All Posts By

Kelly Doran

lead-generating-opt-in-offers

Lead-Generating Opt-In Offers that Are Worth the Squeeze

By | Lead Generation

Your business is amazing. It’s worth the squeeze. But getting your audience to notice that can be an interesting and creative challenge. But one that can be fun!

Creating lead-generating opt-in offers—valuable, timely, easy-to-follow morsels of wisdom—is a way of gaining your audience’s attention while highlighting the value of your services. It’s a way to show people that you truly care about the things they care about and understand their needs.

Ready to make some juice?

Lead-Generating Opt-In Offers Solve One Problem

Yes, that’s right—just one problem. Why do we mention this? Because it’s SO easy to get long-winded and try to pack a million details into one offer, especially if you have similar services or products to offer.

We’ve got a few questions to ask yourself before launching your opt-in to maximize is juiciness:

What does your target audience need?

Consider not just what they want, but also the things they really need when they land on your web page. Often, people aren’t entirely sure what they need, but they’re definitely searching. Your job is to tap into what it is they’re looking for so that you can make your opt-in offer super juicy. 

Think of it this way: if you’re selling fitness services, you know that your audience needs help getting motivated to sign up for them. But they may not want to sign up for your lead-generating opt-in offers just because they want to get fit. So, what can your opt-in offer provide that’s too good not to click “subscribe?” What can you provide that’s different and valuable? What’s their biggest problem to be solved? 

Are You Being Long-Winded?

Remember, you’re creating a quickie guide to a super specific topic, not a lengthy white paper. Whether you’re writing a checklist, making a video, or developing a quiz, your opt-in offer should be long enough to provide value, but short enough to keep their attention. Consider what information is most important and applicable to your audience and the topic you’re discussing and build from there. 

Are You Being Consistent?

Consistency is always a winner, whether it’s with your visuals or your language. You develop credibility by showing that you know who you are. Consistency also lessens confusion about what you do by staying true to the things you do better than anyone else.

How does this apply to a lead-generating opt-in offer? When you know what you stand for, your values, your mission, writing an opt-in offer becomes much simpler. Your opt-in offer stands on the foundation of your brand’s mission and values.

Examples of Lead-Generating Opt-In Offers

One of the best things to help you build any opt-in offer is to have generous amounts of content. A great source for opt-ins are blog posts. You’ve spent time to craft those posts and they’re full of great information—why not compile that into something useful for your audience?

Guides

Simple, easy-to-follow, concise—guides help your audience solve a very specific problem. Throw in an infographic to enhance the visuals and you’ve got a great source of useful content that show the value of what your business does, without having to explicitly say, “We do _____.”

Ebook

Take your guide, and expand it into an ebook. Just like any opt-in, pick a topic to develop and create short chapters that clearly address specific issues. 

This is a great opportunity to create a strong visual in the form of an ebook cover. What is consistent with your brand, but also speaks to the topic? With a simple, eye-popping ebook “cover,” you can create images for social media, blogs, and a landing page.

Videos

Video is all the rage. Videos generate more shares, more engagement, and more purchases than all other forms of content. So, it’s natural to create an opt-in offers from video content.

Remember: videos should be short—a couple minutes max. Make an outline before you start, collect your props (if you have them), and set yourself up to maximize sound and image quality. Book—you’re the star of your opt-in!

Webinars

You are an expert in your field—show that! Whether you know it or not, you’ve got the chops to speak with confidence about what you do.

If you’ve done a paid webinar before, you can parlay that content into a future opt-in offer. Remember, concise is key. Opt-ins don’t give away EVERY service and product you offer—they solve a problem and meet a need. If you’ve already hosted a webinar, take different elements from it, and create a few opt-ins. 

Finally, when developing lead-generating opt-in offers, don’t be afraid to share your best advice. You want to show your audience that you know what you’re talking about, not tease them by withholding key information in hopes they’ll make a purchase. Trust and credibility come first, then the commitment. Just keep focusing on deepening your digital conversations and creating solid relationships with your opt-in offers, and committed clients and customers will follow.

Your business has goodness to share and is definitely worth a squeeze—and we want to help you get a few more squeezes from your digital marketing strategy. Whether it’s creating lead-generating opt-in offers, or building a comprehensive content strategy, Wayward Kind is a juice master and we know how to squeeze the most out of your digital assets. Get in touch today! 

email marketing best practices

Email Marketing Best Practices Anyone Can Follow

By | Content Development, Lead Nurturing

Have you ever received emails from a company over and over again, even after you hit “unsubscribe?” It’s frustrating and definitely does not fall into the email marketing best practices category. 

Here’s the deal: email marketing is important. Even in the age of social media and YouTube, email continues to provide a better ROI than many other forms of online marketing. You don’t want to stop using it. But you do want to use it responsibly so that you’re continuing to nurture leads, without alienating them. You don’t want to be on the other end of an angry unsubscribe click, right?

Let’s take a look at some easy ways to keep your email marketing strategies on the up-and-up.

Email Marketing Best Practices: Get Permission

This should be obvious. But in case you’ve considered renting or buying email lists, or adding people that you didn’t technically ask, we’d like to reiterate the importance of getting permission.

Consent is imperative when building your email lists, especially since the implementation of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which aimed to provide more protection to people’s personal data and privacy.

