Any discussion about marketing tools should start with three questions.
Do you know how many websites are there? The truth is, it’s pretty hard to tell the exact number because of the constant fluctuation, but there are more than one billion.
Do you know how many websites Google shows on the first page for any search? 9 or 10.
How can your site beat the other one billion websites to the first page?
Simple – with excellent SEO.
The problem is that getting the hang of how a search engine works is not precisely a cakewalk. There are a lot of variables and factors. Understanding all of them takes a lot of time, time that you don’t have. Luckily, there are better options now: you can use specialized marketing tools that can help in the process.
A big mistake many companies make when it comes to SEO is forgetting about the human element.
Search engines want to show people the most relevant results for their queries. That means search engines want you to create good content for the people, not for the bots.
Your primary SEO focus should be on creating quality content.
For this article, we’ve selected 5 tools that can help you achieve SEO Nirvana.
1. SEMrush – One of the Mightiest Marketing Tools
Before you start optimizing your website, you have to choose what to optimize it for. That means a lot of research on keywords and domains.
The goal is to find the most common search queries your target audience makes and learn who your competitors are, and what their strategy is. Once you know the lay of the land, it will be easier for you to start gaining organic traffic.
The problem is that understanding traffic isn’t as easy as it may seem at first. You’ve got to factor in ads, pay-per-click, social media shares and loads of other things.
And you’ll need powerful marketing tools to measure all that. Well, that’s something SEMrush can help you with. They create reports with all the little details you didn’t even know you needed.
Let’s go over these details:
- Organic reach – Before you do anything, you need to identify some good keywords. If you sell furniture, some relevant keywords could be “custom cupboards” or “folding chairs.” If you operate in New York, add that into the mix as well. New Yorkers who are looking for furniture items are more likely to search for “folding chairs new york” than for “furniture”.
- Analytics – insights into the advertising strategies of your competitors.
- Domain comparison – the Domain vs. Domain feature gathers ‘competitive intelligence’ data regarding up to five competing domains performance. You’ll see what keywords fare the best or worst. Then you can select low-competition keywords that you can use.
2. SEO PowerSuite
When optimizing a website, you don’t get to take shortcuts. It takes time and patience to achieve desired results.
By knowing that, you could be quite reluctant when a marketing tool promises to get “all the job done.”
Well, SEO PowerSuite integrates 4 SEO tools as an across-the-board mega pack that gets all the SEO job done.
So what are these four features for SEO excellence?
- Rank Tracker – as the name says, you get rank tracking for your site, as well as for your competitors’. Plus keyword research with 17 tools.
- Seo SpyGlass – enables you to check your backlink profile, keep up with Google’s algorithm changes and discover the most effective link building patterns.
- WebSite Auditor – broken links reports, on-site optimization and crawl statistics for better site indexing.
- Link Assistant – manages all backlink data and digs for relevant link opportunities.
Sounds too good to be true?
SEO PowerSuite is indeed a complete solution for a swift SEO performance.
What makes it so appealing to users is its easy-to-use and straightforward interface.
3. Screaming Frog
If you heard about Search Engine Optimization, you’ve sure bumped into terms like ‘bots’ and ‘crawlers.’ These are the small scanners that crawl your website and deliver data reports to a search engine. This is how Google indexes websites and decides how high a page will be ranked.
That being said, it would be great if you owned a tool that made things easier, right? This is where Screaming Frog’s free SEO Spider Tool comes in. It helps to fetch the following:
- Server/link errors
- Status of internal and external links
- Link security status
- Blocked URLs
- Page title issues
- Page response time
And these are just a few. The spider harvests all information necessary to create an XML Sitemap. This is a file that hierarchically outlines all links on your website so as to help bots crawl it more efficiently. That will reflect on your SEO metrics as well.
Once your page is made more accessible to crawlers, they will prioritize it and thus place it higher on the rankings.
4. Open Site Explorer
Open Site Explorer is the tool you need if you want to find out everything about links on your website or link building opportunities, both of which are important for SEO.
Just type in the URL of your website (or any other website for that matter), click on the “search” button, and, in a matter of seconds, you’ll discover plenty of insights about the website.
Here are the tool’s main sections:
- Inbound links
- Top Pages
- Linking Domains
- Anchor Text
- Compare Link Metrics
- Link Opportunities
- Advanced Reports
Kristina Kledzik, the SEO Manager at Rover.com, says that MozBar has been a critical part of her link building strategies and competition analysis for the last 5 years.
You know that you can’t have SEO without link building.
This nifty extension (as they call it) for Chrome and Firefox will show you the page authority and domain authority of every page you’re on. With the PRO version, you’re able to see the DA and PA for every website in Google search results.
Here’s the full list of features:
- Custom Searches
- Metrics That Matter
- Social Metrics
- Data Export
- Page Overlay
- On-Page Highlighter
Do You Fancy a Scenario Where SEO Is Done Seamlessly?
We’re sure you do. But for that to happen, you need to find the right tools. The five we outlined in this article are all free to try, until you figure out which ones are the most rank-boosting for your platform.
And remember! It takes a whole lot of patience to find the winning formula for SEO greatness.
Actually, you can start by trying out our own Squirrly SEO Plugin.
Feel free to leave us your questions in the comment section or share this article if you found it to be useful.
Social media is the main thing you should leverage for your digital marketing strategies. CNN reports that teens use social media 9 hours a day.
With television and other media losing ground to the Internet, it’s no wonder marketers have turned to social media.
But what about other methods of digital marketing? Surely people can’t sit on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest for nine hours straight. It sounds unhealthy only from reading about it!
Fortunately, you have other methods of keeping your audience interested in your brand. That is, without spamming social media and waiting for results.
Here are a few that will interest you:
Virtually any business could include blogging as part of their digital marketing strategies. Having a blog for your website isn’t just about occupying space.
You can optimize your content to be found easier by search engines. After you’re found out, you can delight your audiences with informative content.
Your articles, infographics, and other media you include on your blog will establish you as a trustworthy authority figure. Wouldn’t you say that you can trust someone who knows the finer details of their field?
2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEM includes a wide variety of factors that help your website gain visibility on search engines. On the other hand, it is also sometimes used interchangeably with paid advertising.
