digital marketing

Is Blogging For Your Business Dead?

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In a meeting a few weeks ago, a client of mine asked if blogging was dead? While I understand why it might be perceived that blogging is dead. Especially since we live in a world where a person would choose to watch a video to learn or connect with someone instead of reading a post.  The world of blogging is most certainly not dead, at least from an SEO standpoint. 

Blogging as much of a pain in the ass that is is, helps Google understand that you are a current website. A regular blog schedule helps keep your SEO up to date,  and the more that you blog, the more that Google will continue to feed your content to the top of people's searches. 

The other day I posted a survey on my Instagram stories asking an audience if they thought that blogging was dead.  And the response I got was pretty eyeopening. 44% of the audience I surveyed said that Yes, they felt that blogging was dead while 56% of the audience noted that No blogging is not dead.   

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I have been working with a photographer client who when we first started working together wasn't completely sold on the idea of blogging.  She has two young children, a blossoming photography career and didn't have the time to devote to sitting down and adequately blogging her sessions for future clients to see. 

We had a one-hour session together, working on a blog about an elopement that she shot on top of Haleakala.  After being live for 72 hours, that blog post was the first item in a Google search for anything related to having a wedding or an elopement on Haleakala in Maui. Her inbox started blowing up with inquiries for booking her for their Maui nuptials. 

During our coaching session, while we talked about goals, one of her biggest goals was to shoot more weddings and elopements in Hawaii. With the goal in mind, we tailored the SEO on that post to get her in front of more couples looking for a photographer for their Hawaiian weddings.  

We also worked some SEO magic on other venues that she would love to shoot at more and low and behold her inbox is getting requests from couples who are hosting their nuptials at the sites she wants to shoot at all because she is now making blogging those sessions a priority in her digital marketing plan. 

While you might be one of the people, who think that blogging is dead, perhaps because you, yourself are not reading blogs. Remember that when it comes to your digital marketing, you are not your target audience. Blogging even twice a month will help keep your SEO fresh and clean to the Google machines, which will put your website in front of your target searchers.


Is There A New IGTV Rewarded Algorithm?

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Is there a new Instagram algorithm? Every time something on our favorite app shifts, I get an inbox full of "Is there a new Instagram algorithm?" As far as I know and the trusted sources that I communicate with, there is no such thing as a "new" Instagram algorithm.

Instagram is consistently testing, adding, and removing features. Updates are happening on the weekly, the daily, even on the hourly. Currently, Instagram is testing the removal of "likes" in the following markets: Canada, Italy, Japan, and Australia with more to come. Instagram is testing for the overall elimination of "likes" from the platform, which begs the question of will this leave room and forces people to engage more?

There's a rumor floating around that there is a new algorithm in place that favors heavily on using IGTV. Y'all this isn't new news. Anytime ANY platform releases an upgrade; they heavily prefer the content of the accounts that are using said new feature because they want to promote this new feature internally. IGTV is a little over a year old. I have my hypothesis about the "new" IGTV algorithm. Since I have gotten 10 DMs and four emails asking me about this new IGTV algorithm includes that y' all aren't currently frequenting this neighborhood. I hypothesize that since it's release on June 20, 2018, this neighborhood hasn't grown in the masses that Instagram thought that it would become. That in its 13-month lifespan it hasn't taken down Youtube or even really showed up in the ring as a heavily favored competitor of Youtube as I feel the end goal was. I think that this is the basis of the "new" IGTV preferred algorithm. When the facts point to if you are present on IGTV, you are rewarded for frequenting this neighborhood that Instagram wants to grow. It's like going to a street fair, and you are handed coupons from vendors to come to their establishment for 10% off or a free something or other. You are there in their "platform," and they want to reward you for showing up and showing interest by giving you something in return.

For a few months there, I was animate about recording and adding IGTV content; it helped everything in my digital marketing world for sure. However, life and client work got the better of me, and my IGTV fell to the side. Do I think that not regularly posting to my IGTV is what is hurting views and likes? Nope

I have been marketing on this platform since it's infancy and I've seen and heard it all. In almost nine years on this platform, three straightforward things lead to some measurable "success"

Consistency

A unique photo

Tell a story

Consistently show up by posting, commenting, and interacting in whichever neighborhood of this platform you enjoy the most: your feed, stories, IGTV where the eff ever. But keep showing up. When people trust that they will hear from you, they will buy from you or recommend you to someone who will buy from you.

