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Brand Voice

Author Robert McKee once said, “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.” And he was right!

At Digital Storyteller, we begin all of our partnerships with a strong foundation—your very own ‘brand storytelling session’ (BSTS). After all, we’re an outsourced digital marketing agency, which means we will be creating content as if we were you. This BSTS is crucial in order to be able to do what we do best (…marketing!).

If a ‘brand storytelling session’ sounds a bit like another language, we’re sorry! We’ll explain. Better yet, Amanda Rogers, Owner and Chief Creative Officer at Digital Storyteller can give you the lowdown and answer all of your juicy questions, like why is your brand storytelling session important? And what the heck is it anyway!?

Let’s get into it.

What is Brand Storytelling?

Brand storytelling has become kind of a buzzword. People use it to mean all kinds of things. They use it to mean:

  • Branding that means something to you
  • Storytelling for individuals

What Do You Do During a Brand Storytelling Session?

In our Brand Storytelling Sessions, we block out two hours on our calendar to sit down with you and get to know your brand at its core.

For Digital Storyteller, the Brand Storytelling Session grew naturally out of questions we had to ask clients over and over again and the research we did to better craft clients’ websites, content, and content marketing strategies.

A brand storytelling session focuses primarily on finding out what your ‘brand voice’ is. In other words, what your brand archetype is.

Brand Archetypes

Brand archetypes are as old as Greek tragedy (sadly, we can’t take credit for making them up…) The 12 brand archetypes that we use at Digital Storyteller are:

  • The Innocent
  • Everyman
  • Hero
  • Outlaw
  • Explorer
  • Creator
  • Ruler
  • Magician
  • Lover
  • Caregiver
  • Jester
  • Sage

Don’t worry, we cover what all of these archetypes mean during your Brand Storytelling Session!

Why Is a Brand Storytelling Session Important?

As we say at Digital Storyteller, marketing without a brand voice is like a margarita without tequila… Useless!

Defining your brand voice through a Brand Storytelling Session shortens your sales cycle because having a clear brand voice makes people feel like they already know you when they walk into a room with you.

It helps build trust, and it makes prospects feel at ease as they’ve heard your brand voice consistently across your website, content, and social posts.

When you pick a brand voice and choose a brand archetype, it’s about the way in which you speak, not what you’re talking about. 

Amanda, Founder and Creative Director at Digital Storyteller, puts it best. “I can talk about something that’s highly consequential in a number of different brand voices. The way you speak about what you do is what sets you apart from your competitors… A Brand Storytelling Session is the uncovering of the way in which you tell your own unique story.”

If you couldn’t tell by Amanda’s spiel, a BSTS isn’t anything to be afraid of. Don’t believe us? Check out what one of our clients, Todd Regan, said about his BSTS. (P.S. He wasn’t excited!)

“Looking at the [brand storytelling session] appointment on my calendar, I thought this is going be so painful – it was the opposite, so insightful, valuable, and fun.” —Todd Regan Chief Operating Officer at Payroll Hub

A brand storytelling session is crucial for all of you out there who struggle to explain to your drunk aunt what business you’re in every Thanksgiving. If you’re not clear on what you do, how can your prospects and clients be?

Plus, we can’t—or any outsourced marketing agency, for that matter—accurately represent your brand until we truly understand who you are, your audience, and your goals. Our brand storytelling sessions answer all of these questions.

We’re so confident in our ability to surprise and delight you that your initial BSTS session and deliverable are free.

Interested in learning more about the importance of brand storytelling? Check out this article.

Digital Marketing

Top Five Digital Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore

At Digital Storyteller, we know well that digital marketing is an ever-changing field. Sometimes, it can feel like a full-time job just keeping up with all of the algorithms and constant updates!

(C’mon, Zuckerberg! Give us a break!) Just kidding…

In all seriousness, the best thing you can do for your business—whether you do it yourself or hire an outsourced agency like us to save you time and money—is do your best to stay current with the top digital marketing trends.

