The Top 8 Reasons to Hire NextGear Marketing to Manage Your Blog Content

I try not to get too salesy on this blog, but I am running a business and sometimes a little self-promotion is in order. If you have a business, you need a good website with a good blog. NextGear Marketing offers business blogging services that are affordable and effective. Let’s look at the top reasons why you should outsource your blog to us:

1. Affordability

Having a weekly blog written and managed by NextGear Marketing is a lot more affordable than you think. We offer different frequency plans to suit your budget and blogging needs. Call me at 714-348-0642 for current pricing.

2. Expertise

You could hire a part-timer or delegate the blog management to an existing staff member, but you are losing out on specialized expertise in the art of business blogging.

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Having a blog means better organic SEO potential. You will have new content added to your site regularly and the content will be optimized for search engines and social media appeal.

4. Better Customer Engagement

A blog is not only about SEO, it is about engaging the potential customers who do read it. You will gain more regular site visitors, social media followers and customer conversions with a professional business blog.

5. Personal Service

I oversee every client’s blog personally. If you ever have a question, concern, revision, idea or anything you need to discuss, you can call or email me at any time. I’m always happy to help and will customize the plan and service to meet your specific preferences.

6. Custom Work

Every blog post written is done fresh to minimize repetitive/plagiarized content. There is no copying and pasting here. This is another benefit that helps with your overall SEO appeal.

7. Behind-the-Scenes Benefits

There’s a lot more to a blog post that you do not see in the article itself. There are meta descriptions, titles, SEO tags, keywords, links and many other components that go into an good business blog. These will all be handled for you to make your blog as effective as possible.

8. Variety of Posts

At NextGear Marketing, we don’t just do one type of blog post. We write articles on a wide variety of subjects pertaining to your business. We’re talking about service/product features, employee profiles, industry news and events, general information topics and more. A well-rounded blog is a better blog.

These are just some of the best reasons to make NextGear Marketing your business blog provider. Contact us today through this link or call me personally at 714-348-0642 for more information about all the blogging, web content and general marketing services we can provide.

3 Tips to Make Your Business Blog More Personal

It’s great if you already have a business blog. If you don’t, send me an email and NextGear Marketing will be more than happy to help!

However, many business bloggers miss out on valuable opportunities to personalize the messaging within the blog articles. They think of the blog as only an SEO tool to beef up their site’s content. Though that is definitely the biggest advantage of having a good blog, it is not its only purpose.

Why You Need Engaging Content

A good blog should also have engaging content that will attract site visitors, spur conversations on social media and also lead to more customer conversions. The SEO aspects may get someone to your blog, but then what happens? If the content is too dry, they won’t even finish reading the one article they came for, let alone stay on the site and seek out more information.

That’s why you want to look for ways to “personalize” the content while still keeping it and informative and SEO relevant. Here are a few simple tips you can try:

1. Write in First Person

This is often debated, but if you want to have a more personal feel to your blog this is a great way to do it. Write in terms of “we” and “us” (or “I” and “me” if you are a one-person business or a figurehead representing your business). You do have to be careful about being too salesy at times because first person perspective can exacerbate those messages, but you’ll find the articles are easier to write and will definitely provide a more personal style.

2. Inject Personal Insight

If you are still writing in third person, include some quotes from key people within the company. If you are writing in first person, just make sure you inject some personal insight and interpretations rather than just reporting information or data. Be careful not to get overly opinionated (especially with sensitive political or societal issues—unless that’s part of your brand’s identity) on any subject.

3. Include Brand Messaging

In addition to personal insights, don’t forget about your brand’s overall message. Again, your blog isn’t just spewing out cold hard facts, data and general information that can be found anywhere on the Internet. Remember the personality of your company’s branding and incorporate key brand messages throughout your articles for more effective results.

I hope you find this article helpful in building a better business blog. If you have questions or want to talk more about how to take your blog to the next level, contact NextGear Marketing today!

What Can Your Business Blog Do for You?

Many small business owners will start a business blog because they think they have to or maybe it was just included in their web hosting service. What inevitably happens when someone is not fully “bought-in” is that they let it slide. Before long, it becomes an afterthought and eventually, the blog just sits there collecting digital dust. And, in today’s content-driven marketing world, that dust can start to gather within weeks!

