Tag Archives: Professional Content Marketers

Tips for Writing Instagram Captions That Increase Engagement

Instagram has simply become too big and too popular to ignore. Perennially ranked as one of the fastest-growing social platforms, Instagram currently boasts well over a billion global users. And with the incorporation of social commerce functions, it’s more relevant than ever before to the interests of small business owners.

When leveraged effectively, Instagram can help you increase website traffic, boost brand awareness, even generate sales. To accomplish these goals, you certainly need high-quality images and videos. But you’ll also need something more than that: Strong captions that engage the user and encourage likes, shares, and other actions.

How to Write Effective Instagram Captions

So, what makes for effective copywriting on this image-driven social platform? There are a few considerations.

1) Front-load your sentences.

When your posts show up in a user’s newsfeed, Instagram will shorten your captions to about three lines. The user may click to expand the caption in order to read the full thing, but not everyone will take the time, especially if those first few lines don’t grab them. All that to say, front-load your captions with interest and with value. Ask a question or make an attention-grabbing statement. Make sure you pack plenty of good stuff into your opening sentence.

2) Encourage action.

Ultimately, you want your Instagram captions to spark some further action. The best way to make that happen is to ask for it, whether by posing a direct question to the user or by providing a clear call to action. Some specific things you can ask Instagram followers to do include:

  • Visit a particular link in your bio.
  • Leave a comment (usually to answer a specific question posed in the caption).
  • Tag a friend (this can help you expand your reach).
  • Share their own photo using a specific, branded hashtag.

3) Share insight.

An Instagram caption is not a blog post, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it as a way to share actionable advice, tips, or insights that are relevant to your field. Indeed, a post that shares real value is much more likely to be bookmarked or shared.

Side note: One of the best ways to generate insights for your Instagram captions is to actually use your blog posts. Read back through some recent posts for any bullet points that you could adapt to Instagram. Scuttling your blog for spare parts is an easy way to recycle content.

4) Be personable.

Generally speaking, the most effective Instagram captions are the ones that come across as human, not robotic. So, make sure you have a brand voice that can be casual, funny, and relatable. There’s no need to be as formal as you would be in, say, a press release. To that end, don’t be afraid to use emoji to animate your captions and inject some extra humor or emotion.

5) Use hashtags.

Hashtags are crucial for making your posts discoverable in the Instagram search algorithms, which can be key to broadening your reach. As you consider the right Instagram hashtags, we’d recommend a combination of branded hashtags (specific to your brand), community hashtags (widely used within your industry or field), and the occasional trending hashtag (but only when genuinely relevant).

Get Help with Marketing Copy

There’s a real art to effective social media copywriting… and if you need a little help mastering that art, we’re here for you. Set up a consultation call with Grammar Chic, Inc. by visiting www.grammarchic.net or by calling 804-831-7444.

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6 Reasons to Invest in Professional Content Creation

Most business owners don’t need to be convinced of the value of online content. By now, the bottom-line benefits of content marketing are well-documented. The right content can lead to greater Google visibility, it can attract qualified leads, it can establish trust and rapport, and it can even ensure that customers are well-educated about your product and service offerings before they get in touch with your sales team.

No, the problem isn’t a perceived lack of value. The problem, in our experience, is a simple lack of time. Small business owners constantly have full plates, and as they get more and more swamped, blog-writing and content refreshes are usually the first items erased from the to-do list.

The solution? Hire a team of pros. Indeed, there are a number of benefits you can anticipate from investing in professional content creation.

Why Invest in Professional Content Creation?

