Monthly Archives

April 2019

Content Plan

Content Plan Balancing Act: Tension vs. Hesitation

By | Content Development

When things are going easy, it can be nice, but you can also start to get a little stagnant without something pushing you along. If things are crazy hard, you sometimes back off and get hesitant to keep moving forward.

But moving forward is essential for growth.

Consider the anticipation of waiting for your garden to grow. You plant a seed, water it, make sure it gets light, pick off the bugs, and check everyday to see if a new leaf has emerged. It can feel a little tense, but it’s that tension that drives you to keep nurturing it, and maybe even planting again.

This is the kind of tension you want your audience to feel—something that propels them to keep going.

In digital marketing, you need a great content plan that does that same thing. You want to show people the possibilities your services offer (those fledgling little leaves) to encourage action, without making them so frustrated they just call it quits.  

So, how do you walk the line between tension and hesitation? With a little digital psychology, we’ve got some answers.

Tension in Your Content Plan Inspires Action

When there is a problem present, humans will embark on their own little hero’s journey to try and solve it, no matter how trivial it may seem. Humans have this need to confront challenges and overcome them. We get creative. We get innovative. We may even get excited as we step out in search of a solution.

That’s where you come in. You want to present a solution in your content plan, but you’ve got to grab people’s attention first. You’ve got to inspire them to take action. You do that by tapping into their emotions.

It may help to think of tension as conflict. When your audience is looking for a solution to their problem, and they’re scouring the internet for answers, they’re feeling something. Understanding their search and all the feelings that come with it, is key to your content plan.

If your audience feels confused, they want clarity. If they feel slighted, they want to be valued. If they feel insecure, they want reassurance. Each of their challenging emotions leads to a search for solutions. You want to be a part of that solution.

To translate that into an effective, engaging content plan, you need to tell a story that piques their interest. You can do that by using keywords and phrases that emphasize the tension of what’s possible, what can change (for the better), and between their problem and a solution.

Stories are a great way to amplify tension because, as Seth Godin says, “stories work because we’re not sure.” They induce a healthy bit of tension that makes your audience go, “Hmmmm.”  Your audience may not realize you’re telling a story, but they will feel like you understand them and see them as a real live person with genuine feelings and needs.

What Does Tension Look Like

The most relevant tension points to your audience will vary, but essentially, tension refers to the limbo space that exists between one thing and another. Some examples:

  • Good vs. evil
  • Status quo vs. potential
  • Stale vs. lively
  • Old vs. new
  • Scared vs. brave

You get the idea. You can run with this in a million different ways, but what’s most important is that you do the research to understand what tension points matter to your business’ content plan.

Let’s take the status quo vs. potential example. We recently helped a local corporate wellness business called Workday Warrior elevate their digital presence with a new website. Their mission is “to turn every desk in the world into a place of energy, movement, and health.”

Workday Warriors needed to highlight an important point of tension: exercising after work vs. wellness in your cubicle, and everywhere else.

Now we’re interested.

Companies, or employees have plenty of access to exercise, but Workday Warrior offers the potential for health and wellness plans that extend into every aspect of daily life. They believe in taking the current state of corporate wellness to the next level to create a better state-of-being. That means nutrition education, workshops, yoga, and training—a holistic answer to feeling stagnant at your desk all day.

Understanding that tension between what is and what could be gave them a road map for how to move forward with their content plan and future digital marketing efforts.

How Much is Too Much

We’ve all seen them, those ads or marketing that feel kind of…not right. Or maybe it’s social media that feels a little too polished and trite. When that happens, we feel hesitation. We start to question our choices. We wonder if that brand we heard of is what they say they are. Instead of hitting that confirmation button, we’re hitting the pause button.

Not the reaction you want.

It can be hard to gauge how much tension is too much in your content plan. But there is a fine line to walk between cultivating committed customers and losing your audience. When you’re brainstorming your strategy, make sure to avoid these few things:

Shock for the sake of shock

Sure, there may be a few people that love the shock and awe tactic, but those few aren’t worth the many who may feel alienated and dirty. Shocking your audience is a super quick way to provoke hesitation in your audience.

