Tag Archives: content marketing

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

What are You Trying to Accomplish with Your Content Marketing?

Hand Drawing Content Flow Chart

Suppose someone were to ask you: What are your goals for your company’s content marketing campaign? What is it that you’re trying to accomplish?

You may wonder whether there’s a right answer to this question—but the truth is, there isn’t, except to say that it varies. Different businesses bring different initiatives to content marketing. They look to do different things. And that’s okay. There is room enough in content marketing to accommodate a wide range of strategies and goals.

What we recommend here at Grammar Chic is simply this: Think about what’s most important to you. Think about what you might accomplish through content marketing, and set your priorities. Then align both your execution and your reporting to reflect these goals. If you’re not sure about how to do any of this, you can always call us for a consultation.

Before setting your goals, though, it’s good to have a sense of what all content marketing can do. You might actually be surprised by this.  There are plenty of good and worthy achievements you can reach through your content marketing efforts, and knowing some of the options can help you to set lofty yet attainable goals.

Let us show you what we mean.

Content Marketing Goals to Consider

Here are just a few of the things you might set out to do with your content marketing efforts.

Brand awareness. People aren’t going to do business with you if they don’t know what you stand for, or are unaware that you even exist. Good, original content can address this problem. The idea is that a consumer might stumble upon your company blog post and like it so much they ask, Who wrote this?

Website traffic. A more conventional and easy-to-track metric, one thing content can do is send people to your site. Intrinsic to this is having a site that is ready to capture and convert leads—meaning good content on the site itself, forms and e-mail list to grab hold of people, etc.

Educated clients. Something else you can strive for: Preparing your clients to do business with you. Use content to inform them about your industry and products; to make them aware of problems and solutions. This can smooth your sales and customer services processes.

Retention and upsells. Good content can help you get customers, but it can also help you maintain them. Content marketing can be a form of ongoing product support or client involvement—keeping them tuned in to what your company does and letting them know of new products or services that they can use.

Trust. Content speaks to authority; when done right, it shows that you know what you’re doing. In an age of e-commerce, where many consumers are still just a little wary of doing business online, this is an important way to reassure potential clients and customers that you’re trustworthy.

We’ll ask again, then: What are you trying to accomplish with your content marketing? Let us help you though some of the possibilities, and figure out a way to turn your goals into realities. Contact Grammar Chic to learn more: www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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

Why Content is Still King—And Always Will Be

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Content is king. That was a popular phrase in the early days of search engine optimization, more popular still once content marketing started to take off. The meaning of that phrase is pretty simple: For whatever other gimmicks, tactic, or strategies you employ, high-quality and compelling content is the single most essential, make-or-break component of your marketing strategy.

It’s a useful phrase for a couple of reasons. One, it provides focus. SEO strategies tend to ebb and flow, as Google’s search algorithms themselves are subject to change—but the importance of content is something you can rely on. So long as you don’t get distracted from that simple premise, you can’t veer too far off course.

In addition, it provides some practical direction for your blog and Web content development. Your starting point is always going to be more or less the same: Devise topics and themes that not only align with your company’s vision, but that also offer practical, actionable value to your targeted readers. That first step sets your entire content development process in motion.

But content is king, as a marketing truism, has long drifted into cliché—and in some ways, fallen out of fashion. It’s enough to raise the question: Is content still paramount to effective online marketing?

Google’s Value Proposition

To answer this question, we need to step back and make a few observations about how search engines work; for the sake of simplicity, we’ll just use Google as shorthand here. What is Google’s ultimate aim with its search engine results page? Like any company, Google is trying to provide its customers with a product that is useful and satisfactory. In this case, the customers are search engine users; the product is the list of search engine results themselves. What Google needs to do to keep its customers happy is simple: Continue to provide useful, to-the-point search results that answer the questions search engine users are asking.

That’s the one constant thread in search engine optimization and content marketing. Algorithms may change and trends come and go, but Google is always going to have an interest in providing a valuable product to its customers—which means that algorithms are always going to be looking for content that gives users what they came for.

Not only does this mean content will always be king, but it suggests some helpful ways of thinking about what good, effective content really is. Consider this checklist of what high quality content should be:

  • Easy to navigate
  • Descriptive and accurate in its headlines and meta descriptions
  • Formatted to ensure easy skimming and reading
  • Engaging and well-written
  • Enriched with graphics, videos, and supplemental links
  • Actionable in its practical takeaways
  • Relevant to the targeted search engine queries

Keep this in mind as you develop content with search engine optimization in mind: You’re ultimately helping provide Google with its product—and so long as you develop something that Google’s customers want, you’re on the right track.

For help with this, don’t hesitate to contact the Grammar Chic writing and marketing team right away. Reach us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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How Did You React to Facebook’s New Emotions?

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It’s a familiar plight: Your friend has posted something candid and revealing on Facebook—maybe something about a sick relative or a tough situation at work. You want to offer your support, to let them know you read their post and are thinking about them—but hitting the like button on such a sobering post seems wrong somehow.

Good news: Facebook has taken a big step toward addressing this dilemma, augmenting its familiar “like” button with a range of new, modulated “reactions.” When you post something on Facebook, now, your friends have the option of expressing their feelings about your post in a number of ways—like, love, anger, sadness, “wow,” and “haha.” (Facebook has not unveiled its long-rumored “dislike” button, which is probably for the best.)

You’ve probably noticed these new reactions already—both on your personal Facebook account and perhaps on your business page. This last point raises an interesting question: How will Facebook’s new reactions change the game for commercial Facebook pages? After years of competing for Facebook likes, will your small business now need to aim for “love” or “wow” reactions? And will it somehow count against your Facebook stats if you get a lot of sad or angry emotions?

What Reactions Mean for Your Facebook Analytics

While these new reactions have already changed the Facebook user experience, they haven’t actually changed the algorithms—at least not yet. Facebook has stated that all reactions are treated equally: When a user reacts to one of your company’s posts—whether with like, love, anger, or “wow”—it means they want to see more of your posts, and the Facebook algorithms will respond accordingly.

In other words, reactions won’t adversely impact organic search results or newsfeed placement—so there’s no reason for companies to fear or prioritize different reactions. Algorithmically speaking, all reactions are good reactions; so long as you’re getting some kind of engagement, that’s what really matters.

New Insight Into Your Users

That’s not to say that reactions aren’t meaningful to marketers. While they may not change algorithms, they do provide new insights into your users—what they think of your content and even your brand.

For example, the more carefully modulated reactions can provide new opportunities for customer service. When someone responds to your post with sadness, that’s a good opening for you to reach out directly and ask how you can provide a better user experience—sort of like the companies that directly respond to complaints on Twitter. By having a more precise reading of what your users are thinking, you can better tailor your response to them.

There are also potential avenues for better targeting—ad campaigns running just to the people who give you “love” or “wow” reactions, for example—though such innovations are still in development.

The bottom line: Facebook reactions are no reason for concern—and in fact, they may be something you’ll grow to love in due time. Keep tabs on who’s responding to your Facebook content—but also how.

Talk with us about your company’s Facebook strategy. Reach out to Grammar Chic at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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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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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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