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Monthly Archives: January 2020

Taking Advantage of MCC Scripts for Multi-Account PPC Efficiency

January 27, 2020 No Comments

Working at the account level can be restrictive. MCC level scripts provide a solution for handling many accounts to scale further and work more efficiently.

Read more at PPCHero.com
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How AMP technology can boost your content strategy

January 26, 2020 No Comments

AMP technology can help you boost your content strategy for 2020. Here’s how to get started today.

It was back in 2016 when Google announced the launch of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). The rise of mobile consumption made it imperative to aim for a seamless user experience through smartphones and AMP seemed like a great solution to it.

According to an early study, Google AMP pages load four times faster and use eight times fewer data than traditional mobile-optimized pages.

The idea was to provide an open-source framework that can make the mobile experience better and faster. Several publishers started implementing AMP but not all of them were initially able to measure the success of their efforts.

The state of AMP by the end of 2019

There were several interesting announcements around AMP in 2019 to keep an eye on.

On July 25, Google Images announced:

“Google Images made a series of changes to help people explore, learn and do more through visual search. An important element of visual search is the ability for users to scan many ideas before coming to a decision, whether it’s purchasing a product, learning more about a stylish room, or finding instructions for a DIY project. Often this involves loading many web pages, which can slow down a search considerably and prevent users from completing a task. As previewed at Google I/O, we’re launching a new AMP-powered feature in Google Images on the mobile web, Swipe to Visit, which makes it faster and easier for users to browse and visit web pages. After a Google Images user selects an image to view on a mobile device, they will get a preview of the website header, which can be easily swiped up to load the web page instantly.”

The use of AMP in Google Images is improving the speed of searching for visual content. The increasing demand for visual searches creates the need for improved user experience. This announcement proved that AMP is not just about the written text but it is going to affect complete websites and the way we perceive content.

Moreover, Google recently announced that the AMP framework will join the OpenJS Foundation. This is a move that can make AMP even more accessible without relying too much on Google. According to Malte Ubl of AMP’s Technical Steering Committee:

“Google will continue to be a strong supporter of AMP.  Google is already a platinum member of the OpenJS Foundation and will continue to provide additional financial and other forms of support to the foundation to ensure a thriving AMP community and ecosystem.  The team of Google employees contributing full time to the AMP open-source project will also continue to do so”.

It is estimated that since 2016, more than 25 million domains have published more than 1.5 billion AMP pages. This move can signal an even higher number of pages using AMP to improve the user experience.

According to Google, 53% of mobile visitors abandon a page that takes more than three seconds to load.

How AMP can affect your content strategy

AMP can make a useful addition to a content strategy in many different ways:

1. Improved UX

Focusing on accelerated mobile pages can have a significant impact on user experience. A good content UX can lower the bounce rates on your page while it can also help your visitors stay engaged.

2. Increased conversion

The more time a visitor is spending on your content, the higher the chances of conversion. It’s not always enough to provide high-quality content to increase conversions. The speed of the site, the overall user experience, and the design of your page can still affect your conversions.

3. Reducing load time

Your site’s visitors expect a seamless experience from the very first second. The longer it takes for your content to load, the lower the chances to keep someone interested.

4. Beating competition

Not all websites are invested in AMP technology. It’s not too late to review your site’s speed and start exploring the best ways to use AMP for your content. If your content is already relevant to your visitors and you combine it with a fast experience, then you can end up ahead of your competitors.

Content as a priority

AMP technology is helping developers and marketers understand the importance of delivering a great experience at all levels. From designing your website to the creation of the actual content, everything needs to provide the best experience to all your visitors. This is always helpful in making the content a priority of your website. The loading speed is not enough if the copy is not relevant and informative.

Embracing the omnichannel experience

It’s more important than ever to embrace a multi-channel approach in your web development and also content marketing. Not everyone is accessing your content from the same device. As the load time makes a great factor on a site’s user experience, AMP can help you speed up your content, whether it’s on desktop or on a mobile device.

Boost SEO

AMP might not be an official ranking factor but site speed can significantly impact your ranking in the SERPS. Implementing AMP technology to your site can improve your rankings while delivering great user experience.

