4 Reasons You Should Run a Paid Search Campaign Alongside Your Already Successful SEO Strategy

One of the common misconceptions in digital marketing is that SEO and paid search are mutually exclusive. If search visibility is achieved through SEO, why invest in paid search? Although it might seem unnecessary, running a paid search campaign using AdWords can bolster your SEO strategy and ensure that your brand has a commanding presence on search engine results pages. Here are four reasons why using AdWords strengthens your SEO strategy.

Reason #1: Organic Rankings are Volatile; Ad Rank is Not

Organic rankings can be volatile. Unless you work with a proven team of digital marketing professionals and skilled content strategists to continuously produce high-quality content, your rankings could fluctuate unpredictably. One day you’re in the top five for a high-priority keyword, and the next day you’re nowhere to be found. With Google’s constant algorithm updates and user-interface changes, organic rankings have grown increasingly volatile. Tackling these issues alone can be a daunting task.

This is not the case with AdWords. Once you have the right mix of quality score and budget, your Ad Rank (your ad position relative to other ads) is fairly consistent. However, reaching this point can be challenging without the insight of a designated Google Partner like Leverage Digital. Paid search campaigns require a fair amount of work to achieve the right Ad Rank for the right price, but you have far more control over the ranking of your ads than you do over your organic search rankings.

Reason #2: Earn Twice the Visibility

The Google search results pages contain a lot of information, all of which competes for searchers’ attention. So, while being listed on the first page is great, being listed twice is even better, particularly if both your organic search ranking and ad are listed in the top three organic and paid positions.

Furthermore, if your competitors are listed once on the first page for a priority keyword, while you’re listed twice, you have double the visibility and thus a clear advantage if the rankings are comparable.

Reason #3: Increase Click-Throughs

A natural byproduct of increasing search visibility is increasing clicks to your website. Even though clicks are not a measurement of success, they are a prerequisite for conversions.

Google conducted a study in 2012, which concluded that 50 percent of clicks generated by paid ads are not replaced by organic clicks when the ads are absent and the website has a first position organic search ranking. The study also shows that as the organic search ranking decreases, the percentage of clicks not replaced by the paid ad increases. This implies that organic search alone cannot drive as much traffic to a website as organic search combined with paid search.

Reason #4: Increase the Probability of Conversion

By increasing traffic to your site, you also increase the probability of conversions. We have seen increases in conversions as high as 200 percent as a result of combining SEO and paid search. While your conversions may not necessarily increase 200 percent, it is logical that they will increase as a result of higher search visibility and an influx of traffic to your site.

Conclusion

With the right execution, a paid search campaign combined with an already successful SEO strategy can deliver traffic and conversions that you would otherwise miss by relying solely on organic search.

If you want to dominate the search engine results pages, you need to implement a digital marketing campaign that goes above and beyond your competition. At Leverage Digital, we employ innovative digital marketing strategies to help you engineer your own success. Our award-winning agency combines industry-leading design with thorough statistics tracking to ensure your objectives are met with measurable results.

Ready to partner with an award-winning agency that delivers results? Let’s get started.

5 Steps to Execute a Site Redesign Without Compromising SEO

You’ve spent years investing in SEO, and now your brand dominates the rankings, but you’ve neglected your website and now your customers are stuck interfacing with an outdated platform that isn’t even mobile friendly.

It’s time for a redesign.

You’ve probably heard all of the horror stories that tell of disastrous site redesigns killing your search rankings and negatively influencing all the progress you’ve made with your SEO strategy, when in fact, your reluctance to embrace an updated design is the true culprit.

Don’t believe the ghost stories. Let a team of dedicated marketing specialists show you how powerful a well-executed site redesign can be for your brand. Here are five steps to ensure that you are able to successfully execute your site redesign without compromising months or possibly years of investment in SEO.

Step 1: Evaluate Your SEO Strategy

A site redesign is the perfect time to evaluate your SEO strategy and figure out which keywords and landing pages are providing the most value, and which ones are providing the least. This will allow you to assess which keywords and landing pages to prioritize during the redesign.

During this process, you may find keywords that rank well, but perform poorly at delivering quality traffic. These keywords may not be worth including in your post-redesign SEO efforts, which presents a great opportunity to refine the keywords you’re targeting to ones that will drive higher quality traffic to the site.

When evaluating your SEO strategy, you may also find that certain landing pages fail to engage visitors and convert them into leads or sales. We believe a site redesign presents the perfect opportunity to address page level engagement and conversion issues, too.

Ironically, by evaluating your SEO efforts prior to a site redesign, and addressing issues that you may have otherwise overlooked, you can actually end up with a superior SEO campaign once your redesign is complete.

Step 2: Keep the Same URL Structure or Implement 301 Redirects

As it pertains to SEO, it is ideal to maintain the same URL structure when executing a site redesign, but this not always practical. You may be moving the site to a new platform that has different requirements, or you may have reorganized your content, which resulted in changes to the URL structure. In any case, when you change your URL structure, it is imperative that you implement a page level 301 redirect.

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. It helps retain rankings by guiding search engines from the old URL to the new URL where the requested content now lives. 301 redirects also preserve inbound links and internal links, both of which help retain rankings.

Retaining a positive user-experience is just as important as retaining good rankings. By preserving inbound links and internal links, 301 redirects prevent visitors from being greeted with a “404 Not Found” error message when accessing the site through inbound links or navigating the site through internal links that point to defunct URLs.

Step 3: Maintain On-Page Optimization

Maintaining on-page optimization might seem like an obvious step, but a site redesign can often involve moving, revising, and adding new content. All these moving parts can make it easy to forget the basics.

Use this as an opportunity to not only maintain, but to improve, on-page optimization. Start by making sure any keyword changes are incorporated into the appropriate pages. Then, review each title and description tag. Make sure they’re unique for each page, incorporate the target keyword(s) for that page, and accurately describe the content they’re associated with.

Once this has been accomplished, review the site’s URLs and make sure they’re optimized for each page. Finally, check for broken internal links and review all anchor text to make sure it is consistent with any keyword changes that were made in step 1.

Step 4: Create HTML and XML Sitemaps

Create HTML and XML sitemaps to help search engines discover any new or existing content that has moved to new URLs. HTML sitemaps are also useful to site visitors because they help them discover new and existing content that has been relocated.

After creating an XML sitemap, be sure to submit it to the major search engines to expedite the crawling of any new or moved content. This step, combined with page level 301 redirects, will ensure efficient crawling and indexing of your content.

Step 5: Monitor, Measure, Improve

Once the redesigned site goes live, carefully monitor your rankings and traffic data. You can determine whether or not your site redesign was successful and meets your goals by asking yourself questions like:

A site redesign should not be a one-and-done project. Just like any other marketing initiative, the results of your redesign should be monitored, measured, and improved over time, preferably with the help of a dedicated digital marketing agency that is ready to stick with your brand over the long haul. Our agency can help you execute a flawless site redesign without compromising SEO.

Is your website old and outdated? You might be driving traffic to your site, but if the user experience is lacking, you will face a significant challenge when trying to retain the interest of your target audience. At Leverage Digital, we utilize a comprehensive approach to SEO that deftly handles the technical side of SEO while facilitating organic growth by improving the user experience. Your brand is ready to grow. We can help.

Ready to partner with an award-winning agency that delivers results? Let’s get started.

Why Written Content Is Worth More Than Its Word Count

Your burgeoning SEO campaign is finally seeing the results you’ve been hoping for and you’re noticing a surge in traffic, increased engagement, and superior SERPs. Now, your goal is to maintain your forward progress and continue raising the bar for your brand.

Our creatives and web developers have teamed up to provide you with a best-in-class website, our content strategists are publishing SEO content that your target audience finds compelling, and our digital marketing director is providing you with real-time updates every step of the way.

What’s next?

Once you launch an SEO campaign, there’s really no telling when it will end. SEO is fluid and continuous. If you spent the better part of the last few years building your case for Google’s search algorithm, you don’t want to have your headway undone by apathy or an inability to continuously produce spellbinding content.

