Replug

Brand New Replug UI. Let Us Amaze You!!!

Replug is getting a comprehensive overhaul

We have been hard at work to build a new and improved Replug for our valued customers. Based on your valuable feedback, we have restructured Replug from the ground up. This solid foundation will be the basis of a technically advanced tool capable of transforming the way you create branded links, share, and track them.

We’ve made some serious improvements to your favorite link shortener. Let’s explore.

A Captivating UI

The Replug interface has received a fresh makeover. A tantalizing new design and an exquisite layout welcome you to an enhanced experience.


With advanced functions and all the handy statistics above the fold, the new dashboard provides a bird’s eye view of your account’s performance.

Other charts include click performance, conversion performance, top countries, and visitor referrals.

The goodies do not stop there…

Upcoming Features

We have planned to roll out a series of new features, enhancements + improvements that are going to help you get more website traffic and cement your brand authority.

A few flagship features are

  • Deep Linking
  • A/B Campaign
  • Password Protected Links
  • Geo-Targeting Links
  • Bridging Pages
  • Advanced Link Monitoring
  • Zapier Integration

These and many more will help you brand, share, track, and analyze the URLs you share.

A new direction has been set for Replug to emerge as a state of the art innovative tool for link management and brand building.

So stay tuned as we will keep revealing awesome new features in the days to come.

We are confident you will love them.

 

About the Author

Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.

LinkedIn Retargeting - Replug

LinkedIn Retargeting using Matched Audiences – A complete Guide

With the launch of LinkedIn in 2003, things changed. It was the first time a social media app was created for professionals. it was no longer about holiday pictures and endless selfies. It was about your education and work experience. In the beginning, traction was slow, but when the recession hit the markets a lot of people lost their jobs. A need for an online pool of available skilled and professional people was imminent. This was the turning point and since then LinkedIn has cemented its position in the top three social media networks of modern times.

Like all online business, one needs to run ads in order to generate revenue. But LinkedIn is unique from the rest of the social media outlets because it’s specifically designed for business and professionals. Users mainly go to LinkedIn to showcase their job experience and professional thoughts, making it one of the more important platforms to use for those in B2B.

It has features such as Company Pages, InMail, Groups, LinkedIn Pulse, and the option to see who viewed your profile. LinkedIn can not only be used to generate online traffic but also the prospect of potential leadership and resource. With over 300 million active monthly users most of them decision-makers having twice the buying power of the average web audience, LinkedIn is a marketers paradise.

In this article, we take you through the steps for creating an effective retargeting campaign on the world’s premier business to business social network.

The LinkedIn Matched Audience

The secret to successful online marketing on any platform is having a receptive audience. People who are willing to listen to you and see your advertisement are 80% more likely to convert than a cold audience. LinkedIn marketing has a trick up its sleeves called Matched Audience.

LinkedIn matched audience equips the marketers with a set of targeting tools which allow them to reach almost all members of the platform, and that too using their own data. According to Eva Chau:

“With Matched Audiences, you can use LinkedIn to retarget your website visitors, market to your contacts from your customer databases and marketing automation platforms, and reach decision-makers at target companies for your account-based marketing programs. Matched Audiences helps increase ROI by enabling you to focus your efforts on the audiences and accounts that are most likely to drive revenue”.

According to Marketo personalized retargeting increases conversion rates by 13 times. This is massive when you consider that 96% of all website visitors will not convert. Hence the importance of retargeting can not be overlooked in the slightest.

You can use the matched audience in the following three ways for prospecting B2B clients.

Website Targeting

As it is evident from the name, website retargeting allows you to market your business to LinkedIn members who have visited your website in the past. You can segregate the audience and provide relevant content based on the pages they have visited.

Below are the steps you need to follow to set up a website retargeting campaign.

Adding LinkedIn Tag

The first thing you need to do is add the LinkedIn Insight Tag to your website. It is a small piece of code which when added to your website, communicates valuable insights with LinkedIn about the nature of the visitors to your website. Then, sign in to your Campaign Manager, click your account name, and access “Insight Tag” from the “Tools” drop-down. If you’ve added the tag correctly, your website will be listed as “Verified.”

Creating an Audience to Retarget

Log in to your LinkedIn account and navigate to campaign manager and find matched audience on the targeting screen.


Click on create website audiences to create rules for tracking.

Her you get three options as to how you want to set up your audience for retargeting from your website URL.

 

Starts with: This rule matches characters from the beginning of the string until the very last character. Take for example we want to target all visitor from the discovery page, for that we will use the URL “https://contentstudio.io/content-discovery”

Exact:

Matches every single character in your URL from beginning to end. This technique is used when you intend to retarget visitors for a specific page. For example, you can use https://replug.io/blog/retargeting-strategies” to target the people coming from this page

Contains:

This us much like the “contains” search query used in other tools. It will target all people who are visiting a page with a URL containing a certain word.

Account Targeting

The second type of retargeting that Linkedin offers is account retargeting. This strategy is perfect is you know the type or nature of the professional to which you want to retarget. In this technique, you target accounts instead of the people holding those accounts.

This is particularly popular amongst marketers as it allows them to pinpoint their target audience. The other great thing is that even for less experienced marketers, they can easily figure out the profession of the audience they are planning to target, hence it does not require much research. AJ Wilcox, a certified LinkedIn ads partner says

Everyone give me a list of the 50 companies you would give ANYTHING to work with.” The sales teams obliged and provided 1,050 companies. I created account-based advertising campaigns around them, which means 100 percent of the leads generated from them were leads that the sales team would gladly and dutifully service.

Imagine if you can get the access to decision-makers of businesses which are your ideal customers, your sales will definitely get a rise. LinkedIn gives you access to more than 300,000 companies which you can target. Even more so you can target specific professions in your region.

With LinkedIn account retargeting you can run account-based marketing campaigns and show ads to companies you wish to be a part of. You can also target professionals from a certain area, specifical decision-makers in multinationals. and Finally, Drive more conversions with focused targeting comes a higher chance of a conversion. If you know the professional demographics of your target customer, now you can reach them on LinkedIn.

Setting up Account Retargeting Campaign

To set up an account retargeting campaign, navigate to the targeting page in campaign monitor. Since this technique is subjective to demographics you have to always select a location which you want to target.

 

In order to further refine your audience, Linkedin allows you to select the employees of a specific company, education, job expertise, and interest. You can enter up to 100 companies. With account targeting, you can upload a list of companies. You can also exclude certain companies which you do not want to retarget.

You can also upload a list of companies you want to target by clicking on the matched audience –>Add matched audience –> Upload lists, as shown below.


In the upload section, set an appropriate name for your audience. Upload the companies list sheet which should be according to the template provided by LinkedIn which is two columns one-row style spreadsheet including company name and website.

The next step is to create ads for your account retargeting campaign. You can do this by going to Campaign Manager and selecting “Matched Audiences” from the “Tools” drop-down. Then, via the “Uploaded Audiences” tab, select “Upload list.” Lastly, enter the name for that list, click “Upload file,” and then hit “Next.” This will upload the list of emails you want to target.

Contact Targeting

The third type of matched audience targeting is uploading an email list and targeting them on LinkedIn. This makes for a highly targeted audience which can be outreached.

The advantage that LinkedIn has is that it knows both your work and private email. Work email through your profile and private through the account. Whenever you engage in any activity with your co-workers, LinkedIn makes an association between your accounts. This elevates the match rates on LinkedIn much higher than other social networks.

Having this level of a customized audience can have a substantial impact on conversions. Suppose you upload a list of emails of social media marketers from your previous companies and are now running a social media management tool ad than your own. The conversion rate will be significantly higher. Plus there is a level of confidence when you are at the receiving end of an advertisement from someone you know.

Setting up a Contact Retargeting campaign

The process for creating an email list for contact targeting is much like that of account targeting. You need to create an excel sheet according to the template specified by LinkedIn with all the email addresses you wish to target.

Navigate to Campaign Manager and click on “Create an audience,” followed by “Match based on a list of email contacts.” Then, upload your file and click “Next.”

Data Integration

While creating a matched audience, instead of uploading an email list, you can also import data from other tools which offer email integration. Just click on ” Setup data integration” and it will show you a list of tools which offer email contact import. Some of these tools include Marketo, Oracle Eloqua, LiveRamp, Acxiom, Zapier, Salesforce Advertising Studio, etc.

Click on a tool which you have been using previously and start the integration of email list from it. The data transfer is protected by public and secret keycodes which need to be entered in the tools for safe data transfer.

LinkedIn Retargeting Results

The results which audience matched targeting have produced are staggering. Website retargeting has shown an increase of around 30% in CTR. Account retargeting increased Post-click conversion rates by 32%. Similarly, contact retargeting increased CTR by a whopping 37%.

If you are a digital marketer, you should know that these results are highly encouraging. Marketing automation integration lets you reach prospects you already know on LinkedIn to share relevant content and grow your business.

Conclusion

LinkedIn matched audience retargeting allows for continuous marketing throughout the customer life cycle. This includes generating brand awareness, marketing, retargeting, and finally lead generation.

What do you think about the capabilities for using matched audiences in Linkedin?

 

About the Author

Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.

Content remarketing - Replug

The Complete Guide to Content Remarketing: 20 Tips and Examples to Re-Engage Audience

It is funny how so few people know about content remarketing. Some confuse it with usual content marketing, but it is actually a separate technique that has its own aims and practices involved. Here’s a complete guide to content remarketing.

What Is Content Remarketing?

“Basically, content remarketing helps you attract the attention of your site’s past visitors to prompt them to take further steps. It is something like a second hook that works perfectly after the first one wasn’t as successful as you expected,” says Marie Fincher, Head of Content at Trust My Paper.

Content remarketing strives to capture the attention of your site’s visitors to make them come back to your website and complete an action they didn’t make during their first visit. This can be anything from purchasing your product to subscribing to your newsletter. Content remarketing is like that second chance you needed desperately. Remarketing helps you to:

  • Increase brand recall and branded searches.
  • Turn abandoners and bouncers into leads.
  • Improve the repeat visitor rate and engagement.
  • Increase the effectiveness of SEO.

