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

 

Hiring a Writer: 5 Reasons You Totally Should

Connecting and Expanding

A lot of small business owners struggle with connecting to the community and expanding their clientele. No matter the type of business, nearly every small business owner is hoping to create meaningful and, ultimately, profitable relationships with clients. As a business owner and a copywriter, I’m always learning more about ways to network, connect, and expand my own presence, and it’s been valuable to consider how my business can help other businesses.

Show-Up and Be Seen

I try to connect and show-up in the real world more so I, as a business-person, can be seen. No one can hire me to write if they don’t know I exist, right?! Attending events and meetings that relate well to my niche, for instance, helps me connect and serve more of my local community. And I love the conversations that come up about what other people are trying to do to show up and be seen in their industries, too. I notice trends within these conversations, like, oh, I know I should be updating my website more, but… and Social Media Marketing is definitely important, but…

And those “buts” are so often along the lines of: but I don’t have time. But I hate writing blog posts. I can never think of what to say. Who has time for it?

It might be time to hire a writer if:

  • You need more time to do the stuff that interests you within your business.
  • Your website is up and going, but you struggle to keep it updated with fresh and relevant content.
  • Increasing web-presence is your goal, but social media can be so hard to tackle.
  • The niche industry you work in has specific language and particulars that make it hard to communicate with the general population.
  • You know what you want to say, but writing is hard.

More Time For Your Business

This one is the obvious one, but you need time for your business. Maybe you’re super-busy with daily tasks, you have no time to sit down and crank out two-thousand-word articles on a weekly basis.

A writer can do this for you, because their job is to write. You want to connect with more peeps and grow your business, but you also need to do all the things. Let your passion be your passion, and outsource the time-consuming parts that fall outside your scope of expertise.

Your Website Needs Content

Every website needs content, and they need good content. What people might not consider once they’ve partnered with a pro designer or web dev to launch the website of their business-dreams, is that once that pro website is up and running, your Google rankings don’t make themselves. Among all the SEO strategies, fresh, continuous content is still key to getting your rankings up there.

SEO writing is more than dumping words on the blog, too. It’s why writers like myself geek out over keyword analysis and silly formulas that actually work. As a writer, I happen to be a fan of writing, though, so while I’m applying the stats and the formulas, I’m still striving to create relevant, engaging content for my clients that works on several levels.

Increase Your Organic Google Traffic

If you want to increase your organic google traffic, solid writing can be key. Social Media Marketing can take place across a ton of platforms like Twitter and Instagram, but a website is often home-base for a small business. Often, the social media marketing strategy will involve some kind of funnel back to a business website. So, if you’re looking for one more way to connect people to your website—and to your services!—frequent, relevant, fresh content on your website’s blog is definitely one way to increase the traffic and Google ranking of your website.

A writer can prioritize your company’s blog-writing and deliver those blog-posts to you on a schedule, leaving you with one less worry. Did you know Google loves posts around 1,500 words? And did you know there are a few ways to format your blog posts to increase your visibility? I’ll try to get to those topics on another day…

But, seriously, there are so many little details that can be second nature to a good content or copywriter—and since it’s an industry unto itself, it could be a complete hassle for business owners to follow trends and adjust their writing formula to meet all the new “rules” for writing on the web.

Your Industry Language is Too Specific

This is maybe my favorite reason for people to hire me–when their passion involves an industry language that is super specific. I often work with people who are experts in their industry, and that expertise can actually hinder their ability to talk about what they do to people who need their services the most. Perhaps it’s a plumber or an electrician, or a massage therapist or insurance sales person. I love being an “interpreter.” Because I am not an expert in your industry, I must research and learn enough to effectively communicate accurate, relevant information to your audience.

I love the initial conversation with clients, because I always learn so much. I can tell their expertise and passion converge, but this makes it hard to connect with accessible language. Commercial electric engineering? Specialty plumbing? Auto detailing restoration or detailing? I had no knowledge until I wrote for these industries.

Writing is Hard

This may or may not ring true to you, but writing can be hard. I know, because my Master’s is in writing. When I was working on my thesis, it sometimes felt like I would never hear another positive word about my paragraphs. The work was exhausting, tedious, and mind-numbing at times. But, at the end of the day, I love writing in a lot of forms because it is my chosen niche industry, so all that difficulty is worth it. 

Oh, and writing is a talent. Now excuse me while I laugh at that one. No, writing is a niche skill that some kind-of-crazy people (like myself) spent a few extra years learning on a whole different level of intensity. Many people can write, and perhaps they can write really well. But gaining the skills to fluently write about things outside your knowledge-base, while plugging in certain SEO criteria, is definitely a “talent” in the sense that it is a focused skill.

My training as a writer never really ends. I’m always learning more about how SEO and social media work. The way it works constantly changes. This means I’m constantly adjusting my approach and looking for ways to be better and more efficient. It isn’t hard, but it certainly isn’t something every business owner wants to do in addition to all the other things their management duties entail.

Are you ready?

Are you ready to hire a writer? Or are you ready to be a writer? Either way, it’s a call to action if you’re serious about connecting people to your website. If you want to learn more about how hiring a writer can help your business, please contact us. And if you’d like to learn more about writing, please… contact us! I’m always so happy to answer questions and have a conversation about words.

Angi is a freelance writer based in the Colorado Springs area. Contact us if you would like to connect!

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