Learn Google Analytics With a Real Example From Google

Published in Online Marketing.

The best way to learn something in this life is to put it into practice. If you are one of those who want to master Google Analytics, no matter how much articles you read or how many courses you do, the best thing for this purpose is to try it yourself on your website.

The main problem is that it will take some time to capture enough data to start drawing interesting conclusions by reviewing the Google Analytics reports. And if on top of that your website has little traffic, it will be even more desperate to start putting into practice what you have learned.

Luckily for you, there is a solution so you don’t have to wait to have a Google Analytics account full of data to work on it and become an expert of this web analytics tool. But before we get started, let me tell you a little about the Google merchandise store 😇.

The Google Official Merchandise Store

It’s possible that you didn’t know about it, but Google has an official merchandise store where they sell a whole series of different products with their brand and those of their other star websites, such as YouTube. To be able to enter this store, you only have to go here.

In the Google Merchandise Store you can buy products from Google, YouTube or Android.
In the Google Merchandise Store you can buy products from Google, YouTube or Android.

The first thing you may think when you see this store is if there will be many people who buy this type of products. Is there really a market to sell T-shirts, pullovers, glasses, stickers and other products with the brands of Google, YouTube, Android and so on? How much does Google earn each month selling swag?

There's a lot of swag you can purchase in the Google merchandising store.
There’s a lot of swag you can purchase in the Google merchandising store.

What if I tell you that you can see this data without expending a single penny? Would you like to access the Google Analytics account of the Google Merchandise Store? Then continue reading…

Learn by Exploring Real Data From The Google Merchandise Store

Google Analytics provides a demo account so you can test all the features that this web analytics tool offers. And the data for this account comes directly from Google’s merchandise store. A curious exercise of transparency that we all applaud here.

Google Analytics provides a demo account so you can play with it.
Google Analytics provides a demo account so you can play with it.

To access this demo account simply visit this link. There you will find all the explanation of the demo account and you will be able to include it in your Google account, as if it were just another website you control in Google Analytics. Remember that you will need to have a Google Analytics account, something obvious to be able to see all this.

The main page of the Google Analytics demo account already shows us a lot of information about the Google merchandise store.
The main page of the Google Analytics demo account already shows us a lot of information about the Google merchandise store.

The Google Analytics demo account data corresponds to what you might find on a conventional e-commerce website and includes the following information:

  • Traffic source data: Information about where website users originate. This includes information about organic traffic, paid search traffic, and display traffic.
  • Content data: Information about the behavior of users on the site. This includes the URLs of pages that users look at, and how they interact with page content.
  • Transaction data: Information about the transactions that occur on the Google Merchandise Store website (purchases).
Want to see how many people are accessing the Google Merchandise Store right now?
Want to see how many people are accessing the Google Merchandise Store right now?

All users of the Google Analytics demo account have read and analysis access; that is, they can view configuration and report data, work with report data (e.g., filter a table, add a secondary dimension, or create a segment), but they can’t modify account settings or defined goals. This is normal, since as we said before, the access is read-only.

You can learn all about the audience that accesses the Google Merchandise Store.
You can learn all about the audience that accesses the Google Merchandise Store.

In the following screenshot of the Google Analytics demo account you can even see the sales funnel of the Google merchandise store. Note that all these data you see here is real data taken from the online store itself. And who knows? If you propose some improvement to their website to make them sell more, they might even hire you at Google 😉.

The Google Analytics demo account allows you to view the sales funnel of the Google Merchandise Store.
The Google Analytics demo account allows you to view the sales funnel of the Google Merchandise Store.

If you want to know which product has sold most in the last 30 days or in any period of time, you only have to check it in the corresponding section of the Google Analytics demo account. It’s curious that when I’m writing this the thing that most benefits produced to Google was a security camera 🧐.

The Google Analytics demo account lets you know how much money Google earns for each product it sells in the Google Merchandise Store.
The Google Analytics demo account lets you know how much money Google earns for each product it sells in the Google Merchandise Store.

Don’t waste another minute and see what you can discover with the Google Analytics demo account. To have a real example of analytics from an online store surely serves you well to learn a lot about it.

Final Remarks

Now you have discovered the possibilities that Google Analytics provides you with the Google Merchandise Store demo account. In this account of Google Analytics you have the real data of a web with an interesting number of visits and you can investigate the complete analytics of a real e-commerce system.

This resource is very interesting if you are starting to familiarize yourself with Google Analytics but you are still a little bit scared or you don’t have a decent website in which to install a tracking code and start collecting data. You will be able to touch and watch as much as you want without fear of breaking anything, since you are in front of a safe demonstration environment. The dream of every student!

I encourage you to take a look at it and start messing around with this demo account. You’ll learn a lot about Google Analytics and you’ll be able to apply your learning to your own website in the near future.

Featured image by Jielin Chen via Unsplash.

PoorNot badGoodGreatExcellent (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...

Tips For Choosing The Domain Name For Your Website

Published in Online Marketing.

Hi everyone, I’m 7 months pregnant and we still don’t know the child’s name. My husband is determined to name it after his grandfather. My family, after mine. But I want my baby to have a different name, I don’t want it to be anybody’s “junior”. Does anyone have experience in this fight? – Dámaris

Possibly, the discussion about the domain name of your website will last less than nine months. And that’s already a big advantage 😂.

All kidding aside, if you’re starting a new startup or brand or have a product you want to sell online, you’ll need a website. And you will have to choose a domain name for that website. According to Rand Fishkin, domain names influence positioning and have a major impact on the click-through rate of search results on Google or social networks.

But you don’t just want Google to identify you, you also want that name to be easy for people to remember so they can easily find you. It has to be a name associated with your brand and business that should last a long time.

What are the main recommendations or options when choosing a good domain name?

#1 Make It A Brand

What do I mean when I say that the domain name should be a brand name? You have several options:

Personal Brand

If it is a personal website or you want to position yourself as an expert in a specific niche, the brand is you and you can consider putting your name and surname as a domain name. This is widely used by consultants, coaches and individual profiles who want their website to sound exactly like their name.

For example, in the marketing world you find many digital marketers that follow this pattern in their choice of domain name:

This choice has some drawbacks. The first is that if you have a very common first and last name, the domain name is probably already taken or is too common to differentiate yourself from others. In addition, choosing the first and last name as the domain name, from the beginning, does not help the positioning in Google in particular. And finally, you have to bear in mind that in the future, if you want to sell or transfer your own company one day, the fact that the domain is so closely linked to the founder himself could complicate the process.

Business Brand

If your company name is your brand name and you want to be known by it, a very good option is to put the same company name as your domain name. As you can see this is the case of our current website. Our startup is called Nelio Software S.L., and our domain name is the same: neliosoftware.com.

The big advantage of this option is that even if you start as a small startup, you have no problem if you intend to scale the team. It also allows you to pivot from product or service without having to change the domain, or create a wide variety of products, all under the same umbrella of your brand to grow and gain prestige little by little.

Here, as you can see, the choice of the domain name must be made together with the choice of the company name.

Brand logos
Some of the best known brand names

For it to work well it is recommended that it be a simple name, easy to remember, visually attractive and not too long. Our legal advisor also recommended that it would be better if our name was an “abstract” word (to avoid confusions) and, of course, as much different as possible to the name of any other company in the sector.

The disadvantage of this option, like the previous one, is that it costs much more to get a good positioning in search engines. In fact, whether digitally or not, positioning a brand in the marketplace and letting people know what it sells can cost a lot of money. Also, if a company wants to buy from you for the products you offer but not for the brand, having a branded domain name may not be the most valuable thing.

Product Brand

If the website is exclusively for the promotion of a product, a good option is for the domain name to match the product name. And the most important thing is to ensure that the product you sell ends up being known by your brand, as is the case, for example, of:

In these cases, in a search for someone who, for example, wants to buy handkerchiefs or hot bath tub, the words he will be looking for may be Kleenex or Jacuzzi, leaving the competition at a distinct disadvantage.

The big disadvantage of putting a product name as a domain name is that, like any brand, until it has meaning, it’s difficult to position it. And the other big disadvantage is that, either you make sure it is a star product or if you want to sell other products or pivot and offer another alternative, the domain name is not going to be the most appropriate one.

#2 Make Them Keywords

There is quite a consensus that if the keywords are in the domain name itself, it’s easier to get a better ranking more quickly. For example: rent.com, apartmentfinder.com, healthyfoodforpets.com, gardeners.com, travelandleisure.com, or cars.com, to name a few.

In these cases, not only is it easier for Google to position you because the keywords match the positioning, but it will be easier for anyone searching for information on the Internet to click on one of these sites that includes just the words of what they are looking for.

The advantages are clear, aren’t they? The main problem is that if the keywords end up being too specific, and you want to extend your product range or pivot, it’s especially complicated. And this is precisely what happened with our domain migratetowp.com, it was our first domain—the website of a service we offered to migrate a site to WordPress. Even though it was well positioned in Internet searches, it was not useful for us to launch any other plugins.

And of course, as a domain name you can also opt for mixtures between brand and product or brand and keywords.

#3 Combining #1 and #2

And an alternative often used is to make a combination of brand and keywords. Or name products that include the company’s brand and thus kill two birds with one stone: you help them to know your brand better and make it clear what the product you are offering is all about.

