Category Archives: Content Writing

Why Content Marketing is Perfect for Brand New Companies

Launching a new company is always a little daunting—and one of the greatest challenges of all is building a name and a reputation. A well-established brand like Coca Cola can fall back on decades of associations and general consumer familiarity; when you have a startup that nobody’s ever heard of, though, generating buzz can feel like an uphill climb.

One of the best ways to stake out a name for your company is to invest in content marketing. Indeed, we’d say that content marketing is uniquely helpful for brand new businesses—and we’ll tell you why.

Content Marketing Makes You Credible

Why should consumers trust you with their hard-earned money—especially when you don’t have much of a track record to fall back on? To cut through their distrust and cynicism, it’s vital that you prove yourself to be reputable and authoritative.

Content marketing can help you do that. You can display real thought leadership, and offer invaluable insight and advice. You can prove that you know what you’re talking about through helpful blog posts, how-to videos, etc.

The secret here? You have to give away content that’s actionable and valuable. That’s the only way buyers will know that they can trust you to truly help them.

Content Marketing Drives Traffic

The website of a brand-new, not-yet-established business offers limited interest to the average consumer. Social media posts and blog entries that speak more immediately to consumer needs, though—those things can grab attention. And in doing so, they can also send people to your website.

Content marketing is the gateway. It’s what gets people through the door. But once they’re in, you can use compelling calls to action to point them to your website, where you can lead them down the sales funnel. As a subset of that, you can always use content marketing to grow your contact list; for instance, by asking for a name and email address in exchange for a really compelling white paper or downloadable PDF.

Content Marketing Can Clarify Your Value Proposition

The bottom line, really, is that consumers may have a hard time wrapping their head around what, exactly, your new business offers—or what’s in it for them. Content marketing can be your vessel for identifying problems and pointing to your company as the solution. And by showcasing your know-how in a non-salesy way, you can ultimately help consumers feel more comfortable doing business with you, providing them a better sense of how you can deliver value—and how they can benefit.

If you’re starting a new business, you can use content marketing to get a head start on your branding—and we’d like to help. Have a conversation with the Grammar Chic content marketing team today: Reach out at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Business Writing, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Social Media

Are You Undermining Your Own Content Marketing?

We meet a lot of small business owners who have only the best intentions for their own content marketing efforts—but, well, you know what they say about good intentions. Sometimes, you can be totally committed to a content marketing plan but also subtly, unintentionally undermine it, diminishing its impact through a haphazard or misguided strategy.

We’ll show you what we mean. Below, we’ll list some common ways in which content marketing is set up to fail. We’d encourage you to steer clear of any of these potentially disastrous practices.

Common Errors in Content Marketing

Putting Together a Sloppy Editorial Calendar—or No Editorial Calendar at All

You should have a basic road map for your upcoming blog posts and social media shares; we’d recommend planning at least a week in advance. This ensures that, even on a busy day, you still have an idea of what you’re supposed to be posting that day, and that there aren’t any gaps in your social sharing. A slapdash editorial calendar—or the complete lack of one—means you’re marketing without a clear sense of the big picture. If you need help putting together a good, well-organized editorial calendar, contact Grammar Chic, Inc.

Pouring All Your Effort into One Type of Content

Variety is needed for a strong content strategy. Blogs are usually going to be foundational, but we also recommend emails, white papers, video, images and infographics, and more. Don’t get stuck in a rut.

Having the Wrong Goals

It’s great to dream of your content going viral—but not only is that unlikely, it’s also unneeded. You need your content to resonate with a specific, targeted audience—the local consumers who might buy from you. That’s both a more modest goal and a more achievable one.

Not Sharing Enough

How many times do you share a company blog post, on average? If the answer is just once, you need to up the ante and start getting more mileage out of your content!

Not Considering Mobile Users

Do your blog posts and company Web pages look good on mobile devices of all kinds? If you’re not sure, now is the time to check—and to ask your Web developer for some help if you don’t like what you see. You can’t afford to leave mobile users out in the cold, as they likely make up more than half of your user base.

Ignoring Metrics

Metrics and analytics show you how well your content is performing, and which types of content seem to get the most traction with your readers. To ignore your metrics is to fly blind through your content marketing efforts.

Bring it All Together

There are a lot of little ways in which your content marketing efforts can come up short—which is why we recommend working under the guidance of professionals. We’d love to chat with you about breathing new life into your content marketing. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. to learn more, either at www.grammarchic.net or at 803-831-7444.

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Filed under Content Marketing, Content Writing, Social Media

5 Things That Compromise Your Mobile SEO

When someone pulls out their smartphone to search for a local business—whether they’re sitting at home on the couch or walking down the street, plotting the next phase of their errand-running—you want them to find your business. That’s why you have invested in a good mobile website. It’s why you keep up with the rigors of mobile SEO.

But be careful: There are a number of things that can cause those mobile SEO efforts to fall flat. Here are just a few of them—things to be careful of as you try to reach as many mobile consumers as you can.

Where Mobile SEO Goes Wrong

Slow Site Speed

Did you know that a majority of Google search users say they give up on a site if it takes more than three seconds to load? Three seconds! That’s not a lot of time to get your page up and running. Do some tests, on multiple devices, to make sure it loads quickly—and if it doesn’t, talk with your developer about how to speed things up. (Some possible solutions: Remove large images and video files from your home page, or create shorter content for your mobile pages.)

Pop-Up Ads

Not only are pop-ups potentially draining to your site speed, but they can also take up the entirety of a mobile browser screen—and if they are hard to get rid of, users will likely just navigate away. Even if your pop-up has a really killer CTA, you should think seriously about jettisoning it.

Unplayable Content

Does your video/multimedia content play properly on all types of devices? Are you sure? Not only does this content cause slow speeds (again), but it can be really frustrating when it doesn’t work—and it frequently doesn’t.

Generally Bad Mobile Design

Your site should be easy to read and to navigate on all types of mobile device—period. Tiny fonts, cluttered screens, hyperlink text that can’t be read—these are all deal-breakers.

Bland or Mushy Content

Mobile users need you to get right to the point, which means your content should immediately convey value—and come with plenty of strong calls to action. If it doesn’t, you shouldn’t be surprised when the site fails to make much of an impact.

Step Up Your Mobile SEO

There are a number of potential problems that can drag down your mobile SEO efforts—but none of them are problems without solutions.

If your issue is content-related—if you don’t know the best way to make your value proposition punchy, or if you need help crafting the perfect CTA—we’d love to talk with you.

Contact the Grammar Chic content writing team for a consultation today. Reach us at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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6 User Experience Errors That Will Sink Your Content Marketing

We’re often asked about the best strategies to marry content marketing with effective SEO. The basic premise is really simple: If you want to find favor with search engine algorithms, it’s important to first find favor with human readers. Making your content easy to discover, to read, and to digest—that’s all Google really wants you to do.

An implication of this is that, if you sacrifice the user experience—if you create content that doesn’t provide value to the reader, or that makes that value difficult to excavate—it’s inevitable that you’ll see a drop-off in Google traction.

This introduces a question. Is your content user-friendly? Or, to come at it from a different angle, are you doing anything in your company blog posts and in your Web content that’s compromising the user experience—and, thus, sinking your SEO?

Allow us to point out just a few common user experience errors that can make your content difficult to digest—and thus, less likely to find favor with Google’s algorithms.

Where Content Marketing Goes Wrong

Insufficient Substance/Length

We’ve blogged recently about word count, and about how there’s no simple answer to the question of how long your content should be. With that said, the basic principle to keep in mind is that you need to offer value without fluff—and a blog post that’s just 200 words probably isn’t fully addressing your readers’ questions. Aim for posts that really tackle your topic thoroughly and substantively; skimpy posts do not provide for a satisfying user experience any more than overly long, rambling ones do.

Bland and Boring Layouts

What’s the old saying about pictures and words? Well, we’d say you need both. A boring, black-and-white layout isn’t going to capture the reader’s attention. Make sure you embed pictures, videos, and other rich and colorful content into your blog posts and throughout your website.

Misspellings or Bad Grammar

If your content is laden with typos, it’s not going to come across as trustworthy or authoritative—so you can’t expect to see much in the way of backlinks. Readers won’t put up with poorly proofed content for long.

Unbroken Content

You need content breaks to make your posts easier to maneuver—and to skim. Make sure you break things down with section subheadings, bullet points, lists, etc.

Rambling Paragraphs

Similarly, avoid unbroken streams of text that just run on and on forever. Short paragraphs are key!

No Call to Action

A good blog post or website will direct the reader to what they need to do next; it will crystalize their action steps. That’s what a CTA is all about—so don’t neglect them!

Write Content That Gets Read

Our suggestion for you? Talk with Grammar Chic about improving the user experience in your content. We know how to write content that gets read—and content that gets ranked. Reach out to us at 803-831-7444, or at www.grammarchic.net, to start a conversation.

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Why Small Businesses Don’t Pursue Content Marketing

The benefits of content marketing are well-established. If anything, they have only been vindicated and solidified in recent years, with more and more marketing firms doubling down on content and study after study confirming content marketing’s mettle.

Those benefits—increased brand visibility and authority, more consumer trust, qualified leads, thought leadership—would seem like no-brainers for small business owners, but actually, some small companies remain resistant to content marketing. There are a few reasons why.

Reasons Against Content Marketing

A Lack of Strategy

One reason why small business owners shy away from making a content investment is that they just aren’t sure what they want to do with it—draw traffic to their website? Increase their brand prestige? Educate leads? Remarket to previous customers? To make content marketing work, you need to know what you’re trying to accomplish, something you can determine through talking over the possibilities with a firm like Grammar Chic.

A Lack of Time

Some small business owners, knowing full well that content marketing is an ongoing process, are worried about time commitments. That’s not really an argument against content marketing, though; rather, it’s an argument for bringing in a content development team. This will require a bit of a time commitment on the front end, as you work to get the content developers up to speed on your brand, but over time it can really be an efficient way to work.

Brand Concerns

If your company is a funeral home, an accounting office, or an automotive F&I provider, you might think that what you do just isn’t sexy enough for content marketing—but actually, all brands can benefit from cultivating trust and displaying thought leadership, and all companies can find a content angle that works for them.

Industry Red Tape

Highly regulated industries, such as financial planning firms and law practices, will impose some rules about what you can and cannot say in content marketing. This can be frustrating, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to write content that is valuable to your consumers.

Lack of Talent

You may not be a writer, plain and simple—and that’s okay! There are other ways for you to create content. Plus, you can always outsource the writing to a firm like Grammar Chic, where writing is what we do all day, every day.

Insufficient Data

Establishing a content marketing strategy will give you a data-backed baseline which you can then use to prove ROI. For your first month or two, you won’t have that kind of data, but really the only way to get it is to start putting up some content.

Overcoming Obstacles to Content Marketing

The bottom line: With the right counsel, you can work your way around any content marketing objective—and start reaping those benefits! Start the process today by reaching out to our team at Grammar Chic, Inc. You can visit us online at www.grammarchic.net or we invite you to call 803-831-7444.

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Filed under Business Writing, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Social Media

How to Write Great Content for Short Attention Spans

There is always more and more online content vying for readers’ attention—yet it seems like the average online attention span is getting shorter all the time.

This is something that any content marketer has to take into consideration. You need your content to be read and interacted with, yet your audience may have very little patience to sit through anything that isn’t totally optimized to keep them engaged.

So how do you optimize your written content? Here are a few tips to consider.

Start with Buyer Personas

People are going to be a lot more willing to read your content if it feels like it was written directly for them. That’s why you need to start with your audience, and ideally with a well-composed buyer persona. What are the pain points you need to address? What are the values? What kind of language should you be using—highly technical or extremely casual? And what do your readers ultimately want to gain from your content? To answer these questions, you have to have a pretty good sense of who you’re writing to.

Structure it Well

It’s also important to make sure you organize your content in a way that makes it easier to read—and, for that matter, to skim. Some ways to do so include:

  • Write in short paragraphs
  • Avoid long sentences
  • Use subject headings to break up the content
  • Use bulleted lists whenever you can
  • Make sure you end with a good summary of your main takeaways/action steps

Don’t Let Your Words Stand Alone

A plain black-and-white page of text is inevitably going to be a little boring, and strain the average reader’s attention span. Images, infographics, and embedded videos can spice things up significantly, while also helping to break up the content and make it more digestible.

Be Clear in Your Value Proposition

Put yourself in the shoes of your reader, and ask: What’s in it for me? The reader should be able to walk away from your content with some value, some specific benefit. You need to emphasize that value up front, both in your headline and in your introduction, ideally in the first paragraph. Let readers know that they will see a benefit from reading your content.

Don’t Be Afraid to Go Long

A final note: Short attention spans do not necessarily call for short content. There is still plenty of room for articles that go in-depth and provide more specific value. In fact, a reader with a short attention span may prefer these articles; a flimsy blog post may seem like a waste of time, while something more substantive may seem like it’s a lot more worthwhile.

You can create content that engages even the ficklest reader—but if you need an extra hand in enhancing your content, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Grammar Chic can help you write content that gets read and engaged with. Learn more at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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Filed under Blog Writing, Business Writing, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Social Media, Web Content

4 Ways to Do Content Marketing Throughout Your Work Day

We tend to think of content marketing in terms of content creation—that is, actually sitting down to make a blog post, a YouTube video, or a series of tweets. Content creation is definitely important, though it can also be time-consuming, which is precisely why many small business owners are daunted by it.

In addition to creation, though, there is also a role for documentation. Throughout your day, you can simply document what you are doing on different social media platforms, providing a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how your company works.

There are two advantages to this. One is that it humanizes your company. It makes it more approachable and relatable. Additionally, it’s something you can easily fold into your day, without it ever becoming too terribly time-consuming.

We’d encourage small business owners to look for little ways to document when they can, as part of their content marketing approach. We’ll offer four suggestions to help you get started.

Quick and Easy Content Ideas

Just take some behind-the-scenes photos. Whether it’s a photo of your employees, of a new product, or of some process that clients seldom get to see, a little casual and candid photography can help your social media followers relate to your business better. Post your photos to Instagram and Facebook.

Use Instagram and Snapchat Stories. We’d also recommend taking advantage of the Story functions on these two social platforms to provide spur-of-the-moment insights into what your company does. Again, the idea is just to be human and relatable. If you’re having a special employee lunch or starting a big new project, make that the focus for your story. Tell a narrative about your brand, even if it’s just the narrative of what’s going on at the office on a particular day.

Let people get to know your employees. Pick a different team member to spotlight each day, and let them take pictures on Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat. Make it into a day-in-the-life series, showing the different ways in which each team member contributes.

Do an impromptu live stream. Take just a minute to address your Facebook followers directly, using Live Stream to simply stop, say hi, or announce something special going on at the company that day. (You can and should be casual and informal here, but do pause long enough to plan what you’re going to say before you get started.)

Take it Further

We recommend some quick social media documentation as you’re able to do it, but only in conjunction with—not as a replacement for—a robust content marketing strategy.

We can help you assemble and implement one. Contact the Grammar Chic team today to schedule a consultation: www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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Filed under Content Marketing, Content Writing, Social Media