3 Tips to Improve Content Marketing & Search Engine Rankings (B2B)

When it comes to B2B (business to business) companies, here are a few tip to improve how you market content & more successfully turn up higher in search.

1. Create a corporate blog. A blog will not only add a personal touch to your company’s website, but it’ll be a great source of content that will ultimately help search rankings. Because blogs are indexed more frequently by search engines, especially when websites change, meaning that you’ll have a higher chance of showing up in a search, especially when new content is being added to the blog on a regular basis.

2. Make your content longer & higher quality. Some researchers have found that content longer than 1500 words will get more engagement on social media sites, including articles and blog posts. Content between 2000-2500 words often rank on the first page of a Google search. Although length can prove successful, make sure your content is of a higher quality and not spammy or worthless to your readers.

3. Long-tail keywords make it easy to rank higher. Why? People are used to searching, which has added to an increase of long-tail searches by 70% in the last decade. Having said this, people are also used to typing in longer phrases or complete statements when searching.

When it comes to your B2B website, make sure the content includes long-tail keywords to make sure that your site will rank higher when someone searches for that particular phrase. Thanks to content marketing, including more long-tail keywords will be easier and feel more organic when writing blog posts, including case studies and more!

— Samantha

Content Marketing, SEO

LinkedIn Study: 81% of Small/Medium-sized Businesses Use Social Media

Small Business on Social Media

About 81% of all small and medium-sized businesses use social media, based off of a recent LinkedIn study. Out of the companies that do use social, 94% of them are using it for marketing benefits — especially those that are experiencing high volumes of growth.

Finally, businesses are beginning to realize that having a social presence not only increases brand awareness, but also help push customers down the purchase funnel. Having said this, almost 75% of companies experiencing growth increased their social media budgets, including more online ad spend, hiring community managers, etc.

Lana Khavinson, the senior product manager at LinkedIn says, “We know that for SMBs the greatest challenge is attracting and retaining customers. Here is a really clear indicator of the value that social media is providing to companies that are rapidly growing.”

As the numbers of those small and medium-sized businesses using social increase, many social networks are benefiting, beyond LinkedIn (who has hundreds of thousands of small business entrepreneurs within it’s member base). For example, Facebook and Twitter, which both boast several million businesses with active accounts, will gain significant ad revenue in the future. We’ll see this start to take place as companies start to pay to rise above the clutter in people’s Newsfeeds on Facebook, and as Twitter expands its “self-serve” advertising ideas around the world to further attract small businesses in places like Canada and the UK.

We’ll be interested to see how much each social network can rake in over the next few years. To us, it feels like shooting fish in a barrel, especially as such networks are literally writing the rules to how marketed content is shown to customers.

Tell us: Does your small business utilize social media to its fullest potential?

— Samantha

Valentine’s Day Conversations on Social Media

Happy Valentine’s Day from Sike Social!

To celebrate, in true social media fashion, we’re bringing you a recent infographic from Radian6. Below, you’ll see that love was in the air as over 8 million mentions of the special day were immortalized on various social platforms from February 1st – 12th. Thanks to some great social listening, we can confirm that everyone loves to talk about… LOVE!

Enjoy the day!

– Samantha

SalesForce Valentine's Day Infographic

4 Ways to Upgrade Your Social Marketing Optimization

Social Media Optimization

SEO (search engine optimization). Many of us have heard about it, but are you actually changing your social media content to make sure your brand makes the most out of SEO? As a quick refresher, SEO typically speaks to link-building. The higher number of links to (and from) your content, the higher it’ll be ranked in Google search, which means more eyes on your site or content.

While these links are important to consider, Google’s latest “Hummingbird” algorithm update in August forced brands to take a second look at optimizing their content for social. For example, Google +1’s rank in the top valuable factors in SEO, which automatically increases the value of all other social shares — Likes, Shares, RTs, etc.

Below you’ll find a few ways to better your social marketing optimization or SMO:

  • If applicable, use a catchy title that is optimized specifically for SEO. Focus on long-tail keywords that will help you better understand user’s intent — and be sure to come up with a few shorter copy options to use on social media platforms.
  • Edit, edit, edit. Make sure all included links are working properly and that all copy has been reviewed multiple times to avoid spelling mistakes.
  • Use images! As we’ve stated time and time again, posts with creative imagery will typically receive the most engagement. Make sure to keep actual post copy short and eye-catching too!
  • Keep engagement numbers high with captivating questions or other CTA’s (call to action’s) like “watch this video” or “click to read more.”

Tell us: Does your business pay close attention to SMO?

— Samantha

Facebook Introduces Paper iPhone App

Paper on Facebook

Ready to have your mind blown?

Just this morning, Facebook made a HUGE announcement. Introducing Paper, the newest iPhone app that’s more than a simple news outlet. Instead, it makes a user rethink Facebook with a horizontally scrolling screen of news articles, friend updates and more — a completely new way of sharing and telling stories.

The new app doesn’t include many buttons. Instead, users will need to get used to a completely different set of gestures that make navigating that much simpler. Not only that, but fans will be able to make every post, photo or news article full-screen, adding another lovely level of aesthetics. Although many have made references to the already popular Flipboard, Paper seems to do similar functions but so much more!

The interface for reading news will stay very similar to how such content is presented currently on the platform. Cards that resemble Twitter make it easy to consume new information, but if you’re used to a feed of quick tweets, this may be a bit hard to get used to. Looking to share content? A user will be able to post to Paper, therefore on Facebook, in a brand new, one-of-a-kind composition screen.  If you’re interested in checking it out, Paper will be available for download on iPhones (in the US only) on February 3rd.

Sadly as a current Android user, I’ll have to wait to see what Paper does — unless I can quickly borrow a friend’s phone next week! Until then, I’m happy that Facebook is getting closer to finding a solution for its stand-alone apps. With mobile becoming more and more popular with users, I believe that this is the only way to go in order to be successful!

Tell us: Will you be downloading Paper on February 3rd?

— Samantha

4 Tips for Better Facebook Posts

Making a Facebook page for you company is one thing. Taking care of it to encourage growth and brand awareness is a horse of a different color! In order to succeed on this mega platform, you have to use some elbow grease and a knowledge of your audience.

Here are a few tips that will put you ahead of your competitors:

  1. Use bold imagery. If you want to get your fan’s attention, use bright, colorful, striking photos. In fact, photos receive 5x more engagement than links and those featuring faces rate even higher. It’s no wonder why Facebook paid $1 billion to purchase Instagram!
  2. Keep copy short & include a CTA. About 70% of fans access Facebook via mobile, so you should be motivated to write short & concise copy. As we’ve seen many brands do, a paragraph of text simply don’t work & you’ll lose your audience before you even get their attention. Try to include a question, fill in the blank or simply request people to ‘watch’ or ‘share.’ Be sure to make it a low barrier so the customer can actually do it with ease.
  3. Figure out what works. Check out your Reach and Engagement numbers (in Facebook Analytics) to gauge what post are doing well — and which are not. After a few weeks of consistent posts, this data should help you figure out what your fans like engaging with so you can do more of that in the future!
  4. Target & boost posts. When you can (& if your audience is large enough), try targeting your post by gender, location &/or language. By doing so, you’re narrowing your target to a specific demographic, which could mean more eyes on your content (versus throwing a ‘big net’ & hoping for the best). Lastly, consider a bit of paid support via boosting posts to counter Facebook’s recent algorithm changes. Do it early — within the first 24 hours — and make sure you’re pushing posts that received high levels of engagement early.

Got a tip to add to the list? Tell us below!

— Samantha

3 Things to Do Before Launching a Social Initiative

Social KPIs

You’ve successfully created one or more social platforms for your company and even built a loyal community online. You’ve made tracking your social growth a priority and now you’re ready for more! It’s time to launch your next social campaign (contest, giveaway), but what do you determine the objectives and keys for success?

