Archive for online marketing

How to Simplify Marketing that is More Complicated than Ever

How Often Should You Blog for Marketing Success?I just watched a webinar on “The Future of Marketing” (this link will take you to the slides). The first presenter, Mark Schaefer made me realize that the “marketing wheel” graphic I use to explain how today’s marketing works is obsolete. Ah, the challenges of keeping up with this stuff!

Before, you wrote a blog post, then shared it on the social networks. Ideally, your target market saw the post, was enticed to click on it, which led them back to your website. Well, that kinda-sorta still works, but it seems like the social media networks, predominantly Facebook, LinkedIn, and I’ll throw in Google+, want publishers to create content just for them. They want to be the content magnets. They want the attention. So your website isn’t the center of it all anymore — the social networks want to be your source of information.

How to Simplify Marketing that is More Complicated than Ever

Source: The Future of Marketing Webinar with Mark Schaefer

What’s up with the Social Media Networks?

The social media networks are in this to make money. They rely heavily on user analytics and data. Moreover, they make changes to their platforms based on that data.

Their objective is to…

  • get people on their platform
  • keep people on their platform
  • collect personal information (yeah, I know, Big Brother)
  • then take that data and use it for advertising

What you need to do in your marketing:

You can’t get around this. To quote the Borg, “Resistance is futile. You must comply.”

  1. Go where your customers are
  2. Focus on building awareness
  3. Give people a reason to go to your website

Because content and information are so readily available — between digital media and apps — people have what they need at their fingertips.

So what’s a small business marketer to do?

  1. Now more than ever you MUST start with narrowing your target market niches. Write up personas, give them names. Get to know them. How do they use social media? What devices do they prefer?
  2. Do some research. Once you’ve narrowed down the niches, you have to study their habits. Breaking them up in to basic age groups is the first key:
    1. Under 25
    2. 25-40
    3. Over 40
  3. What are their pain points/problems that you can solve? How can you make their lives better, easier, more fun, happier, etc.?
  4. Come up with the content that gives them what their looking for — blog posts, videos, podcasts, pictures. What you choose depends on the networks they frequent and what each age group prefers.
    1. Blog posts at least 300 words
    2. Videos that you upload directly to Facebook or Facebook live videos
    3. Short Instagram videos
    4. Short opinion, motivational, inspirational or advice pieces/text accompanied by a picture
    5. Original articles for LinkedIn — especially if you’re B2B
  5. Write this all down in strategic and tactical plans.
  6. Implement the plan
  7. Monitor and measure — check your analytics monthly to see what’s working and not working. Adjust your strategic and tactical plans accordingly.
  8. Plan for the next month – set new goals and benchmarks
  9. Repeat steps 4-8 every month.

By this point you’re probably thinking, “I can’t do this!” “There’s too much!” “I just want to quit!”

That’s why I created Your Social Savvy Solution SIMPLIFIED! Marketing made simple.

Your Social Savvy Solution Simplified! Marketing made easy!Yes, I added another “S”!

If you follow the steps, in that order, you will be able to reach your target market, draw them to your website and convert them into a sale. I outline everything for you. From optimizing your website and profiles for the search engines — both Google and the social networks — to strategizing for each network — to how to measure your efforts. Each step is covered in detail. Even how and where to do research.

Best of all, it’s affordable! Just $20 gets your started! You can watch the all the videos, download all the materials 24/7. Go at your own pace, in your own time. If you’re a morning person, get up early and watch a video or two. If you’re a night owl, watch them at 1am. Whatever works for you! The individual classes are around 15-35 minutes. Everything is in a logical progression. You can view the videos covering where you feel you need more help first then check out the others later on. You have full-access to all training materials.

What’s more, there are new, updated videos each month. As the networks add new features and change things around, I’ll record both presentations and demonstration videos explaining the changes, what they mean to you and what you need to do to adapt it to your business.

Face it. In this age of modern technology, you have to go at the speed of change or definitely get left behind. It’s your choice.

Join now, stop at any time.

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How Not to let Today’s Marketing Technology Drive You Crazy

Let’s face it, business owners, Marketing Technology (or MarTech to the techie folks) can get out of hand. What happened to the days when putting your shingle outside your store and an ad in the Yellow Pages (remember those?) was enough?

Take a look at the infographic depicting all the marketing technology choices out there in 2016:

You can click on it to view a larger image, but don’t go cross-eyed trying to make sense out of it.

How not to let today's marketing technology drive you crazyThis goes to show you the ridiculous amount of marketing technology choices out there.

You can’t be on all the networks all the time!
It’s impossible!

Here are 10 Logical Steps You Need to Follow to keep Yourself Sane in this crazy MarTech world.

  1. How not to let today's marketing technology drive you crazyClearly Define Your Target Marketing Niches – You can have more than one target market! But you MUST identify them. Start with this FREE Workbook.
  2. Do some research on your target, which social networks they use most often and figure out the best way to reach them. Create personas for each niche.
  3. Get to know your target audience. What do they like or don’t like? What are they looking for? How can your product or service make their lives better, easier, more fun, etc.
  4. Get to know the networks. Each one has its own culture. What works on Twitter doesn’t work on LinkedIn. Do you even have to be on Snapchat?
  5. Make a plan. Brainstorm with your team or a mentor. Work out some strategies on how to engage your target audience on the social networks. You don’t have to be on all the networks! Focus on the ones that your target market frequents the most.
  6. Make a content calendar. What are you going to blog about? What does your target audience need to know that will make their lives better…. etc.? (What’s in it for them?)
  7. Optimize EVERYTHING. Each and every description, about section, bio, web page and blog post must be optimized not just for Google, but for the powerful internal search engines that each network has.
  8. The first step towards getting somewhereTake time to learn. You can never waste your time learning how to do something better and more efficiently.
  9. Use it or lose it. Apply what you learn right away so you don’t forget it. Don’t be afraid to wander around Facebook or LinkedIn even Twitter and Google+. You’ll get faster and savvier, the more you participate and engage.
  10. Have confidence. As you learn how to properly and effectively use the social media networks to engage with your target; as you get more comfortable creating the content that your target audience wants to see, you will feel more confident with your marketing efforts and you’ll also start seeing results.

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That’s why I created Your Social Savvy Solution Members Only. It’s where you can go and get all the knowledge that you need, in a logical progression, to become the confident, savvy marketer so you can….

  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Generate more leads
  • Grow a following
  • Become an influencer
  • Increase sales
  • Get on the first page of Google
  • Be more effective

What are you waiting for? Special Introductory Price…. Learn More….

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Top 10 Best Marketing and Social Media News of the Week – 2-3-17

This will be the last of the Best Marketing and Social Media News articles that will be open to the public. Starting next week they’ll be part of the exclusive Members Only Resources. For only $20 a month you’ll have access to ALL video classes, update videos, how-to demonstrations on new features on the social […]

This content is for members only. Become a member now by purchasing Your Social Savvy Solution Members Only to get access to this and other awesome members-only content.

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Top 5 Best marketing and Social Media News of the Week 1-27-17

Only 5 social media news stories this week! That’s not to say that there is a ton of news out there, but I’ve been swamped with new projects. This weekly feature will soon be part of the “Exclusive Members Only” content. Coming in a few days! Watch your email inbox for the announcement!

  1. Facebook News Feed Algorithm: Percent of a Video Watched By Users Given Weight – If someone watches only the first 10 seconds of a video, what good is it? You have to capture the viewers’ attention in the first 5 seconds. Now more than ever. Moreover, you have to plan out all your videos.
  2. 3 Changes Coming to Facebook Trending Stories – What’s trending is important because sometimes you can ride on a trend’s coattails and gain exposure.
  3. MailChimp moves toward becoming a marketing platform with Facebook ads feature – Some of you regulars know that I use MailChimp (affiliate link) for my email program and automation. Now, they’ve added Facebook Ads to their service. Very cool.
  4. How to Prepare for Voice Search – “OK, Google…” “Siri, where’s the closest bakery?” “Alexa, how do you unclog a garbage disposal?” No matter your business, you want to be found when someone searches for what you have to offer.
  5. How to Write Emotional Headlines That Get More Shares – How enticing are your blog post headlines? They have to be appealing enough that when someone sees it, they click on it. Then the content needs to deliver on the headline. If it’s good, you have more of a chance your visitor will become a lead and that they’ll share it with their friends. Oh, don’t forget to have share buttons on your site.

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12 Branding Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Now!

One thing small business owners need to understand is that everything they do online: website, social media pages, Google listings, everything is how people see your business. I see so many business owners make the same Branding Mistakes over and over again. It’s like they don’t care.

It’s Your and Your Company’s Image that is at Stake! 

Some may say, “I do get some sales from the site.” How many are some? 1 a month? Imagine how many you could have if you had a good looking, functioning website with quality images, were blogging regularly and using social media the right way! It could go up to 1 a day or more!

Sure you want to save money by doing it yourself, but invest in some classes and learn how to do it properly and effectively. If you don’t take social media and online digital marketing seriously in 2017, you might as well close up shop.

Here are some of the top Branding Mistakes I see small businesses make.

  1. Branding mistakes: take the time to do it right the first time.Attempting to do it yourself without properly learning how to use the tools. Sure, you can post on Facebook, but do you know how to market on Facebook? You can use Word, but do you know how to use WordPressCreating a website might sound simple enough, but if you don’t do it the right way, it will all be wasted time and effort. 
  2. Not committing to social media long-term. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
  3. Not having a logo! It’s all about branding.
  4. Inconsistent branding. People need to know who you are and what it is that you do at first glance no matter where they find you.
  5. Ignoring your social media accounts. If you have a link on your website to your social media networks, you better be posting regularly! Nothing looks worse than after clicking on a link, I see the last post was months even years ago!
  6. Hiring an intern or student to do your social media marketing. Just because someone knows how to tweet or post on Facebook doesn’t mean they know how to market on Facebook. Whoever you hire to do your marketing, should know marketing first, then be familiar with the social networks, blogging, websites, content marketing, branding and how your particular target market uses each of the networks. Moreover, they should be able to come up with comprehensive strategic and tactical plans. 
  7. Not using an email address with the company URL for business emails. It looks more professional to use “yourname@company.com” rather than “yourname@gmail.com”.  And don’t use AOL! It really dates you!
  8. Not posting quality graphics. There are enough free graphics tools out there so there is no excuse for having fuzzy, cut-off or crooked graphics. 
  9. Putting social media follow buttons on your website that either go nowhere, to the main network page or go to an account that hasn’t been active in years. Don’t put follow buttons on your website until you are active in social media. It makes you look foolish. 
  10. Book your free 30-minute phone consultMaking it all about you. It’s about them – your target market. Serve don’t sell. Don’t just post your stuff! It’s not about selling. It’s about sharing. Share other people’s content that is of interest to your target market. They are thinking, “What’s in it for me?”
  11. Taking Shortcuts like buying Twitter followers or Facebook likes. These are fake accounts and definitely NOT your target market! Don’t do it!
  12. Not realizing that it takes time and effort upfront to build a following. Plan on spending 90 minutes a day on social media and blogging 3 times a week for the first 30 days while you’re building a following. Then you go into management and maintenance mode and based on your analytics, you’ll focus on the networks that are driving traffic to your site and where you’re building relationships.

    What You Need to Know About Social Media and Website Analytics

Your online materials — website, blog and social media — should encourage credibility and trust. Furthermore, they should entice and encourage your potential target to read more, click on a link to download an ebook or contact you.

Are you making some of these branding mistakes? If so, then you’re probably making more. Download this free ebook with all the mistakes I’ve seen out there! 

Are You Making These Social Media Mistakes?

 

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Top 10 Best Marketing and Social Media News of the Week 1/20/17

As I’m writing this, I’m watching Donald Trump be sworn in as our 45th President. As expected, in Social Media News, the Inauguration is dominating the social networks. Even on Twitter, @POTUS (President of the U.S.) and @FLOTUS (First Lady of the U.S.) has a transfer of power today. Former President Obama will be @BarackObama and Mrs. Obama will be @MichelleObama. Though Donald Trump will keep his @RealDonaldTrump account. He administration will be using @POTUS and the new First Lady will be using @FLOTUS. All of the prior tweets sent by these accounts will be transferred to @POUTS44 and @FLOTUS44 respectfully. @VP will go to @VP44.

Social Media didn’t come to be until after Obama first took office. He embraced it with doing Google Hangouts, Twitter chats and using other social platforms. Now, President Trump was already using social media mostly because of his TV show, The Apprentice. Moreover, he said recently,

“If the press were honest, which it’s not, I would absolutely not use Twitter. I wouldn’t have to.” ~President Donald Trump

He understands the power of Twitter.

NBC News reporter Kelly O’Donnell reports that transition officials say that while the administration will take control of the @POTUS account, Trump himself will stick to tweeting from his personal account. ~Mashable

And, he has a new secure phone!

Besides the Inauguration, here’s what I found in Social Media News this week….

  1. 5 Local SEO Mistakes to Avoid in 2017 – If you’re a local, brick-and-mortar business, you need read this. When someone searches for _____ “near me”, Google bases the result on the searcher’s GPS and the businesses’ listing on Google. If for whatever reason,  your listing is wrong, you will not come up in the search results! Go to Google My Business to check your location and make sure your listing is complete with relevant keywords and use pictures! If you need help with this, please schedule a coaching session.
  2. 5 Brands Doing Cool Things on Social and What You Can Learn From Them – Nonetheless, keep in mind that these brands have huge marketing budgets. However, strategies and tactics in social media and content marketing that work only need a little creativity and cleverness.
  3. Facebook’s Algorithm Invites Marketers to Step It Up: Here’s Why – Keeping up with Facebook’s algorithm changes (that is what comes up in user’s newsfeed) is a challenge. Despite that, we marketers need to keep up with it otherwise, everything posted on Facebook is wasted. Just posting stuff on Facebook at random or willy-nilly is not going to work. You must have a strategic plan for both content marketing and social media posts.
    Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

