Tag Archives: online content marketing

When You Don’t Have Time for Content Marketing

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Content marketing is more widespread and more accepted with each passing day. Even so, many small business owners remain resistant. Some hold out because they feel like they can’t afford it, and some because they’re not yet convinced of its merit. In our experience, though, the single most common objection to content marketing is this: I don’t have time.

For those small business owners who believe they lack the time for content marketing, we have a few points of rebuttal:

  1. To begin with, nobody ever said your content had to be epically long. There is a movement among content marketers toward “long form” content—content that tops 1500 words—but written content absolutely doesn’t have to be so lengthy, and in fact pithy and straight-to-the-point blogs and social media posts tend to be best for engaging consumers.
  2. Quality is more important than quantity. Don’t feel like you have to write ten blog posts every day. One per week can be highly effective, assuming you take the time to really nail it and make that blog post count.
  3. There are many forms of content that can be relatively easy to put together—quick lists, crowdsourced content, answers to questions from your inbox, and so on.
  4. Content curating is always an option, and in fact we believe it to be essential. Don’t have time to draft an original blog post today? You probably can find a minute to link to a relevant blog from a colleague, or a pertinent article from Forbes or The New York Times, or simply a YouTube video that correlates to your industry.
  5. If you habitually find yourself scrambling to put content together at the last minute, your problem may not be a lack of time so much as a lack of preparation. Putting together an editorial calendar can help!
  6. You can also enlist the help of guest bloggers, whose authority and perspective will enrich your own content platforms.
  7. For that matter, those small business owners who truly do not have the time to spare on content marketing can always simply outsource it. In fact, this is one of the very best reasons to contract a content professional: You get better results, and don’t have to invest all the time in it yourself!

To learn more about working with a content marketing strategist, and how it can free up your time for other tasks and competencies, contact the Grammar Chic team right away. We’re available at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Questions to Ask Before Scaling Up Your Content Marketing

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Content marketing is an ongoing commitment, one that gains traction and grows in its effect over time. As your company’s content marketing becomes more and more successful, you may decide that it’s time to scale it up—to invest more in branding your business on the Web and reaching out to customers through social media channels.

There are several ways in which you might go about this. You might spread to new social channels; if you’ve found great success on Facebook and Pinterest, you may feel like you can translate it into success on Twitter and Instagram. You may decide to simply produce more content—posting twice per day instead of just once, blogging weekly instead of twice per month. You may enlist creative professionals to assist you with original infographics, podcasts, videos, white papers, or e-books.

As with any aspect of growing a business, though, scaling up your content marketing needs to be handled judiciously and strategically. Here are a few questions the Grammar Chic team would recommend you consider, before you begin scaling up in earnest.

  1. What are your goals? You don’t want to scale up just for the sake of scaling up. You want to set some specific, measurable goals, so that you can properly measure ROI. What are you trying to accomplish with your content marketing? Who are you trying to reach? Think in terms of sales/referral traffic, but also in terms of buyer personas and meeting consumer needs.
  2. What’s worked in the past? If you’re thinking about scaling up, then you must have seen some success—but what exactly has made your content marketing so effective? Which posts and strategies have helped you reach your goals? Figure out what’s been successful and try to build on it.
  3. What’s working for your competitors? What are your peers and competitors doing that you’re not—and how might you work to fill in the gap?
  4. Do you know how to use the relevant social platforms? Don’t overlook this. If your aim is to branch out onto Pinterest but you’ve never used Pinterest before, you may need to view some tutorials!
  5. Is your team on board? Content marketing requires a full team buy-in. As you think about scaling up, make sure everyone understands what you’re doing and is excited to see the company’s social presence expand!

Our team can provide you with direction and content support as you look to expand your online presence. Reach out to us today: Call 803-831-7444, or visit www.grammarchic.net!

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Assembling Your Content Marketing Dream Team

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Looking to assemble your own content marketing dream team? The social media equivalent of The Avengers? You’re going to need talented folks who wear a number of hats—including each of the following key players:

  • A good listener. Content marketing is, by its very nature, a social endeavor. It’s not something you do in isolation, and it’s not just about broadcasting your own platform or message. Content marketing begins with actually hearing your followers and fans; learning what matters to them, and how that plays into your brand; tracking feedback and measuring online reputation; and joining followers and fans in conversation.
  • A good conversationalist. Speaking of which: As you use social media platforms to dialogue with your followers and fans, you’re going to need someone who can hold up your brand’s side of the conversation. You’re going to need someone adept at responding to comments and questions, and facilitating a meaningful relationship while always putting your company’s best foot forward.
  • A killer copywriter. Even in the era of online video and images—increasingly important to content marketing and social sharing—written content is still paramount. You need someone who can develop copious amounts of engaging, entertaining, value-adding content—all of it consistent with your brand’s message, all of it creative and compelling.
  • A multimedia specialist. With the above said, you’re going to need—at a bare minimum—some original, brand-enhancing images and infographics. Some original video will certainly help, too.
  • An analyst. You can have all of the other players on your team but still effectively be flying blind, with no real idea of which content is working and which isn’t. That’s why your content marketing Avengers need someone who can run analytics, measure social impact, and translate the facts and figures into a powerful, actionable strategy.
  • A crisis management expert. What happens when you have a product that backfires, a public statement that blows up in your face, or simply a litany of loud consumer complaints? You’ll need someone who can take to social media to mitigate the damage and prevent you from having a true PR crisis on your hands.
  • A social media expert. This one might sound obvious, but: In addition to content and analytics, you’re also going to need a team member who knows Facebook inside and out; who keeps up with all the changes that come to Twitter and LinkedIn; and who knows how to tap into an audience on Instagram or Pinterest.
  • A marketing and messaging guru. Finally, you need the team leader who can bring all of these other skillsets together: Someone who understands your brand’s message, values, and goals, and ensures that everything else is in service of the big picture.

That’s a lot of cooks in the kitchen, and a lot of hands on deck—yet all are necessary to make your content marketing campaign work. The good news is, you don’t have to hire for all of those positions. That’s the beauty of outsourcing your content marketing needs to a company like Grammar Chic, Inc. We have all of these players represented in house—and eager to put their unique skills to use in your brand’s service.

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

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Content Marketing Like the Pros Do It

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Small business owners, are you using content marketing tools as effectively as you could be?

Consider the following two points. One, more and more small businesses are embracing the merits of social media and content marketing; in fact, more than 90 percent of all businesses now use social channels for marketing purposes, and nearly as many say that these channels are important to their marketing success. And two, the majority of small business owners say that, while they believe content marketing is important, they’re not necessarily confident about how they’re doing it; they’re not necessarily sure about the best practices for savvy content marketing.

It might be helpful, then, to consider it from another angle. You may feel like you’re a bit of a content marketing amateur—but how do the pros handle things? And what lessons might we learn from them?

Survey Says…

A social CRM evaluation company called Software Advice recently conducted a survey of some of the country’s leading professional marketers. The survey questions are wide-ranging and revealing. In particular, some of the key findings include:

  • 84 percent of professional marketers routinely post on three or more social networks; 70 percent say that they post daily.
  • Visual content and hashtags are cited as particularly effective ways to optimize social media content.
  • A little over half of all the pros use software to help manage their postings.

Reading the Results

For small business owners who just want to make sure they’re on the right track with their content marketing, these results offer a few simple takeaways.

  • For one, diversifying your social media presence is a must. Where are your clients? It’s important to meet them where they are, and chances are, they’re not exclusively on Facebook or on Pinterest. Spreading your message across multiple platforms only amplifies it.
  • Consistent posting is key. Use an editorial calendar to ensure that, even on a “slow news day,” you’ve got something to share with your followers and fans.
  • Optimizing your posts is key. This is especially true of ones you pay to promote: Make sure you’re using images and hashtags to make them as compelling and as striking as possible.
  • Software can indeed make social media management easier—but then, of course, so can outsourcing your content marketing needs to a firm like Grammar Chic, Inc.

To learn more about any of this, we invite you to contact our team today: Visit www.grammarchic.net, or call us at 803-831-7444.

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Don’t Let These Content Marketing Myths Hold You Back

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What you don’t know about content marketing can hurt you—or at the very least, hold you back.

At Grammar Chic, Inc., we are constantly talking with small business owners about their own content marketing endeavors—and are sometimes surprised at the sheer number of businesses that have yet to really jump on the content marketing bandwagon. What’s frustrating is that the reasons for holding off on content marketing are usually pretty flimsy—based on myth rather than fact.

Let us give you some examples of what we’re talking about here.

All your content has to be long, thorough, and highly polished.

We’ve all seen the companies whose blog entries top a thousand words, and come loaded with compelling, original images and videos. That’s an intimidating standard to reach for, and the good news is you don’t have to. Just think about your content marketing goals. Are you trying to educate your readers on a specific topic, and can you do it in 400 words? Then that’s really all you need. A nice image is a plus, and video never hurts, but if you think every blog post has to be a magnum opus then you’re simply going to be paralyzed when you really need to take action.

I don’t know enough about content marketing to make it work.

Believe it or not, content marketing doesn’t require a high level of technical expertise, especially not if you team with a company like Grammar Chic, Inc. Yes, it’s good if you know the basics of social media and analytic reporting programs, but what maters most is that you have a clear understanding of your business and of your customers. If you can identify their needs, and the solutions you can offer, then you’ve got the crux of a good content marketing plan.

Content marketing will eat into all of your time.

It’s true enough that content marketing takes a real time commitment—but it’s just as true that you can organize your campaign with an editorial calendar to ensure maximum efficiency; that you can outsource the work to seriously cut back on your needed involvement; and that you can actually do much to boost your content marketing efforts in just 90 minutes’ time!

You won’t be able to measure the ROI of your content marketing.

This is one of the oldest content marketing myths in the book. You likely won’t see an overnight result from your content marketing, but over time there will be many measurable, discernable benefits—increased website traffic, more social media engagement, and—most significantly, albeit most esoterically—clients and customers who are better educated and more trusting of your brand.

So now you tell us: What’s holding you back from content marketing? We’d love to talk with you about it, and to offer our services however we can. Reach out to us today at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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Spruce Up Your Website for the Holiday Season

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Look: We understand that it’s only now mid-November… that Thanksgiving is still a couple weeks away, and for some of us Christmas seems pretty far off. Never mind that the malls already have their garlands and their Christmas music, that store shelves are fully stocked with yuletide candies and toys. Some may not be quite ready to think about the holiday season just yet, and that’s fine…

… unless you happen to be a small business owner. In which case, now is the time to start planning your holiday marketing and promotional campaigns. And that includes sprucing up your website.

There are plenty of ways to get your website holiday-ready, but most of them are going to require just a bit of advance planning—whether you do your website yourself or have a separate developer. Thus, if you want to have a website that pulls out all the stops and makes a big, festive splash, the time to build it is now.

We’ll recommend just a few possible avenues:

  • Remember that over the holidays, your visitors are going to have less time and more distractions than normal. They won’t necessarily have as much eagerness to peruse your full website—so make your point, and make it quick. Ensure that you have a strong call to action above the fold. Make e-mail sign-ups and social media buttons numerous, and highly visible.
  • One way to stand out, and to encourage users to dig deeper into your site, is to implement a carousel—a section of the site that has different images and text that rotate, each screen showing a different product or section of your site. It will take some work to get one up and running, but this can be a great way to showcase everything your business has to offer, even to those who are pressed for time.
  • Emphasize time sensitivity and urgency. Make prominent mention of holiday sales, noting their end dates. Also publicize when you need to receive orders to ensure delivery by Christmas Eve.
  • Offer some kind of a “bonus,” to entice customers to buy from you and not your competitor—or at least, to keep you in the running. Free shipping is an obvious one. Even if you always offer free shipping, make special note of it over the holidays.
  • Change your site color schemes to festive colors, or create some holiday-themed graphics or banners to include on your site. Help your customers get into the spirit of the season, and see if that doesn’t make them a bit more willing to spend money with you!

Really, anything you do to optimize your site for the holiday season is going to prove helpful to you—so get planning! And for more advice, don’t hesitate to contact Grammar Chic at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Content Marketing 101: Getting the Most Out of Visual Content

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The old saying tells us that a picture is worth a thousand words—but when it comes to the visual content you deploy on Facebook, Google+, and other social networks, that’s not strictly true. A picture is really worth whatever you put into it. The more effort and strategy you pour into your pictures and infographics, the better return you’re likely to see.

Certainly, all content marketers should be using visual content in their strategies. Study after study confirms that users respond to visual content, that images posted to social networks tend to generate a lot of shares—often more than standalone text updates. This is not particularly surprising: As users quickly scroll through social newsfeeds from their tablets and mobile devices, it makes sense that their attention would gravitate toward colorful, compelling images.

There’s a world of difference between just posting an image and truly optimizing it—getting as much out of it as you possibly can. The Grammar Chic, Inc. team recommends that you keep in mind the following five pointers as you seek to refine your social image strategy.

  1. Rod Stewart famously sang that “every picture tells a story,” but you shouldn’t necessarily make your images tell the entire story; instead, offer some brief text to illuminate the image. Offer a humorous caption, or simply a call to action. You don’t want to write more than a line or two, but text can help provide an image with some content and direction.
  2. Specifically, include a hashtag or two, to ensure that your image is searchable. Tie your images to current trends in the same way you would an all-text update or a hyperlink.
  3. Speaking of links, why not include a quick link to your website or blog in the images you post? If you post a really compelling image, people may share it—and your link will be shared right along with it. Images are excellent vehicles for generating website traffic.
  4. Because images tend to get a fair amount of engagement, experiment with some paid promotions—especially on Facebook. Invest just a little money into a few images and see which ones generate the biggest buzz.
  5. Finally: If you’re not adept at creating your own unique images and infographics, well, the good news is that you don’t have to. Remember that content curating is an important part of the content marketing process.

Ultimately, some well-placed, well-contextualized, and properly promoted images can transform your content marketing campaign. To learn more, contact the Grammar Chic, Inc. team today: Visit http://www.grammarchic.net, or call 803-831-7444.

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