Meeting your SEO objectives is just the beginning. You already have resources invested in an ongoing content campaign; why not invest in repurposing your content to boost your brand’s strengths in other areas? Existing content can be utilized in creative ways to produce captivating visuals for your site and interactive resources for your target audience while simultaneously filling out your social media and email marketing campaigns with more substance.

As the title states: written content is worth more than its word count. Our agency understands how valuable every piece of content is to your SEO campaign. Our content strategists spend extra time researching the best resources and tailoring their writing to your target audience’s preferences and needs. When you produce top-tier content, you can adapt it to other mediums to spread your brand’s message. If you want to get the most out of your content, you should consider doubling down on your commitment to SEO by expanding your campaign to include content repurposing.

Give Your Old Content a New Purpose

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy

When you read the quotation above, was your first thought: “This is outdated. Who cares what John F. Kennedy said in 1961?” Of course not! Sure, the quote might be over a half-century old, but President Kennedy’s content is still relevant.

How was JFK able to future-proof his content for more than 50 years post-mortem? As a president, the things he said were substantive and important, not to mention well-researched and backed by the academic community. At Leverage Digital, every piece of SEO content we produce is subjected to the same rigorous standards. We never publish without verifying our sources and we don’t make assumptions.

If you want your brand to succeed in the future, you will need content that can outlast your competitors and remain relevant for years to come. However, this is only possible if your ongoing content campaign is producing high-quality content from the beginning.

Are you dedicated to establishing your brand as a thought leader in your respective industry? Our content strategists work with our creatives to enhance your brand’s SEO strategy with SEO content that drives creativity across an array of platforms and applications.

Promoting Written Content with Curated Visuals on Social Media

The goal of your SEO campaign was to improve your brand’s SERP visibility thereby increasing traffic to your site, but your auxiliary marketing campaigns, like social media, will influence your site’s traffic, too. Promoting your SEO content through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest can help drive engagement with your target audience. This can help increase traffic to your website as users follow backlinks to interact with your content.

There’s only one caveat — these platforms largely rely on visuals to attract your target audience. How can you promote your written content without relying on boring stock images that fail to charm users? The trick is to create visuals that tie back to your article in an interesting way. In other words, promote the information from your SEO content that is the most valuable to your target audience.

We’ll use one of our own articles, “How To Create A Content Marketing Strategy From Your Existing SEO Content” to briefly illustrate how written SEO content can be repurposed into visual content to promote itself.

You can utilize interesting quotations from your SEO content to create a compelling visual that connects directly to the information from your content. Alternatively, you can propose a question or call to action that links to your article or generates buzz about your topic.

Boost Your Presence in Other Campaigns

You can utilize visual content inspired by your written SEO content as a promotional vehicle for your content, but that’s only useful when you’re publishing new content. What about your older SEO content?

Have you ever noticed that the most successful social media accounts post compelling content regularly? You’re probably wondering how they manage to upload high-quality content so frequently. Here’s the secret: plan ahead and plan smart.

At the most basic level, recalling old content using hashtag campaigns like “Throwback Thursday” (#tbt) or “Flashback Friday” (#fbf) gives you a legitimate reason to reuse old content. Similarly, by focusing on certain themes during a designated time period (e.g., Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Easter) you can funnel existing SEO content into your ongoing content campaign to fill it out and provide more value for your existing and prospective customers.

Ideally, you will outfit your existing SEO content with new promotional materials to prime it for social media, an email marketing campaign, or a featured position on your website’s homepage or blog.

For example, you can beef up a weekly or monthly newsletter with existing, relevant SEO content. Similarly, if your brand has a tendency to go dark on social media because you lack content, consider utilizing existing SEO content to give your target audience a reason to return to your website.

Embrace Thought Leadership with Leverage Digital

At Leverage Digital, we know that your brand’s success depends on your SEO strategy and ability to optimize your digital imprint, but we also understand the value of intangibles like consistency, design, and most importantly, thought leadership.

