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:
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.
Emails can be a tricky business. Every time you send out an email, you’re hoping to catch someone’s attention and make them interested enough to click “open” instead of hitting “delete.” This can be a challenge no matter what kind of email you’re sending, but when it comes to sales emails, the challenge is even greater.
A great sales email not only catches the attention of the recipient, but is interesting and relevant enough to make them want to learn more. (It’s the business equivalent of getting someone to swipe right instead of swiping left.)
Then, once you are successful in getting them to open the email, you want them to respond, too. In today’s noisy, busy online world, that can seem like a lot to ask, but the good news is, it can be done if you take the right approach to writing your sales email.
Simplify your strategy for writing a sales email by breaking it into these five steps:
When it comes to creating great content, outside voices deliver extra credibility and authority to blog posts, white papers and stories. Bringing in experts to explain a topic has several benefits:
It can add new perspective to a topic
It gives you an excellent reason to reach out to influencers and leaders in your space
It can help expand your reach, as the individuals you interview will share the content with their followers
The key to getting great content every time comes from interviewing individuals who are knowledgeable and have something valuable to say on whatever topic you’re discussing. But it also must be engaging and interesting to your audience, which is where you the responsibility for a great interview falls on you.
Some people will naturally be more engaging interview subjects, while others will make you work a little harder to get the quotes, comments and information you’re looking for.
However, with proper preparation and a little practice, you can turn every interview into strong content.
Every business, including yours, should create content. Whether you sell widgets, offer a service or run a technology company, one of the best ways to connect with your leads and customers is through useful, interesting content that engages them.
Every content creator (yes, this means you) should have a style guide. A style guide will ensure consistency in how your company communicates, which leads to a better reader experience.
Even if readers don’t realize it on a conscious level, inconsistencies can distract from the message and make the brand seem less professional and reliable. It means that your brand will sound like your brand, no matter who is doing the writing on a given day.
I’m going to start by giving you the single best tip I ever got about writing.
(How’s that for a first sentence with a hook?)
In junior English, my sweet-little-old-lady English teacher gave us all a one-page handout with the title blacked out. The title, she explained with a blush, translated to “Really Crappy First Drafts.” I was intrigued: If the article was good enough that it could make my prim and conservative English teacher allude to a swear word, it probably had something valuable to say.
If you’re at all committed to producing great content, then you know you need an editorial calendar (also called a “content calendar”). But with the plethora of tools available today, how can you figure out the most efficient and effective system to keep your team on track?
We talk a lot about content marketing and why it’s important — most marketers understand that. But some organizations struggle when it comes time to generate the needed content (and there’s a heckuva lot that’s needed!). Creating an editorial calendar and filling it with content can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be that […]