Category: Social Media


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

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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

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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.


9 Ways to Beat Instagram’s Algorithm For Better Reach and More Likes

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Social media platforms change with alarming frequency these days.

For years, Instagram was a haven of chronological posts that almost guaranteed engagement as long as you timed your post correctly and shared something interesting.

But that reality is no more.

Recent changes offer users more control over their feeds, which means it may be getting more difficult to engage with your audience.

Instagram’s users may be able to see fresher posts, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll ever see your content.

That means you’ll need to change your approach if you want to stay at the top of the Instagram pile.

And to do that, you have to know what actually works for other brands who have cracked the code.

This post will give you nine ways to do just that.

But first, you have to understand Instagram’s current landscape and how it affects your brand.

Breaking down the Instagram landscape

In 2016, Instagram announced their efforts to favor the moments you “care about the most” in your feed.

Since then, marketers have been looking for ways to optimize their content and stay ahead of the Instagram algorithm to keep engagement levels high.

As you’re no longer guaranteed to show up in a chronological feed, you have to find a creative way to stay in front of your online audience.

And as the press release indicates, Instagram’s current algorithm filters content based on your user’s previous behavior.

So in theory, the more your audience interacts with your brand, the more they’ll see your posts.

That isn’t exactly great news for most marketers though.

The overwhelming tendency is to treat engagement as the number one metric on Instagram, and all of these changes have caused engagement to go down.

So success on Instagram requires brands to find new ways to continue building engagement and follower count.

But to start engaging with Instagram users in the first place, you have to know who they are and what they’re like.

First and foremost, Instagram users are predominately young.

Your audience is primarily millennials for now, and they have different shopping patterns than previous generations.

And perhaps even worse, the average user misses over 70% of their feed.

That means even your best content isn’t guaranteed to be in front of your audience no matter what you do.

So if it’s so hard to get views and engagement, why focus on Instagram at all?

To understand that, you have to understand the raw marketing power of visual engagement.

According to research, visuals are a more retainable form of sharing information and news.

We retain vastly more information from things we see, which means visuals are important.

That makes Instagram, which is a primarily visual channel, an essential part of many brands’ digital presence.

Brands that create visually-appealing or artisan items often rely on Instagram to engage with their audience when blogging.

They use Instagram as an essential piece of their social media sales funnel, so success on this platform is life or death.

And studies have shown that people buy items they see on social media all the time.

More than 42% of social media users have made a purchase simply because they saw it in their feed.

So finding a way to break the algorithm in your favor and increase your engagement can help your brand push sales through Instagram.

And to do that, you have to create content that resonates with your audience and fosters interaction between your followers and your brand.

Thankfully, there are plenty of proven methods that will let you accomplish that on a regular basis.

The nine solutions in this post are data-backed and brand-approved methods for boosting engagement.

And the first one you can start using right now.

Solution #1: Use Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is the Snapchat-esque element of Instagram that allows users to create and share content that disappears after 24 hours.

Launched in late 2016, it’s quickly become a favorite of brands and users alike to share their days with their followers.

By October 2017, more than 300 million users were creating Stories on a daily basis.

Plus, more and more marketers are using Stories to help drive engagement with their brand.

But are Stories actually an effective way for brands to engage with their audience?

According to this case study, the answer is yes.

The designer brand Revolve has used Instagram Stories to create and share powerful campaigns on their profile.

In the case study linked above, they launched their #Revolveme campaign.

The point of this effort was to find and share user-generated content that centered around their brand.

Customers could purchase clothes and then upload their own photos with the hashtag #revolveme in hopes of being featured in the brand’s Stories.

While you might think that most of the Stories they share look like professional models, the reality is that they’re all user submitted.

That means they’re not only sharing their audience’s content, but they’re also getting free, high-quality content at the same time.

And the results speak for themselves.

According to the study, the brand started having an average of more than 66,000 impressions on each Story.

With an exit rate of only 6.27%, it’s clear that their efforts were successful.

And since the brand is still sharing the #revolveme Stories, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll drop the campaign anytime soon.

So if you’re struggling to boost your engagement, start sharing your own Stories.

Solution #2: Hire a professional

Not everyone is destined to be a photographer, and that’s okay.

But Instagram is a visual platform.

Therefore, visuals are the heart of your work.

So if you’re not the best photographer, you may actually be hurting your brand’s performance in the long run.

And to make matters worse, you may not even have a camera that shoots a good picture according to today’s standards.

Just look at the quality difference in these two images from an iPhone 6s and an iPhone 8.

This iPhone 6s image might look good at first glance.

But when you post it next to its successor from the iPhone 8, the differences really stand out.

The newer phone offers brighter colors and much better focus.

But if you’re stuck with an older model phone, chances are your audience will notice in your image quality.

So you have a few options when it comes to hiring a professional photographer.

You can certainly find someone local or even see if someone already in your organization has a talent for photography.

Or, you can turn to the online gig economy using a site like Upwork.

These freelance Instagram marketers can help guide the imagery that your brand uses to help you engage with your followers.

And since they all offer something a little different, you can probably find someone who matches both your needs and your budget.

But does a professional photographer actually make a difference?

According to Vulpine Interactive, it certainly seems so.

Vulpine Interactive was working on the digital presence of one of their clients called Sixthreezero Bicycle Company.

When they first started working with them, they noticed that the photography on their Instagram wasn’t quite on-brand.

One of the first recommendations they made was to change the photography and optimize their Instagram, which involved hiring a professional.

By combining their new Instagram approach with some other website initiatives, Sixthreezero saw a 300% growth in website traffic over seven months.

So if it helped this brand to hire a photographer, it’s worth looking into for your own business.

Solution #3: Stay true to trends

If you’re in an industry that changes a lot, you know how hard it is to stay current with just those trends.

So when you start exploring new trends in an unknown arena, it can get overwhelming very quickly.

And every year sees plenty of visual trends change and evolve as they go.

Just check out some of these images that are considered a part of this year’s trends.

This image is meant to be a powerful visual that attempts to make a statement.

It’s dramatic, tells a story, and makes the viewer wonder what’s actually happening here.

But just look at that picture in comparison to this one:

They couldn’t be more different.

The second photo is deadpan and almost static compared to the first, yet both are considered trendy.

While it may not suit your personal style, learning and adhering to these visual trends can help you engage with your Instagram audience and stand out from the crowd.

What’s more, you can also look at established trends on Instagram that other brands have seen success with.

60% of the top brands use the same filter and lighting for all their Instagram photos. It’s about creating a photo strategy.

Just look at Gucci.

Or, Oreo.

There’s consistency and strategy behind both.

Two of Condé’s publications, Vanity Fair and GQ, were able to drive traffic and see a return on investment after partnering with Dash Hudson by harnessing visual storytelling.

Condé Nast’s Director of Digital and Social Strategy, Rochelle Stewart, says, “Instagram is a natural fit for us as it allows our brands to tap into what they do best — visual storytelling, beautiful photography, imagery that is both inspirational and aspirational.”

EXCLUSIVE: Virgil Abloh and Nike unveil "The Ten" sneaker collection. See the complete collection at the link in bio 🔥🔥 (📸@alexreside)

A post shared by GQ (@gq) on Aug 21, 2017 at 5:52am PDT


A little b-day boogie. Happy 27th birthday to Jennifer Lawrence! Photograph by @therealpeterlindbergh.

A post shared by Vanity Fair (@vanityfair) on Aug 15, 2017 at 1:16pm PDT


It’s clear that creating a visual strategy for Instagram is crucial.

Posting with a consistent filter, images with faces, and tagging your location can help you engage more and stay in your audience’s feed.

You can even base your Instagram filter on your location if you want to get specific.

The point here is that other brands have noticed trends through trial and error that you can take advantage of.

If you focus on following these established trends with your own Instagram, you’re more likely to see the results you want.

Solution #4: Fire up live video

Live streaming is quickly becoming one of the most important things your brand can do.

According to a recent study, video streaming currently accounts for more than two-thirds of Internet traffic.

That means it’s not only being created in vast quantities, but it’s also being consumed as well.

And since 2016, Instagram has allowed brands to launch their own Live videos natively on their app.

