Twitter is currently used by some 319 million people, business and website owners should seek greater presence on Twitter. Here you can achieve a lot with clever and relevant tweets and connect with other businesses. In line with that, take some time to learn from BBC experts what makes a great tweet. What’s more, don’t forget the potential of Twitter ads, as well.
9) Inspiring and viral visuals
Everything we’ve said about the visual aspect of your website can be applied to your social media pages. What’s important to add is the fact that you should simultaneously publish your photos and videos on your website and on social media. This will ensure consistency between different channels of your content strategy.
In addition to these features, far-sighted entrepreneurs will launch a YouTube channel, as well. It should be used to post your promotional videos or publish some practical tutorials from your niche. The video content you publish that way will inspire new people to visit your website, which will boost your traffic and your website rankings.
SEO-boosting content features
When it comes to the position of your website on SERPs, the most natural goal you should have is to always be on the first page. This objective can be accomplished through these smart strategies.
10) Using keyword generators
When you’re creating your content, you should bear in mind that it has to contain some keywords that will help Google recognize what you do and how to present you to its users. Since the artificial intelligence of search engines is improving at an astonishingly fast pace, now you can rely on some keyword-generating tools. They gather the search queries entered by billions of Internet users, so as to anticipate what both users and website owners need from the Internet. This is why you should go for Google Keyword Planner, to learn the basics of the keyword content strategy.
11) Guest posts for back-linking
You can’t expect high traffic if they don’t spread the word about your content to other online platforms. In a nutshell, the more websites publish a link to your blog or website, the better rankings you’ll have on Google or any other search engine. This is why you should become a guest blogger on as many websites as possible. Since it will become too demanding to write all the posts on your own, it’s recommended to set up a group of content writers who will be responsible to write those on your behalf.
12) UX website features
Generating and publishing original and attractive content will all be pointless if you don’t ensure smooth user experience. This mostly refers to clear website organization, a user-friendly layout and proper distribution of internal links on every web page within the website. You can master the basics of successful UX in an informative article brought to us by the Huffington Post. However, it might be difficult for an average business owner to produce such UX, which is why you can always contact design pros to evaluate the level of UX on your website.
The financial side of content
The final chapter of this overview of key content options that will increase your website traffic is the financial side of website content. These two features are largely interdependent. On the one hand, first-class content that makes a difference will make money, as well. On the other, your customers and visitors will appreciate smooth payment procedures, which is another characteristic of well-arranged content.
13) Content milestones
The most important features of content creation is setting the milestones at the beginning of the process. No matter if you’re working with in-house collaborators or outsourcers, they’ll be more efficient if you perform regular reality checks of their creative ideas. What’s more, it’s much easier to make adjustments during the creative process. Also, if you pay your collaborators as they work, they’ll be motivated to finish their projects and you’ll find it easier to make the payments in smaller chunks.
14) Paying freelancing contributors
When it comes to freelancing contributors to your website, you should divide them into two groups:
the ones who write your content for other websites
the authors who write for your own website.
The writers from both groups will need to be paid for their contribution to your business and your content. Since the latter authors should be thoroughly educated professionals from your niche, they might deserve higher rates. On the other hand, the writers who create content on your behalf for other websites will probably have more work, which will bring them a substantial income, as well. When things unfold in a desired way, you’ll form the budget to pay these freelancers from the high traffic. That way, you’ll benefit from the ads on your website, the products you sell of the services you provide for your clients.
15) Functional cart organization
Website owners need to provide their business partners with effective invoices, so that they can order whatever they want and pay for it without any friction.
Moreover, the shopping cart you offer on your website should be as straightforward as possible. When the selling point is a well-structured unit of content, customers and visitors will happily make a purchase and come back for another one. This section mustn’t contain any ambiguous guidelines, as well. Also, avoid placing ads on the checkout page. The visitors who have reached this point only need some time to finish their purchase. If you attack them with invasive ads, they could simply leave the page.
Traffic and content are two sides of the same coin – modern online business. One can’t be functional without the other. This is why website owners have to invest all their energy and time to offer a diversity of cutting-edge content features that will grasp the attention of their visitors and increase their website traffic. Only such an approach can ensure long-lasting online existence. The tactics discussed in this article will help you take the plunge and start generating traffic-boosting content for present-day Internet users.
AuthorBio: Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus – a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.
So, you’ve got your online shop set up and are starting to explore different avenues for traffic. Instagram is one of the most popular avenues for online merchants but can also be incredibly tricky. With roughly 600 million active monthly users, Instagram is loaded with potential new customers.
All you have to do is set up an Instagram account, post a few pictures, like a few photos, and … boom! You’ve unlocked a stream of traffic available at your every wish and command, right? Wrong. Just being there is not enough to make the most out of Instagram, and, in order to hit the growth metrics you want, you will have to pursue a more active Instagram strategy.