For example, the first plugin we released was named Nelio A/B Testing. Nelio identifies us as the brand name of our company and “A/B Testing” are the keywords of our product. We then created the nelioabtesting.com website, combining our brand and some relevant keywords. Pretty neat, huh?

After merging our websites, we no longer use that domain for our product (if you click on the link above you will see that it redirects you to the Nelio A/B Testing page within our own Nelio Software website), but you get the idea.

The big advantage of putting the same domain name as your product is that Google searches will surely go up faster. If, as in our case, the name of the product includes the keywords of the product such as “A/B Testing“, even better. The disadvantages may be a combination of the above—you may feel too tied to the brand name and keywords.

#4 Simple Structure

Regardless of whether your domain name is a brand, keywords or any combination of the two, make sure your domain name meets the following criteria:

Short

One of the shortest domains you can find is Google’s in China: g.cn. How come? Is it a coincidence? Or do they have some privileged information about the importance of short domains?

In principle, the longer your domain name is, the more complicated it is to remember. No matter how much you are looking forward to having a domain similar to iamtheproudownerofthelongestlongestlongestdomainnameinthisworld.com. I insist: it better be short.

Pronounceable

Use letters that are easy to remember visually. For example, the letters h, q, w, x, y, z are considered harder to remember. Some complicated brands, thanks to their well-known prestige, Google makes sure to correct them directly when they are mistyped by the user.

Clean

Do not use hyphens or numbers in your domain. Script names are harder to remember because you don’t know whether they are hyphens to begin with. And as for the numbers, when someone tells you the URL of a site, you don’t know if you have to type in number or write them down as text.

That said, you can always find a website that deserves to be an exception to this recommendation: 007.com.

Clear

Be careful of your wording. For instance, the combination of two words can give unexpected results: Who Represents – whorepresents.com or Morrison & Foerster, LLC – mofo.com. 🤣

#5 Use The Right Extension

Domain extensions
Domain extensions

It doesn’t really matter what domain extension you use, but some are intended for certain types of organizations such as .edu, .org, or .gov and, therefore, it makes sense to use the appropriate one.

Ideally select the .com extension that is the one that is understood for a company and will allow you to position yourself worldwide. The option to select .us only makes sense if your business is really a business where your potential customers are only from USA. In this case Google will give more value to your domain in USA, by focusing directly on it.

Conclusion

Select a relevant domain name that you can live with for many years. If a name you like is already in use or is a registered trademark, don’t obsess about it. Although you may not think so, there are many alternatives. Make sure it’s original but doesn’t correspond to a passing fashion that you will have to throw away after a few years.

And remember, there’s something for everyone. If you have to agree with your partners on which domain to choose, my recommendation is that you be pragmatic and rational. Save your most emotional part to defend your child’s name as your grandfather’s 😂.

PoorNot badGoodGreatExcellent (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

How Influencer Marketing Works

Published in Online Marketing.

Marketing strategies are always very beautiful on paper but implementing them can be much more complicated and getting the expected results is a great heroism. So I’ll start with the theory of influencer marketing and then tell you about our experience.

The Influencer Marketing

A brand is no longer what we tell the consumers it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is – Scott Cook, co-founder Intuit.

Consumers now look to other consumers or influential people to make a purchasing decision. Basically, influencer marketing is about getting opinion leaders to talk about your brand naturally and clearly in order to reach a wider potential audience.

Influencers network
With a network of influencers, your potential customer reach is much greater.

But why would you need other people when you have PR or marketing agencies that are capable of doing a great job in advertising? Zuckerberg has the answer:

People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message.– Mark Zuckerberg

Other studies, such as the one conducted by McKinsey a couple of years ago, conclude that social recommendations account for an average of 26 percent of purchases in all product categories. They studied 30 product categories and approximately two-thirds of the impact was direct. That is, social media recommendations played a critical role at the point of sale. The remaining third was indirect: social media had an effect on previous contact points for decision making, for example, when a recommendation created initial awareness of a product or interactions with friends or other influential people helped consumers compare a product to other alternatives.

So you see that influencer marketing is important. So now it’s all about getting opinion leaders to talk about you. Which is simple, right? I mean, it better should be… But how do you get them to help you? Let’s see what strategy you should follow:

Influencer Marketing Strategy

Influencer marketing is often used to launch a new product, service, or brand, to promote an existing one, or to promote a new event. The steps to follow are:

#1 Define Your Goals

Like any other marketing strategy, the first thing you need to define is what you need your influencers for, what you want to achieve with them, what your goals are. The more specific you are at this point, the easier it will be for you to reach your influencers, get your message to them, and the easier it will be for them to talk about you. Otherwise, you won’t know how to do any of the subsequent steps.

#2 Define Actions and Content

After defining the objectives, the next step is to prepare all the material you will need so that your influencers can talk about you and pass on the message you want to your potential customers. If we’re talking about launching a new product, you may have to create a promotional video, but if it’s the edition of a new event, you’ll have to have not only all the content of the website ready, but also all the information you provide when you talk about the event.

But not only that, you’ll also have to define whether you want to pay them or offer them a gift for the promotional action they carry out or whether you are going to propose a barter or a win-win relationship.

#3 Identify Your Influencers

The next step is to identify which influencers are relevant to your campaign and should talk about it. Maybe you’re thinking about celebrities and youtubers—they have a large number of followers and the reach can be brutal, can’t it? But while it’s true that they do reach a very large audience, it doesn’t make much sense for you to contact certain celebrities to promote your new WordPress plugin 🤷

For these cases, bloggers or tweeters of recognized prestige in an area can have great credibility. For example, if you are looking for a product where your priority is the best value for money, you will have consulted blogs or tweets from experts that compare different products and explain the pros and cons of each one of them.

#4 Contact Influencers

For someone to talk about you, they have to know you first. And  this may be the most critical and thorny point of influencer marketing. How do you get a “celebrity” to know you and talk about you? How do you contact them? I’ll tell you some alternatives.

Contact Form

Some influencers are professionals who offer product promotion services on their own websites.

WP Mayor offers services to promote WordPress plugins.
WP Mayor offers services to promote WordPress plugins.

In these cases, it’s as simple as selecting the option that best fits your pocket and filling out the form.

Send Them a Direct E-mail

Another alternative is the one explained in Social Triggers to contact influencers: send a direct mail. It’s that simple! In order not to be so cold, they first suggests that you let yourself be seen on social networks and influence blogs through tweets, re-tweets or comments for them to know you. And then you send them an email asking for help but involving people first.

Please note that with the new GDPR, if you contact someone directly who has not provided you with their e-mail address before, you may encounter an unpleasant response or even a complaint. 😱

Mention Them On Twitter

An easy way for your influencers to mention you on their social networks is to mention them directly on them. If they like your mention and it makes sense, it’s not going to be that hard to get a re-tweet.

Remember that if you use Nelio Content as a tool to promote your posts on social networks, this feature is already included. On the one hand, when you write a post, Nelio Content detects all the links to external sources that you have added and determines (in most cases) their title, their author, and if any, the Twitter handler of that author. Taking advantage of this information, our plugin is able to create tweets with explicit mentions to the authors you have linked to in your posts.

Messages created with Social Automations
Messages created automatically with Nelio Content

As you can see in the image above, the third message is a tweet that includes information about a reference by Neil Patel and explicitly mentions it with @neilpatel.

Contact Speakers At An Event

As I’ve already told you, the better an influencer knows you, the easier it will be for them to talk about you in any context. It’s a matter of trust. Events like WordCamps (by the way, have you already signed up for the next WordCamp Barcelona?) or marketing events or meetups are a great opportunity to contact potential customers and influencers. Some speakers are great professionals with a lot of followers on social networks.

If your influencer is a speaker, take advantage of the breaks to contact them, congratulate them on their presentation, tell them that you would be interested in looking for a way to collaborate or that you would like to offer them your free product for them to try. The great advantage of the events is that they are much less cold than an email and we all know such events are a great place for networking, so any contact during that time is way more natural. And if you are also a speaker at the same event, it’s still much easier for you to chat more calmly with the others (so don’t be shy 😉).

Contact Your Suppliers Directly

Remember, it’s about gaining the trust of your potential influencers. And who could be as interested as you in making your business work for you? Well, possibly your suppliers. For example, you probably use third-party software that helps you in the day-to-day running of your business. Not only do you worry about opening a support ticket to complain when something doesn’t work, but also about participating in their improvement surveys, reading and sifting through their news and even making suggestions for improvement.

In the end, it’s naturally much easier than if you have talked about them, they’re willing to talk about you.

Contact Your Customers Directly

When looking for influencers, don’t forget your customers. There is no better influencer than a customer who’s happy with your product. Maybe it is a micro-influencer but remember that the credibility and ability to influence a friend is much greater than that of any celebrity. Don’t be in any doubt that you’ll get more loyal customers.

How to contact them? Take advantage of occasions when you give them impeccable service to ask them to review your service or product. Offer them affiliate programs. Offer them an interview to promote them. If they’re delighted with your service, they’ll be the first to want to put in a good word for you on their blogs and social networks.

#5 Measure Results And Improve Your Campaigns

As with any marketing campaign, look at what’s working for you and what isn’t. Similar campaigns can work very differently in a different context. And even if someone tells you that it works very well to contact customers and offer them a gift, maybe that doesn’t apply to you.

