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Growth Hacking Instagram for Beginners

Are you using Instagram as a traction channel for your business? Whether most businesses realize it or not, Instagram is proving to be a great platform for such organizations to brand themselves. However, tapping into a large (and growing) number of Instagrammers can take time and tremendous effort. But, once you do manage to achieve […]

Are you using Instagram as a traction channel for your business? Whether most businesses realize it or not, Instagram is proving to be a great platform for such organizations to brand themselves. However, tapping into a large (and growing) number of Instagrammers can take time and tremendous effort. But, once you do manage to achieve a robust following on this platform, you will realize that all of you hard work was worth it. This is where growth hacking Instagram comes into play. According to Statista, as of June 2016, Instagram “had reached 500 million monthly active users, up from 400 million in September 2015.” In 2015, there were approximately more than 77.6 million active Instagram users in the United States alone, and is projected to surpass 111 million by 2019… And that’s not all! Expandedramblings has a few interesting Instagram-related statistics as well:
  • The average number of monthly follower growth for Instagram users is estimated to be 16%
  • The percentage of all U.S. adult Instagram users that use it daily is 49%
  • The percentage of American millennials that have an Instagram account is 46%
  • The percentage of Instagram users in the U.S. that access it on their smartphones is 47%
  • The percentage of Instagram users in the U.S. that access it on their tablets is 53%
I probably don’t need to tell you this, but that’s a lot of people. The question is, how are you going to grow your following in order to reach these people? That’s where growth hacking comes in.  

What Is Growth Hacking Instagram?

Growth hacking is a relatively new concept in the world of social media. In case you’re wondering what it is, Wikipedia describes it as, “a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most effective, efficient ways to grow a business.” People who do this are called growth hackers. Growth hackers are essentially marketers who are equipped with a specific set of skills related to growth. They deal with a different set of problems and provide solutions using digital tools. The word ‘hacker’ can be interpreted differently by different people, but with respect to marketing, it mainly refers to someone who can extend certain characteristics to a product that enable it to go viral and grow. In order to achieve this, a growth hacker may:
  • Have various perspectives on the product
  • Not be afraid to deviate from the norms to market it
  • Come up with new, interesting solutions to customer’s problems
  • Know how be creative and methodical, as and when required
We’re talking about the kind of growth that makes startups successful and takes them from zero to millions of followers and customers in a span of a couple of years. Growth hackers work towards boosting the primary metrics for a company/brand and keep the number of followers growing with time. Instagram Growth Hacks If you’re looking to be your own Instagram growth marketing hacker, but wondering what it takes to successfully take the number northwards, I have a few helpful tips for you.  

1. Valuable Content Works Like a Charm

Content is king. End of story. If you get this part right, you can make things happen. Given the number of users Instagram boasts, you can rest assured that almost every business worth its salt is present on this platform. In order to make a mark, you will need to find a way to set your account apart from the noise. This is where unique, original and valuable content can be of tremendous help! The content should not only have a great flow to it, but also be in accordance with your audience’s expectation. Posting brilliant and impactful images that resonate with your audience will keep them engaged to your account like nothing else will. You can use a mix of content to ensure that your Instagram posts hit the nail on the head. A few examples of successful business that have made the most of Instagram include Intel, Virgin America, Nike, Bonobos, Taco Bell, and American Express. The best brands on Instagram have a few things in common:
  • They make the person on the other end feel like they’re a part of a community.
  • Fabulous photos. You may need to invest in a new camera if you want to make it big on Instagram.
  • All of their images are on-point with branding. Instagram is a visual platform, so having a brand style guide is important when creating posts or taking photos for your account.
Another important thing to consider is taking the time to research the kind of content that reverberates most with your target audience. Look for accounts of competing or similar companies in your industry and see what’s working for them. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel in order to come up with a great content strategy. Just take a look at what other successful accounts are doing, and adapt their ideas to fit your company and specific audience. 8 Epic Instagram Growth Hacks | Growth Marketing Conference

  2. Regular Posts are Well-Received

Churning out great content isn’t enough to get your audiences hooked. We live in the age of instant gratification and with audiences being bombarded with information from all quarters, you need to do what needs to be done to grab and keep their mindshare. Posting content consistently and without delays is a great way to do so. According to findings by quintly.com, accounts that posted content up to two to three times in a day were the ones with the most followers. You may want to use this data to your advantage and watch the number of your faithful followers multiply. Another important aspect of posting includes following a fixed schedule. This is critical to achieve success when it come to Instagram growth hacks. Small business owners tend to be extremely busy, which is why posting regularly and consistently may seem difficult. You can use online scheduling programs such as those offered by Hootsuite, ScheduGram, Latergramme, Grum and Instapult to make things easier for yourself. Doing so will help you ensure that you always have fresh content to share online.

 3. Let Hashtags Work Their Magic

A lot of people tend to undermine the power of hashtags, but they are an integral part of growth hacking Instagram. Thanks to hashtags, content gains more visibility among thousands of users who may have not stumbled upon it otherwise. Typically, Twitter and Facebook allow you to post links. However, Instagram does not allow linking URLs in comments and descriptions. Instead, it promotes the use of hashtags, which is why they’re extremely instrumental in connecting you with your followers. If you want to learn more about using hashtags, you will do well to explore well-known hashtags on Instagram and observe how they’ve been used to brands to customers. Instagram allows for a maximum of thirty hashtags per post. Instagram recommends keeping the following in mind when picking your hashtags:
  • Be specific
  • Be relevant
  • Be observant
Using hashtags properly works. They can boost your reach radically, especially if you crack the code on the perfect mix of hashtags to use for your audience. When choosing your hashtags, it’s best to use a combination of popular, trending, and topic-related hashtags. Since hashtags are a search tool, think about what someone might be searching for and make sure to include those keywords in your hashtag mix.

8 Epic Instagram Growth Hacks | Growth Marketing Conference

 

  4. Provide a Strong Call to Action

When you create content for your Instagram account, make sure that all posts include a strong call to action. More often than not, getting your followers to do what you want can boil down to just asking them to do it. Some of the popular calls to action on Instagram for businesses include “Tag a friend in the comments,” “Double tap if you like the post,” and “Sign up for free” to receive emails/newsletters about your products. If you are blogging regularly, make sure you promote your blog posts on Instagram and ask your followers to “Click the link” in your bio to read the full post. Incorporating a call to action reminds your followers that they can take steps that go beyond just looking at your content. It also plays a role in enhancing user engagement while catching their attention.

 

5. Contests Can Do the Trick

Growth hacks for Instagram always include increasing engagement, so you may want to consider running a contest. A well-executed contest can result in you gaining numerous new followers without putting in much effort. You can run several kinds of contests on Instagram. Simply ask your followers to like your post, follow your account, tag a friend, or get them to do something that will expose you to a wider audience. Contests work by increasing your account’s virality factor. By doing one or all of these, you get the benefit of increased exposure, and they can participate in your contest and stand to win amazing prizes. Just make sure the prizes you choose are relevant to your business offering. Having a large audience of people who are not interested in your business is not better than having a smaller audience of engaged, interested followers.  

  6. Enable User Follow-Back

Growth hacking Instagram is about growing your business, and when it comes to business, there is no harm in capturing your competitors’ followers. After all, it will help your business grow quickly. Also, doing so is easy because it takes the guess work out of the game as you’re already aware of the kind of content they’re looking for (they’re probably following accounts similar to yours). For best results, consider going beyond just liking and/or following users posts. You can follow a user, like a picture of theirs, and leave a comment on the same or another image. This will encourage more follow-backs, thereby augmenting your follower count. Don’t just comment generic phrases like “nice post” or “love this” though. In order to really make this process worth your time, provide value in your comments. Ask questions from the people who posted the original picture. Offer advice or ideas if appropriate. You want to be representing your brand and building authority, not creating more noise. Be original, authentic and genuinely helpful, and others will return the favor. instagram growth marketing  

7. Harness the Power of Instagram Shout-outs

If you haven’t tried Instagram shout-out already, then it’s high time you did. It entails a user mentioning your account in one of their posts either through a caption or on an image. Growth hacking Instagram using shout-outs make for one of the most effective ways of establishing your online presence and increasing your following. Sometimes, these can be refereed to as “share-4-share” or s4s. It exposes your account to thousands of new users who you probably didn’t have access to before. Skim through some of the most active Instagram accounts in your industry/niche that have a similar audience base to get an insight on the right kind of shout-outs. The next step is to contact them to check if they’d be interested in doing a shout-out for you and their fees. This isn’t usually a free tactic, but if you can find the right influencers to partner with, it can be completely worth the money if Instagram is turning out to be a high-value channel for your business (meaning, the bulk of your audience is hanging out on there). You can do a hashtag search to find accounts who are interested in doing shout outs by searching #s4s or #share4share.  

8. Automate the Process 

Did you know that you can use specially-designed software to manage your likes, comments and follows on your Instagram account? Instagress and Autogrambot are a couple of programs that can help you engage with other Instagram users as per to the parameters set by you. Instagram growth hacks like this can help you grow your business’s followers in no time. However, make sure that you do not misuse these programs by engaging too many users too quickly. Failure to do so will get your account barred, which will prevent you from reaping the benefits of growing your follower-base through automation. While automation can help minimize the amount of time required to build an account organically, automate with caution. Users can sniff out a robot pretty easily, and most people don’t want to follow brands that don’t feel authentic.  

Conclusion

The influence of social media platforms such as Instagram is rising by the day. It is only natural for progressive startups to invest their time and resources to establish their presence and authority on these networks. If you’re not already tapping into the potential of growth hacking Instagram, then you should do so without further ado. Of course, having a huge number of followers will work in your favor, and getting them on-board may be time consuming, but it’s not impossible. The growth hacking instagram tips above should go a long way in helping you amass an army of followers to ascertain your market leadership and multiply you revenue. Implement them and you will have exactly what your business needs.

