Iâ€™ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about how everything you read has been written by someone, somewhere. The back of the cereal box, words on billboards, directions on your cell-phone, restaurant menus, shampoo bottles, everything has been authored by someone with intentionality for you as a reader. This is no different when it comes to the vast amount of information we encounter online.
When it comes to content writing, the word game gets a little more specific though. With the rapid development of technology, an online presence is expected for any company, product, service, or individual etc. Business is frequently conducted online through various capacities and search engine optimization (SEO) is integral to success. SEO leads to higher rankings, which drives higher site traffic. Itâ€™s similar to the adage that business begets business; rankings attract visitors/consumers, which boosts the popularity of a site and increases rankings, which in turn attracts more visitors/consumers. Any website that achieves successful rankings and is listed on the first pages of a search site has district identity. This is where the importance of content writing comes in.
Good content is critical in conveying relevant and effective information that portrays the presence and abilities of any company. Content should be able to speak to your target audience from your business to aid in engaging profitable leads and should be simultaneously descriptive, entertaining, and informative.
Several other items to consider about why content writing plays an integral role in operating your business successfully are bullet-pointed below:
- Professional Words
When it comes to content writing, it is crucial to incorporate creativity and professionalism. Most business owners do not possess the necessary skills to write copy to represent their business ideas through words. This means hiring a professional writer.
- Keyword Rich
Content needs to be search engine friendly and interesting for readers. By identifying and executing writing with these goals in mind, content directly relates to the success of a business by attaining more site traffic and contributing to higher page ranks, which attains further site traffic that translates to business.
Writing content involves research and time to create meaningful content. Instead of diverting attention and focus away from business operations, itâ€™s beneficial to outsource such tasks to professional writers.
The careful craft of content writing is critical for getting and maintaining your customerâ€™s attention, delivering clear information, and serving their needs from your business. Content writing and search engine optimization go hand in hand and your web presence is facilitated through language written by an author to promote and explain your mission, ideas, and services.
It is important to note that this blog post, the last installment of our four part series on Social Media, was written near the end of April. There have probably been numerous rapid developments to the Social Media scene since these posts were typed out. One question this brings up is how to keep up? Iâ€™d like to conclude with a reiteration on the importance of focus. Keeping an eye on the objective is central to staying on task. Without a goal, there is no plan, and without a plan, there is no focus.
The industry will always be changing. One way to stay in the loop about these changes is by staying in the know about what experts in the industry believe to be the future trends. In an article by Cindy King at the Social Media Examiner, â€œ21 Social Media Predictions for 2013 From the Prosâ€ King brings together the authorities in the field to predict a number of Social Media changes that will occur this year. Here are selected highlights from her article:
#2: â€œVisual Marketing.â€
-Ekaterina Walter, Social innovator at Intel and author of Think Like Zuck
#4: â€œFacebook offers better tools for businesses.â€
-John Haydon, Advisor of marketing strategies and the effective use of Facebook, blogs, Twitter and other tools for non-profits and co-author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies
#5: â€œContent Marketing Is the New Social Media Marketing.â€
-Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable and author of Likeable Social Media and Likeable Business
#8: â€œGoogle+ Is a â€˜mustâ€™ place to be.â€
-Anita Campbell, Founder of Small Business Trends and author of Visual Marketing
#10: â€œInstagram grows bigger.â€
-Mark W. Schaefer, Marketing faculty member at Rutgers University and author of Return on Influence
#13: â€œThe Content Marketing arms race continues and gets more heated.â€
-Marcus Sheridan, Co-owner of River Pools and Spas, founder of PoolSchool.us, an educational site on selecting the right pool, and founder of the The Sales Lion.
#18: â€œFacebook Ad Network will make waves.â€
- Ben Pickering, CEO of Strutta.
These predictions highlight several important possible changes to come this year. Even since the above list was published, many developments occurred and the following echo the matters above in terms of progress and the changing face of Social Media:
- In March of this year, Facebook launched a new look to their News Feed to include larger images, the ability to customize feeds for stories from friends, and greater mobile consistency.