Figure out your objective of the campaign. This part is important because without an objective, you won’t be able to drive the overall strategy. An objective is the reason WHY you’re launching this social initiative to begin with! For example, is it to drive brand awareness? Increase engagement? Get more fans and followers? Although each company’s campaign initiative will be different depending on the idea, make sure you choose one (or more) that you want to achieve!

State how you’ll measure success. Also known as Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), these metrics are what you and your team will use to measure success with the campaign at hand and what will ultimately help determine your goals. Make sure that your KPI’s align with your overall objective. We suggest looking at Comments, Shares, Likes/+1s to start, but other indicators to think about include:

  • Overall views & unique views
  • Time spent on your site/page
  • Engagement rate on social platforms
  • Contest entries
  • New fans, followers
  • Newsletter/email opt-ins

Set goals for your campaign. At this point in the process, you need to develop a set of goals which will help determine a return on investment (ROI) after. To get you thinking, talk with your team to understand how long the campaign will run for, what will drive traffic to the campaign (including a specific number of posts/tweets and possible paid support), what are possible conversion numbers (entries, shares) and how much fan growth is expected.

Once you’ve completed all three steps, you’ll be able to better track your campaign online. Repeat this several times and you’ll add an economic value to each indicator to truly help you measure the value of the initiative in relation to how much you’ve already invested.

Got questions? Let us know below!

— Samantha

Vine Turns 1 & Celebrates Best Videos of the Year

A Year on Vine

It’s crazy to think that a whole year has passed since Vine was introduced to the world.

For those who are unfamiliar, Vine is a mobile application where users can create six-second videos, with the ability to start and stop recording as many times as they want. In January 2013, Vine was acquired by Twitter and made big news as people and brands could now easily express themselves through another medium.

Although competitor Instagram introduced video capabilities in June 2013, Vine has remained popular. Today, it celebrates its first anniversary. To get the party started, check out Vine’s 200 video compilation totaling 18 minutes, including funny clips from fans, as well as videos from President Obama and Justin Bieber.

We picked out a few of our faves:

Tell us: Which is your favorite vine video from 2013?

— Samantha

2014 Online Marketing Infographic

You’ve heard it a million times. In order to be successful in today’s day in age, businesses must make a play on social. In 2014, the majority of brands are online, so it’s only makes sense to research and find out how to beat the competition with a solid social marketing strategy. Here’s a great infographic from the InfoGraphic Design Team of the 2014 online marketing trends:

2014 Online Marketing Trends— Samantha

 

Facebook to Kill Sponsored Posts in April

Sponsored Stories on FacebookMore news on the Facebook front: Sponsored Stories will no longer exist after April 9th, 2014.

If you’re unfamiliar with sponsored stories, they’re the posts that show up on a Newsfeed when one of your friends engages with a sponsored Page, event or application. For instance, when a fellow Facebook friend likes the RedBull Facebook page, and RedBull decides to promote that interaction, you’ll see it as a Sponsored Story on your own Newsfeed.

Although brands will be able to purchase Sponsored Stories until April 9th, such stories will transfer to other types of ads (like a Page Like ad) after the set date. In the future, all ads will include ‘social context’ where friends are mentioned in the content in order to get you to click it. A Facebook spokesperson told Mashable why the new addition of ‘social context’ to all Facebook ads is pointing the platform in a direction of phasing out Sponsored Stories:

“As announced in June of last year, we’re bringing the best of sponsored stories – social context – to all ads. Since this update makes sponsored stories redundant, we will no longer offer them as a standalone ad unit for marketers. Social context will continue to appear with all ads where eligible. Our social advertising honors the audience that people choose, so nobody will see information in social context for an ad that they couldn’t already see.”

Overall, we’re interested to see how brands will create ads in the next few months, based off of these changes. We wonder whether or not adding social context to every ad will change how fans view promoted content — and how they ultimately interact with brands.

— Samantha