content marketing, seo strategy, digital marketing

SEO and Content Marketing have become a word that you can’t walk 10 ft without hearing if you have a website, have a business, or use google search.  It’s an important part of a business and something no one can ignore.  The kicker is, we are overloaded with quick tips, this and that, etc.

My hope in adding to the mix is looking at a couple of the foundational items often overlooked when talking about SEO.

SEO requires 3 key components that you may think have nothing to do with SEO at first – but they can make or break your long-term success.

content marketing, seo strategy, digital marketing

Have a solid marketing plan and strategy in place to succeed

Content Marketing

Content takes on many different forms and fashions depending on your business.  At the heart of SEO, it developing relevant and timely content.  It’s sharing that content with your audience (more than once in some platforms).  It’s ensuring you talk about the right parts of the content that your audience is searching for.  Use google search to see what people are looking for.  What headlines are showing up?  What related searches are available?  This all can help you generate content that is both timely and relevant to your audience.

Time Management

You will need to set aside the time to address SEO.  Whether it’s writing a blog post(s), optimizing photos as they are loaded into galleries, or scheduling social media content to drive traffic; All of this plays into driving traffic to your website.  Just like you would schedule time for a team meeting or client meeting, so too does your SEO efforts need to be planned and scheduled out.  Like any skill or task – it gets better with time.

Consistency

SEO is run by robots and algorithms with some human review.  The system is designed to recognize patterns and associations.  When you’re consistent in the overall SEO efforts, it’s recognized and will be rewarded over time.  You need to aim to post your blog posts on the same day of the week and same time of the day, EVERY TIME.  Once you select and set a schedule, you have to stick by it.  Most blogging platforms allow you to draft, edit, and schedule post.  This ensures you are remaining consistent to the algorithms which will know to come back and see what you are up to.


As with any new venture or program – nothing happens overnight, and the beginning is the hardest part – those who succeed are those who DO and don’t overthink their efforts.  What are your tips to staying consistent with content marketing?

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digital marketing, mobile friendly, social media

What is content

Content marketing as a term may limit itself in what it actually means/accomplishes.  Content has to be looked at holistically, across all platforms, and everything your company/brand says to its customers.  Even what your customers say about you.

Everything you put out ties into a larger marketing strategy that encompasses all platforms (plus future platforms) you use to promote your business.  Branding and the voice you want to project plays a huge role in this as well.

content marketing, marketing strategy, digital marketing, social media

Where is your business in it’s Content Marketing Strategy

Why are you sharing content

Think of your business in the context of a relationship.  You have to know, like, and trust a person to allow them into your space…customers are no different.  Being effective and having a great brand requires a great product and a great relationship with your customers.  They want to be informed and they value something they can use.  If you know your customers, you know where they hang out online/offline to capture their attention and fit seamlessly into their lives.

Every aspect of social media is content.  And your customers are all over the place.  The larger the age range of your customers, to more effort you need to be putting into marketing.  If you aren’t staying front of mind, your competitor is.  The old adage of 7 touch points doesn’t work in an environment where content is oversaturated.  As you work through your marketing strategy, the balance of how much will show up through the data and analytics.

Are you effective at it?

The hard truth is most content being produced isn’t effective.  Social media doesn’t change the foundational aspects of marketing, it presents opportunities to expand and grow at scale.  Conversely, it presents a challenge which is the aspect of 2-way communication on social media.  2-way communication seems to be the barrier to entry with a lot of small businesses on social media.

The content you are producing goes up against hundreds of other ‘like businesses’ in the marketplace.  While you may have those diehard fans, customers are easily swayed.  Only when you dive into your customers and your unique value proposition can you create amazing content for them.

If you aren’t thinking hard about content, what you are producing is surface level.  You can also call it white noise content.  When you don’t provide value, no one has a need to listen.

Marketing goals, digital marketing targets, targeted marketing

What goals do you have for Digital Marketing

Helping you win

The first step to take is an in-depth audit of your business and the content you are currently producing online and offline.  Business goals and plans have a direct tie-in to the brand and content you need to be producing.  It’s in this process you have to ask some questions about the business:

  • Use your current client/customer base to build out who your ideal customer is.  Maybe there are a couple profiles.  Knowing these people inside-out gives you the opportunity to identify what they need and what they value.
  • Who are your competitors?  What does their content look like?  Surely you can do better.
  • How can you trigger ways to create content around every aspect of your business.  How does that content relate to your customer?  What are the secondary aspect of your business your customers have needs and questions of?  Ex. Realtors talking about lawn care or H.O.A.s

Building a marketing plan

A marketing plan should have highlighted business goals and customer information.  Beyond that, your marketing plan is going to be a fluid document you are constantly changing and working over.  You’ll have to be auditing your marketing strategy on a regular basis.  There are aspects of trial and error which are called A/B split testing in the marketing.

The content you produce is going to vary based on the platform you are working on.  Each one lends itself to a slight variation on the language and use of language.  Your audience is different on each of the platforms as they are on the platform for different things.  Generational aspects create different ways to present your message and content.

Setting yourself up early on, or making changes now will provide you with long-term sustaining growth and adaptability to the marketing landscape.  As new platforms come and go, this type of strategy will hold up against any new platform that comes along.

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blogging, blog, content marketing, digital marketing, social media
blogging, blog, content marketing, digital marketing, social media

Are you blogging?

If you are ready to jump into content marketing as a small business, setting up a solid foundation will give you lasting results.  When referring to content marketing, I’m talking about your website blog.  Your business is now becoming a news source for your ideal customer.

Once you start up the content marketing engine, you have to keep at it.  Taking these steps before you start will ensure you don’t run out of steam.

Content Marketing Steps

  • Set a schedule:  Find out what you (or your team) can manage.  You need to keep a consistent schedule day(s) of week and time(s).

 

 

  • Finding content:  Look at websites you use currently for reading content.  Set up Google Alerts around keywords and topics you are interested in.  Look for questions people are asking and answer them in a blog, then tell the person to check out what you wrote.

 

  • Linking rule of thumb:  In most blog post you write, there should be one internal and one external link.  Post will come up that require multiple, which is fine.

 

 

When working with clients, we talk about this as well as how to tie in your social media marketing efforts.  Let us know what we can do to help your business build a marketing strategy.

 

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content marketing, marketing strategy, social media, digital marketing
content marketing, marketing strategy, social media, digital marketing

Are you helping your customers in your marketing efforts?

While content marketing has a shiny new name, it’s been around since John Deere’s first magazine.  The big shift that business are starting to catch on to though is why they need to utilize content marketing.

What businesses haven’t been focused on is how they are formatting their marketing message.  Consumers now have so many options for viewing and engaging on content, why are they interested in yours?  How are you helping your customers beyond the point of sale to keep them talking about your business?

Your marketing message needs to be customer focused.  It’s finding those details about your customers you haven’t needed previously.  As you develop a customer base, find ways to get more details out of customers through the buyers journey.  What questions or fun facts can you learn that tie back to your products and services?

As you learn more about your customers and start sending them information they want and need, you’ll capture their attention.  As that momentum builds, customers will be more likely to spread your messaging to their friends.

Ensure less friction by knowing where your customers are already at on social media channels and go there.  Learn the platform and what the marketing message looks like.  See what customers are doing on the platform so you are providing what they already are looking for and engaging.

You’ll see an amazing return on investment when your marketing efforts focus on content and your customers.  Take steps now before your competitors do for success long term.

 


 

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content marketing, digital marketing, customer experience, social media, sales funnel
content marketing, digital marketing, customer experience, social media, sales funnel

Get and keep customers with marketing.

Sales Touch Points

More than creating content for your customers, the content provides them with more and more chances to interact with your business.  In any sales funnel, there are multiple touch points any customer has to go through before making a purchase.

There are plenty of studies and statistics showing it takes buyers multiple times seeing your business and interacting with the business to turn into a sale.  The ability now is determining what those interactions are.

So what are some content pieces you can start curating internally giving customers information and a reason to interact with your business?

  • Posting on social media:  Keep your business front of mind with engaging content your ideal customer is looking for online.  Make sure the content offers people a reason to head back to your website.

 

  • A free e-book:  There’s aspects about your industry and business that can be broken down into a ‘top 10’ or ‘best practices’ or ‘trends’.  This content becomes hidden behind an email sign-up form and the book becomes a lead generation.

 

  • Host a contest on social media:  Do you have something you can offer?  Maybe you are trying to reach a goal in your audience numbers.  Using a 3rd party app on Facebook or other social media platforms, you can monitor, collect leads, and pick a winner.

 

  • Host a webinar:  You’ve been spending all this time generating leads, gathering emails and customers through all this content.  Now take all those leads and give them an opportunity to buy a new product you’ve created.

 

All of this work is predicated on knowing your Ideal Customer.  If you don’t have customer profiles, download our free e-book to create those.

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content marketing, marketing strategy, digital marketing, social media
content marketing, marketing strategy, digital marketing, social media

Where is your business in it’s Content Marketing Strategy

Your small business needs to think of itself as a news source.  If you don’t provide the information to your customer, the competition will.  Your customer is looking and you have the ability to capture their attention.

Your Friend is Big Data

There is a wealth of information available to you about your customers that’s it becomes easier for you to answer questions that your customer are asking.  It also allows you to add value to their experience on social media.  By pulling this data and analyzing, your content marketing strategy can grow your business past your competitor.

Measure and Track Content Marketing

Measure your content ROI when you have call to actions and lead generation on your website.  Do you have a free e-book or newsletter sign up?  Perhaps a new product.  Your content marketing strategy is leading someone to take an action.  If your content isn’t getting someone to take action, review it and make changes.

Our digital marketing world allows for instant feedback and changes so you are able to optimize and create the highest conversions within your business for products and services.  It can be as simple as button color all the way to how easy someone can read and absorb the information.

Is your content personalized and written in a way it speaks to someone?  This can also have a direct impact on conversions.  If someone feels they are being communicated with and not at, they are more at ease and willing to listen.  When you have them listening, tell them what they want!

You’re still helping your customer, there’s just more to offer.  Find our what that looks like for your business!

 


 

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storytelling, marketing strategy, digital marketing
storytelling, marketing strategy, digital marketing

How can your business turn into a story?

Content marketing isn’t new, but the fancy title has companies large and small trying to get it right.  It’s changing the way B2B & B2C engage with each other.  It’s only going to get more personalized as more and more details and data are in the hands of marketers.

So why is content marketing so important and effective?

A big component is the story telling aspect.  Stories have been around for millennia and we are able to relate and understand them.  Your business has to turn into a story.  What’s that great novel about?  What are chapters and short stories within the novel going to touch on?

Marketing as Storytelling

This storytelling skill is sometimes best left to the journalist.  Marketing professionals are starting to understand the skill, but it’s a unique writing style.  Expanding on the content produced by your company in a story form will allow you to further connect with your customers and build a community.  They will be more likely to also share stories if they feel they can relate.

Finding this sweet spot isn’t easy, and take time and continued work on the messages you send out.  Marketers again have to add a new skill to their tool box in order to meet this new demand.  Especially if you don’t reach out and find a journalist to join your team.

Strategy

Are you ready to tackle the project of creating a story board?  Think outside the box and look to your customers lifestyle.  Tie these key points together when creating a long term digital marketing and content strategy to ensure your company is ready to take on future marketing.

 


 

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