It’s a battle that is heating up (but has been going on for years).
Everyone seems to have a different opinion or way of looking at it.
So what’s the best way to spend your marketing budget; search engines or social media?
Paid ad spend has been strong in 2015, with the US market seeing 26% growth year on year, whilst growth in PPC budgets from existing users continues to grow at around 70% year on year (as way of contrast only 6% of businesses actually report using search advertising to drive website traffic).
Social spend in comparison has also been rising consistently, hitting 27% last year and is expected to hit 29% in 2015 ($19.5 billion).
In mobile, search still dominates, with Google receiving over 3.5 billion searches each day, and continuing to dominate mobile ad revenues, collecting 35% in the U.S, compared to Facebook’s 17%.
Digital ad spend on the whole across search, social and mobile has never been greater, and it is only going to grow as web usage worldwide, especially mobile, continues to grow. In fact, advertising revenues are expected to grow 10.7% annually to reach $194.5 billion by 2018 (just $20 billion behind predicted TV advertising growth).
Statistics aside for a moment, it pays to take some time to think about which is the superior marketing strategy for you; search vs social?
To really answer that question will depend a lot on the nature of your business, your customers and what you are trying to achieve.
There’s no escaping the huge growth of social media and the ability for it to get your ads or content in front of a lot of people.
Its power to influence consumer decisions and generate leads for B2C and B2B is certainly in evidence as well (54% of B2B respondents in a CMO study said they’d generated leads via social media). But proponents of search ads will point to a lack of ‘intent’ in social media users and less reliable conversions as a result.
- You don’t have to guess at your audience. Their gender, age, location, interests, work, friends and so much more is provided for you. Discovering your target demographic has never been easier.
- Peer endorsements can mean an instant conversion. 75% of individuals aged 18 – 26 use recommendations on social networks when deciding on a product.
- Your reputation is in your hands. With social networks, your positive response to a negative review is not merely instantaneous, but how you handle the situation is witnessed by a broad web audience.
- It nurtures brand loyalty. 71% of consumers are more likely to make purchasing decisions based on what they discover about brands on social media. Making social media a great opportunity for create life-long customers.
- A large number of consumers don’t have a social profile. Unless you know that your target audience is on social media, you could be throwing advertising money down the drain.
- Most users of a social network are there to ‘socialise’, not to shop. As a result, your conversion rates on social networks are going to be a lot lower than search where ‘intent’ is more implicit.
- It can be time consuming, with up to 64% of digital marketers spending six hours or more on social media each day.
- It is incredibly difficult to set metrics and define your return-on-investment (ROI). Social media can be great for business, but with few direct conversions it is difficult to determine exactly how it is profiting your brand.
Search is, and remains, the most powerful and trackable medium for digital advertisers with tried and tested methods for generating traffic and measuring conversions and ROI.
Critics will point to the increasing cost of PPC on platforms like Google Adwords, as a result of fierce competition over competitive keywords. This aside though, search advertising remains one of the most popular options for advertisers.
- Most consumers who discover your brand through a search engine are there with the intent to buy, resulting in increased traffic and higher conversions.
- Search allows for targeted marketing. You don’t have to go out looking for your target audience; the keywords they use direct them to you.
- Using analytics you can find out exactly what words and phrases consumers are searching for and alter your keywords accordingly. There may, for instance, be 50,000 consumers searching for ‘dog restraints’, but over two million users looking for ‘dog leashes’.
- If you don’t have the time, or expertise, to raise your site’s profile in organic listings, paid ads allow you a practical way to get your brand and products in the SERPs.
- Competition is fierce. It requires a substantial investment of resources and time, especially in a world where SEO algorithms are continuously changing.
- No guarantees. It’s been shown that 75% of searchers are unlikely to scroll past the first page so if your brand isn’t able to compete at the top, either in organic or paid, then some of those competitive keywords you really wanted to rank for may be out of reach indefinitely.
- It pays to rank well for organic search as well as for ads, but with link building and other SEO tactics, ROI isn’t instantaneous. SEO is an investment and it can take a long time before you see the results of your efforts.
So where should you invest your marketing budget: Search vs Social?
Well the get out of jail free answer is surely; why not both? Your customers are probably using both and the existing infrastructures of search and social are already beginning to merge.
Good social media habits can help to boost your organic rankings, while new social network advertising options can reveal a lot of information on keywords, target audiences and competitor activity, which in turn can feed back into your paid search campaign.
Social networking, after all, is terrific at building brand awareness and establishing credibility, whereas search is better at creating conversions.
A consumer is going to be much more likely to click your ad if they recognize your brand name from social media.
Used together, social and search can quickly become greater than the sum of their parts.
Guest Author: Thomas Coppen is the Technical Director and founder of Bristol based online advertising specialists Keel Over Marketing. Founding the company in 2012 Thomas has gone on to secure a client base that spans America, Australia and Asia, as well as Europe. You can connect with Keel Over on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.
Social media seems to have been with us forever.
In fact Facebook has turned ten!…that is an eternity in tech. Social media is so old that the fun police have turned up and are threatening to ruin the party.
The no rules and the dope smoking, beer swilling social media parties have started moving into the board room. The swinging 60′s of social have started to be invaded by the serious suits.
The politicians are now even pushing for social media privacy and protection laws. The lawyers have also joined. So don’t post anything too controversial on Facebook.
You may get sued. It is becoming legislated and legal.
At the big end of tech town, companies like IBM and Oracle are investing big bucks and building Enterprise software for social. It is now all about process, management and control.
How boring is that?
But in 2008 when I joined Facebook and Twitter, it was the wild west. There were no textbooks for social and people just leapt on and started playing. Tweeting with someone on the other side of the world who you didn’t know was so cool.
But questions were asked
When there are no rules then the general population feels a bit uncomfortable and starts asking for directions. The command and control economy is still embedded in our psyche.
How many times should I tweet? Is posting on Facebook once a day enough? Should I start a blog or is micro-blogging enough? Can I use my Facebook page like a website?
But maybe it’s time for social to grow up and develop some rules and guidelines and become accountable.
