Tag Archives: content marketing

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 Facebook Ads Aren’t Working

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Over the last few years, Facebook has subtly but significantly shifted its focus toward paid ads. While it remains highly important to distribute valuable content and to seek organic reach, it’s just as vital for businesses to pony up for some paid Facebook ads. Companies that don’t pay to play may not receive as much traction in Facebook news feeds.

The good news is that Facebook’s ad platform is a powerful one, providing both a broad reach and the ability to narrowly target the people who see your ads. The bad news is that it can be hard even to understand Facebook’s ad platform, much less optimize it—especially if you’re relatively new to Facebook advertising.

The Grammar Chic team has ample experience with Facebook’s ad manager. We know what works, but also what doesn’t. If you’ve tried your hand at Facebook ads and not gotten the results you’d like, there are a few potential reasons why.

Poor Targeting

The first potential reason is that you just haven’t honed your audience enough. Though it may seem counterintuitive, it’s actually better to target a very specific audience than a wide one. Simply put: When you target with precision, you increase the likelihood that your ad will truly resonate with the reader.

Buyer personas can come in handy here. Before you start work on a Facebook ad, really think about who you’re trying to reach—basic demographic information, values, pain points, etc.

Poor Headline

Another potential issue? A headline that doesn’t grab the reader. In the age of Facebook, attention spans aren’t what they used to be, and it’s important to choose a heading that really conveys the value of your product or service.

Directness is key. You want something that will register with people who are quickly skimming through Facebook—so avoid the temptation of making your headline too clever. Instead, simply articulate the value you can offer to readers. Say what’s in it for them.

Poor Image Selection

Your Facebook ads should include images; those without images tend to receive much less engagement, sometimes just a fraction of the engagement that a good image will bring. Actually picking the right image can be tricky, and may require some trial and error.

Our advice is to remember that your ad will show up in people’s newsfeeds, and you want it to look like it belongs there. Something casual and organic—a photo of people using your product, for instance—may be a better option than something glossy and staged.

Poor Landing Page

One more note: When people click on your Facebook ad, they should be taken to a specific landing page—not to a generic home page. You want them to land somewhere they’ll receive specific information about the content of your ad, and ultimately where you can convert them into clients.

A good landing page shouldn’t have too much information, but it should clearly state your value proposition—and it should close in a strong call to action.

Make Your Facebook Ads More Effective

Your Facebook ads can have a major effect—and to make that happen, we encourage you to meet with our team. Grammar Chic can help you craft compelling ad copy, write beautiful landing pages, and ultimately get a strong Facebook ad strategy into place.

Contact us to learn more, at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Blog

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As a small business owner, you’ve undoubtedly got a lot on your plate. What’s more, you understand the importance of protecting your time: Everything you do during the course of your day needs to add value to your company, and anything that doesn’t fit that criteria is ultimately wasted effort. It’s for this reason that some business owners excuse themselves from blogging, assuming it to be something that’s ornamental at best, pointless at worst.

Actually, though, you might be surprised by how much utility can be gained from a well-maintained business blog. Plus, you don’t even have to handle the blogging yourself: There’s always the option of outsourcing it to ghostbloggers, like the pros at Grammar Chic.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s consider just some of the ways in which a blog can benefit your business—some of the ways in which it is most definitely not a waste of your time. Here are five of them.

Blogging Turns Your Website into an Invaluable Resource

Ultimately, you want your website to be a hub of information—a place where customers can have their questions answered, their pain points addressed, and their problems solved. You want to position yourself as an authority, and your products and services as remedies for what’s ailing them. A blog can help with this. Your company blog posts can authoritatively address common questions, provide product how-tos, list the benefits of your services, or explain how your industry works in a way that will resonate with consumers. The upshot? Consumers who are better informed, more trusting, and more likely to feel confident moving forward with a purchase.

Blogging Helps You Improve Your Website’s Google Ranking

We like to tell our clients that Google is a monster that constantly needs to be fed. That is to say, Google’s search engine algorithms are always prowling for fresh content, and the websites that rank the best are the ones that are updated regularly with fresh, value-adding content. A business blog is the single best way to regularly add content to your site, and thus can help you rank better and improve your visibility among search engine users.

