Boost Blog Traffic Using These Techniques for Promoting Your Posts on Facebook

Boost Blog Traffic Using These Techniques for Promoting Your Posts on Facebook

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Promoting your blog posts on Facebook is one of the most cost-effective, efficient and smart strategies you can use to drive traffic back to your blog.

First of all, Facebook audiences are huge! 68% of Americans use a Facebook account regularly, which equals nearly 220 million people. Facebook also remains the most-used mobile app. 81% of devices have it installed.

And, since the majority of internet traffic is now mobile and the majority of mobile time is spent in-app, Facebook represents one of the best chances you have at getting views, shares, likes and new followers for your business.

If you’re a business owner wondering how to drive traffic to your blog using Facebook, here are eight airtight strategies you can use to get maximum visibility and a higher rate of readers with each post.

Make It a Habit to Share Every Post You Write

Make sharing every single post you create for your blog a habit. People are more likely to keep up with your content on the social platforms they already use compared to obsessively checking your blog page.

Consider each Facebook share as important as the blog itself. Think of the Facebook post as your store window. You want it to be enticing enough that people really want to go inside and see what else there is. You also want it to be intriguing enough that people who are just window shopping still remember your display and maybe even mention it through word of mouth.

Keep in mind that Google SEO best practices suggest not sharing each and every piece of new content you create. However, this rule likely applies to larger publishers who put out dozens if not hundreds of new blog articles a day. If, on the other hand, you only publish 1-2 times a day or less, you shouldn’t run afoul of the overpromotion threshold.

That said, if you are making new blogs multiple times a day, consider limiting the number of times you share your content. Pick just the juiciest ones to show the world.

Boost Your Post With Paid Facebook Advertising

It’s a sad reality, but Facebook has been trending towards pay-to-play for years now. Organic reach for business page posts has plummeted over the past few years.

Even worse, Facebook recently announced changes that mean it’s even less likely that audiences will see your blog posts compared to content from their friends and family. Thanks, bots!

But the good news is that Facebook’s options for “boosting” your post with an ad budget are truly amazing. Not only do you have razor-fine control over how much you spend, but you can also target specific user traits and demographics.

With just a limited budget per day, you can earn spots on the news feeds of people who will be most likely to consider your content interesting.

If, for instance, you create a blog post about “Best Places to Eat in Downtown Austin,” you can manually target people living in Austin, Round Rock and other cities nearby. You can even select particular age ranges, allowing you to pitch some of the best bar/restaurant/music venue places just to the 35 and under crowd.

Consider boosting a few of your most popular blogs each month as you start out and then move toward consistently promoting a higher ratio to get your posts the attention they deserve.

Think Mobile First

As we mentioned in the intro, if people are seeing your content on Facebook, they’re most likely viewing it on mobile. Make sure your post is optimized for smaller mobile screens, including limiting the amount of text you use in paragraph form.

Also, make sure any image you use doesn’t have tiny details that require zooming in. For instance, don’t share your entire infographic in a thumbnail size; crop out part of it and share that instead.

Most importantly, ensure your blog site itself is responsive and mobile optimized. If people click to read an article they see on Facebook and end up on a messy site, most will back out immediately and not bother reading the article in full.

Make Sure You’re Writing Great Headlines

 

80% of people who see your post shared on Facebook won’t get past the headline. Some will keep scrolling and not bother clicking or reading.

Others will start reacting to the post based on the headline alone. We’ve all seen it happen, and for your blog this can actually be a good thing. Great headlines have a way of getting people talking. While it’s frustrating to hear commentary from people who clearly haven’t read the article, the whole point of posting on Facebook is getting engagement.

So embrace hot takes and write good enough titles so that people who actually read have an incentive to dig further. We wrote a whole post on how to write great blog headlines for Facebook, but the gist is to use phrases that get people’s attention without being too clickbaity.

Most importantly, look to your own data for feedback on headline quality. Posts that have a low click-through rate clearly show that the headline wasn’t enticing enough. Posts with a high click or engagement rate did a good job at getting attention.

Learn lessons from past successes and failures and adjust accordingly.

Use Facebook’s Text Space to Your Advantage

Every Facebook post you create with a link has room for additional text on the Facebook post itself.

Don’t neglect the importance of the space Facebook gives you above the link! A lot of people will read that immediately after seeing the photo.

The text you add to your posts can lend context, provide a brief summary or reveal key benefits. In the example above, the restaurant not only connected the link they shared to the current weather, but they also explained that the link’s important because it was essentially an endorsement from a notable local publication.

Just remember that the maximum amount of content people can see without expanding is 480 characters. Avoid using chunks of text to get your point across. Try to be descriptive yet brief. Use any hashtags or cross-tags to other pages that are relevant to signal boost your post even further. Maybe even consider using emojis😁!

