Tag Archives: Content Writing Tips

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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How to Keep Your Emails Out of the Spam Folder

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Email marketing is potentially quite rewarding, an effective way to stay in contact with clients and with leads. As with anything, though, it takes some strategy and foresight if you want to steer clear of major obstacles—and as far as email marketing goes, the most major obstacle of all is the spam filter.

Simply put: People won’t like receiving low-value, spammy emails, which is why most email programs have sophisticated algorithms to detect spam and send it directly into a separate folder—keeping inboxes clean and uncluttered. That’s good news for email users but bad news for marketers, whose well-intentioned emails may inadvertently run afoul of these spam filters.

So what can you do to keep your emails in inboxes, where they belong? Keep reading for a few practical tips.

How to Avoid Getting Your Emails Flagged as Spam

To keep out of the way of those spam filters, here’s what we recommend:

Don’t buy an email list. If you’re sending emails to people who didn’t ask for them, it’s likely that they’ll flag your messages as spam. Only send marketing emails to customers who actually opt in to your email list.

Avoid conventionally “salesy” language. Spam filters will weed out any emails that seem like they’re strictly selling something—so using subject lines with “sale” or “free” can get you in trouble. Likewise, “30% off” and all-caps subject lines are destined to get your emails discarded. Focus on providing real information and value, and describing the email contents in non-salesy terms.

Don’t send image-only emails. While some images are fine, you also want to include text. Why? Some spammers have tried to use image-only emails to outsmart spam filters, so messages that only contain images may be discarded automatically.

Provide options for unsubscribing or for receiving fewer emails. Again, if you want to avoid getting your emails flagged as spam, it’s smart to allow readers some say in the emails they receive.

Segment and personalize your emails. The more specifically you can target your message to a particular audience, the more likely it is that people will want to read it rather than mark it as spam.

Strategize Your Email Marketing

Of course, the best way to make sure your marketing emails hit their target is to consider a robust, integrated approach to content marketing—and that’s something Grammar Chic can help with. Ask us about it today. Contact the Grammar Chic team at www.grammarchic.net, or at 803-831-7444.

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10 Questions for Your Web Developer

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Your company’s website is sort of like its virtual storefront—so when your website gets a facelift, it can almost feel like you’re moving into new digs, or at the very least getting a major renovation. That’s something you obviously want to approach strategically, and doing so means communicating your vision to the designer, while also making sure you have the right expectations about the finished product.

If you don’t have much experience talking to Web designers, you may be unsure of what to ask. Allow us to recommend a few basic, important questions to get you started.

What Should You Ask Your Web Designer?

  1. What’s my role in the process? Your designer will need to solicit your opinion or obtain information from you at various points, and if there is any delay in your response, it could stall the whole project. Make sure you have a good sense of what’s expected of you.
  2. What are the most common hold-ups in the process? Along the same lines, you might ask your designer where projects usually stall, and how you can avoid that happening.
  3. What resources can I provide up front? Most designers will be happy to receive marketing materials, brochures, links to old websites, etc. to get some sense of your style and your branding choices.
  4. What’s the process for adding new content to the site? What do you do when you have another part of the page that you need to add, and how much will it cost you?
  5. Will the site be hard-coded? What you’re asking here, basically, is whether the site will be done in old-school HTML format. Be warned: If the answer is yes, you will have to depend on the designer to make site updates for you!
  6. How can I update the site? Make sure the designer shows you around the CMS dashboard, allowing you to easily make small tweaks or additions to the site as needed.
  7. Will the website be responsive? A responsive website is vital for mobile friendliness. Make sure you confirm this with your designer.
  8. What are all of the costs associated with this site? You’ll want to know up-front the costs associated with the domain, hosting, etc., all of which may be in addition to the fee charged by the designer.
  9. How will we discuss revisions? You may have some tweaks you want to make to the designer’s initial mock-up, so clarify how that will go down—how you’ll communicate, how promptly you can expect those changes to be implemented, etc.
  10. What are the content needs? Your designer will probably need you to provide written content for each page—but how much? And are there any SEO requirements for your content to meet?

Have Your Content Handled by the Pros

Speaking of content creation, that happens to be our forte—and we would love to help you develop the written collateral for your new site. Ask us about our process today. Contact Grammar Chic at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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

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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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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5 Brilliantly Simple Thanksgiving Marketing Ideas

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We hate to be those people who start talking about the next holiday the minute the previous holiday is over; really we do. But with marketing, it’s crucial to plan everything in advance and never to waste any time. So with Halloween now a thing of the past, small business owners need to turn their attention to the next milestone in the holiday season.

Thanksgiving.

And fortunately, we’ve got a few suggestions to make your marketing efforts seasonally appropriate. (And simple, too!)

Simple Strategies for Your Seasonal Marketing

  1. Send thank-you notes. What could be simpler? In the season of gratitude, send a quick e-mail or even—gasp—a personal letter to some of your top, most loyal customers, simply letting them know that you appreciate their investment in your company. This genuine, humane gesture can help personalize your brand and foster major customer loyalty—because after all, who doesn’t love feeling appreciated?
  1. Start early. Whatever promotions, discounts, contests, events, or other special offers you’ll be rolling out around Thanksgiving, the time to announce them is now, this very week, preferably even this very day. Get on social media and let your followers know what Thanksgiving means to your company, and what they can expect in the weeks to come.
  1. Don’t forget about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In fact, there’s no reason you can’t stretch these big shopping days out into weeklong or even monthlong events. Use these shopping days as hooks for ongoing sales or promotions.
  1. Give back. Arrange a can drive or some other service activity for your employees or your customers—and make sure to mention it on social media and also send out a press release. There’s nothing at all wrong with letting folks know about the good stuff your brand is doing in the world!
  1. Make a video. During the holiday season, a touch of humanity can go a long way; record a quick video of your team expressing some sort of holiday message—maybe just a big, hearty thank-you to customers—and post it to social media. You may be surprised how much it resonates.

Again, these ideas are all straightforward—but also quite likely to be effective. But don’t take our word for it: Try ‘em today. Call us if you need further assistance: Grammar Chic can be reached at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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