Tag Archives: content marketing

Can Outsourced Content Writing Maintain a High Level of Quality?

Whether because they lack the time, the ability, or some combination of the two, more and more businesses are outsourcing their content writing; when it comes time for a new company blog post or press release, they farm it out to an agency or a freelancer, where the work is done relatively hassle-free.

This method obviously has its advantages, but there can also be compromises—especially when it comes to quality.

It doesn’t have to be that way. You can get high-quality work through outsourced content writing, but to do so, you’ve got to hire the right people—and manage the process wisely.

Why Content Quality Matters

First, a quick word about quality. It can be tempting to approve of any half-decent writing that’s sent your way, but business owners can and should be pickier about what they accept. There are a couple of reasons for this, and the first is branding. The writing on your website or blog reflects your brand, and as such you want it to be authoritative, clean, and helpful; you want to provide value to your customers, without errors or typos. Sloppy writing makes you look like a sloppy company.

In addition, you need quality because Google demands it—and if you want your blog or website to rank well within Google searches, keeping the algorithms happy is a necessity. Google wants its search engine users to have relevant answers to all their quandaries, so to ensure high visibility, you have to be helpful and solutions-oriented.

Hiring Quality Writers

That’s a high threshold for your writer to meet—so how can you ensure that they rise to the challenge?

  • First, make sure you hire the right people. A writing company, as opposed to an individual freelancer, can offer a real business track record, including reviews and testimonials. Always ask for work samples, too. Of course, checking out the company’s own blog helps you see what they are capable of.
  • Always make sure you’re getting your writing done by native American English speakers.
  • Do your part to provide clear directions. Be ready to offer topics, a sense of your voice/desired tone, and any SEO keywords you’d like the writers to employ.
  • Also be prepared to educate the writer about who your audience is, and what you wish to accomplish with your writing. Clear goals are vitally important.
  • Provide constructive feedback whenever you can, which will help your writers better understand your voice.
  • Finally, make sure you know quality work when you see it. This goes beyond just checking for typos and grammatical errors. Also make sure the writing that’s submitted to you is tailored to your audience and advances the goals or agenda you’ve set forward.

At the end of the day, good writing is something you can offer to customers and potential customers—and optimally, it will offer both value and professionalism. Or, to put it more succinctly, it will offer quality­—and yes: That is something you can get through outsourcing, so long as you approach the process shrewdly.

To learn more, reach out to the writers at Grammar Chic, Inc. Be sure to ask us about our own standards of quality. Contact us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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Do These Four Things to Land More Eyeballs on Your Content

If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, did it really happen? And if your brand produces the world’s greatest content but nobody reads it, will it make any impact?

We can tell you with certainty that the answer to this last question is no. Content creation is innately limited by content promotion; if you can’t get eyeballs on your blog posts and other written content, you’re not going to reap any of the benefits of improved brand recognition, consumer trust, etc.

Yet getting people to read your content is one of the true challenges of content marketing. It’s something small businesses especially struggle with. Sure, it’s easy for Fortune 500 companies to generate interest in what they do—but what can the little guy do to build buzz?

Actually, there are four practical steps you can take today to boost your content’s reach and its readership. These aren’t flashy or gimmicky strategies, but they do really work, and Grammar Chic uses each of them on our own content.

Here are those four recommendations.

Tag Industry Influencers

First and foremost, you should always be sharing your content on Twitter—but don’t stop there. Start a conversation around it. Bring in the movers and shakers within your field, inviting them to be part of the dialogue.

There are different ways to do this. If you can, cite their work in your own content—then tag them on Twitter, giving them due credit and encouraging them to share the content. Or, you could simply ping their Twitter handles and ask them to weigh in with their feedback. Whatever attention you can bring to your content is good, especially when it’s attention from industry stalwarts.

Use Facebook Ads

There’s a time and a place for Promoted Posts, but what’s even more effective is going into Ads Manager, where you can actually target the people you want to reach with your content—by demographics, by relationship to your brand, etc.

Yes, this will involve some financial investment on your part—but did you know that solid content is one of the keys to ad success? If you have a good content offer, paired with some ad dollars, that can really make waves.

Include Content in Your Newsletter

A periodic email, including links and summaries of your best content, is a great way to win a few clicks from people who might not otherwise be following along with your blog. Plus, it allows you to repurpose your content; not only does it show up on your blog, but it’s fodder for your email list, too—killing two birds with one stone.

Publish to Medium or LinkedIn Pulse

Finally, remember that you can publish on many different channels—and we’ve had great success sharing some of our best posts on Medium and Pulse. Both publishing platforms have good, built-in SEO traction that makes it so much easier for your content to be discovered, even by people who aren’t otherwise familiar with your brand.

The bottom line? There are small steps you can take to make sure your content isn’t invisible. To learn more about bringing in traffic, reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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Filed under Blog Writing, Brand Management, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Social Media, Web Content

5 Ways to Develop Content with Long-Term Value

Online content is ephemeral by its very nature—and not just Snapchat stories! Whether you’re talking about blog posts, press releases, or tweets, so much of the content that companies develop has a remarkably short shelf life.

