5 Reasons to Hire Freelancers

The modern workforce is changing – more and more professionals are opting for a flexible work arrangement. This trend offers tremendous growth potential for business owners. How?

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/5-reasons-to-hire-freelancers/539601/

Influencer Marketing: The A to Z Guide on Getting Started and Calculating ROI

  • Influencer marketing is here to stay. Beauty, business, and tech influencers, among others, can help businesses to reach what can be difficult demographics.
  • Savvy brands recognize consumers want honesty and are using transparency and openness as a differentiator in influencer marketing campaigns.
  • Great influencer marketing campaigns include content that is compelling to your target audience, authentic to the storyteller’s voice, and delivers in-line with your overall business goals. 

Join 18,000+ weekly listeners for the Buffer podcast, The Science of Social Media, where we bring you the latest and greatest in social media marketing news, updates, stories, insights, and actionable takeaways.

Let’s dive in!

Influencer marketing: The A to Z guide on getting started and calculating ROI [episode transcript]

Hailley: Hi everyone! I’m Hailley Griffis and this is The Science of Social Media, a podcast by Buffer. Your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and learning.

Brian: Welcome to episode #116, I’m Brian Peters and this week are going in-depth into one of the most popular and arguably effective marketing strategies for so many businesses – and that’s influencer marketing. And though influencer marketing isn’t new, it can be tricky to navigate and we hope to solve that for you today.

Hailley: Influencers have the potential to be both effective advocates for your brand as well as opportunities to tap into niche markets that can be difficult for your business to reach. I’m excited to chat about all of that and more.

Brian: As always, a warm welcome to the show. Let’s kick it off!

Part I: An introduction to influencer marketing

Influencer marketing isn’t new.

Long before the industry coined the term, consumers have looked to experts for guidance or inspiration.

Think about William Shatner for Priceline or Catherine Zeta-Jones for T-Mobile or Mark Wahlberg for Calvin Klein. All of these are influencer marketing campaigns in their own right and helped to drive millions of dollars in sales.

Hailley: Today, influencer marketing takes many different shapes and forms, especially in an era where social media stars are born overnight.

The term “influencer” encompasses a wide variety of socially savvy experts. Beauty, business, and tech influencers, among others, can help businesses to reach what can be difficult demographics.

Brian: One thing you need to know about influencer marketing is that it’s here to stay.

For business taking the wait and watch approach, we suggest that you reconsider. Consumers trust recommendations from a third party more often than a brand itself.

In fact, studies show that 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions over brands.

Hailley: When you align with an influencer, not only do they bring their audience, but they also bring their audience’s network as well.

Because of the loyal nature of their audience, an influencer has the ability to drive traffic to your site, increase your social media exposure, and sell your product through their recommendation or story about their experience.

Influencer Marketing ROI

Brian: And it’s important to note here that we’re not necessarily talking about getting expensive celebrities like the Kardashians to endorse your brand.

Sometimes the best influencers are already in your community. They have a small, but highly-engaged and fiercely loyal following. These are the influencers that will make the biggest impact on your brand in the long run.

Hailley: A robust influencer marketing strategy will often include macro-influencers, micro-influencers, brand ambassadors, brand advocates, and even your employees (yes, they’re influencers, too!).

The right influencer marketing strategy will allow brands to understand and optimize the performance of the right group of influencers, at the right time, to meet their goals.

Brian: Which is a perfect segment into how to get started.

Part II: Getting started with influencer marketing

The first thing to know about influencer marketing is that it’s not about you, it’s about the consumer. And more importantly, about building trust with the consumer so that they buy from you more than just once.

As influencer marketing becomes a central strategy for brands, maintaining that trust requires authenticity and honesty.

Hailley: Savvy brands recognize consumers want honesty and are using transparency and openness as a differentiator.

Brands are doing things like social media takeovers with influencers for a more authentic experience. This removes the brand’s control of the content, but helps to increase performance of the campaign.

So not only is it trust between the brand and consumer, but the brand and influencer as well.

Consumer Trust Influencer Marketing

Brian: Exactly, so it’s essential that you start with an understanding of who your target customer is.

A common mistake brands and agencies make is to decide first the type of influencers they would like to work with.

Instead start with who your target audience is and then work your way back from there. Identifying influencers that fit into your ideal description.