Is that bad?
No. It is time for the social zealots to become more responsible and the return on investment question is not to be shouted down but to be taken on board. It is not just about engagement. That is just the start of the conversation. Social media needs to convert engagement and trust into real leads and sales.
Is it a tad more boring?
There are some new social toys
But there is a still a lot of fun to be had for people who love shiny new toys.
This year has seen the emergence of some exciting new social platforms that remind me of the time I discovered social for the first time. Meerkat and Periscope have introduced us to live video streaming.
When I first used Periscope to observe someone in London streaming their walk to work while chatting it was was bizarre, confronting and very voyeuristic.
Just last week I joined Blab and watched as 4 social media pundits held a late night chat fest while sipping some wine and downing some cans of beer. This was done with 200 people on the virtual reality sidelines cheering, commenting and asking questions.
Conversations and questions centred around how engaging the live global video interaction was and would Blab rule in this connected world.
This engaged global connectedness that social brought us is still intoxicating.
But will these new platforms be game changers?
This question is often asked.
But at the end of the day it comes down to asking some key questions that need to be raised without wearing beer goggles.
- Could they drive more traffic? Not sure at this stage but looks like it may not be worth all the focus, time and the effort for achieving that goal.
- Will they provide more engagement with your prospects and customers? I think the answer to that is a big yes.
- Is it worth the time? Maybe and maybe not. That then begs the question of where and how should my time and resources be best spent.
- Can they make more money for your brand? That is maybe not what a social media purist wants to hear but the CEO will want to know.
The Pareto principle needs to be applied here.
If 20% of your efforts produce 80% of the results then being distracted by shiny new toys could be a tyre spinning exercise. Fun for sure but not a good use of resources.
At the end of the day they will be useful tools to consider for your marketing in the midst of many others.
The growth rates were astronomical
The growth rates at the beginning of the social media revolution were astronomical. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and other social networks grew at rates that hadn’t been seen before in a web world.
That pace has slowed and it is much more organic in 2015.
That is except for some of the new kids on the block such as Periscope, Meerkat and Blab.
One significant driver of social media growth and engagement in 2015 is the impact of smartphones. This is due in part to the populations in developing countries using mobiles as their primary internet device.
So what are the social media facts as we approach the end of 2015.
Facebook still rules the social media world and is consolidating its dominance on a lot of levels. Sheer size, social advertising spend and dominating the mobile screen are just a few.
Here are some Facebook facts:
- Facebook has over 1.49 billion monthly active users
- Revenue hit $4.042 billion for the last quarter (second quarter 2015)
- For the the first time Facebook had 1 billion users log on in one day
- Mobile-only monthly active users have now reached 655 million
- Mobile advertising revenue is now at 76% of total earnings
Twitter was always an accidental social network. It was never intended to be social. It was originally designed as a private internal messaging service for a podcasting company.
It is a technology experiment that escaped.
- 316 million monthly users
- 500 million tweets per day
- 80% of active users are on mobile
- 4,100 employees
- 50% of the employees are engineers
One other little known Twitter fact is that if you tweet more you will get more followers.
YouTube has been with us since 2004. In 2005 it was acquired by Google for $1.5 billion. This is when Facebook got started. Facebook is now on a mission to replace YouTube as the largest video platform on the planet.
Here are some YouTube facts to ponder.
- Over 1 billion users visit YouTube every day
- Over 100 hours of video are uploaded every minute
- 25% of views are from mobile devices
- 6 billion hours of video are watched every month
- More content is uploaded in 60 days on YouTube than all 3 major U.S. Networks generated in the last 60 years
LinkedIn was a little slow to the content marketing party and only introduced a publishing feature for all its members in 2014. A new tool called LinkedIn Elevate is being trialled to help companies leverage their content by making it easy for companies to increase sharing of their content via their employees.
We will see how that pans out in powering companies to build more engagement. In the meantime here are some of the latest LinkedIn facts via Linkedin.
- 39 million students and recent college graduates are on LinkedIn
- 380 million users
- Total annual revenue is 0ver $2.8 billion
- Add 2 new members per second
- 8,700 employees
Instagram is still one of the fastest growing social media properties. The reason. It’s mobile and visual which are two of the fastest emerging trends in social media marketing.
It is not just for images and photos and individuals can also post 15 second videos and has recently removed its ban on rectangular images.
Here are some Instagram facts.
- Over 400 million users
- It is estimated that Instagram will bring in $595 million in mobile ad revenues in 2015
- Mobile ad revenues are projected to surpass Google and Twitter by 2017 at $2.81 billion
- It is estimated that 9ver 27% of the U.S. population use Instagram in 2015
- 90% of Instagram users are younger than 35
Pinterest has been one of the most female dominated social networks since its inception. That has continued. Many of its images are about fashion (4.5 billion pins), recipes (1.7 billion) and home related images.
- 73 million global users
- 85% of Pinterest users are female
- 53 million monthly unique user in the USA
- There re 1 billion Pinterest boards
- 50 billion Pinterest pins
The new social toys
Despite social media maturing there are still some new toys that are filling niches and also leveraging emerging technologies and faster data networks.
Here is a quick look at some of the fast emerging social media platforms. What isn’t surprising is that they are mobile, video centric and live. It is all about engagement.
They are live streaming video apps that drive a lot of engagement and make sharing fun and highly engaging.
Meerkat allows you to broadcast live video from your mobile. This app launched in 2012 but broke through into public consciousness at SXSW in March, 2015. It then had a direct competitor launched a few weeks later.
The latest facts about the app that are hard to get due to its non-disclosure:
- It had an estimated 2 million users in May, 2015
Periscope was Twitter’s answer to Meerkat and shortly after launching it also cut off Meerkats access to it’s API and service that made its growth trajectory much more muted.
- It announced on August 2 that it had reached 10 million accounts just 4 months after launch
- 40 years of video are being watched every day
- Daily active users – approximately 2 million
Blab only launched in April.
It allows up to 4 users to run a live video streaming conference that can be watched from the sidelines by others. The best way to describe it is Google+ Hangout for mobiles. It can be recored for later use and is a lot of fun. It feels like a mobile stadium. A few people on the stage and onlookers sharing feedback via questions and chatting visibly via text on the side column.
