Instagram Link in Bio Best Practices

If your business isn’t already investing in Instagram marketing, now is the time to start. With users from all demographics and a much higher engagement rate than other social media platforms, Instagram is a must for brands who want to succeed in today’s day and age.

The most effective way to use Instagram to drive more web traffic and more sales is to put a link in your bio and then promote that link. By doing this, you can get your followers off of Instagram and where you want them to be — like your online store or product page.

Getting your followers from point A to point B might seem tricky. But with a little know-how, you can effectively use your bio link on Instagram. Here’s what you need to know about Instagram link in bio best practices.

Use An Instagram Link in Bio Tool

Your Instagram “link in bio” is an URL that you share in the bio section of your profile. Your followers can find this link just under your bio copy and above your story highlights (or your feed, if you don’t have highlights). In the image below, Burger King’s link in bio is the “www.bk.com” link just above the company’s geographical location.

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You have the ability add or edit the link in your bio by editing your profile and pasting an URL in the “website” field. This link is an important marketing tool. It takes your followers to wherever you want them to go — a YouTube video you want to promote, your website homepage to learn more about your brand, or your online store so you can make more sales.

But Instagram only lets you have one link in your bio at a time. If you have more than one thing to promote, how does that work?

A link in bio tool is the answer. Using a link in bio tool is by far the best way to utilize the one link that Instagram lets you have. Having all of your links organized into one URL will help turn your followers into customers.

Link in bio tools either let you create a landing page that lists several links, or they help you create a clickable Instagram grid where each of your photos links to a specific webpage. Most link in bio tools offer you unlimited links. These tools also typically let you customize the visual appearance of your landing page, and they track your analytics so you can see how well your link is performing.

There are a lot of link in bio tools out there. How can you decide which one is best for your business? One popular one is url.bio. This linking tool offers all of the premium features that comparable tools include. Unlike other tools, however, Url.bio is completely free. You won’t find any premium plans or hidden costs. This makes it a great choice for any company or individual, but especially small businesses that are trying to keep costs down. Some other link in bio tools include Linktree and Linkin.bio by Later.

Below we’ve outlined a few ways you can use a link in bio tool.

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Add Your Links

With link in bio tools, you don’t have to choose which link to promote. They let you add unlimited links to your Instagram bio so your followers can browse a list of options and easily find what they’re looking for. And there’s no cap: many link in bio tools allow you to add as many links to your landing page as you’d like. You can also choose which links will be displayed and which ones will be hidden at any given time.

Prioritize and Animate Links

Most tools also let you prioritize and animate your links. When you prioritize a link, that link will be pinned to the top of the list. When you animate your link, this will make that link’s CTA button move. For example, some tools have choices for animation:

  • Pulse
  • Wobble
  • Jello
  • Heartbeat
  • Flash

Each of these choices makes your link move in a different way. “Flash” makes the button flash on and off while “Wobble” creates a back-and-forth wobbling effect. By choosing one link to set as a “Priority link” with animation, your followers will be more likely to click on that link because it will immediately catch their eye.

Track Analytics

It’s important to track the link in your bio so you can see how much website traffic you’re getting. Paying attention to your analytics can help you figure out whether you need to tweak your marketing strategy in order to point people to your link in bio.

Each link in bio tool is different but look for one that tracks and displays your analytics in a graph that’s located on your dashboard. These metrics should include:

  • Clicks
  • Views
  • Click-through rate

You can view your clicks and views and how these metrics have changed over time. Users can also add UTM parameters. These parameters are tags that you add to an URL so the link becomes trackable with Google Analytics. These UTM parameters will make Google Analytics show any URL in bio traffic as “Social Traffic.” The campaign parameter is set dynamically from the title of each link.

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Now that you’re ready to go with your linking tool, let’s take a look at some link in bio best practices.

Link in Bio For Businesses

Putting a link to your website in your bio is a great way to drive web traffic from Instagram. You can use a link in bio tool to direct your customers to your homepage, your FAQ page, your blog, or any other website page you’d like to promote. You can also add links to any freebies you might offer or link to other opportunities that will allow your followers to easily sign up for your email list.

For example, in the caption of this product photo, Target urged its followers to visit the link in the company’s bio for a good deal: “Shop BOGO 50% off swim via link in bio!”

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Another smart method of utilizing your link is to link to Shopify or another ecommerce platform. This is a good way to make more sales. Create posts and Stories that heavily promote your products and then send your followers over to the link in your bio to browse, where they’ll ideally become customers.

Bloggers/Publications

If you’re a blogger, use your bio link to send your followers to your blog. Cross-promotion is everything when it comes to social media. The best way to increase your number of blog readers is to give them a direct route to your blog from your social media pages, where they’re already engaged and paying attention.

Registered dietitian Caitlyn Elf regularly shares recipes on her blog and her Instagram. She uses her Instagram photos of the delicious food to point her followers back to her website — where, in addition to reading the blog post with the recipe, they can sign up for her email newsletter or opt in to receive some of her other free content. “If you want the details on how I pulled it together, you can grab them on @caitsplate (link in my bio),” she writes in this caption.

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Bloggers can also link scientific studies or articles that back up their claims. For example, if you reference a source or an article in your post, add the words “link in bio” in your caption to send your followers to the source. This can help them learn more about the topic you’re discussing. It also makes you more credible as a blogger.

Influencers

Influencers are known for partnering with brands and helping them sell their products or services. That’s where the link in bio comes in. If you work with an influencer, give that influencer a link that they can put in their bio. Their followers can use that link to access your product. And if you’re giving that influencer commission on individual sales, you’ll be able to easily track how many sales that influencer helped make.

If you’re an influencer trying to make sales on a brand’s behalf, the best way to do so is by giving your followers easy access to the product you’re promoting. Again, that means including a link in your bio.

It can also be helpful for influencers to include links to their other social media platforms, like their YouTube. Many link in bio tools have a feature that allows you to easily link your other social media accounts. Depending on your niche and audience, you might want to consider linking your:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Spotify
  • Soundcloud
  • Apple Music
  • Amazon
  • LinkedIn
  • WhatsApp
  • Patreon
  • Pinterest
  • TikTok

Linking your other social media platforms is helpful because it can increase your following and engagement on them all.

Affiliate Programs

Through affiliate marketing programs, influencers can earn a commission on the sale of products. Businesses who have an affiliate marketing program work side-by-side with influencers in the same industry. The influencers promote that business’s products to their audience. And when the influencers make a sale, they receive a percentage of the profit. For example, Cassy Joy Garcia from Fed and Fit works with the nail polish brand Dazzle Dry. When Cassy’s followers use the code FEDANDFIT, they can get 20% off of their purchase.

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When influencers participate in an affiliate program, they’re given a customized link. Influencers can add this link into their bio to increase their total payout.

Nonprofits

Nonprofits can get a lot of mileage out of a landing page with multiple links. This kind of setup allows you to promote multiple causes at the same time. If you have several places you want people to donate, a link in bio tool allows you to include them all. Link in bio tools are helpful for any type of fundraising or trying to get more eyes on a cause.

Nonprofit Feeding America includes several links in its bio, including places for followers to donate and helpful resources (like a blog post titled “The do’s and don’ts of donating to a food bank during COVID”).

Event Planning

Companies with an event to promote can utilize their bio link to promote the event. Put the link to your event registration page in your bio and then share Instagram posts and Stories pointing people to the link. Getting people to register for an event can sometimes be a struggle, but by using your Instagram bio link, you can encourage more people to commit.

Bio Structure

If you’re going to be drawing attention to your bio by asking people to follow the link, make sure the other elements of your bio are well put together, too. Here are a few components to consider.

Story Highlights

Story Highlights are a place where you can keep your Instagram Stories even after the 24 hours when they’ve expired. Lego’s Highlights are well-organized, making it easy for the company’s followers to find what they want.

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Similarly, clearly label your own highlights, and consider creating story covers for each highlight so all of the colors match.

CTA Buttons

Your Instagram bio has a few different CTA buttons. First, there’s the blue “Follow” button located just under your bio copy. You’ll also see the “Message” and “Email” buttons. Some companies have additional buttons as well — for example, Cinnaholic has a button that reads “Order Food” and links to the UberEats website.

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Figure out which CTA buttons are best for you and then consider drawing attention to them in your bio copy.

Profile Picture

Your profile picture on Instagram should be clear and high-quality. Many brands use their logo as their profile photo; for influencers or bloggers, a nice headshot is key. HelloFresh uses a white logo on a green background as their profile photo. This image coordinates with the company’s Highlights, too.

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Branded Hashtags

Branded hashtags are hashtags that only your business uses. These tags can be used for a few different purposes — try hashtagging your tagline to get more visibility on your posts (such as Nike’s #JustDoIt), or create a hashtag that your followers can use on their own photos (a good method for you to get some user-generated content). For example, Halo Top uses the branded hashtag #StopShouldingYourself to encourage people to eat more ice cream.

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Bio Copy

Include some concise copy in your bio that explains the purpose of your account, briefly describing who you are and what you do. So Delicious, a food brand that makes dairy-free options, has a great example in their bio: “We commit to nourishing your soul and body with thoughtfully crafted dairy-free products.”

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Final Thoughts on Instagram Link in Bio Best Practices

Your link in bio is important — this link is the gateway for your Instagram followers to become customers of your brand. Take full advantage of this link by using a link in bio tool to promote your link and make more sales.

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14 Tips to Protect Your Digital Footprint

As technology advances, the use of digital platforms increases within time. These digital platforms can simply record all the information that we added or provided, the things we browsed, or even the people we contacted.

Digital Footprint is about the slightest activity you do online. It could be browsing, shopping, networking, marketing, dealing, etc. the actions you do on the internet, or your social media leave a digital shadow.

So how do you protect your digital footprint?

If you think that you are protecting the movement and things have been erased, then you are in fool’s paradise. The internet surrounds the world we live in – it is merely unimaginable without it.

According to Statista, there are 4.57 billion internet users globally that roughly encompasses almost 60% of the total population. Out of which 4.17 billion users are immobile internet users. So, do you get it? Leaving the digital footprints is like leaving the door wide open – anyone, anytime, could come in and explore without our consent.

And when we move to social media users, the score is eye-opening. There are 3.96 billion social media users in the world. Even businesses of all kinds, whether big enterprises or small using social media marketing to take the plunge and more leads.

What Image Can Be Seen Through Your Digital Footprint?

The digital world is like a patch of mud – when you walk through it, you leave the footprints, and if your footprints are not adequately handled or removed, you are about to drown, depending upon the left marks.

Seeing your digital footprints leave a perfect image. It is like leaving the dots that can easily be connected. It is time to remove all the negativity and show the positive attributes of your character.

It’s indeed a good idea to leave positive digital footprints. Why? Because people who need to assess you without telling you can easily do that. For example, in schools and colleges for the students, employers can evaluate the candidate’s character and law enforcement for activity tracking.

Categories of Digital Footprint

The digital footprint can be categorized into two major categories. One is active, and the other is passive. Both of these digital footprints are based on the kind of evaluation you required.

Active Digital Footprint

When you made deliberate choices on the internet, that time, you left an active digital footprint. Whatever you are posting on your digital platforms or being more precise on the social media platforms is considered an active digital footprint.