Hailley: There are really 4 places to find influencers for your brand. Google, databases, networks, and marketplaces.

  • Google: A manual process of typing keywords, scanning webpages for contact info, and then keeping track of the info in spreadsheets. I would also lump social media into here – manually searching social channels and hashtags for relevant influencers for a given topic.
  • Databases: Do website scraping for you, pulling publicly available data. These are good places to start but be prepared to spend time vetting each influencer and communicating with them directly.

Brian:

  • Networks: In the middle of Google/social and databases. A network is like an agency that has relationships with the influencers, but will require that you go through them to reach out.
  • Marketplaces: A marketplace often offer the best of the four options by pulling in real-time information, along with avoiding the middleperson to connect directly with influencers.

Hailley: There’s no right or wrong way to find influencers for your brand. The key is identifying people that align with your values and customers. Which leads us to types of influencers.

So for the sake of this episode, we’re going to skip finding celebrity influencers and cover more realistic types.

First you have your macro-influencers who create a ton of content. They’ve attracted a sizable audience because they’ve gotten to know them during their process. These are great for reaching a large audience in a certain industry or vertical.

Brian: Just below macro-influencers, in terms of audience size, are micro-influencers.

Micro-influencers are great at getting the word out and have audiences that range in smaller sizes.

They’re great for spreading the word to a highly engaged audience and can help get your brand the attention you’re looking for. The scale won’t be huge, but you’ll be rewarded with higher-intent buyers, even if you don’t have a large budget.

Hailley: Last but not least, are your brand’s advocates and employees.

Employee Advocacy and Influencer Marketing

These “brand ambassadors” naturally love your brand and can be found online talking about you already.

Pay attention to your social channels and invite them to share and create content. These people already love your brand and are willing to talk about what you are doing.

Referral programs are great for these types of influencers and will help incentivize them to spread the word.

And, of course, there are hundreds of varieties of expertise and specialties within each influencer category:

Many Faces of Influencer Marketing

Brian: We’ve got our influencers aligned with our target customers. We’re set to go.

Now what?

Part III: The keys to every great influencer marketing campaign

The key to any great influencer marketing campaign is creating great content. Content that is compelling to your target audience, authentic to the storyteller’s voice, and delivers in-line with your goals. If one piece of this equation is missing, the content will fall flat.

Hailley: One fun way to look at creating great content is giving your audience something to talk about.

Everyone talks so much about optimizing content for search engines these days, that virality and sharing often gets lost in the equation.

One way this can be done is by giving your influencers an experience or brand immersion they won’t be able to stop talking about. Experiences provide the creative inspiration influencers crave, and also align nicely with your brand messaging since you control the atmosphere.

Brian: One example of this is how brands in the travel industry are sending influencers on trips and basically having them document everything.

They’ll pay for the trip as long as the influencer puts out a certain amount of authentic content every day:

View this post on Instagram

This. 🙏🏽 @revolve #revolvearoundtheworld

A post shared by Aimee Song (@songofstyle) on

Which is actually interesting because it’s fun for the influencer to create content and for the audience to follow along with. There are definitely ways to get creative.

Hailley: Remember that a true influencer of your brand is passionate about your product or service.

Giving them access to your product to get familiar with and inspiring them to share engaging content is a great way for the audience on the other side to buy into the campaigns you’re running.

Brian: Exactly. And one of the great things about influencer marketing campaigns is that it doesn’t just stop with the content being posted on their site, or across their social channels.

A successful strategy includes extending the content usefulness to other aspects of your marketing. You can use influencer content in quotes and testimonials.

Or you can feature influencers in your social media ads or on your website. We recommend also including your content in a dedicated section of your business’ newsletter.

Part IV: Influencer cost, budgeting, and ROI

Hailley: Totally. You know one thing we haven’t talked about yet is cost and budgeting.

Great influencers will naturally want to be compensated, but the good news is that it doesn’t always have to be financially if you’re on a tight budget.

You can offer the influencer shout outs on your blog, website, or newsletter.

You can give them your product or products for free. I’ve seen some brands offer influencers a free supply of their product for a year in exchange for a certain amount of content.

Brian: And of course you can also offer influencers, like in a referral program, a certain amount of commission for every 1,000 people reached, or sale, or whatever your goal is.

