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Category Archives: Blogging

  1. Five Vital Blogging Tips

    • by Gustavo Morais
    • February 25th, 2014

    One of the many services we at St8 Creative Solutions offer your business is a company blog. You probably know what a blog is – it is rather commonplace on the Internet now, as a resource of information on a variety of topics. However, a blog can be much more than just a record of posts – it has the potential to be the hub of all your social networks. It can be the site of your very own community, working in conjunction with your SEO strategies and social media networks. A thriving community will equal plenty of traffic, and conversions for your business!

    But what is the best way to build a blog that will lead to such a community? Follow the 5 steps below and you will be well on your way!

    1. Have a blogging strategy.

    This is extremely helpful because it will help you avoid the dreaded writer’s block! Create an editorial calendar for your blog so you’ll never be at a loss for what to post. You can create alliterations with topics such as “Technology Thursday” or “Motivational Monday”.  A popular analogy that has been popping up on-line lately compares blogging to food. Rick Burnes of Hubspot wrote this article in 2009 comparing different kinds of blog posts to foods in a diet to show what kind of blog posts you should be posting monthly to create an engaging blog. Jason Miller of LinkedIn further created an amazing infographic last week called “The Blogging Food Groups: A Well-Balanced Diet of Content.” It is a beautiful visual example of what kind of posts you can create for your blog for each day of the week. You can see part of the infographic above.

    2. Post daily if you can

    If not at least bi- or tri-weekly. Fresh content is not only great for SEO purposes, but it also gives readers a reason to visit the site more often!

    3. Create images

    Such as infographics, branded content, videos…anything visual that will easily catch a viewer’s eye. This may inspire emotion, which makes the content more sharable via social networks.

    4. Encourage readers to comment

    And add toolbars with social networks for easy sharing! At the end of every post, it’s a great idea to ask a question that your readers can answer in the comments or ask for feedback. Adding ShareThis toolbars with links to share on networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest make sharing easy and will ensure that others will see your content and come to your blog.

    5. Make your blog user- and SEO-friendly!

    Simple fixes like making sure the pages load quickly and using keywords on images can allow people to find your blog and stay on it longer.

    What are you waiting for, start blogging today! If your business needs help starting a blog, contact us and we’ll get you started!

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  2. What social networks are best for my small business?

    • by Gustavo Morais
    • October 18th, 2013

    Social networks are here to stay; there is no doubt about that. Social media is an important part of any marketing strategy and a great way to engage customers, build loyalty and outreach to new leads. As a small business owner, you may be wondering which networks are most appropriate for you. Below we’ve listed some of the most popular social networks and how they can represent your company or brand on-line

    Facebook

    With 900 million users worldwide, it’s hard to argue that a having a Facebook presence is a bad idea. Around 50% of people in the U.S. have Facebook account, so there is a great chance that you can reach out to potential customers via this social network. Create a fan page for your company and share photos, news, updates and other critical information. Also ask questions to actively engage your customers and encourage them to comment to start a two-way conversation. Facebook Advertising is also a great tool to build likes, grow your community and generate leads. With the updated Timeline, Facebook is also a great tool for branding as you can show the entire history of company with pictures, milestones and events.

    Twitter

    Twitter is best for real-time updates, and instant feedback from customers. With Twitter, you can write short, 140-character messages to create buzz on your company or product. Twitter is great for announcements, news, promotions and resolving customer service issues quickly.

    Google+

    Google is the most popular search engine tool on the Internet, so it is very important to also have a presence on its social network. Although Google+ is young, its relation to search engine giant Google makes it very important for businesses that want high SEO rankings. According to SEO Moz, there is a correlation with +1s and higher search rankings. Further, if your business has a location relevant to your services, it is important to be on Google+ Local so that you can highlight customer reviews and ratings.

    LinkedIn

    LinkedIn is the social network for professionals. It’s used most often for job networking, information and leads. LinkedIn is a great way to introduce yourself to key people in an industry. You can also show your expertise through discussions on LinkedIn Groups. If your company is in the B2B business, being on LinkedIn is crucial to your success.

    Instagram

    If your product is very visual, Instagram is a great social network for advertising. Photos can be treated with unique filters for a whole new perspective on engagement. Hashtags coupled with photos can also be great tools for promotions and contests.

    YouTube

    YouTube is another Google property that has an important part in your SEO strategy. YouTube videos are often ranked quite highly in search rankings, so if your product has a video demonstration, it is likely to be seen by those searching. Also, many creative videos have the potential to go viral quickly on this social network. You can also make video testimonials including your satisfied customers.

