Tag Archive for: Financial services

Welcome to the ultimate guide on how to make the LinkedIn algorithm work for you! If you want to improve your LinkedIn game and ensure that your posts get seen by the right people, you’re in the right place. And to sweeten the deal, we’ve got a free download at the end of this blog post (you’re welcome.) 

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the LinkedIn algorithm. We’ll explain how LinkedIn categorizes posts, how to avoid being flagged as spam, and how to achieve high-quality status. We’ll also share tips on how to make the most of the golden hour, when to post, how to encourage engagement, and what not to do.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have a solid understanding of how the LinkedIn algorithm works and be equipped with the knowledge to take your LinkedIn game to the next level. So, let’s get started!

When you post, LinkedIn puts it in one of three categories.

These categories are: 

  • ​​Spam
  • Low quality
  • High quality

How to Avoid Being Categorized as Spam

So, how can you avoid being flagged as spam? It’s easy, just follow these simple tips:

  • Use good grammar
  • Limit the number of links in your post
  • Tag no more than five people
  • Avoid posting too frequently (wait at least three hours between posts)
  • Don’t use engagement bait (like asking for likes, comments, or follows)
  • Avoid using hashtags like “follow,” “comment,” or “like.”

But, How Do You Achieve High-quality Status? 

That’s where things get tricky. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Only tag people who you know will respond to your post
  • Use around three hashtags, with one being broad, one slightly more niche, and the last very niche (for example: “#socialmedia,” “#b2bsocialmedia”)
  • Format your post for readability
  • Focus on niche topics instead of broad ones
  • Encourage engagement by asking questions
  • Avoid using outbound links (put them in the comments)
  • Use strong keywords to help your post get discovered.

LinkedIn Golden Hour

What’s the deal with golden hour, you ask? It’s not just a trendy Instagram filter – it’s the first hour after you drop a post on LinkedIn. And trust us, you want to make that hour count. 

LinkedIn measures the initial engagement to see if it’s worthy of moving on into other people’s feeds. If your post does well in the first hour, it’s much more likely to do well all day, week, or month. 

In other words, if you can generate some buzz in that first hour, you’re on your way to LinkedIn fame and fortune. But if crickets are chirping during the golden hour, it’s like your post has been condemned to social media purgatory. So don’t waste your time on lackluster posts – give them the golden hour treatment they deserve!

Let’s talk LinkedIn Golden Hour Do’s and Don’ts

Not sure where to start? We got you covered. 

Do’s

  • Post when your followers are most active online to increase the chances of them seeing it.
  • Get people talking by asking a question or encouraging discussion in the comments.
  • Boost your post’s visibility by engaging with other posts around the same time you share yours.
  • Stick to a consistent posting schedule so your followers know when to expect new content from you.
  • And most importantly, don’t forget to respond to anyone who engages with your post. It’s the polite thing to do!

Don’ts

  • Set it and forget it! Make sure to return to your post and engage with any comments.
  • Tag more than one person unless you’re confident at least one will respond within an hour.
  • Refrain from editing your post once it’s up. I’ve noticed this tends to weaken its reach.

If people are liking, commenting on or sharing your post,  you’ll make it through to the next filter (and appear in more feeds!)

So, you’ve made it past the first filter – congratulations! But your journey to world domination on LinkedIn is far from over. The next step is to get people to like, comment, and share your post. Think of it like getting a stamp of approval from your audience. The more love you get, the more likely you are to appear in even more feeds. Keep ’em engaged, folks!

If people mark it as spam, hide it from their feed, or just ignore it, LinkedIn is going to penalize your content.

To avoid having your content penalized by LinkedIn, it’s important to create high-quality content that resonates with your audience. This means knowing your target audience, understanding what they want to see, and crafting posts that meet their needs. It’s also important to avoid using spammy tactics like engagement bait or excessive tagging. Instead, focus on creating engaging and valuable content that encourages likes, comments, and shares. 

As long as it keeps getting engagement, your post stays in the mix and continues to be distributed in the feed.

On LinkedIn, there are three key factors that influence what appears in your feed. 

  1. Personal connections: To determine which posts are most personally related to members, LinkedIn considers factors such as who you work with/have worked with and who you’ve interacted with before.
  2. Interest relevance: The LinkedIn algorithm evaluates what groups you’re in, the hashtags, people, and pages you follow, and also looks at the language of the post, as well as the companies, people, and topics mentioned in it.
  3. Engagement probability: The algorithm evaluates the likelihood that you will share, comment, or react to a post, and takes into account timely feedback to content creators. The quicker a post starts raking in interactions, the more likely LinkedIn is to include it in the feeds of others. The more you interact with others daily, the more people will engage back, and the more likely you’ll be seen in other people’s feeds.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, understanding the LinkedIn algorithm is crucial for anyone looking to increase their visibility on the platform. The algorithm evaluates factors such as engagement probability, interest relevance, and personal connections to determine the relevance of content to its audience. By following the do’s and don’ts of the golden hour and creating high-quality content that encourages likes, comments, and shares, LinkedIn users can boost their engagement and increase their chances of appearing in more feeds.

Want to optimize your business’s LinkedIn page but not sure where to start? Download our freebie, here.
Read on to learn how to leverage your business using LinkedIn. Then, get in touch with our team to schedule your FREE Brand Storytelling Session.

Are you frustrated with low views on your YouTube channel despite your efforts? We may have some bad news: simply posting videos is not enough. With 122 million daily active users and 500 hours of content uploaded every minute, competition on YouTube is fierce. 

The good news? You can optimize your Youtube content to increase your visibility and attract more viewers with just a few simple steps. 

Let’s dive into how you can do it.

Engaging Your Audience:

Audience engagement plays a crucial role in driving interactions and building a connection with your viewers. Encourage interaction by responding to comments, creating a community, and asking for feedback. Experiment with different formats like Q&A sessions, challenges, live streams, or contests to engage your audience effectively. 

Make sure to complete your profile to provide viewers with more information about you and your content.

Directing Viewers to Your Website:

Don’t underestimate the power of simply telling people to visit your website. Incorporate a bookend approach in your videos, mentioning your website at the beginning and end. Display your URL in the video description. By explicitly inviting viewers to visit your website, you can significantly increase referral traffic and expand your reach.

Encouraging Subscriptions:

While immediate traffic is important, focusing on long-term growth is equally crucial. Ask your viewers to subscribe to your channel. Subscribers receive notifications about your new videos and are more likely to become loyal fans. As your subscriber count grows, so does your viewership and potential website traffic.

