sensitivity in content creation

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Sensitivity in Content Creation with Jeff Renoe

In this week’s #ContentWritingChat, we covered a topic we’ve never truly discussed before: sensitivity in content creation.

Although it’s something we’ve never talked about extensively during our busy hour on Twitter, it’s an important topic for any brand. We covered what’s okay to discuss online and how you can find your voice when talking about sensitive topics.

Let’s dive into the recap!

Sensitivity in Content Creation: Deciding What You Can Discuss & How to Find Your Voice with Jeff Renoe

Our guest host for this week’s chat was Jeff Renoe. He’s a regular participant during #ContentWritingChat, so having him step into the guest hosting role was a real treat. Jeff is a content marketing professional, as well as the host of the Our Fractured Minds podcast.

Q1: What makes a topic a sensitive one to talk about?

To kick off the chat, we asked everyone to share what they felt a “sensitive topic” was. Here are a few responses we received:

As Jeff said, many topics have become sensitive ones to discuss these days. However, some common subjects include politics, religion, sexuality, disasters, and mental health.

Gene knows two topics that can stir up controversy are politics and religion.

As Julia said, we generally steer clear of sensitive topics here at Express Writers. She avoids taking sides in politics and religion. Another thing she avoids in her content? Cursing.

Jason said a topic is sensitive when there’s real potential to offend another person. If you spend any time online these days, you know that happens quite often now.

Bill feels the same as Jason. If a topic has the potential to offend a group of people, it’s definitely a sensitive area.

Even if you think a topic might be safe to discuss, there are others who might not think so. If you aren’t sure, you can always get a second opinion.

Andrea said the more personal you get, the greater your chances are of hurting someone.

Q2: How do you decide if a sensitive topic is one you should have a voice on?

If there’s a sensitive topic you have an opinion on, should you really speak up about it? This advice will help you decide if it’s wise:

Do you have a story worth sharing? That’s what Jeff feels you should think about when deciding to cover a sensitive topic. His advice is not to fuel a narrative unless you have a unique perspective on it.

Sarah said you should ask yourself if the topic is relevant, meaningful, or helpful to your brand or customers. If that answer is yes, then you’re good to go.

If the topic is relevant to your business, David said it might be appropriate to discuss. If not, his advice is to avoid it.

One important thing to consider is why you’re writing about a certain topic. There should be a real purpose behind the opinions you want to share.

Is your audience affected by the topic? Can your brand hep the topic or will it only hinder progress? Does the topic align with your brand’s values? These are all great things to consider that Anne shared with us.

If it stirs your soul, you’re going to be more inclined to step up to the plate and talk about a particular topic. That’s often a good sign that you have something important to say.

For Amanda, it’s all about going back to her values. If something is happening in the world that she wants to stand up for, she goes for it.

Another thing you may wan to consider is whether or not discussing a topic is going to call damage for your brand. When it comes to sensitivity in content creation, this likelihood is pretty high.

When you do decide to write about sensitive topics, Jessica says you should have a heart. Consider all sides of an argument and approach it in a respectful manner.

Q3: How do you find your voice when it comes to speaking about sensitive topics?

If you’re planning to move forward with talking about a sensitive topic, you may be wondering how to find your voice. Fortunately, our chat participants had some great tips for you!

Jeff feels your voice should come naturally. If it feels forced, then that’s a good sign that it might not be the best thing for you to discuss.

Lexie’s advice is to think about the main point you want to get across. If you don’t have a point to make or you aren’t passionate about the discussion at hand, she said you may want to reevaluate the decision to write about it.

Always make sure you have your facts straight before speaking up. Otherwise, you can wind up causing way more drama than you intended.

Always write from the heart. Jay suggests finding people who have a personal stake in a topic to share their stories.

Always be authentic and transparent with your audience, no matter what you’re writing about.

Make sure you’re being careful when discussing sensitive topics. Andrea’s advice is to recognize the many sides in a discussion, avoid name calling, and don’t fuel controversies just to get more views.

Julia feels it’s best to get a second opinion on a potentially controversial piece before publishing it. It’s always helpful to get feedback from an outside source.

Anne also agrees with getting someone else to look over your work. You never know how another person may perceive your work and the editing phase is perfect for getting feedback.

Q4: What kinds of things should you talk about when discussing topics as these?

When dealing with sensitivity in content creation, what should you actually be discussing? Here’s what you need to know:

One thing you shouldn’t talk about? Your product. When discussing a sensitive topic, it’s not a good time to focus on selling. It’s only going to backfire on your brand.

A great place to start is to understand what your audience wants to talk about. You can use that information to determine what you’ll discuss with them.

Jason’s suggestion is to offer insight that shows you considered both sides to a topic.

Why is it important for your audience to know where you stand on a particular subject? Why is it too important to ignore? These are crucial questions to ask yourself.

Jim’s advice is to always cite credible sources. That’s important in helping you back up your opinions.

Another great opportunity comes from sharing your own experiences. That’s something your audience will surely be able to relate to.

Ashley feels it’s best to outline a solution, instead of just focusing on the problem at hand.

Q5: How do you integrate current events related to these topics into your content strategy?

With so many brands wanting to talk about the events currently going on in the world, it can be tricky to implement into an overall content strategy. To help, our chat participants offered up some helpful advice:

Jeff feels you should find your voice ahead of time so you’re prepared for what’s to come.

Sarah said you should make sure any current events you discuss are relevant to your reader. If it’s not helping them in some way, it’s probably better to pass.

The rule of thumb here is to stick with what makes sense for your brand.

Carla will discuss current events if there’s a teachable lesson she can share with her audience.

Don’t create content for the sake of creating content. Lexie’s advice is to make sure your content will be beneficial to your audience.

If current events are significant to your niche, Zachary feels it should naturally integrate into your content strategy. If it doesn’t fit with ease, you might want to pass.

You always want to make sure that discussing current events feels natural and comes off that way as well.

Don’t be afraid to share your experiences that relate to a topic. It brings a personal connection to the conversation.

Stay focused on the events that are impacting your customers. Those are the most important ones to discuss.

Don’t be afraid to keep your content schedule flexible. You can always move things around if an important topic comes up.

Even the very morning of the chat, Patagonia took a stance on a sensitive topic.

Megan shared some other great advice to consider. Be careful about which organizations you align yourself with. Not all nonprofits are truly being helpful in times of need.

Q6: What channels are best for these kinds of conversations?

When it comes to sensitivity in content creation, are there specific channels that are ideal for discussing such topics? It really all depends on you and your audience, but here are some suggestions from the chat:

Jeff said to find a medium where you can have conversations with your community. You don’t want to ignore anyone.

As Lexie said, your best bet is to pick the channel your audience is already on.

If you have somewhere that you’re already engaging with your audience, that’s a great place to start.

Any channel with an open-minded audience and the ability to share feedback is great.

Social media will always be a go-to for important conversations.

Jade said Twitter is one place you can start the conversation.

For Julia, she prefers blog format because you can put time and thought into it before it goes live.

Javier feels the same way. He acknowledges the power a blog post or your website can really have.

On the flip side, Gene recommends keeping the conversation private if you want to avoid dealing with internet trolls.

If you aren’t willing to have these conversations on public forums, don’t do it. You have to be prepared for any potential backlash that may come your way.

Q7: What happens if you receive push back from others on your stance?

When speaking up about sensitive topics, you’re most likely going to receive some sort of push back from those who disagree with you. How do you handle it? Check out this great advice:

If you receive push back, address it. Even if you disagree with someone, it’s still worthwhile to hear their opinions.

As Jason said, ignoring it may cause more problems in the long run.

Acknowledge the views that others have, back up your own opinions, and keep it civil. There’s no reason to engage in a nasty argument.

Don’t take anything too personally and make sure you respect the opinions of others.

For Cheval, he doesn’t let push back get to him. He just moves on, recognizing that those who disagree might not necessarily be his people.

Always keep your cool!

Stay on message and stick to the bigger picture at hand.

Amanda says she would stand by her stance, despite push back she might receive. She wants to stick up for the things she’s passionate about.

Listen to others and be open to their criticism. It can often be a learning experience.

Q8: Tag some brands that have impressed you with their voice and willingness to cover sensitive topics.

Which brands can we learn from when it comes to sensitivity in content creation? These are some examples worth checking out:

Jeff was a big fan of what JELLO did during the legalization of gay marriage.

Cheval mentioned that Wendy’s has done a great job at handling sensitive topics through their social media presence.

As for Anne, she’s a big fan of Buffer and their honest approach to a variety of important topics.

One brand you might not want to look to is Pepsi after sparking controversy themselves.

If you’re going to take a strong stance on a sensitive topic, make sure you can handle the heat.

Join us for the next #ContentWritingChat! It takes place on Twitter every Tuesday from 10-11 AM Central Time. Just be sure to follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat!

how to build a brand

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Build a Brand That Will Stand Out in 2018 with Rochelle Moulton

There’s no denying that it takes time to truly build a brand that will stand out from the crowd, especially if you’re in a saturated niche.

Fortunately, our latest #ContentWritingChat has some tips that are going to help your brand shine. And this is advice you’ll want to implement in the coming year!

Whether you’re building your own personal brand or you are part of another company’s brand, these tips will still be beneficial for you. So, if you want to learn how to build a brand that people truly love, keep reading for this week’s recap!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Build a Brand That Will Stand Out in 2018 with Rochelle Moulton

Our guest host this week was Rochelle Moulton. She’s an entrepreneur and a personal brand strategist. She joined us for Tuesday’s #ContentWritingChat to share her advice on branding and it’s definitely worth a read! Let’s dive in!

Q1: What does it mean to have a personal brand or a brand for your business? Have you built one?