Quora has a great thread regrading how much influencer marketing typically costs based on influence and the type of campaign:

Cost of Influencer Marketing

There’s no right or wrong here and a lot of times influencers are willing to get creative with you in order to make it work. Especially if they like or believe in your product which is always better anyways!

Hailley: Alright, last but not least, as with any good strategy, let’s talk metrics.

Different metrics and methods for measurement can be used to define your influencer campaign success in relation to your original goals.

Instead of just talking about reach or conversions, we like to break it down into 5, more specific parts, of the buyer journey.

There’s awareness, consideration, activation, purchase, and loyalty.

Brian: It’s important to remember that not everyone who sees the content will purchase your product right away and that’s not necessarily a loss for your brand.

The Marketing Funnel

Hailley: Ideally we’d all start in the purchase stage, but don’t immediately skip all of the first stages in an attempt to sell your product. Those are all part of the trust building that we talked about in the beginning of this episode.

And then there’s the loyalty stage at the end. With any luck , followers of your influencers will become influencers for your brand in their own right.

That will look like even more sharing, referrals, and user-generated content which you can repurpose for your marketing channels.

Brian: It’s one big, beautiful loop.

Marketing Growth Loop

Once you start to collect data on your influencers, you can start to use that data to optimize your influencer marketing efforts. You can rank your influencers based on output, what content resonates with your audience, and which of their social channels are best for distribution.

Hailley: Precisely.

And just recapping this episode before you go…

Technology and data are only part of the story. There is a reason influencers are often referred to as creators. Look for a partner that blends the science of data and technology with the art of experience, expertise, and content creation.

Brian: Well said, Hailley.

All of that will help give you a clear and customized picture of the real impact of your influencer marketing campaigns and strategies.

Thank you so much for tuning in to the Science of Social Media today. The show notes for this episode are now available on the Buffer Blog at blog.buffer.com with a complete transcript.

If you ever want to get in touch with me or Hailley, we’re always here for your on social media using the hashtag #bufferpodcast. You can also say hi to us anytime and hello@bufferapp.com

Hailley: Thanks for tuning into our show every single week. You make this fun and are the entire reason we do what we do so thank you! And thanks for telling your friends, family and colleagues about us as well. You are our very own Science of Social Media influencers and we love you for it.

Until next Monday, everyone!

How to say hello to us

We would all love to say hello to you on social media – especially Twitter!

Thanks for listening! Feel free to connect with our team at Buffer on TwitterBuffer on Facebook, our Podcast homepage, or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

Enjoy the show? It’d mean the world to us if you’d be up for giving us a rating and review on iTunes!

About The Science of Social Media podcast

The Science of Social Media is your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and inspiration. Every Monday (and sometimes more) we share the most cutting-edge social media marketing tactics from brands and influencers in every industry. If you’re a social media team of one, business owner, marketer, or someone simply interested in social media marketing, you’re sure to find something useful in each and every episode.  It’s our hope that you’ll join our 18,000+ weekly iTunes listeners and rock your social media channels as a result!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/bufferapp/~3/QPHvJ8_j1Qw/influencer-marketing-podcast

Influencer Marketing: The A to Z Guide on Getting Started and Calculating ROI

  • Influencer marketing is here to stay. Beauty, business, and tech influencers, among others, can help businesses to reach what can be difficult demographics.
  • Savvy brands recognize consumers want honesty and are using transparency and openness as a differentiator in influencer marketing campaigns.
  • Great influencer marketing campaigns include content that is compelling to your target audience, authentic to the storyteller’s voice, and delivers in-line with your overall business goals. 

Join 18,000+ weekly listeners for the Buffer podcast, The Science of Social Media, where we bring you the latest and greatest in social media marketing news, updates, stories, insights, and actionable takeaways.

Let’s dive in!

Influencer marketing: The A to Z guide on getting started and calculating ROI [episode transcript]

Hailley: Hi everyone! I’m Hailley Griffis and this is The Science of Social Media, a podcast by Buffer. Your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and learning.

Brian: Welcome to episode #116, I’m Brian Peters and this week are going in-depth into one of the most popular and arguably effective marketing strategies for so many businesses – and that’s influencer marketing. And though influencer marketing isn’t new, it can be tricky to navigate and we hope to solve that for you today.

Hailley: Influencers have the potential to be both effective advocates for your brand as well as opportunities to tap into niche markets that can be difficult for your business to reach. I’m excited to chat about all of that and more.

Brian: As always, a warm welcome to the show. Let’s kick it off!

Part I: An introduction to influencer marketing

Influencer marketing isn’t new.

Long before the industry coined the term, consumers have looked to experts for guidance or inspiration.

Think about William Shatner for Priceline or Catherine Zeta-Jones for T-Mobile or Mark Wahlberg for Calvin Klein. All of these are influencer marketing campaigns in their own right and helped to drive millions of dollars in sales.

Hailley: Today, influencer marketing takes many different shapes and forms, especially in an era where social media stars are born overnight.

The term “influencer” encompasses a wide variety of socially savvy experts. Beauty, business, and tech influencers, among others, can help businesses to reach what can be difficult demographics.

Brian: One thing you need to know about influencer marketing is that it’s here to stay.

For business taking the wait and watch approach, we suggest that you reconsider. Consumers trust recommendations from a third party more often than a brand itself.

In fact, studies show that 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions over brands.

Hailley: When you align with an influencer, not only do they bring their audience, but they also bring their audience’s network as well.

Because of the loyal nature of their audience, an influencer has the ability to drive traffic to your site, increase your social media exposure, and sell your product through their recommendation or story about their experience.

Influencer Marketing ROI

Brian: And it’s important to note here that we’re not necessarily talking about getting expensive celebrities like the Kardashians to endorse your brand.

Sometimes the best influencers are already in your community. They have a small, but highly-engaged and fiercely loyal following. These are the influencers that will make the biggest impact on your brand in the long run.

Hailley: A robust influencer marketing strategy will often include macro-influencers, micro-influencers, brand ambassadors, brand advocates, and even your employees (yes, they’re influencers, too!).

The right influencer marketing strategy will allow brands to understand and optimize the performance of the right group of influencers, at the right time, to meet their goals.

Brian: Which is a perfect segment into how to get started.

Part II: Getting started with influencer marketing

The first thing to know about influencer marketing is that it’s not about you, it’s about the consumer. And more importantly, about building trust with the consumer so that they buy from you more than just once.

As influencer marketing becomes a central strategy for brands, maintaining that trust requires authenticity and honesty.

Hailley: Savvy brands recognize consumers want honesty and are using transparency and openness as a differentiator.

Brands are doing things like social media takeovers with influencers for a more authentic experience. This removes the brand’s control of the content, but helps to increase performance of the campaign.

So not only is it trust between the brand and consumer, but the brand and influencer as well.

Consumer Trust Influencer Marketing

Brian: Exactly, so it’s essential that you start with an understanding of who your target customer is.

A common mistake brands and agencies make is to decide first the type of influencers they would like to work with.

Instead start with who your target audience is and then work your way back from there. Identifying influencers that fit into your ideal description.

Hailley: There are really 4 places to find influencers for your brand. Google, databases, networks, and marketplaces.

  • Google: A manual process of typing keywords, scanning webpages for contact info, and then keeping track of the info in spreadsheets. I would also lump social media into here – manually searching social channels and hashtags for relevant influencers for a given topic.
  • Databases: Do website scraping for you, pulling publicly available data. These are good places to start but be prepared to spend time vetting each influencer and communicating with them directly.

Brian:

  • Networks: In the middle of Google/social and databases. A network is like an agency that has relationships with the influencers, but will require that you go through them to reach out.
  • Marketplaces: A marketplace often offer the best of the four options by pulling in real-time information, along with avoiding the middleperson to connect directly with influencers.

Hailley: There’s no right or wrong way to find influencers for your brand. The key is identifying people that align with your values and customers. Which leads us to types of influencers.

So for the sake of this episode, we’re going to skip finding celebrity influencers and cover more realistic types.

First you have your macro-influencers who create a ton of content. They’ve attracted a sizable audience because they’ve gotten to know them during their process. These are great for reaching a large audience in a certain industry or vertical.

Brian: Just below macro-influencers, in terms of audience size, are micro-influencers.

Micro-influencers are great at getting the word out and have audiences that range in smaller sizes.

They’re great for spreading the word to a highly engaged audience and can help get your brand the attention you’re looking for. The scale won’t be huge, but you’ll be rewarded with higher-intent buyers, even if you don’t have a large budget.

