Launching a New Product or Service? Here’s How to Create a Content Marketing Plan to Reach Your Audience + Win Sales

How to Create a Content Marketing Plan

Nobody likes a cold caller or an in-your-face salesman that doesn’t let you get away. When it comes to investing in a product we want choices. We like to build trust and find out how it works. In a world where marketers can easily put their product in front of you on Facebook, through Google or pop into your inbox – the “hard sell” can quickly be deleted and ignored. To promote a new service or product, we need to engage, show you’re an expert and provide value. And – that’s why content marketing is key.

Here’s How Content Marketing Will Grow Your Business

Provide value

We love getting as much as we can for our money. And – as a species, we LOVE freebies! And, that’s why offering free downloadable guides and resources work so well. You’re giving your potential client much more than a product or a service. You are proving that you are the solution to their problems.

If your audience has spent time reading your blog or chosen to download a guide, they know you know what you’re talking about. And before getting told about your new product or service, they trust your brand.

Enhance your SEO

In addition to building trust, content marketing ticks all of the SEO boxes too.

Say goodbye to the‘black hat’ SEO days.

Google now sees good, helpful SEO optimized content as the #1 ranking factor your website. The more helpful content you publish on your website, the more search engines indexes you.

And – the more your content is found on a search engine, the more chance you’ll have of connecting with a potential client.  

Engage with your audience + start conversations

By default, we engage with people and emotions. Showing our personality through the content we post on social media, blog posts, emails, online forums – we build meaningful relationships. Our ability to interact is what builds customer loyalty and wins a sale.

Become an expert

We’ve touched on how we need trust to make a purchase.

If you’re making a claim that you’re social media services will increase sales. You’ve gotta give evidence for that skill set. Through your content marketing you can demonstrate your ability to solve problems. You can feature case studies and prove your products/services are worth investing in by posting testimonials.

Using a combination of content marketing strategies you can provide rich information that’ll build your authority and put you ahead of your competitors.

To gain exposure and build as much hype around your product launch as possible, here are a few ideas to connect with your audience and get your name out there:

  1. Get Blogging!

Your blog should be your first point of call. As well as boosting your SEO, your blog posts will be the platform for the rest of your content marketing to build on.

Your blog posts don’t need to explain your new product or service, they just need to include keywords, spark interest and get your readers engaged with the advice you are publishing.

Brainstorm blog post ideas around the topic of your product/service that’ll be published in the six weeks prior, during and after your launch following this rough timeline and structure:

Blog Post 1: 2 weeks prior offering a free content upgrade to collect email addresses (after launch – update this post with banner images and product/service details)

Blog Post 2: 1 week before (after launch – update this post with banner images and product/service details)

Blog Post 3: On the day of launch offering a free guide based around the theme of your product/service to build your email subscribers

Blog Post 4: 1 week after launch

Blog Post 5: 2 weeks after launch including a free worksheet based on the theme of your product/service

Blog Post 6: 3 weeks after launch

  1. Create Opt-In Freebies to Embed into Your Blog Posts

As detailed above, you’ll see that we recommend creating free downloads to offer to your readers in Blog Posts 1, 3 and 5. These ‘lead magnets’ will get people signing up to your mailing list so you can get to work on priming  your audience for your product launch.

Follow our guide to designing an email sign-up form that can be embedded into your blog posts so you can automatically send out your freebie.  

  1. Set up an Email Sequence that’ll be sent to Your Freebie Downloaders & Mailing List

Email marketing is a great way to prime your audience for a service or product launch.

  • Brainstorm + write an email sequence of around 6 emails.
  • Send out 2 emails before launching.
  • And – send your mailing list 4 emails on or after the launch.

Here’s an example of an email sequence to your mailing list or after your freebie is sent out:

  1. Advice surrounding the theme of your product/service.
  2. Show how you/your business benefited from your product/service – the more personal the better – it’ll show what you’ve learnt from your journey and help your audience connect with you.
  3. Product launch email – feature case studies, your USPs and briefly mention your product/service. You may also want to link to recent blog posts related to the topic of your product/service.
  4. If you’re planning a webinar or Q&A on Periscope – send an email out to promote what they’ll learn from you & mention what you’re clients say.
  5. Pitch your product/service – mentioning an exclusive discount to email subscribers.
  6. Mention that it’s the last 24 hours of your discount and briefly go over the benefits of your product/service.
  1. Promote Your Freebies on Facebook Ads

Everybody loves a free gift.

As well as creating a post to promote your product/service launch, use Facebook Ads to promote your free downloadable guides.

People are more likely to trust a business that offers them free information in place of an advert of a service you’re offering.

In your Facebook advert, use your email sign-up URL to send out the freebie to your audience. You can find out how to find the email sign-up page URL in our How to Create an Email Newsletter Guide.

By creating a Facebook Ad, you can hit your demographic, offer a freebie to provide valuable helpful content that’ll show off your expertise and collect email addresses to add to your mailing list.

Through your mailing list you can start conversations with your potential customers, promote your recent content in your email newsletter and hopefully sell to them further down the line.  

  1. Facebook, Twitter + LinkedIn Posts

Write posts to direct traffic your blog posts and your new product/service for each social media network. For each link we recommend writing:

4x Twitter Posts

2 x Facebook Posts

1x LinkedIn Post

If you’re a member of a Facebook or LinkedIn group, post your content in places where it will be of most use.

  1. Guest Blog!

An amazing way to reach your target audience AND improve your website’s SEO is by guest blogging. Here’s how to promote your product/service through guest blogging:

  • Firstly, research businesses/blogs/websites which has a similar target audience to yours.
  • Email them to see whether they accept guest posts.
  • Brainstorm blog post ideas surrounding the theme of your product/service.
  • Arrange to publish your guest blog around on or after your product/service launch.

