7 Applications That Will Help You Create Content For Social Media
Learn how to create a content strategy and 7 applications that will make your content creation process faster.
When it comes to social media, one of the most important things is to be seen. In order to be seen and build trust with an audience, you need speed. And that can be the hardest part.
What does content mean in social media?
Content on social media can be anything from a blog post, to an Instagram caption, to a Facebook status update. In order to be successful on social media, you need to be creating content regularly.
If you want to grow on social media, you’ll need a content marketing strategy for your social media, to achieve results without wasting time.
Steps to create a content marketing strategy:
1. Know your audience: you can’t create content that appeals to everyone, so you need to know who you’re trying to reach with your content.
2. Set goals: what do you want to achieve with your content? Is it to generate leads, or to build brand awareness?
3. Research. Competitor research is the process of investigating your competitor’s online presence, in order to understand what they’re doing well and where there are opportunities for you to do better.
This is important because it allows you to learn from your competitor’s successes and avoid their mistakes. It also helps you keep up with the latest trends in your industry so that you can stay ahead of the curve.
There are a few different ways to do competitor research for social media. One way is to simply look at their social media accounts and see what kind of content they’re posting, how often they’re posting it, and what kind of engagement they’re getting.
4. Create a calendar. A social media editorial calendar is a document that outlines the content you’ll be posting on each social media platform for a specific period of time. It doesn’t have to be fancy.
This is important because it helps you stay organized and prevents you from forgetting to post or running out of ideas.
Pro tip: avoid confusing tactics with strategy. A tactic is a specific action or activity that you undertake in order to achieve your desired outcome. A strategy is a high-level plan that outlines the overall approach you’ll take to achieve your desired outcome. What you post should be related to your overarching goal
How often to post on social media?
The answer to this question varies depending on the platform you’re using and the goals you’re trying to achieve.
If you’re trying to build brand awareness, for example, you’ll want to post more frequently than if you’re trying to generate leads. And if you’re just getting started on social media, you may want to post more often at first in order to gain traction and grow your audience.
As a general rule, it’s a good idea to post at least once a day on each platform you’re using. But if you can’t commit to that, don’t worry. Just do the best you can and try to be consistent.
The more people who see your content, the more likely you are to achieve your goals.
Understanding the Engagement Algorithm:
The Instagram algorithm is always changing, but the one constant is that engagement is key. The more people who engage with your content (likes, comments, shares), the more likely it is to be seen by others.
There are a few things you can do to encourage engagement on your posts:
Use hashtags. Hashtags are a great way to reach new people who are interested in the same thing as you. When you use relevant hashtags, your content is more likely to be seen by people who are searching for that hashtag.
Use calls to action. Asking your followers to do something (like comment or tag a friend) is a great way to encourage engagement.
Be interactive or engaging: this means that your content should encourage comments, likes, or shares.
Be timely. Posting about trends or current events is a great way to get people talking.
Be personal. Showing your personality and sharing your story is a great way to connect with your audience. Connect people or maintain connections: this means that your content should be interesting and valuable to your audience, and help them connect with each other.
Provide value to all parties included in this social exchange: this means that your content should not only be valuable to you, but also to your audience.
Now that we’ve gone over what content is and how to create a content strategy, let’s talk about the applications.
7 Applications That Will Make Your Content Creation Process Faster.
1. Etsy – This popular platform is full of designers who offer ready-to-plug templates. For example, if you are marketing your lashes business, finding Instagram templates for lashes studios will help you speed up the process.
2. Canva – This online design platform offers a wide variety of easy-to-use tools for creating visuals. Canva pro features are affordable and will allow you to create your brand assets, save templates, create folders, and much more! Your ultimate goal is to create high-quality content without spending too much time.
3. Jasper – This AI-powered tool can help pump out captions for your content. AI content is here to stay!
4. Fiverr.com – This is a platform where you can find freelancers. You can get a full month’s worth of content with captions and graphics from this freelancing platform. Expect to pay between $200 and $250 for 20 posts.
5. Google Search Console – This free tool from Google can help you research and optimize your content for better visibility. Knowing what content has attracted traffic to your website will help you refine your content.
6. Loom – This screen recording tool can be helpful for creating quick how-to videos or other types of content. The best part? It will generate a translation so you can turn audio into text easily.
7. Monday – This project management tool has templates where you can create your social media calendar with a few clicks. Again, the goal is to save time!
If you’re looking to take your social media game up a notch, Youtube shorts might be the way to go. If you haven’t tried them yet, it’s not too late.
In this blog post I’m going to show you how easy it is and what kind of benefits they can bring. It doesn’t matter if you have zero experience or are an expert in video production because with these tips, anyone can make a good short that will bring traffic back again and again.
So let’s get started!
What’s Youtube Shorts?
Youtube shorts is a new feature rolled out by youtube earlier in the year. What it essentially does is let you create short-form videos that are up to 60 seconds long with our multi-segment camera.
Okay, now you might be thinking: what’s the big deal? Creating Youtube videos is easy right? You have to hold your horses there! As you may know by now, creating a Youtube channel can be a very complex affair and you might be surprised at the level of difficulty involved.
However, Youtube has taken a simplistic approach to making short videos, and as such does away with things like:
– No editing necessary on your part.
– No background score.
– No special lighting or backdrops.
That’s why the Youtube shorts feature is so powerful because it automates most of the steps for you!
You can talk to your camera like a normal Youtube video but with shorter time limit and it will automatically compress, optimize and play on all devices.
Common Youtube Shorts Videos
Youtube Shorts are great to get your audience socializing with your brand. Here are some common videos you can create using this feature.
Musical Lyric Youtube Short – This is the most popular type of Youtube short video. It’s a video full of lyrics that you can sing along with the artist.
Product Review Youtube Short – Great to create product reviews for brands you love. As a creator, finding out-of-the-box ways to add value to your audience is one of the most valuable skills you can monetize.
Interview/Behind-the-scenes Youtube Short – Best for teasers to drive users to watch the full episode.
How-to Youtube Short – How to videos are great, especially for creators in the food industry. You can create a step by step recipe and compress it in seconds. Your audience will love it.
Humorous Youtube Short – This Youtube short is all about entertainment! Comedy Youtube shorts are very popular on Youtube.
Inspirational Youtube Short – Writers, motivational speakers, mentors can benefit from this kind of short videos. Great to attract new users to your channel.
Can Businesses Use Youtube Shorts?
Absolutely. Youtube Shorts, as it is a new feature, presents a great opportunity for businesses to increase visibility and exposure quickly. Your social media strategy should include Youtube Shorts, starting today!
How do I record a Youtube Short?
To create a short video on YouTube:
Sign in to YouTube on mobile.
Tap create tap Create a Short beta.
To make your Short longer than 15 seconds, tap 15 above the record button to record up to 60 seconds (60).
Note: Recording with music from our library or the original audio from other videos is limited to 15 seconds.
(Optional) Tap Speed to speed up or slow down recording.
(Optional) Tap Timer to set the countdown to record hands-free and choose when to automatically stop recording.
To record a clip, hold the capture button or tap it to start recording and then again to stop.
Tap undo to remove the previous video clip you recorded or tap redo to add it back.
Tap done to preview and enhance your video tap NEXT to add details to your video.
Add a title (max 100 characters) to your short video.
Tap UPLOAD to finish.
What audio can you use in your Shorts?
Accompany your Shorts with a song or audio clip from across Youtube. The audio found in our library is free to use, but only for personal, non-commercial use, unless you have the appropriate licenses. Here’s how to get started:
To find our Audio Library when you’re ready to record, tap Add Sound. Make a selection and then record up to 15 seconds.
To add a song or other audio after you record, tap Sound at the bottom of the edit screen. Sound picked from our library is limited to 15-second clips.
You can also use other sound to create a Short.
Youtube Shorts Is Part Of Demand Generation Marketing
Simply put, demand generation marketing (sometimes called “demand gen”) refers to any direct marketing campaigns that generate demand for your product or service.
It’s important to understand that demand generation is not a single campaign, but rather an entire strategy that encompasses marketing outreach and customer acquisition activities. It also appears within the larger marketing mix of product/service development, pricing, distribution channels, promotion and sales force management. How these components interact is just as critical to the success of your demand generation marketing strategy as the tactics you choose.
An effective demand generation marketing strategy combines all aspects of online marketing, but tailored to the business goals. The most common online demand generation campaign tactics include email marketing, social media marketing, SEO and content marketing.
All these strategies fall under the umbrella of “demand gen” because they encourage people to take action based on a need or want they have for your product or service.
Since video is the NUMBER ONE way to generate demand, we encourage business owners to take their content marketing to the next level and start creating videos!
Ready To Take Your Content Marketing To The Next Level?
If you’re looking for a way to add video marketing to your social media content, we suggest trying out Youtube shorts. It’s the perfect place to start because it can be as simple or complicated as you want it to be!
The best part? Youtube is free and easy to use. You don’t have any excuse not try your hand at video marketing (or just watch other people’s videos). Want more information on how our demand generation team will help make sure that your target audience sees these videos? Schedule a call with our marketing experts today – we’re ready and waiting!
About Marketing For Greatness:
Marketing For Greatness is a digital marketing agency that specializes in demand generation. We are always looking for new opportunities to learn and share our knowledge, so you are welcome to leave your comments below!
We offer a free consultation to help you achieve your business goals. During this consultation we can discuss how to improve your digital marketing efforts as well as determine the best strategies for success that align with your current business objectives. You can schedule a free one-hour digital marketing consultation by clicking here.
Blog Batching is a term that refers to the act of writing blog posts in advance and storing them for later publication. It’s also known as “blogging on demand.” Bloggers who do this can post at their own pace, or when they have time available. This means you can write four blogs ahead of time and publish one a week, or write five now and publish two next month.
While some people love the idea of blogging batching because it frees up some time to work on other projects, there are many reasons why you should not do blog batching and we want to cover them today!
Let’s get started!
Content Marketing Trends 2021
Content Marketing trends show a shift in focus from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which will soon be saturated with ads. Instead, content marketers are shifting their focus towards emerging channels such as TikTok, Youtube shorts, and other short forms of content. Content marketing looks to be increasingly focused on video advertising as well, an area where marketers can create highly interactive “choose your own adventure” style content that offers users a more personalized experience than traditional print or television ads.
According to Conexu, over 80 percent of organizations are using content marketing as part of their current advertising strategy. But that’s just the beginning; 84% of executives surveyed believe that creating and distributing valuable content should be a component in every company’s marketing strategy . Small businesses looking to take advantage of this trend will find that content marketing provides broad benefits, from raising awareness to building loyalty. By creating a customer-centric brand, businesses can build trust and gain competitive advantage over their competitors. And the best part is: it’s relatively inexpensive.
The only downside of content marketing for small business owners is that it can be time-consuming. Since you’re creating content, promoting it, and tracking results across multiple channels — often on top of your existing marketing — you’ll need a little more upfront planning than if you were just plugging fairly inactive ads into AdWords. And that’s why content batching comes as a great solution.
Content marketers recommend batching content because it is more time efficient and can reduce stress of having to constantly publish new pieces.
In theory, creating content in batches is an effective strategy because it helps you save precious time for other tasks. But batching can have the opposite effect if not applied correctly.
Why is content batching no longer a trend for content marketers?
Reason 1: Your Content Will Look Stale
Content marketing is all about delivering fresh, relevant content to your audience. If you want to improve your search rankings and attract more visitors, it’s essential that what you produce looks both interesting AND timely. Blog batching can make it difficult for you to deliver anything that’s truly new to your audience.
By churning out old posts instead of coming up with something fresh, you convey the impression to your readers that you’re out of ideas and simply recycling old content. If they notice, they’ll stop paying attention before long!
