You gave us 3 headlines – we gave them sparkle

Back in February we asked people to get in touch with content ideas they wanted attention grabbing headlines for.

We might have underestimated how many people would get in touch, and have actually been somewhere inundated with suggestions – some of which we have to confess we’d love to read the actual blogs for!!!

However, we’ve chosen three to work with and are going to use our tried and tested formula to give them a headline makeover.

 

Ben R – Health benefits of chocolate

Frankly we thought this headline might be enticing enough – it’s chocolate, and apparently healthy, so of course we want to read on.

However, it’s not very “sexy”.  It would be easy to spruce this up by combining any of the tips we mentioned last week:

  • 5 amazing health benefits of chocolate
  • Lose weight by eating chocolate now
  • Why eating chocolate is better for you than broccoli
  • How you can use chocolate to kick start your diet

These suggested headlines are more likely to illicit a reaction in a potential reader, and encourage them to read on.

Cathy S – Sell your home quickly

If you’re in the process of selling your home, who wouldn’t want to sell it quickly?  This would be an amazing article to read, but the current headline is so boring I’m probably just going to skip by it.

However, adding in some figures or adjectives might grab my attention and imagination a little more. We suggested trying:

  • People sold their homes five times quicker by doing this
  • 7 unbelievable tricks that will sell your home quickly
  • Sell your home in 24 hours with our top tips
  • How to sell your house in a day

Following our suggestion, Cathy chose one of our headlines as well as her original one.

The difference was striking. The original headline “sell your home quickly” had a 5% open rate; whilst our headline had an 80% open rate. It really does make a huge difference.

Stephen P – The difference between successful and unsuccessful writers

We’ve collaborated with Ste in the past, and know he is more than capable of coming up with a better headline than that.  We feel a test coming on – challenge accepted, Sir!

This current headline gives us no reason to read on.  Is there one difference, many differences, will you explain them, will it help us in any way?  There is no way of knowing unless we click and read, and to be honest, we’re too busy to take the chance that the content is as bad as the headline.

Instead, the following suggestions are bound to get people thinking, and might speak to something inside them:

  • What successful writers do that the rest of us don’t
  • Do this and your content will be a hit
  • 3 things successful writers do that you’re not
  • How do you make sure your writing is hitting the spot?

These headlines pose questions that you’re going to want to find answers to, or they promise to tell you things you’re dying to know.  People who want the answers to these issues are precisely the right audience for Ste, and as such he is speaking directly to them with these revised headline.

 

Give it a try

Why not experiment with some of your previous headlines, and republish content you’ve written in the past.  We bet you’ll have a better click-through rate if you spend a bit more time on the sundae, rather than assuming your headline is just the cherry.

 

Your headline is the sundae, not the cherry on top

With any luck you’ve been reading our previous posts about content marketing, and have decided you want to give blogging a go.  Perhaps you’ve earmarked some time to pull together an editorial plan, you might even have written some great copy, but what’s the point if your headline is rubbish?

The simple truth is people don’t know what your content is like until they click on a link to open it.  All they do see, initially, is the headline.  And if it’s boring, they’re not even going to bother to do that.

If you think of blogging as an ice-cream desert, your headline is the sundae, not just the cherry on top! The reality is, it’s the most important thing you’re going to write.

Use numbers, not just words

Some of the best attention grabbing headlines are those that feature numbers.

  • 50% of people who do this have lost weight
  • 7 of the worst things you can do when blogging
  • 90% of business owners are getting this wrong

Use wow words

You can tell we’ve got kids – “wow” words (aka adjectives) are great and simple ways to garner interest.

Think about words such effortless, fun, FREE, essential or absolute to hit your message home

Use what, why, how or when

If you are trying to persuade someone to do something, then why and how can be fantastic ways to get them hooked.

  • Why you should hire a content writer
  • How to improve the quality of your blog

However, it’s always good to mix things up a bit with alternatives:

  • What the most popular blogs have in common
  • When should you review your marketing plan?

Make a promise

One reason people don’t bother to read passed a headline is because they can’t immediately see what they’re going to get out of it.  Why not make it clear by making a promise to your reader from the outset?

