5 Ways to Use Instagram Stories for Business

5 Ways to Use Instagram Stories for BusinessInstagram has recently released Stories and you want to use this feature for your business, but how? There are a number of ways you can incorporate Instagram Stories into your marketing mix and reasons you should!

 

 

A “Day in the Life” of Your Business

Your followers want to get to know you, want to see all the behind-the-scenes of your business. Stories allows them to get a glimpse of what a day in your business looks like. Because you can use both videos and photos, you can include previous images you’ve wanted to use.

Create Mini-Articles from Blog Content

It’s always a great idea to re-purpose your blog content in several ways. You can do this with Instagram stories, too! Put together short, how-to articles that link back to the original content on your blog.

Teasers

If you’re going to be live on Facebook or YouTube, you can tease that on Instagram to get more views. You can create a story to showcase anything, including upcoming blog posts, videos, podcasts, you name it.

Product Demos

If you sell tangible products, it’s a safe bet that your audience wants to see it in action. Instagram Stories is perfect for this. You can also give your views ideas on things to create with your product and point them back to your website for more information.

Celebrations

There are all sorts of milestones to celebrate in your business; getting 1,000 followers on Instagram, celebrating 5 years in business, a new employee, and so on. Take these celebrations to Instagram and let your followers celebrate with you!

Incorporating Instagram Stories into your marketing mix shows that your business is knowledgeable about new social media trends and it’s agile enough to apply them. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact me today.

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel

People Buy Emotions, Not Sales Tactics

People Buy Emotions, Not Sales TacticsAs a small business owner, it’s important to appeal to your market’s emotional needs. Think back to your last big purchase. What made you buy the brand you bought? It has less to do with research than you think. People buy emotions, not sales tactics.

Your audience wants to relate to your brand before making a purchase. This is why it’s so important to utilize social media properly. Being personable and relatable increases the likelihood of your audience purchasing from you exponentially. Why? Because, your brand has connected with their life and offers to fulfill a need.

Brand loyalty is created through routine, trust, and a sense of belonging. These are all emotions that your audience can relate to. Your audience wants to feel as though they are part of your brand’s community. By creating a community of like-minded followers, you’re allowing your audience to feel that sense of belonging with your brand. That’s going to greatly benefit your brand by way of word-of-mouth advertising and customer loyalty.

Once you’ve established how you’re going to appeal to your audience’s emotions, it’s time to think about the placement of your offering. It’s important to get your offering in front of your target audience. This can be done via social media advertisements. When launching a new product or service, you may benefit from a paid placement instead of depending on organic reach.

Taking your audience’s emotions into consideration will only help propel your brand and marketing efforts. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact me today.

Cheers, Love and Success
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel

How Social Media Improves SEO

How Social Media Improves SEOSocial media is about being social, communicating with the fans of your business, and being more visible to potential clients/customers. But, social media has a huge impact on other areas as well, including SEO.

 

What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. The higher your SEO, the more visible your website is in the search engines. Have you ever wondered how certain websites get on the first page of Google without paying for ad space? It’s because of good SEO. Social media can help you improve your SEO in a number of ways. Here are a few…

Social Media Has Authority

We all know Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on. We trust them and know they are legitimate websites. That’s what creates authority. Your website, no matter how long you’ve had your domain name, isn’t going to be considered as much of an authority as Facebook. So, it’s time to take advantage of the authority social networks have and use it to increase your own.

Sharing content on social media makes it searchable in all search engines. If you share a link on Facebook to a blog post on your website, that link is going to show up in search results if the proper keywords are used. These links will help drive traffic to your website, which is going to increase your SEO.

Search Engines Love Social

Search engines, like social networks, use algorithms to search, crawl, and index content. If you’ve ever searched for yourself, you’re likely to see your social profiles come up first. That’s because the search engine pulled your social profiles before anything else.

SEO isn’t what it used to be; keyword research, page optimization, and link building are things of the past. Today, SEO is all about social media. Sharing content regularly on social media will increase your SEO because you can reach more people in a shorter period of time. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact me today.

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel

How to Use Instagram Live

How to Use Instagram LiveYou may have noticed that Instagram is adding more and more features that will help you tell your story in different ways. Once these features is live video, which allows you to connect with your audience in real time. But, how do you use it?

 

How to Start a Live Broadcast

To start a live video, you need to tap on the “Your Story” profile photo at the top of your feed. This takes you into your Instagram Stories and gives you three options:

  1. Live – video that appears after the broadcast ends
  2. Normal – photo or video that disappears in 24 hours
  3. Boomerang – time-lapse video created from a burst of photos

Use your finder to slide over to Live to get started. Be sure you’ve checked your settings before you go live. To do this, tap on the settings gear icon at the top left of the screen. Check these settings to make sure your live video will get the most exposure.

