What You Need To Know About Lead Conversion [With Expert Tips]

So, you’ve designed a lead generation strategy and it’s working. Your website visitors are coming to your website, filling out your forms, and boom, you’ve got leads. Now what?

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That’s the question I ask myself after re-watching all nine seasons of The Office for the 19th time. But it’s also the question we, as marketers, have to answer when consumers have passed that first threshold.

Once your visitors have shown an interest in your brand, how do you turn them into customers? That process is called a lead conversion.

Let’s dive into how to build your brand’s lead conversion strategy and how to improve your current conversion rate.

A lead goes through several stages before becoming a customer. They start as a lead, then grow into a marketing-qualified lead (MQL), and then become a sales-qualified lead (SQL). This means brands have to nurture their leads at every stage and create opportunities for them to take action toward becoming customers.

How to Build a Lead Conversion Process

No two brands have the same process. Every brand builds its own conversion path tailored to its leads. Below, you’ll find a few strategies to help with your process.

1. Gather information on leads.

Start with the data you have on your leads: source, industry, company, employee size, pain points – any information that will help you build a strategy that aligns with your leads’ needs.

Remind me to trademark “leads’ needs” after writing this article. Now, back to the important stuff.

“You will waste a lot of time building out a conversion strategy that is not based around facts about your audience,” says Marwa Greaves, director of global messaging at HubSpot. “Ask yourself where your leads are. Are your leads most engaged in your newsletter? Your website? On messaging channels? Make sure you are meeting your audience where they are and not asking them to bend to your strategies.”

Jordan Pritikin, the head of email and growth marketing at HubSpot, also highlights another important element to consider.

“Understand why these leads are coming to your website in the first place. What is the underlying problem they are trying to solve?” says Pritikin. “If you can create email nurturing to help them solve that challenge, you’re much more likely to connect with them and convert them into a new customer.”

If you’re missing that information, work on obtaining it through forms and user research. From there, you can design a tailored conversion process.

2. Identify high-intent behaviors in each stage.

How do you know when a lead is ready to make a purchase? What behaviors will the lead exhibit? Having these answers is key to differentiating between leads who are ready to make a purchase and those who aren’t.

A lead who only reads your brand’s blog posts is likely not at the same purchase readiness as a lead who visits your pricing page. So, if you send an unqualified lead to the sales team, they will likely have a much harder time closing a sale.

How do you avoid that? Team up with your sales team to determine what signals low-intent and high-intent behaviors. Specifying those behaviors allows marketers to know what follow-up actions to take.

3. Use an SLA to align your sales and marketing teams.

A lead conversion strategy will struggle immensely without alignment between sales and marketing. One thing you’ll need to agree on is a handoff cadence that works for both teams. That’s where a service-level agreement (SLA) comes in.

It’s typically used to outline an agreement between a business and a customer. However, it’s also used internally between sales and marketing teams to better align their lead conversion strategy.

An internal SLA should include each team’s goals, initiatives, and accountability measures for a given time frame, say Q1. That said, this agreement will require regular updates as priorities change with the business.

4. Build the lead conversion path.

Think of your lead conversion path as a trail of breadcrumbs guiding your leads to purchase. The path itself will include offers and calls-to-action to offer opportunities to convert.

Lead Conversion Strategy Example

Let’s use Zion, a fictional UK SaaS company, as an example. Zion’s sales and marketing teams have collaborated on an SLA, which includes the following: Marketing commits to sending 100 qualified leads to the sales team every month and the sales team commits to following up with those leads within a week of receiving them.

Both teams have also identified high-intent behaviors that will trigger automated emails and have implemented a lead scoring system. For instance, when a lead reaches a score of 95, this will automatically trigger an email sequence inviting the lead to schedule a product demo with a sales rep.

On the back end, that sales rep will receive a notification, with information on the lead, their activity, and a timeline in which to follow up. If the lead does not take action within a certain time frame, an automated, personalized email on behalf of the sales rep will be sent to the lead.

This is an example of the path Zion can build to convert leads, both on the customer-facing end and on the back-end between sales and marketing.

How to Calculate Lead Conversion

Calculating your lead conversion rate is simple: Take your total number of conversions, divide that by your total number of leads and then multiply by 100. That final number is your LCR.

lead conversion formula

Example time: Let’s say from January to February, you generated 105 qualified leads. From those leads, 20 became customers. The formula will look like this: 20/105 x 100. This means the lead conversion rate for that month was 19.04%.

Average Lead Conversion Rates

Because lead conversion happens at several stages across various touchpoints, there is no single average that can be used across industries.

Your brand would benefit more from looking at conversion rates at a more granular level, such as by channel (i.e., email conversion versus landing page conversion) and/or by stage (i.e., MQL-to-SQL rate).

Lead Conversion Strategies

1. Implement behavior automation.

There are two reasons to use automation: it saves time and it scales well.

Let’s say a lead is sifting through testimonials on your website. That may indicate an interest in your product. With this in mind, why not automate a follow-up email that could bring the lead one step closer to a purchase? This could be a free trial offer or a product demo.

According to Pritikin, emails based on behavior perform much better than other types of automated emails. However, Greaves encourages brands to broaden their perspective when defining those behaviors that suggest purchase readiness.

“Activity-based triggers are an easy win for marketers, but think outside the box when creating them,” Greaves says. “It’s not just views on your pricing page that may require an automated follow-up, it could also be views of other customer stories or reviews on your site.”

Here is a list of behaviors that could benefit from automation. The lead:

  • Reviews your pricing page
  • Schedules a product demo
  • Signs up for a free trial
  • Engages often in email marketing
  • Inquires about product features through chatbot, email, or other channels
  • Downloads a high-intent content offer

Working with your sales team to recognize those key behaviors will be instrumental in automating follow-ups that convert.

2. Nurture your leads through email.

Email nurturing is the process of engaging your leads through email marketing with the end goal of turning them into customers. When nurturing leads via email, offering relevant and valuable information is key.

This is when the data piece becomes important. Using the information you’ve compiled on your leads, you can deliver content that piques their interest, aligns with their goals, and solves their challenges.

There are a few tips to make your emails stand out:

  • Personalize your emails with the lead’s name.
  • Use automation software to trigger actions based on email engagement.
  • Segment your email list.

3. Leverage social proof.

When leads are considering your products or services, social proof can help nudge them toward a purchase. Examples of social proof include customer testimonials and reviews, which give leads a look into customers’ experiences with your brand.

They are best used when leads are in (or close to) the decision-making stage. So, you’ll often see them on landing pages and pricing pages.

User-generated content is another great use of social proof and can be incorporated into your social media and email marketing content.

4. Use lead scoring.

If you’re having trouble aligning your sales and marketing teams on MQLs and SQLs, lead scoring can help.

Lead scoring works by attributing points to actions taken by leads and helps marketers know where a lead falls in the funnel. It also helps sales reps prioritize leads and know which follow-up actions to take. It also ensures that both teams are qualifying leads in the same way.

A well-qualified lead means one that’s more likely to convert once they reach your sales team.

5. Retarget through PPC.

Retargeting is a great way to reach leads who have considered your brand before but weren’t quite ready to make a purchase. When you retarget them, you can re-introduce offers they may be interested in or present new ones that align better with their interests.

Retargeting is a proven method for lead generation. However, according to Greaves, it can also work well to turn leads into qualified leads. With the latest restrictions on cookies – commonly used for retargeting ads – brands will have to rely more on first-party data for their retargeting efforts.

How to Increase Lead Conversion

1. Start with the analytics.

If your lead conversion is low, your first step should be looking at your analytics. Specifically, your conversion path over a broad time frame to determine if the low rate has been consistent or is recent.

If it’s the latter, narrow down the period when the dip started and see what could have led to this change. If it’s been consistent, you may need to run various experiments with your conversion path.

Greaves recommends looking at your conversion CTA placements and the difference between them. You’ll want to look for the difference between high-performing and low-performing CTAs. If there are steep drop-offs on certain pages, that could indicate friction with your forms, like the length or the order of the fields, or even the type of information requested.

If the data shows that leads drop off shortly after the handoff to the sales team, it could be that marketing over-promised on what could be delivered.

With so many potential causes, start with the data to lead you in the right direction. Pun intended.

2. Redefine what is high-intent behavior.

Many brands may have lead qualification issues and not even know it. Marketing may be sending their sales team leads and later realize that those leads aren’t ready for sales engagement.

How do you identify the leads that are ready? It starts with gathering the right information. Reach out to your sales team to determine what information needs to be collected. Then, create a comprehensive list of high-intent behaviors and low-intent behaviors that the marketing team will use to segment leads.

This process can help pass on more qualified leads to the sales team and drive your conversion rate up.

3. Experiment with the conversion path.

Think of your lead conversion path as a house. I know you might be thinking, “Why not go with a road metaphor?” but stick with me for a second. Regardless of the condition in which you buy your house, there will always be room for improvement. Things to remove, fix, add, and revamp. And as your tastes change, so will your house’s look.

It’s the same with your path. There will always be room to improve your path. Besides, your leads’ interests, goals, and decision-making processes may change over time and require a different approach.

“Lead conversion requires a lot of experimentation. You will not succeed if you set one strategy and forget it,” Greaves says. “Creating an experimentation process that allows you to test every part of your flywheel will allow you to learn more about your leads and your own internal process than you would have before.”

