7 Tips on Writing Good Content Quickly

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The reason my job exists is because many business owners just don’t want to or they can’t put in the time and effort into social media and content curation. So understandably, I can see how a lot of people hesitate when starting a blog because they just don’t see how they can have time to write blog posts multiple times a week.

You can do it. I promise!

You can have a blog without it consuming every hour of your day or feeling like you’re in over your head. If you’re writing content for your own blog or writing in addition to writing for yourself, there’s a lot of pressure to publish quality content consistently. However, even if you are writing for a blog everyday or more, quality is always expected.

You’re not alone. I have struggled with having the motivation to keep up with my own blog when work gets busy. Luckily, I have found a few simple tips that help me write quality content in less time. As you get the hang of regularly utilizing these tips, writing content will come easier!

  1. Always keep a list of topic ideas. Keeping an idea book, post-it notes, or some way of documenting your ideas will help you get started. When I first started this blog, I would spend a good time trying to figure out what I was going to write about each time. With time, I realized that it’s much easier to write down ideas as they come to me so I can just pick a topic from the list when it comes time to sit down and write. You can easily remember all your ideas if you write them down immediately when they come to you. If you want to do it digitally, Evernote and Apple Notes are great apps.blog3-23.png
  2. Keep a small library of blogs. Writing ahead of time can be a huge time saver! If you have down time or if you’re bored, write a blog post! Having some already-written content can be helpful when you have a really stressful week at work, if you’re on vacation, or you just don’t have the time.
  3. Write when you’re feeling most creative. After some time, you should get a feel of when you’re brain is the most creative. What time of the day do you write your best content? I find that I write the best blog posts in the morning. I like to write while I’m drinking my morning coffee, my mind is fresh, and I find that it’s a great way to start my day. That being said, it’s different for everyone! Find what time works best for you and try to write at that time everyday or whenever you need to create content.
  4. Start with a bulleted list of facts, comments, and thoughts. When I first sit down and start to write, I pick a topic and immediately start writing a bulleted list. What do I know about this topic? What do I want people to know about this topic? I’ll throw in some statistics every once in a while and do some research on other blogs that are similar. This will basically be an outline for your blog post.
  5. Write the introduction last. Get the meatiest part of the blog out first. Once you have actual “content” out, you can develop the intro. The intro doesn’t have to be long, but it needs to be attention grabbing and engaging. I find this easier because once I know what I’ve written, I know how to introduce it.
  6. Remember that a blog is different than a school paper. There is no correct structure for a blog post. Forget what you learned in school. That being said, spelling and grammar is important. Write your content like you are speaking to someone. It’s okay to use slang, smiley faces, and conjunctions. Online readers will give their attention to you more if you speak to them.
  7. Use visuals. Visuals are engaging and are an easy way to tell your story without using too many words. This will save you time and cater to people who don’t always read every single word.

Although there is increased pressure to publish quality content online, you don’t have to be a professional writer to create content for a blog. With time and practice, you can become a better and quicker blogger.

February 2016 Social Media Update

February was another exciting month for many anticipated social media updates!

Facebook:

  • Reactions. Facebook has been teasing us for a while with this update. We can finally express more emotions with the extension of the “Like” button. Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 10.37.48 AM.png
  • Video Metrics. The video metrics sections of Page Insights will have several improvements! You can now track user engagement and better understand how your video performs.
  • Automated Captions. Captioned video ads increase video view time by 12%! This new tool generates captions for video ads and delivers them to the advertiser within the ad creation tool to review and edit.
  • New Website for Nonprofits. Facebook launched a new website for nonprofits and NGOs. It’s designed to help them use Facebook more effectively and raise awareness and funds.
  • Facebook Invite Update. Everyone knows you can make an event on Facebook. What if your friend doesn’t have an account? Now, you can send them an invite to the event without them having an account!

