How to Use Facebook in Your Content Marketing Strategy

There’s no doubt that Facebook is a useful tool in any company’s marketing arsenal. With the largest amount of monthly active users at 1.7 billion users, Facebook can provide an incredibly powerful way for your company to reach customers and personalize a message to them. But how can Facebook fit into your content marketing strategy? Your business may be generating content on a weekly or monthly basis to increase SEO rankings or just provide information to your clients, but how is it getting disseminated? Who is reading it? Facebook can be a valuable tool not only in improving your content marketing results but in helping you learn more about your audience.

Audience and Followers

The first step for using Facebook as part of an effective content marketing strategy is realizing that just having lots of likes on your page isn’t good enough. You need a strong audience that interacts with your page on a regular basis. People not only need to see the content but like the blog posts, comment, and share, instead of just scrolling right past. Even if you have fantastic content, if no one reads or posts on it, it might as well not exist. Focus on building a solid audience that is interested in your product or service, and not just buying likes from bots. You’ll find that it gets easier over time, likes will just come organically, and people will share more articles as you reach a critical mass. Just keep trucking!

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Share, Share, Share

It’s important to use Facebook to link to off-Facebook content that helps to promote your site. If you have excellent content on your site, but no one reads it, it doesn’t serve any purpose. Facebook can help enhance and expand your audience. Don’t just share a link to a blog post without any description: make sure to use images, an exciting description, and share at a popular time for your followers. Blog posts on your site can help promote your product and increase SEO and traffic, but only when people actually read them. Facebook is a great way to accomplish this.

If you have a significant post, feel free to post it again on Facebook several days or a week later. With Facebook’s new algorithms, it’s likely people won’t see the post twice and you’ll get more hits on your site.

Pictures and videos are vital for increasing engagement. If pictures are worth a thousand words, videos may be worth even more. An exciting image or YouTube link can surge users commenting and sharing on a post. Facebook algorithms (much like Google’s own) change often, and keeping up with them can increase your reach.

Make use of blog posts, videos, and pictures to engage your followers on Facebook, post frequently but don’t inundate your users– and you’ll likely be successful integrating Facebook into your content marketing strategy.

Facebook Insights

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Facebook Insights is possibly one of the most valuable parts of using Facebook in your content marketing strategy. Audience Insights give you information on just exactly who your audience is, basics like age, gender, and location, as well as more in-depth information like estimated income, interests, and more. You can then use this information to attempt to target the audience you have on Facebook or to fill in gaps you’re missing. Audience Insights is a mirror into who cares about your product or service and what areas you need to improve in demographically.

Page Insights are equally valuable in other ways. They allow you to see how the content you’ve been posting on your page has been performing, including reach and engagement. This information is useful for determining how well your content is performing on Facebook, but you can also use it in conjunction with Google Analytics to decide how to move forward with your content marketing strategy. You can directly ‘Boost Posts’ from within Page Insights, essentially creating ads and boosting engagement with your audience and their friends.

Facebook Ads

Though not always directly related to content, Facebook Ads can have a large impact on how your Page on Facebook performs. It’s a great way for followers to find your page and start reading your content. Facebook Ads can promote your blog posts that your Audience has shared. Remember that you always want to split test for ads to maximize your ad dollars. Use Facebook Ads wisely to increase your impact and reach.


If making Facebook part of your content marketing strategy sounds great, but you aren’t sure where to begin, contact the Leverage Marketing team today. We’re experts in social media and content marketing and help craft an integrated approach that will maximize your content offerings with Facebook’s social media potential. We can answer any questions you have and get you a path to more followers, enhanced content, and success.

3 Essential Online PR Activities for Your Business

Creating a PR plan for your company or organization can help set a solid foundation for current and future marketing efforts. To put things in perspective, you can view your company’s PR plan as a response to internal and external events and a way to keep your audience and other important stakeholders informed. You can either generate brand equity for your company or defend the most important asset: your reputation. Below are three key PR activities that your company can implement over time to help find new opportunities and stay relevant.

News Release Schedule

PR news releases let your business make announcements to the media about events that impact your industry, employees, and stakeholders. This tool can also be used to give news reporters and journalists quick ideas for new stories that impact local communities or larger populations.

You can start building your PR calendar by planning out news releases at the beginning of the year and revising stories as the year progresses. To capture the attention of news reporters, keep your news release relevant to a current event or issue and send it out promptly. Make sure that you write your news releases using the Associated Press Stylebook to make it easier for journalists to extract story headlines and quotes for publication or a news segment.

Never send out news releases on a Monday, since it tends to be the busiest for news, or a Friday when your audience may be focused on the upcoming weekend. Once you have scheduled and written your press release, send it out on to industry specific news wire services or target journalists that specialize in reporting on a particular subject.

Blogging

blogging-for-pr

Your company’s blog presents the ideal opportunity to establish leadership and expertise on a particular subject. You can start your company’s blog by asking upper management or other employees that may have interests on a topic that is relevant to your audience. A good way to kickstart this effort is by looking at other blogs from similar companies to see what topics they’re covering. However, always remember to write original content. If you want to write about the same subject, find another angle, or include a current industry report or an expert opinion that adds value to your audience.

Just like with your news release schedule, you can keep track of your blog ideas in a calendar to keep a steady flow of fresh topics for your company’s website.

