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We exist to make your business thrive and our greatest reward is our returning clients. Our focus is and always will be on our clients and not on industry awards and accreditations, which could account for why we’ve won so many of them…
The Power of Positivity.
If you want to, you can find a million reasons to hate life and be angry at the world. Or, if you want to, you could find a million reasons to love life and be happy. Choose wisely - Cari Welsh
Having spent a week with the life, energy and passion for life being sapped from me - I was awake this morning at 3am, 4am, 5am, 6am, then fell asleep for a sum total of 30 minutes between the 6.30 and 7am alarms. Not like me.
My daughter couldn’t settle, she wanted a cuddle, wanted reassurance, wanted her Mummy - we snuggled.
Having read my book for some of the time, I think started to think - I could lay in bed being cross that I couldn’t sleep or I could take a positive stance - I started to outline a blog post.
New Year, New You, Same You, Better You - whatever. New Year a time to recalibrate, reflect on achievements of the previous year. I’ve seen lots of social posts over the last few days reflecting on the 10-year challenge. It got me thinking, here are some of my achievements from the last 10 years
- Moved to my current home, completed a full renovation, including extension and kitchen plans. I should say here that myself and my partner are keen DIYers so we don’t take the easy route. We know our house inside out, we have poured blood, sweat and tears into our place to make it our home, our sanctuary
- Two career changes - 10 years ago, I had not long joined a small events company as their events coordinator, I learned that business as well as being the operations manager - overseeing all of the events covering the business owner’s maternity leave (twice). Following my maternity leave, I spent a year as an almost full time swimming teacher before joining Sagittarius and starting a new career as an EA to our co-founders.
- My 5-year daughter. A constant challenge but one I love dearly. She’s great company, well adjusted and incredibly fierce and determined. She makes me want to be better every day and to be someone she can aspire to.
- Buying a second property. This was a dream of myself and my partner for a number of years. We are enjoying making memories during our time there as a family. We also rent the property, coordinating calendars, key holders, guests and fees.
- Setting up the PA Way in Kent, hosting networking events in Kent as well as sourcing great venues to showcase.
- Driving The Pacific Coast Highway - epic! wow!
Something I’ve come to realise is that by deciding why I want, I get to work to it. Steadily I get there. Yes, there is some uncertainty as to what happens next with Brexit, austerity and now Covid-19, but whilst I can’t control what happens around me, I can decide on my response to that and how I act and behave.
Yesterday I joined about half of the other mums from my daughters’ class for a Mothers’ Day afternoon tea - bittersweet and incredibly emotional. With just half of her class in school, the others home as per government advice, we felt lucky that they were together, sad that it could be their last day in reception class and sad that such a lovely group of kids wouldn’t be playing and learning together for the foreseeable future. My response, set up a daily Zoom call for the group, share the link with the other parents and give them a time each day that they can come together and go crazy with each other (and shed a few quiet tears).
The next few days, weeks and months will be a huge challenge, the like of which we haven’t seen in our lifetime but that our grandparents have. This weekend, I will work out how to juggle working and taking care of my daughter. How, as a family unit, we will move through this. I am fortunate to have a great community around me with offers of support but if we see a lockdown as has been experienced across the world, this will add another layer.
On Thursday evening, my daughter built a mini-greenhouse - we even completed a piece of her outstanding homework (set a couple of weeks’ ago) to find a group of items, of 3 sizes! We will be planting seeds and growing vegetables in the garden and watching them grow - this will support learning and provide a focus. We will also use so many of the resources that both the school and many companies have made available.
My hopes and dreams for the next few months;
- That I get back to my second home in Spain if not in May, then in August
- That my daughter does get to go back into Reception class and reconnect with her friends
- That friends and family heed the advice and come through this crisis fit and well
- That the government has done (and continues to do) enough to support businesses so that we can press ‘play’ again and watch the new world order unfold
Today, the sun is shining, Spring is definitely in the air as the birds tweet their song, let’s make it a great day.
Below are some quotes that I love and often refer to, some of them are on display in my home:
- If you think you can or think you can’t you are right - Henry Ford
- Carpe Diem Seize the day
- ‘I can’t see a way through’ said the boy / ‘Can you see your next step?’ / ‘Yes’ / ‘Just take that’ Said the horse - Charlie Mackesy
- Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift. That's why it's called the present. - Bil Keane
- “When life throws you a rainy day, play in the puddles." Winnie the Pooh
- "The sun still shines, even when it's hiding." Winnie the Pooh
- Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life and see how life suddenly starts working for you, rather than against you - Eckhart Tolle
- Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m possible” - Audrey Hepburn
And when all else fails: When life gives you lemons, make gin & tonic
Further Reading - I’ve read two books so far this year that have inspired me:
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- You are a Badass: How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life by Jen Sincero
Footnote: I wrote a large part of this blog at the start of January and then got caught in busy day to day and several weeks have passed, the world has changed but my attitude and determination to be positive and embrace change has not.
Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.
A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.
So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance.
What is a Content Strategy?
It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.
But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business.
Who are my Audience?
You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.
So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context.
Do I need to tailor content?
As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.
Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:
What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?
Who are they most influenced by?
What voices influence their behaviour?
What type of content do they consume?
Where do they consume content and engage with brands?
Different Content, Different Objectives
All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.
There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.
Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale.
Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels.
Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.
Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.
Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.
How do I manage all this?
Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.
Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.
Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.
If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.