Same goes with the login type when you go on to a similar site, the entries you make while logging in are the active digital footprint.

It could be understood with these examples;

  • Whenever you share something on your social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, it gets prone to digital footprints.
  • Whenever you fill in the online form, you provide in the details of your contacts and accommodation. These are another example of active digital footprints.
  • Another example that takes place on the list is when you agree to the cookies on your device by the browser.

Passive Digital Footprint

Passive digital footprints on the other end are those which you leave behind unintentionally. You don’t know what you are leaving behind, but you do!

It happens when the websites that require information and continuously visit them are piling the passive digital footprint. You never intentionally do that, it all occurs unintentionally as you never agreed to give the data. As soon as your device’s IP address is connected with its website, this process begins.

These three examples would help you out in understanding the picture.

  • There are tens of thousands of websites that ask you to install cookies and sometimes without even asking. It is when you shared the details with them, and you don’t even know about it.
  • Many times when you share, comment, or even like the post on your social media, that time, you also become the victim of passive digital footprint without even knowing it.
  • It happens most of the time when you use some of the apps and websites that use your live location to track you and pinpoints you.

14 Tips to Protect Your Digital Footprint

Have you ever considered the available options to utilize for reducing the digital footprint? If not, then you should.

Here are the top fourteen steps that would drive you to consider what to do before leaving a digital footprint.

Privacy Settings Must be Triple-checked

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A privacy setting is a step that is paramount on social networking sites. You use social media platforms to connect with the people. Privacy settings are in your hand – it is merely the way you want them to be.

The most understood use of social media platforms is to connect with the people – friends, relatives, or even to the unknowns to grow the acquaintances. The simple use could be a leaking factor of your valuable information.

The information you provided has to be set in such a way that it will not get publicized. People recommend doing giving it double-check, whereas I prefer to give a triple-check to all the settings that you have initiated.

Make it crystal clear that all the information that you have provided must be visible to the known and connected ones. It shouldn’t go in the hands of unknown people.

Create Sturdy And Solid Passcodes

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Make sure the passwords you create for your social media handlings must be sturdy, stable, and memorable. Not just the first time – but whenever even you change or shift on to the new platform.

Again, creating or setting a passcode is in your hands. According to estimation, more than half a million passcodes get stolen every day, and more than 1 billion accounts of different platforms are hacked.

Your passcode has to be healthy and the one that you can easily recall. If you are creating the one like ‘123456’ or ‘john12345’, etc. then the chances of getting your account and passcode hacked are higher.

As 51% of the total users create passcodes that are used for the work and personal platforms. So if it is too easy to crack, then your personal but your work information or data are also on the verge to leak.

Make it strong with at least 8-12 characters with capital and small characters and, most importantly, easy to recall and memorize. According to statistical calculation, around 53% of the people rely on their memory to manage the passcodes.

Upgradation Of The Software Must Be Done

Software upgradation is another thing that can be effectively used for erasing the left digital footprint. There is much software that is continuously updating and tracking the digital footprints you leave.

Now, the question that comes here is how this situation could be met? In order to cope with it, you must have antiviruses to run on different software.

Running spontaneous updates and antiviruses will help you stay in the loop and update. If you don’t practice or implement this, your software is vulnerable to attack by hackers.

Double-Check Your Mobile Use

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Another thing that happens very frequently is that most of the people lost or misplace their cell phones. The only way that your data or information isn’t compromised is by having the security checks on the cell phone.

The timely review is also of great significance. If you review the apps that you don’t use on your mobile devices, you can delete them from your cell phones, and if, unfortunately, your cell phone got lost or misplaced, your precious data isn’t leaked, and you secured leaving the digital footprint back.

The applications you install on your phone require an agreement from you before kicking off with them. In that agreement, they mostly shared the details of where the information can be shared, etc.

Now, as most people do, if you just accepted the agreement and without digging in shared your valuable data, your digital footprint is at the higher risk of getting exploded to the public, you might not want to deal with.

Determine And Realize The Search Behavior

It is paramount to determine the behavior of search engines or even social media platforms. Having a digital footprint has another side too sometimes, the authoritative party isn’t you – means that the control isn’t in your hands.

Like this example, Facebook is the most frequently used social media platform of 2020 records and has access to even scrap of information to analyze, understand, and determine the behavior and create demographics based on marketing.

It often happens when you click on the Facebook ads, and some of your details have been shared. So limiting the information even at the most used digital platform can decrease leaving digital footprints.

Keep Updated List of Accounts

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Keeping the updated list of accounts is like the game in control. A double or triple check must be done to eliminate or erase all those apps that you don’t use. It is better to have empty spaces on your cell phones or tablets than to have filled them up and risking leaving the digital footprint.

When you have the list of accounts that you commonly use, you can easily erase the rest. Create a schedule of reviewing and analyzing the application after every 3 or 6 months to keep intact.

Never Publicize Your Details

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I hope that until now, you have realized why leaving a digital footprint is the biggest mistake. The pro tip here is never to post personal information online on any social media platform. To many of the users, it might not seem something that should be taken care of. But, in the widened horizon, the results are pretty ugly.

Your privacy can be invaded if you provide your key information online. The hackers of today are intelligent and wiser than we think! Breaking the barrier or entering isn’t tough for them if they get the information like a ready to eat platter.

If the application you are entering on is a must needed form without which you can’t survive, add the necessary information, and never fill in the optional portion. Privacy is at risk for those who publicize themselves.

Implement The Secrecy Mode

It is rightly said that;

‘No one ever approaches perfection except by secrecy.’

(William Hazlitt)

As technologies advances, breaching becomes easier. However, you have the option to improve your browser’s settings. If you use this method, you can easily browse the websites without leaving a single mark behind. The actions will become private, and you gain control.

This process indeed helps in minimizing the risk of leaving digital footprints, but it would not make everything invisible.

Deactivation Of Old Email Accounts

Deactivation of old email accounts is also another step forward to erasing digital footprints. The email address you created in the early days of digitalism needs to be redefined or deactivated.

Being in infant to digitalism, you might have added all the necessary information without even giving it a thought. Now, after getting to know the possible threats from digital footprints, you are on to deactivation.

The abandoned accounts will provide an open gate to the invaders. It is better to eliminate all the email accounts, instead of leaving them and creating possible menaces.

Prioritize The Use Of VPN

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Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a software or tool that gives privacy or anonymity by setting a privacy network from the public connection. This security firewall gives you an extra layer that protects your security from all breaches.

By using a virtual private network protection, you reduce the risks of tracking down by the websites. So how does the VPN security work?

It works by masking your IP address, which increases the protection level, and your online actions are almost untraceable. There are plenty of VPN providers in the market. Get the best that matches your requirements and affordability.

Search Yourself On Search Engines

Try to go on different search engines and type your name by adding first and last names accordingly. If you get in the top searches on the Search Engines Result Pages (SERPs), then view where your name has been popping up, ask the website running administrator to take down your name.

You can also activate Google Alerts that can help you in being vigilant to track your name. By setting up Google Alerts, when your name pops up or matches somewhere, the notification will give you the alert.

You might not have wondered, but several white pages providers and real estate’s have much of your information than you ever disclosed. Your email address, contact numbers, and sometimes residential addresses are also quite easy to hold. You can simply go to the website and ask the site to remove your details.

Use Digital Tools To Manage Your Digital Footprints

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There are a host of application add-ons and browser extensions with which you can limit the vulnerable personal and work information. Also, some other plugins and extensions can erase the website tracking, and thus your valuable information is protected.

Digital tools are advancing most successfully. These tools can help you reduce your digital footprints significantly.

Distance Yourself From Database Mailing Lists

Sometimes while you are shopping online or ordering food or even watching online streaming, you agree to several mailing lists. These mailing lists require a few points of information, and with that, they can have access to a broader picture.

If you had done that unknowingly in the past, now is the time to think it over and unsubscribing yourself from all the platforms that required even the slightest of information and are irrelevant to you.

Don’t Enlist Yourself For Silly Surveys

The internet is filled with preposterous and absurd surveys. Online games, forms, and even people are asking for random daft surveys to which we unknowingly show our willingness and fill the form to support the cause or to get accessibility to play the game or join the community.

This act is another addition to the wrongful acts. Leaving digital footprints will be increased with these nonsense surveys that are of no benefit to us.

Conclusion

The use of the internet and social media handlings should be done with extreme caution. If you not cautious or conscious, then you are on the brink of embedded threats in digital footprints.

The threats we face while being online are numerous, ranging from online data theft to invasion of privacy, cyberbullying, and fraud. The right practices at the right time will definitely help you from being vulnerable and better protect your digital footprint.

Numerous methods can be taken to overcome the digital footprint.

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Top 5 Tips for Instagram Influencers

There’s no denying that the world of Instagram influencing is big business. If you’re not already established or you’re working hard to build up your audience as an influencer, you don’t need me to tell you that it’s not an easy climb.

Social media platforms like Instagram have changed a lot over the last few years, and it’s more difficult than ever before but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible, especially when you know the tricks and tips that will help you succeed.

It’s these tips for Instagram influencers that we’re going to be focusing on today.

Instagram brands are looking for influencers that are in alignment with their mission and purpose, as well as influencers that can represent their business in the best way. This has led to a rise in automated, data-driven technology that is being added into the influencer vetting process.

With 63% of marketers set to increase their marketing budgets when it comes to influencer marketing, there’s no doubt the industry is still growing, so it’s time to get on and make things happen.

What is clear is that the Instagram world is constantly evolving and the number of brands and agencies getting involved is increasing rapidly. This can make it hard to keep up.

In this article, we have pulled together five influencer marketing trends for 2020 you need to know to ensure you’re maximising your chances for success.

1. Avoid Using Fake Bots and Spam

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I get it. Social proof is one of the best ways to grow, and if someone stumbles upon your page and sees you already have 100k followers, then yes, they’re probably going to be more likely to follow your account. However, this comes with drawbacks.

If you have 100k followers who are legitimate followers and people who have liked your page and interact with your content, you’re all good. If you’re using bots and fake accounts to get this kind of activity to trick people into thinking you’re a popular page, you’re going to be kicking yourself in the long run.

Fake followers and spam bots can really knock an influencer’s campaign off track. It is one of the reasons that it is so important to really vet influencer partners before starting a campaign. Businesses will be checking and vetting you to see whether your page activity is real because they want real results in their marketing campaign.

Even if you bought a ton of followers a few months ago, have legitimately grown since and now don’t fake followers, even the slightest sign that you have can be enough to put a paying business off. It’s not worth risking so just don’t do it.

It is so easy these days to buy fake followers to appear to be an influencer, when in fact the engagement and loyalty from fans is not established. Spotting fake followers and less than authentic engagement is a huge priority for marketers.

The reality is that this will become obvious when working with an influencer, as those fake followers will not deliver the return on investment expected. By then, however, the marketer will have handed over the money, which is why vetting influencers has become such a priority.

Brand accounts and marketers are become much better at the way they approach and negotiate deals with influencers and are much more astute at knowing what to expect, which means they are more aware of the warning signals.

The removal of “likes” on Instagram may help with this problem, as influencers are having to focus on quality content to drive engagement.

2. Build Long Term Relationships

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There’s a saying in the business world that it’s much easier to keep a customer than to find a new one, and this is true for influencers. Don’t try and get as many contracts and clients as you can, because while it may seem exciting to be working with all these businesses, they’re only going to run you into the ground, and you’ll overwhelm your audience.

Instead, try to focus on nurturing long term relationships and collaboration with business is becoming vital for brands in 2020. Built upon trust and mutual interest, brands are moving away from paying influencers for a single post in favour of a longer-lasting connection.

By working together on the longer-term, brands can set their expectations and develop a deeper understanding of what works and what is less successful in campaigns. A strong relationship also provides security for the future with on-going endorsements at their fingertips.

Collaboration also helps build audiences, as it establishes trust and credibility with the influencer’s fans. This, in turn, encourages a natural loyalty for the brand.

Another benefit is that influencers are more inclined to engage with the brand and create higher-quality content if they have a longer-term investment in the relationship. It gives them a stronger incentive to perform.

Take a look at the partnership between influencers like David Dobrik and Seatgeek; a ticket sales website in the US. David has incorporated the Seatgeek brand into his content, usually using the money Seatgeek has paid him to create elaborate content, such as buying his friend’s brand-new sports cars, much to the delight of his audience.

Having a partnership like this can be highly beneficial to both brand and influencers, and it’s well worth focusing on this way of doing business where possible. Of course, that’s not to say you can’t have one-offs here and there, but long-term partnerships are always going to be the way to go.

3. The Rise of Female Gamers

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We know that online gamers can create a huge, loyal fan base, and is easily one of the most popular forms of content in the world. One MOBA video game known as League of Legends hosted their World Championship back in 2019 and attracted more viewers than Super Bowl, so there’s no denying this is an industry that both businesses and influencers need to be thinking about. The top gamers are clear targets for markets, as they hold huge influence over the younger audiences, and it’s not uncommon to see content creators on other platforms, such as YouTube or Instagram, diversify and stream live.

An increase in streaming for gamer channels has meant that they attract bigger audiences than ever before. This means that non-gaming brands are becoming more interested in sponsorship deals with this formerly niche market. It’s widely untapped and there’s huge potential right now to connect with large audiences that have never existed before.

“An increase in streaming for gamer channels has meant that they attract bigger audiences than ever before,” suggests Mandy Bothwell, a marketing blogger at Assignment Service and OXEssays. “This means that non-gaming brands are becoming more interested in sponsorship deals with this formerly niche market. It’s widely untapped and there’s huge potential right now to connect with large audiences that have never existed before.”

With this rise in popularity, the industry has seen a big surge in female gamers especially, who now hold nearly a third of YouTube gaming audiences. The leading female gamers have a combined subscriber count in excess of twenty million people. According to Google data, the female gaming community has grown by 19% in the last year, a number that’s only increasing.

As the balance of female and male gamers is starting to equalise, there is more potential for brands to create strategies that appeal to both genders in the same industry. We have seen this already with campaigns from brands like PlayStation, who have used both male and female influencers.

This means influencers, both male and female, should be focusing on reaching out to their audiences and, whereas the gaming industry predominantly focused on male gamers, should now start thinking about how they can become more inclusive.

4. Content Quality and Safety

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Influencer marketing can be unreliable from time to time and the industry has seen this over the past few years with slip-ups. Either an influencer has made a mistake or created questionable content that not only makes them look bad, but also the brands they’ve been working with.

When you look at big YouTube influencers (who also run marketing campaigns with brands on their Instagram accounts) such as Logan Paul and PewDiePie, (which have in excessive of 200+ million followers across multiple platforms and have been accused of anti-semantic claims, and posting incredibly inappropriate content, such as Paul’s vlog video to the ‘Suicide Forest’ in Japan, where he posted footage of a dead body.

The unpredictability is inevitable because influencers are only human, as are their audience. A post may leave fans feeling ripped off, or influencers may breach FTC guidelines, but problems are bound to arise. In fact, the FTC claims that around 93% of all influencer posts could not be compliant due to the language they use, and making it unclear whether their content is genuine or an ad.

This is vital because consumers and followers, especially younger, more impressionable audiences because selling someone something when they don’t know their being marketed to simply isn’t fair. This has spawned the rise of hashtags like #ad and #partnership which influencers should be using when creating marketing posts.

Safety is a huge concern for brands and trying to reduce the impact of the potential problems is a priority. As a result, brands are not only vetting the influencers, but also the content they create. They don’t want to associate themselves with an influencer that produces content that could harm their image, or cause reputation damage.

“Safety is a huge concern for brands and trying to reduce the impact of the potential problems is a priority,” says James Hewitt, a business writer at Academized and Top UK writing services. “As a result, brands are not only vetting the influencers, but also the content they create. They don’t want to associate themselves with an influencer that produces content that could harm their image, or cause reputation damage.”

This is another reason why brands are increasing efforts to build longer relationships with influencers that do match their values and the audience they want to target. When they find the right person, who is creating content that protects brand safety, they want to keep working with them.

In our current marketing landscape, the right fit can be the difference between a brand succeeding or failing, so brands are going to continue to put more emphasis on quality content and the right relationships.

5. Monetization Is Diversifying

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Social media stars have enjoyed a great revenue stream from influencer marketing for years and platforms are starting to recognize the importance of improving monetization options. As an influencer, it’s important to make sure you’re researching to see what opportunities are available to you when it comes to monetization.

For example, back in 2018, YouTube introduced a paid subscription model for their content creators, which allowed fans to pay a fee of $4.99 a month to be able to access exclusive content. Influencers have also created merchandising and products to sell as an additional source of revenue.

A paid subscription model has also been launched on Facebook, allowing businesses another revenue source outside of ads. Influencers have also turned to crowdfunding as a way of raising capital. From cookbooks to health and fitness programs, creators are finding more opportunities to monetize than ever before.

Brands should pay attention to this influencer trend, as it will impact how they can work with influencers in the future. Creators seem less interested in sole sponsored posts and are looking instead to create multiple streams of revenue from their work. This means that they are seeking to build deeper working relationships with brands.

As a result, the most successful influencers are starting to become more selective in confident in choosing the brands that they build relationships with. It has become equally as important for influencers to choose the right product and service for their audience as it is for the brand to pick the right influencer. This is why the relationship is fundamental for 2020.

With more revenue channels available, this gives you the opportunity to not just jump at the first chance of working with the first partnership that comes your way, but rather being able to select the right businesses to work with that can propel your business forward into the realms of success, not just being a money grab opportunity.

Don’t forget to think outside the box. The new Instagram Shop feature is a great way to create your own products, such as merchandise, that you can sell directly to your followers, but you could really sell anything you want. Get creative and the payoff could be huge.

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Essential Social Media Branding Tips for Small Business

With the overabundance of content available on social media, no doubt, brands are exploiting their ability to produce and publish selling oriented media to the fullest using essential social media branding tips. With billions of active users across the globe, social media does present a huge opportunity to cash-in on the hype it gets from the masses.

Today we have reached a level where there is more than enough marketing content on social media than people can actually consume.

According to a recent report by HubSpot, Facebook ads with images are 75%-90% more effective, and 93% of social media advertisers use Facebook. Furthermore, 37% of consumers find purchase inspirations through social media, making it the biggest source of inspiration for consumer purchases.

In light of this information, let’s take a quick look at some social media branding tips which might help you to create an impact for your own brands and businesses.

Audience Preferences

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We all are becoming increasingly aware every day as to how our preferences matter in everything we do. Likewise, brands are also emphasizing the need for personalization, especially when they want to give out messages and communicate with prospects and leads.

Social media offers you a nice ability to have your say in a much open environment where there is presumably less friction. One of the best examples of brands choosing to stick with audience preferences is Be Girl® where they go all out to make discussions more comfortable regarding concerns that might be considered taboo in various cultures around the world.

This also closely ties in with their vision which focuses on making young girls understand their body and never let it stand in the way of health, opportunities, and success. Their mission is to make affordable, beautiful, and innovative products for womankind.

So far, they have delivered an exceptional ability to understand the various troubles a girl to this day might experience when they are growing up, and their bodies are going through changes. Be Girl nails the audience preferences like a pro.

Content that Bonds with Users

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This year COVID-19 hit us hard and brands needed to step out of their shells and deliver with content that truly bonded with users. With over 18.7 million followers, Sony’s PlayStation upstaged everyone by announcing its “#PlayAtHome” initiative which encouraged users to stay at home and play several games for free, including ‘Unchartered: The Nathan Drake Collection’.

This was met with huge applause from the community, and there is no wonder that in recent years PlayStation has implemented various marketing activities and seen tremendous growth in its followers since the past five years.

Brands need to do this often and reach out to users that instantly create a strong bond with them. PlayStation does a commendable job when it comes to posting content regularly and builds relationships with users.

Their social media feed has almost everything that one gamer could desire for. There they can find new updates, patches, information, release dates, upcoming games, and so much more. This keeps the users engaged and craving for more. Many gamers with Twitter accounts follow PlayStation because they know every day there is going to be something new waiting for them to discover.

Excite Your Audiences

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Social media is a platform that is built around an environment that induces excitement in users. This is a vital focal point which social media centers around, and that is to entice the audiences, make them drool, and give them something to freshen up. Brands can use innovative design not only in their social media posts to attract customers but through intuitive products as well.

Wayfair does a fine job posting exciting new content on their Instagram account where they let you experience what their brand is all about. They offer you a zillion things to consider buying when it comes to home furniture and décor. With over 5000 brands of furniture, cookware, lighting and more they know that is never enough for the audiences.

In several of their posts, you will find a complete design and setup of a living room, dining room, and bedrooms where they place their products offerings. To make it more interactive for the audiences, they tag each item with a clickable-link when a user rolls their mouse over a particular item.

This makes it fun for audiences since as soon as they spot something on their post that excites them, they can simply click on the image that takes them to their online store where they can finish buying the product.

Humor That Makes Them ROFL!

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Without question, humor is perhaps one of the biggest assets that brands can utilize to instantly break the ice, reach a certain level of friendship with customers, and make the air lighter for everyone else. A great example could that be of Amazon, where they responded to their customer’s post about their brand in a funny and witty manner.

Social media, in itself, is a community that greatly values humor, and many users often go get a good laugh through the platform. As a brand, you should strive to deliver the right notes and push the right buttons. Humor is indeed a winning strategy! Laughter is a universal language, hahaha for some while it means all the same when it is Jajaja or kukuku.

Humor unifies us all and helps us break away from barriers and negate through undue prejudices. In a world where racial discrimination is still a serious issue, the online community vastly disapproves paradigms that support one community over the other. Humor thus bridges the gap regardless of our demographic, geographical location, race, ethnicity, and skin color.

Keeping It True to Your Core

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Every brand out there has a purpose that further guides in developing a long term vision for the establishment to chase after. Deviating, from your true nature, takes the spotlight away from what is actually meant to grab the attention of the audiences. GEICO Racing on Twitter is a great example in this regard.

Even though it’s a subcomponent GEICO, an insurance company, GEICO Racing will always focus their posts related to their NASCAR team which they sponsor along with race updates. This show commitment and consistency, which is much appreciated by many users across the globe.

