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Branding Through Content Marketing


Branding matters. In fact, it's one of the big keys to your clients' success. They have to set content marketingthemselves apart from their competitors by establishing their brands as the most authoritative, most helpful, and most with-it option. For a brand to grow, it's got to be recognizable, and content marketing can go a long way when it comes to offering consistent messaging, color schemes, language, and logos.

Let's look at the ways you can enhance your clients' branding through content marketing.

1. Set the brand’s tone through your words and messages. Each post on the company's blog should match the vision established for the brand.  Think about what you want people to think of when they hear your client's name. This image should match the industry but have a nuance that is unique to the company. For instance, Whole Foods Market’s blog has a down home feel to it, which is absolutely appropriate for a health food market. Bloggers from the company often write in the first person about their own forays into cooking. This format works well for their brand. What will work for your clients?

2. Build relationships with potential and existing customers. In the past, marketing has been strictly one-way (from marketer to consumer), but blogs and social media give business owners a rich opportunity to converse with their customers. Allow people to comment on the blog, and then respond! If necessary, hire someone or assign an existing employee to monitor the blog and respond to comments. Just make sure that whoever is responding is well-versed in the vision of the company’s brand, and it doesn’t hurt if that person has impeccable grammar and spelling.

3. Show the brand’s savvy through images as well as words. Well-chosen, nicely-put-together words are key to branding, but the overall appearance of the blog is also essential. Choose quality images to go along with your post, and make sure the images all have a similar feel. If most of your images come from a professional photographer and then one day you stick a cheap clipart image in a post, people are going to be confused. Consistency is extremely important while you’re helping to build a brand.

Infographics can be powerful tools for branding. Using your chosen color scheme, font, and style, present interesting statistics about your client's industry, products, or services. When you post an intriguing infographic on social media, your message can end up going viral, reaching potential customers you couldn't have reached any other way.

4. Show up in the right places. Pinterest is not the best place to market your line of custom motorcycles. Why? Because Pinterest is not where you will find your potential customers. On the other hand, Pinterest is perfect for getting exposure for a cupcake brand. Find out where potential customers are and then start joining conversations and representing your client's brand. Hashtags can help you to join relevant conversations. Once you find your sweet spots, post reliably and regularly.

Your content marketing can be one of your best tools for establishing your clients' brands. Remember to first come up with a vision, and then stick to it as you post timely pieces with lovely images. If you respond to comments, you’ll keep customers coming back for more, and you’ll establish your clients as authorities in their industries. Use social media to showcase your content marketing in the right places, the places where potential customers hang out, and people will soon begin to recognize your client's brand and all that it stands for.

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5 Innovative Ways To Use Content For Your Marketing Campaign


Of all the words you could use to describe content marketing, “underutilized” is not one of content marketing campaignthem. At The Content Council, Anna Qu reports that on average, content marketing comprises 39% of a company’s overall budget for advertising, marketing, and communications.

Because of the popularity of this form of marketing, a typical consumer will be exposed to a huge amount of content: about 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared online each day, according to a frequently cited study by AOL & Nielsen. To differentiate your client's company from the millions of other marketing messages that your prospects see on a daily basis, it is important to consider ways that you can present innovative content that will grab the attention of people who receive it.

1. Create A Compelling Story

Not everyone wants to read blocks of text about how great your product or service is. Tie the company's offering to a great story, however, and your content marketing becomes much more compelling. Consider Pepsi’s “Uncle Drew” series of commercials, which include NBA phenom Kyrie Irving posing as an old man who joins different pickup games and proceeds to dominate the competition. The focus of the content is not Pepsi itself, but the narrative of “Uncle Drew” and his escapades, broken into several chapters. How has this campaign worked for Pepsi? The first part of the “Uncle Drew” saga has over 34 million views on YouTube.

2. Let Customers Create Your Content Marketing

Testimonials are a powerful form of content marketing when presented the right way. Consider letting a customer write a guest post on your blog or record a video of themselves or their family using or benefiting from your product or services. Showing your clients' prospects how your company helps people is always more powerful than telling them.

3. Involve A Real Event, Or Stage One

Content marketing is more effective when people can relate it to something that has happened or will happen soon in the real world. If there are no local events going on that you can incorporate in your content marketing, create your own event. Toyota successfully executed this strategy in 2012, when they arranged for their Toyota Tundra to haul the Space Shuttle Endeavour across I-405 in Los Angeles to the California Science Center, where the Endeavour was retired after 19 years of space missions for NASA.

