Monthly Archive: April 2018

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Are Bing PPC Ads Worth Your Time? Here’s How to Find Out

Google is the King of the Internet, right?

Sort of yes, sort of no.

There’s really no doubt in most people’s mind that if you put the behemoth Google into a cage match with Bing, you’d probably see a KO faster than your search results for a local coffee shop.

But what most don’t anticipate is that you can also get a sweaty, scrappy fight that goes into the fifth round with a marginal potential for an upset.

Because Bing has some fairly attractive elements that keep them competitive and may just give you an edge.

I want to share with you how Bing can actually be a valuable place to run ads for your business.

And at the very least, I’m going to provide you with a method that will let you see if Bing could be right for you.

But first, I want to disrupt some of your preconceived notions about Bing by showing you what it’s truly capable of.

Where Bing really stands out

Advertising on search engines is nothing new.

But for newcomers to digital marketing, trying to find the best places and methods to advertise can be an overwhelming experience.

And then when you consider that there’s more than one search engine available to you, that just adds to the confusion.

When you start looking into the search engine you want to advertise on, there’s no denying that Google Adwords has simply got a bigger audience.

Most people would look at a graph like this, open up Google Adwords, and never look back.

They can run profitable ads for their business, make plenty of revenue, and never have to consider an alternative.

But that graph can actually be misleading if you just take it at face value.

While its true that Google has the lion’s share of Internet search activity, graphs that show market share don’t convey the fact that millions of users still prefer a different search engine.

That’s right. I said millions.

So what that translates into is that the reality of Bing is very different than what most people imagine.

More than 133 million people search using the Bing Network.

That’s almost half the population of the United States.

And even though it might surprise you, nearly 34% of U.S. desktop searches are on Bing.

So if you’re a marketer in the United States, you may be omitting one-third of your audience by not using Bing.

What’s more, it’s been shown that more older users are on Bing:

So if your target market is above the age of 34, you could really be missing a huge amount of potential business traffic.

And if that’s not enough to turn your head, it’s also been shown that Bing users tend to make pretty good money.

The vast majority of Bing users make $40,000 or more each year.

But the most surprising fact is that more than one-third of Bing Network users make more than $100,000 each year.

That means if you’re not advertising on Bing, you could be missing out on some of the most profitable leads your business could ask for.

And since Bing Ads are displayed on three search engines instead of just one, you get a lot more reach than a simple measurement of market shares might convey.

Specifically, Bing Ads are shown on the Bing, Yahoo, and AOL search engines.

That means that collectively, the Bing network is the second best place to put your ads according to market shares.

Almost 13% of searches happen on the Bing Network, which as we’ve already seen, amounts to billions of searches each year.

And for the most part, these ads will look and operate the exact same way they do on your Adwords account.

There are really only a few minor stylistic differences here, so you won’t be faced with reinventing the wheel.

You can use the same approach that you’ve fine-tuned on your Google Adwords to see if you get good results.

But even more importantly, it could be cheaper and more profitable to run ads on Bing.

The marketing team at Spinutech actually found great success on Bing with a lower budget for one of their clients.

That’s not just lower. It’s way less than half the budget.

And while a lower budget did mean they got fewer clicks, they also had a lower overall cost-per-click when they added everything up.

More notably, the click-through rate of each Bing ad was much higher than its Google counterpart.

So they spent less money, had a lower cost-per-click, and a higher click-through rate.

Does all of that sound as good to you as it does to me?

If your business can potentially mirror these results, it’s definitely worth looking deeper into Bing Ads as an option.

And when it comes to cost-per-click, ReportGarden found that the gap can be even wider than the results Spinutech came up with:

That’s less than half the cost to run a Bing ad than an Adwords ad.

That means by using the same amount of money on Bing instead of Adwords, you could essentially double your overall ad budget.

And while I don’t recommend rushing off to throw all your ads into Bing, it should certainly raise an eyebrow.

It should especially be attractive to brands that are stuck with enormously high cost-per-click keywords on their Adwords account.

It’s a widely shared fact that insurance ads cost the most money to run at a crazily high average of almost $55 per click.

But it could actually be a little cheaper, even marginally, for those same companies to run a similar ad on Bing.

At the very least, this shows you just how different the landscape of Bing Ads can be from the Adwords world.

Depending on your individual needs, it could be worth it for your brand to make the switch to Bing.

And even if you only start creating some ads to supplement your Adwords effort, Bing Ads are worth looking into.

So for the rest of this post, I want to show you how you can find out if Bing PPC ads are worth looking into for your business.

Let’s start with a little bit of audience analysis.

Step #1: Know your audience

The ultimate factor on whether you use Bing Ads just depends on what you’re selling and who you’re selling to.

For example, it’s a widely known fact that more people prefer Bing for image related searches.

So if your business is based on selling stock photos to other entrepreneurs, creating an ad on Bing seems like an intuitive business move.

Again, it just depends on your needs and whether your audience will actually find you there.

I recommend starting your Bing Ads evaluation process with some old fashion customer persona building.

Customer personas are the best place to start for any ad campaign because it tells you who exactly you want to target.

In the case of Bing Ads, you want to look for standout demographics like age and income, because those are the places where you’ll see the biggest impact between Bing and Google.

If you’re already using Google Adwords, this information will be readily available to you in the Demographics section under your Campaign tab.

Here’s the Age breakdown:

And then here’s a similar breakdown that shows income:

This information can help tell you how varied the age demographic of your audience actually is.

If you trend to the younger side, it may signal that Bing Ads would be a waste of time.

But if you have an older audience, you may want to keep looking further into Bing’s potential.

From there, if you know the careers, locations, and other basic pieces of information about members of your audience, you can find some helpful income information with a service like Glassdoor.

In this example, your audience member makes more than $60,000 per year on average.

That means if you’re selling to a financial analyst in the Atlanta area, there’s a good chance they could use Bing either personally or professionally.

If that’s the case, you just established sufficient reason to test out a Bing ad with two basic elements of a customer persona.

Not bad for a few minutes of research.

Step #2: Find your cost-per-click

After you’ve evaluated the potential of your audience, you also need to weigh the question of cost.

As I showed in my first point, Bing Ads have a different cost-per-click than on Adwords.

But some industries having a lower cost-per-click doesn’t mean all of them will.

So to help you find out if Bing Ads will actually be cost-effective for you, I recommend taking a few minutes to test for your industry.

And thankfully, you can do that without committing any money using the Bing Ads preview tool.

This service lets you put in your industry keyword and a few other elements to help see if Bing Ads will be cost effective for you.

You’ll even get a little preview of what your ad might look like on the Bing Network.

Once you input your information, you’ll get a helpful breakdown of the current cost-per-click on the Bing Ads Network.

You can even input an estimated budget to see how many clicks you would generate with your estimated cost-per-click.

If the estimates are similar or even less than your similar Adwords cost, that’s a sign that Bing may be a good alternative for your business.

And while these values may change over time, your approach will likely change with it.

At the very least, you can step into a Bing Ads campaign knowing that you won’t be at an immediate loss.

