You're a hunter (think Africa, tall grass, khakis!) it's nighttime, you're in the back of the truck, rifle cocked staring into the veld. Suddenly there's movement, your eye locks on, something's out there but you don't know what - yet!
OK - back to the real world.
In our little analogy up there it wasn't an animal, the prey, that caught your attention - it was the movement, the change in the environment that grabbed you.
Frequency is everything
When you first start out with a content strategy, the most noticeable thing is when you publish. That's when you appear in my inbox, my RSS or Twitter feed, my Facebook wall, wherever. The more frequently you publish, the more likely it is that I will notice you and then actually look at what you posted.
Don't publish crap
The bread and butter blog post nowadays tends to look like this newsletter:
- Compelling title
- Compelling image
- Around three or four hundred words
- Clear sub-titles
- Hits the right keywords
- Clear call to action
It's like this because it reflects a balance between the need to publish, the time it takes to produce something of worth, the length of time someone is prepared to spend reading your content and the SEO benefits from things like meta titles and tags.
When you work with me, it's one of the first things you'll learn how to do.
There's this thing called "Big Content" that's going to become more and more important and might just suit some of you better. In essence it's about producing something that's much "meatier," that takes longer to produce but that has a longer shelf life. More on this next week.
Got questions? Contact me here and let's chat.
...if you do the work!
See the three kids above? I want you to imagine that they're spinning round singing, possessed by some unseen force and the words coming out of their mouths with unstoppable repetition...
"Mobile, Location - Mobile, Location - Mobile, Location - ..." (repeat ad infinitum)
There - that should nail the message home!
- Mobile usage is increasing at terrifying speeds
- GPS is baked into mobile devices
- Location is a huge weighting in search results
- If you've got a physical location where people come to meet you and give you money, you've got a huge opportunity
Do ThisClearly you should have a plan on how to incorporate this knowledge into your marketing strategy, however - here's one thing you can do now.
Go write a blog post about where your office is, tell people how to get there - the address, the cross streets and especially the neighborhood and zip code. For extra points talk about why you chose the neighborhood, how long you've been there - what you like about it, the parking, the restaurants etc.
Take some photos of your office from the outside and publish them with the blog post, if you're using Squarespace, geotag the post, at the very least write the image alt description to include the location.
If you have no idea what that last bit means - get in touch, you could use some help.
I have to write - it's part of my job. Explaining content strategy through text and imagery is how I get people to give me their money.
You however are probably too busy buying, selling, mentoring, managing, cooking, training, lawyering, whatever it is you do that people give you money for- to sit down and write the kind of quality copy needed for good marketing content.
So - what do you do to fill your digital footprint with awesomeness?
Have someone interview you about different aspects of your business. Super easy content - you don't need to get all creative, you just answer questions - hell you could even turn it into a series and include other staff members.
2/ Get someone else to write for you
You'll likely need a budget for this one but if you have that kind of resource there are plenty of experts out there who can write knowledgeably and interestingly about your business
3/ Re-purpose existing content
Got a business manual, a brochure, existing PR stuff you've had printed for years? Have them re-written in web and customer friendly language.
The point is - you're going to have to push something into your digital footprint in order for people to connect with you. Just because you don't have time or don't enjoy writing marketing copy doesn't mean that it can't be done.
If you're stuck for content ideas or would just like to get your marketing rolling again - get in touch and let's chat.
I just ran an awareness campaign on Facebook for a client and here are the takeaways:
- Things don't get interesting until you get over 1,000 page likes
- Good imagery is everything - people rarely engage with text
- Human beings are nuts and there's no accounting for taste or decorum
- You've got to post at least a couple of times a day to keep the ball rolling
- Having an Ad budget makes a huge difference, even a small one
- It's pretty tough to get email addresses
Having said that - we're now close to 7,000 likes in a couple of months and the whole thing has been a resounding success.
Worth it for your business?
If you've got the time and resource to invest in growing your Facebook business page and then maintaining it - you can have a much deeper and immediate relationship with your customers than you will on any other network.
However - it's really time and money intensive and you'll be building a community inside Facebook's walled garden. My experience is that for smaller businesses it's better to build around your website and grow your email list than it is to feed the Facebook beast. When you've got enough marketing resource to throw a couple of hundred bucks at Facebook a week (in ads and talent) then it becomes viable.
Have you done something interesting with Facebook or seen something that resonated with you? Reply to this email and let me know - I'd be interested to hear other people's experiences. As ever, if you'd like to look into building a campaign for your business, get in touch and we'll have a chat.
- Are you still distinguishing between your website and your business?
- Your customers aren't.
- The only thing they know about you - until they meet you - is what you look like on their screen.
Right now it's about imagery - it won't always be this way but for now images are really important.
AOL, Geocities, Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, iPhone, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
The only thing missing from the above list is the start date of 1993 when CERN donated the technology behind the web to the world.
Markets form where the people are and where the people are changes every few years.
If you're in this for the long haul - if you have an idea of what you are, where you're going and what you want to be - you'd better be putting your website at the core of everything you do.
Do you really believe that any social network that is popular now is going to be just as popular in the future?
The only constant since the dawn of the internet age is the website - the .com or .org that is immutable and baked right into the heart of the system.
As far as your customers are concerned your website is your past, present and future.
If you're not happy with where you currently are, get in touch and let's chat.