How to measure it? If you have an affiliate program, it is very easy to measure how many customers have come through an affiliate link as it is provided by the program itself. If we are talking about mentions in social networks of your own posts, you have the information of how many times it has been shared in the social networks themselves.

Nelio Content Analytics
Social Media analytics with Nelio Content show you which posts have received the most visits and which have been shared the most on social networks.

With Google Analytics you can find out more details about where the visitors of your website come from. But the truth is that sometimes it can be a lot more complicated to know the impact of a marketing campaign, especially with offline events.

Our Experience

Our experience with influencer marketing is that it’s indeed a marketing strategy that works well and delivers good results. But they’re not always what you expected.

For example, we’ve done a few campaigns where we ordered (paid for) the revision of one of our products. In some cases, we’ve been successful with the right reviewer, as has been the case with WP Mayor, and in other cases, we felt that the achieved impact has been minimal.

As far as sending direct e-mails is concerned, we did a pretty elaborate campaign when we launched Nelio Content on the market. We achieved results below our expectations. Our perception is that we probably lacked more previous work to get to know each other better before we contacted the influencers via e-mail. An email that may seem commercial is counterproductive and even more so, as I have already mentioned, with the new GDPR.

For our products, we use FastSpring as our payment platform. We have been working with them for some time now and we have even interviewed Hamilton Kiah III. They’re now using our products too and, if you think about it, they’re one of the first to benefit from our business doing well, so it comes as no surprise that they’re extremely helpful and glad to spread the word about Nelio. In this case, the influence has worked.

Getting your customers to talk about you shouldn’t be too difficult if you offer them a product that solves their problems and they feel that you treat them above their expectations. This is what has happened to us with more than one client, such as Dave Baker who published the article The Best Editorial Calendar for Multi-Author Blogs (And It’s Not CoSchedule) or Jeannie Ruesch who published: Your Secret Weapon to Product Adoption: A Nelio Content Case Study.

And as far as offline events are concerned, it works very well to get to know and share experiences with other professionals in your area. For example, thanks to a meetup we attended in Barcelona, we met Gennaro Cuofano from WordLift. This has allowed the two of us to talk about the services the other offers to our customers and we can continually have a relationship of mutual collaboration that benefits both of us.

My humble conclusion is that, if you want someone to speak well of you, first make sure that you appreciate their work and get to know them. If they aren’t too arrogant, they’ll surely appreciate that you value what they do and, if your product or brand deserves it, they’ll easily speak well of what you do too. Once you get a good relationship with a supplier, customer, or other professional, make sure it doesn’t get too cold if you want to keep them talking about you.

Featured image by Jan Střecha in Unsplash.

PoorNot badGoodGreatExcellent (1 votes, average: 1.00 out of 5)
Loading...

The Ultimate Guide to Getting the Most out of Social Media

Published in Online Marketing.

The holy grail of the world wide web: what can we do to be the first result in search engines? In a previous post I gave you several tips to get to that coveted first position, based on how a search engine works internally. Basically, everything revolves around content: the more relevant and of higher quality it is, the more likely it is that it will be properly positioned and we will end up being relevant. Then there were other equally important factors, such as the speed of the page, SEM vitamins, webcasting… but always after addressing quality content.

Have you ever wondered why you want to be first on Google? The answer is obvious: because you want people to know you exist, to find you. But this has an important connotation: our real goal is not (or should not be) to appear as the first result on Google, but for people to know us… And if that’s our real goal, we might as well stop focusing on SEO only and start looking at other areas that can help us in this endeavor, don’t you think?

So today we’ll focus a little more on the world of social networks and how they can help you to improve the position of your website and your personal brand.

Social Marketing and Its Advantages

Social media marketing is nothing more than the use of social networks to promote our products or services (Wikipedia). If you’re still wondering why you should devote resources to promoting yourself on Twitter, Facebook, or other social networks, just read the latest GlobalWebIndex report: 1 in every 3 minutes we’re online is spent on social networks and more than half of all social network users follow brands they’ve bought from or intend to buy from 😲

Oh my god wow
Amazing. Source: Giphy.

In another article by Hubspot we find even more statistics on the role of social networks. For instance, 80% of advertisers agree that their social media marketing efforts translate into more visits to the web and, in fact, more than half say these efforts helped them increase sales.

Looking at these statistics, it seems clear that having a presence on social media and being an active member is great for your business. And sure it is! According to Forbes, social media helps you increase your brand visibility and customer loyalty, improve your conversion rates, increase inbound traffic, reduce marketing costs… Tremendous, right?

Create the Perfect Strategy in 6 Easy Steps

If we want to be successful in social media and translate all our efforts into visits and sales, we need to define a marketing plan that works. Although this “marketing plan” idea may sound too professional and complicated for you, it really isn’t—on the contrary, it’s all a matter of common sense. So here I leave you with the 6 steps we took at Nelio to create a successful strategy:

#1 Define Your Goals Based on Your Needs and Challenges

The first step is to decide what you want to achieve with your strategy. As we saw a few weeks ago, depending on the goals we set, we’ll carry out one type of strategy or another. It isn’t the same thing, for example, to promote our personal brand as it is to investigate the reaction of our audience to a new product we’re designing.

Pondering savvy shields by Miss America
Before doing anything, hold on a sec and think what you want to do and how you’ll do it. Picture by missamerica on Giphy.

Whatever your goal, you should always set challenging but achievable goals. To do this, it is best to follow the SMART formula: your objectives have to be specific, clearly identifying what we want to achieve with them; they have to be measurable, because in the end we want to be able to see how well we have met them (or not); they have to be achievable, because thinking about things that are impossible to accomplish is a waste of time; they have to be relevant to our business and needs; and they have to be time bounded to prevent them from getting too long and becoming a waste of time and money.

Tip: Think about what is relevant to your business at any given time and define the objectives you need to meet your strategy. These goals have to be clearly identified and, if possible, written down somewhere (don’t forget that some people say that writing down your goals makes you three times as likely to succeed as someone who simply has them in mind 😉).

Oh! And don’t miss this other post from Sprout Social, where they give you several ideas of the goals you could set.

#2 Know Your Target Audience

The second step is to get to know your audience—a critical step in turning your followers into loyal customers. The better you can define your audience profile, the easier it will be to create a convincing and appropriate message.

Clapping applause by Originals
Yup, you gotta know them! Picture by originals on Giphy.

Notice we’re talking about meeting our audience and not about imagining who they are. Don’t make assumptions about who your followers are or how they behave and define your strategy based on those assumptions—instead, make your decisions based on real data. Take advantage of the analytics offered by the social media to learn more about your followers and look at the available studies to know what to expect from them. For example, in this SproutSocial article the author talks about the demographic information of the different generations: “Millennials ask, Generation X buys, Baby Boomers observe.”  😇 Don’t miss it!

Tip: One technique that works very well to better classify our audience and create appropriate messages for our audience is to create audience personas (similar to the buyer persona Ruth told us about a few months ago). This post from Hootsuite explains how to do it 🤗

#3 Learn From Your Competitors

Before writing any content, you should probably take a look around and see what your competitors are doing. This is a piece of advice we keep repeating in our blog, but it’s something that Steve Jobs used to say: “Good artists copy, great artists steal“. You should do the same with your blog—”steal” from others. But don’t copy and paste their content. Instead observe, read, study, learn… and then make it better.

Depressed fight club
If you copy, at least copy well. And make it better, if possible. Source: Giphy.

See what content your competitors write about, what social networks they are on, how often they publish, what kind of publications they share… all this information is a source of incredible ideas and inspiration. Do you want to do even better? Focus especially on the interactions between your competitors and their followers. What complaints do they have? Are they asking for new features, products, or services? Those interactions that used to take place in private are now fully public, 24/7, so take advantage of all that know-how to design your strategy.

Tip: Learn from your competitors. When you’re self-employed or a small business with few resources, seeing what others are doing is a good way to understand where your industry is moving without having to devote large resources. But keep in mind this approach has its caveats—you won’t be as innovative as you could and you’ll be always one step behind, following trends instead of setting them.

#4 Write the Content that Works on Social Media

And finally, after three more or less complex steps in which all we did was study, analyze and prepare ourselves, it’s time to write the content that we’ll share on social media. Hurrah!

Bored gravity falls
Write with your audience in mind—answer their questions and give them what they want so that your content works well. Source: Giphy.

Since this is a topic we’ve already covered in this blog thoroughly, I think it’ll be better if I just link our most recent and relevant posts about it:

Tip: Almost half of all social network users stop following a brand if they get out of line promoting themselves, remember that a good content marketing campaign is one in which content solves problems for your users. If all you do is promote your product or service and you don’t add any other value, you can get hurt.

#5 Talk to Your Followers

Some companies forget this, but social networks are places where people meet and talk and discuss. They aren’t your personal bulletin boards where you can simply promote your content over and over again. You have to share relevant content. You have to interact with your followers, talk to them, solve their doubts.

Millie bobby brown hello by Converse
Don’t forget the social part of all this. For your strategy to work you have to become an active agent and interact with your followers; if you only “vomit” content and pass on it, you will be halfway there and cause frustration among your customers. Picture by converse on Giphy.

