APP OF THE MONTH: Hashtag Expert

Posted Leave a commentPosted in App of the Month, Digital Marketing, Social Media
Name Hashtag Expert
Product Description Finds popular hashtags so you don’t have to! This app is bound to boost interaction across all your social media platforms!
Availability Available from the Apple App Store.
Key Features ·       Find hashtags for all the top social media apps including Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn.

·       Browse millions of trending hashtags in over 50 industry categories

·       See in-depth analytics to see exactly how well they work!

·       Get personalised hashtag suggestions based on your hashtag history

·       Add trendy and super cute captions to your posts!

·       Get all the best hints and tips about hashtags, the impact they can have on your posts and exactly how to use them!

Prices and Plans Completely Free to begin, but it will cost £2.99 per week/£7.99 per month/£33.99 per year for additional features.
Biggest Pro They provide you with loads of helpful information on hashtags and how to use them including their Four Rules of Hashtagging:

·       Rule #1 – Relevant – make sure you always match the hashtags with the content of your posts

·       Rule #2 – Diverse – make sure you choose hashtags that have a wide range of post counts

·       Rule #3 – Alive – make sure you choose hashtags that are alive, and still have lots of new posts being tagged with them

·       Rule #4 – Reachable – choose hashtags where the top posts have similar amounts of likes to your average likes

Biggest Con The constant pop-ups! Although I imagine if you pay for the products you don’t get these, they are running a business after all.

So, stop wasting time trying to think up 30 hashtags that won’t even work!

Try Hashtag Expert now!

The Psychology of Colour

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Branding, Digital Marketing, Marketing

We all know it’s incredibly difficult to stand out online and colour can play an incredible part in helping us emerge from the crowd.

Colours can be used to invoke diverse emotions and feelings so it is very important to consider exactly what our content and branding is projecting to our audience.

The Arts Business has created a Colour Wheel and table to give you an idea of the different kind of information that is conative with different colours.

 

YELLOW

·      Creative

·      Joyful

·      Energy

·      Fresh

·      Youthfulness

ORANGE

·      Confidence

·      Success

·      Bravery

·      Friendly

·      Cheerful

·      Warmth

RED

·      Passion

·      Power

·      Urgency

·      Love

·      Heat

PINK

·      Flamboyant

·      Fun

·      Sexuality

·      Caring

·      Feminine

·      Emotional

PURPLE

·      Luxury

·      Wisdom

·      Ambitious

BLACK

·      Exclusivity

·      Bold

·      Stability

BLUE

·      Faith

·      Calm

·      Loyal

·      Intelligent

GREY

·      High-Tech

·      Security

GREEN

·      Money

·      Growth

·      Health

·      Eco

·      Natural

·      Safe

 

Different shades of these colours can also suggest different things for example lighter, pastel colours are seen as calming and serene whereas bright, more vibrant colours induce energy and enthusiasm.

When thinking about the branding of your arts business you will also want to consider any important call to action buttons or clickbait, ensuring they are in a contrasting colour to the rest of your website so it stands out to your consumers.

And there you have it, well, sort of. Obviously, there’s a load of psychological reasoning behind why we feel certain ways or associate things with different colours and should you choose to google it you can spend hours in the rabbit hole of why!

But the important thing is to recognise the significance of colours to use them effectively through the branding of your arts business!

 

What colours do you use for your branding and why? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about branding you should check out our post on how to create a Brand Book for your arts business.

How to Improve your Organic Reach on Facebook

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Digital Marketing, Promotion, Social Media

Facebook is an incredible platform for expanding your Arts Business’ reach. With 2.7 billion users worldwide and 1.79 billion daily users, it is officially the world’s largest social media platform.

But, with a growing advertising market and an increased focus on businesses, it is becoming increasingly tricky to grow organically.

This doesn’t make it impossible though!

With the huge increase in users and therefore content, Facebook has an algorithm in place to filter posts dependent on the viewer’s behaviour and previous interactions. This means certain posts are prioritised over others.

 

But how does it do that?

 

Well, the truth is, we don’t know exactly, but (similarly to increasing your SEO Ranking) marketers have worked tirelessly on an equation to help you build your organic reach.

