How to Write an Irresistible Blog Post?

Blogging has become one of the mainstays of content marketing in the present times. It has become one of the popular ways to engage with your customers and in order to bring qualified and targeted traffic to your website, a well-developed blog plays a major role. There are some elements in blogging, which if followed properly, can lead to excellent results in diverting quality traffic to your website. These elements can be followed by anyone and can be mastered through due diligence and practice and you don’t have to be a master writer to write an excellent quality blog post. However, you need to be in sync with the persona of the people who visit your website and hence getting a mastery over visitors persona is a must.

The art of writing an irresistible blog post lies in fulfilling the perceived need of your readersThe point which is being conveyed here is that needs of every section of your audience are different. Hence, while you explain the retirement benefits to a group of predominantly senior citizen or people nearing the retirement age, you would not be able to appeal to the younger section of your blog viewership. Hence, you should accept the fact that you cannot make everyone happy, and hence a B2B blog’s voice and approach is going to be totally different from a blog dedicated to first time moms.

Now, as we have this sorted out, let us now consider some other points that can help us write an irresistible blog for our targeted audiences. First and foremost, you have to make the headline catchy. Headlines are of various types. However, you have to ensure that the headline is neither too small and nor too large. The ideal length should be less than 60 characters so that it is long enough to arouse interest in your viewers and can be fitted entirely in the search results description in the Google search pages. In addition, headlines can be of various types. The first is the list type, i.e. 5 ways to improve your blog traffic.

The other type of headlines are the ones highlighting the benefits, i.e. 5 benefits of blogging consistently. One other type of headlines is the curiosity type, i.e.  The headline generates curiosity by text like Mistakes that every blogger should avoid. Are you making that mistake? Such type of headlines egg on the visitors to read on the actual blog and they are curious to determine what type of blog is it all about.

Hence, by knowing the full potential of a headline in determining the popularity of a blog post, you are all positioned to leverage it to the fullest. Remember, most of the people are going to start your blog by reading the headline of the blog post. And if it going to be inviting and able to generate curiosity to learn more about it, you have succeeded in the first step of writing a great blog post.

Then comes the opening paragraph of your blog post. Remember, this is the most important part of your blog post and the first sentence should be able to deliver the requisite punch to your opening paragraph, egging on the visitor to know more about what you have written. Also remember that the first paragraph of your blog post should be in sync with the headline of your blog post, trying to give more information about the thing or the information that you have given out in the headline of your blog post. Don’t ever try to divert from the topic or the main headline of your blog post, since that is enough provocation for the blog reader to steer away from your post.

You always deliver the promise you have made. Same goes with your blog post. The opening paragraph should totally be devoted to a sound introduction about the topic that you have already revealed in the headlines and now you are going to elaborate more about how you can make your readers aware of the topic that you have mentioned. The opening paragraph should be able to hold the attention of your audience to take them to the next sub heading and the next sub heading in turn should also be clear enough and having the same qualities as the first paragraph. Remember, clarity in your language and consistency in your style of writing play a vital role in keeping your audiences glued to your blog post. Hence, you have maintain that clarity and consistency in style throughout the blog post.

Now come the sub headings. Remember, the main purpose of your blog post is to keep the viewer or the reader glued to the blog post till the end so that they are able to come to the call to action stuff. Call to action is nothing but the action that you want the readers to take, by making them give their email, by taking them to the order page or any other section of your website. However, it is not fair that you take everything of value from your reader and give them nothing of value in return.

The subheadings do the part of returning to the viewer something of value so that they don’t feel that nothing of value has been added to their knowledge by reading your blog post. They should feel that they have received something valuable and something of real significance to them so that they are able to solve a problem of theirs or get some important knowledge about the subject they were seeking information about. Thus, the subheadings sections form the very skin and blood of your blog post and they play a significant part in determining the satisfaction value of your readers.

Then comes your last paragraph. This should give some important piece of advice to you customers and also contains usually the call to action stuff. However, make sure that call to action is clear enough so that the readers of your blog post know what is it that you want them to do next and how they can follow your call to action. This also means that you have to care for a proper blog optimization so that it helps both the reader and you. Also, the last sentence of your closing paragraph should thank the readers of your blog post.

Boost Social Media Optimization for Enhanced Traffic

This is the age of social media. Social media activity is the single most largest activity being performed on the internet presently with a huge number of tweets being tweeted, videos being uploaded on YouTube, status updates posted on Facebook and career related content uploaded on LinkedIn every second. In short, social media has become a new tool of expression for the new age society. Thus social media optimization (SMO) assumes greater significance if you want to drive more traffic to your website. SMO was originally designed to drive traffic from the bookmarking sites and social networks. However, due to the explosion in the social media activity on the internet, SMO also has a positive effect on the SEO parameters of any site. A good SMO strategy will attract traffic from both the direct social sites and even from the search engines.

SMO Activities
Due to the primacy of social networks today, SEO stands to get benefitted by SMO activities.

The concept of social media optimization was first floated by rohit bhargava in his article ‘the 5 rules of social media optimization’ in the year 2006. In this article, Rohit emulates the importance of social media optimization to attract traffic to any website and how important role SMO plays in driving traffic from the social media sites to your website. Even the definition of SMO in Wikipedia recognizes this fact and as per Wikipedia, SMO plays a key role that is akin to SEO and optimizes the content so that it could be shared easily across the social media channels.

While the initial focus of the SEO was on link ability and easy bookmarking, the priorities have changed since the social media scenario has undergone a lot of transformation with the passage of time. The user recommendations are playing a huge role to rank up the pages and websites in the search engine page results. Looking at the SEO efforts from a traditional point of view, it focused more on the technical aspects of the website. However, all this has changed due to the constant changes in the Google’s search algorithm where digital marketers are focusing more on the user experience (UX) and even the quality of the content itself that is being shared. More often, the content that has the most shares, most comments, most social proof that it is being liked by people is going to produce the best results in the SMO rather than just blind sharing of any social media post. Focusing on quality rather than the quantity is the key towards SMO.

Quality is the Key Towards SMO
Focusing on quality rather than the quantity is the key towards SMO.

However, social proof and social signals may not just be confined to the number of shares or the size of an individual’s network. The quality of interactions that the person does is by far more valued than the number of people that particular individual is having in his or her account. With the vast strides that have been made in machine learning and artificial intelligence and also big data, now increasingly the huge multitude of data that is been produced by the social networks is now being analyzed by the algorithms of say Facebook and they are taught to consider many more parameters rather than just the number of shares or the number of comments on the particular post before defining what in terms of machine language can be termed as a valuable piece of social media posting. In this context, you may be tempted to opt for quantity over quality and may think that one way to SMO of your content is to join every Facebook or LinkedIn group out there and post the link of your content, sharing endlessly just for the sake of sharing without looking at the relevancy of the content shared in that particular group. This is however is very wrong way of approaching SMO.

This kind of behavior is not only intimidating to other users but it is also counterproductive. This kind of behavior diminishes your authority and the poster of quality posts that have value and the moment your posts are seen by users, they are likely to unfollow you or hide your posts from their Facebook news stream or may even report your content as spam. Machine learning makes things even worse for you. If the algorithm discovers that there is no interaction with your posts and links, such as sharing, commenting or liking, the algorithm would conclude that your content is not valuable. Thus, the more quantitative approach you make towards your SMO efforts, the more your content may not be valued in the form of user generated activities and your authority diminishes.

Keeping this context in view, Joshua Berg, one of the leading authorities of SMO has advocated a seven step model for social media optimization named REALSMO, which is described as follows:

1. Reputation

You have to ensure that the type of content you post promotes you as an expert in your field. You don’t always have to promote original content that you have written, but, if you can be the source of credible information and info that is interesting and has a high social value, even though it is from some other source other than you, it goes a long way in establishing your credibility as the originator of good and interesting sharable content. All this will make you a respected and a qualified source. In addition to this, your reputation of how you engage and help people online would go in a long way in establishing as a credible source. It will be enhanced if you openly share your content and expertise including content that is not your own, engage with your viewers through discussions and commenting and generally being helpful and nice with people.

2. Engagement

No man is an island, and this tenet holds true especially in the era of social media. You need to actively engage with your viewers and be a participant in their every activity with your website. This can be in the form of comments, shares, likes and plus ones. You should besides sharing your content also share good quality content produced by others and give your expert comments and feedback. One way to enhance user experience (UX) on your website is to make it easy for people to interact with you and also with each other. You may find that communities on LinkedIn and Google plus are far more active and people are willing to engage themselves in lively discussions on these sites in the groups they are listed in. You should also encourage people to comment on the content that you have created. This serves for you as a valuable feedback and also helps in raising the social media quotient of the content that you have created, so user engagement is much more beneficial to you.

