Tag Archives: content marketing strategies

Building Trust Through Content Marketing

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There’s no shortage of discussion about content marketing these days—but what is content marketing really all about? The conventional definition is that content marketing is about selling without selling—that is, telling the story of your brand in a way that’s not overly salesy or promotional. But if you’re investing in a marketing campaign that’s explicitly non-promotional, then what exactly are you trying to do?

The short answer: You’re trying to build trust among consumers, customers, and potential clients.

The sheer volume of content marketing out there makes trust key. Countless companies are getting involved on Facebook, on Twitter, and on blogs—to say nothing of the thousands of advertisements that consumers are exposed to on the Internet every single day. The way you make your content marketing stand out, then, is to make it really trustworthy—building a strong rapport with your readers.

The question is how.

5 Tips for Building Trust Through Content Marketing

  1. The first step is to define your audience. If you want to instill trust in your reader, you need to make it clear that you are writing expressly for that reader, taking his or her needs, questions, and problems in mind. Generic, one-size-fits-all content marketing always comes across as aggressive and promotional. Instead, define your audience and create content accordingly.
  2. Next, define the type of content you will deliver, the frequency of it, and the location. This will depend solely on your audience as defined in the first step. You may believe that your audience will be most accepting of e-mail newsletters; or else, that your audience is particularly hip to Twitter. You may feel like your audience needs multiple blog posts each week to know that you mean business; alternatively, you might suspect that too much content will seem too aggressive, and that you need to scale things back a bit.
  3. Share your content, but make sure you respect the line between promotion and spam. Promote your content on the social channels where your audience tends to be active, and curate content shrewdly, only sharing information that could be of real, practical use to your readers.
  4. Make it as easy as possible for people to receive your content updates and to connect with your brand through their phones, tablets, e-mail accounts, social media accounts, etc. Social media buttons, RSS feeds, bookmark buttons—all of these things should be readily accessible from your website and from every piece of content you produce.
  5. Finally, don’t forget that your analytics play an important part in the trust-building process. It’s only by looking at your content reports—and making the necessary tweaks—that you can get a feel for what’s working, what’s resonating with your readers, and what’s not.

If you’re not building trust with your content marketing, then you’re really just spinning your wheels; make sure that trust creation is the #1 goal in all of your content endeavors!

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Do Press Releases Still Matter?

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There are new business books written every day, it seems, and each new entry in the genre comes with the promise that it will completely revolutionize everything you’ve ever known to be true about entrepreneurship. Needless to say, the bulk of these books fail to deliver, but there is one widely buzzed-about new book—titled Rework, co-authored by 37signals founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson—that actually packs some real revelations and useful provocations into its slim frame.

While many of the propositions in Rework are most helpful, there is one assertion that warrants some close scrutiny. In the book, Fried and Hansson recommend that companies do away with press releases, claiming that the PR is a thing of antiquity—that it is not only dated, but that it effectively amounts to pure spam.

Is there any merit to this claim? The mere fact that press releases continue to be regularly deployed by companies such as Google (and by The White House) makes it plain that the PR has hardly gone the way of the dinosaurs. Moreover, there are several important—and perhaps surprising—benefits that press releases can bring to your company’s content marketing strategy.

What Press Releases Can Do for Your Brand

Why would your brand invest in weekly, monthly, or quarterly press releases? There are several reasons:

  • While recent updates to Google’s search algorithms have robbed press releases of some of their SEO muscle, a good press release is still invaluable as searchable online collateral.  When someone searches for your company name or the name of one of your products, a press release is very much able to provide some ranking fodder (especially in Google News searches), which in turn gives you further power to control what search engine users learn about your business.
  • Press releases can provide you with regular content updates for your website’s online press room, or company news page. This is invaluable, because it proves to those visiting your company website that your business remains active and prosperous. (By contrast, a company website that hasn’t been updated in two years may leave visitors wondering if the company is still in business at all.)
  • A press release represents a more formal kind of writing—compared to a dashed-off Facebook update, for instance—and as such, it forces you to think more carefully about the messaging you use for talking about your company. The simple act of crafting a press release brings greater focus to your online branding.
  • A well-written press release conveys that your company is marked by teamwork and unity of vision; after all, a company that has no idea what it’s doing, or is falling apart at the seams, could hardly be expected to draft a truly coherent and compelling document.
  • Finally, a press release is a key part of your company’s brand experience; much like your logo, the color scheme on your website, and your mission statement, the language you use in your press release conveys something of your company’s identity. Neglecting this important component is no different than leaving your business slogan off the company website, or omitting the logo from your business cards.

