6 Signs You Need to Rewrite Your Web Content

A good website is more than the sum of its parts. Certainly, you need logical navigation, clean graphic design, strong calls to action, and a robust internal linking strategy, among other considerations. And don’t forget about your written content! The written copy on your website is crucially important for educating and persuading customers, for gaining SEO traction, and for conveying the vision and values of your company.

Web content isn’t meant to last forever. On the contrary, it’s a good idea to revise your copywriting every two or three years. This gives you a chance to offer fresh content to the Google algorithms, and also to refine or update your company’s messaging.

Beyond that, there are a few telltale signs that your Web copy could stand an update… whether you rewrite it yourself, or enlist the expertise of Grammar Chic, Inc.

Signs You Need Fresh Web Copywriting

1) Your Google traction is slipping

One of the most important aspects of copywriting is that it signals to Google what your company is all about, and how your website should be categorized. If you’re not getting the kind of Google traffic you’d like, it’s possible that bad copy is to blame… and that a content refresh could put you back on Google’s radar.

2) You’re not getting calls or inquiries.

Ideally, your website is a 24/7 sales machine, directing interested consumers to call, text, or email you about your products and services. Make sure you track where your leads come from, and if you find that it’s seldom from your website, that should be a red flag: Your Web copy isn’t doing its job.

3) Your branding has changed.

It’s natural for companies to grow and evolve… and your website should grow and evolve with it. For example, say you started your company 10 years ago, with the intention of being an all-purpose plumbing service. But in the years since, your business has shifted to focus almost entirely on drain cleaning. This is something that should be reflected in your business messaging, and that starts with your website content.

4) Your customers are uneducated.

When customers call for a consultation, come in for an appointment, or show up to browse your retail store, they should have at least some idea of what you do. If you find that your customers are often confused about your products or services, or if you find yourself getting the same questions over and over again, it means your site isn’t educating consumers the way it should. It might be time for an update!

5) You’re having your website redesigned.

If you’re giving your website a facelift (and especially if you’re changing the layout or navigation), you’ll probably need to make some adjustments to the copy. Here we’ll note that Grammar Chic’s writers are uniquely experienced in partnering with Web design companies, ensuring you get a seamless final product.

6) You have a high bounce rate.

This is something you can check in your Google Analytics dashboard. Basically, a high bounce rate means people are coming to your site, but then immediately leaving. It suggests that, for whatever reason, the content on your website isn’t meeting their expectations. This could be a matter of poor layout or confusing navigation… but it could also be that your content isn’t as relevant or as helpful as it needs to be.

No matter your reason for wanting crisp new Web content, Grammar Chic is happy to deliver it. We’d love to book you for a no-obligation Web copywriting consultation. Reach out today: 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content Writing, Web Content

Case Study: Grammar Chic Helps Crafting Scholars Achieve a Quick Boost in End-of-Year Sales

The team at Grammar Chic has had the privilege of working with Charlotte-based academic tutoring service, Crafting Scholars, for close to five years. In that time, we have created, managed, and administered everything from their email newsletters and their social media feeds to their ongoing blogging and other one-off content writing needs.

So, when Crafting Scholars President, Kris Harris, reached out to us in the middle of November with an urgent request, we didn’t hesitate.

Creating a Dedicated Marketing Campaign

Kris explained to us that they wanted to promote an ACT/SAT Diagnostic Testing Service designed for students who are trying to figure out just which test is right for them. With all of the craziness that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented to students as they work to stay on track, and in order to hopefully boost year-end and early 2021 sales for Crafting Scholars, Kris believed that this promotion would be timely and beneficial to his company’s clients—as well as his business. Like many businesses, the time between Thanksgiving and New Years can be slow—and therefore, challenging.

Sitting down to strategize with him, we decided to create content for a series of social media posts, graphically design a direct mail piece, craft a press announcement, and also draft a series of email blasts that would go out to the Crafting Scholars’ client list as well as prospects.

Ultimately, because time was of the essence, we got right to work—and fed content to Kris for him to review and approve.  After a bit of tweaking and back and forth collaboration, we had the final products ready. Then, we subsequently got everything scheduled to be deployed at regular intervals during the first and second weeks of December.