Being a thought leader helps raise your brand to the next level. Once you have achieved success in this area, your brand will be providing the blueprint for your rivals which means every move you make will inspire others and direct users to your brand.

However, the only way to become a thought leader in your respective industry is to become the authority on all matters pertaining to your brand. In other words, you have to remain vigilant of industry-related news and continuously produce content that pushes the envelope.

Whether you focus on publishing new content, repurposing old content, or combining both strategies to pump up your overall output, to be considered a thought leader, you need the capacity to develop and publish enough content to outperform your competition. For most brands, this idealistic goal is impossible without partnering with a reputable digital marketing agency like Leverage Digital.

A successful SEO strategy is built around a handful of established principles — ongoing content, thoroughly researched keywords, etc. — but there’s always room for creativity and innovation in the world of digital marketing. One-and-done publishing ensures that your SEO content is giving you the organic growth you desire, but on a B2C level, you want to be certain that your target audience is engaged. Our award-winning digital marketing agency combines comprehensive statistics tracking and thoughtful, creative design to provide measurable results that look as good as they perform.

Ready to partner with an award-winning agency that delivers results? Let’s get started.

Should You Incorporate Infographics into Your SEO Strategy?

Have you ever had an idea that was too big to squeeze into a 500-word article? A successful SEO strategy lives and dies by your ability to publish ongoing, meaningful content that provides value to your target audience and incentive to keep clicking again and again; however, when a trending topic is too complex or contains a large volume of relevant information, producing content that effectively simplifies information for the reader can be a serious challenge.

An infographic is a visual representation of text-based content like news stories, datasets, statistics, etc. Infographics are valuable for a variety of reasons, but their trademark feature is their ability to take complicated, sleep-inducing topics and present them as bright, flashy, exciting visuals for readers. Infographics are an ideal complement to your SEO strategy and offer you a chance to boldly spread awareness of your brand more effectively to your target audience as well as untapped markets.

Revitalize Your SEO Strategy

Before we really delve into why infographics can boost the success of your SEO strategy, let’s rewind for a second and refresh ourselves on the three main components of a typical SEO strategy:

  • On-Site Optimization: the content, structure, and layout of your site should keep users engaged beyond their first click. Streamlined navigation, internal links, and unique content can keep users on your site longer.
  • High Quality Content: your content should be valuable, timely, properly formatted, and published regularly to improve your SERP visibility. We perform comprehensive keyword audits to ensure that content is easily searchable.
  • Off-Site Authority: if your brand is only represented on your website, your SEO objectives will flounder. Build off-site authority to generate inbound links from high-authority sources. This goal can be met in a variety of ways, but the key is to limit links that appear spammy or unrelated. Representing your brand on social media is one surefire way to build off-site authority.

If you can accomplish your SEO goals by focusing on these three SEO pillars alone, why should you incorporate infographics into your ongoing content? The answer is quite simple; infographics are infinitely shareable and more engaging for your target audience. Plus, they empower your brand by establishing you as a thought leader in your respective industry.

Infinitely Shareable

The information depicted in an infographic can be time-sensitive, but unlike written content, infographics have a tendency to outlive their information. This is because visual content (which is commonly evergreen) isn’t explicitly tied to a publishing date like written content. Skillfully designed infographics appear timeless, and as a result, they are shared more frequently and for longer periods of time than your traditional shared content. Visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than other types of content. That means the value of a single infographic can be worth 40 times the value of a single piece of written content.

Boost Engagement

The reason users prefer to engage with visual content is determined by the hardwiring in our brains — we process visual information 60,000 times faster than text. That means processing an infographic is 60,000 times easier than written content based on the same topic. Visual content produces more shares on social media and equalizes the playing field for people who want information but lack the time or patience to read an entire article. Although it’s imperative to maintain a strong ongoing content campaign utilizing written content to improve your SEO ranking, your customers are more likely to engage with visual content like infographics when browsing social media or visiting your site.