Press releases have been around long enough that they’re probably not going to pass for flashy or trendy any time soon—but they nevertheless remain key tools in any content marketing toolbox.

The team at Grammar Chic specializes in a variety of professional writing and editing services. For more information about how we can help you, visit www.grammarchic.net or call 803-831-7444. We also invite you to follow us on Twitter @GrammarChicInc for the latest in writing and editing tips and to give a “like” to our Facebook page. Text GRAMMARCHIC to 22828 for a special offer.

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How Content Marketing Can be Essential for Plumbing Companies

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Admittedly, content marketing and plumbing may seem—at first—like they exist in totally separate universes. When a home or business owner has a plumbing emergency, after all, he or she is likely to just pick up the phone and dial the first local plumbing company to appear in a Google search window—meaning the need for things like Facebook posts, blog entries, and press releases is minimal, at best. Right?

Not necessarily. While it’s true enough that Google has fundamentally changed the ways in which consumers seek out plumbers and other home contractors—instead of looking to the Yellow Pages, most of us simply pull out our smartphones or our tablets—it’s not quite fair to say that the first plumber found is going to be the first plumber called.

Searching for Answers

Consider the nature of most plumbing problems. While real plumbing emergencies do happen, it is not as though the average homeowner regularly finds himself or herself with a torrent of water spraying out of a busted pipe, or with a basement that is quickly flooding. (If this is the scenario you find yourself in, then perhaps you should call the first plumber you can find!)

In most cases, the issue is going to be something altogether more elusive. The garbage disposal is emitting a foul odor, and the homeowner does not know why. The toilet is making a peculiar noise, and the homeowner does not know why. When these things happen, the average homeowner is going to go straight to a search engine—but rather than simply call the first plumber listed, he or she is first going to try to figure out what the problem is, and what needs to be done to fix it.

Establishing Authority

That’s where content marketing enters the picture. By posting informative and instructive content to the Web, you can ensure that yours is the plumbing company to rise to the top as homeowners search for answers. And, by providing information that helps with the diagnosis—and perhaps even the correction—of a major plumbing problem, you’re effectively establishing your plumbing company as one that is authoritative, people-oriented, trustworthy, and ready and eager to help.

Just take the earlier example of a toilet that’s making noises. If a local homeowner Googles for an answer and stumbles across your company blog, addressing this very topic, then you’ve already established yourself as the plumber who helped him with their problem. If it turns out they need a new toilet, or a repair that most lay people can’t make, you’re likely to earn his business because you’ve already earned his trust. And if the problem is something the homeowner can address on his own, you’ve at least cultivated the idea that you are reliable and helpful—something that homeowner will surely remember for the next time there’s a plumbing snafu.

Retaining Customers

Content marketing works for building client loyalty, too, by the way. If a homeowner uses your company for repairs, then checks out your Facebook page after the job is done—and if what he or she finds there is a series of helpful plumbing maintenance tips, green plumbing insights, DIY projects, and so on—then you stand to win their attention, and ultimately keep your name in front of them for any future plumbing needs.

Content marketing and plumbing do not exist in separate universes—not by any stretch. In fact, a content marketing initiative may be one of the very best ways for the plumbers of today to win loyal, enthusiastic patrons.

The team at Grammar Chic specializes in a variety of professional writing and editing services. For more information about how we can help you, visit www.grammarchic.net or call 803-831-7444. We also invite you to follow us on Twitter @GrammarChicInc for the latest in writing and editing tips and to give a “like” to our Facebook page. Text GRAMMARCHIC to 22828 for a special offer.

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