5 Signs You Need to Upgrade Your Content Creation Game

An essential part of any digital marketing strategy includes creating relatable and engaging content. Whether you’re just starting out in content creation or have been doing it for years, there will come a time when your content won’t connect with your audience the way you want it to. By understanding why your content isn’t hitting the mark, you can work to improve and upgrade it. 

These tell-tale signs that you need to switch up your content creation strategies will help you start understanding how to make your content the best it can be.

You’re repeating the same ideas in every blog

No one likes to hear the same thing over and over again. In digital marketing and content creation, persuasion is key. If you’re repeating the same things in each blog, you risk not only boring your audience, but making them less likely to reach out or come back to view new content.

Instead, try to hone in on a few simple ideas while providing content that will engage your audience.

Traffic is decreasing

Losing followers on social media, decreased engagement or low conversion rates can all be impacted by the content you’re putting out. If you’re seeing a decrease in traffic, it may be a sign your content is getting old. 

Trying out different content strategies and new techniques can be a great way to try and increase traffic and visibility. Even if you’re producing great content, it can still lead to less engagement if it’s not hitting home for your audience. Experimenting with different styles of content can help you upgrade your content creation game and promote engagement.

Your content is full of industry jargon and complex terms 

Relatability is a key factor in content creation. Chances are, your target audience isn’t limited to industry professionals – it’s everyday people. Using complex terms not only makes your content harder to read, but can make you seem out of touch with your target audience.

Although you want to highlight your achievements in your particular market, do it in a way that’s easy for someone with no industry experience to read. Explain complex topics in simple terms. You may want to consider creating a glossary for readers to refer to – like this blog on SEO terms.

Social media is great for content creation

Your social media and website don’t show a clear brand identity

Creating a recognizable brand identity is part of any good content strategy plan. If your content doesn’t show a strong identity, it will be harder for your audience to connect to. 

A brand identity isn’t just a catchy phrase or logo, either. Brand identity can include the tone you use in your blogs, a particular color scheme or anything else that sets your content apart from everyone else’s. Creating content that is uniquely yours will make sure you stand out in your audience’s mind. It may also help you attract a wider audience. 

You’re not passionate about the content you’re creating

If you don’t care about what you’re creating, it can show in your content. Whether you’ve been creating the same type of content for too long that it’s gotten tedious or boring, or you just don’t feel like you’re creating your best work, it can have an impact on your content. 

Branching out with your content creation is one of the best ways to create content that you feel proud of and passionate about. Tie in pop culture or your personal passions to create new and engaging content that entices the audience. After all, if you’re not passionate about your content, how can you expect anyone else to be?

Content creation is vital to expanding your reach and keeping your audience engaged and interested. To create the best content you can, make sure it’s real, recognizable and relatable

If you’re ready to step up your content creation game, we can help! Check out our content services here and let us know how we can serve you.

How To Attract Students To Your Institution With Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool that, if utilized properly, can promote your institution.

Studies show that Generation Z is more connected to social media than any other generation before them. Making sure your institution has a recognizable and relatable social media presence can give students a glimpse into what life is like at your institution and potentially show them that your institution is the right fit for them.

But attracting potential students isn’t as easy as simply having an account; you need to make sure you’re appealing to the right audiences and using social media to your full advantage.  

Why Does Social Media Matter?

Social media can be an added boost to promote attention towards your institution. However, it can also be a direct way to introduce your institution to potential students. The right social media presence can have a huge impact on attracting new students and retaining current students. 

If a student sees an outdated or barely-used social media page for an institution they’re considering, it could deter them from exploring your school further. On the flip side, a savvy, fun social media presence could peak their interest. 

It’s important to be relatable in your posts, and that starts with understanding the wants and needs of your targeted audiences. For attracting students, make sure you are highlighting all the best features of your institution, social events and campus culture. All students know what a typical institution is like, so what makes yours recognizable? What makes it stand out?

Making sure your social media presence is recognizable and engaging can help your institution stand out to potential students. Beyond attracting students, using the stats on social media can help you determine if you’re reaching your target audience. It can also show you how many people are interacting with your posts and if your social media strategies are effective.

What’s the Best Social Media To Use?

The three main social medias that will give you the most traffic are Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. But how can you use them? What’s the best strategy for each one? 

1. Twitter

Twitter is great for written content as well as sharing others’ posts. Use Twitter to livetweet campus games and use hashtags to increase engagement and visibility. Use a LiveTweet App to create a Twitter wall for your events to show potential students what others are saying about your institution.

2. Instagram

Instagram is one of the most creative and customizable apps to attract students. This platform has a ton of features that can help your institution. Features such as Instagram highlights and stories can make information about your institution more accessible. The photo grid on each Instagram account creates the opportunity for you to craft a unique look to attract new students. 

3. Facebook

Facebook should be the most professional presence you have out of all the social media platforms mentioned. Studies show GenZ doesn’t use Facebook as much as older people do, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.

Even if your content doesn’t reach a potential student on Facebook, it may reach a parent or relative. It’s generally a good idea to share your Instagram posts to Facebook to make sure you’re reaching all your audiences.

Facebook is a good social media for older adults.

4. TikTok

TikTok has the potential to be a great social media platform for institutions because of its “For You” page. The “For You” page uses an algorithm to show the user videos similar to ones they’ve interacted with. It can also show content related to topics they’ve shown interest in. TikTok’s algorithm may help you reach your target audiences quicker. It also means you don’t need to have tons of followers for your video to gain views – giving your institution more visibility.

Not all social media is created equal when it comes to reaching your targeted audiences. It’s worth noting which ones may not be the best platform for your content.

  • Snapchat

Although this is a popular social media platform, your content isn’t accessible to people who aren’t following you, making it harder to reach potential students. Instead, try adding geotags for people to use when they’re in the school’s vicinity. 

  • Pinterest

Research shows that Pinterest is popular with older generations. While some older adults go back to school, it usually isn’t your target audience. Pinterest is also not ideal for content creation.

  • Tumblr

Tumblr isn’t as commonly used as other social media platforms. While it may work to use as a website to promote a service, using a similar photo-sharing app like Instagram will generate more engagement. 

How Can You Promote Engagement on Social Media?

Promoting engagement on social media can help your page gain more traction, and with more followers comes a more recognizable presence..

To promote engagement, make your page as interactive as possible. Instagram stories are a great way to pose questions, create polls or quizzes and interact with your followers. 

Giveaways on social media for school swag are another way to promote engagement. Try making some rules for the giveaway that will increase engagement. Ask followers to tag a friend in the comments or add the post to their story. 

Using hashtags can help get your page on more screens, but be weary of having too many in your captions. Use a few simple hashtags at the end of the post or incorporate them into the caption itself to make it look more aesthetically pleasing.

Gen Z uses social media more than any other generation.

Features To Take Advantage Of

  • Twitter/Instagram Polls

Polls are a great way to promote engagement. You can use the poll feature to ask institution-relevant questions, such as whether your team’s going to win the next game. However, to attract new students, make sure to keep some questions more broad to keep potential students involved.

  • Live Videos

The live video feature is on multiple platforms and is a great way to show prospective students what your school is like in real-time. Whether you want to record a game or other campus event, use this feature to highlight campus culture.

  • Instagram Highlights

Instagram Highlights are a convenient way to organize and archive past Instagram stories. You can use this feature to give a potential student a quick way to access information. Take some time to make well-designed stories that highlight all the best parts of your institution and answer some FAQs. Be sure to keep your Instagram highlights up to date.

There are benefits and drawbacks to any social media you may choose, but each post is a chance to attract a new student to your institution. If you’re looking to create a Real, Recognizable and Relatable social media presence to attract more students, PivotPath can help! Check out our social media management services here.

Alison Roller is a recent graduate of the West Chester University of Pennsylvania where she earned a B.A. in English with a minor in journalism. When she’s not writing, she can be found wherever her cats are. Check out her LinkedIn profile here to connect.

Influencer Marketing in Business

How Your Business Can Take Advantage of Influencer Marketing

We’ve all heard (and possibly cringed at) the word “influencer” before. It’s safe to say that the term has become somewhat taboo in most professional settings. 

What comes to your mind when you hear that word? Shiny young adults posting edited photos on Instagram? Celebrities engaging in product placement and sponsored advertising? While these may be the most popular images of influencers portrayed on social media, influencer marketing has grown into a legitimate strategy for marketing small businesses and building a valuable network. 

Influencer Marketing
Influencers are changing the face of marketing forever.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Before we dive into the many facets of influencer marketing, it’s important to understand what is meant by the term “influencer.”

Influencer: One who exerts influence, a person who inspires or guides the actions of others.

Merriam-Webster

The title isn’t confined to any one industry or field.  According to the definition, anyone with a large reach and considerable impact can be considered an influencer. The trick is to align yourself with people who already have a large, loyal following. 

