8 things we learned from writing digital marketing blogs

1. Social Media presence and experience

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prior to writing a blog online, it is important to have some experience with social media platforms. Each social media platform is leveraged in a different way (Reddit vs. Twitter vs. Facebook as examples). It is a good idea to have existing social media accounts and access to existing online social networks.  More importantly, ensure you understand how audiences on each platform might react to your content and promotional efforts. A Reddit user may be more likely to engage with a targeted and specific post curated for their interests while a Facebook friend may be more likely to engage on broader messages in support of the friend’s blog.

2. Social Media strategy is key

 

 

 

 

 

As you head down the exciting path of writing a blog, it is important to not only have a content strategy, but also have a promotional strategy. The content strategy should outline the types of topics to write about and the social media platforms on which to post. A promotional strategy should identify the intended audiences  and how you expect to reach them via the social platforms.

As you develop your plan for building a great social media marketing blog, be thoughtful about your posting cadence (posting twice a week is a good start) and your subsequent promotional strategy (promote heavily immediately after you post to ensure your fresh content is delivered on time).

Without an initial strategy that outlines the topics of interest, the frequency of the posts, the promotional campaigns, and the target audiences, you may find it challenging to get enough people reading, following, sharing, liking and talking about your posts.

3. Identify a topic

 

 

 

 

 

 

Invest the time to identify a topic that is not only interesting to write about but also provides a connection to an attentive audience.   While you may think you have a great idea for your blog, if there aren’t enough people interested in the content you may not get anyone to read it.

4. Understand various blog types and select one

 

 

 

 

Before writing a blog, it is important to understand the various blog types such as: Listicle, Click Bait, Op Ed, or a Product Review. Once the blog types and formats are understood, you should then select the appropriate format for the topic.  For example, you can write a product review on something of interest and relevance to you as the writer.  This will result in more honest and engaging content that can serve to connect with a targeted audience.  Another approach is to choose a topic that is of interest to the intended audience.  You may decide that a Click Bait post with nostalgic images or humorous content may be an easier way to promote to a broader audience as a means to drive traffic to your blog.

5. Writing a blog can be time consuming

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t underestimate the amount of time it takes to research, write, review and edit a blog before posting it.  To demonstrate this, consider a blog that includes original video content.  While videos can be an effective way to drive traffic and session duration, they are also very time consuming to produce.  Effective videos require frequent editing, re-shoots, voice over sessions, more editing and then copy overlay.  Finally, you put it all together, post it to your site and promote it to the masses.  While it can be fun, don’t underestimate the time commitment needed to pull it off!

6. Find audiences to drive traffic

 

 

 

 

 

With so many different channels available, deciding on the right platforms for promoting your message is an integral step in a successful campaign.  Email, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Instagram and Tumbler are a just a few of the options available and all have may seem to have benefits.

You might think that email is a great channel for promotion because you have lots of friends and family interested in your content.  However, you may find that people often don’t read blogs in their email as frequently as they check their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts.

The trick is finding the right social media platform and the right audience to post and promote your blog.

7. Leverage Google Analytics

 

 

 

 

Through Google Analytics, identify the key metrics that allow you to monitor your blog site’s performance and measure how well you are reaching the intended audience. Some examples of effective metrics include: number of sessions, bounce rate, average session and duration. Number of sessions measures the number of visitors to your site or campaign (i.e how effectively are you driving traffic).  Average session duration provides you with a measurement of how long on average people are viewing your blogs (i.e is your content interesting to the reader). Bounce rate represents the action of leaving the site immediately after clicking on a campaign (i.e is your content relevant to the visitor).  To measure how effectively your targeted audience is engaging with your blog, you want your bounce rate to be as low as possible.

8. Adjust your approach if it doesn’t drive enough traffic

 

 

 

 

There are times when it seems like the topic is relevant to many audiences and the execution of the promotional strategy seems correct. However, something didn’t work. It could have been an issue with the blog title, the blog content, the target audience or the promotion. When this occurs, you have an opportunity to make adjustments to the blog, the social media platform and/or the promotional campaign to a more appropriate audience.  If you can learn from your missteps and quickly address any issues, you can develop into a more effective social media marketing blogger.

Good Luck!

The Social Media Bunnies Evolution


Lessons Learned

The Social Media Bunnies took on this Social Media Marketing challenge by finding topics that interested us and collaborating to write fun blog posts. The first strength we recognized in our team was the comfortability with different social media platforms. Pooling our networks and social media accounts, we decided to market on Reddit, Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter as our main channels. In addition, we decided to write articles with specific mediums in mind so that our article would both get views and follow the social norms of the platforms. Throughout this project we learned lessons that will help us moving forward in our careers. Stay tuned while we discuss three factors that had the biggest impact on our blog posts.


