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Spicing Up a Boring Brand With Content

  
  
  

shutterstock 133482386While all of us would love to work on creative plans for dynamic, contemporary companies with cutting edge styles or technology, the truth is that most consumers spend their money on things that are a little more mundane. From car tires to work boots to accounting services, these companies all need great marketing to get ahead. Finding an exciting angle, on the other hand, can seem a little challenging.

Enter Storytelling

While the obvious product or service might seem boring, to add a little excitement to a brand, you have to stop thinking in terms of advertising the product and move towards selling the company itself. Storytelling lets consumers get to know a company, it takes them on a journey and stirs up emotions. Storytelling makes a connection on a more personal level and gets consumers to feel aligned with a company rather than excited about its brand or its products.

How to Incorporate Stories Using Content

Draw inspiration from all around the company. From the owner who brought the company up from nothing to the kid sorting the mail, everyone has a story to tell. Dig through customer comment cards and online surveys to see if anyone has shared anything that is inspiring. While you're working on your stories, remember these key points:

  • Be Real. Base every story you tell on the reality of the company or brand you're describing. Although your stories can be fictional, they should still maintain some consistency so consumers know what to expect.
     
  • Create Characters to Cheer For. The heart of every story is a hero or a villain who people can connect with and cheer for or against. Create fictional characters based on the buyer personas you're using for the rest of your content.
     
  • Be Emotional. Stories are all about emotional connections so be sure to use lots of emotional language and compelling imagery throughout your stories.

Easy on the Branding

One common thread through all these ideas is that none of them include branded content. This type of content can be used successfully as part of a larger marketing plan, but stories usually don't have a place for a bunch of advertisements. It's one thing to share a story of a customer who bought your work boots and include a picture of her with the boots on. It's another thing entirely to create a whole story around how your boots make her life worth living.

4 Examples of Stories that Work

Since storytelling involves a lot of creativity and can't really be broken down into a formula, here's a few examples of successful storytelling in marketing so you can get an idea of how to use it.

  1. Mayhem. This hilarious anti-hero has changed the face of sleepy insurance to something that is completely relatable. Allstate's Mayhem is the physical embodiment of all the things that can go wrong, and he illustrates why insurance is a good thing without actually selling it.
     
  2. This is Wholesome. Honey Maid Graham Crackers got a lot of attention for this campaign for showcasing diversity while portraying it as simply normal. It is, however, a great way to see storytelling at it's finest. It's just a series of families going about their lives, and they happen to like graham crackers.
     
  3. Land O' Lakes. This entire website feels like Grandma's Kitchen. You want to get a hot mug of tea and listen to her tell stories while she bakes buttery delights. Every inch of this website has a story to tell. For example, this blog post starts with the writer sharing a story about the dinnertime meltdowns she's working through with her toddler, moves on to a tasty weeknight recipe, and ends with confirmation that said toddler did not melt down over these enchiladas. Brilliant.
     
  4. GE Reports. "Where does the human end and the machine begin?" This website is dedicated to telling stories from around the world about science and technology while quietly positioning GE as an innovative, thoughtful company. Take a look at this post. The photo alone tells a story, but the post below really hits home. 

Be Inspired

From insurance to butter to washing machines, even the most mundane consumer transactions can be transformed into a meaningful story. Find the story behind the company you're marketing, and see where opportunities lie to make a connection. Show people what there is to laugh about, think about, cry about, or rejoice about, and they will be happy to make the journey with you.

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Pinning in the New Year: Pinterest Marketing Tips for 2015

  
  
  

shutterstock 221490385The page has turned on another full calendar year. As we progress through 2015, marketers will need to be looking in as many places as possible to find leads for their business or their clients. Research confirms that marketers are trying many things: the Content Marketing Institute reported in October that the average marketer used 11 different tactics for content marketing.

One of the hottest new channels for content marketing is Pinterest. Pinterest is a social network that saw exponential growth in 2012: Marketing Land reported in December of that year that Pinterest experienced a 1,047% year-over-year increase in visitors. If you haven’t already incorporated Pinterest into your content marketing plan, there are a few reasons that you should start this year.

