Browsed by
Category: Marketing

Content marketing strategies, social media tactics, and inbound marketing tips

How to Engage Your Competitors’ Social Media Followers

How to Engage Your Competitors’ Social Media Followers

Social media behaviors aren’t the most predictable. Our customers can’t always be served exactly what they want to see in their news feeds, essentially because their minds look for very different things from a moment to another. Before getting started, one thing that’s relevant to be mentioned is this: while stealing implies that at least one party is going to be disadvantaged, when it comes to social media people’s interests can be merged into a consistent message from similar brands. This is why stealing the audience of your competitors is actually a win-win situation on social media.

photo1

Finding Competitors with Authority

Yeah, it’s easy in theory to follow your competitors. But if your market share isn’t clearly divided between competitors, it’s going to be a tough job identifying them properly. Using another’s fan base to improve your social media exposure takes a lot of steps – but it’s all worth it in the end.

During this phase, Google is your best friend. Identify your most successful competitors (if you don’t already know them) – search on Google for specific keyword in your niche.

photo2

Let’s take a look at the dog food industry. While there are 5 big competitors in the industry of dog food advising, only two of these are hugely popular on Twitter, as the third has 45k followers, being somewhere in the middle.

There’s a lot at stake when it comes to your competitors’ followers – aside from the content and the posting schedule, there’s the tone these companies use to engage their audience. It’s the experience they’ve got that’s the most difficult for you to surpass. Part of this burden is because of word of mouth, part of it because of the very personal style your competitors have.

I’m aware that statistics don’t always apply. With this in mind, it is, though, crucial to be informed on the tendencies. 71% of the people experiencing a quick and effective brand response on social media are more likely to recommend it to others. On the other hand, 42% of the customers on social media expect an answer within an hour.

What we learn from here is that we don’t only have to be very prompt, but we must be helpful and friendly as well. The stalking part may not be very pretty, but it’s important not to skip it if you want to spot exactly what is that people like.

The Advantages of Guest Posting

Let’s suppose you’ve followed the first step. You now know who your competitors are and where to find them. It’s still not enough. Actually, it is only the beginning. Following whomever seems to be performing extraordinarily is crucial, but don’t stop here.

When it comes to brand interaction, what moulds people’s experiences on social media is how satisfied their needs are when being in contact with your brand. Most of the social media shares come from on-page blog posts. Try slinking in there – see what your competitors write about. If the difference in visibility is consistent enough so they don’t think of you as a threat, accepting a guest post on a pertinent topic shouldn’t be a problem.

Don’t give your competitors the impression that you’re trying to steal their audience. Rather, be genuinely interested in satisfying an organic need. Approach a topic that they’d all be interested in reading. Document it thoroughly.

For instance, in the example with the dog food, Petco has 169k Twitter followers. If you’re Petsmart (165k Twitter followers) they’re less likely to accept a guest post from you, as you’re their main competitor. But if you manage to find someone popular in your industry who needs your expertise as a complementary point of view, guest posting is a great resource for reaching out to new people.

Instead, after reading your guest post, my thoughts should be somewhere around the idea that ‘here’s this cool guy whose posts I’ve been missing. Who is he? I’d like to see more of that’.

Who doesn’t like a nice travel blog? They’re most inspiring. From packing your luggage in the most compact ways possible to exploring the wonders of lost civilization and best casinos to go to while you’re in Las Vegas, there’s not much you won’t find on a travel blog.

Suppose I’m Atlas Obscura, a travel blog. I do have a fine social engagement rate; but considering the area I write in – which is highly permissive – I could be doing much better. For instance, MatadorNetwork have more readers than I do. Their project is a little bigger than mine, and maybe monitoring them closely will give me some insight on what I could improve. As the difference between our performance isn’t that significant, I am one of their main competitors – so it’s my duty to be informed.

I believe that most of the people who click on something interesting on their social media feeds don’t pay attention to the source, but to the title and the picture. At least most of the times.

Of course, this brings a lot of extra responsibilities when trying to promote your content – in order to be remembered you have to be remarkable. Constantly and consistently remarkable. It’s not an easy job, but it does pay off.

When talking about promoting your content, a tool that you may find very useful is Sniply. What it does is enabling you to display a link and call to action on any other webpage that you share. This might be a very useful promoting tool, not to mention it’s main big advantage: drives traffic back to your website from the links you share on social media.

photo3

From the exhausted mothers who always look astonishing, to the teachers who never seem to get mad at their students repeating mistakes, we all have our little secrets that keep us going. In this industry, guest posting is one of those, on the condition to do it flawlessly.

I looked for the editorial team of Matador Network on their site, to see who is a constant writer on the blog. There I found Genevive Northup.

photo4

Then, I searched for her on Brand Mentions, and the mentions returned for the past month led me to a site which accepts guest posts.

photo5

Finding Wall Street International, I decided to go through her guest post and see what it was about. I found that the author shared a personal traveling experience and the lead photo of the post is a personal one, of her husband’s. The writing style is somewhat similar – with a powerful personal touch. So now I know what kind of articles the editorial team of this magazine appreciate.

photo6

I can contact the editorial team whenever I’ve got a text written on one of my recent travel experiences. Theoretically, they would have no reason to say no to my proposition.