3. Authority

There are many dimensions to authority and it doesn’t come easily. Search engine algorithms are keen in determining what individuals and brands are seen as authoritative and trusted by real people on the internet. The most obvious way you can do is by gaining Google Authorship. Gaining Google Authorship not only helps you in establishing yourself as an expert in the eyes of your audience but also serves to highlight your profile prominently in search results. So, in order to gain the two pronged benefit of gaining the status of authority and being in the top rankings of the search results, you cement your presence on the social media scene. Being an authority also helps you gain the trust of your readers and audience, since they tend to trust you more if your audience views you as an authority on certain subjects.

Google Authorship
Being an authority helps you gain the trust of your audience

4. Leadership

Leadership consists of high quality research, thinking and original content production. A trait of a good leader will be that they research everything they can about their areas and then share thoughtful insights which is based on their own judgment, experience and analysis. This adds value to the kind of content they are creating and this will definitely attract more visitors and audience to the content they are creating. In contrast, if you consistently generate poor quality content, then you will lose the trust and respect of your audiences and your content will consequently not be shared on the social media. As a leader, you can also play the role of a content curator. This means you don’t have to share your original content every time in order to establish yourself as a leader in your area. If you just give your thoughtful insight or just add a good summary to the content that others have produced, your job is done.

5. Social

For the sake of social media optimization (SMO), you also need to build high quality networks, where in network quality potentially matters more than the number of members you have in your network. You can begin by connecting to experts and authority figures in your field, read what they say, engage them in a discussion through your comments and shared insights and also share your ideas. Thus, it is not just the number of people you have in your network, by the manner you are able to curate your relationship with your network members and trying to establish a one on one relation with the members in your groups, especially the experts, will go in a long way in your SMO efforts.

6. Media platforms

It is very important that you focus on the right kind of platforms and communities that are relevant and related to your audience. You need to do a little bit of research here and find out where does your audience hang out? Some platforms are more effective in improving the SEO benefits of SMO than other platforms. Google plus is a pertinent example of this. Google is trying hard to give you all the credit for your shared links to the degree they deserve.

7. Optimization

Optimization is a vast subject in itself and consist of a number of topics. Broadly speaking, if you make your share buttons prominent and make it easy for your audience so that they are able to share your content easily, then your job is then. This also adds to the social proof and by demonstrating a number of shares of your generated content, you are able to establish yourself as a thought leader and an authority. You should also try to group subscription options such as email, RSS and newsletters. In addition, making your audience to easily comment on say your blog post will also go in a long way in establishing your credibility and optimizing your content. Hence, you should use social login options to make it easy for users to comment. Also, besides all this, you should optimize your title tags for sharing, especially on Twitter, where there is a character limit and you should also include your name. Last but not the least, do try to include as many images as possible as pictures speak a thousand words. Include pictures that add value and can be used as a thumbnail for your content.

Use Twitter As Marketing Tool For Your eCommerce Site

It’s an era of social media. Literally. Having a strong social media marketing idea is more important than sending out flyers to prospective customers. Twitter is one of the top social network that you can use to push up your sales. Are you wondering how? Read on to find out.

  • Create Twitter Content Calendar as a part of your Social Content Calendar
Use Twitter As Marketing Tool For Your eCommerce Site
Use Twitter As Marketing Tool For Your eCommerce Site

If you don’t know what to tweet daily, set up a Twitter content calendar to help you along. For example, on Mondays you can launch Twitter-only promotions and include offer codes exclusively for followers; on Tuesdays, you can share your product’s information through images or videos; and so on.

  • Embed Twitter widget on website

Make it easy for visitors to share your products on Twitter by embedding Twitter into your website. Use Twitter’s embed options such as Timeline, Tweet button and Follow button to make your content easy to share.

  • Link your email account with Twitter

When you have an email account linked with Twitter, you will be able to import customer list into your Twitter account. Once you do this, Twitter will help you identify new prospective followers.

  • Follow customers

Take interaction with your customers to the next level by interacting with them on Twitter. Follow them and engage with them on the platform.

