Category Archives: Search Engine Marketing

Creating Fresh Content – Tips and Tricks for Superior Results

Content marketing plays a huge role in business strategies across all industries. From providing customers with the information they want to growing your presence on the web, content is the king that rules the online world. In a world that is filled with countless other businesses trying to accomplish the same goals, how do you stand out?

This post aims to help provide you with the resources, ideas and motivation to tackle the beast that is content marketing creation, to give you the boost needed to keep that killer content coming time after time.

Keep it Fresh

Keeping your content fresh and consistent is essential when it comes to your content marketing strategy. As writers, we all experience similar obstacles when it comes to this vital component of writing valuable content. Writer’s block and lack of inspiration can wreak havoc on writing a piece of content as great as you know it should be. No one process is perfect, and oftentimes writers find changing up their routine can give them the inspiration they need to continually create the best content possible.

Feel All Those Feels 

Sometimes the act of sitting down and staring at a blank page is daunting enough to make your brain freeze. And not the good kind of brain freeze caused by a delicious scoop of sea salt caramel gelato; the kind that paralyzes you in front of your computer screen to the point of epic frustration.

SMG-Blog-Image1

We’ve all been there, and I’m here to tell you that although it can make you feel helpless, the best thing to do is feel all those feels and accept them entirely so you can move past them; even take a few minutes to write down your discontent to get it out of your system. This, coupled with taking comfort in knowing there are tons of different tweaks you can make to your process, can work wonders to get the creative juices flowing again.

Your environment continually dictates your feelings and emotions, so it makes sense that changing it up can work wonders to improve your level of inspiration: Take a break and go for a long walk in the sun. Read a great piece of writing. Bring your laptop outside and rest up against a tree stump for a writing session. Dance around your office for five minutes to your favorite song.

Making small changes to your process can give you the creativity and confidence jump-start to think more openly or from a different, fresh perspective that will lead to better content writing.

Stay Grounded in Logistics

Knowing the reasoning behind content marketing, how and why it works, and the purpose behind your efforts with each piece you produce is another key to creating valuable content.

Having a solid understanding of who you are targeting with your content is a great start and perhaps the most vital. Identify these individuals or groups and do your research on what makes them tick so you can grab their attention and deliver what you know they’ll be interested to learn more about. Your readers will love you for it, and this will position you in their minds as a reputable source that provides valuable content, eventually converting prospects into customers.

SMG-Blog-Image2

As a writer of the web, it is important to have at least a basic understanding of how content affects your search engine optimization (SEO). Knowing this helps you make decisions you know will work towards getting you the beneficial results that you desire for your business’s efforts, not to mention further position you as an expert on the subject.

Another key point to build upon knowing your SEO is to understand how searches work. Having a thorough grasp of how the most-used engines operate to deliver consumers the content they crave will give you insight into what your content marketing needs to include to keep your rankings where you want them. Check out this nifty article Google put together to help you understand just that in a fun, interactive way.

SMG-Blog-Image4

Nailing these aspects of writing moving forward will help your efforts produce the results you want, while also providing your readers with the valuable content they desire to help you give them the best possible user experience. We all know this to be the focus of 2016, because you’ve definitely read our part 1 and part 2 posts on it already.

Share to Build

The basis of content writing is to create and share content that your audience finds valuable and compelling, ultimately working towards converting prospects into customers. Once you nail down your compelling writing, you’ll find more people will subscribe to your content and share it with others because they know it will be useful. With consistent writing, especially quality but also quantity, you’ll gradually begin to see a loyal audience build. This doesn’t happen overnight and is a long-term strategy, but one that will be more than worth it for the future of your business.

SMG-Blog-Image3

Not sure where to start? Have more questions than answers about what you want your content marketing strategy to accomplish? Take a breath; we’re here to help. Drop us a note to learn more about how our team can help your business create a strategy tailored to your needs and to help grow your business.

As The Marketing World Turns

When it comes to marketing, staying in your comfort zone is no longer an option. Some things have stayed the same from the bygone era of Mad Men-esque marketing, such as standout and consistent branding, impeccable creative concepts, and truly understanding who your target customer is and what makes them sit up and take notice. However, what works in modern marketing is light-years away from that golden age before worldwide exposure was available at the click of a button. As the marketing world revolutionizes, innovative and interactive technology takes the lead in the way we communicate with others and encompass what is known as emerging media.

