Category Archives: content marketing

How to Write Content for Your Brand: Having a Unique Voice in Writing to Stand Out

branding with content marketingContent marketing is the new buzzword when it comes to online marketing. SEO was sooo 2001. Social media has been and gone. It’s now all about Content Marketing. Whilst I don’t actually agree with these statements, it does throw up an out of the ordinary and problematic situation for brands that are now engaging in content marketing. The problem is that everyone is doing it! So how are you going to break through the mass of content and make your writing and your message stand out? In this article, I take a look why giving your content a voice is crucial to whether or not your content marketing efforts succeed. Hold tight, this could be a bumpy ride (for your existing strategy).

The Internet is Awash with Content with No Voice

Every man and his dog now have a blog. Kids are even being told to start a blog when they get to college in order to, ‘get their name out there’. Most of these blogs are truly terrible, but sometimes the content is actually pretty good. Millions of blog posts get published every day. Thousands of eBooks go live too. The competition is crazy!

That’s bad enough for businesses, but when we combine this with a tool such as Feedly and we’ve got a real problem. Feedly, if you don’t already know, allows you to read articles from all across the internet in one single location. It strips away all of your website branding and presents the reader with just the naked content. It’s a great tool for readers, but when it comes to publishing content it throws up an interesting problem. How does the reader know that the content is yours?

Why Do You Need a Voice?

It’s worth thinking about this question for a second. If you just write content to appear for certain search terms and not much else, I guess a voice isn’t vital. You’re aim, in this instance, is to appear in search engines and gain impressions. You don’t need a voice for that. However, most businesses write content for more than just impressions. They want the readers to sign up to an offer. Or they want them to subscribe to the mailing list. If you want the reader of your content to do more than just read what you’ve written, if you want to connect with them and incite an action on their behalf, you need to have a voice. A voice that they will want to hear more of, that will help to convert them from readers to advocates of your brand.

Why You Won’t Find Your Voice Today

Luckily, finding the voice of your brand probably won’t happen overnight. Why is that a good thing? Well, can you imagine your blog all of a sudden reads totally differently than how it has done for the past six months? Your existing readers are going to wonder what is going on. Worst case scenario, they may all leave you. So luckily, a true voice can’t be found overnight. It’s something that develops as your business grows.

Feedback from readers is perhaps the biggest driving force behind this. Develop your content around what your readers like. Do they prefer a humorous tone? Do they like facts and figures? They may be more creatively minded and as such prefer rich graphics and images.

These are all things that you can gauge from your existing audience. Engage with them. Talk to them. Ask them. They are your biggest advocates and they are the ones who will make content marketing work for you. Without them, you just have content.

Getting a Head Start

So whilst you won’t be able to develop your voice into a finished product today, you can begin to put things into order now. Think about whom your ideal customer is and why they read your content. Are they looking for some light-hearted reading after a hard day at work? Do they need some cold-hard facts that they can reel off to their boss in the middle of a heated debate? You probably already know your target audience, so begin to think what they would want. There are a few companies who do this incredibly well and you could learn a lot from them.

Buffer is a social media posting tool, but there blog has an incredible voice that attracts their ideal user. The blog is transparent and adheres to their culture. Its popularity shows just how well received the content is.

Coursefindr is another start-up that has really nailed its voice. It’s aimed at kids from the UK that are looking for a university degree. When you read their content, you can really tell that it knows how to talk to them. Whilst it’s got all the facts and important stuff that teachers and parents look for, it delivers it in a manner that the students find interesting and engaging.

Finally, Seth Godin is a thinker/author/speaker who knows that his readers are bombarded with content every day. Instead of aiming for blog posts that surpass the 1,000 word mark, he writes short posts that you can read before you get out of bed in the morning. Each post has a real focus and he uses his words wisely.

