Thursday, 30 April 2015

How to Improve Your Email Marketing With Social Media

Want to know how to grow your email list?
Are you using social media to support your email list growth?
If you’re thinking of marketing tactics such as email and social media as two separate entities, you’re missing out on a lot of benefits.
In this article you’ll discover tips for using social media to improve your email marketing.
improve email marketing with social media
Discover how to improve your email marketing with social media.

What You Need to Get Started

There are two things you ideally need to make most of the tips in this article. In general, both will help you grow your email list.
A Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is a freebie you offer people in exchange for their email address. The freebie can be an ebook, whitepaper, report, access to a tool, template, video, presentation, course, etc. You can see a lead magnet in action on the homepage of Social Media Examiner.
social media examiner lead magnet
Example of a lead magnet promotion at the top of Social Media Examiner.
You should create your lead magnet with your ideal email subscriber and customer in mind. For example, if you want CEOs interested in social media to subscribe to your email list, create lead magnets about social media geared towards CEOs instead of people who work for them.
If you decide to use more than one lead magnet, you may want to create a resources section, learning center or another similar area on your website to help people find all of your freebies., for example, offers several lead magnets in their content hub. When you download one of their lead magnets, you’re taken to a squeeze page—the next thing you need for your own email marketing.
A Squeeze Page
A squeeze page is a landing page dedicated to converting visitors into email subscribers. Ideally, your squeeze page should include some information about your lead magnet and an opt-in form to capture your visitors’ information and email.
visually squeeze page
Example of a squeeze page for email subscriber opt-ins.
If you need to qualify leads for your products or services, you may want to include a couple of questions to find out who the subscriber is and what his or her needs are. But if your main goal is simply to grow your email list, fewer questions will lead to more subscribers.
Armed with the URL to your latest lead magnet squeeze page(s), here are some ways to use social media to grow your email list.

#1: Facebook Promotion Options

Facebook Page Short Description
You have the opportunity to share URLs in two places on your Facebook page. One of those is in the main website field for your page and the other is in your page’s short description. This is a great place to share the URL for your lead magnet.
The short description field is limited to 160 characters, so use them wisely to describe your business and get people to your lead magnet.
Facebook Page Custom Tabs
Custom tabs are applications you add to your Facebook page to create a specific functionality. For example, the Convince & Convert Facebook page uses a custom tab to house an opt-in form for their email newsletter.
convince & convert custom tab
Example of an opt-in form on a Facebook page custom tab.
Find out if your email marketing software provides a Facebook app to create an opt-in form on a Facebook page custom tab or you can use an app like Woobox Static HTML to display an opt-in form on your own website.
Facebook Page Call-to-Action Button
The Facebook call-to-action button can also be used to direct people to your squeeze page. Simply use the Sign Up text option and link it to your squeeze page.
call to action button set up
How to set up a call-to-action button on your Facebook page.
To encourage people to click on the call-to-action button, you can create a custom Facebook cover photo that promotes your lead magnet and points to the button.
Facebook Page Cover Photo
Speaking of the cover photo, you can also use the cover photo’s description to link to your squeeze page like Mari Smith does.
cover image with link in description
Example of a Facebook page cover photo promoting a lead magnet.
Even if you don’t use your cover photo to promote your lead magnet, you should at least update it to include a link to your website so people can click through to it.
Facebook Advertising
Facebook ads are a perfect way to promote your lead magnet and get your ideal subscribers signed up to your email list. Formstack‘s ad is a perfect example of promoting a free ebook, using a great image and a download button as the call to action.
formstack lead magnet in facebook ad
Example of a Facebook ad promoting a lead magnet.
Be sure to use the interests and demographics targeting options to go beyond age and location targeting to qualify the leads who see the invitation to your email list. The more qualified your leads, the better your email marketing will perform.
facebook ad targeting
How to use targeting options for a Facebook ad.
You can also upload your current email list as a custom audience and create a lookalike audience to target people similar to your current email subscribers.
facebook lookalike audience
How to create a lookalike audience from your email list.
Choose Lookalike Audience in your ad’s targeting options in the Custom Audiences field to promote your lead magnet to them.
Only use this option if you feel that your current email list is fully qualified for your business. Otherwise, you simply attract more unqualified email leads.

