We Answer 6 of the Most Common Content Marketing Questions!

There’s no denying it: Content marketing is here to stay. For SMEs without the marketing budgets of large corporations, it’s one of the most effective ways to grow your business and build a solid presence online.

But what is it, exactly?

Content marketing relates to the information you share with your audience online. This includes blog posts, social media content, video marketing, and webinars. If you’re new to content marketing, it can be overwhelming—but we’re here to help!

Here are six of the most common content marketing questions (and the answers to each one!) to get you started on your journey of bringing effective and engaging content to your target audience:

1. How will content marketing benefit my business?

According to the 2016 Digital Australia report, the average person spends over 10 hours each day on their devices. Each time they go online, they’re consuming content—making it the easiest way to reach your target market online.

Ultimately, the goal of content marketing is the same with any other marketing activity: To increase your bottom line.

When it’s done right, content marketing will increase your revenue and help you achieve your wider business goals, but there’s more to it than that.

Some of the key benefits include:

  • Helping your business climb the search engine rankings, resulting to more visits to your website
  • Increasing your reach and visibility on social media
  • Increasing trust within your audience and establishing your business as a thought leader.

2. How long will it take for me to get results?

There’s no magic number when it comes to getting results from content marketing. Some established SMEs might notice an increase in traffic straight away. For others, especially those building their online presence from scratch, it may take a little longer.

Content marketing is a long-term strategy. To get the best results, it’s important to develop a consistent approach. With a consistent approach, most businesses can expect to see some results (e.g. increased site traffic, social media followers, business leads) within six months from implementing their content marketing strategy.

3. What type of content should we be creating?

Content marketing is often split into two main categories: on-site content and off-site content. It’s a good idea to create both, as they will benefit your business in different ways.

On-site content relates to the content you share on your own website. This includes things such as blog posts, downloadable ebooks, and on-site videos.

Off-site content is the content you share elsewhere on the Internet, including guest blogging and social media posts.

It’s usually a good idea to include different content types in your online marketing plan, and experiment a little to find what works best with your audience.

You should also aim to include a mix of topical content covering the latest industry news, trending topics, and events, and evergreen content which will continue to stay relevant long after you hit “publish.”

4. How much content do we need?

Again, there’s no magic number when it comes to how much content you should be creating. As a general rule, the quality of the content is much more important than the quantity of the content you produce. It’s a better idea to create high quality content that adds value, rather than trying to rush content through just for the sake of getting more out there.

Search engines and social media algorithms prefer high quality content as well. Taking longer to produce quality content may seem counterintuitive, but it will increase your reach and engagement, making it more worthwhile in the long run.

That said, it’s important to stay consistent. How much content can you create on a regular basis? If you’re short on time or can’t afford to outsource your content marketing efforts, set yourself a target that feels manageable. From there, you’ll be able to manage your content schedule better, and see how much content you need to create to actually get results.

5. How do we know it’s working?

When it comes to content marketing, metrics are very important. Yet keeping track of the results is something many small business owners seem to overlook.

To avoid this, make sure you have tools such as Google Analytics set up properly for your website. This will help you keep track of the results, and determine which content is the most popular with your audience. You’ll also be able to tell where your traffic comes from, which can help you measure social media growth and search engine optimisation (SEO).

Over time, you should see your website conversions increase, too, as your readers become your customers.

6. What’s a brand voice, and how do we get one?

Your brand voice is like your business’ personality online. When you have a clearly defined brand voice, you ensure consistency in the content you produce, and a way to set yourself apart from other brands.

When creating your brand voice, consider how you would like your audience to see you. If you’re going for friendly and approachable, using stiff, formal language in your content isn’t going to cut it. Similarly, if you’re a business that requires a certain level of formality and professionalism, using lots of slang and colloquialisms probably isn’t the best choice of language to convey your brand image.

To determine your brand voice, spend some time thinking about your business’ core values and how you plan to demonstrate them online. From there, you can create a framework for your content writers to follow.

Ready to get started with content marketing, but need more support?

Getting started with content marketing can be tricky and even intimidating for the uninitiated. This is exactly why, especially for SMEs, employing the help of experts is a great way to get started. Here at Curate Bee, we specialise in helping brands enhance their presence online through our digital marketing tools and expertise. Feel free to get in touch with us to learn more about our services, or take a look at more content marketing advice from our blogs.

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Evergreen Content

“Evergreen content” is a popular buzzword in the online marketing industry. But what is it, really? Put simply, evergreen content is content that still holds its value even after months or even years have passed since it was published. It is not beholden to current trends or topical content; rather, it provides information that will continue to be of interest to readers over time.