Services such as Google AdWords are used by businesses to get to the top of search results. SEM also includes SEO as part of a wider strategy. Pay-Per-Click advertising can only get you so far.
You also need the organic reach that SEO can offer you.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
As I mentioned in the first point, your blog and website can be optimized so that people can find you on search engines.
There are various techniques you can use to get your content ready. Researching how popular your article keywords are is a must. You can do that with Google trends.
It’s also a good idea to interlink between blog posts and other parts of your website. That helps search engines index your page so it can be found easier.
You can read more about search engine optimization here, for more complicated techniques.
What you can include as part of your blogging strategy are podcasts. You don’t need to go to great lengths to create a professional podcast.
Simple things such as reading a short version of your blog posts can improve engagement. People nowadays prefer audio and video content over reading.
If you do create podcasts for more interesting topics, you will get more traffic. Besides, if people find part of your podcast interesting, they will need to re-visit your website.
More often than not, they will be looking for a snippet of your podcast so they can show it to their friends.
Right now, YouTube has 1.5 billion monthly active users, making it the second-most used search engine. I guess you already know who is at the top.
In any case, videos are one of the best digital marketing strategies you could think of. Sure, professional editing might reel in more traffic, but it’s not always necessary.
People are looking for quick ways to assimilate content. Videos give them that possibility. Even short vlogs (video blogs) are very useful to your audience.
Make videos showcasing a specific detail about your product or service. For example, if you are a realtor, you can create a video talking about an average day at work.
You know there’s no average day at work for a realtor, but your audience doesn’t. Have them know that there’s a human being behind your service.
The best part about this is that you can get a lot of traffic straight from YouTube. Their annotation system lets you put a link to your website anywhere in the video – besides being able to link it in the description, that is.
6. Responding to Reviews
If you’re selling products on Amazon and Ebay, take the time out of your day to respond to any reviews – both positive and adverse. It will show your audience you know how to take criticism, while simultaneously showing them you appreciate their kind thoughts.
You can also respond to reviews on Yelp. Everybody is a critic, yes. But show them you care about their opinion, and that you are trying to improve.
It is also worth noting that search engines such as Yahoo and Bing consider Yelp reviews when listing search results.
Google also has its own review system. When people google your restaurant, store, or car shop, for instance, your rating will be the first thing they notice.
Having less than glowing reviews will avert your potential customers’ eyes towards someone else. As I was saying in the section about blogging, it all comes down to building trust.
7. Email Lists
The next logical step to building trust with your audience is creating an email list. When you use the points above efficiently, you can lead your crowds towards landing pages created by your business.
These landing pages offer you the possibility of creating the list. It’s not even that hard to get your audience to subscribe – especially if you’ve got the other points down.
You know what people love the most? Free stuff. As such, try to offer your potential subscribers something for which they need to enter their email. E-books, a useful spreadsheet, a free trial – something that they will absolutely need.
Don’t forget to go for a double opt-in email list, so you avoid spam. What that means is that the subscription needs to be confirmed in the email they receive. This way, you know the person is interested in what you have to offer.
Email lists are an excellent way of informing your customers about stuff that would interest them. Eventually, some of your audience will be ready to purchase your service or product.
8. Affiliate Marketing
Okay, this one might involve social media. But it’s only a small bit in the grand scheme of things. Affiliate marketing is all about creating profitable relationships between businesses. It’s obvious that social media would be used at some point.
All you need to do here is find some like-minded businesses that would be interested in an affiliate program. You divert traffic to each other’s websites and create cross-promotional adverts.
Sharing content among businesses is maybe the easiest way to gain a new audience.
9. Mobile Marketing
People now use their mobile devices to view media more than they use PCs. In the US, for example, mobile device use is 51% compared to just 42% for desktops and laptops.
A few years ago you could get away with not optimizing your website and content for mobile. Nowadays, you have no excuse unless you want to lose more than half of your potential audience.
You can check if your website is mobile friendly by using this tool from Google.
10. Viral Marketing
Viral marketing involves people sharing your interesting marketing gimmick for free. That is mostly done through social media. But you don’t actually have to spend any time on social media for it to work.
If you already have an emailing list, send your engaging media to your subscribers. They will do the rest of the work for you.
Similarly, you can simply send your video or image to company associates through instant messaging. If your video is something eye-poppingly interesting, it will make the rounds itself.
11. Get Someone to Develop Digital Marketing Strategies for You
Some of you might feel overwhelmed at the sheer number of digital marketing strategies available. How do people find the time to do all this and still manage their business?
And you have to remember the title of the article. These techniques don’t even involve social media! That’s just another thing to manage.
Writing content, optimizing it for SEO, updating your social media strategies, remembering to take a break once in a while. That’s a lot of hard work that some businesses don’t have the time for.
If you broke a sweat just from reading what needs to be done, we understand. But don’t worry. We got your back.
Contact us today and take advantage of our team of content writers, proofreaders, content analysts, and digital marketing strategists.
Free up time so you can concentrate on your business.
Today, it’s a silly thing not to have at least one social media account for your brand. Billions of users use social media every single day.
If you clicked on this article, then I’m going to assume that your business is on social media. Since I’m also a mind-reader, I know that you’re here because you want to find out more about social media giveaways.
Did you know that the top reason why people choose to follow brands on social media is for promotions and discounts?
Yes, I know, such a shocker! But don’t get this all wrong. People still want to find out the latest information about your product and services or contact you for customer service on social media.
Bearing that in mind, I want to go back in time a little bit.
I created my Facebook account in 2010. Back then, only a handful of big brands were on Facebook (I’m only talking about their presence on the Romanian market, not worldwide). What they did to acquire thousands of likes is they organized different contests and giveaways.
I participated in a couple of contests and even won some stuff (go me!). I almost never participate in social media contests, because they’re usually the ones where you have to like/share/comment. I’m not a fan of those. Those contests, however, were kind of interesting and creative. Even though they didn’t rely on the like and share method, they were still quite successful.
Now back to our days.
Social media giveaways are used quite often as a strategy. Almost every big, medium and small company out there has organized one until one.
