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CRO

What Is CRO? Your Complete Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization in 2020

This post was originally published in March 2014 and completely updated in August 2020.

SEO, SMO, CMO, UXO, CRO… What does it all even mean?

It’s another one of those alphabet soups that digital marketers love, but make the rest of us want to pull out our hair.

However, if you look closely, you might notice something. Each of these acronyms has something in common.

It’s one word: optimization… Something else that digital marketers love.

Whether it’s the user experience, the search engine rankings, or the conversion rate of a website, savvy digital marketers will attempt to optimize anything and everything.

We’re going to focus on that last one right now: conversion rates.

According to research by Wordstream, the average conversion rate for a website hovers around 3%. But the top 10% of any given industry will demonstrate conversion rates of 11.45%.

How do you aspire to that jaw-dropping percentage?

You use one of the most powerful yet underrated tools in digital marketing: conversion rate optimization.

Let’s explore!

What is CRO, or conversion rate optimization? It's the process of tweaking your website & content to generate better conversions from existing traffic. 💯 In other words, convince them to ACT! More on the Write Blog ➡ Click To Tweet

CRO

What Is CRO in Marketing?

CRO stands for conversion rate optimization. According to HubSpot, it’s the process of adjusting your website and content to generate greater conversions from the traffic already landing on it.

Most forms of marketing focus on improving site traffic, generating better quality leads, or positioning your brand in front of your target audience. These are all important activities, but they’re only half of the marketing puzzle.

We’ve all clicked through to sites doing an amazing job marketing themselves with edgy social media posts, only to find ourselves not sold enough to commit once we’re on the landing page. This happens because the brand focused on external marketing and hasn’t optimized the user experience for conversion.

Just because you’ve attracted an audience doesn’t mean they’re showing up with cash in hand, ready to buy. In fact, only a small percentage of people who land on your site will go through with a transaction, whether it’s completing a transaction or signing up for a newsletter:

Visitors who complete a transaction

Lots of people will view your site. A handful of them will even put things into their cart, but only a sliver will go through with the sale. Source: Crazy Egg.

CRO is all about bumping up that 3.3% to a higher number by taking immediate, metric-oriented steps on your site. It’s a simple, powerful, and overlooked strategy for generating greater revenue.

No fiddling with keywords or social media settings required.

What It Really Means to Convert

Let’s talk about conversion real quick. In the simplest terms, a conversion happens when we turn one thing into another. In marketing, conversion specifically refers to people who engage in a specific desired activity that furthers your business goals. For example:

  • Curious readers into avid subscribers
  • Digital window shoppers into paying customers
  • Early-stage buyers into account holders

The mechanism by which you attract and convert your target audience into customers is called the sales funnel. Conversion is often considered the final step in the funnel, but you can have several smaller conversions along the way as a user moves from being a curious onlooker to a paying customer.

However, not every action a user takes represents a conversion. Conversion is not:

  • People clicking through from the search engine or social media to your site
  • People clicking around on your website

Although they’re both desirable actions, neither of these behaviors indicate that a user is moving closer to subscribing or purchasing from you.

CRO vs. SEO

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s the process of analyzing and optimizing your digital presence to improve your position in Google so your target readers can find you. Typically, SEO focuses on things like keywords, metadata, and content structure to boost site traffic and get noticed by potential customers.

SEO gets mixed up with CRO a lot, but the two do have quite a bit in common. In fact, it’s a good idea to focus on both as they work well together. In both cases, you’ll focus on:

  • Well-written, expert content that both elevates your standing in Google and improves conversion rates.
  • Optimized headlines, meta descriptions, and technical SEO to entice potential customers and improve the user experience.
  • Page layout. Well-designed pages are helpful from more than just a human perspective. They also help Google index your page and provide the most useful featured snippets.

CRO vs SEO

Why CRO Matters If You Want to Succeed

Obviously, presenting a compelling user experience is important because it leads to more revenue for your brand. However, there are a few other reasons you should spend more time with CRO if you aren’t already:

1. Content Marketing Has Become the Dominant Form of Advertising Online

If you’re relying on paid outbound marketing like PPC or sponsored posts, you’re at risk of falling behind. These days, pretty much all digital marketing takes the form of content marketing. That’s an approach to marketing that emphasizes the creation of helpful, engaging content that provides your target audience with the answers they’re already searching for in Google.

It’s not enough to simply have a great product and assume your customers think you’re the obvious choice. Your customers have a lot of choices, and they want you to demonstrate your authority on the matter.

Question: Do you know HOW to demonstrate your authority using incredible content marketing? It’s time to learn. Check out my Content Strategy & Marketing Course to get the serious skills you need to make it happen.

2. CRO Forces You to Study and Adapt to Your Customers

The impressions you make on customers – often the first ones – heavily determine your conversion rates. That might seem like an obvious statement, but you’d be surprised as to how frequently this gets overlooked online.

How many times have you ever clicked onto a site and been put off by the colors, the font, or something else entirely?

According to psychology, the brand has about a tenth of a second to make a first impression.

That’s why a one-second page delay can decrease conversion rates by as much as 7 percent, or why simply changing the color of a button can increase conversion rates by 21 percent.

In the sea of content your readers sail upon every day, it’s also why 94 percent of marketers see personalization as vital to success.

But you aren’t going to know why people are clicking away unless you’ve taken the time to unravel the mysteries of customer behavior. Even worse, you may change the wrong thing and send those conversion rates plummeting further.

CRO - how to calculate conversion rate

Signs You Need CRO for Your Site Right Now

So – you’ve done everything right. You’ve got great content on a well-planned site. Your product descriptions are the bomb. You’ve made it super easy for people to check out and you’ve got one hilarious newsletter that keeps your audience engaged.

Think you don’t need CRO? You’re dead wrong, especially if any of these signs apply to you:

  • You’re getting lots of traffic, but low or declining conversions. So, people are finding you. Your Google Analytics dashboard looks fantastic. Yet, sales are trickling in. That indicates something is going wrong in your funnel just before conversion, and you need to fix it.
  • You can’t identify where people fall out of the funnel. You’ve got half-finished signups, abandoned carts, unsubscribes galore… But you can’t spot any pattern to it all. That indicates a lack of analytics tools, and possibly a lack of understanding about the customer journey.
  • Consumer psychology is a new concept for you. Most of marketing hinges on understanding consumer behavior. You can’t sell to people you don’t understand.
  • Your website still looks exactly how you designed it… Six years ago. In 2014, mobile-optimized design was still considered cutting edge. In 2020, about 67 percent of the world accesses the web via a mobile device… And they aren’t going to waste their time on your site if it doesn’t work.
  • You’ve just revamped your site or are in the process of updating it. Is it “new decade, new site” time in your neck of the woods? Make sure to include someone on your development team who knows about CRO and start off with a high-converting web presence.
  • Customers are complaining. They might not be complaining to you, but they’re still complaining. If you’ve recently come across a Reddit post or a Yelp review talking about how difficult it is to do anything on your site, it’s time to get it looked at and optimized.

CRO - conversion barriers

Barriers to conversion rate optimization: ❌Requiring registration from users to access content or complete a purchase ❌Burying information like shipping charges ❌Overwhelming customers with forms. More on the Write Blog: Click To Tweet

6 Strategies and Best Practices for CRO in Marketing

Optimizing your site for maximum conversion rates is the single most important thing you can do to improve your brand’s viability. Sometimes, all it takes is just a few tweaks to dramatically improve your audience’s response to the experience you create for them.

Unlike SEO or other forms of optimization, CRO can have immediate effects for minimum effort. That might sound too good to be true, but it’s not!

Here are six things you can do today to optimize your conversion rates and transform more readers into paying customers.

1. Identify Your Metrics Before Getting Started

Like much of digital marketing, CRO is metric-oriented and data-driven. You need this information to understand exactly what your customers are doing at any given moment while they’re interacting with your digital presence. Otherwise, you’ll be completely blind with no way to tell if any of the changes you’ve made are actually effective.

You want to track metrics that give you a good sense of how your users are interacting with your site across the board. A few I particularly like include:

  • Exit rate/time on site. This will tell you how long users are spending on your site before they leave it entirely. You may also want to track interactions per visit.
  • Cart abandonment rate. Are users filling up their carts, and then walking off without checking out? Find out how often this happens by tracking the abandonment rate.
  • Bounce rate. Unlike time on site, a bounce rate tracks single-page sessions. In other words, how many users are viewing only a single page before leaving?
  • Click-through rates. This will give you a sense of how many qualified leads are actually coming to your site.
  • Traffic sources. Different types of traffic sources (direct visitors vs. search visitors, for example) have different levels of engagement.
  • New vs. returning visitor conversion rate. Are you attracting many new customers with few of them returning? Or is most of your business from the same individuals returning over and over?
  • Engagement rates. Are some pages getting more attention than others? Consider looking into why.

2. Start Tracking Your User Activity Before Doing CRO Activities

If you don’t have Google Analytics for your site already, get it set up. It’ll provide many valuable insights into where your traffic is going and how people are interacting with your site.

After that, I like using heatmaps for analyzing behavior. Heatmaps show you where visitors are clicking, or where their attention gets drawn. That’s powerful for identifying where to place CTAs, how to organize content, and whether the page design is working for the content it holds.

heatmaps show user behavior

Heatmaps, like this one from Crazy Egg, can show you exactly where users are clicking or tapping. Source: Crazy Egg.

3. Know Your Brand’s Value Proposition

Have you identified your brand’s value proposition? It’s time to do that now. A value proposition includes all of the benefits your product offers, plus a recognition of your customer’s pain points. It’s how you’ll connect with your customers and set yourself apart from the competition. (If you haven’t identified yours, HubSpot has a great guide on doing that.)

According to HubSpot, knowing and expressing your brand’s value proposition can improve your conversion rates. It:

  • Informs your content, especially your CTAs
  • Highlights your solution as relevant to your target audience
  • Reduces consumer anxiety surrounding the buying process
  • Induces a sense of urgency
Free Masterclass!

 

4. Analyze Your Site From Your Visitor’s Perspective

Most people go into business because of something they’re passionate about, and that’s great. But being so close to your passion project can make it difficult to spot pain points or tricky navigation that’s only easy for you because you use it every day.

When you start a site analysis, make sure to approach it from your customers’ experience. Note any unusual flows, poorly placed CTAs, or ill-chosen colors.

I also recommend you use the metrics above to try to figure out why users are behaving on a certain page in a certain way. For example, if your heatmap shows that users aren’t scrolling down a page, try to identify whether it’s a content problem or a design problem.

You may even want to consider having a third-party reviewer take a look at your site and record their experience.

user expectations vs actual user experience

Make sure you’re displaying the information your users are looking for. Source: XKCD.