  4. 6 Reasons Why Your Landing Page Has a High Bounce Rate – A Landing Page is a web page used exclusively to promote an offer and convert a visitor into a lead. It is void of distractions like links to other pages.
  5. 6 UX principles marketers can’t afford to overlook – “UX” stands for “User Experience“. You have to see everything from your potential customers’ point of view.
  6. The Power of Geofencing and How to Add it to Your Marketing [Infographic] – One of my first clients was a restaurant in Chandler near the I-10. The owner asked me if there was a way to have a message pop on their cell phones when they were passing by on the highway. At that time, there wasn’t. Now there is. That’s Geofencing. “Geofencing is a location-based marketing tool that enables more active consumer focus.”
  7. What Is the Difference Between White Hat and Black Hat SEO? – I find it hard to believe that so many years after Google’s first algorithm change (Panda), there are still “SEO services” using Black Hat SEO tactics. It’s important that you, as a small business owner, know the difference. Otherwise, your website can suffer when it comes to SEO ranking! There’s a right way and a wrong way to do SEO. Make sure you do it the right way.

  8. 3 Ways to Find New Opportunities with Google Analytics – Google Analytics may seem daunting to some of you, nevertheless, it’s a very useful, free tool! It’s worth understanding how to use it.
    What You Need to Know About Social Media and Website Analytics
  9. 3 Reasons why you can Safely Ignore your Competitors’ Traffic Metrics – I remember a client once who was in a very competitive industry and she was obsessed with one particular competitor. I can understand how this can waste valuable time. Sure, you should know what your competition is doing in regards to how many blog posts they are publishing each week; how often are they tweeting or how many likes they have on Facebook. Focus on the customer.
  10. 3 Considerations for Increasing Engagement With Your Content – To effectively engage people with your content, you need to understand your target audience.

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Breaking News! Google Plus Events are Back!

Google Plus Events are back! As of January 24, 2017, Google+ is reinstating their events feature. Yay! When G+ rolled out their new look, events went away. Facebook was the only social media network who kept their event promotion feature. They figured they could get companies to pay to boost their events and it worked. LinkedIn, once upon a time, also had events and they went away also. You’d think that a professional networking platform like LinkedIn would give users opportunities to promote their events. Hopefully, with the new changes LinkedIn is making, they’ll bring events back also.

G+’s timing couldn’t be better because we’re starting to plan Greater Phoenix SCORE’s 2017 Symposium in April (more on that later!)

Along with events, Google+ is making some more changes. Apparently a lot of people are participating in Google+ communities. Similar to LinkedIn Groups, there’s a community for just about every industry and interest out there. What’s important is to find an active group where you can mingle with your potential target market and/or potential referral sources and influencers.

As noted in Social Media Today…

“Yes, Google+ still exists, and while it’s hard to know, for sure, how many people actually use it, as of the platform’s latest update last August, Google noted that more than 1.6 million people were still signing up to Google+ communities every day. That seems like a lot, but through the various audience breakdowns and analysis points, all the figures indicate that millions of people are still active on the platform. And Google likely wouldn’t support the product at all if usage rates were too low.”

The key is to find the active people who would be interested in your product or service.

Here’s what else is new on Google+: The old, classic Google Plus is going away.

  • Hiding nasty comments – they call them “low-quality” comments. I call them nasty trolls. Facebook has had this feature for some time. If you do want to see all the comments, you can.
  • Image Zoom – this is a nice feature especially for people promoting locations, photographers, and anyone who uses visuals. Google+ has always been a favorite place for photographers to showcase their work. Even amateurs.
  • Bye, bye older version – You have to get used the new version. In my opinion, they made accomplishing things harder. Actions that used to take one click to do, now take 2 or 3. Nevertheless, I’ve warned the folks who have taken my classes to learn how to get around the new version because the old one will, at one point, go away. And that will be January 24, 2017.

Like it or not, G+ is here to stay. Still, it’s power is in its connection to the Google search engine and SEO. However, if you can reach those millions of people who are on it with your quality marketing message, it’s going to help drive traffic to your site and get you on that invaluable first page of Google search.

The new Google+ is featured in our Social Media Marketing Master Class. These classes will be separated soon so, if you wanted to take one network at a time, you can. Watch your emails for the announcement.

 

If you’d like a 1:1 tour of the new Google+ to make sure you’re setup correctly, click here to book your time.

Change is tough, get over it!

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12 Website Mistakes You Need to Fix for 2017 Success

“My online marketing isn’t working! I have a website, but I’m not getting any sales! What am I doing wrong? I need to drive traffic to my website!”

