Examples of Engaging Content for Social Media:
- Who’s who in the organization
- Fun facts and creative images
When you're scrolling your personal social media feeds, what is the content that gets you to stop? I bet you didn’t say a long winded text heavy post with no visuals… When creating content for your organization, you should always stop and think, is this something that would catch my eye? If it’s not, then it should be reconsidered. The purpose of an organization using social media is to give a behind the scenes look into day-to-day business operations and to humanize the brand. Publishing interesting and engaging content will accelerate your organization to be top of mind with current and potential clients.
Examples of Engaging Content for Social Media:
What if My Organization Doesn't Sell Physical Products, How Do I Drive Social Media Engagement?
Many of you may now be thinking, my organization/industry isn’t photo driven; we don’t sell physical products that we can take pictures of, etc. But the truth is, no matter your industry, there are always opportunities to snap pictures, go Facebook live, or profile an employee or intern. It’s proven, that humanization drives engagement. Engaging content will help boost your metrics and show that you’re more than just a brand. Showcasing conventions, special events, and charitable events will show your following a side of the organization that is outside of the day-to-day and show human interest aspects.
How Do I Generate Engaging Content and Where Do I Start?
The best practice is to get everyone in the organization involved. For many of our clients, we advise a “snap first, think second” mentality. Encouraging all employees to snap pictures and then send them to your social media coordinator to decide when and what gets posted, will ensure that there is a steady stream of appropriate and usable content in the stockpile. Being proactive and having content ready is much more time efficient than randomly posting every few weeks “because you have to.” Posting employee driven content will generate excitement and value by involving them in the marketing of the business, even if they are not necessarily on that team. Then, once they see their content, employees will feel more inclined to interact and engage with social media, further driving metrics in a positive direction.
Let us know about your experience with social media in the comments below or contact us directly to learn more!
It's 7:30 on a Tuesday night at the start of summer in 2018. It's been sunny and warm, and at this time 4.4 million blog posts have been written today alone. The amount of content that's pouring into the internet is increasing on a daily basis, and it's up to those of us in content marketing to make our content stand out.
Producing unique content takes time, research, and energy. To set yourself apart from the millions of blog posts written each and every day, an investment into your content has to be made. If a significant amount of resources is going into content production — whether that's through blogging, infographics, or email blasts — you want to make sure that it's going to help customers convert. That conversion can be a product being purchased, collecting an email address, or even just spending a certain amount of time on your website.
How the Sales Funnel Relates to Content Marketing
This is where the sales funnel comes into play.
It doesn't matter what you call the phases of the sales funnel - whichever names you use, it remains the process of moving customers from the top (being aware of your brand or product) to the bottom (your desired conversion). In this scenario, your content should be what accelerates your customer through this model. Your content is what smoothes out any rough edges your sales funnel may have because these rough edges are where customers may leave or forget about your product.
The best part about content and the sales funnel is that it's applicable to all industries. Whether you're a lawyer, marketer, ecommerce store, or manufacturer, there are a variety of ways to position your content in front of potential customers, pooling them at the top of your funnel.
Content in the Discovery Phase
At the top of our sales funnel, we have the discovery phase. At this point, customers are just finding out about your brand or product (or may still not even know it). I've been to plenty of websites to seek answers to a question without knowing the brand behind the website or what their end goal was.
This is why content at this point should be helpful and draw a large crowd. On our way down the sales funnel we're inevitably going to lose customers, so the discovery phase should include the broadest, general content while still being well thought out.
My favorite type of content during this phase is a well-researched and well-written blog post. If you can find a piece of tangential content that may not directly relate to your product, but touches on your industry, that works great. Try pairing an infographic with blog posts at this phase as well — mainly because infographics are 3x more likely to be shared across social media channels.
Other common pieces of content we see during this phase are videos (and video ads) and podcasts, although that's not to say there can't be additional options.
Goals of the Discovery Phase
Just based on the definition of this part of the sales funnel, content for the discovery phase is a long term investment. We may not be converting customers directly with this piece of content, but it sets the foundation for the future.
It's also important to note that content at this point should be free. Asking for an email address can be acceptable if necessary, but I would advocate against it. Customers don't know (or trust) your brand at this point, so putting any barrier to entry here is going to dissuade people from even entering your funnel. Earning the trust of a visitor by answering a problem or giving information for free will go a long way.
