6 Content Marketing Tricks to Boost Your Traffic

By | Copywriting | No Comments

If you have been around in the digital marketing space for some time you are likely to know just how powerful content marketing can be.

Through our research we have also found that companies that use content marketing effectively experience conversion rates up to six times higher than companies who don’t.

Content is definitely king but as more and more businesses cotton on to this fact, the marketplace is becoming increasingly saturated and highly competitive.

While there are an infinite number of content marketing strategies out there, it can be hard to compete or find new and interesting ways to reach your audience that are guaranteed to work.

Not all content marketing strategies are created equally, which means that not all of them are worth your time or the money.

The type of strategies that you decide to use will depend on your brand’s individual needs, but in this article we are going to share with you some of the top content marketing strategies that have been proven to yield prosperous results.

Many of the strategies included in this article have helped businesses just like yours to boost traffic, increase conversion rates and drive sales.

In fact, some of these strategies have helped brands to grow their traffic by over 140 percent in just six months.

Whether you are an e-commerce store, SaaS, B2B or B2C, here are six of the content marketing strategies that you have been waiting for-

1.) Have Numerous Landing Pages

Landing pages can be extremely effective so there is no point stopping at just one. In fact, with all the competition out there and the differing needs of your customers, it would be foolish to not create multiple landing pages.

HubSpot data shows that companies who have more landing pages not only attract more traffic but are also able to boost their conversion rates. This is because the landing pages can be tailored to suit different customer segments.

When it comes to the magic number of landing pages you should consider, statistics show that 10 to 15 may just be the happy spot.

According to HubSpot data- “While most companies don’t seen an increase in leads when increasing their total number of landing pages from 1-5 to 6-10, companies do see a 55 percent increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15.”

This data was also consistent across both B2B and B2C companies, proving that the more landing pages you have, the more likely you are to reach new customers who are interested in your brand.

While having multiple landing pages is proven to drive traffic and boost leads, you still have to ensure that the landing pages you create are relevant and desirable for your customers.

When deciding on what landing pages to create, it may help to think about your customer’s needs, wants and desires and use this data as inspiration for your landing pages. One way to do this would be to create a landing page for each different segment of your customers.

Aim to create at least 5-6 landing pages for each customer segment and then at least one variation of each of these pages. This approach should help you to reach the recommended number of landing pages.

When it comes to segmenting your audience, think about their demographics, their readiness to buy and whether they are a repeat customer or not.

Once you have created your different segments, create a call to action for each so your landing page is direct and purposeful.

2.) Create and Use Infographics 

Time and time again infographics have been proven to help drive traffic to your landing page and website. Infographics also yield high engagement rates on social media and often go viral.

Currently, statistics show us that infographics are liked and shared three times more frequently than other content on social media.

Publishers who use infographics have also been shown to grow their traffic 12 percent more than those who don’t. Here are some interesting statistics about infographics from Twitter-

  • 540 Infographics are tweeted every hour
  • 87,000 Infographics are shared every week
  • 354,000 Infographics are tweeted every month
  • 6 million Infographics have been tweeted in total

As you can see, the combination of text and images is a highly effective content marketing strategy and one that is definitely worth investing in. Infographics are also a great way to present information that may be hard to understand or digest.

Consider taking some of your most popular blog posts or even most popular consumer questions and turning them into infographics. There are many design programs out there that can help you to create infographics easily and for relatively low cost.

Once you have created your infographics, share them across all the social media platforms you are on and with your email list. Be sure that you also include share buttons along with your infographic, as this will ensure that it reaches a wider audience.

3.) Create Epic Blog Posts

Epic blog posts usually contain oodles of valuable information, images, graphics, statistics and more.

Epic blog posts also go above and beyond the normal blog posts out there to offer readers something of extra value.

When you strive to offer extra value to your readers, your readers often return the favour. It may not happen instantly, but over time research has shown that readers start to develop a feeling of trust and rapport with the brand.

We have seen time and time again that brands who take the effort to create epic blog posts that are valuable to readers, become leaders in their field and go on to become well known and respected by all of their followers.

Epic blog posts are also ranked better by most search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing as they are increase the amount of time visitors spend on a site and the authority of the brand.

When it comes to creating epic blog posts, think about constructing them as a type of informative guide that people can read to understand detailed information about a certain topic relating to your brand.

Good topics include frequently asked customer questions or even areas of expertise that your company deals in.

By providing this type of valuable information for free it helps to enhance your reputation and increase the perceived value of your brand. It also helps to build your name as a leader in your field.

Creating epic style blog posts can definitely be time consuming and even costly, but they are definitely worth the effort. Consider scaling back how frequently you post blog content and instead use your time to create fewer higher quality, epic ones.

