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July 2017

Don’t Overlook the Power of the Hashtag #

Don’t Overlook the Power of the Hashtag # 900 600 Amy Judge

Hashtags. Introduced in 2007 by an unassuming Twitter user and initially reserved for social media platforms hashtags are now prevalent even in colloquial speech. #crazyright. Most of us have a general idea of what they are but how many of us know how to leverage them appropriately to drive the content marketing reach of our business?

With numerous social media platforms and hundreds of millions of new posts per day the quantity of social media content and the rate at which it is growing is virtually incomprehensible. For example, Twitter grows by 500 million tweets per day and Instagram grows by 60 million posts per day. This does not include Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google+ and the like. So how does a consumer find specific content related to their particular subject of interest? Or how does a business reach a potential client with pertinent marketing? Think of hashtags like keywords that link related content. Hashtags provide a pathway through which to help a consumer categorize and sort content, similar to the now-antiquated library card catalog. For your business this means that hashtags provide the ability to drive a tremendous amount of organic traffic to your content with a miniscule amount effort – #brilliant.

Alright. We’ve established the value of leveraging the almighty hashtag to optimize your content marketing reach. Now let’s take a look at 5 practical tips for incorporating them into your social media marketing:

  • Create a custom hashtag for your business to help create brand awareness and drive social engagement within your follower database. Think both catchy and relevant. Just make sure that your custom hashtag isn’t already widely-used for an unrelated topic!
  • Implement your custom hashtag as well as other relevant hashtags to promote events or campaigns within your business. Hashtags are an incredibly efficient vehicle through which to generate interest and engage an on point audience with your marketing endeavors.
  • Educate yourself on which hashtags are currently trending and ride those waves. Hashtagify.me is one resource that will keep you up to date on trending hashtags. Incorporating trending hashtags will maximize your brand’s visibility.
  • Research each of your preferred social media platforms with regard to hashtag rules, etiquette and statistics. It’s important to recognize for example that Twitter only accommodates 140 characters and 2 hashtags per tweet and incorporating 1-2 hashtags per tweet generates 2X more engagement with that post. Conversely, Facebook doesn’t limit the number of hashtags a user is allowed and their character limit on status updates is a whopping 63,206!
  • Test out hashtags. See what generates engagement from an on point audience and what doesn’t. Then make necessary adjustments to ensure optimal impact.

Don’t overlook this effective little symbol.

Hashtags are a powerful tool in your marketing tool box. Careful research and implementation of hashtags on the social media marketing front will undoubtedly drive the content marketing reach of your business and propel you towards achieving your goals. Contact us for ways we can help generate strategic, engaging content to capture more leads while letting you focus on what you do best. To learn more, schedule a complimentary, 15-minute exploratory call with our team: calendly.com/wildfig/15min.

Is Automation Right For You?

Is Automation Right For You? 900 600 Kevin Switala

The answer is yes. We haven’t worked with, or heard of, a single company that couldn’t profit from automation. In fact, the return on investment (ROI) for automating processes typically falls between very attractive and no brainer! But it’s not just for financial reasons that we automate. Here are some of the benefits of automation:

  • Increased efficiency and minimized risk
  • Increased client retention and strengthened client relationships
  • Increased credibility and a preservation of your reputation
  • A guarantee that processes are followed
  • The ability to track and measure what’s working
  • Saved time so you can spend time doing what you love!

Automation Wears Many Different Hats

A lot of times in the digital marketing space, we automate our campaigns, funnels, and marketing processes but we forget about other automation. The more we leverage our automation platform, the more value it brings to us. Think about these examples:

Sales Automation

  • How many times do your sales people (or you) miss an opportunity due to missed follow-up?
  • What if you could send a text message to provide basic info for a critical sales call?
  • What if you could automatically send appointment reminders to clients AND salespeople?
  • Do your potential clients get the right information at the right time during the sales process?
  • How much time do you spend writing down the same to-do’s from prospect meetings?