Instagram:

  • Multiple Account Switching. Finally, you can easily switch between accounts if you manage more than one. All you have to do is change your settings! Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 10.38.13 AM.png
  • 60-Second Ads. This month, Instagram extended video ads to 60 seconds. They used to be 30 seconds. This update allows ads to be longer than the typical 15 second videos provided to users.
  • Video Views. You can now see how many times your video has been viewed at the bottom of the video!

Snapchat:

  • On-demand Geofilters. This update makes it easier for you to send your message to your local community. It’s great for people or businesses.

Twitter:

  • Algorithm-based Timeline. The new algorithm timeline will use data based on a user’s previous activity to determine what to show at the top of their timeline.
  • First View Video Ads. These video ads are an engaging and highly visible way to share your brand story. As an advertiser, you have the opportunity purchase the top slot and achieve significant audience reach.
  • GIF Search. The new feature allows users to search by keywords or browse categories of different GIFs. The GIFs are provided by Twitter’s partners GIPHY and Riffsy. Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 10.38.36 AM.png
  • Customer Service Tools. This is great for marketers and business owners! The 2 new tools allows businesses to collect audience feedback after service interactions through questions.

9 Ways Social Media Marketers Think Like Journalists

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Many times when I tell people what I do, they ask me what I majored in. A lot of people don’t expect me to say journalism. Yes, I was a journalism student and I don’t report the news, write cutting edge stories or put pounds of makeup on for the camera.

A successful journalist knows how to tell a compelling story and engages the audience. Well, isn’t that what a social media marketer does?

The line between social media and other media seems to blur more and more over time. Social media is just as influential as major newspapers and celebrities. It’s powerful and it’s here to stay. In fact, when you wake up in the morning, you don’t have to walk outside to get the paper. Grab your phone and scroll through Twitter to get the information.

Because social media is so influential, social media marketers and content marketers need to think like journalists to appropriately distribute engaging and relevant content. Fortunately, I was educated to think like a journalist. Here are 9 ways social media marketers think like journalists:

  1. Get the facts. So, journalists know a little something called the ‘journalistic truth.’ The base of good story telling is true facts and research. There’s an importance in accuracy because it’s your reputation on the line. As a social media marketer, you might not be writing your own story or giving statistics from an interview. However, whether you share an article, blog, tips or videos, you want to use your best and professional judgment. Make sure it’s true to your industry and your brand.
  2. Provide value. Providing value to your audience will not only boos reach and engagement, but you’ll also be able to learn from and connect with people outside of your network. For instance, if you provide something of value to a follower on Facebook, they are likely to share it or engage with it somehow. Therefore, the post will reach even more people who weren’t necessarily going to see it before.
  3. Trust and credit your sources. All journalists know that networking is key. This is even true for social media as well. You always want to be looking for ways to reach more people and for people to find your content. All it takes for your content to become viral, to reach outside of your network, is building strong and strategic relationships with influential Social influencers can be found by doing a Google search or by finding people that have a strong influence within your industry. Having people you can trust makes sure your content is always being seen. This is a great article explaining influencers a little more. Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 9.35.13 AM.png
  4. Have your own style. Journalists write in a certain style. Once they find a style they like, they usually stick to it (AP style). This makes it easier for them to maintain consistency. Social media marketers should do the same so they don’t confuse their readers. This will simply strengthen the branding on social media.
  5. Know your audience. This shouldn’t be new advice for social media marketers. Most all marketers know that you obviously have to have a clear knowledge of your audience, their wants and needs, and your product or service. Since journalists and social media marketers are constantly switching their focus between specialist subjects and niche markets, they have to find which language, content and tone connects most with each audience. The goal is to publish content that makes a reader choose yours over another.
  6. Embrace multimedia. As technology becomes a bigger part of our world every day, print-only journalism is more irrelevant. Journalists must be tech-savvy. It’s not enough to just be a great writer, you have to know how to show and tell. Social media marketers benefit from multimedia as well. Using visuals, from video to photos to infographics, journalists and social media marketers will strengthen their content and boost conversion rates.Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 9.37.51 AM.png
  7. Make a plan. Journalists always have an editorial plan. This way they always have a stream of new content ideas. Social media marketers plan as well. Finding new interesting angles on a subject that is entertaining and informational doesn’t just happen on the fly. A strategy and plan is usually made weeks or even months in advance. Setting aside time to develop a plan will make it easier on you as well as give your content structure and purpose.
  8. Remember who you network with. This goes back to your sources. Journalists are always making contact with new people and building relationships to get a good story. They have to be able to recall someone from years prior if they want to use them as a source for a current situation. Social media marketers benefit the same way if they can remember their sources. In fact, networking is a huge part of social media.
  9. Stay up to date. Always keep up to date with the new trends. Journalists are always trying to get the newest story first. Similarly, social media marketers want to know and utilize the newest social updates or trends. This keeps you as an authority leader and an influencer.

