How to start a blog today: Insider Tips and Guides

I have spoken to a few people recently who have told me they’d love to start blogging, but have a few reservations about getting started. The top things holding people back which I have heard time and time again are:

  • I wouldn’t know what to write about
  • I’m not technical
  • People wouldn’t want to read about what I have to say
  • It’s too expensive
  • I don’t know how to promote it

So I am hopefully going to dispel the above ‘myths’ in this post, and help you on your way to sharing your thoughts, advice or expertise.

I wouldn’t know what to write about

Well if it helps, neither did I! For a long time I considered blogging and just didn’t know where to start. I would move from lifestyle ideas, to travelling, fashion and food each and every day. I didn’t feel like anything was glued together or I was giving any insight that was unique.

Then my husband pointed out to me that I regularly talk to friends, family and colleagues about how I regularly travel and live through experiences because I live minimally in order to be able to make this happen and get the most out of my time.

This was the spark I needed to get me going. I would write about all the above areas, but do it from my own minimalist perspective.

I had spent a good year decluttering and letting go already, so why not help others do the same?

If you are looking for your area or niche to get started, don’t just spend time worrying about it alone. Speak to friends and family members who know you well. Ask them, what is my area of expertise? What do I do that inspires you?

When you have your niche, make sure you keep a notebook or a phone with a notes section with you at all times. Inspiration for a blog post hits me at the weirdest times so I need to make sure I am ready to capture ideas 24/7.

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I’m not technical

This is one of the most common phrases I hear when I ask people about their barriers when it comes to blogging.

The good news – it is incredibly easy to get going once you know how. All you need is (for the real basics):

  • A domain name
  • A platform or host
  • A theme

I blog with WordPress because it gives you the functionality and options to get all of the above in one place.

You can use their free platform and get plenty of space to get your blog going and test your commitment to writing. When you are feeling ready, you can either upgrade to one of their premium packages, or just buy a domain name such as www.lyndsayweir.com and link it back to your blog.

The WordPress editor is really user friendly and offers everything from tweaking the basics to customizing the advanced features when you’re ready.

Few top tips when starting your blog:

  1. Unlike me, choose a domain with your blogs theme in if possible. It will improve your search ranking and also let people know what your blog is about straight away.
  2. Make sure your blog titles reflect the things people would be searching for. How to’s and top tips are great.
  3. Set aside a time or schedule for writing to make sure you have a good output. At least once a week.
  4. Make sure you’ve got plenty of photos to complement the text.

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People wouldn’t want to read what I have to say

Although ideally the grand aim of a blog is to have a ton of wonderful subscribers reading your content on a daily basis, this doesn’t and won’t be the case when getting started.

If you bear this in mind, and appreciate that everyone started at zero, it makes it a lot easier to appreciate the slow growth of your blog readership.

When I began writing, I really didn’t expect people to enjoy my posts around minimalism and living with less. I thought my lifestyle posts and features would perform much better.

I was surprised to see that I was completely wrong, and the posts that gained the most engagement were the ones around minimising your life and experiencing more.

What this taught me was to not judge your audience before you begin writing. There are so many of us out there, we are likely to be writing about something other people will appreciate and love.

So give it a go today, and see what happens.

It’s too expensive

Blogging can be as frugal or as expensive as you want it to be. With WordPress, you can get an entirely free platform and begin blogging with it today for nada.

If you want to invest a little more, you can get a domain name from as little as £10 through WordPress. This adds a personalised element to your site.

If you really want to up the look and feel, but don’t want to spend too much, you can buy a premium theme from a variety of price ranges.

Finally, if you want full control over your site, and access to analytics, you can buy the full WordPress package at just over £200 a year.

Really the cost of blogging lies with you and your choices about what you want to invest. I have seen incredibly successful blogs with as little as a free site and their own domain. So don’t let costs hold you back, get writing and publishing today.

I don’t know how to promote it

There are so many ways to share the great content you are curating with the wider world.

My personal favourite spaces for sharing are Instagram and Facebook, however you can choose whichever social channel suits you best you improve the visibility of your blog.

