#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Fuel Your Content Marketing in 2021

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Fuel Your Content Marketing in 2021

If you want to step up your content marketing in 2021, you’re in the right place!

For our very first #ContentWritingChat of the year, we felt it was only fitting to share some tips to help you boost your content marketing efforts.

After all, we’re pretty passionate about creating amazing content around here!

This topic was actually inspired by a talk our CEO, Julia McCoy, did during a virtual summit back in December. Now, we’re building off of Julia’s advice by learning even more great tips from our community.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Fuel Your Content Marketing in 2021

This month, we opted to do a community chat, opening the floor up to everyone as they shared their thoughts and opinions. So many great tips were shared during this chat, so let’s dive into the recap!

Q1:2021 is upon us! Have you developed your content marketing plan for the year ahead yet?

Some people are eager to get started with their planning, while others take their time and plan quarterly or even monthly. Here’s what some of our chat participants had to say:

Lexie is prepared with a content marketing plan ready to go! However, she also realizes the importance of being flexible. Things can change and you have to be willing to adapt as needed.

Kushlani tackles her planning on a quarterly basis, which is a smart way to go about it.

Chris is in the same boat and focuses on planning three months at a time.

Carla prefers to plan month-to-month, allowing her to revise as needed based on her weekly findings within her analytics.

Q2: To cultivate success in your business, you need to invest in your personal growth first. How are you planning to prioritize and invest in your content marketing growth this year?

If you aren’t sure how to invest in your growth and knowledge, these are some great suggestions:

Connecting with others can be an amazing way to experience growth since you can learn so much from other experts. Reading blogs, listening to podcasts, and participating in chats are great options as well.

Danielle is a fan of participating in Twitter chats. She knows there’s so much to be learned, as you’re exposed to so many new perspectives.

Vivek is committing to personal growth by reading books that are about marketing, business, and copywriting.

For Rachel, she’s going to be attending a lot of virtual events. They can be an amazing way to learn from other experts without having to leave the comfort of your own home.

Dana loves to read, watch films, take classes, volunteer, and talk to people. All are great ways to expand your knowledge and strengthen your skills.

It may help you to choose a few key areas that you’d like to learn about and find dedicated resources on them, such as any interesting books.

Carla’s advice about having a budget is great. You want to be smart about where you’re investing your money so you don’t spend beyond your means. Set a budget and determine which areas you’d like to give your attention to.

And once you’ve found some great resources, schedule time into your calendar just for you. This way, you’ll be able to prioritize your education this year.

Q3: Ranking in Google search results is a win for any content creator. Our CEO, Julia McCoy, suggests studying the top results for your target keywords. What can you learn from doing this?

It turns out there’s a lot you can learn! And it can be pretty beneficial for you, so you might want to get started on that ASAP.

From Julia herself, she said doing this research will help you see what content gets ranked for your keyword, who’s doing it well, and who’s not doing it well. It just might spark some new ideas for you too!

You can also notice things about the writing style and the length of the content that’s being ranked.

Masooma suggests looking at how they’re using keywords, as well as paying attention to formatting. Also, do you notice anything special about the intros of the posts that are ranking?

You can even learn how the post is structured and how detailed they are, as well as a number of other things that can help shape your own content.

Q4: When it comes to content creation, practice makes perfect. What can you do to become a better creator this year and produce content that generates conversions?

The secrets to becoming a better content creator are as follows:

Jessica is challenging herself to write every single day. She’s experimenting with different types of content as well. After all, the more you write, the better you’ll become at it!

Rachel suggests setting a content creation goal to inspire you to keep writing.

To create better content, it also helps to learn more about your audience and what they need so you can better serve them.

Masooma is also planning to do more research on her target audience this year so she can gain a better understanding of their pain points.

Lexie’s advice is to be open to feedback. If you want to get better, you need to be able to accept constructive criticism so you can learn where you need to improve.

Q5: Storytelling is important to content marketing success. What are the characteristics of a good brand story and how can you tell it effectively?

This advice from our chat will help you up your storytelling game:

Rachel feels a great brand story should communicate a problem, how that problem impacts others, and how the brand can solve the issue.

Maria knows great stories have authenticity and passion.

A relatable story is also a great way to draw your audience in.

And of course, you want to inspire people to take action after hearing your story.

Authenticity, consistency, and staying power are definitely key.

These questions Danielle asked will help you determine if your storytelling is moving in the right direction.

