Category: Social Media


Chatbots vs. Live Chat: The Questions You Should Ask

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There’s a reason why people say “the first impression is the last impression.” Some 51% of customers never approach a business again after one bad experience. That puts pressure on every interaction—and every missed opportunity—with potential customers, recent purchasers, and long-time users.

Web chat is often the first impression for customer service interactions. While chat services initially connected consumers with real customer service staff, chatbots have become increasingly common—for obvious reasons and with obvious limitations.

Ultimately, no platform guarantees an improved customer experience. Consumers care most about solving their problems. Whether they do it with a person or a chatbot is secondary.


How to Transform Cold Leads into Sales Conversations Using LinkedIn

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If you’re not active on LinkedIn, you could be missing out on 80% of your leads.

I know that’s a bold statement, but I wanted to get your attention.

If you’re a B2B marketer or salesperson, LinkedIn is your Pacific Ocean. It’s the biggest body of water there is—the one with the most fish, and the biggest fish.

80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn.

Think about that statistic another way.

If LinkedIn accounts for 80% of all B2B leads, and you’re not using it right now… that means you’re only getting 20% of the results you could be getting.

So if you start leveraging LinkedIn to effectively generate new business, then you should be able to 5x your lead flow—from 20% up to 100%.

Sound like a good idea to you?

Great. And I’ve got even more good news for you: in this post, I’m going to show you how to do exactly that.

I’m going to walk you through the 7 steps of creating an all-star LinkedIn profile, and then I’m going to show you how to leverage this awesome platform to make valuable connections that result in new leads and sales conversations.

Why You Need to Use LinkedIn

Let’s look at why LinkedIn is such a critical network. For one thing, it’s huge. It recently passed the half-a-billion user mark (546 million, to be exact), and continues to sprint toward its goal of having 3.3 billion members (one for every person in the workforce worldwide).

If, for whatever reason, you aren’t one of those 546 million, what are you waiting for?

It’s the only big social network that is 100% professional in nature. This is not a place where you’ll find cat videos and vacation pictures. LinkedIn is a network that’s designed to help you find a new job, connect with prospects, and host your professional footprint online.

Those 2 things put together—LinkedIn’s professional nature and its huge size—make it an essential tool for any B2B marketer or salesperson. There’s simply no other place online where you can connect with professionals so effectively and on such a massive scale.

And like I said before: 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn.

That stat pretty much says it all.

7 Steps to Creating an All-Star LinkedIn Profile

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to use LinkedIn to generate new leads, it’s a good idea to take some time to clean up your profile. After all, your profile is the first thing people are going to see when you connect with them.

(RELATED: The DigitalMarketer Podcast Episode 7: Why You Should be Using LinkedIn to Boost Sales and Brand Image)

So let’s start things off by making sure you have an all-star LinkedIn profile. To do it, follow these 7 steps:

1. Do Not, I Repeat, Do NOT be Unprofessional

Considering LinkedIn is a professional network, you might assume that most people would realize that means you have to display yourself in a professional manner.

Your profile is the first thing people are going to see when you connect with them.

You’d be wrong.

So let’s start things off by just making sure you aren’t doing anything really, really stupid. This is what we call picking the low-hanging fruit.

Double-check your LinkedIn profile and remove all of the following:

Unprofessional profile pictures…

Unprofessional descriptions…

References to being a ninja (Can we stop being Ninja’s, y’all? Aren’t we past this?)…

More unprofessional profile pictures (Seriously, save your college frat party pictures for Facebook)…

Unprofessional summaries that you copied from Tinder…

And whatever this is…

Feel free to chuckle—some of these were pretty funny—but don’t ignore the lesson here. These are serious mistakes that will completely undermine your authority on LinkedIn. So don’t do them.

Be professional!

2. Get a Decent-Looking Headshot and Banner Image

So first things first: get a recent headshot (no catfishing). And keep in mind, pictures in LinkedIn are small, so it should not be a group shot. You should be the only one in the picture (taking up about 60% of the frame), and you should dress appropriately to the audience you serve.

Another thing you really ought to do—most people miss out on this opportunity—is customize your banner image at the top. Most people are still using the generic banner that comes standard on all LinkedIn profiles:

But I highly recommend updating that and using a customized image that stands out and helps build your credibility. Here’s mine:

The cool thing about a banner photo like this is that it’s also a conversation starter! When people see this photo they’ll often ask about it, where was I, what kind of event was it, and so on. And that leads very naturally into a sales conversation (since the photo is of me at one of our T&C events).

These 2 pictures are the first thing people will see when they click on your profile, so make sure they look good.

3. Remember Your Headline is Not Just Your Job Title

Here’s another thing that a lot of people miss when filling out their profile:

Your headline is not just your job title.

Yes, you should probably mention your job title. But this is one of the most visible parts of your profile. Take advantage of the space you have to call out who you’re looking to connect with.

Here’s how I do it:

I do include my job title, but before that I say, “Executive Sales Leader”—because that’s who I’m looking to connect with.

You could put anything here. If your prospect is agency owners, put “Agency Expert.” If your prospect is small local businesses, put “Consultant for Small Local Businesses.”

You get the idea.

(NOTE: Want to make extra sure that your LinkedIn profile is the best representation of you and is helping you generate the most leads possible? Download your FREE 10-Point LinkedIn Audit for a detailed checklist for turning your profile into a lead-generating machine. Learn more here!)

4. Tell a Story with Your Summary

The summary is yet another part of your LinkedIn profile that’s commonly a missed opportunity.

Most people’s summaries are very bland and boring: “Developer with a demonstrated history of providing valuable contributions to a variety of…”


Nobody wants or needs you to rehash your qualifications, or even list out your greatest qualities. After all, you’ve got a line-by-line account of your job history further down the page, and those great qualities would be much better demonstrated in your endorsements and recommendations. PLUS, these summaries are searchable, so you will be more likely to come up in someone’s search with a good summary.

The point of your summary should be to put all that other stuff into context. You have 2000 characters (and you should use it all) to tell a story about your life and career. Why do you do what you do? Why is it important? Why does it get you fired up?

Here’s my summary for an example:

See how I’m telling a story?

This kind of summary goes a long way in building some rapport with the people who come to your profile. They start to see you as a human being, and not just a bulleted list of generic adjectives. I have 20 people every week who reach out to connect just because they read my summary and feel connected to my mission.

5. Add Media to Build Credibility

You also have the opportunity to add some media to your profile. This is something you don’t see on most profiles, but trust me—adding visual resources like this can go a long way in helping you to show people what you’re all about.

They show up at the bottom of your summary in thumbnails, like this:

Pictures like this help to paint a better picture of what it is you do. Bonus points if your media also helps to build credibility, like a photo of you presenting something onstage.

6. Post Relevant Content and See Who’s Engaging With it

LinkedIn is a great place to post content that’s relevant to your ideal prospects. When you do, it will show up under the “Articles & activity” section of your profile.

Content is a HUGE part of making LinkedIn work for lead generation. I’m going to dig into that topic in greater detail in just a bit, so for right now I’m just going to say that you should be posting relevant content to engage with your ideal prospects.

7. Get Endorsements and Recommendations

If you’re a regular visitor here at DM, you’re probably familiar with social proof—the idea that the best way to build credibility is not to brag about yourself, but to get other people to do it for you. Third-party endorsements and recommendations are always more believable and compelling than anything you say about yourself.

And fortunately, LinkedIn makes it really easy to get those kinds of third-party testimonials.

In the “Skills & Endorsements” section, LinkedIn will display your most relevant skills (which you get to choose) along with the number of people who have endorsed you for that skill. Your goal with endorsements should be to reach 99+, like I have here:

The endorsements section is probably the easiest to spruce up. The best tactic is to go out and endorse other people for the skills they excel at. Most people will return your endorsements in kind.

The second place where you can leverage third-party credibility is in the “Recommendations” section. Here is where you can display positive comments made by other LinkedIn members about their experience working with you:

A few glowing recommendations can go a long way in improving your LinkedIn profile. Especially if your recommendations come from well-known people in your industry, that stamp of approval is going to build a lot of credibility for anyone looking at your profile.

So how do you get recommendations on LinkedIn? Simple: just go out and ask for them.

Talk to people you’ve worked with, people you have a good relationship with, people who are leaders in your industry that you’ve done good work for, and ask them to write you a quick recommendation. You might be surprised by how many will respond.

How LinkedIn Fits in With the Sales Process

Earlier in this post, I wrote that if you do any sort of B2B marketing or selling, you have to use LinkedIn.

Notice the wording I used there. I said, “You have to USE LinkedIn.”

I didn’t say, “You have to be on LinkedIn.” Everybody is “on” LinkedIn.

But only a small fraction of savvy marketers and salespeople actually USE it effectively.

It’s a small distinction, but a critical one.

And that’s why, if you want to be one of the small percentages of people who extract the overwhelming majority of new business out of LinkedIn, you have to change the way you think about this network altogether. You have to stop thinking of it as your online resume and start thinking of it as an online channel to do these 2 things:

Everybody is “on” LinkedIn. But only a small fraction of savvy marketers and salespeople actually USE it effectively.

Post content that is relevant to your ideal prospects
Connect with the right people in the right industries and positions

If you do these 2 things on LinkedIn on a regular basis, it will help you to keep your sales pipeline full at all times.

(And the best salespeople will tell you that THAT—keeping their pipeline full at all times—is the real key to sales success.)

So let’s unpack those 2 things and how to accomplish them.

Step 1: Post Relevant Content

The best way I’ve found of reaching potential leads and starting sales conversations with them is to consistently post content.

If you post high-quality, targeted content that speaks to your ideal prospect, that content is going to naturally find its way into the activity feeds of the people you want to talk to the most. And it’s going to make it much easier for you to get a conversation started with those people and direct that conversation in the direction you want it to go.

This is a process that you can refine over time. Start by posting content, and then view the stats for that content to see if you’re reaching the right people.

For example, this post of mine did really well in terms of reach. It generated over 42,000 views, 3,100 likes, 350 comments, and 800 shares:

So, that’s pretty cool. But who are those 42,000 people who read the article? Are they the kind of people I’m trying to connect with?

You can find that out by clicking “View stats.” Do that, and LinkedIn will show you a detailed breakdown of who viewed and shared your content:

So you can see this particular article generated engagement all over the place: from recruiters, strategists, CEOS, marketing specialists, and more.

If those are the kinds of people I’m trying to reach—then that’s good news! This article is working well, and I should post more just like it.

If those aren’t the kinds of people I’m trying to reach—that’s OK. It’s a data point. And it’s incredibly valuable data because it tells me whether or not my content is resonating with the right kind of person. If you’re trying to reach decision-makers, for example, then they should be the ones reading your content (Partners, Owners, VPs, C-level executives, etc.).

There are several ways I can rework the piece to reach the right people. Maybe I should try repositioning the article or rewriting the headline to speak more to my desired audience and see if that helps me.

And when someone reads a post of yours on LinkedIn, it becomes a lot easier for you to connect and start a conversation with that person. Which brings us to…

Step 2: Connect With The Right People

Ultimately you want to use LinkedIn to connect with potential leads and open up sales conversations with them.

So how do you do that?

Well, it becomes a lot easier if you follow my advice and post relevant content that reaches your ideal prospects.

For one thing, it can lead to profile views if someone reads your article and wants to learn more about the person who wrote it. When that happens, they’ll show up under “Who viewed your profile.”

And if you’re posting content regularly, this section of LinkedIn should give you a never-ending list of people you can reach out to.

Another way to connect with people is to jump to the “Notifications” section. To get there, just click the bell at the top of the screen.

Here you’ll see a list of everyone who has interacted with your posts on LinkedIn.

This is another great list of people to connect with because they’ve already read and engaged with something you’ve put out there. You have a common interest and a conversation starter.

OK, so now we’ve talked about some of the places you can go to find people to connect with. Your next question might be: How do you actually connect with people? Should you just send them a connection request and launch straight into your sales pitch?

In a word, no.

Keep in mind, people are used to getting spammy pitches these days and they won’t hesitate to close your message and ignore you forever if they think that’s what you’re doing.

A much better strategy is to reach out to people with a personalized message. You can do this with mutual connections (you can find this right on the person’s profile)…

…or you can reach out to new connections directly through their profile.

But make sure you use and personalize the 300-character message when requesting a connection.

This will set you apart and give the person some context to who they are, so they will be more likely to accept.

This is a much better way of starting a conversation.

(RELATED: The 5-Message Sequence: A LinkedIn Marketing Strategy that Generated $101k+ in 9 Months)

And you can make this even MORE effective by leveraging “Active Status” to start conversations with people only when you know they’re online and available right now. Active Status shows up as a green dot in the in the lower-right part of your profile picture.

Those are some of the basics of using LinkedIn to find and connect with good prospects. But once you get the hang of those basics, I highly recommend upgrading to something called LinkedIn Sales Navigator to really get the most out of this network.

(NOTE: Want to make extra sure that your LinkedIn profile is the best representation of you and is helping you generate the most leads possible? Download your FREE 10-Point LinkedIn Audit for a detailed checklist for turning your profile into a lead-generating machine. Learn more here!)

How to Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to Connect with Your Ideal Prospects

LinkedIn Sales Navigator has probably been the best investment that I’ve made personally and for my team. So yes, it does cost some money. But if you use it to its full potential, it’s well worth every penny.

When you log into Sales Navigator, you’ll see a feed. This feed will be empty at first until you start saving leads. Here’s mine:

So how do you find leads? Basically, just search for them—click “Advanced” in the search bar and click on “Search for leads”:

A window will pop up showing you all kinds of ways to search for people based on their location, industry, title, seniority level, and so on.

And the great thing about this tool is that because LinkedIn has so many users, you can get really dialed-in with your targeting and still reach a lot of people. For example, here I’m searched for “marketing agency” in Texas and still got 69,008 results.

Now, 69,000 is still too big, so I’m going to narrow this further by targeting the people I really want to be talking to—the decision makers. And if I filter for Partners, Owners, VPs, and Directors, I still get 14,520 results.

So now I can see a list of all these results—people who would be really great leads. To save them as a lead in Sales Navigator, just click “Save as lead” on the right.

When you save someone as a lead, they’ll show up on your dashboard—and you’ll see all their activity in your feed.

There’s another useful tool in the panel at the very top of the search results.

Using this panel, you can even filter for profiles of people who have changed jobs, been mentioned in the news, or those who are connected with your team in some way (meaning you can get an easy introduction).

And you can use this information to help start a conversation. For example, say I click to filter for all the profiles that have been mentioned in the news in the past 30 days.

Now you have a really easy conversation starter for 90+ high-quality leads. Just mention that you saw them in the news and wanted to connect.

And while I’m on the topic of starting conversations, remember this:

These days, starting a sales conversation is just starting a regular conversation.

You have a lot of data on these people—you know where they’re located, what kind of work they do, what connections you have in common, where they’ve been mentioned in the media. You can filter profiles that are active (have posted on LinkedIn in the last 30 days), that have shared experiences with you, or that follow your company on LinkedIn.

