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Three Reasons To Include Good Visual Elements In Your Content - Divahound

A person’s brain processes visual information 60 thousand times faster than text. And the text that people do read is only skimmed. Blog posts are a major marketing opportunity, so why do so many small business owners create blog posts and social content without any images?

Engagement

Plain and simple, a piece of online content with an engaging image looks better. People spend a lot of time online, and they see a lot of content. If you want your pieces to stand out, you need an enticing image to encourage people to not only see your stuff but to want to click on it to read more.

Tips for choosing a great image:

Make sure it conveys your brand voice.

If your products and services are luxurious, choosing a photo of teen girls at the mall doesn’t make sense. If you’re appealing to moms, make sure the image is something they can relate to and doesn’t look too fake or stock photo-y, even if you’re using stock images.

Ensure your image is content-related.

Just like an image that doesn’t reflect your brand’s voice isn’t ideal, choosing an image that is totally unrelated to your content doesn’t make sense either. On one hand, a very literal image of your product or stock photo of someone related to your services could be boring and not be exciting enough for people to want to read more. On the other hand, an image that is enticing but has nothing to do with your content can mislead a reader and be considered clickbait.

Images with people work well.

It’s easier for your content readers to identify with your images if they can imagine themselves in the content’s scenario. Choosing an image with a single person and subject often performs better than an image with more than one person or multiple subjects in it.

Shareability

Readers of your content are not only more likely to read more of your post if you include an image, but they are more likely to share the content with their social circle.

Making sure your images are large enough for different social platforms will also increase their shareability factor. When you plug your blog link into a Facebook post, does the auto-populated image fill the entire post area or is there only a small thumbnail image? By adjusting the sizes of your content’s images, you can change the way your posts appear to fans and followers in their social feeds.

Don’t Forget About Video!

If you aren’t incorporating video into your blogs and social posts, now is the time to begin. Not only do posts with video incur more engagement, but video viewers are 85% more likely to buy a product after watching a product video. Whether you film a promotional how-to video and post it to your blog and social channels or you invite your customers to submit their own videos using your product, videos will help earn eyeballs – and potential customers.

If you need more reasons to include images in your content or simply aren’t sure how to choose images or where to find them, contact Divahound today. Our years of content marketing experience can help your small business social media strategy move the needle on your bottom line.

Ten Ways to Expand Your Email Marketing List

by Shannon Huppin on June 28, 2017

Ten Ways to Expand Your Email Marketing List - Divahound

Email marketing is the new direct mail. The good news? Customers respond well to a quality email that offers value. The bad news is that people get a LOT of emails every day. Your email marketing efforts must stand out. But before any of that happens, you must have people ON your list to actually send emails to. List building isn’t easy, but getting started is. Here are some easy ways to get more emails onto your contact list so you can begin growing your business with email marketing.

  1. Do you have a physical store space? The old-fashioned pen and paper method still works. Place a sign-up sheet by your cash register or a high-traffic area and encourage people to sign up to receive email updates.
  2. Create a pop-up form on your website, so whenever a new IP address visits your web page, they are encouraged to sign up.
  3. Utilize your social media channels. Create a post that links people to your site to get them to sign up.
  4. Ask your team members or staff to help build your list. Have a contest to see who can sign up the most customers.
  5. Join a local chamber of commerce or industry organization that allows you to send email to members. Include a link to sign up for your newsletter.
  6. If your business has a loyalty program or birthday club, be sure to have members sign up for your email newsletter to get all the latest updates.
  7. Are you marketing to clients via text message? Ask those customers to sign up for your email newsletter. On the other side of that coin, you could ask your newsletter customers to opt in to receive text notifications.
  8. Include a “forward to a friend” option in every email. This allows your customers to begin engaging with their social circle and potentially get their friends and family to sign up for your list.
  9. In addition to creating a pop-up newsletter opt-in for your website, make sure there is a button to sign up for updates that is always live on the site.
  10. Make sure to collect business cards or put out a sign-up sheet at any local events or trade shows to capture information from people that pass by.

