Even the best content writer has days where they feel like they can’t come up with any content ideas. This is especially true if you have to produce content multiple times a week or every day. No matter how well you know your industry, there comes a day where it feels like the well has run dry. That’s why we made this blog idea cheat sheet. These ideas can be applied to any company in any industry (seriously!), so bookmark this post for a that rainy day when you feel like you’ve hit the wall. Industry predictions:no matter what industry you’re in, there are innovations being made and new developments moving it forward. From software development to agriculture, there is no industry that isn’t constantly changing and developing. So, take a look at what these developments might be for your specific industry and create a post predicting where you see it going in the year ahead. Staff profiles:this is a great way for customers to get to know your company in a more personal way—and for you to get to know your coworkers better! Create a standard set of questions and then run through them with everyone at your office (or one person per department if you work in a large company). Ask questions like “how long have you worked at the company,” “what’s your favorite part of working here,” “did you think you’d work in this industry when you were little,” and “what’s the coolest/funniest story you have from your time here.” Then when you run out of content ideas you can post one of the profiles. Guest post:this is one of the easiest because you don’t have to do any writing at all! Invite someone else experienced and knowledgeable about your industry to write a guest post for you. Maybe this person is management at your company (if they can spare the time), a thought leader in your industry or a coworker from another part of the company who has a fresh perspective. Just make sure to look it over before posting. Even though it’s someone else’s writing, it’s still your reputation. Event preview: this is a great one for companies that host or participate in a lot of events. This doesn’t only apply to fancy, industry events. Is your company setting up a booth at the county fair? Blog about it! Not only does it give you a chance to promote your brand online and show off how knowledgeable you are (and involved in the community—bonus!), but it also makes people more likely to stop by your booth while they’re out at the fair. FAQ post:if you have customers, they ask questions. Whether you’re a pest control professional or a dentist or a jewelry maker, your clients have questions about what you do and how you do it. So round up the questions you seem to be asked most frequently and write a blog post with the answers! Book/movie review:did a book or movie recently come out that would be of interest to others in your industry or your customers? Read it/see it and write a review! Trend or current event story:if there’s something in the news that is relevant to your industry, write a blog about it. Odds are, your customers are seeing the same news story and will be wondering what you think about it, so get out ahead of it and let them know what you think in a blog. Plus, if it’s a really hot topic, it could bring more traffic to your site. How to or beginner’s guide post:nobody knows your industry better than you. Share some of that sage advice with others who are just getting started out. Take a toping in your field and great a beginner’s guide post. If you’re a baker, you could write, “The Beginner’s Guide to The Perfect Sugar Cookie.” Or if you’re in automotive repair, you could write, “The Beginner’s Guide to a Home Oil Change.” The possibilities are endless. If you need any help keeping up with your blogging requirements or updating your content, call the content creation experts at Skynet Solutions. We can write interesting, fresh content for any industry or business, as well as handling your social media and other marketing needs. Whether you’re targeting specific customers or just want to get the word out about your new business, we can handle it. We also have a talented development team who can build you anything from a basic website to custom software. With our diverse range of skills and experience, we are sure to have the tools you need to make 2016 your business’s best year yet. You can fill out our online contact form on our website. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn!
