I love dipping into my email inbox to see what kind of unsubstantiated nonsense is being passed as fact within the internet marketing world, especially when it comes to traffic generation.
Every marketer out there is trying to carve their own niche by being different and going “rogue”. Though there’s nothing wrong with a bit of diversity; after all, how boring would it be if everyone said the exact same things?
Where the real problem lies, is that people that are brand new to internet marketing buy into these “alternate thinkers” and their claims, when in reality, the world of online marketing has remained the same for the last several years.
However, I still receive emails every day with headlines like;
- Blogging is dead.
- Social media marketing is crap
- Youtube hates you
Ok, so I embellished the titles a bit, but you get the point. All this does is confuse other marketers and is rather disingenuous because all of the aforementioned techniques are not only viable, but should be the bread and butter of any traffic generation campaign.
So today, I’m going to provide you with an unbiased look at what REALLY works.
Social Media is a Traffic BEAST
Obviously if you’ve been around longer than a day, you know I am a strong advocate of social media. It helps unite marketers and their potential consumers in a way that simply was not possible 10 years ago. You now have the ability to hold full blown conversations with your audience on a daily basis, and they will likely respond back in kind. What more could you want?
I use social media as a traffic generating tool on a daily basis. Here are a few screenshots of my 4 most popular blog posts…
That is a total of 27,320 social shares. Needless to say, those shares didn’t just pop up out of thin air, but took a calculated effort to gain that much attention.
Not only should you provide your blog content to your viewers via social media, but also offer free giveaways to garner some attention, consistently post about relevant topics that affect them (whether niche related or not), and always try to offer helpful advice whenever possible.
One of the best kept secrets for engaging new viewers is StumbleUpon and Google+ Communities. With StumbleUpon, you simply need to post your content and viewers will come to you when searching for a related topic. It really is that easy. As for Google+ Communities, you can carry on conversations, offer advice, or link to your content for thousands of viewers to see.
Many communities frown upon spamming so it is important to ensure that your posts always link to something informative that offers value to the reader, and most of all, is relevant to the community that you posted in.
Posts that work the best on social media:
- Open-ended questions
- Pictures with “caption this”
- “Like” / “Share” if you agree
Harness the Power of Video Content
Over 6 billion hours of online videos are watched every single month on YouTube alone. To put this number into perspective, that is almost 1 full hour of video footage for every single person on earth…every 30 days!
According to the YouTube statistics page, “The number of people subscribing daily is up more than 300% since last year, and the number of overall subscriptions is up more than 400% since last year.” If trends are indicative of things to come, you would be missing out on quite an opportunity by not utilizing video marketing.
There are countless facets that need to be taken into consideration when marketing a video, most of which would take several posts to explain. Instead, I’d like to cover a few points that will help enhance your video marketing campaign.
Point #1 – Similar to a setting up a regular website, proper keyword analysis must be taken into consideration. Since YouTube is owned by Google, ranking for long tail keyword phrases is not incredibly difficult. If you happen to be in a relatively large niche, then it may be difficult for people to find your videos in YouTube’s search function. Instead, choose extremely low competition keyword phrases and receive your traffic directly from the Google SERPs instead.
Point #2 – You do NOT need a professional crew to create an extremely engaging video. Believe it or not, you don’t even need a camera.
Software such as Jing or Camtasia allow for screen recording and seamless video editing. You can then create your own videos using Prezi or PowerPoint. If you want to take it a step further, you can purchase some outstanding intro videos from Fiverr to add an extra bit of professionalism to the mix.
Point #3 – Having a video on your page can actually attract more organic traffic from the Google search function, without your video even ranking. Huh? That doesn’t even make sense. Let me explain.
When Google author photos began showing in searches, those that had a photo next to their page saw an average rise in traffic of at least 35%. Photos attract clicks. Unfortunately, as of last year, Google has decreased the number of photos that are showing, making it extremely difficult for newly created sites to derive any benefit at all.
Instead of relying on Google Authorship, you can use the Video SEO plugin by Yoast to receive the same benefits. When a video is added to a page, a small photo will show up in the search results next to your page, similar to how a Google Authorship photo would, effectively taking advantage of that 35% or more additional clicks that pages with images next to them receive.
ABB (Always Be Blogging)
Quality content has become an increasingly important role in the success of any site. Posting relevant content often, will eventually catch the eye of the Google web crawlers, and notify them that your site is worthy of being ranked.
Your content needs to be original. What is your unique perspective on a topic that is going to convince your audience that you are not only worth reading, but worth sharing with others? Topics like “How to Make Money Online” and “How to Burn More Fat” have been done to death.
What do you bring to the table that differentiates yourself from the thousands of others out there in your niche? There is no need to re-invent the wheel, but you must come up with something worthwhile in order to build your viewership.
In order to provide some sort of substance, your content will likely need to be longer than the typical 500 words of drivel that so many marketers tried to pass off as “authority content” over the years.
How much value can you honestly provide in 500 words? Just to give you an example of how short that truly is, by rule of thumb, most professional speakers only pronounce 130 or so words per minute. So if you took that article and translated it to video, it would take up approximately 3.8 minutes of footage.
That’s barely a teaser!
In fact, longer content seems to easily outperform shorter content. Below is a graph produced by MOZ that showed the popularity of their pages based on word length (ranked from #1 being the most popular to #495 being the least). Obviously, you can see that the longer posts received far more attention from its readers that the shorter, less informative pieces.
Not only that, but there seems to be a direct correlation between the length of a blog post and the amount of overall popularity of the post. Hmmm…interesting.
Don’t be lazy. Create content that not only pops, but is long enough to actually mean something.
There will always be other internet marketers trying to sell you the next big thing, when in reality, the same techniques that marketers have been using effectively for years are what really work.
If you stick to the tried and true methods, you are bound to reach the pinnacle of success, but if you’re always looking for the next best thing, then you’re going to find yourself spinning your wheels and wasting a lot of precious time.
Instead of trying the newest marketing strategies, why not just worry about mastering the basics first?