To kick off the chat, we asked everyone to share what it means to have a brand. We also wanted to know if they’ve worked to build a brand themselves! Here’s what a few of our chat participants had to say:

Rochelle said that having a personal brand is consistently presenting yourself and your ideas so your “sweet spot” audience knows you. Your brand also needs to be authentic. If it’s not, people are going to see right through you.

Lexie knows a brand is essentially the identity of the person or company that it represents. She feels your brand shows what’s important and that consistency is key.

Sarah said that having a personal brand showcases what your business is and how you’re able to help your customers.

When building a personal brand, you need to be transparent, genuine, and honest. Julia said that people will need to be able to relate to your brand and should want to invest in it. That’s all part of helping you attract the right people.

As Brittany said, your brand is your personality, your vision, and your mission. It’s all about what you do, why you do it, and how you do it. She knows that your brand helps people get to know and understand you.

Your brand is the foundation of giving your company a voice, identity, value, and awareness.

And remember, we all have a personal brand, whether you realize it or not! It’s better to be smart and actually manage your brand’s reputation.

Q2: What are some key elements you will need in order to build a brand that will stand out?

To build a brand that truly shines, there are a few key elements you’ll need to get started! Here’s what you need to know:

As Rochelle said, it’s important to have clarity on who your ideal audience is. You need to know who you want to reach in order to create the content that will resonate with them. She also said that having a compelling point of view will help you stand out from others.

And don’t forget that consistency is essential as well! It’s going to help you establish your brand and build trust with your audience.

A unique message is going to help differentiate you from the others in your niche.

Zala said you need to figure out who you are, what your unique offering is, how you can serve your audience, and ways you can educate, entertain, and help the right people.

Cheval knows that it’s important to figure out your why. That’s essential because your purpose is what will keep you going when times are tough.

Besides knowing your why and the mission behind your brand, you also need to know who you’re trying to reach. Without a clear idea of who your target audience is, how can you expect to reach them?

Know your why. Be consistent. Be genuine and authentic. These are all important things to keep in mind when you build your brand.

Both Kristen and Danielle know that authenticity is a must!

Authenticity, emotional connection, and value are just a few of the elements Varun feels every successful brand needs to have.

Don’t forget you need a unique voice, a valuable message, strong motivation, and the ability and willingness to share a well-crafted story.

Tamara shared a great tip about analyzing your competitors. You can learn a lot from the areas they may be lacking in. You can use this as your opportunity to step up to the plate.

Q3: How important is content creation when you build a brand? How can it help your brand stand out?

What role does content play when you’re building a brand online? Does it really make a difference? (That answer would be ABSOLUTELY!) These are some reasons why the content you produce is essential for your brand:

Rochelle knows that both content creation and content curation are essential when it comes to building your brand.

The content you publish online can build trust and loyalty, while also boosting engagement with your audience.

As Lexie said, content can also help you connect with your audience. She knows a brand is nothing if there aren’t people who believe in it.

Jason said the content you crate shows your views and opinions on things. This can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level, which can also attract new people to your brand.

Content speaks directly to your customers. It tells them who you are and what you’re all about.

Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing with their content. As Jade said, put your thoughts out there and see what people think. Don’t be afraid to share your unique point of view, but make sure you’re also engaging with the responses you get.

Even Julia knows the benefits of content creation! It’s been her top priority when growing Express Writers.

Q4: How do you include your personality or a company’s personality in the content you create online?

If you want to build a brand that stands out, one of the key aspects to consider is personality. Your personality is what will attract and resonate with your target audience. But how do you express that through the content you share? Check out these tips:

Rochelle knows that adding personality can be a scary thing, but she encourages people to experiment. Take cues from what others are doing and try seeing what works for you.

Language, voice, and tone need to be consistent with your brand and should be reflected in your content. Always keep that in mind when you’re creating. Kristen also suggests thinking of three words to describe your brand. Those words can help guide you when writing content, designing graphics, and more.

Cheval’s advice is to speak from you heart. As he said, it takes time to develop your voice, so don’t rush it.

It helps to have guidelines for branding if you have a team working alongside you. As Varun said, those guidelines can help your teammates maintain tone and voice when creating content.

Jade’s advice is to be yourself. If you try to be like everyone else in your industry, you’re just going to blend in.

Don’t forget to engage with others! It shows them the human side of your brand. Don’t let them think you’re some sort of robot.

A helpful piece of advice from Shelly: not everyone is going to like you. You need to focus on resonating with the right people, which are the ones in your target audience. It’s okay to repel the ones who aren’t the best fit for you.

Be yourself. If you aren’t true to who you are, people are going to see right through a false facade.

Zala had some kind words to share about the Express Writers team, which we couldn’t appreciate more! We like to make sure our team is visible and an active part of our brand.

Q5: How can brands use storytelling in 2018 to ensure they stand out from the crowd?

Storytelling has become a crucial element in helping brands connect with their target audience. If you’re wondering how you can better use storytelling in 2018, take a look at this advice:

Rochelle suggests writing how-to content, sharing mistakes or light bulb moments, talking about client experiences, and more. These are all great ideas to implement.

Sarah suggests showing others how you and your audience work together to fulfill their needs. They want to know how you and your offering will benefit them.

To showcase the benefits you can provide to your target audience, sharing client success stories is a great way to get started.

Immerse yourself in your brand and live your story. As Zala said, it’s important to take about your successes and your failures. That’s relatable and it’s what draws people into your story.

Andrea knows that video marketing is where it’s at. If you aren’t already using video to tell your story, 2018 is the time to do it.

Brian said that a well-crafted story gives you a foundation for all your marketing and sales content. You want to be consistent to stand out and become easily recognizable by your audience. He also pointed out that you might not get things right the first time, so don’t be afraid to make tweaks.

Q6: How can you tell if your brand is resonating with the right audience? Are there metrics you can track?

Once you’ve started building your brand, you obviously need to make sure it’s attracting and speaking to the right people. How do you do this? Here are some handy tips to help you find out:

There are a variety of metrics you may want to track. Rochelle suggests looking at social media engagement stats, new client stats, etc.

Ask yourself who is engaging with your content and what they have to say about it. This will help you determine if your content is working or not.

Both Sarah and Lexie know that conversions are key. It’s important to keep your end goal in mind and create the content that’s going to help you get there. Plus, conversions can be a number of things, not just sales.

You can look at social media engagement, page views, duration on page, and support tickets from customers.

Are people sharing your posts? How much time are they spending on your site? Are they leaving comments, and if so, what are they saying? These are just a few things you’ll want to ask yourself.

You can even look at your subscribers to see if they represent your target audience. If they do, you’re on the right path. If not, you have some work to do!

Q7: Your brand just isn’t working for you anymore. What should you do if you think it’s time to re-brand?

How do you handle a re-brand if you think it’s the right step for you? Check out this advice:

Rochelle said to use this as an opportunity to better hone your niche and your message. You want to get clear on who you’re targeting and what you’re providing.

Before you dive head first into a re-brand, ask yourself what isn’t working for you. This will help you determine where you need to begin your work.

As Lexie said, you can’t change anything without first knowing what the problem is. From there, you can make tweaks until you find what works for you.

Tamara also suggests reviewing your strategy to see what’s not working and why. This is always the best place to start.

Sarah’s advice is to do your research. You can even ask your audience for feedback since they’re the ones you need to resonate with.

If you have a team working with you, get their help as well. Figure out who you are, who you serve, and why.

Gaby shared some great questions you should ask yourself if you’re facing the possibility of a re-brand.

Sometimes a refresh is all you need! Don’t immediately jump into a re-brand. Take time to figure out what’s really in your best interests.

Zachary suggests figuring out why things are no longer working and what has changed. Sometimes a change in your strategy is all you really need.

As Julia said, you want to be very careful about moving forward with a re-brand. It can get tricky and it’s a lot of work to take on.

Q8: Is there any final branding advice you’d like to share with us?

To close out the chat, we asked everyone to share a final piece of branding advice that we could all takeaway from this week’s chat. Here are some of the responses:

Be genuine and focus on how you can transform your audience.

Be yourself. Be unique. Be authentic.

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it! Sarah said you shouldn’t be afraid to go for a facelift when it comes to your brand, but a full makeover isn’t always necessary.

Cheval said to make sure your brand emulates your core values. He also encourages you to focus on producing quality content on a regular basis.

As Brittany mentioned, your brand is more than your logo. It’s your identity.

Holding a focus group with your target audience is a great way to get feedback!

Be consistent, be patient, and never give up!

Want to join the next #ContentWritingChat? You can hang out with us on Twitter every Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time! Just be sure to follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for all the latest!

book cta

updating your old content

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Best Practices on Updating Your Old Content for More Results with Andy Crestodina

Quick question for you! Do you take the time to update the blog posts that are buried in the depths of your archives?

If not, you should be!

And that’s exactly what we’re teaching you how to do in this week’s #ContentWritingChat!

So, if your older content could use some sprucing up, let’s dive into the recap for some great tips!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Best Practices on Updating Your Old Content for More Results with Andy Crestodina

Our guest host this week was Andy Crestodina. Andy is a speaker, a content marketer, and the co-founder of Orbit Media. He shared some fantastic advice with us that’ll help you make the most of the content you’ve already published.

Q1: Why is it so important to keep you older content updated and fresh?

If you’re wondering why keeping your content updated is so important, it’s time to listen up! Check out these responses from the chat on why it’s a must for any content creator:

As Andy said, it’s worth updating your old content for quality and efficiency. Instead of creating something new, you can easily improve upon what’s already there. Sometimes that older content of yours is still great and therefore worth being updated.

Kristen knows that it would be pretty awful if a potential client stumbled upon an older piece of content that didn’t exactly give off the best impression. You risk sending them running far away from your website.

And as Andrea said, you never know when someone might find one of your older posts. You want to make sure it’s updated to your current standards.

Jason pointed out that sometimes the topic is still relevant, but the data could use some updating. You don’t want readers coming across a post that’s filled with outdated information.