Let’s take a quick look to see why companies host giveaways on their social media profiles and what are their benefits.
Why Companies Organize Social Media Giveaways
- Exposure. Businesses that are just starting out or those that want to increase their following will do a giveaway so that more people will find out about them. It’s really easy to increase your exposure this way because people love free stuff, especially if it’s your products or services. They will act as a very attractive incentive in exchange for them following you on social media.
- Engagement. One problem with social media today is that people follow so many brands today that it’s hard to keep up with them and react to what they post. I actually find myself guilty of this. I scroll on my Facebook feed; I read certain posts, but then, even if I liked a post or thought it was funny, I only react in my mind. Sounds weird, but many of you are probably doing the same thing. A giveaway can entice people to engage again with a certain brand. After all, the point of being on social media is opening a dialogue and not a monolog.
- Understanding the audience. By asking a simple question for the giveaway, you can find out so many things about the people that follow your company on social media. It can be anything from their habits when it comes to your products, or what type of services they use most often from the ones you provide. The possibilities are endless here. It’s just a matter of figuring out what kind of information would be useful to you.
- Free content. I’ve seen many creative giveaways out there, many of which were harnessing the power of user-generated content. Here’s how this works. If you sell cereal, you can ask your followers to submit a picture with their breakfast for a chance to win a yearly supply of your products. The guideline or the theme for the pictures can be to contain cereal. Just like that, you’ll have plenty of images for your upcoming posts that you can use (with the users’ approval, of course).
- Grow your email list. Your weekly or monthly newsletter may be fascinating, but it doesn’t matter if no one is reading it. Email marketing is still, until this day, the most successful communication channel. To get the most out of it, you need a big email list. By running a giveaway and asking the participants to enter by simply entering their name and email address, you got this problem solved. However, don’t use this opportunity to spam them.
- Promote a new product/service. This is one of the best ways to promote a new product or service. It is, of course, if it’s also the prize for the giveaway. Considering it is, people will be excited to be the first to try out your new stuff, and it will also create a lot of buzz.
These are the main reasons why companies do social media giveaways and also why you should too.
Next, we’ll discuss every step you need to consider when organizing a giveaway on social media.
Implementing a social media giveaway 101
1. Why are you doing it?
Do you want to gain more followers, do you want more engagement, or to obtain email addresses? Whatever the case may be, you need to address this question before you start planning anything.
Why? Because the answer to this question will determine the way, you create the strategy behind the giveaway.
2. Determine the type of giveaway
There are two types you can do:
- A contest. The winner will be chosen based on criteria that were established beforehand. If you want to organize a contest, then you’ll have to figure out if you want to have a jury or if it’s going to be you the one to select the winner. Either way, the person or the group of individuals that get to make this call have to be experts in the particular industry.
- A sweepstake. This is where the winners will be randomly selected with a tool like random.org. No one can interfere with the results. It’s just pure luck.
3. Where you’ll run it?
Even though you’ll promote the giveaway basically on all your channels, you still have to decide what is the main channel for running it. It can be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. These are the most popular social media channels for giveaways.
The choice for the platform will be connected to the objectives you set in the first place. For example, if your goal is to increase your Instagram followers, then that is where you will run the giveaway.
4. What’s the prize?
Whatever you do, please don’t give away an iPad or an iPhone, unless you’re Apple. Assuming the social media team from Apple is not reading this post, I will give you some tips when it comes to choosing the prize(s) for the giveaway.
First of all, the prize has to be relatable to the profile of your company and your audience. Let’s say that you’re a skincare company. Depending on what is your objective, you can give away:
- The new products you’re launching
- A goodie bag that contains products worth $1,000
- A facial treatment at a luxury SPA
- Product supplies for an entire year
And the list can go on and on. If you have a bigger budget, you can, of course, have a more impressive prize, such as a trip to a dreamy destination.
5. Make it simple to enter
That being said, make sure that you explain very clearly for everyone how they can enter and what they need to do. For example, if they have to submit a photo, list every step they need to complete.
If it’s the case, create an entry form that will require for the participants to enter as little information as possible. Don’t ask for unnecessary information, like address or occupation, unless you need it for the giveaway.
Remember: even if the prize is extremely attractive, people may not be as eager to enter if the entering process looks like too much trouble.
6. Decide how long it will last
When you’re going to announce your giveaway, specify very clearly how long it will last.
If it’s a big giveaway, it’s usually recommended to run it for approximately four weeks. If it’s longer than that, then people will forget about it. You can make it shorter as well. However, try to run it for at least two weeks.
7. The concept
For the giveaway to make sense to your audience and other people as well, it’s critical to link it to a future event. For example, it can be a back to school themed one, a giveaway for Thanksgiving, Halloween, or Christmas.
The idea has to be very clear and concise, and the content you’ll create around it have to make the connection to the event you’ll link it to.
No one likes rules, but we have to respect them.
Every social media platform has its set of rules, so after you’ve decided where to run the giveaway, make sure to read and apply them.
Also, when you announce it, you’ll have to display the rules on social media. Even though not many people will read them, it’s necessary for legal purposes. If you have the possibility, I would recommend asking an attorney to help you with this.
If you want to find out more about this topic, here’s an excellent article that was written by Sara Hawkins from SocialMedia Examiner.
This is the most important step for your giveaway. You now what they say: if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it actually make a sound?
That’s how it is with social media giveaways. Don’t keep it a secret. After all, you want as many people as possible to participate in it, right?
The first step is to use all of your communication channels to get the word out. This means email lists, all of your social media channels, website (pop-ups, blog), plus others that would greatly depend on the type of business you’re running.
It can be anything from in-app notifications to messages on mobile phones. Make a list with every channel you use, so that you don’t forget anything. Then, the next step is to create content for all of them. Articles, posts, videos, infographics, images – the wider the variety, the better.
It’s not enough to post the message announcing the giveaway only once. Remind people about it every single day, but don’t be spammy about it. Only one message per day will do the trick and even once every couple of days.
Promoting the giveaway on your communication channels is not enough, however.
You need to use influencers, partners, and sponsors for this. The chances are that if people see your giveaway being shared by someone else, they will be more likely to enter. Brand advocates are also a great fit for your promotion activities.