For the best results long term, consider blending both long and short blog content so you can test out what is working for you and how your audience is responding.

4.) Create Video Content 

Creating video content is a great way to build up a following and score more leads. In fact, video content has been proven to be one of the most successful content marketing strategies around. It is also one of the fastest growing content mediums on the internet.

Hubspot data discovered that by 2019, over 80 percent of all internet traffic will be from videos. This is a huge statistic and proves that more and more, people are turning to video content to gain information.

Hubspot data also reported that four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product or service than read about it. They also found that 43 percent of consumers would like to see more video content online from brands.

All of these statistics support the fact that video content is one of the most beneficial mediums around when it comes to content marketing.

Video content is also a great way to drive more traffic and to tap into a new audience. YouTube, which is one of the largest video sharing platforms is also one of the largest search engines online, giving your brand and business a new way to reach buyers.

When it comes to the type of video content that you should share, here are some statistics about the type of video content that people would like to see-

  • 45 percent social media posts
  • 44 percent news articles
  • 33 percent online classes and educational games
  • 31 percent interactive articles or tools
  • 31 percent research content
  • 29 percent blog posts
  • 21 percent long form content (epic style blog posts)
  • 17 percent pop culture news
  • 17 percent podcasts

There are unlimited ways to use videos in your content marketing strategy, so think about what may appeal to your audience and start experimenting from there.

For best results, start by sharing one to two videos each week to see what your audience responds to the best.

5.) Share Live Videos

Live videos are becoming more and more popular on social media with platforms like Instagram and Facebook rolling out more and more live video features.

Live videos are a relatively new type of content marketing but that doesn’t mean that it should be dismissed. In fact if anything, live video should be embraced as a content marketing strategy and thoroughly tested and experimented with.

Statistics are already showing us that 50 percent of marketers plan on using live video services as part of their content marketing strategy and 50 percent also want to learn more about live video and the many features and benefits.

By starting with live video sooner rather than later, it can help you to stay ahead of the trends and become a pioneer for this type of marketing. It can also help you to reach out to a new audience and get your brand in the face of your most desired customers.

People spend at least three times longer watching live videos than they do regular videos and on Facebook alone, live videos generate at least 8 billion views every single day. These statistics are powerful and should be enough of a reason to start experimenting with this medium starting from today.

There are four main places where live videos are best created, Google Hangouts, Periscope, Facebook and Instagram.

Google Hangouts and Periscope are great for scheduling webinars, information sessions and even smaller group masterminds. They are also a great way to offer exclusive content or information to a select group of your customers or leads.

On social media platforms like Facebook, you can create a live video and reply to comments and answer questions in real time. The video also remains on your feed for other people to watch and comment on at a later time. A new feature that Facebook live video also offers is using stickers. This helps to create fun and even funny live videos that can be entertaining for your audience to watch.

Instagram live video also works in a very similar way except for the fact that videos are not left in your feed once you stop recording. Instagram is still working on creating features for their live video platform, but many brands have already started to experiment with what is already on offer.

Live videos are a great way to reach your audience in a more personal and friendly way. Live videos help to build that one on one connection and to build an authentic rapport with your audience.

While creating a live video may seem time consuming or even nerve-wracking, the benefits can be worth their weight in gold. Many companies that start using live videos as part of their content marketing strategy go on to see huge waves of traffic and build new leads from all corners of the internet.

Live videos don’t have to be elaborate either and are more about building a genuine connection with your audience.

For this reason, good topics to focus on include a question and answer type session, a preview of a product, an upcoming product launch, a mini tutorial and a special announcement.

6.) Share Other People’s Content 

Did you know that only 5 percent of blogs online do not share other people’s content?

Sharing other people’s content on your site may seem counterintuitive or even unproductive, but there are many benefits to syndicating or sharing other brand’s content.

While we would never recommend sharing other people’s content without their permission, there are ethical ways that you can share previously curated content and still reap the benefits

One third of all the blogs online share other people’s content on a daily basis and there are some proper ways to do this without injuring your SEO or the precious reputation of your brand.

Research has even shown that sharing other people’s content can help to boost your brand equity, establish your company as a thought leader and can bring in a steady stream of reliable and engaged traffic.

Statistics even show that 41 percent of marketers that curate content state that it has increased the number of their sale-ready leads.

If sharing other people’s content makes you feel nervous, this is probably for good reason. There are beneficial ways to share content on your site and then there are some detrimental ways to share content on your site if you don’t know the correct steps.

When you copy content onto your website, Google can sometimes flag it as plagiarism and push it further down in search results. Copied content can also discredit your brand and get you into trouble with other blogs or publications if you haven’t followed their guidelines.

For effective sharing of content, ensure that you ask for permission from the author first and then follow any crediting rules that they present. Be sure to also credit the appropriate author and the URL of the site.