Giving your content a refresh is a great way to ensure it stays relevant and shareable!

Julia said updating your old content is actually a great way to boost conversions, especially if those posts are already ranking well in search results.

As Mike pointed out, links can break, trends can change, and facts get outdated. These are all important things to look at improving in your older blog posts.

If it’s still getting traffic, Cristy knows it’s worth updating to keep it relevant for your readers.

Even if a piece of content is old, it could still be getting a lot of traffic. As Ashley mentioned, you might be surprised to see what gets the most traffic when looking through your analytics. It’s better to deliver those site visitors an amazing piece of content.

Q2: Which brands do an amazing job at updating their older content? Tag them and let them know!

Which brands can you learn from when it comes to keeping your archives fresh? Here are some great examples that are worth checking out:

Lisa Jenkins, Social Media Examiner, and Michele Linn all do a great job at keeping older content updated and fresh. Andy’s blogger survey even revealed 55% of bloggers update old content. Don’t you want to be part of that group?

Julia said Content Marketing Institute does a great job at updating old blog posts.

Cheval is a fan of Rebekah Radice and how she transforms blog posts into podcast episodes.

HubSpot is another brand that’s doing a great job according to Liliana.

Kristen thinks Campaign Monitor does an impressive job when it comes to giving their blog posts and infographics new life on social media.

Zala said Buffer is another brand that’s doing a great job at keeping their content fresh.

Q3: Once you’ve chosen an older post to update, what steps can you take to freshen it up?

You have your blog post all picked out… Now it’s time to actually give it a makeover, but you need to know where to begin! Here’s how you can get started with updating your old content:

Andy feels the purpose is to truly upgrade the content. He encourages you to add detail, examples, images, contributor quotes, video, and formatting.

He even shared some great statistics that show media and formatting are essential.

Jason shared some great ideas such as compiling new data, polling users, conducting A/B tests, and more.

These are all great tips from Andrea. Make sure you’ve gotten rid of old or irrelevant information, add useful information, update the visuals, and include additional multimedia.

Julia shared a pretty impressive list of things to do when updating your old content.

Don’t forget to refresh your links as well. As Ryan pointed out, you can link to other relevant content on your site and others, which gives people more to read.

Older content needs to be aligned with your current branding and strategy.

Cristy recommends updating links, any research or data within the post, and the publish date. For any post that received a major update, you can always republish it as if it were brand new. You can include the original post date and the date it was updated for reference.

Lexie said to make sure your post has a call to action (CTA). You need to get people to take action after they’ve read your content.

Q4: What are some great ways to repurpose older content for maximum mileage?

Once you’ve begun updating your old content, you might also want to think about ways you can repurpose it. A blog post can easily be transformed into another format based on what works well for you and your audience. Here are some great ideas:

As Andy said, if your content worked well as a blog post, you can always publish it in a new format. Try turning it into a video, an infographic, or an ebook.

Not only will a video be beneficial for those who prefer it over written content, but it’s a great way to boost views on your YouTube channel.

Leah suggests using a blog post as content for a Facebook Live broadcast.

Another great option, as Cheval suggested, is to turn your blog post into a podcast episode.

If you shared tons of valuable information in your blog post, it could become a great infographic.

Your blog post can easily become a video, a slideshow, or a podcast. It all depends what works best for you and your audience.

Q5: When you’ve finished updating your old content, how can you get more eyes on it? What promotion strategies do you use?

When you have a fresh piece of content, you obviously want tons of new people to check it out. How can you do this? Check out these promotional tactics for a boost in traffic:

Andy shared some helpful ideas for increasing views on your content. You can schedule it on social media, send it out as an email newsletter, link to it from the high traffic pages, add it to your homepage, link to it in your email signature, and pin it to your Twitter account.

Danielle’s advice is to treat your updated content like new content. The same tactics you normally use for a brand new post can still be applied here.

Make sure you’re sharing your content in relevant places. If your audience is there, it’s worth scheduling out a share to boost traffic.

Lexie said you shouldn’t be afraid of using paid social either. Boosting a post on Facebook can be very effective for getting more eyes on your content.

There’s no harm in running ads on content you’re really proud of!

Brent’s advice is to answer questions and share your content with people. You can do so through Twitter chats, on Quora, and many other ways.

Q6: How do you measure the success of older content that you’ve updated? Which metrics are important to track?

After your updated content is live, you’ll want to keep an eye on some key metrics to see how it’s performing. Here’s what you should pay attention to:

Traffic, engagement, links, sharing, and rankings are all important things to look at for Andy.

Lexie suggests tracking time on site/page. She also said to include a CTA to tell people what that next step is.

For Jason, he pays attention to view/open rate, page view duration, and how conversion rates have increased. These are all important things to track!

Julia is all about those conversions. For the team here at Express Writers, it’s a good sign when potential clients start a new chat with our customer service from a blog post.

Gaby said to measure engagement, traffic, shares, links, bounce rate, and feedback. You can compare those stats to how the post was performing before the update to see how much you’ve improved.

Q7: Do you use any tools to help you update and repurpose older content? Share them!

When updating your old content, there are plenty of tools out there that can help you get the job done. Check out these suggestions from the chat:

As Andy knows, Google Analytics is a must for any content creator.

Danielle agrees because Google Analytics is a go-to for her as well. It’ll show you which posts are worth updating because you can easily see how they’re ranking.

BuzzSumo is a great tool to see what’s popular within your industry. Andrea also like LumenFive.

Gaby suggests using BuzzSumo, Google Analytics, Photoshop, and social media.

Google Analytics and SEMrush are must-have tools for Julia.

Canva and Adobe Spark are both great tools to check out.

Q8: How do you choose which piece of content to update? Are there any qualifications?

Now that you have all these tips to go forward with, you might be wondering which posts are worth updating. To find out, you’ll want to keep this advice in mind:

If your blog post is written on an evergreen topic, but has some outdated information, then it’s worth updating.

Julia said to look for content that’s already getting views, traffic, and rankings. She said this is an indicator that it’ll be worthwhile to update.

Lexie’s advice is to find content that your audience connected with previously and improve it. If the content resonated before, there’s a good chance it’ll resonate again.

Content that sparked interested or conversation is often worth a refresh.

Chelsea chooses to update content that’s relevant to current trending topics or new projects that she’s working on.

If a piece of content did well before or has once again become relevant, it’s worth improving it with an update.

Sabjan said to choose posts to update based on the engagement it received. You’ll want to keep an eye on bounce rate, shares, and views.

Ready to join in on the next #ContentWritingChat? We’re hanging out on Twitter every Tuesday at 10 AM Central! Make sure you follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for all the latest!

content marketing strategy

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Content Marketing Strategy

Did you catch our latest #ContentWritingChat? We had our monthly community chat, which is when we skip having a guest host and allow our audience to choose the chat topic. We ran a poll the week before and the winning topic was Content Marketing Strategy!

If you could use some help putting together an effective content marketing strategy for your brand, you’re in the right place. We’ve compiled some of the tweets from this week’s chat into a handy dandy recap!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Content Marketing Strategy

In Tuesday’s community chat, there were some amazing tips shared by our participants. You’ll learn the basics of a great content marketing strategy, tools and resources to help, and how to measure your success. Keep reading to check out all the advice!

Q1: Why is it important to have a content marketing strategy for your brand?

To kick off the chat, we asked everyone to share why they feel it’s important to have a content marketing strategy in place. If you need a little convincing that it’s worth the investment, you’ll want to read through these tweets!

As Julia said, a content marketing strategy is everything to the success of your content. When you have a strategy in place, you have a much better chance at succeeding in your work.

If you don’t have a strategy in place, how you can expect to make progress and reach your goals? Iain knows that having a strategy is a must.

When you have a strategy for your content marketing efforts, it provides the guidance you need to keep moving in the right direction.

A strategy helps define the purpose of your brand. Plus, it helps you break down all the steps required to help you reach your goals.

As Sarah said, you need a strategy for any kind of marketing you’re doing. This tells you what you’er aiming for so you can stay on the right path.

Having a strategy gives you measurable actions, cohesive messaging, and ensures you aren’t scrambling to throw something together at the last minute.

You can product much better content when you have everything planned out in advance. Plus, it’ll keep your entire team on the same page, which is very important.

Maureen said your content marketing strategy is the driving force behind the channels that do the outreach.

Q2: What are the essential elements of every successful content marketing strategy?

To get started with a strategy of your very own, you need to know where to begin. These are some essential elements you’ll want to have in place:

A great strategy all goes back to knowing who your audience is and understanding them.

Sarah feels good research, resources, and tracking are essential. She also pointed out that you need to know who your audience is and how to reach them. Don’t forget to set deadlines, meet them, and monitor your efforts.

Julia shared a helpful graphic of the four keys she teaches in her course!

Knowing who your audience is, what kind of content you’re going to share, and what your goals are make up just a few of the essentials of a great strategy.

Andrew also agrees that knowing your target audience is a must. He also mentioned that it’s important to know the desired outcome you hope to achieve, platforms you’re using, and more.

Mallorie said you need a defined objective and an understanding of your target audience. You also need to be able to adapt and make changes along the way if needed.

Cheval knows it’s important to listen to your audience to see what they’re chatting about. This is a great way to get to know them better.

Measurable goals, your target audience, tactics to reach the right people, and metrics to track progress are all essential.

Iain recommends setting SMART goals with your content marketing strategy.

Q3: What kind of goals might a brand set for their content marketing efforts? Which ones do you focus on?

Every brand is going to have different goals for their content marketing strategy. However, if you’re just getting started, you might wonder what kind of goals they often set out to reach. Here are some great tips from the chat:

As Sarah pointed out, the goals you set will depend on your business objectives. Either way, you need to make sure you’re tracking your progress.

Conversions are definitely a major goal you’ll want to track with your efforts. Jason also recommends tracking things like click-through rate, leads and sales, and how much reach you’re getting.

Proving valuable, relevant, and consistent content is always key. It’s the best way to build relationships and establish trust, as the Source Media team knows.

You may want to track web traffic, community growth, and how many leads/sales you’re getting.

Maureen also knows that your goals are going to be different from what everyone else is doing. However, if you’re new, she said you may want to track awareness by viewing traffic to your site and how long they’re spending on your page. If you’re moving people through your funnel, conversions are key.

Lexie said different types of content are going to have different goals. She said you may want to track website traffic, sales, or social shares.

Web traffic, leads, and community growth are all common metrics to track within your business. As Rebecca said, you want to make sure you see how your audience responds to your content. Make adjustments as needed.

Tony knows goals are going to differ for everyone. Whether you want to see shares, clicks, sales, or something else… You need to focus on what’s right for you.

Q4: Describe your process for building your own strategy. How do you get started?

Ready to craft your strategy? We asked everyone in the chat to share the initial steps in their strategy-building process! Here are some of the answers we received:

Cristy’s advice is to brainstorm. She’ll use paper or a whiteboard to jot down ideas, which she then moves into a spreadsheet. Another tool she’s used in the past is Asana.

Sarah said to start with your goal and work backwards from there. You need to figure out how you’re going to achieve that end result, which will help you plan your strategy.

Clearly defined goals are essential to Jason. As he pointed out, you won’t be able to hit your target if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Set goals first before working out the details.

Julia knows that a content marketing strategy will look different for every brand. It needs to be targeted to their audience in order to see the best results. Know your topic and then figure out what your audience wants to know and how you can help.

Maureen shared some great advice that’ll help anyone that works with clients. You want to know that the company understands their audience and their marketing before moving forward.

Knowing the brand voice, conducting audits, doing customers research, and more! These are all essential steps to consider.

Know who the target audience is and where they want to go. This will help you create the content that resonates the most.

Debi also agrees that knowing who the target audience is plays a major role.

Q5: What’s something you intend to cut from your content marketing strategy for next year? What will you keep?

Sometimes we notice things that just aren’t working within our strategy, which means it’s time to cut ties. While other times, we see what’s been successful so we can create more of that. Here are some things people will be cutting and keeping in their strategy in the new year:

The team at ThinkSEM is going to focus on being more flexible with their calendar and still plans to join plenty of Twitter chats.

Lexie said Netvantage will continue to focus on high-quality, long-tail keyword content.

One of the things Rebecca will be doing is shifting to even more video content, which continues to be essential for content marketers.

As Debi said, if it’s not working for you then you need to cut it out. If it is working, make sure you embrace it moving forward.

Q6: How do you know if your strategy is effective? Which metrics do you track?

Once you’ve implemented your strategy, you need to know if it’s actually effective. To do this, there are key metrics you’ll need to track. Here’s what you need to know:

As Lexie said, it all depends on the goal of your content. This can differ based on what you’re trying to accomplish, so keep that in mind.

Debi frequently looks at Google Analytics to see how any content marketing efforts are performing.

Julia knows it’s all the conversions! You want to ensure your efforts are actually helping you grow and make a profit within your business.

You might want to track link clicks from other site and search engines, as well as any search terms you’re ranking for. This can help you see how your content is performing.

Cheval focuses on how his blog has grown in terms of readership.

Sometimes you just get that feeling that things are working out! You might notice more phone calls or emails coming in for potential customers, which is always a great thing.

Remember that it all goes back to your unique goals. Once you know what those goals are, you’ll know which metrics are important to track.

Q7: Do you use any tools to help you manage your content marketing efforts? If so, what are they?

With all the tools that are available today, there are plenty that can help with content marketing. Check out these recommendations from Tuesday’s chat:

Debi’s go-to tool is Google Analytics.

Evernote is great for storing ideas and planning content, while Trello is handy for outlining larger projects.

Sarah’s essential tools include WordPress, Teamwork, Google Sheets, good old fashioned pen and paper, and brain power.

Google Drive is a must these days!

Lexie loves using Google Drive, WordPress, and Yoast.

Feedspot, Buffer, and Hootsuite are Carla’s favorite tools.

Cheval also relies on Hootsuite for social media scheduling.

TweetDeck, Hashtagify, Canva, and Pablo by Buffer are all great tools to look into.

Q8: Which resources help you strengthen your content marketing skills?

If you want to learn more about mastering content marketing, take a look at these suggestions:

Lexie know Twitter chats are where it’s at! They’re great for making connections and learning new things.

We have another Twitter chat fan! If you aren’t already joining chats, you should make it part of your content marketing strategy ASAP.

Twitter chats and trainings (online and in-person) are essential for Rebecca.

Julia has a list of blogs she reads daily, including: Content Marketing Institute, Smart Blogger, Copyblgoger, and Copy Hackers.

Twitter chats, podcasts, blogs, email lists, and social media are all great ways to learn new skills.

And here’s a great reminder from Cristy: always be learning and strive to improve.

Want to join the Twitter chat fun? #ContentWritingChat takes place every Tuesday at 10 AM Central! Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to stay updated!


content marketing teams

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Tips on Managing and Building Effective Content Marketing Teams with Michele Linn

When it comes to building content marketing teams, there’s a lot involved in selecting the right people and working together successfully. But if you need help building a team of your very own, you’re in luck because that’s what we talked about in this week’s #ContentWritingChat.

You’ll learn the essential traits a great team member should have, the roles that should be filled, and how to combat some of the common roadblocks that content marketing teams face. Ready to learn more? Keep reading for the recap!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Tips on Managing and Building Effective Content Marketing Teams with Michele Linn

Our guest host this week was Michele Linn. Michele is the VP of Content for Content Marketing Institute. Being a member of the CMI team, she definitely knows a thing or two about building a team and ensuring everyone works well together. She had some great advice to share during the chat, which you won’t want to miss!

Q1: When building a team, what are some essential traits members should have?

When selecting people for content marketing teams, there are some key traits you may want those people to have. Here’s what you should look for in a potential team member:

Michele feels that the people within a team need to fit together in three ways: culture, content marketing mindset, and skills. She said she also hires people based on their can—do attitude and their willingness to figure out answers to questions and problems.

It’s crucial that the people on your team are able to work well with others. As Sarah said, everyone needs to get along if you want to work together efficiently.

Gaby feels a commitment to the team’s larger purpose and goal is essential. She also said it’s important to collaborate with one another and to have a strong work ethic.

For any kind of team, being able to work together is a must. As Jason mentioned, if there’s any kind of animosity within a team, everything will suffer.

Lexie knows that communication skills are a must. A team needs to be able to easily reach out to one another and connect.

For Julia, she looks for someone who has a growth hacking mindset, creativity, and expertise. She also wants a team member who is self-disciplined and driven.

Being able to communicate and listen is always essential for any kind of team.

It’s so important that team members hear each other out, which is why listening is such an important skill.

Q2: How do you go about finding and selecting the right person for your content marketing team?

Once you know what you’re looking for in a great team member, how do you find that person? Here’s some advice to help you while you’re on the hunt:

Michele suggests first finding the gaps you have in your process. You need to determine where you need the most help before moving forward with hiring. She also said you should consider hybrid marketers, which are those who have skills in a variety of areas.

Julia crafts a detailed description of whatever job she’s hiring for. She outlines what she’s looking for and that person’s ideal traits. A description of the job, any perks, and the pay is important as well.

Lexie suggests doing a trial run before committing someone to your team. This allows you to see how this person will work with everyone else. You’ll know right away whether or not that person will be a good fit.

Carla said she likes to ask for referrals from people. This is a great way to get recommendations since they’re coming from someone you know and trust.

Another great tip is to check out someone online before hiring them. You can learn a lot about a person by checking out their social media presence.

As Tony said, you need to make it clear what you’re looking for in a new team member. He also suggests creating a test, which will help you weed out candidates that aren’t a good fit.

Q3: What kind of roles does a great content marketing team need to have?

There are a number of roles you may want to fill when building content marketing teams. These are a few positions you may want to consider hiring for:

Michele said that every team needs to have a leader and every project should have an owner. These are important roles you’ll want to add as you build your content marketing teams.

For new teams, Michele recommends finding someone to help with strategy, editorial planning, writing, design, and distribution. If your team is more mature, you’ll want something who knows a lot about email, SEO, and social media.

Julia’s advice is to get a project manager, an SEO and content marketing expert, and an industry expert writer.

Sarah said the types of roles you need to fill will really depend on your business and your team. Keep that in mind and focus on hiring the roles you genuinely need.

Tony suggests having someone who creates the visuals, links, schedules, edits, writes, copy, etc.

A passionate writer, an email expert, an SEO strategies, a social media manager, and a leader are all essential roles.

A leader, as well as a team of writers, SEO analysts, and designers makes all the difference.

Bill suggests looking for skills and experience in strategically producing, publishing, and promoting content.

Q4: How can you ensure your team is effective and productive? What about remote teams?

Need some help boosting productivity within your team? Whether you’re working together or you’re all remote, here’s some great advice to help you out:

Michele feels every team needs to have a shared vision and strategy.

Having a strategy and a roadmap that outlines responsibilities is key.

Be sure to set up goals and guidelines. Make sure you also have a clear channels for communication so everyone can stay in touch.

Sarah recommends having regular check-ins with your team members. Make sure you’re flexible so you can meet your team’s needs.

Having a central communication tool is great advice. Jade suggests using something like Slack to keep in touch with everyone.

Kyle recommends Slack or Basecamp for staying updated with your team.

Haley’s advice is to set goals, use an online task manager, and have conference calls.

You can read all about our remote team here at Express Writers in this post Julia shared.

Q5: What are some common roadblocks team members face when working together?