Always be aware of SPAM rules and don’t email your list so often that they get burnt out. If you don’t have anything interesting to say or any news that will add value, consider sending out a coupon or discount offer; people can’t get enough of a good deal! As your email list grows, so does the potential for your small business to do the same.

Need more help? Contact Divahound today!

Four Ways to Recycle or Repurpose Your Content

by Shannon Huppin on June 14, 2017

Four Ways to Recycle or Repurpose Your Content - Divahound

Small business owners wear many hats, and sometimes one aspect of your business may take more energy than another. Things get put on the back burner; that’s life. But one thing that often gets pushed to the side – and definitely shouldn’t – is marketing.

Firstly, you should have an established editorial or publishing calendar so you always know what is coming up and what pieces need to be written, posted and promoted on your social media channels. This careful planning can help prevent writer’s block and procrastination. That said, you can build in some breaks for you and your team by recycling content you’ve already created to garner better reach and increase SEO. Here are four ways to stretch your content:

Update A Post

As time goes by, your business changes, technology advances, and your products and services improve. One simple way to create a fresh new blog post without reinventing the wheel is to update an old post. Copy the blog post, make any necessary updates and publish as new. Even if customers know all about the topic at hand, chances are they will still get value from it.

Create an FAQ Post

After some time in business, you’re probably used to getting the same kinds of questions about what you do. You may already have some of these questions answered in an FAQ page on your website. Need a quick blog post? Make sure those questions are up to date, dump them in a blog format and publish! You can also use this opportunity to link to other blog posts to increase your SEO.

Create A “Listicle” of Video How-To’s

If you’ve created videos of how to use your products, create a blog post with multiple videos or video links. This list – or “listicle” (an article made of a list) – won’t take much time to pull together since the videos are already created. Simply arrange the videos in an order that makes sense, and write a couple of sentences about each video. The reader can take the time to watch the videos that will offer them value.

Promote Evergreen Content

Perhaps the easiest way to recycle your content is to not recycle it at all! You probably have a blog post about the history of your company, or a post detailing your best-selling product or service that can be reposted, just as it is. Unlike a blog post that needs a fresh angle, this content hasn’t changed and doesn’t need to be edited or tweaked. This kind of evergreen content is great, but don’t fall into the trap of reposting the same content too often!

Want some help to create a blog that drives traffic and sales? Contact Divahound today for expert advice and creative content ideas.

Is A Messenger Bot Right For Your Small Business?

by Shannon Huppin on May 31, 2017

Is A Messenger Bot Right For Your Small Business? - Divahound

With all the tasks you have on your plate at a small business owner, one thing you may not have much time for is answering customer questions. Even if your business prides itself on providing excellent service, there are plenty of other concerns that take up the limited space of your very busy day. With social media morphing into a top way that customers are reaching out to brands, messenger bots are becoming a popular way to connect with people without having customer service inquiries taking over your day.

What is A Messenger Bot?

When someone sends you a private message on a social media platform, there are a number of applications that can respond to those messages for you. These messenger bots (short for ‘robot’) can help answer simple questions for people needing information and provide them with answers or contact information on where to go to get more help.

How Does It Work?

Once you’ve chosen the right application for your business, you can program the software to be able to answer simple questions that you often get about your products and services. Begin with the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), and adjust your messenger bot settings as necessary. Even though you have your return or cancellation policy listed on your website, you probably get inquiries about it. A messenger bot can easily provide this information to anyone looking for it without dragging you away from other work.

But Won’t It Be Less Personal?

Yes, it can be. In a time when people are more tied to their devices than ever, personal connections are rare and really do make a difference. But as technology advances continue to put automated services in front of customers, many people prefer to get answers from a virtual source. For more complicated issues, there is no good replacement for a kind human being who will listen to a customer’s needs. But for high-level questions that don’t take a lot of time to answer, but take minutes out of your already-packed day, a messenger bot can be a good option.

Tips For Success

As with any part of marketing your business, a messenger bot should be treated as a public relations tool. Here are some things to consider if you choose to employ an automated service like this:

Be Up Front

Let customers know they aren’t talking to a real person. Most people know right away if the messenger is a bot, but being transparent is always a good idea.

