Tag Archives: Marketing blog

Writing a blog

5 Steps to Build a Better Business Blog

Stop making excuses or procrastinating; if you’ve thought about posting regular business blogs or you’d like to sharpen up your skills and increase your posting frequency, the time is NOW!

Why are blogs so important? They:

  • – Improve SEO so you’re easier to find
  • – Give businesses clout to position you as an industry expert
  • – Increase leads
  • – Open lines of communication with customers

Learn how to write a blog for your business with these 5 steps:

Blog Target Audience

Marketing communication is all about your consumer: Who are they, what do they like, what are their goals, hobbies, and interests? Find answers to these questions and formulate customer personas to more effectively connect with your audience.

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This will help you choose topics, guide your writing style and find the best avenues to promote your content. You spend valuable time writing excellent content, so make sure it speaks to the leads you are trying to generate!

How to choose a blog topic

You have identified who you want to speak to, now it’s time to choose something to write about. Keep your business blog conversational and not entirely product- or service-oriented.

Potential clients want a solution to a problem – not to be bombarded with messages about your product or service. Keep your content focused on topics that offer useful information that adds value to the lives of your customers.

A person drawing black business graphics.

 

How to write a blog headline and intro

Content is surely king these days when it comes to a marketing strategy. We live in a Game of Thrones-esque world where there are more kings than you can count, with more and more popping up each day. In order to conquer the content world, you will need an epic headline and an intro that not only grabs attention but keeps the readers wanting more. Using numbers, keywords, and exciting verbiage is key – tell them why they must read this article!

How to organize a business blog

You’ve figured out the who and the what, now it’s time to write, organize, and condense your content so it is easy to read and retain.

Start with research. You’re well versed in the products and services your business offers, but it’s also helpful to research what others are doing and search for industry updates. This allows you to see how you stand out from the competition and helps you find new, unique, and interesting ways you could connect with potential clients or solve their problems.

A person typing on a laptop, the screen shows a WordPress blog.

After research, organize your information for optimal readability. Try breaking up the information into 3 to 5 sub-topics that would be most beneficial to the reader. This helps to keep your blog full of valuable information but organized in a way that the viewer can easily retain.

Remember to keep it short and sweet. Your blog doesn’t need to be a novel with every last feature and benefit, just something to answer potential clients’ questions and get them interested. A good starting point to go by is a maximum of 1,000 words but remember every blog goal is unique so do what works best for you.

Posting and promoting a blog

Once you’re done writing, the fun begins! It’s time to take a break, delete the blog from your brain for a bit (at least a few hours!), and focus on something else. Giving yourself a little time to refocus will allow you to have fresh eyes and reassess what you have written, reorganize, and edit better.

It is paramount that your content flows well and doesn’t contain grammar and spelling errors, which can reduce the blog’s credibility. Always allow an outside set of eyes with grammar and spelling strengths to take a second look and make necessary proofreading corrections.

Two people sharing an Apple laptop.

After that, you are ready to post and promote. Writing your blog is only half of the equation; in order for potential clients to see and benefit from your content, it is vital that you choose where the best place to reach your target demographic is, both online and through your active social media platforms.

We get it – building and writing a business blog can seem like an extremely daunting task when you aren’t one of the few who loves to write, but not having a blog can be a business marketing killer in this modern research- and consumer-driven market.

Let us check this task off your to-do list with our team of professional content creators, who love to write engaging and shareworthy content. Meet the team today by getting hold of us at 701.757.2000.

SEO tips for your website

5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve your SEO

It’s essential. It’s complex. It can be overwhelming. A search engine optimization (SEO) strategy has a lot of moving parts, but the most important thing is to just get started.

Here are 5 things you can do right now on your website to improve your SEO.

 

Computer showing a loading bar

Speed It Up

Upload times are a big factor. When your website loads slowly, you miss out on conversions. Even having a one- or two-second delay can cost you a chunk of page views.

Remove or optimize large file size items to boost up your load time, and get your developer in the boat with some more in-depth changes.

 

Structure your URLs 

Give your URLs titles specific to the content on the page. Having a random series of characters does nothing for your SEO, isn’t memorable and looks less clean.

Rather than default to “www.yourwebsite.com/p=1&,” put yourself in an SEO state of mind and opt for something like “www.website.com/SEOtips”.

 

Image Name Game 

Make your photo titles, descriptions and alt tags reflect what content is presented on the page to help boost your results. Renaming the file name itself with keywords from your page will help here, too.

 

 

Create Great Content 

All of your SEO efforts are wasted if you don’t start and end with great content. Writing relevant, rich content that resonates with your audience is one of the most important pieces of SEO.

 

Update Often

Your website should be updated frequently to improve your results. It’s not a “set it and forget it” type of marketing tool. Sites like Wikipedia are always ranked so high because they are constantly updating their material. Take a page from their book and keep your content fresh with regular updates.

 

 

Although these 5 tips only begin to scratch the surface, they are things you can do now to get started on improving your SEO. SEO is a long-term commitment – be patient and persistent, and you will see results.

Ready to dive in deeper? There are resources available to you that offer a more in-depth look at your website, so you can discover SEO opportunities and implement them. Learn how our team of experts at Stray Media Group can help.

 

Marketing Strategies – Essentials from the Experts

The many facets of marketing can be daunting. What does your business’s marketing strategy actually need? How much should you be spending on a marketing? How do you get potential customers to connect with your brand?

The answer is there is no ‘one size fits all’ method when it comes to marketing. Your business is as unique as your fingerprint and should be treated as such.

While there is no single method, there are components of marketing that every business needs to think about. Our team has put together their marketing genius to help get your gears turning.

“Having a clear vision of your brand and maintaining that in all of your creative and social content. Your brand identity is the best tool in your sale’s kit. It is what drives customers to want to interact with you. Until that first person-to-person interaction occurs your only goal should be to sell who you are and not necessarily your product or service.”

Tim, Account Manager

“I think the most important part of marketing is adding value to people’s lives. Instead of thinking about how you can sell something, think of how you can impact their lives in a positive way.”

Mariah, Account Coordinator

“Being on target with your message and delivering it clearly. Too many commercials and advertisements make me say, “What the…?” because I have no idea what message they’re trying to get across to me. It’s one thing to be clever but being unclear is another.”

Heather, COO

“Figure out who you want to market to. Once you know your target audience, you can create messages that will resonate deeper with people. Connecting on a more personal level will help to improve communication and build customer loyalty.”

Alexa, Graphic Designer

“Know what the goal of your message is. Are you trying to evoke an emotion from viewers? Inform people of something? Have a clear vision of what your overall goal is so your marketing is continuously working to achieve it.”

Keely, Graphic & Web Designer

“Having your own unique voice and brand persona. The style you write content in, how you interact with followers on social media, the look and feel of your creative material – all these elements give your audience a glimpse into who you are as a business. Use these opportunities to tell your story and connect people not only to your products and services, but your overall brand.”

Jen, Content Creator

The boss of the apple sauce has two must-haves to share:

“First is simplicity. Whether it’s a big billboard or a business card, if your material is too busy or complicated to grasp right away, the chance to connect with your audience will be lost.

Second, and perhaps the most important of all is brand standards and consistency. Too many businesses have an “it’s good enough” attitude which stunts their growth. Consistently holding your marketing to the highest level of standards across all of your marketing mediums and your brand will not only be elevated in appearance, but more trusted by the people you are trying to communicate with.”

Dave, Creative Director

 

Incorporate these essentials into your marketing plan for a well-rounded strategy that gets results. Still not quite sure where to begin? Our team of marketing gurus has your back – give us a call to chat about how we can help build the strategy that fits your business best.

 

Outbound vs. Inbound Marketing: What You Need to Know

 

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In today’s marketing world, two terms get tossed around very frequently… 

 

Outbound Marketing and Inbound Marketing.

 

What do they mean and what is the difference between the two? To start off, let’s think of outbound and inbound as the technical term for traditional and modern marketing tactics. Outbound and inbound marketing are both important, however, the difference between the two is how your brand’s message is often received.

 

Outbound marketing is marketer-driven, meaning it is often given to or “at” the consumer. Outbound marketing has developed a reputation to be product-based with a simple one-way interaction. The marketer is seeking the customer out instead of vice-versa.

 

We could also describe it as 1:Many, meaning one marketer to many customers, each given the same message.

 

Inbound marketing is a little different. Inbound marketing is consumer-driven; it’s timely, content-heavy, and often creates a two-way interaction between marketer and customer. It is, ultimately, the act of drawing customers to you.

 

Let’s look at inbound as 1:1, meaning one marketer to one customer, customizing the experience to cater to specific customers and their needs.

 

Is one better than the other? Not really. In fact, a mixture of the two can very well be the perfect way for your brand to attract new customers, while still keeping your current customer base.  By implementing both outbound and inbound, you can learn which tactics are effective and which are not. Remember, each brand is different; each has a different target market with different demographics to cater to. What works well for one brand might not be the best for another. 

 

Let’s look at which popular marketing avenues are considered outbound, and which are considered inbound.

 

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To learn more about the outbound and inbound marketing services SMG provides, visit our website!

 

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10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Facebook

 

Hi, again! We hope you enjoyed our first Powered By Creativity blog post: 5 Reasons Why We Love Marketing– and that you’ll continue to enjoy our blog! 

 

10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Facebook – In honor of Facebook’s 10th Birthday.

 

Happy Birthday, Facebook! The social network reached their 10th birthday on February 4th – celebrating a decade of being the glue that keeps us all together.  Whether you ‘like’ or dislike the social network, it’s impossible to deny that is has changed our lives – and our jobs!

 

Facebook for businesses has seen great strides in the last couple of years and we can’t wait to see it advance further. So, in honor of Facebook’s birthday month, we’ll share with you 10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Facebook (in no particular order):

 

Birthday-candle  New Customers – With over 1 billion users, you’ll reach an audience you didn’t even know existed (or who didn’t know you existed!).

 

Birthday-candle Business Connections – You can connect with other local or industry-related businesses by liking, sharing and mentioning their company’s content in relation to yours.

 

Birthday-candle Personal Interaction – Since the network is in real-time, you are able to reply to customers instantaneously and establish a personal connection with them. (Great for responding to customer reviews & complaints!)

 

Birthday-candle Analytics – Facebook gives you a detailed play-by-play of how your business page is performing daily. From reach and likes to # of visits and types of visitors- you’ll be able to see areas for improvement at no cost!

 

Birthday-candle Engagement Opportunities – You can create contests, sweepstakes and more while building your fan base. This allows you to reach out to your customers and have them establish an interaction with you!

 

Birthday-candle Photo Albums – Your business can upload as many company images as it would like. This gives fans an inside look at your company and introduces them to a playful side they otherwise wouldn’t have seen.

 

Birthday-candle  Drives Traffic – You can use your Facebook page to drive traffic to your webpage and other links. This is great for introducing new customers to promotions, company updates, etc.

 

Birthday-candle Experiments – Because Facebook is inexpensive to operate; it lends itself well for experimenting with promotions, contests and the like. If something doesn’t attract attention – no great cost is lost.

 

Birthday-candle More Visibility – The more time your business puts into Facebook – the more recognition it will receive. This will help when potential customers search for your business online (Search Engine Optimization!).

 

Birthday-candle Brand Recognition – A Facebook page (or any social network, for that matter) will only help build brand recognition. Facebook assists in sculpting your reputation by showing your company’s values in a new light.

 

Here’s to you Facebook, happy 10 years and many more to come!

 

Are you interested in starting a Facebook page for your business? Need help? Don’t be shy – let us know!