Last night, I was speaking to a friend I had worked with in my advertising sales days. I had contacted her in hopes that she would join a social media project I'm working on with some other local businesses. She said yes by the way. I know some of the coolest, nicest people in Kelowna!
But, I digress.
We got to talking and I asked how her new business was going. She said, "oh you know, the struggles of being a business owner. I know I have to market myself more but I don't understand half the social media out there and I'm probably doing it wrong. Plus, I just don't have the time!" I said to her, "you know what I do for a living, right?". Well, turns out she knew I had switched over from traditional advertising sales into some sort of marketing but wasn't sure exactly what I could do for her. Just as I did with her on the phone last night, I'm going to go through it with you here, right now. So keep reading because I'm positively, absolutely, sure, as a business owner, you need help with one of these things.
What does a Content Management firm actually do for your business?
We give you back the gift of time.
We create strategies and goals.
We attract more quality leads.
But how? I'm so glad you asked! Let us continue and I can prove we don't only play on Facebook all day (but it IS certainly a perk of the job).
I cannot stress this enough.
Many years ago, keywords were the main focus of website developers and copywriters. Google's way of crawling websites and ranking them higher in search engine results was mostly based on keywords and stuffing the heck out of them into your website. It doesn't work like that anymore. Google realized that readers were searching for content.
The more posts you add to your blog with quality written content (perhaps by a company like Fetch & Ripple, hint, hint, nudge, nudge), the more Google will crawl your website and realize what topic(s) you should be ranked for in search engine results. If you're really good at this, you can fill an entire search results page with your content. Your website can be listed, like ours, for spots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and what does that do to your competition?
For one, it pushes them out of view. Out of sight, out of mind.
Secondly, it shows those people searching for a certain topic that you mean business and clearly have a ton of this info on your website. Congratulations, you just became the local, Kelowna expert in this field. Hmmm, do you think this builds trust and they'll call you first? You bet your sweet cupcakes it does!
Find someone who can blog for you, or at the very least boost your blogging frequency. We do this for clients every day. If you enjoy blogging but can't get to it every week or month, we can step in and help. We also make sure that photos are optimized, tags and meta descriptions are used so that your blog will be found and attracting more of those sought after clicks. Blogging is more than just a diary for your business. It can act as an extremely powerful promotional tool when used properly.
I'm shopping for a new furnace. What influences my choices and ultimately makes me pick you over the competition? Am I familiar with your name? Do I trust you? Do you speak my language and really get me, the customer? This is your brand voice. This is what content specialists determine and define, breathing life into your business identity. Your brand is supposed to attract quality customers that want to buy.
Keeping tabs on the world around you and what's trending will keep you ahead of the marketing game. We get so busy with our own businesses that we sometimes lose sight of what's going on around us. It happens to us too. We're only human. But we've got some great tools that help us monitor the big ole interweb. Google Alerts and Mentions and setting our social media platform notifications properly help us to keep track of what's going on.
Brand reputation is a huge part of managing your brand. What the heck is brand reputation? Well, we monitor complaints just as we monitor the good stuff. There will be negativity. It's how you manage it that can make you shine brighter than your competition. We know how to use negativity in your favour. Not that we ever want to see it!! Just like you, we aim for smooth sailing, pink butterflies and rainbow unicorns at all times. But just in case...we have a plan.
Whether you're launching a new company or need ideas for an existing one, brand management is an ongoing process that Content Managers love. We get a huge rush of adrenaline every time we connect a business to an audience. Changing perceptions, the way people feel, think and react. It's kind of like having a superpower but I don't get to wear spandex or a cape around town. I would. But one must stay a little professional.
When websites were first introduced to the world, we typically looked at them as billboards or flyers for our business. This has changed. Greatly. They are now your most important salesperson. Except for Steve. If you have a Steve selling for you, they're always great salespeople. Websites are the salespeople who venture off into unknown territory, develop a secret relationship with your future customers, luring them 24/7, then surprising you after all their quiet efforts by bringing in lead after lead. That's how it should be working. If it's not. We need to talk.
