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Is Your Website Content Helping Or Hurting Your Online Marketing Campaign?

Content within your website is the most basic form of marketing for your business.  Throughout my time as a Virtual Assistant at The Write Hand, I have seen websites make or break a company.  Let me help you with your website, content, social media and marketing to take your companies online presence to the next step.

Content marketing has become more popular than ever since its rise to prominence after Google’s “Panda” update back in 2011. Website content can be highly valuable, and crucial for many independent online marketing strategies, but some people have come to see content as purely a good thing.

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In reality, the effectiveness and value of your content depends heavily on the type of content you’re creating, and how you’re implementing it. And the scale doesn’t start from zero, either; in fact, bad content can actually do more damage to your campaign than doing nothing at all.

So how can you tell if your website content is helping or hurting your campaign?

Read full article here.

Why Content Matters

Let’s start by analyzing why content matters in the first place, and the different ways you can gain value from it:

  • SEO fodder. First, content is necessary for a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign. SEO is all about making your website as visible as possible in search engines, which means creating lots of pages that can be indexed and maximizing the value of those pages. Adding new content gives search engine crawlers more material to index, and can make your website more relevant for specific search queries.
  • Reputation building. Content is also valuable for building your brand reputation and proving your expertise to new and recurring visitors; it’s your opportunity to impress people. High-quality content will make people appreciate, respect, or trust your brand, and the best content has the potential to go viral, attracting even more traffic to your site and earning links that boost your domain authority.
  • Conversion attraction. Content is also an opportunity to convert your audience, or get them to take a desired action. If you’re writing about how to choose a bicycle to buy, for example, you can end your article with a link to your most popular bicycles. In this context, content serves as a traffic director that helps turn your visitors into paying customers.

Three Key Traps

In all three of these applications, content can be valuable, but people tend to fall into three major traps of thinking that prevent them from using content properly. These traps are influenced by biases and inexperienced understanding, and can cause you to unknowingly execute a content campaign that not only doesn’t help you; it actively works against you:

  1. Quantity matters more than quality. Because content has many benefits, some marketers unjustly assume that more content is always better, and then spend their efforts making as much content as possible—rather than making the best content possible. This “quantity over quality” mindset is counterproductive, since even one piece of bad content can damage your reputation.
  2. Content is a means to an end. Some marketers see content as a means to an end, viewing it solely as a vessel to get people to convert. They treat it like an advertising opportunity, rather than an opportunity to provide value or benefit to their audience. Doing so may betray your audience’s trust.
  3. Strategic mimicry achieves similar results. Other marketers see similar brands that have been successful with content marketing and attempt to duplicate their strategies. While in theory, this seems like a sound approach, in reality, it cheapens the content you produce because it means your content lacks originality—and it’s rare to capture the essence that made the original strategy successful in the first place.

How Content Can Hurt

So how can content actively hurt your campaign, rather than improving it or letting it simmer?

  • Thin content and reputation. “Thin” content is content that doesn’t have value for readers; it might be devoid of details or meaningful information, it might be woefully short, or it might be surface-level, repetitive, or a derivative of other works. If a reader encounters this content on your website, they might leave thinking less of your brand, or seeing you as amateurs, rather than experts.
  • Thin content and SEO rankings. Thin content is also bad for your SEO rankings. Google’s algorithm detects the qualitative value of content based on many different factors (which aren’t publicly available), and if it determines that one of your pages is low-quality, you could suffer a mild penalty throughout your entire site.
  • Marketing spam and distrust. If readers think your content has been contrived for the sole purpose of attracting more visitors, or for earning more conversions, they’ll come to see you as a spammer, and may distrust any content you publish in the future. Remember, your primary goal in content marketing is to provide value for your audience.
  • Improperly targeted content and alienation. If your content isn’t targeted to the right audience, you could end up attracting the wrong types of people—and pushing away the readers you need the most. You might see decent traffic figures, but your conversion rates and profitability will be way off from where they could be.
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5 Referral Marketing Strategies

5 Referral Marketing Strategies

As a service provider/business owner, I understand the importance of gaining referrals from my clients. Referrals lead to new clients for me. I love making my clients happy and when they refer me, it expands my network. Check out these strategies to generate referrals..

5 Referral Marketing Strategies

FULL ARTICLE CREDITS: click here

Referrals should be one of the top marketing strategies professional service providers focus on.

Why? Because referrals are likelier to translate into more clients than leads generated through other marketing methods. According to this study, the two biggest factors that increase the probability of referrals are visible expertise (34.7 percent) and a professional relationship (24.4 percent).

There are two types of referrals — experience and reputation — and your marketing strategy should target both.

Experience referrals are a direct result of working with your business. A previous client is a prime example of an experience-based referral.

Reputation referrals come from people that have heard of your business. Someone who has previously seen your advertisement or engaged with your content online is an example of a reputation-based referral.

Here are five marketing strategies to help generate more referrals for professional service providers.

1. Become an industry thought leader.
Many professional service providers have experts on staff, but they are not known names outside of their own firm. There are a few simple things you can do to position yourself as an industry thought leader.

Start by contributing consistent content on your company blog. Most service businesses will have several team members — those that take the initiative to publish helpful content can use it as a stepping stone to secure contributor and guest blogging positions on relevant industry websites. The exposure these websites provide will often be your number one source of reputation-based referrals.

2. Publish case studies and results.
Publishing case studies and results on your company’s website is an easy way to increase referrals two ways. First, the subjects of the posts will often want to share it with friends and family members, which can spark instant referrals. Second, when someone visits your website but doesn’t convert, there is still a chance they can be a valuable asset in terms of future referrals. They might not have engaged with your company, but if your published results and case studies were impressive, they might refer your business to someone that needs your service in the future.

“Publishing our case results directly on our website shows potential clients that we are results-driven, and it also helps attract referrals. If someone lands on our website looking for representation in a practice area that we don’t focus on, there is a good chance they can provide us with a referral down the line if they are impressed with our published case results,” explains Marc C. Brotman, Partner at Brotman Nusbaum Ibrahim.

3. Make your client list public.
Many people don’t want to list their clients publicly or simply can’t because of non-disclosure agreements. If the only thing preventing you from making your client list public is fear of your competition attempting to poach them, you need to reconsider.

When someone is deciding whether or not to do business with your company, a client list can give them the confidence to move forward. Also, a potential customer might reach out to a client on the list and ask them about their experience with your company. This is very simple to implement and it can be an easy way turn your client base into a referral machine. Make sure you receive written permission from any client you add to the list.

4. Focus on your specialty.
You will attract more referrals if you focus more of your marketing and branding efforts on your specialty, rather than a wide range of services. When I first launched my marketing agency more than seven years ago, we did everything under the sun. With dozens of services, we were not known for one specialty over another.

Over time, we reduced the number of services we offered, and today we only do one thing: performance-based digital ad buy management. We were also heavily involved in influencer marketing from the beginning, so we launched a separate agency to handle that part of the business. Our referrals have increased dramatically now that we have two agencies, each specializing in one thing.

5. Feature your clients in your marketing.
Steve Kappel, President of Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty explains the benefit of client-feature marketing, saying, “Including a client success story in your marketing can send you referrals two ways. First, the client will typically share the marketing piece on social media, introducing your company to his or her friends and family. This can send highly qualified leads, in the sense they are already comfortable with your company because of the close connection. Second, success stories show that your company is good at what you do. In our case, someone might see our marketing and refer a friend to use that is in need of a real estate agent.”

Featuring clients and sharing your company’s success shows that your service solves the problems a potential new client is facing. You can attract reputation-based referrals from people you don’t even know if the marketing featuring previous clients is done right.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2017 in Marketing and SEO

 

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6 Tips and Tricks to Get the Most Downloads for Your App

6 Tips and Tricks to Get the Most Downloads for Your App

Okay folks, this helpful article teaches you ways to use search optimization to get the most downloads for your app. SEO is so important and I use it to help my clients with their blogs/social media. Read on for the tips..

6 Tips and Tricks to Get the Most Downloads for Your App

FULL ARTICLE CREDITS: click here

Many startups spend huge amounts of money on advertising, yet neglect app store optimization. App store optimization is the most cost-effective method to organically increase your installs for a couple of reasons:

According to Forrester, a staggering 63 percent of all app installs come from general browsing in the app store. By optimizing your app to be discovered through search, you can dramatically increase the number of downloads you receive for your mobile app.
It’s free! If you have a solid app store optimization strategy and execute properly, you will get tons of organic and free installs to your app.