Sharing a unique photo sets you apart. When I hear from people that they know they photo is from me before they even look at the account name, that feels good. Stop trying to copy everyone else who you think is doing it right and post what is you.

Tell a story, digital marketing is just digital storytelling. If you want to grab peoples, attention tells them a story. We are nosy by nature and want to know ALL the details about the people that we follow and the brands that we purchase from. Give people something that they can relate to because while our experiences are all unique to us, someone somewhere can connect on a personal level.

Please do me a favor; if you haven't heard it from a credible source such as Instagram, someone with an in at Instagram, or some nerd who subscribes to EVERY email that comes from reliable digital sources that have ins at Instagram, then it's just a rumor.

Why Automating Your Digital Marketing Will Make Your Vacation More Relaxing

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Vacation and road trip season is one of the best times of year here in the Northern Hemisphere.  The smell of the campfires, the taste of the s’mores, the fresh mountain air, your toes in the warm sand, or the feel of the linen sheets at your 5-star resort.  As an independent business owner, you want to experience all of the luxuries of summer as well. You don’t want to be typing away at your desk or on your phone to make sure that you get that day’s digital marketing post up and out to the world.

You’d rather be out and about seeing the sights, but you still have a business to market. This post is for all the DIYers of their companies digital marketing presence.  To really enjoy yourself and get away to the places where the wifi is weak, you need to plan your content in advance, schedule it, and use a platform that will automatically post on your behalf.

To make this feat attainable, you need to think about your content in advance. One thing that I recommend is making a stop at the dollar store and purchase one of their monthly calendars.  Each month decide on a theme and post content that is relevant to that theme. At my networking event talks and one-on-one coaching sessions, I get told a version of this all of the time, “I just don’t know what to write. I write something then delete it, I write it again, and then I delete it, I do this three times, and then I just get so frustrated that I don’t post at all.”

Planning a monthly theme will help you not only when you want to automate to go on vacation but will keep your entrepreneur brain sane not only during your DIY marketing time but when you are also ready to scale and hire out to someone like me.

A few of my favorite Instagram scheduling and posting apps:

Later  (Free Up to 30 Posts) Later is excellent because it will automatically resize the photo when it is automatically posting on your behalf.  I have worked with professional photographers and clients whose photo content comes directly from a professional photographer, and they say this aspect of it has been a lifesaver.  Later will also allow you to publish to Stories, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.

Planoly  (Free Up to 30 posts)  Planoly is excellent if you are into your entire feed having an individual feel. The benefit to Planoly is when you plug individual photos in you will see how they will look in the entirety of your feed.  My word of caution on this is Planoly will not resize the picture for you when it automatically posts, in other words, it just won’t publish your photo at all if it is out of proportion. Planoly will only allow you to post to your stories and your grid.

Tailwind (Free 30 days then $15/month)  Tailwind is more of a planning and scheduling platform for Pinterest; however, you are also able to schedule and post to your Instagram.  

By planning ahead, scheduling and automating the publication of your digital marketing posts you will have the peace of mind to enjoy that vacation or the weekend off that you have worked so hard to earn.


In Your Business: Money Is A Renewable Resource; Time Is Not

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Money is a renewable resource; time is not.

Read that again.

The chances are that your business is not styling and taking 100 product photos to get just the right one. Your actual business is not researching and writing blog posts. Your business is not writing captivating scroll stopping Instagram and SEO rich Pinterest captions. Your business IS something else.

Your business is a physical product, or it’s a service that you offer and provide to other businesses. Your business and passion is most likely NOT creating the marketing content to bring awareness to your target market about YOUR business.

In the monthly 20-minute speed marketing sessions, the top three frustrations that I hear from other business owners are:

  1. I loathe social media. I don’t know what photo to post, what to write or have the time to do it.

  2. I don’t know what platform I should be concentrating the limited amount of marketing time I block out to reach my target.

  3. I feel like no one is even engaging or paying attention when I post, so I just don’t post.

After we discuss these issues and we chat about the services that Maven & Muse provides it always comes down to money and not time. The phrase, “I wish I could afford to hire you.” gets thrown out a lot.