Although the work is never fully done, every experiment you run will bring you that much closer to converting your leads.

3. Experiment with the conversion path.

When trying to scale your lead nurturing process, automation is the name of the game. Manually sending out personalized emails to your leads might have worked in the early days, but that will quickly get overwhelming as your business grows.

Automation allows you to maintain the same level of personalization at a quarter of the time and resources. Once you’ve set up your conversion path, automate the follow-ups that will be triggered when leads exhibit certain behaviors.

These tactics can not only save your team time but also streamline the conversion process so that no lead falls through the cracks. This practice also leaves room for your sales and marketing team to focus on big-ticket items.

The key takeaway here is that lead conversion isn’t a one-and-done process. It calls for strategy, cross-team collaboration, and a whole lot of experimentation.

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How Micromarketing Can Take Your Strategy to the Next Level [+ Examples]

Good news: on the internet, your business can connect with hundreds of millions of potential customers.

Bad news: your competitors have the same access, and they’re already throwing money at the problem.

Also not so good: your mighty, scrappy team has to figure out how to connect with, well, hundreds of millions of potential customers.

Or do you?

For your business to go big, sometimes it helps to think small – especially when it comes to your marketing strategy. 

We’re talking about micromarketing — targeting a small group from your customer-base — which can be a transformative strategy for your business.

Let’s dive into what micromarketing is, and why it’s important. Plus, we’ll explore examples to inspire your first micromarketing campaign.  

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What is micromarketing?

For your business, micromarketing means drilling down past the level of niche marketing (targeting a specific segment within the larger market) to target specific individuals or micro (“extremely small”) groups.

By targeting smaller, more specific audiences, you’re able to customize your outreach and use audience insights to tailor your messaging for more personalized, effective marketing.

Yes, this requires a different type of time and effort than more traditional mass marketing — and it’s worth it.

Why invest time and resources in micromarketing?

Micromarketing requires more resources — if you measure your efforts by potential customers reached.

However, targeting specific, segmented audiences is often more effective in the long-run towards acquiring high-quality leads and turning those leads into customers.

Sure, your first micromarketing campaign is unlikely to reach the same number of individuals as a Super Bowl Ad. But you’ll certainly spend far less than the required $5.6M for a 30-second spot. 

And, just as importantly, you don’t want to reach every Super Bowl viewer, when you can create targeted ads that inspire and delight a smaller pool of very interested consumers.

With micromarketing, your efforts are aimed at crafting personalized messages, and talking directly to the individuals most likely to respond to your pitch. The benefits are in your ROI.

Mass Marketing vs. Micromarketing: Benefits and Drawbacks

micromarketing benefits and drawbacks

See chart here. 

As you can see, micromarketing requires a greater investment to target each individual, but a greater return on investment since each individual is much more likely to respond positively to your call-to-action.

Think of it this way: you might see your CPC (cost-per-click) rise with an online micromarketing strategy. But, when executed well, you’re also going to see an encouraging decline in your cost-per-conversion — a much more important KPI.

Micromarketing Opportunities

Considering and creating a micromarketing strategy is an opportunity to step back, consider alignment between your sales and marketing efforts, and make sure you’re first-and-foremost solving for your customers’ success.

Are you selling complex enterprise software or massive industrial machinery? There may only be a small number of potential customers in your region or industry. In this case, micromarketing is likely the most effective strategy for your needs –– you need to find your potential customers, and only your potential customers. Anything else is a waste of time and resources.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself when considering a potential micromarketing strategy for your business:

  • Who buys your product?
  • Who’s the decision maker who buys it for their company?
  • Who does your product help the most –– and why is it so perfect for them?
  • What are your customers’ needs, fears, hopes, and dreams? What are their interests and passions, and what makes them happy?
  • Who do your customers follow online?
  • Who does your ideal customer aspire to be?
  • Who does your ideal customer most admire?

These questions, along with an ongoing grasp of your buyer personas, should lead you towards the answer to the two key questions that drive micromarketing decisions and campaigns:

1. Who is most likely to respond to your messages?

2. How can you best talk to them — and no one else?

For instance, if you know your product requires CMO buy-in, you can use strategic micromarketing to appeal to CMOs via a targeted marketing campaign on LinkedIn.

Ultimately, micromarketing helps you get your product directly in front of the eyes that matter most.

To see micromarketing in-action, let’s take a look at a few examples next.

Micromarketing Examples

1. Coke creates a “Share a Coke” campaign.

micromarketing example with coca cola

Image Source

Coke’s “Share a Coke” campaign started in Australia, but has since expanded to over 70 countries. If you haven’t already seen a name on a Coke bottle, here’s the gist: the marketing team in Australia chose 150 of the country’s most popular names, and printed those names on Coke bottles with the command to “share the Coke” with friends and family.

The campaign is a fantastic example of micromarketing. The campaign enables Coke to connect locally with people in specific regions by identifying a group of names most popular in that area. And the results were astounding: the summer it first launched in Australia, Coke sold more than 250 million named bottles in a country with roughly 23 million people.

2. L’Oreal Malaysia leverages local, user-generated content.

micromarketing example with l'Oreal

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L’Oreal uses micro-influencers and user-generated content to help break down geographical barriers for products, opening markets in an authentic, engaging – and personal – way.

For instance, L’Oreal Malaysia worked with local micro-influencers to create video tutorials of products for L’Oreal, Maybelline, and Garnier. The videos were shared directly to the influencers’ own audiences. As a result of the campaign, L’Oreal Malaysia saw a 12.9% increase in engagement rates, and 1.9 million trend impressions.

Instead of agonizing over individualizing content internally and navigating cultural differences, L’Oreal leveraged local influencers to increase interests in its products for each local market.

3. La Croix uses branded hashtags to find micro-influencers’ content and reach new audiences.

micromarketing example with la croix

Image Source

La Croix leverages micro-influencers by searching for Instagram users who’ve used branded hashtags such as #LiveLaCroix — and then asking those micro-influencers for permission to use the user-generated content in La Croix’s marketing materials.

This greatly cuts costs since La Croix doesn’t need to produce the materials, and it also enables La Croix to target each of the micro-influencers’ audiences for more personalized, effective content.

4. Sperry reposts influencers’ content on its own account.

micromarketing example with sperryImage Source

Sperry identifies influencers around sharing Sperry products on various social channels, and reposts those images to the official Sperry account.

This enables Sperry to leverage on-brand content with a pre-built segmented audience, while foregoing a more official influencer strategy that would require more budget and resources. Instead, these micro-influencers are satisfied with recognition and exposure as a form of compensation.

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How HubSpot’s Blog Team Comes Up With High-Performing Post Ideas

When I used to work at a marketing agency, I would read expert industry blogs, such as HubSpot, Marketing Brew, and Backlinko (to name a few).

One of my main questions every day was, “How do these brands do it? How do they constantly come up with brilliant blog ideas?”

Now, obviously, I work at HubSpot and I know what a blog strategy looks like at a big company with a recognizable brand.

By taking the time to do solid research and idea brainstorming, you can come up with blog topics that drive thousands of readers, like me, in — while boosting traffic, authority, and credibility.

Today, I want to pull the curtain back for you. We’ll discuss how the HubSpot blog continuously comes up with high-performing blog ideas.

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How the HubSpot Blog Comes Up With Ideas

Before we get started, it’s important to know that when the HubSpot team comes up with blog ideas, several teams are involved (SEO, blog, and lead generation). Because of this, we divide our brainstorming process into two parts: trend research and SEO topic research. We then combine these efforts in our Insights Report on a quarterly basis (which you can download a copy of below).

Featured Resource: Search Insights Report Template

Search Insights report template by HubSpot.

Let’s dive into both those processes below.

How the HubSpot Blog Generates Trend-Responsive Blog Post Ideas

Blog topics that relate to trends, research, or thought leadership yield bursts in non-organic traffic that can help you gain visitors while you’re waiting for SEO-driven posts to rank. Because they often include data, quotes, or other exclusive information, these posts can also earrn backlinks, which indirectly boost your search authority.

However, finding trendy non-organic post topics isn’t always straightforward and often requires brainstorming.

Pamela Bump, HubSpot’s Audience Growth Manager, leads the charge with our team’s brainstorming efforts while also managing the blog’s non-organic content strategy.

She says, “While our SEO team uses specialized tools to identify blog posts that will pull in organic traffic, I leverage a number of trend research tactics to identify post ideas that will pull in non-organic traffic from sources like email, social media, and referrals.”

Below is the process she asks bloggers to use during our virtual idea brainstorms.

1. Focus on your blog categories.

Before you get started, it’s important to have some sort of road map in mind. Choose the most important clusters, or blog categories, that you want to focus on for the quarter and develop ideas around them.

Immediately, just knowing the clusters you want to focus on could spark a few ideas for thought-leadership or data-driven research posts.

Each quarter, the HubSpot acquisition team chooses seven to ten clusters for each blog property — for us, that’s marketing, sales, service, and website. Usually the clusters relate to things like business goals or industry trends.

Additionally, we include other categories besides those clusters, such as Audience Growth, Lead Acquisition, and User Acquisition to help us brainstorm topics that are related to our lead generation goals.

2. Review the content you’ve already written to inspire new topics.

Now that you’ve done a quick brainstorm of some new ideas, let’s see what’s already been written in each cluster that you’re focusing on.

