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Learn Content Strategy: Online Class for the Society for Technical Communication

Relevance: 100%      Posted on: August 30, 2017

Looking to learn content strategy? Not sure how to audit your content, how to develop exciting new content for your core audiences, or how to manage a lot of different types of content? Guiseppe Getto, the President and Founder of Content Garden, will be teaching an online course for the Society for Technical Communication starting September 26th, 2017 entitled Content Strategy: Developing an Effective Workflow. Why You Should Learn Content Strategy Content strategy is becoming one of the most important communication-related skill sets across many industries. Organizations of all shapes and sizes are discovering they need to plan for, publish, curate,…

Learn About Content Strategy And Technical Communication: Webinar for the Society for Technical Communication

Relevance: 84%      Posted on: January 10, 2018

Content strategy and technical communication are fast becoming fields that work in tandemn with one another. Technical communication experts help deliver useful information to a variety of audiences. They help people get work done and translate difficult concepts into plain language. They are excellent writers and editors. And with content management systems, online help documentation, and other forms of consumer-centered communication becoming key factors in customer retention, the clear question is: does the future technical communicator look like a content strategist? To help answer this question, Guiseppe Getto, the President and Founder of Content Garden, will be offering a webinar for the Society…

Content Strategy and Technical Communication: What Does the Future Hold?

Relevance: 81%      Posted on: September 13, 2017

Guiseppe Getto, the President and Founder of Content Garden, was recently invited to present a keynote on content strategy and technical communication for the Washington, DC meeting of TC Camp, a technical communication unconference. In this post, he reflects on some of the key takeaways from his presentation. Guiseppe: My presentation was somewhat provocatively titled: Content Strategy: The Future of Technical Communication? In it, I lay out emerging trends that small business owners, non-profit managers, and technical writers should pay attention to in the years to come regarding how they develop, publish, and share online content. What Is Content Strategy? I typically define…

A Free Digital Marketing Strategy Template for Small Businesses and Non-Profits

Relevance: 79%      Posted on: November 8, 2017

If you run a non-profit or small business, you might be on the lookout for a good digital marketing strategy template that can help make your life easier. You may struggle in your marketing efforts to keep up with goals, to enact those goals over multiple channels, and to stay on top of daily tasks like posting, responding to messages, and developing new content for your website. What Is a Digital Marketing Strategy Template? Digital marketing is a subset of content strategy and is focused on developing marketing content for common online channels, such as: Social media: Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and…

3 Twitter Marketing Strategy Tips for Small Businesses and Non-Profits

Relevance: 75%      Posted on: February 27, 2019

If you own a small business or work for a non-profit, you may have developed a Twitter marketing strategy to find customers or donors on this popular platform. If you're like many of the folks we've talked to in those spaces, however, you may find Twitter to be mysterious when it comes to how to develop a following and effectively market your organization. To help get you started, below are some Twitter marketing strategy tips we've used with our clients. Twitter Marketing Strategy Tip #1: Use Appropriate Hashtags It comes as no surprise that one of the most important things to…

What Should Go Into Your Business’s Content Strategy Template

Relevance: 68%      Posted on: February 10, 2016

If you’re developing your own web content for your business, you may struggle to keep up with goals, to enact those goals over multiple channels, and to stay on top of daily tasks. In this follow-up to last week's post, we'll tell you all the components you'll need to create a simple strategy for all your web content within a single document. What Is a Content Strategy Template and What Should It Include? According to Kristina Halvorson, "Content strategy plans for the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content." A content strategy template is a single document that contains…

A Bad Conversion Optimization Strategy May Be Costing Your Business Real Revenue

Relevance: 50%      Posted on: January 6, 2016

If you have a business website, you want to use that website to convert website visitors to leads and customers. This is your conversion optimization strategy: how effective your website is at persuading visitors to do something you want them to do, like sign up for your newsletter, download an ebook, or make a purchase. Why a conversion optimization strategy is important for business websites Many business owners may be unaware that website visitors are one of the best sources of potential revenue. Think about it: people visit your website for a reason. They want to learn more about your…

Content Marketing Strategies Now and in the Future: An Interview With Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler

Relevance: 49%      Posted on: July 19, 2017

We sat down with Scott Abel to talk content marketing strategies. Scott is Founder and CEO of The Content Wrangler, a San Francisco-based international content strategy consultancy. CONTENT GARDEN: We work a lot with small businesses and non-profits who don’t have a content strategist or content marketer on staff. Can you speak to why the ability to develop and deploy effective content is important for smaller organizations' content marketing strategies? Scott: “Effective” is the operative word here. In order to develop effective content—content that achieves a desired goal or intended result—we must put a plan in place that helps measure whether our efforts…