I hear this all the time. As a small business owner, you know that having a website is important. Furthermore, it’s way more than an online brochure! Regardless of whether the business is B2B or B2C, as I review websites, I see the same mistakes over and over again.

Here are the TOP 12 Mistakes I see small businesses make on their Websites.

  1. Thinking that if you build it they will come — NOT! Having a website and not blogging or sharing on social media is like having a billboard out in the middle of the ocean. Sure a passing ship may see it, but that’s not going to be enough. Moreover, you need to blog at least 2-3 times a week for the first couple of months especially if your site has been stagnant. It’s all so Google will notice you. Each blog post needs to be shared on all the major social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ (posted public it will be indexed in the search engine), Pinterest and LinkedIn. Yes, Pinterest! It takes the link with it helping with SEO. Once you’ve built some momentum and a following on social media, you can reduce your blogging to once or twice a week. However, check your analytics each month. If you see your monthly web traffic fall, go back to 2-3 times a week. Still, your analytics won’t lie.
    Blogger and copywriter service
  2. No lead generation strategy – or lead capturing on your website. You must have a clear call-to-action on your website for it to be effective. You need to convert visitors to leads then nurture them into sales. That’s where a good Marketing Automation campaign comes in. First, you need a good Call-to-Action. Something of value to your target market – an ebook, free course, webinar, whitepaper (if your business is more technical) or a coupon. Keep the form short. Ask only for their email address and first name. In addition, you can ask 1 or 2 questions to segment your email list, but no more than that. Once you’ve got their email address, put them in an email drip system. I use MailChimp (affiliate link). They have a basic automation service for only $30 a month and it works great. Think out your email messages strategically to direct your warm lead into a sale.
  3. Not optimizing each post or page for the search engines. The free WordPress plugin, SEO by Yoast is the best SEO plugin out there. It walks you through everything you need to do so your post/page will get noticed by Google. Besides, it helps with “readability”. You need to write for your target market. Remember, you’re the expert, they’re not. Write for the human reader with the search engine in mind.
  4. Think like your customers when you design your website. Not fully thinking out what you want to accomplish with the website. What are your goals and objectives? Who do you want to reach? Sure, your main objective is to increase sales, nevertheless, your site needs to walk the visitor from the landing on your page, to where you want them — the conversion. You want to convert a visitor into a warm lead and then you need to nurture that lead into a sale. (See #2 above) Having well-done market and keyword research along with a strategic marketing plan will work as a guide for you website and online marketing efforts.
  5. Having popups. They are extremely annoying. Don’t you remember that popup windows were blocked in browsers. Now they’ve made them plugins to WordPress so they can’t be blocked by browsers. My greatest pet peeve are the exit ones. I want to bookmark or share the blog post, I move the mouse to do so and the pop-up appears and I have to look for the “x” or “close” button. I don’t even read it. You do want to have a clear call-to-action in the top or right-hand side of the page. More discrete popups are the ones that appear at the bottom corners. They’re visible, but not obstructive. Additionally, as of Jan. 10, 2017, Googe is going to block sites with popups on MOBILE from their mobile search! Read this.
  6. Not using analytics. Analytics should be checked monthly. Which sites are driving the most traffic to your site? How long are visitors staying on your site? How many new visitors are you getting compared to returning visitor?
    What You Need to Know About Social Media and Website Analytics
  7. Having social media follow buttons that either go nowhere or link to your networks and you haven’t posted anything since 2013. If you’re not active in social media, don’t put buttons on your site. What’s more, it makes you look stupid. You need to make it easy for people to follow you and to share your content with their friends. That said, don’t make people hunt for the social media links. Also, label them so people know which is a follow button and which is a share button. You need to have both social media share and follow buttons on your website
  8. Using a “website builder” or “drag-and-drop” sites. What makes these sometimes free sites easy to use is the “drag-and-drop” feature. However, that feature creates a lot of code in the background. The search engine doesn’t recognize code. It’s looking for text written for humans and links. All that code is like a brick wall. Also, you’re on their platform. Those platforms are created with proprietary software. That means it will only run on their system. If you want to move it, you can’t.
  9. Not investing in your own assets. Your own email list, blog, website, video, graphics, etc. On any other platform, whether a free blogging site or social media, you’re just borrowing the space there. You don’t own it. You have to follow their rules and they can change them at any time AND use your content as they wish.
  10. Not having a blog on your site. WordPress makes it easy to have a static website and a blog all in one. Also, without the blog, you don’t have the fresh content that Google is looking for and you don’t have content to draw people to your site. Google ignores static websites.
    Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!
  11. Thinking a website built more than 5 years ago is still OK. It’s not. An outdated website affects your online image and SEO.
  12. Having a boring “Join our Newsletter List” call-to-action. The visitor is thinking, “What’s in it for me?” Tell them. Give them a freebie – something useful to them – in exchange for their email address.