#2: Twitter Promotion Options

Twitter Bio
Similar to using the short description on your Facebook page, you can use your Twitter bio to promote your lead magnet and leave your website field for your main website URL.
link in twitter bio
Example of a link used in the Twitter bio.
Placing the URL of your squeeze page in your Twitter bio is particularly useful because only the link in your Twitter bio shows up in places like Twitter search results.
twitter bios in search results
Example of how a link in a Twitter bio appears in Twitter search results.
For maximum effectiveness, avoid including hashtags and other Twitter profile @username handles. That makes certain there’s only one clickable item in your Twitter bio for people to act on.
Twitter Lead Generation Card
The Twitter lead generation card is a feature that lets you collect email addresses directly from within Twitter. You’ll find it in the Twitter ads section and the setup will look like this.
twitter lead generation card
How to set up a Twitter lead generation card.
Additional configurations for specific CRM software (like Salesforce) can be found in the Twitter Help Center’s guide to setting up a lead generation card.
Otherwise, you download the list of email addresses from users who opt in from your card and upload it to your email marketing service. You can find your leads by going to your cards and clicking on the Download Leads icon (the one with the right arrow).
exporting leads
The location of your Twitter lead generation card submissions to export.
To get exposure for your Twitter lead generation card, simply tweet it to your audience or promote it using Twitter advertising.
Twitter Advertising
To promote your Twitter lead generation card or tweets with links to your latest lead magnets, you can use Twitter advertising. Just like Facebook ads, you can target qualified audiences. On Twitter, you do this with interests and followers of other Twitter accounts (like your competitors).
twitter ad targeting
How to target specific audiences for a Twitter ad campaign.
As with Facebook, you can market to custom audiences on Twitter. Start by uploading your current email list to Twitter’s audience managerChoose your email list as a tailored audience, and then check the box for targeting users similar to your tailored audience. Then select your email list as a tailored audience again to exclude these users from ad targeting (since you don’t need them to sign up again).
You can also create a tailored audience from your customer list to ensure qualified subscribers by targeting your ad to a similar audience.

#3: LinkedIn Promotion Options

LinkedIn Publications & Projects
On your personal LinkedIn profile, you can add a Publications section that allows you to link directly to your ebooks, whitepapers, etc. You can also use this to link directly to your lead magnet squeeze pages.
linkedin publications
Example of the LinkedIn Publications section linking to a lead magnet.
If your lead magnet is a tool, like a free calculator, add a link to your tool in the Projects section of your profile.
linkedin profile editing
Where you can find the Publications and Projects sections to add them to your profile.
You can add both of these sections to your profile by using the guided profile editing option.
For more visibility, add your best lead magnet to the website links in your Contact Info. This adds it to the top of your public profile so visitors who aren’t logged into LinkedIn can still see it.
LinkedIn Advertising
For businesses looking to target specific professionals as email subscribers, LinkedIn advertising offers the best professional ad audience targeting options to help you get the ideal email subscribers on your list.
linkedin targeting options
How to target specific audiences with LinkedIn advertising.
Additional Opportunities on Social Media
Additional ways to promote your lead magnets and grow your email list with social media include the following.
  • Pin a great image of your lead magnet to your Pinterest profile and link that image to your lead magnet squeeze page.
  • Share a great image of your lead magnet to your Instagram profile and tell people to click the link in your bio. Temporarily (or permanently) change the link in your Instagram profile to point to your lead magnet squeeze page. Be sure that your squeeze page is responsive, since most people from Instagram will be viewing it on their mobile device.
  • Create videos on Vine and Snapchat telling your fans to download your latest lead magnet. Make sure your URL is short, easy to say, and easy to remember, like