  1. You lack a consistent online presence. Do you ever feel like your business is lost in a sea of competitors? One way to stand out, and to attract more attention from potential clients and customers, is to invest in blog posts, which in turn fuel your social media efforts. Regularly generating content allows you to cultivate a real presence on the Internet, potentially drawing in people who want to benefit from your thought leadership.
  2. You’re not feeding the beast. By the beast, of course, we mean Google’s algorithms, which constantly crave fresh, original content. If you’re not feeding the beast on a regular basis, sooner or later it will cause your SEO rankings to tumble.
  3. You’re creating content without an overarching strategy. Creating content just for content’s sake is a rookie mistake. A better approach is to build out a full strategy, including carefully defined goals and laser-focused buyer personas, then to create content that is tailored to move your bottom line. A professional content creator can help you with that.
  4. You’re not a great writer. Hey, there’s no shame in admitting that writing isn’t your strong suit. Whether you lack experience or simply aren’t able to write quickly, the last thing you want is for your brand to be tarnished with suboptimal content. Hire a team of pros to ensure the right level of polish and professionalism.
  5. Your content exists in a silo. Content isn’t supposed to live in a vacuum. Ideally, your content is developed to fuel your social media activity, to provide fodder for an email newsletter, and perhaps even to lay the groundwork for some compelling videos. A good content developer can help you bring all the pieces together into something coherent and strategic.
  6. You just don’t have time. We’ll say it again: Small business owners have a lot on their plate. We get it. And that’s why we love providing small companies with our content writing services, allowing their busy leaders to focus more time and attention on growing their business and developing their employees.

Questions About Professional Content Creation? Contact Grammar Chic, Inc

We’d love to tell you more about the advantages of choosing Grammar Chic, Inc. as your content creation partner. Reach out and schedule a consultation with us: Call 803-831-7444 or visit www.grammarchic.net.

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5 Ways to Repurpose Your Content

Your written assets are invaluable pieces of marketing collateral, often representing a significant investment of time and labor. And yet, all too often, we treat content as though it is disposable. A blog post that takes days of research, writing, and optimization may be heavily promoted for a month, but then it’s all but forgotten.

To ensure you’re getting the maximum benefit from each piece of content you develop, consider some methods of repurposing. Here are just a few tips to improve your content mileage.

Effective Ways to Repurpose Your Digital Content

1. Update your longform blog posts regularly. If you take the time to write 2,000 words about email marketing trends, then you should be prepared to update the post every six months or so, reflecting how those trends change. After all, long-form content can be invaluable, both in terms of SEO and brand authority, but you’ll squander all that value if you allow the content to become dated or obsolete.

2. Use video to tease your content. When you develop a new piece of content, consider making a short video to promote it. For example, you can make a YouTube video or even an Instagram clip to summarize some of the main points of your most recent blog post, and end by inviting your viewers to read the post (and then share it).

3. Summarize your blog posts in email newsletters. At Grammar Chic, our monthly newsletter includes a rundown of all our recent blog posts, along with some short summaries of each. You don’t need to rehash the entirety of each post, but you can definitely use your long-form content as fodder for future emails.

4. Turn bullet points into tweet storms. Sure: Tweets are by their nature fairly ephemeral. But if you have a blog post with plenty of stand-alone points, quotes, or observations, it’s pretty easy to convert them into short blasts to your social media followers, potentially shoring up your thought leadership credentials.

5. Combine shorter posts into an e-book or downloadable guide. One final option to consider: If you have a number of shorter posts on a related topic, work with an editor to combine them into a single document, which you can then promote as a downloadable resource.

Increase Your Content ROI

These are just a few ways to improve your content ROI, particularly for longer and more in-depth pieces. We’d love to talk to you further about how these repurposing methods can fit into your overall content strategy. To speak with one of our writer-editors, contact Grammar Chic, Inc. at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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7 Reasons to Hire a Content Writer in 2021

When you run a small business, you know more about it than anyone in the world. But just because you know your business inside and out, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the best person to articulate its value proposition… especially not in writing.

That’s where a professional content writer can be invaluable: Translating your knowledge and your passion into messaging that crystallizes what you do and why customers should care.

Indeed, there are a number of reasons why business owners outsource their content writing needs… and, why enlisting a writer may be the best decision you make in the dawning days of 2021.

1) Bad writing will wreck your reputation.