Content Remarketing: Google Display Network

Google Display Network also known as GDN is one of the largest remarketing networks in the world. It has over two million sites in the network with nearly any site you could think of. It includes some of the big sites Google owns such as YouTube and Gmail. AdMob is also there which means you will be able to make your ads show up in mobile apps. The only major site that is not included is Facebook.

In this article, you will learn how to use GDN for remarketing and maybe become an expert in it after some practice. In addition to GDN, you can also use Replug (a platform for link shortening, tracking, optimization, and deep analytics) and Content Studio (a content marketing and social media management platform) which are both quite valuable for content remarketing.

Getting Started

One of the best things about using GDN for remarketing is that it gives you a lot of reach. You will be able to find your tagged site visitors on the network several times per day across many different sites. In general, you will be able to connect with 84% of the people you tagged around 10 to 18 times per month.

The first step in remarketing is to create an audience of users that you will be remarketing to. This can include people who visited specific pages on your website or read your blog, but you will have to group them into separate audiences depending on your goals. By grouping your tagged site visitors into audiences, you will be able to reach out to only certain people and offer them relevant ads to prompt them to come back to you.

Another benefit of grouping your audience is that you can bid more aggressively. Consequently, this will lead to more impressions and higher ad positions. Some pages on your website such as the pricing or product pages are way more valuable than your blog. By selecting those who visited specifically your product and pricing pages, you will be able to provide them with higher value ads.

In order to define your audience, create a new remarketing list on GDN and define which website visitors you want to include and which you want to exclude. Don’t worry about cookies and such, because Google will take care of them itself.

Yet another great idea is to group your blog audience by the posts they read. So, for example, if you have articles on three different topics, create three remarketing lists for each of these topics’ visitors.

Setting Up Audience Membership Duration

Once you have your remarketing lists set up, you must decide on your audience membership duration. In remarketing, this refers to the number of days you follow a user around with your ads. This means that setting your audience membership duration to 30 days will make your site visitors see your ads for, you guessed it, 30 days.

The problem with deciding on the “right” audience member duration is that there is such an issue as ad fatigue which is a result of overly aggressive remarketing. Many experts believe that being too “creepy” with your ads may result in the loss of ROI of your campaigns or can even damage your brand. This is why so many marketers advocate for shortening audience membership duration, even though the reality seems to be different.

Fortunately, remarketing ads have shown to be way more effective than generic display ads. In fact, they stay effective even after ad fatigue starts setting in and viewers are more likely to engage with a remarketing ad they saw several times before than with a new generic display ad.

This brings us to the fact that being bold with your remarketing is the way to go. There is no need to be scared of being creepy simply because people don’t think you are by using remarketing. Set your audience membership duration for longer periods of time (something like three times your average sale cycle length). Having more impressions means a higher conversion rate while rotating several ads during one campaign can help you fight ad fatigue.

To help you create great content for your website, blog, and ads, use these tools and services: Grammarly (checks your grammar, spelling, and punctuation), Studicus (online writing service to make your content for you), Google Docs (allows you to share and edit word documents in real-time), Grab My Essay (another great online writing service), and Plagiarism Checker (checks your text for plagiarism).

Creating Content Remarketing Ads

Once you set up everything, you will only need to create the perfect ads for your remarketing campaign. Google Display Network currently offers fourteen display ad formats:

  1. Vertical Rectangle (240×400)
  2. Mobile Leaderboard (320×50)
  3. Banner (468×60)
  4. Leaderboard (728×90)
  5. Square (250×250)
  6. Small Square (200×200)
  7. Large Rectangle (336×280)
  8. Inline Rectangle (300×250)
  9. Skyscraper (120×600)
  10. Wide Skyscraper (160×600)
  11. Half-Page (300×600)

The format of your ads matters because this will decide where they appear. Same format ads compete against each other for positioning, while different ones don’t. Consequently, you must diversify your ads as much as possible so that you get more chances of your ad being placed in better positions.

Obviously, there are some ad formats that get more impressions than others. For instance, leaderboard and inline rectangle ads get over 25% of impressions, while banners get only 12%. The fourth place is held by wide skyscraper ads with over 10%. All the remaining formats get less than 10% of impressions, but they still perform quite well and shouldn’t be overlooked by you.

Likewise, there are certain emotions that draw people to your content and to your ads. Ads that promote such reactions as awe, laughter, amusement, and joy are said to work best. So, in order to create great ads, you should simply diversify them and make them easy for your audience to relate to on an emotional level.

Before we move on to the best tactics in content remarketing, it is important to mention one great tip: raising your click-through rates will reduce your click prices. This way, you will be paying for a greater volume of clicks, but they will cost you several times less. Just remember to have image ads rather than text-turned-image ads.

And now, finally, here are the best practices in content remarketing for you to use:

  • Ads That Push To “Hard” Offers: The best way to get your ads working is to promote your best offers. If you have a bestselling product, make an ad for it, because this will make it sell even better and will help you get your other products selling too.
  • Conversion Path Analysis: Do a conversion path analysis and figure out which pages the user usually visits before converting. Once you know what these pages are, target them with your ads.
  • Ads That Push To Content: Your content maybe even more important to visitors than your products. This means that it may be better to target an article in your ad rather than promote a product page.
  • Social Shares On Your Blog Content: Analyze your blog content and see which content gets the most shares to social media. This will give you a general idea of what kind of content people are interested in and you will be able to target your ads at those articles on your blog.

20 Examples of Remarketing & Retargeting

Lastly, to give you more ideas about how you can retarget your ads and remarket your content, here are twenty examples from the past:

  1. The Right Link: One of the biggest mistakes you can possibly do is sending your customers to the wrong place. Imagine you posted a picture of one product, but linked to another one. The person who clicks on the link wants to see the product on the picture, but once they see something different, they quickly lose interest. Instead of doing this, act like Kelley Blue Book on Twitter – link the corresponding product that is in the image you attach to the post.
  2. Customer Buying Window: A common misconception in remarketing is that you have to retarget potential buyers with ads for the product they haven’t bought. In reality, there are many customers who can’t afford certain products and have simply browsed through your catalog before and viewed these very products. As Rob Weatherhead, the owner of Agent Wolf, says, you must retarget these individuals only for a certain amount of time while their interest is still present. If they don’t convert during this time, it means they either decided not to purchase your product or bought something similar elsewhere.
  3. Separate Landing Pages: This is a mistake done not only by those who practice remarketing but also by many experienced marketers. Instead of linking their ads to separate landing pages, they simply link them to the homepage which is a big turnoff for many consumers. Neil Andrew, Marketing Manager at PPC Protect Limited, recommends creating separate landing pages for your ads and always linking to them.
  4. Cheap Alternatives: Philippe Côté-Léger, Marketing Director at Lab Urbain, believes that using Facebook and Google is not mandatory. You can follow suit and make use of cheaper alternatives that can prove to be just as effective as Google and Facebook. For example, a content discovery network like Outbrain offers inexpensive CPC.
  5. Dynamic Remarketing Ads: This is one of the simplest yet overlooked tips. Using dynamic remarketing tips is essential for getting the best results. For example, Ryan Scollon says that dynamic remarketing ads allow him to show ads with products that customers have viewed before. This makes the ads way more interesting instead of leaving them generic. The only thing to keep in mind when designing dynamic remarketing ads is that your imagery must be on point to capture the attention of your target audience.
  6. Email Promotion: Learning Success Systems has been implementing this technique into their strategy for quite a while now. They match their retargeting campaign with email promotion making it twice as effective. There is no logical explanation for why this works so well, but it has been proven to be successful for many businesses. Perhaps, people remember their emails once they see the ads.
  7. Reviews: Karen Sahetya, the founder of Brand Central Marketing, says that one of the best ways to build social proof is to use reviews for retargeting and remarketing. Those who viewed your products but didn’t make a purchase are more likely to buy once they see that others have had a positive experience with your brand and with some particular products of yours. It is the equivalent of someone considering buying a car in real life and a friend telling that person about their positive experience with this model.
  8. Social Proof: This is very similar to the previous example, but it is still quite different. Let’s look into this practice with the help of Birchbox. They have successfully integrated social proof into their retargeting ads. You can either send those who click on the ads to reviews of your products or include quotes from your past customers about your brand into the ads themselves among other things.
  9. Audience Segmenting: Audience segmenting is crucial for your digital remarketing campaign. Separating your targeted audience into those who have converted and those who haven’t will allow you to show corresponding ads to different individuals. This practice has been proven effective by many businesses that used it and Evoke Strategy LLC in particular. Its co-founder Devon Vocke says that audience segmenting has always helped them make their campaigns more effective.
  10. Best Offer: Displaying your best offer is essential for attracting the most attention. One of the best examples of this is Handy’s home cleaning retargeting banner that appears after a customer views other similar websites with home cleaning services. Making such ads catchy is also very important. They have to have bright colors, a promotional offer, and a call to action that stands out and speaks to the audience.
  11. Prioritizing Users: Joe Castro from Elevation says that prioritizing users that are close to completing a purchase is crucial for achieving more conversions. Those who added products to the cart or went as far as to get to the billing stage are more likely to purchase something than those who simply visited your homepage or product pages. Be ready to invest more in targeting the former ones and offer them free shipping or something similar to get them to convert.
  12. Potential Clients over Sales: Instead of focusing on making a sale, nurture potential clients. Take WordStream, for example. The company offered a free assessment instead of a discount for their products. Consequently, many customers let their guard down because they weren’t pressured into purchasing. WordStream offered a service of value related to what their customers wanted based on what their remarketing “sensors” detected. Always think of customers first and sales second.
  13. Urgency: Many marketers know of this simple characteristic that always works. Creating a sense of urgency will motivate your customers to complete the action you want them to faster. For example, Expedia uses urgency in their retargeting ads to prompt users to book travel from their site. Expedia uses irresistible deals with a last-minute offer and this works like a miracle. This is credited to the fear of missing out that most people experience when they see such ads.
  14. Interesting & Relatable: It has been said before, but it will never be old: make your ads interesting and relatable. There is also a great example of this technique. Mazda and Merchenta worked together to create ads that would attract more potential customers to test drive their cars. Merchenta built customized ads that were based on geographic radius matching individuals to the nearest Mazda dealership. The ads displayed the nearest dealership houses that had the specific Mazda car models that customers viewed online. This, in turn, raised the chances of these people visiting the saloon and test driving the car.
  15. Frequency Cap: Using a frequency cap can prevent overexposure. As Kyna Garrett from Strike Social points out, social media ads are everywhere, so applying a frequency cap can prevent potential customers from being overwhelmed by your ads. In fact, overexposure can be very damaging to your brand, so it is important to determine the right frequency (which is also not that easy). Find the perfect balance by testing different frequencies and then use the one that works best.
  16. Avoid Spammy Ads: Patric Kreidler from Power Digital Marketing talks about something very closely related to the previous example. Such ads as pop-ups, countdown ads, ads with sound on autoplay, and so on are seen as spam by many users and usually ignored. Moreover, they often lead to viewers associating them with a bad experience. Obviously, no brand would want that, so avoid using such ads at all costs.
  17. Emotional Connection: It has long been proven that ads that create an emotional connection in viewers are way more powerful than usual ads. For example, Think Engraved uses cute pictures in a combination with cute statements to draw a smile or make the viewer laugh. This draws in potential customers and hooks them onto what else the brand can offer. You can also add an extra something to such ads to make them even more appealing (e.g. a discount or a gift).
  18. Videos & Slideshows: What can be better than visuals that “speak” to the audience? Images are so common that most ads get lost even if they have a stunning design. This is why videos and slideshows are now becoming so popular. However, you must remember to keep your slideshows with no audio and disable autoplay on your videos. Otherwise, they can become annoying.
  19. Relevant Sites: Thomas Budnik from Auto Accessories Garage says that including only those sites that are relevant to your brand will ensure that you don’t waste your money for nothing and target only the relevant audiences. Before letting your remarketing campaign go live, check that only the relevant websites are included or the irrelevant ones excluded.
  20. Content Messaging: Last but not least, Robb Hecht has adopted a social content messaging strategy to help his remarketing efforts. This simply means that you use a special framework that breaks down your ads and serves them to customers at different stages of your sales funnel.

