It’s becoming increasingly important to have ‘digital assets’ or documents and webpages that offer value to a targeted audience. If you’re self-employed or trying to manage an Etsy account or a Shopify store, this may seem like an impossible task. My first suggestion is to create a blog. Don’t panic. There are simple ways to create and manage a blog without becoming a blogger.
The single most important tool to keep your digital marketing simple is to plan. Keep a calendar of dates that are relevant to your brand, your product, your city or your target audience. Anticipate what's coming up and the times when you have to get creative and fill in the blanks. It will save you scrambling.
Creating seasonally relevant material needs to be part of a bigger marketing strategy so your other efforts will support you during seasons with higher Internet traffic (i.e. competition). If you haven’t been using a big-picture strategy, don’t worry - now is a good time to start so let’s do this!
Here’s a challenge I come up against A LOT from people who want to use social media to market their business. They are inconsistent. Either they can’t afford the costs associated with hiring someone to do it for them or they think they can manage it themselves. So many entrepreneurs and business owners don’t find using social media second nature. The thought of doing it themselves is overwhelming and they never start or try it for a short period and then abandon ship. Ever go looking for a business on social media (YES! People do that ALL THE TIME) that hasn’t posted in a year or more? Ugh. Not good.
Sometimes what's effective for marketing on social media is a matter of basic common business sense. For example, if you’re clear about who your audience is, you can be clear about your marketing approach. Trying to convey one message to numerous demographics will water it down and reduces your chance of actually connecting with any of them. Growing your business by letting people know you, like you and trust you is still the cornerstone of growing a small company. All that has changed with the onset of the internet is how we communicate with them.
Lately, with world events as they are,
the content on social media is pretty
dark and pretty volatile. I’m finding
it upsetting & I know I’m not the
only one. The number of folks I see
who are `quitting` or taking a break
from social media is kind of shocking.
Not to mention how horribly people
are treating each other in reaction to varying opinions on heated topics.
t occurred to me that as a content creator, it is my job or maybe my duty, to start doing something different. Maybe I won`t single-handedly change the direction of content creation, but I am kind of in a position to do something. And so are you if you create content for yourself or your company.
So let’s start by looking at how we can create non-political, non-divisive content in order to increase the consumption of content that doesn’t start conflict and create stress. In doing so there is the potential to slow down engagement with the type of content that is fueling fires online. Due to the supply & demand nature of online content, this could possibly slow the creation of conflict-inducing material. After all, content is simply a commodity and what gets created is dictated by what gets consumed.
So here’s my call to action for all the content creators out there - let’s start creating the content we want to see in the world. What if we, as content creators, create content that counteracts the current intensely political, angst-filled atmosphere? What if we create material that makes people smile, makes people feel good & helps lighten the angst of today’s political climate?
While video, is leading the way in terms of high engagement, live stream video is being consumed 3x faster than regular video. What can you live stream in your day that’s fun, entertaining and positive?
For example, at the bank today, I gave a very eager dog a treat. Her body language the moment she walked in suggested she knew she would get something & her attempt to get to the person with the treats in her pocket, was pretty sweet. That would have made great live stream material!
Images with text on them get more engagement than those that don't as well. So what about an image of that same dog with some kind of funny text beside it? And it could be tied in with banking/business/dog to make it relevant.
Keep in mind that content always needs to be brand specific so while the dog thing may work for me, it may not work for you. But what will?
Here are some other things you could try:
These are just a few. The internet is FULL of content and methodologies to get ideas from. The point is to get you thinking outside the box. I want to encourage you to stay away from current events that are emotionally charged and really look for ways to tie your brand’s message into the lighter, fluffier, funnier side of life. Right now, that will really make you stand out.
Hope, Fun, Giving & Community are the words I’m going to leave you with to start your brainstorm sessions on how we can brighten the world, one piece of good content at a time.
As someone who works online, I'm always looking for the most effective ways to get my ideas and expertise out into cyberspace to ensure I'm getting my little corner of the digital world.
Like it or not, having a blog that gets consistent attention from you has a lot of benefits that shouldn't be ignored. A lot of my clients and those I coach, are overwhelmed at the idea of writing consistently. I have to remind y'all that my mission is to help you find the most simple & streamlined ways of managing your digital media.
So don't poo-poo the blog idea until you hear me out. Really, it's much more simple than you think.
Here are my top 5 reasons why blogging is so important:
3. SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT: I constantly hear people say that they can't figure out what to post on social media. Even when they have an excess of material. And that's not good. The only thing worse than no social media presence is a bad social media presence, meaning inconsistent, last minute, thoughtless posts! A blog is an easy solution for this by providing an anchor for you. You have ideas, concepts, images, a topic you've assumed is of interest to your audience - a focus! Use images and material from the blog as social media content which ultimately will send people back to your site. Google likes this too and so will you!
4. HONE YOUR WRITING SKILLS: I read a fantastic quote this week that I posted on Twitter - "Copy writing is the number one skill that every entrepreneur should learn" ~ Derek Gehl YES, YES and YES! If you're doing anything related to business, you must be able to write. This is doubly true if you're doing anything related to marketing your business. So at very least, use your blog to get better at writing. It's a skill you MUST have. Luckily the internet has provided us a much more casual platform for business writing than in days gone by, so don't fret. Just write.
5. LET THEM KNOW YOU - Social media was designed as a peer-to-peer network. Technology has supported that trend and over the last 5 years, we've seen how easy it is to connect with almost anyone, anywhere. It's important for businesses to stay transparent and although there needs to be some professionalism included, you need to remember that people expect accessibility. A blog allows your audience and potential new clients to learn about you, as does your social media content, which we already decided you can easily pull from your blog posts. So take advantage of this easy to use platform to highlight things about your business that are interesting and useful!
I hope these 5 points help you realize that you've got to be on top of blogging. Not to necessarily become a blogger, but to leverage what the web has to offer artists and entrepreneurs. Don't miss out because you're over complicating the whole thing. Keep it simple, be creative and join the 21st century!
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Catherine Mellon is a Social Media Director with 5 years experience helping entrepreneurs & small businesses use the internet to grow their business.