Why Pinterest?

One of the big reasons that companies decide to market on Pinterest is because it is rapidly becoming a major part of the social media realm. Kevin Roose at New York magazine wrote in May of 2014 that Pinterest was responsible for more traffic for Internet publishers than both Reddit and Twitter combined.

Pinterest is also a very valuable social media channel for companies that primarily market their services or products towards women. 80% of Pinterest users are women, which is a significant number of female users when you consider that there’s about 40 million active users on Pinterest each month.

Best Practices for Pinterest Marketing

One of the most important things to know about Pinterest is timing. It is important that you time your posts the right way so that you can get as many views as possible. Many believe that the best time to post on Pinterest is between 6 PM and 8 PM EST, when most people are finished with their work responsibilities.

Another important part of your Pinterest initiative should be to integrate your Pinterest activity with the rest of your marketing efforts. For example, if you publish an email newsletter or blog, be sure to provide links to your latest pins so that you can drive traffic to your company’s Pinterest. Above all, it is important to always be tweaking your Pinterest tactics by seeing what works and what doesn’t work for bringing in new prospects and attracting attention for your pins.

Marketing Tools for Pinterest

Marketers who want to get as much as they can from their efforts to bring in customers on Pinterest might find it valuable to use third-party tools to help them achieve this goal. One of the best of these tools is known as Tailwind. Tailwind can help marketers schedule pins, determine how effective their pins are, and optimize their timing based on their ideal audience. Another great platform for Pinterest marketing is PinAlerts. PinAlerts provides users with email notifications when someone pins something from your page and allows you to thank people who pin your content.

Pinterest holds tremendous opportunity for content marketers who are informed enough to include it in their social media plans. If you haven’t already started taking advantage of this rapidly-growing social network for marketing purposes, this should be the year that you begin capitalizing on the power of Pinterest.   

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Stepping up Your Content Promotion Efforts in 2015

  
  
  

shutterstock 109442525Each new year brings with it revolutionary developments in the world of online marketing and new strategies for calling attention to content out on the Web. While it will be important to stay on top of new tactics as they come to light in 2015, you still should be taking advantage of the tried and true methods of the past.

Going into 2015, there are many different content promotion strategies that you will want to already be exploiting through your brand's online presence. A successful online marketing campaign involves creating an effective aggregation of the best content promotion methods- methods that have withstood the test of time by maintaining their strong impact and high ROI despite the rapidly evolving nature of search engine marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing.

Starting the year off right

Do you want to take content promotion to the next level in 2015? Get off to a great start by incorporating the following methods into your campaign so that you'll be ready for the changes and challenges of 2015 as they arise. Companies that are looking to make waves in their industry in 2015 by offering superior content should understand the following content promotion trends and resources:

Becoming an authority

A key aspect of content marketing is becoming an authority in one's industry. Through content, successful online marketers are able to establish a brand name as a trustworthy resource for information and expertise. 

How can companies become authorities and noted industry influencers? The following are three things brands can do to become authorities in their industries:

  1. Reach out to prominent figures- If you want to establish yourself as an authority, you should be paying attention to already established authorities. By building relationships with well known figures in your industry, you may be able to take advantage of endorsements and expert sources that can build upon the credibility of your brand image. 
  2. Be part of social media communities- Social media networks often offer communities of people interested in a certain niche or subject. You can join these companies and provide useful input to other members to build up recognition of your brand. Examples of some prominent social media communities are Google+ Communities and LinkedIn Groups. 
  3. Consider syndication- Syndicating your content can help you to reach more people. When your content is syndicated, readers may be more likely to view your company as a major authority in the industry. 

Doing the research

Brands optimize their content promotion efforts by doing research on a variety of topics. What types of research could optimize content promotion for your brand? Consider the following...

