The Difference Between Being a Good Writer and A Good Blogger

 Although there can be a difference between the two, I think that both writers and bloggers are continuously seeking inspiration.

Although there can be a difference between the two, I think that both writers and bloggers are continuously seeking inspiration.

“Write drunk, edit sober.” Ernest Hemingway

This approach to writing might have worked for Hemingway, but when I’m writing blog copy and social media content for clients, my creative process isn’t nearly as romantic.

Before I even sit down to tap out an article on real estate, architecture, design, or content and tech marketing - I have a few specific goals in mind based on that particular client.

My focus is sharp, and the process is somewhat linear; resulting in an article that is SEO optimized and “ready to go”.

It’s any wild guess, too that I’m having about 75% of the fun he was (shrug).

Surely for my own blog, I am a little looser with my writing structure; I use it as a place to experiment.

So why such a discerning outline and editing process, you might ask?

Well, NOTHING has changed the art of writing more than the advent of the internet - you can basically throw out everything your English teacher taught you about prose! With our attention spans shortened, consumers are looking for bite-sized pieces of information, with some advertisers even doing ads purely in emojis. Dominos, anyone?

That’s why you’ll notice that a lot of what you read online will be articles with catchy headlines, short, choppy sentences (goodbye flowy, descriptive paragraphs) and anything to break up the information. Think bullet points, headers, and as many visuals as possible.

Consider the tone of the writing you see online, too - in the classic works of yesterday, writers were philosophizing on the human condition; on the experience of what it is to be alive.

Now, as a collective, we’re writing to solve problems - rather than analyze them.

Think of today’s headlines you see online and on the magazine racks; much like this (albeit slightly terrifying one) I saw grace Women’s Health Magazine a few years back..

“Have the baby - and keep the body”

I’m just going to leave that there.

Plus, there are technical aspects to blog writing (and sharing or advertising on social once it’s complete) that must be understood if you want people to find you on Google and social media. Meta-tagging, SEO, long-tail keywords, backlinks, and even sponsorship affiliations are just a few of the techniques used by experienced bloggers.

Marketers might tell you that writing is an art, and blogging is a business.

For sure, I know and am moved by a few talented writers who can make your heart pound with wants I didn’t even know I had.

A “successful” blogger is typically qualified by traffic, engagement or monetization. I am inspired by many of these as well - most of whom wouldn’t be considered as “great” writers -but they really “get” the user experience, SEO (search engine optimization) and marketing.

There are incredibly talented poets and fiction writers in the world without a blog (or perhaps one that receives very little traffic), and there are successful bloggers who are not necessarily good writers.

I also feel fortunate to know of a select few who do a beautiful job of both.

This is, when a blog becomes art.

Personally, my favourite kind of blogs are not necessarily the kinds that monetize the most, but the kind that educate, inspire, and build relationships.

These are usually the kinds that last, too.

The promising part? With practice, you can develop your writing skills over time, and you can learn how to bring traffic to your blog (or even monetize it, if that interests you). You might enjoy my article (as seen in REM - Real Estate Magazine, How REALTORS® Can Create Meaningful Content in 2018)

Whether you’re selling Real Estate, or in the fashion/art/lifestyle niche, a blog is a great way to build a relationship with their audience, position yourself as the expert in your field, and to drive traffic to your website from social media (a big PLUS for getting you higher up on the Google ranking). And when you’re passionate about what you’re writing about, it will shine through in your post - and this is where the magic happens.

Regardless of what industry you’re in, this is a great way to boost your online marketing efforts.

In fact, most of my business opportunities to date have come from my blog.

Do you have a favourite blog that you read?

Or do you have any questions on how to best write and use your own?

Leave a comment or send me a line. I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading.

Elle

Google is Phasing Out Google + After Wall Street Journal Reports Security Bug

elle.jpg

Google has announced in a blog post they will wind down Google+, following the Wall street journal’s report of a bug that exposed the personal information of up to 500,000 people using the social network.

Following a brief moment of popularity in 2011 when it came out, Google + has more or less been “a placeholder” in the scheme of social networks; with 90 per cent of Google+ user sessions lasting for only less than five seconds.

Now, Google has announced in a blog post that the platform will be shutting down - after a bug made the personal information of up to 500,000 people exposed, as revealed in the Wall Street Journal.

Google’s response was that they dealt with the bug in March 2018 after learning of its existence, but did not inform users to avoid “immediate regulatory interest”.

Although the bug appeared to have been active between 2015-2018, Google has reported that it doesn’t appear that any third-party developers were aware of the bug, or misused it in any way.

Our Privacy & Data Protection Office reviewed this issue, looking at the type of data involved, whether we could accurately identify the users to inform, whether there was any evidence of misuse, and whether there were any actions a developer or user could take in response. None of these thresholds were met in this instance.” Project Strobe: Protecting your data, improving our third-party APIs, and sunsetting consumer Google+, Oct. 8th 2018

So what happened?

Apparently, one of Google+’s People APIs allowed 438 external apps to obtain users’ names, email addresses, occupations, and genders and ages, even on fields that users had marked as ‘private’.

Google will be closing down the service over a 10-month period, but will still use Google + for Enterprise purposes.

Do you think Google should have reported the bug to the public?

Giving Thanks


"it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich"

Is there anything quite like these October skies?

Astounding blues, backlit with an autumnal golden haze... there's something undeniably "Thanksgiving" in the air.

It's been a full week. With many of our clientele in the Real Estate sphere, we find ourselves in the second busiest season (only to spring); full-force with new ad campaigns, promoting inventory and open houses, and writing for Real Estate Magazine.

Plus, there's the spectacular content that only the harvest season brings; photos sipping cinnamon dolce lattes on a leaf-strewn patio, apple-picking with the kids; striking autumnal interior design inspiration.

Oh yeah, and the pumpkin patch thing. 😉

elle connects.jpg

It's a joy doing strategic advertising WHILE getting to share those everyday stories (which believe me; are anything but boring) for our clients.

As we head into the long weekend, I wanted to take this opportunity to say...

Thank You for your ongoing trust and support.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Elle

Google’s Latest Algorithm Update - What You Need to Do

2N0A4637.jpg

I often talk about Facebook’s algorithm changes, but did you ever notice that Google is constantly making making them, too? 

Google doesn't tend to be as ‘obvious’ about it as Facebook is (largely in part because they make anywhere from 500-600 of these updates annually), but once in awhile they roll out a major change - which can have a huge impact on marketers and brands. 

The latest Google algorithm update, dubbed a "broad, global, core update" happened on August 1st of 2018. Analysis conducted on the update seems to show that it impacts primarily health and medical focused sites, as well as “your money your life - YMYL” sites (like pages that solicit personal information or are used for monetary transactions, and pages offering medical or health information, or offer advice on major life decisions like parenting, or purchasing a home or a vehicle). 