4. Use A Different Channel

Think about how many delivery methods you are really using for your content marketing. Also consider what kind of audience you are reaching using the current channels that you are delivering content over. For example, did you know that over 68% of Pinterest users are female? If you are looking to innovate, providing content in a different way can be a great tactic and a springboard from which you can come up with other innovative ideas.

5. Provide Less Content

This idea may seem counterintuitive: with so many other organizations involved in content marketing, how could reducing the amount of content that you put out help you succeed? The answer lies in how effective your marketing is at grabbing attention from prospects. When you produce content that is interesting, people will want more of it: by making them wait, you increase their desire for more content from your organization. Of course, there is a fine line here: wait too long to put out content and you run the risk of losing the attention of the audience you are trying to reach.

Be sure to experiment with these five strategies and other methods to find out what works and what doesn’t work for your client's company. With consistent effort and a willingness to try new things, you can distinguish their organization from competitors by making their marketing content fresh and innovative.

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Content Marketing: Trust Equals Help, Not Hype


The competitive world of marketing has brought about a shift in the way that businesses go after thecontent marketing attention of prospective customers. Companies that want to win business from modern consumers have to do more than just talk about themselves: they must build trust with their audience so that they are recognized as an authority in their field.

Content marketing is one of the best tools available for companies looking to gain trust with their prospects by offering them something of value.

Why Content Marketing Builds Trust

By its very definition, content marketing provides its audience with something concrete and desirable: content. Content marketing is not a fancy logo on a mailer or a witty television commercial: it is the opportunity for an organization to introduce themselves and their products, build a connection with prospective customers, and distinguish themselves from their competition.

Good content marketing eschews questionable tactics that appeal to emotion or use pressure to attract customers. Instead, this type of marketing uses statistics and facts to persuade prospective buyers through logic and evidence, which gives the marketer much more credibility in the eyes of potential customers.

How To Build Trust With Your Content Marketing

Now that you know why content marketing gives your client's business a great chance to build trust with your audience, you should understand the most efficient ways to use content marketing to build this trust. Keep the following points in mind when you are creating and distributing content, to ensure that it helps you gain trust with your client's prospects:

  • Use ordinary language: Skip the fancy industry jargon and farfetched claims that products or services will totally change the lives of customers. In a Microsoft Business Hub article, marketing director Winter Prosapio advises companies to use terms that are direct and to the point. She also suggests using humorous language to bring down the shield of suspicion that many prospects have when reading marketing materials, which often prevents them from trusting the marketers that publish these materials.
  • Let employees do the talking: Your client's employees are extremely important brand ambassadors that can help build trust with prospects. On Adobe’s Digital Marketing Blog, Cory Edwards reports that between 2009 and 2014, the credibility of the average company employee as a spokesperson for the organization increased from 20% to 52%. How do you leverage employees to build trust in your content marketing? Edwards goes on to advise that companies should encourage their employees to create content that is authentic and educational. Consider letting an employee author a blog post or share an update on your company's social media profile.
  • Be relevant: A huge part of relevancy is understanding your target audience and their challenges and interests. When creating any kind of content for marketing, remember to be mindful of the problems that your client's readers might be facing and how your products or services offer them a solution to these problems. Accurately recognizing issues that prospects face is an excellent way to build trust before you even introduce the business and its offerings.

Why Your Content Marketing Must Build Trust

The development of technology like the Internet and smartphones means that people are subjected to more marketing than they ever have been before. In a recent Entrepreneur article, Dan Newman points out that there are 347 new blog posts made every 60 seconds and the average Internet user sees about five thousand ads every day. In a modern world so saturated with marketing messages, it is crucial for your client's company to create engaging content that builds trust by offering readers something of value instead of hollow self-promotion.

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Content Marketing: Advertising? Storytelling? Or Both?


According to a recent study from Nielsen, 92 percent of consumers worldwide say they trust "earnedshutterstock 21002758 media", such as friend and family recommendations and word-of-mouth, more than any other form of advertising. While this likely isn't a jaw dropping statistic for anyone, it does emphasize the importance of switching to content marketing from traditional advertising.

Consumers prefer garnering information about new products and services from peers before traditional marketing materials. And as such, brands seeking to thrive must move from becoming a marketing machine into a peer-like entity that tells stories and shares experiences. Which is exactly what content marketing aims to do.

