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Infinite Reach Agency, Write Your Best Blog Posts!

Write Your Best Blog Posts!

Any good SMAM (that’s Social Media Account Manager in our world) will tell you that a successful blog can be a huge key in your online and social media presence. We’ve discussed the many things a blog can do for your business before, but now we’re going to analyze the building blocks of this multifaceted strategy: the blog posts themselves.

Blog Titles

These can be a starting point, but more often become the last thing added to a post. A good title is calibrated to maximize the SEO of your blog post, but doesn’t sacrifice style. It should be eye-catching, and make reader want to dive into the content of the post. Ask a question, create a call to action, or reveal what comes next. Is your post in the form of a list? A how-to guide? These crucial details will give readers an idea of what to expect, which will draw them in to read the rest of your post.

The Content

We talk a lot about content creation here at Infinite Reach. Looking for individuals within your target audience, enhancing your style for maximum SEO, and adapting to the jargon and norms of a client’s industry are some of our strengths. It takes a special blend of readability and new ideas to really make readers really think when they come across your blog. Every post you add should reflect this balance.

Every blog post and its content should also follow a few general guidelines. It should be free of grammatical errors, should be stylized for your target audience, and should be different from the content of your previous post. This last part is crucial. Variation will ensure that readers continue to return to your blog. Don’t use the same type of post or subject matter for consecutive blog posts (ie: don’t have two “how to’s” or listicles in a row; alternate instead). Avoiding monotony will keep your current audiences engaged and help to draw in new readers with each installment.

Brevity

Keep your blog posts short and simple. An in-depth article or guide can be a part of your strategy, but readers coming to the blog for short-form content will lose interest if they come across a text wall. Stick to the relevant facts and examples, and be sure you stay away from “fluff.” This article from copyblogger.com sums it up well: “don’t use more words when fewer words will do just fine.”

Trends

In the ever-changing online world, it’s important to keep up with trends and hot topics. These can be everything from humorous memes to breaking news stories. Fresh ideas will show your audience that you pay attention to the same things they do. But be wary; too many “hot takes” will distract from your brand, and forcing the joke or reference will come off like a gimmick. Make sure that the trends you address fit within your brand’s scope, so you can stay relevant instead of reaching too far outside your potential customer base.

Non-verbal Content

Images, videos, and other non-verbal content can really strengthen your blog posts. We’ve recently discussed on our blog how graphic design and communicating visually can enhance your brand’s storytelling power.

When choosing images and videos, it’s important not to settle for any old stock images. If you come across an image—even a perfect one for your post—in a similar post by your competitor, don’t use it. You want your images to stand out as much as your words.

Similarly, videos and links to outside articles and content should be thoroughly vetted. Read the articles fully and watch videos to the end, lest you end up quoting a piece that ends up refuting the central claims of your blog post. You must imagine that everyone reading your blog will click on every link, watch every video, and peruse every image you add with scrutiny.

 

With these guidelines in mind, it’s time to start thinking about how to really harness the power of blogging. Contact us at Infinite Reach today to get started!

infinite-reach-pros-cons-automation-marketing

Pros and Cons of Automating Your Marketing Tasks

These days, it seems like machines can do more and more work for us. The rising trend in automation has gone from a sci-fi pipe dream to a daily reality—in other words, the future is now! Most people think of cutting-edge technology like self-driving cars when they think of automation, but have you considered the way in which automation can be harnessed for marketing through Social Media and blogging? Here we’re going to talk about some of the pros and cons of automation and how to harness them for maximum potential.

Pro #1: Consistency

We’ve written before about how important it is to update your web and blog content on a consistent basis. It’s especially helpful in helping your ranking on Google, which helps your business get discovered by new clients. Scheduling content ahead of time is a great way to stick to your content calendar, and a version of the function exists in virtually all blog and website-building programs.

Pro #2: More Time for Other Work

With your blogs set to post for weeks in advance, you can use the extra time for other work, whether it’s marketing-related or another aspect of making your business run smoothly. For, example, if you’re planning an event and want to remind people about it on social media, you can use a tool like TweetDeck to schedule tweets leading up to the time of the event and focus on other important tasks that need to be done before the event. This is much more reliable than saving drafts you may forget about and not send out when this other work come up.

