Why You Should Put Social Media Apps to Work for Your Business

Social Media Apps

Maximize Time and Effort

Social media is probably a major component of your marketing strategy. If it isn’t, you may want to revisit your strategy. Social media brings a lot to the table and can seriously help you grow your business, but it takes time and a whole ton of trial and error. Even after you master the tips and tricks to keep your business relevant, social media still requires a consistent time commitment. Learn how to make the most of your time while still gaining all of the benefits social media has to offer by taking advantage of social media apps.

Get the App Version

The most basic type of social media app you should be using is simply the app version of the platform. All social media platforms feature downloadable apps. Use the app to access the platform via your phone. App versions may not always have the full functionality of the website version. Although, apps will display nicely and be much easier to use on your smartphone.

Being able to access your business social media accounts on your phone enables you to make great use of every spare minute. Whether you are sitting in a waiting room, or if you arrive early for your parental carpool obligations, you can get on social media to engage with your followers, answer questions and just be available.

Clean Up Your Act

Typos and grammar mistakes are going to happen, but fix them before they go live by using the Grammarly Keyboard app. Much how regular Grammarly catches errors when your working on your desktop or laptop, the app version does the same while communicating on your Apple or Android device.

Social Media AppsMake Things Interesting

Visual communication is necessary to increase engagement. Photos, graphics, and videos cause social media users to stop scrolling and see what you have to offer. Luckily, there are a lot of easy-to-use social media apps available to create amazing visuals.

CutStory makes easy work of editing videos into Instagram stories, while Apple Clips lets you add text and special effects to video clips. Make your videos look like you hired a professional by using Adobe Premiere Clip. If you want to create graphics and edit photos try Canva. Stunning visuals grab users’ attention. All of these social media apps make it easy to create high-end and quality visual content.

Start Trending

Using the right hashtag at the right time can drastically increase engagement and introduce your brand to a massive audience. But who has time to perpetually monitor trending hashtags? Download Keyhole to take care of the busy work for you.

Keyhole enables you to track hashtags, keywords and even URLs. This information gives you a real-time glimpse into how people are engaging with your brand. Simply input the variables you want to track and the app will let you know when your terms are trending. You can use this information to maximize engagement and stay up-to-date with campaigns.

Social Media AppsSchedule Content

Through analytics, you can determine when your followers are logged in and active. You want your posts to go live at these opportune times to maximize the odds of your followers engaging with your posts. However, your schedule may not allow you to be ready to post when your followers are available, especially if you are in a different time zone than the majority of your demographic. The solution lies in scheduling posts.

Some social media platforms enable users with admin privileges to schedule posts. If your social media platform of choice does not have this functionality, try out apps like Buffer and Hootsuite. Both social media apps allow you to schedule posts to publish on your social accounts at the dates and times of your choosing, or you can let the apps auto-schedule your posts.

Maximize Your Time

Scheduling content lets you make the best use of your time and ensures you don’t forget to post. Sometimes the day can get away from you and other issues may come up, so you won’t have time to log in. Setting everything up ahead of time ensures you maintain an active social media presence, even when you are pulled away to take care of other things.

See Everything All Together

Another major perk of scheduling social media posts is it gives you a big picture view. Seeing all of your posts in a queue makes it easy to spot any gaps, missed opportunities or patterns. For instance, maybe you are promoting yourself too much and not posting other content or maybe you never post during key times when your users are most active. Identifying these issues makes it possible to be more proactively strategic in your posts.

Social Media AppsLook at the Data

Reviewing analytics is potentially boring. However, gaining a better understanding of your demographic and figuring out how they use social media enables you to best position your posts. Decipher the data using apps like Hootsuite Analytics and Twitonomy to understand why your posts perform the way they do. You can then use this information to improve the reach and performance of future posts.

Using Social Media Apps to Grow Your Business

Any app that helps you maximize your social media marketing efforts is worth the investment. What apps do you use to improve your social media reach? Are you interested in learning more and making the most of your social media marketing? Reach out and I can help!

