This blog post contains details of what our team did in order to achieve our views and SEO position. We thought it was a shame groups weren’t able to see each others analysis. So dsmmcm1314 crew here we go…
If any other groups would like to share their own blogging experiences that would be great too!
A blogs design is very important to its success. E-Consultancy highlights the success a minimalist, clean design can bring. Our team therefore minimalized the text content in order to avoid overwhelming and confusing our readers. Mashable also highlights the effectiveness of such a strategy: ‘…most readers will respond to engaging visual elements. That’s why it’s so important to incorporate beautiful, bold and high-impact imagery in your blog posts’. For this reason we used huge spectacular images and catchy, bold headlines to draw readers in.
The photographs of ourselves were designed to draw in local readers, making the blog immediately recognisable by friends. This appeared to work effectively as hundreds of our friends accepted Facebook invitations to our page within a couple of days. We also felt it was important to develop a consistent brand image across all of our digital networks. An identical Digital People theme is consistent across our social network pages. This contributed towards the development of a solid and recognisable brand image.
E-Consultancy also highlighted the potential effectiveness of the ‘infinite or static scrolling feature’. (this is when you can scroll down a blog infinitely). We exploited this feature, which allowed readers to infinitely scroll down our blogs newsfeed. This maximizes the viewing time you can receive from each reader as viewers are more likely to take notice of more blog posts.
Social media selection
Our group made use of all of the social networks available to us. This allowed us to maximise the potential reach of our blog posts. However, focusing upon one platform can give your brand and team strategic focus. Our group chose to use Facebook. Firstly, the following statistics highlight some of the fundamental benefits of Facebook:
- brand interaction increased 176% in the past year, 56% of users are more likely to recommend a brand after liking its page and 80% of social media users prefer to connect with brands through Facebook – (e-merge)
This data justifies our use of Facebook to promote our blog. Alternatively we could have used Twitter but our group had little expertise and experience with Twitter and so Facebook was the most viable option. Facebook also has a user population of 1.1 billion users worldwide, twice as many as Google + with 500m and many more users than twitter which has around 200m.
In addition to this, one great benefit of using Facebook as a marketing tool is the openness of page invitations. Users can easily invite friends to ‘like’ a brand page and this function is unlimited. This allows you to develop a large group of Facebook followers.
The success of this strategy is clearly reflected in our sites content and traffic results, which evidences a high number of blog shares on Facebook and a high number of viewers accessing the blog through Facebook. An example of this can be seen with our group’s creation of posts about Family Guy, which received a high number of views and shares. (37 shares
This revealed to our group the key importance of creating up to date, potentially exclusive content, as people are more likely to share content such content. It also proved the importance of targeting a specific audience group and creating content to satisfying their desires. Posts, which were specifically designed to address our Facebook audience consistently, received higher views and shares.
The second image below shows where our blog views have originated from throughout the year. It indicates 1,500 views from Facebook, compared to only 140 from Twitter. This evidences the potential effectiveness of a focused social media strategy. The second noticeable feature of the image is the high number of referrers from search engines. This leads us onto our next section
Many of our 3,500 search engine referrals, were achieved through producing up-to-date exclusive content and tagging the posts effectively. However much of it came through viral content. Viral content can be highly effective due to the snowball effect it has on your blog views. Our group knew this, and so kept a keen eye on potential viral content. So here’s where our team got a little experimenal
The image above shows the views for our blog post we created “Man cheats on his wife and records it for the world to see.” The post managed an overall 3000 views. This is because the video went viral. Our team saw this video trending on social networks, and captured it whilst it was fresh. Our blog post also achieved the position on the first page of Google for the search term: ‘Man cheats on his wife and records it’. This was achieved through effective tagging and promotion of the post and it led to thousands of views. We were then able to sit back and enjoy the hilarious search terms people used to find our blog post. “Download Man catches wife cheating video full uncensored”.
We achieved a similiar effect with our blog post: “The Big Benefits Row” whereby we offered readers an exclusive video from our own Digital People Youtube account, of a row on the channel 5 show which wasn’t available elsewhere. This led to over 700 views within a week.
This strategy works very well, and can be achieved by anyone. The key is simply to keep an eye out for new content which has the potential to go viral. Think to yourself, ‘how can i contribute something new to this content?’ Is it your own viewpoint on the subject? is it a piece of information you are aware of which others are not? Keep an eye on Google trends too for trending topics.
Connecting with communities
Another technique we experimented with was connecting with large active communities. We shared our blog posts with communities who we thought would benefit from the information contained in the post. This proved to be particularly successful with the vibrant and highly active Duolingo community. The three blog posts we produced and then promoted on the Duolingo forum are our blogs 3rd, 4th and 6th highest-ranking posts (see below). We also received great feedback from enthusiastic members of the Duolingo community, 20 blog follows and hundreds of worldwide views. (Highlighted in the map). This broadened our audience reach. We mimicked this technique with other forums and active communities such as YouTube and Family Guy forums and the ‘Mirror.co.uk’ comment section which brought in many views, (see image below)
Online activity peek period
Our group also recorded the times in which our Facebook audiences were most often online. The research provided us with the key time of 6:00pm to post content. This became our Internet peek period. This strategy proved to be successful, as content posted at this time received significantly higher views than other times. Monday also appeared to be the day with most online activity, and so this became the day to make significant marketing efforts. These efforts combined with our Facebook content marketing strategy mentioned previously created very successful results and our blog received as many as 412 views in a single day.
Post- evaluation of alternative methods
Our group followed a Buzzfeed model throughout our blogging experience, which involved producing trivial but sharable content, which reaches a mass audience. This resulted in the very successful results previously discussed. However, E-consultancy highlights the potential of ‘evergreen content’. Evergreen content is content, that doesn’t age quickly. For example ‘how to guides’ and other reference material. Such material is usually based on the writer’s own exclusive and valuable knowledge, and as highlighted by E-consultancy it benefits from being ‘long-lasting material’. Basically it is niche, but valuable material.
E-concultancy evidences that their articles on niche, topics such as: ‘14 examples of scrolling websites’ (previously mentioned), claims up to ‘15,000 impressions per month’. They explain that this is due to it being a ‘compendium post with an educational element to it’. So basically its unique, exclusive and informative content which actually serves a useful purpose.
Our group could have benefited from such an approach as our blog’s material lacked focus as we wrote about broad topics, which although pulled in a high number of random blog views, failed in the development of a loyal customer base difficult. This is evidenced in our blogs high view count but low number of ‘likes’, follows and comments. (19 comments overall, 55 blog followers), Our valuable knowledge of marketing we have developed over the final year of university would have been the perfect ‘ever green content’.
Following recent changes made to Google our group quickly realized the importance of consistent and up to date content. We observed this significance through the observation of the competing group ‘DigiMark’. Despite significantly higher blog views (5000 more views) than Digimark our blog ranked lower for the golden search term ‘DSMCM1314’. This is because DigiMark consistently produces a maximum of 3 blog posts a day whereas our group only produces an average of 4 a week. This highlighted the importance of content marketing for SEO. Exceptional content helps encourage sharing on social media and continuous engagement (Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick, 2012).
Experimentation with advertising methods would have been valuable for producing SEO results. An independent domain name and wordpress plug-ins also would have produced effective SEO results – (Mashable) Google prioritizes independent domain names, which would have enhanced our SEO positioning.
Thank you for reading, hope the information was useful and i hope everyones final assignments went well!