Great content marketing roots itself in brand storytelling to generate authenticity and create stronger and more lasting customer engagement. How does this differ from traditional advertising? Here are a few key characteristic comparisons between content marketing and traditional advertising:

  • Creating a pull. Traditional advertising tools, such as television commercials and radio ads, aim to strategically side-capture consumer attention while they are already engaged with the defined media. In contrast, content marketing aims to be something consumers seek out. It draws on providing valuable information, through resources such as company blogs and social media outlets, that engages the whole of a consumer's attention. 
  • Consumer-firstTraditional advertising, due to its natural brevity as a short newspaper ad or quick radio clip, must focus directly on the brand to promote a product or service. Content marketing takes a more holistic take to provide desirable information throughout the consumer's buying process. This type of marketing puts consumers first by delivering information not just about the brand itself, but also about brand-relevant and tertiary information designed to improve consumers' lives. Even if it isn't directly related to selling the product or service at hand.
  • Owned media. Content marketing is owned and primarily distributed through brand-managed channels such as company blogs, social networks, custom magazines, white papers, newsletters, and more. These channels frequently include share and other social media buttons that allow the consumers themselves to further promote and advertise the brand. In contrast, traditional advertising is more inflexible as it uses paid placement spots in magazines and on radio to get brand information out.
  • Telling stories. Traditional advertising is great for making a quick impression. It seeks to wow an audience with a quirky visual and catchy tagline. However, traditional advertising often fails at developing a more meaningful impression. And this is exactly where content marketing thrives.

    Content marketing at its best tells an in-depth, engaging story. The consumer audience spends time searching out company blogs to dig into custom content and digest meaningful and relevant information. Content marketers must be a mix of journalist and storyteller - capable of crafting a narrative and providing accurate, thought-provoking ideas and timely information to better help their consumer audience navigate their world.
  • Long-term relationships. Again, traditional advertising was specifically designed to capture an audience's immediate intention, make a hard impact, and drive consumers to make an instinctive purchasing decision. Content marketing isn't about quick and easy. This is your long-term relationship marketing. Great content marketers separate their content into different lifecycle stages, tailored to meet consumer needs before, during, and even well after their purchasing decision has been made. This means building a brand and platform that is seen as a valuable information resource as well as a desirable product or service.

The landscape is rapidly changing for marketers. While there will always be a place for traditional advertising, content marketing is quickly becoming the top choice for many companies when it comes to deciding where to put their advertising resources. In order to stay ahead of the competition, businesses will have to devote greater amounts of time to creating valuable information in order to do more than capture the quick attention of the passing consumer, but to also keep that same consumer engaged and seeking the business itself out. In short, this is the era of content marketing--and it works.

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The Biggest Threat To Your Content Marketing Campaign


As a marketing agency dealing specifically with content marketing, your mantra for the past couple content marketing campaignof years has been “Content is King”, right. Heck, be careful what you wish for. Content has taken off so well that the biggest threat to your well-planned content marketing campaign now is—well, content.

How so, you ask? Because you can have too much of a good thing, that’s why. And right now, we have too much content. Too much noise. Too much competition. Too much fluff. It’s become a deluge, and it’s threatening to scupper the efforts of businesses trying to leverage the concept.

How Did We Get Here?

… when it started out as such a great idea? Firstly, because it worked, content marketing took off like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes. Everyone climbed on the bandwagon, and statistics from Velocity Partners show that 9 out of 10 B2B marketers were expected to produce “much more” content in 2013 than they did in 2012. That trend is showing every sign of continuing and there’s no end in site. Most B2B companies don’t have the resources to produce quality material, though, and that presents the biggest threat to your content marketing campaign.

Avoid Becoming a Casualty

There are ways around the problem, however. Some companies turn to outsourcing, and this has caused agencies ranging from SEO professionals to copywriters to become content farms to satisfy the hungry monster that's rampaging through the marketing world and causing the deluge. To avoid becoming a casualty, you need to build a great content brand rather than an efficient content-producing machine!