Provide Menus

Helping people get the information they want quickly is key. Menus can divide content into easy-to-navigate sections.

Provide A Real-Life Contact

In the event that the messenger bot isn’t sophisticated enough to solve a customer’s issue, be sure to provide a contact number where they can talk to a real person.

Want an experienced partner in providing top-notch digital content and strategic advice? Contact Divahound today.

Small Businesses – How To Research Relevant Hashtags

by Shannon Huppin on May 17, 2017

Small Businesses - How To Research Relevant Hashtags

Using hashtags in your social media marketing efforts is one of the quickest and easiest ways to do two things. First, it helps people find your content. Second, it connects you with other users interested in similar subjects. Among those people interested in similar subjects, you’ll probably find an influencer that could be a potentially lucrative connection.

On the other side of the hashtag coin, however, if you use the wrong hashtags you won’t be doing your small business any favors. Your content will be seen, but probably not by the right people.

Related: Why Hashtags Matter To Small Businesses

What’s a small business owner to do? The answer is simply to find the right hashtags. These tips and tools will set you off on the right foot:

Niche Industry Hashtags

Start with finding what hashtags are trending in your industry. Tools like Hashtagify.me allow you to search for any topic and you’ll be able to see the top 10 hashtags related to that subject. Sites like HashAtIt.com and Hashtags.org allow you to search terms across multiple social platforms.

Influencer Hashtags

Once you’ve discovered what hashtags are being used in your industry, find some influencers that are using those hashtags relevant to your fans and followers. Take some time looking through some top posts of the people that are making waves in your industry. There are also tools like Twitonomy that can help you see what hashtags are resonating with the followers of a particular user.

Timing

We know that when you post content makes a difference. What if you could know which hashtags were trending in real time? Keyhole allows you to see that exact info. When you’ve got your post ready and you’re prepared to post it, knowing which hashtags are trending right now can help your content reach more people.

Divahound can help you craft the right content and get it in front of the right eyeballs to make a difference for your small business. Contact us today to get started.

Three Reasons to Hire Help for your Social Media Marketing

Social media is one of the most affordable ways to market your small business in 2017, and it’s tempting to think you can save a lot of cash by doing it yourself. The good news is, you absolutely can. The even better news is that you can make it successful by hiring someone you trust to help you take your digital marketing efforts to the next level.

Time

You’re busy. Your small business takes up a lot of your time, and social media can eat up even more of that precious time. This is the number one reason to hire someone to help with your social media efforts. The simple fact that your time won’t be taken up with signing in to accounts, checking on notifications and interacting with your audience means that you’ll have more time to devote to making your small business run.

Value

A quality social media manager is worth way more than the money you will spend. If budget is your concern, make sure your hire understands your parameters and can work within them. A good social media or community manager can give you the best bang for your buck by working with you to create an actionable plan that will achieve the results you’re looking for. In addition to saving you time, hiring help for your digital marketing means you’re getting an expert to craft content that resonates with your fans and followers. Not only will the content be more effective, but you won’t have to waste time trying to think of something to post.

Growth

There are many plates to juggle as a small business owner, and one of the big ones is keeping the pipeline filled so that your business continues to grow. Top-notch social media management helps you focus on growth in those exact ways. You’ll have the time you need to work on developing your business, and targeted social media content will drive footsteps to your door and eyeballs to your website. When you determine goals and set benchmarks, you’ll be able to see with concrete certainty if your efforts are working (they will) and where you can tweak them to make them even better (which they can be).

By choosing to hire an experienced social media manager, you’re sending a message to your fans and followers. You’re telling them you care enough about their business to create content that adds value to their newsfeed and that you want to listen to their comments and concerns. Are you ready to get started? Contact Divahound today to see how we can work with you to create a plan, take some digital marketing tasks off your plate and help your small business grow.