Empower Your Brand

At Leverage Digital, our main objective is to develop your brand’s image and improve your online visibility to help you connect with your target audience, but we’re also interested in helping your brand reach its potential. When you publish high-quality content, you empower your brand and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Branded content, especially infographics, have a tendency to trickle down the business hierarchy to be used as a resource in small businesses and startups. When this happens, you have effectively established your brand as a thought leader which bolsters your authority and the value of your services significantly.

If your brand is benefitting from a successful SEO strategy, it’s time to allocate resources into expanding your brand’s visibility with new forms of content. 45 percent of B2C marketers believe visual content, like infographics, is their most important type of content. Infographics are not only evergreen and infinitely shareable, they are more likely to provide real value to your target audience and help establish your brand as a pioneering force in your industry.

At Leverage Digital, our in-house team of content strategists can help you improve your brand’s online visibility through a comprehensive, ongoing content campaign. We create content that answers your target audience’s biggest questions to foster trust and dependence through well-researched, timely articles and compelling visual content. After all, the success of every SEO strategy depends on quality content and a dedicated team like Leverage Digital.

Ready to partner with an award-winning agency that delivers results? Let’s get started.

How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy From Your Existing SEO Content

If your brand has a successful SEO strategy, you are most likely publishing engaging content that your customers find valuable. Have you ever stopped to consider that the same great content you’re using for SEO could be repurposed for social media, email marketing, white papers, and even e-books? Well, it can, and the content marketing experts at Leverage Digital can help you, but before we proceed an important point should be made: SEO is content marketing.

SEO is Content Marketing

In addition to increasing search engine visibility, SEO content should be relevant and valuable to your target audience, and provide solutions to their problems. The cumulative effect of this results in more traffic being driven to your website, better user engagement, increased conversions, and ultimately more customers. These are all goals of content marketing as well, but SEO and content marketing are often discussed in silos, when in actuality they work hand-in-hand to promote your brand.

To emphasize this disconnect, according to Sunil Rajaraman, the founder and chief executive (CEO) of Scripted.com, marketers are willing to pay $1.95 more per word for “thought leadership” content than they are willing to pay for “SEO” content.

One can assume this lack of perceived value for SEO content is a result of all the clickbait that has perpetuated as SEO over the years, but our approach to SEO is vastly different. At Leverage Digital, our SEO content provides your target audience with valuable, well-researched resources that help customers build familiarity with your brand and gain a firm grasp of your services. Google recognizes good content, and it rewards your site for hosting it with superior visibility that trumps your competitors.

When you consider the fact that SEO is content marketing with the added benefit of increased search visibility, it’s becomes clear that SEO content is an effective and valuable strategy for driving more traffic to your website, but that’s just the beginning. Our agency only writes SEO content with substance, content that you can derive value from again and again. Let’s look at the various ways your SEO content can be repurposed.

Share on Social Media

Since your brand is already publishing content that is relevant and valuable to your customers, share this same content across all social media platforms where your customers are active. Because your SEO content should be relevant and valuable to your target audience, posting to social media should naturally result in organic shares.

Your brand may already share curated content on social media, but that’s only helping other brands achieve their content marketing goals. We recommend that you scale down on sharing content that promotes other brands, and in its place, share content designed to drive visitors back to your brand’s website.

With this strategy, repurposed content not only increases your website’s search visibility, but also increases its social visibility, resulting in a twofold increase in traffic to your brand’s website.

Promote Through Email Marketing

In addition to social media, promote your SEO content through email marketing, but never include the whole article. Use a teaser with a compelling headline to entice your readers to click through to your brand’s website where they can finish reading the article. From here, they will be presented with targeted content aimed at driving further engagement with your website.

Many brands send out monthly or quarterly emails bogged down with too much information about recent accomplishments, such as awards won, projects completed, new hires made, and so on. The problem with this strategy is that it provides a lot of information that’s useless to customers. It’s good to let customers know how well your brand is doing every once in a while, but the bulk of your email marketing should provide customers with information they can actually learn from and use.

