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Video Content for Social Media (Yes, You Need It)

Most of us have fond memories of watching grainy, embarrassing home movies on large VHS tapes in our childhood living rooms. Video has come a long way since then, but its impact on our lives has only grown. These days, videos are used as a powerful marketing strategy to help businesses increase their profits and connect with consumers. In fact, video content is the most powerful form of social media marketing and businesses that aren’t using it to their advantage are falling behind. To stay on top, hiring a professional videographer to handle your video content should be a key component in your social media strategy.

But do you really need a video content strategy? Here’s what social video content can do for your business:


Videos Boost Engagement

Digital marketers agree - there is no medium more engaging to an online audience than video. To begin with, users are more inclined to actually watch videos than other types of content. According to a survey done by Animoto, 60% of users say that they watch branded videos on social media every day. And when it comes to sharing, video content is shared 1200% more than text or image content! In the numbers game, video content will always come out on top.
So why are they so engaging? Videos are able to capture your audience more effectively using two things that always grab our attention: movement and sound. And once your audience is ensnared, video content can use things like facial expressions, tone of voice, and sounds to convey and evoke emotion. This is much harder to do in text content, which requires punction or visual cues to suggest tone. Emotion is a driving factor in purchasing decisions, so you want to hit your audience where they’ll feel it the most. And speaking of purchasing...


Videos Boost Product Sales

Have you ever seen a cool product online, but you weren’t sure how it worked? I bet you weren’t inclined to buy it to find out! One of the best uses of video content is showing a product in action, especially if the product is new. In today’s busy world, consumers don’t have time to read lengthy product descriptions. Videos are easily digestible and can make new concepts easier to understand. By showing how a product works, you can also show them how it will benefit them in a real-life way. A viewer is much more likely to visualize that product in their hands when they see it in someone else’s rather than in the pages of an advertisement.

If your business relies on product sales to thrive, video content is something you can’t slack on. Animoto’s survey found that one in four consumers lose interest in a product if it doesn’t have video. That’s 25% of your audience!


Videos Build Trust

Ask yourself: are you more likely to trust something pitched to you by a friend or by a hawker on the street? Video content is so effective because it helps build trust between your business and your customers. Though most of the world relies on digital technology, consumers remain more likely to invest in a business that they feel connected to. Videos are inherently personal, especially if the content is authentic, natural, and conversational. That’s why storytelling is such a crucial element in your video strategy - it makes your business feel like a trusted friend rather than an infomercial. When your video content is consistent, your audience will begin to seek out your page to experience your brand rather than just clicking on your videos in their feed. And that is exactly where you want to be.


Videos Build Your Brand

Speaking of the personal nature of videos, it makes them the perfect tool to create and maintain your business’s brand. A brand is a complex concept, affected by everything from your word choices to your punctuation style. When your video content is consistent with your brand, it helps develop your company’s personality and connect to your audience. Quality video content can combine all of the things that make up your brand and deliver it in a ready-to-go package. One way to do this is by inserting appropriate text and graphic elements into your videos. People are strongly influenced by visuals, so creating a consistent look with your videos is one of the easiest ways to make your brand - and your business - recognizable.


Why Do I Need A Professional?

Now that you’re convinced that you need strong video content for your social accounts, you may be wondering how to get it done. Many companies don’t believe they need to hire a professional videographer, and they often assign video content to existing members of their staff. But this isn’t always the best decision - and sometimes it’s a downright bad one. Here’s what a professional videographer can do for your video content strategy:

 

  • Use professional equipment to create high quality, dynamic video content
  • Give you a better ROI than less qualified staff
  • Bring industry knowledge to the table to create content that is successful long-term
  • Help develop your company brand
  • Increase your profits
  • And more!

Our professional videography service can help you create a video content strategy that turns your social media accounts into marketing gold. Using professional equipment and the latest industry trends, we can deliver video content that is engaging, dynamic, and beneficial to your business. Ready to see your social media engagement skyrocket? Contact us for a consultation today!


4 Ways Duplicate Content Hurts Your Site

The words ‘duplicate content’ strike fear into the hearts of marketers everywhere, something akin to cavity search or TV Reruns. Actually, it’s pretty similar - who wants to watch the same show over and over again? It’s the same with content - users don’t want to read articles that just repeat information and don’t bring anything new to the table. More than that, duplicating content hurts your reputation as a website and as a business. But what exactly is duplicate content? And why is it so bad?

What Is Duplicate Content?

Duplicate content can be a variety of things, and not all of them are bad. Google defines duplicate content as “substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.” Google actually distinguishes duplicate content by two types: non-malicious and malicious duplicate content.

Non-malicious duplicate content includes instances such as syndication - when a website publishes your content on their own website - or when your website has multiple URLs, such as when you have pages optimized for different browsers, among others. These types of content duplication are not penalized by Google and are actually common, if not unavoidable.