Signing up to Blab.im from your desktop is as simple as using your Twitter account. At this stage the mobile app is only available for the iPhone.
A lot of the top bloggers and social media early adopters have been hosting “Blabs” over the past few weeks. It’s fun and highly engaging.
An interesting Blab fact: Blab is a new start-up launched by the founders of Bebo. Bebo was a social network started in 2005 by Michael and Xochi Birch and bought by AOL in 2008 for $850 millon when it had reached 45 million users. It went into decline and was bought back by the couple for $1 million in 2013.
Podcasts are hot.
It seems everyone is either thinking of launching a podcast, producing one or being interviewed. Podcasts are a very engaging way to communicate with your audience. They can be listened to while sitting on the beach, driving the car and working out at the gym.
The sound of the voice reveals a lot about a person. You can feel their passion and the meaning that intonation and pitch and volume reveals.
I recently launched a podcast called “The Top” which is like an audio version of a monthly income report and had the fastest growth any business podcast has ever had in its first month. We learned a lot along the way and in this in-depth 4,000 word post we will reveal the specific strategies and tactics that worked.
So what were the exact results?
Here’s the results
Before we tell you the stats why don’t you check the podcast out. (click here to listen on iTunes or click here to listen on Android)
This post will be one of the most useful pieces of content you can study if you’re curious about podcast launches in 2015 and beyond. (There are also some other useful links at end that I found to be great for researching on the art of podcasting)
Here are the results.
1. Hit #1 on day one
It was 100% engineered and predictable.
Most other “podcast launch” blog post strategies are from 2014, 2013 or even later than that.
2. 1,050 downloads on day one
Here are the RESULTS we drove in the first 30 days of the show being live:
3. #1 in “Business New and Noteworthy”
Don’t understand how Apple picks who to feature and who to sink? Keep reading and I’ll show you how to virtually guarantee you get into New and Noteworthy.
4. 36,000 downloads in first 30 days
What they said
The reviews were positive right out of the gate. This is what the @thecelluarguy had to say in one of the reviews.
So what were the steps behind this successful launch.
Step 1: Launch with at least 8 episodes
I like doing things I know I can WIN. Podcasting is one of those things. It is ABSOLUTELY possible to literally ENGINEER a successful podcast if you follow these tips:
Everyone told me to launch with 3-5 episodes but no one gave me good reasoning.
“Launching with 3 episodes is WRONG STRATEGY“
The way I saw it, there was incredible UPSIDE to launching with the maximum numbers of episodes I could without making my audience feel like they couldn’t catch up.
The math is SIMPLE:
- 1 Subscriber x 1 episode = 1 download
- 1 SUBSCRIBER x 8 EPISODES = 8 DOWNLOADS
Downloads play a role in rankings and a high ranking gets you more FREE listeners from iTunes. Anyone wanna be 8x more effective? Get ranked 8 times higher? Get 8 times as many downloads?
Launch with as many episodes as you can but no more than 2 hours of total content. (If your show is 1 hour long, launch with 2 episodes).
The KEY is to MAKE sure you don’t overwhelm your audience on day 1.
I decided to launch with 8 x 15 minute episodes.
This means there would be 2 hours of content: Not too much to make new listeners feel overwhelmed BUT still getting 8 “launch partners” who EMAILED THEIR LISTS on day one.
Here’s how I got them to email. I sent an email to all 20 pre-recorded episode guests and said:
“Hey, I’m trying to decide which 8 episodes to launch with. These episodes will go out to my list and I’ll be investing heavily in promoting them. If I put you on launch day, are you willing to help out and email your list?”
Needless to say, everyone who said “yes” went out on day one. Everyone who said “no” was put in the queue for later.
BONUS: I used the fact that Apple ranked us #1 on launch day to convince initial “no”s into “yes’s” for emailing their lists!)
The result was that straight away on Day 1, we were AVERAGING 1000 downloads per day. Here is a screenshot from Libsyn, the tool I used to host my podcast:
Launch with as many episodes as you can but don’t exceed 2 hours of content.
What are 12 free shortcuts to getting 5,000 downloads FAST?
1. Add a PS into every personal email with a link to the episode.
Here is a screen shot showing an email signature with a link to an episode (I use gmail):
2. Email your guests the day their episode releases and soft-sell them to sharing on social media.
This helps in convincing guests yo post on social.
3. Encourage competition between your guests
Publish a “Top 10 Most Influential Entrepreneurs From August” list each month and encourage competition among podcast guests to get in that list.
I did this with Sue Zimmerman and she crushed it driving an additional 893 downloads to her episode in 24 hours (GO Sue!).
THIS DROVE OUR DAILY SPIKE OF 2500 DOWNLOADS
4. Get one big guest who you truly admire and use them as an anchor to attract other big names
(Bob, I appreciate you sharing how you charge $20k per keynote and sold 1.5m books you best-seller, you! .
This is how I COLD pitched A BIG NAME GUEST – Joe Pulizzi (CEO at Content Marketing World).
Joe said yes – his interview is #54 (release date 9/17/2015):
5. Every episode should start with a pre-interview open loop
This means you should say 1-2 sentences to drive intense curiosity about the last episode that went live. For example:
“In yesterday’s episode #1, you heard how Kim Garst built a $23k/mo membership site using a $47/mo product!”.
This turns one download into 2 almost automatically.
6. Post an Instagram picture for each episode
Also include the top trending hashtag that day (found on Instagram homepage dashboard), along with 5-10 hashtags relevant to that episode.
I also like TAGGING 5 people who I think would get value from listening to the episode. Make sure you LINK to your podcast in your Instagram Biography.
Here’s an example I did with a woman who is doing $171k/mo and CRUSHING most men (Go Crystal!):
7. Encourage guest sharing
When a tool or guest gets mentioned in your podcast, tell them via twitter/facebook – they will re-share. I strategically spend 120 seconds on every episode asking 5 questions called the “Famous Five”.
