Tag Archives: Approach to Content Marketing

What are You Trying to Accomplish with Your Content Marketing?

Hand Drawing Content Flow Chart

Suppose someone were to ask you: What are your goals for your company’s content marketing campaign? What is it that you’re trying to accomplish?

You may wonder whether there’s a right answer to this question—but the truth is, there isn’t, except to say that it varies. Different businesses bring different initiatives to content marketing. They look to do different things. And that’s okay. There is room enough in content marketing to accommodate a wide range of strategies and goals.

What we recommend here at Grammar Chic is simply this: Think about what’s most important to you. Think about what you might accomplish through content marketing, and set your priorities. Then align both your execution and your reporting to reflect these goals. If you’re not sure about how to do any of this, you can always call us for a consultation.

Before setting your goals, though, it’s good to have a sense of what all content marketing can do. You might actually be surprised by this.  There are plenty of good and worthy achievements you can reach through your content marketing efforts, and knowing some of the options can help you to set lofty yet attainable goals.

Let us show you what we mean.

Content Marketing Goals to Consider

Here are just a few of the things you might set out to do with your content marketing efforts.

Brand awareness. People aren’t going to do business with you if they don’t know what you stand for, or are unaware that you even exist. Good, original content can address this problem. The idea is that a consumer might stumble upon your company blog post and like it so much they ask, Who wrote this?

Website traffic. A more conventional and easy-to-track metric, one thing content can do is send people to your site. Intrinsic to this is having a site that is ready to capture and convert leads—meaning good content on the site itself, forms and e-mail list to grab hold of people, etc.

Educated clients. Something else you can strive for: Preparing your clients to do business with you. Use content to inform them about your industry and products; to make them aware of problems and solutions. This can smooth your sales and customer services processes.

Retention and upsells. Good content can help you get customers, but it can also help you maintain them. Content marketing can be a form of ongoing product support or client involvement—keeping them tuned in to what your company does and letting them know of new products or services that they can use.

Trust. Content speaks to authority; when done right, it shows that you know what you’re doing. In an age of e-commerce, where many consumers are still just a little wary of doing business online, this is an important way to reassure potential clients and customers that you’re trustworthy.

We’ll ask again, then: What are you trying to accomplish with your content marketing? Let us help you though some of the possibilities, and figure out a way to turn your goals into realities. Contact Grammar Chic to learn more: www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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Filed under Blog Writing, Business Writing, Content Marketing, Content Writing

From the Grammar Chic Mailbag

mailbag

And now for something a little different.

Here at Grammar Chic, we blog, tweet, and opine fairly regularly on topics related to content marketing, online copywriting, and social media management—so as you might imagine, we receive some interesting questions and provocative inquiries from time to time. Many of these questions are weirdly specific—like when you should use further versus farther, or what’s the plural for hypothesis—but many are more broadly interesting questions about the best strategies for digital marketing success.

Some of these questions come via Facebook or blog comments; others, by email or even directly from some of our clients. We hope these answers are informative. If so, we may even dip into the ol’ mailbag again, sooner or later…

With that said… on to our first question:

Hi, Grammar Chick! (Is that how you pronounce it?) You guys talk all the time about content marketing, and how social media is an important component of it—but do your content marketing strategies ever encompass paid posts, sponsored tweets, etc? Sincerely, Jason

Thanks for the letter, Jason—and actually, it’s pronounced like sheik. But as for your main question: We’re big believers in organic content development—meaning that you need to grow your number of social media followers not simply by writing big checks to Facebook and to Twitter, but rather by providing them with content that keeps them engaged. Paid ads are not without their place, and can be great for jacking up those numbers and boosting your visibility on key social platforms—but if you’re not coupling them with really engaging content, the kind that turns social media followers into true brand advocates, then you’re not really getting your money’s worth.

The short answer: We’d be lying if we said we never considered paid posts, but it’s by no means a major component in our content marketing strategy.

On to another…

Hi, Grammar Chic team. I get what you guys are saying about the need for regular social media updates—but so long as I’m posting interesting articles or cute photos, I don’t really need to have my own blog, do I? I mean, isn’t that a little much? Yours truly, Sylvia

We get this question all the time, Sylvia, from blogging skeptics—and in fact, it was basically the impetus for our popular Netflix-themed blog from a couple months ago. Truthfully, though, we recommend blogging to virtually all our content marketing clients. The blog is your avenue for posting truly original, distinct content; without it, you’re not a content creator so much as a curator. While curating content has its place, users will eventually realize that you’re not offering them anything they can’t get elsewhere, making a blog necessary for sustaining long-term interest and loyalty.

Another reach into the mailbag:

Thank you, Grammar Chic, for handling my content marketing needs. I look forward to seeing the results—probably by first thing tomorrow morning, right? Respectfully, Jim

Well, not exactly, Jim. While our content marketing team does move pretty fast, and will likely start work on your campaign within 24-48 hours, if not sooner, we urge you to remember that content marketing is all about building relationships—and that doesn’t happen over night. Content marketing requires an investment over the long haul; you need to have the right expectations, rather than assuming this process will work overnight magic.

That about does it for today’s Grammar Chic mailbag. If you’d like us to address any particular question or issue in a future post, we invite you to contact us today: Call 803-831-7444, or visit http://www.grammarchic.net.

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Chain of Command: Who Handles Your Content Marketing?

establishing a chain of command

There’s an old expression—you have to win by not losing. It’s used everywhere from financial planning to poker, and it also has some resonance for content marketing. One of the best ways to develop a winning, long-term content marketing strategy is to avoid failing or getting burned out in the early stages. In other words, you’ve got to lay the foundation for success even before you start developing and distributing your content.

This includes broaching a number of practical questions: Where will you publish your content? With what frequency? When will content actually be written and reviewed, and when will comments and retweets be responded to?