Google Search Liaison Danny Sullivan also confirmed this is a “global” rollout, impacting all Google search results - no matter what language or region. 

Why Does Google Make These Updates? 

Google is not the bad guy. Google does not implement these updates to make your life as a marketer or brand more difficult - however, it IS their goal to ensure the user experience is top-notch. 

After all, it’s THEIR business to make sure they are the #1 ranking search engine. 

Otherwise? They’d be Bing, or Ask Jeeves

So when Google makes an algorithm change, it’s simply because they’ve found a better way to elevate the user experience. 

By improving your user experience, it brings more traffic to their search engine, which allows them to further monetize through ads. 

So How Do We Work Around These Updates? 

First of all, SEO is very complicated, and if you try to “win” it right away by overthinking and overanalyzing each update, you’ll be in for a long game of cat and mouse.

Chances are, in your quest to win the small game, you could even miss the end goal - which is just to improve the user experience of every visitor to your website and social media. 

Which brings us to our first strategy… 

1. Improve the User Experience on Your Website and Social Media

I suggest you focus on your client, on your customer, and on your target audience - and work to provide content that is geared to them, that they will find valuable and interesting, and strive to improve the user experience of your site. Your sites (both website and social) should be intuitive, engaging, and always updated with fresh content and resources. Naturally this will keep people coming back to you, and will tell Google that you’re worth promoting through their ranks - and eventually your sites will rank higher. 

2. Always Be Updating Your Website and Social Media Content 

Although the formulas for Google’s algorithms are tightly guarded (with employees signing NDAs, it’s unlikely we’ll ever know exactly what’s up), and they are notoriously ‘hush-hush’ on the connection between social media and Google rankings... it’s widely accepted that the correlation between social signals and ranking position is very high. There is a correlation for social success and success on Google - if you create valuable, organic content, it’s likely to be popular on social, which causes people to “like” it, click on it, and share it; boosting your rankings and traffic.

Google any big brand or business, and oftentimes it’s their social pages which show up first. 

So what's an advertiser to do? Create content, post regularly, build your audience, and have a blog that you share regularly to social; and couple it with paid advertising on both Google and Facebook.

Don't neglect your content archives, either - If you already have a blog, go back once a year and “prune” any content which could use some refreshing and optimizing. It’s a good way to update your content, while ensuring that users will still find the content useful and satisfying even if they land on it in the future. It all comes back to optimizing the user experience. 

3. Consider Going International 

Just like Pitbull, you might want to go International - if it’s the right fit for your brand or business. It might be hard for us to fathom, but the majority of people on planet Earth actually don’t speak English. This is where your opportunity lies to dominate your field on Google: in non-English speaking countries. If you have the kind of brand or business where this could be an option for you, it’s a great way to provide value to your clients in other countries; allowing them to read your website in their native language. There's way less competition, so your site could do better, for less money.

Plus - Google prefers brands, simply because customers tend to trust them more. The bigger, the better. 

4. Fix Any Broken Links or Media Files 

Just think about it. If you were reading this blog, and I provided you with a link that went nowhere, how would you feel about it? Likely a bit disappointed, and certainly unimpressed. It would diminish your user experience and likely cause you to lose trust in me as a digital marketer. 

It might sound simple, but you'll want to clean house at least a few times a year. There are even different apps available online which can help you uncover any that aren’t in working order - just ask me, and I'm happy to share them with you. 

Concluding Thoughts

In short, if you want to come out as a winner even when Google rolls out new changes, it's best you focus on providing the ultimate user experience AND content for your target audience. 

Pay attention to your website traffic, regularly update your content (and make it as interesting, social, and valuable as possible) on your website and social media and ensure your user experience is nothing short of the BEST you (and your hired professionals, if you have them!) are capable of producing.

It's like most things in life. 

Understand theirs, but focus on your own game - and you’ll come out on top. 

Thanks for reading, 

Elle

Three Rules of Content Creation for SEO (and one more that the pros never tell you!)

elle.jpg

First things first - for those of you who may not know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. 

This simply means ‘optimizing’ a website, so people can find it on Google. 

When you’re creating content (whether its on a page on your website, on your blog, or posts or ads for your social media platforms) you’ll likely want to ensure that it will help your SEO.

Understanding these three basic rules will help you create content that helps boost your SEO efforts - bringing more traffic back to you online. 


Rule #1: Write for People - Not for Google 

First things first - if SEO is your primary focus - it probably won’t work. 

Thanks to a massive amount of content online, the days of creating content designed to appeal to bots are over. If  you provide ‘thin’ content that is over-saturated with keywords, Google will actually penalize you and be less likely to show anything of yours to your audience. 

Your content needs to be readable, and it should be sharable for best SEO practices. 

Plus, you’ll want to identify what the desired outcome is - are you trying to sell a product online? Get more video views? Or have people fill out a form and send it to you? 
The type of content you produce should be developed accordingly in support of your end-goal. 

Rule #2: Know Your Audience and Where They’ll Find Your Content 

Understanding your audience is key to ensuring that the content you create for them resonates and provides value. 

For example, the kind of content you will create for a mortgage broker (ex. informative blogs, infographics, PDFs, short-form videos, and social media posts) might be very different than what you’d develop for the beauty industry (an emphasis on DIY videos, high-visual, targeted to a younger demographic). 

Furthermore, understand where your audience lives online - do they hang out on Instagram and Snapchat? Or Facebook and LinkedIn? Make sure your content is on the right platforms - where your target market is. 

Rule #3: Understand SEO Writing Basics 

This is a hefty rule - there’s simply too much to cover here, so stay posted for another guide on this topic. 

However, I will let you know that you’ll want to get acquainted with a few terms - so here are the very basics. Familiarize yourself with keyword research and optimization - basically you’ll want to look into keywords that people are already searching for information about. In order to optimize the keywords you’ve found, you’ll need to understand where and how to use them in your writing so they get picked up. You’ll want to ensure your content is mobile-friendly, and organized by relevancy and in a logical manner with links pertaining to the topic.  Once you’re done, you need to understand how to promote your content and leverage it on social media or with paid Google ads - bringing traffic back to your content in faster, more cost-efficient streams. 

One thing the SEO pros never tell you... 

When you’re writing content for SEO, it really helps if you’re passionate about what you do and what you’re writing about. Why is that?

If you’re genuinely into a topic, you’re more likely to understand and research a breadth of information pertaining to it - and are more naturally apt to cover a wider range of related topics (ie. keywords) that your audience will be searching for. 

For example, if you’ve built your career selling Real Estate, and it’s something you actually like, chances are that your interest may have expanded into other related topics - like interior design, staging to sell a home, sustainable home design, urban architecture, or city planning, for example. You can imagine that writing about these would come easily to you - and would also be things your customers are searching for too. Not to mention, when you like writing about something, you’re more likely to do it consistently - which is big for SEO. 

This principle is exactly why we specialize in creating content and marketing for Real Estate and lifestyle... 

It always comes back to the basic rule of writing - write about what you know. 

Would you like to know more about content creation that helps drive traffic to your website and improves your search engine ranking? Please feel free to get in touch with me - I'm happy to help. 

Thanks for reading.
Elle
 

The windows in the city of Rome...

As I walked the streets of Rome, there were times I hardly noticed the sights and the people; instead my attention was drawn up to the windows of the old, old buildings.... I pictured countless generations of people looking outwards onto the streets below. In Rome’s rich history, who had lived there? What had they seen?

I felt their love, I felt their pain. I tried to hear their stories. 🙏🏻 🇮🇹

Understandably, being in a European country brings up endless opportunities for travel writing and photography; however.... I realized that the topics of interest remain the same, no matter where you go.

And that is - the human experience. 

As we do the writing and content creation for our marketing, as we write our blogs and our social media posts, let us find ways to share what life is like for us. 

Don't be afraid to dig deep and make the connection. Trust me when I say that the relationship you'll build with your audience, and the results you'll gain from your content creation will be 100% more impactful when you make it a bit more personal. 

Thanks for reading.

Elle

elle.jpg

Facebook and the Smoking Gun

We are losing our trust in Facebook - but are we learning anything we didn’t already know? 

I keep thinking of the (eerie) sales/marketing quote…

“If you’re getting something for free, you likely are the product” 

If you haven’t lived under a rock this week (or, if you’ve checked Facebook) you’ve likely heard of the escalating privacy breach - where revelations have surfaced that Facebook had shared the data of 50 million users with the election firm Cambridge Analytica in the recent presidential campaign. Adding their voices to the media frenzy are WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. 

However, despite our fiercest battle cries to #deletefacebook - the reality is that most of us won’t. 

For many of us, Facebook is an integral part of how we socialize, network, and do business.

And don’t forget - Google collects your data, too. 

It’s creepy, it's unfortunate, but there ARE ways to make your online footprint a little safer. 

Here are 3 things you can do to help protect your privacy online:

Clean Your Online House

Do you know what your profile looks like? 

Check out your Settings > Timeline and Tagging > Review > Review what other people see on your timeline, and click View As. This will show you what people see (public or friends, depending on who you choose) on your profile. Remove any information you don't want to be public. 

Furthermore, it's a good step to go through your profile, delete old comments, unfriend strangers, and remove any photos you don’t want up there. 

Disable API Sharing

You know all those apps that allow you to sign in with Facebook? 

Sure, it’s one less password to remember - but it also means that Facebook knows whatever you’re doing while you’re on that site.

You can disable API sharing by going to Settings > Apps > Apps, Website and Plugins, and click Edit. You can control them from here. 


Delete Apps That Can Access Your Data

Go to Settings > Apps > Logged in with Facebook - and delete any you don’t want. 

This means that Facebook will no longer actively provide them with your data, however you will need to contact the developer directly in some cases to clear what they already have on you. Facebook should provide this contact info for you, if you wish to pursue this avenue. 

Moving ahead

Data is arguably one of the most valuable commodities in the world today. We can’t control the fact that big corporations want it, and will go to great measures to acquire it - but we can educate ourselves, we can push back, and we can control what information we opt to share about ourselves online. 

You might even want to find out what Facebook knows about you - by downloading your data. Go to Settings, and click Download A Copy of Your Facebook Data at the bottom. This could take awhile. Don't do it from your phone. 

My advice? Stay vigilant, and treat the internet - and your data - with the respect and caution it always deserves. 

Elle Campbell
Elle Connects

 

How REALTORS® Can Create Meaningful Content in 2018

(As featured in REM - Real Estate Magazine Online)

The CEO of a company I write for recently posted this on Facebook:

“It’s official: I can no longer keep up with my Facebook, LinkedIn, Slack, and Whatsapp updates. If you want to reach me, click your heels three times - you’re about just as likely to this way!” 

As a Real Estate digital marketer and writer working with agents and teams across different time zones, I can attest to the fact that social media never sleeps.

Regardless of what day it is, the updates, streaming, and chatter continues endlessly; pinging and flashing like a slot machine in a Las Vegas casino lobby. 

Sleepless, without mercy on weary eyes.  

Did you know that and Facebook and Instagram feeds are addictive - by design? It’s no mistake that you find it hard to stop swiping.

And if you pay attention to the news (or Facebook)  you’ve likely heard that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has recently announced changes to the company’s news feed, which could “drastically affect how people interact on the social network”; showing people less news and ads, and more content from their friends and family. 

Is this something a REALTOR® needs to worry about? 

Yes - but it’s nothing new. In fact, Facebook has been making changes to the algorithm several times a year. Think back to every page you’ve liked on Facebook since 2007. How much of their content do you still see in your feed? Likely, little to none. 

For years now, Facebook has been pay to play. And it’s not enough to create original, meaningful content (as I explain in How to Beat Facebook’s Edgerank) - but in most cases, you’ll want to advertise and target it properly, too. 

If you’re an agent or a team with a presence on social media, surely you’ve been feeling the pressure - or even, feeling the tumbleweeds roll past you when no one engages with your post! 

You’re not alone - even digital marketers and content creators across the globe had been voicing their frustrations and concerns. Yes, we know how to get clicks, likes, comments and shares for our clients. But is anyone really listening? Is the content we’re putting out actually making a difference?

I recently decided to take a screen-free vacation, in order to reconnect with my creative side and figure out what the missing piece was from our approach. 

Covered in dust, the heat of the Mexican sun beating down on my shoulders,  I painted flower pots alongside my new Spanish friend Gil.

 “Your name is… El Picasso” he laughed. 

I thought about the content we create for clients, a lot. I realized I had stopped being an artist, and this was the true first heartbreak of my own entrepreneurial journey. 

Between brushstrokes, I came up with these ways we can provide value and build better relationships with our target markets.

Here’s what i came up with:


Tell Your Own Story

Originality is irreplaceable, and it’s never wrong. 

In order to be memorable, you must create from a place that is new; from that place that can only be yours. In the world of clickbait headlines and fake news, the onus is up to us to not just reheat and serve. 

When you can, dig deep and start from scratch. The finished piece of content will be of higher quality, and is far more likely to resonate and make a lasting impression with your audience.

REALTOR® tip: 

Post about your own experiences. Say there’s a beautiful light display in your community that you’d like to share with your audience. Instead of sharing a link to a news article about it, why not actually go there yourself, snap a quick photo of it, and post about what you saw? Sure it’s more effort, but the engagement, response - and results - you’ll gain will be tenfold.

Select Photos Mindfully

A great photograph can change the way we see the world. 

Consider the use of photography in journalism - often a photograph will tell the world what hundreds of diplomats and relief workers cannot. 

To transcend the chatter and really connect with your audience, be sure to really pay attention to the photos you select to share. Make sure the photograph represents you - and your product (like that home you just listed on MLS) - the way you wish to be perceived. If you’re posting a photo from inside a home you’re listing, does the home look staged and ready to sell? Does it represent your product well? 

REALTOR® tip: 
 
If you’re looking for inspiration, just look through the camera roll on your phone. It’s OK to work backwards. Maybe you’ll remember that beautiful latte art created by your barista at the local coffee shop - this could be a great way to highlight a locally owned business in your community! Or the florist who painstakingly put together ‘just the right’ bouquet for your welcome home gift for your new homeowners. 

Engage Your Audience

It’s easy to forget that one little word in social media… social. We must remember that true, lasting happiness is often created by the quality of relationships in our lives. So what steps are you taking to nurture relationships on your social feeds?

Here are a few tips to help you create content that engages:

Write a good headline.

Before your audience will connect with your message, they need to be paying attention first. Consider it from their perspective - why would they want to read what you’ve got to say? Think about their problems and their questions, and address them in the headline. 

Use the power of storytelling. 

Share your own, authentic story (brand or personal) whenever possible. Since the beginning of recorded human history, we have used stories to connect and share our core human experiences. 

Leave them wanting more.

You want to inspire your reader to reflect upon what you’ve shared. This will keep you top of mind, and encourage them to return to you for more.

Social Tip: Are you familiar with social media algorithms? Basically, these are formulas which help determine what you see on your newsfeeds. When you have published content that evokes a flurry of actions (like comments, tags, and shares) it makes networks more apt to show it to a greater audience; expanding your reach and bringing more traffic back to your sites. 

While it can’t replace real-time connections and relationships, social media can serve as a great tool to remain connected with our networks. Don’t forget to use it as the social tool that it is intended to be! 

Yes, it’s more work - but it works. 

See full version of article in REM - Real Estate Magazine Online, here! 

Elle Campbell
Elle Connects

2N0A2424.jpg

Grateful

grateful.png

At a course this summer with investor Phil Town, we learned the Japanese concept of 'Maro' - practicing gratitude in all aspects of your business for a healthy, thriving company culture and bottom line. This idea really made an impact on me, and I'm happy to say we've embraced it into our everyday work life here.

Please let me take this opportunity to thank YOU - our incredible clients who trust us to execute their marketing strategies (some for several years now!), to our team of skilled experts, each so talented in their own way, and to our great network of colleagues who inspire and motivate us to push harder every day. 

And, a special 'thank you' to my family and friends who provide their ongoing support and ear, as we pursue this funny little dream of ours. 

Happy Thanksgiving 🙏

Elle

The 60 Minute Digital Detox

adam-birkett-239153 2.jpg

Keep your devices in tip-top condition – and protect yourself  - by cleaning up your digital junk this fall.  Even more stressful than a sluggish browsing experience, is an ‘insufficient storage’ message – and there’s simply no need for it. Take one hour to clean up your digital footprint and detox your devices -  you’ll be thankful you did!

Make security a priority

Using strong and unique passwords isn’t enough – you need to take measures to ensure that your digital footprint isn’t leaving traceable steps in the wrong places, if you catch our drift. Unknowingly, many of us have accumulated years worth of files, data, and documents stored on our devices with sensitive information. Regardless of whether you have anything to hide, any personal data is a liability - the less that is out there, the better off you are.

Step #1: Ditch the devices you don’t need

First, address what you can see – and no longer need.  The box of old floppy disks in your office? Dispose of them! Old computers, video game consoles, cell phones, you name it – be sure to back up any info you might need off these first, and dispose of them responsibly.

Step #2: Go through your documents

Pore through the documents folders on your devices, and destroy any medical, banking, student, or government records with your personal information on them that you no longer need. Pare down your sensitive data to only what you really need – and back those up to the cloud or an external hard drive.

Step #3: Clean out your inbox and storage accounts

 Your email is a gold mine to the hacker – not only can they access your personal information, but often they can retrieve valuable info about others, too. Delete the emails you don’t need with sensitive info, and don’t forget about your old accounts (Hotmail, anyone?). Next, check your online storage accounts – Dropbox, Google Drive, you name it – and delete, delete, delete.

Step #4:  Update your software, and eliminate programs you no longer need

Older software is more vulnerable to attack. Make sure all of your programs are up-to-date, and delete any of the subscriptions, programs, or apps that you no longer need.

Final steps? Clear your browsing history and curate your feeds – for a speedier, streamlined, user experience next time you log on. If you’re feeling really motivated, clean, sanitize, and polish the outside of your devices too! Clean while you charge with this go-to, PHONESOAP.

 It's good practice to trim the fat out of your digital life regularly - so carpe diem and clean house!

There are tons of other ways to maximize space and keep your assets safe in the digital sphere. What are your suggestions? Let us know! 

Thanks for reading. 

Your Marketing Geek,

Elle

 

How to Beat Facebook's EdgeRank

Ever wonder why you don't see everything on Facebook like you used to?

You might have heard of EdgeRank - Facebook's algorithm which determines what kind of content you see on Facebook.

If you haven't heard of it, it's a thing.

Just like a credit score -  it's invisible, and it's important.

When Facebook got big after 2007, users became oversaturated with content. Everyone's networks were exploding and marketers were competing for space.

So your newsfeed wasn't filled with spam and ads, Facebook had to figure out (quickly) how to show users only what they were interested in.

Over the last few years, Facebook has steadily been implementing new algorithms and strategies to do just that - but these came at a cost to advertisers. 

It's now clear to advertisers that...

a) they HAVE to be on Facebook...

b) but the free ride is over.

Facebook will continue to make advertisers pay up - but there are ways to beat the system.

There are three main components to EdgeRank:

1.     Affinity Score: this includes how connected a user is to your page (ex. if they have interacted with your page before, or if their friends like your page as well).

2.     Edge Weight: different interactions carry different weights (ex. a comment is worth more than a like).

3.     Time Decay: recent content gains more points than older content.

How do you leverage EdgeRank to make sure your followers see your content?

Here is where the social part comes into play.


ONE MINUTE GUIDE TO IMPROVING EDGERANK
 

BE SOCIAL

This is the #1 way to improve EdgeRank - but proves to be the most difficult for many brands. 

We encourage our Real Estate clients to send photos, videos, and stories of behind the scenes, in their communities, and from their lives.  
That way... when we DO post a listing or open house… Facebook works in our favour, and is WAY more likely to show it to our audience.

Plus, if someone has interacted with your last post, Facebook will be more likely to show them your next post. And so on…
 


POST OFTEN 

Facebook’s algorithm recognizes the more you post and rewards you by delivering these updates to your fans - as well as giving you more weight when you boost $$$ a post.


VARY YOUR CONTENT

Video is king when it comes to Facebook. Using different kinds of content though, attracts interactions from a higher percentage of your users, raising your affinity score. 


THINK WITH YOUR EYES

 Don’t forget what sells. 


KEEP IT ON FACEBOOK

Post pics and videos directly to Facebook - not Instagram or YouTube. 
Build your lead-gen ads and landing pages directly on the platform as well. Facebook will reward you, and people don't want to leave the site. 


ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT

In your post, ask for likes, tags, comments, and shares.


POST ORGANICALLY

Facebook EdgeRank favours real-time content – so does your audience.
Yes, they know the difference.  Try avoiding those sites which produce 'canned' and prescheduled content. 

 

OTHER STRATEGIES

You can educate your super fans that they can update their notification settings from your Page, experiment with peak posting times... there are tons of other ways.

So when in doubt… be authentic. 

Use long captions // use short captions // use emojiis // write in lists // try different languages – if it’s YOU - try it. 

Your strategy is always executed best with personality. 

Your marketing geek

Elle

GET IN TOUCH

3 New Google Updates You Need to Know About

Keeping up with all things Google never comes easily - with new features continuously rolling out, updates to how the algorithm works (I once heard this described as like a credit score - it's invisible, it really matters, and only Google understands how it works), and changes in what people are searching for the most - it's practically a part-time job. Or at least a few Google searches away.

I've narrowed down three of the really important things you should know about. 

Google is Cracking Down on Offensive and Annoying Ads

You might have heard of the Coalition for Better Ads, which includes Google, Facebook, News Corp, and The Washington Post as members - they are helping implement new global standards for online advertising that address consumer expectations. 

Why? Crappy ads are not only intrusive and offensive, but they slow down the web as a whole and drive consumers to install blockers that block all ads. This might sound good - but keep in mind that most of your favourite websites actually rely on monetized ads in order to stay afloat. The web is a business like any other, and we need to find a way to support a sustainable and enjoyable ad model for both publishers and consumers. 

On June 1, Google announced it would take new steps to crack down on websites that feature intrusive ads. There are new standards in place, and once publishers modify their ads to meet them, they can then use Google’s Ad Experience Report to ensure their ads are not in violation of these. 

At this point, we don't know exactly what the penalty will be for those in violation. The released official statement doesn't make mention to SEO, but we all know this is how Google tends to punish those who don't comply with their standards. 

In the meantime, I suggest checking out Google’s criteria for what constitutes a “bad ad” on its DoubleClick blog.

Google Will Stop Scanning Your Email Inbox for their Ads

On June 23rd, Google announced that free Gmail users would no longer be subject to email scanning for ad personalization.

As a marketer, I personally enjoy being advertised to (weird, right?) but if you want to, you can go into your Google settings and disable this function at myaccount.google.com.

Businesses Can Now Publish Content Through “Google My Business” Posts

Here's your way to share business-specific content that can appear directly in search and map results!

Google says this give businesses the ability to:

-share daily specials or current promotions that encourage new and existing customers to take advantage of your offers.
-promote events and tell customers about upcoming happenings at your location.
showcase your top products and highlight new arrivals.
-choose one of the available options to connect with your customers directly from your -Google listing: give them a one-click path to make a reservation, sign up for a newsletter, learn more about latest offers, or even buy a specific product from your website.

Algorithm Updates - Find Your Next Job on Google

Looking for a job? Just Google it! Well, if you live in the States anyways. 

In May, we heard whispers that Google was planning to add more featured snippets - like job listings right on the search results page. Those rumours were confirmed at Google I/O 2017, and on June 20, Google for Jobs officially launched in the U.S. 

The new feature is developed to sort and organize job listings from employment sites including LinkedIn, Monster, and Glassdoor. Now you've got one streamlined place to search and AI technology on your side! For some of the jobs, you'll even be able to see reviews and ratings of the employer from trusted sites, and for some jobs you’ll even see how long it would take to commute to the job from home. As the algorithm improves, the feature will be able to produce more relevant job results, too. 

This isn’t Google’s first rodeo in the world of hiring - unveiled just last spring, was Google Hire -the company’s new platform for helping employers manage recruiting processes.

Watch out job listing sites - Google is taking over.

That's it for now

You can always count on your marketing geek to watch all things Google - and inform you of any news, updates, or hot marketing trends that can help you and your business. 

What are your thoughts about these new updates? Let us know in the comments! 

How to Choose the Right Facebook Ad

Design FB Ads.png

Marketing goal meets ad type - it's the perfect match.

…at least sometimes. 

With lower cost-per-conversion, better tracking and more creative freedom than most traditional advertising, social marketing has taken a front seat in most strategies. But in our ever-evolving digital space, it can be tough to know where you should be advertising and how you should be advertising.

When you're advertising on Facebook for the first time (or even the hundredth time), deciding which type of ad to use for best results can be confusing. But it's important to get it right.

Choosing the right ad type - like choosing the right mate - could be considered the most critical part of Facebook advertising. 

When you launch Facebook’s ad manager you are presented with this selection:

If you're like me, you want it all - conversions, traffic engagement, AND direct leads! 

Much like relationships, sometimes you have to make small sacrifices for the greater good - and sometimes, you have to accomplish one specific goal first, in order to achieve your next goal. For example, if you're starting with very little engagement or page fans, your goal of acquiring direct leads becomes a lot less likely - and a whole lot more expensive.

If you want to play the long game on social, start at square one. 

Let us be your ‘matchmaker’ of ad selection.

Here's how to make the right connection between ad type and marketing goal. 

Step 1: Setting your goal

First you need to know exactly what it is that you want your ad to achieve. Do you want to increase traffic to your website, get more page likes on Facebook, or get qualified leads for your business? Second of all, you need to understand that some goals need to come first (as I mentioned above). Decide how you will measure the success of the campaign and what it's worth to you - set a budget and a timeframe.

Coming out of this process, you will likely have determined one of the following as your number one goal:

  • Engagement

  • Website clicks

  • Video Views

  • Direct conversions (e.g. installing an app or getting a lead)

  • Awareness 

Step 2: Making the Match

Now that you know your marketing objective (number one on your list from step one) you need to decide what ad type is best suited for your goal. 

MARKETING GOAL: Engagement

Do you want to generate activity around a post, app, picture, video, etc.? Engagement ads are best when structured around something new happening – a new listing, open house, product, or a new feature in an app – and they inspire the user to take an action. 

