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.

Pinterest Traffic: 4 FAST Sales Generators

Pinterest Traffic: 4 FAST Sales Generators According to Alexa, Pinterest has a global rank of 26, and a US rank of 16. (Alexa ranking is an estimate of popularity.) However, few companies are using Pinterest effectively. Look on it as both a social, and a sales tool. Pinterest traffic may well surprise you.

I encourage my copywriting clients to engage on Pinterest as well as on Facebook, for a couple of reasons:

Let’s look at some fast ways to promote on Pinterest.

1. Images Count: the More the Merrier

Look on Pinterest as the ideal showcase for your products. When you’re launching a new product, or service, create 20 images you can use on Pinterest. You won’t use them all at once, of course. However, combined with descriptions (see below), you can create interest, and increase traffic to your product pages.

Tip: it can be tempting to look on your Pinterest account as an online catalogue, but remember… SOCIAL. Create boards for entertainment, as well as business. Consider your customers’ interests, and create boards around those interests.

2. Create an Engaging Description: It’s an Ad, With a Call to Action

Pinterest gives you 500 characters (100 words) to use in your pin descriptions.

You have space for a tiny ad — make it engaging. Write for users, but remember keywords and hashtags — and a call to action. Include prices too; pins with prices get more repins than those without.

3. Create a Board for Your Blog (Your Blog’s Your Content Hub)

Your blog is your social media content hub. Create a board for your blog. This is on my own To Do list for 2015. Add a couple of images to each blog post; this gives you more pinning options.

Integrate Pinterest with other social media networks.

A workflow:

  • Create a blog post with two (or more) images;

  • Pin the post to two different boards (one image each board);

  • Promote the pins on your other social media networks: Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

4. SELL! Use Contests, and Pinterest-Only Offerings

To get more engagement, consider Pinterest contests, and Pinterest-only offerings. Promote them on your website, your blog, and your other social media accounts. Reach out to companies with complementary products to yours. Suggest a quid pro quo: they promote your contest, you do the same for them.

The more planning you do for your contests, the more you’ll get out of it. Pinterest has guidelines for contests, so keep them in mind in your planning.

When you’ve built an audience on Pinterest (even a small one) consider creating Pinterest-only offerings. Not only will you build your audience, as your customers learn to watch for your offerings, you can promote these Pinterest-only offerings on your other sales channels.

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

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

5 Best David Ogilvy Copywriting Tips to Improve Your Marketing

 Best David Ogilvy Copywriting Tips to Improve Your Marketing

As you may know, I do a lot of writing, only some of which is copywriting. However, I find that insights I’ve developed from copywriting inform all my other writing. On the whiteboard next to my desk, I’ve always got some copywriting tips. Usually they’re quotes from David Ogilvy.

His quotes always inspire me. Let’s have a look at five gems.

“The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.”

You can’t be creative if you’re not having fun:

“Creative people have apparently mastered the art of turning off this part of their brains to let their ideas flow more smoothly, unleashing their imagination,” she writes.

Before I write advertising copy, or a sales page, I spend ten minutes reading P.G. Wodehouse. Lord Emsworth and the Empress of Blandings (the earl’s prize-winning fat pig) always make me smile.

You know what makes you laugh, so do it, read it, or watch it, before you settle down to write advertising copy.

“What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.”

Know what you want your advertising to do; the form doesn’t matter.

Although I love words, sometimes an image needs to take the stage. Look at Apple’s advertisement for the iMac. Click on the first image, and scroll. Amazing, right?

Click off the primary image, and scroll down the page. See how how the images of iMacs frame the words? Apple knows its market: Mac users. They look at the iMac on the screen, then the Mac on their desk, and consider upgrading.

“What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it.”

Content again. Know your audience, what you want your audience to do, and decide what you want to say. Then find the most effective way of saying it. Getting back to Apple’s iMac ad, the ad’s brilliant, because you don’t need to do more than glance at the words.

The words aren’t a sales pitch; that isn’t needed. Good copywriting is good writing: have something to say, and say it.

“Good copy can’t be written with tongue in cheek, written just for a living. You’ve got to believe in the product.”

Emotion comes through in your words. Your audience senses how you feel, and if you don’t value the product, and don’t believe what you’re saying, that comes across.

“There is no need for advertisements to look like advertisements. If you make them look like editorial pages, you will attract about 50 per cent more readers.”

Content marketing’s hot because we’re exposed to so much advertising all day, every day, that we just tune it out. Our challenge is to write editorial content which sells. Is it easy? No. Is it effective? Yes, if it’s done well.

Here’s what I love about quotes from David Ogilvy: no matter how many times you read the quotes, and even if you know them by heart, they get you thinking. And writing better copy.

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

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