Find out why publishing content on sites is useful your website’s SEO in our article: A Beginner’s Guide to SEO.

  1. Upload Images to Instagram and Pinterest to Promote Every Blog Post

Create a pinworthy image for every blog post you create. Pin this to your boards + shared boards to get as much traffic as possible.

On Instagram, publish images featuring a question that relates to the content of your blog post. By posting these images to your Instagram with relevant hashtags you can hopefully kickstart a conversation with your potential audience.

  1. Lead a Q+A And/Or Tutorial on Periscope

An amazing way to show your expertise and connect with your potential clients is by using Periscope. Here you can host a livestream of a tutorial or Q+A related to your product or service.

What’s best is that your audience can interact with you and other watchers in the chat running at the same time as your live stream. Unlike educating your audience through a blog post, Periscope allows you to connect with your audience as well as your audience engaging with you.

You can briefly mention the benefits of your product/service and direct watchers to your website to find out more.

New to Periscope? Find out all you need to know in our Beginner’s Guide to Periscope blog post.

  1. Host a Webinar

Webinars are an awesome platform for generating revenue – they’re becoming increasingly popular too! Here are a few ideas for your webinar:

  • Think of one of your FAQs or what your potential client would like to learn from you. Use this idea for the basis of your webinar.
  • You can host the same webinar 2 or 3 times.
  • Pitch your product/service at the end of the webinar.

Questions? Comments? Leave them below or reach out to us on Twitter! We love to engage!

Google Analytics: Step By Step Guide

 

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As a lot of you will know, Google has a host of tools available for web developers and bloggers on everything from Analytics, to sharing documents, Adsense and even Adwords where you can advertise your site at the top of Google search pages.

Today, we’re starting with Analytics which allows you to track everything from the age and gender of your visitors to how a specific post has performed on your website.

So let’s get started!

Setting Up An Account

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  1. Head on over to https://accounts.google.com and create a simple google account using your
    email address and a password. If you already have a google account for Gmail or Youtube, you will be able to sign in with this.
  2. Once registration is complete, head on over to google.com/analytics and click on “sign in” on the top right corner, before selecting “Google Analytics” from the drop down menu.
  3. You will then be redirected to a new page where you will be asked to “sign up”, click on this.
  4. Enter an account name of your choice, your website and a few other straight forward questions. I would recommend leaving all of the “Data Sharing Settings” ticked as recommended by Google themselves. However, do have a read through them and decide for yourself before clicking on “Get Tracking ID”
  5. Accept the terms and conditions once you have read them.
  6. You will then be issued your verification code which you will need to insert into your html, PHP or Tags of every page you wish to use analytics for on your website. (I recommend the index page first and foremost but ultimately the whole website.)
  7. Once that is done, your site is verified and you can move onto using Analytics!

Okay so now that you have set up your account, it might take a day or so to show any information. Once this appears, you’re ready to start viewing your website or blog’s analytics.

“Analytics” basically refers to visitor information such as:

  • How many people visited your website or individual page
  • What time they visited
  • How they found you (if they clicked a link on social media or search engine)
  • How long they spent viewing the content (and if they clicked on links etc)
  • The age and gender of the visitor0
  • Location of the visitor (US, UK, Australia, Europe, China etc)

A lot of terminology on Google can be confusing if you’ve never used Analytics before, so I thought before we went any further that I would explain some important ones.

  • Sessions – This refers to a group of interactions from one user. A session refers to multiple pages being viewed, social interactions and events.
  • Users – An individual who Is viewing your content
  • Page Views – How many pages your visitors looked at on the site.
  • Pages/Session – How many pages were viewed during a session
  • Avg. Session Duration – The amount of time spent on the site
  • Bounce Rate – The Percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing just one page.
  • % New Sessions – percentage of views from new visitors to your website (rather than recurring)

So there you have all of the Google Terminology explained. Now, let’s move on to navigating through your Analytics control panel.

Once you’ve signed in to your analytics account, you will be taken to a page that looks like this:

 

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So let’s just talk through some of the navigaton on the left side where you will see options such as Dashboard, Shortcuts etc

  • Dashboards

Dashboards basically allow you to create your own “dashboard” where you can view the elements which are most important to you at a glance. For more information on setting up a Dashboard, head on over to Google Help Pages.

  • Shortcuts

Shortcuts allows you to view your most commonly viewed reports straight from your home tab. For more help on Shortcuts, visit Google Help Pages.

  • Intelligence Events

Intelligence Events lets you know about changes in traffic on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. For fore help on Intelligence events, Click here.

  • Real Time

This is addictive!! Say for example you Tweet a link to your followers and want to see how it translates to clicks on your site, then click on Real Time where you will see activity as it happens. It really is addictive to watch. I’ve spent many hours watching people roam my website. #GetALifeHolly

  • Audience

Now this is the most important aspect of Analytics (In my opinion). This is where you find out who your visitor is, where they came from, how they got there, where they clicked, how long they stayed, their gender, age and location and so forth.

 

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By clicking on ‘overview’ you will be given a brief look at your demographics such as how many visitors you received during a specific time frame. You’ll be given a few different statistics such as Bounce Rate and Pageviews which I referred to earlier. You’ll also be given a list of nationalities of your visitors whether they be viewing from the US, UK, Australia, Europe or otherwise.

  • Active Users

If you look at the navigation on the left again, you will see “Active Users”. To put it simply, Active Users are unique visitors. For me, I use this the least of all the features on the Analytics.