There are also a ton of blogger networks, such as www.thebloggerprogramme.com where you can go and share your content, as well as www.bloglovin.com where people can subscribe to your posts and feed.

So as you can see, there’s so many ways and reasons to start your blog today. If you have been thinking about it for a while I would seriously encourage you to get going.

You never know where it might take you! Happy writing and let me know your top blogging tips in the comments below…

Digital Marketing Predictions: What to Expect in 2016

  1. Digital advertising will move even closer to being the biggest platform for advertising.

By 2018 experts predict that Digital will be the biggest platform for advertisers to market their brand and products. Revenue for digital advertising will surpass all other platforms, including television. Over the next year we will see a that a large amount of organisation’s digital ad budget will be spent on social advertising and video campaigns.

So what is important to remember when it comes to spending your marketing budget on digital? Obviously you want to make sure that you are getting the best ROI for your digital ad spend.

Firstly, you need to be smart with where you are advertising. Know what platforms attract your target audience. Are you a cooking site? Pinterest and Instagram might be your go-to platforms, compared to Twitter if you happen to be a article or content blogger. Google Analytics can support you to find out which social platforms bring in the most organic traffic to your site, helping you decide which one to advertise on.

Programmatic advertising will also become more important in helping you make the right choices when it comes to ad spend.

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  1. Ad Blocking

But on the same note, Ad Blocking will become a growing issue for digital advertising in 2016. As more and more people install ad blockers display advertising will have to raise the bar in order to remain in the eye of the consumer.

Developments such as Apple allowing ad blocking apps to be downloaded by iPhone and iPad users has sparked a feeling of uncertainty for digital publishing and advertising agencies.

Will 2016 see a boom for native advertising? Perhaps. Or perhaps companies are just going to get smarter around how they display advertising to us online so that we are less inclined to avoid their feeds and banners.

  1. Social Media Marketing Will Take Centre Stage

Social is something we as a majority spend hours a day browsing. According to The Telegraph, the average person spends around 1 hour and 40 minutes a day on social networks, and has 5 different social media accounts from YouTube to Instagram.

Brands started to utilize the power of social media marketing in 2015 however 2016 will see them advertise smarter and more creatively. They will perhaps post less across several social media sites and instead focus on the ones that matter. A killer Facebook campaign targeted at an optimized and segmented audience will have a high conversion and engagement rate than weaker campaigns spread across 5 platforms.

2016 will also see the growth of social advocacy. Organisations will experiment more with content sharing from employees and those responsible for creating the data and content, rather than sharing from a corporate facing profile. Additionally, they will look to the consumer to share their content over a sponsored post, because at the end of the day, who do we trust more?

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  1. Personalisation is King.

Does your browser know you better than your other half? Data from your searches, interests, page likes and cookies all play an important role in allowing companies to market smarter and target consumers with sophisticated personalised campaigns.

2016 will see the growth in personalised marketing, and I’m not talking about adding someone’s first name in an email mailshot or showing a fashion display ad to all women on Facebook between the ages of 21-50.

I am talking about intelligent marketing that shows consumers what they want to see and therefore will hugely increase click through and revenue for your brand. By harnessing data provided by the consumer, companies can communicate with the individual and provide them with information or content that they need.

  1. Video is Even More Important – If That’s Possible

I talked a lot in 2015 about the importance of including video in your content marketing strategies. In 2016 I will place even more emphasis on this. The rise in popularity of video applications and platforms such as Vine, Instagram videos and Periscope, means that there’s even more reason to be sharing using this multimedia format. YouTube.

Hundreds of studies by marketing agencies and publishing houses have shown how video can increase engagement by a large percentage. 2016 will be another important year for video and it will just see it go from strength to strength.

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  1. Content 2.0

Following the latest Google Algorithm updates, digital marketers have realised the necessity of publishing high quality content that is relevant to their audience and end users.

In 2016, we won’t only need to make sure we have excellent content for SEO purposes, but we will see the value in ensuring our advertising content is polished, engaging and unique. Advertising content will now be created with a very specific and segmented audience in mind. They will speak to the person and engage them in a new and exciting way. It’s got to be worth clicking, and certainly got to be worth sharing.

  1. It’s Time To Get Smarter with Data

In 2016, brands will see the importance in using data to gain valuable insights from which they can take significant actions.

There will be less of a drive to collect ‘big data’ and more of a push for practical insightful ‘small’ data that allows companies to make decisions and picture their consumer, resulting in smarter advertising.

Companies will invest more to train their digital marketing teams to understand the data they are collecting on an hourly basis, and push their digital advertising into a new age.

What are your predictions for 2016? Share below!

 

 

Why You Need To Be Analysing Your Social Media Marketing: What It Can Do For Your Organisation

You might find that monitoring and measuring your social media marketing can be a little trickier than a website or email campaign. However it is becoming increasingly important to measure and analyse social data, and all organisations need to be aware of this. You need to integrate it into your marketing strategy and ensure it works towards company objectives from the start.

If you have corporate social media platforms, you need to be monitoring your marketing impact.

Traditionally, social media was seen as essential for building brand awareness and reputation, but is increasingly being used for building engagement, reinforcing a positive sentiment about the brand and improving customer service and rapport.

Worryingly a majority of organisations don’t have clear objectives for social media, and rarely monitor or analyse it for trends or to measure success. If you are putting the time into posting regularly, you should be analysing how this is impacting your organisation.

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  1. Get your social marketing campaigns aligned with company objectives.

One of the first things to do is to make sure that your social campaigns are promoting and driving company-wide objectives. How do you do this? Below are some handy examples that might help you get started.

Let’s imagine that you have a content marketing company, and one of your key company drivers for 2016 is to drive 20% more people to your website to read your latest posts.

How can social media help, and how can you measure this?

  • You can post links to your content on your social media platforms, and analyse how many people click through to the website from your tweets, posts and pins. You can say that each month you want to see an increase in X% of people clicking through to your site via a social platform.

You can then also combine this with Google Analytics and see what percentage of people coming to your site are referred by social channels compared to previous months. If there’s been a growth, monitor it, repeat and keep growing!

If you are a local florist, and your objective for 2016 is to grow your new customer base by 20%, you can use social again to help with this.

  • You could tweet a Twitter specific offer for new customers with a link through to the website.
  • You can then monitor who clicks through to your site and uses the code to place an order, and from channel they have come from.
  • You can see how social has helped to grow your new customer base by looking to see how many people converted to a sale after clicking through from a social channel using GA goals.

One of the biggest issues that marketing directors may have with social is that they see it as time consuming without having a direct impact on sales. Social media is first and foremost a brand building, engagement and communication tool, so measure your return with these metrics.

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  1. Gather your data, and grow your social base, increase engagement and improve sentiment through analysing it.

Social media can provide you with unique insights that your other analytical data may not. It also offers you a direct communication and involvement platform with your customers on a 24 hour basis, which is unlike any other marketing channels.

Social analytics can tell you who is engaging with your brand, what content gets the most click throughs when you are posting and how people are feeling about your brand (their sentiment).

It can also tell you about the popularity of what you are posting. Quality, not quantity is key with social media and you can easily assess this by looking at the reach, engagement and click through rate of your posts.

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  1. Key indicators to monitor on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

As a social media marketer, I naturally keep many analytics tools open on tabs and refer to them regularly throughout the day to monitor how my social content is doing.

You can decide how frequently you need to monitor your social data but I wouldn’t advise leaving it for more than a month as you might miss out on some important trends and indicators that will drive your future social campaigns.

So, what can you be measuring on a regular basis as key indicators to see how your social sites are performing?

  • Followers – see if you have had an increase or decrease and try and analyse why. Have you recently rolled out a new campaign? More followers means more reach and opportunity.

On Facebook you can see on their inbuilt analytics how many page likes you have and compare it to previous periods.

On Twitter using the analytics tools, you can see how many people have followed you and how it compares to previous periods. If you have changed your campaigns or strategy recently, you can compare how well it has done.

  • Reach – see how many people you are reaching using your social platforms. You might have only 1000 followers, but you could be reaching up to 50,000 through feed and timeline impressions.
  • Engagement – There are many ways in which people can engage with your content. This could be registering for an email newsletter, downloading a guide, retweeting – you could measure CTR or comments or downloads
  • Sentiment – many third party applications allow you to monitor the sentiment of your brand or products. You can assess how people are feeling (positive, negative or neutral).

Measurement:

By creating KPI’s that are driven by your company objectives, and analysing your data on a regular basis you can easily measure your social data to see predictions, achievements and optimised future marketing to ensure it is successful with your online audiences.

If you utilise social analytics well you will be able to move forward with targeted and relevant campaigns that are more personalised to the customer and platform user.

Demographic tools will also allow you to personalise your marketing to ensure it is targeting the people who are following your brand.

Overall, as an organisation you need to be aware of the importance of digital analytics. Below are a few tools that can help get you started:

Tools that I find really useful to monitor social media and analyse data:

Twitter Analytics – https://analytics.twitter.com – the inbuilt analytics tool from Twitter that shows you a lot of useful information on a user-friendly dashboard.

Facebook Insights – found on the top right of your Facebook Page.

Tweet Reach – https://tweetreach.com/twitter-analytics/ – Identify insights, trends, and track hashtags

Rival IQ – https://www.rivaliq.com/ – compare and benchmark yourself against competitors

Google Analytics – https://www.google.co.uk/analytics – heaps of data, but can be used to track social referrals and channels

Iconosquare – http://iconosquare.com/ –  Identify key metrics and trends for your Instagram accounts

 

 

 

Let’s Talk About Content Marketing Strategy: What You Should Be Posting

Content marketing is becoming more important to digital marketers and marketing teams. Google’s algorithms are looking at whether your site includes quality content that reflects the more specific searches made by your audience on search engines.

People have access to so much content these days they are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing what to invest their time in and read. You need to make sure that your content is appealing, engaging and interesting enough to capture them, get them to click through, and keep them reading.

So how do we go about doing that? We need to make sure that we have mastered the content marketing basics before we go about creating and distributing.

Golden Rule Number One:

Make it relevant, make it unique, make it readable.

Content needs to have a function. It should at least be one of the three things below, but it could even encompass bits of all!

  • Amusing or Enjoyable
  • Informative
  • Interesting

When writing your content, think about your end goal. If you are wanting to sell more holidays, promote travel writing pieces to the destinations you fly to.

You also need to really be aware of who you are targeting. You need to be sharing content your audience relate to, and make sure you share it on the platforms that you know they visit regularly.

So let’s talk a little more about the content functions, and give an example to bring them to life.

Informative Content:

Content that helps people to understand, learn and develop. You give your customers something, in this case, new knowledge, and in return, they become more aware of your brand and what you have on offer. Some examples include:

  • Travel websites such as RyanAir. We know that they promise cheap flights across Europe and wider. What we might not know however is anything about the destinations which they have on offer. RyanAir have a destination guide that gives you insider advice about the cities they fly to. This makes travellers have more of an insight into what’s on offer, and perhaps encourage them to book flights to somewhere new.
  • A how-to guide from an expert in their field. Think about content such as How to make healthy and tasty food from Jamie Oliver, Top Ten Fiction Writing Tips from Stephen King. You get the gist.

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Interesting Content:

Get your audience interested. Teach them something new that they will probably want to share and talk about with others.

This slightly overlaps with Informative Content, but it lends itself to being more creative and visual. Interesting content can include:

  • An individuals’ opinion piece, maybe a reviewer’s insight on the latest films, or what they thought about the Academy Awards and who won.
  • A history of how something has developed, such as how a chocolate bar has changed over time and why.

Amusing or Enjoyable:

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The easiest content to think about, but the most difficult to create and get people to engage with. The problem with this function is that the content needs to be done well if it is going to be entertaining. You need to appeal to your customers, provide something unique and make sure it is actually amusing.

Examples can include:

  • Funny cat compilation videos
  • Sporting highlights
  • Buzzfeed lists such as ‘Things most people remember from high school’.

Golden Rule Number Two

What should you produce?

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There are several insights that can help inform your content marketing strategy. These will tell you what kind of content you should be publishing, what area it should fall into (Enjoyable, Interesting or Imformative) and where you should be posting it.

These insights can be gathered by:

  1. Looking at the people you are targeting. You can use a range of tools to look at your audience and try to create content that will appeal to different segments of people who are interested in your brand.
  2. Google Analytics can help you by providing insight into what keywords are bringing certain people to your site. You can then write content around these searches to ensure you bring the same people back again and again. It also tells you the demographics of your website visitors, their behaviour flows (how they navigate around your site) and what devices they might view your content on. If most people are mobile users, is your content easy to navigate and scroll through on a phone? Is it is visual and easy to understand and digest on a short commute?
  3. Social Media Analytics can tell you what people are saying about your brand online. They give you insight into what content is engaging people, what posts are encouraging people to click through to your site and read your content and when the best time to post new content is.

What content can you produce?

  1. Articles

You can write about what you know, give opinion pieces, or if you want to make them entertaining, break them up with lots of visually appealing images.

  1. Infographics or blog graphics and timelines

Make quick, easy to digest infographics that inform people about what you do, an area you specialise in or services you have on offer. Great for sharing socially.

  1. Guides and Lists

People love lists, and they are always looking for how-to guides on the internet. If you have experts working within your organisation, get people to share their knowledge. If you want to write an entertaining top ten, do it! If you are a hairdresser, maybe write about the top ten best celebrity hairstyles from the latest awards show or film premiere. Entertaining, and draws people to your business.

  1. Videos

Videos are leading the way in future content. People love videos, and by including one in your marketing or social media feeds, you will likely increase engagement by a large percentage.

  1. Social Content

People, especially millennials, are often taking in online information and content for many hours of the day. They read from their phones whilst they commute, they check forums during their lunch break and they catch up on social media after dinner. Make sure you are reaching them.

Innocent Drinks on Twitter have a great social content strategy, in that their tweets are incredibly entertaining, rarely promotional and all-in-all fun to read. They have such a large follower base because of this. Make your social content stand out. Make sure it entertains, informs or interests people.

  1. Interviews and Insights

Talk to someone your audience would be interested in. Document their views online or share the live interview on your YouTube channel.

Golden Rule Number Three

Measure, Analyse, Engage and Improve.

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So you have just pressed the publish button, that’s great news. But the fun doesn’t stop there.

The next steps are just as important when looking at content strategy.

  1. Measure the success of your campaigns. You need to look at how well they are doing. How many people click through to the new content? Where do they then go from here? Are they completing goals such as registering for further email updates or booking a flight?
  2. Analyse the people looking at your content. What age are they, what device are they using, where are they located? This way you can ensure that whatever you post next is more personalised towards your audience. Personalisation is so important, and you need to make sure you are one step ahead of the game.
  3. Improve your content. Take what you have learnt above and apply it. Apply and repeat until you have met your targets and goals consistently.

All of the above is really a beginning guide to content marketing. Over the next three weeks I will look at different levels of content marketing and how you can develop your strategy as an organisation – so stay posted!

Remember Golden Rule No.1:

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Seven Ideas To Inspire Your Christmas Digital Marketing Strategy (and how to do them)

  1. Get yourself prepared.

You know yourself that Christmas shoppers often fall into two camps. Team prepared and team last minute. I personally fall right into team prepared, almost edging into team far too eager, because I like to buy or make gifts that won’t become clutter in a few years, but still have a lot of thought put into them.

This means I often need to research something to make or buy way before Christmas to make sure I have the time to craft it, or the time to get it shipped. Therefore, you need to be aware as a brand or organisation that individuals are Christmas shopping, or at least looking for good ideas, way before the holiday season.

