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5 Things I Learned About E-A-T by Analyzing 647 Search Results

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5 Things I Learned About E-A-T by Analyzing 647 Search Results

The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

As a writer at a content marketing agency, I’ve written for a lot of different clients, and almost everything I’ve produced has been intended to rank on Google and encourage website traffic.

Here’s the challenge I (and every other marketing writer on the planet) am up against: search competition.

No matter what industry you’re in, or target audience you’re speaking to, you’re not alone. You have competition. And if you and your competition both understand the SEO game (which is very much the case for most companies nowadays), then what do you have to fall back on to protect your visibility in the all-important SERPs?

According to Google, it’s E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.

But here’s the complicated thing: Every one of my clients — even the small ones thriving in very big industries — has expertise, and authoritativeness, and even trustworthiness. So, how does that help them in search? And how can they possibly prove to Google, amid all the noise and competition and other experts out there, that they deserve a place on Page 1?

Last year, I set out to find out.

Methodology

Google is pretty clear about the fact that websites need E-A-T, but what they don’t really clue us in on is what E-A-T actually is or how it’s measured. I hypothesized that, if I compiled a big list of SERPs and closely analyzed all the Page 1 results, I could narrow down what may comprise E-A-T.

Theoretically, E-A-T affects different industries in different ways. That’s because some topics and subject areas are more critical than others to have extremely reliable information — like when you’re searching for information about prescription drugs or complicated financial products.

So, the first thing I did was choose seven topic categories to focus on: legal, insurance, health care, loans, pharmaceuticals, military, and informational questions. Next, I picked 10 queries for each category.

Then I searched. The resulting 70 SERPs produced 647 results. I analyzed each of those results, looking specifically for 32 different factors.

Finally, I reviewed what I had recorded and asked:

  • Which factors were the most prevalent across all 647 results?

  • Which factors were most prevalent among the 210 Top 3 results?

  • Were there differences in prevalent factors across the various topic categories I chose?

Before we get into the results, let’s talk about correlation vs. causation for a moment. While each of these factors seemed to be very common among Page 1 results, and it seems clear that some of these factors do play a role in establishing E-A-T, all I can really say for sure is that these traits are associated with pages that rank well in search. They could be indicators of a good page or website, but not necessarily the determining factor that’s putting them on Page 1.

With that in mind, here are five lessons I learned about E-A-T after closely analyzing the results from those 70 searches.

Lesson 1: Original, relevant, recent content is essential

Of all the lessons, this is the least surprising to me, but perhaps the most important. To rank well for relevant terms, you need to strongly demonstrate that your website belongs in search results. How? Content, obviously.

But it’s got to be high-quality content. Usually, I’d say that means you’re addressing the topic from all angles and leaving no questions unanswered. But after this SERP inspection exercise, I’d actually say the three most important characteristics of high-quality content are that it’s:

  1. Original

  2. Relevant

  3. Recently published or updated

Original research

One factor I sought throughout this study was original research. To me, this included any content that’s created using information the organization sources, analyzes, and publishes themselves.

Just shy of two-thirds of the results’ websites contained original research, but among the websites whose results were in the Top 3 positions, 70% had original research available. This shows the importance of creating your own, unique content — a story only you can tell. Trust me, you have one.

Relevance and topical authority

Beyond content just being unique, it also needs to be relevant to your industry and target audience. Topical authority is a weird concept because SEOs know it’s real, but there’s no way to measure it, and Google hasn’t exactly come out and said they have a topical authority ranking factor.

However, they have given us a lot of clues that point to topical authority being a highly important factor in E-A-T — like this patent they filed in 2017. Even in their recent Helpful Content Update, Google highlights questions that creators should ask themselves when considering their own site content. The question, “Does your site have a primary purpose or focus?” in particular alludes to the importance of creating content for a topic niche or specific subject area.

Given the limited tools on this subject, I decided to create my own (rudimentary) method of measuring topical authority by way of roughly determining the topic coverage depth throughout the whole website. Here’s what I did:

  1. Determine the parent topic of the query in question. “Insurance” is the parent topic for “types of insurance” and “world population” is the parent topic for “how many people are in the world,” for example.

  2. Find the Topic Coverage Score (TCS, as I call it) of each result’s website. That’s the number of pages indexed by Google that contain an exact-match of the parent term.

  3. Calculate the average TCS of all Page 1 results for each query.

  4. Compare the TSC of each result with the average TSC for that query.

After that procession of steps, I found that while 25% of Page 1 results had a TSC higher than the average, 40% of Top 3 results boasted the same. In other words, the websites that had the most topic coverage were more likely to land at the top of the page.

Recently published or updated

Half of all Top 3 and 48% of Page 1 results were dated within the previous two years. There are plenty of evergreen topics that don’t need regular content changes (the oldest result in my study was a page explaining why the sky is blue from 1997). Updating content just for the sake of giving it a new date won’t help you rank any higher in Google. However, creating timely content and updating old content as necessary could help.

Lesson 2: Your off-site, online presence matters

Here’s a lesson I wasn’t expecting to learn. When I set out on this study, I thought the biggest E-A-T factors would correspond to the website in question more so than the organization that manages it. Not so much: It became clear to me that your off-site, online presence plays a role in helping you rank in Google search results.

The vast majority (95%) of all results had third-party reviews of some kind, whether they’re Google My Business reviews, comments on Glassdoor, site trustworthiness information on Trustpilot, or something else.

Wikipedia is also a common thread between many of the results. While 89% of Page 1 results’ websites or organizations had at least one Wikipedia mention, 93% of Top 3 results did, too. As far as actual Wikipedia pages, 73% of Page 1 results and 82% of Top 3 results’ organizations had one.

The high prevalence on Page 1 tells me that it’s fairly common to have a Wikipedia connection, but the higher numbers corresponding to the Top 3 results hints at what their importance might be.

Another patent from Google, this one updated in 2018, discusses the topic of seed sites. A seed site, theoretically, is one that the search engine trusts because it generally has quality content and good, valuable links. Google hasn’t revealed whether this seed site theory is valid, or to what extent it plays a role in search algorithms (if any). But if I were to choose a seed site, Wikipedia would be a good contender. Each page has tons of links to websites with relevant information on carefully organized topics.

Another website worth mentioning is the Better Business Bureau. While it only gives limited perspective (since it only relates to Canadian and US businesses), I found that many Page 1 results’ organizations (70%) and even more Top 3 results (74%) had at least a BBB page but not necessarily a grade. In fact, a little over one-fourth of results that had a BBB page didn’t have a rating.

It seems to me that the value is in getting listed on BBB’s website more so than achieving a good grade — perhaps a North American-specific seed site of sorts.

Lesson 3: Transparency and honesty are the best policies

So far, we’ve learned a lot about E (expertise) and A (authoritativeness) but where the T — trustworthiness — really comes into sight is when we start talking about transparency.

Google states right in its Page Quality Rating guidelines that webmasters should state on their website exactly who is responsible for site content. That can be a person or people, or it could be an organization. At Moz, for example, the folks at Moz are responsible for their site content, and they explain all about it in their About page. Similarly, 91% of results I analyzed had a detailed About Us page.

Another way of being transparent about what your site is all about is by publishing editorial standards or guidelines. These documents detail how your site gets populated: where content comes from, what characteristics help it make the cut, what the organization won’t publish, and more.

43% of Page 1 results and 49% of Top 3 results had some sort of editorial guidelines published. These included information quality guidelines, pitch guidelines that reflect editorial standards, correction policies, and corporate governance documentation that addresses communication or media.

Why should publishing guidelines benefit your site? Well, I could see two factors at play here.

First off, Google’s Page Quality Rating guidelines specifically notes that “High E-A-T news sources typically have published established editorial policies and robust review processes.” That doesn’t prove that the algorithm considers the presence of editorial guidelines (or even knows about them all the time) but it does lend us insight into the mind of Google.

Second, I’d be willing to bet that there’s a strong correlation between organizations that take the time to put together editorial guidelines and those that take the time to ensure their content is worthy of their site. Additionally, the process of putting together editorial guidelines is itself a good exercise in ensuring that your website content is high quality.

Lesson 4: Connections go a long way

No business operates in a vacuum, especially not on the Internet. The connections your organization has made with others, and how you acknowledge them, make an impact on how your community views you.

Reputable partners

There are all kinds of connections a business might make with another organization. Throughout the study, I kept track of something I called “reputable partners.” To earn this mark, a website had to demonstrate a relationship between themselves and another organization that’s plainly in support or favor of their work or mission.

Some of the most common types of demonstrations of these relationships included:

  • Articles and press releases announcing partnerships or outcomes.

  • Explanations of the relationships between those organizations.

  • Accolades from recognized organizations highlighted on-site through badges, links to award announcements, press releases, etc.

  • Links to press releases or articles demonstrating the relationship between organizations, and/or award badge displays.

While 73% of the results I looked at had clear “reputable partners,” 78% of those in the Top 3 did, too. My theory for this pattern is that making it obvious which other organizations are in support of you — generally or financially, e.g. through a grant — or in favor of your mission, you’re being transparent about how your organization operates. That fits squarely with the T in the E-A-T equation.

Backlinks

Another type of connection modern businesses deal in today is backlinks. Links put the “Inter” in “Internet,” and they’ve become essential for people and (more importantly for this subject) web crawlers to understand and navigate the web.

The average number of backlinks across all 647 results I analyzed was 32,572. Among the 210 Top 3 results, it was 88,581.

It’s certainly possible to get on Page 1 with fewer than that — about one-third had fewer than 100 backlinks and 28 had none whatsoever. However, we can clearly see that link quantity is valuable.

But what about link quality? For that, we can look at Moz’s Spam Score. This metric indicates your backlink profile health, with a 1% rating as really healthy and a 99% rating as super unhealthy.

While Moz considers a “low” score to be 30% or less, 44% of Page 1 results had a Spam Score of 1%, indicating that most Page 1 results have a very clean, healthy backlink profile. Another 19% had scores of 2 or 3%. The Top 3 results mirrored these results (with 44% at 1% and 18% at 2 or 3%).

Another way we can make some assumptions about link quality is by looking at referring domains. When there are loads of backlinks but very few referring domains, it seems less likely to be the result of deliberate link-building efforts. On the other hand, a higher number of referring domains could indicate more honest link-building tactics or simply just a really good web page that others want to link to.

The average number of referring domains among Page 1 results was 752. Meanwhile, among the Top 3 results, the average was 1,594. Making connections with other organizations online by way of honest link-building efforts can be one way to expand your reach, but also show Google and other search engines that you offer quality, worthwhile content.

Lesson 5: The right technology is essential

Last, but absolutely not least, if you have a website, it needs to be set up securely so that visitors can trust that they’re not putting their data at risk by interacting with it. In my study, I found that 96% of all results (also 96% of just top 3 results) used HTTPS. Interestingly, those that didn’t most often occurred in the military portion of the study.

Websites today also need technologies for cookie notifications, and some use pop-ups to convey important messages. Others use advertising to monetize their site. In any of these situations, the website owner should aim to minimize disruption to the user’s experience. Just 42% of all results had a pop-up: most of them (81) were inviting the user to subscribe to something (e.g. a newsletter), while nearly an equal number (79) were communicating information related to cookies.

Having the right technology enabled on your website may not seem inherently connected to E-A-T — which is why I didn’t evaluate even more technologic considerations such as e-payment systems — but considering that a huge aspect of Trustworthiness online today is about data gathering and management (and the ill effects of mis-management), it’s apparent that this area matters just as much, if not more so, than all your efforts into quality content creation.

Conclusion

When I set out to uncover the factors associated with E-A-T, I fully anticipated learning about proper author attribution, source citations, and good content. I guess I was thinking with my author hat on and not my web user hat, because I was only close on one of those three.

There are a lot of activities digital marketers can do to promote their businesses and goods and services today. Content creation and content marketing, link building, local SEO, advertising, public relations, and more can all seem like great options that you can pursue.