Month: April 2016
How to Handle a Social Media Crisis
Big or small, all companies on social media go through a crisis at some point. Whether it’s a problem with your company itself that ends up manifesting on social media or a careless employee posting a questionable tweet to what they thought was their personal account, few brands make it through completely unscathed in the digital age. When you’re confronted with a social media crisis, it’s important to act quickly and decisively to address the concerns of your customers so they don’t lose their trust in you. Here are the steps to take when confronted with a crisis so you can work it out in a way that is consistent with your brand: Identify the crisis and its source:before you act, you have to know what you’re up against. Was this something that went wrong internally (like that careless employee who intended to tweet to their work account but didn’t), or is this something external that is just now being brought up on social media (such as a major defect with your product that customers are noticing and taking to social media to discuss). Is this a crisis or not:everyone gets negative reviews on Facebook or has a mean tweet sent out about their business once-in-a-while. That does not a social media crisis make. It is a social media crisis if it is a departure from the norm (you usually get one or two negative Facebook reviews in a month and you’ve gotten 50 in the past hour) and it has the potential to impact whether or not people will use your business. Talk to your social media manager: hopefully they were the one who alerted you to this issue in the first place, otherwise you might need to start looking for someone new. Ask them how this issue came to their attention, how long it has been happening, if anything like this or with this customer has happened in the past and if/how they have responded to this incident. Then work together to develop an acknowledgement post, an internal investigation of the incident and an apology to your customers. Acknowledge that something happened: you don’t have to know all the facts or who was responsible to know that something went wrong and customers are upset. Create a post—on the platform where the issue originated—letting your customers and fans know that you are aware there has been a problem and you are looking into it. Figure out what happened: figure out what happened and quickly. Trace the problem back to its source, find out who or what (if anyone) was at fault and then decide what action needs to be taken internally (does someone need to be fired, do employees need some kind of additional training, does the method of manufacturing your product need to change) to make sure this never happens again. Be thorough, but also try to be quick. The longer customers go without hearing from you, the more rumors will start to circulate. To delete or not to delete: many social media crises are caused by inflammatory comments posted by disgruntled employees looking to embarrass a former boss or workplace or careless employees who think they’re posting to their personal account. It is up to you to decide whether or not to delete this post. But remember, by then someone will have already screenshotted it and there is no way to get rid of that. So don’t try and pretend like the post never happened. Say you’re sorry:and mean it. There’s not much the American public can’t forgive with a sincere apology. Explain how this problem came about, how it has been handled within the company and how you are taking steps internally to make sure nothing of this nature ever occurs again. Then immediately get to work putting those plans in place. Customers will forgive just about anything once. But if the same thing happens twice, it will be much harder to gain their trust back. In the meantime, you can always call the experts at Skynet Solutions for all of your social media and marketing needs. We have an expert team that can build you a social media strategy that will work on any platform or any combination of platforms that you choose for your business. Whether you’re targeting specific customers or just want to spread the word about your new business, we can handle it. We also have a talented development team who can build you anything from an e-Commerce website to custom software. With our diverse range of skills and experience, we are sure to have the tools you need to make 2016 your business’s best year yet. To get in touch with us, you can fill out the online contact form on our website. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedInfor more information about our services, updates from our blog and marketing tips and tricks.
11 Apps Every Marketing Pro Needs
As every marketing and social media professional knows, managing a successful marketing campaign is a 24/7 job. No matter what kind of campaign you’re running, you need these 11 apps to keep you organized, connected and ahead of the curve, no matter where you are: Hootsuite/Buffer/Sprout Social:whichever social media scheduling tool your company uses, make sure you have the app so you can schedule social media posts anytime and anywhere. You can also follow up on already posted posts to see their reach and respond to any comments. Mention:this is one of the best social listening tools available and should be a staple for every social media marketer. Mention tracks your brand’s—you guessed it—mentions all over the web from blog and social media posts to website content and anywhere else you show up based on preset keywords you select. It’s a great way to stay on top of what customers, competitors and leaders in your industry are saying about your brand and how your name is getting out there. MailChimp:we love MailChimp for email management and running email campaigns and the mobile app makes it easy to manage email lists, view statistics and edit campaigns from anywhere. Evernote:if you don’t have Evernote yet, it’s time to take the plunge. It’s basically the ultimate to-do list which automatically syncs between all your devices. You can take a note on your tablet while you’re at home and it’ll show up on your work desktop, your smartphone, anywhere you need it. You can also save pictures of a hand-written note or list and Evernote will extrapolate the relevant information from it. If you upgrade to Pro or Premium, you can also store emails, voice memos and access your info offline. GoToMeeting:this is a great way to stay connected with your office and with clients while you’re on the go and to meet with clients