Trends and predictions about social media marketing in 2020 are plentiful. Only time will tell which prove true and which prove false. Here are a few of the latest, in alphabetical order.
A is for Authenticity. Instagram’s decision to hide vanity metrics means that marketers will have an increased need for authenticity, the cornerstone of influencer marketing, reports Mobile Marketer. Leah Logan, VP of media products at Inmar Collective Bias, predicts that “marketers will place a greater emphasis on authenticity in 2020 and creating deeper, brand-safe partnerships.” And Social Media Today predicts that influencer marketing will continue to grow. Why? Fifty-eight percent of marketers plan to increase their influencer budget this year.
B is for Benefits of Social Listening: The benefits are real. And because of that, marketers will increase their use of social listening to provide better customer service and connections. Social listening helps companies improve products or service, attract new customers, and provide better customer service. View this Social Media Today infographic to learn more.
C is for Cross-Stream Messaging: Look for Facebook to integrate the messaging functionalities of Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp into a single stream. The integration will likely take place this year. It will bring two additional functional options along with it: payment and bot connections, says Social Media Today.
D is for Design. Pay attention to the hottest trends in graphic and digital design. Among them are panoramic virtual reality designs, surreal product photos, realistic textures, yellow backgrounds and design elements to appeal to millennials, and multi-media portraits. Find out more via the Social Media Today infographic.
E is for Ear. Get in your audience’s ear by producing more podcasts. Jenay Rose, a business coach and social media professional, told Social Media Today that podcasts are a higher way to convert because you’re quite literally in someone’s ear. “Once, content only needed to be pretty,” Rose says. “Now, it needs to keep the viewer and listener’s attention for longer spans, as creators who get someone to stay on the platform longer are rewarded.” While you’re at it, check out HubSpot for advice on how to design a podcast for audio SEO.
F is for Fun.TikTok, the fourth most downloaded app, is fun. And because of the fun factor, its popularity will continue to increase, according to Mobile Marketer. Brands should use it to to build brand affinity and awareness, according to Brian Wulfe, CEO of digital agency Effective Spend.
It’s the festive holiday season! You’ve trimmed the tree, hung the stockings with care, and decked the halls with boughs of holly. But did you remember to include your website on your shopping list?
The best gift you can give your website this time of year (or any time of year) is a thorough SEO treatment! You’ll see the benefits in return.
Unfortunately, some scrooges are so stingy they cut corners by using black hat tactics to try to promote their websites. These tricks will earn you the online equivalent of lumps of coal in your website’s stocking.
How, exactly? Read on to find out more about black hat SEO tactics you should avoid.
In case you’d forgotten, let us at TCM remind you that black hat SEO is bad. You should avoid it at all costs. The potential short-term gains that you might see from embracing underhanded online trickery are sure to be negated by the penalties that Google will stick you with once you get caught. And you will get caught.
Google’s algorithm is sophisticated enough these days to detect when developers and bloggers have taken shortcuts to attempt to cheat their way to the top of the organic search engine results. We covered this in part one of this mini-series in a previous post, along with a handful of devious practices embraced by the unscrupulous among us. In that post, we detailed keyword stuffing, invisible text, and cloaking. What follows is a rundown of several other tricks you should stay away from, lest Google end up being the grinch that steals your website’s Christmas.
A Quick Note about Domain Authority
If you run a website, you want it to have a high domain authority (DA). Domain authority is a measurement devised by the SEO gurus at Moz. It describes where any given website is likely to rank in search engine results pages.
All scores are relative and should be compared to those of sites that are similar to yours. That said, the higher your site’s score is, the better. (In other words, if your site promotes SEO services in Canton, Ohio, compare its DA to those of other businesses in your area that provide the same service, rather than, say, YouTube.)
One of the ways that you can increase your DA score is by getting lots of backlinks from other sites on the web. This is the equivalent of other sites vouching for your site, its content, its security, and so on.
Don’t Make Merry with these Black Hat SEO Tactics
Some black hat SEO tactics attempt to game the link-building system to increase DA. Others try to cheat when it comes to content. None of them are your friends.
You should avoid going caroling with them, standing under the mistletoe near them, and getting in their sleighs.