But the truth is, they’re not options — they’re must-haves for building a holistic digital presence. After conducting this study, my advice to webmasters and business leaders would be to assess your current online presence (including but not limited to your website’s user experience) and determine where there are holes. Working to fill those holes won’t necessarily be easy, but it will be worth it when your web traffic increases and your pages begin to rank.

To see a detailed explanation of each factor considered in this study, check out the full E-A-T study report on the Brafton blog.

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How to optimize your online forms and checkouts

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How to optimize your online forms and checkouts



Forms are probably the most important part of your customer journey. They are the final step where the user entrusts you with their precious personal information in exchange for the goods or services you’ve promised.

And yet, too many companies spend minimal time on making sure their form experience is a good one for their users. They don’t use data to establish where the UX problems are on their forms, and they don’t run form-specific experiments to determine how to improve their conversion rate. As a result, too many forms are unnecessarily driving potential customers away, burning potential revenue and leads that could have been converted if they had only spent a little time and effort on optimization. Two-thirds of people who start a form don’t go on to complete it, meaning that a lot of money is being left on the table.

This article contains some of our top tips to help optimize your forms + checkouts with the goal of improving their conversion rate and delivering more customers and leads.

Use data to identify your problem fields

While user testing and session replay tools are useful in identifying possible form issues, you should also be using a specialist form analytics tool, as this will allow you to quantify the scale of the problem – where are most people dropping out – and prioritize improvements accordingly. A good form analytics tool will have advanced insights that will help work out what the problem is as well, giving you a head start on creating hypotheses for testing.

A/B test your forms

We’ve already mentioned how important it is to nurture your forms like any other part of your website. This also applies to experimentation. Your A/B testing tool such as Optimizely should allow you to easily put together a test to see if your hypothesis will improve your conversion rate. If there is also an integration with your form analytics tool you should then be able to push the test variants into it for further analysis.

Your analytics data and user testing should guide your test hypothesis, but some aspects you may want to look at are:

  • Changing the error validation timing (to trigger upon input rather than submission)
  • Breaking the form into multiple steps rather than a single page
  • Removing or simplifying problem fields
  • Manage user expectations by adding a progress bar and telling them how long the form will take upfront
  • Removing links to external sites so they are not distracted
  • Re-wording your error messages to make them more helpful

Focus on user behavior after a failed submission

Potential customers who work their way through their form, inputting their personal information, before clicking on the final ‘Submit’ button are your most valuable. They’ve committed time and effort to your form; they want what you are offering. If they click that button but can’t successfully complete the form, something has gone wrong, and you will be losing conversions that you could have made.

Fortunately, there are ways to use your form data to determine what has gone wrong so you can improve the issue.

Firstly, you should look at your error message data for this particular audience. Which messages are shown when they click ‘Submit? What do they do then? Do they immediately abandon, or do they try to fix the issue?

If you don’t have error message tracking (or even if you do), it is worth looking at a Sankey behavior flow for your user’s path after a failed submission. This audience will click the button then generally jump back to the field they are having a problem with. They’ll try to fix it, unsuccessfully, then perhaps bounce back and forth between the problem field a couple of times before abandoning in frustration. By looking at the flow data, you can determine the most problematic fields and focus your attention there.

Microcopy can make the checkout experience less stressful

If a user is confused, it makes their form/checkout experience much less smooth than it otherwise could be. Using microcopy – small pieces of explanatory information – can help reduce anxiety and make it more likely that they will complete the form.

Some good uses of microcopy on your forms could be:

  • Managing user expectations. Explain what information they need to enter in the form so they can have it on hand. For example, if they are going to need their driver’s licence, then tell them so.
  • Explain fields. Checkouts often ask for multiple addresses. Think “Current Address”, “Home Address” and “Delivery Address”. It’s always useful to make it clear exactly what you mean by these so there is no confusion.
  • Field conditions. If you have strict stipulations on password creation, make sure you tell the user. Don’t wait until they have submitted to tell them you need special characters, capital letters, etc.
  • You can often nudge the user in a certain direction with a well-placed line of copy.
  • Users are reluctant to give you personal information, so explaining why you need it and what you are going to do with it is a good idea.

A good example of reassuring microcopy

Be careful with discount codes

What is the first thing a customer does if they are presented with a discount code box on an ecommerce checkout? That’s right, they open a new browser tab and go searching for vouchers. Some of them never come back. If you are using discount codes, you could be driving customers away instead of converting them. Some studies show that users without a code are put off purchasing when they see the discount code box.

Fortunately, there are ways that you can continue to offer discount codes while mitigating the FOMO that users without one feel:

  • Use pre-discounted links. If you are offering a user a specific discount, email a link rather than giving them a code, which will only end up on a discount aggregator site.
  • Hide the coupon field. Make the user actively open the coupon box rather than presenting them with it smack in the middle of the flow.
  • Host your own offers. Let every user see all the offers that are live so they can be sure that they are not missing out.
  • Change the language. Follow Amazon’s lead and combine the Gift Card & Promotional Codes together to make it less obvious.

An example from Amazon on how to make the discount code field less prominent

Get error messages right

Error messages don’t have to be bad UX. If done right, they can help guide users through your form and get them to commit.

How do you make your error messages useful?

  • Be clear that they are errors. Make the messages standout from the form – there is a reason they are always in red.
  • Be helpful. Explain exactly what the issue is and tell the user how to fix it. Don’t be ambiguous.

Don’t do this!

  • Display the error next to the offending field. Don’t make the user have to jump back to the top of the form to find out what is wrong.
  • Use microcopy. As noted before, if you explain what they need to do early, they users are less likely to make mistakes.

Segment your data by user groups

Once you’ve identified an issue, you’ll want to check whether it affects all your users or just a specific group. Use your analytics tools to break down the audience and analyze this. Some of the segmentations you might want to look at are:

  • Device type. Do desktop and mobile users behave differently?
  • Operating system. Is there a problem with how a particular OS renders your form?
  • New vs. returning. Are returning users more or less likely to convert than first timers?
  • Do different product buyers have contrasting expectations of the checkout?
  • Traffic source. Do organic sources deliver users with higher intent than paid ones?

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About the author

Alun Lucas is the Managing Director of Zuko Analytics. Zuko is an Optimizely partner that provides form optimization software that can identify when, where and why users are abandoning webforms and help get more customers successfully completing your forms.


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3 Smart Bidding Strategies To Help You Get the Most Out of Your Google Ads

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3 Smart Bidding Strategies To Help You Get the Most Out of Your Google Ads

Now that we’ve officially settled into the new year, it’s important to reiterate that among the most effective ways to promote your business are Google Ads. Not only do Google Ads increase your brand visibility, but they also make it easier for you to sell your services and products while generating more traffic to your website.

The thing about Google Ads, though, is that setting up (and running) a Google Ads campaign isn’t easy – in fact, it’s pretty beginner-unfriendly and time-consuming. And yet, statistically speaking, no platform does what Google Ads can do when it comes to audience engagement and outreach. Therefore, it will be beneficial to learn about and adopt some smart bidding strategies that can help you get the most out of your Google Ads.

To that end, let’s check out a few different bidding strategies you can put behind your Google Ads campaigns, how these strategies can maximize the results of your Google Ads, and the biggest benefits of each strategy.

Smart bidding in Google Ads: what does it mean, anyway?

Before we cover the bidding strategies that can get the most out of your Google Ads, let’s define what smart bidding means. Basically, it lets Google Ads optimize your bids for you. That doesn’t mean that Google replaces you when you leverage smart bidding, but it does let you free up time otherwise spent on keeping track of the when, how, and how much when bidding on keywords.

The bidding market is simply too big – and changing too rapidly – for any one person to keep constant tabs on it. There are more than 5.5 billion searches that Google handles every day, and most of those searches are subject to behind-the-scenes auctions that determine which ads display based on certain searches, all in a particular order.

That’s where smart bidding strategies come in: they’re a type of automated bidding strategy to generate more conversions and bring in more money, increasing your profits and cash flow. Smart bidding is your way of letting Google Ads know what your goals are (a greater number of conversions, a goal cost per conversion, more revenue, or a better ROAS), after which Google checks what it’s got on file for your current conversion data and then applies that data to the signals it gets from its auctions.

Types of smart bidding strategies

Now that you know what smart bidding in Google Ads is and why it’s important, let’s cover the best smart bidding strategies you can use to your advantage.

Maximize your conversions

The goal of this strategy is pretty straightforward: maximize your conversions and get the most out of your budget’s allocation toward said conversions. Your conversions, be they a form submission, a customer transaction, or a simple phone call, are something valuable that you want to track and, of course, maximize.

The bottom line here is simply generating the greatest possible number of conversions for your budget. This strategy can potentially become costly, so remember to keep an eye on your cost-per-click and how well your spending is staying inside your budget.

If you want to be extra vigilant about keeping conversion costs in a comfy range, you can define a CPA goal for your maximize conversions strategy (assuming you’ve got this feature available).

Target cost per acquisition

The purpose behind this strategy is to meet or surpass your cost-per-acquisition objective that’s tied to your daily budget. When it comes to this strategy, it’s important to determine what your cost-per-acquisition goal is for the strategy you’re pursuing.

In most cases, your target cost per acquisition goal will be similar to the 30-day average you’ve set for your Google Ads campaign. Even if this isn’t going to be your end-all-be-all CPA goal, you’ll want to use this as a starting point.

You’ll have lots of success by simply leveraging target cost per acquisition on a campaign-by-campaign basis, but you can take this one step further by creating a single tCPA bid strategy that you share between every single one of your campaigns. This makes the most sense when running campaigns with identical CPA objectives. That’s because you’ll be engaging with a bidding strategy that’s fortified with a lot of aggregate data from which Google’s algorithm can draw, subsequently endowing all of your campaigns with some much-needed experience.

Maximize clicks

As its name implies, this strategy centers around ad optimization to gain as many clicks as possible based on your budget. We recommend using the maximize clicks strategy if you’re trying to drive more traffic to your website. The best part? Getting this strategy off the ground is about as easy as it gets.

All you need to do to get started with maximizing clicks is settle on a maximum cost-per-click that you then earmark. Once that’s done, you can decide how much money you want to shell out every time you pay for a bid. You don’t actually even need to specify an amount per bid since Google will modify your bids for you to maximize your clicks automatically.

Picture this: you’ve got a website you’re running and want to drive more traffic to it. You decide to set your maximum bid per click at $2.5. Google looks at your ad, adjusts it to $3, and automatically starts driving more clicks per ad (and more traffic to your site), all without ever going over the budget you set for your Google Ads campaign.

Conclusion

If you’ve been using manual bidding until now, you probably can’t help but admit that you spend way too much time wrangling with it. There are plenty of other things you’d rather be – and should be – spending your time on. Plus, bids change so quickly that trying to keep up with them manually isn’t even worth it anymore.

Thankfully, you’ve now got a better grasp on automated and smart bidding after having read through this article, and you’re aware of some important options you have when it comes to strategies for automated bidding. Now’s a good time to explore even more Google Ads bidding strategies and see which ones make the most sense when it comes to your unique and long-term business objectives. Settle on a strategy and then give it a whirl – you’ll only know whether a strategy is right for you after you’ve tested it time and time again. Good luck!

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Is Twitter Still a Thing for Content Marketers in 2023?

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Is Twitter Still a Thing for Content Marketers in 2023?

The world survived the first three months of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover.

But what are marketers doing now? Did your brand follow the shift Dennis Shiao made for his personal brand? As he recently shared, he switched his primary platform from Twitter to LinkedIn after the 2022 ownership change. (He still uses Twitter but posts less frequently.)

Are those brands that altered their strategy after the new ownership maintaining that plan? What impact do Twitter’s service changes (think Twitter Blue subscriptions) have?

We took those questions to the marketing community. No big surprise? Most still use Twitter. But from there, their responses vary from doing nothing to moving away from the platform.

Lowest points

At the beginning of the Elon era, more than 500 big-name advertisers stopped buying from the platform. Some (like Amazon and Apple) resumed their buys before the end of 2022. Brand accounts’ organic activity seems similar.