Reason 2: You Might Annoy Your Readers
It can be tempting to write a series of blog posts on the same topic in order to create a larger, more comprehensive guide. That’s fine if you’re writing something that can be used as a reference point for your readers, but when you do it too often, “blog batching” can backfire and annoy people who follow your blog.
If you cross the line between being helpful and appearing self-serving, your readers will get turned off. Don’t risk irritating them with blog posts that don’t offer anything new or unexpected!
Reason 3: You’ll Lose Control Over Your Message
If you find yourself in a time crunch to crank out a blog post on demand, it can feel like you’re just filling space with whatever comes to mind. You might even say anything that pops into your head, and go back later to make corrections!
That’s a terrible way of going about things if you’re trying to build a solid reputation as an expert in your niche. By publishing blog posts on demand without the time to research and perfect your content, you’re inviting the wrath of your audience.
Instead, build a strategy for using blog batching that encourages you to create quality over quantity. You’ll retain more control over your message and make a better first impression on new readers each time they visit!
Reason 4: It Will Look Self-Serving
Far too many bloggers use blog batching as an excuse to promote their own services, products or ideas. If you are always pushing your own agenda, people will come to know your byline as a self-promotional one!
Quality content is great for attracting links and boosting search rankings, but if you neglect the other aspects of content marketing you’ll find your name on more spam lists than anything else!
Reason 5: You might lose authenticity
The whole point of blogging is to deliver quality content to an engaged audience, and to do that you need to stay true to yourself. If you are trying to meet a self-imposed quota for blog posts, you may find yourself compromising the quality of your content in order to get something published.
If that happens, then you’re doing more harm than good by batching your content!
Blog Batching is a common solution for marketers to save time, but it can also hurt your brand. If you are starting to feel fatigued and your content production is no longer enjoyable, then blog batching may be the problem.
Instead of worrying about meeting quotas and publishing posts on demand without researching them first, focus on quality over quantity by building a strategy around what’s truly important: connecting with your audience.
You’ll find yourself producing more at once than ever before! Not because you are motivated by hitting some quota, but because you will be responding to your users!
Hire SEO Content Writers! SEO Content Writing Services in Austin, Texas
When you are ready to take your content marketing to the next level, reach out! We love content creators!
What should we cover next? Instagram batching? Post your answer on Instagram and tag @coachjessicacampos and @marketingforgreatness. We love following our readers!
If you are not generating conversions from your content, read on. We have 10 tips that will increase your conversions through compelling SEO content writing.
How do you make content that converts?
Many bloggers and marketers are looking to increase their web traffic and generate more revenue, but don’t know where to start. This post will provide you with 10 tips on how to create high-performing SEO content that is both engaging for your target audience as well as Google’s bots.
So, let’s dive in!
1. Write for Your Customers’ User Intent
Search engines use algorithms to process queries and show results based on the user’s query. As it turns out, 99% of all search terms fall under 4 different intent categories: informational, navigational, commercial and transactional.
The first step to writing for the right search term is to identify which intent your user is searching for. To test the current state of your product or marketing copy, ask yourself: “which of these intents are my users trying to accomplish with this search?”
Each intent has its own character and language, but they all have one thing in common: they are all about the user. For example, when someone is searching for a specific solution to their problem, this intent is called “informational” – which matches your customer’s language with words such as:
How do I…? What is…? Why should I use…? Which of these is best for me?
When your future buyers type in those questions, write with solutions and evidence so that you can position yourself as a thought leader. As an example, let’s write a search term for a hypothetical app about content writing. If someone were to type in “How do I write a blog?”, the intent is informational. In this case, we are looking for keywords such as: step by step, wow-to, best tools, templates, benefits, tips.
However, if the same person types in “blog writing services”, they are in a commercial intent. This means that they are “shopping around” for solutions. You certainly want your content marketing to position your solutions in front of those users.
The 4 types of user intent for SEO are:
Informational, navigational, commercial and transactional.
The intent of your user’s search is important in determining what your content needs to be. If you are not seeing conversions from your content writing, review your topics.
2. Write a Strong Headline/Subheadline Combination
Your SEO content headlines and subheads should be used to tease the main points. These are SEO copywriting techniques that will make your headings more dynamite for landing pages, engaging customers, and enticing clicks. Make your SEO headlines so intriguing that the customer will want to read more. SEO copywriting is perfect for this, but keep it short and sweet!
SEO Copywriting Techniques #1
SEO Copywriting Techniques: #2
By optimizing your headlines will not only increase the readability of your content but will motivate your readers to read until the end and pursue your call to action.
3. Use Mobile User Intent
SEO content marketing needs to consider the particular needs of those who search from mobile devices. They search from their mobile devices, but they will access your page from their desktop, later on, to make a transaction.
Do people buy more on mobile or desktop?
Regardless of which device consumers use to access the web, units per order—or the average total item count of an order, a new Episerver report finds that consumers still choose desktop as the dominate device to make ecommerce orders, even though smartphones are the majority of web traffic.
In this report, mobile was found to be the main device from which consumers accessed the web, with 50% of all online sessions coming from a smartphone device, 41% from a desktop and only 9% from tablets. Regardless of which device consumers use to access the web, units per order are 24% higher on a desktop than a smartphone and 14% higher on tablets than smartphones, with 3.6 units being purchased on a desktop and 3.3 units and 2.9 units on a tablet and smartphone, respectively.
Optimizing your website for mobile devices can increase conversions by as much as 300%.
4. Inform Customers in a Trustful, Creative, Accurate Way
SEO content marketing is not only about SEO copywriting; it is also about relaying information to consumers through attractive writing that grabs the attention of search engine users.
Writing for SEO is not the same as writing a blog post, an instruction manual or any other type of document. Rather, it requires a combination of the different writing styles in order to reach your target audience and increase your rankings at the same time.
Incorporate relevant and catchy stories so your readers can feel your presence behind your content.
5. Keep your article concise
Keep your article concise (most SEO specialists say that SEO content should be no more than 500 words). Short SEO articles are easier to read, more beneficial for search engine spiders, naturally SEO optimized and users will not get bored.
6. Write your content scannable
Scannable content is when people can read it and understand it quickly. SEO content should not be a one-time read. SEO content should communicate information that people need to know on their first read and in parts they can recognize on a second or third pass. SEO articles with good SEO copywriting are scannable.
A study titled “The F-Shaped Pattern of Reading Online” found that as a reader scans text, they read the sentence above the paragraph first. The reader then moves back down to the previous paragraph or two. This is an F-shape pattern of reading online. SEO content should be SEO designed to follow an SEO F shape design.
7. Integrate “people also asked” into your SEO writing
You should include in your SEO content a list of questions or an article that covers the topic you are targeting, but they don’t need to be identical. This will increase user satisfaction, as they will have more answers to their “people also asked” questions.
Adding questions will give your readers information they can further share on social media.
An example of using the “people also asked” content writing SEO could be as follows:
Pick your best-performing blogs and add content based on what people have asked, paying attention to the questions that they ask when they are ready to buy. For example, instead of content writing SEO, look up for “hire seo content writing”. The closer you get to those questions asked by people ready to convert, the higher your opportunities.
8. Use schema markups to increase traffic
There are many SEO tips SEO content writers should know, but by far one of the most powerful SEO strategies SEO copywriters can use is schema markups. SEO schema markups are a way for websites to tell search engines that their site has certain features such as location, price, and tagline.
What are these SEO markups?
The SEO markup fields in HTML are typically created using tags such as <h2>, <h3>, <h4> etc. SEO content writers should create headings for different topics and SEO categories under their article and then apply relevant SEO tags to them.
For example, a writer looking to SEO optimize SEO content SEO on SEO copywriting should SEO title SEO with the SEO topic and SEO keyword “how to write SEO content for SEO”:
<h1>How to SEO Write Good SEO Copy</h1>
<h2>Learn how to SEO write content that will rank in Google’s search results.</h2>
Take advantage of markups, especially those who can position your services.
9. Use H1, H2, H3, and H4 correctly
H1 is the heading for SEO content SEO writing that corresponds with SEO keywords.
H2 provides a detailed focus on the topic of the article.
H3 is used to separate topics in SEO content, and it should be placed under relevant sections in the article.
H4 heads provide users keywords while creating user interested formatting for scannable text.
If your articles have subjects but they are not set up as headlines, this can be an opportunity to optimize them.
10. Avoid random topics. Be specific and build a campaign for a niche
Instead of building content to hit keywords, develop an entire content marketing campaign hyper focused on a target audience.
In Conclusion: SEO content marketing works great!
In general, writing for SEO should not take away the main focus of why you are writing, which is to communicate with humans! And if you want to see more conversions, you need to start writing for those users who are considering to buy what you have to offer, today!
Accelerate Your Growth With Our SEO Content Services
We hope you found some value in these 10 tips. However, if SEO content writing still feels like a lot of work and time to produce, book a call with our experts who can take an objective look at your current marketing strategy and provide expert advice on how we could help you improve it. There’s no better way to grow your business than by getting the right mix of quality content that gets shared online!
Whether you are just trying to get more exposure online, to connect with your fans or customers, or to improve your online reputation, social networking profiles are the way to go in order to reach your business goals.
Unless you have a major site associated with your name, and plenty of people specifically typing your name or your brand on search engines, your social media profile is usually the first result Google shows when someone searches for you.
Start thinking of each social media profile you create as a landing page for your personal brand.
Your landing page is possibly the first encounter that someone is going to have with your brand, and you will want that first impression to make the visitor interested to know more about you.
Be strategic. When someone is interacting with your social channels, make sure they will be able to see a profile that makes them like you, trust in you, and believe in you.
Some tips to build a successful social media profile:
Use a profile picture that makes you look approachable
Customize your cover image and add an attractive description
Add a BIO
Balance your personal and business content
Adjust your privacy settings to make sure people can find you and never turn on automatic tagging
This might sound logical, but let me clarify the importance of having a strong profile. It makes no sense to spend resources for marketing purposes in order to get people to know about a brand if there is a poor online presence.
Producing Quality Content
One of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs have when it comes to social media marketing is content. Coming up with fresh, relevant, interesting, and effective content ideas to share with their audience isn’t something that comes easily. A great way to solve this challenge is to incorporate psychology to the process of content creation.
Using the psychology of personalities, you are able to anticipate the emotions you want to trigger from your readers and thus creating a marketing strategy around it.
The language people use to express themselves can provide clues about the kind of people they are, online and off. Current efforts to understand personality from writing samples rely on theories and survey data from the 1980s.
New research uses social media data to successfully identify differences and similarities between users without prior assumptions. The way people refer to themselves and others has previously been correlated with personality. The new analysis also associates these personality markers with topics of conversation.
If topics of conversation are correlated with personalities, this means that marketers can trigger those conversations, provided that they have a strategy in place!
The Gemstones Personality Test
The 4 Personality Gems come from the motivational speaker Dani Johnson. Johnson says, “You have all four Gem characteristics in you. Some people have a lot of two Gems and very little of the others. Others have quite a bit of each one in them, but they lead and communicate in one primary Gem most of the time.”
I’ve used this strategy to craft my social media content for a long time now and it’s fascinating!
Are The Personality Gems Effective? Yes. But how does it work?
First of all, you will want to identify your 2 strongest gems and see if your social media currently reflects them. You will be surprised by how accurate this is!
Emeralds love the numbers. They are very analytical. They love planners and everything needs to be scheduled.
If you’re an emerald, most likely, you don’t share just anything on social media. You’re very meticulous about your privacy. When you share content, it’s because you know it’s going to be according to your standards.
Since you’re into numbers, you don’t really see the point of leaving comments on people’s pictures. You read them, you acknowledge them, but you are not up to leaving hearts, GIFs, or videos.
Did I describe you well? If you’re an emerald and want to trigger more engagement from different users, make sure you don’t post like emeralds all the time. Add some variation!
Pearls love people. They are very emotional. They love supporting causes. When they see a story that moves their heart, they share.
