Content Marketing: It’s Not Just Blogging Anymore

Content Marketing Comes in Many Forms | Learn more via @HighleyDesigned

I recently started hosting a podcast with Lancaster Podcast Studio called Open Chat and my guests this week were local marketing professionals. We had a great talk about digital marketing and social media but the topic we kept coming back to was content marketing – what it is and how to provide value to your online audience. (To listen to the full show click here.)

I think one of the biggest challenges we face as marketers is defining our audience and creating a variety of media for them to consume. With the numerous social media platforms we have to post on, content marketing isn’t just blogging anymore. And Google is getting smarter – you cannot just blog to add keywords to your website – they want to see that you are providing valuable content that’s user friendly.

So regardless of what industry you’re in, if content marketing isn’t just blogging anymore, what is it? Well, content marketing can be a free eBook, a standout visual, a video or tutorial, an infographic or a free download. There are various tools to create this kind of media and most of them are FREE so it’s easy to incorporate video, GIFs and tutorials into your marketing mix. To learn more about free tools for creating video and standout graphics see my previous blog.

Now that you know what content marketing is, let’s talk about adding value. Something is not valuable if it’s been written about and talked about a million times already. If you are going to write or create a video about something that’s yesterday’s news, you better have a fresh perspective to keep your audience interested. Another tip – if you can’t explain a process in a few simple steps then leave it to someone else. Adding value means providing your audience with something that’s fresh, easy to follow, entertaining to watch and useful to learn about.

With all of that in mind, think about the various social platforms your brand is using. After you write a great blog you can repurpose that content over time to each of your social platforms as a different form of media. For example, I recently blogged about working from home. I then created a graphic for Instagram and shared a link to the article on Facebook and Twitter. Before writing this blog I decided I’d take that content a step further and create a video to share my 3 favorite tips for work from home success.

The key to content marketing success is simple:

A. Define Your Audience
B. Keep Your Content Fresh
C. Use a Variety of Media – Blogging, Video, Graphics, Downloads, GIFs, etc.
D. Focus on Quality, Not Quantity

If you’re a work from home entrepreneur, blogger or freelancer, enjoy my video! And be sure to checkout the Open Chat podcast – It’s available each Wednesday on iTunes and Stitcher.

 

 

New Instagram Features for Social Media Managers!

Sweet New IG Features for Social Media Managers by HighleyDesigned

Instagram has finally introduced an awesome feature for social media managers! I mean, it’s about time you can switch accounts without logging out and logging back in… (Both Facebook and Twitter have had the feature for years.) That’s right – account switching is here.

Whether you have a bunch of IG accounts you manage or you simply want to be able to switch between your personal and business accounts more easily, here’s how you do it. And as of now you can add up to 5 accounts… Bummer if you have more, but at least it’s a helpful step!

Step 1. Login to one of your Instagram accounts and click on your profile at the bottom right.

Step 1 - Login to your IG account and click on your profile at the bottom right

Step 2. Click on the “options” dots at the top right.

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Step 3. Scroll all the way down and click “Add account.”

New IG Features for Social Media Managers!

Step 4. Simply login to your next account and repeat the process to add additional accounts.

New IG features for Social Media Managers!

Step 5. Toggle between accounts by holding the profile image at the bottom right – a menu will pop-up and you’ll see a check next to the account you’re currently using.

New IG Features for Social Media Managers!

Now that your accounts are added you can post pictures and manage your accounts more easily! For more tips and tutorials be sure to follow me on Facebook and keep posting great content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product Photos 101

Taking product photos can be tough.  No matter how cool your products are, how nice the colors look, or how great the quality is, it can be hard to capture all of that in one photo.  As Keep’em in Stitches continues to grow, I’m constantly taking pictures and working on new ways to capture the craftsmanship, the rich colors, the textures and overall adorableness of Jean’s knitted products.

The biggest thing I’ve learned is LIGHTING.  No matter how great something looks to you, if the lighting isn’t right your photo will not capture that greatness.  I try to take all of my photos in natural light so I don’t need to worry about shadows, glares, dullness, or timing my camera flash.  In fact, taking photos outdoors almost eliminates the need for flash and product shots turn out just the way I want them to.

The other things I’ve learned is CONSISTENCY.  When you’re taking a bunch of pictures of the same product but in different colors or patterns it’s important to stay consistent. You want people to see that the products are made the same way, highlighting the only change to the product which is the color or pattern.

One of the last things I’ve learned is to make sure the camera is fully charged before beginning a shoot!  Nothing is worse than taking great photos and then losing power and having to charge your camera.  In the time it takes to charge you can lose your lighting (if you’re shooting outdoors) and your motivation.  This is a mistake I definitely didn’t make twice.

The best advice I have for any beginners is to practice! I’m still practicing and when shooting new products, textures and patterns it’s important to play around with different settings to see what makes for the best photo.

 

 

Consistency is Key

Consistency is Key – Keep’em in Stitches has 28 different baby burp cloths to choose from so it was super important to keep it simple and consistent, showing off the variety of colors and patterns available.

 

Natural light made this baby boy gift basket look absolutely adorable, capturing all of the amazing colors and textures!

Natural light made this baby boy gift basket look absolutely adorable, capturing all of the amazing colors and textures!  Working outdoors I found a perfect backdrop and the fence provided a classic, rustic feel.