textbroker.com https://www.textbroker.com Thu, 21 Sep 2017 18:52:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 Content Strategy on Social Media: 10 Tips for Success on Twitter https://www.textbroker.com/content-strategy-twitter https://www.textbroker.com/content-strategy-twitter#respond Thu, 21 Sep 2017 18:52:16 +0000 https://www.textbroker.com/?p=5797 Content strategy on social media: Twitter – rapid information from all over the world   The micro-blogging service Twitter was founded in San Francisco in 2006. This short message service ...

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Content strategy on social media: Twitter – rapid information from all over the world

 

The micro-blogging service Twitter was founded in San Francisco in 2006. This short message service now only has serious competition in China where the Chinese mainly use their domestic product Sina Weibo because the state regularly blocks Twitter. In the second quarter of 2017, this micro-blogging platform had 328 million active users worldwide.

User contributions (tweets) are publicly visible via search engines provided that users do not classify them as protected. The latter is not recommended for companies because it strongly limits the marketing options available on Twitter.

 

Twitter – first steps

Twitter registration is fast and uncomplicated. Look for a memorable profile photo and a matching background image. You have 160 characters available for your profile description: State your thematic focus and introduce yourself.

The most important characteristic of Twitter is the brevity of its contributions. You can only use a maximum of 140 characters, including spaces. This forced brevity has encouraged users to be creative with abbreviations. For instance, NBC’s Sunday Night Football uses an abbreviated hashtag of #SNF to save characters.

Hashtags are important for communicating on Twitter, as they bring topics together. If a user wants some information about Mallorca as a vacation destination, for example, he or she searches the short news service using #Mallorca or #Malle. There, the user will encounter a wide range of accounts– travel agencies, travel bloggers and private individuals – who have commented about vacations in the Balearic Islands.

Twitter has different facets: Tweets can be informative, but many are also funny. You can link to your tweets and integrate photos or short videos. Photos are an addition – so you can write 140 characters and then add one or more photos. In addition, Twitter offers a survey function.

 

Twitter as a social network

Versatile possibilities for dialogue make Twitter a social network where connections can be one-sided. If a user subscribes to the news of another user, that user does not necessarily follow him or her in return. Thus, companies, celebrities and media with Twitter representation often have far more followers than their own accounts ever follow.

Thanks to the retweet function, news spreads on Twitter in record time. By clicking, users can make a message they have read accessible to their followers. Alternatively, you can add a comment before you retweet, which is called “Quote Tweet.” Journalists use Twitter for their research and discover stories that sometimes find their way into classic media.

In addition to retweeting, you can also reply to tweets. This response is public, but it appears only on the timeline of users who follow both you and the other account. You can also add tweets with a little heart icon, and thus ‘like’ them – a feature that is familiar to many users of Facebook and Instagram. In addition, there is an option to have a private exchange via direct message, which others cannot read.

Twitter’s timeline has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that every user sees all the tweets on the accounts he or she follows. Compared to Facebook, there is no weight according to meaning and interests unless the user chooses an appropriate setting. However, if a user follows many accounts, it quickly starts to get confusing. The timeline then runs so fast that the information flood is difficult to manage. That’s why some users create lists with an individual group of users on different topics and tend to look there for the latest news. These lists can be created publicly or privately. Another way to clean up the timeline is to “mute” accounts. You might not want to upset a follower by unfollowing them, but you  will still avoid receiving those 50 tweets per day.

 

Companies on Twitter

Analyze your audiences and goals before you start on Twitter. What content is your target group interested in? Establishing goals and target groups will help you formulate your content strategy and develop an editorial plan.

Your name, profile, photo and background image should all be appealing and consistent with your corporate design and mirror your presence on other social media platforms. As a company, your profile description must also include your official imprint.

In addition to organic tweets, you can buy paid advertising (known as sponsored posts), especially during your build-up phase. These will appear in user timelines as advertising tweets marked “sponsored.” Then, you can create your call-to-action and guide customers to your website or a custom landing page.

Even if you are not actively involved on Twitter, you should still include it in your social media monitoring. It is precisely because of the enormous speed at which information spreads that you will want to constantly monitor your mentions to avoid a PR nightmare.

Our 10 tips for Twitter success

  1. Listen carefully and read. In doing so, you will develop a feeling for when people tweet as well as what topics people chat about on Twitter.
  1. Personalize your social media networks. Even if your blog software can post to Twitter automatically, refrain from doing so. Most users will recognize automatic tweets and will be critical.
  1. Thoroughly analyze the terms your followers use to look for your topics and adjust your hashtags accordingly. Achieve reach by occasionally using popular and well-known hashtags. You can inform this approach by looking at Twitter trends where the current most-used terms are displayed. Use hashtags in a targeted fashion, but sparingly.
  1. Write in an entertaining, informative, and genuine style, and use your posts for storytelling. The text should be error-free and include correct links.
  1. As you know, a picture is worth more than a thousand words and grabs attention. You should occasionally attach photos, videos or infographics to your tweets.
  1. If you are addressing another account in your tweet, your account name should not be at the beginning. Otherwise only those users who follow you both will see the tweet in their timeline.
  1. Grow organically, even if it takes longer. You will receive tempting deals to buy followers for a few dollars, but these followers are passive and won’t take an interest. Prioritize quality rather than quantity: Having fewer followers, but the right ones, will gain you more in marketing terms.
  1. Twitter is a short news service – and a social network. If your followers like your tweets, and if the content is interesting, they will retweet them. This increases your connection with the community. Thank them for their retweets, especially if they add comments and recommendations. Participate in Twitter rituals such as Follow Friday where Twitter users recommend other users with the abbreviation #FF.
  1. If someone on Twitter sends you a tweet or a direct message, you should reply promptly. Twitter is a fast medium! Don’t automatically send direct messages to new followers!
  1. Use Twitter for competitions, challenges and prize draws. Create a new, distinctive hashtag for such activities. Encourage your followers to create their own tweets using this hashtag. This increases your reach and gives you a variety of user-generated content.

 

Conclusion

Always work with relevant and appealing content and keep up regular monitoring. Twitter Analytics offers a wide range of information about how your tweets reached your target audience, which you can use for monitoring purposes.

Tips for your content strategy on Facebook can be found here, and our Instagram tips can be found here.

 


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Author Spotlight – mcwalker4 https://www.textbroker.com/author-spotlight-6 https://www.textbroker.com/author-spotlight-6#respond Wed, 20 Sep 2017 19:04:52 +0000 https://www.textbroker.com/?p=5789 Hello Authors!   We’re delighted to feature another author for our series of Author Spotlight blogs. We love recognizing our authors, and today’s featured author, mcwalker4, is a hardworking writer ...

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Hello Authors!

 

We’re delighted to feature another author for our series of Author Spotlight blogs. We love recognizing our authors, and today’s featured author, mcwalker4, is a hardworking writer who’s built great relationships and written quality content on Textbroker since signing up.

 

As always, we’re on the lookout for more authors to feature, so keep up the hard work!

 

Author Spotlight #6: Get to know mcwalker4.

 

Tell us a bit about yourself. (hobbies, interests, etc.)

 

My hobbies include crocheting, reading, and baking. I also spend a lot of free time going to my kids’ football games and marching band performances.

 

How did you hear about Textbroker, and how long have you been a Textbroker author?

 

I just marked my seventh year as an author for Textbroker. I heard about Textbroker through word-of-mouth from friends who also work from home.

