Category Archives: Marketing

inbound lead generation

A Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Lead Generation

Did you know that only 18% of marketers value outbound sales strategies for providing qualified leads? 

Inbound lead generation has taken over not only digital marketing but marketing as a whole. But what is it exactly? 

 The idea of what inbound sales is, often gets lumped into the stereotypes of traditional lead generation. But inbound lead generation stands alone. 

Here’s everything you need to know about inbound lead generation. 

What Makes a Lead? 

So what makes something a lead versus a contact or a simple email? The answer is interest. 

A lead is someone who has expressed interest in your business through many forms, like signing up for a newsletter, downloading an ebook, and browsing your website. 

Cold emailing a person you’ve found on the internet, or purchasing a large contact list does not qualify as “lead generation.” The lead must be the one to initiate the conversation with a business. 

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. If you recently watched a free webinar from a company and received an email follow-up asking how it was, and if you would be interested in more products, it wouldn’t feel intrusive. But, if a company were to suddenly start emailing you, asking if you’d like to see their products, it would feel a little invasive, and even desperate. 

Understanding the Types of Leads 

All leads aren’t necessarily the same. Different leads fall into different parts of the buyer’s journey. There are four main types of qualified leads, or leads that are “actually” leads, they’re listed below. 

  • Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL). These are the people at the beginning of the buyer’s journey, who have expressed indirect interest, like through an ebook download. MQLs are in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey. 
  • Sales Qualified Leads (SQL). These leads have directly expressed interest in your product by engaging with your company, like through a Facebook message asking about a product. SQLs are in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey. 
  • Product Qualified Leads (PQL). PQLs are also in the consideration stage. They are potential clients who have tried your product but have not actually purchased it yet. Think free trials and free samples. 
  • Service Qualified Leads. These are institutions or individuals who have decided that they want your product, and have reached out to your team to express so. 

What is Lead Generation? 

Lead generation is the act of curating qualified leads. Lead generation is not cold emailing or email blasting thousands of random contacts. It’s the “art” of making people genuinely interested in your product or service and converting them into customers. 

To understand what is truly interesting to your target audience, you need to understand them. You’ve got to think about the challenges they face and the solutions you can offer them. An Instagram post, an event, and a press release are all examples of lead generators. 

Think of it as if you were trying to make connections at an event. An almost guaranteed way to turn strangers into friends is to fulfill a need they have.

Pointing someone in the direction of the room their looking for, helping someone get their order in at a crowded bar, and complimenting someone are all ways to break the ice. All of these examples fulfill an intrinsic need. 

The same is to be said for lead generation, get people aware and interested in your company by giving them something they need. Provide a tutorial video on a common question you receive or see in your industry, give them something like an invite to a free event, or a free online course. 

Understanding Inbound Lead Generation

By now you might have realized that inbound lead generation takes many forms. The most successful strategies are embedded in all aspects of a company’s inbound marketing strategy. 

For inbound lead generation to be successful, there needs to be a central inbound strategy that connects all inbound marketing channels. Each method should work together to enhance each individual strategy, not work against one another or in a detached manner. 

Email, content and social media marketing, along with a company’s website are all essential tools at the center of an inbound sales strategy. 

How to Use Inbound Marketing to Generation Leads

Create high-quality content that serves a purpose. Don’t just regurgitate information from across the web onto your website. 

Think about what unique angle your company can bring to a topic. Think about the topics you’re authoritative in and how you can be of service to your target audience. Create a resourceful blog, or YouTube channel or guide book for completely free. 

Stay relevant by sharing a newsletter with your current lead database. Segment the database by the type of leads they are. Share relevant news and solutions, and use email as a tool to distribute your content on. 

Use PPC and paid search advertising to capture the interest of your target audience for inbound lead generation. Bring users who click to a resourceful landing page where a potential lead must fill out a form to access exclusive content like a product trial, coupon or other freebies. 

Consistently manage your social media profiles. Make sure that your company information is updated and that photos and imagery are consistent with your brand. Consistently update your social networks with content that’s interesting and relevant to the audiences of each independent social network.

awareness campaign ideas

10 Innovative Brand Awareness Campaign Ideas

A good brand campaign can work wonders. It can help grow your business, take you from an unknown to a well-known name in your industry, and even help you become President of the United States.

There are lots of ways to run an effective branding campaign but the key is to find the people who are most likely interested in what you have to offer and engage them where they hang out. Let’s look at 10 innovative brand awareness campaign ideas.

What Is Brand Awareness?

Brand awareness is what it says in the name – getting people more aware of your brand. This is a form of marketing but there’s a subtle difference from how most businesses market themself.

Instead of trying to convince people to buy your products or services, brand marketing is all about getting your name out there. You might not get a single sale as a direct result of the campaign but if you do it well, you’ll be the first place they think of when they’re in the market for what you have to offer.

Make It Personal

A common mistake a lot of brands make in their awareness campaigns is making it too “corporate”. Your customers know you’re running a business but they still want a personal connection with the people in that business.

