• The Marketer’s Guide to Using LinkedIn’s Native Video

    LinkedIn’s native video is the latest new feature to hit this relatively staid social network, which has a reputation for waiting till a trend has proven itself before jumping into the fray. The platform rolled out native video in 2016 to certain influential LinkedIn users, but it was a very limited release. These influencers – a group which included Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Arianna Huffington – could upload 30-second videos directly to their feed and, as you can imagine, started doing so rather quickly. Despite this, the video feature stayed fairly low-profile until LinkedIn made it accessible to everyone in Aug. 2017. Now, you’ll see videos popping up from everyone from your local landscaper to the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. If you want to keep up, you’ll need to start looking at LinkedIn Video and figuring out how your brand can best put it to use. Here’s a brief guide to LinkedIn’s native video, and tips for how you can maximize your reach. How is LinkedIn’s video different? Users could always share links to their videos on LinkedIn, but links don’t get nearly the engagement that in-platform video does. In fact, as TechCrunch reported back in August, LinkedIn…

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  • 8 Ways to Make Your Social Media Images Rock

    Social media without great images is like salad without dressing – in other words, bland. In fact, experts – including our own social team – regularly advise spending 3 to 5 times as much time crafting your image as you do your text. This is because, no matter how pithy or eloquent your words may be, the thing that most people remember will always be your image. Sad as this may be for the writers among us, it’s the cold hard truth. So what can you do to make your images stand out, among the tens of thousands (literally) of images that your followers see every day? Read our list to discover how you can make your social media images better than ever. Keep branding consistent The color, font style, and overall “feel” of your images should stay consistent with your branding for a number of reasons. For one, according to Ragan Consulting, brand recognition can be increased up to 80% when a consistent color scheme is employed. For another, having a consistent look and feel to your brand – no matter what that look and feel is like – conveys authority and can inspire trust. It can portray a…

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  • YouTube Video Optimization: Here’s What You Need to Know

    Did you know that YouTube is now the world’s second largest search engine? It’s not just a place to hold your videos, although many brands still treat YouTube that way. In a sense, your YouTube videos are to YouTube what your website is to Google – they’re your web presence on a massive search engine. It’s how people find you. Just like your website needs to be optimized so that it shows up as high as possible in Google’s rankings, your YouTube videos – and channel – should be optimized, too. Here’s everything you need to know to make your videos easier to find. Start with your video titles. Not surprisingly, your video title is one of the most important keys to helping people find you on YouTube. Titles should include keywords, but also be short, clear, and closely related to what’s actually in the video. People tend to click away quickly if a video doesn’t live up to its title, and there are literally billions of other videos they can watch instead of yours. So do your best to keep them with you by carefully choosing your titles. In addition, titles with exact keyword matches tend to do slightly better…

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  • Why Inbound Marketing is Perfect for Your Niche Business

    The internet has been kind to niche businesses. Before the advent of digital marketing, niche businesses had to spend their marketing budgets on advertisements and campaigns that were totally irrelevant to a large percentage of the people who saw them. With digital marketing, that changed. Businesses could target their ads more narrowly, ensuring that they’d reach a larger number of potential clients. Inbound marketing goes even further than digital marketing, as far as effectiveness for niche businesses. In fact, it’s just about a perfect match. What is inbound marketing? First, a definition – what’s inbound marketing, anyway? Simply put, it’s a series of connected, strategized marketing behaviors that are designed to bring potential customers to you – specifically, to your content or website. This is opposed to outbound marketing, which comprises traditional marketing tactics like sign advertising, direct mail, billboards, etc. Even email marketing can be outbound marketing (although if you’re doing it correctly, using contacts who’ve opted in to receiving your emails, it’s a form of inbound). Since so much of digital marketing is inbound, what’s the difference between the two terms? In reality, the difference is slight. Technically, however, digital marketing can be understood as various, individual marketing…

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  • 6 Ways to Generate More Qualified Leads from Your Website

    If there’s one thing you want your website to be doing for your brand, it’s generating leads. But as we all know, these days lead generation isn’t about quantity. It’s about quality – you want qualified leads, not a motley collection of email addresses from every person who visits your website. So how do you optimize your website for qualified lead generation? Here are 6 key steps to take. Make your site responsive, or mobile-friendly Mobile searches have become such a huge percentage of Google searches that in 2016, Google announced it was going to experiment with mobile-first indexing. This means that the search engine will use a site’s mobile version as its primary source for the purposes of indexing the site, rather than the desktop version. What does this mean for you? It means that having a mobile-friendly, or better yet, responsive website is more important than ever. A responsive website simply means that your site automatically responds to the size screen that you’re using, whether that’s a little smartphone or huge desktop monitor. The reason this matters when it comes to lead generation is that people are a lot less likely to stay on your site if it…

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  • 7 Email Marketing Trends You’ll Need to Know About in 2018

    Email is still one of the most effective ways to communicate with your customers, and this isn’t going to change in 2018. 91% of all U.S. consumers use email and 66% have purchased something online as the result of receiving an email or an email marketing campaign. Statistics show that email is still a major player when it comes to content marketing. Email is even more important if your business operates strictly online because, unlike social media platforms that can disappear or change their algorithms at any time, email has proven it’s here to stay. Email marketing trends in 2018 will continue along the same path that 2017 email marketing did. Emails will become more automated, include more videos, be more personalized, and more interactive. Source: https://www.emailmonday.com/email-marketing-future Continuing with some of the trends established in 2017, email trends for 2018 fall into seven broad categories. Automation, Mobile-friendly, Video, Personalisation, Interactivity, Data, and Content. Automation Small businesses in particular will need to take advantage of automation if they want to stay competitive. The key behind automation is that it’s designed to save businesses time and money. It’s also linked to consumer behaviour such as filling out a form or adding something…