Believe it or not, when I combine these with others that I’ve seen as well as all the social media ones, there are over 200 common mistakes small businesses are making with their online marketing efforts.

No wonder you’re frustrated!

Download this free ebook to see what other blunders you may be making…..

Are You Making These Social Media Mistakes?
In conclusion, any mistakes are fixable. Some repairs are simple, some not much. Nonetheless, they you need to address them if you want your online marketing efforts to work. Let me take a look at what you’ve got and I’ll give you a truthful analysis and advise you on what you need to do to make 2017 a successful year for your business.

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Your 2017 Success Blueprint – 10 Content Marketing Truths You Need to Know

To have good SEO, you need to have good content. Content Marketing is a crucial a part of your marketing plan as are SEO and Social Media.

Here’s what you need to know and do regarding Content Marketing in 2017:

1. Video – Hotter than Ever!Video marketing is still hot!

Good content doesn’t only need to be written. In 2016 we saw Facebook Live Streaming Video take off and Facebook also admitted that Native Videos (videos uploaded directly into Facebook) get more exposure than plain posts.

To give videos an extra lift, embed them into your blog posts. The text of your blog post can be your video’s transcript, like I do with my Q&A posts.

“I think video is a megatrend, almost as big as mobile.” ~Mark Zuckerburg

What You Need to Do: Figure out how you can incorporate video into your marketing mix.

  • You don’t have do one every day. Once a month or even a couple of times a month.
  • Use your smartphone to create short how-to videos
  • Get on Facebook and do a live video from anywhere — as long as you have wifi!
  • Do a voice-over recordings of PowerPoint presentations
  • Determine which format works for you — in ease of creation and amount of views they get
  • Try Twitter live videos
  • Coming soon – Instagram live videos
  • Video Converts

In fact, when video is prominently featured on a landing page, conversion rates can go up by a whopping 80%. ~ Convince and Convert

2. Unique, High-Quality Content will be Key

Focus on quality over quantityAbsolutely – Quality over Quantity! Don’t forgo quality in order to get more content out there.

  • No fuzzy graphics — there is no excuse! You can create high-quality pictures with free online, easy-to-use graphics programs like Canva. Download free, license free, online pictures and graphics from sites that I list in this blog post. And don’t steal!
  • Proofread before you publish or post — read your blog post aloud to yourself. Even your social media posts!
  • Preview your blog posts before publishing — Do the graphics look good? Does the eye of reader make a natural progression down the page to your Call-to-Action?

What about unique?

“Most Americans are exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 advertising messages a day!” ~ Convince and Convert

What makes what you have to say or show unique? What makes you different? How is your content different from what your competition shares?

What You Need to Do: Plan out what content you’re going to create.

3. Reshare Your Content on Social Media

Resharing content can increase engagement by over 600%!

Social Media Terms Glossary & Online Marketnig Lingo Guide Free ebookSo you publish your blog post at 9 am and share it on all your social media networks at the time. Someone that logs on at 3 pm or in the evening probably won’t see it unless they have you in a Twitter list or Google+ circle; or have your posts showing first (a Facebook feature). You can manually schedule it to republish on your social networks using tools like HootSuite (ad link), Buffer or TweetDeck.

Another way to give your content extra exposure and traction is to publish it on LinkedIn’s Pulse. At the end of the post, add the line, “This post originally appeared on______” with a link to the original article on your blog. Your site still maintains the authority because there is where the post originated. Yet, on LinkedIn, you validate your expertise by showcasing what you know and how you can help people.

There’s a plugin I use called Revive Old Posts. For free, you can reshare to Twitter. With the upgraded version ($75/yr.), you can also reshare to LinkedIn and Facebook.  I think it’s worth it just to save the time of manually scheduling. You pick the time frame and you can exclude posts that are not “evergreen” or are time-sensitive.

Think of it this way, your perfect potential customer could have missed it the first time it went out!

What You Need to Do: Don’t be afraid to reshare your content.

4. Blogging – a CORE part of your Content Strategy

Blogs are rated 1 out of 5 the most trusted sources of information online.

People ignore the paid ads in Google search and go for the organic content because they know that that’s where they’re going to find the authentic answers to their questions or problems.

What You Need to Do: Read some of my articles on blogging:

Blogger and copywriter service5. Build Relationships through Your Content

“Content builds Relationships, Relationships are built on Trust. Trust delivers Revenue.” ~ Andrew Davis

Good content marketing builds relationshipsAnd this applies not to just blogs, but what you post on social media and the videos and podcasts you produce. The more you post about what you know, the more you solidify and build credibility and trust.