Also, this way I can make sure that whoever saw my competitor’s article about trekking in the Arctic Circle has the chance to run into my own writings on social media.

Twitter Performance Speaks of Engagement and Popularity

It’s even harder, since Twitter took out their on-page counter, to keep up with your competitors and their social media performance. Luckily, there are some tools that can help you monitor their online presence without being pretentious or too tech-oriented. They’re friendly websites that don’t require a lot of social media monitoring expertise, yet they provide essential data that’s already put in perspective, ready for you to use.

The difference between Atlas Obscura and Matador Network isn’t that big compared to their overall performance. However, me being Atlas Obscura, I decided that I may have a thing or two to learn from closely monitoring the performance of this direct competitor.

photo7

So here’s what I find at a first glance: the number of tweets per day, which is a little over 27 (while I only have approximately 24); the user mentions per tweet is 0.29% compared to my own 0.05% per tweet, which shows that they’ve got a higher engagement rate in terms of user interaction with their posts.

And here’s where a strange phenomenon happens. I’ve got a rate of 83% retweets to my posts, while Matador Network have 76% and 84% favorites, while they’ve only got 81%. And what’s perhaps even more surprising is that I’ve got a 14% retweet rate, my competitor only scores 1%. As you’ll see in the screenshot below, Twitonomy offered me all the information I needed at a first glance – enough to form an opinion on where my competitor is performing a little better.

This does give me an idea on what’s happening – my followers, fewer as they are, seem to be more engaged with the content I provide, despite the fact that I post an average of fewer tweets per day and less hashtags are involved.

photo8

Taking a second look at this first chart, I realize that whatever strategy I may be borrowing inspired by what Matador Network does, it’s not going to be meant to increase loyalty. On the contrary, it’s going to be meant to reach for more new people, while trying to maintain the work I’ve been doing so far – it’s the strategy that brought me here, after all.

Another set of data that I may find useful concerns the user interaction – what are the most retweeted posts? What about the ones most replied to? Which hashtags work better?

Answering these questions can show me where I stand compared to this site’s performance.

photo9

The most retweeted tweets give me a sense of what’s prone to be popular – what people like, what they identify themselves with, those specific things that manage to move them in a way. And when it comes to traveling, it’s not easy to bring something new and remarkable (and I don’t even have to be Atlas Obscura to know this).

Knowing what people most commented on allows you to give them tricks and advice as a reply to their comments on your competitor’s page. If it’s done properly, this strategy raises the attention and gains lots of followers – especially if you decide to reply to a popular comment. However, it’s crucial not to mention your brand, so that you can sound like a proper expert, not like a cheap advertiser looking for attention.

photo10

Often, when you’re looking for something original and on the button, what you need in fact is no more than a glimpse of what is currently working. But, however engaged we are in our mission, it’s relevant to remember that very much like planning, pragmatism is something a business needs from day 0 in order to succeed. This is why I found particularly relevant the hours of the day and the days of the week when the Tweets are posted along with the hours when the engagement rates are better.

photo11

It’s really useful to have a tool like this to tell you when your competitors are active on social media – because when they’re not, it’s your time to shine. And then steal their thunder and conquer the world. Or at least shine. If you make it a strategy – which first of all implies consistency and constant activity – this can be the very source of your social media success.

Spying the Twitter performance of your competitors is one of your best leads, especially if you know how to interpret the results you’re given.

Monitor Facebook Pages

Keeping up with your competitors on their social media strategy is a full time job (also literally). Fanpage Karma is the tool that I’m using to make this short analysis, allowing me to have a lot of powerful insight on what I should be doing instead of posting randomly and hoping for the best.

For instance, knowing that I (Atlas Obscura) only have 200k Facebook page likes and Matador Network has almost 700k, it’s time to begin a close monitoring and see where my strategies can be similar to theirs and where I should try being complementary instead. It seems that unlike our performance on Twitter – where the difference is smaller – there’s room of much better on Facebook.

Let’s start with the last thing we talked about when referring to Twitter – when to post. What I find from here is that the Matador Network Facebook page isn’t quite active during Saturdays – which suits me the most, since I decided that it’s an appropriate day to be active on Twitter, too. But unlike Twitter, I know from my own Facebook subscribers aren’t active on Saturdays – so I can actually adapt Matador Network’s strategy to my needs.

However, knowing that people in general tend to be less active on social media during the weekends, I won’t exaggerate – just post cool travel insights every now and then to make people’s weekends more fun.

photo12

Of course, me being more active is in addition to my current activity. Given that on Facebook the difference between me and my competitor is significant, I could try their method – copy their posting schedule (it seems to be working!).

Matador Network doesn’t only have more Facebook fans, is also has a great engagement rate. So let’s debunk this.

photo13

According to their content, most of the posts include links and none of them are actually simple statuses, as shown in the engagement matrix. Also, most of the links have pictures – which means that visuals can be exploited on social media as well. This gives me enough perspective to start improving my page’s Facebook performance.

photo14

While in terms of absolute numbers i have approximately one third of their number of fans, the market share situation is dramatically better for my competitors, as shown in the graph below. Fortunately, on the previous point I got insight on what they do better and how to improve my performance.