Final Thoughts

All in all, content remarketing is one of the best techniques to use in your online marketing strategy, and you will definitely get something useful out of it. Make sure to read this article carefully again to refresh your memory about what content remarketing is and how to use it properly.


Guest blog post by Kristin Savage who nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. She is a regular contributor to Best Essay Education and WOWgrade.

About the Author

Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.

Ecommerce marketing - Replug

5 Ecommerce Marketing Strategies for Brand Recognition

The competition for online sales has grown from strong to fierce in the last decade or so. Now if you are searching for a mobile phone you will get results for every brand ranging from USD 50 to 100.

So how do you get your product shine and pop out in a sea of competition? In the current market scenario, you need an ecommerce marketing strategy which not only shows your product to the people searching for it but also to those who are not.

Ecommerce marketing and digital marketing go hand in hand. Marketers have to explore every avenue possible to drive traffic to their websites and that too to specific pages. This article explains the top online channels used by marketers to promote their digital shops.

Ecommerce Marketing

In simple words, ecommerce marketing is the practice of driving top-of-funnel traffic to convert into sales and customers. It is the implementation of a strategy focused on driving actionable web traffic to sell product and services online. There are many ways to master ecommerce selling.

By trying out a combination of paid and unpaid advertising methods such as SEO, Facebook and Google Ads, email marketing and social selling, you can streamline a strategy that works for your brand. The goal is to find the perfect mix which will convert the most visitors. It is crucial to find a working strategy because of the changing and increasingly competitive environment. This could mean the difference between day and night for many companies.

Let us explain how you can create and execute an ecommerce marketing plan using the top online channels.

Building an Ecommerce marketing plan

“A failure to plan is a plan to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

All businesses must have a marketing plan. Out of which most medium to a big-sized company has a dedicated marketing team nowadays. There is also a lot of literature available on how to devise an effective marketing strategy. As ecommerce selling landscape grows ever so complex, it becomes critical that you devise a versatile online marketing plan.

Here are a few pointers to help you start with your marketing plan.

Obtain Expert advice

A good starting point for building an ecommerce marketing plan is to have a chat with someone who has already done it. Find a person who started and scaled an online selling business similar to yours. The ask them the challenges they faced e.g.

  • How did they start?
  • What marketing channels yield the best ROI?
  • How to track and evaluate data
  • What SaaS products were the most helpful and effective?

Questions like these will help you make a mental map of the activities you need to plan to market your products.

Another way to approach this further down your marketing endeavors is to hire experts when you can. Nothing beats a talented and experienced marketing expert. The knowledge these people have acquired over time is priceless.

Seasoned marketing experts only bring a new perspective to the table but also blow a breath of fresh air in your team.

Goals and Objectives

It is essentials to lay down very clear goals and objectives. Not only that, these milestones must be evaluated against time and should not be open-ended. Once evaluated, if you feel like amending your goals, do so. The reason being circumstances and conditions for business change with time, and you have to adapt to those changes.

You can also set short term goals e.g. for next three months. These can be

  • Increase sales by X% during the slow season.
  • Develop a custom online marketing campaign for the Holiday season or Black Friday
  • Use email marketing to reach out to 1 million potential buyers.

Understanding buyer persona

Ecommerce stores are built with one intention in mind, to sell in bulk.  For that, you need to understand the purchasing pattern of the target audience. Purchasing pattern depends upon the following parameters.

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Purchasing power

You have to clearly distinguish who you are going to market to. If you fail to identify your target audience, you will surely run inefficient campaigns with low conversion rate and lose money.

Pricing and Distribution

Price your product appropriately so that they do not seem out of reach for your target audience. Especially now when price comparison is soo easy.

The last step of your ecommerce marketing plan is figuring out how to distribute products and order fulfillment. If you optimize this step, you will save a lot of cost. Whether you are starting off and managing distribution yourself or employed a third party for managing it for you, be sure to closely monitor, refine and evolve your distribution with time.

5 Ecommerce marketing strategies

Let’s look at some of the time tested ecommerce marketing strategies which have worked for other businesses.

1. Retargeting

Retargeting is the simple act of following people around using ads on the internet who did not purchase after visiting your website. 98% of the people are not going to purchase from your website the first time around. You need to convince them to keep popping up on the right places in front of their eyes.

There are 2 goals you can achieve through a retargeting campaign.

Awareness: These campaigns aim to educate people who do not know about your product but may have visited stores similar to yours. The aim is to generate some interest in your product and features.

Conversion: The second goal you can achieve from a retargeting campaign is to convert people into paying customers, people who have already visited your website. The aim is to show them a relevant ad clicking on which they are directed to a landing page and finally make the desired conversion action.

There are a lot of ways you can retarget your ecommerce product.

Paid Ads

The most common form of retargeting is through paid ads. You can create eye-catching ads and show them to people who left your website and are now visiting other websites.

you can also create different ad copies and messages depending upon where the user is in the conversion funnel.

Email Retargeting

Email retargeting can be used for people who got to the checkout page, entered their email but for some reason did not make a purchase. You can use their email address and create a retargeting email campaign. Give them an incentive to return and complete their purchase.

CRM Retargeting

Most businesses use some kind of Customer Relationship Management(CRM) tools which contain the email addresses, leads, and prospects.  What you can do is to export this data and add to email marketing services like Sendible or AdRoll.

These tools can link email addresses with social media and Gmail accounts and know when people are online. Segregate the same audience, group and retarget them.

RLSA Retargeting

Remarketing list for search ads (RLSA) is a Google feature for creating certain ads which are designed for retargeting audiences. They are dynamic in the sense that they allow bid modifiers in search ads. This gives you the freedom of bidding relative to the number of searches from the audience on your list.

The other way of using RLSA is setting up search ad groups to only be triggered and show ads if a user is on your Remarketing list, and is searching with the keywords you are bidding on. This can bring significant change in conversion rates and has good ROI as well.

2. Content Marketing

Companies that rely on content to educate their customers have proven to outsell those which do not use content marketing. Ecommerce content consists of a lot of writing activities including blog writing, product guides, video content, blog commenting, and many more.

A key pointer to note is content marketing for ecommerce is not so much about selling your product but education and creating brand awareness. Mind you, content marketing makes a hell lot of difference when shaping opinions about a product or brand.


Take for example if your store sells neckties. You can write a blog on what color or design pattern tie to wear to a certain event e.g, a job interview, wedding or dinner party. Similarly, you can write about which color tie goes with which color suite.

There are a lot of people searching for advice on the internet. If you can provide them the required information whilst infusing your brand in their minds and not being too salesy, you have done the job of content marketing to perfection.

Content marketing is the form of inbound marketing in which the customer comes to your rather the other way around. The trick is to create engaging content for your audience which when they consume, come directly to your store. This cost significantly less and on the plus side elevate the performance of other marketing channels you are using.

Your aim should be to generate loyal readers from your content who will not only themselves convert into paying customers but become your online brand advocates for you. A by-product of this ecommerce marketing strategy is that you can grow organic traffic to your money website.

3. Search Engine Optimization

SEO has been in a constant state of evolution. From the time when online marketers use gimmicks and dishonest tactics to now where rankings are now earned rather than working to find loopholes.

SEO is one of the top methods of generating organic traffic to your business website. Now SEO is all about following the rules laid down by search engines. Follow the guidelines on how to do on-page optimization. Combine this with high-quality content production and you will generate a healthy organic traffic stream.

4. Social Media Marketing

Running an ecommerce-based business is a huge challenge itself. Things start to look overwhelming when social media marketing comes along. Some ecommerce business owners, especially starters find it difficult to juggle various things simultaneously.

According to a survey conducted by Buffer and Social Chain, 58.8% marketers and business owners admitted that social media is important to their overall marketing strategy, whereas 30.5% believed that social media is somewhat important to their marketing strategy. And the rest of the respondents thought either they are uncertain or social media isn’t important for their marketing strategy.