Hailley: Last but not least, are your brand’s advocates and employees.

Employee Advocacy and Influencer Marketing

These “brand ambassadors” naturally love your brand and can be found online talking about you already.

Pay attention to your social channels and invite them to share and create content. These people already love your brand and are willing to talk about what you are doing.

Referral programs are great for these types of influencers and will help incentivize them to spread the word.

And, of course, there are hundreds of varieties of expertise and specialties within each influencer category:

Many Faces of Influencer Marketing

Brian: We’ve got our influencers aligned with our target customers. We’re set to go.

Now what?

Part III: The keys to every great influencer marketing campaign

The key to any great influencer marketing campaign is creating great content. Content that is compelling to your target audience, authentic to the storyteller’s voice, and delivers in-line with your goals. If one piece of this equation is missing, the content will fall flat.

Hailley: One fun way to look at creating great content is giving your audience something to talk about.

Everyone talks so much about optimizing content for search engines these days, that virality and sharing often gets lost in the equation.

One way this can be done is by giving your influencers an experience or brand immersion they won’t be able to stop talking about. Experiences provide the creative inspiration influencers crave, and also align nicely with your brand messaging since you control the atmosphere.

Brian: One example of this is how brands in the travel industry are sending influencers on trips and basically having them document everything.

They’ll pay for the trip as long as the influencer puts out a certain amount of authentic content every day:

View this post on Instagram

This. 🙏🏽 @revolve #revolvearoundtheworld

A post shared by Aimee Song (@songofstyle) on

Which is actually interesting because it’s fun for the influencer to create content and for the audience to follow along with. There are definitely ways to get creative.

Hailley: Remember that a true influencer of your brand is passionate about your product or service.

Giving them access to your product to get familiar with and inspiring them to share engaging content is a great way for the audience on the other side to buy into the campaigns you’re running.

Brian: Exactly. And one of the great things about influencer marketing campaigns is that it doesn’t just stop with the content being posted on their site, or across their social channels.

A successful strategy includes extending the content usefulness to other aspects of your marketing. You can use influencer content in quotes and testimonials.

Or you can feature influencers in your social media ads or on your website. We recommend also including your content in a dedicated section of your business’ newsletter.

Part IV: Influencer cost, budgeting, and ROI

Hailley: Totally. You know one thing we haven’t talked about yet is cost and budgeting.

Great influencers will naturally want to be compensated, but the good news is that it doesn’t always have to be financially if you’re on a tight budget.

You can offer the influencer shout outs on your blog, website, or newsletter.

You can give them your product or products for free. I’ve seen some brands offer influencers a free supply of their product for a year in exchange for a certain amount of content.

Brian: And of course you can also offer influencers, like in a referral program, a certain amount of commission for every 1,000 people reached, or sale, or whatever your goal is.

Quora has a great thread regrading how much influencer marketing typically costs based on influence and the type of campaign:

Cost of Influencer Marketing

There’s no right or wrong here and a lot of times influencers are willing to get creative with you in order to make it work. Especially if they like or believe in your product which is always better anyways!

Hailley: Alright, last but not least, as with any good strategy, let’s talk metrics.

Different metrics and methods for measurement can be used to define your influencer campaign success in relation to your original goals.

Instead of just talking about reach or conversions, we like to break it down into 5, more specific parts, of the buyer journey.

There’s awareness, consideration, activation, purchase, and loyalty.

Brian: It’s important to remember that not everyone who sees the content will purchase your product right away and that’s not necessarily a loss for your brand.

The Marketing Funnel

Hailley: Ideally we’d all start in the purchase stage, but don’t immediately skip all of the first stages in an attempt to sell your product. Those are all part of the trust building that we talked about in the beginning of this episode.

And then there’s the loyalty stage at the end. With any luck , followers of your influencers will become influencers for your brand in their own right.

That will look like even more sharing, referrals, and user-generated content which you can repurpose for your marketing channels.

Brian: It’s one big, beautiful loop.

Marketing Growth Loop

Once you start to collect data on your influencers, you can start to use that data to optimize your influencer marketing efforts. You can rank your influencers based on output, what content resonates with your audience, and which of their social channels are best for distribution.

Hailley: Precisely.

