Christmas Social Media Campaigns

A Handy Holiday Content Guide to 12+ Days of Festivities for Christmas Social Media Campaigns

It’s that time of year once again…

The festive lights go up, holiday music starts playing everywhere, and the Christmas spirit comes alive.

christmas

It also means a giant wave of holiday campaigns arriving on our social media feeds.

Every business has a holiday campaign, and it can feel hard to compete – especially if your business is small, time / budget tight.

The thing is, though, these holiday promotions are totally worth it.

The Christmas season of cheer is a perfect time to engage your list of email subscribers, boost traffic, increase sales, and more. According to HubSpot, shoppers give back to retailers who help them get through the season of giving (think useful and timely content marketing).

The holidays are a huge time for sales. In 2015, 74% of retailers said at least 20% of their total sales for the year happened over the holidays. Needless to say, there are giant opportunities for business growth in November and December.

To start our guide, we’re going to take note from some brands on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram doing it right.

The one thing they all have in common?

They set out to delight their audiences first, and boost their bottom lines second.

Brands with holiday campaigns should set out to delight their audiences first, and boost their bottom lines second. @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet

We’ve pulled ideas and inspiration you can use to brighten up your own feeds and holiday campaigns. And, we took direct inspiration from the 12 days of Christmas lyrical piece to craft the fun infographic below.

Enjoy. Let’s dive in!

Add Holiday Spice to Your Christmas Social Media Campaigns with Our 12 Days of Christmas Campaign Ideas (Infographic)

Just like the holiday tune “The 12 Days of Christmas,” we’ve got 12 festive ideas for your Christmas social media campaigns.

Try one (or two, or three, or all 12!) to get your holidays rolling. Read below the infographic for more how-tos, example, and links straight to free tools you can use to craft holiday-focused content.

Christmas Social Media Campaigns infographic

Decorate Your Christmas Social Media Campaigns with 12 Days of Christmas Campaign Ideas

1. “Decorate” Your Social Profiles

Take a page from Penguin Books and spruce up your social profiles with some festive graphics. Theme them around your brand’s purpose to make it even more impactful.

Note that Penguin updated their header image with a festive photo that features some of their books. It looks like they’re about to get wrapped in pretty holiday paper and ribbon. Note that the images they post to their feed have a matching look, which helps tie it all together.

Another good example is how Starbucks jazzed up their Twitter page with a photo of their new “coloring book” holiday cups:

Some of the cups even look like a kid scribbled on them, which is endearing and sweet. That sets a perfect tone for a family-friendly holiday.

Another perfect example:

Ulta, a national beauty chain, gave their Twitter page a holiday twist with a bunch of women showing off festive holiday party looks:

Follow suit with your social media accounts, but try to make the “décor” relevant to your brand. (Hint: Don’t just put up a random picture of Santa – tie it into what you sell or offer!)

How to Use Canva to Easily (& for FREE) Add Some Festivities to Your Profile Images

You can do this super easily.

Canva, for instance, has customizable templates that are professional-looking and already perfectly-sized for your Facebook cover image or your Twitter header. To find festive templates, use the search bar to narrow down your options.

Or, if you love to DIY, first check out these sizing guidelines for creating images for your social media profiles.

2. “Santa Hat” Your Profile Pictures

A quick, fun way to inject some festive flair into your social media presence is to add a Santa hat to your profile pictures.

Check out these leading brands who did it to great effect:

If you go for the Santa Hat, just be sure it doesn’t look tacky (i.e. you don’t need anyone thinking your brand could only afford imagery thrown together with amateur Photoshop skills).

All of the above logos use Santa hats that mesh well with their graphic style.

To get the perfect Santa hat for your logo or branding, enlist the help of a graphic designer. (This could be a great project to hand to a graphic design student looking for some experience!)

The best part about this tip: Once you update your profile picture(s), all of your posts automatically get a touch of holiday pizazz by association. Can you say “ho, ho, ho”?

3. Host a Holiday Giveaway

There’s no better time to host a fun giveaway than the holidays. Everybody’s already getting into the gifting spirit – you should definitely join in and offer delightful prizes for your followers.

Plus, giveaway posts are massive magnets for engagement (who doesn’t like free stuff?), which could help you widen your following and earn some leads.

Luckily, a giveaway hosted on social media is much easier than it sounds.

Your 7-Step Guide to a Great Holiday Giveaway

Here’s a general, quick 7-step guide:

  1. Gather a few covetable prizes. They can be your products, something fun that’s related, or a prize pack with goodies from some other affiliates thrown in.
  2. Make sure you choose goodies people will actually want to win (preferably with some cash value).
  3. Create a post that explains your giveaway. Use an eye-catching image of the goods you’re giving away to help draw attention to it.
  4. Post your giveaway with the rules (for instance, ask that people follow you and like the post in order to enter the contest). Make sure you set an end date for accepting entries, and specify when winners will be announced.
  5. Pick your contest winner(s). To do it, use a free tool like The Good Luck Fairy to help you randomly choose them. This type of tool comes in handy if you have a huge list of entrants. Or, if you use social media management software, check to see if a social media contest feature is built-in.
  6. Announce the winner(s) in a new post. Tag the winners and send them a direct message to make sure they get notified. Don’t forget to ask for their address!
  7. Send off the goods (and feel a little bit like Santa’s secret elf in the process).

Here are good examples of holiday giveaway posts from the lip balm brand, Lipsmackers (they’re cleverly calling it the #12Daysof KISSmas):

The season of giving is here! So to help make your spirits bright Lip Smacker will be giving away items from our 2017 Holiday collection for days straight! Two lucky winners will be chosen at random each day. . Our Day 1 prize for #12DaysofKISSmas is our Holiday Biggys! . To enter to win: 1. MUST BE FOLLOWING @lipsmackerbrand 2. Like this post 3. Tag 2 friends in the comments below Contest end: Saturday, December 2nd at 11 AM PST Winners announced on Instagram Stories Saturday, December 2nd 12 PM PST . Open to US residents only. #giveaway #Holiday2017 #LipSmacker #BestFlavorForever . . . NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED. This Promotion is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are at least thirteen (13) years of age or older as of the date of entry. If a participant has not reached the age of majority in his/her primary state of residence as of the date of entry into the, then the participant must obtain parental written consent in order to be eligible to enter the Promotion. Please visit http://www.lipsmacker.com/termsandconditions for Official Rules.

A post shared by Official Lip Smacker (@lipsmackerbrand) on

It’s day of our #12DaysofKISSmas giveaway! Today’s prize is our Lip Balm Trio Canes! To enter to win: 1. MUST BE FOLLOWING @lipsmackerbrand 2. Like this post 3. Tag 2 friends in the comments below Contest end: Monday, December 4th at 11 AM PST Winners announced on Instagram Stories Monday, December 4th 12 PM PST Open to US residents only. #giveaway #Holiday2017 #LipSmacker #BestFlavorForever . . . NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED. This Promotion is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are at least thirteen (13) years of age or older as of the date of entry. If a participant has not reached the age of majority in his/her primary state of residence as of the date of entry into the, then the participant must obtain parental written consent in order to be eligible to enter the Promotion. Prize will be given as an e-gift card. Please visit http://www.lipsmacker.com/termsandconditions for Official Rules.

A post shared by Official Lip Smacker (@lipsmackerbrand) on

4. Create and Share a Gift Guide

If you sell products, you’re perfectly positioned to highlight them for gift-giving during the Christmas season.

How do you do it in a way that benefits your audience? Gift guides!

Look at this gift guide post from Uncommon Goods for inspiration:

The gift guide works in a few ways:

  • It promises to help alleviate gift-giving anxiety (a real thing!)
  • It promises to help you find a unique gift
  • It promises to help you stay stress-free (“cool as a cucumber”) during this hectic season
  • And, finally, it does all of the above while highlighting the brand’s products (note that this is last on the list)

To do it, create a round-up-style blog post with lots of images and links. Include your own products based on how well they fit the list, along with products from other brands. (By the way, this is a great opportunity to plug some of your favorites and potentially get them to share your post.)

Finally, create social media posts on each of your accounts to share the guide. Remember to tag or mention any other brands you included in the blog.

5. Publish a Series of Gift Guide Posts

Another way to share a gift guide is to do it exclusively on social media. Here are some suggestions:

  • Choose products around a theme that’s targeted for your followers.
  • Round up links and pictures to share.
  • Space out your gift guide over a number of posts.
  • Do one post a day that highlights a product in your gift guide (any more might seem spammy).
  • Explain why each gift idea could be perfect for that particular person on your followers’ lists.
  • Tie it all together with a relevant, catchy hashtag (#12DaysofGiving, #GiftIdeasforMom, etc.).

