Tag Archives: Content development

Content Development: How to Get in Touch with Customers

A major aspect of content development is identifying the people who you’ll create content for. Without this, it’ll be difficult to connect with people who are actually interested in your products.

Create an audience persona 

The first thing you’ll need to do is create an audience persona. According to a recent Search Engine Journal article, you’ll need this before you can move on to other pressing matters:

“Setting content goals starts with creating an audience persona, developing a keyword list based on their search terms, understanding the content they need, and writing in a style that appeals to your readers. After that, you need a plan to find out how often to post and through which channels.”

It starts with taking a look at your current customers, your email subscribers, and your social media followers. Find the common links and create a persona that matches your business.

Test your content 

A marketing campaign is never finished. Once you have your strategy, you should constantly re-tune it for big and small improvements.

When you test your content, you might find that your target audience prefers visual content or that your Facebook followers are your most active group. The more you test, the more you’ll find out about your prospective customers. This will help you create a more accurate and representative audience persona.

Try out different tactics 

If you’re willing to test your strategy, then you should regularly try out new tactics. We recommend that you create different types of content, post at different times during the day, and share articles on different platforms.

Eventually, you’ll find a combination that works best for your company. Content development is different for every business, so there are no default settings that work best for everyone.

Developing an audience persona, testing, and experimenting with new tactics all help you create better content. To talk more about content development, or anything else, contact us today.

 

 

Social Media Marketing Tips to Help Small Businesses Stand Out

There are many qualities that make small businesses highly desirable to consumers. The personalized customer service, hard-to-find products, or unique stories help small businesses succeed amongst a sea of competition.

Here are some social media marketing tips to help your small business become more noticeable online:

Be bold (but don’t be fool hardy): Social media and boldness can be an addictive mix. In the right quantities, boldness works well to make the best qualities of a business known. However, too much boldness can appear overly prideful. Carefully dial-up or down this aspect of your social media presence according to your overall brand identity.

Have tact and grace: While boldness often works to attract attention, tact and grace offer a certain personalized interaction online. It’s easy to find messages that are overtly sales focused online, but it can be rare to see posts that show off different dimensions of a business. How can your business show off the personalized qualities of your staff and customer service that keep people coming back?

Take your cues from the successes of others. You can find ideas anywhere; be sure to analyze and watch what your competitors are doing/posting. It’s also important to monitor what other businesses and companies are doing that catches your attention. Sign up for social media articles and tips from experts so you can daily or weekly receive emails with all sorts of tips, new information and social updates.

Images are key. Use high quality, crisp visuals. Recent research shows images increase social media engagement: Twitter updates with images in them receive 150% more retweets than those without and Facebook posts with images in them receive 2.3 times more engagement than those without. Canva is a fantastic resource for creating custom images, with free and low-cost options available.

Express gratitude: Consider ways to thank those who have contributed to the success of your small business. Give thanks for the awards or recognitions your business has received over the years. Express gratitude towards your loyal customer base.

Be thoughtful: Small businesses have opportunities to show thoughtfulness that large companies often don’t have. For example, your small business might have extensive knowledge about niche topics that are hard to find elsewhere. You might be able to convey thoughtfulness through a specific tone online. Show off the thoughtful aspects of your business on social media in ways that make sense for your brand.

If you need help with the online presence of your business, contact us.

 

How to Develop Content Your Audience Will Love

Content marketing is the latest trend in the marketing world. Through content, you can connect with prospects, build trust and develop long-lasting relationships. You can even position yourself as an expert in your field. But how do you go about creating content your audience will love? Read on for some simple tips:

 

Find your audience

First, let’s get something straight: When it comes to creating content worth sharing and hopefully linking to, the goal is, now and forevermore, to deliver something the audience will love. Even if the topic is boring, your job is to deliver best-in-class content that’s uniquely valuable.

Instead of guessing what content you should create for your audience (or would-be audience), take the time to find out where they hang out, both online and offline. Maybe it’s Facebook groups, Twitter, forums, discussion groups, or Google Plus.

 

Write for your audience

Although this sounds simple enough, sometimes we lose sight of our audience when we sit down to write. Think about what your audience is interested in, how they speak, what will motivate them to read your content. Stay away from industry jargon unless you’re in a highly specialized industry, and make sure to write in your product’s unique voice.

 

Solve a problem

Nothing will get you more attention from your audience than solving a problem they have. Make sure to choose a keyword they might be searching for online and repeat it various times throughout the content. This is a sure-fire way to develop content your audience will love. See what I did there?

 

About length & Structure

There’s a lot of discussion regarding the ideal content length. Frankly, you should write enough to provide value to your customers, but not so much that you bore them.

Provide tactical, easy-to-follow information. You can use a list format, such as this one, or step-by-step instructions if the content merits it. The most important thing here is to remember your audience and write in a way that they will connect with.