  • Demographics

The Demographics overview will let you know how many of your visitors are male or Female. It will also let you know which age group they fall into which is great for tailoring future content.

  • Interests

The ‘Interests’ section lets you see what interests your visitors have. So for example they might be sports fans, or car lovers. Google is a clever search engine and collects a lot of information from it’s users.

  • Geo

This will show you which Geographical location you are being visited from. This is really handy again for catering content to your main visitors – for example if 7% of your website’s visitors are visiting from Australia, it might be worth referring to Australian issues or events on your website.

  • Behaviour

This basically lets you know what your visitors did whilst viewing your content. You will see how long they spent on the site, which pages they visited, which links they clicked and if they engaged or interacted with you – such as sharing your links etc.

  • Technology

Technology allows you to see which web browsers and internet networks were used to find and browse your website. So for example, this will let you know if the majority of your visitors used Firefox or Internet Explorer.

  • Mobile

Mobile will inform you of which device they used when visiting your website, for example, Tablet, Mobile or Desktop. Google has even listed exact phone and tablet models of your users, so you will be able to see if the majority of your visitors prefer Apple or Samsung products as an example.

  • Custom

This is pretty self explanatory but again, Google give you the option to customise which items you view so you can find it all in one place.

  • Benchmarking

This is a VERY important part of Analytics. Benchmarking let’s you see how your visitors came across your website. So for example, if they clicked on a link in Twitter, found it in a search engine, email newsletter or directly typed it into the URL field. This is important so that you can focus on the traffic sources that give you the highest amount of views.

  • Users Flow

Users Flow let’s you see which page your visitors landed on when they first entered your website and which demographics landed there.

  • Acquisition

This is very similar to benchmarking but is much more streamlined. It allows you to see the referring sites and/search that was used to find your website at a glance.

I think I’ve mentioned everything there is to know about Google Analytics. Feel free to let us know if there’s anything I’ve missed and I hope this has been useful to you – I know that when I was starting out, a guide like this would have made my life much easier!

As always, let us know your comments below or tweet us @purelysocialtip

Until next time!

Holly x

Email Marketing 101: How To Grow Your Email List

Why You Need to Up Your Email Marketing

The power of an email goes without saying. I check my email as soon as I wake up in the morning. I am addicted to joining mailing lists. I jump at the sound of a new email notification.  And, with 24% of Americans saying they check their email “way too much” and 40% of individuals forcing themselves to go onto email detoxes, I am not alone in this.

To get you on to the email marketing game, here are the statistics, the benefits and a guide to growing your mailing list to help you build a profitable email marketing campaign:

  • The ROI of Email Marketing is King of the Marketing World

With an impressive 3800% ROI, email marketing is the BEST mover of sales. You earn $38
for every $1 invested into email marketing. 

  • You Can Get Personal

Unlike any other content marketing methods, email marketing can get personal. When a subscriber signs up, they give you their name. Their name is key to getting that all important relationship. 74% of marketers claim the use of a name increases customer engagement.

You can use their name in subject lines and in the main body of your email. And, it works! Using a name in a subject line increases click through rates by 14% and boosts conversions by 10%.

  • The Engagement Rules the Roost

According to Forrester, only 2% of your Facebook fans see your posts whereas 90% of emails will get delivered to a recipient’s inbox. And, the same adults who are liking your Facebook page are twice as likely to engage with your emails than on social media.

How to Grow Your Mailing List

1. Sign Up to an Email System like MailChimp

A mailing system like MailChimp allows you to send thousands of emails at a click of a button. It allows you to schedule them, make them look pretty and organize your subscribers at the click of a few buttons.

If you’re new to email marketing, MailChimp is the place to be. In addition to being a super easy-to-use platform, here’s are a few reasons why you’ll dig it:

  • MailChimp is completely FREE for users who has less than 2,000 subscribers making it more perfect for those who have a limited budget or are just starting out.
  • MailChimp is an incredibly popular platform so it can be easily integrated with lots of software & plugins.
  • Due to its popularity… you’ll find advice & tutorials on everything!
  • It has a very user-friendly, easy to follow interface as well as a drag + drop email template editor…perfect for email marketing beginners!

2. Use Plugins That’ll Grow Your Mailing List

You’ve more than likely been on a website that has a pop-up or a text box in a sidebar asking you to be a member of a mailing list. Here are a few plugins we recommend using:

Activate a List Building Plugin on Your Website like SumoMe

The only way to grow your mailing list is by making your readers aware of your mailing list. SumoMe can help boost your daily signups by up to 20%.  It can help you design pop-ups + sign up boxes to embed into your content.

Invest in Lead Generation Software like LeadPages

If you have a little bit more budget…LeadPages will help you increase mailing list sign-ups – tenfold! It helps you design an opt-in page for your mailing list allowing you to lay out the benefits of joining your list and look uber attractive. Offering a free 30-day detox guide as a lead magnet/free gift for joining your list? Setting up a landing page with LeadPages can help you show off the value of your free gift.

3. Offer a Lead Magnet or ‘Content Upgrade’ on Your Website

People aren’t interested in joining a mailing list unless it benefits them.

So giving away free content is the fastest way to grow your mailing list and make you a trustable source.

Take some time to brainstorm, create and design content that’ll get your audience signing up to your list.

Think about your typical customer or ideal customer.

What advice do they usually ask for? What information will be valuable?

Find out right from the horses mouth by asking your mailing list to email you with questions, looking at popular blog posts on businesses like yours, seeing what topics are hot in forums and Facebook groups and posting on your on your Facebook and Twitter pages and asking your audience to comment what they’d like to know.