Each of these questions get the guest to mention their “favorite” something (that ties with a new potential podcast partner/DISTRIBUTION channel on STEROIDS for me!)
8. When a book, tool, or person gets mentioned, tell them and tag them.
This is the same marketing strategy as #5.
(BONUS: Publish a Top 10 Books from Top Entrepreneurs blog article once per month to get book authors to retweet/re-email their lists/re-post on Facebook and Instagram).
This will help new folks discover the podcast:
9. Use a tool like lead digits from leadpages
Then tell your guests to text: “the word nathan to 33444 for your chance to win a GoPro from episode 8” to build your list fast.
In 30 days this resulted in 203 email opt ins (or about 1 new subscriber per every 150 downloads)
10. Email the list daily about a new podcast episode
(WARNING: Do not email your whole list daily right off the bat – get them to subscribe to a segmented list requesting daily updates). Keep this conversational, short, and sweet.
This email about Carrie Wilkerson’s episode got a 76.2% open rate and 28.5% click through rate:
11. Back link each blog article to the previous episode with a super provocative “open hook”.
Listen to this episode to see what I mean. This is how you get people TOTALLY ADDICTED – same strategy TV show survivor uses when they say “stay tuned for scenes from our next episode):
12. Email a larger segment of your list once per month with the top 10 episodes
I did this and drove 222 clicks back to the website. The trick is that this Top 10 article will back-link to the individual blog posts for each of the top 10 episodes, thus driving more downloads.
Doing these little things, CONSISTENTLY, every day will drive incredible results over time. In our first 30 days we drove 36,000 downloads.
Keep reading to see some more unique things we did to drive these results:
Step 2: Focus on getting featured in “New and Noteworthy”
Getting into “New and Noteworthy” means Apple will basically feed you new subscribers for FREE for about 8 weeks. I conquered the top spot easily using the next few tactics…
There was no single magic bullet that led to us getting featured in New and Noteworthy – more like several little “BB” guns that if you fire constantly, you’ll WIN.
Ethically bribe (encourage) 50 people you can count on to review on day one
When launch day comes around, you will be swamped with fires to put out so get as much done beforehand as you can. I FB messaged friends and said:
“Here’s a preview of an episode, shoot me a quick reply if you like it”.
If they replied, I asked them if I could reach out on launch day and have them write a review and leave a rating. I kept track of all the commitments in a Google Doc:
While this is very much science and art,
I knew that if I got 30 5 star reviews in a very short amount of time on day one, Apple would put me in New and Noteworthy based off other business shows that were in N&N that had way less reviews.
Top tip: Create a 2 month buffer before launch
I was well aware that getting into podcasting would need to be a commitment. To get a show to #1, it requires a consistent release schedule over a very long period of time.
To MINIMIZE RECORDING TIME and to make sure I got one episode out every morning, I block off two days each month (6 hours each day) to be in studio. My calendar on those days looks like this:
I block off 20 minutes for each interview (live taping is 15 minutes, 5 minute buffer) and I knock out 15 interviews each recording session. In two recording sessions (12 hours), I can knock out a months worth of episodes.
When I find a guest I want to interview, I send them to my schedule once page:
Once they are scheduled, I plan out their release schedule in our “Show Master” google doc. It’s critical you do this BEFORE you do the live session.. keep reading and I’ll tell you why (you strategy people will LOVE this):
Top tip: Pick a logo/artwork that gets Apple to give you new listeners for free
You want to pick a logo and artwork that is clean and that POPS. To see if it’ll pop or not, literally edit your logo into a screenshot of mobile version of iTunes take them into Starbucks, and ask people to point to the first logo they see! Here’s an example (this design got ZERO attention, so I threw in the trash, fast!).
I did a version of this testing in an Instagram post:
Make sure you use highly contrasting colors if you care most about getting organically discovered in iTunes.
Your designer will HATE YOU for making something that looks so ugly – but guess what? It works! Start with one of these color combinations (I landed on a more subtle orange/white/black combo):
Top tip: How to spend only 12 hours per month on the podcast
I spend all of my time running Heyo.com. We’ve launched over 500,000 Facebook campaigns for businesses, raised $2.5m dollars in VC, have served over 10,000 monthly paying customers.
Since podcasting is NOT MY TOP FOCUS, I committed to building a process for the podcast that would require less than 15 hours a month of my time to run.
The key piece to pre-launch was getting a hyper efficient SYSTEM set up so that execution would be flawless and scaleable.
I started by setting up Google Drive folders organized around Pre-Launch, Launch, Post-Launch. I learned this from Amy Porterfields podcast episode 64!
Oration Recording would be the studio I would record in.
This SAVED ME about $800 from having to buy my own podcasting equipment, and countless hours I didn’t have to spend figuring out how to make all the audio “stuff” work.
More importantly, I estimate I save 10 hours per week on editing – the studio handled (and now handles) all of that.
Deb with Patch Design in Toronto would handle graphics for each episode.
Hunter Orrell, a super talented thinker who serves on the Virginia Tech entrepreneur club board, was in charge of posting each episode to the blog each day.
This is the 12 STEP DAILY PROCESS my team runs to keep the podcast at the top, without me:
Nathan use meetme.so/nathanlatka to schedule podcast guests
Sean put initial draft audio file (intro, content) and upload draft version into Google Drive folder titled “Audio Files” no later than 40 days before release date and sign in column “F” in this Google document when done.
Nathan listen to draft audio files to determine release order. Update release order in Google Drive file called “Show Schedule”. No later than 37 days before release date.
Sean finalize each audio file by adding on the pre and post-roll open loop along with the 33444 Call to Action (CTA), and upload final version into Google Drive folder titled “Audio Files” no later than 35 days before release date.
Nathan access Google Drive folder and transcribe each recording through Rev.com. Upload each transcription to Google Drive folder title “Transcriptions” no later than 33 days before release date. Sean depositing audio file in Google Drive.