Here are a few tips and tricks:

1. Choose the right title.

The title of your app ranks more heavily than the rest of the meta-data, so choose it wisely. Make sure you target words in your title that you want to hit the most, words that you’re confident about. Tools like SensorTower and AppAnnie can provide you accurate traffic volumes and difficulties of certain keywords. Also, make sure you don’t keyword stuff the title; the app store will reject your app.

2. Select situational keywords.

Depending on how many downloads and how much traffic your app is already getting, you must adjust your keywords. For example, if your app is already getting high traffic and downloads, you can target more competitive keywords that have higher traffic. If you are just starting up an app that nobody knows about and isn’t getting featured, I recommend choosing keywords that have a low difficulty level and medium traffic (according to analytic tools like SensorTower or AppAnnie). There are likely some keywords that are gems that others are not targeting and may have decent traffic.

3. Localize by country.

As every app store is separated geographically by country, it is really wise to localize your app to optimize it for discovery across different languages. The app store allows you to change the meta-data within your app depending on which country is searching for your app. Some companies have used a mixture of Google translate and native speakers to help localize their apps, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to localize as well. Localization is a huge aspect of having an effective presence globally. Just think of all these untapped markets that you can reach and how easily you could acquire more users with these markets.

4. Use powerful images and wording.

Once people are able to discover your app, the rest is up to how well your app listing converts into downloads. To optimize conversions, you must use beautiful images to entice users to want to download your app. Make sure to include the most attractive aspects of your app and to include captions in the pictures as well. You’d be surprised at how a simple tweak of an image or word can translate in terms of conversion percentages.

5. Pay attention to ratings, reviews and the description.

When was the last time you downloaded an app that had one star? Ratings and reviews don’t factor in as much to discovery as the keywords and the title, but they do have a huge impact on conversion rates. Users are probably more likely to download your app if it has received a large number of positive reviews. Make sure to also include an interesting and enticing description to explain to users what your app does!

6. Follow the data.

App store optimization is an ongoing process that takes experience, time and testing to get right. Make sure to thoroughly test out keywords over periods of time, and also test out the images/description of your app to see which ones are converting the best. At the end of the day, data doesn’t lie, so make sure you follow the data and find out what works for your app specifically.

 

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WOW – I found this article to be a great start to my week. I’m not going to toot my horn too loud, but frankly when you grow as a person and better things happen for you; it’s important to acknowledge it with grace and be proud of yourself. As such, this article reminded me of all I’ve gone through from childhood until today, it reminded me of always trying to improve day after day, even when some days I might have gone backward a bit too far. This article reminded me that I built The Write Hand, LLC from a little part-time side thing all by myself; to a fully functioning Online Business Management Network. My company provides income for the specialty contractors on my team and provides growth and revenue for the business owners we service. All said (this is where the actual Horn Toot comes in), I couldn’t have built The Write Hand, LLC without my life journeys, my professional experiences, and my daily and formal education; and I am proud of that.

The full article link is at the end; it’s a quick, easy read. But before you click the article, below is what I thought as I read it. Perhaps go into this article with the idea of putting yourself in each category and evaluate where you should be the proudest and where you should try to put forth more effort for greater improvement. The best quote in this article by my opinion; “…be transformational, not transactional…”