Crisis Management

Social media is an amazing tool to engage your audience with new content and build new relationships. However, it also poses a significant risk for companies as negative news or external factors such as account hacks can tarnish reputations in an instant.

Burger King’s Twitter account was hacked to display the McDonald's logo and included racial comments and references to illicit drugs.

Burger King’s Twitter account was hacked to display the McDonald’s logo and included racial comments and references to illicit drugs.

Establishing a crisis protocol for your company’s social media accounts is essential. Your response to a social media crisis should be thought-out and acted on quickly. Unfortunately for many businesses, using a PR statement to issue an apology is no longer an option. You must address your audience directly and authentically, or you could risk losing control of the conversation on other blogs and forums. However, you should avoid escalating the situation and drawing attention to issues that pose a significant threat to your company’s online presence. Some issues can be resolved by simply providing customer support in a private message or issuing statements that assure the audience that you are investigating the issue internally.


Implementing these three components to your company’s PR plan is an essential step towards establishing and achieving your marketing goals. It is important to keep in mind that your company’s online reputation involves content strategies and social media management that are maintained and monitored over time. Contact our team at Leverage Marketing to find out how to our services can help your company.

Monthly Subscription Boxes May Be the Next Big Business Boom

Our online lives are drawing a curtain over the real world. We’re rapidly moving away from real-life experiences in favor of digital fulfillment, and at our fingertips is a world wide open with uninhibited possibility. But for most of us, that’s an incredible prospect. Having whatever we want available whenever we want it, especially with the help of monthly subscription boxes, can be overwhelming and confusing.

The online business world is feeling the effects of a limitless marketplace. Products and services abound, and even with filters such as internet search and B2C marketing, it’s a challenge to find interesting products that align with consumer interests. In that ether between what we want and how we find it, subscription boxes have come to life.

What Is a Subscription Box?

open orange bulu subscription box with giftsThe subscription box is a regularly scheduled, curated, and specially packaged goods delivery that caters to a specific market or interest. The concept borrows from the business model of the milkman, in which fresh deliveries of milk came to customers’ doorsteps carried by a friendly delivery expert. Customers could touch, taste, smell, and experience the product before them in real life, which contrasts rigidly with the intangible nature of our culture of online consumption.

That delivery model may be on its way back. Already, subscription boxes such as Birchbox, a monthly makeup and beauty product box, and Naturebox, an all-natural organic snack box, are reaching the size of traditionally successful enterprises such as corporations and chain stores. Small-time business owners are finding just-right-sized success with small customer bases and continuously creative offerings. The entire system is still remarkably new, and its shape will be molded just as much by customers as it will by subscription box creators.

What Makes Subscription Boxes Successful?

The pioneers of subscription boxes, including Birchbox co-founders Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna, have made the beginner’s mistakes and grown from them. They and others like them have learned what will stick with customers and what will push them toward the unsubscribe button. Together, these brave business heroes have created a blueprint for a successful subscription box company, and sites such as Cratejoy have built software systems that facilitate building from that blueprint.

cratejoy subscription box logo with lit red letters

Subscription box companies that grow their subscription base, profits, and influence share four characteristics:

  1. Earned Loyalty – Subscription box crafters need to have an honest inclination to curate box contents. Customers want to feel that the products they receive come from a company that shares their love, and the products that company provides have to fulfill actual needs. Boxes based on novelty tend to nosedive after the charm wears away.
  2. Consistent Change – Consumers are likely to scoff at even an item or two that is repeatedly delivered in a box over which they have no control. Duplicate items represent a lack of interest in dazzling the customer and are a concrete way to trim the number of subscribers to your box. Build a box concept around an interest with a wealth of competing products and make sure there’s freshness in every box.
  3. Multiple Revenue Streams – Don’t stop at subscription boxes unless you aren’t looking for growth. The most prolific monthly subscription box companies have set up e-commerce shops on their websites where customers can buy more of the products they love most from their monthly boxes. Storefronts work two-fold for your business: they will market to customers who are less in touch with e-commerce and provide immediate satisfaction to loyal subscribers.
  4. Sustainable Business Models – don’t go overboard with software development and overmanned sales teams. Stick to the script until you find your niche, then focus on growing that specific customer base through multiple channels. Keep overhead low by enticing vendors with free advertising if they provide free or discounted samples and full products for you to include in your boxes.

Consumer Benefits

graze monthly subscription box with fruits nuts chocolates and box art

At the forefront of the subscription box is the consumer – the beloved, fastidious, fickle consumer. The monthly subscription box business model relies on a steady monthly stream of subscriber money to maintain profit, and while the predictable income is a boon to business owners, it also means that customers are in strict control of growth potential.

That’s why clever business owners recognize and worship the benefits of subscription boxes to consumers:

They rekindle the elements of surprise and discovery

You’ve likely heard the comparison to an eternal Christmas with monthly boxes. When you get a new package of surprises every month, the delight of tearing open the package that you may remember as a child returns when your box arrives. Buying things you want is fun, but getting things you didn’t know you wanted is powerful.

They bring to light curiosities that are tough to find in a limitless marketplace

Customers can be blinded quickly by the most influential and well-known brands that cater to their interests. Exploration of new and exciting items is intimidating when products designed to please are available everywhere at all times. Well-curated subscription boxes provide a source for the lesser-known items that may cater to more individual wants and needs to reach target audiences.

