Plan Your Content

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If you’re considering adding a blog to your site, you’ll want to have a plan beforehand. Planning your blog will help your subject matter remain consistent over time. It’ll also help you determine whether or not there’s enough material to maintain a steady stream of posts.

One pitfall many new bloggers run into is starting a blog that isn’t posted to frequently enough. A shortage of recent posts can give your visitors a bad impression of your business. One may think “I wonder if they’re still in business” or “they may want to hire a writer.”

A blog, like any other customer facing aspect of your business, communicates your brand. If it isn’t maintained and given proper attention, people will notice. Post regularly and keep your content fresh. Give your audience a reason to visit often.

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Blogging 101

Pages vs. Posts

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If you’re new to WordPress you may be wondering what’s the big deal behind Pages and Posts. At first glance they appear to be one and the same: if you were to create either a new page or a new post you’d be presented with nearly identical interfaces and in many cases the public appearance of pages and posts will look the same.

Don’t let this fool you. There’s a very fundamental difference between the two and that difference is what makes CMSs, like WordPress, great platforms for integrating blogs with traditional websites.

Pages

Think about the kind of pages that make up a typical website. Most often you’ll see pages like “Home”, “About Us”, “Services”, “Contact Us”, etc. Within WordPress these are often treated as Pages; documents that have no particular regard for the time they were posted.

For example, when you visit the “About Us” page of your favorite company’s website you don’t expect the content to be very different from what was available there a week ago.

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Basic Taxonomies

Categories and Tags

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If you write about a variety of subjects, categories can help your readers find the posts that are most relevant to them. For instance, if you run a consulting business, you may want some of your posts to reflect work you’ve done with previous clients, while having other posts act as informational resources. In this particular case, you can set up 2 categories: one labeled Projects and another labeled Resources. You’d then place your posts in their respective categories.

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I would like to do this by breaking the word in two. I will start with Marketing. Marketing is generally all the activities that you execute towards reaching customers and making sales. But in this context, Marketing goes slightly further to mean all the activities that you execute to DIGITALLY engage with your target market towards making sales. This would mean that you are exploiting digital channels, to promote and market your product/services while also making use of their analytical tools to see how effective your marketing moves are and finally, using other digital tools to make your target sales.

Digital marketing has been very successful and as the use of the internet has continued to grow, various elements have grown to be more effective than others when it comes to engagement.

Today, there is no single engagement tool that works on the internet like video. Let me share some numbers from places like USA. 63% of businesses now use videos and 82% of those businesses believe that video marketing gives them good returns on investment

Videos are said to increase conversions rates by 80% with 74% of people who viewed explainer videos subsequently making a purchase. Smart Phone users are said to be 1.4 times more likely to watch a video content on their device and pay attention even if it is branded. And in 2019, video traffic is said to have accounted for 80% of all consumer internet traffic. These numbers are huge but, I don’t really care about the numbers. However, I have one question for you, how many videos have YOU watched today? Like it or not, the question applies every day and beyond that, Videos give your brand a human face which will lead to trust.

Videos enjoy a lot of share on mobile devices. Videos can be used to explain/teach anything. Videos engage you even when you are lazy. And another question to you, would you rather read about a product that you want to buy or watch a video about it. A video that will showcase how well the product works.

So, if I want to explain what Video Marketing is in my own terms, I will say that – VIDEO MARKETING IS EXPLOITING THE POWER OF VIDEOS TO UTILIZE MODERN DAY DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGIES. It is basically combining two very powerful tools to make and even more powerful tool.

For those that watch DC movies, Video Marketing is like Superman and Wonderwoman having a baby, you can imagine how strong that kid will be. One of the profound benefits of using Video Marketing for your brand is the chance to build “a unique connection language”. This means that when you start to put out contents, the idea in the beginning is to have people connect with your brand.

Think of it this way, if you find yourself in a new country where nobody speaks your language and then while walking through the streets, someone receives a phone call and speaks your native language. What are the chances that you would gravitate towards the person and form a type of relationship? The point is, if we are intentional about it or not, every time we express ourselves, the people who speak the kind of language we are expressing will gravitate towards us. That is why some people will connect with you because you are funny, or wise or loud. And sometimes, it is an unspoken language, they might connect with you because you listen, or you are soft spoken or you are kind and helpful. What this means is that the personality of the brand that you are putting out is what people will connect with.

