seattle content marketing company

10 Ways to Take Your Internet Marketing Content to the Head of the Class

It’s like your teachers always told you –  if pay attention in school, you’ll carry what you learn with you through the rest of your life. So with a nod to the great teachers at Marysville Pilchuck High School (Go Tomahawks!), I decided that this was the right time of year to replay some lessons you first heard in school and can now use to master the art of internet content for your website, blog and social media pages. Because, just like back in those hallowed halls, a lot of it is about building friendships, muddling through oodles of data and trying to keep from failing. Oh – – – and being popular.

1. Show Up

It’s way more than half the battle. Show up and keep showing up. Keep your content fresh and timely. If you are absent too often or don’t show your readers that you’re here for the long hall, they will lose interest in you – and in your product – swiftly.

2. Make good relationships

Build those contacts, develop a strong networking base. Why?  Because the relationships we have with the customers we serve, with the communities we live in, and even with our frenemies/competitors are the building blocks that help us reach our goals.

3. Don’t fear to fail

It’s going to happen. It just is. You may create some content and post it on your website,or put your company out on a social media site, and get feedback that is far from what you wanted. So deal. You WILL learn from it. Think X-ray, nylon, penicillin, popsicle, velcro and Silly Putty. All “mistakes”.

4. Be honest

Don’t hedge the truth, pile on the you-know-what or try to muddy the facts. Your customers and prospects will respect you for being honest. And anyway – anything and everything can be found out today. No hiding of the truth is really possible. Remember when the CEO of a major oil company that had just had a major spill pretended he never saw the memo telling him that a certain oil tanker needed major repairs?

5. Don’t be afraid to be a nerd

Flaunt it. Revel in it. Pontificate. We all love Bill Nye. You know every single whosit detail about your product better than anyone else does. And buyers want to be dazzled by details. BUT – don’t fall into the trap of focusing only on the nerdy bits of your offering.

6. Celebrate Your Unique Style

Make sure your message shows how really unique your offering – and you – are. Dress up your content to show the real you. You can even (metaphorically) mix plaids and stripes if you want. Look what it’s done for  Ivanarevic. (What? I’m up on fashion…sort of)

7. Tell stories & jokes & poke fun at yourself

Show that you are human and that you deal with the same things everyday that everyone else does. If people relate and respond  to you as an individual – even if it’s online – they will absolutely relate your product. And they will keep coming back. They’ll come back  just to hear about the really weird things that are happening in your life/your company’s ‘life’  and how you are applying those happenings to your product.

8. Don’t skip art class

Adding visuals to your content is very, very important. Whether it’s videos, photos or infographics you absolutely need to pull in your viewers visually.  Your words by themselves will not grab and hold the attention of your customers and prospects.  Make your visuals reflect who you are. Try to avoid stock photography. Illustrations are great as they are easily tailored to look like you and your business and no one else, which makes them more compelling from the get go. If it makes sense, try to get visuals of your customers using your product or service.

9. Pay attention to what’s going on

Keep your eyes open and ‘watch the store’. If you don’t look around you, literally and digitally, you may miss something really important. Like what the market says about your industry or what your competitor just started selling. And – most importantly – what your customers are flocking to when it comes to product, price and performance.

10. Be respectful

Don’t ever, ever make fun of anyone or anything – except yourself – in your content. Not a competitor, a political issue, a religion –  nothing. People will generally not buy from what my grandpa used to call a “wiseacre”. ( Merriam Webster: “a person who says or does things that are funny but also annoying”) There’s a farm stand not too far from my house. The produce looks good, but I seldom buy anything from there because the owner is JUST PLAIN RUDE.

And finally – for extra credit –  Don’t forget to get the best “teacher”. Hire the right professional partner to make your content come alive. We strongly recommend Steelsmith Group (us). If you need internet marketing, A+ content management,  impressive blogs, great SEO, winning email marketing campaigns, superb local SEO, and amazing website design,we can get it done for you. So whether you are our neighbors here in San Diego, or you live somewhere else, give us a call. Let us get you high marks for your online marketing and gold stars from you customers and prospects.

Sources:

http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2014/04/visual-content-engage-audience-tips-examples/

http://www.evegelman.com/marketing/5-content-marketing-musts-for-small-business/#sthash.HVUUUUr0.dpuf

3 Company Facebook Pages You Should Mimic

Demographically, Facebook offers the most diverse choice of people to market towards.  Most people in the world of business understand the potential of Facebook; however, most do not know how to completely harness Facebook’s potential for their business’ revenue and brand awareness.  After analyzing 100’s of company pages on Facebook, we have found 3 stand out pages that “get it right.”