These are all really great data points you can use to strike up a conversation.

Striking up a conversation on LinkedIn doesn’t have to be complicated. I send a lot of really simple, thoughtful messages like this:

Notice that I’m not being annoying or asking them to buy something right away—I’m just dropping a nice little note that people are much more likely to appreciate and respond to.

These days, starting a sales conversation is just starting a regular conversation.

(On average I get a ~90% response rate to messages like this.)

Another thing that I love about Sales Navigator is that you don’t have to be connected to these people to send them a message. You can send Sales Navigator InMail messages without connecting first.

So to sum it up—LinkedIn Navigator. Yeah. You gotta get it. It’s awesome, it lets you find and connect with your ideal prospects much, much better than you could without it. I highly recommend it.

Other LinkedIn Tools I Recommend

Let’s assume you’re using LinkedIn Navigator, and you want to kick up your results even further. What can you do?

Here are a few additional tools that I find useful for prospecting:

Tool #1: Sales Navigator Plugin

If you’re a Chrome user, it’s a no-brainer to start using the Sales Navigator plugin. This will pull information from LinkedIn right into your browser.

Here’s an example. I got an email from Parker, and the Sales Navigator plugin automatically displayed his information right there beside the email—so I could instantly see his title, location, shared connections, and more.

Using this tool, you can save someone as a lead or add them as a connection right from your browser. Super fast and convenient.

Tool #2: Native QR Codes

QR Codes may seem pretty useless and feel like you took a step back in the tech time bubble… unless that QR code is native to the BIGGEST professional networks in the world.

Do you still use business cards? Me either… and I’m not saying you “shouldn’t” have business cards; I’m just saying they are old and out of date.

Meet your new business card.

Now, instead of rummaging around in your wallet or purse for a bent, boring card, you just use your phone’s camera to connect instantly to the person’s profile and see all their info (much more than you can fit on a 3.5 x 2’ piece of paper).

It’s as easy as that.

Tool #3: PointDrive

If you’re using Sales Navigator, you’ll also get access to a tool called PointDrive.

PointDrive gives you a much easier and more professional way to share slides, presentations, and any other sales collateral. Instead of having to email a half-dozen attachments a hundred times a day, just use PointDrive to create a great-looking presentation like this:

This makes it really easy for people to view your documents and resources. And PointDrive also tracks your visitors’ activity—so you’ll get deeper insights into how they’re interacting with these materials. AND, it can also connect you with the coworkers of who you send things to, so it is one more way to grow your network.

If you send this presentation to the owner of a company, for example, you’ll be able to see who they shared it with. Did they forward it to a VP or a Partner? This gives you a better idea of who’s involved in the buying process, so you can tailor your approach to include the right people.

The Secret to More Effective Prospecting on LinkedIn

You’re almost there guys. We’ve covered a lot in this post, I know, but before I send you on your way, I want to take a little time to go deeper.

And always remember that in today’s world, it’s the strategic, helpful, and empathetic salesperson who wins.

We’ve talked about the tools and the tactics. But what about the mindsets?

I think it’s essential for any salesperson to realize what prospecting on LinkedIn really is at the end of the day:

Prospecting on LinkedIn is a series of failures that results in a YES.

It’s not a quick process, and it doesn’t generate instantaneous sales. In order for this to work you have to be consistent in your follow-up. People need to get to know you are your brand before they are willing to fork over any money.

A lot of people forget that, and it causes them to miss out on sales.

The message here, I hope, is obvious: be persistent in your follow-up, and consistent in your prospecting. Follow the ABCs (Always Be Connecting) to keep your pipeline full at all times. I recommend blocking out 30 minutes, twice a day, to do your LinkedIn prospecting.

And always remember that in today’s world, it’s the strategic, helpful, and empathetic salesperson who wins.

(NOTE: Want to make extra sure that your LinkedIn profile is the best representation of you and is helping you generate the most leads possible? Download your FREE 10-Point LinkedIn Audit for a detailed checklist for turning your profile into a lead-generating machine. Learn more here!)

The post How to Transform Cold Leads into Sales Conversations Using LinkedIn appeared first on DigitalMarketer.


Facebook’s Comment-to-Messenger Feature: Everything You Need to Know

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Facebook Messenger ads are all the craze right now.

They’re the most PERSONAL ad type on the market.

Our culture has bred an expectation of instantaneous communication. Whether through text, chat, or social media… when someone sends you a message, you FEEL the need to respond in a timely manner (or at least most of us do ☺).

Think about it—this is what makes Facebook Messenger marketing so powerful. It taps into a channel that 1+ billion people are already using… and also facilitates communication in a way that people now expect.

As messenger becomes a more and more common communication channel for companies, the brands that utilize messenger to communicate with their prospects and customers will win.

In a separate post I explained the ins-and-outs of Facebook Messenger Ads, and now I’m going to expand on that information by highlighting one of the most popular messenger marketing features out there: the comment-to-messenger tool.

The way this tool works is pretty simple, really cool, and ultra-effective. Basically, you just sync a Facebook post (or ad) with your favorite messenger marketing tool (mine is definitely ManyChat)…

…and it will automatically message anyone who comments on that post!

And as always, if they interact with your bot then they will be added to your subscriber list and you can continue to follow up with them via messenger.

This is really exciting stuff, guys.

Today, I’ll be explaining the details of this tool:

What it’s good for
When to use it
And tips to get the best results possible from your comment-to-messenger campaigns

But before we talk about the “how,” let’s talk about…

Why Does Facebook’s Comment-to-Messenger Feature Matter?

It’s an easy way to build messenger subscribers

Facebook allows you to build a “list” of messenger subscribers that you can later send broadcasts to (similar to email, but we’re seeing 80%+ open rates). If you read this post, you know why this is so important.

To become a messenger subscriber, someone simply has to have messaged your page in the past. If you use the feature the way I outline below, you can build a subscriber list using the same comment-to-message strategy we are… without even buying ads.

Increases relevance score

If you are using the comment-to-message strategy and then turning that post into an ad, this is going to significantly increase relevance score.

Relevance score is a number out of 10 that Facebook uses to tell advertisers how relevant their ad is to the audience in which they’re targeting.

The higher the relevance score, the more reach your ad gets and the lower the cost.

Social proof weighs heavily on your relevance score, so the more positive comments, shares, and reactions that your post gets, the higher the score.

By accumulating a ton of comments on your post using this strategy, you are in turn increasing your relevance score—and encouraging Facebook to show your post to even more people.

It’s a great strategy to generate leads and sales (isn’t that what we REALLY want?)

This strategy isn’t just about “talking” or “building a list.” You can use it to generate leads and sales for your business, too.

The key is to make sure your post leads to an ideal sales conversation for your business.

Asking people to comment with their favorite color just to build your messenger list isn’t the best way to use this feature (unless you’re selling something that has to do with coloring ).

You can use ManyChat to set up an automated follow-up sequence that eventually leads someone to a sale. You can also use ManyChat’s tagging system to segment audiences so that you can make them an offer that’s most relevant to them.

How Facebook’s Comment-to-Messenger Feature Works

So, how does it work?

I’m glad you asked!

First I’m going to explain the big picture, to help give you some context. Then I’ll walk you through an example just to make sure everything is 100% clear. And finally, I’ll dive into the specifics of exactly how to get started using this tool in your own business.

In a nutshell, the comment-to-messenger feature works like this:

Create a Facebook post. I recommend asking a polarizing question and letting people know that when they leave a comment they will automatically receive a message on messenger.
Set up the comment-to-messenger growth tool inside of ManyChat and sync it with the post you created in Step 1. Part of this will include deciding on what message(s) people will receive when they comment on your post.
If you want to promote your post as an ad, you can set that up inside the Ads Manager. Just be sure to choose “Engagement” as your objective.

Here’s an example of what this looks like from the user’s perspective.

First, you’ll see a post in your newsfeed (it could be a paid ad or an organic post). Like this one:

Notice how the post sets your expectation—it tells you that if you leave a comment, you’ll get a response via messenger.

After you post a comment, you’ll automatically get this message:

Scroll down and you’ll see the offer being promoted—a free container of protein:

And finally, see how easy it is to respond—just tap “Heck Yes!” or “No, thanks”:

Pretty simple, right? As the user, all you have to do is comment on a post, read a short message inside of messenger, and click “Yes” to claim the offer.

If you interact with the bot in any way—even if it’s to say “No, thanks”—you will be automatically subscribed to this advertiser’s messenger list. Then over the next few days, you’ll continue to receive follow-up messages from them.

And as you can see here, those follow-up sequences can be extremely effective:

Open rates of 88.4%-98.5%, and click-through rates of 18.8%-80.7%?

Compared to traditional email marketing engagement metrics, those numbers are INSANE. (In a good way.)

(NOTE: Ready to get started with your own Messenger bot? Check out our BRAND NEW 6-Step Facebook Messenger Bot Builder to get our exclusive strategy that makes running your Messenger Bots easy for any business. And if you act now, you can get this Execution Plan for 85% OFF! Learn more here.)

Facebook’s Comment-to-Messenger Feature in Action

This is still a relatively new feature, so we’re still testing and finding ways to use it ourselves.

But, we’ve already seen some other marketers do cool things on their own pages.

Our good friend, Derek Halpern, recently published a post in which he asked a question: “What is a good (and realistic) sales page conversion rate?”

Once you comment on this post with your guess, Derek sends you a message with the answer. He also takes advantage of your attention to make a relevant offer and send interested visitors to a webinar registration page:

Derek then broadcasted to his messenger list a few days later…

Cole from Sherpa Metrics also used this functionality to generate 500+ messenger subscribers and to segment his audience in efforts to make relevant offers…

Then he followed up to further segment the audience…

Within 36 hours, Cole was already seeing insane open and click-through rates…

How to Set Up Facebook’s Comment-to-Messenger Feature

It may seem complicated, but this feature is actually pretty easy to put into action.

Step 1 is to create the post that you’ll use. And to do this, you have 2 options:

You can use a normal post that anyone can see on your wall
Or you can create a post in the Business Manager that won’t be front-facing on your Facebook page. To do that, just make your way to the Page Posts area here:

The only difference is whether the post will be shown on your Facebook page or not. If it’s not, you’ll need to promote the post through an ad in order to generate impressions.

Step 2 is to set up your growth tool. To do that, just log into your ManyChat account and click on “Growth Tools” and then “+ New Growth Tool”:

Then choose “Facebook Comments”:

You then have the option to select the post you’d like to use based on its URL, post ID, or a dropdown list of recent posts to your page:

Notice that you can choose to send messages after a certain period of time, to exclude certain keywords, and to only trigger comments for certain keywords…

For the best results, here are the settings I typically recommend:

Track first-level comments only: Turn this ON
When user leaves a comment, send message after: Immediately
Exclude comments with these keywords: Leave this blank
Only trigger for comments with these keywords: Leave this blank

Next, you’ll click the “Auto-response” button:

This is where you’ll craft the automatic response that people will receive in their inbox after they comment on your post. This response should deliver on the promise you made in the post, and prompt the user to engage with you (so they’ll become a subscriber).

Notice the sentence in parentheses at the bottom of our welcome message:

Facebook automatically adds a link back to the original post, so we always put a line of text here telling people to ignore that link so it doesn’t cause confusion.

Then, you’ll hit “Back” and then “Save.”

Next, How Do We Trigger Specific Follow-Up Messages for Certain Keywords?

You need to set up automation for the keyword you’re asking them to type into messenger. For example, in one of our campaigns, we set up an automation that delivers a free report to anyone who types the word “guide.”

As you can see above, we clicked the “Keywords” button under “Automation.”

We then created a new rule that when people typed “guide,” we responded with…

We also told ManyChat that we wanted to tag them as having downloaded this report…

The tagging is important because now we can visit the “audience” tab and see how many people have messaged from that particular post, AND we can subscribe everyone with that tag to a particular follow-up sequence…

Using this feature we’re able to generate lots of high-quality leads and customers while helping us to learn more about our audience at the same time.

Comment-to-messenger is definitely not the best growth tool for every possible situation. But it works great for generating a discussion on Facebook that transitions to messenger.

And it gives you a lot of freedom to get creative with how you engage with your customers. So definitely brainstorm new and creative ways to use this tool.

(NOTE: Ready to get started with your own Messenger bot? Check out our BRAND NEW 6-Step Facebook Messenger Bot Builder to get our exclusive strategy that makes running your Messenger Bots easy for any business. And if you act now, you can get this Execution Plan for 85% OFF! Learn more here.)

In the meantime, here are a few best practices that I’ve picked up from my experience using it:

5 Tips to Get the Most Out of the Comment-to-Message Growth Tool
1) Ask a polarizing question

Your goal should be to generate is what Facebook calls “authentic engagement.”

In any comment-to-messenger post, your goal is to generate engagement and discussion around a topic that is relevant to your audience. And the best way I’ve found to do that is to ask a polarizing question that sparks some curiosity and debate. Something that will compel people to share their own feelings, while making them wonder what your brand thinks on the topic.

For example, if you were in the typewriter-selling business, your audience would consist of writers. Here’s an example of a polarizing question post that might appeal to writers:

2) Set the proper expectation

Take a look at that picture again, and re-read the last sentence. See how I specify, very clearly, what will happen after you leave a comment?

You want to do this on all your comment-to-messenger posts. This is a new feature and most people won’t expect a message to pop up after they leave a comment, so make sure to set that expectation so people know what’s coming.

3) Track first-level comments only

When setting up your growth tool, I recommend tracking first-level comments only. Here’s where you can change this setting:

Switch that setting to “on.” Basically it just means that if somebody tags a friend in their comment, and that friend replies to the original comment, the friend will not receive your automatic message.

Here’s how this would work:

Since anyone replying to a comment is probably more interested in responding to their friend than getting your auto-message, this generally results in a nicer experience for everybody.

4) When using comment-to-messenger in combination with Facebook ads, make sure to use “Engagement” as your objective

This makes sense when you think about it. What you really want is for people to comment on your post so you can transition them to messenger.

And because you’re asking people to comment, you’ll want to stick with just the Facebook feed as your placement:

5) Watch out for “engagement bait”

One thing you’ll need to be careful of when using this tool is posting what Facebook now calls “engagement bait.” And this is such an important point that I’m going to give it a subhead so all the people who are just scanning this article will notice it.

Warning: Avoid Posting “Engagement Bait”

In the past, many marketers (myself included) wrote posts that urged people into interacting with a specific post. Here are a few examples from Facebook:

The problem with engagement bait is that it can feel kinda spammy, and in many cases, it leads to low-quality engagement rather than real discussion.

You need to watch out for this when you’re using comment-to-messenger because it can be easy to create an engagement bait post without even meaning to. Here’s an example of a post we created here at DigitalMarketer over a year ago. At the time it was fine, but today it might fall under the category of “engagement bait”:

Here’s another example:

Keep in mind, back in early 2017, this was a perfectly acceptable use of this tool.

