Monthly Archives

January 2019

content strategy cycle

SETTING A CONTENT STRATEGY IN 2019

By | Content Marketing, Marketing Campaigns

Setting a content strategy may not be at the top of your list of things to do this year. In fact, many marketers take an ad hoc approach to content marketing, usually leaving it to ‘when they have some time’….which we all know, is never.

We don’t need to explain to you how important it is to rank well on search engines…they provide our websites with potentially limitless and highly relevant traffic. We also know that to improve our search engine ranking we need to take our content marketing seriously.

That is why it is a great idea to set a content strategy. Although it takes a little time to set up, ultimately it ensures the consistent creation and publishing of high-quality content. It also saves you time in the long run, meaning you don’t have to review past content and generate new ideas on a regular basis.

For super-busy marketers, setting a content strategy can actually save you a vast amount of time. Sharing your strategy and content plan with an agency or freelancer can mean you maintain control over marketing but can achieve autonomy of the delivery – taking a laborious task off your plate, letting you focus on the bigger picture.

(Yes, we can help you with that).

So, now you are likely asking:

‘How do I set a content strategy?’

Chill – we have you covered.

Goals. Goals. Goals.

 

Before you start investing any time, energy or financial resources in developing a powerful content strategy…you need to ask yourself why. What are you hoping to achieve from your content? Generate leads? Drive more traffic to your site? Position yourself as a thought leader?

marketing goals

The likelihood is that you will want to achieve many things with your content. By setting out your goals at the start of your strategy, you will ensure that every action you take contributes to achieving those overall goals.

Try and make your goals SMART as this will make it easier to measure your results as you continue to execute on your strategy. You can always adapt and change these as your strategy develops.

Who do you need to reach?

 

So, you know what you want to achieve. But who do you need to reach to achieve it?

At this point, you want to get granular with who your target audience is. Ask yourself:

Where are they based? What age groups are they in? What are their interest and past times? What is their social position? What are their current goals?

Finding this information will allow you to create 3-4 detailed buyer persona. These personas will allow you to sense check all your content marketing efforts, ensuring they appeal to those that matter most to your business.

Find your keywords

 

Keywords are the key to successful content marketing.

Finding the right keywords will help drive large and consistent amounts of traffic to your website. It will also ensure that the content you create is relevant once those individuals are on your page.

When creating your keyword list, start with your personas and goal in mind. Consider what your personas may be searching for in order to find the sort of information you want to supply them with.

Once you have created this initial list you can use a tool like Google Keywords Planner to understand how successful that keyword might be and generate new ideas closely related to your keywords. Other tools and methods can also be used to further increase keyword effectiveness.

Know your persona

 

Your research so far will have highlighted what you want to achieve, who you are marketing to and which keywords are going to help you reach them. Your buyer persona should also help you understand which platforms are best for your content marketing strategy.

Although you are most likely to host the majority of your content on your own website, you will also need to understand how best to promote that content. To do this you should seek to understand where your audience/buyer personas are ‘hanging out’ online.

buyer persona

When doing this you can certainly look at data on platform demographics to give you an indicator wh uses which platforms the most. However, by far the best way to do this is by simply asking as many of your current customers as possible where they go to find information. This could be anything from popular media sites and forums to social media sites.

Once you know where they are, create platform-specific content to target that audience and attract them to your content.

Tone of voice

 

Marketers LOVE talking about tone of voice. But what does it really mean?

Your tone of voice is how your business talks to your audience. For example, a business that specialises in sportswear may have a young, energetic and ambitious tone of voice. On the other hand, a business which deals in investments may have a sophisticated, authoritative tone of voice.

Deciding your tone of voice ensures both consistency and that each piece of your content is appealing to those you are trying to connect with.

Develop pillars

 

Inbound marketing experts HubSpot suggest that brands who want to smash their content marketing develop content pillars.

To put this simply, a content pillar is an area in which you want to rank for. For example, our content pillars are:

(You will also notice that these are our services)

To start, these content pillars offer a structure to your content marketing – allowing you to quickly and efficiently develop content ideas that help you rank as a leader. Ultimately, you can also use these pillar topics to create pillar pages which act as comprehensive sections on your website. This will further develop your ranking as a leader on those topics and boost your position on search engines.

Create a content plan

 

Finally, all the research and information you have gathered will allow you to create a comprehensive content calendar for your business. To do this you will need to ask yourself:

  • How often will I be posting content?
  • Who will write the content? In house or agency/freelancer?
  • How will I promote the content?

You can create a spreadsheet which should detail information including:

  • Content title
  • Date of final draft
  • Date of publishing
  • Author
  • Proofreader
  • Keywords

content plan

Ideally, your content calendar should be planned for no longer than 3 months. This time period allows you to remain efficient whilst maintaining relevancy and allows you to easily pick up on hot topics and trends as they appear.

Content strategy: In summary

 

Creating a solid content strategy for 2019 is going to help you take your content marketing to the next level. Following the simple steps we have outlined in this guide will take a little time investment initially, but ultimately will help you to save time and create consistency throughout your content campaigns.

 

 

Need a little help creating your content strategy? Have a great strategy, but need some support to deliver it? We have years of experience in developing powerful strategies and delivering high-quality content for our clients. We are also HubSpot Content Marketing Certified.

Simply get in touch to discuss your needs or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to stay up to date with our latest helpful content. 

WHEN SHOULD I BE POSTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

By | Social Media

Many businesses have one big marketing goal in 2019 – to post on social more.

It seems simple enough, right? But when we put pen to paper and start developing our social media strategies and all the questions come pouring out. What should I be posting? Which platforms should I be focusing on? Should I be tailoring content to each platform? How should I be interacting with consumers?

One question we often get asked here at Make It Mana is:

WHEN should we post on social media to get the best results?

Best time to post on social: generic

A recent study by CoSchedule highlighted some of the best days and times to be pushing out quality content on the top social media platforms. This is based on data found by the platform and offers a great starting point for those that want to optimise their social media channels.

Facebook

Days: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Time: 9am, 1pm, 3pm

Hint: People are happier on Friday, so upbeat content works best.

Twitter

Days: Wednesday

Time: 12pm, 3pm, 5pm, 6pm

Hint: Wednesday around noon and 5-6 are peak times to target those on their break or during a commute

LinkedIn

Days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Time: 7-8am, 12pm, 5-6pm

Hint: Typically, business people like to read LinkedIn in the morning to catch up on the latest business news

Instagram

Days: Monday, Thursday

Time: 2am, 8-9am, 5pm

Hint: Aim to not post during working hours as this is usually when the platform is at its quietest.

Best time to post on social: specific

The times, days and hints we have highlighted above are a great way to benefit from generic trends in social platform traffic. However, once you have started to build the audience on your chosen social media platforms you can begin to use detailed analytics to guide you on the best times to post.

Instagram

For those with an Instagram business profile (yes you REALLY need one of these), there is a wealth of information available right from the app.

Simply open your Instagram business page and tap the line which says ‘X profile visits in the last 7 days’.

post on social instagram

This will open your analytics page, offering you three tabs of data: activity, content & data. Pretty much all of this data can be used to improve your performance on Instagram. However, there are two key insights which will help you  find the best times to post.

The first insight can be found under ‘Activity’ entitled ‘Interactions’. This shows you when your profile is getting the most engagement including profile visits, website clicks, clicks to call and clicks to email. This is really useful, but be cautious of the fact that interactions are likely to be highest around the time of posting content…not necessarily the best times overall.

The second useful insight can be found under ‘audience’ entitled ‘Followers’. This section provides you with insight on the times and days on average when your audience is active on Instagram. Again, this is useful but you should take into consideration the fact that this only accounts for those already following you.

instagram analytics

 

LinkedIn

For marketers that want to make the most out of their business pages on LinkedIn, the platform also offers some useful analytics when it comes to picking the best times to post. These are not quite as insightful as those available on other apps.

However, on the Admin View under the ‘Analytics’ tab you are able to view details on your best performing content. This can give you a general idea of which pieces of content you have posted which are working well.

Facebook

In Facebook Business Manager you can find some serious insight into your audience and the engagement you are receiving. One piece of data which is particularly useful is ‘Engagement Metrics’ which highlight the top hours and days where people are engaging with your content. This is useful to show when people are actually finding and engaging with your content.

Twitter

The Twitter platform also allows businesses to view analytics. Again, these are not quite as insightful as some other platforms like Instagram. But you can view information on which days of the week your tweets are getting the most impressions. This information can be cross-referenced with the times of day you are tweeting to decipher the best times to tweet.

Audience first

When deciding which times are best to post on social one of the most important questions you can ask yourself is ‘who am I actually trying to target’. For example, if you are trying to target business people when they are making business decisions, it could be sensible to post content during working hours (even if that isn’t the ‘peak’ time).

It is important to remember that is not just numbers which matter when it comes to successful social media. You can reach 10,000 irrelevant people and generate no profit, or you can reach 10 of the right people and increase profit by 200%.

 

 

It is clear that getting your social post timing is a great way to increase engagement and the overall success of your content. Using some of the generic information we have provided here in tandem with collecting your own data on the best times to post will offer you a high performing guide to when to post.

 

Need some help getting your social media working for your business? Make it Mana are experts in social strategy and execution. Simply, get in touch to discuss your needs or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to stay up to date with our latest helpful content. 

5 QUICK TIPS FOR DEVELOPING INFLUENCER RELATIONSHIPS

By | Influencer Marketing

To many developing influencer relationships is a laborious and thankless task…don’t we all have better things to be doing?

However, as influencer marketing takes its rightful place in the marketing mix and many businesses start to scale their effort to leverage influencers in their campaigns we will see an increased need for efficiency.

