Every blogger dreams of getting traffic – the more, the merrier. However, the law of diminishing return taught us when quantity increases, quality suffers. This holds true for the blogosphere where over 2 million blogs are published each day.
Bloggers who are failing to increase footfall have none but them to be blamed. They are lagging behind in the quality race. Bloggers have been using SEO tools, but they don’t know how to use social media to create networking and blogging strategy.
Why it’s difficult?
They might say in their defense that marketing around products is easy compared to marketing around blogs. Those who frequent social networks are buyers too, but a blog offers information and insight, none of which is tangible.
Agreed, but difficult doesn’t mean impossible. Here are five social media tips which every blogger needs to follow.
#Tip 1: Find the right channel
Not all social networks are congenial for all types of blogs. Bloggers need to keep this simple truth in mind. Let’s say you blog on automobiles. If you promote the blog on a channel that’s strictly B2B centric, the odds of failure will increase tenfold.
To find the right channel, start from the basic. Search on Google with keywords specific to your blog’s niche. To make sure all the results are from blogs type the topic in the search box, and then type intitle:blog. This is important as this will show you a list of blogs that are ranking on top. Check their social presence, on which networks they are most active and target those networks.
The top social networks are neutral. Those networks don’t favor any specific niche or industry. Apparently, that makes your task difficult. However, there are demographic groups, interest groups and other groups that may reciprocate to your blog. Identifying and tapping into those groups can help you finetune your blog with precisely what your readers want.
But how to identify and tap into them? This brings us to our next tip, which is
#Tip 2: Use analytics tools
Social media analytics tools are becoming more of a vogue with the emerge of data science. As millions access social networks, volumes of data are spawned. Analytics tools can detect pattern in seemingly unrelated data and thereby lend marketers a hand in hollowing out insights.
Free analytics tool like Buffer, sophisticated user generated review aggregator tool like Yotpo, social management dashboard like Hootsuite can yield valuable insights, which bloggers and marketers alike can make use of. The key insights that one could obtain from such tools are:
- Stats related to activity
- Demographic details
- Engagement stats
- Social authority increase/decrease
- Follower information
- Updates on new post/pin/tweet
A blogger, be it an individual or working for a company, who has access to all these stats is always a cut above other bloggers, who lack this access. The first blogger knows what type of posts can create better engagement, gets non-stop updates on social media activities on his posts and understands his readers better.
His chances of getting traffic from social media is thus higher.
#Tip 3: The visual web
Images, product photographs, screenshots and infographics are replacing the old style of communication, which is text-based. Social networks are ideal places to share images.
Some channels are dedicatedly used to share visual content. Such channels are Instagram and Pinterest. Both channels are hot destinations for bloggers. On Facebook and Twitter also, users share images in droves. Bloggers need to embed relevant images to their blogs to hook social media users.
Business blogs have an edge here that individual bloggers lack. Businesses, especially B2C firms can use product photograph to lure users on social channels whereas individual bloggers have no other way than to depend on stock photographs.
Quoting experts and thought leaders in the industry can pad out your blog’s authority, fellow writer Peter Daisyme described how. For that also, visual content comes in useful. Instead of texts, show readers images, something like this:
It has been observed that quotes with visuals make a stronger impact on readers than quotes without visuals.
While selecting images, pay attention to colors. Colors are not simply colors, they have psychological properties to them. For example, the color red is often tagged with bellicosity whereas the color green, with youthfulness. Some color palettes have found to affect women more than men. Before you embed visuals, observe what are the prominent colors in them and what emotions those colors invoke. Should the emotion fit with your blog’s theme, go with it.
#Tip 4: Use LinkedIn Pulse
Singling out a particular social channel might strike you as an unconventional approach, but I have my reasons to do so. LinkedIn Pulse came into being after LinkedIn acquired Pulse. Currently, it’s the only social channel that allows its users post full-length blogs.
If you blog on a B2B topic, using LinkedIn is a must for you. It’s a place where you can find all the industry gurus. As you share your opinion on several industry related topics, you soon capture their attention. Networking is easy on LinkedIn, more so because LinkedIn has introduced the Boolean Search feature, which lets you pin on key people from key industries, relevant to your blog and establish networking ties with them.
