What Can Digital Marketing Do For You?

“But wait!”

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What if I told you Content Writing has EVERYTHING to do with Digital Marketing?

 

“You’re a writer.

Oh. Okay.

But what if I told you that a lot of what I offer as a Copy and Content Writer has everything to do with marketing? And, since I primarily write for web, my writing really has everything to do with digital marketing–though, no, I am definitely not a digital marketer.

What is Digital Marketing?

So, first off, what is digital marketing, actually?

HubSpot gives this definition:

Digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to connect with current and prospective customers.

And that is exactly why my job as a copy and content writer has everything to do with digital marketing. I write for every single one of these platforms. As Donald Miller, author, speaker, and creator of the StoryBrand concept says, words are the ultimate tool in storytelling.

Visual storytelling is awesome. Having clean, crisp images and a color palette that ties in a brand’s identity and helps sell a brand image and further their story is awesome. But at the end of the day, folks, it comes down to words.

What Can You Do to Tackle Digital Marketing?

Since Digital Marketing really is an umbrella term encompassing all the many ways we target, connect, and engage audiences online, tackling digital marketing can have a lot of steps. I recommend setting some doable, bite-sized goals for yourself and starting small. Perhaps this means setting up a website for your small business, and then committing to writing blog posts regularly to help boost your SEO organically.

Then, after you’ve mastered that, perhaps your next step is tackling Facebook and Instagram. Make business accounts for both of these social media powerhouses and start sharing those blog posts you’re publishing regularly, and commit to several weekly posts on Instagram showing relevant content rather than just pictures of your adorable dog cuddling a parakeet.

 

Develop Your Digital Marketing Plan

Developing your digital marketing plan can be a process that evolves overtime. But, basically, you should commit to three or four strategies and then prioritize following through. Trust me, this will be the hardest part.

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Outsourcing your digital marketing implementation might end up being a really great option for you, or you might find that utilizing a suite of nifty tools like Buffer and Hootsuite are the answers to your side-hustle prayers.

Learning about different ways to digitize your marketing and diversifying your strategy will be key to your success. Check out some of these ideas to keep growing your digital marketing strategy.

Whatever route you choose, remember that the follow-through is most important. Especially in organic SEO: consistency is key, as results can easily take six months to become noticeable.

Familiarize Yourself with Writing Techniques

In addition to learning the basics of digital marketing, familiarize yourself with writing techniques. Learn how writing for web and digital marketing works, and make an effort to identify your strengths weaknesses as a writer. This really will help your professional communication in every aspect, from emails to blog posts, to social media blurbs and bylines.

Check out my post about writing a blog post for some really basic ideas on getting started, or read up on SEO strategies in 2020.

And beyond trade-specific writing info, check out resources like Grammar Girl’s guide to writing properly (her blog is full of fascinating word-nerd info), or take a quick course to freshen your business and casual writing skills. Top-level writing will definitely help you pull of you DIY digital marketing endeavors with greater success. If that isn’t your skillset and you’re not eager to make time for it yourself, outsourcing copy and content is a viable solution that many small businesses find a huge time-saver and value-booster.

Stay Committed

Stay committed to digital marketing strategies and implementations. I’ll reiterate what I said throughout previous paragraphs about that exact thing.

Stay committed to your digital marketing plan.

Stay committed to developing your understanding of what works and what doesn’t.

Stay committed to content planning and strategic posting schedules.

And if you can’t, then commit to outsourcing the work to someone who does it for a living because it really can be that much of a game-changer for any company.

What’s your plan going to be?

So now that you know what digital marketing is, and a little bit about what it might entail, what is your plan going to be?

As always, feel free to be in touch. Email me or find us on Facebook. Moonphase Creative is always excited to help you in whatever phase you’re orbiting.

 

Until next time,

 

Angi

 

Writing for Connection: 3 Content Strategy Tips

Building an engaging web presence for your business can be a total game-changer for you business. Even if your business doesn’t operate online, building a strong web presence can help you reach new potential customers and engage with current loyal clients in a way that goes beyond plain old marketing.

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Creating engagement goes beyond analytics and requires marketing strategy and sincere, customer-centered stories that invite conversation, participation, and loyalty.

The Right Engagement Should Lead to Conversions

If you are getting engagement with the right kind of people, your social media strategy should lead to successful conversions. Engagement, in the world of SEO and Social Media Marketing, means all those comments, likes, shares and follows that make your social media presence ping with delight. But all the likes and shares in the world can’t pay your utilities bill… so how can you make sure you’re getting the right kind of engagement?

This requires a defined client that you know you’re hoping to connect with. Forget demographics–focus on the very specific individual you hope to connect with. Because, honestly, which of these following snippets describe the ideal client you desire?

Ideal Client #1

  • 18-24 demographic
  • student
  • single/casually dating
  • under $25 target budget
  • female
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What do your ideal clients look like? Image credit: mentatdgt

Ideal Client Description #2

Twenty-two year old female college student named Rachel. She majors in psychology and volunteers with her hometown chapter of the Boys & Girls Club of America on weekends, about a 45 minute drive from her college campus in the Midwest. She enjoys hanging out with her friends at local eateries and enjoys dating adventures at off the beaten path, locally-owned businesses. Rachel is all about trying out new places and attending entertainment venues when it fits in her budget (under 100 for the month, so she loves to scour for deals!), especially concerts and anything music related.

Which of these descriptions tells us more about a potential client?

When we are honing our marketing strategy, it’s important to understand your ideal client in such detail that they can be described as an actual person like Client Description #2. The more you know about who you are selling your products and services to, the more effectively you can sell them what they want and need.

