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Rumour Has It You Need Help - When Is It Time to Hire a Marketing Agency?

OSM in Belleville, Ontario, helps entrepreneurs know when to hire a marketing agency.

Rumour Has It You Need Help - When Is It Time to Hire a Marketing Agency?

How many hats are you wearing today - Social Media Manager, SEO Specialist, Content Writer, Financial Advisor, Bookkeeper? Your closet must be brimming with the many titles you wear each day.

But hey, if you run your own small business, juggling hats is just one of the perks. Right? 

Or is that just what everyone has told you?

You’ve got your hands in every aspect of your business, but are you slowly losing sight of the reason you started it in the first place? 

Are you tired, burnt out, unmotivated and losing the passion that got you here?

Are you running out of time in the day to do the things that really bring you joy?

If so, there’s no doubt about it - you need help. 

 

5 Signs That It’s Time to Hire a Marketing Agency

There are many tell-tale signs for needing to hire a marketing agency. 

On one hand, your business could be excelling in the market - exceeding your expectations and creating more work than you have time for. 

On the other hand, you could be grasping at straws - unable to find good leads in today’s changing digital landscape.

Whether flourishing or struggling, one thing is obvious - you can’t keep doing it all on your own. 

And thankfully, you don’t have to! 

Hiring a marketing agency can: 

  • Help free up your time, 
  • Give you the expertise you need to move your business forward, and
  • Help you secure lucrative sale opportunities!

Still not sure whether a marketing agency is something you need to invest in? Keep reading! Below are 5 reasons why hiring a marketing agency might be the best decision for your business right now. 

1. You Can’t Keep up with Increasing Demand 

Not being able to keep up with increasing demand can be a good thing! It means your business is growing. But it also means that it’s time for you to grow with it. 

Have you noticed a lack of internal resources recently? Not having the available time or manpower is a dead giveaway that you need some help. 

A Marketing Agency Can Help You:

  • Free up your time,
  • Delegate your workload, and
  • Focus on what you’re good at. 

It’s easy for marketing to go on the backburner when you’re trying to keep up with things that offer immediate ROI (return on investment). But if you don't work on things like brand reputation, lead generation and website traffic, your business can quickly lose momentum. 

Hiring a team of marketing experts can help keep marketing a top priority while freeing up your own time to do the things you love! 

2. You’re Not Getting the Results You Want 

Are your results failing to match up with your projected progress? Have your marketing efforts fallen flat?

Marketing is constantly evolving, especially in the last two years. Small businesses have had to continually pivot just to keep up with the changing marketing landscape. 

Has your business made the necessary changes to adapt to the changing landscape?

A Marketing Agency Will:

  • Identify your specific market (target audience, niche etc.).
  • Create and implement a unique strategy that works in today’s market.
  • Track your success and pivot efforts accordingly. 

The result? Measurable and actionable results! 

3. All You Can Find Are Dead-end Leads

Is your sales team coming back to you less-than-impressed? Your marketing efforts may have gotten the traction you wanted, but if it’s with the wrong people, you’re wasting both your sales team’s time and your marketing dollars. 

Instead of taking a shot in the dark with your marketing, you should know:

  • WHO you’re talking to
  • WHY you’re talking to them 
  • WHERE to find them
  • WHEN to approach them 
  • And WHAT HAPPENS next (aka your sales funnel).

A Marketing Agency Will Work With You In Creating:

  • A strategy that creates real business results
  • A sales process that aligns with your internal marketing strategy
  • A constructive sales funnel that successfully leads your prospects forward.

 

4. You Have No Idea Know What You’re Doing or How to Do It

Imposter syndrome or unqualified? 

You may have become a true “jack of all trades”, but as we’ve all heard, a jack of all trades is typically a master of none. You don’t need to do everything yourself!

As an entrepreneur, you hear the term ‘imposter syndrome’ quite a bit. Those feelings of inadequacy are all too common for big dreamers and doers. But, there is a difference between having imposter syndrome and not having the necessary expertise to do a job well. 

