The Power of Influence

instagram on iphone

It’s no secret that the buyer’s journey is constantly evolving. In order to truly create a connection to customers and leave a lasting impression, your brand needs to generate awareness and build trust with consumers in their target audience. Although word-of-mouth marketing is still important, as times continue to change many people are looking online to find the products that their peers or online community are using. In fact, Nielsen reports 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals—even if they don’t know them—over brands.

Building Awareness

instagram post man leaning on fence

Brand awareness is a necessity for most brands. Whether you’re an established franchise or a small business, it’s important to get exposed to the right customers. One of the ways to get in front of potential audiences is through a brand awareness campaign. This can be vital to an expansion into a new market, product launch, or just to keep your brand in the public eye.

Most brands don’t have the budget to partner with a celebrity,  however, finding micro-local influencers is an option that boasts well for most brands. By honing in on people who are active in the community and have an engaged online following, there is an opportunity for your brand to develop a content partnership that caters to the individual’s needs while ideally using their presence to reach their audience. This tactic not only helps to spread awareness, but it can position your brand in front of an audience by using a source they already know and trust.

Who is an Influencer?

An “influencer” is an individual or publication that may have influence over potential buyers in your target market or industry. This can include:

  • Local guides or publications
  • Individuals with a large social media following on Facebook or Instagram
  • Bloggers specific to your industry (Fitness, Beauty, Lifestyle)

instagram post girl standing

This person doesn’t have to be a celebrity. In many cases, these are individuals who are able to create content that is relevant and engaging to their audience. Whether it’s an Instagrammer who supports local businesses, someone who shares fitness tips, or even someone who does beauty tutorials on YouTube, Google has even found that 40% of millennials say that their favorite YouTuber understands them better than their friends (Google).

Benefits of Influencer Marketing

Why are more brands adding an influencer initiative to their marketing campaign?

  • By partnering with an individual or publication that their target consumers already trust, brands are able to share their message through authentic storytelling and content development.
  • Through a sponsored post, feature, event or giveaway, a brand’s message can seem less like a traditional advertising and more like organic content.
  • By finding the right influencer, your brand is able to get right in front of a specific target market that is already active and engaged.
  • Content produced by influencers can be utilized into a current content strategy and repurposed into blog posts, social posts, and email content.
  • There is a potential opportunity for building credible backlinks, which can positively impact SEO.

Do you think that an influencer marketing campaign might be beneficial for your brand to reach individuals on social media? Get in touch! Our team would love to discuss your needs.

 

 

SEO Moneyball: Bing has integrated image search with Pinterest. How can you take advantage?

Nashville SEO associate Jackson Martin's Moneyball image is shown, featuring a man on a baseball diamond.

The goal of Moneyball is to get the best results out of the least money spent. In other words, Billy Beane viewed his baseball team as a business, looking to get the best value or ROI. Beane’s Oakland teams made the playoffs four straight years in the early 2000s despite being in the bottom five teams in salary.

As a sports fan and a sportswriter, reading Moneyball changed the way I look at baseball like few other things have. Each week, I’ll try to do the same thing with SEO for you in this series, SEO MoneyBall, using some deeper statistics to give you a better look at how to improve your web presence. This week, I look at the evolving relationship between Bing and Pinterest, and how you can take advantage.

We’ve written before about why you should start taking Bing seriously. With all that information in mind, let’s take a look at a new feature of the search engine that you can take advantage of to leverage even more search traffic.

Now, whenever you search for images on Bing, related Pinterest boards will show up on the right side of the results page. This means that relevant Pinterest users will see a huge increase in views and followers simply by doing what they already do.

a screenshot of a Bing search results page for images of the Nashville Predators

“Lately, we’ve noticed that the most interesting pictures on the web are being collected by people, not computers,” the statement by Bing says. “On sites like Pinterest, passionate curators can build up a collection of ideas that shows off their unique style. We started to ask ourselves, what if we could have the best of both worlds, combining the power of algorithms with the taste and judgment of real people.”

The value to companies is obvious. By promoting products and interesting content, businesses can drive search traffic even more through image search than they already do. By continually utilizing Pinterest, companies generate free advertising that now can be searched by anyone, even people not on the social media site.

Bing had previously partnered with Pinterest in April with its “Pin to Pinterest” feature, which allows users to pin images to their boards directly from the search page.

The search engine has also merged search with social media before, incorporating Yelp! And Facebook into the front page of its search results.

Bing is always evolving, and staying up to date with its progress is a great way to dominate search traffic from the search engine. Having an engaging profile and interesting boards can only drive more traffic and conversions to your website.

 

For more SEO Moneyball check out these posts!

SEO Moneyball Series

SEO Moneyball: Don’t Ignore Bing

SEO Moneyball: Control the Conversation About Your Brand

SEO Moneyball: Diversify Your Social Media Presence

Nashville SEO associate Jackson Martin's Moneyball image is shown, featuring a man on a baseball diamond.

The goal of Moneyball is to get the best results out of the least money spent. In other words, Billy Beane viewed his baseball team as a business, looking to get the best value or ROI. Beane’s Oakland teams made the playoffs four straight years in the early 2000s despite being in the bottom five teams in salary.