This brings me to the three quick tips to keep in mind when you are putting together your content strategy.

Three Tips to Keep your Content Strategy On-Point

  1. Keep your message simple and make sure it addresses what your client wants. It’s less about you, and more about them.
  2. Invite a Conversation. Listening to your audience and letting them discuss your social media posts can be a great way to learn more about your ideal clients–it can also lead you to better marketing strategies on future posts, and those conversations can lead to genuinely loyal and invested customers who return to your brand because you are real and you listen.
  3. Small businesses are cornerstones of the community. If you are a small business, local business, or a solopreneur, capitalize on this fact and recognize that very valuable piece of truth. You are a part of your customer’s community. This sense of “we’re in this together, neighbor” is a genuine statement, but it can also increase a customer’s sense of brand loyalty and interest and commitment to following you and purchasing in the now as well as in the future.

A Simple Message with a Strong Call to Action

A message should be extremely easy to decipher, and the call to action should be clear enough that a potential client doesn’t have to pause for long to figure out what your content is talking about. See if you can distill your message into ten words, keeping your total word-count under 50, and follow that up with a clear command. This could be, “Let your wedding be a cozy, memorable event with meaning. Our wedding venue is perfect for your small crowd of besties, without overwhelming excess. Call today to book your tour and see how we can be part of your best day ever.”

The message is simple, and it asks the viewer to initiate contact in a clear and direct way, with the specific goal of scheduling a wedding venue tour. It does a couple other things I mention in the list above, too, and we’ll continue to talk about why this has potential as a strong base for social media messaging.

Invite Conversation

When you’re posting on social media, the conversation is one-sided until the potential client chooses to respond. In our example piece, the call to action is essentially an invitation to start the conversation. Once you can have a conversation with potential clients, the likelihood of making a conversion is much greater.

Inviting conversation could be something like drumming up interesting conversations and comments within the social media platform. This is useful because it raises public awareness, and you have a chance to manage and curate the image your brand has with direct customer relations.

And, of course, inviting clients to contact you directly is the most straightforward method–and it can be completely successful time after time.

Be a Cornerstone in Your Community

Be a genuinely involved leader in your community and don’t be afraid to join the conversation. React to current events, be present within local forums, and offer support and encouragement to others. There are, of course, a lot more strategies but this seems like a really simple approach to life as a small business owner or solopreneur. I’m a huge advocate of this kind of genuine marketing because, at the end of the day, we are all people serving other people. We are connecting and growing constantly, and being a well-reputed, respected, and genuine professional in your local and online communities can definitely take you farther than you might imagine.

In Summary: The Three ‘C’s of Content Creation

  1. Call to Action: Call your reader to action, and/or give them actionable items.
  2. Conversation: encourage engaging, genuine issues.
  3. Community: Whether it’s physical community or a virtual community, be an involved and visible member of the world around you.

I hope these quick tips help you if you are putting together your own social media strategy and building your online presence. Consistency and perseverance are key, always, and this can be time-consuming, but the long-term benefits are many!

Until next time,

 

Angi

 

Writing a Blog Post 101

If you’re reading this, you may be wondering how to build more exciting, engaging content for your blog. You probably know that a blog is super important for your website. And you probably understand that frequent posting (at least weekly!) is key. But what you may not be so sure about is how do I create a blog post, especially one that is interesting?!

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Be Relevant

Relevant content is an absolute must to keep your rankings up and connecting with the right crowd. Be authentic in the topics you choose, which is hopefully an easy task if you have a website and blog you’re passionate about. No sense starting a blog about airplanes if the most you know about airplanes is how to navigate the security line, stow your carry on in the overhead compartment, and nap politely until landing.

If you have a blog and website you’re truly invested in because you are super knowledgeable about your field, relevant content will be a breeze. I would say, your biggest grinding chore will be avoiding that sense of repetition. When you’re truly in your element, you’ll beItem sharing content that can truly help others. As a writer, I’m writing about–well–writing. But if your blog is about beauty, review your favorite new releases for the upcoming Summer collections. If you’re a real estate agent, make posts that are relevant to your favorite kind of client; that might mean a post about preparing your house for sale, or a checklist blog post going over the To-Do’s for buying a home.

Content creation doesn’t have to be a chore, but it can be time consuming. Picking the topic, structuring the post, and fine-tuning those paragraphs to achieve your word count and hit all the keywords can definitely eat up a couple hours. But at the end of the day, that relevant content will help your lead generation… which brings me to my next point:

Be Irresistible

Blog posts should be informative and/or entertaining. Depending on your topic and brand, the “entertaining” part could be flexibly subjective. Engaging might be a better word for it. But whatever you are writing, make it irresistibly useful and needed to your audience. How-Tos, Tips & Tricks, and other kinds of “guides” are very useful types of content that can easily be tailored to fit your niche audience.

Actionable Items

Offer your readers actionable items to apply in their own lives. One of the most successful types of blogs are recipe/cooking/baking blogs (like this one, which I discovered almost a decade ago because Google rankings had my old fiction writing name, AM Baker right there with the blog). Recipe blogs are insanely successful because they have useful recipes that people are willing to scroll through in order to carry out a useful, desirable action. When you offer how-to’s and DIY posts, it’s great to offer useful knowledge. It’s even better if you can include a specific project, recipe, or even a freebie printable for you readers to have a useful takeaway.

