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Ways you can work on your marketing during lockdown

We’re incredibly lucky because our business means we can still continue to work for most of our clients during this crisis. For most other business owners, this isn’t the same.

However, that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do! This is the perfect opportunity for you to work ON your business, and do those things that you didn’t have time to do before – update your website, sort out your social media platforms, and review your marketing strategy. See below…

1. Create/review your marketing strategy

Do you have a marketing strategy in place? Start by listing your business goals and deciding on the things you’d like to focus on in the future. From here, you can put together a 3 month, 6 month or even better 12 month marketing plan, ready to implement.

(MORE: Creating a Marketing Strategy and Plan)

2. Review your social media platforms

Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? Is it still necessary to post on Twitter? How can you improve your Instagram page? Now is the time to review each of your social media platforms. Go through each page to check that the information displayed is still relevant, and spend a block of time creating a list of content ideas.

We provide bespoke social media strategies for just one or all platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), with recommendations on how you can improve your pages, and lots of content ideas to get you inspired. During the lockdown we are offering a 50% discount, making prices start at just £45.

3. Get your website looking up-to-scratch

One of those jobs that business owners often put to the bottom of the priority pile – tweaking/updating their website. It’s important to keep your website updated to improve SEO, however so many websites I have come across haven’t been updated for months, or even years! So get above your competitors and update it. Maybe you have different services you offer, or you can create landing pages for future promotions? Look at the websites of big brands in your industry for inspiration.

(More: 15 quick ways to improve your website conversion rate)

4. Blog blog blog!

A great way of keeping your website updated regularly is blogging. It also shows your audience you’re in-the-know, and it provides you with content to share to your social media platforms, driving more traffic to your website. Spend time writing lots of different blog posts, ready to upload to your website on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.

Blog post ideas:

  • how-to articles
  • top tips
  • industry news
  • staff profiles
  • client case studies

(MORE: Benefits of blogging)

5. Gather testimonials

It’s not just you who now has lots of free time, but your clients too. The majority of people being on lockdown makes this the perfect opportunity to ask your past and present clients to take the time to create a testimonial for you. Compile these together to put on your website and across your social media platforms.

6. Look at your analytics

Another one of those things people often don’t have time to do – review their marketing efforts. Do you have a Google Analytics account for your website? Dive in and take a look at who your audience are, the time they’re spending on your website, and on which pages. Google Analytics provides an endless amount of site statistics.

Also look at your social media analytics. If you have a business page on Instagram, you can see your insights, which includes the times of day and days of the week which your followers are most active. On Instagram, as well as Facebook and LinkedIn, you can look at the engagement (likes, comments, reach/impressions, etc.) of each of your posts – are there any similarities in the posts which have the best engagement? Are your best posts varied on the different platforms? By analysing what’s been working well, you can strategize future posts to generally generate more engagement.

(MORE: How to create super-effective social media reports)

If you would like any further bespoke help on any of the above (website review, blogging ideas, social media training, analysis of your competitors), please get in touch with us.

Get more eyes on your content with these 8 headline writing tips

As we know, most people read and share posts based on titles alone. From blog titles to social media posts and beyond, knowing how to write a compelling headline is an invaluable skill.

If you don’t consider yourself much of a creative writer, don’t worry. Our guide breaks down 8 actionable headline writing tips that will help you get those clicks and shares.

1. Create headlines that promise a payoff

It’s no secret that today’s readers have small attention spans. As we scroll through our feeds, we’re passing by dozens of headlines in just seconds. That’s why it’s so important to answer the question of “So what?” or “Why bother?” with a compelling title that stops readers in their tracks.

Your audience’s time is valuable. You should promise a payoff in exchange for their click. Here are a couple of examples from Sprout Social. We’ve highlighted in bold the promise – the reason why someone should spend their valuable time reading.

  • “Write that down – take the best meeting minutes with this template”
  • Reclaim your time with these 12 time management tips”
  • Launch your new product in no time with agile project management”

Ask yourself: how can you frame your post’s title as benefitting the reader?

2. Ask a question

Question-based headlines are the go-to for writers. We’re curious creatures, after all. When we take to Google or social media, we already have questions in our head, and such headlines feed into our curiosity. Questions aren’t just prime for blog post headlines, but also social media captions as well.

Also, when we see a question presented to us, our brains want to be satisfied with an answer by default. Here are some sample formats for question-based headlines to get you brainstorming:

  • “How can I…”
  • “When does…”
  • “Where does…”
  • “Why do…”
  • “How often should…”

3. Get personal with “You”, “We” and “I”

Address your readers (and yourself directly) to connect. Referring to yourself/your company in the first-person and your reader in the second-person is a subtle yet significant way to make your posts seem more personable. Here’s an example:

“How we grew blog traffic by 650% in two years – organically”

Using “we” instead of your company name is a smart move to make your posts feel like they’re coming from an actual person rather than a faceless business.