 

What is your favorite book or blog? Why?

 

My favorite book is “The Story of An African Farm” by South African feminist writer Olive Schreiner. It is not only interesting and entertaining to read but also offers one of the more compelling arguments about women’s value in society aside from being a wife and mother.

 

What piece of advice would you give to a new Textbroker author?

 

Realize that you are not alone as a Textbroker author. It is easy to assume that you are on your own and that you must figure out things like formatting challenges or grammar questions on your own. You actually have fantastic resources like the author’s forum and Textbroker University available to you.  Use those writing resources and interact with your fellow writers in the forum. You’ll find yourself at ease and eager to write in no time.

 

In your opinion, how does an author get the most out of his or her Textbroker experience?

 

Join writing teams, and do not be afraid to write about topics with which you are not familiar. Use these unfamiliar topics as an opportunity to research and learn. You will gain value and knowledge as a writer and become more lucrative to direct order clients.

 

What piece of advice would you give to an author looking to improve their rating/increase their earnings?

Always proofread.  It is so easy to miss simple mistakes that can impact your rating.  Take those few extra minutes when you finish an article to proofread, correct mistakes, and eliminate fluff before you submit an order.

 

You wake up to a zombie apocalypse. What do you do?

 

I’d like to say I’d be a brave fighter and rush out to join the battle.  In reality, I’d probably be the first one speeding down the highway to get the heck out of Dodge.  I’d probably end up shooting myself in the foot if I had to aim and fire at a zombie’s head.

 

We’d like to give a special thank you to mcwalker4 for taking part in this month’s Author Spotlight. Stay tuned for upcoming interviews with exemplary authors! If you have questions you’d like us to include in next month’s Spotlight, send them to authors@textbroker.com.

 

If you’d like to know more about effectively building your author profile, feel free to check out our blog on sharing your talents!

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5 Steps to Create a Marketing Machine for Your Website https://www.textbroker.com/creating-marketing-machine https://www.textbroker.com/creating-marketing-machine#respond Mon, 11 Sep 2017 19:34:31 +0000 https://www.textbroker.com/?p=5774 What if… Content marketing wasn’t a hassle. It was seamless. It was efficient. It was set up optimally and well-structured. And all you had to do was follow a few ...

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What if…

Content marketing wasn’t a hassle. It was seamless. It was efficient. It was set up optimally and well-structured. And all you had to do was follow a few simple steps. And everything would run like a well-oiled machine.

How much more productive would that make you?

Better yet…

How much more impact would that have on your business?

You’d be able to grow by leaps and bounds – wouldn’t you?

Agreed.

So let’s make it happen!

 

In this post, you’ll learn my 5-step process for creating a remarkable marketing machine for your website.

 

Step 1: Generate Content Ideas

 

It all starts with coming up with awesome content ideas.

Unfortunately…

This is a step A LOT of people get wrong. You see, instead of taking the time to generate content ideas, most newbies jump right in. And then they wonder why they run out of steam just a few days later.

If you’re going to win, you have to buckle down and get serious.

Fortunately…

It’s actually not that difficult.

You want to brainstorm at least 20-30 blog post ideas before you proceed to the next step.

I know coming up with good content ideas can be difficult. But it doesn’t have to be.

Here are some tips to make things easier:

 

  • Use James Altucher’s “10 ideas a day” strategy – James is well-known for his writings on the idea muscle. According to James (and from personal experience), the more ideas you write down, the stronger your idea muscle grows. Do this religiously for about six months and you’ll be able to generate all types of ideas during the moments you need them the most. It works like a charm. Each day, set aside 15 minutes and brainstorm 10 new blog post ideas. They don’t have to be good. Just ideas. Don’t judge. Before you know it, you’ll start coming up with really good ideas… without trying.
  • Google is your friend – During your idea generation phase, you’re going to be relying a lot on Google. From checking out lists of blog post ideas to seeing what others are writing about in your niche, make sure to do your research.
  • Analyze your competitors – Figure out what types of content generate the greatest number of shares and comments. Each industry is different. Depending on your niche, you’ll soon come to recognize that certain types of posts generate far more buzz than others. Find these types of posts. And make note of them. You’re going to want to create something similar.

 

Step 2 – Decide on Your Publishing Schedule

 

Once you have a healthy list of 20-30 blog post ideas, you need to keep the momentum going. And establish an easy-to-follow publishing schedule.

There are a couple of questions you should ask yourself during this step:

  • How frequently can you publish content on your blog?
  • How much effort do you plan on exerting for each piece of content?

Once you’ve got clear-cut answers for the above, you should be able to create a pretty straightforward and easy-to-follow publishing schedule.

While doing so, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t stretch yourself too thin… especially not right off the bat.

A lot of people try to take on too much.

Don’t become the person who sets out to write every single day… but fails miserably.

It’s better to post once a week than post zero times a week.

Pick a schedule. We all have to start somewhere.

A good reference point is that you should be publishing fresh, original content to your blog at least once a week. If you’re unsure about your publishing schedule, start with once a week. Then you can adapt and make changes as you progress.

 

Step 3 – Slot Ideas Into Your Content Calendar

 

Here comes the fun part.

So you’ve got your content ideas and your publishing schedule down on paper – now it’s time to draw up your content calendar.

Why take the time to create a content calendar?

Here’s why:

 

  • Having a content calendar makes things a lot easier – Creating fresh content for our blogs is a must-do. But it’s always a challenge. The reason is that most of us never take the time to plan things out. If you have a content calendar, you can know beforehand what the month entails. Having a plan makes things a lot easier. And you actually get things done.

 

  • It’s a good tracking system – At the end of each month, you can compare actual results with what you intended to accomplish on your content calendar. This is a great way to ensure you’re staying on task and focusing on the things that matter.

 

  • It inspires strategic thinking – There’s something about sitting down and creating a content calendar. It inspires strategic thinking. You’ll begin to develop a sixth sense for when you should publish what. And that’ll allow you to take your business to new levels.

 

Now that you know the importance of creating a content calendar – here are some tips to make sure the process is as seamless and efficient as possible:

 

  • Organize and slot your posts into your calendar effectively – You don’t want a bunch of list posts grouped together or a bunch of how-to guides grouped together. You want variety. Ensure that there’s a good mix between all the different types of posts on your site.

 

  • Play around with the size of the posts – Every post doesn’t have to be a monster 6,000-word article. Sometimes it’s okay to write just a 1,000-word post. Or a 500-word post. Play around with the length of your post. Mix things up.

 

  • Use common sense – Some posts we create are better than others. Be wise and choose the places you insert these with great care.

 

With that said, go ahead and fill up your content calendar with your post ideas. You can either do this the old-fashioned way – using a simple calendar – or you can use various tools such as Edit Flow, CoSchedule, or a plain spreadsheet.

Every option is fine.

Just pick the one that works best for you.

 

Step 4: Get High-Quality Content Created

 

Creating content can be a hassle.

Creating HIGH-quality content can cause massive headaches.

But things don’t have to be as difficult as they initially appear.

In fact, if you do it right, you can create a pretty well-oiled machine that spits out high-quality content whenever you need it.

Here are some tips to scale your content production using these types of resources:

 

i) Create a new project for each website

If you want to be efficient, you have to set things up.

It starts with creating a new project for each website.

Having multiple websites grouped together is only begging for trouble and unnecessary stress – plus, it’ll waste a bunch of your time. So make sure you set things up correctly from the jump.

 

ii) Grow your team of good writers

The quality of your content ultimately depends on the skill level of your writers.

Obvious – right?

As obvious as it may be, you need to make growing your team of good writers a very strong priority. The failure to do so will only generate sub-par returns. You don’t want that – do you?

Thought so.

Here’s the process I follow:

I begin by creating 5 to 10 article orders at any given time.

Why so many?

Well, I do so for a few reasons. But the main reason is that I’m looking to see which writers have experience and can follow my instructions.

Once I’ve found writers meeting my requirements, I’ll invite them to write more.

Then whenever I require content, I’ll simply reach out to my vetted team of top-notch writers and I know they’ll deliver a great job.

 

iii) Be specific and detailed with your content briefs

Getting good content depends just as much on you as it does on the writer. And so, if you fail to create a detailed and comprehensive content brief, you’ll only receive sub-par content back.

This is one step where you absolutely do not want to give in to laziness.

What you’ll include in your content brief will vary and depend on your unique needs and viewpoints. But here are some general items to include:

 

  • Type of Content – will you be needing blog posts, reviews, how-to’s, etc…?
  • Purpose of Content – defining the purpose of the content will give your writers a greater degree of knowledge they can employ while writing your article. An article with the purpose of providing information compared to an article with the purpose to sell is entirely different. Set a clear purpose.
  • Target Audience – who is your target audience? What are they like? Provide basic and even in-depth information about your target audience. Ideally, you want to have some type of customer avatar.
  • Voice – do you want the writer to use 1st person or 3rd person? Set clear expectations up front to avoid frustrations down the line.
  • Style/Tone – positive, neutral, enthusiastic. There are numerous tones and styles to choose from.
  • List Your Formatting Requirements
  • Include Resources the Writer May Find Helpful
  • Provide Any Additional Guidelines You Deem Worthy to Include

 

iv) Ask for revisions until you’re happy

Rarely do you ask a writer to create a piece of content and it comes out looking perfect on the first attempt.

If that happens, that’s great!

Consider yourself one of the lucky ones. And hold onto your writer.

But if that doesn’t happen for you, don’t worry.

That’s what revisions are for – don’t hesitate to reach out and ask the writer to revise the content. Here are some things you can ask them to revise:

 

  1. Add or remove points – great pieces of content are hard-hitting and connect with the reader on a deep level. With that said, make sure to add any points that will strengthen your post. On the other hand, make sure to remove any points that lessen the “blow” of your article.
  2. Use facts – nothing validates your arguments and stance on any given topic more than facts. Google around and you’ll surely find facts that back up your statements. Use them. It’ll make your content a hundred times better.
  3. Improve the flow – flow is one of the most important things to get right. You could write the most helpful article on the planet, but if you don’t make it easy to read, people won’t read it. Make sure your flow is easy on the eyes.
  4. Correct grammar and spelling errors – this sounds useless, but it’s very important you get it right. The reason? Well, nothing destroys credibility more than errors. If you’re not good at spotting errors, get someone to review your content. A second opinion will surely help you out a ton.

 

Step 5 – Publish and Promote

 

The hard work is done.

Your content has gone from being just an idea to a high-quality article.

Now it’s time to publish the article to your website. Make sure to include proper formatting and insert images to spice things up.

Once done, make sure to share your post on your social media channels.

If you have an email list, let your subscribers know as well.

 

Conclusion

Well, there you have it!

Investing in good-quality content is becoming more and more important these days, and it’s proven to be worthwhile. Discover how it can boost your marketing efforts.

 

What’s your favorite way to outsource content creation? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comment section.

 

 

 

Author Bio

Tung Tran has over 6 years of experience building and growing high-traffic websites through SEO and content marketing. He’s currently blogging at CloudLiving.com to share the lessons he learned along the way and help other people to achieve the same success.

image designed in part by Designed by Freepik


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Useful Tips for Successful Landing Page Content https://www.textbroker.com/landing-page-content https://www.textbroker.com/landing-page-content#respond Wed, 06 Sep 2017 18:24:16 +0000 https://www.textbroker.com/?p=5710 Landing pages offer almost unlimited opportunities to advertise and distribute information, and they can strongly influence customer decisions.   In this blog, we won’t address how users navigate to your ...

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Landing pages offer almost unlimited opportunities to advertise and distribute information, and they can strongly influence customer decisions.

 

In this blog, we won’t address how users navigate to your landing page (e.g. via an organic search, search engine advertising, or social media.) Instead, we’ll focus on the content your visitors see when they arrive.

 

Why Should You Consider Using a Landing Page?

Landing pages provide access to information or products sought by a specific target group. The content they provide serves to produce or strengthen user interest in a particular offer. Users should be given access to the requisite information or products with minimal effort.

Users visit a landing page because:

– They want to receive information.

– They wish to buy products.

– They would like to request a product or service offer.

– They want to register for a community, service, event, etc.

A landing page operator is primarily concerned with identifying contacts, gaining leads, and selling products and services.

 

Communicate Value with Headlines and Text

Landing pages should project an aura of exclusivity – the reader should be provided with quality content that cannot be gained anywhere else. This starts off with your headline. If this is unconvincing, it’s likely that many readers will exit the page immediately. Don’t use the headline to promote your company or its services. Instead, clearly inform the reader how he or she will benefit from your landing page. What content would he or she expect to solve a specific problem? The headline itself can be supplemented and supported by a smaller subheading.

The primary purpose of landing page content is to satisfy user needs. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes – their direct feedback, praise (and even complaints) show you what people want. Visit forums and networks where your target audience is active – this will give you important clues about their concerns. Create solutions and feature them on your landing pages. If possible, use the same language as your target group because this helps create common ground.

Solving problems for your readers is an effective way to promote your products and services. However, it’s essential that the benefits are clearly communicated. For example, if you sell kitchen mixers, you will obviously detail the features of these appliances. But rather than making vague claims, provide a comprehensive description of the delicious meals that can be prepared with your mixers and how easy they are to operate. With machines or applications, videos or infographics can be very effective to illustrate a product’s benefits.

If you can provide evidence of the quality of your offer in an objective and credible way, this alone can be enough to encourage a customer to purchase. After all, customers only get to your landing page because they are looking for a solution.

 

SEO and Call-to-action

Because many users reach a landing page after researching and using their own initiative, SEO also has an important role to play. We have already published several articles on the topic of search engine optimization that can be used as initial guides.

All the work you put into your landing page will be in vain if your users don’t receive a clear prompt to respond. This call-to-action should appear at least once on the page as an eye-catching button. How you lead the reader to this button will mostly depend on what you offer. Ultimately, the content on your entire page should be aimed at encouraging your visitor to accept your offer.

 

Social Evidence – The Testimonial Is One of Your Biggest Assets

Social proof consists of credible positive reviews written by people who have already used an offer or product, often called testimonials. Such testimonials are an essential building block for successful landing pages. It’s important to place emphasis on credible examples; evaluations that are obviously fake will not impress your consumers.

Make sure you don’t use excessive or ecstatic customer reviews. It’s better to rely on appraisals that communicate well without superlatives and that give other customers a clear idea of the benefits they can expect.

 

Layout and Design

Even good content won’t be effective if your landing page is not designed to look fresh and aesthetically pleasing. Many readers may lose their enthusiasm. Keep in mind that your layout must appeal to your specific target group.