who are far away. GoToMeeting not only allows multiple people to conference from multiple locations, but it also allows you to share screen so you can see each other’s presentations. Nimble:this contact-managing app integrates your connections on social media to your phone’s contact list. It will suggest new social media accounts for you to friend or follow based on your contacts and will also add more detail to each of your contact’s listings in your phone based on their social media profiles. News:pick your favorite news source, whether it’s Mashable or The New York Times or BuzzFeed and download their app. Check it routinely to keep on top of the day’s big stories and find interesting things to share that are relevant to your audience. WiFi Finder:when you’re in a time crunch and you need to find a place to get work done, this app will show you where the nearest free (and paid) WiFi networks are to your current location. Eventbrite:if your company hosts any kind of event or conference, Eventbrite is an easy way to manage registration and track attendees. It also makes it easy for people who come to your events to register and find information like time, location and directions. Google AdWords:Google released a Google AdWords app last year that allows you to manage pay-per-click campaigns from your phone. We won’t say it makes AdWords fun, but it is nice to be able to check your campaigns from anywhere. Official Apps for Social Media Sites:this one should be a no-brainer, but we’ll add it in anyway. You should download the official app for every type of social media site you manage. There are apps for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, Tumblr, Vine and literally every other social media network in existence. If your social media accounts are getting too tangled for you to manage, you can always call the experts at Skynet Solutions for all of your social media and marketing needs. We also have a talented development team who can build you anything from a basic website to custom software. With our diverse range of skills and experience, we are sure to have the tools you need to make 2016 your business’s best year yet. To get in touch with us, you can fill out the online contact form on our website. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
5 Steps of Writing Evergreen Content
It’s basically the Holy Grail of blogging—creating evergreen content that can drive traffic to your site continually and be just as relevant in six months as it was on the day you posted it. These articles move beyond what’s trending right now and speak to the constants in your industry whether that is marketing or agriculture or software design or interior decorating. While flashy, topical posts might bring in clicks here and there, it’s evergreen content that builds a loyal following behind your brand. Here are five steps to creating evergreen content for your company’s blog: What is Evergreen: you know your industry better than anyone, so start by thinking about what you read, the brands you admire and what sources you reference when you’re looking for information relevant to your industry. You gravitate to these for a reason and if you look closely you’ll probably find that they’re great examples or sources of evergreen content. Examine them closely for topic and content and periodically check back in to see if they are updated over time. This will give you a guide to work off of. After all, you have to know what evergreen is before you can write it. Already Evergreen: that being said, whether it was intentional or not, odds are you’ve already written some posts that would be considered evergreen. If you’ve written any kind of how to guide, glossary of industry phrases or index of industry resources or written anything entitled “7 steps to…” or something along those lines, you’ve created evergreen content. Congratulations! If you have some of these already, use them as a guide for future evergreen posts. If you haven’t written anything like this yet, consider these some starter ideas. Updatable or Timeless: as HubSpot points out, there are really two kinds of evergreen content. The first kind is content written on a subject that will truly never change. An example of this is, “Five Steps to Making the Perfect Grilled Cheese.” The second kind is content written on a topic that will likely always be relevant, but might need to be updated periodically. An example of this is “Why You Should Update to the Latest Version of Windows.” The first one will always be relevant; grilled cheese is grilled cheese and a good recipe will stand the test of time. The second one will continue to be relevant as long as it is updated each time a new version of Windows comes out. Maintain It: just because content is evergreen doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a little sprucing up every now and again. Every tree needs trimming to stay healthy. As we mentioned in the last point, some topics will always be relevant, they just need to be periodically updated so that they can be as relevant as possible. So make sure you’re periodically going back through articles and updating anything that has gotten a little behind the times. Once you’ve updated, repost these blogs so they appear at the top of your feed and re-share them on your social media accounts. Make it Long: one more thing that evergreen posts tend to have in common? They are often longer than other posts. While the ideal content length for a blog post is about 700 words, a good evergreen post can go well beyond that. Evergreen content is, by nature, explanatory and in depth. So, while your followers won’t thank you for writing a novel, don’t be afraid to really dive into a topic and save the surface-skimming posts for your quick-hit, fleeting topics. If you need any help keeping up with your blogging requirements or updating your content, call the content creation experts at Skynet Solutions. We can write interesting, fresh content for any industry or business, as well as handling your social media and other marketing needs. Whether you’re targeting specific customers or just want to get the word out about your new business, we can handle it. We also have a talented development team who can build you anything from a basic website to custom software. With our diverse range of skills and experience, we are sure to have the tools you need to make 2016 your business’s best year yet. You can fill out our online contact form on our website. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn!