We’ve all heard about that amazing piece of content that went viral online – getting mentions, shares and likes all over the social media world. Sometimes all it takes is a topical tweet, a funny Facebook image or some on-trend content that manages to capture the zeitgeist, and within minutes a post is being seen on a global scale! Often these posts can be picked up by the media, re-tweeted by a popular celebrity or even shared by newsfeed sites such as Buzzfeed. They often lead to copycat posts too which get the original post even more publicity…the Ice Bucket Challenge is a great example of a social media idea that really took off.

So how can your business create that elusive content that goes viral? Unfortunately there is no magic formula. However there are a number of things that you can focus on when you are writing your content which could help you to find that special ingredient to make the online community send your post viral.

How to make your content go viral

Use a catchy title

A great title will really encourage people to click on your link. Social media experts know that a title needs to get people excited so use emotive language that shows you are passionate about your subject. Instead of calling your post ‘10 St Albans restaurant reviews’ you could try calling it ‘10 of the funniest St Albans restaurant reviews around – these will make you cry with laughter!’

You should also pique the customer’s interest by using as much detail as possible in your title so they know exactly what they are going to get when they click. For example a hairdresser could call their post ‘10 secrets for amazing hair for any occasion’ rather than just ‘hairdressing top tips’.

Get the format and length just right

Different formats and lengths work for different topics so take the time to think about what works best for the type of content you are writing. Top Tips and To Do Lists should be short and snappy whereas essay style pieces should be longer because people will be expecting a more in-depth article.

Chose a timely topic

A high interest topic is obviously really important to get the maximum exposure possible for your article. This means that you need to make sure your content is timely and relevant. Writing about how to design a Mother’s Day bouquet in December is not going to get many clicks but a Christmas cake recipe could do really well.

To help you with this it can be a good idea to create a content calendar and put in key dates and events throughout the year so that you can link your content in with topical subjects. You should also always keep an eye on the latest news and events so that you can capitalise on these.

Get your key influencers on-board

As a small business it is always a good idea to have a team of online influencers who support your work and will share your content online. A great way to get your content to go viral is to use quotes or information from these influencers in your article. If you include their name and a link to their blog they will often share the article amongst their followers which can quickly lead to the content being shared and liked by a large number of people.

So you can see that although there is no guarantee that an article will go viral, there are a number of factors which can really help. Make sure that you have a catchy title, a subject that captures people’s imaginations and a great team of influencers to share and promote it -and you could find you have created the next big viral post!

Find out more about our content marketing services.

When you launch your business it is vital to make sure that people can find your company when they search online for the product or service that you offer. The first thing that usually springs to mind to help you with this is Google AdWords. This is an easy to use way of getting people to find you online. You put in the search terms that your potential customers will be looking for and you then bid for these terms against competitors. Then the leads start to come in and you pay the cost per click for visitors to your site.

Adwords
But, as with most things in life, it’s not always as simple as it looks and it can even be detrimental to your business. It’s all too easy to become addicted to AdWords and here’s why…

Why is AdWords so addictive?

We find that we get many customers who come to us after relying only on AdWords to bring them their online customers. The thing about AdWords is that, due to the fact you pay per click, the more leads you get from them the more you end up paying! This means that we see customers who start off with a conservative budget for their AdWords campaign (around £300) – but as the leads come in they spend more and more and they just can’t stop.

The danger of relying on AdWords

So if AdWords works why is it so dangerous? Firstly if you rely solely on AdWords you risk neglecting your organic SEO. This is the term we use to explain how you can help the search engines to find you via their own algorithms and is, in the long term, more cost effective than AdWords. When you neglect your organic SEO you can forget about the things that really matter to your customers such as high quality content and great website usability. Of course, this is really damaging as you will end up with a poor website that turns off customers. Therefore, even though they may find you easily online, they won’t stay on your site long enough to make a sale and will have no reason to return or to recommend you.

The cost of AdWords can also depend on how much competition is out there for the same keywords. This means that as your product or industry becomes more popular you end up paying more per click.

This starts to affect your budget and you may end up getting less for your money.

Finally, by relying on Adwords you may be missing out on a large chunk of your target market. Those who are savvy, and know that the listings at the top of the Google are paid ads, will often avoid clicking as they prefer to see organic, natural listings. A study by Econsultancy shows that less than 10% of people claim to ‘often click on the ads on Google’.

Do you need to go cold turkey?

The good news is that you don’t always have to go totally cold turkey from AdWords. The key to making it successful is to realise when it works and when it doesn’t. It can be great for a short term boost to your SEO particularly for seasonal campaigns, new product launches, or when you need to get a message out within a certain timescale. AdWords can also be a helpful way to run comparison campaigns to see what really works online. It’s also a great way to get leads to start to coming in to a new website whilst you wait for your more robust organic SEO to start working.

AdWords can be a really useful tool but don’t over-estimate its value to your site and remember to exercise caution with your AdWords campaigns. In the long term it is organic SEO such as interesting content, high quality links and fantastic usability that will provide you with a high search engine ranking – and then you don’t have to pay more money for becoming more successful!

Contact us for more information on our organic SEO campaigns.

