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The Benefits of Boosting Blog Posts

So, you have a great blog for your business. You are posting a unique article once a week (or even more frequently). It has all the SEO tags, keywords and links to help you improve your website’s organic reach. You’re sharing the article links on Facebook and any other social media pages your company has. These are all great steps and necessary strategies to apply when running a business blog.

Yet, you are ready to take things to the next level. You want to expand your reach and get more people to see your blog. More followers generally lead to more conversions, so how do you get your articles in front of more people?

Boosting Blog Posts

One great strategy is to boost your blog posts. You don’t have to boost every single one. Some you may only boost a little. Some you may want to boost a lot if the content is strong and has a very targeted message. You can dip your toes in the water by boosting for only a few bucks a day. If the results are good and you decide to get more aggressive, you can raise your budget. Honestly, you don’t have to spend that much on social media to effectively boost a blog post.

The Perfect Example

One of my clients runs an auto repair shop and he is in a major push right now to bring in more domestic heavy duty trucks, SUVs and fleet service vehicles because they represent a better profit margin for his particular business model. With this in mind, I have been writing a lot of blog articles lately centered around this target market message. We’re featuring customer testimonial stories based on customers who own trucks and SUVs or are in charge of fleet accounts for local businesses. We’re writing service features and news articles highlighting new heavy duty lifts in the shop and a passion for working on larger vehicles. The articles are being tagged with specific SEO keywords like Ford F-150, Dodge Ram, GMC Denali, Chevrolet Silverado, etc.

Then, my client is boosting some of these blog articles on Facebook, again targeted at truck/SUV owners throughout his local area. Through keywords, interests and other demographic criteria, he is able to get very targeted exposure through social media.

The Results of Boosting

Ultimately, these targeted blog articles are seen by a lot more people than the company’s usual followers. More importantly, they are being seen by people who are likely to be the most interested in these specific topics. This leads to more blog traffic and eventually more customer conversions. It’s a very cost-effective solution.

Some blog articles may not need to be boosted, and like I said, some are more “boostable” than others. Usually, the more targeted the message in the article, the more effective it will be as a boosted post. It allows you to hone in on a more specific audience, which will generate more interested click-throughs.

If you have a blog and want to take it to the next level, or you need to get your blog started or moving in the right direction, NextGear Marketing can help. Contact us today for more information about blogging and social media integration.

Coincidence, Fate or Plain Dumb Luck?

So, a weird thing happened to me this week. On Monday morning, I noticed I had no hot water. When I went to go check on the hot water heater, I found it was leaking pretty badly. My landlord was on top of things and had someone come out to replace it the next day, though I am still working to get the closet all dried out and cleaned up.

This morning, I went to get a glass of water from my water cooler and noticed it was out of water. So, I put the new jug in only to hear a heavy dripping sound coming out the back of the cooler. Somehow, this stupid thing had also sprung a leak! Thank goodness I already had a lot of towels out from the other mess I was cleaning up earlier in the week.

So, within a few days of one another, both my hot water heater and my drinking water cooler had major leaks and got water everywhere. These are two completely different and unrelated pieces of equipment, though they perform similar functions (one making water hot, one making water cold) in my condo. What are the odds of this?

Can Luck Lead to Success?

It gets me thinking about things like luck, fate and coincidence. Sure, luck is sometimes involved in success. Happening to be at the right place at just the right time can be very beneficial. Whether or not you want to call that fate is more a matter of how you choose to look at things.

Ultimately, however, you have to go out and make your own opportunities in life and business. Just sitting back and waiting for things to happen is generally not going to get you very far.

Getting the Word Out

A lot of people think they can start a small business, set up a nice website and the business will just roll in naturally. This rarely happens unless you get the best word of mouth ever. You have to be proactive and get your name out there, whether it’s through digital marketing/SEO, social media, blogging, print advertising, billboards and so on. And yes, it helps to have really good word of mouth, too.

My point is don’t count on luck, fate or whatever cosmic forces you believe in to generate your business for you. And if you have a run of bad luck like I did this week, don’t let it get you down. Stay positive, get out there and make things happen for yourself!

Here to Help You Succeed

If you need help with your marketing campaign—especially when it comes to web content and blogging—NextGear Marketing is here for you. Contact us today for more information and to set up a no-obligation marketing consultation.

Why Your Small Business Needs a Blog

All businesses, big and small, can benefit from having a consistent blog. There are certain benefits that are universal, no matter how large your company is. A good blog will generate fresh content for the website, create more social media engagement opportunities, boost organic SEO properties and help convert more customers.

Small Business Blogging

I primarily work with smaller businesses. That’s partly because the larger companies and corporations can afford to have in-house marketing staff or a marketing firm that handles all aspects of their various print, web and social media campaigns. Mainly, it’s because I run a small business myself and understand the challenges you face. Smaller businesses are usually better off outsourcing their blog management because it’s a more affordable solution and they benefit from having a content marketing expert doing the work rather than trying to perfect the craft themselves.