To do this, search your site for the cluster. We do site searches at HubSpot, but just typing in “site:blog.hubspot.com/service customer experience” in Google. With this formatting, you can change the link and change the keyword to be whatever you’re looking for. Then, Google will find posts on that keyword on that site specifically.

When you’re coming up with blog ideas, searching the site to see if the topic has been covered is very important. The reason you’ll want to do this is that you can find high-performing posts that give you inspiration for new angles or you can find posts that you want to update with more quotes, data, or new research. Additionally, this will help you avoid keyword cannibalization.

Caroline Forsey, the HubSpot Marketing Blog property manager, says. “Think of different angles for popular topics you’ve already covered. For instance, let’s say you have plenty of content regarding LinkedIn — but you have none from a thought leader in the space. Perhaps you could conduct an interview with a LinkedIn employee for a thought leadership angle, like ‘Top X Tips from a LinkedIn Marketer’.”

3. See what the competition is doing.

While you never want to copy your competitors, it’s important to see what topics they’re writing about. This will help you fill in gaps that your competitors are missing and perhaps improve on blog topics they’re discussing.

This also lets you know what’s going on in your industry. What’s the latest news and should you be writing about it?

Additionally, you can browse social media for this reason as well. Social media can let you know the pain points of your audience and check-in with what’s going on with your target audience.

Staying up on industry news is one of the best ways to brainstorm blog ideas.

Forsey adds, “When new features become available for a social media platform or tool, there’s often plenty of opportunities to explore new angles there, as well — recently, LinkedIn released its own version of Stories, so perhaps you brainstorm a topic like ‘X Best LinkedIn Stories We’ve Seen’, or ‘LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook Stories: Which is Best?'”

4. Have a checklist of blog topic idea criteria.

Once you’ve created some blog ideas, you should check and make sure each blog post topic is aligned with your overall blog criteria. If you don’t have blog criteria yet, maybe it’s time to set some standards around what each blog topic should cover.

For example, at HubSpot, all our blog posts need to provide value to your blog audience, align with a cluster or lead-gen goal, provide non-organic opportunities, be either trend-responsive or evergreen, and have some keyword opportunities.

5. Stay organized.

You should track your blog ideas in an organized fashion. At HubSpot, we use an idea generation spreadsheet where writers and editors can brainstorm ideas for quarterly clusters, or just write down ongoing ideas.

Ultimately, this process helps keep us organized when it comes to generating consistent blog post ideas.

Jay Fuchs, a blog writer at HubSpot, describes his process. He says, “I try to find topics that reconcile engaging subject matter with practicality when coming up with research or trend-based blog topics. That means finding buzzy, intriguing subject matter that lends itself to an article with a compelling title, interesting supporting materials, and — perhaps most importantly — actionable advice.”

Fuchs explains, “That could mean a piece about something like avoiding common pricing mistakes or sales strategies that will become prominent in the near future. One way or another, you need to pick topics that hook and help — ones that command your reader’s attention and let you make the most of it with insight that they’ll be able to apply, going forward.”

Now that you know the HubSpot process when it comes to generating non-organic blog ideas, let’s dive into the SEO side.

Brainstorming SEO-Optimized Ideas

While Bump and the blog writers brainstorm non-organic ideas, our SEO team is hard at work creating blog topics that have an organic goal in mind. This is their process:

1. Look at your company’s products, goals, and customer base.

To start, HubSpot’s SEO team will review our products, goals, and customer base.

Amanda Kopen, an SEO Strategist at HubSpot, says, “When coming up with blog post ideas, first you need to look at your company’s products, goals, and customer base. At HubSpot, we brainstorm blog posts as they relate to our different products (marketing, sales, service, etc.). Then, we narrow it down to topics where we have expertise but are potential pain points for our customers (social media marketing).”

During this phase, our SEO team is reviewing our personas, prioritizing blog clusters (decided by SEO and lead-gen teams), and brainstorming what would be helpful to our audience.

Additionally, the SEO team will identify large topics, underperforming topics, and old but high-performing topics.

2. Conduct keyword research and run a content gap analysis.

After the initial brainstorm, it’s time to do your keyword research and content gap analysis.

Kopen explains, “Once we have a potential pain point in mind, we use SEO best practices — like conducting keyword research and running content gap analyses — to see exactly what people want to learn about (how often should I post on LinkedIn), and we start writing from there.”

During this part of the process, our SEO team will gather domains with similar audiences and conduct a content gap analysis (find out what these sites are ranking for that HubSpot isn’t).

We’ll also look at related searches on Google to see what people are searching for. Then, we’ll identify opportunities where we can update old blog posts or recycle the URL (so we don’t lose the SEO juice, but have updated content for that topic).

3. See if there are any linking opportunities.

Finally, the SEO team will also communicate with HubSpot’s product and academy teams to see if there are linking opportunities such as any courses or products of ours we should be linking to.

Creating Traffic-Generating Ideas

And that’s how the HubSpot blog comes up with high-performing blog post ideas consistently. To learn more about our process, you can learn how SEO works for the HubSpot Blog with our Insights Report course on HubSpot Academy.

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How to Write a Webinar Script [+ Template]

Whether or not you enjoy public speaking, I’d bet you don’t like hopping on stage without preparing for a speech or keynote address.

Running through slides, practicing in front of a mirror, or pre-writing a script — whatever type of preparation you prefer, it’s key to calming nerves and delivering an engaging, valuable presentation.

The same goes for a webinar. You and your panelists may be at home and behind a screen, but that doesn’t mean webinars are any less important to prepare for (or that they can be any less nerve-wracking).

To help your preparation and quell your nerves, consider writing a webinar script.

Not only will this guarantee your webinar presenters and panelists stay on topic, but it will also ensure you deliver a relevant, actionable webinar that doesn’t waste your audience’s time.

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What is a webinar script?

A webinar script is a pre-written dialogue of what you plan to share and teach during your webinar. At a minimum, your webinar script should include an introduction, an agenda of what you and your panelists plan to discuss, the specific points that your panelists will cover, and a closing call-to-action.

Webinar scripts can also include timing details (to ensure your guests don’t veer off course or take time from another presenter), navigational instructions (such as when to share a screen, direct attendees to a certain website, or at what point certain panelists may join or drop off), and certain terms or discussion points to avoid.

Why write a webinar script?

Webinar scripts are valuable because they help keep your webinar valuable. Without proper planning, it’s easy to lose your train of thought due to nervousness, excitement, or perhaps an audience question.

Writing a script for your webinar ahead of time also allows you to decide on the goal of your webinar. Think:

  • What do you want your audience to learn?
  • Who do you want to invite to speak that would help teach your audience?
  • What actions do you want your audience to take during and after your webinar?

By answering these questions before your webinar (and before you write the script), you can tailor your webinar script and angle its speakers and content to stay focused on these deliverables. You can also share your webinar script with your speakers so they have an idea of the presentation flow.

Let’s say I was teaching a webinar on content marketing. There are so many topics and stories I could share — from freelance writing to building a strategy to SEO- vs. non-SEO-driven content.

If I sat down to write my webinar content ahead of time, I’d be forced to face how vast (and ambiguous) just “content marketing” is as a topic. Writing the script would require me to hone the purpose and goal of my webinar, which would then inspire my guest panel and subsequent CTA.

Webinar scripts keep your webinar focused, confident, and audience-centric. Finally, webinar scripts can inspire much of your webinar marketing, saving you significant work for writing up emails, social media copy, and promotional blog posts.

How to Write a Webinar Script

In this section, we’ll talk about what to consider when writing your script. I’ll also touch on when you should certainly use a script, and when a webinar script may be more limiting than liberating.

First, open a blank Google Doc or pull out a fresh notebook. Jot down why you want to run a webinar, what some main points or takeaways you want to feature, and any other ideas you may have. You may see a flow begin to form — what points you’ll open with, how to support your takeaways with panelists or research, and where they may be some gaps you can fill with further brainstorming. Consider this your webinar script “outline.”

(I encourage you to do this in a Google Doc versus slide deck as a slide deck will force you to parse up and order your ideas before you’re ready, which can interfere with the brainstorming process.)

Once you have a script outline, you’re ready to start fleshing out the script. Yes, I mean writing verbatim what you plan to say and what points you want to cover—your webinar talk track. If you’ll have panelists on your webinar, encourage them to do the same as it pertains to their sections.

While you can’t script the Q&A section, writing your webinar content ahead of time also allows you to understand what you plan to cover from start to finish. Therefore, if an audience member asks a question about a topic you know you or a guest speaker will be covering later on, you can ask them to wait versus derailing the presentation.

Now, let’s unpack the important components of a webinar script.

1. Webinar Introduction

The webinar introduction sets the stage (albeit digital) for your whole presentation. The introduction script should include a brief introduction of yourself and your business, explain why you’re equipped to teach, and touch on the webinar agenda — including what speakers your audience can expect to see.

Be sure you thank your audience in the introduction, too. If you plan to ask for audience engagement through polls or the webinar chat feature, make note of that for your attendees and briefly explain how they can participate if they so choose.

2. Webinar Agenda

You might’ve touched on the webinar agenda in your introduction, but this section is your chance to explain more of what your audience members will see and learn. You can break up your webinar into sections (e.g., What, Why, How, etc.) or, if you have guest speakers, outline what your speakers will be discussing.