Invest Yourself

Like anything in life, the more invested you are in your blog, the more you will get out of it. You have to be willing to commit the time or resources to do it right. Those resources might be an in-house staff member assigned to manage the blog and other content/social media activities. Or, it may be paying an outside provider like NextGear Marketing a nominal fee to run a high-quality weekly blog for your business. Hint, hint…

The Benefits of Blogging

If you are fully invested in your blog, you will see the benefits in numerous ways. Some of the advantages of a well-written and strategically focused blog with once-a-week posts include:

• Increased organic SEO potential

• Social media engagement

• More site visitors and return visitors

• Increased customer conversion

Don’t these attributes sound like something your company could benefit from? Of course! These are just a few of the major advantages to starting a blog and maintaining it with consistent content.

How Often Should You Post?

Whether that means bi-weekly posts, weekly posts or twice-a-week posts, you need to start somewhere and you can always ramp up the frequency over time. The important thing is to get it working for you and be fully invested in it as one of your online marketing strategies. When you do a blog right, good things can and will happen for your business.

To learn more about NextGear Marketing’s blog writing and management services for small businesses, contact us today.

 

Are You Responding to Customer Reviews?

Getting customer reviews online is an important part of today’s business culture. In a way, it is free advertising—even if you are paying extra for “premium” business accounts on sites like Yelp. People are voluntarily writing testimonials for your business. Unless you are doing something really wrong, most of these reviews will be positive. If they are routinely negative, then perhaps it’s time to rethink your approach to service.

Reviews Are Going to Be Written

In the social media marketplace, people are not shy about sharing their opinions on just about every subject under the sun. Millennials are now the most influential consumer group and the next generation is on their heels with an even more candid style of sharing everything about their lives on social media.

You should be pushing customers to write authentic reviews. Even if you don’t, plenty will still be posted and you have to pay attention to what’s being shared on social media and online review sites.

How to Respond

Next, you should get in the habit of writing personal responses to each review that is posted on Google, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other relevant site for your business. I recently took over this task for one of my clients and it is a very powerful thing you can do.

Most reviews will be positive and you don’t need to write much. A simple “thank you” message is fine. Reiterate some of the positive comments they may have made about your staff, your product or your services. If there are any special messages that you can include such as a warranty or return policy, do so without pushing too hard. Keep it light, direct and friendly. Those reading these reviews will easily see that you are a business that cares about its customers.

What if the Review is Negative?

It’s almost unavoidable that you will eventually get a negative review. Unfortunately, these negative reviews are almost always longer and more detailed, which helps them get picked up by the algorithms on sites like Yelp that display the “most relevant” reviews on the main page rather than the most recent.

A negative review might even be a fake from a troll, spammer or petty competitor. Oftentimes, these reviews discredit themselves if you read them closely enough. Maybe there’s an inappropriate comment, a lot of grammar errors or it’s clear that their complaint really isn’t relevant to your business.

How you respond to these negative reviews can be tricky, but it is something you need to do. You have to be tactful. You have to defend yourself without being defensive. You have to be friendly even while calling them out on any inconsistencies in their story. You can read more about this approach in a previous article I wrote on this exact subject, but the biggest key is to maintain a friendly and helpful demeanor in your response. Just remember the response is not necessarily for that reviewer, who will not likely be a repeat customer. It is for anyone else reading that review. A thoughtful response to a negative review can actually work in your favor because it will show others that you care.

To learn more about online review response writing services from NextGear Marketing, contact us today.

Don’t Be Afraid to Take Marketing Risks

Happy Friday the 13th everyone! Every time one of these dates rolls around, we all feel that little chill running down our spines thinking about Jason running wild at Camp Crystal Lake.

It’s okay to be afraid of machete-wielding maniacs, but when it comes to your marketing, fear should not be a deterrent. Now, of course you don’t want to go broke trying every marketing idea you can think of and hoping one sticks. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to try new things and take a few marketing risks from time to time.

Perhaps it’s exploring targeted ads, boosted posts or sponsored posts on social media to try and increase website traffic or direct response activity. Maybe it’s time to rethink your website approach. Consider rewriting some of your core content to freshen things up or start up a business blog. Maybe you already have a blog but you play it pretty safe. Take a few chances, talk (carefully) about controversial topics relating to your industry and see what you can do to get more eyes on your articles while also sparking more online conversations.

