You know you need to get serious about your online digital presence but where do you start? You’ve already got your hands full running your business not to mention managing your personal, family, and social life.
Do you find yourself asking these social media marketing questions?
(1) What’s the first step in executing my digital strategy?
(2) Which social networks should I use?
(3) Do I have to post content everyday?
(4) What is SEO or search engine optimization?
(5) Where do I find a social media marketing consult?
(6) and no, Twitter, I don’t want to tell people what I had for lunch.
Relax, I’m here to help. While it’s possible to be your own social media marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) consultant, it’s probably easier and much more effective to hire a qualified professional to do it for you.
Through my recent experiences, I have consulted with many different Niagara Falls businesses in a variety of business sectors on social media marketing and other forms of online promotion including search engine marketing and content marketing. There are a lot of similarities between each of them. I found that there are at least six (6) key areas you must consider before jumping in the online social space. If you’re randomly creating profiles and posting inconsistent content infrequently, without an optimized content marketing strategy, you likely be wasting valuable time.
Consider these 6 easy content marketing strategy tips:
1. Keyword Research
Doing extensive keyword research should be at the top of your list. This is one of the most important steps not only when planning your search engine optimization and your search engine marketing, but also while you’re planning your content marketing strategy.
All of your content from website copy, blog posts, site images, videos, podcasts, and slide share presentations, to everything you post on your social networks, including plain text status updates, should be optimized with your targeted keywords in order to achieve optimum search engine rankings. I found that many businesses do not even consider this step!
There are plenty of free keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Tool. You should use it in conjunction with Google Trends and Google Insights for Search. Outside of Google products I hear decent things about SEMrush.
I like using the three Google products listed above as well as the paid tool Market Samurai (not affiliated).
2. Content Analysis
I split content marketing into two types: unique and curated content.
> Unique Content
Each business, if they’re lucky, has a few decent sources of unique content that needs to be produced, optimized, and posted, in order to be found and shared. The key is to find your most popular content and focus your content marketing efforts on producing the most remarkable content that people can remark upon and want to share with their friends and enemies.
Easier said then done.
The point is to take a look at all your content sources. What do people react to and/or comment on most? Plan on focusing there and produce content that obviously contains your product or service or at the very least, a reference to what you’re promoting. Create engaging photographs, blog posts, videos, presentations, etc and post strategically. Strategic considerations should include type of content, what social site(s) and what time of day to pot or schedule.
> Curated Content
Posting unique content each time is not always necessary if you’re posting regularly. It’s certainly mandatory to have in your schedule, but curating other people’s content that your followers may find interesting is a wise move for a couple of reasons.
- It gives you content that you can edit if need be to make relevant to your product or service. You do this by writing an introductory paragraph or two introducing the curated post.
- You can add a few keywords to those paragraphs, which will benefit you in a number of ways with search engine optimization (SEO).
It’s important to add an introductory paragraph or two or three as it prevents Google viewing your post and duplicate content. Your website could get punished by Google because of this – and that’s just not worth it. Be sure to only include 1-3 paragraphs of the curated content with a link to the original source. Always credit the source. Also best to choose a new title and a new image for the post. Google will not penalize you if you follow these tips for curated content.
3. Website and SEO Audit
Let’s face it. There are millions of websites out there and many of them suck. A website today is the same as what the front display windows were to mom and pop retailers back in the day. It’s how you get the attention of busy people with short attention spans who are in a crowded space with many distractions.
Even today the large display window of stores in shopping malls are extremely eye catching and give you a clear indication of what the retail store offers and gives the store credibility. Your website needs to do the same and be easy to navigate. Most of all, easy to be found in online search rankings.
You should go through your site and see what needs to be updated. This could be anything like:
- A few pages need new info and content.
- Many images may need to be changed.
- The site needs to be redesigned to add new features.
- A Blog! You need to finally add a blog.
- You want to start advertising from your site.
- Your search engine optimization (SEO) needs work because you’re slipping in your keyword search rankings.
Completing a standard SEO audit is recommended as well. This will help determine what strategies are working and which need tweaking. You can also analyze your copy and research new, less competitive keyword opportunities. Not only do these new, non-competitive keywords help with SEO but they also can help if you’re planning on launching a search engine marketing campaign (SEM) using Google AdWords.
Finally consider page names, url’s, and the meta title description of each page of your site. These are two key areas that help your SEO and ultimately your search engine ranking positions. Make sure your targeted keywords are included in all these elements. Don’t forget to do the same thing with the file names for all images and videos uploaded to your website.
Creating and maintaining a blog on your site is one of the most essential things you should do. After you complete extensive keyword research and plan your social media marketing strategy. Your blog is your gold mine for content marketing if you use it effectively.
With regular blog posts optimized with targeted keywords on relevant topics you are building amazing unique content. This content not only gets posted on your blog, which lives on your website, but links to that post (i.e. and your site!) should also be posted on your social channels and not just your Facebook and Twitter. In effect, this blog becomes a key tool in your social media marketing strategy.
When your prospects and customers search for your products or services, your blog posts will begin to show up in those search results and hopefully very high in the search rankings. This will increase traffic to your website and help to build you as an authority in your industry or trade.
5. Social Integration
It’s amazing to me how many blogs and business websites fail to use social sharing efficiently. Having said that many more do a great job. There are plenty small to medium sized business who neglect this mainly because they haven’t started building their social media marketing presence let alone updating their website. It’s important to be found online and social media can help you build some quality links.
Be sure to have social share icons wherever you’re posting content that you want people to engage with and share. There are many WordPress plugins available if you’re not a coder. Try Slick Social Share Buttons or Share This which is used on this site.
Make it easy for people to share – then if your content is worthy, they will.
If you already have your social media marketing channels built make sure you have linked social icons on all pages of your website. Link these to each respective social media site and be sure you include a link back to your website from each of your social media sites. This reciprocal linking will benefit you in small ways with SEO.
6. Peep Your Competition
There’s nothing wrong with taking a look at what your competitors social media marketing. As long as your intent is to be inspired and improve on what their doing, you can make your product or service better and possible gain better search engine rankings and increase your market share. Take a look at their keywords and meta data, how they’re promoting their products and services, what’s their approach to social media community engagement. How can you improve what they’re doing and adapt it to your product or service.
To sum up, planning is essential to your digital marketing and social media marketing strategy. Make sure your make the most out of the basic three elements of digital marketing: Content, Search, and Social. If you’re looking for clarification of these points or would like to discuss your strategy and are looking for a social media marketing and search engine optimization consultant in Niagara Falls, I’d be happy to meet with you and share ideas.
Finally, let me know in the comments if I have missed anything or if you have any essential steps before starting or refining a social media marketing strategy.