Use this information to help you curate your content. Here are a few super effective, tried and tested freebie content ideas:

  • An eCourse. Offer a chain of emails as your content bribe. For example, if you’re a personal trainer, offer a 20 day fitness challenge where you send out 20 unique emails with different workouts to get their body into shape.
  • An eBook. Design a PDF that shares information that’ll help your reader. Here are a few examples: smoothie recipes, marketing guides, makeup tutorials, web design guides etc.

4. Create A Custom Newsletter Confirmation Page

Once your new subscriber has signed up…your next point of engagement is your confirmation page. Your newsletter confirmation page is your perfect opportunity to show off your expertise and already written content. Make sure you include:

  • A little thank you.
  • An explanation of what to expect from your emails.
  • Feature about + testimonial pages so users can get to know you and trust what you do.
  • Link to popular content on your website.

5. Brainstorm and Plan Content for Your Future Emails

An engaged audience is an audience that is likely to grow into loyal clients. So it’s important to connect with your subscribers.

The first thing to master is the subject line. It needs to be short, catchy, relevant and personal. The second this is the content. According to HubSpot, 65% of users like emails that contain mostly images. To ensure your emails connect with your readers make sure you break up your text into small sections, use more visual material than text, attractive use of your brand’s colours and interesting content (see below).

  • Send Out Free Worksheets, Guides + eBooks.

    We LOVE free stuff. Especially when the free stuff is valuable and helps us improve. The free content will help you start a relationship with your audience, show off your expertise and prime your readers for an offering of paid products/services.
  • Recap of Recent Blog Posts + News.

    Not all of your readers will check your website on a regular basis. Showing off your most recent content in a recap email will keep your readers updated + help get your audience onto your website.
  • Share Details About a Future Service/Product.

    72% of people prefer promo material in their inbox compared to 17% on social media.

    Launching a new service or product? Get your readers in the know by sharing what it involves, the benefits, discounts + any testimonials you’ve already gathered pre-launch.
  • Send Exclusive Content that’s Only Available to Subscribers

    Show the value of being a member of your mailing list by sharing MORE than a reader of your website will see. Ideas include sending out a recipe, tips for success and a link to a secret blog post. You can check out our 30 Engaging Blog Post Ideas to help you brainstorm content! 

What’s more – you can gain access to a wealth of analytics. Every time you send out an email you’ll be able to see the click through rates, what links have been clicked, the amount of people who unsubscribed, see what works best and monitor what content is popular. And this important data is what’ll help you refine your email marketing content for future emails.

5 Tools Your Business NEEDS To Survive

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The title might be a tad dramatic, but in all seriousness, these tools are the base of everything I’ve been discussing with you over the past few months. One of the main things I’ve always said is that even if I was broke and only made $10 in a year on my business, I would still invest that $10 in PR. “PR” covers everything from advertising to marketing and quite frankly, not a single business in the world can survive without it.

As I’ve said many times in these articles (yes, I know it’s boring, but it’s really important and I’m going to keep repeating myself until I’m blue in the face or at least until my fingers are from all the typing and whatnot) that you needn’t spend a single dollar to promote your business. It’s about knowledge and knowing where to go. If you spend an hour or two every week researching new tools and features to help promote your business then you’d be surprised at the amount of ‘free’ coverage you can gain for your business.

Sometimes narrowing down the vital tools your business needs to survive can be hard considering there are literally thousands of tools available online at the touch of a button. Here, I’ve narrowed it down to five just for you the lovely readers of Purely Social Media! (You’re welcome). These are in no particular order as these are equally as important as each other.

1 – A Survey Tool

Here’s something I haven’t really gone into great depth about here on Purely Social Media. Surveys are annoying when they are a pop up or if you need to answer one to gain access to certain content. However, a strategically placed survey (right column of the homepage) actually encourages your visitors to interact by completing the survey which also gives you some insider knowledge about your visitor.

Here’s an example of three good survey questions:

1 – Which gender do you identify with?

2 – Which age group are you in? (select below)

3 – Do you have a (free) membership with us?

We all know how difficult it can be to get a good demographic about who is actually our audience. Asking your visitors their gender and age group will help you to narrow down who your visitors typically are and can help you to cater content to that demographic. For example, if your average visitor is a female aged between 35-41 years old then you could write more articles tailored towards parenting, buying a home or tips on de-stressing (we all know having children and moving home is enough to give even the calmest of people stress!).

The final question “Do you have a (free) membership with us?” was chosen because of two reasons – one reason is because you make it obvious that they are missing out on something if they are not yet a member. The “free” in the question encourages your visitors to register a membership with you because they have nothing to loose. The second reason the question is a good one to ask is because it also lets you see the ratio of how many visitors are returning visitors to your website in comparison to new visitors. Again this allows you to cater your content to the audience.

The survey tool I would recommend is definitely Google Forms. It’s free, it’s easy to use and gives you a tonne of customizable options. There are dozens of online tutorials on using it, however Google have made it pretty straightforward for any users. I would recommend letting a survey run for a week and then changing it up a little to let your visitors see you are adding new content regularly.

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2 – Email Marketing (Newsletters)

Again, this is another one we haven’t really discussed at great length before. Newsletters can often be annoying and can back up in our email inboxes without ever being read. However, sometimes, if we are interested in the sender or the subject line, we will take the time to browse through those newsletter and on occasion will even find ourselves placing an order with the company.