Are you amazing at photography, but lack the skills needed to build a high-traffic website?

Are you an exceptional baker, but lack the knowledge needed to showcase your talents on social media?

Are you a trained massage therapist, but lack the education needed to write and optimize high-converting content?

You started a business so that you could do the thing you love. The thing you’re really, really good at. But to make a successful business, there are many shoes that you need to fill.

A Marketing Agency Has:

  • A specialized skill set,
  • Qualified personnel, and
  • Readily available resources.

All of which are going to give you:

a) The freedom you need to do the things you’re good at, and 

b) Peace of mind knowing that the rest is in good hands.

5. You’ve Become Stagnant

Have your sales come to a grinding halt, regardless of booming interest in your product? Are you unknowingly using outdated marketing tactics, selling to the wrong people or using the wrong platform(s) to showcase your product?

A Marketing Agency Brings:

  • Fresh perspective,
  • Modern strategy,
  • Current trends, and
  • Up-to-date market research.

This boost of fresh creativity, knowledge and experience can launch your business forward!

 

Looking for a Local Digital Marketing? Get in Touch with the OSM Team in Belleville, Ontario!

As a small business ourselves, we understand both burnout and growing pains. It’s these moments of discomfort that encourage us to lean into the next season of our business. Without them, we would miss out on some incredible opportunities!

Are you looking for a local marketing team in the Quinte region to help grow your business this year? Get in touch with our team at OSM! 

You can reach us at 613-969-0626 or learn about our Digital Marketing Services HERE!

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How To Effectively Engage With Your Niche Audience On Social Media

OSM in Belleville, Ontario, provides social media engagement tips for entrepreneurs in 2022.

How To Effectively Engage With Your Niche Audience On Social Media

Social media engagement is not about the amount of time you spend online. It’s about the authentic relationships you are consistently creating within your niche community - sharing ideas, inspiring and learning from one another, encouraging each other etc. 

Without RELATIONSHIP, engagement is simply an impossible marketing tactic that leaves most individuals feeling less than successful. 

Why is that?

Because social media engagement is not a formula. And it’s also not something you can simply fake as your audience can easily decipher between an authentic, personal conversation and one that is rushed, unthoughtful and unreachable - causing you to come off as uninterested or uncaring. 

According to a study done by Sprout Social, 91% of people believe that social media has the incredible power to connect individuals and 64% want brands to start using this power to connect with them personally. 

This personal connection is what makes a consumer feel heard, seen and listened to -  the key to brand loyalty! 

 

But Why Is Social Media Engagement So Important in 2022?

If there is one thing that is standing out in the marketplace more than anything else in 2021-2022, it would be this…the importance of cultivating genuineness within your brand, messaging and relationships. 

Today, your audience is looking for deeper connection, meaning and authenticity when purchasing a product - not just the product itself.

And with so many options at their fingertips, the competition for captivating attention is seemingly worth even more than the almighty dollar! 

For what is a dollar when compared to brand affinity? If you ask us, connection has become the newest form of currency in today’s marketplace. 

Here Is What Today’s Consumers Are Looking For: 

  • Trust
  • Relatability 
  • Experience 
  • Connection 
  • Moral 
  • Dependability 
  • Understanding 
  • Unity 

And the number one channel for giving brands the most opportunity to connect with their audience and reach these ideals? You guessed it - social media! 

When a consumer feels connected to a brand they are more likely to: 

  1. Purchase from that brand over that of a competitor. 
  2. Spend time engaging with that brand. 
  3. Recommend that brand to others in their personal circles. 
  4. Remain loyal to that brand over time.
  5. Continue supporting that brand regardless of a negative experience in the past.

But how does a brand achieve this personal connection? By utilizing an effective social media engagement strategy.

 

Practical Ways To Effectively Engage On Social Media 

Many people step into the world of engagement thinking they must always be online, accessible and “social”. The problem being that they simply do not have the time to be that consistently present in their online circles. 