Photos and & Video

Finding relevant photos can be time-consuming, though I have a few go-to spots like Pexels to find free stock photos that can make my site look fresh and relevant with pictures. I use my own photography or images on occasion, but my goal is always two to three images with relevant, descriptive captions for every blog post.

Pre-Plan Your Post

Plan your post before you begin writing. Think of your topic and make some notes. Consider what points you’d like to include, and this is a really good time to remember what your English teacher taught you about Topic Sentences, Main Ideas, and Supporting Sentences. I know, you never thought you’d have to revisit that boring, tedious essay structure again…

If using a graphic organizer helps, or taking notes by hand is your thing, go for it. Blog posts will become an easier task with time, but especially at first, a little organization and time dedicated to brainstorming is a great idea.

BlogPostChecklist
Download and Print in the link below!

 

I am including this BlogPostChecklist for you. It includes reminders of important marks to hit–like a minimum of one-thousand words–and includes some space to name your blog post topic, take some notes, and define the actionable items you can include. Graphic organizers like these can be really helpful for simply getting the work done. It’s easy to stare at a blank screen when you don’t have a clear vision of what you need to write.

 

Write Your Post!

Once you’ve written your post, make sure to preview it in whatever platform you are using. I currently use WordPress, and am familiar with the way Preview works and I usually save my drafts, then schedule them ahead so that I have to edit and revise, or simply avoid the procrastinating monster.

Let me know how your blog post writing process goes. I’m curious to hear about your own process, or comments and suggestions you may have. I hope this tutorial of sorts was helpful and possibly helped you understand that writing a blog post isn’t hard–it’s just a matter of making an outline, sticking to it, and giving the audience something they can really use.

Contact Us!

We would love to hear about your process. A lot of my clients could write their own blog posts, but their businesses don’t leave a lot of time for putting together those posts once a week. This is where we can definitely help you! If you’re looking for great content written with organic SEO in mind, please contact us to find out more about our blog writing services. We offer blog writing services for many industries and can craft tailor-made posts that are meant for your audience.

I look forward to hearing about your journey in blog writing!

 

Until next time,

AngiBaker-4
Owner of Moonphase Creative, a company all about writing and design.

Angi

5 Tips for Working from Home

My work as a freelance writer and visual arts dabbler demands a more creative and dedicated approach to time-management and chunking work-blocks effectively. Like many, I have a busy family-life to balance, but not having a 9-5 job affords me many ninja skills for coping during our current pandemic, as well as a unique flexibility to innovate a work-flow that serves clients and allows me to be a more present parent and spouse.

If You Can, Choose Happy

It isn’t always a choice, but it can be an option to at least focus on the positives. I’ve gotten in the habit of keeping a gratitude journal to remind me there are always things to be grateful for. I am never one to dismiss or discount the dismal realities we may be facing–but both personally and collectively, it’s important to choose a few things to list as our Thankful Fors.

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It’s not always a choice, but often times we have the choice to focus on positives in our situation and grow them like flowers. Weed out the stuff that doesn’t work and focus on the positives.

If you’re recently transitioned to working from home, you probably are starting to refer to your house as a madhouse. If you’re not yet, congratulations. Many of us, in fact, are–and those with kids have a blessing/curse conundrum in that at least we don’t have to talk to our plants as though they are people, we do have to worry about the plants being upended by wild children struggling with the isolation and confinement.

I’ve put together a few tips, and to be honest these aren’t new. I talked about these tips last year here on the blog before Moonphase went through yet another transformation.

5 Tips For the Work-at-Home-Freelancer

  1. Treat your job like a…well…job. I’m guilty of saying, “well, I can make any appointment at any time because my schedule is flexible.” Not true. I don’t have a traditional 9-5, but I have work to fit in the day–that is valid reason to be protective of my time and realize I’m responsible for treating my work-hours as valid chunks of time.
  2. Block out FOUR HOUR work periods during your self-imposed work-week. I say FOUR with emphasis because, like me, freelance probably appeals because it isn’t strictly and eight hour work day all the time without variation. I do recommend committing to four hour chunks, though, because now you have allotted time to work productively without interruption. You will be less likely to schedule appointments or cut your day short because of other peoples’ needs if you create four hour work-blocks. Anything less, it is easier to lose productivity; anything more, you may feel it hinders the flexible appeal of freelance.
  3. Set THREE small goals. Then kill them. Kill them dead! I like the number three because it is doable; even if one of the goals is bigger, like “finish writing client’s 10 page content package,” I know I can accomplish it within my four hour work-block (with the help of the right soundtrack, that is). And usually, accomplishing three goals snowballs to five or six–depending upon the task size. It is a good number to aim for when I need help boosting a positive trajectory.
  4. Keep a journal and list notebook. As with everything on this list, modify whatever items you need in order to make it work. Discard the advice that doesn’t resonate with you. Many creative freelance types, however, may like the idea of keeping a tangible notebook with lined or unlined paper to capture their thoughts, notes, lists, and letters. I personally have a lot circulating; stationary and unique notebooks is a sort of collector’s-hobby for me at this point in my life, and I don’t like wasting so I have many notebooks dedicated to lists, doodles, work-related notes, home-related notes, personal journaling, and personal art journaling. ET CETERA.  Find something to keep near your work-desk that makes you happy and reminds you to be you. You will be happier, and this will lend itself to greater productivity.
  5. Teach others to treat your job like a job. This ties back to point number one, and it demands that you honor point number one and take it seriously. In every aspect of our lives, we essentially teach others how we want to be treated. When you work from home, are self-employed, and call yourself a freelancer, the need to define your work time and your scope of work as a real thing demanding time and space to accomplish is paramount. People will think of you as a stay-at-home-parent, a part-time dabbler, and a hobbyist if you do not teach them that your work is valuable and the time and space needed to do it is mandatory.