Let’s be honest: Writing is a skill, and not everyone has it. If you’re not a natural-born writer, that’s totally okay! You obviously have plenty of other skills that have allowed you to launch a successful business.

But if you’re not a good writer, that’s something that’s important to acknowledge to yourself. See, if you do your own copywriting but it’s filled with circuitous grammar or sloppy mistakes, it could actually have a counterproductive effect.

For instance, it’s hard to say that your business stands for quality, consistency, or attention to detail if your writing is full of typos.

Hire a professional writer to make sure bad writing never tarnishes your good name.

2) Good writers will know how to connect.

It’s actually possible that you know your business or your industry a little too well.

This is a common issue among business owners, who get so excited talking about what they do that they load their language with jargon, technicalities, or sales-speak.

Sometimes, it takes an outsider to identify what really makes your company special, and to phrase it in a way that it connects with potential customers… not just explaining what you do, but what difference you can make in their lives.

3) Professional writers can help you get results.

Whether you’re writing a blog post, a press release, or an email newsletter, you’re probably not doing it just for kicks and giggles. In theory, your writing should always serve a specific purpose. You should be writing to generate leads, to close sales, to instill trust, or to build your reputation.

This requires more than just a knowledge of how your business works. It also requires knowing how to format your writing, how to build an argument, how to use persuasive language, and how to craft a perfect call to action.

These are tools in the professional writer’s toolbox, and they can ensure that your business writing actually accomplishes something.

4) Good writing is good SEO.

Which is more important: Writing content that appeals to human readers, or writing content that jibes with the Google search algorithms?

Trick question! Actually, by writing relevant and valuable content for your end user, you’ll be much better positioned to occupy prime search engine real estate.

The best writer will have the SEO knowledge it takes to draw the right kind of attention, from your target audience as well as from the search bots.

5) Hiring a writer will save you time.

Honest question: How long would it take you to write a really solid company blog post?

And what else could you do in that same amount of time?

One of the main reasons to outsource anything is to free yourself to focus on the essentials: Leading your team, strategizing for your business, or satisfying your customers.

Allow writers to take content creation off your hands.

6) A professional writer can address a range of content needs.

By forming a relationship with a professional writer, you can ensure you have someone you can call on for a range of needs, including developing new sales copy, composing tweets, and beyond.

As the writer gets to know your business better and better, they will become a trusted marketing partner, able to provide a range of marketing assets for use in your business.

7) Professional writers will work well with your other creative partners.

Believe us when we tell you that a professional writing company, like Grammar Chic, Inc., does a lot of collaborating with other agencies. These might include SEO consultants, web design houses, marketing firms, and beyond.

If you’re looking for a partner who can easily fold into that relationship, ensuring really optimal results across your different marketing activities, consider hiring a professional writer today.

We’d love to speak with you further about all the reasons it makes sense to outsource your writing needs. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. today by calling 803-831-7444 or by visiting www.grammarchic.net.

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Mindfulness: Not Just for Mental Health – Apply it to Content Marketing

Customers are inundated with content every time they go online. A simple Internet search can generate millions of results. There are pop-up ads on many websites. Social media is a never-ending cycle of information. But just because the content is there, doesn’t mean that customers connect with it. Being mindful about the information you put out and intentional in your marketing can pay off.

Focusing on Quality Over Quantity

Publishing articles and posting on social media just for the sake of pushing out content will garner limited results. Taking the time to offer information that is relevant and meaningful to your audience will produce a greater return. Consider what value they will get from what they read. What do you want them to do with the information?

  • Know your audience. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Focus on what is important to your audience and what affects their decision making. Take advantage of analytics tools to understand what customers are searching for, and what attracts them to your site. This should guide your planning process.
  • Be authentic. Let your audience know that you understand the challenges they face and are grounded in reality. Show them that you are listening and using their feedback to make meaningful changes and share information that they want. Keeping them in the loop will build loyalty and repeat business.
  • Look beyond sales. While you may use content marketing to drive sales, all of your copy shouldn’t be sales-focused. Offer a variety of data and information related to your brand, products, and services. Be genuine in offering solutions and action-oriented content rather than just being promotional. Once you gain their trust and build credibility, the sales will come.
  • Post with a purpose. Stop writing fluff pieces. Before you start, consider how your content will be different than everything that is already out there. What do you want the reader to take away from it? Why should they care about the topic? Go in with a plan and a focus on quality.

