Where Does Content Marketing Fit Within Your Marketing Mix Post-COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted business practices for all types of companies. If your company struggled with gaps in your content marketing program, now is the time to start planning for what comes next.

If your company has struggled through the past year trying to figure out what the next few weeks, months, and years are going to look like, you are not alone. Many companies operating in crisis mode were trying to figure out how to keep moving amidst unprecedented change. Those that sacrificed content marketing programs during the crisis are now feeling the pain.

Lack of content stalls your growth and puts you at risk of losing market share to competitors.
As we look toward better days in the future, a clear and comprehensive content marketing plan can help your business in many ways.

Improve brand awareness

Brand awareness drives overall sales. Companies with high brand recognition can also distinguish themselves from competitors.
Brand awareness increases the opportunities for converting people into buying customers through targeted approaches to appeal to the right people in the right ways. After all, establishing a consistent brand and marketing yourself based on those core values and features will attract like-minded and relevant leads.
But it’s important to have high-quality content that exemplifies those values. A structured content marketing plan enables you to schedule content that flows together and builds off each other to create that consistency and strength.

Establish media partnerships

Media consumption has been evolving over the past several decades, and today’s media landscape is more varied than ever. Consumers get news and information from many different places:

  • Online videos.media partnerships
  • Online (streaming) TV.
  • Video games.
  • Broadcast TV.
  • Online news and articles.
  • Social media (live streams).
  • Podcasts.

All of these content distribution platforms represent opportunities to get your name in front of customers. The more useful and interesting content you generate on each of these channels, the more valuable you are as a potential partner for media organizations.

Remain visible

Brand visibility matters more than ever. If your brand is not putting out new content on blogs and social media, you are not visible to your customers.
Since the start of COVID-19, people’s days are increasingly spent online. In fact, we spend an average of more than 16 hours plugged in to digital media each day. Content marketing makes you visible to customers spending more time online than ever before.

Double down on community-based engagement

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) became a buzzword in recent years. But data supports the idea of companies being involved in things that matter to their customers. In a 2020 Business Roundtable, 180 companies discussed why they are recommitting to finding ways to make a difference:

  • 87% of people purchase products because a company cares about the same issues they do.
  • 76% of people won’t do business with a company that doesn’t share their values.

We’ve all had a tough year, and many companies are doing meaningful things to help people in the local community. They are also advocating for change to build better relationships with customers. Content marketing is the perfect avenue for displaying your newfound commitments to your community and showing your audience that you care.

Next steps for your brand

Nothing about the last year has been easy. Companies that want to thrive in a post-COVID-19 world must take the necessary steps to create a forward-looking content marketing strategy.
With better brand awareness, media recognition, and visibility, your content plan can help you rebuild your company and bring in new customers. It can also help you stay connected to your community and your customers, which will be a valuable brand asset for future challenges and crises that we are sure to face.
Find out how Tempesta Media can get your content strategy back on track with our strategic planning and managed content services. Contact us today to learn more, and download our ebook to discover some of the mistakes companies make when scaling their content strategy so you can avoid those missteps in the coming months.

Uncovering Growth Opportunities With a Competitive Analysis in Marketing

Do you know what your competitors are doing to market their business? Understanding where the competition stands can help you stay ahead of industry trends, but it’s not a one-time deal. Conducting a competitive analysis in marketing helps you create a strategic plan to grow your business.

Most companies have heard the age-old business advice to conduct a competitor analysis when you’re just starting out. This strategic planning tool is used to chart out the course of where you want your business to go.
But too many businesses conduct their analysis once, tuck it away in a drawer, and never really think about it again. Meanwhile, your competitors are pulling ahead in all the ways that matter, leaving you to figure out how you can win more customers and grow your business.

Understanding today while looking at the future

Finding those growth opportunities means knowing what your competitors are doing now and getting the right insights and strategies to stay ahead in the future. That means regular analysis of your content marketing and social media and how it compares to the competition. Digital marketing strategies play a critical role in driving business, even if you operate a brick-and-mortar store, and being online in the right places while providing the right content and social media can help bring new customers through your door.
A competitive analysis in marketing should include:

  • A look at what you have done in the past that was successful.
  • A review of what you are doing today for content marketing and social media.
  • An in-depth analysis of what your competition is doing in the same spaces.
  • Key differentiators that you can highlight moving forward.
  • A clear strategy to take the next steps.

How to gain the most insight from your analysisHow to gain the most insight from your analysis

There are a few things that can stand in the way of a quality competitive analysis in marketing for your business:

  1. You don’t know how to conduct a proper analysis.
  2. You don’t know where to find good information about your competitors.
  3. Your team doesn’t have time to do the analysis themselves.

Working with an external partner that has the right experience conducting analyses and the tools to find the information you need is essential to your success.

Employing SWOTs to your advantage

One of the most effective and longstanding tools to analyze where you stand in relation to your competitors is to conduct a SWOT analysis:

  • Strengths: Your analysis should begin with a review of what you’re doing well. What are your competitive advantages, and where do you stand out from other businesses? These important insights can guide strategic decisions for what kind of content marketing and social media marketing you do in the future.
  • Weaknesses: Sometimes it’s hard to admit where we’re falling short, but an honest analysis should include information about where you can improve. If you know your competition always beats you in certain areas (like posting on Twitter or publishing blogs), this is the place to talk about it. Once you know your weaknesses, you can figure out ways to overcome them. In content and social media marketing, these are the areas where you will focus more energy on testing and tweaking to get it right.
  • Opportunities: What is on the horizon for your business or your industry? Taking time to regularly assess the competitive landscape allows you to stay on top of inevitable changes and make it work in your favor rather than always playing catch-up.
  • Threats: What areas present the biggest challenge for your business? Threats are most often external, which means you can’t always control them. But you can mitigate their impact by knowing what they are and preparing for them with the right strategic plan.

The bottom line

Content marketing and social media marketing are rapidly changing. To stay ahead, your business needs to regularly conduct a competitive analysis in marketing, including regular SWOT analyses. When done correctly, this forms the basis for your strategic plan and can give you an advantage.
With our customized competitor analysis reports, Tempesta Media can help you learn more about what your competitors are doing and spot trends in your industry that you might be missing. We’ll review your competitors’ social media and content marketing strategies and recommend tactics to help you get ahead and gain traction where others are lagging behind. You can also read more about 100 common mistakes companies make when launching their own content strategy to avoid these pitfalls in your journey.
Contact us today to find out more about how our competitor report and content strategy can build your business. Continue reading “Uncovering Growth Opportunities With a Competitive Analysis in Marketing”

Content Marketing for Small Businesses: Top 15 ideas to try in 2021

Content marketing for small businesses brings in new customers and retains existing ones. Plus, many small businesses can do it even on a limited budget.

When you need to grow your small business, one of the best ways is with creative content marketing. The term “content marketing” can be broad, but in general, it is the development and promotion of online materials — blogs, videos, social media posts — to generate interest in your brand and your products and drive search traffic to your site.
The idea of content marketing for small businesses might be intimidating. But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are 15 creative ideas to drive your business forward in 2021.

1. Use the words of your customers

Do you have online reviews from your satisfied customers? Those are a great place to start to create some engaging content. Pull quotes from your social media reviews (Facebook, Yelp, Google). Build a whole campaign around the things people are already saying about your great products or amazing customer service.
These don’t need to be fancy graphics, but try to spice things up by adding a background to make them stand out in your feed. Facebook has pre-designed backgrounds, or you can upload a custom background from your business. Websites like Canva make it easy for even novice graphic designers to create something that you can be proud to share with your followers.
To protect customers’ privacy and ensure that people are still comfortable leaving their reviews, consider sharing it with just initials or a first name and last initial. If you personally know the customers leaving reviews, consider reaching out to them and ask if they are comfortable having their reviews shared. You can also consider asking if they will allow you to use their full name (or even a photo from their own social media feed) and be tagged to spread the joy around even more by allowing their friends online to see it.
If you’re feeling extra creative, you could also get some inspiration from this ski resort in Utah that turned one-star reviews about hard black-diamond trails and too much powder into a positive, using them in a highly effective ad campaign.