  • Retweet relevant content

If you come across content that your users may find helpful, do not hesitate to retweet it. They will definitely appreciate it.

  • Use hashtags in Tweets

Hashtags are great to group content according to the topics. So find existing conversations relating to your products and brand through hashtags. Or you can start a new conversation using new hashtags.

  • Garner feedback

To improve your business, you have to know what you customers think of you. So ask the right questions to your customers to garner feedback, and use this information to improve overall user experience.

  • Use Twitter for customer service

It’s highly likely that majority of your customer base is on Twitter. So be available to your customers through Twitter. They should feel free to approach you anytime on Twitter.

Do you use Twitter innovatively to boost your eCommerce business? If so, tell us how.

How Can Entrepreneurs Implement Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies

Social media marketing is no longer an option for entrepreneurs, especially for the smaller ones. For better customer engagement and effective building of customer base, small businesses need to be proactive on various social networking platforms. If you want to know how you can implement effective social media marketing strategy, read on.Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies

1. Create a strategy on paper: The first step is to create a comprehensive social media marketing strategy on paper. Set your goals, objectives and channels that you are planning to use. Be specific about your target audience and the type of content you are planning to use.

2. Initiate discussions: Once you have zeroed in on your target audience, select the relevant networking platform to start a lively discussion on the community forums. Ask meaningful questions to engage them and offer answers to their queries.

3. Garner feedback: Use social networking platforms to connect with your customers. Ask about their experience of using your products and encourage them to share their experience with their friends and family members.

4. Use limited platforms: Start your social media marketing strategy focusing on handful of the platforms, and then expand to cover the remaining platforms. This will help you grow quickly and easily.

5. Hire professionals: If you are already busy handling core functionalities of your business, it’s better to hire a professional agency as implementing the strategy would require lot of time, resources and expertise.

6. Spend time regularly: The time you spend on social networking platforms is productive, and so spend at least couple of hours daily to interact with other like-minded people to build your influe
nce.

Do you want to know what more you can do to become an influencing voice of the industry you are operating in? Contact us and we will help you.

Tweaks in Facebook, YouTube and Yelp

The month of April has been quite happening for Facebook, YouTube and Yelp who have introduced new features to help marketers on their Social media platforms reach their target audience quickly with minimum fuss.

Let’s look at these changes.

Facebook:

On April 30, Facebook announced that it expanded its Audience Network to help advertisers extend their campaigns beyond Facebook and into other mobile apps. The Audience Network will enable businesses target their audience with personal and relevant ads with Custom Audiences, core audiences and lookalike audiences. Ads in the Audience Network will be delivered in three creative format.

Facebook said as the feature is new, the current performance will vary but it expects to see improvement in the performance as more ads, apps and publishers are added into the system.

Facebook Audience Network Update
Facebook Audience Network Update

YouTube:

Introduction to a video is quite important. With a distinctive start to your videos, marketers can easily build and strengthen their brands that can be easily recognized by your audience. With the help of YouTube’s new feature, marketers can now automatically add an intro video up to three seconds to the start of every video on the channel.

If you are a marketer and wish to add the intro video, you will need to follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Upload your three-second intro video to your channel as an unlisted video.
  2. Go to your channel’s InVideo Programming page and click “Add a channel branding intro”.
  3. Select the intro from a list of eligible videos.
  4. Select which videos you want the intro to appear on. Here you can choose whether to add it to all of your videos, or just the ones you’ve uploaded after a certain date. You can always remove or change the intro later if you wish to.

However, please remember that businesses won’t be able to use the intro videos as ads, sponsorships or product placements.

Yelp:

Yelp Now Accepts Bitcoin
Yelp Now Accepts Bitcoin

In April, Yelp too announced the new addition to its business information page with the attribute: “Accepts Bitcoin: Yes”. This information will be added to the below mentioned information that’s currently offered by Yelp:

  • Does the restaurant deliver?
  • Is that mechanic open?
  • What’s the dentist’s phone number?
  • Does the bowling alley accept credit cards?
  • Is it friendly for dogs?
  • Does the place have a “hipster” ambience?
  • Did this restaurant receive an “A” grade in its latest hygiene inspection?

As a business owner, you can add this bit of information to your page by looking into your free business owner tools on biz.yelp.com and update the same over there. Consequently, consumers who use Bitcoin for transactions will be able to visit your place of business without any further questions.