How to Grow Your Instagram following

Instagram has always been know as the « king of social media engagement » due to the fact that top brands are seeing a per-follower high interaction rate is 10 times higher than Facebook and 100 times higher than Twitter. Therefore Instagram is a perfect social network for African businesses looking to find potential new customers.

Here is how you can turbo-charge your brand through Instagram :

  1. Publicise your instagram account

Link your instagram account to your website, your email signature and include Instagram photos in e-newsletters and blog posts. Consider boosting your posts with paid advertising so that your potential clients can see it.

2. Find the best time to post

Observe when your posts are getting the most likes then use scheduling tools like Hootsuite to pre-prepare posts that aree automatically sent out at particular time.

3.Create high quality content and post consistently

Make sure you know the kind of content that appeals to your audience and then pick a frequency of posting and stick to it.

4.Use hashtags and captions wisely.

Hashtags and captions are your best friends on Instagram, do not over do it or confuse the message. Find and use popular hashtags when they are relevant or create your own. With Instagram, your photo captions are what really helps sell your photos to gain new followers.

5.Hold and Instagram contest

There are many ways to run an Instagram contest. One is for users to like your account and shara a selfie of them using your product. This contest can help achieve a couple of things : Firstly there is an insentive for new people to follow you becuase of what they could win, secondly it showcases your product and brand and thirdly it exposes new people to your product theough them seeing a photo of theur friends using the product in Instagram feed.

6.Respond to comments

Instagram is all about relationship and authenticity. When someone take the time to leave a comment make sure you reply. Also follow back the people who follow you and comment on their post for maximum impact.

7.Use Video

Instagram video expands the emotional connection between the consumer and the brand. Before video posts used to be limited to just 15 seconds but now, video length limits have been increased to 60 seconds. Increasing the lengths of videos means it’s ever more important to capture users’ attention within the first few seconds. Play around with different video styles to see what works best for your audience.

8.Crowdsource images

You will be surprised at the creativity of your folowers and they will be delighted to get interract with you and have their moment of fame.

9.Create a them/story for your photos

Create a sense of drama and adventure by inspiring people with photos and videos with stories or themes behind them. Also choose of what words you want to be assiciated with. Check out the following accounts for some good examples of instagrammers who are racking thems and stories in their photos and videos : woolworths_sa, Donna Okeych, Sharecongo, Arsenal.

10.Do your research

There are two things you should reseach. Firstly you should research what your audience likes. Secondly you should research the competitors in your industry and niche :

  • What are they doing well ?
  • What are they doing not so well ?
  •  What frequency are they posting ?
  • How do they engage with audience ?

5 things Every social media strategy needs to Succeed.

Social media can be a powerful tool and has the potential to connect a business with customers and infliencers across the globe. Creating an accoiunt on a social media channel is relatively simple, however gaining the followers and maintaining a presence can be a challenge. Before signing up to every social media channel available, it is a good idea to create a social media strategy.

A Social media strategy needs to have the following elements to be successful.

  1. Plan
  • Map out your business aims and goals and how social media channels can help.
  • Does your business wants to promote products, create brand awareness, be seen as a thought leader, support sales, or engage with customers ?
  • Plan ahead and decide what it is you want to achieve, This will determine how you engage with your audience.

2. Research

  • Determine who your target audience is, that is who you want to engage with on social media. By researching the target auidience you can identify their characteristics, interetsts abd priorities which can be used to help determone the social media channel/s to use. Not all social media channels are the same in how they engage users. Facebook and LinkedIn have different purposes so how you interract with your target audeince and wht you post should be adjusted to suit the channel.

3. Content strategy

  • Content needs to be consistent for your business to succeed on social media. To create engagement, identify the main 3-5 topics that relate to your business and your area of expertise that will be appealing to your target audience.
  • Use these topics to create content that you want to be recognised for.
  • When it comes to engaging audiences, images are just as importnat as the story.

4. Measure Success

  • The only way to know if your strategy is working is to review the results.
  • Analysticas is a great tool to assist with the understading how many people saw, liked, shared, commented and clicked on your posts.
  • Utilise tools such as Hootsuite, which let you know which content was popular.