2. Bring your team to the forefront

Do your team members create incredible experiences for your customers? Tell everyone about them with content marketing for small businesses that spotlights different people who work for you.
teamIt can be as easy as asking each employee to share their favorite thing about your business, then including a photo of the person with their own promotion for your products or services. You can also create an “employee of the week/month” and use that as a way to spotlight your employees.
People love supporting their friends and are more likely to buy from someone they know and trust than a complete stranger. Plus, the spotlights can help build team camaraderie and loyalty by publicly sharing how much your employees mean to your business.

3. Have a tip of the day/question of the week

Do you have valuable information, insight, and expertise you can share? How about questions that your customers keep asking? Turn that information into a quick tip or a Q&A that you can share online. These little tidbits can help position your business as the expert and are easy to digest and share as people scroll through their feeds each day.
If you’re not sure where to start, scour your social media feeds (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn) to see the most common questions people ask. Try to answer one of them weekly. Come up with a short name for the series to help build your brand even more.
As an added bonus, create short videos to explain or answer the question. (Video is one of the most popular ways for people to consume information online.) Plus, it garners more views and interactions than just a text post. You don’t need to be a videographer — simply find a quiet place to set up your smartphone camera with good lighting and start shooting.

4. Invite guest bloggers to contribute

It’s hard to constantly churn out new content, especially when you have a lot of other day-to-day tasks to think about in running your company. If you need some help coming up with content marketing for small businesses, partner with guest bloggers (or vloggers) to share content on your site. To find a good guest blogger, search for:

  • Expertise in your industry.
  • Strong writing skills.
  • An audience connection or knowledge.
  • A high-profile online presence.

Featuring someone who shares your passion can help lend credibility to your business. It’s also a great way to open yourself up to new audiences by reaching the followers of your guest blogger along with your own audience. Be sure to vet any potential guest bloggers to make sure they’ll promote your brand in a positive way. You don’t want them to come with added controversy or headaches (like in politics) – unless that’s your thing as a brand, of course.

behind the scenes5. Create “behind the scenes” videos, photos, and slideshows

Customers today want to know more about the brands they do business with, and one of the best ways to humanize your brand so people can feel more connected is to share what happens behind the scenes. These videos create fun and relatable content and can showcase your skills and experience in your industry.
For example, if you own a bakery, share a behind-the-scenes look at the process for your signature desserts. You don’t have to give away any trade secrets, but you do want it to feel fun and real (not staged or overly produced).

6. Use your customers as case studies

One of the most convincing ways to bring in new customers is to show them how you already solved a problem. The success of your customers is a great source for content marketing for small businesses because it shows that you can deliver on your promises. Case studies:

  • Are specific to your audience, which makes it easy for other customers to relate to the success.
  • Use factual data and statistics to back up claims to be more authoritative than a sales brochure.
  • Explain how you solved a specific type of problem.
  • Provide a third-party endorsement of your products or services. This is a type of social proof that many people seek out today before buying a product or engaging with a business.

Add pictures, graphs, and other visual data to support your claims to make your case study stand out even more.

7. Create a “best practices guide” specific to your industry

A best practices guide is a great way to showcase your experience and expertise on a specific topic while also providing your readers with valuable insights to help them succeed. Best practices are standards or benchmarks that anyone can apply to improve business operations or performance.
For example, if you’re a B2B company that offers accounting services, you might create a best practices guide to help other small businesses organize their tax documents so they can easily file taxes each year.
The most successful best practice guides for content marketing for small businesses are ones that identify a clear pain point. They must lead your readers through specific steps that will help them overcome the problem using methods or activities that are proven to work. This type of content is ideal for building your brand and establishing yourself as an expert in your field.
Best practice eguides are also a great way to build your contact list. Promote the guide on your social media channels, funneling the traffic to a landing page where you can collect the person’s name and email address before they download the guide. Then you can use that information to continue marketing your services to that person.

commentary8. Curate content and add commentary

Sometimes the best way to create content is to not create it from scratch. There is so much great information available online today that you don’t always have to create everything yourself in order to have good content marketing for small businesses.
However, you don’t want to just copy and paste content from others all the time. (And definitely don’t plagiarize content from someone else and try to pass it off as your own work — that’s illegal and lazy.) Instead, curate content from authoritative sources online and share it with your audience while adding your own commentary.
For example, if you subscribe to an industry publication for a roofing company and they publish a review of the types of roofing materials that last the longest, share it with your audience and add some information about the quality materials your company uses to build long-lasting roofs. It’s a great way to promote your business without it seeming too much like a sales pitch.

9. Take advantage of news or current events commentary

Similar to #8 above, if you see something interesting in the news that relates to your industry or your business, share it with your audience! Add your own analysis of what it means, share your personal thoughts, and request discussion and comments from your audience if appropriate.
There are a few important items to remember if you are planning to share current events and news on your own social media feeds:

  • Check the source to make sure the information is accurate and authoritative. Sharing something that turns out to be inaccurate can damage your brand and reputation, halting any progress you made with content marketing for small businesses.
  • Consider the potential reactions and implications before you post. You might feel strongly about a controversial topic, but before you post, make sure that you want those feelings associated with your brand and your business and that you’re willing to deal with the potential fallout.

Social media can be a valuable tool for outreach, but the internet is full of examples of when people shared something through a professional or business page that went viral for the wrong reasons and landed that business in hot water.

social media survey10. Conduct a social media survey

Do you want to know what people are thinking about a trending topic, a current event, or one of your products? Ask them! One of the best things about social media is that it can be social. It’s not just a one-way medium for you to put out content. It’s also a great way to gather information about what your audience is thinking and feeling in real time.
A quick survey is the perfect way to gather data. Depending on the reach of your survey, you may even get enough information to publish future content about the same topic. For example, you could publish a blog post or a press release if you get statistically significant results from your online survey. Remember though: Keep surveys simple with just one or two questions. Most social media platforms make it easy to create a survey and share the results with everyone in real time as followers participate.

11. Solicit and share user-generated content

Everyone loves validation, and you can validate your followers by sharing their content on your page. User-generated content (UGC) is a valuable tool when it comes to content marketing for small businesses.
Major brands like GoPro excel at UGC, asking their followers to create a video using their products and submit the content for contests or page features. The social media feeds of GoPro are filled with real-life examples of how people can use GoPro cameras for action and adventure everywhere from your neighborhood skate park to the top of a mountain or the bottom of the ocean.
You might not have the same social media following, but you can use the same concepts because every user submission is an endorsement of your products and services.

12. Create online courses

If you have valuable information that others would want to learn, create a course online as a part of your content marketing for small businesses. Social media makes it easy to promote these courses and let anyone join, whether you decide to do them live, record them for later download, or a mix of both. You can make the courses interactive with quizzes and fun, engaging videos while educating people about an important topic.

influencer13. Tap into micro-influencers

The world of social media influencers is taking off, but it’s not just big-name celebrities who are influencers online. There is a growing industry of micro- and nano-influencers. These people have smaller followings. (A micro-influencer is usually someone with 10,000-100,000 followers, while a nano-influencer has between 1,000 and 10,000.)
These can be people in niche industries or local communities who have a smaller — but very loyal and engaged — following. Partnering with micro- and nano-influencers helps your brand reach new audiences in a more effective and targeted way than mass paid ads on social media.
It’s important to select influencers whose audience aligns with your brand and who believe in what you are doing and selling. After all, someone is influential because their audience believes they are authentic. So, it’s important to find people who align with your own values as a business.