So there is no doubt that ecommerce stores need a strong social media marketing strategy. SMM helps you connect with fresh potential clients, improves brand positioning, installs another layer in your sales funnel, and build you a healthy interactive audience. The question now remains, how to kickstart social media marketing for your ecommerce store.

Choose social media channels

All major social media channels e.g.  Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, etc are unique and so are the advantages and challenges of marketing on them. You can not appear on each social channels with the same tactics and expect great things to happen. What you can do is go about it strategically.

First, you need to figure out the social media channels on which your target audience spend most of their time. This requires searching, researching, questioning, and interaction. All this effort will make it easier for you to develop a marketing strategy.

Once you have identified the channels it is now time to make your accounts. Starting off you can make accounts on 2-3 potential social channels which you think will yield the maximum result. Get to know the platform. A good starting point is to visit your competitor’s pages, see how they are set up and try to replicate what you see. With the passage on time, you can improve depending upon the feedback you get.

The final step is to develop a social media plan for each of the channels you have selected. One size does not fit all. The point is that each social channel has a different set of norms for publishing content e.g. image size, post type, text length, etc. You have to keep all these variable in mind while creating a strategy.

Instagram

E-commerce stores have highly visual content and so should their social pages too. After all your success on social media depends on your use of imagery to drive attention and traffic to your product pages.

Instagram is a great medium for product projection as it takes your product beyond the purchase page. The latest features introduced by Instagram lets you try on clothes online by mapping your face on the attire. This gives you a real sense of how the clothes will look on you since the majority of people take pictures after trying new clothes.

You can also create product review pages on other channels such as Facebook etc to flash your authenticity badge to your customer. Micro influencer helps this cause greatly as people love to base their decision on some kind of advice.

5. Affiliate Marketing

E-commerce affiliate marketing connects a seller with merchandise with marketers with and audience. It uses product-focused referrals, such as reviews, comparisons, and testimonials to drive traffic to a company’s site.

Affiliate marketing is very closely related to the ecommerce industry in comparison to other businesses. Each sale generated by the affiliate marketer allows the merchant to earn money and share that with the marketer. Its a win-win situation for all three parties involved in the process, which is very rare. It is a match made in heaven between sellers and people influencing the relevant audience.

Affiliate marketing is great in the sense that it works on the principle of pay per sale. You only need to pay the marketers when he has made a sale. Unlike other marketing strategies with require budget before even producing results.

The popularity of affiliate marketing is cemented by the fact that the world largest ecommerce store Amazon offers a 10% profit on each sale made by an affiliate marketer. However, it does define some rules which are applied while determining what qualifies as a sales.


A qualified sale is predefined by the merchant to avoid any misunderstanding for example.

  • The visitor should click the affiliate link
  • Product purchase should be made in a single cycle
  • The customer must pay for and receive the product purchased
  • The customer does not return the product

Over to you

Ecommerce businesses have several marketing tools at their disposal. Using digital and inbound marketing just the right way, you can create campaigns that are designed to help your online store attract customers and grow better.

 

About the Author

Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.

UTM tags - Replug

UTM Tracking Through Replug

One of the main objectives of Replug is to crunch raw data and present it in a meaningful form. This data is helpful to our clients in determining the nature, especially demographics of their website visitors. Analyzing the data, you can then customize your marketing campaigns to yield significantly better results. Let’s learn how.

UTM parameters are customizable pieces of text which allow analytics software such as Google Analytics to track campaign traffic. Adding them to the end of a URL can help you figure out which email campaign brought in the most web traffic or whether a certain call-to-action in that email generated more revenue.

The UTM parameter will help you determine where your website users are coming from along with which of your campaigns are performing better than others. This information will give you in-depth insights as to which specific campaigns, channels, buttons you should replicate for more traffic.

How to Add UTM parameter in Replug

There are two ways of adding UTM parameters in the links you share.

1. Directly from the Dashboard

Login to your Replug account. On the main dashboard where you create quick links, you will see a “+Add UTM” parameter.


Here you can directly set the UTM parameter for a link you are about to shorten. Put the link and click “+Add UTM” button. The following dialog box will appear.

Fill in all the sections with appropriate data e.g.

Campaign name: Set a separate name for each marketing campaign in Replug

Medium: Shows the nature of the link e.g. CPC, email, etc. 

Source: Specifies where from exactly the content is generated e.g. Google, Facebook, etc

Term: Identifies search terms

Content: Identifies what specifically was clicked to bring the user to the site, such as a banner ad or a text link

After setting the parameters click to create to generate your branded link with UTM parameters.

2. Creating UTM from side Menu

Click on the option in the top right corner of your screen. You will see “UTM Tracking” in the drop-down menu. Click on it to create your UTM preset as shown below.


This way you can save time and instantly attach appropriate parameters with a specific campaign. You can then login to your Google Analytics accounts and watch the data fillup right in front of your eyes see by selecting the real-time tab.


You can further navigate to Aquisition->Traffic->source/ medium to see all the UTM tags you created and the detailed traffic insights they are generating.

Let us know what you think about this feature.

 

About the Author

Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.

facebook retargeting - ContentStudio

5 Must Try Facebook Ad Retargeting Strategies to Boost Conversion

Specifying a marketing budget is the need of every company, but choosing where to spend it brings lots of other factors into play. Only about 2 decades ago, marketing criteria were set for everyone. You bought air time on the radio, bought billboards or made an advertisement for TV to be played during intervals, with prime time ads costing more than others.

The product marketing playing field is not level anymore. The scales have started to tilt in the favor of online marketing. People are no longer looking at billboards or paying attention to advertisements.  So in reaction to that low demand, those companies have increased the price of advertising to keep it ROI positive. This is bad news for small and medium enterprises which have a limited budget and can not compete with big business for product placement.

Fortunately for them, social media has come to the rescue.  As the monopoly of conventional marketing started to wither, it revealed the drawbacks of traditional marketing.


Source

Factors such as high cost, lower conversion rates and zero interaction with the audience proved to be pivotal elements which urged marketers to look at alternative modes of advertisement. Marketing on social media platforms costs less and converts better making it a win-win situation for advertisers. Nowhere is the ROI in social media advertisement better than on Facebook.

Retargeting on Facebook

Part of the reason Facebook is such a great platform to market is that it has continually improved its pixel. The Facebook pixel is a code that you place on your website. It collects data that helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads, build targeted audiences for future ads, and remarket to people who have already taken some kind of action on your website.

In the last few years, Facebook has worked on perfecting their pixel to be more accurate and to help build retargeting audiences. From reaching those who have taken specific actions on Facebook/Instagram, to serving ads to only those who spent the most time on your website, these new options are geared to help push prospects and customers down the marketing funnel.

The common pattern is that people visiting a website are less likely to make a purchase on the first visit. In actual, it is a long journey from visitor to customer. This is why Facebook shows them relevant ads and retargets them to help you convert better. Not only does Facebook offer a variety of retargeting options and immersive ad units that aren’t available on other platforms, but it also boasts both a higher audience inventory and lower conversion costs.

Importance of Facebook Retargeting

In real life, people like to window shop before they can establish value for money in a product. They visit different stores to get a price and quality idea for the product they are searching for. Same is the case with online purchasing.

It is extremely rare that people visit a page and select the product right there and then. These websites show retargeting ads to visitors that did not buy. Even then it is unlikely people will buy after clicking just one ad. There is usually a complex journey of transforming a visitor to a paid customer and Facebook has the unique power of making that journey easy.

How Facebook manages to achieve this is mainly associated with providing a willing and responsive audience as opposed to a cold one. This helps a lot as people shortlisted by Facebook are already partially inclined to buy your product. This is done by complex algorithms, working hard to determine the search patterns and interest of billions of people.

Creating a Facebook retargeting campaign in 3 steps

The idea of retargeting is a fairly simple one. By tracking website visitors, you show them relevant content via a sponsored ad on their news feed on Facebook once they have left your website.

Let’s say you wrote a blog about top content marketing tools. Now if you have a Facebook retargeting campaign set up, you have the opportunity to place an ad for Content Marketing Strategy 2019 in your prospects feed. This allows for your product to be in the company of potential buyers all the time.

To create a Facebook retargeting campaign navigate to ads manager. You can find this on the left-hand navigation or in the top, right-hand drop down. You can also find this on your business page under the “Promote” dropdown.


The first thing you need to do is to ad the pixel code to your website to track traffic. Fortunately, Facebook has provided a detailed guide on how to ad pixel code to any type of website.

Once you have successfully added the pixel code comes the part of creating a retargeting campaign.

Step 1: Setting up a custom audience

After verifying that your pixel is working fine and receiving traffic, login to your business manager account, click on all tools, then under “Assets”, click “Audiences”


Here you will create a custom audience based upon the visitors on your website. You will have to create and target audience for a specific page on your website. This page can be a sales page, landing page or a specific product you want to target. Once you place the URL that you would like to target and create your audience based on, Facebook will save this audience and begin to populate the page visitors.

Step 2: Set up your Campaign

Now it is time to create the actual campaign. Facebook remarketing campaign. In the campaign section, you will want to choose the “send people to your website” objective.

This will open up a set of options to finetune the potential customers for your business.

Choosing this option will allow you to create Ad Set where you can customize audience, ad placement, and the budget you want to allocate towards this campaign.


From here, you have the option to attach your custom audience which you will see appear in the dropdown.

You can further classify it on the basis of the following factors

  • Geographic location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Interests (Anything from job titles to favorite music bands)

You can observe for the first week which type of audience is being attracted to the ad and then classify it further.  Your audience should already be very targeted based on your buyer persona and you don’t want to miss out on any good opportunities.

Step-3: Creating Ads

Now comes the fun part, when you will create the actual ad which will be viewed by the user.

The most important features of the ad are the image and the headline. The best advice is to keep your ad copy clear and concise. Use a simple image and a powerful headline.  One of the things that really matters is that your ad should appear naturally in the user feed. You should remember what drives more clicks in the feed. So instead of spending unnecessary time on creating custom graphics, create simple and clean images appearing harmoniously in the feed.

It is however best to test different sets of images, headlines, and descriptions to see which is performing better. A/B testing is a great feedback method while creating ads. You can judge the performance of your ads and alter details accordingly.

Test this out with a week-long campaign and a small budget of $50 -$100. Your first campaign might not be a major success story, but learn from it and by continually tweaking your campaign/ads you will start seeing leads move down the Inbound Marketing Funnel!

Challenges of Facebook Retargeting

The idea of Facebook retargeting is fairly simple but when you immerse your self in the actual planning of the campaign, you will see that it’s success is dependent upon far more complex parameters. A couple of the crucial ones include setting website custom audiences to the last 30 days of visitors and failing to consider the particular buying and lead acquisition patterns for the individual brand.

Choosing the right time period of the audience which visited your website plays a crucial role in determining the conversion rate. Understanding the client acquisition patterns for your business will help you determine the type, nature and period your retargeting campaign. For example, If you find that most of your customers tend to convert within a few days of visiting your website, then you would be paying for 30 days worth of Facebook impressions that are no longer relevant.

Similarly, consider the case where your product is high priced or it requires education the visitor sand making up their mind through regular engagement. This time the potential buyer will require more time in the conversion process and if you have set the audience pool time period to 30 days of visitors, this potential conversion might slip in the categorization.


The solution to these problems is to intelligently study the audience and then break your audience into smaller groups. With each group having common needs which then need to be addressed in the remarketing campaign. Let’s say you have identified two group one which visited 3 days ago and one 25 days ago. What you can do in your remarketing campaign is to show the later one a stronger marketing message as they have become a colder lead. You have to encourage them more vigorously compared to the other group.

Grouping all audience together might seem better since you have a larger audience, but once your analyze how the retargeting ad misses the mark by not meeting the expectation of the viewer, you will be forced to divide them into smaller groups.

5 must-try Facebook retargeting strategies

Retarget those who engage with Facebook posts

Nearly all businesses have a social media marketing strategy in place which includes regular content sharing on their official Facebook page. If you put some thought and effort into the posts you create, you will definitely get engagement on your posts. People will like and share your content if they find it interesting enough.

The idea for this strategy is to retarget those people who engaged with your Facebook posts but never visited your website. If you are running Facebook ads, these are the perfect audience to retarget. As these people are already engaging with your content, is it easier to encourage them to take the leap of faith.

This strategy includes three steps. First, you need to create a set of people who have engaged with your content on Facebook. In the menu under “Engagement”, there is a list of various options of how users can interact with your brand on Facebook. Click “Facebook Page,” select “People who engaged with any post or ad,” and include a timeframe. Remember to exclude the people who have already clicked on your ads.

Create a second custom audience of “all website visitors” keeping the time period same as the first group. Now create an ad which targets the first group and excludes the second.

Hook line and sinker

It’s a well-known fact that people do not make the purchase first time around. Hence retargeting. There are numerous reasons for such behavior. A common one that we may all agree upon is visiting the order page and realizing we might have budget constraints. This keeps us from purchasing and we subdue to the temporary restriction.

Well, this can all be turned around by implying an intelligent strategy of Facebook retargeting. Create a custom audience of all people who visited the checkout page of your website in the last 30 days. Create a compelling ad to them in the first 3-5 days of the new month. Come payday, will be a new motivation to the visitor and seeing your ad will make them think its fate that has brought the product in front of their eyes and the required money to buy it in their pocket.

The two-tier strategy

Often time you have to mimic the behavior of the visitors to develop a retargeting strategy. The behavior of the visitors on social media is to wait and see. They would not rush to the decision to make a purchase and might need inceptive pursuading.

The inception here being your brand. In the first tier start with a brand awareness ad which would create an impression in the mind of the viewer. And what better way to create an impression by making an awesome video.

You can n create a second more compelling retargeting ad based on the custom audience who have viewed the video. Yes, Facebook offers the unique targeting option to the custom audience who view specific portions of your video. Create a custom audience base upon people who have viewed at least 50% of your video content indicating high-interest levels.


You can then retarget them with another and with more incentive for better conversion.

Retarget the most engaged website visitors

A simple measure of how much-interested people are in your product is the amount of time they spend on your website. if the bounce rate of your website is lower, it means the design layout and journey of the visitor on your website are appropriately set. You can check the bounce rate and measure the avg time on the website by using the Google Analytics tool or lucky orange which help you track visitor journey.

You can retarget people on Facebook who has spent significant time on your website.

In the custom, audience panel clicks on website traffic to select visitors by time. You can further skim the audience based upon the amount of time they have spent. An important pointer here is to exclude the people who have visited and made the purchase.  Otherwise, you will be wasting time and money on people who are already your customer.


Prospecting for a lost cause

In the world of Facebook retargeting, there are no such things as a lost cause. There’s a lot of room for customer growth with re-engagement campaigns. This is the same case as you might have observed in email marketing, where you receive promotional emails months after you visited a website.

Facebook retargeting campaigns are specifically designed to connect with users who haven’t purchased from you or engaged with your site within a set period of time. The tenure of the audience which you want to rejuvenate can vary from a couple of months to up to and year. You can upload a custom audience from your email list for people who haven’t replied to your emails. Many CRMs such as MailChimp provide this facility.

facebook ad retargeting - Replug
Conclusion

Retargeting can yield higher ad engagement, brand ad lift, and awareness, click through rates, and conversions, all at a lower CPC than the majority of campaigns targeting cold audiences.

This is an incredible opportunity that brands should spend more time focusing on instead of exclusively trying to create ad campaigns for cold audiences.

What do you think? Which retargeting strategies have you used for your business? Which has worked best for you? Let us know in the comments below!

 

About the Author

Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.

conversion rate optimization - ContentStudio

Conversion Rate Optimization Tips – 8 Easy Ways to Boost Sales

Every business wants to enjoy loads of traffic on their website or blogs, especially those running an e-commerce store. And when a person visits your website, landing page or social channel, you want them to take action. Actions such as purchasing items, creating accounts, add an item to the cart, sign up for a newsletter or follow you on social media.

Conversion is directing people to take action on your website which pushes them deeper into the sales funnel. Conversion rate optimization determines why the visitors on your website not converting and taking necessary steps to produce actual buyers.

What is a good conversion rate

The conversion rate may vary from business to business. What is a good conversion rate you might ask? According to a survey conducted by WordStream, about 1/4 of all accounts have less than 1% conversion rates. The median was 2.35%, but the top 25% of accounts have twice that – 5.31% – or greater. Check out the far right red bar – the top 10% of Google Ads advertisers have account conversion rates of 11.45%.


Source

It might not always be a good idea to compare your conversion rate with others in your industry. Even if you compare within your own industry, the competitor which you are comparing with will have different sources of traffic and website design. So what could be a good rate for them will not apply to you because of variables in the evaluation process.

A good conversion rate is better than what you had last month.

That is why it is absolutely necessary to recognize a starting point for your business and continually monitor it for improvements.

Improvement Identifiers

There are certain parameters which can hint that your conversion rate needs improvement. Online businesses especially shopping stores should be on a continuous lookout for.

Data-driven decision making

Conversion rates can neither be assumed nor should be predicted. It is a measure of how successful your online campaigns are performing and should be always backed up by authentic data. Making decisions based on assumptions without proper testing will degrade your conversion rate.

Getting a second opinion

Its always better to have a second opinion. Having an expert or a friend who know about digital campaign management or online paid advertisement can help you identify leaks in your setup.

Alternatively and more appropriately, you can use online tools such as UserTesting. Here you can submit your website to be reviewed by experts who will evaluate it overall impressions. Getting an independent third party evaluation can help you identify gaps you have otherwise missed.

Heat maps evaluation

heatmaps are a great way to track the behavior of people on your website or landing page. This gives you insights into the which areas on the webpage your visitors are most interested in. Heatmaps generate a soo called thermal image, highlighting the area where customer cursor has been most active.


The data from heatmaps help you visualize whether the most visited or clicked button on the website actually takes the user to a sales a page or checkout. This activity will help you channel more and more visits to the lower part of your sales funnel ultimately increasing the conversion rate.

Google Analytics

Google analytics is a very powerful tool which deciphers the overall performance of your website. The data and reports show which pages on the website are performing better compared to others. You can then focus on those pages and market them using SEO or social media to increase the chances of them showing up at the right place in Google search.


however, this tool is quite advanced and you need to be well versed with it in order to get maximum output. You’ll want to analyze segments such as mobile devices used, buyers vs. non-buyers, new vs. returning users, and so forth.

8 ways to improve the conversion rate

A/B testing images


Images play a vital role in determining the online sales figures for your product. They are the first thing visitors notice about your ad. Since people can not physically touch the product or test out your service, it is up to the ad copy primarily the image you select to represent your business.

To boost conversion, you need to try out different images and evaluate their performance using the tools discussed in the above section. There are different ways in which you can enhance the productivity of the image. E.g. some companies showcase their product with a white background, while others might use red.  Similarly, some might try to bring their products to life by showcasing them with plants, trees or animals.

Almost all big brands split test images to determine conversion. You will have to answer the following questions. Does your product stand out to a white or colored background? Does clothing convert better when worn by models or dummies? How many supporting images do you need to provide?

All these variations will help you reach a consensus on which images to use and which to discard. While creating images be sure that it pops against the background. Vibrant images often convert better.

Use effective headlines

The second feature of an ad that has the power to convert is the headline or the tagline. The tagline is basically your entire sales pitch wrapped up in one sentence. This one-liner should intrigue the reader, answer their questions and solve a problem. it is hook line and sinker all at once.

There are certain kinds of headlines that prompt a better response than others. These include command headlines, direct headlines, question headlines, instructional & How-to headlines.  A loosely constructed headline may leak genuine leads.

Here are a few additional stats you might find interesting from an analysis of 150,000 headlines by the Content Marketing Institute:

  • A title with eight words performed best. These titles received a 21% higher click-through rate than average.
  • A colon or hyphen in the title — indicating a subtitle — performed 9% better than headlines without.
  • Headlines that contained odd numbers had a 20% higher click-through rate than headlines with even numbers.

So how to write a killer headline. The online world is stormed with ads and banners, so why would anyone click on yours out of hundreds of others in the same niche. A unique and catchy headline is the answer.

