5 Expert Guides on How to Rank YouTube Videos on Google

Want to rank your YouTube videos within Google? Sure, we all do… but the truth is that most people think of the concept, but never actually put the idea into action. YouTube gets billions of page views every months and it’s making plenty of millionaires in the process. YouTube is also owned by Google, which means it’s likely you can rank video content from their site all the way to the first page of Google easier than you might be able to rank your site.

So what’s the big secret to ranking your YouTube videos on Google? Well, there are plenty of theories and methods out there — such as embedding videos within your blog content, using transcription to increase on-site (video) SEO to your page, linking back to your YouTube video through various sites and using a variation of relevant keywords.

Now the big question is… what works and what doesn’t? Well, if we all knew that, we’d all be ranking on the first page of Google, wouldn’t we!

While I’m in no way an expert at ranking YouTube videos within Google, I am pretty good at finding some of the best resources out there to help you along the way.

Follow These Tips to Rank YouTube Videos on Google

Each of these guides are unique in their own way, but most follow the same formulas of creating high quality video content, using text within your video descriptions and ultimately sending backlinks to your YouTube url. Be sure to visit each of the sites as they have unique content, videos, infographics, examples and guides.

YouTube SEO: The Ultimate Guide

Brian Dean of Backlinko.com is always coming out with excellent guides on how to build backlinks and rank higher in the search results. His guide on how to rank videos in Google is probably one of the best out there, as he goes into a lot of detail on how to find the right keywords to target, setting up your video title, description and YouTube page correctly, while also covering the many different ways you can embed video and get backlinks to help you jump to the top of the search results.

Backlinko SEO Video Strategy

Case Study: How to Rank YouTube Videos on Google

Everyone loves a good case study, and this one is no exception. This guest post from Vinay Patankar on SEMRush walks us through the process of why hitting your target audience with video is such a great opportunity. Vinay also goes on to show many of his different rankings in the search results and how he got there through ranking his YouTube videos. Vinay also covers video optimization, keyword rankings and off page optimization while also providing a big list of resources for building quality backlinks back to your YouTube page.

How to Rank YouTube Videos on Google

How to Rank on the First Page of Google Through Videos

Neil Patel is another SEO expert who took the time to create a guide on how to rank in Google through the use of YouTube videos. In this 7-step video ranking guide, Neil walks through the process of ranking a video by starting with the most basic steps, such as uploading a video to YouTube, embedding the video on your site, adding content around your videos and ultimately focusing on your SEO and backlinking strategy. While this guide is less advanced than others mentioned, it’s still a great guide and I highly recommend reading through all of the blog comments and questions as well.

Brian Dean also created a follow up video on how to rank videos in Google through the QuickSprout University course.

How_to_Rank_on_the_First_Page_of_Google_Through_Videos

The Ultimate YouTube SEO Guide – Infographic

As fun as several thousand word guides and tutorials are to read, sometimes it’s better to get a visual look at how things work. In this infographic created by Sean Si, we get to see why video is so important and the break down of how to properly create your video content, while also focusing on your user engagement afterwards. This infographic covers a lot of the quick tips, tricks and takeaways that the other guides recommend, but without the massive time required to read through all of the filler content.

Youtube_SEOHacker_Rankings

9 Hacks to Rank YouTube Videos in Google

Ryan Stewart is a digital marketing psychopath who put together a nice 9-part hack series on how to rank your video content within Google. This quick read (because it’s broken up nicely), shows a lot of great examples and gives actionable tips such as creating your own custom thumbnails, knowing how long to make your videos and how to utilize playlists and getting your YouTube channel page to work for you. Also be sure to check out Ryan’s 8 video ranking tips on SocialMediaToday.com as well.

9_Tips_to_Rank_YouTube_Videos_in_Google_-_Video_SEO

YouTube SEO: 7 Powerful Secrets that Work Great in 2018

No matter either you’re new to YouTube or struggling with ranking your videos for long time, BlogRex’s YouTube SEO guide covers well researched and actionable tips to rank higher. From on-page SEO’s perspective of video optimization to off-page video SEO and then easy video promotion, everything on one page. This guide specifically tells you how exactly audience retention is connected with video ranking and how to get better at this. It’s not only for YouTube, but also for ranking on first page of google with the help of proper keyword targeting and research.

The Answer to How to Rank YouTube Videos in Google

I’ve provided you with some of the highest quality content and guides on the internet for learning how to rank YouTube videos on Google. At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to multiple factors to rank you videos on page one, but the three big takeaways from each of these guides are;

  • Video content (engagement)
  • Video embed (more views and content)
  • Links to YouTube Video (backlinks)

Another lesson that all of the guides preach, is to focus on the quality of your videos and to provide value. While it might be easy to create a bunch of low quality videos and hope at least one of them ranks, it would be much more beneficial to create one super high quality video and spend all your efforts on creating that one video.

Be sure to reach through each of the guides above, but their recommendations into action and start ranking your videos on Google!

The Ultimate 2018 Guide to Converting Your Blog into a Profitable YouTube Channel

YouTube is a massive ecosystem of thousands of audiences ready to take action. Us bloggers like this. People buy, sell, play, download, vote, chat etc every day because YouTube inspires them to. One source reports over 62% of millennials will take action after viewing an ad (think of an ad as your clever piece of content) as do 51% of viewers over age 35.

People are so hooked on random video content it’s no wonder small-scale creators have risen to stardom to become the likes of Grumpy Cat, PewDiePie, Derek Halpern, Zoella, Dude Perfect, KSI, Phil DeFranco and so many more. You don’t even have to be a huge star to be successful on YouTube though – there are far more medium-sized…we can still call them stars. Imagine adding 30,000 views/month to your blogging efforts just because you’re on the YouTube. It’s possible.

So if you’re ready to take your blog to the fast and glamorous world of YouTube video, then this article will serve to show you how. Trust me when I say you’ve really got nothing to lose, but everything to gain.

Note before we begin! I created my main YouTube channel in May of 2011, and started building it actively sometime mid-2013. Just a fair warning – to grow a successful YouTube channel usually (aside from viral videos) takes time! Start soon, keep your expectations low, and don’t be shaken by the comment haters! You can be amazing on YouTube, and we’re here to help!

Firstly, let’s set up your YouTube channel already!

Let’s start basic to keep everyone on board, and to make sure everyone at least gets started with a new channel today. Google has guides on everything these days, so of course, that includes a guide on how to set up a YouTube channel in the first place.

It’s obviously free to create a YouTube channel – Google wants you on there!

Once you’re setup, it’s a good idea to play with your channel art for a few minutes. Get a good profile image like your current Gravatar setup. Think HD and maybe a younger, hotter version of you 😉

So here’s your initial to do list once your channel is created:

  • Setup Channel icon – This is your profile image. It’s linked to Google plus – whatever profile image you select on Google plus will show up here, and can take a few minutes to update.
  • Setup Channel banner – This is the wide banner that goes behind your Channel icon. It’s a little bit trickier to create because you want high resolution, but YouTube makes you fit your banner into a narrow space. We recommend following PicMonkey’s guide to creating a YouTube banner because it also comes with banner templates to try out.

Okay, so that could have easily taken an hour if it was your first time…but hope I really hope it didn’t, because there are way more fun tasks below! Let’s move on!

Lastly, depending on the type of computer you’re on (YouTube interface on my desktop screen looks different than my MacBook Air screen when traveling) click to your About tab or click CUSTOMIZE CHANNEL and fill in your Channel Description with some nice words – maybe a modified version of your blog’s about page – describing what users can expect from you and where you came from.

While you’re on this About screen, add a few links to your blog and other social channels, including Google +. Google + is less important than YouTube to focus on, but syncing the two will only help to squeeze out a few more drops of traffic.

Okay, really hoping you got through this part quickly, so we can now focus on taking content from your blog to put on YouTube, and can work towards the first milestone, your first YouTube subscriber, or ten! This all begins with your first video, and to make it easy on you, we’ll use one of your existing blog posts for content and inspiration for the first video.

What articles do I convert to video format?

Okay, now that you’ve got a YouTube channel up and running which is starting to resemble your blog in a similar but whole-new-platform sorta way, it’s time to decide what articles on your blog are worth transforming into videos. Another way of looking at it / a good question to ask yourself is “which articles on my blog could use videos inside them to better explain what I’m trying to say?”

If your goal is to someday make your blog into a business (or maybe your blog is already a business) then you could simplify this question to just looking at where your blog earned the best – then transforming that content into video form! Up to you!

Of course, some of our blog posts are generally better for videos, including:

  • Articles that got you the most traffic. You can find these in your Google Analytics dashboard > Behavior > Overview. When looking at my WordPress forum, these articles come up as most viewed / most popular topics thus far. Good place to start.
  • Articles containing affiliate links which can be transferred to the YouTube description sections. If you write quality reviews which product referral clicks, you can definitely convert them to videos as use the description sections as condensed blog posts where affiliate links are certainly allowed in moderation.
  • Heavily commented articles.
  • Articles containing an intriguing storyline, which maybe haven’t gotten enough exposure on your blog.
  • In-depth how-to articles that require some further explanation.
    I would NOT focus on articles explaining something you can answer in 1-2 sentences. Sometimes a written answer trumps a video.

Hopefully, your blog has some of the above types of articles. If it doesn’t, stop writing about Swedish fish oils! Jokes. If you don’t have any of the above articles, it’s fine, because they are just a few of the good types of articles that work well as videos. There are plenty more. Or, you can totally make up your own video content.

With a good idea of which content you’ve made so far performs best, let’s gather the tools needed to put you out there in video form.

Create your first video

So by now we’ve setup the nuts and bolts for your new channel, and have narrowed down a few blog posts that would work well as videos. Now it’s time to create your first video! I know some folks would elaborate on the planning stages more here – get the nice camera or hire a professional filmer, plan the lighting, download the fancy software, write a script, etc etc etc – but regarding when to start making videos, my feeling has always been that more time spent planning means less doing in the moment. Too much planning can make you put off a worth task all together!

Besides, you might be surprised that you probably have all the necessary equipment to make your first YouTube video right now in your home office! It doesn’t have to be complicated equipment, remember content is king and YOU are what they are watching for, not the fancy camera.