Email Marketing (AKA sending a newsletter) is an advertising dream come true. Whilst I wouldn’t recommend flooding the newsletter with flashing banners, I definitely would recommend sending a weekly newsletter to your subscribers to let them know about any new offers, products or information you may have.

I would recommend using Mail Chimp for sending out your newsletters. Mail Chimp allows you to send 12,000 free emails per month to up to 2,000 subscribers for FREE. Of course, there are paid options available if you wish to send more than the free monthly allowance. The software is easy to use and can integrate with your mail software to manage your contacts. Again, there are dozens of ‘how-to’ guides online if you need them.

If I had to choose one “DO” for email marketing, it would be to always have a hook subject line. The sender and the subject line are the first things you see in an email and having a ‘hook’ can make the difference between generating a sale of hitting the recycle bin. Here’s an example of a good subject line:

“Limited Time Subscriber Only Discount!”

By saying it is a ‘limited time’ discount, you give a sense of urgency which makes your reader more likely to click the email which will of course contain the discount, but will also contain a few advertisements too. By mentioning the deal is for subscribers only, you make them feel a bit special and as if they’re getting something that not everyone else will receive. This is a sales strategy that has been used for a long time but it’s one that continues to work!

If I had to choose one “Don’t” it would be: do not send anymore than one email per week. If you bombard your readers, you’re more likely to find your newsletter in the trash can before it’s even been read. You’re also more likely to lose subscribers if you send too many newsletters out as they see it as a nuisance. I would recommend sending a newsletter out once per week at the same time each week. This will let the subscriber know when they can expect to hear from you and might even look forward to receiving it.


3 – Social Media Management

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and the dozens of other social media platforms are sometimes never ending. As I’ve said before on Purely Social Media, it’s important that you have a social media Management platform to help you with your social media accounts.

Buffer is a great app for social media management. Using the app is simple and straightforward. You simply type a status and an image (if you wish to choose one) and share it across whichever platforms you like at whichever time of the day you prefer. Scheduling is definitely a blogger’s best friend and will save your business a lot of time at the same time as promoting your content regularly. Buffer is free to use and can be downloaded on any smart device.

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4 – Affiliate Marketing

The blogging industry is huge and speaks for itself. Thousands of brands send products and information to bloggers in the hope that they will feature those products or information on their blog which could potentially drive thousands of new visitors and customers to your business.

It’s tricky knowing where to send your products. However what I would recommend is searching for bloggers either for free on Google search (by narrowing down results based on location and demographic) or by using paid for tools such as Buzzsumo is recommended.

As I’ve said before, you can do this for free – I would recommend going onto Twitter and writing a status about your request for bloggers and use some clever hashtags to find them. Here’s an example of what I mean:

“#Bloggerswanted to try out & feature a new skincare product. DM us for details! #journorequest”

That way you know that you’re only going to hear from people who are genuinely interested and are likely to feature you. It also means you can have a look at their Twitter profile and blog prior to sending a product to them.

5 – Contributors

Last, but by no means least, for today is Contributors. As you know, I am a contributor here at Purely Social Media and am compensated for my time and information. However, with that being said, I am only one blogger of millions. A lot of Bloggers will contribute to your site if you offer them something in return (not always money!). If you offer them “A front page advertisement of your blog for one month” in exchange for a 500 word article which they then will promote on their social media, you might be surprised at how many bloggers would be open to this.

Aged bloggers are less likely to take you up on this offer as we often don’t require an advertisement at that moment in time. However smaller, new bloggers might be open to it.

I would recommend contacting some bloggers and asking politely, if they would be interested in this. Some might not even respond to you, however some might be happy to contribute which again gives you fresh content for your site and if they are happy to share it on their social media then you might attract a whole bunch of new visitors or customers.

To top it all off, the blogger community is a popular one. Your name might end up being mentioned in the industry which can help to open up new doors for your business.

You’re definitely not the only ones looking for free exposure – it can be mutually beneficial.

Well there you have it, my top five tools your business needs to survive. I know it’s been a long one today but I’m certain your business will benefit from implementing even just one of these steps.

Let us know your thoughts and any other suggestions in the comments below or feel free to tweet us @purelysocialtip

15 Things You Should Do Before + After You Publish a Blog Post

15 Things You Should Do Before + AfterYou have spent time brainstorming your content, you have written your blog post and now you’re ready to press publish. If you’re looking for marketing tips, it could be that you’re missing a few basic SEO elements that can help boost the reach of your blog post. Follow our checklist of things you should do before + after you publish a blog post to get more people reading your post as well as improve your search rankings.

BEFORE YOU HIT PUBLISH

  1. Write An Engaging + SEO-Worthy Blog Post Title

8 out of 10 people will read your headline – but only 2 out of 10 people will click through to your post. That said – this makes the title the most important component of the marketing of your blog post. The title serves two purposes; it needs to include keywords for all that SEO value and be interesting enough to attract potential readers to click through to read your post.

An example of a not-so-engaging blog post title:

“What I’ve Learnt About Facebook For Business”

By re-working the title to include your keywords, your target audience and demonstrating your blog post will drive results, this blog post title works better:  

“New Business Owner? Here’s How to Grow Your Business on Facebook”

  1. Link to Old Blog Posts

Google likes to see inbound links in your content. One of the easiest ways to boost the amount of inbound links in your content is to hyperlink old blog posts. It will make Google happy as well as keep readers on your website for longer. Put together a list of blog posts that relate to the blog posts you’re about to publish and link them within your content. Remembering to make the anchor text the blog post title for example: How to Use an Editorial Calendar to Grow Your Traffic + Social Media Following and not hyperlinking text like, ‘find out more here’.

