• Are you telling your brand story in social media?

#MarketingTrends2018 – Coming Up with Blog Content for the Year

 

It’s hard to know just how many blogs there are out there. Some estimates put the number as high as 152 million. That’s a lot of blogs. So if there are that many blogs then it must be easy, right?
No question, it’s easy to start a blog. What’s not so easy is maintaining vibrant and creative content. When it comes down to it, most blogs aren’t all that effective when it comes to maintaining reader interest, attracting new customers, and engaging the community.
The reason that so many blogs miss the mark is that their content is unfocused and fails to support business objectives. Yes, it’s all about the content. But how do you come up with good content week after week? Here are five tips on ways you can spark those creative juices and develop engaging and consistent content.
  1. Create a plan: Your number one weapon in battling with blank pages is to develop a strategy for your content. That means mapping out what you want to talk about for over a period of time rather than coming up with your topics on an ad hoc basis.
  2. Stick with themes: Having a social media strategy that incorporates a series of themes can be a highly effective strategy for deciding on what to include in your blog.
  3. Build on your most effective content: Look back on what content has worked for you in the past and make it better. It’s ok to repurpose an old topic or resurrect something you haven’t talked about in awhile. Of course, you’ll need to take a fresh approach but if something caught your readers attention once before, chances are it will again.
  4. Talk with your community: Asking the people in your community what they want to hear about can be a great way to find your focus. Cast a wide net by including not just your customers, but all those with whom you collaborate.
  5. Tell your story: If you think about it, you’ll find that you don’t have just one story to tell, you have lots of them. From helping your customers get to know the people they interact with to helping people learn the best way to use your products, your back office is loaded with ideas for content.
Don’t look at the process of coming up with ideas for your blog as a task to be avoided. Instead, view it as an opportunity to learn something new, engage with your community, and have some fun. When you embrace the process you’ll be able to say goodbye to sitting in front of the monitor and staring at the dreaded blank page. In fact, you may even find yourself looking forward to it.
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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

#MarketingTrends2018 – Going LIVE with Regular Themes

2017 was the year of live video and there’s every reason to believe that the trend will continue through 2018. While the final statistics for 2017 aren’t yet available, it’s estimated that last year live video accounted for nearly 75% of all online traffic. YouTube surpassed 1 billion viewers, and 500 million people watched video on Facebook every day.
With numbers like those, it’s a given that video should be a key element in your social media content strategy. The problem is, how do you determine the most effective way to incorporate it? The solution – make it part of a weekly or monthly social media content theme strategy.
Let’s talk for a minute about social media content theme strategies. You may not have one. If not, the new year is the perfect time to start one. It doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated, just a roadmap of the type of content you’ll include each month across your social media platforms. By following a weekly or monthly theme for your content, you’ll avoid the trap of taking a scattershot approach and trying to be everything to everybody. Having a sharp focus will make it easier for you develop content and increase the chances that you’ll follow through on your plan.
The exact focus of your theme plan will depend on your goals and your industry but here’s an example. Say you’re an online seller of fitness products. January is easy since it’s time for fresh starts. For February, how about ‘showing a little love to yourself’? You get the picture.
Ideas on how to incorporate video are limited only by your imagination but here are a few ways you can get started:
Go live on Facebook
Whether it’s a product demonstration, a feed from a tradeshow or a behind the scenes look at how you do your work, Facebook is the perfect place to get started. Facebook also now gives you the capability of replacing your static cover photo with a video.
Create a video blog
Video blogs are a great way to establish your authority and engage with your followers. Covering an industry topic or fielding a common question are popular approaches.
Share Snapchat or Instagram Stories
You can use video to showcase a day in the life of your business or of a key team member.
Take Advantage of YouTube
Whether you use YouTube to go live or to act as a repository for your archived videos, this channel is rich with possibilities.

If you’ve never used live video, take some time to learn the basics, practice, and jump in. It’s no longer a matter whether or not you should use it, it’s a question of how. You’ll quickly find out that it’s not just your users that love it, you and your team will too. It gives you the chance to stretch your creative wings, think outside the box, and more fully engage with your community.

 

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

#AwesomeTools – Where to Share Your Blog

Blogging has come a long way in the world over the past ten years.  What started out as a “web log” was really just an online diary for people to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with the outside world at large.  But then, something amazing happened. 