It’s advisable to use the same visual style as the ads or articles that brought users to your page. This allows those who have shown interest to continue reading seamlessly without having to reorient themselves.

Summarize all the information in meaningful paragraphs. This reduces the reading effort by avoiding endless text blocks that don’t give the eyes a chance to rest.

Images and infographics can visually enhance the flow of your text as well as provide further explanation and a more vivid and appealing context. When supported by appropriate captions and descriptive text, they can also boost the SEO ranking of your page.

 

Examples of Successful Landing Pages

Oli Gardner, co-founder of Unbounce, offers free courses on Conversion by Landing Page via his own short, but crisply designed page.

Source: http://do.thelandingpagecourse.com/

The page header is convincing because it’s supported by a large illustration and clear statements in the main headline and subheading. A call-to-action follows, together with an explanation of what the course covers and who it’s suitable for. Some brief information about the author and a testimonial round off the page. The layout sections being slightly offset help to skillfully guide the eyes.

 

Data Dwell offers solutions for digital asset management. A demo version of Data-Dwell software can be ordered on the landing page.

Data Dwell

Here, too, the call-to- action is very prominent. In addition to core product features, some credible and impressive references are introduced right away. Then, the advantages of the software are explained using concise text and graphics. The prominent text “Don’t take our word for it” boldly draws attention to the testimonial text.

 

Conclusion

Create your landing page with a focus on one central theme. Take time to find a concise headline which includes everything that makes your offer special. List all the important features and benefits your product or service provides. Place your call-to-action where it’s clearly visible so prospective customers will notice it immediately.
 


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Successful Influencer Marketing: Working Together With Your Influencers https://www.textbroker.com/influencer-marketing-pt3 https://www.textbroker.com/influencer-marketing-pt3#respond Wed, 23 Aug 2017 17:36:25 +0000 https://www.textbroker.com/?p=5659   Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris gives an insight into the world of extreme sports on Red Bull’s Snapchat account. YouTuber Mrs Bella chats to guests about make-up tips on the ...

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Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris gives an insight into the world of extreme sports on Red Bull’s Snapchat account. YouTuber Mrs Bella chats to guests about make-up tips on the Maybelline show. And several influencers introduce a new small car, the Kia Rio, on Instagram.

 

Influencer marketing is now a well-established marketing technique with major brands. But if you’re prepared to take stock of the possibilities and unique features this form of advertising offers, influencer marketing can be equally successful beyond the world of glamorous products and million-dollar budgets. Having considered choosing the right influencers and how to approach them earlier in our series, this last part is all about what makes a successful brand partnership with these opinion leaders.

 

The Concept

 

Before discussing the matter with your influencer, you should think carefully about the exact details of your proposed partnership. Remember that opinion leaders are very often asked to collaborate with companies and other agencies, so any fruitful agreement will have to make an offer on fair terms and should be equally rewarding for both parties.

 

The Goal of Your Collaboration

 

Whether it involves publicizing a new product or accessing a younger target audience, you should specify exactly what results you want to achieve during the collaboration. For example, if you wanted to use influencer marketing to extend your reach, the key indicators might be:

 

  • Number of users reached
  • Number of mentions on the social web
  • Volume of backlinks to your company website
  • Number of video views
  • Number of Likes, Shares and Comments
  • Number of photos or tweets under a certain hashtag

 

What an Influencer Can Do for You

 

An influencer’s activities should support the distribution of your content and the promotion of your products. The number of activities in which you agree to collaborate with the influencer will be determined by your defined objectives. However, you should remain open to suggestions and create an atmosphere of creative cooperation in which the influencer feels free to contribute some input. You should also decide whether your collaboration is just for a single campaign or will be part of a larger, long-term project. Possible influencer activities could, for example, include:

 

  • The creation of a certain amount of content within a given time period and its publication on certain channels at agreed intervals
  • The mention of a product / company / or a particular hashtag over a given period
  • The posting of a specific number of photos featuring a product
  • The publishing of a certain number of blog articles about a product, or about product tests, within a given time period
  • Curating company content containing a link to the company website
  • The moderation of a certain number of webinars / expert panels
  • Participation in Twitter chats over a certain period, etc.

 

How Should You Compensate an Influencer?

 

The extent of reach an influencer generates does, of course, have a quantifiable value. What you should offer will depend on the precise details of the partnership and on other factors such as the publicity value of your influencer.

 

Hopperhq recently released the 2017 list of how much celebrity influencers get paid per post, with Selena Gomez topping the list at $550,000 per post. And with Instagram, the Influencerdb tool can be used to give an indication of the value per post. Among other things, this calculated media value is based on the number of followers and interactions.

Sample of MediaValue per post by Instagrammer magic_fox, Source: Influencerdb.net

 

 

If you’re dealing with a smaller marketing budget, the good news is it doesn’t always have to be a hard-cash value. For instance, you could create individual deals that propose a simple exchange of services.

 

In return for influencer marketing, you could, for example, offer:

 

  • Free product use
  • Giveaways for the influencer’s community (e.g. free trials of software)
  • Invitations to exclusive events (e.g. expert panels, product presentations, fashion shows)
  • Distribution of the influencer’s books via your online shop
  • Promoting your influencer’s content via your newsletter, etc.
  • Support for an influencer’s other marketing activities via an author portrait in your blog, etc.

 

Suitable Content for an Influencer Partnership

 

Influencers will want to constantly inspire their users with great content. Therefore, the precise type of content you propose to use will be an important factor in any successful influencer partnership. The following aspects will need careful consideration:

 

Brand Match

 

Ensuring a good brand match is part of the essential preliminary work involved in choosing your influencers. Both the influencer and his content should fit the image the company wants to convey and positively contribute to its identified goals.

 

Authenticity

 

In the context of the partnership, whether an influencer creates his own content or shares company-generated content, it’s important that it be authentic content that his or her followers will trust. That’s the only way to guarantee that the combined efforts of the company and its influencer will appear credible and convincing.

 

If company content is shared during the partnership, it’s important that the influencer finds it convincing. In order to be successful, you need to ask yourself:

 

Is the image, the video or the article relevant to the topic?

Will the community find the content interesting?

Is the content too promotional?

 

Creativity

 

Influencers know their users best. When designing your content, rather than specifying every last detail, you should leave room for some flexibility. “Precise rules for blogs or Instagram posts don’t really work. Instead, companies should provide enough room for influencers to combine their ideas with the campaign objectives in their own way,” said Miriam Rupp of Mashup Communications. To help your influencers create thematically appropriate content, you should provide them with plenty of background information.

 

The more high-quality emotional content that influencer marketing contains, the better it usually works. For instance, it’s especially important to address the users emotionally on visually driven networks such as Instagram. The Saxon Tourism Association used Instagram to promote Saxony as a tourist destination. They engaged three international influencers to post some appealing, professional photographs under the hashtag #simplysaxony. The photographs were a great success and gained around 90,000 Likes.

Sample photo from the Saxon Tourism Association campaign on Instagram

 

In addition, content supporting a good cause can also be spread very successfully by influencers. The Boxed Water company worked with three Instagramers, sending them photos to distribute to get the word out about their campaign alliance with the National Forest Foundation. Two trees were planted for every user post containing the hashtag #retree. Within four weeks, more than 2,600 user photos had been sent using that hashtag.

Instagram user post with the hashtag #retree

 

Transparency

 

Exactly how influencer-marketing content should be identified is a rather controversial issue. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission has issued letters to influencers that warn them to “clearly and conspicuously disclose” when a post has been sponsored.

