Tag Archives: content marketing

Radio’s One-to-One Marketing Secret Resurrected

radio-dialOne-to-one marketing is not new.  Successful radio broadcasters have leveraged this form of communication for almost one hundred years.  As the Radio Association of Broadcasters Users Guide notes, “Most people listen to radio on their own in their own personal space such as the car, the kitchen, the bedroom etc.  When they say it on TV, they’re saying it to everybody, whereas when I hear it on the radio they’re saying it more to me personally.”

Just like radio, this is how the Internet works today.  While surfing the web, a one-to-one message is targeting a specific audience group.  That message is further refined with each click to the individual level as specific content marketing strategies for top sites are being personalized for each user.

Four trends will continue to support this ongoing growth of one-to-one content marketing on the web for many years to come:

The one-size-fits-all marketing broadcast from the 20th century is not relevant in this era of social media.  Take note of how many Super Bowl and Olympics commercials on the broadcast networks encourage viewers to engage personally with the brand.  Customers are individuals and do not want to be treated like masses.  That was how TV broadcasts used to work.  Today, top brands treat individuals as they are and address their own unique sets of wants and needs.  Just follow the conversations brands are having with followers using hashtags seen on these television commercials.  By its personalized nature, one-to-one marketing via social media fulfills this desire to have each individual’s voice be heard.

Personalized direct marketing will only increase.  Despite all the time saving devices, shoppers are more pressed than ever for time.  Personal content marketing will continue to grow to meet the needs of customers who don’t want to wait in long lines or sit in traffic.  They seek to make quick purchase decisions.  Crowd sourcing product recommendations through “customers who bought this also bought this” algorithms cut to the chase and streamline the web shopping experience.

Consumers will freely share the brands they are loyal to with others.  Shoppers love the perks they receive from brands that reinforce a unique value proposition during every purchase occasion. One-to-one marketing techniques used by eCommerce marketers today focus on discovering a brand’s best customers and reward them frequently for their loyalty.  Who doesn’t share news of big discounts received or memorable experiences?

Mass-media approaches will decline.  With advances in business intelligence gathering, market research analysis, and database mining technology, marketers will be able to engage customers personally in ways never before imagined.  GPS tracking, geo fences, and instant messaging will provide potential customers with the right message, at the right moment, at the right location.  These technological advances will offer one-to-one marketers a more cost-effective way to reach customers as businesses continue to personalize their messages.

While most decision-makers realize that one-to-one communication opens the door to revenue, knowing which technologies and human resources are worth investing in to make your marketing plan successful takes wisdom. The number of companies in the content marketing space has more than doubled in the last couple years. This rapid growth was sparked by Google’s Panda update in 2011, which emphasized quality content and continues with the 2013 Hummingbird update. While there have been abuses to guest posting for SEO back-links, which Matt Cutt’s addressed in his January 2014 post, “The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO,” marketing with a targeted message in mind will continue to thrive in blogs, social media, press releases, video and on your website. Investing in quality content creation continues to be an integral part of one-to-one marketing success.


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Filed under Business Strategy, Content Marketing, Hummingbird, Marketing, Panda

Effective Affiliate Email Marketing

by My Web Writers

 

Whether new to or currently participating in affiliate marketing, the ultimate goal is to maximize your relationship with potential or current customers and your affiliate businesses in order to create revenue. Many affiliate marketers focus on building their commission revenue via a website, blogs, or social media. Another great vehicle for affiliate marketers is email. Affiliate email marketing has fantastic advantages for large and small affiliate partnerships. The following addresses the three things vital to effectuating a successful affiliate email marketing strategy.

Affiliate Services Company
First, find a reputable affiliate services company like Commission Junction which runs one of the largest affiliate networks in the world. Companies like CJ provide a platform and support center to help you optimize your affiliate partnerships. These service companies can simply help you get started with affiliate relationships that you intend to manage yourself or can remain at your service by also managing those affiliate relationships for you.