Remember when we were talking about studying our competitors? Seeing the interactions they have with their followers is an invaluable source of information. But so are your interactions with your own followers! For instance, here’s a recent example with Nelio Content:

Customer service through social networks is, like it or not, a reality. As stated in this Forbes article, “delivering an amazing customer experience gets customers to come back as well as refer their friends, colleagues and family members. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most, if not the most powerful brand strategies, and customer service is the way to get customers talking.”

Tip: Don’t use social networks as a bulletin board. Take a few minutes in the morning and a few minutes in the afternoon to interact with your customers. Watch what they say, what they’re worried about. Be active and don’t always wait to be questioned directly, let it be noticed that there is a person behind this great company, with his little heart! ❤

#6 Track Data, Analyze, and Start All Over Again

Finally, all you have to do now is see how your content marketing strategy is working. Did you plan to increase your visits by 20% in 3 months? Well, take a look at Google Analytics and check if your efforts helped you fulfill your goals. Did they? Great! Now prepare the next campaign and start all over again. They didn’t? Try to understand why, look for any mistakes you may have had, and start all over again too!

America obama
Track, analyze, and… be happy with your results! Source: Giphy.

If you don’t put a lot of effort into seeing how well you’re doing, you won’t be able to grow as a professional and you’ll be basically operating completely blindly. You have to learn what things work and what things don’t, what you excel at and what you fail to do… Think of this as an iterative process—it’s not enough to run a marketing campaign and forget about it. You have to get better little by little, step by step. And ideally every step you take is supposed to be based on everything you’ve learned in the previous ones, so take note of everything you do, evaluate it and… start over!

Final Remarks

There are many ways to reach our audience, and social networking is one of them. In fact, today social networks are perhaps the best media out there, as they offer a two-way channel where we can not only promote ourselves and share our content, but also interact with and get to know our followers. Don’t jump into the void and get into social networks without a plan: remember that your presence there has to translate into more customers and more sales. Define a suitable strategy following the advice we have given in this post and everything will be fine.

Featured Image by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash.

PoorNot badGoodGreatExcellent (1 votes, average: 1.00 out of 5)
Loading...

The Fastest Way To Promote Your Website on Social Networks

Published in Online Marketing.

In this blog, we insist on the importance of creating quality content. Even if it takes time, especially when you start a blog, it’s not wasted work at all. But if you still have the perception it costs you too much to create quality content, I recommend you read Toni’s advice on how to write great content.

If you write content that adds value, your visitors will become regular readers of your blog and you will get better positioning in search engines. But not only that, one of the great advantages of generating quality content on your website is that you already have all the material that will allow you to promote yourself on social media quickly and efficiently without being spammy. So here are the steps you should take to keep this issue from becoming a stone on your path to success.

#1 Choose The Right Social Networks

Choosing the social networks where you will publish content is easy to decide if you have previously defined your Buyer Persona.

buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better. – Sam Kusinitz (The Definition of a Buyer Persona [in Under 100 Words]

Buyer Persona: Roger Sterling
Example of Buyer Persona: Roger Sterling

In fact, defining your Buyer Persona is essential to identify which social networks your target audience is looking for information on. As you can see, it doesn’t make any sense for you to publish content on LinkedIn if your target audience is teenagers.

#2 Set Up Your Social Network Profiles Well

Spend some time and care here. Your profile on a social network could be the first impression a potential customer will get of you. So make sure you have the link to your website and the appropriate cover and profile photos for your brand or website on each of them. In your biography, write a clear and concise description of yourself or your business and make sure you include contact information. And of course, answer quickly and correctly to everyone who contacts you through that profile.

Also, make sure that your WordPress website is well configured so that the social network correctly understands information from any of your posts. That is to say, you have well configured the Open Graph meta tags.

Meta tags are information that is included in web pages but not displayed (which is why they are called meta tags). In particular, if you look at the HTML code of a web page, you will find them in the <head>section of the page, with the format <meta />. These tags are used, for example, to provide Google with a brief description of the content of the page. In this case, Google uses this information to index and better display the content of your website when searching.

In the same way, social networks use a series of meta tags (title, image, description…) that are used by the social network to create the “rich graphics object” that is published on the network: the Open Graph meta tags.

Publication in Facebook
Publication in Facebook

If you need more details on how to set up these meta tags, I wrote a post about them.

#3 Promote In Every Social Network

Once you have everything ready, it’s time to get down to business and start creating content on social networks. Keep in mind that we’re all tired of messages that seem to be created automatically by a robot or that don’t give us any value. Does this mean I have to create every message manually on every social network? No, don’t worry, there are tools that can help you in this process.

We, for example, use Nelio Content (for obvious reasons 😇). As I mentioned earlier, your followers expect your publications on social media to be interesting and relevant—they don’t want spam. So, if you’ve been able to write a blog post that you’ve worked so hard on, why wouldn’t you want to make sure your messages on the networks are on the same level as your blog post?

Here are the three types of messages we create to promote our blog.

Personalized Manual Messages

Create a fully customized message for your social profile that describes what your content is most valuable for. With Nelio Content, this task is much easier than it looks. The message can be written from the WordPress editor itself at any point. Just by indicating that you want to add a new social message, a new window opens up. Write the message you want to share, indicate in which social profiles you want it to be published, set the date and time of publication, and you’re done!

Screenshot of Nelio Content's Dialog for Adding new Social Messages
Screenshot of Nelio Content‘s Dialog for adding new social messages.

What if you want to create more than one single message? Do you have to manually enter, one by one, all the tweets that will promote that post? Not exactly…

Messages with Templates

One option to create social messages automatically without your doing anything is Social Templates. A social template is a predefined text (with some “variable” parts) that our plugin uses to generate specific messages for your posts.

For example, David wants to make sure that his Twitter account (@davilera) creates a tweet every time his friend Antonio writes a new post. To this end, David has created a template in his Twitter profile (@davilera) in which he comments “Here’s another post by @avillegasn: {title} {permalink}.”

Dialog for editing a social template where you can configure how it works.
Dialog for editing a social template where you can configure how it works.

As you can see, this template only applies to posts that Antonio has written. And with this simple solution, David can automatically promote Toni’s posts. Cool!

If you’re interested in using this solution, I recommend you create social message templates exclusively for certain social profiles and make them as personalized as possible.

Extract phrases from your posts

If the content of your posts is of great value, you don’t need to make your life more complicated by making up new messages—the content itself is already a great resource that deserves being shared! Nelio Content allows you to create social messages from your post phrases in three different ways:

#1. As you type, you can select a phrase and manually create a social message.

Create social message
Creating a social message with Nelio Content

A window will open in which you can edit and modify the message as you wish and indicate when you want it to be published.

New social message with Nelio Content
New social message with Nelio Content

#2. Highlight all the phrases you would like to auto-share and then automatically generate all the messages in the different social profiles.

Highlighting to share with Nelio Content
Highlighting to share with Nelio Content

#3. Automatically extract relevant sentences from the text: Nelio Content includes an intelligent algorithm that automatically extracts relevant sentences from your post and creates messages to share on your social networks. What’s more, Nelio Content, when extracting phrases from your text to create a social message, is also able to make Twitter mentions when the phrases include references to external links.

Messages created with Social Automations
Messages created with Social Automations

Not only that it is very efficient, but it’s also extremely easy. And the generated content of your messages is definitely interesting enough to attract your target audience!

How Many Messages Should You Create?

Another question that often arises when we ask ourselves about social media promotion is how many messages we should create and how often they should be published. There is no single consensus on this issue and it depends a lot on the market to which your messages are addressed. But you’ll find more information on this topic in Toni’s article: Optimal Frequency of Publication on Social Networks.

Conclusion

As you can see, the content you publish on your blog is the best resource for creating valuable messages on social networks efficiently and automatically. If you use a suitable tool such as Nelio Content, you will save a lot of work in promoting your own content.

Featured image by rawpixel in Unsplash

PoorNot badGoodGreatExcellent (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...

The 5 Problems You Will Encounter When Executing a Marketing Strategy

Published in Online Marketing.

Last week we talked about how you can create the best possible social media marketing strategy. Whether you’ve already started your marketing strategy or are thinking about doing it in the near future (you know you should, right?), I’d like to further elaborate what we discussed last Tuesday by sharing the usual problems you may encounter when defining your marketing strategy and presenting its solutions.

Panic
It’s normal to run into problems. Fortunately, few are unsolvable, so don’t panic. Source: Giphy.

Hopefully, this list of resources will help you overcome the small bumps you’ll find along the way. Remember that others have passed through there and you can move forward, so don’t faint and cheer up!

#1 I have no idea what to write about

The lack of ideas is the problem that every blogger has at some point in their career. When you start your blog, that’s obviously not a problem—you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve with your blog, you have several topics in your head, things you would like to discuss, experiences you would like to share… But once the initial euphoria has passed and you’ve already written all you had in mind… what’s left? What will you be writing about?

Frustrated i hate everyone
F*ck it, I quit! Source: Giphy.

Overcoming this problem is actually easier than it looks. In an earlier post, my colleague Ruth explained in great detail the process of producing ideas and how you could apply it to your day-to-day work as a blogger. If you missed it, I recommend you read it right now, because all the insights and tips Ruth shared are really worth it. But, in any case, let me highlight those I consider to be the most important:

  • Generating an idea isn’t about divine inspiration—you must work systematically. In other words, read books, watch movies, go for walks, talk to your friends, talk to people on the street, take a look at other blogs, watch carefully what’s going on around you… you have to soak up as much information as you can, as any detail can be the spark of an idea.
  • Relax. When a deadline approaches and you need to have an idea, the pressure increases and you get stuck. It’s completely normal. It’s therefore very important to know how and when to relax. While the idea-generation process requires some discipline, the ideas themselves are capricious and pop up randomly.

