January 3, 2019

Is Your Copy on Crutches? Don’t Let These Words Kill Your Content


When I was about five years old, my older brother taught me a brand new word, one I’d never heard uttered in our ultra-conservative home. He then encouraged me to go share this vocabulary addition with my mom and ask her what it meant.

Things didn’t go well.

In moments, just like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story,” my tongue was being lathered up with a bar of Lifebuoy soap and I got an earful of my mom’s wrath to go along with that mouthful of suds.

That experience provided a couple of lasting takeaways:

  • Never take an older brother’s suggestion when he’s grinning ear to ear
  • Word choice matters

Word choice is something that often doesn’t get as much attention as it should, even among people who create content for a living. It’s easy to let linguistic trends slip into our daily vocabulary (how often do you hear “right?!” used everyday?) or to use filler words like “uh,” “um” and the dreaded “like.”

Such words are known as crutch words because they’re often used when someone is searching for the right words or has lost their place in a conversation or presentation. In speaking situations, using these words often gives the impression that the person lacks confidence or clarity (or both).

When crutch words slip into our copy, it can be even more distracting. These ineffective words dilute messaging and annoy readers. While these words all have their place in vocabulary, they become crutch words when you stop using them properly and let them become fillers.

Content Marketing, Writing and Editing
November 27, 2018

Your Content Marketing Strategy Isn’t Working. Here’s Why.

 content marketing strategy

You already know that a solid content marketing strategy is critical to your company’s success. Content marketing can help attract potential customers, make more sales, increase brand awareness and establish you as a leader in your niche.

However, so far, you just haven’t had any luck.

There are a number of different reasons why a content marketing strategy doesn’t take off immediately. Let’s look at some of the common reasons marketers fail to do well with content marketing — and how you can improve your own campaigns.

Content Marketing
November 15, 2018

How to Find the Right Social Media Marketing Company


Social media marketing is crucial for B2C and B2B companies today. It doesn’t matter what industry they are in, because they can find their unique audiences out there on at least one of the many platforms available. 

According to WordStream, 22 percent of the total global population uses Facebook, there are more than 530 million users on LinkedIn and Snapchat reaches 41 percent of 18-34-year-olds in the United States alone. Social media presents a huge opportunity to businesses that want to find and connect with their audiences, promote their content and establish authority in their niches.

Another advantage of social media, especially for small businesses, is that all the platforms, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat, are free to join. If you want to better target your audiences and promote your content, you can typically pay what you want for advertising and sponsored content.

When it comes to running social media marketing campaigns, you can either learn it yourself or hire a social media marketer for your business. The latter is typically better, because social media is much more complicated than it looks, and takes the dedication of at least one full-time staff member, depending on your company size. A great option is to find a social media marketing company that can help you.

Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Social Media
November 8, 2018

The 10 Most Common Content Marketing Questions Answered


You finally did it. You took your idea, refined it and formulated a business plan. You got your finances together and determined your business structure, registered with the appropriate governing bodies, built your team and chose your vendors. You’ve branded yourself and now you’re open for business, hoping your business grows.

You’ve even been proactive with marketing, having already taken out print ads in newspapers and investing in billboards, radio spots and TV commercials. The only problem? All of your efforts haven’t garnered the results you expected. Sure, you may have increased awareness of your products and services, but you’re not seeing the ROI you expected.

Why? Due to the increased use of various social media platforms and the internet in general, traditional “outbound” marketing may not be the most effective and efficient way to build your brand and drum up business. Don’t get me wrong. Traditional marketing works. But if you want your business to stand out above the competition (and I know you do), then investing in content marketing is a great way to do just that.

But what exactly is content marketing? How does it work? How do you start? Whether you’ve heard of content marketing or not, here are answers to the 10 most common content marketing questions:

Blogging, Content Marketing, Writing and Editing
November 6, 2018

Breaking Down the Different Types of Digital Marketing Agencies


If your company is looking for a digital marketing agency, there are a plethora of options at your fingertips. A quick Google search of “digital marketing agency near me” will bring up a map full of red pins around your area and an endless amount of search result pages.

With so many marketing agencies, how do you know which one is best for your business? Before we look at each type of digital marketing agency, let’s define what digital marketing is, exactly.

Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Sales and Marketing Alignment
October 31, 2018

5 Spooky Marketing Tactics That Will Scare Prospects Away


There are many terrifying things in the world — spiders, tornadoes, losing your mom in the grocery store, just to name a few. For marketers and salespeople, however, the scariest thing may be how easy it is to lose a potential customer. Just when you think you have them… poof! They disappear like a spirit at a Ghostbusters convention.

Why does this happen? It may not be the prospect’s fault. It may actually be that your marketing tactics. You might be scaring them away with your outdated techniques! Things like cold calls and unexpected emails can spook even the bravest of prospects.

Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Sales and Marketing Alignment
October 25, 2018

What to Look for in a Content Marketing Agency


Content. You can’t live with it and you can’t live without it.

Wait… can you live without it? Not if you’re in marketing. But what is content, exactly? And what is content marketing? While we’re at it, what does a good content marketing agency look like?

According to the Content Marketing Institute, ” content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Translation: content is a big deal. It’s not something you can simply outsource or ” tack on” to your marketing strategy and hope to get results. It needs to be engaging, clean and of the highest quality. With exceptional content marketing, you can actually increase sales, save on marketing costs and attract better, more loyal customers.

With all that in mind, here are some things to consider if you’re deciding on whether to hire a content marketing agency or not. 

Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing
October 2, 2018

Explosive Growth: Building a Content Marketing Plan That Works


The rules of marketing have changed dramatically since the birth of the Internet. Today’s consumers have more control over how they consume content and are choosier about what grabs their attention. That makes creating great content — and having the right plan to deliver it — crucial to marketing success.  

As traditional advertising has declined, content marketing has exploded, largely because it takes an approach that is relevant for today’s consumers. By providing useful information to potential customers, it engages them on the platforms where they spend their time, whether that’s on social media, blogs or through video and podcasts.

While content marketing is a proven effective way of reaching customers, it requires a good strategy to make sure it’s being delivered properly. Think of it this way: Even if you have the best football team in the league, you’re not going to find success if you don’t have a great game plan. A good team knows what they’re going to do before they walk onto the field.

Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Writing and Editing