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13 Local Marketing Strategies That Work

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Want your brand or offering to be found by local audiences? Here are 13 great tips for local marketing strategies and tactics that work.

You can reach valuable leads through local online and offline marketing.

You must develop effective local marketing strategies to build your brand authority and attract more customers.

A digital marketing strategy is essential, regardless of whether you are starting a new business or already have one.

Digital and social media marketing are the most crucial parts of marketing a local business since, according to Google, “83% of U.S. shoppers who visited a store in the last week say they used online search before going into a store.”

We’ll cover some of the online marketing tactics and strategies we’ve used with great success in reaching a local audience.

Great Local Marketing Strategies For This Year

1. Optimize For Local Search

Through Google Business Profile (GBP), your business will appear as soon as someone searches for your business or keywords on Google.

It is free, which is awesome.

The results will feature businesses within the vicinity of the person searching and even includes your business on Google Maps.

To start, create a profile with your company name, contact details, industry, etc.

Then, verify your GBP listing.

Once verified, you can add images and a bio, upload blogs, create offers, send and receive messages, add customer reviews, and see analytics.

Plus, it is pretty easy to update, so you always have relevant info online.

You can go one step further and set the business up with a solid, local link-building strategy.

Using citation sources such as Yellowpages.com tells Google where your company is located.

Plus, GBP has a great function that allows you to set the radius on services to a specific radius, such as 10km.

It is important to add fresh content or blog posts to your GBP account regularly.

Considering that a post expires after seven days, you’ll likely need to schedule a post at least once a week. Why is this important?

GBP posts can help drive traffic and engagement.

Do you have a sale or event coming up? You can promote anything related to the business on GBP.

If you’re not confident you’ll remember to upload a blog weekly, use content scheduling apps and tools like Semrush and Hootsuite.

As far as hyper-localized visibility goes, GBP is a no-brainer.

2. Local Reviews From Local Customers

As cautious online users, the first thing people notice is often the reviews given on the GBP listing.

A positive review or testimonial can demonstrate to local customers that you are a business they can trust.

That goes a long way in moving customers through the sales funnel towards conversion or purchase.

So, how do you get reviews?

While I don’t advocate directly asking for reviews from your existing customers – and definitely not paying for reviews – there are less direct ways of reminding customers to post positive reviews.

Got negative reviews? No problem.

You can use negative reviews as a way to gather meaningful customer information.

Not only will you get insight on how you can improve products or customer experience (CX), but you can use the opportunity to turn the negative review into a positive one by reaching out to the customer and correcting the poor experience, product, or service.

3. SEO Optimize Your Website

The next step to getting your brand and product into the local market is to optimize your website for organic search.

The first and foremost way of doing that is through keyword optimization.

While a lot of this will be intuitive at first, you will soon run out of clever ideas and need to do keyword research.

Competition on short-tail keywords is fierce, and someone who’s been around longer than you is almost guaranteed to be already ranking for it.

So, focus on long-tail, geo-specific keywords.

These are ideal because people who use long tail keywords usually know what they want (they’re not tire-kickers), and they are more ready to engage.

Those who use geo-specific keywords know where they want to do business.

So, say you are a digital marketing company that provides B2B marketing services for businesses in a specific area.

It would be futile to optimize just for “marketing” or ”digital marketing.” That ship has sailed!

Rather, create pages on the site that are location-based, niche-oriented, and have long-tail keywords.

For example, you can create a page or blog called “Digital marketing for B2B Companies in California” or “How B2B companies in California can benefit from digital marketing.”

You get the picture.

That means search engine results pages (SERPs) will show results for users searching for “digital marketing companies near me.”

4. Create Localized Content

Content marketing is a big part of attracting a targeted audience, which connects to inbound marketing.

We have found that the more valuable, relevant, and consistent your content is, the more your target audience will engage with it.

But where do you start?

Create content that solves your customer’s pain points and that is evergreen.

There’s no shortcut when it comes to good content creation. Do the research, write for humans, and Google bots will love it, too.

For this, we love “how-to” blogs, whitepapers, ebooks, infographics, videos, and other long-form blogs (more than 900 words).

That way, your content will help prospective customers find your website when looking for solutions.

In this example, when the person enters a long-tail keyword, “best flowers for weddings,” Google brings ads that match the search term.

It also brings organic results. Best of all, it creates “People also ask” (PAA) questions.

These could include, “What is the average cost of flowers for a wedding?”

Why not use these as a guide for fresh content ideas?

This kind of SEO-rich, high-value content attracts new visitors to your site and establishes your brand as the leader and authority on the subject matter.

You’ll see better results for your business by integrating content marketing into your local online marketing strategy.

5. Review Your Website’s Design

The look and feel of your website are as important as the words and content that make you findable on search engines.

However, while keywords will get the visitors to your site, your design and user experience (UX) will keep them there.

Use images and videos on your website that reference your location, neighborhood, and business so that there is a recognizable reference to your localized entity.

Also, the internet is evolving as rapidly as consumers’ needs are.

So, your website that was on the bleeding edge of design when you published it five years ago probably doesn’t quite toe the mark anymore.

It might be time for a redesign.

The most important thing to safeguard on your website is your user’s experience.

The site must be easy to use, easy to navigate, and easy to understand.