  1. Social insights- Social insight research involves looking into feedback on your content that has come in from audience members. These types of comments can clue you in on the interests, needs, opinions, and mood of your audience members regarding specific topics.
  2. Content sharing habits- By paying attention to the content sharing habits of social media users, you can get an idea of who might be interested in your content. Reach out to those who are sharing or showing an interest in content that is similar to yours. 
  3. New resources- Research is vital to tracking down all the resources that you should be taking advantage of. Every month, new sites focused on content pertinent to a certain niche or industry come to prominence. You can only take advantage of new resources if you are aware of them. An example of the types of content promotion sites that you should be aware of and utilize if appropriate are aggregator sites like Reddit or HackerNews, which can potentially bring in a great deal of website traffic. 

Making things convenient

Members of your audience are important resources in content promotion. The best way to promote content on a large scale is to get your audience to do the work for you. If you offer great content and make it easy for others to share that content, you will see your marketing campaign take off. 

Encourage content sharing among readers by making sure your site and its content offer the following:

  1. Integrated sharing opportunities- If a reader wants to share your content, they should be able to do so with minimal effort. 
  2. Social media snippets- Snippets sent out on social media sites are a convenient way of getting the word out regarding a new piece of content. Every time you post, you should be sure to send out snippets numerous times via each social media network on which you are active.
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How to Improve the Social Influence of Your Clients

  
  
  

shutterstock 198856733If the focus of your company is to assist clients in getting ahead in the business world, you are probably aware that helping them improve their social media use and visibility is a major component of the efforts that you take to achieve this goal. However, have you ever thought about the social influence of your clients? Using social media is a good start, but the actual influence that your clients have when it comes to social media determines whether they are able to gain and retain their own clients. 

About Social Influence

Many companies assume that their social influence is directly tied to their number of followers, but this simply is not true. Your clients may have no problem gaining followers, but these individuals need to be engaged in order to improve social influence.

The algorithms that are used to determine social influence generally take into account factors including the number of "likes" that your clients receive on their posts, shares of your clients' posts and how many time your clients have been mentioned on social media websites.

Websites like Klout offer a score that helps you determine the social influence of your clients. These websites break down results to show the types of posts or activity that raise the score, and these reports are a valuable tool for forming a plan of action when it comes to improving the social influence of your clients. 

Tips for Improving the Social Influence of Your Clients

Now that you know a bit more about what social influence is and how it is calculated, you can work to improve the social influence of your clients. These tips will help you with this task for a more successful and satisfied client base.

  • Research hashtags or keywords that relate to your client's business. Using just one keyword or hashtag in each social media post can increase the chances that people will see the post when searching for the related word. While an increase in visibility does not automatically improve social influence, greater visibility will improve the chances that a wider audience will interact with your client via social media.
  • Encourage your clients to craft posts with the goal of engaging customers. Stating facts without asking a question tends to limit the number of people who engage with your clients, while adding a question or even encouraging followers to share the post will improve influence.
  • Have your clients use a website like Klout for one month to see how their activity changes their social influence score. Make sure that clients only check their scores a few times each week to ensure enough focus is being placed on improving the quality and timing of social media posts.
  • Ensure that your clients post to social media most days of the week. Social influence is highest when a person or company posts between five and seven days each week. 
  • Highlight the value of interacting with customers on a regular basis. Twitter chats and Facebook conversations in comment sections improve visibility and show your clients' customers that they are interested in what their customers have to say. 
  • Place a focus on the quality of content that your clients are providing to their customers. High-quality content that is relevant to their customers should also include current information that is not reiterated across the Internet. Companies with the best social influence are among the first to tell their customers about the latest developments in their field.

Social media plays a huge role in the success of business today, and your clients are no exception. Understanding how your clients can maintain a high level of social influence allows you to work with them to achieve this goal.

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3 Elements That Differentiate Regular Content From Engaging Content

  
  
  

shutterstock 174573374Every time you publish content, you are competing against millions of other pieces for your audience’s attention. Therefore, if your posts are mediocre, your visitors have no reason keep reading. If you want users to keep returning to your site and, over time, to convert into customers, you need to release outstanding content.