Be mindful about the content you are producing and the value it adds. Drive a connection with your customers so they want to engage with what you have to say, rather than keep scrolling by. Whether you’re focused on social media or blogging, Grammar Chic can help you get noticed for the right reasons with a solid content marketing plan.

Find out how we can help you and your business by contacting us today at www.grammarchic.net or (803) 831-7444.

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Why Content Marketing is Right for This Moment

What comes next?

That’s the question many of us are asking as the pandemic rages on. The year 2020 has been buffeted by disruption and uncertainty, and there’s really no telling what the next few months will bring. Understandably, most of us have our anxieties: Anxieties about our children’s education, about politics, about money, about the businesses we own.

For the most part, we don’t know any more than you do, and won’t venture a guess as to what 2021 has in store. But one thing we can say is that, as you consider your business plans for the coming year, it would be wise to consider making content marketing a part of it.

Content marketing is actually very well-suited for the current cultural moment. Allow us to tell you why.

Why Now’s the Time for Content Marketing

1) Because it’s never been more valuable to connect with your customers.

We know: It’s such a cliché. And you’ve no doubt been inundated with emails beginning with “in these unprecedented times…

But the reality is, we’re all craving some regularity, some sense of connectedness, some inkling that things may return to an approximation of normal. Content marketing can provide you with an excellent way of providing those things for your customers and clients. Maybe you’re looking for an email newsletter to keep clients apprised of new store policies or COVID safety measures. Maybe you need a social media campaign to inform folks that things will be business-as-usual during the holiday shopping center. Whatever your specific communication needs, content marketing can be an asset.

2) Because content marketing breeds trust.

By the time 2021 rolls around, there’s no telling what the economy’s going to look like… but right now, the projections are all showing fairly modest growth. What this means is that consumers and B2B clients are likely going to be more cautious than before about parting ways with their hard-earned-money.

So how can you convince your target audience to spend their dime on your product or service? Old-fashioned, ham-fisted advertising methods are proving themselves to be less and less effective. But earning the trust and goodwill of clients, by showcasing your expertise and thought leadership, can be just the thing. And again, that’s really what content marketing is all about.

3) Because content marketing is highly scalable.

A lot of companies are heading into 2021 with scaled-back marketing budgets. Here again, content marketing may be just what you need. Content marketing is made to scale, and it’s very easy to start with a modest scope and build into something more robust over time. Additionally, content marketing provides plenty of options for tracking and reporting, allowing you to see exactly what’s working and what’s not, then allocating marketing dollars accordingly.

Content marketing can also bring some flexibility to your team. Unable to hire a full-time marketing person? Outsourcing to a content marketing agency like Grammar Chic can be a cost-effective alternative. Or, if you have a marketing team that’s stretched a little thin, Grammar Chic can offer coverage on content creation and distribution, freeing your employees to invest in other forms of value-adding creative or technical work.

The bottom line: If your business is looking for something nimble and elastic, both from a budgetary standpoint and a workforce standpoint, content marketing may be the right way to proceed.

4) Because content marketing can help you build something new.

We understand that a lot of entrepreneurs are going to need to be flexible and creative in order to stay afloat in 2020; this might mean rebranding, launching a new line of products and services, or even creating a side hustle.

If you’re trying something new, you’ll want to promote it. Content marketing provides a great way to generate word-of-mouth buzz in an authentic, organic way. Start creating a community around your new venture via engaging social media content, blog posts, and beyond.

We can help you do it. Grammar Chic, Inc. is always over the moon to work with small business owners, and we’re especially passionate about showing how content marketing can be the perfect thing for this strange season of life.