Attach Great Images to Your Blogs

Facebook posts with images get three times more engagement, which is why most posts you see from brands now include some sort of image.

Images catch our attention, and they can also begin to tell the story behind your blog. With the right image, you can elicit emotion from your audiences before they even read a single word. Once they’ve been engaged in this way, your audience will be more likely to read the actual post.

Make images as relevant as possible to the content of your posts, though. Don’t just use an image because it’s eye-catching.

Also, limit the use of text within your image. A spare amount of text can be great, but too much can prevent your boosted posts from running. Check out Facebook’s own image guidelines for more details on what they do and don’t want.

A/B Test Different Variations of Blog Post Shares

One of your best tools for marketing is the ability to split test two different versions of the same blog post

For instance, say you wanted to promote a blog about how swimming pools add value to someone’s home. You can create one version that uses an image of a happy family. You can then create another version that uses a stock image of a pool full of money.

Now, show each version to roughly the same audience and see which one gets the more clicks!

Performing these experiments can help you get details just right for each blog post you promote. It can also reveal preferences for different demographics when it comes to post design.

Pay Attention to Facebook Insights Data, and It Will Show You How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog Using Facebook

At the end of the day, your own data is the best asset you have when trying to learn how to drive traffic to your blog using Facebook. Take notes on what works and what doesn’t, especially when it comes to what times you post and how frequently.

Also, A/B test post variations vigorously to find out how to get the biggest reaction from your audience.

Finally, make sure that the content you create is absolutely worth reading! Offer value, relevance and genuine quality to your readers. Otherwise, they may not want to click no matter how enticing the preview looks. You know the saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me eight or more times….”

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Eight Types of Blog Posts Every Business Should Use

So you sit down to come up with topics for your next couple of blog posts and…nothing. You draw a total blank.

Sometimes business blog post ideas come hard and fast like a heavy rain. Other times you have a total mental drought on what to write about next.

Don’t sweat it! There are a couple of blog formats that can work well for just about any subject. Adding them to your repertoire can make coming up with your next blog post topics as easy as falling off a unicycle.

In fact, you can use this list to plan your blog strategy for months in advance. If you make some of these blog post types a recurring monthly series, for instance, you can know exactly what you’ll write about at least half the time.

Continue reading “Eight Types of Blog Posts Every Business Should Use”

Thinking About Hiring a Blog Writer? Watch Out for These 6 Common Mistakes

Few business owners have both the time and skill with words needed to do their company blog justice. Business blogs need to look polished and represent the brand well, yet learning to write professionally is a trial-and-error process.

Considering all these personal limitations and high expectations, outsourcing blog writing makes perfect sense. But there is a right way and a wrong way to hire a writer. Many business owners commit hefty mistakes when offering someone the chance to take the reins on their business blog.

Here are six of the biggest of those mistakes. Watch out for them when hiring a blog writer to avoid frustrating setbacks and to ensure your blog is as great as it deserves to be.

Continue reading “Thinking About Hiring a Blog Writer? Watch Out for These 6 Common Mistakes”

How to Write Headlines Your Customers Can’t Resist Clicking

How to Write Headlines Your Customers Can’t Resist Clicking

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In many ways, the headline is the most important part of a blog post or article. Headlines spark action. They can make people click. An eye-catching headline on social media can draw tons of comments — many from people reacting off the headline alone.

Headlines can also shape how people digest the message of a blog by creating context and expectations — all through a strong first impression.

But, most importantly, headlines tell us what we need to know in order to get invested. With so many distractions and options for reading content online, we need information that helps us choose how to spend our limited time.

The best headlines therefore serve as a promise to the reader about what they’ll get for their time. Never forget that a great headline acts like a bargain: “read this, and you’ll get something special or valuable or informative out of it.”

So how do you start to shape expectations and earn interest right from the headline? You can rely on a couple of tried-and-true formulas, as one option. You should also mull how accurately and succinctly your headline summarizes the central takeaway of your post.

To help you get started, here are three methods you can try in 2018 to write better blog headlines and earn more clicks, along with a few other tips.

Method 1: Distill Your Article Into a Headline by Gradually Dropping Your Word Count

This first method is time consuming and involves some hefty thinking, but after a few tries you’ll be able to do it subconsciously in seconds.

In fact, most of us already try to use this method when writing headlines, we just don’t think about it. Getting practice makes your approach more deliberate while teaching you how to skim your content for an accurate central takeaway.