The following characteristics are what sets engaging content apart from regular content:

1. The Content Is Unique

You have undoubtedly heard before that content needs to be unique and interesting. Unfortunately, many marketers do not think about what this actually means and sometimes believe that as long as they have written the content themselves — in other words, the post is not copied verbatim from another source — this is sufficient.

However, consider the fact that users share around 2,460,000 pieces of content every minute on Facebook alone. You are up against heavy competition, and if you want users to pay attention to your content, you need something completely original. Rehashed information from other posts is of no value to your audience.

There are many ways to be unique, provided you get creative. Here are a couple strategies to try:

  • Use your keyword research to write on a subject no one has ever tackled before. You can narrow down your ideas by typing potential title options into Google.
  • Work with your personal knowledge of your business sector, basing posts around information or ideas that only your company has.

2. The Content Features Statistics That Back Up Your Points

Although your content must be original, this does not mean you should simply write from scratch without having any data to back up your claims. Statistics, especially from reputable sources, are a great way to show that you are trustworthy, which is a requirement for building a lasting relationship with your prospects.

In addition, data makes content more interesting; for instance, showing the extent to which a fact is true could be a chance to amaze readers with unexpected statistics. Plus, data can often increase the chance that prospects will take action after they have finished reading your post.

3. The Content Involves Your Readers

People love to know that they are part of something, not just a passive reader. There are a couple ways to involve your readers in your content, named by Positionly:

  • Incorporate tweets within your content.
  • Respond to comments on your posts to keep the conversation flowing. If you receive very good questions, you can even base your next post around the answer.

Both of the above make it more likely that users will return to your site to read your future posts — either to look for their tweets or check if you have answered their questions.

Creating engaging content does not need to be difficult. Although it does require a certain degree of creativity, you can easily determine what your audience wants through your keyword research and interactions on your blog and social media accounts. With this information, you can captivate users and form lasting relationships that will lead to higher sales from your company.

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Running a Content Audit for Your Clients

  
  
  

content auditRunning a content audit on a website involves evaluating all of a site's written content to determine what it consists of and how effective it is. A content audit can entail analyzing the entirety of a website's content or only a part of a website's content. However, any size audit should lead to an improved understanding and awareness of what kind of content is being viewed by website visitors. 

The Importance of Content Audits

Over time, a website's content could decrease in quality or stray from the central focus of a website. Content needs to be constantly geared towards the main business purpose of the company running the website. An audit can not only address quality or focus issues, but it can also determine topics and areas that need to be explored in greater depth via blog posts, landing pages, white papers, or whatever other type of content is offered on a website. 

The Audit Process

Although running an audit on a site's content is generally an easy and straightforward process, it can be boring and tedious. Obviously, the amount of time necessary for performing an audit will depend upon the size of a given website. An audit of the content on a smaller website might only take an hour or two. However, it could take days to perform a sufficient audit of a larger site's content. 

The following are the major steps to performing a content audit for a website:

  1. Gathering URLs- In general, you will first need to gather all of the different site URLs that have content on them so you know what you are looking at in terms of site content. This stage of the process is often termed a content inventory. Not only should you list all of the content-containing URLs on your website, but you should also put the information on a spreadsheet that includes fields for details on the content given at each listed URL. 
  2. Considering organizational factors- Factors such as navigation title, page name, URL structure, and hierarchy are important in presenting content on your website. A content audit should not only involve looking at the content itself, but also looking at how that content is organized and presented. During your audit, you should be checking to see that navigation through different content pages is logical and straightforward.
  3. Determining how to handle content- After you've looked at all of your content, you need to determine whether posts/documents should stay the same or be removed, edited, recategorized, consolidated, or rewritten. Make sure the tone with which your content is presented fits your targeted audience, and check the accuracy and consistency of nomenclature that is used. 
  4. Conducting keyword research- Obviously, your content needs to focus on the keywords for which you are trying to optimize your site. Your content needs to attract site visitors who are looking for your company's products and services. During a content audit, you need to take some time to evaluate your content in view of the characteristics of your targeted Internet users and what their search engine queries might be.
  5. Finding content gaps- What is your website missing? During the part of an audit that involves finding content gaps, you need to brainstorm on subjects/topics that haven't yet been addressed by your site content. This is an important step in expanding exposure on the Web to as yet unreached potential clients. 
  6. Developing or revising your strategy- The last step in a content audit should be strategizing. Ideally, your content marketing campaign will already center on some overarching strategy goals. However, you will want to consider these goals anew in light of any changes that have come to your market, industry, or company since your last audit. 

