Tagged: business

30 Tips to Boost Your Instagram Marketing

30 tips to boost instagram marketing

There are 1 billion active users on Instagram every month, and every day, 4.2 billion photos are liked. With Instagram, the quality of the posts are much more important than the quantity. According to Forrester research, Instagram user interactions with brands is 400 percent higher than on Facebook and Twitter, delivering 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.

The numbers speak for themselves: Instagram is a must for building your personal brand and business if you are looking to appeal to millennials. If you’re new to the platform or looking to increase your engagement, here are 30 tips to help you maximize your Instagram exposure.

30 Instagram Marketing Tips for Business:

1. Create the perfect Instagram username. Make sure your Instagram handle is recognizable and easy to search. Try to avoid using underscores or numbers in Instagram handles.

2. Use Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories are used daily by over 500 million users. Leverage this rising trend and build your audience by showing followers what’s taking place in your business behind-the-scenes. Pin the story highlights to your Instagram profile.  Fun fact: over 2 million advertisers are buying Instagram Story ads across Facebooks properties.

3. Geo-Tag. Be sure to utilize the location feature on each post to increase visibility using geo-tags. Add locations to all of your posts to increase search optimization and geo-targeting.

4. Create a branded hashtag. Create a unique and relevant hashtag for your business that followers can use. But be sure to heavily promote the branded hashtag at events and on marketing materials.  A custom hashtag is worthless if no one is using it.

5. Hold Instagram Takeovers. Utilize local celebrity influencers to drive traffic and engagement through cross-promoting content on both Instagram accounts. Here is an example of a successful Instagram Takeover we did with News 12 Anchor Tara Rosenblum.

6. Utilize user-generated content (UGC). Show appreciation for your followers by featuring them using your products or service. For example, Sharpie powers their Instagram account with fan-submitted doodles created with their products.

7. Switch to a free Instagram business account. Convert your personal account to a business account. This will enable you to track insights and analytics that regular profiles don’t have.

8. Use Instagram planning apps. To win at Instagram, you must be very creative and good with graphic design. Consider using an app like preview or Plann to lay out all of your upcoming posts in a grid before you click post.

9. Include a call-to-action. Tell people what you want them to do. This may seem simple, but it is often overlooked! If you are looking to increase sales using Instagram, consider running Instagram ads or boosted posts and include a CTA in any Instagram ads.

10. Weekday Hashtags. Use popular hashtags every day of the week to make it easier to get found in hashtag searches. These include #motivationmonday, #transformationtuesday, #wisdomwednesday, #tbt and #flashbackfriday.

11. Regram. Search for people who are mentioning your brand and use the Repost app to regram any brand mentions. Be sure to tag them and mention any associated Instagram handles in your posts.

12. Tag brands. Tag Instagram users and locations in posts to make your brand easier for new users to find. Also tag other influencers in your Instagram posts to get found in their tagged photos, but be careful not to spam!

13. Aspirational Instagram Marketing. Think of Instagram as a vision board for your business. Post photos that will inspire your prospective customers to be part of the lifestyle brand that is associated with your company.

14. Like and comment daily. An easy way to increase visibility is by liking and commenting on prospective customers photos. Through this Instagram marketing strategy, people will check out your account and are more likely to follow you back. Leave a comment on at least one photo per day to create a digital footprint.

15. Offer exclusive content. If you’re launching a new product or service on Instagram, try creating an exclusive promo and offer followers a unique code to track how effective the promotion was. Consider creating an Instagram carousel post to highlight the new content.

16. Run a photo contest. Use all images—even those that don’t win—as fresh content to help promote the brand. Make sure any contests adhere to legal rules by avoiding social media legal mistakes that can get you sued.

17. Focus on the story behind the post. The image may be the star and the hashtags may offer context, but the caption tells a specific story, highlights subject matter expertise, and gives insight into the context of the photo. Make sure it is formatted properly and use emoji’s sparingly.

18. Download editing apps. Use apps such as Afterlight, VSCO, Whitagram, Pic Stitch, Aviary, Hyperlapse, Quick, Bokehful, and Snapseed to edit photos. Studies have shown that photos using Mayfair, Inkwell, Amaro, Walden and Lo-Fi filters to get more likes and enhance your images.

19. Social Listening. Follow and monitor top trends to grow your brand’s awareness and stay on top of industry trends through a newsjacking strategy. Use social listening tools such as Mention or Google Alerts to monitor for brand Latergram, HootSuite or TweetDeck can also help with this process.

20. Analyze new followers. Get to know your followers to make posts more relevant to them. When someone follows you, follow them back and then analyze what your followers are interested in and what hashtags they use.

