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In order to stand out in a cutthroat world with endless competition, you must be able to help your company stand out among the crowd. It is important to know that simply putting up a website, adding your company to online directories and gaining a social media presence alone are not going to give your brand the prestige it deserves. If your company’s website or social media pages do not have anything that can keep your visitors engaged and interested, then you should not expect your company to stand out; this is where content marketing steps in. There are many types of content marketing that you can focus on to grab the attention of your audience; content marketing can create brand awareness and establish yourself as an authority in your field. Let’s go over some different types of content marketing that you should try for your business; it is important to note that some of these content types may require you to step outside of your comfort zone (you cannot be successful in business otherwise). It is also important to note that search engine optimization (SEO) is an extremely important factor in helping your content get found; SEO should never be taken out of the equation, especially when it involves content marketing.
Blogging has several benefits that you should be aware of. First, websites that publish fresh content on a regular basis rank better on Google and other search engines more than websites that rarely publish anything (which is just as bad as not publishing any content at all). Second, blog posts can be extremely versatile as you can embed different types of media within them; you can incorporate graphics, photos, videos, PowerPoint slideshows and PDF files among a slew of different things. Third, blogging allows your audience to see that your company has the credentials and expertise to do the job. Blogs are a great way to address your client’s biggest problems or discuss important information that they need to know about. For example, if you run a lawn care business then you can write a blog post recommending certain types of fertilizers to aid your clients in keeping a healthy lawn. Or if you own a kitchen supply company, you can write a post on how to keep your steak knives clean. Blog posts should be educational and aid your clients on how they should use your products or maintain the services you provide to them. Always remember that the higher the word count per blog post, the better chances it will rank on search engines. Also remember to include at least one photo; blog posts that have one photo using ALT tags rank better than posts that do not include any photos whatsoever; additionally, photos should be relevant, aid in the information being provided and create balance between text and pictures (some people do not like looking at an endless wall of words). Keywords should be placed in H2 heading tags and have a density of at least 1.5%; overusing your focus keyword constitutes keyword stuffing which can actually blacklist (ban) your page from Google and other search engines.
If you are not the type of person who likes to write or type, then podcasting is for you. Now, you may be thinking that you need to have fancy radio station equipment in your home or office to make podcasts; that is a huge lie! There are several free tools to assist you with this, such as the free Anchor app or Apple’s Podcast Connect service; if you want to get more advanced, a free version of Avid’s ProTools is available (the paid version is used in the radio and music industry) and is quite powerful for free software. Podcasts are like your own personal radio shows and you can discuss topics that you know that your audience is interested in. For example, marketing expert Neil Patel does a podcast show where he discusses different marketing trends and how business owners should use them. When producing a podcast, consider asking another expert in your field to join you in your discussions; having additional influencers only makes your brand look more authentic and establishes you as an authority even more. We recommend embedding your podcasts into your website in a blog post, with all SEO factors taken into account (headings, ALT tags, keywords, etc.); this will help them get found easier and increase their exposure.
If you feel that you have a lot of information that you want to share, but do not want to go overboard with a long podcast or a lengthy blog post, consider writing an eBook divided into chapters. You can use an eBook to cover a great detail of information on almost any topic; for example, it is common to see eBooks across the internet written on business growth or healthy eating. HigherVisibility.com has posted a great guide to help you get started on writing an eBook that we recommend you read. eBooks should be visually appealing and grab the user’s eye the moment they open it; do not simply write your book in Microsoft Word and convert it to a PDF as that looks extremely plain and can make your business look cheap.
This next idea is not for those who are camera shy, but even if you are you can still make videos without being on camera yourself. Consider creating your own TV-style show discussing topics that your audience may be interested in; for example, if you sell cleaning products for automobiles then you can make a video demonstrating the best way to apply wax for a shinier car. Adding the words “how to” are a great way to help your videos get found in the search results better, as many people will probably be asking Google or YouTube “how to (insert user’s problem here)”. For those of you who are camera shy, consider an audio only video (technically a podcast) or a video using photos and graphics; however, it is important to remember that people will trust you more if they can see who you are. In addition to educational videos, you can also create videos showcasing your company’s lifestyle to ensure legitimacy among the crowd. NEVER use videos simply to make a sale; YouTube should be used for educational content and not sales pitches. If you want to make a sales pitch, consider making a commercial instead. We recommend using an actual video camera rather than recording with your phone; no matter how nice your phone is, their quality pales in comparison to that of an actual video camera.
