12 Days of Christmas … 10 things to blog about this Christmas season

10 things to blog about this Christmas

10 things to blog about this Christmas

Even if you’ve managed to successfully blog all the way through the year, it can be heard to know what to blog about in this seasonal time. We’ve put together 10 things you could blog about with your Christmas content.

 

Your best bits

Christmas and New Year is a time we all naturally reflect on our lives and what has happened in the past year. So looking back on your best bits of the year will not only be quite therapeutic for you. But will remind your customers of the good things you have done. The challenges you have overcome. And why they became a customer with you in the first place.

Some good starting points might be what company successes have you celebrated? Has your company grown, or moved offices, or won any awards? Have you had any personal successes in the team such as promotion, marriage or cute newborns? Or has your team really gone the extra mile this year, and took part in charity events, or volunteering projects?

Once you get started, you will probably have a lot more to talk about than you think.

 

What is coming in the New Year for you

If you are making any changes in the New Year, now is a good time not only to inform your customers. To get them excited about it, and ready to embrace the changes.

Consider if you will be offering new services or products in the New Year. Can customers get money off if they refer to a code given in the blog? This may increase shares of your blog, and visits to the website. Resulting in more organic sales, as well as people taking advantage of the offer in the New Year.

Are you moving premises, or changing your opening hours? Now is a great time to inform your customers to save confusion when it comes to January.

 

Industry relevant Christmas/New Year preparation

If people are regularly visiting your blog, or find your blog within search results, they are most likely interested in your industry. So posting industry relevant festive content is something your readers may be interested in. And helps to keep your 80:20 ratio of informative content, to advertising, in a time where it is easy to slip into heavy sales.

Not sure what you would write? Well if we look at our blog for example. This very post in fact. It is an informative post, relevant to marketing, that is based around the festive period.

If, for example, you run a HR blog, why not look at how to act appropriately at the office Christmas party. If you run an accountancy blog, why not look at how to get your finances in order for 2016. These are simple ideas, but it can be easy to overlook them when panicking about what to write when you are more deadlines than normal looming.

 

Seasonal Industry News

Following on from advice in your industry during the festive period, is there any relevant industry news that affects you during this season?

Retail blogs have a lot to work with here, such as looking at best buys for the season or how Black Friday has affected you.

Marketers, we have new Christmas campaign after new Christmas campaign that we can critique. To look at how these could be improved, or how much profit was gained by running a certain campaign.

Security blogs can look to the news of the latest crime statistics. In a period of time where many people have high value items sitting on show in their cars and houses. What are people saying about it? And what can people do to stop themselves being part of the story?

Again, this is looking at keeping your blog content informative, and useful for the reader at a time where most content is focused on selling.

 

Acts of Goodwill

We touched upon this in an earlier point, but as this is the season of goodwill and charity, it is definitely a subject to talk about.

If your team has been involved in charity work, fundraising or volunteering, then talk about it. What did they do, why were they doing it and how did it go? Not only are you showing the employees who took part that you are proud of what they have achieved. You are also showing your customers that you care about these causes, and it’s not all about just going to work each day.

Are you planning more fundraising next year? Let people know, or ask what charities they would like to see you support, or what events they would like to see. Engage with people now. So when the time comes, your customers can see that you have followed through on your word.

Or if you have not had time. Or are not in a position to fund-raise yourselves, why not look to other examples of goodwill to talk about?  Social media is full of examples of this. Of individuals, as well as charities, passing out coats, gloves and scarves to the homeless. Of people starting a pay it forward gesture at a coffee shop, where they pay for the next persons coffee. Or of school children putting together shoebox’s of gifts to be sent to other children across the globe. There are plenty of examples out there of people doing good, so to share and celebrate their achievements is a great thing to do.

 

Your most popular posts of the year

If you blog regularly, now may be the time to recap on what have been the most popular posts. This is something you will see on our own blog in the near future, as we post twice a week, readers can miss out on the occasional post!

Use analytics tools to find the top read blogs for the year, and then link them all together in one handy post. This gives readers a chance to refresh themselves on content they may have forgotten about. New readers a chance to catch up on what has been going on. And it’s a great exercise for you to see what has been well received by your potential customers. So then you can use that information to build on next year’s posts.

 

Things you have learned as a business this year

This can be done in two ways, extremely silly or serious reflection. That’s really up to you and your company.

Silly side, you can have learnt that perhaps some of your colleagues shouldn’t be trusted to make a good cuppa. Or that you need to call to check outfits as people have turned up in the same thing. Maybe you have learned that once one person ordered in food, that means the rest of you cave in too and it turns into a full on food session? Just remember to keep it appropriate, and not too personal about your colleagues. This post should definitely be a light hearted one.