Here’s how:

  1. Walk a mile in your customer’s shoes: Everything begins with what your customer needs and wants. His (or her) challenges. His desires. His needs. His concerns. Forget about making it all about you. Make your content marketing campaign about your customer, focus on the benefits instead of the features, highlight what you can do for him to solve his problems.     
  2. Stick to the knitting: Remember the business bible In Search of Excellence? Authors Tom Peters and Robert Waterman came up with this term to illustrate sticking to the line of work you know. These days, we call it becoming a thought leader, and it means being authoritative and knowledgeable about your product or service so you can understand what your customer needs and how best to give it to him.
  3. Plan the work and work the plan: You need a strategic approach. A one-off content marketing campaign is not going to do it, regardless of how well-executed or how good your quality is. Develop a sound, comprehensive content strategy that builds on itself, review your progress regularly and adjusts the strategy according to the results you’re getting. If you’re chasing customers away, change your track until you get it right.
  4. Be in it for the long haul: It’s not a short-term thing. Content marketing doesn’t happen overnight, so don’t expect quick results. It’s a long-term process that requires you to attract a following, develop your brand’s personality, build a reputation and generate trust.
  5. Care!: You want your customers and prospects to care about you? Then care about them. Care about your business. Above all, care about your content. After all, if you don’t, who will? Don’t let inexperienced interns publish material that’s anything less than perfectly crafted. Don’t allow information to go out unless it offers the value to clients that you want them to get. Check your statistics to see how well you’re doing, and make changes if you aren’t. You just have to care.
  6. When the going gets tough… Sure, we know, the tough get going. It won’t always be plain sailing, but you need to hang in there and keep up the momentum. Don’t be lazy—the one time you forget to respond to a comment could be the time you lose a valuable client.

Create a Great Content Brand

To survive the deluge threatening every content marketing campaign, you really need to create a great brand based on dynamic content that offers real value to the customer. Give him quality information that he can really use that keeps him coming back for more, time after time. That will put you in the top 1 percent of content marketers who don't struggle to get their stuff read. Users will consume it, they'll like it and they'll share it. It'll highlight your products and services. Anything less, and you'll be in deep water before you know it. 

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Why Video Content Marketing Is The Future


A picture might be worth 1000 words, but Forrester Research says one minute of video is worth 1.8 video content marketingmillion words. No wonder video content marketing represents the future. Video is irresistible. It’s dynamic, and multi-sensory. Video does everything text and static pictures can do, and then it does more.

And a billion viewers can’t be wrong. YouTube is the #2 search engine, with 1 billion unique visitors every month. Certainly much of what’s posted on YouTube is hardly business-related, and yet there’s no denying the compelling attraction of video.

Many people prefer to watch a short video rather than read text, whether it’s on your client's website or in their blog. And people have different learning styles. Video literally speaks to those who’d rather see it for themselves. It has a kinetic value that helps people get a “feel” for the subject matter.

Video works.

You can embed them, link to them and share them. You can use them to generate more leads, close more sales, inform customers and prospects and meet your tactical marketing goal of making the broadest and best use of the multiplicity of channels available.

Consider these stats:

  • Video on your website boosts your chances of making first-page search results by 50 times.
  • 80% of website visitors will watch your video, whereas 20% will read all your website content.
  • 90% of one retailer’s online shoppers say video helps them make buying decisions, and almost two-thirds say they purchase after watching a video.
  • Including a video in an introductory email can double or even triple your click-through rate.

And video isn’t just for consumer products. A Forbes study revealed that 75% of executives watch business-related videos online at least weekly. Half of them watch business videos on YouTube, and 65% say they’ve visited a website as a result of watching the company’s video. One real estate firm reports their video ads drive four times as many leads as ads without video.

As marvelous as video can be, it’s not the answer to every marketing need. On the other hand, it has genuine possibilities for every type and size of business because you can use video to:

  • Demonstrate things. Explain how to use your product, whether that’s assembling a swing set, accessorizing a new outfit or using your proprietary software.
  • Repurpose webinars to reach a broader audience.
  • Inform people with product reviews and testimonials. Remember that stat about how many more people purchase after watching a video? Testimonials can be about your products or services or the general experience of doing business with your company.
  • Reinforce your company’s branding -- short interviews with staff about why they love working for your firm or a video of your employees volunteering for a community project. Style and culture endear your business to buyers and deepen engagement.
  • Invite participation. You already collect comments, reviews, photos, etc. from your friends and fans, so solicit videos from them, too.

Use digital signage to bring video right into your store. Or your restaurant. Or your waiting room. Or your treatment room.

Cinéma vérité is fine, but c*** is not.

How glitzy and perfect your videos need to be depends on what type of business and product you’re promoting. Professionally produced videos look more, well, professional. But if you don’t have a big budget, you can produce your own videos using numerous online tools available or even your smartphone. A selfie video, if you will.