If you’d like to chat with us about any of this, we welcome you to reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. today.

Connect with us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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Why Content Marketing is Going to Be Hot in a Post-COVID World

We’ll start with the ubiquitous cliché: COVID-19 has changed everything. In the weeks, months, and years to come, we’ll all see even more clearly how it’s disrupted our world and changed our behavior. The marketing world is by no means exempt; it may be a good long while before we have a full reckoning of how the pandemic has impacted consumer behavior, and what that means for our efforts to advertise and promote.

Marketing After COVID

With that said, we can certainly make a few preliminary hypotheses.

  • Traditional advertising is going to become all but gone. Many of us are going to be spending more time at home, fearful of too much exposure to the open air; as such, things like highway billboards just aren’t going to offer the same return on investment. Similarly, in a culture increasingly germ-aware, physical totems, such as direct mailers, are going to become obsolete.
  • Traditional TV advertising is also likely to shift toward a digital, programmatic model… if only because the quarantine has led more people to start consuming content on their devices, focusing more on streaming services, YouTube, and short-form social media content over broadcast TV.
  • In light of the pandemic’s economic fallout, many of us are going to have tight budgets. We’re not going to want to part with our hard-earned money just because some ham-fisted sales pitch tells us to. Traditional sales tactics are going to become less and less effective.
  • For a long time, consumers are going to have questions about whether their favorite businesses and restaurants are still in business and about whether the new businesses that have sprung up are worth going to. Most of us will turn to Google to do some research before we physically venture to these businesses. Again, you can anticipate a lot of reluctance about heading away from home needlessly.

These are just a few of the changes we foresee to the marketing landscape… but what are the practical implications? For one thing, we think content marketing is going to become hotter than ever.

The Argument for Content Marketing

There are a few reasons why we suspect content marketing will thrive in a post-COVID world.

  • These days, we’re inundated with voices from the news, voices from politicians, voices from the medical profession… and at times, it can be hard to know who to listen to or who to trust. The most successful brands will be those that develop a reputation for clear, candid, and honest connection with their audience. Content marketing and thought leadership create that connection.
  • While the general public is going to be increasingly wary of being “advertised to,” we’ll arguably be more ready than ever for stories, which help us to empathize and to make some sense of a chaotic world. Content marketing is one of the best ways for brands to tell their stores… stories of who they are, who they serve, and what they value.
  • More than anything else, content marketing is poised for success because it meets people where they are. Sure, we’ll likely reach a point where people are once again eager and ready to spend time outside their homes, but it may be a good long while before we flock back to movie theaters and concerts. So how will people occupy their time? One answer is content that can be enjoyed anywhere, from the convenience of a phone, tablet, or other device.
  • As consumers seek information about their favorite old businesses, or try to discover favorite new businesses, content marketing provides a way to engage them, to inform them, to win their attention, and ultimately to gain their trust.

Nobody can predict for certain what the coming season will bring; not for the economy, not for COVID-19, not for marketing. But if you want to place a bet on something, content marketing looks right now to be a pretty safe choice.

Curious to learn more? We invite you to contact Grammar Chic, Inc. via 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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How Can You Optimize Content for Voice Search Queries?

The way people search for online information is fundamentally changing… and that has some seismic implications for content marketing professionals. Arguably the most significant shift of all has been the rise in voice search. These days, it’s as likely as not that a Google or Bing search query will come through a voice assistant (think Siri or Alexa) as opposed to physical typing. Indeed, some studies have speculated that, by the end of this year, more than 50 percent of all search queries will be voice searches.

So how can you ensure that your content shows up in these Siri and Alexa searches? How can you fully optimize to address new search engine user behaviors? Here are a few quick tips from the Grammar Chic team.

How Has Voice Changed the Way People Search?

The first thing to consider is how voice search queries differ from text ones.

Here’s an example. Say you wanted to see some movie showtimes for your favorite Charlotte movie theaters. If you were typing your query into a Google search bar, you’d probably keep it short and sweet: Charlotte movie times, or something similar.

