Tag Archives: blog posts

5 Steps to Effective Content Marketing

effective-content-marketing

Effective content marketing not only keeps your website current, it is critical to coming up on the first page of search results.

Search engines look for keyword rich content on your website related to your industry, products, and services. Adding new information to your web pages, blog posts, service, and product descriptions, promotions, video, branding visuals, are a few examples of digital content.

You can’t just rely on search engines to bring people to your website though. Distributing content to new audiences helps you get in front of many more prospects.

Where does your target audience hang out? Look for outposts where you can share content, discover niche forums, social media platforms, news websites, blog sharing websites and more.

1. Identify your audience(s) and topic(s)

Allocate your content distribution.

  • If your top sales are in one product or service, allocate 60% of your content to that product, 25% to your second producer, 15% to your third…
  • Or focus on lead generation and dedicate 50% for prospecting, 25% to current customers, 25% previous customers.

2. Create a Content Calendar

Effective content marketing begins with planning.  This shareable resource helps the whole team visualize how content will be distributed throughout the year.

  • Plan content around events, product releases, holidays, etc.
  • Be realistic on the time commitment you’re capable of each month/quarter/year…
  • Divide up the person hours with staff, partner with colleagues, or budget to outsource content creation.

Download our free content calendar.

3. Take stock of your content assets

You may have a lot of content already. Presentations or training session slide decks, e-books, videos, infographics, old blogs, etc. You can also partner with colleagues to share their informative videos, photos, transcribed interviews, blog posts, etc. Have them do a guest blog posts or a series of them. These content assets might take the form of:

  • re-purpose content – update old blog posts with current information
  • interview colleagues, local leaders for audio or video content
  • how-to videos, videos just for fun, introduce new staff

4. Schedule, publish, promote

We find it works best to set a specific day each week to work on content. Blocking time out on your schedules gives it the importance it deserves.

5. Track, and tweak your content

Compare stats from tracking systems of posts or pages viewed, during key campaigns or time frames. Assess which types and posts have proven to be the most effective content marketing.

  • Install Google analytics or other tracking software on your website. Follow visits, engagements, and sales.
  • Track feedback, insights, etc. from chosen social media platforms,
  • Review email campaign reports

Need an extra boost to get started?

We can help you determine what the most effective marketing content is for your business with a brand content consultation. You’ll get one-on-ones with us, an entire year roapmap outlining the most effective marketing content to capture your audience. See list of features for your personalized content roadmap.

You can choose to develop all of your content from there or we can help you with as little or as much of it as you would like. Contact us today!

The Importance of Visual Content

Free facebook cover photos - inspiring importance of visual contentTop 5 ways to present your brand professionally

Yes the cover does sell the book and yes a picture says a 1000 words – boom. The importance of visual content on your website, social media graphics, print and brand marketing can’t be measured completely. I looked – I found stats on conversion rates but that is a whole other blog post. This blog offers tips on creating or discovering where you can find quality visual content for your custom brand marketing.

1. Build a Professional Website

So your cousin/niece/son just took a web design class at Lansing Community College? A professional does not one website design class make. Did they add any images that truly don’t represent your brand or aren’t in the brand style? Hand drawn illustrations can work with brands with a young audience but may look juvenile with a corporate communication.

The next questions is do you own it? Google images, graphics, photos or images taken from the internet hold copyrights and sometimes trademarks. Legal action can be taken if they are used without the owners permission.

One of our customers was forced to pay a stock photo company $1200 for use of two photos on their blog. An intern grabbed the photos from Google Images and uploaded them. The large stock photography company found that the small healthcare business in Lansing, Michigan had not purchased the images. The stock photo site insisted on payment from our client or they risked being taken to court. Removing the photos from the blog, claiming ignorance, blaming an intern is not a valid defense. Where did the photos on your website or your social media graphics at photos or graphics do you need to remove or replace?

2. Stock Photos and Graphics

Small businesses seldom have the budget to develop original photography or graphics for each project. What items are your working on? Are there images that can be found for purchase online? Stock image websites abound on the net, just look into the user agreement and understand the terms of use for photos or graphics you purchase and download. Options usually include low, medium and high quality resolution depending on your use (low is typically for website/blog use only, the others can be used in print; medium images can be used for many print design projects. Large stock images will reproduce in print larger and are often chosen when a quality cover photo, poster, trade show display or exhibit booth is needed.

Remember, you do not own stock photos and graphics, you only have permission to use them. The terms of use outline the marketing and advertising media they can be legally be used in.

Stock sites can find their images on your website – if you have not purchased them, they can legally charge you. (see #1 above)

Often times trained graphic designers can customize stock photos and graphics to a point where most people would never know they started as a stock image. This additional design work may add more time and cost to your project but the customized look achieved can be used time and time again. (This doesn’t eliminate the need to pay for use.) It does provide a custom image nobody else can lay claim to. Where can you find images for legal use online? (some stock photo and stock images websites are listed in the Resources section).

free social media graphics for sharing3. Web Graphics – The Importance of Visual Content

Use your brand visual elements to create graphics for your website, social media profile pictures, avatars, visual media for blog posts, etc. If a graphic design firm has created your logo, be sure to get digital files in a variety of formats. Creating original social media graphics and web graphics using your brand imagery can help boost your brand exposure and connect with you audience. How can you add more brand images to your website or social media posts?

inspiring quote for sharing on social media4. Design Social Media Graphics

Statistics show graphics or memes are shared and shown in the Facebook news feed algorithm more than text only page posts. People come to the web to be entertained — not to read. Whether graphics or videos have industry tips, trending topics, popular quotes, etc. people respond to them and share them. What web graphics can you share or create of interest to your audience?

5. Original Digital Graphic Files

When you purchase or hire a graphic designer to create a project, determine where you will be using it; online, print, tv, etc. All of these media require different formats. It’s best to let your graphic designer know the media channels your art will be used in ahead of time. Creating art for print and web is different. Save time and money by considering all uses ahead of time.

A custom web graphic created for your home page will require the graphic designer to rebuild it, and will cost additional fees if you decide you also want to use it for your corporate brochure or other print promotions.

We recognize the importance of visual content,  we love graphic design and our most fun is creating social media graphics usually with inspiring quotes. leadership quotes for business, holiday greeting social media graphics and more. We post new ones to our social media outposts -so be sure and  follow us to get the next trending design. You can also visit our downloads page for free social media graphics and share them to  your hearts content!