Here’s Why Your Digital Presence Needs a Content Strategy

Here’s Why Your Digital Presence Needs a Content Strategy

No matter what you are communicating or marketing about online, content is a critical component to success. You need great content to connect with your target audience.

Here are 5 ways an effective content strategy will boost your online presence:

  1. Content marketing is customer centric. It is how you attract the people you want and how you build an ongoing relationship with them.
  2. You have no excuse not to publish content. Everyone can do it. Your audience knows this and is waiting to hear directly from you.
  3. Content is what populates all media channels. In addition to your owned media, such as your website or blog, it is critical to earned media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
  4. People want to know your entire organization. Content is how they find out.
  5. Content is how you stay relevant in real-time. People don’t expect to wait until your next regularly scheduled publication. They what to know what’s happening, when it is happening.

Online content is how everyone connects with brands. You need a plan to be part of the conversations and create the relationships that will help your brand to succeed.

Need to develop your content strategy? Here are the steps to take.

7 Easy Ways to Get More Social Shares

7 Easy Ways to Get More Social Shares

The average a piece of content posted to social media gets fewer than eight social shares.  What can you do to beat the average? Plenty.

Include Share Buttons on Your Blog

Your own blog should be a hub of your social sharing. Make sure your blog posts have share buttons. You can pick the options you want to offer, but Facebook and share to email are the big ones. Make sure your share buttons are easy to find.

Focus on the Headline

Most people won’t read past your headline. In fact, a lot of people will share something based on a great headline and never actually read the content! Great content hidden behind a boring headline will be a bust. Spend as much time on your headline as you do on the content. Really.

Provide Great Content

If you want people to share your content, you need to create content that is of value. You want your reader to think your content is worthy of sharing. It is the value that your content provides that makes people like and share your content.

…And Great Images

Posts with images get the most views and shares on all social networking. Having a great image with every post is a must.

Share Your Own Content

Social media is a crowded space. You can’t assume that your target audience will see every post wherever you publish it. Help with the visibility of your content by sharing every post on every social channel where you are active. You never know where it will catch someones’s interest (and earn a share).

Ask for Shares

Sometimes the most effective approach is the most straightforward: Ask readers to share your content. Simply asking “please share” can be the prompt that gets you more engagement.

Mention Other People

Mentions of other people can increase the reach of your content. Tag others and link to their social accounts whenever applicable. Who doesn’t want to share when they are mentioned on social media?

The Marketing Upside of Shortened URLs

The Marketing Upside of Shortened URLs

A URL shortener is a tool that makes a long URL shorter in length while still sending those who click to the correct page.  Shorter links reduce clutter in your posts. It is also a great way to get some metrics about your posts.

There are several tools out there that will take the URL to your content and shorten it. You want to pick a tool and start doing this all the time. Here’s why.

Why Short URLs Matter

Some social media channels automatically shorten URLs, but you want to use the same tool for all of your posts. That way, you can a more complete view of the performance of your content across all uses.

There are several shorteners. I list three most commonly used tools below. They offer varying tracking features, but using any of them will tell you what’s getting clicked (and what’s not). This is invaluable insight for online marketing efforts.

Three Popular URL Shorteners 

bit.ly

This URL shortening service offers tracking metrics so you know exactly how many people are clicking on your link. When you sign up for a free account, you can actually share links right on your dashboard and then see the data that goes along with each share.

ow.ly

This shortener is integrated into Hootsuite, but you can use the shortened URLs anywhere you post. It offers real-time analytics, sharing functionality, and will give you advice about the best time to post a link.

buff.ly

Link shortening with buff.ly is available on all plans. Buffer also gives you a dashboard that allows you to share links right from their site and then see real-time analytics. You can also shorten a URL and use it anywhere you compose and post.

Insight You Can Use

Once you get into the groove of using one of these tools for all of your online posts, you will get useful insight into what content is getting clicks. Further, you’ll know what content performs well on your various marketing channels.

Use the information to refine your digital marketing. Put more time into content that is getting attention and put aside great ideas that just aren’t performing.

For more help with your digital marketing, be sure to visit my blog. I offer actionable insights three times a week.

 

 

Write Headlines that Grab Readers

Write Headlines that Grab Readers

The headline or title  is critical to attracting readers. The most interesting content can go unnoticed if the headline doesn’t generate interest in reading the rest. Copyblogger research shows that 80 percent of visitors will read headlines and only 20 percent will read content to the finish.

Have you ever experimented with changing the headline of an article to see if there is an impact? I often do this when I share my blog content on social channels – I change the headline to see if I can get more eyeballs.

Tools to Craft the Right Headline

There are several online tools that can help you to construct perfect titles and headings.

  • Portent’s Content Idea Generator. Enter a topic into Portent’s Content Idea Generator and get content and title ideas. The site also offers writing tips.
  • LinkBait Title Generator. Enter a subject and the LinkBait Title Generator generate a long list of headline suggestions. There are so many that you are likely to find something that will work and a few ideas for future content as well.
  • CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. Coschedule is a free headline analyzer tool that scores your overall headline quality, does length analysis, and previews how your headline will look in Google search results and email subject lines. It also offers tips for how to make your headline or title better.
  • Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer. The Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer is a free topic generator tool that helps you reach your target audience. It analyzes headlines, titles, and email subject lines and provides an emotional marketing value (EMV). In general, the higher the EMV, the better the headline.
  • SE Ranking. SE Ranking can help you figure out how to make your titles more attractive for search engines by using keywords. Helping people find your content in search is extremely valuable to boosting your readership.
  • Hubspot Blog Topic Generator.  The Hubspot Blog Topic Generator is simple and quick to use. Enter three words related to your content and get five possible headlines. I find that many of the results get formulaic. You may very well outgrow this one, as well.

Content Strategy Is Key

Awesome headlines are just one component of a great online content strategy. Having a plan and a checklist to get it right sets you up for success and keeps you on track. You can go it alone or let me help you put together and implement a winning content strategy.

Manage Your Online Reputation in Five Easy Steps

Manage Your Online Reputation in Five Easy Steps

It’s a lesson we all learn in middle school – reputation matters. Our businesses have a reputation too, and we want it to be one that attracts customers.  

Today’s businesses need to pay particular attention to their online reputation.Your customers are online to get and share information. You need a strategy to make sure that the impression you create online is a positive and accurate reflection of your business.

The right digital strategy enables you to manage all the places where you are online to your best advantage. It can help you to decide where to spend your limited time to get the best result with your target audience.

Here are five steps to consider when developing a digital strategy for online reputation management.

Step 1: Assess your current presence

What is the online reputation of your business? Don’t just look at your website and your social media channels. Do a Google search and look at all of the results in the first page of search results.

  • Is your information correct?
  • Is your branding consistent?
  • What are people saying about you?

Do the same for a few key competitors. Assess how you measure up against their results.

Step 2: List needed fixes

Develop a punch list of items you need to change. Some may be easy, like correcting an address or business hours. Others may take more time, like cultivating more online reviews or getting more followers. Write out a list so you can systematically address issues and opportunities.

Step 3: Decide where to invest

Nothing you do online is free. Your time is valuable. You need to determine which places are a worthy investment of your time and, perhaps, your marketing dollars. Which platforms work best for an improved online reputation for your business?

Completing the first two steps should give you a sense of where your target audience wants to engage online. You also get a sense of gaps – more content? more images? – and opportunities for you to connect online.

Step 4: Document your digital strategy

Your digital strategy should define where you will be online and what you will do there.  It should define the content, the platforms, and opportunities for expanded reach. It outlines all the steps you will take to build your reputation and engage with your target audience.

Your strategy should address:

  • Core places where you are online
  • Content you will create and share
  • Management of directory listings
  • Audience involvement – testimonials, comments, etc.

Step 5: Make it happen!

Plan in hand, it is time to start implementing. The plan will help you keep on track and not lose sight of what is important to your online reputation. It will help you to break down larger goals into the smaller tasks that move you in the right direction.

There should be constant activity in the management of your online reputation. This will also facilitate your ongoing awareness of what is happening regarding your brand, your customers, and your industry.

Overwhelmed? Consider the Kurtz Digital Strategy Online Presence Boot Camp! In just two months, we’ll define the right digital strategy for your online presence.