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Five Steps to Successful Content Marketing
Content marketing is a golden opportunity gain credible, relevant engagement with readers.

Ultimately, content marketing will create action.

Your strategy will ensure that you steer people towards the behaviour you require from them.

Our last blog looked at why you should consider content marketing for your business. This time, we look at the five key steps involved with bringing it to life and generating results.  

 

Steps for Successful Content Marketing:


 
1. Who do you want to engage with?

Planning is crucial. Who is your target audience? What channels are they active within? (Take a look at our comments about the choice of social media channels, for example. Use the most relevant ones.) 


2. What do you want your content marketing to achieve?

You need to set SMART objectives, (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time Bound). Your content marketing goals can involve:
  • Engagement
  • Website traffic
  • Search engine positioning
  • Brand awareness
  • Sales (long term)
For example: ‘We will deliver general interest marketing information relating to small and medium sized business operations. This will involve bi-weekly blog posts and daily Twitter activity. The outcome target is X new followers, Y shares/likes and Z blog page views per month, to be reviewed in March 2015.’

Remember you need to measure the impact of your content marketing activity. Note your baseline regarding connections, visits, engagement, (shares, comments, likes etc.) and website performance (Google Analytics is available to all). Changes can now be easily identified.


3. Resources

Who will be responsible for your content marketing? You need a consistent style as well as regular, relevant content, enhancing your branding and position within the market. Will you recruit or outsource, or find the time internally?

It’s also a great idea to have bank of information to draw upon.” There’s nothing worse than looking at a blank screen and feeling under pressure to create compelling content in a tight timescale” says Dawn Wills from Decisions Marketing. “Try bookmarking relevant web pages, creating a folder to keep emails that inspire you or even a note pad with ideas for topics.”


4. Go live!

With everything thought through and in place, it’s time to start publishing your content. Remember that content marketing is a long term marketing tool. To work, it needs to be:
  • Informative
  • Relevant
  • Interesting
  • Regular
  • Engaging (remember to respond to readers’ reactions)
  • VISIBLE (how will you make sure that people see your content?) 

5. Success?

Keep an eye on responses to your content, linking this back to your goals and metrics (see point 2 above). Content marketing can be fun, yet time consuming. You need to know that it’s earning its keep whilst acknowledging that it’s predominantly a long term activity.


Lastly, think through the impact of success upon your resources. Are you ready for prompt follow up?

Want to know more? Contact us for an informal discussion. Let's get content marketing working for you.
 
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Is Your Brand Behaving?
With so many different ways to get our message across, keeping a consistent image is tricky… especially when there are several people involved. Add the instant edge of digital marketing into the mix and there is a potential recipe for disaster.
 
Back in the days of writing letters, we’d always start with ‘Dear…’. With emails came informality: ‘Hi…’. Moving to social media and forums, your brand now has instant communication. The language and style of your content can boost or destroy your brand… in seconds.

 

Branding for Business



Social media for business seems to be the biggest culprit. When did text speak become the norm? I appreciate that there are character limits, especially in Twitter, but please refrain from using ‘text speak’. U’ll undo yr good mktg work by tmrw.
 
With some markets, it’s truly ok to be informal. Overstep the mark and you’ll lose favour, so tread carefully. Your brand is an ambassador for your business. It needs to be right… it’s the first impression of your business, especially online.
 
Consistency is vital. For example, is everyone within your organisation using the same email signature? The same font and layout for proposals? 
 
Images are important too… a definite boost for engagement with all marketing tools. Relevant, good quality images are a must. Funny team photos, holiday snaps for profile photos and a lack of photo at all are to be avoided. Eggs are generally not trusted as credible accounts within social media!
 
As discussed in an earlier blog, shockvertising can work but can backfire too. These principles apply to a lesser degree in any marketing communication, so it’s important to review your brand’s presence.
 
Here are some tips to make your brand well behaved:
 
  • Write your social media content as if you were talking to your client direct. Would you sign off with a kiss? x
  • If in doubt, be formal… you can relax later if you want to.
  • Avoid abbreviations; be ‘pleased’ rather than ‘plzd’, send your ‘regards’ instead of ‘rgds’
  • Use relevant images; not because they’re simply cute or funny (these are for your personal accounts, not the work ones).
  • Go back to basics. Who are you targeting? What style will they respond to? Write accordingly.
  • Talk to colleagues. If your marketing is not a solo effort, make sure that everyone understands the tone and image that’s important for your market… for your business. 

Need a hand? If you would like a review of your brand’s behaviour, let us know. We’re here to help.

 
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What Google Does NOT Care About (and the ONE thing it loves)
With over half the world’s population now online and internet search the first step for new enquiries, your search engine position has never been so vital.
 
There are lots of myths about how Google assesses your site. The most popular misconceptions are below…
 
1. Your Website’s Age – Google cares how much your content helps people. If you have credible content and good reciprocal links, Google will look at you favourably. It doesn't matter whether you have achieved this over 10 years or just two years. In fact, if you’ve achieved good credibility quickly, this may work in your favour in Google’s eyes. 