6. Integrate CRM Tool

Customer relationship manager (CRM) solutions ensure we have a tighter grasp on our understanding of our customers.

Most CRMs can integrate with modern websites. But how does your website feed prospect data into the CRM?

For one, you could consider adding a pop-up on your website.

It could be an invitation to subscribe to your newsletter, view a limited promotion, or announce a new product launch.

When linked to your CRM, your lead generation landing pages will also automatically update your CRM, such as HubSpot or Salesforce.

Not only does this feed your pipeline, but it also improves first-party data and targeting and thus makes your marketing messaging that much better.

Also, localized campaigns can be launched via your CRM.

You can easily identify and segment customers and prospects by region if the data has been captured accordingly in your CRM.

Remember, the quality of data you capture is the quality of output you’ll get.

That can be used for personalized invitations to in-person events and activations, for email campaigns that are area-specific, and so on.

7. Attract Local Visitors Through Google Ads

As I’ve always said, if you want sales, you need to advertise. Google Ads is just that.

While SEO is great for local organic search, you need Google Ads and other paid media channels to support your lead generation and brand awareness campaigns.

Google Ads is a keyword-driven, pay-per-click channel that allows you to target audiences based on keywords and location (amongst other things).

Your creative copy and solutions-driven content will help capture your local market until your SEO is in full swing.

When setting up your Google Ads, implement conversion tracking – which will help you optimize your campaigns and pivot toward optimal business success.

It also aligns marketing tactics with sales goals and ultimately supports business growth.

For example, one of our clients is a health and fitness gym.

We’re only targeting people within a 10 km radius around their seven gyms through Google Ads.

This way, we get maximum return on investment (ROI) on money spent.

8. Feed The Funnel With Remarketing

Remarketing is an important element of your localized digital marketing arsenal.

That’s effective if your SEO or Google ad didn’t do the job the first time or the customer is still in the consideration phase of the buyer journey.

Remarketing supports other, more geolocation-specific tactics when considering how to strengthen your local marketing strategies.

So, if your Google Ads campaign (geolocation-limited) or your paid social campaign (likewise, demographics-oriented) sends traffic to your site, remarketing supports these by following those visitors around after the fact.

In the end, remarketing increases conversions, promotes brand awareness, and helps you stay top of mind with prospects.

9. Get The Phone Going With Google Call-Only Ads

If you rely heavily on phone calls to generate business, then Google call-only ads could prove invaluable and ideal for localized marketing.

That’s because, as with other Google products, you can target a specific demographic in your call-only ads.

It’s also a good option if you don’t have any specific landing pages simply because your product or service doesn’t need it, and a direct phone call just works better.

One downside of local online marketing may be that you will not receive all qualified calls.

10. Insist On CRO-Optimized Landing Pages For Each Campaign

Contrary to popular belief, your home page is not your landing page.

Your home page is your home page.

It is a summary of your website with many exit points to other pages, many different calls to action (CTAs) – such as “learn more” and “contact us” – and many different focuses.

A landing page has one job: conversion.

If you’re spending money on an ad campaign, you need those clicks to work hard.

To do this, you need a landing page designed specifically for that campaign, with lead-gen in mind.

So, the tried-and-trusted format is:

  • Emotive copy that includes a pain point and solution.
  • An image that evokes a feeling.
  • A CTA above the fold.
  • Below the fold, you can have your trust queues, testimonials, benefits, and so on.
  • The footer can reiterate the CTA.

That’s it.

No buttons and links that take you away from the page.

No clicks are needed to expand sections. The only click available on the page is “Buy now” or “Submit” (or whatever the desired action is).

Rinse and repeat for each campaign.

11. Leverage Social Media

Social media can be a great way to grow local brand awareness and engagement.

For one, community groups often already have all your desired customers in one place.

Remember, you need to be active on the social media channels your target audience prefers.

It might not be your local watering hole, so you need to get comfortable with using platforms like TikTok and Instagram for Gen Z and Gen Y audiences, while Facebook is great for Gen X and Boomers.

LinkedIn is ideal for B2B targeting.

Post organic content, like status updates, photos, and videos, or run ad campaigns.

Much like Google Ads, most social platforms allow you to geo-target your campaigns.

For example, if you have a brick-and-mortar location, you can focus your social media ads on reaching all people within a 10km radius of your location.

These enable super-localized and targeted marketing tactics.

12. Video Tells Your Homegrown Story

Video is now preferred over all other visual mediums by more consumers. In fact, 95% of enterprise B2B conversions are aided by video.

Keep it personal, keep it local, and direct your video content at the customer’s point of pain that you can solve.

Your video assets don’t all need to be ads. You can have testimonials and how-tos embedded into your site or published on YouTube.

Just make sure you tell a story and that – in the story – your customer is the hero, and you are simply the guide who helps them succeed.

13. Offline Activations And Events

Offline activations and events are one of our favorite ways of bolstering local marketing.

Working in conjunction with your online activities – such as email, ads, and social – this “boots on the ground” approach yields amazing results.

Take advantage of the physical proximity you have to your local customers.

Consider loyalty cards, charity sponsorships, referral programs, networking breakfasts, and other community-strengthening events.

All of these add tremendous gravitas to your brand and allow you to connect with your target audience locally.

Final Thoughts

With so many ways to be found online locally, we are confident your local target audience will discover your products and services.

Be sure to activate and be active on Google Business Profile.

Keep your website fresh and user-friendly, and remember to regularly add content (blogs).

Find communities on social media, and create ads on Google and social platforms that minutely reach your desired audience.

Find communities in real life, and create events and activities in which the local target audience can participate.

All of this contributes to brand reinforcement.

Finally, remember always to position your customer as the hero, as you solve their pain points right where they are.

If you are interested in original article by Alex Macura you can find it here

Is social media for self-promotion over? Creatives reveal their honest thoughts

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No, you’re not imagining it. In 2022, social media increasingly sucks for sharing content and finding work. Creatives share their views on the way forward.

Have you noticed how different social media feels at the moment? More ads. More videos. More Stories and Reels. But fewer posts you want to click on. And less engagement on any content you post yourself.

Don’t worry. It’s not just you. It’s been well documented how most major social channels have recently downgraded traditional posts in favour of the Stories format pioneered by Instagram and short-form, portrait videos reminiscent of TikTok’s. But while that may be helping them sell more ads, it’s leaving creatives somewhat baffled.

“I’ve given up on Instagram,” complains freelance book cover designer Alex Kirby. “I got absolutely fed up with the lack of engagement because I ‘only’ posted photos. I wasn’t even sure it was making a difference with getting more work. And I seem to be doing okay without it.”

It’s perhaps not surprising Alex has seen a lack of involvement in his content because other creatives feel less involved in social media overall.

“The decline of interactions since the push for viral and video content has made me engage less with platforms,” says brand and print designer Matt Lamont. “Mixing posts with forced advertising has made my feed less tailored to my interests and more about me being a customer for others.”

So, how widespread are these experiences? We recently hosted a poll on Twitter and asked our followers: “How have you seen social media change since you started using it, engagement-wise? And a massive 82.1% of you replied ‘It’s got worse’, with just 7.8% saying ‘It’s got better’ and 10.1% seeing no change.

Does this mean you’re thinking of leaving social media altogether? Unhappily, 47.2% of you replied: ‘Yes, but feel I can’t’. Meanwhile, 3.3% of you say you’re definitely quitting, and 10% are just not sure. Only 39.5% are staying – which is hardly a vote of confidence in the current state of social media.

So what’s gone wrong, and how should creatives respond? Below, we reveal some thoughts, suggestions and ideas for promoting yourself and your work in 2022, as shared by the Creative Boom community. Meanwhile, you can read the full discussion on Twitter here.

1. Try different platforms

If you’ve been unhappy with your experience of social media lately, you don’t necessarily have to abandon it altogether. Many creatives have found switching platforms to be a better way forward.

Take award-winning illustrator Sravyaa. “90% of my business used to come through Instagram until this year,” she says. “But now I find that building relationships on Twitter and sharing my work on Pinterest is working best. So I’d say diversify your platforms and the type of content. Make it specific to the audience on each channel, and have a strong CTA (call to action).”

Designer Antonio Carusone has had a similar experience. “Recently, I’ve given up on Instagram,” he says. “I was posting there daily and saw little growth and engagement. The funny thing is, now that I’ve stopped, I’m growing in followers: what a weird, broken platform! Nowadays, I’m focusing instead on Twitter, where I use Typefully to plan my tweets, and I’m seeing nice results.”

Others, meanwhile, are pivoting to Facebook. “I get more orders and interaction on my Facebook business page than on Instagram, which is dire,” says jewellery designer Lindsay. “With Stories and Reels, folks just mindlessly scroll rather than interact. Maybe Facebook is doing better for me because I’m from a small community and locals know my business.”

That’s not the case, however, for illustrator Victoria Williams. “I’ve virtually given up posting to my business Facebook page,” she reports. “Engagement on Instagram has dropped way off, and it’s becoming increasingly irritating to use, as all I see are posts by people I don’t even follow. Now, I find Twitter by far the best for driving people to my Etsy.”

2. Don’t discount TikTok

Let’s not, though, avoid the elephant in the room. One of the reasons “traditional” social channels are changing so much has been the unstoppable rise of TikTok. But while the short-form video platform is best known for its young audience, lip syncing and daft dance routines, that’s not all it’s about.

An increasing number of creatives are using the platform, which now has more than a billion users, to share design and illustration tips and mini-tutorials, as well as just film their process. Right now, the most popular names include nickq83, Serena, aka Kohi Design, and @swoopnebula.

Illustrator Sarah J Coleman, aka Inkymole, is among those who’ve dipped their toe into the TikTok waters. “First, I spent some time ‘in it’, watching others, and creating rules about what I will and won’t do, what is authentic to me,” she recalls. “I’ve stuck to those rules and now have a nice little following on my channel. No dancing, no miming, no silly voices: just behind-the-scenes, work in progress and ink nerding!”

Jam and Ali, aka Hello Dodo, have been giving it a try too. “Obviously, we miss the golden days of Instagram when follows and engagement were amazing,” they say. “But these platforms weren’t built for us to market our business, so we try not to moan about them and keep showing up and having fun on our TikTok channel.”

3. Give LinkedIn a go

People don’t always think of LinkedIn as a social network, and certainly not somewhere aimed at creatives, given its ugly and confusing layout. Yet, in 2022, many are finding it useful for self-promo.