You can use Pulse to grow your blog’s reader-base but rest assured that won’t happen overnight. You first have to build a thought leadership position for yourself and Pulse can be instrumental in that. Traffic will automatically follow.
Even though LinkedIn is B2B-focused, B2C brands can also use Pulse as a leverage. LinkedIn users are retail buyers, hence there’s no reason for them not to feel interested about product-based info shared on Pulse. Besides, B2Cs can share insider details and marketing insights on Pulse so the ecosphere as a whole remains better informed.
#Tip 5: Social guest blogging
Okay, no such term exists – the first thing to clarify. I used this term to better convey how social media can be instrumental in harnessing the power of guest posting, but if the jugglery of words is preventing you from getting the sense of it, then let me put it in a simpler manner:
In case of blogging, the blogger alone is sharing the posts on social channels whereas in the case of guest blogging, two bloggers are doing it, one is the guest author and another is the blog admin. If the blog where you are submitting your post has a fan-base across social channels, then getting visitors from social networks becomes easier. The lesson therefore is writing guest posts for top quality blogs that have strong social presence.
Like-minded bloggers forming social media groups for guest post exchange is not uncommon, Facebook is abuzz with many such groups, yet the organic reach was decreasing in 2013. That may have been because initiatives are unorganized and not part of a holistic stratagem. Bloggers can use social media to connect with each other, write guest posts and share them across social channels collectively. It’s a win-win situation for all.
Content is king
This is still a truism. You are strongly recommended to follow the five tips shared here, but unless you write content that’s impactful, detailed, opinionated and crisp, the tips won’t culminate in anything worthwhile.
#1 YouTube Banner Template: How to Create a Custom Banner for Free
The world’s population watches almost 5 billion YouTube videos every single day. That means YouTube is a massive market that you’re most likely not utilizing.
But don’t worry, it doesn’t take much to get a professional footprint on YouTube. When you’re getting started, one of the most important features to focus on is your YouTube banner.
We’ll go into everything you need to know about creating a YouTube banner. Towards the end, we’ll recommend a few YouTube banner templates to get you started.
What is a YouTube Banner?
When you click on any given YouTube user’s name, YouTube brings you to that user’s channel. Here you can see all their videos and playlists. At the top of the screen is a banner with the YouTuber’s brand. This is a YouTube banner.
Click around on a few different users you follow to get a good idea about the different banners on the market. See what draws your eye and what you do and do not like.
If you’d like to find more tips on how to effectively create and use your YouTube profile page and videos for branding, be sure to check out these quick tips.
What are the Banner Specifications?
When you’re designing your banner, it’s important you follow the right specifications. People are watching YouTube on their phones, tablets, laptops, and even their TV’s. You need to make sure your banner renders properly on all these different screen sizes. You can make sure you get it right by following the specifications.
According to Google, your banner should meet the following specifications:
- Recommended: 2560 x 1440 px
- Minimum for upload: 2048 x 1152 px
- Minimum “safe area” where text and logos are ensured not to be cut off: 1546 x 423 px
- Maximum width: 2560 x 423 px
- File size: 4MB or smaller
What Should I Include in My Banner?
Your banner is a representation of your brand. It should intrigue viewers, and give them a snapshot of what to expect from your channel. Make sure to include your brand name.
Here are the Best YouTube Banner Templates
There are several places you can get a high-quality YouTube banner template for free. Here are a few of our favorites.
Google has its own template designs for YouTube. Makes sense, after all, they do own YouTube.
Adobe is perhaps the best YouTube banner maker app available on the market. They let you create a design for free in minutes with no previous experience.
Canva offers several different template designs. They have available stock photography you can use, or you can use your own images.
It’s Easy and Vital To Get A Quality YouTube Banner
We’ve covered all the basics you need to know to get a quality YouTube banner. We’ve also listed some of the best places to get a YouTube banner template.
Getting a YouTube banner is an important start in a quality YouTube channel, but it’s only the start. Now you have a professional YouTube appearance!
The banner is vital for a professional appearance. But that alone isn’t enough. Regularly post quality videos to build traction for your YouTube presence.