 

Bloggers generally insist on an obligatory label for paid articles. In the case of videos, the wording “Supported by product placement” has been adopted. On Instagram, it’s advised to use hashtags such as #ad, #sp, or #sponsored.

 

To avoid upsetting users, and to stay on the safe side legally, partnerships with influencers should be transparent. Tools such as Commandpost provide technically and legally sound solutions for different social media channels.

Sample, Promo-Disclosure on Twitter by Commandpost

 

Conclusion

 

In regards to the concept and content of influencer-marketing, there is a lot to consider. A partnership with an influencer should be based on mutual benefits with the aim of building a long-term relationship. However, few collaborations work perfectly from the start, and most will need a little time to get up to speed. Making influencer marketing pay off for you may be a matter of conducting an evaluation of your own situation and adjusting your strategy if necessary.  A helpful template for assessing influencer activities can be found here.

 


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Hyphens, En Dashes and Em Dashes — There is a Difference https://www.textbroker.com/hyphens https://www.textbroker.com/hyphens#respond Tue, 22 Aug 2017 17:56:36 +0000 https://www.textbroker.com/?p=5654 Much like their distant cousins, the colon and semicolon, dashes can be intimidating even to writers who have a good grasp of grammar. Primarily, they act as connectors of words ...

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Much like their distant cousins, the colon and semicolon, dashes can be intimidating even to writers who have a good grasp of grammar. Primarily, they act as connectors of words and phrases within a sentence.

The hyphen, en dash and em dash are different lengths, and only the hyphen can be found on your computer keyboard, right next to the zero. The other two are slightly wider and require fancy keystrokes on your PC, like Ctrl+Num Lock – to get the en dash and Alt+Ctrl+Num Lock – for the em dash, both using the numerical keypad.

Before we get into usage, here’s how each one looks: ­­­

Hyphen: ‐

En Dash: –

Em Dash: —

 

The Hyphen

The smallest of the three symbols, it’s arguably the toughest to master, but at its simplest, the hyphen is most often used to connect compound adjectives — two words modifying the same word — in front of a noun.

For example:

  • Last weekend, I spent an afternoon babysitting my 3-year-old niece.
  • The magazine only uses high-quality photos in its pages.

When compound adjectives follow the noun, the hyphen is not used.

  • Last weekend, I spent an afternoon babysitting my niece, who is 3 years old.
  • The magazine uses photos that are high quality.

Sometimes, you’ll come across suspended compound adjectives where one or more of the words that modify are separated.

  • We are looking for a four- or five-bedroom house.

Other places you’ll find a hyphen are in prefixes such as mid- and ex- or when it’s used to break up syllables in a pronunciation guide.

You’ll find more info about hyphens here.

 

The En Dash

It’s entirely possible you’ve never heard of this particular dash. Often, it’s substituted with a hyphen, but in traditional typography, the en dash is slightly wider than the hyphen. Its purpose is to connect ranges.

  • The theater is going to begin its 2017–2018 season with a Neil Simon play.
  • The rainy months in this climate are July–September.

It is also used between times (10 a.m.–2 p.m.), directions (east–west) and sports scores (15–27).

There is an exception if you are using “from” with “to” and “between” with “and.” Do not use an en dash in that case.

  • They organized all the files, from A to Z.
  • My high school years lasted between 2001 and 2005.

 

Read more about the en dash here.

 

The Em Dash

The biggest of the three, the em dash can be overused in part because — much like a small child — it often interrupts the flow of a sentence (See? That aside was accurate yet unnecessary). The em dash can take the place of a pair of commas or parentheses to set off nonessential information, or like a colon, it can appear between two related phrases.

  • We visited the big tourist spots in New York City — such as Times Square and the Empire State Building — and had a great time.
  • After putting peanut butter on the bread, he realized a hard truth — he was out of jelly.

In AP style, always put a space before and after an em dash. Because an em dash is so dramatic, it should be limited to no more than two instances per sentence. The em dash shouldn’t be used in very many sentences in an article, or it loses its intensity.

 

Find out more about the em dash here.

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Successful Influencer Marketing: How to Successfully Approach Influencers https://www.textbroker.com/influencer-marketing-part2 https://www.textbroker.com/influencer-marketing-part2#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:37:08 +0000 https://www.textbroker.com/?p=5625 Every dollar that companies invest in Influencer Marketing can return the equivalent of 6.85 US dollars. Surprised? Probably not if this Lord & Taylor example is anything to go by: ...

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Every dollar that companies invest in Influencer Marketing can return the equivalent of 6.85 US dollars. Surprised? Probably not if this Lord & Taylor example is anything to go by: 50 selected Instagrammers each posted a photo that featured them wearing one particular dress sold by a department store chain. By the following weekend, the dress was sold out.

Instagrammers wearing a dress by Lord & Taylor, source: AdWeek

 

If your target group identifies with a particular influencer, there’s a good chance that your company will benefit from a collaboration. But what’s the best way to contact someone you have identified? And how should you go about recruiting them? Having discussed finding and selecting the right influencers in the first part of our series, we will now look at how to network successfully with these influential multipliers.

Don’t be a time-waster

Most potential influencers are quite likely to be inundated with inquiries and offers for collaboration. Unfortunately, it rarely takes PR agencies and companies long to upset an influencer. In the case of bloggers, for example, impersonal cover letters and unprofessional requests are far too common. So naturally, your Mr. or Mrs. Influencer feels no obligation to respond. No one likes to be contacted out of the blue and addressed – often by the incorrect name – about an inappropriate topic area.

Regardless of whether you are seeking an established influencer or are looking to develop someone as a potential influencer, you should put a lot of thought into your approach if you want to be successful. After all, you’re looking to create a genuine win-win situation for both parties.

There is no standard method of approaching influencers. Nevertheless, it’s advisable to have previously established a contact with your chosen person and to take great care to avoid a clumsy approach. If your goal is a long-term collaboration, you should take certain steps in advance to present yourself in a good light with that influencer – and certainly well before making an attempt to get in touch with them.

1. Become part of their community

Follow your prospective contact on as many channels as possible. Become a follower on Twitter and Instagram, ‘like’ them on their Facebook fan page and subscribe to their newsletter. If you already belong to your influencer’s community, this is a good first step to build on.

2. Arouse their interest

Are you following this person? Then you should also start to interact with their material. Retweet their relevant content, like their posts, and comment on their blog articles with meaningful thoughts and additions. You can also provide professional input, perhaps by linking to a thematically relevant tool or to another article on the same topic. Likewise, you can engage in discussions on various channels and contribute interesting ideas. However, be sure to remain neutral and professional, and avoid being too pushy.

Even if you don’t stand out as a major follower, this will give you a chance to attract the influencer’s attention. In addition, the fact that you are already part of their social web community will count in your favor.

3. Making contact

At this stage, you should actively approach your influencer – by phone or email. Naturally, a call is pleasant and personal. However, an email allows you to add links to your products, blog, etc. Plus, this gives your influencer plenty of time to consider any offer you make. This makes contact via email the most common option when reaching out to an influencer.

To obtain an email address, you could try out the EmailHunter.co tool or check the blog’s imprint. Alternatively, you could send the person a contact request via a professional network like LinkedIn that includes a short personal message explaining that you would like to network. If the person confirms your contact, personal data such as an email address is then usually provided.