14. Repurpose your old content

Content marketing for small businesses doesn’t have to be a one-and-done effort. If you create something that gets a lot of engagement, clicks, and traffic, update it and repurpose it for use in the future.
For example, say you create a post of your predictions for your industry in the new year and it takes off. You can update it and release it again at the beginning of the next year. Make it an annual trend as long as it keeps getting attention and interaction.
Some other ideas for repurposed content include:

  • Taking a popular blog post and turning it into a video.
  • Using the results of all your social media surveys (see #10 above) for an infographic.
  • Putting all the biggest news stories from your industry (see #9 above) into a “year in review” at the end of each year.
  • Making a downloadable ebook out of your tip of the day/question of the week posts (see #3 above).
  • Taking an older eguide and breaking it into smaller emails or blog posts.

Repurposed content is a great way to make the most of the information you already have and already know is popular with your audience.

15. Create roundup infographics

Psychologically, our brains can process images much faster than text, which makes visual content appealing to draw in your followers. You don’t have to be the one that is designing the infographics — a process that can be costly and time-consuming.
Instead, do a roundup of the best infographics from other industry experts and share it on your own blog. Be sure to give credit and source the infographics to their original creators (again, no plagiarism). The result is a powerhouse of imagery that draws in your audience.

Ready to get started with content marketing for small businesses?

Content marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to stand out and reach your audience. If you’re not a marketing expert, don’t have time to create your own content, or have a small marketing team that could use some help, Tempesta Media is your solution.
Companies using our platform can improve their internal team’s performance by up to 30%. We can also take care of all your social media content creation and publication needs to build up your presence online. Tempesta Media is the only performance-based content marketing solution that drives revenue for your business. Find out more about our managed content services for small businesses today, and check out our ebook on the 100 most common mistakes that can appear when implementing or scaling up content marketing for small businesses.

A CMO’s Guide for Better Content, Social and Influencer Marketing Teams

Do you handle content, social media, and influencer marketing in house? If your results are below your expectations, it’s time to optimize your team.

An in-house team may give you more control over your content and influencer marketing programs. Your team can also help reflect your values more accurately. However, it can be difficult for internal teams to generate growth over the long-term. In fact, common issues with using in-house teams include high costs and a low ROI (return on investment). Some teams struggle with producing sufficient content at a pace that matches their goals.
But you can optimize your marketing programs. Whether you focus on content, social media or influencer marketing, auditing and optimizing your program can make a significant difference.

Program strategy

  • Common issue: You don’t actively manage existing content.
  • Common issue: You don’t keep up with your competitors and their marketing strategies.
  • Red flag: The team develops content independently of market research.
  • Solution: Conduct a thorough analysis of existing content, competitors and audiences to provide your internal team with a solid foundation that will inform their decisions in the future.

Developing a content, social media or influencer marketing strategy helps your team leverage what they do well and prioritize areas that need improvement.

Content analysis

Start by auditing and analyzing existing content. Is it still aligned with your goals, messaging and tone? Do you have a lot of evergreen content?
Are there any pieces that feel outdated? How does the content create value for your audience? Are there any niches your content overlooks?
Review the content beyond individual pieces and audit your customer acquisition funnels. Also identify the common paths users take when consuming content. Is there an efficient flow between the levels of your funnels? Are you lacking top-, middle- or bottom-funnel content?

Competitors

competitorsExplore what works for your competitors. Use your findings as inspiration for your program.
You can look for gaps in your competitors’ strategies. For example, you can uncover a niche they’re overlooking or a channel they’re not using. These are areas you could focus on to gain a competitive edge.
Additionally, analyze how your competitors’ content ranks in search results. What structure do they use for their pages and funnels? How thorough is their content? Do they prioritize a Q&A format or another strategy?
If your competitors are doing well with a specific topic, use the skyscraper technique to reverse-engineer a great piece of content that leverages their sources and structure.

Audience

Quality market research helps you understand your audience’s pain points and expectations. It’s crucial for creating content that addresses their needs, developing a social media campaign they can relate to or choosing the right partners for your influencer marketing program.
You can use existing research on your market segment, but it’s best to conduct your own research. Notably, surveys, interviews and case studies are strategies you can use.
When researching your target audience, ask yourself:

  • What pain points do they want to solve?
  • Which expectations do they have for your brand?
  • What is a desirable outcome for them?
  • Which values are they willing to support?
  • What are the channels they prefer?
  • What constitutes a positive experience for them?
  • Are there potential arguments against choosing your brand?

Use your findings to develop buyer personas. Indeed, your buyer personas should reflect the different models behind the purchasing decisions your customers make. As a result, they can help your marketing team develop content with a specific profile in mind.
Now that you know more about existing content, competitors and your audience, it’s time to put it all together and develop a new content plan. This plan will act as a roadmap that outlines items like your publication frequency, the type of content you need in order to address gaps in your funnels and a way forward to grow your online presence.

roadmapActionable objectives

• Common issue: Your team always falls short of its objectives.
• Red flag: Your team doesn’t follow up and assess whether they have reached an objective.
• Solution: Create a roadmap with larger goals broken into specific tasks and deliverables. Make sure the goals tie into your company’s strategic objectives and your overall content or influencer marketing program. Additionally, focus on measurable and actionable goals, and look into implementing a content management solution for tracking tasks.
Your marketing team needs a roadmap for two reasons. It’s a document or system that establishes long-term objectives, and it’s a go-to resource to manage their daily tasks.

Breaking it down

In essence, your roadmap should align marketing goals with the overall strategic objectives of your organization. Here are some examples of marketing goals you can adopt:

  • Increase sales.
  • Improve brand awareness.
  • Get your customer satisfaction rate up.
  • Acquire more customers.
  • Upsell existing customers.
  • Improve your customer retention rate.
  • Get better results with loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing.

Once you’ve identified an area that you want to improve, turn it into a marketing goal that you can measure. Also, pick a deadline when it should be achieved. For instance, a goal like increasing sales transforms into increasing sales by 15% by the end of the next quarter.
Similarly, a marketing goal like improving brand awareness becomes a series of steps. Example steps include creating a survey to measure awareness and a list of tasks. Then to articulate the marketing goal, you would establish: 10% more respondents recognize your company’s brand when you send out the survey again next month (over last month’s number).
Again, break down goals into smaller actionable tasks and assign each to team members. Additionally, encourage your marketing team to establish goals for the pieces that they create and think about how each one fits into the overall program’s objectives.
This is where you can use a content management platform to make a significant difference. A sophisticated platform can help you track goals, assign tasks and meet marketing goal deadlines.

Quantifiable metrics

  • metricsCommon issue: You don’t have enough visibility over content performance after publication.
  • Red flag: You focus on vanity metrics and ignore important KPIs.
  • Solution: Identify the KPIs that reflect your progress, choose reliable data sources and invest in an analytics solution to generate the reports you need.

