Posts by Darlene McCarty Cohn

No Website, No Social

Somehow it seems both ironic and perfect that our 100th blog (Whoo hoo!!!) doesn’t deal with social media at all, but with probably your most important digital marketing tool: your website.

I have been contacted by several potential clients recently who have come to me for help with their social media marketing, but for whatever reason, they don’t yet have a website. Or, perhaps they have a website, but it’s old or overly simplistic. This is most definitely a misalignment of priorities.

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Diversify Your Social Marketing Strategy

explore other options

Is this the end of an era?

I can hear the gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair from here. Facebook has changed its News Feed algorithm again, and this time, there’s no getting around the fact that Page Reach is going to be affected. How much it falls remains to be seen, but your Page posts just aren’t going to be seen by as many people — and many folks were already complaining about low Reach. It’s just going to get worse. Facebook, no doubt to quell some fears, says that Pages which consistently put out good content won’t see much difference. But let’s face it, that’s not most people. The rules we’ve been playing by (use video, use images, post at certain times of day, etc.) just aren’t going to pull much weight any more. But instead of crying into your coffee, it’s time to restrategize. If you haven’t tried out other social platforms yet, there’s no time like the present. Diversify your options and reach more fans.

Explore other options

While Facebook’s announcement will surely drive people to explore other social platforms, you should have been doing that already. I know a great many people use Facebook alone for their social marketing, but that’s a mistake any day, not just in situations like this. Why? Because your fans are spread out among several platforms too, and you want to be where they are. If your customers are big Instagram users, you want to be on Instagram as well. The same applies to Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest – even (snicker) Google+. Facebook was already making it hard for you to reach all your fan base, so trying different platforms is the answer.

Let’s look at this from a case study point of view. A popular local housewares boutique has been using Facebook to advertise its products, sales, news, and other important updates. It has a good number of followers because it’s a well-liked store and its customers are devoted. Some of its posts do very well and get a good response. Some of its posts get almost no response. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to which posts do well. What does our boutique do? It tries paid promotion. It pays Facebook to promote posts on a regular basis, and that does seem to help. These posts seem to reach most of its audience and get a good response. Then, slowly, even paying for promotion doesn’t seem to be producing as much of a result. What should our boutique do?

Our boutique should definitely add Instagram to its strategy, and possibly Pinterest. Housewares, especially unique and highly visual items, do very well on Instagram. No doubt a good many of the people who follow the boutique on Facebook would also follow it on Instagram. In fact, this boutique may find that its daily posts on Instagram do a much better job of reaching fans than its posts on Facebook. If it learns all the tips and tricks to delighting its audience on Instagram, it may do very well indeed.

Don’t be afraid to get help!

There are rules and guidelines to using Instagram (or any of the other platforms) for marketing. If you’re not familiar with them, consult with a digital marketer. I know many businesses signed up for accounts at all the major social networks, never to use them again. That’s not going to be very helpful. You don’t need to be on all social networks, just the ones that will work for you. Learn one or two more platforms and put energy into using them well. If you don’t have the time or desire to learn them, then hire a firm to do it for you. You simply can’t keep all your eggs in the Facebook basket. It’s time to change it up – and that’s honestly a good thing.

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Our 2018 Content Marketing Resolutions

2018 Content Marketing Resolutions

Last year, I purposely ducked the annual “Social Media Predictions” article, because frankly, they all say more or less the same thing. (Video. AI. Storytelling. Micro-Influencers. Customization. Blah blah blah.) Where’s the fun in that? Instead I shared some resolutions that businesses and organizations should consider for improving their digital marketing efforts in 2017.

This year, I’m going to take a look in the mirror and share my personal goals. Maybe my resolutions will resonate with you. Maybe it will be comforting to know that a digital marketing company struggles with the same things you do. Maybe you’re outpacing us – if so, rock on!

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Communicate Your Story With Digital Marketing

Once Upon A Time: Communicate Your Story With Digital Marketing

A story, by definition, has a beginning, middle, and end. It has characters – protagonists, antagonists, and supporting characters. It has a setting or multiple settings. A story has drama, action, dialogue. It has themes. Most importantly, a story provokes emotion. That’s the English teacher definition of a story. I should know. I’ve taught it many, many times.

There’s a different kind of story, though, one you hear bandied about in marketing circles. It sounds like this: Want to create great digital content? Tell your story.

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You Also Need Magic

You also need magic

In my five years in digital media, I’ve seen many dismal websites, ineptly created social media accounts, and embarrassingly bad posts – even from marketing firms who ought to know better. Our job at D. Cohn Communications, obviously, is to try and help businesses fix these problems. The sticky point is that many businesses don’t realize just how disappointing their digital media is and don’t even realize they need help. “Disappointing to whom?” you may ask. Disappointing to their customers and potential customers – the only people who matter. Those people are looking for magic, and we’re giving them boring.

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Social Media Contests to Avoid (and Some to Try)

social media contests to avoid

Social media contests are a great way to grow and engage your following and drive leads for your business. There are fun ways to structure a contest and build excitement for your brand. However, there are pitfalls to avoid when running a contest on your social media accounts.

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Five Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Social Marketing

Sabotaging Your Social Marketing

Search for advice about running a social marketing campaign, and you’ll find countless blogs, articles, videos, and white papers offering wisdom. The enormous body of work that’s been created about the topic can lead new marketers and business owners feeling overwhelmed and unsure where to start. Nonetheless, they jump in and try to do their best. Here are 5 mistakes we often see novice marketers making which can sabotage their social marketing efforts.

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10 Ideas to Punch Up Your Posts

10 Ideas to Punch Up Your Posts

A couple of years ago, we published the following tips for creating posts for your social media accounts. We think it deserves to be revisited, and expanded a bit beyond social to include content marketing as a whole. We know many of you still struggle with what kind of content to create. So think of these as ideas for your social media accounts, blogs, videos, podcasts, etc.

One key concept that we’d like to stress is that you should always, always have your audience in mind when you’re creating content. What would they most like to see, read, hear? Content marketing isn’t straight advertising and shouldn’t be treated as such. Content marketing entertains, educates, fascinates, and engages your followers. Dry posts about your products and services won’t cut it. You’re going to have to be a bit more creative than that.

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How to Improve Your SEO

SEO Search Engine Optimization Website

I recently came across the following question on an online discussion forum, and it’s one I’ve heard many times. How can I improve my SEO by myself? Tricky question, but you can. (I haven’t included the asker’s name or business in the interest of privacy.)

Q: “Does Anyone Have Any Cost-Effective Strategies That Would Help Me Get the Word Out for My Website?

I am looking to increase SEO for my new website? Does anyone have any cost-effective strategies that would help me get the word out for my site? I am currently using running an AdWords campaign, and joining sites like this and other forums as fast as I can. However, I am tempted to spend money on tools that could mainstream that process for me like yext.com. I have just read mixed reviews of all of those sites, and don’t want to waste money. I have seen my site has high as page 2 of google for specific searches, but for the highest key words, I am past page 15. All suggestions welcome. Thank you in advance.”

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Content Marketing for Non-Marketers

Content Marketing for Business

Content Marketing for Non-Marketers

I’ve spoken extensively about role of social media marketing in a strong marketing plan, but I haven’t covered content marketing quite as heavily. That’s a gap that I’m hoping to address today, because content marketing is a very powerful digital marketing tool – one you should definitely have in your toolbox.

What is Content Marketing?

Let’s start with the basics. What is content? Content is a marketing term that includes your social media posts, but so much more. Content includes blogs, newsletters, emails, white papers, articles, infographics, photos, videos, graphics, press releases, and more. This article I’m writing right now is content.

So what is content marketing? Let me share the Content Marketing Institute’s explanation: “Content marketing is the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

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