Today, however, things are different. If you publish a post like this now, Facebook will punish you with a lower reach. And if you repeatedly share engagement bait posts, you “will see more significant drops in reach.” (Facebook’s words.)

So the take-home message is, don’t do that.

Instead, your goal should be to generate what Facebook calls “authentic engagement.”

And that’s what this tool is really all about. Having real conversations with your audience, about the things that matter to them. You have so much to gain when you hear your audience’s real voices and real opinions.

Not only can it lead to a lot of warm sales conversations, it can also help you to learn more about the people you’re serving in your business, what their biggest challenges are, and how you can help them even more.

(NOTE: Ready to get started with your own Messenger bot? Check out our BRAND NEW 6-Step Facebook Messenger Bot Builder to get our exclusive strategy that makes running your Messenger Bots easy for any business. And if you act now, you can get this Execution Plan for 85% OFF! Learn more here.)

The post Facebook’s Comment-to-Messenger Feature: Everything You Need to Know appeared first on DigitalMarketer.


Facebook Messenger Ads: How to Use Them in Your Business

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It’s been a little over a year since I first wrote this post, and a LOT has changed since then. Messenger marketing has come a long way, and today there are more ways than ever to engage your customers using Facebook Messenger ads.

In the updated version of this post I’m explaining the ins and outs of Facebook Messenger ads and how to strategically deploy them in your business.

But before you can put them to work, you need to know the why—why this ad type matters to ANY and EVERY business…

I know it’s easy to assume that this ad type (or channel as a whole) would only work for “high-tech” audiences, or “big” companies that have the resources to man a customer communication channel… but, stay with me.

That’s not the case.

After doing a bit of thinking and research, I realized that assuming Messenger only works for highly technical markets is like saying that Facebook as a marketing channel only works for highly technical markets…

This chart from Business Insider is mind-blowing.

At the beginning of 2015, monthly usage of the top 4 messaging apps surpassed usage of the top 4 social networks… and it continues to grow.

And, over ONE BILLION people use Facebook Messenger as a whole. Even my great-grandmother (she’s in her 90’s) uses Facebook Messenger…

My point is that we must not only enter the conversation that’s already taking place in our customer’s head, we must BE in the places where our customers are having their conversations.

Aside from even advertising through Messenger, being reactive and responsive to your people throughout the entire Customer Value Journey via Messenger is essential.

I recently experienced this as a consumer.

I was driving down the road and saw a new apartment complex. I reached out via Messenger from their Facebook page to inquire about the property.

Every step of my Customer Journey, from scheduling a tour to negotiating the lease, was done through Facebook Messenger. It’s very likely that if they weren’t as responsive on Messenger as they were, I would’ve ended up living somewhere else.

If you get nothing else out of this article remember this… Messenger is an essential communication channel for businesses (and it’s still experiencing rapid growth).

Facebook reported that more than 1 in 2 people say they’re more likely to shop with a business they can message, and 67% of people expect to message businesses more in the next 2 years.

It’s how people are communicating with family and friends. A large portion of our society prefers to communicate via a messenger with quick responses.

Adapt… or lose business to your competition. 

Now, we, as marketers, have the opportunity to tap into this tremendous channel to grow our business and better serve our customers.

Here’s How It Works…

There are 3 different “types” of Facebook Messenger ads.

Click-to-Messenger ads: These drive traffic and conversations, using Messenger as a destination
Sponsored Messages: These allow you to send promotional messages even after the 24-hour rule has passed
Messenger Home Placement: This is a placement for ads that can appear on your Messenger home screen (and they can take people either to a Messenger conversation or to a landing page)

Let’s start with…

Messenger Ad Type #1: Click-to-Messenger Ads

Purpose: To build your subscriber list and start conversations with new people.

These are the most popular and commonly used Messenger ads, and it’s easy to see why. They provide you with an extremely versatile way to start new Messenger conversations with people, using all of the normal ad & targeting options available inside Facebook.

Destination ads appear in the newsfeed, and when clicked on, open inside of a Facebook message (instead of sending traffic to a URL):

You can find this destination option at the ad level when creating a campaign in Ads Manager or Power Editor.

Click-to-messenger ads look and feel like a normal Facebook ad, with the option to include an image, video, carousel, slideshow, etc. The only real difference in their appearance is the call to action button, which will say “Send Message” or “Get Started”:

A few things to note about destination ads…

You can target ANYONE(this is important—you can target interests, behaviors, custom audiences, etc.)
They can show up in the newsfeed for Facebook and Instagram (desktop and mobile)
They’re available for campaigns with the objectives “Traffic,” “Messages,” or “Conversions” (So, don’t panic if you chose another objective and don’t see Messenger as an option)

Ways to use this ad type…


What’s the biggest “hang-up” in your Customer Journey?

Use destination ads to give people an extra touch point with your brand. Help them overcome any barriers to purchase.

For example, we use Messenger ads to retarget people who visit our sales pages but don’t purchase the product. If you visit the sales page for DigitalMarketer Lab but don’t buy, you’ll see this ad:

There’s usually a reason people don’t buy, and if you give people a platform to ask questions and help overcome doubt, it works wonders. For example, people want to know if the product will actually work for their business, if there is a contract or commitment, if they can add team members, etc.

Once their questions are answered, most are ready to purchase the product. This entire conversation is happening via Facebook Messenger.

Cold traffic

We have the option to run destination ads to cold traffic (people who have never heard of our brand).

This can be used to raise awareness and acquire customers, but—it must be done right.

The key here is to make sure the ad prompts an ideal sales conversation. For example, if your ad asks people to respond with their favorite color, it’s probably going to be a waste of time and money.

But, if you can prompt a conversation that leads to your ideal sales conversation… you’re golden.

Imagine you own a home improvement company that provides a slew of services: plumbing, landscaping, painting, etc.

You could run an ad in your local area that says: “If you could ‘fix’ one aspect of your home, what would it be?” People will respond with answers like “landscaping” or “I’d paint my home.” You now know each person’s pain point, and you can cater your conversation with them around this topic. As a result, your odds of making a sale will be much higher.

Again, I wouldn’t recommend starting here as I don’t believe this is the most highly leveraged activity within Facebook Messenger ads, but, it’s worth a shot when you’re ready for scale.

2 Quick Tips for Your Click-to-Messenger Ads

For the best results, I highly recommend following these best practices when creating click-to-messenger ads inside Facebook:

Always set the right expectation.

Even though these ads have been around a while, many people are still unfamiliar with them and may be surprised when they click on the ad and Messenger opens. So make it clear, in your ad copy, that clicking on the call to action button will open a Messenger conversation.

You don’t want to surprise people, because they may get confused. So make sure they understand exactly what’s going to happen.

For your marketing objective, use “Traffic” or “Messages” instead of “Conversions.”

I know, I know—we all want more conversions (more leads and sales). But the problem with using “Conversions” for these ads as your objective is that Facebook won’t get enough data to really optimize your campaign.

So until pixels are implemented inside Messenger in some way, I recommend optimizing your click-to-messenger ads for Traffic or Messages.

Messenger Ad Type #2: Sponsored Messages

Purpose: To re-engage with and send promotional messages to people who are already subscribers.

Sponsored messages appear inside the Facebook Messenger inbox of your Messenger subscribers (in other words, anyone who has messaged you in the past and has not unsubscribed).

It’s an identical experience to receiving a Facebook message from a friend, these just come from a brand.

If you’re using a Messenger marketing tool like ManyChat (and I hope you are), then you already have the ability to send broadcasts and promotional messages to the people on your list. But when sending messages through a tool like ManyChat, you’re only allowed to send promotional messages within a 24-hour window after that person has interacted with your chatbot.

What makes Sponsored Messages so powerful is that you can send a promotional message anytime you want—even if it’s outside of that 24-hour window.

You can find this option at the ad set level when creating a campaign in Ads Manager or Power Editor. First, set your marketing objective as “Messages”:

Then choose “Sponsored Messages” from the drop-down:

By default, your message will be sent to everyone who has an existing conversation with you in Messenger. If you want to narrow down that targeting further, you can do so by clicking on “Advanced Options” under Audience. There you can narrow your focus to target subscribers based on their location, demographics, interests, etc.

In terms of placements, there’s only 1 option available: Sponsored messages. So you don’t have to change anything there.

For Sponsored Messages, Facebook recommends choosing a lifetime budget over a week. And right now, the cost is about $30 per 1,000 impressions. So a little napkin math should make it easy to figure out what your budget needs to be in order to reach all of your Messenger subscribers.

When creating an actual message, you can include links and images—like we do in this one:

Here’s where you can customize that stuff inside the Ads Manager:

You can also customize customer actions (such as providing suggested quick replies). But if you’re using ManyChat, you don’t have to worry about that—just use Facebook to send the initial message, and then let ManyChat take over from there.

A few things to note about sponsored messages…

You can ONLY target people who have previously messaged your page in the past. (As long as they haven’t unsubscribed.)
It’s available for campaigns with the “Messages” objective.
Keep in mind that your messages won’t necessarily be delivered immediately. In Facebook’s words: “You should expect the majority of your sponsored messages to deliver in the 3–5 days after your campaign starts. If you want to manually schedule a start and end date for your campaign, it’s recommended to set your campaign length for at least 1 week, to ensure full delivery.”
Only 1 sponsored message will be delivered per person, per ad set. If you want to send multiple sponsored messages to each person, you’ll need to create multiple ad sets.
Facebook charges advertisers by impressions, which means you are charged whether the end user opens the message or not. That is, unless you use a tool like…

ManyChat is much more than a “bot” (in my opinion, the bot is the least sexy feature).

ManyChat builds a list of subscribers that you can send sponsored messages to; people who have previously messaged your page:

Although Facebook is building this list, too, the benefit is ManyChat allows you to broadcast sponsored messages to your subscriber list for just $10/month (instead of paying Facebook on a CPM basis):

We’ve sent sponsored messages to our subscriber list, and the open rates have been INSANE (especially compared to email open rates)!!

As I mentioned above, the only limitation to ManyChat broadcasts is that you can only send promotional messages in the first 24 hours after someone has interacted with your bot. That’s Facebook’s rule, not ManyChat’s, and it’s there to help keep spam low and engagement high inside Messenger.

So that you, as an advertiser, can continue to use this channel effectively for years to come!

(RELATED: Episode 72: How DigitalMarketer Generated 500% ROI in 3 Days Using Facebook Messenger)

Messenger Ad Type #3: Messenger Home Placement

Purpose: A new placement where you can display your Facebook ads.

This isn’t really a type of ad, so much as a new placement. And the difference here is that your ad shows up inside Messenger home (as opposed to showing up inside of a specific conversation).

Here’s an example of what that looks like. Notice that the ad is sandwiched in between 2 different conversations:

Here’s another example:

And here’s where you can choose the Messenger Home placement:

Depending on your campaign, you could choose to have this ad open inside of Messenger… or you could have it take the person to a landing page. Feel free to experiment with these options, but keep in mind that because people are already inside of Messenger, there will be less friction if you keep them on Messenger rather than try to take them somewhere else (like your website).

OK, next I want to touch really briefly on…

How to Monitor Your Messenger Ad Performance

Obviously you’ll want to monitor the performance of your Messenger ad campaigns to see how they’re performing. And to see all the engagement metrics from your Messenger ads, just head over to the Ads Manager and choose “Messenger engagement” from the drop-down on the right:

Facebook will organize the columns to show your Messenger stats, including your total replies, link clicks, new messaging conversations, etc.

Just wanted to make sure you know that these metrics are available to you!

So, ready to put Facebook Messenger ads to work in your business? Let’s talk about…

(NOTE: With Lab+, you can access all 11 of our acclaimed marketing certification and mastery courses PLUS everything Lab has to offer. Quickly become a full-stack marketer with the best training available. Start your free trial today!)

How to Build Your Subscriber List

Sponsored messages are so powerful, and—this is really important—the fact that you can only send them to people who have previously messaged your page will keep this from becoming a spam-fest.

But, there does need to be list building strategies, similar to email.

For one thing, you can use destination ads to build your Messenger subscriber list.

ManyChat also provides a unique URL that when clicked, opens a Facebook message with your brand page.

For example, we sent an email and used the link to drive messages:

Not only did this provide an extra line of communication for people who would prefer to use Messenger, it sold tickets! As you can see from this Facebook Messenger conversation between a customer and one of our sales reps…

If you’re using a software like Shopify, you can integrate with Facebook and build your subscriber list as people purchase your product:

You can also send follow-up messages to confirm the order and send shipping information:

…Which is a great way to improve user experience.

And, don’t forget—even people who message your page (for customer service related questions, for example) are added to your subscriber list!

You may be wondering, Wow… this sounds awesome, but it requires a lot of human resources to answer messages!

And, you’re right. But, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth it AND it doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from this ad type even if you’re a 1-person show. Here are a few tips:

Start super small, down the funnel. Use destination ads to retarget people who are toward the bottom of your funnel. This will ensure you’re having fewer, but more highly-leveraged conversations.
Get help from a bot. Use ManyChat’s bot feature to welcome people who message your page, you could essentially automate the sales process with this tool.
Use the tagging system inside of Facebook Messenger to stay organized. Our team created tags to help systemize the process:

I also recommend integrating your customer service and sales platforms with Facebook Messenger so that your team can leverage Messenger while still having access to customer information.

Using Facebook’s Comment-to-Messenger Feature to Grow Your Subscriber Base

If you’re using ManyChat (or similar tools), you have the opportunity to leverage Facebook’s Comment-to-Messenger feature. This feature allows you to auto-message any person that comments on a specific Facebook post.

And if they respond to your message, they’ll automatically be added to your subscriber list.

Here’s an example…

Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to set up and deploy this strategy… along with examples of different business types.

Take advantage of Facebook Messenger ads to connect with your audience in a more interactive and meaningful way. Using the tools I’ve described in this post, you can build systems in your business that leverage this channel so that you can build a subscriber list, similar to email. Then…

Test, test, test, and as always… let us know how these strategies are working in your business!

(NOTE: With Lab+, you can access all 11 of our acclaimed marketing certification and mastery courses PLUS everything Lab has to offer. Quickly become a full-stack marketer with the best training available. Start your free trial today!)

The post Facebook Messenger Ads: How to Use Them in Your Business appeared first on DigitalMarketer.


3 Steps to Effectively Use Instagram Marketing to Generate Sales

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You know that Instagram is a great social network for some people.

For example, it’s great for artists, models, and anyone who wants to make sure the entire world knows how cute their cat is.

But is it a worthwhile network for businesses looking to generate new sales and customers?

In a word, absolutely.

If, that is, IF you do it right.

I’m Nathan Chan, publisher of Foundr Magazine—a bootstrapped company that quickly grew into a successful business thanks in large part to the Instagram strategy you’re about to learn in this post. And over the next few minutes, I’m going to show you the right way to grow your business with Instagram.