This position, however, is relative as it doesn’t show that my weekly growth is approximately one third compared to Matador Network’s. This means that whatever I’ve been doing in terms of posting during the following week isn’t bad at all and what I should focus on is a way of growing this exponentially.

photo15

Generally, Twitter and Facebook behaviors are different one from another, even when we’re talking about the same users – their reactions to whichever types of content differs depending on what they’re accustomed to. It would be significantly harder to engage an active follower on Facebook without any pictures featuring your links, because it’s a different way of behaving than the one I’m used to being exposed to.

Conclusion

Just like the devil, the biggest trick social media can pull is to leave you under the impression that it’s not to be taken into account. Don’t fall into that trap. Instead, take it seriously. It’s not even reducible to a means of content amplification – it’s way more than this. Being active and relevant on social media is almost as important as being relevant in your niche; these two often are converged. From a relevance statement to online awareness, there’s no direction where we can afford to underestimate its powers.

Take social media seriously and you’ll be taken seriously; today, you’re only as relevant as your content – and it’s impossible to maintain applicability when your content doesn’t get to your audience. Not settling for an average social media performance is, unlike just a few years back, a prerequisite for anyone out there who wants to be taken seriously.

How to Empower Your Social Media Presence Using Sniply and Sociallymap

How to Empower Your Social Media Presence Using Sniply and Sociallymap

Content marketing is key to build awareness around your brand and drive traffic and leads to your website. Unfortunately, producing quality content can quickly become too expensive and time consuming for some businesses.

If that situation sounds familiar, one good strategy to reap the benefits of content marketing is to curate content created by other and share it with your audience through your social networks. It’s simple and efficient, and this article will show you how to quickly set up a process that optimize your impact without requiring too much time.

Leverage other’s content to build up your brand

Why is it strategic to publish others’ content via your own social networks? It can be a little counter-intuitive at first, but trust us, it’s very effective.

First, curating and sharing high quality content with your audience highlights your company’s deep understanding of its market and your ability to anticipate new trends.

Then, by taking time to publish articles relevant to your readers, you will progressively establish yourself both as an aggregator and as a “reference” on key topics for your audience. Thanks to you they will save precious time and will minimize the risk to miss out on key informations.

Content Marketing is key for your company’s reputation

From a business perspective, sharing and publishing high quality content helps you get noticed, progressively grows your online reputation and build up brand authority. This will lead to an increase in sales of your product or service. All of this for a relatively low investment in terms of time and money.

Now that’s for the theory. In practice, curating and sharing quality content consistently can be very time consuming and you might not have the adequate resources to devote to this mission.

The challenges of content curation

The major challenge with content curation is consistency. To optimize the impact on your audience, content needs to be curated and shared daily. But let’s face reality: you might only be able to do this a few days per week, at best.

Another important challenge is to get your brand recognized for the content you share, especially when the content is created by others and that you keep directing your readers to third party websites. You need to make sure your audience easily finds a way back to your company’s site, so you can promote your company’s services or products.

To face these challenges we created for you a simple process that will allow you to share content like a pro!

We are going to use 4 great web tools:

  1. Feedly → Gather all your sources of content in one place
  2. Pocket → Gather and store the content you want to share
  3. Sniply → Get recognized for the content you share
  4. Sociallymap → Your personal publishing assistant

The first three tools will allow you to create a curated feed of content to be shared with your audience.

Sociallymap will be the engine that we will use to precisely schedule when and where this content is published on your social networks, optimizing your reach and saving you tons of time.

Feedly, Pocket and Sociallymap are available for free with limited features, and Sniply can be purchased for a year for a low fee.

Let’s get into it!

Step 1 : get all your sources of content in one place with Feedly

Feedly is a tool that allows you to aggregate all your favorite content sources in a single place, arranged into easy-to-read collections.

  1. Start by creating and account on Feedly, it’s 100% free.
  2. Import all your RSS feeds directly on the platform.

Now all your sources of content are located in a single place, optimized for quick searches and a smooth reading experience. This will save you tremendous time and optimize your curation process.

Step 2 : create a single feed of curated content with Pocket 

Feedly is a great platform to easily share your content on relevant social networks, as it is natively connected to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and several others. Unfortunately, the sharing feature does not give you the option to schedule a specific day and time to share your content, it has to be shared manually every time.

Remember, publishing daily is a key success factor, so we need a simple and automated process to perform that task. That’s where a new handy tool comes in: Pocket.

Pocket is a web tool that allows you to save content into a single place to use it later. You are going to use Pocket as a “container” to store all the content you want to share.

  1. Create an account on Pocket,
  2. Connect your Pocket account to Feedly
  3. From Feedly, save any content you want to share later directly into Pocket
  4. Pocket becomes a “container” that stores all the content you want to share
  5. You can access all the content stored in Pocket as a single RSS feed

Step 3 : Attach a call to action to the content you share with Sniply

Sharing relevant stories is good, but you need to make sure it also benefits your company and does not divert your audience from your site. A great strategy is to overlay your custom message onto any piece of content, creating an opportunity for you to include an advertisement and a call to action with every link you share.

Lucky you, there’s an online tool that does just that: Sniply. And we are going to use it on each piece of content you stored in Pocket.