And just recapping this episode before you go…

Technology and data are only part of the story. There is a reason influencers are often referred to as creators. Look for a partner that blends the science of data and technology with the art of experience, expertise, and content creation.

Brian: Well said, Hailley.

All of that will help give you a clear and customized picture of the real impact of your influencer marketing campaigns and strategies.

Thank you so much for tuning in to the Science of Social Media today. The show notes for this episode are now available on the Buffer Blog at blog.buffer.com with a complete transcript.

If you ever want to get in touch with me or Hailley, we’re always here for your on social media using the hashtag #bufferpodcast. You can also say hi to us anytime and hello@bufferapp.com

Hailley: Thanks for tuning into our show every single week. You make this fun and are the entire reason we do what we do so thank you! And thanks for telling your friends, family and colleagues about us as well. You are our very own Science of Social Media influencers and we love you for it.

Until next Monday, everyone!

How to say hello to us

We would all love to say hello to you on social media – especially Twitter!

Thanks for listening! Feel free to connect with our team at Buffer on TwitterBuffer on Facebook, our Podcast homepage, or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

Enjoy the show? It’d mean the world to us if you’d be up for giving us a rating and review on iTunes!

About The Science of Social Media podcast

The Science of Social Media is your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and inspiration. Every Monday (and sometimes more) we share the most cutting-edge social media marketing tactics from brands and influencers in every industry. If you’re a social media team of one, business owner, marketer, or someone simply interested in social media marketing, you’re sure to find something useful in each and every episode.  It’s our hope that you’ll join our 18,000+ weekly iTunes listeners and rock your social media channels as a result!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/bufferapp/~3/QPHvJ8_j1Qw/influencer-marketing-podcast

6 Best Practices For Creating Great Content

Over the years the phrase ‘content is king’ has been thrown about to inspire marketing teams to create more and more amazing material for audiences, resulting in a huge increase in articles and content creators on the web.

With more people venturing online, more social media users and the rise of the blogger and “influencer” the competition for creating amazing, unique articles, imagery and marketing campaigns is high.

To keep you on your A game for creating content, we’ll take you through the best practices that will transform your content to dull and boring so you can stand out from the crowd and create truly great content.

1. Think of The Audience

This is the single most important point you need to take away with you. Your audience is the sole reason you are creating content in the first place and so they are your priority when it comes to copywriting.

Whatever it is you’re writing about and the reason behind it, the fundamental reason is to satisfy them, may that be through answering a question, entertaining them, encouraging them to buy a product and fulfill their needs or similar.

As a result, you must always think and refer back to what it is they want, why you’re creating the content and make sure every piece of information within the article relates to this and fits this purpose.

2. Write For Long Tail Keywords

A common flaw that copywriters fall into is writing content for short, highly competitive keywords. For example, say you were a rare vinyl seller looking to create bespoke articles on how best to clean and care for vinyl.

Although ‘clean vinyl records’ has 1,000 average monthly searches, ‘how to clean vinyl records with soap and water’ has 40 average monthly searches which hence has a lot less competition and a bigger chance for you to rank well for this keyword.

If you can create a piece that is optimized for this keyword, once you’ve secured a high search ranking, you can start to create more pieces of content, may these be videos, social media imagery or so on, that target ‘clean vinyl records’ specifically.

This way, because you’ve already gained a high authority and relevance ranking on search engines for the long tail keyword, you’re chances of ranking for the shorter, more competitive keyword is more achievable.

3. Complete Your Keyword Research On Multiple Tools

Just because Google Ads Keyword Planner shows that ‘clean vinyl records’ has the highest searches, doesn’t mean you should settle for this information. Explore the web – that’s what it’s there for. Use other tools like BuzzSumo to get title ideas, complete social media searches and see what hashtags are trending.

Take a leaf from a scientist’s book. They must do lots of research, consult multiple sources of different types may that be a book, the internet, physical experiments and so on, to get a proper understanding of what it is they’re focusing on.

Sources often contradict themselves and offer varying opinions so it’s good to see what other people and tools are saying about the keyword or topic you want to talk about. Finding your next golden nugget of wisdom is often in the places you don’t commonly visit, so research about.

4. Know Your Text Structure Before Writing

Having a strong idea of the format of your post is essential before you start writing. Good structure means your blog post will be SEO optimized, highly readable for your desired audience and so, will make it a quick read. Something that’s becoming increasingly important in the online world.

