4 Ways Social Media Influencers Can Help Your Business

4 Ways Social Media Influencers Can Help Your Business

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In recent years, media consumption has changed drastically, and we can credit much of the change to social media. According to Social Media Examiner, an average person spends almost two hours (116 minutes) on social media, while teens even spend up to nine hours. The largest social media network is Facebook, and it has more than 2 billion users, while Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn count hundreds of millions.

With so many people active on social media, brands started to utilize that screen space and time to promote themselves. However, the rise of ad blockinghas made other marketing strategies more effective for advertising, making social media influencers the best advocates of any brand. Still, nothing beats the good old word-of-mouth marketing.

Who are Social Media Influencers?

They are people with great social presence which gives them the power to put a brand in front of a huge following. They are primarily found on social media where they have the most influence. However, you can’t just pick one and expect him or her to succeed in promoting you. You and the influencer need to share a similar target audience if you want them to boost your engagement successfully. If that’s not the case, then it doesn’t matter that they have millions of followers. So, the most important thing you should do when deciding on an influencer is defining a context.

Social influences have built their own following in their niche, becoming a voice of trust and reason. If you’re considering to get some help from an influencer, here are four ways in which you can benefit.

1 Influencers Increase Credibility

People will understand that you are open to the bigger picture once they see you working alongside others who are as savvy in the industry as you. You are willing to listen and take advice that’s not your own, but also to preach. Working with influencers that already have an established credibility will also increase your own. An influencer will verify your credibility among your target audience also because many customers find and listen to recommendations from influential people.

2 Improve Search Rankings

Good search engine ranking is something that all website owners want. The two most important factors for rankings are the content and links directing to your website – and influencers can help you with both.

What plays a crucial role in your search engine ranking? It is the authenticity, freshness, relevance, and quality of your content. Also, when other credible and reputable sites share links to your site, Google ranks you higher. Having the right influencer by your side will help you build high-value and organic backlinks to your landing pages and website.

Take a look at this guide on finding the right influencer for your business and on an outreach strategy so they can’t say “No.”

3 Increased Exposure

The “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” method is an unbeatable formula in the marketing industry. For example, you approved a blogger to write a post for your website. He will deliver content that is relevant to your audience, thus add another quality piece to your catalog and drive some traffic, while on the other hand, he will get his name in front of a larger audience and redirect some of them to his own website.

It’s what you do with influencers – getting access to their audience. If they follower base is substantial and is made of your ideal buyer personas, then it’s worthwhile taking a shot. Of course, you will need to offer something in return, and everyone’s a winner.

4 Cost-Effectiveness

The influencer marketing strategies are relatively inexpensive when compared to traditional paid media. According to Blogovin’, most Instagram micro-influencers charge up to $250 per post. On the other hand, for every dollar spent on influencer marketing, you will get $11.69 in return (source: Statista), which means that it has a high return on investment. And besides monetary gains, there is also the added media value due to publicity and sharing.

Influencer marketing is excellent for those with small marketing budgets, such as startups and small businesses. It can help you increase exposure, increase credibility, rank better in SERPs, and in the end – save a few bucks. Influencers can also help you connect more authentically and intimately with your ideal buyers; as consumers, nowadays, doubt companies and trust their peers. In other words: when a company says something, it’s marketing, but when a peer says it, it’s more believable.

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7 Benefits of Guest Blogging

7 Benefits of Guest Blogging

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One of the many excellent online marketing strategies that can benefit your business in so many ways is guest blogging. It entails publishing written content on other websites, and it’s a common practice in digital marketing. When you post an article (with a link back to your site) on someone else’s website or blog, you will increase your organic traffic which will, in turn, improve your search engine rankings.

So, to spread your brand’s message around and win the trust of your audience, start sending some fresh, authentic, and relevant content to other blogs that are related to your industry. If you’re still not sure how it can benefit your business, take a look at a few sound reasons why you should guest blog.

