Seemingly every business in the world has been told how important it is to invest in content marketing, with billions of dollars spent on this promotional strategy each year. And yet, 40% of small business owners feel it’s difficult to measure the impact of content marketing. If you’re wondering whether your content marketing dollars would be better spent elsewhere, it’s important to learn why generating content online is essential for your business.
Generating Traffic Online
Most small business owners think of content marketing as a tool for growing social media connections and increasing user engagement, but they fail to see how content contributes to organic traffic patterns. Search engine optimization (SEO) has long been a buzzword for content creators on the web, but the correlation between strong content and organic traffic is simply undeniable. Without great content on your website, your visitor count will fall flat.
Delving into the technical specifics of SEO is a significant undertaking, but understand this: investing in content boosts your site’s value in the eyes of the search engines. This result may not be perceptible to the naked eye, but consistently blogging and generating interesting content has a marked impact on your website’s incoming traffic trends. For a more detailed look at the link between SEO and content marketing, take a look at this comprehensive overview from industry leader Kissmetrics.
Building Brand Awareness
Generating content online to build brand awareness is frankly a no-brainer. Spreading the word about your company can feel incredibly difficult as a small business owner, especially if you’re competing with larger chains that have seemingly unlimited marketing budgets. Content marketing is a cost-effective tool for getting your name out there. Best of all, unlike traditional advertising that only delivers results while your campaign remains active, content lives on indefinitely, bringing you business for years to come.
Consumers look to industry experts when it comes to making buying decisions. What wine should I pair with red meat? What’s the perfect local spot for date night with my wife? What shoes should I wear with a little black dress?
Content marketing gives you the opportunity to answer questions your target audience has about the products and services you know best. By addressing points of interest for potential customers, you’re building a reputation within your niche. When it comes time to make a purchase, you’re the company these buyers will turn to for reputable products.
Perhaps the single greatest key for content marketing success is patience. Building a following online and generating sales for your business won’t simply happen overnight. As you generate more and more content, the snowball effect will become apparent. As content drives more consumers to your website, your social media following increases and your industry position soars.
If you continue to show your marketing efforts the attention they deserve, you’ll also see your bottom line grow. Take a deep breath and roll the dice. Content marketing isn’t a quick fix for your sales woes, but it is a viable investment for the future of your business.
When it comes to building a dedicated following on social media platforms, most people fall into one of two camps: you either can’t get enough, or it feels like a massive chore. Whether you’re wasting too much time on Twitter and Facebook, or you can’t bring yourself to craft a single update, scheduling your statuses in advance can have a powerful effect on your overall social strategy.
Think you’re ready for the challenge? Use the following keys to maximize your social media impact and save time, too.
What is Status Scheduling?
Most casual social media users write statuses on a whim, uploading this information through the sites of their favorite social platforms. Heavy users and marketers instead rely on tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck.
These tools allow you to simultaneously update multiple accounts, shorten links, and schedule your statuses far in advance. It’s also worth noting that Twitter now allows business users to schedule tweets in advance through Twitter for Business.
A scheduled status looks just like a normal status, except it’s uploaded into the system in advance of its eventual publication. If you’re trying to keep your feed continually updated, you can schedule statuses to appear like clockwork every few hours or days, based on your unique social strategy.
Why to Schedule in Advance
Scheduling your regular updates in advance can help you save time and keep your social media accounts fresh. If you routinely go weeks without updating your social profiles, scheduling large blocks of updates several days in advance can help you stay on top of your strategy. Simply set your statuses to publish and forget about it.
Dos and Don’ts to Follow
Think you’re ready to start automating your updates? Before you jump in feet first, keep the following keys in mind:
● Do: Focus on evergreen content. Don’t write time-sensitive updates that won’t be relevant when they appear days later.
● Don’t: Automatically tweet to people who mention your brand. This feels inauthentic and spammy.
● Do: Smatter your relevant updates between scheduled statuses to keep your feed spontaneous.
● Don’t: Overlook the performance of your statuses. If you’re using a tool like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, it’s easy to review how many people are clicking your links, favoriting your updates, and sharing your content with others.
● Do: Carefully consider when your statuses should appear. It’s smart to target users when they’re likely active on social media. Before work, lunchtime, and in the early evening are all great options.
Scheduling tweets and updates far in advance has some great applications. Use it to stick to a tight editorial calendar or schedule a bunch of statuses to update while you’re disconnected on a long vacation. Whatever you do, don’t allow automation to make you lazy. Continue to invest your best efforts into your social strategy and you’re bound to see results.
Plenty of brands successfully use automation to simplify their social media activities. While it may appear intimidating at first glance, learning to schedule updates is quite simple. If automation fits within your social strategy, pay attention to your social performance and continue making tweaks to ensure you’re getting the most out of your social media presence. Happy tweeting!
Generating positive emotions related to your brand is paramount to the success of your business. Not only should your site’s visual design effectively reflect your brand identity, but it should stimulate the right response in your visitor. While there is no scientific formula you can utilize to connect with your users, the following keys offer a simple checklist for ensuring your visual design makes the right impact.
1. Think About Your Color Palette
Researchers have spent years studying how humans respond to color stimuli. You’re likely already familiar with some of these principles. For example, most consumers associate yellow with happiness and optimism, while green evokes thoughts of health and peace. As you focus on branding, spend some time getting familiar with how users perceive various colors to ensure your branding is on point.
2. Pay Close Attention to Page Layout
Web design has long been focused on utility, but user experience extends far beyond simply functionality. If you can merge personality and emotion with a usable site, you’ll harness the true power of the web to boost your bottom line. Focus on building pages that are easy to navigate, with large buttons and headlines, all without neglecting positive imagery and appealing visual themes.
3. Tell a Story with Your Site Copy
It isn’t uncommon for designers to think of copy in secondary terms, the text that merely complements the design. Of course, marketers understand that language is one of the most important elements of a cohesive marketing message. Copy is also one of the most versatile components of a modern website. Most brand settle on a static logo and page design that only changes very rarely, while copy can be edited frequently. Use this key to your advantage to change your narrative as your brand evolves.
4. Choose the Right Photos and Images
Images are another overlooked factor on many websites. When choosing photos for your site, it’s almost always preferable to steer clear of stock photography, which reads fake and inauthentic. Think carefully about what images will strengthen the message of your marketing language. Focus on the real deal: photos of your staff members, products, and storefront, offices, or dining room.
5. Communicate Value Above All Else
Creating the visual appearance of your site gives you the perfect opportunity to spend some time tailoring the profile of your target customer. Look at your site objectively and ask, “What is my buyer seeking?”
Think of successful brands that have trailblazed with their marketing initiatives. Apple uses visual aesthetics to demonstrate their products’ superior value to the traditional home PC, and Whole Foods plasters health logos and farm imagery on its ads to connect with health-conscious consumers.
Consider A/B testing if possible, or simply have some brutally honest friends and colleagues take a look at what you’ve created. Ask reviewers to describe the site in two or three words. If you’re on the right path, you should hear adjectives that clearly describe what your brand is all about.