Even if the only person in that business is you.

Socialize with Your Audience

Interact with your audience on a personal level. Take social networks like Facebook and Twitter literally and socialize with people. Build a rapport with them and they’ll remember you.

Even if you can’t connect with everyone in your target audience, they’ll see how you treat other people. Those one-to-one connections can multiply to one-to-many even if you don’t see it happening.

Tell a Story

Everyone loves a good story. The most successful movies, TV shows, and companies have a story to tell. For example, Apple’s story is about its rise, gradual decline to near-bankruptcy, and how its returning founder turned it around and it became one of the world’s biggest companies.

Create a memorable story about your company that people will immediately think of when they hear your name. Make that a part of your company’s identity and share that story at every opportunity.

Develop a Personality for Your Brand

Along with a story, your brand should have its own personality. It might be quirky, funny, adventuresome, or conservative. It should be something that will resonate with your target market but exactly how you want to be seen is up to you.

People will remember you if you express an opinion. If your image is bland and doesn’t make you stand out, your brand won’t stick in their memory.

Use the Freemium Model

If you sell a product or service, consider using the freemium model to build brand awareness. This means you give your product or service away for free, with a paid option that adds features or makes it better in some way.

Smartphone apps are one of the most common examples of this model. A lot of these apps are free to download and let you use a limited set of features or use the app for a limited amount of time. They have a paid upgrade that either unlocks extra features or gives the users some other benefit.

This can help build buzz for your brand by getting people talking about it and sharing it on social media sites.

Offer Free, High-Quality Content

This is like the freemium model in some ways but instead of giving away your product or service, give away your knowledge. Share helpful information with your audience to help make your brand more recognizable.

If the content is good enough, your readers will share it with their network, those people will share it with their, and so on. If this happens on a large enough scale, you’ll end up going viral.

Become a Multimedia Producer

Written content like blog posts and email newsletters are important but in today’s world, you need to offer multimedia content as well. Podcasts get more popular every year and it’s easy to produce your own show. The costs are minimal but can help get your brand in front of a lot of people.

YouTube videos can do the same thing. Creating video content is a bit more complex than podcasts but it’s still relatively inexpensive and easy to do. This is particularly important if you target a younger audience since YoUTube is one of their most-watched sources of entertainment and information.

Partner with Influencers

With the growth of YouTube and other social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, some publishers have become celebrities in their market. These people are known as “influencers” because of the power they have to influence their audiences.

A lot of these influencers make a living by partnering with brands to promote them to their audiences. This can be a great way to get exposure for your brand, with people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer.

Create a Brand Hashtag

Brand awareness is built into most social networks. Trending topics are the things that people are talking about the most and once something starts to trend, it snowballs from there. As people see it trending, they start talking about it, which makes it trend even higher.

If you can get your business into those trending topics, you can reach a huge new audience to get your brand in front of them. Creating a hashtag for your brand can help. Add it to every post you make on social media and encourage your audience to do the same whenever they talk about your business on social media.

Attend Industry Conferences and Workshops

This idea is a little more old-school but it still works as well as ever. Attending industry conferences and workshops will help you meet people in your market and get your brand in front of the people who are most interested.

If you have a chance to sponsor the event in some way, that’s even better. This can get your name in front of every attendee and potentially their networks. If you provide giveaways or samples of your product that they can use, it can pay back several times over through the extra exposure.

Putting Your Brand Awareness Campaign Ideas into Action

Hopefully, some of these brand awareness campaign ideas struck a chord with you. If so, don’t feel like you have to do them all at once. Take it one step at a time. Start with one campaign idea, get it up and running, and see how it works. If it works well, scale it up as much as possible and then add another idea to the mix.

Another effective way to build your brand is through search engine optimization. Getting your site ranked near the top of Google will put your website and name in front of all the people searching for what you have to offer. And those are the perfect people to target since you can offer a solution to their problem.

There are several factors in getting a top ranking in Google but one of the most important is links pointing to your website from other sites. can help you build those links without spending a huge amount of time and effort on it. Get in touch with us today for a free link building consultation and find out how we can help you build your brand.

content marketer

Do You Need to Hire a Content Marketer?

There are two words that will turn every consumer’s head at any time: “ad-free.”

Everywhere you look, people are more resistant to ads than ever. They’re paying extra for their streaming services to watch their favorite shows without ads. They’re installing ad blocking software in their browsers.

People don’t like to feel like they’re being “sold to” and manipulated. When you’re trying to advertise your business, don’t get discouraged. Get creative by hiring a content marketer instead.

Is a content marketer the next step your business needs to take on the road to success?

Signs You Need to Hire a Content Marketer

If you don’t have a content marketer on your team or a content marketing agency available, you may not realize how much your business is missing. Look for these tell-tale signs.

Your Website Has No Blog (Or a Sparse One)

A blog is one of the best things you can do for your website. It needs to have a steady flow of valuable, well-written content about relevant topics.

When we offer this advice, the same question always follows: how often do companies need to post on their blogs? The answer varies from one website to the next.

Overall, it appears that blogging every few days is optimal. However, it all depends on your site and your audience, so you need to experiment and watch your site’s metrics to find your “sweet spot.”

Or a content marketer can oversee that process for you.

Your Blog Posts are Snooze-Fests

Merely having a blog with frequent posts isn’t enough. Those posts have to be riveting. Spectacular. A TED Talk on the page.

Maybe they don’t all have to be masterpieces but your blogs should be engaging and interesting to read. The information they hold needs to be practical and applicable as well.

Not sure if your blogs fit the bill? Reach out to someone in your target audience. Ask them to browse your blog posts and give you their unvarnished opinion.

You can also see the evidence by looking at the average length of time users spend on your blog pages. If it’s a few mere seconds, you’re losing their interest. 

You Aren’t Getting the Traffic You Want

One of the easiest metrics to track is website traffic. It’s easy to track over time and most importantly, it’s easy for you to see when it drops off.

If your numbers aren’t living up to your dreams, your content could be to blame.

Content that is optimized for search engines can pull in traffic like a magnet. It will use keywords that are searched frequently and that will land your site on the first page of search results.

If the lack of traffic is your problem, make sure you find a content marketer who has extensive SEO knowledge.

Your Social Media Following is Stagnant

Most of your content will live on your website, but its influence doesn’t stop there. To get more mileage for all the glorious content you produce, you should be sharing it on social media too.

If you do this, it also gives you one more way to tell if you need a content marketer.

When your content is strong, people will notice it. Then they’ll notice you and start following you.

If your social media engagement and your follower numbers are dropping or sitting still, it could mean your content isn’t attractive enough. A content marketer can turn that around in a hurry.

Your Blog Roll Sounds Like an Ad Campaign

When you’re producing content for your website’s blog, your ultimate goal is to drive revenue. That won’t happen if your content is too “on the nose,” though.

Let’s say you run a dog grooming business. When you look at your blog roll, it shouldn’t be full of titles like, “Why you need dog grooming,” “Why dog grooming is the best,” and “Why dog grooming is important.”

A few straightforward self-promotion blogs are fine here and there. The bulk of your content, though, should be genuinely valuable information readers are searching for.

For example, better titles would be, “How often should I groom my dog?” and “The hottest dog haircut trends in 2019.” A content marketer can find those valuable topics and craft expert blogs for them.

You Don’t Have a Dedicated Content Strategy

When content marketing first started taking hold, it was a cutting-edge luxury. Today, it’s essential for any business that wants to be proactive in reaching and gaining customers.

No matter how strong your business is today, you need a content marketing strategy. It should be a distinctive part of your marketing plan.

That content marketing strategy should spell out the overall message and image you want to portray. It should also outline different campaigns and focus areas throughout the year.

Finally, your content marketing strategy should have a decisive content calendar. It should include the types of content you need to produce, when to produce them, what purpose they serve, and more.

Feeling a tad overwhelmed by how much you’re missing? A content marketer can design your strategy from start to finish.

What to Do if You Can’t Afford a Full-Time Content Marketer

Let’s assume you fit some of the criteria above and you’ve confirmed that you need a content marketer. The problem is, you don’t have a full-time employee’s salary and benefits sitting around in your budget.

The solution is simple: hire a content marketing agency instead. You’ll only pay for the work you need and there are no benefits or additional workspaces to afford.

As an added bonus, you get the expertise of the entire agency that has trained the person building your content. Compare this to the knowledge a single content marketer has.

Want to give your content marketing an extra boost? Learn more about buying text links today.


Transition Sentences For More Powerful SEO Marketing Content

SEO covers a lot of topics, including backlinks and web design. However, there’s no doubt that the backbone of any SEO strategy is content.

The content serves as the “bait.” Your posts lure readers into your website, promising the exact information they seek.

Like a good backbone, it also supports the SEO of the rest of the website. It allows you to place internal links, external links, and so on.

That said, it should be high in quality. Interesting topics and proper grammar are a given, but there’s one element of it that only a few writers take seriously: transition sentences.

These sentences help readers get through the content by bridging one idea to another. Let’s learn more about them below.

First, What are Transition Words?

Transition words show the relationship between two sentences, phrases, or paragraphs. It links the two together so that the reader knows to connect the meaning of the two. 

Take, for example, the sentences below.

Example A: “I have a 63-year-old grandmother. She looks beautiful.”

Example B: “I have a 63-year-old grandmother. Despite that, she looks beautiful.”

In example B, our connecting word – or phrase – is “despite that.” Using it, the sentences flow more fluidly. It also lets the readers know that the grandmother looks beautiful despite her age.

Without the transition phrase, it looks like the narrator was spouting random facts. 

What are Transition Sentences?

Transition sentences, like connecting words, then bridge one idea to another without letting the readers fall into a state of confusion. 