Private Blog Networks
Some might argue that private blog networks (PBNs) could be considered gray hat techniques, as they aren’t as nefarious as the worst-of-the-worst black hat cheats.
Like many black hat SEO tricks, utilizing PBNs might give you an initial boost. This might tempt you to try them out, but TCM warns you to avoid them. After all, Google has taken steps in the past to penalize sites that participate in them. This should tell you all that you need to know about PBNs.
That said, it’s not a crime to learn about how PBNs are set up. Think of this as Law & Order: PBN.
Basically, PBNs create an unearned backlink structure meant to benefit your site. You can design one by buying up expired domain names that have decent DA scores. Then you compose some rudimentary content, place that on each of these purchased sites, and have them all link back to the site you really want browsers to find in order to increase that site’s DA.
So, yes, all of these other sites will link back to your chosen site. It sounds good, but in reality, it’s like putting the site you want to promote at the center of a circular firing squad.
If Google notices that all or most of the sites that link to your favorite have very basic content and that no one ever really updates them, that’s a red flag. And, trust us, Google will notice.
Building links can be a slow process, we know. But earning them organically by creating high-quality content that users will find informative and link to on their own is a lot less dangerous in the long run.
If a PBN scheme is too complicated for you, then you could just buy up a bunch of links to your site!
Yes, you could do this, but you absolutely should not.
As you might expect, link buying is basically what its name says that it is. You pay some service to create a bunch of links to your site as a way of trying to build DA quickly.
The problem is that online, as in life, you’re often judged largely by the company you keep. Guys who sell links for a living may not be producing any good content of their own. They may be sending you links from sites that don’t have any real DA themselves, and aren’t worth the money you’ve paid for them. Plus, if the sites that are linking to yours aren’t particularly relevant to your business, then the whole scheme looks unnatural. And that’s probably not going to help your SEO efforts very much.
Duplicate Content and Article Spinning
We hope you learned in elementary school that copying off of your neighbor’s paper in class is cheating. Cutting and pasting someone else’s content in your website and claiming it as your own is plagiarism. It’s bad. Don’t do it. You will get caught.
But duplicating your own content and placing it on multiple pages within your own site, is also something you should avoid. (We discussed how you might do this unintentionally in a previous post in the Holiday SEO Series.)
Creating high-quality content is time-consuming. But that’s a big part of why it’s so valuable!
Article spinning attempts to get around the hard work requirement associated with fine content by just retooling existing content.
This black hat tactic involves using software to chop up articles and then reassemble them, presenting the messy product as a brand-new piece of content.
The problem is that the result is often of very poor quality. In addition, it might not be retooled enough to even be considered “new” at all. Who’s going to want to consume this online equivalent of a fruitcake?
Machines are becoming more sophisticated all the time, but, for now, content produced by humans is still going to be better. Don’t get software to spin your content for you. And don’t try to spin your own content either. It’s better to invest the time you would spend doing that in creating new content. It’s worth it.
Enjoy the holiday season! Give yourself the gift of white hat SEO. Don’t engage in shady black hat tactics that may give your site a brief boost, but come back to bite you in the end.
Black hat SEO might promise your website the world (wide web), but in the end, it’s all just a big humbug.
I taught at the college level for five years. One warning I gave all my students was this: Be careful of what you post online because whatever you post will exist in cyberspace forever, even if you delete it.
When they heard that, my students simply stared at me. They looked stunned. They looked scared. They looked frantic. Then they looked as if they couldn’t wait to get out of class so they could start deleting drinking photos and other incriminating items from their social media accounts.
I like to think that today we are savvier. We know the impact social media has on reputation, ours and our company’s. We know that what we post on social media can help or hurt our individual or corporate reputation. And we take care to manage our reputation, to influence and shape how others see our company, our brand, and us.
Having a well-developed social media presence is critical in today’s hyper-connected world. Your customers, clients, and stakeholders live on social media, and so should you. Your presence on social media will help you actively engage in reputation management, broadcast (and narrowcast) your public relations messages, reinforce and build your brand, identify and attract new customers, and retain existing customers and clients.