So let’s say you sell coffee and you are on a lane with ten other vendors that sell coffee, people might visit your stand simply because you serve them with a kind smile and that is what connects with them. Some might visit another vendor because they always have funny jokes to share and that is what connects them

This means that as a brand, when you put yourself out there, you will build this Unique Connection Language that will exist because it is you. It cannot be replicated, it cannot be copied and the only thing that will kill it without any extreme thought is if the reason for connection turns out not to exist.

Imagine you like someone because they are kind and helpful but on getting to know them, they are the opposite of kind and helpful, I’m sure that would put a dent in the relationship and probably end it. So, when you use Video marketing to put yourself out there, people have the chance to connect to the real you and even if your competitors are doing exactly the same thing that you are doing to get sales, the power of a Unique Connection Language means that they are making purchase from you because it is YOU they have formed a connection with and not because you are the only brand providing that product or service.

Video Marketing will present you to the world and you will make connections. Connections that will turn to your tribe. Connections that will essentially always be in your corner as long as you maintain a good relationship. I’m not saying connecting with you means you will never lose a customer but it does mean that you will always WIN more than you lose.

At this point, you understand the concept of social videos and you are getting ready to start working on the video ideas that you have. As great as social videos are and as multi-dimensional as it could be applied, there is one thing that ruins your brilliant ideas and effort. However, it is also the only thing that can ensure that your message hits home with your audience. What I am talking about is AUTHENTICITY. However, to a lesser degree, you also have to be transparent. Let’s call it 1b

In other words, don’t come off like you are lying. Do not make your viewers feel that you are not being totally honest or open with them. Funny thing is, even when you are being completely open and honest, you might still give off a vibe of inauthenticity unknowingly.

 To enjoy success with video marketing, potential clients need to feel like you genuinely have their interest at heart. That you want them to win and be successful. They will consider themselves in a relationship with you if they like you enough and then start making purchases from you. Matter of fact, most buyers like to be in a relationship with brands that they make purchases from. These customers want to be heard, seen and considered by the brand that they spend their money on. If your customers / clients are happy, then you are also happy but this only works if they find a reason to connect with you from the start.

This connection will be harder to achieve or potentially impossible if they don’t find you authentic enough in the moments when you are supposed to be authentic. So it is important for businesses to ensure that when they put out video contents, they come off as genuine/authentic and transparent.

It is important to note at this point that producing authentic content has little or nothing to do with the quality of equipment or professionals employed for the job. Sadly, the chances of being inauthentic are higher when more time is spent focusing on looking and sounding good than actually just communicating.

Video content that is transparent means that you share your real stories, your failures and successes. How much you are willing to share depends on your brand direction but being transparent allows you to share valuable contents about your brand. Customers getting valuable contents means they start to develop trust with you. So unlike others that are consistently trying to market them on one thing or the other, they chose you because they trust you.

The more details you share, the more they will trust you because they understand that you are not hiding anything.

Authenticity has more to do with WHAT you share. This means that as a brand, you must share content that reflects your essence, what you are about, what you stand for even if it is not the popular opinion. You don’t want people feeling a disconnect when engaging with your brand and they realize that their reason for connecting with you is actually not real.

Achieving an air of authenticity does take time, established by not just speaking but followed up with actions. It is advisable to maintain communication and targeted audience because not doing that will mean losing the trust of those loyal to your brand already. This is not to say you can’t change your mind or direction ever but you have to be honest about even that process during the few times when it happens so your followers don’t feel deceived.

As a brand, authenticity does not need to be forced if it is coming from the right place and when you are working on your content, you won’t feel like you are lying, instead, you will feel like you are connecting.  Trying to balance this with transparency depends on your discretion as a brand in deciding what and when you want to share in a way that applying transparency means additional value.

Some of the ways to help build authenticity is to let followers see the face(s) behind a brand. It allows followers connect to the personality of those involved while also helping to build familiarity and rapport. This naturally leads to more engagement from followers as they now see your brand as approachable

Another method which was hinted above is sharing your success and failures but in addition, asking your followers for advice with your challenges. This gives followers a sense of personal investment in your brand.

You can also make use of User-Generated contents by sharing contents that are user focused posts. It helps to form relationships and build a sense of community.