There’s no denying that content marketing teams are going to encounter issues from time to time. It helps to be aware of some of those common problems so you can help avoid them. Here are a few struggles teams often face:

Michele knows that having shared priority is key when working together.

Communication is definitely something many teams struggle with.

Kyle said groupthink is a common roadblock for content marketing teams.

Miscommunication, clashing personalities, and poor leadership are just a few issues Brandie pointed out.

Carla knows that many teams have a hard time with communication, as well as resolving conflict.

Q6: How can you combat those roadblocks and keep them from popping up?

To help you avoid those roadblocks, keep this advice in mind:

Shared understanding of the strategy is key, according to Michele. This ensures everyone is working towards the same mission.

Gaby’s advice is check-in with team members periodically. She said you should encourage, listen to, and support one another.

Make sure everyone is on the same page with project goals and strategy. If there are any concerns, encourage your team to speak up.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Let your team know that you’ll all there to support each other.

Communication is a must! Make sure the team knows the top priorities for the projects you’re tackling.

It’s important to have a culture where your team feels comfortable speaking up about roadblocks.

Q7: Which tools do you rely on to keep your team running smoothly?

Luckily, there are a plethora of tools out there that can help you out when managing a team. Check out these suggestions:

Michele relies on a variety of tools, including Trello and Airtable.

Slack, Google Drive, and Dropbox are all essentials!

Don’t forget a good old fashioned phone call can always do the trick.

No matter which tool you use, make sure it’s something the whole team is part of. Everyone can stay updated with what’s going on.

Q8: Any final advice on managing and building effective content marketing teams?

To close out the chat, we asked everyone to share their final pieces of advice to take away from the day’s chat. Here are a few of the responses:

Michele suggests considering the personality of your team members and customize communication when possible. She also advises you to make your team feel valued. This helps keep everyone happy!

Be open to your team, their needs, their productivity patterns, and improvement requests. Julia also said to communicate with your team often. You can schedule meetings and have video calls if you’re remote.

Be flexible because everyone communicates and interacts differently.

Make sure the ideas of your team are heard. Allow everyone the opportunity to speak up.

Mallorie suggests looking for those who will help you stand out. You want someone with a creative mindset.

Cheval’s advice is to lead by example and set the tone for your team.

Want to join the next #ContentWritingChat? Come hang out with us every Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time! Just be sure to follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat so you don’t miss anything!

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guest blogging

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Grow and Build Your Own Guest Blogging Platform with Erika Heald

Have you ever thought about guest blogging as a way to grow your online presence?

Whether you’re looking to start guest blogging on other sites or you want to accept guest posts for your own blog, this week’s #ContentWritingChat is a great one! To help you take full advantage of guest blogging, we’re sharing some amazing advice from the chat in this recap!

How to Grow and Build Your Own Guest Blogging Platform

Our guest host this week was Erika Heald. Erika is a marketing consultant and a freelance writer. She’s also the host of a weekly Twitter chat, #ContentChat. Be sure to check it out every Monday at 2 PM Central!

Erika has plenty of experience with guest blogging, which is why she joined our chat to talk all about it this week. She had great tips to share with all of us, so let’s dive into the recap!

Q1: Why is guest blogging a beneficial way to grow your online presence?

You’ve probably heard people rave about the benefits of guest blogging before. However, you may be wondering if it’s really worthwhile. Here’s why guest blogging can do wonders for you:

Erika said that guest blogging on established websites will help you expand your reach, while also increasing your domain authority. If you’re a blog editor, accepting guest posts on your site will increase your talent pool and distribution channels.

Maureen said guest blogging allows you to show, not tell, people about your expertise, perspective, and personality.

One person who certainly sees the benefits of guest blogging is our very own Julia. She said guest blogging has helped build brand exposure, while also bringing in 50-60% of new leads.

As Brittany said, you get to share your expertise with an audience that has already been built.

Having the ability to share your expertise and knowledge with a new audience is a powerful way to build your own brand.

Guest blogging essentially brings two audiences together and helps you get noticed.

As Sarah said, guest posts allow you to get a different take on subjects, expand your audience, and attract new influencers.

Q2: How do you determine which websites are the right fit for you to guest blog on?

Now that you’re ready to get started with guest blogging, you need to choose the right websites. How do you go about that? Here’s some helpful advice to keep in mind:

Erika likes to look for opportunities with websites that share her audience, but aren’t direct competitors. Ideally, she wants to submit a post to a website that has a higher domain authority that she can count on to do promotion once the post is live.

Lexie shared a great question you should ask yourself when trying to select a website to guest post on. Does that blog have a similar audience to you? It’s important that you’re reaching the right people with the content you share.

Julia suggests looking for websites that allow for ongoing columns. This is great because it’ll consistently provide you with new opportunities in the future. She also said that website needs to be relevant to you and they should allow you to link back to your website.

As Kristen said, make sure you take time to research their audience. You want to determine if their people are also your people.

You don’t want to waste your time speaking on the wrong topic to the wrong audience!

If a website isn’t in the same industry as you, could you still help their audience solve a problem. This is how Brittany considers guest blogging opportunities.

Q3: Once you know where’d you like to guest blog, how do you go about pitching them?

You have a list of sites you’d like to guest blog on. Now you need to send a pitch to them with your proposal for a post. It’s a scary thing for fear of rejection, but it’s a lot easier than you think. Check out these great tips:

Once Erika has chosen sites she’d like to post on, she searches for their contributor guidelines. These are important to follow when submitting work to another site. If you can’t find guidelines, she suggests emailing the editor with your pitch and asking for their guidelines.

Guidelines are definitely essential!

Even Julia agrees that reading and complying with guidelines is a must. She also recommends pitching an entire article, not just a topic.

Another great tip is to share how you can add value to their blog. Give them a reason to accept your pitch.

Developing a relationship with the right person will really come in handy. You’ll be more likely to be accepted when you have a standing relationship with the team. If not, share a sample of your work so they will get a taste of what they can expect from you.

Maureen also recommends getting to know the team behind the blog. That will really help you out!

Shelly suggests engaging with the blog’s social media accounts before pitching. This helps build a relationship with them beforehand because they just might take notice. Comment on their posts and share their content. They’ll appreciate it!

Brent’s advice is to build genuine relationship with the editors, research their site, pitch original ideas, and then deliver quality content.

Brandie said you should spend time researching their network to figure out which topics would be of interest to their audience.

Cheval knows a compliment goes a long way when you’re pitching a guest post!

Kristen said it’s best to pitch a fully-baked article with images. They’ll see exactly what you’re pitching and will be able to determine if it’s a good fit. If it’s not, move onto someone else or use the content for your own website.

Q4: What strategies can you use to get the most out of your guest blogging efforts?

To maximize your guest blogging efforts, there are a few things you can do! For a guest post that really pays off for your brand, keep this advice in mind:

To make guest blogging work for you, Erika said you want to gain a quality link back to your website. Make sure you have great content on your website you can link to within the guest post.

To increase traffic to the post, she suggests including influencer contributions in the post. They’ll be more likely to share something they’ve been featured in. Plus, you need to share the content through your own social media channels. You might even run a paid ad on social media!

Maureen suggests adding a clear call to action at the end of your post. You want to tell readers what that next step is, especially if they’re just hearing about you for the first time.

Brandie’s advice is to think about your goals for guest blogging. She also encourages you to include a call to action to check back to respond to comments people may have left.

To make the most of your efforts, Julia thinks it’s a great idea to continue to write for that blog. If things worked out, pitch them in the future to gain more exposure.

Having a long-term relationship with the people behind the website you posted on is very beneficial. It opens up the door for more opportunities in the future.

As Sarah said, make sure you are sharing the content on all of your social media channels. She even suggests repurposing it into different mediums like a podcast or video.

Q5: How can you start accepting guest posts for your own website?

Now that we’ve talked about pitching guest posts for other websites, you may want to consider accepting them for your blog. To get started with that, here’s some advice that will help you out:

To get started with accepting guest post submissions, Erika advises you to create guidelines. You can present this to writers to ensure their content fits within your quality standards.

From them, Erika said to post a call for contributors on your site. She feels it’s important to respond to all submissions you receive, even if they don’t make the cut. Let the writer know why their piece wasn’t approved and give them the opportunity to redo it.

As Lexie said, you have to let people know you accept guest posts if you want people to begin submitting. Don’t wait for them to come to you.

You can create a page on your website where you ask for guest post submissions or share the details on social media.

And remember that there’s no shame in rejecting a piece that was submitted to you. Stick to your standards!

Q6: Is it important to provide writers with guidelines when submitting posts? How do you ensure your content fits?

We’ve already talked about the importance of having guidelines, but how do you know when a piece of content is the right fit? Here’s what some of our chat participants had to say:

Without guidelines for writers, Erika knows you’ll wind up with a lot of submissions that simply aren’t good enough or don’t fit your site. Your guidelines should include topics you’re looking for, post length, and anything else you deem important.

As Sarah said, it’s not a free-for-all! Guidelines give people something to follow and strive to achieve. Sarah suggests reviewing the writer’s past work to get an idea of their skills.

Julia said guidelines are key to ensuring your brand is represented correctly by every writer.

Having guidelines in place will ensure you get good submissions.

Tony said that he had a site send over guidelines before he began writing, which is a major plus.

Q7: Which websites are great for content marketers to contribute to?

If you’re a content marketer and need some suggestions for sites to pitch, check out these recommendations from the chat:

Erika recommends pitching to the following sites: Content Marketing Institute, SpinSucks, MarketingProfs, and Marketing Land.

Julia knows it’s all about choosing relevant sites. You need to know your audience and figure out which websites they’re actively reading.

Brent suggests guest blogging for sites like Content Marketing Institute, Skyword, and Copy Hackers.

Cheval’s recommendations include Simply Measured and Social Media Examiner.

Q8: What final advice should we keep in mind when guest blogging or accepting submissions for our site?

To wrap up the chat, we asked everyone to share their best advice that everyone should keep in mind going forward with guest blogging. Here are a few key tidbits:

Make it your goal to be invited back for another guest post in the future. Erika said it’s also important to engage with the readers. You can do this by responding to the comments you receive.

She also knows the edits you do can make a huge difference with your content. Just don’t overdo it when it comes to SEO.

Always focus on producing quality content.

Julia shared two great pieces of advice. First, she encourages everyone to remember that pitching blogs can be a long game. You have to be patient, establish a relationship with the site’s team, and have perseverance.

She also said you shouldn’t be afraid to go after those sites you want to publish a post on. You never know what might happen, so go for it!

It’s also wise to tell people how their guest post submitted when it’s one on your own site. This gives the writer great feedback for the future.

Kristen said to use guest blogging as a way to develop ongoing relationships. That always makes a huge difference and opens the door for many more opportunities!

Don’t be afraid to be stingy with the work you accept on your own site. You want to make sure only the best makes it through.

Ready to join in on #ContentWritingChat? We’re hanging out on Twitter every Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time! Just follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat so you stay updated!

free course


#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Get More Mileage, Shares and Traction from Your Content Efforts with Susan Moeller

How would you like to get more mileage out of your online content? If so, you’re in the right place! That’s exactly what we discussed in this week’s #ContentWritingChat. Our participants shared tips for implementing an influencer strategy, how to increase social media shares, and tips for content efficiency.

Keep reading for all the amazing advice they had to share with us!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Get More Mileage, Shares and Traction from Your Content Efforts with Susan Moeller

Our guest host this week was Susan Moeller. Susan is the Business Development Manager over at BuzzSumo, which is a tool we love to use here at Express Writers. She had some valuable tips to share with us, which we’ve added to this week’s recap.

Q1: Do you think social media shares are a valuable metric to track? Why?

Do you pay much attention to the amount of shares you get on social media? Some of our chat participants found this an important metric to track, while others felt there were better things to focus on. Here’s what a few of them had to say:

Susan feels social sharing is more of a vote for the relationship than the content itself.

A social share could mean someone deemed your content valuable enough to share it with their own audience, which definitely means a lot.

As Amanda pointed out, social shares from those who have authority or relevancy in your field can really help generate awareness.

When you see people sharing your content, it’s a good sign that you created something that spoke to them.

There’s nothing wrong with an endorsement from your audience!

One great way to look at it is that social shares help you potentially reach even more new people.

As Julia said, social media shares a good metric to track, but it’s not a success metric on their own.

The important thing to remember is that a social share doesn’t necessarily mean someone read your content. They could have shared without actually reading it.

As Lexie said, social sharing can be very passive.

Q2: What is your top suggestion for getting more shares on social media?

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a few extra shares on your content, right? To encourage people to spread the word, these are some great tips to remember:

Susan encourages you to collaborate with influencers throughout the process. Creating with other people can help you reach a new audience, but it also helps build relationships within your niche.

Knowing your audience is a must! As Ken said, you need to create content they’ll find relevant.

Kyle agrees that it’s so important to know who your audience is. He also recommended looking at past sharing from your audience, as it’s a good indicator of what they liked and may be willing to share again.

If you want to encourage social media sharing, you need to create shareable content in the first place. Ask yourself if you’d share your own content. If not, you should head back to the drawing board.

Julia knows it’s important that you create your best content. You also need to be consistent with publishing. Those social shares will come to you.

You should also make it easy for your audience to share your stuff. Add social sharing buttons to your blog posts to make it super quick. It’s just a few clicks and they’ve shared it for you.

Andrea agrees that you need to make it easy for them. Those social sharing buttons need to be clearly visible to visitors of your website.

For Andrew, he feels lighthearted, relatable content is where it’s at. He also recognizes the power of a call to action.

As Kristen said, a great headline and amazing images never hurt!

Q3: What are some techniques to get the most mileage out of your content?

You’ve created an amazing piece of content, so now what? To make the most of the content you’ve published, here are some great ideas:

You can repurpose your content by summarizing a webinar in a blog post and using questions that were asked.

Sarah knows it’s important to repurpose your content. You want to keep it fresh by updating evergreen posts regularly to ensure they’re still relevant with the latest information. You can even take blog posts and make them into different formats.

Kristen suggests turning an eBook into a webinar, blog posts, and even infographics.

Julia shared some great ideas like creating quote cards, Instagram posts, Snapchat content, Instagram Stories, and SlideShares. All of this can be created from one in-depth post.

Brandie recommended creating videos, slides, and infographics.

Don’t forget to mention or tag any co-authors or brands that are part of your post. You can even potentially “newsjack” or “trendjack” on social media to gain more traction.

Q4: Do you use an influencer strategy to gain traction on your content? If so, what do you do?

Many brand are taking advantage of influencers in their niche as a way to reach new people. If you’re considering trying it out, these are some great tips:

Susan said the team at BuzzSumo focuses on how they can help the influencers they work with. They use a relational approach, as opposed to mass emailing cold contacts.

Remember that you’re all in this together. Find a way to offer value to the influencers you partner with.

Qualifying the audience an influencer has can definitely be a tricky task, but it’s an important one. You want to ensure you work with the right people.

After all, Lexie knows choosing the right influencer is so important if you want to see success with your social sharing campaign.

Make sure you’re doing the necessary research on influencers before you reach out. Meghan said they should understand your brand and message.

Shawn is spot on with his answer. Choosing an influencer doesn’t mean you should go with the person who has the largest audience. It’s more important to work with someone who has a quality, highly engaged audience.

If those bigger influencers are out of your reach, there’s no need to worry. You can see great results when partnering with micro-influencers in your niche.

Julia also sees the value in working with micro-influencers. As she said, niche wins.

Q5: What pitfalls do you try to avoid in your influencer strategy for content?

To help you avoid any troubles with your influencer strategy, we asked our chat participants to share the things they strive to avoid. Here’s what a few of them said:

When you have a small team, you have to be careful that you don’t stress yourself too thin. Don’t go overboard with commitments because you need to make sure you can still deliver.

Jim’s advice is to choose influencers that are aligned with your values so there’s no disconnect.

Don’t be afraid to be selective when choosing the influencers you work with. They should share your vision.

And remember that it’s not all about a large audience. It’s about an engaged audience.

A great piece of advice to remember: know your influencer’s audience. You want to research potential influencers to choose the right one for your brand.

Q6: What roadblocks to content efficiency are you trying to overcome? How’s that going for you?

Are you struggling with content efficiency? You aren’t alone! Our chat participants shared their biggest struggles and how they’re working to beat them:

Sticking to your plans can be tough when you have so many good ideas floating around. Susan said a system needs to be in place that allows that flexibility, but still encourages you to finish projects.

Kristen knows an evolving organization goes through a lot of transitions. Keeping messaging, language, and themes consistent and on-brand can be a tricky task.

Creating for clients can sometimes be pretty challenging. You want to make sure you’re getting plenty of information from them to do your job successfully.

Cheval knows that writing long-form content isn’t always easy. It takes a lot of time and effort to create an amazing piece of content.

There’s no denying that time is a struggle for all of us!

Q7: Are there any tools you rely on to help repurpose your share your content online?

What are the best tools to help you repurpose and share your content? Check out these great suggestions:

Susan’s go-to tools include Rev for video transcription and Canva for creating images.

TweetDeck, Canva, and Pablo from Buffer are all great tools to check out.

Cheval’s must-have is Hootsuite. He relies on it to schedule his Twitter posts.

Buffer is a great tool to schedule social media content. Their Power Scheduler really comes in handy when you want to schedule content far in advance.

For Kristen, it’s all about reusable templates and an amazing designer.

Q8: Which brands do a great job at getting the most mileage out of their content?

If you’re ready to make the most out of the content you create, you can draw some inspiration from these brands:

Susan is a big fan of Content Marketing Institute’s content. They’re always amazing!

Julia loves the work that CoSchedule, Buffer, BuzzSumo, and Canva create.

Narmadhaa is also a fan of Content Marketing Institute’s work, as well as Hootsuite’s.

For Gaby, she knows Red Bull is great at taking one piece of content and repurposing it into a variety of other formats.

Want to join us for the live hour? Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat and join us every Tuesday at 10 AM Central!

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turn your content into a book

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Turn Your Content Into a Book with Leah Ingram

Have you ever thought about turning your content into a book? If so, you might be wondering how to get started with this process! In this week’s #ContentWritingChat, this is exactly what we talked about.

We talked about what you need to do first if you want to write a book, the pros and cons of working with a publisher versus self-publishing, and more! If this chat is right up your alley, keep reading for out recap. It’s loaded with all the tips you need.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Turn Your Content Into a Book With Leah Ingram

Our guest host this week was Leah Ingram. Leah is a regular #ContentWritingChat participant, so we were thrilled to have her guest hosting. As a writer, she had a lot of amazing tips to help you create a book of your very own.

Q1: Why would you want to turn your content into a book?

Whether you’ve already been thinking about writing a book or you’re not convinced it’s worthwhile, this first question is for you. We asked everyone to share why they felt writing a book could be beneficial. Check out some of the responses:

Leah feels writing a book is a great way to build your platform as an expert within your niche.

Writing a book allows you to reach a new audience through a different medium, which is always a plus.

Julia said publishing a book instantly gives you authority in your niche. She was able to land a paid speaking gig and even secure new clients from publishing her own book.

For Carla, she felt a book was a beneficial way to answer all the questions she was commonly asked.

A book is a great way to put everything into one place, which makes it easier for your audience to consume.

As Ken said, portability is another benefit of writing a book. With all of your best content in one place, it’s easy for your audience to read and take with them wherever they go.

Q2: How do you know that your content is something your audience will be interested in?

Before you get started with a book, you want to make sure the topic you choose is something your audience will value. If they aren’t interested, they won’t buy! Here’s how you can make sure your book will be a hit with your target audience:

If you’re receiving a lot of comments or traffic on certain types of content, Leah said that’s a good sign you’ve got a winner. This is a great way to get started when turning your content into a book.

Make sure you’re listening to your audience. Take their feedback into consideration and allow it to guide your content.

Sarah’s advice is to research what your audience is responding to and sharing. This gives you a good idea of what their interests are so you can create the content that resonates.

If you aren’t sure what your audience truly wants, there are a few great options for you. Carla suggests doing surveys, asking questions, checking blog comments, and even viewing your Google Analytics. Discover what’s been a hit with your audience and go from there.

If you’re going to be repurposing some of your blog content as a book, that’s already going to be a good indicator of your audience’s interest. Were people sharing those posts or leaving comments? Those are signs that they liked what you were sharing.

Never be afraid to just ask your audience what they want. If you have an idea, present it to them to get their feedback.

Q3: What comes first — the book idea, the agent, or the publisher?

Do you need a book idea first or should you secure an agent or a publisher beforehand? To help answer this question, here’s some feedback from the chat:

Leah has always relied on traditional publishing, so she would create an idea first, then find an agent, and finally a publisher.

Iain recommends starting with a book idea. You want to have a topic that your audience will find valuable.

Julia said the book idea always comes first. She feels everything else will fall into place from there.

Carla starts with a book topic, plans out her idea, and then begins pitching.

Without an idea, there’s no book to be written!

As Tony said, it’s pretty hard to get someone to back you if you don’t have a great idea first.

Q4: How do you stay organized and productive throughout the writing process?

Once it’s time to start writing, you could use some tips to help you stay on track! Here are some organizational and productivity tips you can use:

Leah recommends setting daily word limits to give yourself a goal to work towards. This will keep you on track and ensure you’re making progress every day.

Don’t forget to block off writing time on your schedule!

Once you’ve got your writing time blocked off in your calendar, make sure you eliminate any distractions. You need to just focus on your writing.

You can get started by creating an outline of your ideas first. It’ll make the writing process much easier.

Julia recommends writing to match your flow, pacing yourself, and committing to deadlines.

Devin also sees the value in deadlines. They’ll ensure you’re progressing and staying on track.

Having a journal or a planner is a great way to jot down ideas and deadlines for yourself. It’s nice to have all of that information in one place for easy access.

Sarah said you should have a writing system in place. You can set deadlines to meet your goals. And make sure you’re taking breaks when needed to give yourself a mental reboot.

Whenever you get stuck, walk away from your writing for a bit. Do something else to refresh your mind and then come back to it later.

Q5: What are the pros and cons of working with a publisher versus self-publishing?

These days, many writers are choosing to skip working with a publisher in favor of self-publishing. There are benefits and downsides to both, so here’s what you need to know:

Leah said she’s more inspired when she already has an advance.

Working with a publisher gives you access to a wide array of contacts that can increase the visibility of the book, but that publisher will get some of your money from sales.

As Julia said, you can make more royalties with self-publishing.

Ken said that a publisher will hopefully set money aside for marketing, which is a major plus. If you go the self-publishing route, that task falls on your shoulders.

A publisher can also help keep you on track with deadlines, but some writers might not like having deadlines to meet.

With self-publishing, it’s all up to you. You have to be prepared to write, edit, and promote all on your own.

Q6: Once your book has been completed, what’s the next step? How do you spread the word?

Your book is done. Now what? To spread the word and increase sales on your book, check out these tips:

Social media, print, TV, radio, and guest posting are all great options to get your book out there.

You can reach out to your own network of friends and colleagues to help you with promotion. Influencers in your niche are a great way to expand your reach as well.

Your connections and influencers can really help get your book in front of more people.

Ken suggests engaging in online forms and on blogs. You want to put in the work before your book is released to build your audience and increase anticipation.

Utilize your social media outlets, network, and schedule TV and radio appearances.

Javier recommends running promotions that offer chapters for free or exclusive content. This is a great way to encourage sales and pique the interest of your audience.

Telling friends is great, but sometimes they won’t be your target audience. Make sure you’re spreading the word to people who would be most interested.

Q7: How do you actually make money once you’ve written a book (beyond an advance if you’ve gotten one)?

Your book is out there in the world and now you’re probably wondering how you can make money with it. Check out this advice for some great tips:

Leah makes money through her spokesperson income, as her books have helped her land gigs. She also suggests getting magazine assignments to continue building your platform.

For Julia, it’s all about the royalties that come in. She makes residual monthly income from her book.

You could even consider turning some of your book content into webinars that potential readers could tune into. The webinar should leave them wanting to buy your book. You can also run ads or land speaking engagements.

Make sure you continue spreading the word about your book via social media. Don’t forget about it!

As Cheval said, your book could help you land clients for your business. If your competition hasn’t written a book, you’re sure to stand out.

Zachary recommends building a website to continue growing your brand and to also try speaking gigs.

Q8: Any final advice on successfully turning your content into a book?

To close out the chat, we asked everyone to share their final tidbits on how to turn your content into a book. Here’s what some of them had to say:

Leah’s advice is that you shouldn’t try to go it alone. Having an agent can be a great support system for you as you write your book.

Work hard, set deadlines, and make sure you get an editor. These are important reminders from Iain!

Julia said you shouldn’t rush the process. It’s going to take time, so put in the effort that’s required. She also said to create a book you’re proud of.

Believe in yourself!

Katie said you shouldn’t force your content into a book format if it’s just not working out. You might find that something isn’t best as a book, which is totally okay.

Want to join our next #ContentWritingChat? Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat, then join us every Tuesday at 10 AM Central!

content productivity

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Content Productivity Hacks

Do you ever struggle to stay on track when it comes to content creation? If so, you are in the right place! In this week’s #ContentWritingChat, we talked all about Content Productivity Hacks. These tips are going to help you accomplish your writing with ease, so you’ll want to check them out!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Content Productivity Hacks

We had another community chat this week, which means our participants were the stars of the show. A while back, we polled our audience to see what chat topics they were most interested in and this was one of them. If you need some content productivity hacks to get you through, keep reading for our recap.

Q1: What does content productivity mean to you?

What exactly is content productivity and what does that look like for you? We all have different ideas of what productivity means. Here are a few responses from the chat:

For Julia, content productivity is all about getting great content researched, written, and published on time.

Organizing your content ideas, having a clear understanding of your end goal, and timelines for execution are all important factors.

Lexie said content productivity is creating quality content efficiently and regularly.

Delivering valuable, quality content to your community on a consistent basis is definitely key.

For Sarah, it’s all about getting done what needs to get done and doing it on time.

Q2: How do you come up with great topic ideas for your content?

When it comes time to write your content, how do you come up with amazing topics to cover? There are a variety of ways you can draw inspiration, but here are a few suggestions from the chat:

As Lexie know, it all goes back to knowing your audience. You can ask them what they want to learn and then provide them the content they’re seeking.

You can find content ideas by spending time on social media, reading your blog comments, and through so many other ways. If you need to figure out what your audience wants, the answers are right in front of you!

Sarah said social media is a go-to for coming up with new ideas, as well as chatting with colleagues, and reviewing questions/comments from clients.

Danielle knows it’s also beneficial to review your competitors. You can see what they’re sharing and how their audience is responding to it. It might spark new ideas for you.

As Cheval said, Twitter chats are a great way to get to know your audience.

Doing research is essential to finding content topics. Brian also recommends talking to people and figuring out what they’d like to see.

If you’re writing content for clients, you need to understand their business and get to know their customer’s needs and problems.

Q3: Once you’re ready to start writing, what’s your first step?

It’s finally time to write! Now what? Depending on your content creation process, your first step might be different from someone else’s. Here’s how a few of our chat participants get started with writing:

To get started with the writing process, creating an outline is a great place to begin.

Sarah also likes to start with an outline. Outlining your content is a great way to organize all your thoughts and ideas before you begin writing.

Leah starts by conducting keyword research, then she begins brainstorming sections of her content.

Julia’s advice is to map your ideas to your goals. She suggests knowing your goal before you begin writing anything.

Brainstorming is a great place to begin. Jot down any ideas that come to mind.

Molly recommends ditching any distractions. You don’t want anything that takes your attention away from your writing.

Laura’s advice is to just start writing. It doesn’t have to be good, so just focus on getting some words out and letting everything flow. You can edit later.

Q4: How do you stay on track with your content creation schedule? Any tips?

When it comes to consistently creating content, it helps to have a schedule in place. If you need some advice with staying on track, check out these suggestions:

Setting deadlines is a major help in staying consistent with content creation. You can allow yourself ample time to take care of writing and editing so there’s no last-minute scramble to get things done.

Zachary suggests setting a schedule for yourself. For example, he shares blog posts on Tuesdays and YouTube videos on Sundays. This will keep you on track.

Kyle relies on his content calendar to stay organized. You can also share it with other team members so they can see what’s being worked on and provide input.

Leah has an accountability call every Monday with another writer. Having to check in with her helps to stay on track with her schedule.

If you’re part of a team, make sure you’re staying in touch with them. Regular communication is important!

Jade relies on Google calendar, Excel spreadsheets, and Zoho.

Q5: When you’re working as part of a team, how can you collaborate to produce great content?

Working with a team certainly has its benefits, but it can also be challenging. To make the most of your partnership, here’s some helpful advice:

Make sure you’re brining your team together often to brainstorm ideas. As Meghan said, you can also review what’s working and where you can make improvements.

Sarah’s advice is to brainstorm together and bounce ideas off one another.

Julia recommends having systems for communication in place. Set up a way to stay in touch with your team on a consistent basis.