Once you have all of that in order, it’s time to go live! Tap on “Start Live Video” to begin your broadcast. Once your video starts, your audience will be notified that you’re live.

Manage Your Broadcast

Now that you’re live, it’s time to take a look at how you’re performing. You can see the number of viewers and the users who have joined your video. You can even start conversations by starting and replying to comments. This is a great way to get and keep your audience engaged with you.

Want to see how long you’ve been broadcasting live? Tap on the “Live” button at the top left and it’ll show you the length of your broadcast. To see the number of viewers, tap on the button to the right of the “Live” button.

Ending Your Broadcast

When you’re done with your broadcast, simply tap on the end button in the top right corner of the screen. From there, Instagram will show you your analytics on that video, which is the number of viewers. Instagram doesn’t show any analytics from previous stories or live videos so be sure to screen shot this screen. This will help you see how you’re performing with your live broadcasts over time.

Uses for Instagram Live

Now that you know how to go live on Instagram, why would you? There are a number of ways to use this feature in your business, including but not limited to:

Instagram is really making progress and it’s time to take advantage of it. Video is essential to your digital marketing mix so record away. Go live about your brand and what it represents. If you would like to learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact me today.

Cheers, Love, and Success,
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel

How to Back Up Your Social Media Content

How to Back Up Your Social Media ContentIt’s wise to make back ups of everything, including your social media content. It’s valuable to your marketing efforts so don’t risk losing it. Social media is always changing and you never know when or if a network will be available. Here’s how you can back up your content.

Save Your Content

I always recommend writing blog posts in Word instead of writing them directly on your website. This accomplishes a couple of things: 1) you get to draft, proof, and edit without making changes to your website, and 2) it creates a back up of your post. Your back up can be saved locally on your machine or in the cloud. Be sure to use a consistent naming convention for these back ups so that you know the title of the piece and where it was published. For example, your filename could be LinkedIn Publisher – Title of Piece – Publish Date.

Back Up Mobile Videos

Whether the video was for Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, or YouTube, it’s important to save a copy after you publish it. Facebook Live allows you to save a copy, depending on the app you use. Instagram and Snapchat also allow you to save your stories. These videos can be used elsewhere and backing them up means you don’t have to spend time searching for them.

Capture Testimonials

This is very important for your business because testimonials can be used for a number of marketing efforts. Be sure to screenshot your testimonials/reviews placed on social media so that you have a copy and can use them in other marketing materials. Jing and Open Screenshot are great programs to use to capture your testimonials.

Download Profiles and Pages

Did you know that you can download a copy of your Facebook data? You can download your data from your personal profile and Facebook will email you when your file is ready. You can do the same thing with your Facebook business/fan page. Twitter will also allow you to download a copy of your entire Tweet history as well as LinkedIn.

Don’t let your social media content get lost, back it up today and you’ll save yourself a lot of worry in the future. Backing up your marketing materials is essential to the progress of your business. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact me today.

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel

3 Ways to Recycle Popular Social Media Posts

3 Ways to Recycle Popular Social Media PostsSome of your social media content performs better than others and it only makes sense that you’d want to recycle it on other platforms. How can you do that across the various networks?

 

 

Find Your Popular Posts

Each network offers analytics on your content so you can see how it’s performing. To find your popular posts, you’ll need to check each network, as follows:

• Facebook: Insights and click on posts
• Twitter: Analytics dashboard to find top tweets
• Instagram: No built-in analytics but several third-party tools are available, such as Iconosquare

To determine your most popular posts, look for those that have the most engagement. Once you’ve narrowed them down, use the tips below to recycle your content.

Pin Your Top Instagram Photo

Your Instagram content can be pinned to various Pinterest boards to gain extra traffic. You can do this by uploading the popular Instagram photo to your website and pin it. It’s important to pin it directly from your website so that it links back to your page. Be sure to edit the description to make it catchy.

Repurpose Tweets as Graphics

Many popular tweets are stand-alone text quotes, which means its super easy to recycle them. You can add the quote to an appropriate image and tweet it again. Or, you can also use the text quote again and simply add a photo that goes with it. Make sure your image is the correct size for Twitter. If you need help with this, you can use Canva, Adobe Spark, or another image tool to help you choose the correct size.

Turn a Popular Facebook Post into a Blog Post or Video

The Facebook posts that get the most engagement are generally longer posts about opinions, research, or inspiration. If you have a post like that, you might consider turning that post into a blog post. You can then turn your written blog post into a video, which will further increase your traffic.

It’s important to recycle your most popular social media content to gain more traffic. You’ll also increase your SEO and generate more visibility for your brand. You may just increase your leads, too! For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact me today.

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel

How to Improve Your Blog with Videos

How to Improve Your Blog with VideosAre your blog posts missing something that you just can’t put your finger on? It’s videos! Combining videos with your written content can help you stand out and keep people coming back for more. Here’s how!

 

 

 

Embed Them

Once you’ve created your video and uploaded it to YouTube, use the embed code to add it to your blog post. Embedding videos into your posts is the most direct way to integrate your content marketing and YouTube videos.

When your posts contain videos, they instantly become more dynamic and engaging. You can also recycle your content ideas in several ways. Posts with videos also generate more inbound links and increased viewership than posts that don’t include videos.

Include Existing

The videos you embed on your blog don’t have to match the post content. As long as the video is relevant to your written content, you’re good to go. Let’s say you’re writing a post about your experience in therapy. You can also include a video about what to expect at your first appointment. The video compliments the written content nicely, which goes a long way with your readers.

How-To’s

If you’re writing a how-to post, include a video tutorial along with your content. Sometimes, written content is a bit difficult to follow and image tutorials aren’t as effective as actually watching someone go through the motions. These types of videos perform very well across all industries and add value for your readers.

Facebook Live and Instagram Stories are great but don’t forget about YouTube. Be sure to include links to your website and/or blog in the description section of each video you upload to YouTube. If you would like to learn more, contact me today for your consultation.

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Credit: Pixabay

8 Reasons Engagement is Crucial

8 Reasons Engagement is CrucialSharing content on social media is only one aspect of social media marketing. In order for you to be successful, you need to be engaging with your fans and followers. What’s the point of sharing content if you’re not going to engage? Many people will actually stop following you because you’re not engaging with them. Here are 8 reasons engagement is crucial to your success.

1. Helps You Get More Social

If you don’t know, Facebook is constantly changing its algorithm, making it more and more difficult for your content to be seen, especially if you’re not posting regularly. Facebook isn’t the only social network doing this, however. Instagram also uses engagement metrics to determine what’s put in front of your followers. If you’re engaging with your audience, they’re much more likely to share your content, which helps to increase your audience through additional likes.

2. Helps You Build Trust and Loyalty

Adding testimonials to your website is great but there are always going to be people who question if those testimonials are legitimate. When you’re engaging with your audience, you’re building trust and loyalty from your fans/followers. People like to connect with people, not products or services. Be sure to show your audience who you are, what they can expect from you, and that they can trust you.

3. Helps to Inspire Emotions

Don’t be afraid to ask your audience questions to spark discussion. Eliciting emotions from your audience is a great way to increase engagement. Be sure to keep it friendly and take control of any unruly fans or followers.

4. Helps You Stay in Touch

Clearly, engaging with your audience helps you stay in touch with them, and you’ll learn more about them in the process. People like to be entertained and to feel like they’re connected. Don’t be shy!

5. Helps Increase Attention

Have you ever come across a post in your news feed with hundreds or thousands of comment and felt compelled to read it? Of course you have! This is a perfect example of how engagement increases attention. Not only on social media, but your website as well. Your audience will likely hop over to your website and subscribe to your newsletter or blog.

6. Helps Make You More Human and Personal

People don’t like communicating with robots – they want to connect with real people. Show yourself and your personality off to your audience through engagement. Let your audience get to know who you are, within reason, and why you do what you do. You never know just whom you may inspire.

7. Helps Make Your More Memorable

The more you interact with your audience, the more memorable you’re going to be. People are going to remember that you’re social and engaging and they’ll keep coming back.

8. Helps Your Audience

Statistics show that an engaged audience is more likely to be a buying audience. Once your audience knows that they can trust you, they’re more likely to make a purchase.

So, if you didn’t know how important engagement is before, now you do! Being engaging on social media is just like building relationships in person; you need to be consistent. If you would like more information or want to schedule a consultation, feel free to contact me today!

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel

5 Things You Need Before Starting Social Media Marketing

5 Things You Need Before Starting Social Media MarketingSocial media is wildly popular, whether you have a business or not. Many small businesses still discount the impact social media marketing can have on their marketing simply because they’re not aware of what needs to be done or how to keep up with it. I’ve listed 5 things you need before starting social media marketing so you’re ahead of the game!

Branding

You wouldn’t create a business card without a logo, would you? Your branding must be consistent across all marketing channels, online or offline. It’s how you build recognition and awareness for your business. If you haven’t solidified your branding, don’t get into social media marketing just yet. Take some time to devote to finalizing your brand and then get started.

Website

Your website needs to be in order before launching any marketing campaign because you’ll be driving traffic to it. Your website must tell the story of business, what customers can expect from you, be user-friendly and mobile optimized, and be consistent with your brand.

