Hello everyone – welcome to another Digitize Your Firm webinar where we’re going to be facing off again writer’s block, help you promote your content, and make you a content marketing pro.
For anyone joining us who is a content specialist or for those who aren’t quite sure what content marketing is, I welcome all comments and questions, simply click the green speech bubble at the top of the screen to open the chat and either type out your comment or ask to speak. If you haven’t already, be sure to click the ‘phone’ icon next to it the chat icon to ensure your audio is connected.
As with all Digitize Your Firm webinars, this will be recorded for later playback in case you wanted extra time with a certain section or for listening on the go. If you haven’t already, please visit the Weekly Webinar Schedule on our Digitize Your Firm page to check out our past webinars.
Now, let’s go over today’s agenda.
We’re going start off today’s session by helping you deal with writer’s block, discuss who you can promote your content (and brand), before giving you some tips from our own marketing team. After that, we’ll do our regular review and introduce the topics for next week.
We’ve all been there: you’re writing and then you just hit a wall. You could be writing a blog, email, a research paper, anything – writer’s block happens to writers of every form. Here are some steps you can take before and after writer’s block hits to help you improve the quality of the content you produce.
Steps before writer’s block? It doesn’t really sound like something you can prevent, right?
You’d be partially right. In some cases, writer’s block is inevitable but you can limit how much it affects you.
If writing isn’t something you so on a regular basis, it can be easy to push it off until you have a few spare minutes. By leaving your writing as something to do “on the fly,” you’re creating a task that can become very stressful very quickly because when it comes around you will feel that time crunch.
Set aside an hour or so every day to work on your writing. This way, you know you’ll have time to get your writing done instead of rushing to do it at the last minute so even if you do get writer’s block, you’ll have time to overcome it.
But, how do you overcome writer’s block?
One way to do it may seem counterintuitive: take a break. When you get writer’s block, you can start to get tunnel vision and you can’t seem to think of anything else. Go get a coffee, walk around the office, anything that gets you away from your desk for a few minutes. This clears up your mind and helps you refocus.
Still can’t overcome it?
If a break didn’t seem to quite help you beat your writer’s block, just start writing. It can be complete nonsense, something you’ve already said, or a rewording of your last paragraph. This chaotic form of writing will help you get the juices flowing again and help you start generating new content that might work better than what you’ve already written. Once something clicks, just go back and edit the jumble and you’ll see your content take form.
Writer’s block can be difficult, but it shouldn’t be the end of your writing. Just make sure you schedule your writing ahead, get up from your desk when you’ve hit the block, and power through and keep writing until something clicks.
We live in the age of information. With the invention of the internet, never before has knowledge been more readily available. With a few simple keystrokes, consumers today can access wide swathes of data and material on any topic — including information about you and your industry.
The benefits of the age of information for consumers, clients, and regular-day people are insurmountable. News, recipes, tips and tricks for every industry are now available in many different mediums from video and blogs to whitepapers and more. But, the age of information also provides benefits to the suppliers of the information, namely you and your organization.
When consumers are looking for information, they are looking for reliable, trustworthy sources. This gives your organization the opportunity to build trust and brand loyalty with your audience through content marketing.
Content marketing is essentially the creating and sharing of online material that provides value to consumers without directly promoting a brand.
Content marketing provides consumers with information which, in turn, build trust and brand loyalty between an organization providing information and the person on the other end consuming the content whether it’s a video, blog, whitepaper, etc.
Effective content marketing has become a staple of effective online marketing as it continues to prove to increase sales, bring on new leads, boost brand recognition, and create a sense of trust and loyalty among readers. When an organization is able to provide value through their content marketing, it aids in SEO, social media marketing, and inbound marketing.
No matter where you are in your content marketing strategy, whether you’re just starting out or have a full, robust plan, there is always room to expand and improve. In order to ensure your content marketing is performing as well as it can, be sure to enact the following tips:
Provide Value to Your Readers
This may be perhaps the most helpful, but most obvious tip when it comes to content marketing. Your content needs to say something important, something readers haven’t seen anywhere else in order to cut through the noise and resonate. Having a blog post with great keywords is a good start, and may get you listed pretty high on Google, but if you’re not providing your readers with value, they’re not going to stick around to the end of the content.
In order to give readers real value, it is important that you really go deep on the topic you are talking about and bring important details to the front. This will help you increase the length of your piece and really showcase you as an industry expert.
