Writing that spotless content calendar to upscale social media engagement of your brand

Making a content calendar might sound like a lot of work to put in, but having it ready in advance might just propel your brand into social media engagement clouds. Being ready for uploading posts, videos and statuses can make the difference between regularly viewed brands and some that pop up from time to time.

Even though it looks very time-consuming, it’s actually easier to prepare content in one go for the following week than to scramble your head about what’s the next story you should post in an hour! Another time saving is that most social media sites allow for scheduled posting. That way, you can prepare times for posts to be published when it’s best for your brand’s audience engagement rates and avoid having to babysit the process. Writing content that converts is key for upscaling your brand.

If you need some starting ideas to develop your own content for social media, use tools that can help you with that. Professional writing websites can also do wonders in this sense. You can use an academic dissertation writing site that will do all research and brainstorming for you, for example.

Being able to post regularly, check for typos, having time to edit stories, and also throwing in more creatives that you have a place for, are all the benefits content calendar offers!

How to set up your spotless content calendar

Building a calendar for your brand’s engagement starts with the smallest pieces. Splitting your content into smaller categories allows you to group and place them into further posting updates. Categories also make the purpose of content clear.

Here are a few examples of possible categories:

  • Promotion
  • Blog posts
  • Engaging stories
  • Quotes
  • Announcements

The promotional part can be paired with influencer marketing to even further increase engagement.

Depending on your brand, you can go as broad as you want. Having separate categories means you can set days to post content separately.

Since you have nice categories lined up, try to prepare content to start with and further updates, having it all seem cohesive and not jumbled makes your brand look secure and reliable. There is no limit to how far you want to go into the future with updates, but leave some room for special events like product launches or big announcements.

Daily, weekly or monthly

The Winning Formula - a content calendar

Image source: Shaw Academy

Splitting your content calendar into daily, weekly, and monthly views allows you to have a clear overview of your brand upscaling content without having it looking too cluttered.

The daily view is basically serving to overview details of your day-to-day content. Since it is the most detailed view it should include the date, time, text, and image, link if you have it. If you prepare all the details in advance, it really cuts down on the time you have to spend later.

The weekly view is less detailed, but you can see how it looks as a whole. Maybe some daily postings don’t make sense when paired with others in the week.

And at the end, we have the monthly view. With it, we can visualize our brand’s content and combine them with big events that can be coming up.

Know your audience

Upscaling your brand’s social media engagement can’t be done without targeting the audience that will be responsive to your content. If you haven’t identified your audience yet, you can do so by analyzing their demand, media consumption, and demographics.

Fortunately for you, these can be easy using available tools. Having Google Analytics on your brand’s website shows your audience characteristics. This data serves to target properly your content that matters to upscale social media engagement.

Your brand can track audience engagement via social media as well. Facebook and Instagram allow you to see different demographics of your audience base. Seeing what works well makes it easy to share tailored content that improves engagement with your brand.

Exploring new hashtags or formats can add a new audience to your roster. Keep in mind, it’s good to shake it up a bit from time to time, but don’t forget about your loyal audience base!


Your brand has probably more than one person designated for marketing. Use your social media content calendar to share ideas, combine different marketing specialists to create an engaging story about your brand.

Having more than one person involved will allow your brand to bring something cohesive but different to the table. By allowing input not only from marketing, but other departments as well makes sure that other important events like product launches or big announcements are included in your social media calendar.

Maya Geller, content writer expert and editor at Get Good Grade, says “teamwork is incredibly important in content creation and marketing, but it’s not often talked about. Remember to always follow a clear-cut strategy that’s transparent and clear to all team members.”

Review, edit, update

Looking for that engagement on social media might mean that your brand can’t stay static but following trends and making trends.

Engagement by post graph

Image source: Rignite

Having a content calendar makes sure you are set on the right path, but it needs to be regularly reviewed, edited and updated. Keeping up with your audience’s insights shows what you can work on, even add to your social media. Even tiny changes like time to publish content can have huge effects on audience engagement.


