My Complete Marketing Strategy Unveiled (Hint: It's Not Just Instagram)

My Complete Marketing Strategy Unveiled (Hint: It's Not Just Instagram) | Creative online business owners need a full business and marketing plan, not just one social media platform. You need to learn how to get traffic, how to share value, and how to grow an online community in order to create a complete marketing strategy. Read now or pin for later!

It's no secret that Instagram is my favorite social media platform. In fact, I offer courses and all kinds of free resources on the topic.

Because creative businesses need Instagram.

But there's a trend I'm noticing and that is that a lot of creative online business owners (new and not so new) have put all their eggs into the Instagram basket. And I totally get it! Because I was there too. I was just posting on Instagram all day, enjoying watching my following grow, but I wasn't making many sales.

And it left me feeling deflated. What was I putting in all that work for if no one wanted to buy?

So I started reflecting and realized a couple of things:

1. I was putting too much time into Instagram. (learn how to save time on social media)

2. My marketing strategy was incomplete. In fact, I was really missing the mark.

So I put my social media knowledge and my strategic communication degree to good use and I started coming up with a plan that actually would bring me what I desired and that's what I want to share with you in this blog post.

You're literally getting a FRONT ROW SEAT into my complete marketing strategy. Because it isn't just Instagram. And yours shouldn't be either.

A good online marketing strategy needs three basic things:

  • Traffic - this is the amount of people who are actually visiting your website, shop pages, and sales pages.
  • Community - these are the people who talk to you and who engage with you on social media
  • Value - this is what you GIVE to people so that they will trust you, like you, stick around, and eventually buy from you.

Are you missing any of these three things in your business? Where do you feel like you're falling flat?

Now, I want to go through the various tools that are used in my marketing strategy and what I use them for.

Traffic

  • SEO (search engine optimization) - Optimizing your website for search (aka Google) is a great way to get good, organic traffic to your website. If your headlines give people what they expected when they clicked the link, this traffic is going to stick around because they made the choice to click on your link based on their very own search preferences.

My friend Jessica Freeman is a WHIZ with SEO.

  • Pinterest - This social sharing tool is my biggest traffic referrer. Social as a whole drives over 60% of the traffic to my website and Pinterest takes up over 60% of that traffic. It's important to know that Pinterest is thought of as a social media website, but what it really is is a visual search engine.

Want to learn how I use Pinterest to drive so much traffic? Follow me over here.

This traffic is KEY to my business's livelihood. Without eyeballs on my work, on these blog posts, I don't get clients, I don't welcome new people into my Facebook groups and other communities, and I don't make sales.

While I do get traffic from other sources, right now in my business, Pinterest and Google are my main traffic drivers.

Community

I need a community on social media because I need to understand my audience and I need to know what they want me to make. If I just guessed all the time, I would be clueless and unsuccessful. I intentionally use my online communities to gain knowledge about my online audience.

  • Instagram - This is a place for me to showcase my work, get personal with my audience, ask lots of silly questions (and serious ones too, but silly are my favorite), and share the process of my business. This is a place where I share tips and tricks, but never too much because I want to leave something to be desired on the other end of my link. This is a place where I cultivate the idea of community and same-ness among my followers. I try to make them feel at home and involved in my business on Instagram. In general, Instagram is not a HUGE traffic driver because links are only allowed in certain places.
  • Free Facebook Group - Facebook groups certainly don't suit every business model, but for mine, my Facebook group is essential. Community really takes a step UP in the Facebook group because it is private. I want my members to feel comfortable talking about their struggles, asking questions, and with helping others. On Instagram, I gain insights into what kind of person my audience is and in my Facebook group, I gain insights as to what kinds of problems they need me to help them solve. In addition, I am a part of many other Facebook groups, which allows me to show my expertise and be helpful (never, ever in a spammy or sales-y way). 
  • Twitter - I don't use Twitter much in my business anymore because my analytics show that the return on my time investment is not really worth it, but this could be an alternative place to find community if your audience loves to spend time there.

