Tag Archives: Social Media Writing Tips

How Voice Search Changes Content Marketing

The way people search for information is changing—and it’s changing fast. You may be used to actually typing out your search queries, but more and more users now favor voice search—a trend that has much to do with the advent of mobile services, plus voice assistants like Siri and Alexa. Just how big of a deal is voice search? According to many industry predictions, more than half of all search queries will be voice-based by 2020.

Of course, this changes the way we think about content marketing. You can’t just write for those who do text-based search. You also have to write content that can be easily discovered and digested by those who are searching with their voice—and having the results read back to them.

But how can content marketers adapt?

How Does Voice Search Change Your Content Strategy?

There are three big ways in which voice search changes content strategy.

  1. Think in terms of questions and answers. When you’re typing out a search query, you generally try to make it as brief as possible; something like best coffee maker or best plumber near me typically suffices. When you’re using voice search, though, you’re more likely to ask an actual question: What’s a good, affordable coffee maker? Who is the best local plumber? As a content marketer, it’s important to incorporate this question and answer format; use titles and H1, H2, and H3 tags to ask questions, then provide immediate answers within the following paragraph. This makes it clear to the Google algorithms which questions you’re addressing, in a way that voice search users will find straightforward and helpful.
  2. Consider long-tail keywords. Again, voice search users are more likely to elaborate their queries; best local plumber may become something like what’s the best local plumber who does drain cleaning or what’s a local plumber with good reviews, or who is the most affordable plumber in the area? This gives you an opportunity to implement longer, more specific keyword phrases that better match the conversational style of voice search users—and in doing so, you can get more specific with your own value proposition.
  3. Incorporate your location. A majority of voice search queries are location-based—which makes sense, given the big overlap between voice search and mobile search. To ensure your content is visible to the relevant audience, it’s important to incorporate as much local data as you can—including localized keywords, user reviews and testimonials, and your company contact information.

Where Can You Get Help with Voice Search?

To get help acclimating your content strategy to the brave new world of voice search, reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. Our content marketing strategists would love to consult with you. Find us at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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Can Outsourced Content Writing Maintain a High Level of Quality?

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

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

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

Why Content Quality Matters

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

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

Hiring Quality Writers

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

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

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

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

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Filed under Content Marketing, Content Writing, Web Content, Writing

Infographics: Your Content Marketing Secret Weapon?

A strong visual content strategy can take your online presence to the next level, and help you cut through a lot of the social media noise. And one type of visual content that’s especially useful is the infographic.

People like infographics because they provide data in a way that’s quick, engaging, and easy to understand; a good infographic can be educational and paradigm-shifting without being too demanding of the reader’s mental capacity. On social media, this last point is critically important!

To get the most out of your infographics, it’s important to develop and promote them properly. Here are a few guidelines for doing just that.

Best Practices for Creating and Sharing Infographics

Pick a Topic People Care About

This is foundational. Your infographic should provide information that will actually be useful, or at the very least interesting, to your audience. Don’t just pick any old topic; pick something that’s relevant to your brand, has practical implications for your audience, and speaks to either the pain points you address or the solutions you provide. Bonus points if it’s something that challenges preconceived ideas—i.e. data with a surprising conclusion.

Write a Compelling Headline

As always, headlines are everything. There are a lot of things you can do to get eyeballs for your infographic: reference the surprising conclusions; note the expert source of your data; promise something unexpected, or simply point to the practical value that your information provides.

Write a Strong Introduction

Both for the purposes of SEO and simply for providing some context, a brief introduction is recommended. Three or four sentences is usually fine; include an SEO keyword or two if applicable, as well as related links and a call to action.

Provide Trustworthy Data

Your infographic needs credibility, so if you’re drawing from a third-party data source, make sure to include a proper citation. If it’s your own internal research, just say as much in your introduction. Proper proofreading and fact-checking are essential, too!

Get Social

Always promote your infographics on social media—using hashtags as appropriate. If you can, enable social sharing buttons on your infographic, too. Remember that this is a content type that lends itself to sharing, but it’s always smart to make it easy and convenient for your readers to pass it along.

Optimize the File Name

Google’s algorithms will crawl the file name of your infographic, so by all means make it something that conveys your specific topic. A generic file name, like untitled.jpg or infogaraphic.png, is a wasted opportunity. Optimize your alt-text, too, using a relevant keyword or two when you can.

Write an Accompanying Blog Post

To boost your SEO and back-linking potential, write a keyword-rich blog post to contextualize and explain your infographic. Make sure to share and promote the blog post, too!

Need Help Writing or Promoting Your Infographic?

Whether you’re looking for someone to script your infographic or to work it into a robust social media marketing campaign, Grammar Chic, Inc. can help. Reach out to us today at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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‘Tis the Season for PPC Advertising

Increasingly, marketers and brands must merge their organic content effort with paid advertising offers. Whether you’re looking to get Facebook views or dominate the search engine results page, combining a natural content effort with PPC ads is imperative; picking one over the other simply won’t get you optimal results.

PPC ads can be especially important during the holiday shopping season. With more consumers doing their shopping online than ever before, your brand has a lot of big opportunities to be discovered by those who are making their Christmas lists or seeking the perfect gift for a loved one. Paid ads allow your brand to be visible to these shoppers at every stage of their consumer journey.

To capitalize on these opportunities, we recommend these seasonal strategies.

Start with Last Year’s Data

If you didn’t do any holiday ads last year, you can skip this section. But if you did, know that your previous data can be a helpful road map for where you might go this year. Were there certain types of ads, certain keywords, or certain calls to action that gave you big results? That doesn’t guarantee they’ll work again this year, but it’s certainly a reasonable indicator.