1. Improve Your Authority

A robust online authority means a world to modern online marketing because it’s what builds trust with your audience. It is difficult to attract and convert prospects if they don’t trust you, regardless of how good your content is. That’s why contributing to other authoritative sites is an opportunity to prove your credibility as a reliable source of information. When your audience realizes that their trusted brand recognizes you, they will be more receptive to your content.

2. Instant Exposure

Don’t use only any exposure but use exposure which is relevant to your targeted audience. Having a blog post published on another blog will tickle your audience’s interest to increase your site traffic. That can potentially translate into increased sales, but only if you add CTAs, optimize your site’s landing pages, and a few other things that will boost your site conversion.

3. Increase Brand Awareness

Guest blogging is a chance to reach to your target audience through other websites and blogs, and one crucial aspect of it is building your brand awareness. Old methods, such as ads, don’t do the trick with the Millennial audience, and you won’t have any customers if they don’t know that your business exists.

4. Boost Social Media Following and Shares

Guest blogging can boost your follower count, speed up your lead generation efforts, and increase the number of social media shares to your content. When an official blog publishes your blog post, they are vouching for your brand, making you look good in their followers’ eyes. It makes it easier to get their followers to follow your on social media as well.

Another way to extend your online reach is by generating social media shares because the more shares your content gets, the more trustworthy it will appear to your audience. If the blog you’re posting to has a lot of social media activity, shares will come naturally.

You can add some visual content, such as infographics, to get the ball rolling faster. Infographics are linkable, shareable, memorable, and easy to digest.

5. Grow Your Network

With guest blogging, it’s never been easier to connect with influencers. Some sites that accept guest blogs foster their community of contributors, so you may get the chance to take part in discussions where contributors brainstorm topics for further blog posts. It is an opportunity to collaborate for co-authored posts, seek partnership opportunities (from expert interviews, reviews, to content cross-promotion). Be active in the community, share others’ posts, leave comments, and ask others to write guest posts for your blog.

6. Backlinks

Websites and blogs that accept guest posts have a policy about adding links to the content you wish to publish. But as most of them don’t offer monetary compensation for your work, most of them allow contributors to add at least one link (a keyword-optimized link or brief brand mention). That will benefit your SEO by making your content more indexable and discoverable to Google.

7. Improve Your Content Marketing Craftsmanship

To be successful with guest blogging, it requires you to dive into every area of content marketing – content research, finding and using the right voice for a specific audience, do influencer outreach, etc. Deploying content marketing tactics is the best way to learn them; because you can’t just read about them, gather theoretical knowledge, and hope for the best. You can improve your skills only through their practical use.

Generating qualified leads, getting useful feedback from the community, and shortening the sales cycle are also benefits of guest blogging. There’s no doubt that it’s a substantial step towards your online marketing success, and merely because your blog post is on someone else’s website doesn’t mean it’s not serving a purpose. Even though it’s not on your website or blog, people will be able to see your stamp. Give it a try and see if you can make it work for you.

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How to Create the Perfect Instagram Account

How to Create the Perfect Instagram Account

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Instagram is one of the few massive social media platforms out there where brands can easily promote themselves in a distinctively visual and creative way. There are more than 1 billion active users on Instagram, and with the platforms great features such as advanced analytics, IGTV, Instagram Live, and Instagram Live Video Chat, marketers have been developing and improving its use for marketing purposes for years.

Instagram is known as the platform that’s largely used by younger audiences, as 71% of 18-24-year-olds use it on a daily basis. Instagram is recognized and used as an effective channel for brand promotion and lead generation. Of course, brands need to know how to use it properly, that is, how to get the wanted results and be efficient on this platform.

1. Make Your Instagram Profile Public

Making your Instagram profile public means that anyone in the world can see it along with all the content and information you’ve posted there. If your goal is to promote your business on Instagram, then this is a perfect option for you. Your brand should be visible to everyone so people can check it out and see if it’s worth their following or not. By setting your profile to private, users won’t be able to browse through your content and get engaged (because the purpose of your content is to stir interest and attract).