Recognizing your Pitfalls and Being Proactive

It’s so hard to admit where we fall short, but recognizing your pitfalls and developing solutions is the best way to proactively meet your success. Number Five in my list can be the hardest of all for me. I’ve struggled with teaching others to take me seriously, largely in part because I didn’t take my own work seriously. I can say that, in the past year or two, that has drastically changed and I have seen my own success grow exponentially as a result.

I wrote a post similar to this one almost a year ago, but now things are super different for the whole world. Suddenly, many are working from home during the unprecedented times of COVID-19. My husband is included in that newly-minted work-from-home status. Last year he responded to my frustration about working from home and balancing it all with, “I’m honestly grateful I have a desk and an office to go to, nobody questions that. If I had to work at home and see stuff piling up, I think I would lose my mind too.”

Photo by bongkarn thanyakij from Pexelswoman-in-gray-sweat-shirt-sitting-beside-window-3759080

Never underestimate the power of feeling validated. Working from home is no less of a job than one that exists in an office. Our unprecedented times are proving that. And when we shift our mindset to embrace this work-from-home setup, I see the potential for a world that is flourishing with arrangements that really do have better work-life balance and allow families to bond and have more quality time together.

I look back on my frustration that was really at an all-time-high one year ago, and I realize it was less about my personal situation and more about how the world is or isn’t built for working from home. I’m seeing people make the shift to working at home, though, and I feel like it’s a beautiful thing. COVID-19 aside, of course, because this part of the isolating, social-distancing is devastating. It’s my hope, though, that we can collectively develop a better approach to work, the economy, and business solutions so that people can create meaningful lives that don’t require such a divisive way of life.

Of course, many types of jobs require a physical place other than home. But many tech-based, customer support, and even education jobs, don’t require a physical office–or maybe simply less workplace time is required to be productive and successful. If you can work from home and make it a productive, positive experience, I’m applauding you from over here.

Working from home in the current crisis.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Thanks for Reading!

Were these tips helpful? What tips do you have to add? I’d love to hear what works for you and what you’re doing to conquer and thrive the work-from-home challenges!

 

Until next time,

 

Angi

Moonphase Creative’s Guide to Writing for Your Brand

Writing for your brand’s blog can be so intimidating. Finding your topic, structuring the post, planning the links, the images, then promoting it across all the social media platforms…

Content strategy
Content Strategy can be key to making your business light up online.

But it doesn’t have to be such a battle to come up with relevant content that engages and informs your audience.

Tell a Story

Tell a story in a blog post, but include your call to action and let your keywords carry it. People love stories, and all the better if they can envision themselves somehow fitting into this story.

Once, I wrote copy for a septic tank company and it was very clear, as I got to know the client, that their brand’s story was super important. As I wrote the copy for their website, I kept that story at the forefront of my mind. Everything related to the topic of septic tanks and systems and repairs–but I kept their copy super personable and related the brand story throughout the website because it was relatable, engaging, and–most importantly–the brand’s story was all about the people at the center of their plot: the customer.

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Tell the story your client wants to read.

Their company was all about the community they serve. Their story was about educating and helping a rural community live with septic tanks and properly care and maintain for those systems. The branding of their company depends on connecting to that community in an authentic, friendly, but professional way that assures the main character: we’ve got your septic situation covered.

In a blog post, your brand’s story should be the overall package. Pick a specific story to tell in order to richly illustrate your points, engage with the reader, and build a sense of loyalty and familiarity.

Embrace the Evergreen

Evergreen content is Queen, so embrace this type of always-relevant blog post. It is perfect for link-backs, for eternal sharing, and makes a great “foot in the door” type post where people learn about your particular expertise, knowledge, and experience.

This kind of content is meant to be timeless, so the topics are all about stuff that remains relevant no matter the season or place or time. Think: ways to organize your desk, types of work strategies or recipes for general success. Depending on your company niche, your specific evergreen content might be industry-specific.

Other types of evergreen content have what I like to call “revolving relevance.” These are seasonal pieces that will be relevant every year for a period of time. Examples of this kind of “revolving evergreen relevance” include topics such as “Holiday Survival Strategy” or “Tips for Staying Calm During Tax Season” or something like “Five Ways to Celebrate Back-to-School.”

All those imaginary titles operate on the idea of a seasonal event, but their general tone and content should be re-useable from year to year with, maybe, some tweaks and revisions to update and freshen the content.

Overall, evergreen content is the stuff of dreams. It is always shareable, always relevant, and can go far in having huge circulation possibilities to boost your brand awareness and gain new followers and invite potential clients to dig deeper for what other things you have to say.

 

But…Jump on the Trend Train

Having touted the lovely perennial charm of an evergreen post, I must also recommend jumping on the trend train from time to time. This is great for a short burst of marketing frenzy, or capitalizing on something extremely crazy and all-encompassing (like COVID-19, for instance).

Trend posts (like this post about fashion for holiday 2015) can capitalize on the here and now, and play to people’s obsessive scrolling “FOMO” behaviors. If your’e sharing info about a topic that just came out in the new a day earlier, people are going to be operating on a sense of urgency and immediacy as they interact with your post.

Structure and post accordingly. These sorts of posts rely on a certain infusion of energy and urgency to make them float. Don’t worry about being on trend all the time. In fact, avoid being a slave to trends. Evergreen is still the way to go, but sharing popular news and offering some insight from your niche industry perspective is definitely something to consider every once in a while.