Autoresponders
Second, set up an account with an email service or autoresponder like AWeber, Constant Contact, or Get Response. At its most basic level, these services automate the tasks of collecting names and email addresses of your visitors, sending emails to your subscribers, tracking any of their referral activities, and providing HTML templates that help create great looking emails. Once you get the structure of your email marketing campaign set up in the autoresponder then you don’t have to worry about what email is going out to which subscriber at which interval. The autoresponder does all of that for you once you have uploaded your subscriber email list and entered the parameters for your emails.

Email Content Writers
Third, further allow yourself to focus on your business by outsourcing the writing of your content to email writers. Content providers specialize in writing emails that compel the subscriber to open the email and then reward them for having done so with quality, engaging content. 80% of all affiliate marketing sales happen after the fifth contact. If the content of your email loses the subscriber before that time then you have lost a potential sale. The risk of that happening is too great. If you find yourself too busy to create quality content or, quite frankly, don’t want to write, companies like My Web Writers, who enjoy writing and who understand that content matters in email campaigns, can write the content for you.

Affiliate email marketing campaigns are another powerful tool in optimizing the success of your affiliate relationships. The likelihood of landing a desired sale increases through en email campaign because the potential customer was interested in your products or services enough that they gave you their email address in the first place. The quality content created by your content provider serves as the basis for a long-term relationship with the engaged subscriber. The autoresponder fulfills that all important role of contacting your subscriber on a regular basis with the desired blend of newsletters or promotions you have set up in your account. Given the potential of a well serviced, well organized, and well written affiliate email marketing campaign, it is certainly worth a look if you have not already incorporated it into your marketing strategy.

~Marni

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Marketing Content for Brochures

by My Web Writers

Oftentimes, companies take great pride in christening their emergence in the business world with printed brochures. Unfortunately, unless the premise and objective of the brochure is clearly identified, the brochure turns into an informational treaty instead of a persuasive marketing tool. For that reason, great care should be placed in well-thought out, and well-designed content that addresses each of the following aspects of the brochure.

Objective and Role
A brochure is not a stand-alone piece in a company’s marketing strategy. Take the time to know

  • how the brochure fits into the sales process (are you introducing your company or selling a product?),
  • the desired outcome of the brochure (will it establish credibility or make people aware of your website?),
  • and what action you want the reader to take (do you want the reader to request more information or take advantage of a promotion?).

Answering these questions establishes the framework necessary for effective marketing content.

A major concern which paralyzes anyone marketing a service or project in a brochure is whether or not to add prices. The creator of marketing content can easily put that debate to rest by simply defining the brochure’s objective. If you are generating interest in your company then don’t include prices. If the brochure comes into play near the close of a sale, include prices. Having established the objective and role of the brochure, all questions concerning marketing content should be easily resolved.

Know and Hook the Audience
Equally important to identifying the brochure’s objective is the need to define and understand your audience. What concerns your target audience? What is your relationship with the audience? A successful brochure contains effective hooks.  Just like a fisherman studies the appetite of the fish he hopes to reel in in order to choose the right hook, those creating marketing content for brochures must understand the appetites of the target audience, identify the hooks that appeal to those appetites and incorporate them into the brochure. Don’t put all of your hooks at the beginning of the brochure, spread your hooks throughout the brochure’s content so as to not lose the interest of your reader. What creates a hook?

  • a free report,
  • a discount,
  • a pre-order option,
  • an articulation of the target audiences concerns, etc.

Nature of the Content
Content isn’t just about vocabulary. It’s about voice, credibility, and atmosphere. Address the reader in an authoritative yet engaging voice. The tone of the brochure needs to inspire confidence in your reader’s mind as to your expertise and approachability. Address your target audience directly so that they feel as if you are engaging in a one-on-one conversation with them. Add atmosphere and warmth to your brochure content by painting a scenario in which the reader can imagine himself or herself reaping the benefits of using the products or services affiliated with that brochure. Avoid any potential monotony and substantiate your credibility by adding customer testimonials or third-party verification to the brochure’s content.

Simple Yet Intriguing Content
Resist the urge to sacrifice the persuasive nature of your brochure with too much information. With so many great features associated with your innovative product or top-notch service, it is easy to fill the brochure with paragraphs that talk all about you and forget the audience. This is not to say that a thorough discussion of your product or service’s features or technology can’t be included. Highlight these aspects in easy-to-read graphs, charts, diagrams, bulleted lists, or photographs. Write captions for these more visual components of your brochure because they carry a lot of value. In fact, captions rank as some of the most read and remembered text because of the simultaneous transmission of meaning through both language and image.

Make the Brochure a Keeper
The most effective brochures are those that the reader finds value in holding on to. How does one encourage the reader to keep the brochure even after having gone through it in its entirety?

  • Add how-to’s, tips, recipes, or useful information.
  • Include a calendar highlighting important dates.
  • Put sweepstakes or promotional event information on it.
  • Provide all of your contact information with maps and directions if appropriate.
  • Print discount coupons in the brochure.

Call to Action
A brochure loses the potential of fantastic marketing content if it doesn’t end with a call to action. After having gone to such herculean efforts to engage your target audience at every level, don’t forget to invite them to act. Leaving a call to act out of the marketing content would be akin to spending countless hours making and displaying the perfect cake only to never let anyone taste it. Without the invitation to act, you risk having done nothing more than present your target audience with a creative, well-designed, and well-written brochure that ultimately misses the mark of generating a lead or a sale.

Effective marketing content for brochures doesn’t come together by happenstance. It entails a very deliberate and researched process. Remember the adage that if it isn’t worth doing right it isn’t worth doing at all. Businesses who want to succeed want and must create a winning brochure. If the effort required into creating effective content for winning brochures stretches your resources too thin, then outsource your content writing to content providers like My Web Writers.

~Marni

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Filed under Brochures, Content, Content Marketing

Google Plus and Content Marketing

by My Web Writers

Google Plus has received a lot of buzz since its release. A lot of the attention has centered on the speed at which Google Plus reached milestone levels of members, its fresh and exciting platform, and its role in the entire Google brand. Almost as quickly as it gained members, businesses were clamoring for the opportunity to create a Google Plus profile to take advantage of the benefits Google Plus has for content marketing.

What features make Google Plus ideal for content marketing?

Sparks

Google Plus fosters an environment where users easily get the latest information about what interests them. To receive links to interest-based content, one simply indicates those interests in their profile and Google, drawing from its massive search index, automatically displays a piece of the latest articles, blogs, videos, and any other relevant content to that user. Google Plus users no longer need to initiate searches to find the latest buzz about a product, activity, service, company, or current events. Google Plus brings it right to the user. All the user has to do is click through to view the content in its entirety.

How can content marketing benefit? Online companies, hoping to strengthen their presence on the internet, have yet another reason to make sure their SEO content marketing practices get results. Rising to the top in Google’s SERP now means more than just making it onto the top of the first results page, it also means that Google conveniently provides the user a sampling of the content in Sparks.

As a result, those in charge of content marketing must make it a point to

  1. correctly identify the target audience,
  2. choose their keywords correctly, and
  3. make their content attractive to the search engine algorithms.

Accomplishing these three things means that your content marketing efforts will get to the right people, will match the keywords of the Sparks interest category, and be picked up by Google to pass on to the Google Plus member.

Hangout and Circles – the ultimate content sharing platform

Not only is Google dialoguing with its members via Sparks, but members are sharing content with members via the circles, hangout, and huddle features. Circles are a big hit because members can segregate their social networking acquaintances based upon relation, interests, and geography. Hangout appeals to those who love webcam conversations while providing features, like watching YouTube clips viewed during an online video call, that are exclusive to Google Plus. Huddle integrates texting as another way in which people of the same circle can initiate and facilitate group texting. All of these features cater to the need to share information.

How can content marketing benefit from these sharing features? Word of mouth has always been one of the most effective methods of spreading information and finding new customers. Google Plus members are speaking. Use Google Plus’ active sharing environment to spread the word about online competitions, new products, upcoming events, and special pricing promotions. Finding a voice within the sharing features of Google Plus effectively magnifies your content marketing efforts as word travels in an organic fashion.