How to start

It’s not too late to get started with AMP technology. Here are the first steps that you can follow:

  • Review your site’s current load time, you could use GTMetrics or some online tools that are similar
  • Set up AMP (you can install the AMP plugin if you’re a WordPress user)
  • Validate the pages that you want to involve
  • Look at the content that you want to include if you need to make any changes
  • Start measuring the success of your posts
  • Keep reviewing the content performance and the load time

It’s quite easy to start applying AMP to your website to improve the speed of your pages. Your visitors will appreciate a faster load time and you will start reaping the benefits of it.

Content marketing, UX, and web design have never been more interlinked and it’s a great opportunity to make the most of them in 2020.

Cole McKeon is President at Revealize Inc.

The post How AMP technology can boost your content strategy appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Vivo beats Samsung for 2nd spot in Indian smartphone market

January 26, 2020 No Comments

Samsung, which once led the smartphone market in India, slid to the third position in the quarter that ended in December, even as the South Korean giant continues to make major bets on the rare handset market that is still growing. 158 million smartphones shipped in India in 2019, up from 145 million the year before, according to research firm Counterpoint.

Chinese firm Vivo surpassed Samsung to become the second biggest smartphone vendor in India in Q4 2019. Xiaomi, with command over 27% of the market, maintained its top spot in the nation for the tenth consecutive quarter.

Vivo’s annual smartphone shipment grew 76% in 2019. The Chinese firm’s aggressive positioning of its budget S series of smartphones — priced between $ 100 to $ 150 (the sweet spot in India) — in the brick and mortar market and acceptance of e-commerce sales helped it beat Samsung, said Counterpoint analysts.

Vivo’s market share jumped 132% between Q4 of 2018 and Q4 of 2019, according to the research firm.

Realme, which spun out of Chinese smartphone maker Oppo, claimed the fifth spot. Oppo assumed the fourth position.

Samsung has dramatically lowered prices of some of its handsets in the country and also introduced smartphones with local features, but it is struggling to compete with an army of Chinese smartphone makers. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

Realme has taken the Indian market by storm. The two-year-old firm has replicated Xiaomi’s playbook in the country and so far focused on selling aggressively low-cost Android smartphones online.

Vivo and Oppo, on the other hand, have over the years expanded to smaller cities and towns in the country and inked deals with merchants. The companies have offered merchants fat commission to incentivize them to promote their handsets over those of the rivals.

Xiaomi, which entered India six years ago, sold handsets exclusively through online channels to cut overhead, but has since established presence in about 10,000 brick and mortar stores (including some through partnership with big retail chains). The company said in September last year that it had shipped 100 million smartphones in the country.

India surpasses the U.S.

The report, released late Friday (local time), also states that India, with 158 million smartphone shipments in 2019, took over the U.S. in annual smartphone shipment for the first time.

India, which was already the world’s second largest smartphone market for total handset install base, is now also the second largest market for annual shipment of smartphones.

Tarun Pathak, a senior analyst at Counterpoint, told TechCrunch that about 150 million to 155 million smartphone units were shipped in the U.S. in 2019.

As smartphone shipments decline in most countries, India has emerged as a rare market where people are still showing great appetite for new handsets. There are nearly half a billion smartphones in use in the country today — but more than half a billion people in the nation are yet to get one.

The nation’s slowing economy, however, is understandably making its mark on the smartphone market as well. The Indian smartphone market grew by 8.9% last year, compared to 10% in the previous year.

Gadgets – TechCrunch


How Google May Annotate Images to Improve Search Results

January 26, 2020 No Comments

How might Google improve on information from sources such as knowledge bases to help them answer search queries?

That information may be learned from or inferred from sources outside of those knowledge bases when Google may:

  • Analyze and annotate images
  • Consider other data sources

A recent Google patent on this topic defines knowledge bases for us, why those are important, and it points out examples of how Google looks at entities while it may annotate images:

A knowledge base is an important repository of structured and unstructured data. The data stored in a knowledge base may include information such as entities, facts about entities, and relationships between entities. This information can be used to assist with or satisfy user search queries processed by a search engine.

Examples of knowledge bases include Google Knowledge Graph and Knowledge Vault, Microsoft Satori Knowledge Base, DBpedia, Yahoo! Knowledge Base, and Wolfram Knowledgebase.

