Category: Wellbeing Business

Do you run a wellbeing business? Whatever your discipline, our wellbeing business category is full of useful posts to help you navigate your way around the confusing world of wellbeing marketing.

How to market your yoga business without losing your soul

Following last week’s Content Kitchen video How Do I Grow My Yoga Business? we promised to delve deeper in this follow-up post. In the video Guy offers three ways to start growing your yoga business without losing your soul:

  1. think like an entrepreneur
  2. embrace technology
  3. drop the jargon

So let’s dive in!

1. How do you think like an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurs are not just business owners but are creative and dynamic forces often turning their passion into a thriving and sustainable business.

If you’re a yoga teacher then you should treat your students like customers. Besides inspiring them in your yoga classes, your job is to delight them outside the yoga studio. Start to think about your customer life cycle. Do you offer your customers a clear path of development they can follow? For example, if you offer pregnancy yoga at your studio, can you develop post-natal classes to encourage your new mothers back into your regular schedule?

Know when to give something away or charge for it. Delighting your customers means surprising them in a good way. From free content in the form of instructional videos or a free class or workshop, delight is hard to forget.

Start thinking about how you can package your yoga services for your customers. What do beginners need, what do your more experienced customers need? This will help make it clear how they can progress with you.

Be innovative. What do you have that no-one else offers or that makes you unique? What can you use to your advantage: what is unique about your skills, city or network of contacts that you can use to stand out and reach more people? For example, you’re a yoga teacher who is also an artist, so your classes tap into and promote creativity and you offer retreats that blend landscape painting and yoga classes.

Standing apart from the generic yoga teacher crowd is about finding your own interesting angle or niche. That doesn’t mean you have to come up with some crazy new idea, it’s simply about letting people know who you are and what your unique perspective on the practice is.

Running a business on your own is very hard. Who can you partner with? Get a mentor or coach, join an online community and get inspired!

2. How do you embrace technology as a yoga business?

The first step is to get organised!

The most successful entrepreneurs know that their time is valuable. It’s often easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of admin and organisation that running a yoga business can generate. Manage your time using cloud-based email, calendars and documents. Create task lists and review them. Here at Wildheart we use an organisational tool called Trello, because it’s so satisfying dragging items into to-do, doing and done!

Take time to regularly reflect on what’s urgent versus what’s important. Urgent stuff is always knocking loudly on your door but checking off important tasks is what helps you grow your business. It’s easy to get confused between the two. You need to take time out regularly to keep track of these two streams of tasks. A business coach or mentor can help with this.

Technology is very good at repetitive tasks – much better than humans. But it takes time to set up. If you find yourself repeating tasks more than 3 – 5 times over a period of time then you should question whether you can use technology to make your life easier.

Emails

If you want to come across as professional you need a proper email address – Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail accounts are for amateurs.

Use boiler-plate responses – do you get the same questions over and over again by email from new customers? Create templates that you can copy and paste from and be sure to have an FAQs page on your website.

Website

You must be able to quickly add and update pages on your own website, whether that’s using a simple blog template from WordPress or a more complex design that involves programming code. Get some online training in the areas you feel most lost. Make sure your website is current. If you run any online courses, a teaser or taster video helps showcase your most recent activity.

Blogging

Good quality blogging is essential for the SEO (search engine optimisation) of your website, which means greater visibility and reputability for your yoga business. Writing blog posts that are useful and that will be shared on social networks is important, but also using good links from popular, well-respected sites can help too. Make sure you don’t link to irrelevant sites as Google doesn’t like this! One way of making sure you have fresh content on your website is to partner with other teachers who like writing and feature regular ‘guest’ blog posts.

Email marketing

You want to keep your students up to date with all your activities, so you should send a weekly or monthly newsletter. Including a blog post in your newsletter is very effective in terms of engaging with your students, as this is something they will look out for and share with their network.

As we explained in How to nurture your community by segmenting your email list, by inviting your subscribers to join groups relevant to their interests you can target your emails more specifically. But don’t give people more than 3 or 5 things to opt-in to. Every segment you create needs to be regularly maintained, so make sure you keep your list up-to-date and only send relevant content to each segment.

Social media

Be very careful about how much time you spend on Facebook and other social media channels. They are designed to be engaging and fun, not to make you money. Beware of trends and fads. A good rule of thumb is: can you generate revenue from what you’re about to do on social media? Selfies and yoga challenges are fun for other yogis but quickly turn into yesterday’s newsfeed.

Creating posts and other content that people will want to return to is the key. One way you can do this is by posting in other relevant groups. Rather than just posting a link to your website (which will be deleted if not appropriate), become part of the community. Making meaningful contributions to discussions where people are asking for advice and help can ensure your name (and website) pop up on a regular basis. This will help to grow your reputation and is a good way to attract more credibility either as a teacher or provider of online courses.

Images

Think about your potential students or customers. The kinds of images you present say a lot about the kind of teacher or yoga professional you are. Handstands on glorious beaches are fun but this could alienate a whole group of people who might not resonate with that idea. Headshots and more generic images are preferable. Check out our Creating images for your website post for more detailed guidance on this.

Video

It takes a lot of effort to get good at delivering video content. You need to commit in order to make it work, and we’re talking 12 – 24 months. There’s also a lot of technology in video, as most professional content is produced using SLR digital cameras, professional lighting and, most importantly, a good microphone. However, your trusty iPhone is the perfect starter camera, and a relatively decent microphone is affordable. See our planning your video blog post for more guidance on this. If you’re really camera shy, start with blog writing instead. Or perhaps try recording a podcast, there are plenty of great apps to get you started.

3. Drop the jargon

Yoga is an eclectic blend of Eastern philosophy and Western movement practices. However, for beginner students in particular, ‘yoga jargon’ – long words in Sanskrit or over anatomical terminology – is a turn off.

Use plain English and simple terms where possible. Speak in a language your students (and potential students) can relate to and understand. If you’re a teacher or studio owner, make sure your class descriptions are straightforward – a ‘deep Kali-inspired Vinyasa Flow’ means absolutely nothing to most people, but ‘a more challenging flowing style of yoga which connects breath and postures together’ tells it like it is.

We all suffer from the ‘curse of knowledge’ when running our own business. But resist the temptation to show how much you know and let your expertise shine through your teaching instead.

We hope this article has inspired you to start growing your yoga business by thinking like an entrepreneur, making the most of technology and dropping the jargon. If you need help to start growing your yoga business without losing your soul, why not check out our Packages page – we’ve designed packages just for you!

See how we’ve helped our clients


Content Kitchen 14: How do I grow my yoga business?

Brought to you on the first Friday of each month, Content Kitchen is a series of videos in which our co-founder Guy answers your content marketing questions. Why Content Kitchen? Because they’re recorded in Guy’s kitchen of course!

How do I grow my yoga business?

If you’re an independent yoga teacher, own a yoga studio or run another online yoga business, you’re in the right place! In this month’s Content Kitchen video, Guy gives 3 tips for what to think about when starting to grow your yoga business.

Remember: technology is your friend!

What next?

In our follow-up post we go deeper into this topic, sharing our insights into how you can grow your yoga business without losing your authentic voice. Check it out: How to market your yoga business without losing your soul


What is authentic content marketing?

When we started Wildheart Media our strapline was “Content marketing with passion”. Our business is ever growing and evolving and it’s important for us to continually adapt to these changes. So, we recently changed our strapline to “Authentic content marketing”.

In this post we’ll explain why we made this change and what it means for both our business and our clients.

What is content marketing with passion?

Content marketing is all about building relationships. And the most important relationships for any business are with its customers. Because you can’t exactly do much business without any customers, can you?

Because content marketing is focused around your website, email marketing and social media, your main relationships actually span wider than this. It’s not just your customers you’re appealing to; it’s also your website visitors, your email subscribers and your social followers. In other words: your audience.

Your audience is the absolute heart of content marketing. The aim of successful content marketing is to build a relationship with your audience by creating content they’ll love. You want to be instilling a sense of trust and credibility by creating content they find useful, interesting, inspiring and entertaining that will keep them coming back for more. And you do this by sharing what you’re good at in your business.

In other words: content marketing is about building real relationships with your audience by sharing your passion.

Sharing is the new selling

Content marketing is not about making a quick sale. There should be no hard sell tactics or manipulating manoeuvres involved. You’re not trying to trick anyone or pull the wool over anyone’s eyes.

Your ultimate goal is to build lasting relationships with your audience. Some of your web visitors will turn into email subscribers and some of your email subscribers will turn into actual customers. But often not straight away; growing your audience takes time.

In order to build trust with your audience and demonstrate your expertise, you first need to make sure your website is crystal clear about what you offer and makes it easy for visitors to take the next step with you. Once this foundation is in place you need to be publishing regular, high quality content on your website. This can be in the form of blog posts or ‘cornerstone content’ such as an FAQs page, beginners guides, tutorial videos or a Start Here page. You can find out more about this is in How to create awesome cornerstone content.

Then, you need to start sending this out to your audience via email campaigns and social media updates. You need to be publishing content they’re interested in and you need to grab their attention with each email and post. So you need to know your audience really well.

One way to help build authority in your field is to give away content in return for an email address. This provides a low-impact way for your audience to engage with you, get to know you as a brand and see if what you offer resonates with them. And it’s a great way for you to start building your email list. You can read more about this in our article Why you should give away content to grow your business.

Why authentic content marketing?

At Wildheart Media we’ve recently found our perfect niche – marketing for yoga businesses. Our team members are all dedicated long-term yoga practitioners and we’ve been helping yoga businesses grow for many years. Until now we’ve felt a certain resistance to being pigeonholed into only working with yoga businesses, but we’ve finally decided to embrace this niche with open arms! And, as is so often the way when you find the right path, things seem to be flowing much more easily for us now.

One of the reasons we believe content marketing is so perfectly suited to yoga businesses is because they both have authenticity at their core. In our experience, most yoga teachers and yoga studios are resistant to traditional marketing because it feels too fake, ‘salesy’ or even downright manipulative. And yoga isn’t something that can be sold.

But content marketing is quite the opposite. In fact, in a sense, it isn’t really marketing at all. It’s simply using your authentic voice and passion to share what you do with others. Which is exactly what you’re doing as a teacher in the yoga studio. You see, passion is a very infectious thing. And it’s your passion that will inspire passionate action in others – whether in your teaching or your marketing.

At Wildheart Media we’re passionate about content marketing. But we’re even more passionate about authenticity. Our approach is to help you share what you love with others, in a genuine way without losing your authentic voice or soul.

Hence…

Wildheart Media: authentic content marketing


Creating a measurement plan for your business

In our recent Content Kitchen video we gave you 3 handy tips for What should I measure on my website? In this post we dive deeper into how you should measure the marketing for your business. Why? Because:

Why should I measure my marketing?