1. What is the value of a six second duration session of a Reddit User?

The Social Media Bunnies undertook our competition for viewers (sessions), click-through (bounce-rate), and length of time on the site (session duration). When writing articles, we considered the medium when deciding on a topic for the week. While considering the channel for certain topics, we did not originally consider the effect of these channels on the metrics we were measuring.

Reddit and Tumblr campaigns caused the number of sessions to skyrocket in a short amount of time, with the page duration inversely plummeting toward zero.

Earlier Sharings of Reddit & Tumblr Fame – Analytics

The 2,121 viewers during this time period solidified the Social Media Bunnies’ place as #1 for the number of sessions. In the past weeks, we have focused on sharing through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as our channels of choice. The effect on page duration and bounce rates is staggering.

Past Week of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Sharing – Analytics

When comparing these strategies, another question comes to mind. In the ever changing world of social media and content marketing, what is the value of a six second session from a Reddit user? Did the content soak into the viewer’s brain during those six seconds, enough to make a lasting or at least subconscious impression? The overarching question of numbers vs. substance comes to mind. In our case, the numbers won while the duration lagged behind.


2. Social Norms and Mediums of Choice

It is crucial to understand the micro-cultures on each of the websites that you choose to engage in,  tone and ideas can make or break your article. Posting and engaging in the domains you are most familiar with is strongly advised  It also helps to use the resources you have at your disposal, such as knowing your neighbor is a strong influencer on Twitter. Catering your content to your strengths can get you a running head start to achieving your goals.

Social Media Bunnies wrote a Pokémon article because one member had a large network for Pokémon on Tumblr. However, because we wrote the article with a negative spin Reddit reacted badly. Reddit didn’t like how we talked about Pokémon Go needing to be revived because they were still very much active in the game. If we had written the article or at least titled it with a more positive spin, Reddit may have reacted more positively. However on Tumblr it did very well and due in part to having an engaging and original photo that was enticing to click.

We made a crucial mistake with “Apple Goes to the Dark Side”. We were able to keep the article on the first page of the Apple subreddit and getting a landslide of viewers, we violated one of the subreddit rules that forbids users from posting their own content. We would have gotten away with it but we reacted to comments in an attempt to increase engagement and the subreddit realized that we had posted our own content. As a result, the article was taken down and our largest sources of (potentially viral) views was cut off. In addition, one of the Bunnies was banned from Reddit.

Social Media channels are designed for connection. But the connections have norms of engagement, and the network is not forgiving if you violate their rules


3. Dropping the Ball on Bounce Rates

Bounce rate is the percentage of users who land on your website and decide to leave without going to a second page. A higher bounce rate, such as our bounce rate of 95%, indicates that we were not successful in convincing users to stay on our page to digest our material. Our team could/should have counteracted this by incorporating more links and/or multiple pages into our material. This would have been the best strategy to keep users on our pages, however we failed to incorporate this piece of advice. Any bounce rate above 80% is considered very poor by Google Analytics standards and even 70-80% is not is not ideal. One of our biggest problems in this regard is that we boosted our posts on sites such as Reddit and Tumblr, which are not known for creating low bounce rates.

The lowest bounce rate we achieved, was 40% from an email campaign from our United Airlines article. This is only based off of five sessions which suggests that linking our material to the most intended audience, was the most effective way to bring down bounce rates.

Recently, one of our Bunnies did go through and added relevant outside links to such articles as “Apple Goes To The Dark Side”. While we are still waiting to see the result of this effort, we are confident that it will bring down the bounce rate over time and encourage search engine optimization.

Analytics by Landing Page

 


The End Result

Analytics Overview by Campaign

Throughout this experience the Social Media Bunnies succeeded in our goal of garnering the largest number of views but fell short in the duration and bounce rate categories. Our primary mediums of Reddit and Tumblr were conducive to this sort of outcome. Connecting our content to trending topics in the social media sphere, such as Star Wars, Apple, Pokémon, and United Airlines, enhanced the effect of our chosen channels. The flashy name on the content can get clicks, but to be able to appeal to all the various segments within this interest group is a task for only the most herculean marketers.


Social Media Bunnies Out.


Review our previous works:
  1. The Top Five Corporate Social Media Cage Matches
  2. Apple Goes to the “Dark Side”
  3. Can Pokémon Go Be Revived?
  4. The 5 Secrets to Social Media Marketing
  5. Social Media #struggle: United Airlines
    1. United Take Your Turn
    2. United & THE INCIDENT
    3. United’s Response & The Backlash
    4. What Comes Next for United?
  6. The Social Media Bunnies Evolution: Lessons Learned