For best SEO practices, see if you can change the title of the article but be sure to check first, as some publications will not allow you to change text.

Sharing content has benefits for the original author too as it helps them to generate backlinks and boost their traffic and SEO. In return, it also helps your brand to do the same, so when done correctly it really is a win-win for everyone involved.

Summary 

There are so many great content strategies out there but landing pages, infographics, epic style blog posts, videos, live videos and shared content are the top six places to start.

By harnessing the power of each of these content marketing mediums, your brand will be well on the way to developing a smooth stream of traffic, leads and sales.

To sum it all up, here are the most important points to remember when it comes to each content marketing strategy-

Landing Pages

  • 10-15 landing pages is said to be the happy medium
  • Experiment with creating different landing pages for each audience segment
  • Create a different call to action for each landing page in order to create a specific and designed purpose for each landing page
  • Split test your landing pages to see what works and what your audience is most likely to respond to
  • Use your landing pages to sell, promote and market your products and to build your leads

Infographics

  • Rated one of the most popular types of content online, infographics are a great way to share information quickly and effectively
  • Infographics receive high engagement rates and are often shared and liked all over social media
  • Infographics can be a great way to present complex information or to simplify customer questions and queries
  • Infographics can be easily created using online software or simple graphic programs- there are even sites that will offer templates that you can use
  • Share infographics across all of your social media platforms, like LinkedIn for maximum benefits

Epic Blog Posts

  • Epic blog posts are long form blog posts that are usually over 2,000 words and contain graphics, tables, data and images
  • Epic blog posts help to establish your authority as a brand and also help to attract the most desirable customers to your business
  • Epic style blog posts are great for SEO and are automatically ranked higher in search results on popular search engines like Google
  • Epic style blog posts keep your audience engaged for longer and also help to provide lots of value
  • Statistics show that when readers feel like they have received a lot of value from a brand they are more likely to do business with them and more likely to trust them in the long run
  • Epic style blog content is also a way to give back to your customers and shows that you care and are passionate about the services or products you offer

Video Content 

  • More and more consumers are looking to watch videos instead of reading content online
  • Videos are a great way to reach a wider audience and help your brand to get exposure on one of the largest search engines around, YouTube
  • Videos are a great way to show your products or services in real time and help to develop a deeper relationship with your audience
  • Just one to two videos per week can help to drive traffic to your brand and can help you to gain more leads and sales

Live Videos

  • Live videos are a great way to build up a relationship with your audience and to share a more intimate message with your audience
  • Live videos are great for demonstrations and sharing updates, tips and tricks
  • Live videos are increasing in popularity and are becoming one of the hottest new marketing tools around, by embracing this medium sooner rather than later it can help your brand to become a pioneer
  • Live videos are watched much more frequently than regular videos on social media, making them a much more effective way of getting your message across

Sharing Other People’s Content

  • Sharing other people’s content is a great way to drive traffic to your site and expand your audience
  • Sharing other people’s content can also save you time and can be mutually beneficial as long as you follow the best practices
  • When sharing other people’s content be sure to ask for permission and follow all the rules and instructions by the author
  • If you can, change the title of the copied post to help boost your SEO

Are you going to try some of these content marketing strategies today?

How to Rank at the Top of Google’s Search Results Fast

By | SEO | No Comments

How long does it really take to rank at the top of Google’s search results? Unfortunately this question is like asking how long is a piece of string.

There is no set formula or set time frame to get into the good books at Google, but there are some ways that you can give yourself the best chance possible.

Ranking high up in Google’s search results can be worth its weight in gold and can send a stream of customers to your website that are interested in what you have to offer.

In fact, many of the businesses that we work with report that organic traffic from search engines like Google, consistently yields them the highest conversion rates and the highest returns of investment.

There is no doubt that being high up on Google’s search results is where your brand wants to be, but it can be extremely competitive to reach this place and there is also often a lot of costly trial and error involved.

We have seen businesses spend thousands of dollars trying to rank higher in Google and still get nowhere. We have also seen businesses spend zero on SEO and rank consistently well.

SEO is an art as much as it is a science and while there is no “one size fits all” method, there are some proven ways to guarantee results.

By following some of the (free) tips and tricks outlined in this article, you will be well on your way to ranking higher in Google’s search results in no time at all.

Ready to rank at the top of Google’s search results? Let’s get started…

Learn the Gold Standard SEO Practices

If you want to rank on the first page of Google’s search results then you need to follow the best practices. These practices are going to ensure that your website stands the best possible chance of being ranked highly by Google. 

There is a lot of information out there about SEO, but these top evergreen tips are going to ensure that you are always following the gold standards. 

1.) Build Credible Links

The number one way to ensure that your content makes it to that all-important first page is to focus on building credible links. Emphasis on the word credible. 

This is not about building spammy links, instead it is about building links on credible sites that have merit and clout in the online world. In fact, the more credible the site, the better your SEO is likely to be. 

The credible sites you target are going to depend on your niche and industry, but top news sites or magazines are a great place to start. 

To get a link on one of these credible sites there are a few ways to go about it- 

1.) Submit a guest post 

2.) Hire a publicist 

3.) Reach out to the writers/journalists at top publications

The last option is our preferred method as it not only helps you to get mentioned in a reputable site but it also helps you to build your network. 

Having an article written by a third party is also a great way to promote your brand without appearing salesy. 

Along with reaching out to the big sites, you can also target boutique websites in your niche as well. Link building on these sites can also drastically improve your SEO as long as you know which sites to target.

When approaching “boutique” sites, ensure that they are regularly updated, aligned with your brand and have a strong following. They don’t need to have millions of followers, but they do need to have some level of fan engagement. 

It is recommend to build at least 25 credible links for the best and fastest results. The average site that had at least 25 credible links and followed other SEO gold standard practices took just 100 days to make it to the top of Google.

For this ranking to last however, regular links have to be created at least every few months.

 2.) Use Appropriate Keywords

We talk a lot about keywords on this blog and for good reason. Choosing the right keywords is paramount to getting your website and brand found by the right customers. 

The best keywords are the ones that directly target what your customers may be looking for. For example, if you run a massage shop the perfect keywords are going to include things like “massage for sore back”, “relaxation massage” or “massage in Melbourne”. 

As you can see, there are endless keywords on offer, but the ones that are going to work the best for your business are the ones that are aligned with your customers needs, wants and desires. 

Brands that spend the time to work out what their customers are looking for and target their keywords appropriately, see the best and fastest results when it comes to making it to the illustrious first page of Google. 

Selecting the perfect keywords could be a blog topic all on its own, but this should be enough to give you a head start in the right direction. You can also read more about selecting keywords here.

3.) Keep a Blog and Update it Regularly

Blogging is one of the best ways to boost your SEO. Why? Blogging helps your site to rank for both short and long tail keywords. Blogging also helps to drive more traffic to your site. 

Through our research we have also found that companies that keep a blog rank on the top of Google’s search results more frequently and faster. 

This is especially true if the blog is updated regularly and includes fresh, original content that is well presented with numbered or bulleted sections or subheadings. 

Longer style blog posts and list style posts also gain attention from Google, as they are deemed to be more valuable to readers. 

Blogs can take a while to gain traction on Google’s search results, however with continued effort you will soon start to see results. 

3.) Be Present on Social Media

Indirect link building though social media is also a great way to get into the top position on Google. It is also important to note however, that indirect link building should not replace direct link building from credible sites, instead it should be used in conjunction with it.

For best practices, create and maintain accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other popular social networks. 

There are many social networks to choose from, but the best choice is going to be where your customers frequent the most often. 

Another trick is to share and post articles on Google+. Seeing as this social network is owned by Google, it gives content on this platform preference over many other listings. 

In fact, while being on Facebook and Instagram is great as an overall strategy, posting on Google+ will dramatically speed up how long it takes you to make it to first place on Google.

4.) Use Original Images

When possible, aim to use original images on your website or on your blog. These can include everything from branded designs to graphs and flow charts. 

Using original images helps to ensure that your site also ranks in Image searches and helps to improve the overall SEO of your site. To help your image rank, be sure to save the file using the appropriate keywords. You can also add the appropriate keywords to the “alt-text” field as well when uploading it to your site.

If you do need to use stock images, one tip that you can try is slightly editing or cropping the image and renaming it to something else. This helps to ensure that the image will come up for your brand’s search terms and not for the search terms of the stock image company. 

5.) Have a Mobile Site

Mobile devices are quickly becoming the number one way to browse the internet and search for businesses, products and services.

As the popularity of mobile browsing increases, it is going to become more and more important to ensure that your brand is easily accessed online through a mobile device.

In supporting this new trend, Google gives ranking preference to sites that also have a mobile version as well. 

 In fact, without a mobile version of your website, your page stands to be demoted to the darker corners of the world wide web.

Most website designs on popular platforms like WordPress have built in mobile friendly pages, but if you have a custom coded site it may be worthwhile coding a mobile version as well. 

You can read more about creating a mobile friendly website here.

6.) The Overall Design and Layout of Your Site

Finally, the last gold standard practice when it comes to SEO is having a well designed site. This includes a site that is easy to read, easy to navigate and super fast.

Websites with a slow load time are demoted by Google’s search algorithm and can also cost your brand its reputation. 

 Google also pays attention to how long visitors are spending on your site as well, which is why it is important to keep your visitors engaged every step of the way.