3 Common Social Media Marketing Challenges and How to Solve Them

Relevance: 48%      Posted on: August 10, 2016

Social media offers businesses ways to interact with their customers like never before. Problems arise when the platform changes, and what was once a great way to share content with your followers no longer works. As social media evolves, businesses using social media will have to change, too. Common social media marketing challenges include truly connecting with your audience on a personal level, building a solid marketing strategy, providing consistently strong content, and getting others to share your content. Connecting with Your Audience on Social Media As a business using social media to connect with your audience, you have to…

An Inbound Marketing Strategy: Why Every Business Needs One

Relevance: 48%      Posted on: December 16, 2015

If you're reading this and you own a business, chances are you need an inbound marketing strategy. Think of it this way: according to Ad Age, digital advertising will represent 36% of all U.S. ad spending by 2019. Why? Probably because over 80% of people start shopping by searching for information online. This means that if you want to grow your business, you need to grow your business online. Outbound marketing vs. inbound marketing Digital marketing is very different than traditional marketing. Advertising over radio and television and in newspapers and magazines involves a lot of preliminary market research. Advertisers need…

The Magic a Content Audit Holds for Improving Your Business

Relevance: 46%      Posted on: February 3, 2016

If you're running a business, chances are you struggle with content. Social media content. Webpage content. Internal documentation. Product descriptions on your website. The first step when you're having a hard time with content is to perform what is known as a content audit. A content audit is essentially just an inventory of what's good, bad, and ugly about all your content. What Do You Mean by Content? A lot of clients ask us: "what exactly do you mean by content?" This is a fair question in an age where there are so many different forms of content. There lots…

Digital Marketing Fundamentals Everyone Should Know

Relevance: 46%      Posted on: June 21, 2017

Digital marketing fundamentals are becoming important whether you're a freelancer, a small business owner, a non-profit manager, or a member of a larger organization. You need to know what's available to you and your organization, how digital marketing is different than traditional marketing, and what skill sets you might need to learn vs. which ones you might want to outsource. It's important to inform yourself on how you can reach new customers, donors, or clients using today's emerging digital tools. What Are Digital Marketing Fundamentals? Digital marketing fundamentals are very different than traditional marketing fundamentals. What works in media like tv,…

4 Tips for Facebook Marketing for Non-Profits

Relevance: 45%      Posted on: November 28, 2018

If you're familiar with Facebook marketing for non-profits, you know it can be challenging to attract an audience. If you are helping to run social media for an organization, you've probably looked elsewhere for tips on getting your Facebook posts more likes, comments, and shares. In fact, you may have checked out our blog post on this very topic: https://www.contentgarden.org/non-profit-social-media-ideas/ To help you continue the process, we've gathered a few tips for Facebook marketing for non-profits. Read on to help take your Facebook game to the next level. Facebook Marketing Tip #1: Planning Ahead and Creating a Social Media Schedule…

3 Tips for Setting Up Your Small Business Website for Success

Relevance: 39%      Posted on: July 26, 2017

Your small business website is one of your most valuable business assets. It is probably the first thing new customers will see before they even visit your store. Consumers will make judgments about your business based on your website, both consciously and unconsciously. If you are doing e-commerce, the experience people have while shopping on your website will likely determine if they buy from you again in the future. Are you setting up your small business website for success? Or are you building a website that will chase consumers away from your business? What Are Best Practices for Small Business…

Why Writing Matters for Business

Relevance: 38%      Posted on: April 13, 2016

With the shift to social media as a key platform for building customer relationships, many organizations, from small "solopreneurships" to large-scale corporations, are struggling to communicate effectively across channels. This is as much a technological problem as it is a strategic one: many organizations fail to present effective written communication to all their audiences on a consistent basis. Now more than ever: writing matters for business and a business's ability to write effectively may greatly affect its position in a given market. Below we explain exactly why writing matters for businesses of all shapes and sizes, and also provide 3…

The Complete Guide to Content Marketing for Small Business, Part 3: Improving Over Time