Like so, they have the same uses: 

  • To change the subject
  • To introduce a contradiction
  • To emphasize a point
  • To show agreement to the preceding idea
  • To show cause and effect
  • To provide clarification
  • To give examples
  • To conclude an idea
  • And so on

They establish an organizational flow, making a blog post look more cohesive rather than pure word vomit. 

Types of Transition Words

Transition sentences make an explicit connection between two sentences, paragraphs, and ideas. It’s best not to use the word “this” when referring to the previous point, as it’s not always clear what the word refers to.

Like you would expect, they use transition words. Check out some essential words/phrases below that will help you make good transition sentences. 

1. Contradiction

These are words showing a contrast between two sentences, phrases or paragraphs. You use it to point out alternatives or introduce a change of reasoning.

Examples are “but,” “although,” “instead,” “however,” “otherwise,” “whereas,” “albeit,” “besides,” and so on.

To give you a simple example, here are two contrasting sentences:

“I’m not fond of social media. But I have a Facebook account for keeping in touch with friends and family.”

For a transition sentence, you can say something like:

“However, the scenario we explained isn’t always true.”

Then, proceed with a contrasting point.

2. Similarity

In contrast to the above, this type shows a similarity between two thoughts. It’s used for reinforcing the preceding idea or agree to it.

Examples are “as well as,” “together with,” “in addition,” “likewise,” “in the same vein,” “by the same token,” and so on.

Let’s use that in a sentence, “In the same vein as ~this example~, here’s ~another example with a similar result~.”

3. Cause / Condition

This type of transitional words shows there are a cause and an effect. Other words under this category also present specific conditions or intentions. 

In many cases, the cause/effect’s implied, like so: “I’m tired. I’m going to bed.”

However, not all sentences make themselves look this clear. These cases then elicit the use of a transition word or phrase. You can use “therefore,” “thus,” “as a result,” “under those circumstances,” “consequently,” and so on.

4. Example

This one’s self-explanatory: you use a transition word to give an example. Phrases that can help the readers grasp the concept include, “for instance,” “for example,” “to demonstrate,” “to illustrate,” and so on.

What follows right away is an example; you might even notice some scattered here in this article. 

5. Clarification

This one’s used for clarifying the previous idea. In other words, it’s used for presenting the same idea in a manner that readers might understand better. 

See what we did there? For this one, you can use “in other words,” “that is to say,” “to clarify,” and more.

6. Emphasis

Don’t confuse this for clarification. It’s used for emphasizing the previous point, like so:

“Many Americans are obese. In fact, over 50% of American men and women are obese or overweight.” 

7. Time

To give the readers a clear indication, limitation, or restriction of time, we use transitional words of this type. You can use “at the present time,” “meanwhile,” “subsequently,” “until,” “since,” “henceforth,” and so on.

Let’s use an example sentence to connect two different ideas:

“In the past, women weren’t able to vote. They weren’t able to enjoy much freedom as the men did.

That was all in the past, however.

At present, women are now enjoying the same privileges only men were previously entitled to.”

You can see how the transitional phrase prepares the reader for the different idea that it was about to present. 

8. Space

Much like in the case of transition phrases representing time, those that represent space give the readers a description of the spatial order or reference.

Examples are, “in the middle,” “here,” “next,” “around,” “alongside,” “before,” and so on.

9. Conclusion

This type summarizes all the points presented or indicate a general statement. You often use phrases like, “to summarize,” “in conclusion,” “in short,” “in either case,” “in any event,” “by and large,” “for the most part,” and so on.

An example sentence will be “All things considered, there’s a strong hint of life beyond our galaxy.”

Use the Right Transition Word, Phrase, or Sentence

Follow these guidelines for effective transition sentences. Yes, attracting readers is one of the main goals of SEO, but making them stay is another.

Don’t worry, it won’t be long until you see the results of being nitpicking each part of your SEO strategy. Check out how long it takes to get results in this guide here.


Make an Unforgettable Company Identity with Smart Brand Design

When most people think of the concept of “branding,” they have a tendency to write it off as little more than a buzzword

“Branding” can be a bit difficult to define, but the reality is that it’s the difference between success and failure for many companies across a variety of industries. Branding isn’t just about choosing company colors or dreaming up a logo design. 

Instead, think of it as the entirety of your company’s image. 

It helps to think of brand design as a person. People don’t show their identities solely by the clothes they choose to wear, right? They also show people who they are by the way they talk, the hobbies they’re interested in, how they respond to stress, where they work…this list could go on forever. 

Your brand is like the personality of your company — and you need to take corporate identity design seriously to stand out. 

So, how do you create winning brand designs? 

Keep on reading to find out. 

Start With Questions

Before you do anything else, you need to ask yourself and the other founders of your company a few questions. 

If you didn’t know anything about your brand, what kinds of questions might you ask? These are the things you need to consider when developing your brand design. 

For example, why did you start your company? Why does what your brand does matter to you on a personal level? How will it make peoples’ lives better? What’s your experience within this industry? Who do you primarily sell to? How are you different from your competitors? 