#2 I’m not very well organized

Lack of organization is another common problem among bloggers, although we are not always aware of it. For example, we may have decided that we want to write at least one post a week. Great but…. have you decided exactly what day you want the post to go out? What about the time? Do you know in advance the subject you’re going to cover? When will you write the post? A couple of hours before its publication? A week before? So many questions for a simple post…

Digital art infinity by Miri Ganser
I live in the moment. Carpe diem! Picture by miri-ganser on Giphy.

Discipline and organization is the best way to successfully execute a marketing plan. If you just live for the moment you’ll end up having problems, because when an unforeseen event occurs (and believe me, it always does) you won’t have time to react.

Create an editorial calendar in advance with everything you need to do (if possible, realistically) and stick to it. An editorial calendar is nothing more than a resource in which you’ll organize your upcoming posts, indicating the topics that will be covered in each of them and when they will be published.

Nelio Content drag-and-drop editorial calendar
Nelio Content drag-and-drop calendar where scheduling your posts is as easy as dragging them from the list of ideas.

#3 I have no time to write as much as I’d like to

Classic! Though this one looks more like an excuse than a problem, right? “I don’t have time to write.” Yeah, sure, but you do have time to comment on YouTube kitten videos, don’t you? Jokes aside, this is a real struggle for most freelancers and small business owners—their daily activities take all their time and leave no room to writing on their blogs. To be honest, this is one of the most difficult problems you might encounter. But I promised you solutions, and that’s what I’m going to give you!

Time spin by Tony Babel
Time. I don’t have time. Picture by tonybabel on Giphy.

If this is your problem, all you can do is set realistic goals and try to stick to them. That is, if you spend all your day resolving issues, developing new functionalities, visiting customers, or doing whatever you do in your work, the first thing you need to do is set a publication frequency that works for your tight schedule. If you can only write once a month, write once a month only. Remember that regularity is more important than quantity.

At Nelio, for example, we publish new content on the blog a couple of times a week. That’s 10 posts per month (with their respective translations). As there are 3 of us, this is an average of two or three posts per month per person. It’s not a huge amount of work, and it really pays off. The important thing is, as I said, that your website is updated frequently, constantly, regularly.

High five
C’mon! Source: Giphy.

On the other hand, as the time we have to write is limited (or non-existent, if you will), the little time we do have has to be entirely dedicated to writing. In this sense, I recommend that you follow the usual advice given to get rid of tedious tasks:

  • Block out some time. For example, by spending half an hour a week you can easily write one post a month.
  • Lose the distractions. When you’re writing, forget about the cell phone, the mail, everything. During that half hour or 45 minutes, focus only on writing.
  • Get organized. If you have taken my advice above, by the time you have to write a new post most of the tedious work should have been already done. That is, you should know what to write about, where to find the information you need to link to, etc. This should be incorporated into your routine. We’ve already seen that ideas can come from anywhere (support tickets with clients, other blogs, walking around…), so keep an eye out and be sure to write down everything that inspires you 😉
  • Hire someone to do it for you. This solution had to be here: if you don’t have the time, buy someone else’s time. Although it’s more risky, it can be a compromise solution at times when you can’t scratch for half an hour a week…

#4 I’m not good at writing—I suck!

Practice makes perfect. And, of course, writing quality blog posts is no exception. It’s probably hard to write at first, because you’re not used to it, you don’t know what tone to use, you lack fluency, etc. All this is absolutely normal and should be no reason for you to faint and leave your good intentions behind. We’ve all been there and, believe me, with a little bit of effort you’ll get through it.

Fuck it new girl
It’s a crap! I got nothing… Source: Giphy.

There’s this theory that says that being an expert in any area takes 10,000 hours (or 1,200 8-hour days, about three and a half years). With this in mind, writing well only takes two ingredients: reading a lot and writing a lot. The first is logical: people learn by imitation, by seeing what others do and how they do it. So writing is no exception: read the authors you like and think about why you like them. Is it the casual tone? Is it the amount of references they share? Is it their conversational style? Whatever it is, pay attention to those details, as you’ll need them when it’s your time to write. Then, you need to practice yourself: practice, practice, practice, and keep practicing.

#5 I’m unable to reach my audience, so I feel like I’m wasting my time

Another common problem among bloggers is the lack of readers. After spending a lot of hours reading, generating ideas, writing content, polishing it, improving it… it turns out that it was all useless because nobody is reading what you have written! Your content doesn’t reach your audience so…. why am I wasting my time?

Sad inside out
All my efforts were futile… 🙁 Source: Giphy.

In general, the lack of readers is due to a lack of promotion. If nobody reads your content, it’s probably because nobody know there’s a content to read in the first place. You have to get people to know when you publish new content, what topics you deal with, position yourself as an expert in an area… and from then on you will have the followers you need. But, of course, this is easier said than done, isn’t it?

There are basically two ways to get readers:

But obviously this doesn’t end here. There are other channels like forums, mailing lists, etc that you can and should exploit. If you want to know more about this topic, don’t miss Toni’s post.

In Summary

Running a successful blog or website is not easy, as there can be a lot of problems along the way that, for whatever reason, we don’t know how to solve. Many times, these small bumps end up translating into another abandoned blog… and that’s a real shame, since most of these problems could be easily solved, had we known how. In this post we’ve seen the 5 most common problems and how to solve them. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Image by Ben White on Unsplash.

PoorNot badGoodGreatExcellent (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

How to Create and Run the Best Social Media Marketing Strategy

Published in Online Marketing.

As the great Chris Lema told us in one of his posts:

There’s no way you become a great (or even decent) guitarist without picking up a guitar, grabbing a music book, learning where the notes and positions are, and this is the most important part, practicing with the guitar.

You don’t play the song the right way the first time. You don’t play it perfectly. Instead, you play, and you play, and you play – again and again and again – until you get good.

And the same is true for blogging.

You want to get better at writing. You must write. Not a little. A lot. Consistently.

A successful inbound marketing strategy has to deliver quality content that solves your audience’s problems. But you’ll hardly write “quality content” if you haven’t practiced a lot, right? It all starts with having the right attitude and the willingness to learn and practice… So today I’ll share with you a 6-step process to define and implement a successful social media marketing strategy. Read it carefully and get ready to implement it—the more you practice, the better you’ll be at it!

What Is a Social Media Marketing Strategy?

A social media marketing strategy is basically a planning of the content that you’ll have to publish and share on social networks for a certain period of time to achieve your goals.

Unsure grace helbig
If you think a social media marketing strategy is simply to post tweets and messages on Facebook, you’re wrong. There’s a lot more work to be done than meets the eye! Source: Giphy.

For example, imagine you’re organizing an event…. A WordCamp, for instance. Your goal is to have as many attendees as possible and the best speakers in your area. In other words, you want it to be a success. Well, there are two ways to do it: either you don’t prepare anything and solve the problems as they arise, or you create a plan with everything that needs to be done, assigning tasks to your colleagues, setting deadlines, etc. Which do you think will give better results?

A marketing strategy for your blog is more or less the same, but in this case you’d be focusing on the content you want to write and share. If you create a consistent and coherent plan, you will be able to communicate your message much better and the impact of your work will be infinitely greater.

I’m not saying everything has to be planned from the very beginning—tasks will have to be defined with greater or lesser precision according to their complexity. Moreover, the unexpected always happens, so I have no doubt we’ll have to adapt to unforeseen events… but you need to plan ahead nonetheless.

Create Your Strategy in 6 Easy Steps

Okay, now that we know what we’re talking about, let’s look at the different steps we need to take to do it. All presented in a beautiful list 😇

#1 Set Your Goals

The first step in any strategy is to define the goals we want to achieve with it. In our case, these can be very varied: we may want to make our personal brand known, present a new product, introduce some functionality, promote an event we’re organizing… But, in the end (and from the perspective of our blog and website), it’s all about making sure a certain message reaches as many people as possible.

Think sesame street
First of all, we have to think about what objectives we want to achieve. Source: Giphy.

Whatever the goals you choose, it’s very important to bear in mind that goals must be translated into measurable metrics. If you skip this step, your strategy is useless. The results we obtain with these metrics will allow us to determine whether our strategy has been a success or a failure. Not knowing this means we wasted our time and money.

So, the most important thing about this first step is to end up having one or more SMART goals:

  1. Specific. The goal must be clearly stated. For example, when organizing a WordCamp, a specific goal might be “to have at least 50% local speakers.”
  2. Measurable. Every goal must be measurable. In our case, we have proposed that 50% of the speakers should be local. This is something we can clearly check at the end of the event so… great!
  3. Attainable. Whenever we define a goal we have to be realistic and propose things that we can achieve. In our running example, for instance, we have to ponder if this percentage is feasible (I’m sure it is 😉). There’s no point in setting unattainable goals—propose something achievable and strive to achieve it.
  4. Relevant. We can set ourselves a thousand goals, but only a few will be really relevant. For example, does it make sense that one of our goals is for someone in Australia to write a tweet about our WordCamp? Well, maybe, but it doesn’t look like it, does it? What about our goal w.r.t. speakers? Well, since WordCamps are events that aim to promote the local community, giving visibility to local speakers seems quite relevant.
  5. Timely. The objectives must be achievable within a certain period of time—they cannot be extended to infinity and beyond. In our case, for example, the goal has to be met by the time the WordCamp program is closed.

Once we have our objectives clear, we can move on to the following steps.

#2 Identify Who Your Audience Is

To be honest, I’m not sure if this step should be before or after the previous one, as one depends on the other. Let me explain this. On the one hand, it’s clear that depending on your audience, you’ll have to set certain goals and not others. But, on the other hand, it’s also obvious that depending on the goals you set, you’ll have to address your message to a certain audience, right? So these steps influence each other…

Clapping applause by Originals
You must know who you are addressing, or your message will fall on deaf ears. The more you get to know your audience, the more you discover (as in this photo)… Picture by originals via Giphy.

At some point you will have to define the person to whom you want to address your message. This could be your current customer base, a particular segment, or someone completely different. For example, when we were talking about setting up WordCamp, the audience I want to communicate the event to are WordPress users and professionals in a certain area.

The better you can profile your audience, the easier it’ll be to create a convincing and appropriate message. So, for example, if we’re talking about getting speakers for our WordCamp, we’ll have to identify exactly what kind of speakers we want, what experience they should have, whether we want them to be local or not, etc. When all this is clear, we can then investigate their needs and craft a message that addresses all their concerns and explain how and why being a speaker in our WordCamp would help them.

#3 Find the Idea or Message You Want to Convey

Successful campaigns work because they usually have an idea behind them, a clear message, a concept to communicate. Once you have identified your audience and goals, it’s time to find the idea you want to communicate, some magic formula that’ll attract traffic to your website.

Idea aladdin
Find an idea that you can get the most out of; it will be the basis of your marketing campaign. Source: Giphy.

Normally, a good way to find the topics to write about is to identify the problems your target audience has and how the solution you offer will solve them. But the creative process of generating ideas is much broader and does not have to be limited to problems and solutions.

If we go back to our running example and focus on finding speakers, we need to identify what ideas we want to convey to those who should give a talk. For example, we can describe about the advantages of growing our local community through this kind of events, the synergies that arise between the different professionals who attend a WordCamp, or the business opportunities that arise when users and professionals come together in the same place.

#4 Decide the Posts You’ll Write and their Frequency

The first three steps are the most complicated, since you have to define the most abstract parts of your strategy. From now on, everything is concrete and just needs to be done. The next step you have to take is to establish the exact posts you’re going to write and when you’ll do it. In other words, you need to fill your editorial calendar with content.

Crossing season 4
The editorial calendar will help you stay focused and will tell you at all times how you’re doing, what you’ve done and what you have pending. Source: Giphy.

The first thing to do is to determine the number of posts you will write and then how often you will write them. This will determine the duration of your campaign…. although there is one detail to keep in mind: if you have some kind of temporary restriction (you want to launch a Christmas campaign, you want to achieve some objectives before a certain date, etc), this plan should be adapted to that restriction. The most important thing is to define a plan that you can follow.

Back to our running example, we may decide that some interesting posts (from a speaker’s perspective) could be, for instance:

  1. What Is a WordCamp (which might be useful for speakers, volunteers, or attendees)
  2. Call to Speakers — Why Getting Involved is a Good Idea
  3. Interviews with Previous Speakers — Don’t Miss their Experiences!

#5 Get Ready to Promote Your Content on Social Media

You probably think that the previous planning is rather short and that something else is missing…. and you are absolutely right. A successful campaign includes not only the posts in our blog, but also several promotional messages on social media. By promoting these contents and spreading the message, we’ll be able to attract the traffic we want. If we don’t, well, nobody will know about it! Think of your posts as the answers to the questions you publish on social media.

Animation love by Tony Babel
As we always say, it is as important to promote the content as it is to create it. Remember that part of your marketing strategy will be to make a correct promotion in social networks. Picture by tonybabel via Giphy.

The specific messages you’re going to use to promote your content don’t have to be defined right from the start: in many cases, they will come up as you write new content. But it’s important that you keep this step in mind and don’t forget about it.

#6 Execute Your Plan

The last step is, of course, to implement your strategy. That is, you’ll have to actually write all the content you planned, make sure you do it with a minimum of quality and correction, dedicate resources to promoting it, etc.

Once everything’s ready, go ahead and… jump! Source: Giphy.

I’m not going to explain more details about this step, because there’s no secret worth discussing. Just keep in mind it’s paramount that you focus on keeping to schedule (tools like Nelio Content will help you with that) and that you gather all the relevant data you need to evaluate the results of the campaign once it’s over. Write, promote, collect results, and keep your fingers crossed!

Now You Have the Secret Recipe… It’s Your Turn!

Implementing a good marketing strategy is relatively simple, if you know the steps to take. Start by clearly defining your goals and the audience you want to target. This way, detailing the specific actions you’ll have to take will be much easier. In the case of content marketing, this type of strategy is based on a good schedule and an effective social media promotion.

Are you ready to get started and practice all these tips?

Featured Image by MD Duran on Unsplash.

PoorNot badGoodGreatExcellent (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

Stop Worrying About SEO And Focus on Your Reader

Published in Online Marketing.

Like most things in life, popularity is more complicated than it may seem at first.

Rest assured that in this post we’ll help you to be more popular, without having to suffer for it. Photo by carltondry on Giphy.

Mitch Pristein, professor and director of clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina and researcher on what popularity is and what its effects are, distinguishes two types of popularity: (a) some people are popular because they are nice and their peers trust them and want to be with them, and (b) that popularity which seeks in some way to gain a certain status and use that power to influence others.

The results of Pristein’s studies, which I will comment on a little later, can be applied perfectly to our blog. But first, let me ask you what the point of your blog is. Get better search engine rankings or please your reader? And before you answer, read on to understand what I mean by each of the two options.

Goal 1: Improving SEO

If your goal is to improve SEO, the process of writing a blog post should include the following steps:

#1 Specify Keywords

If you want search engines to place your posts in the top positions, you must specify which keywords related to your blog or business should position well. The best keywords are those that clearly define the content and purpose of your website and that best respond to users’ searches. If you still don’t know how to search for keywords for your blog, I recommend this article by David on the subject.

#2 Optimize The Design

Your website design has to be optimized for SEO. Above all, don’t forget to have your web design optimized for mobile phones. Make sure your website is fully responsive, that the load speed is optimal, and that it can be viewed perfectly on any type of small device. Nowadays all users use smartphones to access the Internet—if your website isn’t adapted to browse through mobile phones, you’ll lose a large number of visits.

#3 Optimize The Content

Once you have defined the keywords and have a fantastic design, it’s time to determine the categories of your blog and the tags you’ll use.  As you can imagine, these should coincide to a great extent with the keywords you identified. If they don’t, you may have a consistency problem.

But not only that, the page titles and posts should also include some of your keywords. And of course, the URLs of all your posts should include some of the keywords you have defined.

When writing the post post, if the title already includes keywords, it’s likely that keywords will naturally appear in its body as well. Tools like Yoast SEO that can help you make sure the text contains words that will improve SEO.

Don’t forget to put keywords to all the alt attributes of any image. It’s important to first make sure you optimize your images for SEO, including the use of images that are related to your keywords. 

As far as internal links go, it’s assumed that all pages on the website should be accessible from any other page in a maximum of 4 clicks. And if we talk about external links, some companies have found that linking to external sites that also use our keywords (even if they’re from their competitors), has benefited them in terms of SEO.

Ready! You already have your content optimized for SEO.

#4 Promote Your Content

Finally, promote on social media all the content you create. Newsletters are also a great tool to keep your followers up-to-date. This way you can make sure your content reaches a large audience and they will be happy to read it.

Goal 2: Focusing on Your Reader

What if your goal is to focus on the reader instead of the SEO? Assume from the outset that your posts are not going to appeal to everyone.

Sad face
Face it. We can’t please everyone. Source: Giphy.

The sooner you accept this, the sooner you’ll feel free to be yourself and decide what kind of relationship you’d like to have with your readers. A blog, unlike other media, allows you to decide what you want to tell us and how you want to tell it. You can decide to be yourself or reinvent yourself and become that character you always wanted to be. You can talk about your hobbies or your experiences. Share your unique knowledge and help others solve problems…. The list is endless.

But what does it mean to focus on the reader?

#1 Define Who Your Reader Is

For example, let’s assume you’ve one of the finalists in The World Stone Skimming Championship on the Scottish island of Easdale. It’s your passion, so you want to create a blog to explain your tricks and experiences to improve the technique and art of skimming stones. In this case, it will be very easy for you to define your reader; you already know them from all the championships you’ve attended. You know their hobbies, what they do in their spare time, and they probably have a lot in common with you. But sometimes it can be a little more complicated…

Stone
You’ve never been this far before, have you? Source: Giphy.

In case you don’t know where to start or need a little help, I recommend that you read the post in which we explain how to define your Buyer Person. Defining your reader allows you to write in a much more personalized way. You know who you’re talking to. And this allows you to add a certain warmth and sense of humor to all your writing.

#2 What Message You Want To Convey

This is the most important point of every post on your blog. If you write a post on your blog it’s because you want to transmit some kind of message. Therefore, within your entire editorial process, the next point would be to think about those titles you want to write about (in fact, the title of your post should already serve as a summary of the message you want to convey, don’t you think?).

If you want to focus on your reader, think about their life, problems, difficulties, and concerns, and what doubts they may have when reading one of your articles. In the context of inbound marketing you should focus on the entire sales funnel your potential buyer is going through. And if you don’t know what messages you want to convey with your posts, here are some techniques that can help you and the tool that will make it easier for you.

You’ll find that once you’ve defined your titles, organizing them into an editorial calendar is a breeze.

Nelio Content calendario drag-and-drop
Nelio Content drag-and-drop calendar where scheduling your posts is as easy as dragging them from the list of ideas.

#3 Write With Passion

When you start writing your post, do it with passion. You have your style and we want to hear your voice, not your neighbor’s, your mother-in-law’s, or a salesman’s. Precisely what makes a post unique is that it’s explained from your point of view, which is always unique. Make sure you include those images or gifs that you think will add some value or sense of humor to your posts and make your posts much more enjoyable to read.

Emma stone yes by La La Land
Don’t you ever lose your passion. Photo by lalaland on Giphy.

Even if someone doesn’t like the way you write, don’t change your style if you feel comfortable with it (but keep in mind it’s always good to be open to constructive criticism). Didn’t you already assume that not everyone could like you? 😉

Think of all those bloggers you read regularly. Surely you keep reading them because not only you like the content they share but also enjoy the way they write it, their personal touch. If in a blog you suddenly notice a change from style to more commercial style, you will probably stop following it because it will have become the one you weren’t interested in.

#4 Promote Your Content

This point is exactly the same as point 4 above. Remember that your quality content is useless if you don’t promote it!

#5 Listen To Your Audience

A blog doesn’t just consist of you posting a stream of posts—one of the charms of a blog, as opposed to a book, for example, is that it allows you to have a certain level of interaction with your reader. If you encourage your readers to write comments and you take the time to answer them, you’ll create a community, a group of friends who enjoy your content and will be always waiting for your next piece of advice.

Why Is It Better To Focus On The Reader?

And now comes the question: if we’re all aware that if we don’t make it to the front page of Google, it’s like we’re invisible, why am I insisting that you should focus on the reader instead of the SEO? Well, truth is, you shouldn’t forget about SEO, but my recommendation is that you simplify and automate any of the tasks related to SEO and focus your effort and work on adding value to your readers.

In this blog we won’t stop sharing tricks and strategies to help you be more efficient in the whole editorial process. For example, Nelio Content’s calendar makes it much easier to generate ideas to write about and plan for. You can also control the quality of each post and make sure that the category, tags, images, links etc. are not missing. And of course, the entire promotion can be automated. Another example: David recently told you how you can improve SEO with artificial intelligence.

Your mind should only focus on conveying a message to your readers, the one you want, and the way you want it. But above all (and don’t forget this) it’s important that you have a good time while preparing this wonderful content. This ends up being the key to the success of any blog.

And then there’s another reason. And this is when I return to what I said at the beginning about Michael Pristein’s study of the two types of popularity, the one that is achieved by being pleasant and empathetic people and the one that seeks a status to be able to influence others. Pristein’s results show that people who seek to be pleasant tend to end up being healthier, in better relationships, with a more satisfying job, and even live longer. By contrast, status seekers often end up anxious, depressed, and addicted. According to these studies, you shouldn’t be surprised when you read any news from a YouTuber, influencer, or celebrity who closes their account or website because they can no longer withstand the pressure that was supposed to generate content on it. Sad, don’t you think?

With your blog, something similar happens, if you don’t get obsessed with vanity metrics, you can still enjoy it every time you write a post on your blog. Sure, you might want to get more visitors faster (we all do), but a blog is a long-term project, so be patient , work on it, and visitors will eventually arrive.

Friday smile
And that’s how happy we are. Source: Giphy.

Focus on your reader—they’ll appreciate who you are and what you do! 😊

Featured image by Joshua Earle in Unsplash

PoorNot badGoodGreatExcellent (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...

Keyword Research—How to Find the Relevant Terms for Your Web

Published in WordPress.

This past weekend I was re-watching one of my favorite shows, The IT Crowd, and I couldn’t help but laugh at how Jen learned what the Internet is:

Internet crowd
“This is the Internet, Jen”. Source: Giphy.

Behold! This tiny black box is… THE INTERNET! You don’t need to be a geek to know that’s not actually true and get the joke, right? But I always find reality quite amusing, and in this case RealLife™ is as surprising as IT Crowd’s joke—tons of users believe that the Internet is this:

Start and end of the Internet. Or, in other words, Google!
The Internet starts (and ends?) here, doesn’t it?

A lot of people believe that Google is the Internet. It’s where it starts and it’s where it ends. Or are you telling me you’ve never seen a user typing a URL in Google‘s search box? Because I’ve seen it thousands of times:

I know the URL of this site... but let's Google it nonetheless.
I know the URL of this site… but let’s Google it nonetheless.

So let’s face it: Google is not the Internet, but Google‘s the interface a lot of users use to connect to it so… it pretty much is. That’s why it’s so important we invest some time and resources in improving our SEO. Today, I’d like to discuss one of the first steps in any SEO strategy: keyword research. Shall we get started?

Relevant Terms and Proof Terms

When preparing this post, I came across this interesting article by Jayson DeMers in which he introduces the concepts of relevant terms and proof terms:

  • Relevant terms are those concepts related to the topic you’re covering. Google uses them to make sure you’re providing comprehensive coverage of your topic. For instance, if you’re writing about iPhones, related terms might be “technology”, “apps”, or “iOS”. If, on the other hand, you’re talking about WordPress, these terms might be “plugin“, theme”, or “CMS”.
  • Proof terms are words or phrases that must be used when discussing a particular topic. In Jayson’s example, these could be “phone”, “Apple”, or even “mobile”. In ours, “web” or “blog” might be the terms we’re looking for.

A basic prerequisite for positioning our content well is to use these keywords in our articles. If you follow our advice to be the first result on Google, these keywords come out almost naturally, but it doesn’t hurt to devote a little effort, as I was saying, to studying and researching which keywords are relevant to our content.

How to Find the Right Keywords

Let’s take a look at 4 techniques to discover the relevant keywords your blog needs to address.

1. Use Keyword Research Tools

Where there’s a problem, there’s an opportunity for anyone willing to fix it. And keyword research is no exception. In this post by Phil Lloyd we have 7 different tools to find the relevant keywords of our website. I would like to highlight Google’s Keyword Planner among all the proposals he proposes.

Google‘s Keyword Planner was created as a complement to AdWords, Google‘s ad service, and is used to determine which keywords are relevant to our business and, therefore, deserve our investing in them to implement our SEM strategy. Although the original idea was and is to help you create better advertising campaigns, the results it offers are also extremely useful in identifying those keywords that you should include in your content and that will help you grow organically.

To use the Keyword Planner, simply search for your primary keyword (for example, “WordPress”) and let Google return all the related keywords:

Keyword Search with Google's Keyword Planner
Keyword Search with Google’s Keyword Planner

If you look for very generic concepts, the results you’ll get will also be very generic. Just look at the example above, where the related keywords we’ve found include vague concepts like “themes”, “blog“, “cms“…. Sure, it’s nice to know them, but they’re not enough. Keep researching and look for more specific combinations.

Tip: There’s plenty of tools that’ll help you find relevant keywords. Use them wisely, as they’ll give you invaluable ideas and will help you with your long-term SEO strategy.

2. Play With Google’s Suggestions

Another fun way to search for relevant keywords is to do what any other user does: Google it! When you look for something in Google, the search engine provides some suggestions on what you might be interested in:

Google Predictions during a search
Google shows predictions while looking for a topic.

And that’s all you need to do: look for those things you’re visitors might be interested in and take a look at Google‘s predictions. For instance, in Nelio we develop plugins for WordPress, so “WordPress” is clearly a topic I’m interested in. If I look for it, I can see other relevant keywords, such as “blog”, “plugins” or even “español” (Spanish). Can I use those keywords in my blog posts some how? Do I need to look for more specific terms? Use this information and keep digging!

Tip: Play with Google, try different searches, investigate, put yourself in the shoes of a potential user who might want to find you…. the more information you get, the better.

3. Take a Look at Your Competitors

Blogs that cover the same topic as yours are also a very good source of inspiration. In a recent post on our blog, Antonio stressed the importance of reading other people’s content before writing your own:

To be a great writer you must first be a great reader. And the same thing happens in the digital world. You should monitor other blogs out there that deal with topics similar to yours. Seeing what they write about can be very inspiring for you.

Antonio’s advice does not only apply to ideas on what to blog about, but also on the identification of relevant keywords. Look at blogs, websites, and forums from your niche market and see which concepts are most commonly discussed and used. Identify those that are also relevant to your site and incorporate them.

Tip: To be a great writer you have to be a great reader. Take a look at what others do, especially those who are well positioned, and adapt their strategy to yours.

4. Write Your Own Content

I didn’t want to end this post without mentioning the importance of writing for our readers. One of the common tips you’ll find everywhere is to focus on search engines primarily—add all your metas, focus on SEO, do keyword research, be careful with your links, and so on and so forth. Even though this is obviously an important aspect to consider, I think there are other things that are way more important.

The Internet is created for and by people like you and me, so why shouldn’t you put these people first? If you write content that is relevant and useful to your users, the keywords will emerge naturally and your website will end up well positioned. It is not immediate and requires time and patience, but in the end it is worth it. Don’t get obsessed with SEO strategies. Now you know you have tools that will help you, but none will give you the solution today for tomorrow. Work constantly and the results will come.

Tip: The Internet was designed to help people. Write with your human readers in mind and everything else will magically fit together.

Summary

Search engines play a very important role in giving visibility to our website. That’s why it’s important to understand how they work and play by their rules. The more attractive and relevant our content is, the more likely it is that it will appear among Google’s first results.

Although it is true that keywords are no longer as important today as they were a few years ago, they are still very important when it comes to positioning our website well and are an enormous source of inspiration and ideas. We have a lot of online resources to identify those keywords that best match our website; take advantage of them and write the best possible content with them.

Featured Image by Lauren Peng on Unsplash.

PoorNot badGoodGreatExcellent (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

The Definitive Tutorial to Get The Most Out of Nelio Content’s Social Automations

Published in Online Marketing.

You probably have to do repetitive tasks on a daily basis. And you may ask yourself: can’t someone else do it for me?

Can't someone else do it?
Can’t someone else do it? Source: Giphy.

Unfortunately, in real life you can’t stop from doing things yourself. But don’t worry, today we’ll explain to you how to reduce the effort you have to make with the promotion of your website’s content in WordPress thanks to the Social Automations that Nelio Content includes.

So that you know how all this works and can get the most out of it, let’s take a look at the three most important points that are part of Social Automations:

  • The configuration of social profiles in which to share content
  • Templates for creating messages
  • Highlighting relevant content to be shared automatically

If you master these three areas, you will become a professional in social media content promotion by doing minimal work. In fact, once the first two points have been set up, just by spending a few minutes on the third (which is also optional) you will get in return all the promotion of your new content with just one click. Yeah, just one click. Read on and you’ll see that we’re not lying to you 😉.

Select The Social Profiles That Will Promote Your Content

Social profiles are the foundation for promoting your WordPress content on networks. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can hardly post anything there, right? So if you don’t have profiles created on networks, go to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram or Pinterest and when you have your profiles ready, continue reading…

In Nelio Content, go to Settings and you’ll see the Social Profiles tab. This is where you connect your profiles. To do this, you have the step-by-step details in our help here. Don’t worry, it’s not hard and you’ll only have to do it the first time. As you connect profiles you will see them appear on the list, as shown in the following screenshot of our website (yes, we also use Nelio Content on a daily basis 😁).

List of social network profiles connected in Nelio Content.
List of social network profiles connected in Nelio Content.

With the list of profiles, you can activate the Social Automations for each of them. You do this by selecting or unselecting the two icons to the right of each profile.

On the one hand, the megaphone icon enables the automatic generation of social messages for that profile to promote new content in your WordPress. This means that if you activate it, automatic messages will be created when you make the famous click we talked about earlier (and I’ll talk about it later) on the edit screen of a post, page or custom post type. If you haven’t activated it, no messages will be generated for that profile at that time.

On the other hand, if you activate the re-sharing icon (yes, the one with the ball surrounded by two arcs that is right next to the megaphone) what will happen is that messages will automatically be generated to fill in the gaps in your editorial calendar and to promote existing content from your WordPress. That is, messages that reshare content that is old but still valid.

If you have old content on your website it’s a shame that you don’t keep promoting it on your networks so that it keeps bringing you visitors. I’m sure writing that content took your time. It’s a pity that it ends up being forgotten when it can still give you plenty of joy ☺.

You can change the frequency of automatic message publishing and indicate which social profiles are going to publish promotional or resharing messages.
You can change the frequency of automatic message publishing and indicate which social profiles are going to publish promotional or resharing messages.

The number of automatic messages that will be generated thanks to Social Automations depends on the social profiles you have connected and the frequency selected.

Once you have changed the publication frequency (changing the selector, as you can see from the previous screenshot), please note that this will affect the number of messages that will be generated automatically from that point on. Messages that were already created will not be changed.

You can check in your settings how many automatic messages Nelio Content will create for you.
You can check in your settings how many automatic messages Nelio Content will create for you.

Just below the list of social profiles, you’ll find a short sentence indicating the messages that will be automatically created with your current settings. This way you can get an idea of the number of messages that will be generated and change it if you wish.

Remember that all this configuration, which may seem a little complex, it is not. Besides, it’s something you do once and then you can forget about it. In our case, it is something we never touch.

Create Templates For Automatic Messages

Now that you know how to connect your profiles, activate Social Automations on them, and change the publication frequency, the question is: what is the content of the automatic social messages created by Nelio Content? The answer is simple…

By default, if you don’t do anything else, Nelio Content’s automatic messages will share the title and permalink to the content. But you can change this with social templates.

In Nelio Content‘ Settings, you’ll find the Social Templates tab. A social template is nothing more than a base text with placeholders that will be used to be converted into the content of automatic messages.

There are two lists in this section. The first is the list of templates that are used to promote new content (at the time this content is published). You can see in the following screenshot the templates that we have defined in our website in English to be used in the automatic messages that are created at the time of publishing new content.

List of social templates that are used as a basis for creating your social messages automatically.
List of social templates that are used as a basis for creating your social messages automatically.

But we also have another list of the templates that are used when creating automatic messages to reshare existing (or old) content from our WordPress on social media. You can see our templates for resharing in the following screenshot.

List of templates for re-sharing content already created in your WordPress.
List of templates for re-sharing content already created in your WordPress.

The placeholders you can use in the text of a template are:

  • {title}, which references the title of the content that we want to promote
  • {permalink}, which references the permalink to the content that we want to promote
  • {tags}, that references the own WordPress tags of the content that we want to promote. These tags are transformed into hashtags in social media

Now imagine that we want to share the next post from my partner Ruth:

Inbound Leaders – The Inbound Event for Marketing Leaders

If we create a template with the text “Do not miss this article: {title} {tags} {permalink}, by applying this template to the previous article, the result is a social message with the following text: “Do not miss this article: Inbound Leaders – The Inbound Event for Marketing Leaders #MarketingStrategy #Events #ContentMarketing https://neliosoftware.com/blog/inbound-leaders-the-inbound-event-for-marketing-leaders/”.

With this, you can see that Nelio Content‘s templates allow us to expand the possibilities of the automatic message creation algorithm so that messages with richer and different text can be created. If you create templates, your messages in social media will be more diverse and will not give the impression of having been created automatically by a computer program.

Dialog for editing a social template where you can configure how it works.
Dialog for editing a social template where you can configure how it works.

When creating a social template you have the option to set its text, on which networks or social profiles it can be used, and what content it will promote (from which author and which WordPress category). I recommend you keep an eye on it because it’s something you can build at first and then you’ll have it forever, without having to change it every time (unless you want to).

Highlight Relevant Content While You Write it

We’ve already mentioned the Nelio Content magic button before:

Create Social Messages Automatically
Nelio Content with Social Automations automatically creates all the social messages you need to promote a post. Click on the button and let it do the hard work for you.

When editing a WordPress post or page you’ll see the Social Media box if you have Nelio Content. There is a giant button that automatically generates social messages when you press it to generate the promotion of your content on social media.

As a result of clicking it, you’ll see an extensive list of automatic messages for the selected profiles (as explained above) that will be shared when you publish your WordPress content, the next day, during that week, during the next month and beyond. As I promised you at the beginning, in Nelio Content with just one click you have all the promotion done for your contents without any effort.

Scheduled social messages with Nelio Content
Automatically generated messages to promote a post on Nelio Content.

The content of these automatic messages is based on the templates we have created following the instructions I have given you above. But Nelio Content is also intelligent and will extract relevant sentences from your post or page and create messages with these sentences to be shared on social media.

Nelio Content does this on its own, without you having to do anything else. But it’s possible that when checking your post before publishing it, you detect a sentence you want to share. It happens to us a lot, so that’s why we added the possibility of highlighting sentences to share them in automatic messages.

Auto-sharing in Social Automations
With the Nelio Content button, you can select any fragment of the text and mark it for autosharing. The image shows the selection of the phrase “Nelio Content was born with the aim of simplifying the work for our blog” to mark it to share. You can also see other fragments highlighted in yellow that had previously been selected.

Just select the sentence from the editor and in the Nelio Content button choose the option to highlight that sentence. It will be highlighted in the editor itself, and you can remove that if you wish. This way you help Nelio Content to be even smarter in the selection and extraction of sentences to create automatic social messages.

Let Social Automations Work For You

Promoting our WordPress content on social networks can be a real pain in the ass. Luckily, Nelio Content helps you through the whole process thanks to the automatic features it includes.

If you set up your profiles, create templates and use the magic button, Nelio Content will become your butler and you won’t have to worry about promoting your content again. Everything will work by itself and your social audience will be receiving your messages automatically so that visits to your website will magically increase.

If you’re still not convinced of this, try it. Install Nelio Content in your WordPress and discover the amazing results you get. Remember to leave me your opinion about it 😍

Featured image by Andy Kelly from Unsplash.

PoorNot badGoodGreatExcellent (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...