People love to follow channels and platforms online that dedicate themselves to particular. This allows strong associations for customers to thrive. With continued familiarity, brands become archetypes for their particular niche and are etched into the minds of their viewers and followers.

This is what GEICO Racing is exactly doing right now. They want to affiliate themselves with the racing community, so while the mother company deals with much broader subjects and themes, this particular account on Twitter is solely catering to fans and followers of NASCAR and other racing enthusiasts.

Make Them Think

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What is a promotion on social media without giving a chance to your audience to experience hands-on what your brand is all about? Companies nowadays need to amplify their game to the next level and seek to create interactions and opportunities that bring their offered products and services closer to their targeted audiences.

For your brand’s success on social media, you need to make sure that your posts ignite action online. In order to do this, you need to dish out offers and experiences that will make them think twice before scrolling elsewhere.

BMW’s Ultimate Driving Machine was able to execute this strategy in style. They offered viewers an invitation to an exclusive event being held at the LA Auto Show in 2018.

No doubt this powerful branding message, tagline, and the world-class event was able to motivate a lot of followers online to take time out of their busy lives and find out what the BMW brand was all about.

A quick 17 seconds long teaser video was a good choice as well as it was further able to tease audiences and build up the curiosity for them to experience the latest cars up close.

Panache & Simplicity

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Sometimes if you want to make your brands look sophisticated, you need to stick with an elegance that is brought through simplicity. Instead of overloading your audiences with a heap load of shapes, sizes, and colors, all you need is your branding theme and simple colors to spell out luxury or exclusivity.

Casper a mattress manufacturing company and public e-commerce that offers sleeping products do this perfectly. Their soothing images with beige and blue brand colors just make you snuggle in and get cozy yourself. This is indeed powerful messaging that instantly strikes people and release a burst of emotions and feelings.

To make things even simpler, they follow up on their post with hand-drawn illustrations almost saying that they are too comfortable as they are to even make an effort to hire a professional.

All of this plays really well with their other branding themes that instantly induces a level of laziness and comfort that could make anyone feel drowsy and instantly crave for a power nap. This is how they want you to feel, peaceful and calm before you put those eyes to rest.

Selling a Lifestyle

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There are plenty of companies out there that sell you products and services; however, as a brand, you need to think like a living and breathing entity. That is why, with the passage of time, it is becoming essential that brands move beyond their product offerings or service listings and move towards actually selling a lifestyle.

Brand in itself is an experience and to promote your brand you need to deliver a lifestyle they would desire to have or gladly adopt. I chose the brand Lululemon here as their marketing team quickly established themselves as the upbeat and go-to store for all things related to athletic apparel and technical clothing.

Their marketing mix breathes an outdoor experience and a fitness-savvy lifestyle where people like to be on the move while staying sharp and healthy. Every single move is dedicated to promoting an active lifestyle that simply says no to being confined at homes. Their current movement of hosting a virtual sprint during COVID-19 is inspirational and has stirred a lot of their followers.

It shows that no matter how big the challenges, with a supportive community, anyone can strive forward and overcome challenges. Talking about lifestyles, personal statement help providers also encourage students to hire their services and stop worrying about their troubles regarding academic written work.

Visual Eye-Candy

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Screenshot Images

Adding visually appealing elements to your post is absolutely adored by social media platforms. In fact, social media platforms promote visual elements more than just written words or taglines.

As a brand, you need to think in this perspective where you are able to highlight and promote your offering through eye-catching, attractive, and attention-grabbing material that can make people pause and look more enthusiastically at your posts.

Here we have an example of Starbucks ‘#ColdBrew’ the image signifies through shadows that the sun is out anyone would believe in their right mind wouldn’t simply mind grabbing a cold beverage to beat the heat.

Its true a picture is worth thousand words, but how you portray that image and the story it instantly generates in the minds of viewers is purely a piece of art. No technical expertise can compare to innovative and creative designs when they hit the sweet spot.

As a brand and business, you should always consider the opportunity of making your post look great with appealing visuals as they are instantly able to make head turns and can even favor a post to become viral throughout the masses. A tactic also used by many Web Hosting Companies to gather clients, leads, and attract prospects.

Social Media Branding Tips Takeaway

The impact of social media for brands and their marketing endeavors is undeniable. With internet penetration increasing at a progressive rate amongst the masses, the use of social media is also projected to increase at a tremendous rate in the coming years.

Plus we have technologies like AI and 5G just waiting around the corner to become more publicly accessible. They will drastically improve companies and their efforts to promote themselves using social media.

I hope this post was able to offer you some delightful insights regarding how businesses can brand themselves through social media. For more questions, leave a mention about your feedback or query in the comment section below. Cheers!!!

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The Definitive Guide to Social Media Branding for Your Business

If you run a business, ignoring social media is a big no-no. There are 3.6 billion people worldwide using social media platforms as of 2020. By 2025, that number is likely to be around 4.41 billion.

Chances are your customers and prospective customers are on social media. If you use it well, you can leverage social media to generate leads, drive traffic, increase sales, and boost customer engagement. But for 80% of social media marketers, the biggest goal is brand awareness:

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Source: Sprout Social

Social media branding is a crucial element of your overall brand awareness strategy. In this article, we’ll look at what social media branding is and how to do it. Let’s dive in.

Social Media Branding

Social media branding is the process of building and managing a consistent company image across various social media platforms. The goal is to increase people’s knowledge of your company and positively influence how they perceive you. A strong branding strategy based on consistent values builds trust. And brand awareness, coupled with trust, is how you attract leads, make conversions, and retain customers:

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The best way to manage your brand’s image on social media is by consistently engaging your customers and target audience with valuable, relevant content.

In the next section, I’ll talk you through the vital ingredients of a social media branding strategy.

Key Elements

Before you can implement your branding strategy, you need to define your goals. Here are the four elements to consider and understand before you start posting:

Your audience

If you do not understand your target audience, you cannot hope to reach and influence them. Since the goal of your social media branding strategy is to attract and retain customers, your target audience should also be your ideal customer.

Therefore, before you do anything else, create a customer persona. The persona is a profile of your ideal customer – their demographic information, problems, goals, and interests. Here’s an example:

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Source: Jeff Bullas

The more you know about your audience, the better you can tailor your marketing efforts to their needs and preferences.

Identity

Now that you know who you want to cater to, ask yourself this: how do you want those people to see your business? Maybe you want your young target audience to associate your company with fun and irreverence. Or perhaps you want to be seen as luxurious, high-end, and aspirational.

But as you determine your identity, don’t just think about the adjectives you want your target audience to associate with your brand. Think about the core values you want people to associate with it, too.

Let me give you two examples: Starbucks and Coca Cola.

Starbucks has been successful in its branding strategy because, when you think of the brand, you no longer just think of coffee. You picture the culture of warmth that the company has cultivated.

Starbucks was able to achieve this identity by relating everything, including its messages, its actions, its events, and even its people, to that core value embodied by its mission statement: to be a brand that “inspires and nurtures the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”

Coca Cola achieved something similar. When you think of the brand, you don’t just think of the sugary soda. The brand evokes belonging and togetherness. This is because throughout its history, Coca Cola has bombarded us with messages that are consistent with these values that are reflected in its mission statement: “to inspire moments of optimism and happiness.”

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Whatever your brand identity, it must be unique. Copying another business in your niche will not get results. What makes your brand different? The clearer this is in your mind, the easier it will be to communicate it to your audience.

Here are some recent examples from entertainment giant Netflix:

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Source: @netflix on Instagram

Notice the informal language, use of humor, and internet slang. Netflix clearly wants to position itself as a fun, playful brand that understands the cultural references that are important to its young core audience.

Content

Now that you know what your brand identity is and who it is for, you need to plan the types of content you will share. Your content must always align with your goals.

If you want your brand to be perceived as fun and playful, use bright colors and plenty of humor. If your brand identity is more serious and high-end, neutral colors and a more formal tone of voice might be appropriate.

The images you choose are even more essential than your language. The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than words. Therefore, your visual content must draw the eye, convey the right message, and make them pause their scrolling long enough to read your post.

As much as possible, use your own images. Since you or someone else from your company took the picture, you can be assured it reflects your brand values. Also, you avoid situations where people accuse you of using their image, and demand payment for it (you’d be surprised at how frequently that actually happens).

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Source: Giphy

Some brands, however, use a mixture of original and stock photos because creating original images can be time-consuming and expensive. This is a risk, however, since it can be difficult to differentiate a brand from the others that use the same stock image. Also, stock photos aren’t usually eye-catching. Since they’re basically everywhere, they’re just perceived as “ordinary.”

But if you really, really have to use stock photos because you don’t have the budget to stage an entire photoshoot, make sure the license you have for using the image allows you to do what you’re doing with the picture. Even if you paid for the image, you can’t do anything you want with it. Some licenses limit stock photos posting to specific media such as print. Other licenses only allow posting for personal use.

Make sure, too, that none of your competitors is using the stock photo you plan to include in your social media post. Even if it’s a stock image, you’re more likely to be perceived as the copycat because you were the last one to post it. I’d also shun images that look eerily similar to the images posted by any other brand for the same reasons. Try to tweak the picture a bit, maybe crop it, or do some basic edits to stand out. Buffer, which uses stock photos daily, came up with this very useful guide to using stock photos in marketing you can read.

Your Social Media Platform

Don’t be overwhelmed by the myriad of platforms to choose from. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily need to be on all of them. Instead, choose the platform that your target demographic is most likely to use.

With the exception of Facebook, whose user base cuts across demographic divisions, each social media platform has a clear group of core users. Here’s a quick, useful guide from the Flint Group:

Twitter: Young individuals with a college education.

LinkedIn: Professionals, particularly senior leaders in the corporate world.

Instagram: People from 18 to 29 years old.

Pinterest: Many more women than men.

If your target audience is on multiple platforms, how many you choose depends on your resources. If you have a big social media team, then you might want to be everywhere. If you’re a team of one, choose just one or two platforms. It’s better to run one channel well than to run five that you keep forgetting to update!

Positioning Your Brand

By now, you should understand your audience, brand identity, the types of content you want to post, and the platform(s) you will be using. You’re ready to get started! In this section, you’ll learn three of the most critical strategies for positioning your brand as a leader in your niche through social media.

Be Consistent

Consistency is key in branding. Giving mixed messages or sharing random posts with no connection is a recipe for failure. Be consistent in your language, voice, tone, visuals, design, and messaging. Ensure that everything you post reflects the way you want customers to see your brand.

Consistency across platforms is also essential. You can’t be a serious brand on Facebook and then a fun brand on Twitter. Doing so will just confuse your target audiences. Remember that your business goal is to achieve strong brand awareness. You can only do this if you are consistent across all your channels.

Here’s an example from the candy company Skittles’ Twitter and Instagram channels:

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Notice the use of the rainbow colors, humor, and an informal tone across all the company’s content regardless of channel. This consistency, combined with a distinctive brand identity, makes it instantly recognizable.

Post Regularly

The more frequently people interact with your brand, the more quickly they will come to recognize it and identify your company. But the optimal posting frequency varies by platform. This is because each social media post has a different “lifespan.” Here’s a list of some types of social media posts, and their respective “lifespans,” according to Green Umbrella Biz.