Regarding when to start making videos, my feeling has always been that more time spent planning means less doing in the moment.

To show you I’m living proof of how a bootleg setup turned into a pretty darn good and at least watchable video, here’s the basic setup for my first serious blog tutorial video:

  1. Tall bookshelf I found
  2. MacBook pro webcam
  3. $30 Cad mic from Amazon
  4. Apartment in Chinatown as backdrop
  5. Camtasia Mac for editing

All this cost under $100 (the MacBook was a gift back in university) and while it didn’t look like a Casey Neistat video all edited to perfection, it served the purpose, and sometimes you have to get content out there to figure out what works and gain the confidence to reinvest in your business.

Besides, it’s fun to a. get content out there quickly and naturally and b. look back on your old work that was a little dusty and sketchy and laugh at how you did things.

I truly do believe a basic filming setup like the list above will work for you too — have fun creating different parts of it from scratch!

Note: For my videos, the majority consists of a screencast or series of screencasts with the purpose helping people learn WordPress and make a WordPress website (recent example), which is a different sort of task to film compared to the more day in the life type videos. Both are fun and challenging. A screencast is when you are typing or building or doing anything on your computer and filming that very process, meaning filming your screen. Camtasia is the screencasting software I started with and still use through several updates and new version. It’s downright amazing. But the sheer fact that I’m screencasting means less time spent creating a set or arguing with actors who are in the set. Which is kind of amazing too because it’s more time I can spend making more videos 🙂

Making your second video better

Once your first video is circulating around and you’ve collected a few comments, you’ll probably blow past your 1-10 subscriber milestone. Assuming you put some good work into the video and are solving a real problem with it, or taking the more challenging route and entertaining people hilariously, people will want to see what you have coming up next and will subscribe.

It’s certainly possible to collect hundreds if not thousands of subscribers from one, well-timed video, but it’s now we focus on #2, #3 and so on.

By the way, once you’re done creating your first video, we’d love to see it linked from the comments and can offer some feedback and free likes!

So here’s what you can focus on to make your second video (and third, fourth etc) even better once your first video is live. I really do recommend taking these steps after you publish that first one because your list of needs may change based on how your audience responds.

  1. Intro animation: A 5-10 second graphic animation showing your logo and representing your brand. These can be purchased and downloaded from places like Theme Forest and Fiverr. Your best bet, as I did, maybe contacting a developer who can actually insert your blog into the animation and time it nicely. That way you don’t have to spend a whole night learning Adobe After Effects. Here’s an example!
  2. Visual and sound effects: Another sizable investment, you may want to purchase Final Cut Pro for the sake of adding pretty visual effects, transitions, sounds, media clips, and generally giving your videos that sparkling touch before going live next time. Final Cut Pro is how many YouTubers add content on top of YouTube videos. For me, it’s now a must to record and create in Camtasia, then edit in Final Cut, then I publish to .mov file, after which it’s time for YouTube!
  3. Better quality sound: Using a better, softer, more powerful mic is always a good idea especially if you’re creating long 1-3 hour tutorials like me and people have to listen to you the whole time. I go with a simple silver Yeti podcasting microphone from Amazon, which is good for podcasting, musical recording, screencasting, and more. It comes with 4 settings which are advantageously based on what I’m filming and where the sound is coming from, including Stereo, Cardioid, Omnidirectional, and Bidirectional.
  4. A faster pace of content: Scripting or hiring an editor is a great way to get your messages tightened. It will take more time up front planning out what you want to say, or which parts of a blog post you’ll be using, but as you get used to this process you’ll appreciate how it guides the rest of your work. Your readers will appreciate your conciseness too.
  5. Monetization: It’s your call whether to monetize or not, but if you’re wondering now how to monetize a YouTube video it’s actually extremely easy. Just select one of your better videos, click on the dollar sign next to it in your video manager, then turn on Monetize with ads. Your channel needs to be in good standing, and YouTube will pretty much take care of the rest, then send you a check if you do well!
  6. Transitions: You can buy pretty much any kind of sound or movement transition just by Googling “transition that looks or sounds like ______” and while it can rack up the dollars, you’ll eventually get the same effects you’re enjoying on large YouTube channels, which is pretty cool from a level playing field perspective.
  7. Outro: It seems like every YouTube channel has some sort of outro these days where the person on the screen tells you to “Click to the left of my face for a new video” or “click here to subscribe” in some clever way. We all think these outros are redundant, cheesy and even desperate at times, but at the same time, you’ve gotta give people credit. On a blog, you have the conclusion to ask for comments or likes. On a YouTube video, you have peoples real viewing attention. So not making a catchy outro, even if it’s just you standing there, is really shooting yourself in the foot from a growth perspective. Knock a few ideas around in your head and try and find a new way of asking for interaction from your fans — I’m sure you’ll think of something cool!

With these next-level YouTube channel tips under your belt, you’ll be all set to create your next 5-10 videos and really nail down a unique style viewers should keep returning for each time you hit Publish.

Learn YouTube SEO

Ok, progress has definitely been made and you should feel great! At this point, we’ve set up your channel, transformed a blog post or two into a video, and have taken major steps to improve your production quality. Now it’s finally time to work on expanding your audience.

One of the most cornerstone principles of YouTube, and getting bigger on YouTube, is understanding scalability, the capacity to be changed in size or scale. What this means is once you’ve reached some size, say, 100 subscribers, you should aim for 1000. If 100 people like your content, why wouldn’t 10x that many people like it too? Why not 100x? People aren’t that different in terms of online consumption, and once you realize you have a good product that works for X many people, you should focus on expansion to deliver that content to 10X many people as quickly as possible. Expanding and scaling your audience will allow you a lot more freedom in terms of revenue, networking and generally doors opening up to you.

So keep that in mind, you may be happy (or terrified) to know there is literally an endless sea of YouTube SEO you can dive into to improve your videos and reach wider audiences. It’s endless. And if you’ve never SEO’d a video, doing just a little bit of YouTube SEO can help your performance a ton.

Once you realize you have a good product that works for X many people, you should focus on expansion to deliver that content to 10X many people as quickly as possible.

Here’s what to work on right away to improve YouTube SEO and scale your audience:

  1. Titles: You can cleverly insert good keywords into your titles to attract more viewers. Good keywords can be found in Google Trends using their YouTube Search, or you can simply think them up if you have an idea what people might be commonly searching. Here’s just one example where we compare the terms “Oscar awards”, “Oscar winners”, and “best actor” for the title of a hypothetical video about the upcoming Oscars. Note that the tab for “YouTube Search” has been selected. We’d want to select the yellow line because it’s the most heavily searched.
  2. Tags: Tags tell YouTube what your video is about and help them place your video in the sidebar for suggested videos, among other things. Use a handful of good tags containing potential words people might Search when they want to find your video. Also use tags to link your video to related concepts and ideas.
  3. Thumbnails: An HD thumbnail is becoming a must for YouTube to deem your video high quality. Spend time creating great thumbnails. After all, they are the best and only preview people get before they watch!
  4. Embeds: The more time your video gets embedded into high-quality web pages is a signal for YouTube search rankings.
  5. Backlinks: Just like embeds, but an even heavier signal as to a video’s quality.
  6. Playlists: The number of times a video is added to relevant playlists is a signal for YouTube search rankings.
  7. Calls to action: Simply putting a call to action to subscribe, like, and comment at the beginner and end of your videos is a great start for scaling views and overall audience interaction. You’d be amazed at how many more people do these simple tasks when asked to vs. not being asked to. Even the best channels still shamelessly ask for interaction, which also amazes me sometimes.
  8. Overall competition in your niche: If your niche is highly competitive aka saturated with other YouTubers creating videos like yours, it’s worth pause. Have they been around much longer? Is there a high barrier to entry? Can you do it better than them? If your answers to these questions check out, go for it! If not, and your goal is to make money on YouTube, you might consider a slightly different niche to create videos in.

Spend time creating great thumbnails. After all they are the best and only preview people get before they watch!

Congrats, you now know more than the average YouTuber when it comes to YouTube SEO, potentially much more. With those skills under your belt, and these above items working for your videos, you’re giving yourself your best possible chance to get a lot of traffic on YouTube and compete with the existing powerhouses in your niche.

Develop a weekly routine for creating, editing, publishing and sharing

You now have a YouTube channel all of your own humming nicely, several videos inspired by your blog posts and perhaps even embedded in them for added traffic, and you know a thing or two more than your peers about YouTube SEO. Bravo for making it this far.

Even with all this under your belt, you are still at risk of your channel declining if you don’t develop a routine for YouTube. Simply put, YouTube likes routines that feed it more content each week. If they see you not publishing for a long period of time, even if you’re spending that time planning the next smash hit video, they see your channel as dying and will send you less visitors over time, killing your momentum.

Here are my three best tips to create a YouTube publishing calendar that works for YOU:

  1. Be realistic – If you can’t publish a new video each day, don’t make yourself. You don’t want to burn out like a dying star.
  2. Be predictable – Your audience will be happy if they know they can watch you at 2pm on Sundays, for example. People like being surprised too, but a predictable YouTube schedule helps you not miss people and vice versa.
  3. Be honest – If you are too busy to publish or going through some tough times in your personal life, make a video and tell people! We’ve all seen this “Hey guys, I gotta be honest…” type videos. They are highly endearing. People will love you for being open and forget about your previous deadline or commitments for them in a heartbeat.

This part in creating your YouTube schedule should ultimately be fun! If it’s not, your audience may soon see that. Keep in fun, relaxed and light.

 

Conclusion: Don’t forget about your blog!

With a booming YouTube channel up and running you may wonder why should you even bother to write anymore? Than answer is because people will always still read your blog — especially if you’re becoming a start online.

Plus, now you have all this great video content you can great blog posts around.

So take your videos back to the blog, keep people updated and make sure to keep publishing on your blog at least once a week. If things even decline in the video world (it’s not likely) you’ll be glad you did!