Major goals of a content audit

In the end, a content audit is really just about improving your content in any way possible. If you conduct a thorough, detailed investigation into your site's content, you will probably find a great deal of room for improvement. In fact, content audits are only the start of a long process.

Once you've completed your audit, you will probably have lots of work ahead of you so that you can make all of the necessary improvements that will optimize site content so that it has the best possible effect on both website visitors and search engine result pages. 

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Shareable Content: Your Ticket to the Top

  
  
  

shutterstock 216792142According to an article on ProBlogger, social signals are an indication to the search engines that your content is valuable. The more social signals your content is showing, the better your chances are of ranking high on a search engine results page. In other words, every time your content gets a like, a +1 or a share, your search engine rankings rise. So what's the difference between content that gets ignored and shareable content? Let's take a look.

Elements of Shareable Content

While there's no exact formula for creating shareable content, the most successful posts contain these four elements:

  1. Outstanding Title. This is point number one because it is the most important. Some experts even suggest that you should spend half of your time crafting the headline and half writing the content. Why? Because if the title doesn't grab the reader's attention, they're gone.
     
  2. Entertaining Media. Internet users love to be entertained with interesting visuals and graphics. While the text of your content might contain the most important information, images, videos, and graphics are what gets the initial attention and compels people to share with their friends.
     
  3. Easy to Digest. Lengthy narratives might get a few shares, but the vast majority of shareable content is short, easy to read, and easy to skim. Think top-ten lists, bulleted lists, how-to articles, and infographics. If you have to write a lengthy narrative, be sure to break it up with lots of subheadings and images.
     
  4. Valuable. Ok, this one might sound obvious, however, in order for content to be shareable it has to provide information that is so valuable that someone thinks that others need to know about it. Don't try to dole out the same old thing as everyone else. Instead, look for something fresh and new, or find a unique angle on an old subject.

A Nudge in the Right Direction

Getting your content in front of the right eyes is an essential step to generating shareable content. Putting a page about construction boots in front of an audience of elderly women that share a love of quilting won't get your content shared.

First, make sure you know who you want to talk to and focus your content on them. This might exclude a lot of people in the wider audience, but most of those people aren't likely to love and share your content anyway. It's better to really seize the interest of a narrow audience than to water your content down for a broad one.

Then, make sure you get your content in front of who you're targeting. Are you more likely to find them on Facebook or Instagram? Maybe LinkedIn or even a forum? Wherever they are, promote your content there so the right people can find it and start sharing it with their friends.

Consistency is Key

Of course, creating highly valuable, shareable content on a regular basis isn't easy. While you might not hit a home run with every piece, maintaining some consistency throughout all your content will help some of your B+ content get a little momentum from the A+ content. People will recognize your tone and voice and add some of the authority you've gained from other content to give everything else you do a boost. 

Keeping your content formatted in a similar way and maintaining a consistent voice across all of your marketing efforts will help to establish this familiarity. You want the message of each piece to be unique, but the feel should always be consistent.

Focus on Great Content

Shareable content might give you a boost on a page of search engine results, but it also gives you visibility and the chance to connect with a wide range of people you might not otherwise have access to. Get more people engaged with great titles, keep your pieces formatted consistently, and make sure all your content is easy to digest and easy on the eyes and your content will travel far.

5 Simple Tips For A Successful Blog Strategy

  
  
  

Your client's blog strategy is one of the most important elements of their inbound marketing blog strategycampaign. You have undoubtedly heard the phrase “content is king.” A blog provides your clients with the means to index all of their content to improve search engine ranking, show their audience that they are active online, and provide visitors to their websites plenty of useful information.

Whether your clients are just starting out, or their current blog strategy is less effective than they had hoped, these tips will set you both on the right track:

1. Define the Purpose of Your Blog

The purpose of your blog impacts the type and style of your content. For instance, if you are looking to build a community of followers, you need to create informative content that sets you up as an expert. To sell more products, you need to demonstrate why consumers should make a purchase. To improve search engine rankings, you need to build posts around keywords.

2. Learn About Your Audience

Thinking about the goals of your audience can help you determine your objectives. There tend to be three reasons why users are looking for content: to advance their skill sets, to learn something new, or to be entertained by new facts, says HubSpot.

If you are unsure what your audience wants, the best thing to do is ask. This is easy if you are already active on social media. Plus, you can check what other pages your follower like to gain a greater idea of their interests, expectations, and desires. In addition, look through your communications with customers to check if any questions or concerns are frequently cropping up or if clients often request certain information.

3. Develop a Publishing Schedule

An editorial calendar can help you keep track of your blogging goals by enabling you to plan the release of different types of content on different subjects. It is also beneficial for your long-term blog strategy as you can analyze which posts have the highest performance, in terms of criteria such as traffic and conversions, to create similar posts in the future.

At first, it may be difficult to know how many posts you can reasonably expect to publish every week. In content marketing, more is always better, and even small business owners should aim to publish at least two posts per week, says Spokal. Remember, you can reassess your needs and abilities at any time and adapt your editorial calendar accordingly.

4. Create Great Content

Now you have completed all the planning work, it is time to start creating unique, attention-grabbing content. There is a lot that could be said about writing great content, but here are just a few basic tips:

  • Be original. Rewriting someone else’s work suggests that you know very little about the subject and only provides readers with information that they could find elsewhere. Worse still, Google penalizes websites for plagiarized and unoriginal content.

  • Proofread before publishing. Spelling and grammar mistakes make you appear unprofessional.

  • Avoid promotional material. Obviously, you want your content to lead to a conversion; however, no reader is going to enjoy reading a post that is just a disguised sales piece.

  • Include images. Diagrams, infographics, and photos split up the page, making it easier to read, and can even enhance a user’s understanding of content.

  • Publish guest posts. Pieces from guest bloggers are a great way to increase the amount of content on your blog and to obtain a different point of view on a subject. You can even invite coworkers to be guest bloggers.

5. Promote Your Content

Finally, you need to ensure that your target audience are seeing your content. If you are using relevant keywords, you should be receiving a decent amount of traffic through organic search. However, never underestimate the power of social media. Every time you create a new piece of content, post a link on all your channels. Plus, add social sharing buttons to all your content to encourage others to share.

A blog strategy is never static. Adaptations in your business, updates to search engine algorithms, and changes in the industry as a whole may mean that your past objectives or tactics become irrelevant in the future. However, whatever you do and whatever you want to achieve, regular, quality content is always the pillar of any blog strategy.

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How to Create a Successful Content Marketing Plan

  
  
  

Beginning your client's content marketing strategy can seem intimidating, but creating a content plansuccessful content plan is actually pretty simple. A content strategy can, in fact, be one of the most straightforward ways to market your client's company.  So, get to know their company, follow these steps, and you will be quickly on your way to generating traffic and leads for their website.

1. Establish your goals.

Typically, these are going to be something along the lines of:

  • Increasing website traffic

  • Generating more sales leads

  • Branding (creating a brand identity)

2. Determine the audience and understand what they want.

Who are your client's customers and what do they want? If this isn't something you're entirely sure of offhand, conduct surveys and focus groups with the people that you are marketing to. What do they want to know from you? That is what you'll be gearing your content marketing towards.

3. Establish a brand identity.

Create company hashtags and use those in your social media content. Use your logo, colors, signature typeface, etc. in all of your visual content. Determine the voice that you want your content to have--uplifting, informative, comical, etc.

4. Utilize multiple platforms.

Create videos, podcasts, images, blog posts, and tweets. By utilizing each of these different media, you'll be sending your message out to more and more potential customers. 

5. Create an editorial calendar.

An editorial calendar is what you will use to organize your content plan. Create a calendar for each media platform you will be using--YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.--and decide which days you will be posting to which platform(s). You will then work on creating your content for each platform. 

For example, let's say you decide to post a video to YouTube every Tuesday, relevant blog posts and news articles to Facebook four times each week, and a daily image to Instagram detailing life at the company. You will create your content and then insert each item into the calendar ahead of time so you know what will be posted on what day.

6. Employ keywords and hashtags.

Determine which words and hashtags are the most searched by your target audience and use them in all of your social media and blog posts. This will help potential customers to find your content, eventually leading them back to your website, potentially leading to a new sale.

7. Monitor your results.

Your content plan is eventually going to change and adapt. Pay attention to which media perform better than others, then focus more on those. Some media may not be worth the investment you're making and you may decide to scrap those ventures. Maybe you'll bring on new media platforms. Content marketing is such an easy strategy to change and adapt and still gain good results from, so simply continue to monitor your client's revenue.

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3 Simple Tips For Creating Content for Local Search

  
  
  

Content for local search differs greatly from content aimed at a wider audience. For instance,local search in terms of SEO, localized content is usually built around long-tail keywords to gain traffic from a highly-targeted audience. However, optimization is just one aspect of creating local search content. For your clients to be successful in their efforts, you need to help them use strategies that will enable them make an impact in local communities and stand out from competitors.

1. Writing City Pages

There is one thing you should never do when creating local pages, warns Small Business Search Marketing, and that is to create a number of blog posts containing the same content, only with the city names changed. For one thing, search engines will consider this as low-quality, duplicate content and reduce your ranking in local search results. Secondly, this type of content is generic and unlikely to contain information of value for users in a particular city.

A much better use of your time would be to create different content for every location where you do business. Like this, you can write with the city’s unique features and its residents’ needs in mind.

2. Creating Different Types of Content

You will gain a greater outreach and more return visits to your client's site if you use various types of content. Here are a few ideas to get you started, based on ideas from Search Engine People:

Local Guides

Depending on your business, certain types of local guides may be more relevant than others. For example, if you sell equipment or products that consumers use outdoors, a guide to local walking trails could be ideal. For B2B and technology companies, the best local places for picking up WiFi may be suitable. A failsafe option for any business is a guide to interesting spots around the city, with a focus on places relevant to your client's industry.

Upcoming Events

Your blog or website will quickly become popular if locals can use it as a source for finding out about upcoming events. Whenever possible, send a representative from the company to attend these events, as this will allow prospects to see a face behind your client's company.

Afterward, remember to share information and photos from the event on the website. Those who did not come will see that you are active in the community, while those who did attend may share your content with others, especially if they see themselves in the pictures.

Customer Stories

Whether you choose to publish testimonials or an interview, sharing the experiences that local customers had with your client's company can help prospects feel a connection with the business. Remember to include photos or a video of your clients and their customers in an area of the city that others will recognize.

3. Linking to Other Local Experts

Outbound links are useful for improving SEO, but you can take this one step further by creating content focused around another local business. A good option could be a company that provides services that go beyond your client's expertise but which are beneficial for their customers. Plus, if the business agrees to return the favor, you will increase your client's visibility even more.

Localized content is useful for building brand awareness and enabling consumers to consider you as a viable option. Make that content interesting and useful and prospects will begin to regard your client as an authority figure in the community. This is key to forming relationships, expanding the customer base, and becoming a business that consumers can trust.

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