It’s known from research that typically, users read the title, first paragraph, headings, subheadings and the first sentences of paragraphs. This is how people learn what your text is about and urges them to continue reading. Take this information on board and run with it.

How To Set Up Your Blog Structure

To set up your structure, you first need to follow the below steps to create the skeleton of your article.

Step 1 – Know the main question you’re answering i.e. what it is your audience is asking or wants to know.

Step 2 – Know the message you are trying to convey in your blog post i.e. what your answer to the question is and include this in your first paragraph.

Step 3 – Create a list of things you will cover in the article i.e solutions you’re offering, tips for doing something and so on.

Step 4 – Bundle these ideas together with headings and subheadings.

Step 5 – Finally order these topics either thematically, chronologically or step-by-step problem-solving.

  • Thematic ordering will be based on different subjects at a time, perhaps colour then size, then style.
  • Chronological ordering will be in time order that an event has happened or how to do something.
  • Problem-solving will be stating the problem then offering a new solution with each new heading and paragraph.

Best Practices for Creating Great Content | Kanuka Digital

You can see in the above image that there is a clear structure with the paragraphs clearly answering the questions within the subheadings, making it extremely easy to read and digest even at first glance. This post has been ordered in a thematic style.

5. Start Writing Where You Feel Most Comfortable

Start where you feel most comfortable. Sometimes people can stress over getting the first part of the post written. Don’t. The first paragraph is usually the hardest. It’s got to be the most intriguing, of high quality and optimized for SEO purposes.

Perhaps there is a certain point in the post you’d prefer to write about or have more information on. Start there and you’ll then get into your own flow of writing the next paragraphs.

Don’t fear that jumping from paragraph two to paragraph four will disrupt your flow and make your post sound “jumpy”. You can easily enhance your sentences in the correction phase of your post if it doesn’t flow exactly how you’d like.

Tip: Yoast suggest blog content writing is made up of three parts. Preparation which amounts to 40%, writing which amounts to 20% and correction which amounts to the final 40%.

6. Avoid Referring Back To Previous Paragraphs In First Sentence

So, as we know people read the first sentence of your paragraphs first, it’s important to never start a new paragraph with “this means that…” Your audience would have to read the previous sentence or two to get a proper idea of what you’re discussing which can interrupt their flow, damaging the posts’ readability and usability.

Instead, each new paragraph should be easily readable without having to fully understand and read the previous. Of course, you’ll want to continue the flow of conversation as you create a new paragraph though it should be expanded slightly or merge onto a new topic, time or place.

No one enjoys reading massive chunks of text so it’s simple. Split them up when it’s relevant to, without making them hard to read if the first chunk of text isn’t present.

Summary

When it comes to creating content, if your post is useful to your readers, it’ll be useful for Google and will usually be SEO friendly too. By focusing on your audience, prioritizing its readability over SEO – though not to neglect it completely – you’ll find over time, the post’s bounce rate will decrease and your search rankings will improve.

For more handy tips to improve your digital marketing practices, check out the Kanuka Digital blog.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

The post 6 Best Practices For Creating Great Content appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/10/6-best-practices-for-creating-great-content/

5 Types of Social Media Content that Convert

In an age where every business is on social media, what type of content should you post to catch your audience's attention? Here are five types of social media content that convert.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/5-types-of-social-media-content-that-convert/539584/

21 Marketing Automation Stats That Will Make You Rethink Your Marketing Strategy [Infographic]

​In this infographic, Invesp shares a variety of important stats about the current state of marketing automation.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/21-marketing-automation-stats-that-will-make-you-rethink-your-marketing-str/539578/

Having a #BadHairDay? Pantene offers consultations on social media

What we can learn from P&G's "14-Day Challenge" which asks people to post pictures with a dedicated hashtag to receive personalized tips from style advisers.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/having-a-badhairday-pantene-offers-consultations-on-social-media/539456/

How to Use Hashtags for Efficient Marketing

The article is about hashtags and their impact on business. It shows kinds of hashtags, their profit for every brand, and ways how to use them correctly.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/how-to-use-hashtags-for-efficient-marketing/539155/

Facebook’s Marketing Partner Program Integrates Smaller Agencies, Consultants

The goal is to boost creative development by giving smaller agencies faster support and letting marketers assess the performance of creative before releasing it.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebooks-marketing-partner-program-integrates-smaller-agencies-consultan/539463/

4 Quick Ways To Improve Your Social Media Marketing Efforts

Social media marketing has grown tremendously in the last decade. It has evolved from being a tool for friends to keep in touch to a powerful marketing opportunity for businesses of all sizes. Today, companies can’t hope to stay competitive if they’re not putting some effort into social media. As far back as 2014, 92% of marketers believed that social media was important for their company’s marketing success.