How do you get permission? Here are a few easy ways to integrate that all-important ask into your digital strategy:

Use Opt-In Offers

Opt-in offers are a great way to not only build your email subscriber list, but to show the value of your products and services, and nurture your clients and customers. 

They can be a checklist, a guide, or a video, packaged for folks who “opt-in” to receive their free download in exchange for an email address. It’s a clear way to let them know they’re giving an email address, while you’re giving them something that can help them. And the more content development you do, the more opportunities you’ll have to develop quality opt-in offers

Sign-Up on Website

While this method may be more direct than an opt-in offer, there are people who love what you offer SO much, that they’re eager to hit that “Subscribe” button. But just putting a random button on your website probably won’t drive much traffic.

So, get strategic with your email marketing best practices. Enhance your calls-to-action (CTAs) with more direct, inspiring language that tells readers what to do. Place buttons higher on the page. Place CTAs for your newsletter in places that make sense, not just a random button in the middle of a page. Like, how we’re going to casually insert a link to our email newsletter signup, because it totally makes sense, and we think our emails are super fun and informative!

Social Media

Email marketing best practices aren’t just limited to email. Using social media as a part of your email list building strategy is totally OK. But like asking for subscribers on your website, just plastering a big “SUBSCRIBE” caption or link in your profile, isn’t likely to bring in throngs of people.

Social media does present an interesting opportunity to get a little more creative with content and provide value to what your business does. It’s a great way to give a little taste of your vibe to entice readers to ask for more—like an email newsletter.

Email Marketing Best Practices: Give it Some Flair

Do you remember the movie Office Space, where Jennifer Anniston has to wear 15 pieces of “flair” while serving at a local restaurant? That’s a classic movie, and while you may not need that much flair in your emails, you do want to add interest to your emails. Here’s a few ways to do that.

Make them Valuable

Your emails aren’t just a copy of your website. You need to give them a deeper look into what you do as a business or an industry. And it doesn’t have to be stuffy. 

Email marketing best practices can still be fun, interesting, visual, or even audible. Think clever video or funny photo. There are endless ways to customize emails these days so you don’t feel like a bunch of text that likely won’t get read. 

Keep it Short and Sweet

How do you provide value AND keep it succinct? It can be tricky business, but remember, you ultimately want to point email readers to what you do, and its value. Tell a short story, add a teaser of a blog post, and highlight a case study—but don’t give them the WHOLE thing. Remember, short and sweet. Just a taste can be enough to encourage a click through to more of your amazing content.

Don’t forget, readers’ attention spans are limited, and while there are some studies that show they’ve slightly increased, the reality is that you’ll have a few seconds to grab their attention before they go elsewhere.

Spice Up the Subject Line

Writing email subject lines is a delicate line to walk: get readers’ attention without pushing them away, and in just a few words. No easy task. But when it comes to email marketing best practices, understanding which audience your targeting, what they need, and who they are, will help you craft better subject lines that are sure to result in more “open” clicks.

One key thing to ask is, “What would make me open an email?” Most likely, it’s something interesting, not pushy, and less than five words. Maybe we need a little Wayward Kind subject line challenge to get our juices flowing!

So, there it is. The basics for to make your email marketing awesome AND compliant. We’re not going to lie—it takes time to write emails and strategize. That’s where Wayward Kind comes in. Contact us today and we’ll help you take your email marketing from drab to fab!

relationship marketing

Relationship Marketing: The Importance of Nurturing Leads

By | Lead Nurturing

Building relationships and growing take time, right? And if you want relationships to last and flourish, you know that you’ll need to invest some time into nurturing them.

Well, relationship marketing is no different. Showing the value of your products and services to customers and clients doesn’t just happen from a one-hit offer or popular social media post. Your loyal clients love you because you show them how valued they are.

There are hundreds of examples of brands cultivating loyalty with their customers, but the key is to remember that relationship marketing is long-term, like planting some seeds and then watching them grow. How do you do that? We’re going to show you how!

Relationship Marketing as Lead Nurturing

Lead generation and lead nurturing are both important to your business. Lead generation is like planting your seed—lead nurturing is the time to grow them. We love helping small businesses do both successfully. But when it comes to helping your clients and customers understand the value of what you do and offer, it can take time to develop that relationship from your initial introduction, to their first service experience with you. 

When you plant seeds, it takes water, sunlight, and perhaps some fertilizer.  And time. Yes, time is of the essence. 

When you have a lead, you can continue to grow it into a viable client or customer using an email series, blog posts, or offers that aren’t just about making a quick sale, but more about showing your potential clients and customers that you truly care about their needs.

When a client knows you care, you begin to see the fruit of your nurturing. They may ask more questions, share your brand with others, and purchase a product or service. The process begins to look more like a meaningful conversation than just a transaction. And that’s where the good stuff is!

How to Grow Customer Relationships

Your clients and customers want to feel like they have something exclusive in their partnership with you. They want to feel like they’re important and that you’re committed to helping them with whatever they need. But, how do you effectively use relationship marketing when you may not even see people face-to-face? How do you build a connection that provides deeper value and leads to them making a purchase or commitment to your company?

Show Appreciation

Who doesn’t like to feel appreciated? We all want to feel like we bring something to the table, which is why you can really connect with your clients and customers by showing them you appreciate their service.