Relevance: 38%      Posted on: September 14, 2016

Welcome to Part 3 of our series, "The Complete Guide to Content Marketing for Small Business." To help small business owners learn how to employ content marketing, one of the best methods for attracting new customers online, we've decided to create a complete guide for small business owners. In Part 1 of the series, we discussed how to find your "content niche" as a small business or how to find a focus for your content marketing efforts that distinguishes your business as unique and valuable to target customers. In Part 2, we discussed how to create a sustainable plan for developing, publishing,…

Using MailChimp for a Small Business or Non-Profit

Relevance: 33%      Posted on: August 1, 2018

If you work for a small business or non-profit, you have probably considered various tools or options for assisting you in your email marketing efforts. Whether it's helping to track down new customers or a new audience, reach out to your existing audience, or extending your reach to new platforms, a solid email marketing strategy will help your small business or non-profit grow. A great tool that we at Content Garden utilize for our small business marketing efforts is a tool called MailChimp. What Is Mailchimp? MailChimp is the world's largest email marketing automation platform and allows its users to…

3 Tips for Launching a New Website for Your Small Business or Non-Profit

Relevance: 32%      Posted on: December 7, 2016

Launching a new website for your small business or non-profit can be stressful. Whether the new site is a redesign of your existing website or a completely new website, there are a lot of decisions to make. In no particular order, these decisions include: Logo: Do you want a new logo for your new website? How will this affect your branding in other places (i.e. signs, brochures, business cards, stationary, digital displays in your office, etc.)? Color Scheme: Any competent designer can help you brand your website effectively by using an appropriate color scheme, but what do you want this…

How To Market Your Small Business Right Now

Relevance: 30%      Posted on: March 21, 2018

If you're wondering how to market your small business in the age of digital marketing, you're probably aware of many of the opportunities available. You probably are aware of social media marketing. You probably also have a website, but you might not be clear on how best to market it. You might also be aware of search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO), but might not know how to do these forms of marketing yourself. Below we lay out some of the most impactful ways small businesses are marketing themselves right now. Digital Marketing Fundamentals First, if you're…

Learn Usability: Online Class for the Society for Technical Communication

Relevance: 30%      Posted on: September 18, 2018

Looking to learn usability? Is your organization struggling to create usable websites, documentation, or applications? Are you getting a lot of customer complaints about your products or services and you’re not sure where to start? Guiseppe Getto, the President and Founder of Content Garden, will be teaching an online course for the Society for Technical Communication starting July 10th, 2018 entitled "Usability 101: What Every Organization Needs to Know." Why You Should Learn Usability Usability is still one of the main factors in customer retention, customer acquisition, and customer satisfaction. Many modern-day consumers won't buy from a poorly designed website. Follow-up content such as user documentation,…

How To Supercharge Your Social Media Strategies Without Spending a Fortune

Relevance: 28%      Posted on: February 17, 2016

Social media strategies are no longer optional for businesses or non-profits. Customers and donors use social media to vet new products with their friends, to learn more about a business before purchasing, to learn more about a charity or cause before donating, and to interact with customer service if there's a problem or just want to express their brand loyalty. Keeping on top of social media can be expensive. In sheer hours alone, you may find you're engaging too much with your social media channels. Working to supercharge your social media strategies doesn't have to break the bank, however, if…

Gift Guide: The 5 Best Digital Marketing Books for Small Businesses and Non-Profits

Relevance: 28%      Posted on: December 14, 2016

If you're shopping for the entrepreneur or non-profit manager in your life, consider grabbing them one of the best digital marketing books for small businesses and non-profits. Smaller organizations often have to learn to be their own marketers. They often get periodic boosts from organizations like ours that cater to smaller organizations, but limited budgets mean that the rest of the time they need to learn to market themselves on their own. Below we give our personal picks for the 5 best digital marketing books for small businesses and non-profits. Consider picking these up yourself or giving them as a…

Creating a Healthy Buzz: Why You Should Use Social Media in Healthcare

Relevance: 25%      Posted on: May 18, 2016

Leaders of the healthcare industry are smart to tread carefully when representing their organizations online. Healthcare organizations, not unlike most private and public organizations, want control over the way they're represented to healthcare consumers. This control can be threatened by newer, more interactive online venues like social media that allow for less screening and less predictability. Although social media, like any form of public communication, contains inherent risks, using social media in healthcare can help organizations differentiate their services in an increasingly competitive market. People Trust Online Health Information According to Ad Week, 40% of healthcare consumers trust health-related information they…

Using Hootsuite to Promote Your Small Business or Non-Profit

Relevance: 25%      Posted on: May 23, 2018

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last decade, you’ve probably heard that social media is vital to any organization’s marketing strategy. If you've ever tried to use social media to promote a small business or non-profit, however, you’ve probably also realized that social media marketing requires quite a bit of upkeep. Your organization has slow weeks, which allows you to publish content easily. But your organization also has busy weeks, which makes it more difficult to keep on top of. Your pattern of posting has probably been uneven and you’ve noticed that you have less likes and…

The Complete Guide to Content Marketing for Small Business, Part 2: Creating a Plan

Relevance: 25%      Posted on: September 7, 2016

Welcome to Part 2 of our series, "The Complete Guide to Content Marketing for Small Business." To help small business owners learn how to employ content marketing, one of the best methods for attracting new customers online, we've decided to create a complete guide for small business owners. In Part 1 of the series, we discussed how to find your "content niche" as a small business or how to find a focus for your content marketing efforts that distinguishes your business as unique and valuable to target customers. In Part 2, we'll discuss how to create a sustainable plan for developing, publishing,…

UX and Product Management: An Interview With Marcin Treder, CEO of UXPin

Relevance: 24%      Posted on: August 3, 2016

Recently, we had the pleasure of talking with Marcin Treder, designer, psychologist, and CEO of UXPin. We asked him about the relationship between UX and product management and how UXPin is changing the industry. CONTENT GARDEN: We're big fans of UXPin at Content Garden, but for folks that may not be familiar with it, can you give us a brief rundown of what UXPin is and what it does? What kinds of problems can UXPin solve? MARCIN: UXPin is the product design platform helping companies build great digital products together. From the early wireframes, through prototypes to final mockups, we provide…

Facebook Ads Pros and Cons for Small Businesses

Relevance: 24%      Posted on: April 19, 2017

If you read our previous post on paid online advertising, are a small business owner, or are just considering Facebook ads pros and cons, read on. Facebook ads are a relatively new feature for reaching customers through the popular social media site. Like any online advertising platform, however, there are benefits and drawbacks. Facebook ads are relatively easy to set up, but you want to make sure you select the right options to reach your specific objectives. You also want to make sure your ad is well-designed to appeal to Facebook users in your target demographic. Below we discuss all the Facebook ads pros…

Engage! The Importance of Using Calls to Action (CTAs) on Your Website

Relevance: 22%      Posted on: January 24, 2018

Websites can be powerful marketing tools: they can convert visitors into customers or donors. To do so, you need to include calls to action (CTAs) that guide your visitors. It is not enough anymore to simply create a website and wait for the magic to happen. If you build a website without a strategy, you may convert a few visitors into customers. But if you want your website to be a tool for customer or donor engagement, you need to strategically employ calls to action in your website design and content. What Are Calls to Action? A call to action is…

25+ Common SEO Mistakes Small Businesses Make

Relevance: 20%      Posted on: May 16, 2018

If you're a small business owner, you may know that optimizing your website for search engines is a proven method through which you can improve your site's ranking in search engine results. Implementing the best SEO practices on your website can help increase brand visibility and improve organic traffic to your website. However, the reverse of this is also true: if you have implemented redundant SEO practices then it could result in issues like a higher bounce rate, low click-through-rate, and decrease in ranking. Avoid these common SEO mistakes if you want to improve the search presence of your website. Redundant SEO…

3 Tips for Running Non-Profit Email Marketing Campaigns

Relevance: 20%      Posted on: January 31, 2018

Non-profit email marketing can be deceptively difficult. You’ve got a mission. You’ve got a list of names and email addresses of those who have supported your organization with their time, labor, and financial contributions. How will you mobilize that list of emails to mobilize further support for your organization? Don’t be quick to think that simply having an email marketing service with a pretty design is all that you need to garner support. There is no denying that design can powerfully impact your messages to your supporters. Design can enhance your message by drawing attention to it. However, it is…

3 Ways to Increase Website Traffic Fast

Relevance: 18%      Posted on: October 10, 2018

If you recently launched a small business or non-profit, you may be looking for ways to increase website traffic fast. This may also be the case if you have an upcoming sale, fundraiser, or other important event. You may have also heard, possibly from us, that it can take up to 3 months for search engine optimization efforts to have a positive impact on your organic search presence. So... if you are looking to increase website traffic fast, what are your options? Way #1: Create a Social Media Strategy that Directs People to Your Website The first way to increase…