Writing a stunning social media content calendar for your brand brings a lot of benefits. Increasing engagement is only one of them, but you will soon start seeing other indirect benefits with increased engagement. Working smart at the beginning and planning your content in categories makes sure you will have more time for other important work later. Having categories keeps each avenue of your content in a constant update loop, so you can make sure to share the whole story and not just tidbits.

Take a look at the content calendar in daily, weekly and monthly views. Some posts make sense in detailed daily view, but it needs to fit in the overall monthly plan. Having consistency is key, so make sure to include what your brand is about in the whole story!

If you don’t know who your audience is and what they want, there will hardly be scaling to engagement. Find out more about them using available tools like Google Analytics, Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube insights. Establishing a new audience with testing might just bring you new avenues.

After all, a brand consists of various people, so share the content calendar and integrate it with other departments to bring authenticity and inclusion to your brand’s message.

Including these tips in your content calendar and then carefully reviewing and editing it, even updating regularly, will ensure that your brand’s social media engagement is upscaled to the top!

How to use reddit for B2B marketing and PR

Most marketers nowadays use social media as a part of their strategy, but many still exclude reddit. This is a shame, to say the least – it’s one of the most visited websites in the world, it’s patient zero for nearly all viral content (meaning journalists are scouring it all the time), it has an audience for every niche, and it holds more data than any other platform. It truly is the front page of the internet. So, if you want to know what’s happening on the web (which, as a B2B PR Agency, we certainly do), then you need to be on reddit.

Reddit doesn’t have the most user-friendly interface, and it isn’t built for marketers. But if you can get it right, it’s worth incorporating into your marketing and PR strategy. Here’s a short guide on how to use reddit for marketing, complete with tips on the best subreddits to join for marketing tips and guidance.

Get to know subreddits

Reddit is made up of subreddits (or subs). These are dedicated channels on topics where you can post links, images or create a self-post to discuss whatever you like. You can subscribe to subs if you like the topic, and all posts from that sub will show up on your homepage. If you’re unsure what subreddit you’re looking at, look at the part that comes immediately after the r/ at the end of the URL (for example, https://www.reddit.com/r/books/ is a sub on everything related to books). Anyone (with an old enough account) can create a sub on any topic they like.

The best way to identify whether a sub is worth joining is to look at the following:

  • Member count: A large sub doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best one (smaller subs can have higher engagement), but it’s a good sign of whether the content posted is relevant.
  • Engagement level: You can measure how engaged members are in a sub by looking at the number of upvotes and comments on the top posts from the past year.
  • Whether it’s international: Reddit is a global website, but some subs are very US-centric (which is fine, depending on the subject and what you’re looking to get out of it).
  • Active moderators: Active moderators (or mods) keep the subreddit on-topic and rule-abiding. Weekly updates/sticky posts are usually a sign of an active mod team.
  • Rules: There are rules laid out in reddit’s rediquette that all subreddits have to obey, but mods can also impose their own rules. Higher quality subreddits tend to have stricter rules regarding the quality of posts and replies, which help keep the sub on topic.

Some rules for reddit marketing

Reddit marketing works a little differently to other platforms, mainly because it has been built to thwart overt marketing and advertising posts, rather than welcome them. It has a particular etiquette (outlined in more detail in its Rediquette, as mentioned above) that abhors direct advertising but rewards conversation. Outside of sponsored posts, you have to make sure that what you’re posting is authentic, exciting and rule-abiding. If you push a product or service, you will be thrown out or downvoted into oblivion. Some rules to follow include:

1. Sign up as a member and lurk. The best way to get used to reddit is to use it! Sign up using your brand name and your first name (or another human name, if you don’t want to use your own). This adds legitimacy that you are, in fact, a real human being, which will be helpful when it comes to posting.

2. Find relevant subs and follow them. As mentioned, reddit is full of subs on all subjects, so start searching for those that are relevant to you. And remember, it doesn’t matter if it’s a small sub, as they can be some of the most engaged groups. It is worth noting that you need to read the posts on the sub to make sure they’re what you think they are – for example, those looking for news about the Superbowl might be disappointed by r/superbowl, which is a sub for pictures of superb owls.