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Instagram Checkout and the Move Toward Frictionless eCommerce
The number of hurdles standing between online shoppers and completing transactions is dwindling. The path to purchase is getting smoother as retailers move toward frictionless ecommerce. Gone are the days where shoppers must visit an ecommerce website to buy a product, especially if they originally spot the product on a social media platform.
Nowadays, social shopping is capable of enabling people to reduce the number of steps to checkout by allowing them to buy without exiting social media. Instagram Checkout is the latest feature geared toward making it easier to complete deals. Here’s more on this announcement and its potential impact on the ecommerce industry as a whole.
First, What Is Frictionless Ecommerce?
When you hear the word friction, you probably think of resistance. This force can be useful, like using sandpaper to smooth down rough wood. Or this force can be a hindrance, like trying to slide a piece of heavy furniture across the floor. In ecommerce, friction is undesirable because it means shoppers are meeting resistance when they try to proceed through the sales funnel.
Frictionless ecommerce is something sellers are seeking out because it allows them to “integrate buying opportunities as simply and seamlessly as possible into consumers’ everyday activities and natural environments,” according to BLM Technologies.
One of these natural environments is social media, an activity in which many users are spending a larger chunk of each day. It only makes sense to try to sell to people there, rather than requiring them to visit a separate website each time they want to browse or buy.
The ethos behind frictionless ecommerce tells us reducing the number of steps it takes to buy products online will motivate more people to stick around for as long as it takes to convert. Less hassle translates into more sales and a better customer experience.
Of course, it’s still vitally important to set up a responsive, fully featured online store complete with secure checkout. After all, some people won’t use social shopping. Today, leading platforms like Shopify offer free ecommerce website builders to help retailers run their stores. Branching out into frictionless ecommerce in the form of social shopping will help merchants capture even more sales by offering shoppers flexible options.
Building a Trusted Brand and Following Will Still Apply
As you can imagine, with more than a billion active users on the Instagram platform, it’s going to get quite competitive when it comes to ecommerce advertising. With that being said, this is where traditional authentic and organic followers and engagement will come into play.
We recently talked about the power and effectiveness of using a tool like Kicksta to automate the audience targeting and engagement process. For ecommerce and online stores, this is one of the best ways to put your Instagram marketing efforts on auto-pilot, which also reaching new audiences daily.
This also leads to better paid advertising and remarketing options as well. Once a user starts following your account, you have a clear indication that they are interested in what you have to offer.
Set up a new Instagram ad campaign that targets your existing followers, then compare the results with your outside targeting and default ad campaigns. We are sure the existing follower audience set will perform much better. You can visit their website here and watch the short video on their homepage to see how the process works.
The Rise of Instagram Checkout in Ecommerce
Instagram is a highly visual platform, allowing brands to connect with users through engaging images, videos and captions. If you’re an Instagram user, chances are you know the feeling of seeing something you like and wanting to know more about it — or perhaps even conducting an impulse purchase it on the spot.
Instagram Checkout aims to tap into the marketing prowess of this app by “allowing users to complete product purchases without having to leave the app.” It’s all of the convenience of online window shopping without even having to go into the store, except people can still get their hands on the product. Plus, after Instagram users enter their payment data once, the app saves it for future purchases. Thus, the purchasing journey remains inside a single app — making it more convenient and tempting for mobile shoppers who follow their favorite brands online.
At the moment, Instagram Checkout is a feature in beta testing available to about 20 top brands. An advanced version will be available to more merchants down the line, which means we all need to prepare for the wider acceptance of social shopping. Once this becomes the standard, online users will crave ultra-convenient experiences.
Instagram Checkout is an exciting new development on the horizon for ecommerce brands, and stores must embrace the move toward frictionless ecommerce to stay competitive.
7 Instagram Features Every Business Needs to Use for Marketing
Instagram is a fun platform for sharing pictures and video. However, as far as it pertains to businesses, it’s a lot more than that. For businesses, Instagram is a marketing device and quite an effective one at that.
Are you interested in using Instagram to market your business? Then read on. We’re going to teach you about 7 Instagram features which will enhance your business marketing campaigns.