Additionally, referring to your readers in the second-person can help your titles feel a bit less market-y or sales-y. For example:

“Retiring soon? Here are 10 things you can work on in your home”

Try not to always prioritise optimisation. Headline writing is about making a connection with your reader, and more personal headlines can make it happen.

4. Incorporate numbers into your headline writing

Numbers are easy for our brains to process at a glance. List-style headlines are so popular because they naturally reel in readers. Why? They’re scan-worthy and straightforward. As a result, these titles signal posts that are simple to  digest and scroll through in no time.

Also, many click-worthy headlines make time-sensitive promises (“… in just 30 days”). Many case studies likewise use specific figures (“How we increased our social media engagement by 134%”) to signal that the numbers aren’t just fluff.

5. Speak your audience’s language with industry phrases

Don’t exclusively use jargon in your headlines. Instead, consider how you can craft titles that speak to specific sectors of your audience. Using industry-specific terms isn’t just a way of letting your audience know you’re writing for them. It also potentially targets keywords in both social media and Google searches.

6. Brainstorm at least five headlines for every post

We recommend writing five headlines to help you hash out your ideas and get the creative juices flowing. Here are some sample headline types to help you put together the title for your next post:

  • A how-to headline
  • A question-based headline
  • A headline based around a power word or phrase
  • A short-form headline (less than 60 characters)
  • A longer-form headline (80-100 characters)

7. Don’t rely on the same type of headline every time

You shouldn’t simply rely on certain headline types exclusively. Having a diverse content calendar with a variety of headlines can help to keep your readers interested and gives them something fresh to look forward to.

Mix it up with a variety of how-tos, deep-dive guides, lists and case studies.

8. Analyse your headline writing to find top performing titles

This can help point you to which types of headlines you should prioritise and likewise which ones you might want to avoid. Although there are other factors involved with traffic and shares (e.g. the post content, timing, and SEO), seeing that a specific headline type tends to get double the engagement is certainly telling.

Keep an eye on your traffic numbers via Google Analytics to assess which headlines score the most traffic. Analyse your most-shared and popular social media posts too.

And there you have it – our guide to headline writing!

(MORE: 5 step checklist for blog posting)

We’re on lockdown – now’s the time to get blogging! Here’s why…

The internet has revolutionised the way business owners think about advertising. It has also changed the way consumers actually consume media. Many companies now practice a strategy where consumers come to them for information rather than them pushing sales via outbound strategies.

In this article, we explain the benefits of blogging to business owners to show you just why you should have a blog if you don’t already. If you do, we’ve got some tips for you to help you see more benefits from your blogging efforts.

Here are some statistics to start:

  • Business that publish content regularly receive 8x more traffic
  • Blogging helps reduce overall marketing spend by more than 60%
  • Blogging helps in achieving 3x more leads

5 benefits of blogging

1. Building trust by showing that you are an expert in your industry

The way you write will match your personality and brand voice, which makes you a transparent brand which people like. Blogging is also a great way for businesses to share knowledge about their industry or other relevant interest areas. Successful companies consistently publish blog articles to assert their authority as a subject matter expert.

It helps consumers build confidence and trust in your brand. People who read your blog often naturally have a relationship with you. It’s important to build trust with customers before trying to sell them your product/service.

2. Improve overall customer experience by creating value for your customers

There aren’t interesting stories from sales posts. The more important benefit of blogging is to create value for your customers – you want to provide a better customer experience than your competitors.

Some things you could share would be a helpful checklist, ideas, how-to’s, and so on. The more your potential customers can receive from you for free, the more loyal they will be when they become customers. Educate before selling!

3. SEO improvement

Search engine optimisation is a long-term tactic to make your business high in search results. One of the ways you can do this is by writing blog posts which include keywords your customers search for. It’s also a great way to keep your website updated, which prevents it from falling back down in search results. Search engines don’t like dusty websites!

4. Building your email list

You can use blogging as a way to collect emails of interested prospects by asking website visitors to subscribe to your blog. You can send more communications and promotions about your business to this list. The most touch points you have with a customer, the greater chance you’ll have of converting.

5. Generating backlinks to increase ranking in search engines

Inbound links are links on other webpages that link back to your website. Other than being a great SEO growth tool, it finds its place among the benefits of blogging as well. If your blog posts are valuable enough, they might get picked up by other websites or blogs too.

When other sites link to your information, it looks like a strong recommendation to Google. These digital recommendations (backlinks) help increase your website authority and signals your website as favourable to the search engine algorithms.

(MORE: 5 step checklist for blog posting)