Author - Erin Feldman

8 Effective Techniques To Spike Up User Engagement On Instagram

Instagram is a favorite among most digital marketers. There's no wonder why ‒ it has over a billion monthly active users, and approximately 50 percent of the population are following brands.

Instagram's engagement is also better at a rate of 4.21%. That's 10x higher than Facebook and 83x higher than Twitter.

In today's ever-changing digital landscape, marketers are still thinking about proactive ways on how to increase Instagram engagement. While there's a no-size-fits-all method to improve your visibility, we've provided you with eight actionable tips that will boost your brand's engagement in the long run:

Do not underestimate the power of hashtags

Sure, hashtags are huge on Twitter. But do you know that they're as effective as Instagram? By using the right hashtags that are relevant to your brand, you can already generate a big boost on likes, only in a matter of minutes as soon as you post your content.

In the platform, you're allowed to use at least 30 hashtags per post. So the potential is there, as long as you know how to use it correctly. You can even create your own branded hashtag, while simultaneously promoting it on Instagram. Don't forget to add as many relevant hashtags as you can.

Moreover, you can utilize tools such as TagBlender and TagsForLikes, which lets you find different groups of hashtags and post them on the platform.

Make use of Instagram Stories

Last year, Instagram has launched Instagram stories it was such a huge hit. There are approximately 400 million daily active users and continues to grow. It gives brands a fantastic opportunity to get in front of their audience.

Note that these days, people tend to gravitate on the circles on top of their feed than to the actual photos and videos on the feed. So if used the right way, it can be a tremendous driving force in the overall engagement of the brand.

To maximize this feature, you can use polls, swipe meter, and questions to engage your audience. For instance, you can do a quick survey on your target audience by asking their feedback using the polls feature.

The swipe meter allows you to gain necessary insight on your audience by asking them their thoughts about something, whether it's a particular product, outfit, or recipe they love.

Another engagement feature of Instagram is by asking "questions." It makes your followers interact with you and helps you generate better ideas in the kind of content you want to create in the future.

Post when followers are most active

Know what are the best times to post. Chances are, these are usually the times when most of your followers are online.

But you also have to be aware that every Instagram profile has a unique set of audience. You will have followers that exist in different time zones. That's why it's crucial to find your own personalized time to post. That way, you can reach more followers and increase your engagement in the long run. You can also utilize some apps to help you determine when are those peak times.

Ideally, you should know:

  • The best time of the time/day to post
  • The best time/day to interact

Instagram also has a change of algorithm last year, prioritizing content that is "new" on other people's feeds. So, for you to get a massive amount of engagement, post your content on those peak times where most of your followers are scrolling the app.

Work with influencers

We couldn't stress this enough ‒ you have to learn how to tap into the power of influencer marketing to drive in more engagement for your brand. Partnering with an influencer helps boost your brand's authenticity. By aligning your brand with a more authoritative voice in your niche, you come off as more genuine.

Most businesses face the challenge of looking for the right influencer to partner with. Don't easily fall for the glamor of working with a macro-influencer or a big name in the industry. Instead, focus on what they can bring to the table.

You can start by planning out the right influencer strategy that fits your brand and target market first. Then, run a short trial campaign and see how receptive is the influencer's followers to your own personal brand.

You also need to see to it that the influencer you partner with is given the right tools, guidance, and resources to carry out what is expected of them. Work hand in hand with them during the entire campaign to maximize your results.

Share user-generated content

Utilizing user-generated content is one of the top marketer's best-kept secrets. It gives your followers a chance to create a deeper connection and involve deeply with your brand.

It's also an excellent strategy that helps reduce marketing costs as the content that is being created by your audience.

Know the latest trends

If you want to gain new followers, maintaining a robust social media presence isn't enough. You have to know how to interest them and keep an eye on the latest trends and updates.

That way, you'll understand what type of content you need to create (that has the power to grab your target audience’s attention)

Here's a tip ‒ most of these social media trends usually generate the highest amount of engagement from your followers. For instance, you can reach out to more potential followers when you add a geotag in stories. Chances are, your story will appear on the recommended feed of users.