  1. Is Your Blog Post SEO Optimized?

Now you need to ensure your blog post content is ready for Google. If you use WordPress, one of the best ways to check this is by installing the Yoast SEO plugin. It’ll make it easy for you to edit your page title and meta description. And – tell you how well your content scores for SEO. Here’s are few factors that’ll make your blog post SEO-tastic:

– Have you used your keywords in your content?

Try to make your keywords make up 1% of your content. But remember to incorporate them naturally within your blog post.

– Are your keywords in the page title?

Usually – a page title is autogenerated from your blog post title. But sometimes this won’t include your keyword and can look a bit messy. Scroll down the content of your blog post title in editor and you’ll find Yoast SEO. From there you can edit your page title to tick all of the SEO boxes.

– Do you have a meta description?

Similar to page titles, a meta description is automatically pulled from the content of your blog post. Use Yoast SEO to write your meta description to include a keyword and attract readers. Take a look at the meta descriptions of your competitors in the search results. Using their meta descriptions as a comparison, you can make your meta description stand out from the rest to increase your click through rate.

You can find more tips to step up your SEO game in our Beginner’s Guide to SEO.

  1. Break Up Text into Smaller Chunks with Headings

What’s more off-putting than a huge chunk of text? It’s a huge turn off. And – Google knows this.

Make it easier for your reader by breaking up your content into small sections and you’ll find people will stay on your page for longer. More engagement = more chance of winning your reader as a client.

– Read through your content and see where you can break it up. Once you’re finishing editing – Yoast SEO will give you a score as to how ‘readable’ your text is. Aim for a green light!

– Use header tags like <h1> </h1> around the headings of your sections.  In your headings you may want to include your keyword to please Google

  1. Use Branded Imagery

Our branding sets us apart from our competitors. And – setting a style for your blog post images will help enforce your brand. For each featured image use a set font, colour (from your website/logo) and style. Create a template to help make your images more consistent with one another. It’ll also speed up the process too!

  1. SEO Optimize Your Images

Like we optimize our content, we need to optimize images too. On WordPress, when you upload an image it’ll come up with ‘description’ and ‘alt text’ on the right hand side. Type in your blog post title into this – not forgetting to include your keyword!

  1. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!

After hours of writing on a screen, it’s so easy to miss a typo or miss something that doesn’t make sense. Take a break from your computer for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Return to your blog post with fresh eyes and read in small sections. Using this technique you’ll be able to notice more mistakes + make your blog post flawless.

  1. Delete Unnecessary Words From The URL

Once you’ve typed in your blog post title, a URL will generate automatically from this. To ensure your URL scores well for SEO – start by deleting words like ‘the, a, because’ to lay more emphasis on your keyword and main components of your blog post title.

AFTER YOU HIT PUBLISH

  1. Write Social Media Posts & Share onto Twitter and Facebook

After you publish a blog post, write a series of unique posts to promote your blog post on social media. I usually tend to write around 8 tweets and 4 Facebook posts for each blog post I publish. Once written, schedule them to go out over the next 4 weeks.

After scheduling, insert all of your social media posts into a content bank so can schedule them sporadically with other posts to keep your social profiles updated and drive traffic to your website.

If you’re not using a scheduling platform yet – take a read of our How to Use an Editorial Calendar to Grow Your Traffic + Social Media Following blog post to find out our list of recommended scheduling websites and plugins.

  1. Pin Your Image onto Your Pinterest

You may know this already – but Pinterest is soon becoming one of the best social media platforms for driving traffic to your website. After you publish a blog post ensure your images gets uploaded to the following:

– Pin your image to a blog post board, aka a board used solely to house your blog posts images.

– Pin your blog post’s image to other relevant boards on your Pinterest. Once your blog post has been uploaded to your blog post board, pin your image to any other relevant boards on your Pinterest. That way you will maximise the reach of your pin as you’ll be putting it in front of an audience who follows your boards.

– Upload your pin to shared group boards. If you’re not already a member of shared boards, search for boards relevant to your business so that you can share your pin with both people who are a part of the group board and who follow the shared board.

  1. Post Blog Posts in Relevant Facebook Groups

Similar to shared Pinterest boards, there are tonnes of Facebook groups where you can post your content. Join groups that are relevant to your business so you can share your knowledge to an audience who could benefit from your blog post.

  1. Upload An Image to Instagram

Instagram is a great platform to show off your branded images. After you publish a blog post make sure you upload an image to your Instagram profile. Not forgetting to include hashtags to reach an audience that are looking for content like yours. You’ll find top tips in our post Using Hashtags Effectively on Social Media.

  1. Talk About Your Blog Post in A Round Up Email

Everyone has their favorite go-to places for content. For some of us it’s Facebook, some can’t stay away from Pinterest and some of us like getting their updates through email.

After you have published a blog post, write a quick 30 word summary of your blog to feature in your weekly, bi-weekly or monthly round up email to drive traffic to your website.

If you haven’t got an email marketing campaign in-action, make some time to brainstorm ideas for content that you can exchange for an email address. For instance, if you’re a healthy lifestyle brand, creating a ‘20 Lunch Recipes That Are Budget Friendly + Help You Lose Weight’ guide as a lead magnet for your mailing list campaign. LeadPages is an easy-to-use campaign to help get this set up for you!

  1. Link Post in Old & Relevant Blog Posts

Like including links to old, relatable blog posts before you publish a blog post, linking your new blog post to old content will work in the same way. Readers who land on your old blog post will be shown a new blog post that may interest them will help reduce your website’s bounce rate.

