Tag Archives: social media

5 Ways to Energize Content Marketing in 2015

2015 is a bright new year. Will this be the year that you make content marketing work for your business? If you feel that your strategies aren’t working as well as they should, let’s look at some ways you can energize your efforts.

1. Consider your readers: your ideal customers

Too many companies try to create “viral” content which goes nowhere. Or, even worse, becomes wildly successful… but your sales results are a big fat zero. To add insult to injury, your viral content increases the cost of your bandwidth.

Focus on your customers. Create a persona (an avatar if you like) who respresents your ideal customer. What are her likes and dislikes? What challenges does she have? Once you zero in on your ideal customer, not only does content creation become easier, it will also attract that customer.

2. Remember email: give it the attention it deserves

In the early days of the Web, email was all there was. Gradually, companies stopped paying attention to email. Consider this. It’s very easy to create a series of email messages. Add the messages to your autoresponder, and they go out to everyone who signs up for it.

Yes, it takes a little energy and creativity to create a series which is not only opened and read, but remembered — and which gets results. A successful series can keep working for you all through 2015.

3. Snap photos: use them everywhere

Politicians stroll around with a cameraman in tow, and there’s a good reason for that. Every company has more photo opportunities than they ever use. Unboxing videos are hugely popular on YouTube — they should be boring, but people love them. Make a list of photo opportunities and snap at least five photos every day. And use them.

4. Share and RESHARE your content

Share your content on social media more than once. People dip in and out of social media. No one sits and reads their Twitter feed. They dip in occasionally, and they glance at Pinterest, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn when they have a moment.

Use a scheduler like Buffer, and share your content more than once.

5. Add calls to action to everything

If you pay attention to nothing else, pay attention to this. Add calls to action to your content. When I do a marketing audit for a company, one of the first things I check is that calls to action are happening. Usually they’re not. It may seem obvious that your customers know what to do, but they don’t.

Tell people what you want them to do: call you, subscribe to your mailing list, visit a page on your website… Every piece of content needs a call to action. Adding them is the simplest way to energize your content marketing in 2015.

 

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Content Creation Or Content Curation: Which Is Better?

Content Creation Or Content Curation: Which Is Better?

Everyone’s doing content now; companies are becoming publishers. This question comes up continually: content creation or content curation? Content curation is cheaper, the thinking goes, but which is better?

(BTW, thinking that content curation is cheaper is incorrect.)

Bottom line: it’s what your budget allows. It’s also what your marketing plan requires. Many companies are committed to traditional marketing, so content marketing needs supporters within the company.

Content Creation: Original, Compelling Content Is Ideal

Original content is always better. It gets you out there. You get the attention of customers you’d attract in no other way, because your traditional marketing channels never reach them.

Once you’ve got their attention, you can build on that. At a minimum, you create content for these personas:

  • People who’ve never heard of you;
  • People who are aware of you, and interested;
  • Current customers;
  • Past customers.

If you’re baulking at all this content, consider that you don’t need to create it all today. Or this week. Or this year. You create content over time, and your content lasts. It’s on your website. You can refresh the content as needed.

Content Curation: More of a Challenge

Wikipedia defines content curation as: “… the process of collecting, organizing and displaying information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest.”

In an either/ or situation, content creation is always better. You’ve created it for your audience. With content curation, you’re promoting others’ content. This isn’t a bad thing in itself. However, it’s a challenge to mould that curated content so that it achieves your marketing goals.

Here’s why:

  • You’ve got to find good content which will help you to meet your goals. You’re promoting it, so what you choose says a lot about you. Finding this content takes time;
  • You’ve got to organize that content, and add your own insights to it. Analysis takes time. So does writing about the content you’ve found.

The Solution? Use Both

Why not not use both content creation, and curation? Content curation has benefits: your curated content may get links and shares from others. At the very least, you’ll get recognition, and you’ll show that you’re aware of what’s important to your audience.

I suggest to my clients that if they’re using both, they make sure that for each curated article, they post at least three pieces of original content.

The original content doesn’t need to be text. It can be images. It take seconds to snap a photo, and a few minutes to edit that photo, and provide a little commentary.

Get More From Your Original Content

Before you create content, or have it created for you, know where it fits into your content strategy. If the content is text, add an image (at least one), and a call to action. Make plans to get more from each piece of content before it’s written, too.

You can get lots of benefits from each piece of content. You use an an article as:

  • Social media shares:
  • A PDF for sharing;
  • An infographic for sharing;
  • A news release (rewrite it into the third person);
  • A section of a newsletter and/ or part of an email marketing campaign.

In summary, both content creation and content curation are valuable, and can form part of your publishing strategy.