We are all good at something, that’s why we have a business. The skills that we lack we need to learn to hire out. We are a society of multi-taskers, because multi-tasking gives us a sense of purpose. We feel empowered because we are capable of doing ALL of the things, except we are not doing all of the things well. If we flip our focus to investing our time on the one thing that we do well and hire out the rest the money will renew itself and our business will grow.

I personally suck at keeping up my books, and I hate doing it every month. So I have hired out these services. It’s totally a pain in the ass to pay for something that I am fully capable of inputing into my Quickbooks but I know that I would rather do anything else then keep them up. The couple hours that I would spend doing this each month has freed up the time for me to personally write content and market my own services which has in turn brought in the money to pay for the bookkeeper.

I encourage you to actually sit down and think about how much time you are actually putting into feeling frustrated by creating your own businesses digital marketing content. I will put money on the fact that it is the same amount of hours that a content creator would charge you for.

Money is a renewable resource; time is not.

Why Your Business Needs a Digital Marketing Strategy


This week the lovely Jamie Teasdale of Propel Business Works  is sharing why having a digital marketing strategy is extremely important to really reach your target market and put more money in your bank account. Jamie’s expertise is creating digital marketing strategies and plans for businesses. This post has some seriously great information! Be sure to follow Jamie on social media using the links at the bottom of the post!

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Social media and blogs aren’t just for personal connection any more. Online communication is where the masses are. It’s where people are spending their time. That’s why your business needs a digital marketing strategy. According to the 2015 census 78% of U.S. households have a desktop or laptop computer, and over 74% have a mobile device. That’s an incredible statistic and it makes sense knowing how quickly we have adopted online communities as our new normal place to connect, interact, and find services and products we need.


It also means your audience, your clientele, your target market is there. Whether they are searching for an answer, clicking through ads that caught their attention, visiting an application to catch-up on relationships, shopping for something, leaving a review, or a plethora of other reasons, I guarantee your customer is online. It might be via a mobile, tablet or desktop device, but they ARE congregating with the masses – and they’re coming in hourly droves, sometimes even more frequently.

So, marketing to them where they are makes sense, right? That’s where digital marketing comes in. Digital marketing is different from physical marketing like print materials, signs, brochures, handouts, flyers and other pieces of collateral you have designed and printed. Digital marketing is virtual. It is marketing via communication to your target customer digitally where they are showing up online.

Having A Strategy Is Vital

Marketing in general can’t be done with a half-baked strategy or it will fall short or even fail completely. Spending money and time on marketing materials or support without first knowing who you’re talking to, what they need to hear, how often they should hear it, and how it should be presented is just a waste of valuable resources. (Tweet This)

Do you realize there are different demographics on different online sites? The people who show up on Facebook aren’t necessarily on Twitter or Snapchat. There is a specific and substantial reason for certain businesses to have a presence on Pinterest or on Instagram. Is your business one of them?


What A Strategy Should Include

A solid, researched, and customized-to-your-business digital marketing plan will tell you who you should be targeting and where you should be showing up in order to reach them. 

It will map out the types of emails you should be sending and how often, not to mention what posts you should be sharing, whether on your blog or on a social platform or directory. 

A unique plan will outline the best frequencies for communicating and will lay out your company’s style of communication so you and your team have a reference point every time something is sent out across the wifi waves.

Your plan should be easy to trust and should get your marketing ball rolling in the right direction so you begin increasing awareness, fans, and sales. But be sure to keep your eye on analytics, too. Monitoring what is working and what isn’t will propel your communication to improve.

Where To Start

I always tell clients to just start. All the research and planning can be an activity you pursue during your business planning sessions, or monthly strategy meetings. It isn’t rocket science and tools are available to us nowadays that were never more accessible or affordable.

If you already know who you are and where you need to be, start with one social site. Learn it. Become consistent on it. If you can blog, even once a month, that activity will fuel your social communication and get your creative juices flowing. How to layer on one marketing approach after another will depend on your business and industry, but don’t feel like you need to jump on all platforms or tackle all of the communication opportunities available to you all at once.