Teach, Preach, and Carry On

Establish your expertise, share your passion, and show that you are a confident and competent name in your profession. But, remember too, your potential customer is coming to you for their personal victory. Your brand, your product and service, is the thing they want or need to do better in life. Assure them that they’re in good hands, that your knowledge is sound and what you have to offer is top-notch.

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Plan your content and write with confidence to show clients you’re an expert in the field.

Your confidence will carry you: the way you speak and write, the way you carry yourself in a meeting or presentation, and how you come across to others in person. But your knowledge will be the most important thing that lets people know your service is definitely worth their time and money. People will want what you have because they see that your knowledge can help them succeed.

Your knowledge needs a vehicle, though, and that vehicle will be the most important aspect of your brand’s online presence. This vehicle can be a blog, a website, a social media account, or some hybrid collection of all these things. The way you write for your brand on these accounts and within these vehicles will be key to your success.

 

Words & Pictures

It honestly comes down to words and, second to that, pictures (or, overall, your visual presentation and aesthetic). Pretty images, savvy design, trendy aesthetics: all these things are wonderful to have, and they can do a lot to boost your overall appearance and even the readability of your brand. But, for better or worse, words become the most important part of your brand. Whether we’re talking about print or web, words are the biggest thing driving your brand’s story, and your story is always the thing that makes the biggest impact.

Moonphase Creative
Contact Us. We’re all about writing your story so you have time for more.

So bring your words to the next level. Read about how organic SEO can help your website grow overtime. Find out how telling a story can help you connect to the perfect client. Practice writing bios and bylines and your company’s mission until it is easy to explain in a quick, succinct way. And if you just don’t want to do all that work on writing, consider hiring someone who can.

Until next time,

 

Angi

 

 

Could a Content Writer Help My Social Media?

Content Strategy & Social Media

Social media without content strategy is like vanilla ice cream without chocolate syrup. I mean, you can, but why would you want to? Hiring a content writer who understands strategy is a smart move if you’re looking to maximize your click-conversions. Small businesses, especially, can see huge benefit from developing a strong and authentic presence online.

Content strategy brings your social media presence to Next Level performance, and will leave your audience feeling engaged, informed, and (possibly) entertained. An audience that engages is an audience that cares–and getting people to care enough to click and read is a lot closer to your end-goal: commit and purchase.

Hiring a Content Strategist

Whether on a project-to-project basis or full-time, hiring a content strategist could be an excellent move for your small business brand. A content strategist likely has a few other tools in their belt, such as myself. I am a copy and content writer who is constantly applying strategy to capitalize on consumer psychology when it comes to social media.

Content Concept. The meeting at the white office table
Develop your content with a creative approach to strategy. Image via Adobe Stock.

A content strategist is, I would say, rarely just a strategist. They are most likely copywriters, content writers, and/or freelancers employing their strategy talents to expand their value and provide a better quality result for clients.

Freelance Writers Using Content Strategy

Freelance writers using content strategy understand digital marketing and SEO in a unique way. Businesses may be looking for ways to optimize their SEO, but they may or may not consider strategy beyond that, and this is where freelancers with a background in both writing and digital marketing can have a bigger impact. Search-friendly SEO best practices can be textbook solid, but the changing landscape of SEO and digital marketing means web content needs to reach a new level of relevant.

Many freelance writers are in constant pursuit of ways to improve their SEO structure and analyze performance. This is a field of niche skill, and while your small business can probably handle picture-posts to Instagram and Twitter shares, it helps to have a team dedicated to the production and maintenance of social media account for, if nothing else, one reason.

Content strategy
Find way to push your social media presence to maximum results. Photo: Adobe Stock

That One Reason is quality social media content creation. Writing blog posts that are structured properly, meet the recommended length (over a thousand words, always!), and contain useful, engaging information that also helps your targeted keyword ranking? It is definitely time consuming. And requires a workflow that is optimized for efficient turn out.

How do I use Content Strategy?

If you are a small business looking to capitalize on your social media marketing plan, posting frequently is only part of the strategy. You’ll want to be sure your content strategy is reaching across several platforms and pointing people back to your home page. Beyond that, clear branding, cohesive imagery, and a visual story can all be incredibly helpful in making sure consumers know your business when they see your content.

Promotional strategy can help you achieve better conversions in sales and find a relevant, respected foothold in your industry. Are you struggling to conceptualize your small company’s brand? Are you looking to create cohesive content that is shareable and invites engagement?

Moonphase Creative is ready to help your journey, so feel free to contact us about how writing and content strategy could play a part in your business growth.

 

Moonphase Creative: Fam Edition

Last week the world sent kids back to school without leaving the house. I say world, but I mean our little house–as well as many other homes around certain districts in our city and surrounding US. It was a huge deal; educators had to scramble to develop some kind of e-learning based strategy while facing the exhausting, scary, stressful pandemic that still grips us all.

 

Family First, Work Second

Putting family first and work second has been really hard for me to do, honestly, and I want to say that sounds awful–but it isn’t. In fact, all of us probably have a hard time shifting our priorities and reframing our world to fit a new normal that isn’t normal at all. I miss quiet mornings after my older three have left, and it feel less restful and more stressful a lot of the time. But I’ve decided to remind myself that if I can successfully put the kids before my own work, there will be more time left for my personal work goals after everyone is on task, regulated.

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Family: this was not even a year ago, but yet it feels like a lifetime when they change so fast.