3. Start up and downvoting and commenting. Just like any other platform, reddit will reward you for being an active contributor. Commenting will also increase your karma score, which will come in handy once you start creating your own posts.

4. Abide by the rules of each sub. As mentioned, the best subs have active mods, and said mods will remove your post if you don’t stick by the rules. Rules can be particular (see r/BreadStapledToTrees for reference) so take the time to read them before you post anything.

5. Share unique content that starts conversations. After lurking for an appropriate amount of time, you’ll notice that the following content tends to perform well:

  • First-person stories (but only if they’re interesting and authentic – you willmget called out of it’s a thinly-veiled ad)
  • Videos (bonus points if your brand appears in it)
  • Gifs (as above)
  • Memes (as above)
  • Images (bonus points if it’s a cute animal)
  • News (similar to Twitter and Facebook, being the first to share a piece of news can get you a lot of upvotes)

Start with one of these if possible to give your post a chance to perform well. But don’t panic if it doesn’t get much traction – practice makes perfect.

6. Respond to every comment on everything you post. Even if you only get one or two comments on your post, take the time to reply to all of them.

7. Don’t just post a link to your blog. Redditors do not like this – as mentioned before, they don’t want to be advertised to or used for traffic. You can instead paste the text from a blog into a post (if it’s genuinely good content).

8. Consider hosting an AskMeAnything (AMA). An AMA is a reddit-hosted Q&A that is open to anyone with an interesting story to tell. You’d be in good company if you did one – Barack ObamaBill Gates and, erm, Cookie Monster (who, just so happened to be involved in a charitable competition at the time). The r/IAmA sub is dedicated to them, but smaller, more specific subs will often host them with relevant people, too. You’ll have to prove to the mods that you are who you say you are and you’ll need to be prepared to answer anything.  

Pro-tip: Download the Boost app if you use Android or the Apollo app if you use iOS – they’re much better than the official reddit app.

Using reddit for research

One of the best ways to use reddit is as a market research tool. At TopLine Comms, we like to keep an eye on subs that are relevant to our clients so that we can remain up to date with what their potential customers are talking about. This helps to inform thought leadership, survey questions and our overall strategy. We also keep tabs on marketing and PR subs (some of which are listed below) to stay on top of trends in our industry.

Examples of brands on reddit

There are lots of brands doing great things on reddit. Xbox One game developers began to regularly host AMAs on the r/XboxOne sub (which isn’t owned by the brand); insurance app Lemonade promoted a video on a fast-food sub, showing insurance payments which cost as much as fast food items; and Elon Musk hosted an AMA on the r/space sub, to provide eager fans with more details following SpaceX’s BFR announcement. The common thread between all successful reddit promotions is that they’re interesting, entertaining, useful and encourage conversations.

Some of the top subreddits for marketers

As mentioned, we like to use reddit for our research, too. Here are some of the best marketing-related subreddits to get you started:


If you’re looking for support with web and data analytics, r/analytics is the sub for you. It’s a great place to go and ask questions if you get stuck or if you’re looking for career advice.


Similar to r/Analytics, r/AskMarketing is a great resource to turn to if you’re stuck. It’s also worth joining if you’d like to give out advice and, in turn, boost your karma.


Unsurprisingly, the r/bigseo sub is for all things SEO (and ‘all disciplines of inbound marketing that get shuffled under the title, SEO’, according to the sub’s description). You can ask questions, pick up tips about new resources and generally keep up to date with SEO trends.


The r/content_marketing sub is a wonderful community of content marketers who give feedback, advice and share tools of the trade with each other. The mods are active and stop promotional posts, and there’s a real community feel to the sub.


Got writer’s block? Head to r/copywriting. It’s full of tips, tricks and advice on copywriting to help get you started.

If you’re looking for B2B PR Agency that knows social, get in touch today.


Written by: Katie Chodosh – Content Consultant at TopLine Comms

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All’s fair in social media… and politics

It’s election week, and the news (and our social feeds) are dominated by party mantras, opinions, and memes. Social media has radically changed since Barack Obama’s first election, just over a decade ago, which was considered by many to be the first to leverage the power of social media. Now, in a post-Cambridge Analytica era, it feels as though boundaries are pushed ever further for political gain. From the controversy surrounding fact-checker UK, to Twitter’s ban on political advertising to limit microtargeting, it’s a complex topic. We all know about the newspapers’ various biases and the restrictive rules regulating politics on TV, but the standards for social media are still in flux. At TopLine Comms, we know a fair bit about media relations, and even we’re asking ourselves: is all fair in social media and politics?

The positives

Digital campaigning for a digital era

Everybody knows that print has declined in favour of digital, but social media is forecast to overtake print in terms of global ad spend for the first time this year. Social media ranks third overall in terms of political advertising, according to the research, behind paid search and TV. This makes sense, as social media offers a powerful ‘owned’ and ‘paid’ channel that is entirely – or almost entirely – in the hands of the parties themselves. This directness is perfect for the fast-moving world of politics and news.

Engaging young voters

The shakeup of media channels is particularly relevant for millennial voters. Millennials make up an estimated 17 million votes in the UK, or just over a third of voters. Youth turnout was its highest in the 2017 elections – the year dubbed the ‘youthquake’. Social media has allowed parties to engage with these digital natives, but this isn’t simply a matter of choosing the right channel, it’s also about culture. These politically essential generations have grown up alongside the internet, they understand the distinct culture and tone of online communication. Politicians who can communicate with them on their terms have an advantage.

Humanising politicians

Allowing voters a glimpse into their personal feeds allows politicians to present themselves as individuals, and make a more human connection with voters. Similarly, the nature of social media prescribes that content must be accessible and not overly complicated or convoluted. The level playing field that this provides means that ordinary people can now tweet their MP, or even party leader, and they may even get a response. The previous barriers to direct communication have been removed, and access has become democratised.

The negatives

Trust – the all important factor

Authenticity and credibility are critical in both social media and politics and combining the two only exacerbates these issues. Add to this the previously mentioned Cambridge Analytica scandal, and it becomes clear that trust is the single largest hurdle facing online campaigns. The scandal manifested widespread concerns about personal data and had a major impact on how voters perceive campaigns’ online presences. Both platforms and parties are working to repair this trust, but without more stringent measures in place to verify content, trust remains a challenge.

Usage and bias

Usage and bias are two major challenges to social media’s role in politics. In 2018, Statista reported that globally, people spend an average of 136 minutes on social media every day. Unlike other channels, such as broadcast and print, we have a more limited ability to filter out messages, meaning that there’s an omnipresent subtext that can be taken advantage of. Second, as an owned channel, social media presents a forum for a dominant ideology to exist, potentially unchallenged, and unbalanced.

Politics and personalities

As political campaigning on social channels continues to grow, we must ask how much our political system and the views of voters have been impacted. Everybody risks falling into algorithmically constructed echo chambers, where their own views are reinforced, and discourse becomes more difficult. Add to this the increasing role of the personal profiles of party leaders, and our system may be at risk of becoming more like that of our neighbours across the pond.

Where does that leave us?

Social media, for better or worse, makes up a crucial part of our lives and our modern society. Given its incredible reach and power, messaging on social media needs to be accurate and accessible to everybody. Regulators must continue to make a concerted effort to create smart, stringent guidelines and enforce them effectively to make sure that these powerful tools are used in a fair, legally compliant way.

As we as consumers become increasingly savvy – and jaded – about social media, campaigns, legislators, platforms, and users must ask themselves serious questions: How can we create a trustworthy, balanced space? Is it even possible to achieve balance with so many competing voices, some arguing in bad faith? What will campaigns look like in 2040? These are questions for the long term, but one thing that we can all do is go out and vote tomorrow.

What do the best B2B Facebook ads have in common?

Facebook can sometimes feel like a forgotten platform when it comes to B2B marketing. It’s often seen as a playground exclusive to consumer-facing companies but B2B companies are increasingly taking note. Facebook has a solid user base and decent data analytics to dive into, making it a platform worthwhile for any B2B marketer’s digital strategy. Some of the best B2B Facebook ads can produce worthwhile leads and results.


However, any B2B company looking at Facebook wants to make sure that their ad is one of the best B2B Facebook ads. Here are our recommendations to make sure your ad does its job.


Have little or no text on the image

Facebook will not show your ad if the image has too much text overlaying the image. Facebook says that ads perform better if text takes up less than 20% of the image, so use that as the basic ratio guide.


Be bold but simple

Make your ad stand out from the rest by thinking about what colours to use – do you want to blend in with the Facebook blue/grey colour palette or stand out? The last thing you want to do is confuse your audience, so keep your ad simple and to the point so that they know exactly what you have to offer them.


Have a call to action

Your call to action – the ending message that you’re sending your viewers so that they know what you would like them to do next – compliments the point above. Make your offering clear, so your audience knows exactly what they’re going to get by clicking on your ad.


Keep your branding consistent

It’s important to be consistent with companies’ branding, no matter what platform you’re using. You want people to remember your brand and the great ads that you run. Include your logo, font and colour scheme wherever possible.


Don’t use stock imagery

This looks like you haven’t put much thought into your ads – take images yourself – this is great for sticking to your branding too!


Use video

This doesn’t mean stick any video in your ad, videos must be filmed on a proper camera and be relevant to what is being advertised. And remember that you need to get viewers engaged from the start – your video should only be 30 seconds long


Think about the destination

Your ad doesn’t stop at the design – you need to make sure the destination that they’re clicking through is also up to scratch. Make sure you take your audience to a bold and tidy landing page that outlines exactly what is being offered to them and use the same wording and imagery from the Facebook ad where possible.


Data capture

Do you want to get peoples’ email addresses? If so, don’t forget to include a form! Make sure the form includes all information above the page fold, don’t ask for too much from your audience and keep word count low – don’t bore your potential customer/client before they’ve even had a chance to fill in the contact form. Include a clear call to action, remove menu options so they can’t easily navigate away from the landing page and include your own contact details on the page, too.


B2B Facebook ads can be done. Overall, the best B2B Facebook ads are clear and concise with strong branding and simple to navigate calls to action.


If you’re looking for a leading inbound marketing agency to help you with your digital strategy, get in touch with one of our directors today.

How to build a B2B LinkedIn marketing strategy

Your business is most likely already on LinkedIn – and has been for years. The standard B2B LinkedIn marketing strategy typically involves begging employees to share a company post on their personal feeds or haphazardly liking various industry experts’ comments. Fortunately, the rise of video content – among other elements – has made life on LinkedIn a little more exciting.

B2B marketers can now make use of LinkedIn’s native video as well as video for sponsored content to deliver visually compelling stories to as many relevant viewers as possible. The potential for engagement is much higher and this translates into measurable results – namely, business leads and new customers.

Sounds amazing – and it is. But how do you do it? Social video production is not something you do on a whim from your iPhone. Nor is creating your company profile a quick copy and paste from your website. Like everything else in your B2B marketing arsenal, your LinkedIn marketing strategy needs to be well, strategic. This involves setting up your company page, aligning your content schedule with your business objectives, producing the content, posting it, monitoring it and measuring it.

It’s hard work – trust us, we know. As a rather good digital strategy agency, we also know that when B2B marketing efforts use LinkedIn successfully, the results are fantastic. Current stats show that 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn. So, here are few all-important steps to getting your LinkedIn marketing strategy off the ground.

  1. Create your company page (or tidy up the one you have)

LinkedIn makes creating your own company page a pretty straightforward process. The tricky part is the content. You need to write an interesting profile that sets you apart from all other businesses. This description needs to be supported by a photo and your company logo. Obviously, it all needs to look clean and professional; no spelling mistakes and no blurry edges.

It also needs to genuinely reflect your company’s brand – and what you want to be known for. If being a great place to work is an important company value, then make sure this comes across well in your words and images. That said, please don’t use photos from your office end of year function taken during last rounds at the bar.

  1. Produce compelling, consistent content

The content you produce and use across all your marketing channels, including LinkedIn, has to be good. It also has to follow an approved schedule that supports your bigger marketing goals. It’s not so much about having the most engaging LinkedIn company page as it is about generating new leads. We get that. Of course, part of achieving that is giving your network what they want; content that solves their issues, offers advice and every now and then, provides some much-needed entertainment. Video can tick all those boxes.

Here’s where things get fun, or confusing. Do you want live action video? Animation? A combination? Maybe a little bit of virtual reality? The style of video you choose has a direct impact on the message you’re delivering and who you’re delivering it to.

Essentially, your content – video or other – has to be consistent with your company brand and tone of voice. It needs to be on-message, attract audiences, get shared and generate interest that comes knocking on your website’s door.

  1. Choose your advertising media

Once you have your carefully crafted content, you need to distribute it. When it comes to video, LinkedIn offers a range of cool B2B targeting tools. These enable you to design and deliver your video to relevant viewers segmented by job title, seniority, company name, industry, skills and so on. Even organic or native video needs to be created thoughtfully and not just posted for the sake of a cool spontaneous moment.

It’s well worth integrating your content amplification strategy to get better business results. In other words, don’t choose between an organic (non-paid) or paid approach. Use both. Sponsored content and pay-per-click text ads can help boost brand awareness and drive traffic to your website. The greater your organic reach, the more it can amplify your paid effort – and the more strategic your paid effort, the more it can expand your organic reach.

What’s more, don’t just focus on pushing your content from your company page. Inmail campaigns are personalised so they’re a great way to target a specific audience. Whichever combination of elements you choose, make sure that your ads and sponsored content all have a clear call-to-action. Don’t rely on your audience doing the right thing – tell them what you want them to do once they’ve viewed your ad.

  1. Engage with people

Be active on LinkedIn. Join groups, participate in conversations, weigh in with relevant information when and where possible. Whatever you do though, don’t bombard LinkedIn groups with sales pitches. Not only will you get minimal, if any, feedback, you will have committed a rather embarrassing social (media) faux pas. People want to have conversations with people – they don’t want to be sold to by a brand. So, pay attention to the trending topics and spot the ones that are relevant to your business. Use your knowledge to contribute positively to the LinkedIn community and people will reach out to you for more information.

And when they do, don’t sit back and merely observe, responsiveness is crucial. LinkedIn is, after all, a social platform – even if it is a primarily focused on the business of business. If someone shows interest in your company page or product, follow up and engage with them immediately!

How to build a B2B Instagram marketing strategy

The top four social media sites currently used by B2B marketers are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. However, more and more businesses are adding Instagram to the mix to attract potential customers and raise their profile. It makes sense: Instagram has over 800 million monthly users.

Managing social media platforms is a daunting prospect for many organisations – especially those in the B2B space. Too many businesses feel compelled to post, tweet, blog etc. simply because everyone else is doing it. Many also view Instagram (the relatively new kid on the block) as more of a B2C platform. This is absolutely not the case; Instagram offers a great opportunity for B2B businesses to reach a wider audience.

The trick to successful marketing on Instagram, is to focus less on selling the benefits of your products and services – and more on building strong connections with relevant people like prospective customers and industry thought-leaders. It’s a platform that enables you to engage in conversations and communicate your values.

Consider for a second the power of hashtags. Hashtags are a great way to interact with followers and push a post further. Some great B2B examples are #smallbusiness with an impressive 12,246,573,  #entrepreneurship with 7,527,393 posts, and #datacenter with 54,863 posts.

As a content marketing agency that has successfully used social media to generate B2B leads for our clients, we know Instagram presents a powerful marketing opportunity.  But it needs to be done right.

So, before you rush off and set up your Instagram account, give some thought to your Instagram marketing strategy. These top tips should help.

  1. Identify the opportunity

Does Instagram offer your business a lead-gen opportunity? Or, is it an opportunity to show potential employees what it’s like to work for you? Some research into Instagram’s user base shows that 68% of Instagram users are women, 80% follow a business, 32% of all Internet users are on Instagram and 59% of them are 18-29 year-olds.  Get to know Instagram really well and then identify exactly what you want your account to do for your business.

