Posts tagged content
Taking Advantage of the Audio Craze

Audio is EVERYTHING now-a-days. Yes, video is still massive (and will continue to grow in 2019), but with our increasingly busy lives, we’re constantly searching for a way to do more things all at the same time.

Audio content allows us to consume information or entertainment while on the go, while working, or while wrangling a family who is ready to eat dinner.

So, how can we, as business owners, take advantage of this new interest in the auditory arena? There’s of course podcasts, which are a super fun format, but also really time consuming and require a lot of effort on the part of the host. What I’ve got for you today is a tip all about how you can easily, and cost effectively, translate the written content you’re already creating, in a way for customers to consume audibly.

Video 1 of 8: Genius Content Marketing Hacks and Blog Ideas

The hardest part about creating new content and blogs is actually coming up with an idea of what to write about.

Picture it: You’ve set aside some time to write your blog. This week you’re going to actually do it! You open up your lap top, click on Microsoft Office, and that white screen pops up. Now that little curser is sitting there blinking at you, waiting for your brilliant words to come spilling out.

And… nothing is coming out. Now you’re staring at that blank screen with that blinking, mocking cursor. You’re feeling more and more anxious, but nothing is coming to mind. You scan through the inner recesses of your mind but you just can’t think of single, solitary idea. Finally, you slam your computer shut and decide you’ll try again next week.

Ok, maybe that is slightly dramatic, but it’s pretty close… #amiright?

Well, you don’t have to stress any more. For the next 8 weeks I’m brining you some genius (if I do say so myself) hacks to easily brainstorming content ideas. They’re easy, insightful and guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing.

How to Stick to the Commitment of Content Marketing

I recently saw a quote that spoke to my soul (ok, maybe that's a little dramatic but I really liked it). "Content marketing is a long term relationship. It's not a one night stand." - Unknown

This is something I preach to all of my clients. You can't have a successful content marketing strategy if you don't stay consistent. You can't move up in Google search if you refuse to blog. You can't authentically connect with your target through ads alone.

But I totally get it. Creating authentic, real content on a consistent basis is REALLY hard. It takes time, and it takes energy, that a lot of small business owners don't feel like they have. So, how can you stick to a successful content marketing strategy, when you don't feel like doing it?

1. Schedule time in advance. This one seems simple but it's the one thing that I've found makes the biggest difference for most of my clients. Before the start of each week, mark off an hour in your calendar that you are going to devote to creating content. Trying to squeeze it in between other activities, greatly reduces the chances of you actually doing it. Here's the deal though, you HAVE to treat this time like a meeting or other event you can't blow off. Do not schedule anything over it, or push it aside. When looking to put something else in your calendar, know that time is truly booked.

2. Work in a format that you enjoy(ish). Do you absolutely, positively HATE writing? No matter how much you try to force yourself to blog, the words just do NOT come out? Then stop it! Shift your focus to a format that feels more comfortable for you. Think about doing a weekly video blog, or Facebook Live that you can host on your site after you do it. Like to talk, but don't want to be in front of a camera? Look into starting a weekly podcast. While any of these may still be a chore to you, picking the one you like the most (or hate the least) makes it a little bit easier.

3. Find someone to do it for you. If you still just can't stick to a consistent blogging and social media schedule, look into finding someone to do it for you. Yes, it's that important that it's worth investing in. Find a freelancer or consultant (I happen to know a good one ;) ...) that can get you back on track. Don't have any budget for it? Scout out some local colleges for marketing or writing interns. At the end of the day, try to open up some space to finding outside sources to help you in this area of your business. Creating authentic content is one of the best ways to move up in Google search, cut through the noise, connect with your audience, and convert them into paying customers.

Big SEO For Small Businesses - Online Class!

STRUGGLING WITH GETTING TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE?

Having a hard time mastering Search Engine Optimization? Not even sure what SEO is and how it will even help your business? We're so excited to announce enrollment is opening for the only SEO class you'll ever need.

In it we'll walk you through; what SEO can do for your business, understanding everything that goes into an SEO strategy, and how you can master it to drive more website traffic and more sales.

Everything you've ever needed to know about SEO and how to optimize it all in 15 easy to follow lessons that you can take in your own time and when it benefits you. Not sure you need this class? Let us tell you why you do:

  • 70% of links search users click on are organic.
  • When consumers are exposed to both search and social media influences by a brand, their overall search click-thru-rate went up by 94%.
  • The #1 driver to websites is search, beating out social media by more than 300%.
  • SEO Leads have a 14.6% close rate, while leads from advertising have a 1.7% close rate.*

*Stats courtesy of Search Engine Journal

What You'll Learn

Big SEO For Small Businesses, is a 15 module course designed to walk you through everything you need to create a comprehensive SEO strategy that will drive more traffic to your website and help convert that traffic into sales.  Learn More!

