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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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..

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

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

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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.

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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:

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Not bad for a few hours work!

Introducing Sniply Publisher Tools

Introducing Sniply Publisher Tools

Dear publishers—this post is for you! With Sniply, content sharers are more incentivized than ever to share your content. As an owner of content, there are a number of options available to you through the Sniply Publisher Tools. All you have to do is verify ownership of your domain and you’ll have access to all of the following.

Publisher Analytics

There are millions of Sniply links being shared across the web. Snips are great since they drive traffic to your content. With Sniply Publisher Analytics, you can keep track of all the Snips of your content. You can access a full list of all Snips of your website as well as how many times those links have been clicked. This will allow you to identify your biggest fans, revealing a list of users who are actively driving traffic to your content.

Quality Control

Not only can you access the full list of your content sharers, you can also see the call-to-actions they’re using on your page. This allows you to quality control what shows up on your content. If there’s a message that you don’t like, you can simply hide the message and it will be hidden from all future visitors. You can also change your mind anytime and show the message again whenever you like. You’re in full control.

Master Switch

With the click of a button you can check if your site is supported by Sniply. If not, you can enable Sniply on your site with a few quick steps. If for whatever reason you would like to disable Sniply support on your site, you can do that as well with ease. This master switch puts you in control of the content you own.

To get started, just login to your Sniply account and open up the Publishers Dashboard under Account > Publisher Tools. If you’re interested in learning more about how Sniply benefits content publishers, be sure to check out Sniply for Content Publishers!

Sniply for Content Publishers

Sniply for Content Publishers

There are 3 key components in the content ecosystem: publisher, distributor, and reader. In the online world, the reader is often times also the distributor. When you read something you like and share it, you become a distributor of the publisher’s content.

Incentivized Sharing

Sniply is a great form of incentivized sharing. Before Sniply, readers had relatively little reasons to distribute content; the publisher reaps all the benefits and the distributors had relatively little to gain. When readers can benefit from becoming a distributor, which is what Sniply enables, they’re much more likely to do so.

More sharing means more exposure for published content. Sniply creates value-alignment between the publisher and the distributor, which really fuels the growth of online content and creates a win-win situation.

Earned Promotion

Sniply introduces the whole new concept of “earned promotion”. Since Sniply doesn’t alter the original page, only the people you drive to the site will see your message. You have to “earn” your exposure by working to drive traffic to the publisher’s content in order to gain the exposure. Hence, instead of disrupting the publishing business, Sniply actually enhances it. With Sniply, publishers give up nothing in exchange for more traffic to their content.

Shared Benefits

The entire publishing business relies on distributors to spread their content to as many readers as possible. Distribution leads to traffic, traffic leads to eyeballs, and eyeballs lead to advertising revenue.

Without Sniply, distributors are expected to distribute content for free, with no benefits to the distributors whatsoever. Imagine a company with a team of volunteer salespeople—that’s what the industry has been like for a long time. Sniply provides the opportunity for distributors to be rewarded for their work, which leads to more sharing and a healthier ecosystem overall.

This guide is part of a series—also check out:

What is Sniply?
Why should I Use Sniply?
Introducing Sniply Analytics
Getting More Clicks with Sniply
Getting More Conversions with Sniply
Branding Opportunities with Sniply
Managing Multiple Brands with Sniply
The Sniply Workflow
Sniply for Content Publishers
Sniply for Small Businesses
Sniply for Enterprise

Why Should I Use Sniply?

Why Should I Use Sniply?

Sniply is an online marketing tool used by everyone from independent marketers to thriving enterprises. We’ve generated over 15 million clicks so we must be doing something right. So, why should you use Sniply?

Well it’s a simple tool that essentially lets you drive conversions from any piece of content on the web. You can put your call-to-action on any page across the web. You can use it to drive more traffic to your website, downloads of your app, registrations for your event, customers for your service, and more.

Here are 3 huge reasons why it’s worth your consideration:

Conversions from Curated Content

The world of sharing is changing. If you toot your own horn all day, people will ignore your self-centered practices. Many experts claim that at least 50% of the content you share should be from others. Nowadays, successful brands sift through the endless web to curate relevant and valuable content for their audience to enjoy.