If you’re looking for a more reflective post, perhaps you can look at how you managed to conquer your social media fears. Or how it was a great move to get your website updated. Maybe you changed your location, which worked really well. Or you learnt what your customers really love.

Whichever you choose, this is an opportunity to give your readers some insight into you company, what you value, and what sort of people you actually are.

 

Gift Guide

This will only work with some businesses, so think carefully before using this. B2C businesses have it a little easier here, and can use this as a little promotion for your own products. Talk about your products, why they’re great, and why people have bought them already.

If you don’t necessarily have products that can be sold at this time, maybe you could look at a light hearted version of this post. Collate the worst/most random/most ingenious gifts you have seen around. You could run a “the 10 worst things you could buy your loved one” or perhaps “the 8 gifts that have got us excited for Christmas in the office”. Try and keep it still relevant to your business, make sure it still has a clear purpose and always make sure it’s appropriate.

 

Your best customers

As well as looking back at what your company has done, and what you have achieved. Now is a great time to look back at the lovely customers you have had, and have supported your business this year. This may work slightly better for B2B companies, than B2C. As you may have worked with a particular client or customer repeatedly over the year.

Talk a little about the work you did together. How it has benefited that company or person. And why you loved working with them.

This is a great post, not only for promoting and saying thank you to your customers. But it’s also great for getting your post seen by new audiences if your customers share your post. Meaning you may gain a few more customers from the post.

 

Merry Christmas Message

Number 10 in the list is probably the most obvious one. But a really nice one to put up. Wish your readers a Merry Christmas, thank them for their support, and inform them of your business opening hours over the Christmas season.

Work with some lovely graphics to make it this a nice visual post you can share. Then work on some mince pies and hot chocolates because it’s Christmas and you’ve worked hard.

 

It really is a great time of year on a business blog to add in more humour. To be more personal. To provide more insightful information for your readers. So take advantage of the topic ideas above, and let us know if there is a topic you love to post about at this festive time.

Take a look at the rest of our countdown to the 12 days of Christmas, for more advice, how to’s and examples of marketing during this festive season.

inbound marketing – 5 priorities

5 priorities you should have when it comes to inbound marketing

5 priorities you should have when it comes to inbound marketing

You’ve probably heard a lot about inbound marketing now, (we’ve talked about it previously). How you should be working on a customer focused marketing and sales plan, opposed to something more company centric.

However you might not quite understand how to get inbound marketing to work in your company’s strategy or how to make sure you get the results you want. We’ve got five priorities you should have when it comes to inbound marketing and how to get your business noticed. Make sure your inbound marketing works.

Get found

You need to be visible to your potential customers. That means having a website for customers to find you.

That website needs to SEO friendly so it can be found by search engines. (Not sure on the lingo? Check out our SEO jargon buster). This means good keywords, good meta descriptions, using alt tags and ensure your site is fast.

Be user friendly

Once you’ve attracted all of these potential customers, you need to make sure they can get round your site. This may sound like a simple thing but with most companies never looking at their site from a customer’s point of view, it can be easily missed.

How many clicks does it take to get to your products or services? How prominent are your main services on the home page? Is it easy to find how to contact you? These are all things you probably don’t consider for your own website.

There is also another huge consideration. How easy is it, to use your website on a mobile phone or tablet, is it responsive?

Not sure how to create a user-friendly website?

Cracking content

Potential customers have found you and found where they want to be. Now you need to feed them information that will entice them in, inform them and encourage them to get in touch or purchase online.

How do I create this content? Well there is plenty of guides, including ours on creating the best, most useful content. You probably have tons of topics already that you can write about.

You want to make it as unique as possible, so change up those product descriptions where you can!

When it comes to blogs, you want a mix of evergreen content and news content. Evergreen content is the advice and tips which will always be relevant. The news will be updates in your industry, but they may change over time.

Social Media

Social media seems to have a bit of a Marmite reaction in businesses. Some businesses really love it and take advantage of every network they can, others are not convinced or just don’t have the time to do it.

The social media approach is brilliant for promoting the content you have created. It takes people straight to parts of your website that may be of interest and making you easier to find and connect with.

It’s a great way to connect with potential customers and keep in contact until the time comes that they are ready to buy. And if they have had hints, tips and advice from yourself. As well as an easy quick link of where to find your product or service, they are more likely to buy from you than from a competitor who doesn’t do social media.

Call to action

You’ve done a lot already to ensure your potential customer is happy, informed and can find you. So the last bit is to encourage them to act.

If your potential customer is interested, they may contact you automatically, others need a little more help. Using tools like landing pages means you can channel a sole ‘call to action’ to fill out the form on a page. By removing all other distractions and just leaving the form, people are more likely to complete it then go off and nose at another page.