These questions will help you reintroduce yourself to your brand, and allow you to build a foundation for your overall brand design. 

You can also send brand surveys like this one to your employees and existing customers to learn about what other people associate with your brand. This way, you’ll learn about what other people actually think of your brand — not just what you want them to think of it. 

Make a Customer Prototype

In the introduction to this guide, we talked about the advantages of seeing your brand as a person. 

Next, you should take things a step further and create a customer prototype personality to assist with your brand identification plan. Essentially, you’ll need to create a character of your ideal customer — and tell the story of how your brand can help them. 

Decide how old this customer is, what they struggle with the most, their income level, their priorities, their location, and their hobbies/interests. Then, tell the story of how your product or services will help to improve their quality of life. 

You can even use this mock customer in your marketing materials. People will certainly see themselves in your creation. This means that it will be even easier for your market to identify themselves and choose to follow your company because it’s relevant to their interests. 

Create a Mood Board

Next, you should create a mood board for your brand — the first step towards truly visualizing what your brand design will look like. 

If you’re a tour guide company, put up pictures of popular destinations. Write down a list of adjectives that people associate with your brand. Figure out the different phases a customer goes through before they decide to buy your product/services, and put those phases up on the board. 

Even put up a few images you’re considering using in your logo, and pin a few potential color palettes to your board. 

Once you see everything laid out, it’ll be much easier for you to create a brand story and make the right choices when it comes to typography, social media presence, your logo, and your company colors. 

Make Brand Design Choices

Perhaps the most well-known aspect of brand identity development is the design element. 

Look back at the way customers and employees have responded to surveys and questionnaires. Notice words that keep coming up over and over again, like “outdoors,” “dependable,” or “time-saving.” 

These words will inform your brand design elements, like your company colors, your logo, and your business’s slogan. 

For example, let’s say you’re a wedding flower shop, and “creative” is a word you see over and over again in your results. You want to pick a logo symbol that makes it clear what you do, but also differentiates you from your competitors. 

We love the logo design idea of having a bride walking down the aisle carrying an oversized, over-the-top bouquet.

First of all, the design is active. Secondly, it’s obvious you’re a wedding florist. Finally, it says that you’re for offbeat brides that want something different than what everyone else has. 

You’re Ready to Get Started with Brand Design

We hope this post has helped you to understand just how important brand design is to every business. 

A solid branding strategy is what helps you to connect to your target market, allows you to evoke emotion in your customers, and separates you from your similar competitors. 

Once you’ve developed your brand design, you need to start thinking about how you’re going to share it with the world. 

Search engine optimization — SEO for short — is the most effective way to get your message out there in today’s climate. 

We can help you to master it with the fine art of backlinking. 

When you’re ready to take your digital marketing level to the same high level as your branding strategy, rely on us to help make it happen. 

social media shares

7 Awesome Strategies for Boosting Your Social Media Shares

Social media is one of the hottest ways to market your products and services, largely because it makes information so easy to share. 

But while you can create a fantastic ad or informative post, that doesn’t guarantee a lot of people will see it. In fact, if you don’t have a strategy for how to reach more eyes with your social media, then it can fall flat. 

You could spend a bunch of money on sponsored posts, or you can grow your reach organically. One of the best organic methods is to encourage social media shares. But how do you do that? 

Let’s take a look at 7 strategies…

1. Create Emotional Content 

It’s easy to play it safe and create content that doesn’t evoke many reactions, whether happy or sad. But is mediocre the way you want people to think about your business?

Using emotion in content writing is one way to do this. You can do this by telling a story that the reader can connect to. You can also achieve emotional responses by creating video content that engages the viewer. 

But keep one thing in mind: it will make a difference if you evoke happy tears or sad tears. Engagement is high either way, but people are more likely to share positive content than they are negative. 

Whatever you do, don’t create social media posts that make your followers say “meh” and move on. 

2. Target Social Media Influencers

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or just arrived from 1920, then you’ll know there’s this whole movement of influencers online. These are generally younger, photogenic people who have amazing adventures seemingly every day. 

While some people roll their eyes at influencers, they also create an opportunity to really boost your shares. One way to do this is by figuring out a way to mention a celebrity in your content and to say something nice about them – perhaps how they run a charity to save endangered animals, for example. 

Or you can even ask an influencer if they’d like to create some content with you. For example, you could interview them about a particular topic and write an article that can be shared. 

3. Create a Contest

Dream up some kind of contest that people can take part in by sharing your content. Tell people one of the stipulations is they have to share the contest post to be eligible (but that’s not a requirement.)

You can also encourage the contestant to tag a friend to be considered for the prize. That way when the tagged person sees it, they may be inclined to allow it to be posted to their page, especially if that person stands to win something as well. 

One idea is to give away a pair of tickets to an event. Instruct entrants that the tagged person in your share is the one they want to go to the event with. 

4. Use Quality Images

While you may have created some insightful or informative content, it might not be shared without an image. A beautiful image can increase your likelihood that your post will be shared (or at least looked at more.)