This is also where you can mention how long each section and/or presentation will take, as well as how much time will be left at the end for questions. As I mentioned before, the goal of your webinar script is to keep your presentation on track and avoid wasting your audience’s time — a webinar agenda will do just that.

3. Webinar Goal and Purpose

Next, feature a section that discusses the “why” of your webinar. Perhaps you have a single, punchy sentence that will grab the attention of your audience. Or, you may choose to feature a bulleted list of ways your audience will benefit from the webinar.

However you choose to present your webinar goal or purpose, be sure to script supporting content to discuss during the section or slide. Don’t forget to mention what your audience can expect after the webinar, too, be it a CTA or bonus for attending.

4. Webinar Educational Content

For your webinar, you may be bringing in panelists, or you may be presenting the webinar alone

If the former applies to your webinar, ask your panelists to script their sections ahead of time and send them over for your review. (You can also provide one of the recommended templates below or share your script as an example.)

If the latter applies, this section is the crux of your webinar script. It contains the valuable, educational information that your audience likely signed up to see. According to how you organized your presentation in the agenda section, develop the talk track for each section — down to the transitions. If you plan to include imagery, engage your audience, or share your screen to demonstrate a concept, make note of these actions in your script.

Don’t forget to incorporate stories and examples in your webinar lessons, as these will help your audience relate your concepts and takeaways to real-life scenarios. If you don’t want your anecdotes to feel too scripted or forced, perhaps make a note where you will tell that story (instead of writing it out word-for-word). This is an example of where a script can limit you.

Tip: If you’ve written blog content about your webinar topic, consider pulling in some of that content and reworking it to fit your lessons and main takeaways.

5. Webinar Conclusion and Q&A

The conclusion to your webinar is crucial; it helps anchor your lessons for your audience and recaps important takeaways. You can also script an engagement activity, such as a short concept quiz or brief feedback session when your attendees can share something new they learned.

This section serves as the TL;DR, so the script should be short and concise, too. After you’ve recapped your presentation, open the floor for questions.

6. Webinar Next Steps and Close

After you and/or your speakers have shared your webinar content and answered any questions, it’s time to wrap up. First, script your closing comments — thanking the audience and sharing any important contact or follow up information.

Then, share the next steps. What would you like your audience to do now that they’ve attended your webinar? Close the webinar presentation with a strong call-to-action and concise instructions on how your audience can follow suit.

Congratulations! You just wrote a webinar script. Now, I have a few final tips for you:

  • Write your script as you talk, in a conversational tone and with everyday language. It helps to write the script with full sentences so you don’t get lost in a sea of bullet points or fragmented sentences.
  • Practice your script from top to bottom, verbatim. Time yourself to see if the script is too long. Ask your presenters to do the same with their scripts.
  • Only when you’ve read your script aloud a few times through should you begin to design your webinar slides. Don’t copy and paste your script to your slides; use the script to inspire important bullets and talking points.

Above, I encouraged you to start with a blank Doc or notebook as a starting point for your webinar script. If you need some help organizing your thoughts and ideas, consider using the following webinar script template as a starting point.

Webinar Script Template

This template serves as an example webinar script — not one to copy and plug the appropriate details. Even if you use this as a starting point, I encourage you to personalize the content to match your presentation, speakers, and audience.

Hello, everyone! Welcome, and thank you for dialing in for our webinar today. My name is [name] and I’m the [role] at [company]. At [company], we help [audience] like you [unique value proposition / product or service mention]. Today, we’ll be discussing [topic] and featuring [speaker], [speaker], and [speaker].

You can expect each speaker to have the floor for about 10 minutes, and we’ll conduct a short Q&A at the end of each session. If you have any questions during the webinar, please type them into the chat window — we’ll address them during the Q&A.

By the end of our time today, we hope you feel more comfortable and confident about [topic]. We’re very passionate about [topic] and have many exciting stories and learnings to share here today. Our goal is to [goal].

We’ll start with [speaker], who will be speaking on [topic]. [speaker] is [details and bio for credibility].

[Insert speaker’s webinar script here when I receive it.]

Thank you, [speaker]! Who has questions for her?

[I read questions from the chat window for the speaker to answer.]

Those are all of our questions. [speaker], anything else you want to touch on before we move onto our next guest?

[All speakers present and take questions.]

Well, that’s all we’ve got for you here today. Thank you for joining [company] to discuss [topic]. We appreciate you signing in and hope you learned [goal].

Before we sign off, I’d love to tell you about [main announcement or call-to-action]. Feel free to reach out to me via email if you’re interested or want to know more. We’ll see you next time!

How much you prepare for your webinar has a direct impact on its quality and benefit to your audience.

Writing a webinar script ahead of time helps you get aligned and focused on your topic, inform your guests of the purpose and flow of your webinar, and practice, practice, practice until you’re confident in your presentation. Use this guide to help you get started writing your next webinar script.

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20 Creative Ways To Repurpose Content

As a marketer, you definitely have a lot of work to do (and not enough time to get it done). You might also feel occasionally struck by writer’s block when it comes to creating fresh, unique content.

Given these challenges, you’re always searching for ways to make your job easier while continuing to produce high-quality content on a regular schedule. Fortunately, content repurposing is here to take some of the weight off your shoulders.

At first glance, content repurposing may seem like a way to cheat the system, but it’s not. You’re reworking your existing, high-quality content and presenting it in a different form on new channels. In this post, we’ll cover the basics of content repurposing, outline the benefits it can bring to your business, and discuss specific strategies to repurpose content you’ve already created. We’ll also talk about how to create new content with future repurposing in mind.

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As I mentioned above, content repurposing might feel like a cop-out if you’re unfamiliar with the strategy. You don’t want your audiences to feel like your content is repetitive, or that you don’t care about creating unique content on every channel. You also may think that content repurposing means taking something that someone else has created and reworking it to fit your brand message. Content repurposing is neither of these things. You’re not being repetitive, you’re using content you and your teams have purposely created, giving it new life, and ensuring that all segments of your audience can gain value from what you have to offer.

For more clarity, let’s briefly go over what content repurposing is and what it isn’t.

Content repurposing is…

Content repurposing isn’t…

Sharing an old blog post that you’ve updated with new, relevant data and thought leadership quotes.

Sharing an old blog post on your Twitter profile without updating content for relevancy and simply changing the description. (This could certainly be seen as lazy.)

Taking heavy-hitting key statistics from an Ebook and creating an infographic to post on Twitter.

Taking a news article from another site and editing it to fit your brand or business image.

(Technically this could be repurposing, but it’s mostly stealing.)

Creating video clips of podcast recording sessions to post on Instagram to generate hype and excitement for an upcoming episode.

Posting a campaign on different social media channels. (This isn’t repurposing, it’s cross-channel marketing.)

 

Why should I repurpose content?

When repurposing old content, or creating new content with repurposing in mind, you’re saving yourself time. You already have the data to point you towards high-performing pieces of content to reshape and redistribute, or you’re already in the process of creating a blog post that you know will do well as a podcast episode, quote snippet on your Instagram account, or part of an Ebook collection.

Repurposing content can also potentially give you an SEO boost. When you have multiple pieces of content centered around similar targeted keywords, search engine crawlers will generally recognize you as a source of authority. You’re not just creating content for the sake of it — you’re putting out valuable resources, in multiple different forms, that provide value to your users.

Additionally, repurposing content helps you scale, both in terms of content amount and audience reach. Simply creating a blog post gives you a presence, but creating a blog post that can be turned into an email newsletter or a how-to YouTube video gives you three different types of content in one, and a presence on three separate platforms with three separate and diverse audience groups.

The HubSpot Academy’s free content repurposing mini-course discusses the benefits of content repurposing in more depth if you’re interested in learning more.

Given the benefits that it can bring to your marketing efforts, let’s go over various ways to repurpose your content.

How to Repurpose Content

As mentioned above, repurposing content means taking one asset and reusing it somewhere else. If your goal is to repurpose existing content for different channels, start by taking a look at your metrics. Take note of what has performed well, and brainstorm ways to continue to provide value to your different target audiences with the same content in different forms.

If you feel as though there’s no possible way to repurpose the content you have or will have, there probably is a solution. We’ll go over some options below.

 

How To Repurpose Blog Content

If you run a blog, you likely have a significant amount of high-quality blog posts. While it may not seem like there is a way to convert your text-heavy pieces into different formats, there are certainly ways to do so.

1. Create a YouTube video.

How-to posts are great to convert in to visual guides on YouTube, especially with graphics-heavy pieces. Suppose you’re a business that coaches salespeople on mastering a sales call. You can write a script to include in a blog post, but it could also be converted into a YouTube video where an actual salesperson runs through the script.

2. Create a SlideShare.

This is one of the easier ways to repurpose your blog content, as you’re simply converting it into presentation form. Identify a piece of high-performing content, and reproduce it into a SlideShare. SlideShares are beneficial because they’re easily shareable, and it introduces audiences to your words in a different, palatable way. Plus, presentations allow you to incorporate other graphic elements that aren’t always present in long-form blog posts.

Copyblogger, a content marketing company, went this route with one of their high-performing blog posts, as shown in the image below.

repurpose blog post into a slideshare presentation example3. Create an infographic. 