6. Get Your Products in Other People’s Gift Guides

Similarly, getting your products featured in others’ gift guides is a great free plug for you. Look at how Club Ride and Apparel got one of their products featured in a blogger’s cycling gift guide:

To do it yourself, reach out to bloggers/influencers you love to read who are relevant to your business.

Note how the above brand reached out to a cycling enthusiast – they knew their products would be a perfect match for that influencer’s audience.

Never reach out to someone cold with a line that reads, “Hey, I think my product would be great in your seasonal gift guide.”

Instead, think about people you know, with whom you’re already networking or relationship-building. Reach out to them and offer them something in exchange for the plug.

7. Speak to the Emotions of the Season

This time of year, people want to draw their loved ones close and feel that sense of togetherness, especially if they live far away from each other. They also want to cozy up inside with family and feel warmth, peace, and joy.

If you can speak to the emotional side of the holiday season, you can draw on those feelings to boost shares, traffic to your site, sales – whatever your goal may be.

Here’s another example from Uncommon Goods that speaks to holiday emotions. In this post, they highlight one of their products that has an emotional pull for the holiday season:

The engagement on this post (over 1,000 likes and nearly as many shares) shows how much it has resonated with people.

Note that this post/video doesn’t sell the product. Rather, it focuses on the benefits: you can show people you’re thinking about them, no matter how far away they are.

During the holidays, that’s something that mightily appeals to just about anybody. The fact that Uncommon Goods just so happens to sell the product isn’t even secondary; it’s tertiary.

However, based on the engagement for the post, it’s safe to assume that the company boosted their sales for this one product. That’s a powerful post.

8. Share Recipes

Even if you aren’t in the food industry, recipe-sharing is a fun way to shake up your posts and offer something a little personal to your audience.

For example, sharing your favorite recipe for holiday dip, rolls, or even a festive cocktail is a warm way to connect with your followers over food – and isn’t that what the holidays are all about?

Here’s a good example from Yoga Journal:

And, here at EW, we recently shared our favorite pumpkin pie recipe on this Thanksgiving-themed infographic:

You don’t have to get fancy with this. It can be as simple as linking to your favorite recipe and adding a few personal lines explaining why it’s a hit with your family around the holidays.

The point is to send warm wishes to your followers with a simple personal gesture.

9. Ask for Your Followers’ Favorite Recipes

Along with sharing your own recipes, you can also dedicate a post (or two or three) to inviting your followers to share their favorites. Ask for Christmas cookie recipes, recipes for holiday drinks, or recipes for holiday dinner dishes.

Check out the engagement on this post from Mrs. Claus.

She asked for recipe favorites and got a great response:

Here’s just a small sample of the discussion it started:

People love talking about their holiday traditions. Invite this type of fun discussion in your own holiday post comments and see what happens.

10. Hold a Mini Contest in the Comments

Taking inspiration from recipe-sharing, why not hold a mini contest and reward the person who submits the best one?

Ask for your followers’ favorite holiday recipes, like in tip #11, but up the ante and offer a prize or personal coupon code for the best recipe submission shared in the comments. To get more traction on the post, tell followers they must also tag a friend who might want to join in.

11. Create Your Own Holiday Hashtag

An even easier way to get festive and inspire your followers is to create your own holiday hashtag.

Ideally, this hashtag will be one your followers can use to show off their holiday cheer in a way that ties to your brand.

For example, if you’re an online shop selling products, ask your followers to show how they’re wrapping gifts from your store using a hashtag like #[YourBrandName]Wrapped or #[YourBrandName]UndertheTree.

Check your tag and choose one submission to repost and feature on your feed daily. Remember to tag the person featured!

12. Align Your Christmas Social Media Campaigns

Your holiday social media posts will get more traction if you tie them all together.

For example, if you create a gift guide to share, like in tip #4, don’t just share the same link + picture to the post on all your social accounts. Take it a step further and highlight individual products from the guide in separate social media posts. Spread these posts across your different accounts.

For example, highlight one product from your guide on Facebook, another on Twitter, and post a fun image or video of one of the products getting used on Instagram.

These posts all tie to the same piece of content – the gift guide – but offer value in different ways to different sets of audiences. As a result, you could pull in more traction for the blog overall.

Look at how Birchbox aligned their posts on different social accounts for their own gift guide:

They highlighted a product on Instagram:

And they posted about it on Facebook:

They didn’t use the same image or wording, but the posts tie together. Try your own creative ways to tie together your different social posts for the same campaign.

For Best Results, Sprinkle Your Christmas Social Media Campaigns with Cheer

The keys to a great Christmas social media campaign are posts that speak to the best parts of the season. Tap into the spirit of giving, the emotions the holidays evoke, and the festive flair that makes people feel a corresponding warm flare of joy.

Even if their hearts resemble lumps of coal, people won’t be able to resist your Christmas cheer.

After all, the best way to spread merriment during this special time of year is to feel it yourself, first.

If you still can’t help feeling like a Grinch about your social media campaigns, we can help you write cheerful, merry posts that get you noticed. Check out our done-for-you social media posts!

content marketing spread

How to Throw Down Your Best-Ever Content Marketing Spread: Thanksgiving Style (Infographic)

It’s Thanksgiving week, and content marketers around the U.S. are preparing for a delicious, tasty week of family, food and relaxation, and definitely no content marketing or strategy for at least a couple days. 😉

But in the days that lead up to T-Day, it’s wise to soak in all you can about creating your best content marketing strategy, so you return empowered and armed to take on your marketing for killer results.

We’re here with a fun map for you, just in time for the holiday:

How a perfect content marketing strategy is very much equal to the best Thanksgiving dinner you’ve ever partaken in.

To serve it up, you need the right recipes for success, tried-and-true tools and techniques, and winning dishes created with flair.

Here’s your ultimate guide, Thanksgiving-dinner style — baked and cooked up into a visually entertaining infographic by our team at Express Writers.

Enjoy! Don’t forget to share if you found this useful. And…happy Thanksgiving!

How to Throw Down Your Best-Ever Content Marketing Spread- Thanksgiving Style

How to Throw Down Your Best-Ever Content Marketing Spread: Thanksgiving Style (Infographic)

5-Star Content Dinner Tools and Equipment

For a five-star content “dinner,” you’ll need:

  • Planning
  • Creativity
  • Research
  • Strategy
  • Good-ol’ elbow grease

Don’t Forget:

Just like any great feast, your content meal should move seamlessly from course to course. Your audience should tuck in with vigor and keep coming back to refill their plates. If you can make your audience feel warm, happy, and content, not to mention implicitly trust your cooking skills, you have succeeded. Needless to say, you can’t wing this kind of perfection, but we’re here to guide you through.

Ready to learn how to create a legendary Thanksgiving content spread from start to finish? Put on your apron – let’s get cookin’.

Create a table-like design for the below

9 Essential Steps and Recipes for a Fabulous Content Marketing Feast

The time you spend carefully and lovingly preparing your content marketing feast will pay off tenfold. That dedication will carry through to your audience down to the very last bite-sized sentence.

Here’s how to make your content dinner table legendary:

Set the Table for Content Success

Every great content marketing spread begins with a perfectly set table.

Your place settings and decorations need to match up with what you know about your audience, your kitchen, and your food. This is how you create a foundation that sets off your whole spread.

Keys for setting the table and planning your content feast:

  • Who are the guests that could show up?
  • What are your specialties?
  • What kind of content will your guests prefer?
  • What tools will you need to serve them the right way? (Are your kitchen and pantry properly equipped?)

During the meal:

  • When your guests are happily chowing down, check in with them from time to time and see how they like the spread.
  • Continually go over your recipes and techniques. Measure, analyze, and update your methods for an even better dinner.

Now that the table settings are planned, you can get busy in the kitchen!

Whip Up an Audience-Pleasing Side – Mashed Potatoes or Dressing, Anyone?

Every delicious Thanksgiving content dinner should start with a crowd-pleaser. To make it, you must know your audience and what they’ll love.

  • To find out what will please your guests most, ask them!
  • You can also imagine your ideal dinner guest to decide what to serve them. Think of them as a real person with distinct preferences.
  • Once you figure out what your audience craves, you’ll whip up dishes so delicious, everybody will go back for seconds (and thirds).

Tip: Give the people what they want. Serve content that performs like whipped mashed potatoes, sausage and apple dressing, or green bean casserole. These disappear like magic into hungry bellies.

Prepare and Roast Your Content Creation Turkey

The meat of a fantastic content marketing spread is your content creation turkey. It’s the star of the show and the vehicle that drives the whole meal. As such, invest in the most high-quality bird you can afford.

  • The best content creation needs careful preparation, plus plenty of time in the oven. Give it an ample amount of both so the end result is incredibly juicy, succulent, and mouth-watering.
  • If you rush it or season it wrong, it will come out dry and tough to swallow.
  • Make enough content creation turkey to use the extra meat in guest blogs and other content types, and don’t forget the final spices: creativity, readability, and great writing.

Tip: To put your content creation over the top, add a special spice that is unique to you as a cook. Your content turkey will be irresistible, even if your guests can’t put their finger on the secret ingredient.

Simmer Perfect Keyword Gravy

What’s a content marketing spread without keyword gravy? The right amount really makes your entire meal sing.

This is the link juice that takes your content creation turkey to the next level and makes your meal more desirable. The scent alone should draw your guests to the table, and, depending on how well your keyword gravy flows, Google might add you to the top of their list of V.I.P. cooks.

Tips:

  • Be careful not to make too much or over-season it. You want just the right amount to drizzle and spoon over your content and tempt your guests.
  • Dump too much keyword gravy on the spread, and your audience won’t be able to taste any other flavor. Google, especially, will give your meal the thumbs-down.
  • Avoid a lumpy gravy by using only all-natural keywords.

Serve Fresh Cranberry Content Sauce

It’s time to finish off your content marketing main dishes. A sweet side of zingy, fresh cranberry content sauce is the perfect addition to a savory spread.

Tip: Cook up the freshest content you can for the best taste – try using ripe cranberries and a hint of orange zest for originality.

Canned, regurgitated content is no substitute for fresh. Your guests will surely turn up their noses at this inferior fare.

Send Out RSVPs to Promote Your Thanksgiving Content Feast

The main dishes of your content marketing dinner are now simmering, baking, cooking, and roasting. As soon as you pull the first finished dish from the oven, it’s time to send out RSVPs to promote your content.

  • Send out invites to your lavish content marketing spread on social media, email, and other promotional channels.
  • The more people who see your invites, the more guests you could end up serving. Get the word out there!
  • Take the time to cater your invites depending on your sending method.

Choose the Best Recipe for Engagement Pumpkin Pie

If your meal is high-quality and satisfying, your guests will definitely stick around to help themselves to dessert.

Serve your very best engagement pumpkin pie (spiced with enough ginger, cloves, and cinnamon to make it lively). Your audience can sit back and savor a sweet treat while they go over the finer points of the whole meal. The better the meal – and the better the pie – the better the engagement.

Tip: See our favorite pumpkin pie recipe, below, for a crowning glory for your Thanksgiving spread.

Your Feast Is a Smash! …Now What?

A successful Thanksgiving content marketing spread that’s well laid-out, tempting and delicious can put you on cloud nine.

Wait one second, though – you can’t hang up your apron and have a celebratory drink just yet (though helping yourself to pumpkin pie is absolutely warranted… and no one will notice if you sneak a swig or two of libations).

The meal is still going, and you want to keep it that way.

Keys to keeping the meal and conversation flowing:

  • Keep the food warmed up for late arrivals and those who want second helpings. Thankfully, these dishes taste just as good as leftovers.
  • If you do it right, this should be a long meal that never ends. Get cooks to help you in the kitchen, and start planning more dishes with the help of an editorial calendar.
  • Finally, check in with your kitchen and keep going over your table settings, presentation, recipes, and guest comments to keep improving and climb to five-star-chef status with Google.

And to “sweeten” it up, here’s a REAL recipe just for our readers!

Thanksgiving pie recipe

Express Writers’ Not Your Average Pumpkin Pie (Real Recipe!)

This spiced pumpkin pie is a true classic, but the method is a little different from the one on the back of your average can of pumpkin puree. It’s a little more flavorful and has a smoother, creamier filling. Plus, thanks to blind baking, the crust gets perfectly crisp. Enjoy!

This recipe makes one 8-9-inch pie.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves or allspice, or to taste
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Prepare the pie crust. Pre-heat the oven to 425°F. Roll out the pie dough and transfer to an 8 or 9-inch pie pan. Crimp the edges. Chill the crust while the oven preheats.
  2. Blind bake the crust. Line the inside of the crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or just until the edges turn golden. Remove the weights and lining, and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  3. Prepare the filling. Combine the pumpkin purée, brown sugar, salt, and spices in a bowl. Mix until the brown sugar is completely incorporated. Whisk in the milk, cream, eggs, and vanilla until just combined.
  4. Fill the pie crust. Place your blind-baked pie crust on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Carefully pour the pumpkin filling into the crust. Be careful not to over-fill the pie.
  5. Bake the pie. Turn the oven heat down to 375°F. Transfer the baking sheet with the pie to the oven’s middle rack. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. If the crust starts to darken too much, cover with a ring of aluminum foil and continue baking. When it’s done, the pie will be darker in color and may puff in the middle, and will jiggle a bit if you gently shake the pan.

The pie will continue to set as it cools. Let cool completely before serving with generous dollops of whipped cream.

General, Expert, Authority: What Differentiates the Content Levels at Express Writers? (Infographic)

At Express Writers, we’re a tight-knit team of content creators that pride ourselves on serving our clients with the best copy on the web.

Since I founded the company in 2011, we’ve served over 5,000 clients around the globe. Watch our video story.

Part of our structure in customizing our content and matching up our writers to our clients for successful results, has been in serving our clients with three specific levels. Our three individual content levels are suited to every kind of budget, expertise level needed, and consistent brand positioning.

To explain our levels better, we created a visual infographic to represent what each of these levels look like. Enjoy! And be sure to scroll down to the content below the infographic to see examples of each content type, written by our creators.

See the three content levels at @ExpWriters #infographicClick To Tweet

General, Expert, Authority: What Differentiates the Content Levels at Express Writers? (Infographic)

General, Expert, Authority: What Differentiates the Content Levels at Express Writers? (Infographic)

Explaining the Three Content Levels at Express Writers

General Copy: The Lowdown

See an example of General Copy.

Writer: Your writer passed our hiring tests. Only 2% of applicants do, so they’ve got writing chops. They’re not, however, an expert on the topic and will instead rely on their research and writing skills.

Content Quality Specialist: Your editor follows our unique 5-point quality check to eliminate grammar and syntax errors while ensuring strong word flow and proper formatting. 

Thorough Research: Includes statistics, quotes, and/or links that support your article topic.

Benefits of General Copy

SEO-Friendly: Formatted and written to be found by search engines.

Created for Optimal Readability: Content is broken up with subheadings and short paragraphs to make it easy for readers to consume.

Who General Content Is Perfect for:

  • Small businesses focusing on local SEO
  • Agencies reselling our content to small, local-focused businesses
  • Businesses or bloggers in non-competitive niches that need content for their blog or social media pages

Expert Copy: The Lowdown

See an example of Expert Copy.

Expert Writer: Your writer passed our tests AND has extensive experience writing about your topic. They also have a better understanding of your readers than a general writer would. And, they’re expert in the nuances of engaging writing. Many of these writers have taken advanced courses, live workshops, or coaching sessions on how to write for engagement and conversions.

Content Quality Specialist: Your editor uses our 5-point quality check process AND checks for link quality and research accuracy.

Extensive Research: Using their experience, your expert writer knows where to find the best resources (links, statistics, quotes, etc.) for researching your topic.

Benefits of Expert Copy

Made for Search Engines: Everything, from the quality of the content to the formatting and keywords used, is made for high ROI in the organic SEO rankings, targeted to the real human reader.

Audience-Centric Content: Content is designed to connect and engage with your unique audience.

Positions You as an Expert: After publishing several expert articles, you’ll be well-positioned to start generating organic traffic for the long term.

Who Expert Content Is Perfect for

  • Businesses or bloggers that want to begin establishing themselves as an expert in their industry
  • Small or medium-sized businesses that want to start generating organic traffic
  • Businesses in a niche with moderate competition that are trying to work towards becoming an authority

Authority Content: The Lowdown

See an example of Authority Content.

This content level not only uses the highest level writer and editors in our team, but also has a specialized process, workflow and extra steps for SEO keyword discovery and special image creation.

Content Strategist: Step 1 in the Authority Content workflow. Uses industry-leading tools to perform keyword research and determine which long-tail keywords your content should be built around.

Authority Writer: Your writer, who is an expert on your topic, works with the content strategist to ensure content is written around long-tail keywords that have the best chance to help you rank quickly. This writer has been handpicked out of our best writers and mentored by our CEO.

Content Quality Specialist: Uses the 5-point quality check process, checks for link quality and research accuracy, AND ensures your content passes the quality standards necessary to rank.