Even if you are camera shy and/or do not look talking in front of people, you should still consider hosting a webinar to show everyone that you are an expert. Webinars are seminars that you hold over the internet using a webcam, microphone and slides; if you are camera shy, you can present with only your voice and a PowerPoint slideshow serving as a visual aid. You can host a webinar using Google Hangouts for free and should spread the word about it using social media and your website. Many industry experts use webinars to help establish their brand and their own expertise to thousands of strangers who want to learn something new and are not looking to buy from them right away. Remember, your webinar is not a sales pitch but rather it addresses your audience’s problem and shows them your approach to solving it. However, once the webinar is over you should consider adding a call-to-action encouraging your audience to learn more about your products and services (and maybe offer them at an exclusive discount).
How many clients have benefited with your products and services? You should interview your previous clients who have a positive opinion about your company and ask them how your products and services have improved their lives and businesses. For example, if your company provides computer repair services for small businesses then you can ask your clients to compare the performance of their computers before and after you maintained them. You can have them provide a written review or you can do a video interview with them; whenever possible, collect statistical information and physical proof such as photos. Once your audience can see how your business has helped someone, it can prompt interest among them and result in more leads. When choosing clients to interview for a case study, choose the ones that were the most satisfied with your work.
Infographics and white papers are a great way to show that your business is staying up to date with the latest information related to your field. If you have several pieces of statistical information to share and want to share them in an eye-catching, yet simple format then you should design an infographic. Infographics take numbers and charts and display them using colors, symbols and other graphical elements. If you have a lot of statistics to share but want to explain them in depth, then you will want to use a white paper. White papers are like short-form eBooks, usually about 1-4 pages and use infographics with text side-by-side. When designing a whitepaper, it should be visually appealing; do not simply type up your information in a Word document and call it presentable; whitepapers should be pleasing to the eye while displaying the information without any distractions. In general, you can use infographics and white papers to both educate your audience and show them that you know your industry well.
Further reading: “How to Write and Format a White Paper: The Definitive Guide”
Give your clients some free help by offering a downloadable worksheet that they can fill out; these worksheets can serve as a guide to assist them in a problem that they are having. For example, we are going to be releasing a free worksheet for people who are interested in starting a new website. Our worksheet will ask them questions such as “How many pages would you like to have?” and “What are your overall goals you are trying to accomplish?” It will ask a variety of questions and once completed, those who are interested in getting their websites started with us will have all the information we need from them ready. Similarly, we will be releasing a worksheet to assist those who are interested in getting started with social media marketing; our blog post from May 13 gives a few steps on how to get started with social media marketing and the worksheet will be provided to compliment the post. Now that you have seen some examples that we plan on implementing soon, you should be able to brainstorm some ideas that could work for your business.
Each of these content marketing ideas will generate leads easier when you provide them via email subscription. Don’t just simply list them on your website hoping someone will call you after checking out your content; provide this content to the public by asking for email addresses first. In order for visitors to gain access to webinars, special discounts, infographics and worksheets they should first be required to provide an email address. Additionally, when they provide an email address it should be placed simultaneously on a subscription list where they will be notified by email that your website has posted new content they may be interested in (such as blog posts, videos or podcasts). You can create a popup that will only display as someone gets ready to click the back button or the exit button of their browser; this popup can display a piece of content that can be unlocked when the user provides their email address. Subscription lists should be easy to manage and fully comply with GDPR regulations; when someone provides an email address, they must be informed that they are subscribing to receive emails from you. If someone wants to unsubscribe from your content, then that person must be able to do so without any problems. Additionally, a CAPTCHA should be used to keep spammers from subscribing to your list. This subscription list serves as a list of possible leads that you can contact; these people maybe interested in doing business with you!
We are ready to help you on your content marketing journey and we hope that you have seen all of the benefits content marketing can bring to your business. If you are ready for us to help you take your company’s digital marketing to the next level, click below for a
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