2. Determine Your Target Audience

Do you know who you are talking to? Your profile needs to be created and optimized to fit the needs and interest of a particular audience, so knowing your target audience is one of the basic and most important steps of every digital strategy out there. This way, you will know what to talk about and how. People will want to get something out of your posts, something that is valuable to them. Your content is the main thing that will motivate people to follow you on Instagram, so do your research before you start creating and posting.

3. Rev Your Creative Engines

We all know what creativity is, but getting creative and being successful at it is easier said than done. When creating visual content for your Instagram profile, it must be original, engaging, and relevant as well as to represent and depict your brand in the best possible light. The key is that, whenever a user sees your content, he or she can recognize on the spot that it comes from you and your brand.

There are a few great tips for achieving this, such as the specific ways your pictures are framed or the colors/filters that you use. You can also leverage some ready-to-use templates, content creation apps, create carousel photos, 60-second videos, repost content from brands within your niche, and use unique branded hashtags. Share experiences, appeal to emotion, tell stories, and keep track of trends to stay relevant.

4. Optimize Your Profile

When it comes to Instagram profile optimization, we should first talk about a few crucial things.

First, you should start by choosing a username that is recognizable, which automatically makes it easier to find. Your business name should be the first part of your Instagram username, in case your business name is already taken as an Insta username. According to that, your business name also needs to be easily searchable. Don’t forget to write your full business name in the Name section of your profile.

The next thing is your brand Instagram profile picture. Since this is the first thing people see when they come across your profile, it should be something authentic, catchy, memorable, as well as connected with your other brand social media profiles.

The last, but not least, is your Instagram Bio. It should be informative and actionable. Give people the reason to follow you, talk about yourself and your business, and feel free to sound personal. People want to connect with humanized, not corporate brands.

5. Regular Posts

With a 10-day distance between posts, you won’t manage to stay relevant or increase your Instagram presence. The main focus should be on creating quality content and posting it on a regular basis and at the right time. To publish your posts consistently, you can use some of the social media content calendar templates with which you can plan your Instagram posting. As time passes, you can create an inventory of your photos which will be used when you’re not able to post yourself. As for the right posting time, it’s recommended to post somewhere between 3 PM and 4 PM in the time zone of your targeted audience. However, this is not set in stone, and you should test the timing of your posts to find out which post time generates the most engagement.

When used the right way, Instagram can be the perfect marketing channel for your brand. Use these tips to customize your brand Instagram profile to make it look good, tell your audience who you are and what you’re all about, and give them a reason to follow you.

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How to Be Cost-Effective With Your Digital Marketing Plan

How to Be Cost-Effective With Your Digital Marketing Plan

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Before the Internet, the advertising industry had a monopoly over media. If you wanted to advertise your brand and products/services, you needed to pay for an ad in your local or national newspapers, buy radio or television air time, place ads on billboards, and so on. Now, anyone can advertise online for just a fraction of a cost of these traditional marketing techniques.

When it comes to brand promotion, both small businesses and large corporations have the same tools and strategies available to them. However, small businesses and startups have less money and fewer staff members they can rely on, which is why they should find ways to make their digital marketing plan as cost-effective as possible.

1. Social media

From startups to corporations – everybody has a social media marketing strategy in place. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are an integral part of every digital marketing strategy as they offer a large pool of potential prospects and tools for targeting specific market segments and demographics. Social media allows you to reach out to, stay in touch, and interact with your customers. This can significantly increase your brand’s visibility and requires just a portion of your marketing budget.

However, not every social media platform will help you maximize the benefits, so choose it wisely. Facebook has the largest pool of users and excellent targeting system, so it’s always best to start there. On the other hand, if you’re a B2B company, then LinkedIn should be your social media “weapon” of choice.

Use these platform’s analytics to understand your campaign’s performance, and engage with social media influencers. For choosing the right social media platform for your business, check out this guide on Medium.com.