Due to their nature, evergreen posts hold great potential in attracting hits from search engines and in generating consistent traffic to your business’ website or blog. However, many businesses, especially those which are digital in nature, are still belittling what evergreen content can bring them in terms of online marketing rewards.

Of course, that shouldn’t be the case—and here are the reasons why you need to include this type of content in your business’ digital marketing arsenal:

Stay at the Top of Search Engine Rankings

Although each search engine’s ranking algorithm is slightly different from the others, one thing that they all have in common is that they love evergreen content. This type of content tends to get more backlinks from other sites and blogs, making it more valuable to the search engines which, in turn, results to them sitting at the top or near the top of many search results. These posts also generate a lot of traffic over time, which also speaks positively to the search engines.

Having a strong search engine ranking is crucial to gaining readers and potential new leads from your online content. Most readers do not go past the first page of search results when looking for information, so you want your site’s content to be right there at the top. This leads to more site visits which, in time, can result to more conversions.

Encourage Social Sharing

Evergreen posts are more likely to be shared on social media, even well after they have been published. While topical posts usually only receive significant amounts of shares in the time immediately after posting, evergreen posts continue to be shared over the long-term. What this means for your business is that your post will have a better chances of reaching new audiences with every share, no matter how long it has been since you published it. This is value that cannot be ignored for your digital marketing efforts.

Boost Site Traffic within Your Blog

On your company’s blog page, you likely have a widget or section in the sidebar that lists your most popular posts (if you don’t, you really should have one). This tool encourages your readers to stay on your site longer and read more of your content, thus solidifying your brand in their brains. Because evergreen content brings in a lot of search traffic, these posts will usually be your most popular. They’ll gain even more traffic by being visible alongside your other content.

Most people only stay on a particular site for a few minutes before navigating to another site. The longer you can keep readers on your site, the better your chances are of turning them into customers. As they have already invested a larger chunk of time reading your material, they will be more inclined to choose your business over your competitors.

Establish Your Authority

Evergreen content provides a great opportunity for your organisation to provide your readers with the background information they need to understand your other content and what your business does or offers, in general. Much of evergreen content is geared towards beginners to a topic, so you have a unique chance here to set your business up in your readers’ minds as an authority in your particular industry. This way, they’ll have confidence that the information you provide is solid and valuable for them.

Topical content is great and often has a chance to go viral, which can be a great boon for your business. However, it does not complete the whole picture. You need evergreen content as well to form the foundation of your business’ content marketing. Without it, you’ll likely only receive large amounts of traffic to your post in the period immediately after you hit the publish button. No new posts equals no new traffic. With evergreen content, on the other hand, you’ll generate consistent traffic as your online readers search for the information you provide.

Get Expert Help with Your Content and Digital Marketing Strategy

If you’re looking for ways to strengthen your online marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to seek the guidance of digital marketing agencies. We at Curate Bee have the digital tools and expertise to jumpstart your content marketing efforts and help you gain a truly effective online presence for your business.

Still Don’t Have an Online Profile? Here’s Why It’s a Must for Your Business

Any business that does not yet have an online profile is perhaps not aware of the many benefits that come with it and an accompanying social media strategy. Just look at established companies—the likes of Amazon, Google, Dell, and Microsoft are using their online presence to grow and are experiencing immense success.

These companies were early adopters of the internet and established their brand profile online. They also leverage social media to its maximum, continually sharing interactive and engaging content with their customers. With these big businesses as real life examples, it goes without saying that having an online profile for a business, especially small and medium-sized enterprises or SMEs, is a step into the right direction.

But just in case you need more convincing, read on!

What is an Online Profile?

An online profile is not a single item or piece and is not in only one place, but rather is an amalgamation of pieces that together represent a business’ brand on the internet. The components that comprise an online profile are unique for each enterprise. Some businesses have only a domain and a basic non-interactive website; maybe even just single page on a shared domain. This is the minimal online profile and is likely not particularly effective in terms of marketing online. Others have built a strong presence not only through a dedicated website but also by leaving a digital footprint on social media and other online platforms.

What are the Components of an Effective Online Profile?

An effective online profile will, at the very minimum, include a complete website, with the business profile, contact information, and ideally engaging online content the company wants to share with its customers. Next the SME will want to dip their toe into the interactive social media space using the current popular platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Tumbler, etc.). It is wise to participate in a few of these at least, linking them where possible to have a better chance of gaining more followers and interactions.

Developing professional, high quality online content like short videos (leveraging free and paid video sites), the SME can share their content in a manner that engages. Adding further components completes the strategy, with marketing tools like email, newsletters, and a regular blog allowing the SME to tell an ongoing “story” of their business and to help drive views and clicks. With a more complete online profile containing these components, a business can more effectively represent its brand and products/services online.