What to do online
Here are some ways to make sure you are doing what you must to effectively manage your reputation online:
Have an online presence. Nature abhors a vacuum. Make sure you have a website and social media accounts that projects the image you want.
Have good content. A bare-bones business website is better than no website at all, of course. But a dynamic business website full of robust, informative, and authoritative content is even better. Creating good content that can help you rank highly in the search engine results will push bad content down lower on the SERPs.
Have positive customer reviews. Reviews are one way customers learn about your business. More than 95% of shoppers check them before committing to a purchase.
Have good sense. Respond to online comments promptly. Address and resolve any issue publicly on the channel your customer is using. Use common sense and kindness. Be proactive and polite. Always.
Here in the United States, Thanksgiving is right around the corner! As a result, when we at TCM say “black hat,” you might immediately think of Pilgrims. That’s understandable, as images of these old New Englanders are ubiquitous in American elementary schools in the fall. But you’re likely also aware that you can use the term “black hat” to describe certain SEO practices.
If you don’t know anything about black hat SEO, the first thing we need to tell you is to avoid it at all costs. What practices qualify as black hat SEO? There are a number of them, a few of which we’ll describe below as a part of our continuing Holiday SEO Series. (Check out a previous, Halloween-themed installment here.)
As you read through the list of black hat SEO tactics detailed below, remember: Stay away from these turkeys at all costs! If you adopt any of these shady practices, they’ll definitely gobble up any goodwill you might have ever earned with Google!
What is Black Hat SEO?
Black hat SEO describes a set of sneaky tactics certain unscrupulous website designers use to try to game search engines. Those who embrace black hat SEO try to take short cuts to trick Google into putting their website at the top of the rankings. Search engines actually do have guidelines, and people who violate them attempting to gain an advantage are engaging in black hat SEO.
Rather than putting in the time it takes to develop high quality content, build links to other reputable sites, and otherwise establish solid authority for a website, these underhanded tricksters conspire to get to the number one spot without earning it.
There are some well-defined black hat SEO tactics, a few of which we’ll detail below. But as with many other shady endeavors, the term “black hat” can indicate a broad range of ploys.
If, while working on your website, you feel that you’re doing something to “trick” Google to gain an unfair advantage, you probably are. The old axiom, “I know it when I see it” definitely applies here.
What Will Happen to My Site If I Put on the Black Hat?
You want your website to rank well. We get that. If it takes a bit of underhanded string-pulling to get to the top, isn’t it worth it?
No. Absolutely not.
Search engines like Google now use algorithms that are sophisticated enough to detect black hat SEO tactics. And they have no tolerance for them.
In fact, if Google determines that you have embraced shady black hat maneuvering, the search engine will likely penalize your site. What does that mean? Google can push your site down the rankings so far that no one will ever find you. It may even pull you out of the search results altogether. Ouch. Weren’t you concocting this whole scheme to get found in the first place?
A Handful of SEO Tricks You Should Avoid
We here at TCM trust you. But, for the sake of spelling it all out, here is a list of commonly-used black hat SEO tactics you should definitely stay far away from.
We’re close to the Thanksgiving holiday, but, trust us, you won’t gain any nourishment from this brand of stuffing.
Here at TCM, we have written pretty extensively about the need to fill your website with content, adding the caveat that this content must be of high quality. Naturally, your content should be relevant to your industry and/or your company’s focus. This means that any written content you create should contain keywords that you hope your potential customers will use when conducting a search, thereby finding you online.
But remember that you should never overuse keywords, especially to the point where it sounds unnatural to the human ear. If you provide SEO services, then of course the acronym “SEO” will appear frequently in your website’s content. Users will see it on your homepage, on your “services” page, and in your company’s blog posts.
And you should use that keyword often! It’s what your business does, it’s what you want to rank for, and it’s how you will expect users to find you online.
But here’s something that won’t help you. In fact, it will hurt you. Don’t just hammer out “SEO” 5,000 times and call that a blog post. Nor should you try to be just slightly cleverer and make “SEO” every other word or every third word in your blog posts or main content. That won’t work. You’ll still get caught.
Always create content for real human users and use the most natural, human language you can. Think about how people talk to their voice assistants—in real, complete sentences. You should respond in kind.