What ‘Your Voice’ Will Look Like

As you learn more from your readers and begin to think about who your target reader is, it’s important to make sure you keep your voice steady through each article or blog post you write. My personal preference for doing this is to have a ‘living document’ that you continually update. I use bullet points so I can easily see what makes up ‘the voice’. Points such as, ‘to the point’, ‘funny’, ‘professional’, ‘juvenile’, are the types of words that I would include.

I also like to have these printed off and stuck to the wall in front of my screen. It acts as a constant reminder for how I should be writing any content and also allows me to switch between writing styles more easily. Of course, if you’re only writing content for your own brand, then you may be able to get away with just the digital version that you can refer to before proofreading your article.

In essence, finding your voice is a never-ending journey. It’s a fun one though, and one that is well worth the effort. Your content will be recognised by readers more easily and you’ll see the benefits in the comment box beneath your articles too!

If you’ve already got your voice, let me know how you keep yourself on tone when writing. I’m always interested to hear how other people work!

About the Author

Lewis Love is a professional Marketing Consultant, specialising in new media. He’s the author of the bestselling book, Facebook Business Basics.

What is Good Content to Google?

digital contentUsing content as the foundation of your SEO strategy is not a new concept, but the definition of “good” quality content is ever-changing. Although the Panda update punished sites with thin content, there still are sites which use such content to rank higher. It might help temporarily, but will definitely affect in the long run.

Good content:

  • Drives traffic through searches related to your industry
  • Builds authority in the eyes of users and search engines
  • Increases engagement with your brand on social media

So what can be termed as good content?

Content in 2014 will not be just limited to the pieces of text you will add to the website or blog. You will need to think outside of this and make sure to develop a range of different media like videos, presentations, whitepapers, infographics, how-to’s etc. These become your assets and can be one of your best sources of links. Basically, you have to provide content which is useful to the end user.  Google’s Hummingbird algorithm, though not in full effect is going to become more and more of a player as search becomes more mobile and voice oriented. Therefore, be sure to include questions and answers as well as location data, when relevant, in your content. This will provide more value for your end users and the search engines alike.

content marketingNot to forget your site pages, you should be constantly improving your static assets (especially landing pages) to improve conversions and provide the best user experience. Engagement and conversion metrics are not just important to your bottom line, they’re important to Google providing the best results. In a nutshell give the people what they are looking for and Google will reward you with good rankings.

WordPress Blog Article Strategies

Photo Credit by Heisenberg Media / Flickr

If you’re looking for great WordPress blog article strategies, you’ve come to the right place. A lot of people have WP blogs these days, but not everyone knows how to come up with good content in order to attract and – more importantly – retain readers. Below are several ideas and strategies that you can use to increase your chances of blogging success.

WordPress Blog Article Strategies

Here are some ideas that will help you deal with content on your WordPress blog.

  • Know Your Audience – The first thing you need to do is make sure you know your audience. The more you know about them, the easier it will be to come up with article ideas that they’re going to like. And if you do manage to hit a homerun when picking topics to write about, you’re going to attract an audience – one that will keep coming back for more content.

  • Be Consistent – If you can only publish once a week do that, but make sure you’re consistent with it. Some bloggers only post occasionally with no rhyme or reason as to when they post. This works as long as your content is very high quality and can’t be found anywhere else on the Internet.

  • Be Useful – This should be common sense, but you might be amazed at how many people think they just need to write out a certain number of words that sound good together without actually being useful in their posts. The more useful your articles, the more readers you’re going to attract – all without spending money. The good news is that it’s not hard to be useful if you spend some time writing the content.

  • Be Entertaining – This is not a requirement, but if you can also be entertaining – especially funny – you can get a lot more action with each article you write for your WordPress blog. You want to make sure you don’t push it too far, though. There’s a fine line and you need to make sure you walk it carefully.

  • Be Interactive – In the past, when an article was published it was difficult for the writer and readers to interact with each other. The Internet has changed this. These days it’s important to acknowledge and interact with your readers. You don’t want to spend all your time on this, but it’s something you should do a little. It can really make your readers feel special and make them lifelong fans of your blog.

