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How to Craft Lead Magnets Your Customers Can’t Ignore

How to Craft Lead Magnets Your Customers Can't Ignore

Getting traffic to your site is nice, but there’s not much of a point if those visitors don’t convert.

There’s one tactic I use above all others to generate new leads:

A lead magnet.

They aren’t some newfangled tech trend. They’ve been an essential marketing tool for decades.

With lead magnets, you give people something for free in exchange for an email address and permission to send them more offers—for example, a free ebook or an SEO checklist.

However, not all lead magnets are effective.

Let’s take about how lead magnets work and explore how to create one that drives leads.

How Lead Magnets Can Grow Your Business

The lure of ‘free’ is compelling, according to Predictably Irrational author Dan Ariely.

He proved this by giving groups of people the option to select from different Amazon gift cards. Respondents could choose from receiving either:

  1. A $10 Amazon gift card for free, or
  2. A $20 Amazon gift card for only $7

If you were to look at that objectively, based on cold hard math, you’d see that the second option was the better value ($13 vs. $10.)

Check out the third column on the far right to see which one won:

the power of free how to create lead magnets that work

It wasn’t even close! Everyone sampled chose the free $10 option instead.

Ariely calls this the Zero-Price Effect because humans don’t see the downside to something that’s free.

Ariely ran a related experiment. They staged a promotion for free tattoos and had people line up outside the store.

These people were waiting in line with full knowledge of what they were doing.

Yet when Ariely asked them if they’d be waiting to get the same tattoo if it wasn’t free, 68 percent of respondents said no!

would you get this tattoo if it wasnt free  guide to lead magents

In other words, people took time out of their busy schedule to commit permanent ink to their skin simply because it was free.

Good lead magnets, when done correctly, have the same effect (albeit without the same long-lasting effects).

They pass along a useful ebook, webinar, or email course, asking for very little (if anything) in return from visitors.

You leverage the power of free to kickstart the first step in your customer value optimization process.

Lead magnets are nothing new.

They get a lot of attention today because of how persuasive and powerful they can be.

One of the best ways to incorporate them today is with a content upgrade. People are already on your site, seeking something out.

Think about it:

They went to Google and typed in something specific to end up on your blog post.

A lead magnet sweetens the pot by providing additional insight on the same exact topic they were reading about.

Brian Dean used the content upgrade strategy to boost his conversions by 785 percent in one day.

Brian Harris of Video Fruit is seeing a 20-30 percent opt-in rate from blog posts where he links not one, not two, but three times to his lead magnet.

For example, the first comes right in the introduction:

lead magnet example video fruit

Then he follows up that up with another two more for good measure down at the bottom:

lead magent example use content upgrages

The blog post goes through an in-depth analysis of how content upgrades can get you more leads. Then it distills those insights and actionable tips down so that you can easily start implementing the same tactics on your site (after downloading the lead magnet, of course).

If you want to see the same results, your lead magnet has to abide by a few rules.

The form or medium doesn’t matter necessarily. Instead, success typically comes down to a few >key ingredients:

  1. Does your audience care about it?
  2. Is there value to it?
  3. Does it solve a problem and/or give the audience something they need?

So how do you figure those things out?

Let’s dive into what the best lead magnets have in common to find out.

How to Create Lead Magnets That Drive Conversions

Now that you know why lead magnets are important (to get you more leads!) let’s talk about how to create one that drives conversions like mad.

Find Out What Your Customers Want

Saying you need to “know your audience” sounds obvious and trite. However, it’s one of those things that everyone talks about, but no one seems to know how to do.

The big clue is in the reception. If your digital copies aren’t flying off the shelf when it goes live, your issue typically comes back to a mismatch with your audience.

Thankfully, this can be an easy fix if you know where to look.

Start by looking for what people are already paying for.

That might sound counterintuitive because lead magnets are free.

However, if someone is willing to part with their hard-earned cash for something, it’s a sure sign that they’re committed.

For example, one of my favorite places to start is the Kindle Marketplace.

Let’s say I’m about to create a lead magnet in an industry I know nothing about: cooking. (Seriously, nothing.)

I could guess or make a few assumptions about which cooking lead magnet would work best. Or I could head on over to the Kindle Marketplace and see what’s already working well.

It’s not just the topic you’re looking for at this point, but also the ‘format’ that resonates with an audience.

Here’s what I mean.

Go to the Amazon Kindle Marketplace look at the sidebar on the left-hand side. There, you’ll find all the book categories and then subcategories upon subcategories upon subcategories. (In other words, drilling down to find your niche and your audience.)

Here’s what the bestsellers look like in European cooking and food:

lead magnet example cook books

Ok, now we’re getting somewhere.

Most are unsurprisingly recipe books. However, that first one is especially interesting.

It’s a “cooking for two,” book which means the people buying it are looking for quick, no-fuss meals in smaller portions.

See?

That tells you a lot about the audience and what their preferences are. The Mediterranean one on the far right is another indication — those meals tend to be easy and healthy.

So these people might be looking for a new recipe cookbook, but that doesn’t mean they want some haute cuisine that requires working for hours in the kitchen.

Instead, these (presumably) busy people want something relatively quick and healthy.

Next, the trick is to put something together that’s like these examples but somehow different, better, or unique.

For example, let’s dive a little deeper into books reviews to see what they say.

Here’s a positive review to kick things off:

book review example for lead magnet guide

Awesome! Two of our assumptions are already being proved correct.

People like this example because it provides recipes that are “quick to prepare. “

Busy moms might be foodies. However, foodies probably aren’t going to be buying this book.

That completely changes how you might create, package, design, and even promote this ebook already.

Positive reviews are helpful to start with, but many times you can learn more from negative reviews. Check this out:

lead magnet example

First, this book’s organization and table of contents aren’t up to snuff for this reviewer. They’re even giving you the answer here, too: “… organizing the dishes into categories or even providing an index.”

Good ideas! These are the little details that you or I wouldn’t have thought of because we might not be experts on cooking already.

However, a little bit of research has already revealed a few nuggets of wisdom.

Then, this reviewer goes on to complain about some of the editing and attention to detail towards the bottom.

Easy — let’s also have a subject-matter expert help edit this work to ensure accuracy (critical in cooking) is on point.

Use Audience Feedback to Refine Your Lead Magnet Idea

Now let’s take this one step further by simply asking the audience which versions of our idea they’d prefer.

For example, write up a simple blog post that explains what you’re thinking about creating and ask for ideas or improvements.

This does two things at the same time:

  1. It helps you get feedback to incorporate into the creation of your lead magnet.
  2. And it helps you ‘seed’ the market so that people are already primed to download it when you push the lead magnet live.

Soliciting feedback from people who aren’t yet on your email list can help you better understand how to get them on the list eventually. Here’s what I mean.

Take this post on how an Instagram user-generated more than $300,000.

how I generated money from instagram lead magnet example

If you take a close look at the comments section of the post, you’ll find a couple of readers asking about how the Instagram user made her lists.

lead magnet example ask questions to develop a magnet people want

Multiple people are now requesting the same information in the comments, which means there must be built-in demand for this information.

Lead magnets are ‘free,’ but users still have to part with their precious contact info. They won’t do that for just anything.

So you need to create content that interests the audience.

Let’s check out Google Analytics to see which pages (and topics) are performing best:

neil patel GA dashboard for lead magnet example

Start by segmenting all your posts into categories.

Sometimes your site already has this done if you included categories in your URL string. For example, Unbounce uses the category “PPC” in this blog post:

find a lead magnet idea screenshot of URL

So you can search for URLs in your most popular content that feature PPC.

You’ve now painstakingly compiled insight into what your customers want. Your next job should be insanely easy at this point: Give them what they’re asking for!

Being Specific About The Value

Picture someone on your site reading your perfectly crafted blog post about the latest trends in European cooking when a pop-up appears offering a printable “Be a Better Cook” guide.

Huh? That generic printed piece of paper is going to make them a better cook? How?

No, thank you.

What if it was a printable checklist on the “Ten Top-Rated Dinner Recipes from France and Italy?”

Now imagine you visit the landing page for Digital Agency Day because you want to see when the upcoming date is to make sure you don’t miss any of the great information.

DigitalAgencyDay microsite cropped lead magnet example

You’re hemming and hawing about signing up for the live event because you’re not sure if you’ll be able to make it.

Then an exit overlay catches you before leaving, suggesting you sign up to receive the recordings when ready:

DAD overlay for lead magnets

Ok, that’s something you can get behind.

It’s specific and relevant, so it immediately makes sense.

So you’ll probably hand over your email.

It’s no surprise that this example resulted in a 19.03 percent conversion rate increase.

DAD Rooster results

People aren’t going to sign up for something they don’t think is useful.

For example, check out this 9-part lesson from Brennan Dunn:

Charge what youre worth course 1

It targets a massive pain point for freelancers (“charging what you’re worth”).

It’s incredibly detailed and in-depth (“9-lesson course”).

There’s social proof that proves its value (“20,000 other freelancers”).

Brennan could easily charge for something like this, and people would still buy it.

It’s that good.

Checklists or cheat sheets can provide immediate value by giving people something they could put to use right now.

A longer multi-part course (like this example) or in-depth ebook can provide that long-term value people will reference for weeks (and months) to come.

Side-step these three issues, and you won’t just churn out another cookie-cutter lead magnet.

Instead, you’ll create a marketing asset that kicks off a long, profitable relationship with a new customer.

Design A High-Quality Lead Magnet

Remember the complaint on the first cookbook a few minutes ago? The poor organization and presentation detracted from the content and overall experience for that reviewer.

Now imagine what happens if you gave your email to get a downloadable guide filled with poor image quality and lots of typos. Same thing, right?

Unsubscribe.

The goal here is to get these users to move on from the freebie and eventually make a purchase. You can’t do that without attention to detail. You also need to show your value.

Check out this checklist from Bryan Harris of Video Fruit.

Looks pretty snazzy, right? Not just another boring rundown filled with typos.

video fruit lead magnet example

Don’t have the design skills or staffing to get this done? Hire a professional from Dribbble or Behance.

If you need a little extra help to enhance your own work, check out Beacon.

You can even hire a pro on Fiverr to do this for you, or you can do something similar by using a simple Google Doc.

Lead Magnet Frequently Asked Questions

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is a free offer businesses offer in exchange for contact information from prospective leads. Examples include an ebook, discount code, free course, or checklist.

What makes a great lead magnet?

A great lead magnet must be valuable to your target audience. Aim to solve a problem or make their job or life easier in some way. For example, a business coach might offer “10 things to do before your next job interview.”

How much does a lead magnet cost?

They should be free to your leads. For businesses, the costs should be for research, creation, and distribution. These consts can vary widely based on the lead magnet and resources available. For example, if you have an in-house marketing team and graphic design person, the costs would be minimal.

What are the best types of lead magnets?

The best lead magnet is one your users find valuable, which can vary by industry, business model, and target audience. Common examples include ebooks, white papers, webinards, checklists, work sheets, coupon codes, and short courses.

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Lead Magnets Conclusion

Lead magnets are one of the best ways to gather audience insight, generate leads, and even start the nurturing process to make the ultimate conversion (to revenue) easier.

Once they’ve signed up for the useful, relevant, and high-quality freebie, you establish yourself as a thought-leader on that topic and create a new customer relationship.

This means they’ll think of you when they need more information. They’ll come back for more. And they’ll come back to buy.

The good news is that these aren’t difficult to create, either. You need to take the time to dive deep into what your customers want and what they don’t want.

Then all you have to do is give them exactly what they’re already asking for.

What is your favorite lead magnet example?

A Complete Guide to Outbound Marketing

a complete guide to outbound marketing

Is outbound marketing right for your business?

How do you decide which strategies are going to help you grow your brand?

If you’ve got questions about outbound, then you’ve come to the right place.

What Is Outbound Marketing?

Outbound marketing is where you (the business) initiate conversations with your customers to attract them to your brand. For example, TV commercials, cold calls, paid ads, and direct mail are all examples of outbound.

Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is when your customer initiates a conversation with you. For example, they visit your website, read an ebook, or download a white paper.

The goal for outbound marketing is to actively build authentic relationships through engagement, targeted communications, and putting your company in the right place at the right time. 

There’s no denying that inbound marketing has grown in popularity in recent years (and with good reason, as it produces tremendous results.) However, outbound still takes up 90 percent of marketing budgets due to the high cost per outreach.

To improve your ROI in outbound, you need to allocate your budget to the methods that work for your brand. Below, we’ll cover some strategies to try, but first, let’s talk about its relevancy.

Is Outbound Marketing Still Relevant Today? 

Every business owner loves to cut costs. When you, as a consumer, immediately delete a sales promotion email from your inbox without looking at it, you might wonder why that business would continually persist with an outbound strategy.

The likelihood is, they’ve built a huge mailing list and their promotions go to every single email address—paying no heed as to whether each customer is directly their target audience or not. 

Why? They’ve invested in building a mailing list, and outbound marketing is still an extremely useful tool. It’s amazingly good at driving brand awareness (as long as your emails aren’t repetitive enough that a customer ends up hating you), maintaining brand relevance, and introducing products to new audiences. It helps you be at the forefront of your customer’s mind, for recommendations, word of mouth marketing, and lead generation. 

Inbound marketing is great, and especially for smaller and low-budget businesses, but if customers don’t know your products exist in the first place, they can’t search for something they aren’t aware of. 

Outbound marketing guarantees you reach people. You won’t be shouting into the void. Blogs are great for SEO and hoping Google’s Algorithm will take pity on you, but when you pay for a TV ad in a half-time break of a popular show: you know it’s going to be seen.

It can be expensive, but, when done correctly, it still provides a good ROI and is still relevant today as a complement to inbound marketing. 

7 Outbound Marketing Strategies to Try

Most marketing success comes through a combination of different strategies. Whether it’s inbound or outbound, there are lots of different ways to reach your target audience, and often it will take lots of different strategies to achieve your goals. 

Here are seven outbound sales strategies you can use to boost your marketing. 

Outbound Marketing Strategy Number #1: Cold Email

Email seems to have been around a long time now, but it’s still bringing in an incredible ROI for marketers

We’re all accustomed to receiving newsletters from websites, but we tend to forget about an important part of outbound strategy: cold email.

Cold emails are unsolicited emails you send out to prospects. You’re initiating the interaction, so it firmly fits in with the principles of outbound marketing. 

“Everybody hates receiving unsolicited emails, spam is the worst.” 

Well, what if your cold emails didn’t feel like unsolicited emails? What if they were highly personalized, respected your customer’s time, and actually offered value to them beyond a product that can fix “all of life’s problems?”

Outbound marketing doesn’t have to be pushy, impersonal, sales-based spam. It can have all the creativity of inbound marketing. Using your understanding of your target audience, you can craft cold emails that get responses and create leads. 

Here are some things you will want to concentrate on with your cold emails:

  • cleaning your list: make sure you’re reaching live emails
  • engaging subject lines: earn the click
  • personalization: make people feel like they’re not the millionth person to receive this email
  • offering value: you want something from them, what can you offer in return?
  • A/B test everything: subject lines, signatures, CTA’s, interval between each email, the time you send each email, and, of course: the copy itself

Small details make a big difference, for example, 30 percent of people open an email based on the subject line, so make sure you’re optimizing every aspect of your outbound marketing.

Outbound Marketing Strategy Number #2: Direct Mail

First, I recommend “cutting edge technology” with emails, and now I’m telling you to send people letters through the mail?

Well, yes!

So much of our lives might have moved online, but we still exist away from the internet and we still receive mail. As it turns out, we still enjoy seeing something in the mailbox with our names on it, and this is an effective way of using outbound marketing. 

This scientific study found brand recall is 70 percent higher among participants exposed to direct mail than an online ad. It may not have the fancy analytics, and you may not be able to put a GIF on it, but it’s certainly a good way to gain traction for your brand, and can still be relevant to your ethos, voice, and how you want to present yourself.

Just take a look at KitKat’s amusing example

outbound marketing through direct mail

Estimates for the average ROI from direct mail vary a lot, and, like with most outbound marketing, it’s all about how good your campaign is. 

With direct mail, it’s important to:

  • Remain targeted with your approach and segment people based on past purchases, location, demographics, etc.
  • Be creative and make your ad stand out amongst the crowd.
  • Include a way to track the success of the campaign (unique discount codes are a great way to see which customers are responding).

It might not seem like it fits with the digital age, but direct mail is still a useful outbound strategy.

Outbound Marketing Strategy Number #3: Search Ads

Paid search ads can be seen as a cross between inbound and outbound marketing. While the targeted user has likely actively searched for information related to your products, you’re still artificially placing your brand in front of them in a way more reminiscent of outbound marketing.

Search ads are great for immediate success. 

With SEO, you write an article and watch as the search engines gradually start to rank it. When it does start to bring in traffic, it’s an amazing tool because you’re not paying for clicks, but it takes time and there’s no guarantee of success. 

When you invest in paid search ads, you give your brand an immediate presence in the SERPs, almost guaranteeing you traffic. Of course, you will be paying for each click which means the most important thing with search ads is optimization

Not only do your ads have to be on-point, but so do your landing pages (here’s how I make sure my landing pages are converting). 

Clearly set out what you’re trying to achieve with your paid ads and make sure everything is streamlined toward driving action from your customers. Small issues such as a clunky checkout page can hurt your conversion rate and make a big difference to your ROI on your search ads.

The average conversion rate for search ads on the Google network is 4.4 percent, but the hard work you put in might see you push well beyond this. 

Here’s my “Guide to Google Ads” to help you out.

Outbound Marketing Strategy Number #4: Social Media Ads

Billions of people are on social media every day. The average daily usage of social media is two hours and 25 minutes

In marketing, we talk a lot about reaching your customers where they’re hanging out, and the data shows this is overwhelmingly on social media. If you’re not running social media ads, then you’re missing out.

Social media is becoming more and more “pay to play,” increasingly making it an outbound tool. Paid social media is:

  • more cost-effective than organic social media
  • increases brand awareness
  • boosts reach

The average organic post reaches just five percent of your followers, so you need a huge following to make a difference with organic social media. Paid ads on the other hand allow you to immediately reach a highly targeted audience.

outbound marketing through social media ads book example

One of the most powerful aspects of advertising on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn is targeting. These companies have an incredible amount of data on their users and you can use this to be extremely targeted, serving your ads to the people they’re going to have the most impact on.

Outbound Marketing Strategy Number #5: Trade Shows/Events

Marketing may have shifted focus from the physical world to the digital one, but that certainly doesn’t mean getting out and meeting people is a dead art. One of the best ways to get your brand in front of a targeted audience is by attending a trade show. 

This can represent a large upfront cost (on average it costs $100-$150 per square foot of floor space), but the exposure and new connections you make can be well worth it. 

Maintaining brand relevance is something that takes constant commitment, and having a stand at a major trade show is one of the ways you can do this. Just think of any major trade show, and you’ll expect the biggest brands to be there. For example, what would an international farming show be without John Deere?

It may seem like these companies are so big it doesn’t matter whether they attend a trade show, but they recognize that to remain relevant you’ve got to be visible.

When planning for a tradeshow, make sure you’re setting goals and managing your budget appropriately. 

Outbound Marketing Strategy Number #6: Cold Calls 

Outbound doesn’t always have the best reputation and cold calls certainly fit this picture. Despite this, the inescapable reality is cold calling works for many businesses

Sales and marketing are still about reaching new audiences and starting conversations and that’s exactly what cold calling allows you to do. Of course, there are good and bad ways of doing this, and you need to consider your approach carefully.

Again, it’s easy to look at cold calling and think it’s all about numbers. Sure, outbound relies on volume, but the most important aspect is still quality, in this case, the quality of the conversations you can have. 

This is why there’s a push away from scripted sales pitches towards approaches like SPIN selling where the focus is on helping the customer to solve their problems (if you’ve read my inbound marketing articles then you know this is something I talk about all the time).

If you’re thinking about using cold calling as part of your outbound strategy then keep these important points in mind:

  • Invest in the right software: this will save you so much time and make you much more efficient.
  • Think about your brand image: don’t be pushy, work on growing relationships.
  • Research your prospect list: make sure you’re reaching a targeted audience.
  • Respect people’s privacy: take people off your contact list when requested.
  • Protect the vulnerable: look after your customers, especially the elderly, and put protections in place (such as a 30-day refund guarantee) to allow them to change their minds. 

Outbound Marketing Strategy Number #7: TV, Radio, and Print Ads

Online marketing has transformed the way businesses advertise, but traditional advertising is far from dead.

There are lots of online places you can advertise your business and continue to grow your brand. TV and radio ads may require a bigger investment than other forms. like PPC but they still bring in big results.

outbound marketing US tv consumption

The average American might spend more than two hours a day on social media, but traditional TV consumption is even higher among the older generations:

  • 50-64-year-old Americans watch an average of four hours and 59 minutes of traditional TV each day.
  • Over 65s watch a massive six hours and 39 minutes.

Consumption of traditional media might be changing but it’s still there—and therefore it’s still a big opportunity for marketers. Make sure you understand your target demographics and are showcasing your brand with creative messaging and you can still see an excellent return on your investment.

Outbound Marketing Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between inbound and outbound marketing?

Outbound relies on the business initiating the interaction whereas inbound marketing relies on the customer searching for your brand.

Is social media inbound or outbound marketing?

Social media can be both inbound and outbound. Paid social media ads would be classed as outbound, whereas organic reach is inbound marketing.


Why is outbound marketing effective?

Outbound marketing is often effective because it’s immediate. You’re not waiting for people to find you, you’re putting your brand in front of people and initiating interactions.

Is outbound marketing dead?

No, it is very much alive. Many businesses still use outbound to achieve a good return on their investment. 

What are examples of outbound marketing?

Examples include paid search ads, social media ads, cold email, cold calls, trade shows, and tv/radio/print ads.

Outbound Marketing Conclusion

Outbound marketing is something that’s still relevant today. It’s a great complement for your inbound marketing and an excellent way to grow your brand. 

Marketing is a competitive field, and sometimes you can’t rely on people coming to you, instead, you’ve got to put your name out there and guarantee you’re getting exposure. In these cases, cold emails, search ads, social media ads, trade shows, cold calls, and traditional media ads can make a huge difference. 

The most important thing to remember is that many of the same principles of inbound marketing still apply to outbound. You still need to understand your target audience, and you’ve got to be able to provide value and help solve people’s pain points. 

If you can successfully do this, then outbound marketing can be an important part of your strategy. 

What’s your favorite outbound marketing strategy?

How to Claim Your Google News Author Knowledge Panel

How to Claim Your Google News Author Knowledge Panel

People tend to connect with news sources they trust. As an author, you could be that news source.

However, building a large following is not easy in a world where so many voices are clamoring for attention. That’s why you need to leverage all resources available for you to stand out from the crowd.

One way is to claim your Google News author knowledge panel.

What Is a Google News Author Knowledge Panel?

Google News author knowledge panels are information boxes Google displays at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) when a user searches for an entity. An entity can be a person, business, organization, or event.

How to Authorize Your Author Knowledge Panel Account - Lester Holt Example

Information that appears in your author knowledge panel is pulled from Google’s Knowledge Graph.

This is Google’s data bank, which features a system designed to understand facts about entities on the web and how they relate to each other. Knowledge Graph gets information from several different sources across the web, including (among others), reputable websites, Google My Business (GMB) profiles, Wikipedia, and social media.

Whenever source information changes, Google also automatically updates the author knowledge panel. To display the knowledge panel, search engines:

  • receive a user’s query
  • obtain search results for the query
  • identify the first set of factual entities relevant to the query
  • select the most relevant media to display in the knowledge graph
  • verify that collected content is factual and relevant to the query

A knowledge panel features content such as:

  • visuals (images and videos)
  • your website and other third-party websites you appear on
  • social media profiles
  • contact details
  • events
  • facts about you or your business

Giving users a quick glimpse of who you are and what you do is essential in helping you build a solid online presence.

Why Should You Verify Your Author Knowledge Panel Account?

Verifying your author panel account is one way that can help you reach your marketing goals. Here are a few reasons why you should invest time and effort in verifying it:

Increases Search Visibility

One of the most significant reasons you should invest time and effort in verifying and managing your author knowledge panel account is that it helps boost SEO. When people search for a query related to you or your brand, the first thing they’ll see on the SERPs is a knowledge graph featuring information about you and your business. Of course, increased search visibility results in increased traffic to your site and, ultimately, an uptick in revenue.

Boosts Brand Visibility

Another reason to verify your author panel is that it’s a great way to increase brand visibility. Because knowledge panels occupy a significant portion of SERP real estate, they offer unmatched brand visibility. Knowledge panels display all kinds of media, giving you incredible branding opportunities. From your name to your social media handles to key website pages, you have an opportunity to present searchers with all branding assets in one place.

Helps With Reputation Management

Reviews play a crucial role in establishing your online currency. Unfortunately, not everyone will leave positive reviews about your brand or products. Negative reviews can tarnish your image. This is where an author knowledge panel comes to the rescue. Since it appears right at the top of SERPs, it helps establish trust with users, helping you with your reputation management.

Improves User Experience

Search engines are all about providing users with the best possible user experience (UX). Verifying your author knowledge panel helps do this. Fortunately, you also get to benefit from the positive UX as it helps drive traffic to your website.

How to Authorize Your Author Knowledge Panel Account

Now that you know what an author knowledge panel is and the many advantages of verifying yours, you need to know how to verify it. Claiming your knowledge graph is critical as it gives you more control of the information displayed in your panel. Let’s dive into how you can authorize yours.

1. Create or Sign in to Your Google Account

To verify your author knowledge panel, you first need to create a Google account if you don’t have one. To do this:

  • Go to http://www.google.com/
  • Click the “Sign Up” button.
  • In the sign-up form, fill in all necessary details.
  • Review and accept Google’s terms and conditions.
  • Click the “Next Step” button. Your account is created! You can update your profile at any time.

A Google account is one of the ways Google uses to verify your identity and your association with the entity whose knowledge panel you want to manage.

2. Search for Yourself (or the Entity You’re Associated With) on Google

The next step in claiming your author knowledge panel is to search for the entity whose knowledge panel you want to claim. This could be yours as an individual or an organization’s knowledge panel.

The knowledge panel will appear at the top of the SERPs.

How to Authorize Your Author Knowledge Panel Account - Lester Holt Example

3. Claim Your Knowledge Panel

Once a knowledge panel featuring you or your organization is displayed, scroll down to the bottom of the panel. If no one has claimed that particular knowledge panel, you’ll find a “Claim this knowledge panel” button.

author knowledge panel example - claim knowledge panel

This will take you to a window where you will be asked to verify your author knowledge panel.

author knowledge panel - verify identity

Clicking “Get Verified” will take you to a page where you’re asked to verify your identity using one of your social media profiles.

author knowledge panel - verify account

After successfully signing in, you can now start managing your author knowledge panel.

How to Get a Google Author Knowledge Panel

What happens when you search for your entity, and you don’t appear in a knowledge panel?

This usually happens when there isn’t enough factual information on the internet for Google to verify and add to its Knowledge Graph. As a result, it can’t generate an author knowledge panel.

You now might be wondering, “How do you build enough critical mass in Google’s Knowledge Graph for Google to recognize your entity?”

Get Featured on Wikipedia Page

Wikipedia is one of the trusted sources Google turns to when gathering information for its Knowledge Graph. One reason for this is the strict guidelines Wikipedia has put in place to ensure all pages published on the platform are accurate and contain no bias. Therefore, being featured on the platform hooks you up to one of the most reliable sources of information on the internet.

One of the best ways to be featured is to build Wikipedia backlinks. The easiest way to do this is by looking for and fixing broken links on Wikipedia. Use a tool like WikiGrabber to find pages that have broken links or need a reference.