15 Tips to Increase Your Brand’s Social Media Engagements

A 2018 report published by Hootsuite and We Are Social states that the number of internet users worldwide has passed the 4 billion mark, and roughly 3.2 billion of those are social media users. That means every minute, your brand’s social media content is competing with millions of Facebook posts, hundreds of thousands of tweets, […]

A 2018 report published by Hootsuite and We Are Social states that the number of internet users worldwide has passed the 4 billion mark, and roughly 3.2 billion of those are social media users. That means every minute, your brand’s social media content is competing with millions of Facebook posts, hundreds of thousands of tweets, and tens of thousands of Instagram photos. With those record-breaking numbers, you might be wondering how you can stand out in all that noise. Luckily, it’s very achievable. Here are 15 tips for strengthening your social media prowess and boosting your brand’s social media engagements:

1. Post Value-rich Content

It should be no surprise that posting more valuable content will result in higher engagement. Yet, most brands’ social media pages are filled with countless posts humblebragging about themselves and their products. But that’s the kind of content that pushes people away. Instead, your brand’s social media content should be useful and speak to the intended audience’s wants, needs, desires, fears, and pain points. Constantly focusing on your audience resonates, and shows that your brand is about more than profits. Try sharing surprising statistics, thoughtful quotes, or evergreen blog content. Before posting anything, ask yourself: “If I were the reader, how would this help me?”

2. Research and Emulate Popular Content

So many marketers simply guess at what content they think their audience would like – and then they’re surprised when it doesn’t perform well. Rather than playing guessing games, spend a little time researching what kind of content has worked in the past. Try browsing your competitors’ and industry-adjacent peers’ social media profiles to see what kind of content is working for them and driving the greatest engagement. Tools like Ahrefs and Buzzsumo can also be leveraged to see what kinds of headlines and blog posts perform best when shared via social media. You can find out total engagement, social media channel breakdown, and much more.

3. Use Relevant Hashtags

Hashtags are easy wins for connecting with like-minded people. It’s good practice to piggyback on popular, relevant hashtags in addition to making your own. Opt for hashtags that are on the shorter side with easy-to-spell words or phrases. They should give the intended audience a clear understanding of the topic of conversation, and be memorable as well.

4. Use Giveaways and Contests

It’s no secret that people adore cheap and free stuff. But you’ve got to make your giveaways worthwhile and your contests entertaining and rewarding. Nobody cares about 5% discount codes or free shipping on their next order. They want that 20% discount, free meals, free trips, or exclusive gear. And they also want their rewards now, not next month. Instant-use discount codes and fast and free shipping are win-wins. Lastly, don’t forget to acknowledge the winner publicly so people see that it isn’t a gimmick. Better yet, have the winner create a post or video that you can share so it has a more authentic touch.

5. Host Q&A or AMA Sessions

Question & Answer (Q&A) or Ask Me Anythings (AMAs) have long been a staple of traditional interviews and sites like Reddit, but they’re rapidly becoming more mainstream across social media. For example, Instagram recently released a new story sticker that allows followers to ask questions within their stories, that many are using in an AMA style. Because these formats have a live or recent quality to them, they’re alluring to audiences of all types. Naturally, the more time people spend interacting with your brand, the more trust and rapport you can build – which inevitably will lead to more attention and sales.

6. Share Influencer Content

Blogger and influencer outreach is all about finding relevant influencers to align with your brand. Start by leveraging marketing tools to find what content in your niche is getting the most engagement, and determine who’s creating it. Then, get noticed by sharing their content, engaging with it, or directly reaching out with a short pitch or offer. Once you’ve established an influencer is a fit for your brand and goals, then you can simply invite them to share your content.

7. Ask Questions and Utilize CTAs

If you want action, you’ve got to ask for it. It’s truly that easy. A properly-placed call-to-action (CTA) will encourage readers to engage with you further. First, show prospects how you can make their life better or address a pain point. Speak to their emotions, and you can’t go wrong. Then, hit them with a CTA that’s simple, specific, and a gradual next step. Typically, these steps involve moving them from your social media page to interacting with your content or taking them to a landing page on your site. To build engagement, ask open-ended questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. These questions usually start with “why,” and the best are thought-provoking or slightly controversial to encourage people to share their opinions. Create “fill in the blank” or “caption this photo” prompts to engage your audience on a creative level that makes them feel involved. Futurism, a science and technology news site, famously does this on their popular Instagram stories.

8. Engage With Others

How you interact with your audience is a critical component of how your brand is perceived. A positive perception is typically marked by lots of engagement and a dialogue that’s positive and lighthearted. Thank them, compliment them, or offer assistance in some way. Naturally, there will be some negative comments and engagement, but the best way to handle that is to pick your battles, keep your responses short and sweet, and point them toward an FAQ resource or bring the negative conversation out of the public eye.

9. Utilize Images, GIFs, and Videos

Adding visual elements to your content is one of the best ways to make your post stand out in social media feeds, partly because people are better at remembering visual content. For example, if you hear a piece of information, three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. But if you add a picture to it, it can boost retention up to 65%. Visual storytelling is best served by ditching stock visual content and creating your own instead. People gravitate toward original content, and usually perceive stock imagery as spammy and distasteful. Even just snapping your own photos, adding a light filter, and superimposing text over it can create highly-shareable content.

10. Share Surveys and Polls

Posting surveys and polls on Twitter and Facebook is easy, and it’s a great way to stoke engagement and learn meaningful info about your audience. Plus, with enough of a reach, you can generate original content by surveying your audience (and sharing the results later). Instagram even has a sticker layer that allows users or brands to get near-instant feedback from their audience on ideas for new products and features.

11. Post Frequently and at the Right Times

According to a 2018 industry research report from Sprout Social, the best times to post on Facebook are Wednesdays from 12-2 PM and Thursdays from 1-2 PM. Twitter’s sweet spot is Friday from 9-10 AM or between 10 AM and noon most days. To maximize these guidelines, automate your social media posts using a tool like Buffer, or at the very least schedule them out in advance with a tool like CoSchedule.

12. Ask For Feedback

A fast and easy way to get your followers talking is to simply ask their opinions. People have no shortage of opinions, and are usually quick to share their feedback and suggestions when asked. You can also pair this with giveaways to really get people talking. Free shipping, free dessert, or a hefty discount code can go a long way toward getting people to open up.

13. Don’t Discount Live Video

35% of marketers are now using live video to reach their intended audience, partly because they garner more engagement than non-live videos. On Facebook, live videos have an average engagement rate of 4.3%, compared to non-live video content at 2.2%. That’s nearly twice the engagement – and the best part is you don’t have to do any editing or add any graphics; just point and shoot.

14. Partner Up and Cross-promote

One of the quickest ways to generate more engagement and simultaneously reach a wider audience is to cross-promote by partnering up with another brand. Obviously, you’ll want to find someone who isn’t a direct competitor, but is still industry-adjacent enough to have a similar audience. Once you’ve found a partner, you’ve got a few options:
  1. Post content supplied by your new partner
  2. Co-produce a piece of content that you both share
  3. Create a post on behalf of your new partner
Besides partnering with other companies, you can also cross-promote other social media channels. Tweet a picture of your Snapchat page, or remind people on Instagram to check out your Pinterest page.

15. Utilize Paid Promotion

If you want to reach a larger audience and drive more engagement, it doesn’t get much easier or faster than paid promotion. The hard part is finding the perfect combination of ad copy, landing pages, headlines, and offerings. Luckily, the internet is riddled with “how to” guides on successful paid promotion. While all this social media optimization seems like a lot of work, remember, a whopping 94% of prospects are active on some form of social media, making the juice absolutely worth the squeeze. You can’t afford not to have some form of social media presence – and if you’re going to do it at all, you’ve got to make sure you do it right. How are you winning the war for attention and engagement on social media? Share your story and tactics in the comments below:

5 Growth Hacks To Double Your Revenue Using Social

Last year Social Media Examiner asked more than 5,000 marketers about social media and how they use it to help them grow businesses. When asked about its benefits, 89% of marketers said it was effective at increasing brand exposure, 75% said it increased website traffic, and 68% said it helped them develop more loyal fans. […]

Last year Social Media Examiner asked more than 5,000 marketers about social media and how they use it to help them grow businesses. When asked about its benefits, 89% of marketers said it was effective at increasing brand exposure, 75% said it increased website traffic, and 68% said it helped them develop more loyal fans. Just 66% said it was effective at generating leads, and 51% said it improved sales. That’s a huge discrepancy between the ability to increase brand exposure and drive sales – but why? Surely if social media is succeeding in boosting brand awareness and driving traffic, sales should follow, right? Unfortunately, marketing wins rarely happen this easily. To drive leads and sales you need to be getting your brand in front of the right people and consequently, driving qualified traffic to your site. We’ll talk you through a few hacks that can increase the impact of social on your bottom line in a moment, but first let’s set the scene by talking about the process a customer goes through before they convert. Pre-internet, customers generally shopped by visiting a store and interacting with a salesperson – particularly if their knowledge on what they were buying was limited. This meant that sellers were typically involved in and had some control over the buyer journey. Today’s buyer is much more independent, and they rarely, if ever, reach out directly to a company for advice. Here are a few statistics that help put into perspective how autonomous today’s buyers are:
  • 81% of shoppers conduct online research before buying.
  • Half of shoppers spend at least 75% of their total shopping time conducting online research.
  • By 2020, 80% of the buying process is expected to occur without any human-to-human interaction.
Knowing that buyers are not going to approach us, what can we do to ensure our marketing is nurturing the type of people that are most likely to buy from our business so that when they are ready to buy, they come to us, and not one of our competitors? Social media intelligence agency Social Strategi works with a company called Mom’s the Word – a fashion brand for expectant mothers that believes “clothes shouldn’t have an expiration date” (in other words, their clothes are designed to be worn beyond pregnancy). Mom’s the Word approached Social Strategi with the goal of doubling their online revenue via social. Needless to say, this meant devising and implementing a social media marketing strategy that focused on driving relevant traffic to the website. To do this they:
  1. Profiled the brand’s existing audience using social data, audience affinities, and tribe analysis.
  2. Looked at and leveraged the brand’s competitors’ audience data.
  3. Decided what types of data would be most effective at improving marketing performance and reducing costs.
  4. Used a unique combination of dashboard data, audience insights and intelligent targeting to provide maximum ROI on all paid acquisition channels.
As a result, Mom’s the Word tripled their website traffic: And in less than 4 months, doubled their gross sales: Let’s take a look in more detail at the process Social Strategi followed, and how you can apply their tactics to your own marketing.