As designer and animator Neil Grunshaw puts it: “Twitter and Instagram are like busking in the hope that an A&R walks past and give you a record deal… in other words, pissing into the wind.” To him, LinkedIn is much more practical and targeted. “You’re selling to a network of professionals who may actually commission you,” he points out. However, there is a caveat. “It only works if you’ve got a network in the first place, which isn’t the case if you’ve just entered the creative industries.”

Artist and designer June Mineyama-Smithson, aka Mayumi, recently had a similar epiphany. “I started to focus on Linkedin after listening to Creative Boom’s podcast with Craig Black,” she explains. “I’d been wrongly fixated on Instagram because it’s visual, but I realised I had more meaningful connections from my agency years on Linkedin. I’m not putting too much effort into Instagram right now: it’s currently too disheartening. But when things change, I might come back.”

For others, it’s a case of using different platforms for different purposes. “I see Instagram and Twitter as a way to connect with and support other artists,” says freelance animator and illustrator Rosie Phillpot. “This can lead to recommendations: other freelancers recommend me because we’ve communicated or follow each other, and they like my work. I do the same.”

At the same time, she sees LinkedIn as a better way to connect with prospective clients. She boosts her chances in the following ways. “I ask for a recommendation at the end of a job to put on my LinkedIn profile,” she says. “I put keywords in my headline. I search ‘freelance animator’ and filter to posts to find shoutouts. And I put my website and email in my About section.”

4. Make connections outside social media

That last point highlights a broader truth: finding work via social media alone is often a hiding to nothing. There’s so much noise here that it’s easy for your message to get lost or ignored. This is why combining social media activity with old-school methods is an approach more and more are taking in 2022.

“Social media very much feels like a lottery versus the more tangible connections you can make with real-life people,” says illustrator Amy Lauren. “Even an email updating an individual person on my work has been more reliable than a flash in the pan on my social links.”

Designer Megan Vickers agrees. “Honestly, social media is a weird one in terms of engagement,” she says. “I feel like it really is a lottery because sometimes I can post the same thing on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, and they all have different levels of success. So I think moving to a place where you can control what is seen is the way forward at the moment, in terms of websites or Behance. Social media is great for promotion, but can’t be the only form of promotion.”

“With social media, we easily forget that we’re using someone else’s free offered facility,” points out printmaker and graphic designer Paul Wolterink. “It may feel satisfying and autonomous, but of course, we’re just padding out their wallets. So, I think it’s important to always have your own website, as a rock in the surf, where you are the dealer.”

In short, as we’ve said on Creative Boom for some time now, building your own platforms is important. Those may be subscriber lists, newsletters, or websites – but whatever they are, they’re yours alone, which means you’re in control. For more ideas, read our marketing guide for freelancers fed up with Instagram).

5. Revisit traditional methods

Many creatives, of course, remember when that was the only way to do it. “I use all of the social media platforms and have done since my first Facebook forays in 2008,” says Sarah J Coleman. “But before social media, I used traditional methods: postal promo, regular newsletters, a well-maintained ‘Mothership’ website, shows, cold-calling, personal projects and more.”

She still does today and for good reason. “I’ve always adapted and gone with the flow with the subtle but insistent changes in social media’s modus operandi, but never felt comfortable relying on it,” she explains. “Someone recently said building a business solely on social media is like renting an office where the rent doubles every 18 months.

“What’s always worked for me is direct newsletters. Written by me, and only me. Each one is considered. And always to a permission-based address book compiled across almost 30 years of working professionally. It’s my precious resource, and it’s constantly being updated and reviewed.”

Illustrator Ben Tallon tells a similar story. “The Instagram algorithm change served me with a great reminder that all of these platforms are not owned by us,” he recalls. “So, while I still use them, I have returned focus to my website, mailing lists, and developing relationships in a direct manner.

“I feel it’s important to only use the socials as secondary,” he adds. “Even if they bring direct business, print sales and the likes, it surely drives home the need to distil them into some offline record. As long as that’s permitted, of course.”

Neil Grunshaw concurs. “In my experience, good old-fashioned ‘referrals’ are the best way of getting new business,” he maintains. “In short, I tell the kids today to keep doing their cool shit but to have patience and play the long game. Social media can work if you’re lucky, but usually, there are no shortcuts.”

6. Ignore the algorithm

We’ll end with one final point. For decades, people have stricken to work out how to please social media algorithms. But nowadays, they’re changing so fast it’s hard to keep up. So instead, brand strategist and creative director Tom Berry offers this advice for getting the best out of social media in 2022.

“Focus on what you can control and the energy you put in,” he says. “Some things never get old, including helping people out, being a nice person, starting conversations with people and making friends.

“Give away everything you know,” he adds. “That might sound counterintuitive, but it’s really a win-win. You help people, become an expert, and grow an audience. Finally, don’t take it so seriously. It’s easy to get caught up in all the numbers and stats. And seeing your numbers turn red and go down can make you feel terrible. But everybody is just winging it, not just you. So zoom out; focus on the big picture.”

If you are interested in original article by Katy Cowan you can find it here

4 Content Marketing Strategies You Should Use in 2023

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Sticking to a few simple rules can keep your content marketing strategy on track and your brand on top.

Online content is now a critical connection point between brands and consumers. It’s not only where many consumers first engage with your brand but where your appeal, value and industry authority are first established and reinforced.