Repeating the same old message

Part of what creates healthy, actionable tension is introducing something new—even if the product or service isn’t new. A good content plan amplifies innovation. A bad content plan will use the same language, same images, or same strategy over and over. It’s stale. You’re not stale. You’re awesome—so show it!

Speaking to everyone

Here’s the bottom line: you can’t be everything to everyone. If you try to develop your content plan to suit everyone, you will get very tired and very frustrated. You deserve to work with clients who align with your values and services.

That’s why you need to do the work of getting to know exactly who you audience is before you start building a digital marketing strategy. Knowing them will help you to clearly define which tension points are more important to them.

Tension vs. hesitation is a delicate push-pull that can’t be quantified. It takes skill to identify the pain points in your industry and form a content plan that works and stands out from the rest. Understanding and embracing what makes you special is a winning strategy no matter what you do.

Our name—Wayward Kind—says it all. We do things differently and help those who want to shake-up their industry. We live to find those tension points. So, give us a holler today and let us show you the value of having a great content plan for your small biz.

what are long tail keywords

What Are Long-Tail Keywords? Your Guide to Winning the SEO Race

By | Lead Generation

We get questions like these A LOT: How do I get my website found? How do I show up on the first page of a Google search? How do I get more eyes on my business?

While there are tons of great answers to those questions, today we’ll focus on one specific answer: use long-tail keywords.

Now, you may be wondering, “What are long-tail keywords?”

In short, they are keyword phrases related to your business that people often search. You may have noticed longer phrases populating your search box, almost as if they know what you’re going to say. And that’s because they kind of do. Believe it or not, you probably aren’t the first person to search “Why do dogs mimic siren sounds?”

So, what does this mean for your small business? It means that it’s time to start paying attention to more than just the words that describe your business and start focusing on the phrases. ‘Cause this race moves fast, but you can definitely start winning it.

The Tale of the Tail

Confession time: the term “long-tail” is kind of elusive. Does it refer to an animal tail? And why is it long?

If you’re wondering what are long-tail keywords, here’s the answer straight from the source, author Chris Anderson:

“The theory of the Long Tail is that our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of “hits” (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail.”

Simplified, that means that only a few of the big businesses and popular websites will appear when you search for single keywords. But when you get into the nitty-gritty with long-tail key phrases, you’ll see results that are more likely to answer your specific query.

For example, let’s say you manage a bookkeeping business. A potential client in Houston is looking for bookkeeping services in a Google search. If they just search “bookkeeper,” their search results will likely turn up an abundance of bookkeeping services everywhere. That means they’re highly unlikely to find your small business in the sea of other businesses.

But, if they enter “small business bookkeeping service for salons in Houston, Texas,” the search will return results more relevant to your business. Instead of getting every bookkeeper around the country, they’ll see those focused on salon businesses in Houston. Like you.

If you’re visual like us, this graph can help. At the very left, you see major searches of specific keywords. The more searches for the top keywords, the fewer smaller businesses appear in search results.

At the bottom, are the long-tail phrases. Long-tail searches receive 70 percent of search traffic compared to only 18.5 percent of sites at the top. It pays to know what your potential clients are looking for.

what are long-tail keywords

Source: Moz.com

Winning the SEO Race

If you’re asking what are long-tail keywords, you’re already trying to figure out how to compete for the attention of potential clients. Y’all want to be on that first page of results, so you can win the lead generation race.

To do that, you need great content that uses well-researched keywords and phrases. Remember, content isn’t just the words you see on a page—it’s also videos, images, links, and emails. Basically, anything contained on your digital platforms.

Integrating long-tail keywords into content can take the form of using the phrases in your website copy, but it could also be applying tags to photos and videos, and adding meta descriptions to your pages. Having content that reflects who you are and speaks to who your clients are is a great way to generate leads and get more eyes on your small business.

Finding the right keywords and phrases is an important part of SEO. Keyphrases change as trends come and go. It’s important to have a solid digital marketing strategy to ensure that you’re winning the SEO race for the long-term.