Social media marketing can be confusing. It can also be time-consuming and ultimately not very successful without knowing the best practices and keeping a consistent posting schedule. If you’re struggling with how to establish brand awareness and loyalty on social media, here are 4 tips to help you improve your social media marketing efforts.

Target Generation Z

Generation Z is becoming a powerful part of the economy. They’ve grown up with technology as a driving force in their lives. They’re social media savvy, and 70% of them buy products and services on these sites. If Generation Z is part of your audience, you need understand their behavior and to speak directly to them.

What does Generation Z want? They want brands to get to the point. Attention is a premium. It’s important to start off with powerful storytelling as a hook. They like to be engaged with the marketing process through interactive content, and they’re big advocates for social and environmental responsibility. Brands need to embody these values and create a consistent message across channels to engage with Generation Z.

Content Diversification

Getting enough content out into the world is a challenge for businesses without big marketing teams and bigger budgets.

Blogging can bring in traffic and play a key role in content marketing. But content diversification can help you keep things fresh and interesting. It will also keep you from running out of ideas and providing readers with more engaging content.

Making sure your content stays fresh and interesting will be essential for optimizing your digital marketing efforts, yet the landscape will be competitive.

“Companies will really need to adapt to this trend to stay in the game,” said Daniel Kempe, CEO of Quuu, in a recent expert round-up on the future of digital marketing.

Because of this competition, Kempe predicts that marketing firms will merge with creative firms. “We’ll see larger companies hiring video producers and graphic designers to collaborate with their marketing teams.”

Adding visual components can break up large amounts of text and create a more mobile-friendly experience. Video, screenshots, lists, and how-tos—your format can change from post to post. You can also use social media content to ask questions. Other options include prompting engagement and create engaging short-form posts that instantly get to the point.

Having a range of content will appeal to more potential customers and help keep you from getting stuck in a marketing rut.

Ask for Feedback to Improve Customer Support

You can’t improve your products or service and customer support without knowing what you need to work on. The first step in improving your customer support is to monitor what people are saying about your company on different platforms. After your initial audit, you can set up alerts for when people mention your brand in a specific way.

Social media has become an important channel for providing customer service. You need to have someone responding to both positive feedback and criticism, and use that feedback to improve your service and amplify what you’re doing well. Social media can be a powerful tool for gaining real-time feedback from your customers—both good and bad.

Remain Informed on Privacy Updates

Ignorance isn’t bliss when it comes to consumer privacy. After Facebook’s recent scandals, people are more wary than ever about what is done with their personal data. Many sites have updated their privacy policies, and companies need to stay up to date with this information to avoid violating each platforms’ policies and terms of service. Now that Europe’s sweeping new data privacy policy is in effect, companies need to be extra diligent about handling data responsibly.

Companies that don’t adhere to applicable policies and regulation can expect negative consequences, whether from the sites themselves or unhappy consumers who feel violated. First and foremost, however, your reputation shouldn’t affect how you approach the ethics of the situation—your consumers deserve the respect you’d give your own personal data. Ethics in big data is still a topic that is being explored, but that doesn’t give marketers an excuse to exploit consumers’ data. Most people know what crosses the line and what doesn’t.

Trends are Always Shifting

When you’re trying to create better content and improve your social media marketing, it’s important to realize that things can change almost overnight. It’s key to keep up with shifting trends in the industry and constantly aim to adhere to best practices.

With that said, there are a few principles that never change in social media marketing. Using storytelling techniques to engage your audience and creating consistent, quality content on a regular basis never go out of style. Social media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint, but by implementing the latest best practices, it can become an important part of your marketing strategy.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

The post 4 Quick Ways To Improve Your Social Media Marketing Efforts appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/10/4-quick-ways-to-improve-your-social-media-marketing-efforts/