The focus of this patent is upon improving upon information that can be found in knowledge bases:

The data stored in a knowledge base may be enriched or expanded by harvesting information from wide variety of sources. For example, entities and facts may be obtained by crawling text included in Internet web pages. As another example, entities and facts may be collected using machine learning algorithms.

All gathered information may be stored in a knowledge base to enrich the information that is available for processing search queries.

Analyzing Images to Enrich Knowledge Base Information

This approach may annotate images and select object entities contained in those images. It reminded me of a post I recently wrote about Google annotating images, How Google May Map Image Queries

This is an effort to better understand and annotate images, and explore related entities in images, so Google can focus on “relationships between the object entities and attribute entities, and store the relationships in a knowledge base.”

Google can learn from images of real-world objects (a phrase they used for entities when they started the Knowledge Graph in 2012.)

I wrote another post about image search becoming more semantic, in the labels they added to categories in Google image search results. I wrote about those in Google Image Search Labels Becoming More Semantic?

When writing about mapping image queries, I couldn’t help but think about labels helping to organize information in a useful way. I’ve suggested using those labels to better learn about entities when creating content or doing keyword research. Doing image searches and looking at those semantic labels can be worth the effort.

This new patent tells us how Google may assign annotations to images to identify entities contained in the images. While labeling, they may select an object entity from the entities pictured and then choose at least one attribute entity from the annotated images that contain the object entity. They could also infer a relationship between the object entity and the attribute entity or entities and include that relationship in a knowledge base.

In accordance with one exemplary embodiment, a computer-implemented method is provided for enriching a knowledge base for search queries. The method includes assigning annotations to images stored in a database. The annotations may identify entities contained in the images. An object entity among the entities may be selected based on the annotations. At least one attribute entity may be determined using the annotated images containing the object entity. A relationship between the object entity and the at least one attribute entity may be inferred and stored in a knowledge base.

For example, when I search for my hometown, Carlsbad in Google image search, one of the category labels is for Legoland, which is an amusement park located in Carlsbad, California. Showing that as a label tells us that Legoland is located in Carlsbad (the captions for the pictures of Legoland tell us that it is located in Carlsbad.)

Carlsbad-Legoland-Attribute Entity

This patent can be found at:

Computerized systems and methods for enriching a knowledge base for search queries
Inventors: Ran El Manor and Yaniv Leviathan
Assignee: Google LLC
US Patent: 10,534,810
Granted: January 14, 2020
Filed: February 29, 2016

Abstract

Systems and methods are disclosed for enriching a knowledge base for search queries. According to certain embodiments, images are assigned annotations that identify entities contained in the images. An object entity is selected among the entities based on the annotations and at least one attribute entity is determined using annotated images containing the object entity. A relationship between the object entity and the at least one attribute entity is inferred and stored in the knowledge base. In some embodiments, confidence may be calculated for the entities. The confidence scores may be aggregated across a plurality of images to identify an object entity.

Confidence Scores While Labeling of Entities in Images

One of the first phrases to jump out at me when I scanned this patent to decide that I wanted to write about it was the phrase, “confidence scores,” which reminded me of association scores which I wrote about discussing Google trying to extract information about entities and relationships with other entities and confidence scores about the relationships between those entities, and about attributes involving the entities. I mentioned association scores in the post Entity Extractions for Knowledge Graphs at Google, because those scores were described in the patent Computerized systems and methods for extracting and storing information regarding entities.

I also referred to these confidence scores when I wrote about Answering Questions Using Knowledge Graphs, because association scores or confidence scores can lead to better answers to questions about entities in search results, which is an aim of this patent, and how it attempts to analyze and label images and understand the relationships between entities shown in those images.

The patent lays out the purpose it serves when it may analyze and annotate images like this:

Embodiments of the present disclosure provide improved systems and methods for enriching a knowledge base for search queries. The information used to enrich a knowledge base may be learned or inferred from analyzing images and other data sources.

In accordance with some embodiments, object recognition technology is used to annotate images stored in databases or harvested from Internet web pages. The annotations may identify who and/or what is contained in the images.

The disclosed embodiments can learn which annotations are good indicators for facts by aggregating annotations over object entities and facts that are already known to be true. Grouping annotated images by object entity helps identify the top annotations for the object entity.