As a sports fan and a sportswriter, reading Moneyball changed the way I look at baseball like few other things have. Each week, I’ll try to do the same thing with SEO for you in this series, SEO MoneyBall, using some deeper statistics to give you a better look at how to improve your web presence. This week, I look at the best ways to share on social media.

When it comes to social media, you want to stand out. Among the millions and millions of online profiles, yours must grab attention to be effective. That’s why it can be a huge help to your business to diversify your social media presence. A Gigya survey reveals some fascinating insights into the world of social media as of June 2013, and I’ll touch on some of these here.

Facebook is king in social media. Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild is responsible for 52 percent of all social logins and 50 percent of shared content on social media.

Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 9.18.16 AM

There are a couple of ways to look at this. The glaringly obvious one is that Facebook gives you the most potential eyeballs on your content. Each share has the possibility to gain a greater reach and give you a better ROI. As I wrote earlier, each Facebook like is tremendously valuable and spreads your reach exponentially.

However, we can also look at this and say that with so many shares on Facebook, it is harder to gain a foothold or be noticed among so much white noise. That’s why, while Facebook can be your primary focus, you need to focus on other social networks as well.

Google made the most gains of any social competitor, and has doubled its share of logins to 24 percent this year. This data groups together a few of Google’s social networks, with the most prominent being Google+. Interestingly enough, those Google social networks only accounted for two percent of social sharing despite the increase in logins.

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On the other side of that coin are Twitter and Pinterest. Twitter accounts for just four percent of all social logins, and a whopping 24 percent of all social sharing. Pinterest has a negligible percentage of social logins, but is responsible for 16 percent of all sharing.

The biggest place to utilize these numbers for businesses is the e-commerce category of the study. That category is where we see the real value of Pinterest. Again, despite accounting for a negligible percentage of social logins, the social network accounts for 41 percent of shares in e-commerce, topping even Facebook.

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“Pinterest users tend to pin items that they want to purchase later or that they’ve already purchased. A number of Gigya ecommerce clients cater to largely female audiences, and so does Pinterest, which could be one reason why Pinterest has such a heavy presence in e-commerce sharing,” said John Eklaim, vice president of marketing at Gigya.

Retailers in particular can use these percentages to their advantage. When looking for the best way to get a lot of shares quickly, posting content tailored to the specific social network is the most effective strategy.

“Users see networks like Facebook and Google+ as identity networks whereas Twitter is really about syndication and that falls in line with the essence of what those networks offer,” Elkaim said. “Facebook and Google+ offer pretty robust profiles but that’s not really what Twitter was designed for. Rather, the focus is on constant sharing, not as heavily tied to identity.”

Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are your networks to truly show off the personality of your company. Be funny, be insightful, but most of all have fun. Like Elkaim says, Facebook and Google+ are identity networks, and you should utilize them as such. Even though Twitter is more for content syndication, adding in as much personality as possible in 140 characters can take your social media campaigns a long way.

To post on Pinterest, you should focus on pictures and meaningful graphics. Colorful images will get shares on the site.

It’s all about knowing your audience in advertising, and social media is no different. Different networks have different tastes, and you need to play to them to find success. A blanket social media strategy that posts the exact same content to different channels won’t set you apart.

There are many ways to Moneyball your social media, but diversifying your social presence and focusing on key areas of each network can be the easiest, and most effective.

Jackson on Google+

 

Need more SEO Moneyball? Check out these posts!

SEO Moneyball Series

SEO Moneyball: Twitter Analytics and Social Media Strategy

SEO Moneyball: Bing has Integrated Image Search with Pinterest. How Can You Take Advantage?

Use Incentives to Get More Facebook and Twitter Followers

One of the things that often keeps me up at night is how to get more followers on social media accounts.  There are a number of creative ways to do this (which is why my job is so fun at times), but today I’m going to focus on one that I had an experience with recently.

A couple of days ago, I stopped at a bagel place for lunch.  When I got to the register and paid, I was given a little promotional stub along with my receipt.  On the stub was a deal offering three free bagels to anybody that signed up for their membership club or liked their Facebook page. And while I know it’s a little sad that these are the things that excite me, I couldn’t wait to talk about some of the little things that make this a good idea.

A bagel.
A bagel.

There are four things to notice here.

First, it’s important to use offline channels to boost your online channels to customers.  There are places to promote your social accounts other than your website or email blasts.  Promoting your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Pinterest at your physical location(s) is just as important and can be just as effective as digital alternatives.

Second, sometimes businesses do promote at physical locations, but the social indicators are not exhibited in a highly visible, prominent spot.  One of the most obvious and most effective places I’ve seen used regularly is the restaurant menu.  Anything near the register is a safe bet, too. The fact that I was handed something made it virtually impossible for me to miss the promo.

Next, offering something in exchange for a like or follow (like bagels!) isn’t such a bad idea either, but make sure what your offering is worth the customers’ while.  You don’t want to insult them.

Last, I like how they give the customer a choice.   That way, even if the patron isn’t into the whole interacting-with-brands-on-social-media-thing,  the bagel place can still potentially get them signed up for their membership program and add value to his or her experience in another way. Either way, the customer is interacting with your business in some fashion, and you’ll stay in his or her mind for longer.

That’s all for now. Happy Friday.

 

 

James on Google+