Since Lori has team members all over the world, she surely knows it can be tricky working across timezones. She relies on tools like Slack, Basecamp, and Zoom to stay in touch.

This is a great reminder from Lexie. She stresses that you should be open and listen to the ideas from others on your team. Don’t be offended by any proposed suggestions or edits.

Q6: What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired to get the creative juices flowing again?

When you’re lacking inspiration, what do you do to get back into that writing groove? If you need some new ideas, check out these tips:

To get the creative juices flowing again, Julia said you should step away from your writing. Take a break to clear your mind.

Going for a walk is a great way to let your mind wander, while also getting in a little exercise!

Cheval also likes to go for walks while listening to music.

Kyle suggests reading when you’re feeling uninspired. It’s a great opportunity to learn and that could fuel your content productivity again.

Danielle’s advice is to switch to another project. Get your mind off your writing and ideas will come to you in time.

If you’re on a team, bounce ideas off one another and make time to brainstorm.

Tammie said you shouldn’t force writing if you just aren’t feeling it. Instead, step away from the computer and take a break.

Q7: What are your favorite tools when it comes to content planning and creation?

Fortunately, there are a plethora of tools out there that can help with your content productivity. You just have to find the right one for your needs! Here are some suggestions:

Julia’s go-to is BuzzSumo!

Molly likes to use the Notes app on her phone to jot down ideas. It’s especially handy since it can sync between your phone and laptop. She’s also a fan of CoSchedule.

Trello and Google Docs get the job done for Brent.

Feedly is a great way to keep up with your favorite websites and all the content they’re posting.

Jennifer keeps it simple with pen and paper. You can’t go wrong with that!

For social media, Aisha likes both Hootsuite and Buffer. She also likes Google’s Keyword Planner.

Q8: Any final tips on content productivity that we should be implementing?

To wrap up the chat, we asked everyone to share their final tips for content productivity. Here’s what some participants had to say:

Julia suggests scheduling time to write. When it’s time to sit down, eliminate any distractions and take breaks when you need to recharge.

Communication between you, your team, and your clients is a must!

When you get stuck, don’t feel like you’re in it alone. Ken suggests talking to other creators for a boost of inspiration.

Don’t try to follow everyone’s advice. Focus on what works for YOU.

Join us for #ContentWritingChat every Tuesday at 10 AM Central! Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat so you don’t miss anything!

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B2B marketing

#ContentWritingChat Recap: B2B Marketing Techniques for the Content Marketer with Anh Nguyen

In this week’s #ContentWritingChat, we talked all about B2B marketing techniques. If you’re running a B2B business or working for one, you’ll certainly find value in the tips that were shared during Tuesday’s chat. In this post, we’re recapping some of the great advice for you to sink your teeth into!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: B2B Marketing Techniques for the Content Marketer with Anh Nguyen

Our guest host this week was Anh Nguyen. She’s a B2B marketer and a social media influencer. She also runs a Twitter chat of her own (#MobileChat), so it was great having her in the guest hosting seat. She had some amazing tips to share with all of us, so let’s check it out!

Q1: What’s the difference between B2B and B2C marketing?

To kick off the chat, we asked everyone to share the difference between B2B marketing and B2C marketing. If you aren’t sure what either of these mean, you’ll want to pay close attention to the answers that were shared. Here’s what you need to know:

As Anh said, B2B is business to business. In this case, a business would market and sell their products and services to other businesses. A B2C is business to consumer, which directs their offerings towards consumers/individuals.

Sarah put it simply for everyone to understand! B2B = business to business. B2C = business to consumer.

As Julia pointed out, B2B and B2C brands are talking to different markets. Their personas, copy, and CTAs will all look different.

When you are a B2B brand, your audience is other businesses.

As Jade pointed out, you’re going to need a different plan whether you’re in the B2B space or the B2C space.

Q2: What are some starting points for a B2B marketing plan?

If you’re getting started with B2B marketing, where should you begin when it comes to creating a plan? If you’re not sure, check out these tips to lead you down the right path:

To get started, Anh says you’ll need to determine the goals for your B2B marketing plan. You’ll want to set goals that are able to be tracked and measured so you can see how you’re progressing. From there, you’ll also need to determine who you want to reach and which channels you’ll be utilizing.

Anh says that there isn’t one-size-fits-all plan. Each business is different and their audience will be unique. In order to effectively reach that audience, you need to know and understand them. This will help yo provide the content that resonates.

Lexie’s advice is to determine what potential businesses need to get started with creating your plan.

Ken knows that it’s important to know your audience, whether you’re in the B2B or B2C space. You need to determine their needs and figure out what they’re looking for.

Sarah suggests knowing the ideal audience, the buying cycle, and how they’re searching for services.

Jason’s top tip is to know your audience. Determine what pain points and problems of theirs you can solve.

Erika said in-depth buyer personas are a must. She recommends figuring out who you’re selling to and what their challenges are.

Sabjan said etc start by defining your goals. Know what you want to achieve and move forward from there.

Make sure you get to know the business, their goals, and their challenges.

Q3: How is B2B content strategy different from a B2C content strategy?

Now that you know a little more about B2B marketing, how does the content strategy you’d use for a B2B business differ from one you’d use for a B2C? This is what you need to know:

Anh said that B2B marketing should be information or educational. She recommends focusing on features and benefits you can provide. The process often takes a longer time than B2C as well, which is important to keep in mind. This is because a group is typically involved in the decision making in this case.

For B2C, buying is based on the needs and benefits of a product, but the decision is made by individuals for their own use. As Anh said, emotion often plays a larger part in a B2C buying decision.

Julia said the personas, content delivery, and content creation will all differ between B2B and B2C.

As Erika pointed out, a B2B content strategy typically needs to reflect a longer buying cycle because there are fewer impulse buys.

Jason said B2B requires selling to executives or a C-level team. For B2C, you’re selling to an individual where their choice won’t be swayed by others on a team.

Ken feels you’ll need to put more attention on ROI when working in the B2B space. Know how your product will save time and money and communicate those benefits to potential buyers.

As Colin said, you need to know the needs of your customer’s customers.

Q4: What struggles does a B2B business face? How can you combat them?

There’s no denying that any B2B business will face some difficulties, but what are they up against? And how can they stand up to challenges? Check out these responses from the chat:

Anh feels content creation is often a struggle for B2B brands because their content is often viewed as boring. She suggests combating this by thinking of creative ways to share “boring” content. She even feels that humor can work in B2B when done appropriately.

Lexie said it’s a struggle to create content that other businesses want to read. You have to figure out how to grab their attention.

Julia said not to fall into the rut of average content. She feels it’s important to embrace creative content ideas and execution.

Sarah said having to sell up the chain within another business can be a struggle.

B2B requires a strong nurture program and exceptional content according to Erika because sales have an extended timeline.

Unfortunately, creativity often takes a hit when it comes to B2B content. It’s important to remember that you’re still communicating with people.

Many B2B brands are afraid to experiment, but sometimes it’s helpful to step outside the box. You can test out humor, unexpected visuals, and emotive copy according to Shelly.

Lauren said many B2B brands are afraid to take content marketing risks. She says they can combat that fear by experimenting and measuring the ROI it receives.

Not listening to their audience and employees as well as poor training can be disastrous for any business.

Make sure you find the right platforms to reach your audience. You want to be on the platforms they’re actively using to get your content in front of them.

Q5: How can you determine the success of your B2B marketing tactics?

Once you have a B2B marketing strategy in place, you need to measure the results you’re getting from your efforts. But how do you know if it’s a success? Keep these tips in mind:

It all goes back to the marketing plan goals you set in the beginning. Anh said to ask yourself if you reached or exceed those goals and if you hit the KPIs.

Lexie knows it’s important to set goals first!

When you have goals in place, you can easily measure results to see where you’re succeeding and where you could do some work.

As Jim said, your marketing strategy will include metrics that will have been determined ahead of time.

Sarah knows that measuring conversions is a must!

If your content isn’t generating leads or revenue, it’s time to go back to the drawing board according to Jason.

Lex said your content should lead to goal completions, conversions, and revenue. If it’s not, you’ll need to revisit your strategy.

Q6: What are some opportunities you think B2B businesses should be taking advantage of in terms of marketing?

What should B2B businesses be doing when it comes to marketing? Here’s some advice from the chat:

B2B business should take advantage of video as well as live streaming. They’re both great ways to connect with your audience.

Vivek also agrees that live streaming is a great option, as well as influencer marketing and podcasting.

Jim also feels that video content is a must for B2B brands.

You can focus on content marketing, create blog posts, participate in Twitter chats, and join LinkedIn groups.

Beki encourages more brands to start guest posting. It’s a great way to expand your reach.

Don’t forget that engagement is always key. Take the time to talk to your audience.

Q7: Which tools do you rely on as a content marketer in the B2B space?

There are a plethora of tools out there that can help you out with your content marketing efforts. Check out these to make your job a little easier:

One of Anh’s favorite tools is Feedly. It’s great for keeping up with content from your favorite sites and discovering new information.

Erika’s go-to tool is Track Maven.

For Sarah, she relies a lot on Google AdWords, Google Keyword Planner, Google Analytics, and WordPress.

SocialFlow is a favorite tool of Dianna.

Lauren loves Hootsuite, BuzzSumo, Google Analytics, and Content Marketing Institute.

Q8: Which B2B businesses really stand out in your mind? Tag them!

Who stands out in the B2B space? Check out these great examples:

MailChimp and HubSpot are just two of the brands that stand out to Anh.

Julia loves BuzzSumo, Content Marketing Institute, HubSpot, and CoSchedule.

For Carla, she thinks ConvertKit and Hootsuite (to name a few) do a great job.

Ready to join the #ContentWritingChat party? Join us on Twitter by following @ExpWriters and @writingchat. The chat takes place every Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time!

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