This is just the nature of the beast, but it can be discouraging. For companies that invest a lot of time and money into their website content, for instance, knowing that the lifespan of said content is brief can make the whole process seem frivolous.

There are ways you can inject more life and longevity into your website content, though, and ensure that it provides you with SEO and branding clout long after that first week, that first month, or that first year. Here are five tips from the Grammar Chic team.

Focus on Evergreen Content

A blog post detailing your brand new product has an inherently short-lived relevance, because of course that product won’t be brand new forever! Such content is necessary, but you should counterbalance it with evergreen content—Web pages written on timeless topics with enduring relevance. Something like an FAQ page or a how-to guide can provide you with a content angle that will still be fresh and relevant in a few years’ time. One recommendation: Schedule time once a year or so to review this content and make any tweaks or additions that are needed.

Optimize Your Content

Your content will offer you more bang over a longer span of time if it continues to get discovered by search engine users. Be sure that you optimize content for long-tail keyword phrases, and that you pay attention to critical on-page elements such as the title tag and meta description. Investing in some SEO basics is a great way to future-proof your content.

Link to Your Content

Internal linking is a great way to keep your content alive; even a blog post or a Web page you wrote three years ago may prove a relevant appendix to a more current page. Linking to it, when appropriate, can send readers to different parts of your site, including older content that might otherwise be neglected. Of course, it also increases the SEO value of those older pages.

Repurpose Older Content

Even if you feel like a particular page or an older blog post is losing its SEO value, or simply not generating much traffic, the concepts on that page can still be worthwhile. That’s when you take that content and repackage it as a brand new page, as an email newsletter, or as a series of social media posts.

Refresh Your Content Regularly

One more thing: Your website shouldn’t remain static for years at a time. Grammar Chic’s team recommends routine content refreshes; whether a full re-write or a subtler re-shaping, content updates can keep your entire site feeling fresh and new. Work this into your annual marketing rhythm. And for help polishing your content to perfection, reach out to our team at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Match Your Content to Your Sales Funnel

We’d all like to believe that the consumer journey is simple and straightforward—that a buyer sees your product advertised somewhere, visits your website, and places and order, all within a span of mere minutes.

Maybe it happens like that sometimes—but usually, the buyer’s journey is quite a bit more complicated. Maybe the consumer makes a general inquiry on Google, and happens to see one of your products in an AdWords placement. He digs around for more information, reading your company blog or checking out some tweets. He forgets about your company, but a week later sees a retargeted ad on Facebook. Weeks or even months after that initial discovery, the consumer finally places an order.

The point is, there are many steps and stages to the buying process—and that’s something that has a direct impact on content marketing.

Simply put, you can’t assume that everyone who encounters your content is going to be at the same point in their journey. Some might be discovering your brand for the very first time; what they need is some general information. Others may be very familiar with your brand, and on the brink of making a purchase decision. What these consumers need is something that will persuade them to make that conversion.

In creating content, it’s important to think in terms of that consumer journey—and to develop content to fit each stage along the way.

Top of the Funnel Content

For starters, you need some content to greet those consumers who are just discovering your brand—the people who aren’t ready to commit to a particular product, but may find your company through a broad, generalized search. Here the goal is to educate them about who you are and what you do, developing brand visibility. Some content types you might consider here include:

  • Blog posts
  • Web content
  • Press releases
  • Explainer videos
  • Infographics

Middle of the Funnel Content

At the same time, it’s important to develop content for people who know your brand and are trying to do their due diligence, figuring out why they should trust your company over the competition. Some recommended content types here include:

  • Newsletters
  • White papers
  • Product demos
  • Reviews
  • Retargeting

Bottom of the Funnel Content

Finally, it’s vital to have content designed to inform the consumer at that moment of decision—to lead to a conversion. Here, establishing trust and speaking directly to value are both key. Recommended content types include:

  • Webinars
  • Reviews
  • Testimonials
  • Direct, personal sales presentations
  • Offers and discounts

Content for the Whole Journey

The bottom line: Content marketing should be mapped out and in sync with the buyer’s journey, which means different pieces of content may serve different functions. Do you have content for each stage of the buying process? If not, get help in strategic, results-oriented content development. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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5 Things You Should Know Before Meeting with a Content Marketing Company

For companies that want to reap the many benefits of content marketing, but lack either the time or the expertise to launch an effective campaign, there’s something to be said for outsourcing to the pros. A professional content marketing company can handle all aspects of content planning, creation, distribution, tracking, and reporting—helping you build your brand and engage your customers, with minimal hassle.

To get the most out of your content marketing partner, though, you’ll want to have all your ducks in a row before that initial consultation. Here are five pieces of information you should have before you begin working with a content marketing firm.

Your Goals

How will you define success? What will it take for you to feel like your content marketing efforts have been effective? Are you interested in increasing social media followers, website traffic, conversions, or all of the above? Have some goals in mind—no matter how small or how far-fetched—before you speak with your content marketing company, so they know what you want them to deliver.

Your Audience

Who are your customers? Who are the people you’re trying to reach? That’s something that only you can know for sure, and any information you can provide to your marketing company will be helpful to them as they tailor the content plan. Ideally, you’ll have a buyer persona you can offer.

