Blogging and Content Marketing are not SEO

We’ll let you in on how Blogging, SEO and Content Marketing work together.

In our line of work, we see a lot of confusion when it comes to blogging, content marketing, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Writing a blog or placing the popular term “content marketing” on a proposal, sales collateral or website does not mean that you are conducting SEO.

Blogs = Tool

Blogs are simply words on a webpage. While they can contain some keywords that help direct organic search traffic, they are merely one method for carrying out an effective SEO strategy. Blogs by nature are more of a customer retention tool – they help to make your website sticky. Well written blogs make visitors stick around and come back for more … and if you are lucky they share it with friends.

Content Marketing = Strategy

Content marketing is a marketing strategy. It involves giving customers – or potential customers – valuable information in hopes that those customers will eventually buy from you. If your audience believes that you are the authority on a topic, research shows that they will reward you for it. Blogging is commonly used in content marketing. But, downloadable guides, case studies, infographics, videos, podcasts, and books are other content marketing vehicles.

SEO = Strategy

SEO is also a strategy. It consists of all the different techniques that you use to get your website ranked higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). Search engines like Google and Bing appreciate:

  • Keywords, especially long-tailed (thanks to the increasing popularity of voice searches)
  • Fresh, high-quality content
  • Links, both internal and external
  • Images and videos
  • Social media integration
  • Alt and meta descriptions

SEO is an art, yet it’s highly technical and analytical. Blogs and other content marketing techniques are used within SEO strategies to provide consistent, new, relevant content.

Here’s a great way to visualize it: think of SEO as a set of blueprints. If you are going to build something – say, great search engine rankings for your website – you need a plan. To carry out your plan, you need to use a variety of tools.

If you look inside a marketer’s toolbox, you’ll find a wide variety of tools. There might be print tools, website tools, and branding tools. Blogs are one important tool. Let’s say they are the screwdrivers in your toolbox. Content marketing is more like a multi-tool – like a Swiss Army knife. It has a screwdriver, a knife, scissors, and more in it, but without a master plan, it doesn’t do anything by just sitting in your toolbox.

Content Marketing and Blogs are Just Part of SEO

It’s wonderful to provide quality content to your customers. If you are going to spend time and money buying tools, why not actually build something? A powerful SEO strategy can bring your business visibility, which can lead to relationships, and ultimately sales.

If you need any assistance in creating blueprints for the future of your business, Conveyance can help. We not only have architects who are skilled at drawing up plans, but we have a team of “tool experts” ready to help you build something big in 2017. Give us a call today!

Branding – Words Matter!

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

Benjamin Franklin knew the importance of words. In marketing, words are influential and valuable; they should convey who your business is by promoting your brand. And just like all other branding efforts, your words need to show consistency, differentiation, and customer focus to be effective.

Consistency is crucial in branding.

Your message needs to be consistent in order for your audience to feel like they understand your business. Let’s pretend that you own a therapeutic massage business. If you extol the benefits of massage for athletes on all your digital advertising – like Facebook and Instagram – and then send out mailers talking about prenatal massage, your audience would be completely confused, right? Does your business specialize in pregnant women or marathon runners? Regardless of the media type, your message needs to flow seamlessly from one piece of marketing to another. It also needs to sound like the same person is talking to your customer in every material, because that person is really the voice of your company.

Know who you are talking to.

This blog is a perfect example of knowing your audience. We target customers and potential customers by talking about topics they may find helpful, and in a tone that is relatable and conversational. There’s no doubt that both grammar and spelling are extremely important, especially in the age of digital marketing. One misspelled word or missing comma could spell disaster for your brand when an image gets shared a million times. When it comes to grammar, though, you have to consider who you are speaking to. Sometimes being grammatically accurate just sounds funny on paper… and sometimes it doesn’t press the importance of a point you are trying to make. So go ahead and end your sentence with a prepositional phrase if it makes sense for your audience, but never egregiously confuse “your” and “you’re” or “its” and “it’s.” Never.

The pen is mightier than the sword.

Words can be used to guide, impress, and persuade. Like Ben Franklin said above, write something worth reading. Don’t just fill space with useless information in order to make your website or a brochure look better. That information should not only be beneficial to your audience, but it should be dynamic. No one wants to read boring content. If you bore people, they’ll stop reading, and if they stop reading, then all your efforts will have been fruitless. Inspire people and motivate them into action.

Words are everywhere: blogs, websites, newsletters, brochures, flyers, and billboards. If you want to reach your audience, you have to make every sentence count. Use the power of words to explain to customers who you are, what you do, and why they need you. Use them to express yourself. You will find out quickly that words can win business.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

The Internet Is a Zoo: The Ideal Length of Everything Online

We get questions about social media, hashtags, email, blogging, and domain names all the time … how long, how often, when, why, which platform is best. We are active SumAll clients and came across this handy infographic (printable too!) that visually demonstrates the ideal length for everything digital.