Once you have adopted a roadmap with some goals for your marketing team, look into solutions for measuring progress and success. This is where quantifiable metrics can be applied.
Identify the best KPIs to track for each project and the data sources to use. An analytics solution that merges data from different channels can be advantageous, especially if you have an omnichannel strategy.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of KPIs you can use to track performance:

  • Bounce rate. A high bounce rate is often a sign that a page isn’t accomplishing its purpose. There might be a mismatch between the content and the expectations of users who find the page.
  • Funnel conversion rate. This rate is the percentage of users who complete step one of the funnel before visiting your goal page. You should optimize your funnels to nurture leads at every step of the journey to improve this rate.
  • Total visits. This metric informs you about organic traffic. It reflects how well your SEO efforts are working and whether the content addresses a need.
  • Impressions. If you focus on social media or influencer marketing, you can use impressions to assess the outreach of your program.
  • Internal costs. Track the costs incurred by your team so you can calculate the ROI of your content or influencer marketing program.

teamThe right team

• Common issue: Your team is too small or ill-equipped to run an integrated program that includes content marketing, social media and influencer marketing.
• Red flag: There is an overlap in the skills your team possesses or some significant skill gaps.
• Solution: Put together a team with complementary skills, consider new hires and look into outsourcing some tasks to access a wider pool of talent.
Ideally, a marketing team should include eight different roles – more if needed. A comprehensive team should have a strategist, writers, editors, social media specialists, SEO experts, influencer specialists, marketing ops and a designer.
Small and mid-sized organizations rarely have the resources needed to hire and maintain a large marketing team. The teams rarely exceed four individuals, and these professionals are usually generalists. Their main strengths are a thorough knowledge of their organization and an understanding of their branding strategies and goals.
Hiring to grow your internal team is an option, but it comes with high overhead costs. You should consider hiring if there is a significant skills gap in your internal team or if the team is too small.
Now is a good time to review your hiring practices. Think about how new hires will fit in with the existing team and look for candidates who can show you measurable results on past projects. Years of experience and education matter for some skills, but you can create a dynamic and diverse team with different levels of expertise.
Look into strategies to attract top talent if you want to grow your internal team. Perks like training can attract professionals, and showcasing what working for your organization is like on social media can draw attention from the right people.

The outsourcing option

For many organizations, outsourcing makes more sense than hiring. It gives your access to different skill sets so that you can fulfill the eight key roles mentioned above with the help of a partner. Current team members are qualified to manage the relationship with vendors thanks to their expertise with your organization, branding and marketing objectives.
Outsourcing a portion of your content, social media or influencer marketing program to a managed services provider like Tempesta Media is an effective alternative to hiring more staff. Doing so keeps your overhead costs low, gives you access to experts and reduces your management demands.
For example, based on your marketing goals, your company may only need an editor for 18 hours a week. So, hiring a full-time editor is unnecessary, but trying to find a part-time editor means having to manage one more person. Neither option makes much sense.
The beauty of hiring a managed services provider is they can put together the right mix of experts and allocate the appropriate number of hours to each person on your project. This means you can achieve significant cost savings over trying to staff a marketing team completely in-house.

Technology tools

  • Technology toolsCommon issue: Your team is working with too many technology tools.
  • Red flag: You’re using outdated tools, or data and tasks are duplicated because of an overlap in functionality between tools.
  • Solution: Audit your current tech, assess whether it still meets your needs and look for new solutions. A tech partner can help you identify the right tools for your marketing team.

You need technology tools that create an environment where your team can communicate, collaborate and adopt streamlined workflows. With many businesses relying on multiple applications to run daily business, it’s easy to end up with an overly complex tech ecosystem.
Consider scaling down if you’re losing time because your team has to enter data and track tasks across different tools. Consolidating existing tech tools into a centralized solution can boost productivity.
Some features to look for when choosing a new technology tool include:

  • Integration with other solutions you use and multiple data sources.
  • Collaboration with other departments and team members who work remotely.
  • Capabilities to assign tasks, track projects and meet deadlines.
  • Automation for repetitive tasks.
  • Communication tools, including email, chat, comment threads, video calls and more.

Define workflows and responsibilities

  • Common issue: Team members don’t have a reference that outlines what their workflows are.
  • Common issue: Your service level agreements (SLAs) are outdated and not reviewed regularly.
  • Red flag: New hires aren’t sure what their responsibilities are.
  • Solution: Workflows, service level agreements, responsibilities and expectations are matters you need to document. It’s time to review workflows and SLAs and update these records.

A good starting point for documenting workflows and responsibilities is to brainstorm with your team. Review your current goals, your strategies for measuring results and the KPIs you track to assess your progress.
Schedule regular reviews too. These reviews can be an opportunity to schedule team meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page. Verify that you’re reaching benchmarks and find solutions if you get behind.

KPIs to remember

You can use different KPIs to measure the performance of your content marketing program, including your bounce rate, page views, the time spent on each page, your conversion rate, or numbers like your customer lifetime value or the cost of generating a lead.
For social media marketing, you can track progress with your follow count, impressions, likes, comments, mentions, lead conversion rate, cost per lead, number of customer service issues resolved or share of voice.
Referral traffic, conversions, audience growth and various engagement KPIs are interesting to track for your influencer marketing program as well. Don’t neglect using ROI to identify the top-performing influencers.
Measuring your success with these different KPIs is only the beginning. The next step should be to document your different workflows and review the job description of each team member. Update their responsibilities if needed and set clear performance expectations based on the KPIs mentioned above.
If you outsource content creation or work with influencer marketing, review your SLAs and the expectations outlined in these documents. Update the agreements with measurable goals for your partners and the steps you will take to measure their performance.

ReportingReporting and performance review

• Common issue: Teams neglect reporting and analytics to track trends and optimize programs.
• Red flag: You collect data but don’t use it.
• Solution: Put a new workflow in place to review performance data regularly and develop a culture that relies on data for better decision-making. Consider investing in an analytics solution with a customizable dashboard and reporting tools (like Tempesta Media).
Data and KPIs are useless if you don’t use them. Optimize the performance of your internal marketing team by integrating these insights into the way your team works.
You could adopt monthly reviews where you look at the different KPIs you identified to track your goals and use these insights to address areas that are underperforming.
A culture that encourages employees to work with metrics and rewards them for investigating data can make a difference. Things like celebrating with your team when you reach a benchmark can help motivate everyone to adopt data to measure their own performance, set personal goals and make better decisions.

Optimization process

  • Common issue: You approach optimization as a set-it-and-forget-it process.
  • Red flag: You don’t have a plan for regular performance reviews and no long-term goals for growth and optimization.
  • Solution: Rethink your approach to your content and influencer marketing programs and look for new solutions to unlock growth. Embrace continuous change as part of your culture.

The strategies discussed above about setting goals and tracking KPIs will give you access to insights into the performance of your marketing program. You’ll be able to identify the items that work well and the areas where there is room for improvement.
Approach optimizing your internal marketing team’s performance as an ongoing process. Encourage ownership by putting team members in charge of the process and regularly discussing the future of the team.
Collecting feedback from your team can be invaluable. They can bring hands-on experience to the table, identify issues you had overlooked and come up with new ideas.
It’s also important to keep up with new trends. Marketing is a field that evolves quickly, and you need to keep up with new content formats, channels and expectations from your audience.
Implement a testing process to optimize different aspects of your marketing program. Strategies like A/B testing can result in actionable data about the type of content that performs best or the best time to post on social media. If you have an influencer marketing program, A/B testing can help you pinpoint the kind of profile that yields the highest conversion rate.

Audit process

  • auditCommon issue: There is a lack of visibility over how your team works.
  • Red flag: It’s unclear who is responsible for assessing the performance of your team.
  • Solution: Adopt some best practices for auditing your marketing program and schedule regular audits.