To boost your Instagram traffic, you must adopt a two-part strategy that focuses on first building up credibility and your audience on your Instagram account, and then funneling that traffic to your site.
Building Your Instagram Audience
Accounts and niches respond to different strategies in a variety of ways. The first step in building your Instagram audience is to clarify what type of audience you want to have, relevant to your industry.
Building an Instagram audience is getting increasingly more difficult, as Instagram post engagement is down an average of 33% for 2017. Every Instagram user is seeing much more content than they were just a year ago, and they have started to react to this content overload by becoming increasingly less engaged with brands.
Variety of Post Content: If your focus is on building an audience, your posts should primarily be entertaining, informational, and community oriented. These posts help to build up your brand and increase your follows. Having a variety in the type of posts is a great way to keep your followers interested. For each product-oriented post in the early growth stages, you run the risk of pushing your audience away.
Hashtags: Having at least one hashtag on Instagram, on average, gets a post 12.6% more engagement than a post without one. Although hashtag use is not as novel as it was a few years ago, there are still massive numbers of users that use hashtags to discover and surf new accounts. Try to find what hashtags your audience is already using instead of playing guessing games. The more community-oriented, trending, and specific a hashtag, the better.
Call to Action: Having a CTA in your Instagram caption is an excellent way to encourage users to engage with your brand. Sparking a conversation in a caption like “What does everyone think about Instagram Live? We like it better than Snapchat, but we want to hear your thoughts” is a simple way to bring up a topic with which everyone using the platform should be familiar. The more industry-specific your captions, the better you will be able to target your audience in the future.
Sending Instagram Traffic to Your Site
So, now you’ve got a significant amount of engaged followers familiar with your brand. Your Instagram growth strategies don’t need to come to a stand-still, but it’s time to start incorporating specific posts that send traffic to your site. Once you hit a sweet spot of followers and engagement with your Instagram account, consider using a few of these strategic posts to boost your site traffic.
Related Content Post: Now that you have a significant following on Instagram, you have an excellent opportunity to share useful content from your site. Creating a captivating and informative post adds variety to your posts, but a link to your on-site content in the description also provides interested readers with additional useful information. Using a site like Canva.com allows online merchants to create graphics with text that drive the reader’s attention toward the description and then toward your site.
Host an Instagram Contest: Running a giveaway or photo contest is an excellent way to reward your followers with an enticing prize. An effective prize for your contest would be something that draws attention to your brand and your products. Although showcasing your best-selling product in the giveaway might drive attention to the product, it could also seem overly promotional if done a certain way. It is important to set the criteria to enter to meet your end goal—in this case, getting site traffic.
An alternative brand-building strategy to drive site traffic is to promote an on-site contest on your Instagram account, with the main prize being something not directly related to your business. For example, if your store primarily sells high-quality bandanas and your Instagram audience consists of a high percentage of music-festival-goers, you could host a ticket giveaway to an upcoming festival.
Run a Limited Time Discounted Instagram Promotion: The first step to taking advantage of Instagram’s feed is to understand what time your audience is checking their Instagram. By viewing optimal times on Instagram, online merchants can plan contests to add an atmosphere of exclusivity and urge users to pay attention to their brand name in the future. If you find that the majority of your audience is on Instagram at 3 p.m., you could launch a two-hour contest during which each purchase comes with a free item.
Network with Influencers: Sometimes the best way to send traffic to your site is to work on promotions with influencers with significant followings. Most influencers usually welcome working with other companies for a share of the revenue, a fixed payment per post, free products, or even, occasionally, goodwill if they are familiar with your brand.
In addition to the above strategies, there are many other tactics that will help online merchants boost traffic from their Instagram account. The logic behind driving Instagram traffic to your site is pretty straightforward, but, in order to optimize the full potential of Instagram, online merchants need to have a clear strategy and the ability to analyze what works and what doesn’t. Neither of these strategies is a magic pill for site traffic, but when combined with a holistic content strategy they can come pretty close.
In our digital age, consumers are just as likely to trust the opinions they find in online reviews as they are to trust those of their friends. The numbers prove it: recent polls show that close to 92% of consumers make a purchase decision based on online reviews of products and services.
There’s some interesting psychology behind this phenomenon. First, there’s the time-saving aspect – today’s consumers, even those making thousand-dollar purchases on behalf of their companies, don’t have the time needed to thoroughly research all the options out there. So, they rely on the experience of peers who are like themselves to save time.
There’s also the “I’ll have what they’re having” principle, which explains why companies often highlight their best sellers. And let’s not forget about “implicit egotism,” the psychological phenomenon that explains why we gravitate toward the choices made by people who resemble us. This one is key to understanding why you should always highlight testimonials from people who are most representative of your target audience.