2. Using Google’s Services – whether you’re using Gmail or Google+ will not have a direct impact upon your search engine positioning. 

3. Social Media Engagement – the number of page shares on social media and the size of your social media accounts (followers, likes) are not picked up by Google.

4. Bounce Rate & Visit Times – whether people leave your site quickly after just one page view (bounce) or stay longer does not affect Google’s view of your site. It’s easy to get fixated on bounce rates. If people find what they need very quickly and on their first landing page, they don't need to stay longer. The most common example is looking for your phone number. This pushes your bounce rate up – however you’ve done a good job! 

5. Your Programming Technology – your coding simply doesn't matter to Google.

6. Value Hosting – you may have heard snobby comments about websites that are hosted with the bargain providers. As long as this doesn’t affect how quickly your site loads, Google doesn’t care who your hosting provider is – or how much you pay. 

7. Headlines – you will see that your headlines can be formatted as H1, H2 H3 etc. Does H1 have more prominence in Google’s eyes? No. 

8. Page Titles – you’ll see a variety of separators in page titles displayed in internet search results. Some people use the pipe, other prefer a hyphen. Does Google have a preference? No.

9. Guarantees - remember that no-one can ethically guarantee you a position on page one of Google. Watch out for the scams. 

Now we’ve debunking some of the search engine myths, what does Google truly care about? Content, content… content. Think about what your current and potential customers want to know. Investigate what they search for online and plan your web pages, blogs and guest articles accordingly.

Help Google to help your target market. Get it right and everyone wins.

Would you like to know more? Ask us about our half day course about ‘Getting More Traffic From Google’ or contact us to have a no-obligation chat.
 
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Is Your Website Working?
You update your business website religiously. You include web links wherever you can. Is it working? How do you know?
  
Google Analytics is the minimum website analysis tool you should be using. 56% of businesses rely on this tool alone, (Econsultancy). It's good and it's free!
 
You’ll have to dance around the changes – which fuel arguments about the validity of keywords – but this remains an insightful tool. 
 
As a minimum, you see straight away:
  • How many visitors you attracted (new and returning)
  • How long people stayed on your site (average)
  • How many pages they viewed (did you successfully encourage them to browse beyond the first page?)
  • Bounce rate (what percentage of people clicked away from your site after viewing just one page, typically within 30 seconds) 


Is your website really making a difference to your business?

 


It’s difficult to say from the top level information. However drill a little deeper and you’ll find the quality details you need. You can do this without any further registration or Analytics tools. We believe in keeping life simple.
 
Time is tight. Read our top three Analytics nuggets – quick, easy, valuable:

 

1. Where is your traffic coming from?


'Acquisition’ is a major menu option. Select ‘All Traffic’. You’ll see the top places which are successfully referring visitors to your website. There should be a mix of ‘organic’ (natural search results), ‘direct’ (your full address – url – was entered) and referral channels.
 
Do your social media channels, networking groups and directories show here? This is your chance to streamline your efforts and maximise impact. You’ll also see whether people are using mobile or desktop versions of social media… whilst your website should cope with both (responsive), it’s a useful insight as to how people will view your information.
 


2. Which search terms are relevant to you?



Google no longer provides the details of the top performing key word within Analytics… but there are ways around this. For now, select ‘Acquisition’ and ‘Keywords – Organic’.  You’ll see the search terms that people have used in finding your website online. It’s interesting to note what’s there – and what isn't.
 
How does this affect you? Target people to a specific landing page (website entry page) – it doesn’t have to be your Home page. Use just two or three very different keywords to integrate into this page’s search engine optimisation. You’ll see from the pages accessed – and when – if these keywords are attracting visitors, even though the ‘keywords report’ may not show them.

 

3. How are people moving around your website? 


Getting people to your site is clearly vital. But – it’s what they do when they’re there that counts.
 
This is fascinating! Choose ‘Behaviour’ and then ‘Behaviour Flow’. You’ll see which pages people accessed first when they reached your site. You could argue that the top keywords would tell you that. But – what happened next?
 
This section of Google Analytics shows what people did next after entering your site. How did they flow through your information. This will tell you if your internal web links and directional wording are working. Have they seen enough details to make them want to access your prices details, or your background. These are positive signs.
 
You’ll also see how people leave your site: from which page and after how many page views. Are people behaving as you want them to? How can you influence them? Are your special offers or headline events creating interest?
 
To summarise:
  • Google Analytics is a free tool and you don't need lots of time to benefit from it. 
  • Not using it yet? You can get the code you need to install it from Google.
  • Use the insight it gives to help shape your internet marketing
Make sure that your website works after you’ve done the hard work of driving people to it. 

If you’d like to know more about analysing your website, contact us. From a quick look at your Analytics to a website review, we’re here to help.
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