We’ve already discussed the importance of auditing your content, and it’s something you should do regularly to better leverage existing content and refresh it.
You should audit your marketing team as well. The scope of these audits should include the different workflows, the role of each team member, your publication schedule, the different tech tools you use, communication with other departments and training.
You should also review the best practices the team uses, their different marketing activities to reach goals, your content amplification strategy and the channels you use to distribute content.
If you work with vendors, keep an up-to-date list of your different partners, and audit their performance regularly. Make sure you review contracts and costs as well. For influencer marketing programs, you can develop a similar audit process to review the performance of the different influencers you work with.
Regular audits will help you identify issues early and determine whether your activities and workflows still fit your goals.

Third-party resources

  • Common issue: Your internal team is overburdened because you don’t use third-party resources.
  • Red flag: There is a lack of oversight of how third-party resources are selected and how their activities support your team.
  • Solution: Develop best practices for identifying the right third-party resources, assess which tasks you should outsource and design a thorough due diligence process to find partners who will help you reach your goals.

Outsourcing to a partner like Tempesta Media reduces the workload of your internal team and can make them more efficient. Particularly, they can then focus on what they do best and prioritize the projects they want to have more control over.
Scalability is another advantage. In fact, you can leverage third-party resources to expand your marketing activities to new channels or publish content more frequently. Most vendors offer flexible solutions. You can decide to bring in some outside help for a specific project or outsource some activities when you see your sales volume go up.
Many marketing professionals decide to outsource tasks to access a wider talent pool too. Working with third-party vendors can lead to content that looks more professional, and you can get help from experts for matters like vetting influencers for your influencer marketing program.
Before choosing a vendor, make a list of requirements the vendor should meet. Learn more about your different options and research the reputation and fees of different vendors. Review the SLA set some clear expectations and decide on how you will assess the vendor’s performance.
Like optimization, choosing a vendor is not a set-it-and-forget-it process. You need to manage this relationship by reviewing costs and value regularly.

Final thoughts on content, social media and influencer marketing

You can optimize your marketing program by focusing on what your internal team does best and leveraging the help of third-party vendors like Tempesta Media when necessary. Ultimately, reviewing your overall strategy, setting realistic goals, finding ways to measure your progress, and working with the right team and tech tools can improve performance.
Even with an optimized process, doing everything in-house isn’t always practical. In fact, it often results in higher costs, excessive workloads and a low ROI with limited room for growth. Instead, auditing your marketing program and performing regular reviews can highlight areas where you could benefit from a third party’s assistance.
A partner like Tempesta Media can improve your marketing team, whether you need a completely outsourced solution or a hybrid model. Specifically, our performance-based content, social media and influencer marketing solutions let you outsource tasks like writing and editing. Additionally, we offer a centralized platform to plan your content schedule and adopt more streamlined workflows to make managing your programs easier.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help you optimize your efforts. In the meantime, learn more about common mistakes to avoid when implementing your marketing program with our free e-book.

Your Ultimate Guide to Employee Advocacy Programs

Employees are one of the most valuable resources within a company. Channeling their enthusiasm about your mission into a tool for your marketing and communications efforts can help you attract and hire great employees in the future. It can also build your brand and your reputation online.

An employee advocacy program is essential for brands to reach a broader audience on social media with authentic messages and foster positive employee engagement. If it sounds a little overwhelming to do this on your own, the good news is that you don’t have to. Explore the intricacies and benefits of an employee advocacy program below to learn how you can leverage one for your success.

What is an employee advocacy program?

Companies that have an engaged workforce have an effective marketing tool at their disposal. At the most basic level, employee advocacy programs incentivize your workforce to promote your company online. They help channel the enthusiasm employees feel about their work into powerful testimonials for your mission and products.
Beyond just a marketing tool, this is also an important part of your human resource efforts. Companies that effectively use employee advocacy programs help fuel positive feelings about the work their employees are doing. This translates to more productive workers and higher levels of engagement and loyalty.
Gallup’s annual survey of worker engagement found that the percentage of employees who are “actively engaged” in 2020 dropped to its lowest point (31%) after reaching its highest point (38%) just last year. Another 54% of employees are not engaged — meaning they are unattached to the work they are doing. In Gallup’s Q12® Meta-Analysis, companies in the top quartile for employee engagement were 23% more profitable than those in the bottom quartile.

What are the advantages of employee advocacy programs?

An employee advocacy program can help people on your team focus on the parts they love about your company and share them. Giving people the power to share their personal experiences gives them a sense of ownership in the company’s success moving forward. It also gives them a feeling of responsibility to help the company succeed.
When you engage employees in promoting your business, you also receive tangible benefits to your bottom line.

business goals1. Achieving business goals

One of the most critical parts of any content marketing strategy is your reach. You can create a lot of content, but if it’s not reaching the right audiences, it’s essentially a waste of your team’s time and resources.
As a marketing leader, you understand the challenges of getting everyone on board with content marketing and social media strategies. You also know how important it is to be authentic on social media in order to achieve your business goals. It helps you build better relationships with your audience, develop trust and grow customer loyalty.

Growing your social media reach

When a marketing team spends a lot of time on content that nobody sees, is frustrating. You could pay for that content to reach more people, but you have an untapped social media promotion vehicle right in your company: employees.
The average Facebook user today has 338 friends, and the average Twitter user has 208 followers. In a company with 100 employees, that means you have the potential to reach 33,800 Facebook users and 20,800 Twitter users without paid ads.
People also trust content from someone they know much more than they would trust content from a business. Your employees can naturally start conversations about your business, which are more authentic than the company trying to start the same conversation. In fact, Nielsen research reveals that 92% of people trust a recommendation from a friend or family member, which far outpaces any other type of advertising.

Improving your image

When people involved in the day-to-day operations of a company have good things to say about your brand, that is a powerful testimonial. Social media is one of the most influential forces shaping conversations nationally, locally and even on a personal level. Having employees advocate for your brand can mold the conversation in a positive light to improve public opinion and company reputation.

Generating quality leads

Media consumption today is fragmented, and getting your message in front of a lot of people is expensive if you have to pay for all that advertising. For consumers, it’s often easier to tune out all the “noise” than try to sort through it.
People can curate their own information sphere through social media. They pay more attention to the information coming from people within their circle than ads.
Your employees are also customers and consumers, so a recommendation from them can be a more targeted way to generate quality leads through their own personal networks. Those will show up on your bottom line.

team2. Putting your faith in employees

At the heart of a successful employee advocacy program is trust. The company is asking employees to use their own expertise and influence to build the brand. This demonstrates that you have a lot of faith in your people.
This type of trust translates into confidence in their knowledge, a stronger desire to perform well and a more engaging environment. In fact, employees at socially engaged companies are more likely to feel optimistic about the future of the company and are more likely to stay there (which HR will like).

3. Providing customers with real interaction

Your customers have a keen sense for real content versus carefully curated marketing messages. When employees take part in conversations about your brand, others feel like they are getting an “unfiltered” message. That is important for people who crave real interactions and want more than just a company’s version of their solutions.

How to create an employee advocacy program

Before you launch an employee advocacy program, it’s important to start with a plan. Set goals and create policies to help people understand how to take part and what benefits are available when they do. Employee advocacy programs cross over into both marketing and HR, so it’s critical to include leaders from both departments.
A structured employee engagement plan provides the right incentives for those who are eager to share content. It also offers the right training and tools to those who want to share but might not fully understand how.

1. Set your goals

The first step in creating an advocacy program is having clear goals of what you want the program to accomplish. Simply saying “We want our employees to share more of our content on social media” is not enough. As with all business goals, you need to identify those that are:

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Achievable.
  • Realistic.
  • Time-based.