The results have been more than most could ever imagine, including the people behind the Old House Vintage Market profile.

In just one event, they gained 1,151 followers.

That’s almost 80% of their current following, and they got it in less than one day.

They even went back and re-recorded the video on a phone to make sure they could keep it.

If a small brand like this can use Live video so effectively, imagine what it could do for a brand that already has thousands of followers.

By engaging with a larger audience on Instagram, you encourage interaction and push yourself to the top of the news feed.

It doesn’t even have to be planned either.

Just fire it up and share what you’re doing right now or look for ideas that you can share.

As long as you can engage with your followers, you can grow your brand and crack the Instagram algorithm.

Solution #5: Post at the right time

If you’ve been around social media for a while, you’ve likely seen study after study that seeks to find the perfect time to post.

Instagram has plenty of those studies, and they’re definitely worth your time and attention.

According to this post from Sprout Social, Instagram sees the most traffic during the midday periods in the middle of the week.

That may mean that plenty of people are sitting at their desks browsing Instagram, but it also means you should be looking to highlight your posts at those times too.

But don’t take the above image as the final word on when you should actually post.

The above graph looks at engagement, not necessarily posting times.

To find that out, you have to take a look at what CoSchedule has cooked up.

This points you in the direction of posting early in the morning and just before rush hour traffic hits.

If you post in times where there’s too much congestion (or not enough), you could potentially miss out on engagement due to heavier filtering.

Posting for off-work hours seems to be the solution favored by brands that use Instagram, which means you may be sharing your content at the wrong time.

Instead, follow the advice above and try to find the times that give your brand the greatest amounts of engagement.

Solution #6: Reach more people with hashtags

If you’re like me, you’ve probably scratched your head a bit when it comes to hashtags.

While it seems like everyone is using them, they’re not always beneficial when it comes to social media.

But Instagram is an altogether different matter.


The uniqueness of Instagram’s visual platform makes it the perfect platform to utilize hashtags.

When a user clicks on a hashtag from a post they’re viewing, they’re taken to a page that shows more custom hashtags.

For example, check out this recent post from actor Chris Pratt:

In it, he uses #farmlife.

When you click the hashtag, you’re taken to a list of every post that’s used that same hashtag.

This invites the user to scroll through, find more images they like, and engage with more profiles.

So using popular hashtags appropriately can help you extend the reach of your brand and find new audience members.

And to do that, I highly recommend using a Chrome extension like Hashtest to help you find high-volume hashtags.

All you have to do is input the hashtags you’re thinking about and it will give you instant feedback on how useful it is.

When you find the right hashtags, include them in your posts on a regular basis.

Your images will have greater reach, and you can appear more often in more feeds over time.

Solution #7: Use an influencer

When it comes to influencer marketing, no other platform comes close to Instagram.

By far, influencers love to create and share brand collaborations on Instagram.

The visual, product-driven nature of the platform makes it the perfect place to create and share content that followers want to engage with.

That means you can use this trend to your advantage by finding influencers who are interested in your brand.

And influencers are seeing some major growth in just the past few years alone.

With new influencers and creators continually coming on the scene, the opportunities for your business are plentiful.

Take a look at how the ASOS Insiders campaign utilized influencers to help them sell their product.

This campaign focused on an exclusive group of young adult influencers who were hand-picked to show off the ASOS brand clothes.

By tapping into the audiences that these influencers already had, ASOS created a global phenomenon that’s still very much alive today.

As of right now, ASOS has more than seven million followers on their Instagram account.

That means with every post they share, millions of viewers have opted in to see their content.

But you don’t have to have a huge budget to pull this feat off.

You can find influencers with thousands of followers who would be willing to help share your brand.

It’s one of the fastest growing Instagram marketing areas, and you would be wise to start using it for your own efforts.

Solution #8: Share user-generated content

We looked earlier at how a brand used user-generated content in their Stories, but the application for user-generated content is much larger than you may have previously imagined.

Studies have shown that sharing user-generated content makes your brand more authentic and humanizes your company.

That means that the more you share the content your users provide, the more they’ll feel that you’re actually relatable and worthy of their attention.