Just follow these steps:

  1. Create an account on Sniply
  2. Import your Pocket’s RSS feed URL into Snip.ly
  3. Customize the messages and CTA you want to add to each piece of content in your RSS feed
  4. Voilà! Sniply delivers a brand new RSS feed, with your custom ad and CTA attached to each piece of content

Now that you have a perfectly curated and customized RSS feed, let’s finish with the most important part: optimizing and automating how this content is shared.

pic1

Step 4 : Optimize the publication of your content with Sociallymap

Sociallymap is the masterpiece of the process. Think of it as your personal online sharing assistant. Just import your Sniply RSS feed into Sociallymap and set up the exact time and social networks on which you want to share your content. Sociallymap then automatically shares every new piece of content included in your Sniply feed on the selected social networks, at the right time.
pic2

And voilà ! You now have a beautifully automated content publication machine, that leverages the content you curate to build up your brand.

Keep in mind that Feedly is also available on iOS and Android, allowing you to find quality content anywhere, anytime and push it to your curated feed. Then, the process you just set up will take care of everything up to the publication. You can now sit back and relax: your brand’s popularity is going to grow.

How to set up a semi-automatic sharing system that builds relationships and drives traffic

How to set up a semi-automatic sharing system that builds relationships and drives traffic

contentcreationvssharing-598x250

As someone who runs growth at a company that is getting >25% of our business from content marketing, when I found out about Snip.ly I got pretty damn excited.

I’d say something hyperbolic like “I practically did a backflip,” but in reality I just switched my desk from sitting mode to standing mode and started to dig into the software to figure out what I could do with it.

Not very exciting, I know – but that’s just how I work.

One of the biggest issues people face online is anonymity – no one cares who you are. The process of building relationships in your industry online is tedious and takes time, but it’s absolutely necessary.

This strategy isn’t designed to disrespect the work required to really gain a foothold in your industry. It’s just something that I came up with to make building relationships with other bloggers and industry leaders a bit easier.

 

The Idea

By using Snip.ly to automatically share the best content from your favorite blogs, journalists, or websites in your industry, you’ll do two things:

  1. Get on the radar of that person or site
  2. Share content that is already proven to be popular, and drive some percentage of engagers back to your properties.

Sound good? Let’s get into it.

Sidenote: I adapted this strategy from my friends at Authority Hacker. They’ve got a fantastic system set up for content promotion and this Snip.ly strategy is just one of many.

 

What You’ll Need

  • Snip.ly
  • IFTTT (If This Then That)
  • Buffer or a preferred social media platform
  • A list of top blogs in your industry

 

Step 1: Create a Snip.ly account and set up RSS Feeds

I’ll assume that you already know how to use Snip.ly at the most basic level. You have calls to action set up already and they’re styled properly, linking to the right place, etc.

Once that’s all done, go to Integrations > RSS Feeds.

Now, take the top 2-5 blogs in your industry and drop the link to their RSS feed in. Snip.ly automatically spits out a new RSS feed with your preferred call to action appended to the content.

 

Step 2: Use IFTTT to schedule shares in a sustainable way.

Now that you have the feeds of your favorite sites all Snip.ly-ified, head on over to IFTTT and either create an account or log in.

You’ll be using the RSS channel for the IF portion of the action, and the Buffer channel for the THAT portion of the action.

The idea here is simple: You’ve pre-selected great content, but don’t want to automatically tweet it out the instant it’s published. It’s much better to add a buffer (ahem) and send it to an app that places all of the shares in a holding zone so you don’t overwhelm your audience.

The recipe is the following:

If new RSS feed item from [snip.ly feed], then add a tweet to buffer.

If you’re creative, you can extend this strategy far beyond what I’ve outlined here:

  • Send new RSS feed items to all social channels
  • Send new RSS feed items to Google Sheet where you can customize Tweet then one-click add to Buffer from there (better engagement)
  • Segment a site’s feed by category and pair that with specific Snip.ly calls to action (what I will be trying next)

 

Remember to engage with your influencers

The final step in this is optional, but highly recommended. You should aim to chat with the people whose content you are sharing on a regular basis. No matter who they are, chances are good that they like to hear their work is influencing people in some way or another.

It’s not uncommon to build relationships quickly this way. Pretty soon you may find yourself contributing the the outlets that you’re sharing if you approach it correctly.

How To Set Up a Beautiful Content Strategy in 30 Minutes

How To Set Up a Beautiful Content Strategy in 30 Minutes

If your startup has a digital presence then you have probably heard the words, content marketing being thrown around lot. In fact, according to Google Trends interest in content marketing has grown fivefold since 2011. As of September, 2015 there are over 50,000 searches per month being made for the term – up from 30,000 in 2013 and these numbers are only set to rise.

p1

Upon hearing this, I find a lot of clients break out into what could only be described as a nervous sweat. After all, if EVERYBODY is doing it, then what can one do to differentiate themselves, let alone set up a system that works well without spending too much money or hiring a full time content marketer?

The strategy outlined below will explain how you can very easily set up a content marketing funnel that will post highly shareable articles to all your company’s followers, whilst bringing traffic back to your business. The best part? You won’t have to write up a single piece of content!