For example, you might set a goal to have 30% of your employees participate in your advocacy program training within the first year. Make sure goals are aligned with your brand priorities and messaging. Coordinate everything with your content calendar so the information you are putting out from your corporate brand and the information coming from your employees is seamless and complementary.

policy2. Set up the policy

Next, you need to have a policy that clearly outlines:

  • What is allowed and not allowed.
  • What is expected.
  • Guidelines to help employees get started.
  • Ways employees can provide feedback to your team.

Starting an employee advocacy program that encourages employees to use social media to promote your company can feel a little scary. Your marketing team will have to let go of some of the control they have over the brand message that is going out. HR teams will lose a little bit of control over how employees talk about the company online.
Some companies worry a lot about the risks and try to create rigid standards. But this makes it harder to recruit employees into your advocacy program. (They don’t want to get in trouble or cross a line and risk losing their job.)
Plus, strict rules take the individuality out of the program and out of your employees’ natural behavior on social media. This can make their posts seem less authentic (and more sales-y).
The right policy creates a balance between giving people direction and allowing them the freedom to share it in ways that make sense for their social media feeds. It may be a learning curve, so you can work with a managed content services provider like Tempesta Media. We have the right experience to help you create, monitor, manage and adjust as needed.

3. Prepare your advocates

Now it’s time to start promoting your program and advocating it within your organization. This internal marketing campaign will build awareness and bring people in as advocates and then provide the necessary training to help them get started.

Create a positive culture for advocacy

Happy employees who feel fulfilled by the work they do are far more effective brand ambassadors. Make sure everyone who is leading this program is fostering positivity in your corporate culture.

Identify “champions” and internal leaders

Positive peer pressure can be a powerful motivator. Finding and designating the natural leaders in your organization as “champions” of your employee advocacy program can help you recruit others who might be a little shy about participating. You can pilot the program with these champions for a short period of time to work out the kinks before launching it in the entire company.

Create and implement effective training plans

Training is the key to an effective employee advocacy program, but with a few caveats:

  • Make sure the training is easy to access for all your employees, especially if you don’t all work in the same location.
  • Create on-demand modules for people who have difficulty arranging their schedules to attend specific days or times.
  • Make it long enough to provide the information but short enough that it’s not a burden.
  • Provide information about the what, why and how: What do you want employees to do, what’s in it for them, why is this important to the company and how can they get started.

If you don’t have the internal resources to create this type of training, work with a partner like Tempesta Media. Our employee advocacy program solutions are ready to go and scalable for organizations from 1 to 100,000.

Publish and share clear guidelines

Help your employees learn how to fit your brand into their personal ones and advocate for it in an effective way that highlights their voice while staying within your company guidelines. It’s important to have this information clearly available and accessible to everyone in the program.

rewardMake it rewarding

You might like to think that employees would do this for free — and perhaps some of them would — but you will get far more participation if you reward people for being effective employee advocates. The rewards could be gift cards or monetary bonuses. It could also be company swag, credits to shop for prizes, tickets to local events, or exclusive access to new product lines or limited-inventory items that you can get.

4. Prepare content

While an employee advocacy program is a valuable marketing tool, your team should avoid creating marketing content for employees to share. If that seems counterintuitive, consider whether you would be willing to blast your social networks with sales pitch after sales pitch for a specific company. Even if you love that company, your associates and followers will get fed up with that stuff showing up in their feeds all the time.
Someone’s social media feed is a personal tool, and if they’re allowing you to be a part of it, the content and messages need to be valuable to their audience. That doesn’t mean you should never mention your brand (of course you should – the point of these programs is to build your brand online), but it does mean you need to be careful about how your brand is incorporated into each post.
If you aren’t quite sure what types of content people would feel comfortable sharing, consider sending out a short survey to ask. Identify your team members’ personal values and interests to create content that aligns with them.
Here are some general rules for creating the right types of content:

  • Use human interest stories about your people or ways your products and services are changing and improving someone’s life.
  • Provide educational content that teaches something people didn’t know before or might be curious about.
  • Offer “behind the scenes” content. For example, you can show how products are made or show someone who people would instantly recognize (like an executive) in a situation that is relatable to an average person. These can be powerful recruiting tools for talent too. By highlighting an employee on a trip to a foreign country or spending time with their family at a local museum on their paid days off, you portray the environment your company strives to maintain.
  • Show employees participating in local community events like volunteer work or local parades.
  • Share industry research or breaking news that is relevant to your audience.
  • Create fun content that has nothing to do with your brand but will make people smile. Make sure this content matches your brand voice and doesn’t stray into hot-button issues that could create controversy (unless that is your brand).

content creationCreate content before you launch

Before launching your employee advocacy program, it’s a good idea to have some initial content planned that you can roll out over the first few weeks. This ensures that you don’t get behind and have gaps in content to share. However, it’s also important to be flexible and prepared with new content as current events and conversations change so you don’t sound tone-deaf by posting something that isn’t tasteful or timely.
If you’re worried about whether your internal team has the ability to keep up with all the content, working with a managed content services provider is a great way to get carefully curated content that aligns with your goals and won’t require any of your internal team’s time. It’s the perfect solution for small businesses, marketing teams or time-crunched groups that already have a lot of work on their plate.

5. Measure results and make adjustments

It’s important for your employee advocacy program to have clearly outlined metrics to measure to determine the results and evaluate the success of your program. Some overall metrics to track include:

  • The number of employees who complete your training program.
  • The number of employees participating in the program.
  • Total content shared by all employees.
  • Total engagement on all posts shared by employees (likes, shares, comments, clicks).
  • Increase in web traffic from employee-shared content. You can measure this by using unique URLs for landing pages in your employee-shared content or getting a baseline for total traffic to your site through social media and measuring how that increases.

If you’re offering incentives — and you should be — you also need an objective way to measure participation and compliance with the program. On an individual level, you need to measure:

  • Total number of content pieces each person shares within a specific timeframe – If incentives require someone to share a specific number of posts, you will need to be able to track this on an individual basis.
  • Total engagement on posts shared by employees – This metric can help you identify the types of content that perform best so your team can focus efforts on creating pieces that are more likely to result in views, likes, comments and interactions.
  • Total pieces of content read by each employee – While this is different from shared content, it can still help you see how many employees are engaging with the information you put out. Some might not feel comfortable sharing or might not have the social media tools to share. They can still be engaged in your messaging (and they can always share that offline with friends and family).

Ready to get started on your employee advocacy program?

Advocacy programs enable brands to reach a larger audience on social media with genuine messages, and they encourage positive engagement. Even with these great benefits, the process is nonetheless a big undertaking. Tempesta Media can help.
We offer a turnkey employee advocacy program that you can scale to any-sized organization and customize to match your brand voice and meet your needs. It includes tools for offering incentives if you choose to do so as well as in-depth reporting and data analytics tools for HR and marketing (engagement, program performance, ROI, paid media equivalency and more). You can have everything you need to amplify your brand’s presence online.
Great employee advocacy programs go hand in hand with optimized content marketing. To ensure each program complements (not controls) the other, read our e-book, 100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs. Contact us today to learn more.

5 Cost-Effective Ways to Strategize Content Marketing for Businesses

Content marketing for small businesses demands cost-effective ways to implement the plan. Smart strategies will maximize success and minimize failure.

With 70% of marketers investing in content strategies, it’s clear to see the impact content has on the market. Content marketing is vital to small businesses because they don’t have large competitors’ budgets or resources but still must compete on equal ground. Your business might be small, but your marketing efforts don’t have to be with these five cost-effective strategies for your small business.

Post share-worthy content on social media

A smart way to implement content marketing for small businesses is to simply post on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn business profiles.
But before you start going crazy posting all sorts of sales and discounts, think about one thing: What would my audience like to see?
When it comes to posting on social media, keep in mind that your target audience will only share posts that they find valuable. By providing customized, targeted content, your audience will be more likely to share it with their following. This strategy can result in:

  • A larger presence on social media.
  • New followers.
  • Successful future content.
  • A built-in promotional network.

pleasing videosCreate visually-pleasing videos

Video marketing has been around for a while, and it’s here to stay. With cost-effective production using your smartphone, you can create high-quality, visually-pleasing videos in seconds.
Video allows you to distribute it through multiple channels, giving your small business an edge over the competition. Depending on your brand and target audience, there are many types of videos to create, such as how-tos, product overviews and new feature announcements. Choosing the right type of video depends on what questions you’re trying to answer and what marketing funnel stage you’re trying to reach.

Two words: email marketing

This strategy has a high ROI when it comes to generating revenue. When paired with purposeful content, email marketing can lead to:

  • Better outreach: Create email content for customers at different stages of the marketing funnel.
  • Responses: Use CTA buttons like “learn more” to drive traffic to your website.
  • Success: Promote successful content from blogs and other platforms.

By distributing content through email, you add another layer to your marketing efforts while making sure not to break the bank.
With 81% of businesses using this type of marketing, small businesses need to implement email into their content marketing strategy to keep up with competitors and communicate with their audience in a quick and convenient way.

Use word-of-mouth techniques to scale up content

When it comes to finding an inexpensive solution for content marketing for small businesses, it doesn’t get any better than word-of-mouth marketing. While, yes, it’s a tale as old as time, it’s practically free and highly-effective.
With great content, you’re sure to create a buzz among your audience as soon as you start to scale up your content creation.
Word-of-mouth brings your small business loyalty and trust since people are more likely to believe their friends and family over a neutral sales pitch.

seoBlogging to enhance SEO and drive traffic to your site

A quick and inexpensive way to capitalize on your content marketing for small businesses is to utilize your blog to enhance SEO and drive traffic to your site. You can accomplish SEO visibility with:

  • Long-tail keywords.
  • LSI keywords.
  • An attention-grabbing title.
  • Internal links.
  • A meta description.

Keep in mind what questions your audience is asking and what words will grab their attention. Include specific, relevant information that addresses their common concerns, and try to appeal to emotions like “love,” “hate” and even “terrible.” These words will elicit stronger reactions from your audience, encouraging them to keep reading and moving along in the buyer journey.

In summary

Small businesses need to implement a content marketing strategy to stay relevant among their competitors and customers alike. With these inexpensive tips, you’re sure to capitalize on your marketing efforts. Content marketing for small businesses is crucial to driving success, so get started on your content strategy today!

Need help?

Even with these recommendations, most small businesses continue to struggle to successfully execute content marketing, social media management, or influencer marketing programs effectively. In most instances, they simply don’t have the bandwidth or internal expertise to launch, optimize and scale these programs.
Outsourcing to a company with deep expertise in your industry can be a cost-effective solution for your business. Companies, like Tempesta Media, can leverage their deep expertise, sophisticated technologies, and results-oriented operational processes to bring bottom-line results at a fraction of the cost of trying to do it in house.
To see if Tempesta Media is a fit for your company, contact us. We’ll evaluate your business objectives against our capabilities and industry expertise to see if a partnership would work between our companies. If we are not a fit, we can recommend you to resources that are more aligned with your needs.

Posted in Q&A

5 Content Marketing Secrets for the Healthcare Industry

Content marketing for the healthcare industry calls for strategies that help you connect in meaningful ways and create value for your audience. Here are five secrets for a content marketing program that drives results in this field.

Great healthcare extends beyond in-person interactions. Healthcare organizations can implement content marketing strategies to drive revenues, provide a better patient experience and even improve patient outcomes. These five secrets can transform an existing content marketing program to achieve better results.

Write for your audience

Content marketing for the healthcare industry needs to adapt to the unique audience each organization targets. It’s crucial to conduct market research to learn more about your local audience.
On average, 74% of patients have a positive view of medical doctors. Using surveys to measure trust at a local level is a great place to start with market research.
Quality demographic data can inform healthcare organizations about different patient groups and their needs, expectations and health risks to help develop content that is more relevant.

Create content for the patient’s entire lifecycle

Content marketing for the healthcare industry should focus on delivering valuable content throughout the entire patient lifecycle. Too often, healthcare organizations focus on specific pivot moments when a patient decides to seek care.
Focusing on the complete lifecycle can unlock more value through repeat visits and can deliver a better experience for the patient. It also allows for more personalization with content tailored to a patient’s unique history with your organization.

Remember that branding matters

brandingMergers and acquisitions activity is on the rise in the healthcare field, with 19 mergers in Q3 2020 alone. It’s easy for patients to get confused and lack awareness of what your brand stands for.
Your content marketing program should inform patients about any M&A deals or name changes and prioritize branding through content that communicates the value proposition of your brand.

Address content blind spots

A common issue with content marketing for the healthcare industry is that content often sounds too broad and encyclopedic. If your blog looks like a collection of articles from Mayo Clinic or WebMD, it’s time to address content blind spots with the following techniques:

  • Find a tone and voice that sets you apart.
  • Update evergreen content with recent research and statistics.
  • Make a topic more engaging by adding a Q&A section with one of your medical experts.
  • Create more relatable content by integrating testimonies from patients.
  • Keep an eye on search trends to address new questions and concerns.
  • Make content more appealing with images and videos.

Amplify your content

You can increase awareness and organic traffic by amplifying your content through the right channels.
Social media is a key method for amplifying your content and connecting with your audience. Emails are another channel to explore for delivering content throughout a patient’s lifecycle, and text messages can be a great way to share more customized information. If your organization has an online patient portal, use it for personalized content recommendations too.

Final thoughts

Good patient-provider relationships are the hallmark of a successful healthcare organization. Developing those relationships goes beyond the interactions patients have in person, extending throughout the entirety of their lifecycle.
Content marketing is the tool that enables you to reach your patients, no matter where they are. By taking advantage of these five secrets, your content marketing for the healthcare industry can drive better results and deliver more value for your audience.
But these aren’t the only factors to be aware of. Download Tempesta Media’s e-book on 100 mistakes businesses make when implementing their program to set yours on the path to success.
Need help getting traction? Our managed service is built around your strategic and financial objectives. We blend the right balance of content, social media, and influencer marketing programs together to achieve performance-driven results. For a free evaluation of your current program and objectives, please contact us to learn more.

3 Ways to Use Influencer Marketing to Quickly Grow Your Business

In a fragmented media market, an influencer marketing agency can help you get your message directly to an engaged audience to boost sales or increase brand awareness quickly.

The vast majority of people on social media today engage with “influencers” on their platform of choice. That is especially true for millennials and Gen Z consumers (ages 16 to 40), 72% of whom report following one or more influencers online. Engaging with an influencer marketing agency can dramatically boost brand awareness and growth.
The term “influencer marketing” refers to partnerships between brands and individuals with a loyal and engaged following on social media. (Instagram and YouTube are popular, followed by Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitch, and LinkedIn for B2B companies.)
Influencers promote products or brand messages to their followers along with links to drive traffic or sales. These partnerships can dramatically increase your revenue when used correctly.

Create an affiliate marketing network

If the term “influencer” automatically makes you think of celebrities, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to promote your brand at a much lower cost. Affiliate network marketing taps into micro-influencers (under 100,000 followers) and nano-influencers (under 1,000 followers) who are engaged with their audience and more relatable than mega-celebrities.
An affiliate marketer agreement stipulates that the influencer gets a commission for each sale they drive to your company, which you can track using unique links. They are incentivized to share the information effectively with their specific audience. These marketing tactics work best when you partner with influencers who are passionate about your products, services, or industry — their followers will see through “fake” promos.