 

Add visuals

Numerous statistics suggest that all types of visual content, including video content, is a sure-fire way to make an audience fall in love with your content. An article in The Guardian noted many of these findings, including Cisco’s research that suggests that video will account for 69 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2017, while YouTube already receives more than one billion unique visitors each month.

 

Do you want to see how your website compares to your competition and learn powerful insights on how to improve your website? Contact us today for a free website analysis.

 

 

5 Useful Facts Regarding Content Development

Businesses that invest in content development are in it for the long-run. With that in mind, here are five useful facts regarding content development that will keep you motivated:

Consumers want hyper-relevant content

Consumers today are demanding relevant content, and businesses are more than happy to provide that for them. The problem with this is that trends come and go so fast on social media that your content might never receive the spotlight it deserves.

This is the road that led to live streaming on Facebook. It’s now possible for 20 minute old content to be outdated.

Always Focus On Creating Strong Headlines

A good headline sparks interest and invites readers in. Consider the great statistics from Copyblogger:

  • 80% of people will read your headlines.
  • But only 20% of those people will read the rest of your content!

 

 

 

And that is why the headline is as important as the article or post itself.

Be Able to Provide Answers

What is the ultimate purpose of a search engine? Most people would be correct in saying “to deliver sets of answers.” Google is great at this. Type a query into Google and you’ll be presented with links, pictures, and videos.

When people use a search engine, what they ultimately want is an answer, and it’s the search engine’s job to deliver that answer.

It’s the same when people are reading a blog post, viewing an infographic or watching a video, they want an answer so they can gain knowledge. An additional tip here is: people don’t just want answers, they want answers fast. So make your content easy to scan so people can pick up the juicy, important bits quickly.

Read any title and subtitle of a non-fiction book or article. Ultimately, what it leaves the reader with is a question or a sense of curiosity. It is then the author’s job to deliver answers and have supporting information.

Good content always pays itself off

Although you might focus on one particular goal, the effects of content marketing run deep. In the end, it will impact multiple facets of your business.

A recent Small Business Trends article talks about all the ways the benefits of content creation can materialize:

“If you publish your content in many places on and off the web, you generate greater brand visibility, inbound traffic, customer engagement, word-of-mouth advertising and new customer acquisition. Any one of these has the potential to pay for the time and money you’ve spent on your strategy. Content marketing offers compounding returns, enhancing your reputation and overall value for long-lasting returns. Content marketing has a high ROI. It’s that simple.”

As long as you’re creating high-quality content, you have nothing to worry about. The worst thing you can do is give up and undue the effects of your campaign.

Evergreen content doesn’t expire 

While consumers are seeking out hyper-relevant content, they are also fond of credible evergreen content. A wiki page with lots of accurate information will keep users coming back for years.

It’s good to have an inventory of evergreen content in case your newsy content doesn’t connect with consumers. This keeps a steady stream of prospects coming to your website.

To talk more about content development, or anything else, contact us today.

 

Content Development Tips: How to Come Up with Blog Post Topics

As you might already know, content development is a critical part of running a successful website, and a big part of this is coming up with blog post topics. Whether you love to write or just do it because you want to create content for your site, however, you might find it hard to come up with topics every now and then. Sometimes, it’s challenging to come up with blog post topics, even if you are heavily involved in and passionate about the industry. Luckily, though, there are a few tips that you can follow that will help you come up with topic ideas.

Talk to Your Customers to Find Out What They Care About

If you want to find out what your customers want to read about, ask them! Ask for blog post suggestions on your blog or on social media, or just pay attention to what people are talking about.

Develop Content that is based on Hot Trending Topics

One simple tip that everyone should incorporate in their content development plan is to routinely update their website, blog or landing page with content that includes hot trending topics. Even if you believe that is not possible, experts suggest that no matter what type of audience your website or blog attracts, hot trending topics can be tied in with any type of content.  By incorporating information on current events, holidays, news and other topics of interest along with you content you will have an easier time connecting with your readers.

Provide Content That Helps Readers Achieve Their Goals 

A simple yet effective content development trick that you can use to help attract visitors and have them come back for more is to develop content that helps readers achieve their personal or business-related goals or solve their problems. By focusing on helping readers fix their problems and achieve their goals, you will encourage your readers to continue returning for more.

Add a Little Bit of Personal Interest

Consider adding a personal spin on your blog posts. Add your personal experience to your posts — it’s a great way to give your readers an inside look at you as a person, and it can help guide you in the right direction when you’re writing your blog posts.

Give Background Stories

Try highlighting your company, some of your favorite or most popular products, your employees and more. People love reading background stories, and it’s a great way to switch up your content.

Be Bold

Do you have words, phrases, or a core sentence that are important key points in your article or blog? Bold them. Eyes will be drawn to them, they’ll break up the text, and they’ll make the document more readable. However, don’t go overboard. A document littered with bolded words is pointless. You want to make the bolded words stand out, not to create content that looks like a checker board.

If you’re having trouble coming up with blog post ideas for your site, give these helpful tips a try. You can also contact us for help with all of your online marketing needs.