  • Facebook post: An average life span of six hours, but 75% of the impressions occur in the first 2 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Instagram post: An average lifespan of 48 hours.
  • Tweet: An average lifespan of 18 minutes.
  • LinkedIn post: Average lifespan of 48 hours.

Pinterest is not on the list but, according to Webfx, the half-life of a pin (the time in which the pin receives 50% of its clicks and views) is an astonishing 3.5 months.

Here’s a suggested snapshot of how often you should post on each social media platform:

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What you see here is not an exact science, of course. Pay attention to your engagement metrics. Each piece of content must be relevant and of high quality.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your content. Inspiration is everywhere! Keep up with current events and trends, check out what your competitors are doing, and read up on how to create engaging social media posts. Make sure you don’t plagiarize, though. Drawing inspiration from others’ work is cool. Stealing it is not.

I also like to plan my social media posts using a content calendar. I recommend you do the same – knowing precisely what you need to post and when takes much of the guesswork out of social media branding. It also allows you to be more strategic and intentional.

Use Email Marketing

Email marketing and social media branding work exceptionally well together. The companies with the strongest brand awareness tend to align their email marketing and social media content closely.

“If you have an email newsletter, highlight an interesting recent social media post in each issue. You can use a scheduling tool to automate your emails and track the responses. Upgrading your email inbox with smart features allows you to get more done in less time,” says Sujan Patel of Right Inbox.

You can also use email marketing to grow your social media followers. This is exactly what Fruit of the Loom, an American clothing company, does. Check out this email which went to everyone on the company’s mailing list:

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Source: Business2community

This works the other way around, too. Social media can be a powerful method of getting sign-ups to your email marketing list. Giveaways, incentives, and lead-magnets can all be advertised on your social media channels, with a link to your email list registration page.

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Source: Campaign Monitor

You can also use social media to remind your list subscribers to check their emails and open your message, such as the example above from beauty subscription service, Birchbox.

There’s another step you can take to more fully integrate your email marketing and social media marketing strategies: upload your email subscriber list to your social media platforms. Many of the major platforms allow you to do this. Facebook’s Custom Audience ad targeting option allows you to reach people who already know your brands from other channels.

Once you’ve uploaded your email list, you can run targeted social media campaigns. It also allows you to learn more about your subscribers. And the better you know your audience, the better positioned you are to market to them!

Making Your Brand Voice Known

If you want to grow awareness of your brand, you cannot afford to ignore social media. With billions of users worldwide, it is one of the most critical marketing channels. With a solid social media strategy, you can position your brand as a leader in your field and nurture relationships with your target audience.

Remember the golden rules of social media branding:

Understand your audience demographics, brand identity, content plans, and platform of choice before posting.

Be consistent both within and across your channels.

Post regularly.

Align your email marketing and social media branding strategies to work together.

A robust social media branding strategy attracts new customers, retains existing ones, and increases loyalty to your business. If you put in the effort and do it well, it will help you achieve your business goals.

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10 Instagram SEO Hacks to Gain More Followers

Trying to promote your Instagram page, but somehow, all of your promotional efforts go in vain, and now you feel frustrated? As there are millions of businesses out there, and probably hundreds of them competing in your niche, it’s completely normal to face some difficulties growing your account.

But do you want to know what the secrets of successful Instagram managers are?

It’s not that complicated; they apply some less known Instagram hacks! Things like using a good Instagram followers app, contacting a suitable influencer, or paying attention to the keywords.

In this article, I’m going to share a listicle of the best Instagram SEO hacks, so you can promote your page in the fastest and most effective way, and rank high in the Instagram search engine. So, let’s dive in!

But first, take a look at this Instagram SEO infographic:

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Source: Original (Created by Rezvan)

Instagram SEO Hacks To Get Real Followers

Use the following SEO strategies to expose yourself better and push those prospective followers out onto your account.

1- Use Effective Instagram Apps

Many Instagram managers tend to invest in Instagram ads to gain more followers. Although it’s a very reasonable approach, you may find other ways of reaching potential audiences, such as using Instagram apps more effectively.

There was a long time ago when people would use bots or buy Instagram followers. Thanks to the Instagram smart and ever-changing algorithm, this option is now off the table. But that does not mean you cannot outsource your promotional Instagram tasks anymore. Actually, Instagram followers apps have upgraded their services and now offer new solutions for promotional issues. Many of them use human experts instead of bots, which eliminates the danger of being banned by Instagram and ultimately increases your chance of ranking high in the Instagram search engine. Moreover, Instagram follower apps can bring you more specific followers that can quickly turn to your potential customers.

The only thing that you should pay close attention to is choosing the right service. As you know, there are countless websites out there offering such services. You should be careful about selecting the right app; otherwise, you may put your page in danger rather than promoting it, because they might not deliver what they claim.

2- Use Hashtags Wisely

While hashtags do not generate a glamorous level of engagement, they’re useful for your Instagram SEO. It may sound a little bit too simple for a hack, but hashtags are still among the best ways to be discovered on Instagram. Although, the problem with the hashtags is the fact that they seem overused; however, they can be useful if you know how to use them correctly.

The secret recipe for a successful Instagram hashtag practice is to use a perfect combination of them. And how to get that formula? Well, it depends on various factors, such as the type of your niche, your followers, and your country. So, the best way to find out your perfect hashtag combination might be trial and error. However, there’s general guidance that might be helpful for you. Usually, for 30 available hashtags for each post, consider these numbers:

  • General hashtags: 15-17
  • Brand related hashtags: 10-12
  • Describing hashtags: 3-5
  • Location hashtags: 1-3

For example, if you run a fashion business, when publishing a post, say of a model holding your latest handbag, you can use general hashtags such as #fashion #style, #handbag, and #model. For brand-related hashtags, you should use your brand’s name + phrases like bags, fashion, style, clothes, and so on. Also, don’t forget about the details! To add describing hashtags, look at your photo closely and search for fine details such as the type of the model or the color of the bag. Finally, add up to three location hashtags, including your country, city, or neighborhood, to get local followers.

3- Use Geotags

Did you know when searching a phrase on the Instagram search engine, it will show you the geographically nearby pages first? To create a better experience for its users, Instagram pops up the businesses that are near you. For example, if you type in “bakery” in your search bar, you may see your neighborhood bakeries before other more well-known bakeries.

This is a great Instagram SEO hack for small businesses that rely on local customers, which are actually their ultimate audiences.

So, when publishing a post on Instagram, make sure you add the geotag before hitting the share button. And remember, don’t use general geotags; the more specific the geotag, the better chance to find nearby customers. For example, there are thousands of bakeries in NYC, narrowing down the location to a particular area will increase your chances of being discovered. You can also add your own location to Google and use it. This way, your customers also find it easier to tag you when uploading their photos on Instagram. You should also link your Instagram profile to all of your local business listings to maximize your visibility.

4- Add Main Keywords To The Username and The Display Name

This one is a real gem Instagram SEO hack, as many businesses may ignore it. Every business has some main keywords. For example, let’s say you run a seafood restaurant; your main keyword would be “restaurant.” Make sure you add the main keyword to your username and display name (the title that appears immediately under your username on the search results and above your bio) to be more search-friendly.

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Source: https://www.instagram.com/pidginyvr/?hl=en

5- Add Secondary Keywords To Your Bio

Secondary keywords are also essential for your Instagram SEO. Let’s continue with the mentioned example of the restaurant in the previous part. Your secondary keywords can be “seafood,” “fish,” and “oyster.” Or if you have an Italian restaurant, your secondary keywords are “pizza,” “pasta,” and other delicious Italian food.

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Source: https://www.instagram.com/scottsmayfair/

Your bio is the best place to advertise your brand because when visiting your page, people see this part first. So, try to be creative and use all the essential secondary keywords in this part in a concise way. Remember, you can only use 150 characters in this section.

6- Optimize Your Caption

The next place that you want to optimize for a better rank in the Instagram search engine is the caption. You have 2,200 characters to use (around 300 words). So, use all the critical keywords that are aligned with your photo or video.

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Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/CB0oPRYHmej/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

You can use these keywords as a hashtag by simply add an # before any word through your text.

An optimized caption does not necessarily mean a long one. Captions can be short or medium in size and still work perfectly. Only use extended captions if you have a great story to tell; otherwise, your visitors will skip it, as Instagrammers usually have a short attention span.

Moreover, don’t forget to start your caption with a hook that grabs anyone’s attention and finish it with a call to action (CTA) phrase as these tricks will increase the Instagram engagement.

7- Optimize Your Post on Google Using Alt text

There is a huge debate going on among Instagram SEO experts about the effect of Instagram posts on websites’ SEO. Although many say adding Instagram posts on blogs does not generate any SEO value, many people have observed a significant link between successful Instagram pages and websites that are highly ranked. No one can prove this theory, but we’re sure about one thing: the Instagram Alt text is searchable on Google.

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Credit: CognitiveSEO

Just like the regular alt text used in websites, Instagram alt text was developed primarily for visually impaired users. However, they can serve Instagram managers more by making captions detectable for search engines such as Google.

So, the next time you want to publish a post, take some time, and add alt text to your content. To do this, when you’ve done writing the caption, tagging people, and adding location, scroll down and tap on the “Advanced setting.”

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Then select “Write alt text” under “Accessibility.

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Here, you can add a description of your photo for those who have visual impairments. Just remember that the alt text is not equal to caption. Sometimes people write captions that have nothing to do with the photos that they are using. Here’s an example of proper alt text:

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Credit: Moz.com

Instagram alt text will automatically be added to your post using AI, but it’s a better idea to write it yourself as you can add your keywords.

8- Use More Videos

Videos are one of the most popular Instagram trends these days. Actually, They can incredibly boost your engagement as videos receive twice the engagement of photos on Instagram. Another great thing about videos is that although Instagrammers tend to check the feed very fast, they hesitate to watch videos. With the introduction of IGTV, the latest video sharing method on the platform, people spend incredibly more time watching videos than before (80% to be exact).

Moreover, videos can go viral quickly, which creates an excellent opportunity for increasing brand awareness, and as a result, people start searching your profile on Instagram to watch other videos and probably start following you.

Creating videos might take more time than preparing photos, but it certainly worth it. Remember, you don’t have to be a professional YouTuber or producer to make viral videos. Thanks to the global passion of taking selfies, every smartphone has a high-quality camera, and you only have to be a little bit creative!

Note: It’s a good idea to create “How To Do” and “DIY videos as Instagrammers love to watch, share, and save them.

9- Make Friends with Influencers

Another Instagram SEO hack is partnering up with influencers. Influencers can make a real difference when it comes to brand awareness and build up trust with the audience. The beauty of using influencers lies in the fact that they usually use indirect marketing methods instead of traditional ways. This is an excellent way to promote your products or services as the influencer uses them in a natural and everyday manner.

For example, if you own a business selling organic food ingredients, one of the best ways to promote your account is to send your products for food influencers and ask them to mention your brand.

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Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/CC4EcHCJIBr/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Luckily, there are all types of influencers for every niche and budget. You may think that the more follower an influencer has, the more engagement and username search it creates for the page. Well, that’s just partially true. Actually, research showed that influencers with fewer followers have the highest engagement. For example, influencers who have 1k to 5k followers have an outstanding 8.8 percent engagement rate. So, don’t worry if you don’t have the budget for celebrities and big names. It’s worth mentioning that many global brands, such as Coca Cola and Nike, continuously run micro-influencer campaigns.