2. Content Marketing

A well-designed content marketing process requires a content strategist, planner, creator, and editor. But if you don’t plan to post large amounts of content, this can be handled by one or two experienced content marketers.

When creating content, it’s important that it resonates with your audience. You can write informative and educational blog articles, engaging website copy, infographics, white papers, case studies, ebooks, or produce engaging video content. Whatever you want to go for (or your analytics point out that you should), remember that content marketing won’t give you any instant results. On the other hand, it is beneficial in the long run because it can help you build brand reputation, establish yourself as an authority in your industry, connect with potential customers, and build a trustworthy relationship with them.

Quality content can also help you rank higher in SERPs (Google loves quality and relevant long-form content), increase your social media engagement (if your fans like it, they’ll share it), build your credibility, and help you generate and nurture leads.

3. Organic SEO

Paid search costs a bit more, so you can go with the organic ways of improving website search engine rank. There are many ways to do it and prove to yourself that SEO doesn’t have to cost a lot. First, assess your website’s search engine optimization with Google Webmaster – register, verify your domain name, follow the steps, and the tool will give you some tips for your organic SEO, tailored to your specific website.

Because SEO targets people who are actively looking for products/services like yours, the website traffic you get is more qualified than in other marketing strategies, which will save you a great deal of money. Check out Neil Patel’s guide to SEO to get a better understanding of the concept along with some tips to get the maximum effect.

4. Email Marketing

Email marketing is not dead. It’s alive and well, and remains to be one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies out there. Even though it may seem to be lagging behind the latest digital marketing trends, email marketing can provide significant value to your customers. Email is a behavioral marketing tool, and thanks to personalization, segmentation, and behavior-triggered automation, you can boost customer engagement and turn them into your loyal brand advocates. Email marketing delivers the best ROI (in the US, for every dollar spent, it brings back $44), while the developments in machine learning will allow us to use email to predict what the customer does next.

5. Retargeting

Retargeting is one of the essential, cost-effective techniques for growing an audience. To be able to recognize a brand, people need to be constantly reminded of it. They may not remember it from when they initially visited your site, but you can re-engage them through retargeting, and many marketers see it as a sure way to drive repeat sales. With retargeting, you can ensure that they will come back to your site rather than go elsewhere to consume their content.

6. Mobile focus

Don’t forget about mobile marketing! There are billions of people around the world walking around with a smartphone in their pocket. Mobile ads get you more bang for your buck because they cost less than desktop ads. On Facebook and Google, it is possible to set up mobile campaigns and allocate your marketing funds to run only on smartphones with full browsers. This way, you can significantly stretch your budget.

To effectively advertise your business and target your ideal customers, take your time to research and find out what will and won’t work for your company. By adopting some (or all) of these digital marketing strategies in your marketing plan, you will make your digital marketing plan more cost-effective, without sacrificing your ROI. In case you need any help, reach out to Strong Social for help in blog writing, social media marketing, and lead generation. As a business leader, the chances are that you can do all these things yourself, but limited time and staff often make it challenging.

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How to Make Your Instagram Feed Follow-Worthy

How to Make Your Instagram Feed Follow-Worthy

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Advanced insights, Instagram Live, Direct Live Video Chat, and IGTV – Instagram is the fastest developing social media platform right now. They regularly roll out new upgrades to their platform, making it more engaging and exciting to their users, but also marketers who are studying Instagram’s algorithm and their users’ behavior to boost success with their promotions.

About 80 million photos and videos are posted to Instagram every single day, and the platform is proving over and over again that engagement through visual content is becoming more important to marketers. Brands that are dominating Instagram use well-crafted and consistent visuals, but with so many businesses competing for their portion of users’ attention – how do you stand out?

Strong Social is here to show you what you can do to make your Instagram feed follow-worthy.

1. Curating Your Instagram Feed

What you need is a publishing “rhythm,” or in other words, you need to plan out your publishing cadence well.