 

Want to Improve Your Content Development? Make Your Writing More Interesting

There is more to content consumption than simple information transfer. If it were just about getting the information, people would be just as happy to learn from a dry research paper as from an engaging piece of content with reader participation in the comments. Content consumption has an emotional as well as intellectual component, and it’s largely the emotional part that creates reader engagement. If you’re having difficulties writing interesting and engaging content, there are a number of straightforward techniques you can try. Here are three of them:

Choose the Right Topics

With enough skill, you can make any topic interesting. However, topics that resonate with your readers give you a head start. Identifying these is a matter of looking at content on your website as well as on other sites that have generated a large response in the comment sections. Note that a high comment count is a relative thing. You’re looking for a count that’s high for the particular website you are viewing.

Review your web pages with the most views and comments, and look for any unanswered questions or topic omissions that you overlooked when writing the piece. With time you naturally learn more about things, and perhaps it’s time to resurrect the topic with fresh new information or insights. Also think about closely related topics.

Choose the Right Time for Writing

As mentioned previously, content consumption has an emotional component. If your goal is to write content that evokes fascination in your readers, then don’t write when you’re feeling bored or tired. Wait until you have sufficient energy as well as passion for the topic at hand. For some, this moment occurs in the morning after their first coffee and after reading stimulating content. When writing your content in the midst of this intellectual high, your interest and passion will show in your words and your readers will pick up on it.

Write from Personal Experience

The reader’s interest always picks up on content about something that happened to you. It’s a kind of personal disclosure that increases the bond between yourself and your readers because you’re confiding to them. This psychological effect is always present even when the topics are about shallow experiences. Writing from personal experience gives your content greater credibility. For example, recommending a product based on how it directly benefited you is more convincing than citing lots of dry statistics.

To learn more about content development and how our services can help you, contact us at MaaS Pros.

 

 

Content Development: Answering Customer Questions

Determining what content to create for your website can be intimidating for many small business owners. Content development may not naturally be part of your skillset, leaving you without knowing what to write. However, if you and your marketing team put your heads together with sales and customer service, you can come up with an impressive list of content that your prospects and customers will value.

What Visitors to Your Site Want

Whether visitors to your website come from Google, or from other marketing channels, the primary reason that they land on your website is to seek information to answer a question. In order to develop content that is important to your target audience, you need to survey your team for common customer questions.

What is the impact on business objectives?

Tying all metrics to organizational goals is the surest road to a building a sustainable content plan. If the relationship between content and the bottom line is unclear, justifying your content budget becomes difficult. Measuring clicks, likes and page views are great, but don’t stop there. Make a strong case for how content can meet your toughest business challenges, from branding, awareness, or increasing sales. Quantify the impact on your business and communicate it often to your executive team.

Working Across Departments

Marketing has limited direct interaction with prospects and existing customers. Therefore, it is a good idea for the marketing team to brainstorm a list of topics with sales and customer service.

The sales department can help develop a list of topics from the common questions that leads and prospects ask them during meetings and phone calls. It is likely that the sales team already knows the most common questions off-the-cuff. However, it is helpful to dig deeper for underlying concerns that prospects bring up.

Fixing Problems for Customers

Customer service can offer a different side of customer relations. They often talk to existing customers who need help using or installing a product. They also receive the calls when a product is not working properly. Creating content to answer these questions will help your customers before they call.

How can you support ongoing content development?

Content marketing is not a campaign to be turned on and off, and the biggest obstacle to overcome is typically a lack of content. Identifying sources of content – both internally and externally – that can contribute on a continual basis will help alleviate this issue. For example, one of our clients identified several subject matter experts within their company whose expertise aligned with their messaging platform. We are now using those individuals as sources of content as part of their integrated marketing and PR strategy.

What does success look like?

You’d be surprised by how often this question is overlooked. Understanding the purpose for each piece of content will help you determine how to measure performance. For some content, success looks like a low bounce rate, for others KPIs measure latency and loyalty. Performance indicators will look a little different for everyone. Make sure your KPIs are unique to your business, content type and your audience.

81 percent of people research products and services online before they call for information. You can reach many of these people by answering their questions with your content. Contact us for more information on content development or download our free ebook to learn more about internet marketing.

 

Targeted Content Development Generates Leads

There is more to effective content development than sitting down and typing a stream of consciousness post. Instead, each piece of content must meet three distinct criteria to be useful.

Relevance. Whether it is a blog or tutorial, the content must be relevant to your business. If you are in the trade of installing windows, do not offer content about detailing a car.

Search engine optimized. Local SEO is crucial to your business. Unless you operate a company with a national or global appeal, the majority of your customers will be local.

Readable. Large chunks of text turn off readers. Their eyes need resting points. Lists, indentations, headlines and interspersed images make your content reader-friendly.

With that in mind, how can your content generate leads?