Pop Ups: Don't Block 'Em, Unlock 'Em
Don't let pop-ups annoy you. Learn how you can use them to your advantage from the Hub Digital team.

Whenever we hear “pop ups,” admittedly our minds still think of pop ups from the early 2000s – back when Windows had that gloomy grey color scheme and all pop ups felt like scams.

Today, we’re reinventing the pop up. They don’t have to be annoying, or scam-y, and they can be a digital marketer’s best friend if you do them correctly. In fact, when done well, users really enjoy relevant pop ups.

So why should you use pop ups?

Well, the largest pull to use pop ups is that they are a great way to generate warm leads that actually want to consume your content. Pop ups are actually proven to drive sales, and websites that have them outperform competitors who don’t. Think about it – by signing up with their email address through your pop up, they’re saying “yes, I want to receive updates from you in my inbox,” which drives sales.

When a user is presented with a pop up, they have to take action – whether that’s saying “yes, here’s my email” or by clicking out of the dialog box. So there’s a 50/50 chance they’ll give you their email address… and an even higher likelihood if you accompany your pop up with some kind of deal. 

Pop Ups Best Practices:

  • Offer something. A great way to generate leads is by offering a discount, access to your blog or newsletter, or downloadable content, say… a free Ebook to whoever subscribes. Think about it in terms of your own habits – how likely are you to just give a website your email address? Probably pretty unlikely. You’d have to be offered something or be really interested to trust the website enough to give your email address away.
  •  Don’t make it look pop up-y. There are so many ways that pop ups can look like a beautiful, cohesive component of your website. Be creative and make your ads bold and bright, and make sure it looks nothing like the pop ups we all remember and loathe from the 2000’s.
  • Don’t put too many on your site. While users may enjoy relevant pop ups, they don’t enjoy constantly having to click out of several of them while they’re surfing your site, or having the same ones pop up again and again.

There are a few different kinds of pop ups.

  • Entry Pop Ups are the ones that show up immediately when you enter a website. These are most effective if you’re a retailer, and we suggest you accompany them with a discount. Caution: an immediate pop up has the potential to deter guests from your site, so you have to be careful and offer a good deal! 

  • Timed Pop Ups pop up after a certain amount of time the user spends on the site. These are usually really effective because users have already stayed on your page for a certain length of time, so you know they’re interested in your content. Timed pop ups like “Want content like this sent to your inbox?” or “Download our free Ebook to learn even more” are usually very effective.

  • Scroll Pop Ups occur once the user has scrolled down on your webpage or blog post a certain percentage of the page, and won’t pop up before. These are said to be the most effective type of pop up because you know that the user is interested, since they’ve already taken the time to consume your content that much! These will generate the “warmest” leads, or leads that are most likely to end up making a purchase.

Here’s to reinventing pop ups! 

Facebook Instant Articles: To Do or Not To Do?

Beginning April 12th Facebook will be opening up Instant Articles to anybody with a website and a Facebook page. The question becomes, if you're not publishing a massive amount of content daily like the Washington Post or the NY Times, how should a small business utilize Facebook Instant Articles (if you should at all).

We've all been scrolling through our news feed on our phones when we've come across a piece of content that peaks our interest. After clicking on the link you're taken to a white screen while you wait for the content to load. Depending on a publisher's individual hosting platform, this wait time can become a huge barrier. With dwindling attention spans, audiences aren't willing to wait for content to load and will often click off. For brands that rely on their content to make sales or that make money from advertising, this can be a big problem.

Utilizing the same technology their app does to create fast load times for photos and videos, Facebook has created a new tool for publishers called Instant Articles. Allowing the content creator to publish directly on the Facebook platform allows articles to load instantly, dramatically increasing the chances of a mobile reader clicking through to the content.

On top of that, audio, video and pictures are integrated seamlessly into the article. Video is set to autoplay in either newsfeeds or within the actual content. Pictures, which before you had to pinch and zoom to view can easily be shown close up simply by tilting your phone left or right. Audio captions can be created, so the narrator can actually explain to their audience what is going on in an image. All of these combined streamline the process of consuming content to create tiers of information for the reader. 