A multi-stage approach can be useful when making initial contact. If you first collaborate editorially, perhaps by asking them for a quote or a guest article for your blog, this will likely prepare the ground for a longer-term collaboration at a later date.

 

Addressing your influencer via email

Let’s say you have made a cautious attempt to arouse the interest of your influencer – and decided to contact the person via email. You should give careful attention to the following:

 

Tonality

Choose a friendly yet professional tone and make your email as concise and to the point as possible. It’s usually best to avoid sounding as if you’re asking for a favor. Rather, propose a mutually beneficial collaboration.

 

Structuring your email

 

  • Subject: Select a brief subject line that clarifies the purpose of your contact, such as a collaboration on your customer blog or an enquiry about becoming an Instagram brand ambassador.
  • Brief introduction: You should begin by introducing yourself in one sentence, including your name, function or position, and adding a link to your website.
  • How this influencer came to your attention: Everyone likes to feel a little special. Show your influencer you have engaged with their content and appreciate their expertise, perhaps because you are an avid reader of their blog or you follow them on Twitter. You should then explain as clearly as possible why you liked the content so much. Have you heard this person speaking at an event? Then you could discuss some aspects of the lecture that you found particularly interesting.
  • The purpose of your contact: Indicate your actual reason for writing. For example, “We are about to launch a new product and are looking for suitable social media brand ambassadors” or “We are looking for experts who could host a regular webinar with us on Facebook Live.”
  • Creating a win-win situation: State what you can offer. You should make concrete proposals, but make it clear you are also open to other ideas. What would be the benefits of working with you? (e.g. free test products, invitations to events, giveaways for their online community, an author portrait in your blog, etc.) At the same time, you should offer the chance to feature that person’s content across your channels (e.g. social media, customer newsletter).
  • Next steps and deadline

Finally, ask whether the person is interested in your suggestion and explain that you          are looking forward to receiving feedback by a certain date. You could also suggest a    possible opportunity to speak on the phone. It’s important to send a follow-up email, or try a phone call, if you haven’t heard anything after about a week.

 

Sample templates for approaching influencers

There are a number of paid tools that address the entire influencer relationship process and that include customizable templates for targeting influencers for different purposes. For example, Ninja Outreach (from $49 USD per month), BuzzStream (from $24 USD per month), and Pitchbox (from $195 USD per month). There are also free templates that can be found online.

Here is an example of a customizable template from Ninja Outreach:

Template Ninja Outreach

Template Ninja Outreach

 

Below are two templates for emails that clearly illustrate some concrete benefits for the influencer:

Source: http://www.artofemails.com/partnerships

 

Here is a somewhat generalized template that mentions an editorial collaboration:

Venngage Template

Template Venngage, source: https://blog.crazyegg.com/2016/02/04/influencers-that-cant-say-no/

 

Use templates as inspiration

The use of templates is a helpful way to get a feel for an appropriate influencer approach. However, you should never follow any template word for word; try to adjust and personalize them to fit your context each time. Even if you intend to contact a large number of people all at the same time, you should still give each email an appropriate personal touch.

Stay in touch

With the need for tact and added value on both sides, there’s a lot to be considered when approaching potential influencers. Stay in touch and don’t give up too early – even if you don’t receive an immediate response to your emails. Interact with your chosen individual and keep yourself fresh in their memory by liking their posts and leaving helpful comments. All this effort will pay off if you succeed in securing a collaboration with the right multiplier.

 

 


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ManagedTeams: How Do I Get Invited to Teams? https://www.textbroker.com/managedteams-joining-teams https://www.textbroker.com/managedteams-joining-teams#respond Thu, 10 Aug 2017 17:27:51 +0000 https://www.textbroker.com/?p=5468 Whether it’s a Casting Call team or an Invite-Only team, the best sign that a team is active is an invitation in your inbox. Whenever a new client places ManagedTeams ...

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Whether it’s a Casting Call team or an Invite-Only team, the best sign that a team is active is an invitation in your inbox. Whenever a new client places ManagedTeams orders, Author Services manually adds authors to write the orders. So how can you make sure your name is on our shortlist when we’re looking for authors?

 

Remain Active

When we perform our initial author search, we’re usually looking at a project with an upcoming deadline. To deliver orders to the client in a timely manner, we look for consistent and active authors to add to these teams. If you haven’t written an order in three months, it’s very unlikely you’ll be invited to a hot new team. If you’re an active author, however, you’ll find yourself receiving more team invitations. This means when TeamOrders are slow, you might want to consider periodically picking up an OpenOrder or two just to maintain your active status.

 

Write What You Know

This helps you in two ways: client relationships and author tags. When a repeat client has a new project, or when a new client has a project similar to a project from the past, the first place Author Services often looks for authors is previous teams. For example, if you’ve written product descriptions for a previous project and received positive client feedback, you’re much more likely to get invited to similar teams in the future. Writing for teams where topics are of personal or professional interest to you  makes future team invitations even more likely.

 

Second, writing quality orders about a specific set of topics close to your own heart helps you gain author tags. Author tags are applied by Author Services or Quality Assurance editors when an author demonstrates strong knowledge or ability in a certain field. Some author tags include leisure, travel, and technology. By demonstrating a strong ability to write OpenOrders or TeamOrders on certain topics, you’ll be more likely to be invited to ManagedTeams in the future.

 

Thorough Author Profile

Another way Author Services finds authors with specific areas of expertise is through the profile search. Having a complete author profile will help us find you when we need you! For example, if a client were looking for descriptions of cameras and lenses, we would search for authors whose profiles contained experience in photography, technology, photo editing or graphic design.

 

Keep in touch with Author Services

If you’ve done work for a particular team and really enjoyed it, please let us know! We’re always looking for interested and consistent writers for ManagedTeams. Additionally, if you’ve written for a client and found the instructions confusing or the briefing difficult, please tell us. Author feedback helps us make orders as approachable as possible. Authors feel comfortable writing them, and we get them returned to the client faster. Everyone wins! You can reach us at managedclients@textbroker.com, and we’ll usually respond within a business day.

 

Conclusion

There are a lot of great opportunities in the world of ManagedTeams. If you’re interested in more specialized writing or working closely with a client, consider trying some of the above steps! It’s easier to get invited than you might think. For more tips on diversifying your Textbroker writing portfolio for steady pay, check out this blog post.

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Successful Influencer Marketing: Finding and Selecting Your Influencers https://www.textbroker.com/influencer-marketing-part1 https://www.textbroker.com/influencer-marketing-part1#comments Tue, 08 Aug 2017 18:12:41 +0000 https://www.textbroker.com/?p=5450 Influencer marketing is becoming a big part of general marketing strategy. We've laid out the blueprint to help you find influencers that fit your style.

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According to a survey conducted by Nielsen, 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations more than any form of advertising. So it’s no wonder marketing via influential opinion-makers is so popular. A look at Google Trends confirms that the global interest in influencer marketing has increased more than sevenfold within the last two years. In addition, influencer marketing has once again received a tremendous boost through new social media channels such as Instagram and Snapchat.

 

However, identifying suitable influencers can be a mammoth task for many companies. It’s not just a matter of finding suitable people with a strong brand influence, but also evaluating which associations have the potential to create genuine added value. The search for this perfect brand match has much in common with the search for a needle in the haystack. In addition, not everyone can afford to commission one of the many off-the-shelf influencer marketing agencies. Continue reading below to discover how you can find suitable multipliers, and which platforms and tools will help you achieve your goals.