It's a rookie mistake to try and sell your product during the discovery phase. People don't trust you yet, they're JUST getting to know your brand. Instead, solve a problem and move customers onto the next part of the funnel - the consideration & evaluation phase.
Real World Example: Lakefront Brewery - Brewery Tour
Lakefront Brewery, in Milwaukee, WI, is not only known for their outstanding beers - they're also known for their brewery tours. These tours go over the history of beer, the history of Milwaukee, and how Lakefront Brewery got started. The tour is led by charismatic presenters who make the crowd feel at home with participation - plus, they give you beer while you learn. This is an outside the box, real-world example of Discovery phase content.
*As a side note - I would also suggest adding a blog with content to the Lakefront Brewery website. Being industry leaders, they would be able to produce extremely well written content.
Content Goals For Consideration and Evaluation
The consideration and evaluation phase of our sales funnel is when customers may know about your brand or product, but still haven't made a purchase. It's at this point when the goal is to address any pain points customers frequently have. Overcoming these obstacles and showing that you're an industry leader is crucial in earning trust.
For this reason, lead magnets are a great form of content. Industry reports, educational resources, and new statistics all come in handy at this point in time. The most challenging hurdle to leap is that these pieces of content have to be innovative and industry-leading. You can't just take what someone else has previously said and expect to get credit for that. Providing uniquely valuable content is what will earn you an email address or social follow.
Alternatively, if your content in the discovery phase is done well enough, you may already garner emails or social media follows. In that case, the goals are still the same - you may just have potential customers a little further down the funnel. Either way, they're still evaluating you as a company and considering if they should give you money.
Goals of the Consideration and Evaluation Phase
Because we're still moving customers down the funnel, we're not expecting to see a lot of conversions at this point either. There will be some people who are willing to pay for your product or service immediately, but that won't be the majority of visitors.
The take away from this phase of the funnel is you want to acquire a list of potential customers. A few KPI's to keep track of here are the number of email addresses (or leads) in your list, the size of your retargeting audience, and the open rate of your emails/social media engagement rate if you're at that point.
Depending on your content at this point in time and where you expect your customers to be, you can start to include CTA's to see if you can produce conversions at the end of these. Regardless of that, you should be providing value without forcing a sale at this point in time.
Real World Example - Lakefront Brewery - Bus Ads
After the Lakefront Brewery tour, you leave with an excitement for beer. The buzz does help - but after learning about the brewery process and how beer came to Milwaukee, you feel accomplished.
What Lakefront Brewery does after this is ingenious - they have their billboard plastered across the city buses, which acts as a real-world Display Advertisement. Whether you're walking through the city, bar hopping, or enjoying the Lakefront, you're reminded of the hour you spent with them and the experience they provided on a daily basis. Being a well-known attraction, they're using the residents of the city of Milwaukee, as well as anyone visiting, as their 'retargeting audience'.
Finally, the Conversion Phase
Finally - time to make some real money on our content marketing! We've put in a lot of time, effort and resources into making this whole 'content creation' thing work. The best part - if we've done our job right, people will be cruising through our sales funnel on their way to seamlessly making a conversion.
It's finally our time to get customers over that last hump - offering product demos, spec guides, comparison sheets, webinars, testimonials and coupon codes can all be extremely valuable (and fun!) pieces of content that can push your customer over the finish line.
Goals of the Conversion Phase
The main metric to keep an eye on at this point in time? Sales, of course. Other than that, I would continue to monitor social channels to make sure customers know how to use your product, email open rates, coupon code use rates and lifetime value of customers.
Something to keep in mind - it's great to use an offer people can't pass up.
"85% Off - Today Only!"
"$15.00 for the next 24 hours!"
Your customer has made it this far, it's time to close the deal.
Real World Example - Lakefront Brewery - Beer Finder
Finally, Lakefront Brewery offers a few different pieces of interactive content for conversions.
Your Funnel Isn't Over Yet - It's Retention Time!
Just when you thought your content strategy was over, we hit you with the final piece of the puzzle - retention.
The good news? The heavy lifting is over. You've nurtured your customer down your sales funnel, from just discovering your brand, to helping them solve problems or understand insights, to paying you their hard earned money for your product. The final step is to make sure they're happy.