What is High-Quality Content?

high-quality content

Understanding What Your Audience Wants

High-quality content sounds like an elusive marketing buzzword, but it’s a real thing. As a business owner, you’ve probably been told high-quality content is a content marketing must, but how do you know if your content is high quality? If it isn’t, how do you go about creating high-quality content? And why does any of this even matter? Let me break things down for you.

Understanding Value

Loosely defined, quality content provides value. How content provides value and what that exact value is will vary from one blog post to the next, but ultimately, quality equates to value. For example, quality content helps readers better understand your industry and your business, as well as the products and services you provide. This sort of high caliber content can help advance customers through the sales funnel and help retain existing clients.

High-quality content can also help your site rank with search engines. The main objective of Google, Bing and other search engines is to help their users find what they need. If you play by the search engines’ rules and take the time to craft useful content with which readers engage and respond, your site will come up in the results when users type relevant terms into the search field.

high-quality content

Selecting Your Audience

Before setting out to create high-quality content you need to figure out who you want to reach: existing readers or new readers. Depending on the needs of your business and your strategy, you may wish to focus your efforts just on one of these groups. You may also very well decide the best course of action is to divide your efforts and create multiple pieces of content geared towards different audiences.

Balancing Act

Determining the ideal blog post length is tricky business. The post needs to be long enough, but not too long. Google has made it clear, they prefer long-form posts in the vicinity of 2,000 words or more. Lots of text provides plenty of space to explain useful info in depth, as well as lots of opportunities to feature keywords. However, readers tend to prefer short posts and will generally avoid reading behemoth blog posts.

What’s a blogger to do? Pick and choose your battle. If ranking on the results pages for search engines is the most important objective, then you need to commit to long-form blog posts. The higher you rank, the greater the odds of receiving organic traffic back to your site. If you see your blog posts as useful tools to help customers, then you need to tailor your content for that audience and keep it manageable for your readers’ busy schedules and short attention spans.

high-quality content

Formatting

It turns out no one, not people and not search engine algorithms, like dense blocks of text. Most people tend to bail if they are presented with long and intense text and search engines have become adept at identifying dense blocks of text. Through the use of some clever formatting tricks, you can relay tons of info in a limited space to make the most of your posts.

Short paragraphs create the illusion of short and easy to manage text, which is enough to keep some readers on board. The use of headings and subheadings and even bullet points make it easy for readers to get through a post or skim the content to come away with the gist.

Grammer

Quality content should also be completely free of errors and typos. Everyone makes mistakes, and it can be hard to know when to use a comma sometimes, but it’s important to take the time to write original content that makes sense and is grammatically correct. Grammarly is just one of many great and free online tools to help you clean up your act.

Mistake riddled text may be confusing and can turn readers away. Errors do not instill confidence, and even if your industry has nothing to do with content creation and writing, grammar mistakes can still leave a bad impression. Search engines also take into consideration the quality of the text. A few mistakes aren’t likely to be a big deal, but continually making grammatical errors could spell disaster and negatively impact your site’s ranking.

Visual Aids

High-quality content is more than just well written and informative text. Images, graphics, video and any other type of visual aids all play a part in the creation of high-quality content. Reading through long text can be boring, even for people who like to read and even when utilizing bullet points and other hacks to rein in the length and improve the flow, so breaking things up with images and graphics can help make things interesting and engaging.

Breaking up the monotony is an important task, but elevate your content to the next level by providing useful imagery. Videos, photos, and charts need to support the information provided in the text. Here are a few pointers when creating visual content.

Files should also be high-resolution, so they display nice and make sure to use original content.
Snagging images and files created by someone else and using them on your site without their permission and without giving them credit is plagiarism.
You may also want to add a watermark or branding to any files you create to prevent any unethical bloggers from helping themselves to your files.

Understanding Links

Visually stunning or just plain interesting imagery is also prime material for backlinks. A backlink, sometimes known as an inbound link, is when another site includes a link back to your site. For instance, if another blogger includes a link to one of your posts in one of their posts, that’s a backlink. Including links out to other sources helps your site earn a good reputation with readers and search engines alike, but backlinks really help improve your standing. A key part of creating quality-content is giving other bloggers and writers something worth linking back to, in order to share with their readers and improve your ranking.

high-quality content

Solving a Problem

The way content is presented in terms of formatting, grammar and the inclusion of imagery all contribute to the quality of the content. Perhaps the most important hallmark of high-quality content is the value provided. Does your post answer a question, solve a problem or explain a complicated or confusing process? In some instances, the entertainment value of the piece can be enough to earn the distinction of high quality. Ultimately, high-quality content must serve a purpose. The purpose will vary, depending on your brand and which segment of your audience you wish to reach.

Creating High-Quality Content

Quality content may provide value to your readers, or it may provide value to search engines, which will, in turn, direct more visitors to your site. Sometimes, these two things are the same, or at least very similar, other times these objectives may be very different. Understanding how to create and identify high-quality content can help you reach your goals and grow your business. Want to learn more or find out how I can help you create high-quality content? Get in touch!

How to Write Catchy and Compelling Social Media Posts

social media posts

Four Tips for Social Media Success

Social media is a great tool to promote your business. The ability to directly communicate with your customers can prove invaluable; however, in order to start a dialog, you need to craft posts that catch your follower’s attention. The ultimate goal of your social media posts is to direct followers to your site, where they can learn more or make a purchase. Find out some tips and tricks to write strong social media posts that will engage your followers and help convert sales.

1. Explain What’s In It for the Customer

Let your followers know what they stand to gain from working with you. Providing a clear benefit will get consumers to click a link, share a post or reach out. If your products or services save your customers time or money, or if it’s easy or whatever the case may be, tell your followers this in no uncertain terms.

social media posts

2. Be Active and Confident

Active and passive voices are writing terms used to describe style. In grammar-speak, the subject of the sentence performs an action when using an active voice. By comparison, when using a passive voice the subject receives the action. For example, I wrote a great social media post (active); versus, the social media post is written (passive).

Active and passive voices both have their purposes and benefits. However, an active voice is the way to go when writing social media posts. The takeaway here is to structure sentences, like ‘Our product will save you time/money,’ ‘Our customer service team is available to answer questions,’ and so on.

Choose Your Words Carefully

While I’m at it and discussing the nuances of language, avoid using words like ‘try’ in favor of words like ‘guarantee.’ This may seem subtle, but if you present your brand as confident, readers will see you as a knowledgeable authority. Passive words, such as ‘ hopefully’ and ‘maybe’ do not instill confidence and are quite frankly wishy-washy.

3. Be Mysterious, But Still Promise Answers

Now that I’ve established you should be upfront and confident: here’s a curveball. Be mysterious and ask questions. A great post will intrigue readers and pique their interest. Pose a question and make it clear that the answer lies in following the included link. An example would be, ‘Want to learn how to write compelling social media posts?’

It’s okay to ask questions in your social media posts, but keep it to a minimum. You don’t want your posts to constantly read like the script to an infomercial. A better tactic is to make statements that encourage the reader to learn more. Something like, ‘Find out how our product saves you time,’ or ‘Learn more about…’

pique

4. Get to the Point

Avoid using unnecessary words whenever possible. When composing a social media post get to the point. Many users will simply scroll past a wordy post. Avoid falling victim to tl;dr (too long; didn’t read). The fact that there is an abbreviation for this term should indicate you need to keep things brief.

All social media platforms have character count limits, so depending on your platform of choice this may already be taken care of for you. Keep in mind that different platforms appeal to different demographics and are ultimately used differently. What is considered a long post on one platform may not be considered long on another platform. For instance, people get very wordy on Facebook. While on Twitter, people tend to keep things brief, even after the character limit was increased to 280.

Save your lengthy explanations for newsletters, blog posts, and printed collateral. When it comes to social media just get to the point.

Start Drafting Strong Social Media Posts

There are lots of ins and outs to writing great social media posts. Possibly one of the best things you can do is practice. The more you write and re-write and fine-tune the better you will become at writing. Mastering any skill certainly takes practice, but if you find yourself pressed for time, I can lend a hand. Reach out and we can talk about how I can help craft strong social media posts to promote your brand.