Have a blog post full of statistics or data? Consider creating an infographic.

Consumers appreciate visuals, so creating a summary of the most hard-hitting statistics from your posts is a new, engaging way to give meaning to your content. You can place these infographics within the blog post, but they can also be repurposed and posted on social media (which we’ll cover below).

4. Create an ebook.

Creating an ebook is a great option for long-form blog content that provides educational value to your audience. In your blog post, you can touch on specific key elements of your subject and offer the ebook as a more in-depth discussion of the content you’ve created. Search Engine Journal, a well-known SEO resource, went this route with their blog post series about Content Marketing. They have ten free-to-access articles about the subject but offer a more in-depth ebook guide.

repurposed blog content into an ebook example from search engine journal

5. Extract thought leadership quotes.

Do you often recruit industry experts or thought leaders to contribute to your pieces? If you do, you recruit these people because you know they have valuable insight (and your audience will think so as well). Take heavy-hitting quotes from articles and post them on your social media accounts, create infographics, or use them as snippets in email newsletters. Here’s an example from the HubSpot Academy Instagram account.

 

6. Create a podcast episode. 

In the same vein as extracting quotes from thought leadership or industry leader posts, consider creating podcasts out of these high-performing posts. You can use the copy as a script, invite thought leaders back for more in-depth discussions of the insight they’ve given for the posts, or simply discuss the blog post in its original form.

So, there are various ways to repurpose your text-heavy blog posts to give them new life and expose their content to different audiences. We’ve briefly mentioned it above, but we’ll cover more examples of repurposing content for social media below.

 

Repurposing Content for Social Media

Social media sites can accommodate many different content types, many of which can be repurposed from your existing content. Let’s go over six options below.

1. Use old images as post backgrounds.

Have high-quality visuals that you’ve only used once? Try using  them as post backgrounds. As long as you’re following the Instagram size requirements, you can use these images as the background for quotes you extract from blog posts or simply post the images on their own to draw audience attention to a past project.

2. Post snippets of existing video content.

Do you have YouTube videos or any type of business-related video content? Post snippets on social media.

Most platforms allow you to post video content, so if you edit it down to fit within their video-length requirements, you can easily repurpose a video for each of the platforms you have a presence on. If you’re hesitant to go this route, or new to video overall, consider the following stats from Wyzol: 86% of video marketers say that video has a high return on investment (ROI), and 85% of businesses already use video as a marketing tool.

3. Post user-generated content.

User-generated content can be anything from reviews on your product pages to one-off tweets from a satisfied customer. Although it may seem like these only provide value in their original channel, they can be repurposed for social media. Here’s an example from beauty brand Black Girl Sunscreen where they’ve used customer reviews in an Instagram video for a new product launch.

Here’s an example from Starface, using their Twitter account to Retweet customer testimonials.

4. Repost social media content from your other profiles.

It may seem rather convoluted, but you can repost content from your social media profiles to your other social media profiles.

This could look like taking a screenshot of a Facebook post to share on LinkedIn, a picture of a YouTube thumbnail to promote a new video on your Instagram Story, or a screenshot of a Tweet for your Instagram page. Here’s an example of the latter from Stacey Abrams, former Congressional Representative and Atlanta-based activist.

5. Create new infographics.

As mentioned before, creating infographics from your existing content is a valuable repurposing strategy, especially when it comes to data.

While your audience can read about your findings in blog posts or ebooks, data visualizations, and visualizations in general, increase the impact of your words. Your audiences quite literally get a picture of the significance of the information you’re giving them, and images are more likely to be retained. In fact, images are 65% more memorable after a period of three days.

The post below is a data infographic from the HubSpot Instagram account.

 

6. Extract quotes from existing content.

I mentioned this earlier on, but the strategy of extracting quotes from top-performing content, especially when they contain insight from industry leaders, is particularly impactful on social media channels like Instagram or Twitter. Extract these quotes, create social media posts, and re-use them on all your favorite social platforms.

 

How To Repurpose Webinars and Videos

Webinars and videos are unique forms of content. They’re an exciting way for your users to connect with what you have to offer, but, unfortunately, they aren’t always accessible to all members of your target audience. Thankfully, there are ways to repurpose them so everyone can benefit from what you have to offer. Below, we’ll go over how to repurpose video content to meet the different needs of your audience.

1. Create text transcripts of your videos.

One of the easiest ways to ensure that your videos and webinars are accessible to everyone is to create transcripts. While you can certainly create captions for your content, creating transcripts creates an additional way for your audience members that use Assistive Technology to enjoy what you have to offer.

2. Turn video transcripts into blog posts.

Another benefit to creating transcripts is that they can also be repurposed as blog posts. If you create a scripted video that follows a logical structure, a transcript likely won’t need much editing before it can become a blog post. For example, Moz, an SEO tool, produces a weekly video series called Whiteboard Friday. Each video is its own piece of content but they also use a transcription tool to turn the videos into blog posts.

3. Create a podcast episode.

Aside from accessibility methods, you can also repurpose webinars and videos into podcasts. Simply extract the audio file, use your preferred tool to clean it up (here’s a guide from Adobe), and post it on your preferred podcasting platform.

 

How To Repurpose Podcasts

Many small-to-medium-sized businesses have just recently begun riding the podcast wave. If you’re new to podcasts, or you simply want a refresher, consider checking out HubSpot’s guide to starting a podcast for your business. The resource will teach you how to build your feed, organize content, and market to your target audience.

hubspot free guide to creating podcasts

Podcasts are unique in that they allow creators to connect with their audience on a personal level, as hosts humanize a brand or business with their own personal experiences and anecdotes, often with lighthearted conversations. Podcasts are also a great way to reach younger audiences, specifically Millennials and Generation Z. Given this, let’s go over a few ways to repurpose your podcasts to reach wider audiences.

1. Record your podcast sessions for social media.

One of the draws to podcasts is that they feel human. Use this to your benefit and consider taking video of your recording sessions. When you have upcoming episodes, you can release video snippets on social media to generate excitement in your audience, or simply post snippets of recent episodes. Queen Business, a podcast created by Black women for Black women, does this and posts their snippets on Instagram. They invite well-known guests to participate in the podcasts, which adds an element of excitement to their listeners and followers.

 

You can also post full-length sessions on YouTube, or create smaller video snippets of heavy-hitting sections.

2. Pull out quotes for social media.

This has been mentioned multiple times, but pull out relevant quotes for social media, especially if you have invited guests on your show. Quotes from industry experts or celebrities that your audience look up to and view as valuable resources can be posted on different social media platforms, or even within your blog posts.

3. Create transcripts of your podcasts.

Just as you can for your videos and webinars, you can create transcripts of your podcast audio for accessibility purposes and for blog posts. However, it’s important to note that the podcast audio may require more editing than a scripted video or webinar if the conversational tone of your episodes doesn’t mirror your blogging style.

4. Embed your podcasts into your blog posts.

Almost anything can be embedded these days. Not only does it help you share different forms of content, but it’s a great way to provide additional value and context to your users. If you’re a HubSpot CMS user, you can embed podcasts episodes directly into your blog posts. Here’s an example from a HubSpot blog post.

repurpose podcasts by embedding into blog posts example

 

Repurpose by Updating Older Content

Let’s face it: things change.

Could some of your older posts use updating? Probably. There may be new developments or advice you can share on a topic you’ve already written about in the past. So, take your old post, make some adjustments and additions, and re-publish it. You shouldn’t have to do a complete overhaul,(although that’s also an option)  just make sure that it appeals to today’s audience.

Another trick is to analyze your content and identify top-performing blog posts. If you notice that a blog article isn’t as up-to-date as it could be but is still generating a ton of traffic, leads, or is ranking highly for a competitive keyword, don’t publish as a new post.

Instead, update the content within the same post so you keep the existing URL and SEO value, and promote the updates you’ve made. Some blogging platforms even allow you to change the publish date, enabling to display it on your blog as a brand new post.

It’s also worth considering updating (or adding new) calls-to-action to articles that are still generating traffic to increase lead generation potential.

You can do the same with Ebooks. Whether you’ve published it last year or five years ago, make some refreshing updates and re-promote it! This will save you the time of creating a blog post or Ebook from scratch while you still obtain the benefits that a new Ebook has to offer.

Should you choose to go this route, consider using UpContent to create email digests and social media posts to share updated, high-performing pieces with your audience (displayed in the gif below).

upcontent social media scheduler tool demo

Leverage Your Existing Content to Drive Further Engagement

All-in-all, as a content creator, you do what you do because you know you can provide value to your audiences. Unfortunately, creating high-quality content doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes time, care, and resources — which can sometimes be a tedious process.

Repurposing your existing content isn’t meant to be an alternative to creating new content, but rather a supplementary strategy. You can continue to create new content while at the same time giving new life to your existing, high-quality pieces and providing your audience with relevant, timeless information.

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Why HubSpot is Acquiring The Hustle

The battle for customer attention has never been so fierce.

We’ve seen an explosion in brands using online channels to promote their services and products to potential customers.

The problem with this model is that you’re not only battling other competitors for that attention; you’re competing against every site that publishes informative videos, the latest trends, and educational content that serves the needs of their audiences.