If you’re a pearl, most likely, you share content from other sources, especially inspirational content. You also participate in causes and truly enjoy helping others. Like emeralds, you’re very meticulous about your privacy.
You might consider yourself an introvert, but social media is something you enjoy, because it allows you to connect with people and help them, from the convenience of your home.
Did I describe you well? If you’re a pearl and want to trigger more engagement from different users, make sure you don’t post like pearls all the time. Be sure your content brings facts, adds variation, and inspire people to take action, besides helping others.
You’re here to win. You love the challenges. You’re not shy. Your social media displays your accolades and you have no shame. You see yourself as an influencer.
You might consider yourself an extrovert and social media is a great place for you to connect with more people. You’re certainly not shy on camera.
Did I describe you well? Watch out for not being unapproachable. You can be an influencer without pushing people away. Feature different people on your social media. Add content that’s not just about you or your interests. This will allow you to ignite different conversations with different people.
Sapphires are natural social media users. They share updates constantly and are not camera shy. You see them in lots of places, activities, with lots of people. Sapphires are promoters and this makes them a great addition to your brand.
If you’re a Sapphire and want to attract different people to your social media, add authority content, facts, and share your work more. Your audience will celebrate your accomplishments. Don’t be shy to share your great work!
Social media algorithms are made up of affinity, which refers to the relationship of one topic to another. The goal of Facebook’s algorithm is to “show stories that matter to users,” according to Adam Mosseri, VP of Facebook’s News Feed Management.
What this really means is that social media is optimized for shares above all else. For this reason, part of the winning formula to create a profitable content marketing strategy is to create content that will encourage your users to share. How can we do that?
We just discussed how Personality Gems can help you trigger responses from specific personality types. That takes care of the WHO. To trigger engagement, we also need to consider the WHAT and the WHEN.
Think about the last time you shared a post from someone. Why did you share it? Chances are, you had in mind a specific topic and you found a post that fit perfectly with what you had in mind, and you decided it was appropriate for you to share.
Tips to get more engagement in social media:
Generate original content so that users find something new to share
Surprise your users with something that is totally different from what they are used to seeing.
Be active. The more comments and shares you give, the more you receive.
When your content is relevant and generates engagement, it triggers the algorithm, pretty much in all of the main social media platforms.
If you want to generate leads, you want your content to signal meaning that is meaningful and relevant to your target audience. The caveat here is that you won’t have access to the targeting features unless you pay for ads. If you want to grow your business without paying for ads, then you need to implement direct marketing strategies to generate conversions from your organic audience.
How To Generate Conversions From Your Social Media Content (Organic)
An effective social media marketing strategy should attract the right leads without using traditional e-commerce practices. Social media is about being social.
Unlike many entrepreneurs believe, you can generate leads and clients from social media without paying for ads. Of course, it will be slower than if you pay for ads, but it’s possible.
If you’re not having conversions from social media, the first thing to watch is the amount of exposure (reach) you’re having, which is a reflection of the number of interactions, such as:
The more comments, replies, likes, and shares you have, the more accounts you reach.
Turning your reach into leads will be a matter of having the ability to generate meaningful conversations with your audience, via chat (messenger). Just remember not to spam your audience.
Another great way to generate leads is to combine blog posts with social media. For example, by sharing educational blog posts on your Facebook page, users will be able to begin to perceive value from you. The more they trust you, the better reputation you will have.
In general, the more value you add and the more trust you build with your users, the more likely you are to gain permission to pitch to them. Just one thing, your pitch, via social media channels, isn’t about a coupon or a sale; it is a “call to action” (CTA).
You don’t need just any CTA, you want a strong one that convinces people to act.
There are two main purposes of a call to action; to tell someone what they should do, and to give them the motivation to do so.
It’s a hard balance to strike. You have to give potential customers enough information to get them to click without overwhelming them . When in doubt, ask a copywriter or marketer for a second opinion!
We have discussed the formula to generate leads from social media:
A quality profile, followed by quality content and relevancy will ignite your process of increasing your organic reach. Simultaneously, your strategies to ignite conversions will increase your conversion rate, resulting in higher qualified leads.
Pay attention to the Personality Gems. This is a great guideline to use for creating content; especially if you’re launching something new this year.
When my husband asked me for a picture of us in 2009, I immediately knew the #10yearchallenge went viral. He is never up to social media trends! So, of course, I wanted to jump into the challenge… until I checked out the stories that people were sharing.
What’s wrong with the #10yearchallenge?
There is nothing wrong. In a simple answer, you’re just supposed to share a picture side by side comparing your life in 2009 vs your life in 2019. The problem is that the trend went way too far in how people curated their lives.
In case you haven’t checked, go ahead and search on Instagram for the #10yearchallenge. You will the search results and will find Instagram influencers with unbelievable stories! Based on those search results, you will think that the world turned into a better place within the last 10 years.
This made me wonder… why do most people feel the urge to curate their lives on social media? Don’t we connect better when we are vulnerable and real? Then, why don’t people just show more vulnerability?
If you’re wondering where the line is between sharing your life- raw and vulnerable and attracting people to you- the real you, then keep reading!
The Mandatory Question: What The Heck Is Vulnerability?
One of the most quoted definitions of vulnerability is from Brené Brown “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen. It’s tough to do that when we’re terrified about what people might see or think.”
As small children, we are open and free, sharing all of ourselves with others. Until something very painful happens: your best friend reveals your secret to someone and that someone decides to share with everyone. And now you’re exposed. This can be one of the most traumatic experiences for a child. Did you ever experience how is like being exposed and ashamed as a kid? I did… plenty of times.
As we grow and mature, we soon learn that the world can be a very painful place. We learn that not everyone is on our side, and not all situations are going to go our way. We get disappointed and go through growing pains, and that’s how the fear of vulnerability is formed.
Think about your first love. You believed in eternity. You thought this was the only person you could ever loved. And then… You got hurt.
The fear of vulnerability is ultimately a fear of rejection or abandonment. You have been hurt before, so you seek to minimize the risk of being hurt again.
Why Is Vulnerability A Good Thing, Especially For Your Marketing?
Vulnerability is scary. However, if you are business owners, c-suite executives, leaders, or trying to build a name and a personal brand, vulnerability is needed.
The well-known neuroscientist, Antonio Damasio stated, “We are not thinking machines that feel rather, we are feeling machines that think.”
Damasio made this discovery: every human decision depends on emotion — every single one.
We make each choice somatically. In other words, we feel each decision out.
In sum, it’s about EMOTIONS.
Your personal-vulnerable stories will get you closer to your audience. Even more than your superhero stories. In general, people relate more with struggles than with wins.
Vulnerable Leaders Are Confident
People who do have a lot of self-confidence, are actually willing to show more of themselves. They’re willing to be vulnerable because they’re not afraid that someone might come in and take advantage of that. A recent set of studies calls this phenomenon “the beautiful mess effect.” It suggests that everyone should be less afraid of opening up—at least in certain cases.
The best example: video marketing!
Have you ever used video to increase your business? Have you thought about it but decided it wasn’t for you? Did you try it and feel embarrassed and not want to do it again? Even if you are a pro in video marketing, you know that the struggle is real, especially for women! We need to have the perfect background, the perfect hair and makeup, perfect nails, and of course, the idea of what we are saying. It’s exhausting.
With video, the more you do it, the more confident you get on camera, and then you learn that it’s ok if you mess up. You laugh and move on. By the way, I want to add a side note here and feature Barnes Team Media from Austin, Texas. They are educators on how to perform better on camera. You should check them out! Mike & Kim Barnes!
The next time you’re hesitating about sharing a great message on video, just think about the beautiful mess effect. People love messy! People love reality shows!
But what about your content marketing, in particular, social media marketing, how vulnerable do you really need to be? Where is the line between vulnerability and privacy?
The Golden Rule of Social Media: Be Personal, Not Private
In my book, The 6 Golden Rules of Social Media, rule #3 is Be Personal, But Not Private.
We all have that one friend on social media who tells us what she had for breakfast, what she wore to work today, the fight she just had with her mother, the supervisor at her job that constantly calls her out and, you know, I could go on and on about her life, or, just go check her social media pages to tell you exactly what is going on with her.
This is exactly WHAT NOT TO DO on social media. It is a desperate cry forattention and while you need the attention and you want new visitors to your social media profiles and pages, this is not the way to get it. In fact, this type of behavior attracts the attention you really don’t need.
You need to be more intentional with what you share on social media, especially if you want to attract a high-level profile.
Think about what your friends want to see from you.
Normally, people are open to know about things that benefit them, such as:
How to save money
How to make more money
How to save time, or
How to save efforts.
Those are the top motivators. You see, it’s not about you! It’s about them.
People don’t want to remember how dramatic your life is or how tough it is to be a parent. We all go through highs and lows. People don’t want constant reminders of your lows; especially when you have poor judgment on your images.
Your friends don’t need to see your c-section scar, bleeding, to know that you have a baby and it was a c-section.
You are entitled to a private life that you share with your family and close friends, away from your business. Do not cross the line of displaying your private life on social media.
Marketing is all about igniting human connections. You want to activate the power of emotions by being a human, to ignite those connections and then, give your audience what they want.
Is that simple! If you’re a content creator, having a clear understanding of how to humanize a brand without crossing the line is very important.
I wish I could tell you that in 10 years, I moved a magic wand and my life changed mysteriously. Well, that’s not true.
I wish I could tell you that in 10 years, I went from my 30’s to my 40’s and I retired with millions of dollars in the bank. This isn’t the case. I had multiple wins between 2010-2013 and several losses in 2014. Those generated plenty of changes for all of us. Changes that were scary, but we are now grateful for all.
I wish that in 10 years I didn’t find myself 50 pounds heavier, and still struggling with my diet. But that’s not the case.
In reality, I can claim some wins. More wins than losses. But I would be a fraud if I tell you everything has been incredibly great. Our family of 6 has seen adversity. It’s extremely difficult pursuing your personal goals, business goals while raising a family with intentionality. I wish more people were real when sharing their #10yearchallenge.
My goal for the next ten years is to be present. To be real. To be vulnerable. This might explain why my personal Facebook is off. I want to figure some things out before I go ahead and create content: for whom?
The last decade was all about growing a massive audience. For some reason, it doesn’t serve me well. I’m all about quality, not quantity.
I have realized how much I love being a small business owner, in particular, a solopreneur and how much I love helping others succeed; especially those who need me the most.
This is me- the real me. With grammatical errors and a crazy accent.
Being vulnerable has opened plenty of doors for me. I wish I had known this 9 years ago, when I was hiding my mistakes, my accent, and tried to be someone else.
If you’re in the process of building a personal brand, take vulnerability seriously and build an audience that you can connect with. Find that line that allows you to connect with your tribe, for real. And just focus on being you, just a little bit better each day.
Don’t Forget This Marketing Secret
The most important element of your content marketing strategy or social media marketing strategy is your reputation. Without great customer service and a great reputation, every marketing effort will be worthless.
Still trying to find ideas to take advantage of Small Business Saturday? You still have time to win clients from this big holiday.
Let’s get to a quick 10 Small Business Saturday ideas to join the shop small movement. With some help, this could be a good Saturday for your business!
First Of All, What Is The Shop Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday is a corporate responsibility initiative by American Express that rallies people to “shop small” on the Saturday following Black Friday. This Saturday is always the last one in November so if you were late this year, mark your calendar for next year!
American Express has created a partnership program to give small business owners more visibility. This program isn’t just for brick and mortar. Professionals and online businesses can also join.
You can achieve your championship status and get recognized in American Express’ website by application.
If you didn’t apply, no worries. You can still champion the cause and promote the cause with your neighbors and your online fans and followers.
To find a Small Business Saturday event near you, click here.
In Austin, for example, P Terrys is one of the listed venues featured on the map. Only qualifying American Express Card accepting merchants will be featured on American Express Maps.
