Tag Archives: Content management

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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Why Your Company Should Move Beyond Content Marketing Freelancers

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These days, there aren’t many business owners who seriously dispute the value of original, branded content. It can be proven, with graphs and charts, that YouTube videos increase brand engagement and boost website traffic; that blog posts can be invaluable for bolstering SEO; that e-books and white papers can be unparalleled tools for generating leads. The list goes on and on.

What business owners do question is how best to achieve their content goals. Some take on the tough job of content creation themselves, which is something we admire. Others choose to enlist freelancers. Certainly, the Internet is full of resources that make it easy to track down freelance writers and content creators, and in some cases this approach can work wonderfully.

There is another option that we would obviously recommend most highly, which is engaging the services of a content writing firm—like Grammar Chic, Inc. For companies that have grown past freelancers, this is the logical next step. Allow us to provide a few reasons why.

As your content needs grow, you’ll need to hit bigger volume goals. A freelancer can work well when you’re looking for a blog post each week, but what happens when you need 40 articles churned out, a full website content revamp, or something similarly ambitious? A lone freelancer won’t be able to keep up with that brisk production pace, but a full writing team, with a deep bench of content creators, will.

Freelancers may not have the breadth of experience you need. An integrated marketing campaign will require a wide range of content—not just blog posts but e-books, marketing emails, FAQ pages, how-tos, and more. Each of these content types calls for a different skillset—something you’ll find on a writing team, but not necessarily with a lone freelancer.

Proving ROI is something many freelancers will struggle with. It is inaccurate to say that content ROI cannot be proven; in fact, Grammar Chic routinely provides clients with reports and statistics that show just what kind of results our content is getting. This is a capability that freelance writers simply might not have.

Writing companies will have a wider network of resources to call on. Looking to get a blog post syndicated, or to have a press release distributed through a reputable PR newswire? Freelancers may not have these connections—but a company like Grammar Chic does.

A writing company will provide critical dependability. The worst-case scenario, content-wise, would be for a writer to quit on you in the middle of a big content push, leaving you to find and train someone new. Freelancers are much more likely to do this than a writing company is; a company like Grammar Chic puts its professional reputation on the line when it enters into a contract with a new client, and always sticks to the promises made.

There are some other key distinctions we could name, too—and we’d love to talk with you about them one-on-one. Start the conversation today. Contact Grammar Chic’s deep bench of writers by calling 803-831-7444, or by visiting www.grammarchic.net.

 

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

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 Hallmarks of Great Evergreen Content

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A great content strategy hinges on regular content updates—fresh new videos, blog posts, and social media entries that engage users while capitalizing on current trends. But if that’s all you’ve got fuelling your content strategy, you’re missing out on one of the key components of any digital marketing strategy—and that’s evergreen content.

We’ve written about the need for evergreen content before. Basically, this refers to the written, value-adding content that never goes out of style—timeless posts that can bolster your content strategy by offering endless revisitability. We’re talking about the in-depth tutorials, FAQs, and essays that you can refer your clients and readers to time and time again.

What Makes Evergreen Content Great

But how can you tell if you’ve got an instance of really great evergreen content on your hands? What does great evergreen content really look like?

Well, not all content is created equal, of course, but some of the essential traits of great evergreen content include:

Great evergreen content is timeless. This is really the defining trait of evergreen content, right? You can write it today and know that all of it will still more or less hold true in a year’s time; that even five years down the road you can direct readers to this resource and know that it will all hold up.

Great evergreen content adds value. The ultimate point of evergreen content is that you can use it to draw traffic and educate consumers for a long time to come. So, it needs to be interesting. It needs to add value. It needs to inform. It needs to provide a direct benefit to the people who read it. This is why so much of the best evergreen content comes in the form of how-tos, tutorials, and FAQ pages.

Great evergreen content is well-formatted. Again, what you’re going for is utility. You want your content to be useful to readers, which means structuring it in a way that’s easy to read, skim, and consult. Lists and step-by-step guides work well, as does long-form content that’s well-organized with subheadings and section titles.

Great evergreen content is usually long. Remember, you’re aiming for something resembling a treasure trove of information—and chances are, that’s going to be lengthier, not shorter.

Great evergreen content is understandable. If your content is full of technical terms and jargon, it’s probably not going to appeal to a broad reader base—and with evergreen content, breadth is usually key.