5. Review and assess

  • Once you have obtained the analytics, it is important to review how you engage with your audience.

A good social media strategy is fluid. What works today may not work in a month’s time. Stay on top of online trends and researching the competition will also provide added insights and help to understand what is engaging to your audience.  With the right strategy , a social media presence can hel[p you meet your goals.

Why You Need A Great Landing Page

Headings

Ideally your landing page should have a heading followed by a subheading in small font.  The heading should signal to the user that they are on a relavant page and draw them in. Use a question for a heading as it makes people want to read on to find the answer.

Content and copy

Let see more when it comes to text. If your product needs lots of explanation, sonsider using sn explainer video on your landing page.Your content should clearly steate your unique selling proposition and provide the list of the product/service benefits.

Forms

Long forms are a common reason for high bounces from the landing pages. Think about each elemeny you are asking for on your form and re-evaluate to see if you really need to know that information.

The hero shot

Whatever you are selling you need to be able to show a picture that visually represents what the product or service has achieved. Customers always wanst to see what they are buying and online that can be see through herp shot.

Social Proof

Social proof is the concept of usuing social signals to demostrate your credibility. It provides « envidence » of other people having bought or consumed your product and bieing happy with it. Written statement and mini video update can provide social proos of your product/service to people .Mention the number of followers you have on social media ( If you have impressive numbers) or awards won.

Written testimonial need to have the customer’s full name, location, website adrress or photo for added believability.

Call – To-Action

Your call to action should prompt customers to take one clear focused action.

What you want you want your customers to do and how they would benefit should be clearly spelled out in one short and succinct line on a clickable button. The button should link through to form or shipping cart to complete the transaction. ‘Click here’ or ‘submit’ are bad examples of a CTA as they are very generic and unevocative . A better example would be ‘Get your free gift here’.

Understand Online Marketing

Remarketing and retargeting: which one is better?

Creating a digital presence for your business online has become more critical than ever. Fortunately, it’s also never been easier to create an accessible website or online storefront and get your business noticed. Many new technologies are available for advertising on the website and to open up a world of opportunity for your business.

Remarketing Vs Retargeting

Retargeting refers to online placement ads and display ads generated through tracking site visitors’ cookies.

Remarketing refers to email campaigns e.g. sending a personalised message to a prospective target via email after they abandoned an online shopping cart or neglected to complete a registration form fully.It also can refer to remarketing to a customer who’s already purchased from (case a point: Amazon emails which features personalised recommendations of other books or products you might enjoy similar to those you have already purchased.)

Google Remarketing is in essence actually a retargeting campaign based on the definitions above.

Google Remarketing

Google Remarketing is a simple tool for users who are still gaining confidence with remarketing /Retargeting.

The service can be set up from inside your existing Google AdWords account and involves three steps:

  • Add remarketing tags to each page of your website.
  • Create remarketing lists and build ads specific to each list.
  • Set up your campaign.

Google Remarketing takes place through the Google Display Network you are restricted to being able to reach only 10% of the internet through their platform.

  • 10% equates to around 2 million websites

Google Remarketing has recently introduced another feature which remarketing list for search ads which allows advertisers to put together campaigns for people who have searched for a particular keyword on Google, irrespective of whether they have visited your site or not.

AdRoll Retargeting

Adroll is a provider of host of online advertising tools and services.They are almost well known for their targeting options and with good reason.The major advantages of using AdRoll is that because they partner with Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, they have an enormous reach: Up to 98% of the web in fact.

AdRoll allows you to create Facebook newsfeed ads to recapture these valuable prospective customers.You can set up a newsfeed campaign quite simply, all you need to do is choose a schedule, targeted locations and a weekly budget.The ads will then be displayed to anyone who has previously visited your site, even if they are not a current Facebook fan of yours.

What’s the verdict? Google or AdRoll

Google should work nicely for what you have in mind with limited financial outlay- Limited budget.If you need advance features, or want to market on Facebook you will want to work with AdRoll.