Duplicate content that is malicious is done to manipulate search results. The short of it is that duplicating content occurs when a website recycles old content in an effort to rank higher for keywords or tags (more keywords = higher results). This is not always their intent. There are many other reasons that a website might reuse its own content - one example would be an e-commerce store that struggles to write hundreds of product descriptions, so they reuse what they’ve already created. The distinction here is the intention behind the content, but Google is not all-knowing and can often misconstrue it, so it’s better to avoid duplicating your content as much as you can.

Note: It’s important to distinguish duplicate content with outright plagiarism, which is not only seriously bad form but can carry legal penalties. We know you would never plagiarize, so we’ll keep our definition of duplicate content to the reusing of your own work. Additionally, if someone else has plagiarized your work for their own site, you should report the site to Google.

Of course, you own the rights to your work and are free to reuse it in any way you see fit. But if you’re looking to bring your website high SEO rankings and an engaged audience, it’s a bad choice for a number of reasons. Let’s take a look at them.

It Hurts Your Keyword Rankings

Duplicate content hurts your keyword strategy. Keyword placement is a staple of good SEO practices, and getting your content keywords just right can take a lot of time and effort. That’s why some websites recycle old content that has successful keyword rankings - you know they work, so why not use them again? It’s faster and cheaper than writing new, original content!

While this may seem smart, it’s actually counter-intuitive. Because when you recycle your content and keywords, you’re actually giving yourself competition. As Google algorithms crawl the internet, they collect keywords and index them for searches. So, if you post content that uses the same keywords multiple times, Google is going to crawl both articles and pit them against one another. See the problem? Your original content will now suffer because of increased competition, essentially making all of that time you spent doing keyword research a waste. It’s a lot like hobbling yourself before the big race - just not smart.

It Hurts Your SEO

As we’ve noted, search engines crawl websites and index the results for users. Because they want to give users the best possible experience, they rarely post multiple websites with the same content on their result pages. For you, this means that if multiple websites online have your content, Google may not mark your original page as the best page to show. If your duplicate content is on a different URL that has a higher domain score than yours, this can lead to them getting higher search results for your content. Plus, you don’t want your printing pages showing up as the landing page for users, or your mobile site ranking higher for desktop users.

Syndication is an important part of marketing, so you shouldn’t avoid it. But, be sure that any websites that publish your content link your site as the original page so Google knows which one to index first. Also, there are plug-ins and other technical ways to note your own website pages as the original pages and remove other pages from indexing altogether. If you aren’t sure how to do this, contact us for a consultation. We’re here to help!

Google May Penalize You

Google’s algorithm is constantly learning and evolving, and it can now separate duplicate content that is malicious or non-malicious - to an extent. If Google decides that you are copying or “scraping” old content to increase your search results, it will do a manual audit of your site. If you’re found guilty, they can penalize you stiffly - even so far as removing your site from their results altogether. And getting back into Google’s good graces is no easy feat - it requires that you address and fix all of your duplicate content and then request a new investigation, which can take some time. You don’t want to get called into the proverbial principal’s office, so avoid posting duplicate content when you can.

Your Audience Will Get Bored

Setting the technicals aside, duplicate content will negatively affect your audience’s interest in your site. As we said earlier, nobody likes reruns. Publishing old content that doesn’t add any value to your readership will ultimately lead to a decrease in your website traffic by itself. If you’re posting duplicate content across landing pages, this will negatively affect your click-through and bounce rates as users leave your site for something more interesting. If your published content is stale or repetitive, you may lose user loyalty and sabotage your chances of return visitors.

If you’re having trouble keeping up with your content marketing - or just need some fresh ideas - let us help! We can create a content marketing strategy that’s perfect for your business and then help you implement it!

What do I do?

Publishing content that is new and original is the best way to avoid the negative effects of duplicate content. Be sure that anything you’re posting on your website is authentic, adds value to your readership, and introduces new keywords and ideas. If you have an article syndicated by another site (go, you!), be sure that they are appropriately linking back to your website as the original version so that they don’t beat you in the search results. And be sure to use the correct URLs and tags when creating duplicate pages to make sure that Google indexes the correct one.

Need more help? Contact us today! BIS Designs can handle all of your content marketing and website design needs.


4 Ways To Use Instagram And Facebook Stories For Your Business

You’ve been using social media to promote your business. Smart move! Social media marketing has taken the business world by storm. You’re making posts, sharing great content, and drawing in followers. Promotion is great, but these days it is not enough. You’ve got to share your business story to really connect with your audience. And that’s where the new story feature for Instagram and Facebook comes in.

 

A story is a relatively new feature for Facebook and Instagram that can help your business connect with your audience in a personal way. Stories are pinned to the top of your followers’ newsfeeds and last for a maximum of 24 hours. Businesses aren’t penalized for stories, so they are sure to be seen (unlike posts, which are quickly lost in the newsfeed shuffle and have limited visibility due to algorithm updates).

 

If you’re looking to grow your audience and increase your brand awareness, then stories are a tool that you can’t afford to ignore. But how do you use them effectively? Let’s take a look at 4 ways to use Instagram and Facebook stories for your business.

 

Post Authentic Content To Engage With Your Audience

 

The stories feature is meant for...well, stories! A story is more personal than a post and it is most effective when it is used for authentic content. Remember that your stories are only seen by your followers, who are already interested in your business, so there’s not as much need for direct promotion or marketing. Instead, use candid content to give your audience a glimpse into a side of your business that they can’t see anywhere else. Making your business seem real and relatable drives engagement and instills trust in your audience - after all, you’re just like them!

 

Here are a few ideas for authentic content:

 

- ”day in the life” snapshots that show the daily goings-on of your business

- candid photographs of your team or working space

- informal interviews with staff and management

 

Pro Tip: Remember that the goal is to be authentic, so don’t overuse the photoshop or filters in these types of stories. Your audience can tell when your images and videos have been highly doctored, and this can hurt your engagement. Keep it simple to achieve the best results.

 

Use Teasers To Promote Upcoming Events Or Sales

 

We aren’t saying that you can’t ever use promotions in your stories. Your goal is business growth, after all. Stories are a great way to share information about future happenings in your business. Upcoming events, product launches, or sales are all great content for teaser stories that can interest and convert your audience. But keep in mind the 24-hour rule and don’t tease them too early or your audience might forget about it before the big day!

 

Pro Tip: Filters and effects can help make your teaser stories really pop and help you deliver the right message. Both Facebook and Instagram have story editors that allow you to insert text, graphic elements like countdown buttons or coupon codes, and all sorts of other fun designs!

 

Turn Articles And Blog Posts Into Bite-Sized Segments

 

Let’s face it, audiences today have a short attention span. That’s why social media gets more engagement than traditional websites or articles - it is a revolving door of new material. So use that to your business’s advantage by turning your website content into digestible chunks. Research your business content for pieces that can be divided into smaller sections and post them one at a time or in a slide-show story. This will help increase your website traffic if your content (and your story) is engaging.

 

Pro Tip: Graphic design is an important factor in these types of posts. Make sure that your images are relevant, attractive, and clean. Also be sure to hyperlink your story to your article’s URL or reference it at the end so your followers know where to go.

 

Use Stories To Connect Your Accounts

 

The goal is growth, and stories are a great way to grow your account followers. The majority of social media users have accounts on multiple platforms - that means an Instagram user also has a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest account, etc. Referencing your various social media accounts on your stories can drive audience members who may be following you on just one app to follow all of your pages.

 

Pro Tip: Teasing an upcoming Facebook event on Instagram is a great way to convert your Instagram followers to Facebook, and vice-versa. Doing this will increase engagement on both sides of the aisle. And due to social media algorithms, growth begets growth. But be sure to instruct your audience on how to follow you - don’t forget to provide the handle or page name for your referenced accounts.

 

If you aren’t using stories in your business accounts, start today! It’s a great way to up your content marketing strategy. Using the above tips will help you engage with your audience, increase your followers, and grow your business. For more tips on using Instagram to grow your business, check out our post on 5 Tips For Instagram Success.

 

Still have questions? Give us a call to discuss how BIS Designs can help with your social media and content marketing needs!


Tips for Successful Content Marketing

Google and social media platforms (like Facebook) continue to change their algorithms, making it increasingly difficult for a company to reach its audience. Stellar Content marketing can help your company jump some of the hurdles. In fact, Google and Facebook often reward companies with great content. That’s why it’s critical for companies to provide valuable and informative content on their website and social media pages.

 

If you’re struggling to create killer content, follow these tips to help guide you in creating successful content for your company:

Engage with your followers. You’ve probably heard it many times: engagement is crucial for online marketing success. Here’s why: 

 

  • - Part of the algorithm Facebook put in place that decides how many and who of your followers sees a post has to do with how much engagement your post receives. The more people like, comment on, or share your post, the more people will see your post.
  • - Engagement builds trust and loyalty among your audience when you add personality to your company. Add personality by engaging with your audience through conversations and various interactions and not simply posting about your products or serves. This causes people to connect with your brand as if it is a person, and not simply a product or service. You have a much better chance of selling a product or service to someone who trusts you.
  • - Engaging with your audience makes people feel like they’re more than just another dollar in the bank account. People like to feel important, especially by brands they love. So start paying more attention to your audience. Share and like their posts, comments, Tweets, etc.
 

Establish thought leadership. Position your company as a thought leader that provides valuable resources to its audience. Highlighting yourself as an expert in your industry will draw your audience to you. Instead of going straight to Google for information about your industry, people will start going to your website, blog, and following your social media pages to learn industry trends, tips and tricks, and more.