Some of our favorite types of content for this are surveys, social media follow ups (this can also help personalize your brand and give it a real voice!), how-to guides, and personalized thank you emails. The goal here is to make sure your customers are satisfied. I'm not just talking about 'that worked well' satisfied, I'm aiming for 'That experience was amazing, I need to tell someone about it' satisfied.
Real World Example - Big Surprise - Lakefront Brewery
Finally, the end of the Lakefront Brewery tour has:
Lakefront also has a strong and active social media presence, covering all of their bases.
Word of mouth is a strong sales tool that is very hard to come by. At this point, though, it's up to you to make your customer want to talk about you.
When people come to your website and don't like what they see, they bounce. Hence, the term "bounce rate" -- the rate at which users leave your website after visiting just one page. It's an important measurement to track because it's a determiner in website organization and content strategy.
Keep in mind that bounce rates vary depending on your website's function, your business goals and your industry. A high bounce rate is fine for a website like Wikipedia, where users search a subject, read about it and click off. However, if you're trying to attract customers to discover and purchase your various services, a high bounce rate means your site isn't enticing the audience to stay and look around. There are many factors that play into why people aren't invested in your website -- here are the main ones:
Irrelevant or Uncompelling Content
Your website's content is of utmost importance -- what's an empty website good for, anyway? Content can be any piece of information that educates your audience, communicates your message and encourages them to invest in your services: blogs, articles, videos, images, infographics, charts, audio clips, etc. Effective content drives people to your website, teaches them about your company, entices them to learn more and hopefully results in conversions, aka getting people to do what you want them to do (eg. make a purchase, call your office, register for something, etc).
Ultimately, good content needs to be relevant and engaging. Hypothetically, if a user is searching for information about tacos, sees a blog post on your website titled "All Things Tacos", clicks on it and you write about pretzels, those users will leave. It's important to think about what a user wants out of your page and how you can craft meaningful ways to communicate. Are there opportunities to inform them about a service they didn't know they need? Can you make the information playful and fun to read? Can you show your creativity and innovation? One last piece of advice: cut out the industry jargon and buzzwords -- it's perceived as substanceless and irritating to the general public.
Poor Navigation and Ugly User Interface
If users have a harder time navigating your website than Columbus did navigating the ocean, it's probably time for an overhaul. An organized menu system will help you avoid burying significant content, keep track of subpages and keep important information easily accessible to new potential customers.
The first thing people see on your homepage should make it abundantly clear what your business is and why the user should care. Nothing is more frustrating than having to click through several "About Us" tabs just to find something that should have been visible from the start. Information is accessible everywhere these days and people won't take the time to experiment to find what they need. They'll go somewhere else. You can produce the best content in the world, but what good is it if people can't find it?
Additionally, keep in mind that it's 2018 -- people won't bother to look at your Geocities page anymore. An aesthetically pleasing website is absolutely crucial in maintaining credibility. But as they say, "looks aren't everything" -- design, while important, isn't the only determining factor in your success, but rather it plays a supportive role to your content. Accessible, engaging content will still be your bread and butter.
You Don't Monitor Analytics
When all is said and done, your site should be dynamic. Frequently check to see how your website ranks in search engines, find out what the most popular pages are, how people get to those pages, what content works and what doesn't, etc. and then tweak your content strategy from there. If a page isn't seeing much traffic, take the time to rewrite it, redesign it and make it more accessible.
Your business' website will be the thing that makes the first impression on new customers. Make it a respectable one.
“If you build it, they will come.” Well, not necessarily — at least in this case. A sleek and modern website isn’t the only thing you need for potential customers to find you. You also need compelling copy optimized with relevant keywords.
Creating good content for your website will help improve your online ranking over time. The higher you rank, the better your chances of obtaining more traffic and conversions. Today’s market is ever changing, brimming with competition and heavily reliant on technology. You can’t afford to not invest in optimizing your website. Here are just a few examples of content you should consider including on your website:
Web Content Checklist
Each piece of content on your website should be relevant, purposeful and interesting. Go through our ten point checklist each time you are generating content for your web pages or blog posts to ensure your content is on point.
Are Your Blog Posts Quality?
