Guest post by Rodney Laws
Businesses come into existence through a complex combination of factors. Sometimes it’s a matter of the right skillset proving value at the right time, and an opportunity coming up to turn its use into a full-time operation. But no matter its origin story, every business needs a defined purpose — a core goal that, while contrived, communicates its style and intent.
Identifying such a purpose though is just the beginning. After that, you face the challenge of disseminating it to the people you need to impress: your existing or prospective customers, and even your potential investors. Your copy will need to be razor-sharp, with polished phrasing and potent messaging, but you’ll also need to make your visual branding a priority.
A picture paints a thousand words, it’s said, and it’s certainly been found that imagery has a far more immediate impact than even the boldest
Guest Post by Dan Farkas
Social video has moved from nice to necessary. Anyone reading this blog or spending any time with Shonali knows this – or will know it soon enough.
It’s easy to talk about creating more content. How can we do this quickly? There are plenty of apps that promise Spielberg and deliver something more Mac and Me than ET.
So when I had a chance to review the MoShow app, I was hopeful to find something that fits into a larger social video strategy. Here are my unedited thoughts:
The Good: MoShow Is Fast. Actually, MoShow is Super Fast
Before I even opened the app, I decided to time how long it would take to create my first video. Here’s what I put together.
The time: less than four minutes.
Is it perfect? No. Are my kids adorable? 100%
Social video will never replace $200 an
Guest Post by Heather Caouette
Most companies have gone through them – periods without clear cut news. A product release has been delayed, new customers have paused in the sales pipeline and there are no plans to open a new location anytime soon.
How do you stay relevant and in front of your target audiences when traditional reasons for communicating have temporarily evaporated?
There are several ways to keep your name out there in a manner which continues to build brand equity:
1. Develop a Content Calendar
This is recommended regardless of how much your news is humming. Content calendars help you schedule a steady cadence of materials and avoid the inevitable peaks and valleys. A plan enables you to more effectively leverage evergreen content and make use of it across multiple media venues. This is especially important as companies add additional social channels or other communications outlets. Creating a
Guest Post by Brandon Brown
Did you know that 47% of B2B marketers and 34% of B2C marketers don’t measure content marketing ROI? And one of the main reasons is that they find it difficult to measure. Another reason why marketers don’t measure content marketing ROI is that they simply don’t know how to do it.
The solution to these challenges is identifying the right metrics to measure the ROI of your content marketing and using tools to track these metrics. While Google Analytics or other analytics tools can easily take care of the second part, we’ll help you with the first one.
Following is a list of 15 content marketing metrics that you should measure:
1. Unique Visits
One of the most commonly used metrics to measure the success of any content marketing campaign is the number of unique visitors who view the content in a given timeframe. Since
Guest Post by Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio
In the era of the connected digital consumer, brand storytelling needs to undergo a radical shift. For many companies, brand storytelling has become a buzzword, a way to support marketing campaigns or polished commercials. So much so, that we’ve lost our focus on the heart and soul of brand storytelling.
It’s time we took the BS out of brand storytelling and focus on what truly matters: building the meaningful and relevant connections with our customers.
In our new book,The Laws of Brand Storytelling, we talk about the impact storytelling-done-right has on your business and provide a roadmap which you can use to plug in your own brand storytelling strategy and approach to achieve that impact.
In this post, however, let’s address the top brand storytelling misconceptions that are holding most companies back from achieving that impact:
Guest Post by Elena Bosch
The art of storytelling is rooted in the origins of every society. As far back as history can reach, humans have used storytelling to teach the next generation, to connect with others, to protect their culture and much, much more.
According to Dr. Brené Brown, research professor at the University of Houston and best-selling author, storytelling is innate.
“We’re wired for story. In a culture of scarcity and perfectionism, there’s a surprisingly simple reason we want to own, integrate, and share our stories of struggle. We do this because we feel the most alive when we’re connecting with others and being brave with our stories – it’s in our biology.”
Today we have every channel imaginable to tell our stories. Yet, even as PR practitioners, we find ourselves challenged with how best to write a story. To learn how to better tell your brand’s
Guest Post by Kathy Vaské
Intelligent content aka structured content is breaking out of its traditional boundaries. No longer is it used solely for product catalogs, technical specifications and the like.