Utilizing invisible text is a deceptive (and, perhaps even worse, lazy) method of trying to fool search engines and, by extension, users.
Human browsers might get turned off if they see all sorts of word repetition on a website. After all, a site that looks like that just screams “shady.” Invisible text tries to get over that hurdle by hiding this form of keyword stuffing. And it does so by making the text “invisible” to human viewers but still detectable to search engines.
Seemingly the very definition of deception, cloaking is another black hat tactic that any upright content creator will avoid.
Cloaking attempts to lead both search engines and human users astray by presenting each of them with a different set of content. If you have content that you want a user to see but you don’t think you can get it to rank well, you can (but shouldn’t) cloak it in keywords that you think a search engine will find.
Using this method, you could, in theory, get Google to rank your page according to certain content that it sees while, at the same time, presenting different content to the user, such as images or even Flash content. Again, you could do this, but you shouldn’t.
In the world of SEO, it turns out that your elders were right. Hard work does pay off.
Invest your time and energy in creating great content, building a link network, and establishing your company’s identity through regular social media posts and blog writing.
Don’t try to take the easy way out. Avoid shortcuts and deception. Don’t wear the black hat. You’ll be thankful for the good results.
Do you know what else you can be grateful for? TCM’s Holiday SEO Series! Keep an eye out for future installments, including another round of black hat tactics you should avoid like the black plague! Until then, stay honest!
Twitter has identified the six fastest-growing topics its users are tweeting about, claiming they reflect fundamental shifts in U.S. culture. It’s worth thinking about these trends when we consider the way we use social media as part of a branding campaign.
The insights, Twitter says, will help businesses better understand the fundamental shifts within broader culture, which can assist with creative development, product development, marketing, and consumer engagement. It can also help them stay on the cutting edge of culture.
“Understanding what’s happening matters more than ever, because consumers care about a brand’s cultural relevance,” according to Twitter.
Twitter used machine learning to remove commonplace topics and fads, such as politics and sports, then analyzed billions of Tweets over a period of three years – from Jan. 1, 2016, to June 30, 2019 – to come up with the most-used hashtags.
Twitter then identified 18 conversational trends and created a dedicated “Trend Pack” for each of the 18 trends that uncovers conversation growth, key drivers, related hashtags, emoji sentiment, and Tweets. The 18 trends were then divided among six main topics: Well Being, Everyday Wonder, One Planet, Creator Culture, Tech Life, and My Identity.
As Twitter explains it: “These reflect fundamental shifts in U.S. culture and provide a window into what’s starting to matter more and more to consumers as we enter a new decade.”
The conversational trends
Here is a summary of the six main topics and the 18 conversational trends that Twitter identified:
Well Being: focus shifts from the outside in. The conversation centers around “well being” and “self-care.”
Being well together
Everyday Wonder: fascination with the cosmos. The conversation centers around “meaning” and “wonder” in relation to the universe.
In awe of nature
One Planet: focuses on taking action and finding innovative solutions to create a more sustainable culture. The conversation centers around “action” and “innovation.”
Creator Culture: includes makers, builders, and entrepreneurs and pushes creativity into mainstream culture. The conversation centers around “creator culture.”
Connecting through video
Tech Life: imagines the possibilities of a more connected, more efficient, more expansive future. The conversation centers around “the future of technology.”
My Identity: empowered individuals living out loud, sharing passions, breaking stereotypes, and demanding more on issues of gender and diversity. The conversation centers around “identity.”
What comes next
Twitter says it will refresh its insights into the conversations shaping culture on an annual basis. It says it will also expand to additional markets in 2020.
Such refreshes will help businesses improve their own Twitter outreach and performance, according to the platform.
Imagine that it’s Halloween and the trick-or-treaters are roaming the streets in their costumes. You’ve got a house full of candy, and you’re anxious to hand it out. By turning on your porchlight, you signal to these little ghosts and goblins that they should ring your doorbell.
Wait, what does this have to do with SEO?
Well, let’s say that your house is your website and the trick-or-treaters are human web browsers (and potential customers) or even the search engines themselves. In this analogy, your porchlight is good SEO. A dark house, in contrast, is bad SEO.