But don’t worry! You actually don’t have to schedule out your entire day on social media in order to effectively engage with your audience. All you have to do is find a consistent schedule that works for you - even if it’s only 10 minutes/day!

During that chunk of time, reply to your post comments, DM’s and story replies. Share interesting stories on your own account and remember to leave positive feedback on another account’s posts/stories too. 

Share aspects of your business that are intriguing, informational and/or entertaining via simple posts and stories, and always remember to ask questions and share ideas in order to encourage more responses from your audience.

Pro Posting Tip: Don’t revolve all of your posts around your services and products - be creative! Post  business updates, behind-the-scenes, general questions, personal updates etc. These kinds of posts are all about engagement - encouraging your audience to not only view your content, but to also ENGAGE with it on a personal level.

Practical Ways For Brands To Engage On Socials: 

  • Invite your audience to contribute to your content (ie. user-generated content).
  • Like and/or respond to a consumer within 48 hours.
  • Demonstrate your brand’s personality in a creative way.
  • Create online communities that unite people, ideas and passions.
  • Participate in conversations that are relevant to you, your brand, your interests and your values. 

Our Top 6 Social Media Engagement Tips 

1. Post quality content and engage with your community consistently.

Use your social media platform(s) to share the story of your brand in creative and authentic ways.

2. Engage with other accounts on a regular basis - growing your relationships and building new ones as you go!
3. Share content from other accounts that you relate to or that speak to your brand values/interests.
4. Encourage your viewers to engage with your content by:
  • Responding to comments.
  • Mentioning a viewer’s name or account within your content. 
  • Visiting other business pages and speaking to their comments and captions personally, remembering to not copy/paste your comments from one account to the next.
  • Initiating conversations with new accounts daily.
5. Create catchy captions and utilize quality photos/videos.

Use your content writing skills to create memorable captions and ensure that your photo and video content is eye catching.

6. Ask for feedback!

Listen to what your audience is asking from you and do your best to deliver. 

Learn more about Building Your Brand On Social Here!

Start Building Your Online Community Today With An Engagement Strategy That Works!

Now that you know how to engage meaningfully on your own accounts, and why it’s important to do so, it’s time to put this knowledge into action. Start building your own social media engagement strategy today and building into your brand’s online community!

At OSM, we’re dedicated to providing you with the practical tools necessary in reaching your goals. We also understand, however, that as entrepreneurs, you can end up wearing quite a few hats as you begin to take on more and more roles within your company. If social media management simply does not fit within your schedule - we have a solution!

We partner with companies every day in creating social media strategies that work for them - saving them time and helping them effectively reach their ideal client. 
If you’d like to learn more about our Social Media Management Packages, call our team at (613) 969-0626 or connect with us online!

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NEW Instagram Updates: Designed To Support Entrepreneurs and Creators

NEW Instagram Updates: Designed To Support Entrepreneurs and Creators

The pandemic was hard on everyone, and if you’re an entrepreneur with a big heart for your business, you might have experienced more discomfort, confusion and chaos than you could have ever expected. 

But all that to say, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. And Instagram is doing its best to get us there!

 

5 NEW Instagram Features To Propel Your Brand Forward

#1. Twitter Card Previews ARE BACK! 

After being discontinued in 2012, this feature has now returned to the stage! Allowing instagram links on Twitter to be displayed as a preview of the post - enticing your audience to want to see more of the content on your Instagram page!

This feature is great for interconnecting your platforms and gaining more reach across your posts.  

#2. Story Links (regardless of follower count)

This one is life changing! What used to be offered only to the “elite” Instagram users (ie. high-reach influencers or mega-brands) is now offered to EVERYONE! 

If you were looking for an easy way to gain more traction on your website without spending a dime, this organic form of brand awareness and reach-generating content is definitely something you are going to want to encourage in your followers/product users. 

Pro Tip: Ask your loyal customers, friends and family to publish stories on their Instagram of your product(s), including the new Link Sticker! As their audience begins to interact with their content, you will immediately be gaining FREE traffic to your site! 

