21 October 2014

Content Marketing Cheat Sheet

After my epiphany earlier in the year, I've become obsessed with content marketing. Although now I'm not sure if it will beat out "programmatic advertising" as 2014's buzz word of the year.

Having now rolled out a number of content strategies and programs, I've found the biggest challenge is getting started. Aligning your content marketing to business objectives, talking to the right audience, publishing on the right channels, with a creative concept and effective distribution is a lot to get your head around.

Not to say you shouldn't plan all that, but sometimes you don't have the resource or the budget to get caught up on the bigger piece. Especially if a quick win on the board gets you buy-in for later.

So you if you want to jump in the deep end, here's three fairly sound places to start:
  1. Look through whatever consumer research you have and identify their single biggest barrier in purchasing your product. Create something that addresses it.
  2. Look through your social media channels and identify the most frequently asked question. Create something that addresses it.
  3. Look through your on-site search queries and identify the most popular topic people are looking for on your site. Create something that addresses it.
Whether it's a YouTube video, blog post or tweet - if you're addressing one of the above with some common sense you'll be doing more than most marketers (and more effectively too).

07 October 2014

3 Tips For Writing Better Blog Posts

I really enjoy writing. I particularly like the challenge of writing for digital, where being succinct is critical.

Having written on here for seven years along with a number of freelance articles, here are three things I do before writing a post. These aren't tips on how to create and source better content but instead how to ensure your writing is succinct as possible.
1. One single thought
Each post should focus on a single idea or thought. If you start getting into a second territory, you are rambling. If it's a good territory, keep it for a different post. Follow up the original a week later and keep the conversation flowing. It also means you'll have more to publish and share (great for SEO and social).

2. Remove all unnecessary words
Every word should bring something to the post. If a sentence reads as you intended without a word, remove it. I often run my pieces through the Hemmingway App before publishing to see what can be removed (or reworked).

3. "That" is rarely correct
Review any use of the word "that". 60% of the time it can be removed completely (see second point) and 20% of the time it would be more proper to use "which". Try it yourself on an old piece of your writing.
They're not going to change the world, but they might make make your writing a little punchier. (Short and sweet - see first point.)
The views expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer. Also ponies are evil.
Pigs Don't Fly © Copyright Zac Martin