The purpose of your marketing activities is to increase awareness and credibility of your business. Your marketing campaigns should directly or indirectly lead to an increase in sales.

Of course, it goes without saying that the best way to grow your business is to do a brilliant job for your existing customers so that their positive experience turns into repeat business and referrals.

A word of warning!

As Guy mentions in his Content Kitchen video, there’s so much you can measure on your website that it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the data. That’s why it’s so important to stay disciplined by setting primary and secondary goals.

The rest of the data that’s available can be very useful as a diagnostic tool to help figure out why your website and marketing are not performing as well as you’d like. But to begin with, stick with your primary and secondary goals only and avoid vanity metrics – let’s get those out of the way first.

Vanity metrics

Both business owners and marketers alike commonly fall foul of vanity metrics. It can be all too easy to use these tempting numbers to give you a false sense of security that things are headed in the right way. Here are some examples of vanity metrics:

Total No. of website visitors

Why? Because it’s what people ‘do’ on your site that matters. Instead of feeling good about big numbers continuously rising, you need to set a primary goal for your site and then measure how many people convert each month.

Size of your email list

Why? Because the key metric for engagement is the click-through rate of individual emails. This indicates that people are opening your email and are interested enough to take action – by clicking a link.

Social media likes & follows

It might feel good to have lots of Facebook likes and Twitter followers, but this is merely another vanity metric. Social media is a great tool to get more traffic to your website, but it’s not the end goal. When we create a measurement plan at Wildheart we don’t focus on social media; we only focus on the website. For some useful tips about using social media for your business, check out our video What social networks should my business be on?

Setting a primary goal for your business website

The ultimate goal of every business website is to generate revenue. If you sell products then this revenue is directly generated by product sales – either digital or physical – through your site. If you take payments through your site then it’s best practice to set up a goal in Google Analytics showing your monthly sales total by revenue on your site.

What about consultancy businesses?

If your product is a service that’s paid for offline, then your primary goal is a little more complicated, but certainly still manageable. Your primary goal will be the number of business enquires through your site that convert to paying customers in any given month. In order to keep your data accurate, it’s best to review invoices at the end of the month and add up the total of those invoices that originated from a website enquiry. You’ll most likely need to manually update a spreadsheet each month to track your primary goal.

The power of a primary goal is it helps you answer the most important question: How much revenue is our website generating each month? The next question for almost every business will then be: What do we need to do to increase this number? The answers to this question lie in your secondary goals.

Setting secondary goals for your business website

Secondary goals track your progress towards that all important primary revenue-generating goal. Here are some secondary goals that measure the engagement of your website audience:

No. of email signups

This is one of your most important secondary goals if you care about growing your audience and therefore your potential customers – that’ll be all of us then! Building your email list is still by far the most effective way of growing your audience of potential customers. In fact, it’s “a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media—nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined” – McKinsey & Company.

Bounce rate

A bounce is when someone visits a page on your website and then leaves without visiting any other pages. So, a 70% bounce rate means that 70% of your website visitors only looked at one page and then left your site.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that a lower bounce rate is good and a higher bounce rate is bad, but that would be a dangerous assumption to make without considering other factors. As an example, let’s take one of our clients who runs a restaurant with a daily lunch menu. We weren’t surprised to find that most of their visitors were only checking the menu page and then leaving the site. In this case, the lunch menu page had a high bounce rate of around 90%. So, it really does depend on what you’re asking people to do on your website.

Average session duration

This is the total number of visitors divided into the total time they spent on your site. It’s a good indicator of whether people are reading, watching or listening to your content and how long they’re spending on this.

Average number of pages per session

This is the total number of visitors divided into the total number of pages they visited. It’s a useful metric to see if people are flowing through the content of your site as you would like them to.

No. of exits

Exits are measured as a percentage and this metric shows you the percentage of visitors who exited from specific pages. It’s a useful indicator of where people are leaving your site.

Going deeper

While site-wide secondary goals are very useful, you’ll also want to drill down into the nitty gritty of specific pages where you’re asking your visitors to take action. These are called sales pages and should always have a very clear call-to-action. These pages sit one step before the final conversion in your sales funnel.

“What’s a sales funnel?” we hear you cry!

Are you creating a sales funnel for your visitors?

Your business website should be organised in a way that leads people down a funnel. The last step of the funnel is called a conversion. This is the point when someone makes a purchase and converts from being a potential customer to a customer.

Our sales funnel

On the Wildheart website we currently have several main sales pages at the end of our funnel: our individual packages pages. These pages then direct visitors to our final conversion page: Book a Free Consultation.

Using your website analytics to help you decide what marketing campaigns to run

One of the most powerful uses for your website analytics is to give you clues as to where your visitors are coming from and how engaged they are. In marketing speak we call this segmenting your audience.

Why would you want to do this? Because choosing the source that has the best chance of leading to conversions is important when you run marketing campaigns.

Segmenting your audience

So, the next step is segmenting your content by source. What does this mean? Well, traffic to your site comes from multiple sources, including:

  • Direct (people who know your web address or who have bookmarked your site)
  • Search (traffic from search engines)
  • Email (traffic from your email campaigns)
  • Social (traffic from social networks)
  • Referral (websites that link to yours)

When you look at your top performing content by source you’ll be able to see where your audience is engaging with your content. This gives you a good insight into where to focus your marketing efforts.

An example from our own site

Since our relaunch in June 2016, if we look at our blog page we see the following top 5 sources:

  1. Direct traffic – visitors stay on average 56 seconds with a bounce rate of 55%
  2. Twitter – visitors stay an average of 1 min 13 seconds with a bounce rate of 59%
  3. Drip – visitors stay an average of 38 seconds with a bounce rate of 16%
  4. Google – visitors stay an average of 57 seconds with a bounce rate of 16%
  5. LinkedIn – visitors stay an average of 57 seconds with a bounce rate of 10%

(If you’re wondering what Drip is, it’s the awesome marketing automation software we use.)

You can see from these stats that our welcome tweets are driving good new traffic to our blog page. You’ll also notice that our audiences from Drip, Google and LinkedIn are highly engaged and most go on to view at least 1 other page after visiting our blog page (low bounce rate).

When we change our perspective from a specific page and instead look at these sources on a site-wide level we see that:

  1. Direct traffic has a bounce rate of 47% with 3 pages/session with a 3:43 average session duration from 71% new sessions
  2. Google traffic has a bounce rate of 46% with 2.6 pages/session with a 2:01 average session duration from 73% new sessions
  3. Twitter traffic has a bounce rate of 44% with 2.3 pages/session with a 1:26 average session duration from 78% new sessions
  4. Drip traffic has a bounce rate of 54% with 3.2 pages/session with a 5:45 average session duration from 15% new sessions

The new sessions metric is interesting because it shows that Direct, Google and Twitter are all bringing in over 70% new sessions from first time visitors to our site.

The other standout metrics are the average session duration and pages/session for both Direct and Drip. This is where our most engaged audience is and tells us we’re creating content that resonates with them.

Don’t get lost in the numbers!

Creating a measurement plan for your business website can seem overwhelming at first, but try not to get lost in the numbers.

The important thing to remember is stay disciplined! And make sure you:

  • consistently measure your primary and secondary goals,
  • pay special attention to your key sales pages and conversion pages,
  • measure bounce rate, time on page and exit rate on these key pages.

Final thought

Pulling all this data together every month can be really time consuming. So, once you’re sure you’re measuring the right metrics, you’ll want to take the next step which is to automate your reporting. This means all your data will be pulled into one handy report that you can share with your team each month.

If you need help creating a measurement plan, why not sign up to our SEO Package? We’ll get you set up with Google Analytics or review your existing settings if it’s already installed on your site. As an add-on we’ll work with you to create a measurement plan that fits your business and gives you meaningful insights into how you can start attracting more customers and generating more revenue.


Sharing and ownership: 2 keys to your content kingdom

In this month’s Content Kitchen video Guy highlighted the importance of having your own website in this social media age.

You may already know that content is king and why you should be giving away content in order to grow your business. But what should you give away and what should you keep?

In this post we’re going to explore 2 keys to the content kingdom: ownership and sharing. And why you should be posting your own original content on a website you own.

The paradox of knowledge vs sharing

If knowledge is important in the knowledge economy then how can it be good to give it away?

Ideas need to travel so that they can spread and reach enough minds in order to bring about change. The printing press was a revolution in how ideas travelled. All of a sudden it was possible to create exact copies of books cheaply and quickly. With this ability to create copies came the need for copyright.

Copyright is the exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work. It’s important to note that copyright doesn’t protect the ideas or concepts within, only the distribution of them.

Let’s hop over the telephone, skip over the radio and jump over the television to land at the next great communication revolution – the internet. The internet absorbed all the innovation that came before it and out of it was born the world wide web, created in 1989 by English scientist Tim Berners-Lee. The world wide web gave us the web browser – which you’re using right now to read this.

Digital content gave us the means to instantly create infinite copies faster and more cheaply than was ever dreamed possible before. Ideas spread faster now than they ever have, thanks to search engines and social media. This sharing of ideas in the form of content continues to transform our lives.

Key #1: ownership

It’s now become standard for companies to have a virtual home in this digital domain. This is your company website. You even have your own domain name. Ours is wildheartmedia.com. This is where we create and store all our original content. But we can’t control who finds us, copies or shares our content. In fact, we want people to make copies of and share our content – as long as they attribute it to us.

Creative Commons is a much needed upgrade to copyright designed to meet the needs of our modern times.

All of this can get confusing for businesses. Especially if you get paid for your ideas. But if you don’t share your ideas no-one will find them – or you. So it’s really important that you create your own original content on your own domain.

Whilst you most likely own the content you share on various social media networks, it’s very easy for ownership to get lost in the wave of social sharing. So, as a general rule, we always encourage our customers to own their content by first publishing it on their own domain.

Key #2: sharing

Here at Wildheart we give away almost everything: we share our strategies, our tactics and our processes. We even create videos showing you lots of great content marketing tips. We do all of this because it shows we’re confident and really know our stuff.

So how do we actually add value? We add value when we work with our customers. Because there’s one thing we can’t give away. And that’s context.

What this means is that when we work with customers we help them to do the right thing with their content marketing at the right time. This is what helps them get results. By repeating this process over and over again we build deep and rewarding relationships that help businesses grow over time.

Where do you draw the line?

In this new sharing economy, high quality content is freely available. And, yes, your competitors are giving it away too. This forces businesses to be more creative about how you give away or share your content. It’s also more important now to be clear about where you draw the line in your own business.

What do you give away in order to attract new customers and what do you keep to yourselves? Let us know in the comments section below.

 


4 things you need for successful content marketing

In How to ride the content marketing wave to grow your business, we defined content marketing as a way of promoting your business via regular content you publish on your website, email campaigns and social media.