 

This may sound tricky, but it’s actually really simple, so let me break it down for you.

 

AFFINITY

This is all to do with how much your followers interact with your page and posts: your super fans who check out your business page every day, have a higher affinity and are more likely to see your content. The more posts they view and interact with, the higher their affinity, so you want to ensure as many of your followers view and interact with your content as possible.

 

WEIGHT

This is all about the type of post you put out. If you post a video, that has a higher weight (in the eyes of Facebook) than an image, which in turn has higher weight than a post that contains a link, which in turn has a higher weight than content that is just text. You see where I’m going with this.

This is also about the level of interaction you receive, so the more likes, loves and lolz you get will contribute to the weight your post carries too. Different levels of interactions also hold different weights, so comments and shares and worth more than likes.

 

DECAY

This is all to do with when the post was made. The average lifespan of a Facebook Post is around 6 hours and most interaction (likes, comments, shares, etc.) take place in the first 2 and a half. So, unless it is a super special post, like those engagement or new baby pictures that always seem to hit the top of my news feed, after 6 hours you can pretty much guarantee that your post will no longer be seen.

 

Now you understand what the equation means you can begin to use different tactics within your Facebook Page to help improve your Organic Reach:

 

  • Post Great Content: Yes, this is a lot easier said than done and takes a bit of time to work out what sort of content works for you and your arts business, but the more relevant your content is to your audience the more likely they are to interact with your posts and spend time on your page
    • + AFFINITY + WEIGHT
  • Get More Page Likes: There are lots of ways you can go about this which doesn’t just involve inviting everyone from your friends list! A great way to boost page likes is to find groups and pages with similar interests to you and share some of your content to their walls; if their audience likes what they see they’re bound to throw you page a like.
    • + AFFINITY + WEIGHT
  • Engage with your Audience: This can improve both your affinity and your Online Reputation Management (ORM). It helps your audience relate to your business, knowing that you are a real person who communicates with them through comments and messages. This in turn encourages them to spend more time on your content.
    • + AFFINITY + WEIGHT
  • Use Facebook Stories: At only 3 years old Facebook Stories is still a growing way to share your content. I see stories as those spur of the moment posts you want to share with your audience (unlike your feed which is meticulously planned). There is still limited competition on Stories so you can use it to cut through the noise on Facebook and improve your relationship with your existing audience.
    • + AFFINITY
  • Post Questions or Polls: Users are more likely to interact if you ask them a question, simple really. They feel a psychological urge to respond! The same can be said of interactive competitions too! Everyone loves free stuff so if there is a chance of it and all you need to do is share a post your audience is much more likely to engage.
    • + WEIGHT
  • Post Images and Videos: And GIFs! Yes, I am still a lover of the GIF. When people are scrolling through their phones feed, they are more likely to pay attention to something that is visually stimulating.
    • + WEIGHT
  • Ask your Audience: Don’t be afraid to ask people for likes and shares. This acts as a call to action for your audience for them to get all up in your content. Don’t overuse this though! Just stick it on the posts you really want to reach the most people.
    • + WEIGHT
  • Plan and Schedule your Posts: This takes a little bit of trial and error: just post different content at different times of the day to start with then after a month or so, when you have built up some data, you can use Facebook Insights to figure out what times and days work for you. Then you can begin to schedule your content.
    • + DECAY

 

We are always happy to share posts about your Arts Business so if you want a little more traction please Tag Us on Facebook @TheArtsBiz and we’ll do our best to share it for you!

We’d also love to hear about the posts from your creative business that have done really well. Afterall, if we all shared the knowledge, we could all benefit from the rewards.

 

Thanks to Green Umbrella and WordTracker for the stats and some additional info that helped when writing this post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

APP OF THE MONTH: FACEBOOK PAGES MANAGER

Posted Leave a commentPosted in App of the Month, Digital Marketing, Social Media

In lockdown it is crazy easy to go off on major tangents instead of actually doing any work, so help curb your urges with our App of the Month.

Name Facebook Pages Manager
Product Description No more getting distracted by your wall, get straight down to business with all your Facebook Business Pages in one place.
Availability Available from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Key Features ·       Manage your page comments, posts and messages from one place without getting diverted by all that tempting clickbait on your feed.