#4: Make Sharing Easy

You don’t have to rely solely on your own promotion tactics to get more people to your squeeze pages. You can enlist the help of people who’ve already downloaded your free ebook or report.
Let’s say you offered a free ebook as a lead magnet. Simply create a landing page that thanks people for reading your latest ebook and add social sharing buttons that allow them to share the squeeze page for your lead magnet with their own audiences.
To get people to share on Twitter, pre-populate a Twitter Share button with custom text and the URL of your squeeze page. Make sure the URL being shared is the squeeze page of your lead magnet. Otherwise, you’ll end up with people sharing your thank-you page.
tweet button set up
How to set up a Twitter Share button for your lead magnet squeeze page.
Now, the tweet automatically points to your squeeze page!
sample tweet
Sample tweet configured in Twitter Share button setup.
You can configure a Facebook Like button in much the same way.
facebook like button set up
How to set up a Facebook Like button for your lead magnet squeeze page.
Add a LinkedIn Share button.
linkedin share button set up
How to set up a LinkedIn Share button for your lead magnet squeeze page.
Include a Pinterest Pin It button.
pinterest button set up
How to set up a Pinterest Pin It button for your lead magnet squeeze page.

Put It All Together

Once you’ve begun collecting your high-quality leads, there are a number of ways you canuse social media to impact your email marketing campaigns.
For example, you can use your Twitter audience to split test email subject lines. If you send your experimental tweets through Buffer, you’ll get the following analytics for each tweet.
buffer metrics
Buffer analytics for a tweet.
The tweet with the most engagement can be considered the best headline, and the best headline should be used as the best email subject line.
Or you can get more traction for current email campaigns by targeting your email subscribers with social ads on Facebook and Twitter. Make sure the campaign and your social ads use the same images, call to action, etc., so your subscribers are presented with a similar message no matter where they see it.

What do you think? Have you learned a few ways social media can help grow your email list and reach your email subscribers? Do you have additional tips? Please share them in the comments!
To view the original article Click Here

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

How to Write Content That Engages Mobile Readers

You’ve got a responsive site with a kick-ass mobile design. You’re ready for Google’s “mobilegeddon,” right?
With all the excitement over Google’s upcoming mobile-friendly search-results update, marketers are neglecting one of the most critical features: copywriting.
Those focusing too much on mobile usability are giving short shrift to mobile copywriting. Content marketers must understand how and why mobile content matters, and how to create content that mobile readers will love.

Mobile copywriting. It’s a thing.

Smashing Magazine makes the provocative point that “you may be losing users if responsive web design is your only mobile strategy.” The Smashing contributor makes the point that under-the-hood coding is an integral part of the equation. I agree.
I would take his argument in a new direction. You also need to know how to write for mobile users.
How do you create mobile-optimized copy? Following are six critical lessons in the pursuit of better mobile content.

1. Forget everything you thought you knew about reading content online

It’s time to toss the old paradigms. Reading content from a mobile device is totally different from reading content on a desktop. Here are some of the things you’ll need to force out of your mind.
Golden triangle
The “golden triangle” is a viewing pattern in which web users primarily view the upper left corner of a website or search engine page results (SERPs). The principle is derived from eye-tracking studies, in which the majority of rapid eye movement covers a triangular region.
google-f-shaped-pattern-image 2
Image source
F-shaped pattern
Jakob Nielsen’s research on the golden triangle gave rise to the “F-shaped pattern” for viewing web content. This is another nugget of wisdom that, for mobile readers, is passé.
The F-shaped reading pattern taught that users looked at the top, left to right, down, left to right, and then down further. End. It made the shape of an “F” on eye-tracking studies.
f-shaped-pattern-image 3
This principle no longer applies in the era of mobile readers. There’s not enough screen real estate for horizontal sweeps and vertical movement.
Instead, viewers look primarily at the center of the screen as indicated in this eye-tracking study from Briggsby.
briggsby-screenshot-image 4
Image Source
As the image indicates, users give 68% of their time/attention to the center and top half, and a full 86% to the upper two-thirds. Anything below this point on the screen is less important.
Instead of clinging to a belief in the age-old wisdom of web readability, we need to redefine our perspective so we can create better content for the mobile revolution.

