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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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What They Get Out Of It

 

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HOW TO START YOUR OWN PODCAST - 5 EASY STEPS!

OSM in Belleville, Ontario, provides 5 Easy Steps to starting a small business podcast.

How To Start Your Own

Podcast - 5 Easy Steps!

MYTH: You need to be an established content creator in order to start your own podcast.

TRUTH: As long as you have a voice and something to say, you have the power to launch an incredibly successful podcast! 

 

Did you know that more than 8 million Canadian adults listen to podcasts at least once a month? It’s incredible how quickly podcasts have grown and become such a prominent piece of our daily education, advertising and entertainment. In fact, “what podcast are you listening to lately?” is almost as common a question as “what Netflix show are you watching lately?”.

 

So, why are podcasts so popular? 

  1. Podcasting is the multitasker’s best friend 

  2. Podcasting is an easy and convenient way to absorb information 

  3. Podcasting is a great way to engage with, communicate and amplify your message 

  4. Podcasting = Brand Personality 101 

  5. Podcasting is FREE for listeners - meaning ANYONE can access ANY podcast!

 

Why Should You Start A Podcast For Your Small Business?

Podcasts are an incredible tool for small businesses and here’s just a few reasons why!

Brand Identification 

During the pandemic especially, people are looking for connection and relationship - someone they relate to, trust and can have a good old fashioned conversation with! This is where your podcast comes in! What better way to share your brand personality and voice with the world than to TALK ABOUT IT. Your podcast is your opportunity to share your life, your passion and your authenticity with someone who honestly wants to hear it!

Community Building 

Podcasting is such a great way to build a natural connection with your audience. You can read every single one of our blogs and social media posts, but do you know what we sound like when we laugh? Probably not (unless you’re watching us on TikTok or our recent Instagram Live!). 

Podcasting is your key to building that personal connection! It gives you the opportunity to build on running jokes or themes, to engage with what’s happening in your life in the moment, to connect with other people in your area of focus and to really SHOW UP for your audience. 

Content Marketing 

Remember when you thought you could only start a podcast if you were an established content creator? NEWSFLASH! If you run a business and are, in fact, the voice and passion behind that business. You are a content creator! All you have to do now is get that content out to the right people. 

Authority Building 

Do you ever find yourself saying, “Oh I could talk about that for hours! Just hand me a mic!”? 

DING DING DING - this is your chance!

Podcasting is a great strategy to use when identifying yourself as an expert in a given topic or industry by providing real, authentic content on that given topic. 

Networking

Did you hear our recent podcast episode with @fourcornerscollective where we talked about Being A Mom & An Entrepreneur at the same time? It’s GOLD! And the best part? We got to network with an AWESOME brand doing AWESOME work in a similar industry as us! This, my friends, is called networking - and we love it! 

Podcasting presents an opportunity for you to connect with other people in your genius zone and start to have those impactful conversations that leave you, and your audience, feeling inspired!

 

Here Are 5 Steps To Starting Your Podcast Today!

  1. Create a vision for your podcast and understand the audience you want to reach/impact.

  2. Create 5-8 themed questions to ask each guest.

  3. Choose the platform(s) you want your podcast episodes to be accessible on (Youtube, Spotify, etc.)

  4. Utilize tools like Zoom for recording your episodes.

  5. Have fun with your podcast and use it to have the conversations that are really meaningful to you!

So what are you waiting for? If you’re looking for a social media platform that gives you the freedom to show up authentically, to increase brand awareness and connect with your audience all at once - this is the answer! 

Here’s How We Use Zoom For Our Podcast!

Click Here To Install The Zoom App

Step 1 

Record your episode on Zoom. 

Step 2

Download the recording to your computer and move it to your phone using a USB cable.

Step 3

Download the video editing app Powerdirector.

Step 4

Edit your video and export as MP4.

Step 5

Upload MP4 to YouTube (or other streaming platform) and add a thumbnail cover! 
 

Stay In Touch With Our Team At OSM!

“Marketing is really just about sharing your passion.” - Michael Hyatt 

It doesn’t have to be elaborate with perfect video or sound quality. It doesn’t have to be planned down to the second. And it doesn’t have to be the best thing you’ve ever created. 

In fact, it can be awkward, a little choppy and a lot uncomfortable when you first start - ours was! 

But that’s the beauty of it. Because people aren’t looking for perfection, they’re looking for connection. 

So start sharing your authentic, passionate, REAL life...

And then tell us how it goes! 

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