Category

Lead Generation

audience segmentation

Gettin’ Personal with Audience Segmentation

By | Lead Generation

It’s probably no surprise that Wayward Kind is really big on creating personal connections with people and the world around us, and we’re committed to bringing those connections into digital spaces. That’s why any conversation about how to personalize your digital marketing is so important to us.

We’re talking about audience segmentation.

It sounds kind of clinical, right? But it’s really just a fancy way of saying that because you understand your audience (who they are, how they search, what they purchase, what they like, they emotions they have), you know how to approach them—you know how to divide them into meaningful groups. Mastering audience segmentation makes it so much easier to connect with the right people at the right time.

We’re going to demystify this fancy term and give you a few ways to parlay your audience information into some pretty amazing nurturing tools. Let’s get segmenting!

Beyond Demographics

Before we launch any further into audience segmentation, we’ve go to have a good understanding of what goes into creating audience personas. Certainly, demographics are a piece of the pie—it can help to know where people are from, age, gender, etc.

But even more important, are their behaviors and attitudes. Why do clients or customers choose a particular product or service? What was it that finally sparked that moment of action? Susan Baier of Audience Audit calls this attitudinal segmentation and says that it “gives you everything you need to build accurate, easy-to-understand personas driven by motivations.”

Asking the right questions and doing good research goes beyond just knowing their demographic stats and helps you mine for the real audience gold. When you know the why behind the who, you can develop well-targeted digital strategies that are authentic, purposeful, and useful. And authenticity goes a long way when it comes to marketing.

Focusing simply on demographics can feel a bit more like someone is just talking at you, not creating content specifically for you. It limits your digital marketing strategy to, well, one avenue. That means that if someone doesn’t fit into your targeted marketing to 18-35 year old females, they’ll likely bounce.

Why? Because your audience, whether they know it or not, wants to have a conversation. They want to feel like you’re asking them questions, listening to them, and getting something valuable from your services.

Audience segmentation maximizes your business’ potential, whether that be lead generation, lead nurturing, or sales. It goes outside the box of age, gender, and geography to make your audience first. And this isn’t just good for your audience—it’s good for your business. You spend less time trying to chase down clients, and more time cultivating meaningful relationships. That’s where the gold truly is.

How Do I Use Audience Segmentation?

Let’s say you’ve got all the info, entered it into you CRM tools, and you’re ready for launch—now what? How do you apply all this valuable information to your digital presence? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Email Marketing

As fervent believers in a fun, personalized email marketing strategy, this is a great place to start implementing audience segmentation. These days, email marketing platforms like Mailchimp offer tons of ways to easily segment your audience. You can categorize by what they bought, where and when they signed up, what they’ve clicked, and more. Remember, this is about the why behind their behavior, not just who they are.

You can take a step further by personalizing emails with recipients’ names, or offers that are tailored to a specific group. You may also consider developing newsletter campaigns that target your different audience segments. This is a way to show your audience you know them by integrating videos, images, and offers that speak directly to that group’s needs. Basically, you can make it as personal as you want.

Social Media

With all the platforms out there today, there are plenty of options to use audience segmentation in a social media strategy. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Targeting: Paid ads are always an option on social media platforms, but you can also opt for a more budget-friendly, organic targeting by creating filters that you can tailor content towards.
  • Create groups: Having specific groups allows you to target posts to relevant audiences, engage in discussion, and connect with your audience. This is also a great way to receive feedback.
  • Lists: Some social media platforms allow you to create lists so that you can send quality content to the people who you want to receive it. You can even try posting to groups at different times of day to track engagement.

Blogging

You probably won’t have separate blogs for each of your audience personas. But, employing some of your audience segmentation skills to your blog strategy can help you create better digital conversations with your audience. Combined with smart long-tail keyword research, you can develop a regular blog schedule that addresses common questions, concerns, and interests that different audience segments may have. This is also a great way to build up your digital content to include in forthcoming emails and social media posts.

Here’s the bottom line about audience segmentation: CONNECT. Understanding why your audience does what they do gives you the ability to tap into their needs before they even know they have them. You can accurately anticipate what they need, when they need it, and why. You’re basically a digital psychologist.

Ultimately, the more you know your audience, and show that you know them, the more credibility you have. We want to help you build that credibility. If you’re curious about how to use audience segmentation in your digital marketing, contact Wayward Kind. We love to get to know you and your audience!

what are long tail keywords

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

By | Lead Generation

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

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

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

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

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

The Tale of the Tail

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

what are long-tail keywords

Source: Moz.com

Winning the SEO Race

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

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

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

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

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

Natural & Organic Aren’t Just Food Terms

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

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

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

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

Humor in digital marketing

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

By | Lead Generation, Marketing Strategy

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

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

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

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

Captivate with Witty, Digital Marketing Banter

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

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

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

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

Digital Marketing Humor, Beyond the Punchline

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

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

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

The Long-Game: Consistent Digital Marketing

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

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

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

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

Generate more leads with targeted email marketing.

Unlock The Secret to Successful Lead Generation with Email Marketing

By | Lead Generation

There’s no doubt that social media and its subsequent marketing are alluring. Its shareability has made it an easy, essential way for small businesses to get the word out. But once everything has been retweeted, liked, and posted, then what? How do you have ongoing  conversations with your followers that actually matter? And what paves the way to greater customer retention?

Email Marketing.

Despite its strategic, less-than-sexy reputation, email marketing is still the best way to generate leads and take your audience beyond a tap on the ‘like’ button.

Why? Because email communication sparks a feeling of connection in consumers. They feel like you care about them, like you see them, and like you understand exactly what they need. Email marketing isn’t just about making your business look cool and garnering thousands of followers, it’s about taking the relationship to the next level (kinda like the difference between the first date and the fifth.

Your customers and subscribers truly want to know you and engage with you. And the proof is overwhelming–from ROI to click-through rates, email out performs social media in almost every way, which is why it’s become a tried and true method to unlocking the secret of generating and nurturing sales leads. Let’s take a look at why:

Let’s Get Personal

We all want to feel seen and heard. When we do, we’re more likely to listen and engage with the world around us. The digital world is no different. When your subscribers feel like you understand them, they’re more likely to purchase your product or service.

Email marketing gives you the opportunity to make sure your subscribers feel like you get them–what they like, what they need, and what their values are. They feel like they can trust you, and there’s nothing better than being a trustworthy business.

To get personal with your audience, try this:

Make Segmented Lists

These lists are based on your subscribers’ personas: demographics, interests, profession, purchase history, etc. Target your message and see a dramatic increase in click-through rates.

Say Their Name

Personalize the sender email and subscriber names to show your authenticity and elevate credibility.

Make Them an Offer

Include offers and coupons that are relevant to the specific group your emailing to, and maximize your business’ transactions by up to 6x.

Convert Your Followers

You may have 5,000 Facebook followers, but if they don’t click, they’re not getting to know your business. To grow your business, you need to convert your followers into committed customers and one way to accomplish that is with a successful email marketing campaign.

Reports have shown that click-through rates on emails hover around 3.57 percent, while rates for Facebook land at a miniscule 0.07 percent. Let’s go back to our 5,000 followers–that means that only 3.5 followers will click on your Facebook link and potentially transform into customers. On the flip side, if you send an email to 5,000 subscribers, your click-through rate jumps to 178.5! That’s 175 more chances to show how awesome you are and continue nurturing your leads.

Transactional Emails Can be Transformative Opportunities

As avid email users, we are trained to look at emails as transactions–something we need to do something with. Considering that, you can bank on your subscribers responding in some way. What’s key is to see that the transaction of sending and receiving emails is an opportunity to transform your subscribers into loyal customers, your marketing campaign into a meaningful conversation, and your business into a reputable, industry leader.

Measurability Matters

Measurability is one of the biggest benefits of email marketing. Email interactions allow you to:

  • See who opened it
  • What they clicked
  • What they viewed
  • What action they took

When you have detailed metrics like those above, you can tailor future email campaigns to enhance specific services, target offers and coupons to a certain group, and effectively format emails to get the most clicks. Basically, the more metrics you have, the more like you are to increase conversion rates–and that’s a good thin.

ROI

$44 for every $1 spent on email marketing–no matter how you slice it, that’s a remarkable return on investment for any marketing channel. There is no greater digital well to tap than email. Combine some killer emails with a stellar website and you’re sure to generate more leads and more business.