InternetIsAZoo, Social Media Marketing

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Convey It – Copywriting Tool Chest

Here’s the skinny on topic generation, titling, and voice

When it comes to writing copy for content marketing campaigns, blogs, and website content, some days you enjoy a wonderful flow of ideas but other days you stare at the screen for hours hoping for some kind of inspiration.

We’ve all experienced days like these. And regardless of whether the ideas come easily or painstakingly slow, there’s a good chance that you aren’t uncovering all the potential topics available for your next piece. Everyone who writes can benefit from additional resources and insights in content topic generation, titling, and voice – the right tools will help you get the job done. At Conveyance, we love to write — blogs, website content, headlines, ads, case studies, business plans, white papers, sales collateral … you name it! If you realize that copywriting isn’t for you, please call us and we can lend a hand.

7 ways to find better content
A single good idea every now and again is not enough — you need several. And if you’re working efficiently (in batches), you should be coming up with at least 50 at a time, but then writing about only the best ones. Read More.

Blogging tools you can’t live without!
Blogging takes planning, research, and original ideas. The right tools can help you stay organized and focused on the right topics. These tips will help you improve your blogging strategy. Read More.

4 must haves for headlines that hook readers
A headline isn’t a final flourish, just something to tack on after the writing or video production is done. It’s your critical first impression: 80 percent of visitors will read your headline, but only 20 percent will go on to read the piece itself. Read More.

Step-by-step guide to writing content marketing campaigns
We’ve scoured the Internet for content marketing strategy templates, tried a few, and put together an approach to building your own content marketing plan step-by-step. Read More.

4 content marketing tips to boost your personal brand
Content marketing — in the form of sharing useful content such as blogs or videos with web viewers who relate to your brand — can be one of the most successful digital marketing methods for your personal brand, but only with a solid strategy in place. Read More.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Being a Good Neighbor

Corporate giving is something that is really important to my generation and those coming up after me. It says a lot about the company you work for if they not only encourage their employees to give back also organize company-wide volunteering. This sends a message that your company is being a good neighbor and creates bonds, new friendships and teamwork within the employees.

Did you know that 71 percent of employees felt more positive about their company as a result of their corporate giving programs and volunteering opportunities according to an LBG Associates Survey?

Approximately 90 percent of HR professionals state that volunteering and giving back locally is an effective way to develop future leaders of your company and increase team problem solving.

So what does being a good neighbor mean to you?

For Conveyance it isn’t just writing a check to a local nonprofit. If you are truly going to be a good neighbor, besides a monetary donation, invest time in the organization or groups that you are passionate about. Learn what they do, how they do and what their REAL needs are.  Do they need help with Operations? Marketing? Distribution? Accounting?

Operations, marketing, distribution and accounting are areas sometimes run by volunteers that may or may not have a lot of experience in their assigned arena. If you are the number one accountant in the area (either according to you or with actual awards of validation that SAY you are number one), donating time to help the nonprofit get their books in order may be of greater service than just writing the check.

What does this have to do with marketing? Nothing much. Corporate giving can attract great talent and loyal employees, increase visibility in your area, connect with other volunteers over a common charitable platform, and improve a company’s reputation and image.

At Conveyance we have selected three nonprofits to donate marketing services to for 2015. For this New Year, we have selected Mobile Hope Loudoun, Ashburn Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department and Stillbrave Childhood Cancer Foundation. We look forward to working with these organizations to achieve their goals by providing targeted marketing for fundraising, mission message and volunteer engagement.

Would you like to be a good neighbor too and help these wonderful organization?

Contact Conveyance to be part of giving back with us! cdobson@conveyancemarketinggroup.com

 

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

One Word. How will you start 2015?

The curtain is about to fall on 2014. Most people are looking back to see what was successful, what wasn’t and how to change that for the New Year. As you start making your list of resolutions for 2015, ask yourself this; are these the same resolutions I made last year? If your answer is YES, don’t you think it is time to change the resolution game?

You still have time. The ball hasn’t dropped. Confetti has not been thrown. Champagne bottles are still on ice. So how are you going to make 2015 different?

According to Statistic Brain, 8% of Americans are successful in achieving their resolution. Are you in the 8%? Instead of making a list of all the things you are going to do this year, lose weight, start a new business, and get out of debt or a million other statistically unachievable resolutions, how about you start with One Word.

In Q4 of this year, a wonderful person gave me a book to read called “One Word that will Change Your Life” by Dan Britton, Jimmy Page and John Gordon. And it has. This book focuses on choosing One Word that will dictate how you live your life personally, professionally and spiritually for the next 365 days.

