Modern business runs on content. Without it, you’ve got no publicity for your products or services. And without publicity, you’ve got no sales. To avoid shooting yourself in the proverbial foot, business leaders must prioritize having a content strategy in place, including an acute understanding of how, when and where the content will be produced. Here’s how to get started.
First off, what do we mean when we say content? Well, content is merely a shorthand for any piece of media that helps promote your business or position your brand. It can have many uses, from intangibles like raising awareness to concrete actions like driving conversions. Your content can take on many forms – including blogs, social media posts, infographics, eBooks, videos, search engine ads and much, much more.
Establish your business objectives
You should never create content haphazardly or just for the sake of it. Instead, connect it to clear, specific and concrete business objectives. Anything less is just a waste of time and money, and let’s be honest, no small business owner has an excess of either!
Think strategically about channels and audience
Once you have your business objectives fleshed out, you need to think about your audience and channels. Ask yourself how your target audience gets the information it needs? Where do they spend their time? The days of customers coming to you are long gone. You must bring your content to them.
Next, determine what type of content you are going to create. Remember, not every asset will work well with every channel! For instance, putting together and sharing a long-form, all-text post is not a good idea on Facebook, which favors smaller amounts of text paired with engaging media assets like photos and especially videos. Similarly, it can be tempting to jam your corporate newsletter with everything and anything your firm is doing, but resist that temptation. Focus instead on who the actual audience is and tailor your messaging accordingly. If you operate B2C, your newsletter should focus on customer tips, educational resources and content that drives an emotional response. Conversely, if you do B2B marketing, you should feature items like industry news, technical information about your products and services and content that drives a logical response.
Gather your resources
Now for the fun part: It’s time to write. Of course, this can pose significant logistical challenges. You must ask yourself the question of whether you have the external expertise already in house or if you need to obtain outside support.
Remember, it’s not enough to have someone who can write but can’t wrap their mind around your company or industry. Similarly, having the best subject matter expert in the world won’t help you much if they can’t put pen to paper and express themselves clearly. You need both, and luckily there are a lot of options for businesses to explore. We live in a world of flexible work and side hustles; there are a ton of highly skilled freelance writers out there if you know where to look.
Here are a few things to consider if you choose to look outside your firm for writing support:
2. Do your due diligence by looking at their portfolio: A good and experienced writer will have samples of their work readily available for interested prospects.
3. Look for past experience that overlaps with your business: Keep in mind that it doesn’t need to be an identical match; but something in the same ballpark will help the writer get up to speed faster.
4. Ask for referrals or ask them to produce a paid test piece: It is perfectly appropriate to want to look before you leap. But remember, time is money, and if you want a writer to do a trial run, it needs to be paid.
Never discount the power and value of effective content in helping promote your business and increase your revenues. Remember the adage: “If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around, does it still make a sound?” Well, the same holds true for your company. You can have a fantastic business model and an unbeatable team in place, but if nobody knows about it, it’s like it doesn’t exist. Adhering to these best practices can help you build out an effective content strategy and start producing assets to build better customer relationships and drive more sales.
Marketing is never static. Stay apprised of the latest trends from 2021!
Like many fields, marketing never stays the same for long. New trends, topics and technologies pop up all the time, and it’s important to keep your knowledge and skill up to date, especially if you need to promote your business or agency. And so, let’s look back at the past 12 months to see how marketing changed and what we can do to promote a productive and profitable 2022.
Customers now expect brands to communicate with them through video. While even a few years ago video was considered a “nice to have,” it became a marketing essential in 2021. For example, did you know landing “pages with videos convert 800 percent better than pages without,”[i] or that “video marketing accounts for 69 percent of all consumer traffic.”[ii] However you look at it, video needs to be a part of your marketing toolkit going into 2022. And before you say, “I’m no videographer,” just know that it’s more than possible to shoot some wonderful, high-quality videos with your phone for a very reasonable cost.
Content marketing is by no means the new kid on the block, but there is a reason why it remains standing after so many trends have come and gone. Simply put, it works! For instance, content marketing is “three times more efficient in terms of leads than outbound marketing”[iii] and “92 percent of marketers and businesses report content as a valuable business asset.” Convinced yet?
What’s nice about content marketing is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Simply refine your processes and optimize your content. Start by clearly defining your audience. Next, ensure your content is relevant. Third, get social! Figure out where your audiences are on social media and start sharing your assets.
Take care to not post too many updates that focus solely on your company. Social users will not engage with you if you act like a bullhorn or billboard. Develop helpful, educational thought leadership materials. These will help you be seen as an authority in your field and an effective resource capable of solving common problems your target audience may have.
Millennials and Gen. Z
The economic power (both individual and collective) of Millennials and Gen. Z now requires companies to sit up and pay attention to their respective buying preferences. Millennials, for instance, long ago passed the purchasing power of the Baby Boomers, and their economic influence stands at $65 billion.[iv] However, Gen. Z dwarfs them by a sizable margin, with purchasing power of around $143 billion.[v]
So, how do you reach these two pillars of the modern economy? First, prioritize building trust and integrity. Positioning your brand around attributes like honesty, fairness and goodwill is a good strategy for making inroads with these generations, as “90 percent of Millennials and Gen. Z list honest information about products as a top factor in making purchasing decisions.”[vi]
But you can’t stop there. These generations want to see and understand the people and values of the businesses they patronize. Showcasing your commitment to the environment, social justice and ethical business practices are just a few ways you can accomplish this.
Finally, meet them where they are by cultivating a strong, digital-first business attitude. As digital natives, these demographics desire to work with brands that have a smooth, digital customer experience already in place. Optimize your website if necessary and establish a strong social media presence if you haven’t already done so. Create accounts on legacy platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but don’t forget to also explore younger, more innovative sites like TikTok.
Part of the fun of marketing is that it never gets old. There are always new strategies to explore or novel methods to deploy. Of course, when you are responsible for running an entire agency, there is often little time to test out new tactics or ideas. But if you can adhere to some of the best practices listed above, you’ll be ahead of the curve and well-positioned to nail your marketing in the New Year.
Content is at the epicenter of digital and social platforms:
It’s the single most important component
that ensures that businesses are communicating—and connecting—with their clients.
But content can make or break a
brand: Clients will either pay attention, or they won’t. But when businesses authentically
connect with their audience, they have the opportunity to leverage their
content, which generates more search traffic, trust and, ultimately, leads.
In a nutshell, content marketing is
one of the most effective communication strategies available to businesses, but
while slapping blog posts on your website and posting on social media channels seems
easy enough, businesses too often misjudge their audience—and, more important, the
content that most appeals to them.
It’s not about direct sales; it’s
about engagement and inspiring reactions.
Still, even when it’s done right, content
marketing can be tricky. It’s a crowded field with major competition at every
click, and it’s becoming ominously more difficult to reach potential clients
and retain existing ones. To best your competition, follow these content
a strategic plan in place: Before
creating content, build a smart and solid strategic roadmap that considers your
company’s growth and revenue goals, your target audience, the ways in which you’ll
deliver content (videos, tweets, blog, Facebook and Instagram posts,
infographics), a list of salient topics that clearly positions and defines your
company’s brand and image, an assessment of your company’s distinguishing perspectives
and, finally, metrics to measure the achievement of your content.
Don’t tell your story all at once: Storytelling is key to content marketing, but you want your audience to keep coming back for more. Teasing a story on social media platforms is a great way to keep your audience engaged and intrigued. If your business is considering hosting a special event, for example, build momentum by running promotional, brand-aligned giveaways or contests that last a few days, or even weeks.
Use your website to promote it and take advantage of social networks to extend its reach. The longer your footprint lasts, the better.
Be conversational: No one appreciates an overbearing sales pitch.And now, more than ever, audiences want (and demand) value, authenticity and the opportunity to respond. When you write content, think of it as a feedback-oriented conversation between you and your audience. A conversational style builds relationship over time, whereas a hard sell often drives audiences away.
Unprecedented low interest rates, a record-high
stock market and a Denver real estate market that’s suddenly
What on earth is going on? June is historically one of the highest performing months for Denver home sales, but not this year: Inventory was up 28 percent, sold homes were down 14 percent and the time a home spent on the market soared to 23 percent. Not since 2013 has Denver seen such a high inventory of houses for sale.
To maximize your reach and covert your copy into a
convincing narrative, you’ve got to be thoughtful, captivating and
Follow these effective tips for crafting compelling email
marketing messages that will help grow your business.
Research Your Target Audience
Your audience is the most valuable asset to your business,
and it’s your job to ensure that you develop customer profiles that align with
your business and its values and mission.
That starts with compiling organic email lists based on
everything from demographic data to hobbies and interests.
Verify that every name on the list wants to be included in
your email marketing campaigns. The fastest way to get blacklisted by the major
ISPs is to purchase or rent email lists.
Building the lists from scratch is time-consuming, but the
reward is much higher engagement.
Test Your Email Content
Before you send out a campaign to hundreds, if not thousands
of readers, be sure to test your content first for broken links, image
resolution issues, spelling errors, grammatical mistakes and design layout.
It’s always best to send a few test mails to yourself to
ensure that everything looks correct.
Beware of Spam-Like Content
Always, always keep your content relevant to your audience
and consistent with your brand.
Everyone has spam filters and “junk” email inboxes, and if
your subject headers, for example, are too gimmicky, have too many exclamation
points or contain misspellings, it’s likely that your email campaigns will be
promptly dumped into the trash bin.
Always Include a Call-to-Action
There’s nothing worse than leaving your audienceat a dead end.
One of the most crucial email marketing best practices is to
be abundantly clear and direct with your audience – and that means telling them
exactly what you’d like them to do next.
The point to any marketing message is to get a response.
Provide sign-up links, for example, if you’re promoting a
class, workshop or webinar. If you’re hosting an event, be sure to include an
And if you’re offering promotional offers, use
action verbs – “reserve,” “act,” “subscribe,” “save,” “start” and “get,” for
instance – to persuade your audience to respond.
Savvy business owners know they must continue to engage, inform and entertain customers, prospects and influencers with relevant and current content.
Here are three articles to explain the basics of content, dive into the relevance of it and offer tips to make content more effective.
One thing’s for sure: content marketing is not going anywhere. Moreover, estimates show that by 2021, the industry will be worth more than $400 billion. Here are some of the most important content marketing trends that you must be aware of in 2019. Read More
Creative and strategic content writing is a way to build your brand and grow your business. Here are top trends. Read More
More than half (53 percent) of businesses invest time and money in content marketing, and continued growth in this category is expected, industry experts say. Here are tips on cultivating excellent content. Read More