American Express has created Small Business Saturday materials to make your marketing very easy. You can create custom marketing materials with the Shop Small® Studio.
Add Your Business’ Information.
Get prepared to answer questions about your uniqueness and how have you helped your community.
Include All The Information Where You Can Receive Your Small Business Saturday Marketing Materials.
Prepare To Download Your Custom Marketing Materials
A zip file will download and you will be able to open several folders with promotion ideas, email templates, posters, and social media assets with the Small Business Saturday 2019 logo on it.
If you noticed from your Small Business Saturday kit, you were asked what makes your business special. People want to do business with people. Create a compelling story that reminds your users why they should do business with you.
Here’s a Small Business Saturday quote you can use:
We _____________ (describe what you do) so that ____________ (describe how do you help your clients).
#2 Partner With Brands That Are Celebrating Small Business Saturday
If you see a small business owner with the Small Business Saturday logo, share their message. The more you share, the more shares you will receive.
Remember that every hashtag has its own “gallery”. People sometimes browse these galleries to see photos they are interested in. This is why you want to mix and match those hashtags to get more visibility, instead of using the same all the time.
Each hashtag gallery has a “Top” section and a “Recent” section. The posts in “Top” are determined by a combination of how recent the post is, and how many likes/comments it is receiving.
The more hashtags you use, the more galleries your work appears in. The maximum allowed per post is 30 hashtags.
Take some time to search the # “gallery” and explore the “Recent” section. There’s a good chance you can find similar small business owners who will be glad to connect with you and share your content.
#4 Don’t Compete In Price. Do Things You Know Your Customers Will Love.
You might be tempted to launch Small Business Saturday deals. That’s totally recommended. However, instead of just launching a discount in price, create a pricing strategy that fits your business model and your current goals.
As shoe designer Christian Louboutin says, “Luxury is the possibility to stay close to your customers, and do things that you know they will love.”
#5 Build A Small Business Saturday Form For Your Email Marketing
American Express has done all the work for you! So, if you build a form, for instance, free on Mail Chimp, you can just send this simple email to your subscribers letting them know about your Small Business Saturday campaign.
Here’s the email template from American Express (customized).
Hi [CUSTOMER NAME OR SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORTER],
This Nov 30 is the 10th Small Business Saturday®, which means it’s almost time to celebrate with your favorite small businesses — like (hint, hint) the one sending you this email.
Save the date to Shop Small® with us because when you do, you make a big difference for our business and our community. Join us in making this Small Business Saturday one to remember!
As always, thank you for your continued support — we can’t wait to celebrate with you!
MARKETING FOR GREATNESS
#6 Instagram Stories
In case you haven’t jumped in, this Small Business Saturday campaign should motive you to use IG Stories!
Here are the main stats showing how big the Instagram story format is:
#8 Create An Exclusive Small Business Saturday Gift
Remember that your main goal is to create experiences for your clients, not just about money.
If you don’t have too much time to think about a gift for your customers who purchase on Small Business Saturday, Blue Board is a great alternative to outsource your gifts.
#9 Feature Your Small Business Saturday Promotion On Your Facebook Page
Facebook has an option to turn your business page into a shop. Even if you don’t like to be promotional, just know that you can switch to your regular page template at any time.
Go to Page Settings -> Templates and Tabs -> Shopping
#10 Don’t Forget Twitter And Pinterest
Sometimes we think about social media and it’s mostly Facebook and Instagram. Well… don’t forget Twitter and Pinterest!
Twitter has created a checklist for small business owners! We already downloaded for you! Just remember to use #ShopSmall. Just like on Instagram, you can search who is sharing content under the #shopsmall gallery. Don’t hesitate to ignite conversations with those small business owners.
On Pinterest, create a board with your Small Business Saturday promotions and marketing materials. You can create Small Business Saturday images or even just upload your marketing kit. Don’t forget to add your business information.
What Happens After Small Business Saturday?
If you run this campaign following most of these tips, chances are you got at least many new connections. Since these ideas can be used at any time, beyond just the holidays, make sure you have ways to measure and track them!
Considering revamping your marketing efforts? Debating between hiring a full-service agency or in-house?
This article will enlighten your decision-making process.
Dream Teams Have A Content Marketing Strategist (And Managers Too)
Today’s consumers are more informed and proactive than ever before. While a bulk of purchases still occur at conventional brick-and-mortar businesses and retail stores, for a majority of customers, the journey to purchase starts elsewhere. And this means that modern brands must now be publishers.
This is where content marketing comes in.
Hiring a content marketing strategist makes a lot of sense for small business owners, such as doctors, lawyers, and therapists. If you run a legal or dental practice and are constrained by your budget, you may not want to hire a big agency. In this case using a content marketing strategist will do the trick without draining your budget.
Content marketing is usually an inexpensive and very effective way to reach your potential customers and serve current customers as well. It has quickly become the preferred way for small businesses to reach out to customers and build their brand. Especially local business owners and service-based professionals who prefer word of mouth marketing.
In today’s tech-driven world, content marketing for all small businesses is essential. Although content marketing might be a relatively new term, there is certainly nothing novel about the concept.
Content marketing is about creating unique content that offers value to your consumers instead of producing material designed to produce direct sales. Content marketing takes a different approach to marketing campaigns. It’s not transactional but educational.
You will be shocked to know that 60% of these businesses have no information listed online. Often, many small businesses understand that they need to produce content, but they are stuck trying to determine how to generate quality content on a long-term basis. We can help you with it.
If you are a small business owner, content marketing can come to your rescue. Content marketing can achieve conversion rates, which are 6 times higher than other types of marketing.
The Evolution of Content Marketing Jobs
In its early days, it seemed like content marketing was just a fancy word for blogging. I see this misconception a lot! In fact, I’ve seen websites that don’t have a blog because their web developer told them they didn’t need to write posts.
In case you’re wondering if you need a blog, YES! You do! But actually, content marketing encompasses a lot more — particularly today.
Your audiences are online everywhere. They are visiting your website, connecting on social media, engaging in many channels including texting about you! If you have a blog, they will read your articles (and emails too). How do you keep up with all of that in a cohesive way? How can you put all those pieces of a puzzle and actually generate revenue? That’s exactly what content marketing strategy is about!
So, just like almost anything else in our world, content marketing isn’t something that sprouted out of nowhere and took the world by storm.
Content marketing was created and developed, and it further improved over the years. Although it is no secret that content marketing for small businesses has skyrocketed in popularity in the past couple of years, the core principles of content marketing have perhaps been around for centuries. Also, it would do savvy content marketers good to have a couple of classic examples to bust out at strategy meetings and even corporate parties.
In the past five years, there has been strong support for various positions, such as content director, content manager, and content marketing specialist. This is not surprising given the rise in popularity of content marketing. Not just are there considerably more content marketing jobs available throughout the globe now than in the past, more prospective applicants, as well as firms, are looking for them too.
From its infancy, content marketing has gradually evolved to include more detailed and sophisticated storytelling, a greater emphasis on the customer experience, and smarter distribution techniques.
And one thing is for sure: great content definitely stands the test of time.
What is a Content Strategy?
Content strategy is a digital marketing strategy that companies use to create honest, educational, and transparent content consistently for an ideal buyer profile. So, it involves the management of almost any tangible media that you have created and own, such as written, downloadable and visual. In most cases, the goal of a content strategy is to use the promotion and publication of content to drive more organic website traffic, improve qualified lead generation, and empower your sales team to close more deals faster.
Your content strategy helps connect your company’s content efforts and initiatives with business goals and consumer needs. Everything that you do with regard to content must map back to those requirements.
A content strategist is responsible for identifying those business interests that can be satisfied through content. They design a plan for developing and distributing such content.
Content Marketing and Sales Funnel
One of the biggest differences between a content writer or even a social media manager and a content marketing strategist is that content marketing strategists are revenue-oriented.
Your production of content should have tactical points of contacts and that’s essentially a “sales funnel”.
Sales funnels come in many different forms. Also, keep in mind that different influencers and experts may call the various stages by different names. It is worth noting that the conventional sales funnel has been gradually changing to a content marketing funnel, and many businesses are still trying their best to figure it out.
The Basic Sales Funnel
You are probably aware of a basic sales funnel. It has the following steps:
The top of the sales funnel is called awareness. You have to feed the top of the sales funnel by generating more brand awareness. You have to keep people moving through the sales funnel by getting them interested in your products or services. And then you provide them the information they need to make a decision. They will then take action.
Marketers can now support sales in a new and unprecedented way by specifically targeting each part of the sales funnel with stage-specific and unique content types that will help qualify, nurture, and convert prospects and leads into long term customers.
Note that a content marketing funnel tends to work much the same. It has 4 stages:
It helps guide people through various stages with engaging content. However, it has one important distinction. A content marketing funnel recognizes the significance of delighting customers as a great way to continually replenish the funnel.
Here are some examples of content that’s suitable for each of the marketing funnel stages:
· Attract (Ads, website, landing pages, videos)
· Convert (Social media, webinars, and whitepapers)
· Close (Questionnaires, ratings, and reviews)
· Delight (Special Offers, emails, blog posts and giveaways)
What Does A Forensic Content Marketing Strategist Do?
A content marketing strategist creates content that resonates with an existing fan base, and at the same time, is engaging and differentiated enough to draw in new, overlooked or underserved consumers. The goal of content marketing strategists is to develop a content strategy that drives more targeted inbound traffic while guiding visitors through the sales or marketing funnel.
A content strategist or content strategy manager oversees and manages the planning, design, and development of informational content that is produced by a company. So, they take into consideration what the marketing content is, what it can be, and come up with ways to curate content so that it communicates the core values of the organization.
They also ensure the content is clear and compelling and is suitably distributed across mobile, web, and social platforms, adhering to a consistent brand philosophy.
In other words, content marketing strategists lead your content marketing factory! If you don’t have one, they create one for you.
A forensiccontent marketing strategist is also a great fit for a marketing team since its role is to maximize ROI.
Responsibilities of Content Marketing Managers
Content marketing managers have the challenging and exciting role of promoting a brand through engaging content and stories.
Filling a content marketing manager or strategist’s position often requires tremendous effort.
Here are some of the main responsibilities of content managers:
Accountable for all content marketing efforts and initiatives to drive engagement, traffic, and leads, which delivers sales and customer retention
Identify the target audiences
Collaborates across various functions to deliver an effective and suitable content marketing strategy along with an editorial plan in order to meet the business objectives of a company at the lowest cost
Management of various creative resources in a company, including writers, designers, and other personnel
Some editorial requirements, such as basic SEO understanding, content structure and categorization, content development, content distribution, and measurement.
Knowing which platform, such as social media, different types of content are best suited to
Development of comprehensive editorial governance to ensure content is consistent with a company’s brand voice, tone, and style
Develop and manage editorial calendar and organization workflows
Some other responsibilities are implementing SEO best practices, and developing and fostering strategic partnerships.
For startups, a content marketing strategist is able to advise on how to build an audience to get clients faster.
Our office focuses on analytics in-depth, which is why we say we do Forensic Content Marketing. We find the gap between your revenue goal and your marketing efforts.
Skills Needed to be a Forensic Marketing Strategist
The following sets of skills are immensely beneficial for a content strategist to use on a daily basis.
1.Writing and Editing Skills
This is one of the most important skill sets. If you cannot write engaging and quality content, it does not matter how well you plan and distribute it. It is no secret that the writing process is one of the most important aspects of content marketing. In addition, you will also have to develop strong editing skills to make sure that the marketing content that your team is creating is top-notch.
Content editors are often project managers with a comprehensive understanding of what a brand should say and how they should say it.
3.Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is important for all content writers and managers. As a content manager, you not only have to understand good search engine optimization practices as they work today, but you will also need to understand what’s coming around the corner.
Good content marketing requires in-depth knowledge and understanding of common analytic tools, such as Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, and Omniture, etc. as well as various optimization approaches, like A/B testing and multivariate tools.