Even if you use direct mail, people are going to check you out online, before they hire you or buy your products. People will…

  • Google your company or brand name
  • Look at reviews not just on Google, but on Facebook and Yelp
  • Compare prices and check out your competition
  • Read more information until they are satisfied that they can trust you

People buy from whom they know and trust.

What You Need to Do: Produce good, quality content, build your following and build your email list.

6. Visual Content

Change is tough, but the alternative is obsolesenceYes, videos, but also pictures, animated gifs and infographics work. Even if you don’t sell a product, you can share inspirational and motivational quotes as well as original graphics.

B2B or B2C, you can use these two social networks to share eye-catching visuals….

Instagram:

Here are some recent Instagram stats:

  • 68% of Instagram users engage with brands regularly
  • Instagram has 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook
  • 50% of users follow a business
  • 60% of Instagrammers say that they learn about a product or service on the platform
  • 75% of Instagrammers take action after being inspired by a post, like visiting a website, searching, shopping or telling a friend

Pinterest: “The World’s Catalog of Ideas.”

Here are some recent Pinterest stats:

  • 150 Million monthly active users
  • 67% of pinners are under 40-years old
  • Male users have grown by 150% in the past year
  • 87% of pinners have purchased a product because of Pinterest
  • 72% of pinners use Pinterest to decide what to buy offline

What You Need to Do: Go visual – figure out what will work for your business.

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!7. Be Impactful

Free Download: Define Your Target Market WorkbookFor content to be Effective, it must have IMPACT. In order to be impactful, your content must be MEMORABLE. To be memorable, requires that you truly Understand Your Audience (target market).

Yes, we’re back to that again. What does it mean to Understand Your Target Market?

Knowing the answers to these questions as it applies to your perfect customer…

  • What makes them happy?
  • Who do they trust for information?
  • Where are they hanging out online? In other words, which networks do they prefer?
  • What angers them?
  • What are their pain points and problems that you can solve?
  • Who influences them?
  • What are their wants, desires and dreams?
  • How is your content going to impact their lives? To Sell or Not to Sell: What is the Right Ratio on Social Media

Is your content going to try to sell them something right away even if they’re not ready to buy? Or is it going to provide useful information that they can use right away hence building trust?

People Buy from whom the Know and Trust

You need to map where the customer is in their buying journey.

  • Do they need more information?
  • Have they developed trust towards your company?
  • Can they make a decision to buy right away, or do they have more questions?

What You Need to Do: Download my free Define Your Target Market Workbook

  1. Answer all the questions as it pertains to your business whether B2B or B2C. You can have more than one target market.
  2. Create buyer personas for your defined targets.
  3. Research your target and your industry so you can understand their buying habits as well as their online media usage.

8. Create Memorable and Evergreen Content

Content that's memorable builds trustIf your business is anything like mine, you need to educate your target market in why they need your product or service; why what you have to offer is better, different, more effective, etc.

Your content can, of course, be in the form of a blog or static pages on your website, but they can also be….

  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Infographics
  • Social Media Posts

The objective is to build trust and credibility. You need to us Truth as a Service.

Evergreen content is anything that’s not time-sensitive, seasonal, or talking about an event or specific day. It stands the test of time. You can share it over and over again and it still is applicable. Its information is useful and solves problems that people keep having.

Give them best practices to tackle their problems. Think emotion and functionality. The folks at Copyblogger define it this way….

These special resources are in-depth examinations of a problem, solution, trend, or topic. They can help your audience find tons of information on a subject that interests them, which adds value to your blog.

Evergreen content is timeless.

What You Need to Do: Plan out your content marketing strategy.

9. Provide the AnswersYour content markeing should provide answers to the questions your target is asking.

It’s up to you to provide the answers to the questions Your Target Market Personas are asking. Are you getting it yet? You can’t answer the questions if you don’t know what they are!

I like Q&A sites like Mosaic Hub and Quora. I’m signed up to get an email every time someone asks a question in my fields of expertise. The idea is to try and be the first one to answer the question — providing the best answer. If you see that someone beat you to it and their answer is the same as yours, I give them a thumbs up and don’t bother writing the same thing. HOWEVER, this just gave you material for a blog post or a video. If people are asking it on those Q&A sites, they’re asking it also on Google and YouTube.  [Related: SEO in 2017] YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine next to its parent, Google. The most searched-for phrase on YouTube is “How to”.

What You Need to Do: Get on those Q&A sites and search for the questions pertaining to your field of expertise.

10. Make sure EVERYTHING is Optimized for Mobile!

Google Mobilegeddon 2017 is coming!I cover mobile as it relates to SEO in the previous article of this 2017 planning series.