Did this help you convert a blog into a YouTube channel? Got any questions for Zac or Greg? Do you think someday you might become the next Pew Die Pie? Is it all even worth it? Let us know with a quick comment on whether you are enjoying your time spent creating content on YouTube and any questions that this article has generated for you. Can’t wait to chat below!

 

Greg Narayan is a blogger and YouTuber currently based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. When not helping people understand beginner web design and generally why their WordPress website won’t behave, he enjoys hanging out at the local coffee shop with friends, play tennis and golf (poorly, but slowly improving), and helping out at WordPress meetups around the globe. Connect with Greg on Twitter.

13 Smart Ways to Use Social Media for Customer Service

You and your business are likely already on all of the major social networking platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, but are you using them to their full potential? One of the latest trends in the world of social media and business, is connecting with customers and audiences through social media to provide better customer support and services.

Social media has become a huge part of nearly every company’s marketing strategy, but it’s not enough to simply share content. Today’s consumers want brands to offer efficient customer service through their social platforms. In fact, according to Social Media Today, nearly 85 percent of consumers expect a company to respond to social media inquiries within 24 hours, and 72 percent expect answers within an hour when they reach out on Twitter.

To best serve your customers, it’s important to meet them where they are and give them the care and attention they need, on whatever platform they’re using. We asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council to share tips on how brands should be using social media for customer service.

1. Pay Attention to How Customers Interact With One Another

The best way to create a great customer experience is to allow your users to interact freely on social media. Your company should be aware of these comments as they give you the best opportunity to provide customer service. If an individual posts a complaint, step in to address that comment and either fix it right away or let the user know why it can’t be implemented.

Julian Montoya, JM11 Investments

2. Offer an Interactive Experience to Collect Feedback

Social media platforms like Instagram are adding more features to make the experience interactive, such as adding polls to Instagram Stories. We’ve taken advantage of this feature to share new episodes of our podcast. We’ve gathered valuable information about listener interest and have seen our downloads spike as a result.

Mark Krassner, Expectful

3. Monitor Your Business Name on Social Media

Not everyone who has a problem will contact you directly. Some people will just tweet about it or mention it on another social media site. That’s why it’s important to monitor your name, whether you use Google Alerts or a reputation management tool. This helps you stay informed if anyone has a complaint and shows that you care about satisfying your customers.

Shawn Porat, Scorely

4. Implement Messenger Bots

Messenger bots are growing ever more sophisticated. It’s a great tool if implemented correctly. People can get their immediate concerns and common questions addressed. When it becomes more complicated, you must have an immediate measure to connect them to a live person. It also helps to mitigate harmful review posts on the public domain itself.

Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

5. Encourage Customers to Take the Conversation Offline When Necessary

Social media as a customer service tool cannot be applied to all business cases. A quick phone call via social media messenger can provide good support to a customer in need. Social media tools can be used effectively in offering information about your product and services.

Sachin Narode, Xeniapp Inc.

6. Use Twitter as a Q&A Tool

Avoid paying for third-party AI tools and utilize Twitter as a way to answer questions for your customers. This is also a savvy way to implement subtle advertising, as customers will scan your Twitter page to see if any of their unasked questions have been answered.

Patrick Barnhill, Specialist ID, Inc.

7. Turn Upset Customers Into Advocates

In my experience, consumers are talking about products on social media more than companies can feasibly get involved. The most effective social media work you do will be serving your upset customers. By owning your mistakes and reaching out to make it right, you can turn loud complaints into praise.

Your audience will appreciate that you care to fix mistakes.

Alexander Mistakidis, Gamelynx

8. Make It a Conversation

I always compare how you manage social media to how you’re having a conversation with a person in real life. If you’re just making statements about yourself, but not listening or responding to others, it doesn’t work. Make sure you’re listening and engaging with your peers and customers on social media. It can’t just be about you.

Cassie Petrey, Crowd Surf

9. Foster a Community

Social media has been a very effective customer service tool for us thus far. Having quick response rates is a great way to encourage users to use your product when they may not want to deal with official customer service channels. Reddit can foster discussion between customers and employees, which can develop as a customer service guide for customers in need of a simple fix.

Zohar Steinberg, token payments

10. Always Respond to Brand Mentions

Consumers use social media platforms for many different purposes. It’s essential to always acknowledge a brand mention or question on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. There are many automated tools that provide alerts for specific brand mentions. It’s good practice to set up these alerts and engage with your audience when you see a brand mention.

Michael Hsu, DeepSky

11. Enable the Facebook Messenger Pop-Up Window and Use a Chatbot

On Facebook, you can have a message window pop up as soon as someone comes to your page and ask if they can help you. Having that around-the-clock availability to help can be a welcome sign to customers and potential customers.

Serenity Gibbons, Calendar

12. Share Customer-Centric Content

Don’t solely use social media as a self-promotional marketing platform, but also as a platform to have meaningful conversations with your customers. We often encourage people to tweet us with their questions and concerns. It’s an easy, actionable way of getting in touch rather than emailing or calling. It also helps us put out information that is useful to our customers, such as product tips and tricks.

Stan Garber, Scout RFP

13. Find a Tool That Integrates All Your Social Channels

Make it clear what channels your company has a presence on and understand that if you post on Facebook and Instagram, you’re going to get direct messages there and customers will expect you to reply just like you reply to emails. Good software that allows your team to see all emails and social messages in one place is the way to go.

Jeff Cayley, Worldwide Cyclery

How to Make the Most of Your Social Media Efforts

With chatbots and social media now combining powers, it’s likely going to be easier and more effective than ever for brands to start using social media for customer support and user feedback. If this is something of interest to you, be sure to consider each of the options mentioned in our expert answers above.

To see more expert roundups like this one, be sure to view our previous articles on improved Facebook marketing and the best tools for monitoring your brand online.

Twitter Automation and Growth: 3 Tips for Effective Twitter Marketing

Twitter is still one of the most sought-after and recommended social platforms in the world today. Whenever something groundbreaking happens in the world, it usually gets reported through Twitter first. At the same time, Twitter is still the preferred platform for most brands and bloggers, when it comes to sharing their content and messages with an audience.

The main reason for this is that Twitter is still very content friendly and doesn’t limit organic reach like Facebook has. Twitter also makes it easy to post short status updates while also linking to an article and featuring a custom image or preview of your content. Lastly, it’s also made some great improvements in how automation and demographic targeting can be done on the platform.

With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at some useful tools and resources on how to get more out of Twitter.

Grow Your Audience with User Interaction

Of the many different goals, you might want to accomplish with Twitter, growing your following has to be at the top of the list. Not only is this a vanity play, it’s also ultimately how many users you are going to be able to reach. On Twitter, it’s all a numbers game.

However, waiting around for users to come to your site, then visit your social profile and click “follow” is simply too long of a process. A better option is to go with a Twitter automation tool, that actually does the outreach and engagement for you — while also allowing you to target your demographic audience, hashtags, and user interests as well.

The importance of all of this is quite simple. Let’s say you have a website or blog that is focused on selling shoes. Wouldn’t it be ideal for you to follow, respond, and interact with someone whenever they talk about shoes on Twitter? Of course, it would — but it would also be a manual process that could take a lifetime in the process.

When you engage and provide value to an audience, the reciprocal “follow” is much more valuable and authentic. So the goal here is to not just reach as many Twitter users as possible but to actually give them a reason to want to follow you back as well.

Create Custom Images Just for Twitter

If you want to gain the interest and attention of your audience, you will have to make a great first impression. Since Twitter is allowing all social updates to be seen by everyone an account is following, it’s likely the user will have a lot to skim through. This is where visuals will become a huge factor.

When posting a URL to Twitter, sometimes it will automatically load with an image for the content. Other times it will show nothing or just a default image that shows ‘no image’. It’s also possible to set up custom Twitter cards and images as well. This the option you are going to want to go with — especially if you are doing any type of paid promotion of heavy marketing.

Text updates will get read on Twitter, but having a visual associated with your update will definitely attract even more attention and clicks. If you haven’t currently tried this or don’t know how to create graphic images, this can easily be done for free through a tool like Canva. They have plenty of free templates that you can choose from, then you can customize them to your liking through their drag and drop editor.

Scheduling and Automation is Key on Twitter

Once again, with the concept of Twitter allowing a user to see status updates from all of their users, it’s important that you send out a lot of updates on a daily basis. I’ve seen some accounts that will actually have a new Twitter post going live every 15 minutes!

Now you might be saying, how is it possible for someone to jump onto Twitter every 15 minutes and make a new post? Well, the good news is that you don’t have to. Thanks to automation tools like Hootsuite and MeetEdgar, there is no need to manually post updates to most social media platforms — unless you wanted to.

Twitter is an amazing platform for sharing content with a wide range of audiences. Setting up a daily or weekly schedule to share your best ‘evergeen’ content is a wonderful idea for any online business, brand, or blog. Best of all… with such automation in place, you can almost guarantee that your content is going to be seen.

 

How to Get the Most Out of Twitter

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to grow your reach, increase clicks, and also automate several areas of Twitter. In addition to being a numbers game, and trying to reach as many users as possible, it’s also about knowing what the best tools are to use, and which can help save you the most time in the process.

Once you’ve mastered the art of Twitter, you can then apply many of these same methods to other social platforms as well. Remember, not everyone is using your favorite or preferred social platform, so it’s important to make sure you have all of your bases covered.

7 Ways an Effective Social Media and SEO Strategy Can Grow Your Brand

If you’ve been on the internet long enough, there is a good chance that you’ve stumbled across the term search engine optimization at some point or another. You’ve probably used Google or another search engine millions of times. The goal of SEO is to ensure that your website shows up on the first page of Google’s results. In return, your company’s website will gain more visibility, additional traffic and your revenue will eventually soar to new heights.

For most of us, the concept here is nothing new. What is different however, are the methods being used to rank higher in Google, while also pushing the competition lower. Within this guide, you will learn how the right strategy that can empower your company to achieve growth through the use of both SEO and social media.

Helps Build Your Reputation

First and foremost, you should realize that consumers think highly of companies that Google likes. People tend to trust Google and Microsoft, more than other brands they may not have heard of. If you’re able to get your website on the first page of Google and Bing, consumers will see that these companies trust and respect your website and company. In return, they’ll feel much more confident about doing business with you. They’ll realize that they’re going to get a great deal by working with your business.