With all of the above in mind, it is equally important to be mindful of how your content is formatted. Structure your content so that it is easy to read — subheadings are your friend. Subheadings will make it easy for your readers to digest the information and for search engines to find your content. Each heading or subheading should also be descriptive. Give the reader a glimpse of what they’re about to read!
Are Your Blog Posts a Good Length?
If your blog posts are too short, you aren’t going to be able to capitalize on optimization. Aim for generating content above 300 words; any less, and it’s really not an effective use of time. It’s okay to go longer on a post, but if you do, ensure you have several sub-headings, bullets etc. which clearly outline the material for readers who skim. Most people don’t read articles word for word, but jump around to the parts that interest them most.
Another great tip is to search for your target keywords, or what you want your post to rank for, and look at what's currently ranking high in search engines. If the first 10 results have 2,000+ words, it's likely you're going to have to write a short novel to rank.
Does the Blog Post Read Easily or is it Littered with Industry Jargon?
Have several colleagues or peers proofread your content. Reviewers should not only be looking for spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes, but also readability.
Write for your audience and make sure not to throw around too many acronyms or industry terms that could lead to confusion.
Is Your Topic Unique with Clear Subheadings?
Determine if your topic is somewhat unique or if everyone is already writing about it. You need to scope out the competition. Organize your content and use subheadings to make reading easy and efficient. The goal is to provide both quality content and the optimum user experience.
Does the Content Address or Solve a Common Issue?
If your topic solves a common problem, you’ve got the secret sauce! People are always looking for answers and ways to make their lives easier. You’re doing them a solid by providing them the most relevant and quality answers to their questions.
Does It Have a Powerful Message?
Aim to evoke some emotion from the reader. Your content should be both interesting and informative. Be a thought leader by crafting a message worth sharing!
Do You Provide Internal and External Links Within the Text?
Provide internal links to other pages from your site and external links to other sources, especially if the additional information supports and further educates the reader on your topic.
Do You Incorporate Visuals to Support Your Web Content?
Can you provide a downloadable pdf, chart, graph or diagram to further illustrate your content? Graphics can go a long way in enforcing or explaining more complex issues in an easy bite size way. Think small chunks of information attractively wrapped in easy to open packages.
Is There an Opportunity to Provide More Current Statistics?
Tackle the low hanging fruit. Check statistics throughout your content. Can you link to or provide more recent numbers within the body of text? If you want to lead the way in your field, provide authoritative, quality content backed by hard facts. Make it so good that everyone sees you as the trailblazer. Do this and backlinks will start to increase and you can easily share your content as the most recent out there on the web.
Do You Have the Keyword Research to Guide Your Content?
Keyword research helps you to identify trending words/phrases that people are searching for online. Make sure to also include keywords, especially in headings/subheadings (when it makes sense). Keyword research is a routine practice done by professionals in the search engine optimization (SEO) field. This is how you will identify alternative search terms and obtain keyword search volumes to help maximize web traffic. Do not stuff keywords, meaning do not paste in keywords throughout the text. Use keywords when they make sense. It’s about quality not quantity.
What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
When you write content for your website you should keep two things in mind: write for your audience and structure the content effectively for SEO. SEO is an area of marketing that focuses on growing organic (unpaid) results from search engines (e.g. Google, Bing). As you grow in organic searches, the traffic to your website will also increase. Quality On-page SEO supports overall efforts and is just a piece of the pie, but when done well, you should expect to see significant gains.
Helpful Tools for Content Creation
When to Seek Outside Help for Your Website
There may come a point at which you should seek outside help with your SEO efforts. It can become a daunting and complex task if you aren’t familiar with the different aspects of SEO: off-page, on-page and other technical details. For example, link outreach is time consuming, so you may not have the internal bandwidth to support ongoing efforts.
Hiring a firm that has a proven track record in the field helps you move quickly and shifts the burden of management from you to them. Your SEO team will have the knowledge, experience and connections to get you the optimum website traffic and ROI. In addition, you will have a full team readily available to interpret and mine data for you. A reputable firm will also conduct a technical audit of your website to ensure you are optimizing each variable possible.
Want to learn more about SEO? Register for RyTech’s free webinar, “SEO & PPC: How Organic and Paid Collaborate and Compete” on Wednesday, April 18 at 11 a.m.
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