  1. Align your goals

Your Instagram marketing strategy is not a standalone activity. It needs to align with your overall marketing goals – and support your other efforts. Every piece of content you create for Instagram needs to appeal to your defined customer base. Make sure you include key search words and phrases where possible and have a set schedule of topics or events to showcase. Of course, leave some room for flexibility!

  1. Use real content

It’s time to get personal. Instagram favours authentic images so say goodbye to stock photography and staged promotional shoots. Users want to relate to your company’s culture and see a humanness behind the brand name and product offers. This can be a challenge for B2B businesses that equate professionalism with impersonal, unfeeling content.

Consistency is key with Instagram, you want you page to look neat and aesthetically pleasing – how do you want your audience to see your company? Reflect this in your posts.

Your audience wants to know about the real people working for and with you – and a get a glimpse of some of the everyday stories. Be honest and you’ll build a far greater rapport with your followers.

  1. Paid ads vs. organic

When it comes to using Instagram for marketing, you can push your posts organically – and/ or using paid ads. The benefit of paid ads is that they are very successful at targeting specific audiences at volume.  However, before you go this route, make sure you know exactly what your marketing objectives are. Identify who you’re targeting and aim your product and service accordingly. Keep the ads short with punchy calls-to-action. These are much easier to digest and more likely to get clicks.

An organic Instagram marketing strategy requires a bit more effort and patience. You need to engage with people and post consistently. A schedule will help you remember, and ensure that you don’t post too little or too much. Use hashtags to build your following. Do this by jumping on community hashtags to get more impressions and by creating your own branded hashtag. Interact with your followers and people you’re interested in. Another good idea is to run contests. This way you can entice more people to follow you and gauge real interest.

Just like any other social media channel, you need to get involved in Instagram’s wider circle. It only works as a successful marketing platform if you respond and engage with your targeted audience. Your content needs to be relevant, provoking and on-message. Get this right, and you’ll not only attract the right followers, you’ll generate new leads and see real business results.

If you need some help with your B2B Instagram marketing strategy, get in touch. The TopLine team can sort out your social media content, distribution, strategy and management.

What is Guest Blogging?

Guest blogging involves creation of content for contributor posts, guest posts, partner posts, or syndicated posts.

It’s a technique used by black hat SEO agencies to build followed links. They often post one article on numerous, unrelated sites, to secure followed links for their clients.

However, it’s also a tactic employed by PR folk designed to secure their clients coverage in well-respected target media.

Naughty, largely redundant, black hat SEO agencies have given guest blogging a bad name, with Google recently seeing fit to republish guidance on the practice.

Get your B2B SEO strategy right first time. Download our free eBook now.

However, it does not mean all guest blogging is bad. From the same Google post: “Google does not discourage these types of articles in the cases when they inform users, educate another site’s audience or bring awareness to your cause or company.”

Public relations folks and modern B2B SEO agency outreach teams have naturally been building great followed links with targeted thought leadership for years.

Here are a few examples of links we’ve achieved for clients as a result of PR campaigns designed to “bring awareness”:

1)    http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/finance/avoid-running-out-cash/ (DA 47)

2)    http://www.destinationcrm.com/Articles/Web-Exclusives/Viewpoints/Propensity-Modeling-How-to-Predict-Your-Customers-Next-Move–114721.aspx (DA 67)

3)    http://www.computerweekly.com/opinion/Recruiting-for-cyber-security-what-businesses-need-to-know (DA 84)
In each instance the author is sharing interesting opinion in order to inform and educate the site’s target audience.

This is classic PR. All about building credibility. Each online article has a followed link back to the author’s company website. A followed link on a site with a very high domain authority. A followed link on a site semantically relevant to the author’s company. OutreachMama has a list of sites who will potentially accept guest blog posts, so you can reach out to them and try it out!

Remember, Google says: “Does this person’s message fit with my site’s audience?” If it doesn’t then Google uses this information to formulate an opionion on the likelihood of the guest blog being spam before deciding on the appropriate level of Penguin penalty.

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However, the opposite could also be argued to be true. If the author is making a valuable contribution to a specific community then Google rewards the associated site.