How to Land on the Ideal Blog Post Frequency

blog post frequency

Posting to your blog is a necessary part of your content marketing strategy, but figuring out how often to post can be tricky. Determining the ideal blog post frequency is a question that is closely tied to understanding the ideal blog post length. The answer to both of these questions is actually the same: it depends. This answer is underwhelming and vague, but when you understand what you wish to accomplish with your blog, you can create an effective posting schedule. Find out what your blog post frequency depends on, and more about creating a quality content marketing strategy.

No Magic Number for Ideal Blog Post Frequency

Deciphering an effective blog posting schedule is frustrating because there isn’t a set answer. No one can tell you a number that will just work right out of the gate. The ideal number of blog posts per month or per week is unique to the needs of your business, and this number will be different for everyone.

Figure Out Your Needs

Ultimately, the process for determining how often to post to your blog requires a whole lot of trial and error. Before you get into the nitty-gritty of that though, you need to figure out what you hope to achieve. Define your version of success in order to understand what it looks like, and to ensure you can identify it when you find it.

blog post frequency

Define Your Goals and Create a Schedule

Figure out what you want to achieve with your blog. What are your goals and who are you targeting? You may need to ask yourself this question several times over. If you write blog posts targeted to different groups (i.e. onboarding new customers, advancing others through the sales process, encouraging repeat business from existing clients and so on), you’ll need to track all of these objectives and create a schedule that accounts for everything. An overview schedule that shows your weekly, monthly and quarterly goals can help you get a handle on what needs to happen.

Find What Works

The trial and error strategy essentially means posting a lot of stuff and going back to check your analytics data. If you are not seeing results or experiencing engagement, change things up. When you receive likes and comments and users share your posts, you know you have hit upon a winning technique. At this point, keep up the good work, but be mindful that if and when you start to lose transaction, you will need to revamp your plan.

Consistency

Once you have an established following, it’s important to continue posting. Repetition is a big part of an effective content marketing strategy. Your followers expect to see content from you at regular intervals, and if you stop posting they may forget about you.

blog post frequency

Quality Content

Posting on a regular schedule helps, but you also need to post quality content. Let’s say you set a goal of posting to your blog three times a week. If you fall behind it can be tempting to pull together a quick post and publish it, just for the sake of hitting your goal of three posts per week. This may backfire. A poorly structured post that does not deliver value may cost you readers. Falling short of your goal may be worth avoiding a lackluster and potentially damaging post. Be careful when making any decisions that will impact quality.

Practice Makes Perfect

If you are starting out, it can be helpful to publish a lot of content quickly. The sooner you establish a presence, the sooner search engines can start crawling your content and ranking your site. Once you have built up some recognition, you can scale back how often you post and find a frequency that benefits your audience while fitting your schedule.

Calling in Help

Time management is a big component of determining blog post frequency. As you grow your business, finding the time to write and edit blog posts and source images can be a challenge. Outsourcing your blog content writing is a viable way to rank your site and grow your business organically while affording you the time and capacity to work on other areas of your company. If you want to learn more about how I can help you grow your business by writing your blog, or taking on any of your other website writing needs, get in touch.

How to Zero in on the Ideal Blog Post Length

Ideal Blog Post Length

When people think of using blog content to help rank websites, they usually tend to focus on keywords and long-tail phrases, alt tags and the like. This is great and these are significant techniques that will help your page rank. However, there are a lot of factors to consider, and one that is misunderstood and often overlooked is the length of the blog post. You’ve probably wondered what makes for the ideal blog post length, so here’s the answer.

Both Sides of the Argument

Website and blog content matters, because it helps your site rank with search engines and it enables customers and potential customers to learn more about your business. In order for your site to rank, you need to implement SEO techniques and strategies; however, SEO rules are changing all the time as search engines evolve, and it’s hard to keep up.

Not that long ago, the common practice was to keep blog posts in the range of 250 – 500 words. The prevailing thought was to keep the word count short and to the point, so readers could quickly get through the posts. More recently, blog posts tend to be longer and run over 2,000 words or even up to 4,000 words or more. The notion is the longer the post, the more opportunity to use keywords and long-tail phrases and the greater the odds of ranking a page.