What’s more, it’s seen as “helpful” or “invaluable” to 99% of marketers.

So sharing more user-generated content is the perfect way to help bring your brand back down to earth.

If your audience sees the opportunity to feature on your page, there’s a much better chance they’ll want to interact with you and create content for you.

Rent the Runway saw a huge amount of success when they started focusing on sharing user-generated content.

Over the course of their study, they discovered that they were also saving five to ten hours per week on creating content.

And more importantly, their engagement went up by 21% over their original content.

Simply by sharing more of their user-generated content, they were able to see measurable improvements in their Instagram page’s activity.

So save time and boost your own engagement by utilizing your own audience’s content.

You’ll likely find that this strategy can help you see the same type of success in your own efforts.

Solution #9: Host a contest

Instagram contests are the final tactic that can help your brand beat the algorithm and increase your overall engagement.

And according to the State of Instagram report, 39% of businesses plan to do more contests in the coming years.

And when you look into the success that some brands have experienced, there’s no wonder why more businesses want to try this approach.

Take for example the MyNeoShoot contest hosted by Adidas.

In this contest, Adidas asked its followers to create images that were inspired by their brand.

The best photos were then invited to model in a professional photoshoot, and they even got Selena Gomez to help them spread the word about the contest.

As a result of the contest, Adidas generated 71,000 mentions of the #MyNeoShoot hashtag and gained 41,000 new followers.

So using a creative contest for your own brand can lead to similar results.

Just make sure you establish clear rules, or the whole process could backfire.

Even if you don’t gain thousands of new followers, you’re almost guaranteed to get engagement from your current audience.

And that means you’ll be one step closer to breaking the Instagram algorithm, which means more reach and more engagement.


Instagram is a highly versatile platform that allows brands to engage with and sell to their online audience.

But changes to the algorithm in the last few years have raised a lot of questions about what actually works.

And with engagement being the number one goal of most Instagram brands, finding innovative ways to engage is more important than ever before.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways that your brand can consistently engage on Instagram.

Utilizing Stories can help you create a brand that’s always on and sharing.

If you’re lacking in photography skills, consider hiring a professional to help you bridge the gap.

Staying in tune with recent trends will also help you know what type of imagery seems to work best for your audience, which will be more appealing in the long run.

And creating live video can help you stay in the limelight and boost your brand in ways you never imagined.

Then, by focusing on posting at the right time, you can increase your overall engagement and always be present when your audience will see you.

Don’t forget to utilize hashtags, and make sure that you’re looking for influencers who can help promote your brand.

If possible, share user-generated content to humanize your brand and be more relatable to your followers.

And finally, don’t hesitate to create a contest that promotes sharing and engagement even further.

You have plenty of options to choose from if you want to see success on Instagram.

All that’s left is for you to create your plan and execute it.

What are your favorite Instagram engagement strategies?

The post 9 Ways to Beat Instagram’s Algorithm For Better Reach and More Likes appeared first on Neil Patel.


How to Leverage Facebook Messenger Marketing in Your Ad Campaigns

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The key to success for Facebook Messenger marketing is built into Facebook’s policies:

Get better at marketing
Get better at talking to people
And get better at building long-term relationships

With Facebook’s renewed focus on relationship building, if you do Facebook Messenger marketing right, you’ll stand head-and-shoulders above your competitors—because you’re reaching people where their attention is already focused.

But to succeed with marketing on Facebook Messenger, you shouldn’t approach the platform from a marketing perspective alone.

To succeed with marketing on Facebook Messenger, you shouldn’t approach the platform from a marketing perspective alone.

Instead, think of yourself as a social engineer.

You need to return to the basics of good marketing.

If you want people to click on your ads, you need to figure out what they’re struggling with or what they’re trying to make progress on.

Figure out creative ways to engage with them.

Focus on your audience and what’s important to them.

Try to drive relationships as well as engagement.

How do you do that? By following 3 core Messenger marketing rules.

3 Rules for Using Facebook Messenger the Right Way
Facebook Messenger Marketing Rule #1: Facebook Messenger Is NOT Email

Since Messenger was built for sending personal messages (like email was), it’s easy to fall into the trap of using Messenger as you would email.