Designer: Creates customized images, based on the writer and content strategist’s suggestions, to ensure the content is as engaging as possible.

Benefits of Authority Content

Designed to Be the Best: Everything, from the images and research to the link quality and formatting, is designed to position your content as the BEST available on your topic.

Positions You as an Authority: With our incredibly high standards, the quality of this type of content helps position you as an authority within your niche.

Customized, Engaging Images: Content with images produces 650% higher engagement rates. With the customized images our designer creates, that number could be even higher.

First Page Focus: The goal of this content is to get you to the first page of search engines for the long-tail keyword/s that we’re targeting.

Who Authority Content Is Perfect For

  • Businesses that are looking for content that “wows” and engages their readers
  • Businesses in competitive niches that want to get to the top of the search engines
  • Businesses or bloggers looking to establish themselves as an authority in their industry

Interested in Finding Your Content Level Match? Talk to Our Team!

Content creation tops the list as the most effective tactic for SEO. (Marketing Sherpa)

But if you’re not investing in excellent content for your site, and publishing it on a consistent schedule, the chances of SEO rankings, more inbound leads, and sales drop.

Get off the ground and start flying by investing in custom content for you and your brand!

Want to discover which of our content types is right for you?

Talk to us today! We’d love to help support your content creation.

Head on over the contact page and book a call with one of our Specialists, or go straight to the Content Shop and check out our three levels: 

The Recipe for a Perfect Blog Post (Infographic)

If little boys are made of snakes, and snails, and puppy dog tails, and little girls are sugar and spice, and everything nice, what is the perfect blog post made of?

Luckily, it’s a selection of ingredients you probably already have in your content “pantry.”

While throwing together the perfect blog post can feel intimidating, it’s as simple as memorizing a straightforward ingredient list, assembling it all with love, and giving it the time, space, and attention it needs to develop into something extraordinary…

Like a pastry chef creating a beautiful cake. Don’t forget to share if you enjoyed our infographic! Full transcript below.

perfect blog post

Feel free to share this infographic, credit to Express Writers: www.expresswriters.com/recipe-for-a-perfect-blog-post-infographic

What Goes Into the Perfect Blog Post?

Before you start assembling the perfect blog post, be sure you have the following ingredients on hand:

  • 1 stellar title
  • 5-10 sentences of compelling introduction
  • 1 heaping spoonful creativity
  • Several outstanding and informative subheaders
  • 2 cups succinct body copy
  • Four handfuls research
  • Six parts formatting
  • 1 part conclusion
  • A sprinkling of enthusiasm
  • Love (for garnish)

Once you’ve gathered all your ingredients, follow these steps:

Assemble the Title

The title sets the stage for the rest of the blog post, so it’s important to get it right. If you don’t spend enough time on it, or if you throw it together hastily, the whole post will fall when you pull it out of the oven. With this in mind, be sure to mix the right amount of information, intrigue, and length into the title. Remember titles with numbers taste better to readers, so you may consider sprinkling some in. For best results, be sure to keep your title under 160 characters, so it doesn’t get cut off.

Lay Out Your Introduction

Next comes the introduction. Since the intro supports the title, you’ll need it to be nice and firm. Take your time laying it out and be sure to keep it short, sweet, and to-the-point. Don’t stretch it too thin. Otherwise, it won’t be able to support your nice, hefty title. You should also be careful not to make it too dense since this will drive your readers away.

Once your introduction is the right consistency, let it rise for 4-6 hours before revisiting it again.

Structure Your Subheaders

Your subheaders are the pieces of your perfect blog post that help guide readers through, so you’ll want to ensure they’re well-spaced and informative. For best results, add a subheader every 300-350 words, so your content doesn’t get too dense. Be sure to use numbers throughout, and keep your subheaders impactful and informative, for best taste.

Mix Together Body Copy

For your body copy, you’ll need to assemble your creativity, research, and formatting in a large bowl and stir until well combined. If necessary, add more research to reach the right consistency. Citations are critical to great blog posts, so be liberal with yours. Be sure that the content on your site is fresh and high-quality since this will improve the taste of the entire blog post.

Once you’ve secured your citations, turn your attention to the formatting. Half of the fun of creating a perfect blog post is making it look beautiful. With this in mind, use bolded subheaders, H1, H2, and H3 tags, bulleted and numbered lists, and plenty of images. The images are extra important since they make your blog post unique and unforgettable. Be sure to sprinkle them in to taste.

Arrange Your Conclusion

Your conclusion is the last part of your blog post, so you’ll want to pay particular attention to this. As you write your conclusion, be sure it sums up the main points of your blog post and gives your reader a tasty little morsel with which to end the post.

Just like you did with your introduction and body copy, keep it short, succinct, and to-the-point. Any “fluff” should be cut out so as to preserve the taste and you should always use the most high-quality writing possible.

Keep in mind that conclusions read better if they’re allowed to rest before publication, so you’d be smart to let yours sit for 4-6 hours before finishing.

Finish the Post

Once your post has cooled for 4-6 hours, run back through it one more time. Cut out any fluff that has risen to the top, tighten up language, remove unnecessary words, and re-shape the post into a narrative arc the reader would want to interact with.

Edit 2-3 times before publication and consider asking someone else to read the post as well, for posterity’s sake. Once the post is finished, sprinkle it with your enthusiasm and love, for garnish, and publish across your blog channel and favorite social media platforms.

Serve hot with a side of engagement and responsiveness to everyone who reaches out about the post.

The Perfect Blog Post Made Simple

Congratulations! You’ve just assembled your perfect blog post! That wasn’t as hard as you thought, was it? Keep in mind that blog posts are very flexible, so you can repeat this recipe, trying out various lengths, topics, methods, and writing styles.

To keep your posts high-quality, be sure never to rush the recipe, and always allow time for them to rise and cool before you publish them.

Also, don’t forget to decorate liberally with the love and enthusiasm, as this is what sets one blog post apart from another and puts the final beautiful touches on your blog “cake.”

Happy writing, and enjoy that delicious content!

art of copy express writers

content marketing spend

The Big 2017 Content Marketing Spend: Content Budgets by the Numbers, & How to Set Your CM Budget (Infographic)

Will content marketing be a hot form of marketing, more so than ever this year?

The answer, in short, is YES!

According to a hot 2016 BuzzSumo content piece, the future of content is more, not less. Platforms like The Washington Post publish thousands of posts each day, and Google increases its number of indexed pages by the millions each year. It’s clear that content is booming, and that it shows no signs of slowing down in 2017.

If content is growing this fast, though, what will content marketing budgets look like–and how do you set yours?

It’s a big point to discuss, and it’s one we’re going to dive into in today’s post. Infographic from our design team below – and beneath it are all the live links for the stats and data we pulled. Enjoy, and don’t forget to share and pass the love or leave us a comment if you found this useful!

big 2017 content marketing spend

The Big 2017 Content Marketing Spend: Content Budgets by the Numbers, & How to Set Your CM Budget (Infographic)

10 Stats About the Inflating Nature of Content Budgets (by the Numbers)

Here are a few stats to help you understand how (and why) content budgets are increasing this year.

  1. According to MarketingMag.com, content marketing will be a $300 billion industry by 2019 – this means it will more than double in under four years.
  2. Google’s number of indexed pages has grown from 1 trillion to more than 30 trillion in the last seven years alone!
  3. 2015 was the sixth consecutive year that the content marketing industry enjoyed double-digit growth.
  4. B2B content marketing accounts for 7% of the revenue in the content marketing industry.
  5. The US enjoyed $12.11 billion in content marketing revenue in 2014, which made it the world’s largest market for content.
  6. MarketingProfs reports that the most successful B2B marketers dedicate at least 39% of their marketing budgets to content.
  7. The average marketer spends 29% of their total marketing budget on content.
  8. 37% of marketers who aren’t successful with content marketing say it’s because they the content budget is too low. What’s more, 27% of marketers who have seen a decrease in the success of their content strategies say it’s because of inadequate budget or budget cuts.
  9. 70% of B2B marketers plan to create more content in 2017 than they did in 2016.
  10. 39% of marketers expect their organization’s budget for content marketing to increase in 2017.

5 Key Reasons for the Upward Trajectory of Content Marketing

2016 was a banner year for content, and 2017 shows no signs of being anything but a continuation of that trend. Here are a few of the top reasons this is true:

1. There’s not much to abate content growth

Right now, it’s tough to even track the number of new blog posts and articles publishers put out every day. What we do know is that Google has seen a more than 29-trillion page increase in indexed content since 2008 and that WordPress alone is publishing nearly 2 million new posts every day. As it stands now, there’s virtually nothing to abate the rapid growth of content. Self-publishing is easier than it’s ever been before and about 40% of the world’s population has access to the web. As such, content continues to grow, virtually unfettered.

2. Content is the most functional modern form of advertising

While outbound marketing has fallen out of vogue in recent years, content has risen to take its place. Less expensive yet more effective than traditional advertising, content serves the purpose of making an emotional connection with readers while also driving sales. When you think of it this way, it’s the perfect type of marketing!

3. Content automation is accessible and cheap

Another factor contributing to the rapid growth of online content is content automation. Today, content automation has drastically lowered the cost of content production. It’s also made it easier to schedule and promote content without a massive hands-on effort.

4. Global literacy rates are increasing

While a mere 12% of the global population could read and write back in 1820, all but 17% of the world’s population is literate today. Global literacy has exploded in the last twenty years, and the upward trend will only continue in the coming years. This increase in universal literacy creates more people to read, write, and interact with online content.

5. High-volume content strategies are driving massive success

In addition to all the other factors driving the increase in digital content, it’s also worth noting that high-volume content strategies are incredibly lucrative. As such, they’re being adopted by publishers around the world. The Washington Post, for example, managed to grow its visitor rate by 28% between October and December 2015, all by creating more content.

What Does this Growth Mean for the Future of Content Marketing Budgets?

As content creation budgets uptick, content marketing budgets will, as well. As content forms ranging from search marketing and social media to display ads, and email marketing gain prominence in coming years, firms will increase their marketing budgets to match.

According to a 2014 Forrester report, the firm will allocate 35% of their marketing budgets to content by 2019. This is as opposed to the 29% the average firm dedicates to content today.

Budgeting for Content Marketing Will be Critical in 2017

According to a 2016 Curata post, marketers spend an average of 38% of their content budgets on curation and aggregation, 35$ on creation, and 29% on content workflow.

Despite those large numbers, however, not all companies have defined content marketing budgets. In fact, only 64% of companies with a content strategy also have a content marketing budget. This can create significant challenges for companies.

Because of these things, and the fact that the prevalence of content will explode in the coming year, and the years after this, it’s critical to develop a content marketing budget for 2017.  This is often easier said than done, though. Larger companies might have a tough time securing executive buy-in for a content marketing budget, while other businesses might mistakenly believe that content is an overnight ROI producer, and slash the budget when that dream doesn’t come true.

Instead of taking that approach, marketers who want to succeed in 2017 and beyond need to take a strategic and intentional approach to the structure, contents, and timeframe of content marketing budgets. By considering variables like content goals, target audiences, distribution methods, and more, it’s easy to create a functional and long-lasting content budget to guide your content strategy in the coming year.

4 Fast Tips to Develop a Functional Content Marketing Budget

If you want to develop a content marketing budget, but you’re unfamiliar with the process, here are the four steps you’ll need to follow to succeed:

1. Think about your content staff

One of the first things you’ll need to consider when developing a content marketing budget is your staff. If you don’t have a content marketing executive in place (only 43% of all organizations do), do you need one? If so, what will that cost? Do you have writers, social media experts, or content strategists you need to pay? If so, what are those salaries or monthly costs?

Because your content staff is one segment of your content marketing program that’s entirely non-negotiable, it’s critical to consider these fixed expenses first. If the costs associated with this staff is making you squirm a bit, there’s always the option of outsourcing some or all of your content creation, especially if you don’t have any content staff, but you need some additional help.

Firms like Express Writers specialize in content creation and can help you manage all your various social media, marketing, and native content. It might even save you some money in the process.

2. Factor in your content marketing tools

If you’ve been doing any content marketing so far, you’re likely using a few tools to help facilitate posts and content distribution. Things like KWFinderBuzzsumo, and even Copyscape all come with some associated monthly or use-based fee, and factoring these things into your overall marketing budget is a critical step in ensuring the final number you come up with is the right one.

To keep things organized, create an Excel spreadsheet with spaces for each tool you use and its monthly cost. If this number gets higher than you’d like, look for cheaper (or free) alternatives, or one-stop apps like Buzzsumo, that allow you to do things like keyword and influencer research in one convenient place.

3. Think about your promotion and measurement tools

Promotion is a critical part of content creation, and technology is often the simplest and most efficient way to do it. While there are dozens of different ways to promote content, both manual and automated, factoring in promotion and measurement expenses is critical to developing a marketing budget.

If you use a tool like Buffer to schedule and promote your content, add its monthly cost to your spreadsheet. If you use a human team to post, share, re-use, and promote your content, you’ll need to figure out how much those efforts cost you and factor it into your spreadsheet, as well.

If (gasp!) you don’t do any content promotion, now is an excellent time to allocate a budget toward it. While many people have a hard time justifying the expense associated with content promotion, the content you work so hard to create will perform better when you promote it, and this is one simple step that’s worth taking.

Once you’ve come up with the numbers for your promotion expenses, it’s time to think about what you’re spending (or should be spending) on content measurement. If you’re not analyzing critical metrics on each piece of content you publish, it can be virtually impossible to determine what’s working and what’s not. This, in turn, can result in you blowing through your marketing budget, publishing unpopular content without even knowing it!

With this in mind, invest in a measurement tool, or develop a staff that can track key metrics (like social shares, site visits, comments on your blog, and even the quality of the leads generated) to help you get an idea of what’s productive and what you can improve.

4. Adjust as needed

Once you’ve developed a content budget, keep in mind that it’s not set in stone. It can (and should) grow as your company gains more resources and customers, and should account for things like changing target audiences, additional audience segments, and new content types.

When you adjust your content marketing budget accordingly, you stand a better chance of staying afloat on rapidly shifting trends, and ensuring that your content strategy is always up to par with what the digital marketing world demands.

5 Smart Reasons to Develop a Content Budget NOW

Still not sure you need a content budget? Here are five smart reasons to jump on the bandwagon for 2017:

1. There’s no way around developing a budget

You can avoid a content budget for as long as you want, but content marketing isn’t going anywhere. Again, the future of content is more rather than less, and flying in the face of that will only land you in a place of financial hardship and irrelevance.

2. The potential ROI is huge

If you invest in content marketing, and develop a content marketing budget to reflect that, you stand to enjoy a highly attractive ROI. As it stands today, the content marketing industry is worth a staggering $300 billion – and that number will only grow in the coming years. With that in mind, now is the time to get abreast of content marketing, and doing it can represent a massive payoff for your company.

3. Content marketing channels are always changing

According to a 2013 Custom Content Council survey, print (both physical and electronic) is growing rapidly. Inherent within this rapid growth is a great deal of change, and it’s only companies who are intentional and calculating about their content marketing that will stay on the bleeding edge of that change.

Since the distribution of spending in areas like social media, pay-per-click advertisements, content creation, and video recording are always changing, developing a budget that allows space for these fluctuations is critical.

4. Content has become inter-departmental

Today, “content” isn’t delegated to an anonymous room of writers and never thought about again. Instead, it spans all departments of a given company and has major repercussions for each. By investing and measuring the return, you can get smarter about the allocation of your resources and grow your company.

5. Embracing budgeting is just good business

You have a budget for your personal monthly expenses, right? So why not develop a budget for your content marketing, as well? In addition to allowing you to allocate funds more intelligently, a content marketing budget is just good business, and it will benefit your company both now and in the future.

Content Marketing is Here to Stay

The future is bright – and filled with content! In light of this, it’s critical for companies of all shapes and sizes to develop functional, actionable, and flexible content marketing budgets that help them plan for the inevitable future of content, and how it will interact with the various segments of their companies. After all, content is the way of 2017 and beyond!

Need a team of writers that won’t destroy your content budget? Contact Express Writers today to learn about our various content packages and select the one that best suits your needs!

10 New Year Blogging Centric Resolutions for the Content Marketer (Infographic)

With blogging as a source of 97% more inbound website backlinks, 126% more business lead growth, and much more (stats below), it’s a major, major foundation of content marketing you don’t want to miss out on in 2017.

To start January off with a bang, we decided to help share some inspiration for our fellow content marketers and create a list of 10 top resolutions to help you blog this year (better than you’ve ever blogged before)!

Print the following infographic below out, and hang it up to inspire your blogging and content progress all year. 😉 Here’s the PDF version, resolutions only, to download. Enjoy – written and designed by our team at Express Writers!

Blogging and Content Marketing Resolutions infographic

Why Make Blogging Resolutions for 2017?

Here’s some (serious) inspiration.

