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.
(Video Duration 6 mins) Do you have a project or idea that never seems quite ready, then this will help.
Video Transcript Below
This is not advice about marketing as such it is about how you apply yourself to your business, projects and passions. A friend of mine Thad Cox shared a post on his Facebook Group recently and he was talking about the problems of being a perfectionist. If you’re a perfectionist, you tend to not get things done or you have projects that just stick around for ages because they are never quite ready.
It is a bit like if you take on anything new, you have to make sure you buy all the right equipment, all the right software and read all the right books before you even start it. Then ironically all these things can mean you never actually start at all!
I have never really been that kind of person, my approach has been I have an idea and when I am about 50 to 60% ready and I launch it. I just go for it, even though it’s not quite ready (sometimes nowhere near ready). I just launch into it, this is because I have always felt that the best ideas come once a project or an idea are actually running. It is also when you start to see what doesn’t work. You start to see things from a different perspective and you start to adapt and come up with things that you would never do otherwise. If it was still in the kind of laboratory stage, or you were still writing your business plan you may not see these new ideas or a way ahead.
But the reason I’m saying all this is that I have noticed that I’ve changed.
When I read Thad’s post it made me realise that I have got a couple of projects that really should be further down the line than they actually are. Basically I have been copying them over from my weekly to-do list from one week to the next. I might make a note that it has to be launched by Friday, and then I cross it off at the end of the week and on Monday write it in again! As I said this is very unlike me, so why is this?
The reason is that when I look back at when I started my business or whatever projects I have done in my life, I have basically just used my gut feeling and maybe touched base with one or two people. I have then just thought, that’s enough info and I move to the next stage of implementation or launch.
So what is different?
Now I have access to the whole world via the internet.
I have access to unlimited voices via social media from Twitter to Facebook, to LinkedIn, to YouTube, whatever my concern is, I can type that concern into a search box and what will return will be 1000s of pages, videos and posts of people’s opinions and experience on what they think.
So then I have to go through all of this data and media thinking should I listen to that person or follow that path, do this or do that. There will be some people saying it will not work or has been done before even though each answer it actually not 100% relevant to what you are trying to do. The result can be a feeling of being overwhelmed and as a result, you put off doing anything and park your idea yet again.
The problem with perfectionism is that we now don’t have the confidence in our own gut feeling because we feel that whatever we’re going to do we need to check with others before we do anything. It could be something as simple as watching a film on Netflix. Instead of just thinking, well, that looks good, we Google it to see what other people think. Then we read a few reviews and then see that only seven out of ten people rated the film. So worry if it worth watching it?
So if we that over watching a film, what happens when it is something bigger like a project that’s going to have financial implications attached to it?. We can have worries about what people may think and keep collecting more data carrying out more searches until our perfectionism just says let’s look at this again next week.
So this made me think on this one particular project I have been putting off for a while. I sat and did my best to think of all the variables and started to go down another rabbit hole and still could not see a way forward.
There was only one solution, something I would have always done before – I just launched it and stepped back.
What happened Next
And as soon as I launched it, literally within two minutes, the answer to the problem appeared. This was because I could see it in a live instance and straight away I could see what I needed to do.
As humans, we are like a ship that has been launched. It’s too late to go back to port for a complete refit. However, we can fix and tweak things as we carry on with our journey. This is your journey of life, your projects and your passions. Even when you tweak things along this journey, it’s not going to be perfect. Each tweak will either push you forward or you may slide back, and then you’ll see a different way and you’ll go forward again.
The real problem in being a perfectionist is you are trying to control every outcome and imagine every possible variable. This is impossible. Once your idea has wings it is time to fly. It may feel scary but that is where the real creative opportunities are.
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.
Instagram Adds New Category Listings Under ‘Following’
This lets you see who you have ‘Least Interacted With’ and which accounts get the most visibility in your feed. It does not tell you who has stopped following you but you can tidy up your account by disconnecting with accounts that are no longer active.
Phil Aston Genius Loci Media Digital Marketing Support
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.
This in a way is a bit of a rant about Instagram in a positive way. I am currently working with a number of clients, helping them with Instagram, and as you know, those of you who seen my videos before, I am a great supporter of social and how it’s going to, how it is changing the way we do business and the fact that being online now is all about building trust and being authentic and being yourself.
Instagram is an interesting platform. Everybody now is flocking towards it and it’s all about the follower numbers again! Just like any other social media platform, as it gained lots of traction, all the businesses have moved in. When that happens, all the marketing people move in (people like me) but I have a very different approach to how I feel you should be using this platform.
