Writing Your Own Content? You’re Probably Doing it Wrong

copy-mistakes-marketing

Let me be blunt: Just because you can craft a well-worded email or a business plan, that doesn’t mean you should write web, social, blog, and ad content.

Here’s why.

You Have An Internal Perspective

You may shop, feel, and look like your customers, but when it comes to marketing, you’re too biased to be the customer. You will always see things through the personal lens of someone who loves your product/service and wants to sell it.

It’s tempting to believe that writing your own content, starting a social media page, and actively blogging will lead to success, but this is a wildly misguided view.  You’re missing the key psychological and behavioral components of buyer behavior.

Also, we have a highly charged political and social climate right now, so you must be aware of and sensitive to these issues.  You need a skilled communicator to do this.  At the very least, you need an experienced sounding board before writing content directed at these audiences.

Headlines, Grammar, Spelling, and Word Counts Matter… A Lot

Instead of droning on about how much these things matter, here are some statistics to consider when writing your own content for a website, post, social page, or other sales material:

  • Three-quarters (74%) of online consumers are looking at your grammar, sentence structure, and spelling.
  • More than half (59%) will not do business with a company who has a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes in their copy.
  • Visitors will only read about 20% of your content, so it needs to be short and sweet with plenty of arrows pointing to a call to action (add to bag, contact, get a quote, etc.).
  • Put your best foot forward, because most visitors read in an F-shaped pattern, which means they won’t even see a lot of your copy unless it’s engaging.

Market Yourself Like A Brand Boss

Marketing is all about your communications.  Writing website copy, ad materials, social media posts, and blogging should never be taken lightly.  You don’t want to do too much, too little, too specific, or too vague. You need to be clever in the wording and understanding in the tone.  This is your brand’s personality.

Unfortunately, writing is a skill that has tragically fallen to the whims of socially acceptable mediocrity.  Don’t fall into that trap. You’ll stand out more with content from a team of writing magicians who have spent years perfecting the art.

writing-marketingFurther, this is an increasingly distracted culture with an ever-flowing flood of information pouring into our minds daily.  It’s overwhelming, so consistency will always reign supreme.

Branding is the key to consistency, and it’s a specialized field, performed by people who follow the rules of disruptive marketing and watch buyer behaviors very closely.  Brand consistency includes:

  • Colors
  • Fonts
  • Tone
  • Topics
  • Imagery

And those are just some of the obvious branding elements.  Some of the not-so-obvious ones include:

  • Image positioning and angles
  • Line spacing
  • Page formats
  • Gradients
  • Shapes
  • Quote/call-out fonts and layout
  • Anything that symbolically relates to your brand

The Bottom Line

It’s tempting to try to save money by designing and writing your own content materials, but that may do you more harm than good (and cost you way more to fix in the long run).  Just think, the time you’re spending trying to come up with copy for your homepage or a brochure could be spent more productively by doing what you should be doing – running your business.

All markets have been disrupted by drastic changes in technology, expanding social media platforms, and the infinite functionality of the Internet.  Embrace the disruption by working with a team you can trust.

Ah-hem.

I now introduce Your Imprint Marketing Studio.  We’re the “masters of ceremony” who know branding.  We can put on a show, and we’ll teach you how to manage pieces of your marketing that will save you money.  Let’s talk about your campaigns and see if what we can do will work for you.

Web Developers: Job Role, Responsibilities, and Pay

Web Designer Job

This is the sixth post in a series about digital marketing jobs. Keep your eye on our blog or our social media channels as we add more careers in the coming weeks.  Read more about social mediadigital marketing, and graphic design jobs

Web developers design, manage, and maintain websites. They’re an essential part of the digital world. In fact, without web developers, we wouldn’t have the digital space for online marketing.

Job Role

An effective web developer creates websites that are aesthetically pleasing and function well. In addition to this, web developers understand how to create websites that are usable and convey the appropriate information in a logical way.

A typical day for a web developer will vary, depending on where they work and the type of developer they are. For example, developers are typically back-end or front-end developers. While most developers are also web designers, some companies hire separate developers and designers.