Simple things like remembering their name or what products they like can go a long way. It can also be hard to remember that when your business is serving multiple clients at the same time. One way to show appreciation is by using CRM tools. By getting connected with CRM software, you can track all the important details you need to know to build up your relationship marketing prowess, like buyer behavior patterns, names, and customer personas.

You may even consider offering your valued customers a little something extra. Whether it’s a discount, an exclusive product, or an insider look into your business, these little notes of appreciation can really solidify the long-term relationship you want to grow. 

Add a Little Emotion

You don’t need to be over-the-top crazy with your emotions to build a great relationship marketing strategy, but it doesn’t hurt to show clients and customers that you are in fact human.

Consider what your clients and customers are feeling when they come to you. Are they nervous, desperate, scared, confused, or excited? Validate these emotions.

It may show up in your social media strategy, email marketing campaigns, or blogs. Whichever platform you use, acknowledging what people are feeling shows that you are human and you relate to them. It takes the conversation and connection beyond the screen and more to the heart. Think of it like a little digital fertilizer.

Say Thank You

One of the simplest tools in great customer service is saying “Thank You.” Of course, when purchases are made online, it’s a little harder to make that grateful connection, but thankfully, there’s plenty of ways to still say those magic words.

A quick and easy way to do that is with a follow-up email after they sign-up for an offer, or after they make a purchase. You may even go further by asking about their experience, showing that you’re open to their opinions and want them to know you care about them.

If you have a small business that allows you to make a phone call or send a card, then pick up the phone or send a note that lets them know you care enough to acknowledge how they’ve supported you. Customers and clients love getting a little personal attention and are far more likely to return to your business if they know you’re grateful for them.

Ask For Feedback

We get it—asking for feedback can be scary. There’s always a chance of getting a less-than-stellar review of your business. But feedback is invaluable to your relationship marketing strategy. 

Clients and customers want to a) know that you care enough to hear their opinion, and b) that you’re humble enough to listen. Receiving honest feedback is an opportunity to grow and learn, but also a golden opportunity to give your clients and customers a voice that they may feel uncomfortable using without being asked. 

So, don’t be shy. Send an email, ask on your website or social media, but find a way to invite your audience into the process of giving feedback, while you practice gracefully receiving it. 

Relationship marketing can sometimes feel like a lot of work, but we’re here to help you and your business grow. Wayward Kind specializes in creating digital marketing strategies that are all about growing your client relationships. Ready to grow? Contact us today!

wayward kind digital marketing

Welcome Sue Almonte, Wayward Kind Digital Marketing’s New SEO Strategist

By | Team Wayward Kind

Can you believe it—another new Wayward Kind team member! 

So much of what Wayward Kind digital marketing does is based in strategic thinking, like the critical work that Sue does as an SEO Strategist. Her work is vital to every facet of digital marketing strategy and we’re so excited to have her on the team!

Let’s learn more about Sue…

East Coast Music Lover Meets Wayward Kind Digital Marketing

Sue is kind of a big city gal. She was born in Manhattan, NYC, and grew up in both upstate New York and New Jersey. Her professional career began, as so many of ours do, in the food service industry at age 16. After completing her BA in Marketing from William Paterson University, she entered the professional world, working in customer service for an online company in New Jersey, where she first learned about SEO.

Inspired to grow and pursue new career opportunities, she made the decision to move west to Los Angeles where she worked for a wholesale fashion retailer. While Sue says this is the hardest thing she’s ever done—having left family and friends behind for a fresh start—it’s given her the chance to discover her true passions and really pursue them wholeheartedly. 

After a year and a half in LA, Sue realized it wasn’t the big city for her and decided to make the move south to San Diego. Sue says she’s so much happier and feels like she’s truly found a new home. We’re so glad she made that move!

Drawn to the creativity and ever-changing landscape of digital marketing and SEO, Sue began pursuing education and professional opportunities specific to SEO. Some side work for friends evolved into a career path, and eventually brought her to the cozy office right here at Wayward Kind digital marketing

Regardless of where she lives, music is a huge part of Sue’s life. She fell in love with music at age 14, enjoying indie, alternative, blues, garage, and psychedelic rock. Music is such a big part of her life that she recently created a music blog that features the local music scene happenings.

Sue goes to shows and music festivals regularly and some of her favorite bands are Tame Impala, Lana Del Rey, The Black Keys, Jack White, Interpol, and Radiohead. Sue loves the energy of shows and the way they bring people together. We think we hear a Wayward Kind playlist in our readers’ futures!

Lightning Round

Let’s get the basics about Sue and her cool, easy-going nature!

Wayward Kind: What’s your favorite way to start the day?

Sue: I like to relax in bed for a few before having to get up. Having those moments to myself before the day gets crazy is nice.

Wayward Kind: What’s something on your bucket list that you plan to tackle this year?

Sue: Something that’s on my bucket list is traveling to a new place every year. I plan on visiting every state and will be adding one more to the list by going to Hawaii later this year. 33 states down, 17 to go!

Wayward Kind: If your life was made into a movie, who would play you? Why?

Sue: Gina Rodriguez. I love the types of characters she plays. Strong willed, fearless women who go after what they want in life even if that means having to make sacrifices. Being happy is very important to me so seeing those characters so motivated to achieve that is what helps to drive me to reach the same goal as well.