Interacting with the Comment Section:

Here at Digital Storyteller, we’re all about embracing the fun and excitement of the comment section! It’s like a virtual hangout where viewers can ask questions, share their thoughts, and create an awesome community.

But wait, there’s more! By actively engaging with the comment section, you not only get to showcase your expertise (cue the expert mode), but you also have the perfect opportunity to sprinkle some magic. Share relevant links to your website or other valuable content, turning the comment section into a gateway for epic discoveries.

Partnering with Other YouTubers:

Collaborating with other YouTubers in your niche can be mutually beneficial. Look for channels with a slightly larger subscriber count than yours to expand your reach. By sharing audiences, both parties gain access to new traffic sources and increase their visibility – sounds like a win-win to us!

Optimizing Video Metadata:

We know, we know, the word “metadata” doesn’t sound like the most fun, but it’s the secret sauce that helps your videos rank higher in search results.

Metadata refers to the valuable information you provide about your video, including titles, descriptions, and tags. By optimizing these elements, you can work your way up the search results ladder and increase your video’s visibility.

Here’s how to work your magic on metadata:

Enchanting Titles: Create descriptive titles that incorporate relevant keywords. Think about what your target audience is searching for and craft titles that catch their attention.

Captivating Descriptions: Craft detailed descriptions that captivate viewers and provide valuable information about your video. Be sure to include targeted keywords and consider adding URLs to direct viewers to your website or other related content.

Strategic Tags: Add tags to your videos to include additional keywords that couldn’t be naturally incorporated into the title or description. These tags help search engines understand the content of your video and improve its discoverability.

By optimizing your metadata, you’ll increase your chances of ranking higher in search results and attracting more viewers to your videos.

Utilizing Descriptive Playlists:

Creating playlists for your videos helps organize your content, improves discoverability, and enhances viewer engagement. Group videos with similar topics or themes into playlists to make it easier for viewers to find what they want. Playlists also rank in search results, driving additional traffic to your content. 

Final Notes

Optimizing your YouTube channel is essential for standing out from the competition and achieving success on the platform. By engaging your audience, directing viewers to your website, encouraging subscriptions, interacting with comments, partnering with other YouTubers, optimizing metadata, utilizing playlists, and harnessing the power of annotations, you can maximize your channel’s potential and drive more traffic to your content.

Remember, building a successful YouTube channel takes time and effort. Consistently create high-quality content that resonates with your target audience, and apply the optimization strategies discussed in this guide. Monitor your channel’s performance, analyze the data, and make adjustments as necessary.

Keep exploring new techniques, staying up-to-date with the latest trends, and learning from successful YouTubers in your niche. With dedication, persistence, and a well-optimized channel, you can increase your visibility, attract more viewers, and achieve your YouTube goals.

Good luck on your YouTube journey!

Marketing: It’s What We Do Best

The goal of an outsourced digital marketing agency is to understand your business and your brand voice to then let the world know how awesome you are.

We start every engagement with a Brand Storytelling Session where we identify your unique brand voice. Then, our team uses bi-weekly client calls, Monday emails, and content calendars to make sure you know what’s happening, always.

We have monthly reporting where we let you know what the return on investment that you’re getting is from your relationship with us.

Of course, there’s always a team member available to you just a call, email, or even text away. Not to toot our own horn, but we’ve been told on multiple occasions that our bi-weekly calls are their favorite calls!

Happy with the direction we’re headed in? We’ll keep running that way. Want to tweak something? More than happy to adjust.

We’ll bring you fresh ideas from our kick*** creative team from a relationship built on trust. Because that’s the beauty of digital marketing.For those who are interested in learning more about the difference between outsourced marketing and in-house marketing, read on here.

 If you’ve made the smart decision to partner with a marketing agency, you’re on the right track to accelerating your business growth. But to truly maximize the potential of this collaboration, there are certain steps you can take to set yourself up for success (spoiler alert: this includes communication, patience, consistency and yes, timely approvals for content – pretty please!) 

In this blog, we’ll guide you through a series of essential strategies and best practices that will help you foster a thriving partnership with your outsourced marketing agency. From clearly defining goals and expectations to establishing transparent communication channels, we’ll cover all the crucial elements that contribute to a successful outsourcing relationship. Let’s dive in!

Set Yourself Up For Success: The Foundation of a Thriving Partnership

Clearly Define Goals and Expectations: The Roadmap to Success

Take some time to define your goals and expectations. Do you want to increase brand awareness, boost conversions, or expand into new markets? Lay it all out and share it with your marketing agency. With a shared vision, you’ll be cruising towards success in no time.

Communicate Your Brand’s Voice and Values: A Unified Front

Share your brand’s personality, tone, and values, so they can create content that hits all the right notes. A unified front will resonate with your target audience and create a memorable brand experience.

Establish a Transparent Communication Channel: Keeping the Conversation Flowing

Communication is key to any successful relationship. Establish a transparent communication channel with your agency, whether it’s through email, project management tools, or regular video calls. Keep the conversation flowing. Share updates, ask questions, and provide feedback. The more you communicate, the better your agency can understand your needs and deliver exceptional results.

Provide Necessary Resources and Information: Sharing is Caring

Provide your agency with access to relevant data, customer insights, and industry knowledge. Share your brand guidelines, creative assets, and any other resources they might need. By equipping them with the right tools, you’ll empower them to create marketing campaigns that hit the bullseye.

Being an Active Participant in Your Own Success

It’s time to break down the walls between you and your marketing agency and embrace collaboration. You bring your industry expertise and deep knowledge of your target audience, while they bring their marketing prowess and creative genius. By working together as a team, you’ll unlock new ideas, innovative strategies, and out-of-the-box solutions that will propel your business forward. So, let those creative juices flow and let the magic happen!

Actively Engage in Strategic Discussions: The Power of Brainstorming

Strategic discussions are like electric storms of ideas, where sparks of brilliance fly around. Don’t miss out on the fun! Actively engage in these discussions with your marketing agency. Bring your unique perspective to the table, ask questions, challenge assumptions, and explore new possibilities. Together, you’ll uncover hidden opportunities and forge a path towards marketing greatness.

Be Patient – Organic MarketingTakes Time

Patience, grasshopper, patience. In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, it’s easy to expect instant results. But here’s the reality check: organic growth takes time, my friend. So, let’s take a deep breath and embrace the art of patience.

Understand the Nature of Organic Marketing: Planting Seeds for Future Success

Organic marketing is like nurturing a beautiful garden. You plant the seeds, water them, and patiently wait for them to bloom. Similarly, organic marketing requires consistent effort, valuable content, and genuine engagement. It takes time for your brand to gain visibility, build trust, and establish a loyal following. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a thriving organic presence.

Set Realistic Expectations

Managing expectations is key to maintaining your sanity in the world of marketing. Set realistic goals and timelines based on the nature of organic growth. Understand that it may take several months or even longer to see significant results. But rest assured, with a solid strategy, consistent effort, and a sprinkle of patience, your hard work will pay off in due time.

Embrace Consistency and Long-term Growth: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Consistency is the secret sauce to organic success. Stay committed to delivering valuable content, engaging with your audience, and nurturing relationships. Keep showing up, even when it feels like progress is slow. Remember, every interaction, every piece of content, and every effort

Respect the Agency’s Expertise: Collaborate and Trust for Mutual Success

When you partner with an outsourced marketing agency, you’re tapping into a wealth of knowledge and experience. To get the most out of this dynamic relationship, it’s crucial to respect their expertise and foster a collaborative environment for mutual success.

Recognize the Agency’s Knowledge and Experience: Trust the Experts

Your marketing agency brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. Recognize their strengths and value their expertise. Trust that they have the skills and knowledge to guide you towards success.

Be Open to New Ideas and Strategies: Embrace Fresh Perspectives

One of the benefits of working with an outsourced marketing agency is access to fresh ideas and strategies. Be open to their suggestions, even if they challenge your current thinking. Embrace their unique perspectives and explore new possibilities for your marketing efforts.

Trust Their Recommendations and Insights: Follow Their Lead

Your marketing agency has your best interests in mind. When they make recommendations or provide insights, trust their expertise and follow their lead. Remember, they’re working towards the same goal as you: success for your brand.

Approve Your Content (Please…We’re begging.)

We’re begging you, please, make timely approval a priority. Your marketing campaigns rely on the smooth flow of content creation and deployment. Delays in approval can disrupt the momentum and effectiveness of your initiatives. So, be responsive and proactive in reviewing and approving the content. Your agency will be eternally grateful, and your marketing engine will run like a well-oiled machine.

By embracing the content approval process, you play a crucial role in maintaining the quality, consistency, and success of your marketing efforts. So, grab your red pen, don your discerning marketer hat, and let’s give that content our seal of approval. Pretty please, with a cherry on top!

Get on Camera (However Much You Hate It)

Lights, camera, action! We know that the thought of being in front of a camera might send shivers down your spine, but trust us, it’s time to conquer that fear. In today’s digital landscape, video content reigns supreme, capturing attention and connecting with audiences on a whole new level. 

So, why should you get on camera, even if it’s not your favorite thing to do? Here are a few key reasons:

Captivating Visuals: Video has a unique ability to grab attention and engage viewers. With eye-catching visuals, dynamic storytelling, and the power of motion, videos can leave a lasting impact on your audience.

Authentic Connection: Videos allow you to showcase your personality, passion, and expertise in a way that resonates with your audience. By putting yourself in front of the camera, you humanize your brand and create a genuine connection with your viewers.

Expanded Reach: In the age of social media and sharing, video content has a greater potential to go viral and reach a wider audience. Engaging videos are more likely to be shared, increasing your brand’s visibility and attracting new viewers and potential customers.

Increased Conversion Rates: Studies have shown that including video on landing pages or in marketing emails can significantly increase conversion rates. Video has a way of capturing attention, keeping viewers engaged, and compelling them to take action.

Highlight Humans: Take Pictures at Your Events

In the digital age, where everything seems to happen online, it’s important not to forget the power of in-person connections. Events provide a fantastic opportunity to bring people together, showcase your brand, and create memorable experiences. And what better way to capture those moments than by taking pictures?

When you host or participate in events, whether it’s a conference, trade show, workshop, or even a casual gathering, make sure to have someone dedicated to capturing the highlights. These photographs not only serve as mementos for attendees but also become valuable assets for your marketing efforts.

Sharing event photos on your website, social media platforms, and other marketing channels humanizes your brand and gives your audience a glimpse into the real people behind it. It adds a personal touch and helps build trust and familiarity with your audience.

So, don’t be shy to whip out your camera or hire a professional photographer to capture the energy, excitement, and human connections at your events. Let those pictures tell a story and make your brand come alive.

Get Sales Involved: Marketing Serves Sales – Let Them Talk to Each Other

Marketing and sales are two sides of the same coin, and their collaboration is crucial for driving business growth. By fostering a strong relationship between your marketing and sales teams, you create a seamless customer journey and maximize your conversion opportunities.

Encourage regular communication and collaboration between the marketing and sales departments. This can be achieved through joint meetings, shared insights and data, and even cross-training sessions.

Marketing can provide valuable information and resources to support the sales team, such as targeted content, lead generation strategies, and customer insights. On the other hand, the sales team can provide valuable feedback and insights from direct customer interactions, helping to refine marketing messages and strategies.

When marketing and sales work together harmoniously, it creates a powerful synergy that boosts the overall effectiveness of your business. It aligns your messaging, ensures a consistent customer experience, and ultimately drives revenue growth.

So, break down those silos, encourage collaboration, and let marketing and sales teams talk to each other. Together, they can unlock new opportunities, improve customer engagement, and drive business success.

Interested in Learning More About Outsourced Marketing?

Give us a call or shoot us a message to schedule your Brand Storytelling Session today.Read on to learn more about why organic marketing is especially great for financial services companies.

Social Media for Financial Services Companies

The use of social media in financial services is often disputed. Some believe that social media does not hold the same value for business-to-business (B2B) brands as it does in the business-to-consumer (B2C) market.

This, however, is not the case.

While it may be true that B2C companies are often more successful on social media than B2B companies, there are still a multitude of various reasons why building a social media presence benefits a financial services company.

Take it from our Social Media Team at Digital Storyteller: “A marketing strategy without social media is like a margarita without tequila. No one wants that!”

In this article, we’re detailing the key benefits of using social media marketing for financial services companies.

1. Strengthen Existing Relationships

One of the greatest benefits for all businesses to developing a social media presence is to strengthen their existing client relationships.

This may refer to:

  • Engaging with existing or past clients, or
  • Nurturing relationships with contacts that have yet to become clients

Either way, social media networks provide a platform to maintain relationships.

Email marketing and consistent calls are of course another option to nurture relationships! These methods, however, have the potential to get irritating rather quickly.

While blasting your clients’ inboxes with emails may lead them to the dreaded unsubscribe button, they may not feel the need to take such drastic measures when their level of engagement is the casual viewing of sporadic Instagram posts.

Social media provides a relaxed addition to your existing client nurturing process while additionally providing a platform to develop new relationships.

2. Build Trust 

In the same way that Google evaluates content for SEO purposes, viewers evaluate clients based on their authority and expertise. Developing a depth of content on social platforms provides potential clients an opportunity to review your level of expertise within your field.

Over time, existing clientele and prospective clients will likely begin to follow your accounts and engage with your content. Engagement with your content shows that you have a proven following and support system that trusts your business.

Read on to learn more about Instagram engagement.

3. Provide Customer Support 

Social media has turned into an easy, new line of communication.

It has become common for consumers to utilize social media to gain support and answers from companies rather than going through their traditional customer service channels. Various social media platforms provide space where clients are comfortable and familiar.

It is easier for a client to tag, tweet, or comment on a company’s latest post than it is to sit on hold with the customer service line for hours trying to solicit help… No, thanks!

Companies love to see their favorite clients and prospects engaging with them on a personal level through social media. Brands that engage and respond to their clients on social media have overall higher customer satisfaction ratings. 

It’s 2022, your clients are on social media—and your competitors are, too.

The truth of the matter is: Brands are expected to have a social presence.

Giving your clients an additional outlet to contact you offers them the support and guidance they’re looking for.

After all, your product or service already serves to solve a problem that they’re facing. Why not fix another one by making yourself more accessible?

4. Humanize Your Brand 

In a sense, this goes along with the previously mentioned need for customer support. Making your brand available on social media is like positioning yourself as their friend. Social media platforms were created to connect friends and share experiences, so why can’t the same be the case with brands?!

Social platforms allow your brand to share a behind-the-scenes look at the people that make your brand what it is. For example, our co-founders, Andrew Marr and Amanda Rogers, each have their series of relevant videos that we share weekly.

Not only do these videos “share the secret sauce” behind our brand, but they also give our viewers insight into the faces behind the brand! Plus, who doesn’t love a chardonnay review!?

The same may also be the case with your brand. Finding a way to interact with your clients on an informal basis allows them to consider you a friend or peer. It creates a relationship of trust and mutual respect: Two things you definitely want in your client relationships.

5. Gain Insight

Lastly, being engaged on social media allows your brand to gain insight. Be it consumer or competitive insights, social media functions as a reporting platform. 

The way that consumers engage with your social media account can tell you about their buying behavior, likes, dislikes, and needs.

Instagram, for example, has transitioned its functionality to operate similarly to a search engine for users. Tracking the views of your page, accounts reached, post likes, comments, shares, and saves can provide significant insight into how your brand is performing.

Read on for our article “What is Going on With the Instagram Algorithm!?

Similar claims can be said about your competitors. One of the benefits of public social media accounts is that you can track insight into your competitors’ content. As they provide content for their followers, you have a front-row seat to see what they’re doing!

A Final Word

If your brand is already on social media, there are additional ways to ensure that you are optimizing your channels. This is particularly the case for financial services companies interacting on social media.

Check out this article for additional tips on the use of social media for financial services companies!

tracking marketing kpis

SEO, CTA, KPI … The list of terms you need to know for your marketing strategy seems to go on and on. We’re here to help break it down and make it easy for you to understand. Keep reading for our full guide to marketing key performance indicators (KPIs).

What is a KPI?

KPI stands for key performance indicator. They are a way to measure performance over time. Following certain metrics over time can help your business reach milestones, gauge processes, and provide insight to make better business decisions. 

What Marketing KPIs Should You Track?

Tracking the right key performance indicators can provide a holistic view of how  your business is performing. 

We, like Semrush, believe that these are some of the best KPIs you should be tracking:SEO KPIs

  1. Conversions: How many of your site visitors are qualified leads? How many of them convert to closed sales? 
  2. ROI: Return on investment is a metric that tells you how profitable an investment is/was, in this case, likely how profitable your marketing investment was.
  3. Organic Visibility: How are people finding your site? Are you showing up through organic search?
  4. Organic Sessions: How many users are finding your site through an organic search? 
  5. Bounce Rate: How quickly are users leaving your site after visiting? If your site is not user-friendly, loads slowly, or doesn’t provide the information your users are looking for, they might exit the site after viewing only a single page. 
  6. Average Time on Page: How long are your users spending on your site pages? Pages with more content, such as blogs or videos, typically tend to drive longer time on-page.
  7. Organic CTR (click-through rate): Does your site have clear calls to action (CTAs)? How often are users clicking buttons or links on your site? Which buttons/links are you driving them to click?
  8. Backlinks: Sites with higher authority are more likely to see increased backlinks. If your site provides valuable, authoritative information that users find helpful, and useful, they may be more likely to link to it from their own sites. This helps drive referral traffic to your site and continues to support authority improvements. 
  9. Keyword rankings: Keyword rankings are the primary driver of organic search traffic. Targeting specific keywords relevant to what your business does is critical to increasing organic search traffic. It’s important to track keywords in two ways: total ranking keywords, and keyword ranking positions. 
  10. Branded vs. Non-Branded Traffic: Branded keywords are directly related to your unique business. For our brand, this would include keywords such as “Digital Storyteller,” “Digital Storyteller marketing agency,” “Andrew Marr,” etc. Non-branded keywords are those that your site ranks for that are not specific to you, such as “digital marketing,” “social media management,” and “search engine optimization.”
  11. Page Speed: Page speed is a huge determinant of how your site performs. According to backlinko, the average page loading speed is 10.3 seconds on desktop and 27.3 seconds on mobile. If your site takes longer than this to load, chances are your user won’t wait and will instead visit a competitor’s site instead. Safe to say we’ve become a pretty impatient society … 
  12. Coverage Issues: Performing site audits can ensure that your site is functioning properly and that Google is indexing and reading your site as it should be. Google Search Console is a critical tool in identifying coverage issues and can help you solve any issues that you find.  

How to Develop your Marketing KPI Strategy

Your business’ marketing KPI strategy should be unique to your business needs. Sure, you can glean ideas from other similar business models, but tailor yours to help guide you where you want to go. 

Here are a few tips on how to develop your marketing KPI strategy.

  1. Define your KPIs- Which specific KPIs will your business track? How will you collect the data and how often will you track shifts? 
  2. Use the SMART Method- KPIs should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. For example, “Onboard 7 new clients in the next 12 months.”
  3. Keep your KPIs clear- Your team should understand your KPIs and how to act on them to make decisions that ultimately lead to reaching your goals.
  4. Revisit your plan- Sometimes plans need to change. Revisit your KPI strategy to make sure the strategy is still working for you. Maybe you need to adjust a few action items based to keep propelling forward in the right direction. 
  5. Don’t overdo it with KPIs- Try to avoid doing too much, too quickly. With access to a plethora of data, it can be easy to try to measure every little thing. We recommend using the information to stay on track with your most important targets- however you define them. This will help you avoid KPI overload. 

See an example below of how we at Digital Storyteller keep track of the important KPIs to our business strategy.

man using a phone

Frequently, our clients ask us, “Should I ask for testimonials?” or, “Do people even read testimonials?” and, “Should we do video testimonials?”

The short answer to all of these questions is… YES!

The bottom line is that we receive a lot of questions around the idea of other people (past or current clients!) talking about what you do as a business and how you help people.

So, how do you request a client testimonial? Listen to our CEO, Andrew Marr, speak more about how to ask for a video testimonial.

Why Are Testimonials Important? 

Don’t lie, you’ve spent time on Yelp or scoured Google reviews… The truth is, as we all know it, a review can make or break someone’s decision to partner with your business.

Use this fact to your advantage. This means you should showcase clients you’ve helped and those you’ve created great partnerships with (because your business is awesome!)

Collecting and displaying testimonials for the world to see helps prospects know how great it is to work with you. After all, Boast found that 72% of consumers say positive testimonials help increase their trust in a business.

Testimonials are powerful, and video testimonials are especially imperative to tell the story of how you helped people.

Many of us grew up in a culture of not asking for help and not talking about ourselves. Video testimonials, however, go against the grain.

When you ask a client to contribute a testimonial for your business, what you’re essentially asking is, “Please, will you talk about us? Will you talk about how we helped you?”

(Hint: These questions are super consequential to those reading—or watching—your testimonial!)

Different questions you can ask your clients to help guide the testimonial are:

  • How did we solve a problem for you?
  • How did we help you save money?  
  • What was working with us like?
  • Why do you like working with us?
  • How can others benefit from partnering with us?

If you ask your client for a video testimonial, remind them that it doesn’t need to be very long at all. Ideally, the video should be very short, 30 seconds to one minute. Keep it straight to the point.

The clients might need some coaching, but it’s very easily done.

Lucky for you, we have an entire article that you can send to your clients to prep them titled, “How to Record a Great Zoom Testimonial.” Check it out!

Once you have the video, put it everywhere. We recommend testimonials live on your website, in blog posts, on LinkedIn, and more. Tell the world how you help people. Hell, shout it from the rooftops!

We’re sure that the clients that you did help will be more than happy to do this for you. 

The Right Way to Ask for Client Testimonials

Don’t make things complicated. It’s just five simple steps.

  1. You have to ask for a testimonial to get one. Think about it… When was the last time you gave a testimonial unprompted? You can ask clients whom you’ve partnered with for years, a new client who is excited to partner with you, the list goes on!
  1. Create an easy form fill for your clients to fill out their experience with you. Strike while the iron’s hot and ask for the testimonial during or right after the conclusion of your partnership (these days you can also ask for a testimonial through a short text message).
  1. Offer an incentive. Think outside of the box of gifts! An incentive can be more brand recognition on your website.
  1. Post the testimonial (with a nice headshot) on your website. 
  1. Check out our testimonials page on our website for more inspiration. 
Digital Marketing Team optimizing marketing for business

How do you know if you need a digital marketing agency? The simple answer is: if you’re ready to focus on your business and do what you do best. Then, you can let a marketing agency do what they do best- help market your business. 

There are, however, more signs that your business is ready to partner with an outsourced marketing agency. 

1. You have a Reactive, Not a Proactive Marketing Plan 

Yes, there is a time and a place for a reactive strategy, but that time and place is not with your marketing. Why? Because reactive marketing doesn’t work. It’s a band-aid for a long-term problem. 

It usually sounds like this… “Oh s**t, we don’t have any holiday posts scheduled for tomorrow!” and/or “We need more leads, ASAP!” Last-minute posts made hastily are more prone to contain errors or be off-brand. 

At Digital Storyteller, we help create a proactive marketing plan for our clients through our content calendar that details an entire month’s worth of content.  This accessible and downloadable template can be customized to fit each client’s needs. It also helps our team stay aligned with deliverables. 

Need a Thanksgiving post? Boom added to the calendar. Celebrating an employee’s birthday? Bam! Added to the calendar. 

Trust us, this content calendar is the best thing since sliced bread. 

2. You’re Not Focused on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Are you focused on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? If not, how are people supposed to find you in the black hole of Google?


Amazing blog posts paired with a stunning website can only get you so far without SEO. SEO is how you can tailor your content to rank for search engines like Google. For an in-depth review of SEO, read our article here.  

When you use SEO consistently and throughout your content and social media, you’ll see organic growth, keyword ranking, and a higher authority score. Hint- it’s what we see with our clients when we apply these same methods. 

3. Your Content Isn’t Consistent 

Be honest with yourself: Is your business posting content consistently? That could look like weekly blog posts, and at least 3 social posts a week. It won’t cut it anymore to post on social media when you feel like it. In today’s market, your audience is looking at how active you are. 

Posting consistent content helps build a better experience for your customers by building credibility and trust. You are seen as an authority in your field as well as a resource for people to go to. 

The audience we’ve built at our digital marketing agency knows to expect to see a new article a week along with social posts on our different social media platforms.

4. You’re Not Posting on Your Social Media Platforms 

Now that you know you need to post consistent content, let’s discuss where you should be posting this regular content. 

As an organic digital marketing agency, we believe in the value of blog posts on your business’ website. Each week, we announce our new blog post on social media platforms that work best for us: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. To find out which social media platforms your business should be on, read here.

We also use these social platforms to post relevant content that add value to our audience. Sometimes, we like to have a little fun with our social posts (okay maybe most of the time we do!)  

You’re Not Optimizing for Mobile

It’s 2022, everyone uses their phones for everything- unless somehow you managed to survive this long with just a flip phone. 

Everything you do, from emails, blog posts, website builds and social posts should be optimized for mobile. Think about it, we all live on our phones. According to research from Oberlo, 63% of Google’s United States organic search traffic came from a mobile device. 

It’s time to get with the times and be as mobile-friendly as possible. If not, you may lose customers who are frustrated with navigating something that is non-mobile friendly. 

A Final Note

If you find yourself committing one or more of these marketing no-nos, it’s a sign that it’s time for you to partner with a digital marketing agency. An outsourced partner has the resources to help your business grow, rank, find leads, and establish yourself as an authority in your field. 


Read on to learn about more benefits of outsourced marketing.

Woman conducting a work meeting

At Digital Storyteller, we market for financial services companies. This can encompass a lot of different types of businesses that offer different products or services. Think law firms, HR consultants, commercial real estate firms, wealth advisories, commercial insurance, and more.

We know, a little bit random… but we love it! Read on to hear more about why we chose marketing for financial services (hint: this industry is wildly underserved).

Working in the financial services industry means helping our clients might look a bit different from your typical B2C marketing agency. So, how do we help our clients?

Today, we’ve got Andrew Marr, CEO and Owner of Digital Storyteller answering that very question. It’s your lucky day.

But what is the main goal of a digital marketing agency? We’re going to hand things off to Andrew.

What is the Main Goal of a Digital Marketing Agency?

There’s one major goal, and it’s simple. That is to shorten the sales cycles of our clients.

What is a Sales Cycle?

A sales cycle is defined as “the repeatable and tactical process salespeople follow to turn a lead into a customer.”

This includes everything from the first encounter a client has with your business (whether it be through seeing your posts on social media or through receiving an email) to closing the deal and follow-ups.

sales cycle seven steps
A great illustration demonstrating sales cycles, courtesy of Snov.io.

How Do We Help Our Clients Shorten Sales Cycles?

Well, there are a lot of things we do to achieve a shorter sales process at Digital Storyteller. This might look like:

As you can see, there are a lot of different branches that come off of that tree.

The number one goal, however, for any marketing agency, is to use their toolkit to shorten sales cycles for their clients.

Want to hear some more of this Scottish lad ranting? Visit this page on our site that’s decked out, head to toe, with Andrew reviewing chardonnay. (We know, it’s kind of ridiculous—but we promise it’s entertaining!)

Marketing for Financial Services Companies

“At Digital Storyteller, we focus exclusively on [marketing for] financial services companies in the B to B space.”

Above is the text you’re faced with when you first visit DigitalStoryteller.io. Some of you might be thinking, “Great!… But what the heck is a financial services company?”

Most marketing agencies work with brands (think: restaurants, fitness centers, influencers, beauty companies, the list goes on). At Digital Storyteller, we’re a bit different… Here’s why.

Why Do We Focus on the Financial Services Industry?

So, why do we focus on financial services at Digital Storyteller? Well, aside from the fact that our team thinks financial services are wildly sexy (kidding… kind of?), we recognized a need and a gap in industry offerings.

But first, before we go into more detail, what is the financial services industry?

What the Heck is Financial Services?

We’re glad you asked.

According to the International Monetary Fund, the financial services sector “covers many different types of transactions in such areas as real estate, consumer finance, banking, and insurance.”

At Digital Storyteller, we have clients ranging from law firms to HR consulting firms, commercial real estate firms to wealth advisories, and commercial insurance. (Geez, that’s a mouthful, isn’t it?)

Anyway, when we say financial services, that’s really the realm we’re talking about.

Marketing for Financial Services Companies

So, back to why we market for financial services, at Digital Storyteller, we feel like that level of business, and that community of businesses, are underserved from a marketing perspective.

There are plenty of agencies out there who spend their time on biotech, startups, and influencer marketing—but not a lot who spend their time with financial services.

A Quick Aside

How did all of this come to be? In 1997, Amanda Rogers, Chief Creative Officer and Founder of Digital Storyteller taught herself how to code from a book when the actors union was on strike. 

She taught herself to write HTML, CSS, and Javascript before WordPress, Squarespace, and WIX existed. Although Amanda believes a lot has changed in the “how” of creating online presences for people and their businesses, the why is still the same… Tell the world what you do better than anyone else and the right people will be able to find you.

Why is Marketing Important for Financial Services Specifically

The financial services industry is a competitive and unique industry to market for. We know that those in the financial services industry navigate the difficult terrain of regulatory and compliance hurdles while seeking to successfully market their products and services.

Moreover, when it comes to financial services, you must build trust and authority through consistent content that is:

  • Reliable
  • Informational
  • Educational
  • Engaging

This considered—its difficulty—it’s essential that financial services companies seek out the right marketing for their businesses. Interested in learning more? Read on in the importance of digital marketing for financial services companies.

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 do things a bit differently. We block out two hours on our calendar to zoom with you and get to know your brand at its core.

We know it sounds intense, but don’t worry. Our favorite description that a client gave us at the end of a Brand Storytelling Session was, “I was expecting a root canal and I got a massage.” Yay for free massages! 

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

What’s a brand archetype? We’re glad you asked. 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!

What Happens After Your Brand Storytelling Session?

We’re all for transparency. After your two-hour block, we have a comprehensive overview of:

  • How you talk about what you do
  • How you feel about your company name
  • What your brand archetype is

From there, we can start to build the kind of marketing strategy that is unique to your company.

The Timeline

A week after a Brand Storytelling Session, you will receive a well-designed deliverable.

A few days after that, we get on the phone and set a kickoff call, if you decide we’re the right fit for you!

After our one-hour kickoff call, we set weekly one-hour meetings for the first month of our partnership, followed by bi-weekly meetings following. 

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. 

Conducting a Brand Storytelling Session helps us to truly understand a client’s brand voice, their brand archetype, and helps us to be able to write in their voice.

Amanda, Founder and Creative Director at Digital Storyteller, put 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

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.

Content Marketing Mistakes

Hungry for some truth? Today’s your lucky day!

“Content marketing may be a relatively simple strategy,” says CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group. “That doesn’t mean it’s easy.” These are the wise words of Michael Brenner. (Psst… For those who don’t know Brenner, he’s a content marketing pro!)

Brenner’s words considered, it’s likely that your business is making some mistakes when it comes to content and your marketing strategy. Here are the top five mistakes you’re making with your content!

Not Using Keywords

Keywords? SEO? What does it all mean!? Don’t worry. Let’s start at the beginning.

Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is a way that marketers tailor their content to appeal to search engines. Popular examples of search engines include Google, Yahoo!, and MSN Search. In today’s world, search engines rule the scene!

SEO keywords, also known as keywords or keyphrases, are “terms added to online content in order to improve search engine rankings,” according to Backlinko. Having a set of target keywords for your business is crucial because they are the bridge between what people search for and the services or products you provide.

To build this list, you must complete thorough and frequent keyword research. Keyword research is “the process by which you research popular search terms people type into search engines like Google.” Then, using said research, you strategize how to include these keywords in your content. Thus, placing you higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).

A higher ranking can improve your chances at business, deem you as an authority in the market, and increase a client’s likelihood of trusting or choosing to do business with you. 

Consider this: If you were searching for a new veterinarian for your dog, would you scroll to the fifth page of results on Google to the vet with a bleak social presence? Or, would you be more likely to trust a business that popped up on page one with hundreds of positive reviews and photos?

For this reason, it’s important that all of your content is optimized with relevant, targeted keywords. You want to rank higher on Google, don’t you!?

For more on why SEO is important for a financial services company (or any company for that matter!), visit this article. We promise you’ll walk away having learned something new.

An additional mistake to be wary of, (and often a byproduct of having a list of relevant keywords that you’re using on a consistent basis!), however, is keyword stuffing.

Keyword stuffing, as defined by Google, is “the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results.” In short, you’ve gone too far! You know… there is such a thing as over-optimizing, and keyword stuffing is exactly that.

It’s a fine line to walk for sure. Our SEO team at Digital Storyteller can help you there.

Failing to Cater to Your Audience

Hooray! You’ve launched your business. Now, who should you market to? Some people might think, “If we market to everyone, we’ll

The truth of the matter is that your business, product, or services might not appeal to everyone. As Chris Do, Emmy award-winning designer, director, and CEO and founder of The Futur, once said, “If we cater to everyone, we’ll stand for no one.”

So, get eerily specific about who your audience is.

Learn who they are, what makes them tick, what they need and want. Who is benefitting from your business? What motivates them? Who holds influence over them?

Then, use this information to inform your branding, brand voice, and brand archetypes. These three elements are what help your brand become uniquely recognizable.

Narrowing down a specific target audience and catering to them specifically makes what you offer more memorable. Plus, when you cater to your audience and consider what they might want first, your chances of winning over their trust are higher. It’s a win-win!

As a business owner, when you only write content that you want to write, instead of what your prospects are searching for or need, you set yourself up for failure in an instant. (Just think how different your target audience is from you!)

Instead of writing whatever the heck you want, we’d recommend writing what’s trending. And no… we don’t mean “trending” in the sense of what’s currently trending on TikTok or Instagram. When we say “what’s trending,” we’re talking about what your prospects or target audience is currently searching for.

In other words, there’s a difference between what you want to talk about and what your prospects want to talk about. As Regina George from Mean Girls would say, “Stop trying to make fetch happen. It’s never going to happen.”

For those who are unfamiliar with the 2004 American teen comedy film, stop trying to make prospects interested in what you are interested in. You’re there to serve them.

At Digital Storyteller, we use SEMRush—an all-in-one tool suite that helps improve our clients’ online visibility. We use tools like SEMRush to conduct topic research. (Yes, you should be researching what to write about! Not just writing anything and everything you find interesting.)

SEMRush provides a ton of information on keywords and topic research including keyword difficulty % and search volume. 

Keyword difficulty shows you how hard it is “to rank in Google’s organic search results for a specific term” whereas search volume measures how many people are searching for a particular topic, keyword, or question.

Simply put, to be on top of your content marketing game, you need to answer relevant questions that are being asked frequently. After all, you don’t want to write content that no one is searching for in the first place!

Writing Too Much or Not Enough Content

This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you’re writing too much, your content will get swept under the rug. Longer doesn’t always mean better! Remember, it’s not the 1800s anymore, aka you’re not the author who is getting paid per page that they write.

Moreover, attention spans are shrinking. In fact, a recent study by Microsoft concluded that the human attention span has shrunk nearly 25% in just a few years. Search engines are getting smarter every day.

Even if you write the longest article ever, filled to the brim with what you think is juicy information, Google will not rank you well if your content fails to meet the needs of that target audience we chatted about earlier on in this article.

Finding the sweet spot between too much content or not enough is a tightrope, but with our help, we know you can do it! Think Goldilocks…

And of course, it’s equally important that prospects and existing clients are engaging with your brand. This might look like likes, comments, clicks, shares, and so on. When you have high levels of engagement in today’s day and age, algorithms reward you by pushing your content to more people (which leads to brand awareness aka exactly what you want!)

Your Content is a Walking Sales Pitch

Let’s face it. You’re not Jordan Belfort. Today, people look for more than just a sales pitch. People are drawn to stories.

Consider: how do you feel receiving constant ads or pitches? At Digital Storyteller, we think it’s pretty annoying, and would recommend that instead, you try your hand at telling a story.

Why? “Storytelling enables marketers to develop a deeper connection with the audience,” according to Forbes. “[It] is a fundamental human experience that unites people and drives stronger, deeper connections.” (Well, duh! Storytelling even goes back as far as the cavemen days.)

National Geographic is a top-notch example of a brand that implements great storytelling.

Their awe-inspiring images paired with their captivating stories keep people coming back for more. Check out this example from their Instagram!

By crafting a story, you provide value.

It can be used to educate, share, communicate, and connect.

Instead of overselling your content, focus on a call to action (CTA) instead. CTAs with strong action words that evoke emotion.Feeling overwhelmed? Here is all you need to know about crafting organic content creation to grab your prospects’ attention plus four tips on how to organize content!

Marketing Agencies

Marketing agencies today have more tools than ever to support clients in their marketing efforts. Content creation, website design, SEO optimization, the list goes on. But at Digital Storyteller, we have our eyes on a few agencies in particular. Here are the eight best marketing agencies in San Diego.


Digital Storyteller

Founded: In 2020 by Amanda Rogers 

Who We Are: An outsourced Digital Marketing Agency focused on Financial Services Companies

Where: Encinitas

Approach: At Digital Storyteller, we believe that marketing that is fragmented wastes money and time and reduces impact.  Our team takes a holistic approach to your messaging and content marketing.  

Services:

At Digital Storyteller, we take a holistic approach to digital marketing for financial services companies. Our in-house team offers a range of services from SEO analysis to content creation, sales enablement workflow creation to online reputation management, and everything in between.

We create monthly content through a content calendar focused on the target demographic, areas where clients want to be thought leaders, and keywords to rank for. Our blog articles, SEO work, and strategic sharing on social media creates engagement and improves search rankings.

Our email workflows are optimized for client engagement and prospect outreach, based on each client’s tier of retainer. We also use social media strategically to push content to platforms such as LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, with platform-specific strategies guided by our social media manager and implemented by our social team.

We also offer web builds using WordPress, hosted on Digital Ocean and managed within app containers. 

We believe that all elements of digital marketing need to work together, and we provide monthly reporting to show our clients how engagement with their email campaigns, site traffic, social following and engagement, and keyword rankings are building their online presence and creating trust and awareness to shorten sales cycles.

Reach out to our team to learn more.

REBL Marketing

Founded: 2008 By Reb Risty 

Approach: 

  • Start with your company objective and goals.
  • Develop a content strategy and plan for your business.
  • Create amazing content that makes your message sticky and your brand stand out from the competition.

Specialty: Strategic video content for all your marketing channels. REBL strives to help clients turn viewers into customers by writing and producing amazing video content that makes them stand out from the competition.

Services:

REBL offers a range of content marketing services for B2B professional services. Their services are designed to help businesses reach potential customers, build relationships with key stakeholders, generate leads, and establish an authoritative voice in the industry.

Their Brand Builder service involves working with clients to film once per quarter, minimizing the strain on their schedule and investing strategically in pre-production planning to capture all the necessary footage. After the shoot, REBL manages every stage of video production, including editing and production of three video topics/themes per quarter, which are then reconstructed into 12 shorter-length videos for ongoing, multi-channel application every week.

The Social Punch package is custom-designed to help businesses drive awareness, engagement, and leads on social media platforms. The package is based on a business’s specific needs, campaign calendar, target audience, platform, and other variables, and includes video content to promote engagement.

For businesses seeking a comprehensive range of full-length video production, REBL offers the Custom Package, which is priced according to their needs and offers a simple, clean execution style.

KWSM

Founded: 2010 by Katie Wagner after retiring from her TV news career

Where:

  • Orange County, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Las Vegas, NV

Specialty: Boy, oh boy! KWSM does it all. While every plan is different, they specialize in creating customized digital marketing strategies that help clients get results through:

  • Social Media Management
  • Content Creation
  • Website Design and Management
  • Content Optimization (SEO)
  • Online Advertising
  • PR and Influencer Marketing
  • Video and Photography
  • Social Media Coaching
  • Speaking and Workshops

Their Mission: According to their site, “KWSM exists to help great companies make genuine connections with their customers. We believe good business starts with strong relationships, and the best way to build them is by sharing your story.”

Digitopia

Founded: In 2004

Where: Carlsbad, CA

Our Promise: “We promise to deliver strategic insights. We’ll be easy to work with. And, most importantly, we’ll never leave you in the dark.”

Their Approach: Digitopia uses the phrase process, platforms, people to guide their B2B digital growth strategies.

“We take the stress of inbound marketing off your plate allowing you to focus on all the other important parts of your job. Whether you need…

  • HubSpot help, or
  • Content and inbound strategies (that actually bring in traffic and leads), or
  • Online advertising purpose-built to optimize your spend

…we have you covered.”

Brandetize

Founded: In 2001

Specialty: Strategy, lead generation, website, branding, sales conversions, technology and analytics, and more

What makes Brandetize different from other marketing agencies? Brandetize offers:

  • “Full-service customer lifecycle marketing
  • Customer focused, cohesive goals
  • We’re thinkers, not just doers
  • Strategy comes first, then we execute
  • Thoroughly seasoned staff of experts
  • Partnership model: Get results and write a check from the increase in sales
  • We don’t profit until you profit”

Raindrop Branding + Advertising

Founded: By Jacques Spitzer and Adam Wagner! (Raindrop compares these two to oreos and milk and peanut butter and jelly. In other words, they’re the perfect pair!)

Specialty: Simply put, Raindrop helps build your brand and build your audience. At Raindrop, “our goal with every client is to take you to your next level by helping new audiences to discover you, crafting deeper relationships with your core audiences and allowing you to confidently be the best version of yourself.”

Plus, their video production is top-notch! In fact, they have accrued more than 400,000,000 video views for their clients, been awarded two Emmys, and have produced the #1 performing Youtube ad of 2020.

The Story Behind the Name: It all begins with this quote: “True friendship looks like raindrops coming together on a window-sill; beautifully and effortlessly before your eyes.” 

As written on their site, “I think we can all agree; best friends are… well, the best. They are there for us, cheering us on, listening to us and helping us to live our best lives. We imagined that same level of trust, open communication and fun-loving spirit as the foundation for our work.

“The result is a truly special connection with our clients that we believe inspires even greater work. Being a Raindropper means partnering generously and creating strategically. We revel in the success of our clients and celebrate the collaborative culture that we share as a team.”

Power Digital

With Offices In… San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco

Who Are We? Power Digital is “a cutting-edge, nationally recognized digital marketing agency dedicated to elevating your brand through innovative marketing solutions, custom strategies, channel expertise, and flawless execution.”

Some Rules They Live By: Integrity, loyalty, trust, challenge yourself, find the solution, embrace change, don’t take yourself too seriously, and more as seen here!

What They Do: A better question would be, “What don’t they do!?” Power Digital offers:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Amazon Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Creative
  • CRO
  • Diligence
  • Email Marketing
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Organic Social
  • Paid Media
  • Paid Social
  • PR and Outreach
  • SEO
  • Web Development

3Q Digital

Founded: By David Rodnitzky out of a coffee shop in Pacifica, CA, in 2008

Their Motto: Infinite Possibilities. Infinite Growth.

Why They Rock: 3Q Digital is growing, growing, growing! With six U.S. locations, two international presences, and over 20 virtual locations, this marketing agency can work with you wherever you are!

3Q Digital Offers…

  • SEO
  • Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Programmatic
  • Analytics
  • CTV/OTT
  • Strategy and Planning
  • Digital Due Diligence
  • Creative
  • And more!

At the end of the day, there isn’t a hard and fast answer for which marketing agency you should use. Each company is unique! (But we think you should choose to work with us!) If you’re ready to take a look at what our outsourced marketing services would look like for you, contact our team at Digital Storyteller today.

We know we’d make a great team, we’re just waiting on you!