It’s been exactly one year since I posted my first article to this blog. It’s taken me down many paths and I’ve met some really cool people as a result. For my anniversary post, I thought I’d call out some of my ‘most read’ posts for your enjoyment…just in case you missed them. Next week’s post will return to the Social Advertising 101 series (Parts 1 – Facebookand 2 – Twitter can be found here).
Maybe it should come as no surprise that not all of the popular posts were marketing related. Enjoy the reads!
To continue with last week’s Facebook ‘Boost or Promote’ theme, this week I’ll focus on Twitter as an advertising medium. There are a number of different ways to advertise or boost your presence on Twitter, and your choices will depend on your goals. Twitter is on track to generate $1 billion dollars this year through advertising revenues. It must be working!
To run advertising on Twitter, you need to set up an Advertiser Account. I’ll assume you have already done that part as we move forward with this discussion. With all of the options discussed, there are a variety of ways to target your audience: interests, geography, gender, keywords and more. You always are able to set your budget and how much you are willing to bid for each click or interaction (similar to ‘pay per click’ advertising). Note that your promotion will be seen more if you bid more.
The Website Card. The newest addition to Twitter’s offerings is the Website Card. The website card is a tool to drive traffic directly to a particular webpage, and allows you to display rich website content on Twitter. The user sees an image and a call to action. The cards are marked as ‘promoted.’
“In testing, Twitter said, Website Cards have shown higher engagement and click through rates and lower cost per click levels, compared to similar tweets containing an image and a link. Citrix, for instance reduced its CPC rate in testing by 92% and Betabrand reduced its by 85%. UK-based mobile company Three received 64% more URL clicks and its engagement rate increased 26%.”
After you create a card in Twitter (you can do that following these directions provided by Twitter), you simply ‘tweet’ out the card when you ‘compose a tweet.’
The Lead Generation Card is something altogether different. This type of advertising allows you to collect a reader’s email address without them having to leave twitter. You may have noticed that some tweets have an ‘expand’ option. If an advertiser is using a lead gen card, you’ll see your twitter handle and email address pre-filled on the ‘card,’ along with the advertiser’s offer and call to action. The only action needed is to click the button to send your info. to the advertiser. I cannot tell how widely used these are. I have checked my feeds for days and not come across one of these cards. I even checked the feeds of the first brands Twitter allowed to use this feature, and none of them appear to still be using it. It sounds like a good idea but perhaps hasn’t taken off.
Promoted Tweets – You can promote a tweet in two ways:
Your tweet can appear in a user’s timeline, even if they don’t follow you.
Your tweet can appear when someone does a specific search on Twitter.
It’s no surprise that the second option has higher click-thru rates. Clearly if someone searches on a topic and your tweet is served because it’s related, the user will be more likely to click. The potential downside is that your impression volume could be very low. But if it’s targeted, who cares?! You’ll pay for engagement (retweet, reply, favorite, or follow).
Promoted Trends – You can also buy a # topic to show in the trending topic section (with a link to your tweet). Your # doesn’t need to be trending…you just pay to have it appear there.
Promoted Accounts – You can promote your account to generate more followers. The goal of doing that is to increase your pool of followers so that they will see your future tweets. You choose who you want to have targeted. You pay per follower gained.
Remarketing – Twitter has a tag (snippet of code) you can add to specific website pages, so that if someone visits that website page, you can target them later when they visit their twitter account.
Twitter offers this cheat sheet, based on your goals, to help guide you as you decide which advertising route to take.
With social media being touted as the #1 “most effective online paid channel for driving impressions, clicks, and conversions at a low cost in the second quarter of 2014,” (source: Neustar Media Intelligence Report, Q2, 2014), you should be thinking about social advertising. If your business is new to Facebook in particular, it’s important to understand that there are options to help you increase your fan base and generate sales by increasing the visibility of a post.
And that leads me to the question, to boost or to promote? There are multiple ways to advertise on Facebook, and here I’m discussing how to increase visibility of a specific post.
Boosting a post. This is the simplest way to increase engagement for a particular post. If you look at your posts, you’ll see an option for Boost Post at the bottom right hand corner of that post:
Once you select ‘Boost Post’, you’ll have 2 choices:
Target people who already like your page, and their friends OR
Target people specifically based on location, age, gender and interests (you can choose up to 10 interests).
If you target fans and their friends who already like your page, you may reach a lot of folks who aren’t in your target market. After all, just because someone likes your product, it doesn’t mean their friends are also a target for that product. The better option is to target people specifically based on your selections.
The next step is to choose the budget for that boosted post. You can spend as little or as much as you desire. Facebook’s lowest daily suggested spend is $5, but you can spend less.
Promoting a post. This slightly less simple method is often viewed as the preferred option for increasing visibility of a post in the news feed. It allows you many more targeting options and doesn’t cost any more to use. If you select this option, you’ll be taken to the ad manager tool.
Under Page Post Engagement, you’ll see a drop down box indicator where you can choose the specific post that you want to promote.
Clicking ‘Continue’ will bring up a page where you can choose from a variety of targeting options:
If you select Advanced Options Targeting, you’ll have a number of ways you can further target your post.
Below this you’ll choose your budget and bidding strategy (all with drop down choices).
Promoting a post is also viewed as a better way to test various targeting strategies to maximize your return. As always, know your goals before you select your options, and then test, test, test to see what will work best for you.
There are a handful of things that you should know about if you are just getting started with your website. These tips and tools will help you to get ranked in Google search to make sure you are visible! Note that this process can take a while. The more visitors you generate to your site, the higher you will start ranking in Google search. Search Engine Optimization (aka SEO) helps your website to become more visible.
Adding keywords to your site is a key part of your SEO strategy. It’s a good idea to do some research to make sure you are choosing the right keywords and keyword phrases. You might want to choose phrases that have less competition (how to do this is a blog post for another day!). Your goal is to show up in a search engine when a user types in terms that are relevant to your business. To do that, you need to make sure you have those words present on your website. Don’t overdo it, but mention your keywords at least once or twice on your home page. The home page carries more weight in Google’s eyes, so that page in particular needs to show the right words. But don’t overdo it. ‘Keyword stuffing,’ the practice of loading up your site with your keywords in an effort to manipulate the system, is a bad practice and if Google catches you at it, you’ll be penalized.
Keywords can be visibly present (as in, a part of your copy), and they can also be present in page titles and page descriptions (also called meta data), as a part of your site’s html code. You may be advised that these are no longer important, and while they aren’t as important as they once were, they still have value and are an easy addition to your site, especially for your home page. Your page titles should be no more than 60 characters, and should be set up to have your primary keyword first, followed by a secondary keyword, followed by your company name. Your page descriptions should be limited to 160 characters and no two pages should have the same description. It’s a good idea to include a call to action as a part of your description too. As an example, if you do a search for my employer, RM Factory, you’ll see this:
In this example, the RM Factory: Sales Enablement Marketing Agency is the Title tag, and the copy that starts with “Market Ready. Sales Focused…” is the page description. This looks much better and is more impactful than just seeing rmfactory.com in your search engine results page (aka SERP).
Adding Your URL to Google
You can add your URL to Google by visiting here and typing in your website URL. If you aren’t prompted at that time to open a free Google Webmaster Tools account, make sure you do that also. You’ll be prompted to verify your site and you’ll need to know where to put the Google code to do this. Google provides instructions.
Also, don’t forget about registering with the other search engines. (You can submit your site to Yahoo/Bing here.) Other search engines have less competition so it’s easier to be more visible. Here’s a great post on that subject :).
It makes sense to include a site map at the bottom of each page of your website. A site map lays out all of the pages that are a part of your website. Not only is this a good place for keywords, but it also helps a user with navigation. A site map will typically look similar to this one:
While the general thinking about Google+ is that it’s not a great lead or sales generator, it remains a positive in the eyes of Google. So create an account and post to it now and then. For now, it helps with SEO, though the current buzz is, that won’t last.
Good links are highly valued by Google. You can have inbound links, outbound links and internal links. Google values inbound links the most, as long as they are relevant to your site. If you have logical partners who you think will be willing to link to your site, give them a call and see if they agree. It might also make sense for you to return the favor by offering an outbound link to their site (make sure that any click on a link in your site opens as a new tab). Again, the key is to make sure that the inbound or outbound links are relevant, and are from a reliable and solid source. Internal links can also enhance your rankings and refer to links from a page on your site to another page on your site. Make sure the links have relevant keywords and that they make sense. An example is your site map (shown above). Site maps consist of inbound links to the various pages that are a part of your site.
Andy Crestodina, co-founder of Orbit Media and super smart guy, recently published a great SlideShare presentation that talks about the value of links (that part starts on page 6). As he says: “Links are credibility.” You can access that presentation here.
Doing these things will help you on your journey to get noticed and help you drive more traffic to your site.