Without an effective content marketing strategy driving your outreach, you’re missing a golden opportunity to optimize that initial connection and leverage valuable content to your full advantage. When done right, this essential digital tool can help maximize brand awareness, cultivate credibility and loyalty, expand your reach and empower growth over the long run.

But getting your content marketing efforts into the right place isn’t always so straightforward. SEO and online content best practices are constantly changing, and knowing how to create content that resonates can often feel like trying to hit a moving target.

Here are a few content marketing rules to get your strategic marketing approach focused, grow your online presence and turn your blogs, social media posts and video content into dynamic brand-building assets.

1. Start with the data

There was once a time when content marketers built blogs and social posts around what they thought customers wanted, making guesses about what would compel engagement. Fortunately, we now have a variety of helpful analytics weapons in our arsenal.

These content marketing tools provide actionable data on what your target audience is looking for and the features driving visibility, clicks and specific types of engagement. With this data at your fingertips, you can now shape your content marketing campaign around things like keywords, site traffic, post reach, bounce rate, domain authority and more, creating data-driven content better positioned to deliver results.

Analytics tools can provide a significant advantage for any content marketing team building website content, managing social media, creating emails or simply seeking a visibility boost in search engines. User-friendly analytics platforms like Ahrefs, Moz, Google Analytics, Hootsuite and HubSpot should be used to refine your content marketing to improve marketing returns and nudge past other competitors in your space.

2. Be picky where you publish

The web offers numerous platforms for posting content and getting the word out, tempting many to risk it all and publish on every outlet in sight.

But because not all content and social media platforms have the same reach, focus, or search authority, it’s essential to be more selective, at least out of the gate. Branching out and exploring your options may be effective, particularly when you’re scaling up or have a bigger budget. But when you’re starting, it’s crucial to do your research.

Learning where your audience is and what types of content they engage with is key to maxing brand visibility and getting your content where it’s most likely to have an impact. When you’ve done your homework, you can begin to shape and share each blog post and article where they’ll gain the most traction. This helps sharpen the spotlight on your brand while pushing your content marketing budget even further.

Once you have a good rhythm on a few brand-friendly platforms and a more solidified presence, you can explore other content marketing opportunities to increase reach and awareness.

3. Get creative with your content marketing

Limited digital marketing budgets and resources can make it hard to build a robust content marketing strategy that maximizes brand exposure. When times are tight but you still need a solid presence across the web, a little content marketing creativity can go a long way toward keeping your business front and center.

One common but effective way to extend the life of your content is repurposing. Knowing how to repurpose long-form blogs, articles and webpages into smaller posts and across new platforms can help squeeze more value out of your content without exhausting limited resources.

Of course, avoiding overuse and repetitiveness is critical, things that can test your followers’ patience and attention. But once you have the right content cadence, your repurposing efforts can provide much-needed traction among your audience even after the original went live.

Piggybacking on viral trends and hashtags can also be a creative way to keep your content strategy humming without the time and cost of generating long-form content from scratch. Hopping on viral topics allows you to go viral by extension, avoiding the hard work of creating a new trend while benefitting from the exposure and web traffic trending topics tend to pull in.

4. Get your audience involved

Sometimes, the best way to get the word out and build a more successful content marketing strategy is to go directly to those you’re trying to reach: the content consumer. This is also known as community marketing; generating conversations between your business, and your audience offers numerous opportunities to spread the word and create a more dynamic brand presence online.

Creating interactive content like polls and quizzes engages people and allows you to create two-way conversations with your audience, boosting brand interaction.

Requesting reviews of your products or asking customers to tag you when using your services can also be an effective way to source fresh, high-quality content that can then be promoted within your own content marketing strategy – user-generated content (UGC) that’s not only free but fosters a sense of community that lends a sense of humanity and customer credibility to your brand.

If you are interested in original article Adam Petrilli you can find it here

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5 Tips To Improve Your Content Strategy

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Content plays an important role in every marketing campaign. Here are some ways you can improve your content strategy and get better results. 

Every digital marketing strategy relies on a number of elements to ensure its success.

For a holistic campaign, you’ll need to consider how you’ll approach email marketing, paid search, social media posts, and reputation management, just to name a few.

And while these are all important, there’s one thing that takes precedence over everything else: content.

Regularly posting new, insightful content is a proven way to improve brand awareness, build trust, engage with your audience, and drive action – but just any old content isn’t going to do the trick.

You need high-quality content that serves a purpose. And to do that, you need a strategy.

A content strategy, also known as a content plan, is a collection of tactics used to create, implement, and manage marketing information, materials, and collateral. You can think of it as your marketing battle plan.

And like any good plan, it needs to be detailed and comprehensive, down to what type of content you’ll be posting, when and where you’ll be posting it, and who is responsible for each element.

Here are five things you can use to take your content strategy to the next level.

1. Think Like A Publisher

You know your brand inside and out, which is a good thing, but it also comes with some issues.

For one thing, because you’re so familiar with it, it becomes easy to take certain knowledge for granted, often without even realizing it. Unfortunately, this can easily lead to frustration for your audience.