It’s an ongoing process that’s all about communicating with your audience and potential customers without directly selling to them. The main aim is to educate and inform, although a little entertainment goes a long way too!

So, how do you get started?

4 essential ingredients

Before you can even begin to grow your business with content marketing, there are a few things you need to put in place first. Well, 4 to be precise.

Without these 4 key ingredients, your business simply won’t have the solid foundation it needs for growth.

You may have heard of the 3 Ps, but what’s the 4th ingredient…?

People

People are the bedrock of your business. Your business simply can’t exist without them.

Good relationships with clients are essential. Are you nurturing those relationships? Are you thinking about what your clients want? How they feel? How they behave? Are you considering your clients’ pain points and doing your utmost to solve their problems? Are you really meeting their needs?

Of course, your clients are only one side of your business. The people you employ, contract or collaborate with to do the work are just as important. Are you considering your own people’s needs too? Do they feel valued and respected? Are they motivated? Are they happy?

Product

It stands to reason that you need a great product in order to successfully market it. This means a product or service that is in demand and that people value and care about.

Sure, some businesses might have awesome marketing campaigns but if their product isn’t up to scratch, it simply won’t stand the test of time.

Similarly, a business might have a truly great product, but without the right marketing it simply won’t sell. It needs to be marketed in the right way, to the right audience, to get the best results.

Process

Process is the key to any successful business. You must have simple, clear and repeatable processes in order to successfully deliver your product or service.

In order to establish your processes, you need to think through every scenario of your business. What’s the first touch point for your clients? How can they contact you? What happens next? What systems do you need in place to manage orders or bookings? Do you need a CRM (customer relationship management software)? Who will manage this? Do you need a follow-up or keep-in-touch process? What happens in the event of a cancellation or refund? What other scenarios might occur?

Processes are very important for your people: so your team knows what they need to do and when; and your clients know what you’re doing and why.

A large number of complaints and conflicts within business are due to mismanaged expectations. Having clear processes in your business helps to set people’s expectations at every level – which is crucial for your success.

An optimised website

You may already be aware of the importance of the 3 Ps in business. You may already have good people, a great product and clear processes. But what about your website? It could be letting you down.

Does your website have:

  • A clear call to action on each page?
  • A simple, well-organised structure?
  • A user friendly interface with easy-to-find pages?
  • A super fast loading speed, even for pages with lots of images?

If you answered no to any of these questions, the chances are your website could be letting you down. The good news is that we can help! Our packages are exactly what you need to ensure your website is fully optimised and set up in just the right way for you to start growing your business with content marketing.

As well as conducting in-depth research to find out who your audience is, what content they want and how to keep them coming back for more, in our SEO package, we can also fine-tune your website with all this essential geeky stuff:

  • Review site structure & reorganise pages
  • Carry out website content audit
  • Implement SEO recommendations
  • Review page goals and calls to action
  • Re-categorise existing blog posts
  • Set up MailChimp account, email list and branded email template
  • Set up analytics
  • Install essential WordPress plugins
  • Optimise performance

Book a free consultation

Successful content marketing takes time and patience. In order to stand a chance of growing your business, it’s essential that you have these 4 ingredients in place.

Once you have your great people, awesome product and smooth processes in place, you’re ready to make sure your website is set up just right.

Why not book a free consultation today and find out how we can help you get the results you need from your website and marketing.

Book a free consultation


Content Kitchen 5: How does Brexit affect my content marketing?

Brought to you on the first Friday of each month, Content Kitchen is a series of videos in which our co-founder Guy answers your content marketing questions. Why Content Kitchen? Because they’re recorded in Guy’s kitchen of course!

How does Brexit affect my content marketing?

This month we focus on the topic on everyone’s lips right now – Brexit. Whichever way you voted in the EU referendum, one thing’s for certain – emotions are running high. This was probably the biggest political decision of our generation so far and the UK is now in turmoil.

So how does it affect your business? In this month’s Content Kitchen video, Guy suggests the top 3 things you should be doing with your content marketing in the aftermath of the referendum.

If we have one message for you in these times of uncertainty, it’s this:

Keep calm and carry on content marketing

What next?

In the video Guy suggests the key areas to focus on for your content marketing. For more information, check out our blog posts on these topics below:

What is evergreen content and why should you create it?

Why you should give away content to grow your business

An introduction to Lead Magnets: how to use your WordPress blog to grow your email list


How to ride the content marketing wave to grow your business

If you want to grow your business, you need content marketing. Sounds simple, right? Well it is. You just need to know where to start. Oh, and you need the right board, the right skills and the right weather conditions too! Let me explain…

Content marketing is like surfing. It takes time and patience to catch the right wave. If you put in the effort and wait for the swell to build, you’ll be enjoying the perfect ride time and time again.

But first things first, what do we actually mean by content marketing?

What is content marketing?

To put it simply, content marketing is a way of promoting your business via regular content you publish on your website, email campaigns and social media.

In today’s fast-paced society, internet speeds are increasing, new social media networks are popping up wherever you look, our attention spans are getting shorter, and information is coming at us from so many different sources, it can be a challenge to keep up with it all. Everything’s getting faster, bigger, louder and we expect more, more, more.

Traditional marketing methods simply don’t cut it anymore. Most businesses are becoming aware that they need to do things differently, think smarter and act quicker to stand out.

And that’s where content marketing comes in. According to the Content Marketing Institute:

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Content marketing is an ongoing process that’s all about communicating with your customers and potential customers without directly selling to them. The main aim is to educate and inform, although a little entertainment goes a long way too! If your readers feel educated by your content, they’ll start to trust you and you’ll begin to instil a sense of authority and expertise in your industry. Many of your readers will then reward you with their loyalty by becoming regular customers.

How does content marketing work?

Content marketing is a potent combination of multiple disciplines, including:

  • business strategy
  • sales
  • lead generation
  • marketing
  • web design
  • blogging
  • copywriting
  • SEO (search engine optimisation)
  • email marketing
  • video
  • social media
  • analytics

Each one of these disciplines can take years to learn and master. But don’t get disheartened – you don’t need to do everything at once!

To begin with, you need a decent website. And by decent we mean a simple site that clearly explains what you offer, why it’s of benefit and how people can buy it. We’d suggest using WordPress for this, as it has built-in themes allowing you to set up a basic site fairly easily. It’s also the world’s most popular content management system!

Then you need to start publishing regular content and the best way to do this is via a blog. Again, enter WordPress which – hey presto – already has a blogging platform built in! For tips on blog writing, check out our 7 steps to writing a great blog post.

Of course, there’s no point publishing regular content if no-one’s reading it, so the final basic step is to send your content out into the world. You can do this via a combination of email marketing and social media.

Why do I need to create regular content?

Publishing high quality, regular content is the key to content marketing.

It needs to be high quality so that your readers feel educated and remain attentive. Remember that information overload we mentioned earlier? The trick to being heard amidst the cacophony of your competitors is to publish content that provides meaning and value to your audience. They’ll only be interested if they think you have something worth saying. And your readers are fickle. If you publish a bad blog just once, the chances are first-time visitors won’t bother coming back for more.

It’s important that your content is published regularly, like clockwork. We’re bombarded with reminders, notifications, popups and email newsletters, and it’s the ones that consistently repeat their message that tend to get through. You must have experienced this yourself. Out of sight, out of mind, right? So, consistency is the key.

Another great reason to be publishing regular content is because search engines love it! The more you change the content on your website, the more search engines will reward you by increasing your rankings. Google loves organic SEO, which means the more relevant keywords and phrases you can naturally incorporate into your content, the better.

Of course, there’s some content on your site that doesn’t need to keep changing. In fact, ‘evergreen’ content is just as valuable. This is content that’s non-time-specific and actually increases in value over time, through being repeatedly referenced, linked to and shared. Examples of evergreen content include: FAQs, testimonials, case studies, how-to guides, beginners’ guides, etc. For more tips on evergreen content, read our article What is evergreen content and why should you create it?

How do I get started with content marketing?

OK, so at a basic level you know you need a website, a blog, some social media accounts and email marketing software. But, as you probably guessed, there’s a bit more to it than that!

Firstly, you need to do the groundwork. Content marketing simply won’t work without a solid foundation in place. And this means ensuring your website is set up right, as well as doing your research.

Website setup

Before you start creating content you’ll need to:

  1. Organise your site architecture. The pages of your website need to be laid out in a clear and simple way so your visitors can easily find what they’re looking for. Or, to put it another way, they find the pages you want them to find, which keeps them coming back and eventually buying from you.
  2. Add calls to action. Does every page of your site have a firm goal and clear call to action that you want your visitors to take? A call to action could be to visit another page, to sign up to your blog, to contact you or to buy now.
  3. Optimise your site’s performance. Does your website run as fast as it should? If you have large images, videos, or complicated themes, plugins or code, they could be slowing your site down. This can cause visitors to leave your site, meaning your content doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
  4. Carry out an SEO audit. Are all the pages and posts on your site search engine friendly? It’s important each page has the right information so your site is more likely to be found in a Google search. An SEO audit helps you take stock of where you are and where you want to get to.
  5. Set up analytics. It’s crucial to install a measuring tool on your website, such as Google Analytics. If you already have Google Analytics then this will tell you how your content and site generally are performing, so you can make informed decisions about what to do next.

Research

Nailed the setup, and think you’re ready for content marketing? Think again… In order to create awesome content that grows your audience and becomes more valuable to your business over time, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Competitor analysis. Do you know who your competitors are? What are they doing to grow their business? Is it working? Researching your competition is important for helping you understand your customers and differentiate yourself in your industry.
  2. Audience research. Knowing your target audience is essential in helping you understand what content you should be creating. A combination of feedback, surveys, and creating customer profiles can all help with this process.
  3. Keyword research. In order to improve your search rankings you need to know what search terms people are actually looking for. There’s no point optimising your site to be found for the term ‘Purple glass jewellery’ if no-one’s actually searching for that phrase!
  4. Topic research. Once you know your audience and keyword focus, you can start researching your topics. What’s trending in your industry right now? What problems are people facing? What topics would your audience find most interesting and valuable?
  5. Content schedule. Now that you’ve done all your research you can start putting together a content schedule. How often will you publish your content? What are your topics? Which categories do they come under? And how will you share your content?

If this all sounds like a lot of work, don’t panic! Our SEO Package does all the hard work for you. We’ll make sure your website is set up just right, then carry out all the research for you, to give you a solid foundation from which to launch your content marketing.

Once your foundation is in place, you can sign up to one of our monthly content marketing packages. All you do is supply the content; we take care of everything else. Our packages are designed to dissolve your marketing headaches so you can get back to doing what you’re good at.

As an added bonus, you can download our free Content Schedule when you sign up to our blog. It’s the perfect way to get organised with your content marketing. Simply complete the form at the bottom of this page.

