Tag Archives: brand management

7 Ways to Get Maximum Value from Your Company Blog Posts

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Just because you hit publish on a new company blog post, share it on social media, and email it to the folks on your subscription list, doesn’t mean the blog post is through. On the contrary, there are plenty of ways to repurpose older content and wring more value from it.

There are many benefits to repurposing old content, regardless of whether that content performed well or it didn’t. If you’ve got a blog post that failed you, repurposing it might allow you to give it a new lease on life—to salvage it and derive some value from all your hard work. Conversely, if you have a really popular and high-performing post, repurposing it can allow you to harness that momentum and reach even more people with your message.

And there are a number of effective ways to breathe new life into an older blog post, too. Here are seven that the Grammar Chic team recommends.

Update Older Posts

In most industries, trends shift and best practices change over time. As such, it may be worthwhile to revisit your most popular posts every year or so and see if a new iteration is needed. You can revise an older post with new statistics or trends, then share it all over again.

Optimize Older Posts

It can also be worth revisiting older posts to tweak their SEO features—inserting new title tags, meta descriptions, and keywords for some of your most effective posts, drawing on new analytics and more recent data.

Turn a Blog Post into an Infographic

Pull out the main talking points and put them into image form. Then share that image widely on your social media platforms!

Break Down Larger Posts

Often, a comprehensive, big-picture post can be whittled down into three or four smaller posts, which delve into specific topics a little more deeply. Provide readers with one overview post, and then some smaller supporting posts that get down into the nitty gritty.

Turn Long Posts into Downloadable Offers

You can also expand your more in-depth posts and format them into e-books or white papers, making them available as downloads on your company website.

Use Your Blog as Fodder for a Webinar

We’re big believers in webinars, and we know that sometimes a popular blog post can provide the blueprint you need for a really compelling online presentation.

Split a Post into an Email Series

A final thought: You can dissect a blog post and draw a few 50-to-100-word blurbs from it, then use those in an email series—a great way of providing added value to your subscribers!

Of course, all of this starts with creating compelling blog posts—and for that, we’re here to help. Contact the ghostwriting team at Grammar Chic today at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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

Help Your Employees Fall in Love with Content Marketing

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Here’s a little Valentine’s Day challenge for you: do something that makes your team members fall in love with content marketing. Instead of keeping your blog writing and social media posting in a silo, open it up for the entire company to own a stake in. Get the buy-in of key players in your organization, and start benefitting from their ideas, their inspiration, and their encouragement.

An impossible task, you say? Not at all. There are things you can start doing right now to make your content marketing more inclusive, and to bring non-marketing team members into the process.

It All Starts with Education

The first step is ensuring your colleagues and employees all know what content marketing actually is, and why it’s valuable. Have you ever hosted an employee in-service where you go over the content marketing basics? You can do it in a half an hour, probably, perhaps during a lunch meeting some day. Think of a way and a time when you can make the case for content marketing, and ensure everyone at your company has at least a basic idea of why it’s worth their support. Connect it to other departments, too; for example, make sure you explain how content marketing makes life easier for customer service reps, and how it brings in leads for the sales department.

Have a Vision

It’s important for people to know what content marketing is, but also how you want to portray the brand through content marketing. What are your values? What are the aspects of the company you want to emphasize? What are some of the buzzwords you use, the pieces of verbiage you employ when talking about your brand? Share all these things with the team. Provide them with a written reference/guide they can call upon, too.

Ask Team Members to Share Content

Most of the team members in your workplace will have personal Facebook and Twitter accounts—invaluable platforms for sharing the company’s blog posts and status updates. You can’t force them to do this, of course, and shouldn’t try—but it never hurts to ask. Express how meaningful it would be, and you may by surprised by how many employees rise to the challenge.

Seek Input

Once you’ve schooled your co-workers on what content marketing is and why it matters, you’re in a place where you can ask them for their feedback on current content endeavors. What’s working? What changes would they recommend? Take their feedback seriously. Also note that customer service and sales reps, who deal with customers directly, may have some great avenues for new topics—frequently asked questions from customers and leads.