The last idea for promoting your giveaway is to submit it to giveaway sites. Here are the best ones:
These websites have hundreds of thousands of visitors every single day, so the visibility for your giveaway will be maximum.
10. Track and analyze
Don’t wait until the giveaway is over to track and analyze what has happened during that period.
Make a habit of tracking the results every five days or so. That way, if you don’t have that many entries or if people don’t seem that interested in your giveaway, you will be able to analyze what’s wrong and adjust it.
At the end of the giveaway, you’ll also need to assess the results to see whether organizing it was worth it or not.
11. Don’t forget about the participants that didn’t win
If you want to make your giveaway extra special, you can surprise all of your participants with something they wouldn’t expect. After the contest is over and the winner has been announced, you can contact the other participants, thank them for entering and offering them a discount for your products/services.
If you don’t want this to be a surprise, you can announce it for the giveaway. That way, every participant will now that even if they don’t win the big prize, they still get something.
Give It Away, Give It Away, Give It Away Now
(For some reason, Red Hot Chilli Peppers’s song Give It Away has popped into my mind.)
I’m pretty sure that if I scroll for a few minutes on my Facebook feed, I will find at least one post about a giveaway that’s happening right now.
Now multiply this by the number of social media channels that exist nowadays. You’ll see that social media giveaways have become hugely popular because they actually bring results.
You can see results as well if you decide to implement a giveaway. I do hope that the steps I presented above will help you get most of it.
If you have further questions on this topic, feel free to post them in the comment section below. And if you decide indeed to run a giveaway on social media, I look forward to hearing from you about the results you’ve got.
When it comes to buying property, people are understandably skeptical and slow to trust. After all, it’s a big decision, and people can’t afford to make a bad call.
For the everyday people, real estate companies are just companies. At first, a company doesn’t have a face or voice, so that’s where content marketing comes in. It helps the customer connect with the seller and builds trust between them.
The National Association of Realtor’s study has concluded that 90% of property buyers use the internet when searching for homes and that 70% believe that a real estate company that produces custom content is interested in building a relationship with the buyer.
Content Marketing brings traffic to your site
A company without any content marketing strategy might as well just have a site with contact information, a list of what one can buy and probably an empty social media page. People would stumble into these sites only when already interested in a deal. They’d probably end up there instead of some other company’s page out of luck too.
Content marketing doesn’t bring leads overnight like add campaigns, which work only as long as the ads are up. Instead, it creates a community, a bond between the realtor and the potential buyer. The content doesn’t have to be about a particular house or plot of land either.
Someone who might not even be considering moving could see a company’s blog or Facebook page, become interested and start following it. Then, when it is time to buy, they’ll come to that company.
An excellent medium for real estate is video.
It makes sense, after all, that people would want to see the home as much as possible before having to go there in person.
Add a fun element to the videos and you’ve got a great way to promote yourself not just to people interested right now but to many other as well. And those other people will recommend you to their friends and know where to look when they feel like they need a change of scenery.
Another important part of any content marketing campaign is search engine optimization (SEO).
Pretty much any agency worth their salt will optimize the content they create for their clients. Generally, SEO isn’t something the real estate company has to think about, but there are a number of easy-to-use SEO plugins that a company can easily learn to use itself.
Content marketing doesn’t have to be some magic spell that you cast and then wonder if it worked or not. Agencies will normally have a case analysis or two from a previous client to show the leads they generated. There are also a few programs that can track traffic and determine the effectiveness of an agency.
The strategy is as important as the content
Just having an agency represent you doesn’t make you any more special than other companies, at least not anymore. At the very least, most real estate companies have already included content marketing in their overall strategy.
What will differentiate your company from others is your brand and message.
The general public sees you and judges you based on how you present your brand, so you have to have a unique perspective.
A content marketing agency should first understand what your company is all about – what it has that no one else has. An agency can’t hope to deliver the message just right if they don’t understand it either.
After that, the agency makes a plan to distribute the content. They, together with the company they’re representing, have to think about what the content should be about, how and where to put it, how often to distribute something, etc.
The idea isn’t to spam uninterested people with ineffective calls to action.
The goal is to build a trusting community and to achieve that, a lot has to go into planning.
Take HootSuite for example, a social media management system. The people at HootSuite released a video called “A Game of Social Thrones,” which was both a parody of Game of Thrones’ intro and a promotional video for the company. The result was huge, as the video received close to one million views in just a few months.
Think of the impact of the video. Not only has HootSuite become better known but the video also says that they like Game of Thrones. The consumer can relate to that. If they also like the show, they’ll immediately like the company more and be more likely to become their customer.
The video is very well done, but the content can be anything. You too could have such content. You could do it yourself, get an in-house team or outsource the project to an agency. Just pick something you’re passionate about, and let the magic happen.
A few success stories
Rochester’s real estate blog is an excellent example of content marketing done right.
Their site is beautiful, easy to navigate and full of effective calls to action, and the blog is quite active as well. Kyle Hiscock, the guy managing the blog, creates content that people want to see, not just drawn-out ads.
Through this website, you see that these people are just that, people, not sell-bots, not heartless businessmen. They’re just a bunch of guys like you and me that have created a blog to help their audience make better decisions.
Kyle has even written his own guide on how to use content marketing. His closing thoughts on the matter were a reminder that content should always be top notch in order to succeed.
I think that many more real estate companies will follow their example and actually commit to original content. If you don’t have the time for that, get an agency to do it for you.
You’ll be surprised what a big difference a blog with quality content or a little more interaction on social media can make.
Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward (KFH) is another excellent example. They survived the housing recession and came out as one of the top 10 Brands in the UK with their brilliant marketing decision.
In 2009, while the competition was going belly up, they launched the high-end magazine, Completely London.
You might be asking yourself “so what?”. The thing is that the magazine was actually a big deal. It showcased houses and educated people on the market of the time. In such volatile times, people remembered who was looking out for them. This way, KFH flourished, while others had to close up shop.
A magazine might seem a bit outdated by today’s standards, but it’s still a great medium. Still, KFH has all their issues of Completely London on their site, so people from all over the globe can view them for free. This further cements the fact that they’re not just another company – they’re the good guys.