Your Blog Can Be Repurposed for LinkedIn Pulse, Too

LinkedIn’s publishing platform, called Pulse, has quickly become one of the truly invaluable tools for establishing thought leadership. We use Pulse on behalf of our own company as well as many of our clients, and we’ve found it to be a significant source of website traffic, online shares, and more. What’s more, it can help you build credibility among your peers and name recognition within your industry. Best of all, you can use your regular company blog posts as LinkedIn Pulse fodder—another reason why blogging can be beneficial.

Blog Posts Make Great Email Marketing Content

Email marketing is still one of the most powerful and direct ways of reaching out to clients, but the challenge many business owners face is knowing what to say in their emails. Effective email marketing provides the reader with something of real value, and sending a link to a particularly substantive blog post is a great way to provide your email subscribers with something that’s free as well as useful—which is in turn great for improving your customer loyalty and engagement.

You Can Share Blogs on Social Media, Too

Finally, note that a good social media account includes both curated and original content; finding content from other sources is easy enough, but what will you do for original social media posts? The obvious answer is to share your blog posts, a smart way to keep your Facebook and Twitter followers in the loop.

A blog really can add value to your company—and if you want that value without having it eat into your daily schedule too much, contact Grammar Chic. Our ghostbloggers can help! Reach us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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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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6 Factors That Help Your Website Rank Well

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Clients are always asking us: How can we get our website to rank as #1 in the Google search results?

And the answer is… it’s complicated. Google’s search algorithms are notoriously complicated, and they can change at any moment, which is why you won’t find reputable SEO companies that promise you a particular ranking. It’s just too complex an endeavor to make such an iron-clad guarantee.

What we can tell you with certainty is that there are numerous ranking factors that contribute to your site’s Google visibility. The specific recipe is something of a secret, but Google has made public many of the most significant ranking factors. Ensuring that you have each of these ranking factors in place can help you position your site for maximum SEO success.

A quick note: There are both positive ranking factors (which make your site increase in the rankings) and negative ones (which can cause your site to incur search engine penalties). For today, we’re only going to list some of the positive ones.

Remember: These are all elements that are confirmed by Google to be crucial for SEO—so make sure you have them in place!

6 Factors to Improve Your Google Rankings

No. 1. Keywords in your title and heading tags. While we encourage our clients to use keywords naturally, rather than cramming them into their content inorganically, a couple of places you always want to include a keyword or two are in the title tag and the heading tag. The former is the title you see at the top of your search browser while you are on the page; the latter is the H1 tag, the heading you place at the top of your Web page. Both are key areas for SEO enrichment, so make sure you max them out with strong keywords.

No. 2. Content substance. While there is no magic word count for Google, studies confirm that in-depth content, which fully addresses user needs and questions, is going to rank better than content that is short and skimpy. Make sure you take the time to really develop content that offers actionable value! (Of course, this is something the writers at Grammar Chic can help you with.)

No 3. A keyword in your URL. The URL slug you use for each page of content provides another way to enrich your content with keywords. Make sure you are strategic in naming your URLs!

No. 4. Fast loading speed. Nobody wants to sit and wait for your page to load, at least no more than two or three seconds. Having a page that loads quickly—not just on desktops, but on mobile devices, is critical for pleasing users and, therefore, pleasing Google. Experiment with your site on multiple devices, and if you find that it takes more than three seconds to load, you may want to pare it down and make it load faster.

No. 5. Website security. This is especially important for ecommerce sites. Having an https:// site is a trust signal, showing your users that the site has been built to protect their information; according to Google, that’s a potentially meaningful way to improve SEO, as well as user experience.

No. 6. Internal linking. A final way to boost your online authority is to ensure that each page of content has relevant links to other meaningful, related content—resources on other websites, but also resources found elsewhere on your own site.

Clearly, there are many components of strong SEO. To get started writing rankings-friendly content, contact Grammar Chic today. Reach out to us at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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How to Overcome Writer’s Block (And Generate Better Blog Topics)

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Content marketing requires constant engagement. It’s like a beast that must continually be fed. You can’t slack off, or take a month off from content creation; there are always new blog posts to be written, new social media updates to share, new emails to send. If you stop moving—if you stop hustling—your audience will shrink and your efforts will come up short.