I would advise that you have a plan in place at least twelve weeks before as a minimum. Know what your campaign is, highlight what you want to sell, know when you are going to post and where, and keep tracking it!

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  1. Christmas Emails

A really good way to let your audience know what you have on offer over the festive season is to email them to keep them updated and interested.

Have free shipping available for loyal customers, email them and let them know with a link across to your site!

Want to make people aware of a festive campaign you are running? Send them a festive themed email and get them hyped. If you are doing an advent calendar give away, count down to it each week and remind them of the great gifts you have in store for them to buy.

If you have a popular item that is running low in stock and want to let people know, send them an email and make sure you tell them that there’s just a few left at a certain price. It will encourage them to buy now whilst they still have a chance.

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  1. Christmas Competitions

This is the perfect time of the year to run your biggest and best competition. No matter what your budget is, think about what you can offer your customers to draw them to your site and to engage with your brand over the holiday season. Plus, the marketing is free if you are using social media to promote it!

Some ideas for a Christmas Competition can include:

  • Advent Calendar Giveaways. Give something away each day as part of a ‘12 days of Christmas’ giveaway. If you are a hairdresser, make a Christmas Party YouTube hair tutorial each day and share it. If you are a retailer, have a new offer each day such as free shipping or 30% off.
  • Get people to share their traditions and pick one to win a prize. For example, if you are a restaurant, get people to share their Christmas recipes and photos with you and you can pick one to add to your Winter menu and give them a gift voucher to eat with you over the festive season! This will increase engagement, and get your customers involved in your brand.
  • Make festive free printables. If you are a design company, why not make free printables for the festive season such as banners, posters or labels for homemade jams and mulled wine? People will come to your site, love your work and maybe even commission you for something more personal!

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  1. Look to the experts!

Each year, there are certain brands and organisations that have outstanding festive social media campaigns. If you need inspiration, look to the experts!

John Lewis – John Lewis are the masters of Christmas marketing, and recently they have been winning at social media marketing too! Apparently, this year they will be spending more than ever on social media marketing. Not surprising when they now use YouTube and social platforms to release their much anticipated Christmas Advert (I don’t know anyone who didn’t love Monty the Penguin from 2014). Gone are the days of waiting to see it between your favourite prime time shows. The big retail stores have switched to social, and so should you.

Coca Cola –  Remember last year when people looked out for the Coca Cola truck and lined up to have their photo taken with it in their local area? What a great viral marketing campaign this was. People were tweeting their pictures with the truck and #HolidaysareComing hashtag in their thousands. We no longer wait for the iconic Cola advert to know Christmas is coming, we use social media.

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  1. Involve your customers

Get people to be sharing your content, by making them excited about what you are doing, and involving them in the process.

Great a custom hashtag for your brand, such as #LyndsayGrantsAWish and get people to tell you their Christmas wishes for 2016. Then, choose a few, and make them happen.

How about you ask people to design your corporate Christmas Card or write your adverts theme song. By involving people and taking their content on board, you engage with your customers on a whole new level.

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  1. Think where people are looking socially at Christmas

Where do you go to for present ideas, Christmas party outfits or favourite festive recipes? I personally go to Pinterest and so do a lot of people within my ‘demographic’. Therefore I know that I will probably reach a lot of women in their mid-twenties who like to cook and craft if I post a pin of my product on Pinterest.

You need to be aware of what people use to find gift ideas, and then make sure you are visible there! Instagram festive fashion choices for your followers to like and buy. Use YouTube for tutorials on how to cook your winter recipe of choice.

Research your demographic, and put your brand in front of their feeds!

Topshop did it fantastically last year. They created a competition across Pinterest where they got people to Pin their favourite Topshop items onto a Board, with the hashtag #DearTopshop. They then chose boards that looked great and gifted the creator with £500 for an in-store shopping spree.

Think outside the box this Christmas, and get your audience involved.