1.   Gather customer insights

Look at your customers and ask yourself – who’s happy and who isn’t? Reach out to these customers and ask them why they do or don’t like you. You can do this over social media or email, but you can also learn a lot about your customers by analyzing how they behave on your website. What products do customers keep coming back for? How often are customers failing to complete their purchase, and why? Is the checkout process too long-winded? Are there distractions on the checkout page that are driving people away from the site (voucher code boxes are often guilty of this)? Are you surprising customers with excessive delivery fees at the last moment? Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and run through the checkout process yourself, then ask some impartial friends or family members to do the same. What, if anything, tripped you (and them) up? Follow this with some A/B tests and as above, ask your customers why they’re not completing purchases. Implement exit pop-ups and abandoned checkout emails that inquire as to why customers didn’t check out, and encourage them to come back. Finally, use this information to optimize your site for conversions so that when you’re driving traffic from social media to your site, you’ve maximized the chances it will convert.

2.   Pay close attention to your fans on social media

Make use of all the information your social platforms share with you about the people that like your page or follow you. Facebook in particular now offers some awesome data to business users, as part of the Facebook for Business suite. You can get this information in the Audience Insights section. To leverage this information, begin by searching for your page name here: You can then view information including the demographics of your audience, their activity on the site, their purchasing behavior, and other pages that they “like.” Bear in mind that the number of likes your page has affects how much information you can access. If you’ve only got a few hundred followers (or fewer), the data available to you is likely to be very limited. Another way to use Audience Insights is to search for your industry or phrases related to it. You’ll then be able to view that same data for all Facebook users that have expressed an interest in your industry (bear in mind that you can filter the results by gender, age, and location). This information should prove invaluable for informing all your marketing channels, including, of course, social media. What you can also do here, however, is create lookalike audiences that look and feel like your own audience, and target them on Facebook. To do this, use the Insights tool as described above to create an audience you want to market to. You then need to name your audience: And finally, click “Create Ad” (top right of the page) to begin creating an ad campaign.

3.   Pay attention to consumer insights

What topic is your audience talking about, what are their pain points, and what language are they using? Use these insights to talk to your customers in the language they use. Don’t assume, however, that just because you work in the industry, you understand the issues facing your target audience – even if you, yourself, fit the demographics of your audience. No two experiences are the same so it’s important you do your own research. You can use social media for this. Just above we talked about how you can use Facebook Insights to find out what pages people related to your industry like. I’d encourage you to visit these pages and see what’s being posted, what people are responding to, and what they’re saying (of course, you should be paying close attention to interactions on your own social profiles, too). Beyond this, forums and other online communities (Quora and Reddit are the big ones) are invaluable sources of information. Sign up or subscribe to relevant forums and communities and visit them regularly. Better yet, become an active participant in them. The more you go where your target audience goes, the easier it will be for you to talk to them in their language about their interests, and the better the results you should be able to get from your social media marketing.

4.   Look at your competitors’ insights

Facebook Insights lets you learn more about the people who like your page, as well as the people who have expressed an interest in your industry. You can also get this same information for your competitors’ pages. To access this, just search for a competitor in the interests box (it’s the same box you used to search for your industry). You can then create ads that target people who have liked a competitor’s page. Bonus tip: you can target multiple competitors (or interests) at the same time. Beyond this, there is lots of value to be gained from looking at your competitors’ social media efforts and how their audiences are responding. What are they posting? What’s working and not working for them? Pay close attention to what they’re doing and tweak your strategy accordingly.

5.   Look at your own dashboard

Often, marketers can get so caught up in what other people are doing that they neglect to pay much attention to their own data. Don’t be like them. Look at your own analytics – they’re telling you stories you’ve likely ignored. Where are your customers coming from? Which channels are sending the most traffic? Your ideal channel might be Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or something else – I can’t tell you this, but your website analytics can. Of course, to figure out which channel is going to send you the most traffic, you have to test each one in equal measure. Mom’s the Word did this. They began by running campaigns on lots of different platforms, and after a while they noticed spikes in traffic coming from specific channels. They then dropped the channels that weren’t generating an ROI, and focused more heavily on those that were. That said, bear in mind that traffic is really only a vanity metric. You shouldn’t let it dictate business or marketing decisions, at least not in isolation. Instead, pay attention to which channels are driving traffic that converts. That’s where you want to focus your efforts. What tactics do you use to maximize the revenue you generate through social? Comments are below, if you have a moment to share your secrets:

5 Powerful Ways To Growth Hack Your Content Marketing

  Creating a successful content strategy and marketing plan is a lot like a cooking a 4-star meal… There’s a host of complex ingredients that go into it, all at different stages, allowing the unique flavors to express themselves at just the right time. You need to combine the right mix of ingredients to maximize […]

  Creating a successful content strategy and marketing plan is a lot like a cooking a 4-star meal… There’s a host of complex ingredients that go into it, all at different stages, allowing the unique flavors to express themselves at just the right time. You need to combine the right mix of ingredients to maximize the flavors, get the timing right to optimize the mix, and ultimately present something that is visually appealing as well as something you’d like to share. Just like cooking an exquisite meal isn’t as simple as dropping all the ingredients into a pot and stirring, the process of creating a content strategy and marketing isn’t as simple as publishing a blog post and sharing it on social media. You need to understand your target audience’s problems and pain points and help them solve those with your content. Knowing a few growth hacks can unleash the potential of your content strategy and take the execution of your marketing to the next level. Carrying out just 1-2 of these tactics will boost ROI from your content, resulting in more subscribers, traffic, shares, and leads. We all want that, right?  