Use Seasonal Keywords

Research confirms that seasonal keyword phrases can make a big difference in the success of your ads. Specifically, words that help your ads get seen by shoppers—terms like “perfect gift,” “gift for children,” “stocking stuffer,” etc.—can work well when they are inserted into your copy. You might experiment with some really finely-honed phrases, like “affordable kids gifts” or “creative gift for boys.”

Rewrite Your Ad Copy

It can be a pain to rewrite all your existing ad copy, but it might also prove really effective—especially if you can generate new copy that speaks directly to holiday shoppers. Try using your copy to urge end-of-the-year decisions, or to simply encourage consumers to join you in your festive spirit!

Create Holiday-Specific Landing Pages

An effective PPC ad always links to a landing page—not just your generic home page—and that’s especially important if you’re advertising special holiday deals or discounts. Ensure that the ad copy takes the reader directly to a page that specifically addresses that deal. Make it easy for shoppers to find what they’re looking for.

The holiday season offers many marketing opportunities, and PPC shouldn’t be overlooked. To learn more, reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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5 Tips for Email Marketing Success This Holiday Season

During the holiday season, many companies kick their email marketing efforts into overdrive, seeking to capitalize on the frenzy of end-of-the-year shopping.

This is certainly a season in which email marketing can get results—but it’s not the volume of emails you send that matters. What matters is your strategy. In this post, we’ll offer five best practices for sending holiday season emails that truly move the sales needle.

Make Things Easy for Your Customers

First and foremost, make sure that your marketing emails make the sales process easier—not harder. If your email simply functions as another cumbersome step on the consumer’s journey, it’s only going to aggravate, not entice.

Your emails should provide a clear incentive to buy one of your products or services. This means including a high-quality, appealing image, if at all possible. It means listing benefits the consumer can expect—speaking directly to their pain points and your value proposition. (Always ask: what’s in it for them?)  Include links to your products and services, rendering it as easy as possible for your readers to click through and complete their purchase.

Don’t Forget Content!

Your emails should always be selling your products, your services, and your brand—yet it is also important to educate and inform. Build trust, and show your authority.

There are different ways to do this, of course. You can send out holiday shopping guides, include videos for product demos, or repurpose blog content that you think will offer value to your readers. The important thing is to make your emails more than just sales pitches. Give away some free value even to those who don’t purchase from you right away.

Send Coupons

During the holiday season, promos, sales, and discounts are everywhere—and if you want to remain competitive, it’s important that you sweeten the deal for your customers, however you can. Coupon codes are great for ensuring your emails are read, not flat-out discarded.

Target Your Emails

It’s always important to match your emails to your audience. Segmenting your contact list and sending emails to different groups—those who have bought products before, hot leads, different demographic groups—allows you to be precise in your messaging and specific in your value proposition.

Consider Your Timing

We said before that you don’t necessarily want to barrage your audience with one email after another. As such, it’s important to get your timing right, as you’ll have limited opportunities to engage your readers. Waiting too late into the season risks that your recipients are burned out on the holidays, while emailing too early might mean your emails get discarded by buyers not yet ready to consider the shopping season.

You’ve got to thread the needle—and Grammar Chic, Inc. can help. We’re seasoned marketing professionals with ample experience writing emails as well as developing effective email strategy. We’d love to help you get your holiday email campaign on track. Contact us today at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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Do These Four Things to Land More Eyeballs on Your Content

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

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

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

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

Here are those four recommendations.

Tag Industry Influencers

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

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

Use Facebook Ads

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

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

Include Content in Your Newsletter

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

Publish to Medium or LinkedIn Pulse

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

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

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

Your Brand Can Now Post a Facebook Story—But Is There Any Point?

You’re probably familiar with the social media “Stories” that have been popular over the last couple of years—an idea pioneered by Snapchat, the Story has also found great success on Instagram. Basically, the Story is a temporary post where users can briefly share photos and videos from their day, along with captions, emoji, graphics, and more. These ephemeral posts disappear after a short span of time, yet their impact is sizable; Stories have been wildly popular among users of all kinds, including individuals, celebrities, and brands.

And then there’s Facebook.

Facebook is Floundering

In an effort to keep pace with this popular new social media feature, Facebook introduced its own version of Stories earlier this year. It hasn’t gone over well. Just open your Instagram or Snapchat apps and see how many Stories you see; then open Facebook and count the Stories you find there. Chances are, you’ll find the Facebook number to be pretty lame, comparatively.

But Facebook isn’t giving up on Stories. In fact, it’s expanding them. Now, it’s not just individual users who can share Stories. You can share Stories from a branded page, too—even from your small business page.

Expanded Stories

Obviously, Facebook hopes this will kick up the popularity of its Stories feature—but whether this gamble is successful remains to be seen.

It’s worth noting that, according to Facebook’s own product managers, this push for expanded stories has been met with some demand. A lot of people in the community want pages to have their own Stories, it seems—so perhaps a new wave of branded storytelling is coming.

Then again, Stories are closely associated with Instagram and Snapchat, and it could be argued that they simply don’t align with the Facebook experience; most of us don’t sign into Facebook to check out the latest Stories, and seeing a bunch of brand storytelling isn’t likely to change that—especially not when our real-life friends aren’t also posting Stories for us to consume.

Should Your Brand Share Stories?

If you’re interested in using the Stories feature on social media, you might have better luck starting out on Instagram or Snapchat—at least until Facebook’s feature proves its mettle and its staying power.

By contrast, to use Facebook effectively, you don’t necessarily have to jump on this new trend. There are plenty of ways to find success using organic posts and Facebook Ads. We’d love to show you how.

For now, we’ll take a wait-and-see approach to Facebook Stories. Know that the option is there for you, but also know that there are plenty of ways to promote your brand on Facebook.

Any questions? Contact Grammar Chic, Inc. at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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