This also means that 50% of your online sharing consists of driving traffic to somebody else’s website. Curated content have no mentions of your brand, no association with you post click-through, and essentially cuts you out of the picture.

We realized at Sniply that the only way for you to capture value from curated content is to be part of the viewing experience; to follow your users through onto the page itself. Using Sniply, you can attach your own brand to every link you share, and you’ll actually show up on the page itself. Whether it’s an article from Forbes or video on YouTube, you can include your own custom call-to-action to drive conversions from curated content.

Conversions from Earned Media

Another great opportunity to use Sniply is on Earned Media. Media is considered “earned” when a publication features you or a blogger mentions you. This means that you never paid for the exposure, but you’ve “earned” it through your endeavors.

When someone writes about you, you share the article; no brainer. However, often times there are no clear call-to-actions back to you! People are reading about you, they’re interested, and they have to dig through the entire article to find to learn more. With Sniply, you can take control of Earned Media and include your own call-to-action as you share it.

Conversions from Your Own Content

When you want something—you have to ask! Including a call-to-action on links to your own content is an effective to get your followers to take action. Sniply gives you the flexibility to change your messaging dynamically and keep your followers updated on what you want them to know. Best of all, you can do all of that without touching a single line of HTML or altering the website in any way. This means that you won’t need to coordinate with your tech guy on every marketing campaign.

For example, maybe you have a webinar coming up or a new app you’d like people to download, you can just add the call-to-action onto the page with the click of a button. There are a million ways to use the tool and the beauty of it all is that Sniply puts you in control.

This guide is part of a series—also check out:

What is Sniply?
Why should I Use Sniply?
Introducing Sniply Analytics
Getting More Clicks with Sniply
Getting More Conversions with Sniply
Branding Opportunities with Sniply
Managing Multiple Brands with Sniply
The Sniply Workflow
Sniply for Content Publishers
Sniply for Small Businesses
Sniply for Enterprise

5 Reasons Content Marketing is a Win-Win

5 Reasons Content Marketing is a Win-Win

5 Reasons Content Marketing is a Win-Win

What if we lived in a world, a bubble, where we didn’t know what was happening outside? We’re constantly shown stuff that we don’t care, and it has no effect on us. Wouldn’t life be boring that way?

Now comes content marketing, pushing all these pieces of content in our faces that are – interestingly enough – of value to us. We see this every day, and many of us don’t actually realize or stop to think about the purpose of it. Now becoming a prominent component of the business landscape, content marketing is everywhere when we turn our heads and even found in the online world. It’s almost like a new space that marketers have infiltrated to get their messages out.

Pushing Social says it best, “Storytelling for Sales.” Through all these layers of content that’s being shared to us, articles, blogs, and videos, there is one last layer standing. That is, getting sales and driving traffic to the creator of the content. Content marketers are constantly pushing new stuff out and consumers (like me) are absorbing it. I believe that the coolest part of content marketing is the value that is delivered and how it’s beneficial for the company brand. Some content is quickly shared while other content will never see the light again. Below, I’ve outlined 5 reasons why content marketing adds value to businesses and the consumers: 

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1. Branding: This isn’t something new. For centuries organizations have been creating a certain brand they want to resonate with their target market by launching various marketing strategies. If that company had a certain target audience they wanted to cater to, they would make sure the content attracts them. Content marketing is revolutionizing the way businesses brand themselves. One minute you see an article about the ‘benefits of social media’ and the next minute you’ll notice they’ve posted a funny picture that made you laugh. Consumers are often engaged to a certain extent with the brand building and it follows the company. It also helps them recognize the brands they want to align with and prefer.

2. Sharing content: When companies share something they think is cool, you (consumer) either think “That’s amazing!” or “I don’t really care, next.” Each person is unique, and thus the reaction to each piece of content is different. The benefit of sharing online is that you, as a business, reach a wide audience while incurring very low expenses. On the consumers’ side, you get the benefit of viewing new stuff that you didn’t know and you can even share it with your buddies!

