How Can I Use Instagram to Drive Website Traffic?

How Can I Use Instagram to Drive Website Traffic?

 

All the cool kids use Instagram.

Instagram is a social media networking app that allows you to share content in the form of photos and videos. In recent years, the mobile photography craze has made Instagram highly successful, with the platform reaching 1 billion active monthly users in June.

Number of Instagram users in millions

And to the mystery business-owner reading my blog: If you don’t even have a business Insta yet, you’re seriously missing out!

With a smart strategy in place, social media platforms can assist you in building a dedicated following, strengthening your brand, and, YES, driving tons of new traffic to your website! Take a look at my 4 proven ways to use Instagram to drive website traffic.

1. Create the perfect bio + include Call to Action

Who are you and what do you do for your audience? This is the question your bio should answer. Your words should be powerful and compelling. The goal is to attract your audience and what your brand is and how it your product or service benefits them.

One of my favorite business bios belongs to Airbnb:

 

Their bio quickly explains their services in a playful way, and the brand encourages audience participation by inviting followers to share their photos.

Most importantly, there is a Call to Action. “Book from our feed: abnb.co/instagram” links visitors to their website to take the next step. You’ll definitely want to link your website to your bio, because this particular social platform prevents links in photo captions from being clickable.

2. Be consistent

“How often should I be posting to my Instagram?” It’s such a common question, but there is no right or wrong answer. As long as you’re being consistent, you’re doing it right. Don’t post ten times on Monday, zero Tuesday and Wednesday, once on Thursday, and then nothing for a week! Find your balance. Don’t flood your followers’ news feeds. Space your content out without falling off the map. Having a consistent presence builds trust and keeps your brand fresh in your followers’ minds.

3. Incorporate hashtags and location tags

Posts with at least one hashtag attain 12.6% more engagement, while posts with a location tag gain 79% more engagement. On the flip side, overuse of hashtags and use of irrelevant hashtags are subject to penalties. Nine hashtags is a solid number to use. Make sure your hashtags are relevant to your brand, and don’t use the same hashtags for every post.

4. Share useful content

At first glance, Instagram is a place for pretty pictures, but let’s not forget how important compelling content is for every component of your digital strategy. Showcase your products and services. If you’re a boutique owner, give your audience styling tips based around your clothing and accessories. Or let’s say you’re a chef. Share pictures of your beautiful meals and direct visitors to your website for recipes.

The best thing you can do on Instagram is provide value to your followers so that they’ll be compelled to visit your website. What makes your business stand out?

instagram

If you’re looking for more Instagram marketing tips, our experts can help you strategically grow your account. Contact us today so that we can produce the results that you need to drastically increase your website traffic.

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5 Step Guide to Video Production

5 Step Guide to Video Production

Is your business is curious about how to make a YouTube video? How many times have you seen a competitor on Facebook Video and thought “we should have done that“?

2016 saw the rise of video content marketing to promote or market brands, products, or services. With each passing year, video marketing integrated deeper into a digital strategy for content marketers until it became a must-have for businesses. 

Video marketing relies on creating and distributing valuable and consistent video content to your target audience to attract, engage, and connect qualified leads. 

54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support. On top of that, researchers say that by 2022, 82% of global internet traffic will come from video streaming and downloads.

All of this is great seeing as 88% of video marketers are satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing.

Video content gives a booster shot to your search engine optimization, as well as creating engaging content for your clients to interact with on social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook, or in an email blast. Wherever your target audience can be found!

The production process and how you get the message of your brand across is what matters, and in this blog post, we’ll guide you through each step on how to make a video and give you tips and tricks to rev up your video marketing campaigns.

Here’s your 5 Step Guide to Video Production!

First point: Conception.

Conception happens when you decide you want to include video marketing into your business strategy. This is the stage where you figure out your target audience and campaign goals. These set the foundation of every successful marketing campaign, and as such are needed in video marketing. A campaign with no foundation will gain no elevation.

After that, it’s time to figure out how exactly you want to build upon that foundation with a wide variety of types of videos to choose from!

From Company Commercials & Trailers, Client Testimonials, Employee Spotlights, Demos, How-To videos with your products, or even videos that showcase the culture of the company.

 

Video Marketing is only limited by your imagination.

 

Just don’t hurt yourself in the process

Next, ask yourself whether you’ll do it in house, or if you’ll hire out. If you want to produce videos internally, you’ll need to research the equipment and editing programs necessary to produce the content. There are cameras, mics, and lighting set up for any budget. However, you get the quality you pay for, so be mindful of that! 

Do you have the staff power and capability to do so? Do you have the time to manage every step of the process? Creating video content can be a time-consuming ordeal, so be sure you’re prepared to take it on!

If you want to hire out, do your research on the agencies, freelancers, and production companies in your area (like us, for instance). Reach out and meet with companies that you feel would capture your video marketing the best. Once you seal the deal, it’s time to start pre-production.