Goal:

The goal we’re trying to acheive is to get a consistent stream of the latest highly relevant, highly shareable content being posted across all of our social media profiles, all containing a Snip.ly overlay with our product’s call to action, or lead gen form.

Prerequisites:

Buzzsumo (or any news aggregator in your industry).
Sniply
TwitterFeed (Free) or Bufferapp/Hootsuite (paid). Most social media management software will work.

 

Step 1: Locating Content Feed

In this example I’m going to sign up to Buzzsumo’s free trial and in order to gain access to their ‘trending now’ section. I find this helpful because under each post there are social stats that indicate how popular a post is at the moment. You are by no means limited to using Buzzsumo, and I’ll talk about how to integrate other services further down.

p2

Select the category that your niche falls into from the menu at the top of the page, and if the relevant category is not listed, press the +Topic button and set up your own filter. Once you’ve done this, hit that RSS button and a small dialog box will appear containing your new RSS url.

p3
Step 2: Snip & Tuck

Now that you have the source from where you will be automatically pulling content, let’s go ahead and add this RSS feed into Snip.ly so that every new entry on the feed will get snipped. Here’s an example from our company Influx which provides 24 x 7 customer service.

p4
To do this, log into your Snip.ly dashboard, and click on integrations > rss feeds and press ‘Create a new feed’. You should see a window appear that looks something like this.

p5

Enter the RSS url you previously generated from Buzzsumo (or whichever content source you are using) and press create feed. If you haven’t chosen your Call to Action yet, or if the drop down box is empty, go ahead and create a new call to action, set it to whatever type you want (i.e. image, lead gen etc), and then repeat the process above.

After you have created your feed, Snip.ly will display some integration options used for scheduling content (hootsuite, dlvr, ifttt). The benefits of each of these services are outlined in the video demo included with this post.

 

Step 3: Content Scheduling

Though, you can (and should) use one of the suggested services above, I realize that as a startup sometimes you are on a budget, and may not invest in another thing without first seeing if it works.

So for this example, we will be scheduling our content using a free service called TwitterFeed and making some minor tweaks to make our content look prettier on the search results.

Once you’ve integrated your social account(s) with TwitterFeed, you’ll see your dashboard which won’t contain any feeds just yet. But we’re going to change that and finalize your content strategy in the next two minutes, so read on!

p6

Once you click on ‘Add New Feed’ you’ll be redirected to feed setup page (shown below). Go back to Snip.ly and copy the RSS url you generated in step 2, paste it into TwitterFeed and make sure the ‘active’ checkbox underneath is ticked.

You’ll notice there a plethora of advanced settings which I recommend you take note of, otherwise you might accidentally find yourself blasting your followers with dozens of new posts every minute. As you would imagine, the easiest way to avoid this happening is to tweak the update frequency setting. Since we’re pulling content in from Buzzsumo in this case, and it’s being updated every hour, I like to Twitter Feed to check for new posts every 6 hours, and post up to 1 update at a time. This way, our Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn etc will at most post 3 new pieces of content everyday.

It goes without saying that social networks are different, the people most active on them are different, and the expectations they have are different. So, I wouldn’t suggest using the ‘one size fits all’ strategy. Instead, using analytics provided by your respective social media platform, or management tool – find the times that your followers are more responsive on each network and schedule content accordingly.

Note: For higher targeting, scroll through the advanced settings and apply keyword filters to your content so that only content that matches those filters is posted. Likewise, if you are using Twitter feel free to prefix or suffix each post that goes with a hashtag. Just doing this, I’ve noticed incredible engagement on my personal account, coming in the form of other users adding me to their ‘lists’.

To conclude, follow the TwitterFeed wizard, add in your other social profiles and rest assured knowing that your followers will always have great content that links back to your business. Next time, how to really spice things up using APIs, IFTTT & More..

5 Untapped Sources of Curated Content

5 Untapped Sources of Curated Content

If content curation is your job, then you know that timing is everything. There’s no quicker way to alienate your followers than to consistently serve up stale content. And, as you know, viral items on the Internet go bad much faster than a loaf of bread. For instance, if you’re just now finding out about The Dress, you’re much better off admitting you missed that one than posting about it now. We all saw it. We’re all sick of it. It’s blue and black, and there is no room for debate.

But being good at curating content isn’t just about not missing out on every viral sensation. It’s also about consistently finding cool things that might otherwise fly under the radar. Here are five sources of content that will not only keep you on top of what everyone else is talking about, but they will also help you to start a conversation of your own:

1. Flipboard

It used to be that whenever you wanted to keep abreast of whatever was happening in your industry, you’d subscribe to a bunch of trade magazines. However, since we live in a world that is going increasingly paperless, it may be a better option to just create your own magazine — a digital one.

Flipboard allows you to do just that. It aggregates content of your choice — everything from big newspapers to your social media feed — and presents it in a magazine-style app. This is a good one to use if you already know where to get your content but just need an efficient way to do it.

flipboard-ipad-1

 

2. Prismatic

Prismatic is taking content discovery to new heights by learning your interests and finding new ones. It’s a mobile reading app that presents you with articles and information from your own social network and items from other websites that are generating buzz.