If it’s a tad rough around the edges, your client's audience won’t mind – it humanizes the company, makes them more down-to-earth and relatable. But don’t confuse “rough around the edges” with ragged. If the picture or sound quality on your video is lousy, that says you’re sloppy or uncaring. Not someone we want to do business with. No matter how potentially valuable the content, no one will watch it.

As always, study and learn.

Just because video is hot doesn’t mean it’s working for your clients. Study your analytics to ensure you’re reaching the right audience with the right message. You can see how long viewers are watching, and also the point at which they abandon the video.

Video content marketing is the future. Cisco says 69% of all consumer internet traffic will be video by 2017. More than half of marketers are using video now, and that’s expected to rise dramatically. Will your clients be in on it? 

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Harnessing The Power Of Consumer-Driven Content


The quest for content keeps heating up. More businesses than ever are using content-based content marketingmarketing. And there is a seemingly-endless parade of new channels coming online where you can use your content. So, where can your clients find the “right stuff” to populate the channels they want to use with content their prospects want to see and hear?

The answer is right in their backyard – their customers themselves. Rather than spending a tremendous amount of time and money agonizing over creative elements and producing a perfect rendition of it for public consumption, they can just let their public create their own content.

OK, it’s not necessarily quite that simple, but in essence that’s consumer-driven content. And one thing you have to say about letting customers create marketing promotions – the content is guaranteed to be relevant and engaging.

Like everything else online, consumer-driven content has evolved.

There are actually levels of customer participation when it comes to content development, and your clients have probably been using some of these concepts for quite a while.

You can ask them for content topic ideas – through surveys and contests, social media posts, your blog, emails, your newsletter, on your home page, in your office. Ask them to submit photos or videos of themselves using your products. Ask them to post reviews or give you short testimonials. These things provide instant content you can use as is or expand on for informational articles and customer-based storytelling.

When your entire ad or campaign is a conglomeration of material provided by your consumers, you’ve taken this process to the ultimate level. This concept is now so popular with big-name marketers, the industry has given it an official acronym – UGC, for user-generated content. But you can still call it crowdsourcing. That sounds more fun.

UGC can feel a bit risky – the result may not be as “sophisticated” as what you’d create yourself. But when was the last time you read a study that said consumer buying behavior is driven by advertising sophistication? Never.

Your marketing goal is to speak to customers in meaningful ways about your products or services. By asking customers to create your marketing content, you’re letting them talk to one another about your products or services. Hmmmm. Isn’t that pretty much the same as social sharing – something highly revered by marketers?  

The beauty is in the asking.

Whether you’re soliciting general ideas or specific text, pictures or videos from your customers, you’re building happiness and a stronger relationship with them, because everyone loves to be asked their opinion. You’re telling them you respect them as much as you want them to respect your company.

When you use what they give you, you’re telling them you appreciate their response as well as what they contributed. You’re promoting them while they’re promoting you. That’s worth sharing with their friends -- “Look what I did! Why don’t you join us?”

You get interesting marketing that’s truly one-of-a-kind.

Content can’t get any more fresh than that. And who knows better than your clients' customers themselves what they want to see or know about your company and your stuff?

This Mashable blog post discusses three excellent examples of user-generated content. And Julie Blakley wrote a great article for Postano about using consumer-driven content more broadly – read “more creatively” -- than simply augmenting social networking. Reading her detailed descriptions of three very different campaigns will give you plenty of good ideas you can use, no matter how big your clients are or what they do or sell.

Make a game of it and get even more marketing mileage.

The process of creating consumer-driven content has marketing panache all its own. Sharing as they’re creating further engages your prospects and customers, and it automatically promotes your client's brand. By the time their campaign is ready for prime time, everyone already knows about it, and they’re dancing with anticipation. You score with the content and also with the creative process.

Asking customers and prospects for advice on content topics is an easy way to generate new ideas. You can buff up those ideas and present them in myriad ways to your clients' various audiences. But when you let customers take the lead in content creation you’re harnessing the full power of UGC. You’ll get a very different – and remarkably appealing – result. And it’s not hard.

Try it. It works for B2B companies as well as for B2Cs. And, your clients will probably wish they'd added crowdsourcing to their marketing strategies a long time ago. 