Understanding Your Needs

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to determining the ideal blog post length. Each business or brand has different needs and different competition. You need a customized approach that takes all of these factors, plus a bunch of other things, into consideration. Furthermore, your needs will change over time, so your strategy needs to evolve, too.

Ideal Blog Post Length

Evaluate Your Competition

Do some searches using your keywords to get the lay of the land. You want to figure out what content is ranking for your keywords, and how you can compete with this existing content. The trend lately is moving towards longer blog posts. You want to make sure you are providing value in the form of sizable posts, but you don’t want to rely exclusively on long blog posts.

You Do You

It’s important to understand what your competition is doing, but that doesn’t mean you should mimic their strategy. It is possible to overdo it when creating content, and more does not automatically mean better. If you notice your competitors have lots of long-winded posts, but you think you can cover the same topic and keywords in a much shorter and brief fashion, then go for it. Short content is prime material for Google’s featured snippet, so in some instances, it is possible to rank while keeping it brief.

Ideal Blog Post Length

The Value of Quality Content

Search engines pay attention to how many people visit your site, but they also track how long each person stays. People will stick around for good content. Quality content that is interesting and provides value encourages people to keep reading and spend more time on your site. Quality content of any length provides value, but long-form quality content provides several perks, including:

  • Most of the blog posts out there are short, so featuring long posts will help you stand out from your competition.
  • Long-form blog posts establish your brand as an authority in your field. If you are able to crank out 2,000 words or more on a single topic, than that is a clear indication you know what you are talking about.
  • Long blog posts are prime to receive backlinks, which will help expand your incoming traffic and can help boost your ranking.

Get to the Point

Really long articles that contain 2,000 or more words can provide lots of great information, but they may turn off some readers and cause them to leave before they reach the end of the post. Losing readers means they spend less time on your site and miss out on your call to action, which means you are losing valuable engagement. Continually posting long blog articles may earn you a reputation and can cause some readers to think twice before reading future posts.

When to Go Long

If your readers respond well to lengthy posts, then it is in your best interest to continue writing long-form posts. Positive responses include comments, likes, shares and readers taking you up on your call to action. If your long-form posts rank with search engines, that is another very compelling reason to keep at it.

Strategies to Create Quality Content at Any Length

It’s important to find a balance between engagement and length. You don’t want to sacrifice compelling content for length, but you can rein in the length using some simple techniques:

  • Streamline long articles using clear and succinct language.
  • Use bullet points to quickly and easily list information.
  • Use graphs, charts, infographics, video and other forms of media to relay information.
  • Break large topics into a series of several smaller articles. The benefit here is twofold: readers will be more likely to get through content in manageable serving sizes, and you can add a bunch of links to connect each post in the series.

Ideal Blog Post Length

Effective Strategy to Determine Ideal Blog Post Length

The total word count of a blog post matters to a degree, but ultimately, posts need to answer questions and provide useful information to both readers and search engine algorithms. The most recent trend is to write longer posts anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 words. If you are just starting out and you need to establish content on your site, long-form posts will stay on trend and help you establish a presence. Although, long posts are not always necessary, so mixing things up with shorter posts will also be beneficial.

Long blog posts take more time to write and edit. When committing to featuring long-form blog posts, give yourself plenty of time to do it right. Do you have questions about how to figure out the ideal blog post length? Do you need help creating your content? Reach out and I’ll help you navigate your way! Later this week, I’m going to explain how often you should post to your blog. Stay tuned to learn more!

Increase Your Social Reach by Putting Your Readers to Work

Social Reach

When followers share the posts made to your social media business account, your brand stands much to gain. However, getting shares on social media may seem easier said than done. Getting users to share your posts takes some planning and strategizing, but it all pays off when your social reach gets this very useful boost. Let’s review a few strategies to encourage users to share your posts and expand your brand’s influence.