    Pinterest

    This new social network is very popular among women of 18-65. If your customer demographic includes women, this highly visual bookmarking tool would be a great way to display graphic content and share information such as recipes, fashion tips and more.

    Tumblr

    Many mistake Tumblr for just another blog; but it’s about the visuals rather than writing or articles. If you have a lot of visual content, memes or video, Tumblr is a great tool for sharing viral content.

    By ST8 Creative

    Social networks are here to stay; there is no doubt about that. Social media is an important part of any marketing strategy and a great way to engage customers, build loyalty and outreach to new leads. As a small business owner, you may be wondering which networks are most appropriate for you. Below we’ve listed some of the most popular social networks and how they can represent your company or brand on-line

    Facebook

    With 900 million users worldwide, it’s hard to argue that a having a Facebook presence is a bad idea. Around 50% of people in the U.S. have Facebook account, so there is a great chance that you can reach out to potential customers via this social network. Create a fan page for your company and share photos, news, updates and other critical information. Also ask questions to actively engage your customers and encourage them to comment to start a two-way conversation. Facebook Advertising is also a great tool to build likes, grow your community and generate leads. With the updated Timeline, Facebook is also a great tool for branding as you can show the entire history of company with pictures, milestones and events.

    Twitter

    Twitter is best for real-time updates, and instant feedback from customers. With Twitter, you can write short, 140-character messages to create buzz on your company or product. Twitter is great for announcements, news, promotions and resolving customer service issues quickly.

    Google+

    Google is the most popular search engine tool on the Internet, so it is very important to also have a presence on its social network. Although Google+ is young, its relation to search engine giant Google makes it very important for businesses that want high SEO rankings. According to SEO Moz, there is a correlation with +1s and higher search rankings. Further, if your business has a location relevant to your services, it is important to be on Google+ Local so that you can highlight customer reviews and ratings.

    LinkedIn

    LinkedIn is the social network for professionals. It’s used most often for job networking, information and leads. LinkedIn is a great way to introduce yourself to key people in an industry. You can also show your expertise through discussions on LinkedIn Groups. If your company is in the B2B business, being on LinkedIn is crucial to your success.

    Instagram

    If your product is very visual, Instagram is a great social network for advertising. Photos can be treated with unique filters for a whole new perspective on engagement. Hashtags coupled with photos can also be great tools for promotions and contests.

    YouTube

    YouTube is another Google property that has an important part in your SEO strategy. YouTube videos are often ranked quite highly in search rankings, so if your product has a video demonstration, it is likely to be seen by those searching. Also, many creative videos have the potential to go viral quickly on this social network. You can also make video testimonials including your satisfied customers.

    Pinterest

    This new social network is very popular among women of 18-65. If your customer demographic includes women, this highly visual bookmarking tool would be a great way to display graphic content and share information such as recipes, fashion tips and more.

    Tumblr

    Many mistake Tumblr for just another blog; but it’s about the visuals rather than writing or articles. If you have a lot of visual content, memes or video, Tumblr is a great tool for sharing viral content.

    Read More >>
  3. Is a funny, famous female the formula for viral content? Maybe not, but it sure helps.

    • by Gustavo Morais
    • January 18th, 2013

    Facebook’s most recent “feel good viral story” “Two Girls and a Puppy” has got us thinking about the nature of viral content. If you’re not hip to the story: 2 little girls begged their Dad for a puppy until he jokingly agreed that if they could get 1 million ‘likes’ on Facebook, they could get a puppy. It didn’t take more than a few hours for puppy loving social media users everywhere to ‘like’ their page 1 Million times. Was it the power of puppies that pushed their page into viral history, or was it something else? While there is no formula for posting viral content, there are a few proven guidelines that seem to help. Our friends over at SEOMoz just published a blog post that details what type of content goes viral and why. In a nutshell:

    Write long, in-depth posts. A detailed, in-depth post indicates thoroughness and thoughtfulness. It tells the reader that the author cares about the topic enough to spend ample time researching and writing about it. 2 University of Pennsylvania professors looked at the New York Times’ most emailed list to see if they could determine what caused people to share an article. They found that word count was more closely correlated with sharing than any other variable examined. This isn’t exactly relevant to our puppy post, but valuable nonetheless.

    Inspire anger, awe, or anxiety. Content that inspires high-energy emotions is far more likely to be shared. If you are angry about a topic, write about it. If you are amazed by something, write about it. If you are anxious for something, write about it. If you are sad about something, don’t write about it. Content that inspires low-energy emotions like sadness is less likely to be shared, according to the SEOMoz post.

    Prove you care. This is related to your writing style. If you write like a robot with no emotions, nobody will share it. Piggybacking off the “inspire anger, awe, or anxiety” point, make sure that your writing style shows how passionate you are. Readers will feed off your passion, but they can only feel it through the way your content is written.

    Practically useful, surprising, and interesting. This comes as no surprise, but content that is surprising, interesting and practically useful receives more shares than boring stuff. This is a no brainer, but it’s interesting to see which of these inspires more sharing:

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  4. 2013 in terms of Search, Social, Mobile & P

    • by Gustavo Morais
    • January 3rd, 2013

    2012 proved to be a real trip for those involved in the world of digital marketing, which we most certainly are. Between Google’s consistent algorithm updates, the unflinching rise of mobile, the marriage of search + social, and every online marketing expert getting a “content marketing” tattoo on their face, there is a lot to reflect upon. But as we reflect we are also looking forward because the nature of the digital world doesn’t slow down or take a break, it mercilessly and progressively moves forward, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Search – Tomorrow, 1/3/13, marks the 17 year anniversary of the phrase “content is king.” No doubt you are familiar with the phrase, but perhaps not the context in which it was introduced. Bill Gates wrote an article on January 3rd, 1996, titled‘Content is King‘, which touched on his first assumptions of how the web would handle the massive portal of content it made available. I wonder if Bill knew his phrase would ring true almost 20 years later as SEOs and online marketers alike fight for top placement on the almighty Google SERPs…

    Anyway, as Google rolled out their Penguin and Panda updates in 2012, a seismic shift in the way we view SEO was introduced. Content really has become king, in terms of your website’s relevance/authority online. Google puts an extremely high value on genuinely interesting content that is shared through social networks, blogs, etc..If you are producing this type of content, you are more than likely experiencing growth online, specifically in terms of search and social metrics. These updates birthed the new idea of link earning rather than link building, a notion that is widely accepted as best practice in the SEM community.

    As we welcome 2013 with open arms, we will consider the excitement and opportunities the new year holds for search marketers. There are plenty of articles and posts surrounding what search engine marketing will mean in 2013. As a general summary, see Search Engine Watch’s Critical Components to SEO Success in 2013 and SEOmoz’s 10 Predictions for Inbound Marketing in 2013.

    Social – Social media marketing is a blurry term for most. Actually, for many SMBs, it’s not even blurry, its just a blob they can’t quite figure out. The broad nature of the term encompasses any branded social action taken online…how vague. However vague this term appears though, for those who’ve mastered it, there are endless benefits. 2012 brought to our attention the marriage of social media and search marketing. In other words, Google and other search engines started taking notice of the value of a brand’s social media presence in terms of relevancy/authority and rewarded this presence with better rankings. It makes sense if you think about it. A brand who is fostering valuable relationships with their consumers online must have some sort of relevance and authority within their niche, so why shouldn’t they be rewarded for it?

    As this marriage blossoms into a beneficial relationship for brands, we should consider what 2013 will bring in terms of social media marketing. Social Media Examiner’s 21 Social Media Predictions for 2013 From the Pros is a great list, as well as this awesome infographic from Twin Engine:

    social-media-marketing-takes-flight

    Mobile – If you had any doubts about the rise of mobile strategy for brands, put them to rest. When Google comes out with a “Mobile Playbook“ for companies looking to learn and master mobile marketing, you know its real. Mobile marketing is the central focus for a growing number of marketers, as 87% say they are planning to increase their emphasis on mobile in 2013. Also, mobile local advertising was forecast to reach $24 billion in 2016. Search Engine Watch’s article, The New Mobile SEO Strategy, highlights some interesting points regarding mobile & SEO tactics as the new year rolls in. In terms of the future, The Mobile Marketing Conference website says that Mobile Marketing is projected to exceed all others as the most influential advertising medium of all time in the near future.

    Public Relations – It’s been interesting to watch the relationship between PR and SEO grow. As SEO made the inevitable shift into content marketing, PR became increasingly relevant and important. The idea of ‘corporate storytelling’ emerges as a PR must in 2013 in order to create great content. In turn, this content is shared and your SEO efforts are boosted. The synergy between PR and SEO can have fantastic benefits for brands who are fully taking advantage of this. Search Engine Watch’s article, 10 Reasons Why Public Relations is a ‘Must-do’ for SEO in 2013 gives a great description of this relationship.

    2013 is here, and it’s bringing a whole slew of online possibilities for brands to grow and connect with their consumers. We are proud and excited to be helping brands grow online, and we look forward to a fantastic year ahead!

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