Aside from that, you can also save your interesting/top stories on the story highlight feature. Doing so enables your profile visitors to see your best content.

Instagram continually changes its algorithm from time to time, so you need to stay updated on what's trending regularly so that you won't miss out on all the important updates on the platform.

Come up with awesome captions

It’s a given that Instagram is a highly visual social media platform, but you shouldn't forget the text that you come up with either. Use your captions in a way that people will engage with you.

In your caption you have to include:

A strong call to action- Here, you may ask people to like or comment with your content, visit your online store, or do anything that you'd want them to.

A compelling story- Now that you've come up with incredibly stunning visuals that will capture your audience's attention, you have to share a story that will equally make an impact.

During the initial stages, you can try experimenting with different types of captions. Test if different caption lengths influence your overall results as well.

In most cases, captions need to be kept short and sweet, because most people don't have the patience to read your entire post. Also, the average attention span these days is becoming shorter and shorter.

It doesn't hurt to write an occasionally long update though, as long as it doesn't have a significant impact on your overall engagement.

To Wrap It Up

Like we've mentioned earlier, engagement plays a vital role on Instagram. If people fail to engage with your posts, you wouldn't be able to create a constant online presence. That's why it's crucial to apply these tactics in your current Instagram marketing strategy and work towards building your engagement continuously.

About the Author -- Kevin Urrutia is the founder of Voy Media, an Instagram Marketing Company in New York. Voy Media believes in the power of Instagram in helping businesses to boost their sales and improve their conversions. Voy Media aids businesses to push the right message to the right audience in order to deliver the right outcomes.

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7 Effective Digital Marketing Techniques Small Businesses Can Take Advantage Of This 2019

If you're a small business owner,  you might be thinking of practical ways how to gain more customers and promote your business. After all, generating and maintaining loyal customers can be a challenge to most brands.

That's why it's crucial that you position your business in a way that it offers your audience unique solutions to their problems.

To keep you headed in the right direction, we'll give you seven digital marketing techniques that you can take advantage of as a small business owner:

Build your website

Your website is the very foundation of your digital marketing strategy. It's where you will provide your audience with useful information, generate leads, and collect traffic. Setting up your business website doesn't have to be costly, and doesn't take a lot of time to manage. However, surprisingly, approximately half of the population of small businesses are still not online.

Here are the things to keep in mind when building your website:

It should represent your brand- Your site gives you the opportunity to show to your audience what, why, and how you do what you do. It should be a direct representation of your brand.

Create a powerful About page- Your About page is one of the most important pages on your website. It helps you build a stronger brand and will position yourself as one of the go-to experts in the industry.

Incorporate a business blog- Blogging is a necessary aspect when running a business. It makes a huge difference when it comes to boosting search visibility, leads, and sales.

Make it mobile-friendly- Over the last couple of years, Google changed its algorithm favoring more mobile-friendly sites, as more and more people are using their mobile devices on the go. So, if you want to land on the top results, make your website as mobile friendly as possible.

Encourage sharing on social media channels- Your site must have social sharing buttons, and compelling call-to-action buttons that encourage users to share your content on social media.

Starting your own business is a daunting task, but if you know where to start and how to take advantage of the technologies available out there, you can become successful.

Make a content calendar

Creating a content calendar will help you organize the way to create and curate your material, and assist you in developing a strong marketing strategy. An excellent content calendar makes it easier posts in one place, whether its blogs, emails or social media.

So, learn to allocate your time and resources wisely, so that it significantly reduces the time you spend researching and wondering what to post.

According to Little Giant Online Marketing, having a content calendar helps you leverage on evergreen content that will have a longer shelf life, rather than wasting your time and energy on creating one-hit wonders. Focusing on planning helps you integrate your content across a variety of platforms, thus boosting your reach, audience, and ROI.

Produce quality content

Creating the right kind of content is a vital aspect of your digital marketing strategy. A badly done content can badly hurt your reputation, while high-quality content improves your brand image and creates a strong relationship with your audience. As a result, you'll be boosting your revenues.