5. Start with Your Lowest Hanging Fruit

Once you’ve made a list of the improvements your site needs, take a moment to prioritize them in terms of difficulty and complexity. You may have entire pages that need to be overhauled, but that can take a long time. Since CRO can have immediate effects, start with the easiest changes first. For example:

  • Update your CTAs
  • Change button colors or text
  • Spruce up your headlines
  • Write more compelling metadata
  • Get new product pictures or screenshots

Move to more complex projects, like a new site homepage, after you’ve done the little things.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Input

Finally, if you’re really struggling to identify strategies for optimizing your conversion rates, ask your readers! Consider running a survey on your social media, website, or newsletter. You can even gamify it with a series of fun tasks to entertain and encourage responses.

If you’re wondering what to ask your readers about your site’s UX, Adobe has a bunch of ideas:

  • Focus on feelings and flows to uncover how they’re connecting with the experience
  • Collect demographic and tech literacy details if users are comfortable sharing
  • Record favorite and least favorite features
  • Ask users what they want to see implemented the most
  • Ask users about preferred content types

preferred content types

The types of content you use can have a tremendous impact on conversion rates.  Source: Ascend2 (via Smart Insights)

High-Performing Sites Have Content That Converts

Optimization is a major goal in digital marketing, whether it’s optimizing for the search engines or conversion rates on a site. CRO is one of your most powerful tools when it comes to strategizing how to encourage readers to transform into avid subscribers or paying customers. Hopefully, I’ve left you with a few ideas about how to optimize your conversion rates and increase your revenue.

However, while you’re revitalizing your CTAs and metadata, make sure all of your content is up to par. An expert writer who knows the ins-and-outs of writing that converts can help you perfect your message to compel your readers to act.

Ready to get started optimizing your conversion rates? Check out our landing page services and Authority content options to see how we can help.

Get started with CRO

content marketing, content marketing productivity, productive with content marketing

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How Brands Can be at Their Most Productive with Content Marketing with Jess Ostroff

Did you miss #ContentWritingChat this Tuesday? We’ve got you covered with a recap of our latest chat where we talked all about content marketing.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How Brands Can be at Their Most Productive with Content Marketing with Jess Ostroff


Our guest host this week was Jess Ostroff. Jess is the Managing Editor at Convince & Convert as well as the CEO & Director at Don’t Panic Management. She joined our chat to share her tips on productivity when it comes to content marketing.

Q1: How do you maintain productivity in content marketing? What are your best tips?

Chat participants shared some amazing tips on Tuesday. Check out some of the ones that were shared:

Jess knows just how big of a difference planning can make. When you take the time to plan your content marketing efforts, you’re going to see a huge difference in terms of your productivity.

Julia agrees in the importance of planning. Set aside time to plan your content marketing strategy and don’t let anything distract you. Just stay focused!

The Convince & Convert team knows well-honed processes and communication are essential. They rely on their team member, Jess, to keep them accountable.

Brainstorm ideas and then move them into your content calendar. Having a content calendar is the best way to plan everything in advance. You should also set clear goals for your content so you know which metrics are most important to track

Automating certain tasks can definitely be helpful. Use social media scheduling tools like Buffer or create time-saving recipes in IFTTT.

Jenn’s advice is simple, yet effective. Set a schedule and stick to it.

While planning is great, Christoph knows that you shouldn’t let it stop you from catching an unusual and worthwhile story that doesn’t fit the list.

Q2: How can you hone in on where your ROI sweet spot is in content marketing?

How can you figure out what that ROI sweet spot is? Read these tips from the chat:

As Jess said, before you start you need to figure out what you’re going to use to measure. She reminds us that you shouldn’t just look at the return, but you should also consider the investment as well.

It’s important to listen to your customers. Know their pain points and address them with your content.

It all starts with having a clear picture of your goals and aligning them with your target ROIs.

Ross said it starts with understanding your business goals. You need to know what they are in order to create.

Andy knows you have to keep testing. Running A/B tests is a great way to see what your audience is responding to.

Q3: How do you begin the process of creating worthwhile content? Tips on planning/mapping?

The content creation process isn’t always easy, but our chat participants shared some awesome tips on Tuesday. Check out what they had to say and implement them for yourself:

Jess said you need to start with knowing who your audience is so you can figure out what they need to hear. She then recommends considering your deadline and working backwards from there. It’s a great way to keep you on track.

Jess even shared a helpful timeline for creating slide decks or eBooks. This is sure to come in handy!

It goes back to knowing and understanding who your audience is. Create the content that is valuable to them and provides some sort of benefit.

If you’re stuck for ideas, Ray said to ask your audience what they want to see. They’re the best ones to get an answer from after all.

Writing for SEO is not the way to go. You need to focus on solving problems and providing value first, then optimize for search engines.

For Andy, he suggests using a whiteboard and sticky notes or tool like Trello to map out ideas.

If Leah needs to do some brainstorming, she takes her dogs for a walk since it’s when she does her best thinking. Sometimes getting away from the desk, moving around, and getting some fresh air makes a huge difference.

If you have a team by your side, take advantage of that. Work together to understand your audience and come up with content they’ll love. Two heads are better than one, you know!

Q4: Which tools do you rely on to boost productivity in content marketing?

With so many tools available at our fingertips today, we had to ask everyone in the chat what they love to use. Here’s what some of them said:

Sometimes you just can’t beat good ol’ pen and paper! When Jess turns to tools, she loves CoSchedule for content planning and schedule plus BuzzSumo for finding and analyzing topics.

Sarah relies on analytics to see what’s working, as well as a calendar to stay on track. The boss breathing down your neck will certainly get you moving, too!

Awesome tools list, Ray! Hootsuite, Trello, WordPress, Asana, Google Docs, Canva, and Evernote certainly make a powerful productivity arsenal.

Buffer, IFTTT, Slack, and Hootsuite are all great tools to use.

Megan loves Write or Die, CoSchedule, Buffer, Excel, and OneNote.

Zala recommends setting up a system that keeps you running. It should be a combination of tools, workflow, and time to produce. Remember that what works for someone else might not work for you, so make your process your own.

Q5: How can you effectively scale your content marketing to get more ROI and reach?

Check out these tips from Tuesday’s chat:

Jess recommends thinking about creating at least 10 pieces of smaller content from one big piece. She said you can create graphics, sound bites, short videos, and more.

This is another important tip from Jess. Don’t create content for content’s sake. It should serve a purpose by helping your audience, solving a problem, or making them laugh.

Debi said to address the pain points of your audience and provide solutions. You can lead them to a resolution with your content or offering.

Segmentation will allow you to create custom content tailored for specific people in your audience, which provides you with better results.

Building relationships should always be a top priority.

Remember to have a clear plan in place and adjust as needed to increase your reach and improve ROI.

Q6: How do you know your content marketing is working?

How do you know you’re achieving the results you’d hoped for? Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

Jess recommends setting metrics in the beginning and then you should constantly measure. She suggests measuring 30, 60, and even 90 days later.

Know your goals so you can measure the right metrics.

Ask yourself if you’re getting closer to your goals and if your audience resonates with the content you’re sharing.

Lex brings up a great point about social shares. You may receive a lot of shares, but few conversions. Social sharing isn’t necessarily a sign that your business is growing because it’s not a guarantee someone actually read your content.

Debi said to keep an eye on engagement and conversions. It lets you know your audience is resonating with your content.

Engagement is key!

You want to see that conversations are happening and that leads are coming in. They mean much more than traffic and social shares.

Q7: Discuss favorite/unusual ways you’ve been able to achieve results with your own content marketing.

Do you have any favorite or unusual ways to achieve results? Here’s what some of the people in Tuesday’s chat had to say:

Jess says to tap into niche audiences and start creating content.

These strategies help Sarah and the ThinkSEM team!

When you can successfully turn one piece of content into a video and appeal to a new audience, that’s huge!

That sure sounds like a win!

Q8: What are 1-4 top content marketing platforms/tactics for 2016 and beyond?

What are the topic content marketing platforms and tactics you need to know about? Check these answers out:

Jess feels predictive analytics are going to take over. She also said that people will think outside the box to form a deeper connection with smaller audience as opposed to reaching the masses.

Great point from Sarah! Ultimately, it depends on your audience. You need to consider what’s right for them.

Andy said LinkedIn Pulse is a great tool for publishing.

For Jenn, she plans to launch a podcast, restructure webinars, and launch Snapchat for conferences. Sounds great!

Between live video and YouTube, video content is sure to grow even more!

Julia thinks Instagram Stories is where it’s at right now! She also thinks podcasting, video marketing, and webinars will continue to be powerful tools.

We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM CDT for great chats centered around content writing and marketing. Follow @ExpWriters to stay updated on our new topics and guests!

25 Web Content Creation ROI Tips: Copy That Sells (Infographic)

Creating great web content online is the best way to help push site conversions and bring in awesome new clients. But, how can you create content that sells? In other words, have content ROI? Content that is crafted well has the ability to return on investment, or ROI, for your brand. In this infographic, we take a look at the top reasons you need great content, with 25 useful, fundamental tips to help you get knee-deep in the creation of copy that sells. Full transcript below. Enjoy! And if you like this, we’d love a share and comment! 

25 Content Creation ROI Tips For Copy That Sells infographic

Transcript

Why is Awesome Web Content Vital?

  • You have approximately 8 seconds to convince someone to stay – after that, you could lose them.
  • Around 96% of site visitors are not ready to buy yet, and content keeps them coming back until they do.
  • If you create and publish around 31-40 landing pages, you’re likely to generate 7 times the amount of leads than those who don’t. And 40+ generates 12 times more.
  • Visual content like product videos can increase purchases by 144%.
  • Research shows that Google consistently ranks posts over 2,500 words. 

25 Surefire Ways to Create Web Content that Sells (Content ROI)

Here are some great ways to create wonderful content that can help boost your sales and bring you ROI.