The key here is to offer something that will genuinely entice them, based on the things you know your audience is interested in or wants – but for goodness sake, make sure you deliver!

For example; Instantly improve your blog for FREE

 

Get in touch

We’d love you to get in touch and let us know if you’re struggling with coming up with an attention grabbing headline, and we’ll be happy to help.  Make sure you email lu@timesavingheroes.co.uk by Thursday, 17th August and we’ll include it in our next blog!

 

 

New year, new content?

What can you do to make 2018 the best year as far as content marketing is concerned?

Make a plan, stick to it

One of the hardest things about content writing is doing it consistently.  For many people it’s easy to get started, but after a few weeks they find they’re posting when they find the time. This sort of approach means that it won’t be long before you realise you haven’t posted anything new for months!

The best thing you can do is come up with a content schedule.  How in depth this is, is up to you; however, it’s better to have something rather than nothing.  Perhaps you want to push company news on a Tuesday, or specific services on a Thursday. Maybe you’ll only blog once a week, in which case you can start to think about what might be topical and relevant to your audience.

Making a content schedule is a lot like having a work out plan – it’s no good if you have too many cheat days.  You certainly won’t see any of the benefits! The reality is the more you post, the more visible you become and this gives you, your business and your site more credibility.  Try to post at least once a week!

Do something different

If you’ve never embraced content before, now might well be the time to think about.

On the other hand, if you have and even use a content schedule to good effect, 2017 is the year for you to start thinking about spicing things up.  Adding the occasional infographic, or even video might encourage your audience to interact.  Could you even add a few free eBooks for people to download that help them with a particular issue or subject?

Promotion, promotion, promotion

It’s all well and good ensuring you have great content on your site, but how are you getting people to see it?  You need to make sure you’re getting it out there, otherwise what’s the point?

Not only do you need to make sure you have a schedule for creating and uploading content, but you need one to promote it too.  It doesn’t matter what social media platforms you use, or whether you completely automate the process, the key again is consistency.

The great thing with content, especially if it’s evergreen, is that you can use it so many times.  Play around with what works for your audience, and start tracking what days or times you get the most hits.  You can then work this in to your scheduling plan.

 

How to Build Trust Online

For the last two weeks we’ve been talking about the importance of building the “know, like and trust” factor online.  So far we’ve given tips on how get known for your content, and how to build likeability through all your online activities.

 

This week it’s the turn of trust.

 

Everything we’ve suggested so far has been leading up to this bit.  It’s all well and good being known, and people being aware of you, and it’s great if they like you and want to interact with you – but if they can’t trust you?  Well, they’re not going to buy from you or recommend you further down the line.

 

We all know that trust is earnt, and there’s no reason why you can’t build that online.  Here are our top tips for precisely how to do that.

 

#1 – Give stuff away

We’ve already touched on this previously, but giving stuff away is a great way to tackle all three building blocks of successful networking.  Sharing your best content (there’s so much free stuff on the web, please don’t give people rubbish) will show that you’re authentic, but equally it will show you value your audience.

 

Giving stuff away means you’re generous, and not just in it for the sales.

 

#2 – Don’t disappoint

We can debate all day about how often you should post on social media or update your blog, but the reality is an arbitrary number means nothing if you’re not going to stick to it.  If you say you’re going to post a video every day – do it.  Going to produce a weekly blog?  Do it!

 

If you put it out there and then start breaking your promises, you’re already showing that you can’t be relied on to deliver.

 

#3 – Be consistently good

Following on from consisting posting, your posts also need to be consistent.  People need to know what they’re going to get from you – your content has to be of the same standard throughout.  Don’t just throw something together because it’s got to be done, take your time to craft a specific message, and keep it inline with what you’ve offered before.

 

If people know what to expect from you then they’re more likely to come to you before going anywhere else.

 

#4 – Share testimonials

It’s easy for any of us to say wonderful things about ourselves, so occasionally let a third party vouch for you.  Share testimonials, and let other people use their own words to demonstrate how you add value, or provide great customer service.

 

Try to mix it up a bit – is there any way you can use a case study to really make an impact?  How about getting someone on video talking about why they love working with you or using your products?

 

#5 – Avoid jargon

 

We can all be guilty of it at times, using industry jargon, and forgetting that other people might now know what the Hell we’re talking about. People can smell BS a mile off, even online so it’s vital you don’t try to hide behind complicated and technical language.  Make sure you are approachable, clear, concise and easy to understand.  Never talk down to your audience, and always be happy to answer their questions and explain yourself when needed.

 

#6 – Apologise when you’re wrong

 

No one is perfect, and there are times you’re going to make a mistake.  It might be a faulty product, a poor service, whatever; when you make a mistake put your hands up and admit to it.  We are all human, so the error is never really the problem, it’s always the way you handle it that matters.

 

Don’t try to hide from the fact you got something wrong, use it as an opportunity to review your processes, and work out how you can avoid that issue arising again in the future.  Those who have been impacted are likely to forgive you a lot quicker if you embrace the situation, and use it as a catalyst for change.

 

 

Remember, Time Saving Heroes offer a wide variety of content writing services as well as social media management. We’re happy to have a chat and give you tips on what you can do to improve your offering for your audience, so pick up the phone and give us a call on 0161 883 2024.

How to Get Known Online

Our Lu is the current Chair of Bury Business Group, the oldest and largely networking group in the Bury (Greater Manchester) area.  One thing that is key to successful networking is establishing the “know, like and trust” factor.  If people get to know you, they get to like you (hopefully) and ultimately they can trust you to do a good job.  All of that means they’re likely to use your services themselves, but even more importantly, will recommend you to their friends and family.

 

Most people understand that when it comes to physical face-to-face networking, but move that online, and all logic seems to go out the window.  Social media marketing, content marketing – whatever you want to call it, is absolutely no different.  You have to put the work in to be consistent, and show that people can know, like and trust you.

 

How do you do that when it comes to content?  If you’ve started a blog, or are thinking about creating one for your business, how do you build those relationships in a virtual world?  Here’s our top tips for getting a good online reputation.

 

#1 – Know who you’re talking to

Too many people think that because they’re content is going out online they’re talking to everyone.  In theory, your content has that potential, anyone can stumble across something you share; however, you’re not trying to appeal to everyone.  You cannot sell to everyone.

 

Here you need to be very clear about your buyer persona’s. Who is your target audience, what do they want to hear and read about, what interests them, and what products or services are they likely to want from you?  Make sure your content is tightly centred around them. Be completely specific!

 

#2 – Be an expert

One of the best things about blogs is that it allows you to express an opinion within a chosen field or topic, and as such you can exert yourself as an expert. However, giving your opinion isn’t enough. Give your ideas names and labels, really come up with something unique, rather than just spouting industry givens and common knowledge. Do something to really make YOU stand out, so you can become a thought leader.

 

#3 – Create the right content

No matter how tight your buyer persona is, and how on point you believe you are, the best thing you can do is actually ask your audience what it is they want to get from you.  Do your research, ask questions, dig that little big deeper to really understand your actual audience.  You may even find that you’re attracting a completely different market, and that’s one you can work with.

 

#4 – Create a free product

Yes, we know you want to make sales off the back of your blog, and you can, but one of the best ways to do that is to create a free product that you can distribute easily.  What problems do your target audience have, and how can you help them with that?  Create eBooks, newsletters, courses, top tips, podcasts, how-to videos and so on that your loyal followers have access to. Ask them to sign up, and from there you can create a database of people to reach out to (just make sure you are compliant under the new GDPR regulations).

 

#5 – Build relationships

It goes without saying that you should be building relationships with your audience, taking the time to actually connect with them rather than simply throwing content out there, but that’s not the only thing you should do.  Make sure you’re following key influencers in your market and industry, connect with them, comment on their content, share their content, interact and build relationships with them, too.

 

That doesn’t mean you have to be a suck-up and start virtually stalking these people, but get involved in genuine conversations.  Ask questions, and encourage interaction.  This is a great way to get noticed, and could lead to some interesting debates and further content to put out.

 

#6 – Interview the experts

Following on from the above point, if you can build relationships with key influencers, you may be able to interview them as part of your content.  That way you can tap in to their audience in a big to increase your own.  Everyone benefits from increased exposure, and your audience will enjoy seeing something different and having an alternative perspective.