Another way is to reach out to an independent Wikipedia editor to create a page for you or mention you on other pages.

Granted, getting featured on Wikipedia can be quite an uphill task. If you want an easier route, you can consider Wikidata. This is a data bank that feeds structured data to Wikimedia projects. Since Google shut down Freebase, their open-source repository that powered the Knowledge Graph, it also relies on data from Wikidata.

Leverage Your Website

Knowledge Graph also pulls information from websites. To leverage your website for building the necessary critical mass you’ll need, you must:

  • Use schema markup: Schema markup, or structured data, helps Google understand what you and your website. Done well, it will point Google to all the corroborative data that serves as evidence of your authorship.
  • Have a detailed “About Us” page: Your “About Us” page must explain who you are and what you do. Also, include links to relevant publications that can verify who you are and what you do.
  • Piggy-back on your connections: If you have connections who already appear in knowledge panels, strategically mention them on your website, link to their entities, or add them to your schema markup.

Investing in an optimized website and well-structured content is an essential step to getting information about yourself pulled into the Knowledge Graph.

Get Yourself Featured on Third-Party Websites

Another way to build up enough critical mass to give search engines enough factual knowledge about you is to get featured in reputable publications. A few effective ways to do this is by:

  • Guest posting: Publishing articles on authority news sites helps you create more digital assets to provide Google with data about you. It’s also a great way to establish yourself as a reliable source of information.
  • Speaking at events: Both online and in-person events allow you to be mentioned on third-party sites, helping you collaborate on your authorship claims.

The more you appear on the web, particularly on reputable and relevant sites, the higher your chances of appearing in a knowledge panel.

Ramp Up Your Social Media Presence

Social media has become more than just a way to keep in touch with family and friends. It has become one of the ways you can prove your identity online. That’s why optimizing your social media profiles and being active is a great way to increase your Knowledge Graph.

Creating content that your audience will interact with and share will help boost your online presence, powering your Knowledge Graph.

Getting into the Knowledge Graph is essential to the generation of your author knowledge panel. Do everything you can to ensure you give search engines enough factual data about yourself.

Doing so will ensure that you are recognized as an entity worthy of a knowledge panel. Also, make sure to keep “feeding” the Knowledge Graph with updated information. This is essential in ensuring your knowledge panel is populated with the latest data on you.

Author Knowledge Panel FAQs

Before we wrap up this post, let’s briefly answer some of your burning questions concerning author knowledge panels.

How do I get an author knowledge panel?

While you can’t create an author knowledge panel for yourself, you can get one by being recognized as an entity by Google. You do this by increasing your Knowledge Graph on Google.

Where do I find my Google knowledge panel?

To find your knowledge panel, search for yourself on Google. A knowledge panel featuring all kinds of media and information on you will be generated.

How do you manage a knowledge panel?

Managing your knowledge panel involves you claiming and verifying your knowledge panel. Doing this grants you access and the right to manage your knowledge panel.

Can you edit knowledge panels?

Once you have claimed your knowledge panel, you can edit the information it displays by clicking on the “Suggest edits” link. Note, however, that you can only do this when you’re logged into your Google account.

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Summary of Google News Author Knowledge Panel

The author knowledge panel is a great feature that makes it easy for users to find what they’re looking for on the internet. If you can harness its power, it’s also a great way to power your marketing strategy. From driving traffic to your website to brand awareness, claiming your author knowledge panel is a great business move you can’t ignore.

Remember, keep creating content on various reputable platforms to provide Google’s Knowledge Graph with current information to display in your author knowledge panel.

What has your experience with claiming your author knowledge panel been like?

How to Use eSports Marketing to Grow Your B2C Reach

How to Use eSports Marketing to Grow Your B2C Reach

Twenty years ago, I had no idea we would be talking about eSports marketing. eSports was somewhat of an underground industry coveted by the most loyal fans. Today, eSports is a booming industry ripe for the taking by smart but strategic business owners who understand their audience

What Is eSports Marketing?

eSports is the projected 1,790 million dollar industry taking hold of Millenials. It’s competitive gaming where groups assemble teams and play against each other as they would in any other sport. They hold tournaments, and many professional gamers have large followings on gaming platforms like Twitch. 

Until recently, only brands like Red Bull and others associated with gaming were able to get in on eSports marketing. Things have quickly changed. Now, you have businesses from all niches, including Mercedes and Coca-Cola, wanting to get in on the action. Is it the right fit for your business? It might be. 

Why eSports Marketing? 

Why would a B2C business want to choose eSports marketing over another strategy? First, marketing in eSports allows you to reach a dedicated and engaged audience. The people who follow eSports are invested in it; they interact with professionals from the industry, and they take the sport seriously. 

Second, the cost of advertising is still relatively low due to the lack of competition. There aren’t many ads, and many of the big-name competitors haven’t reached the market yet, which means there are opportunities for smaller businesses to come in and display ads at a low cost. How do you use it? 

6 B2C eSports Marketing Strategies to Try 

Now that you understand the power of an eSports marketing strategy, you need to know how to implement it. In the following sections, I’ll break down actionable steps you can take to promote your business to the eSports market. 

1. Create In-Game Ads 

Investing in an in-game ad can be a unique, but powerful strategy. This is one sure-fire way to separate yourself from the competition, gather precise data about your audience, and help increase your brand awareness. 

Keep in mind that the depiction of the average gamer isn’t always accurate. People think that gamers’ ages skew much younger than they do. There are a lot of stereotypes, but the average gamer is actually 34 years old, owns a home, and has a family. Plus, more and more women are gaming, as well. 

Another advantage of in-game advertising is there are a number of display options. 

eSports marketing example in madden

The example above from the Madden football game from EA Sports shows a GMC ad as if it was a real game. In the NFL, companies often sponsor certain segments of the game. In this case, the auto manufacturer GMC sponsored the “moment of the game,” which is a highlight of the best play of the game. 

You can also display your ad on virtual billboards and sidelines in games such as Madden, FIFA, and MLB The Show which are all part of the eSports world. 

2. Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads in eSports are unique because they are only seen by viewers, and not the players. This presents an opportunity for you to reach a highly targeted audience because you know and understand the demographics of the people watching the sport. Much of that data is easily available to whoever wants it. 

eSports marketing example in league of legends

For example, the popular eSports game, “League of Legends” uses dynamic ads in one of their battlefields. As players move through the battlefield, they’ll continue to see the game as-is. Meanwhile, viewers of the game are seeing advertisements increasing brand awareness for those who advertised. 

To implement an ad like this, you’ll need to contact the advertising and public relations teams of whatever game you want to advertise on. This is where the research and knowledge of your audience comes into play. Certain games have different audiences. 

For example, I’ve provided the names of a few different games in this article so far. We talked about Madden and League of Legends. These two games have a completely different audience with unique interests. It’s up to you to understand these games, even if you don’t play them, because that’s how you’ll target the right people. 

3. Partner With eSports Influencers 

Like any other industry, there are influencers. This strategy opens the door to more possibilities because you can piggyback on the following and audience of the influencer across a variety of platforms. If the influencer is on TikTok and Instagram, you’ll be able to take advantage of that audience as well. 

One of the reasons influencer marketing and gaming go hand-in-hand is because it’s engaging. These professional gamers actually talk to their audience, they engage on Twitch, they talk during their streams, and their audience respects them. 

Streaming has become social media for eSports, so by partnering with an influencer and getting them to promote your brand, you’re increasing brand awareness and also using the respect the gamer has earned to boost your brand. 

bang is a popular sponsor of eSports marketing

One great example of this is Bang Energy drinks. You’ll find these everywhere throughout the eSports world, but the advertisements seem so natural. It could be as simple as a gamer drinking it with the logo facing the screen for an hour. It brings awareness to the brand and influences the people who love that gamer to support it.  

Partnering with an influencer could be as simple as getting a shoutout during live videos. There’s no cut-and-dry way to implement influencer sponsorship. You need to reach out manually to big names in the industry until someone gets back to you. 

4. Sponsor a Team 

B2C eSports Marketing Strategies to Try - Sponsor a Team

Another eSports marketing strategy is to sponsor a team. What does that mean exactly? It means that you’re responsible for some of the team’s expenses in exchange for the publicity. Companies that sponsor teams often get their logo on uniforms or the teams agree to consume their product exclusively whenever they’re on camera. 

As you can see in the above image, Red Bull, Puma, and Twitch are all sponsors of this team because their logos are on the uniform. 

This strategy is popular in sports of all kinds (even Little League) and is used to drive brand awareness. Will anyone see that shirt and immediately go out and buy a case of Red Bull? Probably not, but you’re keeping your brand fresh in the minds of people who purchase the product and that’s what larger companies pay for this type of advertising. 

If you’re a smaller company, I wouldn’t recommend this method because people may not know who you are. An ad where you can briefly describe your product or service would do better. The companies that advertise this way are already well known and want to remind consumers that their favorite brands support eSports. 

5. Create a Static eSports Ad 

Static advertising is the opposite of dynamic advertising. Rather than changing, these ads remain in the game forever and display to both players and the viewers. There are a few different ways for this to work. 

One strategy is with fictional brand advertisements. Think about “Buzz-Cola” from The Simpsons. Even though they call it a different name, we all know what reference they’re making so it serves its purpose. 

You don’t have to choose such a subtle ad though. Some games such as racing games will display full billboards of ads for real companies. These static ads do not change no matter what happens in the game, and generally don’t require an internet connection. 

Games like Fortnite, for example, have constantly changing dynamic ads because they are played online. A static ad would not require a connection and would likely be found in a story mode that is played offline. 

To get your brand in the game, you’ll have to contact the marketing and public relations department—-and you’ll also need a pretty hefty budget. It takes a long time for development, and there isn’t a solid way to measure the results of a static ad, since you can’t track impressions. 

6. Advergaming 

Advergaming is one of the most extreme eSports marketing strategies. This is when a game is specifically created with the intention of promoting a brand or product. Do you remember when Burger King came out with “King” based games for the Xbox years ago?

Burger King advertising using eSports marketing

If your brand uses advergaming, you’re putting your business front and center. However, there are a few clear concerns with this strategy.  

First, for you to have any success, the game has to be fun to play. If the game is a flop, no one will play it and you might as well have flushed the money down the drain. 

Second, you’re relying on the marketing and promotional efforts of the company. Chances are, you’ll only be able to get a smaller engineering company to sponsor your game. 

Third, it’s going to cost a lot of money and take a lot of time because you’re producing a game from scratch. There’s probably a reason why Burger King only did this once. 

eSports Marketing Frequently Asked Questions

What is the target market for eSports marketing?

The target market is men between ages 18-34 and primarily people located in Asian-Pacific countries. These individuals make up as much as 57 percent of eSports viewership. In recent years, female eSports viewership has increased quite a bit, with 20-30 percent of the audience made up of women. 

How much do eSports ads cost? 

According to esports.net, dynamic in-game advertising is the most affordable route, because you’re paying per 1,000 impressions. The price depends entirely on the game, niche, and target audience. 

Static advertising can cost anywhere between 25,000-50,000 dollars depending on the game. The cost is so high because it requires the creator of the game to actually develop an in-game advertisement for your brand from scratch. 

Advergaming is the most expensive option and can cost as much as 500,000 dollars depending on the game, target audience, and extent of the advertising. You’re essentially producing a game from scratch that is built around promoting your business. 
Total, brands spent around 364 million dollars on eSports advertisements and sponsorships in 2020, and that number is expected to increase to 634 million by 2023. As demand increases for advertising space, so will the price. 

What are the main types of eSports ads? 

The main types of eSports marketing ads are dynamic ads, static ads, and advergaming. These ads require you to work directly with the creators of the game rather than the eSports teams. If you’re working with the players and teams involved with the sport, you’ll likely do influencer marketing or sponsorships. 

What brands should consider eSports marketing campaigns? 

All brands could benefit from some form of eSports marketing. It’s just important for you to use the right one for your business and goals. For example, a small business without a ton of reach wouldn’t likely benefit from endorsements and sponsorships because people don’t know who you are. Instead, you’d want an ad that allows you to describe your offering.

eSports Marketing Conclusion 

If you’re considering hiring an eSports marketing agency to help you, why not see what we can do for you? eSports is a booming industry among both young and old generations. 

Keep in mind that younger generations are finding entertainment in different ways. Streaming continues to grow, and, as a result, these people enjoy watching their favorite streamers the same way that older generations liked watching their favorite talk show host. 

To be successful, you need to take advantage of growing marketing trends, and eSports is right at the forefront of it all. 

How do you plan to take advantage of eSports marketing? Do you think it’s all hype?

Ad Secrets From Big Brands That You Can Copy to Sell More [Free Webinar]

Are you struggling to scale up your paid ads?

Or even worse, are you struggling to get them working?

You see all these big companies running tons of ads, some even are spending millions of dollars… if they can make it work, you can too, right?

Well, today at 9am PST I am hosting a webinar that breaks down the ad secrets from the big brands that you can copy to sell more.

So, make sure you register, it’s free.

What will you learn?

At our agency, NP Digital we’ve worked with companies of all sizes… large and small.

And we’ve learned a lot of cool, unique strategies that are typically only used by the bigger companies. But what’s interesting is these strategies also work well for smaller brands that have smaller budgets… but they just tend not to use them.

Here are some of the specific things we will teach you:

  1. There are certain times of the year people will spend more, and it is easier to make more money from your ads during those times. (We will break down exactly when those times are.)
  2. How to combine ads with other marketing efforts to generate a better ROI. (We will show you those other efforts and how to implement them step-by-step.)
  3. How to leverage trends and benchmarks so you can make better decisions with your ads.
  4. Different mobile strategies you can use that work well. This is important because the majority of Internet users are coming from mobile devices.
  5. Tests you can run that have been effective in the past.

And the points I mentioned above are just scratching the surface. So make sure you register for the free webinar.  

Conclusion

I hope to see you on the webinar. I know I mainly discuss SEO, which is a great marketing channel, but you should also consider leveraging paid ads.