The Results

During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, Kris reached out to our office. Frankly, his elation was contagious as he communicated the results that had been achieved through this ASAP, at-a-moment’s notice marketing campaign.

“We have already closed five deals,” Kris said.  “Just in that short amount of time!  That’s worth $10K to our business. You guys are simply the best. Thank you so much!”

Indeed, while we were speaking with Kris on the phone, a sixth deal closed, bringing the return on his small investment with Grammar Chic to over $12K in revenue to his business.  That is an absolutely huge boost during any time of year to any small business—let alone the holiday season during a pandemic.

The team at Grammar Chic couldn’t be more pleased with the results that were achieved with this marketing campaign for Crafting Scholars. Their success, ultimately, is our success, and we could not be happier that Kris and the Crafting Scholars team placed their trust in us with this very important task.

Extra kudos go out to Grammar Chic Senior Writer, Megan Saylor, who crafted all of the content used in the campaign, and to Courtney Wright, our Business Manager, for expertly organizing and coordinating all social media posts, email blasts, press releases, and more to ensure everything was deployed seamlessly and without a hitch.

If you are considering a special marketing campaign or are even looking to boost your digital or traditional marketing presence in 2021, the Grammar Chic team would love to speak with you. Reach out to us and let’s start a conversation.

Leave a comment

Filed under Client Spotlight

7 Reasons to Hire a Content Writer in 2021

When you run a small business, you know more about it than anyone in the world. But just because you know your business inside and out, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the best person to articulate its value proposition… especially not in writing.

That’s where a professional content writer can be invaluable: Translating your knowledge and your passion into messaging that crystallizes what you do and why customers should care.

Indeed, there are a number of reasons why business owners outsource their content writing needs… and, why enlisting a writer may be the best decision you make in the dawning days of 2021.

1) Bad writing will wreck your reputation.

Let’s be honest: Writing is a skill, and not everyone has it. If you’re not a natural-born writer, that’s totally okay! You obviously have plenty of other skills that have allowed you to launch a successful business.

But if you’re not a good writer, that’s something that’s important to acknowledge to yourself. See, if you do your own copywriting but it’s filled with circuitous grammar or sloppy mistakes, it could actually have a counterproductive effect.

For instance, it’s hard to say that your business stands for quality, consistency, or attention to detail if your writing is full of typos.

Hire a professional writer to make sure bad writing never tarnishes your good name.

2) Good writers will know how to connect.

It’s actually possible that you know your business or your industry a little too well.

This is a common issue among business owners, who get so excited talking about what they do that they load their language with jargon, technicalities, or sales-speak.

Sometimes, it takes an outsider to identify what really makes your company special, and to phrase it in a way that it connects with potential customers… not just explaining what you do, but what difference you can make in their lives.

3) Professional writers can help you get results.

Whether you’re writing a blog post, a press release, or an email newsletter, you’re probably not doing it just for kicks and giggles. In theory, your writing should always serve a specific purpose. You should be writing to generate leads, to close sales, to instill trust, or to build your reputation.

This requires more than just a knowledge of how your business works. It also requires knowing how to format your writing, how to build an argument, how to use persuasive language, and how to craft a perfect call to action.

These are tools in the professional writer’s toolbox, and they can ensure that your business writing actually accomplishes something.

4) Good writing is good SEO.

Which is more important: Writing content that appeals to human readers, or writing content that jibes with the Google search algorithms?

Trick question! Actually, by writing relevant and valuable content for your end user, you’ll be much better positioned to occupy prime search engine real estate.

The best writer will have the SEO knowledge it takes to draw the right kind of attention, from your target audience as well as from the search bots.

5) Hiring a writer will save you time.

Honest question: How long would it take you to write a really solid company blog post?

And what else could you do in that same amount of time?

One of the main reasons to outsource anything is to free yourself to focus on the essentials: Leading your team, strategizing for your business, or satisfying your customers.

Allow writers to take content creation off your hands.

6) A professional writer can address a range of content needs.

By forming a relationship with a professional writer, you can ensure you have someone you can call on for a range of needs, including developing new sales copy, composing tweets, and beyond.

As the writer gets to know your business better and better, they will become a trusted marketing partner, able to provide a range of marketing assets for use in your business.

7) Professional writers will work well with your other creative partners.

Believe us when we tell you that a professional writing company, like Grammar Chic, Inc., does a lot of collaborating with other agencies. These might include SEO consultants, web design houses, marketing firms, and beyond.

If you’re looking for a partner who can easily fold into that relationship, ensuring really optimal results across your different marketing activities, consider hiring a professional writer today.

We’d love to speak with you further about all the reasons it makes sense to outsource your writing needs. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. today by calling 803-831-7444 or by visiting www.grammarchic.net.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content Writing, Uncategorized

Mindfulness: Not Just for Mental Health – Apply it to Content Marketing

Customers are inundated with content every time they go online. A simple Internet search can generate millions of results. There are pop-up ads on many websites. Social media is a never-ending cycle of information. But just because the content is there, doesn’t mean that customers connect with it. Being mindful about the information you put out and intentional in your marketing can pay off.

Focusing on Quality Over Quantity

Publishing articles and posting on social media just for the sake of pushing out content will garner limited results. Taking the time to offer information that is relevant and meaningful to your audience will produce a greater return. Consider what value they will get from what they read. What do you want them to do with the information?

  • Know your audience. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Focus on what is important to your audience and what affects their decision making. Take advantage of analytics tools to understand what customers are searching for, and what attracts them to your site. This should guide your planning process.
  • Be authentic. Let your audience know that you understand the challenges they face and are grounded in reality. Show them that you are listening and using their feedback to make meaningful changes and share information that they want. Keeping them in the loop will build loyalty and repeat business.
  • Look beyond sales. While you may use content marketing to drive sales, all of your copy shouldn’t be sales-focused. Offer a variety of data and information related to your brand, products, and services. Be genuine in offering solutions and action-oriented content rather than just being promotional. Once you gain their trust and build credibility, the sales will come.
  • Post with a purpose. Stop writing fluff pieces. Before you start, consider how your content will be different than everything that is already out there. What do you want the reader to take away from it? Why should they care about the topic? Go in with a plan and a focus on quality.

Be mindful about the content you are producing and the value it adds. Drive a connection with your customers so they want to engage with what you have to say, rather than keep scrolling by. Whether you’re focused on social media or blogging, Grammar Chic can help you get noticed for the right reasons with a solid content marketing plan.

Find out how we can help you and your business by contacting us today at www.grammarchic.net or (803) 831-7444.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content Marketing

Why Content Marketing is Right for This Moment

What comes next?

That’s the question many of us are asking as the pandemic rages on. The year 2020 has been buffeted by disruption and uncertainty, and there’s really no telling what the next few months will bring. Understandably, most of us have our anxieties: Anxieties about our children’s education, about politics, about money, about the businesses we own.

For the most part, we don’t know any more than you do, and won’t venture a guess as to what 2021 has in store. But one thing we can say is that, as you consider your business plans for the coming year, it would be wise to consider making content marketing a part of it.

Content marketing is actually very well-suited for the current cultural moment. Allow us to tell you why.

Why Now’s the Time for Content Marketing

1) Because it’s never been more valuable to connect with your customers.

We know: It’s such a cliché. And you’ve no doubt been inundated with emails beginning with “in these unprecedented times…

But the reality is, we’re all craving some regularity, some sense of connectedness, some inkling that things may return to an approximation of normal. Content marketing can provide you with an excellent way of providing those things for your customers and clients. Maybe you’re looking for an email newsletter to keep clients apprised of new store policies or COVID safety measures. Maybe you need a social media campaign to inform folks that things will be business-as-usual during the holiday shopping center. Whatever your specific communication needs, content marketing can be an asset.

2) Because content marketing breeds trust.

By the time 2021 rolls around, there’s no telling what the economy’s going to look like… but right now, the projections are all showing fairly modest growth. What this means is that consumers and B2B clients are likely going to be more cautious than before about parting ways with their hard-earned-money.

So how can you convince your target audience to spend their dime on your product or service? Old-fashioned, ham-fisted advertising methods are proving themselves to be less and less effective. But earning the trust and goodwill of clients, by showcasing your expertise and thought leadership, can be just the thing. And again, that’s really what content marketing is all about.

3) Because content marketing is highly scalable.

A lot of companies are heading into 2021 with scaled-back marketing budgets. Here again, content marketing may be just what you need. Content marketing is made to scale, and it’s very easy to start with a modest scope and build into something more robust over time. Additionally, content marketing provides plenty of options for tracking and reporting, allowing you to see exactly what’s working and what’s not, then allocating marketing dollars accordingly.

Content marketing can also bring some flexibility to your team. Unable to hire a full-time marketing person? Outsourcing to a content marketing agency like Grammar Chic can be a cost-effective alternative. Or, if you have a marketing team that’s stretched a little thin, Grammar Chic can offer coverage on content creation and distribution, freeing your employees to invest in other forms of value-adding creative or technical work.

The bottom line: If your business is looking for something nimble and elastic, both from a budgetary standpoint and a workforce standpoint, content marketing may be the right way to proceed.

4) Because content marketing can help you build something new.

We understand that a lot of entrepreneurs are going to need to be flexible and creative in order to stay afloat in 2020; this might mean rebranding, launching a new line of products and services, or even creating a side hustle.

If you’re trying something new, you’ll want to promote it. Content marketing provides a great way to generate word-of-mouth buzz in an authentic, organic way. Start creating a community around your new venture via engaging social media content, blog posts, and beyond.

We can help you do it. Grammar Chic, Inc. is always over the moon to work with small business owners, and we’re especially passionate about showing how content marketing can be the perfect thing for this strange season of life.

If you’d like to chat with us about any of this, we welcome you to reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. today.

Connect with us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content Marketing

Why Content Marketing is Going to Be Hot in a Post-COVID World

We’ll start with the ubiquitous cliché: COVID-19 has changed everything. In the weeks, months, and years to come, we’ll all see even more clearly how it’s disrupted our world and changed our behavior. The marketing world is by no means exempt; it may be a good long while before we have a full reckoning of how the pandemic has impacted consumer behavior, and what that means for our efforts to advertise and promote.

Marketing After COVID

With that said, we can certainly make a few preliminary hypotheses.

  • Traditional advertising is going to become all but gone. Many of us are going to be spending more time at home, fearful of too much exposure to the open air; as such, things like highway billboards just aren’t going to offer the same return on investment. Similarly, in a culture increasingly germ-aware, physical totems, such as direct mailers, are going to become obsolete.
  • Traditional TV advertising is also likely to shift toward a digital, programmatic model… if only because the quarantine has led more people to start consuming content on their devices, focusing more on streaming services, YouTube, and short-form social media content over broadcast TV.
  • In light of the pandemic’s economic fallout, many of us are going to have tight budgets. We’re not going to want to part with our hard-earned money just because some ham-fisted sales pitch tells us to. Traditional sales tactics are going to become less and less effective.
  • For a long time, consumers are going to have questions about whether their favorite businesses and restaurants are still in business and about whether the new businesses that have sprung up are worth going to. Most of us will turn to Google to do some research before we physically venture to these businesses. Again, you can anticipate a lot of reluctance about heading away from home needlessly.

These are just a few of the changes we foresee to the marketing landscape… but what are the practical implications? For one thing, we think content marketing is going to become hotter than ever.

The Argument for Content Marketing

There are a few reasons why we suspect content marketing will thrive in a post-COVID world.

  • These days, we’re inundated with voices from the news, voices from politicians, voices from the medical profession… and at times, it can be hard to know who to listen to or who to trust. The most successful brands will be those that develop a reputation for clear, candid, and honest connection with their audience. Content marketing and thought leadership create that connection.
  • While the general public is going to be increasingly wary of being “advertised to,” we’ll arguably be more ready than ever for stories, which help us to empathize and to make some sense of a chaotic world. Content marketing is one of the best ways for brands to tell their stores… stories of who they are, who they serve, and what they value.
  • More than anything else, content marketing is poised for success because it meets people where they are. Sure, we’ll likely reach a point where people are once again eager and ready to spend time outside their homes, but it may be a good long while before we flock back to movie theaters and concerts. So how will people occupy their time? One answer is content that can be enjoyed anywhere, from the convenience of a phone, tablet, or other device.
  • As consumers seek information about their favorite old businesses, or try to discover favorite new businesses, content marketing provides a way to engage them, to inform them, to win their attention, and ultimately to gain their trust.