One way to ensure you’re getting the best ROI and winning that SEO race, is to partner with an experienced digital marketing agency. They will have the tools to do keyword research, review your current strategy, and create a plan for how to increase your digital presence and connect with your target audience. I know we’re all about the connection over here.

Natural & Organic Aren’t Just Food Terms

These days, with the ubiquitous use of voice technology, people are searching in an entirely different way than even five years ago. Instead of a single word, searches look and sound more like the way people think and talk in everyday life. They’re natural; organic.

When considering what your long-tail keywords are, remember that organic search results are those not produced by ads. There’s nothing wrong with using ads, but to get the best ROI, you’re better off being mindful of your content and usage of long-tail keywords. Some simple tweaks in your content can net huge results, especially over the long-term.

If you’re not sure how people search for businesses like yours, try going to message boards, online reviews, and comments. Those are all great places to see how people talk about your business, or others like yours. Once you have a better idea of how people are talking, you or your digital marketing strategist can develop long-tail keywords that target niche markets.

The whole SEO and keyword stuff can get pretty overwhelming. We don’t want you to feel overwhelmed—we want you to feel empowered and successful in your business goals. If you need help getting your long-tail keyword strategy on track, then contact Wayward Kind. We’re totally ready to be your digital cross-country coach!

Integrate CRM tools

Beyond the Screen: Adding a Personal Touch with CRM Tools

By | Marketing Strategy

You see it everywhere. You hear everyone talking about it—but what exactly do CRM tools do for you?

CRM tools, aka Customer Relationship Management tools, enable you to manage and understand your customer’s online behavior so that you can better tailor your conversations with customers. Think of CRM like a digital crystal ball—an essential part of your digital marketing toolbox.

Are you ready to become a CRM master? Cool, ‘cause today, we’re going to give you a few ways to put this valuable tool to use.

CRM Helps You Get Personal

One of the best ways to connect with your audience is to understand them. When people feel understood, they’re more likely to listen and engage with your business. That’s huge.

Integrating CRM tools into your digital marketing strategy makes it easier to know who your customers are, and aren’t. You probably even have a couple of different types of customers, and knowing that allows you to market to those specific groups.

Here are a few smart ways to utilize CRM and personalize user experience.

Email Marketing

Creating segmented lists, using a customer’s name, and targeting offers to specific groups shows that you know who you’re talking to.

To do that, CRM tools will collect data and organize it an easily digestible way. You get insights on their needs, interests, and habits all from the way they interact with an email. Once you know your customer, you can engage with them more effectively and show them they truly matter. We’re all about that.

All of this data can be segmented into demographic and geographic information, but more importantly, into psychographic information. Susan Baier of Audience Axis says that “demographic and behavioral information only give marketers part of the story they need to effectively segment a customer base.” But psychographic information gets to the root of why customers do what they do.

Once you have solid data, you can start personalizing emails, which can help you increase conversion rates and nurture prospective clients with content they care about.

Customized Buying Experience

During the sales journey, your customers may want more information. This is where CRM tools become your best friend. Just like a fortune teller sees into the future, CRM tools track patterns in customer behavior to offer more of what they want, or what they didn’t even know they needed.

What does this mean for your digital marketing strategy? It’s one more way to connect with your clients. Whether it’s a sales team member reaching out, email responses, or suggestions, CRM helps you demonstrate to your customers that you’re willing to go the extra mile for them.

It’s All About Timing

When you have a business that provides repeat services, or is looking to enhance their digital marketing strategy, CRM is a great way to go.

Let’s say you’re an accountant and you have a new client. Surely you’ll need to collect a bunch of information pertaining to their lives. But instead of just stuffing that information into a file cabinet, you can input that information into their CRM profile. With that information, you’re able to improve customer experience by sending them timely reminders, special offers, or exciting news about your business.

Most importantly, timely information builds loyalty with your customers. It shows that you value and recognize their business and who they are, beyond just a number on a screen. And we could all use a bit more recognition.

Get Your Online Reviews on Track With CRM

If you’re a small business, online review sites like Google My Business can be crucial to your business. Receiving positive reviews can help with reducing customer hesitation. On the flip side, negative reviews can be a real thorn in your side—and your sales.

But using CRM tools in your digital marketing strategy goes beyond a good or bad review.

By integrating CRM software with online review platforms you can get a wealth of unbiased information. You can see trending conversations, how customers feel about your product quality, service, and value, and compare reviews across platforms.

Using this valuable data gives you insights necessary to make changes to your advertising, products, service, or digital marketing strategy. Or, continue with the strategies that are already working.

This all comes down to one huge factor: ROI. Accessing data from review sites gives you the most honest information you can get—and once you have that, you can make sure your marketing dollars are going to the right place.

CRM Goes Social

No matter what your business does, social media is one way to elevate your digital marketing strategy. CRM tools are easy to integrate with social media platforms to give you an abundance of information about your followers.

Using CRM tools on social media can help you:

  • Create ads for very specific sub-segments of your target market
  • Respond to comments and questions in a timely manner
  • Analyze hashtags to identify potential connections and relevant conversations
  • Build relationships with your audience

Remember, even though social media is digital, people still want to feel connected across the screen. CRM tools are a great way to discover who your followers are so that you can tailor your digital marketing strategy to reach them.

We know that it can be easy for marketing to feel robotic, but we’re all about adding that bit of human touch. If you want to know more about how to get your digital marketing strategy on track and connect with your customers using CRM tools, contact Wayward Kind. Relationships matter, even in the digital world.

How long a blog post should be

Stop Worrying About How Long a Blog Post Should Be

By | Content Development

Blogging can be daunting. What should I write about? How often should I post? And the all-important question: How long should a blog post be?

So often small businesses are under the impression that they need to share LOTS of information. But that can get confusing for you and your audience. And that’s on top of feeling intimidated by the whole writing process to begin with.

Fear not. When it comes to blogging, the truth is, you don’t need to write a novel every time you blog. In fact, it’s better to keep it short, sweet, and consistent.

We’re going to dispel the mystery around blog length and explain what to focus on so your content gets seen, heard, and those leads start to flow.

How Long a Blog Post Should Be: Long enough to get in those keywords

In blogging, it’s all about the keywords and phrases, also known as long-tail keywords. Instead of wondering how long a blog post should be, consider what keywords can get your blog post on the map.

Focusing on keywords alleviates the stress of trying to cram tons of information into one post. A list of keywords and phrases takes the guesswork out of coming up with blog topics and gives clear direction on what to write about.

This is not only important for the writer but also your audience. Most readers are not going to spend much time sifting through a super long blog post. That means that you have a matter of minutes to capture their attention and give them what they came for.

Consider a blog about plumbing—a post could cover plumbing as a whole, but most readers are probably trying to get answers about a specific problem. Perhaps they want to fix a leaky toilet or a broken sprinkler.

So, focusing on one targeted issue at a time makes it easier for readers to find what they’re looking for and get to solving their problem. And in the meantime, they get to know about your services.

Good Content Always Wins

Having keywords and phrases is, well, key. But so is having good content. Just plugging in a few words like it’s a formula won’t necessarily bring 1,000 followers. Telling a good story and giving people valuable information that’s presented in a clear, concise manner, will.

Understandably, this can get tricky. You’re like, “Hey, you just told me to focus on keywords, but now you’re telling me to tell a story?” Yes.

Think of an effective blog post like a parable: a short story to help teach a lesson. Parables don’t need to be long-winded. In fact, the longer they are, the more likely people are to check out.

Blog posts can be the same way. Instead of worrying about how long a blog post should be, give them more bang for their buck by using simple language, easy-to-follow headings, shorter paragraphs, and something interesting to chew on so your readers feel like they learned something and got to know you a little better.

Consistency Matters

Blogging consistency can be thought of a little like dating. When you’re dating someone, and they pay attention, send texts, call you, meet up with you, you feel the love. You’re more interested. You want to engage back, right?

But when they send a text once every couple weeks, or even less, you’re less inclined to reciprocate. The same goes for the blogging relationship.

Your readers want to know who you are and they value what you have to say. But if you’re not taking the time to share with them, they’ll lose interest. Not to mention, the less content you have out there, the fewer opportunities there are for people to find you.