SMG-Blog-Divider1

Picture this: You’re away from home and want to pass the time by browsing the internet. But you land on a website that isn’t mobile-friendly, making it almost impossible to navigate on a smaller device. This can be frustrating, and maybe you’ll leave the website and find a new one that is more user-friendly. If your business’s website isn’t responsive already, you might be losing customers this way again and again. Having a responsive website is not only imperative to capture over 50% of web users who are using their mobile device to use the internet, it also affects your search results on Google, a vital aspect of recruiting potential new clients to your website. The number of people who use their mobile device to use the internet is still rising, and if you haven’t adjusted your sails to capture them, you might sink.

SMG-Blog-Divider2

YouTube isn’t just for cat videos and makeup tutorials; if you haven’t experienced the power of video marketing, you’re missing out. Video marketing is the latest and greatest form of marketing communication. From Facebook adding autoplay on videos in your newsfeed to giving customers a clear overview of your product in a quick, concise format, or changing your content blog format to a vlog (video blog) in order to increase engagement from different audiences, video marketing is at the top of the ‘what’s hot’ list in media these days. With 78% of people watching videos online every week and 64% of all consumer internet traffic coming from online video, this is a must-do to stay at the top of your marketing game.

SMG-Blog-Divider3

Besides having a solid, responsive website, having an app can be one of the most helpful tools for your business to divide and conquer the digital world of emerging media. From increased customer engagement to transactions, a well-designed app that focuses on user experience can be a vital tool for your business. In 2015, people spent twice as much time as 2014 on their smartphones and tablets, and Americans use apps more than PCs to access the internet. To take advantage of this mobile wildfire, you must focus on obtaining a loyal user base. First impressions are everything when it comes to emerging media, and you can increase customer loyalty and reduce support costs by starting with a well-designed app off the bat. If an app is chock-full of errors or non-intuitive, or doesn’t provide consumers with what they want, this will reduce customer loyalty and increase support costs to fix the complicated inner workings of poor design.

SMG-Blog-Divider4

Social media has been on top of the marketing mix for over 10 years, but more types of social media and constant updates to make existing platforms more user-friendly help this medium keep its spot on emerging media lists. With almost 65% of American adults using social networking, this has entered most people’s lives and the way they communicate and learn about the world. Although different generations tend to use social media differently, marketing on these platforms reaches a universal audience of ages, including 35% of adults 65 and older! You must choose your social platforms wisely to really reach your target audience in the sometimes overwhelming and definitely fast-changing social world. For instance, younger generations tend to favor the visuals and semi-privacy afforded by Instagram and Snapchat, a change from the openness and crowds found on Facebook and Twitter. If you are trying to reach an older, professional audience with your content and marketing, LinkedIn might be your best bet. No matter which platform is more appealing for your target demographic, the one thing your business cannot afford is to have an underwhelming social media presence or none at all.

As time marches on, emerging media marketing keeps going with no end in sight. Let us keep track of the latest and greatest ways to communicate and make your business a target market magnet. Contact us today at 701.757.2000.

Marketing Matchup: Innovative vs. Traditional

“Out with the old, in with the new” is the old saying, but is this really the best policy to have when it comes to your marketing plan? In this edition of Powered by Creativity we dig into the new business turf war – innovative vs. traditional marketing.

SMG-Blog-Divider1

When you think of traditional marketing, you may think of the three pillars of classic advertising: radio ads, TV commercials, and print ads. However, it covers so many more products than you think. Business cards to billboards are all forms of traditional marketing that businesses have used for decades to brand their company to the masses. But that’s just it; this type of media relies heavily on a one-to-many paradigm, a one-way communication that serves to sell rather than to engage. The problem is that, with so many similar brand messages out there, and some that are less than honest about their product’s results, consumers rarely trust any brand messages. Every brand promises to be better than the rest, but not all live up to that claim. Because consumers cannot engage with this type of marketing, brands sometimes lack feedback to make their product better and more appealing to a target demographic – they don’t know what their market wants, so they can’t give it to them. This isn’t to say that this type of marketing is not valuable to companies; branding is essential to keep top-of-mind awareness. It all comes down to the customer’s take and experience. Period.