They save consumers time when searching for new and interesting products

Streaming music services such as Spotify boast an intensely large library of available music on-demand. But Spotify customers don’t always know what to listen to when faced with such an array of choices, so the company provides playlists, searches, and filters to help guide customers to the music they want to hear. Monthly subscription boxes do the same in the consumer goods market – they provide a preset filter through which customers can discover what’s available without having to make guesses.

Business Benefits

Behind the scenes of the subscription box are the men and women who make each box magical. The monthly subscription box business model is still in its infancy, which allows potential business owners to shape it to their needs and goals without the added pressure of the grow-or-go traditional business model.

Business models are flexible for small and large businesses

Your subscriber limit and the ability to reach it will direct the scope of your subscription box business. Some of Cratejoy’s box curators sell just enough boxes to pay the bills and are not looking for additional growth. On the other hand, Birchbox’s owners are seeking prolific expansion. (Edit: Previously, we had mentioned that Birchbox bought Glossybox from European entrepreneur Charles von Abercon, but a kind reader pointed out that Birchbox had bought Joliebox, not Glossybox, as a part of their global expansion.)  Subscription box businesses can splash in the shallow end or dive into the deep end shame-free.

Structure allows low barriers to entry for hopeful entrepreneurs

Since most box businesses are low-overhead operations with few employees, it only takes the classic characteristics of hard work and dedication to make a subscription success. There’s no golden profit line and relatively few competitors. The landscape is open to creative ideas from just a few go-getters who want to create a business without the hassle of creating a business.

Creates opportunities where they may not exist otherwise

To launch a full-fledged enterprise is a gigantic undertaking. You need a solid business plan, a team of investors, and the will to sacrifice personal time to get things running. Or, you could create a solid product that stands out in its market and let your customers decide whether or not you should succeed by creating a subscription box specifically for your product. The small-scale business opportunity affords a chance of success to those without the startup capital or time to build an empire.

Marketer Benefits

Marketers who work in tandem with monthly subscription box companies receive something of a dream assignment when they sign on for services. Traffic for subscription-based companies tends to outpace funding in almost every scenario, which means marketers have plenty of resources with which they can work.

Target audiences are hand-picked

The success of most subscription boxes depends on the depth of the niche through which it is trying to delight customers. LootCrate has an easily researchable and well-targeted demographic to which it sends boxes. The target audience will be the only consumers of the product, and the marketing practically writes itself.

Subscriber bases are smaller

Even the largest companies in the industry tend to have fewer than 1 million subscribers at a time. Where traditional businesses may deal with millions of unknown customers every year, box companies nurture a loyal base of interested men and women who rotate much more sparingly than customers at a storefront or e-commerce shop. Marketing for these solid, smaller customer bases tends to be much more focused.

bark box with dog treats and dogContent creation is more interesting and personal

Excitement is part of the allure of subscription boxes, and it doesn’t have to begin and end when the package arrives at the door. Getting audiences electrified about the company’s next offering affords magnificent opportunities to wow audiences with creative copy, illustrations, videos, and whatever else your marketing team can dream up.

Organic growth is indispensable

Low-cost production and the need to earn customer support leads naturally into healthy, organic growth. Marketers can take advantage and sharpen their approaches to inbound marketing through showing customers what their clients’ subscription boxes can offer in the realm of new and interesting consumer goods, and will relish the times when business is flourishing organically.

Will the Monthly Subscription Box Model Last?

Numbers look promising for growth in the subscription box industry. When profits began to rise enough for boxes to be a reliable business in the first quarter of 2013, it would have been difficult to guess that growth would explode by nearly 3,000% in the next 3 years. With about 11 million subscribers in 2016 in hundreds of different product categories, the demand is certainly scaling with the supply.

empty blue mailbox transparent backgroundHowever, Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali asserts that these businesses may be at the bursting point of a huge bubble. “The energy has already died down,” she says, and she may be right. Despite the shocking appearance of the growth charts, the entire industry is terrifyingly new. There’s no long-term reference to the possibility of success, and the joy of receiving monthly gifts could wane when something newer arrives.

Large-scale companies already threaten the smaller markets as well. Sephora uses advanced loyalty data analytics to determine what customers want most in a box and send their Play! box monthly to subscribers for $10. Starbucks started the Reserve Roastery that offers artisan coffees to enthusiasts at a paltry $19 a month. Established businesses may well take over the open marketplace before new box services reach their ultimate potential.

Until we see the ultimate rise or fall of monthly subscription boxes, however, the potential still exists to turn classic charm into gold. If subscriptions take off, we could see an unprecedented quake in business, marketing and the way that customers consume goods – perhaps permanently.


TL;DR – Starting with a handful of remarkable successes, subscription box companies have grown exponentially in just a few years. Consumers, business owners, and marketers all get something out of the business model, but consumer benefits may decrease as the novelty of monthly surprises wears off. Major, well-established companies are also eager to take a large share of the market before new business owners have a chance to succeed with ventures from Starbucks and Sephora already in the works.

To some market researchers, the trend seems like just a fad, but the monthly subscription box model is too new to make a sound judgment. Either way, it would be wise for consumers and business owners to heed their current popularity.