But nothing could be worse.

For marketers, email is rarely a relationship-building channel. It’s used for outreach, information, and sales.

That’s not what Messenger is for.

The secret to using Messenger for marketing is to focus on why people turn to your business in the first place. The focus should always be on removing obstacles to people’s progress in their lives. It should be about building relationships and trust, not push marketing.

So, when you’re thinking about Messenger, think about your customers as individual people. 

As, BioTrust Nutrition does by reaching out to their audience with a recipe for healthy, protein-packed pancakes in Messenger…

So, ask yourself…

What’s going on in your audience’s lives?
What are they trying to do?
What could you do to give them forward progress?

…and use this as inspiration to craft your messages in Messenger.

Facebook Messenger Marketing Rule #2: Don’t Hack… Listen

The goal of social media marketing isn’t meaningless interaction. Believe it or not, the real goal is data.

In Messenger marketing, you want to ask open-ended questions that get people interacting and engaging. Ask questions that inspire long-form answers that give you (in their own language) the hopes, fears, and desires of your best customers.

This is data you can use in all your marketing. It may or may not drive a sale today, but it will give you the information you need to write compelling sales copy and sell far more in the future.

So instead of pushing one product like you might in an email promotion, ask questions that give you more information about people’s concerns and goals, then make a personalized recommendation based on the answers they give you, as DigitalMarketer does with Traffic & Conversion Summit

…and as StoryBrand does…

For example, if you were a fitness company, you might ask, What’s your #1 fitness goal? or Why do you want to be in better shape?

Asking “why” helps you understand the context of their lives, so you can give them a more targeted marketing message.

And it starts with listening.

Facebook Messenger Marketing Rule #3: Avoid Engagement Bait

The challenge is to get people engaged without resorting to engagement bait.

Up to now, you might have created a message that asked a question or made a statement followed by, Comment YES below and we’ll give you a free milkshake.

But that’s considered engagement bait, and Facebook will shut it down.

Source: Facebook

Today, instead of using this type of call to action, you might consider the context of the conversation. Think about what people are trying to achieve and why, so you can join the conversation that’s already happening in their lives.

Another tactic is to ask people for their opinions. Given a chance to weigh in with their own opinion, people will share a lot more information.

The idea is to open a conversation, draw people out, and get them engaged by asking meaningful questions.

Here’s why this works for marketers…

With Messenger, your goal is to build a relationship.

If your question is relevant to the market, you’re getting feedback, and you’re following up in Messenger with your thoughts, then you’re gathering customer data not only for your brand but for Facebook too.

But you’re doing it in a way that doesn’t manipulate the metrics. You didn’t bait people to respond, so their responses indicate true interest.

In other words, the data is pure. Best of all, it leads naturally into a sales conversation.

This is where Messenger differs from email marketing. With email, your goal is to get people on your list so you can blast them with a sales message.

With Messenger, your goal is to build a relationship. You want to open a dialog—which means you won’t blast promotional messages regardless of how those subscribers have interacted in the past.

Instead, you’ll try to generate personal conversations with your followers.

The Comments Growth Tool

Strategic use of the Comment-to-Messenger function is key to making all of this work.

Instead of trying to create an opening to promote your product or generate a lead—which is purely self-serving—take a more relationship-oriented approach. Try to understand what people’s goals are and why.

Instead of saying, “Comment YES below and we’ll give you a free milkshake,” go deeper and ask…

Why this protein powder instead of that one?
Do you prefer whey protein or vegan protein?
Do you think it’s more effective to drink your shake before or after your workout?

Capitalize on the conversations that are already taking place. Give people a chance to weigh in on their own. Ask their opinions.

From a customer-development perspective, this is gold. You’re getting feedback from your prospects in their own language. But you’re also giving Facebook the data they want, which is context around this person’s life and the products they like.

This approach also opens the door to a sales conversation.

With the information you’ve gathered, you know exactly which products this person would be interested in. Now your offer isn’t spam. It’s perfectly relevant, not only to their lives but to the conversations you’ve had.