Today, organizations are looking to use Structured Content for their ebooks, case studies, research reports and blogs. Why?
With the dynamic and ever-growing number of ways to consume content, there is a need to structure as much of our “valuable” content so it’s free to be automatically discovered and reused across multiple channels and devices and in a variety of previously impossible contexts.
A piece of “intelligent” content can be created once and served up in many places automatically e.g., blog article served up on an Apple Watch or Google Home. Now that’s intelligence.
What is Intelligent Content?
Intelligent content is essentially structured content. Structuring your content enables customers to find your message more easily online and
Guest Post by Monika Jansen
There’s a lot of noise out there. You are drowning in emails, ads and brand messages – and so are your prospects and clients. The best way to stand out from the noisy crowd is by employing a few tricks of the content marketing trade.
As you work on your content marketing strategy, keep these in mind:
Talk to your audience, not at them
People don’t care about what you do; they only care about how you can help them. That means you need to write messaging that’s completely client-concentric. Instead of “We are an award-winning catering company” say, “Your guests will be wowed.”
The next time you write marketing copy:
Use “you” instead of “we”
Focus on the benefits of working with/buying from you
Write like you talk
Ask for feedback, ideas and insights
You can’t give people what they want unless you
Guest Post by Brandon Andersen90% of content campaigns fail to meet business objectives. What’s more, only 5% of content produces 90% of audience engagement.
So when you’re launching your content campaign, the odds are already stacked against you. How do you overcome these odds to make your campaign succeed? Well, to start, look at what you’re probably doing right now that you need to fix.
Here are 8 reasons why many content campaigns fail, and what you can do to avoid them.
1. You wrote about a topic your audience doesn’t care about
It’s easy to assume you know what your audience wants. But choosing the correct topic to write about is actually one of the hardest parts of content marketing. Even the best written piece of content will fail if the subject matter isn’t important to your audience.
Guest Post by Lukas Treu
Creating content that someone actually wants to read is extremely difficult these days. Everyone is surrounded by “noise” that they don’t have time to parse through, our attention spans are shrinking by the day and far too often, the content we do consume isn’t even truly novel.
Creativity is desired, yet is in short supply.
As professional communicators, we find that those comprising our target audience are at best overwhelmed and at worst wholly disinterested. And frankly, it’s hard to blame them.
That said, what if I told you that the inspiration you need to stand out and resonate with your target audience could be sitting right in front of you?
I wouldn’t blame you for being skeptical … it’s easy to feel jaded. But I invite you to consider a somewhat counterintuitive concept for a moment:
The key to differentiation isn’t a matter of
Guest Post by Brandon Andersen
Have you written a great piece of content and felt like it was going to be a hit, only to have it fall flat once it was published?
I think it’s safe to say we all have.
There was a time, about 10 years ago, when the saying, “If you write it, they will come,” was true. Back then a great piece of content would be picked up by someone in social media, or by an industry influencer, and it would go nuts, seemingly all by itself.
Now, we’re fighting through an oversupply of content known as content shock, which makes getting our great content seen incredibly difficult. So how can we cut through the clutter?Pulling together your A-Team
The PESO model hits many different distribution channels at once with your story-generating industry buzz that goes beyond simple distribution techniques like paid
Guest Post by Kelly Kostanesky
If you hear a faint noise in the distance that sounds like a warning siren announcing some impending doom, it may just be some marketers and businesses reacting to the most recent Facebook Algorithm announcement.
Many are panicking at the thought of Facebook’s News Feed being limited to posts from family and friends and excluding those from pages and brands.
But statistics show that social media users want their platforms to be just that – social.
Guest Post by Rachel Woloshin
Is adding more video to your marketing strategy on your list of New Year’s Resolutions?
It definitely should be.
Today’s consumers crave engaging, interactive content. A recent content marketing study says 55% of people consume video more thoroughly than any other kind. Leaving video marketing out of your toolbox could potentially cost you money.
Well-executed video content can give a human element to your brand. It can explain a complicated product, position your brand as an expert in the industry, or showcase company culture better than other forms of content.
With more access to tools and fewer creative constraints, it’s easier than ever to make video content that converts.
Making your first video is daunting, but when you follow these steps, it’s simple and achievable:
1. Determine the goal you want your videos to achieve.
As with any new marketing strategy, start with your
Guest Post by Kelly Kostanesky
Many business owners struggle continuously with how to optimize their content and turn internet browsers into new customers.