Welcome to Wayward Kind, Sue! We’re thrilled to have you!

There’s no time like the present to begin developing an effective content marketing strategy for your small business. Schedule a free strategy review with our team so we can help you make 2019 the year that your content marketing strategy produces results!

storytelling in digital marketing strategy

Why to Focus on Storytelling in Digital Marketing Strategy

By | Marketing Strategy

Once upon a time, a Midwest girl had a dream to up-end the marketing world by cultivating the kinds of meaningful conversations we have in real life, but on digital platforms.

She wanted people to feel seen and heard. And through her work, she began to see the benefits of approaching digital marketing with a different lens. She saw that it was truly possible for personable, human-centered digital marketing to support thriving, sustainable small businesses.

Even her own.

Today, Wayward Kind is its own thriving small business with a team of 5 amazing people, serving a diverse client base. And it all started with that spark of connection.

It may be just a snippet of our story, but understanding where we came from and where we want to go is a valuable part of our digital marketing strategy. And it’s a valuable part of your strategy, too.

We may sound like a broken record over here, but we really do love a good story. Especially good storytelling in digital marketing strategy.

But we don’t just love stories because they’re awesome. The effectiveness of storytelling is scientific. Stories make you feel connected, seen, and heard. They help us remember things. And it’s all because of the sweet release of oxytocin that accompanies hearing a good story.

If you’ve been crunching the numbers and presenting a lot of data, waiting for the connections to happen, this is the post for you. Let’s learn more about why you need to start telling the story of your small business!

Be Relatable

One of the keys to telling a good story is making yourself, or your business, relatable to your audience. Consider our brief story above—have you ever felt a spark of inspiration and wanted to run with it? Or felt the challenge of growing a business? Then you can relate to Wayward Kind’s story.

It’s a core part of our belief that people buy from people, not brands. So, being human in your storytelling can help to cultivate that relatability.

That’s not to mean that you don’t have to develop elements of your brand voice and style. But your story should be an integral part of that, not an afterthought.

So, how do you bring relatability to storytelling in your digital marketing strategy?

Know Who You Are

You can’t expect to tell a good story about your business if you know your own narrative. And that’s not just what you sell. Consider some of these questions:

  • What are your values and why?
  • Why did you start your business?
  • What are you passionate about and why?
  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • Why do you love what you do?
  • What obstacles have you overcome to get to where you are?

Knowing these answers, and even taking the time to write them down and ponder them, can really help you communicate clearly about your business. And these are the things people want to know—they want to see the struggle, and the triumph. They want to know the why behind what you do.

Know Your Audience

There’s tons of details and segmentation that can happen on the strategy side of this. But, for simplicity, who are you talking to? Who do you want to attract to your business? What do they need?

Consider what they’re feeling when they’re starting a search query. Are they hopeful, desperate, anxious, excited? Remember, it’s not just about their demographics, but about getting inside the minds of your potential clients.

Be Honest

You won’t be relatable if you’re not authentic. Storytelling in digital marketing strategy will only work if the story is real. Jules really is from the midwest. She really does value connection. That doesn’t mean that you don’t use great copy and content to enhance your story. But, whatever your story is, make sure it’s yours.

Slow Your Roll on the Data

One of the challenges for storytelling in digital marketing strategy is how to balance numbers and figures with the emotional appeals. You need both, but too much at the wrong time, or you could alienate your audience.

It’s possible to tell some kind of story in numbers, but it can be pretty complicated and dry. Unless you’re speaking to a highly-educated group of scientists doing research, you can probably air on the side of less data. And even then, make it interesting.

That doesn’t mean you never use data. Those figures are important logical evidence of what you do. They build credibility. But, tell a story with that data. Spice it up with how your company’s values contributed to those numbers, or how you helped your client achieve a big goal, or discuss the pain points in your industry. Give your audience something they can relate to in the numbers.

If you’re not sure about how much data to include, ask yourself: “Would I want to read this or listen to this?” If your answer is no, then that’s probably your audience’s answer, too. You are a pretty good bellwether for what your audience wants to hear—trust that inner voice.

All of this boils down to some pretty simple principles: be in touch with the heart of your business and the heart of your audience. The more you know, and the more connected you feel, the more likely it is for the inner storyteller to emerge as a digital marketing force!

One of our favorite things to do is tell the story of businesses. We’re passionate about getting to know everyone of our clients so that they can have all the digital marketing tools they need to tell their story. If you need a little help defining your own story, contact Wayward Kind. Let’s get the next chapter of your story written!

how to use images in content marketing strategy

Looks Matter: Using Images in Content Marketing Strategy

By | Marketing Strategy

Before we wade into the pool of using images in content marketing strategy, let’s first chat about what content is. Basically, content is everything that shows up on your digital platforms. That includes images, copy, reviews, comments, testimonials videos and more. It’s the stuff that fills your pages and feeds—and it’s super important.

Now that we have that brief, and oh so scientific definition out of the way, we’ll get to the good stuff: Images.

The way things look on your website, social, and elsewhere matters. They are a visual representation of your brand, just as copy is the written representation of your brand.

So, why should you care so much about how things look? We’ll tell you why…

People are Visual

There’s no way around it—we humans are visual. Even the writerly types. The success of Instagram is a testament to the power of images and creating user engagement. And these days, video is leading the charge of visual branding.