21. Run contests. Have an incentive for your Instagram community to share content and promote your brand with the use of prizes and giveaways. For example, National Geographic hosted a #MyAWAY Contest where users could upload photos of places that, to them, are an escape. On Instagram, they would tag the photos with #MyAWAY and at the end of the contest period, one lucky fan wins a digital camera plus goodies from NatGeo and Go RVing.

22. Reward your followers. Create lasting relationships with followers by using discount codes. Reach out and connect with influencers one-on-one. Brands that go the extra mile by rewarding their Instagram followers see better success rates.

23. Create a compelling visual aesthetic. Post photos that show the lifestyle of your customers, while staying relevant to your brand. Your account should be a balance of fun pictures and branded, promotional business photos. Make sure all images share the same aesthetic.

24.Do not over post. “Feed speed” is a critical factor of your brand’s Instagram success. There’s a fine line between agitating your followers by clogging their newsfeed and posting so infrequently that your followers forget you exist. Create a posting schedule and editorial content calendar that allows you to track what works and then decide which direction to take.

25. Post at peak times. According to a study by TrackMaven, the most effective days to post are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Another study found that posting at 5 PM EST yields a higher engagement rate.

26. Leverage video. Use diverse visual formatting, such as 15 seconds of video or a cinemagraph (still photographs in which a repeated movement occurs.) Also consider leveraging Instagram TV (IGTV) for longer form video content.

27. Resize Graphics. Make sure all of your graphics are consistent using a graphic design software such as canva.com. Be sure to use Canva’s “magic resize” tool to resize images to spec to fit the Instagram specs.

28. Promote your Instagram handle. Connect your Instagram account to your website using social plugins and link your Instagram handle in your email signature to expand your reach. This creates an avenue for traffic for each social media site. Also consider making your Instagram account visible on Facebook.

29. Reverse engineer. If you’re trying to get prospects who may be interested in your services, think about their hobbies and demographic profile. Search for hashtags that align with their hobbies, such as #yachting #countryclub or #hamptons. From there, like and comment on their photos and follow them directly. They may even follow you back.

30. Measure. Observe when your followers are online and review performance metrics. What images and posts do your followers respond best to? Where are your new followers coming from? Is your brand growing or shrinking on Instagram? To refine your Instagram marketing strategy, it’s important to know what resonates best with your audience.

 

Finally, be sure to repost images that show your product or service in use, while also using hashtags where your optimal follower can be found. Also remember to respond in real-time to the latest trending content. If you receive a sales lead through Instagram Direct Messaging but respond four weeks later, the lead will be gone. Try to keep your followers entertained and engaged with educational and informative content.

By following these tips, you will maximize your Instagram exposure and, as a result, increase your brand awareness (and sales!).  Need help with developing your Instagram marketing strategy? Contact us today to learn more about our social media marketing services.

Curious to know how much Instagram marketing costs if you hire a social media marketing agency?

We break it down for you here.

 

Instagram Marketing Resources

5 Ways to Make Your Corporate Event More Instagrammable 

5 Reasons Your Social Media Campaign Bombed 

Instagram Marketing for Medical Practices 

 

 


Blogging for Business

strategy-blogging for business

Communicating with customers, patients and business partners is the key to success in our increasingly digital world. But doing so effectively can be a daunting process, especially at the beginning!

Here are my top tips on how to get started blogging and how to keep going after you have gained some momentum and traction.

Why should your small business have a blog?

A blog is a great way for small business owners to connect with clients, increase search engine optimization (SEO) results and get your content found by key prospects.

According to Inside View, research shows that B2B marketers who blog generate 67% more leads than those that do not.

Other research shows that business websites that have a blog with more than 20 posts per month get five times more traffic than those who blog significantly less (less than four times per month). Blogging should be a critical part of your ongoing communications strategy.

Companies such as Whole Foods, IHG, Turkey Hill, Starbucks and even YouTube have blogs. Their content is consistent with the brands’ key messaging and includes thoughts from the CEO, recipes, and even travel tips.

What is business blogging?

Business blogging is the practice of putting out thought-leadership content that ties into your larger B2B Marketing goals and objectives.  The goal of business blogging is to drive potential customers to your website and keep them interacting with your content.  Ultimately, you want to convert business blog readers to customers through an inbound marketing strategy.

Benefits of Blogging for Small Business

  • SEO
  • Increase search visibility for keywords
  • Get found by reporters
  • Build brand authority and subject matter expertise

How to write a blog post to promote your business

Your blog should be targeted towards prospects and it should answer questions prospects have when researching other companies to work with.