Lead Scoring

  • What if you could perform action based on how interested or active a lead or prospect is?
  • How about if you were alerted to the top 10 readers of your content?
  • What if you could automate follow-up for those that are opening emails and clicking on links frequently?

Digital Marketing Automation (oops, did I slip that in the list?)

  • Provide monthly email newsletters to your clients to stay top of mind and promote sales!
  • How about a text your name/email to this number for a chance to win at your next sponsored event?
  • Need a call-to-action landing page to grow an audience for a future webinar?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice to automatically provide timely information to prospective clients on their sales journey?
  • Want to keep your client list clean by monitoring email open rate and client involvement?

Internal Automation

  • What if you could automate on-boarding new clients with the first email after conversion – forms, signatures, filing?
  • How about a basic payroll prep automation – collect hours and pre-approve for your payroll company?
  • What if you don’t have an HR department? Do you have processes for time off requests, W4 updates, 1099 or subcontractor agreement  updates, online training programs/sign-off?

Payment Automation

  • What if you could process monthly subscription payments and invoices automatically?
  • How about avoiding transaction failures by building a credit card expiration reminder email sequence?
  • Wouldn’t you love to automate the sale of product and provide single point fulfillment orders for processing and delivery?

Date Driven Automation

What if you could deliver time sensitive communication throughout the delivery engagement? We have brides that need caterers and seating charts, we have chiropractors that need to prepare patients for months to come, we have educators that need to provide timely curriculum and materials to match class time, we have automotive needs that were too expensive earlier in the year but have become critical maintenance items.

Automation 101

A couple of notes about when to automate…

Is the Practice Repeatable? – In order to automate a practice, we need to have a set of well-defined steps that are followed each time we perform the function. If the process is different every time, it will be hard to automate and our success rate will fall.

Can it be Documented? – We need to be able to document the process we want to automate. Sometimes there are too many variables or too much human intervention – for these situations, document and automate the main process and account for human intervention with delayed steps and/or task management.

The Over-Automation Mistake – If the process you automating is a one-time, 2 hour process and it takes 4 hours to build automation, then maybe it’s not a good fit for automation.

Don’t stop now!

There are many ways to automate the things we do every day. The more you can automate, the more time you get back for doing the things you really want to do!! If you’re ready to take that next step to find out how automating your business can help you save time, increase leads and deepen your client relationships, then schedule your call to explore how we can help you breakthrough to the next level in your business and give you back more time to do what you love!

Should You Outsource Your Content Creation?

Should You Outsource Your Content Creation? 900 601 Kari Switala

The internet is a battleground–for attention.

Today’s businesses know they need to share vivid, engaging content to capture that attention, attract customers, and differentiate themselves from the competition. Generating an ongoing variety of quality content on a regular basis is crucial.

In an ideal world, your in-house experts would also be skilled writers with time on their hands and a broad knowledge of marketing and social media tools. If that’s not your reality, consider outsourcing your content creation.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 44% of B2B marketers outsource content creation. Further, up to 57% of B2B technology marketers outsource content design, editing, writing, and even distribution activities.

There are plenty of arguments for outsourcing content creation, especially for smaller, leaner companies.