But if you were using a voice search assistant, you’d probably phrase it more like a question, e.g., What are today’s Charlotte movie show times, or what movies are playing in Charlotte?

When developing content, it’s critical to accommodate these long-tail keywords, which can be as simple as writing conversationally; avoiding the “keyword stuffing” practices of the past; avoiding stiff, unnatural-sounding keywords; and, when possible, framing your content in question-and-answer form.

Something else to consider is the reality that many voice search queries are finely-honed and specific in nature. Simply put, most search users don’t ramble on to their voice assistant. They know what kind of information they’re seeking, and phrase their query accordingly. Some examples: Where is the nearest tire store? Or, find a Mexican restaurant near me.

Again, savvy content will address these more specific queries. An FAQ page is invaluable here. We’d also recommend blog posts that are designed to provide authoritative answers to these very particular questions.

Finally, be aware that most voice search queries are localized in nature. If you’re using a voice assistant, it’s likely because you want to find the closest coffee shop, the nearest oil change service, etc., specifically in relation to your current location.

Good content should be localized as much as possible. Include your business name, address, and phone number on each page of your website. Make note of the specific shopping center you’re in or a major intersection that’s nearby. (“Find us at the corner of…,” “we’re conveniently located behind the mall,” etc.) Also include information like your hours of operation, holiday closings, and so on.

Content That’s Made with Voice Search in Mind

The way people search is changing. It’s important for your content creation to adapt accordingly. That’s something the Grammar Chic, Inc. team can help with. Reach out today and set up a content marketing consultation with us. Connect at www.grammarchic.net or by calling 803-831-7444.

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How to Make Your Boring Industry Really Interesting

At Grammar Chic, Inc., we truly believe that content marketing can deliver meaningful results for any company, in any industry.

But some may have to work a little bit harder for it than others.

Simply put, some industries more naturally lend themselves to fresh, exciting, compelling content. But what happens if you sell annuities?  What happens if you prepare tax returns? What happens if you’re an estate planning lawyer? We’re not saying these things are unimportant! We’re just saying they may not seem as flashy or as exciting to the average reader.

It may cause you to wonder what can be done to turn your “boring” line of work into really rich, persuasive content—content that people will actually want to read.

Here’s our advice.

Always Be Helpful

A good rule of thumb: If your content is helpful, someone out there’s going to find it interesting.

Take our example of an estate planning attorney. You may write a blog post about how to draft a will; when a living trust is necessary; or how to choose guardians for your children.

Those topics may not jump off the page, and sure, some may say they’re unglamorous. But people want to know those things. They need to know those things. And if you can provide that information in a clear and actionable way, there will be readers who find great value in it—

period.

Maybe the best advice here is to change your way of thinking: If you can’t make your content exciting, just make sure that it helps someone.

Write Without Jargon

One thing that can stand between you and an engaged readership is reliance on industry jargon.

We see this a lot when working with insurance companies, who trot out a bunch of words and phrases that may be foreign to the layperson. Of course, that’s the quickest way to get eyes to glaze over!

Don’t think (or write) in terms of industry buzzwords. Instead, come at it from the customer’s point of view. What are their pain points? What answers do they seek? And how can your company benefit from them? Focus on those things, with as much clarity as you can.

Inject Some Personality

Your business may be boring—or at least, that may be how people perceive it.

But you’re not boring!

Feel free to inject some personality, even humor, into your content. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to make your content come alive.

This might mean throwing in some personal anecdotes, some gentle self-deprecation, or even some specific examples from past clients (ensuring you keep things anonymous, of course).

Another strategy is to draw connections to shows, movies, or other pop culture reference points that might mean something to you. Remember our posts invoking Mad Men and The Walking Dead?

Get Help from the Pros

It’s frustrating to feel like your industry is just a dead space for compelling content—but we honestly believe that any field can be made enticing, or at the very least valuable, to the reader.

We’d love to show you how. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. to schedule a content consultation today. You can reach us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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