Step #3: Set up a Bing Ads account

Once you’ve established that your audience is on Bing and that it won’t be too expensive to run an ad, it’s time to set up your Bing Ads account.

And thankfully, it’s super easy.

All you have to do is head over to to get started.

You’ll see a page that looks like this:

Add your email address to get started.

You’ll then be taken to a short page that asks you to continue setting up a Microsoft account if you don’t already have one.

From here, you’ll go through the short setup procedure to verify your email address and contact info.

And once you provide all of this information, you’ll be in.

You can now start the process of creating and testing a Bing Ads campaign.

Step #4: Import your Google Adwords account

If you’re already using Google Adwords, I recommend importing the information from your Adwords account.

Thankfully, this is also a super easy process that will only take a few minutes.

It will take all of the campaigns you’re running in Adwords and create similar ones in your Bing Ads account.

And it won’t negatively impact anything you’re running on your existing Adwords account, so don’t worry about potentially messing anything up.

This just makes the setup and testing time much simpler.

Start by choosing the option to import your Google Adwords, and then sign in with your user information.

Then, go ahead and import your existing campaigns.

This may take Bing Ads a few minutes to grab everything from your Adwords account, but the wait is worth it.

This will save you the time of painstakingly setting up the same campaign on two different advertising platforms.

Step #5: Set up mirroring campaigns

If you prefer not to import your campaigns, you will have to set up both accounts manually.

If that’s the case, I still want to show you how you can do that effectively to test if Bing Ads are a good option for you.

This one takes more effort, but since you’ve got parallel ad accounts, it’s necessary to truly test whether the conversions you’re getting are worth it.

So to start with, I recommend beginning with Adwords.

Using the audience demographic information you collected in the first step, set up your campaign to make sure that you’re targeting that specific group.

Start by going to your Adwords dashboard and creating a new Campaign.

You’ll have to decide on what type of ad you’re running, as well as input goals for Google to track.

Once you’ve created your campaign and ad, make sure to add groups based on the demographics you found in your persona research for your targeting.

This will ensure that your parallel Bing Ad is being shown to the same group on both search engines and your testing will be much more accurate.

Once everything is set up, hold off on running the campaign.

You still need to set up a mirroring Bing campaign, which will take a little getting used to.

Start by going to your Bing Ads dashboard and clicking on the Create Campaign button.

Much like Adwords, you’ll have to establish the parameters of your campaign and ad group.

You’ll also need to create the ad, target it, and add the budget you want to stick to.

Once all of this is completed, you’ll want to make sure that your audience information is the same as your Adwords campaign.

To do that, go to your advanced campaign settings tab and click on the Demographics option.

Here, you’ll be able to set up whichever age group, gender, income level, or other demographic you need to.

As long as you’re keeping every element as close to Adwords as possible, you’ll be able to conduct an accurate assessment of Bing’s capabilities.

And If you do end up importing your campaigns from Adwords, it is worth noting that Bing recommends you still double check your targeting elements.

As each platform does have its unique differences, you want to make sure that nothing gets lost in translation.

To do that, you’ll just have to skip straight to the advanced settings and check that the information is correct.

Once everything is running parallel, it’s time to test.

Step #6: Check your results

Once you’ve launched your campaigns let them run for a while, you should have enough data to start making some assessments.

Thankfully, both platforms make it easy to take a step back and measure how things are going.

First of all, you should verify that your cost-per-click on each platform is accurately representing your findings from step two.

Both platforms give a fairly simple readout of this analytic.

Here’s an example from Adwords:

And here’s one from Bing Ads:

If you’re spending too much for a single click, it could be a signal that something is off with your ad’s parameters.

Or, it could mean that one platform is more cost effective than the other.

While this is a pretty basic measurement, it’s always the first place most marketers look to ensure they’re not overspending their ad budget.

Then, it’s time to check your conversion rates.

Again, Bing makes this look easy, as you can tell in the graph from above.

And Adwords does enable you to set up conversion tracking if you’ve set it up.


But unfortunately, the analytics don’t always display conversions accurately.

They often don’t accurately reflect the number of leads or amount of sales that you’ve actually generated.

Once you’ve double checked your metrics and verified your actual numbers, the process is pretty simple.

Just find out how many users completed the action you specified from each ad platform and then divide that number by how many clicks you got.

This will tell you whether you’re getting a good amount of conversions from your ads.

And then finally, take some time to make sure that you’re actually generating revenue from any of your ads.


Take your actual sales figures, find out how you made from each advertising effort, and then determine if you’ve actually made money from your advertising campaigns.

Once you’ve gathered and sifted through enough data, you’ll be in a position to decide if Bing Ads are worth continuing for your brand.

And whichever one you pick, I always recommend that you continually test and improve your conversion rate optimization techniques.

That way, you can keep capitalizing on the most successful ways of growing your business.


So are Bing Ads right for your brand?

It’s hard to say without looking at the numbers, which is why I recommend you simply go and test it out for yourself.

The Bing Network is surprisingly robust, and it can be misleading at face value.

But the millions of users that flock to Bing every year could be worth your time and money, so I absolutely recommend giving it a whirl.

Start by understanding your audience and their needs. The more you know, the better you can cater your ads to them.

Once you’ve evaluated your audience, you should also check to make sure Bing will be cost effective.

You don’t want to be too far in the red just from an experiment.

And when you’ve finally finished your homework, take the leap.

Create a Bing account and start importing or setting up your ad campaigns.

As long as you keep the parameters the same while you’re testing, you can get an accurate readout of whether Bing Ads are worth your efforts.

Just keep a close eye on those metrics, and don’t take everything you see at face value.

There are no shortcuts to knowing if Bing Ads will work for you, but it could be worth your while.

And you’ll never know if you don’t try.

How have you used Bing Ads for your business?

The post Are Bing PPC Ads Worth Your Time? Here’s How to Find Out appeared first on Neil Patel.

YouTube TV in Canada? 0

YouTube TV in Canada?

Everyone in our industry who is interested in television as a medium, and how people consume it, has anticipated this launch for some time now.  It was well publicized in the press throughout the first half of last year that YouTube TV was coming to the US.  So it should not have been a big surprise to many that Google selected ‘America’s pastime’ to promote the launch of their latest offering to the masses in the fall classic.  So, during the 2017 World Series, YouTube TV officially launched as the official sponsor of the World Series on FOX, promoting cable free TV, starting with a subscription price of $35/month.

In the US, YouTube TV promotes itself as ‘Cable free’ alternative to consumers, which is ideal for the cord-cutting generation who consume television via the internet on their smart TV, mobile device and tablet.  This trend will be embraced by the 35+ early adopter age group as well as other demographics segments, over time.

When we spoke to Google recently, we inquired about what the subscriber receives for $35/month?  Surprisingly, the offering is quite robust, with a strong stable of conventional and cable (specialty channels in Canada) offerings.  Google also mentioned there is a premium ‘a la carte’ layer offering similar to what Bell, Rogers, Shaw, Telus and Videotron sell to their customers in Canada.  For example: HBO, Special Sports Packages and TMN.

