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

This Week in Social Media Updates - What Advertisers Need to Know

Because you're busy people - and it's a Saturday - I'll keep this brief. Here are just some highlights of what happened this week across social:

Facebook has given users MORE control over the kinds of ads they see in their newsfeeds; including the ability to stop seeing ads from businesses or organizations who have added them to their customer lists. (This put onus on advertisers to be more interesting and relevant!!!)


MORE ADS ON SNAPCHAT - hmmm - might be a risky move given the recent integration of Stories on Insta?


Instagram utilizes Facebook algorithms to sort relevance on Instagram stories - those NEW, short videos on Instagram will be sorted in order based on whose content you interact with on Facebook as well. This is really important to know! Good reason to use both platforms.


The Federal Trade Commission is tightening up advertisers who utilize social media influencers to promote their products or services - sponsorship must be clearly disclosed and displayed.
Facebook begins to roll out new publisher tools for 360 video - incl. guide and heatmap. As well, new audience and engagement metrics will soon be available for video - great news!


Wishing you a GREAT weekend!

Elle Campbell

 

Reporting for Social Media Marketing for Real Estate - 3 FREE AUDITS LEFT

One of the most gratifying days of the month within my business? Report Day. 

"Report Day" is actually more like three weeks, as it really begins on the first day of each month, when I pull the data and stats for each client's success across social media. I then compile a short point-form of where I need to direct strategy in the upcoming month. Over the next few weeks, I analyze and compare with last month's reports with external help. After all, an outside professional opinion helps me identify any weaknesses or spots for opportunity in my social strategies for my clients. 

As an entrepreneur, you're always waiting to see the fruits of your labours. You could wait forever, so you have to learn to find joy in the process. One small piece I can pick from the metaphorical success tree? The numbers speak volumes. I don't need to tell you why you should be reporting, but if you don't already,  there's a couple of things that might make you want to. How would you like to see...

  • increased traffic to your website
  • climbing page likes
  • unique visits and impressions to your social channels
  • unprompted, spontaneous positive testimonials
  • increasingly effective (with lowered costs) click campaigns
  • inquiries
  • conversions for listing appointments

The goods news, if you're doing social media effectively and with a solid strategy, you should begin to see all or most of those items within just a short period of time. 

If you'd like a FREE social media audit for the month of May, and if you're a real estate professional (and I don't already work with someone in your market) I have THREE left this month. It can be helpful to determine first where you are, in order to get to where you want to be. Contact me for yours! 

Remember:

If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. 

Have a powerful day. 

Thrilled to be co-hosting a Social Media Session at NEXTGENre Real Estate Conference!

Thrilled to be part of this session at the upcoming ‪#‎NEXTGENre‬ Real Estate Conference!

We'll share how to further develop, strengthen and maintain professional partnerships and grow your client base with social media. Great for referrals, reciprocation, and to stay top-of-mind in your market areas!

What is NEXTGENre?  NEXT GENERATION REAL ESTATE is the new standard in events for Professionals in Business & Real Estate in Canada. These events fuse technology innovation with extreme business principles & fundamentals. 

As well, I've been honoured to be asked to be a NEXTGENre ambassador, too! So fun! 

 If you're interested in Canadian business and Real Estate - and want to learn the latest and greatest cutting-edge technology and marketing trends to implement into your business - this event is for you. 

The next stop? Vancouver, BC! Still a few tickets left: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/nextgenre-a-canadian-real-estate-conference-tickets-21519301811

Thanks Virginia Munden and Bryce Hansen

Should I use Facebook ads for my business page?

Hey Everyone!

Today I posted a video with my answer to this topic. You can check it out by clicking on the video below, or read the following. 

 I came across a statistic that over 20 million people are expected to use social media networks in Canada this year - with 18.5 million of them on Facebook. 

If you're a business in Canada, you can almost guarantee that a large percent of your target market is on Facebook. 

But how much content from businesses do you really see on Facebook? The answer is, organically - not much. I think of 2007 when I signed up for Facebook (probably the only good thing to happen that year - I went to prom alone LOL). Since then, I've liked probably hundreds of pages. But when I scroll through my newsfeed, I only see a few - Forbes Business, Marketing Hub, Remax Canada, and Yorkies Forever.

That's due to Facebook's sophisticated algorithm - that ensures that you don't get 'spammed' by businesses everyday and see mostly content from your friends, families, and major interests. 

So as a business, how do you show up? Enter Facebook ads. With very little spend, you can reach tens of thousands more people in your target area. You have tons of options for bidding, budget, and the types of campaigns you run.

You can easily track your spending, performance, and ROI. You can even print out an invoice summary each month to pass to your accountant. And the best part? You can gain an edge over your competitors, who are likely posting, but without strategy or the technical employment of Facebook advertising (ie. they don't know what's up).