(NOTE: Ready to use Facebook’s newest “ad” platform to turn a one-to-one conversation into sales—even if you don’t have the staff to reply manually? Check out the Facebook Messenger Marketing Blueprint and discover how Facebook Messenger Ads are changing the way businesses communicate with customers. Learn more now.)

3 Types of Messages You Can Send on Facebook Messenger

Keep in mind there are some restrictions on when you can send promotional broadcasts.

Facebook’s rules for Messenger aim to keep the tool from turning into email. So blasting promotional messages to your entire subscriber base—regardless of how those subscribers have interacted with you in the past—will get your Facebook Page shut down.

Honestly, though, we don’t like to think of Messenger’s rules as restrictions. If anything, they’re guidelines for making you a better marketer. They’ll help you connect with your best customers and build long-term, profitable relationships with them.

So what are the rules?

It boils down to 3 types of messages you can send:

Promotional Broadcast
Follow-up Broadcast
Subscription Broadcast

Each of these types of messages are tagged a certain way through the API, and they can only be sent in certain circumstances, based on permissions that exist in each profile.

(RELATED: Perpetual Traffic Episode 136: Use These 3 Facebook Messenger Blueprints to Acquire More Customers, Leads, & Subscribers)

Let’s take a look at each…

Promotional Broadcasts

Promotional messages may be used as a response to someone opening a conversation with you: someone has shown some kind of intent, which means they’re interested in hearing from you about something.

Once the conversation has been opened, you have 24 hours to send a promotional message. This is called the 24-Hour Rule.

According to Facebook, any message that takes someone out of Messenger is considered promotional, whether it has a sales intent or not. Just 24 hours from that initial contact.

That said, you can get creative with this. If you’re sending people to other Facebook properties, such as Facebook Lives, you may be able to get away with promoting something outside that 24-hour window. But that’s a gray area, and you want to be careful.

Now let’s talk about how a promotional broadcast works…

When someone opens a new thread with you, that means they’ve hit the “Send to Messenger” button, they sent you something on your Facebook Page, or they found you in Messenger and reached out to you.

As an example, maybe it’s a holiday, and someone wants to know if their favorite coffee shop is open, so they find the coffee shop in Facebook and message them to get their holiday hours.

Technically, that coffee shop could message that person within 24 hours of their question with any kind of offer they may have. Something like, Hey, you were trying to figure out if we’re open. Here’s a free latte on us if you buy a croissant.

If the customer doesn’t engage with the content sent to them within 24 hours, the coffee shop has one chance to remind them about the croissant deal. They can do that with a follow-up broadcast with what’s called The 24 + 1 Rule.

This rule gives you 24 hours for customers to take you up on your promotion, plus one reminder message. If you still don’t get a response, the opportunity is considered closed.

Follow-Up Broadcasts

After the 24 hours have expired, you can’t send a promotional broadcast. You have to use the follow-up broadcast to message your contact.

This type of broadcast can be sent within 24 hours after the first 24 hours has expired, giving you 48 hours to engage with this person with a promotion, using 2 different types of broadcasts.

Once the 24 + 1 period has expired, you can still send messages, but they can’t be promotional. You can ask a question, giving people some quick reply buttons or simply leaving it open for them to answer.

If they re-engage with you, another 24-hour window opens. That gives you the freedom to send a link or a promotional message if you want to—but it doesn’t mean necessarily mean you should.

Instead of always selling, get creative.

How can you broadcast to your list to create engagement again? How can you start a conversation without sounding like an email?

People use Messenger to get short snippets of information from people they care about, to ask questions they need an immediate answer to, or to engage and feel heard by somebody. If you’re randomly interrupting them all the time, that’s not useful—not to them or to Facebook.

So, remember, from a pure marketing standpoint, you want to stay relevant.

Subscription Broadcasts

Let’s say a web comic posts a new cartoon on his Facebook Page every Friday. On Monday, someone sends him a message.