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  1. Track and Analyse

If you are putting in all this effort and time to drive up winter sales, you need to know what kind of ROI you are getting from your digital marketing campaigns.

Track your posts, and see who they are reaching, if people are engaging, and if they click through.

Know what is working, and what is not, and use the formula to keep having the same online success.

Make sure you use different platforms own in-built analytics tools to get a good overview of what you are posting in addition to  Google Analytics and Tags Manager. They can often give you a deeper insight into what in particular is working on that platform and who it is specifically reaching.

I hope that you have fun with, and most importantly make some great returns, with  your winter

Download and share this handy seven step reminder for digital marketing this Christmas.

Christmas Digital Marketing Tips

marketing campaigns this year!

Just remember, most people like to be marketed to by a ‘human’ not a corporation, so keep those campaigns fun and festive and make them as personalised as possible.

Tweeter’s Block – 10 Quick Social Media Content Ideas

Sometimes as a digital marketer, with several social media sites to manage alongside my personal blog, I get what I call ‘Tweeter’s Block’. You have probably had it too. Even with a flawless year-long social media strategy, you might struggle to find fillers that engage with followers on a daily basis. If you ever find yourself thinking:

“What should I write or talk about today?”

You are probably in the top 99% of us who sometimes need some help to spark an idea about what to write about. Bookmark or print this list and see if it helps you over the next couple of weeks with what to share online.

Many of you may also know someone who doesn’t partake in social media or online blogging because they simply have no idea what to say or share. It is a tricky issue and you can often get round it by following a few golden rules and prompts.

1. Q&A – Share your knowledge!

Continue reading Tweeter’s Block – 10 Quick Social Media Content Ideas

Social Media Frequency: Are you posting the right amount for optimum engagement?

If I was to ask you to recall a company who you think posts too frequently on Twitter or Facebook, or a Facebook Ad that you have seen that often in the last week you know it off by heart, I doubt it would take you too long to think of it.

I personally saw an advertisement for a gym clothing company with 20% my first order so many times, I ended up unfollowing them. This could be considered a loss for the brand, as I quite like their clothes and prices, and would usually be keen on any offers they had to share.

Continue reading Social Media Frequency: Are you posting the right amount for optimum engagement?

4 Things to Share to Perform Better on Social Media

A lot of companies, individuals and brands now have a social media presence, but are struggling to engage with their followers and target audience. If you want what you are publishing to do well on social media, you need to think about what you are publishing, and when you are sharing it. You wouldn’t book a peak time train if you wanted the cheapest fare, just like you shouldn’t share something valuable and unique at midnight when most people are asleep.

This guide will quickly cover two things, what you can create that will get shared, and some rules about different content.

What you should be sharing.

  1. Lists

List content always works, for several reasons. Firstly, people just love an attention-grabbing top ten headline. Why wouldn’t I read an article telling me ten ways in which I can be healthier tomorrow, or 5 tips for making my content go viral? We as people love to improve, and learn new ideas and tricks.

List posts promise the reader that they are going to get something out of reading the post, which is always a bonus. However you need to make sure you are delivering quality content, this is essential for keeping the reader happy and coming back for more. So, let’s think about two types of frequently shared lists you could post to improve engagement and sharing of your content.

  • Six ways to save money this week – This is a great example of an informative list that will only fail if you don’t provide good content and advice that will actually help your readers. The classic list format that is as reliable and easy to write. If you’re a world class knitter, share your knowledge. Are you a savvy bargain hunter, tell people your top tips!
  • Four types of people in the workplace, where do you fit in? – this is a really interesting list format as it draws on people’s interest in discovering more about themselves, and also is informative at the same time.

2. Original Content

One of the best things you can do to engage with people on social media, is to create content they really want to share. It is now relatively easy to design your own infographs, thanks to Piktochart (www.piktochart.com) so you can quickly create a sharable and informative piece of original content that will improve your social media standing. Own a restaurant, why not take pictures of your food, share them and also give out the odd free recipe. Have a hair salon? Write a handy guide about cutting your own fringe at home in between trims (video works best here guys!) and your followers will really appreciate it. It goes much further than a retweeted photo that has been seen hundreds of times before.