By failing to optimize your website, you could be keeping search engines away. You might even be frightening users off!
Obviously, you don’t want that. And here at TCM, we don’t want that either. That’s why we’re presenting this multi-part, holiday-themed series tackling SEO problems that might be plaguing your site.
Even though there are Halloween references in this post, know that a lack of SEO will haunt your website every day of the year if you don’t address it.
So, what are some of the scariest, spookiest SEO issues that might plague your website and keep everyone away?
Read on…if you dare!
Not Enough Content
Like a nearly-empty bag at the end of a long night of trick-or-treating, a website without much content is a huge disappointment.
Actually, it’s even worse than that. If your website lacks sufficient content, then there’s not much for Google or other search engines to crawl and index. If a search engine doesn’t find much on your site, it’s not going to recommend that any living human user go there.
Remember that customers conduct searches because they want to find answers to their questions and/or alleviate some pain. If you don’t have much for anyone to find, then you won’t be found. Scary, but true, like a blood-curdling scream in a dark wood that no one will ever hear…
And if you think that publishing tons and tons of content without regard for quality is going to help you, we’ve got bad news for you there as well. Having lots of unhelpful content that does nothing but take up space is just as bad as having very little content.
Just as you might be unnerved to encounter your doppelgänger on the street, you should be concerned to find duplicate pages on your website.
The reason for this is that duplicate pages can hurt your ability to rank. When Google encounters two or more pages with identical content, it has to decide which one is the original and/or which one should be indexed. By making this indexing exercise harder for the search engine, you actually can end up competing against yourself when trying to rank.
Your site may have duplicate content for a number of reasons not due to intentional copying. For example, if you have an http and an https version of a particular page (an unsecured and a secured version, respectively), search engines may see this as duplicate content.
You can set up a 301 redirect indicating to search engines that you have a preferred version among the pages with duplicate content. The search engine will then index that page with a bonus benefit: consolidating the positive ranking factors for all of the pages into the preferred one.
We all know the frustration of clicking on a link hoping to find a product we want or the answer to a burning question only to have the site tell us that the desired page does not exist.
If that happens to you more than once on a particular page, you’re probably going to leave that site and look elsewhere, aren’t you?
Broken links, also known as dead links (and undead links on Halloween) are bad news for your website. Your site may have dead links on it for a number of reasons. For example: the page linked to may no longer exist, the destination URL there may be malformed, or the host server may not be reachable, among others.
Google may not hand you a penalty for having broken links on your site, but that doesn’t mean that these go-nowhere links can’t do you any harm. You don’t want your site looking like a link graveyard!
If a human user finds your site unhelpful or undependable because of a multitude of broken links, then that user is likely going to turn elsewhere for the information or services that you’re trying to offer. User frustration will be reflected in the decreased amount of time people spend on your website. This, in turn, sends a signal to Google that your site doesn’t have much value, which translates into a loss in rankability for your site.
Exorcize those dead links! You can prevent some dead links from happening in the first place by taking care to type in URLs properly when you are linking out to another page on your site. If you discover a broken internal link on your website, fix the URL or change the link to send users to another, comparable page on your site.
Due to the constantly shifting nature of the web, it’s inevitable that some of your external links will eventually turn up dead. It’s not as easy for you to address those, as you don’t control them. One solution is to change that link to send users to another site that will serve more or less the same purpose.
Bad SEO is not a treat. If your page isn’t optimized, then search engines won’t recommend you, and human users won’t find you. Start with adding more content. But remember to make it high-quality, informative, and engaging content! Next, work on eliminating duplicate content and purging those (un)dead links from your site. You’ll be dancing the Monster Mash in no time!
Look for additional entries in TCM’s “Holiday SEO Series” in the coming weeks!
And, as always, if you need help with your site’s SEO, beyond what you see in this blog, contact Triple Canopy Media! Our porchlight is always on!
In an earlier post, we talked about how to create the kind of engaging, high-quality content for your website that will attract readers, produce customers, and generate better Google rankings. But once you create that content and post it on your website or blog, what else should you do with it? Why, share it on social media, of course!