Before you start a business blog, ask yourself the following questions to formulate a strategy:

  • What will the decision makers want to read in our target audience?
  • What do you want to be positioned as?

For example, maybe you want to be positioned as a key opinion leader on consumer behavior.

If you are a digital marketing agency, your target audience would be CMO’s at large companies.

If you are targeting CMO’s, think about the content they would be searching for.  For example, you could write a blog post that says, “We have conducted some  research on your target audience that you might find interesting.”

The key is to write content that is interesting to the people you want to attract in your sales funnel.

Prior to clicking publish, make sure you can answer the following:

  • Will marketing decision makers read this or want to read it?
  • Is this consumer centric content?
  • Who will this content appeal to?

How can I use blogging to promote my business?

Blogging is a powerful inbound marketing tool to promote your business.

The key is to use blogging as a way to attract prospective clients into your funnel.

Pro Tip: Create content about your target audience that is most relevant to your prospective clients.

BUSINESS BLOGGING 101: How to build a successful business blog

How do I come up with content for my blog?

Start writing down the questions you are most frequently asked. Then, write content around it. Be sure to do keyword research on the search volume to make sure your posts are optimized around topical phrases people are using to search for content in your industry.

Blogging for the sake of blogging won’t help much, and it is a mistake most business owners make. I suggest doing keyword research before you start blogging instead of after.

Remember: What you find interesting may not be what your target audience is searching for. This should also be done in step 1 of building out an integrated marketing communications plan for your business.

PRO TIP: Research the search terms people are using before you start writing!

How does blogging help your business?

Google favors web sites that are consistently putting out fresh content. Blogging is the #1 way to make Google happy. However, the blogging content you are putting out must be high quality in order to have a chance at ranking. Thin content will not rank.

Your blog content must be substantial. Typically, long form content that is greater than 1,000 words has a much better chance of ranking on page one of Google search engine results. One key tactic (and secret weapon!) to consider for business blogging is the strategy of historical optimization.

What is historical optimization?

Historical blog post optimization is when you go back to your old blog content and update each post to make sure the article has fresh and relevant content for your readers. This post is an example of historical optimization.  We originally wrote it a few years back but optimized it this year to make sure it is in line with best practices and the questions people are searching for!

HOW TO CREATE A SUCCESSFUL BLOG STRATEGY

Pre-Publishing Blog Post Checklist

    • Have you clearly defined the goals of your content marketing strategy?
    • What is the main topic of your blog?
    • What are the sub categories of content for the blog?
    • What SEO keywords do you want to rank for?
    • Who is your ideal reader and prospect that you want to optimize content for?
    • How often will you publish new content?

Here are 10 more tips to creating a successful B2B blog for your business:

  1. Create an editorial content calendar: Don’t just wing it. A schedule of topics and deadlines will keep you focused and allow you to build up momentum and followers.
  2. Know your audience: Who are you trying to appeal to? Write for that audience. If you’re trying to reach customers, do not use the blog to talk about employees or company news (use a press page for that). Write only about what is important to your prospects and what they want to read.
  3. Link your blog. Discussing key trends in your industry? Link back to previous article you wrote on the trend. Be sure to link articles, discussion posts, and tweets to your blog to increase traffic to the site.
  4. Create a blog roll: Add relevant industry blogs to a blog roll on your site to direct users to other viewpoints on the topics you are writing about. Add these blogs to the “blog roll” to show strategic alliance and to get on the radar of the bloggers you want to impress.
  5. Invite a guest: A blog serves as a personalized expression of your brand and will serve as a platform for the company. You can encourage employees and members to contribute to blog content. In turn, they will often help to promote their content and, as a result, bring more readers to your blog. You can also invite experts in your industry to guest blog. This is great for increasing backlinks for SEO and positive link juice!
  6. Share helpful information: Maintain a balance between posting unique content and sharing content from related blogs to your industry. All of your content should address the pain points of your target audience.
  7. Update frequently: Your blog should be updated at least several times a week and should continually include tips, articles, industry news, etc. For example, if you design office spaces, then post inspirational ideas and create a contest for a customer. Readers will repost and re-tweet contest information and provide feedback on the ideas.
  8. Integrate SEO keywords: You want your blog to make its way up the Google rankings. To do that, you need to insert Search Engine Optimization (SEO) words into the copy. Learn what keywords you want to rank for and optimize accordingly.
  9. Promote your blog: Tweet a link to your blog post, talk about it on Twitter, send out a teaser in your newsletter, mention it when you do interviews and put your blog address in your e-mail signature line.
  10. Keep tabs on your progress:  Google Analytics will provide key insights into click throughs, who is reading your blog, and what posts are most popular. This is extremely important when you are planning an editorial calendar. For example, if you are writing for a 30-50 year old audience, but the majority of your blog readers are in their 20s, you need to tweak your content to their media preferences. If you are spending a ton of time writing content that isn’t getting high traffic, you may need to alter your content calendar accordingly. Remember, you are writing for your audience first and foremost.  The content that they want to read may not that be what you want to read.