#3. 60-Second Stories

Currently in the testing-stages, this upcoming feature is something that all story-enthusiasts are going to LOVE! 

More space for awesome content? Yes please!

#4. Desktop Publishing 

As an entrepreneurial content creator, having the ability to post directly from your desktop computer is HUGE! 

Not only does this save space on your phone’s storage, but it also saves you time transferring files from one device to the next. 

#5. Collabs (co-author posts and reels)

Supporting local is more than just a trend. Since the pandemic took a major toll on the small business community, supporting local has become more of a lifestyle - one that Instagram is in full support of. 

Collabs are currently being tested by specific creators/brands for the purpose of helping creators market their product(s) without even leaving the platform - IT’S A GENIUS MOVE!

 

Social Media Management SErvices

You already know the importance of your online presence, but do you have the capacity, resources and materials needed in order to keep up with the heightening demands and innovative features of each platform? 

Reach out to our team today to partner on your social media content creation! 

We’ll tell you:

  • WHAT you should be posting. 

  • WHEN you should be posting

  • WHO you should be targeting. 

  • And HOW to target them using tools like the ones we’ve just mentioned above!

 

Stay In Touch...

...with current, online marketing trends and features!

Our team is passionate about keeping you informed and educated. Why? Because we LOVE to see you succeed! 

That’s why we focus on providing both our clients and our community with the knowledge and know-how needed to create, support and propel their brands! 

Contact our team at 613-969-0626 or connect with us online!

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5 Content Writing Tips To Increase Your Traffic, Retain Customers And Reach New Clients Online

OSM offers 5 content writing tips to help increase traction, retain customers and reach new clients online.

5 Content Writing Tips To Increase Your Traffic, Retain Customers and Reach New Clients Online

If you’re an entrepreneur running your own marketing strategy, from the early planning stages to full on execution, then you’ve probably done your fair share of content writing. 

Maybe without even knowing it! 

What Is Content Writing Used For?

  • Social Media Posts 
  • Blog Posts 
  • Articles 
  • Newsletters 
  • Website Pages
  • Landing Pages 
  • Paid Ads 
  • SEO
  • Documentation 
  • Email Templates

Hands up if you've written at least one thing off of this list!

See? Whether you knew it or not, you’ve probably been content writing all along. 

And now that you know all of the different faucets that you can write within, you can now begin learning HOW to write the best content for each.

Knowing what to write about is one thing, but knowing how to write is another, more challenging concept. It involves knowing yourself, your audience, your industry, your purpose and your platform. It requires a deep understanding of the topic you are writing about and an even deeper understanding of who is trying to learn this topic (ie. your target audience). 

But why is content writing so important to begin with?

 

Why Is Content Writing Important? 

Being able to write high quality content is a valuable tool. One that is used for a multitude of purposes - brand awareness, search engine optimization (SEO), engagement, education, entertainment and online digital marketing. 

In reality, content writing is one of the most effective strategies in getting your brand out into the digital sphere. It has the power to influence, connect, inspire, motivate, evoke and trigger a multitude of emotions. All driving the audience’s desire to learn, laugh, relate, join, purchase, follow etc.  

Can Content Writing Improve My SEO?

High quality, properly structured content writing can do wonders for your website! If you’re looking for a way to organically reach your audience, encourage connection and drive sales, content writing is quickly going to become your favourite tactic.

How does it work?

Google will crawl your website content, including the links within your content, in order to categorize and rank it on the search engine results page (SERP). 

In order to help Google crawl your content, you want to ensure that the layout is clean, the message is clear, the headlines are clickable and the style is reader-friendly. You also want to keep in mind what’s happening behind-the-scenes - your meta descriptions, page titles, URLs, link titles etc. If you’re looking for a more in-depth SEO how-to, we recently wrote an article on our top 5 SEO Tips For Beginners HERE!

But before you begin optimizing your content for the web, you need to understand how to build out strong, compelling material. 

Here’s how our team does it!

