Tag Archives: Content Marketing Help

7 Content Marketing Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make in 2017

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Many of us are still in the leaf-turning phase of the new year, eager to identify and implement key areas for personal and professional change. Perhaps some of your own resolutions include improvements to your company’s content marketing endeavors. And if not—well, maybe they should.

There is never a bad time to revise your content marketing mechanisms—to be more strategic about consumer outreach, relationship-building, and thought leadership. Getting more serious about content marketing can yield many benefits, and the good news is, making constructive content marketing resolutions doesn’t have to be anything too nebulous or complex: It can be as simple as learning from yesterday’s mistakes.

With that in mind, we’ve got some suggestions for you: Some content marketing mistakes we’ve seen before, and ones we encourage you to learn from as you move forward toward bigger and better content endeavors.

Mistake #1: Blogging Inconsistently

Anyone can resolve to start a blog. Even writing that first post can seem pretty easy. Maintaining robust and regular blog content, though, is another matter altogether—yet it requires consistency for you to keep your audience engaged, increase our search engine exposure, and develop your brand’s authority.

Mistake #2: Making Grade-School Grammar Mistakes

Be honest: Have you ever posted a company blog that interchanges your with you’re, or that mixes up their and there? These aren’t just little errors. They make your business look shoddy and unprofessional. Make sure you have a skilled editor proof your content before it’s posted.

Mistake #3: Overlooking SEO Opportunities

You don’t have to be a technical whiz to fill in the meta description for your company blog post (WordPress and other content management systems will offer you a place to do this), or to include a few judicious keywords in your posts and your titles. Don’t forfeit these opportunities to tell the search engine what your content is all about.

Mistake #4: Missing Email Marketing Opportunities

Remember that when you post a really good entry to your blog, it’s something you ought to be promoting everywhere—and that includes in emails. Your email marketing list is a great place to turn when you want to get attention for a new piece of content. Spread the word, and make sure you’re conveying real value to your readers.

Mistake #5: Misusing Social Media

Your Facebook and Twitter accounts aren’t just for promoting your latest products or sales, though that’s certainly a good use for them. You should also be using them to spread meaningful, value-adding content, though—not just your company blog posts, but curated content from other industry resources, too.

Mistake #6: Poorly Formatting Your Content

Are your company blog posts difficult to read—or difficult to skim? Sub-headings, lists, and bullet points can really make life easier for your readers. If nothing else, shorter paragraphs are generally recommended.

Mistake #7: Not Offering Value Through Your Content

It ultimately comes down to what you’re writing about: You should be developing content that truly makes life better for your readers, answering their questions and posing actionable solutions to their problems. Otherwise, why would they bother?

Content development happens to be our strong suit—so if you’re looking for a hand in making big content improvements in 2017, give Grammar Chic a call at 803-831-7444, or visit us at www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Brand Management, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Email Writing, Social Media

Make the Most of Your (Small) Content Marketing Budget

 

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Most business owners understand the potential of content marketing—at least in hypothetical terms. Sure, you could make a big impact on your audience, if you had the time and resources to develop new blog posts every day, produce blockbuster-quality videos, and engage your users on social media 24/7. The problem is, very few businesses can actually do that—and smaller companies are especially limited in their content marketing resource allocation.

That doesn’t mean you can’t employ content marketing effectively, though. You don’t have to choose between breaking the bank and neglecting content marketing altogether. You can make prudent, judicious decisions to develop and deploy content in a cost-effective manner.

Here’s how.

Start with Your Costs

A good place to begin is by evaluating how much money it actually costs you to produce a piece of content—a blog, a video, a white paper, or what have you. Either get a quote from your freelance writer, or calculate about how much time it will take you to develop the content yourself. Assign a rough cost estimate to each type of content you might produce.

Then get a baseline of which content is most effective. There are plenty of metrics you can use. Look at social sharing, website traffic analytics, the Facebook posts that tend to get likes and comments—any statistics you can look at to determine which types of content are effective for your brand and which are not.

Comparing costs to total efficacy can help you winnow the content types you might employ—and show you some direction you’re better off just forgetting. If it costs you a ton of money to make a video and nobody ever shares or responds to your videos, for instance, then that’s obviously a non-starter, at least for now.

Focus on Quality

A common misconception is that you have to produce a ton of new content every week or even every day for content marketing to be effective. While consistency is key, quality is ultimately more important than quantity. It is both more affordable and more effective to draft one really killer, engaging blog post each week than it is to bang out five or six suboptimal ones.

Schedule some time on your calendar to really focus on coming up with killer content—maybe two hours every Thursday morning, for instance. If you end up writing three killer posts in that timeframe, great! But if you only come up with one really good one, that’s fine too.

