Category

Content Development

Social proof can give your clients the information they need.

What Is Social Proof in Marketing? And Why Does It Matter?

By | Content Development, Lead Nurturing, Marketing Strategy

Social proof—it’s all over the news these days. But what is social proof exactly?

Social proof is when you like things because other people or brands like those things. They influence your opinion.

For example, think about the last novel you bought, it probably had raving reviews from big-name authors on the cover, right? That’s an example of the principle of social proof.

If Stephen King had great things to say about this book, then it must be good and you have to buy it. Otherwise, you’re missing out.

And social proof doesn’t only come from celebrities. Those around us every day are also an important source of social proof.

Have you ever bought something based on the recommendation of a friend? If so, you aren’t alone! About 77 percent of consumers found this to be the most persuasive way to learn about new products and businesses.

So how can you leverage this in your marketing?

Testimonials and other social proof examples may seem like small items, but in the big picture, they play a significant role in moving potential clients toward a sale.

Social proof is the hook that helps sell consumers on a product or service. Including some form of social proof in your marketing strategy will help give your potential clients the right information they need to consider doing business with you.

First Things First: Consumers Are Looking at Your Social Media

Your social media profiles say more about your brand than you might think. Consumers tend to look at your profiles to see the content you’re producing and if it’s worth their time.

Don’t worry about how many followers you have, how many likes you’ve gotten, or how many comments were left on your posts. At the end of the day, that doesn’t matter.

Your clients aren’t looking at that—what does matter is the quality of what you’re posting.

Utilizing social proof on your social media is a great content idea. For example, you can post part of a testimonial that someone left you or a link to case studies you have.

Whether you want to showcase a new client or a stellar testimonial you received, this kind of content is great for your social media.

Think of social media as a place to showcase your social proof and bring out your brand’s voice in a more casual setting.

Testimonials & Reviews Are More Important Than Ever for Social Proof

If your company’s page on different review sites like Yelp and Google looks like a ghost town, this isn’t a good sign for your business. But it doesn’t take a ton of reviews to make a difference.

Having just one review can encourage someone to do business with you. For example, every star increase you have on Yelp can increase revenue by 5 to 9 percent.

Before making a purchase, trying a new restaurant, or seeking a spontaneous haircut, most people today will look at a business’ reviews. Studies have shown that the average consumer checks two to three reviews sites before making a decision. If there are no reviews, they will be less likely to choose your business.

The same goes for testimonials on your website. By simply including attributed quotes from your happy clients in an easily accessible spot on your website, you can increase conversion rates.

This is word-of-mouth marketing in the digital age.

Don’t Forget About Case Studies for Social Proof

Although reviews and testimonials provide solid social proof, case studies prove why the reviews and testimonials can be trusted. Ultimately, clients want to know that you can solve the problem they’re facing.

If a client is interested in your product or service and you have case studies that show you’ve solved a problem similar to the one the person has, this helps build trust in what you’re offering.

Case studies allow you to build this personal connection with potential clients—which can help them move one step closer to becoming your next client.

Social Proof Should Showcase Your Clients

If you work with notable clients, show them off! Somewhere on your website, cite some of the businesses you’re working with.

If you’re working with other businesses, drop their logo onto your site—that alone has been shown as a viable source of social proof that pushes people to buy.

This will make you more credible to potential clients. One of those notable clients might be one they connect with or admire, which only makes them want to connect with you more.

Create a Conversation With Social Proof

So why does social proof matter?

Social proof offers your potential clients a mental shortcut to get from “Should I care about this?” to “tell me more.”

Create a conversation with your clients by giving them the information they need to care and want to learn more about your business and services you offer.

Social proof plays an important role in marketing. Are you using it to your advantage? Schedule a consultation with one of our experts to start putting social proof into action for your business.

Repurposing content is important for your content development plan.

Getting More Mileage Out of Your Content Development Plan

By | Content Development, Marketing Strategy

So you’ve put the time and investment into creating content, now what? Post it on your blog and that’s it?