1. Use Optimal Share Times For Your Audience

Creating great content is hard. Distributing content to the right audience is even harder. And just as adding ingredients at the right time is key to a perfect dish. it’s important to distribute your content at the right time, too. After defining your personas, you can seek this audience out on social media and get your content into their hands, encouraging them to share it. This is the hard part, as it takes outreach. (More on that in #2 below). What if you could instantly reach a larger portion of your audience without any serious effort just by knowing a simple little hack called timing?   When Quicksprout founder Neil Patel started to track and post at ideal times, his social media traffic climbed by 39%.) So what exactly are those peak usage times? Data from Hubspot shows that the best time to post on Twitter is: Wednesday 5PM EST. Timing and Twitter Image source And the best time for posting on Facebook is on Saturday at noon EST. Timing and Facebook Image source Remember the statistics above are “best practices.” While they definitely beat posting at random times, finding posting times with the highest engagement and social media traffic returns will require tracking and testing. Fortunately there are tools you can use for this.  

Tools for Facebook include:

Facebook Analytics

Facebook Insights In your Facebook business/brand page, go to Insights and click on Posts to see when your viewers are online. Select a good general time from within the entire weeks range as below, and then look at daily popular times where your audience engages with  your posts.  

Fanpage Karma

Also check out Fanpage Karma. You can track various key performance indicators of your Facebook pages, including ideal times and posting frequency to reach your specific audience. Below shows one of the easy-to-understand KPI graphs that should make tweaking schedule times quite simple. Facebook Karma

Tools for Twitter include:

Twitter Analytics

To find out the best times to tweet, click the Demographics tab in the Audiences section of your Twitter analytics. The Demographics report lets you see vital stats about your audience including gender, location, net worth, consumer behavior, and more. You’ll want to focus on Country and Region stats. This will give you an idea about time zones you need to choose to reach these people. Twitter Audience Insights On the Demographics tab, you can view data about many important characteristics of your followers. You can see my audience is mostly in the United States, and since 80% of the U.S. population is in ET and CT I can infer that posting in those time zones during the workday will result in higher engagement. Experiment with sharing relevant content tailored to interests from a particular region and articles from a region’s influencers. If one of your content pieces starts earning a high number of clicks and shares, schedule it throughout the day to reach new users.  

Followerwonk

Another great tool for tracking your influence on Twitter is Followerwonk. You get a window into influencers in any niche, what time they post and what their engagement rates look like. Of course to see this, start by following influencers in your niche. Engaging with an influencer’s audience is a good way to get them to become a part of your own audience. In Followerwonk, you can easily see what times of day influencers are getting the best engagement rates and experiment with those times in your own account. In FollowerWonk, go to Sort Followers, sort by Social Authority and click on the first result. In my account, Buffer has the highest social authority, so I should definitely click on the little graph icon to the right of their bio and check out their stats. FollowerWonk Knowing the KPI’s of the most influential accounts in your niche will help you setup a similar  schedule framework to reach important people when they’re most active.  

2. Don’t Just “Publish & Pray” — Distribute Your Content

Remember my point in #1 about the outreach part being hard? Well this is is how you distribute it to every possible channel. Repurpose your content for the following platforms and reach out to people who are active in your niche there.  

LinkedIn Owned: Slideshare & Pulse

Convert your more data-heavy blog content into a presentation and upload to SlideShare, remember to add keyword rich Title & Descriptions to every presentation and add your website and social media channels. For LinkedIn Pulse, create a shorter form of your content, and use visuals and tags just as you would with a WordPress post. Share it in your LinkedIn Groups, being careful to add value and not spam. Benefits are wide-ranging and they include:
  1. Utilizing your existing audience
  2. increasing search engine visibility  since content on LinkedIn Pulse appears in  search results.
  3. Strategically placed backlinks results in referral traffic to your website.
You can take this hack to the next level by sharing to multiple groups at once using this power up approach.  

Convert Into Visual Content Using Pinterest

A recent case study shows that Pinterest is the second biggest driver of referral traffic. Content with relevant images get 94% more views than content without visual content, to growth hack your content marketing efforts, simply pin your images from your visual-heavy content to targeted and descriptive Pinterest board.  

Convert Your Content Into A Cast

Reach out to someone you mentioned in your content and ask them to chat with you about the subject. Growth Hacker, Roy Povarchik and I had a spontaneous conversation using Zcast on the topic of habits and rituals. After announcing it on Twitter, we were able to get an audience there live within 5 minutes and both spun up supplementary blog and Medium content. My post actually then got picked up by Hacker Daily.  

Reddit Where Relevant

Look for /r/subreddits that align with your content or niche and go interact, provide helpful tips then drop your content strategically or you might get kicked out. Look for /r/subreddits that align with your content or niche and jump into the conversation. If the opportunity presents itself, share your content, But be mindful of the community you are participating in. Reddit hates blatant marketing. Think more about answering questions, sharing resources and asking questions. You will get your brand blacklisted if you show up to the party, only to ruin the fun. Learn the ropes before you join any threads.  