Having a clean site that runs smoothly and gets your visitors to where they need to be is crucial if you want Google to take notice. 

While there are no hard and fast rules about what your website should contain, here are some pointers to keep in mind- 

  • Aim to have one just intention or call to action per landing page, this will help to make your design cleaner and will also improve your conversion rates
  • Have a menu that is easy to navigate and can effectively direct your visitors to where they need to go
  • Use bold, clear text that is easy to read and understand 
  • Compress your images and keep uploaded files to a minimum in order to decrease page load time
  • Keep your visitors engaged and moving through your sales funnel by offering informative, entertaining and relevant content

By following these six gold standard practices when it comes to SEO, your site will be eligible to get into the top positions on Google. 

But if you are already following all of these steps and wondering how you can get to the top faster without spending an astronomical amount, here are some sneaky tips you can use- 

5 Sneaky Tips to Get You to the Top of Google Faster

1.) Get Your Blog Posts Linked 1 Month After Publishing

You know by now how important it is to keep a blog and to build links, but if you really want to capitalise on this then aim to build links for every blog post your write one month after publishing. 

According to a recent report conducted by online marketing guru, Neil Patel, there is an 1.8 month window after publishing a blog post where Google is paying close attention. 

“This (1.8 months) is your contest’s period of maximum freshness. Google sees it, likes it and wants to rank it. It just needs a little more assurance that it is worth publishing. That assurance comes in the form of link building.”

Creating links after this time frame proved to make it harder for Google to rank content and slowed down the time it took for an article to get ranked. 

This means building links of your freshest content is the way to go if you want to speed up your chances of getting ranked higher in search results. 

2.) Know Your Competition

There are probably hundreds of websites out there competing for the same keywords as you. While there is nothing wrong with competing with these sites you have to know which keywords to target and which ones are going to be a waste of time. 

When it comes to determining whether or not it is worth your time and effort competing for a certain keyword, you need to look at the domain rating of your site versus your competitors. 

If your competitor has a higher domain rating, it may not be worth trying to compete for the keyword. If you have the same domain rating however, it is more likely to be worth your time to compete. 

In order to work out your domain rating, we recommend using a site like Ahrefs.com. This site offers a domain rating which is recorded based on how strong the overall backlinks of a site are. 

According to the website- “Ahrefs rating shows how strong the overall backlink of a given website is on a logarithmic scale from 1 to 100”. 100 is considered as being the highest, whereas 1 is considered to be the lowest. 

A website that ranks on the first page of Google averages a domain rating of at least 49. By understanding your own sites rating, it will help you to know how long it may take to dominate the search page listings. Higher domain ratings are more likely to rank number one, whereas lower domain ratings are less likely to rank in the first few pages. 

Increasing your domain rating is very similar to following gold standard SEO practices as well, so if your site does have a lower than average rating, know that it is possible to change this. 

Another way around competing for keywords is to create a long tail keyword instead. For example, if you are trying to rank for “mattress”, perhaps try instead to rank for “pillow top mattress” or “comfy mattresses made in Australia”. This not only creates a more specific search term but it also helps your site to stand a chance with your competitors.  

4.) Create a Viral Campaign on Social Media

Another way to rank in Google’s search results faster is to create a viral campaign. Sounds easy enough, right?

Creating a viral campaign is definitely not something that can be replicated, however there are ways you can position your content to make it go viral. 

The simplest way to do this is to create a catchy headline and position it with a captivating image in order to direct traffic to your page. 

Viral content often captures an emotion of some kind, so think about what emotions your headline and article wants to stir up. Positive emotions tend to perform better compared to fear based ones, however this may be something you need to experiment with. 

Having your content shared multiple times on different social media platforms helps to build more indirect links and can get you noticed by Google. 

There is often some debate in the digital marketing community about the influence of social media on SEO, but we have found that it definitely appears to be a strong contributing factor. 

5.) Get Active on YouTube

Earlier we mentioned how effective it could be to get active on Google’s very own social network, Google+. The same strategy goes when it comes to getting on YouTube. 

Owned by Google as well, being active on YouTube is a great way to build your brand and rank higher in search results. 

YouTube itself is one of the most popular search engines in the world and Google pays attention to what is being searched for, downloaded and watched. 

While creating a solid YouTube channel may take a while, sites that have an active account are more likely to rank higher in search results. 

Creating videos is also a great way for new customers to find you and to enhance the reputation of your brand. 

Conclusion

It would be nice if we could tell you that following the steps above will get you ranked on the first page of Google in just 30 days, but unfortunately that is not how it works. 

By following the steps above however, your chances are drastically increased of making it to the top of the search results, not just on Google but on other popular search engines too like Bing and Yahoo. 