Don’t worry, we’ll give you a hand! Here are the top five digital marketing trends you can’t ignore today!

Video Content

If you’re not currently living under a rock, chances are you know that video is the number one media that social channels are pushing right now.

The statistics say it all. Did you know that in June 2021, TikTok reached 3 BILLION downloads? In the five short years that the video-sharing app has existed, it managed to snag the 7th most downloaded app for the 2010s, according to App Annie.

Even Instagram has jumped on the video bandwagon. In June 2021, Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, said in a video that Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing app. Instead, Instagram will prioritize video content, leaning into the high level of success that they are observing competitors like TikTok and YouTube achieve.

So, get your business ready to push out some awesome video content if you haven’t already—Instagram reels, TikToks, explainer videos, testimonials, culture videos, the list goes on.

Value-Driven Content

Although our digital marketing agency lives by the phrase “content is king,” we’d like to make an important modification to this term coined by marketing whiz Neil Patel.

“QUALITY content is king.”

Just think: Any person, at any given moment, has an enormous surplus of content that they could decide to consume. It’s almost overwhelming. So, consider this: Why should someone click on your page rather than your competitor? What are you offering them that your competitor is not?

Sure, you may be handing out eBooks, but is the information different? Or is it generic? Your best bet at gaining clients’ trust is by offering content that drives value.

This means no carelessly written articles with typos just for the sake of posting something. You want to shoot for quality, long-form content.

It’s equally important to do so in a way that doesn’t come off as too salesy either. We know, it’s a difficult line to straddle…

To provide an example of quality content, picture this. You’re at your local mall and you see an electric wine bottle opener. (Oooh!) What would make you more prone to purchasing said wine opener?

A bland instruction manual about what the product is and how it works, or a beautifully designed pamphlet showing how the wine opener will save you time and frustration for years to come? We think you know your answer. Say goodbye to stubborn synthetic corks!

But anyway, the point is long-form, value-driven content is key in your digital marketing strategy.

Hyper-Personalized Content

It has happened to all of us. You’re on a website viewing a product; it could be shoes, decor, food, doesn’t matter. Then, you leave the page without making a purchase.

A few hours later you receive an item with the subject line “Get it before it sells out!” or “You forgot something…” You click into the email… It’s the exact product you’d been looking at just hours before.

Weird, right? Well, not really in the world of digital marketing. Welcome to hyper-personalized content!

Hyper-personalized content is the third digital marketing trend you can’t ignore. Personalized content is no new feat, and as you can tell, we’re not talking about adding a simple first name personalization in your email marketing. (That might have been impressive five years ago, but times have changed).

For businesses looking to generate more traffic and increase conversion rates, you have to get really nitty-gritty about who your target audience is and more importantly, what they’re looking for and at. By using artificial intelligence (AI), you can collect information about individuals who are engaging with your business and track their behavior to target them more effectively.

There are many third-party software companies that can help you obtain data to create this hyper-personalized content. Some of our favorites include:

“Hey Siri, search ‘content marketing’ on Google!” Thanks to AI-powered voice assistants, millions of people every day search for things online without even touching or being near their phone or computer.

User experience and web accessibility today are so important. With the rise of voice search, including Siri, Google, Alexa, and Cortana, it has become all the more important to make sure your content is optimized for voice search. Keep your eyes out for a full article on how to optimize your content for voice search soon!

Easy to Contact

Today, we live in a world where delayed gratification is not our friend. At least not when we have a question about a product, service, or business! Whether you’re messaging your favorite clothing company, your hairstylist, or a restaurant, chances are you value a quick response on a user-friendly platform.

Your prospects are no different. If you’re not available 24/7, using AI to ensure your prospects get timely responses is a no-brainer!

Hiring an Outsourced Digital Marketing Agency

Top Five Digital Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore

We know, there are a lot of bases to cover. The best thing you can do is focus on what’s hot now and tailor your content marketing strategy as such. Recognize current trends and use them to your advantage in your digital marketing efforts.

Still sounds a bit scary? Check out this article on the Top 10 Resources for Digital Marketers!

At Digital Storyteller, we’re your go-to for your outsourced digital marketing needs. As our client, our team will keep you up to date on all the latest digital marketing trends.

Get in touch today to schedule your free Brand Storytelling session. What is Brand Storytelling you might ask? Don’t worry, we’ve got an article for that, too!

Algorithms

If you have social media of any kind, chances are you’ve heard people talk about “algorithms” pretty regularly. When someone posts content and it performs poorly, whether they be a business, an influencer, or your Average Joe, you might hear them blame it on the algorithm.

“Oh, the algorithm hates me… I can’t figure out the algorithm… The algorithm is always changing, I can’t keep up!” And so on and so forth.

At Digital Storyteller, we recognize that there is some truth in these statements. Algorithms are always changing. But first, what are algorithms—and how do they work?

What is an Algorithm?

While the word “algorithm” is thrown around a lot today, it can be hard to fully grasp what this term even means.

Kristien Matelski at Vizion puts it perfectly. An algorithm “is a pattern or set of rules that problem-solving operations (especially computers) use to make calculations.”

Let’s dive into what this definition means for Google and social media specifically.

The Google Algorithm

The Google algorithm is “a complex system that allows Google to find, rank and return the most relevant pages for a certain search query.”

Like we mentioned, algorithms are constantly changing. In fact, Marketing Whiz Neil Patel shares on his blog that Google makes minor changes to its algorithm daily!

Google “might even release multiple updates in 24 hours,” says Patel. “These changes are usually small, and you probably won’t notice a drop in search page rankings due to these updates alone.”

However, knowing that the algorithm can literally change overnight (and multiple times at that!), it can feel impossible to keep up. (We know our social team at Digital Storyteller works hard every day to stay fresh with new updates and trends you can’t ignore.)

Google holds over 70% of the search market share and therefore, is the most popular search engine, according to Hubspot. This considered, how can you use the algorithm to your advantage? What does the algorithm take into account when ranking content?

Well, you’re in luck! According to an explainer video posted by Google titled “How Google Search Works,” there are hundreds of factors that go into determining what pops up on a search engine. Here are a few.

  • Keywords: Keywords play a significant role in the optimization of your content. You want to ensure you’re paying close attention to the keywords you choose to use. For example, if you own a smoothie bar in downtown San Diego, you probably want to rank for “good smoothies San Diego” or “downtown San Diego smoothies,” as opposed to keywords like “pizza” and “tacos!” For more on keywords, visit our article on how to optimize your content for search.
  • Meta Descriptions: Keywords aren’t the only thing Google looks for when curating a search engine results page (SERP). Meta descriptions, sometimes called a meta description attribute or tag, “is an HTML element that describes and summarizes the contents of your page for the benefit of users and search engines,” according to WordStream. Write meta descriptions carefully, as you only get about 155 words to show off what your content is about!
  • Images and Alt Text: Google LOVES images, and so do humans! Think, if you’re looking up a recipe on how to make the ‘World’s Best Lasagna,’ would you be more likely to click on the recipe with or without photos? Alt Text, or alternative text, is also important. It’s a short written description of the image that Google can read to help rank your page.
  • Title: Your title needs to be well thought out and something people would actually search for. Your title should summarize your content and include your target keywords.
  • Meta Tags: Meta tags are invisible tags that provide data about your page to search engines and website visitors.”
  • Backlinks: The Google algorithm also looks for backlinks. Backlinking is the action of linking back to another external site on your own and is an extremely valuable tactic to use in sharing your site content. Backlinking helps position you as a trustworthy, authoritative source. For more on backlinking, visit our blog titled “PR vs Backlinking Strategies: What’s the Difference?
  • Site Health: A site with a score of 80% or above is typically considered “good” site health. Site health is determined by the number of errors and warnings found when your site is crawled.
  • Site Authority: Google also cares about your site authority score. Authority is built slowly over time but is determined by your site’s backlinks and organic keywords. For more on how to build your domain authority, visit our article to get the secret sauce behind improving organic search rankings.