  1. Emotions Help Motivate. Emotions are an incredible way to motivate clients to act. Peer pressure, self-improvement tips, and more are excellent motivators. Weave these in your copy. 
  1. Create a Sense of Urgency. When writing your content, make sure you create a sense of urgency. Show that there is a demand for your product. Tie in brevity to urgency to compel your reader.
  1. Create a Case Study. 63% of UK marketers think that case studies are excellent marketing tactics. You can use them to show customers information about your company and product, convincing them to choose you.
  1. Create Evergreen Content. Well-researched, in-depth, long-form blogs that answer timeless questions are considered evergreen. These pieces can convert readers and rank you high in Google if done right. And, they’ll always stay relevant.
  1. Have Excellent Headlines. Half of your content creation time should be spent coming up with a persuasive headline. Make it useful, have urgency, be unique, and specific. Plug in power words and adjectives to transform an otherwise typical headline.
  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Have a Conversational Voice. Think of this like how you’d talk to a client who is also a friend over coffee. Enrich your content with a lively, fun, conversational tone. This can help immensely with building connections that will convert. 
  1. Find Your One “Thing.” Each company has a “thing” that sets them apart – yours included. Find your “thing” and focus on it with your content.
  1. Research Audience Needs. Content that sells needs one crucial element – audience research. Know what your audience needs and create content they can use.
  1. Stay Authentic. Marketing now requires authenticity, especially if you plan to market to millennials. Be unique, for example showcasing pictures of your office on Instagram, and your daily grind—and have fun while you’re doing it. Your brand fans will love it!
  1. Create a Plan for Content. Plan out your content through various tools such as editorial calendars. You will find it easier to maintain a consistent content plan with one.
  1. Make Important Info A Focus. Simple tip, but a vital reminder. This goes for pricing, calls to action, and any other pertinent info. Don’t let it get lost on site or else you’ll lose visitors. 
  1. Refine Your Approach. Compile a full list, or “brain dump,” of your ideas for content pieces. Next, narrow down and refine your approach. Create content on just a few of your narrowed-down, hot topics for impactful results.
  1. Make Vital Points Standout. People only read about 20% of all of the content on your page – make what you want them to see stand out from the rest.
  1. Remove Distractions. Too many choices can create higher levels of anxiety for visitors, which can negatively impact conversion rates. Focus on your highest seller or main pain point and dwindle down anything else.
  1. Make Your Content Easy to Scan. Only 16% of readers will read all of your blog content, but 79% of visitors will scan. Writing easy-to-scan content will help you reach out to every visitor and reader. Break your content up with sub-headers. 
  1. Use the Power of One. The “power of one” helps you establish one big idea that you can focus on. This can often be your one “thing,” as well. Focus on one thought for every page or post.
  1. Know Which Content Types Work Well. Multiple content formats are excellent, but before you jump into each, make sure you know which ones will work the best. Test, analyze, and check the engagement of your content types; and tweak or change your habits accordingly. 
  1. Utilize Visual Content. When an image is used, tweets see more engagement with 18% more tweets, 89% favorites, and 150% re-tweets. And Facebook saw a growth of 3.6x in the amount of videos used on the channel.
  1. Write Long-Form Content. Long content gives the perception of added value, making people more likely to trust and read. Posts over 2,500 words also do very well in the rankings.
  1. Create Relevant Content. You don’t want content that is outdated or doesn’t make sense to your audience. Instead, write content on trending topics within your industry as well as content you know your audience wants and needs to see.
  1. Bloggers, Include a Subscription Box. Email subscription boxes are a great way to give visitors access to content, eventually converting them into leads. (For every $1 spent on email marketing, average revenue is $44.25.)
  1. Test Different Calls to Action. Just by changing and testing the copy on their calls to action, Mozilla saw higher download rates for Firefox. They went from “Try Firefox” to “Download Firefox – Free”, and saw more clicks. Try and test actionable verbs and adjectives to convince people to click, purchase, and share your products and content.
  1. Define Your Conversion Metrics. Define your conversion metrics by taking a look at the patterns and amount of people interacting with your content. This can help you know which content pieces work best.
  1. Create Co-Branded Content. Working with an industry partner can bring your content to a wider audience. Consider getting together with even a competitor company to co-brand content like e-books to expand your reach.
  1. Be Assertive In Your Writing. No one knows your product and services like you, which means you shouldn’t write hesitantly. Write with assertiveness once you know you’ve researched your facts and are presenting knowledge, and you’ll be able to convert more people.

References 

SiteProNews | http://bit.ly/1KYeeJ1

serpIQ l http://bit.ly/1i5F1Fo

Hubspot | http://bit.ly/1K0eKoX

Allison Enright | http://bit.ly/1pnKlrK

James Scherer | http://bit.ly/SepDNT

Caroline Malamut | http://bit.ly/Y8pIp6

Alan Harris | http://bit.ly/1FmyTW6

Zach Bulygo | http://bit.ly/1mdXXqr

Copyblogger | http://bit.ly/1nJod98

Jay Baer | http://bit.ly/ZL7zi6

Mark Evans | http://onforb.es/1jbEaYt

Jason Nelson | http://bit.ly/1jMEMnF

Nischala Murthy Kaushik | http://bit.ly/1RXqv6D

Neilson Norman Group | http://bit.ly/1h6NlCV

Marketing Experiments | http://bit.ly/1Lwc1rD

Neil Patel | http://bit.ly/1KuDNSS

Christian Gillick | http://bit.ly/1ju2qgt

Michael Masterson | http://bit.ly/1CTzHMj

Michael Karp | http://bit.ly/1I6OgBi

Victoria Hoffman | http://bit.ly/1OjLKNI

Laura Brown | http://bit.ly/1ejn3AR

 

top content marketers

The Top 60 Content Marketers You Should Be Following on Twitter

For any kind of marketer, Twitter is a hugely powerful tool. This social media platform has more than 304 million monthly active users: it’s a way for information to travel faster and broader than almost any other platform on the web.

That said, within those 304 million users, who are the ones worth following as content marketing leaders? That have similar interests to us as marketers, and are leaders within the content marketing space? Let’s take a look!

content marketers

60 Top Content Marketers You Should Follow (Today) On Twitter

My list of these top 60 content marketers is made up of the crème de la crème of the industry. These content marketers specialize in everything from Content Marketing 101, SEO and how content fits into that, all the way to advanced branding techniques. I follow these guys and have engaged with them regularly.

Good stuff will follow if you start following them today – you’ll probably learn a few things as you consistently see and read their content.

Here you go (all their names are linked to their Twitter handles), in no particular order:

1. Rand FishkinRand Fishkin is an author, blogger and founder of SEO Giant Moz. People who follow his tweets can look forward to ample marketing, SEO, technology and startup information.

2. Jay Baer. Author of the New York Times bestselling book Youtility, Jay Baer is a global keynote speaker, and digital media entrepreneur as well as being president the strategy consulting firm @Convince.

3. Brian Clark. CEO of Rainmaker Digital, Brain Clark is also the curator of several successful content marketing websites.

4. David Burn. David Burn is a content strategist, writer and brand specialist who assists content marketers in learning to distribute content effectively and write pieces that will draw readers in.

5. Michael Brenner. Michael Brenner is a renowned speaker, author and blogger with @MKTGInsiders as well as being Head of Strategy @Newscred. Brenner is also the former VP of Content Marketing with @SAP.

6. Mitch Joel. President of Mirum, Mitch Joel is a marketer, speaker, author and self-proclaimed “media hacker.” Additionally, Joel is a blogger at Six Pixels of Separation. People that can’t get enough of Joel via Twitter can check out his new book Ctrl Alt Delete.

7. Brian Fanzo. I enjoy catching Brian on Periscope as well as watching all of his keynote speeches. He’s an energetic social media advocate, going by the title “Change Evangelist”, has a huge following, and is behind the iSocialFanz site. Follow him for great insights on how to run your social media.

8. Sue B. Zimmerman. She’s the “Instagram Expert”, a successful entrepreneur, speaker, and Instagram coach. This lady is the go-to expert when it comes to Instagram, and she’s hot on Periscope too.

9. Neil Patel. Neil Patel is a renowned entrepreneur and blogger who has started two analytics companies: @CrazyEgg and KISSmetrics. He’s a top followed content marketer (I read and enjoy all his stuff).

10. Pamela I Wilson. Pamela I. Wilson is the owner of Big Brand System. She also manages the CopyBlogger blog and produces educational products for the company.

11. Jeneba Jalloh GhattJeneba Jalloh Ghatt is an attorney-turned-content marketer who was named one of the Top 50 Rich Media Influencers to follow.

12. Paul RoetzerPaul Roetzer is the Founder of The Marketing Performance Blueprint & The Marketing Agency Blueprint as well as being the Creator of Marketing Score (@MKTScore).

13. Aaron OrendorffAaron Orendorff’s mission is to “save the world from bad content.” He is also a contributor for publications like @EntMagazine, @FastCompany, @BusinessInsider, @SuccessMagazine, @CopyBlogger and @Unbounce.

14. Lee OddenLee Odden is the CEO of @TopRank, where he specializes in online marketing. He is also a B2B Content Marketing consultant and a social media and PR specialist.

15. Bob GellerBob Geller is a PR and content specialist as well as being the president of Fusion PR.

16. Joanna Wiebe. She is the genius copywriter and Internet marketer we all aspire to be. CEO of Copyhackers and top-notch wordsmith, Joanna has been featured in numerous places and sites.

17. Jeff DeutschJeff Deutsch is the VP of Marketing for @ptengine. He also contributes content to @HubSpot.

18. Ryan Hanley. Ryan is the host of the popular Content Warfare podcast and author of the book by the same name.

19. Amanda SublerAmanda Subler is a former journalist turned public relations, content marketing and video production specialist. She is also a PR and Media Manager for @CMIContent.

20. Tim AshTim Ash is the CEO of Site Tuners and author of the bestselling book Landing Page Optimization.

21. Meryl K. EvansMeryl K. Evans is a writer, editor, social media specialist and content marketer. Her tweets are aimed at helping content marketers adapt to web standards and boost site traffic.

22. Doug KesslerDoug Kessler is a content marketing, B2B copywriting, social media and tech marketing specialist who focuses on helping content marketers learn to promote their brand and write better content.

23. Matt HeinzMatt Heinz focuses on helping B2B companies produce more revenue via focused marketing strategies. He also helps companies produce more demand from customers and hone their sales process.

24. Bernie BorgesBernie Borges is the host of The Social Business Engine Digital TV Show & Podcast as well as being the CEO of popular B2B digital marketing firm Find and Convert.

25. Neal SchafferNeal Schaffer is an author at @MaxYourSocial as well as being the founder of @msocialbusiness and @socialtoolssmmt.

26. Bryan EisenbergBryan Eisenberg is the founder and CMO of Ideal Spot. He is also a keynote speaker and author.

27. Rebekah Radice. She’s an award-winning social media author, speaker and strategist. She works at the uber-cool PostPlanner and is behind #InfluencerChat, as well as a co-host for #ViralChat from Post Planner on Thursdays.

28. Jay AcunzoJay Acunzo works on content at @NextViewVC, and is the host and producer of the Traction podcast, where he discusses and features super cool entrepreneurial stories.

29. Lisa PetrilliNamed one of the Top 20 CMO’s by Forbes, Lisa Petrilli is dedicated to empowering women in positions of business & leadership in the world of digital communication.

30. Andrew DavisThe founder of Monumental Shift, Andrew Davis teaches marketers how to find and target a niche in order to grow business and produce great work.

31. Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is a speaker, professor and journalist. He shares tweets on social media, content marketing and how to create successful small businesses.

32. Henneke DuistermaatShe calls herself someone who’s on a mission to stamp out “gobbledygook,” and for that alone we love her. CEO of Enchanting Marketing, she is uniquely known for her “doodles” on her blogs and books and has been featured in podcasts and more.

33. Kim Garst. She’s been called the First Lady of Periscope, and rightly so; she’s just a joy to watch. Kim is a Forbes Top 10 SM Influencer and author of the acclaimed Will the Real You Please Stand Up. 

34. Ann HandleyAnn Handley is the Head of Content at Marketing Profs. She is also the author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller, Everybody Writes.