With paid ads, you can scale faster and see results quicker. It takes some time to get paid ads going correctly, but hey that’s what today’s webinar is all about.

And whether you are spending little to no money on ads or millions, there will be strategies and tactics that will benefit you.

So, make sure you register.

I look forward to seeing you today.

PS: If you just want my team to implement these hacks and manage your ads, go here.

The Marketer’s Guide to Reddit

The Marketer's Guide to Reddit - featured image

Reddit is a social media and news aggregation website that ranks content based on a voting system. People worldwide post content (usually links, but also original content), and other users can “upvote” or “downvote” posts, pushing the most interesting content to the top. 

It’s a place where you can find groups of like-minded people. Reddit calls these groups subreddits, and they cover different topics, including niche interests, politics, hobbies, and thousands of other topics people want to talk about.

Since its launch in 2005, the site has become one of the most popular social media sites with millions of monthly active users. 

Its engaged, passionate community is just one of the reasons you should consider marketing on Reddit. However, the site has a tough stance on self-promotion, which makes marketing tricky, and it’s easy to fall foul of Reddit’s strict guidelines (including the unwritten rules.

That means you need to take a more strategic approach that focuses on conversations and providing helpful or interesting content. 

Before we cover how to create ads, let’s talk about Reddit marketing etiquette so you can get it right.

Reddit Marketing Etiquette

Start with the basics by reading Reddit’s page about self-promotion and what’s allowed and what isn’t. Once you’ve read that, look at the “Reddiquette” page so you can see Reddit’s main rules. 

The list includes:

  • using original sources when sharing stories
  • looking out for duplicate content before posting
  • being considerate in the way you speak to other users
  • reading the full guidelines for a community before contributing

You also need to be clear about why people use Reddit. According to Signity Solutions, Reddit users are looking for answers or entertainment. If you can offer either, then it’s worth contributing to the conversation. Just don’t try and sell anyone anything.

If you need ideas, there are plenty of ways you can avoid falling into overly promotional material, like:

  • posting survey results
  • creating subreddits around your brand
  • adding relevant content
  • being active in the Reddit community

Reddit is a massive site with thousands of subreddits. Each of those subreddits has its own rules, moderators, and culture. Whichever subreddit you join, take the time to familiarize yourself with the sub’s etiquette and what’s acceptable.

Above all, if you’re not sure, ask before posting something. Redditors are there to help and guide users.

Reddit Advertising Policies

Reddit’s advertising policies cover quality, style, URLs, and landing pages. Below are the basics you need to know for each section.

Video Advertising

Video advertisements must be high quality. That applies to the audio, visuals, and text. Make sure content is relevant and suitable for a wider audience. Also, the spoken language should be targeted for where you’re advertising.

Reddit allows mature-rated media. However, it needs to comply with the relevant rating laws for each country, and videos containing “shocking, graphic, or profane content” should be labeled as such.

Additionally, Reddit doesn’t permit videos that include strobing or flashing.

Reddit Ad Style Policies

Reddit stresses the importance of professional-looking ads that are concise and detailed. The main takeaways are:

  • Check ads for any typos and use correct grammar throughout.
  • Limit the use of emojis and symbols.
  • Unless mandated by law or a regulatory body, don’t include personal details in your ads.
  • Limit capitalization to 50 percent or less.
  • Use quality images.
  • Target non-English ads to the appropriate regions/countries.

Reddit Ad Quality

Quality primarily relates to accuracy and clarity about the products/services you’re advertising. That means:

  • not misrepresenting the product, service, or brand
  • ads should avoid clickbait
  • advertisements mustn’t promote individual Reddit content; the only exception is if you’re using managed ads

URL and Landing Policies

As with all of Reddit’s advertising policies, the main emphasis is on quality and consistency. Make sure your:

  • product shows on the landing page
  • landing page content complies with Reddit’s content and advertising policies
  • language on the landing page is the same as in the adverts
  • the landing page doesn’t spam users or use other questionable marketing tactics
  • URL is consistent with the landing page
  • not making limited/prohibited products readily available or linking them on your landing page

For more details, read Reddit’s full advertising policy

Non-Paid/Organic Reddit Marketing Strategies

Perhaps you’re not quite ready to commit to paid advertising. That’s OK. You can use some strategies to start marketing on Reddit without paid ads, like those listed below.

Use a Personal Account

Rather than using a business account, you could set up a personal account. From there, you can begin engaging with the community by answering questions and posting content related to your niche. This is a way of showing your expertise and gaining traction on the site while avoiding self-promotion.

It’s the preferred way of Beardbrand’s Eric Banholtz, who has attracted more than 600 members into his subreddit.

Beardbrand tends to post YouTube content like:

  • The Top Ten Best Beard Transformational Trims
  • The Best Way to Fade Your Beard at Home
  • Wild Beard Gets Shaped to Perfection

You get the idea.

In keeping with Reddit guidelines, there’s no promotional content. The account is just a way of sharing relevant news and touching base with subreddit members.

Ask Me Anything

There’s a subreddit called “Ask Me Anything.”

Members of the community post a huge variety of posts on just about every topic you can imagine. For example, one post is from a female gamer, while AMA is a person who had the same lunch every day for the last 16 years.

Basically, you post a topic and invite others to ask you anything.

Although regular members heavily use the community, you needn’t think you don’t have a place there as a business owner or marketer. The subreddit also attracts members from the business world.

One heavy hitter who makes the occasional appearance is Microsoft’s Bill Gates. Although it’s been some time since Gates contributed, there was huge interest when he did, including plenty of upvotes and lots of interaction.

Start a Subreddit

A popular way for businesses to stay on the right side of Reddit’s rules is to start a subreddit for their brand. Here, you can engage with your customers, answer any questions about your company, and share industry news.

This is a good approach if you aim to encourage engagement and build relationships with prospects.

Paid Advertising on Reddit

Reddit is often overlooked by marketers, but with 52 million daily active users, and high levels of engagement, marketers shouldn’t ignore the site.

Additionally, Reddit attracts 430 million monthly active users and it boasts 100,000 communities. 

Year on year, Reddit’s active users continue to grow. It looks like Reddit’s here to stay, and the potential is enormous for those that get their marketing right.

It’s also popular among younger age groups, so it’s a brilliant way to reach out to younger prospects.

What Are the Different Types of Reddit Ads?

There are two main types of ads on Reddit. The first is promoted ads, which you’ll see most often. Reddit displays these at the top of subreddits.

The other type is display ads. Reddit offers other types of advertising, like video and carousel, which we detail below.

1. Display Ads

These are the most common forms of advertisement on the site. With display ads, you’re not just limited to sharing your posts. For example, you can post a customer story that relates to your brand. 

You can choose from CPM, CPC, or CPV ads, and these are all made available as auctions via the Reddit Ads Dashboard.

2. Display Ads

Reddit aims to display ads at bigger companies with larger budgets. Unlike promoted ads, these aren’t self-serve, and you need to speak to Reddit’s sales team first. You need a minimum budget of $30,000.

3. Promoted Video

These are available as CPM and CPV bids. Features include an auto-play video and an optional call to action button.

4. Promoted Carousel Ads

Promoted Carousel ads allow up to six images/gifs, and the bid types are CPM and CPC. Reddit shows these ads in users’ feeds.

For greater visibility, Reddit also offers takeover products. You can view the complete requirements for each type of ad and the features provided on Reddit.

Examples of Great Reddit Ads

Before diving and creating your own Reddit ad, let’s look at a few examples.

Nordstrom Reddit Ad

Examples of Great Reddit Ads - Nordstrom

Department store Nordstrom uses Reddit in a way that just about everyone can adopt. It stays on the right side of Reddit’s robust guidelines by using subreddit groups to talk to customers and discuss products, overall service, and typical customer experiences.

It’s clear Nordstrom is playing the long game with its Reddit advertising approach. Its method isn’t likely to garner overnight results. However, it’s a strategy that works for the brand, and it has got hundreds of Reddit users keen to interact with them.

If customer engagement is crucial to you and you’re using it as a building block for your business, the Nordstrom method could be the way to go.

Ally Bank

Examples of Great Reddit Ads - Ally Bank

Ally Bank dared to be different with its advertising. Rather than posting in a financial subreddit, it reached out to Reddit’s vast audience of video game lovers. 

How did it connect the dots between the two topics? With a simple one-liner that demanded attention:

“You wouldn’t settle for a 1-star controller, so why settle for a 1-star bank?”

Ally Bank stayed away from the traditional banking advert because it was appealing to a non-traditional audience.

You can easily use this approach. Rather than limiting your marketing to your typical market, think about how you could reach different groups and win over consumers that you mightn’t usually market to.

Maker’s Mark

Examples of Great Reddit Ads - Maker's Mark

Maker’s Mark took a more direct way of targeting the Reddit community through the r/ads subreddit.

Its “Let it Snoo” tagline was a play on words around Reddit’s mascot, Snoo, and it aimed to make the audience laugh rather than despair at the sight of an advert.

Maker’s Mark was careful to tailor the nature of its advert to the typical Reddit user and talked to them in a style the Reddit audience would welcome.

That’s the key: Always target your audience in the language and the style they’re most comfortable with.

How to Build Your Reddit Advertising Campaign

Setting up your first Reddit campaign may take some time, but with plenty of detailed step-by-step instructions, you should find it easy enough. Here are the basic steps for getting started, but always check Reddit if there’s any part you’re not sure about.

  1. Identify Your Target Audience

    If you’re not sure how to narrow down your niche, here are a few pointers:

    -Create a customer avatar or profile of your typical customer. You can use the data you already have to do this. 

    -List any of the characteristics and demographics that you feel represent them. For ideas, you can find out the basics online to get started.

    -Understand your demographics’ pain points and how your products/services can help. 
    Keep your customer profile in mind whenever you create new marketing materials and market to your typical customer. 

  2. Gather Supplies

    Before you start crafting your ads, have everything organized. In addition to being clear about your goals, and how you’ll measure results, you need:
    -visuals
    -copy
    -destination links
    -target keywords
    -ad trackers
    -credit/debit card 
    -registration details
    -other creative content

    Now let’s get started building your campaign!

  3. Create Your Campaign

    1. Sign in with your usual Reddit details at ads.reddit.com, which will take you to the “Create Campaign” page.
    2. Give your campaign a name in the “name” box.
    3. Choose your payment options. Reddit accepts credit cards for self-serve advertisers. 
    Select your objective from the list. There are several you can pick from. For instance, building awareness, conversions, video views, or app installs.How to Build Your Reddit Advertising Campaign - Create Your Campaign

  4. Create Your Ad Group

    Creating your ad group requires a few steps. First:

    Segment your campaigns: Begin by segmenting your campaigns to make it easier to track performance. Reddit suggests experimenting with bidding for the different campaigns because of its second-price auction model. Consider segmenting based on device or location. Reddit suggests each ad group should have a $50 daily budget.

    Give your ad group a name: Ad group names make it clear what the ad is targeting. 

    Select your ad placement: Next, decide if you want your promoted posts appearing in feeds or conversations. When advertising in feeds, your ads appear in the home, popular, and community feeds. Conversation ads appear when users are discussing specific Reddit posts.

    Define your audience: This is your targeting criteria. You can target ads in several ways, including by location, communities, and devices.

    Set your schedule and budget: Reddit offers a daily or a lifetime budget, which allows you to specify a specific date range. Now select your bid. Reddit uses a second-price auction model for bidding and doesn’t guarantee impressions. Reddit states impressions are dependent on targeting, your bid, and Reddit traffic.

  5. Create Your Reddit Ad

    1. Enter the name of your ad in the “Ad Name” box.
    2. Add third-party trackers. Reddit has a list of approved ones, including Comscore, Appsflyer, and Adjust.
    3. Add impressions and click trackers, followed by the macros. 
    4. Include some creatives. For instance, you could write a new blog post or promote an older one.
    5. Create a call-to-action button.
    6. Preview your ad. 
    7. Now, you should see a review button. Click on this and check your ads, making any edits if needed.

    For fuller information, read Reddit’s pages.

Frequently Asked Questions About Marketing on Reddit

Can you self-promote on Reddit?

Like most other online communities, Reddit takes a dim view of self-promotion. Anyone who uses Reddit purely for promotional purposes should view the Reddiquette pages and FAQs to understand what’s allowed.

It’s also worth reading the FAQ page on spam.

How do I market on Reddit without getting banned?

Start by reading the FAQs and Reddiquette. If you want to include links to a blog, for example, then the content you’re sharing should be helpful and in context with the general topic.

This discussion details a suitable way to share links. Also, ask the admins of subreddits if sharing a link is OK, and build a good reputation or “karma” on the site before thinking about how you can use Reddit for marketing.

How much do Reddit ads cost?

Reddit bases its advertising costs on auctions. It sets its rates at $5 a day minimum, and costs vary dramatically from 20 cents per 1000 impressions to $100.

Marketer’s Guide to Reddit Conclusion

Reddit is a unique platform with millions of active users. It might seem like the ideal place to promote your business, you could get banned (or ridiculed) if you aren’t careful. 

Although Reddit is tougher on self-promotion on other platforms, that doesn’t mean marketers should steer clear of it altogether. Provided you stick to the rules and don’t stray into spamming or being “salesy,” you have the opportunity to grow a keen, engaged following. 

With hundreds and thousands of subreddits, there’s bound to be one that suits your brand, whatever niche you’re in, regardless of whether your business is new or established.

Reddit is also a fantastic way to get feedback and suggestions from your customers and get to know them better.

Do you advertise on Reddit? What tips do you have to share?

The Marketer’s Guide to Slideshare

Slideshare: What it is and How Marketers Can Use It

The internet is a visual place. With the absence of body language, social cues, and audible tone, the best way to communicate with your users is through visual content.

Now and then, an online platform comes along that makes it easier than ever to showcase your visual content on the internet.

SlideShare is one such example. 

The presentation-sharing platform has created a simple and seamless way to promote visual content while also encouraging user interaction.

In this post, we’ll teach you all about SlideShare, how to use it, why it matters to marketers, and how you can use it to create amazing content for your business.