Submit It To The Queue

There are some new opportunities in the article submission realm that stand to change the game completely.  If you haven’t done so check out Quuu.co. if you content fits into one of their many categories, you can submit it to their “queue” and have others share your work on social for you. Earing you social authority, backlinks and powerful distribution. Another new player in content distribution is Peggy. Although they are currently in private beta, you can submit your content to them to be considered for their queue of hand-curated content for their social media clients. Similar to Quuu, you can have influencers spread your content around for you on social media. Saving you time, earning you leads.  

Influencer Outreach

It’s what everyone is doing. If you want to increase your odds of being noticed or getting a response try and cite up-and-comers in your industry in your posts instead of the top -tier players who are constantly getting asked for things. That being said, if you think your content is worthy of a share from Matt Cutts or Neil Patel, by all means, hit them up. They need to keep their channels full, just like the rest of us. My favorite tools to make outreach easier are ContentMarketer.io – Notifier and Buzzsumo- Content Research. ContentMarketer.io has a neat feature where you can load the URL of your article and it will find everyone you mentioned and let you notify them in one click. Content Marketer io Notifier With Buzzsumo you can find out:
  • Which headlines have been popular with your target audience
  • Which social media platforms are better for your niche
  • Which Influencers are up-and-comers, by how many followers they have
  • What content structure your target audience particularly likes
My favorite feature is the Content Research tab where you can see the most popular content within your niche or by keyword. From there you can sort based on network you are active on and see what has done the best on that specific network. From there, make something better! Buzzsumo Content ResearchPro Tip: Just like we did with Google Keyword Planner, you can also use your competitor’s website in BuzzSumo and see all of its most popular blog posts. Another great feature of BuzzSumo is the ability to “View Sharers” of specific pieces of content. Being able to see who has shared a particular piece of content allows you to identify influencers and see what they are interested in. Write your content with those up-and-comers in mind, and then your outreach should be a piece of cake. Save Influencer for Outreach  

3. Scoop Up More Email Subscribers With The Content Upgrade

Content upgrades are great hacks because:
  • They are highly relevant to your target audience
  • They are opt-in
  • They serve your visitors’’s needs
  • They give your posts additional value
  • They let you optimize traffic
You can even add an upgrade to an existing piece of content on your site. To do this find your most popular content with Google Analytics, and create a tailored, downloadable upgrade that people have to opt-in for to access. It could be a report, checklist, cheat sheet, or a  template. Your main priority is providing a more valuable solution to a problem you know your audience has. A case study by Valuewalk showed how they gained 2,300 subscribers and increased email sign ups in just 30 days with smart, targeted content upgrades. Content Upgrade Email Subscription Boost Unlike traditional “site-wide” opt-ins, a content upgrade is bonus content tailored for a specific landing page or blog post. For example, let’s say you are a chef and created a resource site for other chefs and have even created your own line of culinary products for sale on your site. An eager would-be chef lands on your site. She’s seen your “site-wide” e-book about “First Year in the Kitchen Survival Tips,” but she doesn’t download it. Now, while exploring your site, she finds a post on surviving your first year in the kitchen on your way to becoming a full fledged itamae (sushi chef). This is where the content upgrade comes in. Because you were a smart strategist and created “Sushi Chef in Training” as one of your target personas, and since you have a line of Sushi grade knives for sale, you knew that customizing your content and tailoring an upgrade to her would be a sure way to attract a lead for your Sushi Chef culinary line. While she’s scrolling through your post—or after she finishes—she’s sees a pop up which asks her for her email address in order to receive a report called “5 First Year Survival Lessons From Master Itamae of Japan.” Or maybe “10 Biggest Mistakes To Avoid In Your First Year As An Itamae.” There’s a higher chance of her becoming a lead now because a) she signed up for your email list and b) your offer is tailored to help her solve her problems: surviving her first year in chef school and/or not making rookie mistakes! You can easily add this pop-up to your website without any coding skills by using SumoMe Scroll Box. It is fully customizable to your site. I use it to offer my email subscribers a free influencer outreach template they can use to track their outreach efforts. SumoMe Scroll Box Go to Behavior and then to Landing Pages to see what your site’s most popular content is and start brainstorming ways to compliment the landing page with a content upgrade.
Landing Pages Analytics

Behavior -> Landing Pages

 

4. Use Multivariate Testing To Maximize Leads

For most marketers, A/B testing is the default method to optimize for conversions. Another testing method that can help squeeze more out of your content is multivariate testing (MVT).   What’s the difference between A/B and MVT?   A/B testing typically tests drastic whole page changes at a time. You’ll have variations of an important page element—or even the entire page—and split the traffic between those pages. A/B Testing Image source   MVT testing, on the other hand, measures interaction effects between smaller, independent page elements. Various page elements are tested on different pages to see which variations of the page perform the best. While A/B tests use a smaller number of elements with extreme differences, multivariate tests use a larger number of variables with subtle differences. Multivariate testing Image source Multivariate testing can be great for growth hacking your content. By testing smaller -, but heavy-hitting, content related elements like your…
  • Headlines
  • Intros
  • CTAs
  • Share button placement/size
… you’ll discover subtle tweaks that’ll snowball into huge lifts in conversions and growth.   However, please note that you shouldn’t use multivariate testing if you’re lacking traffic. 3k-10k visitors/ month is an okay place to start. But you should still be wary of  lower traffic numbers because your data will be unreliable. An easy way to overcome the high traffic problem is to test fewer interactions—stick to 3-4 smaller elements instead of 6-8.    

