When you are just starting online, one of the most burdensome things to think about is your budget. You will see established marketers discussing the returns they make on their investments in paid traffic options, but your budget does not allow for that.
An easy alternative that is quite effective is to learn how to tap into the traffic that social media networks will provide for you. Used properly, meaning you are not spamming people and risking your account getting banned, they can help you build a rapport with a loyal following who will actively share your links and ideas among others in the niche.
The best part about social networking sites is that they are free – and in some cases, will even pay you to share your insight with their users. The more fans you collect, the more social proof you will have that will attract others.
It is like a snowball of relevant traffic, and it will not cost you a penny.
Using Facebook to Find Your Audience
Different social sites work best for different audiences. Sometimes a site attracts a specific demographic. For example, People 30 and up use Facebook more than teens, who turn to TikTok, Snap Chat and Instagram to follow their brands.
But Facebook has a lot of benefits to online marketers in many niches. When it comes to businesses, it is a free place where you can create a fan page or group that you can deliver your expertise in and where others can engage with you.
When someone sees something, you have posted on Facebook, and they can easily hit the Share button and cause your message to reach more people than the ones who were following you directly.
Facebook has much social proof on it – allowing people to Like, Love, or Care about a post. They can also laugh at it, which can be good at times, or even get angry about it – something else that can also be good if you are bringing awareness to something that you want to change.
The emojis are proof of engagement, and it helps your newcomers see how effective your marketing messages are. Many marketers get engagement by writing things like, “Press Like if you agree and Love if you want to learn more.”
Others write a simple teaser about a topic and then say, “Comment, I’m in if you want me to send you more information.” Some people think this is corny, but you will see lots of people chiming in to get more information, so it depends on the niche.
With Facebook, you will be able to share ideas directly to your audience in short posts, share videos that you make, post images such as infographics or motivational quotes, and share posts from your blog to drive traffic from the social site directly to your own website.
Allowing Instagram to Showcase Your Authority
Instagram is an image-based social media site that works very well for branding yourself as a niche leader. You can include a hyperlink back to your blog or lead magnet page – wherever you wish – in your bio, and in each post, let people know that they can click the “link in bio” for more information.
This site has various tools you can use to get engagement – it is not just about static images. When you post images, you can share more than one per post, and people can swipe through them.
While you cannot share different links for each post, you can brand your images with URLs if you want to enhance each picture’s traffic abilities. Aside from images, you can use quick traffic generation using Stories.
Your stories posts appear at the top of the followers’ feeds, and they can click on your story and see whatever information you have shared. Sometimes this will be a static image that you hyperlink out to a post, and sometimes it will be a video.
Instagram allows you to post video streams on your account, too. Instead of a static picture, your posts can be video clips where you share insight, give your followers a call to action, and more.
You might also want to use your account to start using Instagram TV. With this built-in tool, your followers will see a one-minute clip of your show and then click to keep watching if they choose to do that.
This allows you to make longer video shares on this social networking site. The great thing about this tool is that Instagram allows you to see insights for your efforts. You will see what percentage of the video people are staying around to watch, for example.
If you also have a page on Facebook, you will share your IGTV recordings on that, helping you grow your audience on both platforms. If you are uploading from your smartphone, your video can be 15 minutes, but it can be up to an hour to upload from a desktop.
It must be at least 1 minute, long, however. Some niches do well on Instagram – especially ones perfect for images, like cooking, beauty, travel, pets and more. Use the search feature and see if your niche is popular on Instagram and scout out the competition to see how you could improve on what they are offering.
Siphoning Traffic from Pinterest to Your Blog
Pinterest is another image-based social media site that does not have videos on it but is wildly popular with consumers in various niche markets. You can promote services, digital products, or tangible items on this site.
It is perfect for marketers who are vendors or affiliates. The best part is developing your own Pin strategy and easily duplicating your Pins with ease and speed as time goes on.
Every time you create a blog post, you can make a new Pin to share on this site. The images work best when they are vertical in nature, and you can even use free tools like Canva that have built-in templates to use to promote your ideas.
Some people do not realize you can make more than one Pin for a page you want to promote. So, one blog post might have 2 or even 10 Pins that you create. You never know which one will get found or generate a better response by your audience, and this allows you to test out a variety of phrases, looks, branding and calls to action.
Make sure you are using a Pinterest business account. It is free and easy to do. They will walk you through the steps, and you answer a few questions to get started before it is approved.
Some people think they want to stay in consumer account mode, but then you are missing out on the analytics the site provides for you about how your Pins are performing, and you will not be able to promote your Pins when you have the budget for it.