So, how can you start to build this large following if you’re a new business owner with minimal connections, or if you live in a rural area? Here are a couple different ways to start making connections and building relationships with influencers in your field.

Start a Blog

When most people hear about endorsements, they think about teaming up with celebrities or notable public figures to advertise a product. This approach may be helpful for some, but if you own a small local business partnering with a celebrity isn’t a very viable option. Instead, one of the best steps you should take is to start a blog on your website.

You’ve probably heard similar advice before, and maybe you feel like writing isn’t your strong suit. However, every business-owner has a lot of unique knowledge to offer. Like they say, knowledge is power. 

When you take the time to write informed blog posts and optimize them so that they are easily found through search engines, a great deal more traffic will be drawn to your website. One of the best methods of increasing traffic and broadening your reach is to connect with other influencers in your field by creating a guest blogging network.

Guest blogging
Form a solid guest blogging network; two heads are better than one!

How to Form a Guest Blogging Network

Guest blogging is a manageable first step to expand your industry contacts and start gaining some notoriety in your field. Here are a few quick steps on how to get started:

  1. Reach out to someone you respect and want to be a guest blogger on your site. Is there another blogger you enjoy who has more followers than you? Do you see a space where you could share your expertise on their website? Do your homework first and make sure that the guest blogger can benefit from the collaboration just as much as you can.
  2. Assuming that they agree to write a piece for you, allow them to self-promote by adding links back to their own website. This not only allows the guest blogger to feel as though they have important information to share, but it connects both of your blogs through the internet.
  3. Follow through. Ask your guest blogger if you could also write a piece on their blog. Assuming they say yes, a whole new door of opportunity will be open to you. You will have full exposure to their followers, and you can (tastefully) promote your own business and website. Essentially, it’s a win-win!

It’s important that you find influencers naturally.

Don’t try to force relationships, because it will start to seem obvious that you’re only seeking some kind of personal gain. Instead, comment on people’s blogs, communicate on social media, and be open to helping others. Over time, you will start to stand out and become an approachable, recognizable name.

Get to know your guest bloggers personally by showing genuine interest in their work before reaching out. If you build a rapport through social media first, it will feel much more natural to suggest a collaboration. Cold emails aren’t always the best way to go when it comes to forming an effective support system.

Engage With the Community

The business world is all about relationships. Apart from guest blogging, another way to use influencer marketing to your advantage is to go out into your community. Serving other small businesses is a great way to prove you’re engagement. You may not gain any monetary value from it at first, but forming valuable relationships can pay off ten-fold in the long-run. 

For example, let’s say you own a sign-making business downtown and you see that a new ice cream shop is opening next door. You could introduce yourself to the new owner and offer to create a sign for them at a steep discount. This interaction not only promotes the service you provide, but benefits another business owner who will most likely recommend your product to others. 

Community engagement
Make a difference locally and the world will follow.

You don’t have to be a celebrity to be an influencer – it’s all about surrounding yourself with positive relationships and making those initial connections. Here are a few other ways to meet business-owners in the community who might be interested in your product:

  • Attend charity events or volunteer
  • Consider setting up a booth at a local fair, market, or festival
  • Visit other small businesses, introduce yourself, and hand out business cards or coupons
  • Sponsor a local school’s sports team

What Are the Benefits of Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing strategies such as guest blogging increase your reach as well as the impact of your brand. In search engines, the index is the complete archive of all existing web pages. To find your page, a search engine sends out crawlers (or bots), which jump from page to page using links. Simply, the more links you have traveling to your website, the more chances search engines have to index your site. 

If links constantly point to your site, search engines will recognize it as a valuable resource and rank you higher than the competition. Guest blogging is a win-win situation because it will provide you with a larger network of bloggers and business-owners, increase your website traffic, and also benefit the guest blogger.

Much of the same can be said for other forms of influencer marketing. Reaching out to forge beneficial relationships solidifies your passion for your business and opens the door to new opportunities. It’s not just a clever way to gain more Instagram followers, but the future of marketing itself.

  • Do you want to start building a brand that influencers would love to promote? PivotPath is here to help!

Cammie Conn is a Theatre & Performance Studies major at Kennesaw State University, and she also studies through the Joel A. Katz Music and Entertainment Business Program. When she’s not practicing creative writing, she can be found playing guitar, reading voraciously, or jamming to her vinyl collection. Check out her LinkedIn profile here to connect.

Why Branding Should Be the Focus of Your Social Media

In the world that we live in today, almost all businesses use social media channels to promote their brand. What are some social media channels you utilize that build your brand awareness? Are you using them effectively? Using social media to grow your business helps consumers remember you and your brand based on what you present to them. This is why understanding the tools of different social media platforms help you to focus on letting your audience know who you are and what your business stands for.

Social media is a vital tool to get the word out about your business.

Inevitably, social media is the heartbeat of our digital marketing world. Thus, marketers use social media to increase brand awareness and grow their consumer base at an accelerated rate. Your business thrives off what your customers perceive about you. That said, how you design and present yourself through social media is a key factor by how customers will remember your brand.

How can you use social media to know who’s interested in your brand?

First, it is important to establish your marketing goals before thinking too ahead of your social media presence. It is important to understand the “why” behind your social media platforms because this will  impact your overall brand. Here are some useful benefits of using social media.

  • Measures your key performance indicators (KPI).
  • Gives you a platform to connect to your growing audience.
  • Provides user-generated content.

These are a few tips on how social media can measure your consumer base as you execute your marketing goals. In addition, they help serve you to bring awareness of what is trending on the market.

How can you use social media to promote your brand?

Be active on social media.

When using social media, it is imperative that you are consistent with the content that you post. Posting on a daily basis tells your customers and audience that you are active and it makes you stand out from your competition. No one wants to follow a business that rarely posts content let alone interact with its consumers. Also, being active daily gives the opportunity for consumers to reach out through direct messaging. They can reach out on anything regarding their consumer needs/wants and questions about your products or services. Choosing to be attentive to your customers’ needs will help set you apart from your competitors.

Grow your consumer base by answering their questions on social media.

Focus on how your design attracts consumers.

What attracts a consumer, when scrolling through a business’s social media page is its design. Your design should ultimately represent what you are selling to your audience. It has been proclaimed by interior designers, artists, and color psychologists that color absolutely affects moods.

  • Does your color scheme match your brand’s values? 
  • What type of mood or emotions do you want to demonstrate to your brand? 
  • Does the design complement the mood of your social media page?

In short, these are a few questions to consider when forming the layout of your social media pages. Consider how your business’s values can influence your graphic designs on social media.

So, why should you focus your branding on social media platforms?

We live in a world where we are constantly connected to many different networks. In the business world, social media networks are a valuable asset to build on your communications with prospective buyers. In this case, using multiple social media platforms helps build your brand identity so that other networks notice your business.

Having a strong social media presence establishes credibility.

When a consumer is looking into buying anything of good quality, it is important that factors of trust are established between the business and consumer to influence the purchase of that product or service. That said, having a professional presence on social media establishes credibility on your end as a business.

Standing to your missions and values and actively participating in those factors are noticed by whom you are trying to reach. When posting content for your audience, remember that you are also representing your company’s values. So, everything that you demonstrate through your social media platforms represents your organization’s efforts and overall brand.

Having a strong social media presence makes your brand recognizable.

Today, some brands that are recognizable in social media are GoPro, Nike, and Spotify. They implement effective strategies on each of their social media platforms that influence their consumers’ future spending habits. Here are a few tips on how to make your brand more recognizable to various audiences:

  • Use multiple accounts for different audiences.
  • Do research on which platform is geared towards different age groups.
  • Choose one platform that can build on customer service.
  • Again, stay consistent with your social media accounts.
  • Tailor your tone and voice that fit different social media platforms.
Did you know that 81% of small and medium businesses use social media platforms?

Knowing the similarities and differences of each social media platform gives you strong awareness of whom you should reach that fit your buyer personas. In the world that we live in today, social media networks are one of the fastest-growing industries. It’s important that your business uses social media to gain a following network. We access information at our fingertips which revolutionizes how we perceive our networks. Posting sharable and valuable content helps your audience understand what you stand for. By doing so, it helps create lasting connections with your consumers that increase creative and effective strategies based on what your customers want out of your social media pages.

  • Check PivotPath’s services on how we can boost your social media branding.

Always strive to learn different effective marketing strategies that increase your brand awareness in an influential and impactful way. 

Thalia Rodriguez is a Communications major with a double minor in marketing and professional writing at Grand Canyon University. When she’s not practicing writing, she can be spending time with family and friends, going on hikes, or cooking delicious plant-based dishes. Check out her LinkedIn profile here to connect.

Don’t worry! Tips for a Thriving Small Business

Back in 1997, Netflix entered the movie entertainment industry, competing with the leading provider of home movie and video game rental services, Blockbuster.

Welcomed with skepticism, the powerhouse brought new solutions to movie watchers: DVD-by-mail subscriptions, video streaming, and branded content. However, success did not come quickly. In 2011, Netflix lost over 800,000 members due to increased pricing and over confidently moving too quickly. Fast-forward to today and Netflix now serves over 125 million users worldwide. What lessons can we learn from Netflix’s success story? No matter how innovative or market ready your business may seem to be, snags will come; so be prepared.

Before you dream of the big bucks and a healthy bottom line, metaphorically view yourself as a runner in a marathon; the tortoise versus the hare. You, in some way, have prepared for this race. As you approach the line and begin to secure your footing, different scenarios and ideas fill your head with ways to finish the race on top. You’ve prepared for the victory lap, the prize.  

The gun shoots and you’re off. While admiring the roar of the crowd, you unintentionally misstep, tripping over yourself, and stumbling, as you view your competition continuing on ahead of you. As a business owner, it is easy to be hare-like: passionate, enthusiastic, full of ideas, and overly confident, lacking a plan and discipline, because of underestimating the unforeseen challenges ahead.

Instead, be like the tortoise. Prepare for a marathon. Consider these common mistakes small business owners make and, if you’re currently guilty, remedy them as early as now:

1. Doing it “Solo-Dolo”

You might believe it to be more efficient if you do everything yourself. As a startup, most business owners do, in fact, juggle many hats: sales, marketing, accounting, human resources. However, eventually business grows, becoming more demanding of your time and you won’t be able to expertly handle all aspects of your business. As a potential result, your business could become inefficient and unsustainable.

Delegation is key.

Hire the right kind of talent needed for your business. Start by hiring an assistant (virtual assistants are a great option) part time for specific tasks, eventually increasing the hours as you see fit. This will free up your time abit, allowing you to focus on growing your business and reaching your targeted audiences. Plus, collaboration always sprouts the best ideas.  

2. What Business Plan?

Yes, some successful business plans like J.K. Rowling’s might have been created on a table napkin. But this may not hold true for everyone. A business plan is very much like a blueprint for a house or a building. It helps integrate all of your ideas in one place, and expound on those ideas for implementation.

A good business plan should cover all aspects of the business, including summary, products and services, customers/targeted audience, marketing, strategy, pricing, and financials. Like blueprints, business plans should have contingency plans and exit strategies in place as well. Some may think business plans are an unnecessary nuisance – however, having a solid strategy allows you to go back to the books when things go awry.

There are a lot of resources online on how to create a business plan, and you do not have to be an expert to put one together. Whether you plan out the next year, or the next three years, you will not go wrong with having an operation efficiency strategy in place.

3. “I am my only competition.”

New businesses are established daily, and as the saying goes: there is nothing new under the sun. Thousands of companies have competing products and services, creating variations in marketing and branding; (Note: have you walked down a bread aisle lately?) By negating the vital step in conducting an analysis of your market, you’re tremendously undermining your potential to connect and capture your targeted audience. Knowing where you stand among your competition is essential for several reasons. With this knowledge, you can:

  • Determine a competitive price point based on what competitors offer
  • Identify marketing and advertising dos and don’ts
  • Provide better quality products or services

Knowing where you stand and how to remain competitive gives you a lot of foresight when creating a successful business.

4. Marketing, Smarketing!

Sure, you have an awesome product or service; but how are you reaching your targeted customers? Marketing is vital for any business and content is the king of today’s marketing environment. The most successful brands in the world have developed detailed marketing strategies that help them inspire, entertain, and connect with their target audiences.

Whether it be print, social media, or blogs, marketing is essential in increasing your brand visibility and sales. If you currently do not have a marketing strategy in place, start by setting a feasible marketing budget, and utilize the various free marketing platforms. Keep in mind that marketing is only as effective as the analytics that back it up. Blasting content that does not actively engage your audience or increase sales is just as bad as not having a strategy at all. Analyze and understand what your analytics reveal about your marketing and steadily work towards improving your methods.

5. “I know what people want!”

In order to market something people want, you must understand who they are and what they need. Carefully define your targeted audience(s); the narrower the focus, the faster the growth. Once you have identified your customers, craft messaging that translates the value your brand brings them. Again, you can only tailor your content once you’ve researched and understood the needs of your customers. After giving your audience a reason to connect and consume, you will establish and retain loyal and passionate customers.

Every business owner faces challenges. Becoming an entrepreneur means stepping out of your comfort zone and taking risks; with this, comes mistakes and lessons. If you’ve read this article and want direction on brand development or marketing services, we are here to help. Let us take care of connecting you to your audience(s) while you do what you love: running your business!