  • More than 200 million people (and a whopping 16% of the U.S. population) use ad blockers – so organic content (blogging is best!) is the only way to reach them.
  • Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links.
  • Small businesses that blog get 126% more lead growth than small businesses that do not blog.
  • Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 5X more traffic than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts.
  • Long-form blog posts earn 9x more leads than short-form posts.
  • 70% of B2B marketers plan to create more content in 2017 than they did in 2016.
  • The average length of top-ranking blogs is increasing – sitting at roughly 1,050 words in 2017.
  • 49% of marketers are focusing on aligning their content with the buyer’s journey.
  • Nearly 30% of the most successful marketers routinely repurpose their content. To join the club, though, you must have content to repurpose – and blogs are perfect for that!
  • 45% of all marketers report that writing blogs is the single most important piece of their content strategy.
  • 80% of decision makers would rather get information about a company through an article than they would through an advertisement.

10 Top Blogging Resolutions for the Content Marketer

 To outperform last year’s results and make 2017 one to remember, stick to these ten resolutions:

1. I will get backup in my content creation this year

No more stressing out about deadlines, topics, and writing it all. (Express Writers can help!)

2. I will be authoritative in every content piece I put out this year

If it’s less than authority expert level in my niche, it might not be worth my time.

3. I will never put quantity over quality

I should publish more blogs this year to increase my inbound leads, but if I’m rushing and the content is low quality, I shouldn’t publish. Quantity comes second to quality.

4. I will give my audience what they want

I will be relevant, use tools like BuzzSumo to research and find out what my audience wants in topics. This will help me gain more loyal customers.

5. I will increase my rankings by finding and writing around long-tail keywords

This is one of the top ways to gain blog spots in Google’s rankings.

6. I will promote and create

Creating isn’t enough: I also need a promotion plan. I will have social media management and an active social account connected to my blog.

7. I will be creative with topics and approaches

Content burn-out will only hurt me and my readers. This year, I’ll dig deeper to come up with more creative topics and new ways to approach topics and news.

8. I will take notes from my competitors

I will monitor my competitors to learn things like which keywords they’re targeting, which social platforms they’re using (and how), and what I can do to enhance my content efforts accordingly.

9. I will try new content forms

Interactive content, newsletters, infographics, and live-streaming can all boost my content strategy in 2017. I will expand into these new content forms to grow my business and expand my audience.

10. I will repurpose my content to get more traction

Repurposed content can help my content strategy stretch further. I will find creative ways to repurpose and re-use content of all types.

Ten 2017 Blogging Resolutions for the Content Marketer (Infographic) Sources:

New Year CTA express writers

why content marketing

Why Content Marketing? 10 Proven Statistics & 5 Ways to Win (Infographic)

As we start the New Year, here’s a great question to ask yourself (and your clients, too):

Why should you commit to investing in content marketing as an integral part of your marketing strategy?

This powerful form of marketing fuels 99% of our own lead and revenue generation, so we know well what content marketing can do for a brand.

This week, we put together an infographic with a few of our favorite reasons to invest in content marketing, featuring (killer) statistics with undoubtable proof that this form of modern marketing is worth every penny you put into it.

Plus, we’ve included 5 principles to help you do your best content marketing this year! Read on for the full story. Infographic written and designed by the team at Express Writers.

Infographic Why Content Marketing Works

Why Content Marketing? 10 Proven Statistics & 5 Ways to Win (Infographic)

6 Stats: You’ll Get More Site Traffic

  1. Companies that blog receive 97% more backlinks
  2. 55% more visitors to your page
  3. 67% more leads for your company
  4. Companies that blog more than 16 times each month earn 5x as many leads as companies that only blog 4 times!
  5. 60% of customers say they feel better about a business after reading their original blog posts
  6. Since 23% of social media message contain content, creating more of it means more shares around the web

4 Stats: You’ll Give Your SEO a Boost

  1. 72% of marketers worldwide report that content creation is the biggest factor in successful SEO
  2. The majority of web links go to the top 10% of content on the web
  3. 50% of marketers say that content has increased the strength of their company’s SEO
  4. Content with a strong headline can boost page views by 500%. This enhances SEO and helps you rank better.

Bonus: You’ll Stand Out as a Thought Leader

Content helps you become a thought leader in the following ways:

  • It showcases your expertise
  • Helps you build your voice
  • Allows you to dominate your niche
  • Give you a platform for sharing and promotion

5 Fast Tips to Dominate Content Marketing in 2017

1. Create long-form content

Readers love long-form content and it generates more shares and links. For best results, publish posts with more than 1,500 words.

2. Produce visual content

Content with images earns 70% more views than content without images. Boost your engagement by adding visuals to your blog posts and producing infographics, memes, videos, and other visual marketing material.

3. Do your research

Relevant, fact-dense, original content performs best. Instead of just scratching the surface, dig deeper to give your readers something they can’t find anywhere else.

4. Share your content on social

In May of 2015, smartphone social media use jumped 51% in users between the ages of 25-34. Share your content on social to get the most possible traction from each piece.

5. Develop a content marketing program

79% of the most successful content marketers have a clear idea of what effective content marketing looks like and how to achieve it. Follow in their footsteps! 

Why Content Marketing? 10 Proven Statistics & 5 Ways to Win (Infographic) Sources

Dilate.com: http://bit.ly/2gONO6I

CrazyEgg: http://bit.ly/28RKbsa

Contently: http://bit.ly/29OBBa2

Curata: http://bit.ly/1GjxoWz

Content Marketing Institute: http://bit.ly/1FFxBYf

New Year CTA 3

EW 2017 Predictions header

2017 Expert Predictions Roundup: More Than 15 Experts Predict the State of Content Marketing & Social Media

Before Christmas, I was lucky enough to sit down with more than a dozen experts in our online marketing industry for some insider predictions into the state of content marketing and social media in 2017.

From entrepreneurs to leading consultants, speakers and authors, these experts each had something unique to add to the roundup below that offers us content creators serious guidance on how to create content in the New Year, and what to expect of the content marketing landscape as a whole.

Our design team did a fabulous job taking the predictions and putting it into an infographic. Read below the image for the full expert quotes – the infographic is an abridged version. Quotes and experts are placed in no particular order. Feel free to link to and share our post with credit back to Express Writers and this link. 

EW 2017 Predictions infographics

2017 Expert Content Marketing & Social Predictions Roundup: The Full Story

“2016 was the year of BIG. Many content creators came out of the woodwork creating HUGE posts à la 715 and one third reasons why you don’t have enough time to write more content.

But the majority of the posts lacked high quality content.

So let’s say that in 2017 your competitors will do this too (if they aren’t already). But this time they will add the high quality part. How the heck do you stand out with your content?

The businesses that will get the biggest ROI from content marketing in 2017, will be those who are able to:

  1. Produce content in their own voice (this is your #1 unique value proposition that your competitors can’t copy)
  2. Create high-quality content that actually solves the readers’ problem
  3. Focus on cooperating with influencers within your industry

If you take the three bullet points above and add dominating Facebook Live, it´s like pouring rocket fuel on a bonfire. It will go BOOM! (in a good way).”

– Tor Refsland

Follow on Twitter: @TorRefsland

Award-winning Blogger, Digital Marketing Strategist & Business Coach, timemanagementchef.com

 

“Leading content marketers will be delivering 3 key things in 2017: 1) personalized, 2) visual, and relevant content in a 3) specialized niche that they can own. Visualization, personalization and specialization!

“The marketing leadership mandate for 2017 is transforming the entire company culture. Consumers and buyers are tuning out (or blocking completely) self-serving promotion and ads. Leading marketers in 2017 will strive to create a culture focused on delivering value to their customers that translates into better marketing results. This is content marketing! The tip: focus on being human. Tap into your employees, customers and partners to tell THEIR stories.

– Michael Brenner

Follow on Twitter: @BrennerMichael

Speaker, Best-Selling Author of The Content Formula, CEO of Marketing Insider Group

 

“I definitely see a huge shift to visual storytelling over the last year and expect that to continue in 2017. Not only have visual social media sites like Snapchat and Instagram continued to grow, but we are seeing a clear shift in the way people prefer to tell their day to day stories, which is more visual. There is definitely a challenge for companies to see how their traditional marketing efforts will fit into a purely visual medium, but I think companies are going to have to get creative and get engaged, because I don’t see that trend going away anytime soon!”

– Brent Csutoras

Follow on Twitter: @brentcsutoras

Founder, CEO at Pixel Road Designs, Speaker, Content Marketer, Managing Partner at Search Engine Journal

 

“I predict there will be a backlash against safe, mediocre content. Five percent of all branded content attracts 90 percent of the engagement. That’s not only a sign that you can leave your competitors in the shadows if you create something great, but also a clear indication that mediocre, safe content doesn’t do much for you. If you’re not adding anything new to the world and telling a great story in 2017, it’s just not worth pressing publish.