3. Learning more: This point was sort of my thought as to why content marketing is good. Both sides essentially benefit from sharing content. When the company decides to engage in content marketing they “retweet” or share content. Consumers will (or not) take notice and read further into the information. Content will either be accepted or rejected, but at least there’s knowledge being spread!

4. Building relationships: Probably the 2nd most important aspect of content marketing or marketing in general, is to build connections with consumers. Some companies lament gravely whenever bridges are burnt with their consumers. Here at Sniply, we take care of our relationships with our users and reply to any questions they have. We want to keep those relationships and reach out to users whenever they voice their opinion. Content Marketing Institute says that you should treat your market as a community. It’s so crucial that as a business, you want those relationships to continue and build that close-knit community. When you see a problem your community is facing, share content that answers it. As a consumer, knowing that the company is trying its best to build the bridge is a good indicator that you can reach out to them one day if you’re stumped on something.

5. Creating value: At its finest, marketing is about delivering value to their audience (community). Content marketing is about pushing relevant, useful content that will benefit everyone: knowledge, a good laugh, even a smile 🙂 What’s so great about content marketing is that you can share articles and posts, and you have that fuzzy feeling knowing that you accomplished your mission if someone learned something from your post. The intrinsic value of any post is judged by each individual person. Understand this, even if you’re promoting your brand people won’t mind if you’re sharing content that is meaningful to them and adds value to their time.

10 Steps: How Online Engagement is like a Blind Date

10 Steps: How Online Engagement is like a Blind Date

10 Steps To Begin Engaging an Audience Online – How Online Engagement is like a Blind Date

Engaging an online audience is like going on a blind date, first impressions are everything. The way you dress, look, or present yourself can be very telling on a first date. Similarly, the headlines you use, the intro sentence, or how you start an online-conversation, determines if the reader will continue to read/engage with your content or not. recite-15024-911710967-1t6rojo “On average, only 1 out of 5 readers gets beyond your headline!” – David Ogilvy. So in reality, 80% of the people you are attempting to engage don’t make it to your content, let alone read it in its entirety. This doesn’t only go for blog posts or major companies trying to engage with millions of users, but for literally anything you share online. It is all an attempt to engage an audience or start a conversation, whether it’s a tweet, status update, or a 4-page article. “People go online to talk [write] and listen [read] and so conversation is a critical factor in an online community’s success.”  Therefore, the methods and audience to engage an audience may differ, but the steps to get their attention and start a conversation are very similar. The common denominator here is the intention of all users to converse online, and the goal is to get them to get to choose your conversation to join! Here are the 10 steps I have found to do so:  (maybe just include the second half of the headline?)

1. Do Your Homework – Research who they are and what they like!

researchTake the time before you open any lines of communication to know who your audience is. Look at their interests, and what engages them. It is like googling the person you are about to go on a date with – basics. This probably is the most important step, because based on your findings you will know how you can begin to engage your audience. If you are engaging with a specific audience, a good place to start is to look at a commonality between them. That could be age, career, sport etc. and go from there. If you are trying to engage with a person or a small group of people look at the common ground between yourself and them, and begin with that.

Pro Tip: Google Analytics Demographics and Interests can be a good place to start looking at users interests.

 2. What’s in it for me?

 Put yourself in the reader’s shoes and write about that which is interesting to them and not to you. Not only that, but studies show people are likely to be more engaged if you use memory inducing triggers . That is, writing about what people were already thinking about and can recall most easily. The book, Contagious – Why Things Catch On, explains this concept extensively. The first step to engagement is showing the audience that it’s something they’re interested in, but also that is worth their time. The human attention span is about 8 seconds, and that is about as much time they need to read your opening sentence or headline and decide if it’s worth their time or if they will be moving on to something else.

 3. Help your audience find you – Wear an identifier

keywordInclude key words in your writing that will ensure that whomever is looking for similar content, topics, or ideas, is able to find you. The first thing people scan in a title or the first sentence of a message is the key words that jump at them letting them know that they are in the right place. It’s like the cliché red rose that a guy always wears to a blind date, or any agreed upon marker between the two. The idea is to know how to balance creativity in writing with identifiers of the content you are about to share. It is a difficult balance that might take some testing and experimenting.