 

Types of Influencer

Influencers are defined as influential people within a network. In addition to celebrities such as LeBron James or Selena Gomez, they can also be members of the following groups:

 

  • Bloggers (e.g. travel bloggers or food bloggers)
  • Social media influencers (e.g. Fashion Instagrammers or Beauty YouTubers)
  • Experts (e.g. online marketers, search engine experts)
  • Trendsetters
  • Authors
  • Journalists
  • Events speakers
  • Business partners or company customers
BDMI graphic about typical social media influencers, Source: Forbes

BDMI graphic about typical social media influencers, Source: Forbes

 

Influencer marketing tools you should know about

 

The starting point for searching for any influencer is always within their own network. Ask your colleagues and those who work in Sales and Customer Services about any industry people they can think of and with whom they may already be in contact. Visiting specialist events is another good way of getting an insight into who has something to say in your respective field.

But often, this is not enough. You should also maintain a presence in forums and social media groups (such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google + communities) to look for people who might contribute relevant content to your topics. In addition, the following platforms and tools will help you find some relevant influencers:

 

Google

Why make things difficult when they could be easy? First, finding websites and blogs to research is as easy as completing a Google search. You can use search operators to help find narrow down search results to your particular topic. For example, you could search for “Content Marketing” + site: .com in order to find relevant websites dealing with content marketing. By entering Content Marketing + blog, you could then do a thematic search for matching blogs.

 

Meltwater

Blog search engines such as Meltwater’s Ice Rocket are useful for finding bloggers. Ice Rocket’s searches can be limited by languages and time periods, and in addition to blog searches, Ice Rocket can also conduct Twitter searches.

 

Twingly

Twingly is another international search engine thatcan help with blog searches. A particularly useful feature is “Blog profiles.” This search engine can provide an overview showing the latest posts on each respective blog, the content that has secured the most links, as well as the total number of blog articles published.

 

Influma

Influma is an influencer search engine from Adenion. It can find relevant articles on the net and rank them according to the number of social signals. In addition, the tool reveals the authors of the articles (influencers) as well as the users who have shared them (sharers). From a practical perspective, Influma can also list further influencer articles so that content can be analyzed over time. Besides article searches, the tool can also be used to search directly for influencers. Promising influencers, articles and websites can be stored in personal lists.

The free basic version has a limit of 25 search results, but there is a pro version of Influma available starting from 59 euros a month.

 

Influencerdb.net

With this tool, you can find and compare influencers relevant to your topic on Instagram. Influencer.db analyzes Instagram profiles including follower growth, number of posts per day, comments by post, as well as media value by post. Selected Instagrammers can be stored in lists and compared. A basic version that analyzes your own profile and offers limited search facilities is available free of charge, while the premium version with 200 search queries per day and 20 daily influencer views starts at 99 euros per month.

Influencerdb.net, sample account onlinemarketing.de

Influencerdb.net, sample account onlinemarketing.de

 

Twitter search

Almost everyone who can be named and ranked is active on this rapid micro-news service. Using a Twitter search for keywords or hashtags, you can find out who is sharing blog articles and other content on your chosen topic. Look for #influencmarketing on Twitter to see the latest tweets on that topic and who has scored the most likes and retweets. The “People” tab also allows you to search Twitter profiles for specific keywords.

 

Followerwonk

Followerwonk is useful for giving a detailed analysis of Twitter profiles. The tool calls up your selected influencers by follower numbers, number of tweets, and according to so-called social authority. The ability to compare Twitter profiles and their associated followers is another useful feature. Followerwonk’s free basic version is limited to 100 results per search, and the pro version with unrestricted searches and downloading is available from $29 USD per month.

Followerwonk

Followerwonk

 

Klear

Klear finds influencers all over the world and ranks them by reach and relevance. Searches can be filtered by social network, subject area and location. However, only influencer searches via Twitter are free. An extension for detailed potential analyzes of blogs, YouTube and Instagram is available with the pro version (from $249 USD per month).

 

Mention.net

Do you ever wonder who is talking about your company or your topic? You can use the monitoring tool at Mention.net to discover more information about such online mentions. This search engine crawls the entire network, forums, and social media channels looking for mentions of your brand or specific keywords. Mention is available at prices starting from $29 USD per month.

 

Hootsuite

Hootsuite’s social media management tool can also help you search for suitable influencers. For example, you can check out who mentions your company on the internet and thus find potential partners with whom you may be able to collaborate. The basic version of Hootsuite allows you to manage up to three social media channels for free. A pro version is available from $9.99 USD per month.

 

BuzzSumo

Who often shares content on your topics? Whose content is especially popular on the social web? You can find out by using Buzz Sumo’s content research tool. BuzzSumo has also integrated a Twitter influencer search, which can be filtered to capture groups such as bloggers and journalists, together with their location. Among other options, influencers can be listed by their number of followers and by their average number of retweets. In addition, BuzzSumo can also display the websites of each of the respective influencers and store their details in lists. BuzzSumo can be tested for 14 days free of charge, and a full pro version costs from $99 USD per month.

Influencer search for keyword content marketing in BuzzSumo

Influencer search for keyword content marketing in BuzzSumo


 

Choose the right influencer

Have you located a few interesting people with whom you could collaborate? Well done. But how can you assess which influencer is most relevant to your goals? You can, of course, use the familiar Klout-Score. This should show you how much influence a person can actually exert on the social web. Klout’s algorithm is based on the number of social media activities, but the extent to which a Klout score is a real indicator of online influence is, however, somewhat controversial.

 

Reflect on the following points:

 

  • Brand-fit: How well does the influencer fit your brand? Your chosen person should complement your themes and the image you want to convey. If this is not so, then any collaboration may quickly backfire. Your candidate should also be someone with whom you can anticipate a trustworthy collaboration over the longer term.
  • Target group reach: Is a high follower rate really the trump card in influencer marketing? This can sometimes prove a false assumption. Sure, a certain reputation and contacts in the respective niche are influencer hallmarks, and the fact that the influencer has a community in your target group, or can quickly build one, is a prerequisite. But what use is a multiplier with 100,000 Twitter followers if they don’t interact with you? And remember, follower and fan numbers can also be manipulated. So these totals may be less important than you might think.
  • Level of engagement: Focus more on influencers who seem particularly active and whose content is often shared on social media. Also, pay attention to how committed their community seems to be. To what extent is the influencer able to generate new responses? Will content gain comments and be liked and shared? A high number of regular interactions indicates a strong bond between the influencer and his community. Many experts, therefore, rate commitment level as the most important of all selection criteria. Thus the number of retweets is actually more important than the number of followers.
  • Authority and expertise: How good is a person’s professional –knowledge? Do other users often acknowledge them and regard them as a credible source? For bloggers and experts, the website on which they post their content is crucial. Well-known sites generally gain more shares, likes and retweets than equally good content that is published on lesser-known sites. Therefore, in addition to the question of expert status, you should also pay attention to the importance and reach (domain authority) of the URL on which an influencer publishes his or her content.

 

Collect your chosen influencers together in a list. A template showing how your list should be structured is pictured here.

Source: neilpatel.com

Source: neilpatel.com


 

Get more exposure for your content

As you can see, tools for influencer relationships and paid-for solutions are now a dime a dozen. The high quantity of new software and the evolution of the market reflects the current hype around this topic. But even with a smaller budget and some hard work, you can now select relevant influencers thanks to these platforms and tools. Using a careful pre-selection strategy will get you closer to your goal of boosting your content via influencer relations and significantly increasing the awareness and reach of your brand.