It can often be hard for small companies to get seen online, especially in the hectic world of social media. A great solution and a fantastic way to get your brand mentioned and shared online is to work with bloggers to help increase your appeal to your potential customers.

Bloggers often have a large online following with hundreds or sometimes even thousands of people reading their blogs and listening to what they have to say on Facebook or Twitter. They can be a very influential voice and finding a blogger who fits with your business niche can be a great way to promote your product or service and give your company positive online PR.

However to create a really effective PR campaign for bloggers you will need to find the online influencers who fit with your target market and who have the voice that you want to promote your brand. Taking the time to build your relationships with bloggers, finding out who fits with your potential customer demographic and creating a PR campaign that bloggers will want to be part of isn’t always easy – so here are our top tips for how to work with bloggers to create great PR.How to work with bloggers

Make your campaign unique

Bloggers usually get many emails from businesses and PR companies who want to work with them. You don’t want your email to get lost in the crowd so you need to make your proposition stand out. Lots of PR campaigns are very generic and they often pay no attention to the individual bloggers lifestyle and character. This means that tailoring your campaign to what you know motivates that blogger is a great way to get them on board.

Take the time to read their blog and find out the issues that affect them, what they like and what their family enjoy. So for example a chocolate company might send Mother’s Day gifts to bloggers who they know have young children or celebration packages to bloggers who have just had a birthday. This personal touch is really appreciated and will often get your business shared and mentioned in the blogger’s social media or even linked to from their blog.

Get to know the bloggers you want to work with

Bloggers get many unsolicited contacts and so it is always good to get to know them online first so that they know who you are. Engage with them on Facebook or Twitter. They want to feel that brands genuinely like them and are interested in what they have to say.

Bloggers love to see their posts shared and re-tweeted and this is great but take the time to chat to them too. Ask their advice about your product or service and share their knowledge online. A great example of this is a supermarket asking food bloggers to tweet them their summer inspired recipes and then re-tweeting them out to their followers.

Pick your key influencers carefully

Finally pick the bloggers that you want to work with carefully. Take a look at how they engage with brands and find out what products and services they already promote as it can be a good idea to pick companies that are complementary to your own.

You should also watch how bloggers interact with their fan base. Sometimes a blogger with fewer fans who interacts with them more can have a greater influence than a blogger with many fans but who rarely interacts personally with them.

Bloggers can be a great source of online PR. Once you win their loyalty to your brand they can be a fantastic team of influencers who will spread the word about your products and services online. 

Find out more about Wagada’s SEO services.

We’ve all heard of the internet phenomenon YouTube. What started off as a way for people to upload their home videos and share them online has now become a big business. Celebrities, singers and large brands all have their own YouTube Channels which often get millions of hits per day. But as a small company, is it worth creating your own YouTube Channel, and can it really bring traffic to your website?

We think it’s a great idea for businesses to have their own YouTube channel as not only does it raise your profile, it can also lead to more clicks for your website. Here are some of the ways that you can use YouTube to help to increase your website traffic.Can YouTube Really Bring You Traffic?

Plan your YouTube video carefully

With hundreds of clips being uploaded each day to YouTube you need to make sure that your video really has the added wow factor. Before you make the clip it is worthwhile doing some research to find out what your customers want to see and the type of videos they are looking at online. Do they want support and guidance or are they looking for entertainment? You could consider who the key influencers are in your business niche such as popular bloggers or local celebrities. See if they will get involved in your clip as this could be a great way to encourage potential customers to click onto it.

You also need to make sure that your clip looks professional and so, to get a great quality video, it is often a good idea to hire an experienced filmmaker. This will give you a far better corporate image than grainy or shaky home video footage!

Finally make the clip unique to your brand and product so that you really stand out from the crowd. You could use a specially created character or a particular style of filming so that customers will always relate your video to your brand.

Share your knowledge

Google wants to see that companies are really going the extra mile to help their customers online and YouTube is the ideal media to showcase your knowledge in a really interactive way. Online tutorials are always very popular – whether it’s how to create the latest make-up styles or how to tile your kitchen. Customers often find a video demonstration easier to follow and these type of “how to” clips are regularly searched for online. Do some keyword research on the search terms that your customers are using and think about how you can answer these questions in your video clip.

Think about your YouTube SEO

When you set up the title and description for your clip, it is important to make sure that they are both SEO friendly. The title should be one that will help you rank well in Google as well as being clear about what you are offering your customers. You need to be as specific as possible so don’t just call your clip “make-up tutorial”, instead call it “make-up tutorial for easy summer holiday make-up”. In your description you should also put in as much information as possible for Google to pick up so that potential customers will be able to find your clip online easily.

Don’t forget to promote your brand and website

Remember, when your video is viewed and shared online you want to make sure that viewers know who has created it, so remember to watermark your slides or frames with your brand name and logo. You should also make sure that you link to your site from your video and encourage customers to visit your website at the end of your video. For example if you are a hardware store and you do a DIY demonstration video remind customers that you are offering a 10% discount online on the tools that you have used in your video. This is a great way to ensure that people click through to your site.