35. Joe PulizziJoe Pulizzi is a content expert at @CMIContent. He is also the author of Epic Content Marketing.

36. Kathryn HawkinsKathryn Hawkins works with @EucalyptMedia, a booming content marketing agency that focuses on teaching startups, universities, and B2B companies how to manage their clients and produce high-quality content.

37. Erika HealdErika Heald is a content marketer, social media coach, writer, editor and blogger. She is also the Head of Content with @HighwirePR.

38. John JantschJohn Jantsch is a small business marketing consultant at Duct Tape Marketing.

39. Joe Lazauskas. Joe Lazuskas is Editor-in-Chief for @Contently. He was also named one of the Top 10 Content Marketing Influencers to follow.

40. Kari LloydKari Lloyd is a writer who specializes in content and SEO. She currently uses her content marketing skills to help @VonageBiz boom. She was also named one of the Top 50 Content Marketers to Follow on Twitter.

41. Seth GodinSeth Godin is an author and blogger who is gaining notoriety for his unique approach to content creation.

42. Guillaume Decugis. He’s a highly successful entreprenuer, content marketing expert, and the founder of curation platform Scoop.it (over 2 million users). Bonus: He’s very approachable! I interviewed him here.

43. Ann SmartyAnn Smarty is a brand manager with @NinjasMarketing, creator of MyBlogU, and an all-around smart content marketer.

44. Daniel NewmanDaniel Newman is the CEO of @Broadsuite. He often speaks on the topics of social, mobile, big data and cloud computing. Additionally, Newman is the host of #CloudTalk.

Twitter Chat Content Marketers

In addition to offering a wide variety of content marketing specialists, Twitter also provides a platform for Twitter Chats, interactive, web-based communities that offer a space for interviews, collaboration, communication and networking. These chats provide a great way for content marketers to interact with new contacts and build authority in their niche. Additionally, participating in a Twitter chat can be a great marketing tool, in and of itself.

For the best content marketing-focused Twitter chats available on the web today, check out this list:

45. Cathy McPhillips (Twitter Chat: #CMWorld) Cathy McPhillips is the Marketing Director for @cmicontent. Her Twitter chat, #CMWorld |is focused on discussing all things content marketing related.

46. Kelly Hungerford (Twitter Chat: #BizHeroes) Kelly Hungeroford is a Digital Marketer. Her Twitter chat #BizHeroes is focused on helping companies build better customer experiences and promote solid marketing communities.

47. Buffer (Twitter Chat: #BufferChat) We love Buffer… and we love their chat! Buffer is a social media app that lets you schedule posts out to all your platforms. Happening every Wednesday at 11 CST/12 EST, they talk about all things social/content/bookworm related – a wide variety.

48. Sheila Scarborough (Twitter Chat: #AWCConnect) Sheila Scarborough is a writer and speaker with @TourismCurrents and @PerceptiveTrav. Her Twitter chat, #AWCConnect is designed to enlighten and educate women in the professional communications field and takes place on the 1st Thursday of each month.

49. Mack Collier (Twitter Chat: #BlogChat) Mack Collier is dedicated to helping companies build their brand and create winning content. His Twitter chat, #Blogchat, discusses blogging topics for the professional, business and personal fields.

50. Brian Katz (Twitter Chat: #Mobilebiz) Brian Katz is a mobile marketing expert whose Twitter chat is dedicated to all things mobile. Great for content marketers who want to learn about how customers interact with their content on a mobile basis, #Mobilebiz discusses the ins and outs of a mobile world on a weekly basis.

51. Maria Elena Duron (Twitter Chat: #Brandchat) Maria Elena Duron is a Marketing Coach and Personal Branding Specialist. #Brandchat is ideal for content marketers who want to learn more about how to market their unique brand.

52. The Social CMO (Twitter Chat: #MMchat) The Social CMO CMO runs #MMchat, which stands for “marketer Monday” and offers conversations with executives from a whole host of different marketing and social media content firms.

53. Brian Honigman (Twitter Chat: #InsiderChat) Brian Honigman is a Content Marketing Consultant and CEO of @HonigmanMedia. #InsiderChat, which offers interviews with expert influencers to help people “win at marketing and business.”

54. Jenise Fryatt (Twitter Chat: #ContentChat) Jenise Fryatt is a Content Marketing Strategist for Smarter Shift as well as being the Moderator #ContentChat. #ContentChat offers a place for content marketers to discuss the latest developments and trends in the content marketing world. Additionally, the chat offers interviews with thought leaders and plenty of opportunities to network.

55. SEMRush (Twitter Chat: #SEMrushchat) SEMRush offers ways for content marketers to take their business to the next level. Twitter users who follow #SEMrushchat will get high-quality industry updates and tips as well as the chance to connect with top influencers.

56. CoScheduleApp (Twitter Chat: #CoChat) CoSchedule is a drag-and-drop marketing calendar designed to help content marketers create content distribution schedules. The company’s Twitter chat, #CoChat, helps people learn more about editorial strategies, content creation and distribution.

57. Pam Moore (Twitter Chat: #GetRealChat) Pam Moore was named a Forbes Top 10 Social Media Influencer. Her Twitter chat #GetRealChat focuses on how to boost business, maximize existing content and develop new content that readers will love.

58. Kelly Lieberman (Twitter Chat: #PinChat) Kelly Lieberman is a Pinterest expert and, considering the fact that a recent study proves that Pinterest drives more people to websites than LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ combined, it’s possible that you might want to follow in her footsteps. Content marketers can tune in to #PinChat for tips on how to use Pinterest to drive engagement and distribute great content.

59. Marketing Cloud (Twitter Chat: #ETcafe) Marketing Cloud’s Twitter chat covers digital marketing and the latest trends and topics in the industry. Previous topics include how best to use social media and how to personalize content.

60. Express Writers & Julia McCoy (We’ll be launching a Twitter Chat soon!) Excuse the self-promotion, but it’s just; I’ve been most-read on many of the guest blogs I post at. And we post fun stuff at Express Writers! I specialize in content marketing, distribution and content creation, and share what I know, or stuff I read all over the web that I love. My team shares on similar topics. Follow us, and I hope you enjoy reading what we share!

The Case for Twitter: A Content Marketer’s Paradise

Twitter is a veritable paradise for the content marketer who wants to learn. In addition to offering a platform to access some of the world’s most talented content marketers, Twitter also provides near-instant communication with many industry specialists and chats areas, both of which can help content marketers step up their game and become truly competitive.

One of the most important purposes Twitter serves is to act as an ignition point between interested content marketers and industry experts. Because the social media platform provides the basis for rich and informative connections to take place, content marketers are truly unhindered in the depth to which they can take their Twitter-based connections.

Twitter also offers a formidable way for marketers to stay in the loop. Because Twitter is one of the main social media platforms where news goes to break, interested content marketers can ensure that they will always be on the cutting edge of the content marketing field. This, in turn, ensures access to the best and most up-to-date information as well as an effective and important way to disseminate information of your own.

Lastly, Twitter is a great place for young marketers to build authority and gain notoriety by re-tweeting powerful content and curating a Twitter persona to attract engagement and encourage interaction from other inhabitants of the Twitter-sphere.

The Power of a Twitter Chat

Have you heard how hot Twitter chats are? Many of the experts I’ve quoted above are in Twitter chats.SEMrush hosts #semrushchat, a busy Wednesday morning chat that has had thousands of tweets in it’s lifetime and guests like Hubspot. Sprout Social, hosts #SproutChat on Wednesdays. Ann Smarty hosts #MyBlogGuest, every Thursday at 11 am EST. (I’ve linked to more Twitter chats above.)

Well, I recently found out just how powerful a Twitter chat can be. The first week of September, I started really ramping up our Twitter chats, and one day we joined about 8, including #semrushchat, #bufferchat, #SMchat, #SproutChat, #SmallBizChat and more. That one day when we joined that many chats, we had a huge surge in website traffic. And I’m talking about 2,000 visitors. Incredible, right?

Right now, Express Writers is joining up to 5 Twitter chats each week. This is due to the fact that Twitter chats have the power to seriously enhance any business.  Twitter chats are so effective, in fact, that 34% of marketers successfully generate leads using Twitter chats. This iSocial list does a great job of compiling the best Twitter chats for marketers to join and interested content aficionados can find plenty of good stuff in any one of these Twitter chats.

If you’re going to engage in Twitter chats, though, be sure that you’re being a polite Twitter citizen. Our Tweet Chat Etiquette Guide will help you learn the in’s and out’s of Tweet chats so that you can better promote your company and connect with knowledgeable people in your niche.

Yeah! Join a Twitter chat, and follow your industry leaders. It’ll be huge for you. I promise.

Finally.. Did I Miss A Content Marketer?

content marketers johnny depp

Let’s make this more than 60! I’d LOVE to know what marketer I missed – even if you want to add yourself to the list, feel free to comment below. I’ll edit this post if you’re (or your suggestion is) worthy!

6 Incredible Ways You Can Create Content Worthy of BBC’s Sherlock

Storytelling is an excellent tool to use in your content marketing strategy, giving your brand personality and connecting you with readers. It can help boost your content and shares, but just how can you go about telling a story with your content? Where can you get excellent inspiration?

In this blog, I want to look at the BBC’s Sherlock series, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as everyone’s favorite consulting detective and Martin Freeman as his loveable friend, John Watson. (If you’ve yet to watch this incredible series, it is available on Netflix and on DVD/BluRay.)

Let’s take a look at some great lessons you can learn!

How BBC’s Sherlock Wins at Storytelling

Since BBC’s Sherlock is such a great resource for storytelling, I am going to look at what you can learn for your copywriting. These are some amazing things the show does, and it can help your content incredibly.

1. It Utilizes Excellent Story Symmetry. Symmetry is a great part of storytelling and can make a story more impactful. This could be whether in the framing on a TV show like Sherlock or a Stanley Kubrick flick. However, Sherlock illustrates symmetry not only in filming but also within the story. When we get to the end of the first episode of season 1, we see John Watson taking things into his own hands, willingly saving Sherlock’s life. He could have been caught and even charged with a crime, but his friend was more important than his criminal record. When we get to the third episode of season three, the same thing happens, only this time it is Sherlock saving John in a similar fashion. He knew he would get caught and punished, but he wanted to protect his friend, knowing Watson would do, and has done, the same for him.

While you don’t have to create a symmetrical story like this, using symmetry in your posting can help to bring about consistency. Symmetry is soothing to many people and if you create symmetrical content, you could see more engagement and shares. You can create symmetrical copy with your writing or you can create images or videos that utilize it. Either way, it can help you stand out and make you look incredibly professional.

2. The Writers Utilize Emotion to Draw in Viewers. If you watch any season of Sherlock, you know that it can be an emotional roller coaster. What do you mean Moriarty did that and why is Sherlock listening to him? Who is this Magnussen and why is he threatening John and Mary? Whatever happens, people feel the anger, excitement, and sometimes extreme sadness due to the storytelling by the writers of Sherlock. One of the most intense episodes, The Reichenbach Fall, connected with many viewers and created a huge stir online. It still has an impact, even if you’ve watched it multiple times. 