While following the gold standard SEO practices is important, the “sneaky tips” will also help to supercharge your performance and will get your customers to your page faster and with less hassle. 

There is no doubt that ranking high in Google’s search results is powerful, but it is also not the be all and end all of your brand’s success. There are plenty of other ways to get customers to your website such as building an email list, social media and so on. 

While ranking high up on Google is great, for lasting and true success you have to push beyond this and get your brand out there in more ways than one. 

Here is a recap of the top main points of this article- 

  • Follow the gold standard SEO practices at all times in order to ensure your site has a chance of being ranked by Google.
  • Choose keywords based on your customers needs, wants and desires for maximum effect.
  • Keep a regularly updated blog that contains valuable information and keywords.
  • Reach out to websites both big and small in order to build links (you can also guest contribute to other sites in exchange for sharing a link).
  • Aim to get your freshest content linked within 1 month for maximum chances of getting ranked by Google.
  • Be active on social media, particularly on Google+ and YouTube- which are both owned by Google.
  • Check the domain rating of your site and your competitors, to know where you stand and when to compete on certain keywords.
  • Maintain a clean overall layout of your website and ensure that everything loads fast and is easy to navigate.

Being consistent it also important when it comes to getting in the top of Google’s search results. In fact, even when you make it to the top there is still a certain amount of “maintenance” that is required, such as continuing to build links and posting fresh blog content. 

SEO is an always evolving process so staying up to date with the latest trends and algorithm updates can also be helpful. 

So, when it comes to getting ranked on Google quickly, unfortunately there is no hard and fast rules, but following these steps you will definitely put you in the front running seat. 

How to Get 9,000 Genuine Instagram Followers Every Month

By | Social Media | No Comments

Instagram is one of the most rapidly growing social media platforms around and can help to deliver waves of traffic to your website or landing page.

The platform is so powerful that some of the brands we work with are finding that at least 50 percent of their overall traffic is coming straight from Instagram.

No matter what type of business you run, whether you are in e-commerce, an artist, an entrepreneur, a B2B or SaaS, Instagram is the place to be.

As one of the most rapidly growing social media platforms out there, Instagram holds a treasure chest of opportunities that are just waiting to be explored. To access these treasures however, you need to have a strong following.

Instagram has an estimated 600 million active monthly users, so there is no excuse for not being able to grow your following by the hundreds, if not thousands every single week.

There is also no excuse for not getting some of the 600 million monthly active users over to your landing page, website or onto your email list.

When you boost your Instagram following, it not only helps to build your brand but it also helps to grow your leads, sales and profits.

In this article, we are going to share with you some fail proof ways to build close to 9,000 active Instagram followers every single month.

This is not just about getting followers fast using shady tactics, this is about getting followers who are genuinely interested in your content and are likely to become loyal, paying customers over time.

So let’s get started….

Instagram’s Latest Features 

Instagram has been around since 2010, so most marketers are familiar with how it works. You snap a picture, pick a cool filter and write a witty caption. This is the foundation to Instagram and what allowed it rise to fame.

But since 2010, a lot has changed and even though the foundation is still there, Instagram has introduced many interesting features, including video sharing, advertising, Instagram Stories, Live Video feeds and so much more.

While Instagram is likely to keep updating and tweaking things as time goes on, here is a brief understanding of the major feature changes to Instagram in the last year-

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories were introduced in 2016 and work in a very similar way to Snapchat. They are are not part of the regular Instagram feed and instead, appear at the top of people’s “home pages”.

Instagram stories involve taking several images or short videos in order to create a “story”. These images and videos can also be edited to include text, hand drawings, emoji and stickers.

For verified Instagram accounts, you can also insert links into your stories so users can go straight to your content.

Like Snapchat, the stories are only available for 24 hours and disappear after this time frame. Currently, unless the user takes a screen shot, there is no way to save the image or video.

Instagram Stories are a great way to share glimpses of your day or to paint a picture over a period of time. For example, you may share a story of a product launch from start to finish or a piece of artwork from start to finish.

The images and videos used in Instagram Stories are much more casual and have a more “realistic”, down to earth feel. This is different to the average Instagram feed, which often includes highly curated photos that are edited and tweaked to perfection.

The idea with an Instagram Story is to give people a snapshot into your life or into the life of your brand and what happens on a day to day level.

Instagram’s Live Video

Another new feature on Instagram is their Live Video option. This is still very new and is just starting to catch on.

Similarly to Facebook Live, Instagram Live allows users to post live videos as part of their story. You can only watch live videos as they are being filmed however, so once the user stops streaming the video vanishes.

These new features are definitely something to pay attention to when it comes to building your following on Instagram and it will be valuable if you can get comfortable with how to use them.