Use social media to promote your videos

Remember to make the most of Facebook and Twitter to share and promote your video. A great clip can go viral quickly so take advantage of this and get sharing!

YouTube is a great promotional tool and it is definitely worth small businesses investigating how they can use this site to increase hits to their website and to build awareness of their brand. By creating professional and compelling online clips you can give potential customers a really interactive experience, share your knowledge and encourage people to click through to your website.

Since Facebook launched paid-for and targeted advertising it has become really popular with small businesses. In fact, due to a change in their algorithms, it is now harder for brands and companies to get seen on Facebook unless they invest in a paid-for advertising campaign.

But the good news is that Facebook advertising can be very successful and it also doesn’t have to cost the earth. The minimum budget for a campaign is £1 per day and it can really help to improve your reach, increase your page likes and drive customers to your website too. However you need to put some thought and planning into your campaign to maximise its chance of success. Here are the key points that we recommend you consider before you begin advertising.

Facebook Advertising Campaign

What do I want to achieve?

Facebook offers a number of different targeting options for your advertising campaign. The most popular reason people advertise is to get more likes to their pages, however there is also a feature to boost individual posts – so if you want to advertise a particular product or service, this a great way to make sure as many people as possible see that post.

Facebook can also offer targeted advertising to drive customers directly to your website. This is particularly good for small online retailers as it means customers can purchase a product quickly and easily, and it is a great short-term way to boost views of your site. You will also have the option to promote a specific offer or discount. So have a think about what you want your campaign to achieve and what advertising method will work best for your specific goals.

What will I get for my money?

Before you set your budget, you may want to investigate exactly what your money will buy you. Generally the more money you pay, the more likes you will get and the more people will see your advert. When you begin your campaign, Facebook has a handy tool which shows you the average amount of likes per day that you will get for your spend – so you can trial different daily budgets until you find the one which suits you best.

Who are my target audience?

Facebook uses an extremely clever algorithm to provide advertisers with a way of targeting specific customers. You are able to target age ranges and gender, and you can also choose locations. This can be a country as a whole or even a specific city or town.

Once you have chosen those demographics, you can then choose up to 10 keywords that your customers might be talking about on Facebook that link to your product. So a restaurant might pick words/phrases such as ‘eating out’, ‘Chinese food’ and ‘St Albans’ or a building firm might pick words such as ‘extension’, ‘planning permission’ and ‘architects’. This a great way to target a very specific audience.

How can I learn from my ad campaign results?

Of course at the end of any campaign it is vital to assess your results. Look at what went well and what you could do differently. We often suggest that it can be a good idea to trial two or three different targeted segments i.e. age groups or locations and then compare your results to see who you are getting the best response from. You can then use this data to inform your campaigns going forward.

Facebook advertising is a great way to give your social media pages a boost and to promote your products and services online. You can get good results with a modest budget and you can also target the people most likely to be interested in your business.

For more information about improving your website’s online presence, visit our main content marketing page.

We’ve been having a great laugh this week relooking at this fabulous YouTube clip entitled ‘The User Is Drunk’. As well as getting us giggling it has also had us nodding our heads in agreement as it’s actually about a really effective way to test the usability of your website. We often think about user testing as being done by serious customers in an office environment – but this video asks you to think outside the box and imagine that the user is drunk! So how would someone who has had a glass of wine too many find your website? How would they use it? And how would they react to it?

If you can make it work for them you can make it work for anyone so, here are some of the key points that the video makes…

Drunk people have a short attention span (and blurry vision)

Imagine that you are trying to help a drunk friend make their way home. They need constant clear guidance and reassurance. The best websites are so clear that even someone drunk can use them (that’s why so many people end up regretting late night chats they have on Facebook).

Make sure that the screen is clear so that even with blurry vision they can easily see what buttons they have to press. Tell them what the next steps are and talk them through the process. Say things twice so that what they have to do really sinks in, and they are in no doubt as to what they need to do to get the result they want.

Drunk people can be emotional

Being drunk heightens the emotions, and frustration and anger can come to the fore very easily. We have all had moments where we feel really frustrated with our computer or a website we are trying to use and can understand those feelings. It’s hard to judge what emotions your website may set off by just by looking at a screen so get a real person to test it out.

Ask someone to go to your website and get them to do certain things. It could be finding out information on the product, completing the sales process or trying to find where you are based. If the user comes away calm then your website interface is working well. If you see them getting more and more angry or frustrated then you probably need to take another look at how easy your user pathways are!

Drunk people are not stupid people!

Even though someone is drunk and may be slower than usual, it doesn’t mean that you need to talk down to them. Make things clear for your customers but don’t patronise them or they will end up getting even more annoyed with your website.

We think that this clip is fantastic as it really shows how important it is to think about the usability of your site. You can have a great product, great content and great SEO but if the customer can’t get to what they want quickly and easily you will lose them at the last hurdle. So, the main things to remember are:

  • Keep things simple and clear but don’t talk down to your customer
  • Guide and signpost your customer through your site
  • Don’t let your customer get frustrated
  • And of course….drink sensibly!

Contact us for more information on our usability services, or pop in to see us (though we can’t promise you a glass of wine).