This type of message is followed up by promotion and follow-up broadcasts, like this:

Set up a fun interaction that builds relationship
After that interaction, send a link to buy a t-shirt on his Shopify store.
No response? Set up a tag to send a reminder within the 24-hour window
If there’s still no response, set up a follow-up reminder on the Shopify sale item

But now it’s Thursday, 3 days after the promotional window closed, and the web comic has an idea: I bet my followers would really like to see a behind-the-scenes photo of me sketching the first version of this content. So, I’m going to send a broadcast to everyone on my list.

In his broadcast, he says he’s doing some mock-ups with this new comic and asks if they’d like to see more. He then gives them 2 button options: yes and no.

This is a subscription broadcast. It’s not promotional. It’s an engagement opportunity.

But it’s important to understand that “subscription” in Messenger isn’t the same thing as subscribing to an email list. In Messenger, you’re only trying to open a thread with someone.

When someone messages your page, they send a message. This opens a conversation with you. That’s an open thread now, also known as a subscription. If someone opens a thread with you, they want to hear from you, so you’ll add them as a subscriber and get all their information.

You can have a talk with this person because they’ve reached out to you and have shown intent.

Be aware, just clicking on a link doesn’t show intent. So, when someone clicks on a link on the Internet, they’re not opening a conversation with you, no matter how you phrase the link text. (Even if you say, “Subscribe to Messenger,” clicking the link doesn’t qualify as a subscription.)

To subscribe, the user must message you inside the Messenger window. The moment they open that thread, they become a subscriber and start a new 24-hour promotional window.

How These 3 Types of Messages Work Together

The 24-Hour Rule is the key to Messenger marketing.

A 24-hour window opens when someone messages your bot to have a fun conversation. You then have 24 hours to promote whatever you want to promote.

If they don’t respond, you can follow up with them one more time. If they still don’t talk to you, a few days later, you might send them another message because you know what they’re interested in.

The 24-Hour Rule is the key to Messenger marketing.

People can say yes or no to any of your messages, giving them the choice to engage with you or not.

What’s important to remember is that Messenger is not just a comment growth tool. It’s not just about JSON ads. It’s a tool for communicating human-to-human with people who are interested in you and what you do.

We’re only just figuring out what normal communication from a brand to Messenger subscribers looks like on a daily and weekly basis. We do, though, have to take into account the promotional time limit, which keeps the platform from mimicking email as an outreach tool.

Getting the Most from Facebook Messenger

Messenger marketing success boils down to one thing…

The good marketers, who have good content and give value to their audience, are going to win on this platform.

The secret to success isn’t a hack.

It’s more akin to emotional IQ.

Know how to engage and re-engage people, and give them what they’re interested in. As relationships build, the value of your promotional efforts in Messenger will only get better.

(NOTE: Ready to use Facebook’s newest “ad” platform to turn a one-to-one conversation into sales—even if you don’t have the staff to reply manually? Check out the Facebook Messenger Marketing Blueprint and discover how Facebook Messenger Ads are changing the way businesses communicate with customers. Learn more now.)

The post How to Leverage Facebook Messenger Marketing in Your Ad Campaigns appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

Grow Your Business With Facebook Ads 0

Episode 146: 3 Case Studies to Grow Your Business with Facebook Ads

sourced from:

Whether you’re launching an info product, running an ecommerce business, or creating a documentary, today’s episode has a case study that will help you grow your business with Facebook ads.

Join us as we discuss how Molly helped one of her clients successfully launch a Christian documentary and generate 100,000 leads for less than $1/lead, how you can use the “MAGICC” method to convert cold traffic, and how the 3-step “Ecommerce Ad Amplifier” led to a 5.8X return on ad spend.

Each of these Facebook ad case studies is packed with information you can apply today to grow your own business.


How you can use the MAGICC method to convert cold traffic into paying customers.
How Molly generated 100,000 leads at 94¢ apiece in 7 days (« and how you can apply the strategy in your business).
How Tier 11 took one client from $5,000 in ad spend with a 2X ROI to $60,000 with a 5.8X ROI.


Episode 145: How to Amplify Your Ecommerce Business Using Facebook Ads
Tier 11 Facebook Page (Message “image” to get the Ecommerce Amplifier graphic)
Facebook Business Dynamic Ads
Use Facebook Pixel

Thanks so much for joining us this week. Want to subscribe to Perpetual Traffic? Have some feedback you’d like to share? Connect with us on iTunes and leave us a review!

iTunes not your thing? Find us on Stitcher.