Ensuring that you are authentic also means that you are never about the sales, instead you are about helping your customers/clients achieve their goals or targets. This helps you to be what they are interested in instead of promoting what you think they might be interested in

To recap, the approach to achieving authenticity should start with a deep analysis of your target market and understanding the type of contents they enjoy. Second you mix this knowledge with your brand goals to form your social strategy. Third, when you start generating and putting out contents, you should make use of a check list that includes the following:

 

  • Is what we’re posting relatable?
  • Does our audience feel like we really get them?
  • Are we being true to our brand and our honest stance?
  • Do we have an effective mix of content, tailored for our audience on each channel?
  • Across our all of the different team members representing us on social, are we sending quick, empathetic and engaging responses?

So be honest, don’t present your brand’s product or service in a fake way, don’t just post for likes, think about what you are posting, speak from within you, don’t copy the competition and just be real

We talked about Attention being the Why and now I want us to explore what is a major part of the HOW. We understand that videos highly engaging tools to exploit in the digital space and they help to capture attention and reign supreme in the minds of your target audience but what kind of videos specifically are you supposed to start putting out as business owners?

Most businesses will fall into the pitfall of paying fees ranging from fairly expensive to highly expensive for any video content they want to produce. This is not a possibility for many small and medium businesses. Even if some type of budget existed, it would not guarantee expected results and the money would be exhausted in no time because even with the large organizations, their video contents doesn’t always get the results they hope for naturally.

So, how do you find the middle ground to create content and at the same time, get desired results while not breaking bank. Understand that even when you have the budget for putting out loads of content, best case scenario in the wrong strategy will mean clicks and shares but eventually, your content will fall into the abyss of the numerous contents that are uploaded daily to the internet. So you still don’t get results. Which means that beyond having the funds/ budget, you also need the right video content to get the right results especially if the plan is to engage with your target audience and get their attention. You have to use what is called a Social Video.

Putting it plainly, Social Videos are short videos produced specifically to drive engagement and captivate viewers on social media platforms. Social videos are the ultimate tools to driving engagement and growing audiences on social media.

An effective social video is usually between 60 and 90 seconds. Just enough time to entertain / inform and connect. If well done, it gets more views and shares because of the value in the video and it’s duration. Many of the content ideas that you will need to put online to engage your target audience have to be executed like a social video to be effective

Think of the comedy skits that you watch on social media, how many of them are longer than 90 seconds? They work to keep it short and entertaining because they understand many people might be discouraged from viewing or sharing despite knowing that it is an entertaining content. So despite knowing how great the content is and how much value they present, they have to still present their ideas like a social video. And yes, platforms can accommodate videos with longer durations but ask yourself, in the midst of many unfamiliar content, will you watch the 60 seconds video or the 5 minutes video?

For business, Social Videos will translate to awareness and engagement even much more than Sales. While there is no guaranteed recipe for engagement, Social videos by their nature of entertaining or informing means a real level of engagement and constantly doing that, translates to increase in engagement. Engagement that can be exploited as a means to now market/sell your brand or other brand targets that you might have

The real difference between Social Videos and other type of videos especially videos used for marketing is that using Social Videos as part of your marketing will allow you engage your audience with ORIGINAL and UNIQUE contents that target them specifically and there is no real duplicate of that

Other Video marketing contents are usually sales-focused, but Social Videos is Content marketing. In other words, it is the real BRAND marketing you end up building engagement with people that make purchases because it is you and not because you are the only available option.

So when you find that you have successfully used content to engage your target audience, you need to see it like marriage and with any successful marriage, as long as you put in the work, nobody is going anywhere. In fact, they will contribute towards making what you have built a beautiful relationship.

If you want audiences to discover the value in your brand, then you have to start putting out Social videos. Social videos can include telling a story, sharing knowledge and as much as you can get sentimental to plug at the viewers emotion. At the end of the video, include a Call to Action to amplify the engagement. A Call to Action could be as simple as telling your audience to Like, Comment or share. As you continue to get used to putting out Social Videos, you can start to use some texts on your videos and music.

As mentioned earlier, the ideal duration is 60 to 90 seconds but if you are going to make it longer, then be absolutely sure that your content is fire. With the consistency comes more engagement and at this point, you can start to analyze which topics are doing well, how long people are watching for or how much of the video they are even watching. You can find out the demographic of those watching and this helps to make adjustments where necessary.

So your job going forward is to develop quality and valuable content towards building engagement for followership and eventual brand loyalty. You want to take one problem and one solution most times. You should not be going for too much information. So even if there are 10 steps to teaching something, you can make it a series. And that will even make people look forward to the rest of the videos since they know they value they are getting.