Content, content, content… such an emphasis for many businesses today. It’s a good bet content marketing is a big part of your organization’s marketing strategy now. Maybe your company creates its own original content. Maybe you curate content from a number of outstanding resources. Whatever the case, it’s not enough to simply push a lot of content out to websites or social media channels. Continue Reading
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Audience, Customers, Consumers, Readers. No matter what “label” you put on them, they are the people you are thinking about when you are writing your content whether it’s being published on a website, blog, in email or even somewhere else on the web. They are real people with varying interests, knowledge, time, needs, desires and so much more.
Many bloggers, Brands and Publishers go to great lengths to understand the people they write content for. And there is so much data available today. As you well know, we are in the age of “Big Data”. Back in the early days of the internet (which was really not that long ago at all), the promise of “Big Data” was there but not yet at our fingertips and we saw it as the “holy grail” from a marketing perspective. And what’s so great about all this data is that it can translate into insight. Insight is what gives us the ability to understand and ultimately act on all that data. Continue ReadingRead More »
One of the most important parts of your content marketing strategy is its visual components. Your brain processes images faster than text and attaching a graphic to your content can create a mental foothold for your audience, which will result in reads, clicks and leads.
Graphic design is more than pretty pictures and fancy text. It’s a means of visual communication to convey information in an interesting and appealing way. Getting your graphic designer to create images with a consistent look will also strengthen your brand’s visual identity and create an instantly recognizable online presence. Sit down and think about fonts, colour palette and a set of visual cues that will occur regularly within your content.
This all may seem like a lot to process but have no fear. Here are just three simple ways that you can step up your visual game online:Read More »
Before you hit publish on your blog post, there is one critical step before you click that button.
That mission critical step is to review your work. If you are a one-man show (where you don’t have the luxury of having a team) then you’ll be going through the system of a self-edit process.
It may sound tedious but you want to make sure that your writing is polished, easy-to-read and effective. It is important that you review your work with a critical eye. You wouldn’t want the world to read poor writing, you can lose a lot of readers that way.
Here are 5 things you must do before you hit publish!Read More »
Is there a secret sauce that goes into creating a great post that connects with your audience? I believe that writing is an art, a form of personal expression. The topic is irrelevant however, it’s how you articulate your story that matters and how your expression of information affects the audience that ingests it.
Writing to influence others is for sure the most challenging. Obviously it is extremely difficult to understand what goes on in somebody else’s mind so when writing you just have to try your best to communicate with others so that your audience understands and relates to your voice. Continue ReadingRead More »
What’s your assignment today? I’m sure you’ve got a great angle, an awesome story to tell, and the only thing you are in a rut about is how to make it worthwhile for your audience. It’s a tough task these days, as you clamour to do your job, forces are conspiring against you. I’ve been there.The demand on your time and the way you go about writing has likely completely changed from when you first thought about getting into the business.You need to not only write the perfect story that garners a big audience, but you need to think about all the SEO tips the consultant shared in a meeting, the right language for your “niche” target demo of adults aged 25 to 54 who live in the suburbs with their 1.5 kids and how you can make it all sexy with a photo, or better yet a catchy viral video meme.Even if and when you accomplish all that, editors and marketing types are refining your story to get it just right for your brand’s voice. Copy changes, product mentions, sponsor tie-ins, all of it, is enough to make anyone bananas.The truth is, there is a better way. I’m not suggesting that none of that is important, or even necessary in some cases, what I do think though, is that we’ve gotten so far away from the art of true story telling, that we’ve all lost our ability to actually cut through. That’s why we all got into this business in the first place isn’t it? To make art, and be proud, but also to have a voice, to connect. Great content for real people, will always find an audience.Somewhere, in the race to make money, and appeal to the largest audiences possible, we’ve forgotten just that. It’s not about our publication, our brand, or even us, it’s about our audience. When we make that connection, organically, page rank grows on Google, without needing to stuff our stories with words that don’t fit or make sense, our readers share our stories on social media, and when we actually strike a chord, they post a comment. That is actually the story that is alluding all of us. Having more people read the great work we’ve created without relying on fancy tricks to get the job done.I’m not advocating by the way, that none of those tools and tricks aren’t useful or important, but what I am suggesting is that if you strip away your story to its core and provide inspired, thought provoking, audience centric content, you are bound to succeed.That’s the rub isn’t it, connecting on a completely different, less superficial level. I’d argue when you are able to match your audience’s sophistication on a specific topic, and tug in some way at their heart, you are bound to do better.I don’t need to prove this to you on my own. Think about what your favourite authors, writers, poets and musicians have in common. They were all able to touch you in an emotional way and you for whatever reason related directly to their story. We all remember lyrics to our favourite songs, inspired speeches given by actors in movies or even that awesome op-ed piece that we read in our newspaper. In each of those examples, it was the message at the core of the content experience, that we remember, and share, not the stuff around it.So that is actually the challenge. Ahead of worrying about demographics, psychographics or whether or not you can weave some highly sophisticated SEO key word matching, consider your audience on an entirely different level. Think of them as people who gravitate and connect with content that matches them not because they are a number or have browsed certain websites, but because like you, they are real people, who will remember what you’ve written. They’ll thank you, by not only connecting with your initial post, but coming back time and time again for your great content, written for real people.Read More »
There are lots of checklists and best practices around the best ways to implement your content marketing strategy and plan which are great and super useful. Here’s a great one I always refer to: Content Marketing Best Practices. In addition, I believe having some reference points around avoiding the pitfalls is equally beneficial. There are several potential pitfalls (definitely more than the ones I’ll cover here) though these are the most important in my humble opinion. Here are my top five: Continue ReadingRead More »
I have been at this content creation game for a long time, and whether its been in broadcast or digital, I have maintained that there is no substitute for awesome audience focused original content. The truth is, no matter what the medium, exclusively relying on original content is a costly endeavour.
Think about all of the channels you read and watch for content. Each of them create original content that they think you will engage with, but they augment that programming curated content. Obviously everything they publish or broadcast, whether original or curated must keep the audience in mind, but at the end of the day, if you’re vying for your audience’s attention, one could argue you are doing as much a service to them by offering curated content as you are by offering them original content.
Before you say, that this is just the model for large publishers and broadcasters, not niche ones, I’d argue niche ones curate even more content. There is no shame in that at all. Continue ReadingRead More »