For example if you are writing a post about your favorite chocolate brand, titling the post with ‘Coco awesomeness!’ doesn’t really tell me much about what you’re writing about. As opposed to ‘The greatest chocolate brands!’. The latter lets the reader know what they will be reading about. Further, instead of showing up on a search on coco, you will actually be able to target the audience most interested in the topic, chocolate lovers.

 4. Positive Framing – Give a compliment

 Research by O’Keefe and Jenson shows that positively framed sentences and headlines are more engaging and likely to be read than others. People like to be given compliments, pick-me-ups and hope and if you are able to convey that in your opening sentence people are more likely to be engaged. Taking a neutral sentence like ‘the effects of dieting’ into ‘Ways dieting helps you improve your life’. Positive framing allows people to see the good in what they are about to read and are therefore encouraged to read it.

 5. Don’t be afraid to be emotional – Be considerate!

recite-1166-916120102-1wmkr05 (1)Empathizing with someone you’re having a conversation with is usually a given to anyone trying to be courteous. However, we usually don’t lend the same courtesy online. If you are writing about a topic that is easily relatable or of interest to the audience then it is encouraged to include associated emotions in the opening sentence or title. It is like the common saying goes, “people may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” Thus engaging an audience on an emotional level boosts the likelihood people will be reading your content but more importantly that they will relate to it. For example: Instead of writing ‘Exercising improves your productivity’, try  ‘How exercising made me happier and more productive’. This is both a way to positively frame your statements and have the reader engage with them on an emotional level. That is not to say, however, that negative or sad emotions should not be avoided. Simply be cognizant of your audience, the content and how you want to make the reader feel after they’ve read your content or statement.

 Pro tip: Showing empathy towards a common problem can also be mixed with a question, “have you ever felt…?”

 6. Ask Questions – Pique their interest

A known conversation starter is to ask questions, most notably about the weather. Similarly, a great way to pique people’s interests is to ask them a question they’d want to find the answer to. If you’ve already researched the audience’s interest (reference step 1), then asking a question that will pique their interest isn’t difficult. It’s also a great way to get the audience’s input as to their own opinions about your answer, or their own versions of the answer.

Ask questions but be cautious as you walk down that route. As Daniel Kahneman wrote in his book Thinking Fast and Slow, asking questions is likely to capture people’s attention and get them to think. However, that only works if the question makes us curious, and is not too challenging, because then we tend to skip it.

 7. Emphasize the Social Aspects – Socialize!

You’ve made it this far in the date, and now its time for possibly the hardest part, socializing. The point is to hold a conversation and not to simply pass on information. The reader wants to feel that through reading your content they have been able to gain. The greatest gain from social media, is feeling that you have gained a social know-how. That is why Berger emphasized in ‘Why Things Catch On’ the need to create a social currency, not only making people feel smart but also feel like they are in the know-how. You don’t have to be promoting a brand to create a social currency, its simply information that encourages further social encounters. So it might be including the fact that this is a discussion, or asking what the audience thinks as well about the topic. Inviting the reader to engage with what you’ve shared early on sets a tone to what you are about to share as not simply well crafted content.

 8. Be Precise – Pay Attention to Detail

percisionIn a date, you get brownie points for being able to pick up on the details shared with you. Likewise, being able to share details about you allows the listener to relate to you and get to know you better. Thus the more precise your intro, and headline as to what you will be sharing will get your audience interested. Broad topics do not really give your reader an idea of what you’ll be talking about. Thus if neither the headline or the first sentence shows exactly what the content will be about, the less likely the reader will be inclined to read through it.

Example: ‘Content Marketing Method’ is very different from ’ The Best Ways to improve the shareability of your content’.

 9. Be structured – Show you have a plan for the night

Roadmap-to-Success-2A great date is a well-planned date, and a great post is a well-planned post. Show the reader that you have a road map as to what you will be talking about, that way they know what to expect from the content.

Offer the reader or person that you would like to communicate with something of structure that they would like to know about. For example a list or a guide is always more engaging then a simple topic title. Including in the title who the target audience is helpful as well, for example beginners, youth or simply ‘you’ is sufficient.