Localized Benefits for Small Businesses

Ultimately, I think an effective blog will really help any small business in numerous ways. One of the biggest benefits in my opinion is being able to build a stronger local appeal. A big company likely already has a strong marketing presence across a wider geographic spread. A small business, on the other hand, is generally specifically targeting their local region.

Having a blog with proper SEO tags and links will really help your small business gain awareness in your local area, and that ultimately leads to better market share. You can compete more effectively on some level with some of the bigger franchise chains that are going to out-advertise you no matter how much you spend. You’ll also be stand out from other small businesses around you that may not have a good blog. The SEO, engagement and conversion results will continue to grow over time and put your company in a position to succeed.

In addition, blogging with a localized focus and proper social media integration will give you more customer engagement opportunities and develop stronger brand loyalty from those who know and trust your business.

Get More Out of Your Blog

If you have a small business, you need to have a nice website that includes a blog with regular posts. If you don’t have a blog yet, start one. I’ll be happy to help you out with that. If you do have a blog already, make sure you are regularly posting new content and articles to keep it from going stagnant along with the rest of your site. Last but not least, take advantage of the blog’s SEO capabilities, links and other beneficial features that will maximize the results.

Remember that you don’t have to be an expert blogger yourself to get the most out of your small business blog. You can hire one like NextGear Marketing for a very affordable monthly rate with no contractual obligations. Give us a try—even if just for a short trial period. You won’t be disappointed!

Contact NextGear Marketing to learn more about our small business blog and content management services.

Be Willing to Adapt, Evolve and Try New Things

Last week, I was down at the Omni La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, CA. I was invited down there with a group of golfers to test out some new pieces of equipment. If you follow golf at all, you’ve probably already seen GolfBoards advertised. They have become reasonably popular in recent years. They are basically a single-rider motorized skateboard (with a handle) that will hold you and your clubs. They are fun to ride and I tried them out some time ago.

GolfBoards came along to break from golf tradition of walking or riding in a typical two-person golf cart. In addition to the GolfBoards, La Costa was also having some of us try out the newer Phat Scooters. These are basically two-wheeled motorcycles/mopeds that have a rack on back to strap your clubs onto. It’s a similar concept to the GolfBoard, but they are a bit easier to ride for people that may be older or less coordinated. At the same time, they are probably more dangerous because of the less stable two-wheeled design and heavier overall weight.

What’s the Point?

Anyway, the point of my story is that golf courses are starting to embrace these alternative modes of on-course transportation. It’s a way to generate some new business and revive interest in a sport that has struggled economically in recent years. Time will tell if these more “fun” rides will boost business, but at least they are trying something new in a sport that is generally stuck in its old ways.

This is a lesson that can be applied to any part of life. You should be willing to adapt, evolve and try new things. It’s what helps you grow, learn and keep a fresh perspective on things.

Applying the Same Philosophy to Marketing

This is also a very important marketing strategy to adopt. Just look at how the marketplace has changed in the past 10-20 years thanks to technology. Social media, smartphones/tablets and other innovations have completely changed the way a lot of consumers process information. This will only continue to evolve along with the trends and technology.

As a business owner, you must be willing to try new things and keep adapting the way you do business—as well as the ways you market your business. Stay on top of trends and try small-scale campaigns using different types of media and approaches. Eventually, you will be able to keep refining and maximizing your results. Odds are, by the time you perfect one strategy, a whole new marketing idea will come along and you will need to keep shifting your approach to keep up with the times. If you are proactive in embracing new ideas rather than reactive, you will see the difference.

The Time is Now

So, look at all the opportunities around you and start trying some new methods of generating business. They may not all work for you, but I guarantee some will work really well if you are committed and willing to adapt to ever-changing trends.

For a free marketing review, contact NextGear Marketing today. We’ll be happy to look at what you are currently doing and help you explore ideas about what you could be doing in the future.

6 Types of Hashtags You Can Use in Your Social Media Campaign

We all know social media is very powerful in today’s consumer marketplace. There are many strategies you can use to maximize your social media impact. One is how you implement hashtags to generate more followers, get more likes and, ultimately, draw more attention to your products or services.

There are many different types of hashtag strategies you can use on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. When it comes to Facebook and Twitter, you do want to be somewhat judicious and not load up your posts with a ton of hashtags. Select the most relevant to your message or goals and then include those. If people are making comments, you can maybe work in a few more with each response.

Instagram is a little different and you can go a bit more hashtag crazy. It’s usually best to put the hashtags at the end of the post (after your main comment) or sometimes you can put them as a comment underneath if you don’t want your main message to get lost.

Here are 6 of the most common hashtag types that you can utilize in your social media campaign:

1. Brand Hashtags

You should always be looking to build up your brand identity in all types of marketing, and social media is no exception. Your business name, key product names, slogans and other mantras are all good to use repeatedly in as many posts as you can to help boost your brand message.

2. Calls to Action

Hashtags that provoke an action are very effective. Start off a hashtag with an actual verb and people will feel more involved. #talkabout_____ #learnmoreabout_____ #get_____

3. Chat Hashtags

Chat-related hashtags are very popular when you have a recurring subject and you want to keep the conversation going over multiple posts. Using a chat hashtag will keep followers involved and they will start sharing the hashtag themselves to generate exponential response on a particular topic.