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  • Content Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2018

    Are we entering the golden age of content marketing? Well, it depends on whom you ask – but one thing is for certain, and that’s that 2018 is going to be a wild, fast-paced year for the content marketers who are ready to go all-in. Video continues to overtake other types of content. Enterprises are placing more and more emphasis on original content. Commitment to content marketing is increasing in marketing departments of all shapes and sizes. All of that is great, but what does it mean for you and your brand? We’re going to break down a few of the most important trends right here, right now. Blogging just isn’t enough anymore. Until fairly recently, having an active, engaging blog was enough to earn you plenty of attention, both from Google’s algorithm and from your customers. You might mix up your formats now and then – post an infographic here, a video there – but by and large, brands that committed to traditional blogging and turned out posts on a regular basis didn’t have to worry about falling behind. In 2018, that won’t be the case. But before you get too worried, it’s important to say that this doesn’t…

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  • 5 Invaluable Social Media Marketing Tips for Niche Industries

    Establishing a strong social media presence can be a challenge for businesses in niche industries. When you’re just starting, you may have no idea how to begin getting followers on social media. What will they want to see from you? Will the customers you already have even care if you’re on Facebook? What kind of pictures could you possibly post on Instagram? We’ve heard all these questions, and more, from our niche clients (many of whom happen to be B2B), and it’s true – it takes a lot more thought to create a solid Facebook post for, say, a B2B software sales firm than it does a B2C fashion retailer. But that is not to say it can’t be done. In fact, niche industries can thrive on social media, just like more mainstream ones. All it takes is a little strategy. To help you on your way, here are 5 invaluable social media marketing tips for niche industries. Give your brand a face One issue many niche businesses have is that they don’t come across as personal. Although these are hardly niche companies, think of Microsoft or Apple without Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Those high-profile individuals served as the…

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  • 6 Steps to Creating a Documented Content Strategy for Your Brand

    Even though most of us digital marketers know that content marketing is deeply important for our digital marketing strategies, there’s a strong temptation to simply wing it, and see what happens. We’ll think of a topic that would be great for a blog post one morning, write the post that afternoon, and post it before we sign off for the day. We’ll see an interesting article and tweet it to our followers, whether or not it fits into a larger strategic plan. We’ll reply to a few Facebook comments and share the blog post we just wrote with our followers. Then we’ll start this process all over again the next day. While this may be content marketing – in a sense – it’s certainly not strategic. It’s reactive, a fly-by-night approach to what should be a much more thought-out and planned process. After all, if you’re putting resources into creating and sharing content, you ought to be striving for the highest ROI possible. And while this reactive social behavior is a part of attaining that, it’s certainly not enough on its own. So what are you waiting for? Here’s a 6-step process to creating a documented content strategy. 1. Put the brakes…

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  • Is Content Shock Real, and How Will It Affect My Content Marketing Strategy?

    Every now and then, we digital marketers hear the term “content shock” whispered around the water cooler, or we read it in an article shared with trepidation among content marketers on Twitter. If you’re not familiar with the idea of content shock, it basically means that we’ve hit the point of diminishing returns with content marketing. There is so much content being created and shared every day, every hour, that a piece of content that might have been effective 1 year ago may today be hardly a blip on your audience’s radar. Content shock doesn’t get as much attention as it should because, well – it’s scary. It means change. It means strategizing in new ways. It means looking at our content marketing strategies with fresh, unbiased eyes. That’s a hard thing to make ourselves do. So let’s get real. How is content shock really affecting your brand and your content marketing strategy? How can you adapt to the times without throwing out the entire content marketing playbook? Content shock is real, but you’ve probably already adapted – to a certain degree Here’s the bad news. Yes, content shock is real. Your well-researched, abundantly backlinked, visually pleasing blog post that you…

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  • A Complete Guide to Crushing Your First Snapchat Takeover

    If one of your brand’s target audiences is young adults, then this blog post is for you. Snapchat, the social media messaging app that lets users post images and videos that disappear after a brief period of time, is dominated by younger demographics. A full 60% of Snapchat’s 300 million total monthly users are under the age of 25, while 26% are between the ages of 25-34. This means that Snapchat can be a hugely effective tool for getting your brand message out to a younger, highly engaged audience. While there are plenty of ways to use Snapchat to your advantage, for the purposes of this post we’re going to focus on one tactic: Snapchat takeovers. What is a Snapchat takeover? Snapchat takeovers are a way to get your brand message out to a whole new set of eyes. The way they usually work is that a brand will give an influencer access to its Snapchat account for a set amount of time – usually a day. The influencer then “takes over” the account, sharing their own images and messages with the brand’s followers as a Snapchat Story. There’s plenty of cross-promotion leading up to the big day, so both the…

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  • What is Shadowbanning, and How Do I Know if It’s Happened to Me?

    There’s been a lot of talk recently about the Instagram “shadowban” that’s been affecting some users. It may sound like the title of the next James Bond movie, but it’s actually fairly simple. What it means is that Instagram is making some users’ posts invisible without the users knowing. For businesses that use Instagram to promote their brand, this is obviously a real problem. Being shadowbanned can lead to a plummet in engagement. But we hasten to add: The act of shadowbanning is not an attempt by Instagram to censor your posts. It’s actually part of a bigger cleanup job that Instagram is doing to make Instagram content better, more relevant, and less spammy. Now back to you. Why is the shadowban happening, and how can you tell if it’s affected your account? Check your engagement levels The biggest reason you’d notice that your account might be shadowbanned is that you’d see that noticeable dropoff in engagement mentioned earlier. This would be because your posts aren’t showing up when people search for a hashtag, for potential reasons we’ll get into later. Now, a drop in engagement doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve been shadowbanned. It could mean that there’s a legitimate…

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