Hopefully, you are creating content that answers the questions asked by searchers looking for the products or services that your company provides, particularly as they use voice search. Providing that kind of high-quality content will help you get found online. And getting found online will help you move up in Google’s search rankings.
Now here’s how you can use that content on your social media platforms.
If your website has an FAQ page – and it should – share a popular question and answer. Or share two. Or three. Or more. One at a time. What’s more, if your FAQ page is thorough enough or helpful enough, it could be your company’s ticket to the legendary featured snippet box.
If you have a blog post that does a great job of addressing an industry question, turn it into an infographic and share it. People love visuals that provide information without a lot of text.
If you have produced a creative video, share it. Social media content consisting of videos receives more engagement and produces more fruitful returns.
Share a teaser. Create interest in an upcoming blog post by posting an image, an excerpt, or a quote.
Share a fact or stat. Your blog post is likely to be full of them. Pick the most intriguing and share them on social.
Pull a quote. Make sure your blog post includes a few lines that are quote-worthy and they can provide fodder for social.
Think quizzes and polls. Figure out an angle that connects with your blog post and post it on social, possibly as a story.
Got a good photo in your blog post? Post it on social. By itself.
Try a meme that picks up a point from your blog post. Make it entertaining.
Summarize your blog post in a list. Post it on social. Include a hashtag.
Reap the social media rewards
Doing all this – and more — will help you reap the rewards of social media. You’ll engage your customers by delivering interactive and professional content that will help improve your online visibility and expand your customer reach.
When it comes to content for your company’s website, more is always better, provided, of course, that it’s high-quality content.
Content, as we have discussed before, includes blog posts, social media posts, general descriptive information about your organization’s vision, mission, staff, location, products, services, and so on.
If you run a business, then above all else, your content should engage people. Your content should drive traffic to your website. And once a searcher is on your website, that content should be compelling enough to hold the attention of that user long enough for that person to become a customer.
How can you accomplish this? By creating content that is engaging, informative, and soothes the “pain” that the searcher is feeling. The pain is what caused that person to want to conduct a search in the first place.
This pain can take many forms. Your potential customer is increasingly likely to express pain in the form of a full-fledged question, especially as voice searches become more prevalent.
Such pain-related questions may include:
“How can I drive more traffic to my website?”
“How many presidents have been impeached?”
“Where can I get some poutine near me?”
As you can see, there’s a broad range of questions that people might ask hoping to satiate their hunger for information and other things.
If you run a business, the key is for you to be found (preferably first) as the answer to one of these questions.
Content does that for you!
So, back to our original question: What sort of content should you create in order to get readers’ attention (and keep it)? Read on!
You probably use Google. If so, you have likely seen a featured snippet at some point when you have asked that search engine a question.
To see what a featured snippet is, if you don’t know, check out the screenshot below:
In this example, the featured snippet features a snippet that defines what a featured snippet is. (Got it?)
The SEO gurus at Moz have done an admirable job of explaining what a featured snippet is. And Google has rewarded them with the coveted featured snippet spot as a result.
In case you can’t quite make out the definition in the screenshot above, know that a featured snippet is a portion of content which Google places in a box above the rest of the organic results on a search engine results page in response to a query. Yes, above the number 1 result!
Google does this, presumably, because its algorithm deems the result in the featured snippet to be the best answer to a searcher’s question and then places it there.
Now, if you’re developing content for your site, here’s some great news: The featured snippet doesn’t always come from the page that ranks first in the organic search results.
In other words, if you write content so helpful that Google’s algorithm deems it to be the best answer to a frequently asked question, then you can actually leapfrog over results that appear above you and get displayed in the featured snippet box!
You can see this in action in the screenshot below. The featured snippet came from the Moz site, but Moz is actually second, not first, in the list of organic results Google provides as an answer to the question:
Speaking of Frequently Asked Questions…
You always want to be of use to any searcher, and you always want Google to recognize that.
The best way to be helpful to anyone using a search engine is to answer questions. And the most efficient method for accomplishing this, of course, is to anticipate people’s questions before they’re asked. That’s where your site’s FAQ page can come in.
Composing a page with frequently asked questions is one of the most effective steps you can take to raise the profile of your company’s website.