Learn how to optimize your account and post compelling Instagram content that will keep your followers coming back again and again
Along the way, you’ll increase your exposure and generate more conversions.
And finally, you’ll discover a few tools you can use to measure your success and iterate your results to keep your followers (and your business) growing more and more each and every month.

I’ll dig into the details in just a moment, but first, I should give you a big-picture view of what you’re about to learn. In a nutshell, this system for growing your business through Instagram marketing consists of 3 main steps:

Awareness: Grow your Instagram followers with influencer marketing and user-generated content
Engagement: Send traffic to your website with Lead Magnets and Instagram stories
Conversions: Increase sales with great content and a call to action (CTA) that kindle emotion

Makes sense, right? First, you have to reach people (generate awareness), then you need to get their attention (generate engagement), and finally you have to make them a relevant offer they will love (generate conversions).

So, now that you know the big-picture strategy, let’s dig into the details of how you can achieve each of those steps and grow your own business with a smart Instagram marketing strategy.

Step 1: Get More Instagram Followers

You can’t really accomplish anything on Instagram without any followers, and that’s why Step 1 of this process is to grow your Instagram following.

This is a great way to get your name and message in front of like-minded people all at once.

It’s pretty simple, really: the more followers you have, the more potential customers you’ll be able to reach with each and every post.

Of course, not every follower is created equal. You want to make sure your new followers are a good fit for your business.

Luckily, the 2 strategies I’m about to share will naturally help you to grow a bigger follower base of people who are interested in your content.

These are the same strategies we used to increase Foundr Magazine’s Instagram followers from 0 to 10,000 in just 2 weeks and surpassed 1,000,000 within 2 years.

So, how did we do it?

One of the fastest (not to mention most effective) ways to grow your followers is to leverage the reach of others who already have a large following.

This is a great way to get your name and message in front of like-minded people all at once. And because you’re being recommended by an authority figure, it also comes with built-in credibility.

There are 2 ways to achieve this: with influencer marketing and user-generated content.

Getting the Most Out of Influencer Marketing

In case you haven’t heard of it, “influencer marketing” is basically the practice of asking an influencer to introduce your company to their audience.

Working with these people is one of the fastest ways to increase your exposure on Instagram.

So, what is an influencer?

For our purposes, it’s anyone with a large following. They could be any kind of public figure: an actor, a musician, a professional athlete, a politician, a business owner, the list goes on.

If they have a large audience of people who know, like, and trust them, they’re an influencer. Working with these people is one of the fastest ways to increase your exposure on Instagram.

Here are a few ways you can leverage influencers to grow your own following:

You can simply pay them to share your content. This is known as a “paid shout-out”
Instead of paying money for a shout-out, you can also pay with products. Try shipping a product to an influencer in return for a post or comment
You can ask them to share your content for free. In this case, your best bet is probably to offer to share some of their content in return (this is called S4S, or shout-out for shout-out)

Keep in mind, an influencer doesn’t have to be someone with worldwide appeal and millions of followers.

In fact, it often pays to reach out to “micro-influencers.” A micro-influencer is someone who has somewhere between 10,000 and 50,000 followers.

And these are a great group of people to approach for a couple reasons.

For one thing, they often have a higher engagement rate with their audience than people with enormous followings. (Generally speaking, bigger audiences tend to have lower engagement.) Another benefit to working with micro-influencers is that they are usually cheaper to work with.

If you’re a new business looking to grow your audience, I would highly recommend you get started by finding and approaching micro-influencers in your niche.

Have Customers Do the Work for You

Another awesome way to boost followers and gain sales is to let your customers do the work for you—by posting user-generated content.

Sharing user-generated content is a great way to grow your following. For one thing, it helps to build social proof. People are more likely to trust content that is generated from actual customers (rather than a company). User-generated content also helps to build a vibrant community of followers—people who are more actively engaged with your content and more likely to like, comment, or share it.

So, encourage your customers to post a picture of them using your product. If the content is great, as this example for “thefrankeffect,” it can attract thousands of likes and comments.

Also, keep in mind that some of your customers may even be micro-influencers themselves. You definitely want to make an effort to reach out to these people!

(NOTE: Before you can start selling to your audience, you need to know who your ideal customer is, where they are, and what they will buy. Download our proven Customer Avatar Worksheet now and get clear on who you’re selling to.)

Step 2: Engage Your Instagram Followers

OK, now we’ve talked about some of the most effective strategies for growing your Instagram followers. The next step is to start engaging those visitors—in other words, grab their attention and eventually get them to visit your website.

Stand Out With Your Bio

First impressions count, as they say. And on Instagram, you make your first impression with your bio.

I’ve noticed that many times, people will check out your bio and decide whether or not they like your company before they even view any of your posts. Which means that having a great bio could spell the difference in earning another follower and potential sale…or not.

So, here are a few tips to help you craft a killer Instagram bio:

Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. No rambling on and on
Create a direct CTA using a memorable URL
Highlight exactly what you do or offer
It never hurts to insert a playful emoji if it fits with your content. Notice the hand pointing down in the screenshot below…

As you can see, our bio at Foundr gets right to the point and has a clear CTA. All in 3 short sentences.

Draw People in with Lead Offers (A.K.A. Lead Magnets)

If you’re a regular reader of DigitalMarketer’s content, you know all about Lead Magnets. Well, I’m happy to say that lead offers, a.ka. Lead Magnets, are just as effective on Instagram as they are on other platforms.

The main idea here is to offer a piece of free content that will entice people to join your mailing list and drive them through your sales funnel.

A few prime examples of effective Lead Magnets include…

And templates

…that can be quickly consumed.

Remember that when you’re offering Lead Magnets, the important thing to keep in mind is that you are offering value first. So, make sure your Lead Magnet is something your audience will find useful.

Here’s an example of a Lead Magnet we offered to our Instagram audience:

Notice how we added the link to the Lead Magnet in our bio around the same time we posted about it. This way, we can tell people to visit the link in our bio to download the offer.

Here are a few tips to help you create more effective lead offers on Instagram:

Create several different Lead Magnets and rotate them so your visitors don’t get bored seeing the same offer again and again
When promoting your lead offers, be sure to include eye-catching images or videos in your posts
Give your Lead Magnet posts the same look as your other posts. They should have the same format, tone, and feel
Always use simple and memorable URLs in your posts
Always make a CTA link to your bio to direct people. This is very important. Instagram does not allow link clicking inside posts (you can add them, but they won’t be clickable). But, you can still add the link URL to your post and people can type it in their browser (the shorter, the better). But, in addition to that, add the link to your bio for about 24 hours from the time you post about the Lead Magnet and then, in your post, tell people to click the link in your bio to take advantage of the offer

Super-Secret Tip

When it makes sense, you can also ask your followers to tag a friend.

This will help improve your post’s reach and get it seen by even more people. Here’s an example of one way you might word that request:

I also recommend using emojis on a regular basis—smiley faces and thumbs up and so on. They’re more colorful than plain old text and help your comments to stand out and get a little more attention.

The Power of Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are a useful tool in adding a human touch to your brand name. They help to humanize you, so people won’t just think of you as a faceless company.

And when you’re trying to win customers online, getting people to trust and connect with you is half the battle.

So, how should you use Instagram stories? There are a couple things you can do. And 2 that I recommend are using the swipe up feature and the new feature polls.

Take Advantage of the Swipe Up Feature

The swipe up feature allows users to swipe up on your Instagram stories and go to a link you set up. Here is an example:

You can be as creative as you like here. Lush Cosmetics does a great job of drawing the user’s eye to the right spot by drawing an arrow. Follow their lead or create your own story image that will deliver your message and entice the viewer to swipe up and visit your link.

Swipe up is an awesome feature, but there’s a catch: in order to use it, you must have a business account with at least 10,000 followers. So, that’s just one more reason to use the follower-generation strategies outlined in Step 1 above to reach that threshold.

Creating Feature Polls  

Feature polls are an awesome way to encourage people to interact with you through Instagram. They also help you gain some important insights about your audience.

Here’s an example of a feature poll at work:

As you can see, it’s a simple poll with just 2 possible answers (in this case, do you like your donuts plain or with sprinkles?). But unlike most polls, this is delivered in a fun, visual way that encourages high engagement.

Just as with the swipe up feature, featured polls are available only to business accounts with at least 10,000 followers. But once you meet those minimum qualifications, here’s how to get started creating feature polls:

Create your story post, including a photo or video, and make sure it’s relevant to the poll you’re going to create
Add any text, filters, doodles, or emojis you want. Just remember to leave space for the actual poll
Click the sticker icon at the top of the story screen and choose the “poll” sticker to create your poll. Here’s what that looks like:

Next, you’ll have the option to add a question. A poll box will appear along with the answers “Yes/No”
Type in the question you want to ask your audience within the field text. (Remember to be creative!)
If you want, you can customize the responses (for example, changing “Yes/No” to “Plain/Sprinkles”)
When your poll is complete, tap the checkmark. The poll will appear in the middle of your story, but you can move it around and resize it
Complete your story and add it just as you would with any other post. Visitors will see it and be able to vote on your poll question

If you have push notifications enabled, you’ll get notified when someone votes. To check out your results at any time, just open up the post analytics:

Interesting…I would have gone for sprinkles, myself.

Step 3: Convert More Instagram Followers into Customers

In Step 1, you learned how to grow your account’s followers. Then you got a few new strategies you can use to engage those followers and send them to your website. Now you finally get to learn what you really want to know:

How can you convert more of these followers into customers?

And to get started, the first question you need to answer is…

What Is the Best Type of Instagram Content to Generate Sales?

There’s a difference between content that gets comments and content that converts.

(RELATED: Perpetual Traffic Episode 66: Creating Content that Converts with Laura Hanly)

So, what kind of posts should you publish to generate more sales?

In general, you want to trigger an emotional reaction in the viewer.

Remember, you might have the best product in the world…but if you don’t show it in a way that brings about interest and stirs up emotions, it’s not going to sell.

So, use creative design and visually stunning imagery to elicit a response in the viewer.

When showing a physical product, lifestyle images are a great way to show your product in action—and help the visitor see themselves using your product in their own life. Here’s a good example of an Instagram ad for a water bottle:

You can post a wide variety of content.

It can be branded or non-branded, image or text…it can even be a question you want to pose to your followers.

It really doesn’t matter what type of content you use as long as it is…

Triggers a response
And gets people to delve further into your product or service

Here’s an example of a Foundr post that got almost 10,000 likes in just 4 days. This post didn’t even have an image—it just asked a simple but interesting question:

This post was helped by people tagging friends to see if they could answer the question correctly.

This is also a good example of mixing up the content on your Instagram page. Use a combination of text, questions, images, and video to keep people interested.

You can also use content that you’ve curated from others (as long as you give them a shout-out). Make sure to tag them in the image so that they’ll be notified, which should increase the odds of them responding in kind.

Bear in mind, however, that at least 60% of what you post on Instagram should be your own original content.

Direct Product Links

One great way to drive traffic and conversions from Instagram marketing is to post direct links. However, you should use direct links sparingly—only do it once every 20-30 posts. Otherwise, people can get annoyed if they feel like all you’re doing is pushing your product or service.

For that same reason, you don’t want to be too blatant. Never come out and say, “Buy my product.” This will turn people away.

Instead, you want to inspire people to click through and learn more about what you offer. Here’s an example:

Notice that we don’t simply tell people to buy the product. Instead, we highlight one of the articles from the current issue to inspire people to click through and learn more.

Inspiration is the key tool for selling products this way.

Depending on what you sell, you could write about a particular feature or benefit of your product.

You could also post a compelling photo or video of the product being used with a catchy title. If people can see your product in use, that is usually much more compelling than showing a static product image.

Remember: inspiration is the key tool for selling products this way. So think about the coolest, most emotional, most visually compelling way to show your product—then craft a great-looking post around that.

How to Track Your Success on Instagram

After doing all this hard work, you’re going to want to be able to track your success. This is an essential part of the process because it’s the only way you’re going to be able to figure out what’s working for you and what isn’t.

Then you can start spending more time on the stuff that’s working (and do away with the stuff that isn’t).

Here are a few tips to help you track the success of your Instagram marketing strategy:

Look for big spikes in your traffic and sales. Then take a look at the Instagram posts you published around that time
Use tracking links to help keep track of which posts and content are working the best. You can do this with Affiliatly for instance
Coupon codes can also help you track down sales to a particular Instagram post
Tools such as Social Blade and Affiliatly have special features that can be really helpful on Instagram

Social Blade and Affiliatly: 2 Powerful Tools for Instagram  

If you’re ready to take your results to the next level, 2 tools I recommend are Social Blade and Affiliatly.

Social Blade is a great tool to help you discover the best influencers to work with. It shows you if the account of a user has been growing or not. This allows you to find out how many followers they are gaining each day.

So, how should you use this information?

If Social Blade tells you that a would-be influencer is losing followers on a daily basis, you should probably steer clear of them. But if their followers are growing rapidly, then you’d do well to hitch your wagon to that rising star.

The other tool I recommend is called Affiliatly. This is a Shopify/ecommerce tool with lots of helpful analytics. What I like to do with Affiliatly is to treat my Instagram site as an affiliate.

Then you can then use a clickable tracking link to track your visitors, earnings, and sales from Instagram. The beauty of this system is that all of your statistics are in one place, and you can use unique links to track the success of your individual lead offers.

Now Get Out There & Start Instagramming!

I hope this post has helped to give you a much clearer idea of how you can use an Instagram marketing strategy to grow your business. You now have a handful of specific strategies you can use to grow your followers, increase traffic, and publish posts with strong calls to action.

And trust me—this stuff works!

I believe that if you work hard at implementing this advice for a solid month, you can realistically gain 10,000 followers to your Instagram account. Here at Foundr, we’re at 1.3 million followers and counting, and we’re still using these exact same strategies to continue to scale our account and drive sales.

Now the rest is up to you! Get out there and start putting these strategies into action. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying the results of all your hard work.

(NOTE: Before you can start selling to your audience, you need to know who your ideal customer is, where they are, and what they will buy. Download our proven Customer Avatar Worksheet now and get clear on who you’re selling to.)

The post 3 Steps to Effectively Use Instagram Marketing to Generate Sales appeared first on DigitalMarketer.


Introducing: The YouTube Marketing Hub, A Free Resource Library

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I’m VERY excited to announce the release of the all-new YouTube Marketing Hub.

What is it?

The YouTube Marketing Hub is a free library of 30+ resources that cover everything you need to know about YouTube Marketing… including video editing, YouTube SEO, monetization, and more.

In other words:

It’s a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to start and grow their YouTube channel in 2018.

You can check out the all-new YouTube Marketing Hub right here:

Visit The YouTube Marketing Hub

Why I Created The YouTube Marketing Hub

When I first launched my YouTube channel, I wondered things like:

“How do I come up with a name for my channel?”

“How do I find keywords to optimize my videos around?”

“What’s the best way to get subscribers?”