Evergreen content is critical for any content strategy—so how are your evergreen posts coming along? For help writing timeless and value-adding content, contact Grammar Chic at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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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

Who Are Your Brand Ambassadors?

Who’s on your company’s social media team? Hopefully you’ve got some good content writers and strategists there in the office with you—or else, you’ve found a good content marketing team to contract. Remember, though, that your team doesn’t merely consist of paid employees. Even your social media followers are, in a significant way, part of the team.

Not All Followers Are Created Equally

Some of your social media followers are probably just along for the ride—happy to “like” your company profiles but not necessarily willing to help you spread the word about your brand.

Others, though, are real brand ambassadors—followers who don’t need much prompting to engage your content and share it with their friends.

What we recommend is that you be fully aware of the folks in this latter category, and that you make a concentrated effort to cultivate their enthusiasm and support. Reach out to them directly and thank them for their help. Maybe even offer them special promotions. Certainly look at the kinds of content they seem to like, and adjust your editorial calendars in kind.

Friends and Family

Who, though, are these mysterious followers? Some aren’t so mysterious at all: They’re your friends and family—people who support you no matter what you do, and engage with your company page out of love for you, if not actual interest in what you’re doing!

Regardless, friends and family members can be an important foundation for a fledgling social media campaign. Go out of your way to recruit them and engage them in the earliest stages of your social media campaigns, when momentum is everything and having a few reliable likers and sharers can go a long way toward bolstering your own confidence.

Brand Ambassadors

The next category consists of the folks who we consider to be the true brand ambassadors—folks who don’t necessarily know you or care about you personally but are sincerely enthusiastic about your business. They may be actual customers who care about your projects, or they may just really like your content—but either way, their engagement is priceless.

And as you start to notice these folks, it’s important to empower them. Provide reminders to share your content. Make sure the content itself is well done and attractive. Perhaps even provide some incentives for sharing—such as contests or drawings.

The Peanut Gallery

To close, let us note that you’ll have some ambassadors but likely also some naysayers—some folks who seem frequently to comment on posts just for the sake of being contrarian. This can be frustrating—but then again, contrariness is better than indifference, and their activity may well provide a boost to some of your social media posts. These folks obviously care enough about your brand to engage with it, however destructively, so it’s worth it to be aware of them and perhaps even to try and win them over.

The bottom line: Your social media followers come in all shapes and sizes—and it’s worth it to you to court the true brand ambassadors.

Learn more by contacting Grammar Chic today: 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Sharing is Caring: How to Reach Your Audience with Great Content

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We’ve talked about this before: Writing a compelling blog post is just half the battle. It won’t do much for your brand—it won’t engage customers or establish thought leadership, nor will it provide SEO traction—unless people read it.

And readers aren’t just going to stumble upon your content on their own. You’ve actually got to share it with them—which entails more than just a cursory tweet or a tossed-off link on Facebook.

Six Ways to Share

Actually, there is a robust web of actions you can take to ensure that your grade-A content is thoroughly and completely shared—and here’s our quick rundown of what that web includes:

  1. E-mail it to the subscribers to your e-mail list. Include a friendly, informal note explaining that you’ve got a new company blog you want people to read and enjoy; take just two or three sentences to summarize the post and the value it contains. (Note: There is a point at which you can overdo it with this one, and we recommend it only for your really prime branded content; if you blog twice a day, an e-mail for each post would obviously be overkill!)
  2. Include a link in the next installment of your company newsletter. Your newsletter is a great place to round up your best posts.
  3. Share it in your personal profiles and bios. When you get a post you’re really thrilled with, why not include a link to it in e-mail signatures and social media bios—not just your business accounts but personal ones? Draw attention to the work you’re proudest of.
  4. Write and schedule a series of social media posts. Write out some tweets/Facebook posts, etc. with a bunch of different summaries, hashtags, and wording variations. Schedule the link to go out several times over the next couple of weeks.
  5. Include links in upcoming blog posts. If you write another post that is relevant or related to that first one, include a helpful backlink to it.
  6. Syndicate the post through LinkedIn Pulse. Using LinkedIn’s new publishing platform can be a huge way to get some extra traffic.

Whatever you do, don’t let your really high-potential content just sit there. Invest some time in sharing it, through whatever channels you have available to you. And if you’re not sure how, or need a bit of help writing that grade-A content, contact the Grammar Chic team at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

 

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Filed under Content Marketing