Top annotations can be selected as attributes for the object entities and relationships can be inferred between the object entities and the attributes.

As used herein, the term “inferring” refers to operations where an entity relationship is inferred from or determined using indirect factors such as image context, known entity relationships, and data stored in a knowledge base to draw an entity relationship conclusion instead of learning the entity-relationship from an explicit statement of the relationship such as in text on an Internet web page.

The inferred relationships may be stored in a knowledge base and subsequently used to assist with or respond to user search queries processed by a search engine.

The patent then tells us about how confidence scores are used, that they calculate confidence scores for annotations assigned to images. Those “confidence scores may reflect the likelihood that an entity identified by an annotation is actually contained in an image.”

If you look back up at the pictures for Legoland above, it may be considered an attribute entity of the Object Entity Carlsbad, because Legoland is located in Carlsbad. The label annotations indicate what the images portray, and infer a relationship between the entities.

Just like an image search for Milan Italy shows a category label for Duomo, a Cathedral located in the City. The Duomo is an attribute entity of the Object Entity of Milan because it is located in Milan Italy.

In those examples, we are inferring from Legoland being included under pictures of Carlsbad that it is an attribute entity of Carlsbad, and that the Duomo is an attribute entity of Milan because it is included in results of a search for Milan.

Milan Duomo Attribute Entity

A search engine may learn from label annotations and because of confidence scores about images because the search engine (or indexing engine thereof) may index:

  • Image annotations
  • Object entities
  • Attribute entities
  • Relationships between object entities and attribute entities
  • Facts learned about object entities

The Illustrations from the patent show us images of a Bear, eating a Fish, to tell us that the Bear is an Object Entity, and the Fish is an Attribute Entity and that Bears eat Fish.

Bear (Object Entity) & Fish (Attribute-Entity)

We are also shown that Bears, as object Entities have other Attribute Entities associated with them, since they will go into the water to hunt fish, and roam around on the grass.

Bears and attribute Entities

Annotations may be detailed and cover objects within photos or images, like the bear eating the fish above. The patent points out a range of entities that might appear in a single image by telling us about a photo from a baseball game:

An annotation may identify an entity contained in an image. An entity may be a person, place, thing, or concept. For example, an image taken at a baseball game may contain entities such as “baseball fan”, “grass”, “baseball player”, “baseball stadium”, etc.

An entity may also be a specific person, place, thing, or concept. For example, the image taken at the baseball game may contain entities such as “Nationals Park” and “Ryan Zimmerman”.

Defining an Object Entity in an Image

The patent provides more insights into what object entities are and how they might be selected:

An object entity may be an entity selected among the entities contained in a plurality of annotated images. Object entities may be used to group images to learn facts about those object entities. In some embodiments, a server may select a plurality of images and assign annotations to those images.

A server may select an object entity based on the entity contained in the greatest number of annotated images as identified by the annotations.

For example, a group of 50 images may be assigned annotations that identify George Washington in 30 of those images. Accordingly, a server may select George Washington as the object entity if 30 out of 50 annotated images is the greatest number for any identified entity.

Confidence scores may also be determined for annotations. Confidence scores are an indication that an entity identified by an annotation is actually contained in an image. It “quantifies a level of confidence in an annotation being accurate.” That confidence score could be calculated by using a template matching algorithm. The annotated image may be compared with a template image.

Defining an Attribute Entity in an Image

An attribute entity may be an entity that is among the entities contained in images that contain the object entity. They are entities other than the object entity.

Annotated images that contain the object entity may be grouped and an attribute entity may be selected based on what entity might be contained in the greatest number of grouped images as identified by the annotations.

So, a group of 30 annotated images containing object entity “George Washington” may also include 20 images that contain “Martha Washington.”

In that case, “Martha Washington,” may be considered an attribute entity

(Of Course, “Martha Washington Could be an object Entity, and “George Washington, appearing in a number of the “Martha Washington” labeled images could be considered the attribute entity.)

Infering Relationships between entities by Analyzing Images

If more than a threshold of images of “Michael Jordon” contains a basketball in his hand, a relationship between “Michael Jordan” and basketball might be made (That Michael Jordan is a basketball player.)

From analyzing images of bears hunting for fish in water, and roaming around on grassy fields, some relationships between bears and fish and water and grass can be made also:

inferences between entities

By analyzing images of Michael Jordan with a basketball in his hand wearing a Chicago Bulls jersey, a search query asking a question such as “What basketball team does Michael Jordan play for?” may be satisfied with the answer “Chicago Bulls”.

To answer a query such as “What team did Michael Jordan play basketball for, Google could perform an image search for “Michael Jordan playing basketball”. Having those images that contain the object entity of interest can allow the images to be analyzed and an answer provided. See the picture at the top of this post, showing Michael Jordan in a Bulls jersey.

Take Aways

This process to collect and annotate images can be done using any images found on the Web, and isn’t limited to images that might be found in places like Wikipedia.

Google can analyze images online in a way that scales on a web-wide basis, and by analyzing images, it may provide insights that a knowledge graph might not, such as to answer the question, “where do Grizzly Bears hunt?” an analysis of photos reveals that they like to hunt near water so that they can eat fish.

The confidence scores in this patent aren’t like the association scores in the other patents about entities that I wrote about, because they are trying to gauge how likely it is that what is in a photo or image is indeed the entity that it might then be labeled with.

The association scores that I wrote about were trying to gauge how likely relationships between entities and attributes might be more likely to be true based upon things such as the reliability and popularity of the sources of that information.

So, Google is trying to learn about real-world objects (entities) by analyzing pictures of those entities (ones that it has confidence in), as an alternative way of learning about the world and the things within it.


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How Ecommerce Brands Can Benefit From A Growing IoT Market

January 26, 2020 No Comments

Given the steady growth of the IoT market, what can ecommerce brands do to take advantage? Let’s take a closer look at the possibilities.

Read more at PPCHero.com
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As SaaS stocks set new records, Atlassian’s earnings show there’s still room to grow

January 25, 2020 No Comments

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.

SaaS stocks had a good run in late 2019. TechCrunch covered their ascent, a recovery from early-year doldrums and a summer slowdown. In 2020 so far, SaaS and cloud stocks have surged to all-time highs. The latest records are only a hair higher than what the same companies saw in July of last year, but they represent a return to form all the same.

Given that public SaaS companies have now managed to crest their prior highs and have been rewarded for doing so with several days of flat trading, you might think that there isn’t much room left for them to rise. Not so, at least according to Atlassian . The well-known software company reported earnings after-hours yesterday and the market quickly pushed its shares up by more than 10%.

Why? It’s worth understanding, because if we know why Atlassian is suddenly worth lots more, we’ll better grok what investors — public and private — are hunting for in SaaS companies and how much more room they may have to rise.


Enterprise – TechCrunch


How to find any journalist’s email for content marketing outreach

January 25, 2020 No Comments

Digital PR is contingent on one thing—contacting the right people. When you’ve determined who the right journalists, editors, and influencers in your niche are, all you need is a way to reach them. Some journalists’ contact information is harder to reach than others. In this article, I’m going to share some of my best hacks for one of the most time-consuming aspects of digital outreach: finding email addresses.

We’ve all been there—after spending a lot of time and effort determining the perfect person to contact—you go to their homepage or author archive and realize their email isn’t listed. 

What do you do? While you could give up and use a generic contact form—or worse, just look for another person to contact, there are some tricks you need to try before throwing in the towel. 

Whether you’re reaching out to a blogger, a journalist at a top-tier publisher, or even a decision-maker at your dream client, here are five of my teams’ best hacks for making sure you’re able to reach the best person for your outreach. 

Hack 1: Use Twitter Advanced Search

Did you know that journalists are the most verified profession on Twitter? 

At Fractl, our outreach team contacts upwards of 100 journalists a day. While some journalists are harder-to-reach than others, many will include their email address on their Twitter bio. 

If their email isn’t hiding in their Twitter bio, there is still another way you can use Twitter to determine their email. 

Rather than outright tweeting at the person and asking for their email, you can see if they’ve already been asked. 

You can use Twitter’s advanced search to find the last time your contact responded to this request.

Search for the terms (at) (dot) in “All these words” under the ‘Words” section

Enter their Twitter handle in “From these accounts” under the “People” section. 

email hack

If, at any time, the journalist shared their email with someone in a Tweet, you will be able to find it this way. 

Hack 2: Determine their company’s email format

Have your reached out to another person at this company or publisher before? If you have, do you notice any patterns about the way the email is formatted? 

Often, company email addresses follow one or two specific formats. For small companies, it’s usually “firstname@organization.com”

For larger, it could like “f.lastname@organization.com” or 

“first.lastname@organization.com” 

Try these common formats and then head over to https://verify-email.org/  to test them out. You don’t have to send an actual email to test it! 

This email verification tool actually connects to the mail server and checks whether the mailbox exists or not.

This free tool will allow you to test 100 emails a month without making you pay. 

For example, when I test domenica.dottavio@frac.tl, the mailbox isn’t verified (because that’s not my email). However, when I just use my first name, the email is mailbox is confirmed. 

Hack 3: Hunter.io

Hunter.io is one of my team’s favorite tools for automating the above process. Like verify-email.org, this tool allows you to find 100 email addresses a month without paying.

It has a handy extension that makes the research even more seamless. 

Once you download the extension, the little orange dog icon will appear in the upper corner of your browser.  

When you’re on the company or publisher page of the person you’re trying to reach, you can hit this extension and type in the name of the person you’re hoping to contact. 

The extension will automatically create the most likely email format based on other emails that are listed with the organization. 

For example, if I was looking for this writer, Hunter.io easily and quickly finds the most common email format for her. 

email hack

Sometimes, the email is verified for you, and other times it’s not. If it’s not, head over to verify-email.org to test it out. 

Hack 4: LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Once upon a time, the hottest Gmail plugin out there was Rapportive. It allowed you to test emails right in your inbox and if they existed, you would see their social profiles. 

Rapportive was acquired by LinkedIn and now exists as “LinkedIn Sales Navigator”. Here’s how you can use it to find emails. 

Once you’ve downloaded the extension for Gmail open up a new draft. 

Type in the email you want to test. If the email isn’t associated with a LinkedIn account, the sidebar will read “Sorry, we couldn’t find a matching LinkedIn profile for this email address.”

If it is an email associated with a LinkedIn Account,  the sidebar will automatically appear with the persons contact information, LinkedIn and other social profiles, and profile picture. 

This tool is especially useful if you have already verified an email address, and want to make sure you’re contacting the correct person. For example, if two people share the same first name and work at the same organization, you may wish to contact one, but in fact have the wrong email. 

Hack 5: Clearbit

Just like the LinkedIn Sales Navigator extension, the Clearbit extension works directly within Gmail.

First you have to download the extension, refresh your Gmail, and follow the instructions to connect Clearbit to your account. After that, you can begin using Clearbit to find email addresses. 

Clearbit is very user friendly. Just click the icon in the upper right hand corner. Once there, search any company name. For example, type in my company, Fractl. What should come up is a list of employees within our organization and their job titles. 

You can see how this tool would be particularly useful for sales and marketing teams seeking to reach out to potential new customers. It allows you to see in one window who the decision makers at the company are.  

If you have the amazing content that’s newsworthy, surprising, and certain to earn lots of positive attention online, you only have one problem— how to conduct digital pr outreach successfully. 

While it can be frustrating trying to find a contact’s email address, I hope these tricks will alleviate some of the stress and legwork that it takes when conducting digital outreach.

Domenica is a Brand Relationship Manager at Fractl. She can be found on Twitter @heydomenica.

The post How to find any journalist’s email for content marketing outreach appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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12 Unique social media marketing methods that work wonders

January 24, 2020 No Comments

It’s a fact. Today, every business needs a strong social media presence. No matter whether you run a small local shop or a multinational company, social media should be an essential part of your marketing strategy. 

Not only a social media platform helps you connect with your target audience, increase awareness about your brand, but it also boosts your leads and sales to a great extent.

Since around 2.96 billion people use social media platforms worldwide, it’s no passing trend. According to Statista.com, by 2021, this number is going to reach 3.09 billionSo, if you’re not using this fantastic tool yet, you’re surely missing out on an incredible marketing opportunity.

Source: Hootsuite

Undoubtedly, social media is one of the ideal platforms to market your business. However, due to increased competition and the rise of social media algorithms, the entire landscape of social media has changed. If you really want to stay ahead of your competition, you need to look for unique social media marketing ideas that can spice up your social media campaigns.