You should now have plenty of ‘calls to action’ to follow up on.

There is an enormous amount to inbound marketing and lots more you can go into however most businesses still have a split approach with some outbound activity still going on, so time has to measured. Remember to prioritise the above and get those calls in!

If you need a little extra help with your inbound marketing, give us a call on 01543 495752 for a no obligation chat.

How to create the best, most useful, content in search results

How to create the best, most useful content in search rankings

How to create the best, most useful content in search rankings

The phrase “good, unique content” has become a bit of a buzz phrase in recent years. So we can’t help but agree with Moz’s Rand Fishkin when he says that “good, unique content” needs to die.

In an episode of Whiteboard Friday posted on May 22nd 2015, Moz founder Fishkin says we should be aiming to produce content which is better than just good. And he’s got an excellent point.

Instead of producing “good, unique content”. Which frankly anyone can do without a huge amount of effort. Businesses should be aiming to produce the best content in the search results when they create something.

 

Before we go any further, here’s what you’re going to learn in this blog post:

  • The qualities of the best piece of content in the search results
  • The benefits of producing the best, most useful content, for your audience
  • How you can create that kind of content – from the planning stage, to writing your headline, to promotion

You can also download this blog post as a PDF to keep handy, or to read later on.

Download your guide to creating the best, most useful content in search results

 

What exactly is the best piece of content in the search results?

Think about the last time you searched for something. What was your experience like? Did you have to visit a few different websites before you found what you were looking for? Were you left with unanswered questions? That’s kind of annoying isn’t it?

Or did you find a standout piece of content that answered all of your questions? That content right there, is what you should be aiming to create.

The best, and most useful content is:

  • Content that provides the reader with everything they need to know about the question or topic it’s covering
  • So strong that the reader doesn’t need to look at another website
  • So good that they consider bookmarking it, sharing it with their friends, or linking to it

 

How do I produce this amazing, incredible piece of content?

The key is to plan, to be aware of what’s already out there, and identify gaps in the existing coverage.

It might take longer for you to produce this kind of content, but the benefits are worth it:

  • Your website gains more visits, and new visitors, which can lead to an increase in sales and leads
  • Improving your search rankings, which can lead to an increase in sales and leads
  • Expanding your reach as a result of shares, and improved search rankings
  • Become seen as an authority and useful resource in your sector
  • Improving your audience’s perception of your business / products / services
  • Showing that you care about helping your potential and existing customers

 

Planning & research

Who is the target audience? What phrases are you targeting?

Before you begin, you need to identify who is the target audience of this piece. Are they people who are new to the subject and might need lots of basic information? Or are they experienced people, who already know a lot about what you’re writing about?

Knowing this will help you understand exactly what the reader needs to know, and the tone of voice you need to use.

You also need to know what search terms or phrases you want to be ranking well for. There are a few ways you can identify this:

  • Think about what you would search for if you were looking for the piece of content you are going to create
  • View your Google Webmaster Tools to look at the kind of words and phrases your audience are already using to reach your website
  • Carry out a few searches and see what kind of results come up
  • Try using the Google Keyword Planner

 

What’s missing from existing content that is ranking well?

If you’re knowledgeable about the topic you’re writing about, you can create good content fairly easily without too much research.

To create a piece of content which is the best in search rankings, you need to know what search phrases you will be targeting, and what content is already ranking well for that phrase.

Spend some time reviewing that content critically, and make a list of any questions it left you with, or would lead your target audience with, and any points that were missed out that you would have included.

You might also be able to identify a better way to get the information across to the reader.

For example, you might feel that sharing the information in the form of a video would be more useful, and easier for your audience to understand.

Also, take the time to review any comments left at the end of those pieces of content. Are people unclear about what is being said? Is there something left unanswered? Or has something been missed out?

 

Writing

Plan a little more

The planning isn’t quite done with yet.

Collate all of your research and thoughts into your working document, and remind yourself again what the purpose of this piece of content is for the reader. You can then begin planning your blog post:

  • What images or videos will you need? Who needs to create those, and when?
  • Do you need to create a downloadable PDF or eBook to go with it?
  • What pages / videos do you need to link out to?
  • What will be your call to action at the end of the piece?

You can now start writing

With all of your research in hand, and a detailed idea about the kind of content you’re going to produce, what it’s going to say, and help readers with, you can begin writing.

Some tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep paragraphs short to make it easier for people to read
  • Don’t bombard people with jargon
  • Cut the waffling – make sure every word and sentence is necessary, remove anything that doesn’t add anything
  • Break up sections with sub-headings
  • Use bullet points
  • Add images and videos where necessary
  • Link out to studies, articles, blog posts, videos you reference

 

 

Creating a solid headline

Getting your headline right is incredibly important, as it will be the first thing most people see. It needs to be strong enough to grab their interest in search engines, or on social media, and make them click through.