- Twitter added targeted self-service advertising capabilities for small to enterprise businesses: http://advertising.twitter.com/2013/03/More-powerful-tools-for-small-business-and-self-service-advertisers.html
- Google Plus offered a great training program online: http://howtousegoogleplusforbusiness.com/ and as Google Plus becomes more prevalent we believe it will rapidly alter Social Media. Google has recently been hinting that Google Plus postings are to become a part of the Google Search Algorithm. This is just another reason to reinforce SEO tactics into Social Media postings.
At LuCorp Marketing we know how important Social Media Marketing is and although change can feel like it happens overnight, Social Media Marketing efforts should always be driven first by the idea of engaging and promoting the brand to the customer and secondly by incorporating changes into your businessâ€™ portfolio. Stay tuned as we keep you in the know of how to navigate the ever-changing field of Social Media and how you can set a plan into action for success for your business.
How do you generate new and fresh content and ideas for your marketing efforts? One idea is to find trends and target markets through the use of tracking tools. Another idea is to establish a competitor list and analyze their efforts.There are many great tools to help your business predict trends and gather insight on how your current actions are reverberating with your business.
To get the most out of Social Media you should develop ways to monitor and measure. Using actionable online intelligence can help you understand your online audience and assist you by providing relevant targeted data on your customers. A monitoring program can also help determine customer sentiment, social media trends for your brand, monitor campaign successes, identify influencers, improve customer service, and provide great ways to listen, measure, and analyze in real-time.
Several great tools available to you to help with predicting trends or generating new material are listed as follows:
Google Trends, Google Insights and Google Keywords
- Google offers several great ways to track Social Media. Hereâ€™s an excellent article for you to understand how to maximize Googleâ€™s tools. http://howtousegoogleplusforbusiness.com/2012/01/seven-tools-to-help-you-track-social-media-trends/
Like Button is a website featuring a collection of links from a wide range of popular web sites as shared by your Facebook friends. Like Button also displays for each site the most-liked articles from the general Facebook community.
What the Trend helps you find out whatâ€™s trending on Twitter and why. For each trend, participants (which are blurbs edited by users) attempt to give you a quick explanation as to why a topic is trending. At any given point, the site is currently tracking over 300,000 different trends. It is also readily available as a gadget to plug-in to iGoogle pages.
- Google Hot Trends
This service reports hourly on the latest hot searches on Google USA. It features the Top 20 most popular searches each day and also maintains an archive for previous dayâ€™s top searches. This service is also available as an iGoogle gadget.
BuzzFeed describes itself as â€œthe hottest, most social content on the web.â€ BuzzFeed is a website that is part automated, part curated. The site combines a technology platform for detecting viral content with an editorial selection process to provide a snapshot of â€œthe viral web in real-time.â€
The YouTube Trends Dashboard provides a Top 10 snapshot of either the Most Shared or the Most Viewed videos currently on YouTube. Results can be segmented by location (by city for the US, otherwise by country), by gender, and by age range. In addition, there is also a blog at youtubetrends.blogspot.com which reports on noteworthy weekly and monthly YouTube trends.
A curated selection of content on Google Plus that is considered (by the Google Plus team) to be exemplary, interesting, and appropriate. Their stated aim is to display both serendipitous and diverse information.
- Facebook Memology
Memology is an annual summary that takes the pulse of the global Facebook community. It compares this yearâ€™s status updates to last yearâ€™s, unearthing the most popular topics and cultural trends or memes emerging on Facebook. Click here for a link to the 2011 report, which covers the top global topics, the fastest growing Pages and most popular media in 2011 and contains variety of other pop culture indicators.
Other platforms that can also stimulate ideas are through searching Twitter Feeds or examining trending topics on Pinterest. Last but not least, donâ€™t forget to discover what is trending on your own businessâ€™ site by looking at what content is most frequently visited on your own web presence!
Part 2 of a Blog series on highlights in Social Media and important steps on how to implement a Social Media Marketing Plan.
