McQueenie Mulholland

Define > Design > Deliver >

content marketing

Top 10 tips when writing a blog

DigitalSarah ThomComment

Want to start a blog on your business website but unsure how to get started? Here are our top 10 tips for creating a successful and professional blog.

What content should you post on each social media channel?

Strategy, DigitalEmma Cottle

Social media acts as the voice for your brand, and is increasingly becoming the first port of call for potential customers doing their research into the product or service that you offer. After all, social media is free, instant and accessible to an engaged audience of potential customers.

You may have read our recent article on the best times to post on different social media channels. But what is the best way to communicate with these audiences? The answer is that it depends on which channel you are using. Although it may be tempting to duplicate content across all of your accounts, and upload identical posts in bulk – spending time curating your content for each platform will pay dividends – we promise.

However, there is one overriding rule – make it engaging. Think about the most engaging people you know. They are most likely 1) interesting, 2) attractive 3) the most engaged themselves. This also applies for your content.

Here are some tips for successful content on each platform:

 

Facebook

  • Your posts will perform better with photos – Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images

  • Organic Facebook engagement is highest on posts with videos (13.9%) and photos (13.7%)

  • B2C marketers place greater importance on visual content than B2B marketers – making Facebook the perfect platform for more visual content

  • Using emoticons will get your post more likes

  • Question posts have twice the engagement of non-question posts

Twitter

  • Tweets including images and hashtags can double engagement

  • Tweets with image links get 2x the engagement rate of those without

  • As with Facebook, photos are more engaging for Twitter users

  • Tweets with less than 100 characters get 17% more engagement – but tweets with links perform the best with 120-130 characters

Instagram

  • Invest the time to create interesting images to increase engagement

  • Use hashtags and don’t be afraid to use a lot! Spend some time curating a list of relevant hashtags

  • Use images that support your brand’s voice and ethos

Pinterest

  • Try adding text to images to give each product some context

  • Write keyword-rich descriptions and boards

  • Always add a link to your pin descriptions

  • Don’t just show your product – show what you can do with your product

  • Share tips and inside knowledge

  • Tell your company’s story in pictures

LinkedIn

  • Each post should focus on a specific topic that highlights your unique expertise

  • Write interesting, attention grabbing headlines, which include industry keywords

  • Add pictures, videos and presentations to your post. As with other channels, visual posts will receive more engagement
 

Make Evergreen Content the Backbone of Your SEO strategy

Strategy, DigitalSarah Thom

Evergreen content is an important component of any content marketing strategy, but what exactly is it?

Put simply, it is content which hasn’t got an expiration date.

Writing content for your blog helps your website rank well in search engines. But, whilst some content will only be relevant for a certain period, evergreen content stays relevant and therefore should be targeted at your top keywords. This is because, content which is evergreen has the potential to rank your website higher in search engines than content that has a ‘shelf-life' e.g content that includes information that is time-sensitive. 

Some great examples of evergreen content include:

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages

  • How-To articles

  • Industry Tips

  • Product reviews and testimonials

Some examples of content which has a ‘shelf-life’ are:

  • Content with statistics or data that is subject to change

  • Current trends

  • Pop culture references

  • News reports

  • Product releases / service updates

We often advise clients to mix up their content marketing strategy so that there is a selection of blog posts which are evergreen and ones that are time-sensitive. This will help with the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of your site, which obviously could result in more visitors to your website.  
With more people researching companies and products before they purchase, your content marketing strategy is more important than ever. And evergreen content can be the difference between your website being ranked highly in search engines or not.

Newsjacking: What is it and why do businesses do it?

MarketingSarah Thom

The idea of newsjacking is simple; take a current event or news story and relate it to your business. But why do businesses do it, and what are the consequences if it goes wrong? 

The term ‘newsjacking’ was popularised in 2011 by David Meerman Scott, in his book ‘Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into A Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage’. And to see it in action, Twitter and other social media is the place to go.  

Social media has had a huge impact on marketing:  it has never been so easy to keep up to date with current events and breaking news stories from around the world. Newsjacking relies on this and uses stories and events to promote and build awareness of brands.  

There are two main ways that businesses can newsjack breaking stories; through social media and blog posts.  

Social media is the more instantaneous way to get involved with the story; though don’t be too hasty – always get your posts checked by others to ensure that they have the correct message that you want to send. Images relating to news stories or current events, with witty captions and hashtags have been used successfully to gain interest on social media.  

Blog posts are another great way to get exposure from breaking news; if there is a huge development in your field or something related to what your business does, then writing a post about it and putting it on your website can really pay off. Being one of the first people to write about a topic will help raise the awareness of your brand and you will be seen to be at the top of your game and an authority.   