Prismatic distinguishes itself, though, through the way it makes recommendations of topics based on your past usage. Soon you’ll see more things you hadn’t thought of but are certainly relevant to your interests. It’s kind of like the StumbleUpon of 2015.

prismatic

 

3. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo’s top content search is perfect if you’re a little late to the party, but you still want to share a relevant article. Enter a search term, and Buzzsumo will present you with a list of articles on that topic sorted by the number of shares across every major social media platform.

Buzzsumo is free, but it also has an upgraded premium service that provides more in-depth and focused searches. The pro version will help you get more in depth with advanced search queries. You certainly don’t need the pro version to get good use out of Buzzsumo, though.

BuzzSumo

 

4. Medium

Think of Medium as a kind of Twitter — it was created by the founders of Twitter — without the character restrictions. It’s basically just a popular blogging platform, but it can be extremely useful to find content once you tap into the community that shares your interests.

And if you don’t have time to add yet another social network to check every day, Medium’s digest emails will keep you informed on the topics of your choice. In fact, Medium might be worth joining just for those emails alone. Personally, the Medium digest emails are one of the few newsletters that I almost always check out!

medium-app

 

5. Reddit

Reddit bills itself as the “front page of the internet.” It can be a little intimidating, and it doesn’t have the most intuitive user-interface. But it’s absolutely essential to know how to use it if you want to know what’s about to go viral before anyone else does.

Many marketers are intimidated by or even afraid of Reddit. They don’t understand it. It’s true that you need to walk a fine line as a communicator on Reddit. The key to using Reddit well is to just jump into the community and start participating. Notice that I said “participating” – not spamming!

If you just want to use Reddit as a source of material rather than interacting with the community, that’s still possible; just find and subscribe to subreddits related to your industry and let the wisdom of the masses inform you about what is trending. Beyond Reddit, there are community news sites in specific industries that operate similarly. For example, in the design industry, community news is alive and well; there are tons of sources of design news to choose from! I highlighted a few in other industries in this post for Socialnomics.

Ruby-for-Reddit

 

Finding high quality and reliable content on the web is a challenge, especially if it’s content that you intend to use to help promote your brand. Getting ahead is tricky, but these five relatively untapped sources of rising content will prove super valuable in the long run!

What are your favorite places to find good content to share? Tell me in the comments!

[Course] Get Your First 1 Million Visitors

[Course] Get Your First 1 Million Visitors

For those of you on the lookout for the best tools and techniques to grow your site and following…

We teamed up with SumoMe to bring you a free course on massively increasing your website traffic using the same tools and techniques that the experts use. There are 15 killer case studies on how the pros have built their sites to tens of millions of visits a year.

The course also includes over $2,000 in bonuses from tools that will help you build traffic (including Sniply, of course)

RegisterNowButton-OrangeFlatNew

Brought to you by this team of Traffic Generation Experts

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 1.13.18 PM

[Infographic] Finding the Balance Between Curation and Creation

[Infographic] Finding the Balance Between Curation and Creation

Self-promotion is a delicate act. Social media is all about conversations and genuine relationships. Promoting your own brand could make you appear self-absorbed, yet if you don’t promote yourself, then who will? If you always only push your own brand, your followers may drop away like flies. If you only curate content and drive traffic to other people’s content, then where do you get your return on investment for resources spent on social?

Finding the balance between curation and creation is a difficult challenge, but in order to harness the business potential of social, figuring out this balance is a necessity.

Here are some statistics to consider

  • Posting links to 3rd party sites generates 33% more clicks than posts linked to owned sites
  • Posting links to owned websites generates a 54% higher click-to-conversion rate than posts that link to 3rd party websites
  • Curators who link to 3rd party sites 75% or more of the time on average get 47.8% more clicks per post, 0.2% more click-to-conversion rate, and 0.10 conversions per post
  • Self promoters who link to their own content 50% or more of the time on average get 17 clicks per post, 2.4% click-to-conversion rate, and 0.41 conversions per post on average

The goal is to find a balance between both by linking to 3rd party sites 50-75% of the time, which on average will yield 38.4 clicks per post, 2.5% click-to-conversion rate, and 0.95 conversions per post.

Not only does a combination of content creation and curation lead to building strong relationships with the right people, but it makes your content a lot more useful, and generates a much higher click-rate.

By curating different kinds of content, you increase engagement rates even more. Try linking to videos, podcasts and infographics.

There are lots of different kinds of retargeting campaigns that exist to help creative curation strategies, leading to increased clicks and conversations.

venngageThis infographic template was created with the infographic maker Venngage

 

3 ways to get creative with Sniply and stand out from the crowd

3 ways to get creative with Sniply and stand out from the crowd

Let’s face it: online marketing can get a little bit boring. It is so data-oriented, so techie and so serious, that it barely leaves space for some good humor. Think of all the tools you use for your online marketing efforts: they are all about measuring and automating. How many of them help you express yourself and your brand in a creative and special way? Almost none.

When I first saw Sniply, the first thing I noticed was its humorous and creative potential. The amount of smart tricks that you can do with it is almost infinite. If used wisely, with a bit of spice, it can make you stand out from the crowd of lousy content by presenting something edgier.

To pay tribute to Sniply and the change it has made in our marketing efforts, I wanted to share three fun ways in which we use it. Enjoy!