Just make sure you have full permission to use the image in the post, whether it’s from a free site or you took the photo yourself. You may also think about hiring a professional photographer if you really want to invest in original, quality images for your posts. 

5. Post at The Right Time

Did you post a great piece of content, but it’s only received one like after an hour of going live?

There are a few possible reasons for this. One of them could be that your content just isn’t engaging, as was noted earlier. Another could be that you’re just posting the material at the wrong times. 

Think about when people will have time to sip a coffee and scroll through their social media feeds. This could be at 7:30 a.m. when people are sipping their morning coffee, or at 8:30 p.m. when people are done watching their primetime shows. 

The right time to post can vary by social network. You can try to use analytics to see spikes in your web traffic, or you can just use the trial and error method to see what time works best for engagement. 

6. Try a Guest Post 

A guest post is when you establish a relationship with another media site (or blogger) and write a post for them. You can choose blog hosts that specialize in the type of business you run – then your post will be from a bonafide industry insider! That’s a benefit for the host’s web traffic. 

The advantage of a guest post is that you or your business name will be made available to all of the audience of the hosting site. With larger media sites, that can be a very large number. It also means a lot more potential for sharing. 

Then you can add a backlink at the end of the guest post, which brings people back to your website or social media channel. 

7. Use Multiple Social Platforms

Some businesses only use one social media channel, such as Facebook. That’s not a bad thing, but you’re limiting the scope of how many people you can reach if you ignore Twitter and even LinkedIn. 

When you post a piece of content through apps, it will often give you the option of whether you want to share it through your other channels as well. You’ve instantly increased your audience and the potential for shares. 

You can also post something on Facebook and then do a teaser on Instagram that brings people to your Facebook page.

Social Media Shares Mean More Exposure

The power of social media for marketing is hard to deny. By creating the right kind of content that evokes emotion in your audience, as well as paying attention to timing and quality, you can enjoy a lot more social media shares. 

In the meantime, if you run a quality site that can host other people’s content, then you can make money in an affiliate program

business blog ideas

4 Tips for Brainstorming Business Blog Ideas Your Audience Will Love

Would you like to have 67% more leads? What about an average of 434% more indexed pages for your website?

If so, then you don’t have to spend a ton of cash on marketing gimmicks or spend hours in Photoshop editing images and postcards.

Instead, all you have to do is start a business blog. You can do it for free on your own, or hire a freelancer to write your posts to keep costs to a minimum. Not only does blogging allow you to prove your industry expertise and let customers know about upcoming products/services. It also improves your website’s overall search engine ranking.

Need a little help coming up with business blog ideas?

If so, then read on to learn all about some of the best blog topics to keep visitors coming back week after week.

1. Your First Blog Post

Your introductory blog post is one of the most important ones that you’ll write.

In it, you need to focus primarily on making a connection with your target market. In other words, your readers need to be able to see themselves, their problems, and their priorities in your post. You should also strive to create an emotional response in these readers — because that’s what keeps them reading.

Remember, the longer people stay on your page, the higher your SEO score climbs.

In your first blog post, talk about why you started your business, and how you fill a need that your competitors haven’t. The more personal you’re willing to be here, the better — honesty and vulnerability go a long way towards establishing brand trust.

Briefly discuss your company’s values, the industry you work within, and casually mention a few standout products/services (but make sure it doesn’t read like an ad.)

You should be sure to follow up with any blog comments that readers leave you, and always encourage them to share the post on social media.

2. Check Out Online Forums

Your blog topics should primarily focus on answering some of the most common questions that your target market has about not just your business, but also your industry as a whole.

What’s one of the best ways to find out exactly what kinds of questions they’re asking?

Visit an online forum website like Quora or Reddit.

Here, you’ll be able to search for questions within your industry and pick out which questions you see asked over and over again. You should also read the answers that others have left, so you can have the chance to clear up misinformation if needed.

You’ll likely get at least three blog topics all focused on providing easy-to-understand, brief, and genuinely helpful answers. Not only will you prove that you know you’re stuff, but you’ll also prove your value to consumers.

3. Research Popular Keywords

Do you still need to come up with engaging business blog ideas?

Why not use popular keyword search tools (try this free one to get started) to help you learn what your market is talking about?

For example, let’s say you run a catering company, and you find that one of the popular keywords for your industry is “best catering company near me.”

From that simple keyword phrase alone, you can write about numerous topics.

Try what to look for in a catering company, how to find a last-minute catering company, the top questions you should ask a catering company, and the most in-demand foods that catering companies provide.

This isn’t just beneficial because it helps you to come up with things to write about. It’s also a wonderful way to give your SEO score a quick boost. Just make sure you avoid keyword stuffing — or risk turning off clients and being penalized by Google.

4. Your Competitors

What’s one final way to figure out the kind of content your blog should — and shouldn’t –contain?

By researching the topics your competitors are writing about.

First of all, this will prevent you from creating blog topics that are practically identically to the ones that your competitors have already covered. The last thing you want is a blog that’s just the same as everyone else’s.

But looking at your competitors’ blog posts will also help you to identify common themes, popular topics, and even the kinds of posts that generate a good response from readers.

Take a look at the comments sections in particular.

Are readers asking questions that you know you can answer?

If so, why not write a post about it? After all, it’s a great way to jump on a popular topic without coming across as a content copier. You can also figure out how to put your own spin on a hot topic your competitor has written about in the past.

After all, everyone wants a second opinion.

Generating Business Blog Ideas Is Simple

Whether you love writing tutorials, reviewing popular products within your industry, or sharing new business developments with your readers, we hope these business blog ideas have you feeling inspired.

Of course, once you have a strong list of topics, you’ll need to include excellent internal and external links in the content to increase your SEO score. You’ll also need to optimize the content with keywords, images, and the right kinds of promotion on social media or e-newsletters.

If you’re curious about link building, in particular, you’re in the right place to learn about buying and selling backlinks, starting affiliate programs, and much more.

Make sure to explore the rest of our site so you don’t miss out.

best youtube thumbnails

Why YouTube Thumbnails Matter for SEO

YouTube visitors watch over one billion hours of video every single day. Even with this staggering amount of traffic, it can be a challenge to draw eyes to your videos. One of the most effective methods is to create great YouTube thumbnails.

A thumbnail is an afterthought in most mediums. But on YouTube, it’s a visual representation of both the content and quality of your video. If you don’t have the best YouTube thumbnails, it can lead to fewer views, a lower ranking, and terrible YouTube SEO.

Give your videos an SEO boost. Here’s how and why your thumbnails can lead to drastically improved YouTube traffic.

The Importance of YouTube Thumbnails

You’re no doubt familiar with some of the tactics Google uses to rank websites on its search engine. But what you might not know is Google also has a complex ranking algorithm for YouTube. So how does it work?

When a majority of your viewers watch your entire video, this tells YouTube that your content is valuable. YouTube also prefers videos with a high amount of comments and social media shares. And just like in search engine optimization, keywords can play a big role in the ranking of your video.

But there’s one factor I’ve neglected — and this is where thumbnails come in. Your video’s click-through rate plays a big role in YouTube SEO. When people search for a specific keyword and choose to watch your video, that increases your click-through rate.

And YouTube loves videos with a high click-through rate. The thumbnail is the most effective way to convince viewers to choose your video amongst all the rest.

Ergo, great thumbnails lead to a higher click-through rate. And a better rate leads to an improved video ranking and even more viewers.

Does your company use YouTube? It’s a key component of any digital marketing campaign.

How to Make the Best YouTube Thumbnails

So now you know that YouTube thumbnails are a key component of any video. But how do you make the most effective YouTube thumbnails? For the best results, you’ll need to do more than take a screenshot of your video.

But it’s less time-consuming than you might think. Here are five guidelines for making the best YouTube thumbnails.

1. Include Text

Have you ever heard the expression, a picture is worth a thousand words? Yeah, that’s not true for YouTube thumbnails. Text is an essential component, even if you only include one word or two.

It adds additional context to the picture. Many companies create YouTube videos to offer expertise or provide a solution to a problem. A picture will not make it immediately clear that your video is a tutorial.

And that’s where the text comes in. Choose to go bold, and don’t include more than you have to.

2. Create a Brand

Thumbnails are an excellent way to brand your company. That may sound ridiculous at first, but it is a matter of consistency. Once you decide on a thumbnail design, every video should copy that style.

This means the color, layout, font, and more should be consistent across all your videos. Not only is it professional, but viewers will be able to easily identify your videos by the thumbnail alone.

Not to mention, it’s way easier than redesigning your thumbnails every single time you upload a video.

3. Contrast Colors

Since thumbnails are small, it’s important you make them pop. Everything in the thumbnail should be identifiable and easy to read. The best way to achieve this is to contrast colors.

Do you have yellow text on a white background? That’s a design sin. It’d be difficult to read at full-size, but squished into a thumbnail? Forget it.

Utilize a traditional color wheel to choose contrasting colors. Since orange and blue are opposed on the color wheel, this means they have high contrast. Use one color for the background and another for the text.

Even at a small resolution, viewers will be able to make out all the components of your thumbnail with a single glance. Avoid using white, red, and black. These colors are part of YouTube’s design scheme and are more likely to be overlooked.

4. Don’t Mislead

Neither your text nor thumbnail should ever promise something that doesn’t appear in the video. Clickbaiting once had a time and place on YouTube, but those days are done.

If your thumbnail is not true to your content, your viewers will quickly abandon the video. This will result in viewers watching very little of your video, which will hurt your YouTube ranking. Plus, viewers will become wary of your content over time and will learn to avoid it entirely.

Don’t make crazy promises. It doesn’t work for search engine optimization, and it certainly isn’t a good choice for YouTube’s ranking system.