Hunter Orrell upload transcription into a new blog post using this template on nathanlatka.com/wp-admin. The blog post title should be the same as the show title (ex: E1: How Kim Garst Makes $23k/mo With a $47/mo Membership Site) and the link should be set to nathanlatka.com/the-top-firstnameguest-lastnameguest with a pretty link set up as nathanlatka.com/thetop1 or /thetop2 or /thetop3 – whatever the episode # is) no later than 30 days before release date.
Deb design blog image at 805 pixels wide by 500 pixels tall, upload into Google Drive folder “Images” no later than 30 days before release date.
Deb design Instagram image at 613 pixels wide by 613 pixels tall and upload into Google Drive folder “Images” no later than 30 days before release date.
Sean post show to Lisbyn each night at 5pm EST and put podcast episode in blog post using Smart Podcast Player. When complete, sign initials here. (Hunter will put out blog post the next morning.. as defined in the next step). Include check box to post to SoundCloud.
Hunter Orrell upload image from step 7 as “featured image” in blog post, assign “The Top Podcast” category to the blog post, and then hit “publish” on blog post each morning at 9am EST. Login at this link, username and password is in email I sent you. When complete, sign initials here.
Deb post to Nathan’s Instagram at 925am EST M-F (Nathan manually post on weekends) using this text: “[TITLE FROM COLUMN D]. Go to link in bio to listen AND for your chance to win prizes ranging from $5 to $500! #inspiration #motivation #instagood #newday #love #friends #follow #followme #podcast #marketing #ideas #entrepreneur #startup” If guest has Instgram listed in Posting and Marketing Schedule Doc, tag them in post. When complete, sign initials here.
Deb post to Nathan’s Twitter at 928am EST M-Sun using this text: “ [TITLE FROM COLUMN D] (tag guest with @handle) Listen now [STICHER LINK]” When complete, sign initials here.
Nathan email guest telling them episode is live and asking them to Tweet/Facebook/IG, email market. When complete, sign initials here.
Nathan email The Top list in Mailchimp notification that new episode is live
Repeat #11-17 every day
Time is MORE IMPORTANT to me than money.
If you are the reverse, don’t build a team, build a process and execute it yourself and you can do this for less than $500.
Step 3: Tap into the power of email marketing of your guests
Email marketing is the quickest way to drive incredible amounts of traffic and downloads to your podcast. It’s critical you convince guests to email their lists.
Here is the email script I use to convince guests to email their lists
Hey Mike, I’m about to feature the top 10 episodes for August in a blog post. You’re almost in the Top 10 but not quite there. Are you game to email your list at 9am EST on August 23rd?
P.S. – Apple has us ranked in the TOP new business podcasts and I’m already getting great feedback about your episode!
Now that we have a WAITING LIST of the top CEO’s wanting to be on The Top podcast for free exposure, I’m requiring all guests email their lists!
Two unsexy things no one talks about
These unsexy items are long term plays that no one does because you don’t see immediate results.
I’m convinced that by setting up a few of these unsexy things that when I check them out 5 years from now, they’ll be huge channels for the show.
First, set up Soundcloud for easy, quick playback inside Twitter.
This drove 288 additional downloads/plays in August alone.
(Peanuts compared to iTunes but this required less than 5 minutes to set up and requires 0 time ongoing to keep updated).
Second, get set up on Stitcher so android users have an easy way to listen in.
This drove about 210 downloads in August and consistently drives 7-8 new downloads per day on autopilot:
The show is quickly rising to the top on stitcher rankings as well. With time, I expect the show will be a top 10 show which will help drive new organic listeners from Stitcher native search.
Over the 30 days in August, we went from a 7000 ranking to 2000, BEATING out 5000 other shows:
Top tip: Use podcast meta-data
This is a hidden gem.
You have to think about your podcast meta-data just like you do with blog post SEO on Google. The trouble is, data on what is searched in the iTunes podcast app is limited – so you have to guess/predict.
I know that my ideal listener is always looking for advice on business, money, marketing, and life. Many of the top shows focus on these 4 categories. Optimize your show title accordingly:
Show Title: The Top Entrepreneurs in Money, Marketing, Business, and Life
Secondly, iTunes users are likely to be searching for the names or podcast titles of other shows in your category. Include those keywords in the Author section of each show:
Author: Nathan Latka brings you top entrepreneurs daily inspired by Tim Ferriss, Pat Flynn, John Dumas, Entrepreneur on Fire, Chalene Johnson, NPR, HBR, the StartUp podcast, Art of Charm, Dave Ramsey, Planet Money, APM Marketplace, Mixergy, Seth Godin, #AskGaryVee, ProBlogger, Question of the Day, Build Your Tribe, and Diane Sanfilippo.
Now, if someone heard about Chalene Johnson’s podcast and they go search on iTunes, my show will also appear. Because our audiences are similar, these are potential listeners who’ll get hooked on my show too.
No shame. Stand on shoulders of giants. That’s what smart people do (just give credit where credit is due!)
Lastly, optimize episode titles to include the guests name.
“His Event is Free, So How Does He Make $800k Every Time? With Nick Unsworth”
Now, when anyone searches Nick Unsworth on iTunes, they’ll see his episode with me:
These are all little, unsexy things, that may drive 2-3 downloads per day but added up, over time, they move the needle.
Top tip: The trick to getting 7 reviews per week and a flood of new subscribers
Another advantage to a daily show is you can require guests to subscribe to the show, rate the show, and review the show.
Use this simple email script to make sure all of your guests are helping grow the show with you:
When people opt in to my list, I send an autoresponder sequence that many people call brilliant. It’s because I focus on people and conversation:
The SUBJECT LINE says: “hey” (I copied this from Barack Obamas #1 fundraising email)
The content says:
Now, take a look below and notice the click through rate on the first email is 0%. That’s because there are no links to click. I’ve optimized the email to get the new subscriber to reply directly to me!
If they reply to the auto-responder, I’ll reply manually to make sure they subscribe to the show by saying:
“If you’re loving the show will you follow these instructions and subscribe? Once your done, text me a screenshot of iTunes that shows you’ve subscribed and I’ll call you out on the next episode to get you some free exposure and show my appreciation! My number is 7034312709”
Once they subscribe, THEN use one of these 4 phrases to FORCE PEOPLE TO LEAVE A RATING AND REVIEW…
DO NOT ASK for both at once – it’s too much. Get them to say “yes I’ve subscribed” first AND THEN use the 4 phrases below to instantly get reviews:
If you’re loving the show will you leave a rating? Let me know what you write when you’re done, I’m curious.
Sometimes Apple is weird, shoot me a quick reply when you’ve left a review so I know it worked
I want to call you out on the next episode, leave a review? (See how I did this in the episode on this show.)
Screenshot your review and send it to me so I can give you a surprise that everyone else has to pay for (I then send them an eBook that I sell for $27 for free).
NOTE: If you just ask for a review, people will make you feel good and just say yes. You have to get them to emotionally commit. The 4 phrases above are working the best for me.
Step 4: Position for the long term game
This starts with recording a pre and post roll on every episode. Nobody does this and I don’t understand why.
The reality TV shows that are THE BIGGEST hits start each show with a 2-3 minute teaser of what happened last time, and usually end with a 2-3 minute teaser of whats coming up.
Survivor. Shark Tank. The Apprentice. HOUSE OF CARDS. They all do it and it works on me so I’m copying them.
At the start of each show I’ll say something like:
“In the last show you missed [guest name] talking about [headline that sparks curiosity/suspense]“
At the end of each show I’ll say something similar as well. This helps “connect” the episodes like a story that listeners can get totally addicted to and turns one download into 3, 4, and 5 downloads.
So, create amazing content and get people addicted.
Top tip: Be consistent
This is the #1 way to increase downloads is to publish more frequently. Many podcasts have sputtered out because the hosts quit too early. Commit to doing at least a years worth of shows or don’t do it at all. I’ve committed to one show per day released at 9am EST lasting between 15-20 minutes.
We always stick to this and our listeners love it.
We experimented with posting a REPLAY of a past episode with a different title to see if it would spike downloads.
Should you post the same content over and over to juice download numbers?
If the experiment worked, it would mean we could double frequency from 1 per day to 2 per day (unheard of in Podcasting but we’re trying all sorts of weird tactics!)
The idea came because I know when I listen to other shows, I never go all the way back to the beginning. A replay with a compelling title might pull me in and get me addicted.
We haven’t done a replay since the one we did on August 23rd because I’ve got several concerns despite the apparent success that day in terms of downloads.
We saw 1718 DOWNLOADS that day up from our 1100 average (about a 67% increase!)
My biggest concern is that our most loyal listeners (who HAVE listened to all shows) will get PISSED OFF that we’re reposting content. Then again, reality TV shows do this all the time (See Shark Tank).
My second concern is I don’t know if Apple penalizes you for posting the same content twice (kind of like how Google does if you post same blog post twice).
Will keep you updated on these experiments.
No matter what you do, tell your audience in episode 1 exactly what your show is, why you’re doing it, and when they can expect new shows – and STICK to it!
Top tip: Aggressively look for ways to stay close to your listeners
The best way to do this is to give out your phone number and text listeners. My favorite question to ask is: “What question do you always wish I would ask but I never do?”
Below, Ben Williamson from Episode 23 sent me a text as I was writing this congratulating me on the top spot in new and noteworthy. It’s always important to celebrate with your guests and listeners!
I also tell each new email subscriber from the show to UNSUBSCRIBE from my list unless they introduce themselves by taking this survey I set up using Ryan Levesque’s Ask book technique.
Ryan’s technique consists of a series of 8 questions. You then use responses to update subscriber merge tag fields in your CRM.
I then send out podcast episodes where guests match almost exactly where my new subscriber was 5 years ago.
The 8 questions:
What is your single biggest marketing challenge right now?
Which of the following best describes you? (choices like “sell own products” “sell other peoples products”)
Which of the following best describes you? (choices like “$500k-1m in revenue”)
Roughly, what’s the overall size of your business in terms of gross sales $?
What’s your primary niche/market?
Email, Name, Phone
I then put responses in an excel doc to categorize and then re-upload fields into Mailchimp so I have more accurate merge tags (THESE ARE FUTURE OF MARKETING!!)
This increases open rates and click through rates like you wouldn’t believe.
Top 10 Articles I Studied Pre-Podcast Launch
8 unique marketing strategies to grow a podcast to the top of iTunes
How to produce a podcast with Jay Baer
How to start your own podcast with Lifehacker’s Patrick Allan
3 unique ways to get started with business podcast with John Dumas on Social Media Examiner
How to start a podcast with Pat Flynn
21 tips for launching a podcast with Jim Harmer
The podcast workflow with John Dumas
How to get your podcast to #1 in iTunes with Chris Ducker
Ten step podcast launch plan with Show Notes Guy
Studied and watch patterns in iTunes podcast app for 2 weeks
Wrapping it up
In conclusion, don’t podcast unless you have a really good reason to. For me, I was already having conversations like this in my daily life and thought it would make sense for me to record and share them.
I’m playing a long term game with the show – betting on the fact that podcasting will become the NEW RADIO and that, by getting in early, I’ll reap rewards long term.
Author bio: Nathan Latka is the CEO and Founder of Heyo. He’s worked with over 200,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs on launching social campaigns that capture emails and drive sales. You can find Nathan on Twitter.
Static content overload.
From blog posts to white papers, presentations, case studies, and podcasts.
It hits us from all angles – at an increasingly aggressive pace.
Designhill found that static content overload has desensitized visitors, making it difficult for marketers to capture the interest and attention of prospects.
And then came interactive content.
Interactive content made it possible for users to engage and interact with the data within the content.
It has caught the fancy of marketers and businesses providing them with a sure-fire way to engage and entertain their audiences.
So what is interactive content?
It’s the addition of quizzes, assessments, calculators, polls, surveys, animated white papers, contests & sweepstakes. It’s content with entertainment value.
But how do you determine the type of interactive content that will best suit your business needs and help you spearhead your content marketing drive?
To keep it simple for you we’ve done all the hard work!
Here’s a list of 5 types of interactive content to supercharge your content marketing.