·       Keep track of your Insights (Facebook Analytics) so you know what activity is performing well and what you need to work on.

·       Sync your Instagram account to manage all your messages together in a single platform.

·       Get your Facebook Advertising set up to achieve your company goals whether boosting existing posts or creating new content.

·       Schedule Events and Appointments and publicise available jobs through one easy app.

Prices and Plans It’s completely free! (Until you start purchasing Facebook Ads.)
Biggest Pro It’s simplicity! When working on your business pages it is so easy to get lost in your feed if you log on from your browser or the Facebook App, (we’ve all been there, just one more video…) now you can avoid the urge and get directly to the point.
Biggest Con Unlike online you can’t view your page as a customer, basically just as your personal profile, so you can see what it looks like from a visitor’s perspective. It’s being updated all the time though, so watch this space.

 

So, get to work with Facebook Pages Manager!

Instead of looking at all your photos ever, since 2007.

Make an SEO Plan for your Arts Business in 3 simple steps: Part Two

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Administration, Digital Marketing, Websites

STEP 2: REFINE

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.

  1. YOUR HOMEPAGE

And the very beginning of your website is your homepage!

This is generally the first impression people will get of your website and business therefore you want to make sure it is clear from the offset exactly what it is you do. You also want to make sure it’s aesthetically pleasing and easy to interact with.

There is a super cool feature on Google Analytics where you can bring up an image of your homepage to figure out exactly how users are interacting with you site so you can learn what’s working and what’s not. (Don’t worry, I will be doing some Google Analytics posts in the near future!) It will also illustrate where they aren’t clicking. These are the areas you want to improve.

  1. CALL TO ACTION

Do you have a call to action button on your home page? This is a link which you draw attention to as somewhere you really want people to click. Facebook pages have a call to action button in the top bar which you can set to engagements like:

  • Contact Us
  • Subscribe Now
  • Donate Now
  • Check Out Website

call to action button facebook

As you can see the call to action button stands out over the other places you can click on the page, but it is still in keeping with your company branding.

Are you trying to sell tickets? Consider a prominent What’s On Button. Running a blog? Get people to check out your latest posts. Building an email database for future project? Have a Subscribe to our Newsletter. You get the point.

You don’t have to limit call to action buttons to your homepage either. If you have a page dedicated to a specific show or exhibition you may want to put a call to action button that says ‘Buy Tickets’ to encourage users to take the next step. Do you have some exciting news? Add a share now button to enable people to upload a link to your news straight onto their social media.

  1. SOCIAL MEDIA

It’s a good idea to ensure your links to social media are visible too. Social Media is such an inherent part of people’s lives with the average user spending 2 hours 24 minutes on it daily according to TechJury. So ideally you want your audience to be able to find it wherever you are on the site. I like to put it both in the header and footer so that your visitors can find your social wherever they are on the website along with including share options on posts.

You want to consider adding call to action buttons or statements like ‘Join Us’ or ‘Share Here’ to encourage continued interaction.

I’ll talk more about making links in Step 3 next month. (That’s right, links are so integral they get their own section!)

Remember, social media is one of the best ways to organically grow your company so add it in whenever you can.

  1. LOAD TIME

The other key feature about your homepage is how long it takes to load.  We live in a widely impatient society and, on average, if your load time is longer than seven seconds, you’ll lose a third of your visitors, crazy right?

How can you make your site load faster? To start with if you have images or videos on your homepage you may want to consider lowering the file size or video resolution. If you have built your site through WordPress there are plugins that will help your pages load quicker to. The best free plugin I’ve found is called WP Fastest Cache. It has a ridiculously easy set up that will immediately increase that website load time and decrease your bounce rate!

  1. COMPANY TAGLINE

Have you come up with a slogan or tagline for your business yet? You know, like ‘McDonalds – I’m lovin’ it’ or ‘Nike – Just do it’, well sort of anyway.