Your Assets

Which social media accounts do you have active—and do any of them have decent follower numbers already? What about a company blog? An email list? Be prepared to talk about any specific marketing channels or resources you already have.

Your Expertise

Your content marketing can provide you with some blog topics to consider, but if you have specific areas you’d like to touch on, it’s always helpful to bring that up early in the process. The more input you can provide, the more the content marketing company will be able to capture your voice and your point of view.

Your Budget

Content marketing is scalable; it can be customized to meet your needs, including budgetary ones. Having a basic sense of your content commitment can help set the parameters for your campaign.

Taking just a few minutes to think through the specifics of your campaign will make your agency relationship that much more productive and efficient. Once you get all these things squared away—or if you have any questions about this list—reach out to the team at Grammar Chic, Inc. Contact us for a free content marketing consultation, either at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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The Right Way to Use SEO Keywords in Your Company Blog

One way to add SEO value to your written content is to include keywords. This is one of the oldest practices in all of digital marketing, yet also one of the least understood.

There have been a lot of pendulum shifts in the way marketers understand keywords; for a time, keywords were gleefully stuffed into every piece of content, and then there was a season when many wondered if keywords were on their way out.

The truth is that keywords still matter a great deal, and inserting them properly can add tremendous SEO value to your writing—yet judicious and strategic keyword use is something that requires some forethought and some discipline.

In this post, we’ll offer some basic practices for ensuring that, when you add keywords to your content, you do so effectively.

Keywords Drive Content—Not the Other Way Around

First, it’s really ideal if you use keywords as your starting point. Come up with your targeted keywords before you do any writing, and allow them to guide your approach—your topic selection, your structure, etc. This way, the keywords are worked into your content more organically.

The alternative is to write a piece of content and then add keywords after the fact. This isn’t optimal because it means the keywords will likely stick out like sore thumbs, or disrupt the flow of the writing. The goal should always be for your keyword use to be natural and seamless.

Keywords Reveal Something About Your Readers

Another important concept is keyword intent. If someone is searching for a particular keyword, it’s because he or she is seeking a certain kind of information. Think about why your buyers would be searching for a particular set of keywords, and what it says about their pain points and their ideal solutions.

This allows you to craft content where your keywords are not only present, but used in such a way to address the reader’s questions and provide a real sense of value. In other words, your keywords are in the content as answers, not just as SEO add-ons.

The Best Places to Include Keywords

Getting caught up in how many keywords is usually a dead end, but we do recommend trying to include keywords in a few strategic locations. Here are the places where keywords offer the most SEO value.

Headline

Include a keyword within the first 65 characters of your headline, if at all possible.

Body Text

The body of your blog post should have keywords used naturally throughout. Remember to never force them or stuff them; just use them where they fit naturally, ensuring that the content still reads well.

URL

A vanity URL slug, with your keyword included, is a great SEO feature.

Meta Description

Another great, often-overlooked place to add keywords is in your blog’s meta description.

Write Blogs with SEO Value

Keywords aren’t everything, but they can make your content more discoverable among search engine users. The Grammar Chic, Inc. team offers unsurpassed expertise in writing blog content with SEO value in mind. To talk to one of our ghost bloggers today, contact us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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How Social Media Can Drive Brand Loyalty

In most areas of life, quality is of considerably greater importance than quantity. Case in point: Social media followers. It’s definitely significant for your company Facebook page to have a lot of followers, for instance, but it’s not especially meaningful if those followers don’t ultimately become faithful customers. Most businesses would surely prefer 10 followers—if they are loyal, paying customers who recommend your business to all their friends—to 100 followers who are casual and uninvolved.

And as it happens, social media can be a powerful tool for cultivating this kind of loyalty. We’ll offer you a few ways how.

Using Social Media to Enhance Brand Loyalty

Focus on value. We say this all the time, but it’s important: The best question you can ask when considering content shares is, what’s in it for my customers? Everything you offer should address their pain points or their needs, or at the very least make them chuckle. Remember to follow the 80-20 rule here, and keep roughly 80 percent of your posts strictly informative. You can directly market your company the other 20 percent. Providing real, free value over spammy self-promotion is how trust is formed.

Post with consistency. If you want your social media followers to stay connected and engaged with your brand, and to keep your company in the forefront of their mind, you’ve got to post regularly. We really recommend a post or two daily; posting once every nine months, meanwhile, is really just a waste. You might as well not post at all.

Remember the social in social media. A lot of companies post content to social media sites, but are they actually interacting with followers? That shows you’re willing to go the extra mile. Be vigilant in answering questions, responding to complaints, and being a part of your own online community.

Position your brand as the solution. When you do promote your brand directly, it shouldn’t be portrayed as just another consumer product, or a faceless online company. Instead, connect the dots. Show how your brand solves the problems your customers are facing. If you’re also building authority by giving away free, valuable information—as we noted above—then this will really help you appear as a trustworthy ally.

With a smart, strategic posting strategy, you can use social media to develop a faithful user base—and we can help you develop just such an approach. Reach out to the content marketing experts at Grammar Chic, Inc. to learn more. Connect at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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