The method works like this:

  1. Identify a central thesis, argument, idea or purpose of the article
  2. Identify two to four main sub-points or pieces of evidence for the main point
  3. Use the above two items to summarize your article in less than 200 words
  4. After writing your summary, edit it down to 100 words
  5. Edit your 100 word summary down to 50 words
  6. Edit your 50 word summary into a single sentence
  7. Take your sentence-length summary and condense it further into a headline below 90 characters
  8. See if you can condense the message into just a few words using less than 65 characters
  9. Re-read your 200 word summary to see if you left anything important out, then come up with an alternative <70 character headline
  10. Repeat steps 7-9 to come up with a few alternative options

This method may seem tedious, but it’s good practice for teaching your brain to recognize thought processes we take for granted. Translating a huge chunk of text into a short summary involves lots of mental processing, but we are able to do it in seconds thanks to our wonderful minds.

At the same time, our minds are trying to do a million other things when we write headlines. Using the above method keeps us focused on a central idea, and it can steer your headline writing back to a more logical place if you ever feel lost.

Method 2: Use Headline Formulas That Earn Tons of Clicks

Publishers like Buzzfeed, Upworthy and Bored Panda don’t earn millions of clicks a week by coincidence. They have blog writing down to a science, including the practice of writing juicy headlines that generate stampedes of clicks.

Based on research and performance data, here are a few of the most successful three-word headline phrases these publishers use to generate huge, highly engaged audiences:

  • will make you
  • this is why
  • can we guess
  • only X in
  • the reason is
  • are freaking out
  • X stunning photos
  • tears of joy
  • is what happens

Other common traits of popular headlines include:

  • Using numbers to imply a list (“10 Reasons Why…”)
  • Referring to the audience in the second-person (“You Won’t Believe…”)
  • Implying emotion (“This Hilarious Piece of Advice…”)
  • Lead with a strong, commanding action verb (“Take Control of Your Day by…”)

There are also many other tried-and-true blog headline writing formulas worth experimenting with.

Now, when looking at these lists, some may refer to this data-based approach to writing blog titles as “making clickbait.” Those people would be correct.

Even though clickbait-ish headlines have become a punchline, they still work. A post like “Watching This Baby See Her Dad for the First Time Will Make You Smile” sets a concrete promise to the reader for what they’ll get out of the post.

Our cynicism towards headlines like these comes from the fact that we click on these posts only to feel deceived. E.g.: “No, #16 did not surprise us, Buzzfeed, because it’s literally the first thing we thought of.”

So, when writing headlines with this approach, make sure they still accurately reflect the actual content of your article. Which brings us to method #3.

Method 3: Compromise by Combining Headlines From Methods 1 and 2

Rand Fishkin of Moz offers a handy way to resolve the conflict between headline descriptiveness and viral appeal.

He suggests creating at least one headline using each of the above methods. Then, try to combine them.

Here’s an example:

    • Descriptive Headline: “Implied Consent Laws Demand Choice Between Incriminating Yourself and Mandatory Jail Time”

 

  • Sensational Headline: “This One Weird Trick Could Get You Out of a DUI, But You May Spend the Night in Jail!”
  • Combination: “Here’s What Happens When You Delay Your Breathalyzer Test in an Implied Consent State”

 

Now, an even better headline might read: “5 Reasons to Delay Your Breathalyzer Test in an Implied Consent State”. Why? Because they then know they don’t have to read the whole article to get the gist. They can just read the five subheadings in quick succession.

That particular headline requires the article to be broken down in list format, though, so consider the how you might use the structure of your article to create an appealing headline before you start writing.

A Few Other Tips to Help You Write Better Blog Headlines

  • Look up synonyms to replace weak words with stronger ones or multiple words with a single descriptive one
  • Use strong verbs
  • Avoid using “being” verbs like “is” and “are”
  • Use CTR to gauge how clickable your headline is; make note of high benchmarks to learn from them
  • If you have a high CTR but a high bounce rate for your content, that’s a sign your headlines need to more accurately reflect your post content
  • Beware of spam trigger words, especially when sending emails
  • You can A/B test multiple headline options when creating promoted social media posts or email campaigns; study the results to find patterns for successful headlines
  • When in doubt, come up with at least five alternatives and ask someone for their input!

Headline writing is a tricky dance, but when you recognize what’s important, it becomes that much easier. Keep your audience’s valuable time in mind, promise them something great, don’t misrepresent the post, and study your own data to discover what works!

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The Best Digital Marketing New Year’s Resolutions for Crushing It in 2018

The Best Digital Marketing New Year’s Resolutions for Crushing It in 2018

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After the last echoes of ringing in the New Year subside, everyone reflects on how to make 2018 better through their own actions. If you’re a digital marketer, this time marks the perfect opportunity to set ambitious goals and pledge to cut out bad habits.

To help inspire you to do better in the New Year and meet success head on, here are our 5 top recommended digital marketing New Year’s resolutions for 2018.