Curate and Recycle

Remember that not every piece of content you deploy has to be original work. Content curation is a hallmark of effective content marketing. Sharing relevant articles from other sources can help build your authority and enhance your thought leadership—just so long as you sprinkle in some original posts, too.

You can also save money by recycling and repurposing content. A great blog post can be broken down into a series of tweets or even used as a video script. If you have some really engaging content, don’t squander it. Use it more than once!

Think always in terms of your goals, your costs, and your content quality. Those are the key concerns for any small business looking to leverage content marketing effectively—without going over-budget in the process.

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Help! I’m Sending Out Marketing E-mails But Nobody’s Clicking Through!

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E-mail marketing can be one of the most effective ways to grow your business and engage your customers—except when it isn’t.

For every e-mail marketing campaign that yields stellar results, there’s another e-mail marketing campaign that seems ultimately to be a waste of time. We talk to small business owners pretty regularly, and often we hear them say that they’re sending e-mails to their e-mail list but nobody’s actually clicking through on the call to action. The e-mails get read, maybe, but nothing good comes out of it.

That’s obviously frustrating, yet it’s not an insurmountable problem. There are plenty of ways to tweak and enhance your marketing e-mails to make them more compelling—more clickable. We’ve got several quick fixes in the list that follows.

How to Fix Ineffective Marketing E-mails

Include more calls to action. Readers may not have the time or attention span to read your entire message, even if it’s pretty brief; if you have a single call to action link, in the bottom of the e-mail, a lot of your customers will miss it. Try including multiple CTA links, in different places in the e-mail.

Fix your anchor text. Does your call to action anchor text just say click here? Because that’s not very compelling. Try something more forceful: Discover. Explore. Take action. Join us. Uncover.

Write a better subject line. This is the most important part of your marketing e-mails—period. Compose headlines that are grabbing, that address pain points, and that offer immediate value. Let readers know that the answers they are looking for are right there in the message of your e-mail. (We almost hate to say it, but if you want to see what clickable headlines look like, just go to BuzzFeed.)

Focus up! A good marketing e-mail is singular in its focus. You should have one central topic, one basic piece of information you’re trying to impart, one call to action. If your e-mail content is all over the place, you’re going to lose readers.

Optimize for mobile. A lot of your customers are going to be opening their e-mails on mobile devices, so double check that your template is one that iPhones and Androids will display properly.

Make it scannable. Keep your message to just a few short lines, keep sentences short, and use bullet points.

Get help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the pros to help you fine-tune your e-mails and really capitalize on your e-mail marketing list. The Grammar Chic team is standing by; get solutions today by calling 803-831-7444, or visiting www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Content Marketing, Email Writing

Deconstructing the Perfect Facebook Post

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How would you like to know the secret formula to Facebook marketing success? To ensure that all of your posts are deliberately engineered to obtain the maximum results?

A recent Search Engine Journal piece, authored by Kevan Lee, promises something along those lines. The article is all about explaining “The Anatomy of the Perfect Facebook Post”—and in truth, it’s pretty good. It’s certainly worth reading and absorbing, especially if you’re a small business owner, doing all your own social media marketing.

We’re going to summarize the key points below, highlighting what we think is most essential and offering a couple of points of caveat and clarification. In fact, we’ll begin with this note: While there may indeed be a proper structure to ensure Facebook success, there’s also something to be said for variety. If all your posts follow the exact same recipe, then your account is going to feel a bit robotic and impersonal. The following points are all intended as best practices, then—but there can and should be some exceptions.

The Anatomy of the Perfect Post

Lee suggests that the perfect Facebook post has five basic ingredients:

  • A link.
  • Brevity—ideally 40 characters or less.
  • Publication at non-peak hours.
  • A place on a regular posting schedule.
  • Timeliness/newsworthiness.

Again, the Grammar Chic team is largely in agreement here, but we do have a few comments to offer. We’ll take the five ingredients one at a time:

  1. First, note what Lee really says about the perfect post being a link. What he says is that the perfect post actually uses Facebook’s built-in link tool; posting an image and then including link text in your photo description is not the same thing, and won’t get nearly as many clicks. And this is true enough: If you want to get maximize click-through, you need to focus on the link and on a strong call to action, without distracting attention with other elements. If social sharing and general online engagement is what you’re after, though, then images will be more helpful.
  2. Lee also shares that posts 40 characters or shorter tend to get liked and commented on the most. No big surprise there!
  3. Posting at non-peak hours, meanwhile, helps your post stand out, because the competition is a bit less heated. In particular, Lee recommends posting on weekends and after normal work hours.
  4. Lee says that an effective Facebook post is part of a consistent sharing strategy, encompassing a minimum of one post each day. Of course, we agree completely!
  5. Finally, Lee notes that compelling posts often factor in trending topics and current events, though he admits that this is optional. Certainly, it can be advantageous to leverage the popularity of a trending topic—but it’s not something you want to force.