When it comes to your social media marketing strategy, make sure to highlight your testimonials in ways and places where your target audience will be most likely to see them. This should involve finding out which online social channels your target audience uses most – such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter – and displaying your testimonials there. This will expose your target audience to your testimonials without requiring them to leave their comfortable ‘watering holes’.
Here are some ways to incorporate testimonials into your social media marketing strategy:
1. Address your target audience’s pain points
Defining your target audience is key when you’re putting together your social media marketing strategy. Indeed, what you determine about your target audience will guide most of your marketing and social media activities. This process involves gaining close familiarity with your target’s pain points – what problems they’re trying to solve, what challenges they’re facing, what goals are they aiming to achieve, etc.
Incorporate your testimonials in your social media marketing strategy by using the knowledge you have about your target audience’s pain points. Listen and participate in online conversations in groups where your target audience hangs out. Based on these conversations and on your buyer personas, you can understand what it is that you can offer them that your competition can’t (or hasn’t).
Within the relevant social media groups, you should answer questions, make comments, and share testimonials and client stories that speak to those pain points and show how you solved their problems – so potential clients can imagine how you can solve their problems, too.
Think about implicit egotism – any testimonial you have from a person experiencing the same issue as your target audience is a powerful tool to help you generate new business.
2. Incorporate social media into your testimonials
You need a social media marketing strategy because social media is so powerful, right? So, why not pull an “Inception”, and incorporate social media into your testimonials, themselves?
Social media, with testimonials, with social media….
Let me explain.
Displaying testimonials that include links to the reviewers’ social media profiles, alongside their profile pictures, gives you the best chances at having your potential clients connect with the testimonials and your brand. This means that the odds of the testimonials positively impacting their buying decisions will be greatly improved.
If your prospects can click on your testimonials to see the reviewers’ profiles and discover what their jobs, locations, ages, etc. are, then they can quickly identify reviewers who are like them (remember implicit egotism?), making it easier for them to imagine that your product, service or solution can work for them, too.
In addition to helping your target audience relate to the stories in your testimonials (which already goes a long way toward creating lead conversions), featuring photos and links to social media profiles makes your testimonials 100% trustworthy and legitimate.
You can integrate social media in your testimonials (to integrate in social media) by using the Spectoos testimonial platform. It enables you to add and aggregate your testimonials from just about anywhere across the web. It then enables you to display your testimonials on your Facebook business page and web assets, complete with the reviewers’ photos and links to their social media profiles.
The Spectoos Testimonial Platform on a Facebook business page
3. Remember that content is king
As a marketer, you’re surely familiar with the phrase “content is king”, and you most likely understand the validity of the statement. Content and social media marketing constantly intersect. In fact, 64% of marketers consider social media to be one of the top 3 tactics for content marketing, making this junction an ideal place to incorporate testimonials for greater visibility and lead generation.
One way to use testimonials with your content is to create a new content piece, such as a blog post, video or case study, around one or more of your testimonials. This is a great way to highlight a testimonial that specifically discusses a pain point your target audience typically has. It also provides you with a great opportunity to use the powerful tool of storytelling.
Neuroeconomics master Paul Zak has found that storytelling can elicit powerful empathetic responses: “Stories are powerful because they transport us into other people’s worlds,” he says, and this type of empathetic reaction triggers the release of Oxytocin – the “trust hormone.” Thus, when people get emotionally involved, they’re more connected to your brand and more likely to buy from you.
Marketo do a great job with this, using moving video testimonials from real clients on their solution pages, like this one:
Because storytelling gets your prospects emotionally involved, highlighting testimonials in dedicated content pieces and circulating them on social media channels will do wonders for helping you generate more leads.
This is an activity you can schedule to do on a regular basis, or whenever you have a new testimonial that merits a dedicated content piece.
Testimonials have never been more effective at helping businesses grow than they are now, and giving them a spot in your social media marketing strategy will make them even more successful in their efforts to bring you traffic.
In the last five years, social networks have acquired about 1 billion new users. Over one third of the world’s population is now accessible via social media, and companies have gone from being skeptical about social media marketing to seriously investing in it.
In this social media dominated world, marketing is heavily reliant on technology, but that technology remains focused on people. This year’s trends will help marketers reach and engage their audience on a more personal level, over social media noise. Companies will be able to fine-target their niche communities, with increased support from software solutions.
Social Media Marketing Trends and Tips
The following is a list of trends and tips for social media marketers to leverage now.
1. Investment in Visual Marketing Will Increase
Most social networks have already launched their versions of live-streaming. Twitter has Periscope, Facebook’s Live, and other networks like Blab and DubSmash support live video sharing. Live-feeds are becoming the “in-thing”. Even the US Presidential election updates were broadcast live by BuzzFeed on Twitter.