Learning Strategies

As I shape learning around the online curriculum put forth by the teachers and school district, I try to incorporate learning strategies for myself. I’m as much of a learner in this situation as they are. I’m constantly figuring out how to structure the day so everyone gets the time and attention that they need.

I also see so much of myself in all my kids in the ways they learn, the ways they get frustrated with hard concepts, and the ways they devise coping and learning strategies. If nothing else, that has caused me to have a better sense of empathy and also, I have to laugh at these tiny mirrors of myself all over the house.

 

Language Arts

Since I’m a writer, this is the subject I get most passionate about–but most frustrated with when I see sloppy efforts from the very people that took up real estate in my own body for nine months. At the end of the day, though, we’ve been embracing the journey together and I’m hopeful my middle schooler, especially, will exit this strange period of homeschooling with a better sense of paragraph and essay structure than she had before our homebound time began.

Art Lessons

And since I’m an artist, of course, art lessons are the absolute best part of the day (and please check out the Artful Parent for so many wonderful ideas!!!). So far, we’ve explored paint and composition. We took found objects (rocks, buttons, some destructed dead flowers) and played with the idea of composition on some plain white Bristol paper. It was fun to make moveable art that wasn’t permanent. My five year old asked where the glue was and she seemed genuinely shocked that our art was not, in fact, meant to stay on the paper.

We took pictures, but otherwise it was purely an experiment in tactile joy and an experiential delight. I found it freeing, too, to not have yet another “masterpiece” to store somewhere (or, really, throw away without being found out by the kids).

Other Subjects

We tackle the other subjects with the help of Pinterest, IXL, and the lessons we see in the world on a daily basis. It won’t be easy, but I have found the more I give to them, the more I get back. We can’t pour from an empty cup, but sometimes I am too much of the mindset that I need to work or meet a goal before I have time for lessons or games.

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Excuse the overflowing trash..I did empty that right after the sink or float experiment!

I hope I can remember to be a lifelong learning right next to them. I hope I can set aside my emails and work goals long enough to really enjoy a round of Slap Jack and Go Fish. I hope I can genuinely let go of my To-Do list to completely fall into a lesson in composition and an experiment in science with my kids.

If you’re in the same boat, let us know how it’s going in the comments! I’m letting go and leaning in, and I hope you can, too. Be kind–these days are long while the years are short, and we’re all in this together.

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Family Edition: and a reminder we need to get photos again, as I was pregnant with baby H here!

 

Until next time,

Angi

 

 

 

 

Positive Lead Generation: 5 Reasons to Avoid Paid Ads

What is Lead Generation in Digital Marketing?

Lead Generation in digital marketing is an incredibly important part of a small business’s strategy to success. Any potential customer who is considering your brand, business, or product, is considered a lead. You can generate leads through social media, as an example, with the ultimate goal being to convert your lead to a customer who pays for your goods or services.

Nearly half of small businesses are not utilizing a plan for lead generation, and that is a big problem. It’s a completely untapped source of revenue, and generating leads is absolutely crucial to your small business success.

Can paying for ads bring small business success?

I guess paying for your ads can bring your small business success? But… you’re paying for it, and without having as much control on how those paid ads are being implemented. Why pay for it, if you can achieve healthy lead generation through organic SEO with a higher rate of successful conversion?

Tips to Avoid Paid Ads

  1. Organic SEORather than dumping money into paid ads, do some keyword research and build your social media posts, blog posts and marketing content around those keywords. No need to spam the words into your writing so much that it sounds weird or unnatural–especially since the algorithms are already onto that nonsense and penalize sites that are using such silly SEO practices.
  2. Target your ideal Client. And I mean, go to the page and write about the ideal client you would like to meet. What do they look like, how old are they, what kind of job do they have? Gone are the days of thinking of a whole audience or demographic. Niche targets are possible now, thanks to the wide web of information and at-a-touch customization. 
  3. Hiring a content writer instead, or  create your own content strategy. Organic SEO and content strategy can be a little time-consuming and learning some of the ever-changing keys to success can require a moderate time commitment. There can be varying levels of dedication here, and it doesn’t have to completely monopolize your time. However, if your business would benefit from it and you have other things you’d rather be doing, consider hiring a content writer who employs organic SEO strategy. I am one of those, ahem, so feel free to contact us to say hi. I also offer strategy consultation packages in which I can help you think of ways to develop your own strategy and workflow in creating great organic SEO.
  4. Social Media Mastery. This can be huge for your organic reach. You don’t need to pay for ads if you can drum up authentic engagement. The algorithms on social media are all about user engagement, and they’re staying up on human habits enough to know when stuff is ridiculous and when stuff is legit. Likes are nice, but shares and comments are better. Shares and comments are good, but clicking links to your business’s main site with the ultimate point of commitment and purchase? That is gold.
  5. Focus Your Brand Building. You’ll want to attack a few social media sites and keep your blog/website frequently updated and ripe with good content. No matter which site your audience visits, you want to be sure that your small business is on-point in their image, branding, and overall messaging. Visual cohesiveness is extremely important, but it can really come down to voice and personality in the written content, as well.

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Committing to Authentic Growth

Committing to authentic growth organically via social media is not easy. You may choose to still supplement your organic digital marketing efforts with some paid ads–especially at first. That is okay if it fits your small business budget and you feel the results are worth it. But I really do recommend giving organic SEO a chance. The results won’t be immediate, but they will be lasting. With careful tending, your metaphorical garden of truly interested leads will be growing like… well. Weeds. Or cilantro… (that is always the only herb I can ever get to grow in my sad, dry, desert garden here in Colorado).