They have become a true thought leader when it comes to real estate. Your company can become just as respected by also providing real, useful information.
When you post tips and guides that help people make better decisions, both the clients, and other companies will look up to you.
In conclusion, content marketing has been and continues to be, a great tool for real estate companies. There is still room to grow, and who knows what outlandish and wildly successful idea someone will come up with next. If you’re a marketing director for such a company and still haven’t tried this type of marketing, I’d say you’re missing out big time.
It’s never pretty when a company has to reevaluate their marketing strategy. The key words here are “has to”. It’s entirely reasonable to change things from time to time, to grow or change with the times.
However, if a company has to reevaluate, that’s because the current strategy isn’t getting results. It goes double for real estate since all the deals are important.
We’ll keep both situations in mind. Before that, I’d like to point out that we wrote an article about creating a strategy in the first place, so if you don’t yet have anything to reevaluate, check it out.
Start with Your Goals
If you’re doing well and it’s time for an upgrade, the first thing you should do is think about your goals.
Otherwise, you’ll see that the business is growing slowly or not at all because the strategy wasn’t efficient. Even worse, you could lose track of what’s important and end up doing more harm than good.
Real estate companies should always make customer service a priority.
There will almost always be several companies competing for the same clients. The one that gains the customers’ trust will win.
Another pitfall is having the wrong expectations. Maybe the strategy didn’t do much because you didn’t expect much of it. In this case, your lack of faith is actively limiting your results.
Alternatively, the strategy seems ineffective because you expected too much from it. Maybe it doesn’t even need changing, but the standards are too high. You’d be wasting time and resources by reevaluating it.
Make sure that the goals you’ve set are doable. Then, go from there and start changing aspects of the strategy that don’t fit with what you want.
Review the Results of the Strategy
To improve anything, you have to know how well the strategy has worked for you up to a certain point. It’s rare that a plan is just faulty. The likelier case is that some aspects are good while others need improvement.
More often than not, the ideas themselves aren’t bad. However, the execution is.
I’m not saying that anything you’ll come up with will work out. Just remember that most companies base their strategies on previous examples and results. The reason it might come out differently for them, though, is because of the execution.
There is software that can help you check the traffic you get. Google Analytics and Hubspot are two examples that come to mind.
If you do identify an aspect of the strategy that needs changes, take a look at the execution first. If you feel that the implementation went well, the idea itself needs improvement.
Otherwise, it’s much harder to tell where the problem stems from. Remember that digital marketing is pretty different from other tactics. Maybe you’re approaching it the wrong way.
Consider asking an expert to check the strategy you have so far and point out the weak spots. You can talk to our content strategists and see how they can help you with that.
In real estate, most difficulties stem from the way the company interacts with the clients. Maybe they weren’t friendly or invested enough. Maybe they had a slow response time or didn’t offer reliable information. It can take a long time and a lot of attention to detail to work out all the kinks
Think of the Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Real Estate Company
I’m not talking about how good your coffee is. I’m referring to what you and your coworkers excel at in the industry.
If you like talking to people, consider investing more in social media. It’s the easiest and fastest way to interact with clients over the Internet.
Obviously, you want to consider the weaknesses too.
If you’re terrible at writing but can’t do without it, the best solution is to have someone else write for you. Let me tell you; everyone can write, but that doesn’t mean that everyone should write.
The idea is not to waste potential. Use your strengths and avoid weak points or delegate better-suited people to handle them.
An Excellent Strategy Needs a Good Amount of Attention
Some people like this kind of work and some don’t. That’s the way life works.
You have to be invested in reevaluating a marketing strategy. Read reports and studies so that you know what’s ahead of you, and get involved.
There’s nothing wrong with having others come up with the strategy for you. Still, you have to think about it yourself too. There might be better-suited people to come up with ideas for the plan. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to do your part as well.
At the very least, make sure that the new strategy will have the right goals in mind, and that no errors occur.
Keep in mind that marketing is crucial to the success of a company, now more than ever. Since it’s vital, you have to dedicate yourself to the process.
Changes Aren’t Irreversible
It might seem obvious, but a lot of people tend to forget this fact. It’s not the end of the world if the strategy doesn’t end up being perfect. That means you have quite a bit of freedom to experiment, and you shouldn’t let the chance go to waste.
For example, let’s say you have two ideas, and you can only use one. The first is less likely to work, but it could offer a tremendous boost. The second one is more reliable but has a smaller positive effect.
If you have the time and resources, you should try both of them to see which one works best for you. It might take a bit of time to get the results, but once you see them, you’ll know very well which idea to continue using.
When it comes to digital marketing, it’s exceptionally easy to change directions. Since there are so many approaches, you should try to experiment with as many of them as possible.
I hope these guidelines were useful for you, and that they will help you improve your strategy.
We’ve also written an article about how you can enhance your digital marketing strategy. Make sure you check that out as well. It’s full of tips on how to be more efficient
Rocking Social Media tools, like Facebook & Twitter, are rapidly becoming a part of the corporate landscape
Brands are finding that social media still gives them an edge when they provide unexpected services through Twitter, Facebook and other sites. But what happens when everyone’s receiving customer service through a social site? Can we continue to be heard as customers, or will our “Twitter wait time” be equal to what it is on the phone these days?
Here’s how some companies are rocking social media in unexpected ways and engaging customers.
You know that content marketing is the king, the queen and all the other members of the royal marketing family all wrapped into one. So let’s take a bow, and move on to something you might not have (seriously) considered until now.
Whether your content strategy will be successful or not highly depends on the nature of your content and on the content tools you use.
In other words, on how well you manage the content creation process for your blog’s posts.
Delivering high-quality, targeted (preferably EPIC) content is super hard. Doing it consistently is even harder.
In many ways, creating content is a lot like running an obstacle course. Let me elaborate on that:
- Just like in a race, there are many obstacles you’ll have to overcome when creating content. Lack of time, lack of ideas, costs, too much competition, inability to get traction, finding the best content tools. These are just some of the barriers that can make you lose the race.
- In all cases, success means constantly pushing yourself, and always training to be better.
- Professional athletes spend more time preparing for the race than actually taking part in it. In the context of content creation, that’s called research.