5. Allow People To Embed Your Infographics

Simultaneous Processing Image source Research shows that people only read 28% of words per visit, and that we receive 5 times as much information as we did in the 1980s. We’re swamped with information—which is why infographics work so well. The brain is hardwired to consume visually. Almost 50% of our mental real estate is used for visual processing; 70% of all our sensory receptors are in our eyes, and we can understand a visual scene within 1/10th of a second. Basically, infographics work because they visually “spoon-feed” us information by traveling through our visual senses and into our neurological connections. This makes content easier to process and more engaging to consume, making infographics a powerful hack for more traffic and shares. To reap the rewards from infographics, make it as easy as possible for people to share them. Use embed codes to allow people to spread your infographics on their pages. Not only will this encourage sharing, it will also result in more inbound links to your blog.    

Quick Tips on how to gain more links with infographics:

If you are on WordPress, you can follow these quick steps to make your infographics more shareable:
  1. Login to your WordPress dashboard and go to Create New Post.
  2. Go to your source of the infographics and copy the embed code.
  3. In the Create New Post menu, switch from the visual editor and to the text (HTML editor). In the text editor,paste the infographic code.
  4. Go back to the visual editor to view how it will be rendered in your post.
  5. Finally, make sure you use an embed code generator to make sure it’s super easy to share.
 

Final Thoughts

Content marketing has changed the way businesses operate online. And while it’s capable of generating amazing growth, it’s also hard work. Using the best ingredients, tools, and with a little dedication, you can create a better recipe for content. The growth hacks above will help ease your journey towards more subscribers, traffic, and growth.

4 Growth Marketing Tactics for E-commerce

No matter how long you run an E-commerce business – you STILL ask yourself the same questions:     How to make my business grow? What new methods can I use to optimize the e-business marketing strategy? How to decrease the marketing budget and to increase the sales? Am I doing all I can to […]

No matter how long you run an E-commerce business – you STILL ask yourself the same questions:     How to make my business grow? What new methods can I use to optimize the e-business marketing strategy? How to decrease the marketing budget and to increase the sales? Am I doing all I can to get as many visitors to my store as possible? What else can I do?     Of course, it is very difficult to run the business and keep up with all the latest developments in online marketing.    

Today I will share with you these 4 marketing tactics for your ecommerce business growth:

   

 Micro-Targeting

image00http://www.rtbdigital.com/retargeting-pricing-explained/ – picture source

  • Identify your market niche and the right target audience to work for.
  • Research on the best time (season) for a marketing campaign.
  • Find your consumers in the web (social media, forums, message boards).
  • Learn what your potential customers are discussing (recommend each other; discuss pros and cons of a similar product etc.).
  • Based on the research – improve your advertisements.
  • Work on your SEO.
  • Segment your email lists and create different landing pages for each niche group.
  • Make an A/B testing.
  • Develop your copy all the time.
   

 Social Media

image02http://www.brainsins.com/en/blog/social-media-shopping-statistics-2015-infographic/3727 picture source

 
  • Almost 80% of people using Twitter on their mobile devices.
  • Yelp is a leader among the social review sites.
  • Instagram has 300 million active users, 61% of them like at least 1 media/day, 30% like over 10 media/day.
  • YouTube is a leading source for all videos. In the next three years, video is predicted to reach 79% of all internet traffic.
  • Google Plus is connected to all Google services.
  • Facebook just crossed the line of 1 billion people using the social network the same day (it is 1 in 7 people on Earth).
  • Pinterest has 20x more pins per day than there are daily shoppers at the Mall of America.
   

Those are amazing facts. Use different types of social media, depending on your business niche, do not limit yourself to Facebook and Twitter. The more platforms – the more leads.

 

 Upsell

Upsell is when you want your customer to spend more, offering him/her the similar product of a higher quality and price. It is a good tool to use together with a cross-sell (when you offer to buy an additional product together with the one your customer selected, e.g. to buy a mouse together with a keypad).  

image01https://www.shopify.com/blog/17579484-how-to-increase-revenue-and-improve-the-customer-experience-with-upselling-and-cross-selling chart source

  These tactics are usually performed by adding the “Recommended” section to your website.   Useful tips: 1) Do not upsell for more than 25 percent. 2) When cross-sell, do not offer a product that doesn’t match to a chosen one. 3) Avoid being overwhelmed (limit the number of recommendations).    

 Virality

Viral content is the one massively shared by others. The idea of virality is perfectly explained in the Pay it Forward movie.  

Virality gives you a conversion of more than 100%.

  Viral content is mostly visual (pictures, video, infographics).   To make your content viral:
  • Make it simple.
  • Make it entertaining.
  • Make it relevant.
  • Create an emotional tie.
  • Add social media icons (to easily share it).
  • Create a story explaining why it is better to use your product together with a friend.
  • Take care of a good design.
  • Share your content yourself with all the available channels of distribution.

image03https://growthhackers.com/growth-studies/upworthy – picture source

 

Remember, the more channels and tactics of promotion you use – the greater number of leads you have.

  To know more about other marketing tools for your business – Attend the Growth Marketing Conference.   I hope this information is helpful and using these tactics will help you to grow your business. I would love to discuss your experience in e-commerce business promotion in the comments below.