Value

  • Blog - This blog is not just a fun little place where I write articles. This blog is a place where I share IMMENSE value with my audience. I really let the curtain fly here and I share as much as I can with you, my amazing readers. Why? Because my relationship with my audience is not one-sided. I really strive to LISTEN to my audience and to GIVE them what they need in order to move forward. This is all about solving a PROBLEM for your audience and I truly believe EVERY online business niche solves a problem.
  • Facebook Group Livestreams - This is very similar to my blog, but they live on video and in my free Facebook group. It also gives me a chance to chat in real-time with my audience and to get to know their behavior on social media. Are they quiet? Do they love to chat? What time of day works for them? Those types of things.
  • Email List - Growing an email list is an absolute essential piece of EVERY online business, no matter the niche. Because your social media accounts could get banned or a company could go out of business (remember Myspace?), it's important to literally OWN the data of as much of your audience as you can get. My email list also serves as a place to offer value, but also serves as the main place where I offer sales of my digital products. This is the place where sales generally occur.
  • Youtube Channel - Coming Soon - Subscribe to get updates!

Phew! There we have it! That's my marketing strategy. It's not a little bit of work to maintain. In fact, I probably spend at least half the time in my business working on marketing, because I believe it is as important as the actual products I create. All of these things work together to achieve my business goals.

The traffic that I receive from Google and Pinterest funnels into my email list, blog, or Facebook group and all of those things lead to each other. My audience has several options for touch points with my brand, which keeps them engaged and involved in my business.

The biggest secret of all though is this: I truly value each and every person that passes through one of my marketing channels. Some are more vocal and some keep themselves in the shadows, but I work hard to make sure everyone feels heard and valued. Do this in your marketing strategy and you'll be killin' it.

how to use pinterest to increase traffic to your website

Want to increase traffic to your website? Use Pinterest to save pins and blog content so that you can get new readers on your site and new buyers. Make sales and get new subscribers with Pinterest! Read now or pin for later!

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and then buy something or sign up for a paid plan, I will get a small commission. This helps me continue creating amazing free content for this blog as well as buy more products for my brows. #honesty

Have you been wondering if Pinterest might be a good fit for your business?

Pinterest is an INCREDIBLE way to share content with your audience. This platform is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to increase traffic to your website organically.

In fact, Pinterest accounts for over 60% of this website's traffic and most of my email subscribers come from Pinterest initially. 

Because Pinterest is a SEARCH ENGINE and not a social media platform, people don't have to follow you to see your content. Hustling for followers is not necessary on Pinterest.

So let's dig into how to make this happen for your own business.

First, I just want to mention that I use Tailwind to make this entire process much easier for me. Tailwind helps me schedule pins on Pinterest without spending #allmytime on the platform.

The impressions I receive on Pinterest go up month after month because I have spent the time to create a strategy for the platform.

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So, step-by-step. Let's make Pinterest happen for you.

1. Set up your account.

The very first thing you want to do on Pinterest is set up your account. Add your headshot photo (preferably the same one you use on other social media), include a link to a freebie, and write your bio (much like you do on Instagram).

Next, you'll want to add boards. It is incredibly important that you add boards that are RELEVANT to your audience. What kinds of things will they search Pinterest for? In addition, it's important that MOST of your boards are ones that make sense for your content. If you can't pin your content to them, it's probably a good idea to keep them secret, which is as simple as the press of a button.

When naming your boards, keep it simple and searchable. No need for cutesy characters or cutesy names - straight to the point is your best bet on Pinterest and the same goes for the description of the board. Use keywords that your audience might search for.

2. Make a special Pinterest board just for your content. 

This board will serve as the home base for all the content that YOU create for the platform. It will make it easier for people to be able to tell who you are and what you do and will help immensely when you set up your pinning process with Tailwind later.