When you find yourself too busy with orders or doing the thing you do that you can’t handle all the planning and management that goes along with a digital marketing strategy, we’re here, ready, and eager to help. After all, this is OUR juice. It’s what we love to do and we happen to do it well!

Cheers to a strategic future ahead!

Jamie Teasdale

Propel Businessworks


Jamie’s professional experiences have instilled exceptional customer service and high standards into everything she does. A music and art enthusiast and animal lover, she has been a marketing junkie since before she can remember. For 10 years her passion for developing and energizing the visions of small business owners was ignited and she hasn’t looked back since.

Jamie’s professional experiences have instilled exceptional customer service and high standards into everything she does. A music and art enthusiast and animal lover, she has been a marketing junkie since before she can remember. For 10 years her passion for developing and energizing the visions of small business owners was ignited and she hasn’t looked back since.

What The Actual Eff Is A Target Market And How Do You Find Yours?

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When I have a virtual or in-person consultation about someone’s digital marketing needs, one of the first questions that I ask that potential client is, “Who is your target?”

A lot of the times the answer is, “ Well everyone and anyone that would want this yadda yadda product. “

Doh!

The internet is a big place Y'all and I’m sorry but not everyone and anyone is your target. Those are just the cold hard facts.

I know what you’re thinking right now, “Well Jade, what the actual eff is a Target Market and how do I figure out who my market actually is?”

The dictionary definition of Target Market is as follows "A particular group of consumers at which a product or service is aimed."

What a generic and simple thing right? It must just involve figuring out some simple demographics about the people I want to consume this product or use this service.

A target market is so much more than some simple demographics of 22-36-year-olds, dual income, no kids, in the city where you’re located. You need to actually figure out, what these people like to do, where are they hanging out, do they read or listen to podcasts, what makes them tick? Answering each of these questions plus a few more will help you create actual depth to the group of people you are trying to reach.

Once you’ve identified this group of people you can begin to talk to them through your posting and engaging by using the language they are actually using. You can begin paying attention to the trends that they are following and portray your content in a way that appeals to them and causes them to stop their scroll and read what you are actually talking about under your photo. Taking the time to research how your target moves, thinks and speaks through the world is going to help you sell more and sell it faster.

Identifying your target will also help when you are ready to outsource to someone like me by being able to tell me who we are talking too because I don’t want to cost you more money by talking to the people that we aren’t even targeting.

My homegirl Courtney of Creative Homeroom is a Jedi master of identifying your target market. This post of hers about the difference between Target Market and Ideal Client is a very quick and insightful read. Courtney and I are teaming up and teaching a three-part series of webinars on this actual topic and how to build your digital marketing strategy to reach them. The class is launching at the end of February. Please make sure that you are subscribed to the Maven Movement emails to be the first to know about the launch date and a discount!

How To Use Instagram Stories For Business

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As a business owner, we all know that we should be using Instagram stories more to show off the behind scenes and real life of our brands. Are you struggling with WHAT to show in your stories? HOW often should you add to your stories? And WHY your business should be using Instagram stories? In this one hour workshop, we will discuss all of this and more. Instagram Stories For Business is geared towards, e-commerce sellers, brick and mortar stores, and service providers. You will leave with a link to the digital playbook of ideas to help your business succeed instead of getting skipped over on Instagram stories. 

This is an in-person workshop in Portland, but not to worry if you don't live in Portland I have a plan for you as well. Stay tuned. 

For more information and to register click HERE.

E-commerce Brick & Mortar Holiday Social Media Strategy Sessions

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Wanna kickass this in your social media marketing this upcoming holiday season? Well, it is that time of year when I open up social media strategy sessions so you can have a kickass holiday season. I understand it is June, and you have plenty of other things on your mind like all the summer things. Nevertheless, you need to start your marketing efforts as early as September 1 to kickass this upcoming holiday season.

I know what you are thinking; I can hardly rock my regular time social media marketing campaign, do you think I can change it for the holiday season? Yes, and absolutely yes, I know that you can change your social media mindset for the holiday season because the holiday season is approximately six weeks where people actually want to be sold to. It is approximately six weeks where people are going to be spending money. Six weeks where those people that have no idea of what to get for so and so on their lists are looking to any place for inspiration. Why shouldn’t they be looking at your social media feed for their much-needed inspiration?

This program is written with both the e-commerce seller and the brick and mortar store owner in mind because both businesses have the same common denominator; to make some damn money from doing what they love. We are going to talk about your holiday marketing efforts on the big three: Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Typically, I meet in July or August with clients for tropical cocktails and to talk about all things holiday marketing. It is fun and productive at the same time. Strategy Sessions are two hours long and can be split up between two different meetings. Sessions can be virtual or in person. However, if it is virtual, you will have to provide your own tropical cocktail.

One on one social media support from me for the entire holiday season, roughly November 1st- January 2nd is included in your kickass social media strategy. You see, this means I am that girl in your corner, cheering you on and available for any social media question that might arise. I will be one email or phone call away. We will begin our efforts with the two-hour strategy planning and implementation meeting in July or August, and your strategy will be ready to launch on September 1st. You will receive the Kickass Holiday Social Media workbook which is full of tips and tricks for each specific platform along with a place to write your goals. Other benefits you will get include a personalized listing of industry-specific hashtags, a personalized calendar of your business’ holiday events, promotions and time frame of when exactly your postings will achieve the best reach and start turning those likes into dollars. The Kickass Social Media Strategy will focus on content for your business’ Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest accounts. Therefore, these accounts must be set up and in working order prior to our first strategy meeting.

The early bird rate is $450 for this entire package if you book it before June 20th. After June 20th, the price will increase to $575.

For specific questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I know you want your business to kickass this holiday season, and that is exactly what I want to help you achieve!

Pinterest And Your Business

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Pinterest, you are on it scrolling for ideas of how to decorate your home, what to make for dinner and even what gifts to give.  Have you stopped to think about how your business could benefit from a better Pinterest presence? 

Get ready for some cold hard facts:
*    200 million monthly users
*    70% of users are female
*    60% have children under 5
*    98% try new things that they find on Pinterest
*     1 out of 2 people have purchased because they saw it on Pinterest
*    Pins can bring your website traffic for years to come

If you are female niched business, product or service wise and you currently have little to no Pinterest presence you are entirely missing your target audience.  Up until a few weeks ago, I was this girl. I was perusing Pinterest for fun until I went to a lecture and learned what exactly  Pinterest could do you for my business. Now I am practicing the methods they taught me every day, I know like any social media it will not be instantly successful that it takes time, but a whole new level of client hangs out on this platform. 

 To make Pinterest work for you though you need to think and define your target audience. Do they travel, what kind of food are they eating, what are they searching for on Pinterest? Answer your target audience’s lifestyle questions with a board and pin relevant content to it. 


How To Share Your Content

  1. PIn consistently, like every day
  2. Don’t be afraid of the number of pins you have. You won’t get dinged by the algorithm for having too much content. 
  3. Organize your content onto relevant boards
  4. Optimize your website for pin click-throughs by adding the pin button to blog posts or products. 

I shared a bunch of links to Pinterest articles I’ve read and methods that I am using to grow my boards in the latest Maven Movement email that comes out on Tuesdays. If you aren’t on the list, you might want to consider adding your name.  Also feel free to follow my boards as I add resourceful social media articles to them. I also am always looking for new inspiration and boards to follow, so if you have a business account drop a link in the comments. 

 

State of Instagram: Recent Updates

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There are two updates which happened on Instagram that I am excited to share with you.

1. The ability to have active hashtags in your profile. Seriously go to your phone, edit your profile and add your business specific hashtag to your profile. Having your personalized hashtag in your profile is a  way for people that are in your profile to click on your hashtag and see an entire representation of your work in just one click.

 

2. Reposting in stories. While this feature hasn't rolled out to everyone yet, it slowly will. This isn't going to be one of those 10K to play updates.  When your account gets the feature, you will be able to share new feed content directly to your stories. This will eliminate the taking a screenshot of your feed, blocking out the photo or video as a preview to get them to click over. Followers will now be able to click the story slide and be directly taken to the content in your feed.

To see if you already have this feature on your post click the paper airplane and in the “Send To” your story feed should be listed below the Facebook Story button.  Click your story name button and send. It will prompt you to a new story slide and you can write whatever information you want on the slide and press the story send to button.