The simplest way to eliminate that is to think like a publisher. In other words, identify what your audience is looking for and find content to address it. Here are some tips for doing just that:

  • Build your content team. You have a lot of expertise in your organization already. Use it. Your team could include marketers, product team members, PR specialists, customer support reps, and IT.
  • Establish roles and responsibilities. Everyone on the editorial team should have a specific role in creating the strategy and delivering content. Make sure everyone knows what is expected of them at each step of the creation and management processes.
  • Build workflows. Write out exactly how your process works to ensure everything goes through the correct channels for approval. This may include looping in brand specialists, executives, or the legal team.
  • Gather feedback. Too many businesses neglect social listening, which is a mistake. You should be actively taking part in the conversations customers are having about your brand. It’s also a good idea to keep track of trending topics, which can provide opportunities for your brand.
  • Unify your digital efforts. General marketing and paid media should work to mutually reinforce one another. Partner with your paid media team to ensure your message is consistent and identify places to amplify effectiveness.
  • Invest in the right CMS technology. Using a quality content management system (CMS) lets you put the latest technology to work for you. Platforms like WordPress, Shopify, and Squarespace can greatly simplify your workflow and help you manage the entire process from conceptualizing to publication. With the right CMS, you can manage your content across channels without needing to write a single line of code.

2. Make Sure Everything Fits Into Your Sales Funnel

Conversions are the name of the game. In most cases, this means sales, but it can also be clicks, newsletter signups, or any other marketing-specific goal you can think of.

There’s a lot more to content marketing than just sharing a viral video from your office, a blog post on the state of your industry, or linking to an infographic you’ve created.

Yes, it is those things, but it’s also about telling a story. It needs to have an emotional hook that helps change a target’s actions, thoughts, or feelings about your brand. And search is just one small piece of that.

All your online and offline marketing needs to align with your brand narrative and correspond to a step in your sales funnel.

That means that all your content – whether it’s a social post, a photo, a new blog, or even a press release – is important. And it all needs to work together to move your targets further along the sales journey.

And successfully accomplishing this means having a rock-solid strategy before you get started.

3. Refine And Document Your Editorial Process

Whether you’re creating all your content yourself, using a team of people, or outsourcing it to freelancers, it’s important that every piece of content goes through the same editorial process.

The first step to this is evaluating your process. Is everything being looked at by multiple sets of eyes for mistakes, typos, and the like? Sometimes it’s difficult for writers to spot their own mistakes.

Refine your process and then document it with detailed step-by-step instructions. There should be absolutely no confusion as to where a piece of content is in the creation process, what’s performed at that step, and what will happen next.

Be sure to always keep your brand in mind. When deciding on content, don’t neglect the fonts, images, and tone your audience has come to expect from you.

If your tone switches from business professional in one piece to casually familiar in the next, it will leave your audience confused.

Additionally, you want to make sure all your content adheres to your narrative. Make sure every content creator is familiar with things like:

  • Positioning – your brand narrative should include the pillars your content is built upon.
  • Your values – what issues are important to your brand? (civil rights, ecology, etc.)
  • Perception – what does the media say about your brand? What about the community?
  • Audience Interests – what are your customers talking about when they’re not interacting with your brand?
  • Historical Performance – what type of content has traditionally worked for you? What hasn’t?
  • Search Behavior – what are your targets searching for? What phrases are they using?
  • Customer Support – what are the recurring support issues you keep hearing from your customers?

Once you’ve identified your brand narrative, it will be a lot easier to craft an effective content strategy and change customer behavior, whether that means closing more sales, repositioning your company, or changing the way customers think about your brand.

Make sure you invest in properly training your team on this new process.

And because there’s always room for improvement, you’ll want to have regular refreshers and continuing education programs built around the latest best practices.

4. Review, Refresh, Replace

Nothing lasts forever, but if you can create the type of content that will have a long shelf life, you’ll be able to generate traffic, clicks, and interaction for months or even years. Other pieces will burn brightly for a short period of time.

It’s up to you to identify what needs to be removed, what should be replaced, and what needs just a minor refresh.

Review your existing content to see what’s still relevant and what needs to go away. If you use stats or link out to other content, make sure you’re verifying these on a regular basis.

Some content, known as evergreen content, will continue to be relevant for a very long time. It’s not something you can set and forget, but it does require considerably less upkeep than trending topics.

How do you figure out what type of videos, blog posts, and how-to guides will stay relevant? With research, of course.

Go through your existing traffic, analyze your competition, and check out industry resources.

What type of topics keeps popping up again and again, regardless of how long ago they were published? Use your keyword research tools to find words and phrases with high search volume over a long period of time.

Either completely avoid news, trends, or technology that could be vulnerable to replacement (that piece on PlayStation 5 might be hot right now, but it’s not going to generate much traffic once PlayStation 6 hits the market) or create it with the understanding that it will have a shorter shelf life.

Choose visuals that are appropriate and less apt to look outdated.

Most of all, make sure it’s useful. If you have a blog post offering a step-by-step guide to riding a unicycle, people searching for information on getting started with a one-wheeler will find it just as relevant in 10 years as they do today (barring some massive change in unicycle technology, that is). Many types of educational content can stay relevant for a long time.

And once you have a good piece of evergreen content posted, keep promoting it. As long as it’s still relevant, it will still generate clicks.

5. Use Your Network

Your content strategy should include more than just your own domain.

Guest blogging is a great way to increase brand awareness and generate backlinks, which will help both your traffic and SEO ranking.

Additionally, if your guest post is on a site your audience trust, it will automatically lend you authority and credibility in their eyes.

Use your connections to find opportunities to cross-promote your brand. Reach out to industry sites and influencers to build a mutually beneficial relationship.

You can use platforms like social media to capitalize on and enhance this, so include this in your content strategy.

Share not just your own content and blog posts, but those from other people in your sphere. You probably don’t want to link to direct competitors, but anyone on the periphery is fine.

Be sure to tag publications, authors, and people mentioned in the article.

Does your industry have popular events, conferences, or trade shows? This is a great place to generate exposure and promote your content.

Run a booth, give a speech, or just have someone on hand to pass out business cards and literature. Not only does this give you a chance to increase exposure, but it also provides opportunities to link back (and therefore generate traffic) to your digital content.

And speaking of digital content, make sure you’re including other relevant and link-worthy sources in your own content. This opens the door for creating reciprocal links.

And if you can get a direct, unique quote from an expert, that’s even better.

Good Content Starts With A Good Strategy

Developing a good content strategy requires a bit of work. It’s not something you’re going to be able to jot down on a scrap of paper in 15 minutes, but instead requires you to do some research.

Generally speaking, the more work you put in upfront, the easier it will be when it’s time to create and implement content.

Remember your targets and consider what they’re looking for. How can you provide them with the most value while simultaneously maximizing your exposure?

Make sure your strategy is built around unique content that you can leverage cross-platforms to promote your social media presence, improve SEO rankings, and build relationships.

If you are interested in original article by Kristi Hines you can find it here

content-marketing

SEO and Content Marketing is the Perfect Marriage for Your Business. Here’s Why.

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SEO and content marketing need to work together to attract more users to your website and generate quality sales conversions.

Mention digital marketing and, within minutes, buzzwords like search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing will be mentioned. Both are more than buzzwords. They are integral parts of successful digital marketing for most current brands.

Chances are, if you are running a business that uses digital marketing, you are already using both. SEO will drive traffic to your website, while you use content marketing in your blogs and on your social media channels. But here is the question: are both tactics working well together? If not, you may be missing out on a great opportunity to help your brand grow.

Making sense of the buzz: SEO vs content marketing

Before considering how SEO and content marketing can be combined in your marketing strategy, it is worth clarifying the differences between both tactics. As digital marketing terms are becoming more widely used, they are also often used synonymously even though they describe different things.

What is content marketing?

According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is “focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.” The overall goal is to encourage customer actions that benefit the brand, whether that is through subscribing to a service or purchasing a product.

Unlike traditional marketing, content marketing works indirectly with the consumer and is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services, compared to specific brands. Rather than talking to customers about a specific product or service, content marketing helps a customer solve problems by providing information that they may not have had previously.

Brands that excel at content marketing and Search Engine Optimization build long-lasting relationships with their audiences. Customers come to rely on the brand as a source of advice rather than simply a business pushing products and services.

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Search Engine Optimization is a crucial part of marketing for businesses that rely on website traffic. It organizes and optimizes content from search engines, like Google, and helps your website rank high in search results. The Digital Marketing Institute defines SEO as a process that helps brands generate website traffic from “free, organic, editorial, or natural search results in search engines.”

As a brand, you may be paying an SEO expert to improve your rankings, but there are no payments to the companies behind the search engines. This is what sets SEO apart from Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which refers to paid listings. While SEO takes time to deliver results, SEM can increase product visibility in the short term.

Many brands use both approaches as part of their digital marketing strategy. But let’s only focus on SEO. SEO has become a non-negotiable part of the digital marketing strategy of any brand relying on website traffic for its success. Without it, even the best-designed website may never be found by relevant audiences.

Based on these clarifications, it is easy to identify the connection between content marketing and search engine optimization.

Making content marketing and SEO work together

To reach the full potential to benefit your brand, content marketing and SEO need to work together. As a new brand, you should create content with search engine requirements in mind. As a brand with an existing library of content, it is worth reviewing your content to ensure it benefits your search engine.

Starting from scratch: how to develop SEO-friendly content

Just a few years ago, creating SEO-friendly content meant stuffing keywords into what would have been an otherwise well-written article. As a result, many websites became unreadable and unhelpful for their users. Search engine operators realized that and have started to change their algorithms. Today, search engines strive to deliver the most relevant content to users.

So, how can you tell Google that your content is relevant? The answer is simple: be clear with your content. Search engines probe through websites, and the easier it is to identify the focus of your content, the higher your content will be ranked on search engine results pages.

Staying focused is the key to developing successful content. That may sound simple, but it can be surprisingly hard to implement at times. For example, if you are offering separate online courses for languages and personal finance, avoid putting both types of courses on the same page. Instead, create a separate language course page and another personal finance page. You may even want to break down the language courses into individual languages.

The same goes for blog posts. It is possible to blog about the benefits of online courses in general. However, creating individual pieces of content for online language courses and personal finance courses will almost always drive more content to the relevant pages.

Creating content from scratch means starting with target keywords in mind and matching content to those keywords.

Optimize existing content

Creating brand new content might give you an advantage with SEO, but it is a time-consuming approach. Most established businesses and brands already have a content library and should update and optimize that content to benefit search engine rankings.

Once again, it helps to try and think like a search engine. Websites that are continuously updated rank higher than those with stagnant content. Updating existing content is an excellent way of meeting that requirement while saving time.

Optimizing existing content would not be complete without reviewing internal and external links. Internal linking tells search engines about the structure of your website and reveals content that belongs together. Orphaned content, pages not linked together, struggle to be found by search engines.

Take advantage of synergies

SEO and content marketing should work together to attract the most users to your website and generate sales.

To create synergies, start developing content with SEO in mind. Delivering great content that benefits users can easily be SEO-friendly, especially if it is developed that way from the beginning. Treating SEO as an afterthought tagged on to the end of content development simply does not deliver the best results.

Creating content with your audience in mind and a clear understanding of your topic will make it easier to optimize content for rankings. Regardless of the time investment, traffic optimization is worthwhile for your business.

If you are interested in original article by Jessica Wong you can find it here

Business-growth

6 Proven Business Marketing Strategies to Grow During a Recession

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Protect your business from the looming recession with these business marketing strategies! Help ensure your business has long-term growth.

In 2022, the United States is fortunate enough not to be in a recession. However, the odds of a recession in 2023 are on the rise. Experts predict there’s currently a 30% chance of recession, and that number has doubled over three months.

As a large or small business, it’s essential to have a plan if a recession hits. Luckily, there are several recession-proof business marketing strategies that you can use. These marketing ideas will help your business continue to find success, even during a recession. Continue reading, and find out how you can fuel your business growth:

Strategy 1: Focus on customer experience

Today’s market values authenticity and excellent customer service. Around 65% of Millennials are willing to pay more for customer experience.

The best businesses know that happy customers give great reviews and spread the word quickly. It’s much easier to market your business when customers have already mentioned your company as one of their favorites. In fact, word-of-mouth marketing is a critical factor in 74% of purchase decisions. It drives six trillion dollars of spending every year.

By focusing on customer experience, you’re saying that you want to be the best in the market. There are a few ways you can improve the customer experience:

Provide quality products: In the event of a recession, customers will be even more careful about what they spend money on. Make sure your products and services are of high quality and that customers will be happy with them. This puts you in the good graces of your target market, because you’re providing a quality product or service.

For example, if you’re selling shoes, you need to make sure that the shoes are made of high-quality materials that will last for a long time.

If you’re providing a service, you need to ensure that your services are always completed promptly.

Provide high-quality customer service: Customer service is dying in America. Everyone talks about making customers happy; however, many companies fail to deliver the expected level of customer service.

You’ll never be able to make everyone happy. However, you need to make sure you’re delivering excellent customer service. Make sure that when customers walk in the door, you do everything within your power to show them you’re honest, reliable, quick, efficient and friendly.

Sometimes the best customer service you can provide is just listening. Take the time to really listen to your customers and build a partnership with them.

Always look for ways to improve: As a business, you should constantly find ways to improve while still providing high-quality services. What can you do to make your products or services better? Can you reduce the price? Can you reduce the wait time? Can you provide a guarantee on your products or services? This is the time to go above and beyond to impress your target market. Let them know that you’re different from your competitors.

Strategy 2: Improve your conversion rates with automatic emails

All businesses can improve their conversion rates. The most important thing is to ensure that you’re sending out automatic emails to your customers.

By promoting your content through email marketing, you can ensure that you’re reaching each one of your customers and getting them excited about your products.

Strategy 3: Analyze your competitors

Analyzing your competitors is one of the smartest strategies you can use. By analyzing your competitors’ content and their backend search engine optimization (SEO), you can capitalize on what they fail to do.

Strategy 4: Use social media to engage with customers

Social media is a fantastic way to get your business in front of the eyes of larger audiences. By having a robust social presence and a solid social media strategy, you can drive interested consumers to your online store.

By ensuring that you’re interacting with customers on social media and establishing yourself as the authority in the niche, you can guarantee that you’re getting the best possible sales and reviews that your business can get.

It’s also important to build a strong social media presence through exclusive content. It’s not enough to simply post your content online. You need to ensure that it’s only available to your customers on your social media sites. This will encourage a strong relationship between your customers and your brand, which will drive up your conversion rates by encouraging customers to share your content with their friends and family.

Strategy 5: Use content marketing to attract customers

Content marketing is a strategy that allows you to attract potential customers by providing them with informative and valuable content. With content marketing, you can reach a larger audience of interested consumers and drive sales and traffic to your online store. Here are some tips:

Create a blog and keep it updated: Creating a blog and keeping it updated is an excellent content marketing strategy you can use to attract interested consumers. A blog is a fantastic way to share knowledge and information with your customers, and by blogging and keeping your blog updated, you can guarantee that you’re always being current and up-to-date with the market. Blogs are also a fantastic way to build backlinks to your site, which helps influence your search engine ranking.

Publish content that inspires customer interaction: Publishing content that inspires customer interaction is one of the most effective ways to improve your conversion rates. You can build a next-generation marketing strategy by creating content that encourages customers to share their own experiences with your products.

Strategy 6: Don’t forget to track your progress

With this final strategy, you can see if your marketing strategies are working. By using a backend analytics tool, you can confirm that you’re actually seeing growth. This will allow you to tell if the marketing strategies that you’re using are really working.

There are many business marketing strategies out there. However, by using the right strategies, you can ensure that your marketing strategy is recession-proof.

If you are interested in original article by Jed Morley you can find it here