R&R’s web traffic reached an exciting milestone in March of this year – nearly 15,000 page visits in one month. That’s a 150% jump from March of 2015.
Month after month, R&R’s web traffic has grown. The months that house a popular trade show tend to see bigger spikes than off-months, but nonetheless, every month for the last year has been at least a little stronger than its predecessor.
Why am I telling you this? It’s not to brag or to talk about how great R&R is … I’m writing this to try to inspire fellow content managers at restoration companies and give you tools for your own website toolkit so your traffic can rock, too. I’m seeing more and more restoration companies every day on Twitter, Facebook, blogging, etc. Customers and followers are out there, you just have to engage them!
Here are my six tips and tools for mastering your content and defining your brand online.
Tip #1: Create an identity for your company
Do you want to be known just as a company that can restore someone’s home after a fire? Or do you want to be known as a leader in your community, who is also there to educate people on fires, floods, and other disasters that could impact their property? Do you want to be relatable and likeable? My guess is you answered YES to all of the above.
So, start at the top by making yourself relatable. Show your followers the people behind the company. Think about doing profiles on people in different departments. Maybe even whip out your smart phone and do a quick one-minute video with people showing them at work, talking about what they’re doing! People want to see the humans behind the username.
Likewise, if you are involved in a community event, you better be posting pictures on your social media pages and website later! It’s not bragging, it’s showing that you care!
Tip #2: Have fun with it!
After a while, your followers will grow to feel they know the voice behind the brand. Don’t be afraid to mix fun with business. If you are all business, people will quickly lose interest. A good rule of thumb is 10% fun, to 90% business… but honestly, I probably have even more fun than that.
To branch away from “all business,” find some blogs you like – both industry-related, and non-industry related. For example – you could share an article about overcoming exhaustion, or the importance of vacation time, or how to deal with conflict in the office.
Here are a few of my favorite sites to share from outside the industry:
-Hubspot.com: This site has great insights on marketing and sales techniques. I receive their emails daily, and the articles are always creative, full of images and infographics, and applicable to a variety of business sectors.
-Inc.com: Business advice, success stories, and more.
-Checkiday.com: You know all those goofy holidays like “National Fun Day” and “Square Root Day”? Find other off-the-cuff days throughout the year here. Maybe there’s something share-worthy!
-Twitter! Take a few moments and peruse Twitter! What’s trending? Is there anything your followers might find interesting? What are other brands doing to spice things up?
Tip #3: Create and nurture fresh content
I’m fortunate to have a whole industry to reach out to for content. Sometimes, someone reaches out to me with a topic that won’t fit in an upcoming print issue, but would do great online. I’m honest up-front that I would love to post it there, and if they are OK with it then I go for it! My goal is to have fresh articles, news, and web-exclusive content constantly rotating through our homepage so every time you visit, there’s something new to check out.
I realize that technique might not work for you, but think about blog content alone. You might be running out of things to write about, but have you asked your coworkers for ideas? Do you have any coworkers who might like to take a crack at writing a 500 word blog post for you? Perhaps you could let people in different areas at your company have a voice from time to time, to give your readers perspective!
Tip #4: Never post to social media without an image
It’s a proven fact that social media shares with an image attached get exponentially more clicks and traffic.
Don’t have fancy graphic design software or experience? No worries! Check out www.canva.com … it’s truly one of my favorite online tools. Not only does it have quite a few preset, free templates, it also lets you create your own designs using your own specs, and import your own graphics -- like your logo!
Whether it be a scholarly article or blog post, it’s important to be clear and concise with your writing all the time. Readers will lose interest if you get off topic, start to ramble, or simply aren’t making sense. In today’s world, they want to read, learn, and move on. Now, that’s not to say you should write 200 words and be done. I’m not saying that at all. I’m just saying when you do write, make sure what you write has meat to it.
Need some help? Find a newspaper or magazine article that relates to your topic, and quote it. Or, Google some stats. The more you can back up what you’re saying, the better.
So, as you’re being clear and concise, also be meaningful. One of my pet peeves is when people talk down to readers. Do not do that! Your audience is intelligent, treat them as such! Be an intelligent thought leader. Did you write a blog and feel there’s a very meaningful sentence within? Pluck it out and feature it in your social media postings!
Now that you have all this content, just be sure the headlines you’re using are clickable. Think about Buzzfeed articles – how they’re always talking about “The Best Seafood, Ranked” or “Top 7 Ways to Get a Date.” Include keywords involving restoration, remediation, fire damage, water mitigation, etc.
Now, let me clarify before wrapping this puppy up. I am not a social media or content manager expert by any means. It’s been trial and error, and figuring out what readers want. But you can find success the same way. It’s not rocket science, I promise.
Want some more expertise from a true professional? Check out these great articles from Katie Harris at Spot On Solutions: