Posts Tagged "marketing"

What is Content Marketing?

By on Nov 2, 2015 in News | 0 comments

There is no denying that content marketing has taken over. More and more companies of all sizes and budgets are caring more about what they say, how they say it and to whom they say it. But what is content marketing really? Many of my clients come to me and know they need to put out content but most aren’t really sure where to start. Some still need to be convinced. There are many definitions about what content marketing is but simplified it’s a frame of reference shift from selling to informing and educating. It’s about creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to your audience. The goal is to drive consumer choices, educate and inform, and compel your audience to action. Instead of a focusing on selling and pitching your products and services, you’re helping to make your audience more intelligent and more informed, and in turn, your audience rewards you with their business and brand loyalty. You end up becoming a trusted go-to source for information and the by-product of that is selling your products and services. Many of my small business clients come to me lamenting the fact that they don’t have great stories to tell. Granted, nonprofit organizations have a wealth of readily available stories and content, often more so than businesses but the stories are still there. Often it’s just a matter of brainstorming ideas and having a solid strategy. Developing a solid content strategy is the first-step. From a simple starting strategy to something more complex, the below gives you the basics. Audience-Focused – Remember your content is about your audience and not about you. Think about relationship building. If all you did was talk about yourself, how far would you get in developing good relationships? Not very far usually. Define who your audience segments are and what they need to know about your industry or even information that effects their decision making. Your brand story – Most people don’t know your industry like you do. Whether you know it or not, you have many stories to tell. This phase of your strategy will help you determine what stories to tell. What kinds of information help to educate your audience about your industry...

Read More

Your Words Matter

By on Oct 6, 2015 in News | 0 comments

A few years ago while I was helping a friend start his private investigation firm with nothing more than the borrowed money for licensing fees, we talked about how to grow the business with no starting capital in the height of the economic downturn. We had no option but to get creative. I put my skills as a writer and researcher to use. We pitched press releases and feature stories to local newspapers. We pitched ourselves and developed relationships with local journalists, who in turn came to us for resources and quotes when they were writing a story related to our industry. We also weren’t afraid to connect them with other experts when we didn’t have access to the information they needed. Eventually, when money was flowing in, we even bought some radio advertising and were guests on a morning radio show. That was an interesting adventure. Money from the first case he landed, he reinvested some of it into joining the local Chamber of Commerce. We connected with other members, business leaders in our community and attorneys. We sent letters to these attorneys telling them about his work. We even had a few in-person meetings from that and landed some great cases. We went to events and networked. And we wrote a lot – letters, RFPs, website copy, blog articles and eventually pitched stories to PI Magazine, an international trade magazine for private investigators, lawyers and other investigators. This month my article on “Understanding the Characters of a Pedophile” is the cover story. This is the fourth cover story I’ve landed, and I think the 15th article I’ve written for them since 2009. The good part is PI Magazine pays me for my work. These articles have turned into podcast appearances and radio and newspaper interviews, and most important a great relationship with a wonderful magazine. Looking back, we grew our business with great messaging and nothing more. Practiced elevator speeches for networking events, written letters and articles and great website copy. We worked hard to get to the top of the first page of Google and are still there. The lesson for us is the same one I have for my current business clients. It doesn’t take...

Read More

What’s Trending?

By on Aug 22, 2015 in News | 0 comments

One of the first questions clients ask me when we talk about their content is – How can we stay relevant? The second – How can we get the media interested in the stories we need to tell? These are two very important questions and the answers are easier than you would think. Read the News – Sometimes it’s just that simple. And if you aren’t following your industry’s news or the national news about topics related to your industry, then you already missed the first step in staying relevant. The title of this post says it all – What’s trending? Meaning what is everyone talking about related to your industry and are you a part of that conversation. If not, why not? Give Your Two Cents – Through creating content you can join the conversation. You can write and pitch stories with your own unique viewpoint about what’s being talked about in your industry. Do you agree? Disagree? Have another angle to add? Post the content to your website and share it via social media. Respond to other articles and get your name and business out there. Silence is your enemy. Know Your Research – What is the research from your field saying? What new studies are coming down the pike? Stay informed and keep up to date. The more you are in-the-know, the easier you can share information and be a resource and expert to your audience and the media. Be a Conversation Starter – Don’t sit back and wait for others to start the important dialogue. If there are related subjects in your field not being discussed and you think it’s important, start the conversation yourself and invite others to join you. Nothing positions you as a leader quicker than being in front of the story but you have to stay current in your industry to be relevant....

Read More

Creating an Editorial Calendar

By on Dec 10, 2014 in News | 0 comments

December is a great time of year to reflect back on your content from last year and assess what did or didn’t work. Hopefully, if you’ve been tracking your social media, email marketing and website all year long, the stats will be readily available. If not, it’s a good time to plan how you’ll track for next year. It’s also the perfect time to start preparing your editorial calendar for the year ahead. So what is an editorial calendar? It helps you with strategy, organization and project management. It helps you plan your content themes for each month and what topics you’ll cover. Some use an editorial calendar to plot out how many blog articles will be written each month, their dates of publication and content. The same for email marketing and social media content. For most of my clients, we sketch out three months at a time, some go as far as six months but it’s important to leave room for new topics that might be in the media you’d like to respond to or things coming up you want to highlight for your business. An editorial calendar is meant to be a guide and not something written in stone. Remember you can easily shift content around as needed. How an Editorial Calendar Helps: Managing and scheduling your own blog posts and social media Scheduling blog posts by guest authors Scheduling the creation and deployment of other marketing materials Tracking events that can generate content such as conferences, holidays and awareness days (particularly if you’re a nonprofit) Gathering ideas that lead to content An editorial calendar takes away last minute panic about what articles you’re writing and when you are sending content out. Every editorial calendar can be slightly different, some of my clients even include: The person responsible for researching and writing the content The type of content published and when it’s published Where you plan to publish it What you hope to achieve and how success will be measured This is something each organization can customize for themselves. A simple Google search will help you see editorial calendar samples and you can choose what works for your organization and what doesn’t. For those using WordPress two...

Read More

Holiday Marketing Ideas

By on Dec 3, 2014 in News | 0 comments

As we slide past Thanksgiving and right into December, the holiday season is right on top of us. Some businesses slow down at end of the year while others have their best sales. Content marketing can end up taking a back seat to everything else happening during this time of year. But, it doesn’t have to. Here are some simple tips to stay connected with your clients and customers throughout the holiday season. Holiday Content – Decide what the most useful information your audience can have about your business or subject matter expertise during this time of year and share it. It might just be something as simple as your business hours that might change during the holidays, sales you are running or even solutions to customers’ holiday problems you can solve. One of my clients, a private investigator, makes sure his holiday content focuses on safety tips through the holidays especially helping to prevent theft, robbery and other crimes at home and while out shopping. He has the knowledge and expertise and it’s the perfect time of year to share it. He’s not making direct sales from the content but he’s laying the groundwork that he’s an expert – which is just as important. Plan a Holiday Party – This all depends on the kind of business you have. If you have an actual office or storefront and a local customer base, it’s pretty easy to pull together a quick holiday party. When I was back home living in NY and a member of my Chamber of Commerce this was a fun time to year attending holiday get-togethers and networking with all my business friends who I might not have seen in a while. It was fun socializing but also amazing networking! For businesses like mine, where my customer base is spread across the U.S., I have to get a little creative. Holidays cards or even if you’re a baker (or can order online), tins of cookies are always a nice reminder to your most loyal clients. Perfect Time Just to Say Thanks – No matter what else you do during the holiday season, it’s a nice idea to say thank you to your loyal fans and followers...

Read More