“How do I use cards and end screens?”

And to find the answers to these questions, I had to sift through dozens of articles and videos.

That’s when I thought to myself:

“Wouldn’t it be great to have ONE place that people could go to learn about YouTube?”

So, that’s exactly what I set out to build.

170+ hours of writing, editing, designing and coding later, the YouTube Marketing Hub was finally complete.

Check out the YouTube Marketing Hub.

Here’s How It Works:

The YouTube Marketing Hub is broken down into 5 core topics:

Create a YouTube Channel – Here’s where you’ll set foundation for a successful YouTube channel. You’ll learn how to position your channel so it stands out and how to structure your Channel Page to maximize views and subscribers.
Create Videos for YouTube – Learn exactly how to plan, shoot and edit videos that get results on YouTube. You’ll also see how to take advantage of cool features like End Screens and Cards.
Optimize Your YouTube Videos– Titles. Descriptions. Tags. Keywords. They’re all key for getting views on your YouTube videos. And in this section you’ll learn about basic and advanced video SEO strategies.
Grow Your Channel– Here’s where you’ll learn how to use Playlists, Branding Watermarks, video promotion and the new Community Tab to get more views and subscribers (including lots of real life examples).
Make Money From YouTube – Learn how to monetize your channel with ads, partnerships and brand deals. You’ll also see how to use YouTube to drive traffic to your site.

Check Out The YouTube Marketing Hub

What Do You Think?

I’d love to hear what you think about the YouTube Marketing Hub.

Specifically, I’d like to know:

What’s the #1 thing you want to learn about YouTube right now?

Also, I plan on adding more resources to the hub soon.

So let me know if you have any topic ideas or suggestions.

The post Introducing: The YouTube Marketing Hub, A Free Resource Library appeared first on Backlinko.


How to Use Lifetime Value to Create a Facebook Audience That Actually Converts

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Facebook has been in hot water lately. If you’ve been keeping up with the latest news, you know what I’m talking about.

And it doesn’t help that 62% of small business advertisers on Facebook don’t find success. More specifically, they “miss their targets.”

Their audience targeting is flawed, and they can’t reach the right users to sell their products and services.

Facebook simply doesn’t work, right? Wrong.

I’d be willing to bet that the number one cause of failing or giving up on Facebook Ads is audience-related.

After all, you can’t sell PPC agency services to an audience that only cares about SEO.

Audience targeting is the bread and butter of Facebook. While that sounds like an enticing feature, your entire campaign will depend on it.

Even simple mistakes in targeting will throw your audience off, potentially targeting the wrong segment or users too early in the funnel for sales.

Thankfully, I’ve been there and done that. I wasted tons of money on Facebook Ads that never reached my targets.

But I also found a surefire way to reach the right audience on Facebook:

Customer lifetime value lists.

What is customer lifetime value and why should you care?

What even is customer lifetime value anyways? Does it matter? Why should you care?

Well, I am here to answer those for you.

Customer lifetime value is perhaps the most important metric you can ever track.

According to Google, it’s defined as the prediction of net profit associated with the entire relationship for a single customer.

In more simple terms:

Customer lifetime value is how much a single customer spends with you before leaving.

It’s that simple, but it’s of the utmost importance.

Lifetime value literally guides every decision you make in business.

Let me give you an example:

You run an online e-commerce store, and you sell relatively cheap products like discounted sunglasses and cheap style items like necklaces.

Your average product costs about $25.

So you begin advertising with PPC to drive some traffic and hopefully convert some sales.

You realize that the average cost per click for retail sales is $1.35. Doesn’t seem too bad at first, right?

But the cost per click doesn’t matter. It’s actually irrelevant.

Why? Just look at the conversion rate for retail advertising: 3.86%

That’s a pretty low conversion rate compared to other segments.

For the sake of this example, let’s round the conversion rate up to 4%.

It would take 25 clicks to drive a single conversion if your conversion rate is 4%.

Now multiply the clicks needed (based on the conversion rate) with the cost per click:

25 * $1.35 = $33.75


Now you can’t expect to turn a profit because your average sale is just $25.

And this is where lifetime value comes into play.

This is why lifetime value is the most important metric in any campaign:

Doing the simple math on a single order, you can’t afford to bid on AdWords for what you sell.

But that’s not true if you have a good lifetime value. For instance, how many times a year does that customer return? Two? Three times? Ten times?

If they do, you’ve only paid $33.75 to acquire them one time. And if they spend $25 multiple times, you’ve quickly doubled, tripled or exploded your original acquisition costs.

And then it becomes easier and easier to sell to them. You’ve already acquired them, giving you tons of free ways to sell: email, phone, etc.

You can launch a new email campaign to existing customers for free in just minutes to increase sales and drive up their CLTVs.

Increasing the lifetime value of your current customers is the key to driving massive profits.

Once you’ve done that, you begin to see compounding effects in every other metric.

Increased lifetime values mean you can spend more on acquiring customers because you know that they will spend $XX over their lifetime with you.

And you can begin to ignore CPC.

When it’s all said and done, lifetime value reigns at the top and should always be your guiding metric.

But Neil, what does this have to do with Facebook audience targeting?

Let me show you.

Lookalike audiences on Facebook are key

Using CLTV as a metric, you can create lookalike audiences on Facebook that target only the best of the best customers you currently have.

Lookalike audiences are simple in nature, yet highly effective:

They utilize your current customer data to find new, alike targets on Facebook.

Matching demographic data with affinities, interests, and more, you can create whole new audiences with the same background as your current customers.

It’s one of the best ways to generate an audience quickly.

And they work.

AdEspresso conducted a $1500 test on Facebook to analyze the performance of lookalike audiences. To do this, they tested 1%, 5%, and 10% audience matching:

With lookalike audiences, you can customize the audience size by % of the country/area you are targeting.

For instance, selecting “1” would be 1% of the country you advertise in.

AdEspresso put these to the test, finding that 1% audiences, while obviously smaller in nature, converted best.

According to AdEspresso, the lookalike audience at 10% had a 70% higher cost per conversion than the 1% size audience.

Because of the extra costs, the 10% audience produced 40% fewer clicks, too.

The 1% audience drove 115 leads with just $500 in ad spend.

That’s a cost per lead of just under $4. That’s pretty cheap for high-quality leads.

One company found a 2x increase in conversions and an overall ROI of 186% using lookalike audiences to grow their sales.

By incorporating lookalike audiences, Andrew Hubbard was able to produce nearly $40,000 in revenue from $4,159 in ad spend, generating an 876% return on investment.

Simply put:

Lookalike audiences are amazing.

Here’s how you can set them up using lifetime value to increase their effectiveness and create a Facebook audience that finally converts.

Step 1. Set up your custom audience

To get started with using lifetime value to create a Facebook audience, head to your Facebook Business Manager dashboard and navigate to the “Audiences” section:

In the audience manager, create a new custom audience, not a lookalike audience:

While you can do it either way, I prefer creating a custom audience first, as you can select LTV right off the bat instead of after creating your audience.

Next, select “Customer File” as the type of audience you want to create:

Customer file simply means that you will upload a batched list of customer data on your current customers.

This is the file that Facebook will then take to match other customers and potential audiences for your campaign.

Next, select “Include LTV for better performing lookalikes.” This option will allow you to create a file with lifetime value metrics.

So, how does that work?

Essentially, you will be assigning each customer on your list a different value.

Depending on what platforms and products you sell, this will either be very fast and easy or somewhat time-consuming.

If you run an online e-commerce store with Shopify or BigCommerce, you can find your lifetime value data easily:

In any of these customer data sections of Shopify (or BigCommerce, if you use that) you can find customer data on lifetime value and how much they have spent.

If you can do this, you’ll be able to export your customer data easily.

If your business is more consulting or lead-based and focused on landing clients or accounts, you will have to do a bit of digging.

Look at your current clients and see how much they spend with you per month. For instance, does their current contract with you show a spend of $1,000 a month on services?

Or maybe you sell software online. You can then look at their current tool plan to see how much they spend each month and how long they have been a customer.

That’s lifetime value.

Once you have lifetime value for your customers, you will plug that data into your spreadsheet and Facebook will target the highest lifetime values in their matching process.

This simply means that customers on your customer file with high LTVs will be matched first. Facebook will look at their individual data and match to similar users who have a high chance of spending a ton with your business.

Next, read through the lifetime value information that Facebook gives you if you still need a clear understanding of how it works. It’s sometimes complex:

After you’ve accepted the terms and conditions, you can now begin to create your custom audience.

In this step, you will need to create a list that you can export in CSV or TXT file formats. These are the only two formats that Facebook currently accepts for uploading a custom file.

The data that goes into your customer file should be plentiful:

Try to fill in as many of the custom identifiers as you possibly can.

Remember: more metrics and identifiers = higher specificity and better matching.

This may take some time to get depending on what systems you use, but it’s going to be well worth the effort.

When adding this data into a spreadsheet, you want to follow Facebook’s Customer Data Prep Guide.

In each new column for each data type, enter the column header first, followed by the format of each under “Examples.”

Be sure to format correctly according to their guide and the image above.

Once you’ve added all of the data that you need, you can create a final column for customer lifetime value:

For this data type, your column header in your spreadsheet should be: “value.”

Under the “value” column, enter the customer lifetime value for each customer in the following two formats:

500.00 USD

Either one of these will work just fine. Keep the data consistent if you can.

If you are struggling to format your spreadsheet, you can always use Facebook’s file template to your advantage:

Once you’ve created your list, you can take a deep breath! The hard part is finally over.

Give your new audience a familiar name to ensure that you can find it in your account:

In the second step of audience creation, select the value column you created for your list as the “Customer Value” type:

Next, confirm on the “Edit Data Mapping” screen that all of your identifiers are cleared and ready to go with the green checkmark:

Now upload and create your audience!

Now comes the fun part: creating amazing ads that will speak to your new audience.

Step 2. Ad creation for your new lookalike audience

The first part of the process is done. Creating your lookalike audience with LTV as the main factor is the perfect starting point.

But now the second part requires you to get a bit more creative:

Creating ads that appeal to your new audience.

But before you jump into ad creation or default to what you have done before, here is something critical to keep in mind:

Funnel stages.

Since you are targeting a brand new audience that likely hasn’t heard of your brand before, the creation of your ads along with your calls to action will be critical for success.

Sending this new audience an ad that asks them to buy from you immediately probably won’t work that well.

Why? Well, they aren’t brand aware. They haven’t engaged with you enough to know about your products or consider them yet.

The key here is to warm them up. To get them familiar with your brand and get them engaging with your content.

Keep in mind, since this audience is a lookalike, they will have knowledge of your industry. They have probably even researched products that you sell before.

Meaning you can offer them something in the middle of the funnel.

That means anything from lead magnets to coupons to webinars and more.

Anything that incentivizes them to sign up for your email list or to get them to become a lead without asking them to buy too fast.

For example, you could start off by sending them ads for a webinar if you sell digital products and services:

I use this strategy all of the time.

It’s a great way to offer tons of value to new people without over-selling in the beginning stages of their journey.

If you sell too fast, you risk them opting out quick.

Another great example of a successful middle-of-the-funnel Facebook Ad is from HubSpot:

Offering free, value-based content, they can hook in users to give them their email information.

It’s the perfect lead magnet that doesn’t ask the audience for too much but provides tons of value in return.

Brainstorm ideas that will promote engagement with your brand without selling too hard.


Once you’ve done that, it’s time to split test your ideas with ease.

Step 3. Split test your creative to find your perfect value proposition

Thanks to Facebook, A/B testing has never been easier. With ad split testing directly on Facebook, you can quickly test multiple ad variants against the same audience to see which resonates better.

This is one of my favorite tactics when brainstorming new ideas to see how an audience reacts.

When it comes to lookalike audiences for LTV, you know they’ve done research in your space. But they aren’t brand aware.

This means you are skating a thin line between the awareness and consideration stages of the buying process.

While it sounds good, it also makes it difficult to nail down the proper call to action that will resonate with them.

And that’s why split testing is key. With split testing you can find the right value proposition for the audience, leading to massive wins.

Split testing works, too: One company split tested ad types to the same audience, finding that one variant outperformed the other by 336%.

To start split testing on Facebook, head to your Ads Manager and create a new ad set based on your goals, enabling the split test feature:

After selecting “Create Split Test,” choose the variable that you want to test:

In this case, “Creative” is what you want to select.

On the left-hand side, you should now see the following:

You can begin to create different ad variants for Ad A and Ad B.

If you want, you can even test another ad.

If you have multiple ideas that you want to explore with your new audience, run 2-3 (maximum) at a time. Otherwise, you risk spreading the results too thin.

When running this A/B split test, be sure that you only tweak the creative.

Don’t mess with your audience or placements. Keep the same lifetime value lookalike audience and the same placements, and you will get clear results on how each offer was received.

Run this test until you get a minimum of 250 conversions. That’s the formal guideline from CRO experts at ConversionXL.

Having a minimum of 250 conversions will result in better statistical significance in your tests.

At the end of the test, analyze which ad drove more revenue and profit and proceed with that creative.

Step 4. Remarket non-converting users to close the gaps

Remarketing is one of my most favorite ways to bring back users that didn’t convert.

And while this lookalike lifetime value audience is going to convert great for you, it’s unfortunately not possible to convert everyone.

Trust me. I sure wish it was.

To combat this, remarket the audience you just created, capturing traffic from all non-converting prospects.

In the Ads Manager, you can create a new custom audience based on your lookalike audience.

Depending on how you structured your ads in the lookalike audience campaign, you will choose how you want to create the new audience:

One of my top ways to remarket on Facebook is by targeting people who engaged with my Facebook Ads in the past few days.

I then exclude anyone who interacted with my CTA button to weed out potential converters.

If you want, you can also create a secondary remarketing list of just people who engaged with your call-to-action button but didn’t convert.

These two remarketing options can go a long way in regaining lost traffic and potential conversions.

After you create those, you have just created a fullscale funnel-optimized lifetime value audience.

You can’t go wrong with this setup, and you’ll be driving conversions faster than you thought possible.

By targeting for LTV, you are ensuring that your new lookalike audience is primed and ready to convert.

Warming them up with split testing will help you narrow down your value proposition and find the right creative elements that appeal to users.

Then, close the gaps with remarketing to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.


Facebook is the biggest social media platform in the world.

And it packs amazing features to reach your target audience.

But even so, missing your audience is still relatively “easy” to do.

Most small businesses report having this problem of “missing their targets.”

And I’ve had the same thing happen to me: wasting advertising money on audiences that don’t convert.

But I’ve found a surefire way to drive sales on Facebook from all of that testing:

Customer lifetime value audiences.

Lifetime value is the most important metric there is. It can inform acquisition and all of your advertising spend.

Try creating this customer lifetime value audience on Facebook to capture the most interested users and drive your profits through the roof.

Set up your new lookalike audience with the lifetime value feature on Facebook. This will help you target customers most like your top spenders for increased revenue.

