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.
It used to be that personal recommendations solidified
decisions, but in today’s fast-moving digital orbit, news about your company
travels differently, and online reviews—think Yelp, Google and Facebook—are a
primary source of feedback.
A 2018 Local Consumer Review Survey conducted by
Brightlocal.com reported that 85 percent of consumers trust online reviews as
much as personal recommendations and that 57 percent of consumers will only use
a business if it’s rated four stars or higher.
Suffice it to say that online reviews are remarkably
Not everyone responds to reviews, but there are several
reasons why you should (even if they’re negative), including the fact that replying
to feedback shows that you’re paying attention to your clients and customers,
you’re not afraid of transparency and your business is all about building
The goal is to convert fans of your business into super-fans
and offer disappointed reviewers an acceptable resolution, which often leads to
a revised review or inspiration to remove a negative one. While there are
multiple ways to respond to reviews – the positive and the negative – follow
these tips to put the face of your business in the best light.
Be pleasant and don’t hurl insults:When
a client or consumer is frustrated, they’re ready to fight. The last thing your
business wants to do is fuel the fire or burn bridges, so when you’re
responding to negative reviews, take a deep breath, be courteous and polite and
provide solutions when feasible.
A little sympathy goes a long way in defusing an unpleasant
situation. If you sense that the dialogue is taking a turn for the worse,
suggest settling the matter offline, far away from judgmental public eyes.
Keep your responses short and to the point: Social media users are looking to digest information quickly. If they want to read a novel, they’ll grab their Kindle or head to the bookstore. Keep your responses brief and genuine and stay on topic.
Thank those who post positive reviews: While handwritten “thank you” notes are, sadly, a thing of
the past, clicking the “Like” button on a positive Facebook comment takes a
second. Literally. Typing “Thank you for the kind words!” takes four seconds – five
if your typing skills need work.
You don’t have to thank every single person, but if someone
takes the time to write a favorable review, it’s a good idea to show your
Don’t be a salesperson: When
a user writes a review, it’s usually proof that they’ve already interacted with
your business, so there’s no need to tell them what they already know.
If you have something new to share about your business, it’s
fine to share, but make sure the content isn’t spammy or irrelevant.
Let clients and customers know that you loved working with them: Want to turn a
customer or client into repeat customers or clients? If they post a glowing
review, let them know how much you enjoyed working with them – and you’d
welcome the opportunity to do so again.
If you want people to continue to work with your business, you
need to let them know that you’re the kind of business that welcomes them back.
Gone are the days
when branding was limited to simply promoting a product or a business.
Today, companies are
increasingly being challenged to incorporate a meaningful purpose into their marketing
and advertising campaigns.
research, 75 percent of consumers – here and abroad
– expect businesses to contribute to their personal wellbeing and quality of
life, while 84 percent expect brands to provide content that entertains, tells
stories, provides solutions and creates experiences and events.
Purpose is especially important when marketing to
percent of whom say they’re
partial to brands that implement environmental and social change into their
A new biometric
research report from Porter Novelli/Cone, published earlier this week, goes
even further in suggesting that purposeful content should lead the narrative of
“Purpose ignites physical and
emotional responses: Purpose-driven
advertisements were more effective in two-out-of-three brand categories tested,
with higher levels of attention, emotion and arousal from these advertisements
overall,” the study found.
other words, businesses that are searching for ways to build – and
maintain – customer loyalty would be wise
to focus on purposeful messaging that supports, for example, responsible
business practices, a charity or a social cause.
Purpose builds deeper bonds
Other key findings
in the report suggested that purpose builds deeper bonds.
A whopping 79
percent of Americans, noted the study, said they feel a deeper and more personal
connection to companies with values aligned with their own. Moreover,
respondents said they’d be more likely to feel better about brands with
And that’s not all:
brand advocates and amplification,” research showed.
viewing purpose-driven advertisements, those who were surveyed also said they’d
be more likely to talk about the advertisement and the brand with friends and
family and share and discuss the advertisement on social media.
the biggest takeaway, though, is this: Nearly 73
percent of respondents said that given the current social and political
climate, they feel an urgency to support social issues, while 76 percent noted
that businesses dedicated to addressing social and environmental issues helps
them feel like they’re doing their part.
About the study
The research combined an
online study of more than 1,000 American adults with the results of biometrics
testing among a select group of respondents.
It measured facial, heart
rate and skin conductance impulses that captured levels of emotion, attention
and arousal/stimulation upon viewing a randomized set of advertisements.
Respondents viewed two ads
from the same brand: a Purpose-driven advertisement (e.g., support of a social
issue, responsible business practice) and an advertisement focusing on the
functional attributes of the product (e.g., performance, features or
The research found that purpose-driven
messaging has a greater ability to capture the physical and emotional attention
of respondents compared to functional narratives.
If you’re exploring the rental market, it may be time to lower your expectations when it comes to landlord discounts, gift cards or complimentary amenities, writes Diana Olick, real estate correspondent at CNBC.com
As the rental market heats up and home ownership cools, rent prices are rising and freebies are falling out of favor.
Listings on HotPads, Zillow’s rental website, that mention at least one concession are down nearly 30 percent from the same time last year, and just one in 100 rental listings currently show any kind of move-in special.
Remember the days prior to social media? Nor do we. Just
about every business – big and small – has a designated social media manager or
consultant that’s responsible for tweets, content posts, audience engagement,
follows, shares, comments, insight and data reports and messaging.
It’s a big job that goes far beyond those “likes” and
shares. To be a social media pro, you’ve got to master some skills.
Be creative: To stand out among your competitors, you need to create a dynamic and persuasive visual content across all your social media platforms.
Images, polls, invitations, posters, graphs, videos and
illustrations don’t have to be in every post, but the eye loves visuals, and
the more visuals you incorporate into your posts, the better chance you have of
being noticed in what’s becoming an increasingly crowded field.
Inspire conversation: Interacting
and engaging with your audience (think potential clients) is crucial to social
media success – and that includes responding to comments in a
Whether it’s a simple
acknowledgement of thanks to someone who has responded positively to a post, a
call to action for someone posing a question or a conversation starter that
opens dialogue, you need to know how to foster communication.
That, in turn, encourages
your audience to share your content, which increases your post’s longevity. And
sharing content grows you audience and results in leads and “likes.”
To post engaging ads, take
advantage of Facebook’s Ads Manager, a powerful tool that enables businesses to
launch campaigns that reach a large audience.
Live video has the kind of human
touch that doesn’t exist in text, and social media audiences can’t get enough
Shooting spontaneous short
videos on your smartphone and streaming them live on your social media
platforms has become easier than ever with recent technological advances, and
the content can range from entertaining to informative (or both).
Live streams tend to be more personable and
authentic than text posts, and studies have shown that social media audiences
overwhelmingly prefer live video.
Sixty-five percent of homeowners nationwide view buying a house in their zip code as a “somewhat good” or “very good” financial investment, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s 2019 Survey of Consumer Housing Expectations.
As well, existing homeowners are eager to
invest more in their homes, says the report, noting that the percentage of
homeowners expecting to invest at least $5,000 in their homes over the next one
to three years continues to increase.