In order to be successful in the US, Google worked closely with the major broadcasters to develop revenue sharing models that would benefit the network broadcast affiliates, Google and ultimately their subscribers.  Why the affiliates? In the US, network affiliates control the majority of the available network programming time.  In Canada, it’s the exact opposite, as the networks control the majority of the inventory, parceling out fewer minutes for the local market stations to sell.

Google’s first big win in the US was signing a deal with Disney, one of the biggest content providers in the US, with holdings that include ABC, A&E, ABC Spark and ESPN.  When Disney signed on, it opened the door for Google to sign up the remaining major networks with their content offerings.  To date, they still have not negotiated a deal with Turner Broadcasting whose major holdings include: CNN, Headline News, Peachtree (TBS), TNT and TCM.  From their perspective, this will happen in time.

To date, Google has signed on 80 markets inclusive of the big three in the US (New York, Los Angeles and Chicago), and are close to expanding the total to 114 with the signing of 34 new markets.  From their perspective, the launch has been a success thus far.

When will YouTube TV be available in Canada?  Google isn’t sure yet.  They are in the process of facilitating discussions with the major broadcast owner groups in Canada.  The biggest difference and challenge for Google in Canada will be the broadcast owner groups with the best integrated offerings.  There are three, including Bell Media, Corus Media and Rogers Media. All three owners have significant content offerings and all three are cable owners.

The other significant roadblock in Canada supports that all three owner groups own national networks.  As we stated above, in the US, they are doing individual market deals working with the local market network affiliates.Therefore in Canada, Google suggests that the business model has to be the right fit for the Canadian broadcasters owners, and they will not do a deal until the model is right.

As media practitioners, YouTube TV is something that we will pay attention to and look for updates to share with our peers and clients.  The success Google has realized thus far for the YouTube TV brand in the US supports the idea that the offering is something the corporate world and consumers want.

Stay tuned!

Carey Lewis, EVP, Director of Strategic Planning

The post YouTube TV in Canada? appeared first on DSA Media.


6S Socialerts: Instagram Scheduling, New Ad Formats for Instagram and Twitter, and More

We understand the digital marketing world is busy and that things are always changing. To make your lives easier, we collect the top social media updates along with tips on how to add them to your strategy.

1) Instagram Scheduling Exists

After many years of posting reminders, Facebook has answered our prayers. Instagram’s API now allows content scheduling! Last week, people noticed the update on Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and other platforms. So far, the update is only available for business accounts.

If your business doesn’t have a business account, there’s no time like the present. Not only do business accounts give you analytics, but now you can better plan your content. A plan will also ensure you stay consistent in your posting frequency. Both are key to audience growth.

2) Instagram Carousel Ads in Stories

Instagram is about to shake up their advertising with Carousel ads in Stories. Once introduced, this will be the first multimedia option for the Stories placement. Carousels ads will start with three pieces of content, but may expand to more in the future. The only brands with access to the new feature include Coca-Cola and the Gap. There is no release date for a wider roll out.

The Gap recently used Carousel Story ads to share a campaign that tied back to the brand’s past logos. The first Carousel slide was an introduction. The second slide shared campaign details in a video. The last slide concluded the ad with a call to action (with link included). While you wait for the new Carousel ads, consider how you might use these to tell a bigger story for your brand.


3) Twitter Introduces Sponsored Moments to Ads

In 2018, Twitter is still kicking! The social network recently added new ads for Sponsored Moments to its roster. Sponsored Moments are a series of tweets collected under a certain theme (e.g. The Super Bowl, The Emmys, and more). Marketers can use Sponsored Moment ads to add promoted tweets to these collections. Furthermore, branding the Moment title page is also an option.

A new ad offering presents additional revenue opportunities for Twitter. However, this placement is currently only available to a few select publishers. This makes it difficult to determine the effectiveness of Moments. Before they add any new ad options, we hope Twitter fixes the user interfaces of Twitter Ads in general.

4) Facebook Reduces Branded Posts on News Feeds

If you’ve noticed more of your friends’ posts on Facebook recently, that’s not a coincidence. Facebook announced users will see less branded content on their news feeds moving forward. Instead, the social network will rank content from friends and family higher. The change comes from an effort to restore social interaction on the platform. Marketers expect this update to drive up the cost of sponsored content and ads.

While this update comes as an upset to some brands, this is a unique opportunity to pivot your strategy. Instagram remains unaffected by the change. It’s time explore Instagram or other social platforms for your content distribution. Or, since the algorithm favors friends and families, consider investing in an influencer strategy. User-generated content and social proof are still big contributors for purchase decisions. Whatever your decision, it’s clear the old ways are gone so it’s time for change.

Fulfilled wish lists and algorithm changes prove 2018 is going to be an interesting year. As the dust settles and February takes off, ensure you adjust your social media strategy accordingly and quickly.

The post 6S Socialerts: Instagram Scheduling, New Ad Formats for Instagram and Twitter, and More appeared first on 6S Marketing.


6S Socialerts: Facebook Tackles Engagement Bait, Instagram Introduces Highlights and More

We understand the digital marketing world is busy and that things are always changing. To make your lives easier, we collect the top social media updates along with tips on how to add them to your strategy.

1) Beware engagement bait

There’s no room for sub-par content on Facebook. Moving forward, Facebook plans to penalize posts that use “engagement bait”. You know the type — “comment to enter”, “tag a friend”, and other tactics used to drive engagement on posts. Like the “click bait” restrictions, Facebook wants to limit spam content trying to cheat its algorithm.

This may seem unfair, but it benefits your audience and you (as a social media consumer and marketer). What’s a new year without opportunities for growth? This challenges you to create good content that provides value. Experiment with your copywriting and explore new posting features. For instance, if you’re looking for low hanging fruit, try out Facebook’s newest poll.

2) Long live your Instagram Stories thanks to Highlights

Some marketers put a lot of work into their content, even if it only lives for 24 hours. Thankfully, Instagram has introduced Highlights. The update allows you to archive and sort past Stories into different categories. You can edit Highlights, add to them, and leverage high performing past content.

This update is like Snapchat’s “Memories”, but the update took off without gripe. Expect brands to invest more resources in their Stories since the can now live longer. We’ve already seen some impressive examples making use of title pages and video. The one caveat is Highlights must come from past Stories that ran for 24 hours. Highlights will need more planning from your team. List anything noteworthy you can leverage in the first quarter of 2018. This approach will help you identify the events, product launches and more ahead of time to Highlight.

3) A hashtag is worth a thousand pictures

Instagram has been busy over the past month. If you didn’t notice, hashtag pages have a “follow” button allowing you to see the top posts on a topic in your feed. Instagram’s algorithm determines the top posts by their recency and quality.

This update helps brands in a few ways. When you follow a relevant hashtag, it’s easy for you to engage fast without searching. If people follow a hashtag you show up in, you increase your reach beyond your current community. The feature is new, but if popularity increases, it could be the next targeting method for Instagram ads. Do your research and choose your hashtags wisely.

4) Pinterest’s Taste Graph

It’s no secret that organic engagement is hard to achieve on Facebook and Instagram. So Pinterest, a content hub and link friendly, wants to give users a reason to reconsider it for marketing. Taste Graph, Pinterest’s insights tool gives you a unique look at your audience’s interests and favorite content.