Q6: Google searches went from 3.5 billion per day to 6 billion per day and it’s still climbing! How can brands take full advantage of this in 2021?

These are the tips you’ll want to know if you’d like to climb to the top of the search results this year:

Always write with your audience in mind and create the quality content they’re looking for.

When you know what people are searching for, you can create the content that answers all their questions.

Social listening is so important to gain a better understanding of your audience and their needs. This will tell you exactly what kind of content you should be creating.

At the end of the day, it’s all about serving your audience.

And make sure your content is always valuable and trustworthy.

Whatever you do, see this as an opportunity as we head into 2021 and use it to your advantage.

Q7: Do you have any favorite tools or resources that have shaped your content marketing over the years?

Check out these tools and give them a go! You might find some great ones to add to your content marketing efforts:

Some of Masooma’s go-to resources include Content Marketing Institute and Answer the Public.

Michelle loves CoSchedule’s headline analyzer, Grammarly, and Buffer.

KWFinder is an essential for Chris.

And Lexie’s favorites include SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Answer the Public.

Q8: What are some of the biggest lessons you learned in 2020 that you will carry into your content marketing for this year?

These are lessons that we can all take to heart:

Be flexible! This is so important to remember.

Spend time talking to people and learning from others.

Make sure your messaging is clear.

Adapt to what’s going on in the world and deliver relevant, timely content.

Want to join us next time? We chat on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central. Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for updates.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Wrapping Up 2020

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Wrapping Up 2020

Can you believe this year is quickly coming to a close?

It seems like 2020 has flown by, but also gone by very slowly at the same time.

No matter what, it’s safe to say it’s been a whirlwind year for everyone. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of stress and it required each one of us to change up our daily routines. We went from working in the office to working at home, we started going out less, and we’re all wearing masks.

So, we thought it was only fitting to do a #ContentWritingChat wrapping up 2020 so we could all reflect on just how much our lives (and businesses) have changed over these past few months.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Wrapping Up 2020

Instead of having a guest host, we opted for a community chat this month. We had some great conversations and received some insightful tips from everyone who participated. Let’s dive into the recap to see what some of them had to say.

Q1: Overall, how has 2020 been for you? Any big lessons you’ve learned?

As we’re wrapping up 2020, we definitely have some important takeaways that we’ll keep in mind as we move into the future. Here are some of the lessons our community members learned:

Michelle shared some great lessons that she’s taking away from 2020. Personally, it’s so important to stop taking things for granted, appreciate your loved ones, and live in the moment. And her business advice of putting your customers first is on point!

For Rachel, this year was all about evaluating her future. Looking at the big picture can really help you determine what you want life to look like moving forward.

Zala is spot on when she says that it’s more important than ever to focus on yourself, your health, and your overall wellbeing.

In terms of business, content is key! And Shawn knows that you can’t have too much quality content to share with your audience. It’s the perfect way to grow your brand and establish your authority in your field.

Also, building a personal connection with the people in your audience is key to surviving in business. It shows them that you really care about their needs.

And as Lexie said, many brands really saw the importance of an online presence this year. Since many businesses had to close down their physical locations, going digital was crucial.

How did the pandemic impact your business? Did you need to shift how you’ve been working?

Many companies had to make changes to how they operated. Some had to start working from home and relying on Zoom calls to stay in touch with other team members. And others had to completely pivot their businesses.

When it came to adapting to this year’s changes, having a supportive person in your corner was a game-changer. Rachel found herself essentially becoming a cheerleader to keep her students motivated.

Michelle actually saw a surge in business during the spring, as more brands started to realize the importance of being present online and social media. That’s a huge plus!

Lexie and the rest of the Netvantage team had to say goodbye to their offices in favor of working from home full-time. She also noticed that many clients had to pause their usual work. A lot of businesses had to scale back on their expenses to keep afloat, so it’s no surprise that many service-based companies lost clients.

Tweaking the content calendar to address timely topics (such as the pandemic) was definitely an important step that many brands took this year.

For Jessica, she found a bright side to 2020 because it turned out to be a very creative time for her. That’s definitely a win!

Q3: In January 2020, Google’s daily searches were 3.5 billion. Today, they are 6+ billion! How have you adapted to this change?

There’s no denying we all spent a lot more time online conducting Google searches and shopping this year!

As Michelle said, if you were already blogging regularly, you certainly had the advantage this year as search traffic increased.

And of course, that increase in searches only reminds us just how important it is to optimize our content. It’s worth putting in the extra effort so your content can rank highly in Google search results. After all, you want to be seen!

If you already had optimized, evergreen content on your blog, then you were in a fantastic position. Hopefully you saw some more traffic as a result!

Carla even noticed some of her blog content was ranking on the first page of Google. As a content creator, is there any better feeling than this?

Q4: How important was it for you to write timely content this year, as opposed to just evergreen?

Planning your content ahead of time is key for consistency. However, it’s smart to adjust your plan to discuss timely topics (such as the pandemic). Here’s what some of our #ContentWritingChat community had to say about evergreen and timely content this year:

Like Danielle said, sharing timely content was a way of showing your audience that you care. You were taking the time to answer their questions and addressing what was going on in the world.

Carla is absolutely right. People look to content creators for up-to-the-minute information. Don’t you want to be a source that your audience can count on?

Many people were looking for content that could be applied directly to what they were experiencing during the pandemic.

As Zala said, you always want to consider what your audience is searching for. Then, you can create the content they need and add value.

Just remember that high-quality, optimized content wins at the end of the day!

Q5: With many more people working from home, what tips can you offer on staying productive?

Working from home isn’t exactly as glamorous as some people may think! And there are many who realized that this year as they transitioned from working in the office to working remotely. Here are some tips for staying productive while at home:

Zala’s advice of finding your own workflow is key, as we all work differently. It’s smart to do what works best for you. And as she pointed out, clear communication was essential since many people were no longer chatting face-to-face and instead meeting over Zoom or discussing work via email.

These are all great tips from Michelle! It really helps to inform other members of your household when you absolutely cannot be disturbed.

Rachel suggests time-blocking to boost your productivity.

And don’t forget to take breaks once in a while!

During those breaks, make sure you get up and stretch. Being stuck in a chair, staring at a screen all day isn’t good for you.

Boost your energy and your mood with a morning routine. It could include things like meditation and exercise.

Don’t forget to actually set office hours for yourself so you know when you’ll start working and when you’ll stop.

If you can, implement Jessica’s advice. While not everyone can set their own hours, if you’re able to, you can work during your most productive times.

And don’t get sucked into Netflix at night! Make sure you’re still getting a good night’s rest because it’s important to recharge for the next day.

Q6: Will you be introducing new content formats into your strategy after this year?

Part of wrapping up 2020 is looking ahead to 2021. It’s the time of year where people still considering their content strategy for the new year. Will anyone be incorporating new content formats into their brands?

Julia definitely wants to feature more custom-made visuals and graphics from our team in 2021.

Danielle would like to create more interactive, visual content.

Vivek plans to double-down on live-streaming and podcasting, two things that were certainly popular in 2020.

Rachel won’t be adding new content formats herself, but she hopes some of her clients will.

After all, you never know how your audience might respond! They just might love to see something new from you, so it’s worth experimenting.

Q7: Which brands have stood out to you as successfully adapting to this year’s changes?

There are a few brands we can all learn from when it comes to how they handled this year’s events. These are a few you’ll want to draw inspiration from:

Being able to have things delivered from stores like Target via Shipt was a huge help this year with many people wanting to stay home and avoid the stores.

Julia really appreciated some of the local businesses in her area.

SEMrush and Grammarly were just a couple brands that did a great job adjusting this year.

Q8: What is your biggest takeaway from 2020 that you’ll bring into the next year?

And finally, we ended the chat by asking everyone to share their biggest takeaway from this past year. Here’s what a few of them had to say:

As Julia said, everything can change in a second. Are you prepared to handle that?

Michelle knows that it’s so important to show your audience that you genuinely care about them.

Kushlani said the key to success is flexibility. You need to be willing to adapt, whether that’s changing up your content strategy or completely pivoting in your business if needed.

And finally, Zala’s advice here is perfect. Don’t give up.

We’d love to have you join us for the next #ContentWritingChat! We chat on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central. Just follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to stay updated.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Designing Your SEO & Content Creation Workflow with Diana Richardson

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Designing Your SEO & Content Creation Workflow with Diana Richardson

Let’s talk about creating optimized content.

How do you ensure you’re choosing the right topics? What can be done to increase the chances that your content will rank? And how can you incorporate keywords into your blog post without it seeming unnatural?

Well, we covered all of these questions (and more) in this #ContentWritingChat. Now, the tips you need to know are packed into this handy recap.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Designing Your SEO & Content Creation Workflow with Diana Richardson

This month, we were lucky enough to have Diana Richardson be our guest host once again. Diana is a Social Media & Community Manager for our friends over at SEMrush. And she joined our chat to share some tips on SEO and developing an efficient content creation workflow. Let’s dive into the recap for all the advice!

Q1: What’s the first step in creating quality, optimized content?

Before you dive into writing, there are a few things to consider first. Here’s what you need to keep in mind if you want your content to be successful:

Diana suggests first knowing who you’re writing for and what your end goal is. You always want to create content with your target audience in mind. This ensures you’re writing about the topics that interest them, as well as communicating in a way that resonates. And of course, you need to know your end goal so you can tailor your content accordingly and track the ideal metrics afterwards.

Lexie agrees that it’s crucial you know who your target audience is. Otherwise, you run the risk of attracting all the wrong people (or no one) to your content.

Don’t rush into keyword research. Kate says you need to know why you’re writing and who you’re writing for first. That will get you started on the right path!

And as Michelle said, always remember that quality writing comes first. You cannot allow your writing to suffer for the sake of optimization.

Q2: When diving into topic research for your next piece of content, where should you begin?

Topic research can feel rather daunting sometimes. After all, there’s a lot you could potentially write about. So, how can you choose the topics that will resonate with your audience? Check out this advice:

Diana suggests starting with a few broad concepts and then using SEMrush’s Topic Research Tool to narrow down your search. She says to find a question that needs answering, then check out the existing content on that topic. From there, consider what you can add or if there are any other unanswered questions that come up.

Ask yourself what your audience is looking for. You want to create content that will be valuable for them, while also keeping in mind what you have to offer. The content you publish should showcase your expertise.

You can also see which topics are performing well in your field by checking out BuzzSumo. Answer the Public is another tool worth testing because you can find relevant questions that people want answers to.

Raquel knows that social listening is key in learning more about your target audience. Discovering what they’re talking about online can give you some helpful ideas on what you should write about.

And of course, social media is essential in social listening. Use platforms like Twitter to see trending topics and to check out conversations your audience is having. You never know when a new idea might pop up.

Once you have your fundamentals all laid out, you can move into SEO and data research.

Q3: What do you need to know when it comes to competitiveness and rankability?

We all want our content to rank high up in the search results because it helps us get discovered. But what’s the secret to landing that coveted number one spot? Keep these tips in mind as you create:

The factors you’ll want to keep in mind are keyword volume, audience interest, and keyword difficulty.

Higher volume keywords will be much more competitive and will be more challenging to rank for. Diana suggests checking out the first two pages of search results to determine the quality of the content already on the web. You may be able to publish something better or from a more unique perspective.

Then, we have audience interest. At the end of the day, your target audience needs to find your content appealing, otherwise they won’t be bothered to read it.

And finally, there’s keyword difficulty. The higher the percentage for difficulty, the harder it’ll be to achieve those high rankings.

Look at things from the perspective of your audience. As Rachel said, it’s smart to check out what has already been published on your chosen topic. Are they quality resources? How long ago were they published? She feels if you have an independent, timely take on the topic, it’ll help increase your competitiveness.

No matter what, you always want to aim to produce great blog posts. Quality is always going to win with your readers at the end of the day.

Kate isn’t afraid to target a variety of keywords with her content. Try going after keywords that have lower or medium competitiveness and see how that does for you.

Q4: How do you keep it natural when tying keywords into your content so you don’t go overboard?

There’s nothing worse than content that has been unnaturally stuffed with keywords. It seems forced and doesn’t read as being genuine at all. To make sure your keyword usage flows, here are a few tips to remember:

Diana feels there should be no problem writing naturally when you’re clear on your audience persona and the goals you have for your content. Try not to stress about it too much and focus on providing value. It also helps to use synonyms to your chosen keyword so you don’t overdo it.

Julia’s advice is to make sure the keyword is incorporate into your headers, intro, and end copy of your blog post. She also suggests using synonyms throughout the post.

Rachel also agrees that synonyms are key when optimizing your posts. She also likes to incorporate quotes that use her keywords and she changes up the sentence structure throughout her writing.

Q5: Are there any final steps you should take before hitting publish on your next post so you know it’s optimized effectively?

We’re all eager to get our content out into the world. But you don’t want to publish something before it’s ready! Take these final steps to ensure your post is optimized before it goes live:

Diana suggests using the SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant to check your work and receive any helpful tips for making improvements. She also said to evaluate things like tone, CTAs, etc.

Kate turns to the Yoast plugin for WordPress to do a final review of the post before publishing. This way you won’t overlook important things like alt tags, meta description, and other details.

Sometimes you just don’t feel like reading through a post after you’ve written it. But guess what? Those extra few minutes are crucial in helping you spot spelling and grammar mistakes, as well as any other errors.

If you can, take Lexie’s advice. Have someone else read through your post for feedback on things like readability and to see if they spot any typos.

Q6: What tools will be handy in helping you stick to your content creation workflow?

The right tools will make your job so much easier, which is why you’ll want to test these out:

Diana knows SEMrush is a great tool to manage your content creation workflow.

Lexie loves SEMrush as well, relying on their Topic Research Tool and Google’s Auto Suggest.

BuzzSumo, SEMrush, Answer the Public, and Yoast are always popular choices.

Here at Express Writers, we have a few tools we rely on. This includes Microsoft Word for writing posts, our very own platform for delegating assignments, and Airtable for keeping everything nice and organized.

Q7: How often should you revisit your workflow to ensure it’s actually still working for you?

Once you have a content creation workflow in place, it might need some tweaks. Or maybe not! Here’s what you should know:

Diana said you can change your content creation workflow as you go. You’ll likely have different types of workflows for various content. After all, creating blog content is different than creating social media content.

Rachel revisits her workflow every quarter, allowing her to spot any areas for change.

But sometimes there’s no need to switch it up! If everything is going smoothly, you likely won’t need to make any adjustments to your workflow.

Want to join the next #ContentWritingChat? Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for all the latest and mark your calendars for the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central Time.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Overcome Writer’s Block with Ann Gynn

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Overcome Writer’s Block with Ann Gynn

As content creators, sometimes we fall victim to the dreaded writer’s block.

It’s frustrating. And it’s stressful. It’s the last thing anyone wants to deal with, especially with a deadline looming in the near future!

If you want to learn how you can overcome writer’s block, you’re in the right place. This #ContentWritingChat recap covers how to determine if you’re really dealing with writer’s block, how to confront it head on, and what to do if it keeps happening to you.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Overcome Writer’s Block with Ann Gynn

Our guest host for this month’s chat is Ann Gynn. She’s an Editorial Consultant for our friends over at Content Marketing Institute. Ann wrote a post for their blog all about beating writer’s block, so we knew we had to have her guest host and share some tips with us. So, let’s dive into the recap!

Q1: What does writer’s block really mean?

Before we dive into the helpful tips, we need to get to the bottom of what writer’s block really is. Here are some of the responses we received from our chat participants:

Ann views writer’s block in two different ways, short-term and long-term. In the short-term, she feels it’s struggling to articulate what you’re trying to say. But in the long-term, she says it’s a mindset of those who generally find writing problematic.

Lexie also views writer’s block in a couple of different ways. On one hand, it could be feeling unsure of what to write, but sometimes it’s struggling to put your thoughts into a written piece that makes sense.

Katie believes writer’s block is all in your mindset. Sometimes you’re just not in the mood to write, maybe you’re tired or other thoughts are consuming your mind.

And sometimes you just might have too much going on in your head that it’s hard to get it all out onto paper or on the screen.

Q2: How do you know if it’s writer’s block or a problem with your preparation (i.e. research, interviews, etc.)?

Sometimes you might not be dealing with writer’s block. It could be a different problem holding you back! Here’s how to get to the root cause:

Ann’s advice is to review your notes and see if you have all the information necessary to create a great piece. If not, you’ll have to go back to the prep stage. She also finds it helpful to write a simple outline of your article to get started.

Lexie agrees that creating an outline is helpful. If you can create an outline, odds are it’s just writer’s block and not issues with your prep. However, if creating the outline is a struggle, it’s time to do more research.

Q3: How can you overcome writer’s block?

Now, let’s get into the really good stuff. Here’s some advice on how you can overcome writer’s block the next time it creeps up:

These tips that Ann shared are great, especially reiterating Michelle’s advice on snacking on some chocolate!

Another awesome tip that Ann shared was to break down your article into smaller tasks and assign deadlines for each. For example, blocking off time in your calendar for writing the introduction and then tackling the body later.

If you can, step away from the screen. Sometimes you just need to take a break because you never know when inspiration may strike.

Karly suggests turning on a Spotify playlist. While she goes for classical, you might want something upbeat that you can dance to. Whatever works best! She also recommends trying the Pomodoro technique to just start writing, even if it isn’t your best work. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Get the words onto paper (or the screen) and edit later.

Lisa turns to music as well when she needs to overcome writer’s block. Always a winning idea!

The next time an idea comes up, spend 5-10 minutes jotting down your ideas like Michelle suggests. That should be really helpful when it comes time to create the full article.

And remember that everyone is different. What works for one person may not work for you, so try a variety of things to see what helps you shake writer’s block.

Q4: How can you confront writer’s block when you can’t leave your desk?

While many choose to get away from the desk and take a break, sometimes you just can’t do that. Here’s what you can do if you’re struggling with writer’s block, but are chained to the desk:

Ann suggests getting away from the screen and doing something else on your to-do list. She even likes to play Scrabble Go on her phone, which is certainly a welcome distraction.

This would be a great opportunity to just get out a journal and start writing something else. Record details of your day, maybe write a gratitude list, anything. Just give it a go!

Q5: What happens when you overcome writer’s block, only to have it again later in the same piece?

There’s nothing worse than having writer’s block rear its ugly head yet again! This advice should help you out if it keeps happening:

Revisit your goals. Ann says to determine what you’re trying to accomplish and revise your plans as needed.

If you just can’t seem to overcome writer’s block, it may be worthwhile to just call it quits for the day. Walk away from the piece and come back to it the next day.

Karly suggests going for a walk outside or tackling something else on your to-do list.

Q6: What if I’m experiencing writer’s block with every assignment/task I tackle?

There might be something you can do differently if you find that you’re prone to experiencing writer’s block. Check out these suggestions:

Ask yourself if you truly enjoy writing or if some other thoughts are holding you back from being a great writer. Be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling.

Is the problem due to a lack of motivation? Or is it a lack of preparation or focus? Figure out what the root cause of your writer’s block is so you can address it head on.

It’s also wise to ask yourself if writing is something you truly want to do before continue to push forward.

It could just be a case of burnout and it might be time to take a break.

Q7: Are there steps I can take to prevent writer’s block in the first place?

These tips will really come in handy the next time you sit down to write. Jot down your favorites to put them to use!

Ann’s advice of creating a writing process you can replicate each time is great!

Make sure you do your research. When you have all the necessary information for your article beforehand, it’ll be easier to write.

Karly suggests paying attention to what helps you feel productive and do those things before you start writing.

And finally, figure out when you’re most productive and make that your dedicated time for research and writing.

Join us for the next #ContentWritingChat! It takes place on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central. Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for the latest.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Create a Social Media Calendar That Engages Your Audience with Maura Hughes of MeetEdgar

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Create a Social Media Calendar That Engages Your Audience with Maura Hughes of MeetEdgar

There’s no denying that brands want a number of things from their social media presence.

They want growth in terms of their community, engagement, click-throughs, conversions, and more. No shame in that!

But how do you make sure you’re actually creating content and showing up on your social platforms in a way that will help you generate the results you want? You create a social media calendar!

Having a social media calendar encourages you to plan ahead and be strategic about what you’re sharing and how you’re serving your audience. And in this #ContentWritingChat recap, we’re teaching you how to create one!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Create a Social Media Calendar That Engages Your Audience with Maura Hughes of MeetEdgar

Our guest host for this month’s chat was Maura Hughes. Maura is a Digital Marketing Manager over at MeetEdgar, a popular tool for scheduling social media content. In fact, it’s the one we use here at Express Writers! Maura had some amazing advice for creating high-quality, engaging social media content, so let’s dive into the tips!

Q1: Is it important to have a social media calendar? Why or why not?

If you’re not sold on the idea of planning out your social media content in advance, you just might be after reading these responses from the chat:

Maura feels a social media calendar is great because it helps you to be more consistent when it comes to posting on the platforms you use. That’s important if you want long-term success!

Not only is a calendar great for consistency, but it also ensures you’re posting with purpose. You’re thinking ahead and planning out content your audience would genuinely love, as opposed to throwing something together at the last minute.

And when you plan in advance, you don’t have to stress about coming up with content at the last minute! That’s never fun!

Plus, having a calendar with all your content outlined reminds you to think ahead to upcoming holidays and any social campaigns you’ll be running. You’ll never forget anything important this way.

Just remember that your social media calendar shouldn’t be set in stone. Allow yourself to make shifts as needed to provide the value your audience needs.

Lexie agrees that flexibility is key if you want to be successful! Never be afraid to make changes if something isn’t working or if there are timely topics you need to cover.

Q2: What types of content should go on your social media calendar?

Now that you’re probably sold on creating a calendar of your own, you’ll need to know what kind of content to fill it with. Here are some suggestions:

As Maura pointed out, your content should build the Know, Like, and Trust Factor with your audience. She also said to plan content according to your goals. For instance, if social media is a way for you to drive traffic back to your website, make sure you’re actually linking back to your site by sharing the latest blog posts, etc.

Always choose content based on your target audience. As Maria said, ask yourself what they’re likely to respond to. That will tell you exactly the kind of content you should be sharing.

If you’re creating a social media calendar for a client, always ask what they want to be posting more of. Take their suggestions into consideration. Rachel’s advice of creating different categories will really be helpful in staying organized with all of your ideas.

Share content that promotes your brand, talk about your offerings, and address timely events and holidays.

You can’t go wrong with things like informative blog posts, stats, videos, and infographics. It’s also smart to ask questions to get a conversation started.

Q3: Is it a good idea to re-share the same content in your social media calendar? Why or why not?

Before you rush to schedule some social media posts, here’s the scoop on re-sharing the same content:

It’s definitely okay to repost your content, especially if it’s evergreen. Evergreen content is always relevant and appealing to your audience, so why not make sure they’re seeing it? As Maura said, the shelf-life of social media posts is very short, so post things more than once to increase traction.

A smart tactic when re-posting the same content is to change up the copy, use different hashtags, and switch up the graphics. It helps keep things fresh.

By re-posting your content at different times and days, it ensures that even more people are seeing you’ve shared. Very important!

At the end of the day, make sure your content is reflecting what your audience wants to see. That’s how you keep them coming back for more.

Q4: What are some tactics for actually structuring your social media calendar?

Don’t get overwhelmed when planning content! Use these tips to make the task even easier:

Post with a purpose and ensure that the content you’re sharing is actually getting you closer to your goals. Otherwise, what’s the point?

So, if you haven’t set goals for what you want from your social media presence… Go ahead and do that today!

Make sure you’re testing to see what actually works for you in terms of the kind of content you share. It even helps to just ask your audience what they want to see more of.

This triple theme method that Rachel mentioned would definitely be helpful!

These ideas that Masooma shared are perfect for filling up your social media calendar!

Q5: What analytics and KPIs should you review to improve your social media calendar?

After you’ve started sharing all this amazing content, you’ll want to track your progress to ensure you’re reaching your goals. This is how you choose the right KPIs:

Go back to your goals! They’ll tell you if you should be more focused on link clicks, comments, shares, etc.

If you want link clicks, focus on that. If you want to see more interaction and brand awareness, pay attention to things like growth and comments.

When you track your engagement, it’s a good sign that your content resonates with your audience.

Ditch the vanity metrics! Maria says to focus on things like comments or shares.

For Katie, she focuses on tracking LinkedIn engagement. She likes to see that her content is driving conversations.

Rachel likes to view social media shares to see what insights people are sharing about her content.

Q6: How can we ensure our social media content is fresh and generating the engagement we desire?

No one wants stale social media content! Keep it engaging with this advice:

Maura suggests testing phrases, images, videos, etc. to see what performs the best. They’ll even send out one blog post with six different variations to test them all. It helps you see what works and what does.

Also, make sure you’re getting to know your audience through conversations so you can build strong relationships with them.

Sending out a survey is an amazing way to learn more about your audience and what they’d like to see from you.

If you find that something just isn’t working for you on social media, find out why. And focus on replicating the things that do work.

Q7: Which tools will come in handy when managing your social media presence?

And finally, it’s easier to manage your social media calendar with a few tools in your toolbox. Here are some great ones:

Maura recommends using MeetEdgar for scheduling, of course! She also likes Canva for creating graphics, as well as Google Analytics for data.

You definitely want to have a scheduling tool, a social listening tool, and something to create graphics.

The SEO Charge team suggests apps like Awario and Animoto.

Lexie loves Canva and Google Analytics.

Google Sheets is great for tracking stats. Social Oomph, Hootsuite, and CoSchedule are worthing checking out too.

And don’t forget about your in-app analytics!

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