Creating an FAQ page for your website allows you to place an abundance of relevant keywords related to your business and industry all in one place.
Remember that the use of voice search is on the rise. This is a trend that is projected to continue as people become ever more comfortable consulting virtual assistants to satisfy their information needs. When you compose your FAQ page, structure the questions just as you would expect a potential customer to ask them. Use the same language a layperson might use and you may match up exactly with a user’s query.
If your FAQ page is thorough enough or helpful enough, this could be your company’s ticket to the featured snippet box.
Show Us Your Infographics!
Infographics are valuable pieces of content. They may serve as possible gateways to a whole new potential customer base.
Why? Because, let’s face it, many people simply aren’t going to read through pages (or even a single page) of just text. Infographics are more eye-catching and much easier for busy searchers to engage with. As a result, your potential clients are more likely to read an infographic all the way through. The longer their eyes stay on your website, the better it is for your SEO.
Plus, infographics are an excellent way to repurpose content that you have previously created. Have you composed a blog post that tackled an aspect of your industry particularly well? Turn it into an infographic and release it into the world again! The time you’ll spend on the graphical layout is more than offset by what you save on not developing an entirely new set of ideas.
Video Saved the SEO Star
When you’re tired of text, and even an infographic isn’t lively enough for you, try some video content!
Video content gives you the chance to liven up your website and your social media feeds. It can add some personality to your business, which may help to forge a connection with your audience of potential customers. Plus, it gives you a chance to be creative in a different way. And although text interviews can be interesting, video interviews are even more riveting, especially interviews with influencers!
Perhaps more important than that are these stats about video content and social media engagement. In short, social media content consisting of videos receives more engagement and produces more fruitful returns. Even if you’re camera-shy, it’s worth it.
As always, more content is better. Higher quality content is better. A greater variety of content is better.
Compose those FAQ lists and strive to be a featured snippet. Repurpose your blog post text as a helpful infographic. And increase your company’s engagement with your audience by posting videos on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Writer’s block, the shorthand for being stuck when it comes to generating new written content, is not just the bane of eccentric novelists. It can and does affect businesses as well.
Since we all know that creating good content is essential to generating traffic on the web, a lack of new content is going to be detrimental to your company’s online success.
Don’t get caught in a state of not having enough new content due to a lack of ideas, feeling discouraged, or succumbing to apathy.
Here’s a list of seven ways that your company can build up your content and get more eyes on your website, your blog, and your social media feeds.
Two heads are better than one. And a whole team is better still!
Are you struggling to come up with a topic for your next blog post? We’ve all been there at one point or another.
Every writer is going to suffer from a lack of ideas at some stage in the writing game. If you work for an organization in the creativity sector (that definitely includes you, marketers) take advantage of the opportunity to tap into the minds of your fellow writers or other colleagues at work.
You may have some vague notion of what to write about swimming through your head, but you aren’t sure where to go with it. Try tossing it out to a coworker and it may just be returned to you as a fully-fledged blog post!
And remember: Your colleagues can be great editors and proofreaders, too!
Harvest Ideas from Elsewhere Online
It’s not a crime to peruse the work of other writers to help ignite your own ideas. Find writing topics by doing research online in your field. It’s not cheating to get inspiration this way. Shakespeare pulled from the works of writers that came before him, so it’s certainly okay for you to do the same.
Not only is this a bad practice from an ethics standpoint, it’s also a poor choice from an SEO standpoint. The penalty is just not worth it.
But a whole new world of potential content opens up to you when you draw from the well of online inspiration.
First of all, this is a great way to find out about new subtopics within your field. It can also help you to catch up with some of the newest trends in your industry that you might otherwise have overlooked.
Second of all, there are very few ideas in the history of human civilization that are so brilliant that they can simply stand alone with no additional input or scrutiny.
Take some of the ideas in someone else’s blog post and add on to them but from your unique perspective. Or, better yet, strive to refute that other writer’s premise using your own experience or expertise.
Pull from Your Own Archive
Even if you feel that you’re out of ideas right now, you aren’t. And if you ever felt that way in the past, you were wrong then, too!
If you’ve been blogging for a while, take a look at your back catalog of previous posts and use some of them as a springboard to help you create a new piece of writing.