Let’s get started.

What Is SlideShare?

SlideShare is a content-sharing platform that allows you to upload media presentations and share them on your website or social media profile. Content compatible with the platform includes presentations, infographics, videos, and documents. 

While SlideShare is not a tool for building content, it does work with existing content formats such as Google Slides, Adobe PDF, OpenDocument, and Microsoft PowerPoint.

SlideShare is best known for being a comprehensive educational resource that makes it easy to display presentations and webinars online. 

Here are some of the most popular ways to use SlideShare:

  • to share online webinars or training materials
  • as a visualization tool for presentations
  • to promote products or services
  • to display newsletters and attract new signups
  • to showcase visual materials such as guides or brochures

Acquired by LinkedIn in 2012, the company was later bought by the audiobook subscription platform Scribd.

SlideShare remains free to use and allows anyone to create a presentation to share privately or publicly. 

Why Should You Use SlideShare for Marketing?

For marketers, using SlideShare offers a unique and interactive way to display content online. By adding a presentation to your blog posts, web pages, and social media feeds, you create a completely new content type to engage your users.

SlideShare also allows you to display longer, more complex content in a simple way. Webinars or presentations can be easily uploaded and displayed for users to click through on their own time. 

You can think of these presentations as an infographic with more interactivity. 

It’s also important to note SlideShare boasts a user base of 80 million. Most of its user base are business professionals, and its most searched tags are:

  • #market
  • #business
  • #statistics
  • #socialmedia

SlideShare also receives 500 percent more traffic from business owners than Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube. This offers a huge benefit to B2B marketers looking to connect with relevant audiences. 

5 Strategies to Use SlideShare for Marketing

Now that you understand what SlideShare is and why it’s important for marketers, it’s time to learn how to create an effective and successful presentation. 

Here are five steps to follow when using SlideShare for marketing.

1. Use Visual Content

Anyone who’s made a PowerPoint presentation knows they shouldn’t be text-heavy. When formatting your presentation for SlideShare, this is especially important, as online readers tend to lose focus on text-heavy content.

A general rule to follow when creating any type of presentation is the 5/5/5 rule:

  • 5 words per line of text
  • 5 lines of text per slide
  • 5 text-heavy slides in a row

Keep your readers interested and engaged in your SlideShare presentation by using mostly visual content and keeping your text short and succinct.

Visual metaphors can also be used to further cement the messaging of your presentation. You can see an example of a visual metaphor in the image below.

Strategies to Use SlideShare for Marketing - Use Visual Content

2. Add a Call-to-Action (CTA)

Your SlideShare presentation should work as part of your sales funnel, moving customers through the education, nurture, and convincing phases. In order to effectively move your customers through these phases, you’ll need to integrate calls to action (CTAs) throughout your content.

A CTA can be a request to contact your business or even a link to start a free trial. You could also ask your customer to sign up for your email list or visit your website.

Whatever you choose, place it strategically at a place where you know your customer will see it. As well, use a benefit-forward statement that shows your customer how they’ll see value from their click.

3. Keep Your Presentation Short and Sweet

Keeping online reader attention spans in mind, it’s important to keep your presentation short to ensure your users stay engaged.

Presentations that are too long or too bulky will lose reader interest and result in lost leads for your business. Shorter presentations are easier to digest and offer a better chance of a reader seeing your final CTA.

SlideShare itself has noted that shorter visual content is most effective on its platform.

Strategies to Use SlideShare for Marketing - Keep Your Presentation Short and Sweet

4. Use Customer Pain Points to Inform Content Decisions

The first step in determining the kind of content you should publish in your SlideShare is to understand your customer pain points

  • What do your customers want to see from your brand? 
  • What kind of content do they enjoy?
  • How can you strengthen your relationship with them through SlideShare content?

Before you publish your content, conduct customer research to find out what your leads are looking for and why.

Once you know what they’re after, give it to them. It’s really that easy.

5. Use Keywords in Descriptions and Tags

SlideShare comes equipped with presentation descriptions and tags. Be sure to make use of these features when uploading your content.

Adding keywords to your SlideShare descriptions and tags will help your SEO efforts and ensure your presentation is being seen by the right people. If you’re looking for a keyword research tool, try Ubersuggest.

SlideShare for Marketing Tips and Best Practices 

SlideShare can be a marketer’s best friend when used correctly. Here are a few SlideShare best practices to guide your process:

  • Source quality images and fonts: Because it is such a visual platform, it’s important your presentation looks professional and high-quality. Using grainy or low-quality images, hard-to-read fonts, or bad design will turn users away from your content.
  • Make your presentation simple and clear: As discussed above, don’t overdo it on text, slides, or images. Your users want quick and clear information they can easily digest. The sooner you give them what they want, the better your chances are of converting them.
  • Start strong: Think of your presentation as an essay. You want to set up your thesis at the beginning and continuously reaffirm your message throughout your slides. If it isn’t clear what you’re trying to say early on, users will likely click away and lose interest. Start your presentation off with your main idea and strongest imagery to hook your reader immediately. 
  • Measure your results: Like anything in marketing, it all comes down to the numbers. Leverage any analytical powers at your disposal and continuously A/B test and optimize your SlideShare content.

Examples of Great Marketing SlideShares 

You’re almost ready to start taking the SlideShare world by storm! Here are a few success stories to help you get started.

The Brand Gap by Neutron LLC

The Brand Gap by Neutron LLC is a beautifully designed SlideShare that explores the makings of some of the world’s most iconic brands.

This presentation is successful because it harnesses strong visual design with simple copy to deliver a clear, concise message. The conversational tone of the copy invites readers to continue moving through the presentation, ending with a clear CTA at the finish.

While this presentation is longer than we recommend, Neutron LLC gets away with it because of its masterful design work and messaging. 

How Google Works by Google

How Google Works by Google is a creative and effective presentation that explains how Google operates as an innovative company. 

Google used completely original and unique illustrations to provide clear visual metaphors throughout the presentation. Google’s brand colors are present in every slide, cementing their brand in the minds of the readers.

You Suck At Powerpoint by Jesse Desjardins

You Suck At Powerpoint by Jesse Desjardins is a humor design presentation that tells you everything you’ve done wrong in your past presentations.

Leaning on visual metaphor, this example is funny, concise, and clear in its messaging. 

Not only does Jesse tell you what you’ve been doing wrong, but he tells you how to fix it. If you can’t do it yourself, his information is on the last slide.

SlideShare Resources

How to Create and Share a SlideShare Presentation

Ready to create your first presentation? Follow these steps!

  1. Create a SlideShare Account

    The first step in creating and sharing your first SlideShare presentation is to sign up for an account. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you can use your LinkedIn account to sign in. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, you’ll need to create one in order to use the platform.

  2. Create Your Presentation

    When creating your presentation, be consistent in your use of fonts and colors.
    It’s always a good idea to use your own branding assets when creating your presentation to ensure cohesion across your content.
    Create an intro and outro slide at the start and end of your presentation, and remember to add a CTA so your customers stay active after the presentation. 

  3. Upload Your Presentation

    Once you’ve finished creating your presentation, it’s time to upload it to the site. You can upload your presentation as a Google Slide, Microsoft PowerPoint, or PDF. 
    SlideShare allows you to schedule your presentation if you’d like it to go live at a specific time. Once it’s live, be sure to promote it widely and share it across your social channels to ensure a wide reach.

SlideShare Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to use SlideShare?

It is free to use for anyone.

Can you earn money from SlideShare?

Not directly, no. SlideShare does not pay users for ads, and there is no direct way to make money from its platform. That said, by strategically including CTAs and actionable points, you can get an ROI from the presentations you upload.

What are the disadvantages of SlideShare?

It does not offer any direct monetization processes for its users, and it also does not include a built-in way to measure analytics. 

What’s the difference between SlideShare and PowerPoint?

SlideShare is an online platform that allows you to share your presentations across the internet. PowerPoint is simply a tool for creating presentations. 

SlideShare for Marketing Conclusion

SlideShare is a visual content tool that helps you share educational presentations across the internet.

Because online readers want fast and efficient information, it is a great way to engage your audience and move your customers through your sales funnel.

Have you found success using SlideShare?

8 Powerful Negotiation Tactics

 Powerful Negotiation Tactics

What comes to mind when you think of negotiation tactics? 

People in suits closing business deals? 

Bargaining with a seller in a market?

Convincing your landlord to lower the rent?

How about all of these?


Negotiation Tactics Play a Key Role in Life

It’s tempting to think of negotiation only in terms of price, but the term represents many possibilities beyond money. 

For example, if you’re struggling to negotiate your desired salary, you can negotiate the job benefits, the scope of work required, hours, or remote-work options.

In other areas of life, you can negotiate a better package with your regular service providers, you can negotiate better deals when shopping and you can even improve your relationships and expectations through effective negotiation. 

What about business? Can negotiation tactics help you grow your business

Research over the past few years says yes. 

Whether you are an established CEO conducting high-profile meetings or a small independent seller collaborating with other business owners in your community, negotiation can significantly impact the rate of your growth.

Why Are Negotiation Tactics Important in Business?

Most business decisions can be improved by learning powerful negotiation tactics. Here’s a few reasons why learning to negotiate is important for growing your business.

  • Improve Operations: Negotiation can help you find the right compensation package for your employees, get discounts from your manufacturers, have a successful fundraising round, and help you scale your business faster. 
  • Succession/Exit Plan: If you plan on selling your company eventually, negotiation can also help you find the right buyer at a great price.
  • Improve Revenue: Done right, negotiation can help reduce business costs and increase profits. For example, negotiating better deals with suppliers or lower costs for rent.  
  • Business Relations: Negotiation can help you strike mutually beneficial deals that are not only profitable but also build positive long-term relationships. 
  • Life Satisfaction: You can also use negotiation in other areas of life like building healthy relationships or getting good deals on products and services. This will promote life satisfaction, creating an optimal mindset for success in your working life.

8 Negotiation Tactics to Become a Better Negotiator

Negotiation can offer great benefits, but it can also be challenging to enter a negotiation without effective negotiation tactics. 

If you’re new to negotiations, worry not! 

I have something for you. 

Research over the years has found dozens of powerful negotiation tactics that can help you make better business decisions, land better opportunities, and successfully close important deals. 

1. Listen More Than You Talk

I used to think a powerful negotiator knew all the right things to say. I believed negotiation was about who could outsmart the person in front. 

I was wrong. 

Successful negotiation is less about talking and more about listening. 

When you listen without waiting for your turn to talk, you begin to truly understand what the other party wants. This can help you strike a “win-win” deal so you get what you want and they get what they want. Everyone goes home happy. 

This practice of being present in a conversation and listening carefully is called active listening. It helps people feel heard and understood. This can help build a good rapport, which can turn into a good deal. 

Here’s a helpful graphic that dives deeper into how you can practice active listening. 

Active listening as a negotiation tactic can help you land better deals.

2. Use the Framing Method

Perception can have an interesting effect on how we see the world. Take, for example, the following image. It is often used to highlight how perceptions differ.

Do you see an old woman? Or a young one?

Perception framing can be used as a negotiation tactic.

We interpret information differently depending on how it is presented to us. It’s a cognitive bias called the framing effect. You can use this knowledge to improve your negotiations. 

For instance, consider this graphic from The Decision Lab:

Framing effect can help you re-frame your negotiation tactics for effective presentation.

You can see that “80% fat-free” sounds more appealing than “contains 20% fat,” even though it’s the same quantity. 

This principle can easily be used as a negotiation tactic. To do this, frame your negotiations as a win-win opportunity. 

For example, let’s say you want to make a deal for $30,000 but your client is set on $25,000. Now, instead of going back and forth over the price, try reframing what you have to offer. 

Can you highlight the potential savings your client can enjoy by using your product? Can you address the risk of not using your services?

Ask yourself “How can I frame this solution so we both win?”

Keep in mind that you are not necessarily changing the end result. You are simply changing the way you frame the conversation.

3. Prepare for Compromise

Sometimes you can have the best negotiation tactics in your toolkit and still have to compromise. Many times, you will have to give something up to reach a mutual agreement.

This isn’t always a bad thing. 

All relationships require some level of compromise.

You can’t entirely prevent it but you can prepare for it. 

Negotiators who enter the room with a plan are often more successful than those who choose to “wing it.” 

If you know you may have to compromise, why not be prepared for it?

In fact, having a plan B can actually put you in a stronger position

To plan for what you can and can’t compromise, ask yourself, “What am I willing to give up for this opportunity/deal/product/relationship?” 

Focus on what really matters, and don’t let minor details derail an otherwise good deal.

4. Rank Your Priorities

Another important part of planning your negotiation tactics is ranking your priorities. 

There are things you absolutely need to have in order to enter a profitable agreement. Then, some things may be “good-to-have,” but aren’t a necessity. 

Rank these so your priorities are clear to you. 

If you must compromise on something, you need to decide what you can give up. This is where priority lists can help. 

For example, building a good relationship with a client may be more important for you right now than making a big sale. In this situation, you can compromise on the price and earn the trust and goodwill of the other party. 

5. Make the First Offer

You might have heard the adage “never show your cards.”

Many people believe you shouldn’t make the first offer and let the person in front “reveal” their number first. 

This doesn’t work so well in real-life negotiations. 

In fact, I’ve found, when it comes to negotiations, you should always be the first to say a number.

Why?

Remember, the starting number sets the tone for the rest of the negotiation. Being the first to state a number puts you in control of the negotiation process.

This practice is called anchoring.

Even if your number is extremely high or extremely low, now you can steer the negotiation conversation in the direction of your choice. 

If your first number is very high, you have biased the negotiations to skew higher.

In most cases, this absurdly high number will be disregarded, but you are already angling for a higher price than if you came in much lower at a “reasonable” price.

Here are some examples of anchoring presented in a graphic by AMGfunds:

Anchoring a price can be a helpful negotiation tactic.

6. Identify the Real Issue

In some negotiations, the problem and the solution might be obvious. For example, when you negotiate a salary, both parties know you’re asking for more money in exchange for continuing to offer your services to the company. 