Ideally, you need to create content that has the power to:

  • Reach your business' goals, and grow its reach.
  • Helps your audience find solutions, and encourages them to share it.

Do not underestimate the power of social media

If you want to make the most out of social media marketing, then you need to utilize popular social media channels where most of your target audience frequent. But social media can be tricky ‒ some businesses find it difficult to integrate social media for their business.

You need to first identify what type of media should be used, and how should it be used (depending on the kind of business that you have.) The most crucial element of social media is to strengthen your customer base and get repeat sales.

Team up with influencers

Should you give influencer marketing a try? Well, for one thing ‒ influencer marketing is known to provide a decent return on investment. The ROI for influencer marketing is known to generate 11x higher ROI than the more traditional forms of marketing.

Partnering with influencers makes it easier for you to reach your target audience. Of course, it all depends on the finding the influencers your company chooses to works with, and who is their audience.

Start an email marketing strategy

Email marketing is important to digital marketing. People who will visit your site will not buy from you right off the bat. That's why it's crucial to get their contact info for "lead nurturing."

Ideally, your email marketing funnel  should start with a "lead magnet." Offer something exciting to your website visitors in exchange for their email address. Possible options could be a free trial, free digital download, discounts, coupons, free webinars, and so on.

Once people have already subscribed to your email list, it's relatively easy for you to provide quality content through email.

Optimize your website for search engines

SEO gives you a chance to compete with larger organizations, by becoming more visible on search engines. Most people utilize search engines to find products both locally and online. That’s why it's vital for your site to place on the top results for the keywords that directly relate to what you're selling.

Wrapping It Up

Digital marketing can be complicated, but if you're going to turn your business into a success, it's all worth the time and investment. To help you get started, it’s never too late to ask for an expert’s advice.

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5 Benefits of Personalized Video Marketing for your Business

Video marketing is always a perfect content material for many consumers online. Different statistics back this up. At least four out of five users on Twitter watch video content posted on their feed. A total of 500 million hours of content watches Youtube every day. Lastly, one out of two online users seeks for video contents of a product before deciding if s/he will purchase one.

However, these kinds of videos should be compelling enough for people to leave a lasting effect. Thus, the creation of personalized video contents. These videos are building engagement opportunities to give a memorable experience to your audience. In this article, High Tower Video Production will give you five different advantages and benefits of using personalized video marketing. Sit back and continue reading, you may not know that this innovation might change your business.

 

1. Boosts Conversion and Sales

Personalized campaigns and contents have a significant impact on the performance of different e-commerce companies. The biggest benefit for personalized contents, especially videos, is boosting of conversions and sales.

Both videos and personalized contents have huge impacts on conversions and sales. What will happen if you combine those two into one content? The potential for success is very high. Most marketers noticed a 20% increase in sales when they use personalized contents. Consumers have a 64-84% chance of buying a purchase after watching a video on the shop's site.

Personalized video content is a good idea if you need more profit for your business. Also, the potential of having significant influence and higher sales and conversion rates is very likely.

 

 

2. Increases People’s Trust

Trustworthy and reliability is one of the many aims of every brand online. If you have achieved that image of your brand to your audience, it can give you a big lead from your competitors. Different contents can help you have a credible and reliable image, but personalized video contents can do the work for you.

Personalized videos can give a compelling impression to your audience. With the combination of building a relationship to your audience and creating a memorable content for them, personalized videos can easily increase the trust of your audience to your brand — not only that benefit but also leaving a lasting memory to them, which will make your content hard to forget and imprinted to them.

Focus your video content on your customers' values, needs, and other information about them that should have a connection to your brand or products.

 

3. Appeals to Mobile Users

Videos appeal to different mobile and smartphone users. Videos are most likely watched through the use of a smartphone or any mobile device. Based on many research and studies over the past years, online users are very comfortable watching video content and longer contents through their mobile phones.

With this data and information, you need to take advantage of this phenomenon. Since videos appeal to many users, your personalized video contents are perfect for mobile users. People are watching videos through handheld devices because of the experience brought by videos on mobile. Your brand needs to create a unique experience with the video content you are creating on their smartphones.