Taste Graph is not available yet, but plans are to launch it in early 2018. We don’t recommend brands take part on every platform if it doesn’t benefit their brand. Yet, if Pinterest is relevant to your audience, the format fits your content and goals – it’s not a bad experiment. Sign up for early access.

There’s always a sense of renewal and hustle that comes with January. We’re all in for the new year, new rules, new trends, and new strategies. Let’s make this an innovative, responsible and agile 2018, everyone!

The post 6S Socialerts: Facebook Tackles Engagement Bait, Instagram Introduces Highlights and More appeared first on 6S Marketing.


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Link Building Made Simple: How to Build 61 Links Using Social Media

If you’re familiar with SEO, then you already know how important link building is.

Any SEO expert knows that link building helps boost your search engine rankings.

Of course, your links and your content both have to be high in quality for this to work.

The problem is everyone is campaigning for site links these days. The volume of requests can be so overwhelming that people just stop reading pitches altogether.

I’ve already shown you how to build links through email pitches that will help you cut through that noise.

But you can’t just stop with pitches if you want to build lots of strong links to your site.

I’m going to break down the process of how to build authority links through social media.

Before we jump into the steps, let me tell you why you should be using social media to build links.

Social media is a great way to build links

I’ve already talked a lot about backlinks.


A survey completed by SEMrush last June reported that backlinks account for five of the top-ten SEO ranking factors.

Not only do they help you rank, but they can also make a difference between the first and second position in search results.

Everyone handling SEO, no matter the business size, knows the importance of backlinks.

Whether or not social media can boost SEO rankings is always a hot topic. There are some skeptics who don’t believe it impacts Google search engine rankings in any way.

However, the majority of professionals seem to disagree with them.

When SEO professionals were surveyed about which techniques were the most used for link building, the majority of efforts were through social media.

They reported it was the third most efficient way to build links, barely behind paid methods and research.

When asked what the biggest challenges were for building links, the driving reasons were:

Not enough opportunities to build quality links
Getting no response or being told no when requesting links
Not knowing enough about how to build links well

Even the professionals are struggling with this stuff!

I can teach you how to find more opportunities and get a much better response rate using social media.

1. Start with your social profiles and website content

The number one way experts use social media to get links is by including their websites in their profiles.

Just behind this is sharing your website content on social media.

These are the basics. Never underestimate the basics!

Make sure every profile you have is up to date on every social media platform you’re using. Check that they all have a working link to your website.

Think about the profiles you might have:

Personal profile
Business profile
Fan page
Group page

For example, on Facebook make sure you have links to your website in the following places:

Your profile under Contact and Basic Info on your About tab
Included in anything you post on your wall, including images and videos
In your group’s pinned post

Then go through your other social media pages and include links to any cover photos, bios, images, descriptions, and so on.

Next, make sure that you’re sharing quality content from your site across your social media platforms.

Your web pages should all be set up so that both you and your readers can easily share content on social media.

You’ll notice that on my site, I have the floating share icons on the left side of the page. This means that no matter where you are on the page you can easily share an article.

I also have fixed share icons at the bottom of every article for easy sharing.

The more social shares your content gets, the more visible it will be.

This means the more likely you are to build links.

Don’t forget to consider other social media sites such as Reddit or niche-specific platforms.

2. Gather customer reviews

Customer reviews on social media provide a lot of the same benefits of comments on your site.

They provide social proof
Comments and reviews keep your content fresh
They boost engagement

How does this lead to links?

Reviews will boost your social media profiles in search engines
Reviews can help you rank for new keywords in search engines
Better rankings mean more people will see your content and are more likely to link to it
Good reviews build trust, which means more people are likely to click on your links and share your content

How do you get quality reviews?

Reach out to customers with an automated email after purchase to request a review
Offer something in exchange for reviews to make it worth their while

This could be a free product or a discount on their next purchase

Post on social media that you reward reviews
Make sure you are proactive about resolving any poor reviews

3. Track fans who mention you on social media

A simple way to boost your links is to track people who mention you or your brand across social media.

The goal is to build a relationship with someone who is clearly already aware of you.

You can use this to reach out to their audience and earn links from them.

Since they already mentioned you willingly, getting a relevant link from them should be pretty easy.

This is also a great way to play off each others’ fan bases if humor suits your brand and audience.

So how do you find them?

Platforms like Twitter and Instagram move fast. So you’ve got to act fast, too.


I really like Mention.

It’s a tool specializing in monitoring brand mentions online.

You can specify the type of sources you want to monitor.

So you’ll know when someone mentions you or your business. And they’re updated in real time.

Open Site Explorer

Or there is Moz’s Open Site Explorer.

This one lets you take a look at who’s linking to you.

Just enter your URL and you’ll be able to see all of the inbound links.

4.  Find links to reclaim

Reclaiming links is finding places where you should have been linked to and asking for a link.

Maybe the link was missed, or maybe they tried to link to you, and for whatever reason, the link is broken.

Misspellings, mess ups, simply not finding the right URL — there are tons of reasons why your link might be missing.

You can track and connect out to people who have tried to link to you through social media.

Another option is to find people who are referencing you and linking to one of your social media profiles. You can reach out to them and ask them to link to your main site instead.

For both of these, just follow the steps in the last section on how to find mentions.

Another great way to reclaim links is through a reverse image search.

Are people posting images from your site on social media and not linking back to you? You can simply reach out and ask them to attribute it to you.

5.  Mention influencers or brands

When you boost someone’s ego with your content, they are more likely to link out to it.

It’s a great strategy to produce impressive results, especially if you understand the trust pyramid and use it in your content strategy.

Here’s how it works:

First, you have to make readers aware of their pain points.

Blog posts and infographics are great ways to expand their understanding of the topic.

People link to content they find useful, that they connect with on a personal level, and that they want other people in their network to benefit from.

Next, show how your strategy works by using examples or case studies.

These will allow the reader to believe, trust, and like you.

Once you have them in your corner, invite them to share your post on social media.

Invite people to guest post for you.

You might also see these four stages formulated as “AIDA.”

“Ego baiting” is probably my favorite, and one of the easiest, link building strategies.

It helps build links and shares on social media.

You don’t have to go to extensive lengths to attract attention to get others to give you a reciprocal link.

Richard Marriott has a perfect example of an “ego bait” blog post.

He interviewed 53 experts about their favorite blog promotion tools to create an expert roundup post.

And it generated over 130 comments — including from the contributing experts.

It also generated 237 unique links from 46 root domains.

All of that from one post. That’s how powerful social media is.

The same page has also generated over 1,000 social shares in less than six months. Here’s the data from Buzzsumo:

6. Use infographics to boost shares

One of the most often shared types of content is infographics.

Many websites have been built solely for the purpose of creating and selling infographic content.

Why are infographics so popular?

Well, we’re visual creatures. No one wants to read a 3,000-word article that is nothing but text.

Especially when we’re only looking for specific information.

If you had to read a huge document or quickly scan a visual summary, which would you choose?

I know I’d definitely choose the visual option.

I use them all the time because they work. They get shares, and they get links.

Kissmetrics has an entire section dedicated to infographics.

People love to clip images from your infographic for their own blog, meaning you’ll get tons of links.

Infographics work well as link bait for companies who don’t have the capacity to create their own.

We simply have a much stronger ability to pick up content quickly when its visual.

It’s impossible to look at a huge block of text and understand it.

Picture a page in a novel with no indentation, no paragraphs, no bolded words, bullet points, or other visual aids.

You would need to read through the whole thing to understand it.

An infographic puts information in such a visual way that you can almost instantly understand it.

So how do you start using infographics in your social media?

Well, I use a couple of different web tools to make my own.

I currently like Infogram and Piktochart the best.

Both of these options have pretty similar services. They also both offer free and paid options.

Infogram offers over a million free images but it only includes 35 possible templates to choose from.

Piktochart, on the other hand, lets you choose from over 600 different templates.

You can check them both out for free and then decide which one better suits your style and content needs.

After you’ve designed your own infographic, make sure that you post it on your site and include an embedded link.

That way, when you and others share it on social media, it will link them back to your website.

Kissmetrics created this infographic about The Science of Brands on Instagram and embedded their site link in it.

This one infographic alone resulted in 28 links, included several high-quality ones from sites such as AddThis and WebProNews.

How did it get so many links?

Social media!

It was liked on Facebook 272 times, shared on LinkedIn 524 times, and pinned on Pinterest 450 times.

Do you want to use infographics but you’re not comfortable creating your own?

There are a number of fast and relatively cheap options to have them created for you.

Sites such as Fiverr offer a number a different people who will build an infographic for you for as low as $5.

Are you struggling to decide what to put in your infographic?

The easiest way to start is to take content you’ve already created.

Choose a blog, podcast, or video you have made that contains multiple facts and interesting tidbits of information.

Try to pick something that is getting a lot of traffic. That way, you already know the information is interesting.

You can then break this down into the high-level points and make it visual to repurpose it as an infographic.

Remember to post the infographic on your site first.

You can even post it within the content you repurposed. For example, adding it to the blog post you used to create it.

Then, share the infographic (including it’s embedded link) across all of your social media platforms.

This increases your chances of getting more links back to your website.

People are much more likely to reshare an infographic than just an article.

7. Focus on generating second-tier links.

Second-tier links are when you link to someone else’s site, which then links back to yours.

For example, when I guest blog for Huffington Post, they put my name and byline at the top of each article.

This then links to an author bio on their website, which is linked to my websites.

If  I share this article on social media, I’m sharing a link to and not to one of my own sites.

However, it can still drive traffic (and links) to QuickSprout, for example, since it’s linked to it.

One of the biggest benefits of focusing on second-tier links is that you’re not sharing your own website content.

This appeals to people because they see it as more trustworthy and less salesy than when you’re simply promoting your own stuff.

The more shares and traffic you get for the main site, the higher the odds that you will also get traffic and links back to your own site.

After all, if you really like my article on Huffington Post, it may make you interested enough to want to read more of what I’ve written.

And that will lead you to follow the link back to my website.

This works best when the site you’re linked to has high authority or appeal of its own. However, you can do it for any articles, videos, or websites where you are featured, referenced, or mentioned.

Second-tier links have a second benefit as well. When people see how much your social media has boosted a website, it will give others an incentive to have you guest post for them as well.

8. Use social media to improve pitch responses

Earlier I spoke about how a major struggle for professionals building links is a lack of responses.

I just shared with you how second-tier links on social media can increase your response rate.

That’s not the only way social media helps.

Before you ever send a pitch email, connect with the brand, person, or website you want to pitch to on social media.

Don’t just friend and forget either.

Engage with them by replying to tweets, mentioning them in posts, or re-sharing their content.

This will make you visible to them and show them the benefit of working with you before they even read your pitch.

You can also join a guest blogging group or social network on social media.

This helps you find unknown opportunities and potentially gain contacts looking for guest posts.

Suddenly your cold pitch is now a warm pitch. The instant you switch from cold to warm, your success rate goes up.

9. Focus on creating social content

Social media isn’t just a place to share content from your website. It’s also a medium for creating content.

You can use social media platforms to create podcasts, webinars, video tutorials and more.

Every time you do this, you should be linking it back to your website to build links.

Then when people share it, it will also be building links to your website.

Video is growing in popularity. In fact, 85% of the US Internet audience watches videos online.

Creating videos will increase your traffic and your share rate.

Especially if they’re Facebook videos.

Facebook native videos have a 1,055% higher share rate than other video formats!

The popularity of podcasts has been growing every year as well.

Just like video link building, podcast link building is meant to be an extension of your brand — though, similarly, you can promote it alone.

Think transcripts, quotes, mentions, links, and social amplification.

But perhaps the biggest selling point is the increased exposure as an authority in your specific industry and the opportunity to talk directly to your target audience.

You don’t need to create your own podcast either.

To secure a spot for an interview, do your research.

Take a look at the topics that big podcasters in your niche are covering to find a gap that may not have been discussed yet.

Then reach out to them on social media followed by an email pitch.

Make your email pitch relevant to the podcast and address people by their first name.

10. Promote events or hold contests

Backing local or big events and hosting contests are huge opportunities to get links.

Creating an event page on Facebook with a backlink to your website is a quick and easy way to get shares.

People will not only want to sign up for an exciting event, but they’ll want to share it to get their friends to attend as well.

Don’t want to host your own event? Consider these other options:

Sponsor an event
Sponsor local bloggers to host an event for you
Promote that you will be giving away cool swag at an event
Collaborate with other big names by adding your swag to another event gift bag
Request to speak at a local event and promote it in advance on social media
Promote for a local charity
Write an article about a recent or upcoming event and share it on social media

When you’re all done, you can also pitch to local news outlets about the event. They are craving interesting local content, so it never hurts to ask.

You can also hold a contest, which you promote on social media to drive shares and links.

Facebook makes it easy to run contests. Just make sure you comply with their rules.


If you want to show up in search engine results and grow traffic to your site, you need to be actively building links.

It’s getting harder to build quality links than it used to be with so many people competing for authority sites.

That’s why you need to go beyond pitches and start tapping into the power of social media.

Social media builds engagement and interaction, which will naturally lead to link building.

Start with the basics. Make sure your profiles have your links on them.

Look for fans, influencers, and businesses with broken links to connect with using social media.

Repost anything featuring you as a guest to boost second-tier links.

Use social media to build relationships with authorities before you follow up with email pitches.

Share infographics and create shareable social content such as videos and podcasts.

Drive attention by promoting events and hosting contests.

Follow these steps, and you’ll have at least 61 new links in no time.

How do you build links through social media?

The post Link Building Made Simple: How to Build 61 Links Using Social Media appeared first on Neil Patel.


Unlock the Power of Data and Machine Learning to Reach New Audiences

Google hosted an event in Vancouver on March 1st, 2018 called “Decoding the New Consumer”, which promised to help attendees unlock the power of data and machine learning to reach new audiences.

This is an exciting topic for anybody working in digital marketing and advertising today, and I wanted to share some key learnings and highlights from the event. Eight of us from 6S Marketing attended,  with everyone from senior leadership to project managers and digital marketing strategists.

Big team from 6S out at the Google event “Decoding the new Consumer” this morning. #GooglePartnersCa

A post shared by 6S Marketing (@6s_marketing) on Mar 1, 2018 at 10:17am PST


About the Event

“Finding the right buyer, at the right place, and delivering them a customized message that turns them into a loyal customer, is not a new business goal.

However, innovations in consumer-based data analytics and machine learning now make realizing this goal more achievable than ever.

Decoding the New Consumer is a full-day event that equips attendees with strategies to unlock the power of their data and utilize machine learning to tap into new insights and new opportunities. Insights are then driven to action through campaign building workshops tailored to their business goals.

During this exclusive full-day event, you’ll collaborate with audience and marketing experts to:

Learn how changes in consumer behavior have created new marketing opportunities
Understand how data analytics and machine learning can optimize your ability to touch and influence customers along their new path to purchase
Build a prioritized, action-oriented campaign that aligns with your business goals”

Stream of Consciousness Ideas Board by @corycatures

A Brief Summary

The event was MCed by Nate Stone who is the head of Google Agency Partners. Early in his opening talk, I recognized some key messaging that is becoming familiar. Google has been talking about micro-moments for a few years and they are defined as: “micro-moment occurs when people reflexively turn to a device—increasingly a smartphone—to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped.”

Some new messaging that I have heard and has struck a chord with me was a statement about Google’s approach to newer evolving technologies.

“Google was late to mobile, but we are not going to be late to AI and machine learning.”

I have heard this from several Google employees over the last few days. Nate continued, “Machines understand what we say and now we are talking to them like they are our friends. Today’s consumer is curious, demanding, and impatient.”

Today’s Consumer is Curious.
Nate explained that for both big and small decisions, consumers are using search to ask more unique and varied questions than ever. They want to find the “best” and in the past two years, mobile searches for “best” grew by 66%. For example, mobile searches for “best toothbrush” have grown by more than 150% over the past two years. They also want other’s opinions and searches for reviews on mobile have increased by more than 200%. Today’s consumers define what’s high vs. low consideration for themselves. By understanding when and where people are searching, brands can be ready to show up with the right advice whenever people need it.

Today’s Consumer is Demanding.
They expect technology to know what they want and cater to them personally, without even having to ask. Google has seen a rise of context-free searches and in the past two years, mobile searches for ‘where to shop’ and ‘where to buy’ have grown by more than 100%. According to Google, there has been a rise in conversational searches such as ‘What’s the weather today?’ and these are up 89% since July 2015. Inferring and interpreting context will be crucial. Focus on capturing and using as much contextual information as possible to truly understand what consumers are looking for and deliver on their expectations.

Today’s Consumer is Impatient.
Whether they are searching for answers, completing tasks, or making purchases, consumers want to act immediately and get things done instantly. They’re looking for timely information and in the past two years, search for “open now” has more than tripled. 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if they take more than three seconds to load. They want to buy things at the last minute. In the past two years, mobile searches related to “same day shipping” have grown 160%. Google recommends that brands need to be fast and frictionless and that high-speed online experiences are now table stakes.

Emily Meinke, Agency Lead, kicked off the event with  her talk titled “Beyond Demographics.” She referenced a quote from McKinsey that I have likely botched but the key message still shines through:

“This is the dawn of marketing’s golden age, and those that don’t evolve and adapt will be left behind.”

Spotify is a company that Google likes to showcase. Emily presented an example of how machine learning is used by Spotify to understand who you are and what you want to listen to. She showed us the Spotify billboard that said: “Dear person who played ‘Sorry’ 42 times on Valentine’s Day.”

What Spotify is demonstrating is that they understand us, and it’s not based on demographic information but rather the information and communication that we are consuming.

The key message that I took away was that we need to understand the new consumer and their intent, identity, and context. Understanding your audience and delivering content to them at the right time is crucial. Who are they? What are they interested in? How to find more people that behave like them.

Next, we heard from Jason Fahlstrom, Executive Summits Evangelist, ML & Performance at Google. His talk was about “Demystifying machine learning: A marketing view on AI.” He started things off with a bold statement: “Google wants to become an AI first company.”

Jason talked about Waymo and how Google’s self-driving autonomous vehicles work. The following video was released on February 28, 2018, and describes it perfectly.


Next, he chatted about other machine learning examples and practical uses such as Blue River’s Precision Weed Control Machine. This video demonstrates this very cool farming technology.

He also shared a few key definitions.

Machine Learning: “Machine learning is the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed. – They learn from examples.”

Deep Learning: “A technique of machine learning where algorithms arranged in layers that mimic the human brain’s learning patterns (neuro nets).

The last speaker before lunch was Brooke Taylor, Audience Engagement Specialist from Google New York. She talked about Google’s ability to use machine learning and AI to deliver custom ads based on data that it analyzes in a split second.”In the blink of an eye, Google is able to analyze 70 million signals” to deliver relevant ads.

The post Unlock the Power of Data and Machine Learning to Reach New Audiences appeared first on 6S Marketing.


How to Conduct a Social Media Audit in Just 30 Minutes

The number of worldwide social media users will surpass 3 billion by 2021.

That’s more than a third of the Earth’s population!

That creates an incredible opportunity to reach online users, and you shouldn’t pass it up.

But not every platform works the same for every business. That’s why it’s important to review what’s working and what isn’t.

Otherwise, you risk wasting time, energy, and money on flawed campaigns.

But don’t worry. That’s where social media audits can help.

In this post, I’ll show you how to perform a social media audit in just 30 minutes.

The result will tell you if you’re on track to hit it big or if you’re at risk of flushing more dollars down the drain.

But before we get to that, let’s talk about preparing your audit.

How to prepare your social media audit

“Auditing” can sound intimidating.

I’ve worked with agencies that charge tens of thousands of dollars and take months to complete a single audit.

In this case, though, yours will actually be pretty simple. We’ll take a look at each platform and identify a few critical KPI benchmarks to gauge progress.

So, how often should you perform an audit?

Ultimately, you can do them as often as you’d like to. I recommend quarterly at the very least, but every week is best if possible.

The point is that you do it consistently and in a way that works for you.

I recommend creating a spreadsheet to maintain all of the information you’ll be recording. Google Drive is a great place to do so since it’s free. Here’s how to do a simple one.

Pull up Google Drive and select the “New” button.

From the drop-down menu, click “Google Sheets.”

Now, you’ll have a fresh spreadsheet to work with. I like using Google Drive because you can share them with your team, partners, and other vendors.

Next, you’ll want to label the columns.

These will be categories that list account information and key performance indicators.

What exactly should your columns contain? Here are some ideas:

The username and URL for each platform that you’ll audit
The number of followers for each account
Engagement metrics
Demographic information
Popular content

These create a nice base to work off of. Here’s what my spreadsheet looks like now.

It seems a bit empty, huh? Let’s fix that by entering our account information.

I’d suggest that you date your audits or add monthly sections to them. This helps track monthly changes when you audit again in the future.

Since every platform is unique, you could also add columns for network-specific metrics.