The marketing team at Leverage Marketing is adaptable to all kinds of markets. Talk to us about your subscription box service and find out how our marketing experience can help you achieve your dreams. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for up-to-date marketing news and invaluable tips you won’t get anywhere else!

How Your Healthcare Practice Can Reach New Patients Online

Want to bring new patients to your healthcare practice? You’d better have an online presence. Consumers expect to be able to do just about everything online, and that includes looking up health-related information and making medical appointments.

One of the most important components to consider when reaching new patients online is having a website full of patient-friendly information. In addition to building up your website, it can be valuable to engage with potential patients on the social media networks and review sites they’re most likely to frequent.

Need more tips to get started? Below are five ways your healthcare practice can gain new patients online.

Optimized Health Practice Websites

Medical Center Website on Mobile

According to a recent Pew Research Center report on U.S. smartphone use, 68% of respondents have used a mobile device to search for information about a health condition. Because of this trend, mobile design is an important component to acquiring new patients online. Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a web development process that allows patients to view your medical practice site across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices without lag or disruptive design elements. This approach will enable your medical practice to provide a rich site experience and empower patients with quality information about symptoms and health conditions when they need it most. Another benefit of having responsive web design is that users will be easily able to access one of the most important components of your site: the contact form. Optimized contact forms should be quick to fill out and should only request essential information needed to follow up with the patient.

Health Content

Google reports that around 1% of all search queries they receive are about health symptoms. Searching for illness indicators to self-diagnose is all part of the digital patient journey. However, one of the biggest challenges for some healthcare practices is providing easy-to-understand health information to prospective patients. An easy way to draft and implement content for your medical practice site is by focusing on common health conditions first and then moving upwards into more complex illnesses. A content strategy for your site should include critical information about diagnostic methods, possible outcomes, and ways your medical practice can provide solutions. Having this type of search engine-optimized content will allow your medical practice to gain new patients who are seeking health-related information.

Quality Care through Online Services

A recent 2016 Physician Compensation Report found that most doctors spend around 13 to 16 minutes with each patient. With such limited time, your medical practice can face challenges meeting the new demands of quality care. An effective way to improve efficiency through your website is by enabling online users to submit documents such as patient questionnaires and other intake forms electronically. Adding this feature to your medical practice site can help speed patient wait times and improve overall satisfaction. Another way to improve the quality of care and gain new patients is to provide additional online support after the consultation. Website content about common procedures, chronic illnesses and medication guides can empower patients to make necessary recommendations, support adherence to treatments, and improve outcomes.

Social Media Engagement

Embrace social media and acquire new patients by building relationships and credibility. Many healthcare practices avoid using social media because of the liability of patient information and other legal considerations. However, it is possible to create protocols for social media communication that are compliant with all regulations and state laws. For a full list checklist on how to use social media for your healthcare practice, check out the Forbes guide.

Online Reviews

Doctor on Laptop

Healthcare review sites such as ZocDoc and Yelp are important to patient acquisition. In fact, a Software Advice survey found that 77% of patients use online reviews as their first step in finding a new doctor. Review sites can provide your practice with a wealth of information regarding patient experiences and overall satisfaction with the services provided by your practice. This valuable feedback can be used to make improvements in quality of care and present to prospective patients the key benefits of choosing your practice over others.

Considering technology use, search trends, and emerging services can help your healthcare practice get new patients and retain existing ones. Your website should serve as a portal with the most reliable and up-to-date health information. You can make that information accessible using proven and reliable web optimization strategies that connect new patients with your services.

For more information on establishing your medical practice website, contact Leverage Marketing and ask about our web design and content creation services.

Key Takeaways:

  • Creating your site using responsive web design will help patients reach your site across all devices. This is especially important for patients who want to book an appointment on mobile devices without any lag or annoying web design problems.
  • Before looking for a doctor, patients first search for health symptoms to self-diagnose. Having easy-to-read content about common health conditions, symptoms, treatments, and potential outcomes will help your site reach those patients.
  • A higher level of service can be achieved by taking advantage of timesaving processes such as electronic patient questionnaires and providing additional patient education sources.
  • Don’t be afraid of using social media for your practice. Establishing proper protocols that comply with regulations and laws can help you establish relationships with new patients.
  • Analyzing patient reviews on sites like ZocDoc and Yelp will help you gain a better perspective of your practice. Use positive and negative reviews to come up with ways to improve the overall patient experience.

5 Tips for Content Marketing on Reddit

Reddit is a beast of a content curation tool, and it’s certainly not for the weak willed. It has the potential to put hundreds of thousands of eyes on your content overnight, but you must be armed with confidence and clad with knowledge to come out of the Reddit arena victoriously. You’ll also need some serious fight in you to claim ultimate exposure for your content.

Reddit users, lovingly called Redditors by the online community, are given a massive amount of power for the shockingly low price of free when they sign up for a Reddit account. Each person can vote for or against a piece of content once per piece, and they can comment with the loftiest praise or the foulest criticism as often and loudly as they see fit. Redditors determine what other Redditors see and with what they interact, and their hammer of judgment is mighty.

How do you walk amongst Internet titans and stake your claim on the pages of Reddit? You follow these 5 tips for pushing content to Reddit, and you start on them early.