Understanding Shares

Sharing a post can mean similar, but still different things. When you post to your business social media accounts, users can like or share your post. When you publish a post to your blog, users can take the link to that page and share it on their social media accounts. Both of these types of shares benefit your brand.

Value of Shares

When users share your social media or blog posts, they position your content in front of their network. Your followers are part of your demographic, so it’s likely they have relatives or friends or other connections who are also part of your demographic. A share also serves as an endorsement of your brand, so a single share from one follower has the potential to convert sales. Not every share will convert sales, but the more shares you receive the greater the odds of scoring a few sales or at least gaining new followers and subscribers. Down the line, these new followers may become paying customers or further help to grow your social reach.

contest

Working the Algorithms

Recently, Facebook has taken many steps to encourage interaction between users, which comes at the cost of de-emphasizing posts from businesses. Facebook business posts are typically only seen by a percentage of users who follow that business. The more likes and shares a business post receives, the more value Facebook’s algorithms assign the post, and the greater the distribution that post will receive. Social media posts that link back to your website can help drive traffic to your site, which will also help your site’s ranking with search engines. Social media shares are a bit of a popularity contest, but they provide value by expanding your social reach.

How to Increase Engagement

When users interact with your posts they further develop their relationship with your brand. At the same time, they also spread the social reach of your message and help your brand form bonds with new followers. It takes time and consistent work, but increasing your social reach can increase your followers, and lead to increased sales.

Seek Out Your Customers

Each social media platform appeals to specific demographics. You need to figure out which platforms your customers use, and start establishing a presence there. Most users have accounts across multiple platforms, so you may find it useful to maintain a few accounts. It’s not likely worth your time to have an account on a platform not frequented by your demographic.

Quality Content

Good content is the key to social media engagement. In order for followers to like and share your social media posts, you need to give them something worth sharing. Quality content provides value by delivering a solution or explanation. For instance, if you specialize in kitchen remodels, explain the types of countertop materials available and the pros and cons of each. If your company created an app, explain what the app does and how it helps users.

Useful information will help convince users of the value your company provides, and it may also cause your readers to think that if they found it useful, their friends, family or followers may agree.

worth sharing

Trend Spotting

Latching on to a trend can give your social media posts a helpful boost. However, trends can be fleeting, so you need to get in early enough while the issue is still relevant. Being late to the party may not provide any value. Identifying trends early gives you the opportunity to provide relevant and useful content, and present your brand as an authority and industry leader.

Spot trends by keeping tabs on the newsletters and social media posts put out by your competitors, media and industry leaders and influencers. You can also use the app, Keyhole, to monitor specific keywords across various social media platforms. If your keywords begin to generate traction you’ll be the first to know, and you can quickly capitalize on this trend by writing about it on your blog or on social media.

Make Sharing Easy

The easier it is for your readers and followers to share your posts, the more likely they will do just that. Include social media share buttons on your site, so readers can easily share your blog posts to their social media accounts. When you publish a new blog entry, post about it on your business accounts. Your followers will see this social media post and be able to like and share your post, or follow the link to your blog, where they will also be presented with the option to share your blog post to their social accounts.

Easier

Just Ask

Quality content, social media share buttons and the other techniques listed here are subtle attempts to expand your social reach. It’s a bit more bold, and still effective, but you can just ask your followers to share your content. Sometimes readers may not think to share you post, but if you ask them, that will get them thinking about it. At the end of each blog post, ask your readers to share the post to their social media accounts. Frame it by explaining that if they found the post useful their friends, colleagues, followers or whomever, may find it useful, too.

Increase Your Social Reach

Social media shares can increase organic traffic to your site and improve your standings with both search engines and social media platforms. Making an effort to establish a presence on the social media platforms your demographic uses, improving the quality and relevance of your content and taking steps to simplify sharing content can all improve your social reach. Have you tried any of these techniques? Do you have a method that didn’t make this roundup? Let me know, reach out if you have questions and feel free to share this post if you think anyone in your network may find it useful (see what I just did there?).