 

Keep it fresh. Keep your content fresh by incorporating new and a variety of content for your customers to read and engage with. Consider mixing up your weekly posts with a guest post or a live product/service demo. Be sure to post on special holidays and incorporate seasonal content into your posts. Use catchy images and high-quality graphics to keep your page looking fresh and not like spam. Incorporate monthly themes, where you focus on certain topics each month, educating your audience beyond their expectations about each topic (thought-leadership!). 

 

Be authentic. With the growth of the Internet and social media platforms, it has become increasingly important to be authentic. Advertising your product, service, or company falsely will always come to light through reviews and comments from customers. Your audience is far more informed than you think, and they will call out a scam without hesitation. One of the top influencers on the web, Neil Patel, put it best when he said, “Authentic businesses inspire and prosper”. Neil Patel advises people to be authentic by:

 

  • - Being real, charitable, consistent, responsive (See, we told you engagement was part of the key), and accountable (If you make a mistake, don’t be afraid to admit it and apologize to your customer)
  • - Providing statistics and facts to back up what you say
  • - Respecting the privacy of your customers
  • - Telling your true brand story
  • - Highlighting your good reputation
 

Engage with your followers. Establish thought leadership. Keep it fresh. Be authentic. Each of these tips will help you create a better content marketing strategy to help your company grow. In combination, these tips will help your company soar!  So, give it a try, and if you’re still struggling, give us a call! We’re here to help you create content and manage your digital marketing in a way that will capture the attention of your audience.

 

 

RELATED: 

Should You Outsource Your Business Blogging? 

 

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,  Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com


5 Tips for Instagram Success

With over 1 billion monthly users, Instagram is the largest and fastest growing social media platform for sharing videos and photos. 60% of users learn about new products directly through Instagram, 70% of users look up a brand on Instagram, more than 200 million users visit a business profile at least once a day, and if you don’t have an active Instagram account, you might be missing out on a lot of business.

 

According to Forrester, companies that are on Instagram have a 4.21% engagement rate, which is 10x higher than Facebook and 84x higher than Twitter. Whoa! That’s a lot of engagement, and it’s pretty remarkable for something launched only 9 years ago to be growing so quickly.

The importance of having, and maintaining, and Instagram account to reach more customers can no longer be ignored. But, how do you get started? How can your company break through the millions of content being posted to Instagram every day and increase your business? Here are some helpful tips to start implementing today:

 

1. Start with a Strategy - You have goals for your business, and you should have goals for everything you do in support of your business, including social media. A social media strategy defines how your company will use social media to achieve its communication goals. At the very least, it can be a simple statement of intent, outlining the goals, measurable objectives for using the platform, and the target outcomes you wish to accomplish. It’s critical to start with an Instagram strategy; otherwise you’ll waste precious time and money posting with no end goal in mind, nothing to measure your success, and nothing to improve upon. 

 

2. Upgrade your Instagram account to a business profile – If you don’t already have a business profile for Instagram, it’s pretty easy to set up. First, sign up with a business email so your Instagram profile isn’t linked to your personal Facebook account. Next, follow the prompted instructions on Instagram to enter your account details. After you have completed your account set up, switch to a business profile. Just go to Settings -> Account -> Switch to Business Profile. It will then have you confirm your Facebook business page and update your Instagram account for you.

 

Upgrading your Instagram account from a personal to a business profile will give you insights into your audience that will help you reach them more effectively. You will be able to see how many people you reach on average, what posts are the post popular, what time of day your followers are most likely to be on Instagram and see your posts, and more. This is very important to guide you in adjusting your strategy for the best results. 

 

3. Know how often and what type of content to post (quality over quantity) – This section could be the most important to your Instagram account success. Knowing how often and what type of content to post can be tricky. However, if followed well, these tips should help your Instagram improve.

The purpose of Instagram is to create visual inspiration for your followers. Therefore, following the rule “Quality over Quantity” is extremely important. It may seem like it’s better to post 3x per day for more engagement and followers. However, if you are posting poor content with low-quality images or videos, you might as well forget it. Utilize your Instagram account to tell the story of your brand in an ascetically pleasing way, even if you only post 2x per week. It’s far better to post less often and have high-quality images and videos than to post more often with low-quality work that will make your company look cheap and turn people off.

 

The amount of posts you make per week should also be taken into consideration when you are creating a strategy for your social media. You should never approach a week with no plan for your posts, or with a plan in mind to “just post what comes to you” because often times, you’ll get busy and forget to post. Planning monthly and creating a content calendar can help take the stress off of you. 

It may surprise you to know, major brands post on Instagram on average 1.5 times per day. You should aim to post 1-3 times per day. An extremely important tip is to utilize your business profile to its full extend by digging into your insights and figuring out when your followers are on Instagram. You can adjust your strategy to post on the days and during the times your followers are most active. For example, if you find most of your followers are extremely active on Wednesdays at 7 AM and 9 PM, you should aim to post every Wednesday at 7 AM and 9 PM to reach the most people.