 

1. Know Reddiquette

reddit logo with reddiquetteRedditors have composed an extensive list of guidelines for all users to follow that help govern an otherwise completely lawless content board. The Reddiquette document is available anytime to anyone on the Reddit website. Ideally, all users would follow the rules set forth as a token of loyalty to the community ethos, but as you spend more time on Reddit, you’ll see the rules uncannily broken on a daily basis.

But if you want to be taken seriously and would like to see others fairly criticize your content, take the high road and follow the rules. The people you want to impress are those who understand the value and power of a content curation machine on the scope of Reddit. The people who read, understand, appreciate, and share your content that follows Reddiquette are the thought leaders who will push your content to the top – provided it deserves to be there.

Read and Follow Subreddit Rules

reddit rules for worldnews subredditCommunity rules don’t begin and end with the almighty Reddiquette document, though – you’ll also need to read and adhere to the conditions set forth in each subreddit, a forum within the grand Reddit framework. Most subreddits will have an easy-to-spot link at the top of the page to their rules or will list them in the sidebar so you can easily access them.

Most forum moderators will also direct you to the subreddit guidelines just before you post a link or comment so you can make doubly sure that you’ve checked off every item on their wishlist. Take advantage of this opportunity – your content may fall off immediately if it violates a condition of the subreddit.

 

2. Develop a Reputation

As in any other community, every member has a reputation, but Reddit actually records your reputation and puts it on display in the form of karma points. The higher your karma count, the more reputable you may be considered, though the actual mileage of those Karma points is negotiable among Redditors.

Even if you’re representing a company, you’ll need to develop morally righteous Reddit skills and experiment with posting, commenting, and sharing knowledge and insight in areas that you feel comfortable speaking as an expert. Start building your reputation by:

  • Helping people with their problems
  • Providing courteous responses to simple questions
  • Politely and fairly participating in hot discussion topics
  • Genuinely critiquing the work of those in your field
  • Contributing to community content curation with upvotes and downvotes

Take a moment each day to do one or more of these and you might be shocked at how quickly your karma and reputation builds.

thank you comments on reddit

Grateful reddit users adding thank-yous to threads.

Remember also to keep things as fresh as possible. There are some Redditors who have dedicated almost all of their free time to Reddit, and they may have considerable influence over how well-received your content is. Karma is divided into link karma and comment karma, so you’ll need to take 2 separate approaches to your reputation growth.

Post a Variety of Content

a variety of content on the science subredditDon’t stick to blogs or articles exclusively – there’s so many ways to consume information on the Internet, and those who spend a lot of time in the digital world become bored quickly.

Spice up your content cocktail with fun videos, infographics, interesting products, and even animations to really grab the attention of your fellow Redditors. Though they may not realize it, they’ll be quenching their thirst for entertainment and knowledge and see your name next to their favorites.

Comment Often

Comments get buried by other comments fast. Eager Redditors will leave replies in the desert of feedback miles away from those few relentless commentators that make it to the oasis.

If you want to make an impact on readers, have a large footprint. When you have something to say, comment, and do it with confidence. Above all, never be rude, and don’t participate in digital tantrums.

 

3. Strike a Balance Between Self-Promotion and Community Interaction

In most cases (and is so written as a rule on many subreddits), Redditors don’t want to see content posted by someone who has a connection with the content’s host. At the very least, they’ll expect you to contribute articles from sources other than the ones you’re associated with much more regularly than you post your own content. Accordingly, you’ll have to balance self-promotion and community interaction.

The 9:1 Ratio

Reddiquette recommends that for every link you place on Reddit to your own content, you should also post 9 links with which you aren’t affiliated. The rule has 2 functions:

  • Prevent spam – In an openly linkable world like Reddit, it’s easy for users to post unreasonable amounts of articles and blogs in a bid to gain karma points and page views. The 9:1 ratio helps keep posts thoughtful and engaging rather than spammy.
  • Encourage interaction – The 9:1 ratio pushes users to explore content that isn’t their own. This helps open the gates of your chosen subreddit to opinions that force you to think outside your own carefully crafted box.

Corralling one’s ego is tough, but the 9:1 ratio provides users with a great excuse to learn what competitors are up to and how they’re failing and succeeding. Armed with the knowledge of your 9 community posts, your 10th post that promotes your own content will enjoy rapid evolution every time you post.

 

4. Decide Which Content is Worth Pushing

In accordance with the 9:1 ratio, provided that you follow it, you won’t be able to push out absolutely every piece of content that you create. Choose carefully the stuff you want the world to see, then run it through this checklist:

  • Is it new?
  • Is it worthy of discussion?
  • Is it well written, drawn, or edited?
  • Will Redditors care?

Keep in mind that digital age youth are now becoming adults and will soon become thought leaders in the very industries that create your salary. Young men and women in the digital age have an attention span averaging no more than 8 seconds. It doesn’t stop there – the age range for those with waning attention spans is also swelling.

top reddit frontpage content

Redditors want it fast and easy to digest.

Consequently, there’s a new need to limit the content you promote to ideas and thoughts that will challenge the 8-second attention limit. Hook your audience with powerful messages and witty writing and keep them coming. Don’t sit all of your engaging thoughts on the shoulders of your content. Let the body of your work share the burden.