4. Content-Specific Hashtags

Hashtags relating to content in your posts are very helpful in terms of SEO and general “searchability” on social media. They give people a better chance of finding you if they are looking up information on certain products or topics. Content-specific hashtags are especially helpful when you have a regular blog that you link to on social media.

5. Geographic Hashtags

Geographic-based hashtags are often underrated when it comes to social media marketing, but they can do a lot for you if you have a locally focused business or want to target a specific region with your posts. Cities, counties, states, regions, town nicknames, etc. are all easy tags to include that will help you with your geographically targeted marketing efforts.

6. Trending Hashtags

Sometimes you can start the trend or join on a trend if it relates well to what you are posting. Some trending hashtags will stay hot for days or months. Others may only trend for a few minutes. Either way, if you can tap into some trending topics in a natural way, you can see some residual attention coming your way.

These are just a few of the hashtag approaches you can use in your social media campaign to increase your exposure and grow your business. To learn more about social media marketing and content marketing, follow the NextGear Marketing blog or contact us today for additional insight.

The Importance of Website Maintenance

I just got back from the dealership where I dropped my car off for regular maintenance services. Oil change, tire rotation, brake inspection—you know, the standard stuff that every car needs every few months.

I have many automotive shops as blog clients, so I understand the importance of what they like to call “preventative maintenance.” I like to think of it as more of a proactive approach to car ownership. You can keep driving it until something goes horribly wrong and then you’re paying thousands of dollars to rebuild the engine or replace the transmission. Or, you can take care of the maintenance as recommended in order to help prevent major breakdowns.

Staying Proactive

I think the same approach is a good one to take when it comes to managing your website. You should be proactive with your site “maintenance.” For the purpose of this article, let’s talk specifically about content maintenance. I don’t want to delve into the technical stuff, though that’s just as important. You do want to keep your site up-to-date and running as smoothly as possible to prevent crashes, hacks and other bad technical issues.

When it comes to content management, however, it’s worth taking a proactive approach. I recommend scheduling time every 3-4 months (every 6 months at the least) to sit down and go through your entire website. Re-read all the content and make updates as needed. Perhaps something is woefully out-of-date or irrelevant, or you catch typos that were missed last time around. Maybe there is a product catalog or prices that need to be updated. You might have old videos, graphics or other imagery up that are low-quality and it’s time to remove or replace it. There’s always something that you can clean up to keep your website as sharp and relevant as possible.

Review and Update Everything

The same goes for going through your SEO tags, page titles, links and meta descriptions for each page. Take a look through everything. It helps you stay more familiar with all the content on your site and be a more savvy site owner.

Last but not least, take the time to rewrite some sections of content and add new content/pages as applicable. You’ll be amazed at how some fresh content added every few months will help your SEO and overall site traffic in conjunction with regular blog posts.

Time to Get Proactive

When is the last time you really looked over your entire website? If it’s been awhile, now is the ideal time for some good proactive maintenance. Then, you make that process a regular habit to go through it every few months (or delegate that duty to a team member or web services provider that you trust). You’ll have a much better website that will continue to stay up-to-date at all times.

NextGear Marketing will be happy to provide a full website review for free. And if you want, we can schedule regular content reviews and edits as needed. Or, if you want a business blog or to build a new website, we can help with any website content needs you have. Just call me at (714) 348-0642 or click this contact link.

Time to Follow My Own Advice

I’ll admit I haven’t been as consistent with my blog posts lately as I should be. It’s been a busy summer. I’ve been on the road a lot. My work time is primarily focused on taking care of my clients’ needs. In addition, I’ve been spending and extra time strategizing and implementing ideas to grow my business.

However, it’s important to remember that a blog is a business-building tool. It increases website traffic. It creates more social media engagement opportunities. It ultimately converts more customers.

How Often Should You Run Blog Posts?

For my blog clients, I typically recommend posting once every other week at the very least. Most of my clients run a blog post every week. Some go the extra mile with two a week. The important thing is being consistent with whatever frequency you choose. Posting a blog randomly any time you think of a good topic or just doing it “when you have time” is not a good plan.

I definitely want to follow my own advice and start being more consistent with my regular blog posts like I used to be. Or, I need to consider outsourcing it to someone who does have more time than I do.

Outsourcing Your Blog

That’s why businesses turn to me and NextGear Marketing for my blogging services. They don’t have the manpower, time, focus or dedication to keep up with their own weekly blog posts. They hire a professional blogger who knows how to maximize SEO potential, integrate with social media and create more customer conversion opportunities. Outsourcing blog management is a more affordable, effective and efficient solution to a necessary marketing activity in today’s technology-driven marketplace.

Stay In Touch

As my own blog inconsistency shows, my clients always come first. I put their needs way above my own. Yet, stay tuned to this blog and I promise to be better at practicing what I am preaching. I will continue to share good ideas and strategies for blog management, web content, social media, print/direct mail and all forms of marketing.

For more information about business blogging services and other marketing help from NextGear Marketing, fill out this contact form or call (714) 348-0642 to speak with me directly.