No false resolutions. No unobtainable goals. Just One Word that will set the course for success for the New Year. And your word can be anything; Success, friendship, risk, forgiveness. But the most important part of this One Word is the One Word choses you. You don’t choose your word.

Think about your goals and passed resolutions. What is important to you to move forward in life and in business? Sit in peace and silence like I did and read the book. As you let your mind be silent, open your heart and be 100% true to what YOU want to do to be a better person and in floats your word like a soft feather landing in your open hands.

This is the first year that I am giving this new idea of resolution a try. I have set resolutions in the past. Some I achieved. Some I didn’t. But I think that if you pick a word to live by, try to become a better person in conjunction with and hold yourself accountable, any goals or resolutions along the way have a better chance of coming to fruition or changing and evolving based on new successes within the confines of your word.

So before you close the chapter on 2014, let’s ditch the resolutions and find our One Word for 2015. I’m game, are YOU?

 

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Success in Social Media

Let’s face it; the social media landscape can be overwhelming and sometimes downright confusing even for the most seasoned veterans to navigate.

Formats change, new features are added, and sites like Pinterest seem to appear from nowhere and rapidly rise to prominence.

Don’t Just Roll the Dice When it Comes to Social Media

To stay ahead of the curve, Mashable’s Cara Friedman posted Six Steps for Success in Social Media to help businesses and professionals alike stay social media savvy.

1. Blogs
There are hundreds of blogs focused on social media. Keep it simple by signing up to RSS feeds and spend twenty minutes every morning catching up on your social media news. Stick to blogs that are updated daily and focus on providing content in social media and technology.

My Blog Tip: Consider adding these blogs to your RSS feed to get started: SocialTimes, Social Media Examiner, TechCrunch, SocialMediaToday, MarketingProfs, Mashable.

2. Webinars
Webinars are often offered by agencies and make for good social media resources. You can find webinars by searching on Twitter or registering on directories that list the week’s webinars. You can also attend paid webinars that go beyond the basics. In either case, you can find a good starter list at webinarlistings.com.

My Webinar Tip: As a small business marketer myself, I frequent the Duct Tape Marketing and MarketingProfs lunchtime webinars.

3. Trending Topics
Yes, reading your blogs in the morning is effective but information travels fast so pay attention to what’s trending on Twitter, too. First, make sure that you check your Twitter trend settings. Certain settings will spit out tailored trends, which you should probably avoid.

My Trending Tip: If you don’t understand why a certain word or phrase is trending you can check out whatthetrend.com for explanations.

4. Newsletters
Not all newsletters are spam. Some are actually worth signing up for. If you’re OK with getting a daily newsletter, check out SmartBrief. If you prefer a weekly roundup then take a look at SocialFresh. These newsletters curate the best social media content from the web and create original highly informative articles as well.

My Newsletter Tips: Love the two that Cara listed above, but I also receive daily enewsletters from TechCrunchSocialMediaTodayMarketingProfsMashable and Search Engine Watch.

5. Meetups and Tweetups
Whether in person at a meetup or virtually at a tweetup, chatting with like-minded individuals will keep you on your toes, help you predict what’s coming next, and teach you new things about how others are behaving in social media. To find a group of social media fanatics near you check out Meetup.com.

My Meetup Tip: LinkedIn! Join some groups and forums and stay active!

6. Training and Certification
If you are serious about educating yourself in the social space you may consider signing up for a training program or certification course. Whether you are looking for a six-week crash course or an ongoing education program, resources are available. To start, you can check out WOMM-COM and HootSuiteU.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Facebook Moms

While Pinterest might be the new kid on the block in terms of marketing potential, it’s still no match for the power of a “Facebook Mom.”

Moms lead the pack when comes to liking brands on Facebook, according to a recent survey by Burst Media. Fifty eight percent of moms follow or like brands on social media sites.

Burst interviewed 1,453 U.S. adults aged 18 or older and found that 76.3 percent of respondents visit social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare, with women being more active than men. Forty nine percent of female respondents visit social media sites at least a few times each day, versus only 34 percent of men.

The survey showed …

  • Moms are the group of consumers most likely to follow their favorite brands on social media.
  • Two out of three readers learn about brands via likes from blogs, with moms and 18-34-year-olds particularly influenced by brand mentions.
  • Sixty-six percent of blog readers answered that a promotion by a blogger influences their purchase decisions online
  • More than 49 percent of “moms” are loyal to brands online and occasionally like or follow a brand on social media sites.
  • The most common reason people gave for liking their favorite brands online was, To show support for it.
  • One in four are likely to follow a brand because of a socially enabled online ad

Many opportunities via online advertisers and blogging exist for small business marketers to inject social vehicles into their efforts to drive user engagement. At Conveyance Marketing Group, we can help you interject social media into your overall marketing strategy.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Social Media Marketing Prerequisites

This is a superb article written by Lee Traupel of Linked Media Group where he explains everything you need to know  to optimise your site for social media marketing. Word of advice, don’t attempt this if you do not have the know-how. Rather make the investment and work with people that have the capability and experience to assist you in achieving your social media marketing goals.