Four Tips for Taking Fantastic Instagram Photos

by Shannon Huppin on April 19, 2017

Four Tips for Taking Fantastic Instagram Photos - Divahound

Instagram is a popular and growing social media platform, with 600 million monthly users. New features like Instagram stories have brands lining up to engage with their audiences via this trendy, image-focused network. If you already have an Instagram account, you’re on your way to success! These tips are for you and your team to learn how to take some excellent photos for Instagram to market your small business.

Choose Lighting Wisely

One of the best ways to get a good Instagram photo is to have good lighting. The term “good” can be defined differently for every business, but in general, you need enough light to be able to capture a powerful image.

Many successful Instagram users prefer natural light to artificial or “indoor” light. If you have the option to take your product outside or can utilize light from a window, that helps set a mood for your image. For up close or detailed shots, consider creating a mini “photo studio” in your workspace with a clean, uncluttered background and good artificial lighting.

Angle Matters
Depending on the subject of your photo, where you choose to take your photo from matters. Taking a photo from the side may be the best way to capture your product. For other things, like food or intricate items, taking a top-down approach may look good as well. Playing with the angles will help you learn how best to line up your shots and which of those kinds of photos rings true with your followers.

Composition – Getting It All In The Shot

Along with angle, composing a photo well can make a difference in how the end product appears on Instagram. There aren’t a lot of hard and fast rules about how to compose well, but in general, there is a subject of a photo and the rest is background noise. While the subject is the MOST important part of the shot, the background stuff can help tell part of the story. What do you want your followers to see? What do you want them to feel? These are the questions you should be thinking about when positioning yourself – or your subject – for a photo.

Have Some FUN

Don’t get too hung up on likes and comments. It takes time to identify your small business’s voice and identity on Instagram. Some really great shots have come from candid moments, goofy selfies and even mistakes. Try turning on “Burst Mode” to capture a freeze-frame effect of some interesting action. Play with different filters and editing tools on Instagram or other image-editing app. Don’t be afraid to experiment. After a while, you may see your brand’s voice emerging on its own.

Have questions about how you can market your small business on Instagram? Contact Divahound today  – we can help!

Top Two Ways to Build Brand Loyalty and Trust with Social Media

Small business owners know how important it is to keep a customer once you have them. Building loyalty among a trusted group of clients is the best way to create the foundation for a successful business for years to come.

Respond to Comments and Private Messages

When people feel ignored, they aren’t inclined to continue to spend time and money with a brand. By not responding to comments and questions posted on your social channels, your fans and followers may think one of two things:

1. The brand isn’t paying attention.

So many brands use social media as a one-way bullhorn for their information. They forget that there are real people on the other side of that bullhorn that want to interact with them. If you can’t take a few minutes to respond to comments on social media, will the brand respond when a really important issue comes up?

2. The brand is paying attention and doesn’t care enough to answer.

Perhaps worse than not listening via social media channels is listening but not taking the time to answer. By acting only as an observer and choosing not to interact with your audience, fans and followers will see the brand as unfeeling and uncaring.

The bad news is that either of those things can make your customers feel like they aren’t important to your business. When you schedule some time into your day to check into your social platforms and respond to comments and questions, you’ll be better able to keep a finger on the pulse of what your target audience wants and needs. Plus, you can take care of any issues before they become a PR nightmare.

Be Transparent

When a business can be open and honest about their processes, products, and people, a base level of trust is created between a brand and its customers. That trust grows when a transparent attitude is taken with every facet of the business.

Business owners feel a sense of pride in what they do, and rightfully so. But that pride can shift into a fear of “showing their cards” or letting proprietary information slip through the cracks. Your small business can be transparent and foster a sense of openness with your customers without giving away any truly private details. Tell your customers when things go right, and tell them when things go wrong. Tell them what actions you are taking to improve the products, services, and business as a whole. Ask for their input. And take a genuine interest in building a relationship with them.

Your customers keep your business afloat, so make sure they know that you care about them.

Want some other ways to use social media to build your small business? Contact us today!

LinkedIn Company Pages for Small Businesses - Changes Ahead! - Divahound

Late in 2016, LinkedIn made some major changes to the way company pages are displayed and utilized by users. The cleaner, more minimalistic look and feel of the pages makes information easier to find and read. The new page look also gives people a clearer picture into how your small business began, how it’s run and why your business is the best choice for a prospective customer’s next projects.