Things you need to consider when writing a strong headline:

  • Length – if your headline is much longer than 70 characters it will get cut off in search results
  • Where the most important words are – sometimes a headline longer than 70 characters is necessary, so make sure the first part grabs their attention.
  • Does it evoke positive or negative emotions? Is that the emotion you were going for?
  • Does it accurately tell people what they will find out if they click through?
  • Ensure it includes some of your key words / phrases you want to rank for
  • Is it interesting?
  • Does it make you want to click through?

You don’t have to try and figure all of this out on your own though. CoSchedule have a great, free tool called Headline Analyzer, which scores your headlines based on length, sentiment, the headline type, and more.

We also recommend using Upworthy’s method of writing at least 25 headlines for each post, because it forces you to really think hard, and dedicate the time needed to write a solid headline.

If you use that method with the Headline Analyzer, you’re well on your way to understanding what a strong headline should be, and improving your own headline-writing skills. (Every day is a school day!)

 

 

Ask someone to proofread it

Leaving your piece and coming back to it later is a great way to spot any mistakes, or things you’ve missed out, but you can’t beat asking someone else to check it. Especially if you can find someone similar to your target audience, as they may raise points your audience would raise.

 

Provide a good user experience

When people arrive at a website, they have certain expectations, so make sure that both your website, and your blog post meet those expectations.

This means:

  • Your website needs to be mobile-friendly
  • Your website needs to load quickly
  • Your blog post should be formatted well, with images and sub-headings to break up big chunks of copy
  • Your website should be easy to navigate
  • You need a strong call to action if you want the reader to do something after reading your content

 

Promote it

After you’ve poured so much time and effort into your fantastic piece of content, you need to promote it. You need to find your target audience and tell them where they can find this content that is going to help them.

Exactly where and how you promote it will largely depend on your target audience, but here are a few options:

  • Email marketing
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn

If you need help with finding out which social networks your audience use, read How To Create A Social Media Strategy That Works.

A trap many businesses fall into when promoting their own content is not promoting it enough. We’re not saying spam your audience with 50 updates about it a day, but remember that there are a lot of reasons why someone might not see your content the first time you promote it:

  • They didn’t scroll down far enough and never see it
  • It gets lost amongst all of the other updates
  • They fall into the big chunk of your audience who Facebook won’t show your updates do without paying
  • They do see it, tell themselves they’ll read it later, but forget about it

Don’t be shy when it comes to promoting your own content. The 80/20 method is recommended, where 20% of your updates are self-promotion, while 80% is having conversations, and sharing other people’s content.

 

Summary

 

Creating truly high-quality content is not a magic SEO bullet, but it can help you perform well for key words and key phrases you want to target. There are still other SEO things you should be taking seriously, such as your website’s load speed, usability, dodgy backlinks you built six years ago, etc.

The most important thing is to realise and understand that you’re writing content for a specific set of people, rather than a search engine.

Even if you are blogging primarily to improve your search results, you need to put your audience first and consider what questions and concerns they have, and how you can help them. If you put your audience first and create content which is genuinely helpful for them, your success in search rankings will follow.

Download your guide to creating the best, most useful content in search results

Struggling with blogging for your business? Call us on 01543 495 752 to find out how we can help you get the best out of your blog, or manage it for you.

 

Six tips to improve your website copy and help generate leads and sales

six tips to improve your website copy and help generate leads and sales

six tips to improve your website copy and help generate leads and sales

Words can go a long way towards convincing someone to become a customer, or even put them off.

Many of us research something online before buying it and if we don’t read what we want to read, we’ll look elsewhere.

Good website copy which focuses on how you and your products or services can solve a problem for your customer can help your website generate leads and sales.

Here are six tips to help you improve your websites copy.

 

What’s in it for them?

Too many websites make the mistake of making their copy all about them and not about how they can help their clients or customers.

When you’re writing your websites content you should be thinking about the benefits you can provide your customers with and make sure that’s the main focus of your copy, rather than how wonderful your business is.

 

Keep it succinct

Everyone’s busy and we don’t always have time to read pages upon pages of copy, so it’s important to write succinct copy and remove any unnecessary or uninteresting parts.

As well as keeping it succinct you need to keep it jargon free to avoid confusing visitors.

Don’t be surprised if it takes you much longer to write succinct copy, it’s an issue that’s plagued plenty of writers including experienced ones.

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” – Mark Twain

 

Formatting

Following the above point, most people skim read copy rather than reading every single word.