5.Content Monetization Skills
Content probably is not the way you directly generate revenue unless you work at a media company. Instead, the goal of producing content is to get people to purchase your products and services. As a content marketing strategist, you have to plan how the content can be effectively monetized and communicate it to your executive team.
If your business has implemented a content marketing plan but results are not coming as expected, a forensic content marketing strategist will be a great fit.
Elements of a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
An effective content marketing strategy for your small business can set your brand apart from your competition, drive new business, and shorten sales cycles. Although no two content strategies are alike, all should have a few essential components. An effective content strategy often incorporates a range of tactics, such as:
Search Engine Optimization
This is important as SEO tactics can considerably improve your rankings on many popular search engines, like Google and Bing. Note that strategically crafted content on your site that’s informative, unique, and original will enhance your SEO results.
Social Media Marketing
For small businesses, social media is an invaluable element of a content marketing strategy. Keep in mind that industry influencers, customers, and reporters all use social media to interact with your brand and find information.
By coordinating with the bloggers and media to schedule interviews and coordinate contributed article opportunities, you will be able to receive third-party validation of your business, products, and expertise.
Outsourcing vs. In House Content Marketing Strategist
The first and most important content marketing choice, many small businesses must make is outsourced vs. in-house. Keep in mind that there are pros and cons to each approach.
Pros of Outsourcing
With outsourcing, you have a lot of choices. For example, you can find and hire content editors and niche contract writers through LinkedIn, or have an independent agency do all of the legwork for you. Outsourcing also means that you can lean on the marketing knowledge, expertise, and network of the marketing agency that you partner with.
If you would like to publish content on a more frequent basis without compromising on the level of quality, you will need more writers and editors. This is where an external agency can help you scale up as you can easily outsource as much content as you want.
In most cases, outsourcing content creation is much cheaper, especially for small companies.
Pros of In-House Teams
Using an in-house team means that you get industry expertise as well as a deep understanding of your brand. Also, an in-house content creation team means a much speedier approval process with considerably less back and forth. Keeping this function in-house will also ensure that your marketing has direct control over the messaging.
Our Forensic Content Marketing Approach
Here’s our favorite recommendation: when the business is starting, outsourcing will facilitate speed. Typically, marketing agencies hire us for the strategy component and they execute.
When the business reaches a healthy cash flow, then an in-house team will be a great move. And we work with those business owners as well.
There is absolutely no denying that blogs are indeed a fantastic tool to attract potential clients to your digital domain and boost your revenue. This is great news!
However, on the flip side, generating traffic for your blog is barely half of the battle. Comments, tweets, and likes are all nice; however, none of these is your ultimate objective. What you need is to convert the traffic you receive on your blog into paying clients and customers.
Keep reading if you are interested in learning about how you can not only draw visitors but also get clients by writing blogs and tracking their performance so you’re not wasting marketing budget.
Know Who Your Ideal Client/ Customer is
This is the very first step you ought to take, even before starting the blog writing process. It is vital to know who your ideal client is prior to writing a blog to attract the said client.
This goes further than being aware of the clients’ demographics (gender, age, income, and so forth). Although this data is a good point to start, it does not reveal why anyone would purchase your product or hire your services.
Every service or product sold is a solution to a certain problem. Hence, to create quality content that draws your potential clients/customer, your first step should be to define the precise problem which the client is looking for a solution to. To be able to write a blog post that genuinely helps your clients, you need to understand them well.
The following are some of the important questions you need to ask yourself at this stage:
What is the common denominator amongst your favorite clients?
How do your potential clients/readers describe the issue or problem that they have?
What are your clients’ objectives?
Which are the problems that they face that your service or product is an answer to?
Which sources do they use to search for information that is your area of specialty?
Select Topics that Offer Solutions to Client’s Pain Points
The ideal topics for blogs that drive conversions are the ones that facilitate a client to resolve a pain point or answer a query the client might have.
As a case to point, you may target potential clients who would want to boost the customer service of their business or generate more sales revenue.
Subjects that revolve around common pain points are very effective at driving conversions and getting clients. This is because they target people who are on the lookout for a solution to a certain problem and are already in a ‘purchasing’ mind frame.
However, you should not dole out all the answers to the problem sour potential clients and customers might have. What you ought to do is to lay out a comprehensive framework for resolving a particular problem via actionable and useful information.
That said, you should leave sufficient space to include strong CTA’s (call to action). These CTAs should convince the blog readers to get further assistance or learn more by fulfilling a certain desired action. For example, you should urge them for a free trial, finalizing a purchase, subscribing to your email list, and so forth).
Create a Sense of Urgency
Did you ever purchase an item on sale because it was the very last one that was available on stock? Most of us have done so. The notion that something we desire very much and want is only available for a very brief period is often enough to convince us to buy that thing.
The following are some of the great tactics ways to add the element of urgency in your blogs:
Write your blog post with a sense of urgency. Begin the blog post in a normal fashion but as you approach your concluding remarks, begin to use shorter and concise sentences. Moreover, use short paragraphs as this makes the reader read quickly. This, in turn, increases urgency and makes the reader more likely to act on what he/she has just read in the blog post.
Another strategy you can employ is to instill urgency in your Call to Actions. This could mean sharing a time-sensitive discount coupon, offering a bonus gift, or simply reemphasizing the point that a certain product is available in limited quantity.
Use data-backed and relatable examples in your blog posts that show the importance and need for buying your product or engaging your services right now.
For instance, say your service/ product can help an organization slash down their churn rate by 25 percent within 30 days. Convert these statistics into a situation to which your blog visitors can relate. You can do this by showing how much profit and how many consumers they can if they do not use your product.
Do Not be Excessively Promotional
Needless to say, the prime purpose of blogging for businesses is to land clients and sell. However, this objective should not be too obvious to your blog readers. If you try very hard to sell your product service via your blog, you run the risk of jeopardizing your credibility and pushing away your clients and customers.
Selling should definitely be an element in an ideal sales blog but only in terms of impact. In other words, you should refrain from promoting your product continuously throughout the blog.
Customers purchase from businesses they trust, and the only means by which you can gain that trust is when you offer advice and useful information that establishes your position as the foremost authority on the core subject of your blog.
Once the customer is sure that you truly have complete knowledge of your blog subject, he/she will be more likely to spend on whatever else you are offering.
Create a Loyal Reader Base
It is important to know that loyal readers of your blogs usually tend to convert to paying customers before anyone else. These readers stoutly believe in what you have to say and fully appreciate whatever you are offering via your blog content. Hence, it does not take much persuasion to get them to convert.
You can employ the following tactics to boost your visitor loyalty:
Constantly providing readers with quality content/information free of cost.
Responding to every single email and message you receive from all of your blog readers.
Giving a reply to the comments on blog posts. This shows that you care for your reader’s opinions.
Apart from the above-mentioned strategies that will go a long way to help you build a loyal reader base, making videos about your product/service is one tactic you should also definitely consider. Videos have a very high-perceived value, and this is why individuals are eager to watch them. You can incorporate these videos into your blog as well.
Format Your Blog for Readers who Prefer to Skim
Regardless of the purpose of your blog, you must format it to suit those individuals who prefer skim reading. All of us have limited attention spans. Hence, you must cater to readers who are inclined to glance through the blog content by drawing their attention to all the important blog sections. This is particularly necessary when the purpose of your blog is to drive conversations.
The general formatting rules are as follows:
Your blog should comprise short paragraphs. Be sure not to write more than 3-4 sentences per paragraph.
Wherever appropriate, use numbered lists, subheadings, and bullet points.
Make use of images to divide the blog text and highlight your chief points.
Select a font size and style that are easy to read.
Capitalize those words and phrases that you particularly want the blog readers to pay attention to.
Walk your blog subscribers through a complete sales process
The next step after someone is on your mailing list is to walk him or her through a sales process.
The sales process type will be contingent on what your blog content is about. You must have a well-defined sales process (a series of clear steps that gives the person the opportunity to become a client/customer)
The following are some of the most effective ways of converting your blog subscribers into paying clients/customers:
Offer your subscribers a consultation free of cost
Invite them to a special webinar where you will show your product
Point them to a sales webpage directly
Offer them a lucrative discount
Tune the “Contact Me” Section of your Blog
This section of your blog plays a pivotal role in attracting potential clients.
A strong “Contact Me” section begins with appreciation. Salute your blog readers in a professional manner as your attitude matters a lot here. A common mistake most bloggers make is to pretend to be someone they are not. This approach will not work if you wish to earn a potential client’s trust.
Most of the blog readers prefer to reach out via the form in the section, whereas others favor the direct email option. You should put in your personal phone number through which readers may contact you. In addition, be sure to include your Facebook and Instagram fan page so that readers can get in touch with you through social media as well.
Ask potential clients and customers to fill out the form if they wise to engage your services, and you will circle back to them within twenty-four hours. Avoid promising anything that you cannot do, as that would tarnish your self-image.
If someone would like to be your friend, he/she can follow you on your social media channels.
Additional Tips to Nab Clients with Your Blogs
Your Writing Should Reflect your Personality
When writing your blogs, use narratives and stories and give it a personal touch. Depending on your blog content, you can also add humor to your writing. This helps to hook your readers, and they are drawn into reading more of your posts.
Update Your Blog Regularly
When potential clients and readers observe that you update your blog frequently, they will be more inclined to purchase your product or service. Clients tend to admire a blogger’s consistency in producing quality and informative content.
Inject Passion in your Writing
You need to infuse your passion in your blog posts if you wish to treat your blog like a paying client. Writing blog posts as a profession can often be dull at times. For instance, your blog posts are not going to be very riveting if your client is the owner of an electrical switchgear organization!
When you have your own blog, you also have the latitude to write about what you want. Your posts are sure to stand out to those who pursue your blogs when you instill passion in your writing. Furthermore, including vibrant images can also help you to connect with your readers and audience in a more engaging and relatable manner.
Also, your passion for your blog content helps to convey what you want to write. Potential clients and readers will notice your passion and will be more likely to convert into customers. Alternately, they can also engage your services to write similar content for their own websites or blogs.
Track, track, and track!
As a forensic marketer, I am always paying attention to metrics (as you may know). The following are trackers that your blog must-have, so you can run reports, check performance, and plan future content:
Facebook pixel. Make sure your blog has a Facebook Pixel installed, along with custom events, so you can see important metrics such as article views and clicks on your call to actions. You can even build a custom audience from your article visitors.
Google Analytics tracker. A tracker will allow you to gather information on your article visitors, the time they have spent reading, other pages they visited, and depending on your settings, you can set up goals and campaigns to find specific users’ behaviors.
UTM codes. This tool allows you to easily add campaign parameters to URLs so you can track Custom Campaigns in Google Analytics. Watch the video below to see a quick tutorial on how UTM codes work.
Writing blogs can prove to be a very profitable venture if you put your focus on converting your blog readers into clients and paying customers. Following the aforementioned tactics will surely help you to appeal to various clients.
Bear in mind that if you provide value to your readers via quality content, then the part where you try to convert them into customers and clients becomes a whole lot easier.
Invest in your blogs, and the readers will invest in you!
Using social media to promote your products or services into the world can be an amazing opportunity. It’s free and gives you the chance to connect with pretty much billions of people around the globe.
The virtual land is so powerful … it represents so many possibilities …
Wow! Right? …
… Until it’s NOT. It can be toxic, busy, overwhelming, especially if you’re a business owner.
Because there are so many social media platforms, and there is so much to do, most entrepreneurs and business owners see their social media as a heavy lifting chore or necessary evil and end up spending more time trying to learn social media marketing than marketing their business.
In my seminars, webinars, and conferences when I go and speak, I hear ALL THE TIME “where do I start?” “what do I post?” “where is the best platform to share content?”