And that’s that: The structure of the perfect Facebook post. Even with all this in mind, though, you may still be at a loss for developing actual content—and that’s where we come in. Contact Grammar Chic, Inc. today to inquire about our content development and strategy services: www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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Prepare Your Content Marketing for 2015

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As we cross the finish line and prepare to enter into a new year, it’s worth pausing to reflect on how far we’ve come, and where we’re all headed—particularly where content marketing is concerned.

For the small business owners out there, we hope that you’ve had a productive 2014, expanding your online marketing knowledge and efficacy; similarly, we hope you’re ready to step up your game and make even more of an impact in the months to come.

To ensure that you hit the ground running in 2015, it’s important to take some time now, in the waning days of December, to think strategically about what it is you’d like to accomplish—and how.

Setting the Right Goals

As the Grammar Chic team has noted before, content marketing works best when the goals are clearly defined.

Setting some specific goals for 2015 is helpful. It will provide your content marketing endeavors with some direction, and help you better measure your ROI. The question is, what sorts of goals should you be setting?

Some specific metrics will help. Perhaps you want to grow your e-mail subscription list by 2,500 names. Perhaps you want to increase website traffic by 30 percent. Perhaps you want to hit a certain number of Facebook likes. Such goals are helpful because they are actionable and measurable.

However, we would also recommend setting some goals more specific to the various facets of your company. Maybe you have a certain product or service you really want to push on Twitter, or members of your marketing team whose gifts you’d like to better utilize. These, too, are supremely helpful goals, even if they may be a bit harder to directly quantify.

Reflecting on the Past

Even as you look to the future, it might prove helpful to ponder the past. Have you been content marketing in 2014? If so, how has it gone? Which strategies should you hold on to, and which should you discard?

Did you have a particular post, blog entry, or promotion that did exceedingly well? Any content that just sort of flopped?

What would you say was your biggest content marketing success in 2014? What was your biggest challenge? What was the most important lesson you learned about your customers, fans, and followers?

And critically: What have your competitors been doing with their content marketing?

All of these are important considerations as you set the stage for a successful 2015.

Pulling it All Together

By reflecting on what you’ve accomplished and what you’d like to accomplish, you can clarify the tools and strategies you need to implement in 2015. You might also come to the conclusion that you need some help, either with strategy or with content creation—and if so, then the Grammar Chic, Inc. team can help.

Reach out to us today: www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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Facebook is Changing the Rules—Again.

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Small business owners, do you have your Facebook marketing down to a science? Do you routinely post promotional content that generates significant visibility—and website referral traffic? If so, then that’s something to be proud of, but also something to safeguard and protect. And doing so might become a bit harder in 2015: Facebook has announced some significant changes to its algorithms, and—to be completely blunt—they’re probably going to cause your organic reach to plummet.

About the Change

If you want to read Facebook’s full explanation of the algorithmic change, you can check out the full announcement here. The gist of it is this, though: Business pages will see their organic reach take a sharp decline, in particular for posts that are deemed “overly promotional.” In other words, if your posts are pushy and salesy, or if they come across more like ads than actual creative and engaging posts, then beware: They’re not going to appear in nearly as many newsfeeds, and thus they won’t have nearly the same kind of effect.

This may seem like fairly bleak news for business owners, but understand where Facebook is coming from. This move is said to be the direct result of user feedback, and it makes sense that users would want to see fewer ads and fewer brazenly promotional posts in their newsfeeds. Facebook, by turn, is trying to provide the best product possible—and unfortunately, small business owners are the ones who will pay the price for it.

Two Ways to Ensure Engagement

If you’re worried about your Facebook reach being limited, take heart: There are a couple of ways around this problem.

The first, of course, is to throw Facebook a bone. The algorithmic changes in question apply only to organic reach, not to paid promotion. If you’ve got a promotional post and you really want it to be seen, you can just pony up and throw some money behind it, and rest assured that it will be seen in newsfeeds.

The other approach is a bit subtler, but also more sustainable: Start doing some true content marketing. Give the promotional posts a rest and get creative, offering your users some content that’s simply helpful, entertaining, and value-adding. If Facebook doesn’t see the content as overly promotional, you won’t be penalized.

Ultimately, of course, you’re going to need to implement both strategies in tandem. The Grammar Chic, Inc. team can help on both fronts. We offer superlative content creation as well as general social media strategy; we can help you come up with tremendously engaging, non-promotional posts, and also make the best use of your paid post allocation.

To learn more, contact us today: 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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