Posts by Ben Barber

Ben Barber

Ben Barber

Recent Posts

Implementing Livestreams and Virtual Sermons: Connecting the Congregation in the Digital Age

Posted by Ben Barber on Sep 12, 2023 9:15:00 AM

In a time when digitalization is reshaping industries and personal interactions alike, religious institutions are not far behind in leveraging technology to foster a connected and engaged community. The integration of livestream technologies, particularly PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) cameras, has transformed the manner in which sermons are conducted and consumed, bringing a dynamic and immersive experience to virtual religious gatherings. In this post, we delve deep into how PTZ cameras are becoming an indispensable tool in connecting the congregation in the digital era, making virtual sermons more interactive and engaging.

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Topics: marketing, digital ministry, livestream

Why Your Business Should Start a Podcast

Posted by Ben Barber on Apr 30, 2023 5:00:00 AM

Podcasting has exploded in popularity over the past decade, with millions of people tuning in to their favorite podcasts every day. But it's not just for individuals and hobbyists – podcasting can also be a powerful tool for businesses. In this blog post, we'll discuss why your business should start a podcast and how it can benefit your brand.

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Topics: branding, podcast

Creating a Strong Brand Identity for Nonprofits

Posted by Ben Barber on Apr 23, 2023 5:00:00 AM

A strong brand identity is essential for any organization that wants to build awareness, loyalty, and trust with its audience. This is especially true for nonprofits, which rely heavily on the support of donors and volunteers to achieve their missions. In this blog post, we'll discuss why creating a strong brand identity is important for nonprofits and how they can go about doing it.

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Topics: inbound marketing, branding

Creating a Successful Content Strategy for Small Businesses

Posted by Ben Barber on Apr 2, 2023 5:00:00 AM

Content marketing has become a crucial part of any business's marketing strategy. By creating valuable and engaging content, businesses can attract and retain a clearly defined audience, ultimately driving profitable customer action. For small businesses, however, it can be difficult to know where to start with content marketing. In this blog post, we will discuss how to create a successful content marketing strategy that helps your small business achieve its goals faster and smarter.

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Topics: content creation, inbound marketing

Is Your Content Useful?

Posted by Ben Barber on Jan 14, 2023 8:00:00 AM
Having a content strategy for your business is essential for success, but it can be difficult to tell if your content is actually useful or not. Is your content strategy successful? How do you know? Social media is an important part of any content strategy, as it allows you to engage with your audience and get feedback about your content. In this blog post, we will provide 4 tips to help you determine if your content is useful and if your content strategy is successful.

1) Consider the purpose of your content.

It's natural to feel unsure about the value of the content you create, especially if you're just starting out on social media. First, consider the purpose of your content. Is it to educate, entertain, or inspire your audience? If so, think about how well it achieves that goal. Are you providing useful information that your audience can apply to their lives or businesses? Does it help them solve a problem? Are you creating content that is engaging and memorable? Set clear goals and objectives for your content, and then measure whether it is meeting those goals. Keep in mind, your goals need to be S.M.A.R.T. goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-oriented

2) Pay attention to the engagement your content receives.

Do people comment on, like, or share your posts? Are they asking questions or requesting more information? Track metrics such as engagement (e.g. likes, shares, comments), traffic, and conversion rates. If people are engaging with your content and visiting your website or landing pages, it's likely that they find it useful. 

It's important to keep track of the data from your content regularly so you can assess and adjust your strategy. You don't want to spend time and money on content that is no longer serving your target audience. Having your website analytics tied into a CRM such as HubSpot helps make tracking this data a lot less time-consuming. That way you can use your time more valuably to work on growing your business and building relationships with your customers. 

Or, you may be getting engagement, but it's not converting into a call to action. This might be a sign that your content is reaching an audience, but not your target audience. Creating a clear target customer persona can help you refine your content strategy to hit your goals.