Using emotion in your content can be a great way to draw in readers and convert visitors into leads. You can focus on a variety of emotions whether they are happy, sad, upsetting, or even cause anger. Always remember when dealing with emotions to do so respectfully, especially if you are going to write content on something people are angry about. Emotions can help you connect with your audience while also giving your brand a personal voice both on social media and within your copywriting. 

3. We See What Sherlock Sees. The show lets us in on what Sherlock sees by going over a person’s body or items and highlighting aspects with words. We learn that someone owns a dog, has a wife in labor, and more just from Sherlock’s glance. When this happens, we are all transported into being Sherlock. This is a great way to connect watchers with the show and help them feel like they are part of it. Breaking the wall between viewers and a show isn’t always recommended in television, film, or stage productions, but many BBC shows, like Doctor Who and Sherlock break it. When it is broken well, people can really engage with the story. Just think, if you’ve watched Doctor Who, how terrifying is it that the Weeping Angles are still stone because you the watcher are staring at them?

You can break that wall easily with your copy, and it isn’t as touch and go as it is with TV or stage. A great way to break it is to write in first or second person and ask your readers direct questions. It can be a rhetorical question like I did above about the creepiness of the Weeping Angels, or it can be an open-ended question that gives your readers the ability to answer with their own opinions and questions. Let people in on what you’re writing to build a great connection and relationship with them. Writing in something like second person can be a great way to draw your audience in and help them connect with your content.

4. The Show Repurposes the Original Stories to Create Something New. Sherlock is one huge example of just how you can repurpose a story and create more for further content. The show has a lot of great source material to work with due to the many stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the writers always make sure to create something incredible and unique. If they followed the typical storylines we all have memorized (see: The Hound of the Baskervilles) then it would quickly become a boring show. However, the writers make each episode different, adding their own twists to each and repurposing the content effectively to create a powerful story.

You can do something similar with your content by repurposing your other blogs and copy to create something new and impactful. You can use your older content to help build a story and create storytelling  that will connect with your readers while still using your existing copy. Repurpose content to see just how powerful it can become and how many clients and readers you are able to reach out to when you do this. 

5. Sherlock Gives Us More Content Than Most TV Shows. With Sherlock, the BBC gives you a lot of content for a TV show, which encourages people to watch even more. It can be a bit of a letdown when you start a show and realize that, while it might be on air for an hour, you only get 45 minutes of content. This can make people give up on a TV show, especially if it doesn’t have a captivating story like Sherlock. This show would probably be just as successful if it were only 45 minutes, but something that really sticks out to fans is the fact that we get a full hour and a half of content. This helps to immerse watchers and get them into the show more than a shorter series. While we only get three episodes, we get a lot of content per episode.

Your readers and clients are taking time out of their day to come to your website and read your content, and if you don’t provide them with enough, they could leave. However, if you provide them with more content than what they’re expecting, you can give them a great surprise and make them happy that they took time out of their busy days. You can give them a variety of content types or give them something free for taking the time to look at your site. Whatever you choose to do, you can help build confidence in your content and business by giving them more than they expected.

6. The Show Uses Visuals to Create a Huge Impact. If you take some time to watch Sherlock, you will notice that the showrunners don’t just focus on the written story but visuals as well. This is what helps make the stories even more powerful than they were on paper and any watcher can get easily immersed in the story when watching. The directors frame the shots gorgeously, and they focus on important details within the story, even if we don’t know what they are yet. In addition to simple images of streets and clues, the visuals of the actors acting out some of the most emotional scenes adds such an impact. Whether you are laughing at Sherlock’s attempts to surprise John or watching John cry with horror, you feel the intensity because of what you see.

According to Susan Kusinitz, at HubSpot, visuals are an important aspect of content and if you want to create something powerful, you need to make sure you utilize them. You don’t need to go quite the route of Sherlock, but if you film high-quality videos, share great images, and create infographics, you can connect with your audience quickly and easily. When you are crafting your content, don’t leave out the incredibly important visual aspects.

Did You Miss Me: Don’t Miss Using Sherlock for Great Content Inspiration 

As you can see, there is a lot of inspiration to glean from this show, helping you create powerful, impactful stories for your readers. If you need guidance to create epic storytelling content or would like experts to craft it, then look no further than Express Writers. We have some of the top writers who can create excellent story pieces for your content, as well as create different impactful content types by using similar aspects that the BBC uses for Sherlock. Don’t hesitate to contact us to see how we can help!

tide marketing tips

20 Excellent Content Marketing Tips You Can Learn From Tide

Content marketing is such a fun, interesting part of creating a website that converts. It can be daunting at times, but there are some truly excellent places to garner inspiration from.

Sometimes inspiration can come from unexpected places, like the laundry and cleaning products brand, Tide.

Let’s look at how they approach content marketing, as well as what you can learn from them. I promise you’ll learn some excellent tips that can help clean up your content marketing approach and make it sparkle.

20 Amazing Tips You Can Apply to Your Content Marketing

Tide is a great company with excellent product, and this company is one that knows it needs to focus on content marketing to bring in more clients—and creates great things in their content marketing space.

  1. Tide Creates Ads Based Off of Common Problems. When you head over to the Tide landing page, you will see a great section with different blocks of content. There are a wide variety of content pieces, and each one has a chance to answer a problem you have. For me, it addresses how to wash certain types of clothing, which is very helpful. For parents, it addresses things like how to keep your Tide products in an easy-to-reach place while also being out of reach for children. No matter what, Tide has made sure to answer your common laundry questions all on the landing page.
  1. Tide Personalizes the Landing Page To You. They do this by showing you a simple weather-in-your-area box. Heading over to Tide’s web page won’t just show you items that address your problems or needs. It is also personalized to show weather in your area. It is awesome to see my town’s name with a little weather widget on a huge brand’s website. Even though I know it is something built into the website, I still feel more of a connection with Tide by seeing something personalized.
  1. You Can Go Coupon Crazy on the Site. Who doesn’t like coupons? They help you save money on items you want and need, and we can all use some money saving techniques at some point. Tide knows this and the company makes it easy for you to click on a coupon box and be taken to a list of excellent coupons for your favorite Tide products. You can keep these coupons on your phone or print them off to take with you. Either way you are able to save money on products you need, which can really help lower that grocery bill when you’re checking out.
  1. Are You Washing Denim Wrong? As I mentioned in point one, Tide has many content blocks that help with problems you may have. One of mine is knowing just how to wash certain clothes, especially denim. Right there, on the home page, Tide links you to an excellent piece giving you tips and pointers on just how to wash your jeans and other denim products. I find this immensely helpful since washing jeans is something I do quite a bit of. It is great to find this, and while Tide would love for you to choose Tide products for washing clothing, the tips can work with other laundry detergents. This is a perfect example of giving your clients something useful instead of just focusing on selling your product.
  1. Tide Utilizes Multiple Content Formats. While perusing through Tide’s website, I realized that there isn’t just one type of content. Tide utilizes multiple content formats to give clients access to every aspect of the site no matter what the client is doing. The company shares videos, images, and written content for clients, which is absolutely perfect. This helps to give clients content they can consume no matter where they are and how much time they have.
  1. Help People Out and Look Great Doing So. People love to give back and help others in need, and Tide understands this desire. When you head to the website, you are given the chance to help someone out while getting an excellent, vintage-inspired t-shirt. When you buy a shirt from Tide’s Loads of Hope charity, $4 of your purchase will go towards helping people after a disaster. This is a great idea because it gives people something tangible to have while also helping others after terrible disasters take over their lives.
  1. You Get Even More Tips for Keeping Fabrics Safe. Remember how I mentioned that the landing page links to a great denim “how-to”? Well, Tide doesn’t stop there. In fact, the company has a whole list of helpful tips for washing any type of material. No matter if you are washing specific fabrics or need some help with how to de-clutter the laundry you have, Tide is ready with excellent, helpful tips for anyone. This is excellent because the company doesn’t always focus on the products, and readers who don’t purchase Tide products can still get help. This can eventually lead to those readers becoming clients simply because Tide gave them free help.
  1. Garment Stories Offer Excellent Advice for Style and Fashion. Tide also gives some fashion and style advice, because that is something clients will love. No, it isn’t specifically related to cleaning materials, but fashion obviously requires clothes, making this a great branch of content inspiration. You can see different “Garment Stories” from Tide, getting excellent tips for what to wear as well as how to care for your clothing.
  1. The Site is Laid Out in an Easy-to-Understand Fashion. Something that I really enjoy about Tide’s home page and landing pages is that it is all easy to understand. I can quickly find exactly what I am looking for, and not be inundated with a bunch of content that doesn’t interest me. My eyes scan over the site quickly and naturally, helping me skim until I find something I want or need. What a great example of how a website should be laid out!
  1. Tide Gives Helpful Tips for Parents. While not everyone who purchases and uses Tide are parents, there are quite a few who are. Which means that Tide knows it needs to reach out to the parent demographic. When you head over to “Tips from Tide for a Better Life” you will see a variety of postings giving tips to many people, including parents. The postings talk about messy games for kids that clean up well, as well as excellent games that can get your kids outside. Tide also focuses on safety, and how Tide can get out tough stains that kids inevitably get on their clothes.
  1. You Can Easily Access Their Social Media Sites. No matter where you go on Tide’s website, you can get easy access to all social media channels. This makes it very easy for clients to click on the social buttons and like or follow Tide to get more news and information from the company. Tide has Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest and use all very well for clients and fans.
  1. Do You Have Special Laundry Needs? Tide Helps. We all have special laundry needs whether it is cleaning workout gear to getting out tough stains and cleaning hard-to-clean fabrics. Tide covers all of these in the “Special Laundry Needs” section of the website. You can get a lot of suggestions and helpful tips from the company, making sure you clean every part of your laundry in the best, and safest ways.
  1. You’re Encouraged to Sign-Up for a Newsletter to Get Great Deals. Do you want easier, quicker access to deals and coupons, as well as news about upcoming products? Of course, you do. People love being up-to-date with their favorite brands and companies, and Tide understands just how much this can benefit clients and the business. When you head over to the website, you are encouraged to sign-up for Tide’s excellent newsletter, which gives you more access to great deals. You can also learn about new products quickly, learning if the products are something you will need for your laundry or clothing.
  1. The Social Media Campaign is Focusing On Upcycling and Recycling. A huge, and worthwhile, trend right now is taking care of the environment by recycling or “upcycling.” Upcycling is when you take something, like a Tide detergent bottle, and use it for something else. Tide is utilizing the trend to not only get more clients, and give them helpful tips, but also to do their part in protecting our planet. This is a great example of utilizing a trend, especially one for the greater good when it comes to social media.