AD TYPE: App Engagement – choose this one when you have a new in-app feature you want to promote.

AD TYPE: Post Engagement – when you want to see post likes, shares, comments, and build conversations. 

MARKETING GOAL: Clicks

One of most popular ad types is traffic (clicks to your website). This ad type is used when you want to get users to go to your website to learn more about your business, products and services. One reasons marketers love these ads? You can have a lot of creative license with this kind of ad. Choices include a single image, a carousel of images leading to different links (using mobile-friendly creative) or a canvas to tell your story to potential customers.

AD TYPE: Traffic – clicks to website – use this ad type to send users to a particular page on your website (a new product, a listing, blog post, etc.)

MARKETING GOAL: Conversion

Facebook has a number of conversion-centric ads. If you have a concrete goal, such as someone signing up to an email list or installing a new app, your ad type should be one of the following:

AD TYPE: App Installs – use if you want customers to install a new app you are promoting.

AD TYPE: Website Conversions – should lead users to a website page where they have to make an action (e.g. sign-ups to a newsletter, download an offer, etc.).

AD TYPE: Offer Claim –  If you are promoting a deal, consider building an offer-based ad. This will let you track how many people have “claimed” your offer. Users prefer to stay on Facebook, and through offer ads, you can allow people to claim deals for your business on Facebook vs. making them go to an external website.

AD TYPE: Page Likes – Facebook ads can also be used to expand your organic reach. These types of ads are excellent for businesses that put a lot of effort in daily posting and building their brand through Facebook. Also seen under Engagement. 

AD TYPE: Lead Generation – use this ad type if you want to gather qualified leads right from Facebook. 

 Real Estate Marketing Tip: Lead generation ads can be an excellent way to get direct sales leads. These ads can be localized to your market and are more user-friendly than previous lead advertising strategies on Facebook, where a user is taken off of Facebook to a landing page.

Facebook lead generation ads can also sync up with various CRM systems. If yours doesn't match, there are third-party 'bridge' platforms which will do the work for you. 

Realtors - think mobile-first for your lead gen campaign.
Can you sign up from a Starbucks line-up? If not, scrap it. 

 MARKETING GOAL: Awareness

Use awareness ads when you want to expose as many people as possible to your brand or product. Brand awareness and local awareness are two of the most commonly used ad types within this marketing goal. If awareness is your goal, consider structuring your ads around enticing people to want to know more about your brand.

AD TYPE: Brand Awareness – get your brand and product noticed and expand your reach.

One of the cool features with Facebook advertising is you can localize your awareness campaigns and narrow down the geographic location to target customers in a specific location. Consider using store visits or the local awareness ads for this goal. 

AD TYPE: Store Visits – Use this ad type if you want to generate traffic into your brick and mortar shop. 


AD TYPE: Local Awareness – If you want to generate interest in just a specific location, use local awareness ads. If you have various locations, you can run a campaign with different ad sets for each location.

AD TYPE: Event - After you have set up your event on Facebook you can promote it through ads manager and link people back to your event page to “attend” your event and stay up-to-date on info.

What’s Next?

You’ve made a stellar connection. You have a solid campaign goal, and you know exactly the ad type you want to use. It’s all downhill from here, right?

Well…just like in any relationship there will be bumps in the road, so watch for our next blog post on targeting and placement.

If you missed our last blog on how to design a killer Facebook ad, check it out:

DONE reading and just want some answers? Reach out anytime!  

@elleconnects

(250) 816-0714

Your Marketing Geek

Elle 

How to Design Facebook Ads that Work

Regardless of your product, target market, or how you choose to run your ad (some prefer to boost posts directly on the page, others will try their hand at Power Editor, while some prefer using the easy-to-navigate Ads Manager) – there are a few basics you must know if you want your ad to work. 

Show, Don’t Tell

 A picture is worth a thousand words – those same one thousand words that no one wants to read anymore!

To capture your audience’s attention, you have to use powerful visuals. I can't stress this enough. I advise our clients to use professional or stock photography only. Not only will they represent your brand in a more flattering light, you’ll get way more clicks and bang for your buck.

Facebook makes it easy to use great photos now – on many ad options, they even provide stock photography for you to choose from. You can also subscribe to special graphic design apps, like Canva (one of my personal favourites) where you can access tons of great images for only $1 USD a pop.

When you’re sourcing photos, look for images with some contrast, brightness, and of course - one that's relevant to what your ad is about.

Real Estate Marketing Tip: Your ad visual should be attractive yet still relatable to your audience and locale. For example, if you’re selling Miami real estate, look for a photo of a home that is suggestive of the locale - but perhaps within the higher-end range of what could be afforded by your target audience.

You want to inspire - but within reach. 

The formula is simple. Great visuals for your FB ads = better ROI! 

Visual extras

Next, you can think of the "extras" a bit of catchy text, call to action, or a strategically placed logo - but keep it within 20% of your overall image to keep within Facebook's advertising regulations. 

Recent articles have shown that posts and ads with emoticons generate higher engagement - so experiment with these, too. They give brands the ability to seem like they're "texting" with their fans and can be eye-catching. 

Insider Tip - I watch the use of emoticons very closely. What's hot and works today - could be spammy and overdone tomorrow. Always be ready to evolve! 

 COMPELLING COPY

Relevance is everything for success with Facebook/Instagram ads. Remember, you’re spending money every time someone views or clicks on your ad – so if you’re showing them ads that aren’t relevant, you’re simply wasting your time and money!

If you’re not familiar with the relevance score on Facebook ads, be sure to check it out. The more relevant your ad image, copy, and destination is to your target audience, the higher your score will be. A higher score results in better favour from Facebook, showing it to more and more people.

After you’ve captured your audience’s attention with a great photo, you have less than a second to excite, entertain, and direct them to where you want them to go. Good copywriting is a guide. Use it to filter out only the leads you want, provide value, and tell them where to go.

This is how you convert.

TELL PEOPLE WHAT TO DO

A beautiful and relevant ad is great, but without a call-to-action (CTA), your audience might not know what to do next - and it's up to you to tell them. Believe it or not, people like being told what to do - some direction is refreshing in our over-saturated feeds. 

Your CTA should encourage people to click, sign up, register, or contact you, or perform whichever action it is you desire. Providing a sense of urgency (ex. saying “Claim Yours Now” vs. “Sign Up”) implies there is only a limited quantity –without implicitly saying so. It’s all about suggestion.

If engagement is what you’re after, be sure to ask people to do what you want. Asking someone to “Like,” “Leave a Comment,” “Share this Post,” or “Tag Someone" can be very effective social media–specific calls to action. You’ll notice a huge difference when you simply ask!