It is important to point out that viewing Google Plus’ sharing capabilities as simply a powerful way to disseminate your marketing campaign would deny you another great benefit that Google Plus has to offer. Nate Riggs suggests that Google Plus, because it encourages so much sharing, also serves to inform online companies about what their target audience is saying. He states “This provides an opportunity for you to set up specific circles of the individual users who share content that’s most relevant to your customer audience.” Savvy online content marketers know that they need to hear what consumers are saying and Google Plus provides the perfect opportunity to listen.

Using Google Plus In-house

I have shared a few of Google Plus’ features that make this bandwagon a great spot for content marketing. However, the benefits of Google Plus in content marketing are not exclusive to the company-customer relationship. Because Google Plus takes the ease of social networking to a whole new level, businesses can benefit from its features to coordinate and discuss content marketing strategies within the company. Google Plus is not a social networking phenomenon just within the United States – it is a global player. Imagine how much more productive online meetings can be using hangout. Imagine how much easier it will be to update relevant company personnel of the buzz about your latest content marketing campaign with circles.

The marriage of Google Plus and content marketing practices represent a match made in heaven. Content marketing is all about reaching the target audience and creating a buzz. Google Plus is all about creating a social networking platform where buzz and sharing have free reign. Take the time to familiarize yourself with Google Plus and recognize its potential impact on content marketing. Although Google Plus has yet to invite businesses to “set up shop” on this platform, take advantage of the waiting period to set up personal accounts, to start listening, and to get sharing.

~Marni

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Filed under Content Marketing, Google Plus

Literacy & Your Content Marketing Campaign

by My Web Writers

While most of us are fortunate to have two eyes that properly team and a brain that efficiently processes information, according to UNESCO, 16% of the global adult population is illiterate. More specifically, 12% of male adults and 21% of female adults are illiterate.

If you’re the Chief Marketing Officer of a consumer-driven corporation, take pause before launching that targeted content marketing campaign. Are your writers considering all audiences?

Illiteracy Statistics that Influence Marketers

How would you like to grow your brand by an extra 15- 20%  this year?  Re-analyze those customers your content marketing strategy might be ignoring. Of the world’s 793 million illiterate adults, 36% live in India and 8% live in China.  It appears that the United States doesn’t share statistics with UNESCO.

However, American schools regularly test teens and publish student, NAEP literacy data. According to the Condition of Education, 20- 26% of 12th graders scored below basic reading standards consistently from 1992- 2009.  Many of those teens tested are now in their thirties.  Content marketing campaigns have the potential to miss a significant number of consumers if the writing is too challenging.

For Whom Is Reading Difficult?

While illiteracy flourishes among poor and prison populations, struggles with vision, eye muscle coordination, processing, and dyslexia are blind to social and economic conditions. Passion and hard work can overcome many obstacles. In 2008, Fortune Small Business ran a fascinating story about a CEO with dyslexia. Terri Bowersock CEO of Shop Terry’s, turned a $2000 loan from her mother into “the largest U.S. resale furniture retailer, with 16 stores and $36 million in annual sales… despite …dyslexia.” After realizing success, Bowersock hired a writer to create manuals. She communicates ideas to her staff via sketchpads and color-coding. Instead of writing emails, she picks up the phone.

Mr. Wright, a successful educational lawyer, has a language processing disability.  He also needs a calculator to process simple math; however, Mr. Wright has argued many cases including the landmark Supreme Court case Florence County School District Four v. Carter, which secured more rights for “learning-disabled children wanting to go to private schools at public expense. The 1993 ruling held that public schools that fail to educate these children no longer have a say in their educations.” (Editorial Observer)

Keep in mind both Ms. Bowersock, Mr. Wright, and others you may know, when creating marketing content.  They have the option of choosing their preferred reading level when researching via Google.  Write your content for them and it will have a better chance of being seen when they choose this filter.