You can use live video platforms to engage you audience will near-tangible experiences. If you don’t have a Facebook Live strategy, now is the best time to get one.
With social feeds growing crowded and viewer attention spans growing shorter by year, you’ll need powerful graphics to captivate your audience. In the last five years, the graphic design software market has expanded, giving marketers extensive options to choose from. You can put together graphics on a drag-and-drop editor to simplify your content creation process.
2. Personalization Will Become Priority
Today’s social media users are faced with ads and commercial content on multiple fronts. The receive information from multiple sources, and breaking through that barrier is becoming a tough task for brands and marketers. Personalization will help marketers slice through the chaos and reach only the people who matter.
Tracking consumers’ behaviors on social platforms and targeting them based on interests will become an essential part of marketing. Some social media marketing tools and apps are already incorporating features to support personalization and targeting. More technology solutions will appear in the time to come. You can target your high-potential market by posting content that only they can relate to, or by targeting them using data pulled from tools.
3. Brand Advocacy Will Grow Popular Among Marketers
Ad saturation is driving brands to look for alternative means to reach their target markets. Investment in advocate marketing has seen a steep increase (by about 191 percent) in the recent times. Micro-influencers could be the key to increasing your brand’s reach on social media, because they are more influential and credible than your brand can be.
Employees, customers and social fans are among the micro-influencers that brands are activating. There a quite a few great employee advocacy guides and case-studies that you can look at for inspiration in building your brand advocate outreach programs. You can use an advocacy platform to build and run your brand advocacy program.
4. Native Content Promotion Will Expand
In Joe Pulizzi’s words, native advertising is content marketing’s “gateway drug”. The modern audience is wise to commercial ploys, and traditional advertising alone may not be a great option for branding your company. Native ads help you create awareness without disrupting users’ activities. Content delivered in this manner can help you connect with your audience without being too pushy. According to a study, native ads are set to to grow to $21 billion by 2018.
Content discovery tools, content distribution platforms and content amplification tools are interesting means to having your content shared organically on social media. You could use one of these solutions to have your content positioned where it can earn you some traction.
5. Marketing Automation Will Go Mainstream
Companies with constrained marketing budgets may have not used marketing automation until now, but according to a study, 92 percent of these companies are losing revenue because of that decision. 2017 may see business of all types and sizes adopt marketing automation. 91 percent marketers are convinced that automation is an indispensable part of marketing.
Each social network is unique in terms of demographic and use-cases. This may force businesses to be present on more than one of them to keep consumers and prospects engaged. Managing social pages can be a time intensive task, without the assistance of a supporting social management tool. The idea is to use the tool to automate tasks that don’t require personal attention – like posting created content to multiple accounts and catching mentions of your brand. You can also curate content with a tool and take the final call on what to share. It all comes down to the extra-time that you can save to better invest elsewhere. Managing content on a central platform can also help you maintain consistency across different pages.
Social media marketing is set to evolve into a highly tech-focused and detail-oriented effort. To succeed at reaching and engaging your target market, you need to explore and stay abreast of the latest developments and technologies offered for social. The areas mentioned on this post are good places to keep tabs on.
Whether you’re working with a new client or doing a yearly analysis of your own social media channels, conducting a social media audit and coming to an actionable conclusion can be tough. For starters, you might be wondering which metrics are the most important, or how to get through all of your data.
Here are a few tips to keep you on track.
1. Go In with an Open Mind
If you’re looking to prove certain metrics right or wrong or tell a specific story, you may find yourself ignoring data that tells a stronger tale.
Because of this, it can be helpful to tackle an audit in two parts: Have one team member pull and aggregate the data into a usable format, and have another start the analysis. This keeps one person from having tunnel vision and getting stuck on the minutia.
2. Plan Check-Ins
This is very important, particularly if the conclusions you are coming to about the success of your social channels aren’t positive.
Check in with clients or team members so they’re not taken aback by the results or feel attacked if their role has not contributed to social success. The point of an audit is to find a starting place and continue to move forward, regardless of the success of current strategies. While you may not be on par with your competitor or aspirational pages, there’s always something you’re doing well comparative to the rest of your page.
Be sure to highlight the positives as well as the negatives you’ve made in strategy.
3. Stay Focused in the Present and Past Happenings
When conducting an audit, it can be easy to get sucked into thinking: “Okay, we aren’t doing this right, so here’s what we should do instead.” You need to paint the full picture of what is or isn’t successful before you can make informed strategy decisions. Once your audit is complete, you can take the next steps forward to build a strategic future plan.
Bonus Tip: Don’t sweat a mistake in one small post. If it’s not a pattern, pull back and see if that little thing impacts the bigger picture. If it doesn’t, drop it.
Completing an audit can be difficult, but keeping your mind open and trying to stay focused on the bigger picture will make the process go more smoothly.