Screen-Shot-2014-10-21-at-5.46.18-PMBottom photo Credit: Hubspot

Blog Promotion Tip: One of the best ways to build buzz for your article is to include interviews with well-known subject matter experts who will promote your content once you click publish. Leverage their built-in networks and fan base to drive traffic to your article. The more they promote your link, the more SEO juice you will build.

BLOGGING FOR DOCTORS

Our NYC PR agency specializes in healthcare PR and we handle quite a bit of blogging for doctors, so this post would not be complete without covering this critical area!

Should doctors blog? The importance of blogging for your medical practice

Yes! Every doctor should blog. Content marketing is a critical factor in the pulse of a medical practice. People want to see your thoughts around topical health related issues in the news. Blogging is a free way to establish yourself as a thought leader and share your opinion in a public forum. Plus, it can score you major SEO points if you optimize your content!

HOW TO GROW YOUR MEDICAL PRACTICE WITH A BLOG

Why every doctor needs a blog

If you are a physician who is serious about blogging, you need to start blogging. It is non-negotiable. Social media networks come and go in popularity, but blogging is here to stay. Blogging falls under the “Owned” media category. The ROI on blogging is substantial for your practice. One high-ranking piece of content can be a great source of lead generation for your medical practice for years to come.

How often should a doctor blog?

Doctors should blog at least once per month depending on their patient schedule. If you aren’t putting out new blog content for your medical practice, you risk Google seeing your web site as a fresh source of content.

PR Blogging Pro Tip: Write tip-oriented blogs or listicles that can also be used to pitch the press to assist with your Medical Practice PR campaign.

BLOGGING FOR DOCTORS AND MEDICAL PRACTICES

Ask us about our blogging and content marketing services for doctors, dermatologists and plastic surgeons! Our medical clients always write the meat of the article, but we handle the rest! This includes content optimization, image sourcing and turning press answers into blog posts. Contact us today to inquire about our highly coveted medical practice marketing blogging services for your healthcare practice.  If you are a medical professional who is interested in medical ghostwriting services, let’s talk.

P.S. You should never hire someone to ghostwrite for you. However, you should hire someone who can edit your content so that it is still coming from you, but it is also optimized for search engines.

HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR B2B BLOG FOR SEO 

It is no secret that Google prefers long-form content. Just look at the first page of the SERP’s for any target keyword. You will rarely find a top ranked page on page 1 that is less than 2000 words.

Use your keywords throughout the copy of your blog but be sure not to keyword stuff. Measure keyword density and use variations of your target phrase.

Higher Click Through Rates (CTR’s) can often be attributed to more compelling titles!

Consider creating clickable blog graphics with free information to keep people on your B2B blog for longer. If you are not a graphic designer, don’t worry! You can use Canva to create stunning visual graphics.

FREE BONUS! Blog Post SEO Checklist

  • Is your blog post more than 2000 words?
  • Have you used your target keyword in the headline?
  • Did you add in keyword tags and select the proper category?
  • Did you use keywords in Alt tags?
  • Did you include your target keyword in your H1 tag?
  • Did you remember to use the keyword in the image file name?
  • Did you use the primary keyword in the page URL?
  • Did you remember to add internal links to pass link juice and page rank?
  • Did you use an on-page SEO checker or plugin like Yoast to make sure the content is optimized for search engines?
  • Did you update the meta description with relevant keywords?
  • Did you run your copy through Grammarly and Microsoft Word to check for grammatical errors?
  • Do you have CTA’s clearly written out at the end of each blog post?
  • Did you remember to break up long paragraphs of text?
  • Did you add images to break up text?

WHAT TO DO AFTER PUBLISHING A BLOG POST

Make sure the “about the author” is included at the end of each b2b blog post.

B2B BUSINESS BLOGGING CONTENT MARKETING RECAP

Longer blog posts rank better if you are trying to improve your search rankings on Google.

Embed social media content into blog posts and consider adding rich media and videos too.

Add sub headers to break up content and use bullet points and numbered lists to break up text.

Include visuals to make your b2b blog more engaging.

Link to valuable resources within your blog and cite all sources.

Promoting other influencers and key opinion leaders in your blog content is a great way to drive major traffic.

*Date last updated 2019 

RESOURCES

How to Craft Effective Content Calendars