1. Be the funny sidekick

The world of content marketing  is notorious for its lack of creativity and for constantly spinning around the same buzzwords. In this world, it is hard to write something outstanding and innovative and actually stay alive.

If you follow content marketing blogs, you know what I’m talking about. When was the last time you read an article with truly groundbreaking insights? They are basically repetitions of the same clichés that have been around for the last decade. The situation is even worse on the social media, where all the content marketing spammers post the same articles around the clock and make our news feeds a complete mess.

The practice of “not being creative” is not only popular – it is even encouraged. The almighty Hubspot devoted a whole blog post on “How to ethically steal other people’s content”, and KissMetrics published a post under the title “No content? No problem! Utilizing other’s content to boost your own strategy”. As we can see in the example of these two highly influential blogs, content marketers took the concept of sharing a step ahead, and now just recycle themselves to death.

Now, if you’re going to join the choir and base your content marketing efforts on recycling content, how about at least doing it with a smile? It’s simple: share relevant content from other websites, but steal the attention of readers by kicking ass with a funny, sarcastic or curious comment using Sniply.

Did you check the link to Hubspot’s article I just talked about?

1

I did this little trick for the first time with Greg Verdino’s article “Nine content marketing tools your competition isn’t using”. See? A little back-riding on Verdino’s successful article, and…ta-dam! It’s free promotion for my website. Thanks, Greg!

2

Just to make it perfect, a little sassy tweet, just to make sure that he sees what I’m doing, and the joke is done.

3

This trick is a bit cheeky, but when you think about it, it’s really harmless. Everybody gains from it: I, of course, got clicks on my Sniply CTA and visits to Boost the News’s landing page. Greg Verdino himself also gained his share – in the end, I did share his article, didn’t I? He seemed to get the joke, because he did “favorite” my tweet, so no hard feelings here.

2. Be the master of your domain

When you play the sidekick with Sniply, there is one more winning side to this game: your prospects. When you pick carefully the websites to which you stick your Sniply CTA, your prospects get good, relevant and interesting content.

This leads me to the second tip:

Choose carefully the pages to which you link, and adjust them to your target audience. If your website is about technology, you wouldn’t link it to a fashion blog, right? It just doesn’t fit your audience, and will not pay off!

To increase the relevancy of your content and enhance the sidekick effect, combine Sniply with other tools:

  1. Create a content alert for your website’s keywords using Mention, Google Alerts or BuzzSumo. You probably already have such an alert.
  2. Choose the most relevant results and stick a Sniply CTA to each of them.
  3. Share these articles massively and regularly on your social media using an automation tool (Hootsuite, Buffer, etc).

Since these articles are highly relevant to your audience, they have good chances of being read and shared by your potential leads. Articles will be shared and re-tweeted, all with your little Sniply “footprint”. Soon, every person interested in articles in your field will encounter one of your Sniply calls to action.

Let’s see an example of how we make it work:

At Boost the News, we help businesses promote branded content created by bloggers. We have several content alerts, on keywords such as “influencer marketing” and “promote blog”. Using Buzzsumo, we received an alert on a trending article about blog promotion:

We know that it’s exactly our topic, and people who read it will be interested in Boost the News. So we take the article and create a Sniply CTA.

4

Now share innocently:

5

Again, don’t forget to mention the source for more visibility.

When you repeat this practice with tens of relevant articles, your presence becomes undeniable, and you become the master of the domain, without creating any independent content.

3. Troll yourself a little

Ok, you’re done having fun other pages. But can you troll your own page?

Recycling your own content is a common practice among bloggers and content marketers. Time and again they will promote old articles on newsletters and social media. So why not spice this practice up with Sniply?

There are several advantages of reviving older posts with Sniply:

  1. Evergreen articles remain relevant for a long time. You can connect them to current promotions and landing pages without any problem. Since you stick the Sniply CTA on the page, you don’t have to make actual changes in the original text.
  2. You can be creative and use some self-humor to shake the dust from old articles.
  3. When linking to your own page, you are sure that the page’s content is relevant to your call to action.

In this example, we took an article on our blog, and linked it to a landing page that was created later:

6

Reusing your own content has never been easier!

Summing up

There is something inherently boring in the whole copy-paste that has become the content marketing industry. Sniply changes it. It makes your work more fun and creative, increasing ROI with highly clickable content.

Reusing your own content or combining it with other tools, you can boost your visibility on social media among a carefully selected audience.

How to use snip.ly+curated.co to create retargeted campaigns for your audience

How to use snip.ly+curated.co to create retargeted campaigns for your audience

Most offices buy coffee on three-year contracts, which means cold emailing and cold calling has limited upsides if you’re a coffee company scouting out potential new clients. By definition, 35/36 of the people you get in touch with won’t be looking to (or able to) change coffee suppliers in any given month.

So one of our biggest challenges at Honest Coffees is to insert ourselves into both the mind-set and purchase intervention point when office managers are buying coffee. A clever combination of Snip.ly and Curated.co helps us get in front of our target market every week in a non-spammy way while still reinforcing our coffee’s super deliciousness. So when office managers (our typical customer persona) are looking for a new coffee supplier, they’ll naturally think of us. It’s a long game but hopefully on that will pay off.

