Whether writing a blog post, creating a YouTube video or running online ads, the success of your efforts rise and fall with the success of your keywords. What should you be saying?
This week we'll look at how to choose and use the most effective keywords to quickly be found through searches. This is a MUST READ before you create content to stand out above the competition and connect with the exact customers you are looking for. Specifically in this lesson we'll learn:
- What is a keyword and why does it matter?
- How to choose a keyword through keyword research?
- How to use your keywords for blogs, video and ads?
- How to compare your efforts to that of your competition?
Social Media Strategy
Before we run out and set up online accounts and wait for the flood, let's create a strategic way to decide where you should be online. To do this we take Christopher Penn's advice working backwards with the phrase "Social Media Strategy."
We first look at the word strategy. This is your why, your objective. Why are you using social media in the first place?
Are you looking to increase prospects, leads or sales? In our next lesson we'll walk through how to measure those. Decide what the purpose is for social media and what you would call success. Maybe it is greater visibility or improved customer service. Perhaps increased web traffic or more requests for demonstrations/quotes.
Whatever it may be, write it down and make it quantifiable. Don't just say increased visibility but rather, mentions on 10 new websites a month. Don't just say improved customer service, say 5 fewer phone calls a day. This will set you up to decide if social media is helping you and by how much.
Next is the word media and this is challenging. How will you share your message? What type of media or content should you use online?
To determine this, think about how your product or services is best shown.
If you work in the food or travel industries, images are going to work better than simple text. If you are in finance, accounting or legal services, your potential customers probably have questions that text will work well to answer. If you are a chiropractor or healthcare provider, videos might improve patient outcomes by providing on-going physical therapy exercises and examples.
In addition to how your product or service is best shared, what do you feel most comfortable with?
If you are good in front of a camera and don't mind being the center of attention, video will work well. If you have an artistic eye and like design, choose photos. If you are a talented writer and prefer creating well-thought out arguments and explanations, text will work perfectly. Maybe you like radio and podcasting is your channel.
Based on what you are comfortable with and what best shares your product or service, you can choose the best media for your business. Knowing the best media with then influence which network to use. We'll walk through those in upcoming lessons.
Knowing your goals and how you will share content enables us to identify who you are trying to talk with.
Is your audience soccer moms between 40-50 years old with no specific knowledge of your industry? Are you looking to reach out to industry experts who talk about specifics and congregate on certain sites or networks? Are you trying to attract as many people as possible to a product like your hamburger stand (B2C) or are you looking for a few high-paying clients (B2B)?
Identify your audience by answering any of following questions that you are able to:
-How old are they?
-Do they live in a certain place?
-How knowledgeable are they about your industry or business?
-Where do they "hang out" online? (if you don't know, we'll discuss in upcoming lessons)
-Do they have certain unique interests or passions?
-Do they enjoy a certain type of content (for example vidoe, text, photos, etc?)
-What time of day are they online?
-What else about your audience makes them unique?
Creating a social media strategy prepares you for success. Knowing what you are looking to get out of social media along with what you are capable of doing and what your audience is looking for will help you choose the best networks/sites to spend your time on. Plus it also gives you a reason to ignore everything else.
Constant change is implicit with digital media. However, using your communication skills and applying it strategically to the sites and people you are looking to communicate with ensures that you can focus on what works for you.