Also, don’t give up right away if something doesn’t generate immediate results. Most marketing efforts take time to produce meaningful returns. Give it some time to marinate and make adjustments as needed to fine tune your approach with any given medium you are exploring.

There is always something new to try when it comes to marketing, so don’t be afraid to take a few risks from time to time. You just might discover a game changer.

For help with your marketing approach and a web content consultation, contact NextGear Marketing today!

It’s Time to Play Ball!

Today is Opening Day in Major League Baseball! It is one of my favorite days of the year, and it’s pretty much a national holiday in my eyes. Spring training is complete, the rosters are set and the teams are ready to take the field (weather permitting in some parts of the country).

April is Already Here!

From a business perspective, the start of the baseball season is a stark reminder that we’re already a quarter of the way through 2018. Three months have passed! It’s a good time to think about all your New Year’s Resolutions and your business plan. How well are you doing on those goals? Where is there room for improvement? What do you need to do to make the next three quarters as successful as possible?

Swing Hard

When it comes to your marketing plan, now is the time to make sure you get off the fence and onto the playing field. Perhaps that means being more active on social media. It may mean starting a business blog—or at least ramping up your efforts on the blog you started at the beginning of the year yet has already fallen by the wayside. It could be time to revisit your website content and assess how everything have performed so far in 2018.

The point is it’s time for you to play ball and position your business for success in April and beyond. Don’t let another year slip by without positive steps forward. Take a hard look at what you’ve done so far this year, re-assess your goals and take action to achieve them.

Your Marketing Coach

If you want professional help with your business blog, web content or marketing strategy, we’re here to help. Contact NextGear Marketing today for a no-obligation consultation and marketing review.

The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Content

If you look on LinkedIn and various job posting sites, you will see plenty of listings for Content Marketing Manager positions. That’s because there is a growing need for this specialized service. Most large corporations and big companies will have an in-house content marketing manager, or sometimes a whole team dedicated to overseeing the online content creation and distribution. Smaller businesses have to decide if they need a full-time content marketing manager or if they should hire an outside provider.

The Role of a Content Marketing Manager

First, what does a content marketing manager do? Depending on the company, content oversight roles will include managing a blog, writing and editing all website content, and preparing white papers and informational pieces. Good content fuels social media and powers SEO. If your company does webinars or YouTube videos, a content manager should help with the scripts and information to be covered. A good content manager will also oversee brand messaging to make sure all the content produced is reflective of the company’s desired public image.

The larger the company, the more content is usually needed. Hence the requirement for in-house staff dedicated to content management. However, most small businesses will prefer to seek out the help of an outside content marketing provider because they simply do not have as much content they need to produce or manage.

What Content Do You Need?

When it comes to having a blog for your small business, I recommend once a week as a good frequency to start with. You may consider bumping it up to twice a week over time if you really want to be aggressive. Your website content should be reviewed and updated every six months, partly to keep the information up-to-date and partly to help with SEO.

Other content needs such as press releases, white papers or video/webinar scripts are at your discretion. Depending on your company and your products/services, you may want to be more active with these types of contents than other businesses.

Outsourcing Saves You Money

So, why does it make sense to outsource content marketing management as a small business? The most obvious answer is money. Hiring a full-time (or even part-time) staff member won’t be cheap and you’ll want to find someone with specialized experience in content management. We’re talking about a salary, benefits, office space, computer equipment and other expenses associated with in-house personnel.

An outside content marketing management provider like NextGear Marketing is set up to produce and manage content specifically for small business owners. And, it will cost you much less than hiring someone in-house. For example, you can have a weekly blog written by us for $349 a month.* We’re talking about custom-written, relevant articles that are 300-600 words in length and optimized for SEO. These posts can be shared on your social media pages to spark conversations and the depth of new weekly content on your site will be incredible for organic SEO appeal.

If you need white papers, press releases, info sheets, video scripts, print material content, copy editing or website review/revisions, NextGear Marketing can help with all your content marketing needs.

To learn more about our content services and custom blog packages, contact NextGear Marketing today.


*Listed price is for four blog articles a month and is valid for 2018. If you are reading this article in the future, please contact for current pricing and packages. Blog packages are contingent on your website having blog capabilities that NextGear Marketing can have access to on an admin level. If you need help building a new business website with blog capabilities, we can help with that, too.