Here’s a scenario for you.
You’re busting your butt on social media. You’re spending way too much time creating social-geared content, curating relevant links for your peeps, and reading up on how to do it better. Perhaps you’ve even developed a bit of a following.
Now, at long last, it’s time to put all that effort to work for you. It’s time to channel that audience onto your own platform via a link to your new blog post.
You set up your compelling, marketer-approved headline. You make sure the image looks nice. You post, and…
Not what you were hoping for.
Social traffic can be difficult to convert, but today, we are going to look at a few ways to bring that audience to your own website at a more efficient rate.
1. Make Natives Native and Promos Promotional
One of the downsides of following the latest trends in the marketing blogosphere is that it’s incredibly easy to apply the right advice to the wrong target.
For example, as native ads have increased in popularity, followed by the inevitable storm of native advertising tips, I’ve noticed a number of native ad techniques being applied to sidebar ads.
And of course, many native ads are still employing the same cheesy overly promotional “pickup lines” that have been overplayed since the late 90’s.
If you want to waste money, mashup up everything you know about advertising and apply it indiscriminately to a random channel. Or just burn it with fire.
Optimize native ads for native advertising. Make them look natural and use the type of content your audience is sharing already. That’s the whole point.
Optimize sidebar/header ads for the sidebar. Use the type of headlines and offers that make people stop what they are doing and re-read your ad. That’s what those ads are for.
If you trust the channel enough to spend your money on it, buy-in fully and optimize for that specific channel.
2. Create Custom Images For Your Tweets
Custom images are a great way to generate click-throughs on Twitter, whether you are promoting original content or even just curating content on your account.
According to Buffer, tweets with images receive 150% more retweets.
When promoting your own content, try to use a variety of images across multiple posts. If you have the bandwidth to create several banner images with the title of your post included in the image, text-inclusive image tend to perform well across all social channels.
Using multiple, customized images for the same post gives you multiple opportunities to engage with users and works much better than simply sending out the same tweet repeatedly.
Custom images also work particularly well for curating content, for a number of reasons:
- Allows you to post from a variety of sources while maintaining a high level of image quality on your feed.
- Differentiates your curated posts from the hundreds of other feeds posting the same content.
- Signals influencers that you were interested enough in their content to create a custom image.
I’ve personally followed, favorited, and retweeted users who re-posted my content on several occasions, simply because they made a great looking image. By them creating a custom image, they are actively investing in my own marketing efforts, which makes me interested in returning the favor.
3. Use Audience-Created Content
One of the best possible ways to create content that converts is to simply have your customers create that content for you. Your users understand exactly what they love about your brand, and they are best qualified to share that with the world.
Getting users to generate content requires the following:
- Give customers an opportunity to receive something they want.
- Incorporate your brand in a meaningful way.
- Encourage content that is highly shareable.
A perfect example of this is a campaign by Warby Parker. The eyeglass company introduced its new Home Try-On Service with an innovative social offer.
Potential customers could select 5 pairs of glasses and receive them free for 5 days. Participants were encouraged to model the glasses for their social audiences and receive feedback on which pair people liked best.
- Give customers an opportunity to receive something they want. Check.
- Incorporate your brand in a meaningful way. Check.
- Encourage content that is highly shareable. Check.
Warby Parker could have made this promotion even better by running a contest. All participants who submitted pictures using the designated hashtag would be entered to win a free pair of glasses. Winners could be selected on monthly or even weekly basis, depending on campaign ROI, and this would keep a steady stream of new pictures flooding people’s social feeds.
While certain brands will have to be extremely innovative to take advantage of user-generated content, doing so is a no-brainer. The more you can get users involved, the better.
4. Everything’s Better With Video
Video can be a bit scary for some business owners. Why?
- It’s more complicated to produce than other types of content.
- Higher costs for top-level work as compared with other mediums.
- What in the world do I film?
These concerns are valid, but the real question for any serious marketer isn’t “what’s the cost?” it’s “what’s the ROI?”.
And ROI is precisely why you need to be producing videos for your business.
According to StackandStacks.com, showing a product video to customers increased conversions by 144%. In a 2014 survey, 71% of surveyed marketers said that video is their highest converting medium when compared to images or text, and it continues to get more important each year.
But how well does video convert on social media?
Advance Auto Parts found that visitors who clicked through to their instructional videos via Facebook stayed on their website twice as long as other visitors AND visited twice as many pages.
Video is worth the investment, and it doesn’t need to be complicated OR expensive. There are thousands of producers out there able and willing to make great content for your site at a reasonable rate.
Your social channels should be working for you. They will never be your highest converting channel, but you might as well get the most out of your audience-building investments.
Try out some of these strategies, and always be watching your competitors to observe, copy, and improve upon what is working for them.