Many believe that efficiency in influencer marketing will be achieved through the automation of the process, similar in many ways that we have seen the social media automation market explode in recent years. In some respects, this is true. Many aspects of influencer marketing can be automated through the use of smart tools. Yet trust and authenticity are the key aspects which make influencer marketing so powerful. Clearly, these benefits cannot be achieved without a strong relationship between the brand and influencer.

You may have guessed it by now. You cannot automate strong influencer relationships. But you can use some smart tactics to increase efficiency and build long-lasting relationships.

Start with the goal in mind

We have said it before and we will say it again. Influencer campaigns, nay, any marketing campaign is not going to be successful unless you start with your goal in mind. This means deciding exactly what it is you are going to be trying to achieve by working with influencers.

influencer relationship goals

Let’s make the assumption that we are talking influencer marketing (long-term) and not influencer advertising (short-term). In this case, you will need to decide whether influencers will be used to contribute to thought leadership, direct sales, content creation or product development. The likelihood will be that you choose a mix of these, but the overall goal must be decided first so you can provide a clear and transparent picture of what you are looking for from the outset.

“Businesses that start with a clear goal for their influencer marketing efforts will see huge benefits. These range from saving time on wasted effort to ensuring focus remains on the activities which bring the biggest contribution to the overarching strategic goals of the business” Owain Williams, Founder, Make It Mana

Knowing what you want out of a relationship will allow you to develop transparency, maintaining that all-important thing: trust.

Start strong

Take it from us, reaching out to an influencer who you are already aware of (and is even possibly aware of you) is infinitely easier than going in cold. It may seem a little obvious (we see plenty of people not doing it), but following, engaging and ‘researching’ your desired influencers is a great way to start a strong influencer relationship.

start strong influencer

Ensure you show you know your stuff when it comes to your initial outreach, show you have done your research.

“Find the influencers you want to know, follow them on social media and begin liking, sharing and commenting on their content you like. Message them and say you’re interested in working together. Be up front. Make sure you are clear about what’s in it for them. Also, tell them you prefer to build long-term, mutually beneficial relationships which can lead to many other opportunities” Tom Augenthaler, The Influence Marketer

Scale smart

When influencer campaigns scale it is easy to lose sight of your original goals (see tip one). This often leads to the loose selection of new influencers.  Meaning they often don’t really match your brand or help you achieve what you are hoping to. Although scaling certainly means finding new influencers, time and consideration should be taken over which influencers are best for your brand.

Selecting the right influencers and aiming for the long-term means businesses naturally select influencers which are going to be easy to build strong relationships with.

“Ditch the tactical and the temporary for the longer-term. Look to build mutually beneficial business-growth partnerships. Invest time and expertise in selecting the most appropriate influencer for your brand. Once onboard give them guardrails for the content they should create rather than prescriptive rules and scripts. Give them unique access to your brand so the content always feels fresh.” Scott Guthrie, Influencer Marketing Consultant

Influencer Relationships: What turns ’em on?

Just like building a relationship with your latest Tinder match (an analogy for the Millenials), building strong influencer relationships is all about knowing what will get the attention of your ‘match’. We often see businesses formulating incentives and blanketing those incentives on their entire influencer community.

influencer relationshipSure, this approach will work to an extent. However, truly understanding what turns your influencer on will allows you to benefit in a number of ways:

  • Providing more specific influencer incentives, usually leading to less resource being required
  • Speeding up communication and therefore making campaigns more efficient
  • Show interest and effort, leading to a stronger relationship.

” Remember that an influencer list is nothing without the ‘community’ to accompany it. Make friends and the rest will come.” David J Wing, Award Winning Influencer Marketing Expert

Keep consistent contact (in a non-creepy way)

Consistency is key when it comes to building any long-term relationship. That is why it is a great idea to create a plan for continuous interaction with your chosen influencers. In the B2C space, this can be as simple as ensuring that you comment in a meaningful way on the influencers posts.

The B2B space offers even more opportunity to brands that maintain consistent contact with influencers. Doing this allows you to stay at the front of the influencers minds. It also allows you to position yourself as a thought leader with their audience.

“If an influencer has posted a blog post, tweet, or status stimulating a series of follower contributions and questions, seek to actively get involved. If you see a question that you’re able to answer confidently, with the belief that it will be in line with the kind of response that they’d give themselves, take it upon yourself to add your 2 cents. Not only will they appreciate that you’re helping them out, but they’ll see that you’re also a like-minded knowledgeable expert.” Alicia Russell, Content & Product Marketing Manager @ Onalytica

 

 

We aren’t going to lie. Keeping strong and consistent influencer relationships is a time-consuming process.

However, by considering the process, smart marketers can make efficiencies and ultimately save time over the long term. This is especially true for businesses that want to benefit from influencer marketing moving into the future.

With the majority of effort being put in during the initial stages, the development of influencer relationships is front-loaded. Businesses that put an emphasis on maintaining relationships can capitalise on more efficient and smoother campaigns as time goes on.