 

4. Post User-Generated Content – One of the easiest ways to keep posts running on your Instagram account, or even on your Instagram story, is to post user-generated content (UGC). In fact, 86% of Millennials say that USC is a good indicator of the quality of a brand, and 68% of social media users between the ages of 18 and 14 take into account UGC shared on social media while considering following a brand. 

UGC is defined as any type of content that has been created and put out there by unpaid contributors or followers. This refers to images, videos, testimonials, tweets, blog posts, etc… where your followers promote your brand. Followers like UGC because it puts the customer front and center and makes your brand more about them. Just be sure to ask permission from the original poster before reposting. 

 

5. Always add a compelling CTA - CTAs (Call-To-Action) direct people into what they should do after seeing your post. The key is to be as creative as you can in order to make people take action. A few CTAs to consider in your next post: ask people to tag a friend, make a comment, give your company a call, repost your post, fill out forms to get exclusive discounts, etc.

These tips should help your Instagram account improve. But, remember… gaining followers and seeing a ROI takes time. If you need help, the team at BIS Design’s is always here for you! Just give us a call to discuss your needs.

 

RELATED: 

Algorithms: How Each Platform Keeps You Engaged 

   

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,  Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com


Should You Outsource Your Business Blogging?

You may have noticed the blog trend that is ruling the cyber world from Google to social media.  Whether it is fashion influencers or tech gurus and travel enthusiasts, blogging is a trend that continues to grow each year.

 

How does this relate to your business? Blogging is a way to share your expertise and knowledge with your target audience.  In doing so, you are 1) helping to provide information needed by your potential customer and 2) demonstrating your expertise on the subject which in turn keeps the customer coming back to you for further assistance.  You are building trust with your potential customers/clients and this results in more leads for your business. Having well-written and updated blog content on your website also strengthens your relationship with Google which boosts your rankings in search results. 

 

Now that you know why you need a business blog, let’s talk about how you’ll find the time to add this task to your agenda.

 

It is common for small and medium sized businesses to outsource business functions like payroll, human resources, accounting and more to keep the organization lean and flexible.  Outsourcing blog writing? This might seem more challenging – after all, your blog is the voice of your business and a critical part of your content marketing strategy.

 

It is definitely possible to outsource blog posts, and do it well.  Below are two of the most common questions we get here at BIS Designs about blogging:

 

Question 1: Can an outsourced blog writer really capture my tone/style/business personality?

 

Writing is personal and every business feels like they have a unique tone or style they’re looking to capture in their blog.  The very concept of outsourcing might feel like it will cause you to lose some of your business’s personality.

 

Solution:  Take time to educate your writer.  We’ve all heard it, “you get what you put in”, and in this case, it is definitely true. A good writer will research and educate themselves as much as possible but to keep your business personality/style/tone the same, you’ll need to give some details on what makes your business stand out from your competitor.

 

Question 2: Where will the blog content come from?

 

If you give your writer nothing to work with, you get nothing in return worth reading. It’s that simple. You are the subject matter expert for your business. A good outsourced writer will bring your expertise to light in a readable way.  If you’ll provide more information and direction, you’ll get more of what you expect from your writer and overall blog content strategy.

 

Solution: Make a list of topics.  Whether you do this once a month or once a quarter – take the time to send a few topics to your writer. Once your blog writer has a list of topics, he/she can now get started on the time-consuming part of the project - creating engaging content.  The few minutes that you spend concentrating on topics will help to keep your business personality/tone/style alive on your website.

A big perk of outsourcing your business blog writing is that your new writer will bring fresh ideas to the table.  This simply adds new insights that can make your blog better.

 

Fun Fact: The average blog post takes 3 hours 20 minutes to write and the most engaged blog content on the web now has 41% more words than it did 3 years ago. 

 

If you have a blog on your website that you simply don’t have time to keep up or you would like to add a blog to your website but aren’t sure where to start, give us a call! Outsourcing to a local company who can meet with you face-to-face to discuss your marketing goals is a great way to start the new season.

 

RELATED:

5 Benefits of Business Blogging

 

 

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,  Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com


Algorithms: How Each Social Platform Keeps You Engaged

The social media marketing discussion is now dominated by algorithms – almost everywhere you engage, within almost every platform you use, machine learning and data sorting is used to decide what it is you see.

The evolution of social algorithms has, no doubt, made things harder for social marketers. The development of algorithms follows much the same progression as the technical elements of SEO – in order to show searches the most relevant responses to user queries and weed out spammers, Google has had to constantly update its algorithm to stay one step ahead.

 

Now social platforms are in much the same position, which adds a more complex, technical element to the social marketing process.

With this in mind, what do you need to know to ensure you’re on top of the latest social algorithm shifts, and how can you best prepare yourself, and understand the focus of each platform to maximize your business page performance?

Here’s a quick overview of the current state of each platform’s algorithm, based on what I’ve studied of their workings.

FACEBOOK

The most influential social algorithm is Facebook’s. The Social Network was the first to implement an algorithm feed, in response to the flood of spammy posts and junk which had taken over the app as its popularity grew.