With this basic template, you’re ready to use your auditing spreadsheet. Now, it’s time to get to work.

I’ll walk you through analyzing Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.


Facebook collects tons of useful data about your Pages and organizes it in one place. You can access it by visiting the Business Manager section.

Just click the drop-down menu in the top-right corner of Facebook and select your Page under “Business Manager.”

For this example, I will use the account of a friend’s small startup I am currently advising.

On the following page, Facebook will give you valuable insights into both your ad accounts and the business Page itself.

Since we’re focusing on general social media today, let’s first take a glance at the overview.

Right away, Facebook displays information about your Page likes, reach, and the engagement you’ve accumulated. You can filter the results for today, yesterday, the last seven days, or the last 28 days.

Next, click the arrow to the left of your Page to see a breakdown of your best-performing posts.

This will tell you what type of content is delivering the most engagement and reach. With this information, let’s go back to our spreadsheet and fill it in.

It should look similar to this:

As you can see, I’ve entered how many new followers I’ve gained, how much my engagement has improved, and what content performed the best.

What about demographics?

For that, you will need to visit the Facebook Insights Page. This will give you a report on all of the Pages you run.

Select the Page you’re auditing and it will take you to an overview.

As you can see from Megalytic’s perspective, selecting the “People” tab will display demographic data. This includes your fan demographics along with users you’ve reached and engaged.

Each tab will show you:

The ratio of men versus women that follow you
The number of users in each age group
Which countries and cities your followers are from

You have to market differently to every target demographic. Take note of which gender, age groups, and locations make up the majority of your fans.

You can use this data later for tailoring content. But first, let’s input some of this data into our spreadsheet.

With that simple Facebook audit, you should now have a good idea of who your target audience is and what content they enjoy the most.

When you decide to audit your Page again, you can compare these metrics to the updated ones to see how your content is performing.


Pinterest is a goldmine for marketers.

It’s a platform that heavily rewards quality infographics and visual content. It also offers an awesome analytics page to boot.

Once you’ve upgraded to the free business account, you can select “Analytics” and “Overview” from the top-left corner.

The overview will tell you your average daily impressions, average daily viewers, and most popular content. These first two metrics are convenient for measuring your account’s growth.

As we saw with Facebook, understanding what content performs best will help you offer more of it in the future. This can further increase your engagement and pins.

What kind of content do you notice performs well for your page?

To dig into the demographics of your Pinterest follower, you can click the arrow beside “People you reach.”

You will find information about their location, gender, and language.

Clicking the “Interests” tab shows categories that your followers are most likely to be interested in.

Record these in your spreadsheet. In the future, you could publish more content in these categories to see if your followers enjoy them.

Next, you’ll see your impressions, saves, and clicks on the “Profile” page.

Saves and clicks are arguably the most important metrics here.

Seeing which posts users save the most will tell you which content to focus on and which to dial back.

It also reveals which types of pins are driving the most traffic to your website.

Selecting the “All-time” tab shows you which pins received the most shares and ranked the highest in searches.

Do you notice any similarities between the pins that are receiving the best feedback? Note this in your spreadsheet.

Record any important data in your spreadsheet. By now, your spreadsheet should be filling out quite nicely.


Instagram is the go-to social media platform for fashion, beauty, and health brands.

Instagram already has over 700 million users. And more than 70% of US businesses are now using it to reach customers, too.

If you upgrade to a business account, you gain access to Instagram Insights. This is their native analytics tool to aid you in measuring performance.

It won’t give you insights into content that you posted before you upgraded, but it will give you information about your posts from then on.

As you can see below, it’s accessible from both your account page and individual posts.

If you visit the Insights homepage, it will give you a general overview of your Instagram account. It first shows follower and post counts for the previous week.

Below this, you can find a graph with information on:

Profile views

Going further, we have the “Followers” section. This contains some basic demographic information about your Instagram followers.

If you want to find out even more about your followers, click “See More” at the top-right corner. That will pull up two graphs.

One will show you the hours when your followers are most active.

The other will reveal which days they are most active.

You can use this to find the most optimal day and hour to post.


Next, it’s wise to analyze how your photos are performing. You can do this in one of two ways.

The first option is to select an individual post and click “View Insights.”

Likes, comments, and saves will appear at the top. Under the “Actions” section, Instagram tells you how many profile visits, followers, and website clicks you received.

Since hashtags are a huge part of marketing on Instagram, take the time to see which ones attracted the most users.

Consider adding that to your spreadsheet as well if you’d like.

Over time, you will be able to weed out the lesser-performing hashtags and replace them with better ones.

The second approach is to navigate to the posts area of the Insights homepage.

Click “See more,” and Instagram will display every post from the last year and their impressions.

You can further filter it by time, type of content, and measurements such as comments or likes.

There are numerous ways that you can take advantage of this.

For example, you can filter by content to discover whether your audience likes photos, videos, or carousel posts the most.

Refine it down to comments and you may notice which captions or questions get the most responses.


Have you ever posted an Instagram Story?

For businesses, it’s a fun way to show followers behind-the-scenes action.

With the Insights tool, you can dive into how your Stories are performing. Simply open a Story and click the viewers on the bottom-left area of the screen.

You will find which users viewed the Story, total impressions, and reach. It also documents actions like replies and clicks.

Use this to determine which content followers respond to the most positively with Instagram Stories.



Twitter advertising is one my favorite techniques for quickly gaining attention because it’s so simple.

If you visit the Ads Manager, you will gain access to your account’s analytics.

Let’s start by selecting the “Analytics” drop-down menu and clicking “tweet activity.” This will let you view tweet engagement, impressions, and more.

First, Twitter is nice enough to give you a convenient graph of your impressions over the last 28-day period. You can change this to the last seven days or a custom number as well.

Click the “Top Tweets” tab to see which of your tweets in a selected period are the most popular. Twitter determines this based on engagement and impressions.

Do you notice any trends?

Are certain calls-to-action or styles of tweets doing better than others?

These are questions you should ask yourself to further complete the audit.

Do you know who your followers are?

Well, you can figure that out by visiting “Audience insights” under the “Analytics” tab on top again.

Make sure that you change the selection to your followers.

At first glance, you’ll see an overview with several tabs.

On this first page, you can see information about your followers, such as their:

Consumer buying styles
Household income categories
Wireless carrier


If you click the “Demographics” tab, you’ll see the following:

It’s safe to say that Twitter has a seriously impressive analytics system. It’s convenient, too.

From exact regions to home value, there’s nothing you won’t know about your followers.

Moving along to the “Lifestyle tab,” you’ll get a better idea of what interests them. This is great information to use for tailoring your content.

If you know what they like, you can integrate that into what you post.

They will feel much more connected to your brand when they know that you understand them on a deeper level.

For those of you who are involved in e-commerce, you’ll find a special benefit to the next tab, which is the “Consumer Behavior” tab.

Twitter shows us what kind of consumer buying style our followers fall under and what kind of consumer goods they enjoy purchasing.

This is a goldmine if you sell products online.

It’s literally telling you how they prefer to shop and what they’re looking for.

Finally, the “Mobile Footprint” tab tells you which carrier and devices your followers mostly use.