When it comes to SEO and content creation, you should definitely consider your options with starting a blog. This is something I recently talked about in my ORM blogging article, where I highlighted the following data points.

  • Put a Face and Personality with Your Blog
  • Get Out There and Engage with Your Audience
  • Create Content that Gets People Talking and Sharing

Cost-Effective

Many forms of marketing and advertising are immensely expensive, and in most cases — dry up after your budget is spent. With the right SEO strategy, you’ll be able to push your website to new heights without spending excessively. In fact, it is possible to get ahead in the SEO world without spending anything whatsoever. Nevertheless, some companies may want to invest in pay-per-click ads or media buying. Regardless, you can rest assured knowing that your SEO venture will be relatively inexpensive compared to starting any other type of business or using other marketing techniques.

The following methods work perfectly for SEO when you are working on a small budget.

  • Creating your own content and doing competitor SEO analysis
  • Guest blogging on other sites within your niche market
  • Putting in the time and effort to creative expert roundups

Catering To Your Goals

Each company will have a unique set of goals. Some companies want to compete on the international level and conquer the world. Others will be happy gaining a footing in the local market or within a small niche market. SEO is truly very diverse and it can be customized to suit your individualistic needs and goals at the given time. With local SEO, you’ll be able to reach customers in your geographical location. Or, you can expand your base and market to customers all around the world. With SEO, the possibilities are truly endless.

In addition to having your own personal goals, it’s important that you not just have a marketing plan in place, but also a way to measure your success and results over time. I personally use and recommend SEMRush. Not only will their platform allow you to check on the latest rankings for your own site, they also provided competitor analysis and site audits as well.

Social Media and SEO are a Great Mix

As important as natural SEO is, it would be a big mistake to discount the power and viral marketing that social media can bring into the equations as well. For example, more people are accessing the internet through their mobile devices and social media than ever before. This is where big-name fashion bloggers are seeing the most of their growth and revenue come in — mainly through visual social platforms like Instagram.

With that being said, be sure to not just have a presence on social media, but also to actively gain more followers across all platforms — whether that be Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. At the same time, be sure to syndicate your best content as well. The more followers and eyes you get your content in front of, the more likely it is to get shared and picked up on other sites. In many cases, this can be automated, but will also help improve social awareness, shares, and SEO back to your main sites as well.

Reach Legitimately Interested Customers

When using other forms of advertising, you’re truly taking a gamble. You never know who is going to read your ad in the newspaper and you don’t know who will hear it on the radio. Radio and newspaper ads might be very effective or they could be a complete bust. In the world of advertising and SEO, you always need to stay updated with the latest trends and what’s working today. The same can actually be said of other media buying methods online as well. Sure, you might be getting traffic and ad impressions, but does that audience really have an interest in what you have to offer?

With SEO, you can actually reach legitimately interested customers. After all, these individuals will have to search for specific keywords to find your company. This ensures that they’re somewhat interested in the goods and services that you have to offer. Just think about the last time you went to Google and searched for something… you were definitely interested in and probably ready to take action or make a purchase as well.

Social Media Builds Quick and Reliable Relationships

One of the most important things to remember about social media and finding success on various platforms is that you not only need to increase your follower count, but you need to have a great reputation as well. This includes promoting and sharing content with others (and not just your own) and also giving people a reason to follow you or your brand in the first place.

At the same time, social media is a great way to build new relationships with other site owners and bloggers who might offer guest blogging, interview opportunities, or social sharing groups. Spend some time on Facebook and look for active blogger groups, and you will know what I mean. Use social media to promote your content, but also to build new relationships and opportunities as well.

You can learn more about this process and see some examples here.

SEO is Great for Long-Term Growth

Finally, you should realize that SEO is going nowhere. In fact, the internet has grown more and more popular during the past few years, and even more so with technology and mobile devices making their way into third world countries. If you’re able to achieve success in SEO, you will be able to also achieve long-term growth. As long as people continue using the internet, they’ll continue finding your site and your revenue will continuously climb higher and higher.

A great way to look at this is if you had $100 to spend. You can either blow through $100 in Google PPC ad spend and be out of traffic when the campaign is over, or use that $100 towards content creation, social promotion, link building outreach and more. Both methods work, but when trying to start a business or online site with a small budget, SEO is a great way to go.

How to Create the Best SEO Results for Your Efforts in 2018

When it comes to SEO and social media, there are many ways to improve your site rankings and reach. The most important thing is that you actually put in the time and effort to get started. Unfortunately, way too many people will focus on how many different things there are to do, and never really take action.

Start with any of the methods or elements above, then scale out over time. Most importantly, make sure you track your results so you can always see where your efforts are paying off.

13 Effective Ways to Build a Consistent Social Media Presence

Maintaining an active and consistent presence on social media is crucial for any business nowadays, as that is often its first point of contact with potential customers. Posting quality content and thoughtful comments is a good way to start engaging with your audience, but it’s hardly enough if you want to stand out among a sea of competing businesses.

To expand your reach, grow your visibility, develop stronger relationships and increase your authority, you need to build and maintain a consistent presence on all of your social channels and share quality, engaging content multiple times a day. This will ultimately lead to enhanced brand recognition and higher ROI.

Below, 13 entrepreneurs from YEC share their top tips on how to achieve a consistent social media presence.

1. Try IFTTT

There are many social tools that allow you to automate posts. However, a lot of them require premeditated scheduling. If you do not have the time to create an editorial calendar at the beginning of every month, IFTTT is the tool for you. Create a chain on IFTTT to automatically push your blog posts onto your desired social platforms once they have been published on your site.

Duran Inci, Optimum7

2. Schedule Everything

I like to do things on the fly, but social media is not the way to communicate like that. Instead, for me and my team to be consistent, we schedule all social media content. If there are situations when we need to respond to a breaking issue, we will discuss how we can immediately respond and get guidance from all to make sure it reflects our philosophy and core messaging.

Murray Newlands, Sighted

3. Complete Your Social Media Schedule in Q1

The beauty of social is that it can be scheduled, so get a year’s worth of content scheduled by the end of Q1. Why? Because then you are free to focus on immediate trends, manage customer support and build out new and focused materials. You will grow your social media presence tenfold with this strategy.

Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

4. Use Buffer

Buffer is an incredible social media scheduling tool. You can schedule posts for all of your platforms, customize for each and shuffle so that all of your newsfeeds are different. It keeps you organized and your posting consistent — you can’t do social media without it.

Kevin Conner, BroadbandSearch

5. Plan Ahead, But Keep Your Schedule Fluid

As in any area of your business, you need to plan, and plan ahead in advance. However, social media is one area that’s constantly changing by the hour or even minute. Your plan needs to be flexible to allow you to jump into trending topics as necessary. Planning a month ahead simply doesn’t give you proper insight into important social trends that pop up constantly.

Andy Karuza, FenSens

6. Make Sure You Have a Social Media Strategy

Automation tools and services can help. Another option is outsourcing. However, what’s most important is to have a coherent social media strategy. Once you identify your goals and the kind of content you want to publish, it’s easier to create and implement a schedule for posting. For example, you may want to curate and comment on a certain type of tech news.

Shawn Porat, Scorely

7. Use BuzzSumo

We use BuzzSumo to help us find the best content to share on our social media platforms. You can find out what news is trending in your industry to always be on top of the game. We usually post around 50/50 original content vs. industry news and retweets.

Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster

8. Invite Audience Participation

One effective way I’ve found to generate consistent and engaging content is to regularly seek feedback from your followers and subscribers. Something as simple as a weekly opinion poll or a regular column inviting letters to the editor can go a long way toward building a social media presence and improving communication with your audience. This is a successful strategy used by YouTube creators.

Bryce Welker, Beat The CPA

9. Use Meet Edgar

Meet Edgar is nice because you just have to load up the posts once and the software recycles through the content as often as you want. I’ve seen a notable increase in my social media traffic and I haven’t manually made a post in months.

Ajay Paghdal, OutreachMama

10. Build Up a Reservoir

Make a routine, every week or month, of creating a lot of high-quality content ahead of time, then posting it as a slow drip. It’s much easier to post consistently when you have a repository of content to pull from. I have a habit of busting out all my LinkedIn content on Sunday mornings — it’s a time when I can write without distractions and create plenty of ammo for the week.

Ben Lee, Neon Roots

11. Focus on Only a Few Key Platforms

Focus only on those social media platforms that provide you with good ROI. Some people get distracted by trying to be active on every social media site. This ends up diluting your efforts, as you can only keep up with so many accounts. Use Facebook and Twitter at least and then maybe one or two others with proven value. Set up a schedule for posting and stick with it.

Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

12. Try Facebook Publishing Tools

Although third-party apps such as Buffer are great for scheduling upcoming content, our social media team schedules all Facebook content natively. Publishing directly through Facebook allows you to see what your post will look like when it goes live and gives you clear insights on how each post did, which is great information to use when it comes to creating future content.

Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

13. Hire Freelancers

When it come to blogging consistently, it’s difficult to do it all on your own. Hire some freelancers to write a couple articles a week and post them on social media to stay consistent. Once you’ve developed a reputation for consistency, people will start coming to your blog to see what’s new, and you’ll even start getting some guest blogging inquiries.

Jared Atchison, WPForms

How to Get the Most Out of Your Social Media Marketing Efforts

Social media is now more oversaturated then ever before. If you really want to find success, you need to select a niche audience and cater to them as best as possible. It’s no longer a winning formula to just create content and send out as many social updates as possible.

If you enjoyed this expert roundup, I highly recommend you check out another one which asks 83 online marketing experts the question “How Do I Start a Successful Blog?“. If you don’t already have a website or blog of your own, follow my guide to get started with one today.

5 Ways to Better Brand Yourself and Get Noticed

Do you have a personal brand or logo? How about your website or online business? Your personal or business brand is a lot more than just a logo or a way for an audience to recognize your brand — it’s a way to relate with your audience, build trust and brand power over time.