How long does content marketing take?

As we said earlier, content marketing takes time and patience. You have to wait for the swell of the wave to build slowly.

We know how frustrating it feels to put all that work in, to be publishing regular content and sending it out into the world week after week after week. You might not see any tangible results for 3, 6 or even 9 months.

But trust us – don’t give up! As long as you’ve done your research and you’re sending the right content to the right audience, you will eventually start to see some traction.

Experience shows that it takes at least 9-12 months to really see good results from your content marketing efforts. That might seem like a long time, but we promise the rewards will be worth it. The visits to your website will start to increase, you’ll be growing your email list, your readers will start turning into leads, and your leads will eventually turn into customers.

With a bit of fixing here, a little research there, plenty of consistency and a lot of patience, you’ll be riding the swell of that content marketing wave with confidence while watching your business grow.

Our top tips for content marketing

Check out our top tips for riding the content marketing wave:

  • Write your own content – no-one knows your business and customers like you do.
  • Focus on fixing your website first, before tackling email marketing and social media.
  • Check out our guides on How to write killer headlines for your blog and How to write email subject lines that get results.
  • Start your email marketing by sending out an engagement campaign to your email list, however small this is.
  • Create a lead magnet to engage your audience and start growing your email list. Check out our Introduction to lead magnets guide.
  • Remember: social media isn’t just about sharing your own content; you need to engage with others too, so discuss, comment and ask questions.
  • Don’t quit before the miracle happens. It takes time. Be patient. Remember: traction builds slowly like the swell of a wave!

If you’d like to find out more about our packages, simply Book a Free Consultation and we can start dissolving your marketing headaches today.


Why you should give away content to grow your business

Did you know that businesses like Apple and Google are built on free software?

Apple’s operating system OSX is built on Unix – created by telecoms giant AT&T who were prevented from selling the software due to anti-monopoly laws.

Google uses a custom version of Linux – essentially an open source clone of Unix. Unix is often used as the operating system of internet web servers. I could go on and on with lots of super geeky examples of open source software that makes the internet a better place, most of which you wouldn’t have heard about unless you were a bit of an internet nerd.

How about some examples of businesses that you have heard of that have used free software as an essential part of their business model?

Software businesses

Software businesses have long-since adopted what has become known as a freemium business model. This means that they give away software in order to gain users. Why? Because the more people using your software the better. Just ask Bill Gates!

Skype

Skype is a free internet phone and video service with 74 million users (so I’m guessing you’ve heard of them).

If you haven’t: You can download the Skype software for free and make video and voice calls for free to other people who also have Skype installed anywhere in the world. Wow!

Out of their 74 million users only 8.1 million are monthly paying customers. That means that only 9% pay for Skype. Microsoft bought Skype back in 2011 for a whacking $8.5 billion – 4 times what Skype was worth at the time.

Dropbox

Dropbox started back in 2007 and is a cloud storage service. Their software enables users to store and access their files from any device that has their software installed. Their free account only allows 2GB of storage (not much), so Dropbox rather cleverly offered their members free space in exchange for new customer referrals who signed up to their service. This was a great viral marketing strategy to grow their customer base. They now have over 400 million users with around 150,000 paying customers.

But why should I give away my content?

That’s all fine and good for software companies, but what if you run a consultancy or service business? It can seem counter intuitive to give away valuable content, especially if what you sell is your expert knowledge in a specific field. Wouldn’t giving away knowledge undermine your business and help your competition? All great questions!

Demonstrate your knowledge with confidence

There’s nothing like generosity as an expression of confidence. Giving away some high value and insightful tool or resource builds loyalty with your audience and strikes fear in the heart of your competitors… Who knows, they may even go one better than you and give away something even more valuable that you can then download and share with your customers.

Sharing is good karma

If people find your content useful and it’s freely available, they’re more likely to share this via email and social media across their own networks.

What do you want in return?

Very simply: Email list building. We’re giving away useful content in exchange for an email address and permission to send that person useful and relevant emails. We do this because, as a digital business, part of your content strategy is to build a loyal audience who you can engage with, learn from and occasionally convert into paying customers.

Remember that digital marketing is not a replacement for business development! In a service business you should always aim to build relationships in person or via video.

What do we give away?

Here at Wildheart Media we give away a lot. One example is our free website content audit worksheet for anyone planning a website redesign. This is not some nicely designed checklist with fancy graphics (although we do love fancy graphics!) Our website content audit worksheet is a detailed and thorough colour coded spreadsheet that we use with our own clients when we get them set up with our content marketing packages. We’re currently on version 4 of this spreadsheet and we keep refining it.

Why are we giving something so valuable away? Very simply we want businesses to succeed, not just our customers. Redesigning a website is a lot of work and the more a client understands this process the better the results will be. We’re also not a web design agency, we’re a content marketing agency. So this doesn’t feel like a conflict of interest to us.

How can you get started?

Read our blog post on how to use lead magnets on your WordPress website – it’s a great primer on the topic.


If content is king then who is queen?

Content is king. We know this because it’s all over the internet. You’ve probably seen it a thousand times. And if you haven’t, try googling it. There are over 300 million results.

But what do we mean by this? Why is content king? And the question we’re more interested in: if content is king then who is queen? (Besides an outstanding 70s rock band, of course!)

Who says?

The phrase ‘Content is king’ is widely believed to have originated from Bill Gates. At least in relation to online content. Further digging reveals the phrase was actually coined a couple of years earlier by Sumner Redstone, the 92-year-old billionaire who founded Viacom.