What should you do with your audit?

So, you’re sitting back and marveling at your in-depth spreadsheet. Now what?

It’s time to get marketing.

You now hold a great deal of data that you can use to improve your social channels and your business as a whole.

You should start with content.

What type of content does your audience like the most? Try producing more of this and measure the results next week or next month.

For example, you may find that your Facebook fans prefer videos over images. As simple as it sounds, delivering more videos could be the easiest way to increase shares and engagement.

I recently posted this video on Facebook:

And it was a direct result of a simple social media audit like this.

I’m investing a ton into video because I’ve seen that it produces the best results across almost every platform.

Now, I typically don’t talk about “finding your passion” and that type of stuff. I usually like to stick to nerdy marketing ideas.

But I’ve noticed that more personal topics like this get an awesome reaction.

So, guess what?

I’m adding more topics like this to my content calendar.

The whole reason for producing this content is to gain awareness and increase engagement.

The purpose is not to try and sell anything.

Instead, you want to mix content types and topics to drive the most interest possible.

Then, you can run retargeting campaigns with custom audiences to eventually sell to everyone who’s watching, commenting, and hitting the Like button.

Target a more defined audience.

With all of the research you’ve performed, you also now know a lot more about the demographics of your fans.

Things like age, gender, and location are much more concrete.

In the beginning, you probably had a rough idea of what your ideal user was like. Now, you know for sure.

I’d recommend searching for market reports based on your target demographics. These will give you further ideas on how to serve them better.

Even infographics like this one from Goldman Sachs on millennials can contain rich nuggets of knowledge about your audience.

Going off of this example, we might experiment by offering free shipping, discounts, or other convenience as the studies suggest.

Once you’ve compiled all of the previous data on your users, it’s simple to find out what works for them.

Reports and similar publications will detail trends and opportunities to take advantage of.

New sales channels and promising promotional strategies are some things to expect.

Overall, you know what your ideal user responds to the best, so you can tailor more content toward that.

Work smarter, not harder.

You now also know which platforms are delivering the biggest results.

You can use this information to implement what we call the “80/20 rule.”

It involves doubling down on the social networks that work the best for you.

Perhaps Instagram and Facebook drive the most traffic. If that’s the case, then focus your attention on those platforms.

Putting more energy into just a couple of networks may create more results than diversifying.

This rule also applies to content and advertisements. The data is telling you what works the best, so consider shifting your focus to just a few key areas.

At the same time, you can take this opportunity to test out different platforms. At the end of the day, you’ll never know until you try.

Maybe another social network would perform incredibly well, but you just haven’t tested it.

You can test a couple on a smaller scale and look at the results before you invest too much time into it.

You should also now be setting goals for your social accounts, including:

Follower count
Engagement numbers such as likes or comments
Traffic that you drive to your website

When you perform another audit, you should be able to do it faster. You’ll be much more familiar with the process, which will help you streamline the process.

And, when you perform your next audit, you can track changes by comparing your numbers to your previous audits.

Over time, you will have a vivid picture of how your social accounts are developing.

Calculate budget and ROI.

Do you include ads in your marketing strategy?

If so, you’ll want to make them a component of your audit.

Ad platforms on Facebook and Pinterest, for example, will record the performance, costs, and other metrics for the ads you run.

Analyze which ad types and creatives are bringing you the best results. You could invest more of your budget into these while dialing back others.

This way, you can avoid spending money on advertisements that don’t deliver the most value.

Even small experiments with paid campaigns can help you better calibrate your organic efforts.

I integrate SEO and PPC for this very same reason.

I run a quick PPC campaign to find the keywords that convert best within an industry. Then, I’ll start building out content and SEO campaigns around this new data.

The same applies to social. Run paid campaigns to quickly identify top content, audiences, and so on. Then, tailor your organic efforts around what already works.


A social media audit doesn’t have to be long or tedious.

If you follow what I’ve outlined in this article, you can complete yours in as little as 30 minutes.

Every social media platform offers analytics and insights that you need to take advantage of.

You’ll become a master at all of them with enough practice.

They will enable you to improve your marketing strategies and speak to your audience in their language.

Preparation and organization are the keys to a successful audit. That’s why a simple spreadsheet is so handy.

You’ll want to keep a record of how these numbers increase or decrease over time. That way, you can draw conclusions about what’s working and what’s not.

Set a schedule to perform your audits, too. You could do them on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.

Don’t be afraid to experiment by trying out new networks. You can add these to your next audit.

Set goals based on the collected data, and you’ll be consistently growing your social accounts over time.

What do you think is the most important part of a social media audit?

The post How to Conduct a Social Media Audit in Just 30 Minutes appeared first on Neil Patel.


The Future of In-Store Retail?

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Last weekend my boyfriend and I were at the Walmart Supercentre in Tsawwassen, and we noticed that when you first walked in, they had a wall of about 50-100 of handheld scanner devices. Upon further inspection, we learned that they were apart of a program called Scan & Go. Scan & Go allows shoppers to scan their own items, and then at the end they can go through the self-serve checkout and quickly load everything into the checkout machine and pay. Here’s a photo rundown example of our experience:


The handheld devices look like smartphones with handles on them. To scan items such as bulk foods or fruits/veggies, you simply plop them on a scale, print off the tag and scan the code. After we scanned everything, we went to the self checkout and scanned a sign at the top saying “Scan & Go”. From there it’s supposed to upload everything you’ve scanned, and you can simply pay and leave. Unfortunately we got a pop-up on our device saying we were randomly selected for a quality check, and then had to wait for about three minutes as there were no workers around. Other than that, the system seemed very seamless, and very easy to use. It was also handy to have a personal price checker with you.

So this leads me to my question about the future of in-store retail. Self-serve checkouts had a bit of a rocky start, but they are a lot of people’s first choice now when checking out. Will consumers see this as another way to have total control over their shopping experience, and make it appear faster? And would this approach work for all types of retail?

Recently we’ve seen a few changes to the retail landscape. Starbucks in Seattle decided to do a test trial of a cashless store, only accepting plastic. Also in Seattle, Amazon launched an AI-powered store, which is one step further from a cashless store, allowing users to pay with their phones and not accepting traditional credit or debit cards.

Looking at the future, as more and more things become automated, how will this affect jobs? In a lot of instances, I can see this eliminating the need for sales people. Let’s take a look at the car industry. Back in the day, people used to go to dealerships and kick tires, ask a bunch of questions and try to negotiate for a full tank of gas. Tires will always need to be kicked, but for me personally, I investigate a car completely online before going out and looking at them in person. So what’s the role of a car salesperson? Getting the keys for a test drive, and then filling out paperwork after if needed? If there was a system where you had to sign in, verify who you were, leave some sort of collateral and then were able to gain access to keys for a test drive, what more would we need? Just a self-serve check out and that car is yours. This is totally hypothetical though, we’ll probably have flying cars that drive themselves by that point. Either way, no salesperson.

This industry seems to be changing pretty quickly as of late, and I’m interested to see where it is heading. These new concepts, along with the increasing minimum wage, will definitely have an affect on small business as well, reducing the amount of human interaction needed.


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