All pages are completely customizable with fonts and colors and also included is the ability to add advertising directly within the articles This can be done through your own advertising outlets or through Facebook directly. Still a little confused? Check out this pretty cool video on the features of Instant Articles.

So the question now becomes, how does a small business utilize something like this? To me, if you're not publishing content on a daily basis this tool is a little less valuable, however, worth checking out. No matter what you're business is, we've talked about the importance of content to drive traffic and increase SEO on your own website. If you can make it easier for your customers to get your content, why wouldn't you? You may not benefit from the ads and the video integration like a blog can, but adding just one more step to your publishing routine can help your customer's experience when interacting with your brand. 

The great part about this is Instant Articles are published directly from an RSS feed pulled from your current content management system. This means that on top of being able to utilize the fast loading technology of Facebook, content is still published directly on your own website, giving you all the juicy SEO benefits of all those keywords.

You can Click Here to read more about the how-to nitty gritty of Facebook Instant Articles as well as sign up to become a Facebook publisher when the platform opens up to everyone on April 12th.


The Infamous Question - How Do I Come Up With Blog Ideas?

One of the biggest mental blocks most people have when creating blog posts is coming up with ideas. You can stare at that blank word document for 30 minutes, wracking your brain for something to put down to impress the masses. It's easy to become discouraged or frustrated and push it off until tomorrow. Unfortunately, that "tomorrow" gets farther and farther away and before you know it, it's been 2 months since your last blog post.

Well have no fear. Today we have a lists of 5 best practices to help you stockpile a ton of ideas so you never have to stare down that plank page ever again.

1. Compile a list of FAQ's - There's a reason these are called "frequently" asked questions. If more than 1 person has asked you the same question in a meeting or at an event, it's likely a lot of other people want to know the answer as well. Think about questions you get asked daily in your job and jot them down to create an easy list of topics.

2. Utilize your bookmarks folder - Like I mentioned last week, bookmarking relevant articles and websites is a very underutilized tool. Create a special bookmark folder called "Blog Ideas" and save anything that isn't timely to it. Bookmarking content ideas with a long shelf life will ensure that you'll always have something relevant to post when you need ideas.

3. Pull up your notes app - Despite the fact that I use my phone for everything else in life, for some reason I always forget to use it for storing information on the go. When you're out during the day, quickly pull up your notes app on your phone to jot down ideas or questions that come to mind. Even if you end up throwing some of them out you won't forget the stroke of genius you had in line at Dunkin Donuts. 

4. Sign up for industry newsletters - Find some newsletters related to your industry and sign up for them. Even if you don't read them everyday, you know you can always quickly pull them up for a list of relevant articles and content.

5.  Stalk your competition - Google other businesses in your sphere and see what they're writing about. Look at content that people are responding to and see if you can expand upon it. Have another (aka better) way of doing something? Use that a springboard for your next post. Notice a topic that isn't getting a lot of attention? Cross that off the list and don't waste your time.


Why your content should add something to the universe

We've all been guilty of it. We've been told that we have to create content for SEO, marketing or advertising purposes so we've forced ourselves to write a blog post. It usually begins by sitting in front of our computers only to be distracted by Pinterest before typing the first sentence. After an hour of browsing kitchen renovations and dream vacations, we finally tear ourselves back to our word document where we painfully, and slowly, type out a few sentences on something related to our business. We've written blogs on topics we either don't really know anything about, or have no real interest in, in an attempt to just get something, ANYTHING, out on the page. We stuff it full of keywords trying to get ranked in Google, hit publish and move on to the next marketing task on our list.

I'm here to tell you, however, that it's time to reevaluate that strategy. Not only is the content lame and uninspired (yes, I called your blog post lame) but it just plain bores you and your audience. You created your company, or picked your job, because it's supposed to be something you love to do. Yet we treat talking about it like a chore. How is anyone supposed to get excited about your product or service if you aren't excited about it yourself?

It's time to start creating content that actually contributes something to the internet. I think I can speak for all of us when I say the universe has had enough of the "Why you should use me to purchase your home" or the "Look how much I know about finance" blog post. We want to know why you are excited to get up and do your job everyday, and how you can help us navigate the world a little easier. 

If you could indulge me, I'd love for you to try something for me. Before writing your next blog post, take a step back and think about the last conversation you had about your business where you got truly excited. What did you talk about? Who did you talk to? How did you say it? Did the other person actually seem interested and ask questions back? Now write about that. Not only will your audience thank you for adding to the conversation out there on the world wide web, but you'll feel good for actually contributing something useful to the world.