Keep in mind that content marketing is not only intended to drive new customers, but is also intended to encourage repeat customers as well — an area where email marketing is very effective.

Convert Content into White Papers and E-Books

Finally, downloadable white papers and e-books are great for generating leads from your brand’s website. So, take the last six months or more of SEO content from your ongoing campaign and repurpose it into downloadable white papers or compile it into an e-book.
Providing website visitors with free white papers and e-books not only allows you to generate leads, but also assists in positioning your brand as a thought leader in its respective industry.

We recommend promoting your white papers and e-books through social media and email marketing, too. Give readers just enough information to whet their appetites, followed by a call to action to visit your brand’s website where they can download the complete whitepaper or e-book. If you’re interested in developing white papers or e-books from your SEO content, our agency can help.

Conclusion

While content written for SEO purposes is intended to increase a website’s search visibility, you can promote that same great content through other channels, such as social media and email, as well as repurpose it into downloadable whitepapers and e-books. The end result is less work, increased engagement, and a better overall content marketing strategy.

Are you failing to produce enough content to meet your SEO goals? At Leverage Digital, we understand that a successful SEO campaign depends on content, so we focus on creating valuable content that you can use in a variety of ways to drive web traffic, engagement, and conversions through your website.

Ready to partner with an award-winning agency that delivers results? Let’s get started.

A/B Testing Your Way To More Revenue

The beauty and the curse of digital marketing lies in the amount of data you have to analyze to figure out what’s working and what isn’t for your business. No other medium is held to a higher standard than the Internet. With all of the traffic numbers and conversion numbers, how do you know where to start? Split testing isn’t a new concept but because of digital analytics, it’s a great way to test what your audience responds best to.

WHAT IS SPLIT TESTING?

Split or A/B testing is a way to test any one variable within your marketing messages. The important thing to remember with A/B testing is that you can only change one variable at a time. Let’s use email as an example. If you want to see what factors lead to a higher open rate, you need to keep the same creative and email copy; then split your email list in half randomly (randomly is important!) and send the same email to these groups with different subject lines. Then you can analyze open rates and see which subject line performed better. You can perform this task with many different types of digital media (Google AdWords, retargeting, email, PPC, and the list goes on and on) to analyze what works best. Also try changing out photos and copy, as well.

BENEFITS OF SPLIT TESTING

Put simply, split testing makes you a smarter marketer. It helps you understand what your customers respond to in messaging and ultimately lowers your cost per acquisition. Lowering your cost to acquire a new customer will increase your revenue. It helps you create better content, period. The ability to split test copy, images, creative, etc. digitally also affords  you the opportunity to transfer those messages that worked into other various forms of media. Traditional media (TV, Radio, Billboard) are still effective at reaching your audience, imagine how much better it could work for you if you had spent some time split testing you message to see what gets a response.

 

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4 Ways To Use Social Media To Drive Traffic To Your Website

Give People a Reason To Click

Remember, most people are not visiting social media sites to shop, they’re doing it to engage with their friends and family. There’s a lot of clutter on social media which makes it very difficult to break through the noise. You must provide something of value to get people to click on your content. Content for the sake of content is useless, you must be putting out your BEST stuff and being helpful in order to drive more traffic.

Stop Trying to “Sell” On Facebook

As I mentioned before, people aren’t going to social media (specifically Facebook) to shop so stop trying to sell them while they’re trying to engage with their friends and family members! This is a great way for you to get in the heads of your potential customers before they know they need you. Use Facebook as a way to build awareness of your company not as the final tool in your sales funnel. It’s the best way for you to get in the heads of your potential customers before they know they need you.

Use Hashtags To Expand Your Reach

One of the greatest powers in social media is the breadth it provides for your content to be seen. Hashtags expand the reach of your posts beyond your immediate followers and help you reach new audiences. If you’re creating great content but no one is engaging with it, try using some different hashtags to gain some traction. Look at what’s trending and latch onto it. Not only is this a good way to get new followers, it also provides a wider potential reach for your content.