While it might frustrate you to know people aren’t reading every single word of the copy you spent hours crafting, there are a few things you can do to make it easier for them to skim.

–         Keep paragraphs short.

–         Break the page up using sub-headers.

–         Use bullet points.

–         Make sure the font, size and colour of the text is easy to read and shows up against your background.

 

Tone of voice

When writing copy make sure it aligns with the tone of voice used on any product packaging, your social media and any marketing materials such as leaflets, brochures and emails.

 

Calls to action

Does your website tell your visitors what you want them to do next? Does it tell them to take a look at your offers, download your brochure or whatever it is you want them to do?

Calls to action are a must and need to be succinct, clear and stand out on the page to help guide visitors through your website and hopefully down the sales funnel.

 

Search engine optimisation

We left this point until last because it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t be writing for search engines. They’re very useful but you should be writing with your audience in mind first.

Search engines are becoming smarter, allowing people to search using natural language and still find high quality relevant results.

If you write your copy with your target audience in mind it’s likely you will naturally include plenty of keywords and keyphrases that they would use when searching.

Once you’ve written your copy, read it through and look at whether any additional keywords can be added in.

Don’t be tempted to ram your copy with keywords and phrases because it won’t read right and search engines may decide to punish your website for ‘keyword stuffing’.

 

Writing great copy, whether it’s for your website or a leaflet, takes time but if it impresses visitors and turns them into leads, sales or even loyal customers it’s worth it.

 

If your website isn’t providing you with leads or sales get in touch with us to find what we can do to help your website benefit your business. Call us on 01543 495 752 or fill in our contact form.

If you want to read more from our website series of blogs, just click here to see what other resources are available.

Email Marketing: Five Best Practice Tips for Subject Lines.

Email marketing five best practise tips

Email marketing five best practise tips

You know what it’s like yourself, you have an inbox full of emails and you have no intention of reading them all; you just scroll down looking at subject lines waiting for one to catch your eye. So what can you do to encourage people to open your email?

Subject Length

First off, most email clients are only able to display somewhere between 30 and 50 characters and mobile devices will show even less, about 20 to 30 characters. This means ideally you don’t want your subject line to be longer than 50 characters and if the majority of your opens come from mobile devices, it needs to be even shorter.

If the majority of your emails don’t come from mobile devices, then try and ensure your main keywords are within the first 30 characters so that your subject line interests anyone who does use a mobile device.

 

Create Urgency

It’s really important to try and create urgency and to make your recipients stop and want to open the email right away instead of telling themselves they’ll read it later and completely forgetting about.

For example if you are emailing your customers to tell them that there’s an offer ending soon make sure you get that urgency across by using the words ‘ends soon’, ‘ends today’, ‘ends tomorrow’ etc.

Another thing to bear in mind that using ‘Re:’ and ‘Fwd:’ at the beginning of your subject line to try and trick your recipients into believe a friend has forwarded the email onto them may well annoy them and leave them feeling tricked of scammed.

 

Clear Subject Lines

Be honest with your customers and make it obvious and clear what the email is about. If your subject line says one thing and your email is really about something else, they may feel tricked and won’t bother reading the rest of your email.

Make sure your subject line also contains keywords which will mean something to your customers. You should have a good idea of what kinds of keywords your customers use, but if not check your websites Google Analytics which will be able to show you what people are searching for to reach your website.

 

Words and things to avoid

There’s a lot of debate over whether a certain word or phrase in the subject line will get you caught in a spam filter, it’s more likely that your email will be marked as spam due to a number of things rather than mentioning a spammy word in your subject line.

However as best practice avoid the obvious spammy words such as; act now, extra cash, no obligation, money back guarantee, limited time, click now etc. If you do use a word which is associated with spam and you do get through spam filters, the recipient may well think your email is spam because the words ‘limited time’ to them sets alarm bells ringing.

As well as avoiding obvious spammy words;

  • Don’t write your entire subject line in caps
  • Avoid exclamation marks
  • Avoid using different fonts
  • Don’t put unnecessary g  a  p  s between characters or use numbers and special characters in the place of letters

 

Test, test and test again

When coming up with a subject line write a list of all the possible subject lines and keep revising subject lines which sound good until they sound great.

A good way to improve your subject lines is to look at what emails you’ve opened recently because the subject line interested you; what was it that caught your attention and made you open the email? Also put yourself in the customer’s shoes; is this subject line something they would open?

Once you’ve got a list of a few great subject lines select three of the best and use these as a split test for your email campaign.

After you’ve done a few campaigns and looked at the results of your split tests, you’ll begin to get a good idea of what your customers like and what interests them the most and equally as important, what doesn’t interest them or get them opening your email.

