Attracting an audience and readers to your blog, website or your social media profile is more about retaining viewers than actually gaining new ones. Keeping the readers you already have is more effective than trying to get new people to read what you have written. If you write with your own style and voice, you will find that you gain a loyal readership and are also more likely to attract new people to your writing.
It’s about being memorable.
Here are some insights into how to attract more traffic to your blog by being distinctive with your writing.
1. A distinctive style may get you more repeat visitors
If you have a distinctive writing style that makes it easy to spot your writing compared to other peoples writing, then you are one-step closer to having more visitors and repeat visitors. Again, it is repeat visitors that matter. If you get enough regular traffic then at least a small part of your publicity budget may be cancelled because your regular viewers are spreading the good word about your writing.
2. Repeat visitors may write about you or tell others
It does not seem obvious or likely, but the fact is that regular viewers will write about your services and your writing on other websites and social media. Regular viewers will most likely write good things, and some new viewers may write bad things.
The point is that a distinctive style and working on developing some great writing attributes gets you more repeat viewers, and it is those people that write positive things about your writing. Those are the ones that spread the good word and help you get more visitors with what is essentially free advertising and publicity.
Reward your loyal and repeat viewers by giving them what they signed up for. It means not selling out by advising the products of other people with your posts, and it means not recommending things that you claim to like. If people keep visiting because they like your distinctive writing style, then keep giving them your style. Put your loyal viewers first because they are the true lifeblood of your blog, website or social media profile.
3. Repeat and loyal visitors will defend you
This happens when you gain a following and people start to visit your content on a regular basis. They become emotionally invested in what you write and the content you produce. They will start to defend you because of that, and you gain this repeat readership by having your own writing style and voice.
4. Repeat visitors are the lifeblood of any website or blog
The new visitors are not what power a business, website or blog; it is the people that come back again. They are the ones that make up the traffic numbers, which means you should concentrate less on getting new readers and concentrate more on keeping the ones that visit.
Your own style helps to keep people coming back because it separates you from all the other websites and blogs they have read.
5. Your own style makes you distinctive and memorable
Distinctive is memorable in most cases, and you can control if you are memorable for a good reason or a bad reason. Being distinctive will get more people to visit your content, and it also gives people a reason to recommend your content to others. It gives them something to focus on when they are recommending you to other people.
6. Generic and pop-centered content works
This is the point that few people understand, and it is that popular and generic text will attract more viewers than distinctive text and a great writing style, but fewer people will return the week after. Writing generic and pop-centered content is okay, but it is not going to keep people coming back the same way that writing with your own style will.
In the end, you have to work harder if you are pumping out generic content to please the masses, and there is more competition if you do not create your own style.
7. It is more fun to write with your own style
Adding your own flavor to your text and styling your writing your own way is more fun. It allows you to express yourself a little easier and you will often find that the content flows from you a lot more freely. Maybe it is because when you write in your own tailored style you are writing the way you think and talk, or maybe it is just because writing in your own style is simply easier and therefore more fun.
8. It’s not all about the social media response
The success of your new writing style should not be judged by your social media response. You may get no response at all, or you may get a bad response. Both of these circumstances may lead you to think that your style needs changing, but your social media response is not the key indicator in this area.
How much traffic you gain and how much you retain is a clear indicator of how successful your new writing style is. It will also take a few weeks for the results to become clear, as there are always anomalies when it comes to traffic tracking.
9. Commenters aren’t everything
If you get three thousand hits per week, do you get three thousand comments? Not in this life you don’t, what you get is a batch of comments from what amounts to 3-5% of you actual audience. Yet, when writers see their comments, they often react to them. They see that commenters have said things and they adapt their writing and their style according to the comments.
What they fail to realize is that the commenters do not speak for the silent majority–they speak for the outspoken minority. The comments you receive should not be used to judge the success of your writing style. Your traffic numbers and repeat traffic numbers are what you should use to measure your success.
10. Unimaginative is often tied with formulaic writing
Formulaic writing is not writing with style. It is the same generic tripe that was mentioned earlier in this article, and even though it can win you some traffic it will not keep them coming back every week, a distinctive writing style will keep them coming back.
About the author: Veronica May is a freelance writer, editor and blogger at Allcorrect blog. She also works with students to improve their writing skills.
Content marketing has flipped the traditional marketing models from the push paradigm to pull. It’s about the law of attraction. It’s also inbound marketing (that has been with us for over half a decade) by a different name.
It is an art and a science that rewards creative content creators. It’s images,text, videos and podcasts.
The craft of content marketing is also many moving parts. It includes the disciplines of search engine marketing, email marketing and social media. You need to understand that making it work is about earned and paid marketing tactics that need to run in parallel if you want to be visible online.
Is the social web the death of good writing?
The social web has been seen by some as the facilitator of the death of intelligent writing as cat videos and selfies seem to dominate popular opinion and media consciousness.
My journey around the web has me convinced me otherwise.
The evolving digital world as we know it is allowing writers we didn’t know existed to become visible and reveal their genius. It is providing a platform for writers to grow their skills and also receive feedback that makes them better artists. Attention on the web is more about learning and feedback than narcissism.
Content creation can involve bland blog posts and content that puts you to sleep. But there is much to be read that delights, surprises and entertains.
Content marketing facts in 2014
Here are some of the stats that is the moving feast of facts that is content marketing.
$135 billion will be spent on new digital marketing collateral (content) in 2014
78% of CMO’s think custom content is the future of marketing
Internet advertising will make up 25% of the entire ad spend by 2015
Social media marketing budgets will double over the next 5 years
Email with social sharing buttons increase click through rates by 158%
Nearly 50% of companies have content marketing strategies
33% of traffic from Google’s organic search engine results go to the first item listed
67% of B2B content marketers consider event marketing essential
73% of reporters think press releases should contain images
72% of “Pay per Click” marketers plan to increase their budget in 2014
52% of all marketers have found a customer via Facebook in 2013
B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads
43% of all marketers found a customer via LinkedIn
55% of marketers worldwide increased digital marketing budgets in 2013
Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness for content marketers at 89%
Videos on landing pages increase conversions by 86%
65% of your audience are visual learners
Marketers will use dynamic content to deliver highly personalized experiences to the right audiences at the right time
Inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads than traditional outbound marketing
Visual data is processed 60,000 times faster by the brain than text.
Long days. Even longer nights are behind you. You and your development partners have created the app of your dreams and one that you hope will be a smash hit on Google Play and the Apple App store.
You’ve done your homework. You’ve studied your target audience. You’ve created what you feel is the ultimate onboarding experience. You’ve beta tested and feel your app is finally ready to launch. What next? Your work is not done yet! Now for the fun part.
You want to create a demand for your app and drive people to download. Most app developers and your typical “appreneur” think that mobile advertising such as in-app ads are the way to go in order to build that audience. But, there are other ways to drive app demand.
Cut through all the noise on the app stores by utilizing social media, which are for the most part free and open up the playing field to everyone, even those with minimal budgets and resources.
Below, I discuss two things I recommend in preparation for your social media push to maximize your mobile app marketing.
Don’t forget content
In preparing your Social Media campaign to bring visibility to your app, first you must create good content. And I’m talking a lot of it!
Develop content that will keep your target audience engaged. If you are promoting your cooking app, then perhaps you can write posts on some of the best recipes out of Europe, tips by the best chefs, an announcement of a contest inviting the best organic pizza recipes.
Time to get creative!
You might create a cool video or videos like Evernote did. This very popular note-taking app created a bunch of videos that shows how Evernote can bring value into the lives of users in a slew of real life situations. The videos make you want to download the app and try it for yourself.
Make one that describes your app. Make it funny, quirky. The idea is to get people excited about your app without pushing it so hard, and then with the right call to action, get them to download. Promote this video content via the most popular channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Google plus.
Make your video viral by tying it into a video that touches the masses. Take a video like Pharrell Williams’ Happy which has over 310M views . Perhaps you can make a Parody of it and tie it into your app. Or a video like Gangnam Style. This video for example has over 2B views.
The core of making a video go viral is to keep it simple, and to have people say WOW and inspire them to just imagine, share with their contacts, who’ll share with their contacts and so on and so on. This will hopefully lead the masses to download your app. The same goes for a great blog post.
Get influencers to spread the word
Going further on developing content, People love to hear about apps from friends and family. However, getting a review of your app on a prominent YouTube channel like the Daily App Show or on top app review sites will also bring your app huge visibility. This a valuable piece of content.
Going back to Evernote, see here how an influencer in Hollywood uses the app to collaborate when producing films. Don’t you think someone like this can heighten the exposure of your app? After all, it’s Hollywood!
A video of two Research Triangle, North Carolina school administrators letting students know class was canceled due to a snowstorm, first garnered 3 million views and it rose steadily. It was also picked up by Gawker as well as the Washington post.
The video mentioned Evernote. It was catchy and in context, done to the tune of “Ice Ice Baby”. Check it out here.
Don’t just market on Facebook
Get started on the social channels by first setting up a profile and post statuses that are neutral and interesting, as well as connecting with key influencers in your app’s niche.
It might have taken some time with Facebook breaking the user barrier, but Google + is finally starting to come around. Being the brainchild of Google has its benefits. One of those as I’m sure you know is the built-in power of having your app come up in organic search results.
At first glance, utilizing hashtags on Google + is just like using them on Twitter or Instagram. You start off with a # and type in your one word hashtag. What sets Google + hashtag creation apart, is the ability to auto-create hashtags. Check out this post for an in-depth review of this vibrant feature specifically and Google + hashtag use in general.
Utilize Hashtags to optimize your SEO power, but don’t overdo it. Google doesn’t appreciate overstuffing keywords in content and the same goes for hashtags.
A great source for networking, Twitter allows you to reach influencers by mentioning them in your tweets. It does take some work and there is a limited number of characters in your messages, but if you have influencers retweeting you, it is a great driver for downloads.
A new feature released just last year allows you to use content marketing and “Twitter Cards” to boost visibility of your app, thereby increasing downloads. Here is a great post about it from Econsultancy I suggest you check out.
With hundreds of millions of users, Facebook is the perfect social media channel to promote content. I highly suggest setting up a Facebook page for your app. This gives you a presence in the social media world and is a great way to gain feedback about your app, gain credibility and create a buzz. The idea here is to post content that is related to your app, but not about the app itself.
Encourage users to share your content.
Your page might not have a lot of followers to start off, and that’s OK. Gain them by following others and having them follow you. Get in on the conversations that users are having with valuable information. They will respect and follow you.
Go visual with your marketing! This was a huge trend in 2013 with such sites as Pinterest and it is something that is sure to continue. There are over seventy five million active users on Instagram. Having a presence here is something you should look into and see what you can do to follow the success with your app (See Starbucks example below). Talk about the people who will use your app, show pictures and videos without talking about the product itself.
1. Incentivize: Give your users a reason to share! See how Dropbox does it and has become a 4 Billion dollar company.
2. Using sharing within your app:. Give them lots of options to share! As the app Glmps shows below. People can share to many sites at once with just a single tap!
3. Show appreciation to your followers: This can be done by sharing their photos on your social media channels, embed them on your website, tweet their photos, mention them. Let them know!
Starbucks does this the best and is one of the top users of Instagram. With well over 2.5 Million followers on Instagram for example, I suggest you check out their profile here.
4. Schedule your posts: Utilize a social media tool such as Hootsuite to schedule your posts and measure engagement across the Social Media spectrum.
5. Use Hashtags: Be sure to use Hashtags to maximize your reach with your target audience. See here for a great post on how to use Hashtags in your posts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Keeping users on the app highway
Bringing users back again and again is what the mission of your onboarding experience should be. You can compare the onboarding experience to an entry ramp on a highway for your first time users. Succeeding in this phase is imperative to having them come back. This is called user retention.
Downloads do not equal active users. It just means people downloaded your app because they took some interest in it. This final phase can spell glory or disaster for your app. Here is where you need to monitor the user experience and behavior, see where they spend the most time, see where they drop out, see where they engage by tapping, pinching and swiping. See what they like. What they don’t.
Optimizing the user experience
You can refine the user experience during the onboarding phase and thereafter by using a visual mobile analytics tool. This will explain the why behind your users’ actions. Such a tool goes above and beyond a traditional analytics tool and allows you to monitor user experience, analyze and optimize. This is a constant process and before you know it, it’ll be like a walk on the beach.
Author bio: Alon Even is VP Marketing at Appsee Mobile Analytics. His areas of expertise are online marketing, mobile analytics, and mobile UX. He is experienced with the app optimization process for delivering increased engagement, conversions and in-app monetization. You can connect with Alon on LinkedIn and on Twitter
If you are a social media marketer and have not taken advantage of display advertising on Facebook, you are missing an outstanding opportunity. Not only will this yield one of the highest return on investments for your clients, it will help with brand exposure, lead to better conversion rates and provide a flexible budget which will lead to a more effective strategy.
One of the advertising tactics that is not often discussed is a particular type of Facebook advertising. This tactic can be used to get more website traffic and convert them to paying customers.
What is Facebook remarketing?
You might be asking yourself, what exactly are Facebook display remarketing advertisements? Display ads let you place advertisements on a variety of news sites, blogs and other niche sites across the Internet to reach more potential customers.
Let’s say you visit a sports website that has a national presence and you see an advertisement strategically placed on the homepage, this is an example of a display ad.
The next step is to fully understand the remarketing side of display ads. Once you grasp this notion, you’ll be well on your way to being able to set-up a successful re-marketing campaign on Facebook.
Let’s say you are a leasing manager at an apartment complex looking to keep track of your leads at your community in Nashville. You visit Salesforce.com since a friend recommended using this platform. You visit the site but drop off after 10-seconds since you have to tend to an incoming phone call. This is what is considered ‘bouncing’ off a website.
According to Mashable, “An average bounce rate is about 50%, meaning that about half of people who land on your website pages leave and don’t come back.” So the question you have to consider is how to capitalize on this lost traffic? That’s where remarketing comes into play! The image below perfectly illustrates how remarketing advertisements work.
When the lasing manager visits Facebook, they notice the Salesforce advertisement. This reminds them of the void they need to fill in terms of tracking leads. They immediately click on the ad and sign-up for the free 30 Day Trial. This would classify as a conversion from a remarketing advertisement. Since a tracking cookie was placed on the Salesforce website, they were able to serve the ad on Facebook to the person who already visited the site.
Now you should fully understand display advertisements and remarketing. I’m now going to show you how to actually implement this on Facebook! Facebook gives great guidelines how to set this up, but I’ll provide more detail to help you through the process.
1. Go to your ads manager and click audiences on the left side of the screen
You’ll want to make sure that you are logged into your Facebook account and have properly set-up an advertiser account.
2. Click create audience on the top right side of the screen
There will also be an option for “Lookalike Audience” but since we’re focusing on remarketing, we’re going to stay away from that.
3. Select custom audience from your website
In the image below you’ll want to click on the last option, although you’ll start to see that there are other neat options when it comes to custom audiences!
4. Copy the code that appears and follow the on screen instructions to paste it in your website code
If you don’t have development skills, you can simply copy and paste this code and feed it to your developer. This shouldn’t take your developer more than 15-20 minutes to implement onto your website.
After you properly implement this pixel onto the pages of your site that you want to remarket to, you’ll need to follow the following steps listed below.
Make sure that the imagery and messaging of the advertisement you create for this remarketing campaign entices people to visit your website
Properly set-up conversion tracking in Google Analytics so you can monitor all of the conversions, average time on site from this campaign, bounce rate, etc.
Bid in a strategic manner so this form of advertising will yield a return on investment.
The most important aspect of display remarketing is being able to fully grasp the concept. Once you nail this down, just follow the steps listed above and you are well on your way to setting up the perfect display remarketing campaign!
Your knowledge with this more complex form of advertisement on Facebook will not only impress your clients and peers, it’ll yield great results and serve as an integral aspect of your Facebook marketing campaign. You’ll be proud of the report that you send off which shows a lot more conversions from Facebook remarketing!
This is part II in the Email Marketing Mastery series. Missed Part I? Read it here.
In the last post, we saw 15 different ways you can instantly boost your email open and read rates today.
We looked at how you can be play ethical, use hypnotic words, create a stellar autoresponder list and a personalized welcome message, among other things.
Here are 16 more ways to make sure your emails are opened and to boost your click-through rates.
1. Stick to the same time
Sending emails when your readers are getting ready for work or going to bed? Chances are your emails won’t get opened.
Given that 24% of emails are opened in the first hour, reach out to your audience when they are not too busy.
2. Woo your audience in footer
Never underestimate the footer. Always give your readers one large-sized, clear and concise call-to-action in the footer.
It could be a new product promo, a discount or an invite to register to an upcoming webinar.
3. Be regular
The GetResponse blog created an infographic based upon research which analyzed 300 million messages. It showed that auto-responder emails that were sent on a regular basis had a 24% higher open rate and 47% higher “click through rate”.