Once you’re convinced that Redditors will select your content, put it out at that same quality or better regularly. You’ll gain the trust of Redditors, and they’ll start to promote your content for you. Congratulations, you’ve engineered some serious brand awareness.

 

5. Learn to Deal with Difficult Feedback

Redditors are real human beings with genuine thoughts, but the shield of anonymity provided graciously by the Internet gives them the keys to the criticism machine, and their fuel can be anything from jealousy to wonder. You’re not likely to post anything without hearing about how terrible or wrong it is, so get an approach to criticism ready before you share your content.

Spot Fake Experts

Everyone knows better than you. The legions of subject matter experts on Reddit will be sure to let you know that as often as possible.

Keep in mind that the community in which you’re posting content is opinionated and will transform their opinions into facts if they can pull it off. Fake experts are quick to criticize and cite anecdotal evidence without prejudice. Know your content back to front and be ready to back it up with real facts if you choose to reply.

Identify Trolls

rude comment from redditor

Comments like these, which are neither kind nor constructive, are commonplace on Reddit.

Some folks just relish in pushing people’s buttons, even if that person is across the world. When a Redditor tugs at your emotions, always take a step back. Set your ego aside and take personal attacks at face value, which actually amounts to nothing. If you overcome the instinctual need to bicker, comments from Internet trolls will meet the grave and fertilize real discussions with meaning.

Pick Your Battles

Don’t ignore your critics, just vet the ones that aren’t contributing to thought evolution. If someone has an interesting idea or a new take on what you’ve provided to the community, engage with that person in an enlightened discussion. You and many other fellow Redditors will enjoy the exchange and you’ll earn karma, page views, and exposure.

Never forget – Reddit is not and never was a marketing tool. It’s a place to share groundbreaking content with a captive audience, and marketers would be wise to treat it as such. Respect the community, share new ideas, and overcome the negativity, and you’ll learn to walk one of the brightest paths to success in awareness and engagement.

The marketing team at Leverage Marketing can handle your content marketing alongside paid search, social media management, and search engine optimization (SEO). Right-size your marketing team or sign up for our newsletter below for more tips and awesome information about marketing in Austin and beyond!

[VIDEO] Facebook’s 2016 Algorithm Change & What it Means for Businesses

This blog post was written by social media intern Ali Flowers. Ali is a Senior at the University of Texas at Austin, where she studies Public Relations. Ali enjoys good food, good friends, and spending time with her family.


Facebook’s Algorithm Update Removes Company’s Non-Sponsored Posts From Newsfeeds

At the end of June, Facebook made an update to their Newsfeed algorithm. The intent of the update was to make user newsfeeds less cluttered by removing the majority of posts made by businesses. While keeping in touch with friends and family just got less cluttered, Facebook users could be missing out on updates and posts by businesses they like, follow and want to hear from.

Why Did Facebook do This?

While Facebook does support the businesses that use its network as a marketing platform, the company recognizes that first and foremost, it is a social media tool for individuals. This new algorithm also falls in line with the evolving “pay to play” trend in social media which requires companies to sponsor content to be seen.

How Can Interested Parties See Your Non-Sponsored Posts?

Since most businesses won’t promote/sponsor every post on their page, Facebook offers a way for individuals to opt-in to receive posts from businesses they choose.

This video shows what your followers need to do to see posts from your business.

 

Why Your Site Needs More Than an Instant Audit

This blog post was written by social media intern Ali Flowers. Ali is a Senior at the University of Texas at Austin, where she studies Public Relations. Ali enjoys good food, good friends, and spending time with her family.


So you’ve decided your company needs to invest in digital marketing. Great! Every business or organization can benefit from actively promoting themselves online. You are on Google and you search for ‘digital marketing near me’. You’ll likely be served thousands of results and several top-of-the-page advertisements about digital marketers in your area. Regardless of what link or ad you click on, you will probably be offered an instant audit.

What’s an Instant Audit?

With an instant audit, a marketer (or marketing automation software) analyzes various aspects of your business or organization’s online presence so that they can then advise you on the efforts you should take to promote yourself online. Some agencies claim they can audit your site in minutes or even seconds.

This might leave you thinking: Great! I can get all of that information at the click of a button? Who knew! Well, yes, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Why are Instant Audits Risky?

Digital marketing is a huge investment in both time and money.  It ranges from things like search engine optimization to paid search and even social media, all of which can work together to increase your sales, and none of which are free. Would you really feel safe making such a big move for your company based off of such a quick assessment of your site? That would be kind of like buying a house immediately after seeing a few pictures of its exterior online.

So What Should You Do?

You do need an audit–but one that is done thoroughly. You need trained professionals to look at your previous marketing efforts and your competitors’ marketing efforts, find your strengths, identify your weaknesses, and then give you a full overview of your company’s situation. Your marketing agency should conduct interviews and create a report of your company’s digital marketing history so that you can identify specific areas for improvement. A real, fully-developed audit takes time, and you shouldn’t just settle for one that was given to you at the click of a button.

If you are ready to move your company into digital marketing, find a company that will provide you with a thorough audit. Look for a marketing partner who can accurately tell you where to invest and how to push your business forward. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your audit shouldn’t be either.