 

Contact us

If you’re a business based in Burntwood, Cannock, Lichfield, Staffordshire or the West Midlands and need help creating opportunities to sell your products or services though email marketing, get in touch with us to find out how we can benefit your business.

You can get in touch with us by calling us on 01543 495 752 or email us at contact@themarketingpeople.com

How Your Business Can Use Topical Content to its Advantage.

How your business can use topical content to its advantage

How your business can use topical content to its advantage

Similar to topical advertising, creating topical content is creating content which links to a current news story or something which is popular. 

Creating topical content shows people that a brand is on the ball, relevant and clever. Especially if they have managed to link their business to a completely unrelated news story.

Topical content generally tends to add something extra to the story. Which means it’s relevant for much longer than an advert would be. As the ‘something extra’ will still be relevant long after people have stopped talking about it.

For example, when Cadbury’s won exclusive rights to their signature shade of purple. We wrote a blog post on why that was important to them and the importance of brand recognition.

An advert linked to that story might be relevant for a week at the most. Our blog post will be relevant to anyone looking to read about why it was so important for Cadbury’s to do that and the importance of brand recognition.

Despite the high number of news stories that will appear in search results. It’s still possible for your story to be found as people get bored with reading the same story and search for something extra or a new angle on the story.

When Apple Maps first came out we created a blog post which looked at the core competencies of Apple and Google, despite the number of news stories, our blog post was still found on simple keyphrases such as ‘apple maps vs google maps’.

Linking to a news story can work in favour for a business. As customers may decide to buy from the business because they have a similar opinion, the same values or like the same things the customer does.

What kind of content can you create?

The most popular content to create which is linked to a news story is a blog post. Which identifies what people can take or learn from the story because it ensures the reader will learn something.

For example, following Red Bull Stratos last week. Marketing websites were full of articles telling people what they could learn from the way Red Bull promoted and marketed the jump.

If you want to create something which is brief and just outlines the main points, an infographic would be the best thing to create as they’re visual and easy for people to read.

However, if you want to go into a lot of detail about the story. It’s probably better to write a blog post or create a video.

No matter what your business is, you can link to a story

Your area of business doesn’t have to be directly linked to the story for you to link to it.

The Olympics sparked a mass of blog posts informing people of all sectors, what they could learn from the 2012 Olympics.

  • 3 Lessons You Can Learn from the Olympics and Apply to Your Job
  • What Radiology Can Learn from 2012 Olympics

The above blog posts show that to take advantage of a news story your sector doesn’t have to have anything to do with. The most unusual blog post in there is the link between radiology and the Olympics. While the points touched upon could be applied to literally any sector. It’s interesting and unique because no one else had thought to do it.

How to create content which links to a story

The key to creating a really good piece of content which links to a news story is this. To ensure that it has a unique angle or link to the story which no one else has covered yet.

As with all content, it should give the reader some value or information which is of use to them.

While a blog post will be relevant for much longer than an advert. It’s still important to create it and post it while the story is still relevant. This will mean you attract anyone who is interested in the story. Which will gain you more coverage straight away.

As with any content you produce, there’s no point working hard on a blog post if you don’t promote it. As no one will see it. You can promote your content on social media, on your website or in emails. Which you might send out to customers or prospects.

For tips on how to create great SEO friendly content, take a look at our 10 Tips to Help You Create High Quality, SEO Friendly Content blog post.

As we mentioned in our blog post about topical advertising. If you’re using social media or blogging, the chances are you’re already creating topical content to some degree.

Contact Us

If you live in the Burntwood, Lichfield, Cannock or Staffordshire area and require some help or advice with your marketing, why not see what we can do. Take a look at our case studies, and call us on 01543 495752 and book a no obligation meeting with us today.

10 Tips To Help You Create High Quality, SEO Friendly Content.

10 tips to help you create high quality content

10 tips to help you create high quality content

Creating high quality content is vital to keep attracting readers and bringing them back, which in turn will help your SEO efforts.

Last week we wrote a blog post about why high quality content is so important to SEO, this week we’re going to help you create that high quality content by sharing 10 must remember tips with you.

 

 

Attention grabbing title.

Convince people to read your blog post with an intriguing or interesting title which they can’t say no to, such as “How to create a great email marketing campaign”.
Help your blog post rank higher by including keywords in the title

 

Keywords;

Use keywords throughout your blog post and title, the most important ones should be used in your title and opening paragraph.

Don’t over use keywords as it won’t read right and search engines may pick up on it and punish you for ‘keyword stuffing’, which is the art of ramming so many keywords into a sentence it doesn’t make sense.

 

Interesting and relevant;

People are reading your blog post to gain some knowledge or information, something useful that they can take away and apply, so make sure you provide them with that.