Also, distribution will be a much bigger focus. At many companies, content is silo’d away from social and paid media. As a result, there are a lot of brands creating content and just praying that people will magically discover it. That’s not how media works. Paid distribution will increasingly become a big buzzword this year.

Tip: Don’t hire a career marketer to run your content program. Hire an editor or producer who’s built and sustained a large audience before. That’s the common theme I see across 99 percent of all successful content marketing programs.”

– Joe Lazauskas

Follow on Twitter: @JoeLazauskas

Editor-In-Chief at Contently

 

“My prediction is actually the exact same as last year’s.

More companies then ever are investing into content marketing and it’s making it incredibly difficult to stand out from the crowd. The only way to do this is by creating high quality content. I call it epic content but it also goes by the name 10x content.

In 2017 people are going to catch on and flock towards epic content.”

– Sujan Patel

Follow on Twitter: @SujanPatel

Growth Marketer, GM at Web Profits, Entrepreneur

 

“Business leaders are beginning to understand the necessity of holistic content marketing practices. They get that it’s not just about the perfect press release, but the entire approach. I credit this largely to the omnipresence of HubSpot’s inbound marketing principles and 2016’s push towards storytelling. As a result, I predict digital marketing spend will diversify in 2017, and we’re already starting to see that in sales at Express Writers.”

– Tara Clapper

Follow on Twitter: @irishtara

Content Development Specialist, Express Writers

Speaker, Writer, Editor

 

“More and more data is collected through a brand’s digital marketing efforts. Brands and agencies will further personalize and customize offerings to their customers.   With the trends of major e-commerce sites opening physical stores (Amazon, Warby Parker, Birchbox, etc.), brands need to accelerate the integration of the online digital experience with that of the offline physical experience. The challenge is to seamlessly integrate the online and offline experience by leveraging and hiding complicated technologies from your customers. It will be important to understand the metrics of your company’s “outbound channels” and work with your marketing peers to co-own some of these goals.”

– Pam Didner

Follow on Twitter: @pamdidner

Content Marketing Expert | Author | Speaker | Adjunct Professor www.pamdidner.com

 

“The biggest content marketing trend I see is influencer promotion…but not as we know it. I believe more brands will begin ‘buying’ influencers so they are exclusive to them over a period of time…the power of that? Priceless!

Digital marketing is becoming more difficult each year…there’s so much noise, and always more competition. To rise above that, it’s the influencers who hold the targeted, engaged audiences, and loyal followers listen to their inspirations infinitely more than they do a Google or Facebook ad.”

– Sam Hurley

Follow on Twitter: @ Sam___Hurley

Social Influencer, #1 Digital Marketer, Founder https://optim-eyez.co.uk

 

“For 2016 I urged my audience to concentrate on quality of content over quantity in order to differentiate themselves in the increasingly overcrowded content marketing space. For 2017 I stick by that priority, but based on my experience in the past year I now temper it by saying, “Never sacrifice quality for quantity, but still strive for a consistent quantity of content.” By “consistent” I mean regular. The cold, hard truth of content marketing is that no matter how mind-blowing your last piece of content was, if you go silent for too long, you become forgotten. At Stone Temple we’ve adopted a strategy of planning for one “blockbuster” piece of content per month, while filling the in-between times with content that is still quality and useful, but easier to produce, such as content repurposed from our blockbusters (for example, a short video covering one aspect of a lengthy data study).”

– Mark Traphagen

Follow on Twitter: @marktraphagen

Senior Director of Brand Evangelism for Stone Temple, Speaker & Author

 

“In 2017, brands will build or buy their own media properties to disintermediate the giants of search and social.

What Joe Pulizzi calls ‘rented land’ is getting too expensive. Own your own audience!

Live video and interactive, data-gathering content will go big. The first because it’s cool and easy; the second because it will drive far better targeting (which always boosts ROI).

2017 tip for B2B marketers: double your efforts in bringing marketing automation, web analytics and CRM together so you can track content success.

Integrating marketing silos at the data layer will become a major imperative — brands need to own their own data and manage it like the strategic asset that it is.”

– Doug Kessler

Follow on Twitter: @dougkessler

Creative Director & Co-Founder of Velocity

 

“I foresee 2017 being a year where more content marketers stop wasting so much time and money on things that aren’t working. A ton of companies get little or no traction from certain tactics and channels—even some of the most popular ones, such as blogs and Facebook. I’m not suggesting you stop creating content, but I am suggesting to try new and different approaches when the ones you currently use aren’t producing traffic, leads, sales or whatever type of results mean something to your business.

It’s so much harder to stand out when you focus strictly on doing the same things as your competitors. It’s time to get creative. When everyone’s zigging, you need to zag.”

– Barry Feldman

Follow on Twitter: @FeldmanCreative

Digital Marketer, Author, Marketing Consultant at feldmancreative.com

 

“Today, marketers know they should do content marketing, but still not how to do it best. I think that 2017 will be the year of problem-solution growth and development in content marketing, as well as the growth of unique content types and outstanding writing with SEO as an afterthought, the reader as a forethought.

Solutions (unique tools, creative companies, brilliant thinkers behind them) will rise to the need of solving the ever-growing problem of too much content, not enough strategy.

Content will rise to the occasion, as well. We have a ton of platforms. Noise is growing. Content is multiplying. Rise above the noise by standing out with unique content types (try commissioning a hand-drawn, Adobe illustrated custom art piece for your next blog!), and creating your best content. Take a stand. Be yourself. Do insider research for your stance that takes you weeks to complete. Marketers will start thinking of SEO less, readers, more, and invest in content that truly stands out.”

Julia McCoy

Follow on Twitter: @JuliaEMcCoy

CEO at Express Writers, Best-selling Author of So You Think You Can Write?, Content Marketer

 

“I believe artificial intelligence will start to have a significant impact on content marketing in 2017. Content marketing is becoming more and more complex. Creating great relevant content is still a major challenge but the sad news is that it’s not enough. Not only do you need more and more content but you also need to optimize its lifecycle across multiple channels like the various social networks, email and SEO. Trying to do everything manually is overwhelming at best and impossible for many under-resourced marketers. Smart marketers will leverage AI not just to automate various tasks but also to have insights on what content to create, how and when to distribute it and how to optimize its impact.”

– Guillaume Decugis

Follow on Twitter: @gdecugis

Co-Founder & CEO at Scoopit, Entrepreneur

 

“I predict that Instagram will continue to grow as a preferred broadcasting channel.

Every business, brand and entrepreneur has the opportunity to use Instagram to amplify & promote authentic, entertaining, fun, creative content. Focus on the person who you are trying to do business and think about what they need. Not what you want to create.  It’s all about connecting on an intimate level and this can now be done through Instagram direct messaging, Instagram Stories and Instagram Live.”

— Sue Zimmerman

Follow on Twitter: @SueBZimmerman

#TheInstagramExpert Speaker, Consultant, Top @CreativeLive Instructor

 

“In 2017, I think accompanying media and visuals with content will continue to be extremely popular. Think explainer videos, gifs, infographics, social media images. People are raising their expectations when it comes to the way content looks, and it’s up to us as marketers to continue experimenting with how to present content that gets our audience’s attention.

In the New Year, I think video will continue to blow up. I see more and more people using Boomerang to create looping mini videos for Instagram, and live video on Facebook and YouTube (and now Instagram) will continue to be popular. Being live brings a whole new set of exciting challenges and content marketers should be thinking about how to best use live video, as well as thinking about how they repurpose it or tie it into their other efforts.

Continue to look for new apps and services to try, in 2017. There are new things popping up every day. For instance, I just heard about Ripl a few months ago and can’t wait to start using it. In addition, while you are learning and trying new things, don’t forget about your old content. Most website traffic comes from evergreen content pieces that could be months or years old. Set up a strategy to continuously improve these pieces and re-share them regularly on social media.

Kelsey: Please link back to MoxieDot.com (you can mention SEJ too, but I’d love a link to MoxieDot instead of SEJ :))

– Kelsey Jones

Follow on Twitter: @wonderwall7

Executive Editor at Search Engine Journal, #MarketingNerds Host, Founder at MoxieDot

 

“Predictions are difficult but we can be sure more content will be produced in 2017 than in any previous year. I suspect we will see more content in every format but particularly video. I believe marketers will act more like publishers and hence increase content volumes. Michael Brenner has recently made a great contribution to this debate.

Content marketers have to reach people, which means you have to be where they hang out. Pew Research have shown that this is primarily Facebook and their data shows Facebook’s dominance is continuing to grow. The data also shows that over 89% of people that use LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter also use Facebook and they use it more frequently. Thus I think we will see an increased focus on Facebook as the most important distribution and engagement platform, and increasingly see it used by B2B marketers.

Content marketing is about building an audience. Thus understanding your audience, the questions they ask and the issues they face is critical if you are to produce valuable and helpful content for them. Personally to break through the noise I think you need a strategy which combines producing regular helpful content with more infrequent blockbuster or ten times content. This might be a major research study or comprehensive guide which moves the needle. Something that has longevity and attracts links as well as shares.”

– Steve Rayson

Follow on Twitter: @steverayson

Director at BuzzSumo, Content Marketer, Entrepreneur

New Year CTA

content writer header

A Day in the Life of a Content Writer: Masters of the Written Online Word (Infographic)

If writing copy was a super power, the content writer is certainly the superhero of the online realm. They use their creativity and killer communication skills to earn a fruitful living. They’re highly motivational and they can literally convince consumers to buy products… right from their computer screens.

What goes on in their day? What motivates the content writer, and how hard do they work? Check out the infographic we wrote and put together below for the answer!

Feel free to share! Have something you’d add to a “day in the life?” Let us know in the comments!

content writer life infographic

 

Infographic: A Day in the Life of a Content Writer: Masters of the Written Online Word

The day in the life of a content writer is dynamic, fast-paced, filled with research, and honing their natural writing talents. Here’s an inside glimpse into their lives!

3 Facts About Content Writers

FACT: 24% of full-time freelancer writers work at least 25 hours per week. Content writers work morning, noon, and night. They have very flexible schedules as long as they meet deadlines.

FACT: 65% of people start their day with a cup of coffee. If you’re a content writer, you’re probably reaching for that cup of Joe right from the time that you wake up.

FACT: A content writer practically lives in their email inbox. 205 billion emails are sent per day, and some days it feels like 203 billion emails hit your inbox. Then you’ll have days where you receive no emails at all.

The Content Writer’s Workload: An Inside Look

What is their workload like?

The most skilled content writers are booked months in advance—and some even have a waiting list.

Content writers can be assigned specific topics by clients, or they’re left to strategize topic ideas on their own. A savvy content writer will use many resources to discover useful and interesting topic ideas. A content calendar helps keep many professional content writers on track. The content calendar includes client names, blog topics, due dates, publishing dates, and more.

When it’s time to write, a content writer can write very high or very low word counts per day. An ad copywriter may only write 100 words for a commercial, while a blogger can write 2,000 words to whip up a blog post.

  • Productivity tip #1: Content writing assignments should be tackled by order of due date. The highest priority items are worked on first.
  • Productivity tip #2: If due dates aren’t looming, a content writer may choose to tackle the toughest task first. This will help easier tasks fly by the rest of the day.

Different content writing styles will activate different parts of the writer’s brain.

A technical writer who covers engineering topics will use their left brain during the most of the day. The left brain controls tasks that are related to logic, such as science and mathematics.

A creative blog writer will primarily use the right side of their brain, which is responsible for creative and artistic tasks.

Editing: Once content is complete, a content writer will likely edit their own work or pass it along to a trusted professional editor.

The average content writer can expect to make around $240 for an 8-hour work day, or roughly $30 per hour.

The career of a content writer might not be for everyone, but those who master it will find plenty of work and make a lucrative living.

References

Get your best-fit content writer at Express Writers!

infographics

How to Make An Infographic That Matters (Infographic)

A picture may say a thousand words, but infographics can tell a whole story. The problem is, do you know how to make an infographic that truly works?

Here’s why infographics are vital today.

Written content is great: a well-researched, in-depth blog can make a big impact on your audience.

But when a visual infographic is used instead of, or to augment a written post, the effect it can have on your viewers is huge.

Simply put, visually-stunning content, like infographics, are more effective at captivating an audience.

According to Hubspot, 65% of senior marketers believe that image-rich content like infographics are at the center of how their brand’s story is told.

Not only that, the effect they can have on your SEO is huge – a well-crafted infographic can be a massive draw for backlinks.

In a study conducted by MDG Advertising, content with visuals (like infographics) receive 94% more views than text-based content. This means bloggers and marketers looking to share content will want to share yours – giving it a nice SEO boost.

However, some people feel infographics have grown less impactful over the years – and with decent reasoning. With all the amazing visual content out there, it is growing increasingly difficult to have your infographic noticed.

Even though infographics can be extremely effective at engaging audiences, if they don’t stand out, no one will care. Knowing how to make an infographic that wins is key.

So how can your business’ visual content distinguish itself? Let’s discuss.

infographics

How To Make An Infographic That Matters: 4 Key Ways

Here’s four key ways to ensure your infographics will matter. (Scroll down to #4 for the full infographic.)

1. Know Your Target Audience

Let’s face it – not everyone is going to be interested in your content.

Infographics are no different. The people who will tune in are your target audience, and they’ll be very engaged with what you have to say – as long as it’s relevant to their interests.

Most people think an infographic should appeal to as many people as possible and end up creating something overly generic.

In fact, this is a problem people have with all types of content. It’s super tempting to create content for an audience as broad as possible. But in an attempt to reach more people, your content will engage less.

People want to read what’s relevant to them, not something watered down to appeal to many.

Narrow your focus to a specific demographic you think the infographic is relevant to. Is it for current customers? Potential ones? Is it to generate backlinks for your SEO? Defining exactly who will see your infographic is an essential first step.

2. Keep it Simple, Concise, and Focused

One of the main problems infographics suffer from is too much.

What makes infographics such an effective form of content is their visual appeal and their easily digestible information. Cluttering them with images, overloading them with information, or simply making dauntingly enormous can put off your readers.

Your infographic should be visually appealing and not too busy, leaving enough white space so as not to distract the viewer.

Keep your theme very focused – don’t be afraid to create a series of infographics if your idea is too big to reasonably cover in one.

For the written portion, remember the reason people are tuning into an infographic isn’t for reading lengthy text – it’s likely what they’re trying to avoid altogether.

Keep your written portions concise and to-the-point, so your audience will get the gist of the information immediately without having to dig.

3. Infographics are For Education, Not Just Entertainment

Just because they look great doesn’t mean an infographic shouldn’t inform and educate their audience.

When you make an infographic ensure that it’s well researched, with clear, cited sources.

Not only will this show commitment and dedication to your content, your audience will have the chance to engage with your content deeply, building trust while they do so.

Plus, when people are looking to share content (providing those ever-useful backlinks) they want graphics that provide value. Ensuring your infographic is well-researched will benefit your SEO in the end.

“All flash and no dash” just won’t work for infographics any more. Yours will need to define itself through its value to the audience in addition to its aesthetics.

4. Leave it to the Professionals

As infographics have grown in popularity, so has the difficulty to distinguish them and increase their engagement.

Many businesses are designing them without the proper wherewithal and filling the already cluttered infographic-sphere.

It seems cheap and easy to simply have the young person with a bit of design experience whip up a catchy infographic in a day or two, and reap the benefits. But without the professional touch, infographics designed in this way can come across as rushed and hackneyed.

There are many unfortunate examples of unprofessional infographics on the internet. Generally, it’s very easy to tell the difference between one created by someone who knows what they’re doing and one made by someone who may only know basic design.

The worst thing you can do is waste time and money on an infographic that won’t have a positive effect on your audience.

A poorly crafted graphic may have the opposite effect you intended, putting off a viewer who might see your brand as unprofessional.

The solution is easy and foolproof – leave it to the pros. Specifically, a content agency who brings the knowhow to create an infographic with proper research, written text and graphic design.

Going to a reputable content agency will save you time, while guaranteeing a high-caliber product.

It’s a safe bet, and a good way to ensure your infographic will stand out from more amateur-looking examples.

how to make infographics

Conclusion

Do infographics still matter?

Yes – at least, the good ones do.

It’s knowing how to make an infographic that resonates with your audience that’s the tricky part. With so much visual content out there, it can be difficult for yours to stand out.

However, if the information it provides is targeted at a specific audience, then you can guarantee invested readers. If the infographic is presented in a clear, simple and focused way, then your viewer can easily absorb the information.

Most importantly, ensure your infographics are professionally done. Find an agency with a good reputation, and you can rest your mind at ease knowing all best practices will be followed.

Sloppy, confusing infographics can do more harm than good to your brand’s image. A professional touch will make a good impression every time.

For great infographics, choose our team! We have trained writers to research and create the copy, and an expert team of designers to craft.