5 Solid Benefits for an SME of Having an Online Profile

Many businesses are familiar with online profiles but don’t yet see how having one can be a useful tool. The competition online and offline is fierce in nearly every field. According to recent studies there are now 2.1 million small businesses in Australia alone. An online profile is another tool an SME should carry in its competitive tool belt. Below are five reasons why:

Increased sales

An online store is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and requires no additional personnel to man (aside from developers on standby, unless live persons are regularly needed for a live chat with customers). This relates more to those in retail; it’s always better to have more options in terms of marketing and selling your products.

Exposure to new global markets and customers

It is now as convenient to buy a product from a large established company in the U.S. as it is to purchase from an SME online in Sydney. Many people prefer the SME for service reasons. Don’t miss that chance to build new client relationships. Having an online profile makes you more visible and easier for potential clients—even those overseas—to know more about your business and your offerings.

More effective and rapid communication with clients

Having an online profile via digital platforms gives you the speed and convenience of electronic communications and feedback, which in turn bolsters the service (and after-service) capability of your business, allowing it to respond more rapidly to clients. And we all know that happy clients are great for business, especially in terms of promotions.

Increased brand awareness

With an effective online profile, an SME will enjoy the ability to reach more clients than by word-of-mouth in the physical world. More awareness equals more brand power, which ultimately translates into more loyal customers and more sales.

A chance to compete with the big guns online

The internet levels the playing field considerably for all businesses. Online, an SME’s website, social media profile, and other components of their online profile has the same opportunity as the largest companies in the world to get the attention of a potential buyer and close that sale. As long as the online profile is executed and managed effectively, it will be able to bring in the same kind of advantages more established companies are currently getting via the internet.

Many Australian SMEs are Already Succeeding with their Online Profiles

All an interested digital marketer looking for proof needs to do is browse the web and he or she will find a plethora of real-world examples of small companies that have made a large impact using their online profile.

One nice example of an Australian SME that enjoyed the benefits of having an online profile is the company Shoes of Prey. A quick read reveals that 10 million pairs of shoes were sold on their website. It is clear from reviewing their website that the business has been working diligently on their online profile, leveraging social media and online tools like Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, email, online feedback, and more.

Shoes of Prey’s success tells us that the benefits of having a strong online profile are not reserved for the big companies. Diligence, patience, proper management, and the strategic use of digital tools combined with enthusiasm for what the internet can offer ensures not only having an online profile but having one that’s effective as well.

Convinced now that having a legit online profile is beneficial for your business? If you need help to get started or to strengthen your current online profile, don’t hesitate to contact us. Curate Bee’s hardworking bees will help you use the internet to create a truly awesome and effective online presence for your business.

5 Important Steps to Win with your Evergreen Content

Digital marketers know that evergreen content keeps bringing readers back to your website. Wikipedia pages are a great example of evergreen content—that which remains fresh or relevant, and doesn’t lose appeal with time.

News articles, blogs on current affairs, and quarterly statistical reports are some examples of content that might be popular for a period of time, but are not evergreen. List based content like FAQs and How-to articles for beginners are some that never go out of style and will constantly bring visitors to your website. Let’s look at 5 important steps to win with your evergreen content:

1. Choose your topic, content, and keywords wisely

Choose the topic of your page or article with care, as it’s one of the first things that will catch the attention of your target audience, especially in the search engine results. Once you’ve come up with your title of choice, you can then follow the tips below to ensure that your content is engaging enough to prompt more people to read and share it:

  • The tone of your writing should be conversational and approachable, and should be aimed at the beginner rather than the expert reader.
  • Go into the topic in detail, and this means the length of the article would probably be on the longer side. This piece references top digital marketers like Brian Dean and Neil Patel, who often put out longer articles on topics of their expertise.
  • Add links to other resources when necessary, to ensure that the reader can use your page as a central point of information on the topic.
  • Keywords should never limit the scope of your writing, but it is essential that they be interspersed well within the article. This helps not just in SEO, but also in keeping the attention of the reader.

2. Updating and highlighting is key

Just because evergreen content is meant to stay relevant doesn’t mean you should let it stagnate with time. There may be some new pointers or trends that would be useful to the readers of your article, and you should make sure to update the article with these whenever possible. More frequent updates on your website would also contribute to your SEO ratings.

For the times when there are no updates to a subject, you can find other ways to keep an article highlighted on your blog or website. One way is to add links or tabs on the main page, so that readers could easily access the evergreen content. An FAQ article is a good example of this, as it can almost always be referenced from every page in the website.