Start with effective photography. However you choose to get it (whether you’re buying high-quality stock photos or have a photographer that takes original shots), it should be great photography. You can choose to use a product as the main subject of a post or leave it in the background (as more of an accessory.) Each photo needs to be visually exciting and to embrace your brand’s values.

As for the graphical elements, you can drive engagement, awareness, and positive association with iconography and logos.

2. Use Your Brand’s Core Colors

Make your brand’s core colors prominent to make your Instagram feed stand out. Feature 1 or 2 of your core colors on every photo, but know that it can be challenging to make it happen if your products aren’t made in your brand’s core colors. The solution to this problem is to use consistent colored filters or using your brand’s core colors to set up space around the product being shot. Use the color replace tools in apps like VSCO or PicsArt to create a color-themed feed or replace a photo’s colors with the colors of your choice.

3. Great Typography and Fonts

First and foremost, good fonts are crucial when posting inspiring quotes on your Instagram feed. Certain fonts can infuse your Instagram (and other) content with personality and style as well as create deeper connections by tapping into the emotion of your highly engaged audience. If you’re going with original typography, don’t sacrifice practicality and usefulness for the sake of style. Make it expressive but don’t let it overpower your text. It needs to complement it.

4. Hashtags

Instagram is built as a visual platform, but that doesn’t mean that you should leave your captions unattended. Like on Twitter; Instagram users love a good hashtag. To gain followers organically and add relevancy to your brand, participate in trending hashtags or create and promote your unique branded hashtag. You can extend your brand’s reach and attract more attention to your Instagram with the strategic use of hashtags.

5. Regram

Grow followers and increase your brand presence on Instagram with the help of a professional photographer that will shoot your products. However, it’s not the only way. User-generated content is one of the most affordable, compelling, and authentic assets available to brands today. Inspire your followers to post brand-related photos and videos and add a specific hashtag so you can find the content easily. Then, share and repost these fan photos, you’ll generate more excitement and attention within your Instagram community. By doing this, you’ll give your customers recognition and thank them for being advocates of your brand.

6. Short Videos that Tell Stories

When it comes to Instagram videos, you have several options to choose from. You can create short but impactful videos (product presentation, how to videos, testimonials, or user-generated videos.) Instagram Live is for giving a glimpse of your brand’s behind-the-scenes, and even long-form videos (10-60 minutes) via IGTV. Some brands are killing it with creative short videos and manage to boost engagement among their followers. Be sure to use consistent colors and video filters, of course, to maintain a constant visual appeal.

People don’t look at your photos first when they visit your profile. They see your profile overall, which is why it’s important to plan out the look of your Instagram feed. What is the theme of your brand? What is the main message? Creating a good Instagram doesn’t have to be a challenge if you approach it the right way. Use these tips for making your Instagram feed follow-worthy, but also explore your competitors’ feeds to get some inspiration and fresh ideas.

What is an Instagram feed?

If you are just starting out using Instagram or already familiar with this Social Network you should first know some of the main terms and one of them is the Instagram Feed. This is the first thing that shows up when you start the app, it is the place where you can see all the posts, images and updates from the Instagram Accounts that you are following.

How to choose the right colors for my Instagram Page?

Every business needs to know what their key recognition assets are. One of the main assets that every business should have is their brand and brand colors. Starting from the website to the social media pages everything needs to align with the main brand and brand colors. Looking from that perspective your Instagram Page needs to be branded in the colors of your brand and not some color of the year that you like for some reason.

How do I use hashtags on Instagram?

There are two ways of using hashtags on Instagram. One is on Instagram Posts and the other is on Instagram Story. They both have the same function and that is to spread your content to a wider audience than the one that is currently following you. To find the best hashtags, you can use some tools online or do your research with the built-in Instagram Search option.

How long can Instagram videos be?

The maximum length of an Instagram video depends on the type of post. For Instagram posts, it is limited to 60 seconds and for Instagram Stories only 15 seconds. You can still upload a longer video on your story but Instagram will automatically split it in a few 15 seconds Stories to keep the same time restriction per story.

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