Here are a few tips to help you create a customer persona:

  • Gather data: Use data from your customer base such as surveys, interviews, and social media analytics to gather information about your target audience. Consider demographics, behavior patterns, goals, and pain points.
  • Be specific: Be specific when creating your customer persona. The more detailed and accurate your persona is, the more effective your content will be.
  • Use multiple personas: Depending on the size and complexity of your target audience, it may be helpful to create multiple personas to represent different segments of your audience.
  • Use visuals: Use visuals such as images and charts to help bring your customer persona to life. This will make it easier to remember and reference.
  • Review and update regularly: Customer personas are not a one-time thing, they should be updated and reviewed regularly. As your customer base changes and evolves, so too should your customer persona.
  • Make it actionable: The purpose of a customer persona is to inform your content strategy, so make sure that the persona you create is actionable and directly related to your content.
  • Use it to inform your content strategy: Once you have your customer persona, use it to inform your content strategy. Your persona should be a guide for the tone, style, and topics of your content.
  • Involve stakeholders: Involve other stakeholders in the process of creating your customer personas, such as sales, customer service, or product development, as they may have different insights into your target audience that you may not be aware of.

3) Ask for feedback directly from your audience.

You can do this through surveys, polls, or by simply asking for comments on your posts. This can provide valuable insights into what your audience finds most useful and can help you create content that better meets their needs. There are a number of ways to turn surveys and polls into engaging content:

  • Use catchy or thought-provoking questions: Your survey or poll questions should be interesting and relevant to your audience. This will encourage people to participate.
  • Use visuals: Incorporating images or infographics can make your survey or poll more visually appealing, which can make it more engaging.
  • Offer an incentive: Consider offering an incentive, such as a prize or discount, for people who complete your survey or poll. This can increase participation rates.
  • Be interactive: Instead of just presenting the results of the survey or poll, use interactive elements like quizzes, games or chatbots which can make the content more engaging.
  • Share results: Share the results of your survey or poll with your audience, either in a blog post, social media post or other type of content. It is a great way to add value and provide your audience with interesting and actionable information.
  • Create a Story: Use the results of the survey or poll to create a story that aligns with your brand or mission, making it more relatable and engaging for your audience.
  • Be inclusive: Try to get responses from a diverse group of people to ensure that the results of your survey or poll are representative of your target audience.
  • Respond to feedback: Respond to the feedback given in the survey or poll and make changes to your products or services accordingly. This shows that you value your customers' opinions and actively work to improve their experience.

4) Keep an eye on competitors and industry trends.

This will ensure that your content is relevant and up-to-date. Keeping an eye on competitors and industry trends can help create useful content in a few different ways:

  • Identify gaps in the market: By staying up-to-date on what your competitors are producing, you can identify areas where there is a lack of content or where there is room for improvement. This can help you to create content that fills those gaps and meets the needs of your target audience.
  • Learn from best practices: By observing what your competitors are doing well, you can learn from their best practices and apply them to your own content strategy.
  • Keep up with industry changes: By monitoring industry trends, you can stay ahead of the curve and ensure that your content is relevant and current.
  • Inspiration: Seeing what is trending in your industry and what your competitors are doing can be a good source of inspiration for your own content creation.
  • Understand audience better: By keeping an eye on competitors, you can understand better the interest and behavior of your target audience, allowing you to create content that appeals to them more effectively.
  • Differentiate yourself: Keeping track of the content your competitors are producing can help you to stand out by creating content that is different from what is already out there.
  • Overall, understanding your competitors and industry trends will give you a better idea of what type of content is resonating with your audience, what is lacking, and what kind of content you need to produce to be relevant and useful.

In conclusion, creating useful content is essential to the success of your content strategy. There are a number of ways to determine whether your content is useful, such as tracking engagement metrics, conducting user research, and keeping an eye on competitors and industry trends. Additionally, creating a customer persona can help you to create content that is more relevant and effective. By following these tips and regularly assessing the performance of your content, you can ensure that your content strategy is successful and that your audience is finding value in the content that you're producing. Remember that creating useful content takes time and effort, but by staying focused on your goals and understanding your audience, you will be able to create content that resonates with your target market and helps to achieve your business objectives. 

And remember, we're always here to answer any digital marketing questions you might have as you grow your business!

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Topics: marketing, content creation, social media

Where Main Street Meets Social Media

Posted by Ben Barber on Sep 6, 2022 1:34:32 PM

Over the last fifteen years I have worked with local small businesses and non-profits who were all trying to find ways to get more exposure in their community. As in most small towns, word of mouth and location alone do wonders for organizational outreach. The thing is, word of mouth and location don’t always mean the same thing they did a decade ago.

I hear this thought over and over again when talking to friends and business owners that “not everyone is on social media” and while that is technically true, it’s also wildly misguided. For some reason when it comes to a local mentality we think that social doesn’t work the way it does for larger issues. The same friends who tell me that their mom is not going to see advertising on social are also constantly fighting with them about “something they saw on facebook.” Nearly 25% of Facebook users are between the ages of 45 and 75 and in the US that number is higher.

Now imagine if instead of paying 3-10x for newspaper print ads or radio commercials, that do not have the ability to micro target audiences by demographics and interests, these companies invested those marketing dollars where their customers attention actually is today, in the palm of their hand. Location, location, location.

The ability to reach more people and to reach the specific people through optimal targeting is astounding, but then of course… what about the others? What was the other thing we said at the beginning? Yes, that is where word of mouth comes in.

It is not enough to treat social media like a bulletin board inside your business. To hang a sign that says your daily specials and hope someone walks by and sees it. Content is the variable of your success. Can you be fun, engaging, informative, helpful, can you show personality, can you bring value to that person on the other end of the screen? It’s easier than you think. Most of the time all you have to do, is be yourself.

If you are a lawyer, simply give the advice you’d give anyone in a consultation. If you’re a restaurant, show us the food cooking on the grill and the staff having a good time. If you’re a non-profit, bring us inside the stories of the communities you serve. If you’re a local sandwich shop whose customers are other business owners… find a way to spotlight them! There are an endless amount of ideas for an endless amount of unique businesses and individuals.

You no longer have to wait for someone to come in, or walk by, to know who you are and have a positive feeling when they think about your business. That is called Brand, and in classic terms, reputation.

It’s the same formula that people and businesses have used for hundreds of years. The only difference is that it has never been less expensive to be this connected. So reach out and touch someone’s life, form a relationship with your community. It’s time that Main Street embraces the current way of doing business, because we’ve been waiting for you.

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Topics: marketing, content creation, social media

Let Them Decide

Posted by Ben Barber on Sep 6, 2022 12:23:56 PM
Too often we decide to hide parts of our lives from our public personas out of the unrealistic idea that it doesn’t “fit our brand.” Even if it’s something we are deeply passionate about, something we want desperately to share with the world… most of the time we keep it to ourselves.
...people DO business with the people they feel a connection with outside the realm of business interaction...
Let’s say you run a consulting business and your social media is filled with tips and tricks and hot takes on the days events in the world of your expertise. You’ve developed a modest following that you’re proud of. Now let’s say that what no one who knows you from your social media alone knows that you also really love cosplay… you’d love to share it, but it’s so different to your consulting content that you have never dared to share… but the big convention is coming up this weekend and you’ve got the best costume of your life. You really wish you could share, because you’re so proud of it and you’re excited. But you think your followers wouldn’t know what to do with a photo of you straight out of the MCU… then one night before the convention you decide to chance it.
You post it to stories, because “who cares, in 24 hours it will be gone anyway.” It gets a few reactions. People are nice, they send you replies of movie references, say they love your style, didn’t know you were into comics, etc… it’s feels nice. So the next day you decide to post it to your profile. Essentially the same reaction, people love it, they love seeing something different. Maybe one or two people unfollow, but overall the engagement is overwhelming fun and positive. They didn’t know about this other side of you!
This might sound far fetched, but it isn’t. Actually it happens every single day. People don’t often refuse to give you their business because you like a different sports team or you follow a different tv show, or have a different interest than them… but people DO give business to people they feel a CONNECTION with outside of the realm of the business interaction every single day.
So, should you throw away your consulting content and double down on the cosplay? No. That’s not what I’m saying. But should you stop treating your feed as this precious ecosystem where if you do one thing wrong it will all go away? Absolutely. Share what you love and don’t decide for them what they are going to care about or not care about. You should enjoy what you post on social media, and it should be a reflection of who you are and what you want to talk about.
If it’s between you and another business, and I know that you and I both like running marathons… that is going to be enough for me to give you my business over the other guys.
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