The post Episode 146: 3 Case Studies to Grow Your Business with Facebook Ads appeared first on DigitalMarketer.


How to Build and Manage a Private Facebook Group

sourced from:

Facebook is one of the best platforms to build and manage a private community that will help grow your business.

And I should know.

During my time as DigitalMarketer’s Lead Community Strategist, I managed over 11,500 members (and growing) across 7 private Facebook groups—answering questions, providing support, and bridging the gap between DigitalMarketer’s clients and business.

These private, online communities have had a tremendous impact on DigitalMarketer’s bottom line.

Establishing a thriving online community within the company’s client base meets a number of important business goals including…

Improved customer satisfaction
Reduced refunds
Increased retention in monthly memberships
More sales generated by word-of-mouth recommendations

There is a lot of gold to be found in creating and maintaining a private Facebook Group and offering it as a premium bonus with DigitalMarketer’s products—so here’s how it’s done at DigitalMarketer.

But before I show you how to create an engaged Facebook Group, first we should talk about why Facebook is one of the best places to host your online community.

Why Host Your Communit… Read More


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social media is a great way to build links

I’ve already talked a lot about backlinks.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even the professionals are struggling with this stuff!

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

1. Start with your social profiles and website content

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

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

These are the basics. Never underestimate the basics!

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

Think about the profiles you might have:

Personal profile
Business profile
Fan page
Group page

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This means the more likely you are to build links.

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

2. Gather customer reviews

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

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

How does this lead to links?

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

How do you get quality reviews?

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

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

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

3. Track fans who mention you on social media

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

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

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

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

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

So how do you find them?

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


I really like Mention.

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

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

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

Open Site Explorer

Or there is Moz’s Open Site Explorer.

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

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

4.  Find links to reclaim

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5.  Mention influencers or brands

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

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

Here’s how it works:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Invite people to guest post for you.

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

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

It helps build links and shares on social media.

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

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

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

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

It also generated 237 unique links from 46 root domains.

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

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

6. Use infographics to boost shares

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

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

Why are infographics so popular?

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

Especially when we’re only looking for specific information.

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

I know I’d definitely choose the visual option.

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

Kissmetrics has an entire section dedicated to infographics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I currently like Infogram and Piktochart the best.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How did it get so many links?

Social media!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember to post the infographic on your site first.

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

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

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

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

7. Focus on generating second-tier links.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Use social media to improve pitch responses

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

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

That’s not the only way social media helps.

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

Don’t just friend and forget either.

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

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

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

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

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

9. Focus on creating social content

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

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

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

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

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

Creating videos will increase your traffic and your share rate.

Especially if they’re Facebook videos.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Promote events or hold contests

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drive attention by promoting events and hosting contests.

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

How do you build links through social media?

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


How to Conduct a Social Media Audit in Just 30 Minutes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to prepare your social media audit

“Auditing” can sound intimidating.

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

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

So, how often should you perform an audit?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next, you’ll want to label the columns.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It should look similar to this:

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

What about demographics?

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

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

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

Each tab will show you:

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

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

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

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

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


Pinterest is a goldmine for marketers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saves and clicks are arguably the most important metrics here.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Profile views

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

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

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

The other will reveal which days they are most active.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Have you ever posted an Instagram Story?

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

Do you notice any trends?

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

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

Do you know who your followers are?

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

Make sure that you change the selection to your followers.

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

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

Consumer buying styles
Household income categories
Wireless carrier


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is a goldmine if you sell products online.

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

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

What should you do with your audit?

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

It’s time to get marketing.

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

You should start with content.

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

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

I recently posted this video on Facebook:

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

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

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

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

So, guess what?

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

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

The purpose is not to try and sell anything.

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

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

Target a more defined audience.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Work smarter, not harder.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Calculate budget and ROI.

Do you include ads in your marketing strategy?

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

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

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

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

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

I integrate SEO and PPC for this very same reason.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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