Next, create the most compelling ads and split test them for better performance.

What audiences have you tried and found success with on Facebook?

The post How to Use Lifetime Value to Create a Facebook Audience That Actually Converts appeared first on Neil Patel.


How to Create a Video Studio on a Shoestring Budget

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Video. It’s more important than ever.

Producing great video used to be a luxury for businesses. But more and more, it’s becoming a requirement to capture attention and engage your audience.

For some people, though, the thought of putting together a video studio sounds daunting. You might think a video studio has to cost tens of thousands of dollars and look something like this:

This is a news-station-worthy studio. It’s not that far off from what we have at the DigitalMarketer office right now.

But we didn’t always have such an elaborate setup.

When we got started, our studio was much simpler and much less expensive—but it still worked great for our needs. It looked more like this:

Thanks to some amazing improvements in camera technology over the past ten years or so, you don’t need as much equipment as you might think. And you don’t need to spend as much money as you might think, either.

You can put together a studio like this without spending a lot of money. And you’ll still have the ability to record and livestream high-quality video with crystal-clear audio.

And in this post, you’re going to learn how to do just that.

By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a step-by-step roadmap for creating your own video studio.

You can put together a studio like this without spending a lot of money.

You’ll start with a simple studio put together on a shoestring budget, so you can get started right away. And you’ll learn how to upgrade to a pro-level studio with high-resolution, multiple angles, and professional audio and lighting.

But before we dive into the details of what you need to buy, I want to cover three important requirements when building a video studio.

Follow these three tips to help make sure you don’t waste your money on pieces of equipment that are incompatible or unnecessary.

How to Create a Video Studio Requirement #1: Get Equipment That Makes Sense Together

Some people will go out and start buying one-off pieces of equipment that someone told them they “had to have.”

Some super expensive wireless Lav microphone or a $3,000 lens that Zeiss just released.

The problem with this is that there are a million different “tools” to choose from in video production, and what is right for one shoot could be terrible on another. Sometimes the
equipment you get might not actually be compatible together or make sense when you try to make them all work together as one integrated system.

You could end up with the equivalent of two Lego blocks and three Lincoln Logs. In other words, not enough compatible pieces of equipment to make a complete studio.

So, when I recommend things in this post, I’m going to steer you toward pieces of video equipment that build on one another. That work together.

So that when you decide to upgrade one piece of equipment, it will fit in seamlessly with everything else you already have.

How to Create a Video Studio Requirement #2: Make It Easy to Livestream

As video and video marketing continue to evolve and get better, one thing is pretty clear:

Livestream is becoming more and more important. (Especially on Facebook.)

Remember, you can always repurpose livestream videos for other platforms.

Unfortunately, many cameras don’t integrate well with this technology. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, you might end up with an expensive camera that can’t even livestream.

(At least, not unless you buy an even more expensive and complicated converter system.)

But if you follow the advice in this post, and start with livestream in mind, you won’t have to worry about that.

Remember, you can always repurpose livestream videos for other platforms:

You can do a livestream on Facebook, then upload the resulting video to YouTube
You can strip out the audio for a podcast
Finally, you can break up the video into several parts and have each of them transcribed into blog posts

But the same thing is not true in the other direction. You can’t turn a blog post, podcast, or MP4 into a livestream. So that’s why we’re starting with livestream capability in mind.

How to Create a Video Studio Requirement #3: Get Your Priorities Straight

This last requirement is all about upgrading your equipment in the right order. And what you’re about to learn here might be a little surprising.

When setting up a video studio, most people tend to assume that the most important piece of equipment they need is a great camera.


Actually, wrong. And here’s why:

And instead of buying a camera first, you should invest in getting better audio.

These days, most people already HAVE a great camera. And that includes you. It’s probably in your pocket or sitting on your desk or maybe it fell through the space between the center console and the driver’s seat in your car.

I’m talking about your smartphone.

These days, phones have GREAT cameras. Especially newer iPhones and Samsungs. Sure, they may not be the absolute best cameras ever…but for what most people need, they’re plenty powerful.

So, when you’re first getting started, I recommend using your smartphone. And instead of buying a camera first, you should invest in getting better audio.

Why audio?

Think about it. Most people will put up with footage that is slightly grainy. (Heck, Blair Witch Project looked terrible and it still made $248.6 million at the box office.)

But nobody is willing to put up with bad audio.

If people can’t understand you, they’re going to close out your video. Fast.

So overall, here’s the priority order that I recommend when buying equipment for your video studio:

Invest in better audio. I recommend going up to the entry-level equipment described below.
Next, upgrade your video up to the entry-level equipment described below. (Don’t go any higher than that for now because a pro-level camera will be much more expensive and complicated to set up.)
Then work on getting better lighting and improving your backdrop.

Follow this advice and you’ll be working toward a video studio that gives you the absolute best bang for your buck. You’ll have solid video and audio, and you’ll also keep everything as simple as possible to set up and use.

OK, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s dig into the specific pieces of equipment that will make up your video studio.

(NOTE: Before you can start targeting your audience, you need to know who your ideal customer is, where they are, and what they will buy. Download our proven Customer Avatar Worksheet now and get clear on who you’re selling to.)

Audio Equipment

As I mentioned above, audio should be your top priority when setting up a studio.

It’s vital that your audio is LOUD, clear, and easy to understand!

When we talk about audio equipment, we’re mostly talking about microphones. And there are several kinds of them—lavaliers, shotgun mics, podcasting microphones, and so on.

We’ll also be talking a little bit about using a mini-audio mixer, which may be necessary depending on what type of camera you’re using. The mixer acts as a preamp and provides phantom power to your mic when you need it.

Shoestring-Level Audio Equipment

If you’re just getting started with your studio (AKA your only equipment is a smartphone), the first thing you buy should be the Saromonic SmartRig+ ($100 at the time of this posting).

Source: Amazon

This little guy is a game-changer. It’s a lynchpin piece of equipment that will play a critical role in your studio.

No matter which level of audio equipment you choose—shoestring, entry-level, or pro-level—you will need the SmartRig+.

If you’ve ever tried plugging a professional microphone (like a lavalier) right into your phone, you probably realized it doesn’t work very well. That’s because professional audio uses TRS inputs, but your phone uses TRRS.

The SmartRig+ fixes that.

Simply plug the SmartRig+ into your phone and it will convert the audio into a format your phone can understand and process. But you don’t have to use a smartphone; you can also use the SmartRig+ with other cameras, like DSLRs.

(If you look at the switch in the middle of the device, you can see how easy it is to go back and forth between the two.)

What makes this device so magical is the multiple inputs (two XLR inputs, two TRS ¼” inputs, and two TRS 3.5mm inputs). Which means you can plug any microphone—from lavaliers to more expensive shotgun mics—into any camera you want.

And when you’re just getting started, I recommend getting a Saromonic SmartRig+ and using it to plug a Giant Squid Lavalier Mic ($50 at the time of this posting) into your phone.

Here’s what the Giant Squid looks like:

Source: Amazon

In case you don’t know, a lavalier microphone is a small mic that you clip onto your shirt. It produces clear, loud audio and also gives you the freedom to move around. It’s perfect for head-on video, which is what most people are shooting.

The Giant Squid is a wired lavalier, which means it has to plug directly into the SmartRig+. So, depending on how far you want to stand from the camera, you might need to grab a 3.5mm auxiliary cable extension. And for around $5, that will give you more range to walk around.

With those two pieces of equipment recommended above, you can get professional-sounding audio for about $150.

Entry-Level Audio Equipment

The only downside to a lavalier like the Giant Squid is that it’s wired. Which means you’re physically connected to the camera.

Even if you get the extension cable, like I recommended, it can still be a little awkward. You have to watch where the cable is so you don’t trip over it, and you have to wire it through your clothes if you don’t want it showing in the video.

Or, you can bypass those issues by upgrading to the entry-level audio equipment…the RodeLink Lav System:

Source: Amazon

This is quite a bit more money ($400 at publication), but it’s wireless—which means you don’t have to be physically connected to the camera. Instead just clip the RodeLink on the back of your belt, and it wirelessly transmits your audio to the SmartRig+.

Now you have the freedom to walk around anywhere, with no wires in the way. Great for live events.

(Note: you can definitely buy a wireless system for under $400…but I don’t recommend it. If you try to use anything less than the RodeLink, there’s a good chance you’ll run into quality and connection issues.)

Pro-Level Audio Equipment

Finally, if you want to kick your audio game up a notch, you’re going to want a Rode NTG3 Shotgun Mic. Here’s what it looks like:

Source: Amazon

For around $800, this is mic has amazing sound quality. It does something most mics don’t do, which is capture the full spectrum of the human voice.

Now, if you’re shooting inside in a quiet location, all you need is the mic itself. If you plan on shooting outdoors, you’re going to need some wind protection.

Ever had a hard time understanding someone on a phone call because it was windy outside? Yeah. Wind is killer for mics.

Windshields for shotgun mics are big and fuzzy and look like this:

Source: Amazon

And the awesome thing is that this mic—which is as pro as pro gets—still plugs right back into that SmartRig+.

Video Equipment

We’re talking about videos here, so obviously you need something to…you know…shoot video!

There are a lot of cameras out there.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed and spend a ton of money on something that’s much more powerful than you need. (Not to mention way too complicated for you to actually use).

So, to keep things as simple and easy as possible while still giving you excellent video quality, I’m going to recommend these three cameras:

Shoestring-Level Video Equipment

I talked about this a little earlier. Chances are good that you already have a powerful camera—it’s called your smartphone.

These phone cameras have gotten REALLY good lately. (Especially iPhones and Samsungs.)

They’re mobile, they can shoot in 4k, they have cool features like slow-mo, and they integrate seamlessly with livestream.

So, when you’re getting started, just use your phone. Seriously. It’s a good camera.

You would have to spend at least $400-$600 for it to even begin to make sense to buy another camera.

Entry-Level Video Equipment

When you’re ready to move up from shooting with your smartphone, there are so many options that it can be overwhelming.

Should you get a DSLR? Digital camcorder?

Do you need HD, 4K, WiFi?

What I recommend is something called the Mevo ($500 at publishing):

Source: Amazon

The Mevo was made for filming live events, which means it’s perfect for livestreaming. (Compared to that, it is much more expensive—and complicated—to set up livestream with a DSLR.)

What I love about this device is the Mevo app, which allows you to do some awesome things. It turns your phone into a switchboard, allowing you to switch from one angle to another, do wider or tighter shots, zoom in or out, and so on.

The way this works is pretty cool. And it even has auto-switching capabilities, though I recommend having someone actually manning the operation.

Basically, the Mevo is a 4k camera that outputs 1080p video. As a result, it’s able to choose different parts of that 4k video to output as different camera angles.

So, why is that a big deal?

Because it allows you to do all this stuff LIVE.

Normally, if you wanted to broadcast live video and change angles you would have to use multiple cameras and then splice the shots together in a switcher that typically starts at around $5,000 and requires a lot of skill and engineering to work.

The Mevo lets you do it all live, which not only allows you to produce better live video…it also helps cut out the entire editing post-production process. And that makes it a major time-saver.

You can even just record your video while live switching creating a multicam edit in real time.

If you are set on creating Livestream productions you should upgrade your Mevo with the Boost, which gives you more power and a hardwired internet connection. (Hardwired internet can really improve your livestreaming video quality).

Here’s what the Mevo Boost ($250 at publication) looks like:

Source: Amazon
Pro-Level Video Equipment

When you’re ready to upgrade from the Mevo, it’s time to make the leap to DSLR.

A DSLR is going to be more expensive and complicated to set up and use, but the benefit is that you get an amazingly sharp video.

The DSLR I recommend is the Lumix GH5:

Source: Amazon

This is a $2,000+ camera. It’s a lot more expensive than the previous options, but it’s not that bad for how good this camera is. Ten years ago, a camera with this much power would cost $500k.

One awesome thing about DSLRs is how versatile they can be. Because you can use different lenses, you can go all the way from super wide angles to extremely tight shots. But this also means you’ll need to invest in a lens or two, and those aren’t cheap.

If you buy your GH5 with a lens, you have some options, the best combo is with a 12-35mm lumix GX Vario lumix/panasonic lens. If you want to shoot tighter shots, or need to shoot from a distance, I also recommend investing in a 35-100mm lumix GX Vario lumix/panasonic lens:

Source: Amazon

With those two lenses, you’ll be able to handle just about any type of shot you want.

The upside of this equipment is that you can produce fantastically sharp video. But there’s a downside, too.

The downside is that you’re now shooting your video onto a memory card. There’s no more linking to your phone, no more seamless livestream integration.

If you want to livestream with a DSLR, you’re going to have to make a significant investment in a system like the SlingStudio, Blackmagic Web Presenter system with OBS studio, or even go all the way to the Livestream HD550. The most reliable of which, can run upwards of $10,000 and is amazingly more difficult to set up, and I don’t recommend this unless you have someone with a degree or many YEARS in video production working with you.

Long story short: even if you want to get yourself a GH5 for any non-live videos, you’re probably better off using a Mevo for livestreams.

(NOTE: Before you can start targeting your audience, you need to know who your ideal customer is, where they are, and what they will buy. Download our proven Customer Avatar Worksheet now and get clear on who you’re selling to.)

Lighting/Backdrop Equipment

Lighting and backdrop are critical in video marketing and production. Good lighting can mean the difference between a pretty bad-looking video and a really good-looking one.

Your backdrop is equally important because whatever you have in the background of your video is going to say something about you.

For example, shooting videos in your kitchen will work for a chef…but not for a marketing expert. Shooting videos of you sitting at a desk will work for an author…but not so much for a weight-loss trainer.

So, that’s why, when we get to the entry-level equipment in this category, I recommend getting a more professional-looking backdrop. One that will look good no matter what industry you’re in or what time of day it is.

Shoestring-Level Lighting/Backdrop

The shoestring-level lighting and backdrop is simple:

Just choose a spot with good natural lighting and a nice-looking backdrop. No special equipment necessary.

Here are a few tips to help you do that:

You’ll want to place the camera in front of a window, so that you (or whoever is the subject of the video) is looking toward the window. Don’t stand with your back to the window—that will give terrible lighting.
You want to use a window with good natural lighting, but not direct sunlight (which is too harsh).
Choose a nice-looking backdrop like a bookshelf or an environment that your viewer would expect to see you in, that “reads right” to the audience.
Keep in mind, your lighting will shift slightly over time as the sun moves. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s something to consider.

This is going to vary quite a bit from person to person. Maybe your home or office has the perfect spot for shooting videos—in which case, you might not need anything else!

But most people are probably going to want to upgrade their lighting and backdrop. Here’s how to do it.

Entry-Level Lighting/Backdrop

The first thing you should focus on is getting a more professional-looking backdrop. I recommend white because it looks clean, professional. It’s like a blank slate.

There are two ways to do it. You can either get a fabric or paper backdrop, like this:

Source: Amazon

Hint: Seamless Paper looks better and is easier to use but will need to be replaced constantly.