Email is Ubiquitous

I’ve got an email address, you’ve got an email address, heck even my grandma has an email address–and we’re really good at checking those emails all day long. In fact, we’ve become digital experts with the ubiquitous smart phone, which has placed our personal and professional interactions within immediate reach. So, why not be one of those all-important emails that lands in your users’ inbox?

To sweeten the deal, remember that 61 percent of consumers prefer to be contacted by email. No matter how cool your Instagram page is, the chances of getting more eyes on your business are exponentially better through email.

After all this, remember: consumers want to know who you are. The most valuable resource you have is your authenticity. So, don’t be afraid to share who you are through email marketing. The conversations that start around your email campaigns really do matter.

If you haven’t tapped into the wonderful world of email marketing, or if creating email marketing campaigns isn’t your jam, no worries. Wayward Kind is ready to partner with you.

Get in touch today so our stellar marketing pros can help you master your email marketing strategy and get you the leads you’ve been waiting for.  

To generate growth you must engage all parts of the sales funnel.

Is Your Sales Funnel Leaking?

By | Lead Generation, Marketing Strategy

If you’ve been in the business for any length of time, you’ve probably faced the scenario. An existing client referred a potential client to you.

The prospect is promising—it’s a mid-sized business that needs your services to help promote growth among their own clientele. You had a phone call and then a follow-up meeting to chat through the company’s goals and how your services align with them.

But since then, your lead has fallen off the radar…leaked out of the sales funnel, so to speak.

And that’s a problem. Whereas marketers were once tasked with only the top of the funnel, things like brand awareness and metrics, they’re now responsible for moving prospects through the entirety of the funnel.

Times have changed. Now, marketers who only focus on the top of the funnel risk their budget and their jobs.

Every CEO expects marketing to focus on growth, not just brand awareness. In fact, 70 percent of CEOs believe that CMOs should be leading revenue growth, and the majority name revenue as the primary mandate of marketing.

Moreover, companies are now facing challenges in the marketing field that can be overcome with growth marketing. Generating leads is the biggest challenge for many marketers, but just as important are challenges like proving the ROI of marketing activities.

Plugging the leaks in your sales funnel can mean better leads, better data, long-term customers, and the ability to prove ROI combined with retention.

Retention & the Sales Funnel

So, what’s the big deal about retention, anyway?

Well, it’s really the backbone of growth marketing. Successful marketing is not just about the top of the funnel and customer acquisition. It is also about acquiring customers who will stick around long-term.

Growth without retention is not really growth.

And you should be focused on growth now more than ever. In fact, the typical SaaS business loses 2–3 percent of their customers every month, so they have to grow by 27–43 percent annually in order to compensate for that loss and maintain the same level of revenue.

That’s just to keep things where they are—not to increase revenue.

That’s why retention is a critical make-or-break factor in many companies. With improved retention, losses are reduced and revenue grows.

On the flip side, the more customers you lose, the more new leads you have to generate.

The Fix for Your Sales Funnel

Start by identifying your top marketing channels.

Marketing strategies typically include multiple channels, which differ based on industry, audience, or business model. Rather than trying to maximize acquisition across all channels, determine your top three—then work to be a rockstar in those three.

Pull your efforts away from the less effective channels. Then, identify weaknesses.

Before you use growth marketing, you need to figure out where bottlenecks exist in your sales funnel. Determine where your funnel inhibits customer growth.

For most people, the common bottlenecks exist at awareness and conversion.

The widest part of the funnel might not seem like a bottleneck, but it is. Companies often fail to establish that much-needed initial trust. Creating and maintaining that trust is an essential part of proving your worth and value to a prospect.

The middle of the funnel is where you lose customers. This is all about relationship-building and nurturing, areas where marketers can struggle at times.

But taking the time to tighten up your sales funnel and patch up any leaks is key to moving prospects through the funnel and turning them into customers.

If you need help with your existing sales funnel, or would like to create one, schedule a free strategy session with our team.

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.

what to do when my digital marketing strategy isn't working

Your Digital Marketing Strategy Isn’t Working. Now What?

By | Lead Generation, Marketing Strategy

What do you do if you’ve spent a bunch of time and money creating a marketing strategy and it just doesn’t seem to work? Many of our clients come to us for this very reason. They’ve made a big investment in planning, and it’s not paying off.

We get it—feeling like you are constantly starting over with marketing is right up there with rubbing salt in your eyeballs. It’s something to avoid at all costs!

But the cost of ignoring a marketing strategy that isn’t working is too high. Eventually every business ends up right where you are now—trying to figure out what needs to change to hit your business goals.

As marketing changes, your digital marketing strategy should, too.

In business and marketing, updates come along pretty often. New technology, shifting trends, and updated government regulations are a few of usual suspects causing changes in digital marketing.

So, the best marketing strategy is a working plan that’s flexible. The kind of plan that always looks to see what’s working—and discards what isn’t.

Where to start

You begin by asking some hard questions. I know that isn’t fun. But, asking hard questions leads us to solid answers.

Begin first by looking internally.

What makes your brand compelling and memorable? Is it consistently recognized across different platforms? Do you solve a problem people actually have? Do people trust your brand to solve this problem? Why or why not?

Next, look externally.

Who is your best customer? How much do they know about their pain? Do they know you provide a solution to their challenge? Do they consider your services THE solution? Or just one of many options?

 

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Next, look past your customers to your competitors.

What is your competitor offering that you’re not? What does your competitor do well? Where do they struggle?

Your digital marketing plan shouldn’t be static.

Now for some good news. You never really have to start over with your digital marketing strategy, but you do have to constantly be iterating and refining the strategy.

The most effective approach has three steps: plan, measure, and improve. Most companies get the first part right—they create a well-thought-out digital marketing plan and start putting it in motion.

The problem is that very few companies spend time measuring results and using those results to improve upon the initial plan.

The companies that see the greatest results do not follow their marketing plan to the letter. They use the plan as a guide and are diligent about making make strategic changes along the way based on results. This approach allows you to capitalize on the things that are producing results and nix the pieces of the strategy that aren’t.

You never have to “start over” if you’re constantly tweaking and improving as you go.

Here’s an example of how the Plan Measure Improve approach works:

Plan

Recently, we worked with a law firm that wanted to book more consultations online with prospective clients.

  • We started by defining segments of the firm’s audience and identifying which segments were most likely to book appointments online.
  • Next, we created blog and landing page content that helped answer common questions that those specific segments of the audience often ask during their initial consultation.
  • After giving the prospective clients a few pieces of information we knew they’d need no matter what, we offered to help in a more concrete way through a free consultation.
  • Last, we drove traffic to the blog posts and landing pages through targeted social media content and Google Adwords campaigns.

Measure

Whew! That’s a lot of work. Next up is to see how it all worked so we know whether to keep going or make some changes.

  • We found that the social media campaigns were not as effective as we’d anticipated. This could be because people who are considering a divorce don’t want their friends and family on social media to know they’re interacting with a family law firm.
  • We discovered that the average visitor looked at three pages of content before booking a consultation online.
  • We saw that a handful of the ads were outperforming others—the subject of these ads was about getting custody of your kids during a divorce.

Improve

The data we uncovered was really useful. With that information, we shifted the digital marketing strategy after only 45 days in order to improve results. Here’s what we changed:

  • Knowing that the social media campaigns were not performing as planned, we just spent less time here. We still published social media content, but we didn’t expect it to produce results—not yet, anyway. The result of this change in the strategy was more time to devote to other things that were working.
  • Once we discovered that the average visitor needed to see multiple pieces of content before converting, we looked at the editorial calendar and found ways to create content to build upon previous content. Creating clearly linked pieces of related content delivered a really rapid uptick in conversions. Within a couple of weeks, we were already seeing positive results.
  • Lastly, knowing which ads were working and which were not, we dropped the duds and focused on the subjects that were driving traffic. Doing this allowed us to shift more of our client’s advertising budget to topics relating to child custody—and we saw immediate positive results from this shift.

The most effective digital marketing plan is a flexible one.

Having a digital marketing strategy in place is critical, but it’s not meant to be followed blindly.

If it’s been a while since someone has assessed whether your plan is working, schedule a free strategy review with our team.

Don’t feel like blogging? Create this 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!