AdRoll is the clear front runner in the retargeting market, their service is quite pricey.They are renowned for having excellent service and great easy–to-read analytics so you can track what is going on.

When Should You Be Posting On Social Media?

Time is money

It is important to find ‘Prime time’ for social media amongst your industry and for the different social media that you post on.Peak time for automotive posts and interests is anywhere between 8am and 11pm at night.Food related posts peak between 4pm and 6pm.

How to find your optimum posting time?  

There are many online tools that can help you find your optimum posting time one is Hootsuite’s social media monitoring tool. Other tools that do the same thing include SocialMentions, TrendyBuzz, and Engagor.

The variances between different social media sites

  • Tumblr, on the other hand is a hip youth and artistic hangout. Active 11pm and after.
  • Instagram, The best days to post on Instagram is Wednesday throughout the day, but particularly around 11 AM and Friday from 10 AM to 11 AM.
  • LinkedIn is for business and as salary earners tend to clock out early on Friday afternoons making the most of their glide time, little happens on LinkedIn past noon on Friday. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days to make the most of LinkedIn.
  • Pinterest on the other hand is all about the weekend. Retail and fashion trends spike around 3pm on a Friday, and continue all throughout the weekend.
  • Facebook experiences the highest clicks through rates between 1pm and 4 pm weekdays. Twitter follow suit. However, avoid Facebook on weekends between 8pm in the evening and 8am in the morning.

How to use this information?

Using scheduling tools like Hootsuite to write your post in advance then automate them to be posted at the most socially lucrative time across various social media.Observe and monitor the times when you competitors are posting and see whether there are moments that can be capitalised on.

Understand better the customer decision making process. What times of the day are they looking at products, what time are they looking for company reviews, what times are they visiting websites? Comparing times across different social media platforms relevant to your product and industry.

How to Turn Social Media into Money and Tips for Business Success.

One of the easiest way to grow your business is via social media.

All progressive companies are using social media to engage with existing and prospective customers for a more dynamic experience and increase loyalty.

Don’t spread yourself too thin

Spend some time understanding your potential customers and clients spend some time on social media and then make sure you go there.

Be consistent

You must make a habit of posting every day.This way they feel that they are special to you and it is proven that when people like you, they are more likely to do business with you.

Add value

Post relevant information that will make your audiences lives better.Solve their problem through your expertise and share stories or case studies that backs up your information.

Follow Up

If someone connect with you make sure you have a follow up system in place.Build relationship with them my thanking them and highlighting to them how important they are.

Be the positive authority figure

Be the expert and authority figure that leads by example and show the best side of you all of the time.

Make Online Video Part Of Your Marketing Strategy

thinkcongo

Video content is not only possible for small businesses but important.

With 85 percent of the online market watching online videos, and one minute of video content equaling the impact of 1.8 million words (a whopping 3600 typical web pages) according to latest research, video has never been a more important piece of marketing strategy than it is now.

The same experts said that 62 percent of respondents consuming online video from smartphones.

Smartphone users watch, talk about, and share ads and content from retailers more than TV viewers or desktop users. They also view video content on smartphones as a more intimate experience, developing a personal connection with brands at two times the rate of TV viewers.

The psychology of videos

Why do consumers respond to video content so powerfully? Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D., consultant to brands such as Disney, Amazon and Walmart, explains that there are four reasons why humans love video:

1. Our brains are wired to respond to faces – we tend to trust faces as a believable source of information.

2. Voice helps us understand content more readily.

3. Emotions appeal to our senses.

4. Movement causes us to pay attention – from primal stone-age times we have had to be alert to movement as a potential sign of danger.

These four factors are all things we cannot get from reading, and can only partially get from audio content.

Videos as website freebies

One simple way you can leverage the appeal of videos is through free video content on your website, or a free video training series as an email opt-in series.

Many websites give away free content in exchange for capturing email addresses. A survey conducted by marketing automation company thinkCongo found that over 90 per cent of prospective customers prefer videos to white papers, case studies, webinars, free trials, toolkits and ebooks.

Increase your online visibility

Improve how your site interacts with search engines, so your target audience can find you.