Con #1: Could Disengage Potential Customers

Though the idea of machines being able to think, speak, and write like human beings is intriguing, right now the content produced by software start-ups like Narrative Science is still a little, well, robotic. A recent study found that while algorithm-based articles on recent events matched human-written ones in many aspects, the most glaring difference came in the area of “pleasant to read.” Taking the extra time to have a real, live person write your content is still the best way to go if you want readers (meaning: potential clients) to enjoy it!

Con #2: Less Variation

Actual human interaction is the real basis of Social Media. That means that merely scheduling tweets and Facebook posts to go out into the void isn’t enough to build engagement with followers and customers. Setting aside time for live tweeting, responding to trending topics rather than relying only on scheduled posts, and commenting on or sharing other users’ posts are great ways to keep the human side of social media present in the automated world of cyberspace.

 

With all the technology at our disposal, it’s easy to fall into two traps: not taking full advantage of the many things it can do, and over reliance on automation to perform tasks. With these pros and cons in mind, you can save yourself time and stress by having content ready to post early, making more space in your schedule for the human side of online marketing.

Writing content

Content Creation: A Best Practices Guide

Think of content creation as a venn diagram. On one side, you have the audience’s needs. On the other side, you have the brand’s goals. These two sides meet with interesting, purposeful, unique content.

venndiagram

It should be simple to identify brand goals, however, clearly identifying its audience’s needs is more of a process. It helps to take a new point of view: instead of trying to speak to an audience, speak directly to the individuals within the audience. It’s much easier to narrow the message down to key personas when taking this perspective. One way to make sure the brand’s message is getting across to these personas is to make sure their attributes mesh well with the brand attributes. Those consuming the content respond better to content that suits their attitudes and needs. Admittedly finding the right voice for a certain persona across channels is difficult. This article discusses how to target accurately.

Great content has a voice that feels accessible. A one-way communication method between the brand and user is no longer acceptable. Instead, users need to be able to interact with a brand and know they’re being heard. In the distracting, crowed online environment, content like this is used to display why your brand deserves the user’s attention.

Content tips to keep readers happy and interested:

  1. Keep it length appropriate for the topic and the channel through which it is delivered. It may be tempting to tell a longer story in a YouTube video where there are no length restrictions, but an ideal time for a video is about 1 minute 30 seconds because it allows viewers to stay engaged.
  2. Educate the reader with information that is useful to them and relevant to their attitudes and needs.
  3. Bring some entertainment to the table to keep readers interested.
  4. Make its appearance visually appealing. Try to separate ideas into properly sized paragraphs, use lists where needed, and pieces like the infographic below to add something extra.

creating-good-social-content

 

Don’t Forget About SEO!

Lastly, keep in mind that a brand’s content must be easily found by its target personas. SEO helps bring a brand’s pages to the top of search engine results and help readers find what they are looking for instantly. Creating content that meets a user’s needs is key, but ensuring they can find it is of utmost importance. More information on SEO can be found here.

user searching google, infinite reach agency blog

Here’s Your #1 Tip to Ranking on Google in 2016

If you haven’t been able to rank on SER’s (search engine results) then that should be your top goal for your business in 2016. Just because you build your website and pull the chain to click on your little open sign, doesn’t mean people are going to find you on Google.

I get asked all the time how businesses can get to the holy grail of ranking on Google – which is the top position on page 1 in the search results. Let’s start by saying that there aren’t any short cuts to ranking. It’s a long process and in most cases requires a bit of patience a well thought out plan that is implemented over time.

For most, it takes a solid year (and in highly competitive landscape – even more time) to move up in search engine rankings. Our clients hire us for our SEO prowess and to help them be found and rank on Google and frankly, if done right is a time investment worthy of the work we do.

Your #1 Tip to Rank on Google in 2016:

Create a Content Plan and add quality, relevant and meaningful content to your website on a regular basis.

Yes, you read that right and it may feel redundant – however we may all need to hear it again and again. The number one thing each of our clients (and you!) can do for your own website is all about content. The main problem being that many people haven’t created a content plan to use.

Below are 5 things that we’ve found that will drive your site up in ranking–in addition to what your SEO specialist does for you.

5 Things to Include When Creating a Content Plan

  1. Commit to a Content Calendar

Create your content calendar and commit to sticking to it. No matter what happens, create a “no excuses” policy regarding your content calendar. For 2016 I have asked our marketing manager, Katelyn, to create a content calendar and assign blog topics to all of our staff each month. We’re sharing the love and responsibility of coming up with solid content.