Basically, you put up two stands and a pole connects them at the top. Then you hang the paper roll or fabric down from the pole, and voila!

White backdrop.

Another way to do this is with a pop-up backdrop, like this:

Source: Amazon

This backdrop is a little smaller (you won’t be able to move around much), but it’s quicker and simpler to set up. Just unfold it and hang it from a stand, clamp it to a bookshelf, or even lean it up against a wall.

Often these pop-up backdrops have a different color on each side, so you can have one white and one black, for example. You can even get a green screen if you want to add a custom background in editing.

It’s up to you which of these backdrops makes more sense. The seamless paper or fabric version gives you a pretty big area, so you can move around a little or have more than one person in the shot. The pop-up backdrop is quick, easy, and portable, but is only big enough for one person.

They both work, and they’re both pretty cheap. You can get one of these setups for $50-$100 on Amazon.

Now that you’ve upgraded your backdrop, the next step is to get some better lighting. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money here, either.

The easiest thing is to buy some clamp lights ($15 at publication):

Source: Amazon

Then clamp on with some diffusion gel—which is a kind of paper that spreads and softens the light, eliminating harsh shadows.

Source: Amazon

Hint: These lights can get hot enough to melt plastic, so clamp the paper using a wood clothespin.

Pro-Level Lighting/Backdrop

If you want to really step up your lighting game, the last thing I recommend is a few LED lighting panels with high CRI.

This will replace those clamp lights and give you the full spectrum of light.

Source: Amazon

These are great lights. They are super easy to operate, they don’t get hot, and they provide a large surface area of light. The light they cast is daylight temperature (5,500K), and matches well with ambient window lighting, but you can get variable color temperature versions for a little bit more money.

You can adjust these lights to be brighter or softer to match the needs of your studio. The key to any LED lights for video production is a HIGH CRI 95+ is great, anything below that and you will actually be missing a lot of light information that the eye (and cameras) needs to distinguish color.

3 Quick Lighting Tips

While we’re on the subject, here are three easy things you can do to improve the lighting in your studio:

1. Don’t turn on overhead lights. This will make your eyes look dark.

2. The simplest lighting is put two lights on your subject, one on each side, each at a 45° angle. It’s important to keep the lighting even so you don’t create harsh shadows on one side of your subject’s face.

Hint: If you are wanting to get real professional with lighting your subject Google three-point lighting, the backlight really helps your subject become the focal point and stand out from the background

3. Don’t stand too close to the backdrop. Otherwise, you’ll throw a shadow on it, which can be distracting. Sometime the background will need a little extra light, place lights out of the shot, light from the ground or the ceiling.

Editing Software

Once you get your studio set up, shooting videos can be a lot of fun.

Editing them, on the other hand, gets tedious quick. It’s easy to get bogged down when editing a video (especially if you don’t already know how to use the software).

That’s why I recommend shooting your videos in a way that reduces or even eliminates the need for editing. Like we talked about above, you can use the Mevo to change angles to edit while you’re shooting.

Another option is to find a good video editor to outsource your editing to. Freelancing sites like, Fiverr, Upwork, or Staff Me Up will have all kinds of good video editors for hire.

But for those times when you do need to do some editing, and if you want to do it yourself, here are the programs I recommend.

Entry-Level Editing Software for PCs

Windows Movie Maker is free…and terrible. Please, please don’t use it.

Instead, try Adobe Premiere Essentials. It’s a cheaper version of Adobe Premiere, with a simplified interface.

The benefit of the simplified interface is that it’s easier to use. The downside is that if you ever decide to upgrade to Adobe Premiere, you’ll have to completely relearn how to use the software.

Pro-Level Editing Software for PCs

If you’re running a PC, Adobe Premier is hands down the choice for professional editing. It’s a powerful, professional-level system that gives you all the editing tools you’ll ever need and more, while integrating with their other creative cloud programs.

Entry-Level Editing Software for Macs

I love and recommend iMovie. It is amazingly powerful, gives you a great collection of tools and comes free with all new Macs.

Pro-Level Editing Software for Macs

When you’re ready to progress beyond iMovie, I recommend Final Cut. It has a very similar interface to iMovie, so the transition will be pretty seamless. You’ll be able to hit the ground running without having to relearn everything.

Final Cut has tons of powerful tools, great project management, and their multi-cam editing is unparalleled.

Screen Capture Software

You’ve probably seen us do videos that record what’s on our screen and turn it into a video. You can do the same thing pretty easily. The screen capture programs you’ll want to use are:

Camtasia Studio for Windows
Screenflow for Macs

Screen capture is awesome for giving a first-person point of view of your computer screen. Perfect for showing people how to use programs or software. You can also create PowerPoint presentations and go through them using screen capture.

Now Go Start Your Video Studio

Phew, we covered a lot of ground in this post. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, I want you to remember what I said earlier about priorities.

Follow my suggestions and get started with the bare minimum equipment:

Film with your smartphone and a Lavalier microphone, and stand in a spot with good natural lighting.

What you DON’T want to do is go spend a lot of money on equipment that is too complicated. Because then the technical side of things is going to be a barrier.

Content is King. Start small, and actually shoot some videos! You can always improve your studio as you grow and as video becomes a more important part of your business.

(NOTE: Before you can start targeting your audience, you need to know who your ideal customer is, where they are, and what they will buy. Download our proven Customer Avatar Worksheet now and get clear on who you’re selling to.)

The post How to Create a Video Studio on a Shoestring Budget appeared first on DigitalMarketer.


Hack Your Way to 10,000 Twitter Followers with These 7 Tips

sourced from:

What if I told you that you could get 10,000 followers by optimizing your Twitter strategy?

What if I also told you that it would be pretty easy to do?

Well, I’ve got nine simple, straightforward, and super effective tips to hack your way into having a huge Twitter presence.

But isn’t Facebook the biggest social network?

Shouldn’t Facebook be where you’re concentrating your efforts and growth-hacking endeavors?

Absolutely not.

Twitter is still among the top social networks today for users with over 330 million active users.

Yes, Twitter could be the secret ingredient to connecting with the biggest possible audience.

And I’m going to help you do it.

But first…

Why do Twitter followers matter?

Sure, Facebook is the biggest of the conventional social networks with the most monthly active users.

But you shouldn’t underestimate Twitter’s importance or utility just yet.

It’s a global powerhouse.

Even though nearly a quarter of Americans use Twitter regularly, much of Twitter’s user base — an impressive 79% of the user base to be specific — consists of international users.

This means that Twitter allows you to connect easily with a global audience.

And it’s a global audience that continues to grow quarter to quarter, year over year.

There are other factors to consider, too.

Such as how Twitter’s millennial audience is a coveted one from a marketing perspective.

The data shows that about 40% of all American millennials are on Twitter — a larger percentage than any other generation.

It also shows that most Twitter users are college-educated with annual salaries of $75,000 or more per year.

Not only are there tons of millennials on Twitter, millennials more frequently use social media as a tool for discovering new brands.

Statistically speaking, millennials are an ideal target demographic for many companies because they’re stronger consumers.

So why not reach out to them where they live?

Millennials eat out more, love trying new products, and they’re always looking for unique experiences with brands and companies.

In fact, the rise of the millennial generation has forever changed the world of marketing, from the strong focus on video to the rise of influencer marketing, and the emphasis on emotional connection.

There’s another reason Twitter is so attractive to marketers, and that’s because it gives you 100% reach.

But there’s a caveat.

When you post to Twitter, your tweets are only seen by your followers or when your tweets are shared with others’ followers.

You have 100% reach only with your followers and their followers.

This means 100% reach on Twitter doesn’t matter if there aren’t people seeing your content.

And according to recent research, 74% of the people who follow small and medium businesses on Twitter are following these businesses because they want updates on future products.

Additionally, nearly half of those who follow brands and businesses are more likely to visit those companies’ websites.

So your Twitter followers will often become people who visit your website and invest in your brand through purchases.

Fortunately, I can help you get followers quickly and effectively.

Nine ways to get Twitter followers fast
1. Optimize your Twitter profile

The first thing you need to do is complete and optimize your Twitter profile.

Due to the platform’s redesign, you’ll approach certain aspects of your Twitter profile a little differently than you might’ve before.

For example, profile photos are now round instead of square, which helps to distinguish user profiles from the square images that appear in tweets.

Many of the changes are cosmetic and served as a simple update, helping Twitter be more 2018 and less 2000-and-late.

For all the power you stand to gain by using Twitter for your business, not having a professional, up-to-date profile can be a major turn-off to prospective followers.

So one of the first steps on the road to amassing tons of followers is to make sure your Twitter profile rocks.

Your profile picture is the centerpiece of your Twitter profile.

It’s the part of your Twitter profile people probably notice and look at first.

Aside from your username, it’s the one profile element that doesn’t just appear on your profile. It’ll show next to your tweet in the other users’ feeds when you post.

So you should choose a photo that’s appropriate for your business or brand.

Whether you’re using a professional photo of yourself or your brand’s logo, you want to make sure that the most important elements appear toward the center of the image.

Due to the circular format, anything that appears toward the edges of your profile photo won’t show on your profile.

It’s even a good idea to resize your image. Although you can upload higher-res files, your profile image doesn’t need to be any bigger than a 400px by 400px square.

Here are some examples of how these profile image best practices can be implemented:

Bitfinex — a cryptocurrency exchange company — uses their logo for their profile image.

Similarly, you can see New York Magazine’s iconic logo as the profile pic used for their Twitter account.

However, Virgin Group founder and colorful businessperson Richard Branson uses a photo of himself. The photo looks professional yet casual and relatable.

Not only is this smart for promotional purposes, but it also helps people make stronger associations between your brand and logo.

Your profile photo should draw attention because it will be the identity that your followers will come to see behind all the content you post on Twitter.

Using a branded logo as a profile image, like Louis Vuitton, is an easy and quick way to get followers to recognize your posts instantly.

But beyond the profile photo, there’s the ‘Bio.’

This is the area of your Twitter profile where you provide a little — just 160 characters in total — information about your brand or business.

Here’s an example from the Washington Post’s Twitter profile:

As you can see, the goal of your profile is to give a prospective follower an idea of (a) what your business is and (b) what they can expect by becoming a follower.

But there’s another reason why your bio is important: it’s searchable.

Of course, you’ll want to include all the essential info, such as your website, location, and possibly a phone number.

You’ll want to include keywords that are relevant to your brand or company in your bio.

A great example of the use of keywords in a Twitter bio is PlayStation.

PlayStation’s bio includes common variants of the company’s name as well as their products’ names, such as “PS4” for “PlayStation 4.”

A consumer tech outlet called Gadgets Now uses keywords in the bio, too.

Another element you can include in your Twitter bio is hashtags.

News network CNN incorporates a single hashtag in the bio.

CNN’s hashtag is a great example because “Go There” happens to be a slogan for the network, emphasizing ingenuity and tenacity in journalism.

So the hashtag reinforces the network’s desired brand image.

Additionally, your bio can be an opportunity to show some personality, so don’t be afraid to get a little creative.

Content marketer and author Ann Handley’s profile is an excellent example.

Ann’s use of the phrase “waging a war on mediocrity in content marketing” is accurate and effective while also showcasing her personality.

Once you’ve chosen your profile photo and written your bio, the next step in a great Twitter profile is to find (or even create) your header image.

Though it changes from time to time, the current dimensions that your Twitter header image should be are 1500px by 500px.

This can be a great opportunity to reinforce your brand or to promote your latest product or service.

If you have trouble finding the right image with the appropriate dimensions, you can use a tool like Canva to create your own header image for free online.

The great thing about Canva — besides it being free I mean — is that there are tons of existing templates you can use as a starting point.

By either searching for a specific type of template or browsing by category, Canva makes it extremely easy to create a great-looking header image for your Twitter profile.

Using the diagram I’ve provided here, you can make sure all the essential elements of your header photo don’t cross into any of the grey areas.

The blue part is the “safe zone” where all your important and branded information should be.

Creating a strong profile with a great picture, header photo, and bio is the first step toward conveying credibility and trustworthiness.

Now that you’ve spent some time ironing it out, your profile will leave a strong impression on visitors who view your profile, making them much more likely to follow you.

2. Engage with your followers

Although your follower count is a convenient metric, many social media marketers have begun putting more stock into engagement than followers.

In fact, Socialbakers account manager Jeraldine Tan actually considers follower growth an outdated metric.

“It is extremely important for brands to stop looking at outdated metrics like fan growth,” Jeraldine said in a recent article posted on LinkedIn.

“The overall fans number doesn’t matter if the audience isn’t consuming your content.”

So if you have a million Twitter followers but your posts get zero engagement, what are those followers really worth?

Jeraldine’s perspective is reinforced by Incite Group’s State of Corporate Social Media Survey, conducted in 2017.

According to Incite’s data, there’s no correlation between the number of followers and engagement, meaning that more followers doesn’t mean more engagement.

But when followers interact with and share your content on Twitter, their followers see that engagement and often become curious. The engagement serves almost as an endorsement.

So engagement does lead to increased reach and visibility, which, in turn, yields more followers.

In his recent Forbes article, Joe Escobedo says, “Shares build customer confidence in your brand.”

We even see engagement “given a higher weightage than likes” on social media such as with some of Facebook’s recent algorithm changes.

But interactions your followers are having with your Twitter content isn’t the only type of engagement you should care about.

If you really want to grow your Twitter audience, you should be actively engaging back with them.

Responding to the comments and mentions of your followers reinforces their engagement and makes them more inclined to engage with you in the future.

Engaging with your audience yields more tangible results, too.

According to data from Sprout Social, 48% of social media users cite responsiveness as the top characteristic that prompts audiences to purchase from a brand or company.

Fortunately, engaging with your Twitter audience is easy to do and something you can start doing right away.

There are three main strategies for actively engaging with your audience:

Responding to comments and mentions

Direct messages

Live chats” on Twitter

Responding is certainly the simplest and easiest of these strategies, but it’s also effective.

It’s as simple as this:

When a user tweets to you or comments on one of your tweets, respond.

The acknowledgment will give them a sense of validation.

If you can make the exchange memorable in some way, they may actively seek out your content in the future. So don’t be afraid to show a little personality.

In a similar vein, you can take this concept to the next level with Twitter’s DMs, or direct messages.

A lot of big brands and companies are finding success with DMs, including 1-800-FLOWERS and T-Mobile.

Finally, you have live Twitter chats.

Public relations professional Janet Murray considers live chats an incredibly effective marketing strategy for Twitter.

According to Janet Murray, one way to get even more out of your live chat is to like and retweet other participants’ replies.

“Retweeting the posts of [other users] is a great way to build relationships,” Janet says.

She offers another useful tip: When you’re responding to other participants’ tweets, “don’t forget to use the hashtag so people can follow along.”

Or if you want to tweet someone privately, simply “don’t include the hashtag.”