No matter how rare your business niche is, you can still find a perfect influencer even during the pandemic.

10- Analyze Your Account Performance

Last but certainly not least: always have an eye on your page performance. Just like a web SEO expert who checks and analyzes the reposts daily, as an Instagram manager, you, too, should be aware of any detail about your account’s performance. For example, if an influencer promotes one of your posts or products, monitor your page immediately after tools such as Instagram Insights or maybe third-party apps that will give the analyzed data.

Check for the best posts and see which one has brought you more profile visits. These posts might be the best types of content that attract people, and you can invest in them more confidently.

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Analyzing your Instagram page allows you to detect any problem with the measures you’ve taken, so you can change and adopt other options. For example, if you see the promotional posts published by your influencer are not working the way you expected, you can always start working with another.

Wrap Up: Instagram SEO Hacks

In this article, I provided a listicle of the best Instagram SEO hacks that you can use to raise your visibility on the Instagram search engine. With careful planning, constant tracking, and using these SEO hacks, you can be sure that you’ll be a winner in this crazy platform.

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How to promote a podcast on social media in 2020

Want to know how to promote a podcast? Using social media to promote your podcast is the best way to attract regular listeners. Seeing as more than 3.8 billion people have been on social media platforms since the start of 2020 alone, finding your niche audience via the use of a professional social media page is a podcast’s best chance at success.

Posting your podcast on social media means you’re making use of the most powerful and accessible tool currently on the digital market; social media doesn’t cost to use, and that’s precisely why you need to leverage its power in favor of your podcast. With this in mind, here are 11 ways to promote your podcast on social media in 2020.

Know Where The Listeners Are (Pssst. It’s iTunes)

iTunes is one of the biggest podcast platforms in the world – with over 800,000 different podcasts currently hosted on it, and over a billion downloads of these podcasts month by month.

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They beat Youtube, Google, and Spotify out of the water entirely. Make sure you’re on iTunes, as well as on Spotify or as videos on Youtube, which is a very useful form of social media. Being accessible ensures people can listen to you – almost 80% of podcast listeners tune in while commuting.

Tailor Your Posts for Different Platforms

Why? Different social media platforms are going to require different kinds of promotions since your audience will vary from platform to platform. Your podcast is in an audio format, of course, but you can write some copy for it, as well as come up with logos and/or brand friendly images to make it more visually appealing to your listeners.

Instagram, for example, is very much a visual platform with lots of video content, and will need good graphics and interesting angles to draw a user’s attention. Facebook likes content that’s easy to share, so make your posts bold and bright with snappy headlines. And on LinkedIn, blog posts and in depth news sources always rank highest.

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Image courtesy of Instagram

Invite Guests

Having guest speakers and/or hosts on your podcasts means you can leverage their name to promote your podcast.

In 2020, there are more podcasts than ever before, and you’re going to be spoilt for choice when it comes to well-known names.

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Don’t worry, your podcast has something to offer here. With the right promotion, your guests will bring their audience over to you, and you’ll be able to do the same for them, so it’s very much a relationship of give and take.

Release as Much as You Can

If you’re just about to release your first podcast episode, it’d be better to have the second or third episode ready to go at the same time. This allows listeners to really get into the swing of things, and settle in to enjoy what you say during your episodes.

Plus, the more content you can post within a 24-hour timeframe, the better your podcast is going to rank based on activity algorithms.

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Try to aim for 3 episodes at once, and then release 1 episode at a time on a weekly basis after that. This has been shown to rank best based on research, as podcasts are on demand by nature, and your new audience will expect that of you.

It’s Best To Share Alongside a Blog Post

Why? Blog posts are the main course to the tasty dessert option that is a podcast,

Releasing a blog post with a podcast attached (or the other way around) can increase the number of hashtags you’re able to use, as well as the substantial amount of content your brand has put out there.

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A blog post can allow a listener to go behind the scenes with the podcast. It allows for a greater sense of interaction and also ensures there’s a better click-through rate to your own website or podcast platform.

You Need To Share Teasers

Teasers are a good way to draw the eye, when it comes to promoting on social media platforms.

In a world inundated with different forms of media, all notifying a user at once, having something to pull them in organically is best for retaining their attention. Plus, the more teasers of your content on social media, and the more posts you can share surrounding all these episodes, the better your podcast is going to rank.

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So, if you can share teasers of your work, you’ll draw people in via the simple nature of curiosity. If they like what they hear, they’ll be far more likely to click a link to listen to the whole podcast. Just make sure you’re using interesting and/or funny snippets of your podcast that you know people will get enjoyment out of, even in their 30-second format.

Ask for Feedback

Directly reaching out to your audience, as it stands, could garner you a lot of attention in terms of promotion.

When you ask the people who listen to your podcast to give their thoughts and opinions, you’re guaranteed to get your community engagement rates through the roof. The more people get involved, the more of a digital storm you create, and that’s very good for these platforms, as it attracts more and more regular users.

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This is because of the algorithms social media websites use. The algorithm for all kinds of platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube take notice of this and could end up pushing your podcast to the ‘recommended’ or ‘featured’ section of their front pages.

Running a Giveaway Boosts Your Interaction

Why? Running a giveaway attracts attention from both your current followers and users who haven’t come across you before.

It ensures community engagement, which boosts your standing with the platform’s algorithm, and it usually means you’ll ask for a listener to tag someone else (who’d enjoy your content) in the profile. This could lead to many new listeners if your podcast is relevant to them.

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Running a giveaway also leads to better brand awareness – your podcast is your brand, and you want people to recognise it, and what draws the attention more than the chance for free things? People will see your brand as something exciting to hit their feed, and click the follow button to keep up with you.

Turn Your Podcast Into a Youtube Channel

Youtube is a big part of the social media world; it’s where we find the most recognisable influencers, and it’s where more than 5 billion videos are watched per day by its users.

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Putting your podcasts on Youtube makes them extremely accessible, and you open up your podcast to millions of users simultaneously.

It’s very easy to convert this audio format to video. Plenty of apps exist, but you could also edit the audio to fit the video format by adding backgrounds, or visual aids. Indeed, the latter option will attract a lot more attention.

Get Your Links Out to Relevant Influencers

Why? You want them to see your podcast link, instead of missing it in the comments or ignoring it entirely as just another brand trying to self promote – there are about 2 million active podcasts out there, and you need to separate yourself from them.

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You could reach out directly, but to one person at a time, rather than your community at large. If you follow people who inspire you, such as fellow podcast hosts in a similar niche, or to influencers on social media like LinkedIn who are experts in your field, send them a message.

You could directly message them, or use email, rather than simply commenting on a post they’ve made. Go behind the scenes here, as it’s much easier to promote a podcast on social media when someone the community at large trusts gives you an endorsement.

Know Your Hashtags

Why? With about 9 different types of hashtags you can use to promote your podcast, such as location-based, content-based, or phrase-based, you can promote your podcast to various different groups of people.

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Hashtags are a big part of promoting your podcast on social media, especially in 2020. Indeed, you could also come up with your own branded hashtag, for people to follow and get used to.

Make sure you’re making good use of the hashtag limit on sites such as Instagram, which allows 30 hashtags per post. Popping at least 11 onto your post, or as a top comment later on, has been found to work best in ensuring your posts reach the top spots.

How to promote your podcast in 2020

Promoting your podcast on social media in 2020 makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? It’s a wide platform, with a lot of various media for you to make use of, and it’s free to use and will always be accessible to billions of people around the world.

It’s up to you now. It’s time to learn how to leverage the power of social media in favor of your podcast, and with the methods listed above, you’ll certainly be off to a good start. In the world of podcasting on social media in 2020, users consume about 7 podcasts per week. Will you ensure your podcast is rubbing shoulders with those other 6?

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5 Ways Social Selling Can Improve Your Business

Social selling is the modern approach of sales which utilizes data from social networking websites to grow business opportunities. Social selling starts with creating a professional brand by finding the right audience. It focuses on providing engaging insights and builds a strong customer relationship. Businesses incorporating social selling techniques create more opportunities and are most likely to achieve targets by beating the competition from outselling peers.

Need for Social Selling

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Source : Superoffice

Most of the salespeople today cannot achieve their targets. There are several reasons behind missing targets, but the most important reason is salespeople are not giving sales pitch properly. Sales personnel speak several properties for the product or services but misses out the unique selling proposition.

They lack important product demonstration tools while cold calling customers. With improper sales pitching, cold calling will never be converted into a sales appointment. Therefore, a salesperson fails to convert leads into prospects and misses the target.

The buying process has become more complex due to the influence of social media. People go online and check product and service reviews before buying anything. They contact real users to know their experiences before buying, which ideally eradicates the need for sales pitching. However, the key to successfully convert a lead into a prospect is to provide guidance during the customer buying journey.

With incorporating social selling, a salesperson can be reached via social channels as and when required by the customers. Being present in social media influences customer buying behaviour by providing them with filtered product reviews and service feedback that will condition the minds of decision-makers for making a purchase.

Benefits of Social Media Platforms for Businesses

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Source : Travelearth

Being present in social media platforms helps businesses to establish proper brand identity and recognition among billions of users. Nowadays, every other brand is available online with the help of mobile applications which are directly linked through their social media platform. Social selling is an innovative way to create relevant posts that will engage the customers with call-to-action features for sales conversion.

In one single post, brands can analyze their customer purchasing behaviour, and at the same time, the post creates brand recognition in the mind of consumers. When compared to traditional medium for marketing, social media marketing has been more influential as social media platforms have an ability to put the brand in front of their targeted audience more accurately and quickly.

Purpose of Social Selling

image3-2Source: Sprout Social

The main purpose of social selling techniques is to build trust by providing a human touch to the sales process online. Trust is built by maintaining relationships with the customers in the form of human interaction. Sales are considered to be a commercial interaction between human beings, and social selling requires the sales team to incorporate regular customer interaction with the help of engaging posts and to answer their queries.

Social selling involves two steps; the first step is to listen to customer recommendation and feedback. And the second step is to provide valuable insight to improve their thoughtfulness. Every sales pitch made after social selling will not be recognized as cold calling, because the customers are already aware of the company with its product and services. Sales pitching becomes easier with the information provided by social tools and media offerings.

Importance of Social Selling

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Image source: Pexels

In the era of sales evolution, social selling is a powerful tool for sales personnel. The sales team of a business can utilize professional networks and the company’s social networking websites to target customers or key decision-makers for developing a sales funnel.

The sales team can concentrate on real social media profiles and utilize online intelligence for obtaining valuable insights about the loyal customer base. Social selling enables salespeople to have relevant conversations with customers by leveraging a warm introduction and guiding them through the customer buying process.

Sales personnel can answer potential buyers and prospects questions with the help of social media content and consistent interaction with them. Social selling enables the businesses to establish real online connections with prospects and audiences showing genuine interest. It is a great way to prevent spamming and help the audience to make the right purchasing decision.

Social Selling in Business Improvement

Social selling techniques incorporate the usage of social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. It is considered to be a hybrid of customer networking and social media marketing. Social selling is an innovative technique for maintaining a strong relationship with customers by building social media networks.