SMG-Blog-List1

SMG-Blog-Divider2

Sometimes referred to as digital or content marketing, this piece of the marketing puzzle encompasses social media, responsive web design, mobile apps, blogs, videos, and all manner of new media methods. Innovative marketing creates engagement and conversation with its audience, it is marketing geared toward you and what you like. This type of marketing de-commercializes brand messages and creates a conversation with the customer instead. Innovative marketing done right promotes the be-all and end-all of marketing: the coveted word of mouth. It is important to note that innovative marketing is not just another form of traditional marketing. If you are creating social media posts or other types of innovative marketing involving traditional media lingo, you are doing it wrong. Innovative marketing is meant to captivate, engage, and create conversation. It requires active involvement and real-time creation. This type of marketing strives above all else to be authentic and not rehearsed. It builds up your brand with messaging that your viewers want to research and read. This type of marketing is also very fast-paced, and tends to change with digital trends very quickly. What works today may not work tomorrow, and half the battle can be just keeping up.

SMG-Blog-List2

Any good marketing plan is multi-faceted and at the end of the day, traditional and innovative marketing offer different ways to grow your business. While traditional and innovative marketing complement each other in the grand scheme of a well-rounded plan, you can have a purely innovation marketing plan; what you cannot risk in this day and age in is having a completely traditional marketing plan. Digital is here to stay, so get on board and get more active today with our help!

2016: The Year of the User Experience – Part 2

With 2016 well underway, in this post we continue to build on ‘The Year of the User Experience’ predictions for what lies ahead this year in the marketing world. Many of the elements featured in our Part 1 post focus specifically on graphic design and how vital it is to make sure the experience your design efforts create is extremely user-friendly and intuitive. Here, we continue that theme with a slight shift to focus more on how to best present the content within those design elements and marketing materials. Without further ado, let’s see what trends in content we can expect to see becoming more prevalent in the coming months.

SMG-Blog-Divider1

Modular design allows you to present content in an interesting way that aims to keep users engaged. Because we have busier lifestyles than ever before, as users our attention spans continue to get shorter and material needs to be extremely intriguing to hold our interest. Layouts that feature hard-to-anticipate designs keep one’s eye moving from one thing to the next, offering the fun experience that is preferred by our busy minds. This style of breaking up content is comparable to the shorter paragraph layouts of most blog posts you’re seeing these days, but with the flair of visually interesting design elements to make it pop. For a deeper understanding of modular design and resources to help you get started with this cool trend, check out this article.

SMG-Blog-Modular

SMG-Blog-Divider2

Did you know that 100 million people watch at least one video per day? Or that website visitors are 64% more likely to make a product purchase after watching a video? As humans, we process visuals 60,000 times faster than the written word. These are extremely powerful statistics that you’d be wise to use as fuel in your marketing efforts. Telling a story through visuals, especially video, is becoming more and more essential when it comes to sharing your brand with the world. Learn more about the video production services we offer and how we can help you grow your brand.

In addition to video, other visual essentials to include in your marketing strategy are good photography and infographics. These handy and appealing graphics are a fabulous way to organize and distribute information or stories using the power of visuals. Not only do they make data look pretty, but they are also 3x more likely to be shared by viewers than any other type of content. If increasing traffic is one of your top goals for 2016, infographics would be a good area to prioritize.

SMG-Blog-Infographic

SMG-Blog-Divider3

Truly great design cannot be complete without the key element: typography. A language in itself, typography has the ability to give the written word a voice, ignite emotion and even make the reader believe a statement to be true. This coming year we expect to see some blasts from the past such as retro, serif and handwritten fonts. Check out this great infographic from Design Taxi with some need-to-know trends. Plus, with all the great resources available for finding fonts of all shapes and sizes these days, you’ll never have a shortage of options; in fact, you could most likely spend the rest of 2016 looking at every one out there – you’ve been warned.

Want more information on how to apply these anticipated trends to your own marketing efforts? As always, we’d love to meet with you and discuss how these elements can be incorporated into your marketing plan to help grow your business. Contact us today to learn more.