In November, Emplifi research found a 26% dip in organic posting behavior by U.S. and Canadian brands the week following a significant spike in the negative sentiment of an Elon tweet. But that drop in posting wasn’t a one-time thing.

Kyle Wong, chief strategy officer at Emplifi, shares a longer analysis of well-known fast-food brands. When comparing December 2021 to December 2022 activity, the brands posted 74% less, and December was the least active month of 2022.

Fast-food brands posted 74% less on @Twitter in December 2022 than they did in December 2021, according to @emplifi_io analysis via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

When Emplifi analyzed brand accounts across industries (2,330 from U.S. and Canada and 6,991 elsewhere in the world), their weekly Twitter activity also fell to low points in November and December. But by the end of the year, their activity was inching up.

“While the percentage of brands posting weekly is on the rise once again, the number is still lower than the consistent posting seen in earlier months,” Kyle says.

Quiet-quitting Twitter

Lacey Reichwald, marketing manager at Aha Media Group, says the company has been quiet-quitting Twitter for two months, simply monitoring and posting the occasional link. “It seems like the turmoil has settled down, but the overall impact of Twitter for brands has not recovered,” she says.

@ahamediagroup quietly quit @Twitter for two months and saw their follower count go up, says Lacey Reichwald via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

She points to their firm’s experience as a potential explanation. Though they haven’t been posting, their follower count has gone up, and many of those new follower accounts don’t seem relevant to their topic or botty. At the same time, Aha Media saw engagement and follows from active accounts in the customer segment drop.

Blue bonus

One change at Twitter has piqued some brands’ interest in the platform, says Dan Gray, CEO of Vendry, a platform for helping companies find agency partners to help them scale.

“Now that getting a blue checkmark is as easy as paying a monthly fee, brands are seeing this as an opportunity to build thought leadership quickly,” he says.

Though it remains to be seen if that strategy is viable in the long term, some companies, particularly those in the SaaS and tech space, are reallocating resources to energize their previously dormant accounts.

Automatic verification for @TwitterBlue subscribers led some brands to renew their interest in the platform, says Dan Gray of Vendry via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

These reenergized accounts also are seeing an increase in followers, though Dan says it’s difficult to tell if it’s an effect of the blue checkmark or their renewed emphasis on content. “Engagement is definitely up, and clients and agencies have both noted the algorithm seems to be favoring their content more,” he says.

New horizon

Faizan Fahim, marketing manager at Breeze, is focused on the future. They’re producing videos for small screens as part of their Twitter strategy. “We are guessing soon Elon Musk is going to turn Twitter into TikTok/YouTube to create more buzz,” he says. “We would get the first moving advantage in our niche.”

He’s not the only one who thinks video is Twitter’s next bet. Bradley Thompson, director of marketing at DigiHype Media and marketing professor at Conestoga College, thinks video content will be the next big thing. Until then, text remains king.

“The approach is the same, which is a focus on creating and sharing high-quality content relevant to the industry,” Bradley says. “Until Twitter comes out with drastically new features, then marketing and managing brands on Twitter will remain the same.

James Coulter, digital marketing director at Sole Strategies, says, “Twitter definitely still has a space in the game. The question is can they keep it, or will they be phased out in favor of a more reliable platform.”

Interestingly given the thoughts of Faizan and Bradley, James sees businesses turning to video as they limit their reliance on Twitter and diversify their social media platforms. They are now willing to invest in the resource-intensive format given the exploding popularity of TikTok, Instagram Reels, and other short-form video content.

“We’ve seen a really big push on getting vendors to help curate video content with the help of staff. Requesting so much media requires building a new (social media) infrastructure, but once the expectations and deliverables are in place, it quickly becomes engrained in the weekly workflow,” James says.

What now

“We are waiting to see what happens before making any strong decisions,” says Baruch Labunski, CEO at Rank Secure. But they aren’t sitting idly by. “We’ve moved a lot of our social media efforts to other platforms while some of these things iron themselves out.”

What is your brand doing with Twitter? Are you stepping up, stepping out, or standing still? I’d love to know. Please share in the comments.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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