5. Be a Mascot

A popular addition on any thumbnail is an image of an actual person. Of course, this is only an option if people actually appear in your videos. Viewers enjoy thumbnails that feature real people.

Why? These videos appear more genuine. From Linus Tech Tips to Buzzfeed’s Worth It series, it’s clear that viewers seek unique personalities. Be sure to show them off.

A disembodied voice doesn’t have the same effect.

Don’t Disregard the Thumbnail

You just spent hours filming and editing your newest video. The thumbnail can seem like an afterthought but remember it is the first and last impression you have to draw in viewers. The best YouTube thumbnails aren’t easy to create, but once you land the perfect style, you’ll enjoy a better ranking and more views.

Another great way to boost your ranking is to rely on a link building agency. Enhance your YouTube SEO and buy links from BackLink.

finding your niche

Unearthing Your Niche Audience

Finding a niche market does not happen overnight. Good niches must be carefully crafted, and this requires your effort. As an entrepreneur, a product or service is not good enough if you can’t identify the niche market.

You have to answer questions such as who is the target market? Who is the target audience for the advertisements? Instead of falling into the mass marketing trap, consider focusing on the most profitable fit for your product. Finding your niche does not have to be a difficult exercise for you.

Here are eight guidelines that will help you find your niche market and nail your target audience.

1. Identify the Areas of the Business You Are Passionate About

Being an entrepreneur is not easy. The business will test your ability to endure the challenges of running your own company. In these tough situations, if you are not passionate about what you do, it will be easy to let go. In finding a niche market, the same criteria apply. List all the products and services your business offers. Choose the product you are most passionate about. Brainstorm ideas on how this product can be customized to meet the needs of different people. Each idea can become a potential niche market.

2. Research on Your Competitors

The presence of competitors can be a sign that the niche you have found is profitable. Researching on their services will help in the quest of finding a niche in the market. Identify the gaps they are leaving in their sales process. What would you, as a consumer desire that they don’t provide? Find ways to fill these gaps, and you will gain a competitive advantage.

3. Online Reviews

Online review platforms give customers the chance to express their needs and desires. Going on such sites will give you an idea of what the customer wants. What are the customers complaining about? What do they want to be incorporated or removed from a particular product?

 Implementing their complaints and comments into your product will solve their problems. They won’t need to go online and complain. The product will meet their deeper needs. By solving a problem, you will find a niche market.

4. Customer Surveys

Apart from relying on online reviews, you can engage your customers too. Contact them and ask about their preferences. Build quality backlinks that lead to interview or review forms for clients to fill on your site.

Conduct customer surveys and polls both online and offline. These polls will help determine which customers are most satisfied. These customers are your target market. Direct communication will help you understand your customers’ needs from their perspective. As you collect this data, customer engagement will increase. The customers will feel valued. A stronger relationship that may lead to a loyal client base is built as a result.

5. Social Media as a Tool for Finding Your Niche

We live in the digital age, and most of the population has access to social media. Social media platforms can be a big help when searching for a niche market and target audience.

Other than the fact that customer surveys can also be done here, trending topics can give you an idea for a niche market. What people are talking about can be an indicator of the niche markets that are to come up in the future.

 Use their curiosity as a way to launch a profitable business for a niche market. Also, social media likes and reviews can help determine your target audience. Increase your engagement with this specific group of people who follow your products. 

Answer their questions and keep them informed. This is key to nailing your target audience. Also, ensure your posts have a backlink to your products to keep growing the target audience.

6. Keyword Research

Find a unique and competitive keyword that attracts searches. This keyword will tell you what most people are looking for, and it may give you an idea for a niche market. It is easy to determine the local and global search volumes of selected keywords on google.

The idea here is that people look for information on what they don’t know. By having an idea of what they want to know, you unlock a niche market that you can exploit.

After finding the right keyword, enlist the help of link building services. They will include your keyword into your backlinks. The presence of a consistent keyword in your links will ensure consistency in your online presence. This consistency ensures that your business becomes recognized as the provider for the products or services needed in your niche market.

7. Synthesize

At this point, you have read the customer reviews, found a suitable keyword, researched on competitors, and found your passion. The idea has started to take shape in your mind.

 Do you want to create something new? To find the most suitable fit, review the idea based on these five qualities of a good niche. It should be in line with your vision. 

The product or service is needed in the market. The execution of the idea should be well planned. It should be the only solution to the problem identified. The product or service should be able to evolve for long-term business success.

8. Test Then Put in Place

Give your target audience a chance to try your product or service. Not free samples; give them a chance to actually buy the product. The test shouldn’t be expensive if that is your niche market.

Niche Markets

A product developed for a niche market focuses on fulfilling the needs of a particular group. The business markets to this particular group since it is the target audience.

Finding a niche market is a major challenge for most entrepreneurs. But, we have shown that it doesn’t have to be hard. There are many approaches to finding your niche market. It all depends on your business and audience. This is because some approaches may work better than others based on individual circumstances.

Find your niche market today, get quality backlinks that will help you reach your target market.