digital marketing strategy

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.


The Digital Marketing Manufactured Look Is Moving Out

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Q. Should your brand's social media feeds only be styled professional photos? Is it ok if your brand's social feeds are just phone photos, or is it ok if your feeds are a mix of both?

A. The best device to take content photos with is the device that you already have with you.

I am a firm believer that putting any kind of content out there is better than not putting any kind of content out there.  If the only equipment that you have to take a photo is your phone then that is the equipment that you must use. A good photo doesn’t necessarily come from a big fancy DSLR camera, it does help however but what makes a photo great is the skill set of taking a great photo.

A comment was left on my Instagram post when I posted about this subject and I feel that it sums everything up perfectly, “If you can’t shoot compelling content with a phone, you can’t do it with a DSLR.  Invest in learning skills, not gear.” Citizen Nomads

There are beautiful feeds out there that I know personally are only shooting their social posts with a phone camera. Then there are feeds that I know they are hiring out their content shoots to professional prop stylists and photographers.  All of which is great but the question then becomes are you doing this just to fit the “Instagram Aesthetic”?

The Instagram Aesthetic is something that has been created by influencers, the beautifully styled flat lays with the warm filter, the perfect pose in front of the perfect piece of street art taken by their Instagram partner.  You all know what I’m talking about, the perception that everything is perfect because their photo is perfect. This is boring, generic and the chances of you getting scrolled over are pretty great. Because that perfectly styled photo of yours looks manufactured and just like everyone else in your industry.  

The Atlantic released an article stating that the “Instagram Aesthetic Is Over” and I seriously couldn’t be more excited that things are shifting.  The article goes on to talk about how Gen Z influencers are now reaching for their phones camera instead of hauling a DSLR with them to restaurants and spending hours getting that perfect shot masked with the perfect curated “Instagram Aesthetic” filter they have created. Gen Z wants to shift things back to real-time and consistently showing up as your authentic self, not your social media alter ego.

I’m not here to pish posh on a beautiful photo, quite the opposite, in fact, I’m here to say that it should stop taking up so much of your brain space and time to get that Instagram aesthetic approved photo. Mavens feed has been and will continue to be a mix between phone, stock, personal DSLR and professional photos, why because I want to be part of the change in the way people look at marketing and branding. As a business, your business should be a reflection of and authentic as you.  I should meet you for coffee, or walk into your store and feel the same feelings that I feel when I look at your feed or see your ads. I shouldn’t be seeing an alter ego of you on social media and meeting the authentic you in person. The translation of your in-person experience with a brand and a digital experience with a brand should be very similar if not exactly the same.

This is the goal of Maven and Muse produced content. Your business is as authentic as you are and this should translate into your digital marketing. By creating authentic to you content you are getting people to stop their scroll and take notice. This will build engagement, which leads to trust which leads to booking or purchasing from you.

The manufactured look of Instagram does work, it’s proven day in and day out. Perhaps in your homework assignment, you will notice that the manufactured look is what your target likes and expects from you. I’m not here to disrupt what is already working for you,  I am here to challenge you to look at the analytics of your feed and see what posts have performed the best. Are they stock, DSLR or phone captured content? Were your words heartfelt or salesy? Dissect the top three best performing posts and mimic more of that in the weeks to come.  The numbers don’t lie my friends, they are communicating to you what is working for you, what is setting you apart and not making you manufactured.




The Social Media Apocalypse What's Your Digital Marketing Back Up Plan

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The social media apocalypse of Facebook and Instagram being down is happening. It’s March 13, 2019, Mercury in retrograde and we’ve been experiencing the biggest meltdown in social media history.

Since 8am PST people around the globe have been unable to get into both Facebook and Instagram. At the coffee shop today the world seemed a bit quieter, people are having these things called conversations with each other instead of being preoccupied with snapping a quick picture of their latte to put on their Instagram story. (Ahem I am guilty of this as well, sometimes.) I don’t know if this is because we are all secretly freaking out just a little bit.

I will say that I have enjoyed the silence of only having to focus on other digital marketing platforms for my clients that do not include a member of the “Facebook Family” for one day.

The real question we should be asking is, “ Will Facebook and Instagram be back tomorrow?” Honestly, that could happen. We could wake up tomorrow with the same messages on our pages, or they could be erased forever. As of this posting Facebook, reps are saying, “Facebook is down for required maintenance. We will be back soon.” Historically when huge expansive platforms such as Facebook and Youtube have done an update it’s only been 1-3 hours, as of this writing we are going into hour number 12.

If this outage has taught us anything it should be to not put all of your eggs in one basket. I’ve been saying it in talks and to clients since the first Zuckerberg Senate hearings, start thinking about your digital marketing backup plan.

If these platforms do not exist tomorrow, do you have access to your customers? Do you know your customer's email addresses and how to get in touch with them? The only real channels that are guaranteed for you to directly communicate with your customers or clients are your blogs and your email campaigns. I know these are such a pain in the ass to do. These digital marketing campaigns actually take a bit of time, I get that. You can’t post a pretty picture and write an emotionally touching caption to get your message out there. But you should start considering a plan B.

There are other great platforms to build a presence on as well Youtube and Pinterest are two that if you are not already tinkering around on you should at least begin investigating.

Lately, I’ve been pushing current clients toward my Pinterest management package because it is a powerful search engine that as of right now I don’t see going anywhere but up. The power of brand awareness that Pinterest offers is incredible if you know how to use it. Start here, you already have amazing photo content of your products which is half the battle, because you have been posting those awesome images to Instagram. Just start posting them with a good description to Pinterest as well.

Consider blogging as well, if you are a service based business or a product based business you have things to say, things that your target market IS searching for.

I am really thinking positive that the “Facebook Family” figures it out and that we are back in action soon but then again if they don’t we’ll figure it out. We are in this together.

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.