2. People view images more than they view text

Eye-tracking studies indicate that mobile users look at images more than they look at text. Here’s a study to prove it. (Note: KG stands for Knowledge Graph – the entity results, panels, and carousel summary provided by Google.)
Louvre-knowledge-graph-image 5
This image demonstrates that a user’s eye is drawn to images over text. Intent, query, content, relevance, and location are irrelevant to the principle that the human eye is drawn to images (source).
What’s the takeaway for copy? Use fewer images. They take up precious screen space. If the image doesn’t advance your point, don’t use it for mobile.

3. Get rid of unnecessary words, phrases, sentences, or points

The famous French polymath, Blaise Pascal, wrote, “I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.”
His point? Concise writing takes time and hard work.
For mobile content, concise writing is essential. In this case, the necessity has more to do with the screen size than the user’s attention span. Your goal is to present the user with as much on-screen information as possible without requiring the user to swipe or tap. The more cogently you can express an idea, the better.
I do not recommend that you write shorter content. Long-form content is alive and well in an era of mobile content consumption.
Unfortunately, some mobile copywriters are advised to write less. This counsel is wrong. Longer content is still appropriate. Instead of shortening your content, tighten your writing.
Make your content as long or as short as it needs to be. Do not force yourself into some preconceived idea about what constitutes the right length of an article. Instead, wipe your article clean of anything that’s unnecessary.

4. Create short, strong headlines

Your headline doesn’t need to take up several screens of space. Short and sweet are better. Why? Lengthy headlines get lost below the fold.
mobile-headline-example-image 6
Short headlines are easily viewed in a quick scan.
mobile-headline-short-example-image 7
Much of the responsibility for this, of course, rests with the designer. Mobile designers should realize that they don’t need to create monstrous titles on mobile devices. At the same time, you can help them (and readers) by condensing your titles to the essentials.

5. Front load your most powerful content

With desktop viewing, you have plenty of above-the-fold real estate. In some website designs, you can have four or five paragraphs visible – no scrolling required. Things are a bit tighter with mobile. For this reason, start your articles with a few attention-grabbing lines.
In this CMI article, I started with a few sentences crafted to attract the reader’s attention. These sentences previewed the content and pointed to a takeaway. Most importantly, the first sentence raised expectations and grabbed attention.

Whatever you do, don’t start out boring. What mobile readers see above the fold is what will compel them to read below the fold. Make it good.

6. Use short paragraphs

Readers tend to get lost in long paragraphs.
Cognitively, a viewer considers a paragraph to be a complete thought. If that thought is too long, then the reader will get impatient and move on.
Paragraphs also cause the eyes to move in a predictable and consistent rhythm through the article. A series of short, staccato paragraphs works somewhat like a cadence in a song – the reader keeps moving from paragraph to paragraph consistently and completely.
U.S. News explains, “Reading long paragraphs on your mobile device requires concentration – something people using a mobile device generally don’t have.” The solution? Write short paragraphs.
Long paragraphs work like speed bumps to derail the flow of the article. Nowhere is this truer than on mobile devices. An innocent five-sentence paragraph on desktop may not look all that intimidating, but it can easily turn into a wall of text on mobile.
Here’s a great example of a writer who uses short paragraphs to break up his content into readable chunks. It’s the perfect method for mobile.
bufferapp-short-paragraphs-example-image 8