#1 – Mabel’s Labels

Mabel's_LabelsMabel’s Labels business’ concept revolves around solving one main problem: Kids losing stuff. As a business founded by mothers to serve mothers – the main theme of the whole business is to use sticky, waterproof labels that personalize all of the child’s belongings.   Located in Ontario, Canada – this business is very passionate about what they do and creates labels for many different kinds of belongings including notebooks, pens/pencils, and other academic utensils. More than their actual page look is the way they approach social media strategy,  the company has created a very personable campaign strategy that offers extremely attractive, useful, participation asking content that tends to suck mom’s in.

Here are some of the great social media habits that this company exhibits on their Facebook page:

  • Diverse Content Choices- Mable’s Labels posts shareable content that’s not necessarily related to self-promotion.

  • Posting Frequency – They post approximately 1-2 times a day, and only 1 of those posts are going to be self-promoting advertisements.

Overall, they post high quality content on a consistent basis – two ingredients to a massively successful social media campaign.

 #2- Burt’s Bees

burt's_beesIf one were to guess what  Burt’s Bees does by looking briefly at their Facebook page, they’d instantly know what the company is about.  It’s obvious, they create natural beauty products.  Additionally, they are a company that has received millions of likes.  Sure, many of these likes are from people that have already used the brand before Facebook’s existence, however, we can still learn a lot from Burt’s Bees current strategy!

  • Unique Value Proposition – Their unique value proposition is right there in plain site: “Nature Reinvents the Crayon.”  Instantly, the user knows the purpose of the company and therefore is more inclined to keep browsing throughout the website.

  • Full Timeline – This is something that many companies simply overlook, they feature a full timeline actually has pictures dating back to its inception!  It’s a pretty wonderful idea to create a sense of loyalty and stability in the mind’s of your audience.

  • Like for Coupon Updates – A like in exchange for a coupon is an easy choice for a consumer to make. Furthermore, when a person likes a company or brand, there’s a good chance that others will notice and may even be interested in looking at the company.

In reference to social media strategy, Burt’s Bees also maintains one of the core principles of any successful social media marketing campaign – consistency!  They post nearly every single day at the same exact time!

 #3- Pool Supply World

poolsupplyworldLocated in the sunny desert of Phoenix, Arizona – Pool Supply World knows how to target and maintain their demographic.  Founded in 2006, this company has used social media strategy to bolster their revenue significantly over the span of years.  Here are some things this Facebook page does right:

  • Coupon! –  Right away, it’s obvious that they want to serve their customers by highlighting the Coupon option.  All you have to do is like their Facebook page and they’ll offer you a substantial discount on their products.  They truly understand the value of word of mouth marketing!

  • Poolaga The Game – If a viewer clicks on their “more” section – they will notice that the business has an interactive game!  This is a very innovative way to allow people to interact with your brand.  Furthermore, if that person gets a high score with the game they will be about to post about it on their Facebook timeline – this brings your company more brand awareness.

In conclusion, these are three businesses that every single business should model their Facebook page after.  If you apply all the tactics discussed on this post, you should see a tremendous amount of success!

social media digital marketing seattle san diego

Snapchat Grabs the Biggest Cluster of College Users

Making Facebook Look Like Old School

A new study conducted by the marketing firm Sumpto, who specialize in connecting brands with college students, says the photo messaging social media app Snapchat has snagged a huge chunk of the college market – 70% of college students “ use the app one or more times a day”. They’ve done this in spite of the fact that Facebook has introduced its own form of the offering (Slingshot), albeit with a lukewarm reception.   Only 2% of this same audience says they have downloaded Slingshot. Snapchat touted in May of this year that its users were dispatching 700 million photos and videos daily and that Snapchat Stories were being read 500 million times a day. The app firm turned down two multi-billion dollar buyout offers – one from Facebook, one from Google.

(Let’s also put this out there in the “Huh. That’s interesting…” bucket – Snapchat was started on a college campus by two savvy students. A third student was also involved and has sued the other two for stealing what he sees as mainly his idea. Sound familiar?)

So why is Snapchat the newest BMOC (look it up)? The study and other reports point to a few reasons for the app’s popularity. User’s think:

  • Snapchat offers a more security (because the media you send disappears after a very short time from both the user’s device and Snapchat’s servers, but we all know this could be false sense of security…)

  • Snapchat functionality lowers the risk of an automated mass-sharing

  • Snapchat  is more spontaneous. (the main use for Snapchat seems to be for posting funny/silly stuff.  Slightly over 59% said that’s what they use it for.)