The constant “getting ready to get ready” turns into marketing fatigue. That’s the danger zone. This brings them to do zero marketing and have zero clients. They get into desperation mode and sign up for 50 meetups a month. The fatigue is now even worse.
Are you in the danger zone or getting closer?
I’ve constructed this guide to help entrepreneurs and small business owners without unlimited marketing budgets understand the erratic world of social media.
This ultimate guide gives you my favorite social media marketing tools that you can use to boost your social media without breaking your bank account.
I’m here to simplify your game by telling you exactly which tools I use as a small business owner and strategist with over 10 years in digital marketing.
I’m dividing the amazing tools into the 4 job categories that a social media specialist performs. I chose the specialist role because it’s the most comprehensive one. I will cover “the what” which is the strategy and “the how” which are the tools.
Let’s catapult this complex world of social media marketing to take you out of the danger zone!
Chapter 1: Social Media Skills and Job Description
Social Media Marketing, What Exactly Is?
Social media marketing is a degree on its own.
In fact, if you were looking for a social media job, you will find all these different names:
Director, Social Marketing and Brand Communications, Social Media, Social Media Relations, Coordinator, Engagement Manager, Internet Marketing Coordinator, Social Media Account Executive, Social Media Analyst, Social Media Editor, Executive, Coordinator, Producer, Social Media Specialist … and Strategist.
Did the list confuse you even more? No worries. Chances are that you’re a social media specialist or a small business owner trying to learn how to market yourself. Regardless, you have to run most of the listed roles on your own, at least at the moment.
A Brief Job Description of a Social Media Specialist
Before we discuss the tools, let’s first cover the fundamentals of what the scope of a social media specialist looks like. This will help you, as a business owner, to understand the kind of skills you need and the time you need to set aside to make this work.
Here is a job brief of a Social Media Specialist from Workable.com.
We are looking for a driven Social Media Specialist to attract and interact with targeted virtual communities and networks users.
What does a Social Media Specialist do?
The goal is to gradually achieve superior customer engagement and intimacy, website traffic and revenue by strategically exploiting all aspects of the social media marketing roadmap.
Social media specialists should have a solid understanding of how each social media channel works and how to optimize content so that it is engaging on those channels. You are responsible for joining relevant conversations on behalf of the brand and “soft selling” the product by providing support to current and prospective customers.
Build and execute social media strategy through competitive research, platform determination, benchmarking, messaging and audience identification
Generate, edit, publish and share daily content (original text, images, video or HTML) that builds meaningful connections and encourages community members to take action
Set up and optimize company pages within each platform to increase the visibility of company’s social content
Moderate all user-generated content in line with the moderation policy for each community
Create editorial calendars and syndication schedules
Continuously improve by capturing and analyzing the appropriate social data/metrics, insights and best practices, and then acting on the information
Collaborate with other departments (customer relations, sales etc) to manage reputation, identify key players and coordinate actions
Proven working experience in social media marketing or as a digital media specialist
Excellent consulting, writing, editing (photo/video/text), presentation and communication skills
Demonstrable social networking experience and social analytics tools knowledge
Adequate knowledge of web design, web development, CRO and SEO
Knowledge of online marketing and good understanding of major marketing channels
Positive attitude, detail and customer oriented with good multitasking and organisational ability
Fluency in English
BS in Communications, Marketing, Business, New Media or Public Relations
You Think You Can Be A Great Social Media Specialist?
That’s exactly why you’re here!
Don’t get intimidated by the formal education the job description required. I happen to have a JD and a BBA, but, honestly, I didn’t learn any of the social media strategies from school. It was all from practice.
Social media marketing, thinking big picture, is about: communications, creative, technology, and analytical tasks. So let’s cover each task and the tools you need to become a great social media marketer.
Chapter 2: Communications
If you’re like most small business owners, you want to promote your business without breaking the bank.
And there is no better way to do that than by managing your own PR campaign internally without retaining the services of a media relations company or a full-service marketing company.
Wait! Do you mean PR as public relations? Free, like free lunch?
Exactly! If you take ownership of your own marketing communications strategy, you’ll learn how to build lasting relationships with your connections, including journalists and influencers, get free press, and acquire more customers through a sustainable organic approach.
Let me see your smile!
If you have no problem with having sales conversations with future clients, then, sharing your message on social media should not be a problem. You already know what to say so that’s a great step.
But what if you’re not that confident about what to say or how to say it?
You’re here and that means you’re open to learning new skills. That’s a smart move. The last thing you want is burning your audience by sharing the wrong message and confusing them. A confused mind can’t make a decision.
What Is A Marketing Communications Strategy?
A Marketing communications strategy defines the entire range of activities you will do to market your products. It includes:
Your message (what is to be said),
The medium (where it is to be said), and
The target (to whom your message is reaching)
If you’re marketing yourself, knowing what to say is, perhaps, one of your struggles.
Have you taken the time to reflect about your why? (Hint: It’s not to make money.)
Think about the core purpose of your business, and then think about how you market your products or services. Are they aligned? As Sinek has found, having loyal customers is all about attracting the people who share your fundamental beliefs. Remember: People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.
Yes, this might seem obvious, but it’s a critical step that is often overlooked. If you were (or are) the founder of your business, wouldn’t you want the people marketing it to know why you started it in the first place? Understanding “why” is essential to knowing how to communicate the “how” and “what”.
Life Gets Easier When You Work With Clients That Share Your Values
Keep this in mind when you’re planning your content and your target audience. You don’t want to just work with anyone. You want ideal clients.
When I say ideal clients, I mean clients with a strong connection. How strong? Well I guess it depends on your culture and values. For me, mi casa es su casa. Clients come to my home office, know my family, and are invited to special events. I consider my clients like family. But that’s maybe part of my culture. I’m Puerto Rican and we are completely open to host people. We love spending time with people! You don’t have to copy my model. But you certainly want to connect with those who hire you or buy your products.
A Great Communications Marketing Strategy Helps You Attract Ideal Clients
If you take ownership of your own marketing communications strategy, not only you will be able to build stronger relationships with your network, but you will also have the opportunity to participate directly in conversations.
When your message reflects your values, the right people will feel attracted to you. That’s attraction marketing!
If you haven’t experienced the benefits of attraction marketing, go back and review your messaging.
Are you sharing your why? Consistently?
Does your message have the right voice?
How about the vibe?
These factors are crucial when it comes to create a communications marketing strategy that let people say: “you’re talking to me”.
Best Tools To Have An Amazing Communications Marketing On Social Media (Spring 2020)
Monitor the web for interesting new content (including content about you). That’s right. You should set an alert to monitor your name and business name. Google Alerts is one of Google’s hidden gems. It’s a really powerful tool to keep track of trends, interesting topics, or anything really new that appears on the web. If you’re not using it already, here are a few creative ways to get started with it.
Google Alerts may not be one of Google’s most popular services, but it’s definitely one of the most useful.
BuzzSumo is a research and monitoring tool you also want to have. The functionality is broken down as follows: Find content that is most shared on social media channels – you can enter your own domain or another domain, and see what has been shared socially. Find influencers related to particular topics.
The best way I can describe what is content marketing?
Content marketing is a full strategy that tailors your communications to make people come to you rather than you reaching out to them.
According to the CMI, 72% of marketers say content marketing increases engagement and is a great lead generation tool. I’m certainly part of the stats.
Traditional sales methods assume that you’re exposing your product or service and the person is giving you 100% of their attention. As you know, in the digital-everything economy, that’s not the case. You’re lucky if someone gives you 60 seconds!
Even the best advertisers are having a hard time these days!
So what’s the solution? Avoid advertising? Let the consumer dictate the flow? Maybe! Of course not! That’s where content marketing comes in place.
✔ Content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising.
✔ 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.
✔ Marketers who prioritize blogging efforts are 13x more likely to see positive ROI.
Do you need to maintain a blog to be successful on social media?
✔ 66% of marketers surveyed used blogs in their social media content. (Social Media Examiner, 2019)
✔ 43% of B2B marketers say blogging is their most important type of content. (Social Marketing Industry Report, 2017)
Based on these interesting stats and my personal experience, the answer is yes. However, before getting into the blogging production, your brand needs, what I call, the core content marketing pieces so that you can activate attraction marketing and see results in less than 30 days.
I teach a method called The Ice Cream Cone to create a content marketing strategy.
You plan your core content marketing pieces thinking about the ice cream cone, as follows:
Top Funnel: think about the sprinkles of the ice cream. The more visually appealing is, the quicker you want it. This is very important because you want to activate emotions!
You want to create the I Want This Now factor!
Middle Funnel: they liked you! They are reading your content. Now it’s your duty to make them feel like they need to know what you know. Lead with your expertise, and give them what they want. However, you need to keep a balance between free tips and expert-level content. That’s why we have the bottom funnel.
Bottom Funnel: Here’s where you invite those who trust you already, to experience another level of working with you, period. No need to add flashy discounts. Those who are meant to receive your help, will be ready for you!
When you activate a great content marketing strategy and mix with a great social media marketing strategy, you will start experiencing word of mouth marketing. Your followers will turn into advocators and they will share your amazing content with their network. Those who came recommended will trust you even faster.
According to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising.
Curious about what people trust these days? Source: Nielsen.
If content writing isn’t your talent and you want to learn, find content marketing mentors and follow them on social media. My favorite is Julia McCoy. Her content marketing practices have amazing case studies, including her own agency. She built it from 0 to $4M in 7 years using just content marketing.
The key to create profitable content is easy (please write this down): give people what they want!
Be strategic with your communications and share what people want. This means:
Stop sharing viral videos.
Create a content marketing plan and structure your days.
Listen to your audience. Find out the format your audience finds most valuable. If they tell you they love your videos, then, do more videos! If they tell you they love to read your long posts, then do more long posts.
This is a great Chrome extension that will make your writing super easy. It gives you real-time spell check and ideas to communicate your message correctly.
Communications Tool #5: Headline Analyzer
Now that you know what to say, how to write it, it’s time to learn how to market it. Believe it or not, sometimes, you can get more engagement by having a compelling headline. Check this headline analyzer by the Advanced Marketing Institute.
Check for example the headline I tested for this article. I typically settle for a 41-50% since it’s considered a PRO headline. You might want to test your writing abilities and get back to me!
So, you will get all the ideas and will systematize them to only share the profitable ones, based on what your audience wants.
Communications Tool #6: SEM Rush.
For those of you who are more advanced, especially freelancers that want to implement SEO and social media strategies, SEM Rush is going to be your best tool ever!
What is SEMrush?
SEMrush is an all-in-one tool suite for improving online visibility. Our tools and reports the following digital marketing services:
For those of you who have a team, Trello Boards are great! For example, you can have a board per social media account and add tasks related to each.
Some of the tasks, for example, that you might have for LinkedIn tasks like: change the profile picture, connect with local professionals, and edit your BIO. Each task goes inside your LinkedIn board. You can always expand or delete as much as you need to.
So that’s it for communications. Now let’s talk about visuals!
Chapter 3: Visuals
When it comes to visuals, you might think that most entrepreneurs who are promoting themselves on social media, have this part very clear.
There is a lot of confusion, in particular, about branded content.
So let’s talk about “the what” first, and then discuss the amazing tools I have for you!
A Simple Rule To Create Amazing Visuals For Your Brand
8 out of 10 entrepreneurs I consult, use their social media channels as a billboard. All they do is talk about themselves, share promotions, and ask their audience to buy from them. This is wrong.
So, if you’re considering hiring me for your marketing team and all you have been doing on social media is talking about your product, that will be the first thing we will need to change.
To show you an example of what not to do on social media, take a look at this restaurant marketing.
Does it look pretty? Yes.
Does it call your attention? Maybe.
Would you return to their page if all you see is this content, daily? Maybe not!
If you want to discover how long your users are following your content from your Facebook Business Page, a great metric is Retention. If you dig into your analytics you will see this metric and will be able to understand what people want and what makes them coming back.
Click here to learn more about User Retention and Active Users Metrics. If it’s too complex, we can always have a conversation about this. Trust me, this part is essential, especially when you’re building your brand and your audience.
How Much Do Your Visuals Really Matter?
Shoppers can make snap judgments about a product in only 90 seconds, and 90% of them will base this perception purely on color.
PowerReviews Finds that 88% of Consumers Seek Visual Content Prior to Purchase
So, yes, your brand should be well represented by both, your content in writing and your content in visuals.
You might have heard about “branded content”. This is a concept that marketers can’t seem to agree.
Some entrepreneurs and marketers think that branded content is about adding a logo, phone number, and website to a picture and with that, they refer to their social media posts as “branded posts”. They see social media as an advertising channel, and all they care is about their ROI: leads and sales.
But guess what? Today’s consumer is way more educated.
“People don’t like being sold to. It’s a discomforting experience, so the challenge for content marketers is to make sure the entertainment value of the content outweighs the discomfort.” Mike Clear, Digitas
Branded content (also known as branded entertainment) is the practice of marketing via the creation of content that is funded or outright produced by an advertiser. Source: Wikipedia.
Perhaps you’re even more confused by this definition! I don’t blame you!
Branded content gives agencies permission to keep talking about themselves, adding a bit of storytelling to product pitches. It should not be like that! This is actually what advertising is.
Now that we know what NOT to do with your visuals, let’s then discuss what kind of visuals should be part of your strategy.
Your visuals should have the power to ignite emotions and create a perception of the experience that the individual will have. Anything that interrupts the thinking process, will create friction (which is what you don’t want).
Think about your social media platforms as the store front. When people are in front of it, how do they feel?
Do they feel inspired by your content?
Do they like what they see?
Can they perceive the experience of your product or your service?
Will they be motivated enough to explore more?
Will they have something to say about your store? Did they see something unique?
Match Your Local Market’s Expectations
I consider myself lucky by having the privilege of being in marketing and in Austin! Trust me, the “keep Austin weird is real”. We should do a contest of the weirdest sign!
I will start with 3 Austin’s “interesting” marketing messages and see how far this list goes.
Rudy’s BBQ “worst BBQ in Texas”. Seriously? Why would you have a negative slogan?
2) El Arroyo. This location is a landmark! Their funny signs give people a reason to remember them! Plus, their $1 margaritas 😀 Some content they share is quite controversial, but they are ok with it. Again, it’s Austin!
3) Of course, the Austin Motel.
Now you see why I told you I’m lucky?
Marketing to consumers living in Austin gives you flexibility and green light for your imagination.
And don’t think it’s only to certain industries. Even attorneys get their creative going! David Komie is a great example!
Creative is the most important skill you want to develop for social media.
Dare To Be Contrarian
I’m a big fan of Russell Brunson. Since you’re into digital marketing, following Russell’s content is great.
Russell says the key to stand out in the crowd digital marketing space is to be prolific.
What exactly does that mean? That means you’re not too crazy or too boring.
Let’s say you’re an attorney and want to be known as the lawyer who represents dads during custody cases. Your message should be prolific and clear enough so people can remember you. Can you think of ideas?
Check, for example, the law firm The Firm For Men. I like they named their practice with a clear name and if you check their social media, their message goes into the prolific zone. It’s fun, creative, but delivers the message.
Case Study: Junkluggers
Junkluggers wanted to increase web traffic from social media. We identified several opportunities in their messaging and visuals.
By removing promotional posts and adding messages with a high prolific index, their website traffic from social media went from 26% to 67% in less than 2 months. That’s amazing growth, by just implementing 2 strategies on their social media marketing: messaging and visuals
Best Tools To Create Visuals
Now that we talked about the power of visuals and you have a plan, let’s then talk about the how!
As of spring 2020 here is the list of tools I’ve been either personally using for my social media marketing company, or have received great references from my great connections.
I hope this list saves you some time, pain, and energy! For simplicity, I will separate visuals in 2 sub categories: graphics and photos.
Recently enhanced with amazing templates for your Instagram stories. Also, their app got revamped and it’s a lot easier to use. Check Canva App. I use this tool a lot, even to create planners to track my personal goals. Here’s an article I wrote showing examples of how I use Canva.com.
Visuals Tool #2: Over App
These days you, your team (and your clients!) can create content using intuitive visual content apps, including amazing typography and image creation tools…all on your mobile phone. Over is my go to app! I love that I can even do videos! A great plus for Over app is their bank of images.
Visuals Tool #3: Magisto
Speaking of videos, Magisto, recently acquired by Vimeo, is an amazing app to create videos quickly. I’ve tried many video apps and they have music without the copyrights and your videos get flagged. That has never happened with Magisto so that’s why I recommend it.
Placeit is a useful online tool that allows you to create logos, images, videos, and mockups. I just published my new book on social media marketing and personal writing! So… see the mockup I just created using Placeit by Envato, for free.
So your stock images are great, but selfies and great shots of you and your team are even better. For those days when you need to fix some unwanted spots, or if you’re into Instagram filters, I have some recommended apps that are great photo editors for non-photo editors.
Visuals Tool #7: Apps and websites to make great photos
For this one I surveyed my Facebook Group of professionals and entrepreneurs, since the tools I use are pretty much 2: Facetune and Afterlight. But… it’s because I have a professional photographer on my team so I’m spoiled.
But, our group of professionals gave me their favorite apps so I created this top 5 photo editing apps:
Facetune: for the days when you need to do some light brushing or reshaping
In case you’re not into visuals that much, consider this!
Visual content is like music. In a flash, it connects you to a moment, message, and experience. And like a song, images are sticky…
How About Infographics?
People following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations. If you’re using a consultative sales model, this means you’re all about creating amazing content, mostly educational.
Infographics can increase web traffic by up to 12%. When the images are relevant, readers spend more time looking at the images than they do reading text on the page. This means better SEO too!
You might think you need to be a pro to design amazing infographics. Actually, that’s not the case at all.
Make amazing videos with open captions for your social media
Online videos, films, TV programs, video games…captions are gradually becoming a norm and many of us are expecting to have the option to check whether it’s available and to switch it on (whether it’s available or not is another debate).
But one thing that many of us have noticed is that there are 2 types of captions: open and closed captions.
As suggested by Media Pouch, a local video production company in Austin, open captions will give your videos a tremendous advantage.
Just think about it: Visual marketing is to you what music is to an artist.
A virtual calling card. An instant association with your business, giving voice to your content.
And with visuals earning a whopping 94% more shares than any other type of content.
Chapter 4: Distribution Channels
Scheduling Content On Social Media. Should You Use A Scheduler?
I used to be a firm believer that Facebook’s algorithm penalized accounts that used third-party schedulers. This lead me to only post native uploads to the platforms, per client. (Actually, I still do it for some clients).
It is truth that Facebook uses your edge rank to determine who will see your content. However, the third-party scheduler has very little effect. If your content doesn’t add value and people don’t interact with it, it won’t reach a lot of people, no matter if it came from a native post (using Facebook) or from a third party.
Once I switched my approach from “hacking the algorithm” to “add value to my audience”, I see the distribution channels much differently.
A Simple Rule To Automate Your Social Media Content
Think about the user experience first.
The days when we would take a look at the social media insights that told you “the best hours to post” are over. If your social media strategy follows advice that’s been given to billions of users, this will put your social media marketing in the danger zone.
Save yourself some time and don’t focus on what the platforms tell you.
The best times to post have to do with the best time that works for your audience.
Let’s say for example, you are targeting moms. You need to be mindful of their schedule. When do they go online? What do they do? Are they able to join you on a 45-min Facebook live? Will they rather read silently instead of playing a video? Those questions are part of the user experience.
One of the elements that makes Google successful is their ability to purify their algorithm to make sure they give users the best experience possible. Facebook’s attempts to change their algorithm model Google’s strategy.
Many social media gurus live by algorithm hacks. I have to admit, I love hacking too. However, at the end of the day, the best social media marketing strategy is the one that provides long-term and scalable results.
For that reason, I must tell you: lead with the user experience all the time.
Do you enjoy talking to bots? If you don’t, then chances are your audience won’t enjoy either.
Do you enjoy seeing 10 selfies from your best friend in 1 day? Maybe not! So, don’t do it either.
The Golden Rule will certainly help you here!
I wrote a book a few years ago that is so relevant, today, more than ever. In The 6 Golden Rules of Social Media I gave 50 examples of how to add value to your audience and how to generate leads the classy way.
Best Posts To Share (Profitable Social Media Content)
I will remind you, one more time, your goal with social media marketing is: more ROI and spending less time. Right? That’s why you’ve been reading this for over 10 minutes now. And I will honor my promise.
Let’s discuss what are the best posts to share.
Generally speaking, your goal is to get visibility. You want people to see your social media, feel intrigued, engaged with your content, and take action.
What does “take action” look like?
Post a comment
Share your content
Click the link shared on your post
With these 3 activities in mind, let’s make sure your posts play one of the following roles:
They stir some emotions
They catch attention
They entertain people
They send some powerful message
Don’t forget about a strong headline. In addition to images and descriptions, the title can be changed, and you do not need to use the headline from your article if you do not find it attractive enough for your social fans. Always remember about the audience you are trying to reach with your posts.
I’m sure you want more ROI and less wasted time. So I’m gonna give you my list of tools I use to plan the content and share it strategically!
My Go-To Social Media Scheduling Tools
You will notice something here! The list isn’t long! Again, I’m more focused on the user experience and giving people what they want.
I will recommend you tools that will help you plan and schedule posts a month ahead, and then, tools that will balance the automation and authenticity.
Scheduling Tool #1: Social Media Marketing Planner
You’ve probably seen fancy calendars and planners. I’m actually not a big fan of those scrapbooking style tools.
I rather get things done. I guess it comes with having a strict agenda and plenty of things to do.
So, for simplicity, your calendar can be just a Word Doc or Google Doc.
Here’s the format I use to plan my social media marketing every month:
Just think about this, on a Google document, super simple.
Part 1: Theme of the month: Growth. We want to share content that inspires, educates, and invites people to consider us for their business growth needs.
Part 2: Target audience: small business owners in their first 3 years of their business.
Part 3: Events of the month: Webinar week 2 and Networking event, week 4.
Part 4: Blogs to publish during the month: Ultimate guide of social media and Instagram tutorial
Part 5: Marketing Campaigns: #MembersMonday #SummerSocial
Your Facebook Business Page comes with the option to schedule posts in the future. Now with Creator Studio, if you have multiple pages, you can post and schedule multiple pages, all from the same dashboard.
Creator Studio integrates Instagram as well. You are able to see Instagram’s content library from Facebook. We still can’t post to Instagram from Creator Studio, but I won’t be surprised if that will come soon.
Scheduling Tool #3: Facebook Group Scheduler
Facebook Groups are a great way to grow your audience on social media. It’s by far one of my favorite social media tools.
In full transparency, I use Hootsuite for my agency. I like how authenticates and I can just add team members and assign accounts. So, for agencies, I believe they are staying competitive.
For solopreneurs, Hootsuite’s new pricing model might not make sense.
You only need a scheduler like Hootsuite for your Twitter and LinkedIn, since Facebook has its own scheduler. Buffer is a good alternative.
For those of you looking for more robust social media management tools that can offer curation and content suggestions, MeetEdgar is a great option.
Scheduling Tool #5: Later | Planoly
For those of you who are 100% Instagram marketing, you then need a social media management tool that specializes on the platform.
My research narrowed to 2 options and I chose Later.com. I liked their ability to add teams so I can get my team working on our clients while still having access to the accounts. Some of my clients use Planoly.com and are very happy too.
Later and Planoly also work for Pinterest.