Despite all the career nuances, developers are never just writing code. They’re also communicating with clients about their websites. Additionally, they meet with illustrators and copywriters to develop a website plan.

Finally, web developers don’t stop once they’ve created a website. Ideally, they keep monitoring the site to improve any problem areas, watch the number of visitors, and conduct regular updates.

Job Responsibilities

  • Write testable code by using best software development practices.
  • Stay up-to-date with web development and design language, skills, and news.
  • Create user interfaces with standard HTML/CSS practices.
  • Create responsive designs and develop working themes and plugins.
  • Monitor website traffic.
  • Monitor website speeds and evaluate potential problems.
  • Communicate with design and writing teams to implement complete website.
  • Train entry-level developers.

What about pay?

Web developers make an average of $88,488 per year, according to Glassdoor.com. However, entry-level developers should expect to make around $55,000 as a starting salary. 

Many web developers will stay in their field, according to Payscale. However, others will become senior web designers, software engineers, or programmers.

Do you need to hire a web developer? We are ready to help. Learn more here.

The YourImprint team is full of knowledge about how to succeed in digital marketing, and we are eager to help aspiring marketers! Learn more about the field on our blog or view some real-life design pieces in our portfolio.

Five ways to market your small business on LinkedIn

Small business LinkedIn

Why LinkedIn?

LinkedIn may not be the prettiest social media site out there. Its purpose isn’t to share your personal life — the users just won’t care. But, really, that’s what you want. LinkedIn is a place for professionals to connect with other professionals, learn about their business, find jobs, and build their company’s brands.

Over 500 million people use LinkedIn, and 40 percent of them visit the site daily.

Create a Company Page

Your company page is separate from your personal profile. Both are important on LinkedIn. However, a personal page is the hub for everything about your company.

LinkedIn pages can be SEO friendly. To optimize your page, include lots of keywords about your business. Try to use the same keywords that you’ve used for your website. (If you haven’t optimized your website, visit our SEO page to learn more about what this is.)

Remember to also link to your LinkedIn page from your website and from any emails you send. This gives your page credibility. Finally, don’t forget to share relevant content on your page. You can share your own blogs and content, but it is okay to occasionally link to content from other sites too.

Focus on Your Profile, Too

Your personal profile matters. Ultimately, LinkedIn is about connections, and people don’t want to connect with a business. They want a person.

Make sure your profile is the best that it can be. Your page is personal, but it is also professional. Watch out for any grammar and spelling mistakes, create a personal URL, and add your work qualifications.

Make yourself as an admin on your LinkedIn page, and add your company to your personal page.

Join Groups

LinkedIn has groups on any subject matter to join. Learn more about marketing in their marketing groups, and find groups that pertain to your industry to join as well.

After joining groups, participate in them. While you should post your content in the groups, don’t forget to comment on other member’s posts as well. This gives you credibility and helps you stand out.

Don’t be Afraid to Connect

Don’t talk to strangers on the Internet. That might be a good idea on Facebook, but it doesn’t apply to LinkedIn. Feel free to connect with people you do not know — they are probably looking to build connections too. These people can read your content and visit your website. Plus, connections increase your visibility on the site.

Create an Email List

Finally, invite your connections to join your email list. Thank your connections for connecting with you, and invite them to learn more about business.

Ultimately, social media sites come and go; LinkedIn might not be popular forever. Email, however, has remained a steady form of communication. Don’t lose the connections you’ve worked hard to build.

Do you need more social media or marketing help? Learn more about the services we provide or contact us

How to Improve Your Site’s SEO: A Checklist

Improve Your Site's SEO

Improving your site’s SEO involves taking an in-depth look at your site and why it functions the way it does. Look beyond your site’s keywords. Yes, they are important, but your site’s usability, mobile friendliness, and page load speed matter too.  And don’t even get us started on proper and ethical link building.  We love SEO, and we love to show our clients how to see, understand, and use SEO to their benefit.

Here’s how to improve your site’s SEO:

Check your site’s load speed.

