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.

 

You gave us 3 headlines – we gave them sparkle

Last week 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.

 

Why is content marketing important for your business?

It seems we are constantly inventing new ways of doing things, and communicating is just one of the things affected by advances in technology.  One thing that has never changed is the need for a business to reach out and interact with its customers.  The only thing that is different now is the fact there are so many different ways of doing it.

No longer are you stuck with simply face to face conversations, letters, emails or leaflets. Consumers are used to obtaining the information they need through social media, and how they interact with the companies they use.  Social media allows brands to develop their own personalities, and consumers react to them in the same way they would other people.

In essence this interaction is won or lost on the strength of your content marketing.  If you’re not sure precisely what content marketing is, check out our blog from a few weeks ago.

What we’re looking at here, is why content marketing is so important to your business and the ongoing relationships you have with your customers, and prospects.

Who says content marketing is important?

Many people who have no real experience with content marketing have a tendency to assume it’s just one of those jargonistic buzz-words, and will soon die out.  Just a fad.

Let me assure you, it’s not.

Equally, it’s not something that “us types” bandy around in the hopes of making a quick buck. Trust me, the buck isn’t quick enough to be worth the pretence.

The reality is content marketing’s important because consumers say so, and so do search engines.

Your audience expects to be able to find out as much as possible about you, your business, your products and services without actually having to talk to you. Within a few swipes and swooshes they want to know what you offer, why you offer it, what your values are and why you’re better than your competitor.

Equally, they want to feel that you stand for something, that you embody something.  Key here is the idea that you’re not just another faceless company that doesn’t care about them.  They want to feel engaged, they want to be part of your story.  They can’t get that level of connection simply from a logo and a website’s product list.

For many potential consumers they’re likely to come to your site through a search engine, having sought the answer to a particular problem.  The best way to be the answer to their problem is to appear on the first page of a search engine result.  There are lots of different ways to achieve that, but the best one is to have good quality and consistent content.

 

Content marketing is important, and can make a huge impact on your business, whether that’s through increased revenue or improved customer loyalty.  If you’re reading to start thinking about how to improve your content and what you offer your audience, call 0161 883 2024 and speak to Lu, or email us on lu@timesavingheroes.co.uk

Does your content have these three things?

Last month 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.