What’s the secret to creating awesome mobile copy?
Don’t write less. Write better.
Mobile readers still read articles. In fact, they might read more content on their mobile devices. The time has come to realize that the mobile revolution doesn’t just affect viewports and require responsive tricks. It requires a reorientation to the art of writing.
How has the mobile revolution affected your writing style?
You know how necessary mobile is in your tactical efforts. Now learn more about which tactics your peers are turning to for more effective content marketing creation and delivery.Read Content Marketing Institute’s e-book, Building the Perfect Content Marketing Mix: Execution Tactics.
To view the original article Click Here

How to Analyze Your Blog Posts: A Beginner's Guide

How do you decide which topics to write about on your blog to attract the most traffic and leads? What about which types of blog posts to write? How many to publish in a week? How to promote them?
These are just some of the questions you might have when creating your blog strategy -- and knowing a thing or two about your top performing blog posts will help you find the answers.If you know what made your best blog posts perform so well, you'll be able to better prioritize certain topics or types of posts according to your content goals. You'll also get smarter about your overall blog promotion strategy.
How do you know which blog posts are your best ones? To find this out, run a blog leads analysis and attribution report -- click here to learn how. Make a list of your top 10 posts along with their traffic numbers and conversion rates.
Now, ask yourself which scenario your top posts fit into overall: 1) low traffic but high conversion rate; 2) high traffic and high conversion rate; 3) high traffic but low conversion rate; or 4) low traffic and low conversion rate? In this post, I'll dig into what each of these four different scenarios might mean and how you can turn that information into an actionable plan for the future.

Scenario #1: Low Traffic & High Conversion Rate

If you're not getting a lot of traffic to your blog but your conversion rate is high, it's a good indication that the traffic you're getting is high quality. But in order to grow your blog, you'll need to work on increasing traffic to your blog while still maintaining that high conversion rate.
Here are ways you can increase your traffic:
  • Make it easy for your readers to share your content. Include "Tweet this" links throughout your content that have pre-written tweets. "Click-to-Tweet" is a great tool to do that.)
  • Email your blog content to your database. There may be people in there interested in your content but unaware that they can subscribe to your blog.
  • Optimize your blog posts around keywords you want to rank for. You can learn how to do this here.
  • Create content that answers questions you hear about on social media. Then, you can tweet it out to anyone who was discussing the question.
  • Link to other blog posts you've written within your post. This'll help keep readers on your blog longer, get traffic to some of your other posts, and benefit your overall SEO strategy
  • Look at a report that shows where your traffic is coming from. If you are getting some traffic from certain channels but not others, you'll learn to focus more on the channels that are driving visits to your site. (Scroll to the bottom of this post to learn more about this.)
  • Build relationships with other bloggers and influencers in your industry. They can help you reach more people in your industry by promoting your content.
As you're working to attract more traffic to your blog, keep a close watch on your conversion rate. Even though you want more traffic to your website, you don't want the quality of the traffic to suffer and therefore lower your conversion rate. 

Scenario #2: High Traffic & High Conversion Rate

You may take a look at your top 10 blog posts and see that not only do they have a high conversion rate, but they have high traffic, too. That's great news! In this situation, the next question isn't, "How can I increase my metrics?" Instead, it's, "How can I maintain these high metrics?"
Here are some ways to get you started:
  • Note if there was a specific topic or topics that you blogged about in many of your top posts. If you see the topic appeared multiple times, write about that topic again from a different angle. (Here's some help on turning one topic into many.)
  • Note which type of post appeared most in your top ten. Were many of your top posts quick tips? Detailed analyses? Infographic or image-heavy posts? Videos? How-to posts? If you see a pattern, prioritize that format for future blog posts. 
  • Note the authors of your top posts. Was it someone on your team? On another team within your company? Certain guest bloggers? While these authors won't be able to write all your future posts, it's certainly a good thing to know so you can encourage and coach them to contribute more often, and allocate resources for great guest bloggers if applicable.
  • Note how you promoted those top blog posts. Was it through social media, organic traffic, email marketing, or something else? Some of these channels may have done much better than others. Keep promoting your posts on the channels that did well, and consider scaling back on the channels that didn't do as well. This will give you an opportunity to invest your resources in your top performing channels.
  • Note where you placed calls-to-action on your top posts. Were there multiple opportunities to convert? You may have had a call-to-action at the end of your blog post as well as others sprinkled throughout your post. See how your different calls-to-action compared and see how you can replicate their success.

Scenario #3: High Traffic & Low Conversion Rate

You're attracting a lot of people to your site, but they aren't converting. That could mean a couple of things.
First, that could mean that they aren't qualified visitors. You may be writing interesting content that simply doesn't relate to the interests of your target audience. If this is the case, you'll want to take a hard look at whether your content strategy aligns with your target audience. How are you deciding which types of content to create? Is the content you're creating relevant to your audience's interests and needs?
In another scenario, your content could be just fine -- it's just that your path to conversion isn't clear. Your blog readers may be interested in hearing more from you and reading your stuff, but you aren't giving them a compelling reason to convert. Or, they aren't sure how to get more content that pertains to their interests.
If this sounds like you, here are our suggestions:
  • Take a look at where your calls-to-action are placed. Is it easy for your visitors to convert into a lead? Are there multiple opportunities for them to convert throughout the blog post? Be sure they're visible and you're making it as easy as possible to convert. The last thing you want to do is hide your CTAs where no one can see them.
  • Is your primary CTA related to the blog post it's been placed on? It can be confusing for website visitors to read a blog post on one topic and then click on a CTA that brings them to another topic. Keep the conversion path consistent from start to finish.
  • Assess how compelling your offers are. Are they compelling enough to get someone to convert into a lead? If someone can get the same information on your website without filling out a form, they probably will. Make your website visitors curious enough that they would want to convert into a lead.
If you aren't getting qualified visitors to your site, though, then you have more work to do. After all, if you have 10,000 blog visitors but none of them are qualified, then your blog posts aren't doing much to help bring in new customers.
If this sounds like you, here are a few things to try:
  • Take a hard look at whether your content strategy aligns with your target audience.How are you deciding what type of content to write? Is the content actually relevant to your audience?
  • See what keywords you rank for. (Learn how here.) Are you ranking for the keywords that are the most important to your business? If not, work on optimizing your blog posts and creating new blog content around the keywords that your buyer persona searches for.
  • Look at conversion rate by channel. Do certain channels have a higher conversion rate than others? In the example below, let's say you're analyzing how well your social media channels are doing. Even though Twitter has the most visits, it has the lowest visitor-to-contact conversion rate. While Twitter may be a good channel in theory, LinkedIn has the higher conversion rate in this case -- so it'd make sense to consider whether or not your core audience is on LinkedIn rather than Twitter or Facebook. If so, you'll want to invest more of your efforts in LinkedIn than the other social media channels.
(HubSpot customers: You can see all of your marketing channels' individual performance in the Analytics tool.)

Scenario #4: Low Traffic & Low Conversion Rate

If you're creating content but it isn't driving a lot of traffic and has a low conversion rate, you need to change your approach. To start, let's focus at the top of the funnel traffic you're trying to generate to your blog.
Why start with traffic? Because without traffic to your blog, no one will convert to the next stage in the funnel. Use some of the tips from Scenario #1 (low traffic & high conversion rate) to get more people on your website and reading your content.
Once you've successfully increased your traffic, shift your focus to conversion rate. One of the most important things you can do is ensure you have a clear path to conversion. For example, let's say you write a blog post about DIY design. Is there a clear CTA at the end of the blog post leading to a design-related offer? Having blog content that aligns with the content piece that your visitors convert on is essential. Use some of the tips from Scenario #3 (high traffic & low conversion rate) to create a clear path to conversion for your audience.
What other insights have you learned from figuring out your top performing blog posts? Share with us in the comments.
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