Second point: Pre-Production

..or as I like to call it “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.” So you have the goals in place, now it’s time to film!

In reality, it’s time to plan the production. It’s not as simple as “have an idea, now Lights. Camera. Action!” Pre-production is VITAL to the success of your campaign.

There is a method to the video marketing madness. You have the foundation, but you need the skeleton of the video. 

We’re talking the:

Who is going to be in it
What equipment, permits, props, scripts, etc you need
Where is it going to be filmed
When is it going to be filmed

and finally

How is it going to be filmed

 

A script is developed either internally or externally in conjunction with the goals, target audience, and company branding. As the script is created and edited, a storyboard is worked on to help focus the director’s vision.

A storyboard is a frame by frame shot list attached with the script so the director, cameraman, and post-production know exactly what goes where and when that frame happens. Not everyone will use a storyboard – but it does help with shoots that have multiple locations and angles. 

Speaking of locations, this is where filming logistics will need to happen if they did not already happen before pre-production. 

If you’re filming outside, have you checked the weather for the week and set up rain delays?
If you’re filming in a city or residential area, do you have the right permits to avoid fines? What location scouting has been done? 
Who will be in the video – employees of the company or paid actors? Have they been contacted ahead of time and worked into the filming schedule? 

There is a lot of planning that must happen with each production – so to help out, we’ve created a downloadable file for you to use! It’s a guide and checklist for each part of pre-production to help keep yourself organized.

The Third Point: Filming.

The purpose of pre-production is to make Filming easier. It’s the day of the shoot, and everyone is prepared. Fantastic!

Film multiple takes to have more to work with and give yourself more than enough time to film. Even the best-trained actors stumble, and equipment problems can pop up.

 

Make sure to film the right thing

When filming, try to grab B-roll footage, which is supplemental or alternative footage inter-cut with the main shot. It’s the footage that shows what a person is talking about, shots of the location area, maybe interaction between two people.

B-Roll footage blends in with the video to create a cohesive story that is visually appealing outside of the main footage. Integrate B-roll footage into your pre-production planning.

 

Fourth Point: Post Production 

Post Production is where all the editing magic of visual and sound effects happen. If filming was organized and efficient, then post-production will be smoother. All the footage captured is edited to the script and storyboards.

Any planned voice-overs are captured, and if needed, a sound editor works on adding music and sound mixing; making sure to obtain a high-quality sound mix to go along with the high-quality visuals an audience is seeing. 

Visual effects, like utilizing a green screen, color correction or other video graphics, are added and managed. When selecting the visual effects to add to your video, keep in mind your company brand image. What colors and fonts do you have set for your brand, and what sort of visual styles does your company present? 

 

Imagine the Instagram pictures from Middle Earth

With post-production, you’ll be given a lot of footage that needs to be cleaned up and trimmed down to the desired length.

If you’re working with an agency, once the first edit is done, it’s sent to you for revisions and suggested edits. You may want to add more or trim some lines. Maybe the colors are off or you don’t like transitions in some places. 

This is where you need to remind yourself of the Target Audience, Campaign Goals, and most importantly your Brand. Does this video represent your brand well? If not send it back with notes for the editors! Be specific with timestamps!

 

The Final Fifth Point: Launch the video!

Once you’re happy with the video, it’s time to release it. 

Will you host it on your website, or released on platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook? It could be a part of your marketing campaign or internal training videos. The choice is up to you!

Where the video is going and who it’s for was determined back in step 1. Be specific with where you release and promote your video. Focus on the copy and keywords to take advantage of SEO. It doesn’t hurt to review the video one more time before you click upload for any textual typos or edits that escaped the post-production team.

Once you’re happy with it, then let the world know all about it!

Here at HighClick Media, we follow each of these steps in our video marketing process. We have our target audience and campaign goals that we keep in mind with each of the videos we produce. For our brand, we create videos to help educate our community and clients on digital marketing, and we sneak in some company culture here and there.

We work as a team in each step of the process to produce content we’re proud of, while at the same time pushing ourselves to improve the product, our skills, and capabilities. We saw video marketing as where we want to be, and together we’re elevating HighClick to new heights!

Video branding and online video are taking the entire digital marketing frontier like a storm, and it’s time for your company to jump in before it’s blown away.

If you’re interested in how video marketing can help your business, give HighClick Media a call! Together we’ll elevate your brand to new heights.

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5 Tips to Strengthen Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

5 Tips to Strenghten Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

t’s no secret that social media marketing has been playing a vital role for businesses of all sizes over the years.

Whether you’ve established a big company or recently opened a startup, goals and objectives are necessary to continue to grow your social media marketing strategy.

Creating a solid online presence across various social media outlets is an effective way to reach your target audience, engage with them in the best way, and reduce marketing costs.

Maybe you’ve already created a few social profiles to showcase your brand. However, what truly matters is what additional strategies you choose to attract your potential customers in hopes that they’ll spread awareness on their online network.

To help you out, we’re sharing 5 social media strategies that you can practice to improve your presence and achieve your goals!

1) Produce multimedia-based content

Interactive videos and attention-grabbing pictures are more likely to get shared and liked than written content alone. Think about what you’d be drawn to as you aimlessly scroll through your news feed.

2) Customized posting for individual platforms

Every social platform will have its own unique set of users. By customizing your posts for each outlet, you’re showing dedication towards your customer base no matter where they’re choosing to follow your brand. Different strokes for different folks!

3) Engaging campaigns or contests

Campaigns and contests which promise rewards for the winners are always helpful if you’re looking to expand your customer base and appeal to a larger number of people. I mean, who doesn’t love a good freebie?

4) Set up your brand

Take pride in your social media appearance! Creating a complete profile that includes a bio and a logo for your company on all your social profiles creates a well-functioning brand identity for your company. This increases credibility and gives you a consistent online identity.

5) Respond promptly

If you want to create a loyal user base, it is so important that you take their comments and messages seriously. Your customers and potential customers are looking to you for solutions, so be ready to provide them with one in a timely manner.

Using the suggested tips above and applying your creativity to your campaign strategy will get you ready to brighten up your business! If you’re not sure where to start, or social media just isn’t your thing, hit us up! We live, sleep, and breathe all things social!

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Why You Should Audit Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Why You Should Audit Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Why You Should Audit Your Digital Marketing Strategy

In online marketing, we all want to be the most outstanding. We all want to show up first in a Google search. You want your business to be the best, right?

Well, friends, you gotta work for it. And don’t think you’re off the hook once you reach a high ranking. An equal amount of work is required to maintain that position. Staying ahead of the game is crucial, and upgrading your skills and implementing updated plans and strategies accordingly is a must.

To implement your marketing strategy, you need to begin by auditing your current digital marketing strategy. You should do this regularly. It helps you find out what adjustments will enable you to retain your lead.

“Why Should I Audit?”

There are many reasons to conduct your digital marketing strategy audit. We’ve listed a few below:

  • Traffic: Your website traffic is shaky or decreasing.
  • Sales: You are not meeting your sales goals.
  • Budget: You would like your sales to increase without increasing your budget.
  • Social: Your social following is mediocre.
  • Website: You are having some technical issues and your site is not living up to its potential.

If these issues resonate with you, it’s time to perform a Digital Marketing Audit to determine how to fix them.

“What Should I Audit?”

A Digital Marketing Audit has a wide range of components. Let’s take a look at a few of our favorites:

  • SEO Strategy: SEO (search engine optimization) helps you to improve your ranking in search engines and drive traffic to your site.
  • Social Media Marketing: Social sites help consumers learn about product/brand reputation. The way we shop is changing. Americans are increasingly depending on social media ratings/reviews/comments to determine whether or not they’re interested in a product.
  • Content Marketing: Quality content is king, but simply generating the content is not enough. Quality content deserves to be spread so it can reach the audience it was written for.

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, we’re right beside you. Feel free to reach out!

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Social Media Engagement and Your Awkward Teen Years

Social Media Engagement and Your Awkward Teen Years

 

Remember those painfully awkward teenage years? You know what I’m talking about. Ungraceful dates, weird physical changes, general mortification, and above all, simply stumbling around just trying to find your way? Social Media Engagement is kind of like that. Every business utilizes social media platforms (and if you don’t, what are you doing?), but only the cool kids have actual engagement. 

Now, all cringe-worthy teenage memories aside, any good digital marketer understands the importance of social media engagement. Social media is an opportunity to flaunt your brand and culture to the world! Not only that, but social media is a space for consumers to converse and engage with your brand.

How do you go from the social media engagement virgin to the social media engagement babe?

Before you acquire the engagement you’re so #thirsty for, you need to know what it actually means. You see, having a social media business page is great, but (and this is a big but), social media is most effective when you reach out and interact. This interaction can occur between your brand and your followers, potential customers, and even other brands! This interaction comes in many shapes and sizes; page visits, likes, comments, shares, reactions, saves, etc. More interaction = more organic attention! Furthermore, you are building a community based around your brand and content. How dope is that? Forget the lame social media campaigns and keep reading to learn how to enhance your social media engagement!

Post Frequently

Practice makes perfect! So, like an overeager adolescent who just got their permit and a key to mom’s car, practice often! If you post quality content on a consistent basis, your followers have more chances to interact with said posts and engage with your brand on a consistent basis. The more you practice, the more you’ll learn about your audience. What do they like and dislike? What do they engage with most? If you look closely, you’ll discover certain audience trends based on what and when you post. Commit to your social media engagement success with the determination of a dateless cheerleader a week before prom, and dedicate time to creating quality content!