Here are three major areas in which you’ll see changes, and how they can affect your small business:

New Content

The three main sections of content on company profile pages now include Overview, Jobs, and Life. The Overview section provides readers a high-level view of your business, as well as some company history and basic facts. The Jobs section is a great place to post any openings at your company. LinkedIn is a great social platform to hire great talent, so take advantage of it! The Life section of content is a great way to give readers a snapshot of the culture at your business. Show your audience what makes your company special – and video content fits nicely in this new format.

Profile Bar

In the new profile header at the top of the page, you can manage who your page administrators are. An admin is someone who can make changes to your company page, including your hours of operation, company history as well as profile images. Make sure you only allow people with the appropriate knowledge of your business to be assigned as admins.

Analytics

A newly revamped analytics section has been added to the updates page, and it could be one of the most valuable changes to the LinkedIn company page. This information can help you see who has liked, commented or shared your posts from the last seven days, as well as a percentage change from the previous week. What can this information do for your small business? It can help you determine what kind of updates your audience is most engaging with. Then you can adjust your content strategy accordingly. If you post the same kind of content for every update, chances are you aren’t getting the best engagement possible. Try posting a variety of types of content, and use the new analytics to gauge what kind gets the best result.

We have experience in crafting engaging posts as well as creating pages that attract customers. If you want help setting up an impactful LinkedIn company page, Contact us today.

Ten Spring Social Media Post Ideas

by Shannon Huppin on March 8, 2017

Ten Spring Social Media Post Ideas

After the holidays, the new year and the rush of Valentine’s Day, your content generation imagination may be spent! But now is no time to let up! If you’ve created a solid social media plan for the year, you should already have your monthly sales and product launches worked into your calendar. Here are some other posting ideas for the season. These are ways to keep your customers engaged without a lot of brainpower on your end.

National Peanut Cluster Day – March 8

Whether or not your small business has anything to do with peanut clusters, a fun and funky post about something completely harmless keeps the tone light and followers entertained. Not into peanut clusters? There are plenty of other fun days, weeks and monthly observations about which you can create a post.

  1. Patrick’s Day

Everyone loves this green-filled holiday. If your small business or family has Irish roots, it’s a no-brainer. But even if you don’t have any ties to Ireland, post about St. Patrick’s Day and wish your fans and followers some luck.

  1. Daylight Savings

Many people don’t like to lose the sleep on the day we “spring forward,” but focus on the days getting longer and people getting more daylight in their day.

  1. First Day of Spring

The changing of the seasons is always an easy social post idea. People are glad that the cold Winter is over and a season of renewal is here.

  1. Easter/Passover

If a religious post is in line with your business’s ideals, then an Easter or Passover post may be appropriate.

  1. Spring Cleaning

People are ready to start airing out their homes and cleaning out any old junk that has gathered over the darker seasons. Do your products or services help them do this?

  1. Get Outside

A weather-related post is a nice way to celebrate the season, especially on a nice day or when you first see the signs of trees budding or flowers blooming.

  1. Festivals

Does your community have any Spring celebrations to post about? Visit your local cherry blossom festival or tulip celebration and create a post for your social media platforms showing you and your team out in the community.

  1. Turn Over A New Leaf

A fresh season brings the desire to create something new, so create a video or post showing your staff learning a new skill. Taking up a new hobby is a fun way to engage with your audience, and asking them what they are learning fosters engagement.

  1. Volunteering

With nicer weather and turning over a new leaf, getting involved in your community through volunteering efforts is a great way to create shareable content. Invite your customers, fans, and followers to join you!

  1. Office Tour

Is your office doing a little Spring cleaning of your own? Are you making improvements or expanding your work space? A video office tour gives your audience a “behind the scenes” look into your work, creating a sense of transparency and building trust.

There are many, many more ways to engage with your social media fans this season. Want help crafting a plan for Spring and the rest of the year? Contact us today!