Maybe, for instance, you wrote extensively about social media marketing in a series of blog posts several months or even a year or two ago. In this arena, changes happen very quickly. Isn’t that old series due for an update? Write about new developments using the news as your guide.
This naturally leads into the next bit of advice…
Draw from Industry News, Trends, and Current Events
Still out of ideas for new content at this stage? Struggling for what to put in that blog post? You shouldn’t be. But if you are, do a search for the latest trends in your industry. “SEO news 2019” is sure to turn up a lot of useful results about SEO, any one of which could translate to a new blog post from you.
You might also try looking at the calendar as well. In December, consider a retrospective on the news that shaped your industry in the previous year. In January, think about the trends that you think will drive progress in the coming year.
There are also spring trends, summer trends, fall trends…this is an especially fruitful approach to try if you’re blogging about fashion, sports, hospitality, or any other retail sector that changes dramatically over the course of any given year.
Unless you’re in an industry in which all of your activity is governed by the strictest security measures, you can almost certainly afford to “get personal” with your content’s readers.
No, we don’t mean to say that you should be divulging your deepest, darkest personal secrets to the entire online world. But you can and should humanize yourself and your organization now and then.
Does your office have a resident four-legged (honorary) staff member? It’s a sure bet that some of your readers will be intrigued by what Fido has to say about trends that affect his share of the marketplace. This may give you a chance to have some fun with a new “voice,” too!
Conduct an Outside Interview
If Fido is the strong, silent type, and no one else in your workplace is overly fond of sharing, try to book an interview with a person outside your organization. This is not only a great way to fill that content bucket for the day, it’s also a chance for you to learn more and thereby potentially gain material for future blog posts.
And if you can score a one-on-one with an influencer in your field, then you’ve just transformed a bout with writer’s block into a major coup!
Reduce Your Pain by Reusing and Recycling
If content is good enough to share once, it’s probably good enough to share again.
Thankfully, there are a variety of presentation methods, forums, and platforms available to you, the content creator. Take advantage of them!
For instance, write that blog, and then, a few months down the road, convert that piece into an infographic. You still get your message across, but in a way that might reach a different (and wider) audience.
Then share that infographic as a post on Instagram (social media is content, too)! After that, write another blog post about your start-to-finish creative process. Then be sure to hop on Twitter and send out some tweets to promote that blog post!
Don’t let writer’s block drag you down. It happens to everyone. But the cure for it is all around you. Don’t be afraid to tap into that well for inspiration, snag that interview, or think really far outside the box.
I may be dating myself, but when I think about the importance of thinking first and posting on social media second, an Aretha Franklin song pops into my head.
It’s the chart-busting tune “Think,” released as a single in 1968. The 1980 rerecording for the soundtrack of the iconic movie The Blues Brothers may bring Aretha’s hit more easily to mind, as might its 1989 redo on her Through the Storm album. Its wisdom, however, is timeless.
The song, with its first line, “You better think (think),” is good advice when it comes to social media.
As Aretha sings it, “Think” before you post. Think twice, in fact. Because whatever you post will be in cyberspace forever. You can’t take it back.
Forget about using automatic responses. Speak to people individually.
Be nice to your competitors.
Use hashtags sparingly.
Give credit where it’s due. Tag those whose content you are sharing in your posts.
Watch your tone.
Why thinking and social media are good for business
Social media, if done right, is good for your business. According to the 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 87% of respondents experienced increased exposure from using social media, 78% reported increased website traffic, and 63% saw an increase in customer loyalty.
There are approximately 3.04 billion social media users worldwide, with global internet users spending 135 minutes daily on social media sites. About the same number — more than 3 billion — actively access social media on their mobile devices.
In the U.S., 79% of people have at least one social media profile, making the U.S. the largest social media advertising market in the world. Ninety percent of these folks reach out to brands or retailers.
That same percentage of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media over one they do not.
Aretha’s “Think” was a lucky hit. It made the number seven slot on the Billboard Hot 100 on June 15, 1968, and was her seventh top 10 hit in the U.S. It also reached the top slot on Billboard’s Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles.
So think first and make it to the top. Just like Aretha.