 

Know Your Personas

The secret to turning a fluffy, overextended content marketing strategy into a precise, lead-generating machine is to first know your buyer personas. If you haven’t had a chance to delve deeply into your buyer personas, now’s the time. There are numerous articles written on the subject.

Once you know who your buyer personas are, pick one. When building a solid, lead-generating content marketing strategy, you need to focus on one buyer persona at a time.

So to start, choose the one buyer persona you would most like to attract to your business. Of course, after you’ve executed a content strategy for this buyer persona, it will be time to go back and tackle the next one.

 

Address Pain Points

Now it’s time to answer this persona’s questions. Identify their need, often referred to as pain point. What do they lack that you can offer, and how would they be better off with it? How would they come to the knowledge that they have this need? What sorts of questions would they ask when they begin researching how to meet this need?

This is the meat of your content strategy, and it will fuel your content creation. Try to answer these questions with a variety of media to reach potential clients with different media consumption preferences.

 

Consistent Blogging Builds and Maintains Professional Relationships

We recommend posting new blogs two to three times a week. Each piece of content must be unique and contain a call to action. For example, you might solicit reader advice on specific issues relevant to your business or host a poll. Encourage newsletter sign-ups so that your customers do not miss any new information. Provide shareable content that current customers might forward to their friends.

 

Offer Free How-to Advice, Tutorials and Consumer Guides

These downloadable pieces of text offer industry insider tips and tricks. Written in a way that avoids the niche jargon, any reader understands the information. Add images to simplify even complex topics further. Offer these guides free of charge but ask for an email address. Host them on a locally SEO optimized landing page.

 

Convert, Convert, Convert.

And after you’ve generated the leads? The next step is to convert those leads into customers. Make sure that you continue to provide valuable content to your buyer persona all along his or her path down your sales funnel.

At each stage, you can collect more information about your leads, provide them with valuable content and offer them even more—all based on their particular buyer journey.

Content marketing is a powerful lead generator. Set it up correctly and reap the benefits.

If the idea of targeted content development leaves you stumped, contact us for information on how we can help.

 

5 Things to Keep in Mind during Content Development

Content development is an important phase within the context of your online marketing campaign. Although you won’t see any results for a few months, when you finally do, they’ll reflect the effectiveness of your content development. Here are a few things to keep in mind so your content plan is thorough and complete:

Write for your customers

As a business owner, you’re way more knowledgeable about your industry than your customers are. Although many have the tendency to write about what they find interesting it’s your job to write about what your customers find interesting.

A recent Entrepreneur article explains that businesses can gain several things from content creation. According to the article, however, none of those things are as important as fulfilling your customer’s needs:

“It’s crucial to remember that content should be targeted to your customer’s needs, not your own. While self-promotion and PR are huge forces in marketing, giving information to your clients with no strings attached is the best way to organically reach your customer base and keep them for good. By knowing your customers’ personas and breaking down their pain points, you can adapt your content to your target customer and create deeper connections.”

Make Content More Readable With Headlines

Use of headlines has become such a common practice visitors almost expect to see bold headlines on each and every page they visit. Experts indicate that 8 times out of 10, visitors read the headlines if they read anything at all. The statistics suggest that failing to create headlines as part of your overall content development plan could be one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

Develop Content that is based on Hot Trending Topics

One simple tip that everyone should incorporate in their content development plan is to routinely update their website, blog or landing page with content that includes hot trending topics. Even if you believe that is not possible, experts suggest that no matter what type of audience your website or blog attracts, hot trending topics can be tied in with any type of content.  By incorporating information on current events, holidays, news and other topics of interest along with you content you will have an easier time connecting with your readers.

Create a sustainable content plan

Developing good habits is incredibly difficult. Like most people that stop going to the gym by the third week of January, many businesses can’t keep up with their projected content output. If you want to succeed with your marketing efforts, then you need a plan that promotes a sustainable, manageable output.

Add continuity to your strategy

Your content plan should mimic the great sports teams that work together, as opposed to the super teams made up of stars that underachieve. In other words, there should be a certain level of cohesion in your content that provides a complete experience for your customers.

In many ways, content development is indicative of a company’s marketing success. To talk more about content development, or anything else, contact us today.

 

Keep Your Brand Relevant with Trendy Content Development

Search engine optimization, website development and local marketing services are among the most vital factors that determine a successful positioning of your brand. Another major player in this setup is trendy content development.

Define Your Strategy

 Can you describe your buyer’s journey? Do you have a content flow system that works? Content marketing runs at such a fast pace that it requires a strong, well-defined process to maximize results. Thinking through the buyer’s journey and aligning your content development to that cycle is critical for success.

If content marketing is something new for your organization, invest in a content strategist. Securing help will produce an efficient game plan and channel your team’s energy toward a specific outcome. A strategist can help answer critical questions about your target audience, such as which sites they frequent, which types of media they prefer, what processes have worked in the past, and who or what is competing for their dollar. These answers can be used to develop a strategy that connects to customers and meets their needs.