Provide influencer-specific discount codes

discount codesEveryone loves a sale, especially when it feels exclusive. Creating influencer-specific discount codes is a win for all parties.
Influencers have something special to share with their audience. Consumers make a purchase that makes them feel more connected to the social media celebrity (plus the psychology of getting a deal encourages them to click “buy” on your site).
Beyond the boost in sales, a secondary benefit is your ability to track the results. You can see what codes work, which posts are more likely to result in a sale, and which influencers are generating the highest ROI (if you use multiple influencers).

Collaborate with influencers on exclusive products

Product collaborations can dramatically increase sales by attaching the name and seal of approval of your influencer to a new product. As an influencer marketing agency will tell you, it’s best to work with someone who truly believes in your products and your brand. Work closely with the influencer at every stage — creation, production, and marketing — and trust their instincts on what will work best to reach their audience.
Take this tactic to the next level by allowing the influencer to do a “social media takeover” of your account. Give them full access to your platform for a designated timeframe (ranging from an hour to a day) without specifically promoting your product. This content is far more effective than brand-created content because it feels real, but it’s also sneaky marketing because it showcases your brand and tells a story without feeling like a sales pitch.

A better way to launch your influencer marketing strategy

Many brands think an influencer marketing agency is the only way to successfully run an influencer marketing program. However, a managed services provider might be a better choice. These providers work with influencers to create content centered around your business and strategically targeted to engage your audience. They can help you devise a more specific influencer marketing strategy that closely aligns with your financial and strategic objectives.
Unlike influencer marketing agencies, who push you toward expensive mega-influencers and may not have the same sophisticated software tools to track ROI on your campaigns, managed service providers have their own technology platforms. Because of this, they are able to automate many of the steps needed to implement an influencer marketing campaign.
This unlocks the ability to work with smaller, non-celebrity influencers, who have a deeper engagement with their following. Deeper engagement directly translates into better program ROI.
Build your influencer marketing strategy today with the help of Tempesta Media, and check out some of the most common mistakes companies make in launching these strategies and other content marketing programs.

Posted in Q&A

5 Ways Content Marketing for Businesses Is Changing in 2021

Content marketing for businesses is more important than ever before as marketers look to digital platforms to connect with their audience.

New year. New trends. The pandemic has accelerated the digital shift, with brands increasingly relying on content marketing to reach their audience. We’ll continue to see this phenomenon in 2021 as the following trends shape content marketing for businesses.

The importance of brand value

With the massive shift to digital in content marketing for businesses, brand value can become a key differentiator between competitors.
Brand value is the sum of the interactions and experiences that shape the relationship between a user and a brand. Users who perceive a brand as valuable are willing to pay more for a product or service and will choose that brand over competitors because of past experiences.

New models

In 2020, some businesses saw key processes become more flexible as team members got used to working from home. Even though remote work introduced some new challenges, it has helped teams improve communication and organization.
This newfound flexibility, combined with a need to lower costs, is giving way to the rise of new content creation models. Marketing teams can leverage this flexibility to outsource writing and editing, publish content more regularly and access a larger talent pool.

Micro-moments and the buyer journey

Because of the pandemic, more than half of consumers said they shopped online more frequently. Content is more important than ever for supporting users through that journey.
Content marketing for businesses is adapting by targeting micro-moments in the buyer journey. They are prioritizing content that addresses specific intents with formats like Q&As, text and video snippets. Focusing on answers that are short and straight to the point help address a specific need at a micro-moment in the buyer journey.

testing and learningTesting and learning

Marketing professionals agree that it’s time to experiment with new things. The pandemic forced marketers to adapt quickly, shift their priorities, and respond to new needs and pain points from their audience.
Marketers can stand out by experimenting, breaking a few rules and giving content creators more freedom when it comes to telling stories and engaging their audience. However, these experiments should be structured with measurable goals so that the outcome can be used to update existing rulebooks.

Niche SEO

SEO has been a constant for marketers, but it’s worth repeating that SEO will never go out of style. Large businesses with a strong online presence have an advantage in this area, but there are opportunities to explore with niche SEO and long-tail keywords.
Investing in keyword research and focusing on long-tail keywords will help marketers target users with a specific profile and intent. Long-tail keywords also reflect natural human speech, which is becoming a more common way of issuing queries thanks to smart assistants.

Final thoughts

While some aspects of content marketing for businesses will remain constant, like the need for a user-centric experience or the importance of SEO, 2021 will see marketers adopt new models and focus on micro-moments and brand value.
Tempesta Media can help you adopt a more flexible model and keep up with these new trends with solutions like custom content writing. Get in touch with us today to find out more about how we can help. To get started now, download our latest e-book, 100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs.

Posted in Q&A

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Internal Team?

How much does your in-house content marketing team cost? Most businesses only track the initial cost of content creation without considering additional expenses linked to content approval or promotion.

The return on investment is a popular way of measuring the success of your in-house content marketing team, but you can’t assess this KPI without knowing the true cost of your program. Too many businesses take an overly simplified approach to tracking costs and overlook expenses linked to approval, management and promotion.

How much does writing a blog post really cost?

On average, an employee costs 1.25-1.4 times their salary with costs like taxes, insurance, benefits and overhead expenses like office space.
With this average in mind, a member of your in-house content marketing team will have an average cost of about $40 an hour. So, if they spend two hours writing a 1,000-word blog post, your initial cost is $80.

Getting content ready for publication

Any content marketing professional will tell you that the approval process is time-consuming.
Additional team members will need to edit and review the content. Each round of edits should take a minimum of two hours. You should then count another hour spent on optimizing the blog post for SEO purposes.
If the blog post has to go through two rounds of edits and an hour of optimization, the total cost will be $280.

Publication and promotion

promotionOnce the content is ready for publication, another team member will need to spend approximately an hour on formatting and uploading it to your website.
Promotion efforts can then begin. This process entails identifying the most relevant channels and writing copy to get readers to click through to the content.
Promotion should take around 2.5 hours and cost $100. Between publication and promotion, count on spending $140, but keep in mind that there can be additional costs if you use paid channels to promote your content.

Ongoing expenses

Your content marketing team has to complete additional tasks to meet their goals, including researching new topics, creating editorial calendars and assigning tasks. Managing your program can take 2-3 hours each week, which will cost an average of $100.
Analyzing content after publication is crucial for the success of your program too. Tracking clicks, engagement and conversions will take two hours a week and cost $80.
Your marketing team will incur additional ongoing costs with monthly subscriptions to the different CMS or project management tools they use. These costs can vary depending on the vendors you choose and the number of users.

In-house content creation versus a managed content services provider

You should count on spending at least $680 per week using an in-house content marketing team to produce a weekly 1,000-word blog post. However, this $680-per-week cost assumes that a single person can effectively write, edit, produce and optimize content themselves. In reality, it is nearly impossible to have an employee who can perform the entire content production cycle themselves and do it for about $35,000 per year ($680 X 52 weeks). Someone skilled in all those areas will command significantly more. More so, these calculations don’t even consider the overhead costs of hiring, training and maintaining such a person.
Outsourcing this process can significantly reduce your costs. A managed content services provider like Tempesta Media can act as an extension of your internal team, reduce ongoing costs and deliver a 1,000-word blog post for only $350.
As demonstrated above, assessing the true cost of an in-house content team often reveals that outsourcing this process would make more financial sense. Contact us to find out more about our affordable content solutions, or download our free 100 Mistakes e-book to discover common mistakes to avoid in your program.

Posted in Q&A
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