Check out our methodology page to learn about the in-depth analysis Leverage Marketing performs for prospective clients. If you’re ready to have us review your digital marketing opportunities, schedule a call.

4 Ways to Kickstart Your Ecommerce Sales

Establishing relationships with customers in ecommerce can pose several challenges, especially when your business is competing with larger retailers. Savvy shoppers are equipped with mobile devices that can compare products in a global market, and this has changed the way many businesses price inventory and offer discounts. However, there are ways to incentivize customers through rich online experience that differentiate your business from even the most powerful online retailers. Below are four customer incentives ideas that can help you establish trust and jumpstart ecommerce sales.

Price Comparisons

Woman performing price comparison in a store

Never underestimate the power of consumer price comparison tools. According to a recent ecommerce report, 52% of online shoppers check or compare prices on travel products and services, as well as consumer electronics. Price comparison tools such as search engines and mobile applications enable shoppers to seek the lowest prices across multiple ecommerce sites based on brands, product categories, and even location. These tools have made it difficult for some smaller ecommerce sites to compete with powerful online retailers. However, consider the following tips to stay competitive and increase ecommerce sales though price comparisons tools:

  • Analyze the Competition: Search for online competitors offering the same brands or similar product categories, and take note of strengths and weaknesses. Do they offer a better shopping experience? Do they offer better terms of service? Researching top competitors directly will help you tailor a competitive strategy for your ecommerce site, especially when the market is saturated and you’re not the only one offering a specific product or service.
  • Update Prices: While you may not be able to compete directly on price with larger online retailers, you must remain competitive across similar competitors. If your ecommerce site offers a wide range of price points, research popular products and trends to determine which items consumers are searching for online. Choosing a select few stock keeping units (SKUs) or services will allow you to focus on a particular brand or product category, instead of your entire inventory. By taking this approach to updating prices, you will be able to develop a competitive pricing strategy to promote and incentivize new and existing customers.
  • Bridge the Gap: If you can’t compete purely on price, offer an exceptional shopping experience and customer service. Online shoppers want to be able to access products and services without any hassle. For an ecommerce site, the checkout process is a vital component that can make the difference between a sale and an abandoned shopping cart. Streamline your checkout process by incorporating social media application program interfaces (APIs) to establish new accounts or to streamline payment processes. If your site experience is solid, focus on providing exceptional customer service by responding to customer questions and requests as soon as you receive them. Building trust and gaining positive reviews online through swift customer service actions will help differentiate your ecommerce site.

Free Shipping 

ecommercecontent

Customer incentives such as free or discounted shipping on items sold on your ecommerce site is a crucial step to increase ecommerce sales. A recent 2016 retail report highlighted that 9 out of 10 customers would shop more online if free shipping is offered by ecommerce sites. While most small businesses may find it difficult to absorb the cost of shipping, incorporating newsletter registrations, follow up customer reviews, or linking social media accounts to free shipping incentives ensures that your business receives something in return. There are also ways to reduce the cost of shipping by negotiating with multiple carriers on pricing schedules based on volume. In essence, the more packages that you ship, the more power you have to negotiate lower shipping rates for your valued customers.

Mobile Integration

Creating a seamless shopping experience between desktop and mobile is essential to increase e-commerce sales among new customers. Mobile retail ecommerce in the U.S. alone is predicted to increase to $130.92 billion in 2016, up $44.75 billion from 2015 according to a recent market report. Having a fluid and rich mobile shopping experience will ensure that your customers are able to browse products and services without annoying design issues. Incorporating a simple and uncluttered mobile user interface (UI) is a way to make it easier for customers to browse items on multiple screen sizes without lag. The checkout should also be easily accessible on the mobile UI while eliminating the use of multi-page processes that can result in abandoned carts.

Social Media 

Having your ecommerce business on social media is essential to building meaningful relationships with new and existing customers. According to a recent study, 40% of global consumers ages 16 to 24 reported using social media platforms such as Facebook to research products before making a purchase. 30% of the general population also reported similar social media product research behavior. What this means for ecommerce is that you must engage your audience with your unique brand story that ties into the products or services sold on your site.  Once you establish a relationship with your target customers, social platforms will allow you to offer ecommerce incentives such as discounts, promotions, and news about your products or services in a meaningful and engaging manner.

Offering online incentives to kickstart sales is only one step in building trust with your customers. Finding a unique brand identity and incorporating the story across desktop, mobile, and social is crucial to differentiating your ecommerce site from the competition. Ultimately, hiring a professional marketing agency to create a customized mobile responsive ecommerce site with integrated content strategies can help increase online visibility for your business.

How to Run Successful Social Media Ads on a Budget

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make when launching a social media marketing campaign is not investing in social media ads. You may have heard success stories from companies that jumped on social media early and used creative campaigns to reach a fairly large audience for free, but unfortunately, organic reach for business pages has declined significantly in the last couple of years.

In 2014, Facebook organic reach was estimated to be as low as 2% for business pages, and social@Ogilvy has estimated that organic reach will eventually hit zero.

Click to Tweet: In 2014, Facebook organic reach was estimated to be as low as 2%.

Organic reach on other social media sites isn’t looking too great, either. In a 2015 analysis, Forrester found that large brands got interactions from 2.26% of their followers on Instagram, 0.055% on LinkedIn, and just 0.027% on Twitter.