Not quite.

Take that amazing content and repurpose it for different platforms and audiences. Your content development plan doesn’t have to stop at one audience and one platform.

The more platforms you use, the more people you reach, the more results you achieve.

What do you have to lose?

Why Does My Content Development Plan Need Repurposed Content?

Have you ever sat down to create an editorial calendar for the rest of the year with unique ideas every day of the week? You will most likely run out of ideas within a few months.

Hence the benefit of repurposing content.

When you repurpose content in your content development plan, you can use the same idea dozens of times—in a ton of different ways.

Not only is this going to save you time, but repurposing content can help drive traffic to one source. If you know anything about SEO, this is a good thing. Continuously driving traffic to one spot can help you rank high for a given keyword on Google.

If you have several different audiences that you market to but each have a service in common, you can easily switch up some of the wording in your content to cater it to a different audience. That keeps you from writing something from scratch, but still personalizes the content for each audience.

The last reason you should repurpose your content is that there are different audiences on every platform. Not everyone checks Facebook…and not everyone opens emails.

The more platforms you use, the more likely someone will read your content.

Where Should I Repurpose Content?

You can repurpose your content almost anywhere. Whether you prefer digital or print, you can use it across the board. The possibilities are pretty endless, but a few options include:

 

  •        Blogging
  •        Guest blogging
  •        Email marketing
  •        Video marketing
  •        Social media
  •        E-books
  •        Infographics
  •        Brochures
  •        Newspapers/magazines

How Do I Repurpose Content in My Content Development Plan?

Whether your initial content is a blog, video, email, or something else, you can use that content across the board.

For example, let’s start with a blog about baking the best chocolate chip cookies. You can first repurpose this blog by posting a link to it on different social media platforms. Schedule these for different days and different times depending on your audience.

Next, you can take that blog about baking the best chocolate chip cookies and make a video about it. Whether you want to take a live video of you baking these cookies or a slideshow that demonstrates the process, this video can be posted on YouTube, on the original blog, and on social media platforms. Voilà, that’s content use No.3!

You can also make an infographic with content from this blog and/or video.

From there, you might find that this recipe is a huge hit and you want to have it published in a newspaper, magazine, or brochure. You can pull bits and pieces of the original content into the new piece, cutting the time for creation way down.

Don’t forget to email the recipe out to your network! You can use part of the blog to catch your reader’s attention, where they will then click on the link to read the rest of the blog and to watch the video.

Once you’ve gathered up enough blogs about the same topic, compile them into one document and repurpose them as an e-book, which you can then repurpose across all the platforms.

This content development strategy will allow your content to circulate through the platforms so that it stretches as far as possible.

Our last tip: Don’t publish your content all at once, spread it out! Not only does it last longer this way, but it increases the chances that your audience will see it in one place and increase exposure to your brand.

If creating your own content development plan seems a bit overwhelming, no sweat! Our team at Wayward Kind is happy to work with you to create the right content strategy. Get in touch today to discover how we can take your content to the extra mile.

SEO optimization

Why SEO Optimization Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

By | Content Development, Lead Generation, Marketing Strategy

SEO sounds so simple—make sure all your web content, blogs, and landing pages can be easily located and ranked high by search engines. But it’s not really simple—and it’s not just a one-time thing.

Just when you think your SEO efforts are in tip-top shape, Google rolls out another twist and you find yourself struggling to catch up to the pack.

Imagine an athlete training to compete as a sprinter only to be told at the last minute she was entered in the Boston Marathon. Whoa! The training is different, the skills you need are different, and you’ll need way more stamina if you’re running long distances.

SEO is a long-haul marathon process. Marketing managers and companies study the latest Google algorithms often to learn just what it takes to get to the top of search rankings. And yet, Google is always elusive, never quite divulging all its secrets.