If you go and Google how to get going on Instagram, it’s all about gaining followers. There is a strategy called follow and then unfollow, and this to me is just sheer madness, even Instagram absolutely hates this. If you’ve got your Android or Apple phone, there’s loads of apps which will let you follow and automate Instagram and unfollow people, but let’s take a step back here.
You are a business and you want to connect with your customers and you want to build trust with those people and you want them to get to know you. Then you want to them at some point to share or even buy the things that you’re offering. So what are you doing to actually show that you are a good, kind, ethical, and conscientious person? You are basically following as many people as possible (as you’re allowed to) and then you’re checking back every two to three days to see who hasn’t followed you back and then you are unfollowing them.
So you’re following people just for the sheer act of getting followers, and if they don’t follow you back, you’re dumping them. What does that say about you and your business?
Because if you are a business and you have a business Instagram account, you can actually see this happening. You look at an account and it’s following 3000 people and it has 600 followers. What does that tell you about that account? What is their newsfeed like where they’ve got 3000 potential posts going into their newsfeed, It tells you a lot and it’s not good.
Now, another fact that might help people here is that if you look at Pledge or Kickstarter, the actual number of people you need to get a project off the ground is between 80 and a 100. Now, let me just re-phrase that. Between 80 and a 100 super fans, supporters, customers who really love what you do. You do not need thousands of vanity followers.
I think it’s Lady Gaga’s Twitter account manager who says that out of all of those millions of people that follow her, there’s about 500 of them that really matter. This morning I saw a post on Instagram where someone said, “Wow, thanks, everyone. We’ve got a thousand followers.” But they’re following over 6,000 people, so they haven’t really a thousand followers because a thousand people really love what they do. They’ve just kept following and following until they reached that number. You can see it in their low engagement and you can see this with lots of accounts with 40,000 or 50,000 a hundred thousand followers that they get between 15 and 20 people actually like their posts. You can see other accounts where they’ve got 500 people following them and they get nearly 80 to a 100 people liking their posts. Which one is the best strategy for you?
I would say let go the numbers. We’re not in the school playground anymore collecting Star Wars cards and it’s whoever’s got the most is the most important and the most special person in the playground. We are businesses and you are trying to build trust with your customers. So my advice is whenever you go on the internet and look for how do I build my Instagram account if it says follow 200 people a day and check back in two days’ time to see who hasn’t followed you and dump them, don’t do that.
Also, most of these follower apps can get your account suspended. Instagram is really doubling down and literally stopping people using their API for Instagram to do this. They do not want you to automate Instagram.
So if you want to enjoy it, and that’s really, you should enjoy what you’re doing, just grow your account organically. Interact with people, and that means comment. It doesn’t just mean leave a few hearts and a few emojis. It means actually if you see something inspires you, tell that person that you’ve been really enjoyed their post. Reach out. See if you can help. And the other thing, Instagram or any social platform isn’t just an opportunity to say, “Buy my stuff. Buy my stuff.” It’s about adding value. It’s about giving information and knowledge that you have that may help somebody else out there. These posts that say … there’s a nice pretty picture and then it says, “Please ring. Please book. Please buy.” People aren’t going to do that.
If you build a story and you share authentically what you love and what your passions are, if people want to find out more, they can go to your profile, they can click and go to your website, and they can drop you an email. They can drop you a message in Instagram and say, “Please, I’m interested in what you do.” You don’t have to keep telling people, “Oh, you’re looking at me, so buy my stuff.” That is not how social media works. You’re just using it as an opportunity for cold calling, which is dead in the water for a while now.
On Instagram, be yourself, chat, be friendly, but don’t see people just as numbers, because that will say a lot about you because people will know you’re doing it. They can tell from the way your account looks. If you’re following 6,000 people and only 800 people following you back, you are obviously following that strategy and people just will think, “Do I really want to get connected with these people?” Whereas an account that maybe has only 400 followers but you’re only following back 200? That says you’re gaining all authority and people obviously want to be in your world because what you talk about, you have an authority in it.
It’s not just follower numbers, nor is any other social platform. Be yourself. Just take a step back and just deliver content. It’s all about content and being consistent and turning up and thinking about how can I help people, how can I connect with people out there using hashtags, and what do I do and how do those people discover me, and then chat to them and build relationships.
I took this photo on Sunday evening before we went to The Cutty Sark in Marazion for a lovely roast.
As many of you know, I advise and help businesses with their marketing, especially on Social Media.
If you look at the photo you can see all the gulls getting ready to take flight as the wave heads towards them.
The eagle-eyed amongst you will also notice that one gull seems to have left it a bit late to take action.
This reminded me of the number of businesses that still think that ‘cold calling’ is the way forward while their competitors are taking flight and riding the wave of change with Social Media.
Used correctly, Social Media can help create inbound enquires from people who already know and trust your brand.