Here’s a quick guest blogging checklist – if you answer yes to the following questions then your ‘guest blog’ is so much more than that and won’t result in Google penalising you or the destination site:

  • Is the blog well written?
  • Is it free of spelling and grammar mistakes?
  • Does it contain interesting information that the intended audience will find useful?
  • Is it authored to an authoritative spokesperson? Someone with knowledge on the subject?
  • Is it an appropriate length?
  • Is the content unique?
  • If the content isn’t unique then have you used rel=”canonical” to reference the original article?
  • Is it free from spammy keyword-rich links?
  • If there are dubious links then have you used rel=”nofollow” on them?
  • Is it of a similar quality to other articles on the destination site?
  • Has the destination site actually requested the article? (i.e. Has the subject been pitched to the site prior to draft?)

Whether you’re producing blogs, byliners, features, opinion pieces… whatever you want to call them, if they contain valuable content, if they’re exclusive to one site (to be honest any self-respecting website will want exclusive material anyway) and if they’re well written and engaging, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them or followed links they might naturally generate. In fact, these are some of the most valuable links your brand will likely ever build and they make a huge difference to keyword rankings, organic traffic and inbound leads.

If you’d like to find out more about SEO PR then get in touch with Luke for a no obligation chinwag. 

Google+ statistics

Updated 26/02/2013

31.49%Google+ usership in the USFeb-12US
13.69%Google+ usership in IndiaFeb-12India
5.43%Google+ usership in BrazilFeb-12Brazil
3.88%Google+ usership in the UKFeb-12UK
2.46%Google+ usership in CanadaFeb-12Canada
2.20%Google+ usership in GermanyFeb-12Germany
1.82%Google+ usership in IndonesiaFeb-12Indonesia
1.77%Google+ usership in MexicoFeb-12Mexico
1.76%Google+ usership in ItalyFeb-12Italy
1.70%Google+ usership in SpainFeb-12Spain
20.01%of users are studentsFeb-12Global
2.65%of users are software engineersFeb-12Global
1.99%of users are consultantsFeb-12Global
1.72%of users are managersFeb-12Global
1.59%of users are photographersFeb-12Global
42.06%of users are singleFeb-12Global
27.39%of users are marriedFeb-12Global
19.29%of users are in a relationshioFeb-12Global
4.39%of users are engagedFeb-12Global
67%of users are femaleFeb-12Global
32%of users are maleFeb-12Global
More than   5 billion times a day%The number of times the Google   +1 button is servedFeb-12Global
Two   thirdsof Google+ users are menFeb-12Global
3.86%of all Google plus users are in   Bangalore, having the most Google+ users of any cityFeb-12India
14.70%of all Google plus users are in   IndiaFeb’12India
31.50%of all Google plus users are in   the USFeb-12US
250   millionestimated registered users on   Google+ by the end of 2012.2012Global
1 millionbusiness pages on Google+2012Global
80%of Google+ users log in weekly2012Global
60%of Google+ users log in daily2012Global
90   millionGoogle+ users2012Global
69.10%of Google+ users are maleFeb-12Global
29.70%of Google+ users are femaleFeb-12Global
1,831,941people follow Britney Spears on   Google+Feb-12Global
Over 60%of Google+ members use Google   products on a daily basis.Jan-12Global
Over 80%of Google+ members use Google   products on a weekly basis.Jan-12Global
200 millionpage views on Google+Dec-11Global
50 million visits to Google+Dec-11Global
20 millionunique visitors to Google+Dec-11Global
50   millionGoogle+ userslate Sep-11Global
$585 millionThe amount of money it took to   build Google+Sep-11Global
500 employeesworked to build Google+Sep-11Global
67%of Google+ users are maleSep-11Global
32%of Google+ users are femaleSep-11Global
1%of Google+ members describe   their gender as ‘other’Sep-11Global
20/09/2011Google+ opens to everyoneSep-11Global
13%of US adults on Google+Aug-11US
38.37%of all Google+ visits are by   those in the 25-34 age bracket.Jul-11Global
42ndGoogle+’s ranking in the most   visited sites in the US.Jul-11Global
37%of Google+’s upstream market   came from search engines.Jul-11Global
821%growth rate between its launch   on  June 28 and July 2Jun-11Global