We’ve built HubSpot on the belief that you earn attention by being of value. That belief is at the very heart of HubSpot’s success; creating remarkable content is what makes a remarkable brand. It’s why we’ve invested in publishing blogs, courses, ebooks, templates, and videos that help generate millions of visits to HubSpot every month.

We can’t stop there, though. Just as the product requirements of growing companies have changed over time, so have their content needs. Newsletters, podcasts, premium content, and other media have exploded in popularity for startups and scaleups looking for best practices and tech news.

So how can companies adapt to this change? We believe that the next generation of software companies will invest in media that earns the attention of their audience. Instead of the traditional model of having a software company embedded inside of a media company, we predict that the next generation of tech companies will have the opposite – a media company embedded inside a software company.

We’re taking our first steps in that direction today with an acquisition that we believe will help HubSpot deliver on the diverse content needs of entrepreneurs, startups, and scaleups across the mediums they love.

HubSpot has signed an agreement to acquire The Hustle, a much-loved media company whose mission is to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.

Traditionally, a B2B company’s marketing plan was focused on getting their product into decision-makers’ hands and convincing them to buy it. The majority of content published were whitepapers, functional specs, and content that helped their buyers make a purchase decision. Companies spent their time and resources building relationships with a small group of people who were actively looking for a product to buy.

Over the past decade, we’ve seen huge changes in how B2B companies approach media, with an explosion in popularity of those developing media products paired with inbound marketing to build relationships with large audiences across all stages of their business flywheel (attract, engage, convert, delight).

Today, B2B brands can be a daily part of their customers’ lives before they even use their product. They can become a daily source of education and information for their customers. They can grow a large audience for that content by creating it for the people who buy their product and the many more who will use it. They can earn the attention of their audience by continually creating value for them.

As we considered how we could keep meeting our customers’ needs, we knew there was an opportunity to diversify the content we published and the mediums through which we delivered that content.

We started looking for potential opportunities to acquire media companies who had the talent and experience in the mediums we wanted to invest in. It became obvious to us that The Hustle perfectly met all those needs.

We loved The Hustle’s content. They have a daily newsletter that reaches over 1.5 million subscribers each day with the latest tech and business news. They’ve recently launched a premium content subscription named Trends, offering thousands of business ideas for the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. And they have a very successful business podcast, “My First Million.”

We were also incredibly impressed by the entire Hustle team – led by founder Sam Parr. Together the Hustle team has built an incredible product and loyal customer base. You can expect the same great content you’ve become accustomed to getting from The Hustle and HubSpot is excited to be a part of that.

We live in a busy world; it’s not easy trying to grow a scaling business and to keep on top of all the critical content that can help you be more successful. With this acquisition, we want to give our audience and customers the content they need in the medium they engage with most, whether that’s blogs, YouTube, newsletters, or podcasts. We’re excited about the current media products The Hustle has and the new ones we plan to launch together in the coming year.

It’s never been a more exciting time for a software company to become a daily part of their customer’s lives through media, and we can’t wait to continue innovating on how we earn the attention of our audience.

Learn more here.

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How HubSpot Content Strategists Improve SEO

If you need help building a website, creating a company blog, or getting webpages discovered by search engines, there’s plenty of SEO training that can help you get started.

But, once your website is built and your customers find your content online, how do you improve your search ranking and reach a larger audience?

While keyword research, overlap tests, and link-building, are a must for creating an online presence, there’s much more you can do to increase the amount of traffic coming to your webpages.

That’s why we spoke to experts on HubSpot’s SEO team to learn how they’ve improved content strategy over time. Read on for a list of their tips that can help you rank higher on search engines and optimize the accessibility of your marketing campaigns.Access Now: 21 SEO Myths to Leave Behind in 2021

How to Improve SEO Like HubSpot

1. Encourage visitors to search for your brand.

When your business is growing, it’s important to increase the share of unbranded searches coming to your website. These are keywords that aren’t specific to your brand, but they may be relevant to your industry.

For example, if you were a power-washing company located in Massachusetts, then you would want to rank for a search like, “best power-washing companies in New England.” While the name of your company isn’t included in this search, you would still want your website to appear in the search results when someone is looking for power-washing services in the New England area.

SEO-HubSpot-1

Once your company grows and develops stronger relationships with its customers, you can encourage branded traffic to your webpages. In fact, companies like Amazon have even influenced their buyers’ search habits, and now its customers add “amazon” to their search queries when researching products on Google. This ensures that the top result on the SERP is most likely a link to an Amazon page.

Your company can have a similar effect on its customers by becoming a thought leader and resource for topics related to your industry. For instance, if customers had questions about how powerwashing works, its benefits, when you should do it, etc. then our powerwashing company might have a blog that answers all of these questions. As people read these articles and become familiar with our content, they might amend their search queries to include the name of our company so they can access our content faster.

2. Update your content.

Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms and improving their tools to provide better search results for their users. This means that your content can become outdated within months to a year and the keyword research that you did when you first created a piece may change as search engines adapt over time. That’s why it’s important to regularly update your content, so you can keep tabs on its performance and ensure it continues to rank high on search engines.

SEO-HubSpot-2

When updating content, you should replace old statistics and outdated terminology, and fill in any content gaps that you may have missed when you first created the piece. You should also fix any broken links or images and make sure that the formatting and branding is consistent with your current content. Do this at a cadence that makes sense for you — for many teams, it’s every few months.

3. Analyze keywords beyond search volume.

When analyzing keywords, it’s easy to locked in on search volume and prioritize keywords with the most potential traffic. However, it’s important to look beyond just search volume and consider the intent of the keyword before you create content that’s targeted towards it.

Open an incognito window and search for your keyword. Look at the content that’s currently ranking for it and ask yourself if your content would fit with this SERP. If it doesn’t, then it might be hard to rank for this topic with the content you’re currently using.

SEO-HubSpot-3

Here’s an example. Let’s say our powerwashing company recently revamped its support team and we wanted to rank for the term, “progressive customer service.” While we could write alot about our new and improved service team, we probably won’t beat the insurance company, Progressive, from winning over this keyword. That’s because the intent behind this keyword is for Progressive’s service team and not for content related to the customer service industry.

4. Prioritize internal linking.

It’s easy to grow organic authority when publishing content consistently, but it’s just as easy to plateau if you don’t consider where it should be published. This is a form of SEO “tech debt” that can hamper your growth the bigger your site gets.

To avoid this setback, it’s important to audit your internal linking structure and identify different pieces of content that should be linked together. Adding links between internal pages helps search engines understand which content is related to one another as well as the keywords that these pages are targeting. It can also help Google index new pages faster if they’re linked from the right pages to begin with.

SEO-HubSpot-4

You can use a number of SEO tools to systematically find these opportunities and update the pages that matter most to your sales efforts.

5. Form strong relationships with your developers and designers.

As your online presence grows, you might be surprised to find your SEO team is working closely with your web developers and designers. This is expected, though, since SEO is influenced significantly by how your content is designed and maintained.

The better relationship between your SEO team and web designers, the higher your content will rank. After all, if your web developers understand the importance of SEO, then they’re more likely to listen to your SEO team’s advice when creating and designing new content.

SEO-HubSpot-5

At the very least, open communication between these two teams can be the key to more consistent digital growth. For example, if your web developers want to delete a page that has 500 backlinks, they should first check in with your SEO team to see if there would be any negative repercussions. Effective communication between your developers and your SEO team can help you avoid SEO headaches and maintain high search rankings.

6. Prune content after long periods of growth.

Not all of your content is going to hit it out of the park — and, that’s okay. Some content will fall shorter than expected and even though you update it, it might not obtain the amount of traffic you were originally hoping for.

As this content piles up, it can impact the speed and performance of your website. If it does, then you might want to consider pruning these pages so that they don’t adversely affect user experience. Even though you’ll forfeit a small amount of traffic from these pages, you’ll likely save alot more by improving the user experience on your other, more popular pages.

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7. Optimize Search-Friendly Content.

Not everything that you publish is going to be search-friendly — like ad landing pages, thank-you pages, internal sales enablement pages, and login pages. These pages aren’t typically target by search engines and therefore aren’t as important to optimize for search.

Instead, you should focus your attention on pages that are search-friendly. These are the ones that search engines are looking for and they play a much bigger role in the customer experience. If you can get this content in front of your target audience, they’ll eventually discover your other pages as they continue to explore your site.

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Optimizing Your Content Strategy

SEO is always a work in progress. So long as search engines continue to update their algorithms, marketing teams will have to create content that’s not only relevant to their audience but can be easily discovered, too.

While SEO marketing software can help brands shape their content strategies, ultimately it will be up to marketers to create effective content that ranks high on search engines and attract new leads for their business.

For more ways to improve your content’s search ranking, read these SEO tips.New Call-to-action

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How to Run a Facebook Giveaway: A 6-Step Guide

Did you know that 78.4% of contest shares are done on Facebook? And that on average, 34% of new fans are acquired through a contest?

Additionally, Facebook has over 2.7 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2020.

As a marketer, those stats are hard to ignore. Social media contests and giveaways are an excellent way to engage fans and acquire followers.

However, running a contest requires a lot of planning. It isn’t as easy as 1-2-3 or A-B-C.

Today, let’s review everything you need to know about running a Facebook giveaway. First, we’ll dive into the rules. Then, we’ll discuss how to get started with your own Facebook giveaway. Finally, we’ll give you some ideas and examples to inspire your own contest.