Create Content Your Audience Wants To Share

I can’t stress enough how important it is to create QUALITY content. By creating really awesome content, your audience will want to share it with their followers. Sharing creates a wider reach that inevitably drives new visitors to your website.

 

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How to Use Augmented Reality to Drive Awareness

As technology continues to evolve and encompass much of what we do, it’s important to think about how augmented reality can be used to drive awareness and increase revenue for your business.

First, let’s start with defining augmented reality:

aug·men·ted re·al·i·ty

noun

  1. a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.

Pretty clear? The most recent successful execution of this theory is Pokemon GO! According to Forbes, “Pokemon GO users spent 75 minutes per day playing.” Augmented reality has been around for a long time, but mainly just as a gimmick. It isn’t until Pokemon Go that there has been such a noticeable use and popularity of augmented reality and in turn, a good way to drive awareness to your business.

HOW BUSINESSES ARE BENEFITTING

Do you know where the closest Pokestop is to your business? If not, then you probably should because you could be missing out on opportunities to increase your revenue. With the recent explosion of Pokemon GO, businesses have quickly adapted to the trend and are taking advantage of having a Pokestop near their business. By offering specials to Pokemon GO players, you draw in a new crowd. Bonus points if you devise a plan to capture their email address so you can market to them later!

Being aware of current trends is extremely important for getting your business noticed and for driving traffic.

 

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Understanding The New Instagram Algorithm

Instagram is a popular social media platform for sharing photos and videos. If you have Instagram, you likely have realized that there have been some noticeable changes recently. The most obvious was the logo change that took place a couple months ago. In addition to the logo change, a couple changes were made that affect how you post and market using Instagram.

MIMICKING FACEBOOK

Instagram’s news feed has moved away from showing things in chronological order and now shows content based off an algorithm, similar to Facebook. What does this algorithm do you ask? The algorithm will calculate which posts they think you want to see most and put them at the top of your newsfeed. Let me give you an example.

IG Account A: This person is your friend who has a hundred followers and receives roughly 40-50 likes per post. Most of the time when they post, you are almost always engaging with their photo by either liking or commenting on the picture.

IG Account B: This person is either a brand or celebrity that you follow. They have thousands of followers and receive hundreds of likes and comments. However, you never engage with any of their photos, you just follow them.

Between both accounts, Account B published their content 2 hours ago, and Account A published their content 10 hours ago. So next time you open up Instagram, the algorithm will see that you interact with Account A a lot more than Account B and put Account A’s post ahead of “Account B’s” post even though “Account B” posted more recently. The reason they do this is because Instagram wants is prioritizing content to show users information that they are most likely to be interested in. So even though Account B receives a lot more engagement from other users and has more followers, the algorithm only takes into account the things you engage with.

Like the logo, there has been backlash on the algorithm update because most Instagram users usually know the last photo they saw. If they haven’t opened the app in 6 hours, they know they have 6 hours of photos to scroll through. Once they see the photo that they saw the last time they were on Instagram, they know they are all caught up. This algorithm has frustrated some users because they want to see every post in their feed, not just what’s the app thinks is relevant.

So if you are a business using Instagram to build your brand, you will need to be more strategic with the content you post. Your content must make the user engage with your post. How can you do this? Use call to actions. For example, “Double-tap if you agree”, “Let’s hear your story”, etc.

ENGAGEMENT AFFECTS YOUR POST POSITION

Instagram is also allowing you to see how many people viewed the videos you post and will allow you to see how many likes specifically from those who viewed the video. This is a great addition that Instagram added because now you will be able to see the reach the video received versus the engagement. So next time you post a video and see that it received hundreds of views but only 20% of those views liked the video, you will know that you need a more engaging video. This will help with marketers make more strategic decisions and see what videos are working versus which ones are not.

If you are using Instagram to grow your brand, you need to start being more strategic with the content you post. Now it’s not enough to just post once a day when your users are most likely to be there, you must ensure that your content is engaging (which any content you post on any platform should be anyways) since likes and comments are more important than ever on Instagram if you want to be seen.

 

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