We are all familiar with the concept and importance of having a great logo It’s more than a fancy, visual representation of a company. It sends a message. It’s a part of a bigger branding system.

The brand represents who the company is and its values. The way you brand something can set it apart from others, be it positively or negatively. If it’s a company branding, it defines the people behind the company, how they operate, and shows how relevant they are to the rest of the world.

A brand isn’t just for businesses. You can create a trademark for yourself that defines your uniqueness. Stand out amongst your peers by showcasing your distinct characteristics.

Don’t get lost in the crowd.

Creating a personal brand that develops instant positive relationships is vital in times when first impressions matter the most. Here are five ways to build a brand for yourself.

1. Create an Online Version of You

Let’s face it—we live in a digital world. If you don’t have an online presence, there’s a good chance your resume won’t make it to the top of the pile. Paul Grant, Recruitment Manager at Royal Essence shares, “Build your social media platforms so that you stand out. Your Facebook profile can make or break your chances of getting hired. Manage your privacy settings so that only friends can see personal information. Anything that is public should be appropriate and professional.”

LinkedIn is a way to develop your professional side. Use this to showcase your experience and achievements. It’s like kicking your resume up a few notches.

Use your Twitter page as an outlet to stay relevant in your industry. Follow influential people in your industry and engage with them to help build your following.

2. Give Yourself a Creatively Distinct Makeover

When meeting someone new, the first thing they see is your appearance. When branding yourself, you should create a look that is unique yet approachable.

For businesses and brands, this can be done in a number of ways. However, a logo repair or clean up is definitely one of the easiest and most effective ways to give your brand a face life. Srish Agrawal of Logo Design Team says “More brands are coming to us daily for logo redesign work and rebranding than ever before. We believe this is for a number of reasons, but the recent changes in logo designs and branding from big social media and tech companies seem to be one of the main reasons. Everyone wants to have a fresh logo design and one that pops out amongst others. This is especially true when trying to build a mobile application and fighting for display space and usage.”

To see some of the recent logo design repair and rebranding jobs from LDT, simply refer to the screenshot below.

Dress according to your personality. Are you bold and outgoing, or more reserved and shy? Let your personality reflect on your outfit. Keep your appearance clean and professional without losing your fun side. Lastly, have a statement piece that will make people say, “that is so you.” Be it a bow tie or a hairstyle, something that best represent your personality.

3. Have Business Cards That Say “Look at Me”

Having a business card is an easy way to stay connected with new people you meet. Keep it clean and straightforward. Put only necessary information on the card in a simple, readable font. Think of a catchy tagline that explains who you are and your work ethics.

NationServe, a company that sells garage doors in Denver Colorado is a good example of a professional yet memorable tagline— ingenuity in everything.

4. Think of a Word That Best Describes You

You’re at an interview, and you get asked, “How would you describe yourself?” What’s your answer? Think of a word or a phrase that best describes you.

Think of a catchy descriptor. Are you innovative? An out-of-the-box thinker? Fearless? Pick a word or phrase that best represents your life and live by it.

This isn’t just something individuals should just think about, it’s also for businesses and brands — especially when trying to come up with a slogan or tag line for your brand. A great example of this is the “Just Do It” slogan from Nike.

When looking at some of the most popular logos in the world today, there are many that have slogans built right into their logo designs, while there are also others who keep it pretty clean.

Be sure to keep an eye on these logo design in 2018, as more businesses and brands are changing things up than ever before.

5. Sell Your Personality, Not Just Your Skills

People want to know what you are like as a person, not what your resume says. FREE Branding & Digital, an Edmonton web design company, shares, “By explaining impactful moments in your life, you’ll be able to highlight the skills you have learned from them.”

A great way to accomplish this, is to have a personable ‘about me’ or ‘team’ page on your business site, where you can actually see the team members and crew behind a company. It’s important to have an online presence, but even more important to make your brand look professional and personal in the process.

Stories help build relationships right off the bat. Anyone can type up skills on a piece of paper. Make yourself stand out by making an immediate connection by talking about your life.

Just like a business, remember that brands need to be adaptable to the changing world. Create a brand that defines who you are and shows that you can keep up with the times. Once you create your brand, live and breathe it. This is after all, you.

How to Keep Your Brand on Point

In each of the five examples above, you will have noticed something unique about how an individual or business can better brand themselves while also relating with their audience.

To learn more about these methods and how other brand experts are doing this for themselves and their companies, be sure to check out this expert round up on 10 ways to better brand your expertise on the internet.

15 Ways to Respond to Negative Social Media Reviews of Your Brand

Social media can be fickle at times. With more than 3 billion users now spread across social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, it’s more important than ever to know not only what’s being said about your brand, but also where and how you should address it. This is something the business and branding world refers to as ‘reputation management‘.

While social media is a great place to share brand love, followers can also bash your company with a single comment, leaving you vulnerable to their harmful posts and tweets. It means nothing for a customer or user to make a quick statement online — but it means everything to the individual or brand they might be talking about.

How you decide to handle the negative comments can mean the difference between going down in flames and moving forward graciously. You may even turn some of those negative voices into new brand advocates if you play your cards right.

Below, 15 entrepreneurs from YEC give advice on the best ways to respond to negative reviews on social media, so your brand doesn’t get tarnished as a result.

How Top Experts and Brands Respond to Negative Social Media Reviews

1. Acknowledge and Log for Future Reference

If we receive negative reviews on social media, we reach out to the individual in a direct message, thank them for their feedback and ask them if there is anything that can be done immediately to improve the situation. Once communication has concluded, we log all feedback and review it when it’s time to make updates and improvements to our product. – Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

2. Look at the Positives

A negative comment is a perfect opportunity to highlight the values of your business in a positive light. Emphasize your business values and offer a solution that reinforces positivity. Don’t forget to take it easy. No hard feelings; there’s authenticity in being able to laugh at yourself. Give your customer value through a quick and personalized response. Be considerate and stay sincere.

David Tomas, Cyberclick

3. Be Transparent and Reach Out

It’s important to keep a public conversation public so that whoever runs across a negative review in the future can see the complete context of the situation, however it ends up getting resolved. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also personally reach out to your customer via email or phone and find out how to make things right.

Tim Chaves, ZipBooks

4. Address It With Passive Honesty

You want to address concerns in a frank and forward manner, but you also want to pull the complainer out of that channel as quickly as possible. Move them to an email or a phone call — anything that gets them off their soapbox. Be professional, address their concerns and offer to help through another medium. “The customer is always right” exists for a reason.

Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

5. Create, Create, Create

In our business, any negative feedback is an open invitation for creative solutions. Maybe it will be a piece of content that targets an experience or something we missed. Life is about edits, so use this as an excuse to edit. It is an investment of someone’s energy to write a negative review, so channel that into creatively solving the problem, if it exists, with content. Taking it personally solves little.

Matthew Capala, Search Decoder

6. Acknowledge and Investigate ASAP

The best way to address negative reviews on social media is to acknowledge the concern, probe further, offer a solution and promise to address it in a timely manner. I think it is important to acknowledge the negative review, but you also need to investigate beforehand to find out how they came to that judgment. It can be very subjective so it might be an isolated case.

Daisy Jing, Banish

7. Be Positive and Respectful

No matter how personal or derogatory the review, it’s important to stay professional, positive and respectful when you reach out to the unhappy customer. Let them know you are concerned and are there to listen. Even if it becomes unreasonable, turn the discussion back to anything positive you can do for them.

Zach Binder, Ipseity Inc

8. Listen First

You have to respect a customer’s negative review. You may not agree with it, but the best option is to try to understand why they are experiencing what they are complaining about. Simply listening will allow them to get their frustration off their chest. You can learn from this and it will give you an opportunity to find a solution to their problem.

Abhilash Patel, Abhilash.co

9. Focus on the Issue

We’re all human, and it can be difficult to keep a level head when dealing with negative criticism. Rather than focusing on the person, try to understand and address their issue as calmly as possible. Once you’ve addressed the issue to the best of your ability, that’s the end of the conversation. Don’t be drawn into a long and public debate — you have more to lose than the customer!

Justin Blanchard, ServerMania Inc.

10. Respond Quickly and Honestly

Time is critical when managing negative reviews online. Keep in mind that customers will be engaging with the review during the time prior to your response and they will not come back to read your comments. Act quickly and be honest about the comment. Don’t sound derogatory and don’t be partial. Apologize and speak honestly about the situation. Respond quickly and do not engage in back and forth.

Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

11. Don’t Be Defensive

If you made a mistake and failed to offer the quality of service you aspire to, take responsibility and try to put things right. If that doesn’t work, give the customer a refund and send them on their way. Some customers simply aren’t a good fit for your company. Whatever you do, don’t get defensive and lose your cool.

Vik Patel, Future Hosting

12. Keep It Short

Show that you are empathetic and responsive to customer concerns. The best way to handle negative social media publicity is to have your support team respond (just once) publicly offering to fix the situation and urging the user to contact your company. Other people on the forum will see that your company is responsive and willing to fix the situation. Never argue back and forth on a public forum!

Arian Radmand, TurnGram

13. Take Responsibility

Most of the bad reviews are posted out of anger and hate. I personally don’t know one person who has written a completely honest negative review. They will exaggerate to try to get their point across. If your company made a mistake, try to fix it before it gets online. If it got posted online, just suck it up and answer whatever reason you had to not solve the problem beforehand.

Adrian Ghila, Luxe RV, Inc.

14. Convert Them to Evangelists

Go into total emergency customer service mode. In multiple businesses I’ve worked with, some of our most enthusiastic fans have come in first as what can best be described as haters. Unless they are jerks, people often just want to be listened to and taken care of. If they are passionate enough to complain, they likely are passionate enough to brag about superior resolution of their problems.

Benjamin Berman, Optimize For Growth

15. Accept Constructive Criticism

First and foremost, I think it’s important for any business owner to acknowledge that no company is perfect, and that pleasing everyone isn’t a realistic goal. Accepting negative reviews as constructive criticism is healthy practice, and openly communicating with your audience about brand improvement lets them know that you’re not only listening, but that you value their opinions.