Free Resource: How to Reach & Engage Your Audience on Facebook

Facebook Giveaway Rules

The rules on Facebook giveaways are pretty simple. According to Facebook, if you run a Facebook giveaway, you must include the official rules, offer terms and eligibility requirements (such as age and residency restrictions), and compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (meaning registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals).

Additionally, the copy needs to include a complete release of Facebook by each entrant and acknowledgment that the giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by Facebook.

You can run a giveaway on Pages, Groups, Events, or within apps. However, you cannot run a giveaway on a personal Facebook page. You also can’t use personal friend connections as a part of the giveaway, meaning you can’t have people share on their timeline to enter or share on a friend’s timeline, or tag friends in the post to enter.

Disclaimer: This blog post includes some information on legal issues surrounding internet marketing, but legal information is not the same as legal advice — applying the law to a specific circumstance. We’ve conducted research to better ensure that our information is accurate and useful, but we insist that you talk to a lawyer if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is accurate. In a nutshell, you may not rely on this information as legal advice, nor as a recommendation or endorsement of any particular legal understanding, and you should instead see this post’s info as for entertainment purposes only.

Okay, now that the nitty-gritty is out of the way, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of Facebook giveaways.

1. Set your objectives.

The first thing you need to do before you run a giveaway on Facebook is to decide what the goal is.

Your goal could be to increase brand awareness, collect email addresses, gain new followers, increase engagement, or drive traffic to your site.

Once you know your goal, you can come up with the type of giveaway you want to run (more on this below). For example, if you want to gain new followers, you could run a photo vote contest, where users need to ask friends to like their photo in the contest. This will drive more people to your Facebook page, and hopefully, convince some of them to follow you.

2. Choose a prize that makes sense for your target audience.

Once you know the type of contest you’re going to run, it’s time to choose a prize. Whatever prize you choose should make sense for your target audience and be something that they want. Choosing a $20 prize probably won’t entice people to enter. In fact, the average value of a social media contest prize is $369.

Also, generic prizes don’t usually work as well. Try coming up with something specific that your audience would like. For instance, if you’re a fitness influencer, you could run a Facebook giveaway with a workout bike as the prize. In this example, the prize makes sense considering the target audience of a fitness enthusiast.

3. Write the rules.

Now, you need to come up with the rules. Set a time frame for your contest, choose an entry method, and decide on any eligibility requirements.

Once you’ve decided on the rules and regulations, write them out. Don’t forget to include all the information that Facebook requires.

4. Create your assets.

At this point, you know what type of giveaway you’re running, you’ve decided on the prize, and you’ve written the rules. All that’s left to do before clicking “Post” is creating the assets. You’ll need images, graphics, and a caption written. The assets should make it clear that you’re running a giveaway and what the prize is.

5. Promote, promote, promote.

Once you’ve posted your giveaway on Facebook, you need to promote it through several channels. Organic reach on Facebook has plummeted to 2% in recent years, so you can’t just trust that your followers will even see the post.

To promote your Facebook giveaway, you can use other social media platforms, write a blog post, create a video, and email your subscriber list. The more ways you can get it out the better.

6. Measure success.

Now that your giveaway is over, and you’ve contacted the winner, and posted that the giveaway has closed, what do you do?

It’s time to measure the success of your campaign. You had a goal, and now you should look at a few key metrics to see if you succeeded.

Some metrics to look at, depending on your goals:

  • Response rate/number of submissions
  • Impressions/Reach
  • Website visits from the giveaway post
  • Brand mentions
  • Likes, comments, shares
  • Email subscribers

1. Photo vote.

A photo vote is a type of Facebook giveaway where you ask users to upload a photo. Then, you’ll encourage people to vote on which photo is the best.

This is a great way to acquire new followers because participants will ask their friends and family to go vote on their photo.

2. Comment to win.

While you can’t have tag friends or share posts on their personal page, you can still ask them to comment on your posts to win.

These types of giveaways usually ask users to write a caption, fill in the blank, or answer some creative question.

3. Like to win.

Similarly to the above, sometimes all you need to do is ask people to like the post. While you can’t ask people to like your page, according to the Facebook rules, you can still have them like your posts.

This is a really low barrier entry method that could be great for increasing engagement and brand awareness.

Now, let’s look at some Facebook giveaways in action.

Facebook Giveaway Examples

1. Loveline Golden Retrievers

In this Facebook giveaway, Loveline Golden Retrievers ask participants to send them a photo of their dog to be showcased in their annual calendar. Once users sent in the photos, they uploaded them to an album. The photos with the most likes won the contest.

This is a classic photo vote contest with a prize clearly targeted to the audience. People with golden retrievers would love to have their pets showcased in a calendar (I mean, who wouldn’t?).

2. Bling

This is another great example of a giveaway that’s clearly targeted to the right audience. Presumably, most people who like a game page, like Bling, on Facebook, actually play the game.

That’s why a giveaway for free in-game points is a great idea. Additionally, this is a low barrier entry giveaway as well — you only need to like the post and comment.

Running a Facebook giveaway doesn’t need to be a hassle. It can actually be a simple process if you follow our six-step guide.

Facebook Strategy Guide

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How to Create a YouTube Channel Step-by-Step

If you’re reading this article, I probably don’t need to tell you that video content accounts for over 74% of all online traffic, or that over five billion YouTube videos are watched every single day.

You already know video is an important channel, and you’re ready to start leveraging YouTube for your own business. I’m here to show you how to do it.

This article will cover everything you need to know about creating a YouTube channel, so you can start uploading your own videos and growing your audience today.

Can’t create a new channel?

If you’re seeing a “This action isn’t allowed” message when you try to create your channel, you may be using an outdated version of the YouTube app.

Here are your options to move forward:

  1. Update the YouTube app on your device.
  2. Create your YouTube channel using a browser on your PC (following the steps outlined in more detail below).

How to Create a YouTube Channel

Creating a well-managed YouTube channel with consistent content can help businesses grow better, but doing it right is just as important. Here’s how to do it step-by-step.

1. Sign in to your Google account.

To watch, share, create, and comment on YouTube content, you’ll need a Google account. Go to youtube.com and click “Sign In” in the upper right-hand corner. From there, you’ll be taken to a Google sign-in page. 

  1. If you have a Google account, you’ll be prompted to sign in. 
  2. If you have multiple Google accounts, be sure to select the one you want to be associated with the YouTube channel.
  3. If you do not have a Google account, click “Create Account” and follow the prompts to register for one.

youtube sign-in page with "create account" prompt

2. Create a new YouTube channel using your Google account.

Once you’re set up with and signed into your Google account, it’s time to create a channel. Click your user icon in the upper right-hand corner. This represents both your Google account and you YouTube account (as YouTube is owned by Google). You’ll see a drop-down menu, where you’ll want to click “Settings.”

youtube channel settings menu

From there, you’ll be taken to your account overview. Click “Create a new channel” under “Your channel.”

youtube create new channel

The first step is to create a Brand Account. It can be whatever name you want, and doesn’t have to be the same name that you used to create your Google account — but we do recommend that it reflects the brand the YouTube Channel will represent.

create a brand account in youtube

After you enter the Brand Account name, you might be asked to verify the account via text message or voice call. If that happens, enter the code you receive from the option you choose.

Once you’ve verified your Brand Account, you’ll be taken to the dashboard for your channel. Now, it’s time to start customizing it.

3. Navigate to the Customize Channel page.

We’ll start with the fundamental details about your channel. From your channel dashboard, click “Customize channel.”

youtube customize channel

From there, you’ll be taken to the channel customization page.

You’ll notice three tabs: “Layout,” “Branding,” and “Basic info.” These three tabs will help you optimize your channel for viewers.

4. Add Basic Info to your channel for discoverability.

Start by clicking “Basic info.”

youtube channel customization basic info

Here’s where you’ll enter some basic information about your channel, like the language your videos are in, as well as a description that helps people discover your channel when they enter search terms that describe what videos they’re looking for. These keywords can include what your channel is about, the problems it helps solve, the people and products featured, your industry, and more.

You’ll also be able to add links to sites you want to share with your viewers. These links will be displayed over your banner image (more on this later) like so:

youtube featured links

5. Upload branding elements to your channel.

In addition to the descriptive details that you’ve added, there’s another element of customization for a new YouTube channel: The visuals.

youtube channel customization branding

Under the “Branding” tab, you’ll be able to add your:

Profile Picture

Among this channel art is your profile photo — this is how YouTube users will identify the creator of a video when browsing video content. You’ll see this image appear beneath YouTube videos on the play page, as shown below. YouTube recommends using a picture with dimensions of at least 98 x 98 pixels.

youtube profile photo

Banner Image

The banner image is a large banner displayed at the top of your channel page, and it’s a big opportunity to convey your brand to your viewers. YouTube recommends using an image that’s at least 2048 x 1152 px.

youtube banner image

Video Watermark

The video watermark is displayed at the bottom right of every video you post (see below). You’ll want to choose a logo that best represents you sized at 150 x 150 px.

youtube video watermark

6. Customize your more advanced layout options.

Click the “Layout” tab.

youtube channel customization layout
From here, you’ll be able to specify certain details about how you want your content presented on your channel’s page. You’ll have the option to designate a video spotlight and organize your channel page with featured sections.