  • Snapchat  is foot-print free (digitally speaking)

Outside of this sort of thought-provoking info about a battle between a David and a Goliath app, what does this mean in the business world?  Here’s the thing. Snapchat seems to be gearing up for something big – investment-wise. They just agreed to sell a bunch of shares of itself. And Snapchat is playing with new features  directed at brands and events. So what? Because, even if the reality is that Facebook is still the number one social media engine and isn’t going anywhere, if your demographic target is college students, you better sit up straight and pay attention to this app.

At Steelsmith Group we pay attention – to website design, CRM implementation, SEO, digital marketing, local SEO, video marketing, social media marketing, email marketing and content management. We do this for our clients to provide them with the best of the best marketing. We do this if they are here in our beloved San Diego or across the nation.  Give us a chance to earn an A+ from you. Reach out to us today.

Sources:

http://bgr.com/2014/06/24/facebook-vs-snapchat-daily-usage/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2014/08/08/snapchat-authorizes-mystery-share-sale/

http://mashable.com/2014/08/08/study-snapchat-college/

website marketing design san diego seattle

Does Enchantment Pour out of Your Website’s Door?

Pulling customers to the street where your business lives?

You own a small to medium business and have a similarly-sized website.  How do you get that website to grab your visitors’ interest, trust and dollars?

To get yourself thinking about how to answer that question, start by remembering the last time you were walking down the street – maybe a street in San Diego – and something (G-rated) grabbed your attention and held it. I mean anything (again – G-rated…).

Was it large and bright? Small, but compelling? Did it pull at your emotions or have a forceful message ? Did it have some great imagery and color? Chances are it had all of these things to a certain degree. It probably presented you with a sundry of stimuli. If it grabbed you, it was telling you a story somehow, asking you to respond in some way – consciously or unconsciously.

It made you stop and take note. It was converting you into believing in it – even if it was only for a moment or two. Just long enough for you to take some action or another. Laugh,cry, dream, shout, cheer – or buy.

Websites aren’t much different. Visitors demand to feel this same – almost visceral – pull from the websites they visit. And they demand that these websites have ‘legs’ – pointing them somewhere else or taking them down several different paths – while always telling them that one, believable story.That puts a pretty heavy burden on companies – especially small companies –  who want their website to simply post and preform.

Let us help. Here are a few pretty easy ways to give your website some legs so people linger, explore and become buyers.

1. Keep your information fresh and add the new stuff as soon as it’s ready. And use the words that make the most sense to your visitors.  Words that mean something to them. Get that SEO pumping!

2.  Tell your story using more than one “narrator” – graphics, videos, whitepapers, case studies, testimonials.

3. Ask your customers what they want to see. Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions on your site. People like to respond to questions that are phrased right –  or that might help them solve a problem or meet a need they have. And that’s called a conversion.

4. Use social media to showcase your story in a different way – to push and pull the information across a wider spectrum of viewers and then lead those viewers back to your website.

5. Jump on the blogging train. Your website needs a blog. It just does. Blogs give your site personality and pith, gist, essence. (You’ll also get a chance to peruse a thesaurus.)

6. Get local. Local SEO is the bee’s knees.

Use your website to talk to the people who live near your business’ front door. Talk about things that matter most to them. And talk about what you sell that they can get right down the street from where they live.

Get involved in community events and post the particulars on your website. Start or sponsor local contests. It’s really not that much different than it was years ago. The big difference is that now you can go grassroots and have those roots reach globally.

7. Get – and stay – mobile. This is something many small to medium businesses do not do. Which is unfortunate because it’s that sized business that is the most likely to get new customers from going mobile. Think about it. Folks are walking down the street – again – and they decide that they are hungry, or remember that they need to buy their aunt a birthday present, or that they need new earphones, or…or… a million other things. So where are they most likely to go to find what they need? To their smartphone, or tablet, or android wear. And then to someplace that same device tells them is nearby.

Give these ideas a try. They may just get your customers humming, “…there’s no place on this earth that I would rather be…” as they walk through your website – or your store’s door.

A final thought – If you need digital marketing, great SEO, stellar email marketing campaigns, super local SEO, awesome website design, cool content management and bangup blogs, at Steelsmith Group we do all of those things – really, really well. So whether you are our neighbors here in San Diego, or you live somewhere else, give us a call. Let us plop some personality and some great stories onto your website. We’ll get you those conversions you want (translate:customers). We promise.

SOURCES:

http://searchengineland.com/7-conversion-rate-truths-will-change-landing-page-optimization-strategy-191083?utm_content=buffer6ee2b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=plus.google.com&utm_campaign=buffer

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/07/29/20-sticky-features-your-website-needs-to-convert-visitors/