In many ways, creating content is a lot like running an obstacle course.
It’s a competition, and we want to help you “steal” the start.
So we’ve asked ten PR experts and marketing specialists about the steps they never skip when creating content.
We’ve pitched in, and included some of the best content tools out there that can make the process easier.
So here they are, the best tips straight from the fingertips of content marketing specialists, combined with our selection of “walkway” tools – all wrapped up into a single post to help you be a better marketer, and create excellent content for your readers.
Here’s a quick preview of what you’ll get to learn by reading this article.
- Don’t Go in without a Strategy
- Know Your Audience Better than You Know Your Pockets
- Keyword Research Is a Must
- Topic Research
- Writing EPIC Content
- Proofreading And Editing: It Might Not Be Sexy, But It’s Necessary
- Make it Picture Perfect
- Content Promotion
Don’t Go in without a Strategy
Starting to create content without a coherent strategy and clear goals you want to achieve is like running in circles. It won’t get you anywhere.
Andrew Boer, Founder and President of Movable Media, an agency that recruits influencers to create original content for brands, says there are three crucial questions you should answer before you can start putting together the bones of your buyer persona.
Creating content without a coherent strategy and clear goals won’t get you anywhere.
1) Who (besides the reader) does the content really serve?
Content doesn’t thrive with many masters. When it is supposed to serve the Branding team, the Sales team, and the PR team, it becomes very difficult to build a coherent strategy because the function is ultimately unclear.
There are huge differences between the constituencies of a 30-second Super Bowl and a 30-minute infomercial, and the form follows the function. Content Marketing, on the other hand, becomes a catch-all with many masters, and ultimately winds up serving no one. ”
2) Identify a single metric (choose one) that defines success.
If you can identify a single metric that constitutes success (email sign-ups, awareness, leads, engagement), then it is far easier to have a coherent strategy. Many metrics trade off with another one; content that is frequent and attracts an audience (click bait) for example, is likely to be thinner and won’t improve your brand’s reputation for deep, thought leadership.
3) Identify the metrics that define failure.
Everyone has goals for success — but what about failure? Content strategies don’t tend to die; they just wither away. And one of the key problems with content creation is that companies tend to be short-sighted; they treat content marketing like a campaign.
If you can have a discussion around what constitutes failure upfront, then what you are really doing is setting a timeline for the experiment: if we don’t see this kind of engagement after 12 months, we should consider a different approach.
How to Do It Faster:
Here are some tools you can use at this stage of the process:
Know Your Audience Better than You Know Your Pockets
Repeat after me: “I must resist the urge to cast a wide net!” In other words, take the targeted approach when creating content.
Target research is a crucial step in the content creation process. It will weigh heavily on how much impact your strategy will have.
Daniela Arango PR at Doitwiser.com said that:
To create great content you need to know who you’re writing for. It’s important to understand what content would catch your readers’ attention. A content creator must know the main likes, dislikes, and interests of their readers. It would be useless, for example, to create a blog post about child safety on a business focused site
How to Do It Faster:
Keyword Research Is a Must
Keyword research is fundamental to your SEO efforts.
Daren Low, the founder of Bitcatcha.com, says approaching content creation from an SEO perspective is paramount.
What keyword am I targeting and what content is achieving a high ranking for that keyword? This ensures that my piece is congruent with what Google thinks is meaningful for users.
Of course, you should NOT focus only on the keywords. However, “it is still important to use them in written content, at key “locations” in your piece: the headline, the first paragraph, the sub-headlines, and so on, “ says Alexander Grosu, a Digital Marketer at inSegment, a Boston-based digital marketing agency.
Approaching content creation from an SEO perspective is paramount.
How to Do It Faster:
Develop Strong Research Proficiency
Don’t wait until the very last minute to come up with content ideas.
A step of the creation process that can never be skipped is the research phase. Great, relevant content doesn’t just come from brainstorming – you have to be informed.
You want your content to be informative and cutting-edge, and the only way to achieve that is by staying consistently aware of what’s happening with both your customers and your competition.
There is no substitute for thorough research on industry news and trends as part of the creation process.
– Simon Slade, the CEO and Co-founder of SaleHoo
Procrastinating until the last minute can prove to be a disaster. Do your research.
Angela Stairs, Content Marketing Specialist at seoplus.ca, recommends looking at industry news sites and reading the blogs of competitors in the industry.
That will help you “get a feel for the current ‘hot topics,’ and [you] may even find opportunities for great content where there seem to be gaps in readily available knowledge and tips online.”
How to Do It Faster:
Creating EPIC Content
You’re already better equipped to devise excellent content and be more efficient by going through the steps above.
Now it’s time to pump up your creativity muscle.
Once you actually sit down in front of your computer, ready to face that dreaded white page, it would help if you remember these words of wisdom.
Here’s what works for the best in the biz:
- “Include outside resources; supplemental content users can benefit from. These resources add a fantastic benefit to the reader that not only provides a source but allow another viewpoint on the topic to be considered.” – Elizabeth Jenkins, the Marketing Manager for Source Capital Funding, Inc. and Texas Hard Money
- “Promotional content is lame. Do not make your content too promotional or else the user will skip over it.” – Elizabeth Jenkins, the Marketing Manager for Source Capital Funding, Inc.
- “Think about an example to support your ideas. Whether it is an example from [your] own experience, or an abstract use case, it will help to illustrate [your] statements and to make [your] text more actionable.” – Anastasia Sidko, the Senior Public Relations Manager at SEMrush.
- “Segmenting your text. After I’ve created the initial draft, I reorganize it to make it more skimmable and easier-to-read. I try to keep paragraphs and sentences shorter and follow the rule “one sentence – one idea.” – Anastasia Sidko, the Senior Public Relations Manager at SEMrush.
- “Format use: Tapping content format additives. Today’s content creation process must take readers’ short attention spans and social sharing habits into account. Choosing an engaging format to add to editorial content or even sponsored content campaigns can do just that.” – Nogah Senecky, Content Marketer at Playbuzz.
- “Try not to make the headline too complicated or too lengthy, Keep it about 50 characters long. It can also be practical to make up few headlines and then choose one that seems most effective. ” – Anastasia Sidko, the Senior Public Relations Manager at SEMrush.
How to Do It Faster:
Proofreading and Editing
It might not be sexy, but it’s necessary. You content should be flawless. Noticed that typo? I’m sure you did. There’s nothing that can distract readers from the content you post faster than a misspelled word.
Make your work look sloppy and unprofessional.
Undermine your credibility and authority.
Lower the value of your ideas.
Double, triple check your content before you put it out there.
At Playbuzz, every piece of content is being edited by at least one content professional, who very literally makes sure to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. It would be a shame if our message were lost due to poor grammar and silly typos. – said Nogah Senecky, Content Marketer at Playbuzz
Double, triple-check your content before you put it out there. It’s necessary.
How to Do It Faster:
Make It Picture-Perfect
Here are some stats for thought:
- Researchers found that colorful visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.
- Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without corresponding images.
No wonder professional make visuals a priority when it comes to content creation.
Once a post is written, our graphic designers create custom images for it. These images give our content a recognizable, original style that’s totally unique to our site.
– said Vladimir Gendelman CEO of Company Folders.
How to Do It Faster:
The final step of this entire process should be promoting the content, as “there would be no point to creating content if no one were to consume it“, says Elizabeth Jenkins at Source Capital Funding, Inc.
It’s a smart idea is to promote your content to influencers and bloggers in your industry, not just your followers on social media. “Email Outreach is best in this scenario,” says Muhammad Asfand Yar, a tech blogger at listenthusiast.com.
There would be no point to creating content if no one were to consume it’.
How to Do It Faster:
Ready, Steady, Content Creation!
Treat content creation like an Olympic event – and not a last-minute project – and you’ll get that gold medal. And make your business’s anthem be heard.
These tips and content tools will help you cross that finish line— and feel unstoppable doing it. It will be worth it every single time, even if all the muscles in your body will ache the next day.
Because, when done right, creating content is highly addictive. And highly effective.
Acting on this information will turn you into a professional content creation athlete. So are you ready to put your race face on?
If you enjoyed this article, make sure to check out our blog. You’ll discover plenty of information-rich articles to get you ready for other “events” within the marketing competition.
We like to keep our subscribers constantly informed on the latest marketing tips and tools to help them work smarter, not harder.
If you like working inefficiently and coming in last, DON’T click here. I’m serious, don’t do it.
On another note, I’d like to know: what content tools do you use?
Let me know down in the comments.
There is no denying that content marketing became a worldwide known trend over the last decades. That is not only because it is clean, clear and easy to use, but it also has amazing results as all the big companies have shown us.
Some of them turned to online marketing sooner rather than later. Others just went with the flow.
But how and, most importantly, why do the results of content marketing make such a big fuss in the online community? We wondered about that and during our search for the answer we stumbled upon these amazing stories from big companies.
Strategy is everything in the online system
Before you start blogging, you need to know who you’re writing for and if there is potential growth with your target audience. For example, if you own a corner supermarket, it is obvious that content marketing is not your answer and you need to turn to more traditional forms of advertising.
But if you own a tech company or a PR company, you can start brainstorming about your target public TODAY!
Take a page from Procter and Gamble. Throughout the years, they built a strong customer base by distributing a wide range of products, from batteries to deodorants or washing powder.
Having gained the trust of their audience, they started a blog designed especially for pet lovers, called Petside. By using this blog, they promoted training and behavior advice, pet products news and adoption resources.
“But we’re not all Procter and Gamble”, you might say. That’s true but the results of content marketing will not delay to appear if you have a well-known reputation. Being an established company will help you use online advertising to get your business to its fullest potential when it comes to publicity and recognition.
Plan ahead, like way ahead
…just until you reach the end.
It is very important to have a clear image about exactly what you want to do because otherwise you risk to lose yourself on the way. Then, you’ll just start going down and taking your business with you.
Just imagine everything. Even the black marker you’ll write your strategy with.
The first step is finding a big idea that will fit the domain of activity your business is specialized in.
Every big company succeeded with a big idea. Let’s take KRAFT for example. It is one of the first leaders in content marketing. And that’s because they saw potential where no one was looking.
Starting kraftfoods.com was the decision that changed the course of the company. By the time they were writing about recipes and the food industry, most of their competitors didn’t have a website to begin with. Not to mention that the term “content marketing” wasn’t even a thing.
Another example of the effective results of content marketing is Colgate. Colgate started an online platform based on Oral and Dental Health Resource center. It has videos, interactive guides and over 400 articles. If you think about it, they were very smart people.
They used their knowledge in the field to give people valuable information about their products and how to use them.
Bottom line, even a small but professional company can use its experience and expertise to create blogs and eBooks in an organised and effective way that reaches a target audience.
Step 3: Blitzkrieg!
Please, don’t pull out a knife. We’re talking about an online context here. This means figuring out exactly what your public needs and then giving it to them by using a very effective surprise element.
It’s all about Supply & Demand.
Most tech companies adopted this strategy, starting with Intel and IBM. Of course, it’s amazing to buy a new computer, but wouldn’t it be more fun to actually know what it does and how many things you can use it for?
This is the question which the people at Intel asked themselves. The result was IQ, a blog where employees use their knowledge to help the general public.
Don’t worry, you won’t find the next Relativity Theory in there, but they turned an ordinary blog into an awesome marketing tool by giving something useful in exchange.
Marriott did the exact same thing. Launching a new global platform, the hotel company intends to publish relevant entertaining content for its clients and for the general public that is interested in tourism.
Of course, being Marriott they want to become the best. The thing is, they might actually pull it off.
Let’s think about it for a second. Is there anyone who’s not thinking about travelling to a beautiful country at least 365 times a year?
You know Marriott hotels are the best, you look up their blog on Google and that is how they gain another visitor. Now ask yourself, how many people are out there, thinking just like you?
Analyzing the results of content marketing
When the war is over and you’ve played all your cards, it’s time to analyse the results. What you did good and what you did wrong. Did you meet the Supply & Demand or did you fail?
And here comes our last story: Udemy.
Udemy is a teaching platform. It has courses about everything. From Java Programming to Yoga. It is a big success story because it came at the right time, at the right place. Some of its courses are free. Some are not. But that doesn’t stop millions of students to log in everyday.
Udemy is the perfect example of how content can be recycled. You write something really good, you put it out there and then you wait. When the right time comes, you could reuse the information.
But big brands like Udemy had to make the decision weather or not to outsource content creation. Let’s find out how they got the best answer.
Think about it just like Oscar Wilde did, “with age comes wisdom”.
Words to live by.
In the end, whether or not you want to go into online marketing is entirely up to you. But like with anything out there, we know it’s better to have someone to work with. This is why we here at Squirrly offer support for content marketing. We also take all the needs of our customers into account.
And don’t worry about failing. It only makes us stronger. It’s just like one of my favourite movie characters once said:
“The act of losing can elicit great wisdom. Not least of which is how much more enjoyable it is to win. It’s inevitable to lose now and again. The trick is not to make a habit of it.”
How many times have you set out to implement specific business goals and objectives and solemnly sworn you’d accomplish them? You start out really strong and then end up losing all your motivation quickly.
Pretty soon your aspirations fade away before any results are experienced. Have you ever asked yourself why this happens?
Most likely, it’s because you set your business goals and objectives based on how others view you instead of your own beliefs. In the online marketing world, if you’re not authentic, your objectives won’t be attainable. Especially if you’re basing your goals upon pleasing society instead of on who you really are.
You set a goal and immediately take action toward that goal, never giving a second thought to what your subconscious believes.
You’ll go through the motions of the steps that are needed to accomplish that goal for quite a while. Pretty soon, because of these forced actions, people start seeing you differently.
From there, you base your identity on what people believe. This isn’t the real you and eventually, because your true beliefs don’t match the actions you’re forcing yourself to take, you’re going to slack off.
So when you set your goals and objectives, set them based on your identity…the identity that YOU feel best represents yourself. This is how goals actually come to fruition. They have to be born from identity-based habits.
Photo Credits: herlitz_pbs‘s Flickr
How to Reach Business Goals and Objectives
Successful entrepreneurs set business goals and objectives centered around identity-based habits. Identity-based habits and goals are set based on the type of person you believe you truly are on the inside and outside.
As a result, people view you based on your beliefs and your actions. When you set up habits based on your inner beliefs, you’re able to reach your business goals and objectives successfully.
1) Set Your Goal: To spend time marketing on social media outlets every single day.
2) Establish Your Belief: I’m the type of marketer who spends at least 45 minutes a day on social media marketing.
3) Make a step by step process for social media marketing.
4) Designate a specific time to do it every single day.
But What If I Don’t Believe I Can Do It?
If you spend your energy not believing you can meet your business goals and objectives, you won’t. This is why you establish the beliefs that help you attain them.
Telling yourself repeatedly that ‘you’re the type of person who…’ stimulates the subconscious into action.
You begin developing habits that support this ‘established’ belief. Each day, when your actions back up this ‘established’ belief, your subconscious gradually begins to believe that you really are this type of person.
One of the most difficult business objectives to reach is producing powerful and consistent content. Our team of writers is professionally trained to provide unique content specifically designed for your audience.
If you’re looking to fulfill your business goals and objectives surrounding content we can show you how to get 300 readers per article for free.
We’re here to help.
The battle begins: Kickstarter vs Indiegogo. Fight!
Kickstarter and Indiegogo are two of the most popular donation-based crowdfunding platforms. Go and take a look at our infographic: Top 5 crowdfunding platforms, and you’ll convince yourself. They were founded in 2009 and 2007 respectively, and since then they’ve been leading a battle of their own in the online Wild West, wielding their ammo of donors and funders, fighting for the first place. Well, what defines their success or their failure? Is it really Kickstarter vs Indiegogo or do they get along just fine?
And the winner is…
Round 1. Traffic and visitors engaged
Zach Eberhart points out that in terms of traffic and market recognition, Indiegogo is second best. Indiegogo only sees half the traffic of Kickstarter, but they could beat Kickstarter if their consistent traffic increased, because the two platforms provide similar engagement. Zach Eberhart further on analyses the two sites’ conversion rates, the rate of visitors and data trends, showing that although the layout of the platforms’ projects available for funding is identical, Kickstarter has a conversion funnel rate 28% higher than Indiegogo. Kickstarter has twice more traffic than Indiegogo.
Round 2. Policy and rules.
In the rivalry Kickstarter vs Indiegogo, you need to take sides, and in order to do this you should learn a few defining rules about the platforms. Most users agree that Kickstarter has an appealing, user-friendly interface, while Indiegogo is less structured, more cluttered. Even so, when opting for Kickstarter you’d better know that your project must have to conform to Kickstarter’s guidelines, while Indiegogo is “available to anyone to raise money for anything”. On Kickstarter everything has to be a project of which you set a goal, that is to make a product, and the project has to belong to one of the categories: Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology, and Theater. Indiegogo, on the other hand, is very broad and diverse, and the majority of projects seem to be ‘indie’.
Round 3. Goals and deadlines. Fees.
In both cases you earn something and you pay something. With Kickstarter you have a deadline to reach your goal, of 30 to 90 days, while with Indiegogo there is no limit of time fixed, though the average time is about 45 days. If a project is successfully funded, Kickstarter applies a 5% fee to the funds collected and the processing fees, while if it fails all funds are returned to their original donors. On the other hand, Indiegogo offers more funding choices. You can go for a Flexible Funding, where you keep all funds you raise, even if you don’t meet your goal, or a Fixed Funding, where all gifts go back to their donors, if you fail. In case of a Flexible Funding, you pay 4% if you meet your goal, and 9% if you don’t.
Round 4. Success or failure? Harmony or rivalry?
Both Kickstarter and Indiegogo seem to be in a class of their own. Kickstarter impresses with great numbers (look at this infographic), strict structure and fair rules, while Indiegogo stands out for its variety, permissiveness and active community of donors. In the online Wild West there is one person who can acknowledge the winner. The crowdfunding gunslingers await for your decision.
Tell us who do you think won the battle: Kickstarter vs Indiegogo. I can’t wait to hear your opinion on these great crowdfunding platforms!