When you are considering your company tagline be sure to keep your these in line with your keyphrases and keywords. For example, The Arts Business Tagline is:

‘Marketing and Business Advice for the Creative Industries and Beyond…’

I’ve got marketing and business in there so that will help my instructional blogposts rank and ‘Creative Industries’ will help me hit up the right area of work. It’s working both for my business and my SEO.

Your tagline can appear all over you site without being perceived by Google as spam! Obviously, don’t over do it, us it sparingly and appropriately.

 

  1. BLOGPOSTS

Believe it or not Blogs are still the best way to boost your SEO.

Google’s bots are designed to consume text-based content and since AI hasn’t evolved enough to understand the content in videos or photos (not yet anyway) it means that writing is still one of the only ways to properly improve your search engine position.

You don’t need to name it ‘Blog section’ or anything, I know it can be a little difficult to slot this in seamlessly to your website without contrasting with your brand (unless you are a blog). So, jazz it up a little. It could be where you upload news or stories as well.

When writing your blogposts make sure you’re always thinking about how to pull together your article and your keywords and keyphrases.

The length of your blogposts is heavily debated. If you’re looking for a ballpark figure, make sure you keep it between 300-400 words as a bare minimum and 700-800 as an average.

You may think that surely the longer the blogpost the better, but remember you want to keep people engaged with your site and a ten thousand word essay on ‘How to Thread a Sewing Machine’ is unlikely to ever be read from start to finish.

If you’re struggling to think up new content for your blog there are plenty of places to find inspiration:

  1. Start by bringing it back to you and your company. What is your USP (Unique Selling Point)? The reason you started your business. That something, something you have that no other company does. Maybe you’re the only children’s theatre company that teaches comedy in the UK. Develop content around that. Think autobiographical too, don’t be afraid to share your story if it is relevant to your business, after all so much of your business is about the entrepreneur who began it.
  2. Another great place to find content ideas is to have a cheeky stalk of what your competitors are writing about. You can pull content directly from their posts (not in a plagiarism way FYI, find your on spin on it). Maybe they’ve written a post about the best 10 monologues for actor’s straight play auditions. You could write 11!
  3. You should also look at what is currently trending in your industry or just in the world that could affect your business. Maybe there’s a new technology that could revolutionise your production, or maybe there’s a mass pandemic which has closed down the world… Whatever it is just make sure you stay ahead of the curve so that your content is current and interesting. This will play into favour for your SEO.
  4. Think about guests posting on your blog. You could pay them, or trade services or even sell it to them as an incredible idea to reach a wider audience. Not only is this true but, in trade off, it will also help you reach more people. You are essentially tapping into each other’s database of followers and getting seen by a different crowd.

I know I rant on about this, but consistency is so so so so so important, especially when you are establishing yourself in the arts and you have limited time and resources.

So, don’t start off all guns blazing posting three article a day if this isn’t something you can maintain.  Both Google and your followers will think you’ve disappeared and hence your ranking will go down. Start once or twice a month. Remember, as your business grows so will your resources, and if your resources build you can increase your content. As far as I know Romeo and Juliet wasn’t written in a day.

Think carefully about each of the titles of your blog posts too. Think about that alluring clickbait that gets you every time (I myself am a sucker for: Child Actors: What do they look like now?). You want people to spend as much time on your site as possible so make your titles seductive.

I like to think of Buzzfeed as my muse when I’m coming up with titles for my posts. I can spend hours lost under their listicles spell. Basically, you want your articles to catch the gaze of your audiences and encourage them to read more.

Really not getting the traction you want with your titles?

Consider A/B testing.

This is when you set up two versions of your article with exactly the same content but different titles. This will help to give you an idea of what style of titles grabs more attention. The longer people stay on your site the better your google ranking so you really wanna home in on this.

Finally, you want to encourage as much interaction with your blog as possible so think about adding share now buttons to each post for whatever social media platforms you’re on. This way they are linking to you from a different site increasing your audience and SEO.

Think about turning on the ability for users to add comments or reviews to your posts too. It increases interaction with your page and produces new content without you having to write it.

If you are worried about trolls then heed this top tip (which I will admit is from RuPaul):

Don’t block trolls, they’re sneaky and it will simply rile them up more. Just silence or hide them. That way you can’t see them! And I like the idea of them being off in cyberspace somewhere having a rant to themselves!