Consistency shows that your content is fresh and alive. It shows that you’re interested in what’s current and who your readers are. It shows that you take time—and we all know quality time is a hallmark of a good relationship.

Don’t forget the visuals

Writing is great and all, but if your readers are greeted with a wall of text every time they check your blog, chances are good they’re less likely to engage.

When asking how long a blog post should be, remember the importance of visuals like videos, images, or even an occasional animated GIF. Not only do visuals make your post look more interesting, but they can also help guide your reader through the written content. Think of visuals like bookmarks that bring attention to the information you really want readers to see.

How long a blog post should be

Images also serve as one more way to layer in keywords and phrases. Choosing a relevant file name that replicates the post’s keyword is one more way to make your post discoverable.

Let’s say someone is searching for an image of a giraffe at the San Diego Zoo. If the file name is 1234.jpg, it won’t show up in a search. But, if the image file name is giraffe_san_diego_zoo.jpg, that image is more likely to pop up in a search. Making sure that every layer of content is searchable is key to driving traffic to your blog and your business.

We’re not going to lie—blogging takes time. But partnering with Wayward Kind gives you a break from worrying about how long a blog post should be so you can focus on building your business. Let us know if we can help!

Humor in digital marketing

April Fool’s! Give Your Digital Marketing Strategy a Chuckle

By | Lead Generation, Marketing Strategy

How do SEO experts celebrate improved search rankings? SERP-rise parties.

OK, OK—so maybe we’re not going to appear in a Netflix comedy special anytime soon. But as the great Tina Fey once said, “You can tell how smart people are by what they laugh at.”

And we’re betting that your audience is pretty smart. That’s why we’re celebrating this April Fool’s day by honing in to humor as a useful digital marketing tool.

Using industry-friendly humor can be a great way to spark interest, nurture your leads, and inject a humanized approach to your digital marketing strategy. And we’re all about being human.

Captivate with Witty, Digital Marketing Banter

Sometimes the hardest part of marketing is directing more eyeballs to your business content-?. You want people to see your business, the services you provide, and why you’re the best. Then, convert them (we’ll get to how in a bit). Humor can be a strong way to generate that attention.

Whether it’s a catchy email subject, a one-liner to lead off a blog post, or a social media wisecrack, audiences often love to see a brand’s sense of humor.

To amplify the effect, target your digital marketing humor to a specific audience. Show them that you understand who they are by cracking jokes only they can understand. You can use specific keywords or phrases, or maybe even a funny story.

Besides getting a good laugh, humor can aid in recall. So, when you have a casual user who is looking for, let’s say, a new accountant, they’re more likely to remember your post or ad because it was funny. They’re also more likely to share it—and in these days of lightning-fast information sharing, that can warrant a huge response beyond your initial joke.

Digital Marketing Humor, Beyond the Punchline

You got them hooked, but how now you’ve got to keep them interested. Especially if your service is, well, a little on the dry side, your continued playfulness can make your message stand out.

Weaving your witty, playful side throughout digital marketing content can be a great way to nurture your leads. It shows that you’re willing to stay engaged rather than just grab ‘em and then launch into formulaic, business-speak.

Using humor can pique interest and draw attention to the valuable services you offer. It can be a launch pad for sharing the nuts and bolts of what you offer without the important parts getting lost in a sea of words. Think of your humor like little comedic speed bumps, directing your users to exactly what you want them to know.

The Long-Game: Consistent Digital Marketing

Being consistent in your content strategy builds brand credibility. You want your audience to know that you’re approachable all the time, not just in an occasional Facebook post. And when you’re consistent, you’re more likely to convert your giggling followers into serious customers.

Your voice is important, and not just that audible one, but the vibe you’re setting every time you send an email, post a photo or write a blog entry. If you want your audience to know your lighthearted side, make sure to add in a flair for the funny across all digital marketing platforms.

Perhaps you post a hilarious photo every week, send out a witty monthly newsletter. Whatever you decide, let your personality shine through the screen.

Digital marketing doesn’t have to be dry. If you’re looking to liven up your marketing strategy with some humor, contact Wayward Kind for a strategy consultation. You may even get to hear a few of our bad jokes.