8 powerful content embeds to grow your business

Maximize your content experience by using embeds to capture leads, grow your social presence, do customer research, and so much more.

Jeff Cardello
November 26, 2019
Resources

Use content embeds to boost your content strategy by embedding Tweets, Instagram posts, Pinterest pins, quizzes, Google Forms, or Typeforms to help grow your brand awareness and enhance user experience.

Embeds maximize your content

You’ve got great content out there — with multiple social media profiles and an audience full of people happily engaging with all that you post.

These are effective platforms for promoting who you are, but they can be like satellites orbiting a planet that is your brand. Why not pull some of this great content into your owned platforms like blogs, and other spots on your website where they can get exposure? This not only adds value to what you’re offering, but also helps gain followers. Instagram, Vimeo, YouTube, Twitter, and other social media can be woven into content you already have, growing your audience, and further promoting all that you do. 

Content embeds aren't limited to social media — they can also gather more information from your audience. Embedding newsletter forms, email address captures, polls, and other elements that people can enter information into can give you more insight into who is landing on your website and help you connect with them further. Without further ado, let’s check out these 8 different embeds you can use in your content:

1. Forms can help capture leads

People landing on your website are there for a reason. Maybe you have inbound marketing content like blogs that have given your page a steady flow of organic traffic. Or perhaps digital ads are paying off and bringing in new people. Whatever the case, you've had them take that all-important step of coming to your website. Now's the chance to get them to go further by signing up for a newsletter or subscribing to your email list.

There are a few ways to embed email signup forms, with services like Mailchimp offering embeddable signup forms that can be popped into a page with ease. They offer plenty of stylization options to help you keep your forms on-brand. Much like any other embeddable content, using a Mailchimp form involves grabbing HTML embed code like the example below and pasting it into an element in your own design. Embedding email, contact, and newsletter signup forms on a website, mobile app, or blog post can be important tools in building your email list. 

mailchimp html embed

A website shouldn’t be a dead end. Having their email addresses lets you send them content that could be key in turning that visit into a conversion.

Okay — you've gained some new fans who've given you their email addresses. Now it's time to send out that first email. You want to give them something that they'll like, instead of the digital equivalent of junk mail that will have them running to hit that unsubscribe button. But how do you do that?

Give them something extra with content upgrades

A content upgrade is a great reward for them taking the time to fill out a form! Much like someone getting a bump up from coach to first class, they'll be in for a more enhanced customer experience. Content upgrades and gated content can go beyond what’s on your website and include things like ebooks, webinars, and coupons. 

Ebooks

People love getting things for free — and since they can be downloaded, ebooks are a welcome gift to offer in an introductory email. Give people more information about what they may be looking for while showing that you're experts at what you do. Introductory emails give your potential customers something more that they’ll appreciate and set a precedent for what they can expect from you in the future.

Webinars

Webinars let people be part of an audience that gets to experience something extra you're giving them in real time. They cover the topics that you and your fans care about and give people a chance to see who's behind your brand. Letting people know about an upcoming webinar not only promotes it, but it shows that you’re dedicated to sending only relevant materials to their inbox.

Promos

They’ve shown their love by signing up via your embedded form, so why not reward subscribers with a discount or promo code in your introductory email? They’ll like getting something that will save them money, and have a reason to return to your website and make a purchase.

2. Embedding audio

Embedding audio content gives visitors an enhanced experience. Integrating multimedia content not only gives folks a chance to connect with you at a level deeper than text on a screen, but gives them the opportunity to follow you on your other platforms.

Boss Your Life Up (BYLU) provides resources to help underrepresented millennial professionals further their careers. Their website features plenty of valuable embedded content in the form of their podcast episodes. These podcasts can be listened to right from BYLU’s website via the embedded player, but they also make it easy to follow them on the podcast platforms they’re active on.

This BYLU website was made in Webflow, which allows users to embed a variety of audio and video media. Check out our post about embedding podcasts to see how it’s done.


bylu campaign

Not only does BYLU offer their podcast as embedded content, but they also have an embedded Typeform signup for their Slack channel and a newsletter subscription form. All smart ways to spread their message, gain new followers, and ultimately help more people.

3. Instagram posts

Instagram embeds are another opportunity to let people experience what you do in a deeper way.

