Getting your content seen online
Imagine you spent hours planning a class for your students. You researched new ideas, planned original content, found (or created) awesome visuals, and prepped your space in an engaging way. But then nobody showed up.
What a waste, right? – of time, money, energy? You’ve labored over exciting material and presentation, but no one came to enjoy it!
That’s a little like how it feels to spend lots of time and money on a website that receives minimal traffic or to write original blog content that gets zero likes, shares, or comments. Even worse – to pour blood, sweat, and tears into marketing efforts that yield no new students.
Social media marketing should yield measurable results – not just in likes, comments, and shares – but in new enrollments. [Tweet this]
So, we compiled a list of 3 ideas to help you expand your digital reach.
RESEARCH AND DISCOVER
1. Ask your parents and students how they consume content.
Consider these questions from Campfire Marketing1 and Content Marketing Institute2:
- Which apps do they check first?
- Which apps do they spend the most time on?
- Which websites stay open on their browsers?
- Do they receive most of their info at work or at home?
- Do they like e-mail newsletters?
- Do they subscribe to RSS feeds?
- Do they bypass text content for images and video?
- What content are they consuming and why?
- What content do they use to make purchasing decisions?
- How do they identify sources they trust?
- How did they find their favorite sources of content?
2. Take advantage of technology
In addition to asking questions, use technology to glean feedback, says Joshua Nite on the Top Rank Marketing blog.3 “Great content demands a deep understanding of your potential audience that can only come from data. Dig into keyword research. Comb through your support inbox to see what people are asking. Check your competitor’s content to look for holes you can fill. Ask your current customers, potential customers, and the ones that got away.”
KNOW WHY YOU’RE WRITING
Now that you’ve made discoveries about your audience, always keep your readers (and potential readers) in the forefront of your mind when you create and share content. Online marketing guru Neil Patel says writers should make sure their content can be used, implemented, and profited from.4
Ask yourself why your brand is uniquely qualified to say what you’re about to write, says Nite at Top Rank Marketing. “The answer should be obvious to your reader before they hit your first subhead.” Nite offers these prompts to inspire your unique point-of-view:
- Because everyone else misses this point
- Because I have personal experience with this issue
- Because the industry’s prevailing opinion on this is wrong
- Because my insights will save the reader time and money
USE A BLOG-APPROPRIATE STYLE
Blogging is casual and conversational, often written in first person “I” to “you,” the audience. “Keep it light and actionable, and the shares will go up,” Patel says.
Though a blog should be somewhat entertaining, it also should have a shelf-life, he adds. “Use content that’s relevant and relatable now and in the future, not just short term or ‘hot topics.’”
You want people to be able to find your content online years from now and still be able to use it. A timeless quality to your blog also will make it more useful for your marketing efforts, since you can recycle and reuse the content for future posts.
As for headlines, follow the “Goldilocks rule,” says Dharmesh Shah, co-founder of the marketing company HubSpot, who was quoted in Forbes.5 “Great content isn’t too short or too long, it’s just right–hence the Goldilocks rule. Keep your blog titles under 120 characters so they are easily tweetable, and learn how to edit your posts with a critical eye.”
PUBLISH OR PERISH: SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!
Don’t let all of your hard work die on the vine because no one actually sees it! Revisit your original research about how your audience consumes content to help you modify and refresh your distribution channels. Here are some more tips from Forbes:
- To maximize your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so your audience can find you with a Google search, identify the key search words for your topic, and incorporate those into your post’s headline and body copy.“Shah says that the earlier in any sequence of words those keywords appear, the stronger the signal Google will receive,” says writer Jacquelyn Smith in the Forbes article. “For example, ‘Hiring a Patent Attorney: Seven Things to Look For’ will rank better than ‘Seven Things to Look For When Hiring a Patent Attorney,’ because the desired keywords, ‘patent attorney,’ come earlier in the sequence.”
- “Post on weekdays, when there are more readers,” Smith adds. “Give your readers a reason to be distracted from their jobs. On the weekends, they’re less likely to be online.”
- Make sure you include on your posts “Share” buttons for social media platforms of all kinds. “The easier you make it for people to share your content with their network, the more likely they are to do so,” says Shah. “It’s a one-time investment to configure your blog to include these social media buttons–but the dividends pay off forever.”
In the end, it’s important to find ways to track your adjustments, and always ask “How did you hear about us?” Discovering how to reach more kids is, after all, the point of your labor.