Writing content for the sake of putting a blog post out is no good; ensure that you have a great topic which people will want to read about.

 

Call to action;

If you’re trying to encourage people to download your latest ebook or take advantage of your hat sale, just say it! Include a strong call to action and a link to where you want them to go and tell them what you want them to do.

 

Personality and engagement;

No one wants to read a boring blog post, so allow your personality to shine through; make it interesting and engage readers by relating to everyday situations, make a joke or two and get readers thinking.

This will make your post much more interesting to read and might make your information easier to remember.

 

Don’t beat around the bush;

You’re readers are just as busy as you are so be concise; straight to the point and fill your blog post full of helpful and interesting content.

 

Break it up;

If your blog post is going to be lengthy, bullet points and sub headers are your best friends. Break the post up into easy to manage chunks for your readers so they aren’t too overwhelmed by a huge wall of text.

 

Links;

If you’ve written about the same or a similar topic before, include a link back to it. This will benefit your reader and you as search engines will look more favourably upon on a blog post which has links that are relevant.

 

Tags;

Most blogging platforms will allow you to apply tags to your post, which enable it to get found easier. Your tags can be keywords or key phrases you’ve used in your article.

 

Get it checked;

Before your post goes live ask a friend or a co-worker to check it over first to ensure it makes sense and there are no spelling or grammatical errors.

After your blog post has gone live, remember to share it with friends and followers on social media or via email.

 

You can find more useful advice on how to maintain the best SEO in our blogs. Or if you need a helping hand to get you started, or run it for you, we can help. Call us today on 01543 495752 to see what we could do for your SEO.

Why High Quality Content is King of SEO

why high quality content is king of seo

why high quality content is king of seo

There is no magic formula when it comes to SEO but one of the best ways to improve your rankings and attract readers and inbound links is creating high quality content.

It’s important to keep in mind that you are writing for people and not the search engines. Search engines are just the way people will discover your content.

Thankfully for anyone who wants to find anything useful on the internet, search engines are incredibly intelligent. And are aware of what is natural content and what is spam content rammed with keywords and sentences that barely make sense.

 

Why people love great content.

Its common sense really. People love reading helpful and interesting content. So if your content answers a question for them or provides them with useful and usable information, they’ll be willing to share it with their friends or like minded people.

This in turn sends more visitors to your website and could create inbound links.

 

Why search engines love great content.

Search engines love content that’s written for people and not for search engines. They’ll know if you’re writing content solely for them.

For example, if you own a pet grooming salon and write a blog post about the importance of regularly grooming pets. But you try to fit the keyword ‘pet grooming’ into each sentence five times it won’t make sense to a person. Search engines will pick up on this and see that you are ‘keyword stuffing’ and will punish your website’s ranking in search results.

If you sit down and write your blog post without thinking too much about keywords, the chances are you will add all the keywords you wanted to anyway. Then it won’t look unnatural. Any keywords you missed out can then be added in after your original draft.

If your content attracts inbound links search engines will pick up on this and see your blog post as useful. As worth reading and worth sharing which will have a positive effect on SEO.

On a side note, search engines like website’s which are updated regularly. So if your blog is part of your website each time you post a new blog post, search engines will think the website is being updated.

 

Why content is better than link building.

It’s helpful to have your website or blog listed in big directories. Such as Dmoz and Yell as they will help you get found. Getting an inbound link from a guest blog post you wrote or from someone praising your work will also help you out.

If you’re spending hours creating listings on barely used directories on the tenth page of Google’s search results. It’s going to have very little affect, if any at all.

A great piece of content which gets shared a handful of times is better than a link on an unknown directory. Which may never send anyone back to your website.

 

How often should I blog?

HubSpot carried out some research where they found that businesses which blogged 16-20 times a month received over two times more traffic that those who blogged four times or less during the same time period.

While it would be nice to have the time to blog five times a week, it’s not always possible.

Here at The Marketing People we recommend blogging once or twice a week. Then if you have the time and the stories, then blog more.

Having the stories is vital. There’s no point in putting out one really high quality blog post and then four rubbish ones just because you were trying to blog five times during the week.

 

 

Writing copy can be hard at the best of times, so feel free to browse the rest of our blogging category for inspiration on what to write about, and how to write about it.

If you’re struggling for the time or resources to blog but know it’s something you and your business should be doing, get in touch with us to find out how we could manage your blog for you. Call us on 01543 495 752 and have a chat with us about what we can do or email us at contact@themarketingpeople.com.

What is Inbound Marketing? Why and how you should be using it.

What is inbound marketing? Why and how you should be using it

What is inbound marketing? Why and how you should be using it

What is Inbound Marketing….Have you ever become tired of cold calling or maybe wish you could gain leads people contacting you?

