20 September 2017
Instagram has slowly become one of my favorite social media platforms. The best Instagrammer’ s pictures are worth 1,000 words. I currently only have about 1,300+ Instagram followers. That isn’t very much, I know. However, I decided to publish this article because I know that a lot of small business owners are, for the most part, a lot like me. We are everyday people who are trying to build and engage a real audience. Step: 1 The first thing I had to do is decide what my Instagram account was going to be about and what kind of people I wanted to attract to my page. One thing I noticed was that the people with the largest following have a niche and that they usually have a blog that supports that niche. When you are a lifestyle blogger, it can be hard to narrow your blog down to a niche. So for my Instagram page, I decided to focus on my vegan diet. First, I felt like a large portion of my blog audience would be interested in seeing what kind of stuff I like to eat. Secondly, it allowed me to show off of my plating skills. Third, when people go to my blog from Instagram there are tons of vegan resources, but they also get to learn about all the other parts of my lifestyle too. I’ve determined the best followers would either admire, aspire to, or share my vegan lifestyle. This would make them more likely to like, comment, or ask questions on my pictures, and visit the vegan section of my blog. This step is critical when you are attempting to create an account that people find themselves coming back to over and over again. Step 2: I used my Facebook account, but you can use this strategy for LinkedIn & Google Plus, and it should still work well since they all have communities or groups. Groups can be a great asset to your business if you are the right ones. Just be sure that the group admins are cool with you posting your content, and the people in your group are interested in what you have to share. I can’t tell you how many times a day I am solicited with what appears to be spam because it has nothing to do with me, my business or my life. You need to make sure your business, blog, and your general content is a good fit for the group. To me, a good fit means that the people in your group will either be entertained, educated, or inspired by what you post on Instagram. If not, why should they follow you? Step 3: From your content find a picture that best represents what you have to share on your page. This is the picture I chose. If you go to Instagram, you will notice this picture is a good representation of what you expect to find on my page. Click here to visit my Instagram Page Step 4: Caption your picture and share it with the group. The secret is in your caption. I went into some vegan, vegetarian, and weight loss groups. Each caption was different. For example, my vegan group caption: Hey, Vegan Friends. I finally feel like I have a handle on eating raw “most” days. If you are looking for inspiration, check out my Instagram page. NOTE: This caption offers inspiration, but it doesn’t over do it. The Caption is everything so choose your words carefully. Engagement: Within seconds, people started following me. I try to go to all my new followers’ pages. I make sure to like 3-5 of their pictures and leave a comment or two. This generally will send them back to my page to check it out. Here is a snap shot of my activity log I used this strategy in three groups and gained 360 real and engaged subscribers in 72 hours. Caution: I have only tried this in groups I am active in, and I have permission to post in. I hope you can customize this tip to fit your business or blog. Let me know how it works for you. If you need assistance, please reach out for a consultation. There are tons of strategies out there for growing your Instagram, but this one is my favorite.
20 September 2017
Many small business owners seem to think that because they have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts integrated within their website they have their online marketing campaign all figured out. So many dream of being Google page-rank rock stars and having thousands of friends, fans and followers that their real marketing plans fall flat. A targeted, captivating and trackable marketing plan is the heartbeat of any successful business, online or off. Each individual brand needs to determine the goals of their specific marketing endeavors and plan accordingly. However, if the goal of your company is to increase engagement, to increase brand awareness, or to increase sales, advertorials should be a part of your strategy. An advertorial is an editorial style advertisement that allows you to engage on another brand’s platform with editorial power. An advertorial on television is called an infomercial. Commercials contain basic company information and calls to action, the advertorial (like the infomercial) seeks to go further. Advertorials will allow you to educate your potential consumer and promote your product simultaneously. Why should your brand use advertorials? 1. Advertorials are cost-effective For small business owners and soloprenuers, television and radio commercials prove to be too costly. However, you can still take advantage of advertorials. You can run advertorials on 3-5 blogs for the cost of a 30-second commercial on your local radio station. The cost of an advertorial will vary depending on the blog, the services you need, and the reach each blog has. 2. Advertorials can help you reach your target market. I recommend starting with blogs whose brands and target markets fit well with your brand. You want to be sure the traffic you gain will be interested in your product or service. For example, if you sell television sets a video game blog, a celebrity gossip blog, or a home decor blog could all be good choices. It also depends on the blog’s audience, overall reach, and theme. 3. Stay in control Unlike traditional forms of advertising, when you purchase advertorial space you have complete editorial control over what is published. Most bloggers will accept prepackaged advertorials as long as they fit within certain parameters. Others bloggers will want to partner and collaborate. Choose what works best for you. However, at the end of the day you are paying for the space so you get the final say so. Bloggers who create graphics, edit, or provide content may charge more. 4. Your advertorial will be seen Advertorials are considered non-intrusive advertising. Many advanced online consumers use Ad-blockers, and side bar advertisements don’t always show up on mobile and other handheld versions of websites. Advertorials will not be blocked or get lost in the mobile version of your website. Your post is integrated with the rest of the primary content on the blog. Successful advertorials are personal, multimedia, and have calls to action. 5. Advertorials are recyclable content Advertorials are generally not time sensitive. They provide a narrative for your brand that you can use over and over again. It gives your brand a personal touch that other popular advertising methods cannot. This saves the business owners time and money. A written advertorial can easily be converted to audio for radio later. 6. Advertorials are track-able If you negotiate a return-on-investment report from your blog partner, they will share the reach and engagement the post receives. Plus, you can measure your own click-through rate in your own analytics. This type of data will prove valuable in other parts of your integrated marketing plan. In conclusion, you can use advertorials to help you climb the Google ladder, to fill your social media with sharable content, and to expand your business digital footprint. Have you heard of advertorials before now? Do you feel they will be beneficial to your business? Advertorial Tips If you think an advertorial will add substance to your integrated marketing plan, here are some important things to consider Who: Who is the blogger talking to? Ask for a media page or an analytic report from the blogger. Don’t be alarmed if the blogger’s analytics of choice isn’t Google. There are lots of ways to track blog statics out there. You should also check the comments section of the blog and the social media comments for engagement. Sometimes these even lead back to social media profiles. This is a great way to learn more about the blog’s audience. What: Does the content on the site resonate with your ideal client or customer? Content is king! Good content is what makes readers flock to blogs. Not only should the blogger’s content be good, but so should your advertorial. You want to make sure that your product or service will entice the blog’s readers. For example: if the blogger does a lot of thrifting posts, a luxury brand may not be a good fit for the blog. The readers come to this influencer (the blog) to learn about saving money. A high fashion blog would be a more natural fit. When: When is the advertorial going to be published? When will it be taken down? When can you expect a return on investment report? In other words, make sure that you are clear on the agreement between you and your blog partner. Get all the details. Some bloggers may charge extra for ROI reports. However, the extra money is worth the information. Most ROIs include reach, shares, views, and other useful statistics. Where: Where will your advertorial be posted and promoted? Make sure you are in agreement with the section of the blog that your post will be featured in. Additionally, be sure to find out where the post will be promoted. This way, you will have an understanding of the marketing strategy. Bloggers generally post on consistent days. You want to do your part by sharing, liking, following, etc… Your current friends, fans, and followers might end up becoming repeat customers.