Mix up the Content

Consumers are used to seeing forums, blogs and content-rich videos when browsing the Internet. It is a mistake to provide them with only one form of content on your website. No matter how good your blog posts are, if you do not offer live presentations or clever social media posts in addition, shoppers quickly move on to the nearest competitor who does. Keeping it trendy can be as simple as creating a blog post in response to a competitor’s viral video.

Stay Relevant around the Clock

If you take the weekend off, you probably miss some interesting happenings that would have made excellent forum or social media posts. Do not give your competitors the opportunity to create the Facebook meme that gets hundreds of shares. Even if you will be away from the computer and unable to generate content, consider canned posts that you can release at predetermined times of the day. It adds relevance to your brand. If all else fails, consider keeping it trendy with a well-timed Twitter post that you can expand on the following business day. Yet be careful! Plenty of entrepreneurs have gotten in over their heads in this manner.

Define Success

 What does success look like for your company? Determine what data needs to be tracked to measure outcomes. It may be the number of views, followers, leads, or something else. Once you’ve made that decision, experiment with different channels and types of media to see what works best and gets your message across to your audience.

Of the reasons given for ineffective content marketing strategies, only one is beyond your control. You can’t make it rain money or demand a larger budget, but you can control what content you create, which story you tell, and how you tell it. And that assignment is enough to keep any of us busy for a very long time.

When the notion of trendy content development is simply too burdensome to consider, get help from professionals. Do not give your competition a leg up because you did not invest in a professional content writing service that helps your website get attention. When tied in with your website development, you quickly set yourself apart from the entrepreneur who is trying to do it all (more or less successfully). Contact us at MaaS Pros to learn more.

 

 

Content Development: What Makes Digital Content Good?

Content is something that we always talk about in the context of online marketing. Marketers know that in order to enhance their search optimization and interact with followers on social media, they need to create content. But when we focus on content development, how often do we actually consider what makes content good?

Online content is inherently different from more traditional mediums. When someone clicks a blog or article, they have completely different expectations as to when they open up a newspaper or magazine.

This difference represents both a challenge and opportunity for businesses. Yes, online content development is something new and demanding, but it’s also a chance to build a community.

A recent Entrepreneur article talks about online content development. According to the article, two things online content should be is memorable and interactive:

“If you’re going to go to the trouble of crafting content, at least make sure it’s memorable. Traditional advertising used jingles and slogans to capture viewers’ attention. But with interactive content, you have many more options: Add an interactive quiz to engage visitors; Add video cartoons to illustrate an idea; Add audio interviews for case studies; Use polls to help people assess their learning progress.”

Online content was made to be interactive. Why would you just write a traditional article when you could get readers more involved by adding a poll or interactive map? Most people learn by doing something, so adding interactive elements can make your content more effective.

Length. Asking how long a ‘good’ article should be is a bit like asking how long a piece of string should be. A good article can be 300 words or 1,500. The important factor is that the length does justice to the subject matter. Certain topics, such as academic reviews, ‘how to guides’ and political thought pieces will be better suited to long articles, where image-heavy articles will be scored highly despite being light on word count. At any length, the cardinal sin is padding. Internet users are used to being able to digest quickly and move on, so adding unnecessary words can be a killer.

Be counterintuitive. This can also be called ‘having the element of surprise.’ Really great articles are those that provide a different angle on a known subject and present completely new ideas and discoveries that can educate and inform. A lot of online content doesn’t actually add anything new to conversations or simply states the obvious. Content that surprises and offers a new angle is what will excite and engage readers.

The other characteristic you should shoot for in your content development is memorability. Memorable content is more likely to get shared and even become viral on social media. Moreover, people will actually think back to it sometime later, rather than it just being a short-term fad.

With all the emphasis on content creation today, marketers should take more time to consider the quality of their content. To talk more about content development, or anything else, contact us today.

 

App Development

Social Media Marketing Statistics Highlight the Importance of Frequency and Consistency

If you still treat social media marketing as a task you undertake after hours or on weekends, you run the risk of letting the competition overtake you. The interactions between consumers and individual brands have proven to be so successful that a company’s expertly planned daily representation on the various platforms has a large impact on buying decisions.

Fact checking the Numbers

Among the largest social media sites, YouTube drives the most highly engaged website traffic (with visitors overall spending on average nearly four minutes and visiting three pages on target sites), followed by in order Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter. Reddit and StumbleUpon drive the least engaged visitors. (VentureBeat)

58% of marketers indicate that their social media efforts have generated leads. (Believable.) Social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, or PPC. (Not as believable.) (Business 2 Community)

88% of business buyers say online content plays a major to moderate role in vendor selection, yet just 9% of respondents think of vendors as trusted sources of content; the most influential types of content across both the awareness and evaluation phases of the buying journey are third-party validated research reports and studies. (MediaPost)

Social media marketing statistics bear out that Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are now more than just vehicles for promoting special events or sales. The Chief Marketing Officer Council World Wide (CMO Council) reveals that 82 percent of brands represented on Twitter release between one and six tweets per day. To increase your leads, content marketing has proven to be three times as effective as old-fashioned outbound marketing – even though it costs about 62 percent less. That said, 83 percent of consumers made mention of a bad social media marketing experience. Where is the disconnect?

Making the Platforms Work for You

The increased online engagement between brands and consumers shows that this marketing practice is no longer something you can squeeze in during lunch and after hours. Instead, it calls for the attention of a dedicated staff of professionals. Negative consumer interactions frequently occur due to three common mistakes.

No or late engagement. The consumer has a complaint. You do not respond until a couple of days later. Your competitor, who has a dedicated staff, responds within an hour.

Unprofessional engagement. You have tasked a junior staff member with handling the social media accounts. This professional lacks training in online reputation management. Tweets or posts offend consumers.

Uninteresting content. Your posts should be more than “buy me” messages. If you fail to post something of value to a consumer, you will not see your content being shared much.

 

Engaging with Experts

MaaS Pros experts understand that social media marketing has undergone tremendous growth and changes. When you want to step up your qualified lead generation via social media, contact us for more information on our services and strategies.

 

 

 

 

4 Ways to Improve Your Content Development

In today’s fast-paced world you have only seconds to make a good impression online. If your website is hard to find, takes too much time to load, is unattractive or difficult to navigate, chances are you’ve lost a potential customer, maybe dozens of them. So how do you create content that attracts and sticks in people’s minds? Businesses that invest in content development have more successful marketing campaigns in the long-term. Here are four things you can do to improve your content development and raise more brand awareness online:

 

Curate content

 

You’re not limited to posting original content on social media. Although that’s the ideal move, it requires a lot of time and effort.

 

Curating content helps you stay active in your marketing efforts without getting stuck in content development. According to a recent Tech Cocktail article, it’ll work as long as you place the content in the context of your brand:

 

“If you are straightforward and honest about your curation efforts both readers and authors will view it as what it is- the curation of the best articles on a certain topic in one place and not an attempt to steal other people’s work and gain from it. Of course, it’s essential to keep in mind that your ultimate goal for your content is to drive engagement with YOUR brand, product, or site.”

 

Hire a team of writers

 

Content development is by no means an easy task. It’s unlikely that one person can fulfill your company’s content requirements on his own.

 

Hiring a team of writers makes the assignment more manageable. Moreover, the quality of your content improves since writers are less stressed.

 

Add content diversity 

 

Marketing campaigns that only feature one type of content bore users. We often see businesses fall into this trap by only writing blogs.

 

Blogs and articles are great, but they don’t engage users as well as visual content does. The best campaigns feature a mix of blogs, videos, white papers, infographics, and ebooks.

 

Make sure your content can be properly viewed across platforms and devices

 

More than 40 percent of Web traffic is coming from mobile devices, but most content does not look good or convert well for mobile visitors. Therefore, your website content should be optimized for smartphone and tablet devices, so that your readers can effectively consume the content.

 

One solution to this problem is to use responsive design. Responsive design has been around for a while, but it’s becoming increasingly important as people access devices across a variety of screen sizes and form factors.

 

It is also more important because Google is now taking into consideration mobile user experience when ranking websites in search results. So if your site isn’t providing users with a great cross-platform experience, you may be putting your site at risk of losing Google ranking as well as prospective customers.

 

Although user engagement usually happens on social media, your success is often determined in your content development. To talk more about content development, or anything else, contact us today.

 

 

Refresh Web Content to Maintain Search Engine Status

 

After the initial setup of your website, it remains static for a long time.  As soon as updates occur, update your website.  When you perform content development, go through these steps.

 
1. Update addresses, phone/fax numbers, email addresses, social media accounts, and copyright year in the footer.  Add new contact info for additional stores.

 
2. Examine paragraphs on every page of your website. Is one or a few pages sound boring?  Rewrite it to bring it up to date.  Adjust product and service descriptions along with prices if necessary and add testimonials.

 
3. Revise call to action buttons on landing pages and submit forms. Take away standard words like ‘submit’ and replace it with action words and phrases.  ‘Join now’ or ‘donate’ are great examples.  Moreover, create action words and phrases based on the industry or call of action.

 
4. Companies with blogs keep the website active. Add new content once or twice a week.  Stationary blogs give readers an outdated impression.  Alternatively, link social media accounts to the website.  Adding a Facebook, Google+, or Twitter box to the site brings whatever you add to those sites to the website without lifting a finger.

 
5. Photos naturally freshen up a page. Photos of you, the company, the employees, and current events show a different side of the business.  Stock photography or free images are great, but look beyond that to connect with visitors on a personal level.