Sometimes the real issues aren’t as obvious. 

Let’s say you’ve lost interest in your current job, and need some free time to invest in a side hustle. You go to your boss and try negotiating more PTO or similar benefits. 

You haven’t communicated your true needs, so your boss may not understand what you’re looking for. Maybe they’ll offer you a raise.
They think they’re doing the right thing, but both of you are stuck in an awkward situation because you couldn’t communicate your actual issue. 

This often happens in negotiations. People negotiate for money when they really want more time, freedom, consistency, flexibility, or even another employee for support with the expected workload. 

If the goal of a good negotiation process is to solve the problem, then communicating the real problem becomes a key aspect of negotiation tactics. 

To succeed at negotiating, you need to understand what solution or outcome you’re seeking. This means you need to communicate the real problem—not just the most apparent one.

The Five Whys is a simple technique that will ensure you are addressing the root cause.

This graphic from Olivier Serrat will help you understand how to use it:

Five whys dig deeper into your motivation for using negotiation tactics

7. Offer a Win-Win Situation

As we discussed earlier, framing your negotiation as a win-win situation can help you become a powerful negotiator. 

Here’s why a win-win situation matters. 

  • It helps both parties feel comfortable about the deal.
  • It establishes mutual trust, respect, and a good rapport
  • It focuses on problem-solving, getting to the heart of the problem. 
  • It eliminates the winner-loser power dynamic.
  • It opens up the possibility for working together again. 

When we frame negotiations as a win-or-lose proposition, we automatically start with the assumption that someone has to lose.

(Hint: No one likes to lose.)

When you enter negotiations with a win-or-lose mindset, your goal is to convince the other party to accept defeat.

Instead, a powerful negotiator frames the negotiations as a win-win opportunity, so everyone is satisfied with the deal.

8. Be Willing to Walk Away

If you’ve framed the negotiation as a win-win opportunity, tried your best to compromise, discussed the underlying problems, and still failed to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, it may be time to walk away. 

Many people are scared of having to walk away from a negotiation. This makes them more likely to take a bad deal rather than have no deal at all. 

This is a counterproductive approach.

Being prepared to walk away will give you an advantage. It may not be what you hoped for when you entered the negotiation, but sometimes it’s better to say no than sign a bad contract. 

If you’re comfortable walking away from the deal, you can use it as leverage. By having other options, you’re already in a stronger position—and now you’ve got a new level of experience to bring to your next round of negotiations with someone else. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Negotiation Tactics

What should you not say in a negotiation?

Don’t say things like “let’s make this quick,” or “what about my profit?” This can make the person in front feel like you care more about your personal gains than the relationship you share. 

What’s the most important negotiation skill?

Active listening can be an important negotiation skill as it helps you truly understand what the other person has to say. This helps you make better, more empathetic offers that are more likely to be accepted. 

Is negotiation manipulative?

Many people believe negotiation tactics are manipulative and unethical, but that’s not true. As long as you’re respectful of the other person’s needs and committed to offering a fair deal, negotiation is perfectly ethical. 

Can I negotiate as a beginner?

Negotiation is a skill anyone can practice. Even if you’ve never negotiated in your life, working with a simple negotiation technique can help you increase your confidence and improve your ability over time. 


Negotiation Tactics Conclusion

Negotiation tactics sound intimidating. Like they’re reserved for high-profile business people in suits.

That’s not true.

Anyone can negotiate almost any area of their life for better outcomes. From yearly raises to monthly rent, there’s scope for using these negotiation strategies everywhere. 

Each of the negotiating tactics we discussed today is powerful alone, but together, their impact can be incredibly effective. 

Try them, and you’ll see.

Which negotiation tactic will you try first?

How to Create Search Engine Friendly Title Tags

How to create seo-friendly title tags

One of the most frustrating things about SEO is getting everything to work together as it should.

If you’ve done SEO, you know exactly what I’m talking about. There are so many little elements in SEO that sometimes it seems impossible for everything to work out perfectly.

Even today! I know I talk a lot about how “smart” the search algorithms are and how it’s virtually impossible to game the system.

However, there are still a lot of elements you need to pay attention to for your SEO to succeed.

Case in point: Page title tags.

Before you yawn and find some more sexy SEO topic to jam on, hear me out.

Title tags are one of the cornerstones of SEO. They always have been, and as far as we can tell, they always will be.

Moz explains, “Title tags are the second most important on-page factor for SEO, after content.”

When it comes to low effort/big results, title tags take the cake. It’s such a small element, but has such a massive impact!

You know it’s important to create eye-catching headlines, but optimizing your titles also matters for SEO.

That’s where page title tags come in. They’re how your titles are relayed to search engines, and they’re an important part of any SEO strategy.

This is one of the few times when you need to write for both people and search engines, and that can be tricky. (Especially with headlines.)

In short, you have to create a clickable headline that also makes search engines happy.

Here’s the challenge: People have to like it. Search engines have to like it. Yikes!

Does that sound difficult?

Yes, it can be if you don’t know what to do. That’s why I’m going to break down my process step-by-step.

We’ll go through that process, but first, let’s look at why title tags are important for SEO.

What are Page Title Tags?

If you’ve ever used a search engine before (and I’m guessing you have), you’ve seen a page title tag whether you’ve realized it or not.

It’s simply the headline on the SERP (search engine results page).

For example, if you Google “kitchen appliances,” you’ll see that one of the top results is from IKEA.

In this case, the page title tag is “Kitchen Appliances – IKEA.”

This is what both people and search engines will see as the title of your page. Often, this is the first thing they’ll see, and that’s a big reason why it’s so crucial to put time and effort into your title tags.

The point you need to remember is this: real people are reading your title tag.

They are going to respond to it. They will judge it. They will be compelled by it. They will be put off by it. They will learn from it.

Basically, the title tag is your page’s message to the world!

Title tags work with the meta description (the text below the title). In the case of the IKEA search result above, this is the meta description — a sentence or phrase that adds more information about the page.

I’ve written about meta descriptions before, but title tags are even more important.

Both the title and the meta description together give a brief idea of what your content is about, but the title tag stands out more.

There are two big reasons why page title tags are so important.

First, if you have a clear title that’s relevant to your page, both humans and search engines will see that as a sign of a good page.

If your title tag isn’t optimized, then people could skip right over your content, and search engines may determine that your page isn’t as good as it could be.

A second reason why title tags are important is they show up in browser tabs:

title tags guide show up in search bars

So when someone wants to find your page out of all their browser tabs, they’ll look for your title tag.

Title tags are often what people will see if your page is shared on social media. For example, here’s an example of a title tag on Facebook:

example of a title tag

Can you see why title tags are so important? A good title tag means maximum visibility, while a bad title tag can sink your page.

There are three important steps to take to optimize your title tags.

  1. make sure your headlines make for good title tags
  2. create the title tag
  3. make sure the title tag is optimized for SEO

Let’s dive into all three.

Step 1: Write Your Title Tag

You might be wondering how writing a title tag is any different from writing a headline.

In some cases, your headline and title tag will be the same exact title. But there are some cases where they won’t be.

Check out this SERP result from Copyblogger:

copyblogger example of a title tag

It seems like the title for the page would be “How Content Marketing Builds Your Business,” right?

But when you go to the page, you’ll see a different title:

copyblogger title tag example

The title shown on the page is longer and more descriptive.

So why would Copyblogger do this? It’s most likely because the shorter title tag looks better on the SERP, and it takes less time to read.

The actual title that you see on the page goes into more detail, and that’s probably why they used it. They get the benefits of having both a streamlined title tag and a descriptive page title.

It’s a sneaky and useful tactic that’s the sort of SEO stuff I love.

With that in mind, here’s how to write a great title tag.

There are a few elements of title tags:

Title Tags Should Be Short

Shorter titles are easier for people to read and for search engines to crawl.

But there’s a better reason for shorter title tags.

If your title tag is too long, search engines will cut off your title with an ellipsis (…):

title tag example

Ideally, your readers and search engines should be able to see the entire title tag so they get the best idea of what the content is about.

Google typically shows no more than 60 characters of the title tag. So if your title tag is 60 characters or less, you can generally expect that the entire title will show.

If you want to make sure, Moz has a handy preview tool:

title tag tool moz

This is a great feature that I recommend you use. Remember, keep it short if possible.

Title Tags Should Contain Your Main Keyword

You probably expected to see something about keywords in an article about SEO.

For best results, try to put your focus keyword as close to the beginning of your title as possible. That’s so search engines (and people) will see the keyword early on.

Here’s a title tag with the keyword right up front:

title tag example

Contrast that with this result that has the keyword closer to the end of the title tag:

title tag example

One tip: Make sure the keyword placement is organic. It’s preferable that the keyword is close to the beginning, but it’s not necessary for great SEO.

Title Tags Should Describe a Benefit

Much like a headline, a title tag needs to communicate a benefit to stand out.

This is one of many reasons Google warns against keyword stuffing and boilerplate titles.

Your title tags are representatives of your pages, and you want people and search engines to know that your pages have unique, valuable content.

Make sure your title tag is related to your content. It should read naturally and grab the reader’s attention.

Keep in mind, you’re not trying to trick people. All you need to do is clearly explain the benefit of clicking on the page.

Often, the “benefit” is nothing more than telling them what the page is about! At this point, you’re not trying to sell anything. You’re simply giving them information.

Here’s an example that clearly expresses a benefit (ignore the jargon-filled, not-so-great meta description).

title tag example laptops

On the other hand, this title tag is plain and doesn’t explicitly state a benefit (they did a nice job with the meta description, though).

title tag for seo example amazon

(Sure, Amazon probably doesn’t need to state a benefit, but your site probably does.)

Stating a benefit probably won’t do anything for search engines, but it goes a long way for human users who come across your site with a search.

Step 2: Create Your Title Tag

Once you have your page title tag written, you need to set it as the title for your page.

The way you’ll do this will depend on what powers your website.

If you have a custom site, you’ll need to edit the HTML directly. (And it’s super easy to do.)

If you use WordPress, it’s also super easy.

If you use another CMS or host, it might look a little bit different for you.

Let’s take a look at each of these three different cases and how to create a title tag for each scenario.

Case 1: You Have a Custom Site Not Hosted on a CMS

If your site isn’t hosted on a CMS, you can edit your HTML to add titles.

First, you access the HTML for your specific page. I recommend checking with your hosting service on how to do this.

Once you’ve found the editable HTML, make sure you’re between the <head> tags.

how to add title tag to custom site example

(Note: This is an example code using Editpad.org. Your code will probably look different, and there might be extra code here. That’s okay––just make sure you’re only between the <head> tags and not any others.)

To create the title, use <title> tags. For example:

how to add title tag to custom site example  HTML

That’s it! Save your code, and your title will now show up correctly.

Case 2: You Use WordPress

If you use WordPress, you’ll be happy to know there’s a super simple solution — it’s actually way easier than editing the HTML.

In fact, this method uses something you’re probably already using: the well-loved Yoast SEO plugin.

This is a powerful plugin that you can get a lot out of. And it’s great for editing your title tags.

First, if you don’t have Yoast installed, go to Plugins > Add New.

add yoast plugin for title tags

Type “Yoast” into the plugin search bar.

type yoast title tag guide

Look for “Yoast SEO.”

add yoast SEO to WordPress - title tag guide

Click “Install Now.”

Next, click “Activate.”

Now the plugin is up and running.

To edit the title tag for a page or post, navigate to that content and open the editor.

Scroll down to the bottom of your post or page, and you’ll see the Yoast box, where you can edit the title tag and meta description.

It’ll also give you a nice preview of both your title and meta description:

where to add title tag in Yoast

If your title tag (or meta description) turns out to display differently on the actual SERPs, you can always go back and edit it in this section.

Case 3: You Don’t Have a Custom Site or a WordPress Site

I know not all of you fall under these categories.

You might use a completely different kind of CMS, or your web host might have a different setup.

In those cases, I recommend contacting your CMS company or web host to find out how to access your HTML to edit your page title tags.

This is really a case-by-case scenario, so it will probably look different for a lot of you. However, you should be able to get an answer with a quick email to your web host’s support email.

So far, you’re two-thirds of the way done! Now you just need to make sure your title tag is the most SEO-friendly it can be.

Step 3: How to Optimize Your Title Tag for SEO

We’ve talked a little bit about this already, but there are a few more steps you can take to make sure your title tag is optimized.

This is the step that most people miss entirely!

They think, “Yay. I’m done with my title tag!” But they forget that one of the primary methods of marketing and promotion is through social sharing!

Here are my best tips for optimizing your title tags for social.

Use Your Brand Wisely

The title tag can be a great place to include your brand, but if you overdo it, you could face some consequences.

Google suggests using your homepage title tag to include the most branding. Their example: “ExampleSocialSite, a place for people to meet and mingle.”

For most of your pages, adding your brand to the end of the title tag will suffice (if there’s room, that is).

Here’s how I do that:

title tag example neil patel

Prevent Search Engines from Rewriting Your Title Tags

You read that right: Sometimes Google will rewrite your title tags.

It’s crazy, I know! But why the heck would this happen?

According to Silkstream, “Google will automatically change how your title is displayed in the SERPs if their algorithm is under the impression that the page title doesn’t accurately represent the content on that page.”

So if your title tags don’t look good to Google, they’ll consider other factors, including:

Take a look at this title tag:

title tag example rewrite

If you go to the homepage and view the source code (right-click and select “View Source” or “View Page Source”), you’ll see the company set the title to be something else:

title tag example source code

Google rewrote it because they felt their revised title tag would help people more than the original.

The good news: If you follow the steps outlined in this article, Google should keep your title tags as they are.

If you do see your title tags showing up differently, revisit them and try to identify how you can further optimize them.

Consider Making Your H1 Page Heading Different From the Title Tag

This is exactly like the Copyblogger example from earlier.

You can use two different sets of keywords in your title tag and H1, which organically enhances your SEO. Search engines will count the title tag as the “heading.” (Just make sure it’s optimized.)