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Smart Content Marketers Are Going Mobile: 6 Tips For Success


Mobile isn’t going anywhere. Smartphones and tablets are here to stay. In fact, they’re becoming mobile content marketing more and more popular. In 2013, 17.4% of all global web traffic came through mobile devices. As this percentage continues to increase, so too does the importance of mobile content marketing.

This isn’t a fad. Your clients' customers are using mobile devices to surf the web. They’re using them a lot. They’re using them instead of computers. Nielsen and Google found that 77% of all searches on a mobile device happen while a user is at home or work. Those are areas where they could be on a computer and they use a mobile device instead.

Unfortunately, the mobile bounce rate for searches is roughly 10 percent higher than the bounce rate of desktop web surfers. Luckily, a little knowhow will help you cut down on your clients' mobile visitor bounce rate to maximize the success of their mobile content marketing strategies.

Mobile Content Marketing Tip 1: Make Your Site Touch Friendly

Creating a touch-friendly site may seem like a no brainer, but it’s surprising how many marketers fail to remember the limitations of mobile devices. Without a curser, selecting the desired button or link can be difficult if the element is too small. Additionally, no curser means mobile devices don’t have a hover feature. It you have hidden important text in a sliding box, it won’t appear to the mobile user.

As you create a mobile device, test it. Test it on variety of mobile devices Make sure it’s touch friendly and easy to use.

Mobile Content Marketing Tip 2: Identify What Your Mobile Consumer Wants

The new age of marketing allows the consumer to place their wants and needs first. At the touch of their fingertips is a wealth of information. If you’re not providing what they want, someone else will. By identifying why your client's customer or prospect would access their site using a mobile device, you can create a responsive design which provides this.

Mobile Content Marketing Tip 3: Optimize for Local Search

Optimizing sites for local search results can be a gold mine for your client's business. Those keywords typically are less competitive than their global counterparts. The trick is to identify the key search terms your consumers are looking for locally. How? Google Trends allows you to research web search trends with specific geographical areas. 

Mobile Content Marketing Tip 4: Define Success

Marketing on a mobile device is no different than any other marketing, in that setting goals and defining success should be the basis for your entire strategy. Often, online marketing goals are focused on generating leads by gathering customers and prospects information. This is great and definitely should play a role in your mobile content marketing strategy. However, asking a mobile user to fill out a long signup form is a great way to lose their interest.

Ask yourself what’s the most important information you want. Keep your goals short and sweet and design your client's mobile strategy to mirror them.

Mobile Content Marketing Tip 5: Utilize Video Marketing

Today, watching videos on the web has become as popular as watching videos on TV. In the world of mobile marketing, where words are precious and screen space is hard to come by, video gives you an incredible amount to flexibility. Sites like Vine, Instagram and YouTube allow you to upload and share branded messages. 

Mobile Content Marketing Tip 6: Integrate Social Media

Most mobile web surfers also use social media. Make social sharing easy by integrating your clients' social media accounts with their mobile design and providing easy-to-use share buttons.

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5 Key Criteria For Quality Content


With the huge push for social media content over the past few years, many firms have begun to quality contentwonder if they no longer need substantive, quality content. After all, if you're consistently getting tweets and likes for your one-sentence social media posts, why invest the time and resources into producing quality content? 

The truth is that high quality content is more important for your clients than ever, and here's why: 

  • Quality content stands out from the crowd, especially when the crowd is hovered around one-sentence social media posts.
  • Google continues to reward quality content over fly-by-night content, thus increasing your site's visibility.
  • Great content lives significantly longer than low-quality social media content, building your brand's online perpetuity.
  • High quality content gives your brand a reputation for solidity and staying power.

With reasons like this, you can't afford to neglect the production and publication of high quality content for your client's business, but how do you know if the content is of high enough quality? The following five key indicators can help you to set a standard for the content you create.

It's Original

Original content doesn't just mean that it passes a Copyscape scan or that it's not plagiarized. Original content says something that only your client's business can say because of their unique insights, experiences, and point of view. This doesn't mean that your original, quality content has to be written by someone who currently works at the business, but it does mean that whoever writes your content should be given enough information to produce content that reflects your client's unique situation. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What can we offer that no one else can?
  • Who specifically are we trying to reach?
  • How can we improve their lives?

The answers to these questions can help you to produce original, quality content.

It's Timely and Relevant

Yes, quality content will live online for many years to come, but when it first appears, it should be timely enough to grab readers' attention. For example, if you're going to publish a piece about spring home maintenance, you probably don't want to post it in September. 