Provide Tools for Collaboration

Finally, make it easy for team members to share images, memes, questions, articles, or anything else they think will be useful for the company’s content marketing endeavors. Something like a Dropbox or Google Drive folder can be just perfect. Simply offering a convenient, hassle-free way to submit content and ideas is a great way of involving others in the process.

The important thing is to open the doors of your content marketing mission; allow other team members to come alongside you. It can only make your efforts sharper, stronger, and more effective. Also, don’t hesitate to bring in the pros from Grammar Chic. Reach out to us at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net for a content marketing consultation.

 

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Filed under Content Marketing, Social Media

5 Trust Symbols to Add to Your Website

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Do customers trust your brand?

That’s always been an important question for businesses and sales professionals to address, but it’s taken on a new urgency in the era of digital commerce. After all, if you’re doing business primarily through your website, customers may never have a chance to look you in the eye, shake your hand, or freely question you about the nature of your products or services. This does not in any way mean that your products and services are less trustworthy, but it does mean that some customers will struggle; they will need additional reassurances.

The good news is, there are ways to offer precisely that, simply by adding trust symbols to your website. The concept of a trust symbol is pretty self-explanatory: Anything that signifies your company as reputable and reliable can qualify. The question is, what are some of the main trust symbols that can be added to a small business website?

Trust Symbols to Consider for Your Site

The answer can vary slightly from one company to the next, and your brand may not really qualify for every one of these five symbols—but it will certainly qualify for a couple of them. Adding them to your business website can make a huge difference in fostering trust-based relationships with your treasured clients.

  1. There is no better way to engender faith in your product than to put a seal up showing that you offer a money-back guarantee. Note that there are different types of guarantee you can use. An absolute guarantee promises that your product will never break. A risk-free guarantee, meanwhile, might say that if the product does break down, all your money will be refunded. This second type of guarantee can actually be better for building trust: Promising your product will never break can seem too good to be true, while offering no risk if it does break feels more genuine.
  2. Consumer testimonials. Have other people used your products or services and responded favorably? Ask them to write a quick testimonial on your behalf. Usually, a loyal and happy customer, when asked politely and authentically, will be happy to do this for you. We proudly display client testimonials on the Grammar Chic page, and believe them to be important in showing that we know our stuff.
  3. Similarly, if your business receives five-star reviews on Google or Facebook, consider having those reviews embedded or linked to from your site. Just be sure you monitor the reviews in case you get some bad ones that need addressing!
  4. Helpful content. Does the content on your site support and educate your client? Do you have product guides, FAQs, demos, and tutorial videos? All can be vital for building trust on your brand’s behalf, and allowing the customer to move forward in confidence.
  5. A strong About Us page. Finally, you can build trust on your page by ensuring you lay out the details of what your company stands for and what value it offers. Don’t underestimate how far this can go in assuaging customer fears!

With the right trust symbols added, your website can really instill buyer confidence. To learn more about these strategies, we encourage you to get in touch with Grammar Chic at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Blog Writing, Brand Management, Business Writing, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Web Content

5 Ways to Bring Humanity to Your Brand

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People like doing business with other people—not with faceless, personality-deficient corporate brands.

So if you’re looking to build real connections, and to convince your customers to trust you, it’s important that you present your brand with some humanity—a hard thing to quantify or to achieve, but essential nonetheless.

But how can you make your company come across as more approachable, more humane—without compromising your polish or your professionalism?

Consider these strategies:

  1. Use your actual team members in your marketing. If you want to put a human face on your business—well, why not actually use human faces? Involve the different people and personalities who work for your company. Put employee bios and photos on your website. Share behind-the-scenes employee photos on social media. And don’t resort to the use of stock photos; there’s no need, when you’ve got plenty of talented humans right under your roof!
  2. Encourage your employees to be brand ambassadors. You probably don’t want to force anyone to share branded content on their personal social media channels, but you can at the very least encourage them to post or tweet company blogs and status updates. Create a culture in which employees are eager to showcase the brand on social media; ensure that there is plenty of positive and entertaining content for them to share.
  3. Get your users involved. Encourage your social media followers to post pictures of your products being used, or to send in their stories and experiences related to your brand. Create a hashtag for them to use, and share some of the best submissions you get.
  4. Personalize your automated messages. Do you have automated e-mails that go out when people buy your products or sign up for your newsletter? Write a brief but creative message to use in these e-mails—something to lend your brand a little extra pizzazz.
  5. Write like a human. This one is the toughest, but perhaps also the most essential. In writing company content, avoid using jargon or needless technical terms. Instead, write naturally, conversationally, perhaps even humorously. Don’t write as The Company; write as a person. That’s what readers will connect to.

And that’s what this is all about: Creating marketing materials that will facilitate real relationships. That’s something you can only accomplish when you show some humanity.

Get help with your content marketing today: Contact Grammar Chic at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Brand Management

5 Easy Steps to Improve Your Online Reputation

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A reputation takes years to build, but only seconds to tear down—or at least, that’s the conventional wisdom.

And it’s true enough. At the same time, though, there are some simple online reputation tweaks you can make to give your brand an enhanced level of prestige among potential clients and search engine users.

These aren’t necessarily quick or instantaneous fixes, but they are fairly straightforward steps you can take today, putting in a preliminary effort as you seek to undo any damage that’s been done to your online reputation.

A Quick Reputation Management Action Plan

Some basic steps that we recommend:

Start by doing a Google search for your company name. There are actually two components to this. First, just type your company name into the search bar and see what the “suggested search terms” are, specifically noting your company’s name used in connection with complaint, fraud, or other negative terms. Then, actually complete a search and see what you can see on the first page of search results. (Anything past page one doesn’t really matter, quite honestly.)

Make a note of any negative terms you see. If you do see your company name mentioned in the same sentence as fraud or hoax or scam, or whatever else, write down what the term is, and start using that term as a keyword in some of your content marketing. This will take a bit of time and it will also take some creativity—you may have to write some articles that “debunk” the “scam” allegations, for instance—but in the long run it can be an effective way to suppress some of those negative search listings.

Read your reviews on Yelp, Google, and other online review services. Take a few minutes to do this each week. Say thanks for the good ones, offer customer service to customers who have issues, and don’t get involved with trolls or flamers. It is important to check your reviews regularly, lest negative reviews start to spiral out of control.

Scan social media—especially Facebook. Spend some time searching for mentions of your company, thanking people who say nice things, and, again, offering customer service to those who have complaints. You might consider deleting comments and blocking users if you have repeat offenders or obvious trolls—i.e., people who don’t have real problems.

Brainstorm some fresh content ideas. In the end, the best way to ensure a positive online reputation is to take the time to create new, value-adding content—not necessarily self-promotion, but useful stuff, stuff that connects your company to real-world benefits and industry expertise.

Start the brainstorming process today—with our help. Contact Grammar Chic at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Brand Management, Social Media

Why Do Facebook Users Share Content?

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What happens when you post new content to your company Facebook page? Do you see it redirected five, ten, 20 times over, shared by user after user, spreading like wildfire across different newsfeeds?

Or does your own company Facebook page feel an awful lot like a graveyard—posts that were all dead on arrival, receiving few likes and no real shares?

Sadly, a lot of small business owners fall into this second category. That’s not their fault, either. Getting shares on Facebook is tough, and getting tougher all the time. Algorithmic changes within Facebook have made it difficult even to get your content seen, much less shared. Meanwhile, as more and more companies produce content, it’s a challenge to make yours stand out.

The Psychology of Sharing

To complicate matters further, you can’t trick your readers into sharing content. Bribery seldom works, either; sure, you’ll get some shares if you offer a $100 giftcard to your top brand ambassadors, but who has the budget for that?

Ultimately, the reader must make the decision to share your content—and the reader will make that decision based on one thing and one thing only: How the content reflects the reader’s personality, and how it will be perceived among the reader’s friends.