So spend a few minutes stretching, grab your running shoes, and let’s focus on some key principles to help you prepare for the marathon of improving your web content SEO.

SEO Is Work

Just as training for and running a marathon is hard work, so is the ongoing task of preparing your web content for SEO. Like marathon training, it’s a long game. Each race demands its own level of training. For most marathon runners, after one race comes another.

Good SEO programs and services can provide you with data and guidance, but the work is up to you.

You must implement the changes (or authorize their implementation) on your website. Make the necessary adjustments to your design. Seek to understand recent keyword data and how it needs to be woven into your content.

Or, you can depend on an SEO-savvy team to get you there.

SEO Takes Discipline

If you want to get in the physical shape necessary to run a marathon, you should eat well, sleep well, and have a training plan. Improving your rankings on search engine results pages is similar—you need a plan.

SEO means making changes when they are necessary, even when it hurts. It means improving website design. It means quality keyword research and use practices. It means internal and external linking that builds value and boosts rankings.

SEO Takes the Right Equipment

It’s easier to train and run a marathon if you have the right equipment. If you want to run long distances, you need great running shoes for support. If you want to get on Google’s first result page, you need a few important resources to get there.

Clean web pages, seamless back-end structure, and a reputable SEO tool are some great suggestions. Also, it pays in the long run to invest in smart keyword research and SEO assistance.

SEO Requires Following the Rules

Like training for a marathon, there really are no shortcuts to effective SEO. A short-term gain can lead to sickness and destroying your body. You also cannot take shortcuts to get ahead of the competition.

To get quick SEO results, some companies consider spammy techniques that promise results. But Google is on to that. Any attempt at shortcutting the process can result in penalties or even being banned altogether.

At Wayward Kind, our SEO experts have trained for the long haul, and we can go the distance with your company’s SEO process. Done correctly, SEO produces results.

A client needed to increase leads and nurture those leads as they moved through the buying process. After working with our team to improve their content strategy and SEO, they celebrated the following results:

  • Increased the number of keywords ranking on page one of search results by 40%
  • Improved position of targeted keywords in search results by an average of 13
  • Increased time on site by 51%

Our team has experience in generating the best results for online marketing clients. Get in touch today to discover how we can ensure your online content is ranking well helping prospective clients find your products or services.

Don’t feel like blogging? Create this kind of content instead.

By | Content Development, Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, Marketing Strategy

“If you don’t have something meaningful to say, don’t say anything at all.”

As a content strategist, I spend a lot of time working with clients to help them blog consistently. Blogging consistently produces results — there’s no question about it. It can help you grow your audience and become known as a thought leader in your industry. It also builds traffic to your website so you can convert more sales.

Important stuff.

But even more important is being smart about when you ask for your audience’s attention.

If you don’t have something meaningful or helpful to share, blogging just to blog doesn’t do anything to help your audience. And at the end of the day, your blog is about them, not you.

Think about it this way — if someone who’s never heard of you before lands on your website today and sees your latest post, are they likely to read anything else you’ve written?

Going on a Blogging Hiatus

Over the last few months, I took a little blogging siesta. This break started as most business breaks do — with total and complete burnout. I was trapped in Content Development Groundhog Day and when I thought about writing my weekly blog post, the first thing that came to mind was a series of listicles (a.k.a. the lazy girl’s blogging strategy). That’s when I knew it was time to take a week off.

Just one week, I promised myself.

Then one week became two.

And two became…well, you know the rest.

As a content strategist, I know the data behind consistent blogging. There’s no doubt that it works, but that didn’t change the fact that I just wasn’t feeling it. So, instead of pounding out content just to prove to myself I could be consistent, I decided to experiment with something new. A few somethings, in fact.

Here are the four pieces of content I created this summer during my blogging hiatus.

Making Personalized Introductions

Making an introduction for your clients and colleagues is one of the most useful and personal pieces of content you’ll ever create — whether that means making an introduction to people they want to collaborate with, sharing new resources or tools that can simplify their business, or telling them about articles you think they’ll find useful.

When people know you are always on their mind and you are thinking about their business and their success every day, they tend to reciprocate. This strategy may not build website traffic, but it builds deeper relationships, loyalty and a strong foundation for referrals.

Making these connections took a fraction of the time it would have taken me to blog all summer long. Instead of writing listicles, I spent more time listening to the people around me and hearing what they needed…then connecting them with one of my colleagues who was a good fit to help them solve their problem.

Quick Tip for Making Meaningful introductions

Personalize every single introduction you make (or don’t make one). If you’re going to connect two people you know with one another, add a personal note about each of them explaining how you met them, what you love about their work and why you’d recommend them.

Anyone can fire off an impersonal email introduction, but only you know what needs to be said to make a genuine connection between the two people you’re introducing.

Playing with Instagram Captions

I’m a total sucker for Instagram. Well, me and about 300 Million other people.

One huge trend in my business over the last 12 months has been an exponential increase in requests for help with Instagram. We are now creating content for both product-based businesses and clients in the service sector. I have an incredible social media team working with me, but it was high time I figured for myself out what works (and what doesn’t) on this platform.

So this summer, I played around with it.

I used it for business a little bit.

And family a lot a bit.

I tried short captions and long ones.

I got crazy with hashtags and went hashtag free (ok, I never actually went hashtag free, but I got close a couple of times).

I even tried story style and get-to-the-fricking-point style.

What did I learn? Instagram is first and foremost a visual platform (duh). People want pretty pictures. But what I found surprising is that people are more likely to like, comment and repost when the copy is brilliant, too.

Pretty copy + pretty pictures = SLAM DUNK, IG-style.

I stopped using my Facebook business page months ago because it wasn’t performing, so I wasn’t expecting to get much traction from Instagram. But after three months of experimenting, color me surprised (and grateful) to know that Instagram is a platform where I can connect with some pretty amazing new clients.

Quick Tip for Instagram Captions

There’s no better playground than your personal Instagram account. If you want to figure out what works for your business, do a little trial and error testing on your personal account so you’re polished and ready when you start integrating business posts.

Psst…you can do this on Facebook too. See what gets the most traction on your personal profile. The same type of language, pictures and stories will often work on your business page, too!

Being Relentlessly Helpful

Tim Grahl, one of my mentors, always says marketing is about being relentlessly helpful. As you’re creating content for your audience, ask yourself if it’s useful.

You don’t need to blog every single week to effectively sell your services. Creating relentlessly helpful content for your audience could be as simple as answering client questions, Periscoping about a useful book you recently read, or recording your screen as you walk through a process your ideal clients use everyday.

Quick Tip for Being Relentlessly Helpful

When you create content, make sure it’s making your audience’s life better or making their businesses run more smoothly. Helpful content is the kind of thing people thank you for and remember.

Using Meaningful Words

The words you use on your website and in your blog are definitely considered content. But so are the inside words that you use with your team. For instance, I think we can all agree that no one wants to feel like they are just a number on a list. Yet many entrepreneurs refer to their email subscribers as their “list”.

Ick.

I spent some time over the last few months redefining my “inside voice”. The words I use internally with my team matter just as much as the words I use with clients. In fact, they matter more.

And since I work intimately with a small number of clients, we know a lot about each other. I know my clients’ kids names, where they’re headed on their big vacation for the year and what they’re struggling with in their business. When you work with people this closely, “lists” don’t matter.

People matter. The results they’re achieving matter. And they way they feel about your word choice — that matters, too.

Quick Tip for Choosing Meaningful Words

Content Marketing is about creating a sense of belonging. Choose words that make people feel like an important part of what you’re doing and make sure everyone on your team is on board.

Now it’s your turn

What kind of unconventional content have you been working on lately? Share a link in the comments to the most useful piece of content you’ve created (or read) recently so we can learn from you!