Analysing the Results
Analysing the results of your efforts is crucial to your success. There is no reason to continue doing something if it is not effective – it is a waste of your time, so with analytics, you can cut out what is not working and focus on what is.
As with most social networking sites, findability is key, so you want to make sure you master the art of utilizing the right keywords and phrases so that your target audience can find your Pins whenever they are on the site.
You will want to learn how to set up boards within your Pinterest account, too strategically. Some people mistakenly post everything to a single board or do it randomly, but you want to categorize your boards to appeal to Pinterest users methodically.
You want your Pins to stand out, so understanding the colours, text and branding that works best in your niche is important. Look at your competition to see which Pins get the most engagement, and whenever yours get comments, make sure you respond and build a rapport with those Pinners.
Using YouTube to Share Your Insight and Expertise
YouTube is a great free social networking site that many people use for free traffic and even money. If your channel is popular, YouTube will send you a notice asking if you want to monetize it, so you will have a choice to make.
Many marketers do not know that YouTube is the second largest search engine globally, next to Google. According to Mushroom Networks, “YouTube processes more than 3 billion searches a month. 100 hours of video are uploaded every minute. It is bigger than Bing, Yahoo!, Ask, and AOL combined.”
That is a significant audience to cater to on this site. And it has just about any niche you can imagine. People go on YouTube to watch videos about survival prepping, marketing, anti-aging tips, parenting, dog training, and more.
It is for all ages and both genders, too. You will find people uploading videos more than once a day, weekly, or a couple of times a month. You will need to find which schedule works best for your niche.
Creating a YouTube Channel
When you create a YouTube channel, you will want to use professional branding graphics for your channel and each thumbnail for your videos. These are important parts of the marketing strategy that help you get views.
People can subscribe to your channel and even choose to get notifications whenever you have a new upload. Like many things with marketing, you need to encourage them at the beginning and end of the video to give it a thumbs up, subscribe to your channel, click the notifications option, or not know how to do it.
The call to action is crucial to your success. The great thing about YouTube is that they allow links on each of your videos, so you do not have to rely on a single link like you do in an Instagram profile.
YouTube videos can be a variety of lengths. Besides music videos, people go on YouTube to watch product reviews before buying something and how-to videos to learn something.
Some of the most popular videos are unboxing videos, where marketers who are affiliates for a company or platform order a product. When it arrives, open it up in the video and discuss the item in detail.
You can create a channel that discusses products you want to promote, digital courses and how-to guidance. For example, if you started a survival blog, you could discuss a box of MREs (meals ready to eat), link to your blog post about it where you are promoting it, get them on your list with a mention of a free lead magnet report about food storage supplies, and sell them a paid course on how to grow a survival garden of their own.
There are all sorts of ways you can make money from a YouTube channel – and if being on camera scares you, you can record the screen using screen capture tools like Camtasia or record the products without your face being on camera.
Tapping into Niche Trends with Video Streams
There are many sites and tools you can use to stream videos to your followers. You will need to look at each one and see if there is a following for your niche. These are great when you want to make a quick video to talk to your audience without doing a heavily edited video.
SnapChat is free, quick, and easy, and you can sign up for a SnapChat account. This is a trendy social media site for millennials, so you should be marketing to them here if they are in your target audience.
Instagram Reels is a newer creation that lets you publish 15-second video clips that you can create with effects and other creative elements. Not only can you share these with your followers, but you can also make them public and findable through the Explore feature.
TikTok has been extremely popular with videos and a mainly millennial demographic, but its future is uncertain legally in the U.S. However, if a deal can be worked out, it is a platform you might want to consider setting up an account on to reach your target audience.
Whenever you go live, your audience can engage with you through the emojis or by commenting. This gives you the ability to answer their questions or chat with them and form a bond with them.
Facebook Live is a tool you can use to stream videos live from your profile or page. This helps you generate a live stream from a mobile device or your desktop using a camera.
YouTube does not just allow you to upload completed videos. They also have YouTube Live, free and allows you to chat and engage with viewers in real-time. Your channel must be verified for you to stream live.
Twitch is another live streaming platform that some people mistakenly thought was only for gamers. It is grown into a platform that many niche marketers use to build a relationship with their fan base, and it is free to use.
Regardless of which social networking site you use to generate traffic and sales for your online business, make sure you take time to learn the proper etiquette. Never spam your audience and instead use it to generate goodwill and a loyal fan base who clicks on your links and trusts your messages.
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To your success