This is why just writing a bunch of copy won’t do the job. Yes, information is good, but you have to get people hooked first.

Images in a content marketing strategy are the hook.

They not only give people something to look at, they’re like signposts that help direct users where they need to go. Whether it’s a transition in a blog, or a scroll of images on social media—images give direction.

They also induce action.

Consider a business, or nonprofit, like ASPCA. Of course, we’re all familiar with the infamous commercial where Sarah McLachlin sings her heart wrenching song, “Angel.” But, do you know why that commercial was so impactful? Those images.

The dogs, the cats, the big eyes, the cages. Ack. Gonna tear up just thinking about it. But, the images work. They appeal to our emotions and we can’t look away. We must do something for the animals, right?

Furthermore, images induce memory. We associate those puppy-dog eyes with ASPCA. When we think of donating to a because or adopting a pet, we remember that ad. And maybe even head on over to the ASPCA website to take a look. Because we are visual.

Consistency = Credibility

When it comes to building your brand and marketing, consistency is key. The more consistent you are with images in your content marketing strategy, the more credible you seem. Those images also help to establish a tone for your brand, which helps your audience feel like they know you better.

They want that connection—they want to identify with something that seems cool, or important, or fun, depending on your brand’s vibe.

Here a few ways to establish consistency:

  • Decide what emotions you want to evoke: excited, playful, joyous, serious, professional?
  • What makes you different than competitors? Highlight that in the visuals.
  • Use the same font. Whether on social, website, or email, what font do you want associated with your business?
  • Choose a color palette/filter. Once you know your brand colors/filters, you can apply them across all digital platforms to make your brand more cohesive. Basically, it looks like you care.

how to use images in content marketing

(Image courtesy of Canva)

One way to gather all this important information for images in your content marketing strategy is to create a brand style guide. A style guide will tell anyone working on your marketing how to use your brand elements, from wording to images. That way, consistency remains and your brand is identified the way you want it to be. Here’s a great example of branded imagery from our friends at Four Fin Creative:

Tell a Story

Ultimately, your images should tell the story of your brand. That doesn’t mean that every photo has to have the exact same color or content. But they should contain elements that point back to your brand’s core values and services.

If you own an accounting business, money will obviously be a topic of conversation, and probably show up in images in your content marketing strategy. But you don’t need every photo to have dollar signs and papers in it.

Consider what you love about your business, what makes you different, what your brand voice is, and what your value. If you’re marketing to other small businesses, perhaps include images that somehow represent that. Or, if integrity is a core value, use images that communicate honesty and trust.

Remember, this is just as much about connecting with your audience as it is about developing and nurturing leads. Try shifting your perspective from just selling, to telling. People are far more interested in hearing and seeing who you are before they commit to your service or product.

Your brand deserves a good visual story. And we’d love to tell it. If you need a little help getting your brand image in line with your voice, contact Wayward Kind and we’ll get you on track!

How to engage an audience with digital marketing

Connection vs. Conversation: How to Engage an Audience with Digital Marketing

By | Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing

We talk a lot about connection and conversation at Wayward Kind. There probably isn’t a post that goes by without at least one mention of the importance of connecting with your audience and engaging in conversations with them. And we still stand 100% behind that. But, there’s also a need to clarify the difference between the two.

Connection is that first spark. Conversation is what grows from that first spark.

So many small businesses want to know how to engage an audience with digital marketing. The truth is, they need to incorporate both connection and conversation. It’s great to make that first connection, but if the conversation ends right there, so does audience engagement. And you want that conversation to keep rolling on for a long while.

Taking the First Step

Sometimes it’s really hard to take the first step in marketing. Where do you start to build your audience, get eyes on your business, and sustain growth. All great questions. But really, they boil down to one question that really matters: how to engage an audience with digital marketing.

It starts with a spark. Kind of like Marie Kondo asking if something you own sparks joy!

Ultimately, when we talk about connection, you want to spark your audience enough to challenge them to do something. It may be commenting, opting into a campaign, or simply hitting the ‘like’ button. Whatever it is, that connection, that spark, is the segue to a good conversation.

So, how do you light that spark?

This is where the good stuff is—that spark comes from understanding your audience. What do they want? What is their biggest pain point? What makes them happy? What do they love? Basically, who are the people you want to start conversations with?

Once you know more about who they are, you can tailor digital marketing to speak to those needs and desires. That way, when they scroll across your post, or your blog turns up in a search query, they immediately feel that spark of “AHA! They know what I’m talking about!”

Audience segmentation can be a useful thing to do to make the most of your connection efforts. You can break down the different personas so that you’re not just throwing things at the wall trying to connect. Rather, you’re intentionally creating content that matters to the people it needs to matter to. That way, when you’re up late wondering how to engage an audience with digital marketing, you know who the audience is first.

Let’s Chat

You’ve got the connection. You lit the spark. Now what?

It’s time to get that two-way conversation going. One of the great things about digital marketing is that it really is about a conversation. Traditional media, like a newspaper or magazine ad, is typically a bold statement about a product. It may spark connection, but rarely does it start a conversation.

With the ubiquitous use of social media, email, and blogging, small business have the opportunity to respond directly to people. That may be in the form of a personal response to a blog comment, or an automated email campaign. Either way, there is a response that continues the conversation.