My board is very simply named Jaimieemyers.com and all of my blog posts are pinned there right after publishing.

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3. Start pinning relevant content.

The content that you pin needs to be both relevant to your audience and to the boards that you pin content to. For example, if I were to publish a bunch of beauty-related pins as a social media manager, it might not make a whole lot of sense to my audience. Pin what you are known for and pin things that are congruent to your niche that your audience needs.

By making your page a place where someone can come to get information, you make yourself an authority. 

Don't worry about sharing content from competitors. In fact, it's GOOD to share content that is similar to yours so that Pinterest can then recommend your content along with the similar content in search results. 

I'm going to show you how to use Tailwind to find pins more rapidly, but for now, just remember these tips and try to fill your boards with around 100 pins each.

4. Join group boards on Pinterest.

Group boards are one tool that Pinterest gives us to increase the reach of our pins on the platform. A group board is simply a board that belongs to one person, but has contributors.

In order to find group boards, use the Search function on Pinterest, click over to 'Boards' and then look for boards that have multiple users. You can also visit influencers in your industry to find which group boards they belong to. This can take some research time, but is well worth the effort.

Group boards have a user photo in the bottom left that has multiple photos.

Group boards have a user photo in the bottom left that has multiple photos.

Once you have found some boards you'd like to join, look for instructions for joining in the board's description. Some won't have that information, in which case you'll want to do some digging to find the group owner's email address.

A simple request to join the board with a link to your Pinterest account and the email address you use for Pinterest should suffice.

Swipe my email copy for joining group boards!

5. Make your content for pinning.

Because Pinterest is a visual search engine, you'll need to make pins to save. You can design these in Canva or Photoshop. A few things to remember when designing:

- Vertical images convert well on Pinterest (no square, no horizontal)

- Bright, high-quality images are easy on the eye and stand out in the feed

- If you decide to use text, make sure to proofread and use fonts that are easy to read.

- Use your brand colors! Your pins should look like they came from your business. Use colors, fonts, and a design style that matches your brand.

Pinterest users are generally looking for information. This is why a blog is a great place to store your pins. Leading directly to a shop page will never convert as well from Pinterest as leading to a blog post or some other form of value that leads to an email list that then leads to the sale. Consider user experience from top to bottom!

6. Once you have your pins made, you can save them.

Remember that special board I had you make before? It's time to save your pin to that board. Remember to name your image descriptively, check to make sure the link is correct, and add a description with keywords. You can use the Search function on Pinterest to figure out which keywords to include (ideally, you want to include words that your target audience might search). 

7. You've made it! Now it's Tailwind time.

In order for Pinterest to rank your content, you'll need to be pinning pretty frequently, but you don't want to be on Pinterest all day. You've got better things to do, right?

Right.

And that's where Tailwind comes in. Tailwind is approved by Pinterest and makes this entire process so easy.

When you sign up for Tailwind, the first thing you'll want to do is look at your posting schedule. In the left-hand menu, click "Your Schedule." Tailwind created a smart schedule FOR YOU, based on the followers you already have or based on its own data if you are just starting out. You can add or delete times here.

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Once you are happy with your schedule, you should create board lists. Creating board lists allows you to pin to multiple boards simultaneously. Can you imagine all the TIME you'll save?

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Now it's time to schedule pins. Make sure you download the Tailwind browser extension, then head to Pinterest to select your pins. I like to head to a group board I am a part of so that I can use pins from those boards. I like to make sure that I am pinning at least 5 of my own pins daily as well.

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Once you're on the board you want to schedule pins from, simply click your browser extension, then select the pins you'd like to schedule. From there, hit "Go Schedule!" and a pop-up window will appear.

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Now you need to choose the board you'd like to schedule your pins to. This is where your board lists come in handy. You can choose different board lists for different types of pins or simply alternate board lists.