Nobody can predict for certain what the coming season will bring; not for the economy, not for COVID-19, not for marketing. But if you want to place a bet on something, content marketing looks right now to be a pretty safe choice.

Curious to learn more? We invite you to contact Grammar Chic, Inc. via 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content Marketing

Writing Prompts for Kids During the Time of COVID-19

This is a post for parents—and it’s a bit unlike other posts that we regularly publish on the Grammar Chic blog.  However, we thought that there is no time like the present to help moms and dads deal with their new reality of not only being a full-time parent, but also an interim teacher and instructor to their children.

We know that you might be feeling a little overwhelmed so we compiled this helpful list of writing prompts that could allow your elementary, middle school, or high school aged child to improve their communication, creative and critical thinking, self-awareness, and grammar skills as they learn from home—and also provide for some much needed time away from their devices and screens.  It’s even possible that maybe your child will use this time to discover a newfound love of writing and storytelling!  Indeed, that is something our team here at Grammar Chic can get behind.

The Benefits of Writing & Journaling

Putting pen or pencil to paper can not only help your child develop improved focus and thinking skills, it can also let them sort out their feelings and examine what is happening in their head. This leads to improved self-awareness and mindfulness that can prove to be a steadying force during trying and challenging times, no matter if we are talking about the current situation with COVID-19 or any other issue they will face in their future lives. Self-awareness developed through imagination and writing can reduce stress, help them know themselves better, and turn their attention away from situations that are beyond their control.

And there are benefits to you, as a parent, too.  Ultimately, by encouraging your child to use these writing prompts, you can gain insight into how they are dealing right now. You might be provided with a window into what is happening in their brain, which can help you help them on a different level. Or it could simply spur a new and fun conversation that you have not had before.

Writing Prompts for Elementary School Kids

  • 5 things that make me laugh.
  • If my pet could talk, it would say things like…
  • My favorite food is [X] because…
  • My favorite part of last week was…
  • My favorite thing about my family is…
  • If I had a magic genie who granted me three wishes, I would wish for…
  • I want to learn more about [X] because…
  • My favorite thing to do with my mom is [X] because…
  • My favorite thing to do with my dad is [X] because…
  • If I could go anywhere in the world, I would go to [X] because…

Writing Prompts for Middle Schoolers

  • What would you buy if you won the lottery? Why?
  • If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Why?
  • Write about something you are scared of…
  • Write about something you hope will happen…
  • If you could meet any famous person, who would it be? Why?
  • What is your favorite subject in school? Why?
  • Oh, no, I’m quarantined, and I can’t…
  • If you could meet someone from any time in history, who would it be? Why?
  • What is your favorite memory?
  • The house was so quiet, but then I heard…
  • What is your favorite animal? If it could talk, what would you ask it?
  • Write about something that you lost in your life and miss…
  • The BEST/WORST ways the quarantine has affected my family…

Writing Prompts for High Schoolers

  • What do you think courage is? Write about a time when you were courageous…
  • What is the most important issue facing teenagers today?
  • What is your favorite thing to do? Who do you do it with? Why do you think it’s fun?
  • Write about going shopping at the mall. What would you buy if money were no object?
  • If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be and what would be the first thing you would do?
  • Write about a time when your parents embarrassed you.
  • What is the best advice you have been given?
  • Have you ever broken your promise? What happened?
  • What do you believe is a big problem in the world? How would you fix it?
  • Write about a good book you have read recently…
  • What have you liked about quarantine and what have you disliked?
  • Describe what the word “hero” means to you. Do you know anyone who is a hero? Or who do you consider a hero?

We hope that you and your family spark some interesting conversations with these prompts—and of course, we hope that you are healthy and well. Indeed, we live in interesting times, but here at Grammar Chic, we are deeply passionate about the written word and how it can offer transformation. For more information about our company, visit www.grammarchic.net or call 803-831-7444.

1 Comment

Filed under Editing, Writing

Content Strategy and Coronavirus: How Companies Can Stay Connected

 

Content marketing has long been championed as a way for businesses and brands to meaningfully connect with their customers and clients.

Of course, few of us could have guessed just how precious connectivity would become in the era of COVID-19.

As more of us hunker down for self-quarantine and social distancing, a feeling of isolation runs rampant; a lot of us feel estranged from our former lives and routines, and distant from any sense of community.

While businesses and brands can’t create that sense of community out of thin air, they can offer their support, deploying content strategy to help customers and clients feel at least a little bit normal and connected.

This in turn can help companies foster a sense of goodwill and brand loyalty, something that could pay off down the road, once we all have coronavirus in the rearview mirror.

But what are some ways in which content strategy can be implemented even amidst COVID-19’s disruptions?

Content Tips for the Middle of a Pandemic

Here’s what we’d recommend.

  • Build consistency. More than ever, your audience craves a sense of the familiar. You can create that for them just by being consistent in your content. That doesn’t mean you have to post constantly, but maybe you can develop some kind of routine… for example, a #ThankfulThursday post to highlight some good news, or a regular Monday greeting from one of your employees, just to say hi and provide a sense of cheer.
  • Promote (and not just your own services). There are a lot of people hurting right now, and a lot of ways in which people can help. Use your content channels to shine a light on charities, non-profits, or other resources that people might find valuable. This is a good and decent thing to do, but it may also have business benefits: You might engender goodwill from your community, and you might help your audience feel connected to you in a sense of common mission.
  • Communicate what’s different (and what’s the same). Of course, your content and social media channels are a good avenue for you to let people know of any disruptions or changes to your normal services. But you can also use them to let people know what’s the same! There’s certainly nothing wrong with telling your followers that you’re still providing products for delivery, that you can serve them online, etc. Plug your business a little bit and show your audience that there is still some normalcy.

Now more than ever, we all feel a need to connect. If you’re looking for ways to connect with your clients and customers, reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. We’d love to help you with COVID-19 communication strategies, or any other content needs you may have.

Reach out at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content Marketing, Social Media

Communicating in the Time of Coronavirus

What are you even supposed to say to someone in a time of unprecedented challenge, uncertainty, and loss? It’s not a rhetorical question; it’s something all of us have struggled with in recent days, fumbling for the right words, sifting meaningful reassurances from clichés and platitudes.

The reality is that none of our words are quite sufficient for the magnitude of a global pandemic. Nevertheless, they’ve never been more essential. We need words now as much as ever as we seek to convey our empathy, our need, our solidarity, and our hope.

We need meaningful, heartfelt words for the people we love. And, businesses and brands need clear, precise language to let their customers and employees know that they, too, are doing everything they can to foster connection and weather this storm.

No doubt you’ve already been flooded with emails from companies letting you know their COVID-19 policies, changes to normal operat

ion, perhaps even ways you can pitch in and help those who are truly struggling.

And if you are a business owner who hasn’t yet found the right words or the proper tone, there is still time. A simple newsletter, email blast, or Facebook post can go a long way toward letting your audience know you’re with them in this time of crisis.

Now’s the time to speak your heart, and what’s important isn’t eloquence so much as authenticity. With that said, we can offer just a few tips on wise, clear communication in the time of coronavirus.

Communicating Amidst Coronavirus

  • The most important thing is just showing that you care. If ever there was a time to just reach out to your customers and employees, without any underlying agenda, just to tell them you’re around and you’re feeling the confusion, too… well, now is that time.
  • Be proactive in articulating key information. Don’t leave your customers to guess about suspensions of your normal services, or abbreviations to your hours of operation. Keep in contact and let people know how your company is handling the coronavirus. Be proactive in communicating any changes as they arise.
  • Consider some options for sacrificial service. What can your company do to make your clients’ lives just a little easier? Whether it’s free shipping or flexible pricing, every gesture is welcome. Note, these gestures might also make it easier for your customers to support you and your business.
  • Inspire action. Something else you can do with your business communications: Provide links or suggestions for ways your clients can help those in need. Send out information about charities or causes that are making a positive impact during this scary season.
  • Audit your current content calendar. If you have any scheduled blog posts or tweets that might come across as glib or insensitive, now might be the time to pull them and hold them for better days.

And in all seriousness: We truly do believe better days are coming. Until then, the Grammar Chic team sends our encouragement and solidarity to all of you. Hang in there. Stay healthy. Take care of each other. And stay in touch.

1 Comment

Filed under Business Writing, Social Media

What the Coronavirus Teaches Us About Content Marketing

Kind of an odd headline, huh?  I know—I am well aware that it seemed like a stretch when I started pondering recent current events and their correlation to the topic of content marketing.  On the surface (no pun intended, and I have been wiping everything down with Clorox wipes around here, FYI) it might appear that this pandemic and the content marketing practice have nothing in common. However, as I have tried to digest the seemingly constant and ever evolving stream of information that we all have been inundated with, I started to realize something.  Ultimately, the overall handling of the Coronavirus is essentially a lesson in what not to do when it comes to content marketing.

The Handling of Coronavirus is a How-To Guide for Bad Content Marketing

Below, you will find a couple of themes I have noticed as it relates to the communication strategy (or lack thereof) and the “Corona Crud” as I have taken to calling it:

  1. Have you noticed that there doesn’t seem to be anyone actually in charge of the overall messaging? Have you realized that at any given point in time, varied streams of information (as well as misinformation) come at us faster than we can say “Wash Your Hands!”? Indeed, it’s been dizzying to keep up with and hard to essentially figure out what is true and trustworthy (and if it comes from a reputable source) and what is just plain nonsense.

The Lesson: When it comes to content marketing, having too many proverbial scientists handling the petri dish is a recipe for disaster.  It is necessary to put one person who is knowledgeable, confident, and focused in charge and discourage involvement from other people who want to interject their own messaging or create alternate information streams. There is too much room for error in this regard.

  1. Writing for the sake of writing is bad news. And this has definitely been true with regard to Coronavirus. Hearsay and speculation have run rampant; rumors about miracle treatments, secret labs, and even the CDC’s need for men to shave off their beards to prevent the virus from spreading have abounded. News outlets have worked overtime in producing “click bait” articles that provide little new information but attract the attention of anxious readers eager to learn more. At the end of the day, the agencies in charge have struggled to keep up and have even noted that it’s possible that we are facing an “infodemic.”

 

The Lesson: Producing content for the sake of producing content is a terrible approach. In content marketing, the content that is made public should have a purpose and you have to work to control the spread of information that hurts rather than helps. Admittedly, the WHO and CDC have a big job—they are trying to ensure the public has good information, but they have found themselves unable to control bad content leaking and multiplying from other sources (and some of those sources, frankly speaking, come from the very highest levels of our government).

 

  1. Negative associations can hurt your brand. This isn’t so much about Coronavirus as it is about Corona—the beer. There is a lot in a name. And what’s worse than loose associations centered around a name? Ill-timed marketing campaigns that promise “coming ashore soon” at the exact same moment as when the first cases of Coronavirus started popping up on the U.S. Pacific coast.  Yes, Corona (the beer) actually released a campaign like this—just recently—for its hard seltzer.  The company has tried to reinforce that there is no correlation between their beer and the virus, but bad messaging and misinformation, coupled with consumer fear has the ability to hurt the brand.

The Lesson: Believing that an audience will form logical conclusions without your help, guidance, and reassurance isn’t the best strategy.  If something damaging could be associated with your brand—no matter how far-fetched—work to stop the issue proactively and ensure that your own marketing efforts aren’t being used to reinforce an already ridiculous theory or belief. Again, it’s necessary to remain constantly aware of what is being communicated—no matter if it’s coming from you or another source.

A Good Content Strategy Promotes Real Information

At the end of the day, Coronavirus is a serious situation—and people deserve to trust the information that is being published about this virus. The people and agencies who have microphones, global platforms, and Twitter accounts have a responsibility to share truthful and reliable information. There is a great responsibility placed upon the people in charge of a communication strategy to be transparent and knowledgeable about the content they share.  The conveying of misinformation or messages that negates expert advice is not only a disservice to the public, it is unethical—and this is true no matter what your content strategy is looking to communicate or promote.

At Grammar Chic, we fully subscribe to the idea of creating content that goes viral (no pun intended). However, that content must be based on facts, clear messaging, and benefit the end user. For more information, contact us today by visiting www.grammarchic.net or call 803-831-7444.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content Marketing