 

 

4. Converts Well on Facebook

Facebook has updated their rules and policies for having exposure for video contents on news feeds. Videos are perfect for Facebook. There are different ideas on what videos you can create for your Facebook marketing. You can either make paid video ads for your brand to widen the reach of your brand image or create video contents for your customers to build a relationship and strengthen your ties.

Another idea is using the Facebook Live feature and create personalized videos with it. You can have real-time experience with your customers, and at the same time, it can be still viewed even after the live streaming. It is also important to make your first seconds of the video compelling and fascinating to sustain the attention of your viewers. Lastly, captions should also be interesting to draw your audience's attention. Facebook is mainly made for relationship-building and connection to people, use that wisely using your personalized video contents.

 

 

5. Effective Way of Communication

Videos are a perfect way to convey a message to your audience. Not only it is an interesting way to be a medium of a message, but also it can transmit a message because it is dynamic content and not static. Also, videos can help you angle a message based on its main aim. You can frame your message to be urgent or appealing depending on your video execution.

 

Final Thoughts

Personalized video contents are still on the rise in this generation of content creation. Its potential is also not measured to its highest point. However, it is sure that personalized video marketing can undoubtedly give you different benefits in your business. After reading these five different benefits, we hope that you will try to create one and have significant advantages to your business.

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Why Is It Important To Conduct Pre-Employment Background Checks

Whenever there is a vacant position in a company, the human resource department goes through the same process to fill the position. Firstly, they would have to publish the job description on paper or online to reach out to individuals looking for a job. Upon receiving applications, the employer will then sort out the applicant pool to find potential candidates for the job and to schedule their interviews. The interviews, whether on-the-phone or in-person, will supply the employer with information so they can assess if the applicant suits the job.

That’s how the employment screening process usually goes; however, one important step was forgotten: the background check. If it seems quite excessive to go through that extra step, here are four reasons that might change your mind before you hire a prospective employee.

 

Highlights If There Are Any Criminal Records

Criminal records are the top reason why pre-employment background checks are being run. Of course, you’d want to hire only the best people in your company, and sometimes the existence of criminal records help you with deciding.

Having a criminal record does not necessarily mean that the applicant will not be hired, though. Reportedly, 90% of employers would automatically disqualify applicants who were convicted of crimes related to violence, theft, or dishonesty. These charges imply that the applicant may be dangerous, unreliable, or not suitable for hiring which is a red light.

The number is a lot lower if there were only minor infractions found; only 32% would disregard your application. An employer has the right to possess this information to decide in the best interest of the company.

 

Flags Past Infraction

Alongside the criminal history, some background checks will also flag driving records, credit histories, or other relevant information. Some may argue that several license suspensions or some missed payments and debt have nothing to do with how the applicant will perform their job.

However, if the position entails driving or handling of money, this may be an important deciding factor. For example, you hire a driver without running a background check, and he gets into an accident because he was driving under the influence. You later find out that this was not his first DUI charge when he was apprehended by the police. If only you had run a background check, you could have avoided this situation completely.

 

Verifies Education and Certification

For some positions, such as managerial roles, the employer sometimes requires the applicant to be of at least a certain educational attainment and have specific qualifications. Around 75% of employers would reject applicants who have lied on their resumes about their educational attainment.

If you think that altering their educational history just to land a job is uncommon, you’d be surprised at the number of people who lie about their degrees or diplomas. James Morris, the president, and chief operating officer of EmployeeScreenIQ, claims that they come across fake degrees and diplomas easily a hundred times per week. With that sheer amount, you should already be convinced to do a background check on your applicants.

 

The Honesty of the Candidate

Everything just boils down to the honesty of the applicant in their resume and their interviews. In addition to the 75% mentioned above, 44% would disqualify applicants who lied about their dates of employment, and 34% would reject those who altered their job titles. Background checks involve calling former employers to confirm the information on their resumes. A dishonest applicant is not someone you want to hire.