Entertain

Social media engagement is not a Netflix & chill session with your friend with benefits. It’s actually the total opposite! I’m talking luxurious five-star dinner reservation with your high school sweetheart and his dad’s Visa. Your audience isn’t looking for some lackluster experience that’ll be easily forgotten; They want to feel special, so entertain them! Create original and creative content specifically for your audience. That’s right, social media engagement is all about your followers. Tailor your posts to your audiences’ preferences. Soon you’ll start to see your target audience enjoying and interacting with your posts. Spoil your audience with entertaining content that they want to see.

Ask for It

Remember when that brainy freshman in high school started dating the homecoming queen and everyone was all like, “Wait, what? How?!” Chances are that happened because said freshman had the guts to ask the homecoming queen out (and maybe he had the leverage of becoming a future doctor or lawyer, but that’s beside the point). I want you to be that gawky freshman with the hot, popular significant other, and that’s totally achievable! You just have to ask the right questions at the right times. Basically, I want you to be bold. I want you to be fearless! Don’t hesitate to ask your followers to like, comment, and share. You’d be amazed how people act when they are encouraged to do so.

Photos and Videos

Words can only get you so far. Those late-night texts to your crush from Algebra class might generate immediate attention, but your behavior and personality will keep the attention coming. When it comes to social media engagement, think of photos and videos as the “behavior and personality” of the post. Consumers aren’t always going to notice your words, but they will notice your photos and videos. Put your best foot forward and ensure that your photos and videos are clear and relevant. They don’t have to be perfect, but do your best to make them as visually appealing and on-brand as possible. You don’t have to be a designer to create beautiful content. There are several resources you can utilize to add a little flair to your work! A few of my go-to’s are WordSwag, Clips, and Huji.

Ultimately, I want you to be the kid at the lunch table with something to brag about. Don’t you? Hopefully, the above tips will get you on the right track to popularizing your social media engagement and help your audience join your brand’s conversation! Do you have any social media engagement tips to add? Share them in the comments!

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Make Your Holiday Marketing Stand Out

Make Your Holiday Marketing Stand Out

 

So, we’re seven days deep in November, but most stores have had Christmas decor and a Holiday Marketing plan in place since before Halloween! If you’re one of the ones grumbling about “premature Christmas decorating” or rolling your eyes at the sight of twinkling lights, glitter, and PURE CHRISTMAS JOY- First of all, shame on you. It’s never too early to get into the Holiday spirit! Secondly, keep reading.

In the wild world of retail, the Holiday season doesn’t wait until after Thanksgiving to kick off. In fact, it starts way earlier.

You see, Holiday marketing is really no different than everyday marketing. Your brand should not exist to sell a product. Your brand should exist to solve your customers’ problems. 

People don’t care about your business. They care about their problems. Be the solution that they’re looking for.

Consumers start Christmas shopping as soon as Fall hits- some even sooner! So to make the most out of your Holiday marketing, you need to be ready way before Black Friday rolls around.

So, do you know what it takes to get your Holiday marketing plan working in time to capitalize on the Holiday rush? I’m going to discuss how to approach your target audience and craft campaigns that show them that your brand has the solution to their problems!

Understand your audience

Like any marketing campaign, the key to a successful Holiday marketing plan is knowing what you have to offer to the audience you’re selling to. And I’m not talking about the products you’re trying to sell. I’m talking about the thing that makes your brand the most desirable: value proposition.

Are your products or services more cost-effective than your competitors’? Higher quality? Do you offer more options? Is your brand socially aware? More consistent?

An effective value proposition will:

  • Be brief and easy to understand
  • Tell others what you do
  • Allow your brand to be easily found in an online search
  • Explain how your product solves customers’ problems
  • Answer the question: “As your target customer, why should I give my business to you instead of your competitors?”

Specific value propositions attract specific consumers, so understanding what your value proposition is will help you identify your target audience.

In digital marketing, the competition is only a click, swipe, or tap away, so it’s vital that you pitch your brand to the right people in the right ways. Understanding who your value proposition attracts and why will give you the confidence to create a compelling Holiday marketing plan that consumers can’t resist.

Win them over

While knowing your unique value proposition is beneficial, Holiday marketing is an intense game, and standing out from the competition is typically more difficult during the most wonderful time of the year.

Whether it’s your needy Aunt Nancy or a stressed-out salesman, the appetite for your attention during the holidays is insatiable. And while it’s nice to be wanted, it gets exhausting.

For your brand to stand out in the midst of the madness, customers attention has to be earned, not demanded.

If you can give customers a campaign they actually enjoy, you can break through the Holiday marketing fatigue and create an experience that customers love. Try not to frustrate or overwhelm them. Create content that will warm their heart or make them laugh or smile. They’ll be grateful to your brand for evoking positive emotions and be more eager to buy from you.