Make More Video

We’ve hammered this point home plenty of times, but just to reiterate: video is the direction that the internet’s going. Cisco studies predict that 69% of total internet traffic over 2017 will have come from video views. By 2021, they expect that portion to increase to 82%.

The reason for rising video consumption is simple: people love video! Better smartphones and cheaper data plans also give us the means to watch video anywhere at any time.

Appetites for video content will keep on growing throughout 2018, and marketers for businesses of all sizes should be willing to help satisfy that demand. If they do, they will reap substantial rewards.

51% of marketers globally list video as the type of content that earns them the best return on investment. Video uploaded to social media also generates 1200% more shares than text or image posts combined!

To take advantage of video in your digital marketing strategy, start by creating summary slideshow summaries of your most-popular blogs using tools like Rocketium or Adobe Spark. Or, go live with behind-the-scenes looks at your operations or Q&A sessions. Both of these low-cost options offer reliable solutions for engagement.

Looking longer term, investigate the budget you would need to create a few short 2-5 minute video assets. These can help raise your brand awareness, earn shares, and give your company a veneer of modern professionalism.

Tie Content Better Within Buyer Journeys

In 2018, your audience deserves better than irrelevant content. No one will click on articles that don’t offer some sort of value. And, more importantly, how your audience perceives value depends on the stage of the buyer journey they’re at.

Offer value by planning content topics and placement around your customers’ stage in their buyer journey.

For instance, if you sell RVs, don’t expect someone who doesn’t have any intention to buy an RV yet to click on your article about “6 Top Reasons You Should Buy Your RV From Us!” Instead, recognize the types of topics that would get them interested. Here are a few examples:

 

  • Not yet aware they want to buy an RV

 

      • 7 Top Camping Destinations on the West Coast
      • Pros and Cons of the 4 Most Common Types of Camping

 

  • Maybe thinking about buying an RV

 

      • 5 Reasons RV Camping Blows Tent Camping Out of the Water
      • Winter Camp in Comfort at These Gorgeous Destinations

 

  • Deciding what RV to buy

 

      • Must-Have Features for Every Modern RV
      • Top RV Models by Price Range

 

  • Ready to buy

 

    • Why You Should Buy Your RV From a Local Dealer
    • 6 Warning Signs for Dishonest RV Dealers That Should Make You Leave the Lot

Each hypothetical blog title is aimed at a particular area of interest within a particular informational scope. If you have an email list, you will want to offer each piece based on the information the buyer has looked at before and their indicated interests. For your website, include suggested blog topics logically within the section the buyer is currently within.

Going one step beyond this approach requires personalization engines and marketing automation. But you can get started by creating several buyer personas and customer journey maps, then devise a content strategy to help nurture each persona type towards a final sale.

Reshape Your Website to Be Even More Mobile Friendly

It’s 2018, and mobile phones are officially grafted into our lifestyle. Americans spend 71% of their time online using mobile devices, and visits to websites through mobile devices shot up 72% this year.

Using responsive design and passing Google’s mobile-friendly test are therefore just the start of your business. You should rigorously explore and test options for even more engaging and usable mobile layouts throughout 2018. Offer mobile visitors a true experience, but still make navigation and content consumption easy.

Improvements like these can help you stand out among competitors in an environment where mobile will only increase its share of traffic over time.

Engage More Authentically With Your Social Media Audiences

Social media audiences want to feel like they’re engaging with real people, not brands. According to one of the top social media management apps, posts with a personable approach, humor, inspiration or emotion drive the best engagement.

You can also ask questions from your audience directly. How do they handle challenges related to your line of work? What tech trends do they think have the most promise? What are their New Year’s resolutions? Questions like these drive engagement and help your audience feel listened to.

Person-centered conversations surrounding your brand can also occur outside of your owned (well, borrowed) social spaces. By setting up social monitoring tools for mentions of your brand or service area, you can engage people in 1:1 conversations and help them solve problems.

Engaging directly with your audiences in these ways can sway public opinion in your favor while making your social media pages more lively.

While Fulfilling These Digital Marketing New Year’s Resolutions for 2018, Base More Decisions on Data

All of the above resolutions can bring you success as long as you take a scientific approach. Start by setting goals and target metrics. Make predictions on how to meet these metrics, measure how accurate your predictions were, and experiment to see if you can find even greater success.

You can also A/B test two approaches simultaneously to learn even faster. For instance, maybe you aren’t sure which Facebook post for an upcoming event will get the most clicks? You can use paid social advertising to serve two different promoted posts to targeted audiences and see what happens.

Experimentation combined with dedication and a healthy dash of creativity will help you go a long way towards finding more success in the year ahead.

Keep the above resolutions in mind, and you could be well on your way towards making 2018 the best year in digital marketing ever. Good luck, and have a Happy New Year!

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We are a digital marketing company with a focus on helping our customers achieve great results across several key areas.

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