1. Automated diagnostic tools
Touted as the staple food for many online services such as SaaS providers and SEO firms, automated diagnostics tools basically generate an assessment of an entity – like a website – and provide users with relative scores.
Automated diagnostic tools provide a marketing grade or specific recommendation to improve your website.
The realms of these tools are not just limited to a web page, but can be used to analyze and evaluate your social media pages as well.
They recommend steps you should take to boost your social media presence and increase your followers.
Check out the Headlines Analyzer tool by Advanced Marketing Institute for example.
2. Interactive microsites
Interactive Microsites are true showstoppers in every sense of the word.
They are basically mini-sites that are made on either isolated domains or as a part of a larger website. Popular with service based businesses, interactive microsites are usually about one single topic, and complement the products and services of the parent company.
Sometimes, they are just an extension of the brand looking to provide a unique, interactive insight of the company to the users. Such microsites usually focus on elevating readers’ knowledge through a unique narrative, either in the form of a story or how-to guide.
A great example of a microsite is Designhill’s interactive guide to famous logos & their hidden meanings.
This short and crisp microsite reveals the mystery of 72 famous logos from across the globe.
3. Data visualization
Companies are using interactive content to showcase and exhibit data.
LinkedIn’s Education Tool is a brilliant example of this. This tool attracts younger internet users and enables them to understand how their school friends have fared on their professional journey.
To delve deeper into the world of creative data visualization, check out these 10 examples of captivating data visualizations by HubSpot.
4. Calculators, assessments and quizzes
First made famous by Facebook, self-assessments and quizzes are used to understand, engage and entertain users. Such interactive tools provide an effective evaluation of your marketing practices or simply act as cost calculators.
Buzzfeed has been the pioneer of all kinds of quizzes. In fact, Quantcast reports that online quizzes have helped Buzzfeed reach 169 million people.
Apart from Buzzfeed, some other companies that make regular use of calculators, self-assessments and quizzes are Babadum, KidzWorld and Cosmopolitan.
An infographic is the presentation of information or data in a visual fashion.
It’s made up of two words – Information + Graphics.
They are a mix of great graphics, powerful content and analysis - ideal for today’s age of big data. The ever-decreasing attention span of users and the ever-increasing competition to catch the attention of users make it easy to understand why infographics have become the next big thing for content marketers.
Having viral potential, they are loved more, shared more, and viewed more than any other content type. They are a powerful, easy and entertaining form of demonstrating data or a concept to your target audience.
Almost every business that is serious about content marketing has come out with infographics to reveal data, research and statistics.
Fastcodesign recently revealed a list of 18 infographics that went viral in 2014 and further increased demand for infographics in the ever-so-competitive market.
A quirky, intelligent, and well-thought out concept for interactive content doesn’t come easy and should be left to the professionals. If you are a start-up or a small scale business, your first rule should be to focus on high-quality content, and once you have established yourself – then you can think about interactive content.
Let me know in the comments about how you have been using interactive content for your business.
Guest Author: Ankit Roy is a visual artist and spends most of his time conceptualizing off-the-rack designs at popular crowdsourcing company, Designhill. In addition, he’s a social media enthusiast, online market analyst and blogger. When not writing, he loves spending his time playing video games and watching sci-fi movies!
Tell me this hasn’t happened to you before.
You’ve just read an awesome, lengthy post on a topic like “X social media tips” or “Y steps to a better social media campaign“.
The article is absolutely chock-full of useful information. While reading it, you resolve to implement each of the detailed social media strategies mentioned in the post.
So you finish reading the post, close the tab, and then … do nothing?
Wait, hold on. That’s not how it’s supposed to work, is it?
No, that is most definitely not how it’s supposed to work. So what happened?
Here’s my theory: as you read the post, even though you became aware of what you should be doing on social media, you actually never got around to applying the tips – probably because you weren’t able to find the time.
This is a big (and common) problem, something that I myself have been guilty of many times. Despite the usefulness of the blogs we may read, we use the ol’ I-don’t-have-enough-time excuse to get out of implementing what we learn.
So with this post, I’ve tried to do things a little bit differently.
My aim is not that you’ll have a huge amount of new knowledge after you finish reading it.
Instead, I want you to come away with just a few quick, actionable (big emphasis on actionable) tips that you can start applying immediately.
To that end, I’ve collected 50 one-sentence, bite-sized social media hacks that you can start implementing today. These are short, easily-executed tips that you should be able to apply in as little time as 10 minutes.
Note: I take my inspiration from Brad’s similar post on SEO also at Jeffbullas.com (it’s a great post!).
Also, for easier digestion, I’ve divided this list into five sections – 4 categories for each of the top 4 social networks for bloggers and 1 for miscellaneous/general tips:
- Facebook hacks
- Twitter hacks
- Google+ hacks
- Pinterest hacks
Let’s get started.
According to a Business Insider report, Facebook’s growth rate has been steadily declining in recent months. They now add around one million new users per quarter, whereas in the early days they were seeing up to 50 million new users per quarter.
The reason behind this slowing growth rate?
Facebook is (quite literally) running out of humans. Over 50% of the existing internet-accessing earthlings are now on Facebook. That’s just how big the world’s most popular social network is.
If you aren’t already leveraging Facebook’s audience to promote your blog, then you’re probably missing out big-time.
Here are 10 one-sentence hacks to help you get the most out of Facebook:
1. Use a cover image for your page that’s exactly 851 x 315 px.
2. Use a profile picture that’s exactly 180 x 180 px.
3. Move your posts from weekdays to weekends (14.5% higher brand interaction on weekends).
4. Try posting between 7-8 AM (14% higher interaction during this time slot).
5. When sharing links, always insert a square image (53% more likes, 104% more comments, 84% higher click-through rate vs imageless posts).
6. Use custom images whenever possible (explanatory images like charts/infographics are best) instead of stock photos.
7. Use a “reveal” tab to incentivize likes with rewards.
8. Whenever you reach a significant milestone, celebrate it with your fans to make them feel more like a community than a following.
9. Create a simple contest to get fans to refer their friends.
10. Take advantage of Page Insights to understand and track fan engagement so you know how to be constantly improving your page.