You'll also want to keep your content current by using industry news to come up with topics. When you come out with quality content on a subject that is big news at the moment, you'll increase the traffic to your client's site and establish them as a thought leader in their industry.

It's Readable

Often, readability is what makes the difference between mediocre content and great content. You can take two pieces on the same topic, and one will just speak to the reader while the other is tedious to get through. The difference is in the skill of the writer--it's in a writer's knack to sound like a friend or next door neighbor who just happens to be talking in detail about the topic you're searching for online. It's in the way a writer makes a complicated topic sound simple and understandable to a newbie. 

It's Multi-Faceted

Gone are the days when a simple text post could draw in the big crowds. Today's quality content includes images, diagrams, interactive tools, video, infographics, and links to experts in your field. By producing a variety of content, your increase the value of your client's website, blog, and social media profiles.

It's Polished

When you get readers to your client's site, you want them to be completely focused on the message you worked so hard to produce, and you do not want them to be distracted by poor grammar and spelling. Typos, mistakes, and sloppy writing erode your credibility and keep readers from taking you seriously.

If you produce content in-house, hire an editor to go over the work before you post it online. Even professional writers use editors to help them see the mistakes that are so difficult to see in your own writing.

The quality of your client's content can have a huge impact on the success of their business. When  content is original, timely, readable, multi-faceted, and polished, it will be shared again and again, extending your marketing reach far beyond the reaches of existing contacts and network. Better yet, it will continue to serve your clients year after year, drawing customers and clients to you and reinforcing your reputation for quality, expert knowledge, and service. A little investment in original content today can pay off enormously in the months and years to come. All you have to do is produce and publish it.

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Content Strategy Is Critical To Long-Term Marketing Success


Content marketing is an important component to any company's marketing program, but if you don't content strategyhave a content strategy, you could be spending a lot of time and resources on very little return. 

Over the past few years, business owners have realized that their online presence is essential to their company's survival. They've learned that content marketing can help customers to find them more efficiently than their old marketing methods.

With proper SEO techniques, you can drive traffic to your site, but once your visitors have arrived, will they stay? Will your content bring long term results to your marketing strategy? A solid content strategy can give you positive answers to these questions.

What is Content Strategy?

Content strategy is planning for the creation, publication, and governance of useful and usable content. Of course there are other definitions out there, but this definition covers the basics. Without a plan, your content marketing could be sporadic and unpredictable, leading you to possible short-term spikes in traffic but no long term advantages.

Identify Key Themes and Messages

Before you start planning dates and topics for your content, it's important to stand back and think about the overall themes and messages you want to convey. What makes your brand stand out from the rest? What message do you want to consistently drive home with each piece of content you publish?

Once you identify your key themes and messages, it will be easier to brainstorm timely topics that you can cover in a variety of ways while still keeping with your overall mission and plan.

Identify Your Target Audience

After you've figured out your key themes and messages, it's time to determine your audience. Who do you want to reach with your content? It's usually not possible to reach everyone, so think about your products and services and the people who use them. The following questions can help you to hone in on your target audience:

  • How old are your customers?
  • What are their interests?
  • What are their needs?
  • Whom do they admire?
  • Where do they live?
  • How do they spend their time and money?

The answers to these questions can help you to shape your content and make it highly relevant to the people who are most likely to use your products or services.

Choose Your Platforms

Once you've identified your target audience, it will be easier to decide what platforms to use for your content. Where does your target audience hang out? Are they on LinkedIn? Facebook? Pinterest? Do they read mostly news, or do they read blogs? Do they search for educational content to help themselves with their work or hobbies? 

A good content strategy generally uses more than one platform for long-term content publication. A combination of website, blog, and social media venues works well for most content strategies.

Clarify Processes and Resources

How will your company produce and publish its content? It's one thing to have a theoretical plan, and it's another thing entirely to have processes, systems, and resources in place to carry out the content strategy.

As you develop your strategy, consider who will actually write the content, who will edit and publish it, and who will maintain and govern the content as it grows. By putting reliable processes in place and backing the processes with adequate resources, your content strategy will run like a well-oiled machine, consistently driving valuable traffic your way.

You know you need content marketing, but the end goal can seem far away and very overwhelming if you don't have content strategy. With a solid strategy, however, you can consistently work toward developing a collection of content that is high-quality, brand-oriented, and valuable to our customers. 

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