  1. Tide Re-Tweets Customer’s Tweets and Images. While doing the recycle campaign, Tide is making sure to encourage engagement with clients by asking them to send in images. When a client does this, the company re-tweets that person, which can help foster more engagement. This shows that there are other clients who are doing their part to help out the environment, which can encourage other clients to do the same. In addition, this is a great way to encourage more client engagement with a company.
  1. Tide Shares Tips from Other Companies. When Tide makes a social media post, they sometimes share great tips and information from other companies. Tide doesn’t share material from competitors, but when they share content from other companies, they are giving more information on a wide amount of topics for all of their clients. This can be about fabric softener from Downy or any of the company’s current cleaning partners.
  1. Social Media Focuses on Latest Trendy Items. If you take a quick glance at Tide’s approach to social media, you will see just how much they focus on trends. Whether it is Game of Thrones related or talking about the red carpet or Kentucky Derby, they have a post for it. Focusing on trendy materials when it comes to social media is a great way to help drive engagement and bring in more clients.
  1. Tide Shares Notes on Facebook for Quick, Consumable Content. Blogs are great, but sometimes people don’t want to leave Facebook by clicking on a link to the post. Instead of making clients click away from the social site all the time, Tide shares small “notes” with the Facebook Notes feature. This gives clients immediate access to excellent tips, which is a great way to create and maintain a business-client relationship.
  1. Each Post Has a Social Share Button at the Top. When you go around the Tide website, you will notice that each page and post has a social share button right at the top. This is a great way for the company to encourage social shares, especially when it comes to the various DIY and tip postings. Social share buttons can really help increase engagement and, if they are easy to access, they can promote your clients to share pages on their chosen social network.
  1. Looking for a Nearby Store? You can purchase your favorite Tide products from Tide’s website, but most of the time, people buy their detergent when they go grocery shopping. Because of this, Tide has implemented a great little feature that helps clients find Tide products at the nearest store. This is great because it helps clients feel, yet again like their particular experience is made specifically for them. It’s a great feeling when it seems like a brand is helping you every step of the way.

You Can Have a Squeaky Clean Content Marketing Approach Like Tide

As you can see, Tide has several excellent examples that you can learn from when it comes to content marketing. Just by following a few of the company’s tactics can help you create a better, more effective plan. Express Writers can help you create content for your marketing campaign that will help make your content and website awesome for all of your clients and readers. Take a look at our content services to see which can help you create a stellar campaign!

 

marvel content marketing

7 Content Marketing Lessons Your Business Can Learn from Marvel’s Superhero Movies

Marvel is one of the biggest, and hottest, production companies right now. It is an incredible place to seek and gain content marketing inspiration from, too! This company has an excellent approach to content marketing, as we can all see with their ad campaigns for their films, including the latest The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

(If you have yet to see that film, take the chance to go and have a fun, summer movie experience, all while learning from some of the top marketers and writers in the comic industry.)

Just what can you learn from Marvel for your small business and content marketing? This blog is going to look at that and how it can help you create an excellent, effective content marketing strategy that will bring in tremendous success.

7 Tips from a Giant in the Content Marketing World: Marvel

What are the lessons you can expect to learn from Marvel? There are many different ones, but I take a look at a few of the top ones that can really help to impact your business. Get ready to take some notes and learn just how to improve your content strategy, and bring in new clients with a superhero-sized plan!

  1. Marvel Builds Their Brand Through Content, Constantly. When it comes to the content marketing world, Marvel can’t be beat with their epic content strategy. Their main way of survival is to, obviously, create excellent content, and they make sure that they are always doing so while building their brand through it. The Marvel brand isn’t exactly as it was ten or twenty years ago and this is because they’ve taken the chance to build and grow their brand over the decades. Their superheroes have taken on different elements and have had mega life changes throughout the comic books, and when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we see even more changes to characters and their stories. Marvel has multiple universes with multiple hero and villain story variations, making their content very strong, which helps to make their brand incredibly powerful.How can you apply this to your content strategy? You can easily use your content whether for web, blogs, social media, or any other type to help build your brand and make it better. You can create an incredibly, strong company that people trust just through content, which is what Marvel has been and is doing with their client base. Start working on your content to help create and improve your brand to bring in more clients, as well as helping you keep your existing ones for many years. 
  1. Marvel Provides Multiple Content Formats for Fans. I’ve mentioned this multiple times when it comes to creating content; multiple formats are vital to your content marketing, and Marvel understands this. If you aren’t a big fan of reading comic books, you don’t have to worry because you can easily go to many different Marvel films to watch superheroes battle it out with villains. In addition, if you prefer comic books to movies, then you are perfectly fine there. You can also watch various Marvel television shows ranging from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to Daredevil, and soon there will be even more Marvel television taking over the TV world. Marvel doesn’t just limit themselves to story-based content, however. They provide access to a variety of things including conventions for their fans and are constantly growing and evolving to meet the demands of the comic fan world.Providing different formats for your clients is a great way to not only give existing customers easier ways to consume content, but also to bring in newer clients.  You will be able to reach a wider customer base by doing so, and you will see a significant increase in your views, clicks, and revenue just by providing different formats to your clients. The formats can be anything ranging from YouTube videos to social media content and infographics. Don’t limit yourself; be like Marvel and allow your content to develop in order to grow your client base and business. 
  1. They Approach the Entirety of Their Universe. Marvel doesn’t just pick and choose which aspect of their universe they will promote and provide content for – they approach it all. They take a holistic type of approach, which helps make their various universes feel consistent. When you approach the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you will see an overlap of heroes and villains throughout several movies, bringing stories from different films together to create a larger, more impressive story. No matter which Marvel film you see, you will see reference to another and another. This is mighty impressive as they have a huge cinematic universe, but it helps make it an incredible experience for fans. This is a great example of what a holistic approach can provide to your content marketing strategy. You aren’t necessarily keeping stories together to create an impressive universe, but if you approach your marketing holistically, you will notice that you have a higher chance of being incredibly successful with your content. A great way to start approaching the entirety of it is to sit down with people in your business to brainstorm ideas across all content formats and fields, helping create a consistent strategy. Once you do that, you can then implement it and watch as the success starts increasing. 
  1. Vision Isn’t Just an Awesome Avenger. The Avengers: Age of Ultron was an epic film that introduced a few new characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including Vision. Vision is a pretty cool character, but his name is also a great example of what Marvel has. When it comes to making films for their cinematic universe, Marvel has an incredible vision and is planning all the way to 2020 and beyond for their releases. If you aren’t sure of just all that Marvel will be releasing, you can take a look at the full calendar. Remember, Marvel does keep releasing news about upcoming films in various phases, and we might just hear of more films soon.What this shows is a great example of planning ahead and preparing for what your clients want. There are many movies listed that involve some of our favorite characters from the MCU such as Thor or Captain America, but we are also seeing some “new” faces. If you’re a fan of Captain Marvel, then you’re in luck! Planning this far ahead and letting everyone know seems like it might be a silly move on Marvel’s part. However, with this whole list, people are beginning to mark their calendars and countdown to the films they are most looking forward to. This shows just how important planning a ways into the future is, as well as how great it can be to involve your clients in the process. 
  1. Symbolism is a Vital Aspect to a Marvel Superhero. Marvel places a major importance on symbolism, as does DC and any other comic production company. Symbolism is what helps set their various superheroes and villains apart, making things easily recognizable for fans. We all know what Spider-man’s symbol is, same with Captain America, Black Widow, the Hulk, and more. This symbolism helps to drive a personal connection between fan and character, which helps to promote the brand and provide an epic marketing strategy without doing much sales copy. When you go to buy a shirt based off of a superhero, you look for the logo, not a long description of said hero, right? Marvel knows people like the symbols, and that we connect with them.Why is it important for you to follow this particular aspect of Marvel, or any superhero franchise company? Because people love symbols and they connect with them easier. Having a logo with an ICON can help you bring in more clients and create a brand that people know and trust. We recently rebranded, and if you look at our Twitter page, you’ll see our icon representing our whole brand. Much like the simplicity of superhero logos, it’s easy and fun to recognize. This is going to help immensely to set us apart from other writing agencies, and the same can be said for you and your logo. Create something that is unique to your business, and help yourself stand out in the sea of other businesses. Being recognizable is a great way to bring in new customers.
  1. Everyone Loves a Hero and Marvel Knows It. No matter what, everyone loves a hero, and this is constantly seen in Marvel comics and films. The company knows how important heroes are to people, and they work to create heroes we can all look up to and love. By doing so, the company works to create a personal relationship between the company and the fans, as well as the specific hero, such as Captain America and the hero’s fans. Personal relationships are great for Marvel because this means that more people will be willing to buy comics, toys, and see films if they have that connection. No, Marvel doesn’t know the fans’ favorite color, food, or the names of their pets, but they still create the sense of a relationship with fans. They embrace the idea of emotions, which helps them to establish that relationship with their fan base, creating long-term, happy fans.

Cap has arrived! See Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron,” in theaters May 1.

Posted by Captain America on Tuesday, March 3, 2015

This is a great model for all sorts of businesses. You can easily achieve this personal connection by embracing what people love, and what they want to see from your business. Don’t hesitate to get a little emotional with your posts to help establish that connection. This will help set your business apart from others as one that can be trusted. A great place to start with developing a relationship with your clients is via social media and engaging with your customers through your customer service. Get personal on social media and promote excellent relationships with every one of your clients. 

  1. Iron Man and the Need for Being Social. Another lesson you can learn from Marvel is how to be social with your clients. If you know anything about Iron Man, you know that Tony Stark loves being social and can throw some epic parties. Marvel embraces this Tony Stark spirit by having incredible social media campaigns for all of their films, comics, and more. A great example of an awesome social media campaign is that of Marvel’s Deadpool. If you don’t know much about Deadpool, people refer to him as the “Merc With a Mouth” because he isn’t your classic do-good Marvel superhero. In a way, he is the epitome of anti-hero, and everyone loves him. Due to his sassy, and (be warned) not safe for work (NSFW) ways, the social media campaign has been hilarious. Photos are being released that are perfectly Deadpool, and people are getting more and more excited for the film to be released in 2016.

Deadpool always delivers. Even on Mother’s Day.

Posted by Deadpool Movie on Sunday, May 10, 2015

OR:

First official look at #Deadpool. Eat your heart out Burt Reynolds.

Posted by Deadpool Movie on Friday, March 27, 2015

While you don’t have to, and most likely shouldn’t, go the way of Marvel’s marketing for Deadpool, this does show how to use social media. First of all, Marvel is expertly reflecting the brand of Deadpool and second, they are also connecting with their fans in new, fun ways. Take this as a lesson to use social media and reflect your brand accurately and perfectly through your tweets, posts, and interactions. Don’t be afraid to be a little silly with memes and jokes, either! That will help make the social media experience a fun one for you and your followers.

Copywriters and Content Marketers, Assemble!

What are some of the lessons from Marvel that you plan on implementing into your content marketing strategy? These are all great to use and you will see some pretty great success if you start following Marvel’s amazing examples. If you need help creating awesome content to go with your new content strategy, choose Express Writers! Our team is top notch when it comes to producing expert copy, and we can help get you to Marvel-levels of awesome with our work. Take a look at our web content and copywriting services to see what all we can provide you and your business.