If you can follow some or all of the tips and advice above, there’s a good chance you’re going to be able to slowly but surely increase your audience quite a bit. And when you have more readers, you’re going to have a better chance of making money with the website.

This writer enjoys reading infographics online – at least the ones that are well designed.

Five Content Promotion Strategies To Win Google

Content and GoogleUnderstanding the need for driving higher traffic and creating the right content for your website is just not enough. You need to address the bigger challenges that necessitate the ideal combination of strategic planning and creative thinking and make your content match up with your defined business goals.

Read on for valuable strategies that discuss effective content promotion strategies that are effective for businesses to win over Google. They will empower your content to navigate targeted traffic from manifold sources (social networks, search engines, referring sites) and help you reap rich dividends and meet your true business goals—in many more ways than one.

White Papers and Freebies for Lead Generation

Offering compelling and free downloads for your targeted audience is a proven and easy means of driving sales leads and developing newsletter lists. Customers always love free stuff coming their way; therefore this content strategy proves to be a great way of funneling new potential customers inside your buying cycle. Freemium downloads usually consist of content that customers find valuable. They include common mediums like PDF files, resourceful lists, instructional videos and even free trials. Take your pick!

Proper keyword research techniques and link building strategies (in social networks and both off site as well as on site) helps in nurturing new site visitors and retaining the loyalty of other regular customers through heavily searched/most sought after topical content.

Guest posting

In contemporary times, this is probably the fastest way of finding a larger audience. Many up-and-coming content marketers are gaining SEO juice and building authority with potential customers, through their ever increasing volumes of guest postings. Smart and innovative guest posts require you to create the best content for finding thousands of readers.

You can use intelligent means to send these “satisfied” readers back to your site, where you have additional terrific content to narrate and share. Guest bloggers boasting of the highest rankings with Google can be hired for the cause.

How-to videos

Successful portals and business forums are based around providing solutions for the queries and problems faced by their customers. Figure out common problems and issues that lend themselves to how-to videos.

You can launch a series of such videos on You Tube and provide proactive solutions to viewers. They should be easy to search, Google friendly and capable of leading your perspective customers back to your site. For best results, you must aim for competitive topics and high quality videos—to differentiate yourself with more effective techniques, an interesting personality and overall better production values, or all of the above. Along with entry-level strategies and tips, you can also provide advanced advice on your products and services.

Professional networking

Along with a decent foundation of content management strategies, you also need to invest your resources in professional networking. By being relevant, interesting and respectful to the views of other bloggers in your niche, you can earn the trust of Google and your viewers alike. Look out for content writers creating interesting content, blogs and other promotional stuff at all levels -large, medium and small. Instead of joining artificial schemes or setting up channels to promote your posts, simply share all the stuff that you feel is cool, and remember to explain why. Upgrading your social media skills and using professional content online can make your presence more visible and valuable.

Product Curation for eCommerce Transactions

Like you see here, in today’s competitive world, it is quite a task to create compelling and unique content to win over the Google landscape. A great way to combat this challenge is by curating products based on user need/interest, developing articles that are fresh and intriguing and finding the right e-commerce products for leveraging the brick-and-mortar solutions of floor salesmen. Your e-commerce site should apply a customer-centric approach to create helpful product guides as well as better defined hands-on approaches for helping viewers find the right products.

These content promotion strategies should be coupled with the expertise and experience of a reputed SEO agency to drive potential customers in an exponential fashion. With the right strategies in place, you can look forward to the highest rankings and visibility on Google and other search engines that matter.

So, get a closer look at your present content schemes and gear up to integrate more feasible and effective options to drive higher traffic your way. Today!

Roman Sahakov, who is the author of this article, is a real professional in the sphere of social media marketing and SEO. Long working experience of Roman has given him a big sense of writing exactly what people need to be up-to-date in this sphere.

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