7. Add videos and optimize them for search.

To upload your first video to YouTube, click the “Create” button in the top-right corner and follow the prompts.

youtube upload videos by clicking "Create" button

Optimizing your channel for discoverability is just the beginning. Once you start adding videos, you’ll want to optimize them for search, which in turn helps users discover your video.

But this goes beyond giving your videos accurate, clear, and concise titles — though that is important. Below, we describe some of the most important things to optimize on YouTube. (For a fully comprehensive post on YouTube SEO, visit this post.)

Title

When we search for videos, one of the first things that our eyes are drawn to is the title. That’s often what determines whether or not the viewer will click to watch your video, so the title should not only be compelling but also clear and concise.

Description

This should be limited to 1,000 characters — and remember that your viewer came here to watch a video, not to read a lot of text. Plus, YouTube only displays the first two or three lines of text, which comes to about 100 characters, so front-load the description with the most important information.

Tags

Using tags doesn’t just let viewers know what your video is about — they inform YouTube, too, which uses tags “to understand the content and context of your video,” according to Backlinko. That way, YouTube can associate your video with similar videos, which can broaden your content’s reach. But approach with caution — just as with your title, don’t use misleading tags because they might get you more views — in fact, Google might penalize you for that.

Category

Choosing a category is another way to group your video with similar content on YouTube — but that might not be as simple as it sounds. YouTube’s Creator Academy suggests that marketers “think about what is working well for each category” you’re considering by answering questions like:

  • Who are the top creators within the category? What are they known for, and what do they do well?
  • Are there any patterns between the audiences of similar channels within a given category?
  • Do the videos within a similar category have share qualities like production value, length, or format?

That’s it — you’ve officially not only created a YouTube channel but now also know how to optimize its content for discoverability. For more information on how to best leverage YouTube for marketing, check our entire collection of resources.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in November 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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8 Simple Ways to Segment Your Social Media Audience

Segmentation is not a new concept for marketers. We use segmentation to send personalized emails, create buyer-specific pricing models, and understand the behaviors of our most loyal customers.

It is also a valuable tool for generating more leads on social media. While publishing more often and posting different types of content is great for generating engagement with your audiences, segmentation can bring additional benefits, like….

New to social media? Check out this featured resource: Social Media Certification Course 

This post will show you how you can apply the principles of segmentation to social media, outline the benefits it can bring to your business, and give you tips for accurately segmenting your social media audience.

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Segmentation is important because it increases your marketing success. When you know the key characteristics and desires of your target audience, you can become more focused with your brand messaging and create hyper-targeted advertisements that speak directly to your audience’s interests. Then, when your advertisements are tailored to their interests, customers are more likely to interact with them and take further action.

Let’s go over eight strategies for segmenting your social media audiences.

1. Understand your audience.

Just as with any marketing strategy, understanding your target audience is the key to accurate, relevant social media segmentation. Without knowing who your customers are, what they want, and how they like to be marketed too, it will be challenging to devise other strategies to help you succeed in your process.

To better get to know your audience, you can create buyer personas from your analytics and research data. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers that help you focus your time on qualified prospects, attract high-value customers, and create content that best speaks to their interests and desires.

You can think of it like this: if the data you’ve collected shows you that Facebook brings you the most engagement, dig deeper into who your audience is on that platform and create a buyer persona that brings a more comprehensive understanding of who they are. These representations you’ve created directly relate to our next tip, as many social media platforms come with audience targeting tools that you can use to market specifically to your different segmented audiences.

2. Use native social media targeting tools.

When most people think of social media segmentation, they think of paid targeting options. However, for low and high budget marketers alike, there are organic targeting options on different platforms that you can use to speak to your various audiences.

For example, Facebook allows businesses to target their messages to users based on demographics, interests, and geographical location (as shown below).

hubspot facebook page audience targeting demo

On LinkedIn, there are also built-in targeting tools that allow you to filter and segment by industry, company size, and much more (shown below).

linkedin-ads-audience-attributes-750@2xImage Source

3. Create audience groups.

Social media is all about community. Building communities of people who share common interests is an easy way to segment your audience and gain valuable insights. You may decide to keep the group open (anyone can join) or closed (a moderator must approve new members), and there are advantages to each.

Open groups enable you to gather information about how a more general audience feels about your brand. You can use this forum to have discussions and ask open-ended questions such as, “What are your biggest challenges?” or “What makes excellent customer service?” You can also test new ideas with your audience members or discover new content ideas that they would find interesting and relevant. The advantage here is that you will have a large group to bounce ideas off of. The disadvantage? They may not be as knowledgeable about your industry as you need.

That’s where closed groups can come in handy. You are approving each member’s admission to the group, and you can cherry-pick the most qualified candidates. Maybe they’re a group of customers whose opinions you value or a list of people who have attended an event you’ve hosted. Regardless of admission requirements, this can be a great way to get specific, helpful feedback from a group you trust — but you may not get as many responses as an open group discussion.

Various social media platforms have group functionalities, specifically Facebook and LinkedIn. On Facebook, you can create a group that is relevant to your business and your target audience’s interests that can be public or private, as mentioned above. The same can be said for LinkedIn, but you should only opt to use it if your target audiences are professional-aged, business minded individuals.

4. Create audience lists.

Most marketers are familiar with creating lists — we do that every time we send a new email campaign. But did you know you can use lists to have more productive social media conversations? Social networks like Facebook and Twitter allow users to create lists of friends, followers, people who have attended an event, and more.

On Twitter, your lists can separate followers into specific categories, like where they are in their buyer’s journey. Whenever these people in your lists Tweet, you’ll be able to view them all within a specific channel to get an idea of what kinds of things they tweet about and what they enjoy. When you have this information, you can create better-targeted ads that speak to your segmented audience’s preferences.

If you’re a HubSpot customer, the lists you use for your email can actually be one and the same as your social monitoring lists. You can set up a stream for each one of your buyer personas, such as a stream for leads who are talking about your brand, or customers in a certain industry. You’ll spend much less time trying to filter through the noise, and much more time having relevant, targeted conversations.

5. Post at different times of the day.

As marketers, we know how important timing is to marketing — especially on social media. If you’ve created accurate, relevant buyer personas, you’ll likely realize that your followers are distributed throughout different geographic regions. This means that your followers in the central United States are going to bed while your followers in Australia are getting ready to wake up.

Differentiating your publishing times allows you to generate engagement from a larger portion of your audience, as followers from all over the world have the opportunity to engage with your posts.

An additional benefit to doing this is that you’ll have multiple posts out there for your target audience to see. You can think of it like this: if you post three times throughout the day for three different audience segments, each one of those segments can also see the posts meant for the other. Three more opportunities for them to interact with your content and three more chances to drive conversions.

6. Leverage multiple networks.

As you master the various ways to segment your specific audiences, more people will be interested in connecting with you through social media. If you don’t already run multiple social media accounts, you may realize that one of the best ways to serve relevant content to specific audiences is to create several social media profiles, each with specific intent.

For example, if you’re a clothing brand, your target audience is likely widely dispersed age-wise. While you may hope to reach all of them on one platform, you’re more likely to get your younger audiences (aged 10-19) on TikTok and your older audiences on Instagram.

Additionally, within each of those different platforms, it’s also worth considering creating multiple accounts focused on various aspects of your business or the demands of your different audiences. At HubSpot, we maintain more than five different Twitter accounts to provide content relevant to each segment of our audience. For example, @HubSpotAcademy is a channel that marketers can use to learn how to be a better inbound marketer, while @HubSpotSupport is a channel that our customers can use to get help using the HubSpot platform. Both Twitter accounts are relevant to anyone interested in HubSpot, but they are most relevant to their particular segments.

Keep in mind that each social media account should still serve a larger audience, so be sure to work on building your overall audience from one account before you try building out more. If you decide to start building out more accounts, be sure that people can easily differentiate their purpose (ex: customer support, marketing materials, your yearly event, etc.) — otherwise, you’ll be creating more work for yourself.

7. Streamline your processes.

Should you choose to leverage multiple platforms or simply just want to streamline your processes, there are various social media tools that can help you create and publish advertisements built for your segmented audiences.

Falcon.io is one of those tools. It comes with an all-in-one social platform for creating paid and organic advertisements, managing customer engagement data from all your accounts, and even creating custom and lookalike audiences for further segmentation, as displayed by the image below.

falcon.io audience segmentation tool demo

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8. Test your strategies.

Although this tip is not directly related to grouping your audience, the success of your segmentation depends on how well you’ve created your groups. Using social media testing as a means of understanding how your content is performing among your target audiences is a way to know if you’ve accurately segmented your audience, and it can help you perfect your strategy.

For example, say you’ve found your millennial audience to be most active on Instagram. You know that they’re there, so you can begin creating content for them. However, what if you want to better understand their preferences? Maybe you want to know whether they prefer Instagram Stories or Instagram Reels? Conducting an A/B test with both of these content types will help you better understand how to communicate with these segmented groups.

Speak To Your Different Audience Groups

Unless you’re a very niche business, you likely have a large audience group. Within these audience groups, there are probably other distinct communities with different preferences and desires.

It may be challenging to figure out how to tailor your message to individually speak to all of your diverse customers, but the eight tips mentioned above will help you carefully segment your social media audience for more relevant conversations — and eventually, more conversions.

social media content calendar

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