  1. UPDATES

Updating your page is also a great way to improve SEO. Another excellent reason why adding new pages for blogposts is so useful. Frequent updates on your website and social media shows Google that you are active, dressed up and ready to party.

There are countless possibilities for adding content that isn’t a blog post. Things like adding customer quotes or stories, embedding videos, creating online galleries… let your imagination run wild.

If you’re just starting off and building your own website there are some people out there who would recommend you hide yourself from search engine bots until you’re up and running, rather than have them see it incomplete… well they are wrong.

FOLLOW THIS ADVICE INSTEAD…

Set yourself up a landing page. This will act as an advert for your new company. You can include links to your social media here and a subscribe now button so that customers will be able to be the first to visit your website when it’s up and running with the added bonus that you start to build yourself up an email database.

Then start to create your website in the background.

If your website needs a fresh new look you can use this nugget of wisdom too. By building your website ‘behind the scenes’ it means that your customers can’t find your new pages and get distracted by half finished, unformatted pages, judging your professionalism by these standards. But just because your customers can’t see work doesn’t mean Google can’t.

Search engines love it when you upload new content, and when else are you uploading more content than when you’re setting up or updating your website! That’s the time that everything is new (and shiny). Those bots will eat up the new information and spit you out higher in their results.

Remember to keep reintroducing keywords and keyphrases in your updated content. But don’t take the mick! For example, some scallywags out there would encourage you to do things like put white text on white background repeating your keyphrases over and over. This may trick the bots for a while, providing quicker ranking results but once they’re onto you, you will be punished by plummeting down the ranks where you’ll be so low it’ll take most your life to climb back up that ladder.

That’s right… Google knows EVERYTHING.

I know that was a lot of information to throw at you in one go! That’s why I’ve split step 2 into two posts! I don’t want to completely overwhelm you!

So, come back in a couple of weeks for the next instalment!

Any questions or want use to create an SEO plan for you? Contact us or leave a message in the comments.

Make an SEO Plan for your Arts Business in 3 Simple Steps: Part One

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Administration, Digital Marketing, Technology

Here at The Arts Business we offer SEO Consultancy in which we create an SEO strategy specific to your business, analysing the pages of your website and those of your competitors with an action plan of exactly how to go about it improving your Search Engine Optimisation.  To learn more, click here.

But we are primarily educators and are firm believers that you should be able to do it yourself.

We have written a list of ways that you can boost your SEO!

Trust us, it’s really easy to do once you know how.

Just follow our instructions, without all the boring jargon!

 

What does SEO mean?

Let’s start with the basics.  SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation.  This, in a nutshell, is devising a plan to improve your ranking on Google’s Search Engine (or Bing, or Yahoo… or Ask Jeeves if you’re stuck in the noughties).

Google have bots that crawl through your website’s code and assess exactly what they think you should rank for and where.  I like to think of these as little bookworms who dig their way around your pages reading your content and then filing you into the appropriate place to help potential customers find you.

And there is plenty of stuff you can do to encourage this filing system to play into your favour. You want to get yourself filed at the front of that top drawer instead of falling behind the cabinet with little chance of being found until you next redecorate.

February is usually a pretty quiet time for the Creative Industries, so why not start a bit of early spring cleaning and scrub up your website so it’s working for you in the years to come.

But how? I hear you cry!

All you have to do is remember the 3 Rs! (No not reading, writing and arithmetic):

STEP 1: RESEARCH

STEP 2: REFINE

STEP 3: REACH OUT

Over the next few months The Arts Business will be looking at each step in detail (with Step 2 being published in 2 sections) starting right here, right now:

 

 

STEP ONE: RESEARCH

Starting with Keyword and Keyphrase Research.

KEYWORD & KEYPHRASE RESEARCH

I’m gonna throw a lot of terms at you but DON’T PANIC! I’ll break it all down.  Keywords are simply the individual words you want your business to rank for on Google and Keyphrases (you’ve probably guessed by now) are the phrases you want to rank for! See, Simples!