If people see the same old boring headline, they will simply skip your ad. That is why brainstorming headline ideas are very important. the more versions you write down in a list, the more uncommon ideas you’ll have at the end of your list.

Strategically placed CTAs, forms, and pricing tables

Friendbuy, a company that promotes referral marketing for growth marketers, was able to increase the click-through rate of their improved CTA by 211%.

Now, that’s a huge figure.

Another striking example was set by Jason Fried, the co-founder of a software company 37 Signals. His team tried different CTA variations in the quest of optimizing conversions for Highrise. And finally, they got lucky.

They observed a boost in sign-ups on the website by 200% by changing just the text of a CTA button.

The purpose of a landing page is to acquire a lead (email id ) or generate a sale. CTA is the gateway to that sale. It instructs the user to behave in a certain manner and directs them to the bottom of the sales funnel. The position of the button also plays a crucial role and heatmaps may also help you in this regard.

Research shows that the ideal place for a CTA is right above the fold and not at the top of the page. Here are a few guidelines to a showstopping CTA.

  • Your CTA should be accompanied by an attractive and descriptive headline
  • A supportive subheading which is designed to provide complementing information.
  • Instill a sense of urgency by offering a limited discount offer.
  • A short statement explaining the value being added to your business.
  • A CTA which reads exactly what you are supposed to get after clicking it.

Source

Open Communication Channels with Customers

Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell. – Seth Godin

It is absolutely vital that you keep multiple communication channels open with your customers. Almost all of us like to chat with a representative of the brand we go out to buy. This is easy to do at conventional shopping stores where there are real people available to help you out with your purchase. For long, there has been a vote of no confidence in online purchasing. That’s no more the case.

In recent years, online businesses, especially big e-commerce stores have invested heavily in developing and training customer service departments. Now whenever you visit a reputed online store, a chat box appears automatically, available to entertain any query you might have.

In the age of artificial intelligence, visitors can interact with chatbots and intelligent programs which help them choose the right product. Helping a visitor in making a purchase is one thing, automating it and using AI to ease the process of the sales take ingenuity to a whole new level. Imagine the impact of people leaving your website and then share the great user experience they had on hundreds and thousands of potential clients.


Here are a few tips on how you can create customer loyalty and social proof to get in the good books of your community.

Survey website visitors: A great way to interact with people on your website is to create surveys on important pages.

Survey paying customers: These people will help shape your business, product or service. They can identify for you the hidden conversion issues and the problems they face on your website. They can also point out feature improvements and lay down the roadmap for your product’s future.

Engage Social followers: Every business has its official social media pages, made not only to interact with the management but also other people utilizing the same product. But not all companies have an active page or otherwise engaging community. The reason is that companies lack focus and not tap into the full potential of social media platforms.

With billions of people on these platforms, they are an ideal opportunity to get the word out for your product. You can create online events, channels or live stream demos to help educate your audience. The secret of social media management is to make your audience better.

Implement live chat: Live chat is not only a great way to replicate an in-store experience, but it’s also useful in identifying which issues people face within your conversion funnel in real-time. This valuable insight will help you identify and remove glitches in your conversion funnel.

Encourage reviews: A happy and satisfied customer is a great marketing agent. Ask your loyal customer to be your brand ambassadors by putting a good word on your behalf. Smartphones have enabled buyers to evaluate a product by viewing Google reviews or visiting Facebook pages. Collect these reviews and use them on your website, in marketing collateral like emails, store banners or a page dedicated to testimonials.

Use Urgency & Scarcity

Scarcity and urgency go hand in hand. Scarcity infuses urgency. the psychology behind it is, if an item is lower in quantity it means more people have bought it, which in turn means it should be good. This coupled with a countdown timer is the perfect recipe to encourage people to click the buy now button.


Sumo has best described the concept of scarcity by conducting an experiment where they asked people to rate 2 jars of cookies. Initially, both had 10 cookies in them, then they removed 8 cookies from one of the jars and asked people to rate them again. The results were staggering. The jar with less no of cookies had a higher rating than the other.

Statements like “You do not want to miss out on this offer”, “Coupon expires in…”, “limited time offer” and many more, have a profound effect on the psychology of the buyer.

Posh website design

Website designs are in a constant state of evolution. The earlier designs were simple and lacked panache. Older websites were developed with only one thing in mind, providing visitors with appropriate information. Here are a few examples.

 

Similarly, here is one earlier design of the e-commerce giant eBay.


As the concepts of UI/UX evolved, so did the design of the websites. Now its more about the journey of the visitor and how pleasantly they are directed to the bottom of the conversion funnel.

Website design and flow is a key element in determining the conversion rate of your business. Factors such as color scheme harmony with the brand, product images, appropriate sections, and designated webpages contribute to a high converting website. Here is a good design example of how ContentStudio’s above the fold homepage looks like.

The other aspect of the website is its flow. Maneuvering the movement of the visitor to the bottom of the conversion funnel is an art. The objective of your homepage should be to make your most frequently searched content easily accessible. By understanding what is important to your target audience, and intelligently crafting your navigation menu, you’ll be removing friction within your conversion funnel.

The heatmaps (discussed earlier) will help you in this regard. You can analyze them to identify which content user is more interested in and then move them to the front. As reference view websites similar to your niche (which are doing well) and analyze their setup. You can list down their shortcomings and create a custom design for yourself which is better than your competition.

Irresistible offers

Source

Every person evaluates the return on investment before making a purchase. If the ratio is high, it makes it easier to convert.  However, this ratio can be increased by presenting irresistible offers. Even better is an offer with a decrementing timer over it. There are two common strategies when it comes to setting up an offer, pricing, and bundling.

Placing discount offers on products is a great way to boost sales. Offering a 50% discount is a great way to attract potential buyers. The thing to keep in mind is to set up the original pricing appropriately enough so that your business is still profitable.

The second method is to bundle the products together e.g. “Buy one get one free”, “offering a gift card with the purchase of two items”  and other such offers.  These techniques work very well as they encourage people to buy instantly as we are all attracted to free things and saving money.

Setting up a retargeting campaign

The final step in the conversion funnel is an effective retargeting campaign and this step should be run on a continuous loop. According to research, the cart abandonment rate is as high as 69.5% which is an astonishing figure.

Retargeting ads will keep your product in front of the eyes of people who visited your website but did not make a purchase. Seeing the same product or brand enough times will create brand trust and uplifts the conversion rate.

There are many ways you can create a retargeting campaign. You can use Google AdSense to show your ads on different websites, Facebook to show retargeting ads on Instagram and use push notifications to show ads on desktop.

Takeaway

Optimizing your business’s online presence is in your hand. First thing you need to do is to identify the sectors which need improvement. This can be done by consulting others, evaluating heap maps, and using Google Analytics.

The next step is to take measurements so website visitors pass seamlessly through the conversion funnel. try out different ad copies to determine which works better. Similarly, experiment with images and headlines and do A/B testing. Use the power of social media and open communication with your audience. They will act as your advocates online. Finally, create an awesome retargeting campaign to keep popping up to people who visited your website.

If you have other ideas about how to increase conversion rate, do share with us in the comment section.

About the Author

Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.

vanity urls - Replug

Using vanity URL’s to build online and social brand awareness

What is a Vanity URL

A vanity URL is a branded web address used not only to redirect URLs from one location to another but also brand marketing. The prime purpose of using a vanity URL is that it is easy to remember, use and share.

A vanity URL must contain the brand’s name or a relevant keyword. For example, if data shows that your sales page is the most visited one your entire website, you can create a vanity URL for it and share it across your social media platforms.

Creating a vanity URL

There are three simple steps in which you can create a vanity URL.

Branded domain name: The first step is to incorporate your business name into the domain. The domain name should be incoherence with your business to reflect your brand identity. It is advised to include the exact name of your business in the domain in order for brand recognition.

High-level domain: The next step is to choose the high-level domain type. So it could be an educational site, a news page or a blog. etc using the suffix to domain name such as .link, .click, .lol, .news, .blog, and so on.

Keyword: The keyword or phrase used after backslash signifies the nature of the landing page. This is used to bring clarity to the mind of the visitor about the type page that the visitor will be landing to once they click on the link.

Here is another example of converting complex irregular URL, to simple and beautiful branded ones which are much easier to remember.

Vanity URLs should not be confused with vanity domains, which are domains named after the owner’s name. e.g. https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/ or https://neilpatel.com/

Guidelines for using vanity URL’s

Vanity URLs are a perfect way to achieve marketing goals. But they have to be used in a certain way in order to extract their maximum potential. Here are a few recommendations on how to optimally use them.

Brand clarity

Brand clarity means nothing else than that your brand works as a whole. Every aspect of your brand from your design over your strategy to your brand experience is in alignment. Nowhere this concept truly applies than while creating vanity URLs.

It is very important to clearly display your brand’s name in full words. The redirection as well should be in the URL as to which page the visitor will land once they click on it. This can be achieved by the keyword used after the backslash. There is a small number of words to play with so you have to be absolutely clear and concise.

Use appropriation

The purpose is to create branded short links but its not necessary to stuff them everywhere, you have to choose your battles so to speak. If a link you want to share is already compact and delivers the necessary message, there is no need to create a vanity URL in this case.

However, if you are using a link shortener such as Replug for analytics or management, it’s better to edit the link.

A few examples of Vanity URL’s

Many social media websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter offer users and brands the option to customize their profile URLs. Below are a few examples where businesses have used vanity URLs to instill brand trust in their visitors.

Here is one for Twitter.

finally, here is one where vanity URLs are being used in Instagram accounts.

4 reasons why vanity URLs are amazing

Now that we have understood the concept, here are a few noteworthy advantages of using them in our social accounts.

Easier to remember

Consider the scenario where you someone tells you a website and you do not note it down, and later when you need it, you can’t seem to remember it. Similar sometimes we are lost for words to type into search engines to find things of interest. With an easy to remember web address created with the help of vanity URLs, it is highly probable to leave a long lasting impression.

Vanity URLs are also easy on the eyes. Twisted or scrambled web addresses that do not make any send are ugly to look at not to mention difficult as hell to remember.

