Online content, whether it’s on your website, a blog or social media can be a powerful tool for businesses. It can help spread the word about what you do and connect you with customers who otherwise wouldn’t have known you existed. You can only reap the benefits, though, if people actually see your online content. So how can you boost its visibility?
It’s tempting to focus on filling up your social media followers or blog subscribers with random people just to boost your numbers. Followers that don’t actually care about your posts or your business won’t do you much good. That’s why you should focus on quality over quantity.
Start by defining your target audience. Use a media monitoring tool to search specific keywords across various social media platforms, for example, “organic food” or “gluten-free” are interesting topics for a healthy brand to search for. Follow the people joining conversations relevant to your brand. You can also take a peek at followers of similar brands and competitors and give them a follow too. If they’re already interested in the topics you cover, they’ll be more likely to follow you back.
Engagement is one of the most fundamental strategies online marketers use to boost visibility. The more people you get talking and engaging with the things you post, the more likely it is that others will see it. This is how the “reach” metric works. Encourage people to interact with you by asking them a question, this way your company will be present to the engaged members of the community and will ultimately help improve the reach of your brand and online content.
While there isn’t one magical time when you should always post for the most visibility, you can increase the chance of people discovering your online content by choosing times and days when the majority of your followers are online. Numerous studies have come up with different optimal times to post on different social media sites. Sure you can use these numbers as a guideline, but it’s best to look at your page’s statistics to determine when the right time is for your specific audience. That goes for blog posts, too! Google Analytics is great for showing blog traffic spikes and an engagement tool such as Meltwater can help you determine when your social media audience is most engaged.
Most people start their online browsing sessions on a search engine. That’s why it’s crucial that you optimise your site so you show more often and higher up in search results. An integral part of this is ensuring your content is as unique as possible to avoid being penalised by search engine algorithms. Also, include relevant keywords and organise your online content in a logical, easy-to-scan manner. Google search console is a fantastic resource to use if you need inspiration on keywords. In a nutshell, the tool tells you the search terms people have entered to find your content. Use the data to improve content visibility by writing more content that includes such keywords.
Including a visual on your web page, in your blog post or in your social media feed is one of the best ways to boost engagement and visibility. Photos, infographics, GIFs and visuals are all suitable choices. Not only do visual posts get more shares, likes and comments; people retain the information in them better.
Tagging your posts with hashtags helps more people see them. Include tags that are relevant to your industry that your customers may search. You can also check what tags are trending and use them to boost your visibility even further. Just make sure you stay on-brand with whatever you post, and avoid stuffing them into your content unnaturally. Twitter’s advice is to use no more than 3 hashtags per post, to avoid you looking desperate. With this in mind, the hashtags that we choose must make maximum impact. Research is key, even if it’s ‘only a hashtag’.
Since social media sites typically keep your most recent content at the top of your feed, even fantastic online content can quickly get lost in the shuffle. Most sites now include a feature that allows you to “pin” a post to the top of your page so it’s always the first one visitors see. You might choose to pin an important announcement, a post that really captures the essence of your brand or drives a lot of website traffic, a link to a project you’re proud of or a piece of online content that received a high level of engagement. Combine media monitoring and analytics to find the content that your readers are engaged with the most.
When you share other people’s content, you’ll get your name in front of the person whose content you shared as well as their followers. It’ll also help you vary what you post and make you a more interesting follow. Be sure to attribute what you share to the original creator rather than just copying it. This helps to expand your community too, by leveraging relationships with influential third parties. If you’re having trouble finding relevant online content, use media monitoring to see what editorial content is positively impacting your industry.
Share other people’s content, but feel free to promote your own too! As a rule of thumb, we’d say post 80% owned content and 20% third party. Share both new and evergreen blog posts you write on your social media. Put a sidebar with your social feed on your website. Cross-promote your social media accounts to get more followers on all of them. Share your own content and others just might do the same.
Developing a clear, consistent brand for your business is crucial. But developing your personal brand can help make your company’s brand even stronger. Encourage leaders in your organisation to develop brands that fit with your company’s. Then, you can share each other’s content and promote each other online, which will benefit both the company and the individuals. You can use media monitoring tactics to see who’s talking about your brand online. Social is increasingly being used as a PR tool, don’t underestimate this channel when building your brand.
You work hard on crafting compelling content that’s relevant to your audience. Don’t let all that hard work go to waste! Follow these 10 tips to get your online content and your brand in front of more people who want to see it.
About the author:
Nathan Sykes writes about business technology online. He is the editor of Finding an Outlet which he runs from Pittsburgh, PA.