Take load speed seriously. Your users will leave your site if they have to wait for a page to load, and both Google and Bing take load speed into account for their algorithms when ranking.  Some things that slow down page load speed are:

  • Site host
  • Image sizes
  • Amount of Javascript and CSS
  • CDN (Content delivery network; from which server your information is pulled, based on location)
  • Site cache (PC Mag defines browser cache as “a temporary storage area in memory or on disk that holds the most recently downloaded Web pages.”

A good free tool to check your site’s speed is Pingdom.

Add outbound links to improve your site’s SEO.

Linking to reputable sites will increase your site’s SEO because doing so gives your site validity. According to the site Shout Me Loud, outbound links tell search engines what your blog is all about.

Find outbound links by conducting your own industry research. However, one easy way to do this is by searching “related:(your domain name).com” on Google.

Remove broken links.

Nobody wants to click on a link only to end up on a 404 page. And Google knows this. Sites with broken links rank lower than those without them.

Check to see if your site has broken links by visiting Screaming Frog SEO Finder, W3C Link Checker, or Dead Link Checker.

It’s not enough to just find the broken links, but you have to go and find them and fix them.  Often, this requires looking at the source code.  This part can be tricky. Let us know if you need some help figuring this part of the process out!

Marketing Tips

Add a contact page.

Google sees pages with sufficient contact information as more trustworthy than those with poor information.

Plus, a contact page encourages users to connect with you. That’s what we all want at the end of the day.  Build trust with your audience and add all necessary information to your contact page, including a Google Map, address, phone number, email, fax, social media pages, and contact name.

Improve your images.

Sites with images that are too large load slowly, but sites with images that are too small look equally unprofessional. Most images in a blog post, for example, should be about 20Kb-30Kb. Learn more about image sizing here.

Additionally, Google loves connecting the dots, so include your site, page, or post keywords in the images’ file names, alt tags, titles, descriptions, and captions.

Don’t just use photos.

Yes, use photos. But also engage your audience with slideshows, infographics, videos, and most importantly, captivating written copy. Multimedia and relevant information make a site more appealing.

In fact, a recent study shows that videos keep people on your site for longer. Get this: websites with video have an average 4.8% conversion rate, compared to the 2.9% rate of sites without video.

Improving your site’s SEO ranking takes dedication, patience, and expertise. We provide SEO Services that improve your business and brand.  We’re experts, but don’t take our word for it. Visit some of our past work instead.

How to create the best Facebook cover photo or video

Facebook Cover Photos

What are people first attracted to when they visit your Facebook page? Your about bio, videos, and status updates don’t make the cut. Instead, your Facebook cover photo or video is the first thing they’ll see.

People only need 7 seconds to come to a conclusion about a person or place. Make those seconds count with an engaging, appropriate photo or video. Here’s how:

Follow Facebook’s rules for cover photos.

Facebook states that business cover photos and videos are public. They can’t be “deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright.” You also can’t ask others to upload your cover photo to their personal page.

If you go against Facebook’s guidelines, they have the right to take action against your page. Read all of their page guidelines here.

Choose the correct dimensions.

This is the actual size of the image or video cover photo space… not the size of the photo or video.

Facebook cover photo should be 820 pixels long and 312 pixels tall.

Facebook downsizes everything, so to preserve the quality, use HD videos at 1920 x 1080 pixels for best results.

Facebook cover photos will display at 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall on computers and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on phones, but you need higher quality photos to match this scaling.  pixels and saved at “very high quality” so Facebook downsizes it properly. Photos load best as JPG files.

Don’t include too much text.

Remember, your cover photo is all about engaging your viewers. You want them to want to visit the rest of your page, where you’ll have the room to use more text. On average, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Take advantage of that!

In the past, Facebook demoted content with more than 20 percent text. Although they no longer do this, the idea is still relevant. Keep text relevant and concise.

Use text intentionally.

Many companies focus on using the text in their Facebook cover photo or video to encourage action. For example, some companies share a hashtag that they hope their viewers will use. Others direct their audience to the buttons on their page.

Our Facebook cover video shares snippets of customer testimonials. This is a quick, fun way to intentionally incorporate text into our video.

Don’t be too technical.

In general, your Facebook page should be about your brand, not just your products. Keep most of the technical aspects of your brand on your website or in the “about” section of your page.