Builds trust

The other great thing about branded shortened links is that they increase brand recognition. Sharing engaging and relevant content with your branded domain associated with it will increase visibility and improve recognition.

A branded link instills trust which in turn increases your CTR. By being willing to share your brand name with your link it offers a guarantee that you are leading them to the destination suggested in your link.

Easy to use and share

By being obviously shorter, easier to remember, and more trustworthy, vanity URLs are being shared more and more nowadays. Since they consist of words we use often instead of random numbers they are shared even verbally. The image below is a perfect example of how easily comprehendible the URL is.

The ease of sharing comes in handy on a platform which has a limitation on the number of words you can share e.g. twitter. Longer more cumbersome URLs have to be edited to make them presentable and even then people are reluctant to share them.

Marketing Promotional Materials

Anywhere your brand or website could show up, you have the opportunity to create a call-to-action to get people engaged in your social media efforts. It is time to think out of the box.

Many companies distribute merchandise on marketing and promotional events to visitors and potential clients to help them remember the brand. The more people you can create talking, interacting, and sharing your brand the greater are the chances of your word getting out. If you have vanity URLs for your brand, you can have them printed on the merchandise and utilize this medium for marketing.  The lack of space makes them ideal for printing.

How to use vanity URLs to your advantage

Intelligent marketers use vanity URLs to share content on social media platforms. If you use any service to create these links, they can also be tracked to evaluate performance as people engage with them.

Custom URLs have the ability to track the actions of a visitor. This is quite handy when you need to determine the performance of your ads. Social media platforms, though very intelligent in data gathering, offer little to none information whatsoever once the ad has been clicked. This can be easily done by creating a custom URL to which the user is directed via the ad.

Here are a few ways how marketers can take advantage of vanity URLs and you can too.

Instagram marketing

Instagram has emerged as a heavyweight social media network reaching 1 billion subscribers. It is no surprise that it has attracted so many marketers. To make a place with so many eyes to see the content you share, vanity URLs are an ideal format.

Instagram demands clean and clear posting in the form of images and links. Using a link shortening service such as Replug you can create neat custom short links, infuse your brand name in it and share with your audience.

Boost conversion from social media

Social media marketing and ads revenue have skyrocketed in the past 7 years and it is here to stay. The crucial thing about social media ads is to know your audience in order to create customized ads for each group. Some social networks offer demographically based ads displaying which helps the cause. You might be thinking, where is all this do branded URLs fit in?

If you are using vanity URLs in the ads you are displaying on social media, you can track every click and where it came from. The control of the appearance and text flow is a great reason to use, but the analytics (link tracking, sources, etc.) is the most valuable reason to use vanity URLs and shortened links. Here is one example where people have used Replug to track, monitor and convert visitors.

Brand Awareness

Brand Awareness is the familiarity of the consumers with a brand to such an extent that the brand name becomes the Household name. Every brand owner dreams of their brand name becoming a real word; this concept is called proprietary eponym.

Vanity URLs are a great way to promote your brand. Each link you share is an opportunity to market your brand. Using branded link enough times make your audience get used to it and inculcate brand awareness.

Promoting Special campaigns

There are apps which let you create a specialized campaign for each type of promotion using a vanity link. Campaigns let you segregate ads and its associated data in a separate folder.


Let’s say your company wants to promote a new product and is starting a paid social media ad campaign for it. You can create custom URLs specifically for this product and monitor its performance separate from other links you share.

Comments and Email

Remarketing - Replug

People love you share their opinion on viral videos and news. The comment section is filled with informative and sometimes hilarious comments. This is where the majority of the community comes to interact. Marketers can take advantage of this congregation and present their case in a well-formatted way.

Share vanity URLs in the comment section of relevant posts in a well-presented manner to attract potential clients. Branded URLs are a great candidate for this type of promotion as they are short, organized and contain the brand name to encourage people to click on them.

The same concept can be applied to email marketing. Email marketing is a tricky business where first you have to establish trust in order for people to recognize you. They have to be confident enough to click on the promotional link you send in the email. This can be achieved by using vanity links.

Verbal sharing

Electronic media such as TV and radio are still the preferred choice of marketers.  Imagine you get air time and the host asks you to describe what you do. Wouldn’t it be nice if you can verbally convey your social channels right there and then?

Many singers, DJ’s, and RJ’s have their social accounts with vanity URLs. This helps them to verbally convey the web address of their official channels. It would be otherwise impossible to say the irregular web address.

The presentation of your brand to the audience should be as frictionless as possible. People are more inclined towards engaging if there is less clutter to what they see. After all, many of the customers would have converted not through your website, but social media.

Effect of Vanity URLs on SEO

When searching for a particular brand on Google, the search results often include the social media channels of that particular brand, coincidence? Not really. By having the vanity URL to your brand on multiple web properties, you should be able to dominate your SERP with your own marketing message.

There’s a common misconception that redirecting a link in this way can hurt your SEO. Vanity URLs are simply used for sharing a clean, tidy and branded link that brings visitors to a less appealing URL. According to several ranking specialists, it seems that using URL shorteners doesn’t lead to any negative impact on your SEO. As a matter of fact, shortened URLs are considered by search engines as any regular 301 redirects and they will thus act upon it.

Integrated Link Retargeting and UTM Tools

The great thing about vanity URL’s is that you are able to track their performance. This means acquiring data such as clicks, unique clicks, conversion, etc. This allows you to evaluate the links you share and then tweak them to enhance performance.

The second part of this activity is to add the people who clicked on the vanity URL in a retargeting list. Even if the link was redirecting to a third party website, someone was still interested in it to click on it. This technique has proven to increase top funnel traffic considerably.

Adding UTM parameters to the links you share also helps in tracking, attributing, and accounting for your marketing efforts. Build intelligent UTM parameters and add them to the links you share

Takeaways

Vanity URLs have the multipurpose functionality of not only appearing pleasing to the eye but also creating brand trust. They can be used for social media branding, in email marketing and link tracking. Try using them today in order for your business to keep appearing in the right place at the right time.

 

About the Author

Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.

Increase followers on Instagram - ContentStudio

How to Increase Followers on Instagram: Share Custom links

Instagram has crossed 1 billion users, coming in second only to its parent company Facebook. With such a huge user base, it is an ideal platform for online marketing. Every company is desperately trying to increase followers on Instagram and they are absolutely right in doing so.

All of us want to drive more convertible traffic to our websites. With the highest rate of growth of any social channel, Instagram is a goldmine for marketers across the globe. It has a secret weapon which when unleashed could directly impact online sales. That weapon is the ability to create swipeable Instagram stories links.


It is the perfect way to drive traffic to your money website/ blog. You can also track and measure the performance of the link by using link shorteners such as Replug.io. This will help you create branded short trackable links. Once you have successfully created the link, the chain icon will be highlighted to indicate that the link has been created successfully.

Catch twenty-two

The kicker is that not everybody has access to create links on their Instagram stories. In May 2017, however, Instagram began quietly expanding this feature to more marketers on the platform. Clickable stories links are now also available to business profiles (not personal profiles) that have over 10,000 followers on Instagram.

There are no geographic restrictions to clickable stories links. We can hope Instagram will continue to roll this feature out to even more users. We can hope or we can take action to increase our followers to 10k and take advantage of this amazing marketing opportunity. And the great thing about this activity is that it does not cost a dime. Also as a by-product, you will have a hefty and loyal following who will be actually willing on the links you share.

This article unravels the mystery of how to increase followers on Instagram.

Increase followers on Instagram

There are quite a few ways through which you can be one of the top Instagram accounts in your niche. Only then you will be able to dominate sales and conversions and interact with your audience to grow your business even further. Here are some tried and tested methods.

Choose the right Instagram content

The first and foremost thing you need to decide is what type of content you want to share with your audience. This is a crucial step and may take some thought and effort. The content has to be aligned with the nature of your business at the same time interesting or humorous enough that your audience yearns for more.

Your followers will associate and recognize your brand through the stories you share on Instagram. There are some images which go along with most industries e.g. funny memes, inspirational quotes, exotic food, scenic images are a good starting point. Choosing an image is a key factor in Instagram posts as it heavily relies on visual content.

According to research, 90 percent of all the information that comes to the brain is visual. It literally takes a couple of seconds for a person to evaluate if your visual content is interesting to them or not. Hence your posts should be intriguing enough for them to click on it and maybe explore your channel further. Hence you need to stand out.


Once you have established your Instagram content theme, it is important that you stick to it. The key here is that visitors must be able to establish a correlation between your post. If your posts are poles apart, people with not be able to make a connection with your theme. People expect consistency and it is the primary reason why they will revisit your page for a specific kind of news or information.

As explained earlier, what you need to do is find the right direction for your account and religiously follow it. A good start is researching some trending Hashtags and shortlist the one which suits you the best.

Find competitors who use the same hashtags as you do, or even find users who follow these hashtags and see what other kinds of content they like.

Creating share-worthy content

The reason for a post to go viral is that it is so interesting it urges the reader to share it others. You need to understand the interest of your followers and construct content accordingly. There are some factors which raise the potential of content to go viral. Let’s explore them.

Relevancy

Content relevancy to popularity is like bait to fish. People automatically follow and share content which is relevant to their interest. If you can establish a connection with your followers through your content, it is bound to be shared. Try and make your content as relatable to your audience as possible. However, there will be people who dislike it. Try and keep that number to a minimum.

Informational content

While creating content keep in mind the goal of your post. It has to add informational value to your reader’s mind. If the mind detects enough value in the piece, the user will share it with others, because in their mind others don’t have this knowledge yet.

This is a great way to not only educate your audience but also establish authority as a source of viable information. You need to be really careful in your research as to not share unverifiable or wrong information.

There is no metric to judge the effectiveness and the utility of the content you’re sharing except for the audience response towards it. If it doesn’t help the audience, it might not get much attention.

Trending News

The world is at a point where reporting news first is more important than reporting true new. Unfortunately, this attitude has seeped into the content sharing norms of the general public as well. Unlike the corporate news agencies, who have massive budgets to cover up mistakes, SME business and individuals do not have that liberty.