 

#7 – Guest blog

Guest blogging on other sites is a great way to further expand your own audience and reach.  Showing that you’re not the only one who values your opinion, but being invited to share content on someone else’s platform is a further example of social proof, and will definitely do you and your brand no harm.

 

 

Remember, Time Saving Heroes offer a wide variety of content writing services as well as social media management. We’re happy to have a chat and give you tips on what you can do to improve your offering for your audience, so pick up the phone and give us a call on 0161 883 2024.

Does your content have these three things?

A few months ago we tried to answer what the term content marketing actually means.  Hopefully now you have a slightly better understanding, and how it can impact on your business, and more importantly, your relationships with your customers (and prospects).

When it comes to creating good content you have to look at three main factors, and this week we wanted to look at these in a bit more detail.

Valuable

Your content has to be valuable to the people who are reading it.  Ultimately you have no control over who stumbles across your blogs or articles, so what this means is the people you are specifically targeting.

No matter what your business sells you need to have a good idea of who you are trying to sell to.  It is these people that need to find value in what you are offering in the way of content.  For everything you choose to share, you need to ask yourself what they (the audience) are going to get out of it. What makes it worthwhile?

Your audience should finish reading your blog, or watching your video feeling as though they have learnt something, or have been entertained in some way.  Your content needs to resonate with their lives and values.

Relevant

This follows on from value. Not only must your content be valuable, but it has to be relevant to them and what you’re able to offer.

The best way to do this is to become their trusted expert; demonstrate that you know everything there is to know about your industry, so they can turn to you with any questions they might have.

Show them that you understand them, and they will turn to you the second they need something.

Consistent

There is no benefit to posting three times a year, or just when you remember you’ve not done anything for a while. No matter how good your content is, if it’s not consistent no one is going to remember it. Which means no one is going to remember you.

Posting regularly over a period of time will ensure you are instantly recognisable, and therefore in the forefront of people’s minds when it comes to looking for a solution to their problem.

 

If your problem is coming up with content, or writing posts that are entertaining, factual and engaging then we have the solution. Give us a call on 0161 883 2024 or email lu@timesavingheroes.co.uk

 

What is content marketing?

One of the services we offer here at Time Saving Heroes is content marketing, and it’s something we bang on about quite a lot.  Lu loves writing, so if there’s a blog to be created, or a Press Release to be, well, released, she’s on it.

However, “content marketing” is one of those terms us guys use all the time, despite the fact you guys possibly have no idea what we’re talking about. Sometimes it’s hard to know what is and isn’t jargon.

For the benefit of those that aren’t too sure what content marketing covers, here’s a handy little reference.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is:

…a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

Strategic

The first thing we can pick out of this then is that content marketing is a strategic marketing approach. What that means is you’re not going to just haphazardly post random things to social media as and when you feel like it. Or, more likely, when you remember to.

A strategy gives you a clear idea of what it is you want to accomplish, and every piece of content you use is designed to help you accomplish it.

Audience

Your content needs to be valuable, relevant and consistent to attract the right audience, which means you need to know who your audience is.

Who do you want to read your posts?  What do they want or need?  What interests them, or concerns them?  Do they have questions they’re looking to you to answer? How does your product or service fit in to their lives? How can you help them find out what they need to know?

These are all things you need to think about for every piece of content you put out there – what purpose does it serve?  How will it help you build a relationship with your audience, or encourage new followers and prospects?

Customer action

The final point in the definition is that content needs to drive profitable customer action. Whilst it can of course relate to someone clicking on a link, ending up on your website, and converting to a sale, it’s important not to just see content marketing in these terms.

It is not about selling (though it can be a wonderful side effect, if done correctly).

A customer wants to know that you, the brand, understand them. That you get why they might want or need your product/service in their life.  Equally, they want to see that people just like them have used your brand before, and have had a positive experience.

They are looking for credibility, and good content marketing can do this for you.

When someone reads your content and shares it, they are giving it credibility. They are saying “this is good, this is worth paying attention to”. Every time that happens you are given another opportunity to demonstrate how you, as a business, can make a positive difference in the lives of your prospects.