Instead, try to use your cover photo as a way to express the why behind your business. Focus on engaging your current audience and bringing in new people.

It’s all about the brand.

Clearly, this is important. Don’t make your cover photo a big image of your logo. That says nothing about you! Instead, use the cover photo/video to show off your products, share your values, and have fun.

If you want to have your logo on your page, incorporate into your profile picture instead.

Practical Ideas

Only you can judge what will work best for your business. However, here are a few Facebook cover photo and video ideas to get you started:

  • Share a photo of your team. Better yet, share a video gif of your team waving to the camera.
  • Do you have shiny, visually-appealing products? Include them!
  • If you work somewhere beautiful, share it. Make sure to use the caption to attach this to your brand.
  • What services do you offer? Show them in action.
  • Show off your mission. Do you work to improve literacy? Show us some books, please!

A few other details to remember for Facebook cover photos.

  • Choose a simple photo that has one central visual point.
  • Don’t hide any content behind your profile picture.
  • Keep important content higher up in the photo.
  • Think about the caption, and add a shortened link to your website.

A few details to remember for cover videos.

  • Your video can have sound, but it should not be essential to understanding your video.
  • Your video should look great when paused or loading. Keep it clean, with bright colors and strong lines.
  • Keep videos 20 to 90 seconds long. People don’t have long attention spans, so we think shorter is almost always better.
  • Use video to make a photo more interesting. Rather than post a traditional video, share an animated image.

We understand social media marketing can be overwhelming for everybody. It’s a lot different than running your own personal Facebook or Instagram page. We’ve dedicated the time to become social media experts. If you need help, please contact us.

Blogger: Job Role, Responsibilities, and Pay

Blog Writing

This is the fifth post in a series about digital marketing jobs. Keep your eye on our blog or our social media channels as we add more careers in the coming weeks.  Read more about social mediadigital marketing, content writer, and graphic design jobs

Blogging typically falls under the duties of other marketing jobs. For example, a content writer will often create lots of written content, including blogs. However, some companies choose to have professional bloggers manage their corporate blog. Some bloggers even make a living off of their own personal blog, while others are freelancers who write for a variety of different blogs.

Job Role

Believe it or not, blogging is not just about writing blogs and posting to the internet. Good bloggers pitch ideas, create an editorial calendar, write and edit, add SEO, promote their blog, and interact with their audience.

To be successful, bloggers need to understand their blog’s topic and their audience thoroughly. In fact, many bloggers find that establishing themselves as experts in their field makes their audience excited to read their posts. To do this, the blogger should actually be an expert in their field.

Finally, bloggers need to be organized and reliable. Because many of them work from home, they must keep track of their own schedule and make their ideas happen.

Job Responsibilities 

A blogger’s responsibilities will vary depending on the type of blog they manage. However, some responsibilities that you should expect include the following:

  • Edit your own work with impeccable spelling and grammar.
  • Write in a way that appeals to your audience.
  • Promote your blog on social media and engage with your audience on social media channels.
  • Research every topic, writing structure, and audience group.
  • Manage your own calendar and submit tasks on time.
  • Work with clients to adjust writing as needed.
  • Create additional content (like photos, videos, or podcasts) to supplement the written content.
  • Use basic editing and website software, including Google Drive, WordPress, and others.
  • Be aware of keyword placement and SEO practices.
  • Learn basic HTML.

What about pay? 

Nailing down the average salary for a blogger is tricky because of all the different types of blogging. For example, freelance bloggers make money per blog post, and salary bloggers earn a set amount. Many personal bloggers make money through Google Ads on their site, sponsorships from large companies, or products that they sell from their site. For example, the cooking blog Minimalist Baker sells a food photography course from its site.
Because of this, Glassdoor gives a wide salary range for bloggers. They say bloggers make anywhere from $19,000 to $55,000 with an average salary of $30,ooo.

Do you need blogging help? We are ready to help. Learn more here

The YourImprint team is full of knowledge about how to succeed in digital marketing, and we are eager to help aspiring marketers! Learn more about the field on our blog or view some real-life design pieces in our portfolio.

 

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