 This is a great example of an ad that converts!

This is a great example of an ad that converts!

That simply covers how to design your Facebook ad - but don't start just yet.

In our next blog post, I'll cover the other crucial components of a great Facebook ad - how to choose the right type of ad, targeting, and placement - all very important if you want your ad to work!

Did this help? Or do you want help creating your next Facebook ad? Contact me today!

Spinning a Killer Social Strategy - What Real Estate Marketers Can Learn from SoulCycle

How do you turn a gruelling workout into a multi-million dollar empire? Kool-Aid filled water bottles aside, there’s some serious social marketing strategy at play behind today’s leading fitness phenomenon, SoulCycle.

Founded by Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler in 2006, this New York-based company has truly succeeded in assembling a massive and dedicated following, largely as a result of their messaging on social media. Now with 39 (and counting) locations across North America, 50,000 and upwards riders daily, the company’s leadership has established a tribe of riders (including celebs like David Beckham and Kelly Ripa) and massive social networks of raving fans.

What’s the hype all about?

Beyond your typical spin class, riders are led on an inspirational, meditative fitness experience that’s designed to benefit the body, mind and soul. Fitness instructors are hailed as ‘rockstars’, and the brand is finely tuned and perfectly executed across all platforms. You can call this “the carefully cultivated soul” of SoulCycle.

Understanding the social strategies of today’s biggest brands is nothing short of an obsession for me – every day, before ‘hitting the screens’ as I call it, I’m pounding the treadmill; listening to marketing podcasts and making notes on my phone. This is where the inspiration happens – and the application happens on the daily for our clients.

This week’s podcast happened to be Tony Robbin’s interview with SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan.  As you might know, I work with top-producing Real Estate teams and agents across North America helping them build and establish relationships on social media, promote their inventory, and generate new leads for buyers and sellers. So how are the marketing concepts used in today’s high-end indoor cycling chain applicable to your real estate business?

 Ultimately, the “cult-like” mentality that has developed around the SoulCycle obsession can largely be credited to its social media engagement strategy.

They’re killing it on social.

 Here’s what we can learn from them:

 “Since our launch, it’s all been about how do we build a community and how do we cultivate a community,” said Gabby Etrog Cohen, vp, public relations and brand strategy at SoulCycle. “And we want to make people feel that community digitally.”

 Brand Storytelling

By turning instructors into online brand ambassadors, they’ve effectively turned their instructors into mini-celebrities; many with their own cult-like following.

With their own SoulCycle branded profiles, these instructors have amassed TONS of followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat; pumping out curated playlists, schedules, motivational quotes, behind the scenes glimpses, and even meal plans.

What you can do: give your team members an IDENTITY online. Let your audience get to know you on a personal level online. In today's world, relationship-building often starts here. Make the first introduction. 

Testimonials

 Riders post authentic, unprompted testimonials on social media; exposing their networks, and then their networks (and so on) to the SoulCycle experience.  Some riders’ stories are even featured in blogs on the primary SoulCycle page, complete with photos and the story of their fitness/health/spiritual wellness journey.  

What you can do: Tell your client's stories! Highlight their wins, successes, and journeys on social media. Think beyond the transaction and tell the story of who they are - they'll love feeling valued as part of your online community. 

Leveraging Online Exposure to Offline Sales

Thanks to Facebook's sexy algorithm (yes, those two words go together) you'll be constantly reminded of SoulCycle IF you live in a city that offers it, or if you're just into stuff like that. 

Their community management game is strong, too. Comment on their profiles, and one of Soul Cycle’s social media team members is there to have a digital conversation with you. It’s a well-oiled machine.

What you can do: Be ON your social media game. Advertise, post regularly, and engage your audience. If you don’t have the time to do it, hire someone.

Tapping Into a Collective Need for Community

 SoulCycle’s classes have been referred to as tribes - tapping into today's intense hunger for real-life community. With the promise of connection AND that rock-hard body, all of a sudden that $34 drop-in fee seems like a small price to pay. 

What you can do: Think beyond demographics - consider your audience's ideals, values, and interests when you're creating content and selecting your targets for Facebook and Google ads.  

 Oh yeah, and a sexy brand doesn’t hurt.

Beyond a high-intensity cycling class, SoulCycle is a lifestyle brand. 

With words like “WARRIOR" and “ROCKSTAR” plastered on the studio walls and custom Lululemon SoulCycle-branded clothing displayed in the lobby, they've nailed their branding down to every last detail - you can even buy the grapefruit-scented Jonathan Adler candles burning in the studio. 

Their look is strong and seamless across social. Urban - yet spiritual.

What you can do: We might not have the same budget as these guys, but hire a professional when you can for photography and graphic design. Your online ‘look’ is your first impression – and it can make or break a lead or sale.

But don’t sweat it

Arguably, one of SoulCycle’s biggest draws is their joie de vivre - LIVE A LITTLE!

With social media, consistency is the key to impact - it can be all too easy to get tripped up with ‘stage fright’ about posting. I'm here to tell you, just do it.

And don't worry about be perfect across all platforms. For those of us who don’t have a social media team on hand, it’s really only practical to focus on only the networks you think are best for finding and building relationships with your ideal customers. Focus your energy on just a couple for maximum impact.

Once you’ve got the social media basics down, turn the music UP, turn down the negative self-talk, and have some fun. :) 

Your marketing geek,

Elle

How to Stand Out on Social

 We Work, Valley Towers in the Silicon Valley

We Work, Valley Towers in the Silicon Valley

Hi Friends!

How is your 2017 going so far? 

As most of you know, we work with real estate agents and teams across Western Canada - and the market was INSANE last year. Which means that any 'extra' marketing projects are taking place right now as we experience a seasonal lull across the board. Call me a geek - but I love this stuff. 

Turning up our marketing strategies for 2017,  the ONE major thing I'm telling clients...

"You don't need to create... you just need to document."

This thought originally came from an article I read by Gary Vee, here.

What do I mean by this? Whatever you're doing, chances are you've got your phone glued to your hip anyways (or maybe you're even staring at it already). So pull it out, and take a photo. Think about it for a second, and if you think it's interesting, tells a story, or provides value to your audience online in some way, tag it appropriately and post it. 

And for my clients who are too busy or too technologically disinterested (it's ok if that's you - I'm disinterested in a lot of things, too) to post it themselves, they might swoosh it over to me to edit, write about, and post. 

Better yet? Turn it into a blog post, providing value to your audience, and share that on social. (Don't worry, people can help you with that, too!) 

This perspective of looking at content creation just takes the pressure off. 

So how does this benefit your business?

Original content is KING when it comes to your SEO and Google Rankings. Google rewards sites that have new content, even sometimes penalizing sites which have too much duplicate content.