Kelly Woo, Profectus Financial

Don’t Let Social Media Ruin Your Personal or Business Brand

Online reputation management is something every individual and brand needs to deal with. While many people think Google and social media just happens, there are ways to monitor and control what is being said about your services, products or brands online. Take action today and gain more control over your brand’s first impression today.

If you enjoyed this expert roundup, I recommend you also take a look at our previous ones on expert SEO tips and best tips for making money online.

40 Digital Marketing Influencers You Need to Follow Right Now

When you think of the word “influence“, what do you think of? In the world of entrepreneurship and business, you probably think of names like Tony Robbins, Steve Jobs, and Mark Cuban. However, influencers are all over the place, and especially in smaller niche markets — many of which you like never even heard of. In short, influencers can be anyone who takes the time to share their knowledge, story or expertise with others, while also helping them explore and learn new methods and processes.

Later this month I will be speaking at Influencer Marketing Days in New York City (for the second year in a row). It’s a great conference where industry experts and influencers get together and share their expertise with an engaged audience of business owners, content creators, and entrepreneurs who are looking to find more success in their online marketing, social media, and lead generation efforts. Being seen as an ‘influencer’ in the blogging and affiliate marketing niche, not only do I have a lot of great information to share with others during the event, I also know what it takes to convert a passion or expertise for something into a profitable business and well-respected brand.

If you are in the New York area and able to attend the event, awesome! I highly recommend you register and take advantage of this opportunity to connect with industry experts, while also not being overwhelmed with a large scale conference that has thousands of attendees. We all know that influencer marketing is continuing to be one of the main areas of focus for top brands and businesses in the world today, so it’s a great area to make sure you have exposure and proper knowledge in.

My session will be on “How to Become an Authority Through Content Marketing“, which is something I love discussing, as so many bloggers, brands, and individuals are doing it wrong! Quick tip… it’s not about the content creation, it’s about the content promotion!

Even if you can’t attend the event, that doesn’t mean you will totally miss out. This year there are over 40 different speakers at Influencer Marketing Days, and all of them are online with their own social accounts, websites, blogs and brands for you to follow. In addition to speakers at the event, there will also be a number of well-known brands in attendance as well, such as Forbes, Google, NFL, Pinterest, Reebok and Swatch Group to name a few.

I recommend you run through the list below and follow as many (or all) of the influencers that relate to your audience or industry.

Influencer Marketing Days  – 40 Speakers You Can’t Afford to Miss

Geno Prussakov

Geno PrussakovInfluencer Marketing Days is organized and chaired by Geno Prussakov, an acclaimed digital marketing thought leader, international speaker, and educator. Through his writing, training, and speaking he directly contributed to online marketing successes of many Fortune 500 brands, and thousands of small businesses.

Prussakov authored numerous books which were translated into other languages, trained tens of thousands of Internet marketing professionals, and are also used as textbooks in many MBA programs around the world.

In 2011 for influencing “change within the industry” Rakuten named him one of Performance Marketing’s Most Vocal Advocates, while in 2014 and 2015 Small Business Trends recognized him as one of North America’s Top 100 small business influencers. He is a regular contributor to an array of industry publications and multiple blogs, including his own (named the Best Affiliate Blog in 2010 & 2011). Geno regularly speaks at key industry events, and besides Influencer Marketing Days also runs his Affiliate Management Days conference.

David Adler
For 17 years David M. Adler has provided innovative solutions to creative professionals and organizations, guiding clients through the dynamic and sometimes murky legal challenges presented by Trademark, Copyright, Media, Entertainment, Information Technology and Corporate Law. David has been designated by his peers for the fifth consecutive year as an Illinois SuperLawyer® in the areas of Entertainment & Media Law. David was an Adjunct Professor teaching Music Law at DePaul College of Law, formerly chaired the Chicago Bar Assoc.’s Media & Entertainment Law Committee and is currently a member of the Illinois State Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Committee.
https://twitter.com/adlerlaw

Rachel Honoway
Rachel is a partner at Rust Built Ventures, a firm that provides growth strategies and executive management and coaching for SaaS developers and digital media companies. She is currently serving as the President of the Performance Marketing Association Board of Directors. Rachel has been in the performance marketing industry since the late 90’s helping merchants launch new programs, assisting affiliates in starting their businesses and has been a part of developing technologies that help affiliates, publishers, bloggers, merchants and advertisers optimize their interactions and maximize the return on their relationships. You can listen to my podcast interview with Rachel here.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachelhonoway/

Shane Barker
Shane Barker has been in the influencer space for over 5 years and is a top contributor at INC, Huffington Post and Salesforce. He has a video influencer series with SEMrush called “Influencer Marketing with Shane Barker!” and has consulted with Puma, California Art Institute, IMAX plus many others.
https://twitter.com/shane_barker

Greg Bobolo
Greg Bobolo has a reputation as a visionary in the sports media and advertising markets. He made a mark with his last company showcasing the latent, under appreciated value of sports video highlights. Greg built a small $0 revenue video start-up to the largest professional sports video syndication business in the world. The company served all major sports MLB, NASCAR, NFL +70 and had a viewership of over 2.4B and a 9 figure valuation and is rated on com scores top 30 companies in the world for video. Greg is now leading a live video company capitalizing on the Live video and influencer trend utilizing his vast knowledge in pro sports to create the holy grail in live streaming.
https://twitter.com/GregBobolo

Angela Brooks
Angela Brooks is a creative marketing professional with nearly a decade of influencer marketing experience. She is currently VP of Brand Strategy at Terakeet, where she has helped shape the evolution and execution of the company’s influencer marketing product since 2009. Working with Terakeet’s Brand Strategy teams, Angela has helped define how social media, traditional marketing principles, and the concept of community engagement can be merged with SEO fundamentals to design and execute hundreds of innovative and successful campaigns for Terakeet’s renowned clients. Angela holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from the State University of New York at Oswego, and currently serves as Vice Chair on the Medical Research Charities Board of Directors.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelatrapasso/

Philip Brown
Bilingual influencer marketing strategist and keen author on the topic. Head of influencer marketing & brand advocacy at Come Round.
https://twitter.com/philipvdbrown

Carol Cheung
Carol Cheung brings over a decade of integrated marketing experience, with an emphasis in high-level strategy across digital and social media channels. Her client list is diverse and includes experience in telecommunications, CPG, finance, luxury goods/fashion and beauty. She is well versed in the US media landscape as well as abroad in Asia where she was responsible for driving digital strategy for key clients in Hong Kong and APAC. She is curious and most excited about the convergence of technology and media and how it ultimately impacts consumer behaviors.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/cheungcarol/

Alison Chew
Alison Chew is the Director of Partners & Innovation at Acceleration Partners. In this leadership role, she and her team cultivate large, innovative partnership opportunities for AP and their clients. They are also building out a world-class publisher development team to help grow affiliate programs for AP clients, which include adidas, ModCloth, Reebok, Target, Gymboree, Warby Parker and more. Her extensive performance marketing experience and invaluable industry relationships enabled Alison to develop AP Influence™, a unique service offering that connects top brands with top micro-influencers in a scalable, performance-based way.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/alison-chew-4086a95/

Michael Craddock
Michael previously ran his own brand and YouTube channel, becoming an “influencer” myself, achieving 300,000 YouTube Subscribers. Gaining experience of working with top brands and pushing their product further. He is now the co-founder at www.Kairosmedia.com, a social digital agency with a key expertise in influencer marketing. Helping brands transition into the digital age successfully. They help scale influencer campaigns globally taking into account the clients KPI, supported with production, amplification with surrounding influencers. This is backed up through our custom software allowing us to report and track campaigns for the client, knowing exactly where their marketing dollars have been spent.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-craddock-1660927a/

Todd Crawford
As a co-founder, Todd Crawford evangelizes the opportunities presented by a multi-channel approach to the performance model. Prior to Impact Radius, he served as vice president of sales and business development for Digital River’s affiliate network, oneNetworkDirect. Todd also contributed to the founding team at Commission Junction in 1998 and led its business and sales development efforts as vice president for more than seven years.
https://twitter.com/toddcrawford

Jennifer Dwork
Jennifer Dwork is the Head of Content & Partnerships at Book of the Month. She oversees the company’s content strategy, including social media, email marketing, public relations, and key brand partnerships. She helped to relaunch the 91-year old brand as an ecommerce subscription service company and build its audience through social media and content-driven partnerships. She was named to AdAge’s 40 Under 40 list in 2017 for her work on Book of the Month. Previously, Jennifer worked in Corporate Development and Strategy at TripAdvisor, and was a cable news television producer at CNBC and Bloomberg. She graduated from Columbia Business School in 2014.
https://twitter.com/jennydwork

Gil Eyal
Gil Eyal is the CEO and co-founder of HYPR, which organizes social media information and makes specific audiences reachable at scale. Founded in 2013, HYPR’s Search Engine leverages its smart index that houses profiles and audience demographic information for over 10 million influencers across major social channels.
https://twitter.com/gileyal

Mike Filbey
Mike Filbey has led the company to become the #1 online source of 100% grass-fed beef. Mike has grown the company by putting people in positions to be successful and keeping a relentless focus on what works. Mike views influencers as individuals, not just a channel, and ButcherBox has successfully built relationships with some of the biggest influencers in health and wellness. Mike loves the wilderness and spends his free time exploring the outdoors and volunteering as a youth soccer coach around Boston.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-filbey-4015ba2b/

Gena Hamshaw
Gena Hamshaw is the author of the blog The Full Helping, which she started in 2009. She is also the author of two cookbooks, Choosing Raw and Food52 Vegan; is a regular columnist for the website Food52; and she has contributed to or been featured in Self, Shape, Slate, The Washingtonian, Redbook, O Magazine, and more. She works regularly with brands and food companies on recipe development and professional food photography. She is also a nutrition counselor and is completing her master of science degree in nutrition and education at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. She lives in New York City.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/gena-hamshaw-38582146/