  1. Tweet People Talking About Your Blog Post Topic

Get conversations started with people talking about your topic. Type in relevant search terms or words associated to your blog post and you’ll find people talking about it in some way. Mention that you’ve written a blog post that’ll help with their problem and engage with their previous tweets/photos. It’ll help direct people on to your website as well as boost your Twitter following.

 

Online Marketing 101: Identity Economics

ONLINE MARKETING 101-

The marketing industry comes with a myth attached to it. You’re told to focus on your customer as an individual. You are told to know the individual as well as your favorite shoes, profile them, study their thoughts, find out their wants, and match your advertising accordingly. Except – as the latest idea in economics goes – there may be no individual. There is only group. Or to put it in another way: The individual buys according to what the group says. Knowing more about this idea can give you another handle on how to market your wares. And maybe sell them more effectively.

Identity Economics: It’s The Group That Buys Your Products

Our marketing principles come from traditional economics. Reasoning goes that people have their wants and needs. You’ll sell your product if you find out what those wants and needs are and show your targeted client how you can help him better than anyone else.  This way of thinking assumes that the targeted client knows his needs and chooses independently.

Marketing is based on this traditional economic view. Almost every single marketing modality from customer-centric to relationship marketing pivots the customer as an individual.  Personalized marketing says draw up a thorough profile of your desired customer – clothes, breakfast, schools, and so forth – so you know exactly whom you’re reaching.  Social media marketing tries to forge cozy interactions with the client. That’s what surveys are for! They ask the desired client, “Pray pretty please. What do you want and how can I help you achieve it?” Metrics measure whether or not your customer has bought. If so, supply more. If not, repeat the process.

Only the decision-maker may not be the individual. It may be the group. In which case, your marketing may flounder unless you consider that angle.

Identity Affects Your Health, Wealth, And Success

Sixteen years ago, economist and Nobel Prize winner George Akerlof and professor of economics in Duke University Rachel Kranton, launched their theory of identity economics. The model says that our identity affects our health, wealth, and success – and everything in between.

Identity refers to the different groups that we belong to, such as religious, gender, national, class and so on. People identify with different groups at different times.

How can we relate identity economics to marketing?

People buy according to their group because they want to conform. This makes them feel good and gives them some sort of social status. So they eat what their group does, dress as their group does, send their children to the same schools as the group does, ad infinitum. Kranton and Akerlof concluded: If you want to motivate someone don’t look into every nitty-gritty about the person. Scrutinize the norms of the group.

For instance, I run a site that offers hidden jobs to freelancers. Recently, a person tweeted: “Thanks but doesn’t look secure … this site is flooded w/shady gigs…The site isn’t safe for any legit freelancer.” The visitor explained: “Indians don’t pay well/on time.” (Note: 5% of the ads are from companies that carry Indian names).

Ordinarily, I would have have rejected this visitor’s feedback as prejudiced. The theory of Identity Economics made me look beyond her as being an individual and made me consider her opinion as Group. I looked into whether or not she was my typical client. If so, I would have to reluctantly use her feedback as cue to restructure my marketing because I wanted to sell.

This case also made me wary of using my bounce rate as a metric of site success. Marketing analytics urge you to monitor your site’s statistics. But maybe visitors leave because aspects of your site conflict with their social beliefs. Maybe you retain only two or three people but these are the people you want.

Looking at the prospective client as reflecting the opinions of a group rather than the opinions of him or herself give you a different handle on your marketing.

On The Other Hand…

Identity economics has its limitations. Marketing research recently found that advertising backfires when it scrunches the person into a group. Cases include Jif peanut butter that targets mothers by noting that “Choosy moms choose Jif.” or DirecTV that advertises, “If you call yourself a sports fan, you gotta have DirecTV!” or Gamefly.com that urges video gamers, “You call yourself a gamer? You have to have it!” or when Chevrolet asserts that real Americans drive Chevys.

In each of these cases, those who were surveyed protested that they have a mind of their own. They disliked being lumped into a group!

So, social context is an answer, but not the whole. Our self-concept is made up of both a personal identity and a social one and, when marketing, we can profit by considering both.

How Can You Use Identity Economics To Improve Your Marketing?

  1. Target marketing to the group – I work for a solar company that markets itself on price and environmental concerns. Research, however, shows that people put solar panels on their homes when other solar-powered homes are nearby. I adjust my marketing accordingly.
  2. Boost the signal strengthCustomers tend to tend to select products that most clearly broadcast membership in their specific group. Subtly highlight those signals or omit them. For instance, blood donation levels go down when blood donors are paid to give blood. The social identity of giving is core to the motivation and this is the aspect that needs to be highlighted.
  3. Ignore bounce rates – Rather focus on how you can improve your product so that it helps your customers. People are always going to be influenced by their cultures and there’s nothing you can do about that. Focus on the product and keep on marketing. Your clientele will grow.

In short, people buy according to a variety of reasons. Social context is one of them. Knowing how group comes into the buying can open up cost-effective ways of improving your marketing. It is individual as well as group that decides.

Look into both to sell.

 

30 Engaging Ideas for Blog Posts

30 ENGAGING IDEAS FOR BLOG POSTS

Welcome to the world of blogging. A place where you publish problem-solving content and build an online community that engages with your target audience.  And – by doing it consistently and strategically, you can establish a trustworthy brand that revolutionizes your business.

As you begin blogging for business, you can use this list of ideas for blog posts to create a content plan for your business to attract your target readership and help determine what content works best for your readers.  Just remember, you don’t need lots of traffic to build your business online; you just need an audience who can easily engage with your brand.