But it was Bill Gates who transformed the phrase into one of the widest spreading internet memes. In 1996 he wrote an essay entitled ‘Content is King‘ and began by saying:

“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”

He goes on to say:

“One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create.”

Which is exactly what we were talking about last week in our post How blogging became essential for content marketing your business, when we described how blogging levelled the playing field of the digital landscape.

Why does content rule?

Content is what drives the internet. You only have to glance at the most popular online applications in the world to see that. They’re the ones in which we supply the internet with more and more content. Think blogging platforms, social networks, video sharing sites…

And then of course there are search engines. Ok, we really mean Google. And, as we saw last week, Google won’t play ball in the game of search rankings unless you’re feeding it regularly with changing content. Which in turn feeds our ever increasing need for exploring and discovering new content. And so the cycle continues…

So who is King Content’s queen?

That’s simple.

If content is the king, then content marketing is the queen.

You need great content in order for your content marketing to be effective. And there’s no point having great content without effective content marketing to back it up.

The king is the almighty ruler; he sits on his throne and stands his ground. The queen is the mover and shaker; she gets out there and gets things done.

As the feminists of the 1960s used to say, and the Eurythmics sang in Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves:

“Behind every great man there is a great woman.”

The content king on his own is all strategy and tactics. The content marketing queen is all about the action. And together they rule the internet!

The rise of content marketing: the power behind the throne

In its simplest form, content marketing means to create content and distribute it to your target audience. This can be done through a variety of channels, including blogs, email newsletters, social media, apps, digital TV, etc.

Optimising your content and your website is crucial for increasing traffic. This means using the right keywords in your website copy and making sure you follow best practices so that your content is search engine friendly.

As we saw in An introduction to Lead Magnets: how to use your WordPress blog to grow your email list, the more people you have visiting your site, the more chance you have of converting them to email subscribers. And the more email subscribers you have, the more chance you have of converting them to customers.

And it all starts with content.

You are your own king

Content is king. Content rules. Content is the leader of the pack. So content has to be the best it can be.

And only you know how to achieve that. Why? Because you know your customers better than anyone. Only you know how to engage your website visitors with content relevant to them. What kind of people are they? What are they interested in? What challenges do they face? What tone of voice would appeal to them most?

We believe the best way to engage your readers is to write your content yourself. You are the subject matter expert in your own business and you know your business best. You also know your industry niche best. Why outsource your content to a copywriter who, at best, likely knows little about either?

You’d be faced with two choices when commissioning a copywriter:

  1. Spend a lot of time with them to give them an extensive briefing on your niche, business and industry – time better spent drafting your content, or
  2. Find a copywriter that is already an expert in your field – which could be pricey!

Let us be your queen

OK, so we believe your content is best written by you. But we also understand this can seem like a daunting prospect. You’re an expert in your field, not a writer. (Unless writing is your field of course!)

You might be thinking: Do I really know my audience? What if I can’t think of enough topics? What if I can’t write very well? Or I don’t have the time to write regularly?

Fear not, Wildheart Media is here to help you find your place in the digital landscape and rule your online world. Let us be the queen to your king. You bring the content, we’ll bring the content marketing, and together we’ll rule!

Our marketing packages provide you with everything you need to grow your digital business, starting with making sure your website is ready to deliver your awesome content.

We’ll review your website, research your audience, find out what’s trending in your industry niche, run analytics on search terms and suggest areas of interest for you to write about. We’ll then work with you to ensure your content is fully optimised, of the highest quality possible, being published regularly like clockwork, being shared in the right way with the right people and driving more traffic to your website.

Your content can be as rough or polished as you like, as our skills include proofreading and copy editing, as well as the more technical aspects of search engine optimisation and content strategy.

All you need to do is what you do best. Let us take care of the rest.

See how we’ve helped our clients


How a frustrated web designer got into digital marketing

 

Here’s a summary of what’s in the video…

Email marketing with MailChimp

I’ve been using MailChimp since 2006 when I started my first digital marketing agency in Brighton. MailChimp has grown from strength to strength over the years and has built a great brand. They now employ over 100 people and back in 2011 celebrated their millionth user – wow!

Email marketing for your business

Email marketing is the single most powerful digital marketing tool, by a long way! It’s not new and exciting like social media and spammers have also given email marketing a bad name. If you have a WordPress site and you’re wondering what marketing you need to start on next – start with email marketing with MailChimp!

Our top tips for getting started with email marketing

  1. Decide on a goal for your email marketing.
  2. Decide what content is most relevant and useful for your audience.
  3. Decide how often you’re going to deliver your emails.

Not sure how to do this? We can help, just contact us and we’ll book in a Skype call.

Always ask permission

Remember I mentioned spamming earlier? Well, spamming or junk mail is sending people emails they never signed up to receive. It’s best practice to always ask permission before starting email marketing.

Start small

The key to getting great results with your email marketing is by starting small with your close business network; people you have regular professional contact with. Always aim for quality over volume. Email marketing is not a numbers game, it’s about building a relationship. Start with a small high quality list, maybe 50 of your most valued clients or associates, and build on that.

Don’t ever do this!

  • Buy an email list.
  • Email people you don’t know.

How can we help?

Want to get going with your email marketing? We’d love to help. Book a free consultation and we’ll set up a Skype call.

What did you think?

Did you find this video useful? Do you have any comments or feedback? Leave a comment below.