This can obviously lead to some obstacles. Take blogging as an example. When you’re tasked with developing new, unique, creative blog posts every single day, it can be draining. You may find yourself developing a case of writer’s block, even as you also realize that you don’t have that luxury. You’ve got to keep writing—but how can you come up with a fresh topic to write about, without simply plundering and repurposing older ideas?

There are some simple habits that can prove effective in pumping those creative juices, and providing you with the fresh insights and ideas you need.

Have Regular Brainstorming Sessions

You may be the person who is tasked with writing the company blog posts, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get some help sparking your creativity. Meet with team members once a month or so and ask them for their thoughts. What are some of the questions that customers have been asking them? What are some of the topics they’ve detected interest in? How do they see the blog being improved, made more useful and informative? These brainstorming sessions can generate new perspectives you may not have thought of otherwise.

Look Through Your Customer Correspondence

Make a habit of regularly reading your recent customer emails or social messages, and take note of the questions or concerns that people are bringing up. Those are things people want to hear more about. Those are the pain points. And those can make for really timely and relevant blog posts.

Consider Your Hobbies

We’ve written articles comparing content marketing to The Walking Dead and to Mad Men—because we happen to really like those shows. Are there activities or passions in your personal life that you could translate into blog posts? Think about the things you care most about, outside of the office, and ask yourself how these things intersect with your professional life.

Subscribe to Other Industry Blogs

This one is simple: When you see another industry blog that you admire, bookmark it, or subscribe to the RSS feed. Make a habit of at least skimming through these posts from your competitors, and using them as potential launch pads for your own posts. (Obviously, you need to make sure you’re putting your own spin on things, not pilfering posts wholesale.)

These are all basic habits you can form that will keep your good-idea machine hoppin’. If you need an extra hand, though, we’re always around. Contact Grammar Chic’s ghostwriters at 803-831-7444 or at www.grammarchic.net.

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

How to Prepare Your Business for Cyber Monday

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Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas, New Year’s—for most of us, these and perhaps a few others are the main holidays to focus on at year’s end. If you’re a business owner, though—and an ecommerce merchant in particular—then there’s one other day you should mark on your calendar: Cyber Monday. The Monday following Thanksgiving is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, a day on which many of your regular customers and clients are going to be in a holiday shopping state of mind. You ignore this day at your own detriment; hosting some Cyber Monday specials and promotions is a great way to seize some of this traffic and generate some real business.

But there’s not that much time until Cyber Monday gets here—so if you haven’t planned your promotions, the time to do so is now!

Allow us to offer a few pointers.

Getting Ready for Cyber Monday

You need to start building buzz now. Trust us: Your audience is already thinking about the holiday season, and many brick and mortar stores have had their holiday promotions and displays running for several weeks already. You’ve got to compete with that, so set the details of your Cyber Monday promotions and start hyping them on social media and on your website soon.

Make sure customers can browse your features products/services now. Long before Cyber Monday arrives, many shoppers will be doing online research to scout out the best deals. Whatever items you are going to promote, make sure your website showcases them well, including a note about any Cyber Monday discounts or specials.

Begin the process of creating content. You’ll want to promote your Cyber Monday offerings with images, ads, blog posts, and more—and you don’t want to have to create all of that content at the very last minute. Start compiling some of it today.

Be meticulous and thoughtful in creating ad copy. On Cyber Monday (and really for the entire holiday season), your audience is going to be inundated with sales copy. Yours must stand out. Brainstorm email marketing subject lines, blog headings, and effective tweets now. Engage a writing team, like Grammar Chic, to help make your words memorable.

Tap into your existing customer base. Cyber Monday can be a good season for new customer acquisition, but it can frankly be an even better time to re-engage with previous customers. Make sure your Cyber Monday marketing efforts include some emails targeted to the folks who are already on your mailing list.

It won’t be long before the big day is here—so are you prepared? If not, get with Grammar Chic today to find out how we can help you. Reach out at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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