Photo credit: nerdist.com

 

 

famous authors JK Rowling

How 9 Great Authors Almost Failed & Why You Shouldn’t Throw In The Towel Just Yet

There are times where no matter what we do, it just seems like things aren’t working. You can implement everything you’ve learned from marketing and SEO, yet you don’t seem to get anywhere. This is a frustrating reality. However, here’s the good news—you, my friend, are not alone!

Did you know there are several incredibly famous authors and creators that were in the same boat as you at some point in their career? These great authors and creators, at one point or another, were considered “failures” by themselves and others.

Once you get through failure, and don’t allow it to drown you but rather make you stronger, you will achieve greater success than you’ve dreamed of!

How 9 Incredible Creators & Authors Got Discouraged & Kept Going

I am going to take a look at a few incredible authors and creators that we all love today, and look at just how they failed before they succeeded. Let their failures and inevitable success we see now be an awesome inspiration to you, today.

  1. Walt Disney Was Told He Lacked Imagination. The man who created many stories, an epic empire, and worldwide theme parks was once considered to not have much imagination. That’s right; the creator of Mickey Mouse was believed, and told, he lacked imagination. Can you conceive of where we all would be if he listened to that and didn’t create the empire we all know and love today? He also had multiple other failures including best friends leaving Walt Disney Studios for competitors and competitors even stealing his original work, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. It was after Oswald was stolen that he created Mickey Mouse, who is definitely the most popular mouse in the entire world.
  1. Albert Einstein and the Problem of Traditional Learning. While Einstein is not a fiction writer, his works have brought about an amazing advancement to the field of science. We have many of our theories and even proof of various scientific aspects because of him. However, Einstein was terrible with traditional learning and many thought he wouldn’t go very far. This speaks loudly to those who might have a hard time with traditional marketing, understanding how to make their business a success, and even young children who are having a hard time learning in school. If he had let his problems get in the way, we wouldn’t have much of the scientific advancements we have today, nor any of his incredible academic work.
  1. J.K. Rowling Wrote Harry Potter Without Much of a Plan for Success. When J.K. Rowling first wrote Harry Potter, she was living as a single mother on welfare. It was a difficult life for her, but she decided to start writing. She created the Wizarding world, but, according to her, she was rejected “loads” of times by different publishers. She kept going, however, even though she didn’t necessarily have the finances she needed to send off so many manuscripts. I am especially glad she kept going because we might have never met the Boy Who Lived, experiencing an incredible fantasy world just a few miles away from normal life. In addition to rejections for Harry Potter, Rowling also faced several rejections as Robert Galbraith, her pen name for The Cuckoo’s Calling. What a great example of “keep on trying.” Now Harry Potter is a goliath in the marketing world, offering writers and businesses alike incredible marketing inspiration.
  1. Charles Darwin Was Considered Average at Best. Evolution has had a long, contentious past with many people arguing over its reputability. What many people don’t realize is that the father of evolution, Charles Darwin, was considered an average student at best and dropped out of a degree and career in medicine to become a parson. However, he found a significant interest in nature and began traveling the world to understand it better. As he did so, he came up with his theory and published the now popular and infamous Origin of the Species. Regardless of one’s stance on evolution, it is hard to deny that this “average” student made a huge impact on the world of science and helped bring about a different view of nature.
  1. Dr. Seuss Had His First Book Rejected 27 Times. We all love Dr. Seuss, don’t we? We all have that one book that helped us get through difficult times or at least one that was our childhood favorite, but did you know Dr. Seuss’s very first book was rejected 27 times? That’s right. And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street was rejected 27 times by different publishers. It took a while for this book to become published, but eventually it was and Dr. Seuss became a tremendous part of the literary world. He even has an entire literary day (his birthday) dedicated to him and his amazing work.
  1. Stephen King Threw Away Early Drafts of Carrie and it was Rejected 30 Times. Have you read Carrie? If you’re a horror and novella fan, then chances are you already have. It is a great, scary story that is definitely a classic in the horror world. Before it became the success it is today, Stephen King got very frustrated with it and threw away early drafts of the novella. In addition, when he finally finished it, it was rejected 30 different times. It is unlikely we would have the an epic horror empire King created if it weren’t for his wife. She made sure to help get Carrie published, and we can all thank her for the wonder, and horror of a Stephen King universe.
  1. Margaret Atwood Failed Writing a Novel On Holiday. Margaret Atwood is a definite goddess amongst fantasy and science fiction writers, and we might never have received the wonder of The Handmaid’s Tale if she hadn’t failed writing another book. She went on a bird watching, book writing holiday and only one aspect of that holiday was successful – watching birds. She struggled to write her novel and eventually stopped. It was soon after stopping that novel that she began the terrifying dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale that is still creeping audiences out today.
  1. Mary Shelley’s The Last Man Was Panned by Reviewers. We all know Mary Shelley’s impressive work, Frankenstein, which was, and still is, an amazing part of early science fiction literature. However, one of her books that doesn’t get the acclaim it deserves, The Last Man was often panned by reviewers, yet has proven to be just as powerful as Frankenstein. The book even disappeared from shelves after the 1833 American edition but was eventually printed again in 1965.
  1. Publishers Were Unwilling to Publish J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. When it came down to publishing J. R. R. Tolkien’s massive, classic work The Lord of the Rings, publishers were unsure if it would actually work. In fact, The Lord of the Rings was originally one huge book. The publishers eventually broke the book up into the now infamous trilogy, which was not Tolkien’s favorite idea. His publishers were worried they’d lose thousands of pounds trying to sell this work, as well. After all the fear, The Fellowship of the Ring ran a printing of 3,500 and sold out in the first 6 weeks, which was a milestone in publishing then. Aren’t you glad the publishers, and Tolkien, stuck with the books? We not only have an epic book series, but some great films for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to help inspire our copywriting!

What Can You Learn from These Authors?

Now that you’ve seen a few things that have happened to some of the world’s favorite authors and creators throughout their careers, you might be wondering just what you can learn from them. There are many different things you can learn, but a few things that stand out to me are:

  • Just Because You Didn’t Achieve Something Doesn’t Mean You Never Will. To many of these authors, it just didn’t seem like much was going to happen to them or with their stories. Can you imagine what would’ve happened if J. K. Rowling had never pushed for Harry Potter or what the world would look like without Dr. Seuss? Use their passion and dedication to help you achieve the marketing goals you have, and benefit your company.
  • If You Give Up Now, Just What are You Losing Out On Later? Giving up can be easy in many situations, especially after multiple failures. However, giving up could mean losing out on something amazing in the future. Don’t let your failures stop you.
  • Keep Working and Learn from Specific Failures. The above point talks about not giving up, but what should you do with specific failures? You should take the chance to learn something from them. Each failure is a lesson and it can help you learn exactly what you need to do to push your business and marketing to be the best.

Don’t Let Failure Keep You From Your Business Goals

Use these authors as a great example to help you continue striving for your business goals, no matter what. Keep writing your content and pushing through, and you’ll start to see some pretty awesome results. If you need help to create incredible, successful content, then Express Writers is here for you. Our team is dedicated to making all of our clients have successful businesses and amazing web content that your customers are sure to love. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information on how we can help!

Photo Credit: harrypotter.wikia.com

content marketing worst phrases

9 Of The Worst Phrases In Content Marketing

In the world of business and sales, words are powerful. Copywriting not only involves captivating and educating your audience, but also choosing the right words to say. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that your choice of words could cost (or earn) your company a sale. When it comes to copywriting, every detail counts. The idea isn’t to walk on eggshells with your copywriting, but you do want to be aware of word choice and the message you are signaling to your clients.

Almost every word has its place and purpose, but there are several that you want to avoid when you are copywriting for sales or your website. These are what I like to call “the worst phrases in content marketing.”

Content Marketing Tips: What to Avoid

Content marketing may seem like it’s for everyone (see “You Don’t Need to Be a Brand Publisher To Win At Content Marketing” on Moz), but remember, there are some words in general you should be avoiding to stay on the right road. If you have these words and phrases on your own website, consider it a red flag: it might be hurting your conversion ratio.

 

  1. Our Product is The Cheapest on The Market. If you are in a hurry to downgrade the value of your product, the word cheap will get you there in a heartbeat. Cheap is not to be confused with affordable; affordable is a gentler and more positive way to emphasize a cost effective price point.However, cheap may bring the connotation of flimsy and invaluable. If you must include a low price point in your copywriting, stick to affordable.

 

  1. We Are Offering One of The Best Things Available in Our Industry. Maybe this is a personal pet peeve, but the word thing really makes my skin crawl. It is extremely vague, generic, and does nothing in terms of describing value. The word thing should be used to describe an object when you don’t know what it is, or how to even go about describing it. Merriam Webster describes the word thing as an object whose name is not known or stated.Does that really describe the product or service that you have to offer?If you are writing about a product with the goal of generating a sale, describe what is in in detail. Then focus on its best qualities — also in detail. Generic terms don’t encourage conversions.

 

  1. Allow Us to Serve Your Needs. Yet another vague phrase, allow us might be one of the most unconvincing terms to use when trying to make a sale. Furthermore, you are putting the cart before the horse. In order for your client to want to allow you to help, you need to describe in detail why you are their solution.Again, details matter to your clients. Don’t assume that you automatically have the sale just because you believe in your product or service.

 

  1. We Will Try to Resolve The Problem as Soon as Possible. If you are looking to instill confidence and encouragement in your client, refrain from using the word try. Try sounds like you will make an attempt, but there are no guarantees to the outcome.Even though there are never any guarantees in life, it is much more ensuring to your client to say that you will find a solution vs. you will make a mere attempt. You don’t want to make false promises, but you do want your client to feel confident in your capabilities.

 

  1. Industry Jargon Overload. While this may not be a specific word, overwhelming your potential client with too much industry jargon can easily cost you a sale. When was the last time that you were motivated to buy something because you were overly confused? I’m willing to bet never.When it comes to describing your products and services, stick to the basics. One of the rules of copywriting is to make sure that your 80-year-old grandmother can understand what you are trying to say. Of course, this does not apply for those who have a highly specific target audience that already understands industry jargon.Otherwise, make your copywriting simple and easy to understand.

 

  1. Free (When It’s Really Not). Free might sound harmless enough, but unfortunately it can come with negative connotation. Your clients are smart and know that almost nothing is truly free. Not to mention, the word free is often used as a bait-and-switch to lure in clients for a sale. Think about those phony smartphone commercials that promise a free service, only to find out that you must sign a contract to get the benefits.No one likes to be strung along. Unless your offer is truly free, don’t advertise as such.