4. Send more emails for a lower unsubscribe rate
Sounds ironic, doesn’t it?
After all, we’re so cautious with our lists and fear we’ll “piss off” the reader and end up sending way fewer emails a month.
But pro data analyst Dan Zarella says that if you want to reduce the number of unsubscribes, send emails more often.
We’re creatures of habit. For most of us out of sight is out of mind. If you’re sending an email only once per month, it’s time to up your frequency because people will simply forget who you are, unsubscribe and flag you as spam.
5. Go visual
Beautiful visual emails work better.
83% of learning happens visually. In short, a majority of us are visual learners. Contrast this with people remembering only 20% of what they read every time.
88% of senior marketing execs say integrating video with email has a positive impact on email campaign performance and 76% say that videos in emails generate higher click-through rates.
According to website builder IM Creator, visuals make your text more easy-to-digest, because let’s face it, they aren’t going to read but scan it. Make sure you also do A/B tests and include visuals in your emails.
6. Juxtapose content with promo
For every three massive-value content emails, send a promo email nudging them to buy a related product. According to Convinceandconvert.com, in 2012, 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email.
Pat Flynn does this well. This is how his auto-responder series look:
Source: Pat Flynn.
7. Subscribe to your competitor’s list
A sneaky yet great technique to stay on the top of what others are doing. Evaluating just their blog or website won’t cut it.
You want to become an insider and keep a tab on their content, frequency, style, design, subject lines to name a few.
8. Use a power phrase
Power phrases are “evergreen” subject lines that you can use over and over again irrespective of the subject. Create a swipe file of power phrases that you’ve tested for yourself and that generate higher open/click-through rates for your emails.
For my meetup groups, I’ve tested the phrase “Did you get this?” as a follow up subject line to an invitation. It piques people’s curiosity and they want to know whether they missed something.
9. Take time to respond
Do you respond to every email that you get? Do you claim to do so?
If you’re not answering your subscriber emails, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to build stronger relationships with your audience. Contrary to conventional thinking, this applies especially if you have a bigger list. (If you have thousands of people and replying to emails takes too much time, consider investing in a VA).
Granted, not everyone is in the “build relationships” stage yet. You may not have enough subscribers and don’t have to worry about in-depth connections with readers (yet) because there are too few of them. If that’s the case, don’t claim you read and reply to every email, because it will cost you your reader’s trust. Say what you do and do what you say.
10. Make use of the pre-header
I use MailChimp for me and my clients. Each campaign provides a snippet of content or a pre-header which is the first thing your mobile readers will see.
I once attended an info-sharing evening where the host wanted to share her experience with a business model. In the email copy, they told a great story and I was intrigued to sign up. On the evening, everyone turned up expecting the host to share her real, raw story with us.
Sadly, it turned out to be a sales pitch even though it wasn’t promoted as one. She had a great copywriter, but there was no alignment between the picture that was painted and what we really got at the event. There was no story, no connection built. It was all sales figures and hard-to-understand data on Powerpoint slides.
The result? Several pissed off attendees who didn’t care to buy.
Almost all of my emails start with a story and lure the reader in, before I’ve even made a “point” or mentioned a product.
Why? Simply because everyone loves a good story. Stories are how we grew up. We relate with them.
12. Employ the WINFM principle
Before your subscribers even consider opening an email, they have to answer “What’s in it for me?”
Make it easier for them to answer the question by learning what your customers truly want. People are buying a desired resulting feeling. For example, someone who buys an Armani suit is really buying the feeling of luxury.
13. Hook them
Once you execute #11 and #12 well, you’ve had them hooked!
Don’t be afraid to talk about feelings. Feelings are energetic and magnetic.
Talk to one person at a time, not the masses. Make them matter. Get a conversation started. Forget the grammar “rules” once in a while. It’s OK.
Here is another style that CopyBlogger uses at the end of their blog post: (http://www.copyblogger.com/smart-people-personas/)
15. Condition them
In his course Serious Bloggers Only, Jon Morrow teaches how to condition your reader using a simple tactic: Write short emails, no longer than 100 words with a link pointing to full content. Publish the rest of the content goodness on your website.
This will condition your readers to click on a link every time in order to receive something good. In their minds, click = good stuff.