Twitter is the second most popular social network in the world. But it’s a bit of a hard one to figure out; because there is just so much content being produced.
Over 500 million new tweets are created every day, and most brands will have to tweet multiple times per day to reach a significant portion of their audience. The only trouble is staying within that 140-character limit, which has frustrated me personally to no end.
Still, the benefits are simply too large to ignore.
Use these 10 quick tips to get more out of Twitter:
1. Use a cover image that’s exactly 1500 x 500 px.
2. Use a profile picture that’s exactly 400 x 400 px.
3. Use SocialBro to discover the ideal times to tweet every day based on the times your following is most active.
4. When starting off a tweet with a mention, use a period at the beginning (e.g. “.@jeffbullas xxxx”) — otherwise, your tweet won’t be published to your followers’ streams.
5. If you often tweet links, don’t just track favorites & retweets – make sure that you’re also tracking the replies to your tweets.
6. Instead of using the Retweet button, try retweeting a tweet like this to ensure that your profile gets more visibility.
7. Always try to favorite tweets that share your content to acknowledge and thank the user for his/her support.
8. Time permitting, go the extra mile by replying to an account when they share your content; this helps you cultivate relationships.
9. Always use hashtags; but try not use more than 2 hashtags per tweet (using over 2+ hashtags tends to drop engagement by 17%).
10. Connect your LinkedIn and Twitter for cross-platform engagement.
From what I’ve seen, Google+ is a social network mainly for B2B and tech industries. I’ve seen some digital marketing, content marketing, and tech blogs/businesses do really well on G+.
But fitness, food, beauty and those types of niches? Not so much.
Bear this in mind when creating and maintaining a Google+ page.
Also, there’s one more thing to remember: due to the relatively small community that exists on Google+, your G+ followings will probably never be as large as your Facebook and Twitter followings.
Case in point: Jeff has 347K Twitter followers, 35K Facebook fans, and 25K Google+ followers.
That said, Google+ tends to be much more focused and engaged, and there’s even speculation on a G+ popularity and SEO rankings correlation. So again, Google+ is definitely worth the effort provided you’re in an appropriate industry.
Here are your 10 one-sentence hacks for Google+:
1. Use a cover image that’s 1080 x 608 px.
2. Use a profile photo that’s 270 x 270 px (keep in mind it displays as a circle).
3. Your Google+ page/profile will have a lot of forms and information to fill out; make sure you complete as much of it as possible.
4. Posts published on late mornings (past 9 AM) during weekdays tend to perform the best.
5. Use Timing+ to analyze your Google+ audience and find ideal posting times.
6. Tag appropriate people when sharing a Google+ post (for instance, if you’ve linked to a certain blogger in a blog post, use a tag to let them know).
7. High-performing Google+ posts tend to be longer than tweets or Facebook posts at 442 characters.
8. Keep your headlines <60 characters long.
9. Format your Google Plus content: *asterisks* for bold, _underscores_ for italics.
10. Always use thumbnails (150 x 150 px) when sharing links.
Our last social network is Pinterest, the ever-growing image-based social network.
Pinterest has been seeing explosive growth in recent months. In fact, Pinterest grew over 97% last year – compare this with Twitter and Google+ growth rates that are between 7-13%.
If you’re not already on Pinterest, then it’s probably time that you sat up and took notice; that is, if you’re in the right industry.
Pinterest has a few defining characteristics that set it apart from the other networks on this list.
For one, the Pinterest user base is heavily biased to the female gender: 80% of users are female, and 92% of all pins are created by women.
Secondly, the top categories on Pinterest are totally removed from that of other networks: pins that are centered around the home, arts and crafts, food, and fashion industries tend to do best. B2B industries and tech industries have a very small presence here.
So if you are in the right niche for Pinterest, and your target demographic matches Pinterest’s user bias, then use these 10 hacks to grow your following:
1. Make sure that you’re using a business account, not a personal account, if appropriate.
2. Share pins that have a minimum width of 600 px, with an aspect ratio from 2:3 to 1:3.5 (e.g 400 x 600 px or 400 x 1400 px).
3. Make it a point to pin at least 5x per day, with consistent intervals.
4. In feeds, Pinterest images are scaled down to 235 px width, so make sure that your image will look good at that width.
5. Write 1-2 sentence keyword-rich descriptions (shorter is typically better) for your pins, but avoid hashtags.
6. Include text overlays in your pinned images (3x more repins on average).
7. Take advantage of the built-in Pinterest analytics to track your content.
8. Categorize your pins into appropriate boards.
9. Use Rich Pins to create more detailed pins (currently 6 rich pins are available: app, movie, recipe, article, product, and place).
10. Name your images appropriately before uploading for added SEO benefit.
1. Set social media goals beforehand so you know exactly what you need to achieve.
2. Ensure that you’re getting the most out of your social media profiles by inserting short call-to-actions on each of your pages/bios.
3. Always take advantage of fields in your profile page that allow you to insert external links to your website.
4. Try embedding relevant social media updates into your blog posts when appropriate.
5. Use this IFTTT recipe to automatically schedule new blog posts with Buffer.
6. Install the On Hover Image Sharer WordPress plugin to allow blog visitors to share images from your blog posts.
7. A/B test title copy by sharing two different updates with different headlines for a blog post.
8. If you post frequently on multiple networks, use a dashboard to coordinate and monitor all your networks.
9. Always try to be authoritative in your updates to come across to followers as an industry expert.
10. Exploit social media templates to easily audit, strategize, and plan your social profiles.
Over to you
And there you have it: 50 one-sentence social media hacks for bloggers that you can start implementing today.
Do you have any questions about the tips mentioned? Got any quick social media wins/tips yourself that you’d like to share?
Voice your thoughts in the comments below!
Guest Author: Jonathan John is a freelance writer for hire with serious content marketing chops. If you’re a online business looking to boost traffic and establish brand authority with high-impact blog content, Jonathan is your go-to guy. He writes on digital marketing, WordPress, and entrepreneurship. Tweet him @JRJohnWrites.
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