 
6. Finally, scope the entire site for detail. First, check for broken links and repair the sites with those broken links.  Second, proofread for spelling and grammar mistakes.  Nothing says unprofessional like simple English composition mistakes.  Third, break long paragraphs into headings, subheadings, and bullet/number lists.  Fourth, check text color, font, and font size for inaccuracies.  Lastly, check links on local listing websites (i.e., Yellow Pages, Yahoo Local, and Google+ Local) for the correct info.

 
Occasionally, a website needs a complete overhaul.  Start from scratch and include the tips above.  Also, change the background, update the logo, and redesign the company name.  Use a template or make a new site with us.  Replace keywords with no results with new keywords related to the city, state, industry, or company.  Lastly, make sure the site works on all laptops, desktops, and mobile screens of various sizes.  Responsive web design is a great investment.  Update the website once and it carries to the other screens.

 
If the thought of refreshing the websites becomes overwhelming, contact us.  We are more than ready to assist with solutions and ideas to turn stale websites into current masterpieces.

How to Improve Your Content Development

Since content is now at the core of many businesses’ online marketing strategies, content development has garnered a lot more attention. Here are a few ways you can improve your content development process:

 
Identify consumer needs with respect to content

 
Sometimes, businesses get caught up in writing content that they find interesting. The problem with this is that your interests won’t always align with your customers’ interests. In this case, you’re just writing content for yourself.

 
Always think about content development in the context of your online marketing strategy. If your content won’t interest prospective customers, then it’s not worth creating.

 

Look at your website analytics

 
Moreover, businesses often fall into the trap of only looking at their website traffic in regard to data and analytics. Although your website traffic can be a useful signal, it’s usually too general and doesn’t provide enough context.

 
For your online marketing efforts, it’s important to know where exactly your traffic comes from. According to a recent Marketing Land article, you can use this information to improve your content development:

 
“By clearly defining your conversion goals in Google Analytics, you’ll gain a better understanding of what attributes are associated with your visitors that convert. First, outline both your macro conversions (i.e., complete a transaction, fill out a form, etc.) and micro conversions (i.e., click on a pricing page, watch a video, stay on a site for a specific period of time).”

 
Ask for feedback

 
Another way to evaluate your content development is to directly ask consumers what they think of your content. This is an easy way to get practical suggestions in regard to your content creation. If people want to see more videos and less blogs, then you can adjust your online marketing strategy accordingly.

 
To talk more about content development, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

Overcome Writer’s Block with This Content Development Technique

A great way to avoid getting writer’s block is mapping out in advance what your content will cover. This is accomplished by making an outline of your blog post or article. You decide the post’s main thesis and brainstorm the different points it will cover. Each point is then fleshed out with sub points. This top-down approach works well because it gives the writer a plan he can work with.

However, there is a little known content development technique for expanding your content if what you’ve written falls short of a full blog post. This method does not add filler. Instead, it’s a way of reading between the lines to identify the unanswered questions that lurk between your sentences.

With this technique, it’s possible to expand the word count of a 300 word post 20 fold or more. How is this done? By looking at every declarative sentence and asking a series of questions beginning with the words what, when, where, who, why, and how. This technique has already been used on the first sentence of this paragraph when the question “how is this done?” was asked and then followed by this answer. The question doesn’t have to appear explicitly in your content. The question simply serves as a prompt for the subject of the sentences that follow.

Of the six questions, the why question is perhaps the most powerful because it produces deep insightful content. Why does this question produce insightful content? Because answering the why question produces the underlying explanations and reasons about things and concepts. Answering the why question is useful for writing persuasive content. Why would you want to write persuasive content? Because persuasive content produces conversions on your website. People want to know why they should buy your products or join your newsletter and so forth.

It’s important that you exercise judgment about which questions to answer and of recursively asking the same question as was done in the preceding paragraph. Otherwise, you may produce run-on content (note that this sentence answered a why question directed at the preceding sentence).

This technique works very well with tips based content. Each tip can be fleshed out by answering the appropriate questions about the tip itself. These would be questions the reader must know to use the tip and perhaps address its importance by answering the why question.

To learn more content development techniques and strategies, please contact us.

Content Development: Why You Should Write What You Know

“Write what you know” applies just as much too content development as it does to fiction. Readers can tell almost instantly whether the author of an article is an expert on the topic. As a business owner, one of the goals of you posting content is to establish and prove your expertise.

And that’s why we recommend business owners to write about their industry. Don’t just post blogs and articles overtly telling people why they need your product or service. Take the time to talk about niche topics and provide informative content.

You don’t have to give all your secrets away. The idea is to demonstrate to prospective customers what your product or service does. Think of it as giving away a free sample of a new dessert you made.

Plus, when you write about what you know, you automatically create content that suits your target audience. According to a recent Search Engine Journal article, that’s exactly the type of content that your prospective customers are looking for:

“Researching thoroughly before you write: What kind of content are your customers searching for? Having your ducks in a row and understanding your audiences’ needs can help you create content that hits the mark almost every time. Not to mention, you won’t waste time creating content that doesn’t suit your audience.”