 

5 Content Writing Tips For Beginners

Before your fingers hit the keyboard in a flurry, there are 5 important factors that you need to consider. These 5 factors are going to help drive your content forward to the right people in order to meet your goals. All while staying in line with your brand identity.  

Tip #1 - Know Who You Are 

When our creative team writes for another brand, we first have to deep dive into their brand identity - their personality, values, characteristics and voice. These are essentially the personifying elements of the brand that make up its unique tone.

Once we have a thorough understanding of who the brand is, we can then ensure that all of the content associated with that brand is cohesive. 

ASK YOURSELF: Does it sound like the same person has written every piece of your content, or does it appear as though a large group of people with different beliefs, personalities and vocabularies came together with their separate ideas? 

If your content is not cohesive, it’s time to sit down and figure out your brand identity!

Tip #2 - Know Who You Are Talking To 

Now that you know who you are, the next step is to figure out who you are talking to - your target audience!

These are the people that relate to you, learn from you, are inspired by you and even purchase from you. The goal? To write quality content that is tailored specifically to these people and entice them to read it. 

When content writing, you should also keep in mind the particular demographics and behaviours that are unique to your specific target audience. This can include age, geographic location, lifestyle, stage of life or even hobbies. 

These are the tools you’re going to use to write content that is relatable, educational and inspiring. 

Tip #3 - Know What You are Writing About

You know yourself, you know your target audience, and now it’s time to get to know your topic.

One of the ways writers SEO their content is to ensure that they are seen as experts within their specific industry. Google looks up to you and will rank you higher on the SERP if you present yourself as a leading industry expert.  

Before we write anything for a client, we always do the research first in order to become this “expert”.

We also have to know the product inside and out and be able to explain it clearly to our readers. 

ASK YOURSELF: Does your content make sense? If your content does not make sense to you, it will not make sense to your reader. Which could cause them to click away from your site and look for their answers elsewhere.   

We always recommend that you do your research well, use reliable resources and ensure that your content is true.

Tip #4 Know Why You are Writing About It

Do you know why you’re writing about your chosen topic? Is it to influence behaviour, prompt a purchase, satisfy a need, answer a question or bring entertainment? 

Whichever goal you have in mind, your writing needs to be custom-made to fit that purpose. 

After all, this purpose is what is going to drive your content forward and motivate the reader to read your material. 

Each sentence should be leading them forward in anticipation of the fulfilled purpose that lies at the end of the content - even if that fulfillment is simply for someone to get to know your brand on a deeper level. 

Tip #5 Know Where You Are Talking

Now that you know the who, what and why of your writing project, your next step is to tailor your content towards its identified platform. 

The style and layout of writing you choose for a blog article is going to look drastically different from that of an Instagram post or newsletter. Why? Because each of these platforms are designed to be operated by the user in a specific way. 

Your job, as the writer, is to understand how the reader operates within that platform and tailor your content to fit creatively within it. 

Remember that within each platform, you must be intentional. Your audience has a limited attention span that is easily lost and your goal is to not only fit your content within that given time frame, but also make it easy to read and purposeful. 

Who knew there was so much to consider, even for a simple Instagram post!

Content Writing Services In Belleville, Ontario

Content writing is such an incredible art to master, but it can also be quite a daunting and time consuming task to undertake. 

Are you looking for a local content writer to help build your brand, boost your online presence and increase traffic to your site? 

Get in touch with our creative team at OSM today! 

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This Is How You Optimize Your Site...5 SEO Tips For Beginners!

Discover professional search engine optimization tips from our SEO specialists at OSM in Belleville, Ontario.

This Is How You Optimize Your Site...5 SEO Tips For Beginners!

“How on earth do you SEO your website?” 

We get this question a lot! And there are many different answers we could give you, because SEO isn’t just a click of a button. And it’s definitely not a one-time fix. 

SEO is constantly evolving with technology advancements, software application updates, privacy policies etc.

Why is it such a dynamic practice? Because we don’t live in a static world. We live in a world that is constantly looking for: 

  • Speed 
  • Convenience 
  • Experience 
  • Solutions 
  • Personalization 
  • Expertise and more!