Think of your Facebook followers as content curators. Everything they share on their own Facebook newsfeed is a reflection of who they are, and what they’re trying to do is cultivate an accurate and compelling mosaic of who they are, or who they want their friends to think they are. Each piece of content they share has to fit into that mosaic.

Sharing for Different Reasons

Of course, Facebook users share content for different reasons. Sometimes, they are simply trying to entertain others. Sometimes they are looking to grow relationships, or else to define themselves in terms of a particular brand, style, or cause.

The first step toward getting more shares is to understand exactly what motivates people to share—the psychological factors that might compel a reader to make your company’s content a piece of his/her mosaic. Some of the big reasons why people share content include:

  1. It makes them look smart. Studies, high-quality blogs from industry publications, professional how-tos, glossy “think pieces”—some content just has an air of intelligence to it, and your readers may well want to be associated with that air.
  2. It lets them be useful. Some of the most successful Facebook pages we’ve seen have been—for lack of a better term—pages attached to mom blogs. Why? Because the content offered is 100 percent practical—tips, recipes, parenting strategies… stuff that you can share and know that it will be actionable to the people reading it.
  3. It makes them seem cool. Sometimes, people just want to post something with a provocative headline or an “inside info” vibe to it, because it makes them appear hip. There’s nothing wrong with that!

So how do you get social shares? There isn’t a trick to it. It all comes down to how well you understand these psychological motivations—and write content that plays right into them.

That’s where we come in. Reach out to Grammar Chic’s ace content writers today: Call 803-831-7444, or visit www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Brand Management, Content Marketing, Social Media

5 Tips for Addressing Bad Yelp Reviews

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It’s the 21st Century business owner’s worst nightmare: You sign on to your company’s Yelp page and see that someone has left an absolutely scathing review. This can obviously take its toll on your ego, but this is about far more than mere vanity. The truth is, negative Yelp reviews can have a real, bottom-line impact on your business; they attract search engine users and effectively set the public perception of your brand.

But while a bad review can have devastating effect, it can also provide you with a great opportunity to do some customer outreach, damage control, and brand enhancement. It all boils down to how you respond.

  1. First, put the review into perspective.

There’s no question that a bad review can be harmful to your brand. We don’t want to sugarcoat it, but we also don’t want to overstate it. A litany of bad reviews could honestly sink your company, but a single bad review amidst dozens of positive ones is probably not going to be a big deal. Regardless, it’s important not to panic, or to let your emotions carry you away. Respond rationally and with a level head.

  1. Do your research.

Also respond with all available information. Read the review carefully, noting its tone, the specific complaints, the date of the review, and any other information about the incident posted. Make sure your response addresses the review with precision and accuracy. If you come across like you Just Don’t Get It, it will only make things worse.

Also research the Yelp reviewer, if possible. (For anonymous reviewers, you’ll be out of luck.) Is it someone who always leaves nasty reviews? If so, then maybe that can help your anger subside. You could just be dealing with a mean-spirited person, quite frankly. No reason to get your feelings hurt over that.

  1. Show some customer service.

Whether you feel like the negative review is warranted or not, it’s important to seize the opportunity to treat your customer respectfully; apologize, and ask what you can do to make the situation right, or at the very least offer an explanation and sincere remorse that the customer’s experience was not better.

  1. Remember who you’re writing for.

In any and all writing, audience is important. When you’re addressing a Yelp review, remember that 90 percent of the Yelp audience is people who just read reviews, not people who write them, and that most of these people still have an unformed opinion of your company. That’s who you’re writing to, really. That’s who you’re trying to impress. Showing warmth, patience, and a customer-centered perspective can more than make up for the bad review itself.

  1. Don’t engage hotheads.

Every now and again, you may see an all-caps, foul-mouthed review that’s obviously just designed to be incendiary. Yelp does a pretty good job of filtering these out, but if you do run across one, it may be best not to engage at all. It’s hard to come across well when you sink to the level of addressing flamers and hotheads.

A bonus tip: You can enhance your brand’s reputation and minimize the damage of a bad review by providing your customers with plenty of positive content. To learn more, contact Grammar Chic today at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

 

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Filed under Brand Management, Content Marketing