DreamLife Beats, a hip-hop producer, showcases audio of some of his work at the top of his website, but also features embedded Instagram posts in the design. These videos, like one featuring his beat-making work on the SP-404 sampler, lets people see more of his process, and complements the rest of his content so well in marketing his music production skills. Leaving these Instagram posts out of the design would represent a missed opportunity for getting new followers.

DreamLife Beats was built with Webflow, with a widget from Elfsight enabling the Instagram embeds.

4. Client testimonials

Featuring real customer reviews helps so much in strengthening your reputation. Quotes and testimonials from your fans communicate why you're great in a way that's authentic. 

Q Audio puts the words of their customers’ positive Yelp reviews right in their design.  Embedded testimonial content may also inspire those who’ve had good experiences with your brand to write reviews of their own.

thorens client testimonials

Elfsight also offers a Yelp review widget that can easily be popped into a Webflow design. Take a look at this YouTube video that shows how to do this. Once again this process involves taking an embed code snippet and pasting it into an element in your design.

5. Facebook and Twitter posts

Elfsight also has other useful widgets for embedding social media like Facebook and Twitter. Embedding Facebook and Twitter content is another way to expand your presence on social media straight from your own website.

The famous comedy theater The Second City, of which Stephen Colbert is an alumnus, embeds Twitter into their landing page, inviting their fans to follow them their and providing more comedic content.

the second city social media

6. Video content

If you’re active on YouTube or Vimeo, you want your videos to be seen by as many people as possible. Putting these videos on your landing page puts them in front of more people and lets you potentially gain them as new followers.

EarthQuaker Devices, a manufacturer of boutique guitar effects pedals, produces videos that anyone into the gadgetry of guitars would love to watch. They have video embeds throughout their website, giving their fans more to experience and multiple chances to follow them on YouTube.

earthquaker devices

Webflow has a YouTube video embed element, and all that it requires is dragging the element onto the screen and popping in the link and other pertinent information. One rule of thumb: be careful with autoplaying videos. While some find them very engaging, they can also cause myriad accessibility issues, ranging from nauseating some visitors to making overlaid text nigh-impossible to read.

Webflow youtube embed

7. Customer research surveys

Analytics provide valuable insights — so how about getting more information straight from the very people who’ve landed on your page? Get to know them as people rather than numbers representing impressions.

Zappos offers a survey on their website that isn’t too long, asking only the important questions they’d like to know the answers to. Here’s just a slice of it:

zappos survey

For example,  SurveyMonkey offers embeddable questionnaires that can be popped into any Webflow design. They offer a free tutorial on their website to guide you through the process. 

Wufoo also offers embeddable forms and polls that integrate well into a design, giving you other ways to capture important customer data.

8. Ads and affiliate links

There’s a tasteful way to integrate ads into your website. Ads from reputable companies and products related to what you do can fit into the theme of your page. You can use Google AdSense to tie in ads that would be a good fit. Carbon is also popular with many design and development outlets.

Amazon affiliate links to products you mention can also generate you some cash. If you want to include these, make sure to be transparent about your affiliate links.
If you tread carefully, you can make a bit of extra money without compromising your design or reputation.

Use Webflow’s rich text element to embed

If you’re creating longform content for a web page, whether it’s a blog post, landing page, or your brand story, Webflow’s rich text element makes it easy to construct these, with multiple options for embedding content from Airtable, Mailchimp, Vimeo, YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, Soundcloud, and more.

webflow rich text editor

It speeds up the process of formatting, structuring, and embedding, making your job much easier.

Let your content be seen

If you have content showing off your products and what you do out there on social media, integrating it into your website can be beneficial. Not only will it help get the word out about where you’re at, but using this content adds to a user's experience by giving them something more and showing who you are.

Use content embeds along with informative writing and visuals to tell your brand’s story. Webflow’s ready-to-use elements make embedding content so much easier than wrestling with code alone, and we’re free till you’re ready to launch.

6. Networking and word of mouth

The number-one way to find quality clients is to get out and meet people (figuratively and literally) at non-design events

Once up a time, I’d spend all day at home, applying for mechanical engineering jobs in isolation. I was unsuccessful for months.

I did, however, make serious headway on my Netflix backlog. Serious progress, people.

Eventually, I gave up and focussed on pursuing a career in web design and development (which I was much more passionate about), and started getting out and socializing. 

Within weeks, I had job offers coming in from my loose-knit network of new acquaintances. It’s not rocket science: People prefer to hire people they already know and like — not the faceless folks clogging their inbox with links.