This means that we, as business owners, need to dive in and start showing up in these key areas. 

But how do we do that? 

By optimizing our online presence and, essentially, making ourselves easy (and quick) to find! 

 

What Does SEO Mean?

What even is SEO?

Well for starters, the term “SEO” is actually an acronym, meaning: 

S - Search 

E - Engine 

O - Optimization 

Essentially, it is the process of optimizing your business in order to reach the right target, in the right place and at the right time. 

The practice of SEO has two main goals:
  1. Quality Traffic 
  2. Quantity of Traffic 

And both of these goals are to be met using organic methods!

How Does SEO Work?

In a nutshell, SEO is composed of two main parts: 

  1. The basic Search Engine side.
  2. The more advanced Optimization side.

Today, we’re just focusing on the optimization side of things! 

Here’s How It Works:

Step 1. A search is made (ie. Best Pizza Near Me),.

Step 2. Google takes your request and begins crawling sites for information that match your search (paying close attention to quality, accuracy and relevance).

Step 3. The crawlers bring all of the information back and organize it from most recommended to least recommended. Essentially, Google prioritizes the “answers” to the request by what it deems to be the most reliable, trustworthy and authoritative source of information. 

When you optimize a site, you’re improving the quality of content that Google finds when it crawls your pages, increasing your chances of being prioritized on their results page! 

Why Is SEO Important?

SEO can be very time consuming and confusing, however it is SO IMPORTANT. Why? Because this is one of the only platforms where your ideal client is looking for you, rather than you having to look for your ideal client. 

Your job is simply to make yourself seen! 

5 Reasons Why SEO Is So Important:

  1. Improves Customer Experience
  2. Increases Your Authority 
  3. Increases Traffic 
  4. Increases Awareness
  5. Keeps Your Business Relevant and Competitive In The Market 

How Do You SEO?

Now to the good stuff! 

PRO TIP: In order to reach your ideal audience, you must first know who they are and understand what they are looking for.

5 SEO Steps For Beginners:

1. Establish a Keyword List

A Keywords List is essentially a specific list of words and phrases that are commonly searched by your ideal customer and that relate to your specific business. This is where truly knowing your customer comes in handy! 

THE KEY is to find specific terms with search traffic that isn’t too competitive, allowing you to be ranked higher in a reasonable time.

2. Create Good URLs.

A good URL is relevant, structured, short, simple and keyword rich! 

BE CAREFUL to not fall into the trap of keyword stuffing! Keep your URLs practical and straightforward, easy to read and even easier for Google to crawl. 

3. Add Page Titles

Page titles are the hook for your readers AND for Google crawlers. We recommend keeping your titles up to, but no longer than, 60 characters!

DON’T FORGET to use descriptive terms from your keyword list within your titles. 

4. Add Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are elements that describe and summarize the content of your page. This important tag is often what search engines use in their SERP (Search Engine Results Page) snippet. As searchers read through the list of ranked pages on their results page, the meta descriptions help direct their choice. 

HERE’S A TIP...anything beyond 160 characters usually gets cut off, so try summarizing your page in a readable sentence package full of your keywords and limiting it to 160 characters.

5. Add Headings

Headings are a great way to structure your page, organize your points of interest and improve the readability of your content! Try to structure your content so that H1, H2 and even H3 tags contain your focused keywords.

DID YOU KNOW that headings also make the page look pleasant and improve its readability for the visitor?

 

SEO Your Site With The Search Engine Specialists At OSM

It’s time to start showing up where your ideal client needs you. Are you ready to try it for yourself? 

Don’t forget step #1 - KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE! 

At OSM in Belleville, Ontario, our marketing team LOVES getting to know your ideal client. And we can help you identify, locate and target these individuals as well! 

Not ready to do it yourself? Contact our search engine specialists at OSM and ask about our SEO packages - including a researched and ranked keyword list, designed specifically for your business!

We’re here to help you cultivate your organic community, grow as a business and truly thrive in your market - let’s get started together! 

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