Link to Other Content
Let’s say you’re writing a blog to post on your company website. That’s a great start towards content marketing and will help consumers learn and find your company online. But, what about that whitepaper your colleague wrote a few weeks ago? Cross-promoting different types of content that are about similar topics is another great way to provide value to your readers and get more eyes on your various content items. Use your content to promote other content and showcase other mediums. If you have a blog, link to your whitepaper. If you have a weekly webinar, record them for later viewing. It’s important to leverage your content in multiple ways and through multiple mediums in order to get the most out of it and get it in front of as many people as possible.
Offer Ways to Connect
If you provide consumers with valuable content that really adds something to the conversation, adds to their knowledge base, or is just straight-up interesting, readers will want to connect with you. This is why it’s important that you give your readers was to get in touch. Whether it’s a “contact us” form, a CTA for a free trial, or promoting your social media channels at the end, you need to give readers more ways to engage at the end of your content or you risk them falling off.
Share Your Content
The problem with simply writing content and posting it to your website is that you really run the risk of limiting your audience. In order to make your content seen, share it on your personal and company social media pages. Facebook and Twitter are two great sites to start with, and sharing content here allows your readers to also share the content to their pages as well. You can also include your new content in your email marketing campaigns, and make it easy for email readers to share by including “share” buttons.
Today we will be looking at the best practices for content marketing. Here are our four favorites. Do you know of any other tips that should be included?
1) Understand Your Target Audience
Depending on the communications vehicle, ensure that you’re targeting your audience correctly. Furthermore, consider what platform you’re using. Different demographics (customers) cover several different types of platforms. Say, an SMS subscriber is more likely to also be another multimedia subscriber as well. So, to understand your target audience takes a bit more than knowing your platform, but who they actually are and their habits
2) Keep it Short
Short doesn’t necessarily mean content length. Again, everything is related to your communications vehicle. Short literally may mean short if you’re working with Twitter or Facebook. What it does mean is that great, even awesome, content is remaining concise. Keep sentences short. Keep points even shorter. Avoid pedantic (persnickety) language. Use verbal flourishes when appropriate (only if it drives the point home).
3) Make Your “Push”
Many people dance around their “push” in their communications. Typically, businesses are a bit queasy getting right to the point, but that is exactly what you need to do. Further, it doesn’t matter if your content is sales or news related. Get right to it. Make it clear. Make it simple. Hedging around the issue makes people wary.
If it helps, write down the main point you want your audience to get from your piece in one line. It may be ‘You should buy by product because of XYZ’ or ‘We’re opening a new location’. These points are what you should go back to when you feel like you’re starting to stray.
4) Never Forget to Test the Power of Your Content
One of our “golden rules” of marketing is to test…test…test! This means every single aspect of any marketing campaign needs to be tested to see whether what you’re doing is actually working. Metrics apply to content as equally as open and conversion rates. Also, beyond metrics is the interaction between you and your customers. If a type of content isn’t working, then shake things up. Test different strategies. Test different voices. Figure out what works for you and your customers.
Now, let’s review.
1. When it comes to writer’s block, remember that every writer gets it and that it will eventually fade. Don’t leave your content writing to the last minute, make time for it throughout your day as stress can quickly hinder your process. If you truly find yourself struggling, put it away and turn to another task and clear your head. If you’re still having trouble, just writer – write out your thoughts, your feelings, what is stressing you out, whatever comes to mind. Eventually it will disperse and you’ll return stronger than ever.
2. In this age of digital media and information, it may feel impossible that your content will be found across billions of web pages – but don’t fret, there are away to pull in readers from across the globe. Remember to bring value to your writing while going deep into topics, and be strategic with keywords – if there is more keywords than content, readers aren’t going to want to stick around. Don’t be afraid to link to other resources as well where they can gather more information or learn more about a topic you may have already discussed.
Don’t forget to offer ways for readers to connect with you for questions, interest in your service, products or to begin building a relationship. A simple ‘contact us’ button goes a long way, or ‘sign up for a free trial’. A great way to get your content out in the world is to share it – post it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and any other platform that you’re active on.
3. Finally, we shared some tips from our own marketing team on how you can become a content marketing pro. Remember to understand your audience and the medium you’re using. SMS subscribers don’t want to read a four text message novel, but will be more than willing to be linked to resources like a landing page or social media post. In that same vein, don’t forget to keep your contact short and concise – in sentence length, point, and more.
Remember to make your ‘push’ right out of the gate and get to the point of your material – not only will you find your writing more concentrated, but your audience will enjoy it too. Then… test! Try different strategies of promotion, write about diverse contact and track the results. If writing about proper ways to clean your car isn’t getting hits, but a post on winter-proofing your car does, then you should further explore the topic.
Next week we’re going to dive into the one social media channel we’ve missed so far – LinkedIn. We’re going to talk about why LinkedIn is such an important platform, marketing on LinkedIn, and how to best present yourself.