Facebook’s algorithm aims to show you the content you’re most likely to engage with – though obviously there’s a lot more to it than that.

To best understand Facebook’s algorithm, you first need to get your head around the basic engagement equation Facebook uses.

Facebook’s News Feed chief, Adam Mosseri, explained this in several webinars, conferences and online publications last year, comparing their selection process to choosing a meal for a friend at a restaurant:

 

This process, says Mosseri, is essentially utilizing an algorithm within your own head – Facebook’s system simply transfers these though processes to a machine, shifting the same core elements into more technical factors – Inventory, Signals, Predictions and Scores.

Here’s the same calculations with Facebook actions replacing restaurant options:

Facebook rates each post based on your individual usage patterns, which, along with a range of other measures, enable it to come up with a score for each post. That score then dictates where each will appear in your feed.

Sound confusing? Yes, it is. These algorithms change constantly so studying and keeping up with the social channel’s updates are crucial to any business social media marketing plan. In basic terms, Facebook measures the likelihood that you’re going to take a particular action which their data suggests is the most engaging, then shows each story to you based on that probability.

TWITTER

Twitter’s algorithm is less advanced than Facebook’s, but they are putting increased focus on their machine learning efforts to boost engagement.

Users were initially outraged that Twitter would even consider changing to an algorithm, but the data has since shown that the system has helped the platform boost performance – as algorithms have on virtually every platform.

Twitter’s main objective with their algorithm is to show you more content you may be interested in – similar to Facebook, though Twitter is more about showing it to you in addition to the other tweets you might see, as opposed to “instead of”.

Even with an algorithm in place, Twitter can still show you almost every tweet, due to the real time nature of the feed. Nowadays, when you first login into Twitter, you’ll see tweets you may have missed, which are basically the most popular tweets from the people you follow. Twitter has also been working to boost engagement by showing you tweets that people you follow have liked, too.

INSTAGRAM

Instagram is one of the hottest social platforms at the moment for social engagement.  They have now also implemented a Facebook-style algorithm.  Facebook actually owns both platforms now, so the algorithms are almost exactly the same now. Like Facebook, Instagram’s algorithm is based on your likelihood to engage.

LINKEDIN

Like Twitter, LinkedIn’s algorithm is not as advanced as Facebook’s.  A good example of how LinkedIn’s feed algorithm works is their comment sorting tool – LinkedIn recently published an update on how comments are displayed on each post, based on engagement.

In my opinion, and the opinion of many other LinkedIn users, their algorithm needs some work.  You’ll often see posts from weeks ago in your feed but they are refining their data, and working to show you more relevant content, slowly but surely.

PINTEREST

The last platform has a constantly evolving algorithm to uncover more relevant Pin matches. Their goal is to keep you searching and their system has been upgraded from its initial matching efforts to better highlight relevant content.

Do you have ideas of how these social platforms might improve their algorithms in the future? Tell us in the comments!

RELATED:

Why Your Business Needs A Paid Facebook Ad Budget

Author: Stephanie May - smay@askbisdesigns.com 

 

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,  Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com

 


4 Basic Tips of Blogging Search Engine Optimization

Here’s a quick illustration of how SEO works…

Google has developed automatic algorithms that rank your website.  They send out what are called “spiders” to “crawl” your site and check it for over 100 indicators that determine whether the website is valuable or useless.  These indicators include things like backlinks, domain age, traffic, fresh content, etc.

SEO can be considered the art of making sure those crawling spiders are happy with what they find.  It is a very complex field that is always changing but in all that chaos there are a few constants that have remained the same since the beginning. 

1. You need your own domain and hosting.

One thing that beginners need to know is that you need your own domain and hosting.  Free blog set ups don’t do any favors for your SEO efforts.  Why?

People tend to speculate that if you were serious about your website you would get your own name and host it yourself.  Google only wants to point to websites that are considered serious and trustworthy and so this is a basic signal.

Starting your own website, hosting and a business blog can seem intimidating but that’s why we’re here.  We offer multiple packages to meet your needs, which saves you a lot of time.

2. Problem solving with original content.

Keep in mind that Google’s entire purpose is to provide their customers with relevant and useful search results.  Everything they do is built around this goal.

To be realistic, the most important thing you can do for your SEO is create the most useful content that solves people’s problems. If you are solving problems that people are searching for then it is likely that you are going to get shared on social media and ranked higher in Google.

And “original content” means so much more than just blog posts these days.  You can expand into:

  • Videos 
  • Make tutorials or video posts.  This builds links and traffic from YouTube and does well on mobile devices.
  • Photography
  • Original images and photos can boost your rankings as well as add value to your blog posts. Adding your own logos and sharing to social media is an extra layer of marketing, too.
  • Podcasts
  • iTunes has grown fast as people get better smart phones and spend more time plugged in.  Adding a podcast to your blog will ensure a unique and original addition for SEO. You want to build a relationship with your customers and readers by helping them out.  This will mean more sharing and faster results in your search engine rankings.