For our friends who are interested in watching Google’s quick explainer video for more information on how Google search works, here it is.

Social Media Algorithms

So, what’s a social media algorithm? “A social media algorithm is the mathematical calculation that sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and [Snapchat] use to understand user habits and to customize the social experience,” says Matelski.

“Social media algorithms work seamlessly behind the scenes, optimizing the user experience without them knowing the system is at work.”

No two algorithms are identical but they all use similar structures to determine what content you see, to organize the way you see it, and when you see it. Here are a few elements to consider.

  • Social Signals: Social shares, likes, tweets, and pins on search engine rankings have been shown to increase SEO through several case studies. Social sharing helps boost your SEO ranking significantly if you stay consistent with organic content and ask people to share your content. For two more content marketing SEO tips, read on here.
  • Hashtags: Hashtags help categorize your content and will help users discover your business. Using hashtags in your social posts can also place your content higher in SERPs.
  • Captions: While it may be trendy to keep your captions simple (*cough cough* influencers who write one-word captions or only use emojis!), this is not the best practice for SEO and algorithm purposes. Great captions are engaging, SEO friendly, and memorable. Great captions take time and effort. Don’t underestimate the power of a great caption!
  • Video Content: We all know that video content is the number one media being pushed right now. So, get your business ready to push out some awesome video content if you haven’t already—Instagram reels, TikToks, explainer videos, testimonials, culture videos, the list goes on. Bonus tip? Use trending music in your videos to rank higher!

For those of you whose business is ready to take advantage of the benefits of video content, check out our article on Instagram Reels to learn how video content supports your social strategy.

Marketing Budget

How Much Should You Allocate?

What if we told you that you can have your cake and eat it, too? Well, today’s your lucky day—because you can! While the world might tell you that you need to pay an arm and a leg for good marketing, at Digital Storyteller we say no thanks! Here’s how much you should really allocate to your digital marketing budget.

The Average Marketing Budget 

At this point, you might be asking yourself, “What’s considered a ‘good’ marketing budget?” or “What percentage of my profits should I allocate to marketing?”

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), “small businesses with revenues less than $5 million should allocate 7-8 percent of their revenues to marketing.”

However, there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to digital marketing budgets. Allocation depends on several factors according to the SBA:

  • The industry you’re in
  • Business size
  • Growth stage
  • Profit margins

Most importantly, however, your marketing budget should never be an afterthought, “based on just what’s left over once all your other business expenses are covered.”

Setting Your Marketing Budget

Crafting your marketing budget no longer requires the guesswork it used to. Here are six steps you can take, thanks to OutboundEngine, to set a successful marketing budget for your small business.

  • Step One: Identify where you are in your business journey
  • Step Two: Outline your sales funnel
  • Step Three: List operational costs

(Psst! At this point, you should know how much money is coming in and how much money is being expensed, which is a huge help).

  • Step Four: Set goals
  • Step Five: Identify competition in your industry
  • Step Six: Craft your marketing plan using all your research!

Something to remember: Don’t cling to your plan year-round! It will (hopefully!) change annually and could also be susceptible to change if something shifts in the market or if you launch a new product or service!

You’re Wasting Money on Facebook Ads…

At Digital Storyteller, we will not deny that having a marketing budget is important. It is, of course! But frankly, we’re just seeing too many companies spend ridiculous amounts of money on paid advertising, like Facebook ads.

In fact, did you know that companies spend an average of $200 to $800 on Facebook ads per month? An enterprise, however, may invest up to $5,000 per month on Facebook ads… Holy moly is all we can say!

And this is just on Facebook ads alone. One singular platform. For many companies, if not all, Facebook ads alone cannot carry your business and the success of your digital marketing strategy. (Sorry not sorry, Zuckerberg!)

For companies to succeed, it’s typical to expect both a blend of paid and organic initiatives in the marketing melting pot.

The Affordability of Outsourced Marketing

At Digital Storyteller, we believe that fragmented marketing wastes money and time and reduces impact. We also believe that you should be able to have your cake and eat it, too. Hell, you can go on vacation and still afford quality, effective marketing! 

(We should know since we market for ourselves the way we would any other client AND *cough cough* our owners just spent two weeks at the five-star Chileno Bay Resort in Cabo San Lucas—woot woot!)

At Digital Storyteller, we strive to be transparent, and we don’t think pricing should be a secret. This is why all of our pricing is broken down in full on our website for you to see.

For those in a pinch, here’s what we offer:

Our STARTER tier, priced at $3,000 a month, is perfect for the small business owner who needs marketing support to maintain or build an online presence.

Our most popular package, titled GROWTH, is priced at $5,000 a month and includes content creation, a social media strategy to align online presence with your current business identity, as well as sales enablement workflow assistance.

Lastly, our ENTERPRISE tier is for companies whose growth has outpaced their marketing. We are your outsourced marketing department focused on building your business with you. The enterprise package is priced at $8,000 a month.

We also offer a ​​stand-alone website design product starting at $8,500.

From SEO analysis to organic content creation, from sales enablement workflow creation in Hubspot to online reputation management and social media, we do it all at a fraction of the cost that hiring marketing in-house would be.If you couldn’t already tell, organic content marketing saves you money. In fact, content marketing is 62% less expensive than paid marketing and three times more effective. So, what are you waiting for!? For more on why digital marketing is important for your financial services company, read on.

User Generated Content

From IG stories to reviews, there are endless ways to demonstrate client satisfaction! Are you taking advantage of User-Generated Content?

SEO and Content Marketing

Today, there is no excuse to not be using SEO and content marketing to your advantage. But how can you effectively combine the two?

Organic Content Creation

To succeed as a business today, you need to engage your clients and prospects by creating quality, organic content.

Digital Storyteller

Modern customers are looking for more than a transactional service. Here’s why the financial industry should be on top of digital marketing.

What Is Web Accessibility and Why Is It Important?

We are not a one-size-fits-all society, nor are our websites. As our physical world becomes more aware of creating physical accessibility, we should also understand the importance of facilitating web accessibility as well. As we spend more time surfing the web, learn more about how to increase inclusivity for people with disabilities. It’s just good practice, and it also benefits your company. The two biggest types of marketing are outsourced and in-house. Both want to promote your business to the best of their ability, but they have a few big differences. Learn more about the differences between outsourced and in-house marketing!

Outsourced VS In-House Marketing: What's Best For Your Business?

So you’re wondering what type of marketing you should implement for your business? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
The two biggest types of marketing are outsourced and in-house. Both want to promote your business to the best of their ability, but they have a few big differences. Learn more about the differences between outsourced and in-house marketing below!

Top 10 Resources for Digital Marketers

So you want to market your business, but you’re not sure where to start?
We wanted to share our favorite resources that make us successful in our industry so you can be successful in yours.

Save Money on Ads (So You Can Spend It on Wine)

When you think of marketing, what do you think of? For many, it’ll include billboards, that one realtor’s face on a bus stop, or the not-so random ads when you’re scrolling through Instagram.
It’s actually much more than that. Yes, paid ads have their time and place to increase your exposure, but let’s let you in on a little secret: there’s a better way to market yourself, and it’s not by relying on ads.
I know, shocking. 

Why You Should Conduct Site Audits

You See a Doctor Every Year, Shouldn’t Your Site? The same way that your own health sometimes requires a little TLC or a trip to the doctor’s office for extra attention, your site does too.

How to Organize Content

We’ve talked time and time again about the importance of content marketing and why consistently producing strong content is an ideal marketing strategy. That being said, we know it can be easier said than done.