Boosting Your Following

Now that you have a basic understanding of the features, it is time to turn your attention to creating an Instagram account that gets you 9,000 active followers every single month.

This may not happen overnight, but by following these steps you will be well on your way to consistently gaining 9,000 followers every single month.

Here are the seven simple steps to making it happen-

Step 1: Optimise Your Profile and Biography 

Before you can even consider gaining 9k followers a month, you first need to get your profile in tip-top shape. Creating an Instagram profile is all well and good, but you have to learn how to optimise it for maximum engagement.

Your profile needs to be interesting and captivating from the start, so you need to think about every little detail and work out what message you want your account to send.

Start off by reviewing your name, profile picture and description- do these things match the vision that you are trying to create?

When it comes to choosing the perfect profile picture, your brand’s logo is often a good choice. If you are the brand, a nice headshot will also work as well.

For your biography, consider something short and witty that paints a picture as to what your brand is all about. You may also want to include some emoticons as these have been shown to draw more attention to a profile.

You can include one link in your profile; generally your website’s homepage is a good link to share, but you can also change this link to direct your followers to a specific landing page as well.

Step 2: Choose Your Images Wisely

Instagram is all about sharing stunning, inspirational, quirky and beautiful images. If you scroll through some of the most popular Instagram feeds, you will see that hours have been spent trying to capture the perfect photo.

The Instagram accounts that do the best often have some kind of theme when it comes to their images. This could be a theme in the colours used, the style of photography or the filters that are used.

Whatever you decide, you need to ensure that your that your images grab your audience’s attention and appeal to their desires, sense of humour, attitudes, beliefs and so on.

Here are some other pointers to keep in mind-

1.) Post Original Images

While it is fine to occasionally share other people’s images, creating your own images gives your visitors a reason to follow you and a reason to keep coming back to your feed. It also helps to get your followers invested in you and your brand.

2.) Add a Location Tag

Instagram has a feature that allows you to tag the location of your image. When you do this it not only helps to create a sense of connection with your audience, but it also allows your image to be searchable under that location as well. It has also been found that images with a location attached gain more “likes” than an image without.

3.) Be Consistent

If you look at some of the most popular Instagram accounts around, there is always consistency with the images that they choose to share. Nike for example, which has 68 million followers, is always sharing inspirational messages along with a combination of famous athletes and every day people looking to stay fit. This consistency makes sense for Nike’s brand, so be sure to think about this as part of your strategy as well.

3.) Don’t Just Post to Sell

If you have an e-commerce store it can be easy to fall into the trap of posting pictures of just your products. While this may be a great promotional tool, it is not really going to help build proper engagement. If you want to share images of your products, try to give them some context. Make them part of a scene or shoot the “lifestyle” effect of  your products, rather than just the product itself.

Step 3: Create Clever Captions 

Your caption is just as important as the photo and gives you an opportunity to share your voice with your followers.

Instagram allows you to write 2,200 characters for one post caption, which is more than the average blog post! While this may seem a lot for a social media post, it is a great way to share your message and connect with your fans.

For best results, your caption should aim to be several (at least 4-6) sentences of information that connects and supports your photo.

It should also be broken up with spaces and even emoticons in order to make it easy to read and engaging.

The first three lines of your caption should be the most engaging, as this is the only part of your caption that will be visible while people are scrolling through their feeds.

Instagram does not allow you to put links in your captions, but one way you can get around this is by referring people to the link in your biography. You can change the link in your biography to send people to a specific landing page or your home page.

For example, the end of your caption may read “for more information on this click link in bio”.

Step 4: Choose the Perfect Hashtags

Hashtags are the fastest way to grow your Instagram following. This is because hashtags make your images searchable, which means that your account can reach more people and gain more followers.

Choosing appropriate hashtags is super important and will help you to attract an engaged and active audience. Sure, the hashtag #love, which was the most popular hashtag on Instagram in 2016, appeals to many people, but if you want to gain specific followers, you need to create specific hashtags.

The more specific your hashtags are to your audience, the more likely you are going to gain followers that are relevant and become life long customers.

Let’s break this down into actionable steps-

1.) Choose a hashtag that is relevant to your image and audience and enter it into your Instagram caption, when you do this, Instagram will automatically reveal a drop down list of popular hashtags. Scroll through the list and choose the most appropriate for your niche. This is a simple and easy way to discover new hashtags and to choose hashtags that are specific and appropriate.

2.) When it comes to the magic number of hashtags, the recommended amount is around 20. The general rule of thumb when it comes to effective Instagram marketing is no less than five and no more than 30 hashtags per post.

3.) No one wants to read all of your hashtags, they are simply there to help people find your image. One way to keep your captions clean and not filled with hashtags, is to post your hashtags as a comment rather than in the caption itself. You can also space your hashtags so they appear further down in your caption.

4.) Using trending hashtags is also a great way to find followers, especially if the trending hashtags match your business or industry. You can find trending hashtags on Facebook and Twitter, and use them in your Instagram posts as well.

Step 5: Create an Instagram Schedule 

We already mentioned how important consistency is when it comes to the type of images that you share. Consistency is also important however, when it comes to how often you post.

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to work out that if you are not posting on Instagram frequently, it is going to be very difficult to build up a following.

If you really want to gain more followers, we have found that the best recipe is-

  • 1-2 photos or videos every day
  • 5-10 Instagram stories every day

You may have to adjust this recipe according to what is going to work for your brand, but this should be a good place to start.

Instagram offers analytics for business accounts so you can see how your posts are performing and your engagement rates. You can also view the time of day that your account is receiving the most activity as well as the location and demographics that your account is attracting.

This provides valuable insight so you can see what is working and what is not working. From these analytics, you may also be able to adjust and tweak the type of content and the frequency of your posts.

If you want to experiment with using Instagram’s Live Video feature, it is also a good idea to create a schedule. Try filming at the same time every day, or at the same time every week so your followers know exactly what time you will be online.

To help attract followers to your Live Videos, you can even post an image in your feed or share a story letting people know what time you will be broadcasting live.

Step 6: Follow Your Audience

Now that you have a well constructed Instagram account that has a regular stream of images being uploaded daily, you should be gaining around 300 to 600 followers every month. But what about taking it to that next level?

If you want to gain more and more followers, you have to start following people as well. These people need to be part of your tribe and here is how to find them-

  1. Visit the Instagram page of one of your main competitors or someone who has many followers in your field. Celebrities or influencers are a good place to start, just make sure they are relevant to your industry.
  2.  Click on their followers and begin following them.
  3. Keep repeating this process daily until you start to gain more followers.

How many people should you follow? If you really want to reach 9,000 monthly followers we recommend following around 50 different accounts every single hour. Yes, you read that right, 50 people followed every single hour.

This may seem like a lot and it may seem very time consuming too, but it will help you to reach 9,000 followers a month in no time.

While it may be tempting to follow a large chunk of people all in one go, it is important to break it up by the hour. This is because Instagram may flag you for spamming if you follow too many people too quickly.

From what we have found, Instagram will only block you from following more people if you exceed over 7,000 followers a day. By following around 50 per hour, you should be flying well under Instagram’s spam radar.

There are programs out there that can automatically follow people for you, but these programs can easily get you flagged as a spammer and are not supported by Instagram.

Manual following may take some extra effort, but it is the only sure way that you will be able to consistently grow your following without running into issues.

It also allows you to have more control over who you are following and ensures that you are finding users that are actually relevant and interested in your brand.

Step 7: Be an Active Community Member

Instagram is not just a place for you to broadcast and show off your brand, it is also a place where you can give back as well.

What makes Instagram so popular is the fact that it is inspiring and being a part of this inspiration is important for your long term success.

Being an active member of the community means that you comment and like your viewers posts. It also means that you offer valuable feedback in the form of advice, suggestions and support.

Here are some pointers to keep in mind that will help you to become an active member of Instagram-

1.) If someone follows you, follow them back – this is good social media etiquette and is a good rule to follow across all social platforms.

2.) If someone mentions you or tags you in a photo, reply by liking the image and commenting back, you can also exchange the favour with a “@mention” as well.

3.) Start liking all the photos under the particular hashtags you are interested in. Aim to like at least 20-30 images every single day, this will help to get your name out there.

4.) Send direct messages to people who interest you or to people in your niche that offer a lot of value. Don’t be afraid to compliment them on their work or thank them- everyone appreciates that and who knows what it may lead to. In fact, many people use this as a networking tool.

5.) When posting your own content, ask questions and write back to any comments you receive. Try to engage and interact with your audience rather than making it just one sided.

By following these steps, it will help you to become an actual participant in the Instagram community and not just another brand looking for a quick fix on social media.

Conclusion

Gaining more Instagram followers is not hard, but it does take some time. Once you have all of these steps in place, you will begin noticing your Instagram following increasing more and more each week.

Once you have your strategy in place, keep tweaking and adjusting things depending on your analytics and audience. In fact, keeping track of your own personal analytics is really going to help you increase your followers dramatically and will help you to optimise everything that you are doing.

By following these steps, it should take you no more than 3 months to start gaining around 9,000 followers every single month. Just keep being consistent and you will start to see results.

Instagram is a great place to market and promote your business and is a sure way to get traffic back to your landing pages or websites.

With more Instagram followers, you will not only increase your traffic, leads and sales but you will also enhance the value and reputation of your brand, and that can be worth its weight in gold.

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