 

  1. I Don’t Want to Generate More Business. Yet another phrase more than a word, negative and sarcastic phrases will never put your message in a positive light. This trick has become popular around the Internet, especially when you navigate away from a page and are stopped by a pop-up. If you have to insult your client into buying, you might want to re-evaluate the value of your product.
  1. Don’t Try to ‘Boil an Ocean’. If at all possible, avoid using clichés. Chances are that your clients have read those clichés time and time again, and they aren’t doing you any favors. With all of the wonderful copywriting books, tools, and online resources available, surely you can write a few words that will capture the attention of your audience. There are tried-and-true methods that were established decades ago that still apply today. Give it a try.If you can’t seem to get it just right, hire a pro. Your message will be well received, easy to understand, and help you attract business instead of unintentionally turning it away.
  1. Too Much We, I, And Us. If you take anything away from this advice, too much of you in your copywriting will never win over clients. People care about their needs and how they can use your products to solve problems. Win your customers over by showing value in your product and making your focus entirely on them.

 

Copywriting doesn’t have to cost you money. In fact, it can earn you quite a lot of cash.

Keep your content writing and copywriting focused on your audience, easy to grasp, and steer clear of words that cost you money. Learn more about what to avoid with these “7 Deadly Sins of Content Marketing” on The Guardian. Have you seen any other bad content marketing bits out there? Share in the comments!

Photo credit: tobkatrina / iStock

 

content marketing

Why the Future of Content Marketing is Bright

As a small business owner, the concept of content marketing makes you raise an eyebrow and ask yourself lots of questions that might include:

Do I really need a content strategy to speak my mind and bond with my clients? Couldn’t I just let the words flow freely?

Don’t let your upcoming experiences provide the answers to these questions.

Trying to convey your messages without a well-researched, documented content marketing strategy would be like trying to steer a ship without a helm. In this case you would probably drown in a sea of disparate content pieces that do not actually add value to your audience and don’t do a great job at representing your business.

6 Reasons Why Content Marketing Is Here to Stay

The good news is that it’s never too late to see what successful content marketing is all about. According to a Forbes article, the content marketing industry was worth no less than $44 billion dollars in 2013. Aren’t you curious to find out what’s behind the strategies that have filled the pockets of so many individuals and corporations? Some see content marketing as an elaborated soft-sell advertising tactic, while others interpret it as a method of telling a company’s story in a unique manner.  Regardless of your take on this matter, we give you six reasons why content marketing won’t be going anywhere in the near future.

  1. Give The Man Premium Content, and He Will Come Back for More. Addictive content enables you and your readers to become close. Original, palatable and relevant writing with a substance always triggers feedback from one’s audience. Naturally, in this case the key to success is consistency. Those who like to consume your stellar food for thought on a regular basis will always be hungry for your fresh topics. They will land on your page repeatedly and advise their friends, colleagues, parents and grandparents to do the same. On top of that, a constant flow of content allows you to build and maintain a solid community around your brand, product or service. According to an article published by Search Engine Journal, exceptional content facilitates a stimulating conversation between you and your public, while a strong community amplifies the message that you are trying to send through your writing.
  2. Having a Solid Content Strategy Is Like Having Money in the Bank. Some inexperienced business owners who are not familiar with the mechanism of online markets may tend to think that crafting and implementing a content strategy is a tiresome process that doesn’t actually deliver major benefits. The numbers reflected by recent stats debunk this misconception, proving that content marketing is one of the most powerful moneymaking tools that all companies can and should rely on, regardless of their size and goals, in order to increase their revenues. The fact that 90% of B2C brands rely on content marketing to inform and educate their consumers definitely proves a point in this context.
  3. Content Marketers Sharpen Their Pens and Broaden Their Horizons. According to a white paper entitled 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends- North America, published by Content Marketing Institute, this year 35% of all B2B marketers affirm that they count on a documented content marketing strategy, while 48% say that they have a content marketing strategy set in place, but in this case we are talking about an undocumented version. The same source reveals other interesting aspects, including the following ones:
  • Content marketers now use separate content marketing strategies to target 4 audiences, on average
  • 42% of all surveyed marketers publish fresh content daily or “multiple times per week” to fuel their content marketing program
  • In 2015, marketers are currently working on 13 content marketing initiatives, on average

The new trends identified by this source indicate that content marketing has evolved a great deal throughout time, expanding its influence and its inherent series of benefit. At this point, skilled marketers can develop, test, revise and monitor not one but four (or more) distinctive content marketing strategies designed according to the particularities of their segments of public. Another important aspect underlined by this white paper is that 70% of the B2B marketers employed by companies of all sizes are creating more content than they did one year ago. They use on average six channels to distribute their pieces of content and are always keeping an eye open for new opportunities that may take their content marketing program to a whole new level. The increased enthusiasm and determination manifested by marketers show that content is a mighty king that will never be dethroned and also suggests that a little bit of strategic thinking and in-depth research can take you a long way.

  1. All the Big Players Are Investing Big Bucks in Content Marketing. If you want to keep up with the Joneses in any field of activity, you have to identify your own role models and follow in the footsteps of the most successful giants. This doesn’t mean that you have to turn yourself into a copycat; chances are that you don’t have the resources that a major corporation relies on anyway. In this case, the key is to borrow, steal and reinterpret in a clever manner, while adapting every single idea that inspires you to your own strategy, developed according to your budget, audience and goals. Brands that we all know and love show us that content marketing is the key to reaching audiences, creating communities and achieving bigger goals on a daily basis.

Let’s take a quick look at some awesome examples:

  • Colgate has made a name for itself as an expert in its field not necessarily by talking like one, but by keeping its prospects close through its Oral and Dental Health Resource This online resource provides useful, punctual tips on a great variety of topics, all related to the mission, vision and purpose in business of this giant company that has established itself as a promoter of a correct oral hygiene. Here one could stumble across more than 400 instructional articles, interactive guides and videos that address all your questions and concerns. Written in a friendly tone, these pieces of content are easy to digest and provide valuable pieces of advice that may just get the Tooth Fairy out of business.
  • Coca-Cola has already explored the tremendous power of content marketing. Its Content 2020 marketing strategy revolves around the idea that all marketers require an increased amount of relevant, original and pertinent content to maintain a strong bond with clients and prospects. These days, marketers are no longer distributing content every once in a while, hoping to close a sale with just one piece of content. The 24/7 connectivity has changed the rules of the game, and now marketers feel stimulated to work around the clock to craft and distribute world-class content. According to Marketing Week, this huge corporation has decided to ditch traditional ad agencies that used to provide their creative ideas and focus mostly on a new, collaborative and extremely ingenious approach to content creation and storytelling. More specifically, as this suggestive and entertaining video reveals, Coca Cola is determined to evolve from creative excellence to content excellence, while provoking conversations through the stories it tells. This content marketing strategy has everything it takes to deliver exceptional results: after all, we all love good stories that we can relate to, and we all love a certain type of carbonated soft drink, don’t we?
  • RedBull. RedBull is another respectable brand that hardly makes any compromises when it comes to rolling out its unique content marketing strategy. Designed to keep the brand on the same page with adrenaline junkies and extreme sports fans, the content marketing strategy employed by RedBull gravitates around videos that are fun and engaging. The creative minds that are behind RedBull’s content marketing strategy know that its fans want excitement, adrenaline and a certain unique cool factor- and this is exactly what they deliver. The energy drink that gives us wings may or may not be a mix of coolness and adrenaline in a can; however, one thing’s certain: RedBull has managed to capture the attention of a worldwide audience, counting more than 3.7 million subscribers on YouTube. RedBull definitely knows how to stay into the spotlight by organizing and promoting unique, jaw-dropping events and building a solid content marketing strategy around them. The Stratos Jump performed by Felix Baumgartner was watched by no less than 8 million people. Naturally, the incredible event went mainstream in a matter of a few seconds, as the “death-defying” experience was instantly explored by some of the most reputable media outlets worldwide. For those seeking a maximum level of exposure, it can’t get better than this. Multiple videos were posted on YouTube, on RedBull’s official channel, while its website was teeming with blog updates and other exciting fresh pieces of content that celebrated Felix Baumgartner’s extreme initiative.
  • GoPro provides powerful video cameras and accessories that are basically suitable for any activity that you could image. This is what we all know. But what exactly is its content marketing secret? GoPro explores our need of validation. We could all use five minutes of glory, couldn’t we? GoPro stimulates its prospect to become real-life heroes. Moreover, clients are encouraged to capture incredible moments and share them with the whole world. By turning customers into brand evangelists, GoPro manages to achieve its marketing goals with minimal effort, while letting its fans do most of the heavy lifting. According to Business 2 Community, GoPro sells big and succeeds in increasing its brand awareness by tapping its fan’s love and appreciation for its product. Its team of marketing specialists is constantly surfing the Internet looking for videos produced using a GoPro camera. Naturally, they gather and use the ones with an elevated emotional and aesthetic value, in an attempt to cater shareable content. Moreover, as a great storyteller, GoPro brings all these experienced together and turns them into the nucleus of a solid community. With a content strategy that is always ready to tap the overwhelming potential of social media platforms, GoPro counts more than 7.9 million fans on Facebook and more than 3.2 million followers on Instagram, proving that sustained marketing efforts are always rewarded.
  1. Content Marketing Is the Miracle Maker That Even the Budget-Minded Businesses Can Afford. It’s always so easy to abandon a great idea before actually thinking about the easiest methods in which you could apply it. Yes, competition can be quite intimidating, especially when you’re counterparts are sitting on the pile of gold, while you’re pinching pennies. But this doesn’t mean that content marketing is the magic wand that was designed exclusively for the (already) rich and famous. On the contrary, any type of business can profit from the benefits that a solid content marketing strategy has to offer, as long as it focuses on the following aspects:
  • Short-term and long-term goals
  • Strategy
  • Production
  • Content atomization (the process of deriving multiple small execution methods from one big idea, according to Convince&Convert)
  • Amplification (the process of marketing the marketing- in other words, this step encompasses all the integration tactics that you employ to make your message heard on a larger scale)
  • Tests and Measurements
  1. Good Content Never Goes on Vacation. Here’s another reason why you should rely on content marketing to take your business to a whole new level: a good content strategy will work even when you won’t. Quality web content will always be read, commented upon and shared 24/7, even when you’re in a meeting or on a vacation. These days, content is treated like a first-class product. Used wisely, this type of writing can open the doors to countless opportunities to drive revenue via your other sellable services or products that define your business.

Content Marketing Is Seen as The New Conversation Between Brands and Their Public

So there you have it: a personalized content marketing strategy is the fundamental aspect that differentiates you from your competitors, making you unique, channeling your ambitions in the right direction and creating a stronger tie with your audience.

An article published by Forbes defines content marketing as “the new conversation.” Indeed, successful, result-oriented content marketing is all about the ways in which a brand’s culture get mirrored and reinforced in its daily actions. The companies that nail content marketing are the ones that make a difference in their customers’ lives, provide value (inform, entertain and educate) without asking for anything in return and prove their realness every single step of the way. All in all, the fact that savvy corporations make millions by simply rolling out clever strategies based on premium web writing proves that the future of content marketing is as bright as the sun in July.

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