  • ENGAGED – They are personally engaged. Not only do these managers preach engagement, they live it. They are engaged as both individuals and managers. They bring their hearts, spirits, minds, and hands to their work. It’s contagious.
    • My 2 Cents: Money is a necessary evil and in proper terms is earned with hard work. There are a zillion jobs in the world; with a good attitude and dedication to your goals, you can make any job enjoyable – or at least learn to keep yourself happy and balanced within the job.
  • INVOLVED – They are involved. We often see “management by exception,” which means the only time a subordinate interacts with their leader is when they do something well or really steps in it. Engaged managers are there day-to-day, taking the temperature, learning what people need to be inspired to give discretionary effort.
    • My 2 Cents: It’s easy enough to ask your employees or team members how things are going, where are they seeing the most successes and challenges, or is there something they think would improve a process or the environment. Just ask, listen, and implement as best you can to keep your team happy. Sometimes the simplest things can make folks feel appreciated and thus, they want to follow you and stick with you.
  • HIRE WISE – They hire wisely. You may not have total discretion over hiring for your team or department. But you probably have influence. The engaged manager does whatever he or she can to ensure that new hires are people likely to get on board with the organization’s engagement environment.
    • My 2 Cents: I do have the total discretion of who I hire but I also value the input of my whole team. I may hire based on my criteria, yet during a trial period I will ask my team how the new member is interacting, do they need guidance in one place more than another, are they stronger somewhere that we should capitalize on, etc. Similarly, with tact and a non-judgmental tone; I will always let my team know when something has not occurred as it should and how we can improve the action for the future. Wasn’t that a PC way to say, “I politely tell people when they screw up and how to not do it again?” LOL
  • MAGIC – They create an environment of “MAGIC”: Meaning, Autonomy, Growth, Impact, and Connection. They understand the key components of engagement and don’t try to substitute imitation satisfaction factors for what’s truly important.
    • My 2 Cents: This is perfect for The Write Hand, LLC because I feel like we do create MAGIC particularly for our clients. We build websites and marketing plans that get results; they are attractive and appealing. We make things come to life for our clients. But this actual acronym as relates to management is cool in my opinion. The MAGIC formula is a simple way to make your team feel needed, successful, and valued for their talents.
    • The portion of this acronym that speaks to growth is one that I think a lot of managers don’t focus on enough. Though you never want to lose good people, you must keep your team forward thinking for themselves and your business. If they have dreams, goals, and motivation; help them get there. Five excellent and successful years with a top-notch employee is better than 15 years with a miserable one. In the case of my company where I use many different experts, most of whom work for me ‘on-the-side’ in addition to full-time employment; I try to show my team how what they do for me can translate into addition work or learning they can use elsewhere or to grow their own side business, if that’s what they wish.
  • TRUST – They don’t mess it up. When your team is fully engaged, sometimes your job is just to get out of the way and adjust the sails.
    • My 2 Cents: This is so perfect for the way I built my company. I used to do it all, but ‘all’ was limited to the few areas of expertise in my brain. With excellent connections and the vision to capitalize on other people’s expertise, I learned how to package and sell my smarts and the smarts of others, so yet other-others could benefit – LOL. Even though I am the Project Manager and liaison between all clients and the contractors working for us; I know when to sit back and watch my experts work together to get the job done. I might occasionally chime in and say, “Good Job, can’t wait to see it…”, or “This is over my head, y’all let me know the outcome…”, or even, “Sounds good; let me know if you need me…”
  • EXAMPLE – They lead by example. More than anything, the engaged manager’s role is to lead by example. In the words of Gandhi, “be the change you wish to create.”
    • My 2 Cents: This one is a bit more interpersonal and while I feel I try hard at this, definitely this is one that always needs to be top of mind in LIFE in general; not just management.

FULL ARTICLE HERE!

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/270429

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2017 in Let's Share...

 

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Business By Mr. Rogers??? 

So I was searching around YouTube for something totally different and found this unique remix featuring Mr. Rogers. If you really truly listen to the words of the song you can apply this to so much stuff in your life. Be inspired, use your mind, and chase your dreams. Whether they are personal or business, dreams can only come true if first try … and maybe try again, and again, until you get it right. https://youtu.be/OFzXaFbxDcM

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Let's Share...

 

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The Top 5 Myths of Mobile Apps — And Why Believing Them Will Hurt Your Business

The Top 5 Myths of Mobile Apps — And Why Believing Them Will Hurt Your Business

As an Online Business Management and Virtual Assistant Network, I can testify that I use several great apps for not only managing my business but also managing the business for my clients. Some of my favorite apps are Pages (for FB), Groups (for FB), BaseCamp, DropBox, and QuickBooks. Of course with all the travel I do, there are apps I love for that as well, such as AllStays Camp & RV, Hotels.com, GasBuddy, and a couple of weather apps. Check out my website for more helpful resources.

Here’s an article about apps that I really enjoyed and it even made go hmmm…

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Myth 1: Consumers no longer download apps.
Rumor has it that the app economy has peaked and that downloads are on the decline.

The Truth: In 2016, global app downloads surpassed 90 billion across iOS and Google Play. This represents 15 percent annual growth — an annual increase of more than 13 billion. In the U.S., consumers downloaded 12 billion apps last year, an average of roughly six per month, according to App Annie data. Businesses that buy into this myth will lose to competitors and tarnish their brand. The app stores are alive and well, so every brand needs to have a robust app strategy in place.

Myth 2: The app store is only for big publishers.
The assumption here is that big players like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are dominating app stores, and new players have little to no shot in such a saturated market.