People realized that blogs could be used for serious topics, sharing inspirational messages and more – helping businesses spread topics that are related to their work while helping to establish their brand in their corner of the highly competitive business world.  But there is no real point in keeping a blog if no one reads it.  That’s why it is so important to learn how to share your blog properly so that it gets the optimum number of views and brings in your potential customers.
Many don’t realize that if you post the same blog word-for-word on multiple sites, then Google will flag you and your blog.  That means that if someone types your subject into a search engine, then you will be way down the list and probably not be found as a result.  So how do you bypass this? 
One easy way is to use social media accounts as a means of linking back to your original blog post.  A really great way to do this is with Pinterest and LinkedIn Pulse.  Most people think of Pinterest as just a means of sharing craft projects, but it also allows for a variety of different interests to be shared. 
LinkedIn is popular as a means of connecting with people in the business community, but LinkedIn Pulse is a publishing section that allows you to copy your blog in without being penalized by Google.  This is an invaluable tool to reach your desired audience with your blogs.  LinkedIn Groups and Facebook Groups are another way to share your blogs, but be careful that you follow their rules and regulations so you don’t get accused of spamming.
Another tool that really helps you with finding and sharing material is Triberr.  This tool allows you to set up your blog content so that you can find similar blog articles, share these with your followers, and also cross-post your own blogs with those that you find.  The concept behind the website is that you set up as part of a “tribe” so that you can network and expand your brand base.  

Have you heard of Quora?  This site allows people to ask questions and have experts in the field answer the question.  You can set yourself up as one of these experts and reference back to your blog as part of your response.

There are many ways to network your blog to others so that you can get around Google’s penalties for multiple posts.  All that it takes is some savvy planning on your part and you can use your blog to help expand your brand recognition.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.



#AwesomeConsistency – The Value of Blog Routines

Consistency is relevant to your brand in regards to ALL of your content, not just social media. When a business owner thinks about social media marketing, a blog isn’t usually top of mind. However, blogging + social media can be a powerful promotion combination!

You’ve probably heard of other businesses that have been successful either as bloggers or on social media. This is not an either/or scenario as having a content plan for both will boost each individual effort.

Blogging

A company blog accomplishes a great many things. In this world of content marketing, it’s difficult to justify not having one. A blog is great for SEO purposes since it keeps your page looking fresh and consistently updated so that the search engines crawl it on a regular basis. It’s WAY better than an About Us page when it comes to showcasing your brand to your audience and allowing them get to know you – and what you do. It’s an organic, non-pushy sales, marketing and branding tool that often requires little in the way of monetary investment but, when done well, reaps rewards.

Blogging + Social Media

There are a great many benefits to blogging but my favorite is that it makes creating social media content so much easier! Pulling content directly from the blog can be used to great graphics, infographics, quotes, etc. A regular blog means consistent, but still relevant, content to pull from without staring at the screen and wondering what to post next, or posting from the same well over and over. This keeps the content fresh and interesting for everyone involved!

Blog Promotion

Many bloggers experience the same problem and that is their audience doesn’t necessarily think of hitting their website on a regular basis to read their blog. How do blog owners expand their reach and consistently get their content in front of people? They post their blog on their social media platforms! Linking back to your blog on various social media sites gets the information in front of the right people so that they drift to your website organically instead of relying on them to remember to visit your website. This also opens up the opportunity for people to share the blog with their own followers, boosting the reach that could have been achieved by the blog owner alone.

Blogging Routine

Since this month is all about #AwesomeConsistency – understanding the value of setting up a routine is essential. Your audience is being inundated with content – content consumption is at an all time high. Between algorithms, competition and short attention spans, it can be difficult to achieve the viewing numbers small business owners are hoping for. How do you stack the deck in your favor? Consistency. As with social media, having a consistent schedule trains your followers to expect your content on a regular basis. It keeps your brand, image, and content in the running and helps people find you. Having a break in content may convince viewers that you are no longer serious about what you do – that you are on hiatus – or that you are no longer putting the same focus into your work. Since there is more than enough content online to choose from, the potential that they will drift to your competition is high.

There is different advice when it comes to frequency and that it really depend on a lot of factors including your niche, your industry, and your time commitment. We recommend posting a blog at least once a month (at a minimum). The best results tends to come from businesses dedicated to posting weekly. Daily is too much and waiting longer than once a month is not enough. Find the middle ground that works for you so that you can commit to being consistent.

I can’t wait to read what you post and watch you #BeAwesome using the combined powers of blogging, social media and consistency!

 

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

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