The words on those web pages have to be perfect. Not only do fantastic words make your website less boring, but it is critical to persuade buyers to pick you over all competition. You need a Content Marketer who writes to engage and attract attention yet has impeccable grammar and spelling. All of this will not only help your SEO and propel you to the top of the rankings but with the right words on the page, we can even change minds that may have been set in stone, locked with a rusty key, never to be opened again. Did I mention we had superpowers?
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
"I have my son take care of my social media for me". I'm sure your son is great. I have nothing against him. However, there needs to be a strategy involved. I can unclog a drain but that doesn't make me a plumber. There has to be some training involved. Not just the ability to post photos and quotes.
Most of my clients love social media because it's free. That's one of the reasons I love it too. But if you're not managing it well, it's wasting your time and if you have as much respect for yourself as I do, time is money. I want you to get out there and spend your time making money. Companies such as ours can be a huge help. You hire us as needed to augment your posts, find articles to share, write articles (see that first paragraph about blogging) and engage with your social community. Those communities need attention to grow and relationships need to be developed. We love nothing more than to be your social butterflies.
Most business owners I speak with use 2-3 different platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Posts to each of these need to be formatted correctly. I see too much auto-linking going on and sentences being cut off half way through. Stop clicking that check mark to auto-link. You need someone who understands how to target the audience on each platform but also to post the right material, at the right time, and consistently.
Did you know the sweet spot for Twitter is posting 5 times per day? It seems like a lot. But there's a strategy and reason behind it. If you're posting only once per week or month, you're going to get left behind and it makes me so sad. What a lost opportunity to get your name in your audience's news feed.
You will see better, faster results if you fire the 19 year old son and hire a professional. It is cheaper than you think and will make a world of difference. You want to attract your ideal customer and more of them. Create loyalty and a relationship between you and your target customer. A Content Manager will be more consistent and find the material your audience wants, even craves.
When you hire a firm like Fetch & Ripple, you get access to all our tools such as Hootesuite, Shutterstock, Feedly. They are our lifesavers and we're all about sharing with clients to ensure your social media runs just as smoothly as ours.
Our favourite social media platforms to work with are Facebook, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter. Snapchat is a newer participant in the social media marketing world. But we've got a support team waiting to get your SnapChat campaign up and running. We are so excited to work with Geofilters.ca as they have a relationship with the social media giant. Having this partnership allows us to get custom geofilters made and approved quicker, getting them into the hands of thousands of your potential customers. We are constantly learning and following trends to ensure we are using the correct channels to share your content.
Writing a blog, posting it several times to social media, using a call to action in the blog, developing landing pages, grabbing email addresses where you can, developing online marketing material such as newsletters and email offers. When do you sleep? A well rounded digital marketing plan is going to take time. A lot of time, and it must include all of the above. It's like building a puzzle. You can still do it without all the pieces but you won't see the whole picture.
Before you drive yourself crazy, this is why there are Content Managers or Content Marketers. We will answer to both names. We develop strategies so that we can gain focus, target the right audience, attract more of the right audience, make more sales and stay in this healthy marketing cycle as much as we possibly can...without going crazy. If you haven't set up an email management service like MailChimp or Constant Contact, this is the first thing I suggest. Then we get into the fun stuff like writing strong sales copy and killer call-to-actions. Don't trust the 19 year old son. You'll need someone with a strong sales writing background for these tasks.
Ok, so you're still with me and you haven't had a meltdown yet. This is good. There is so much to do. Many moving pieces to line up. Our advice to our clients is take it slow. Take a deep breath. You do not need to be an expert in every social media platform today. Do one or two and do those well. If you try to be everywhere, you're going to half ass your marketing....and we want you to whole ass it. Wait. That doesn't sound right, but you know what we're saying. It's easier to convince a smaller audience 100% to buy from you than to risk convincing them only 10% of the way. Work on your target audience on no more than 2 platforms, 100%. When you've got that under control and seeing results, move onto another audience.
Deciding where your time is best spent is crucial. If you're like the woman I spoke to on the phone last night, at the end of your patience, and no time left for yourself, please message us right now! You'll be pleasantly surprised by how we can help and stay within your budget. You are the face of your business and you should be answering calls and making sales, not figuring out how to streamline your social media marketing. Leave that to us.