Scheduling Tool #6: Sprout Social
Sprout Social does what Buffer and Hootsuite do but in a more complex way, but this platform is best for small-large agencies as their analytics feature beats Hootsuite and Buffer hands down. They provide full reporting details for their premium members, breaking down each account in bits. You can even compare your competitor’s figure and see where they are and how best to tackle them. It’s that deep.
The down side with Sprout Social is the fact that it is far more expensive than Buffer and Hootsuite put together and they have no free plan, just a 30 day trial.
Sprout Social works with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
You’ve set up a Facebook page, Instagram profile, you respond to customer questions, follow fans, post important news, and thank your advocates for their support.
Beyond that, what are you doing to track and monitor these social interactions?
How do you really know if social media is working?
The answer will sound intimidating. The good news is it’s easier than you think to measure your ROI of social media efforts.
Metrics Tool #1 : Google Analytics
I know that perhaps you delegated your website project to your web guru and this is an area you don’t understand that well. Or maybe you built a website on your own. Regardless, Google Analytics is like the eyeglasses you need in order to see your digital footprints.
The CMO survey 2018 claimed only 23.3% of marketers are able to prove the impact of social media marketing quantitatively.
How can you make sure you track the results of your social media efforts? The answer is simple! By leveraging the power of Google Analytics.
Start by opening your Google analytics account and getting the code. Add the code on your website and it will start tracking for you. Sprout Social has a great step-by-step tutorial on how to use Google Analytics to track your conversions from social media by adding conversion rules. This might sound advanced so don’t panic. If at least you can install this code, you’re good!
What’s the difference between Google Analytics and Google Search Console?
Google search console = Health Report
How is your website performing
Any errors in your site
How many backlinks
For how many keywords your website and respective pages ranking for
CTR, impressions, ranking data
Any spam action has been taken
How many pages indexed
Google Analytics = Analysis Report
Where you getting traffic
Source of traffic
How many users landing on your page
User behavior – landing, activity, time spent, browser, technology details
Goals & conversions – how many visitors are converted into your customers
You need both tools, Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Metrics Tool #3 : Facebook Analytics
For business owners, Facebook offers the Business Manager dashboard. I recommend you open a business manager account so you can have access to other tools like Analytics.
Facebook Analytics gives you data, not only from the page, but from behavior captured from your Facebook Pixel.
How the Facebook pixel works
When someone visits your website and takes an action (for example, buying something), the Facebook pixel is triggered and reports this action. This way, you’ll know when a customer took an action after seeing your Facebook ad. You’ll also be able to reach this customer again by using a custom audience. When more and more conversions happen on your website, Facebook gets better at delivering your ads to people who are more likely to take certain actions. This is called conversion optimization.
Metrics Tool #4 : Facebook Page Insights
Insights provide information about your Page’s performance, like demographic data about your audience and how people are responding to your posts. Keep in mind that you can only access data in Page Insights for the last 2 years, and demographic data, such as age, gender and location, are available in Page Insights once there is data for 100 or more people. Pages categorized as a Community Page don’t have Insights.
You can use Insights to:
Understand how people are engaging with your Page.
View metrics about your Page’s performance.
Learn which posts have the most engagement and see when your audience is on Facebook.
Keep in mind, you can change the date of the report and even export it. If you manage a Facebook Group, you can also check your insights.
Metrics Tool #5: Visibility Factor
Don’t google this you won’t find this.
I don’t want you to rely just on the numbers to measure how your social media is helping your business. From my personal experience, numbers will ever capture the conversations that happen offline, based on the stories they see online.
Pay attention to the connections you make on social media! Are you getting requests from influencers? Introductions? Referrals? You should! If you’re not seeing these kinds of results, maybe it’s time to work on your visibility factor. It’s not just about the numbers but the influence of your connections. A connection can transform your life and your business!
Metrics Tool #6: Bad Reviews Removal
Objection is a free negative reviews removal tool. They have a test designed to help you decide whether to respond to the review, to try to remove it based on its unique content and reviewer.
My amazing friend, this is it! You made it until the end! I’ve shared it all with you. Now it’s your turn to leave me in comments what was your favorite tool!
Do you have favorite tools we should know about? Feel free to share!
Whether you belong to a major firm or a small local one, the key to any successful law firm lies with how you market your services and expertise.
Let’s be real. You didn’t go to Law School and pass the bar to spend your days learning about Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, HTML codes, and Social Media Marketing. However, since you’re here, I’m assuming that you want to get access to simple and practical tools to help you market your practice, and, of course, grow it.
I have great news for you!
The digital space has suffered major shifts over the last year. Since we have access to so much data, we have been able to crack the code of what people want, so that marketing turns into a direct communication with your future clients, telling them exactly what they want to hear.
The best way to explain this so you can have a great idea of how the marketing world has changed is to use Netflix as an example. Do you pay for cable or do you prefer Netflix? Do you like ads or do you prefer to control if you want to see the ads or not? I don’t need to see you to know your answer. I know your answer!
And you’re not alone…
91% of people say ads are more intrusive today than 2-3 years ago
87% say there are more ads in general than 2-3 years ago
79% feel like they’re being tracked by retargeted ads
People feel overwhelmed, interrupted, and stalked by bad digital ads, but they don’t really mind the good ones.
I think I have even better news for you! I don’t believe your law firm marketing needs to use a lot of budget for advertising. I believe that word of mouth is, ultimately, your goal. You’re not up to target the masses so you can be hired as the cheapest. You want people coming to you because they’ve heard that you’re the best. I hope Attorney Komie doesn’t get offended by me saying that lawyers don’t need to advertise! 🙂 By the way, the very first time I saw this ad I had to take a picture and share with my lawyer friends.
Now that you know you’re not paying for a billboard or shooting a video for a commercial that will go on cable tv, I hope you’re happy to learn about content marketing and how can you leverage to grow your law firm.
What Is Content Marketing For Law Firms?
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Consumers are ignoring brands that are interjecting what they want people to hear and see, rather than creating stories consumers want to hear and see themselves.
Rather than one-off ad campaigns and self-centered marketing materials, law firms that produce content that inspires, educates and entertains their target market, while using a consistent, authentic editorial voice, are succeeding in breaking through in today’s crowded marketplace.
The best law firm content marketing — whether in the form of website content, articles, video or audio — focuses on the client’s needs and not the firm’s preferences.
Content Marketing Is Not Just Blogging
Many clients confuse content marketing with blogging. Content marketing is more than just your blog.
A successful law marketing strategy should have the objective of getting an audience to find you when they need you, trust you when they are searching your name, and believe in your expertise when they read about your work. Keep this in mind for each of your law marketing efforts.
Content marketing can help humanize a lawyer, show that they have a point of view, and give potential clients a taste of what working with a particular lawyer might be like. It is an opportunity to become a trusted authority and a resource for information or perspective on a particular topic. But that content should be original (or have original elements and commentary), relevant, and current.
Does Content Marketing for Law Firms Work?
Here are the facts.
Content marketing for law firms brings in 55% more visitors to your website and 67% more leads.
97% of all law firms fail to deliver personalized legal content marketing to their consumers.
Only 26% of firms maintain a consistent blog, and only a mere 7% of attorneys maintain a blog for professional purposes. With the benefits that content marketing for law firms provides, it’s astounding to see these numbers so low.
Should You Hire A Marketing Agency Or A Legal Content Marketing Expert Instead?
Some law firms are hiring legal content marketing experts to implement their legal marketing strategies. They are moving from hiring an agency that focuses on tactics to generate web traffic, to implement a much “humanized” marketing strategy, scaleable, and with a higher ROI – long term.
Let’s say, for example, you are a divorce attorney and you want to reach your local market. Or you’re a marketing specialist for a law firm and they are asking you to focus in building their law firm reputation. Even when those tasks are different, both will need quality content.
A legal content marketing expert is different than a marketing specialist or a social media specialist because it can take over your content, understanding how to research the terms and concepts that your audience is searching. Imagine that your best paralegal is now a marketing ninja! That’s what some of the successful law firms are doing. I’ve been training some amazing paralegals on SEO, LinkedIn Marketing, and Facebook Advertising for Law Firms and it’s great to see how someone with a real voice can create content that feels like a real conversation.
When you have a legal content marketing expert in your team you can produce rich blog posts that can be shared by major publications and that gives you great visibility.
How Will Your Content Marketing Boost Your Revenue?
Many of the attorneys and law firms that request my Marketing Assessment express their concern about ROI.
I’m sure this is one of your questions as well so let me share some of the key ingredients that will help you translate your law marketing efforts into revenue.
The CMI’s digital content marketing stats show that 72% of marketers say content marketing increases engagement. In addition, 72% say it has increased the number of leads. While engagement and leads are not direct indicators of revenue, those 2 metrics are key components of your marketing and sales engine.
You need to be able to have a series of activities that drive you real revenue-generating opportunities, just like you do when you have a tort case!
In a tort case, there are four elements a plaintiff needs to proof: duty, breach of duty, causation, and injury. In a law marketing strategy, I need to be able to track and measure:
Awareness: followers and subscribers
Consideration: engaged users and readers
Trust: user retention
Response to a call to action: conversions
Considering Hiring A Legal Content Marketing Expert?
If you’re considering hiring a legal content marketing expert for your team, let’s have a conversation. I only commit with lawyers and law firms who want to produce excellent content.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners need to be efficient with time.
With four kids and plenty of hats to wear, I better be efficient.
When it comes to marketing, generating ideas usually isn’t the problem. The problem is in the execution – creating a plan and following through with it. According to Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 B2C report, commitment to their marketing plan is one of the most important success indicators for businesses.
Unfortunately, when you’re on the other side and find it hard to commit and execute, you might struggle with:
Constantly feeling like something is missing
Long days that are unproductive
Multiple projects pending
You know that you need to build your social media following and engage with them. You know that you need to come up with content or else your audience won’t find any value from you, but who has time for all of that?
So, what are some solutions? How can you make content planning and execution easier?
I found my sweet spot on social media! That’s, essentially, a point where you connect with a real audience and communicate with them in such an authentic way that they want to work with you. Let’s talk about ways to find your social media sweet spot!
Pinky promisse: you will fall in love with social media again.
5 Solutions for When You’re Struggling with Content Planning
To execute a content plan, you need some basic techniques:
1. Block Time to Generate Content Ideas
It’s easier to generate content ideas if you regularly schedule brainstorming sessions (for example, once every two weeks, once a month, or once per quarter). That way, you’ll never run out.
How many ideas do you need? It depends on the stage of your business. It can be as little as 10 ideas. You just need enough to keep producing content consistently.
2. Identify Sources to Curate Content
Find go-to sources for content curation so you don’t start from zero. Write them down and refer to them when you need them.
3. Lead Your Content with Value
As the expert, your job is to educate your audience. With that in mind, sometimes the best content is just Q&A. Ask your audience what questions they have. Create a master list with those items, and use them to create content.
I’m sure you want to use your content to generate users, leads, and unique sales opportunities. Design your content marketing using The Ice Cream ConeMethod.
4. Make Sure You Create Consumable Content
Don’t just create content – create consumable content. This means:
It should be specific to the social media platform where it will be posted. Instagram, for example, is all visual.
Use video to get better engagement.
Create campaigns so you can program your content and be consistent. Some campaigns can be created from one simple idea:
5. Follow a Blueprint
Follow a simple blueprint while you build endurance and become consistent with your content and posting schedule. You will notice how you get better and better – it’s like going to the gym.
Here are some examples of social media blueprints to follow. A basic plan usually means committing to 10 updates a month:
Follow the framework and do as many rounds of this plan as possible.
Your Content Planning is in Place… Now What?
Now that you have this simple blueprint, the next step is understanding what content will you share for your audience. If you don’t have an audience yet, we need a plan that helps you attract real followers so you can create content for them. That’s the only way that content marketing will turn into real followers, leads, and profits.
I would like to give you a complimentary forensic marketing session where we can discuss your plan together.