3. Share, but be smart about it!

Sharing on social media is an effective way to improve readership of your evergreen content, but this must be done with a strategy in mind. Facebook and Twitter will bring in readers for a short period of time, but attention on these social sites is ephemeral, and your article will not stay in the attention of audience for long. Pinterest and Google+ are platforms that are much friendlier to evergreen content, according to the Content Marketing Institute. It’s also wise to use interesting/catchy or stunning photos (or both!) to capture the attention of users, especially if you’re planning to share the article on social media. Collections on Google+ can be used to gather your evergreen content into sub-topics to make them more accessible.

4. Stay flexible and connect to your audience

We’ve already mentioned that evergreen content is aimed more at beginners than at experts. What are some other ways to connect with your readers?

  • How-to articles could provide a download or print option, to make it easier for DIY-ers to save or print out a page for reference when necessary.
  • Step-by-step tutorials could include photos and infographics for every step, keeping readers more visually engaged with your content.
  • Mobile now represents 65% of digital media time, and this figure is only going to get higher in the next few years. As such, it is essential to keep your pages mobile-friendly.
  • Include “like” and “share” buttons that are easily visible to the reader. This adds to the possibility of social media engagement which in turns contributes more hits for your content.

5. To date or not to date?

Some writers believe that content that stays relevant does not require a date on the article. This makes sense for how-to articles, tutorials, and FAQs, for example. There are many cases of smartly-written evergreen content—including movie reviews and parenting articles—that are constantly searched due to relevant topics and keywords, and will keep coming up in search results, even with an older date attached to them. It is up to you as a brand or a writer/editor to make the call and choose what works for you. Some content experts advise to leave out the date, and add it later depending on feedback from your readers.

As with most websites, evergreen content will not be the only type of SEO content on your site. You would also need to write currently relevant and trending articles to provide a well-rounded experience to your readers. Evergreen content however, will only increase in importance, and if planned and used well, will remain a constant source of traffic to your pages.

Now you can write brilliant too.

Do you remember what the last article you read was about? Can you recall why you chose to click on the link and invest your time reading the content? What is it that makes some articles click and share-worthy over others, and what can we learn from them?

Given the ever-increasing impatience of users in the digital sphere, online writers have had to constantly up their game in writing to grab the attention of readers. We recently stumbled across an article that we loved which cuts straight to the chase on the top 10 writing tips and the psychology behind them which includes tips such as shortening your sentences and eliminating weasel words. No fluff, no BS, just good content.

Inspired by the article, we came up with our own top 10 tips that make for brilliant writing. Check it out:

1) Know your topic well

When you know the topic on hand well, you’ll naturally use fewer words to reach out to your audience. Vague and lengthy scripts do nothing but confuse the reader and also shows a writer’s lack of knowledge on the subject.

2) Good content needs good structure

What needs to be told is as important as how it is being told. The text should flow seamlessly and logically from one thought to another. The old school of thought to what makes agood article – an introduction, body, and a conclusion, still applies.

3) Write succinctly

Compound sentences and extensive usage of joining words like ‘and, also, but’will just add to the confusion of the reader. Trimming sentences to meaningful, shorter ones make for a greater impact.

4) Research well and corroborate facts

A good article stems from the fact that the information is well researched. Plagiarism is not only illegal but also reflects badly on the writer’s credibility. A good practice is to ensure that any statistics mentioned is hyperlinked to the original source. This will add value to the written piece.

5) Use bullet points

Too much prose can make an article a bore to read. Clipping and organizing information under bullet points will highlight the main points, ensure the article is easy on the eyes and helps the reader easily digest the information given.

6) Don’t beat about the bush

While an introduction is sometimes needed to ease a reader into the subject, readers appreciate it to be short and to the point. Identify long phrases and replace that with a single word. To quote an example from The University of Wisconsin-Madison: the phrase ‘concerning a matter of’ can simply be replaced with ‘about’.

7) Avoid using weak words

Words like think, believe, and feel water down the impact in sentences. It just makes you sound less convincing or credible. Eliminate the use of these words and be assertive in what you’re saying. Similarly, a positively framed sentence rather than a negative one builds confidence and trust with the readers.

8) Break the text monotony

Long texts, however informative, will likely lose the reader’s attention very quickly; studies have shown that most readers scroll only up to 60% of an article. A great tip to deal with this is to intersperse the text with images, videos, and graphs. Visuals break the monotony of the text and boost the interest levels of the audience.

9) Give headlines that make even you want to read the article

Jeff Goins, the author of ‘The Art of Work’, says the most important part of an article is its headline. It should intrigue a reader and fill him up with anticipation. “Simple tips to help you be a better digital marketer” or “You can become a great writer too with these 10 tips” are some examples of headlines that will spike the reader’s interest to find out more. Adding personalisation text like you can make the reader feel like this article is for them and thus encouraging them to want to read the article.

10) Double, triple check your work

This might seem obvious but resist the attempt to publish/submit an article immediately after you draft it. Keep the spell check on and review the draft multiple times for correct tense, unnecessary commas, homophones, and punctuation marks. Nothing is more disruptive to a reader than bad language and grammar.

Whether you are writing in a personal or professional context, we hope these tips will help make your content more impactful for your readers. If you’ve got additional great tips to share, we’d love to hear them.

5 Things To Ponder For An Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy

Creating a social media presence for your business calls for a strategic approach to achieve success. Here are some tips to get you started.

Enterprises in Australia need to establish a social media presence for their business as more than half of customers use social media daily. An average Australian owns three internet enabled devices such as a smartphone, a laptop and a tablet. About 93% of Australians are active on Facebook, while 28% have a LinkedIn account and 26% use Instagram, according to the Sensis Social Media Report.

However, creating a social media presence for your business isn’t as easy as adding your name, profile picture or contact details on a social media account. For your social media marketing to be successful, you need to plan carefully, understand how social media works and continuously monitor your strategy. This will help you ensure that every amount you invest on your social media strategy will provide returns for your business.

So how do you leverage the power of social media for your business? Here are five things to consider to achieve success.

1. Outline your objectives in a social media strategy document.

Before you put your business out on social media, you need to ask yourself what your goals are. Is it to engage customers? Build more exposure for your products? Or promote your blog posts? You need to set your objectives first as this will help you select the right type of social media platform for your business. If your business is into fashion, you might want to use visual platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest. If you’re a restaurant owner and wanted to broadcast your daily specials, you may want to use Facebook or Twitter to be able to reach a lot of people.

Once you have identified the social media platform for your business, you need to ensure that your social media account or profile is reflective of your brand. This means that whatever message you post online should be consistent with your company’s identity and with your line of work. Doing this will enable you to build a credible reputation online, and win the trust of your customers.

2. Identify your target audience.

In your social media marketing strategy, you also need to specify your target market. Who are the people that you would like to reach with your product, or service? Identify your target market by exploring the conversations that are happening on social media pages, comment sections and online forums to determine how people are talking about a product or a service that you would like to offer. Then, join the discussion with your social media accounts, and connect and interact with your prospects. Get to know their preferences, their pain points and build a relationship with them. Offer useful information and answer their questions to show them that you truly care. From there, you can suggest solutions to their problems, and include how your products or services can help. Expand your customer base by building a community related to your product or services, and then participate regularly in the discussion. This can encourage your existing customers to refer others that they know to your business.

3. Create high-quality content that your customers will love.

According to IBM, 90% of the world’s data has been generated in the past two years alone. For any consumer, this means a deluge of information that would be difficult to digest. They can easily tune out businesses that keep promoting themselves. However, you can capture their eye by providing them with the right content on your social media pages.

Targeted, high-quality content offers your customers useful or insightful information, which can either solve their problem or resonate with their values. You can identify the concerns of your audience through your conversations with them. Then, try to address these through your content. Simply put, your approach toward content creation should be more about your customers and less about your business. This will encourage them to interact more with your company. You can even drive customer engagement further by encouraging them to submit content, and using this in your marketing efforts – just ask their permission first!

4. Enlist the help of social media experts.

As you implement your social media strategy, you may need the input of social media experts to ensure that you are on the right track. Digital agencies may be more knowledgeable in the use of analytics tools, which measure the effectiveness of your social media initiatives. Through analytics, you will be able to determine parts of your strategy that do not work, and those that provide a return on investment (ROI). Additionally, you will be able to learn about customer sentiments on your posts through analytics. With this information, you can tailor your strategy appropriately to ensure it benefits your business.

You may also turn to digital marketing agencies when you get overwhelmed on managing your growing following on social media. A digital agency can help you maintain communication with your customers, and implement campaigns directed toward a large number of people.

5. Maintain a regular schedule on your social media postings.

It is important to maintain a regular posting schedule on social media as this will show your customers that your business continues to operate. However, you should be mindful of the posts that you create online, as self-promoting content can appear ‘sales-y’, and turn away your audience. To avoid this, you can try these different rules on social media schedules. One of them is the 4-1-1 rule, where you post four pieces of relevant content from others, and one re-tweet for every one promotional post. These rules will help you plan and maintain a regular posting schedule, while being able to allocate extra time for time-sensitive content; such as postings on holidays or current events.

 

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