And don’t forget this important question: Who is actually going to do your content marketing?

The Importance of a Content Marketing Chain of Command

It is critically important that you formally assess who’s doing what in terms of your company’s content marketing campaign—that you assign responsibilities and make it clear that those responsibilities are meant to be maintained. This might mean making one person your dedicated content marketing person, and having him or her devote a few hours each week to writing blogs and updating the social media pages. It might mean, as the small business owner, that you do it all yourself. In some cases, it might even mean that your team members take turns writing weekly blogs—though this approach requires discipline and organization!

This is an important step to take because, frankly, content marketing is easy to put off. It’s critical to your company’s success, and yet it often feels like it’s less than urgent. If you don’t assign it to someone and allow them time to do it, chances are it just won’t get done.

The Question of Who

This doesn’t address the important question of who should do your company’s content marketing. There is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all answer here; it depends a bit on the makeup of your organization, and the specific gifts and talents represented.

Many small business owners feel like it’s up to them to handle the content marketing. There is some merit to this: Even if you’re not particularly experienced in online marketing, you do understand your company’s voice and vision better than anybody else—and that’s not for nothing.

The problem, of course, is that small business owners often lack the time they need to handle content marketing, which is why delegation is often the only answer. A team sales professional might make sense, though again, it depends on availability and other responsibilities. Some companies might even give content marketing duties to a part-time employee or an intern, which might work—but it’s vital to ensure that this individual has a grasp on the company’s vision and goals, which is often not the case.

Of course, outsourcing your content marketing is another option, and in many ways the one that makes the most sense. You will still need someone on your team to manage these outsourced efforts, but the time commitment here is exponentially less than it would be if you did all the work in-house.

The Grammar Chic, Inc. team stands ready to consult with your business about outsourcing its content marketing. To learn more, call us today at 803-831-7444 or visit http://www.grammarchic.net.

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Good Idea, Bad Idea: The ACME Approach to Content Marketing

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Mr. Skullhead’s brief interventions in Animaniacs and Tiny Toon Adventures make up some of the most entertaining (and informative) cartoonage ever drawn. The segments consist of “Good Idea, Bad Idea” sketches that are just as applicable to content management, social media, and marketing in general. Like this one:

Good Idea: “Giving your dog a bath.”

Bad Idea: “Having your dog dry-cleaned.”

Applying the same principles as “Good Idea, Bad Idea,” here are a few examples we’ve thrown together for media strategists and content marketers.

Good Idea: Staying active on newsfeeds

There’s a fine line between posting on social media and overwhelming followers. Stick to a publishing schedule so your content surfaces when your market groups are active on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. Mix up your posts by striking a balance between entertainment and information.

Bad Idea: Being actively fed to newsfeeds

The prospects of such a thing are daunting. Friends would be sharing you all over the place and would like every second of it. What would be worse? Being fed to a newsfeed and never being liked, shared, or even noticed.

Good Idea: Publishing content on a blog

Blogs are highly searchable, uniform, and easy to turn into a pseudo-homepage. Company-operated blogs should have everything from contact info and links to fresh content and easy media opportunities for quick shares and likes.

Bad Idea: Publishing content off a blog

Who would ever see it? No one. Most people stumble onto websites and avoid the “blog” section and are instead routed there through outside sources. Not only are blogs effective, they are easy to use and easy to share on social media.

Good Idea: Keeping your fans up to date

Use social media, blogs, and websites to inform your clients and followers. They follow you because they are interested — don’t let them down.

Bad Idea: Keeping your fans on a date

Sounds like a hostage situation. Put in marketing terms, this is when a media manager tries too hard to force one-on-one conversations. Don’t push too hard or else you might lose more than an existing follower.

Good Idea: Redesigning a website

Websites are an online marketer’s primary hub of activity. It’s where social media, content, and other assets come together. Building up an active website takes time and a bit of investment, of course, but it’s never too late to simplify navigation, cut down on slow-loading images, and write up some fresh content.

Bad Idea: Being redesigned by a website

Sounds like a self-replicating machine, though any website with the ability to redesign an actual person is a terrifying thought. Still, it would be nice to hit the “home” button and wind up on the front lawn.

Good Idea: Listening to your audience

Farm your followers, commenters, and business networks for content ideas. This creates more hype from a reader’s perspective and is a great way to break out of a slump. When in doubt, ask your fans on social media what they want to read about.

Bad Idea: Listening to the silence

What a dismal end for a content writer. Without monitoring the success of blogs, posts, and other assets, not to mention outright ignoring comments, a blog or media account has no chance of drawing in business.

Good Idea: Tweeting to be heard

Tweet away all you want as long as your 140-character messages are informative and entertaining. You can also use Twitter as a way to advertise deals, discounts, blogs, and new releases.

Bad Idea: Tweeting to be absurd

Nothing kills off Twitter followers like saying something arrogant or wrong. Avoid posting anything that is reaching too far (e.g. tying your craft business to a pop star) or controversial.

Good Idea: Asking for help

You have resources and need to use them. Only have 100 Facebook fans? Find out what others are doing and apply similar principles to your own campaign. As a side note, it is helpful to stay up with content trends by paying attention to popular blogs and marketing websites.

Bad Idea: Asking for help from yourself

What more can you say? You’ve extended the possibilities, are out of ideas, and no one is reading your blogs or sharing your content. Branch out.

And there it is, our short rundown on “Good Idea, Bad Idea: Marketing Edition.” There are countless little quips to consider, though like most successful marketers, we understand the golden rule of content: Too much is asking for trouble.

In closing, another favorite from Mr. Skullhead:

Good Idea: “Feeding stray kittens in the park.”

Bad Idea: “Feeding stray kittens in the park to a bear.”

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