So much of our work at Wayward Kind is about how to engage an audience with digital marketing through meaningful conversations. Here are some of our favorite ways to take that initial connection to next-level conversations:

Ask Questions

People love to talk about themselves and their experiences. It makes them feel valued. When you ask a question and respond with validation, you are sure to open the door for further conversation. It’s also a great opportunity to learn more about your audience and what they need. It’s a win-win.

Nurture Campaigns

This is a fancy way of saying send a series of helpful emails. Have you ever signed up for a newsletter or product information and received a handful of emails? Well, that’s a nurture campaign.

The idea is that a business keeps the conversation by nurturing the relationship through education, offers, and awareness. Sending one big email blast doesn’t typically show that a business cares about their customers. But continual check-ins that truly speak an audience’s language can lead to a dramatic increase in engagement, and eventually, action.

Respond

Relationships are a process of give and take. Question and response. That’s a conversation, right? So, if you send and email, post a photo, write a blog post, or Tweet a video, and DON’T respond to anyone, your audience will likely feel like you don’t really care. Keeping that all important conversation going really is about putting in the effort to show you care less about self-promotion, and more about fulfilling the needs of your audience. And don’t forget to respond to reviews. People love to know that their opinions matter!

Remember that when it comes to how to engage an audience with digital marketing, it’s going to be about half connection, and half conversation. You really can’t have a conversation without a connection, and you can’t keep the connection going without a conversation. Be sure to focus on both, but also to differentiate between when you’re trying to connect, and when you’re trying to converse. When you find the balance, you’re sure to engage your audience and create sustainable lead generation and growth!

Connection is like planting a seed. Conversation is watering it. We love to do both. Wayward Kind loves to connect and get people talking, and we want to help you! Contact us today to learn more about creating a plan to engage and nurture your audience for the long-term.

Freshen up your small business blog

Freshen Up! Why New Content is Essential for a Small Business Blog

By | Content Development

Like a warm towel right out of the dryer, you want your blog to be fresh, not stale. No one likes a mildewy towel, right?

Of course, this should be an obvious fact. You don’t want your audience to get bored with your old content, and you certainly hope to draw in new readers by giving them something interesting and useful to chew on in your small business blog.

Consistent blogging is essential for building up your content reserves. It creates more opportunities for content related to your business to be found, which means greater lead generation and conversations around your brand. It also develops connections with your audience.

And it’s not by accident. It’s all a part of an intentional digital marketing strategy that works.

Check out some of these stats about the importance of maintaining your small business blog:

You get the idea. Blogging matters. But what all these stats have in common is that they all relate to fresh content. Whether it’s the body of your blog, the headlines, the tags, or the number of blogs you publish, keeping it fresh needs to be a part of your long-term digital marketing strategy.

Let’s learn why!

A Change is Gonna Come…

Change is good. It can be uncomfortable sometimes, but it’s essential to growth, even to audience growth and engagement.

When it comes to a small business blog, change is also good. But the type of change is key. Changing a single sentence in a blog or in body text won’t make a dent in rankings. But, changing a large amount of content perks Google’s interest enough to start noticing.

It can be challenging to fill your blog with new and interesting content, but it’s not terrible to re-purpose and expand on previous topics. But it must be different enough to interest your audience.

This is where doing some good keyword research can really help you. Popular search terms are constantly changing, so if you’re using a keyword from five years ago, it may no longer be relevant. Understanding the needs and wants of your target audience TODAY can really help you create content that sparks interest and gets people talking.

Timing is Everything

As with anything else, timing is integral to your small business blog strategy. Let’s say you have a blog, but it’s been two years since you’ve updated anything on it. The chances of that content being relevant or discovered is minimal.

Furthermore, Google sees you. They know that your blog content is not fresh and may treat those old pages differently.

As we’ve said before, consistency is the rule when it comes to blogging. You’re not going to see a sudden spike in leads after one post. But after a few months of posting on a consistent basis, your readers will start to see you as a credible source of new and exciting information. You’ll become the authority on the subject! They’ll start clicking more, sharing more, and taking action.

One more thing to consider for a small business blog is the time of day you choose to post. Along with fresh content, knowing when your readers are doing the most searching can really help to plan your blogs. This is where partnering with digital marketing experts who can help you strategize your blog posts is super beneficial. Between their marketing expertise and research abilities, they’ll help you get the timing just right.

Link it Up

Using links in blog posts is SO important. Whether it’s linking back to your own website (another reason to always have fresh content!), or linking to other reputable sites, using links can help to keep your small business blog totally fresh.

When including links, though, it’s important to do a little research first. Ask the following questions:

How old is the link?

If the link is quite old, you may end up back in the stale category. What’s relevant and useful now may not have mattered 3-5 years ago. Make sure the links you use are still helpful for your readers.

Is the link to a reputable website?

It may take a little time, but checking out the website you’re linking to can be a game-changer. Check that the site being linked to is in line with your values and industry. If there’s questionable material on the site, or it lacks credibility, find a different source.

Is the link from a competitor?

This can be tough when you’re researching content for your industry. But it’s crucial to find neutral sources of information, i.e. not competitor websites. Like you, they’re probably trying to keep their content fresh, but you never want to link back to a competitor’s business. Put your own spin on the content and find reliable sources that help support your small business blog post.

Staying fresh does take work, but it’s worth it. The most important thing to remember is that it’s not just about getting more leads or ranking higher—it’s about educating and informing your audience. It’s about benefiting them. When you approach content creation from that perspective, your small business blog will come out looking and smelling totally fresh!

We like to think we’re experts at giving small business blogs that fresh-out-of-the-dryer feel. Whether it’s creating content calendars, developing blogs, or keeping your social media up-to-date, we can help. Contact the Wayward Kind team today and we’ll help you freshen up!

Try Bonjoro Video App to increase audience engagement

Meet Bonjoro! The Video App to Help Increase Audience Engagement

By | Lead Nurturing

What is it about video that people LOVE so much? Whether it’s YouTube sensations, memes, GIFs, or Instagram stories, we have become a culture of self-made video producers and consumers.

As small business owners, we’ve got to pay attention to that.

Regardless of whether you love the camera or not, are posting how-to’s, or daily stories, adding video to your digital marketing strategy is a quick way to increase audience engagement.

Don’t believe us? Check out some of these staggering facts compiled by Wordstream:

We’ve explored all kinds of different tools to increase audience engagement with video, but recently, we’ve been loving Bonjoro, and we think you will, too.

Let’s get directing!

What is the Bonjoro App?

In a nutshell, Bonjoro allows you to integrate video with your existing CRM tools to send creative videos that target segments of your audience. You can add a message, customize calls-to-action (CTAs), and carry your brand voice through your video marketing.

And, because this is CRM friendly, you can track the results so you know how your audience responds.

You may be asking, “Why not just put a video on Instagram?” Good question.

Yes, post away on your social media. As we said above, those videos are gettin’ the hits and clicks, so keep ‘em coming. But, when you want to intentionally start conversations, and increase audience engagement, especially with certain segments of your audience, Bonjoro allows you to tailor your video. Think of it kind of like a targeted email campaign.

One of the best parts? Bonjoro videos are shareable. So, even if you send it to one segment of your audience, they have the ability to send and share with their audience, and so on. Pretty soon you’ll be the talk of the town.

Video Humanizes Your Small Business

While we’re all about the personal, face-to-face convos, the reality of our digital marketing world is that most communication is happening through a screen.

This presents an interesting challenge: how to humanize your small business and increase audience engagement without shaking their hand and seeing their face.

We think this is a huge reason why video is all the rage. People are craving some kind of connection. Pictures are nice. Words are nice. But sometimes they’re lacking that human quality. They can feel filtered or impersonal, whereas video is often more in-the-moment. People like real. They like vulnerable. They want to know YOU.

Also, videos are an efficient medium to tell your story. You may not think your story matters, but it does. People love hearing about who you are, how you got there, and where you’re going, in your own voice. You can swipe a few photos, or read a long caption, but most likely, people won’t take the time to do that. They will pause, though, to watch your lovely face for thirty seconds.

Basically, videos draw your audience into your world, rather than just throwing your brand into their world. Like Kelly here, sharing a bit about her new office-mate, Peggy the pegboard, using Bonjoro:

Bonjoro and Audience Engagement

You want to get people talking (cue Bonnie Raitt singing, “Let’s give ‘em something to talk about, a little mystery to figure out…”). Short-form videos (15 seconds to 2-minutes), like Bonjoro, are digital conversation starters.

But Bonjoro is unique in that it allows you to customize videos with added features that increase the likelihood of a response to keep the conversation going.

Some examples for small businesses might be:

  • Follow-up with clients or people from networking events
  • Connecting with prospective clients to help build trust and put a face and voice to a name
  • Show your gratitude to new clients
  • Celebrate! Personally tell your clients how great they are and how excited you are for their growth!

There’s 100 different ways you can approach it, but all are targeted at one thing: increase audience engagement.

One of our favorite things about Bonjoro is that it can be integrated with your email, social media, CRM tools, e-commerce, and more. You’re not limited to one platform, which makes it easy to share your video in a timely manner. Ya’ll know you could use a little more time, right?

Now that we’ve totally convinced you that video is important to increase audience engagement, we want to see your’s. We are all about conversations, aren’t we? Tell us who you are, what your business is, and why you love video, or why you’re skeptical of it. There’s no right or wrong answer here—we just want to know what you think.

Want to try out the Bonjoro mobile app?! Click here to download it now and start connecting with your audience!

Happy Filming!

We know video can feel…vulnerable. But we’re here to help. If you’re ready to dive into the world of video digital marketing, give Wayward Kind a holler. We think we’re reel swell at getting those digital conversations started.

Hashtags for Small Business

Hashtags for Small Business: Why You Should Be Using Them

By | Marketing Strategy

We’re gonna be real here: when we think of the word hashtag, we sometimes think of a hash brown—or our phone number from 1985.

But who would’ve guessed twenty years ago that so much of our information would be communicated by the pound sign?!

Small business digital marketing strategy can take a lot of forms. But something we’ve found is that many of our clients haven’t tapped into the amazing resource that is the hashtag for small business. You can use it to search for specific discussion topics, draw people to your business, and even brand yourself with a few simple characters. Ready to get started?!

#Goals

We’re pretty sure that most of our audience is familiar with what a hashtag is. But in case you’re still wondering, it’s simply a symbol (the pound sign) added in front of a word or phrase that makes searching for content easier. Whether you’re trying to get your business found, or you’re searching for something super specific, hashtags for small business just “tag” the things that are of interest to audience groups.