It’s pretty clear that organic success on social media is a long shot, but what can you do when your social media budget is limited? Fortunately, even a low budget for a social media campaign can pay off, leading to high enough click-through and conversion rates to warrant a larger social media marketing budget in the future.

I talked to Leverage Marketing’s Director of Social Media, Thy Ta Hooks, to learn more about some of the ways a business can make the most of a low social media budget. Below are some tips she provided to make the most of the social media advertising budget you’ve been given—use these tips to maximize your reach and engagement so that you’ll get upper management buy-in for your next campaign.

Assess Your Social Media Options

Social Media Signs

Before you start allocating your social media advertising budget, you need to figure out who your target buyers are and what social media sites/apps they’re most likely to use.

Facebook

If you have an ecommerce business, Facebook is a good place to start building an audience and driving traffic to your site. Facebook offers advertisers a number of features to help online stores reach the right audience, including:

  • Remarketing: Businesses install a snippet of code on their website so that visitors will be targeted with ads on Facebook
  • Custom Audiences: Facebook users are targeted based off 3rd party data, such as email lists
  • Lookalike Audiences: Businesses can target a new Facebook audience similar to their website audience or can target based off of who has converted from their Facebook ads

Facebook can also be a powerful tool for brick-and-mortar businesses because these companies can run specific ads targeted to a narrow geographic area. For example, a seafood restaurant in Seattle could run a lunch special ad that only gets shown to people within a 10 mile radius of their restaurant during their lunch hours. That way, if someone in the area is scrolling through Facebook around noon and thinking about where they want to eat, they’ll see an ad with the nearby restaurant’s lunch specials.

LinkedIn

While Facebook works well for B2C, it’s not necessarily the best starting place for B2B companies with a low budget for their social media campaigns. As a professional network, LinkedIn is a logical place to test out business-based advertising, especially because advertisers can target users based on a wide range of demographic details, including industry, company, company name, company size, and job title.

Twitter

Twitter may also be worth testing for B2B advertising because its structure rewards topics that are trending in different verticals. For example, if a tea leaf wholesaler saw that the New York Times just published an articles on the health benefits of tea, they could benefit by running related Twitter ads and piggybacking off the trending article.

Document Your Social Media Strategy

Social Media Marketing Concept

Before you start using your budget for a social media campaign, you should document the following:

  • Your target audience and audience segments (for example, if college applicants are your target audience, your audience segment might be students ages 18-21)
  • Messaging based on your target audience(s)  (with 1:1 messaging being the goal)
  • Estimated existing audience size per network (this will help you determine the best platform to go after)
  • Current organic post frequency, engagement rate, and growth rate (if you already have a social media presence)
  • Biggest opportunities based off your goals
  • Content topics (for original and curated content) by type

Get Creative with a Limited Budget

Once you’ve outlined your strategy, you can start putting your social media budget to work. You may not have the money or resources to produce eye-catching infographics or videos, but you can still create visually attractive posts using free and low-cost graphic design tools like Piktochart and Canva. When planning the specific content you want to share, think about what’s going to engage and resonate with your audience. If you sell kitchen appliances, for example, a user scrolling through their Facebook News Feed might not pause to read a bulleted list of your newest blender’s features, but they may click if you offer them an exclusive discount or share a recipe for healthy smoothies that taste like dessert.

Track and Report Results

cost benefit concept

If you want your low budget for social media campaigns to increase in the future, it’s essential to track and report relevant metrics so that you can see what strategies have been most successful—and show upper-management concrete evidence that social media marketing works.

It’s worth looking at metrics related to engagement and brand awareness, but keep in mind that the main goal is to increase conversions and revenue. Metrics you need to pay attention to include:

  • Click-through rate: the percentage of clicks a link to your site has gotten based on total number of post views
  • Conversion rate: the percentage of social media viewers who have completed a defined goal, such as filling out a form or making a purchase
  • Conversions by campaign: the conversion rate for specific campaigns/ads (this will help you determine what ad types are most effective)
  • Return on investment: you can learn how to calculate your ROI with this straightforward Buffer guide
  • Referral Traffic – The amount of traffic to your website from your social networks

Final Takeaways

To be truly successful with a limited social media marketing budget, you’ll need to be persistent. Running and tracking social ads is an ongoing process, and you’ll need to keep focusing on the ad types that your audience best responds to so that you can adjust your overall strategy as you go. As you collect more and more data, you’ll be able to better hone your social media ads to maximize your success.

Have questions for us that we didn’t address here? Comment below or Tweet us at @leveragemktg. You can also get more social media tips and exclusive digital marketing content by signing up for our newsletter.

Technology & Social Media – Forever 21’s Thread Screen

Combining the power of technology and social media, Forever 21 has created a cool art installation that doubles as great brand exposure. Forever 21 hired Breakfast NY to create a Thread Screen that is made up of 6,400 spools of multi-colored thread. To see your photos as part of the Thread Screen, tag your Instagram photos using the hashtag #F21ThreadScreen and the device will re-create your image using the spools of thread. You can watch live footage of the machine here.

I decided to create one of my nephew and I absolutely love the results:

Just keep in mind it’s not instantaneous; it took 5 days from when I submitted the photo to create a thread screen.

*Photo credit: https://f21threadscreen.com/

 

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