Send a message that perfectly fits the needs of your target audience, and gives them an experience that will make their lives easier.

Think ahead. Build brand loyalty

In the holiday rush, it’s hard to think ahead. The nature of the season can easily attract first-time customers, which is great, no doubt, but the goal is to keep ’em coming back in the first quarter of the new year.

To build your base during the season, strive to make sure customers have a smooth experience. Often times, a spike in store traffic can also mean a spike in technical issues or customer confusion. Backtrack to last year and take note of any issues that can be solved ahead of time this year. Create a customer service plan specifically for the Christmas season.

When you take care of your customers, you’re building brand loyalty.

Another way to keep customers loyal is to invite them to connect with your website, email list, and social media channels. Post a balanced mix of engaging, entertaining, and informative content throughout the season and once the season ends. To put things simply, withstand the urge to ONLY promote in November and December. Your customers want a relationship with your brand all year long.

So, next time you walk into a store that is decked out in all things Christmas, don’t roll your eyes. Use it as a reminder that it’s time to get your butt in gear, and get to work on your Holiday marketing plan!

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Social Media Marketing New Year’s Resolutions

Social Media Marketing New Year's Resolutions

 

If you’re anything like me, you probably just reached the point of writing 2018 without having to second guess yourself. The year is coming to an end faster than you can say Social Media Marketing, and it’s time to contemplate the techniques you can use to make 2019 a success!

Social Media platforms are constantly changing. With regular updates, brand-new features, and viral trends, adapting to the newness is vital for SMM success.

If you play your cards right, 2019 could be your most successful year online. Staying relevant requires proactively searching for fresh ways to strengthen your online presence. Here are some resolutions you can apply to start.

More Video Marketing

Check out this 2016 Forbes articleVideo Is the Future Of Media on the Web. If you don’t feel like reading it right now, let me sum it up for you. They were right. 

Implementing video marketing in your social media strategy is a sure-fire way to garner more quality leads, but in 2019 consumers are seeking more casual, “real” videos. Think less scripted and more behind the scenes. Authenticity is your golden ticket to connecting with your audience on a personal level.

More Engagement

I’ve talked before about the importance of a consistent presence on social media. Engaging with your audience is just as important. If your audience is having a conversation that revolves around your brand, why wouldn’t you join in?

The more you engage with your customers, the more likely they are to discuss their positive shopping experiences with their friends. Word of mouth marketing = FREE MARKETING. It’s not necessarily a method to solely rely on, but it’s nice to have.

Did you engage with your audience this year? If not, there’s no better time to refresh your strategy.

Consider Outsourcing

A social media presence is no longer optional for businesses who wish to be successful, and most business owners don’t realize the amount of work involved in developing and implementing a social media strategy.

Social Media Marketing requires hours of time invested in tracking your brand, crafting responses, dedicating yourself to your brand persona, creating content, and, of course, socializing.

Final Thoughts

Social Media Marketing New Year’s Resolutions – Final Thoughts

2018 is old news, but that doesn’t mean your SMM strategy has to be!

With a little TLC, and maybe a dash of magic from Greenville NC’s best digital marketing agency, 2019 can be filled with phenomenal success and elevated results!

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Social Media Optimization Step by Step

Social Media Optimization Step by Step

 

Social media optimization (SMO) is the process of increasing social media engagement, driving traffic to your website, and boosting conversions via various social media platforms.

Social Media Optimization – how does it work?

Just like any form of digital marketing, a successful SMO strategy involves measurable goal-setting followed by making the necessary adjustments to increase follower engagement and conversions. This process includes crafting branded content that solves your target audience’s problems, engaging with other brands and/or followers, and utilizing social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to drive traffic to your website.

Who is SMO right for?

Short answer? Everyone! 

Whether you run a B2B (business-to-business), a B2C (business-to-consumer), or a nonprofit, a successful SMO strategy will generate quality leads that convert!

Any reputable business will possess an established online presence on not only their website but across relevant social media profiles as well.

How to Optimize Social Media

1. Develop a Social Media Style Guide

 

Brands with the highest Social Media success possess a collection of guidelines to determine how their brand should appear on social media. If you already have an overall style guide for your brand, you can easily pull from that!

If you do not have a style guide, here are some tips to help you get started.

  • Write your company’s mission statement.
  • Clearly define your brand persona.
  • Pinpoint your key style guide components: voice, tone, color palette, design components, and logo usage.

2. Conduct a Competitive Analysis

A thorough competitor analysis will highlight the strengths and weaknesses of your direct competition. Dig deep into their social media marketing data, and you’ll see what is and isn’t working for them, how you can use this to your advantage, and where you can fill in the empty gaps.

Here are a couple of tips for analyzing your business’s competitors.

  • Identify your top 3-5 competitors by researching brands and businesses that offer products and services comparable to yours, and locate their presence on all social media networks.
  • Review your competitors’ social media posts, content quality, number of followers, engagement, likes, and shares to identify the most compelling content based on your target audience.

3. Define Social Media Site goals based on competitive analysis

A strong competitive analysis should have given deep insights into competitor strategies and audiences. Use these insights to determine which competitor audiences are most relevant to your brand, and identify what your brand can do to effectively compete for your competitor’s target market’s business. From this point, establish a list of SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) goals to work towards.

 

4. Perform Hashtag Research

Adding hashtags to your social sharing is a great way to elevate your brand awareness.

Hashtag research should reveal the most popular hashtags used based on your industry, and engaging with the right hashtags lets your target audience know that you’re passionate about what they’re passionate about.

 

It goes without saying that your hashtags should be relevant to your brand. Another thing to remember is this – for a hashtag strategy that works, your focus hashtags should not be too broad. For example, HighClick Media is a marketing agency, but I would never use ‘marketing’ as a hashtag. Why? Because it’s too broad.

In fact, I just searched #marketing on Instagram, and 25.3 million posts are utilizing that hashtag. But when I look at the top #marketing posts, they’re all over the place. From a video of a personal trainer doing reps to a quote about being yourself to a random lady modeling a new jacket, none of these posts are relevant to my brand. Alternatively, upon searching #SocialMediaOptimization, less than 10,000 posts are utilizing this hashtag, and nearly every top post is completely relevant.

5. Optimize your Social Profiles

Make sure that your business name on social media is exactly what users would search for if they were already aware of your physical business. Leave the nicknames or shortened names to your personal profile. Your business profile needs to be consistent with your existing brand. Take the time to review the remainder of your business information to make sure it’s filled out correctly and completely.

Review your social media images to determine their relevancy to your brand. Your profile image should always be your logo – no exception. Your cover image has a little more flexibility. I’ve seen high-quality business cover images ranging anywhere from a staff group photo to an abstract pattern. The key is to ensure that the cover image aligns with your style guide for consistency and brand recognition.

6. Share quality content with your followers

Your target audience is looking for content that meets their needs and solves their problems. When you give the people what they want, they begin to trust your brand. Use your competitive research for content inspiration!

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What problems would my target audience still face after consuming content from my competition?
  • What expertise can I offer my target audience that my competitor can’t?
  • What resources can I offer to my target audience that my competitors haven’t?

7. Extend your brand reach beyond your existing audience

 

Target new audiences with qualities similar to your existing audiences. Most social media platforms do not limit your promotion options to your immediate following. For example, on Facebook, you can choose to target your immediate audience and their friends, and it doesn’t stop there. You can also target users by location, gender, age, occupation, interests, and the list goes on and on!

To Sum It All Up

Your main goal regarding SMO should be to increase conversions by driving social media users to your platform(s), and ultimately, your website. This is done by building your social following, increasing their interest in your brand via quality content and engagement, raising awareness by nurturing your current audience and reaching beyond them to touch other potential followers, and analyzing your results to do it even better the next round!

To learn how HighClick can elevate your social media marketing, schedule a free consultation with one of our experts. We’d love to help you grow your business by becoming your outsourced team for all things Social Media Optimization!

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How to Use Instagram for Small Business Growth

How to Use Instagram for Small Business Growth

 

Instagram has come a long way – that’s the social media app Millennials use to share mega-filtered photos of fancy plates of food and vacation selfies, right? It’s this stigma of these curated lifestyle images associated with this social media platform that, just a few years ago, created a whole new job: the Instagram Influencer.

But, Instagram is so much more than that – 71% of all U.S. businesses use Instagram for business purposes. And nearly 1.4 billion people use Instagram every month, giving businesses a big opportunity to connect with potential customers. If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Should I use Instagram for my small business?”, the answer is YES! Keep reading to learn how to get started with Instagram marketing.

How to Use Instagram for Small Business

1. Set Up an Instagram Business Account

Before you do anything, you’ll need to set up an Instagram account. It’s important that your account is a business account, not a personal one. A business account gives you in-depth insight into how many potential customers are viewing and interacting with your Instagram posts. If you already have a personal account associated with your business or brand, you can easily switch to a business account without starting from scratch. If you don’t know how to set up an Instagram Business Account, follow these simple steps to get set up.

2. Brand Your Instagram Account

Once your account is set up, you’ll need to add a profile picture. We recommend using your logo for this, as it increases brand awareness – just keep in mind that the Instagram icon is round, so take that into consideration when creating the image file.

For your Instagram bio, you’ll want to add some information about your brand and a link to your website. Your Instagram bio shouldn’t be too wordy – a sentence or two is plenty! Here are some small business Instagram tips on creating an effective Instagram bio:

  • Use your brand persona: Convey the personality you want your business to be associated with. Are you casual, professional, or something else? Communicate in a way that makes the most sense for your business.
  • Branded hashtags are a good idea: Instagram hashtags in your bio are clickable, allowing you to show off the content that you want Instagram users to see.
  • Use line breaksAppropriate spacing and line breaks make your bio easier to digest and understand.

3. Create an Instagram Marketing Strategy

Identify Your Target Audience

If you want your small business to be successful on Instagram, the content you share should be relevant to your audience. You probably already have an idea of who you want to reach, but consumers today want to feel felt. Consumers want to buy from brands that really know them. Here are some pointers to help you define your small business audience:

  • Determine who already does business with you.
  • If you have other social media marketing channels, look into the analytics to see who’s following you there.
  • Keep an eye on your competitors. Research the audience that’s following them and what their interactions look like.

Set Small Business Goals for Your Instagram Strategy

When it comes to digital marketing, it’s important to have a purpose for every move you make. Setting goals will keep your small business Instagram strategy on track so that you don’t lose focus when it comes to your efforts. If you’re fairly new to marketing your small business on Instagram, your goals might be based on post likes and page follows. This is fine to do, but make sure you also set goals that relate to actual business objectives as well.

Create a Regular Posting Schedule and Commit to It

Once you’ve created your Instagram and gained a following, your Instagram followers expect to hear from you. A quick way to lose the trust you’ve earned with your audience is to ghost them, so don’t do it! Research the best times to post on Instagram based on your industry and competitors, and stick to it.

4. Share Quality Content that Matters to your Audience

Create a Consistent Visual Theme for Your Brand

Instagram is a highly visual platform, so your content needs to be on-brand and aesthetically memorable. Make a plan for what you want to showcase in your posts. For some small businesses, the content will be a no-brainer: a women’s boutique might showcase its apparel and accessories, while a restaurant might choose to share pictures of its dishes. If you’re a small business that offers services, focus on showcasing customer and client experiences or company culture.

Once you’ve determined the theme of your content, keep your visuals consistent. This includes using a color palette and an overall vibe that sets you apart from your competitors and is easily identifiable as your customers scroll through their Instagram feed. One of my favorite examples of a business Instagram’s visual theme comes from f45:

 

Take Advantage of the Instagram Stories Feature

Approximately 39% of Instagram users surveyed said they became more interested in a small business after seeing their brand on Instagram Stories. Stories content disappears after 24 hours, but if you want to extend the life of your stories, you can use the Instagram Stories Highlights feature.

Write Compelling Captions

Just because Instagram is a predominately visual social media marketing platform doesn’t mean you should neglect your captions. Use your captions to enhance the story that your photo is telling. If you want your followers to feel connected, captions are crucial.

Back To You

That’s the gist of it, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Instagram marketing has so many layers, and the more you learn, the more successful your small business will be with your social media marketing efforts.

If you’re curious to learn more and get started, we’re here to help. Reach out to the Insta enthusiasts at HighClick Media, and we’ll work hand in hand with your small business to design a perfect marketing strategy that will convert!

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5 Step Guide to Video Production

5 Step Guide to Video Production

Is your business is curious about how to make a YouTube video? How many times have you seen a competitor on Facebook Video and thought “we should have done that“?

2016 saw the rise of video content marketing to promote or market brands, products, or services. With each passing year, video marketing integrated deeper into a digital strategy for content marketers until it became a must-have for businesses. 

Video marketing relies on creating and distributing valuable and consistent video content to your target audience to attract, engage, and connect qualified leads. 

54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support. On top of that, researchers say that by 2022, 82% of global internet traffic will come from video streaming and downloads.

All of this is great seeing as 88% of video marketers are satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing.

Video content gives a booster shot to your search engine optimization, as well as creating engaging content for your clients to interact with on social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook, or in an email blast. Wherever your target audience can be found!

The production process and how you get the message of your brand across is what matters, and in this blog post, we’ll guide you through each step on how to make a video and give you tips and tricks to rev up your video marketing campaigns.

Here’s your 5 Step Guide to Video Production!

First point: Conception.

Conception happens when you decide you want to include video marketing into your business strategy. This is the stage where you figure out your target audience and campaign goals. These set the foundation of every successful marketing campaign, and as such are needed in video marketing. A campaign with no foundation will gain no elevation.

After that, it’s time to figure out how exactly you want to build upon that foundation with a wide variety of types of videos to choose from!

From Company Commercials & Trailers, Client Testimonials, Employee Spotlights, Demos, How-To videos with your products, or even videos that showcase the culture of the company.

 

Video Marketing is only limited by your imagination.

Just don’t hurt yourself in the process

Next, ask yourself whether you’ll do it in house, or if you’ll hire out. If you want to produce videos internally, you’ll need to research the equipment and editing programs necessary to produce the content. There are cameras, mics, and lighting set up for any budget. However, you get the quality you pay for, so be mindful of that! 

Do you have the staff power and capability to do so? Do you have the time to manage every step of the process? Creating video content can be a time-consuming ordeal, so be sure you’re prepared to take it on!

If you want to hire out, do your research on the agencies, freelancers, and production companies in your area (like us, for instance). Reach out and meet with companies that you feel would capture your video marketing the best. Once you seal the deal, it’s time to start pre-production.

Second point: Pre-Production

..or as I like to call it “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.” So you have the goals in place, now it’s time to film!

In reality, it’s time to plan the production. It’s not as simple as “have an idea, now Lights. Camera. Action!” Pre-production is VITAL to the success of your campaign.

There is a method to the video marketing madness. You have the foundation, but you need the skeleton of the video. 

We’re talking the:

Who is going to be in it
What equipment, permits, props, scripts, etc you need
Where is it going to be filmed
When is it going to be filmed

and finally

How is it going to be filmed

 

A script is developed either internally or externally in conjunction with the goals, target audience, and company branding. As the script is created and edited, a storyboard is worked on to help focus the director’s vision.

A storyboard is a frame by frame shot list attached with the script so the director, cameraman, and post-production know exactly what goes where and when that frame happens. Not everyone will use a storyboard – but it does help with shoots that have multiple locations and angles. 

Speaking of locations, this is where filming logistics will need to happen if they did not already happen before pre-production. 

If you’re filming outside, have you checked the weather for the week and set up rain delays?
If you’re filming in a city or residential area, do you have the right permits to avoid fines? What location scouting has been done? 
Who will be in the video – employees of the company or paid actors? Have they been contacted ahead of time and worked into the filming schedule? 

There is a lot of planning that must happen with each production – so to help out, we’ve created a downloadable file for you to use! It’s a guide and checklist for each part of pre-production to help keep yourself organized. 

 

 
 

 

The Third Point: Filming.

The purpose of pre-production is to make Filming easier. It’s the day of the shoot, and everyone is prepared. Fantastic!

Film multiple takes to have more to work with and give yourself more than enough time to film. Even the best-trained actors stumble, and equipment problems can pop up.

Make sure to film the right thing

When filming, try to grab B-roll footage, which is supplemental or alternative footage inter-cut with the main shot. It’s the footage that shows what a person is talking about, shots of the location area, maybe interaction between two people.

B-Roll footage blends in with the video to create a cohesive story that is visually appealing outside of the main footage. Integrate B-roll footage into your pre-production planning.

 

Fourth Point: Post Production 

Post Production is where all the editing magic of visual and sound effects happen. If filming was organized and efficient, then post-production will be smoother. All the footage captured is edited to the script and storyboards.

Any planned voice-overs are captured, and if needed, a sound editor works on adding music and sound mixing; making sure to obtain a high-quality sound mix to go along with the high-quality visuals an audience is seeing. 

Visual effects, like utilizing a green screen, color correction or other video graphics, are added and managed. When selecting the visual effects to add to your video, keep in mind your company brand image. What colors and fonts do you have set for your brand, and what sort of visual styles does your company present? 

Imagine the Instagram pictures from Middle Earth

With post-production, you’ll be given a lot of footage that needs to be cleaned up and trimmed down to the desired length.

If you’re working with an agency, once the first edit is done, it’s sent to you for revisions and suggested edits. You may want to add more or trim some lines. Maybe the colors are off or you don’t like transitions in some places. 

This is where you need to remind yourself of the Target Audience, Campaign Goals, and most importantly your Brand. Does this video represent your brand well? If not send it back with notes for the editors! Be specific with timestamps!

 

The Final Fifth Point: Launch the video!

Once you’re happy with the video, it’s time to release it. 

Will you host it on your website, or released on platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook? It could be a part of your marketing campaign or internal training videos. The choice is up to you!

Where the video is going and who it’s for was determined back in step 1. Be specific with where you release and promote your video. Focus on the copy and keywords to take advantage of SEO. It doesn’t hurt to review the video one more time before you click upload for any textual typos or edits that escaped the post-production team.

Once you’re happy with it, then let the world know all about it!

Here at HighClick Media, we follow each of these steps in our video marketing process. We have our target audience and campaign goals that we keep in mind with each of the videos we produce. For our brand, we create videos to help educate our community and clients on digital marketing, and we sneak in some company culture here and there.

We work as a team in each step of the process to produce content we’re proud of, while at the same time pushing ourselves to improve the product, our skills, and capabilities. We saw video marketing as where we want to be, and together we’re elevating HighClick to new heights!

Video branding and online video are taking the entire digital marketing frontier like a storm, and it’s time for your company to jump in before it’s blown away.

If you’re interested in how video marketing can help your business, give HighClick Media a call! Together we’ll elevate your brand to new heights

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