Don’t even think about a social media marketing campaign unless your Web Site is working flawlessly, Search Engine Optimization components are addressed and Content Development and Curation strategy is in place.

1. Your web site must have these features and functions working to ensure your engagement with the social community will drive meaningful ROI:

  • Site Navigation must be flawless – visitors must be able to navigate through your web site easily.
  • Multiple call to action and response elements must be in place: Newsletter Sign Up, Contact Us Page,  Phone Numbers are prominently displayed and Blog subscription direct and via RSS Feed are functioning.
  • Images should be optimized to ensure load times (time it takes a page to load) are at their best.
  • Domain Name should be registered out 3-5 five years at a minimum to drive SEO results and brand valuation.
  • Sociables (links to social platforms) are prominently placed at top and bottom of all pages and “likes” and ReTweet buttons are set up and working.

2. These Baseline Search Engine Attributes must be in place:

  • All Pages and Images have unique Title Tags, Descriptions and Keywords – the latter have minimal impact for Google but good to include.
  • Quality backlinks have been developed for the site over a 90-120 day period or campaign.
  • An XML Google Site Map has been setup properly and you have connected your web site with your Google Analytics Account.
  • Location has been created via a Google Business Listing.
  • A Keyword strategy has been developed for your web site content

3. Your content development and curation strategy is set. Building a successful social media marketing campaign is really about creating and sharing quality content; i.e. Images, Text, Videos, Comments, FAQ, Blog posts, Newsletter, Tweets, Newsfeeds, Answers across the social web. Then, driving engagement and interaction with your followers across the social web.

  • Blog is set preferably via WordPress, optimized for search engines with plugins, individual page titles, images optimized, with Categories in place, is linked to from the Home/Index page and is updated 3-5 times per week.
  • You have content development and curation strategy in place to broadcast and share across the social web; i.e.schedule in place, content is rotated for maximum exposure, in-bound flow of news sources created (Google Alerts, RSS Feeds, Newsletter Subscriptions).
  • Your team understands the importance of cross promoting content across the social web – for example a Blog post should be referenced via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and second tier sites like Posterous.
  • Flickr Pro account has been created, images are uploaded and optimized properly and shared across the social web.
  • YouTube Account has been created, optimized and cross referenced via all social identities and platforms.

These three areas of digital strategy, Web Site, SEO Setup and Content are all critical components to your overall marketing strategy and must be in-place prior to starting a social media marketing campaign. Or, you’ll waste time and resources building and engaging with social consumers/followers!!

Did you find this article interesting? If so, please comment and share with your network.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Developing a Content Strategy to Engage Your Facebook Followers

Expanding your number of “likes” on Facebook requires a content strategy that suits your community and is in sync with your social media roadmap and overall communications strategy.

While Facebook is more personal and immediate than other communication mediums—and requires daily attention—it is an ideal way to augment your overall strategy.

Here are a few key elements to consider:

Content: Provide opportunities for your network to create their own content by creating conversational content that users can easily share through their own Facebook profiles. You’re likely to get much more traction from the long tail of your supporters sharing content than from your own Fan page.

Tone: Alignment with your existing brand tone and messaging is very important. Facebook is a personal venue, so a more personal tone is key, but your brand page is still your brand. A lot of brands make the mistake of being overly informal in an attempt to fit the culture of social media – if this is a wide departure from the normal tone of your content, the communications will seem forced.

Authority: Build a reputation for yourself and your brand that demonstrates your expertise. By understanding the pain points of those your company wishes to connect with, the better you’ll be able to provide the resources needed to make better decisions and improve their business.

Format: Your expertise comes in several forms and formats: text, photos, and video specifically. Guess where the most interaction comes from? Video! If you have the ability to create interesting – not self-serving – video, go for it.

Connection: Gain an understanding of how you are going to speak to the community and what you want them to do. Your goal is to build and maintain connections with customers, the media, suppliers, influencers and colleagues.

Participation: Will building a network of 1,000 friends on Facebook have an impact on your business without clear goals around what you want those friends to do? There’s an implied connection between quantity of network and marketing effectiveness, but with social media it’s more about quality, not quantity.

Time & Resources: It’s a marathon, not a sprint … don’t spread yourself too thin. We devote a great deal of time to all our communications efforts, including our Facebook strategy. It’s okay to start small, but you have to be committed and consistent to make it work.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.