3 Things That Can Go Wrong With Your Website Migration Process

Relevance: 16%      Posted on: May 3, 2017

A website migration process can be needed if you're moving your website to a new domain, a new hosting provider, a new content management system (CMS), or if you're doing a complete redesign. If you are a small business owner or non-profit manager, however, you may find yourself confused by the various options available to you. Should you build a new website from scratch? Change your hosting? Change your domain? Change to a new CMS? In this post, we help you take some of the guesswork out of your website migration process. What Does Your Average Website Migration Process Look…

Social Media for Non-Profits: 3 Tips for Success

Relevance: 15%      Posted on: June 7, 2017

There are many questions that arise when doing social media for non-profits. Should you ask for donations? If so, how often? How often should you post? What should you post? If you are a non-profit manager, volunteer, or staff member, you may have questions like these when you sit down in front of your organization's Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles. Below we share 3 tips for success when doing social media for non-profits. But, What Does Social Media for Non-Profits Even Look Like These Days? A lot of our non-profit clients start out by asking us what social media platforms they…

When to Hire a Consultant: Solving Internal Problems Externally

Relevance: 15%      Posted on: April 6, 2016

Many organizations we have worked with over the years as individuals have struggled to understand when to hire a consultant. Business people, in particular, are often loathe to hire an outside consultant as it can make you look weak to management (or so you might think). So how do you know when it's appropriate to try to leverage some outside help to solve a problem? Below are three scenarios when hiring a consultant is probably a good idea. Scenario 1: You Need a Fresh Take on an Old Problem One of the best reasons to hire a consultant is when you have…

Social Media for Small Business: 3 Do’s and Don’ts

Relevance: 15%      Posted on: June 14, 2017

Much of the advice we gave on non-profit social media also applies to doing social media for small business. When you're a small business owner, the temptation to treat your social media as your main venue for driving sales can be overwhelming. As we explain below, however, being too aggressive with sales language, posting inflammatory content, or slamming the competition on social media can be major traps and can actually hurt your sales in the long run. To help you avoid these and other pitfalls, below we share 3 do's and don'ts for doing social media for small business. Social…

How Healthcare Organizations Can Use Social Media for Relationship-Building

Relevance: 14%      Posted on: June 8, 2016

In previous posts, we've explained how healthcare organizations can use social media to create a healthy buzz. We've also explained that social media is not magic: simply having Facebook and Twitter accounts does not automatically mean that your healthcare organization is reaching and engaging your stakeholders through social media. You also know what a healthy buzz could produce for your organization: meaningful relationships with your existing and future stakeholders. That seems like a lofty outcome. But, as other healthcare organizations have proven, it is achievable. Let’s investigate how healthcare organizations can use social media to build good relationships with their stakeholders.…

How to Create SEO-Friendly Product Pages for Your Website

Relevance: 14%      Posted on: August 16, 2017

Other than the home page, a website’s most important content is product pages. For lead or revenue generation, the products — the things you actually sell — must attract a lot of website traffic. By putting care into how you set up your product pages, you’ll improve their organic visibility on Google, and take full advantage of your SEO opportunity to drive more leads and revenue. Keyword Selection and Page Organization The first thing to do, of course, is select the right keywords for which to optimize your various product pages. At Straight North, we often talk to companies whose…

The Sharpest Tool For Businesses Is a UX Toolkit

Relevance: 13%      Posted on: January 13, 2016

If you have a website, mobile app, or social media presence, you have users for those digital points of contact. And if you have users, then those users come with certain expectations. Whether those expectations are met determines whether they interact with you, become leads, or eventually become customers. This means that, regardless of the type of product or service you're selling, if you have a web presence, you need to think about user experience (or UX). What a UX Toolkit Is and Why You Need One Let's start with what UX is, as that is a common question we…

3 Tips for Keeping on Top of UX Trends

Relevance: 11%      Posted on: August 17, 2016

Digital technologies change all the time. The websites that were fashionable and user-friendly last year look hopelessly out-of-date this year. If you're a small business owner, you may struggle, as many of us do, to maintain an aesthetically-pleasing website that continues to be relevant. Here's a little secret to make you feel better: everyone does. All kinds of organizations struggle with the pace at which technologies change. Hospitals. Schools. Corporations. Local businesses. Large, multinational businesses. Even experts in technology. Especially them. If you'be been paying attention to any conversation involving digital technology, you've probably heard about this term "UX," short…