Newsjacking may be a great way to capitalise on breaking news stories; but you should approach with caution. Not all news stories are suitable for newsjacking, and if you’re not careful, you could end up causing irreparable damage to your brand. To ensure that you don’t fall into this trap there are things that you should consider before you proceed.  

Is the story positive?

Would it cause offence to anyone?

Is it relevant to your brand?

Does your brand audience care about this topic?

Being critical about the news story you want to comment on is vital, to ensure that you don’t damage your brand or alienate your audience. Does the story have a connection to your business? If it doesn’t then it is best to leave it alone, else the result seems forced and won’t inspire consumers to your brand.  

Likewise, if your target audience does not care about the story then newsjacking it will fall short of your expectations, and you will look like you are just piggybacking on any big news story, whether it is relevant to your business, or not. 

Newsjacking attempts which go wrong can have serious repercussions for businesses. It can damage your reputation, create negative brand awareness and it may be hard for your brand to bounce back and regain the trust which it had before. If you try to newsjack an item which has negatively affected people, then you could be viewed as insensitive and trying to capitalise on the suffering of others (both of which are not good for business!).  

Have a look at the examples of bad newsjacking in this article to see how it shouldn’t be done. 

However, if it is done right then it can have enormous benefits. Brands have seen their tweets reposted thousands of times through brilliantly executed newsjacking, which leads to increased brand awareness and potentially, more sales. This article by The Content Marketing Institute has some great examples of successful newsjacking

Aside from brand awareness and sales, you could also gain SEO benefits. If you write about a news topic which is relevant to your brand, before the story peaks, then your blog post could be referenced by people writing about the topic later. This has great benefits for your SEO.  

The impact of social media on marketing shows no sign of fading; therefore, as a business it is important that you are using it to its full potential. Newsjacking relevant news stories and events could reap enormous benefits for your business, but always be mindful and make sure the message you put out there is the right one!  


If you would like advice on using social media for your business, then contact us today and we will arrange an informal chat with you.

Content Marketing Matters

Marketing, DigitalSarah Thom

Content marketing has grown to be one of the most formidable forces within marketing today.

Consumers have grown accustomed and blind to the more traditional marketing methods of print and TV commercials. Therefore we, as marketing agencies, have had to find new innovative ways to cut through and attract the attention of customers. This is where content marketing comes in.

The Content Marketing Institute, which is an online resource with leagues of information about content marketing, states that:

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action’  

The idea of content marketing is to give customers interesting information about your particular sector, and thereby gaining their belief and trust as a company which knows what they are doing. It employs indirect sales-pitching techniques, discussing things other than the products or services which the company provides, but has a proven record of generating sales as consumers return to the companies that have successfully won their trust.

There are a number of different types of content marketing, some examples are; infographics, podcasts, videos (sometimes ‘vlogs’) and blogs. Whatever the format, the key to this type of marketing is to inform the consumer, not try to sell them your products.

For example, if your organisation is a charity, then infographics can be used to concisely show viewers how you impact the need you address and where the money that you raise goes. With attention spans now lasting an average of 8 seconds, the quicker that information can be portrayed to the reader the better, and infographics are a great tool for this.

Podcasts and videos have also seen a huge increase recently, just look at YouTube. More people than ever are consuming audio/visual content and it is a great resource which can be utilised for content marketing. The amount of people who listen to podcasts has reportedly risen to 75 million from 25 million in just 5 years. One of the best things about using podcasts is if you use an application such as iTunes to upload your podcasts, then whenever you upload a new one to your website they are automatically downloaded to iTunes and then can be accessed by millions of people without them visiting your website. Podcasts have also been shown to influence listeners behaviour; a survey conducted showed that 63% of people had bought a product promoted through a podcast.

Blogs are also a useful way of incorporating content marketing into a business. Writing blogs about your sector or issues which are important to your sector on your website and promoting them can be a very effective way of increasing your standing to consumers. Being viewed as an authority on a topic or sector has positive implications for your business and how you a viewed and spoken about by the public.

With consumers becoming more savvy about spending their money and less influenced by traditional marketing channels it is more important than ever to utilise different techniques to attract new customers and convince them that your product is worth buying. Content marketing is the perfect way to do this.

People are more informed than ever before, and this thirst for knowledge about different subjects is likely to increase rather than decrease over the next few years. Businesses who employ content marketing are therefore more likely to see the benefits and have a competitive advantage over those who do not use these marketing techniques.