What is inbound marketing?

Quite simply, inbound marketing let customers find you.

Outbound marketing is where you reach out to people.

It’s been suggested that people defy outbound marketing methods by simply ignoring them. By using inbound marketing, you’re offering the reader something of interest, especially relevant to something maybe they had specifically searched for.

Why should you be using it?

First of all, inbound marketing relies on people finding you rather than the other way around. So the chances are that anyone who is visiting your website, blog, Facebook or Linked in profile article, already has an interest in what you do or sell.

This is more likely to engage a customer rather than just reaching out to anyone and everyone.

How to use it.

If you’re already carrying out Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), creating content and using social media, you’re already using inbound marketing.

If not, here are a couple of tips to help you out;

SEO; will make it easier for people to find your website. If you haven’t carried out any SEO on your website yet, Google have recently released a video explaining a few basic and essential SEO tips.

You can check whether all your hard work on SEO is paying off by using tools such as SEOmoz which will provide you with information such as your page rank or how well you rank for keywords or key-phrases.

Content creation; Writing blog posts, taking photo’s, creating videos or info-graphics are just a few examples of content creation.

The best ways to encourage people to visit your website is to create something useful and informative. Something that will help answer a question for them, for example, we find that our ‘how to’ blog posts are the most popular.

Social media; When you’ve created your content you can share it by posting a link on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or upload an image to Pinterest. Don’t forget to provide a link back to your website.

An article on emarketer explains that a ‘significant percentage’ of Facebook and Twitter users are reading news or content that they wouldn’t read elsewhere.  This proves how powerful social media is as a marketing tool and provides a fantastic springboard for your inbound marketing. It hands you the key to a gateway, beyond which are thousands of interested customers.

Are there any disadvantages to using it?

No! Like everything else, it will take time and patience. You won’t see overnight success however if you keep committed and keep working hard, eventually it will begin to pay off.

Do you use inbound marketing? If so, have you seen any success and in conclusion how long did it take to start seeing results? has anybody asked you what is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is the ideal route for a lot of companies to provide leads coming to you rather than you chasing them. It does however take a lot of work and effort, so maybe use our inbound blogs to keep you going along the way.

Finally if you live in the Burntwood, Lichfield, Cannock, Staffordshire or the West Midlands area and require some help or advice with your marketing? Why not see what we can do. Take a look at our case studies then call us on 01543 495752 to book a no obligation consultation meeting today.

The Marketing Dogs Landing Page Tips

the marketing dogs landing page tips

the marketing dogs landing page tips

Good afternoon everyone, today I’m creating landing pages. I know that sometimes it can be tricky to know what to include or do, so I’ve put together a list of really important landing page tips.

I’m so kind aren’t I?

 

Design and branding.

As with any web page, you have a matter of seconds to engage someone and get them to stay on the page, so draw people in straight away.

Many businesses find that plain and simple landing pages work really well for them. This means removing as many points for the user to exit as possible, so get rid of anything you don’t need or that might distract them.

As your landing page will look different from your main website, make sure it’s still within your companies branding otherwise you may leave users unsure as to whether they’re still on the same website.

Therefore, make sure you’re using the same colours, fonts, logo’s and tone of voice as your main website.

 

Call to action.

Landing pages are a really important point in the conversion funnel; you really need to make it obvious what you want the user to do.

Make sure the button, link or form really stands out and ensure that the user knows what will happen if they ‘click here’. You don’t want to put users off by being vague and leaving them unsure of what will happen if they follow a link or fill their email address in.

For example, if I land on a landing page about tasty dog treats; tell me to ‘buy now’ and I’ll have the humans opening their wallets straight away, (I’m a dog, I don’t have money) or tell me that if I sign up to your email newsletter you’ll send me dog treat offers monthly.

Where you can, try to include some testimonials from happy customers.

 

Adverts and emails.

So how do you get people to see your landing page?

Advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google will allow you send users to a landing page. You could also direct people to your landing page by including links in emails.

 

Relevant content.

Ensure that the landing page lives up to the promise in the advert; if the advert offers 40% off a product, make sure the landing page also offers 40% off a product.

Hopefully my landing page tips have helped, but if you don’t have the time to create your own landing pages, I hear my humans do a great job, here’s an examples of a landing page they’ve created.

If you like what you see, give them a call on 01543 495 752 to find out how they can help you move people along the conversion funnel.

I’m going to see what’s under the sofa now, have a good day!

 

 

George the French bulldog and Chops the pug are our resident Marketing Dogs. They are full of fun, cuteness and even sometimes some useful pointers too. You can follow their adventures through their blog, or see their latest updates on twitter.