  1. How-To Post

Blog posts that show your readers how to do something are always incredibly popular. ‘How To’ offer invaluable advice that provides problem solving information that your readers are searching for answers on for example, if you’re a business that sells unique tea blends, this could be as obvious as “How to Brew Tea” or like our blog post on How to Get Steady Customers Fast and Free.

  1. Tools That Make Things Easy

Humans are lazy and more often than not – incredibly busy. We’re constantly looking for apps, new processes, websites and plugins that shorten the time it takes to do something and make our lives easier. For instance, we shared our most useful plugins that help schedule social media updates and blog posts.

  1. Review a Product Related to Your Niche

Prospective and current readers might be interested in finding out whether a certain product is worth the investment – sharing your insight into the benefits or criticisms of a product will give your readers answers.

  1. Inspiring Books

Whether its books that has motivated us along our journey or given us helpful business tips – your readers will find this information useful.

  1. A Series of Q&A Posts

Not only will Q&A posts help you interact with your target audience, they will provide answers to your readers’ questions and create extremely helpful content for your website.

  1. Tutorials

Create “Top 10” or “8 Tips for” advice posts, product demonstrations or videos about topics related to your niche. We’ve helped our readers by sharing our Top Five Tips for Blogging Success, 5 Best Tips on Sharing Content and Top 7 Mistakes Businesses Made with their Digital Marketing in 2015 & What Can be Done to Fix It in 2016.

  1. Promote a Free Downloadable Guide

One of the best ways to build your mailing list is by offering a free downloadable worksheet or guide to help your readers. You can promote your free download by explaining its benefits in a blog post.

  1. Inspirational Famous Quotes

Whether you’re a nutritionist, business coach, personal trainer or cosmetic surgeon there are quotes related to your industry. And – people love reading them!

  1. Host a Giveaway

One great way of getting your audience to share your content is by giving away free products. You could offer your services, products, prizes or treatments…everybody loves free stuff!

  1. A List of Useful Online Resources

Read any blog posts, taken a course or watched videos that have helped you? Share them with your audience!

  1. Interview Someone in Your Industry

As well as giving your audience advice, your interviewee will share it on their social media platforms and/or website which will put your brand in front of a relevant audience.

  1. Behind The Scenes of Your Business

Post images and short videos showing how your business is run – this will add a bit of personality to your brand!

  1. A Link Up of Helpful Blog Posts

A great way for getting yourself known in your industry is by connecting with similar, bigger businesses. Make yourself known by linking their content in a blog post and tagging them into your social media posts.

  1. Share a Project You Have Recently Completed

Prove yourself to your audience by showing off your skills by sharing images of a recently completed project.quote 30 engaging blog post ideas

  1. Business Goals for the Year

Between Christmas and the start of a New Year, business goals or New Year’s Resolutions get a lot of traction. Share yours!

  1. Write ‘Benefits Of’ Posts Related to Your Niche

Similar to tutorials, people are looking for reasons why they should buy into something. Show you’re an expert by writing about the benefits of something related to your industry.

  1. Share Your Opinion on a Film or TV Series Relevant to Your Business

Marketing has Mad Men and Steve Jobs to talk about. Write a blog post about based on your views about a TV show or film that has mentioned a topic related to your business.

  1. Round-Up of Your Most Popular Posts

Once you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ll be able to see which posts have performed best. Put them all together in a post.

  1. Things You’ve Learnt from Recent Training, eCourse or Book

We’re always learning. Writing about things you’ve learnt will show transparency on how you’re always willing to improve.

  1. Write About Something New in Your Industry

Last year, Twitter released the forever growing live streaming app that is Periscope so we written A Beginner’s Guide to Periscope to advise people who don’t know anything about the app.

  1. Beginner’s Guide

Similar to ‘How To’ posts, ‘Beginner’s Guides’ will give your target audience the information they’re looking for. We’ve written A Beginner’s Guide to Snapchat and A Beginner’s Guide to SEO.

  1. Motivational Mottos

We all love things that motivate us. Share motivational mantras and mottos that have helped you get to the position you’re in now.

  1. A List of Dos & Don’ts Related to Your Niche

During your time in business, you may have learnt something that’ll prevent your readers from making mistakes for example, when it comes to social media, refrain from publishing your problems or controversial beliefs on your business profiles as it may damage your reputation.

  1. Write a Follow Up Post to a Post You’ve Already Published

Written a post you could provide more information on? Write a ‘Part 2’ blog post.

  1. Blog About Hot Topics & Trending Events

A great way to publish content on talked about and most-searched topics is by writing a blog post on how your services and products relate to them like this post on Taylor Swift Vs Katy Perry: Which Star Rules Social Media? Or if you’re in the beauty related industry – a post on a trending out of the ordinary thing a celebrity is doing like, Kim Kardashian’s Vampire Facial would engage with your readership.

  1. Share Your Business Processes

Nubby Twiglet, a graphic designer has recently shared her knowledge on how to can streamline your business processes by sharing how she communicates with prospective clients, signing on a client, gathering design briefs, putting together project checklists, presenting your work and invoicing.

  1. Update Your Audience with What’s New in Your Business

Hired someone new? Releasing a new product or service? Blog about it!

  1. Your Predictions

Got an idea what’s going to be on trend in a year or season in your industry? Share them in a blog post.

  1. Publish Your Testimonials & Case Studies

Demonstrate you’re worth investing in by showing what your clients say in a blog posts. If you can show how you’ve helped a client by sharing your results in a blog post.

  1. FAQs

As your business grows and gets older – you may find you get asked a lot of the same questions. Write answers to your FAQs and publish them into an easy-to-find blog post to help your readers.