For example, for my Real Estate clients, I run ongoing click campaigns to generate more listing appointments, increase traffic to view the inventory on their website, and also promote them as a brand and increase their overall exposure. We even use it for other markets to target potential relocations. The market is HOT right now and people are interested in Real Estate - so take advantage of it, and get out there. You can provide all of the value in the world to your Facebook page, you can be funny and engaging, but who's going to see it if you don't run ads? It's kind of like having a one-sided conversation. 

After all, where else were you going to spend your marketing budget? I hope you won't say the phonebook, although it sure does make a weighty doorstop thanks to marketing spends by local businesses.  

Facebook is pay to play. And there's no way around it.

Click to view video! 

Click to view video! 

Have any questions? Send me a message and I'll get back to you. 

Thanks a bunch.

EC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Billboard Effect in the Digital Era

It’s coincidental I came across this Gary Vaynerchuk video today, because I just had a similar conversation with a Re/max agent today about the value of traditional marketing in today’s evolving digital landscape. We talked about the seemingly diminishing value of billboards and signage, but agreed they still hold an important place in many marketing strategies.

Gary Vaynerchuk owns Vayner Media, one of the world’s hottest digital agencies with a client list including many Fortune 500 companies like GE, PepsiCo, Del Monte, the NY Jets, and Fox broadcasting.

His take on the subject of billboards is pretty clever and made me smile:

“Do I think that billboard’s dead? No, but I do wonder how a billboard can be the same price today as it was five years ago, when every person here, when they leave this conference, they’re looking at their phones. The passenger in the car, they’re looking at their phones. And as a matter of fact – so are the drivers. Forget about billboards – no one is looking at the (friggin) road!” – Gary Vaynerchuk  

I suppose, that this blog entry could be taken simply as a friendly reminder to focus your advertising strategies on where your audience is looking. 

Do you notice billboards when you're driving? I tend to, but I'm curious to hear your thoughts. (And please, drive safely!) :)

Context IS Everything

Timing is everything! Yes, content is important, but context trumps all - being aware of your peeps and what's happening in the world empowers you to connect with your audience in a more meaningful way.

You can have the best content in the world, but it will fall on dead ears if it's not delivered in a timely and relevant manner. Knowing "what's up" in the world can go a long way!

Great meme from Gary Vaynerchuk

How many different ways can a marketer say "Happy Canada Day?"

I grew up in New Brunswick and now live on Vancouver Island. What a blessing it is, to have experienced the freedom and nature that is ours to enjoy in Canada from coast to coast. Enjoy your day!

PS: If you're a marketer, today's your day to think of all the creative, brand-specific ways to say "Happy Canada Day!" There is some great inspiration out there to be had.

Photo taken in the beautiful, mystical Smugglers Cove last weekend. 

Photo taken in the beautiful, mystical Smugglers Cove last weekend. 

REMAX R4 in Las Vegas

Incredible time earlier this month at REMAX R4 in Las Vegas! Learned the latest in Real Estate marketing and technology trends from some of the top names in the industry. I am so thrilled to bring these new ideas and new friends back to my business. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this event - it was a pleasure to meet you! 

Amazing Day with two of my RE/MAX clients!

Pictured here with Randi and Dave of Port Alberni's The Dave Team (RE/MAX of Nanaimo) and Bryce and Linda of Comox's Bryce Hansen Team (RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty). We had a productive morning discussing systems, marketing, and client satisfaction. To top it off, we enjoyed a yummy lunch at the Mad Chef Cafe in downtown Courtenay - such a great spot! 

Connect socially with these great teams:

www.facebook.com/DaveTeamPortAlberni

www.facebook.com/BryceHansenCVRealEstate

Arlene Dickinson at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo

Arlene Dickinson is a mother of 4 children, a Canadian author, entrepreneur, television personality, and venture capitalist. She is CEO of Venture Communications and is represented by CBC Television as a self-made multi-millionaire. We were fortunate to have her visit Nanaimo as part of our Speaker Series and have her share some of her lessons on leadership (and life in general) she has learned along the way.

My biggest takeaway from Arelene Dickinson’s presentation, were her lessons in leadership she learned from the front lines in Afghanistan when she was invited to speak to the troops in Khandar.

The general addressed the troops, saying:

1) I may not always know the answers, but I am fighting alongside you and will communicate everything I know to you.
2) We chose YOU – YOU are the best person for the job.
3) Focus, and be present. If you are not fully here, you risk the lives of others as well as yourself.
4) What are you doing COUNTS. You have a purpose, what you are doing, and what we are doing as a team, has meaning – to the people of Afghanistan, and also to those back home in Canada.

Arelene was greatly inspired by his message to the troops, and brought the same concepts home to Canada with her.

How would your organization change if you relayed those same messages to your team? 

Thank you to sponsors of this event, The Nanaimo Daily News, Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation, the Coast Bastion Hotel, MNP, and to the Port Theatre.