All the prospective leads can be connected with the help of social media handles, and the business can cultivate one-on-one relationships with them. Social selling helps businesses to improve their processes and build brand visibility.

The main aim of implementing the techniques of social selling is to increase the customer base, provide them with sales demonstrations, solving their queries, and close sales. The idea is to drive the competition by increasing revenue generated through a larger audience.

Generate Potential Leads

Being present in social media generates a huge amount of leads for a business. Most of the businesses go online and create social media pages to improve their leads inflow. The ability of social media platforms to generate highly qualified and filtered leads can be utilized by its advanced targeting features.

It is important to improve the quality of leads that turn out to a particular website for sales conversion. Businesses can start promoting their gated content over several media platforms. Consistent and high-quality content that is compatible with the interest of the target audience is the key to successful social media marketing.

Businesses can design infographics and engaging posts that identify with brand recognition. Every post should include a call-to-action to create a sense of urgency in the minds of customers. The more relevant and consistent social media posts, the more are the chances to generate potential leads. Additionally, the more potential leads directly relates to higher revenue generation, which is the ultimate goal for any company.

Improves Search Engine Page Ranking

Being present in the social media platforms helps the customer to reach out to social media profiles of brands before heading on to their official website. This, in turn, increases the traffic towards the official brand website and the domain authority of that website increases.

The domain authority also increases when social media posts are shared by the customers. This improves the search engine page ranking of the official websites along with social media pages.

Additionally, brands can share product description and information provided about different services in the social media pages that can be optimized as per the search engine. Most of the customers head on to social media handles to get a better understanding of the brand and also to know the latest offers and discounts.

With improved ranking, the search engine will divert these customers to the right landing pages. Using the right rank tracking tool can help and give clean picture of where you are on the search engines. This drives prospective traffic into the official website or social media handles. Sharing engaging and relevant posts can boost social media page ranking as well as the ranking for the official website.

Market Research and Competitive Analysis

Market research and competitive analysis get enhanced with social selling. Social media presence is a great way to analyze the market and gain a competitive advantage over other brands. By keeping an eye on the market trends, a brand can easily learn how other businesses are performing. Businesses gain an opportunity to monitor and draw valuable insights into the market by analyzing the performance of their competitors. They can follow different kinds of content being shared in the social media platform by other brands.

Social media helps businesses to learn from their competitors and other brands about the post they are sharing to interact with the followers. Competitive analysis helps brands to learn from each other and self analyze the worth comparing it with the existing market competition. The reporting and analytics feature of several social media websites are powerful tools for brands to reach out to the target audience with value-based marketing campaigns.

Business Collaboration

Social media provides the benefits of business collaboration through which several brands can collaborate with each other and also with online influencers. This is a great social media marketing tactic to promote the product and services.

The technique of promoting products and services on an online platform with the help of influencers is influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is more authentic and valuable than advertisements. It is a cost-effective option to build a strong relationship with prospects by getting access to a wide range of audiences.

Influencers make sure that the products and services are promoted in a very engaging tone. Influencers ensure that it reaches out to a larger customer base. It is more beneficial than creating a marketing plan for targeting new customer segments.

Influencer marketing helps brands to build trust among the customers by paying influencers to speak about their personal experiences regarding a particular product or service. This online review influences the decision-makers for making a purchase. Social selling enables brands to collaborate with appropriate and relevant influences so that their social media messages are received by a targeted audience panel.

Creates Brand Recognition

Social media networking websites and applications have incorporated several online marketing tools and analytics for businesses. These tools or applications have reporting and analytics features that businesses utilize for market research.

Social media analytics helps brands understand their performance in terms of posts and engagement. The social media networks are also helping other brands to get identified across social media platforms with the most popular ‘blue tick’ feature, which is added when a business or brand gets officially identified. Social media help to promote their products and services online and track conversion ratios.

Social media platform engages surveys that will identify the originality of the brands. It is important for a brand to get official recognition in every social media platform to avoid confusion of duplicate or fake accounts. Customers trust social media with the blue tick feature to recognize the authenticity of the brand. Social selling is a powerful tool that drives online marketing strategies to generate quick and real-time results. Brands the view and analyzes customer interaction with social media and in turn, improves online presence and adds to the brand value.

What Social Selling Can Do For Your Business

Social selling is important for modern business techniques to connect with prospective buyers. Social media is a very important platform where businesses can portray their information and solutions that prospects are looking for and at the same time, overcome the challenges for sales pitching.

Social selling helps in improving the overall brand’s visibility through the delivery of top-quality leads and increased web traffic. It improves the sales conversion rate and generates higher revenue. Social selling is all about leveraging the appropriate social media handles with suitable posts to attract potential leads and thereby contribute to revenue generation.

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How To Outsource Your Marketing To Customers (Examples & Tips on User-Generated Content)

The world of digital marketing can be quite overwhelming at times.

There are dozens and dozens of tactics to potentially employ. There are dozens of channels to utilize. There are new tactics and hacks popping up every day. Social networks are full of self-proclaimed marketing gurus swearing by a certain course of action.

In this kind of an environment, it comes as no surprise that many brands and even many digital marketing agencies sometimes lose the plot and scatter their focus all over the place.

As an antidote to all the popular and over-promoted digital marketing strategies out there, let’s take an in-depth look at a slightly “older” tactic that is efficient, effective, measurable, trackable, and likely to produce some excellent results.

That’s user-generated content.

What is user-generated content?

User-generated content (or UGC) is any kind of content that is created by regular people, as opposed to brands. These people are often fans of the brand and choose to post about it on social media, although posts and videos on their own websites can also fall into the UGC category.

These posts should not be confused with sponsored posts and paid promotion, where a brand pays a certain person to promote their product – UGC is not paid for, which automatically means it is more genuine and authentic.

Why should you use user-generated content in your marketing?

Now that we know what user-generated content is, let’s explore why you should be using it as a part of your digital marketing strategy:

It is more authentic

Internet users and consumers are 2.4 times more likely to consider user-generated content authentic as opposed to content created by brands. The reasoning behind this fact is clear: brands will only ever push their agenda and promote their own product or service. A customer who is sharing a photo or a video of a product is not paid to do so, has no personal interest in the promotion, and is therefore considered more likely to be truthful.

It promotes trust

When a customer shares their personal experience with a brand, it is likely to be trusted. People like to see what they can expect to get before purchasing a product, signing up for a service, or visiting a certain location (whether it is a trip to Patagonia or a dinner at the local deli).

Again, as brand promotion is considered automatically skewed (after all, what brand would advertise the negative of their product or service?), user-generated content inspires more trust than the promotion done by that same brand.

It can inspire purchasing decisions

As people spend more and more time on social media, and as social media has such an incredible impact on the decisions people make, it’s no wonder that the choice to make a purchase is easily made after seeing someone’s image or video.

A lot of social media influencers speak about the hundreds of messages they get from people asking them where they bought something (i.e., an item they are not paid to advertise). Regular people get the same questions from their followers, but they just don’t brag about the fact as loudly.

The logic is simple – we might glimpse the kind of mug we’ve been searching for in the background of a friend’s Instagram photo. We then simply shoot them a DM, get a link to the product, and proceed to place our order.

Different user generated content examples

User-generated content comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Let’s look at the most popular among them, and how you can use them in your campaigns.

Reviews and testimonials

Reviews are the opinions of users who have purchased a certain product or service or have had a certain experience with a brand. They can be published on the brand’s Google profile (a very popular space to leave reviews), on websites that specifically deal with reviewing products/services/experiences, or they can even be published on social media, in blog form, and so on.

On the other hand, testimonials are the reviews published by brands on their own websites, profiles, and other marketing material. They are practically always overall positive, and serve to entice other consumers to make a purchasing decision or convert in another way.

The best way to use these reviews is to display them prominently on your website. This will allow every visitor to get a glimpse of how other people have found your product or service, and it will also give a bit of a boost to the people who’ve left you the review. Here is an example from Zoma, a mattress brand that does this very well.

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Social media posts

Social media remains one of the most popular outlets for user-generated content, where it can take on practically any form: a tweet, an image, a story, a video, a live, a blurb.

This kind of content has the most spontaneous conversion effect. After all, a lot of conversions don’t happen because a person was looking for a recommendation (although that can also be the case), but simply when they were scrolling through their feed.

There are a couple of ways to make good use of these kinds of user-generated posts.

First of all, you can add a section to your website that showcases these photos. There are plugins you can use if you run a WordPress website to connect Instagram or any other social media platform.

Make sure to repost some of this amazing content your users are sharing. Most of them will tag you to get your attention (and to tell their own followers where a product can be found), but you can also just search for your brand name with or without a hashtag on the platform. Here is an example from Gili Sports, which showcases plenty of their customers using their boards in all kinds of locations across the globe. The customers tag the brand in their posts. And then the brand features some in their posts, and also on their website.

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Video content

Although it’s technically a subsection of social media posts, video content is somewhat different from the usual social media post.

First of all, it is often longer (an IGTV post, a YouTube video), and it can talk about more than one product in the same breath. Think of the videos some people post on their channels, or the vlogs in which people mention a certain product or experience.

Sharing some of these formats will be easier (for example, you can easily do a story pointing to someone’s IGTV), but you may not find a more straightforward way to mention someone’s YouTube video than to actually post a link to it on your feed (or in a story).

For example, supplement brand Elemental Labs gets a lot of attention from various fitness videos on YouTube and Instagram. And they can then utilize these reviews on their own channels by sharing and mentioning them. This provides a bit more credibility, as they are not pushing their own brand message, but letting the product speak for itself.

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source: Instagram

Q&A communities and forums

While communities and forums don’t usually exclusively deal with the reviewing of products and services (although some certainly do), they are often a great place to ask for opinions before making a purchasing decision.

No matter what you are interested in (travel, skiing, weightlifting, gardening, collecting Mickey Mouse mugs), there’s most likely a forum or another type of community where you can chat with people who have similar interests.

As a brand, you can browse some of these communities and thank the people who are recommending and reviewing you. You can also ask them if you can post their review on your own website.

Hashtags used in contests

Let’s briefly mention another type of user-generated content, but this time one that you can inspire and kick off.

When running a contest on social media, a lot of brands choose to establish a hashtag that the audience will need to use to enter the contest. This is, first of all, a great way to keep all entrants in one place, making it easier to determine the winner. Better yet, it’s also a great way to inspire users to create unique content mentioning your product, which you can then also share and promote to your followers.

This not only helps your brand access new content that is trusted and considered reliable, but it’s also a way for these fans of yours to get some exposure. After all, you may have a much bigger audience than theirs, and one image can be all it takes for them to get noticed and grow their following.

Tips for your next user-generated content campaign

Now that you know what formats and types of content you can expect and how best to use them, let’s share some additional tips for your next campaign to run as smoothly as possible:

Set specific goals

As with any digital marketing campaign, you need to set a goal regarding your efforts to promote user-generated content. After all, this is not a format you will ever truly have ownership of, so knowing what you want to achieve and how is an additional must.

The goals you can choose to set include:

Increasing engagement – Getting more comments, likes, and mentions is a great way to track the success of your campaign.