What is search engine marketing ?

Search engine marketing (SEM) refers to the overall process of marketing a website on search engines. This includes submitting the right ad, optimising it well through style and placement, and ensuring it ranks highly in searches by paying for priority positioning where possible. But it doesn’t end there.

It’s also about improving how your site interacts with search engine overall so your target audinec can find you. SEM is a continual process and not a one-off task. For that reason, while many samll business owners choose to manage their own SEM, some may decide thie is an area better left to experts.

What are search engines ?

Crawler/ spider-based search engines, such as Google create their listings automatically. They « crowl » or « spider » the web according to the search request and present the searcher with a list of all releted links found. People then search though thier findings for the most relevant results.

How quickly is your business found, and where your business ends up in search results, will generally depend on how closely matched your business is to the search query and how easy your website is to find by the crawler or spider. Changing your web pages can impact the way you are found and listed which is one reason why sometimes you might suddenly have more traffic after a change to your site. Page tittles, text and other elements can all play a role.

Search engines can also make changes to the way their crawlers begave which can also impact the way you are found- this is one opf the reasons why search engine iptimisation is one a one-off task.

How search engines work

When you search for anything using your favourite crowler or spider based search engine, the search engine sahll sort through the millions of pages it can find and present you with the results related in some way to your topic. The matches should also be ranked, so the most relevant ones come firts.

Of course, the search engine don’t always get it right. None- relevant pages make it through, and sometimes it may take a little more digging to find what you are looking for. Crawler/ spider- based search engines go about determining the relevancy by following a set of rules, known as an « algorithm » search engines are unlikely to share their rules or algorithms because it is a key ingredient in determining which search engines work better and who has the most successful search results. They can change the way their algorithm is set which can affect the way the crawler or spider behaves as mentioned earlier. This in turn can impact the way your site is listed and ranked. One way to help ensure your listing is not impacted by these changes is to pay for your placement.

Search engine submission : listing your business

Search engine submission means having your website listed with search engines. This does not neccessary mean you will rank well every time, but search engines shoud be able to locate your site.

Two ways you can get listed with search engines are :

  1. Search engine optimisation (SEO) – This means adapting your site and employing methods to help increase your chance of being found for free.
  2. Paid-for listing , also known as « pay-per-click » or « pay-for-performance » we will call them P4P.

Search Engine Optimisation

The location and frequency of keywords on your web page can help or hinder your listing on search engines. An Algorithm may assume your website is more relevant than your competitor’s because the search them is in your website address or at the top of your home page whereas the same search term does noyt appear until your competitor’s third page. This means every word on your website can impact your business chances of being found. So it is important to ensure you consider the relevance for information when you are designing your website.

Frequency can also play a role in how search engines determine relevancy. A search engine might analyse how often keywords appear in relation to other words in a web page, Those with a higher frequency might be deemed more relevant than other web pages, Some search engines « index » or collect more web pages than others. Some search engines also index web pages more often than others. The result is that no searh engine has the exact same collection of web pages to search through. That naturally produces differences, when comparing their results.

Search engines may also penalise pages or exclude them from the index, if they detect search engine « spamming ». An example is when a word is repeated hundreds of times on a page, to increase the frequency and propel the page higher in the listings. Search engines can watch for common spamming methods in a variety of ways, including following up on complaints from their users.

Pay-per-click (PPC)

Generally search engines offer some form of PPC listing service. If managed well, PPC advertising can be one of the most cost-effective marketing solutions for businesses on the internet. Unlike SEO, PPC provides the opportunity to ensure a higher ranking on search engines in return for a fee. Website owners can usually bid for keywords so can determine how much they are prepared to spend.

Search engines can also place a minimum price point on page placements to ensure top spots are not being sold too cheaply in the case where there is only one person bidding. Search engine might also offer reduced prices for websites with a high –click through. This means popular sites aren’t deterred from advertising because they have to pay every time someone selects them. ( This means an advertiser with a high click-through rate might pay less in positioning #1 than an advertiser in position #2 with a lower click-through rate). When someone enters a keyword in search engine, ads are usually displayed. The highest ranking ad is likely to be determine by a combination of relevance Click-through rate (popularity) and the amount paid.