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This is important! Make sure to set intervals. You do not want to flood your board with a bunch of pins all at once, or pin too many of your own pins all at once. Use the interval to decide how far apart you want your pins to publish. I prefer a 1 day interval, but I've also used 8 hours effectively. 

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Once you've scheduled pins, you can view your schedule in your Tailwind dashboard in "Scheduled Pins." You can move things around or change anything you want from there.

Another place you might go to find pins to save is Tailwind Tribes. Tribes are meant to be a sharing platform in which you share your own pins, but on most, you are expected to also share pins from that tribe.

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Tailwind really just makes my life so much easier, because I am able to schedule a whole bunch of pins all in one sitting rather than feeling like I always need to be on the platform pinning. #notimeforthat

Questions about Pinterest or Tailwind? Head to my free Facebook group!

Eight Ways to Use Polls in Instagram Stories

Eight Ways to Use Polls in Instagram Stories | Want more followers on Instagram? Then you need to KNOW who your audience is. Use polls on Instagram Stories as a sticker and learn more about your audience and their needs. Get them involved and do market research all in one! Read now or pin for later!

Okay, get excited! Instagram Stories just keeps getting better.

Yesterday (October 3, 2017) Instagram rolled out a new feature in Stories: polls.

(Remember: new features on social media platforms generally roll out slowly so if you don't have it yet, don't worry, it's coming)

It's simple, really. Create an Instagram story (video, boomerang, or photo) and add a sticker. The poll sticker is easily customized - customize the question and the answers.

And wa-la! You created a poll. It's really that simple.

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Looking for a community to ask all your online business and social media-related questions? Look no further and join Rock Your Social!

The best part is that you can see the results. When you swipe up to see your analytics on Stories, you can see who has responded to the poll AND which answer they chose.

How you use those answers and analytics is totally up to you, but I recommend being careful about how you're polling and why. Yes, it's FUN, but it can also give you incredible insights into your audience.

Here are EIGHT great way to use polls in your Instagram Stories.

1. Ask 'yes' or 'no' questions.

Simple as that. Do you like ____? Would you buy ____?

2. 'This' or 'that' questions.

If you're wondering which thing to do, make, buy, see, or simply which thing is better, ask a this or that question. To make it even better, SHOW both things in the frame so that they can make an informed decision.

3. Market research.

Ask fun questions! Learn more about who your audience is with market research questions. You can ask them demographic questions or you can ask psychographic questions. Ask what kinds of things they like, ask about their attitudes toward certain things, ask anything that gives you MORE insight as to who your audience really is.

4. Identify engaged viewers.

People who answer your polls differentiate themselves from the rest of your audience. If 100 people watch your story, but only 20 answer your poll, you know that those 20 people are engaged in your Stories and in your business. Use that intel to engage with THEM in return and keep them involved.

5. Figure out which thing your audience needs help with.

Simply ask them "do you need ____ or _____?" And then move forward from there.

6. Can I email you?

This could be a way to grow your email list if you have an engaged Stories audience. Ask them "Can I email you about ____?" or "Can I email you with _____ freebie?" YES or NO answer and then message and ask for email addresses to add to your list.

7. Ask if they want to see something.

Headed to an event? Want to show a behind the scenes process in your business? Ask "Would you like to see _____?" If the answers say yes, then put it on Stories. If no, then don't.

8. Crowdsource opinions.

Use it for personal gain! Not sure which lip color to wear on your live video today? Having trouble deciding which color to use in your next painting? Want to know which shirt is cutest for your next event? Yup, use polls for these two.

The reason I am SO excited about polls is because they allow your audience to get involved in your business and become more engaged, without much effort on their part. People are generally looking for the easy way these days, but they also want to feel like they are a part of something special. Polls are a fantastic way to exploit that need while still allowing them to not do much in order to feel that way.

Have you used polls yet on your Instagram Stories?

Let me know in my FREE Facebook group!