Educate users – You can keep track of the questions people ask you before you begin a campaign, and see if these questions change after you have provided some answers.

Increase brand awareness – If your mentions, traffic, search for your name or associated keywords go up, you’re on the right track.

Save time on generating content – UGC can be a very useful way to get the chance to allocate the resources you normally spend on content elsewhere.

Select a platform and a format that is in line with your goals

Since there are dozens of social media and other platforms you can choose to run a UGC campaign on, you don’t want to spread yourself thin in an effort to achieve the same results on all of them. Choose one and run a campaign there, and if that goes well, you can branch out.

Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular formats on all the major social media platforms:

Facebook is good for video content and video stories. This kind of content will usually get the most traction.

Twitter is great for images and punchy lines, and a campaign here can blow up quickly.

Instagram is the absolute best all-round. Both images and video go down extremely well, and the swipe up option is a great way to provide access to products directly.

LinkedIn is great for articles and opinions. Naturally, it requires a bit more work than other networks, in the sense that the content needs to be thought-provoking and well crafted.

Be clear about what you want

When running this kind of campaign, it is paramount to set down some rules straight away. First, the internet is full of trolls, and you don’t want to attract any of them. And secondly, having specific rules in place will ensure you get just the kind of content you’re looking for.

Tell your audience whether you’re looking for images or videos. Tell them what hashtags to use to get your attention and which profile to tag you on. Tell them what to feature – reviews, products in action, product comparisons, and so on.

All of this will make your job of sharing this content a lot easier.

Give more than you take

Yes, UGC is a great way to cut down on the costs of content production, but this doesn’t mean you can just blatantly use the work of others for your own ends.

If you have set out a clear way for users to submit content, make sure you also tell them how much of it you will be sharing (most likely, you won’t be able to share every post). If there are no clear guidelines, make sure you ask first whether you may reshare something. If you have clearly been tagged and mentioned, you can perhaps forgo the ask and just repost, but make sure you always tag and thank the original poster.

Some people will want something in return when you ask to post their content. This can be a product or a service (which you can choose to provide or not), or it can be a mention or a feature. Don’t rise to every bait, and don’t give away a whole lot of products for free if that was not your intention. You don’t have to work with everyone every time.

Evaluate your results

Finally, don’t forget that you also need to keep monitoring and reviewing your results. How else would you know if the campaign is working?

As you have set out some goals before embarking on this adventure, you need to remember to check how much progress you’ve made. Depending on the scope of your campaign and the size of your brand, once a week or even once a month will be more than enough to check in and see how the numbers are faring. Don’t become overly obsessed and keep looking at the results every day.

Also, make sure you are using the proper tools for the task. The analytics tool of the social network you’ve chosen will often do the trick, and you can always look in your Analytics to check how many visitors and conversions you’ve attracted. You can also use some third-party tools to compare results.

Final thoughts

Now that you’re armed with plenty of knowledge about user-generated content, all you need to do is run your first campaign. Don’t give up if it doesn’t go exactly to plan, and keep testing and trying until you’re satisfied with the results.

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How to Add a Link to an Instagram Story – 7 Inventive Ways

There’s no way you haven’t heard of Instagram Stories; easily one of the biggest social media features in the world for both personal and social users and businesses alike. With the average Instagram user now using the IG app for an extra ten minutes, on average, since the introduction of the feature, this is the prime way to connect with users and get your content in from of them.

You probably already know how to add a link to an Instagram story.

However, while this is a very popular and creative feature, getting traffic, leading people onto other places, such as a sales funnel, or basically giving anyone else the ability to go further with what you’re offering, the feature is very limited. It’s only if you have over 10,000 followers, or you’re a verified Instagram user, that you’ll be able to use the Swipe-Up link feature.

So, if you don’t have 10,000 followers and you’re not verified, how can you get links into your stories? It doesn’t matter what this link is, whether you’re driving traffic to your website, promoting a new product, or highlighting a new event, today we’re going to explore and detail the best ways to make that happen through your stories.

#1 The Swipe-Up Link

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Image Source

While you may not have the ability to use this feature, it’s still a genuine way to get a link into your Stories, and the hopes are you’ll one day reach the criteria, and you’ll be able to add swipe-up links yourself. Let’s explain quickly how it works.

First, you check to see if you meet the criteria. If you do, make your Instagram Story, and in the creation tool where you can edit and add text etc., you’ll find the link icon. Click this, paste in your link from your device’s clipboard, confirm this is the link you want to use, and then publish your Story!

That’s literally how easy the feature is to use!

#2 Send a DM

One of the best and most intimate ways you can get your link to people is by asking them to send you a DM requesting the link. This is great for smaller pages, but it’s worth remembering that even some massive social media gurus are still using this trick.

What you’ll love about this approach is the fact it’s fast and easy, but it also gives you the ability to see who is requesting access to your content. You can then use this opportunity to get to know your audience and even if they have questions for you that they may not have otherwise voiced, you’ll now have the opportunity to engage with them.

This can have infinite benefits and creating a solid and loyal audience around you that know you’re connected with them on a personal level is a fantastic opportunity for an Instagram business to have.

When you’re creating your stories, all you need to do is take a picture from the page or content you’re trying to link too, just as an image or a screenshot of your new blog post or latest product, and accompany some text requesting that anybody interested can simply DM you.

Remember, the ability to DM is located directly at the bottom of your Story once it’s been published, so just point an arrow down there to make it super easy for anybody to get in touch. Another great trick, so people don’t have waste time writing out a message is to instead ask them to send you an emoji of your choice, so you know this is what they are asking for.

Try to make it an obscure emoji, so you’re definitely sure they’re asking for the link and it’s not just some kind of spam.

#3 Take Advantage of IGTV

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Hand’s down one of the best and most popular forms of sharing a link is via the IGTV network. IGTV has never been more popular than it is today, especially since video content is taking over the world, and if you’re trying to share your content, your ideas, and your links, then this is the way for you.

Just like in the Instagram Story feature, you’ll have the ability to add a ‘link’ button, and have the swipe up link feature, although you don’t need to be verified nor have 10,000 followers to use it. Just add the link into your caption and away you go; although the process is a little bit more long-winded than the others.

Since you’re putting your link in your IGTV caption, you’ll need to create your IG TV content, then add the link into the caption. Now people can either access your link through your IGTV content, or you can then share a link in your Story to your IGTV content, and then they’ll be able to tap the link from here.

Remember to make your caption obviously clickable with the text you choose to have there, such as a sentence along the lines of ‘Download your template spreadsheet today’ or ‘Check out our latest sale offers here’, so your audience knows to click here and see what you’ve got.

#4 Utilizing the Poll Feature

We all know about the Facebook Poll feature, and the chances are your business has used it already to promote something or to get information from your community and followers with, but have you yet used it to promote a link?

Using a simple bit of text, you can ask something like, ‘Hand’s up if you want the link!’ or whatever sentence along these lines you want to use that reflects your brand and page voice, and then use the Poll feature to say Yes or No. Then you can send the link to whoever says yes. It’s that simple.

“Don’t forget to use a nice image or promo on your Story to draw people in and make them want to see what you’ve got to offer. This is a really nice and easy way to get your link out to people, and same as using the DM approach, you get to connect with your followers on a 1-on-1 basis, which helps to create an intimate community” reminds Sarah Meanie, an Instagram blogger at DraftBeyond and Researchpapersuk.

The only real downside to this approach is that after people have answered your poll, they’ll be able to see the percentage result. Let’s say one person says yes and 50 people say no, this is going to look a little poor on your behalf. However, in most cases, you’ll find people who don’t want the link won’t click no, they’ll just skip the Story.

You could amplify this by removing the no option altogether and instead of having something like “do you want the link?” and then having answers like ‘Yes’ and “Hell yes!” This is a good approach because you only have positive answers, and anybody who’s not interested can simply skip over the next Story.

#5 Add a Link in Bio

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Perhaps the most common form of adding a link to your Instagram Stories comes in the way of adding a link into the bio of your profile. Since Instagram allows you to add a website link into your profile description, you can simply change this URL address to fit whatever you want and to link to anywhere.

Using this, add your Instagram Story content with whatever you like, whether you’re uploading a video, an image of something, or a preview of a blog post, and then add a bit of text or a sticker that says, ‘link in bio’. If you search ‘link in bio’ in the sticker archive, you’ll find a ton of fancy-looking animations that look much cleaner and might suit your style.

When you say link in bio, people generally know what you mean by this and will know where to look. You may also want to use a service like bit.ly to condense your links and make them look a lot cleaner and more professional. When you head over to a website that’s got a long messy URL, it can make your profile look messy at the same time, which could be off-putting to new followers.

“While on this topic, you may want to make the most of your single link space in your bio by using a service like Linktree. Linking services like this used to be quite popular, and while they’re not so much anymore, you can still use them if it suits you,” shares Barry Turner, a social media marketer at Writinity and Last Minute Writing.

“The idea is that Linktree will give you a paged profile in which you can add as many links as you want for people to click on. You then link the Linktree page to your Instagram profile, effectively turning a single link into multiple links, usually around five or six.”

Within these links, you can have the link you wanted to direct to from your Story, plus access to your store, your Amazon page, your website, your email mailing list, and much more. It’s nice to get creative here, but this does mean more tapping for your audience, which can put them off.”

#6 Caption Links

As you know, you can’t put clickable links in your Instagram captions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share short links. This method isn’t really recommendable because the other clickable link approaches we’ve mentioned here are far better and will get much more engagement, but in some circumstances, this may be the approach that works best for you.

What you need to do is take your long messy URL and chuck it into a link-shrinking platform like Bit.ly. Here, you’ll be able to customise your link into something cleaner and more approachable. Let’s say you have a sale page you want to link too. You can use Bit.ly to shrink the URL down into something like ‘www.bit.ly/WinterSale1’.

While you’ll get far fewer people going out and typing this link into their web browser, simply due to the amount of effort it’ll take (yes, we’re really here at this point in time), you will still get people do it if they’re really interested, so make sure you’re making it worth their time.

Don’t forget, if you’re advertising a product, in most cases you won’t even need to add a link since you can easily add shoppable stickers to your stories and then market your product through here. This means your audience can tap on the sticker, rather than having to follow through to your website.

#7 Sharing via the Chat Feature

One of the more recent additions to the Instagram Story sticker collection comes in the form of the Chat feature. The chat feature places a sticker wherever you want on your Story and then allows people to get a link via a private message. This is a super-handy feature compared with the other methods we’ve spoken about already because you don’t need to individually send the link to people.

Instead, everyone gets a single message with the link at the same time, although you are limited to 31 people per chat since this is the set Instagram limit. If you want to ‘bypass’ this limit, all you need to do is create multiple Stories that are aimed towards different people, and each has its own chat sticker.

This means more people are gaining access to your link in different ways, and therefore more chances for people to engage with whatever you’re offering. You can simply add a chat sticker to your Instagram Story using the usual method of adding a sticker.

Once you’ve added the sticker, the group chat will be created as soon as your Story is posted. Now, as soon as the group chat has been created, open your DMs, open the group chat that should be at the top, and then turn off the ‘Approval Required to Join’ option, so anyone can join when they click the sticker.

Now post the link in the chat and watch everyone come in and get it!

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