Blog Tips to Grow Your Business

Blog Tips

Strong blog content can pull readers in, provide value and help convert sales. Including high-quality blog content into your online marketing strategy can pay off by helping your site rank well, educating consumers and establishing your brand as a trusted authority. These simple blog tips can elevate your blog content to help engage readers and increase the reach of your brand.

Set the Right Tone

Formal writing is necessary for some circumstances, but not always. When it comes to writing most business blogs, skip the formality and use a conversational tone. Write in a way similar to how you speak to relay a more comfortable and informal feeling. The laid-back approach will make your brand feel more approachable and less corporate. Of course, grammar still applies and structure matters, but the relaxed tone will help readers quickly read your post and relate to your message.

Tone

Write for Your Audience

This sounds incredibly obvious, but write content that appeals to your demographic. Tell your customers the benefits they will experience by using your services and products, and the value your brand delivers. Get specific and provide detail. If your demographic is working moms, explain how safe and easy your products are to use and how much time they will save. Useful information will help convert sales. Being forthcoming with useful info will also frame your brand as aware and tuned into your customers, and this will enable customers to create a positive association with your brand.

Drop the Sales Pitch

Constantly bombarding readers with a sales pitch will get old fast and may cause readers to abandon your post before they make it to the end. Find a balance between writing a sales pitch and informative, engaging copy. Readers understand you are trying to sell them a product or service, but find creative ways to explain the benefits of those products or services to keep things interesting.

Get to the Point

People have short attention spans and most readers are unlikely to finish long blog posts. Sometimes several thousand word posts may be necessary, but most of the time it isn’t, so keep things short. If you are capable of making a point in one 20-word sentence, then do so, instead of dragging things out. The notion of an ideal word count for blog posts is subjective. Ideally, you need enough content for search engine crawlers to examine, but not so much that readers bail on you. Brief, but still informative text will help readers quickly get through the post and understand the subject matter.

Enticing Headline

A well-structured headline will pique a reader’s curiosity and get them to find out what your post is all about. You can have stellar content, but if your headline is subpar, neither readers nor search engines will know. Make promises, ask questions and appeal to your readers’ emotions to pull them in and get them to check out your post.

Strong Introductory Paragraph

The first paragraph, which may also be used for the meta description, needs to pick up where the headline left off. Explain the problem or dilemma at hand and assure readers that by reading your post they will discover the answer or solution. The rest of the post needs to continue to provide valuable information, but a strong start will hook the reader and increase the odds of them sticking around to read the entire post. You want visitors to read your posts partly so they gain valuable insights and make a purchase, but also because the longer they linger the more your ranking benefits.

linger

Structure

Big blocks of text may discourage readers, but with some creativity, you can still relay the same amount of information in a more succinct manner. Also keep in mind, that many users may visit your blog on their phones. Small screens are not always the best platform for big blocks of text.

The solution is to break things up into more manageable segments. Headings and subheadings make it easy for readers to get the gist of a blog post without reading every word. Bullet-pointed lists are another trick to relay a wealth of info in a quick and concise manner.

Call to Action

Neatly tie everything up in the final paragraph by quickly recapping the issue identified at the start and the solution provided in the body of text. Motivate your readers to put their newfound knowledge to use or follow up if they have questions. You may want to provide contact information and encourage your reader to share your post or join your email list, so they can stay connected and remain in the know when your product lineup expands or something else exciting happens.

Blog Tips to Take Your Content to the Next Level

A business blog is a powerful marketing tool that can educate and inspire readers. Well conceived and structured blog content can convert sales today, and help establish your brand with search engines, leading to future traffic and sales. Do you have tried and true blog tips to help grow a business? Let me know and please reach out if you have questions or want to learn more! Feel free to share this post if you think it will help your contacts!

Social Media Marketing Tips Your Business Needs

social media marketing tips

Social media is great for connecting with friends, acquaintances and family, and even making new friends, while also proving to be an invaluable tool for your business. Social media can help your brand connect with both existing and potential customers to create relationships and help close sales. To properly leverage social media to grow your business you need a solid strategy. These social media marketing tips can help elevate your game and expand your business.