Message

If you don’t know what you’re going to talk about on social media, it’s best not to get involved right now. Your message needs to be consistent across all channels for a few reasons. Your fans or followers want to know that you’re consistent as a business, as a brand. Your message should be synonymous with your business values, vision, and mission. You need to define a clear message to convey to your target audience. Speaking of which, have you done that?

Defined Audience

You know the message you want to convey, but have you defined to whom you want to convey it? You need to have a clearly defined target audience for your marketing; otherwise you’re talking to yourself. You can start this process by asking yourself these questions:

1. Who do I want to serve?
2. What does my business do well?
3. What problem(s) can my business solve?

Once you’ve answered those questions, you’ll have a pretty good idea who your target audience is and you can begin to craft your message. But, no good marketing ever happens without a strategy.

Strategy

Once you’ve clearly defined all of the above elements, you need to determine the best social media marketing strategy for your business. This strategy must answer the following questions:

1. How often and when will I post?
2. Which social media networks work best for my business?
3. What type of content will my business share?
4. Will I need to hire a social media marketing manager or can I do this on my own?

The answers to those questions will help you build the foundation of your strategy. You may need some help along the way, which is where I come in. I’ll help you determine the best networks for your business and the proper posting times and frequency. I keep up with all of the latest changes in social media so you don’t have to! To learn more or to schedule your consultation, contact me today.

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel

9 Critical Elements Your Website Needs

7 Critical Elements Your Website Needs in 2017I’ve been analyzing websites now for years. I see what works and what doesn’t work. Keeping your website current is pivotal to your marketing strategy and your business success. When was the last time you updated your website? When was the last time you updated the design of your website?  You don’t listen to music like you did in the 1990’s, you shouldn’t run your business like you’re in the 1990’s either.  So, here are several very critical elements that your website must have to keep it current, especially in today’s day.

 

 

1. Your Message

You only have about 3-5 seconds to let people know what you do and that is not a lot of time. So, it’s important that you be clear, keep it simple and state it in a way people can understand right away.

2. Your Tagline

Write a very brief description of what you do and offer. Try to focus on your audience’s pain points. This really hits home and makes your audience want to read more. Business is about solving problems for other people. What problems does your audience have?

3. Create Amazing Content

The visitors to your website are there for a specific reason; to learn more about your business. They can’t do that if your content is subpar or outdated. Your content should tell your story, be memorable, and highlight your personality. You want your visitors to take action, whether it be signing up for your newsletter, following you on social media, or contacting you directly.

You already know you should have amazing content but how do you get it? You must truly understand your audience; what problems need solving, what are their concerns and/or desires, what helps them reach their goals, and so on.

4. Be Mobile

80% of users are accessing websites from their mobile phones and Google is even penalizing websites that are not mobile friendly in search engine rankings. So, remember that most people access the web on a mobile device so it’s important to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Make sure your website is responsive and adapts to different display sizes. If your website is on WordPress, be sure to opt for a theme that’s already optimized for mobile devices.

5. A Blog

A blog is a great way for your visitors to keep up with what’s happening in your business. It’s a great place to share solid educational information about your profession. Be sure to publish articles on your blog often and share them on social media. The more content you share on your blog, the higher your chances of being found in search engines.

6. Free Report or Opt In

You want your visitors to take action while on your website. A great way to do that is to offer a sign up option for an email newsletter or a free download. You’ll capture leads and build your email list so that you can keep in touch with your subscribers. If you opt to use a newsletter, be sure to send it no more than once a week and follow the 80/20 rule; 80% informative, useful content and 20% that pertains to your business, product or service. In other words, don’t only email your subscribers when you want them to buy something. You need to provide helpful information 80% of the time and be selling only 20% of the time. This is good business practices.

7. Search Engine Optimization

Website ranking is important to be listed highly on search engines, but it’s not solely based on keywords anymore. You still need to use your proper keywords, but they’re only part of your SEO strategy. Your strategy must include blogging, social media, and email marketing.

8. Social Media Icons & Plugins

Make it easy for your audience to find you on social media. Make your plugins visible on all pages of your website and add plugins that show your social media newsfeeds on the right hand side of your blog page. This way people can see that you are social, sharing great content, they can access your reviews and more.

9. Contact Information

I am sure this seems obvious, but I go to many businesses websites only to have to search endlessly for this information. So, while this may be obvious there are a few things you need to know. You need to have a contact page AND you need to have your contact information on each and every page because you never know when your visitors are going to want to reach out and contact you.

Your website is an investment and great marketing tool so make it work for you. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel

Amanda Brazel | Digital Media Marketing Done For You
clientcare@amandabrazel.com