Nowadays there are tools available which provide you with trending news from around the globe. Tools such as ContentStudio allow you to apply smart filters on trending content from all regions. Shortlist the trending articles which resonate with your audience and share the story before it gets viral. he audience often likes to consume content that’s related to a trending topic to find out the opinions or what others have to say about it. This helps you climb the ranks in authentic trending news breaking.

Show faces

Sharing life stories as well as using images with real people in them are known to have better engagement statistics. The human brain relates better to pictures with faces in them. Also, images that don’t include faces, but using a point-of-view shot where the camera acts as the eyes of the audience can help them make them feel like they’re a part of the image

User-generated content

Posting user-generated content is a great way to establish social proof, authenticity and brand trust. Not only that it is a great way to build an interactive vibrant community. At the end of the day, your community is your social advocate which will fight your case online. Stronger the online community, better are the chances of your posts going viral.


Encourage your followers to share their content on your page. Make sure to give them an incentive for doing this, though, like running an Instagram competition or giveaway. Ladbible with over 7.5 million, pay anybody who sends share-worthy videos 10 quid. Part of the reason why they share such awesome content.

Uplifting your Community

In a race to increase follower on Instagram and become popular, we tend to view our audience as just a number. And this number needs to be ever increasing. This thought or obsession is with nearly all kinds of social accounts and businesses.

It is of prime importance that you respect and connect with your audience. You may have 10k followers and only be getting 200-400 odd likes, even fewer comments. One thing that you should keep in mind is the Pareto principle. According to this 80% of your results comes from 20% of your audience. While more of a rule of thumb than a hard scientific fact, the Pareto principle should make you realize that it’s not about having a large follower count as much as it is about having a large core of engaged followers.


One should rather have an active small group than a huger unresponsive audience. The aim of your posts should be to increase reach, exposure, and engagement. These should be your primary goals if you want to be an influencer in a true sense.

This is why it is essential that you treat your online community like gold. Inspire your follower in order to get beyond the generic reply “nice pic” or “great post”. Show them that there is a real person behind the screen who wants to communicate.

Brands, as they grow in size forget the social aspect of social media marketing.  The communication has to be bilateral. Posts which have catchy calls to action asking people to comment tend to receive better engagement. This way you can show your audience that you’re not some faceless corporation, but a person or people who actually care about others’ opinions.

Post Religiously

When managing an Instagram account, it is very important that you post to a schedule. This is a sign of a healthy account. Once people start seeing your brand on a regular basis in their feed, they start recognizing.  However, never posts a bunch of posts together as people will think it is spam.

You should be consistent with your posts. If your audience keeps on waiting and never see a post you’re not going to find many people willing to follow you on.  In order to optimally post on Instagram use ContentStudio to preschedule your content for the whole month. 
Also, it provides you with analytics such as the best time to post to maximize exposure.

Using Hashtags to get more followers

Hashtags are a great way for your content to be visible to people who do not necessarily follow your page. They are convenient to people in a way that they help people navigate easily to topics they’re interested in. You can add hashtags in the caption or comments of your post. If you add hashtags to a post that’s set to public, the post will be visible on the corresponding hashtag page.

An easy way to increase followers on Instagram is to post content which is trending at the moment. Applying this to Instagram, you need to find the most trending hashtags in your niche. This will help you get more eyes. The first step in this journey is to do proper keywords research for your business.

Finding popular Hashtags

You can use ContentStudio’s trending section to determine the most popular topics relevant to your business.


The other top tip is to copy the hashtags that the top influencers in your niche are using. Use this as a way to not only generate more exposure and gain more Instagram followers but as a way to get on the radars of other influencers.

Gather around 30 relevant which include both high and low performing hashtags. Use around 10 hashtags that have over a million posts, another 10 hashtags that only have 10k to 50k posts, with another 10 anywhere in between. This way you make sure your posts get as much exposure as possible.

Find out hashtag of the day and try to compose a post around it. This will help you get in touch with even a larger audience.

Also, try multiple sets of hashtags and test them out. Regularly rotate them so that your posts reach a variety of people relevant to your niche.

Using the hashtag

Once you have compiled the appropriate hashtags, its now time to put them to good use. it is not advised to use the hashtag in the description of the photo itself, rather use them in the comment section. This will hide your list of keywords after others have added comments.

Also, it will help your posts free of clutter.

Using custom hashtags

Try creating a branded hashtag. This way it is much easier for people to find you. Original hashtag help generates conversations, improve brand reputation and build credibility. You can also use a hashtag in your bio so that your account gets more exposure. This is a very easy way to make sure that your account shows up in hashtag searches as well.

Check out his custom hashtag from Digiorno pizza, which they created for the super bowl.

Networking

It is a great business hack for success not only in real life but in social media as well.  It is essential to reach out to people, businessmen and influencers in your particular industry and ask for a shoutout.

The thing to remember is to keep karma in mind. If you do good for someone, it will come back tenfold. So don’t approach joining and teaming up with other accounts with an attitude of, “What’s in it for me?” Rather, think of it as just helping your fellow person out, and you never know, good things may happen to you down the road.

It’s now time to get familiar with the concept of S4S, which stands for shoutout for a shoutout. You need to get comfortable with the idea of sharing other peoples content, in order to increase the number of your followers. And the concept is simple, You ask another influencer in your niche if they would like to share your content, and in return, you will share theirs.

This is a great way of exposing your audience to their content and vice versa. The upside to this process is that if you carefully choose who you do S4S with, you can land on a goldmine audience which loved your content.


This type of recognition is unique to Instagram and invaluable for businesses which are starting out. But remember that you should always look to be providing a mutual exchange of value.

A great hack in increasing your Instagram followers via shoutouts is joining a shoutout group.  Such groups are an informal group of Instagrammers who have gathered in order to support each other by doing S4S. There are quite a few types of S4S groups. Some free, some paid some dedicated and some ad-hoc. Choose the one which best fits in your requirements and ask them to share a screenshot of your page.

Types of shoutouts

While starting out, it might be intimidating asking for shoutouts from pages that have a much larger following than yours. But the benefits outweigh the risk by a mile. Also, you have nothing to lose. The worst you can receive is a rejection, who cares.

However, if you connect with people who share your interest and are willing to put out a good word for you, you must know what type of message you want them to propagate at your behalf.

  • Caption only shoutouts: In this type, your collaborator would mention your page in the caption of an image that may or may not be relevant to your business.  This is cost-effective but does not help the cause in the greater sense.
  • Brand image with your product or service + caption. This is a much better approach and has a profound impact. One thing to keep in mind is the call to action,  it should be convincing. Some accounts will only let you put up the image for a certain period of time, and others will let it stay up. Usually the higher traffic the page, the more you see rules and restrictions.works better than just a caption-based shoutout, but you have to make sure the call to action is good.

Collaborating with influencers

This is by far the best technique to increase your followers on Instagram. Influencers are the people who are proficient enough to engage with a diverse audience, empower them, and influence the perception of others. It has the highest potential of creating the maximum ROI out of any other technique we have discussed.

First of all, create a list of 20-30 major influencer that you want to engage and collaborate with. Do proper research in shortlisting these people who will help to take your Instagram account to the next level.  For this, you need to find the top hashtags in your niche are and see if you can identify any particular account that consistently appears in the “top” or “trending” posts. Reach out to them and request them to give your brand a shoutout.

Paying Influencers

If all else fails, there is always the option to pay an influencer to give you a shoutout. But before you do, make sure that you can get a guarantee on ROI. A key pointer is to look for an influencer with an engaged audience, not necessarily a large number of Instagram followers. Remember that 1-2% engagement is a minimum for working with someone. The higher, the better.

Honorable mentions

Apart from the strategies discussed above, here are a few bonus tips to help you increase followers on Instagram.

  • free giveaways/ deals
  • Try Instagram ads (start with a limited budget)
  • Social sharing on other channels
  • Exchange likes in the same way as shoutouts
  • Share viral content with a touch of your own brilliance

Conclusion

The growth hacks discussed above are a few ways to go from 0 to 10k followers within a matter of weeks. A good starting point is to ask yourself the question ” Why do I want to be on Instagram and what benefit will it yield to my business ?”.  It is important that your vision to be on this social media network be as clear as the bright blue sky.

You should select the general theme and the type of content you want to share with your followers. try to frequently post engaging content but don’t fall in the spam region. Do necessary research to find out appropriate hashtags in order to join the viral stream.

It is absolutely necessary to outreach and network with your peers. This helps spread your work around.

If you have some pointer in mind as in how to increase followers on Instagram, Do share with us in the comment section.

 

About the Author

Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.

Encrypt SSL - Replug

Replug Updates

Improved Scalability for a URL Shortener

With the recent influx of new users, we saw a huge increase in traffic on the URL shortener which led to downtimes during the peak traffic.

To tackle this problem, we have scaled our infrastructure, which is now auto-scalable, capable of serving up to 50,000 requests per minute.

Alongside, we added an uptime monitoring so that you can monitor the system status: https://rplg.co/05ebdd30

URL Shortener - Replug

Custom Domain Registration and Encrypt SSL

We have updated the infrastructure of our system. This helps you to avoid any kind of custom domain registration errors.

Once you have added your domain to the platform, the next step is to point CNAME in your domain registrar’s DNS. If you would like to redirect your root domain, please try adding @ or www. Some of the registrars do not allow the @ option, for that you will have to add www as a HOST value.

CNAME – Canonical Name: rplg.co
HOST: @ or www

However, if there is a working website on your root domain, we recommend using a subdomain such as links.yourdomain.com or track.yourdomain.com. Then follow the convention below.

CNAME – Canonical Name: rplg.co
HOST:  links or track or (whatever subdomain name you)

If you don’t want to use a subdomain, you should use a different domain that doesn’t have any website working on its root URL.

IMPORTANT: You need to point through CNAME to our URL shortener to avoid SSL error or update the IP Address / A address (35.238.70.19) to avoid connection errors the future.  For more details on how to add a custom domain, please read the following article.

https://docs.replug.io/article/150-how-to-add-custom-domains

We sincerely hope that the above-mentioned improvements will elevate your Replug experience, enabling you to achieve better ROI from the branded shortened links you share.

About the Author

Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.