Have a Plan

Before you can launch a successful social media marketing campaign, you need to decide what you want to achieve. Figure out your goals, and then create a strategy to reach those goals. Increasing followers or closing more sales are both excellent goals, but the steps you take to reach these goals are different.

Clearly define what you want to do, so you know for certain if you reach your goal. For instance, a well-defined goal is deciding to add 500 new followers in the next 6 months. In this example, you’ll know if you reached this goal based on how many followers you have in 6 months time. Keep in mind that you can always adjust your goals, so if you add 500 new followers in two months, you can set a new number to strive for by the 6-month mark. Taking the time to set specific goals enables you to craft an effective plan.

PlanTrack Results

A major benefit of having a plan is being able to go back and look and what worked, as well as what didn’t work. When you identify your successes, you can try to replicate these steps. By understanding what falls flat, you know to avoid these missteps in the future. Your plan will never be perfect and is always going to be a work in progress you will continually refine as you go.

Choose the Right Platform

Select the best social media platform for your business. Different demographics gravitate to different social media platforms, so you want to find the platforms your customers frequent. You can have solid posts and high-quality content, but if you’re not reaching your demographic it’s all for nothing. You know who your ideal customers are, you just need to find them on social media.

It’s likely your demographic may be split across different platforms. It may help your brand to maintain an active presence across those platforms. However, it may not be worth your time to post on platforms not popular with your demographic. If your demographic is big on Instagram and Snapchat you probably won’t get much traction on LinkedIn or Facebook. It can be tempting to set up an account on every platform out there to position your brand in front of all possible customers, but this is often ineffective. While the time investment may be minimal, if you are not seeing results on certain social media platforms you are just wasting resources.

Create Quality Content

Posting and sharing high-quality content will position your brand as an expert in your field. This will help customers come to see your brand as a reliable authority. High-quality content can be blog posts, infographics, videos or anything else that provides useful information and value to your customers. This information can explain the products or services your company provides, or educate consumers about your industry. For example, if your company manufacturers bedding, you can write a blog post explaining thread count and share that post across your social media accounts. Quality content establishes your brand as an authority and builds trust.

Include Visual Aids

Words matter a great deal, but images are important when posting on social media. Visual content, like photos, graphics and video are interesting and engaging and will pull people in. The right visual content can help educate and inform followers. For example, an infographic is a great way to break down a complicated process into an easy to understand a concept that helps customers learn about your business or industry. Sharing behind-the-scenes, how-to photos and videos, funny memes and other types of visual content help followers get to know and engage with your brand.

Availability

Social media is ultimately about being social. Everyone understands the reason businesses sign up for social media is to promote their brand. However, it’s important to still make time to connect with your followers. When people follow you, follow them back and share and comment on their posts. When people reach out to you publicly or privately, make sure to reply in a timely manner. Put your customer service skills to work to ensure your followers create a positive association with your brand and understand the value your business provides.

Make Algorithms Work for Your Business

Engaging with followers is good customer service, but it also favorably positions your brand with social media platforms. Each platform is governed by an algorithm unique to that platform. While each algorithm is different, the one common trait is they prioritize interaction. Interacting with followers will lead to more likes and shares. The more likes and shares you receive, the more the algorithms will realize your brand is useful and provides value. When the platforms realize you provide value they will green light your content and place it in front of a wider audience. It takes time and work to make this happen, but through being available and engaging with followers you can reach more people and potentially grow your customer base.

mix things up

Share Content

Constantly promoting your brand will get boring for anyone who follows your feed.  Mix things up and share content from other members of your industry, experts and the media. Share articles, images, videos and more from other sources if you think it will appeal to your followers. Sharing content will create a more varied feed. This practice will also promote other members of your industry and create a sense of community. All the while reinforcing your brand as an authority in the field.

Learn More Social Media Marketing Tips

Putting these tips to work for your brand can help increase the awareness and recognition of your brand. When leveraged properly, social media can do amazing things for your marketing and help substantially grow your business. Want to learn more social media marketing tips? I’m just getting started on this blog, but I have lots more info to share, so check back often. Reach out if you have questions and feel free to share this post if you think it will help out any of your followers!