So many people are searching for products and services on social media these days that it seems almost criminal for small businesses not to use hashtags. But like any digital marketing strategy, there’s more to it than just adding a symbol to a word.

When deciding how to tag your posts, you need clearly defined goals. Let’s whittle it down with a few questions:

  • Are you trying to start or participate in ongoing digital conversations?
  • Do you want your content to be more discoverable?
  • Do you want to “brand” a hashtag (make one synonmous with your business, like #teamwaywardkind)?
  • Are you creating a promotion or contest with your hashtag?

Of course, there are tons of other questions, but answering these essentials can help you decide how to strategize hashtags for small business.

If you’re creating a branded hashtag, you know that you need a phrase unique to your business, or just use your business name. If you want to get found, you’ll need to do some digital digging for what hashtags are associated with your offerings. Whatever the case, it’s important to know why you’re dropping hashtags.

Now that you’re all intentional about it, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of how to use them.

Research Matters

If you’re trying to get in the conversation and increase audience engagement using hashtags for small business, the first thing you need to do is research. Hootsuite says to start by looking at what hashtags influencers use. Influencers are people that already have a strong presence in your brand’s niche. Check out what hashtags they use and for what posts to get an idea of what your target audience is searching for and talking about.

After seeing what the cool kids are doing, you can get a bit more analytical. Like keyword research tools, there are hashtag research tools. They make it easier to plan your posts, narrow down the most relevant hashtags, receive suggestions for hashtags, and get all the juicy analytics. Yes, this whole hashtag thing can get as detailed and scientific as you want.

Remember, this isn’t about becoming #instafamous—it’s about getting found and having meaningful conversations. It’s about discovering what matters to your audience. And you don’t need to have a million followers to do that—you just need to be curious and diligent.

From a Hashtag to a Conversation

Obviously, we’re big fans of good digital conversations. So we’re all about finding creative ways to start those conversations. If you want to increase audience engagement on your social media platforms, look no further than the humble hashtag for small business.

Get Specific

Let’s say you’re a realtor and you want to start using hashtags on Instagram. Great! But, it’s not as simple as just putting #realtor #realestate #realestateagent. Just like using long-tail keywords for SEO, you need to be specific with your hashtags. Of course, there’s a balance—you still want it to be a hashtag that someone would search. So, maybe don’t use #mostawesomehouseeverforsaleincalifornia. Probably not going to get that one found.

For example, if you’re a realtor in La Jolla, CA, who wants to increase engagement, use #lajollarealtor instead of just #realtor. With this small change, someone searching will get 2,423 results instead of 10,126,099. The chances of someone finding your business among 10 million hashtags is almost zero.

What’s Trending

One way to really get the most bang for your hashtag-for-small-business buck is to stay on top of what’s trending. That could be a brand similar to yours, or it could be an event (think weather event, conference, concert, etc.).

If you find that a similar brand is using a hashtag a lot, get in the conversation and start adding it to your posts. Or, consider what’s going on in your neighborhood or region. In 2018, Dunkin’ Donuts tapped into hashtags being used to reference blizzards happening in the Northeast. They saw what was trending and then invited customers to tag Dunkin’ Donuts in their blizzard posts. All from simply noticing what was going on around social media.

By doing this, you show your audience that you’re listening and that you want to engage with them. This makes them feel seen and valued and like they’re a part of your brand—not just on the outside of it.

Get Branded

Not exactly like the letters on the butt of a cow, but similar. You want to tag what’s yours.

These days, many brands are getting the word out by creating their own branded hashtag. Branded hashtags for small business are something like our #letsgetwayward. While it could simply be your brand or business name, you can also make it more actionable while including a branded element (like “Wayward”). You may even have a few branded hashtags that can be used on any social media post.

Once you create your own branded hashtag, you can start adding it to comments, or invite your audience to tag your brand in their posts. Start the trend going, get your name out there, and get people talking about your business.

Not All Hashtags Are Created Equal

Hashtags for small business are useful on all social media platforms, but their efficacy changes from one platform to another.

For example, hashtags are most effective on Twitter and Facebook when limited to 1 or 2 hashtags. But on Instagram, it’s better to use around 10. This all comes down to engagement. Instagram engagement is better with more hashtags, and Twitter is better with fewer.

These are important factors to consider in strategizing hashtag use. On Instagram, you have more opportunities to include relevant hashtags. On Twitter and Facebook, you need to be more discerning and really hone in on the most important hashtags.

And don’t forget about LinkedIn! Hashtags are newer to LinkedIn, but their function is the same—users can search based on keywords and hashtags. But, since LinkedIn caters to a more professional market, you’ll want to create and use hashtags that are more straightforward. That means leaving behind silly nicknames and memes and opting for something a bit more buttoned up.

Not sure about you, but we somehow feel way cooler when we’ve got some hashtags to back up our digital marketing game. But as cool as they are, they also serve an important purpose in personalizing your digital marketing strategy and getting the right eyes on your business.

Setting out to find the proverbial hashtag needle in the haystack does take work, which is why it may be helpful to tap into some expert help, like our team at Wayward Kind. We specialize in the analyzing and strategizing so that you don’t have to. Want to get in the hashtag for small business game? Contact us today!