Why? Because content optimization is one of the most effective ways to save people time, and increase the likelihood of conversion.
Research from Ahrefs shows that more than 64 percent of searches contain at least four words, which indicates that most people plug very specific phrases into their search engine of choice to find the most relevant content as quickly and efficiently as possible.
With so many content optimization options out there, here are a few tips and tricks for you to consider:
1. Google has the answer.
As the most widely-used search engine, Google has made a number of changes to its algorithms and user experience over the last few years in an effort to provide searchers with the precise information they are looking for.
Every industry has its own set of jargon and buzzwords that, despite making perfect sense among peers in the field, can leave outsiders scratching their heads. As a result, businesses that rely heavily on acronyms or abbreviations to explain their processes, services and products need to be sure they aren’t toeing the line of comprehension when using too much jargon in their PR and marketing.
In his latest LinkedIn Pulse piece, our CEO Martin Jones discusses how the acronym-laden telecommunications industry – itself often referred to with the abbreviation “telco” – balances the use of jargon between industry peers and outside audiences.
This isn’t a problem that only plagues those in the field of telco. As Manny Veiga discussed in his recent video, “Stop Using Buzzwords in Your Content Marketing Writing,” the overuse of often meaningless jargon is reaching pandemic levels across the PR and marketing landscape.
If some content is good, more is better, right? Marketers know that’s not always the case, especially in today’s content marketing environment, where the sheer volume of content available for buyers to read can be overwhelming. When there’s too much content out there, you have to change your own content creation strategy to get noticed.
In the final Hacks and Flacks of 2016, we talk with Joe Flynn, Managing Editor at Sales Engine Media, about that exact challenge. A veteran B2B content marketer, Joe tells us how his own content strategy has changed to reflect the current state of SEO, social media and content consumption habits.
Guest Post by Matt Press5.3 trillion ads are shown online every year.
The statistics look impressive – but did they make you feel anything? Probably not.
Chances are that most people reading this article will have forgotten those numbers by the time they reach the conclusion.
The reason is that numbers look great on PowerPoint presentations … but they aren’t memorable.
Ever since we were kids, our parents, grandparents, and teachers have been telling us stories – to teach us lessons, help us understand something – or even just to make us happy.
Yet for some reason, brands continue to drone on about facts, instead of taking the same, tried-and-tested approach for emotional communication.
If you want to make a real impression with someone, you need to tell a story.
Stories are an essential component of our lives… and good corporate stories are perhaps some of the
Guest Post by Jessica Davis
What do you feel when you see the visual on this post?
Imagine recreating this visual verbally! I wouldn’t be satisfied with the result unless it was penned down in Dylan style – with so much said in just a few words.
Sometimes, visuals can make people understand and feel things that words can’t.
A few months ago, when I was buried in research for a visual marketing piece, I came across an interview of Marcel Just, a cognitive imaging expert. In his interview with the Nieman Foundation at Harvard, he said that the human brain was built to process visual cues in nature, and that text was an artifact invented by man.
By design, our minds are more inclined towards visual communication than they are to text.
Social media and blogs require a certain frequency of posting to remain “viable” and effective.
If you’re a marketing writer, then you’re probably a ghostwriter too. Most, if not all content marketers have been asked to assume the (writing) identity of their boss, their boss’s boss, or someone else in the organization. To do a good job, you have to satisfy regular editorial demands while making sure the piece fits the tone and voice of your author. These ghostwriting tips can set you on your way.
For many, “seasonal” content brings to mind blogs drenched in B2C-centric allusions to Christmas carols and Black Friday flash sales. While retailers and other consumer-facing businesses certainly have a lot to gain by ramping up their brand awareness during the lucrative final quarter of the year, B2B companies have the benefit – and challenge – of having tentpole holidays and events all year round that can help flavor their content initiatives.
It’s intuitive that the purpose of B2B content – specifically in the tech sector – isn’t to drive fast sales or leads in the same way as B2C content. Instead, a lot of B2B content, especially blogs, is meant to engage industry peers and thought leaders, maintain brand awareness among existing clients and to promote new or existing services.
Still, when B2B companies are marketing to their business clientele, they are still attempting to engage regular, everyday people with common