Writing Vision-Friendly Content

Check your writing with this readability test tool. Target 5th to 8th grade reading levels.  While my above paragraphs are written to a tenth grade reading level, the following bullets drop to a sixth grade reading level.

  • Place important information at the top of your emails or web pages.
  • Simplify verbs.
  • Shorten sentences.
  • Add pictures and graphs.
  • Use headings & bullets.
  • Avoid technical words & jargon.
  • Double space.
  • Use a larger font size.

With simple consideration to struggling readers, your content provider will welcome additional customers into your brand’s family.

~Jean

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Filed under Content Marketing, Customer Profile, Education Strategy, Marketing

Content Marketing & the Future of Search

by My Web Writers

What is Content Marketing?

Somewhere over the rainbow…Where does content marketing lead?

I’m here to announce that the brothers and sisters of the fraternal order of SEO professionals have engineered a new, but kind of old, term- content marketing, which is managed by content marketing engineers.  Content marketing builds an empire of quality content that educates your audience and empowers them to make great choices (hopefully about your products and services), while catering to the growing need for personalized information. This content comes in many forms- digital, video, written- you name it.

Evolutions of Content Marketing

Are you keeping up with the times- Internet Marketers, SEO Specialists, Inbound Marketers, and now- Content Marketing Engineers?  All this change reminds me of when I was a teacher. Every few years the state would gather and decide which buzzwords to pursue, and then they’d repackage standards to improve the system.

Of course, I appreciate all the focus on quality content. I’m just chuckling over the scramble to produce original content (oh yes, with a marketing bent- can’t forget the marketing part) to stay competitive. Great writers have always produced quality.  It’s in the DNA.

We Need More Quality Content.. or Do We?

I’m just wondering about the future of this extra effort to bomb the market with more blog posts, more Tweets, more podcasts, more webinars, and more videos.

For example, as I write, it’s a Saturday afternoon, and instead of enjoying a sunny day and 80 degree weather with my family, I’m writing this blog post. That’s nuts. Well, for me, it’s passion. But, is it a passion for everyone? Probably not, but they’re now content marketing professionals forced to write, write, write. That’s like asking me to stay inside to work on Algebra or taxes. No thanks.

Who reads all of this content, anyway?  As soon as I post this article, will people rush to read what I have to say when it enters cyberspace? Well, yes!

Really? I thought they might be cutting their grass, staining their decks, or watching their kids’ baseball games, today.  On Monday, they’ll be bombed with 300 emails to sift through before breakfast.  Shoot, that plant in the corner is dying.  Need to water it someday.  Oh, and junior has swim practice after school, while princess has a dance recital.

Oops. Let me clarify because I can hear someone twang, “Darling, it’s not about more content, it’s about quality content.” Okay. Sure. Improving your SERP through quality content is VIP, but this term, content marketing implies more- kind of like those big, honking SUVs Americans like to drive.

Thus, with the pressure to produce quality content comes the pressure to produce more of it because that Panda bear will reward those machines who do.

The Future of Search and Content Marketing

Where is all that content going? Probably straight into the planned, future growth of search engines. When experts share their expertise until it becomes common knowledge, their ideas move into public domain and they lose certain rights to those ideas through fair use. According to the United States Copyright Office, the following are not copyright protected:

Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts,
principles, discoveries, or devices, as distinguished from a
description, explanation, or illustration.

Of course, there are original works that do retain copyright protection; but, even if engines focus on producing safe content, the future of search could look very different.

Content marketers are motivated to contribute to the public database in exchange for increased rankings, customers, dollars, and feel good value. Over time, the search engines may not need to give sites rankings for this quality content. They may very well own repackaged versions of it. Consider Esther Dyson’s recap at the May 7th Insider Summit.

So, what will the future of search and content marketing entail? Maybe y’all will be writing articles and producing videos for Google and Bing?  Do they have the potential to become the largest employer of content marketers? Search might be faster- simpler that way.

~Jean

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Filed under Content, Content Marketing, Marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Social Media