Having trouble breaking through the noise and getting noticed online? Spending hours writing blog posts that get little to no attention?
A handful of social shares. A few retweets. Zero backlinks.
You’re not alone.
But that doesn’t mean you should keep doing what you’ve been doing. It’s time to switch things up.
90 percent of the information your brain gets is visual and that information is processed 60,000 times faster than text.
Visual content isn’t just great for social media, it’s great for building both traffic and links back to your site.
Neil Patel, founder of Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics, recently analyzed 614 blog posts on his site Quick Sprout and discovered that his infographics generated 37.5% more backlinks than his standard blog post.
Case in point… here is one of Neil’s infographics, along with some anecdotal evidence on visual content.
Kicking It Up a Notch
Creating visual content isn’t easy, especially if you’re trying to create great content. If you need help, check out this detailed post of 9 ways to take your visual content to the next level.
Once you’ve created your fantabulous content, it’s time to share. Try these 5 steps to get massive engagement…
Because who doesn’t want massive engagement?
The Death of Stock Photos
Speaking of what people want… it’s probably not stock photos.
We may be witnessing the death of stock photos.
Ok. Probably not. But The Next Web does make a good case for why user-generated content may replace the need for stock photos.
Sticking with stock photos? At least do us all a favor and learn how to pick stock photos that don’t suck.
Community Building (Or Not)
Can you build a community based on visual content?
Lululemon seems to think so.
I think they’re right.
A quick search on Instagram for #seawheeze, Lululemon’s line of running shorts, shows nearly 30,000 user-generated posts.
How’s that for getting visual?
Thinking of building your own community based on stretchy clothes with bold patterns? Not so fast…
Forrester’s Nate Elliott claims we’re all kidding ourselves, and in fact, there is no ‘community building’ on social media. Speaking about community building on sites like Facebook, Elliott says:
There’s no community there. This notion of “build a community on Facebook,” I’ve never seen any brand successfully build a long-term community on Facebook. Maybe around a topic for a week, people come together, but conversations aren’t threaded. They’re not archived. There’s never been a meaningful community there. Even pages that get lots of likes on posts, and comments and shares, there’s not a community there.
Of course, there’s always an opposing view. Marketing consultant Mark Schaefer disagrees with Elliott, arguing that it’s important for brands to go where the people are, focus on content plus connection, and be aware of weak links and the “Alpha Audience”. Shaefer concludes:
I think today we must focus on building community wherever our customers want to be. Connect with them through content that creates interest and eventually inspires loyalty. That is the possibility and promise of social media community.
I think they’re both right.
There’s a lot of faux community-building on social media. Community that doesn’t last. There’s also a lot of risk when you’re a digital sharecropper.
But building a community? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Finding an existing community is a lot more practical.
So I say, go where your people are. And give them their stretchy pants. But why not invite them back to your place to keep the party going?
Last Week’s Top 10
1. Pinterest just announced the release of Buyable Pins, a new way for online merchants to sell their goods through Pinterest’s mobile app. Here’s everything you need to know about Pinterest’s new buyable pins.
2. Are you using events as a way to promote your brand or build community? Here are 5 ways you can use social media to boost engagement and RSVPs.
3. What about blogging? Here are some great tips for using a blog to drive customers to your offline business.
4. If you’re just getting started or need help building an audience online, Tim Ferriss gives some great advice on how to build a large audience from scratch (podcast).
5. I’m just starting to understand the power of using Quora to help build your audience. If you haven’t checked it out from a marketing standpoint, I recommend you do. And read this: Beginner’s Guide to Quora: The Most Helpful Uses for Marketers
6. I’m constantly running into small business owners worried about over-sharing and bothering their audience and fans. If that’s you, here are 8 ways to get more social shares without annoying readers.
7. Guy Kawasaki recently published a perfect post checklist of 10 practices to ensure your posts are as effective as possible.
8. A marketing brief wouldn’t be complete without mention of Google or SEO. Always be aware of Google. In fact, if your local business listing is inactive, Google may just go ahead and unverify it.
9. Also from Search Engine Land, their 2015 edition of the Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors, which includes three new elements.
10. Last but not least, it appears I’ve been ending my emails in the worst possible way…