SEO and Content Marketing are very much joined at the hip. The most important thing is to turn up and be consistent.
Produce a piece of content that can be shared across your channels but keep the message personal for each audience. Experient with the times of postings and write from the heart.
This is about building trust with humans before search engines.
We can all get bogged down with trying to be super creative and spending far too much time scrolling the creativity of others. I find it easier to think about what I am trying to achieve rather than just thinking well that’s the blog post out the way!
Document what you are doing and if you are between projects, document your thinking, your ideas. Let your potential clients/customers have a peek around the curtain. Also, try and use imagery that stands out, try and avoid stock photos and just think outside the box. It will be fun!
Evergreen Content Will Always Have a Life of its Own
I had a client a couple of months ago say that they were getting very little traction from their blogs and perhaps they should just concentrate purely on Facebook as that is where they got the most engagement.
I tried to convince them that putting all your content on one platform (which you have no control over) could be a big mistake but they decided that was what they wanted to do.
Three weeks later they noticed in Google Analytics that a blog post from 2017 had suddenly started to get shared over 100 times a day, first from Youtube, then Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Other pages linked from this were also getting way more traction.
The piece of content was timeless, it had been discovered and was now introducing a whole new audience to the clients business and knowledge.
Everything you post is there to be discovered, you might think it has had its day but for someone else, it could be just what they wanted at that moment.
How often should you blog? That’s a question I get asked a hell of a lot.
Another way of looking at it is what kind of medium do you also want to use? Because there are so many options now.
Are you going to use video? And if you are, are you going to do ‘live video’or is it going to be pre-recorded video?
Perhaps you should be looking at podcasts?
Everyone’s talking about podcasts now. Should you be doing that as well? But again, what about your blog? And what do you even put on your blog and how often should you do it?
Try and see it as one piece of content. I would recommend video as your starting point. I don’t go live because it can come across as an interruption unless you have been promoting it in advance.
On Facebook you might get some people looking at your broadcast, but I tend to find presenters spend too much time saying ‘Hi’ to the people they see pop up in the newsfeed. This behaviour can take away the focus and most people will start to get bored very quickly if you do not stay on message.
Also, it is a major commitment to go live at the same time every week. What if you have a dental appointment or when your cat is sick!
A pre-recorded video has many more options because that pre-recorded video can also be a podcast and once transcribed a blogpost as well.
You can decide if you want to do this monthly, biweekly or weekly and this will be a lot easier to stick to.
The key thing with content marketing is to be consistent and ensure you turn up. Search engines will know there is fresh material coming onto the website, and your audience also knows to check because will not want to miss anything.
This takes us to the other key point. What do you talk about?
This is where a lot of people get hung up thinking they’ve got to find this incredible piece of quality content every time they post. Maybe you do sometimes, and you have lots of engagement, and then you have a nightmare thinking how do I top that!
Rather than getting hung up about being Uber creative, why don’t you document what you’re doing throughout your working week? You will be working on projects for clients, which you could talk a little bit about, perhaps a problem comes up that you solve, the solution could be the topic, or maybe you’ve gone out for a walk, and you got inspired by something that is also a possible blog post.
A photograph from your week and a few lines of texts is a blog post.
Another way to look at this is to see the main pages of your website as your corporate look. Your services are there, your about page etc.
This is the part of the website that wears the business suit, and your blog post is the jeans and tee-shirt version part of your brand.informally
It is more chatty, like meeting informally by the drinks machine. you can talk about what you are up to, maybe talking about what music is playing on in your home office (Deep Purple here!) and bring that into your client work.
So rather than getting hung up, which means that you’ll miss a week or keep putting it off. Pick a day when you are going to publish and make notes during the week and remember it doesn’t have to be long.
This video ended up being about five minutes, but it could be just two minutes next time.
The key thing is to turn up and be consistent because if you don’t do that, you will become invisible!
If you need any help with content marketing or how to feel comfortable in front of a camera, just let me know and I would be delighted to talk to you.
Thanks very much.
Hi, this is Phil Aston from Genius Loci Media in the far West of Cornwall
Is your Facebook business Page a website?
No, it’s not a website. It’s a page on someone else’s online space, and you are at the mercy of whatever that organisation decides to do now or in the future. (Remember Google Plus?)
Do you remember when Facebook was really keen in wanting people to set up their own business page on the platform? You set up our Facebook Business Page and asked lots of people, contacts etc to like your page and then you posted content and everyone saw it. Basically you helped build Facebook’s business. Then as soon as it became successful, they then stopped everyone seeing your posts. (it is less than 2% now). So then they encouraged you to actually advertise to the people that already liked your page. So again, you were building their business.
So what is happening now since the world changed with COVID?
Well, even those Facebook Ads (or any Ads!) do not work the way they used to.
If you are building brand awareness, there’s still some mileage in Facebook Ads, but if you’re trying to sell products or services, people aren’t going to take your word for it anymore. Users can now say they do not want to see your Ads and can block them on their mobiles. Running Ads is really is kind of a cul-de-sac right now.
So your Facebook Business Page is not your website, and this is not a video to try and make you build a new website. It about is aimed at people, who have a website but have neglected it due to all your focus being on your social platforms. Your website is perhaps sitting there and had not been updated for a while and the message it is out of sync with you recent Facebook posts. I see a fair few websites where the last blog post merely states they are going to do more blogs posts and even that was a few months ago.
Social media is actually more important now than ever as it is where your customers can share information and read reviews from real people but they are still going to check out your website to ensure the message is the same and read material which will help build trust before they make a decision. Your website should be where you post your content first. This is where you are in control, it is your domain and online space. Whatever social media channels rise or fall your website will remain as your content mothership representing your brand online. This is where SEO comes in and having good quality content that answers questions from your customers and fans.
It is from your website that you can then share your content to your Facebook Business Page, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube etc, Your website is your content hub. You’re probably thinking, that’s a hell of a lot of work to keep on top of this (it is). But what this current Pandemic situation is telling us is that this is when you should be investing in your content strategy. This is when you should also be thinking about connecting with people through video to build trust even more.
I have personally learned a great deal during this period. I am based in Cornwall and have been a fairly regional business, but now through video, I can connect with new clients anywhere in the world. I’ve got just as much chance of getting a client in New Zealand or Los Angeles as I have in getting them in Truro or Camborne. This also puts emphasis on the role of your website. You may be talking to people via Linked or Facebook but your main brand representation is your website.
I can talk to people anywhere in the world. I no longer think of clients and having a face to face meeting once a month, I can jump on to a video call via Zoom to have a quick update at any time. Thinking regional can restrict your business or even your creativity. You can have a zoom call with someone in Los Angeles or mountain time in America and then just carry on with other tasks. You might be thinking you can’t build relationships the same way via video as face to face. I would argue that. Yes, you can.
If you want help on anything I have mentioned in this video from SEO, updating your website or even knowing what microphone or what video camera to use for video calls please get in touch.
Workload & Capacity
A quick update on our workload for website design.
Some of you may have noticed across some of our media channels that we are slowly changing direction and some of the services that we offer are going to be withdrawn. Website design is one of these.
We have currently got seven website projects in the pipeline and we are not going to be taking on any more from the end of this month.
Our focus is now on content marketing, SEO and Social. We are still offering website management and hosting for clients as this fits in with our content and media services.
If you need any help with anything to do with your online content marketing, get in touch, and I’d be delighted to talk to you.
Phil Aston Genius Loci Media Insight Backed marketing without the noise www.geniusloci.co.uk
Very honoured to have been asked to be on ‘The Thaducation Podcast’ with Thad Cox
In this podcast, I tell our story about how Genius Loci Media was set up, the risks we took, the mistakes we made, how we learnt to pivot when required and then go on to become a very successful Digital Agency.
I also cover lots of tips on how to use Social Media and promote yourself using digital media.
Ideas are easy; it is the execution and implementation that is harder.
It is the same when creating content for your website and social media. You might type your thoughts into a Facebook or Linkedin post, but when it comes to your website, I see many people just put this off.
This approach results in a mixed message where your website seems to be behind your other online activities and can be confusing to your customers
One of our clients said “I have the ideas, but I don’t have the time to think about the SEO elements, source or resize images or worry about layout.”
We take your ideas, publish them on your website (and social media), look after the SEO, layout, and can even suggest subjects for you to write about if you need them!
Our approach is to take away the worry so you can be creative, look after your customers while we look after your online world.
Please give me a call to see how we can help you and your business.
A trend I see at the moment is a lot of people and businesses starting to use Facebook Advertising for the first time. An example of this would be local food suppliers and restaurants. They are trying to run Facebook Ads for a very niche geographical area. This would make sense if you are starting to offer local home delivery. However, due to poor targeting, the Ads are being shown hundreds of miles outside their area of operation.
Targeting Is Everything
I am based near Penzance in Cornwall and I am seeing Ads for businesses that can only deliver in a few Postcodes in Manchester or Glasgow. I have even seen an Ad for a takeaway service in New York!
The result is a surge in negative feedback from people disappointed that they cannot take up the offer advertised plus poor Ad relevancy. This is also a waste of Ad spend at a time when businesses are looking to reduce costs.
It is absolutely essential that you take time to research your market, look at your competitors, spend some time targeting the potential profile of your customers and decide where your want your Ads to be shown and when.
Make Sure Your Website is Displaying the Same Message
The next step is to make sure your website is up to date and portraying the same message you are putting out. I have clicked on several Ads recently that have taken me to pages that display a totally different message than that of the Ad. For example, I clicked on a link that advertised a new take away menu only to find the landing page was showing the full restaurant menus from a few weeks back. Your customers are looking up to date information, so it is essential to ensure the news you are sharing on Social Media is also on your website.
Now is also the time to boost your SEO by improving the quality of your website content. I would also recommend monitoring your market and competitors with analytics for your website and social channels. Doing this will help you understand how your current and future customers are reacting to any situation.
Now is The Time to Build Trust and Build Brand Equity
Done correctly your marketing on Social Media with quality content and good SEO will increase your online visibility and bring in new loyal customers.
Please get in touch if you need any help or advice in putting these ideas into action
Don’t Build Your Empire on Rented Land
I work with a lot of clients who have started out on several platforms and then through seeing initial success ended up putting all their efforts into one.
This is never a good idea, algorithms can change, the rules can change and the audience may go elsewhere.
It is very important to spread your content and energy across several platforms and most importantly keep your website at the centre of operations.
I am currently working with a client who has nearly 100% of their business on Instagram and has had their account blocked for a few days due to using a 3rd party App. Their engagement had dropped considerably due to changes within Instagram already and now they need to build their brand elsewhere and really focus on SEO and getting a more professional website in place.
Putting all your marketing eggs in one basket is not a good idea
The point to remember is if you lose your presence on a social media platform you lose all your content, connections and history. Remember Google Plus!
Your website should always be where your content is shared from or at least also available.
From experience, many social media posts could easily be tweaked to be Blog posts.
In the last few weeks, I have seen and heard of various Instagram, Facebook Pages and Twitter accounts being blocked or disabled for various reasons.
The support these platforms give is next to zero so it can be very hard to get an account back online. As the platforms start to block third party Apps and any form of automation the social media platforms can easily mistake your activity as gaming the system.
For example on Instagram if you like too many posts too quickly you can have your account disabled for being spammy or get asked to change your password as it will think you are using third party Apps. In fact, even logging in form from a different device or app can trigger a warning now.
Another client came to me after their Facebook Ad Account was disabled and their page was taken down. There is no explanation when this happens and no support. The only thing we could see is that the wording on an offer was slightly different on the landing page. It could have been Facebook or a someone just reporting the Ad, that is all it takes. Facebook’s response was to delete the page and start again.
Eventually, I was able to get the account back online but it took over 3 weeks.
I see more and more business putting all their efforts into one platform, this is very dangerous as you are building your business on borrowed land. All it needs is the algorithm to change and your traffic could reduce dramatically. A good example is again Instagram who have now stopped showing posts in order and given more emphasis on paid Ads. The removal of likes will also have an effect on how people interact with you.
What Should You Do?
My advice is to keep your website updated, do not forget to share from there. If you have written a post on social media then create a blog post. It takes time but nurture your audience on several platforms, include video and ensure you invest in SEO for your website.
Do not put your eggs (revenue streams) in one basket.