Avoid Duplicate Title Tags

Google explicitly says that “it’s important to have distinct, descriptive titles for each page on your site.” So don’t copy and paste your title tags.

If you’ve done everything so far, you should now have an optimized title tag! Finalize it and send it out into the world.

Title Tag Frequently Asked Questions

What are title tags and why do they matter for SEO?

Title tags are the title of a page users see in the search results. They serve as a first impression and can encourage — or deter– people from clicking on your pages.

What’s the difference between title tags and meta descriptions?

Title tags are shorter and appear first in the SERPs.

How do you write a good title tag?

Pay attention to the length, use the main keyword the page targets, and explain what benefit the user will get by clicking.

How long should title tags be?

Between 50 and 50 characters. Any longer than that and Google may truncate your title.

How many keywords should be in my title tags?

Generally just one. You can add a second if it is closely related and makes sense. Don’t keyword stuff; the goal of the title tag is to explain what users can expect if they click.

Title Tag Conclusion

I know first-hand that SEO can be a headache., but it doesn’t have to be.

I’m all about demystifying SEO because I know it’s something anyone can do. Even if you’re a technophobe, you can do this!

It doesn’t take years of experience in digital marketing to get SEO right. You just have to learn the ropes and get used to it.

For example, creating page title tags is pretty simple. It might seem complicated at first, but once you take a peek behind the scenes, you see how easy it is.

If you’re not currently leveraging the power of optimized title tags, use this article to start doing that. It can be a game-changer and help your visibility on the SERPs.

Best of all, it only takes a few minutes.

What tips do you have for using title tags for maximum SEO power?

The 10 Elements of a Successful Social Media Profile

The 10 Elements of a Successful Social Media Profile

Having good social media profiles can get you more exposure online, help you connect with your fans or customers, and improve your online reputation.

Unless you have a major site associated with your name (like NeilPatel.com), your social media profiles are usually the first results Google shows when someone searches for you.

Start thinking of each social media profile you create as a landing page for your personal brand.

Your social media profiles are possibly the first encounter that someone is going to have with your brand, and you want that first impression to make the visitor interested in knowing more about you.

Here are 10 elements of successful social media profiles.

Element #1: Your Social Media Profile Display Name

Okay, this seems fairly basic. The name that displays on your social media profile should just be your own name, right?

Usually, that’s correct. However, sometimes that doesn’t make the most sense.

On platforms like Twitter, where you don’t have to use a real name, a pseudonym might make more sense.

Element #2: Your Social Media Username and URL

On most social networks, your username is included in your URL, and it’s often different from your display name. Usually, you can’t change your username, so choose it carefully.

If possible, it’s usually best to just go with your own name. Sometimes, if you’re the face of your company, the company name might work better.

On Twitter, Brian Dean isn’t @briandean but @Backlinko, since that’s the name of his company.

Backlinko Twitter Social Media  Profile Example

Finally, while it isn’t always possible, try to keep your username the same across platforms.

It can be confusing when this isn’t the case, like Instagram being @yourname and Twitter being @yourcompany or @yourmiddlename.

Element #3: Your Social Media Profile Picture

Should you go with a logo or a personal picture?

Of course, if it’s for a personal account, you should almost always go with a headshot.

What about for a company? It’s a tough call, but it really depends on your goals. If you run a smaller operation or are the face of your company, include a headshot of you.

That’s what Brian does on Twitter, even with his company usernames. This also applies to people that are brands themselves, like musicians, artists, or politicians.

If you have a more recognizable brand or don’t want your company to be associated with you specifically, go with the logo.

Microsoft Instagram Social Media Profile Example

It’s also a good idea to stick with the same (or at least a similar) photo across different social networks. That way you’re easier to recognize on different platforms.

Element #4: Your Social Media Profile Link

This varies from one social media network to the next, but be sure to seek out any opportunity to get your link on the main page of your social profile.

For example, you can add a link on the “front page” of your profiles on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Make sure that your link is front and center so that people can find it quickly and click through to your website.

Another good idea for your links is to create a social network-specific landing page so you can track which profiles are bringing your site the most traffic.

You can use these pages to offer a special discount for people who have found you on Twitter or share information that is specific to a network, like recent blog posts you have written about Facebook.

Element #5: Your Social Media Profile Bio

Your main social profile bio should usually include a sentence or two about yourself or your business. Think of it as a perfect place to put your elevator pitch and include keywords.

In a few words, what would you say about your business? It’s also a good idea to use your bio to its fullest potential. Some sites, like Twitter, only let you write a short description.

If you’re on a platform like LinkedIn, your “about” section can have up to 2,000 characters. This is a huge opportunity to explain what you’re all about and make a great first impression.

To make this succeed, you’ll want to add more than just a simple description of what you’ve done and your current projects. Instead, create a story with a basic call to action.

For example, you can tell how you started with the industry you’re working in. What got you interested in it, and what makes you stick around and keep learning?

Larry Kim LinkedIn Social Media Profile Example

Finally, you can finish your bio with a simple call to action. This can be a link to a free report, an offer for someone to call you, or even a mission statement asking “will you join me?”

Element #6: Your Social Media Profile Interests

Some profiles allow you to have additional extended information about yourself in the form of favorite books, television shows, movies, and so on.

A lot of people skip over this, especially when it comes to business profiles, but that is a big mistake.

Look at these fields as an additional place to get some great value and connections

I doubt there is a niche out there that doesn’t have at least one or two published books.

Find books, documentaries, and profiles of influential people in your industry and add those in these additional fields (assuming you actually enjoy them, of course!)

This adds credibility and a new level of connection you can build with people who are learning about you for the first time.

Element #7: Your Social Media Profile Background or Cover Image

Different platforms have different requirements, but most social networks today have some way to add a larger image behind your main profile page.

Some users, especially on Twitter and LinkedIn, choose to use the default background image, but this is a mistake.

A customized background will allow you to share additional information and give personality to you or your brand.

Don’t make it distracting or more important than your profile picture, but a great cover image can go a long way to personalizing your social page.

Product Hunt Facebook Social Media Profile Example

On some platforms, like Facebook, this can even be a video. If you have the option (and decent video), this can be even an even more engaging way to connect with others.

Element #8: Your Social Media Profile Privacy Settings

After you have all of your profile filled out and pictures uploaded, the next thing that you will need to take a look at is your privacy settings.

These vary from network to network, but you will want to make sure that the information you would like to be public is viewable.

Chances are, if this is a business-related profile, you’ll want almost everything to be public. Of course, if your profile is more personal nature, you may want to hide some things.

Element #9: Your Social Media Activity

Once your profile setup is complete, your on-going mission will be to maintain a healthy level of activity on your main social networks.

It’s not enough to leave a profile blank. You need to contribute to the platform and build connections. After all, that’s what they’re there for in the first place.

No matter what social network you’re on, the basic guidelines still apply. You’ll want to connect with friends and followers by asking questions and responding to comments.

Provide value by posting interesting ideas, or at least sharing interesting and relevant things you find.

If you’re in any groups, become an active participant. Be helpful, connect with others in the group, and share things the group will find interesting.

Element #10: Your Social Media Promotion

Finally, there is nothing like a little healthy promotion of your social network profiles to help more people find and connect with you.

Be sure to add your social networking profile links to your website, email signature, and business card.

Also, don’t forget to interlink your profiles to each other. Many networks have places to include links to other networks, and you can and should use them whenever possible.

Stay connected, become an active member on the social network of your choice, and you’ll start acquiring a following.

Social Media Profile FAQs

What should my profile picture be?

This depends on what you do. If you have a personal profile or your brand centers around who you are, use a headshot. If you have a business where you aren’t the face, your logo will work well.

What should I do if my preferred username is taken on another platform?

Using the same name is ideal but not always possible. If your username is taken on another platform, then use something very similar.

What should I put in my social media bio?

Your social media bio should have everything people need to know about your brand. Let them know what makes your brand stand out, what you do, and a call to action whenever possible.

How can I do to personalize my social media profiles?

You can brand your social media profile by using a custom cover image with your brand colors and logo. You can also put important information in your cover image. On some platforms, you can also add your interests. This is a great way to add a personal touch.

What can I do to promote my social media profiles?

You can cross-promote your social media profile with each other, by adding all of your links to each profile. You can also all links to your website, and email campaigns.

Social Media Profiles Conclusion

If you’re getting started with social media marketing, the first step is to set up your accounts and profiles correctly.

If you’ve already been in the game for a while, it’s probably time to take a look at the profiles you set up.

Are there ways to improve what you already have online? Is the profile picture you uploaded last year still relevant? Does your bio or link need updating?

Since it’ll be the first impression many people see, it’s worth spending some time to improve your social media presence and make it compelling and interesting.

What strategies have you used to improve your social media profile?

How to Create Ultimate Guides to Drive Leads, Traffic, and Conversions

how to create ultimate guides to drive leads

Ultimate guides are everywhere. You’ve probably read your fair share, and maybe you’ve even written a couple.

They can be a great way to get traffic, build links, and increase your authority, but they’re far from easy to create. The issue most people run into is the sheer amount of content out there nowadays. How do you create an ultimate guide if there are already tons of posts on your chosen subject?

In this post, we’ll look at the steps to creating the ultimate guide on just about anything.

What Is an Ultimate Guide?

What turns a lengthy blog post into an ultimate guide? Well, there are a few things that almost every in-depth guide has in common:

  • It goes very deep into a pretty broad topic.
  • It contains several chapters that look at the topic from a variety of angles.
  • An industry expert or researcher writes it.

Apart from that, what you put in your ultimate guide and how you design it is up to you.

ultimate guide advanced SEO

Why You Should Create an Ultimate Guide

If you didn’t know how powerful ultimate guides are already, here’s why you should start creating them right now.

Rank for Many Keywords

The length, depth, and authority that go into ultimate guides make them a fantastic weapon in your SEO arsenal. The fact that they are so detailed means they should rank for a huge number of keywords. Including internal links to your other blog posts boosts their rankings, too.

Get Backlinks

A big, in-depth resource like an ultimate guide can be a fantastic source of links. Not only can you use it to go out there and request a backlink as part of your link-building process, but other sites naturally start linking to an authoritative resource, too. So much so that your ultimate guide can continue to attract links for years to come.

Build Your Authority

There are few pieces of marketing collateral better at positioning your brand as an authority in your industry than an ultimate guide. This is your opportunity to showcase how much you know about your subject to the world and go above and beyond what has previously been written about your topic.

How to Pick Topics for Your Ultimate Guide

Picking a topic can be a huge stumbling block for many aspiring writers. Don’t get bogged down overthinking it, though. Here’s how you can find the perfect topic quickly.

Choose a Topic You Know About

This first point is obvious, but it needs to be said. You need to know your topic inside and out if you want to write an excellent guide. That doesn’t mean you can’t use a freelance writer to help you out, but you should give them a thorough brief and create the outline of the guide yourself.

Choose a Topic With High Search Traffic

Not every guide needs to be written with the express purpose of ranking in Google, but it can seriously help drive traffic and generate customers. That’s why I recommend you enter your topic ideas into a tool like Ubersuggest to see the keyword volumes of the main topic and the volumes of every other related keyword.

Don’t just pick the topic that has the main keyword with the highest search volume, however. You may find another topic has so many more related keywords that it could actually generate more traffic overall.

Choose a Topic That’s Trending

Ultimate guides are successful when they’re written about trending topics. When people are excited about a topic, they want to consume all the information they can find about it. Your guide should be a part of that, too.

That’s not the only reason you want to focus on what’s trending, though. The newer your post is, the better it might do in search results if someone is searching by posts made within the last week, month, and so on.

How to Create an Ultimate Guide

With your topic picked, it’s time to get to work creating your guide. Here’s how I recommend you go about it.

1. Consume as Much Content as You Can

Even if you’re an expert in your field, you’ll still want to read blog posts on your topic before you start writing. Doing so will help you understand the level of content currently out there, the common threads writers pull, and the things you need to mention.

Pay attention to the results that Google serves up, too. You’ll find that specific formats are more popular than others, and you’ll want to try to mirror these when it comes to writing your content.

2. Identify What’s Missing

While you’re reading other people’s content, make a note of everything that’s missing from the posts. If you’re writing a how-to post, be sure to go through the steps yourself after reading posts by others.

Then, jot down things you notice during the process that others might have missed or not explained thoroughly. It also might help to sit down with someone who is unfamiliar with your topic and see what questions they come up with.

3. Do Research

You can write an ultimate guide off the back of your expertise alone—but you can make it stand head and shoulders above everyone else’s content if you conduct your research.

For some, this is a case of canvassing their colleagues and contacts for their opinion on a certain topic. Others might want to commit to more detailed research and partner with a market research company that’ll carry out a study on their behalf.

The more effort you put into the research, the more valuable and link-worthy your ultimate guide will become.

4. Put It All Together

To create your ultimate guide, simply combine the basics plus the additional details you found were missing from other posts and your research. This way, people coming across your guide as the first piece of content they have read about a topic will get all of the basic information, and people who have read many other guides will be wowed by all of the missing pieces that you included.

5. Promote, Promote, Promote

An ultimate guide is no good if no one reads it. Considering the amount of time and energy you have spent on your ultimate guide, you owe it to yourself and your readers to promote it well. Do so by:

  • Sharing it on all of your social networks: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are the best. Promote it on your personal and business accounts, if possible.
  • Sharing it in groups on social networks: LinkedIn, for example, has some great groups on particular topics. Facebook has some as well, although many are full of spammers who are just there for their promotions. This will expand your guide’s exposure from just your network to all of the members of the groups you select.
  • Emailing your list: If you have a mailing list, let them know about your latest and greatest piece of content.
  • Repurposing your content: If you can turn your ultimate guide into an infographic, video, slide presentation, or PDF document, you can spread it on even more networks.

4 Tips to Create an Awesome Ultimate Guide

If you want to take your ultimate guide to the next level, bear in mind these four tips when writing.