  • A content specialist has built-in flexibility: If you need to scale your content marketing efforts up or down quickly, you won’t have to hire or dismiss full-time staff, and your staff won’t be either overloaded or spinning their wheels. You can be more nimble–jumping on market trends, trying new strategies and reacting to industry changes.
  • Your internal authorities may have top-level skills in their specialties, whether engineering, design or finance–but lack the communication skills to capture audience interest and convey the information cohesively.
  • A specialist will view your business from a valuable fresh perspective, identifying compelling topics or new strategies that may have escaped your attention.
  • An outside expert has the experience to experiment with a wide variety of content; the tools to analyze which types are most effective for different goals; and the skills to evaluate results.
  • A specialist knows how to craft calls to action and landing pages calculated to convert casual visitors into leads.
  • Outside experts often have access to technical tools, and the experience to get the most from them, which would be prohibitive to adopt internally. Whether it’s proprietary software or simply the savvy to extract valuable info from Google Analytics, they can save you money and spare you the learning curve.
  • Your marketing team can devote their finite resources to longer-term projects such as advertising campaigns, trade shows, white papers and ebooks.
  • Content professionals combine writing skills with in-depth understanding of dominant search terms, SEO (search engine optimization), keywords, email marketing best practices, and conversion optimization.
  • Content specialists typically have the know-how or the resources to provide additional creative skills such as research, video production, web design and social media assistance.
  • To decide whether outsourcing content creation and strategy is the right solution for your business, reflect on the expertise and bandwidth you already have in-house. If your existing staff doesn’t have the talent and time to master the art of content creation, hiring outside content specialists may be the best economic decision, and also generate the best results.

Wild Fig Marketing can generate strategic, engaging content to capture more leads while letting you focus on what you do best. To learn more, schedule a complimentary, 15-minute exploratory call with our team: calendly.com/wildfig/15min.

Attracting Your Ideal Client Through Storytelling

Attracting Your Ideal Client Through Storytelling 900 600 Kari Switala

We’ve all been privy to a good story – one that captivates our attention in such a way that we find ourselves retelling it over and over meanwhile striving to maintain its integrity by recalling every last detail. Sometimes stories are not only captivating but personally powerful – something we hold onto and derive meaning and inspiration from when the road of life takes painful twists and turns. In business, we have the opportunity to harness the incredible power of storytelling to gain the expensive and heavily-divided attention of our ideal client and set ourselves apart from the competition.

In order to develop a story that attracts your ideal client you need to first establish who exactly your ideal client is. The more detailed the composite of your ideal client the more effective your brand storytelling will be.

In creating this composite it is important to start by considering your ideal client’s core values. What motivates your client? (environmental issues, quality, cost-savings…?) It is also important when creating this composite to empathize with your ideal client. This is where you put yourself inside your client’s head. What keeps your client awake at night? What are his/her dreams and goals and what obstacles stand in the way of achieving those goals?

In addition to establishing the composite of your ideal client it is helpful to closely examine some common elements of memorable and powerful stories…

  • Overcoming an obstacle or a challenge – the protagonist pushes through adversity and overcomes great odds, paving the way to victory
  • Altruism – the protagonist demonstrates profound generosity, empathy and compassion
  • Creativity and Inspiration – the story contains an innovative solution to the central conflict and inspires the reader to think outside the box

Keeping these elements in mind, what kind of a story should your business be telling? Here are some ideas…

  • The origin story – How did your business begin? Include obstacles along the way, moments of inspiration, lessons learned and a snapshot of where your business is at today. Remember, a great story doesn’t have to be dramatic – just genuine!
  • The story of failure – Don’t do your business the disservice of shying away from this one! Remember the successful story element of overcoming an obstacle? People are attracted to honesty, integrity and triumph. Own your failures as a business and share how you learned and grew through the process. Potential customers will better connect with you (who hasn’t failed at one point or another?) and deem your brand trustworthy.
  • The offer story – Remember the process of empathizing with your ideal client? This is where you intersect his/her journey with the product or service your business provides. How does your product or service help your customer overcome obstacles to achieving his/her goals? How is your offer unique or innovative, setting your business apart from the competition?

Everything about this process is extremely intentional. Building upon your company’s firmly established values and vision draw a composite of your ideal client and incorporate relevant, carefully-planned brand storytelling. The end result? You attract your ideal client and set yourself apart from the competition, maximizing the value of your content marketing – win!

Contact us to set up your FREE 15-minute consultation on ways we can help you create your story and build the foundation of your brand – something that will inspire loyalty and meaningful bonds with your customers!