The great thing about posting content is that you’ll find out almost immediately if it hit home with your target audience. You’ll be able to tell how many times your blog or article was viewed on your website. And if you post it on social media, you’ll be able to track likes, retweets, and shares.

If you’re struggling with content development, then just remember that your target audience is looking for informative content. Write about topics and issues that you’ll know and your content will likely resonate with prospective customers.

To talk more about content development, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

Content Development: Why Optimize Your Content for Devices Your Target Audience Doesn’t Use?

Content development doesn’t just cover your process of content creation. You also need to plan for how consumers are going to find your content. It doesn’t matter how great your content is or how frequently you post it if people can’t find it.

The reason this is so important today is because consumers are spending more time on their smartphones and less on their laptops. Despite this, many businesses still create content for desktops and laptops. If your content isn’t mobile friendly, then it can only receive so much visibility.

A recent Search Engine Land article reports that people find content on mobile devices mostly through search. Word of mouth and social media come next, according to the article:

“Search is the leading way mobile users said they find mobile content/websites. Fifty four percent of respondents picked search as the top method. After that, 29 percent said “word of mouth” and 26 percent found content through social media on their mobile devices. Search is also widely used in the various app stores as a content discovery tool, second only to ‘look at what’s free.’”

So when it comes to content development, you should keep two things in mind. First of all, you should optimize your content for mobile devices. You should just assume that your target audience views your content from smartphones and tablets.

And secondly, you should take steps to optimize your content for search engines. This way, when your target audience searches for content on mobile devices, your website will come up on the search results page.

It doesn’t make sense to optimize your content for devices that your target audience doesn’t use. Instead, you should design your content for mobile devices and optimize it so consumers can find it through search engines.

To talk more about content development, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

Create Cohesion with Content Development and Advertisements

Content development should be the primary focus of your digital marketing campaign. Quality content is versatile, can be used on several platforms, and complements other digital marketing practices.

Despite the advantages of investing in organic search, many businesses still purchase paid advertisements. This isn’t necessarily wrong, as long as it’s small in proportion to your investment in organic search.

Now, one way to make those paid advertisements even more effective is to complement them with relevant content. A cohesive digital marketing strategy entailing both paid advertisements and content development will make both practices more effective.

A recent article in the Guardian talks about the relationship between paid advertisements and content development. The article tells the story of Cocoon, a security firm that increased its brand visibility by creating cohesion between the two components:

“It’s also important to have the content to back up any online advertising campaign. Cocoon wrote a series of blogs and worked on organically growing their Facebook and Twitter followings alongside running paid adverts.”

This principle holds true for all of digital marketing. It doesn’t make sense to have a completely different attitude on every platform. You have to adjust your campaigns, but your overall strategy should be cohesive.

If your paid advertisement promotes a product, for example, then you should publish content that’s also centered on the same product. This unity in your marketing efforts results in a clearer message. When consumers see both your content and advertisements, your digital marketing campaign will make more sense.

If we had to choose one mistake that businesses make concerning digital marketing, it would be a lack of strategic planning. One thing to focus on in your strategy is cohesion. As long as your marketing efforts align under one unified strategy, you’ll establish a consistent brand identity.

To talk more about content development, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

Using Flickr Images for Your Content Development

Adding an appropriate image for a blog post is a simple yet effective way to enhance your content development. Without an image or two, content looks dull which is enough of a reason for many people to ignore your blog post.

 

The problem with images is that finding a usable one can sometimes take longer than writing the blog post itself. Because a successful blog requires that you post a lot of content, hiring a professional photographer for the images is too expensive. Most images found on the Internet are copyrighted and the images found on stock photography websites have a generic look to them, especially the images of people.

 

However, there is a source of images which are varied in subject matter that are free to use even on commercial websites. Rarely will you find a generic looking photo and many photos are high quality. This source of images is Flickr which belongs to Yahoo.

 

The only catch is that you must give credit for the image. This is done with a simple nondescript link back to the person who posted the image on Flickr. The link should be located underneath the image and would use words such as “Image Credit: John Doe.” This will in no way distract your reader because the eye is conditioned to ignore these types of credit links.

 

Flickr is a site where people from all over the world share their images. It will be up to you to find professional quality images but you will find them in abundance. Not all images allow commercial use. There are different usage licenses described here.

 

Locating images that allow commercial use is as simple as entering a word into the image search field and clicking the search button. On the search results page, you will see a pull down menu near the top where you can select the license type. Select the “commercial use allowed” option and the search result will only show images of that type of license. Alternatively, you can click the advanced search link near the top right of the page and then tick the “find content to use commercially” box.

 

Clicking on an image in the search results page will bring up the full sized image. Just below the image to the right, you will see the license link. Click on the link to learn more about the usage license of the image. Just below and to the far right of the image is an icon that is the image download link.

 

For more information about effective use of content in your marketing, don’t hesitate to contact us. You are also welcome to download our free Internet Marketing Ebook.