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Content Development

Content Marketing Plan success

Get the Party Started with a Content Marketing Plan

By | Content Development

Have you ever planned a big party? One with catering, and rentals, and A/V, and games, and invitations, and…the list goes on. It can be overwhelming. You start with this big idea, but sometimes, it’s easy to get lost in the details and lose sight of what your goal was to begin with: to throw a fabulous party.

Your small business has many goals, too. Perhaps not to throw a party (although, that’s not a bad idea come the holidays!). But to increase leads, convert followers into engaged users and buyers, and grow your business. That last one is definitely a worthy goal, but trying to do that all without some kind of plan is going to get crazy fast.

Enter in a content marketing plan. While each plan will look and feel different, the point is that as you’re working to scale your business, you’re doing it with intention. You’re not just saying you want to generate more leads—you’re making a plan for how to get them. Same can be true of any digital marketing goal you have.

Whether you’re partnering with a digital marketing agency, or getting your marketing juices flowing in-house, we’re offering up some tried and true tips to develop a successful content marketing plan.

A Content Marketing Plan Starts with Your Audience

You’ve probably heard the phrase “read the room” from comedians. It’s the idea that you can immediately get a sense for the vibe of your audience and tailor your material and tone to them. The same can be true for digital marketing strategy.

Harkening back to our party analogy, if you’re planning a party for a teenager, but you offer them goody bags filled with kazoos and crayons, your audience of snarky teens may revolt. You’ve got to know your audience well enough to speak to their needs, pain points, and the value you bring. You may even shift your goal from making more sales or generating more leads to making better connections with your audience.

To develop those connections and build your content marketing plan, start by breaking your audience up into segments. There are many different ways to segment, but to keep it simple, consider demographics and psychographics.

Demographics are things like age, gender, location—the real tangible stuff of who your audience is. Psychographics are things like buying habits, values, and hobbies—the why behind your audience’s actions. Using only one of those segments can lead to a marketing campaign that’s too broad and never truly connects with any one audience. 

Getting all this information is a great place to start building your strategy. And how do you do that? Here are a few simple ways:

  • Get to know your current clients: Engage in some small talk and learn more about who they are and what they’re into. As the relationship develops, you’ll be able to get more information about why they chose your company and what they love about your services. Don’t be afraid to ask some questions and show you care.
  • Analytics: If you don’t already have some sort of metrics for what your audience is doing online, start with that. With tools like Google Analytics you can easily assess behavior and engagement.
  • CRM Tools: Organize, prioritize, and catalogue relationships with your audience using CRM software. CRM tools are a great way to build your audience segments, too. 

How Are You Talking to Your Audience?

Putting together a solid content marketing plan means that you’re going to be using a variety of channels to talk to your audience. Emails, blogs, website copy, social media, ads—they’re all ways of communicating. But how you communicate will change depending on which channel you’re using.

For instance, let’s say you’re setting up an email campaign: five emails that target an audience of brand new users who you want to introduce to your business. First off, can we just say how important these email nurture series can be to cultivating new relationships? SO important!

Each email in that series will share a bit of information about what you do, pointing back to your website blogs, services, or a guide of some kind. But you have to consider the intention of your communication channel (email): to point your audience back to your website so they can engage more. 

These emails aren’t blogs. You’re not trying to educate readers on one specific topic with lots of relevant information. Yes, you want to show your value and credibility, but you have to do it succinctly and with your target audience in mind. Once they click on a link in your email, they’ll get back to your website and clearly see how awesome and credible you are.

The bottom line is that when you’re creating a content marketing plan, you have to seriously consider the type of content you’re producing and how it’s being delivered. It’s a game-changer for connecting with your audience, but also for your marketing ROI

Show Your Value

Finally, don’t forget how great you are. People tend to be uncomfortable talking about themselves, but remember, you are an expert in your field. That’s why you’ve built an entire business around your zone-of-genius. Be confident in that.

Part of that confidence is understanding what problems your business solves. What are the pain points your audience has? Why are they searching things like, “Best screen repair in San Diego?” What are they feeling when they’re searching or sending you an email?

Answering those questions on a macro level can help to get your content marketing plan started by identifying general industry pain points. Answering them on a micro level can help you develop specific, targeted campaigns that address how your different products or services solve a user’s unique problem. 

So, there you have it—some content marketing essentials. Know your audience, assess your communication channels, and know and show your value. With this foundation, you’re sure to avoid a dud content party

Don’t get lost in the details of your content marketing party. Let Wayward Kind help you develop a strategic content marketing plan that takes the stress of trying to wrangle digital marketing off your plate, so you have more time to focus on growing a thriving business. Contact us today!

branded playlists

The Sound of Music: Connect with Your Audience with Branded Playlists

By | Content Development

Who doesn’t love music? We all have some favorite artists and genres, and probably a few guilty pleasures. But have you ever thought about your business as a source for some great musical content? 

Maybe not, but we think it’s time to tap into your own rhythmic spirit and consider making a branded playlist.

What is that? Basically, they’re just curated playlists that are unique to your business. They could be curated by event, holiday, or even by your team members (as we’ve started doing here at Wayward Kind!). You could even create playlists that are targeted to certain segments of your audience. The options are limitless, but the point is, tapping into your musical side is just one more way to build relationships with your clients and customers, and show them a bit more of who your business is.

What Do I Do With Branded Playlists?

Your playlists are content. Learning where and when to use them is all about digital strategy. Thankfully, once you have a playlist or two under your belt, you can repurpose them in a number of fun, engaging ways.

Opt-In Offer

Something we’ve been talking about a lot is how to give our clients valuable content that really helps them or gives them something interesting to chew on, so to speak. One way to do that is by creating opt-in offers.

Your opt-ins are simple offers that give your audience something of value. When they sign up, their email gets added to your list so that you can continue to send them valuable content. With permission, of course!

Creating branded playlists are a great way to build quick and fun opt-in offers that can be featured as content across digital platforms. 

Newsletter Feature

You’ve probably already got a solid email list going (if not, then you’ve got to read this post!), so why not include your branded playlists in your newsletters? Remember, emails are all about educating, informing, and helping your readers. Sending some good tunes straight to their inbox shows that you care about more than just selling—you’re sharing something personal and creating a connection with readers. And who knows what fun feedback and conversations may start as a result of your playlists!

Social Media

If you’re looking to elevate your social media strategy, offering something beyond just a typical daily post could really intrigue your audience. Perhaps once a month you have a day where you give them a branded playlist, curated just for your social media segment. They’ll start to look forward to your posts and eagerly await every month when you have fresh tunes for them.

The Science Behind Music and Memory

We can talk all day about digital marketing strategy, but when it comes to music, strategy and science marry together to create a unique, memorable experience that makes your brand stand out. 

Think about it: your favorite song pops on the radio and suddenly you’re whisked away to a special moment from years ago. The scent in the air, the person you were with, and the place you were sitting all come flooding back. That’s because music and rhythm induce memory. Music is essentially an oral tradition that was invented to aid in memorizing stories before writing was even a thing. 

Now, we write more than ever, but tend to think less about music as it pertains to memory. The thing is, music is still a highly effective tool for helping people remember your brand. Just think about one of those annoyingly memorable jingles from a commercial. Hopefully, your branded playlists doesn’t annoy anyone. But the songs you choose can create positive associations with your brand, and we’re all about that!

We all want to be memorable, whether it’s for that special someone, or a potential client. Wayward Kind loves helping small businesses increase their digital presence with expert strategy and content development that can’t help but induce some positive memories. Want help with your branded playlists and strategy? Contact us today to get started!

microcopy matters

Microcopy Matters: How to Motivate in a Few Words

By | Content Development

It’s the little things that count. Like a butterfly fluttering across your path, a child’s smile, or a snail-mail thank you note. Seriously though, don’t you just love a good old fashioned thank you?! In digital marketing, those little things can come in the form of tiny bits of copy. Which is why we’re here to tell you, microcopy matters

Microcopy is the little bits of copy that help users find what they need with ease. Yes, this copy may guide them towards a shopping cart or a signup page, but ultimately, microcopy is about the user, not a sales pitch. It’s about keeping the digital conversation going—taking it to the next level.

Your website copy, blogs, social content, and emails are all important. Don’t abandon those. But for this post, pull out your glasses, binoculars, and microscopes, and let’s explore the details.

So, What Are Examples of Microcopy?

We’re so glad you asked. Truth be told, it sounds like teeny-tiny letters, which it could be, but that would make the user experience (UX) more cumbersome. Think of microcopy like the opposite of long-form copy, like a blog post. It’s the short, concise bits of copy that are like signposts for readers. 

Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

It’s right there in the name: ACTION. You’re telling them to do something—like a director. A good CTA is like a strong, confident handshake. You’re not shying away from telling readers what to do because you know what you’ve got to offer is valuable. You can even make the CTA fun, playful, and engaging, just as long as it’s clearly pointing them in the right direction.

Check out our very own Wayward Kind “Story” page. We give readers snippet of what we do, with focus on cultivating digital conversations. So, what’s our CTA button? “Let’s Talk.” Our conversations aren’t just with existing clients, or their audience, they’re with everyone and we make that clear by telling them we want to talk to them.

Microcopy CTAOpt-In Forms

People are often a bit skeptical about signing up for things. So, if they’ve gotten to the point where they’re ready to sign-up for a newsletter, a service, or anything really, GREAT! Microcopy matters here—it’s used as a way to quickly explain something or direct users to further information. Essentially, it helps them feel more confident about the choice they’re making.

Check out the MailChimp sign-up form below. It tells you the benefits (“Find your people. Engage your customers…”), where to go if you already have a log-in, and clearly explains what your password needs to be valid. We’ve all had those frustrating moments where our passwords don’t work, right? It’s simple, yet informative, and it’s all because of some good microcopy. 

opt-in offer microcopy

Image: MailChimp

Helpful Reminders

Did you abandon your shopping cart? Forget to check out related products? Well, microcopy will remind you. These tidbits of copy can not only guide users to make their purchase, but also create a playful conversation that will make them feel encouraged, even excited to take action.

Knowing what your users like can also help to create microcopy that will guide them to other useful products and services. Remember, your helping them. You’re the tour guide through the website. Consider what’s going to help them do that with ease and interest. 

What Should Microcopy Do?

We touched on this above, but it’s worth diving a bit deeper into the intention of microcopy. So here’s a few key things to think about when getting your writing juices flowing.

Microcopy Should:

  • Set expectations: Where users are headed, what they should do and why
  • Speak the customer’s language: Align language and tone with your brand. If you’re fun, be fun in your microcopy. If your audience is made up of professionals seeking clear information, keep it simple and direct. You know your audience best.
  • Be Informative: It’s not just there to look good—it explains, very briefly, something that’s important to the user
  • Be Timely: This is huge. Consider when you want users to do something, and add the micropy in there. For example, on the homepage of your website. You probably want to get them to more of your services or “About” page quickly. So, put your CTA at the top, not the bottom. The chances of them getting to the bottom of the page and seeing the CTA button is minimal. Time it right, and you’ll probably give them more of what they need, when they need it. 

Big or small, your copy matters and tells a story—and we love telling the stories of our clients. If you’re ready to get your digital conversations going, contact us today. We can’t wait to talk to you!

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!

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!

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.

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!

Generate more qualified leads through a personalized content marketing strategy.

Personalized Content Marketing Strategy for Greater ROI

By | Content Development, Marketing Strategy

Consumers in the United States spend about as much time sleeping––about 7.8 hours––every day as they do engaging with online content. (Source: Adobe) The time you spend on content marketing strategy is well worth it.

2019 is officially here, bringing opportunities for new beginnings and a fresh start for your content marketing strategy. With email, search, and social continuing to dominate the content landscape, it’s easy to get scattered and try to do a little bit of everything to connect with your clients online. Before you dip a toe in too many digital channels, start with a solid plan.

The bulk of your marketing budget should not be spent on ad campaigns and promotional marketing. Instead, spend that time creating meaningful, customized content that helps your clients solve a challenge. They will thank you for your efforts with their trust.  

The most effective content is tailored for the industry your business is in, as well as with a specific person––and a specific challenge–– in mind. The content should offer your audience a solution to their problem. For instance, a cost analysis tool might help customers understand how you help them save money. A white paper or infographic could explain how your services will help streamline a potential client’s business operations.

Here are a few of the most important steps that should be taken when developing a content marketing strategy for your business.

Personalize your content marketing strategy

Content personalization will continue to be a major content marketing trend in 2019. This not only means that your content needs to be customized for each target audience, but you also need to develop the right strategy for each platform you use to distribute your content.

In a survey of 190 marketing influencers worldwide conducted by Ascend2, 63 percent of respondents said that developing personalized content is a difficult tactic to execute. Instead of thinking of it as if you need to create custom content for each person who interacts with your brand, approach personalization as an opportunity to create relevant and useful information and understanding your clients’ core challenges.

Valuable content is a powerful element to your content marketing strategy. Your clients can tell the difference between meaningful content and content that was developed just to fill space or provide click-bait.

If you spend the time developing meaningful content, you’re likely to generate more qualified leads. As you build out your content schedule for 2019, identify what your audience wants to learn about, not what you want to sell. That will help to eliminate content ideas that are just space-fillers, or overly self-serving without providing real value.

Distribute content effectively

The way your content reaches your audience is crucial for a small business’s content marketing strategy.

Social media is one way to distribute your personalized, segmented content, but your efforts shouldn’t stop there. A segmented email marketing strategy will also be helpful. When you really know who your audience is and what they’re most interested in, you will be able to create even more valuable content––videos, infographics, webinars, gifs, blog posts, etc.––and know exactly where to share it to get the right message in front of the right audience at the right time.

Once you have a handle on which content should be distributed through email marketing and social media, you can extend this knowledge to your website and personalize content for the traffic you drive from other channels.

Power in numbers

Prospective clients rarely make a purchase decision based on one piece of content. It takes time and repetition to build trust. Rather than putting all of your time and effort into creating one piece of content, plan to develop a series of content that will provide ongoing value over time. This will help your audience understand your expertise and how you can help them solve their challenges.

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!

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 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.