3.  Make sure your theme is SEO optimized.

Think of SEO as having two components: the off-site stuff like social media and backlinks and the on-site stuff like optimizing your theme.

Optimizing your theme is important because it helps give Google indicators that you are a trustworthy site.  It also helps Google find your content.  Some of the things to keep in mind when optimizing are:

  • Mobile Response
  • Cleanly coded
  • Fast loading
  • Secure domain
  • Original theme (rather than a pre-made template)

4. Build your social media profiles constantly.

You want to have a big focus on social media for SEO purposes as well as traffic building purposes.

Why?

Because Google is now looking to social media as a signal of an article’s authority and relevance.  If people are sharing on Facebook or tweeting about it, you must have written something pretty good.  The best way for this to happen is to build a strong following, keep them engaged and they’ll see your blog posts as they are shared. 

Commenting and sharing other business blogs is always a great way to build a community and possible cross-promoting opportunities for the future as well.

Are you now ready to get a blog started and make sure your SEO is on the right track? Schedule a meeting and we’ll handle every detail from writing, optimizing your website and sharing to your social media!

 

Author: Stephanie May 

RELATED:

5 Benefits of Business Blogging

12 Reasons Why Your Business Needs A Content Marketing Strategy

 

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,   Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com

 

 


Why Your Business Needs A Paid Facebook Ad Budget

Whether you’ve noticed or not, organic traffic on Facebook has dropped – and it’s likely impacting your company in a big way.

There are a few reasons that you need a Facebook advertising strategy and budget.  Let’s start with the basics – because Facebook’s algorithm does not make it easy for business pages to succeed on Facebook. 

What does the term “Facebook algorithm” actually mean? And how does it work?

Facebook’s algorithm controls who sees the content that you share.  It’s not as simple as you posting a status update then Facebook pushing it out to all of your followers.  That’s a thing of the past.  Not everyone who follows your page will see your posts.  Facebook is way more intelligent now.  And, there’s a reason for that, but we’ll get into that later.

Adam Mosseri (VP, News Feed at Facebook) puts Facebook’s algorithm in layman’s terms for us.  He says he thinks about it like he would when ordering his wife something to eat at a restaurant. 

The Facebook algorithm process goes like this:  

  1. Facebook considers all recent posts (this is like checking the menu to see what options you have).
  2. Facebook looks for signals that you might like a particular post (like knowing your wife likes salmon).
  3. Facebooks makes predictions on what you like and shows those posts first (like ordering the salmon).

This process happens on millions of devices countless times each day.  And, it’s also the reason why your Facebook business page’s posts aren’t getting as many views as it used to.

Why isn’t my Facebook business page performing well?

This makes a lot of sense when you think about it from a business perspective. The reality is that Facebook is a business.  And how does a business like Facebook make money? You guessed it – paid advertising. 

So why isn’t your Facebook business page making you money? Because the only way for company pages to succeed on Facebook is through Facebook paid advertising.  Facebook’s only real concern is to find ways for more business pages to spend more money.  You can’t blame them.  Any CEO would do the same thing.

The truth is that social media doesn’t work the way it did in the past.

Facebook’s current algorithm is very different than it used to be in 2000.  Back then, you could post anything on Facebook, and it was guaranteed to be shown to your audience. 

This is because posts were served in reverse chronological order.  In 2009, Facebook changed the algorithm to be based on popularity. 

As you might’ve guessed, the Facebook algorithm is changing more frequently than ever.  Simply posting on your page every day without a Facebook advertising strategy or budget is a waste of time.

Here’s what you should be using Facebook for –

Facebook Paid Advertising

The new reality is that businesses on Facebook are unlikely to succeed without putting a budget toward Facebook paid advertising.  In turn, this requires a Facebook advertising strategy similar to how you would strategize for billboard, radio or TV ads. 

When creating a Facebook ad campaign, there are a few key things that you need to consider – like your goals, target audience and the content of your ad.  Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy as it sounds.  Facebook ad campaigns can get incredibly detailed and complicated, and the platform itself isn’t exactly user-friendly.  We’d love to dive into the specific best practices for executing a Facebook advertising strategy, but that’s a whole other blog

Its Database

What you’re really doing when you create a Facebook ad campaign, is using Facebook for its extremely extensive database.  In other words, you’re using Facebook paid advertising to buy an audience. 

Think about all of the millions of people that use Facebook.  In fact, Facebook has more than 2 billion monthly active users according to the company’s website.  That’s a lot of people – a lot of people that may be interested in your product or service. 

Think about Facebook’s database as an untapped market.  You may not have their email or mailing address but you have their Facebook profile. 

When you use Facebook paid advertising, you are purchasing access to advertise to millions of people that you otherwise would have had no access to.  Even better, you can segment your audience to the specifics of your ideal customer by choosing preferred age, gender, interests, etc. to give you an incredibly high customer value. 