Write Clearly and Format Appropriately

You don’t have to be Hemingway to write a great ultimate guide, but take a lesson from Ernest regarding clarity. Short, clear, punchy sentences win out here, especially when writing thousands of words on your topic. Long, convoluted paragraphs may help you get your message across, but they’ll only cause the reader’s mind to wander.

Formatting will also help in this regard. Clearly labeled titles and subheadings will make your guide much more digestible. Short paragraphs will, too. Don’t forget that most of your audience will be reading your advice on a screen, so consider how they might skim it for the information they’re looking for.

Include Images and Screenshots

One thing I sometimes find missing from other ultimate guides is good screenshots. Take yours using your account of the topic as opposed to generic stock photos. This will make it easier for others to follow along and visualize the process.

Use Real-Life Examples

Once you have the basics and missing pieces down for your ultimate guide, look for some good examples of your tips in action. If you’re talking about creating great timeline cover photos, then include some examples from pages in different industries.

If you’re talking about using Pinterest to drive traffic, then link to top Pinterest users who are doing things right. Think about your target audience and find examples that they can easily relate to so they feel they must follow your advice to be successful.

Don’t Break Up Your Hard Work

There is a lot of advice out there suggesting you should take long posts and break them up into a series, so you can get people to come back to your website over and over again. However, I find that if someone hits a piece of content that says 101 Tips on ___, and the post only includes steps 1–20 with the promise of more to come, they move on to find everything they’re looking for elsewhere.

People want to consume information now, not wait for it. When they read the words ultimate guide, they’re going to expect to get everything in one chunk, so unless you are planning to write 5,000+ words on a topic, keep it in one piece.

Examples of Great Ultimate Guides

There are a lot of great ultimate guides out there, but here are some of my all-time favorites.

The Ultimate Guide to Startup Marketing

Examples of Great Content Guides - Neil Patel

If you’re looking to grow your startup, I’m pretty sure you’ll get a huge amount of value out of my ultimate guide on the topic.

How to Design a Logo: The Ultimate Guide

Examples of Great Content Guides - How to Design a Logo

With 12 chapters and virtually every angle covered, there’s no reason to read another guide before creating your logo.

The Ultimate Guide to Cart Abandonment

Examples of Great Content Guides - Cart Abandonment

If you’ve ever wondered why shoppers are leaving your website at checkout, this mammoth guide by VWO will answer all your questions.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing & Illustrating Your First Children’s Book

Examples of Great Content Guides - Guide to Writing Your First Children's Book

Ultimate guides don’t have to be about marketing, as this guide by Eevi Jones proves.

How to Pick a Career

Examples of Great Content Guides - How to Pick a Career

While Tim Urban hasn’t called this an ultimate guide, you’re unlikely to find a more thoughtful or detailed blog post on picking a career anywhere online.

Further Resources on Ultimate Guides

This blog post isn’t exhaustive by any means. If you want to dive deep into creating high-quality long-form content, then check out these five resources:

  1. How to Create an Ebook From Start to Finish by HubSpot
  2. The Ultimate Guide Template by Copyhackers
  3. Your Ultimate Guide on How to Write an Ultimate Guide (Infographic) by Express Writers
  4. The Ultimate Guide to Creating a True ‘Ultimate Guide’ by Search Engine Journal
  5. The Ultimate Guide To Content Promotion by Marketing Insider Group

How to Create Specs for an Ultimate Guide

You don’t have to write your ultimate guide yourself. If you’re hiring a freelance writer to write your guide for you, here’s how you can create a spec they can follow with ease.

  1. Give an overview.

    A top-level overview can help a writer quickly get to grips with the topic and goals of the ultimate guide.

  2. Create a clear structure.

    Take the initiative and write an outline that includes all of the major points you want the writer to talk about. This makes sure all of the gaps you identified in other pieces of content get covered.

  3. Include keyword research.

    If improved rankings are one of your main goals, then highlight the keywords you’re aiming to rank for.

  4. Note or record your expertise.

    Where appropriate, make notes for the writer to help guide them. Alternatively, you can record yourself talking about the topic.

  5. Provide additional resources.

    Highlight a handful of top-quality resources your writer can turn to for inspiration.

  6. Set a deadline

    Expect an ultimate guide to take a fair bit longer to write than a standard blog post.

Ultimate Guide Frequently Asked Questions

How long should my ultimate guide be?

There isn’t a defined length for an ultimate guide, but most are at least 3,000 words in length.

How do I distribute my ultimate guide to my target audience?

You can use social media and email to get your ultimate guide in front of your target audience.

Should I create more than one ultimate guide for my website?

Absolutely. Ultimate guides offer a lot of value in terms of SEO and building your authority, so you should write as many as you can.

At what part of the funnel are ultimate guides most useful?

Ultimate guides can be used at any part of your funnel, but they’ll be most useful towards the top. They are great at attracting users into your funnel and converting them to email subscribers.

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How to Create Ultimate Guides Conclusion

Ultimate guides are an incredibly valuable marketing resource. I’ve used them to generate huge levels of traffic, build my reputation as an authority in the industry, and improve my site’s SEO.

Follow the advice I’ve given above, and you’ll be on your way to achieving your content goals while sharing valuable insights about your chosen topic.

Have you created an ultimate guide on your website or blog? What other tips would you add to making your ultimate guide a success?

How to Use Instagram Ads

How to Use Instagram Ads - featured image

Instagram is one of the best social networks to advertise on. It has grown to be just as big of an advertising platform as its parent company, Facebook. In fact, by 2023, the site is likely to exceed one billion users, according to Statista.

Your best bet for Instagram success is to share stunning visuals and high-quality photos.

Add in a branded or targeted hashtag and you’ll be connecting with your ideal customers in no time.

If you want to increase your reach even further, Instagram ads are the way to go.

If you’re not quite sure how to use Instagram ads or you’re worried about how much they cost, read on to find out how you can run effective Instagram ads on any budget.

Why Advertise on Instagram?

Instagram is growing, and it’s growing fast.

There are more than 200 million business accounts on Instagram, and that number doesn’t seem to be decreasing any time soon.

The platform’s incredible growth is all for a good reason. Marketers know it’s worth it: Instagram’s ad revenues could reach $18.16 billion by 2021.

Instagram is not only growing considerably, but it’s also bringing in some serious cash for businesses. It’s attracting tons of big brands because it’s well worth it to advertise there. Even if you’re not a multimillion-dollar brand, Instagram ads are still just as important for you to use (if not more important).

Here’s why any size business should consider Instagram as a way to promote their brand, services, or products:

  1. Anyone can advertise on the platform.
  2. You can target audiences with Facebook data since Facebook owns Instagram.
  3. Audience engagement is limitless. Businesses can interact with users in the comments section of their photos.
  4. Post ads look just like any other shared post on Instagram, which makes them feel less conspicuous.
  5. There are multiple ways to advertise on Instagram, including in Stories, videos, IGTV, and Shopping ads.

Whether you want to increase brand awareness, get more clicks to your website, generate sales, or boost downloads of your latest e-book, Instagram can help you reach a huge audience.

What Are Instagram’s Ad Formats?

Instagram offers a range of Instagram ads for you to utilize, giving you the creative freedom to make something spectacular and reach your goals. Here are a few options to explore and a little bit about how to leverage each one effectively.

1. Photo Ads

Photo ads show up organically in your Instagram feed as you scroll through. An Instagram photo ad looks like a post from any of the accounts you are already following but will include a little “Sponsored” notation in the corner to let people know they are looking at an ad. These ads include a call-to-action button at the bottom to push people to a specific URL or your Instagram account.

These are useful if you have a really evocative photo to share your message. Instagram recommends using this type when you have a specific product or message you want to get the word out about. Keeping it simple can help you stand out and grab attention as people are scrolling through.

You can use this format to promote your past Instagram posts, so look for the most popular ones and click “Promote” to get started.

2. Carousel Ads

Carousel Instagram ads take photo ads to the next level. With this style, you can create a series of up to 10 photos or videos in a single ad.

Just like the photo ads, they exist in the Instagram news feed, but each photo or video can connect to a different URL or location.

This allows you to showcase a collection or group of products.

If you’re not sure whether to choose between photo ads and carousel ads, think about what you are trying to promote. Resist the urge to think about carousel ads as a way to just stuff more photos into an ad. They should function together and make sense as a unit.

Photo ads are like a one-page ad in a magazine or newspaper, while carousel ads are like lookbooks or mini catalogs themselves. When you’re announcing a new product line or a seasonal collection, these are a great option.

3. Video Ads

Video Instagram ads are just as they sound. Like carousel and photo ads, they appear in the Instagram feed. You can post an ad as short as a second or as long as sixty minutes, or anywhere in between.

When you create video ads for Instagram, you’ll want to think about your goals. You may choose to provide lots of information right there in the video to entertain or educate or you may use this ad as a teaser to get people to click through to learn more about your brand.

Again, this is where you’ll want to think about which is best for you in the news feed—the photos, the videos, or the carousel. Videos allow you to share more dynamic content, but people will have to stop scrolling to view it all. You need to catch their attention quickly and early in the video.

4. Instagram Shopping

Instagram shopping ads are an interactive option for showcasing your products, either in the Instagram feed or in the explore section of Instagram. With Instagram shopping ads, you can add shopping links on your photos for viewers to click and learn more about the product and even purchase directly from the Instagram app.

You will need to set up an Instagram shop to use this ad option. If your brand uses the Instagram shop feature, this is a smart next step to get the word out to a new audience about your products.

You can use flat lays, real-world images, or other detailed photos of your products, and create tags to point people to where they can purchase them directly. This is great if you have unique products, maybe with a seasonal or local twist.

5. Creators

Social media influencers play a big role in the content marketing world these days. Branded creator ads are a component of this game. They can consist of photos or videos that one Instagram account creates organically, and another shares as an ad.

To make this happen, an Instagram creator account needs to provide permission to a business partner or a brand they are working with, to share that particular post.

These types of ads are built on an existing relationship between creators and brands. If you are working with an influencer already, these are a great way to showcase organic content they have created with your products or your services.

6. Reels

Instagram reel ads are ads in between reel videos. They follow the same format as an Instagram reel video, allowing the ad to feel like a natural part of the reel video feed. Instagram reel ads can be up to 30 seconds long and play in a loop, in a full vertical screen. You can think of them as the TikTok format of Instagram.

You may want to use this format of Instagram ads if you have eye-catching and intriguing short video content people are likely to engage with and share. Consider the features necessary for a viral video.

7. Stories

Over 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day, so why not pop in there with your own Instagram ads? Just like other Instagram ad types, stories ads are placed natively within the stories environment so your target audience sees the content right there, as they are scrolling through the stories of the accounts they follow.

To make the most of these types of ads, Instagram recommends using motion-focused content, with the message upfront, to fit well with the fast-paced nature of stories.

8. IGTV

IGTV is one of the newest models of Instagram ads available to creators. These ads play at the beginning of ads an Instagram user clicks on, much like video ads on YouTube or another video platform. IGTV ads can be up to 15 seconds long so you should follow much of the same recommendations as above, getting to your message upfront.

Examples of Great Instagram Ads

Let’s take a look at real-world examples of Instagram ads that hit the mark.

1. MUD/WTR

Examples of Great Instagram Ads - MUD_WTR

MUDWTR does a lot of things right with their Instagram ads. This is an example of a Stories ad they ran. The content looks very organic, from a content creator on Instagram, including the text captioning at the bottom. They also included a series of Stories, rather than just one. The story is set up in a narrative fashion, grabbing your attention from the start. In addition, they run regular photo and video ads as well so they tend to show up everywhere as you’re scrolling around on Instagram.

2. Wool&

Examples of Great Instagram Ads - Wool

When you’re casually scrolling Instagram and a video ad stops you with a challenge. Wool& uses their Instagram ads to promote their 100-day challenge, where they invite users to wear their products for 100 days and get $100. It’s a simple challenge that grabs your attention. Just another dress picture may be overlooked.

3. Nailboo

Examples of Great Instagram Ads - Nailboo

The starting image just makes you cringe, doesn’t it? It’s effective because you can almost feel it. Red nail polish on white carpet. Eek. The video ad from there moves fast, almost frantically, through the information about their product promising to keep that from happening. It fits the dynamic of a fast-moving platform and hits a pain point from the start.

4. Dechoker

Examples of Great Instagram Ads - Dechoker

Another example of Instagram ads that hit on the emotions from the start, with a bit of a gross factor. Sometimes you can’t look away. This one uses the warmth of the child’s photo with the narrative of what their product prevents. It’s also a very simple product and message, another important feature. If people have to wonder what you’re about, they will keep scrolling.

5. Send a Cake Now

 Examples of Great Instagram Ads - Send a Cake Now

From Candid Camera to America’s Funniest Home Videos, there’s a long line of entertainment proof that we love to watch a good prank. Send a Cake Now plays on this by showing videos of people opening their product, which launches birthday and celebratory surprises their way. It’s ideal for Instagram, with homemade, fast-moving videos. You definitely want to stop and watch who gets surprised next.

Instagram Ad FAQs

Should I run my ads on both Facebook and Instagram?

Choosing to run Facebook or Instagram ads depends on your target market and which platform they use the most often. You can also run on both platforms.

Can I create Instagram ads without an Instagram account?

You can use your Facebook business page to set up your Instagram ads.

How much do Instagram ads cost?

The cost of Instagram ads varies depending on impression or click-through. They can cost on average between $0.20 and $2 per click or $6.70 per impression.

Are Instagram Promotions worth it?

Instagram Promotions can help you reach more people on Instagram. If you have a popular photo or video post, it may be worthwhile to promote it to a wider audience.

Instagram Ads Conclusion

Instagram ads can help you up your social media marketing game by increasing the number of people who see a certain post or broaden the audience you organically reach with your posts.

Through a range of different photo and video formats, you can choose the one to suit your content and your target audience the best and share your brand’s narrative.

If you find your customers are hanging out on Instagram, and you may want to look into Instagram ads to get the message out to even more of them.

What’s the best Instagram ad you’ve ever seen?


Ishrat Pasha 2021