We all want success but how does one go about creating a tangible blueprint for to achieve it? How do you create a tactical plan for implementation at your business?
In Marketoâ€™s â€œSocial Media Tactical Planâ€ they offer great short-term objectives and key metrics for many of the Social Media platforms. Marketoâ€™s plan details application of appropriate social tools, designs for use, and recommended objectives to set for each different social network.
Consider these objectives when writing content: Is the content tied to other marketing strategies? Are you creating compelling stories that can be shared and help to build brand engagement? Is the content you are writing resonating with the brand, with your business objectives, with the target audience? Make sure you have well planned content marketing and give your social media team the information they need to share the content your audience needs to connect through other marketing strategies.
Another great article on the topic of moving your plan into action for success is by Social Media Examinerâ€™s Contributor, Russ Henneberry in his piece â€œHow to Attract More Customers With Content Marketingâ€. Henneberry points out that, â€œSocial Media and content marketing are joined at the hip. Social networks like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn are not always where a conversation starts or ends. To attract, convert, and keep customers, social media and content marketing should work together towards a seamless marketing, sales, and customer-service strategy.â€ This is essential to understanding a campaign and keeping it moving forward towards your goals.
For a SMM Plan to be successful, it requires the following:
- use of a variety of methods of communication tools
- engagement and content that resonates with the customer
- constant monitoring, revisions, and the ability to measure change
At LuCorp Marketing, weâ€™re excited to share a new series with our readers, a four-post blog series on highlights in Social Media and important steps on how to implement a Social Media Marketing Plan.
PURPOSE AND GOAL
THE CRITICAL FIRST STEPS
When starting a Social Media Marketing (SMM) Plan, outlining goals is often the easiest first task to accomplish but itâ€™s essential when laying out plans that goals should contain intentionality beyond just driving business. The SMM Plan serves as a roadmap for monthly workflows that detail specific tactics designed to advance a businessâ€™ key marketing mission and objectives. Within the SMM Plan are several specific actionable plans that should be put in place. The goals set for the SMM Plan should contain a commitment to boost sales and increase revenues. It may also specify other items such as improve customer service, promote events, develop contest campaigns, etc. Several examples of focus could be â€œbeing the flagship company in an area,â€ or â€œestablishing the most reliable and consistent service,â€ or â€œproviding the finest customer relations.â€ Many of these ideas can come from the businessâ€™ mission and vision statement and should easily transition to the SMM Plan. It is important to note that the Social Media Marketing Plan is only part of the integrated marketing plan and overall mission. Additional goals and objectives for the SMM Plan should reflect in the entire operation of the business.
The article by Angie Schottmutter on Search Engine Watch, â€œSocial Media ROI: How To Define a Strategic Planâ€ is a great read for anyone starting a Social Media Marketing Plan. In the article, Schottmutter works out the details step by step. She recommends, â€œa guide to mapping a social media strategy with meaningful key performance indicators (KPIs) that align to business objectives for tangible measurement.â€ She goes on to say that any plan should â€œstart by following the social media strategy funnel. Before diving into tactics, you need to define social media goals that align with business objectives.â€ Most of her information about defining a plan stresses the importance of setting and defining goals, determining planning steps, employable tactics, and a process for measurement, revision, and refinement.
To recap, when setting action plans and goals, the critical first steps of any SMM Plan, the focus should be on the following:
- Outlining goals with audience in mind and align with corporate objectives
- Develop a road map and plan for execution
- Establish structure for revisions and measurements for campaigns
Of late we have been collecting cool tools to use with our Social Media posts and thought these might be great to share:
Make your own story book with Storybird - this is great for teachers!
PicMonkey letâ€™s you design pictures, collages and this is where we design our clientâ€™s Facebook and Google + headers!
Create interactive Info Graphics with Infogr.am
Map-Generator.Net allows you to create cool maps.
dlvr.it helps publishers deliver their content to the social web, including twitter and facebook.
Add Pinterest, Twitter, etc. to your Facebook page with woobox.com
Mini videos with Twitter Vine.
Great Social Media Tools and Apps!