Above all – It is uber important to make sure your informative is relevant and easy digested. Make sure you are posting something people want to use there and then – there’s no point making a lovely infographic about BBQ glazes in the cold icy winter!

3. Videos (especially how-to guides)

Video is currently taking the crown as content king, all you need to do is look at the pages and pages of recent statistics to see this. YouTube gets over one billion unique visitors…a month. Think about how many videos you watch a week, how many funny cat compilations you have shared in your lifetime, it sure does add up. So, what can you do to share you content using the power of video to engage more with followers?

  • Be creative – you need to make something that people haven’t really seen before, or take a different spin on a well-known formula.
  • Provide instructions – do you do something well? Are you a world class stylist or a leader in the boardroom who can share tips on growing confidence? Tell people about it. So many videos on YouTube and across the web are there to tell us how to improve in some way or another.
  • Make it shareable – funny content is always a winner here, but it isn’t the only option. Just always have the phrase ‘would I watch and share this?’ in mind from concept through to completion.
  • Can’t afford the professionals? Then make use of Vine – 6 second long clips that have the possibility of going viral if you fill them with the right content. Are you a bar? Show how to make a cocktail in 6 seconds or under! And feature a new one each week.

4. Images

People are more drawn to visual content, and by using images as part of your social media strategy, you will increase engagement. If you picture your Twitter feed, you can see rows and rows of 140 characters or less. If you were to post an interesting and unique image in the middle of all this, you will have already broken the mould and gained your followers attention.

It’s not surprising that users are more likely to engage with a brand if they post pictures, when social media really has entered the ‘visual age’. So what key things do you need to remember when posting visual social media content?

  • Instagram is the social media platform to be on, with more daily users than Twitter. Brands have really started to engage with the photo sharing platform, but in 2015 you need to be embracing it for all that it can do. Make sure your taking interesting images, hashtag them appropriately, and talk to your followers. A comment can go a long way!
  • Canva – this great website means you can make beautifully designed images to go on your blog posts, Facebook headers and Twitter feeds in minutes, with no design background. Make sure your content has a striking visual element to it by spending a short space of time on Canva today.

And finally, the main message running through this blog post is that your content needs to be original, needs to be interesting to your audience and relevant. If you are making sure each and every post ticks these three boxes, then you are already well on your way to making your social media posts engage more and perform better.

Continue reading 4 Things to Share to Perform Better on Social Media

Developing Digital – Why You Should Support Others

In this digital age, it is almost necessary for companies and organisations to promote themselves on the glorious world wide web. From a small Etsy shop selling earrings to a large corporation, digital marketing and online promotion is essential for making sales, engaging with customers and growing a brand.
Don’t have a website. How are people going find out about you? I recently needed to find an open all night pharmacy and you can guess who I chose – that’s right, the one at the top of my Google search. Same for plumbers, food takeaways and how-to videos.

Now I am not saying that word of mouth is dead, but these days, it is all too convenient to find what you need with a quick search. So what about the organisations who can’t afford to hire someone to build them a website? How do businesses who have no social media experience or platform share their message and engage with customers online? How do charities spread the word online without spending money to hire a digital specialist?

Continue reading Developing Digital – Why You Should Support Others

How To Get Your Dream Job in Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing is becoming a key focus for almost all businesses and organisations, and this is a trend that will only grow as we move through 2015. Everyone is feeling the ‘pull and power’ of digital sharing and the opportunities it can offer, one top tweet can make a brand, where as one bad tweet could have an on-going negative impact.

This is excellent news for those of you out there who want to break in to the industry and secure your dream top job in the digital marketing arena! If you love social media, are passionate about SEO or have crafty hands that make dreamy pieces of artwork and design, then this could be the field for you. Want to know how you can get your dream role? Well I have a few tips and stories from my experiences that may just help you out!

Experience, experience and you got it…more experience

Continue reading How To Get Your Dream Job in Digital Marketing