 


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Social Media Calendar – 7 Steps to Organize your Content Planning https://www.textbroker.com/social-media-calendar https://www.textbroker.com/social-media-calendar#respond Thu, 03 Aug 2017 18:36:20 +0000 https://www.textbroker.com/?p=5445 Social media calendars – often referred to as social media editorial plans – provide valuable help in the planning and organization of content marketing strategies on social networks. While some ...

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Social media calendars – often referred to as social media editorial plans – provide valuable help in the planning and organization of content marketing strategies on social networks. While some inspired online marketing individuals have already adapted to working in a structured online environment, the structured planning, coordination and processing of content generation is an indispensable requirement for larger teams or even for whole editorial departments. It can be all too easy to get mixed up or fall behind schedule when each individual contribution is produced in a rush on the day of publication.

The bigger the company, the greater the volume of content required. As a rule of thumb, a minimum of two posts per week should be generated to maintain a successful content strategy. Among other things, your social media calendar should note what is to be published when, by whom and on which social networks. In the case of a larger editorial office, for example, it should also be possible for each team member to determine which employee has made changes or whether a contribution has been released for publication. In the following sections, we provide an overview of how a social media calendar is created and which tools make this task easier.

How is a social media calendar created?

A social media calendar is used to organize your own content marketing. This will work best if your editorial plan has itself been created according to a logical, pre-defined process. If you already have some experience with social media editorial plans, you can customize the following measures according to your company’s needs. However, we recommend that all beginners stick to the following seven steps:

  1. Define the time period (day, month, year)
  2. Set your goals
  3. Determine the frequency and timings
  4. Generate topics and themes
  5. Select your formats
  6. Select your channels
  7. Clarify accountability (for teams)

The creation of a social media editorial plan in detail

Define the time period

Your first step will be to decide how far in advance you wish to prepare your content for social networks. As a general guide, you should be planning at least three months ahead and up to one year in advance. The period chosen should be consistent with your available capacities. It is always helpful to select a period that allows enough time for research and enables you to make allowances for illness and similar problems. Larger teams make it easier to create posts many weeks or months in advance. Even so, these boundaries are constantly shifted in practice – for example, nothing may be worked for around six months, then the pressure suddenly mounts to draft plans for the next half year completely from scratch.

Set your goals

The defining of the targets you wish to achieve can be carried out in conjunction with step No. 1. What is the most important driver for your own business model? Newsletters, blogs and vlogs need high visitor numbers; traders and service providers benefit from strong customer loyalty and hope to attract potential buyers; and a strong search engine ranking never harmed any company. It’s not necessary to limit yourself to one single goal. If you are interested in new customers, you should plan content which rewards and maintains their interest.

Determine the frequency and timings

The frequency of your content creation and publishing content at the right time are extremely important factors. Anyone who simply goes ahead and pre-plans content without taking calendar events and times of day into consideration may simply miss their target group altogether. Not everyone goes online at the same time of day. For example, professionals use lunch times or evenings for surfing.

Important phases of a year, such as the seasons, school holidays or certain significant events, present lots of ideas and approaches for appropriately adapted content. Forthcoming holidays and events like tradeshows should be entered into your social media calendar well in advance so that you can arrange to publish timely and appropriate articles.

The frequency with which your contributions should appear depends on the scale of your operation, the behavior of your target group and your chosen media channel. In addition, your available resources for research and content creation must be carefully deployed in order to avoid bottlenecks. Beginners can start slowly and cautiously and allow their volume of contributions to grow organically. As soon as users become enthusiastic about the content, a community will quickly develop and will need to be kept updated with a regular flow of content. Here is an overview with a rough estimate of the recommended publication frequency for some of the major social media channels:

  • Facebook or Google+: 3 – 10 times per week
  • Twitter: 5 times a day, or more
  • LinkedIn: 2 – 5 times per week
  • YouTube: 1 – 3 times per week (possibly more frequently, depending on your business model)
  • Instagram: 1 – 2 times a day

Generate topics and themes

A basic rule of content creation is: Never forget the relationship between your business and the target group. Each contribution should be in some way related to the industry and the service which the company offers. Internet users are more likely to use content they find educational, useful or entertaining.

You can find inspiration by searching for related keywords using Google Search or tools such as Google Trends or Buzzsumo. A trends search will help you to discover which topics users are currently most interested in across social media. Beyond these sources, any discussion with customers or any response to a complaint or inquiry can be used to generate contributions that will be relevant to your target group.

Select your format

In order to present each contribution at its best, you will need to find the most appropriate format for each respective topic. This could be, for example, text-based content, a photo gallery on Instagram or a video on YouTube. A deciding factor should always be how much time your target audience spends on which channels. Infographics or best-of lists attract Facebook likes while tutorials and guides of all kinds in video format always generate a good response. There is no need to choose just one format – the best results are usually achieved via a mix of articles, pictures, videos, surveys, etc. It’s sensible to record which formats are best suited to which strategies in your social media calendar and update this as necessary.

Select your channels

Your posts should be published on whichever channels are the most appropriate for your target group. It is always worthwhile testing the same content across different channels in order to compare the user reaction. This form of split-testing can open up completely new communities because no statistics in the world can predict actual user behavior. For example, an investment tip for shares could be published as a text on Facebook and as a video message on YouTube. If one or the other method proves more effective, you can adapt your social media calendar accordingly.

Clarify accountability

If a social media calendar is generated by an editorial team which consists of several members of staff, the responsibilities should be clearly defined. It is advisable to make direct reference to cooperation and exchange of ideas within the social media editorial plan. Ideally, team members should record any changes made to individual contributions while the editorial director responsible should enter instructions and authorize releases. The status of each content item should be visible to all of the editorial team at a glance so any problems can be jointly resolved.

Simple software for setting up a social media calendar

Various software solutions are available to support the technical implementation of a social media calendar. If any offline work is also involved, then desktop applications such as Excel should be a suitable choice. However, it is also possible to work directly in an online browser, for example by using Google Calendars and Google Drive to create your editorial plan. This method allows editorial teams to work collaboratively. Other web-based programs such as Trello or Feedly are innovative tools which can be used to compile and organize your content.

There are many free templates for spreadsheet software or plug-ins for CMS programs available for download that can be used to create social media calendars. Some of these have already been described in a previous post.

Comprehensive organizational programs such as Hootsuite or Buffer deserve a special mention. Not only do they offer extensive calendar functions, but they also facilitate long-term planning and publication of content on various social media platforms. It is no longer necessary to sign up individually to Twitter, Facebook or Google+ – access to each can be linked to your organizational platform. It is also possible to answer customer queries and collect news feeds from various sources at the same time.

Conclusion

Social media calendars facilitate the structured planning and publication of content over an extended period of time. They are practically indispensable to all who want to have their say alongside their rivals in online forums. Social media editorial plans are valuable tools for individuals working alone as well as for large editorial departments – though, of course, there are still people who just fill empty calendar columns with content!

Use the time you gain through this calendar organization to become inspired by the behavior of your users. Keep an open mind and respond flexibly to what is important, and what is not, and always maintain your chosen publishing frequency. Record all important dates, possible problems and final decisions in your social media calendar. This will ultimately lead not only to a successful online business but also to a better work-life balance.

 


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