How to create long-term relationships with curated.co while reinforcing your branding with snip.ly

The tools you’ll need

  • Snip.ly
  • A subscription to curated.co ($25/mo to start)
  • Access to lots of great content that’s interesting and relevant to your target customers

What we’ve done

Using curated.co, we’ve built a hand-curated newsletter full of content that’s interesting and relevant to our specific target customer personas: office managers and PAs. It’s called Honest Office and comes out once a week. We’ve found Thursdays around 10am is a good time.

Each newsletter contains six articles and a comic strip. We’ve layered snip.ly on top of each of those articles, so our branding message is reinforced with every click.

The newsletter itself isn’t really branded, and it’s not spammy at all

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 10.32.07 AM

But each time a reader clicks on a link, she sees our messaging at the bottom of the article.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 10.33.05 AM

We use mostly evergreen content, which means we can pull down 60 articles at a time, convert them into snip.ly’s, and load up curated.co for weeks to come. Once the newsletters are loaded up, you just set the publish dates and can forget about it if you’d like. We did around ten issues worth — from finding articles to converting them to priming the publishing system in around four hours.

How’s it worked out so far?

We just published issue number seven and have seen consistently good email open and click rates. We’ve had the best luck with clickbait articles, (7 things you should never do at work, etc), but you’ll need to experiment with your readers to see what works best for you.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 10.34.11 AM

Those numbers are pretty consistent, and we average around 1.2 clicks per subscriber per month at the minute. A newsletter with 2,000 subscribers would cost you $39/mo, which means each retargeting ad (which is basically what snip.ly is), costs you $0.016 each.

Plus: when people do click through to the articles, we’ve got our message in front of them for a long time:

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 10.34.19 AM

Not bad for a few hours work!

How Sniply Helps SaferVPN Get Qualified Leads

How Sniply Helps SaferVPN Get Qualified Leads

For the past few months I’ve been building up a social media presence for the company I’m working for, SaferVPN, a service for people concerned about online privacy and security.

All the big shots in content marketing speak a lot about mixing up your brand’s promotional content with news and content from other sources. Hubspot speaks about the 80/20 rule of content promotion, stating that 80% of the content you share should be purely helpful and non-promotional, and the remaining 20% should be promoting your brand. Also Kevan Lee from Buffer discusses several different ratios for content sharing on social media, but reveals that 90% of the content they share is their own and just the remaining 10% is sourced content.

Now if you’re a content marketer like me, it makes perfect sense to mix up your own promotional content with sourced content relevant to your service. In my case that would be the latest news about online security threats and privacy issues. You don’t want to be overly salesy because (A) it’s not fun, and (B) nobody likes that kind of salesperson. Today’s content marketing is about providing value to your customers, offering solutions to their problems and being a thought leader in your field.

Since building up our social media following, I’ve spent a lot of time sourcing quality news related to privacy and security to share with our followers. Sharing such articles on Twitter and in different Google+ groups gives us a bit of brand exposure as they see our brand’s avatar. Yet, the problem is that we’re sending traffic away from our social media channels – but then where?

For a long time I was questioning how worthwhile it was to share all that sourced content. There was no way to measure neither direct website traffic nor signups as a result of the articles I shared. Try justifying to your CEO all those hours spent sourcing content and they will likely have a hard time seeing the value of it. Sure, our social media following is growing steadily and that’s great. But we have to be able to leverage it to drive traffic to our site, and in the long run, signups.

That’s why I was so happy to find Sniply. If you’re not familiar with it yet, this is how it works in brief: paste the link you want to shorten, customize a small speech bubble or bar in the bottom with your brand’s logo, a call to action and a button. It’s super easy to use and it takes less a minute to customize your Sniply link. Here’s how it looks:

 

Image1

 

In the above example I wanted to share an article on how to stay safe when you’re using public WiFi, which is something our service helps users do. Just sharing the article itself is surely helpful – but then what? After sharing the article, I need to help educate our followers how our service can help them against the security threats explained in the article. If the visitor clicks the ‘Learn More’ button, I can decide where to direct them, for example to a landing page about security, or to a blog article about the topic. The beauty of it is that you get highly qualitative leads because you’re sharing content about the topics that your ideal users are interested in.

Once you have created a Sniply, just share the link in all your relevant social media channels. It’s so smart that even when you paste the link into Facebook, it will be automatically be shown as if it came straight from the site you are linking to, for example:

 

Image2

 

As you can see, it looks like any normal link and it loads both the title and image properly from the article I’m linking to.

I was a bit reluctant at first whether or not people would share my Sniplys, because after all, that’s how you get a lot of visibility and it also gives you social proof from your followers. To my happy surprise, people actually share my Sniplys!

Once I’ve shared my Sniplys, I can track and analyze all the data in my Dashboard. That way I get a clear overview of the overall performance of my shared links. Perhaps more important, I can easily analyze link by link to see what type of articles gets the most clicks and highest conversions. I can finally justify promoting sourced content on social media and actually get some return on the time spent doing so!

Bottom-line: Sniply is a helpful tool in my content marketing arsenal since it helps me bring in qualified website visitors from my social media channels. You should try it too!

If Sniply has helped you in your social media marketing I’d love to hear how, feel free to share your tips in the comments below!