Sharon Hibbard
Sharon Hibbard is known to her followers as “The Message-to-Money Mentor.” An expert in marketing communications, Sharon works with her clients to identify their specific ideal audience, and clarify their unique “magnetic message,” enabling them to confidently communicate what makes them different and best-qualified to provide their product or service. Sharon’s clients learn to “MONETIZE” their message by infusing it into every aspect of their businesses – compelling copy and content, signature talks that sell, personalized products and packages – so they can establish authority, position themselves as experts in their field…and, most importantly, MAKE MONEY doing what they love to do.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonhibbard/

Marla Isackson
Marla Isackson is a seasoned marketing executive with over 25 years’ experience creating innovative marketing campaigns for world-famous brands including Citibank, American Express, Barnes & Noble, and WebMD. A longtime passionate supporter of womens’ initiatives, Marla is the founder of Like a Boss Girls (likeabossgirls.com), a website and social media franchise providing young women the tools, information and inspiration they need to define, explore and connect with their goals — including finding (or creating) their dream job, becoming entrepreneurs, social activists, leaders, basically pursuing success however they may define it. She is Treasurer and Board Member for The New Agenda (thenewagenda.net), an organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls.
https://www.facebook.com/misackson

Burak Kanber
Burak Kanber is an entrepreneur, software engineer and author with 15 years of experience. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the prestigious Cooper Union in New York City, where he concentrated on software modeling and simulation of hybrid vehicle powertrains. Burak is the author of “Genetic Algorithms in Java”, a machine learning textbook published by Apress, and the author of the popular “Machine Learning in Javascript” series. Before Tidal, Burak had founded several startups, most notably Niqos Inc, a boutique design and engineering firm that helped startups and small businesses solve difficult technical problems. Burak has helped dozens of companies launch products and is an active technology and startup advisor. He also occasionally teaches classes in computer programming and machine learning.
https://twitter.com/bkanber

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight leads the marketing and creative services teams as Chief Marketing Officer at Experticity. Prior to Experticity, he was the global head of creative and brand strategy at Pinterest and previously worked at the Facebook Creative Shop in New York City, where he developed some of the most successful campaigns in digital advertising. Kevin has also held marketing roles at Google and Microsoft. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Utah and his MBA from MIT.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinjknight/

Karen Koslow
Highly accomplished strategic marketer and entrepreneur with proved talent for envisioning and developing ideas into successful businesses and building peak-performing teams to support those growing businesses. Fueled by a passion for health + wellness and keen sense of the changing marketing landscape, Karen co-founded Wellness Amplified, the only influencer marketing company solely devoted to the health, wellness + nutrition verticals. Karen is the former Founder/CEO of Think 360, a nationally recognized integrated marketing agency and its health + wellness strategy arm, Antidote 360, both highly regarded for their multichannel big idea campaigns.
https://twitter.com/karenkoslow

Philip Kozyrev
Philip Kozyrev is the VP of Sales at Buzzweb, the AI-powered Influencer Marketing platform that brings together advertisers and 10K+ influencers from the US/UK with a total reach of 60M+ people. Buzzweb is focused on working only with the best performing micro-influencers who have 5-400K followers and an average engagement rate of 6%. Philip is a sales & marketing professional with 15 years of experience in top multinational companies and agencies.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/philip-kozyrev-013b57/

Nick Lamothe
Nick has been a part of the Reebok eCommerce and digital teams since 2011, driving strategy and execution for a range of direct response channels as well as leading brand-building business development programs. Recently Nick has lead the focus on micro-influencers at Reebok, guiding various teams as they attempt to measure and quantify the impact of influencer programs, as well as exploring new and emerging platforms and partners.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/nick-lamothe-b687a6a/

James Lamprey
James Lamprey is the founder of FunFoodsYT.com and host of an internet cooking show called FunFoods. He has grown large audiences on Facebook and Youtube. Each week James engages with his audience while teaching them how to create unique recipes. James is most known for his fun and interesting short format videos that are shared on Facebook. His videos have accumulated over 100 million views on this platform. James is happy to use his platforms for social good. He has participated in and raised money for many different charities. He is most proud of this work with the Maryland Special Olympics. Each year James and 2 of his nephews (Andrew & Matthew) volunteer their time at the Polar Bear Plunge. James has “taken the plunge” 4 of the last 5 years at this event (entered the freezing water of the Chesapeake Bay in January).
https://twitter.com/funfoodsyt

Jill Lublin
Jill Lublin is an international speaker on the topics of Radical Influence, Publicity, Networking, Kindness and Referrals. She is the author of 3 best selling books including Get Noticed…Get Referrals and co-author of Guerrilla Publicity and Networking Magic. Her latest book, Profit of Kindness, is published by Career Press. Jill is a master strategist on how to position your business for more profitability and more visibility in the marketplace. She is CEO of a strategic consulting firm and has over 20 years’ experience working with over 100,000 people plus national and international media.
https://twitter.com/jilllublin

Martin Marion
Marty Marion brings a broad digital perspective to iAffiliate Management. Supported by years of industry leadership in e-Commerce, Web Development, and Digital Marketing, Marty’s career dates back to his digital management role at Meyers Printing Company in 1994 where his 11-year tenure established his online success by bringing the DeskTop Labels business to market as one of the first secure “Buy Direct from the Manufacturer” websites in existence. The DTL website was launched in January of 1996 and the first electronic order was received from France. The online reach of the DTL website extended into one of the largest labeling initiatives in U.S. Naval history. In 2005, Marty partnered with local and overseas interactive digital marketers and web developers at Kingclicks LLC. Macy’s, The Minneapolis Downtown Council and the University of St. Thomas, are some of partnerships he and his team developed. Marty’s Affiliate background started when he joined Deluxe Corp in 2010 where he was actively engaged with their paid search team and affiliate programs, which included; Shop Deluxe, Bags & Bows, Deluxe Services, PsPrint, LogoMojo and Vertical Response. Marty accepted a position at iAffiliate Management where he now manages and leads client digital strategies that expands through affiliate, paid search, display, remarketing, and social.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/marty-marion-b303166/

Joshua McTee
Joshua McTee is the North American Social Strategy Lead for Geometry Global for clients such as Coca-Cola, Dannone, Chase, Chattem, American Airlines, IHG and Nabisco. Among other initiatives, he has brought influencer solutions to shopper and experiential projects. Prior to Geometry Joshua has worked as creative and media agencies such as Mindshare, mcgarrybowen, TBWA\Chiat Day and JWT building strategies that moved the needle across almost every vertical. One of the projects that he is most proud of is leading the strategy when CVS relaunched as a purpose driven company after removing tobacco from its stores.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshuamctee/

Cooper Munroe
Cooper Munroe, CEO of The Motherhood Inc., is an award-winning social media marketing expert & influencer marketing pioneer with 25+ years experience. Under her leadership, The Motherhood has created hundreds of effective social media campaigns for premier brands & nonprofits. The agency’s accolades include PR News’ Social Media Team of the Year, the AMA’s Pittsburgh Marketer of the Year, and many PRSA Renaissance Awards, including 2016 Agency of the Year, Best in Show & People’s Choice awards. Named PRSA’s Renaissance Communicator of the Year, Cooper has also won the BusinessWomen First Award, Enterprising Women of the Year Award & was named Parents Magazine’s Top 10 Power Mom on the Web.
https://twitter.com/coopermunroe

Matthew Myers
Matthew Myers has a degree in marketing from the Wharton School and has worked in technology for more than 12 years. During his time at Penn Matt renovated a 1903 8-bedroom brownstone, and managed IT operations for the University of Pennsylvania Department of Medicine. As co-founder of Tidal Labs Matt brings together his deep knowledge of both marketing and technology.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewmyers/

Lee Odden
Lee Odden is a digital marketing strategist, author, international keynote speaker and CEO of TopRank Marketing, a digital marketing agency serving major B2B brands that include SAP, Oracle and LinkedIn. Lee has evangelized a customer centric approach to integrated marketing by writing over 1.4 million words at toprankblog.com. He’s also given over 200 presentations about content, search, social and influencer marketing in 17 different countries and continues to lead marketing innovation and strategic development at his agency. When he’s not in full stack marketing mode, he’s traveling the world, spending time with his family and lamenting his average beard.
https://twitter.com/leeodden

Matthew Raven
Matthew Raven is a proven influencer marketing professional with extensive experience in constructing, optimizing and overseeing hundreds of influencer marketing campaigns. As a VP of Terakeet’s brand strategy department, he implements tested engagement strategies and drives tactical direction for brands of all kinds, from emerging disruptors to Fortune 100 companies. Having joined Terakeet as an intern in 2008, Matt has worked his way through the ranks, learning every facet of the business from the ground up. During his tenure he has lead, and continues to lead, Terakeet’s Digital Advocacy department, honed the company’s strategy development and client engagement efforts, and been a key asset to the new business team. Raven is a 2009 graduate of Ithaca College’s Park School of Communications.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthew-raven-0426073b/

Shahed Sajadieh
Shahed Sajadieh is speaker of the following session:
Digital Spontaneity: Where Engagement & Intimacy Count
https://www.linkedin.com/in/shsajadieh/

Jasmine Sandler
Jasmine Sandler, Founder & CEO of Agent-cy Online Marketing (2006), a B2B Social Media Agency and Training firm, is considered a thought leader in the Digital Marketing industry by Google, LinkedIn, and others for her excellence as an educator, author, speaker and strategist in Social Media Strategies for Key Executives, B2B Social Selling and Social Branding. Her speaker reel, client testimonials, blog, services, news, books and online courses can be found on www.jasminesandler.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/onlinebranding/

Ryan Schram
As Chief Operating Officer, Ryan Schram provides organizational and operational leadership for IZEA. With over 15 years of experience in the consumer marketing and technology space, Ryan has an established track record of driving growth, efficiency and profitability for leading-edge companies. Prior to joining IZEA in September 2011 as the Company’s first-ever Chief Marketing Officer, Ryan served as Group Vice President at ePrize (now HelloWorld), the prominent digital engagement agency that was acquired by private equity firm Catteron Partners in August 2012. His work has been regularly featured in the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, AdAge, and ADWEEK.
https://twitter.com/ryanschram

Greg Shepard
Greg Shepard is a seasoned veteran in building and running sustainable growth businesses. Greg’s former company, AffiliateTraction, was acquired by eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions in January of 2016, at which point he assumed the role of Chief Strategy Officer. The company then rebranded as Pepperjam in April 2016 in a transaction that earned several prestigious tech M&A awards.
After charting the company’s trajectory for future products and service offerings, Greg transitioned into his current role of Chief Technology Officer in 2017 to execute on the vision and strategy.
Prior to AffiliateTraction, Greg was involved with and/or co-founded a number of online retail merchants, publishers, SAAS affiliate tracking softwares, and directories, all of which were acquired. He has served on numerous advisory boards, is a regular contributor to industry publications, most recently Adweek, and a frequent speaker at conferences around the globe.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregshepard/

Heather Sliwinski
Heather Sliwinski is the PR lead at Nima, a San Francisco startup bringing peace of mind to mealtime. She has managed the corporate and product communications of some of tech’s most innovative companies, such as Samsung, Salesforce and VMware. She has seamlessly navigated between enterprise and consumer technology and has leveraged her deep experience to create a new category and fan base for Nima. Heather has a B.A. in journalism and mass communications with an emphasis in strategic communications and a certificate in business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is an active member and past leader of the Public Relations Society of America.
https://twitter.com/hsliwinski

Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty is the Brand and Community manager at InternetMarketingNinjas.com as well as the founder of MyBlogU.com. Ann has been into Internet Marketing for 10 years, she is the former Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Journal and contributor to prominent search and social blogs including Small Biz Trends and Mashable. Ann is also the frequent speaker at Internet Marketing conferences and the host of regular Twitter chats #vcbuzz and #myblogu.
https://twitter.com/seosmarty

Ryan Stern
Ryan has been instrumental in driving the vision, growth, and leadership of Collectively, a pioneering influencer marketing agency with offices in San Francisco and New York City. Her passion for the independent, digital creative community began in 2004 when she began food blogging while working full-time as an editor at the Los Angeles Times and Architectural Digest. She moved into marketing in 2007 at a food media startup and has since been focused on the intersection of social content and advertising, leading influencer marketing and content teams at Federated and Mode Media before launching Collectively in 2013. She was named Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Marketing & Advertising at the 2015 Stevie Awards, and Collectively was named a finalist for Content Marketing Agency of the Year by Digiday. Her work for clients has been recognized with wins in the OMMA Awards, Webby Awards, Effies, and WOMMYs.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/sternryan/

Jessica Thorpe
Jessica is Co-founder and President of gen.video, and a pioneer in Social Commerce with over 10 years of progressive video production, influencer marketing and ecommerce experience. She is responsible for leading company strategy, building out a best in-class influencer marketing platform, and development of service offerings focused on bridging the gap between social media and ecommerce. She is passionate about helping brands and retailers authentically tell their stories to better engage consumers and drive greater sales. Prior to joining gen.video ten years ago, Jessica has held strategy and marketing roles at CourtTV (now TruTV. She is a Boston transplant, studied at Emerson College and is a busy mom of three.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicathorpe/

Kim Westwood
Kim Westwood is the Founder & Managing Director of Shopping Links, a cost-effective influencer marketing platform that connects global brands & designers with a network of 10,000+ influencers from 103 countries. Kim was a finalist for the Entrepreneur Award in the 2016 Telstra Business Women’s Awards and earned Shopping Links the Business Export Award at the 2016 Governor of Victoria Business Export Awards in Australia. Shopping Links was also named a SMART 100 company by Anthill Magazine. Kim launched her first entrepreneurial tech project in 2012, a social shopping site designed to make online shopping more rewarding. She writes for Convince & Convert, Tech.co & Business2Community.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimwestwood/

Deena Zenyk
A Principal Consultant with more than 10 years of hands-on experience in advocate marketing, Deena is widely regarded as a subject matter expert and pioneer in the field. Having designed, built and managed from the ground up a best-in-class advocacy portfolio for an education technology company, which eventually included a fully-optimized, on- and off-line, cross-departmental approach to advocacy, she now works primarily with enterprise-level clients providing strategic advocate marketing guidance. Her client list includes Marketo, IBM, Salesforce, HPE, Oracle, EMC, VMware and Cisco.
https://twitter.com/DeenaZenyk

See you at Influencer Marketing Days!

If you took the time to count through the list, you will find that we were one short. That’s right, don’t forget about me! — Be sure to follow everyone on the list above, and don’t forget to connect with me at Influencer Marketing Days and to attend my “How to Become an Authority Through Content Marketing” session on Day 1 of the event, Monday, September 25th, 2017 at 4:45pm.

Also stay active with all Influencer Marketing Days trending events and social updates by following #InfluencerDays on Twitter and Facebook.

12 Ways to Successfully Market to Gen Z by Leveraging Social Media

As entrepreneurs and businesses are always on the look out for new ways to make money and target demographic audiences, it’s important to always think about the next generation of young adults that are just waiting around the corner. Described as the country’s first fully digital generation and typically made up of consumers under the age of 20, Generation Z holds an impressive combined purchasing power of $44 billion, making it a promising market for any brand hoping to thrive in the near future. Yet marketing to this generation can be problematic for many businesses, especially those still keen on more traditional ways of engaging with their audience.

Like millennials before them, Gen Z consumers prefer to make their purchases in brick-and-mortar stores, according to an Accenture study. But social media has the biggest impact on their shopping choices, with two out of three Gen Z members interested in buying via social channels directly. A perfect example of this would be the world of fashion and how so many individuals are creating their own style and fashion followings of their own through social platforms like Instagram. However, it’s not just about social. It’s also happening with online content as well. Take a look at these top social media fashion bloggers and see how they are not only growing a following online but also making some serious money and growing their own brands in the process. If this is something of interest to you, be sure to check out this fashion blogging guide on how you can get started with a blog of your own.

Below, 12 entrepreneurs from YEC share their insights on how marketers and brands can leverage social media to successfully appeal to the growing Gen Z customer base.

1. Tailor Your Content

Creating the right content for the demographic is key to reaching and resonating. Every channel that has your audience on it has the potential to be useful in growing your consumer base. So for Gen Z, channels such as Snapchat and Instagram are obvious initial options. Good content will transcend channel. Paying attention to what your audience likes is the key to reaching Gen Z or any group.

Brennan White, Cortex

2. Let Them Take the Lead

We see a lot of brands swing and miss when it comes to trying to connect with younger people on social media. I think one of the best ways to approach people is to not force it. People can tell when a brand is trying too hard from a mile away. Instead let them take the lead, see what they want, the language they use, the sites they visit and what goes viral, and work around that in a more genuine way.

Sean Ogle, Location Rebel

3. Focus on Video Sharing Apps

Gen Z is increasingly visual and loves telling the stories of their lives with video, as well as hanging out with video hangout apps. Facebook and Twitter may not appeal to them; instead, focus on Instagram and Snapchat where you can create more “genuine” experiences and interact with them at their level. Apps such as Houseparty will probably become increasingly popular.

Marcela De Vivo, Brilliance

4. Reach Them on Multiple Platforms

Most people today are active on multiple devices and platforms but this is especially true of Generation Z. You should assume that they are active with email, text messages, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and other social media sites. It’s not enough to just have their email address, for example. In order to communicate with them, it’s best if you can reach out to them in as many ways as possible.

Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

5. Use Social to Get Hyper Local

Gen Z customers are both hyper-connected and crave in-person experiences. The biggest opportunity companies have is to appeal to their user base by figuring out where their largest fan bases are located and creating pop-up events that surprise and delight. Aside from the lift in loyalty, events create a lot of content that’s typically shared, which will help boost social media following.

Mark Krassner, Expectful

6. Use Digital Brand Ambassadors

Generation Z is perhaps the first wave of consumer that is truly, fully native to the digital landscape. As a result, Gen Z can be quick to tune out messages that don’t stand out. The best way to their hearts is by leveraging brand ambassadors online. If someone they already follow and admire is sincerely singing your praises, Gen Z will be much more likely to give you a second look.

Ryan Wilson, FiveFifty

7. Showcase Experiences

Gen Z members, as well as millennials, prefer experiences to hard product sells. Even if you’re a product company, use video and photos on social media to showcase how your products can enhance a travel, dining or unique experience.

Adelyn Zhou, TOPBOTS

8. Don’t Try Too Hard

There’s no use trying to “fit in with the kids” on social media. They’ll notice if you’re using their jargon wrong or trying too hard to be one of them. Say what you need to say in simple, short terms and cater your posts to the audience you always market to. Every generation is on social media.

Kevin Conner, BroadbandSearch

9. Create Hundreds of Unique Ad Sets

Generic advertising is increasingly less effective, especially on social media. Younger audiences respond very well to ads that appear to be tailored specifically to them. Facebook ads allow you to target hyper-niche groups with unique ad copy that will help your message feel extra personal.

Nicholas Haase, Startup Drugz

10. Specialize in the Unusual

You have to think two generations ahead. That means developing attractive, engaging and unconventional content with relevant subject matter. It could be opposing or comparing social issues, trends, fashion, technology and business. Creating strategic topics with searchable keywords will also help.

Patrick Barnhill, Specialist ID, Inc.

11. Remember, Looks Are Everything

Generation Z will judge your brand based on appearance. What does this mean? Gen Z members will instantly devalue your brand if your site looks outdated, isn’t responsive, or you don’t have an established social presence. Because of their visual instinct, Instagram and Snapchat are two of the top social platforms for brands to share their story and grab the attention of the elusive Gen Z.

Duran Inci, Optimum7

12. Sell Directly on Social Media

Now that you can make payments directly through Facebook and Snapchat, use it to offer your products and services so that your audience can make an immediate purchase rather than making them take more time to navigate elsewhere.

Angela Ruth, Calendar

Are You Ready for Generation Z?

If you were to look at some of the most successful businesses and brands over the last several decades, you will find many that made a great portion of their earnings off an individual Generation set. With the internet now fully accessible around the world and mobile devices in everyone’s hands, targeting such an audience is now easier than ever before. If you enjoyed this expert round up, I recommend you also take a look at our previous ones on how to form a partnership in business and ten ways to grow your brand as your business grows.