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Storytelling is marketing

Think about a commercial that you really enjoy or that sticks out in your memory. This brief advertisement told a story, struck an emotional cord within you and captured your interest with such effectiveness that you still remember it. Yes, that’s the goal of advertisements, but it should also be the goal of your marketing content.

Crafting and distributing concise, engaging, convincing and conversational marketing content is a necessary inbound marketing strategy that can boost your business tenfold. This content, whether it’s a case study or a landing page, should make your targeted audience trust that your business understands their needs and will help solve their problems efficiently, leading them to convert. Your audience will read the content, feel understood, click on links and become a lead or customer. That’s the ideal process.

However, this is easier said than done. Professional content marketers, like myself, use various formulas to maximize the likelihood that the content is noticed, digested and utilized to the company’s advantage. Here is a summarized list of some of the most important features to include when writing excellent content that convinces and converts.

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In content marketing and social media, your headline is what will decide if your content spreads. Whether people click on your links and visit your content depends on your headlines – for the simple reason that your headline is often the only piece of your content that people see before they decide to click or not. You can invest all your money in your content – if your headlines suck, so will your social media and content marketing results.

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In the past, it was a flier handed out to be saved on your target consumer’s fridge--or a magazine tear out. Nowadays, it’s email. Emails are a precious commodity, and your email list, a treasure chest of leads, data and information to glean for your best marketing campaign yet.

Even more precious are the many tips and tricks to get your prospective customer’s email address. Just like magic, if you do it well and do it right, you’ll be watching your database grow and your potential sales and conversions soar.

 

Published in Marketing & Strategy
Monday, 21 December 2015 21:07

How to Plan Your Content Calendar for 2016

The New Year is coming, and nothing could be more helpful than taking a good, over-arching glance at your content strategy and aligning it with your marketing goals.  With a good plan laid out, you’ll always feel at-the-ready when it comes to a key arm of your marketing plan: content!  So plan to build--and keep--your readership in 2016 with valuable, consistent content.

But how do you plan for content? 

For starters, it’s important to look the the year ahead, as well as your goals ahead. 

Don’t just pull things out of a hat or think of what you may be most interested in reading.  Really get strategic! Who is your audience? Who are you speaking to? How can you content help warm them to your goals, and shape your plans? How can you lead them through your conversion funnel with interesting content? These are the types of things that will help make your content work for you!

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Why Using ‘Smarter’ Words Is Killing Your Business

The best web copy is not the fanciest web copy. It’s not the copy with the most sophisticated words or even the copy that sounds the most ‘professional.’ The best web copy is the web copy that’s the easiest to understand. It’s as simple as that.

Big words and industry lingo are not easy to understand. They’re definitely not easy to scan. I’ve said it before on this blog and I know I’ll say it again, your prospects will breeze through your text, not dissect it. While those $25 words might make your text look rich with rhetoric, they’re also ripe with vague meaning and confusion. 

I get it. “I worked hard for this college education, I might as well put it all out on display, right?!” I used to fall into that trap. The bottom line though is you aren’t in the running for the Pulitzer Prize, you’re going after sales. Save your creative voice for the novel you plan to write.

Keep Sentences Short

Short sentences are gold. Solid gold. They’re easy to read. They’re easy to scan. They’re easy to understand.

If you naturally write in longer sentences and are struggling to keep them short and compact, try replacing every comma in a paragraph with a period. It will look a little weird. It may feel choppy. But it will be more affective and to the point.

This is not just my personal style. Human psychology dictates this. Our brains naturally pause every time we see a comma. We can’t help it, it’s how we’re wired to read. Meanwhile a period simply signals the end of a thought, not necessarily a complete pause. It’s much easier to power read a paragraph that’s broken up by periods instead of commas. 

Try it yourself. Write out a paragraph like you normally would (including commas), then go through and remove them or change them to periods. See how much quicker you can actually read it? It’s weird, but it works. 

Published in Marketing & Strategy

Take a look at these great tips and statistics on the importance of not only doing online marketing, but on focusing on inbound marketing techniques to allow users to find your company naturally online. 

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