In addition to that, 75% of employers would ask potential employees to divulge any criminal history before they even run a background check. Usually, when the applicant lets their potential employer know about their circumstances and perhaps do a little explanation, it might do better than when the employer finds out by himself after the background check.

To help you sort through the pre-employment background check and to learn more about the different qualifications in hiring an employee for your business, you can check this business blog.

Conclusion

Employment screening takes up a lot of time, effort, and money. You need it for the betterment of your whole team, work, and company. From here, you want to hire the right person on the first try to save wasted resources if you find yourself in the screening process again.

Conducting a background check also confirms if the applicant were truthful and transparent in their resume and in their interview which are some characteristics you’d want in all your employees. You would also want to keep the safety in the workplace and integrity of the company in case you run into an applicant with a dodgy history.

If you want to avoid all of the complications that could arise without getting a background check on your applicants, you better start upgrading your employee screening process to get a comprehensive profile of your potential staff. After all, better be safe than sorry!

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5 Important Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Web Host

A hosting provider is a big decision for most online businesses even if it is for a blog, an online shopping store, or an introductory business website. Whatever it is for, you must secure a high-quality, stable, and dependable website host for your online needs.

If you are just starting a website, choosing a reliable website host is crucial. On this post, we’ll share five things that you might want to look into before picking your web hosting service provider.

1. Price

It is always a difficult decision in weighing between the hosting company’s reliability and its affordability. Remember that you will always get the service for the price you paid for. Take a look at the company’s support team, you need to ensure that the team is an in-house one and not an outsourced team.

If you are aiming for a high-performing and trustworthy provider, it may require you to shell out money. It will be worth it if you are with the best provider for your business. Lastly, make a habit to create a comparison between each provider’s fees and offers for your business. In that way, you can know where your money will maximize its value.

 

2. Site Backup

A single website crash may give inconvenience and huge interruptions while looking at your services, products, etc. There are a wide variety of reasons why your website is crashing. It may range from having a damaged index.php file to having hackers do their thing to your site. It can also be an unplanned glitch.

Whenever you are undergoing this dilemma, you would need to have a backup for your site for easier configuration of your website crash. Having a backup will easily help you to restore your site. It is a thing you need to consider in picking a host because they should be backing up your site regularly.

Here are some questions you need to ask before deciding on your hosting company:

  • Do you administer regular backing up of sites?
  • Does your admin control panel have a backup feature?
  • Do you have a manual backup option?
  • Are there any plugins available for site backup?
  • Will you be helping us in restoring the website’s backup?


3. Control Panel

If you have prior knowledge on website hosting and other related topics, it will be easier for you to understand your website and how it works. Some basic things like setting up your email and FTP accounts should be done without asking for assistance from your partner company. Your hosting company should be able to provide you a control panel like Plesk or cPanel to make other modifications and configurations effortless. It will help you get the job faster instead of calling for help.

 

4. Technical Support

According to web hosting secret revealed - A good and reliable hosting company should be able to give an effective and fast assistance and support for different potential problems. Finding a hosting company that offers real-time support is crucial.

You need to consider hosting companies who are visible online and on their social media accounts, as well as visibility on their chat support. These companies should be given more priority to help you in hosting your site than choosing outsourced support services because they easily have a huge gap in time and reliability.

 

5. Customer Satisfaction

You will not get the answer to the question ‘does your company satisfy a lot of customers?’ in one click. Intensive research is needed to be done to know more about the customer satisfaction rate of your company. One way is doing a Google Blog search. Another way is looking at their social media accounts, look for a company that has a great social media strategy as they are the one who values more their customer’s experience. Another, is you need to do a social listening activity and look at what their community and customers are saying about them. A creative way is to post in your public account and crowdsource for reviews about a certain company.

 

Final Thoughts

Getting a web host is your first stepping stone in excelling amongst the online businesses present. Making sure that the company is the one for you is a vital factor in your success. Look for online reviews like this Bluehost web hosting review to help you decide which provider is better for your company. With the five factors we presented above, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices and find the best web host for you.

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