Taking Advantage of Instagram Features When Marketing
A great many of Instagram’s features lend themselves to marketing. The best of these features include the following.
Instagram Stories work in the same way as Snapchat Stories, allowing you to post photos and videos for 24 hours before they disappear. Popular among all types of Instagrammers, they are frequently viewed and are great for attracting new followers.
Businesses have two options when it comes to using Instagram Story video: 1. They can post stories on their own Instagram pages, or 2. They can use Instagram Stories Ads. While the first option will provide some exposure for your business, the second option will provide more.
Why? Because it involves placing ads for your business in between the stories of Instagrammers that you don’t even know. As a result, you’ll be reaching customers who are entirely unfamiliar with your brand.
While Stories Ads cost money to post, they often end up bringing in more money than they cost. In other words, they’re usually worth a try.
2. Push Notifications
Another terrific feature for marketing on Instagram is the push notification. These are notifications which automatically send to specific followers upon the publishing of new posts. They work to keep top followers invested in your page.
Note, however, that getting followers to accept push notifications can be challenging. Unless your content is undeniably great, you’re going to have to be a little aggressive in getting followers to accept push notifications for your page.
One of the keys to doing this is to utilize calls to action. Simply telling visitors to enable push notifications for your page can be quite effective.
The other key is to post great content on a consistent basis while keeping non-value content to a minimum. The more valuable the content you post, the more valuable your page becomes, and the more your followers will want to frequent it. This leads to the enabling of push notifications which, in turn, leads to the conversion of more sales.
If you run a brick-and-mortar business, geotagging is a hugely valuable Instagram feature to utilize. By geotagging the photos you post, you make your business more visible on geographical searches. This is a great way to attract Instagram users who live in the geographical proximity of your business.
Note, however, that you must always be cognizant of whether you have geotagging turned on. If you’re not careful, you could accidentally geotag a photo or video that you wished to leave geographically anonymous.
4. Live Video
One of the best ways to build credibility and authenticity with your Instagram followers is by utilizing live video. Live video occurs in real-time, allowing you to communicate directly with your followers through page comments and voice.
Afraid that you might say something embarrassing? It won’t last for long. Instagram live videos disappear as soon as they’re done being broadcasted, ensuring that your faux pas isn’t picked apart by the masses.
You can use Live Video to discuss project updates, to show off new products, to showcase charitable efforts, and more. It’s all about making yourself and your business more familiar to your followers.
5. Photo Filters
A big part of marketing is building a brand. The goal is to evoke a feeling which is representative of your business. In evoking this feeling, you make your business instantly identifiable among the masses. Photo filters are also great for social profile branding. Take a look at these top brands that are doing social media profile branding correctly, then also consider how you can implement these same visuals into your own branding efforts.
There are a number of ways to do this on Instagram, but one of the most effective ways is through the use of photo filters. Using the same photo filters on all of your posts will provide your Instagram page with an overarching theme. This theme will become part of your brand and will help followers to identify your business.
Our advice is to experiment with different filters until you’ve found something you like. Then, once it’s established, you can hit your followers over the head with it.
When it comes to using Instagram for marketing purposes, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of hashtags. Hashtags are not only vital in building a brand, but in attracting non-followers as well.
Dropping trending hashtags into your posts is a great way to bring your Instagram page into the loop. Not only does it show that you’re part of the culture, but that your page might be worth visiting.
There are also many other famous hashtags too like;
In short, hashtags increase exposure for your business. The more exposure your business gets, the more sales it will convert.
7. Emoji Polls
One last Instagram feature you should consider using is Emoji Polls. These allow you to ask questions and receive direct feedback from your many followers, increasing familiarity among potential customers and allowing potential customers to feel as though their thoughts have an impact on the operation of your business.
One way to use Emoji Polls as a business is to ask followers how they feel about a specific product. However, you don’t need to strictly talk about your business. Inquiries about current events could get followers involved as well.
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Find More Marketing Tips
There is no shortage of Instagram features, each of which can help businesses to market their products, services, and brand. While the features reviewed above are the most effective for marketing purposes, they comprise only a handful of what you have available to you.
Looking for more marketing tips? Blogging Tips has you covered. We provide information on everything from content marketing to social media marketing and more.
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