If you need help with your content, get in touch.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Quick Google+ Tip: Send Someone a Message

Google+ is a great social network, and it has these benefits — it can help your “ordinary” content to get indexed more quickly on Google itself. Don’t rely wholly on this attribute, but you’ll often find that your content on Google+ happily outranks your content elsewhere.

That said, Google+ can be confusing, because of the way it does things. For example, it’s not immediately obvious how you send someone a personal message, directly to them, that only they will see.

If you’re new to Google+ here’s how to send someone a private message in simple steps.

1. Log in to Google+

Log in, and you’ll see the “share” box.

2. Type your message

Google+: type your message

Type your message as you usually do.

3. Choose your recipient

In the “To” field, you’ll see recipients, such as Public, or Your Circles. Remove these recipients, then add your chosen recipient’s name, with the “+” sign. Type “+”, and some letters, and Google+ will make suggestions.

Choose your recipient

If you like, you can add additional recipients.

Have you completed your message? If so, hit the Share button, and your friend will receive your private message. It will appear in his Notifications, and he can reply.

Depending on his settings, he may also get an email message, and can reply using email.

That’s all there is to it.

 Little pitfalls to be aware of

If you’re sending a message to a client, which should be kept strictly private, be careful to remove everything else from to “To” box. When you’re in a hurry, you can unwittingly send a Public message. So double-check that you’re sending your message ONLY to the person you intend will receive it.

What if you want to send messages to a small group — let’s say, two contacts at Company X? The simplest way is to add both names to the “To” field in your message. But you can also create a private circle, with just these two people in it.

Your choice. If you create a private circle, all members of the circle will be aware of the others, and if you send a message to that circle, everyone in it will see your message.

Are you using Google+? It’s my favorite social media network, because it’s focused on interests. It’s easy to find Communities for almost any interest.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Writing Journal 71: Reading On The Go

Writing Journal 71: Reading On The Go

My writing journal for Wednesday, October 22, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

More meetings today; with luck, they’ll be the final ones for this week. Everyone’s just realized that the holiday sales season is upon us. No complaints… I love being busy, so this is an exciting time of the year for me, and for you too, I hope. Things won’t settle down on the marketing front until after Valentine’s Day.

As usual, my writing day starts with work on the mystery novel. I didn’t get much written this morning; just 600 words. I was planning out several scenes. It’s still going well. :-)

Then, the two nonfiction books. I’m focusing on the print book at the moment. I create some notes for the graphic designer, so that he can develop a couple of charts. Words: 1,800.

Honey’s lazy this morning, but gobbles her breakfast, and then settles down on her bed. I eat my breakfast while checking over the morning’s email messages, and respond to several. Email’s building up a backlog again. I schedule “email time” in my bullet journal, and prepare for the two meetings.

A couple of writers asked about how to get more reading done. I suggested reading on the go; it’s how I manage it. There are always minutes during the day that you could be spending reading. If you prepare for those minutes, you can read much more, without affecting your family time, or your schedule.

Reading on go: keep up with yourself, and everyone else

I wrote about social media writing on my freelance blog.

Mostly, I read on my iPad. I use Flipboard, and if I find something I want to post to social media, I can do it right away. Alternatively, I can save an item to Pocket, and read it and share it later.

If I’m having lunch at my computer (yep, bad habit), I read social media on my iPad. It’s relaxing. Later, in Pocket on my Mac, I can tag items, send them to any social media network I choose, or I can send articles to Evernote. Of course, I can just delete an article too.

To read my own and clients’ material for editing, I use Send to Kindle. I just downloaded a PDF from a marketing company on repurposing content, for example. At a glance, I can see that the PDF contains some great ideas. I drag it into the Send to Kindle icon on my Dock. (I’m a Mac user.) I can read the PDF on my phone, or on my tablet.

Send to Kindle is excellent, obviously, for long material. My first step in editing a book is always to read it in the Kindle app. I can read on my phone anywhere — while waiting for a meetings to start, while in the queue at the bank… Try it. You’ll find that reading in the Kindle app gives you a fresh perspective on material.

Back again…

After two days of running around, I’m way behind on everything, even though I scheduled as well as I could. I spend an hour typing up notes from the meetings, and scheduling new projects and tasks. Most are short, thank heavens.

With that done, it’s time to deal with email again, and then, phone calls.

The day isn’t over yet; I’ve got a rush copywriting job to do for a client tonight. I do my daily review, and I’m ready to relax for a few hours.

The Easy-Write Process has been updated for 2015

The Easy-Write Process has long been our most popular writing program. If you’re struggling with your writing, it will help you to discover how to write easily and well. Check it out now.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.