The Truth: Our data shows the app economy experienced 20 percent year-over-year growth in new apps — more than 2.2 million last year — capturing consumer attention across verticals and countries. Look at the gaming space for instance: Within the last year, Pokemon GO and Super Mario came out with a bang, giving long-standing games like Clash Royale increased competition and opening the door for AR. Verticals like retail, banking, travel and foodservice have seen huge growth. The app economy and the app stores present a huge opportunity for new and emerging apps to make their mark, as long as they have the right strategy.

Myth 3: Downloads = dollars.
Many believe downloads are the most important metric when determining the success of an app. They assume that if downloads decline, the app is not performing well and conversely, that downloads are a measure of engagement.

The Truth: Usage is the new currency of success, and Americans on average spend well over 2 hours per day in apps. Usage metrics that track engagement are more indicative of an app’s success than downloads alone. What happens after the download is what ultimately matters: Are users engaged, or do they download and dump? How much time are they spending in the app and how often? What’s your retention rate look like? These metrics can guide businesses to optimize the experience to capture more revenue and increase customer satisfaction.

Myth 4: Bots will overtake apps.
The rise of bots brought forth the idea that apps are old news and chatbots are the “next big thing.”

The Truth: Apps aren’t going anywhere. App Annie data shows that average consumers use more than 35 apps per month, and time in apps has nearly doubled over the past two years. Conversational products simply cannot compete with the breadth and depth of value provided by visual experiences. We are still at the beginning stages of bots. Though bots and conversational experiences may play more of a role through integrations in time, they will not displace apps all together.

Myth 5: Apps are a “nice to have” not “need to have.”
Though we know consumers are primarily mobile-first, some businesses still don’t see mobile — let alone apps — as a necessity, but rather as optional, if budget permits.

The Truth: No one can question the importance of mobile as a critical tool for business success. In today’s market, we’re not only seeing digital-first apps compete with incumbents but also long-standing businesses are implementing mobile-first strategies. In order for any brand to successfully engage its audience, it must meet customers where they are, whenever they seek to engage. Apps uniquely enable this and are fueling this mobile first transformation.

The amount of success we’ve already seen in the app market makes it impossible to dismiss this industry as a “novelty” or “optional” any longer. With the maturity of the market, businesses of all types can reap the benefits of a well-designed app. However, by heeding these misconceptions, many are missing out on the opportunity at their fingertips. Armed with these truths, any business — from games to banks — can be transformed into long-term success.

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10 Marketing Questions

10 Marketing Questions

10 Marketing Questions

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Every business should be in-tune with their unique marketing needs. This article was shared privately so there’s no link, but I sure hope you enjoy the content. And remember if you need help with your marketing, your online presence, accounting, or other services; keep our Online Business Management and Virtual Assistant Network in mind. At The Write Hand, LLC we strive to be your one-stop for all your business needs.

10 Marketing Questions

Here are 10 questions to consider before writing a marketing plan. Even if you have a marketing plan it is a good idea to review these questions on a regular basis. Hopefully, you’ll be able to make time to at least consider the questions, or better yet write the answers down. This week engage your employees and others (not necessarily customers) who know your business well. Take particular note of differences of others’ responses to your own.

We’ll take a look at 10 more questions next week.

1. Describe your business in 30 words or less.
Listen for: Other adjectives that you didn’t think of and specific skills/abilities that may make you unique.

2. SWOT Analysis – Outline your business’ Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Listen for: Contradictions or misconceptions from your own perspective. An outsider’s view can be very helpful.

3. What is your mission statement/vision?
Listen for: Your employees to either mimic or say the opposite of your vision. This is an opportunity to get the staff on the same page.

4. Where was the business 10 years ago and where do you envision it 5, 10 and 20 years from now?
Listen for: No one can predict the future. What are your managers and personal contacts thinking?

5. Who is your clientele?
Listen for: Again, another point of view. Maybe your counter staff sees your typical customer very differently than you do.

6. What was is the best thing you have heard a customer say about your business?
Listen for: Something you’ve never heard before.

7. How about the worst thing you have heard?
Listen for: The thing you don’t want to hear.

8. How have you obtained most of your business?
Listen for: The unexpected. Unless you have been proactive in tracking new customers, you may be surprised.

9. How frequently do you communicate with your current customers and how?
Listen for: The comment that you don’t communicate enough and through the right channels.

10. Who are your competitors?
Listen for: Another surprise. It may not be the drycleaner down the street. It may be that there are consumers out there that don’t understand the benefit of using a professional clothing care specialist.

 

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