Committing to your business’s digital marketing strategy can feel daunting. Some suggest posting often and posting during peak hours of social media usage. There are a lot of strategies here, I have a few opinions, some of which I detail below…

Beat the Rush: Social Marketing

Beat the rush with some social marketing strategy that may not seem obvious. Instead of scheduling your post for peak hours, share your content outside of peak hours. If you post during Facebook’s peak hours, for instance, then you compete with the most posts of any other time of the day. Instead, beat the rush and make really compelling posts that attract a lot of engagement, hopefully garner some shares, likes, and comments before rush hour hits. The more engagement your post has initially, the more it climbs the social media feed algorithm and gains visibility. So the post you shared before peak hours will, ideally, gain some initial attention (likes, shares, valuable engagement) then receive a natural boost of visibility during peak hours.

In the case of Instagram, frequent posts with relative hashtags is a great idea. Obviously, keep your IG posts super engaging by posting top-not images. IG is all about the visual, so visual branding and cohesive visual storytelling are absolutely crucial. Frequent posts (ideally, daily) will only do so much for you, though. Be authentically engaged–like, comment, and follow others who are doing things that you like and things that truly interest you. In my experience, trying to like, comment, and follow other Instagram users for personal gain isn’t that useful and its usually very transparent to users so it comes across insincere, spammy, and ingenuous.

If I had to sum up my strategy, it’s that it really is quality of leads over quantity. I would rather have fifty engaged, committed, authentically invested followers who interact, promote, and do business why my small business than have five hundred followers who have forgotten they follow my small business.

Email me: angi.baker.saunders@moonphasecreative.com to discuss what we can do for your digital marketing campaign. Check us out on Facebook, or see us on Instagram, @thatcopywriterlady

 

 

Content Writers on Social Media: Strategy is Key

Content Writers & Content Strategy

Content writers are different from copywriters in several ways, but good writers (whichever kind) are always thinking about strategy. Copywriters are, to over-simplify, writing the static pages structured for SEO and focus on keywords per page to help a website gain rankings and visibility in relationship to those targeted keywords. Content writers, on the other hand, are producing fresh, relevant writing on a more frequent basis that engages readers and helps keep a site’s relevance and rankings up.

I happen to do both of these things and enjoyed both tasks so immensely, I expanded into social media content creation. I love the aspect of content strategy so much, it was fun to take on a new platform that nicely paired with my blog and website experience.

Content strategy goes beyond any specific form of writing or even platform, and has more to do with shaping the way a business or brand puts out the digital stuff their audience consumes. Content strategy is partly marketing and branding, but it is absolutely more powerful when executed by someone with knowledge of SEO, content and copy writing.

Social Media Posts: Clicks vs. Conversion

I want to focus on creating social media posts that consider Clicks vs. Conversion. Content aims to get clicks, but clicks can be the boring kind (a random, disengaged Like) or the best kind (the conversion kind that goes all the way to your website or slides into your DMs with legitimate inquiry). Create authentic content your ideal client would be happy to find out more about and earn those clicks that turn into conversions.

Social media is a shiny vehicle for your business, but garnering likes doesn’t equal customer conversion. Strategic posting using relevant hashtags, compelling images, and descriptions that consider the real end goal (which would be click-conversion to paying customers, not the ephemeral currency of likes) will be most valuable. In the long run, you want your small business to have a big customer-base–not just a fan-base (though a solid fan base is pretty cool, too).

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Photo by destiawan nur agustra from Pexels

Organic SEO

Social media depends on a little more than just compelling content and on-point curation, which is where organic SEO becomes super important. A competent content writer is going to be well-armed with some solid SEO strategy. Organic SEO is not a paid ad that may give a false boost to your sales. Instead, organic SEO takes time to build as your SEO social media and blog posts work to improve your rankings and visibility. It will take months, honestly, so please be patient.

If you follow a few simple rules for creating decent blog content, though, I guarantee you will start to see increased traffic, gains in your clicks, and positive conversion rates. It’s a matter of diligence and blind forging ahead, really–because if you stop posting, your SEO will stop growing. If your site isn’t posting regularly, I can guarantee it will not increase in Google rankings. Organic SEO works with what you have, not with what you’re paying.

What Makes a Good IG Post?

So if you’re looking to make a good–no, awesome–IG post, then, what should you or should you not do?

Do

  1. Use bold, pleasing, or eye-catching images. It’s the quintessential quest of the VSCO girl, amirite? But whether you’re a battle-hardened millennial searching for your identity, or one of the new VSCO babes hoping to score influencer status, you’ve got to be ready for the pursuit of superior images.
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    The VSCO Girl in a Field. Photo by Dominika Gregušová from Pexels

     

  2. Know how to #hashtag wisely. Appeal to brands and follower that fit with your own aesthetic and visual. It is really amazing how the visual narrative of a brand can be narrowed down and conveyed with such precision just by condensing the use of certain hastags and related groups.
  3. Tell a Story and Have a Schedule. My personal IG game is a little weak, tbh. I need to take my own advice on this one! Tell your brand’s story and create a content schedule. When you’re winging it, your post will start to look less like a personal-professional hybrid and more like a moody snapshot of your life, cat, and meals to and snacks you’ve eaten in the past forty-eight hours.
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Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

Don’t

  1. Don’t use underwhelming photos that have more personal meaning than they have public appeal. Make these photos your best shots of whatever you’re selling, whatever you’re about. Make it fresh, authentic, and relatable–but don’t make it underwhelming with blurry, unfocused images that take a minute to figure out what the subject is.
  2. Don’t tag people, promote, or hashtag posts without reason. Don’t attempt to blow up your feed in too many directions to garner a few likes and views. The fact is, this might work in the very short-term, but a ton of likes means absolutely nothing if no one clicks through your IG links to check out who you are and what you do.
  3. Don’t be afraid to post. Post often and be mindful about what you’re sharing. Let your content be relevant and authentic to your brand, and the results will eventually follow. If you need some help crafting that image and creating the content, please contact us and we would love to help!

Until next time!

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Photo by Prateek Katyal from Pexels

Angi

 

Pandemic 2020: Social Media All Onboard

How Are You Staying Connected?

Whether you’re a small business or a singular person, how are you staying connected? The world just got way more virtual then ever before–and it’s a huge change from the way the world worked even a month ago. We’re writing more, posting more, scrolling more…

And small businesses everywhere need to be creating that content to take part in the conversation. It’s amazing to see how people are reaching out and organically, authentically engaging with small businesses and brands. If there is one thing that this pandemic has done for the world, it is humanizing many aspects of the globe we didn’t consider or thought of us a non-human fixture.

Cars simply were everywhere, and everyone was in a room working, and we all got stuck in traffic jams trying to get home so we could fill our heads with mindless noise to drown out our exhaustion until we fell asleep.

Nothing about right now is easy, but it is certainly a change in that rush here/rush there dynamic, and the slowdown seems to be a really big factor for many people. All the changes have people listening to the quiet, reveling in the stillness, and trying to figure out how-the-actual-F to work from home with kids and pets as co-workers.

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Engagement and authentic exchanges on social media? Count me in! (image: Adobe Stock Photos)

And one amazing change happening around me that I’ve noticed? We’re engaging more. We are engaging authentically, and intentionally. People are banding together to call and chat for support via platforms like Zoom and WebEx. Companies are making unprecedented accommodations to allow the world to work from home, which opens up a whole new realm of possibilities going forward.

I’m candidly optimistic that this could be the game-changer the world needs to connect in a new, more relevant way that truly serves and supports more people than ever before. I’m also excited for all the ways we need writers right now to help fuel the conversation and find the best formatting. Creatives have this whole Pandemic thing figured out–our flex and adaptability, divergent thinking, and strong communication skills are all amazing skills to have for this crisis.

Benefits of (Virtual) Contact

Plenty of people are already seeing benefits of increased virtual contact that comes from a place of necessity. Those living in seclusion on a regular basis even when COVID-19 wasn’t commanding all our energies and attention are likely finding more ways to connect and engage than before.

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Empty chairs, everywhere.               Image via Pexels

As the world shifts its energy and mindset to serve the masses who are adjusting to this change, our technology use changes. It is a surprising shift from meaninglessly scrolling to picking up our phone with intention. This may be a purely personal observation, but I find myself more at ease with my offline world and plugging in to have useful, productive conversation with family, friends, and even business connections.

A Strategy for Social Media Success

Re-Thinking the way we utilize social media is bound to be an outcome in this, and developing a strategy for social media success will definitely give us the upper hand when it comes to coping with mental health issues and other negative side-effects of never leaving the house.

This new approach to social media and online service is something I’m excited about–largely because my work is largely web-based and I get really excited about helping clients connect and engage with their customers online.

Developing your content strategy and social media presence will be key if you are self-employed or running a small business. It can seem like a terrifying time, but I’m advising my clients to focus on growth and building authentic engagements that capitalize on future potential.

Nothing is normal right now. No one feels too excited about the current situation. But I’m confident that the metaphorical “tomorrow” is going to get here and it is going to be bigger, brighter, and better if we keep searching for ways to solve these global issues at hand. And, call me crazy, but I’m confident we can and will develop the solutions.

Writing for Your Social Media Presence

If you are a business owner or professional and haven’t already done so, begin writing for your social media presence in a way that elevates your voice and style in a new way. Show the world what you do, why you love to do it, and why you are an expert. Be confident, be friendly, and be authentic. Write posts that capitalize on the moment. Engage with your audience and have fun–because we all need some humor and entertainment right now.

If you can create a conversation surrounding your business now, and develop a community that is entertained and engaged enough to follow along, you may very well have a number of loyal first-time customers waiting for you when this pandemic clears up and we’re back to the daily rush and grind of life without quarantine.

We’re In This Together

Mental health is sure to be an increasing concern for all the many people around the globe who are social-distancing and containing as we fight to make sure the COVID-19 curve is kept down as much as possible. Let’s reach out and connect and mindfully consider what we can do to help our family, friends, and neighbors during this time.

I’m convinced we will keep the curve from rising, even though at the time of this writing we’re seeing a huge and overwhelming impact on our healthcare system, the people who are facing this on the frontlines, and millions of others affected by this directly.

Whatever your expertise, your passion, your drive, use what you have to help. Check out this great post from Harpers Bazaar on ways to contribute and aid your community. Some ideas are really easy, like staying home, and other ideas include

  • shop local (I’m based in Colorado Springs, USA, but please check about your own)
  • donate to places like Feeding America
  • be mindful of loved ones who have limited resources and access–reach out to them.
Shop local
Shop Local and Shop Small to help your local community and small businesses everywhere. Photo: Adobe Stock Photo

Share your thoughts.

Share your thoughts in the comments or shoot me an email at angi.baker.saunders@moonphasecreative.com

 

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