In this post, we will make you familiar with some creative social media marketing ideas. However, before that, let’s have a quick look at some social media statistics that is important for you to know.     

  • 95% of adults (aged between18 to 34) are most likely to follow a brand through social networking. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
  • Around 63% of customers expect businesses to offer customer support via social media channels. (Source: Smart Insights)
  • 42% of the world’s population has an account on one or more social media platforms. (Source: Statista)

Tips to boost your social media marketing strategy

1. Layout your goals

Having a solid marketing goal is essential for every business. However, if you don’t know what you want to achieve, how are you supposed to attain it? 

Before you jumpstart your social media marketing, make clear goals and objectives that will align with your marketing efforts. It is advisable to write down your goal. A study reveals you’re more likely to be successful if you write your goals.

To layout your goals, you can:

  • Use number (such as reach 10,000 Facebook followers)
  • Set a deadline
  • Make your goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based (SMART)    

2. Learn about your audience

To create a successful social media strategy, you must have adequate knowledge of your audience. You should be able to know their needs, wants, and desires. Below are a few tactics that can help you better understand your audience.

  • Survey your audience to know their pain points better
  • Take a look at their demographics
  • Participate in conversations on forums used by your target audience
  • Respond to comments on your social media channels.
  • Get feedback

When you exactly know who your target audience is, you can better help them.

3. Produce diversified content for different social media platforms

For most businesses, it is easy to post pictures to Instagram and short tweets to Twitter. However, on most social media platforms, you can display different kinds of content, including video, photos, infographics, blog posts, and more. It is essential because if you keep producing the same content time and again, it may bore your audience, and that can keep you from reaching your goals. By providing diversified content, you also determine the best content types for your target audience.         

Social media marketing stats

Source: SmartInsights

4. Don’t ignore video content

Video marketing is one of those social media marketing trends that has been continuously growing. In 2018, 85% of all internet users in the United States watched online video content monthly on different devices. It shows that video is an excellent medium to promote your business.

There is no doubt about it that millions of hours of video content watched every year on different social media platforms. However, your videos must be watched by the right people. After all, there is no use in a video going viral if viewers do not belong to your market. 

Try to target the right people so that they can take the actions you want them to take after watching your videos. For the same, you must define your target audience before planning your marketing strategies. Some of the tools you can use to identify your audience include Google Analytics – Audience Tab, Keyword Planner, Facebook Business Page Insights.

Narrow down your audience based on their gender, interests, age, occupation, knowledge level, or location. Also, create a quality video with tools like Magisto that precisely explains your product or services and answers most of the queries of your audience and prospects. 

Don’t forget, high production values, smart use of keywords, and timing of your videos matter a lot in the success of your video marketing. Also, track your results from time to time and customize your tactics based on those results. 

5. Try sharing user-generated content from your fans and followers

When you share user-generated content on your social media profiles, it gives your followers a fresh perspective on your brand and helps you build stronger relationships. 

Even a survey reveals that people trust content from an average person more than they do from businesses.

You may ask your buyers to share their experiences with your products and services so that you can use that content on your social media profiles. 

For example, if you run a furniture store, you can ask your buyers to share the picture of how they position your furniture at their homes. After that, you can share those pictures within your social profiles with the profile link of the buyers to give other prospects an idea about how they can use your products. It will surely boost the interest of other potential buyers in your brand.      

6. Give education

No matter what your goals are, you must provide education about your products or services to your customers. Providing education is one of the best ways to build relationships with your target audience. When you give your audience practical advice or valuable information, they look to you as an authority and become your loyal customers. Social media is a great platform where you can educate your followers about your business without any hindrance. As per your convenience, you may provide educational resources such as blog posts, white papers, webinars, and more. 

7. Less promotion and more storytelling

When you take an educational approach, you do more teaching than selling. Storytelling is also educational in nature. Nevertheless, the power of storytelling lies not in teaching people things they weren’t aware of, but in showcasing relevant characters and situations evoking emotional responses. These responses stimulate action more effectively than the content involves self-promotion on social media.

8. Try influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is an ideal way to promote your products via social media platforms. When you collaborate with an influential person not only it boosts brand awareness but also builds trust. Perhaps this is the reason, around 2/3 of retailers in North America use some form of influencer marketing.