It’s important to be strategic about this.  For example, if you’re a small fringe theatre, like The Old Joint Stock Theatre in Birmingham, the first Keyword you think of might be ‘Theatre’.  Easy right? Well not quite.  Yes, you will obviously want to rank for theatre, but you need to think about what competition you will up against in order to rank on that first page of Google.

 

Without taking location into account, after the latest news and paid ads, the first three hits are: Wikipedia; London Theatre Tickets and The Standard Newspaper Reviews of the West End.

That is some strong competition you’re contending with and that’s only the first three hits!  Realistically, if you’re a small fringe theatre, you’re not moving in the same circle, nor do you want to.

So, specify!

Maybe instead you pick the Keyphrase ‘Birmingham Theatre’.  Even then you’re in competition with reviewers, other bigger scale theatres in Birmingham and ticket sites.

If you were to get a little more specific again you’d opt for the Keyphrase ‘Birmingham Fringe Theatre’ and boom, you’re on the first page of Google! Well done Old Joint Stock Theatre!

Once you have settled on a Keyword or Keyphrase you want to ensure that people are actually typing that phrase into google and hitting enter!  There are websites that can help you with that.  I like to use SEMRush. It’s a subscription service but has a limited number of free searches for Keywords or Keyphrases you can do daily if you create an account.

Coincidentally, SEMrush is also our App of the Month.

As you can see I have searched for the Keyphrase ‘Birmingham Theatres’ on SEMrush.

 

 

There is loads we can learn from this report:

  • Volume is simply the number of people who have used this particular search.
  • What country they were in is represented by that countries flag.
  • Under volume you will see Keyword Difficulty which roughly translated is how hard it would be to rank highly on Google for this phrase, 1% being not tricky at all 100% being nigh-on impossible.
  • We can also see if that phrase is currently trending and in what month people are most likely to search of it.

If you opt to pay for SEMrush, or choose to take advantage of their free trial when devising your SEO Report, you can also use this to see how your rivals are ranking for your keywords and keyphrases, what their content includes and what their average page word counts are and what back links they include.  This can be really helpful in acting as a guideline for your website.

Of course, if you don’t want to pay for SEMrush you could do this research through Google and trawling through your competitors website. It will take a little longer this way but if they’re ranking highly on Google for your keywords and keyphrases you’ll want to  find out why so it can act as a blueprint for your own website.

You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with your SEO Report, especially when doing your own report for the first time. My advice is to focus on 2-3 keyphrases initially.  If you reckon you can deal with more, go for it! But whatever you business, however large, I would recommend you keep it between 5 to 10 keywords and phrases.

Once you’ve decided on these you’re gonna want to find up to 20 words to use in copy which will assist you in ranking for your keyphrases. In basic terms these are the words you’ll want to use as much as you can in your content in order to boost your search engine visibility.

SEMrush also has suggestions for this dependent on your keyphrases, but these are basically words by association. You wanna rank for theatre? In the list you may put words like; entertainment, audience, drama, plays, acting, improvisation, etc.

 

GOOGLE RESEARCH

Of course, finding your own rankings can be time consuming so I suggest that if you are any further than page 10 assume no one is ever going to find you and get moving with your strategy.

Whilst you’re doing your Google research, you’re also going to want to check out how you look in Google:

 

The text in purple/blue is the title of the page, also known as your metatag or title tag. Whatever software you’ve used to build your website you can alter this pretty easily to say whatever you want. Simple things like capitalisation of letters and punctuation can make your website more appealing to click on. I like to use hyphens (-) or the straight line thingy (|) to separate out the information. This is also what you will see in your browser tabs.

The summary is just below the Metatag. When composing this, bear in mind you’re working with about 40 characters so make sure its concise and to the point.

QUESTION SITES

Another great place to do research is on websites like Yahoo Answers, Quora or Reddit. Just search for your specialist area (whether it be theatre, art, museums, galleries) and read through the questions that have been posed on these sites. You’ll get an idea of the types of subjects your Target Audience wants to know the answers to and you can use this to give you content creation ideas.

 

And there you have it, your research phase!

Next month we’ll teach you how to take all of your research and use it implement changes in order to optimise your website.

In the meantime if you have any questions or want use to create an SEO plan for you? Contact us or leave a message in the comments.