The highest bid can usually ensure  a high place than everyone else, but may only guarantee you the highest placement if you have paid the minimum fee for that spot based also on the site’s click-through rate. Importantly, through , PPC means website owners don’t pay unless the person searching actually selects their ad. To help increase your options of ranking highly in cost-effective manner, it is important to build up a strong click-through rate. A good way to do this is to ensure your site is user –friendly and promote it so people are more likely to recognize it and click on it when they see it.

8 creative tactics to promote your blog.

1. Use ‘Click to Tweet’ option

Consider incorporating a click to tweet option for short snappy and witty quotes. Often users won,t want to share your whole post but they will happily share one key gen of knowledge.

2. Create 6 second video previews

A fun to convince users to read your content-heavy blog post is to create a 15 second video preview using Instagram. A teasing video is likely to engage a wider audience. Video that are shared via Instagram or Facebook are four times more likely to be shared than other video formats.

3. Use lesser known, hipper networks to capture new audiences.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the big players in the social media market, don’t be limited to just them. There are some smaller niche sites such as Quora and Tumbr which have smaller, but very loyal population of users.

4. Re-post popular older blog posts for newer readers

Don’t just post your new content. New readers will not seen some of your popular posts from the past.

5. Social bookmark your blog posts.

There are a number of high profile sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit that you can social bookmark your blog posts.

6. Create blog graphics.

Big, bold and colorful is what is currently on the trend in the online world. Use free tools such as Canva to create blog graphics or infographics.

7. Cross post across social media accounts.

Post links on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Do it consistently using Hootsuite to make posts to go live at optimum and regular posting times.

8. Create relationships with other bloggers.

Building relationship with other bloggers and thought readers in your industry should be a priority. Take a genuine interest in them and work, read and share their blog posts, and give shout outs to them on Twitter using their @Twittername.

Digital Marketing Trends

As we reach toward end of the year 2020 and preparing our marketing plan for 2021, small business owners and marketers needs to understand that digital marketing matters now more than ever. That’s why we’ve created this easy-to-understand digital marketing guide to help you keep up with the trends.        

Let’s start with listing 7 key digital marketing activities that can be harnessed by businesses to drive growth through:

Content marketing

Target audiences will spend more time using search engines like Google and Bing to solutions to common problems. Content will continue to increasingly determine search rankings through Google’s indexing systems and algorithms. Poor quality, repetitive and overly keyword-stuffed content will be overlooked therefore creating attractive, educational and entertainment contents.

Visual appeal

Businesses see the benefit of reaching audiences through infographics and video content. Platform such as social media caters to visual needs including YouTube, SnapChat, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest and Tumblr. These tools can be used to deliver to users experiences and viral posts.

Improved research keywords strings

Typing long complete phrases, particularly questions as they seek very specific answers. Research suggest that searches row now are moving more towards who, what, when , why, and how questions.

Prioritisation

Be clear on who your target audience is and create content specifically for them. Furthermore don’t only create content, but monitor what works and what doesn’t and adjust accordingly. Be different from everyone by differentiating your target market and your brand, and becoming highly specialised and targeted in your marketing efforts.

Services Not Selling

Stop thinking of digital marketing as a tactic and start thinking about how to add value. If you don’t provide helpful solutions to your target market no one is going to be interested in your sales pitches. In today’s business world preaching is out, but effective connections and relationship building is in.

Personality, story and humour

Digital marketing wants you to be human, therefore you need to show your real, authentic self as a business owner or marketer in all your contents. Tell stories, use humour and anything that helps build an emotional connection is good. The ability to tell a story and take customers on a journey will amplify your message.

Retargeting and remarketing

There are currently very few tools exist to help you advertise or remarket across social media. Retargeting uses online placement ads and display ads generated through tracking site visitors’ cookies to help recapture audiences who have previously visited your site. At present AdRoll is one of the few tools that allows you to do this well and it even let’s you remarket using Facebook and Twitter.