Organic Posting 2-5 Times a Week

Just because you realize that Facebook paid advertising is more lucrative than simple sharing updates on your company’s page (otherwise known as organic posting), doesn’t mean that you can give up organic posting altogether. 

There’s a huge difference between social marketing and social selling.  Social selling is where you can really see the return on your investment, and it includes your Facebook paid advertising strategy that we talked about in this blog post.  However, social marketing is also essential.

Other than running Facebook ad campaigns, it’s still very critical to be active on your company page.

Think about this scenario – a highly qualified lead that saw your Facebook ad in their newsfeed now visits your company’s Facebook business page to learn more about you.  But, you haven’t posted an update in months because you focused all of your efforts on your Facebook advertising strategy.  That scenario isn’t exactly ideal because the customer doesn’t get any added value, in turn stopping their customer journey. 

This is why it’s extremely important to pay attention to your Facebook advertising strategy as well as organic posting.  It may seem like a lot to balance, which is why marketing companies like us (BIS Designs) are here to ease you into the process. 

Fun Fact: Did you know that the average person will spend over five years of their life on social media. WOW! That’s a lot of time spent on Facebook!

 

Author: Stephanie May 

 

RELATED: 

5 Benefits of Business Blogging 

 

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,   Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com

 

 

 

 

 


4 Marketing Tips To Get More Leads

The most common question from marketing clients is “How do I get more leads for my business?” 

There are plenty of practical methods for generating quality leads.  Blogging. Sharing and caring on social Media.  Strategic landing pages. Event marketing. Email.  Most marketers are using all of these channels and more. So why aren’t the majority of brands drowning in qualified leads?

Research shows that 65% of marketers are still struggling to figure out which content is effective.  60 percent are unable to produce engaging content.  Only 23 percent of B2B marketers have moved to a customer-centric organizational structure.  A lot of marketers are still missing the mark, using content to appeal to customers, rather than to provide value to customers

If you want to get more quality leads, you need to do better quality marketing.  The trick to doing that is to first step back, in order to move forward.  Go back and refine your buyer personas.  How can you better meet their preferences and expectations? Look at where you can improve your blog, email and social media content to better serve your audience. 

No more bull running in a china shop approach and generating mediocre content and tossing it at your audience.  No more throwing dollars at Facebook ads and waiting for the leads to roll in.  Here are the hacks that will help you refine and improve your marketing and truly excel at lead generation. 

UP YOUR CONTENT GAME

You should always be on the quest to enhance the type of content you are using.  Content marketing goes far beyond blog posts.  Consider investing more so you can deliver a premium level of content. 

  • Infographics
  • Event Marketing
  • Webinars
  • White papers
  • Interactive Tools

Your content should be engaging and “pretty”.  All photos should be of great quality, captions should be short but interesting.  Ever notice how television commercials use a short amount of time to catch your attention? The attention span of the average human is not very long, so you need to catch their attention with your graphics, photos and captions on social media within a glance.  Blogs and email campaigns need to have clear and concise titles or subject lines. 

SIMPLIFY YOUR WEBSITE DESIGN

Dynamic isn’t always a good thing when it comes to trying to get across a message.  With website design, the more complex, the bigger disaster you may have on your hands.

Keep your website design clear and to the point.  That doesn’t mean you can’t be creative.  It does mean avoid excess text, confusing visuals and too many concepts.  What you do what is a clear message and navigation bar.  Lots of white space.  Use website real estate for the essentials for getting leads, like forms and contact info. 

You don’t want your design to scream when a prospect lands on your site. 

BETTER PERSONALIZE YOUR EMAILS

How are your email open-rates? Small businesses get around a 2 to 3 percent open-rate percentage, and larger companies get closer to 10 percent or even more.  Overall, the average hovers around 4 percent. 

The goal should be to improve your email rates to help get more leads.  How to do it?  A simple trick is to use more personalized messaging.  With the style and tone expectations of your target audience in mind, see if your emails make more of an impact with a more conversational tone.  Try adding an image in the closing signature – a staff member whose name is on the emails.  Use names and first person tone of voice in the subject line, greetings, and closings.  Segment your emails with your marketing software to ensure the right people are getting the right messaging depending on where they are in the sales funnel.

Research has shown that personalization leads to six times higher email transaction rates.  Worth a shot!

KEEP REFINING

You don’t necessarily need to revolutionize your marketing strategy to get more leads. You may see the results you’re after simply by making a few changes or trying new techniques.  Try these hacks.  Measure their impact.  Then keep making them better.  You’ll get more leads as long as you continually prime your marketing for the people you’re trying to reach.  For more tips and to hire a team of marketing professionals to handle this part of your business for you – contact our office.

RELATED: 

5 Benefits of Business Blogging 

12 Reasons Why Your Business Needs A Content Marketing Strategy 

 

Author: Stephanie May 

 

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,   Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com

 


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