In addition, I’m leading by example and have committed to writing 2 blogs a month. (self talk inserted here: gulp..I can do this, I CAN do this!)

  1. Stay Consistent

We all get excited about a new goal or idea we commit to doing. Here I’m going to give you a word of caution and tell you it’s better to be more conservative than normal. When you commit to a regular content calendar – please do yourself a favor and be consistent.

Consider your time and how much you can REALLY commit to your blog articles before you decide on the frequency your blog will hit the internet air waves.

It’s better to commit to two blogs a month over a 6-month period than start out really strong producing 6 blogs a month only to crash on the second month due to time or coming up with topics to write about. You’ll lose momentum and all that great Google juju you’ve built will fall off a cliff and you’ll be starting over. Choose a day of the week and your monthly frequency and stay consistent.

Most importantly, don’t forget about your new “no excuses” policy and just get ‘er done!

  1. Commit to 20 New Blog Articles for 2016 at 800 Words Each

Let me rephrase that. Make that a minimum of 20 new long form blog articles released over a period of at least 10 weeks or out as much as up to 40 weeks. There’s a magical number of posts for Google to recognize the value and worth behind a website. We believe from everything we’ve researched and experienced that the momentum starts around 20 long form blog articles. Once you hit this benchmark, the uptick begins!

Now with that being said, that doesn’t mean you can’t also write some 400-500 word posts. Just be sure you have your 20 scheduled in there and you can pepper in a few lighter posts, especially if you’re running low on time here and there. The more quality content, the better.

Now I can hear the rumblings all the way to my desk. You don’t know what to write about – well, tip #4 will help with that!

  1. Give Your Followers What They Want

What exactly does it mean to write relevant content? The landscape of branding has changed. People aren’t following brands any longer – they’re joining them. Now more than ever when a follower aligns with a brand, they do more than simply pay attention – they’re jumping on the bandwagon with them. Why? Because they are getting something they want or need… or aspire to be. I love that phrase – aspire to be. Why? Because it really focuses what we do and what content we give our followers. Give them content that helps them get to that place of aspiration. That’s powerful stuff!

In addition; if you’re writing about your business, what you are passionate about and know – then you can give your followers exactly what they want by sharing the content that will keep them coming back for more. Case in point; by giving you the tips in this article we are giving away our number one nugget this year because followers like you are reading our blog. This is part of our secret sauce and how we are so successful to our clients. If we can help you aspire to be a better internet marketer, then we’ve done our job helping you do yours better. See how that works?

We’ve written a lot of content around this very subject – if you need more ideas on what to write about check out this article on How to Write Quality Content Now. 

  1. Use Keywords, but Focus on Meaning for User Experience

I read an article recently that keywords aren’t that important any longer. Keywords are still very important – they’re the foundation on which your site is built. However, the reasoning behind this statement is regarding blog content and that Google doesn’t simply match keywords in a search query with keywords on a webpage any longer.

It uses the keywords but also looks for meaning of the site and what’s actually behind all those keywords. As Google works to get closer to artificial intelligence (AI), they have written algorithms around finding out the meaning of a site to match user experience.

Let’s face it. In our crazy, hectic lives users don’t go look at content unless they’ll get a payoff for their time. The content they’re searching for will either teach them something new, be useful in some way or be fun and entertaining. Users also don’t share content they don’t deem worth the time of other’s they want to share it with. So, increase your share rate (and Google juice) through giving the content they want by also increasing their user experience at the same time.

A Word About Google

Google is a business too. Their goal is to provide the best search experience possible to their users. With that comes the desire to give their users exactly what it is that they’re searching for.

In an article by Roger Montii for Search Engine Journal, Montii easily explains that “because words have multiple meanings, Google uses geographic signals, previous search signals and statistical signals in order to identify the most popular reasons users search for a phrase”. Google is looking at the “why” behind the search to populate the search queries and provide an answer.

So while it’s not just about keywords, it’s also about the search itself and the answers the user expects to receive when they type enter their query in the search bar.

In this competitive digital landscape, we have to up our game and provide the best possible content so that Google sees our sites as worthy of answering that search. By understanding what it is that Google is looking for and how to couple that with the right amount of content, type and frequency; you’ll be poised to help your ranking grow in 2016! Get busy creating your content plan and please don’t hesitate to ask questions or leave comments.

What else can be added to this plan to help make others more successful? We look forward to hearing from you!