6 Guidelines to Targeting Millennials on Social Media

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We live in a technological world. When consumers were once satisfied with stock photos, a brief description and a couple reviews, many consumers, largely Millennials, now have higher standards.

Let’s be honest. Failure to engage Millennials means it’s only a matter of time before your brand becomes totally irrelevant. It’s sad, but so, so true. In fact, by 2018, Millennials will have the most spending power of any generation (Bazaar). So, you might want to think about gaining credibility among them.

Today, there’s a much longer process before making a purchase. A large factor to consider is the shorter attention spans and attraction to image-based communication. More than 2.6 billion photos are shared on social platforms daily! Millennials love authenticity and timeliness. That’s why social media is so significant, because they can see if a brand is more than just their products or not.

If you want to target millennial audiences on social media, gain credibility, and engage with them, try to stick to these guidelines:

  1. Make sure you’re brand is relevant to the conversation. First thing you should know is that Millennials have no problem being vocal. If your brand has no credibility or is not relevant to their interests, they will be very quick to point it out. Therefore, if you are targeting Millennials, make sure that it’s a smart move and that you have a place in the conversation. If your brand doesn’t fit or speak to them, maybe you should try targeting a different demographic.
  2. If your brand provides an experience, share it. Even if you’re selling a tangible product, if you’re smart, you can connect an experience to your brand. Why? Because 78% of Millennials would rather put money toward an experience than an item. It’s no longer just about the product; it’s about the experience they get when they buy the product. Starbucks is a great example of a brand that sells more than their product. They sell a nice day in the park with a latte or a get together with friends and cappuccinos, and it shows in their social media.Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 2.40.40 PM.png
  3. KISSS. No, the third S is not a typo. Keep it simple, sharp and short! With smartphones, laptops, and tablets, Millennials consume more information a day than any other generation in history. Since they have to process all of this content, it helps if your content is short and simple. Make is sharp with engaging visuals or relevant language.
  4. Be unique. Show the personality of your brand on social media with one-of-a-kind photos, a personal story, or a behind-the-scenes look at production or employees on their break. Millennials seek out brands that are different from the others. Find your differentiator and display it.
  5. Target by interest. Instead of targeting by age, try to target your posts by interests. This way, you’re not only reaching Millennials, but people who are also interested in topics that are relevant to your industry. Don’t target Millennials just because; make sure that the Millennials you are reaching are actually interested in what you have to say and in your brand.
  6. Be true to your brand and stay transparent. Take responsibility on social media. Tell your audience what your brand does great, and tell your audience when you made a mistake. Millennials are more likely than other generations to associate a brand with its back-end practices. You can also show your brand’s identity by sharing authentic photos and videos.

Today, content is consumed very quickly and at a large volume. You can successfully gain credibility and increase engagement among Millennials if you follow these simple guidelines. Just remember to not lose the identity of your brand while trying to impress these kids!