Here are some tips to make sure you’re content can be seen on mobile devices:

  • Large enough type. No smaller that 14 pt, 16 pt is considered the best size.
  • Pictures not too large and they should be responsive – that is, they move over when viewed on a small screen so you can see the text.
  • External links (links to sites outside yours) should open to a new tab in the browsers.
  • Your mobile website should have the same content as your desktop site. What that means is that it contains all your static pages and your blog posts.
  • Make sure there are NO POPUPS in your mobile site. Starting Jan. 10, 2017, Google will block sites with popups in mobile!

What You Need to Do: Visit your site on a mobile device. If it’s not optimized, do something about it.

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3 Elements of an Effective Website that Produces Results

What does an “effective website” or “results” mean to you?

  • Would you like more visitors to your site? That’s nice, but are they buying or converting — doing what you want them to do?
  • Increased conversions? That’s when a visitor to your site either buys something or downloads a freebie to be added to your email list.
  • More sales?

That’s it! The bottom line – more sales!

The bottom line is sales! Unfortunately, many small business owners only have a really nice online brochure that doesn’t come anywhere near being an effective website.

And, guess what? It’s not your fault. It’s another case of not knowing what you don’t know.

Usually when a small business owner hires someone to build a website for them, they want the best price around for what they think they need. You hired someone who told you that sure, they can build a WordPress website for you. Well, anyone can. That’s the beauty of WordPress. It’s fairly easy to construct a site, however, like when constructing a house you need 3 critical things:

  1. The foundation and walls – bricks, wood, paint, etc., aka the DESIGN.
  2. Functioning parts — plumbing, electrical, etc., aka the DEVELOPMENT.
  3. All the insides — furniture, appliances, decorations, etc., aka the COPY.

Each of these components, like in building a house, requires specific talents and skills to build a house that’s livable. Sometimes you find the perfect contractor or company who has all of the talents and skills needed. But, that’s rare and it may be expensive. Let’s break each one down….

A Web Designer

3 Elements of an Effective Website that Produces ResultsA designer is a very creative person who can take your logo and color scheme and create a beautiful online brochure. The designer might be a very talented graphic artist and make your site “easy on the eyes”, but can they write? Do they know the mechanics of creating effective calls-to-action, back it up, create a shopping cart and secure it from hackers? Sure you want to help out your relative who just graduated from design school, but in the end, you’re not going to have a site that works for you.

For instance, a realtor contacted me and asked me if I could determine why their website wasn’t coming up on the first page of Google. (Isn’t that everyone’s wish?) Well, the site was gorgeous. It was promoting a new condo in downtown Phoenix. There was no blog with fresh content touting the benefits and fun of living downtown. There was no way to capture leads. Yes, they had a contact form to setup a tour, but it wasn’t compelling enough. It lacked good copy.

A Web Developer

web developerThis is a techier person. They can figure out all the mechanical parts of the website. The developer will build a secure shopping cart, install all the proper plugins to make it secure, back it up and make it search engine optimized. They’ll make it easy to navigate, mobile responsive, and install all the widgets needed to engage the visitor. A developer may not have a eye for design and they probably aren’t creative writers. They usually put up the information that you give them – but is it effective copy?

I was asked to review a website and in reading their “about us” section, ran into the phrase “grown slowly”. It stopped me cold. Slowly? That’s a negative connotation. That word doesn’t need to be there. Just having “grown” is sufficient. It implies logical growth — from a mom and pop outfit to a company with over 50 employees.

There was another site that listed in their “about us” page why they stock the products that they’re selling. All text, no pictures. A designer would have added graphics or videos to make it more attractive.

The Copywriter

Good copy helps a target find what they want. Good marketing copy walks the visitor through a logical progression to exactly where you want them to go. It’s compelling, enthralling, enchanting. (Don’t laugh, it’s what you need!) It captures the visitor’s attention with eye catching, curiosity-piquing headlines and sub-headlines. It keeps the reader going with bullet points (people don’t like reading long sentences or paragraphs) and bold and italics for emphasis.

So where does this leave you?

Do you have a beautiful website that’s not working for you? FEAR NOT! It can be fixed! Even if you attempted to build it yourself, it’s OK to admit you’re not a designer, developer or a copywriter. You know your business! And that’s what you should focus on.

First, let’s start with a free 30-minute phone consult. I’ll also do an SEO check up for you! Click here to BOOK NOW!

Blogger and copywriter service
In conclusion, if you’re website is not effectively drawing potential customers in, then converting them, it’s nothing more than a really pretty online brochure. Don’t you think you should do something about it?

If you built it yourself and you want to still do it yourself, we can have a coaching session and I can walk you through the steps to improve your WordPress website. (If it doesn’t require the skills of a developer. In that case, I’ve got a few techies I can recommend.)

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

Ready for a rewrite? Or would you like to focus on your business and leave the writing to me? Not Sure? Here are details…

 

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