Buffer — a well-known social media management app — hosts weekly Twitter chat sessions using their own hashtag, “#BufferChat.”

As far as actually hosting the chat, tools like Tweetchat,, and Twchat can turn your hashtag into a more chat-like live stream.

You can access the live Twitter chat directory on Twubs without even needing to register for a free account.

Additionally, you can put your own live chat on Twubs so that others can find it more easily.

Another tip is to either post your questions or ask your followers for some questions ahead of time.

When it comes down to it, actively engaging your audience reinforces the decision to follow you.

Plus, their own followers can see how interactive you are with your audience, which makes a strong impression at large.

3. Stay active by creating daily/weekly/monthly Twitter routines

If your goal is to gain followers, I can’t stress enough the importance of staying active.

It’s not enough to post a few times a week or even once per day like you probably do on Facebook.

You could even lose followers if you’re not tweeting regularly.

According to CoSchedule, you should post curated content — quotes and retweets — three to seven times per day. Including your own original content, it should be about 15 tweets daily.

But do you have time to sit on Twitter 24 hours per day to make sure you’ve got awesome tweets going out at all the right times?

That’s where your routine can be a life-saver.

The best way to create your Twitter routine is to create separate daily, weekly, and monthly routines.

Automate and schedule out your posts in advance with a tool like IFTTT.

Your daily Twitter routine should consist of things like following and unfollowing other users, replying to DMs and mentions, and responding to comments on your tweets.

On a weekly basis, you should focus on broader and more long-term aspects of your marketing strategy.

Your monthly routine should include things that could result in big payoffs down the road.

As such, it largely includes networking with industry influencers, which tends to increase your Twitter reach and visibility.

4. Plan and schedule your Tweets

Compared to a non-chronological network like Facebook, the time of day you post on Twitter matters.

Because if your tweets are posted when your followers aren’t on the platform, those tweets won’t be seen.

And less visibility means less engagement, less traffic, fewer followers.

So the logical solution to this problem is to post when the most users are on the platform.

Recently, Sprout Social compiled data and found that average global engagement on Twitter is highest on Fridays from 9 to 10 AM.

During that time, there are as many as 350,000 tweets sound out per minute.

The problem is that during that time, you’ve simply got more tweets to compete with, too.

That’s where knowing your audience comes in handy.

Different demographic groups have different usage habits when it comes to Twitter.

For instance, there are differences between businesses and consumers.

Twitter content that targets businesses — or B2B content — performs best during business hours.

Content that’s consumer-oriented — or B2C content — performs better on the weekend, according to CoSchedule.

The same study also found that branded content does better overall on Wednesdays.

Branded content like this tweet from Coca-Cola:

So optimal performance on Twitter means knowing your audience and knowing when you can reach them.

Twitter gives you an audience overview right inside the Twitter platform. With this information, you can tailor your content to your audience’s demographics and interests.

Just go to for information about your audience, including what topics they’re into, what type of consumers they are, and even the wireless carriers they’re using.

Additionally, you can use Tweriod to find out which times of day your followers are most active.

Once it has the chance to pull your data from Twitter, you’ll see something like this:

The graph provides a different-colored line for different days, showing you the times and days when you’ll have the most exposure.

In fact, Tweriod leaves no room for error as it will clearly tell you when you should be posting on Twitter.

With this information, you can choose the best times to tweet to your audience for optimal engagement and reach.


From this point, you can proceed in one of two ways:

You can make sure your daily Twitter routine coincides with your audience’s most active time of day, or you can schedule your tweets to post during that time.

Just know that you need a constant flow of content posting to Twitter, and the best resources to make that happen are readily-available data and possibly a tweet-scheduling app.

5. Make sure there’s value in your tweets

Twitter marketing is like any other type of marketing in that you’ll experience the greatest success with high-quality content.

With so much competition in most industries, great content helps you stand out from the crowd.

Great content is even more important when you’re trying to build your audience on Twitter.

It’s as simple as this:

Good tweets get likes, comments, shares, and followers. Bad tweets don’t.

So what separates a good tweet from a bad tweet?


Every time you tweet, you must provide value to your audience.

Because when your content is deemed valuable and relevant, your audience is more likely to connect with your brand.

But isn’t value subjective?

Yes, but only to the extent that what’s considered the most ‘valuable’ can vary from one person and demographic to the next.

It’s no lie that people tend to prefer content that’s informative or educational.

This can include an infographic, how-to article, or even current events coverage.

Others put more value on entertainment.

This can include things like memes, gifs, funny videos, or even the actual entertainment industry.

Then there are those who want to be inspired.

Inspirational content largely equates to popular quotes as well as inspirational true stories (weight loss, rescued animals, etc.).

But let’s not forget interactive content.

Interactive content refers to things like polls, quizzes, web browser-based games, etc.

Interactional social media content posted by Buzzfeed brings in more than 75% of all total traffic.

Another common type of content on Twitter is promotional.

Typically, promotional content consists of advertisements, coupons, customer testimonials, etc.

Each of these types of content represents a particular perspective in regards to value.

And when people find value in your tweet, it gets more engagement. That’s just the way it works.

Of course, this is another reason why knowing your audience is important.

You gain a better sense of what they find valuable and can personalize your content accordingly.

6. Pick the right tweet to pin to your profile

Pinning a tweet is like putting a spotlight on that tweet, calling the attention of anyone who visits your Twitter profile.

There are a couple of ways you can approach choosing the right tweet to pin to your profile.

The first strategy is to pin a tweet that has performed particularly well.

If it gained lots of attention from your followers when you initially posted it, the tweet will probably appeal to others who are visiting your profile.

It will certainly get more views and is likely to get more likes, comments, and shares as well.

Since new tweets push older tweets further down in your timeline, your newer followers are unlikely to ever see your best ones.

That would be a real shame.

But pinning a tweet that was well-received by your followers will ensure that profile visitors and potential followers get to see it, too.

It’s also common to pin a tweet that highlights a temporary promotion or an upcoming event that your business is involved with.

When the promotion or event is over, you simply unpin the tweet and pin a new tweet for your next one.

Another strategy for choosing the right tweet to pin is to pick a tweet that promotes your business or brand.

For example, if you tweeted a link to an interview you participated in.

In effect, it’s actually someone else’s promotion of your brand or business, but you’re pinning it to highlight the value that others have placed on what your brand offers.

Another strategy for tweet-pinning is to pick a tweet that contains some sort of call-to-action at the end.

Calls to action are just as great a strategy for tweets as they are for blog posts and long-form content.

You want to make sure the tweet provides real value.

Much like a job interview or a business pitch, a pinned tweet gives you a small opening to make a big impression.

7. Link to your Twitter account on your website and other social media profiles

It may seem counterproductive to be diverting traffic from your website to your Twitter profile.

After all, don’t you want traffic going to your website so they can make a purchase?

But recent surveys have shown that your social media profiles are just as effective for content marketing as your own website.

This makes a lot of sense.

So to a large degree, sending traffic to your website actually gives you more opportunities for conversion.

Of course, you don’t want to simply drop a raw link into the body of your website.

Instead, you should link to your Twitter profile in a way that’s a bit more professional.

It could be as simple as attaching the link to an icon.

If you want something a little fancier, you could even link to your Twitter profile by embedding a tweet into your website or blog:

Simply go to where you’ll find options to embed a grid, tweet, timeline, or a button.

All you need to do is copy the link you want to use and paste it into the prompt at the top of the page.

Similarly, you should link to your Twitter profile on other social media.

For example, Facebook gives you the option to include your Twitter username in a specific section of the ‘About’ section on your Page.

It gives any of your Facebook followers who also happen to use Twitter the ability to access your Twitter profile easily.

Because if you have people following you on other social networks, there’s a good chance that any of them using Twitter would want to follow you on that platform, too.


You might think that Facebook is where you should be focusing all of your efforts to build an engaged audience.

But Twitter is an international platform with millions of users. It’s just as valuable (if not more valuable) for racking up an audience.

Getting as many as 10,000 Twitter followers doesn’t have to be hard.

First, you need to optimize your profile. Add a high-quality profile picture, since it’s the first thing people will see when they come across your brand on Twitter.

Complete your bio and don’t forget a header image, too.

Start engaging with your followers by responding to comments, mentions, direct messages, and live chats.

Create a Twitter routine you can stick to. If you aren’t active, your engagement will dip. Make a daily, weekly, or monthly Twitter schedule.

Make sure that what you’re sharing is valuable. Share interactive content, like a poll, quiz, or infographic for best results.

Pin a relevant tweet to your profile. If you have an ongoing promotion or upcoming event, tweet about it and pin it to the top of your page.

Finally, be sure to link your Twitter account to your website and on your other social profiles for maximum exposure.

Each of these pieces of advice would yield substantial growth to your Twitter following.

But when they’re all employed, you stand to see some pretty phenomenal gains and an overall boost in your brand’s performance.

What are your favorite Twitter growth hacks?

The post Hack Your Way to 10,000 Twitter Followers with These 7 Tips appeared first on Neil Patel.


Redefining Facebook Marketing: It’s All About Relationships

sourced from:

Earlier this year, Facebook rocked the world with an announcement by CEO Mark Zuckerberg

This year, the social media platform is refocusing on its core purpose, “to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us.”

Facebook is putting their customers above their own profit agenda.

He even changed his assignment to product teams “from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”

Sounds great. Until you put it together with another announcement that Facebook “will begin demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait.”

What do they mean by engagement bait?

Here, Facebook is talking about any post that asks people to like, share, or leave a comment in order get something in return. Keep in mind, that “something” doesn’t have to be a free download. It may also be the chance to log your vote, finding your true love, or entry in a contest…

Source: Facebook

Why is this a big deal? And why are these announcements so important to Facebook marketers?

These announcements reflect a significant change at Facebook.

Read between the lines of Zuckerberg’s announcement, and you’ll see that Facebook is putting their customers above their own profit agenda.

But here’s the rub. By default, this impacts the profit agenda of every business that uses Facebook for distribution and promotion.

So, what’s a marketer to do?

Let’s take a closer look at how Facebook’s new policy and refocus impacts marketers and what you need to do to benefit from Facebook’s new mindset.

Remember, It’s Just Business

While we all understand Zuckerberg’s changes are meant to give users a better experience, Facebook’s policy updates rarely give businesses the best experience.

That said, these changes aren’t as big or as bad as you might think.

Facebook has always had a strict Terms of Service. There have always been policies that implicitly or explicitly prohibited certain behaviors. Some of them may have seemed clear when they were first created, but over time, they realized they weren’t easy to enforce or even to explain.

These new policies fill in the gaps, replacing vague terms with more explicit ones, and clarifying others.

Why does Facebook care? Why continually make these types of changes?

Basically, Facebook is a business. They only want us, marketers, using their platform to help them provide a good user experience.

It’s the reason for every algorithm and policy change they’ve ever made.

You see, their success depends on people coming back to the platform every day. So Facebook has created features (the “Like” button, for instance) that give them data about…

What users like
Don’t like
Who their friends are
And the topics they collectively talk about

As they collect more data, as they see how people use different features, and as they figure out why they’re using them that way, Facebook tweaks not only the front-end experience but also the back-end, so the whole platform is a better place for everyone.

Again, it’s about giving people a great experience so they’ll keep coming back.

That’s business as usual for Facebook, and it’s the reason for every algorithm and policy change they’ve ever made. So, let’s remember, these charges aren’t anything new. They’re just Facebook doubling down and fixing things that weren’t working very well.

A good example is the restriction on engagement bait…

Removing Rewards for Engagement

Facebook’s slap down on engagement bait may seem restrictive, but it isn’t.

Source: Facebook

As we’ve already discussed, Facebook is a data-driven company. The Like button is there to give them data, not to give you bloated engagement numbers.

Which is why there’s no reason to be upset by the Facebook policy changes. In reality, these changes clarify the way things have always been.

It’s also important to understand that the Like button, which we tend to think of as a public-facing endorsement tool, is a proprietary mechanism that belongs to Facebook. Outwardly, it’s there to enrich users’ experience. But internally, it helps Facebook collect the data they need to serve relevant ads.

(NOTE: Want the Ultimate Facebook Ad Template Library? Copy and paste these seven proven Facebook ad campaigns to create low-cost, high-converting ads on demand. Get them here.)

Work with Facebook, Not Against Them

To navigate Facebook’s new policies, we need to get on the same page as them, realizing that Facebook isn’t ours.

Always remember, when you use Facebook marketing to grow your business, you’re sharecropping on someone else’s property.

It’s an integral part of our lives. It’s where most of our customers and audiences hang out. So it’s the perfect space to connect with people. But it’s unrealistic to assume it will be free forever.

Always remember, when you use Facebook marketing to grow your business, you’re sharecropping on someone else’s property.

(RELATED: How to Use Facebook Advertising to Grow Your Local Business)

Facebook’s changes were made to give their customers (Facebook users) a great experience when they’re there. That’s always been their focus. Which is why you’ll continue to see changes that limit “hacks.”

As marketers, we can reach more people by building relationships than by hacking the system. And if we’ll join Facebook in their mission, working with them instead of against them, we’ve got nothing to worry about. Facebook can change its algorithm every other day, and it still won’t affect us.

So, our only challenge is how we can create a system for building solid relationships with people. Period.

(RELATED: Your Digital Marketing Strategy Template (AKA The Customer Value Journey))

Don’t Push the Limits

The lesson to be learned here is that Facebook is serious about maintaining the integrity of its platform.

It was created to help people build relationships and engage with one another. They’re staying true to that mission, and they’re cracking down on anyone who might disrupt it.

So, here’s what you need to remember when you use Facebook marketing for business…

All it takes is 2 or 3 people flagging you as spam, and your case goes to a human compliance person. They’ll shut your page messenger down for a day as a warning. You’ll be informed by Facebook that [insert whatever you did] is a misuse of platform policy.

You’ll then need to send Facebook an apology promising you’ll abide by their terms and, in most cases, you’ll have your account restored.

But if you’re running ads, you risk wasting all that ad spend. They’ll continue to run your ad, but it’ll go NOWHERE.

So, be careful about trying to push the limits.

The changes to Facebook’s policy are good for everyone. But if you break the Facebook Terms of Service, your account will likely be banned. So, follow the terms to the letter.

The Bottom Line

Facebook’s re-emphasis on relationship may change the game for Facebook marketers, but it isn’t the end of the world.

In fact, for businesses that put their customers first, this change puts them in sync with the social media giant.

We simply need to be as customer-focused as Facebook is…

Taking the time to figure out what people want
How we can engage with them better
And how we can creatively tap into the things they care about

Do that, and you’ll get high-quality leads. You’ll also help Facebook get the data they need to serve their users—which is exactly the win-win they’re looking for.

(NOTE: Want the Ultimate Facebook Ad Template Library? Copy and paste these seven proven Facebook ad campaigns to create low-cost, high-converting ads on demand. Get them here.)

The post Redefining Facebook Marketing: It’s All About Relationships appeared first on DigitalMarketer.