From the perspective of your social media and blog audience, having content come from YOU whenever possible, woven in with thoughtful blogging,  lends the authentic, real feeling that our over-saturated, over-selling marketplace CRAVES. Blogging and microblogging provides value, keeps you top-of-mind, and keeps it real with your audience. 

Think of your Facebook feed - who would you rather work with? The guy who lets you in, post by post, and provides value? Or, the guy awkwardly hawking his wares from the corner? We can't forget the first word of social media - put it into practice. 

Do it to connect - and do it to stand out. 

 Some people, like my Dad, are natural-born documenters  // CARMEL, NEW YEARS DAY 2017

Some people, like my Dad, are natural-born documenters  // CARMEL, NEW YEARS DAY 2017

How is YOUR brand story being told on social? And how's that blog looking?

CALL/TEXT ME (250) 816-0714 or message us. 

Elle 

How to Create Content that Sells

As a marketing entrepreneur, people often ask me what my day looks like.  The truth is, it’s far from glamorous. In fact, most of the day, you’ll see me glued to my Macbook; typing away furiously. A major portion of each day is attributed to content creation – crafting blog posts, social media posts, writing strategies, reports, proposals, and marketing messages, amongst communicating and strategizing with clients. A good day for me, can be described as a “great writing day.”

I always dreamed of being a writer, and although that picture looked more like an intrepid journalist reporting from a war-torn country, I sometimes shake my head in disbelief at my absolute luck to be able to write everyday for a living. My father is also an entrepreneur and a professional writer. It’s neat to think how I’ve inadvertently followed in his footsteps.

The funny part? I understand the pressures of writing (and actually publishing) your own content. I guess you could chalk it up to writer’s stage fright. However, my clients and colleagues now realize that in order to provide value to their target market and to gain credibility on Google, they have to create original content. Yes – original content.

The path for content marketers is clear In order to boost SEO rankings, gain traffic and/or leads, you need to have original content on your blog or website. Google wants to reward sites that contain original content, even going as far as penalizing sites that feature duplicate content. Consider social media, too. Do you think people would be more apt to share an article you copy/pasted, or one written by YOU? 

In short, having original content is valuable for your audience, improves your site’s rankings, and increases likelihood of shares on social media. All of these roads lead to increased exposure – certainly an asset for your business.

So, how do you create great content?

Consider Strategy – You could write a killer piece of content, but if the right people don’t see it, what’s the point? Strategy is a must. Your content should always complement your overall marketing strategy and appeal to your target audience.

Get in the Zone – Anyone who ever saw me getting ready for my workday would think I was about to compete in the Olympics. Early AM wakeups, followed by a lengthy period on the treadmill listening to business and motivation podcasts, religiously making a green smoothie -> it goes on. And sure, it’s a bit ridiculous at times. But writing is a creative process, and in order to create something of value, you’ve got to be in the right headspace. Choose a time to write when you’re feeling energized and inspired, and minimize distractions.

If you find that you’re producing good content, keep going until you’re not anymore. You can always edit later, but it’s tough to always return to this creative space.

Use Your Own Voice – Some things are best left to the professionals, including writing in a voice that is not your own. Due to the nature of my job, I have to write in many different tones all day (chicks be cray, right?) but this is a practiced skill. Just be authentic. If you wouldn’t say it, don’t write it.

Don’t Just Tell Me, Show Me – A very high percentage of people are visual learners, which means your written content needs to be further expressed by including visual content – images or video. Selecting the right image for your content will give your message more impact.

Put Your Writing Skills to Work - Grammar, punctuation, and simplicity are musts.

Provide Value – Give your audience something that they want or need. Give them answers.

Don't Be Afraid to Close - Relationships are always of a give/take dynamic, and this is no exception. You've provided information and hopefully have been of help to these people - so it's okay to ask for what you want, too. 

Now that you’ve got a piece of content you can be proud of, its distribution needs to be aligned with your online marketing strategy – a topic I will cover soon in another blog post!

Please call, text, email, or FB message me with your marketing questions. I'm here to help!

(250) 816-0714

elle@elleconnects.com

or connect with us on FB

Get Your Email Campaign Opened

The amount of data available on best practices for email marketing  can be overwhelming – for every answer, there’s a compelling reason why it’s now wrong!

For example, ongoing digital marketing data shows that we should send our email marketing campaigns mid-day, mid week for best open and click through rates.

However, even newer research is demonstrating that more and more people are reading their emails later at night than ever before on their mobile devices.  

Think less Netflix and chill, more Netflix and checking emails, Facebook, and Insta and Snap stories.

With our rapidly evolving social and tech sphere, marketers must continuously analyze the best ways to reach our audiences. 

However, your answer usually won't be found in the data. It will come by carefully considering the demographics, habits, and lifestyles of your audience. 

Here’s what ongoing research tells us: 

Mid-week, mid-day. Traditionally, digital marketers have favoured Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, either between 9-11am or 1-3pm.  

For a few years now, Mailchimp has recommended 2pm as the best time to send email newsletters.


Avoid weekends. The majority of marketers avoid sending eblasts over the weekends. People are busy, and it's assumed your email will be low on their priority list. This includes Fridays, too. People are tired and they're itching to head into their weekend activities. As for Mondays? No one wants to add to the Monday doldrums with yet another email. 

Here’s what I say - Know Your Audience.

If you want your email opened, you must strongly consider the following. 

Who is your audience, what kind of schedule do they keep, and when do they check their emails? 

Depending on your audience, you could easily throw the traditional marketing guidelines out the window. 

For example, sending an eblast on a Friday night could mean a certain ‘DELETE’ for a financial planner, but for the entertainment industry, it could be the opportune time to inform your audience of the best things to check out over the weekend. 

Be specific and get down to the nitty gritty. Consider the age group, device preferences (work laptop or mobile phones) and even the climate your audience lives in. For example, a rainy, blustery Vancouver weekend could mean that more folks would be apt to check their emails. 

Consider when your audience wants to think about what it is you're saying. If your target audience is Moms who work from home, you might not want to send your email at 8am - prime school drop-off time.


No matter what you do…

Make sure your email blast is mobile-friendly! 

Track, test, and monitor your results ongoing. Marketing without metrics is like driving with your eyes closed. 

I suggest A/B testing your send times, and consider divvying up your mailing list into different demographics if you have them. Perhaps you’ll want to send your list of retirees your newsletter around 10am mid-week, and you’ll want to send your young, tech-obsessed crew one later in the evenings. 

And, it should go without saying, but.. make sure your email campaign is relevant, interesting, and looks good. Even the best sending strategy won't compensate for a bad email. 

The consumer tells us what they want. It's just up to us to listen - and deliver.

Have any questions? Call or text (250) 816-0714 and find me on Facebook