10. Practice and Experiment – There are more dates to come.

Most importantly, practicing different headlines and intro sentences is important. You don’t always have to go with the first one you come up with. The secret to Upworthy’s success was their headlines, and the secret to that was drafting so many and experimenting till they came up with the perfect formula. Word has it they have at least 25 headlines for every post they roll out. This post has aimed to show you the main ways to engage your audience but it takes practice to make perfect so don’t shy away from that.

However, all that being said, be careful from not delivering on your headline promise. If you promised a fantastic article that turns out to be mediocre, chances are your headlines will no longer be trusted. More so, people still do read the content if its subpar, your goal is widespread sharing and of online engagement go out the window. Give us your feedback; let us know if there is anything else that helps with online engagement!

The Single Biggest Problem with Content Curation

The Single Biggest Problem with Content Curation

A lot of people ask me how we came up with the idea for Sniply. It all started with a simple observation as I was curating content. For those unfamiliar, content curation has become an integral part of social media marketing. This is the act of sharing great content, thus providing value for your fans and followers through curation.

Many experts suggest that at least 50% of everything you publish on social media should be content from others. Not to mention, content creation can be costly and therefore many companies start with content curation as their only social media strategy.

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Once upon a time, I was working on social media marketing at another startup. We, like everyone else, relied on content curation as one of our core strategies. It took a lot of time everyday, going through heaps of content and struggling to find the right things to share. At some point, I began to question whether it was worth my time. The scary thing was… I had no idea. I intrinsically felt like it was important work, yet I had no evidence or reasons to prove it was actually working. This was when I realized the big problem with content curation:

Content curation offers no measurable return on investment.

As you’re curating content, you may carefully select the ones that are most relevant to your brand. Maybe you’ll share an article reporting on an internet security problem, implying that your company offers the solution. Or perhaps you’ll share a blog post about the importance of good design, hinting at the fact that your company is the right firm to hire for the job. The problem is… do your followers know that?

We click through links all the time, opening them in new tabs, and often forgetting where we found the link in the first place. We read tons of articles per day amidst an ocean of online noise. What are the chances that your followers can actually see the correlation between your shared content and your brand?

Even though there are plenty of tools out there to help you measure the engagement for your shared content, none of these measurements seem to offer a clear ROI. For example, Facebook Insights will tell you how many times your posts have been clicked. Social dashboards like Buffer and Hootsuite will tell you how many times your links have been clicked. You’ll also be able to track retweets, reposts, likes and favorites. The big question is… so what?

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So what if you posted a link to TechCrunch and generated 1,000 visits to their website? So what if you got 5 retweets and 15 favorites? None of these numbers have any direct impact on your business. It’s not easy to measure the value of driving traffic to other people’s websites.

The general argument is that content sharing boosts your credibility and establishes your position as a credible source of information. This, in theory, leads to more followers and perhaps higher engagements. However, this doesn’t change the fact that there’s still no real measurable impact from any of the aforementioned outcomes. What is the impact of having 10,000 followers? What is the value of having 500 clicks on your posts?

After failing to answer the above questions, I realized a simple fact…

Content curation offers no measurable return on investment.

This was the observation that sparked the birth of Sniply. How do we introduce relevance between shared content and your brand? How can we offer a measurable return on investment for every link you share? What can we do to transform content curation from an art form into exact science?

The answer was simple. In order for there to be a measurable return, an action needs to take place, and the most directly measurable action is a click-through. Whether it’s to your landing page, an Amazon page, or an Eventbrite page, there simply needs to be a click-through opportunity.

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By using a simple iframe, Sniply lets you embed a call-to-action directly into content from others. This call-to-action links to a destination URL of your choosing. With every page you share with Sniply, there is a click-through opportunity. This means that every link you share will have a tangible conversion rate of click-throughs to your destination URL.

Having recently breached 2,000,000 clicks while sustaining an average conversion rate of 7%, it would seem that Sniply may have actually solved the biggest problem in content curation. Things are looking bright, but it’s still too early to celebrate. I have a feeling we’ve only scratched the surface of the impact we could have on the whole concept of content curation. As our journey continues, I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted on the impact of what we’ve built.