Sometimes it’s easy to get so wrapped up in the world of marketing that it’s easy to forget some business simply need to know the basics about online marketing.
For a lot of people, this means taking the first step of having a website. If your business runs largely offline, like my local bagel shop, it’s still a good idea to have a website. That way people can find you and learn a bit about your business before deciding whether or not to visit.
There’s a joke amongst Millennials that if you’re dating someone and they don’t have a social media presence, then there must be something they’re hiding.
While it’s not exactly the same for businesses, it’s still important to put a professional foot forward and make sure people know you care about them being able to find and contact you.
So, in an effort to help you get your online marketing efforts off the ground, I wanted to put together a quick checklist of five ways you can start building your online presence today.
Get a website Decide what you want your website to be like, and set a budget to help you narrow down your choices. The good news is that even if your budget is $0, you can still start a website. Places like wordpress.com and weebly.com make it easy to create engaging sites that make your business look professional.
If you plan to have a basic webpage, that’s totally fine. But remember that you’ll have one chance to make an impression on your potential customers. So, choose a design that conveys what you’d like people to base their first impression on.
Get an Instagram Business account
I promise this sounds harder than it is. It’s as simple as:
Starting an Instagram account
Go to Settings and choose to make it a Business account
You’re convinced you need a content marketing strategy, but where do you begin?
Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Review Your Demographic
Have you ever heard the saying that we get what we need, not what we want? That’s often the case when it comes to internet marketing. You can try your best to attract a certain demographic of people, including employing specific SEM parameters, but that doesn’t always mean you’ll get that audience.
For example, if you have a website about yoga, you may try your best to attract people who are experienced yogis, but instead you find new enthusiasts. Does that mean your readership is any less valuable to you? No. Of course not! You should embrace people who find your content helpful, and aim to build a community around that which will still achieve your original goals.
As much as we all wish that there was a secret formula to write the perfect, most engaging, informative blog post, that doesn’t exist. However, there are lots of tools to help people customize their strategy and learn exactly what their audience wants. Here are five tips and tools that I’ve found helpful, including some free tools you can use to get started.
Imagine this: you buy a pair of shoes, but you can only wear them with one specific outfit. The same is true of your other shoes and other outfits. Sure, some people hold their closets to this rule, but it’s expensive wasteful. So, why run your website the same way?
I’m a huge proponent of repurposing content because at the end of the day, you paid for the content (whether with dollars or time), so you might as well get the most bang for your buck. Most digital marketers know that completely duplicated content isn’t a great experience for readers, however, content about a similar topic can actually help drive SEO traffic to your page. And believe it or not, readers like repurposed content when it’s done the right way.
There’s no single method to making repurposed content work for you, because it largely depends on who your audience is, and that will change from site to site. You’ll want to figure out some insights about what delivery methods your visitors engage with most. Do they prefer articles or videos? Are infographics a hit? Does short or long content perform well? Additionally, you’ll want to think about your social media channels, and how they can help you leverage your content. All of these insights can not only get more eyes on what you’ve published, it can also help you decide which marketing partnerships will likely be the most beneficial, thanks to these audience insights.
Here are five clever ways to get the most mileage out of your content and how to make it more engaging.
1. Turn it into a multimedia experience
You may have seen Moz’s Whiteboard Friday, where Rand Fishkin & Co. take a different SEO-related concept each week and illustrate how it works. The videos are one of the most educational parts of my week, but Moz goes one step further. They also publish a hi-res photo of the finished whiteboard, and type out all of the text below the video. If that isn’t enough for you, they also embed an audio file from Soundcloud so if their users are podcast people, this option is available as well.
A single weekly post repurposes content in four very user-friendly, and engaging ways. While many people watch videos, others would rather quickly scan an article. And if the lesson that week was particularly illuminating, the photo allows the visitor to share it with only a few clicks.
2. Revisualize the content
Moz takes, quite literally, a straightforward approach to repurposing content, simply delivering the same product in different ways, but there are other methods to making the same thing feel fresh. If you have a piece of content that lends itself to becoming an infographic, then take a few moments and create one.
Even if you don’t have a graphic designing bone in your body, there are lots of free tools out there to help you design an image people will engage with. My favorite is Canva. I discovered it a few years ago, and since then I’ve created marketing materials for clients, social media posts for college intramural programs, lengthy infographics, a new cover for my novel, business cards, and some casual pics just for the heck of it. Do a quick content audit, focusing on which pieces get the most engagement, and start thinking about new ways to present it.
3. Socialize articles… Again
People are typically pretty good at Tweeting or posting their content to Facebook, but are you employing the most engaging tactics? Let me illustrate. When I used to write for a celebrity blog, we’d have headlines like, “You Won’t Believe What Shoes She Wore With This” and post a picture cropping out the shoes. Sometimes, if the headline was that ambiguous, we’d crop out the celeb’s head, too.
Of course, this is the most shameless form of clickbait, and no one likes that, so don’t go that far, but think in th same frame of mind.
If you have an article about how to de-stress and de-clutter your life, create a graphic with the article title, or a little factoid that will entice readers, and direct them to the article link. By using this method, you get double leverage out of your post without looking lazy and simply posting the same link again, or coming up with something like, “Throwback to one of my favorite posts.” If you’ve tried that method, it’s ok, we probably all have at some point.
You can also launch a week-long social media campaign. For example, if you have a website about yoga, feature a new pose each day to balance the seven chakras. The info is already on your site, you’re just making it accessible in a new way.