Notice how I didn't specifically describe who the people I met were? That’s because you need to meet all kinds of people. You have no idea who your next client will be.

But they probably won’t be at a web design meetup — those are filled with jobless designers. 

All of this is worth repeating: Go to any and every meetup that matches your interests, and simply tell people you’re a web designer. Watch what happens. Everyone needs a website, or knows someone who does. That's what’s so great about freelancing in this industry.

people eating and talking
Get outside. Talk to the humans you meet there. Repeat.

Some places to start meeting people:

  • Meetups
  • Sports events and classes
  • Cafes
  • Abroad (for some reason, people are a lot more open to talking to strangers while traveling)
  • Parties
  • Twitter
  • Slack groups
  • Conferences and conventions

Just keep in mind that, no matter the event type or place, you have to actually talk to people you don’t already know. 

Tip: Don’t be the typical “business networker.” Don’t bounce from person to person shaking hands, fake-smiling, repeating first names every sentence, and handing out business cards. Be legitimate. Make real connections. 

The other side of the networking coin — word of mouth — comes from building up a client base, having lots of contacts, and building your personal brand (with your blog, portfolios, and templates). This takes time. Do great work, treat your clients with respect, keep in touch with past clients, and follow the rest of the advice in this article, and you'll absolutely be fine.

With networking and word of mouth, you can easily reach a state of having more work offers than you can sustain—without ever actually working for it. When this happens, you can increase your rates. Ka-ching.

Personally, I turn down contract offers on a weekly basis. And they’re all the result of word of mouth and networking I did months ago.

It honestly doesn't take long to get to this point if you produce quality work and put yourself out there.

7. Hustling

Hustling is the art of working extremely hard and extremely smart. In the context of freelancing, hustling involves going out and finding work directly. For example: finding websites or businesses that desperately need your services.

Does your favourite pub have a terrible site? Why not talk to the owners and convince them they need you to fix it?

If you have the right personality, and the drive, this can be an extremely effective way to whip up some initial work. It just isn’t particularly glamorous. It also requires your repeated, hands-on time and energy. (In contrast, writing blog posts or setting up a portfolio one time can attract customers for years to come.) The success rate of in-person contact, however, is much higher. The trade-off is lower volume.

Bonus: Freelance.tv

Fresh out of the studio (or maybe his cool van) Dann Petty released Freelance.tv. It’s a series of 10-minute interviews with freelancers that explores how they find, work with, and keep clients (and much more).

As you may have noticed from reading this post (or maybe not), hearing from other freelancers about their experiences can be extremely helpful. Check out his new episodes and also his upcoming documentary, Freelanced.

Now get out there and find your next gig

If you’re sitting at home, desperately hoping clients will come to you, I have news for you: They won’t.

You have to put yourself out there to start, and show prospective clients that you have tangible, valuable skills to offer.

Luckily, this is an industry where skill and contacts trump all — education is irrelevant. So take advantage of that.

So to summarize, here are your next steps for getting clients and building your freelancing business:

  1. Build your portfolio. Make it gorgeous. Share it everywhere. You can use Webflow to do it yourself without coding.
  2. Create profiles on Behance, Dribbble, and Webflow to connect with other designers and potential clients. Use their SEO advantage to drive more traffic to your website.
  3. Create a profile on Upwork and Design Inc, and bid on contracts. Be confident, and don’t be scared by inexpensive competitors. Also use AngelList to find contracts with promising or established startups.
  4. Start meeting people. Get out, meet, and befriend as many non-designers / developers as possible. Be legitimate.
  5. Start a blog to complement your portfolio. Write thoughtful, useful content to establish yourself as an expert in your discipline. Let your personality shine through.
  6. Convert your websites designs to templates, and release them on sites like Webflow, CreativeMarket, and ThemeForest to earn passive income and awareness.
  7. If it’s your style, start hustling. Find people who legitimately need your services and tell them why.

But most of all:

"Do something! Even if it's wrong."

– My friend's dad

When you’re starting out, it can be better to do the wrong thing than nothing at all. In the process, you’ll learn, and you might just stumble into something that works beautifully.

Just try to not to be so wrong nobody will ever work with you again. Ever.

Now, stop reading, and get out there and land some clients!

Oh — and If you’re a freelancer, how do you find clients? Is there anything I missed?

Jeff Cardello

Advocate for better design and professional writer excited by tech, entrepreneurship, and branding. Writes the occasional joke on Twitter.

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