Source: MediaKix

Always choose a social media influencers whose vision matches with your own. Below are a few tips for selecting the perfect influencer for your brand.

  • Examine the engagement metrics and other insights of your potential influencer
  • Take out some time to invest in social listening so that you can find an influencer who is relevant to your business
  • Take a look at their skills. Since influencer marketing is more than just likes, communication, and engagement, an influencer must have some technical knowledge. It will be a bonus if your potential influencer is skilled in graphic design, crisis management, and other practical experience. 

9. Make use of VPN (Virtual Private Network)

If you think VPN is a tool to hide your IP address only, you’re mistaken. VPN is not just a security tool that ensures your privacy on a public network; it’s much more than that. 

Most new businesses are not aware that a VPN can help them understand their competition. From launching marketing campaigns to monitoring PPC adverts to evaluating search engine rankings, there are plenty of places where VPN is helpful. 

Since in this post, we’re discussing social media platforms, let’s find out how can VPN help you with YouTube advertising.Using VPN helps social media marketing

Source: Statista

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that YouTube is the most popular video platform of the time. According to Alexa, YouTube is the 2nd most popular search engine worldwide, behind Google. There are numerous benefits to advertising on YouTube. One of the most significant advantages is that it provides a broader reach to your business.

If you have an audience in different regions, states, or countries, you will need to know what works best in that particular region. Well, VPN can help you with this situation. Using a VPN, you can get your location to the region or area your target audience is. Thus you learn about your audience – their issues and needs. Based on that information, you can understand your customer’s persona, what they are looking for, and create marketing strategies accordingly.

Nowadays, several VPN providers available in the market, but not all are equals in terms of quality and customer support. It is advisable to look for the best VPN only. Read reviews of different providers before making your final decision.     

10. Take advantage of the enthusiasm of loyal customers

Your loyal customers have the potential to become brand advocates. They can boost awareness of your brand by providing social proof that helps prospects to build trust in your business much more quickly.

Social media is a great tool to motivate your loyal customers to become brand advocates. Below are a few tips that you can put into practice.

  • Ask your followers for reviews on social networks such as Facebook and Google
  • Take interview of your satisfied customers and share their stories on Facebook and Instagram
  • Support the submission of positive user-generated content and use them in your different social media campaigns.
  • Hold contests and give discounts. It would motivate people to spread the word about your business on different social media platforms.

11. Increase humanization

We all respond strongly to people in comparison to robots. By humanizing your brand on social media platforms, you can boost your marketing strategy. Perhaps, you interact with your followers by responding to your comments and user-generated content. However, it is not enough. To stay ahead of your competition, you must highlight your team members and their stories, and connect each of your social media marketing efforts back to your unique brand story.

Try to infuse humor in your posts. However, it does not mean you can go with anything. Keep a balance of fun and information. 

12. Use of chatbots for social media marketing

Over the years, chatbots have come a long way. Today’s bots are more smart and useful. They are capable of providing initial customer service, automating a function, and boosting user experience. 

Even people have started liking bots. A survey conducted by HubSpot concluded that 47% of respondents were open to buying products using a chatbot. It would not be wrong to say that chatbots have become more widespread on social media.

You can synchronize your chatbot with multiple platforms. For example, you can offer a chatbot on your Facebook Messenger, and it can also be used through Twitter direct messages. It will ensure a consistent experience across your social media profiles. 

Chatbots can be used to start conversations, encourage sales, answer questions, and offer individual customer support. 

Final thoughts

Social media has turned into an essential part of the marketing strategy for any business. And why not? It is a great way to reach a wide audience, demonstrate your expertise, show your authenticity, encourage engagement, and offer responsive and quick support. 

Although social media marketing takes a lot of hard work, its benefits are difficult to ignore. If you’re not taking it seriously, you will miss out on leads, customers, and ultimately sales.

Don’t forget, social media platforms are created for conversing with others. You won’t see the desired results until you don’t make your audience a top priority. Moreover, each social media platform is different, so you must know what kind of content works best on them. We hope the methods mentioned above will help you take your social media marketing to the next level. 

The post 12 Unique social media marketing methods that work wonders appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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